Another Day

by Melora

Rating: T (For some mild language and implied sexual situations)

Pairing: Sam/Jack; Sam/Other

Category: Future fic, Drama, Romance, Character Death

Spoilers: Season 8 – Covenant, Season 9 – slight ones for Avalon, The Ties that Bind, Ex Deus Machina

Set: Future

Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Sony, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. No copyright infringement is intended. Created for entertainment not monetary purposes.

Summary: "He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day." Five years after the Stargate Program is made public, the former members of SG-1 learn some devastating news.

Author's notes: I thought "Covenant" was an okay episode, but definitely not one of my favorites from Season 8. One thing I did like about it was the character of Alec Colson and his interaction with Sam. So this fic explores their relationship, as well as the relationship between Jack and Sam, in the future. Paragraphs in italics indicate flashbacks.

Another Day

Chapter One: Old Friends

Flannery's on Wilson Street was filled with patrons gathered to watch Monday Night Football. The popular sports bar's relaxed atmosphere and convenient location near the Pentagon made it a popular hangout for the many government employees that worked in the area.

One of the many Monday-night regulars was Major General Jack O'Neill. Every Monday during football season, you could usually find the officer sitting by himself at his customary spot at the bar. Surprisingly, on this particular Monday evening he was not alone.

Sitting at the end of the large wraparound bar, Jack and Dr. Daniel Jackson were drinking beer and enjoying a leisurely, if somewhat greasy, dinner of burgers and fries. Daniel had arrived the day before for one last visit with Jack before once again departing the Milky Way. The two men had spent the day together and decided to top it off with dinner at Jack's favorite hangout. It was to be their one last get-together, since Daniel was leaving the very next day for a fifteen-day return journey to Atlantis on the Daedelus.

Daniel was animatedly relating all of the details about his preparations for the journey to Jack. So much so, that he did not realize until five minutes into the conversation that he was the only one talking. When he realized this and abruptly stopped rambling on, he noticed that his friend's attention was entirely focused on the large screen TV located at the end of the bar. He stared at the back of Jack's head in annoyance.

"Jack….are you even listening to a word I'm saying?"

Jack continued ignoring Daniel and quickly muttered an excuse, "Sorry, Daniel. But the Vikings are on the ten-yard line and it's third down."

Daniel shot Jack a frustrated expression. "I didn't come all the way to Washington to watch you watch football, Jack."

Fortunately, the TV screen faded to a commercial break and Jack once again turned around and gave his full attention to Daniel.

Daniel took large bite out of his burger and then noted, "You know I never really understood the appeal of football. Don't you find it rather boring?"

Jack looked at Daniel in complete horror. "Doh! Sacrilege, Daniel. Football is never boring. I will admit that I enjoy hockey and baseball more, but football is still…well, it's sublime."

"If you say so." Daniel continued eating his meal, not appearing to be convinced at all. "As I was saying…as usual, everyone at Atlantis put in requests for stuff for me to bring back from Earth. And I've found everything except Colonel Sheppard's…"

Daniel once again stopped talking and stared curiously at something over Jack's shoulder. It was a young woman who had walked up to Jack and was standing beside him. The young admirer was timidly waiting for Jack to take notice of her, so Daniel motioned with his chin in her direction, trying to draw Jack's attention to her presence.

Jack turned around on his bar stool to see what Daniel was staring at, only to find a beautiful blue-eyed brunette who looked to be in her early twenties. Immediately he thought to himself, 'Too bad…she's much too young for you, O'Neill.'

The woman grinned shyly. "Hi. Are you General Jack O'Neill?"

Jack returned her smile and graciously held out a hand for her to shake "Yes, I am. Nice to meet you."

The girl's eyes widened in astonishment as she took his hand in her own, amazed that she was actually touching the hand of the great General O'Neill. "I'm sorry for bothering you…" she apologized, "but I'm a huge fan of yours. I was wondering if you would be willing to give me your autograph?" She nervously held out a small piece of scrap paper that she had obviously quickly torn out of a notebook.

Jack casually took the piece of paper from her and pulled a pen out of his pocket. "Sure thing. Whom do I make it out to?"

"Jenny…" the girl stuttered.

Jack quickly scribbled a personal note to the woman and handed it back to her with an amused smile. Jenny blushed furiously, thanked him, and then quickly scurried off to show her prize to her girlfriends who were sitting at a corner booth at the back of the bar.

"Do you get that a lot?" Daniel asked in curiosity and amusement.

Jack shrugged as he returned his pen to his pocket. "Not so much anymore. It's been five years, after all. Every once in a while, I'll have some college kid like Jenny or some wet-behind-the-ears officer come up to me… but for the most part people leave me alone."

"I can't believe how nice you were about it," Daniel muttered. "It drove me absolutely crazy in those first few months – every time I went out, people would either stare at me like I was an alien or come up and demand pictures and autographs. Not that I minded at first, but it just got ridiculous after a while. I couldn't go anywhere without a whole crowd of people gathering around me. It was one of the reasons I took off for Pegasus."

Suddenly, Daniel's gaze drifted to the TV and his eyes widened in shock. "Jack… look…" he pointed to the screen.

It was a special news report – the kind that stations only aired when something catastrophic had happened. And nothing short of tragedy could justify interrupting something as vitally important as Monday Night Football.

On the upper right-hand corner of the screen was a recent picture of Alec Colson, the aeronautical engineer who had once tried to expose the existence of the SGC to the world. The picture caught the eye of both Jack and Daniel, and both were immediately anxious to find out what could have happened to the billionaire.

Jack called out, "Hey Fred…could you turn that up?"

"Sure thing, General." The bartender pulled out the remote control and compiled with Jack's request.

As the volume increased, Jack and Daniel caught the tail end of the news segment.

"…all that is known right now is that a couple of hours ago billionaire businessman Alec Colson's automobile careened off a highway just fifteen miles from his northern California estate. Colson and the driver of the vehicle were taken to a local hospital in serious but stable condition. Nothing is currently known about Colson's wife and four-year old daughter who were also passengers in the vehicle."

Suddenly an old picture of Sam Carter in her Air Force uniform appeared on screen, replacing the picture of Colson.

The anchorman continued, "Colson's wife is none other than the former Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter, known to be a leading expert on the Stargate and one of the founding members of the famous exploratory team, SG-1. Stay tuned for ABS Nightly News at eleven for more details. Now back to the game…"

Jack stared down at his empty plate in complete shock. Daniel looked at him, dumbfounded. "I'm sure she's all right, Jack. I mean, it's Sam…she has to be all right."

Jack did not respond to Daniel's statement, but continued looking at the plate before him in a catatonic daze. Both could hear the rumble and cheers of the football game playing in the background, but neither could do anything but sit there at the bar, sick with worry.

Ten minutes later, the game was over. The fact that the Vikings won the game had absolutely no impact on Jack whatsoever. The news came on and for the first time since hearing about the accident, Daniel and Jack turned their full attention back to the TV screen, both anxiously sipping their beers as they awaited news of the fate of their friend.

Jeremy Davis, ABS's anchorman for the Nightly News, began the newscast with a somber expression on his face. "Good evening. Our top story this evening concerns an automobile accident in northern California involving billionaire Alec Colson. For the latest on the accident involving Colson and his wife, Samantha Carter-Colson, we go to a reporter from our San Francisco affiliate, Ginger Riley. Ginger, what can you tell us so far?"

Ginger Riley was standing next to the illuminated sign of the Marin County Hospital. She pushed back a strand of long hair that had been blowing in her face and stoically began her report, "Well, Jeremy…the news from Marin County is mixed. Earlier this evening, Alec Colson, along with his wife and daughter, were returning home after attending a children's charity event in San Francisco benefiting the Children's Leukemia Foundation. Just fifteen miles from their estate, the car they were riding in inexplicably veered off of the highway. Apparently the car rolled down an embankment before landing on its side. When paramedics arrived, they found Colson and the driver unconscious. They were both taken to the hospital you see behind me. As of the latest report from hospital staff, Colson and the driver are in stable condition and should be released within the week."

Suddenly, Ginger's stoic mask fell and the reporter struggled to control her emotions. Her voice shook slightly as she reported, "Tragically, we have now confirmed that Samantha Carter-Colson and the Colson's young daughter, Emma, did not survive the accident and were declared dead at the scene."

As soon as the reporter uttered this news, the glass that had been tightly gripped in Jack's hand slipped out of his grasp and fell to the floor, shattering into pieces.

Daniel stared at him, tears building in his eyes. "Oh, God…not Sam…and Emmy too."

Although both were finding it increasingly difficult to pay attention to the news report, Jack and Daniel continued to listen to the words exchanged between the anchorman and the reporter.

"Ginger…this is indeed a great loss for our country. As well as for the Colson family…"

"Yes, Jeremy…it will be especially difficult for Alec Colson, losing a wife and child yet again in his life. As you may know, Colson's first wife and their daughter were killed in a tragic plane crash about thirty years ago. The loss of Mrs. Carter-Colson and their daughter is indeed a great tragedy for a man that has already endured too much loss in his life."

"Thank you, Ginger. ABS will provide continuing coverage of this tragic event as details become known. When we come back, a report on President Hayes's recent trip to the Middle East. Is there new hope for peace and what role will the United States play in it?"

Daniel put his hand on Jack's shoulder, trying both to offer comfort and to gain strength from the connection. "Let's get out of here, Jack. We can go to your place and I can make some phone calls – find out what's going on."

Jack sighed despondently, a haunted look in his dark eyes. "She's dead, Daniel…that's what's going on."

Daniel merely nodded, leaving a couple of twenties on the bar to pay for their meals and drinks, and then guided his distraught friend out of the bar.