Title: Letters to Earth

Author: OXBastetXO

Rating: T (teen)
Archive: Please ask first
Status: complete
Category: Crossover, Drama, Romance, tiny HC reference
Summary: When those who love us leave us behind, sometimes all we have to cling to are memories and letters.

Spoilers: Stargate Atlantis: Letters from Pegasus and Stargate: SG-1 Threads
Sequel/Season: Season One
Authors Note: I don't own them, Gecko and Scifi does. I'm just borrowing them for while and promise to give them back when I'm done, though I might just keep Rodney for little longer ;-)

Okay, this is a little flight of fancy that came from conversation with Elyse and Alliesings over just what was the real reason Sam broke up with Pete.

Letters To Earth



Colonel Samantha Carter frowned as she studied through the schematic on the screen of her laptop. Parts of the description had been translated out of Ancient into English, but the translation was a bit...stilted. She glanced down at the notion of the scientist who had been working on this project and saw the initials R.Z. She pulled up the roster from the members of the Atlantis Expedition and scanned down through it until she found "Redak Zelenka – Czech Republic". That would explain the roughness of the translation. She backed up through the file and found the original Ancient text and copied it into an email and sent it to Daniel. He'd be able to give her a copy that wouldn't tie her eyeballs into knots as she read.

She sat back and stretched. There was so much raw data, text files, reports, images, sound recordings, just so much information to sort through from the information burst Atlantis had sent back. McKay's compression program was astounding. He had managed to squeeze months' worth of information they had discovered into a 1.4 second data burst. Not only were there reams upon reams of data, he had also managed to fit in video files. Video letters back home to mission members' families.

The Wraith. They had left the Milky Way with its Goa'uld System Lords and Replicators for a galaxy populated with a race that made Anubus' attack on Earth seem like a picnic. She signed. They weren't solders. They were scientist. They weren't trained for that kind of situation and the handful of marines they had with them, wasn't going to be enough.

She started at the figures flashing across the screen of her laptop her mind shifting once again to McKay. She could just imagine the gloating smile he'd have on his face if he were here, telling her about all the progress they had made in understanding Ancient technology.

She sighed.

Maybe not. She had read through some of the mission logs Sheppard and his team had filed. From the look of things, McKay was about as much a trouble magnet as Daniel was in the field and just as irreplaceable. She shook her head ruefully, and now he had the gene, thanks to Beckett's gene therapy. There was no way it was going to get approved here on Earth for a few more decades with the way FDA did things, but she wondered if they ever did find a ZPM for here and one for Atlantis, if Jack would let her take a little trip to see if she was one of the 48 the therapy worked on.

"Colonel Carter?" She looked up to see Major Davis standing in the doorway.

She smiled. "Major, hello."

"Can I come in?" he asked with a smile.

"Oh, of course, sorry," she said, quickly, slipping off the stool she was sitting on and standing. "What can I do to help you?"

"Actually, I have something for you," he said, holding up a disk case. "I've been reviewing the video letters the Atlantis expedition members sent back. Doctor Jackson's been helping with a few that weren't in English. We have to go through them to make sure nothing classified gets leaked out."

"Understandable," she said.

"Yes," he said, looking a bit sheepish. "Yes. Well, going through them, we found one of the messages was for you."

She gave him a puzzled look. "Me?"

He gestured to her computer. "Can you playback DVDs on this?"

"Yes," she said, sliding the laptop toward him, saving what she had been working on and calling up the DVD player program.

He slipped the disk into the slot and then waited a moment for it to start. He skipped through a few of the tracks and Sam recognized a few of the expedition members. Ford and Bates who had been on SG-3 for a while. The creep, Kavanagh, that Combs and Felger had thrown the "Kavanagh's Going Away" Party for. The man was just arrogant enough he missed the quotes on the sign and really thought the other scientist were happy for him, not about him. Several more people flashed by that she didn't know the names of and then the DVD slowed and she started in shock. Doctor Rodney McKay's face stared back at her from the monitor. He looked exhausted.

"Ford, if you cut everything else, just, um, keep this part, Okay? Jeannie? This is your brother, Rodney ... obviously! I wanna s-say, um ... I wanna say something. Uh ... family is important. I-I've come to realize that because the people here have become a sort of a ... kind of a surrogate family to me." He smiled sheepishly. "Now, I know what you're thinking: I've never really been the poster child for that kind of sentiment but, uh, when ... when one's contemplating ones own demise, one tends to see things more clearly." His smile turned more thoughtful and he sighed. "I really do wish you the best, you know, and I'm sorry we weren't closer. Perhaps, um ... if by chance I make it out of this, perhaps one day we can be, and I would like that."

The image skipped a little and Mckay stared at the camera and took a deep breath. " Samantha Carter – if you're watching," he said, putting his hand over his heart. "The torch is still burning – sadly, soon to be extinguished, but, uh ... You know, you should know," he glanced away a little nervously. "I think you are just ... so ... well, you're great," he said earnestly. "You're really, really great, and, uh, I would go so far as saying you're the hottest scientist I've ever worked with. In fact, there's probably not a night that goes by that I don't, uh, find myself, uh—" the imaged dissolved into static.

Davis cleared his throat and turned off the disk. "That was on the end of the data burst and that's all that came through."

Sam stared at the screen in complete and utter shock.

The Major busied himself ejecting the disk. "We've contacted the Canadian government to try to find Doctor McKay's sister, but I wanted to give this to you as soon as we cleared it."

She closed her mouth and coughed. "Thank you," she said, not really trusting her voice. "That was…thank you."

He nodded. "I'll have a copy of that last part made available if you would want it," he told her.

"Yes, I would. Thanks," she said, sitting back on her stool.

Davis nodded and hurried from her office. Sam just sat there for a few moments. As much as she hated to admit it, that was really sweet. Her eyes strayed to her hand and the glint of the diamond on her finger. Pete was a good guy. In her way, she did love him, but he would never be a part of this, of her life. There was so much he didn't understand and would never understand.

"Don't let rules stand in your way…you can have everything you want."

Her father's dying words still haunted her. How much had she given up in her life because it didn't fit in to her career or in Air Force regulations? How many opportunities had she left slip through her fingers because she couldn't just do what she wanted or go where she wanted? Like just leave for Nevada or Russia or Antarctica?

Was she being fair to Pete or herself for that matter?

She sighed, fingering the ring and then glancing back at her laptop. What if? Was a what if worth it?

She slid the ring off her finger.

Maybe it was.

Maybe a sarcastic, irritating, arrogant, sweet Canadian man really was worth it.