Title: The Problem Child
Author: angelaask
Pairing: None so far
Summary: Sam meets her estranged sister after years apart. My response to the Problem Child Challenge.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. This story is for pure entertainment purposes and not for profit.
Spoiler: Buffy season 7 and SG season 4

AN: This is my response to The Problem Child Challenge. I have never written a buffy-centric fic before, but I was intrigued by the title alone and the plot bunnies multiplied.


Captain Samantha Carter found herself standing in the middle of a playground with no idea how she had gotten there. It was getting darker by the minute as the sun dipped low behind the horizon, casting the sky in mauve twilight. Sam surveyed her surrounding and found the playground in woefully need of repair. The rusty slide had begun to fall down in disrepair and an old swing hanging from a broken chain clinked gently in the wind. The place was deserted except for one lone child playing in the sandbox as she hummed softly to herself. The girl wore a satin white dress with pink frills along the edge with her fine strawberry blond hair braided into a long French braid that fell along the small of her back. Sam was disturbed that such a small child was left alone in such a dangerous place and she felt the urgent need to get them both inside before night fall. She was about call out to the girl when she suddenly recognized the song that the girl was humming. It was an old Norwegian lullaby that her mother used to sing to her when she was little. Then suddenly Samantha knew the child's name. "Lizzy," she called.

The last remnants of her dream echoed through Sam's mind as she woke up alone to a dark bedroom. The digital alarm clock blinked 3:00 am and the blonde groaned in frustration. She had to report to Stargate Command at six hundred hours and she had only a few precious hours of sleep. The work at SGC was rewarding but the hours where long and hard. Restless, Sam left her warm comfortable bed to get a glass of water. The dream, which felt more like a memory, left her unsettled. Already the details of the dream were fading from her conscious mind but the sense of urgency remained. Sam was perplexed. After all this time, why would she dream of Elizabeth now? She hadn't seen her younger sister in almost ten years and her mind clouded over with memories that she hadn't thought about in a long long time.

Their mother's death had hit them all hard but Elizabeth appeared to have suffered the most. Sam loved her mother, but she was daddy's little girl and Lizzy had always been her mother's precious baby girl. When she was younger Sam had resented the extra attention that her mother lavished on Elizabeth and grew bitter as any normal hormonal teenage girl would. Sam was sixteen when one rainy night a drunk driver stolen their mother from them forever, but Elizabeth was only four. Sam had at least some memories of their mother while Elizabeth was left with nothing but a few precious years.

Once their mother was gone both Sam and her father had trouble relating to Lizzy. Sam tried but there was over ten years difference in age between the two siblings and she was still grieving too. She was still a child herself and she couldn't be the mother that Lizzy so desperately needed.

Sam loved science, was an excellent student and was consider the apple of their father's eye. On the other hand, Elizabeth was the exact opposite. Lizzy, a free spirit, hated school and had no interest in anything that had to do with science or the military. Her father, a stern military man, disapproved and only aggravated the situation by imposing strict rules on Elizabeth in an attempt to reign in his most troublesome daughter. While Sam was exalted as the rising star in the family poor Lizzy was treated as the dim and not so talented little sister.

In response Elizabeth rebelled and the stricter her father was the more rebellious she became. Father was at a lost of what to do and finally out of desperation he sent Lizzy away to live with Aunt Joyce, her mother's sister who had no children of her own. The last time she had seen her sister it had been in a mental institution. Elizabeth had burned down her high school gym during a pep rally, endangering hundreds of lives. At first Sam couldn't believe that little Lizzy could have done such a thing. But when her frantic sister started spouting stories about vampires and demons Sam begun to see how unstable her sister had become. She and her father had wanted to take Elizabeth home then; but the doctors believed that what Elizabeth needed the most was a stable environment and uprooting her now would be detrimental to her mental health. That was years ago and for all she knew Elizabeth could still be there or even worse, in jail.

Sam went to college then followed her father's footsteps into the Air Force. Weeks became months then years until nearly five years had past since she had last spoken to her estranged sister. Sam knew that her father wasn't the only one to blame for her absence in Elizabeth's life. She was a grown woman after all and she certainly could have tried harder. But something more important always seemed to come up that needed her immediate attention and the few phone calls that she did make were always short and awkward. She supposed that her dream could be the subconscious manifestation of her guilt for not taking better care of her little sister after their mother died. Sam resolved to call Aunt Joyce in the morning and the next time Sam dreamed she dreamt of her mother.

Sam's forehead creased with confusion as she looked at the number in her hand with the phone receiver posed to her ear. The number was out of service and there wasn't another listing for Joyce Summers in LA.

Her head rose at a soft knock at her door. "Carter, is everything okay?" asked a middle age man in green fatigues with graying brown hair from the door way.

"Sir?" asked Carter in confusion.

Jack wiggled his fingers in front of his face. "You look distracted."

"Just thinking," assured Sam.

"Well that's your problem Carter. I try to avoid it myself. Why don't you take a break and join me in the mess hall? They got green Jell-O," said the colonel enticingly.

Sam smiled warmly at her commander. "Sure, sounds good." The blonde looked at the number one last time before placing it back into her desk. She had waited this long what would another day or two hurt. It could wait and her thoughts soon drifted back to more pressing matters such as work, the Stargate program and green Jell-O.