Title: A Promised Future

Sam/Jack, season 8, pg

Author's Notes: To AngelLeviathan for reading it through for me! You're the best.

xxx

Sam finally knew what she wanted. And the relief that washed through her, and the weight that lifted from her shoulders, reassured her that she had made the right decision.

"This isn't going to work."

Pete looked up, confusion evident on his face. "What isn't? The refrigerator? Yeah it will, it just needs defrosting, Sam!" he laughed.

"No. Not that. This."

Her tone was so serious he paused in his transferring of food products from the fridge to the counter and looked at her properly. Her face was pale and she had dark circles under her eyes. Had she not been sleeping well? He tried to remember.

Wiping his hands on a cloth, he gave her his full attention. "What's wrong?"

"I'm sorry," she whispered, looking down, before returning her gaze to meet his eyes confidently. "This isn't going to work," she repeated.

"What isn't, Sam?" Pete answered, his tone worried.

"This. Us."

"What do you mean? What are you talking about?" He moved closer to her, reaching out to take her hands in his. She let him, for a short while.

"I'm sorry. I know this is selfish, and I know it's out of the blue, but this isn't going to work. I'm sorry." She shook her head, sad for him, but adamant in what she was saying. She withdrew her hands gently, before turning and walking away a few paces, regaining her personal space.

"I don't understand." He tried to step closer to her, but she simply backed away again.

"Pete, I don't see us having a future together." The last thing she wanted to do was hurt him, but she replied bluntly nonetheless.

Unable to think straight, he simply repeated himself.

"I don't expect you to understand, and I'm not even sure I can explain. I just need you to accept. Pete, you're a great guy, but I don't belong with you." She finished, relieved that she had managed to give him some sort of an answer without giving him the details. She wasn't even sure she'd be able to explain it to him.

"You're right, this is so out of the blue." He shook his head, pacing round her kitchen. "This is it?"

She nodded. "I'm sorry," she whispered once more.

xxx

"Carter, what are you doing here?"

She swallowed the nervous lump in her throat, before speaking up. "I need to talk to you."

"Okay," Jack responded, curious. He held the door open so she could pass by, and followed her into his living room. She knew her way round by now, regardless of the fact she had rarely visited his home.

"I didn't tell you everything about the mission," she began, once they were both seated on the couch. "Not the details. I wasn't specific about what Fifth created in my mind."

Jack said nothing, but indicated for her to continue. It must be important for her to have arrived on his doorstep unannounced to tell him about it.

"I was living on a farm with Pete. In Montana. I'd quit the SGC," she announced in a rush. She looked to meet his eyes, before diverting them once more. She carried on before she lost her nerve. "That was Fifth projecting it into my head. Trying to convince me. Torturing me," she stumbled over her words.

Once again she looked up to meet his eyes, before continuing. "But I realised that it would never happen. No matter how much I might have longed for that normal life, that's not it. Not now, and never will be. And I realised that we had no future. I just broke up with Pete."

Jack sat back as she finished her hurried speech, unsure of what to say. As he thought about it, he realised he wasn't exactly sure what she was talking about. 'Nothing new there,' he mused to himself. He realised he had better say something, and settled for saying what was on his mind.

"Carter, what exactly are you saying?"

Taking in his confused expression, she had to smile a little. She looked at her hands as she turned them over in each other. "I'm saying that I saw no future with Pete. I saw it somewhere else." She looked at him pointedly. "So I ended it with him."

Amongst the confusion she still saw on his face, she was sure she could see relief present too. Saving him from having to say anything, she continued. "You don't have to say anything," she finished, "I… I just wanted you to know."

She stood and made her way towards the door. She heard him rise behind her but didn't expect him to say anything, so stopped still when he did.

"I'm a safe bet," he whispered, looking into her eyes as she turned.

She smiled a slightly watery smile, relief and recognition flitting across her face. "I know." As she turned to leave once more, something struck her and she turned back to face him, her gaze locked on his. "So am I," she said softly.

And she left Jack with a small smile on his face as she walked out the door with one on her own. Something had just changed, they both knew it. And it had changed for the better.

Fin