Say Goodbye to Yesterday

Disclaimer: Belongs to whoever owns it; definitely not me

Rating: PG-13

Pairing: Sam/Jack

Summary: 'His eyes now red with strained unshed tears, Daniel softened his voice, "She's dead Jack. Sam's dead."' After a tragic accident; the entire SGC is left reeling . . . including Sam . . .

Author's Note: This is set somewhere in season 7, pre-Pete.

Chapter Sixteen

Exhaustion's Resolve

Sam's eyes opened with unsurprising ease, subconsciously well aware of their confinement within the dimly lit prison cell. It may have been shining brightly on the Kingdom of Frosya but Sam had no way of knowing and she didn't really care either. On opening her eyes, her gaze quite instinctively fell upon the Colonel.

Jack was sat against the side wall of the cell, the right side of his body pressed up against the iron bars. His position gave Sam the perfect opportunity to study his profile. He was as handsome as she remembered but there was a more deep rooted darkness in him that made her heart silently cry. Underneath that sarcastic and light hearted outer shell, Sam had always known there was a darkness that lingered inside of him, a seriousness that had added unnecessary years to his life without actually having added a day at all. She hated to think that she had been the one to once again dim the light behind his eyes.

Crawling over to him on hands and knees, she sat next to his long outstretched legs. He was still staring blankly out in front of him; his eyes open but not seeing.

"Sir?" she said softly. He didn't hear her. "Jack?" she said again, this time gently grasping his upper arm. Jumping slightly, Jack's unfocussed eyes cleared as he set them upon the blonde Major staring at him. Shaking himself from the lingering remnants of his reverie, irrational concern overwhelmed him, "What's wrong? Are you ok?"

Sam smiled, "I'm fine sir, are you?"

The Colonel shifted slightly to face her, "Yeah I'm fine." The 'why?' remained unvoiced but Sam heard it nevertheless.

"It's just . . . you don't seem yourself, sir."

"I don't?" the lack of humour behind such a response was answer enough. Neither officer smiled. The awkward silence expanded between them before Jack let out a tired sigh. Knowing it was still highly inappropriate for them to be talking about this so freely, he couldn't help but feel the pull to come clean to her, as clean as the defences around his heart would allow him.

"I thought I lost you," he whispered so quietly Sam almost never heard it. And once she finally registered what he'd said she was half wishing she hadn't.

He was no longer looking at her but at some distant mark on the far wall, "Hell, we really did lose you. God Sam, we thought you were dead."

Sam winced; she couldn't imagine what it had felt like for them all.

He shook his head, "I'm just so tired of it all. All we do is put our lives at risk day in day out, and for what? For who? When do we ever do anything for ourselves?" It was a selfish thought and he knew it but he couldn't help the bitterness creeping up on him, "For all we put into our jobs they're never gonna let us have what we want." He was looking at her now; heated chocolate eyes melting icy blue ones and feeding the glowing embers with the oxygen they both so desperately sought. "Not even now," Jack whispered, "They won't ever let us go."

And Sam could find no answer to that, simple because there was none. It had taken this near tragedy for Jack to finally open up to her. He may not have said it as such, but Sam knew what he meant, he didn't need to say it. They had left their feelings locked up in that room all those years ago and now Jack was asking her permission to finally throw that key away. He couldn't do this to himself anymore. They had never really spoke of their feelings again after the Zay'tarc incident but it had kept them bound to each other, leaving them going around in perpetual cycles. He was only asking for what was rightfully his – he was asking to be cut free, and though it would break Sam's heart to do it, she couldn't deny him that.

Reaching out, she cupped his face with one hand and whispered, "I know." Jack's eyes closed as his head drooped forward resting against Sam's. He didn't see her salty tears but felt them on the skin of his fingers as he held her. The sudden wetness on his skin startled him, withdrawing from her slightly he looked down at her, his hands still cradling her face. "I'm never letting you go again Sam. You're not going anywhere, and that's an order." He willed her to understand.

Sam's eyes widened, clouded over with confusion, "But I thought . . . I thought . . ."

"Thought what?" he smiled.

Sam stared at him. A glint of mischief sparkling in the depth of his eyes, but what shone brighter than anything was his love for her and her breath caught in her throat. With an intensifying blush she realised she had jumped to the wrong conclusion. What she saw was not the exhaustion of when he had first spoken but the resolve and growing hope to pursue something they surely deserved after nearly seven years of saving Earth.

Sam was momentarily floored, "Are you sure, sir?"

The Colonel smiled wryly, "Jack."

Sam blushed again, "Are you sure Jack?"

"If this has taught me anything, it's that you only live once, well in your case 'twice', and so you've got to seize what you can with both hands."

Grinning Sam replied, "That sounded suspiciously like a cliché."

Jack shrugged, "Well I think the occasion merits it."

Sam nodded, "Oh of course, romantic declarations in a prison cell before guards come dragging us off in opposite directions – definitely cliché."

"Hey I haven't declared anything of the sort."

"Well neither have I."

Jack's mind instantly sprung back to the letter safely tucked away at home, he would have brought it up but decided that was for another conversation. And so instead he said, "Well at least they can't court martial us then."

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

"How shall we proceed my Lord?"

The man to whom this was addressed was clothed in his customary attire; a rather dauntingly large black cloak and was standing erect on a platform as the Frosyan who had asked the question kneeled before him.

"We still need the woman; she is not to be harmed. The other two are to remain imprisoned until I find a use for them."

Toron bowed his head, "Yes my Lord."

"What progress had been made prior to this incursion?"

"Regretfully, none my Lord."

Lord Frosya appeared none too pleased with such an answer, "Bring her to me."

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

"How shall we proceed O'Neill?" Teal'c asked. Jack could always rely on him to get them focussed and back on track; the only problem this time was that he didn't really have an answer. There were three guards posted outside, and as stupid as they looked, those no-brainers weren't going to hand over the keys just because he remembered to add a 'pretty please.'

"If I had a plan D, I'd have told you already."

Sam looked up at him, "Plan D?" she mouthed silently.

Jack shook his head at her, "Don't ask."

Her expression replaced the words 'okaay then . . .' deciding she'd rather voice her decidedly more important sentiments.

"You know sir, they haven't found Daniel yet. If he was going to get caught, he should have been caught already, which means-"

"He's still out there," Jack nodded, "Well let us hope."

"Hope for what Colonel?"

Grimacing Jack turned around and found him facing the mad scientist and Hans the pain in the ass.

"For a nicer view maybe?" Jack returned smoothly staring pointedly at the two less than handsome Frosyans.

"If you cooperate then we will see if that can be arranged."

"That's great, thank you," Jack smiled with an overly syrupy charm. If Toron or Hans caught on to the Colonel's flippancy, they made no show of it.

"We would like Major Carter to accompany us."

And just like that the Colonel's tone flipped on its head and hardened, "I don't think so." The words had a very déjà vu feeling to them, but that didn't mean Jack was any less serious. Letting Sam out of his sight would never again be an option he would ever agree to.

"We would prefer not having to resort to force."

Jack scoffed, "Of course you wouldn't force anyone to build a bomb for genocide for you, would you?"

Hans quite easily ignored the barb and nodded to the guards to unlock the cell. If Jack had been armed with a single weapon he might have taken his chances and tried to get passed the guards as they opened up the cell, but without even so much as a measly little knife, the probability of escaping was close to nil.

The guards were quickly approaching Sam, their intent perfectly clear. Sam, had quite calmly stood up, preparing herself to be dragged goodness knew where, but there'd be hell if Jack was just going to stand there and watch her being taken. Marching forward, he planted himself firmly between Sam and the two guards.

"I said," he spat, "I don't think so."

The guards looked neither nonplussed nor amused as they moved forward to not so kindly shove the uncooperative Colonel out of the way, but they found their target being propelled backwards.

Sam having grabbed a hold of the Colonel's hand tugged him away from the guards.

"I'll be fine," she whispered when he fixed her with an intense glare.

Jack didn't look convinced.

"They won't hurt me. They need me remember."

He still didn't look convinced.

"Jack," she said, "I'll be back, I promise." With that she squeezed his hand, hoping he wouldn't fight her on this. She could literally see him struggling inside and then he squeezed back, his decision made, "Fine, I'm holding you to that promise though Major."

Sam smiled, "Yes sir."

Letting go of the comfort of the warm hand, Sam moved passed him. Two guards grabbed hold of each of her arms and pulled her forward. Once outside the cell, the third guard relocked the cell. Sam gave both the Colonel and Teal'c one final glance over her left shoulder before disappearing out the door, followed closely by Toron and Hans.

Jack knew Sam wasn't a liar, but he couldn't help but feel ill at ease, "Hurry up Daniel," he whispered into the stale air, hoping his friend had miraculously heard him somehow.

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

A/N 2: That conversation between Sam and Jack at the beginning of this chapter had a mind of its own; at one point I seriously did think I was gonna leave it all angsty with Sam and Jack accepting that nothing was gonna happen between them, that way I could have linked it into the season 7 storyline and Sam could move on with Pete . . . but I really really don't like Pete . . . so I changed my mind! Let me know what you think, please leave a review!