Summary: The battle is over. His search begins.
Category: Angst, Humor, Series. Romance possible in later chapters.
Episode Related: None.
Season: None in partcular.
Pairing: Jack/Sam, of course.
Rating: 13+
Warnings: A 'lil bit of cursing. Sorry about that.
Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author(s). This is why I am but ten minutes from the poorhouse. No copyright infringement is intended. I'm only playing with the characters for a little bit. Honest. You can have them back in a minute.

Author's notes: as this is a repost, I want to thank those who have reviewed this fic in the past. Natters, lennielight, jannymac, akiko-dono, MandySg1, IloveSg1 and Maggie Eaton, thank you all. Your comments were more than welcomed and were most encouraging. Also to PhDelicious: I have followed your advice and am posting this as a single work, with chapters, to make it easier for the readers. In truth, as this as the first work I posted on had no idea how to do it it until recently! But never mind, I hope this is correction enough for my error. To the ladies and gents at the As The Stargate Turns writers group...you are all a whole heap of brilliant. Thank you kindly. Finally, for those of you waiting for more of this particular story, it is going to happen, but I cannot give you a timeframe. I can only tell you that even in it's complete state, there will probably be no more than six or seven chapters in total posted on this site. However, please continue to search for works that you enjoy in fanfic, whether written by me or not. There are some real gems out there!

The Battlefield Series Part One

The Search Of A Battlefield

As he continues to cast his glance across the now dead (in oh, so many ways) battlefield, the panic rises within him. Again, he tries the radio. "Carter? Carter, please respond." Nothing. Nada. Just static. Shit. He looks around frantically.

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He has been searching for some time. Hasn't reported back for a little while, because he is aware that two of his team are already safe at the SGC and he knows he'll find the other one, soon. Nothing to see here. Unless you counted the blood and the bodies and the injured, that is. The mess of massed combat. It's all close to meaningless to him. He hadn't found what he was looking for.

"Sir". His attention is called to a member of SG-18. He thinks it's SG-18, anyway. Black crew cut. General air of youth. Freckles. Freckles, goddamn it. Just a kid.

Scanning the ground, he chooses to pay no particular attention to this individual. He knows he can listen, direct, give sound orders, without stopping his search for her.

"What, Airman?", he growls. He nearly winces, knowing immediately that his tone is unnecessarily harsh. He wills himself to pull in a deep breath and turns towards the officer. Taking a proper look at the individual, he realises that the youngster is shaking, yet almost frozen in place from his cold question. Dammit to hell, could be the first time he's seen anything on this scale. He suddenly feels terrible for the young man.

"I'm sorry...er..?". He tries to make his voice as warm as he can, as fatherly, if you like, but he is having trouble as he is currently resisting the physical urge to apply himself to ripping this field to pieces until she is found.

"Captain Charles, Sir. SG-19." Poor kid. At his initially cool gaze, this new recruit had looked like the proverbial rabbit caught in the headlights of a car.

To ease any tension, he tries to use a light tone of voice. "So close!". It had obviously spectacularly failed. At the young man's confused look, he just says, "I'm sorry, Captain Charles. Had you pinned as a member of SG-18. Please report."

The young man in question, to his credit, draws himself up to his full height and does just that. "I have been asked by General Hammond to collate figures for the injured, dead and missing. We currently have two reported fatalities, sir. There are also three other SG teams reporting missing personnel. I have to ask you, Colonel, should I add any of your team to their number?"

Colonel Jack O'Neill (two 'l's), tries not to feel the wave of nausea that threatens to engulf him. He decides to take the proper military route and ignores his emotional and physical discomfort, just as much as he can, anyhow. "Doctor Jackson and Teal'c are safe. I have a...", time for a minor holiday from the truth,"...light staff weapon burn to my upper left arm." A pause. "Major Carter is...missing." The last word is ripped from his throat, almost guttural in it's intensity. He takes a moment to regain his equilibrium. "I will remain here to help continue with the search for survivors."

Captain Charles, lord bless him, doesn't choose to notice any overtly emotional overtones in his superior officer's words. "Thank you, sir. Good luck. If I may..."

"Good work, Captain Charles," he states solemnly. "Dismissed."

Jack turns before he has even finished speaking, eyes darting once again over the bloodied grass.

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Another two hours. The panic is gone now, the adrenalin powering him through it and the battle beforehand a long distant memory. Now he feels cold. He feels bone tired. He feels the wound on his arm, hurting, burning. But more than anything, now he just feels a cold desolation inside. He cannot find her. What use is he, if he cannot find her?

He stamps on his self-doubt and pulls on what he feels must be the last of his internal physical reserves. After all, it does not matter what he feels. She matters.

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It is getting dark now. There are still other members of the SGC picking diligently over the battlefield, through the gore, making sure that any of the injured, alongside any military weaponry and technology that they can find is removed back to the safety of home. It won't be too many hours now before they all have to withdraw. And he is reaching the very edge of the battlefield.

What will he say to the remainder of his team? He is pretty sure that, "We got seperated," is not only lame excuse but one from a stupid movie. He can't remember which one, but Carter coul...

Shit. Something breaks inside. He crashes to the ground. He wraps his arms around his ribcage and he weeps.

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The night is midway through. Somehow, he is still going. He has scoured the battlefield for any sign of her and he has found nothing. It will not be long before he is forced to leave. Sure, they can send a rescue party when the sun rises again, but he has not found her. He has not found her. It is the only thing that is now keeping him going. He is virtually numb inside, but the fact that he will not leave her behind is his driving force, the one thing that makes him place one foot, leadenly, in front of the other.

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He is called back. He has been called back before now, but has cried off 'til the last possible moment. The retrieval teams are returning to the gate. He looks around him, swinging his torch desperately in one last wide arc about his position. It is of no use. Feeling broken inside, he turns back towards the departing personnel. As he starts his sombre trek towards home, he honestly feels heavier, not just on the outside but inside. He feels as if this weight is crushing his very life from him. He has failed her.

He did not find her.

"I am so sorry, Sam", he whispers to the battlefield, as he wills himself to move on.

Then it is there. In a random wave of torchlight. Just a boot. A USAF boot. A fairly small, muddy, USAF boot. Attached to a slender ankle. Showing merely the hem of USAF pants. He stumbles over, the light strobing wildly as he falls to his knees in front of what is, at this very moment, the focus of his entire being, his entire damned universe. He swings the torch up the ankle in question, quickly realising that not only is said ankle broken, but that it's owner is under at least two jaffa in full armour.

"Shit, shit, shit. Sam...Carter, please be alive. Please, please, please...", he almost begs as he somehow manages to drag the two heavy corpses to either side.

And then he hears it. A gentle snoring. Oh yes, people, snoring. Colonel Jack O' Neill swings his torch up towards her face, the face of the one he had been so desperately searching for, for so many hours. On the way, he checks for any other obvious signs of injury. He notices her crushed radio (that would explain that, he thought) and there are some cuts and abrasions on her cheeks and forehead, but other than that, she looks OK. He knows far better than to believe that all he can see is all that can be wrong, but when he actually registers the sound he is hearing, he can't help the gentle laughter that escapes him momentarily. His eyes lock on her face, as if suddenly needing to absorb her appearance for his own reassurance. Even snoring, she is so amazing, so beautiful. The most welcome sight he could ever hope to see. A soft, lopsided grin lights up his own face.

"Oh no, Major Carter. Now that I think you'll live through this, I've gotta tell you, I am never gonna let you live this down." She continues to sleep on as he smiles and quietly calls in a med team.

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