By Kate Carter 3 – Jacob Carter
Disclaimer: "Stargate" and all related characters are not mine; if they were, I would own a heck of a lot more than a saddle, a laptop, and a 1990 Mazda which is, as my friend put it, "so crappy you can leave it unlocked anywhere because no one wants to steal it."
A/N: This story is based on the premise that there is rarely such a thing as an instant death. While Jacob Carter is a little different, since he and Selmak knew they were dying, I went ahead and did it anyway. For an explanation of the premises of this theory, read "Last Thoughts" chapter one, about Janet.
Spoilers: "Threads", slight "Secrets" and "The Tok'ra"
Other content: Sam/Jack
Archives: Pretty much anyone who wants it, but if you want to archive it on a personal site, ask me first.
I've always wanted three things in life; marry a beautiful woman, raise a family, and make sure my kids are happy.
Well, I did the first, and I had nearly twenty wonderful years with my wife, which I will always be thankful for. I only regret that my job kept me away so much, and that we didn't have more time together. I loved her, I still do.
It was her death that made me realize just how precious that is. We should take it whenever we can, because it's not going to last. The love of your life can be taken away from you at any time.
I wish Sam knew that.
I did the second thing too; I was the father of two wonderful kids. Mark was always the athlete; he did it all, football, basketball, baseball, track. Sam was a scientist from the day she was born. One of the first words she ever learned was "why?" Why is the sky blue, Daddy? Why does chocolate melt if you hold it? Why do worms eat dirt when they could have grass instead?
I feel like I've failed at number three.
For so many years after their mother died, Mark was furious with me. It was only because Selmak forced us to talk that we finally reconciled, nearly twenty years after it happened. We have something of an uneasy peace now, and I don't think his old grudge will ever go away completely. I think he's happy, though, with his wife and children.
And Sam…will Sam ever be happy? She told me she was, but I don't believe it. I've seen the way she looks at him. She loves him, as much as I loved her mother. And if something happened to him, she will die. Not physically, but mentally. Emotionally. Her soul will die, and that is the most tragic thing that can happen. I had the ability to be with the one I loved, but Sam doesn't. There are rules. Oh Sam, don't let rules stand in your way…don't let them keep you from Jack.
Jack. Jack is a good man. A little flippant, at times, distrustful, annoyingly sarcastic, but he's dedicated to doing what's right. He's willing to sacrifice everything for her. She doesn't realize that, thinks he's willing to do what he does for the SGC. It's more than that, it's for her. All for her. I've seen the pain in his eyes flare whenever Pete's name is mentioned. I didn't like Pete from the start.
"Dad, this is Pete."
"Not quite yet. You have to actually marry my daughter before you can call me that."
I wonder if it escaped Sam's notice that Jack O'Neill has called me Dad for years, and I've never complained.
Of course, it didn't help that he went right on to insulting Selmak. Sam looked uncomfortable. I don't understand why she's marrying him.
Yes, I do. It's because she believes she can't have O'Neill.
I am sorry, Jacob Selmak whispers faintly, and then, with a mental sigh, faintly, he dies. And for the first time in four years, I am alone in my own head, and struck with the certainty that death is looming at the door for me. And I feel tired, so tired, and weak.
"Sam," I whisper to one of the Tok'ra saying their goodbyes to me. He motions for Sam to come down from the observation room. Dimly, I realize that she is in there, leaning against O'Neill, Jack's arm around her shoulder. With my energy fading, I give one last smile. Maybe things will work out for you after all, Sammy.
She comes to me, picks up my hand, kisses my forehead. My baby girl. I open my eyes and look at her one last time. My strength is going so quickly. "I love you," I tell her, barely able to get the words out. I can no longer keep my eyes open. "I love you too, Dad," she whispers, with a sob catching in her throat at the end. Sounds are becoming muffled, soft, sensations dulled. I feel my heart give one last thump in my chest, before quivering into stillness. And I remember.
Remember my brother and I playing on the living room floor, listening to the radio giving reports on the latest wave of Nazi airstrikes in England.
Remember my nerves melting away and feeling love and pride as I watched the woman I was marrying walk down the aisle to meet me.
Remember the squalling of my newborn son and looking with pride into my wife's tired eyes as she cried with joy.
Remember the cries of my newborn daughter, as I pick up her hand and she wraps her tiny fingers around my pinky, clutching so tightly.
Remember the tears running down my face as I hug my wife and children goodbye before leaving for Vietnam.
Remember the shock and horror of that phone call…"I'm sorry, Major Carter, but your wife was in an accident…"
Remember the visit to the doctor's office…"I'm sorry, General Carter, but it's terminal."
Remember my first trip through the Stargate, meeting Selmak and Saroosh…"Kiss me…"
Remember serving mission after mission for the Tok'ra with my friend and partner, Selmak.
Remember learning, without surprise, the results of the za'tarc testing.
Remember reconciling with Mark after so many years.
Remember my sorrow as I felt Selmak slipping away from me.
And now, things fade…
…and become black…