STARGATE SG-1: House Arrest
Summary: Sequel to "Operation Checkmate". It's Jack's turn to be in over his head…
Disclaimer: I don't own the stuff, yadda yadda.
Author's Note: OK folks. Last chapter! But don't worry. There is a part three coming at some point. Hope you like the end for this one though! Please R&R as always. Thanx. Enjoy!
WARNING: Strong Language!
House Arrest: Chapter 8 – A Life for a Life
Jack hadn't let Frakes have a minute to himself since Simon had last called. He was completely cut off from every form of modern communication – phones, internet, pigeon carrier. This little fact should have irked him immensely. But it didn't.
Not since their little conversation. Frakes now had more information on his project than any file would tell. It was all he could do to keep from smiling every time he came across Jack. But he had to keep up appearances, for now at least. This little episode would be over soon and then they wouldn't know what hit them.
Frakes suppressed another smile as Jack entered the room. His face was still set in thunder, as it had been for the last two days.
"He'll be calling soon," Jack mumbled, taking a seat near the phone.
Everyone else in the room avoided his eyes. They knew what he was thinking. He had failed. Simon had given them a two day deadline to deliver Frakes, or he would kill Sam.
That time was up now. And despite Jack's hatred for his former CO, he couldn't bring himself to make the trade.
'A life for a life' was not a deal he could ever make, even when the lives belonged to a man he loathed and the woman he loved.
He gazed around his living room at the people gathered there. Barrett and Daniel looked much as he did – crest-fallen, dejected.
Even Teal'c looked a little more solemn than usual today. Jaffa, in general, didn't take well to defeat. He knew they were powerless to do nothing but wait for the inevitable.
Only Frakes looked remotely passive. It was almost as if he was just watching the whole thing for kicks – waiting to see and analyse their reactions.
Jack turned his face from all of them. Just seeing the same beaten expressions in them that he felt was driving him mad. He looked, instead, at the phone.
'This wasn't supposed to happen!' he told himself. She wasn't supposed to die as a captive in her own home, knowing that everyone she trusted had failed her. She wasn't supposed to have suffered as she had, waiting for a rescue that wouldn't come. She wasn't supposed to be alone.
She was supposed to live her life with him! To die peacefully in the night, with no pain, safe in the knowledge that he was with her.
Or she was supposed to die in battle and have a monument erected for her so the whole world could see the amazing difference she had made to their planet's existence.
She wasn't supposed to die like this!
Jack stared hard at the phone, trying to block the images of how things should have been. But no matter how many thoughts he shut out, there were others to take their place, each more morbid than the one before.
He kept wondering how Simon would do it. Would it be quick? Would she be in pain? Would he make them watch it just to add another wave of helplessness to their plight?
He could imagine her bound to a chair and blindfolded, waiting for the end. Begging, praying even, that Jack would be able to forgive himself for what was happening.
Jack started as the phone beside him bleeped into life. His heart plummeted and his hands began to shake with grief.
Around the room, everyone's attention was focused on the ringing phone – the only object in the room that had any kind of power.
Daniel caught Jack's eye and nodded reassuringly. They were backing him up. Jack nodded back, grateful for the support.
He looked at the phone.
Taking a deep breath, he reached to pick it up.
It was time.
Sam awoke to the relative comfort of the floor. Simon had left her there the night before, not bothering to move her after another round of torment. But something was different now.
She opened her eyes, trying to gauge what was out of place. She saw her living room on a tilt, making it look even more disrupted than it already was. The book cases were still overturned and their contents strewn across the floor, along with all of her dining chairs, the breakfast stools and, well, pretty much everything else. She was lying in the only patch on the floor that wasn't occupied with fallen furniture.
Sam tried to move a little, to see more of her surroundings. That's when she realised what was different.
She could move! Her feet were completely free and her arms, though tied behind her, were tied loosely. Given time, she could easily wriggle out of the restraints. Her heart began to beat a little faster at the thought that she would be able to gain some sort of power over Simon.
Quickly, she began moving her wrists from side to side, ignoring the burning pain of friction. With every little movement, she could feel the tape giving a little more, allowing her to move just enough to keep her hope alive.
She was nearly free when Simon came back into the room. She stopped moving instantly. He clearly didn't expect her to be conscious yet, or he would have made sure she was properly restrained. As it was, he completely ignored her as he picked up the phone and dialled.
Sam gazed up at him. He was oblivious to her watchful eyes. She moved against her restraints again, cautiously, testing his perception of her presence.
He didn't react. She allowed herself a little smile at his expense.
She could hear the phone – now pressed to his ear – ringing repeatedly. His fingers tapped against the gun on the table in front of him. Eventually, he picked it up and flipped it idly round his index finger.
Sam kept moving.
'Not long now,' she thought. 'Not long now.'
At last, the infernal ringing stopped.
Jack held the receiver to his ear, but didn't say anything – he wasn't going to give Simon that satisfaction.
"A little quiet today, Jack," Simon said into the silence. "So. What have you decided?"
Jack looked briefly at Frakes. It would be so easy for him to sell out and hand him over… Tempting.
"Go to hell," he said instead. He knew Sam wouldn't have allowed it. A life was a life, she would have argued. One couldn't be exchanged for another. Not like that, anyway.
Frakes seemed to visibly shrink as Jack spoke. He knew what a sacrifice this was for his ex-associate.
"Okay," Simon said, sounding as if he really didn't care at all. "But you know I'm taking her with me."
Jack closed his eyes. There had to be another way! He would even settle for begging right now! But he kept quiet, determined not to rise to Simon's bait.
"You sure I can't change your mind?" Simon continued. "'Cause you're never gonna see her again. Not even on a morgue slab. Or if you do, you won't recognise her!"
Jack wasn't sure whether he wanted to throw up at the images that flooded his mind or hit out. He tightened his jaw, trying to contain and control his fury.
"Is she there?" he said through clenched teeth.
"Yes," Simon replied. "Not very responsive though. Don't worry, I'll make sure she goes quickly and –"
His words were cut off and Jack heard as series of bumps and thuds. He sat bolt upright in his chair, listening hard.
He heard Simon curse. He heard a shot.
"SAM!" Jack yelled down the phone. He had to know she was okay. But no-one responded. The phone went dead.
Without a moment's hesitation, he leapt from his chair and sprinted to the door. Moments later, he was in his truck, his foot flat to the floor as he sped off to her house.
Daniel, Teal'c, Barrett and Frakes weren't far behind.
"Don't worry, I'll make sure she goes quickly and –"
Finally, Sam was free. Before Simon could finish his taunt, she swung her feet around, pulling his legs from under him.
Simon fell to the floor, letting off one shot as he hit the ground. Small chunks of ceiling floated down from the newly made bullet hole.
Sam struggled to her feet as she heard her name called over the telephone in his hand. Simon glared at her as he pushed the disconnect button.
"You're going to live just long enough to regret that, my dear," he sneered.
Sam roughly kicked his wrist, dislodging the gun from his grasp.
"You first," she replied, not giving an inch.
Simon's face broke into a broad, leering smile as he launched forward in attack. He pulled her back down to his level and their struggle began.
Jack was vaguely aware of several blue flashing lights following him. Sirens wailed and other drivers beeped their horns at him as he screamed through red light after red light. Several times, he had to swerve the on-coming traffic, but each time, his adrenaline-enhanced reflexes came through for him and he kept going. Absolutely tunnel-visioned.
'Don't need to worry about calling the cops, then,' he thought as the convoy behind him grew.
"Pull the vehicle over!" he heard a police officer bawl at him over the speakers on the SUV.
Jack smiled slightly as he sped forward. He wasn't stopping. Not till he was at her side.
He sharply turned the corner leading onto her street. Two houses from hers, he slammed the breaks on and fumbled in his glove compartment for his hand gun.
At last, his truck screeched to a halt.
Jack threw the door open and sprinted – ignoring the complaint from his knees – up her path. He threw his whole weight into the door. It didn't budge.
Seven police cars pulled up around his truck. Two officers got out of each of them, their weapons trained on Jack's back as he slammed repeatedly against the door.
"Sir! Step away from the house with your hands behind your head!" the same officer bellowed at him.
Jack ignored them. All he had to do was get inside and she'd be okay.
Just get inside!
Simon's hands clamped down hard around her neck. He was sitting on her, making it impossible for her to kick him off.
Her fingernails dug into the back of his hands, trying to pry him away form her. But her mind was beginning to cloud. She couldn't concentrate for much longer.
Then she heard it.
Thud! Thud! Thud!
Not inside her head. Outside her door! He was there, she knew it.
A new wave of strength surged through her with each Thud that reached her ears. She heard the door splinter slightly as it gave a little under his efforts.
Finally, Sam mustered enough strength to move. She managed to roll – unfortunately taking Simon with her – till she was lying in full view of the living room door. But Simon was still there, holding her throat in a dead-lock. She tried to claw at his face; to do anything to distract him.
His hands held her fast.
At last, the front door was flung open under Jack's weight.
He flew into the house, his gun poised in front of him. He saw Simon straddled across Sam as he strangled her.
Jack saw red. He launched himself at Simon.
Simon was caught completely off guard. As soon as Jack hit into him, he let go of Sam and was carried backwards by Jack's momentum. Jack laid into him, letting his rage flow out of him through his fists.
Simon soon regrouped, though, and flipped his assailant. The two men grappled and fought, not caring about the furniture they were thrown into.
Soon, with the advantage of youth and limbs that were fully intact, Simon began to gain the upper hand. In the struggle, he had found Jack's discarded gun.
Now, he managed to scramble to his feet and held the General at gunpoint.
"Can't save her, Jack," he said, gasping for breath. "Can't save Frakes either. Can't even –"
Simon stumbled, his eyes wide in shock. He slowly turned around. He faced Sam. He faced his own gun turned on him.
"It's over, Simon," she said quietly.
Simon's face fell into a grimace as he went to attack her.
She fired again. And again. And again. Each shot she let off was payback for what he had put her through.
Each shot that pumped into him stripped away more and more of the monster he had become.
Tears welled up in Sam's eyes as she soon recognised her old friend in the dying man before her. But she kept firing. Hate, rage and fear kept her finger pulling on the small loop of metal.
Simon dropped to his knees as the last bullet ripped through him. A pleading look passed through his eyes as he finally collapsed, lifeless, to the floor.
Sam's face was awash with tears as she kept pulling the trigger. The gun clicked over and over, until she realised it was empty. She looked at Jack. He – exhausted as she was – looked back at her. She threw the empty gun to one side and broke down in tears, her whole body shaking with fatigue.
Jack was at her side in seconds. He pulled her into his arms and gently rocked her, soothing away her pain.
She knew she was safe.
At the sound of gunshots, the chief officer outside the house had called for back-up, ready to go in and take Jack down. Fortunately, Daniel and the rest of them arrived shortly after and managed to hold them back for a while.
Jack and Sam soon emerged from the house – each looking battered and bruised, Sam more so than Jack – and let the officers through to look at the damage.
After that, it had been chaos. Forensics teams swept in with lots of yellow tape and flashing cameras. Everyone was taken aside for questioning, though not a lot was said as the main investigation fell under Air Force jurisdiction. Two ambulances turned up too – one to cart Simon's body away and one to see to Jack and Sam.
Jack's right shoulder was sporting a rather impressive and painful bruise from being hammered repeatedly against a locked door. Other than that, he was fairly unscathed – just a few scrapes and bruises from his fist fight with Simon.
Sam's injuries were a little more extensive. Her arms were covered in burns, as were her knees. Her cheek bone had been chipped and her collar bone fractured. She had multiple welts and bruises on just about every limb visible, though none were more impressive than the finger and rope marks on her neck. She sat on the edge of the ambulance, wrapped in a beige blanket, staring blankly at her house.
"Whatcha thinking?" Jack asked, sliding in next to her.
"Home improvements," she replied, keeping her gaze on the people running all over her home.
She looked at him. "Lots of candles. Coal fire."
"Sounds cosy," Jack quipped, not entirely sure how to take what she was saying.
Sam looked down at her hands. "Just so long as they can't explode," she said quietly.
Jack nodded. He understood. She had been privy to too much destruction from Simon. It was going to be hard for her to just get back to her life without worrying that he would somehow find his way back. Even now he was dead, it was going to be hard.
"I've been meaning to thank you," Jack said, changing the subject entirely.
"What for?" She sounded tired, defeated.
"I hear you were put through your paces a little while I was out of it."
Sam winced and turned away from him. She hadn't wanted him to know anything about that. It was bad enough with just her knowing.
"There's not a lot of people who'd do something like that for me –"
"Is that supposed to make it better?" she snapped, horrified that he was justifying her actions.
"No," Jack conceded. "But it doesn't make me see you any differently either."
Sam still wasn't convinced. "And how exactly is that? How do you see me?"
Jack cocked his head to one side and smiled. "You're beautiful," he murmured.
Sam didn't know whether to laugh or cry. "Even now?" she half joked, her voice wavering in tears.
Jack put his arm gently around her shoulders. "Especially now," he said quietly.
Sam let out a half laugh, half sob as her head fell onto his chest. She sighed.
"How are you feeling?" he asked tenderly.
"Dreadful," she said on a breath.
"Well, it's over now. You're gonna be fine."
Sam slipped her arms around his waist, thankful for the comfort he provided.
"I know," she said into his chest.
After a moment of somewhat careful consideration, Jack concluded that he didn't give a damn who was watching. Not after what they had just been through. With no regard for audience, Jack placed a small kiss in Sam's hair and pulled her closer to him. He rested his chin on her head and gazed at the scene of chaos around them.
By one of the police SUVs, Jack spotted Frakes. He was watching them. A small smile crept onto his face when Jack caught his eye. He raised a cautioning eyebrow as his smile broadened.
Jack wanted to run across and hit the man, and would have if he hadn't been so wrapped up in Sam.
Frakes could tell what Jack was thinking and shrugged.
"You be careful," he mouthed to Jack.
With that, he stepped away from the car and slunk off into the shadows.
A pang of fear niggled in Jack's gut. He had a feeling this wasn't all over yet. Not if Frakes had anything to do with it.
He would worry about that later, he decided. For now, he was just glad to have his Colonel back.
Author's Note: That's all folks! Anyone up for a third part? Tough if you're not cos there's one coming (eventually – could be a few weeks, but keep an eye out!). For now, though, don't forget to review! Thanx.