AN: As always would love to hear what you think, the good the bad and the ugly :o)
This is going to be a bit on the angst side (I hope), between Sam and Jack, with maybe a little whumping here and there for good measures . So sit back and enjoy the ride.
Spoilers: S7 Heroes
The sky was dark and overcast, droplets of rain fell from the sky; 'Heaven's Tears' her mother had called it when the rain began to fall. She never really appreciated the saying until now. For the last hour she had let the tears fall once more. Passers by didn't stare at her in wonder at how someone could cry so openly in public. Here it didn't matter. Everyone understood, as they'd all felt the same at some point in their lives. It was why she came to 'this' place, to shed those tears that she hid in the furthest point of her mind as she carried out her daily duties. Time and time again she sat here, sometimes speaking to her friend as if she were still with her, other times solitude was her companion. Today was one of those times whereby she needed to hear the sound of rain falling heavily onto the ground. The wind picked up and she unconsciously wrapped her coat around shoulders to gain a bit of warmth. But, it didn't matter how many layers she put around her body, her soul was cold and she wondered if she would ever feel 'warm' again.
A crackling sound of thunder could be heard in the distance; a storm was brewing. Looking up at the sky, it was black and unwelcoming, but she didn't care. Lightening bolted across the sky like a fireworks display, followed then by a crack of thunder. Instead of seeking shelter, she found herself transfixed by the ongoing light display that streaked before her eyes. The droplets of rain became heavier, until the rain bounced off the ground… and still she sat.
The wind whistled through the trees and she realised that she was now the only person left in the cemetery, watching over her friend's gravestone. She still couldn't believe that she'd never see her friend smiling…laughing again. After giving the memorial she thought that it might help take the pain away…allow her to grieve, but she was wrong. Too many people that she cared about had died in her life, and she was tired. Tired of going through this charade that she was a soldier and that grief sometimes had to take a back seat. She knew that, like it or night, people died in the line of duty, she understood that that was a possibility when she'd signed up to the Stargate programme, but knowing it and experiencing it was two different things. Burying her head in her hands, she cried. Tears merged with the rain that fell through her finger tips like a waterfall, and once she started, she didn't know how to stop it.
"Carter." The voice was soft, tinged with regret and sadness.
Looking up in the direction the voice was coming from, she wiped her tears away as if suddenly ashamed. "What are you doing here?"
"Cassie was worried. She called me, asking if I'd seen you."
"Well now you have, you can go back and tell her." Sam replied coldly. She came here to get away from everything and everyone. Having him here made her feel more vulnerable; she hated him seeing her like this.
"So, you're just going to sit here feeling sorry for yourself? Who's that going to help?" He asked sitting beside her.
"It helps me."
"Carter…" He replied lightly, "She's gone, and like it or not its time to stop living under this black cloud you have hanging over you. Not just for your sake, but for everyone's."
" So I'm not allowed to grieve…is that what you're saying?"
"No, what I'm saying is, sitting here in the cemetery in a thunderstorm is not helping anyone. What would Janet think…seeing you here, like this?"
"Yes well that's just it isn't it. She's not here, and she's never coming back. And there's a young girl back home that I haven't got a clue how to comfort…how do you console someone whose lost her whole family once more? What do I say to her?"
"You don't have to have all the answers, Carter, no one expects you to."
"Don't they? Good old Sam, she'll fix it, she'll know what to do. 'Super Sam' to the rescue. Well this time, I don't have the answers…I can't fix this." Sam countered, standing up and walking towards Janet's grave, her gaze transfixed on the words her and Cassie had chosen for the headstone.
Watching his 2IC struggle internally with all her pent up motions, Colonel Jack O'Neill struggled to find the words to console her. 'Pep talks' weren't his strong points. He'd tried it once with Teal'c and had failed miserably, he wished Daniel were here to talk to her, but he wasn't and now he found himself uncomfortable sitting beside her; torn behind being her CO and her…friend? He didn't know how he felt about her, but being here, sitting beside her, feeling her vulnerability emanate from her caused his emotions to turn in on themselves.
"Don't do this to yourself, Carter."
"Sam." One word was enough; he'd been in this 'place' after Charlie had died, a path to self-destruction. His mind had been so focused on feelings of guilt, that it had nearly consumed him, like a burning ember filled with self-loathing that he'd come through so many missions. Life had never seemed so cruel. A life full of promise had been extinguished like a burning candle snuffed out in its prime. It had taken him a long time to come to this point where he didn't dread waking up in the morning, hating himself, thinking about how different his life would have been if Charlie had lived…but, that was the past. His main problem now was ensuring that his 2IC wasn't heading down that same path.
Placing a hand on her forearm, he felt her pull away form him.
Closing her eyes in silent protest, she couldn't let him sneak under her defences. It was just too painful. As his hand brushed slowly down to hers, she tensed. It was as if an electrical charge had passed between them.
No. She had to do this alone. It would be too easy to give in, and have him hold her in his arms as he did that night in the infirmary; where she had felt so safe and secure. But, like it or not, she had 2 choices. Carry on with the pain knowing she could lose him and her friends at any time, or shut off her emotions. Rolling up all her pain and storing it away in some distant part of her mind was the only way she could get through this. No matter how hard it was going to be, she wouldn't let him see her break down. Not now…not ever.
Taking a steadying breath in, she replied without a hint of emotion. This was how it had to be. "Sir, I appreciate what you're saying, but I'm fine." It wasn't that she didn't appreciate him coming, but the reason for her coming here was to try and gain some perspective. She'd lost friends before, they all had, but this time it was different. Janet was like her sister, when Janet had died, she felt as if she'd lost part of herself…and she didn't even know if she could get that back. "Thanks for the talk, but I'll have to get back. I'll see you tomorrow, sir." Sam replied finally not allowing him a chance to respond. Without giving him a second glance, Sam walked casually down the stony beaten path, the rain cascading down her face, masking her tears.
Jack O'Neill watched his 2IC, worry etched in his clear brown eyes. He knew she was grieving, they all were in there own way, but he'd seen something else in her expression. Her eyes once full of life now seemed cold and lifeless. Recalling his conversation with Daniel earlier, it was Daniel's request that he speak to her first, and then when Cassie had phoned, he'd known exactly where to find her. It's time she had a pep talk, Daniel had told him in his usual way. But, he was never any good at that sort of thing…Daniel was better. Watching the lone figure disappear from his field of vision, he sighed. Time to talk to Daniel.
End of Part 1