Disclaimer: I own none of the Stargate characters, just this one story.


Dry

Hold it together, Carter. Just got to get through the day.

Col. Samantha Carter sat in her car, gripping the steering wheel. She was cold where her doctor had touched her. Her body felt…not sore…but unhappy. Very unhappy. She would not let herself dwell on her morning. She would get through this day.

Entering the complex, Sam exchanged the usual banalities with the guards. A faint buzzing in her ears prevented her from really hearing anything that the men said to her but could it really be any different from what had been said on every other day?

She released a small sigh when she reached her lab. The normal routine of her work soothed her in the past. She started to sort her emails. Cassie had written her so Sam typed up a quick response, saying little. She knew she needed to call the girl, but not yet. Cassie would want to know how the appointment went. Sam could kick herself for confiding in the young woman but it was not like Sam was surrounded by female friends. There were some things a woman wanted to talk to other women about. And the doctor's news was supposed to be different.

An email from Jack brought a faint smile to her lips. Filled with spelling errors and odd punctuation, Jack told her what time he would be in tonight. He said he "looooved hir." Still wasn't used to the small Blackberry keyboard. Sam skipped to the next email without replying. What could she say?

She closed her emails and reached for her water bottle. It dropped from her hand and spilt on her papers.

"Dammit," she cursed, looking for something to wipe up the mess with.

As she cleaned up the spill, her thoughts started to simmer. What had gone wrong? Was it the time she had died? Was it the other time she had died? Was it the other time she died? Had it happened when Nirrti had tried to liquefy her? Was it simply the cumulative effect of all the Gate travel, Zat hits, injuries and everything else that was a part of her daily life that made her body so screwed up, damaged and broken that she couldn't even perform a basic human function? She gripped the bottle so hard she heard it crack and more water burst out.

"Hey Sam."

"WHAT!" Sam spun around and saw the surprised face of Daniel Jackson. "Sorry…I, um, spilt some water." Her face flamed in embarrassment.

After a long thoughtful moment, Daniel continued to talk. As he rambled on about some new planet or discovery or something, his voice was quickly drowned out by the same slight buzzing noise that Sam had heard earlier. But she knew what it was, now. It was the sound of panic. Fear. And heartbreak. And still Daniel talked. She wanted to scream out, Shut up, shut up, shutupSHUTUP! and smash his damned coffee mug to the floor.

"Sam?"

"…hmm?" Sam realized that Daniel had stopped talking several moments ago and was now staring at her in concern. "Sam, what's wrong?"

She blinked, chagrined anew at her self-pity and anger. "Umm, it's nothing. I just spilt some water…on some important stuff. I have to get back to work."

"Oh. Okay." Still looking concerned, Daniel moved to leave her lab. "If you need anything, let me know, all right?" He shot her a small smile.

She stretched her mouth to reflect his expression. Her jaw creaked from the strain.

How she got through that day, she had no idea. Meetings, projects, routine maintenance checks. Finally, it ended.

Once home, she did not make it further than the couch. Sam collapsed, pulling her knees up to the flat, toned planes of her stomach. She did not even have the energy to go to the kitchen for a something to drink.

This was how Jack found her, two hours later, staring into the dark. He did not have to ask; the fierce, tearless sorrow in her eyes said it all.

Minding his bad knee, he knelt on the floor next to where she sat and took her clenched fists into his hands. "Do you want to talk about it?"

She shook her head. "Not now," she whispered.

"Are you hungry? Do you want some dinner?"

"No. Just some water, please."

When he returned from the kitchen, he sat next to Sam and put his arms around her. "It doesn't matter what the docs say. If we want to have a baby, we will have a baby. We'll just keep trying."

She could not relax into him as she always had before. She feared if he touched her too much, her flesh would crumble into dust.

OoOoOoOoOoOo

Late that night, as Jack softly snored, Sam rolled over and looked at him. She wished he was awake so that she could see his eyes. In her imaginings, their children always had beautiful brown eyes. Her doctor's words rose, unwanted, in her head.

"Col. Carter, we are not sure what the cause is, but your body is exhibiting many symptoms of early on-set menopause. We cannot make a diagnoses yet but the signs are there. Your chances of conceiving a child…well, they're not good. And even if you do conceive, the scar tissue that we found will make carrying a pregnancy to term difficult at best, if not downright dangerous."

Sam stared into the night. Her eyes were dry.

The End.