Genre: Drama, Romance
Pairings: Sam/Daniel, Sam/Pete as in canon, implied Sam/Jack. NOT for Sam/Jack fans.
Spoilers: Everything from The Stargate Movie up to the end of Season Eight, as well as Stargate: Atlantis's "Rising" and "The Siege", and reference to technology used in Ethon and Off the Grid.
Season: Eight, starting just before the beginning of Threads and finishing after the end of Moebius.
Rating: T for violence, some non-graphic adult situations, some language, and confusing time-travel paradoxes
Disclaimer: The only thing I own that's related to Stargate is my DVD collection. I'm not making any money off of Stargate. In fact, the reverse is true.
Summary: No fish. Fish. You didn't think the differences ended there, did you? This is the rest of the story behind Threads and Moebius.
Notes: I have written this fic as a companion piece to Threads and Moebius. The story assumes that you are familiar with the events in those episodes.
For all those who see Threads/Moebius as Sam/Jack episodes...well I've got news for you. This story is completely compatible with canon up to the end of Moebius and is definitely Sam/Daniel. If you don't like that, I suggest you run away now. You have been forewarned.
Thank you to Jess13 for confirming my understanding of some geological research. You rock, Jess! HA! And I have to say, without my fantabulous beta, Thraesja, this story would have been deleted ages ago. I never would have finished it without her constant and supportive nagging. Thanks so much Thrae!
-- Chapter One --
The claxons screamed, beacons flashing. A voice blared over the loudspeakers. "Unscheduled off-world activation!"
Sam was on her way to the commissary. As the elevator opened on level 22, she punched Level 28 and repeatedly pressed the 'close door' button. Arriving on the lowest level of the base, she rushed down the corridor and entered the control room. She hesitated in the shadows near the back of the room, watching anxiously through the window that overlooked the stargate.
"Receiving IDC. It's SG-7, sir," Sergeant Harriman said.
General O'Neill was standing behind the Sergeant. He frowned. "They're not supposed to be back for eight hours. Open the iris."
Sam craned her neck to see as the iris slid open. Moments later, the members of SG-7 stepped through the event horizon. All four of them were covered from head to toe in pink slime.
General O'Neill snorted and leaned closer to the microphone to speak to the people in the gate room. "What the hell happened?"
"It's a long story, sir."
"No kidding. Alright. Get to the infirmary. Debriefing in two hours." The General shook his head and made his way up the stairs toward his office. "Can't wait to hear this one," he said, chuckling.
The wormhole disengaged, and Sam stared at the now inactive stargate. She sighed.
Sam jumped slightly. She looked at Sergeant Harriman, who had turned to face her. Forcing a smile and a nod, she left the control room.
She pressed the call button for the elevator and waited for it to arrive. It had been a week since she had ordered the activation of the device on Dakara. One week, and there was still no word from Daniel. Sam had hoped that he wasn't on a Replicator ship when they were all destroyed, but as the days progressed, her hope began to wane. If he had been on a planet, he would have gated home by now. Or at least found some way to contact them.
No word for this long meant one thing: Daniel had been on one of the Replicator ships.
And by destroying those ships, Sam had killed him.
The elevator arrived, and she stepped inside. She stared at the floor selection panel, trying to remember where she had been going when the alarms went off. When her irrational side had led her to believe that Daniel was coming home. But it hadn't been him. She squeezed her eyes closed. Daniel was dead, and it was her fault. And as much as she wanted to, Sam was afraid to let herself hope that Daniel might return again.
Coffee. That's what it was. She had been on her way to the commissary to get coffee for herself and her dad. Opening her eyes again, she pressed the button for level 22.
The doors opened, and Sam headed down the corridor to the commissary. She filled two mugs with coffee then retraced her steps. The rich aroma filled the elevator, making her think again of Daniel. Her finger hovered over the button for level 18, a floor she had gone to many times with two fresh cups of coffee at all hours of the night. She swallowed hard and pressed 19 instead.
Sam arrived at her office. Her dad was sitting, quietly waiting for her. His elbows were leaning on her desk, and he was holding his head in his hands, eyes closed. She placed his coffee next to him, and he looked up.
Her dad smiled at her, picking up the mug. "Thanks."
"I thought Selmak made you give up coffee."
He shrugged. "He doesn't mind if I have a treat now and then."
Sam sat down and stared absently into her mug.
"He'll be back, Sammy."
She looked up at him. He must have guessed the reason her coffee run had taken so long. "He's dead, Dad. I killed him. I killed my best friend."
"And since when has Daniel ever let a little thing like death stop him? He's the most stubborn person either Selmak or I have ever met. And in more than 2000 years, Sel's met a lot of people."
She sighed and took a sip of coffee, feeling her dad's eyes studying her.
"What does Jack have to say?" he asked.
"I haven't really talked to him about it. Last week, just after...Dakara, I tried. But I didn't really push the subject."
"He'll think I'm crazy, Dad!"
"For what? For believing that Daniel will come back? That's not crazy, Sam. It's happened before."
Sam closed her eyes, trying to control her emotions. She decided that a change of subject might help. "Before you go back to the Tok'ra, I'd like you to meet Pete."
Her dad stared at her for a long time, and Sam wondered if he was talking to Selmak. "I'll tell you what. You talk to Jack about Daniel, and I'll meet with Pete."
She shook her head, smiling faintly. Her dad had never negotiated with her for anything before his blending with Selmak. Military Dad to the end, he had always just given orders that his children were expected to follow. Once again, Sam silently thanked Selmak for giving her the father she never thought she'd know.
"Alright," she said. "You've got a deal."
Sam entered the control room and idly checked some computer monitors. Sighing, she stood behind Sergeant Harriman and stared at the inactive stargate. He turned to her.
"Still nothing, Colonel."
She looked down at him and smiled slightly. Sergeant Harriman was sweet, and it seemed that he always knew everything that was going on with everyone on the base. Sam glanced at the spiral staircase leading up to the briefing room. "Is the General in his office?"
"Yes, ma'am. I believe he is."
Nodding, Sam went upstairs. She walked purposely through the briefing room toward General O'Neill's office. Her step faltered, slowing to a stop as she saw through his window that he wasn't alone. She winced and looked back, debating what to do. Despite the deal with her father, it had taken a while to work up the nerve to come and talk to the General, and if she backed down now, she wasn't sure she'd be able to do it again. She wanted to believe that Daniel would be back. She needed to hear it from someone who wasn't her father. She needed to hear it from the General.
Thankfully, the woman in his office left through the other door. As the General turned back to his desk, he saw Sam through the window and waved her in.
"Sorry, sir. I saw you were with someone. I didn't want to interrupt."
Sam hesitated, not sure how to begin. "Who was that?"
"Um, Kerry Johnson. He sat down at his desk and picked up his pen, looking at some paperwork. "CIA."
"I've heard the name." Sam searched her memory. "Oh. She was heading up the investigation into, uh, Goa'uld still at large after the incident with The Trust."
Sam waited for him to continue, but he didn't. Now she had nothing else to delay this conversation.
"Sir, I wanted to talk to you about—"
"We haven't heard from him in a week."
"Doesn't mean anything."
"Sir, we know he was captured by Replicators. Chances are he was on board a Replicator ship when it disintegrated." Sam stopped herself before she verbalized her overwhelming guilt to her commanding officer. She knew he wouldn't understand. He hadn't killed Daniel.
"All we know for sure is that he's missing."
She needed more than that. She needed himtosay that Daniel was still alive. She needed him to say that he'd come home. That she didn't have to live with the guilt of killing him forever. Sam tried to force his hand. "Sooner or later—"
"Forget it! I'm not falling for it this time."
"'Falling for it'?"
"Yeah! How many times have you thought he was gone, and then he shows up in...one form or another? I'm sorry, but we're not having a memorial service for someone who is not dead."
Sam closed her eyes. Not dead. Not exactly what she was looking for, but it might be close enough. Her eyes flew open when he shouted.
"You hear that? I'm not buying it!"
Sam looked around, hopeful, but nothing happened. She looked back at the General, studying him. Maybe she shouldn't be so worried that he'd think she was crazy for wanting to believe that Daniel was still alive. In fact, if anything, the General was coming off a little crazier than she was right now. That observation must have come across on her expression.
"What?" he asked. "He's just waiting for us to say a bunch of nice things about him! Next thing you know he'll come waltzing through that door. Like, right now."
General O'Neill pointed at the door Kerry Johnson had left through. Sam followed his gaze, willing the door to open and Daniel to walk through it.
"Waltzing," the General said, staring at the closed door. Sam looked at him, thankful for his hopeful words, but disappointed that his prediction hadn't come to pass. "Now." He turned and looked at her for a long moment. "He's out there, Carter. He'll be back."
There they were. The words she longed to hear. Sam took a deep breath and nodded. "Thank you, sir. I think I just needed to hear someone else say that."
"Yes, well, happy to oblige." He scowled at the pages on his desk briefly before looking back up at Sam. "Was there something else?"
"Actually, yes. I was hoping to get base clearance for Pete. I'd like him to meet Dad."
"And he can't do that off-base?"
"It would really mean a lot, sir." If she was able to get Pete on the base, her father wouldn't be able to find an excuse to be unavailable.
The General just frowned. The sound of a throat clearing made Sam turn around. Sergeant Harriman stood in the doorway behind her.
"Uh," the Sergeant said. "There seems to be a problem in the infirmary, General. They, um, haven't been able to find a solvent to remove the slime from SG-7, and it's, uh, starting to solidify."
General O'Neill sighed and stood up. "You know, there was once a time when that might have surprised me."
He turned back to Sam on his way out the door. "Clearance granted, Carter."
"Thank you, sir."
The meeting between her father and Pete could definitely have gone better, Sam decided. She really wanted them to like each other. She wanted her dad to approve of her fiance. There were so many things Sam wanted. Lately, it seemed she wasn't getting any of them.
Her dad sat across the commissary table from her, absently pushing his food around on his plate. He hadn't eaten much. And he had said even less about Pete.
"So," Sam said, breaking the silence. "You gonna visit Mark and the kids this trip?"
"Tomorrow," he said, smiling.
She studied him. His smile seemed forced. "Is everything okay?"
"I'm just not very hungry."
"You've been pretty quiet."
Sam nodded and poked at her Jell-o. He obviously didn't want to talk about the meeting with Pete. But she needed to talk about it. She took a deep breath. "Dad?"
"It's been two hours since Pete left. You haven't said a word."
"I did so."
"'He seems nice'?"
"I believe that's three words."
"I'm going to marry him."
"I know." He nodded and looked at her with what she was afraid might be sadness or disappointment. Or worse, both. "I just met him. What do you want me to say?"
The truth was, Sam didn't know what she wanted him to say. All she knew is that she wanted him to say something.
"I know how happy he makes you," her dad continued. "That's all that matters to me."
She nodded slowly, watching him carefully. "Okay." She looked down at her Jell-o and gathered some on her spoon.
"Selmak really liked him."
Sam struggled not to roll her eyes. "Selmak."
"Yeah, and he's a great judge of character."
"Well, okay." Sam glanced at him and then back at her food. She was starting to get the distinct impression that her dad didn't want her to marry Pete. As much as she appreciated the softening effect the blending with Selmak had on her father's personality, it bothered her that he often hid behind his symbiote when faced with something he didn't want to talk about.
"Look, Sam. I'm tired."
She looked up, worried. Her dad never admitted weakness, not even when he had been dying of cancer.
He swallowed with what seemed like an effort. "It's been a long day. I think I'm going to turn in early."
"Are you sure nothing else is wrong?"
"Yeah. I'll see you in the morning."
"Good night." Sam watched him go and absently tapped her bowl with her spoon. Then, abandoning her Jell-o, she got up and followed him. She jogged down the corridor to catch up.
He sighed when she joined him. "Sam, I'm fine."
She shrugged. "I just wanted to walk my dad back to his quarters."
"Alright, then." They walked in silence for a moment before he spoke again. "Still no word from Daniel?"
"Not yet, no."
"How are you holding up?"
"I'm fine, Dad."
"Sure you are."
Sam rolled her eyes. Like he was one to talk. At the door to his quarters, he turned, his eyes narrowing slightly as he looked at her.
"Sammy, does he know?"
She blinked, confused. "Does who know what?"
Her dad studied her for a long moment. He seemed about to say something, but he just shook his head. "Never mind."
"Dad." Sam placed a hand on his arm as he opened the door. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine."
Sam pursed her lips, frustrated. She wished he'd stop saying that. "Dad."
"I am, kiddo. I just need some sleep." He pulled away from her and entered his quarters. The door closed quietly behind him.
To be continued...
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