Disclaimer: I own nothing of SG1 or of BtVS, although I would like to own Michael Shanks, I would be such a happy girl. LOL. Seriously though, all characters belong to their creators and the who ever else they belong to, which is not me in any way shape or form.
Kawalsky leaned back in his chair, laughing at the thunderstruck Colonel.
"I did what?" Two air men that had been walking past shot the Colonel startled glances at his incredulous tone.
The major smirked. "Oh yeah; General Orlando never even knew who flew them on the flag pole. It was there half a day just waving in the wind outside of his office. Hell, he threatened the entire base with a court martial if no one came forward. Two weeks later he was transferred."
Jack shook his head. He remembered thinking about it, sure, and who hadn't? The general had been an ass in more than one way. But he'd never acted on the impulse, even after he had learned about the heart-spotted boxers that the general was rumored to have owned. Great! His alternate from the other reality had not only been happily married, but he'd also flown a general's undies on a flag pole. Damn, he'd have to top that somehow.
"I recognize that gleam," Kawalsky said, a hint of a smile on his face. The Major burst out with a loud laugh at the 'who, me?' look that Jack gave him, nearly tipping back his chair.
"So what about you, Kawalsky? What happened?" Jack had almost called him Charlie, but, he had stopped himself. For a moment the Colonel had to remind himself that his Charlie, the man after whom he had named his own son was dead, and even though this was Charles Kawalsky, it wasn't Charlie Kawalsky. The realization hurt.
A little voice in Jack's head calmly pointed out that this wasn't Charlie, that it was a double from another reality. Luckily, Jack was really good at ignoring the little voices in his head. The same little voices, which were more then a little prudish, had been the reason he hadn't flown those boxers in the first place in his own reality.
A shadow passed over his friend's face, the smile faltering, and Jack regretted the question. "Listen, you don't have to--"
Kawalsky shook his head. "No, it's okay. I got engaged. About four years ago. To a cheerleader, if you can believe it."
"Yeah, a cheerleader. Well, she was one in high school, anyway. I met her the summer she came and visited Sammy and... her husband. It was love at first sight. She was...incredible."
Kawalsky fell silent, his eyes darkening with the memories.
"She died less then a year after we were married, exactly fourteen months after we had met. It was before the damn snakes even started attacking. She and her w...partner were attacked coming back from a...a stakeout. They had been left for dead. By the time I got to the hospital, her partner had died and she had been nearly bled dry. The damage was too bad. They tried, though, they really did. Doctor said she had been askin' for me. Said she was just holdin' on, they hadn't even told her that Merrick was dead, they were too afraid that she would die right then and there if they did. It was the hardest thing I had ever done before, walking into that room. She was hooked up to so many damned machines. But she woke up when I picked up her hand, she smiled at me, and then she died. I would've lost it, if it hadn't been for you and Sammy."
"She was a cop?"
Kawalsky smiled sadly. "Yeah, buddy, something like that."
Straightening up, Kawalsky leaned onto the table top, worry etching his face. "Sammy's gonna be okay, right? I mean, once they figure something out? I know what the doc said, but still..."
"Don't worry, she'll be fine. Between the two of them, I'm sure they will come up with something." There was a pause as Jack was trying to figure out how to ask the next question. "You really care for her, don't you? You never even really knew her in this reality."
"Yeah, she's the only thing I have left of Beth."
Jack raised an eyebrow at the statement.
"Beth, she was my wife. I promised her before she died that I'd always take care of her sister. It's the one promise that I intend to keep."
"Sister? You mean Carter had a sister?"
Kawalsky looked a little surprised at the question. "Well, yeah; it was always a joke between us, about the two of them marrying into the military. Huh, I guess she didn't exist in this reality. Too bad, Jack, you would have loved her."
The two continued to talk for hours, catching up on a lifetime that they hadn't shared, each pretending that it was their old friend who was sitting before them. Each one pretending that, for the night, their ghosts didn't exist. Remembering happier times that seemed -- now, more then ever -- to be so far away.
Just to let you know its set after Chosen and post season two of SG1, though I haven't decided exactly when. The next chapter will be on the two Sam's and then I'll fast forward a little.
This is in response to a challenge issued on TtH. Mainly, Buffy is Carter's sister and its reunion time, though neither one is expecting it. Hope you enjoyed the first chapter!