Disclaimer: Stargate is owned by some other really rich and lucky people. I am neither rich nor lucky, so that is not me.
Rating: T+, one strong curse word.
So, I came up with this at 4am yesterday morning. Wrote it down on a post-it that I keep beside my bed and stuck it on my wall. Not wanting to wait until I got home after Uni to start writing it. I printed off the entire script for this episode and carted it along to class. I manged to write this in 3 hours (and even take some notes and add to the tutorial discussion!). My hand was cramping so badly by the end. Anyway, I hope the pain was worth it and that you enjoy my version of "Threads" (one of my favorite episodes of Stargate EVER!...I mean, seriously. Jack is in bed...nearly naked -happy sighs-, and Daniel comes back...naked!...except for the flag. (see, one time when flag burning IS a good idea). I'm rambling again, sorry. Anyway, please review.
It had been hard since I had told him that I was getting married. Conversations were tense between us. Jack. The General. Sir, as I kept reminding myself. Pete had been…increasingly annoying. I do love him, I just think I'm not in love with him. And now Dad was here, he wanted to meet Pete, well that was a given, I am marrying him after all.
So that's why I was here, waiting for Pete to exit the lift.
"Hey!" he said as he walked out of the lift.
"Hi! Thank you Airman." Pete leans in and kisses me on the cheek. Did I just flinch when he did that? Holy Hannah…I did.
Pete rambled on for awhile, god honestly he was like a child sometimes, and not the endearing child like Jack, but the annoying child that whines all day long…did I just compare my fiancée to my CO. Crap.
Opening the door to the VIP room, I was greeted by my father, he didn't exactly look like he was going to be especially receptive to this.
"Pete Shanahan – Jacob Carter. Dad, this is Pete." Oh yeah, definitely not going to go well if you take in how Dad is nearly glowering at Pete and Pete is simply staring back.
"Dad!" Pete finally breaks the silence, I cringe inwardly, knowing how much Dad will hate that.
"Not quite yet. You have to actually marry my daughter before you can call me that." Yep, Dad hated that.
So, it was okay up until then. Okay, so okay was not the best word. Disaster would be more apt. And then Pete firmly shoved both feet into his mouth.
"This is great! You've really got one of those things in your head?" Oh God. Crap. Holy Hannah. And every other curse word in all the languages that I know.
"If, by "one of those things", you mean a two thousand year old Tok'Ra symbiote, yes." Oh yeah, Dad was definitely not happy with this.
"Seriously?! Go on!" Pete pauses, laughing, "That has gotta freak you right out sometimes! It's weird!"
And Dad simply gives me a look that says 'Are you sure you want to marry this?!'.
So, it didn't go as well as I had planned. I could almost hear Selmak cringe at being referred to as a 'thing'. Heck, I think the guards topside could feel me cringe when Pete asked that.
She was nervous, you could tell by the way she was playing with her jell-o and the way she kept making inane conversation. I knew eventually that she would open up and talk to me about Pete.
"Dad?" Yep, here we go
"What?" Play it cool Jacob, don't clue her in.
"It's been two hours since Pete left. You haven't said a word." That's my girl, straight to the point.
"I did so." And it's true, I did talk about him.
"He seems nice?"
"I believe that's three words"
"I'm gonna marry him."
"I know," That's because your stubborn, "I just met him – what do you want me to say? I know how happy he makes you, that's all that matters to me." It should matter to you too Sammie, you can be so much happier, if only you could see.
Dog? He wants to get a dog? Im a cat person. Everyone knows that, except the man who is supposed to know me best. And he bought a house. A house! Without even speaking to me about it. This is supposed to be a partnership, you don't just go out off and make a decision like this without consulting your future wife. And that begged the question. Did I really want to marry him?
And that's why I'm here, sitting in my car, trying to get up the guts to get out and…do something. 'Sam, you can blow up a sun, you can jerry-rig Stargates, you can hook up Ancient Technology to your laptop and make it work, effectively saving the Galaxy. You can tell the man you…care about him.' Finally convincing myself I get out of the car and follow the smoke and smell of burnt meat around to Jack's deck.
"Hi, sir." Oh great Sam, you're here to tell the man you love him, and you call him sir.
"Carter!" he looks shocked, I shouldn't have come. God, what if he doesn't feel the same way?
"Look, I-I'm sorry to bother you at home like this, but, uh ..." Oh, for crying out loud Sam, spit it out!...Oh crap, I'm even thinking like him.
"How'd you know I was here?" Is he…changing the subject. Crap, he is. I so shouldn't have come.
"I saw the smoke." Well, it was the truth. His BBQ was spewing out a worrying amount of smoke.
"Oh, yeah." He looks uncomfortable, really uncomfortable.
"Look, is this, is this OK? I mean, I could have called first, but ..." Called first, what was I going to say? 'Hi, General O'Neill, mind if I drop by and announce my undying love and beg you to tell me you feel the same way so that you stop me from making the biggest mistake of my life?'. Honestly, sometimes I live up to my blonde hair. Rarely. This was one of those times. Bad timing.
"No ... yeah ... I mean, it's fine. So, um, what brings you to this neck of the woods on such a fine day in my back yard?" He's rambling, why is he rambling? I'm supposed to be the nervous one.
"Well, actually, I've, um, I've been sitting in your driveway for the last ten minutes trying to work up the nerve to come and talk to you. The truth is, I've been trying to work up the nerve for a lot longer than that." Yeah, like the last 8 years I hope I'm giving what looks like a confident smile, but somehow I know it's now coming out like that.
"Oh?" Oh god, please…let the Asgard come and beam me up now. Please? Crap. No Asgard. Bastards.
"Pete put a down payment on a house." Way to go Sam, change the subject. Kicking myself mentally…geez, I'm getting quite a bruise here.
"Well, that's great!"
"It's a beautiful house." And that's not a lie, it IS a beautiful house. I'm just not in love with the man who bought it.
"But?" He knew me so well, he knew there was a but.
"The-the truth is, I'm having second thoughts about the wedding." Please, please don't make me explain this Jack. Please understand why I'm here.
"See, the ... the thing is, the closer it gets, the more I get the feeling that ... I'm making a big, huge, mistake." Yep. I'm marrying a guy I don't love. Can't make much of a bigger mistake than that.
"Look, Carter, the ... I don't know what ..." Jack, I know you are not that dumb, I know you know what I'm talking about.
"Look, I'm sorry to bother you with this, but, uh ... see, there's actually a very good reason that I'm bothering you with this, and if I don't tell you now, I might never ..." And that's when I am interrupted, typical I finally get to the part where I profess my undying love for him. And Kerry walks about the door.
"Jack, I looked everywhere – I could not find ...Colonel Carter." Oh god, please let the earth swallow me up, or the Asgard, hell I'd even take Ba'al right now.
"Ms Johnson." Okay, is that a good sign? They are obviously having lunch, and not as General O'Neill and Ms. Johnson, but as Jack and Kerry.
"Yeah, I didn't – I didn't ..." Oh great Sam, ramble incoherently, that's going to make it all better isn't it?
Kerry and Jack. Jack and Kerry. Great. Just fucking great. I finally get up the nerve to tell him and he's moved on. And then I get a call from the SGC. It's my Dad. And even though he's in the infirmary, I'm not thinking of him, my thoughts are on Jack. Pulling up into the SGC parkin lot, I steeled myself, covering Sam Carter with Colonel Carter as I walked towards the Isolation room where Dad was. And still all I could think about was Jack. And the fact that he had moved on. Granted, I had moved on before him. But all I needed was a word, a sign. Something! Hell, I even told him Pete proposed before I said yes to him, and he hadn't said anything. And I would never have stopped moving on and waited for him. Just like I had done for 8 years.
Dad's dying. Selmak is dying and he's taking Dad with him. I should be angry at them. But I had been gifted 4 extra years with him. 4 years I should never have had. 4 of the most incredible years. The past 4 years I have been closer to my dad than in the previous 30 (or so). And I am happy about that, I have good memories of him now, something I can cherish and talk about with friends. And I'm happy that I was given those extra 4 years. I couldn't hate him for not being able to let go of Selmak. I love him. He's my Dad. And now all I can do is sit here and wait for him to die.
"A number of the Tok'ra have responded. They want to pay there respects." Sam told me, my held gently encased in her own.
"They can come." I responded, trying to sound stronger than I felt. From the expression on her face, I think I failed.
"I can't believe there's nothing they can do. They can remove a Goa'uld. In the last few years you've almost perfected the process of saving a host." Sam wasn't understand. Or didn't want to understand.
"That process instantly kills the symbiote before it releases toxins. It's too late for that, Sam. I'm sorry. I hate to do this to you, but I should have been dead four years ago. Since then, I've been all over the galaxy. I've done things most men never dream of." It was true, I'd lived a great life, I'd learned things, seen things and done things that I could never of dreamed off, and it was all thanks to my little girl.
"Where have I heard that before?" Sam mumbled, I ignored it, I had something more important to talk to her about.
"I just want to know you're going to be happy."
"I am." Great, she's not only trying to convince me, but she's also trying to convince herself that she's happy.
"Don't let rules stand in your way." Could I make this any simpler, my daughter was in love with her CO. I knew it. Selmak knew it. George Hammond knew it. According to George half the base knew that she loved him. The problem was, did she know it?
"What are you talking about?" For a women as bright as her, she was being awfully dim. Or she was playing dumb.
"You joined the Air Force because of me."
"I love my job." I know you do, sweetie, there's just so much out there that you have yet to experience because of your job.
"Mmm. You can still have everything you want."
"I do, Dad." That's the problem Sam. You don't. And you don't seem to know that you don't.
Jacob is dying. I guess with him being a Tok'ra we expected him to outlive us all. Guess we all have a deadline. Even the Tok'ra. Crap. Kerry is here, I think we both know what is going to happen. She wants to move on, I know that even if she hasn't said anything yet, I wanted to move on. But we both knew I couldn't.
"How's Colonel Carter's father?" Kerry asked as she entered my office.
"Doesn't look good." I replied, thinking that the question was fairly dumb. She knew as well as I did that Jacob was not going to live much longer.
"Sorry to hear that." Kerry replied, as she closed the door behind her
"Closing the door." Yep, I knew what was coming.
"Yeah. Deeply symbolic."
"Really?" Yeah, it was coming
"I really like you. We're good together." But...
Standing up, I asked the pertinent question, "Yes. We are. But?"
"You have issues. It's OK – we all do. There's just one big one in particular that I don't think I can love with. Live with. I need to get out before I get more involved. We can still work together, can't we? I'd hate to have to ask for reassignment. This is really important to me. We agreed this would never affect the job."
"Good. You know, there's just one thing I don't understand."
"Is the Air Force the only thing keeping you two apart? Rules and regulations? Cos if it is, you're making a very big mistake." Are we that transparent? I know I love her. I just don't know how she feels about me. She is engaged after all. That speaks volumes about her feelings. But maybe…was she doing what I was doing with Kerry?
"And you know what I should do?"
"Retire." It was quite simple really. But I love my job. That's the problem. We both love our jobs
"Don't get me wrong – you are considered invaluable to the program by the Pentagon, but the President has appointed a civilian to run the SGC before. Just a thought."
And with that, Kerry was gone. And I wasn't at all that upset over the fact that she was. She certainly had given me a lot to think about.
"May I?" I hate that voice. It's the voice of the women who told…no, showed me that Jack was moving on.
"Sure." I answer dryly, already regretting inviting her in.
"I'm sorry about your Dad." Kerry said quietly as she stepped into the observation room
"Thanks." I mumble, hating the fact that this women is barging in on the most personal moment of my life.
"I just saw Jack." She said after what seemed an eternity in an uncomfortable silence.
"Oh." Do I really need to hear this?
"We broke up." She stated, her voice strangely devoid of emotion.
"Oh?" Hope flared briefly in my stomach, but I quickly extinguished it.
"I can't be involved with a man who loves someone else."
"Colonel Carter, he cares about you. A lot more that he's supposed too, given your working relationship. I was a substitute. I was his way of moving on. I couldn't live with that, and neither could he." Kerry was pushing me, telling me what I wanted to know.
"He's my CO." I finally state.
"Things can change. They have had civilian leaders of the SGC before." Kerry leant casually against the door frame as I stared down at a scratch on the desk.
"I'm engaged to Pete." Now my voice is the one devoid of emotion.
"We both know that Pete is me, Colonel Carter. A substitute. And a second rate substitute at that.
Finally I understood, I love Jack, and he loves me. I can't marry Pete. Realisation flashes across me as I look up at Kerry for the first time.
"Thank you." Poor words, she just gave up the best man that had ever lived, and all I could say was 'thank you'.
"I just want Jack to be happy, Colonel Carter, and I know that he can only be happy with you." Kerry said quietly as she smiled sadly, turning on her heel she walked out just as quickly as she had walked in.
So, here I am, sitting all alone in the observation room as I watch a Tok'ra with my father, and then he walks in. The object of my affection. As he sat down next to me, I took a quick glance, he certainly didn't look like a man who had just broken up with someone. Though neither had Kerry.
"You OK?" He finally asked
"Actually, I'm fine. Good, even, strange as that sounds. I thought I lost him four years ago. Since then, we've been closer than we ever were in my whole life. In a way, Selmak gave me the father I never thought I'd know." Nothing to do, but be honest. It was the truth, Selmak had given me the father I had never known, and thought I would never know. She had softened my father, and for that I would be forever thankful.
"C'mere." Jack said, placing his arm around my shoulders, I tensed slightly before relaxing into his grasp, my hand gently reaching up to grasp his.
"Thank you, sir." my voiced cracked slightly as my thumb gently stroked across the skin on the back of his hand
"For being here for me."
"Always." And somehow, I knew he would be. No matter what.
And then it was time, Dad was ready to go. Leaning over, I gently kissed his forehead as he beamed up into my eyes, in pain, but a General to the end. And he said the words that I had longed to hear from him, that he loved me.
I now know what I had to do, I had to tell Pete the truth, the real truth, not what I've been saying for 8 years. Calling him up and asking him to meet me at the house that he bought was hard, but I had to do it. I couldn't call it our house, it had never been ours, and now it never would be.
"I knew from the beginning. Guess I just thought when you said yes that…You were worth the risk. Don't say I deserve better. Can't get much better than you." My heart nearly broke for him, I'd put him through so much. He had known that I loved Jack, even when I didn't know it myself, and he still thought I was worth the risk.
"That's not true." I felt horrible at the moment, Pete didn't deserve this, he was a great guy and…if I didn't love Jack I could settle down with him. But I was in love with Jack, and I couldn't settle for Pete.
"I wish I could believe this had something to do with your father – you needed some time to just work things out. I guess all I can say is: I hope you get what you want." I hope so too Pete, I hope breaking your heart was worth it.
"What do you want? You want me to get down on my knees and beg?"
"God, no! Of course not! I just ... I thought you would react differently." Yeah, I thought you would be angry when I told you that I had been in love with my CO for 8 years and that I was breaking up with him so that I could have a chance with him. Well, I didn't say that, but I knew that's what Pete thought. And he was right about that.
"Goodbye, Sam." He says, his eyes filling with tears as he walks away.
"Pete…" I leave the sentence unfinished. It's better to end it this way, no bitter words, no angry exchanges. For what it was worth, I didn't regret it.
So now Pete knew the truth. I couldn't deny it anymore. Christ, even Pete had known the truth, just didn't want to accept that maybe I wasn't over Jack. And probably never would be over him. And now here I am, sitting in my car, working up the nerve to tell Jack...again. Smoke was once again rising in plumes from his back deck. Sighing I climb out of my car and, following the smell of slightly burnt meat I trail around the outside of his house, coming face to face with his…back. God he looks good, He's wearing jeans today, tight ones, and I (sadly) spend several minutes just enjoying the view. His dark green top contrasts with his tan (how on earth does he get a tan when he spends so much time in a mountain?)
"Hi." I finally speak up, smiling gently as he jumps, spilling beer on his deck as he turns to face me.
"Carter." He smiles, you know, that smile. Holy Hannah, my knees are turning to jell-o as I chew my lip nervously.
"I'm sorry about Kerry." I blurt out, mentally kicking myself as he waves it off, with the hand that is holding the beer, spilling yet more over the deck.
"It was just a …a thing." He finally manages to say with a slight shrug of his shoulders as he takes a step towards me, "You want a beer?"
"Yes." I answer, far too quickly and he gives me a slight look, but complies with my request. Stepping up onto his deck, my fingers deliberately brushing over his when I accept it, the jolt of electricity that races through my body, even with this simple touch he still manages to electrify me. Sitting down on one of the chairs as he turns back to the grill, poking the meat slightly before tipping the last of his beer over it.
"mmm?" he answers, pulling the meat off the grill and sliding it onto a plate, but leaving it on the deck rail, which he casually leans against, his arms crossed in front of him. The setting sun behind him, silhouetting him, creating a beautiful orange glow around him.
"We need to talk." I start fiddling with the bottle, sipping at it as I stare at a knot in the deck floor.
"I know." He stated simply.
"Kerry came to see me." God Sam, how many times do you have to mentally kick yourself today.
"oh?" If he were shocked he didn't show it, though his body tensed ever so slightly.
"Yeah…said you were in love with someone else."
"Ah." Yeah, he was shocked now, I knew that would do that to him as his arms dropped and he shoved them deep into his jeans pocket.
"Are you?" I asked tentatively
"Yes." He answered after a pause, those glorious brown eyes meeting mine for the first time
"That's good. I couldn't deal with loving someone who doesn't love me." I whisper, just loud enough for him to hear.
"Carter…" he almost groans out as he abandons the rail and crosses to where I am sitting, kneeling down in front of me.
"Sam." I correct as I loose myself in his eyes.
"Sam, you know there is no going back." He states quietly his fingers rubbing circles over my thighs as he nudges them open and shuffles forward slight.
"I don't want to go back." I gently reach up, stroking his face before capturing his lips with my own. His fingers trailing up my legs to rest on my hips before inching under my shirt, sending arrows of passion around my body. And the kiss? It was like fire, licking and burning at our nerves making them tingle until we had to break away for air. Smiling, I gently lower my head to rest on his shoulder, kissing his neck softly as I give a quiet sigh.
"Want to go fishing?" he asks suddenly, his hands tracing fine patterns over the skin.
"Yeah…sure…yabetcha." I answer cheekily against his skin as he gives a quiet chuckle.
Flinging the line out into the water, I can't believe I've turned him down for the past 8 years, this really is incredibly.
"This is great." I finally say, reeling my line in.
"I told ya." He answers
"I can't believe we didn't do this years ago." We both know we aren't just talking about the fishing, we had snuck up here yesterday and had had a great time, no fishing, but we had taken a long walk, hand in hand around the lake. Talking about…nothing and everything really. Our hopes, our dreams, what we wanted from this. And we both wanted the same thing.
"Yes, well, let's not dwell." Grinning broadly I glance over at him, loving this side of Jack that we rarely saw.
"There are no fish in this pond are there?" I finally ask, realizing that we had been out here for 4 hours, and not one nibble.
"Nope." Giggling at his answer, I gently lean over and brush my lips over his.
"I love you." I whisper, as he grins.
"Love you too." He whispers back as Daniel and Teal'c round the corner, we break apart immediately, grinning sheepishly as they give knowing grins. We really can't hide anything from them.
So, I do hope you liked my version of "Threads". Please review. I'll beg! I want just threaten it like Pete, I'll actually do it!