Title: Suspension Author: A.j.
Rating: Parental Guidance suggested.
Recipient: Done for the Sam/Jack Ficathon for Ari with the requests of things left unsaid (er, check!), chocolate (check), and Sam taking a moment to collect herself (check)
Notes: Huge thank you to Amy and Lyss. The first for pointing me in a direction, and the second for helping me clear up just how to explain said direction.

Summary: Before 'New Order', Sam takes a moment for herself.


There are some days when she stares at the walls of her lab and wants nothing more than to quit and move to Tahiti. And drink for a year.

She hates herself on those days. Hates her perceived weakness. She is good at her job. It is a good job. Hates that despite the fact she has a wonderful job, and the respect of her peers and friends, that she wants more than this.

She wants color and light and to sleep more than five hours a night without the fear of Jaffa breaking down her door and burning her world. Some days, she wants her innocence back. Among other things.

Today, she just wants to figure out how the hell to get her commanding officer out of an overblown freezer. Preferably with his cranky normal brain intact.

Just one more in a line of things she seems unable to get right.

Although, at present, her social skills are topping that particular list.

She's taking minute to herself – ostensibly to clear her brain, but that never works because her brain never shuts off, and oh god she can't think about the last time he mocked her about that over breakfast – in her lab. Well, she actually kicked all her assistants out with implied threats of bodily harm, but they're used to it by now, so she figures they'll be back in half an hour to try again.

Until then, she's got her lab and a computer and a pile of paperwork that just keeps growing and growing. She wants to lie to herself and say that Dr. Weir's presence has dramatically increased her workload, but the reality is that it's dropped. Hammond, bless his heart, had been a military man to the bone. As such, reports were a standard five or more pages and expected in triplicate on a varying due scale depending on when you actually got out of the infirmary.

Dr. Weir just asks for what's 'appropriate'.

Sam turned in her first 3-page report this morning. It's the shortest technical thing she's written in almost twenty years. Sam snorts and decides that she really is strung out if she's waxing nostalgic about writing long reports.

God, this season couldn't get worse.

Sam sighs and rubs a hand over her face. She hasn't been home in two days. Hasn't slept in her own bed in close to five. The last time she'd actually walked in her front door, she'd had to hike the air conditioning to eleven to get the place even remotely comfortable.

Spring seems so far away right now. So intangible.

And god, she sounds like a bad chick lit novel.

To her left, a few of the machines running data compilation ping out their tasks. The noise is jarring, drawing her out of her brain just a little bit. A quick glance shows that they've both got a few hours to go until she can dump both sets of data into new machines.

Her whole life seems to be a waiting game these days. Three hundred little details jumping up and down on her, keeping her from moving and working. She likes to think that she used to be less melodramatic.

God, she needs chocolate.

Resignedly, she digs around in her drawer, half thinking that there might be the end of a bag of Andes mints somewhere in the back from the last time she and Daniel'd played poker, when her hand bumps into something that feels suspiciously like a candy bar.

It is a candy bar. Actually, it's a bar of Toblerone with a yellow post-it wrapped around the box.

"For when you need a pick me up. And there's not cake. –O'Neill"

One deep breath and she's crying. Just a couple tears, but that's more than she's allowed herself since her seventeenth birthday. He left her a chocolate bar. Her favorite chocolate bar. In her desk. With a note.

Before he got flash-frozen like a bag of chicken.

Sam drops her head into her hands and just stares at the candy.

So many things they hadn't said.

So many goddamn things he hadn't listened to her say.

That ASSHOLE.

God, she wants to kill him. She wants to wake him up, rip him out of his glass coffin and sit on him until she pours every conflicted and contradictory emotion she's ever had about him out into his lap.

Mostly, she wants to scream at him to never ever do this to her again. To leave her – and she must be tired because her brain didn't even try to rewrite that as an 'us' – alone and pull some stupid stunt that, while admittedly will save the world, kills him.

Because right now? He's pretty much dead.

She has to physically stifle a sob because she can't think about that. Can't think about death and Colonel O'Neill because that just brings up a whole host of things she's worked damn hard to manage. To forget.

Coldicetrappeddarkalonechangingdyinghurtscaredalonealonealone...

The sharp jab of her teeth into her lip makes her blink, bringing her back.

She can't think about him right now. Can't put a face on what she needs to do because she's five deep breaths away from losing it, and the ancient calculations she needs to plow through won't decipher themselves. She has to do this because there's no one else.

She doesn't have the luxury of grieving. She hasn't had it in a very, very long time.

Sam picks up the candy bar and peels back the gold foil and pops off a chunk. The chocolate is smooth and sweet on her tongue. Light. Good.

She almost smiles.

The rest of the bar goes back in the drawer, gently. There will be other mornings like this in the near future. A girl needs her chocolate.

Twenty some floors underground in her super-top-secret lab, Samantha Carter stares at a little yellow box of chocolate and tries to forget everything but the work.

Because right now there's nothing else she can do.

fin-