Chapter 10: Finally
Disclaimer: Insert standard lines here.
A/N 1: How do you respond to a review that demands 'more so that this damn story will be finished'? I'm going to take that to mean you like it, though apparently I'm a little frustrating? And maybe I'm dating myself here, or maybe it's a regional thing, but what is 'chiffy'? Anyways…on with the show….
"Colonel Carter to the Gate room. Colonel Carter to the Gate room."
Sam's head jerked up.
What? The alarms didn't go off. There's nothing scheduled until Matthias's departure later today.
Sam glanced at the clock above the door to her lab.
Holy Hannah! It can't be that late. There is no way I lost two whole hours to staring off into space because of Jack.
She hit her mouse to turn off the screensaver. Her computer gave the same time as the clock on the wall.
Crap! I better go say goodbye to Matthais.
Sam ran out of her lab, taking the envelope she'd been fidgeting with with her.
Sam slowed to a walk just before she entered the Gate room and pasted a smile on her face. Jack, Daniel, Teal'c and Matthais were standing around at the base of the ramp chatting quietly. Jack was the first to notice her entrance. He merely glared in her direction. Daniel saw Jack's attention shift and he looked back over his shoulder and offered her a smile. Teal'c nodded as usual. Matthais was the first to move towards her.
"Samantha, thank you for coming to see me off."
"No problem Matthais. I'm sorry I almost missed it. I didn't mean to lose track of time."
"You are here now."
They walked back over to the others.
Why is Jack glaring at me like that? Does he realize he's doing it? Does he know that everyone else can see it too?
"Well Matty, it's been great getting know you. Thanks for all your help and I hope you were able to learn something from all of Carter's techno-babble."
"Samantha was a very patient teacher, Jack. Thank you both for this opportunity."
"We have a little something for you to take back with you."
Jack motioned to one of the airmen standing around the Gate room. The man brought out a metal box. Engraved on the top was Earth's gate address. Jack opened the box to show a battery powered radio.
"Carter's shown you how to use this?"
"Good. If you ever need our help just dial the address on the box, then turn on radio and say hello. Someone here will answer. We will be sending a team through in a few days to help you set up a more complex defense system."
"Thank you again for all your help. As agreed your team will be able to bring back whatever technology they can salvage. Please feel free to return to visit us when you have the chance. I know Suzannah and the others would be glad to see you all again."
"I'll see it if we can work Judea into our vacation rotation after we get that little Jaffa problem of yours cleared up."
Sam had to smother her laughter as she watched Jack pal around with Matthais. It was good to see him enjoying himself. Jack must have heard her however, because he went from smiling at Matthais to once again glaring in her direction.
I guess I'll be going with the avoidance strategy. I'll just stand here quietly and pretend I don't exist.
Walter dialed Judea from the control room. Matthais shook the guys' hands, hugged Sam and headed up the ramp. As the wormhole collapsed behind him everyone turned to exit the Gate room.
"Colonel Carter! I did not dismiss you."
Sam jerked to a halt besides Daniel and Teal'c.
Shit! I guess avoidance is out!
"Sir! Yes, Sir!"
"I believe there is something you've neglected to share with me. My office! NOW!"
"Sir! Yes, Sir!"
Sam snapped a salute and headed off to Jack's office.
Jack was shaking with anger. His hand's clenching at his sides.
How dare she take this over my head! I can't believe things were soo bad that she didn't feel she could discuss this with me! And she just came strolling in here like nothing was wrong! Breathe Jack. You still need to be able to talk to her civilly. No matter what, you are her commanding officer. You can't react like a jilted lover! You have no right to expect anything from her. Bullshit! Her transfer request should have gone through me. At least that way I could have been prepared. I could have done something.
"Not now Daniel."
Jack barely managed to ground out his short response. Teal'c gave Jack a hard look.
"Whatever has happened I do not believe Colonel Carter intended to hurt you O'Neill."
Jack flinched at the blunt comment. It cut too close to the bone to be said so publicly. Jack took a deep breath, stretched his hands and turned to follow Sam to his office. He was just slow enough to catch Daniel's comment to Teal'c.
"Guess he found out that Sam went to General Hammond."
The guys knew about this before I did! Carter! Samantha…how could you do this to me?
Sam was standing at attention staring blankly at the wall behind his desk when he walked in. He looked her over slowly.
God…I…how can she just stand there looking like nothing's going on. Crap! Time to put on the CO mask.
"Colonel Carter it seems that you neglected to inform me that you were requesting a transfer. It also seems that General Hammond and the President were surprised by my request because they assumed I knew."
Jack stopped talking to look her over again, hoping for a reaction of any kind. When none was forth coming he continued.
"I understand your request has already been approved so it is out of my hands. I would like to know, in an attempt to improve my command skills, why you felt the need to go over my head. I didn't realize things were so bad around here."
Sam remained silent.
Oh for crying out loud!
"Permission to speak freely Carter."
"Sir! Yes, Sir! I didn't talk to you sir because you were part of the reason for my request sir and I knew you'd try to talk me out of it sir."
"And the reason you never mentioned this problem to me before it became big enough to require a transfer, Colonel?"
"It's not something I'm allowed to talk about sir."
"Classified is it Carter?"
Damn it Jack! Stop deliberately misunderstanding me. You know why I did it! I did it for us!
"No sir. It was personal sir."
Come on Jack! Get with the program!
"Well Colonel I guess I know where I rate. Enjoy your posting to Area 51. They're lucky to have you."
A little of Jack's rage seeped through, turning the last comment into more of a snarl.
"You report to your new post in two weeks. Dismissed Colonel!"
Sam shivered at the chill in his voice. She snapped a salute and headed for the door. At the door she turned back to look at him. His eyes were still angry but to her the fine trembling of his entire body indicated that there were more emotions he was desperately trying to keep under control. It gave her the courage to speak.
"Jack…I didn't want this to happen. Not like this."
She tossed the envelope containing her transfer letter at his desk.
"It was on my desk when we got back from Judea. By the time I realized what it was and what it meant you had already left for D.C.. Do what you want with it."
She turned and hurried from the room. She stumbled through the halls of the SGC unseeing at a near run. She collapsed in a corner of an elevator and nearly allowed her sobs to overtake her. She exited the elevator and headed off again. She was nearly to the infirmary before her rational mind reminded her that Janet wouldn't be there.
Nobody's where they're supposed to be anymore. Jack said he'd always be here for me and he didn't even give me a chance.
Sam turned away and locked herself in the nearest women's bathroom.
Jack stared dumbly at the plain white envelope lying innocuously on his desk. It had landed right side up, so that he could see the Department of Homeworld Security's seal and her name but no address or post-mark. He reached out cautiously and picked it up slowly as if expecting it to come to life in his hands. Inside was a standard transfer approval letter giving the end date of Sam's current assignment and the date for her to report to her new position. It was signed by both the President and General Hammond and dated over two weeks ago.
Shit! So she submitted her request before we left….she still didn't tell me about it. Stop kidding yourself Jack, she's right. You would have tried to talk her out of it. You wouldn't have wanted her to give this up. But could you have let someone else send her out? Could you really have given up being the one to watch her back for being the one she came home to? Jack, you haven't been the one watching her back on mission's for over a year. That's Teal'c and Daniel's job now…well it was. And what do you have to show for it? Nothing! You've never had her at home, and now you don't even have her at work.
Jack lifted the small note that had fallen out when he'd unfolded the official letter. This was a hand written note. Feeling slightly guilty Jack started to read.
If you'll allow me to abuse my honorary uncle and long time family friend privileges for a moment here. I've been expecting something like this for a long time now. Well, actually I was expecting to hear from Jack first, but still I did not receive your request with the surprise you might have expected. Congratulation on your new post. You could have done this job from day one. I wish you the best of luck with it and with Jack. And yes I realize you didn't mention him in your request, but give me some credit. I did have to watch you two together for seven years. May you be as happy as your father was the day you were born.
Shit! George how could you not have told me? If you'd just said something at any time through the years you could've saved us so much. God, I hope I'm not too late. Time to grovel again. I really am an ass!
"So Teal'c, what do you think all that was about?"
"I believe O'Neill was hurt that Colonel Carter did not speak to him about her transfer."
"Yeah, but she couldn't have talked to him about it, at least not about her real reason."
"True, but as we well know, your military's regulations can not actually dictate feelings. Nor can logic."
"All personnel to the Gate room. All personnel to the Gate room."
I wonder what's going on now.
Daniel turned to look at Teal'c and shrugged. The two rose and headed off to answer the call.
A podium had been hastily erected on the gate ramp. Jack stood behind it in his dress blues. Daniel frowned worriedly at the nervousness plainly obvious on Jack's face. It was almost as disconcerting as the tear streaks visible on Sam's cheeks when she came to stand with him and Teal'c.
What the Hell?
When the Gate room had filled with all the SGC personnel who weren't off world or required to be at their posts Jack began to speak.
"I have two announcements to make regarding important personnel changes here at the SGC."
An expectant hush fell over the gathered crowed.
"Colonel Carter, please join me."
Sam moved from her position next to her teammates.
"I am sad but proud to announce that Colonel Carter has requested and been granted a transfer. She will begin her new position as the Head of Research out at Area 51 in a few weeks. Congratulations Colonel."
The Gate room erupted in applause. Jack let the applause roll for a few minutes before making shushing motions with his hands. Sam was blushing furiously. She started to step down off the ramp.
"Stay where you are Carter. I have one more announcement. I am also leaving the SGC. As soon as a suitable replacement can be found and briefed, hopefully within the next month, I will be taking over General Hammond's position as Head of Homeworld Security. It has been a pleasure to serve with you and I am confident that you will continue to give the SGC's next commander the same respect and dedication you have given me."
Once again applause filled the room. Several congratulatory shouts joined in. Again Jack waved the room to silence.
"Now if you'll excuse me there's something I need to do."
Jack stepped around the podium and up to Sam. He turned her to face him.
"I'm sorry I'm such an ass Samantha. I hope you can forgive me."
Jack whispered just loud enough for Teal'c and Daniel to hear from the front row. They both grinned as Jack brushed a hand across her cheek and into her hair while his other slid her waist.
"I love you Carter."
Jack leaned in and kissed Sam, lightly at first and then with increasing passion. As her lips parted to allow his tongue entrance to her mouth Jack dipped Sam in a move reminiscent of the time loop kiss. This time however there were no interruptions, besides the catcalls from their friends and co-workers.
"Could we take this somewhere more private?"
Jack squeezed Sam quickly and began to lead her through the crowd. The hoots and hollers followed them out into the hall. Daniel's grin only widened as money began to change hands. Teal'c collected a large portion of it.
"Here Daniel Jackson, this money will be of little use to me where I am going."
"You too Teal'c?"
"Yes. I am sorry Daniel Jackson, but with both O'Neill and Colonel Carter leaving the SGC I believe it is time for me to refocus my efforts on helping to establish the Free Jaffa Council."
"I see. Well…we should get the team together one last time before everyone leaves."
"That is a good idea Daniel Jackson. I will talk to O'Neill later. For now I must go collect the rest of my winnings."
Daniel sighed as Teal'c walked away.
So now what? I don't really want to stay here with the rest of SG1 gone. Maybe I should try the trip to Atlantis again. Maybe I'll actually get there this time.
oOo The End oOo
A/N 2: Cue Season 9 premier. After all, to paraphrase the show…There were reasons why Sam took the post. Okay people…time to push the little review button and send me some love, or hate, either way. I'm going to complain again as there were only two reviews on my last chapter. I can say that fewer reviews will give me less motivation to write my series on The Collective Years.
Thanks for all the feedback you've given me throughout this little series. It was great to be so well received my first time out. I just hope anything I write from here on will live up to expectations.