Author's Note: This story is done from Jack's POV. Set a little after 'Heroes' (that just means that it's Colonel O'Neil and Major Carter and Pete exists).

Hope you enjoy and please review.

Summary: So… here I am. In some room… and there's Sam, just a few feet away. She's got that look in her eyes. That one I've barely ever seen… she's scarred… and the water's rising…

Rating: PG

Genre: Angst, a wee bit of Romance, just a wee bit

Spoilers: Heroes (just a bit)

Warnings: Charter death


Water Rising

When I think about death, I've always thought something along the lines of 'heroic'. Dying dramatically in battle, maybe to save someone. Or bravely facing torture to defend Earth. Hell, I've been willing to blow myself up more than once.

Maybe that's why I've never been able to stay retired- I'm just not one to do that while 'growing old' thing. Been there, done that.

But this?

I've done plenty of stupid things in my life; and I've done far too many things I regret. But this would be the biggest.

It's not that this isn't the big, heroic death I'd thought I'd have… it's that I'm dragging someone down with me…

It started out so innocently. I didn't see this coming…

We came through the 'gate to a nice, green planet. Trees. I vaguely remember commenting about all the trees. Why trees? Always trees. I really want to know that. Cool trees, weird trees, not maple and pine trees all the time. The galaxy needs to learn to switch it up a bit.

Right, where was I? Through the 'gate. Right. Um…

There were two paths. Danny wanted to go one way but I said the other. Carter said we should just split up, meet back later. Didn't seem to matter. The MALP and all had said it was a lifeless planet. What the hell, right?

Carter and Daniel went the one way, the way Danny had wanted to go. I should have known right then and there that something would happen.

Daniel has always been a magnet for trouble. Always. And Teal'c and I weren't with him.

It's not like I'm saying it was Carter's fault or that she couldn't handle things. It's just… I don't know. What if Teal'c or I had been there? Would that have changed anything? Probably not…

Damn, can't ever get comfortable. Shoulder still hurts.

You know how people say that just before you die, your life runs before your eyes? Always thought that was a load of BS. I've faced death before- hell, I've died before- and that had never happened.

Then again, for me, I'd never really had the time. It was just a stab of pain and then lights out. Or a moment of panic when I thought I might die.

But all those time I had been too focused on avoiding death…

This time… this time it's laughing me in the face and I can't do a damn thing about it.

So I've had plenty of time to think about the hundreds of failures… and thousands of stupid comments… of SG-1 and the SGC… the stargate and everything to go with it…

…of Charlie… of Sarah… of Sam…

Now I've got plenty of time to think about how I killed Charlie. How I ruined Sarah's life. And now how I'm dragging Carter to her death. It really sucks.

I know I'm going to die… I've thought I was going to die before, but I've never known it was going to happen. Not for sure. This time it's for sure.

Stupid Gou'ald… Stupid Jaffa…

It was just like every other time. Well, almost.

We'd been lead to a large, gold room and up to the Gould's "throne". He made his eyes glow- menacing as it had been years ago, I had to make an effort to not roll my eyes- and he said flat out, as blunt as he could, "Kill them."

Now I've heard that before. Some Gould would come in, waving his flashy cape and all his gold things, glowing his eyes and saying all sorts of things: "insolent buggers!" (or something along those lines) and "how dare you defy a god!" and so on and on and on. They'd claim many times that they'd kill us. Never happened before.

But that time, when I heard his words, a chill ran down my spine. Maybe it had happened before. Maybe I felt like that every time, I would just forget it in the fight for survival.

But this time I can't figure a way out. There's no Teal'c to be the rock he always is. No Daniel to… to do something. Just Carter and me.

No one's coming this time…

He'd- what was his name again? Kren? Or Kreen? Or… well something stupid. Anyway he'd had us brought here. This prison.

Um… right, so we're in this room. I had thought we were going to be killed on the spot. Execution style. A quick staff blast to the head. Maybe two zat shots. Bit more painful but cleaner. A second and we'd be…

A third and… well…

Anyways, I'd been standing in this room all of about three minutes trying to figure out how- and when- they were going to kill us. As I said, it took three minutes and then I knew.

It wasn't hard to figure it out. He- the Gou'ald what's-his-name- was going to do it the long, drawn out way. He was going to let us sweat a little.

Carter had been the first to notice. She had been checking over the room, for ways out I guess. Guess I had been more occupied with how it was going to happen.

The noise caught my attention- yeah, that's when I noticed. She had said something- 'sir!' (qawd, I hate that word)- and I turned around. That's when I heard the sound. That's when I figured out how I was going to die.

I wasn't going to have my heroic death. No, he- the Gould again- wasn't going to give us a death at his feet. He wasn't even going to be bothered with torture and other such devices. He wasn't going to kill our minds slowly. His Jaffa couldn't even have good enough aim to kill us on the battlefield.

No, that would have been too easy. Too good of a death for him- the Gould.

So he was going to kill us like this. Slowly…

Slowly, yeah. It's not that we're dying slowly, it's just a long wait for the inevitable.

Makes me wonder though, how slow a death it can be when you're hit with a staff blast. A zat is instant. You're dead before you know it and nothing can save you- except a sarcophagus, but what're the chances of that?

They tell me Janet died almost instantly. One quick, clean shot to the chest and she was just... just gone. But the man- damn, what was his name- if we hadn't gotten there… if Janet hadn't been there… he would have died slowly. He would have been there for a few hours in pain before…

Okay, stop it Jack. You're going to make yourself cry. Not about Janet… you've shed your tears for her. No…

She's sitting across from me, huddled on the other bench. They're not very wide, annoyingly enough. Sitting on them was a chore enough with your feet on the ground. Not long enough to really lie on either.

Her arms are wrapped around her knees and she's watching her hands. I'm watching her face.

Now my second in command has been, since day one, a solid rock by my side. She's been there for me, and I hope that I've returned that well enough. Carter has been the fearless, relentless military Captain and Major. She's been a good friend, been there when I needed her. And I've tried over the years to do the same.

But I'm sitting here watching her and I don't see Major Carter. I don't even just see Carter- the scientist, the friend, the person I joke with. I see Sam. I see a woman contemplating death.

There are so many things I'm seeing in her face… all of her military training never really prepared her for this. Mine neither.

I wonder what she's thinking about. Her dad I bet. He'll hear of it eventually. Whenever the Tok'ra come to Earth or Earth finds them, he'll hear about Carter being MIA. Maybe by then we'll be presumed dead. There'll be nothing for him to bury…

Jacob and Carter mentioned her brother- M… something. She's probably thinking about him too. I think he had kids, a wife. I don't know how close she was to them, but I know she's thinking about them.

Her mom… Her mom died when she was young, but she's got to be thinking about her too. Maybe- I don't know- she's thinking about seeing her in Heaven.

Any chance I passed through her thoughts in the past hours? I don't know… the whole za'tarc- whatever- thing was years ago. She can't still feel the same way…

I do. But why would she? There's… what's-his-name now. P… Pe… Pat? … P…

Oh yeah… Pete. I bet she's been thinking about him. Not me, but Pete. Wonder how they'll tell him about her. Will they know to say something to him? She's missing in action. He'll ask how that can be? She works in a damn mountain! Did she get lost in the basement!

I could hear myself let out a chuckle at that.

And suddenly I'm staring into her eyes. She had such wonderfully blue eyes. Dark blue. Crystal blue.

A blush crept into her cheeks. Did I embarrass her? No…

One of her eyebrows rose. Her lip is tugged into a smirk. But her eyes aren't smiling- they're far more beautiful when she's really smiling. She's not upset that I was looking at her, rather she seems amused. Or trying to be.

I drop my gaze first. But then I look back up. I don't want to look at the floor…

The ceiling is much nicer. Yeah… bright lights. A little gold, a little purple- why is it always gold and purple? Who the hell designed these things?

Well… this is fun. Waiting for your death. It'll be hours. It's already been hours. There are still quite a few to go.

Yeah…

Can't believe it all started so stupidly…

Daniel just wanted to go down the damn right path. Why couldn't he have just gone left with me? Why couldn't he have just done what I said for once!

But he had to go down the right path. He had to. I had a bad feeling but I didn't listen. Why didn't I listen? I…

Alright, come on. No crying in front of Carter. I don't think she can see me rubbing my eyes. Hope not…

I hope… I hope she doesn't feel like it's her fault. Because it's not. I should have gone with Daniel. Or I should have been more forceful. I should have listened to my gut, I should have. She did everything she could have…

Gawd, her voice… she had been terrified. I've heard Carter nervous and anxious and a variety of things, but I've never heard that tone. Never heard how scared she had been.

And Daniel… my stomach had dropped so fast. It frickin' hurt when she said those three words- "Daniel's been hit!".

Daniel was hit. I knew something was going to go wrong. I knew it… I just didn't know that there were Jaffa down that right path.

You could hear it over the radio. In those four seconds it took for her to say that, I knew hundreds of things. Daniel was hurt, Carter was the only thing to defend the two of them, Jaffa were attacking- or at least I could heard staff blasts… and most of all, I knew she was scared. No, not scared, petrified. She was petrified. And she was hurting. Daniel was hurt, and she was scared.

We'd gotten there as fast as we could. Teal'c and I. We ran- I nearly tripped over all the roots and brush. But I ran. I ran faster than I'd thought I ever could. Because of Sam's voice and because Daniel was hit.

I didn't even see a thing- not Daniel, not Carter, and not the Jaffa- but I could heard the staff blasts. A second later, I could felt the blasts and I could see them. Some were coming right for us. Strays maybe…

I still couldn't see who was firing- I could hear it all, Carter's gun and the staff weapons- but I still couldn't see them… and Teal'c just fell. Just like that. He fell.

I had to skid to a stop. I practically circled around him.

I'd been in battles and skirmishes and so forth with the guy for years. Years and years… he'd been hit before. Yeah, hit but he'd never fallen. Never like that. I mean… he just fell…

I rolled the big guy over but… but he was unconscious… I don't even remember if I felt for a pulse. I don't… I don't know if he was breathing or anything… because that was when I heard Carter's voice.

'Sir' again. That's what she said. Teal'c was unconscious, Daniel was hit, and I was just kneeling there… and she was still calling me 'sir'.

I ran over to her, jumped behind the shelter she'd found. But there wasn't a chance for us. I couldn't see how many there were… dozens, it must have been… but I knew there wasn't a fight. She'd held out, but… but it was for nothing…

…so… here I am. In some room… and there's Sam, just a few feet away. She's got that look in her eyes. That one I've barely ever seen… she scarred… and the water's rising…


And that's all I wrote… no more. Sorry…

So how did you like? Kind of sad… but look at it this way: I never said that anyone was dead.

Please leave a review; I love when people talk at me. Thanks for reading.