Well, here it is...the final chapter. Thank you so much for staying with me all the way, and I hope you have all enjoyed the story.
"Places everyone," Hammond called. "The show is about to begin."
Chapter 14 – Well Did You Ever...?
Senator Kinsey stormed into the briefing room as if he owned it, glaring down at General Hammond who was seated in his usual chair.
Hammond stood up, looking surprised at this unexpected visit.
"Senator Kinsey, to what do we owe the pleasure of your company this time."
"I never thought I could experience such pleasure at what I am about to tell you General. You can pack your bags immediately General Hammond. I have an order here that says you are hereby relieved of your command," Kinsey announced, positively glowing and almost bouncing with glee.
Hammond gaped in disbelief and the members of SG-1 shot to their feet, angry with the decision and very vocal in their denial of it's existence.
Kinsey removed an envelope from the inside pocket of his jacket and slapped it down onto the table, ordering Hammond to read it.
General Hammond, picked it up, and noticed the official White House seal on the front, and then his name in bold letters in the centre. He tore open the envelope and read through the contents, before throwing it down onto the table in disgust.
"Sir?" Sam asked, needing to know what the letter had said.
He pushed it over to her without a word, but glared at Kinsey whilst she read it out.
It was short and to the point.
Effective immediately, I hereby declare that the USAF is to relinquish its Command of the SGC to a civilian authority, acting under Senator Robert Kinsey's control, and that a newly appointed commander for the base will be arriving forthwith.
All USAF and USMC officers and men will be replaced with civilian staff within a few days and they will be assigned to other Air Force bases throughout the world as seen fit.
"Sir...this...this is..." she couldn't finish, unable to find a word to sum up her disgusted and hurt feelings.
Kinsey was almost beside himself with delight at seeing the pain of reality dawn on their faces. He'd won...the SGC was his now.
"I'm here to see that you pack up your things and leave forthwith General. You too Major Carter. I believe your new posting is to be Elmendorf in Alaska. Oh, and by the way, I'm more than happy to know that with the passing of Colonel O'Neill, there will no longer be anyone around to cause a problem here, and therefore unable to rescind these orders."
He paused for the effect of his words to sink in. He hadn't missed the solemn look on their faces as he'd mentions that now deceased obnoxious man. He couldn't have been happier.
"I shall of course, be recommending that this facility be run by someone I have personally chosen from the ranks of the NID."
Kinsey stood there with a huge smile on his lips as he watched them almost deflate from their usual smug ignorance.
"Not so fast Senator," came a booming voice from the doorway.
Kinsey swung round and gaped at the huge Marine General.
"I have my orders too Senator," he spat.
"General O'Neill. What are you doing here?" Kinsey gasped, unable to comprehend why the man was here on the base. As far as he knew, the General had had no previous dealings with the SGC. There was certainly no love lost between the two of them. Even as he knew the General's name, he'd summarily dismissed any association with his arch enemy. It was a common Irish name after all. Surely the man couldn't actually be related to that infuriatingly annoying officer?
Joe whipped out the envelope from his inside pocket and gleefully slapped it into Kinsey's hand.
"Take a look at that Senator!" he snarled, piercing the smaller man with fire in his dark eyes.
It was another letter from the White House, this time stating that any previous orders were to be ignored, thereby re-instating General Hammond as Commander of the SGC and confirming Colonel Jack O'Neill as his second-in-command.
Kinsey laughed outright, waving the paper under Joe's nose.
"This is a fake. This is not a genuine article from the President, General," he sneered. "It says here that Colonel Jack O'Neill is to be re-instated as second-in-command! There's no way he can do that, not unless he can come back from the grave."
"Whoa! Wait a minute!" Daniel had gasped in disbelief. "Are you saying that Jack's dead?"
"He's dead?" Sam and General Hammond both gasped in incredulity.
"When? How?" they all chorused.
Kinsey stopped gloating and looked at them with a worried frown.
"What do you people mean? Is he dead? Of course he's dead. He died in the hospital after yet another attempt on his life!"
"Are you sure about that Senator?" General Joe asked.
"What? Of course I'm damn well sure. I should know I... I have my own sources of course being in such a high position as I am as a Senator of the US Government. Jack O'Neill is dead!" Kinsey stated categorically.
"Really? Well now, that's news to me 'Senator'!"
Kinsey swung round to face the person whose voice he had grown to hate with a vengeance.
"O'Neill? What in God's name is going on here? You're supposed to be dead!"
"And just how would you know that, Kinsey?"
"Lost for words Senator? That's not like you at all," Jack bantered.
Kinsey stood gaping, unable to breathe, through the wrath he felt was filling his whole being.
"I would recommend you take a breath Senator, or should I say EX-Senator. Works wonders, ya know. Perhaps Doc Frasier should get you some oxygen?" Jack smirked.
The jibe worked, Kinsey inhaled deeply and growled with disdain.
"I don't know how you managed this O'Neill, but this isn't the last of it. You'll be hearing from..."
"Oh, I think it is Senator," Joe threatened. I have enough on you to put you away for a very long time, and it certainly won't be as a resident of the White House." He brandished a floppy disc, making Kinsey snarl with renewed rage. "This is a copy of the disc, my nephew downloaded from your computer. It still holds valid even today Senator. If anything else happens to...Jack here..." He laid a hand on Jack's shoulder, to show Kinsey his solidarity with his kin. "...I will publish the results. "I might add that I have also made copies of this to be delivered to several people upon my demise too, should anything untoward befall me as well."
Jack and his uncle shook hands, turning as one to look straight at Kinsey.
"There is also a little matter of a certain someone who has decided in her defence to 'sing' as it were about how a certain Senator who had paid her good money to deliver some flowers for him," the General added, taking great delight in the green colour that had replaced the bleached effect of the Senator's once ruddy face.
Without another word the bitter and infuriated Senator stormed from the room, now looking like a black thundercloud, but knew he had been well and truly trounced at his own game, again. The O'Neills' learned fast. He'd give them that. Thanks to that good-for-nothing little tart with no scruples whatsoever, they knew of his involvement in the whole affair, and someone's head was going to roll because of it.
There were several SFs waiting outside the door for him and he was escorted up to the surface where he was handcuffed and handed over to the civilian police. Ex-Senator Kinsey would be stepping down from his Presidential campaign and going into exile for a very long time.
As the door slammed behind him, Jack felt the adrenalin drain from his body, leaving him weak and shaky. Joe could feel the strength leech from him as they stood there, and he helped Jack over to a vacant chair, squatting down beside him.
"You okay Jack?"
"Yeah, sure. Just...a little sore," he finished off with a wave of his hand, and someone pressed a glass of water into it and Janet handed him a couple of pills. So he took a few sips of the cool refreshing water, swallowed the tablets and grinned wryly up at his friends as he held the half empty glass up to them. "Only water? After this I at least expected a drop of that fine malt whiskey which General Hammond has stashed away in the back of his drawer." He couldn't help but laugh at Hammond's surprise, but the General shook his head, giving him a chuckle.
The once tense, thick atmosphere in the room had now vanished and everyone took their seats again with much relief. It had all gone according to plan.
"Good job Colonel," Hammond said, bringing the company to order. "I don't think we'll be seeing or hearing much from him in the near future."
"Oh, I hope not," Jack replied with feeling.
"Colonel, now that Dr. Frasier has released you from the infirmary, I'm putting SG-1 on stand-down for the next two weeks. Go home Jack. Enjoy your company while you can."
"Yes sir. Though I doubt I'll get much rest with a house full of guests."
"From what I've seen of your mother Jack, I doubt you'll be doing anything but resting," Hammond grinned.
Jack rolled his eyes at the thought, but smiled too. He was back on track again. The threat to his life was now over.
The following weekend the barbecue was in full swing. There were friends swarming all over the garden, chatting and having fun. Joe was sitting chatting to General Hammond, while Teal'c stood over the grill, tongs in hand and flipping burgers and wieners like a pro as the food cooked.
General Hammond's grand-daughters were playing with Cassie and Janet. Sam was helping Melissa with the rest of the food and drinks, while John was sitting chatting with Daniel. Life couldn't get any better than this, Jack pondered, as he watched from his patio doors. At least it could, but he wouldn't allow his mind take him there.
He walked back into his hallway, intending to have a quiet moment to himself. Tiredness and pain still plagued him and as much as he loved having everyone round, he needed to rest for a short period.
He sat on the edge of the bed, his head down, almost too weary to lift his legs onto the bed for a lie down. The pain meds had worn off, and his shoulder and chest throbbed like a nagging toothache, though he wasn't gonna to tell Janet that; she'd make such a fuss, and that so wasn't what he wanted.
He heard soft footsteps coming his way and looked up wearily in time to see Sam stop in his doorway.
"Carter? Something up?"
To Sam's ears he sounded more than just tired. Having worked alongside him for so long, she could tell he was in quite a bit of discomfort.
"No sir. I...just..."
"I thought you might like these sir." she said, walking into the room. She placed a glass of water into his hand and held up two of his prescribed tablets. He opened his mouth and she placed them onto his tongue, and it said a lot about how much he was hurting, because he swallowed them without a fuss.
"How did you guess?"
"I've been keeping an eye on you sir. I know when you're in pain," she responded dryly, and much to her annoyance, she'd blushed at her own words. She hadn't meant for them to come out quite like they'd sounded. "We've worked along side each other for far too long for me not to notice...sir," she explained. "And besides, I knew they were overdue."
He lay back against the pillows and she helped him by lifting his leaden feet onto the covers and slipping his shoes from his feet before sitting on the edge of the bed beside him.
"This is nice," he said, unsure about how she would take the comment after he'd uttered it.
"Yes sir," she agreed a little self-consciously.
"Uh...we're off to Minnesota tomorrow," he sighed regretfully. In one way he was looking forward to going away; going back to see all his folks at home, but he was also sad to go too, because then he'd really miss her company for those next ten days.
Without a word, his hand found hers, and she squeezed it in response, smiling shyly at the touch.
"I don't want to go," he said suddenly.
"Because it means I won't get to see you until I get home again in almost two weeks."
"You'd really miss me that much, so you'd rather stay home? Miss out on seeing the rest of your family?"
"In a heartbeat Sam."
"Then that's...good to know si...Jack," she responded softly, giving his fingers another squeeze.
"I'd miss you too!" she confessed.
"Even though I'm...well, not as dumb as I've made out in the past?"
"Even more so."
Jack closed his eyes, pushing his head back into the pillows and sighed again. How was he going to break the news to his parents that he wanted nothing more than to stay at home and be nursed by Sam Carter.
Jack eyes shot open and he turned his head to see his mother standing in the doorway. He released Sam's hand guiltily, and went to sit up.
She hurried into the room as Sam stood awkwardly, embarrassed to be discovered in his bedroom like a naughty schoolgirl.
Melissa laid a hand on her arm though, preventing her from leaving the room. With the other hand she stopped Jack from rising, forcing him to stay where he was.
"Look, I'm sorry dears, but I really couldn't help overhearing you both. So, I have a little suggestion to make."
Jack looked up at his mother and frowned. Now what sort of torture had she thought up? he wondered.
"You obviously don't want to be parted. And I'm not blind Jonathon, so it's no use in hiding the fact from me. I can see what there is between you two and yes, I know it's against the Air Force's regulations. I've already spoken to Daniel and Murray on the quiet, and we're all agreed. It will do you both good."
"Mom? Just what did you discuss with my team and what will do us both good?" Jack asked impatiently, propping himself up onto his good elbow. What was she up to now?
"Oh, didn't I say?"
"No, you didn't!" he replied exasperated.
"That Sam comes back to Minnesota with us of course," she said, as if that was an everyday occurrence. "You're both on leave, and you'll have all the privacy you could possibly want up there." She looked from one to the other waiting for someone to say something, but they were both momentarily stunned, looking at each other to see if that was what the other wanted.
"You will come won't you my dear?" she begged, turning to Sam with a smile. "Please say you will. Jonathon needs this and he's already stated he doesn't want to go if you're still here in Colorado Springs."
Sam was speechless. Here she was, being given a wonderful opportunity to be with Jack, and far away from prying eyes.
Jack looked up at her expectantly; waiting for her answer.
She looked into his deep set eyes, pleading silently for her to accept the invitation.
"You really want me to come?" she asked softly. The question was answered by both Melissa and Jack at the same time.
"Of course my dear."
"More than anything Sam."
She found his hand again and covered it with the other one, looking into his chocolate eyes, seeing his very soul laid bare, and his love for her was plainly evident.
"Then how can I refuse. Thank you, I'd love to join you."
Jack relished the sensation of happiness that swelled through his very being. Sam was going away with him, and right now that's all that mattered.
Melissa looked down at them with an indulgent smile, then turned away and quietly left the room, unseen by either of them, content to see her son so happy at last.
Sam cupped his cheek gently in her palm, her affection written so clearly on her face now that she knew exactly where she stood.
Jack revelled in the sensation of being loved and closed his eyes to savour the moment. He was surrounded by his extended family, glad to know that they were all getting along just fine together. Never had he imagined that they would, especially Joe who had become almost as dear to him now as was his own father.
His happiness now complete, the last thing he was aware of, was a warm kiss to his brow and a whispered 'I love you!' from the one person in his life that he adored above all others, and then, letting go with a deep contented sigh, he allowed sleep to claim him.
Having finished posting this, I am looking at revising and posting several more of my older stories on here which I doubt many of you have probably read before.
Those of you who have read some of my older works, it would be great if you could let me know which of the stories you would most like to see posted on here.
Thanks again – luv you guys for your wonderful comments!