Disclaimer: This story includes excerpts from the TV show Stargate SG-1. I do not own the show. I only enjoy writing about the show, borrowing the characters in the most respectful way.Ancient history
"—And there are no fish in my pond. At all. Where I fish. … I think that covers it for me."
Daniel hit the keyboard, stopping the recording.
"Is that correct?" Sam questioned.
Jack eyed her warily for a moment.
"If it is, we don't do anything?"
Sam gave something of a shrug. "Apparently nothing we did affected the timeline."
"But we didn't do anything!" Jack exclaimed, sounding a little whiny.
Sam halted for a second, but recovered quickly. "Not yet," she corrected, "apparently we were going to, two weeks from now, but now we don't have to."
With the last bit she sounded a little confused herself. Jack thought about it, weighing his chances of understanding it if even she seemed a little overwhelmed by it. But it really didn't seem to matter to Jack. "Excellent."
Daniel and Teal'c glanced at each other. Daniel smiled, Teal'c bowed his head, and then both of them moved away. Daniel was already reaching for the artifact he had been working before the video was brought in, and Teal'c headed towards the door. Jack clapped his hand on the desk.
"That's it, I like it!"
Sam moved her arms around the crate holding the ZPM. "Okay, I'm going to get this up to the lab—"
"No!" Jack quickly lunged at the crate, preventing Sam from picking it up.
"—for analysis…," she trailed off.
"I'll take it. There's a whole room full of geeks up there just dying to get their hands on this." Jack looked straight at her. Then his gaze dropped, and he surveyed her from top to toe and back again.
"You've got packin' to do," he added in a suggestive voice. With the crate in his hands he left Daniel's office, leaving Sam standing there. He hoped he didn't push his luck, but somehow he had the feeling that she was actually quite anxious to go on this trip he planned for them.
After her father's funeral he had approached her. While everybody had come by and offered their condolences and sympathy she still seemed lost and alone. It had been strange to see that Pete was not at the funeral, or at the party afterwards. Jack figured he was in Denver, too tied down to make it. Her bother was there, but even though he had helped a great deal with the arrangements for the funeral Sam distanced herself from him. Hell, she distanced herself from everybody. So, after standing back and observing her, Jack decided to take the leap of faith and talk to her. She was standing with her back to the group of people currently assembled in her house. Jack had to pass a few people to reach her. When he was almost there she picked up her drink, moved to the patio doors and stepped out unto the porch. For a split second he thought about letting her go, leaving her in peace. But his gut was telling him to go after her, and this time he wouldn't let the rational side of things stand in his way. This was about emotion, not reason.
He stepped out and closed the sliding door behind him. Sam was standing with her arms resting on the railing, looking out into the backyard. He resisted the urge to wrap his arms around her from behind and settled for standing next to her. He casually leaned on the railing, like there was nothing special about the fact that he was here to talk to her. She didn't look up, but he could tell she was curious why he was here. Inside he fortified his resolve, and looked for an opening to get their conversation going.
'D'oh! You'd better have something better than that O'Neill!'
"It was a beautiful service," he softly added.
She nodded minutely and kept her gaze in the distance. For a second he held his breath, but released it with an almost inaudible sigh when she didn't respond. He turned his head and gazed at the trees at the back of the yard. Maybe his gut had been wrong, maybe she did need some time alone. And what was he thinking, that Jack O'Neill could suddenly turn into Oprah O'Neill and everybody would open up to him? Yeah, that'll be the day. Okay, so he and Cassie had shared some moments, but it would be a long way till he could play the part of doctor Phil. Doctor Phil O'Neill. Now that just sounds wrong.
Pulled from his thoughts he almost missed it, but luckily his hearing wasn't going just yet. And the words rang familiar to him. So he decided to take a chance.
'Was that a smile on her face?'
"For the service, for the kind words you spoke on behalf of the SGC—"
'Yeah, one of the few speeches I actually got to finish.'
"—and for t…the flag, sir."
This made Jack feel proud of himself. As was customary with military funerals Sam and Mark would be presented with a flag of the United States. Jack had learned from Sam that Mark didn't hold the military in such a high esteem, so he quickly decided the flag should be presented to Sam. In an effort to express his respect for Jacob, and his sympathy for Sam, he had arranged for the tradition to be performed in an unusual way. Jack, dressed in his dress blues with nearly all his ribbons and medals on, had folded the flag with three marines from SG-3. Then he handed the flag over to Teal'c, who added a small coin decorated with on one side the temple at Dakara and on the other side the sign of the new Jaffa nation. He then handed it over to Daniel, who added a small crystal engraved with Jacob's and Selmac's name, from the Tok'ra. Finally Daniel gave it to Sam. To hear from her now that she appreciated it made him very glad he decided to do it. It made him feel less helpless.
"Anything for Jacob."
He saw her close her eyes in pain. Normally this made him feel horrible, not able to do anything about it. But Kerry had been right, why should the rules stand in their way any longer? It had felt stupid for years. But maybe the timing hadn't been right. Jack swallowed hard. The timing had better be right this time, he thought, I couldn't live it if isn't.
"Or for you."
Sam's head shot up and her teary eyes locked gaze with his. He knew words would only complicate things, and tried to convey everything he thought and felt through his gaze. When he saw her bottom lip tremble and she averted his gaze he almost thought he failed, but she stunned him.
How so much desperation, loneliness, sorrow, pain and longing could be pressed into one word he would never understand, but she managed it. And this time, without a single thought or doubt, his hands left the railing and wrapped themselves around her shoulders. She crushed her face into his dress blues, pressing her nose into his neck. Her arms snaked around his waist. He laid his cheek on top of her head, and gently brought his right hand up to her neck. Jack knew she needed release, and he made no attempt to stop her tears. No soothing words, no urging, no questions. He just held her, giving her his unconditional support.
They stood there for a few minutes before Sam stopped crying. Jack continued to hold her, and she didn't push away. When he couldn't hear her sobbing anymore he lifted his head and tried to look at her. All he could see was a bundle of blond hair clinging to his shoulder and inwardly he smiled. It looked better on his shoulder then that damn star ever did. He pressed a soft kiss on top of her head. He felt her shiver and immediately regretted doing it. But her hands tightened her hold on him, telling him it was all right.
A soft 'mmm' was her response. It brought a smile back to his face.
"I want you to take two weeks vacation. Go visit your brother, relax, think things over. Grieve. Please, don't bottle things up. We both know that's not the way to go. And I don't think Dad would have wanted that either."
He waited for her answer but she remained quiet. When he tried to push her back a little to look her in the face she tightened her hold and refused to let go. This made Jack's heart soar, but he knew this too important a point to let go. He pushed her a little harder, separating them and making it possible to him to look at her. She hung her head and retracted her arms, crossing them over her stomach.
He saw a few new tears fall down he cheek, but ignored them for the time being.
She started shaking a little, confirming his suspicions that she was trying to keep everything inside but was failing at this moment.
Finally she looked at him. Her eyes were red and a little swollen. He brought up his hand and wiped her cheek with the pad of his thumb.
"Don't keep it inside. Let it out, grieve."
She weakly smiled and nodded. Feeling immensely relieved her pulled her back into his embrace. This time he softly rubbed her back to calm her down again. After a few minutes she placed her hands on his chest and pushed back.
"I can't do it alone," she softly whispered.
He looked at her with a slightly amused look, with one brow lifted. "And who ever said you had too? You're not alone Carter, not by a long shot. You got your brother, a very kind sister-in-law I had a little chat with just a few minutes ago, you got Daniel, Teal'c, hell, even Siler would love to do some more work so you can have more time off."
"And you?" Her voice was lower then a whisper, but he heard it loud and clear.
"And me." His tone left no room for doubt.
Her smile was bigger the last time, and looked genuine. She wiped at her eyes with her hand and he let go of her shoulders. Sam took a few deep breaths and her composure started to come back. Jack handed her her drink. Silently she thanked him and she turned to go back inside.
She turned back and looked at him, a curious expression on her face.
"Wanna go fishing?"
After dropping off the ZPM at the lab Jack made a short stop at his office before going back to Daniel's office. He was still smiling, highly amused by the thrilled expression the lab technicians had adopted as soon as he had walked through the door. They looked ready to wet their pants with excitement, he thought. That was exactly why he wanted to take the crate up there himself. Ah, scientists, he thought, such weird creatures.
Nearing Daniel's office he carefully shuffled the papers he was holding. He tucked the main photograph under all the other pictures, hiding it from sight. 'No need for Daniel to see the whole thing yet.' He walked up to the door and peered inside. Daniel was bent over some artifact, clutching his ever-present mug of coffee in one hand and a pencil in the other. Jack had the urge to shake is head and leave his Spacemonkey in peace, but this time he needed help.
Daniel didn't really look up. He merely inclined his head a degree or two and kept on examining the artifact. Jack knew not to take this as a sign of disrespect so he jovially kept going.
The archeologist muttered something about Mayan culture and sacrifice, but Jack wasn't here to get a head start on the lecture he was bound to get sooner or later.
"Fascinating! Now Daniel, can I ask you something?"
"Mmm?" Again Daniel's eyes never wandered from the artifact.
"If you have sort of a goose with three little vertical stripes, followed by a weird looking figure, what does that mean?"
That managed to get his attention. Setting his mug down on his desk Daniel looked at Jack. Who promptly adopted one of his best neutral-innocent-who-me expressions. With a small frown Daniel stared at him and Jack could see his friend attempting to figure out what he was after.
"Eeh, what do you mean, Jack?"
Jack walked up to Daniel, grabbed his pencil, and scribbled a few lines on the notepad Daniel was using. It proved difficult to draw the figures without looking at the pictures in the folder but he managed. When he was done Daniel stared at the notepad for a few seconds before throwing Jack a somewhat bewildered look.
"Jack, these are Egyptian hieroglyphics. Where did you get these?"
Jack had to roll his eyes at his friend's astonishment. Geez, he thought, can't I show some interest in Egyptian hieroglyphics after so many years of looking at them?
"That's not the point, Danny. I just want to know what it says."
Daniel's voice clearly expressed his feelings of surprise and suspicion, but was willing to go along with it for now. Daniel looked at the little drawings Jack had made on the pad. For a second he was silent, tracing the lines with his index finger.
"Well I think, and it's just a guess because it's a little difficult to make out, but I think it says sons. A goose with the silhouette of a man indicates a son, and the stripes are a number. So three sons."
Immediately Jack's heart rate went up, and he could feel his gut twisting with anxiety and joy.
"But why do you ask, Jack?"
Jack thought for a moment. Eventually he laid the folder on Daniel's desk. He opened it and took out a few pictures.
"You know the jar thingy the videocamera was in? The researchers at the site found another one in a second compartment. On the side it said 'timecapsule', or so they translated. I got it this morning, a few hours after we received the video message."
Daniel instantly went through the photos.
"There were a few things inside. A necklace, a ball made of leather and raw cotton, and a few drawings. At first they didn't know what it was doing there, but they immediately shipped it here when they found this inside."
Jack fished out one of the pictures and showed it to Daniel. The archeologist's eyes went wide when he recognized the item on the picture.
"Jack, those are your dogtags."
Jack lifted a dropped his eyebrows once. "Yeah"
"W…Why, why are your dogtags inside a canopic jar labeled as a timecapsule?"
"Well actually, I was kinda hoping you could help me with that one. I have a little theory of my own, but I wanted to ask you first."
Daniel blinked a few things. Jack knew he was processing the situation and waited patiently until he was done.
"Okay, I'll bite. But I need to see the entire picture if you want a proper translation."
Jack nodded slightly and pulled out the photograph of the entire drawing from underneath the other pictures. He handed it over to Daniel.
(Go to this page to see the original drawing from the canopic jar http/home.tiscali.nl/artparka/Stargate/Ancienthistory.html)
Daniel flipped his notepad to a new page and started jotting down translations. A few minutes passed before he looked up again. This time his face was a little flushed with excitement.
"Jack, this is amazing. I mean, these are simple Egyptian hieroglyphics, around the time of the rebellion against Ra, but what it says is incredible. It speaks of how Egypt rebelled against Ra, the fake God. Here—," Daniel pointed at the second row of hieroglyphs on the left, "It says 'the rebellion against Ra, no god'. But what makes this so special is the third row. Literally it says 'The foreign commander' and 'victory'. I would translate that as 'a leader not of the people gained victory'."
Jack now felt a little perplexed and amazed.
"If I didn't know any better, I'd say the 'foreign commander' would be you, Jack. Especially since it were your dogtags in that jar."
Without saying anything Jack stood there, slightly rocking on his heels. Slowly picking up the photograph he took another look at the drawing.
"Jack, you know what this could mean? It could mean you, and in effect we, were part of the rebellion that drove Ra away from Earth 5000 years ago!"
"Daniel, could you completely translate and interpret this thing before we go to the cabin?"
Daniel frowned at his request. "Eeh, yeah, sure, I think I can. Why?"
Jack smiled. "So we have something to talk about when we're sitting there, trying to catch those big old fish."
Daniel shrugged with a curious look on his face. "Whatever you say, Jack."
Jack patted him on the shoulder twice. Then he turned and left Daniel's office. To him Daniel's initial translations had already confirmed his theory. He knew he couldn't go back in time and do nothing about Ra ruling over Egypt. And this proved it. It also showed him something that made him anxious, giddy and elated all at once. He now knew that his relationship with Sam was destined to be more then close colleagues. Jack had immediately recognized the male in the picture as himself, the P90 he was holding was enough proof for that. And the woman standing behind him, well, he thought it was highly irregular to have a blond haired woman in ancient Egypt. The linguists who had sent him the picture had already translated parts of it, including the words 'husband' and 'wife' next to the two main figures. And Daniel just told him the little figures on the left were sons and the others probably daughters by the looks of it. So the pictures showed him that he and Sam were married after overthrowing Ra, and had three sons and two daughters.
Walking into his office, softly whistling, he thought about the fishing trip they were going on tomorrow. He plunked down on his chair and took out the picture of the drawing. Unable to hide his grin he leaned back in his chair. He had irrefutable proof Sam loved him and he loved her, and they could have the cutest Egyptian family together. Oh yeah, this fishing trip promised to be quite something. He'd make sure of that.