Disclaimer: Stargate is not owned by me. Simple eh?
Spoilers: Grace, Threads
Well, here you are, my tag for "Threads". I do hope it lives up to your expectations, I do hope it lives up to the previous chapter.
A big thank you to everyone who reviewed the previous chapter, I did try and respond to all of them, but I think a couple got lost in my inbox, and for that I do apologise.
It was a cloudy day, nearly a week after the death of Jacob Carter and Selmak of the Tok'ra. The sky was matching the somber mood of the small crowd that had gathered by the grave in the Colorado Springs Cemetery. Sam's brother had flown in, General Hammond was in attendance as well, the President had sent his condolences and a rather moving letter of appreciation that had had Sam in tears, and many of the base personel, who were close to Jacob or who had worked with him were also here. Standing at military attention in his neatly pressed dress blues, arms rigidly held at his sides he gazed sadly as they lowered the casket into the earth. It was a deep rich mahogany, and would have held the body of Major General Jacob Carter if it weren't for Sam consenting for the body of her father, and the last host to Selmak of the Tok'ra to be returned to the people that Selmak had fought beside and with for 2000 years to be honoured in the Tok'ra way. No-one else knew that the casket that lay in the earth was empty. No-one need know. Shifting his attention sideways he glanced at the woman standing beside him, she too was wearing her dress blues, her military façade in full swing, but Jack could sense the sadness and heartache that lay nestled just below the surface.
As the last strains of "Taps" sounded from the bugler standing at attention, he felt her resolve break, the military façade slipping as a single solitary tear slid down her cheek the airman carefully folded the American flag into a neat triangle and presented it to her and Mark Carter. Sam turned to her brother, who was clearly pained. Jack really did feel for him, he had pushed his father away for so many years, and that bridge was still being mended when he had got that devastating phone-call from Sam. Pulling him into a hug, she gently whispered some words into his ear, Jack could not hear them but what she was saying had a profound effect on Mark as he stepped away from her, tears falling freely down his face as he hugged the flag to his chest. Nodding his head to the 3 people that stood around his sister, guarding her, protecting her, he turned and left the cemetery.
And then there were only four left by the grave. Two in their finest dress blues that were pressed to perfection, their medals clinking which each movement and two in black suits, one wearing a black bowler hat. Teal'c was standing to her right, his head bowed in reverence to the man that they mourned, knowing that without Jacob Carter and Selmak the Tau'ri and Tok'ra fight would have ended long ago. Raising his eyes to meet hers, they showed the grief and sadness as he bowed his head once more to Sam before slowly wandering away, lost in his own thoughts. Daniel was on the other side of Jack, stepping around him, he gently pulled her into a re-assuring hug. She'd had to cope with a lot this past week. His de-ascension, breaking up with Pete, and now this. Breaking away, he smiled reassuringly before trailing after Teal'c.
A soft breeze rippled through the trees, crackling the few leaves that remained on the branches the sky having darkened slightly, hinting at the coming of night, Jack gently reached out to touch Sam's elbow, just reminding her that he was still there. And always would be. Turning to face him, Sam gave a tiny smile through her tears. A small one, but it was still more than had been seen in a week, and my goodness if it didn't make his heart all of a flutter.
Gently guiding her away from the burial plot, they wandered aimlessly through the grey headstones in complete silence until Jack seemed to falter in his stride, halting in front of a small grey headstone with the image of an angel engraved on it. Sam paled slightly when she read the engraving.
Charles Jonathon O'Neill
Beloved Son of Sara and Jonathon O'Neill.
A gift from Heaven that was returned too early.
Jack's stance was rigid for a moment, as if steeling himself for what was to come, before he slowly sank to the ground. Sam fidgeted slightly, turning to leave him with his thoughts before a noise halted her.
"Stay." Jack's voice had an almost pleading pitch to it as he stared at the stone in front of him. Sam only had to think for the briefest of moments before she gently folded her legs beneath her and knelt next to him.
"I come here every few months…sometimes I just sit here, remembering him. Other times I talk. Can I talk today Sam?" he asked, his voice barely above a whisper.
Shocked that he even needed to ask, she tentatively reached a hand out and grasped his own and squeezed it reassuringly, giving permission for him to open up to his emotions.
"Hi Charlie, I know it's been awhile, things have been…hectic at work. To be honest Charlie, I'm not sure I can keep doing this. The body is willing, it's just the spirit, I can't send people though that gate anymore, knowing that they may not come back. I don't know how George did it for 6 years, I've been there for a year and it's already getting to me. Maybe I should have another crack at retirement. Maybe." Jack paused slightly, as if in deep thought, before he continued, "I bought a friend along today. Her name is Sam, and she…just lost her father. I know he's up in heaven with you Charlie, because he was a good man, who fought so hard for this country, for this planet…heck for this galaxy. He was an incredible man, and I will never forget him, or what he did for me. Can you find him Charlie, take care of him."
Pausing in his speech, he turned his head sideways to look at Sam, her tears now falling freely down her face as she choked silently on all the emotions running rampant through her body. Turning back to the headstone he took a deep breath.
"Now, about Sam. Bet you're wondering who she is. She's…she is…well, Charlie, she is my everything. She's just so incredible. You know she once blew up a sun. That was pretty cool. She's intelligent, god is she intelligent…sometimes, alright, most of the time I have no idea what she is going on about, and I know it's dumb, but I always hang around to hear her explain about her doohickeys, just to hear her talk…just to watch her explain something, the way her eyes light up, like she's discovered how to split the atom, even when it's just figuring out how to turn a device on. It's captivating. And then there is her smile. She can light up a room with that smile, she can light up my heart with that smile Charlie, yours was the only one to be able to do it. And then I met her, and she…just… I love her Charlie. This isn't just about 'caring' about her. I love her, pure and simple. And you know how I hate cliché's, but Sam is that missing part of me. She…she completes me Charlie. And I never thought I would ever feel like that again…not after losing you. I didn't think I deserved to feel this way again. But, I do and I can't deny it any more Charlie."
Sam's hand had slipped from where it had been, holding Jack's hand, and was now resting on the grass that lay beneath them. Her mind swirling with everything that Jack had just told…Charlie. Feeling the salty tears course down her face, she turned towards Jack and was shocked to find that he too was crying. Jack had slowly, and methodically stripped her bare of all her military training with his speech. He had poured out his soul to her, and given her his heart. Reaching over, she tentatively cradled his head in her hands, before she leant over and gently kissed away his tears, her lips trailing softly over the tracks as she stared deep into his eyes.
"You deserve to love someone, and be loved in return." Sam told him honestly, brushing a kiss over his lips, repeating the words that her father (albeit a hallucination of her father) had told her aboard the Prometheus and the words that had made her go looking for love, instead of having the love that had already found her. "And you are."
Wrapping her in his arms, he gently cradled her against his body, before looking up at the heavens and whispering a thank you. Turning back towards the woman who was curled in his embrace, he gently nudged her, "C'mon…lets go home." Jack smiled slightly as he realized that he would get to have that celebratory drink with George after all, and that maybe his wishful thinking wasn't so wishful after all. Standing up, he pulled her up with him, her hand securely clasped in his own as they said their goodbyes to Charlie, to Jacob, to their past, and welcomed their new future together. Heck, maybe he would even take her fishing.
So, I hope you enjoyed my tag to "Threads". Reviews, as always, would be lovely, but...yeah. I just hope you enjoyed it.