Author- Vicky Ocean
Summary- Sam is unhappy at the SGC. Set in Season 10.
Spoilers- Vague for Season 9 and 10
Pairing- Sam/Jack- established
BIG, HUGE THANKS to sjhwtolerance and jadestrick for betaing for me.
A/N- This is an attempt to explain how I think Sam must feel at about what I see as the marginalization of her place on SG-1 and how the team has been run (or not) these last two seasons. Not everyone will like this fic, because opinions on the new SG-1 are quite divided. That's fine. I enjoy hearing all points of view, so if you think I'm way off base, tell me.
After another long exasperating day Sam used the personal transporter Thor had gifted them with as a wedding present. A second later she materialized in the bedroom of their Washington townhouse. It was late. Much later than she would have liked, but it had been another arduous day at the SGC. Her time there had become increasingly frustrating and she really just longed to have a nice hot bath and then collapse in bed. She glanced around the room. The bed was empty and she could faintly hear the TV from downstairs. She trudged down the stairs to find Jack stretched out on the couch watching TV with a beer and a bag of Doritos in his hands. He merely glanced up at her with a little smile and said, "Hey."
"Hey," she replied but couldn't muster a smile in return. She pushed at his feet and he shifted them from the couch to the coffee table. Sam plunked down on beside him and immediately slumped against his side, her head falling heavily on his shoulder.
Jack muted the TV and asked, "You okay?"
"No," she affirmed.
"You want to tell Uncle Jack about it?"
That elicited a snort from her, but not quite the smile or laugh she knew he had been going for. "No, I'd really prefer to not think of you as any familial relation other than my husband."
He reached for her hand and gave it a squeeze. "Yeah, I kinda like that one myself."
They sat in silence for a while, Sam really wasn't sure how to bring up what was bothering her to Jack. Not only was he her husband, he was also head of Homeworld Security. So she sat there staring down at their joined hands, both now covered in orange Dorito dust.
"So?" Jack asked, finally breaking the uneasy silence.
"So, if you don't want to talk to Uncle Jack, how about Mr. Carter?"
That earned a guffaw, a little higher on the amused scale than a snort. Sam lifted her head from his shoulder and gave him a brief smile. "Mr. Carter. I like the sound of that."
"I thought you might." He released her hand and reached his arm around her shoulders pulling her closer into his embrace. "You gonna tell me what's on your mind?" He ran a hand through her hair massaging her scalp with his fingers and all she could really think about was that her hair would now smell like Doritos.
"I don't think I want to be on SG-1 anymore."
"Why?" he asked quietly. She knew he'd be a little stunned. She hadn't confided any of her misgivings about the new and supposedly improved SG-1 before. She had thought conditions on the team would improve and even out with time, but they had only gotten worse. She also hadn't wanted any interference from on high by General O'Neill, no matter how well intentioned.
"It's not the same anymore. When you got promoted things changed, but we were still a team. Now it's just a group of five individuals. It's more like SG-Me instead of SG-1," Sam told him with a great deal more bitterness in her tone than she had intended.
"Well, from the reports I'm getting it seems SG-1 is still doing great."
"That's just it. We're not. It looks good on the surface. We've been so damn lucky so far. It's just a big mess. Everyone just goes off and does whatever they please with no regard to what should be done."
Jack paused his scalp ministrations. "Carter, is this about not being CO of SG-1?"
"No!" she said jerking away from him mildly appalled that he would suggest such a thing. She wasn't jealous of Cam. It kind of stung that she hadn't been offered command again, but her misgivings were more due to his lack of experience. At least she hoped it wasn't just petty jealousy clouding her perception of things.
Jack just sat there and eyed her calmly. "Sam, this is me you're talking to. Might as well be honest."
Sam sighed and took a deep breath. The CO issue was one of the reasons she had never brought her concerns up with General Landry or Jack before. "No, not really. I didn't even want to come back, but once I did I might have been a little, uh, miffed that I wasn't offered command. You know me, Jack. You know I wouldn't let that get in the way of doing my job the best I can."
"I know, Carter. You don't have to convince me. I'm just making sure."
"Mainly, I just don't understand why a man with so little ground combat experience and no special forces training is leading the premier offworld team."
Jack cleared his throat, "When I told Mitchell he could do whatever he wanted, I meant he could be on SG-1, not lead it. I was surprised that Hank actually made him CO. I thought he would pull Dixon or another of the more experienced commanders to lead SG-1. But it wasn't my call."
"It's not that Cam isn't capable of being a great leader. He did a great job with his F-302 squadron, but there's a big difference than being a fighter pilot than being on an offworld team. He's reckless. He runs around like crazy space cowboy. Like he's Han Solo or Malcolm Reynolds or something. He- "
"Hold on," he interrupted. "Who's Malcolm Reynolds?"
"The captain of the ship on Firefly."
"Oh, yeah, the Old West in space. I liked that. Sorry. Continue."
"He just doesn't seem to understand that this is real life and not some wacky space opera. Someone's going to get hurt or killed."
"Why haven't you brought this up to Hank?" Jack asked. She could tell he was truly concerned by what she was saying. No matter who was leading it, SG-1 would always be his team. No matter how far their friendships seemed to drift apart, Jack would always consider them family and always be concerned for them.
"I didn't want him to think I was upset that I wasn't reinstated as CO."
He nodded, "What do Daniel and Teal'c have to say about this?"
"Nothing," Sam responded. At his raised eyebrow she elaborated, "Daniel's happy that he gets to run off and do whatever he pleases. Cam lets him do whatever he wants whether he should or not. And Teal'c, I don't know," she shrugged. "He mostly just seems amused. I think he just really, really hates thinking about going back to Dakara and getting consumed by insane Jaffa politics, so he's willing to just hang around and be entertained by the wacky humans."
Jack sighed heavily. Sam could see he really didn't like what he was hearing. She hated to burden him with this. And she hated sounding like a tattle-tale.
It hurt her to see the sadness in his eyes at the mention of Daniel and Teal'c. Though he would never admit Jack had been deeply hurt how their friendship, with Daniel in particular, had drifted so far a field. Teal'c had made several trips to Washington, once even with Jonas Quinn, to visit Jack. The only time Daniel had made the journey was during the Appropriations Committee hearing and then he was more concerned about getting himself disentangled from Vala than making time for his old friend.
When Jack managed to make it to Colorado Springs, Daniel was so immersed in Ancient texts that he had little time to renew their friendship. Even then he treated Jack more like the head of Homeworld Security by lecturing him on the dangers of the Ori, rather than his old friend Jack. Sam didn't really think that Daniel did it on purpose. He just tended to get so wound up in what's going on around him in his immediate sphere that he doesn't give much thought to anyone that isn't right there with him, even then his mind is rather one track.
The truth was the distance had started when Jack had been head of the SGC. He had a whole base to be concerned about than just one team and Daniel didn't always get that. Daniel was a brilliant guy, but he really needed someone to kick him in the ass every once in a while to make him see the broader picture and not just the detail his mind focused on. Jack had been good at that. Cam not so much.
"I don't think Cam means to let everyone run wild, " Sam told him. Cam had been her friend since the Academy and she felt slightly guilty at criticizing him so. "But he's a little in awe of the original SG-1 members. Some times I wonder if he and Felger aren't meeting up secretly."
"Let us hope not. So what about this Vala person? What's she doing?"
"You mean besides flirting with anything that has a dick?" Sam laughed cynically. "I'm sorry. Did that sound bitter?"
Jack laughed, "Just a tad."
"Seriously, Jack. I really don't understand why she's on SG-1. She has no skill or special knowledge to recommend her."
"Well, what about her knowledge of the Goa'uld?"
"It's been a long time since she was a host so any information she might have is way out of date. Besides we're not even really fighting the Goa'uld anymore. Sometimes I think she has some of that stuff Hathor had to make all the men subservient and libidinous."
"I thought we said we'd never mention Hathor again."
"Sorry," she patted his hand in mocking comfort.
Jack leaned back into the couch and she studied his face as he mulled over what she had said. After a bit he sighed again, a bit unhappily. "I suppose I'll have to talk to Hank about this."
"No," Sam told him firmly. "I talked to you about this as my husband, not as General O'Neill. If Landry can't see what's going on under his nose, you are not going to him and tell him your wife is a tattle-tale"
"Y'know, I may not be known for my tact, but that's not the way I would go about it."
"No matter what you say they'll all know it came from me."
"So what do you want to do about the situation?"
Sam's head fell back on his shoulder and she groped for his hand. "I'm going to resign from SG-1," she told him a little sadly.
He gave her hand a squeeze. "Sam, if you're not happy on SG-1 then don't stay there. But you really need to talk to Hank about this. I know you're a little bit mad right now, but-"
"Ah," he cut her off with a raised finger.
She huffed, but remained quiet as he continued, "I know you. And I know you would never forgive yourself if something happened that you could have prevented. I know you don't won't people accusing you of using your husband's power to get what you want. Hank's a good guy. Maybe it's true he doesn't respect your abilities quite the same way Hammond and I did, but he'll listen fairly to your concerns. "
It was Sam's turn to sigh, "You're right, Jack. I guess I'm a little upset. I'll talk to Landry, but I'm still leaving SG-1."
Jack let his head rest on top of hers. "You know I'll support you in anything you want to do."
"I know. Thank you."
"Always." He turned is head slightly and pressed a kiss into her hair. "You smell like Doritos."