Grace

By Kate O'Riley

Disclaimer: Stargate is not mine, I'm just plodding along adding in what should have been there and correcting what was there.

A/N: So, after a long night of babysitting, with the knowledge of an early day ahead of me, I arrived home last night and almost immediately flipped on the TV to "Stargate" since I knew it was only half finished. The episode was "Grace", and as I laid awake afterwards, Muse visited me (Muse loves midnight visits, for some reason) and told me to write this.

Written April 17, 2005

The light hurt her eyes, a common side affect of concussions. The infirmary was dim - never entirely dark, because of its underground location – and the small staff were sleeping, for the most part, or filing out paperwork. She was alone, laying on her side, her cool hand pressed against her aching head; it felt good.

She still beat herself up mentally over her encounter with Jack – with the colonel, when she'd woken up in the infirmary a couple of hours ago. His reaction when she had accidentally (accidentally? Was it accidental? She wasn't sure) said his name had confirmed it, right? He didn't have feelings for her. Her dad – or at least, her hallucination of him – had been right. She deserved to be loved. It was time to let go of him.

Telling yourself to do it and actually doing it were two different things.

"Twinkle, twinkle, little star…"

She rolled over and found herself staring directly at Grace. The enigmatic girl smiled sweetly and continued singing. "How I wonder what you are."

"That's a good question," Sam said. She looked at the little girl carefully. "What are you? Who are you?"

She smiled again. "I'm Grace," she said simply.

"I know you're Grace, but who are you, other than that?" Sam asked, trying to understand.

"You know who I am," she said.

"No, I don't," Sam said, frustration tingeing her voice.

"The others were all in here," Grace said, laying a cool palm on Sam's forehead. "I'm in here," she continued, laying her hand over Sam's heart.

Grace. For years, Sam had loved that name. She had always wanted to name her daughter that. The reminder pained her. "You can't be," she whispered, beginning to grasp. "My Grace doesn't exist." Her throat clogged. "She's just a dream." And that's all she ever will be, her mind added silently.

"Maybe dreams aren't such a bad thing. Don't they say you should never give up on your dreams?" Grace asked quietly, her tone full of wisdom beyond her (apparent) years.

She looked at the girl, the lump in her throat seeming to grow even larger. "Sometimes, you need to," she said quietly, her voice breaking.

"Sometimes, you shouldn't," Grace replied. Her dark brown eyes gazed into Sam's…eyes that looked just like her father's, the father that would never happen now, the dream she had to give up.

Looking at her made Sam feel as if someone had ripped her heart from her chest, but she couldn't look away. "Can I…can I hold you?" she asked hesitantly.

"Of course." Without hesitation, the girl pulled herself onto the bed and carefully settled herself on Sam's lap. She laid her head on her shoulder. Automatically, Sam's arms came around to cradle her. It felt so natural, so right. Sam began to drift to sleep, tightly clutching the girl.

And as she drifted to sleep, she felt a soft kiss on her cheek, heard a soft voice whisper into her ear. "I love you, Mama."

And part of her knew, no matter how hard she tried, she'd never let the dream go.