Sam looked at her left hand nervously as she waited for Mark. Pete had wanted to be there when she told Mark that they were engaged, but he had been unexpectedly detained at work.
Suddenly, she saw her brother approach her table. "Sam! You look great! Love your hair!"
She chuckled as she stood up to hug her brother. "Thanks! It's nice to see you too."
They both sat down and the waitress handed Mark a menu. "So, what's new?"
She swallowed. "Not a whole lot…"
Mark raised an eyebrow. "Uh huh…that's not what it sounded like when you called me and asked me to meet you for lunch."
She laughed. "Okay…I'm getting married."
He looked at her, shocked. "What?"
She swallowed, nervously. "I'm getting married…to Pete Shanahan."
Mark knit his eyebrows together in confusion. "Pete?"
She grew more uncomfortable. "Yes…"
"I thought you'd stopped seeing each other."
"What!" She asked, incredulously.
"Look, I'm sorry…you just hadn't said anything about him…not that we really get to talk anymore…" He said, trying to calm her down. "I guess I just expected to hear you say that you were retiring and marrying Jack."
"Jack?" She asked.
"Yeah. I mean, I know you've had a thing for him for years."
"Oh really?" She asked.
"Sam, let's stop talking about this…you're getting upset, and I don't want us to fight. Okay?"
They managed to calm down and talk about other things, and by the time they were finished with their lunch, Sam was feeling better about the whole thing. She got into the rental car and turned on the radio as she drove back to the airport for her flight back to Colorado Springs.
Now, it's time to tell the guys, she thought. She had it all planned, she was going to invite them to her house for a team night, and Pete was going to be there, and Jack would…she took a deep breath. Jack…Pete…okay, that wasn't going to work.
She felt instantaneously exhausted at the prospect of telling him…them…that she was engaged. She sat in silence when the words of the song on the radio came floating into her mind.Listen to your heart
When he's calling for you…
A plethora of images flooded her mind. Not images of Pete, but of Jack. Instantly, she heard his voice as if he was calling her right then."Carter! Fall back!"
Her pulse had begun racing, and even now, she could almost feel the dirt that was thrown up from the staff weapons firing upon them.
"Sir, you can't take this fortress alone!" She had countered.
"That's an order!" There was silence, and he turned back to her. "We're no taking the fortress anymore."
She hurried to the DHD and hid behind it, still firing at their enemy. "Dial it up, Daniel!"
Daniel continued to dial with Sam covering him. By the time SG-1 managed to get through the Gate, Sam was heaving for breath and nursing her wounded leg.
Sam could feel her heart start pounding as Jack came through the Gate, his shoulder injured. "You okay, Carter?" He asked.
She was nearly breathless at the sound of his voice. The warm, tender way that he said her name…
She jerked her head back toward him. "I'm fine, sir. How 'bout you?"
He winced as the medic moved his shoulder to examine it. "I've been better."
A car horn brought her out of her reverie. She had never really allowed herself to see the signs- the evidence that she had fallen for Jack…hard. Blast that song! She thought almost angrily.
Listen to your heart
When he's calling for you!
Listen to your heart
There's nothing else you can do!
I don't know where you're going
And I don't know why,
Listen to your heart
Before you tell him good-bye.
The song kept playing through her mind as she arrived and checked in at the airport. She boarded the plane, and sat there for a few seconds. As she did so, she saw that the light had perfectly caught on her engagement ring. She took a deep breath, and sighed as tears came to her eyes. She wasn't able to do it…she couldn't marry Pete. It wasn't fair to him, her or Jack…if he cared, that is. She reached for her cell phone and dialed Pete's cell.
"Pete, it's me, Sam."
"Hey, Baby. How did Mark take it?"
"Pete, you and I need to talk."
"Talk away, Baby."
"No, Pete, I'm on the plane. I need to meet you when I get into Denver."
"I'll pick you up." He suggested.
"No, I'll meet you at the park right in front of the station."
"Sam, honey, what's wrong?"
The flight attendant motioned to her phone. "Pete, I've gotta go. I'll call you when I land."
She hung up, and stared at the phone, tears threatening to fall down her cheeks. How would she be able to live with herself? How could she just break his heart like she had Jonas's? That sent a chill up her spine. Jonas had almost killed Jack. If it hadn't been for Daniel and Teal'c, Jack would be dead…if only she'd had the courage to pull the trigger!
"You gonna be okay?" She recalled Jack asking.
"I should have killed him…he gave me the chance…he asked me to do it!"
"You know, Carter, I'm no expert on this thing," he said, motioning to Jonas's bible. "But I do remember one commandment…I think it's the first."
"Thou shalt have no gods before me?"
"Uh, no…I'm talking about the 'no killing' one…Every time we break it, we get closer to being like Hansen…"
"You gonna be okay?" The man seated next to her asked, studying her.
"Yeah, just thinking."
Her thoughts were turbulent as the flight progressed. Then, they landed and as she walked into the terminal from the plane, she saw Pete. He held two Starbucks coffee cups in his hands, and his face lit up when he saw her.
She walked up to him and he handed her one of the coffee cups. "Iced Caramel Latte for the Madame."
She looked down at her feet. "Pete, I told you not to pick me up."
"What? You don't like caramel? I could have sworn you said it was your favorite." He said looking at the cup. Sam cracked a small smile.
"Thanks, Pete…for the coffee, but…"She saw a couple of empty chairs nearby. "Let's sit down."
They sat and Pete looked at Sam while he brushed some strands of hair from her face. "You know, you're always beautiful, but you look especially beautiful after you travel."
The pain grew more and more intense. "Dammit, Pete. Stop that!"
He pulled his hand away, wounded, and Sam felt tears of frustration and anger give way…both emotions directed to herself and Pete.
"Pete, I'm sorry…I know you're trying to help, but…the truth is…" She took the ring from her finger. "I can't marry you." She held the ring out to him.
"What?" A stunned Pete finally managed.
The dam broke inside her. "Pete…I just…I don't love you…as much as I should…you're a good man…and I care for you deeply…but…I can't marry you…to hide from my feelings for…" She stopped herself. This is going badly, she thought. Then again, didn't all breakups go badly?
"Jack." He finished.
She looked at him; his eyes were full of painful understanding.
"How long have you known?" She asked, her voice barely a whisper.
"Ever since the first time I saw you two together."
She closed her eyes. "I'm sorry."
He continued. "I stayed with you because I hoped that maybe you would see how much I love you."
Tears flooded her eyes. "I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to hurt you."
He nodded. "I know. Listen, I've got to go back to work. Call me sometime, we'll get coffee and…never mind. Bye Sam."
He walked away, and Sam sat there, just watching. In a way, he had become a security blanket, something she could use to shield her eyes from frightening insecurities…but now he was gone.
She managed to get to her car, and began driving toward her house. Then, she changed her mind and began heading to Cheyenne Mountain. She showed her ID at the entrance of the base when she got there, and walked to her lab. In some ways, it was more home to her than her house.
"Carter?" The warm, tender baritone voice greeted her as Jack entered the lab.
Listen to your heart
When he's calling for you…
She jumped and turned to face her CO. "Oh, hi Sir."
"Where ya been?" He asked, eyeing a couple of her 'doohickeys.'
"I went to see my brother."
"You were only gone fore about 8 hours…" he pointed out.
"Since when do you keep track of when I'm on and off the base?" She asked, watching his movements, and he was getting dangerously close to her projects.
"So, how's Pete?" Jack asked, attempting to distract her.
"Miserable." She responded, pretending to be lured into the trap.
" 'Cuz he didn't get to go?" He asked, reaching for the goa'uld cloaking device that Sam was currently studying.
She quickly snatched it away from him. "No."
He pouted. "I was so close."
"I had your number the whole time, Buster." She replied. "But anyways, he's miserable because I broke up with him."
"You what?" Jack asked, nearly choking. "Sam, I…I didn't know."
" I just wasn't being very honest with either one of us." She paused. "It really was for the best."
"Well, if you need anything…"Jack began.
"Sir, have you ever considered remarrying?" She asked, spontaneously, surprising even herself with the question.
"Uh…once or twice." He said, swallowing in surprise and discomfort.
"Sorry, sir." Sam said, blushing. "I don't know why that came out of my mouth."
"No, it's okay, Carter…it's a valid question."
"No, it was out of line, and it embarrassed both of us…"
"Oh, for crying out loud, Carter…I've asked more embarrassing questions than anyone else on this base. So keep your shirt on. I'm not going to sue you or anything. Okay?"
She nodded, submissively.
There was an awkward silence, and Jack cleared his throat. "So, I guess your evenings just got freer."
"Yeah, I guess."
"So, would you be free to go to dinner with me on Thursday night?"
"Yeah." Then, she looked up from the floor and saw the gleam in his eyes. "You mean…on…a date?"
He shrugged. "I mean, if you don't want to…that's okay."
"But the regs…"
"Screw the regs…I don't care about them anymore. We won't tell anyone about this 'date,' but if something serious develops, I'll retire. I'm not as young as I used to be…"
"No, I'll take a civilian scientist position…"
Jack started laughing. "We're already fighting like an old married couple." He took a deep breath. "So, you still up for dinner?"
She nodded. "Yeah."
"Great…oh, and dress up." He added as he walked out the door.
She smiled. She was going to be okay…maybe it wasn't a blasted song after all. Maybe it was a kick in the pants to do what she should have done a long time ago.
Okay, I know it's probably not plausible that she would fly out to California just to meet Mark for lunch so that she could tell him that she's getting married, but get over it...it's fiction.
Also, Jonas is not the Season 6 Jonas Quinn, he's Jonas Hansen from "The First Commandment" as in Sam's former fiancee, Hansen...the dead one.
Hope you liked it. Just review...Review...Review!