Unbeatable
by Lesleyp

Rating: Teens
Category: Drama, MissingScene, Romance, Hurt/Comfort
Season: SG-1 Season Nine
Related SG-1 Episode(s): 910 The Fourth Horseman, Part 1, 911 The Fourth Horseman, Part 2
Featured Character(s): Jack ONeill, Samantha Carter, Tealc, Hank Landry, Carolyn Lam
Pairing(s): Sam/Jack
Summary: Story takes place between the lines of The Fourth Horseman episodes. Major spoilers and I recommend reader watch the eps first. Hope shippers like the ending.

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Sam walked slowly back to her office from the infirmary. Orlin was not doing well, but she knew he was in the most capable hands with Dr. Lam. She only hoped that he could hang on long enough to help them finish the formula. It would be no good though if Cam and Daniel were unsuccessful.

Upon entering her office, Sam sat in her chair and rested her head on her arms on the desk. She knew she was tired. Dr. Lee was right. Sleep deprivation exacted a heavy toll on thought processes. What the hell was wrong with her! Hoping Orlin would make it long enough to help finish the formula! It wasn't that many years ago she had been in love with him.

Well not quite true, but she could've fallen. She had really, really liked him. And since Jack had been very out of the question, Sam had started to give in to the possibility of her and Orlin. And now she was feeling nothing more than...what?...very uncomfortable. That's what. He was just a boy. A boy that had revealed to her that he still had those same feelings for her. And Sam felt...repulsed. He had descended again to try and save them, to save her, and she was feeling repulsed. She felt ashamed, but couldn't help it.

Her personal cell phone began to ring. She opened the desk drawer and pulled it from her purse and flipped it open.

"Colonel Carter", she said warily into the cell phone.

"Hey...thought we got these personal phones so you could just answer with a Hello lover boy" he joked. "And don't start calling me lover boy by the way".

"Hey, sir, I mean Jack, I mean..."

"Wow...you must be tired. Just leave names and titles out for now, K? ...so how ya doin?"

"Tired. How are things up there?"

"Great...couldn't be better...well except for that sweet little plague going around...other than that..."

"Workin on it sir."

"Uh huh", commented Jack, wincing at the sir. "Are you feeling ok ...any ... you know...symptoms?"

"No sir, I'm fine. Just tired."

There's that sir again, he thought. Something didn't feel right. They had both obtained personal cell phones weeks ago so it would be easier for them to... chat. They both knew it was still traceable, but were willing to take the chance. About the same time they had set up anonymous email accounts on their home computers with Again, traceable, but unless someone had a reason to go looking, it was less of a risk than using A.F. equip.

"So..." He tried again, "I hear Orlins back."

"What?" asked Sam. She knew that Landry would've completely briefed Jack, so she wondered where he was going with this.

"Just sayin...hear Orlins back...how's that going for you?" Jack asked quietly.

He knew that the whole Orlin thing had been tough on Sam. He had been worried that the combination of exhaustion over trying to create a weapon to combat the Priors, then the plague, now Orlin appearing as a boy, would be stretching Sam to the limit. He was worried about her.

"Are you Jealous?" she asked incredulously.

"NO!...I'm just concerned...about you!" He defended.

"You're jealous. Great! Like I don't have enough to deal with right now. It was your idea to wait until you retire you know", she accused hotly.

"What the hell is that supposed to mean!" Jack was totally taken off guard by the hostility in her tone.

"You wanted to wait, now there's a plague spreading that I'm not sure we can stop. And if this keeps up you'll be quarantined in Washington. I could be dead by the time this is over or you could be, or both of us. So much for your retirement or us ever being together. And now you're jealous because Orlin came back to help me." Anger evident in her tone. Then, "He at least cares enough about me to risk... never mind" she left it unfinished.

"O...k..." Jack let out a heavy sigh, not knowing where to go with this. "I can't deal with this right now. I'm glad you're not... infected. Bye Sam, good luck."

"Jack, I'm sorry", Sam tried to reconcile, but realized too late she was speaking into dead air, he had hung up.

Well that went well, he thought sarcastically to himself as he turned off his personal cell and stuffed it into his inside jacket pocket. What the hell was that all about?

Before he had time to think any more about the uncharacteristic phone call with Sam, his desk phone rang. It was his assistant. He was needed at the Oval office...now.

Sam returned to the infirmary after hearing General Landry's announcement. The United States of America was now officially under quarantine by Presidential order. She wondered if Jack had anything to do with that. Guess I put the thought in his head, she angrily thought to herself. The brass would be held up in Washington to try and prevent them from becoming infected. Which meant Jack would not be coming. Where did that come from? she wondered.

As she sat and watched Orlin sleeping she couldn't help but go over again her last conversation with Jack. What had she hoped to gain by goading him? Why had she been so angry with him? Slowly she allowed the truth to dawn on her. She wanted him there, with her. She wanted it to be him helping her out with this, not Orlin.

Jack's intelligence was often underestimated, for many years even by her. But he had a way of breaking down the most complex issues. Cutting to the chase, he called it. Sam could always think things through better when Jack was around. Even the hardest problems were solved by just a couple of words from him. He simplified things, broke it down in such a way, that even the most difficult problems seemed to have simple solutions.

She knew this was part of the reason she had fallen in love with him. She also knew that Jack would not have been able to help with this. Without Orlin's help, they didn't stand a chance. Still watching Orlin sleep she began to feel ungrateful. He had given up so much, and she could never reciprocate, especially not now. Not in the form he was in. Not now that she was so in love with Jack.

And then she began to feel guilty for how she had treated Jack on the phone. Is that what Jack was afraid of? Her track record with men was not all that good after all, she chided herself. Did he ever doubt her feelings for him and wonder if she would reciprocate if he risked everything... to be with her? Sam shook her head trying to clear these thoughts. Jack was afraid of nothing, she told herself. She was just tired and had a job to do. Let's get to it then, she silently ordered herself.

Back in her lab Sam tried to call Jack. No answer at home and his personal cell was turned off so she logged onto the internet and sent an email to his personal address from hers.

To: Flyboy From: Supercatwoman Subject: I'm sorry

Please forgive me. Just under a lot of pressure and really...REALLY...missing you.

SEND

Still not able to concentrate she picked up her cell and dialled his A.F. cell phone. When it flipped on she heard:

"If you would just get your head out of your ass for a second Senator..." That was Jack.

"Now you listen to me General O'Neill, I don't care who you think you are..." she heard the response, and then...

"O'Neill" he barked into the cell, effectively disregarding the Senator.

"Sorry, bad time?", she asked into the phone, glad he couldn't see the pinched look on her face.

"It is" he answered quietly and promptly hung up.

Sam felt even worse. It was pretty apparent that he was taking the heat for all of this as he was, after all, the head of Homeworld Security. He was fighting the politicians to get the SGC and other military departments all of the resources they needed to combat this plague, while at the same time taking on the brunt of the blame. Trying to defend and protect his personnel in the midst of people who in crisis sometimes acted as wolves on a hunt. And he was their prey right now.

Through all of this he had taken time out by way of a phone call to see how she was holding up. She had never even asked how he was doing, had only asked about Washington in general.

She needed to make this right. Especially, for Jack. Once again inspired, Sam headed off to see Orlin. No time for any other thoughts. She needed Orlin to teach her, and teach her fast, in case ... well, in case he lost the struggle and the information they needed to complete the vaccine was lost forever.

They were getting no where. Orlin was losing not only his mental capacity, but his physical coordination as well. He could help no further.

They were no where close in finding a cure and the reports coming in from the outside were not good. The plague was spreading, and fast. I wish Jack was here, Sam thought in a moment of weakness. Since her last call to him she had not heard a word. Not even an email. Self doubt permeated her. She could not shake the feeling that if Jack were here, it would all be ok. He'd help her find a way.

She wondered if she had caused irreparable harm. He hated emotional outbursts. She knew they made him uncomfortable. So what if he had been jealous? Doesn't that mean he feels enough for her that Orlin's appearance made him feel just a little threatened? Instead of jumping on him, she should have reassured him.

Well, he wasn't here, and there was nothing she could do to fix things right now. And unless they found the cure to this plague she might never get the chance. Shaking her head, she returned to her work with Dr. Lam.

"How are you feeling?" Jack asked Hank over the phone.

"Like crap!" was the response.

"That's what you get for going off world...don't remember authorizing that"Jack teased.

"Let's see...how would you put this?...Bite me!" Hank crankily retorted, causing Jack to chuckle.

"Make it brief...then get some rest...I need you," Jack let up.

"It's bad Jack, worse then we thought."

"Uh huh...go on," Jack prompted.

"We're no where closer to finding a vaccine. The Ori are coming to our galaxy not just to steal our souls for heating fuel apparently, they're coming to destroy the Ancients. You know...the ones protecting us so far."

"Oh ya...some protection. Remind me to thank them. We'll throw a parade or something." Jack retorted sarcastically. "Listen...you get some rest. You got Carolyn and Sam heading this cure thing. I don't know about Carolyn, but Sam has a way of pulling miracles from her bu...head. It'll be fine. It always is."

"I hope you're right old buddy, I hope you're right," Landry sighed then hung up the phone. He felt terrible.

"Gerak's sacrifice won't go in vain, Teal'c" Sam reassured him. "We've been able to isolate an antibody and it's already being dispersed. I agree with Dr. Lam. I doubt they'll be able to use this plague against us again."

"And what of Orlin, Samantha Carter?" enquired Teal'c.

Sam looked down for a second before answering, mourning for him everything Orlin had lost.

"It took it's toll on him. He's been transferred to a mental hospital. The air force will make sure he gets the best of care" she said, and then allowed a single tear to make its way down her cheek.

Teal'c could only nod in sympathy.

A few days later Sam paid Orlin a visit. Seeing him at the hospital had been difficult for her, although she had tried her best to hide it. Now driving home she couldn't help but be overwhelmed with the sadness and had to pull over.

Crying, she remembered her time with him, as an adult descended. He had been so sweet and loving. He had saved her back then, and he had saved her now, and yet she still didn't love him. Why? Because she loved Jack.

"Well I have a great way of showing that, don't I?" she berated herself through her tears.

Jack had faced the wolves alone and even while they had circled, he had reached out to comfort her. And what had she done? How could she have been so selfish? Sure she had been tired, under a lot of pressure and strain. But so had he.

She had been keeping him all to herself. This brave and strong and beautiful man. Not ever exactly saying it, but making sure he knew she expected him to be faithful. Holding him to his promise that he would be her's in a year.

He was good for her, she knew that. He made things clear for her. Kept her from being lost in scientific idealism. Made her heart race. Made every part of her tingle just at the sound of his voice. But was she good for him?

She pulled out her cell phone and tried to call him again. First at home, then his personal cell. No answer at the first and she didn't leave a message, and the second still obviously turned off.

Wiping her tears away, she turned the car back onto the road and started home again.

It was time to let her General go. They were holding onto what was probably never going to happen. He deserved someone who could love him openly and honestly. Not someone who looked for hidden meaning in everything he said and did. Someone like Kerry Johnson. She was beautiful, strong, and very self assured. She could easily match Jack's inner strength. Sam hated that she herself was so insecure when it came to Jack. Sam so hated Kerry Johnson. Well, not really.

"What? Jealous?" she asked herself derisively.

Maybe in Washington he'd find someone to give him the support he deserved. It was time she stopped looking at her own needs, but realize that he was not just her hero, he was human too. Maybe he was already gone. She couldn't blame him, not after she had been so...well...bitchy...with him.

Finally home, Sam swung the car into her driveway and got out. She was starting to get hungry.

Jack sunk into the chair and let out a breath. The last few weeks had been hell. Pure hell. And it wasn't over. How was he going to be able to keep this up? All outward appearances had him holding up rather well. He knew everyone thought he was emotionally strong, especially as he didn't publicly crumble during this latest crisis. Couldn't say that about the Politicians he snickered to himself...what a group!

He knew Sam had come pretty close to cracking. Finally a problem she couldn't solve all by herself. It probably hadn't helped that he had distracted her with his personal call. And she had called him on it right away. Jealous? Him? Hell ya!

Her ex saviour shows up while I'm in Washington and can't get away. You bet I was jealous he admitted to himself. Boy she'd been pissed too. Like she thought he didn't trust her...which he did. Especially since Orlin came back as a kid. Still.

They couldn't go on this way. He knew she had agreed to wait only because she thought it's what he wanted...which it wasn't...sort of. You really are an ass, he thought. The stress was starting to get to both of them. Being so far apart and only keeping this sort of' relationship going by phone and email. Whose stupid idea was that, he asked to no one in particular. Oh ya...mine. Doh!

When they had been together...working together that is...they complimented each other, or so he thought. Now so far apart, they were stressing the hell out of each other. Jack had needed her. The wolves were held at bay right now, but the next time... the next time he wasn't sure how he'd fare. He needed a stress release. It kept building and building. He was going to crack soon if he didn't find some release.

He loved Samantha Carter. Heart and soul, he loved her. But she scared the hell out of him at the same time. She was perfect. To him, she was perfect. How the hell do you make love to someone that perfect? What if he wasn't good enough? What if she got bored with him after awhile? She could do what no politician or Goa'uld before could... she could destroy him. And yet, he still wanted her...all...to...himself.

He compared himself to Orlin and came up wanting. Orlin. Guy had given up everything for Earth, the Milky Way, and for Sam. And yet, he couldn't have Sam, not anymore, especially not in the form he had chosen to take. But he still came to help. Gave up everything. And me, well I just hide behind phone calls and emails...what a man!...what a grade A coward! he slammed himself in his thoughts.

He had to ... what? I don't know, he answered himself, I just know I can't keep doing this anymore.

Sam put her key in the door and entered her house. Her eyes and face still felt puffy from her earlier crying bout, but she was starting to feel a little better. It was almost 1800 hours. Maybe she would fix herself something to eat then try Jack again. If she still couldn't get a hold of him she would finally leave a message on his home phone, and hope no one else overheard it.

As she headed down the hall she glanced into the living room and came to a dead stop. He was here. Oh god, he was here, and tears filled her eyes as she tried to drink in the sight of him. He was wearing the same black t-shirt and beige pants that he had worn the night he'd snuck into her house at Area 51. He looked so...good.

"Jack...", she finally choked out his name in a barely audible whisper.

"Shhhhhhhhhhh...Don't say a word", he said gently as he slowly walked to where she still stood in the hall.

She could only watch him come to her in what seemed like slow motion, and then she felt his arms begin to encircle her.

"C'mere", he whispered, pulling her into his body. She looked up into his dark eyes then felt his lips on hers. Gentle at first, then growing more insistent. She melted into him and could feel from his body that he was more than ready for this. Her own body began to ignite in response.

Not being a man of many words... ever... he picked her up and strode with her into her bedroom. She couldn't remember how her clothes disappeared, or how he had lost his so quickly. He was so gentle with her, taking his time, but she sensed his barely contained passion. What they felt for each other was far beyond the physical and could not ...would not... be denied any longer.

In one passionate move, Jack broke through all the years of denial, of unspoken yearning and need. They were carried together, washed away on wave after wave. She clung to him and when she could hold on no more she cried out his name. And in time with her's, his body reacted. Finally, he found the release he had been searching for.

At the exact moment of their union, galaxies away, two suns collided. And for the first time in many millennia, without understanding why, a brief flicker of fear passed through the Ori collective. Separate they were each a formidable warrior in their own right... now joined... they would be unbeatable. What is meant to be ...would kick the living crap out of what isn't.


DISCLAIMER: "Stargate SG-1," "Stargate Atlantis," and its characters are the property of MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, Gekko Film Corp., Showtime/Viacom and USA Networks, Inc. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations and story are the property of the author(s), and may not be republished or archived elsewhere without the author's permission.