Author's Note: Hello! I'm back again. How ya'll doin'? Good, great.
This story was inspired by… well if I told you that it'd ruin everything wouldn't it? Well, read on and enjoy. Please R/R, I hope you like.
Summary: Jack arrives at a church to keep a promise to Sam, but why doesn't he want to be there?
Genre: Angst, Romance
Pairings: Sam and Jack
The Man in the Corner
I can't help but sigh as I stare at the church, wondering why I'm here. I mean, I know why I'm here, I just can't figure out what compelled me to come. My promise, I guess.
This isn't something I want to do, though- watch this whole thing happen, that is. But I promised Sam that I would, promised her that I would come and be here. Everyone else will be, but then everyone else isn't as… well I guess I can't say I'm opposed to this. On the contrary, I was the one who told her to do this.
But I couldn't just tell her, 'no don't do it'. Could I have?
Was that why she came to talk to me about it? Did she want a reason not to go through with this whole thing?
I sigh, shaking with my head. Just forget it, Jack. Don't go there; it'll just make it harder.
Getting out of my car, I walk around the front, looking at the old church. It's a normal old church, I guess. Not that I spent a lot of time in one. There are churchbells, and statues, and stainglass windows with their pictures of religious non… no, I won't say nonsense. I guess it's not to some.
I look up at the bell tower as the bells clang, marking the hour of the day. Exactly noon. Perfect time.
With one last deep sigh, I straighten my coat and walk on. Walk closer to what will push me farther from her…
Pulling open the door, I slip inside. The ceremony has already begun; I knew that before I left my car. I guess I stalled as long as I could. I don't really want to watch, that's not what I came here for. Just to give my parting words, I owe her that much. She's earned much more than that, but I can't give her more.
My footsteps don't make a sound; years of training and experience have tuned them to such stealth, even when I don't need it. But I could use it right now, I'd rather that no one knows I'm here. I don't want to stay any longer than I have to.
Looking around, she's easy to spot. My breath catches; she's breath-taken standing there, clad in her dress and veil. I remember Sarah on a similar day, but… I can't believe how much more stunning Sam looks as she stands there… her hand held by another man.
Looking away, I slip farther into the room, standing in the corner. I watch on, practically hiding from the eyes of everyone else. At least my Air Force dress uniform won't catch anyone's attention, so many people are already here for her from the Air Force.
If I bothered to look, I'm sure I could find Jacob, Hammond, and plenty others from the SGC here. Is that Siler? Who knew they were that close of friends? Wow, weird.
As the priest drones on, I just watch her. She seems happy, I guess. She's smiling, but it doesn't make it to her eyes. It's not anything like the smile she gives to me on a normal day. Any day that I crack a pathetic joke. This one is there, it's real and sincere, but she's still nervous… almost unsure.
Maybe I'm just making it up. I'd like to say that I know her well enough- know people well enough- but maybe I'm just seeing what I want to see.
To be honest, I've never really seen her with him. Never seen them interact; maybe it's just how she is around him. I don't know… it's doesn't really matter what I think, though… does it?
God, it seems like it takes forever for the priest to be done. Looking down, I know that he just removed the veil from her face. Everyone's applauding, they must have just kissed. They're walking down the aisle now.
They'll be there to talk to everyone before they go down to the reception. I stay back in the corner, somehow that seems fitting. Slowly the room filters out; Daniel, Teal'c, Hammond, and Jacob go past, giving their best to the two. Luckily they don't notice me.
No one else seems inclined to speak with me; only Siler, I think, has noticed me. I wave back, wishing that I hadn't. Just hope that he doesn't mention it to Sam.
Crap, I think he did. Well, he's pointing this way. There's no one else around here. Damn, she's looking this way. I catch her eye. She seems shocked, maybe she thought I changed my mind and wasn't coming.
She turns back, nodding to Siler before the man walked out. A few more people walk by; it was obvious to me that Sam was growing impatient with them. I just stood there and watched, hoping that maybe she would come over by herself. There's not much I can say; I guess there's nothing really that I have to say, but I still wanted to see her before…
Here she comes. What am I going to say? What is there to say to now?
Her dress drags somewhat behind her, Pete watching her for a moment before leaving to entertain all the wedding guests. "Hi," she says, almost in a whisper as she approaches.
"Hey, Sam. Congratulations."
"Thanks… I didn't think you were going to come; I didn't see you."
"Yeah, well… I promised."
"You've never broken one before."
I nod, my hands in my pockets to keep her from noticing their shaking. I don't know what's gotten me so nervous though; I'm just talking to a very good, old friend. Nothing different than talking to Teal'c… except for the way I feel about them both.
A long silence passes; apparently she's just at a loss as to what to say as I am. We've been friends for so long, maybe we don't know how to actually talk anymore… besides that one conversation a few days ago, we haven't discussed anything more than work. Everything else I saw on her face, I didn't need any more than that to know what she was thinking.
"So, um… how's it feel? To be a married woman?"
She smirked. It's the one she always uses when I make a joke to liven her up; one that forces her to flash her dimples. But it's like the one before, there's not the spark in her eyes that always enchanted me before- still does actually.
"Give me a few days on that; I'll get back to you." I chuckle along with her, wishing that I could do just that.
Silence once again. I really hate silence- I mean it's never silent, you can always here something. Your breathing or heart or some faint noise in the distance, or some annoying bug, or something! Well, in this case, I can only hear my heart pounding in my chest.
"I'm going to miss you, Si- Jack."
Wow, that's like… the second time she's ever said my name. Well, I like it. It sounds just perfect rolling off her lips. I wish I had been able to get her to say it more often.
"I'll miss you too, Sam."
She nods mutely, trying to hide the tears that are forming. I really wish she wouldn't, but she is a woman. It'll happen with them.
But, if I were honest with myself, I could probably cry right now too. I'll never see her again, most likely anyway.
Without my knowledge or consent, my hand moves up to caress her cheek, brushing away a stray tear. She smiles faintly at me, as if thanking me.
"Hey, hey. Stop crying, you don't want to ruin all this wonderful makeup." That got her to laugh, a laugh that reached her eyes. And that made me smile, I just want her to be happy, that's all I've ever wanted for her.
"Sam?" We both turn with someone's voice, my hand dropping immediately when I see Pete standing there. He looks confused, but luckily I don't think he's read anything into it. Maybe he recognizes me or something. Actually, maybe I don't want him to.
"I'll be there in just a second. Go… go on." I watch Pete leave with a sigh, that only means Sam's not far behind. I don't want her to go; the minute she does, I'll never see her again.
She's looking down at her hands, as if contemplating their very existence. Maybe she realized the same thing. "Would you like to come down, stay for the party?"
I sigh. I want to stay with her, but the longer I stay, the more I'm not sure I'll be able to leave. "I… I shouldn't. I still have to, um, get some things together."
"Right. Good luck out there," she says as she moves in to hug me. I wrap my arms around her, feeling her own around my waist. We've never touched much beyond brushing shoulders or an awkward handhold, but we've hugged. Hugged for comfort many times, but only enough that I long for the touch, but never the reason.
"You'd better." I smile faintly at her comment, nodding my head. But, in my heart, I don't think it'll matter. "Atlantis couldn't have a better man there; I only wish I could go with you."
I know what she means by her words- the technology and the experience would be the chance of a lifetime. Well, it is. But I wish she could mean more by it… and from the look in her eyes, maybe she does.
"Well, from what I hear, you might not like it much."
"No. Right in the ocean; you've told me on many occasions that fishing and sailing aren't your thing." She smiled, almost laughed.
But, too quickly, we both sobered. "I have to-"
"Yeah, I know. Go, have fun. Good luck."
"Thanks." Tentatively, she hugs me again. She leans back, but doesn't let go. I can't decide if she's trying to think of something to say… or if she's trying to decide if she should kiss me.
And, amazingly, she does. Only a quick, friendly kiss, but it's still there. Still the spark and passion I remember from nearly five years ago during all my timeloops.
"I'd like to say that I'd see you around, but…"
"Who knows, right?" I just nod quietly. I don't want to say good-bye.
For a moment, she just watches me, as if waiting for me to start. But then, she says, "I'm really going to miss you."
"I will too, Sam."
She swallowed hard; I could see her throat working as she did so. She just nodded, and turned away before anything else could be said. I stood there, still in my corner, watching her leave. Watching one of the few highlights in my life leave me… forever.
She turns out and into the main hallway, most likely heading for the stairs or elevator that will take her down to the reception.
After a few minutes of waiting, I know she's gone and not coming back. And I say the only thing I can think of:
"I love you, Sam. Good-bye." /-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/
Now, I don't have any real interest in Pete and Sam's relationship, but I do like Pete (save said relationship). I also realize that it's (unfortunately) possible that the two might end up together, though I still hold out that she might bail out of their relationship and Sam and Jack'll get together. Ah, I can dream…
Well, hope you like it and please R/R and tell me how you feel it was.