A/N: Whenever I hear 'Hate Me' by Blue October on the radio, I always think of Sam dying and what Jack would do.

'Sort of' is such a funny phrase. It can change the meaning of anything: "I have good news - sort of." "She's dead - sort of." "I'll marry you - sort of." "I'm single... sort of."

What was left of SG-1 walked slowly back to the Stargate, where they would have to travel back to Earth and tell a very lonely, important man that the woman he gave his heart to so many times was dead.

Well, she wasn't dead exactly – she ascended with the help of Oma. But both men knew that Jack O'Neill wouldn't see it that way. She was dead – gone forever.

Daniel and Teal'c were silent as the iris closed behind them. Both were beaten very badly, but it wasn't nearly as bad as what she had gone through. They brought back no body with them – they couldn't, only her dog tags.

The 'Gate room and control room were both silent as the SF's and technicians watched two of the infamous heroes known as SG-1 walk down the ramp and hand over their weapons somberly as the medics rushed to the scene to check their injuries. General O'Neill walked with them.

"Where's Carter?" O'Neill asked, the growing pit of despair in his stomach already answering his question. But he needed to hear it from the two men sitting on the gurneys in front of him. He needed them to tell him what had happened.

Teal'c wordlessly opened his fist and handed the dog tags to the General. No words were said between the two, but Daniel knew that they were needed.

"She's not dead, Jack."

His haunted eyes met the younger man's, "Then where is she?"

"She ascended."

Jack's world went blank after those words. She had left him. That was all he heard. She left him to go gallivanting across time and space in a "higher plane of existence". It didn't matter to him that technically she wasn't really dead – she wasn't there. He could never hear her beautiful laugh again. He could never again see her wonderfully blue eyes light up when she received a new "toy" to play with. She was gone. And somehow, Jack knew that it was his fault.

Of course, no one but the archeologist and Jaffa knew what was going on in Jack's mind. To the rest of the staff of the SGC, he was stone faced and uncaring about the death of their lead scientist.

If only they knew the truth.


Jack walked into his house, a bag full of hard liquor in his arms. He shut the door with a bang, his mind disgusted with himself even before the first bottle of scotch was opened. All he wanted to do was crawl up into a hole and die. At least then he'd be closer to her. At least then he couldn't feel the searing pain of her abandonment.

He had thought that they were finally getting their acts together. That they were finally going to take that step between dancing around the issue to going out dancing after dinner. Apparently he was wrong. And he didn't like being wrong … at least, no to anyone beside her. The only time it didn't grate his nerves was when her bright blue eyes were there to explain that unexplainable to him.

He opened a bottle of scotch in anger, his demons taunting him that she had wanted to leave. That it was all his fault – again. Jack couldn't listen to them anymore, so he turned on the radio to the station Cassie had turned it to the last time she had been over.

I have to block out thoughts of you so I don't lose my head
They crawl in like a cockroach leaving
babies in my bed
Dropping little reels of tape to remind me that I'm alone
Playing movies in my head that make a porno feel like home
There's a burning in my pride, a nervous bleeding in my brain
An ounce of peace is all I want for you. Will you never
call again?
And will you never say that you love me just to put it in my
And will you never try to reach me?
It is I that wanted space

Hate me today
Hate me tomorrow
Hate me so you can finally see what's good for you

What the hell? Did everyone in the whole damn world know that she had left him? Or was this her message to him? But he could never hate her, and she knew it. His demons started taunting him again, about how the line between love and hate grows thinner and thinner the more you care about someone, but he could barely take it.

Why the hell had she left? He thought there had been something there … something they were going to act on. Hell, she finally agreed to go fishing with him at his pond with no fish! Didn't that mean anything anymore?

Hate me in ways
Yeah ways hard to swallow
Hate me so you can finally see what's good for you

And with a sad heart I say bye to you and wave
Kicking shadows on the street for every mistake that I had made
And like a
baby boy I never was a man
Until I
saw your blue eyes crying and I held your face in my hand
And then I fell down yelling "make it go away!"
Just make a smile come back and shine just like it used to be
And then she whispered "How can you do this to me?"

Hate me today
Hate me tomorrow
Hate me for all the things I didn't do for you

Hate me in ways
Yeah ways hard to swallow
Hate me so you can finally see what's good for you

He let the lyrics of the song wash over him, the grief of the songwriter mingling with his own. He brought the bottle of scotch back up to his lips, only to find another hand there, refusing to let him drink. Her blue eyes looked back at his, worry and love the only emotions shown there.

With her other hand, she turned off the radio, effectively ending the torture Jack had inflicted upon himself for losing her. Her warmth, seeping into his body through her fingers, which were delicately placed over his, penetrated into his mind and he realized that this was not some sick fantasy his demons had conjured up to torment him with, but this was, in fact, his Carter.

"You left," Jack mumbled, gathering her into a tight, fierce hug in his attempt to reassure himself that she was alive.

Her arms wrapped around him, wanting to feel him just as much as he needed to feel her. "I came back," she whispered, unsure of what he would do, while knowing exactly what she wanted him to do.

Soon Jack's lips were covering Sam's. In between kisses he muttered, "God, Sam, I love you so much. Don't scare me like that ever again."

Sam pulled him back into a passionate kiss that left them both gasping for air. When they pulled apart she said, "I love you, too. It was the only way I knew I could see you again. Forgive me, Jack."

His answer came, not through words, but actions. All through the rest of the night, Jack and Sam showed each other how much they loved and had missed the other. Nothing but the two of them mattered until the morning.

A/N: I'm a hopeless romantic. I'm sorry if you hate the ending, but I just COULDN'T let Sam stay ascended when we all know that ascended beings can choose to retake human form whenever they want to. Remember Orlin? Now, please review and tell me what you think.