She was to blame, totally. She knew it and everyone else did too. She could see it in their faces, as soon as the news came through, they all looked at her, even the damn Tok'ra!
All she could see, wherever she looked was accusation, IF he ever got back it would be no thanks to her and she knew he would never forgive her. She wanted to dig a deep hole and crawl into it. She knew there was nothing she could have done that would have been worse. And worse than everything, she did it for totally selfish reasons, oh, she could justify it, say she did it for earth, or for the SGC, but the truth is that she did it because she just could not stand the thought of losing him.
Why the hell couldn't Ayiana have lasted for just one more healing, or even better, healed him instead of HER! She could have taken the symbiote, though it was something she really didn't ever want to do again, she knew it would have been better for everyone if he was here.
She went to her lab to 'work' but she couldn't fool herself, she was just there hiding from the gazes of the others, she had nothing to work with! She remembered looking down at him as he lay dying, and begging him "Sir…Please" and hoping he would agree and it wouldn't be the last time she saw him.
And he had agreed! And he had gone and got 'a snake' and then he had… gone. The councillor was being held by Teal'c, he wasn't happy, Jonas was watching the weather channel and eating fruit, General Hammond was waiting for an answer from the Tok'ra about the missions Kanan had been on. And she was 'thinking'.
The announcement came, "Major Carter to the Briefing Room" and she set off hoping there was news. There wasn't. All they had was the reports, no news, no sign of him anywhere. The looks were once more directed at her as she Teal'c and Jonas rushed off to scan and try and find out what the hell caused Kanan to walk off with her CO.
They looked over a years worth of missions, at least with the Tok'ra that meant only 3 missions, as they took so long getting into place. They had the one in Zipacnas ship, one in Baals fortress and one on Yu's main world.
Taking them in order of him doing them, he started the year inside Yu's main palace as a minor Goa'uld in his service and he had assassinated several of Yu's key servants, causing disruption in his ranks.
Then he switched to Baal and infiltrated his heavily defended fortress mapping it out, scouting the things that were being developed. He had got all the intel he needed and just had time to switch to 'zippys' ship, where he managed to sabotage the shield generator in time for Yu to come along and destroy it. Kanan had only just managed to escape at that point, and it caused the death of his host.
Jonas had looked at her strangely as she said 'Zippy' but she couldn't say it any other way, It made Jack seem closer if she used his speech patterns it was really getting to her, she had started trying to see things his way. After all, she had told him a few months ago that he saw the simple solutions, and he had, and saved them all by thinking of using the hyperspace generators when everyone else was out of ideas.
Now he was no longer around it was up to her, she had to be both the brains and the ideas, the leader and the courage for the group, and she couldn't do it. Not only could she not do the Colonels parts, she wasn't sure she could do her own without his inspiration, his outlook, his… O'Neill-ness.
She took a deep breath, trying to steady herself, but all she accomplished was a lungful of air with no trace of him on it. Whenever he was near she could sense him, and if he was in the same room she could almost smell him, though he would be offended if she told him, it was nothing to do with personal hygiene and everything to do with his total maleness, he just oozed pheromones, ones that she could not resist, she could almost taste him on the air, and she wished that some time in the last five and a half years she had taken the risk and tasted him for real. The only time she had tried to, she had been ill, and though she remembered it ever since, it wasn't enough, he hadn't responded because of the infection. DAMN! She wished she had, just once, pushed him up against the wall and taken what she needed. But she hadn't, and what was worse was, she could not for the life of her think WHY she hadn't, because it looked like her career would be over if he never came back, so what was she protecting?
She was looking though the journal the report about Baal was written in when she noticed something, if she had not been thinking about her missed opportunities, she would probably have overlooked it, after all this was not the first time she had read it. HER…SHE… the words jumped out at her. When he was referencing his access into Baals chambers to get the deactivation code he mentioned the Lotar, and he also mentioned her gender. Sam knew, that as much as Jack accepted her as a fellow officer, even a fellow front line combat officer, he still opened doors for her, waved her forwards if they were queuing for anything, and gave her considerations he would not think to give a male counterpart.
It was one of the reasons so many of the female staff lusted after him, he saw them as soldiers, but as women too, and the one did not detract from the other in his eyes, so they would accept from him behaviour that would have caused feminist outrage in any other man. Sam was suddenly sure where he had gone, he had gone to rescue HER, she could not be left behind, not only because she helped him, but because she was female! She brought it to the attention of the other two men, both of whom agreed with her when she explained it.
So, they knew where he was, what could they do about it now? Sam loaded the schematics for the fortress, and they REALLY weren't kidding when they called it that. She could not see a way in, though she COULD see how the Colonel would have got back in, they could not do the same, it was a once only use, Baal, or his Jaffa would block it as soon as he used it, and if she was reading the plans correctly it looked like he would have no chance of escaping, though he could probably get her out. Sam felt a surge of jealousy which was ridiculous, but she couldn't help it, he was risking everything for someone he had never met!
How very Jack O'Neill of him. Her heart hurt, she wanted to see him again! Even if it was only once!
They worked through the night, getting nowhere. Eventually Teal'c had to leave, he had not done his Kel'no'reem the night before, and had to meditate for at least a few hours. Sam was once again sunk into the mire she had formed for herself, there was just nothing she could see that could help. No matter how big a strike force, they would not get in, and without getting IN they couldn't get him OUT! And it was all her fault!
She felt a draught of wind pass by her, strange, she had been feeling that sensation for a few weeks on and off, and yet never in the same place twice, Teal'c and Jack had put it down to the ventilation shafts but she wasn't sure that was it, then again, she had no idea what IT was either!
She heard Teal'c leave his quarters as she prowled the halls, but she didn't want to be seen by him, so she ducked into a store cupboard until he passed. He went past with his usual pace, intent on something, but she couldn't raise her curiosity to the level needed to find out WHAT he was doing, when he was supposed to be meditating.
She was soon to find out, she was called to the Generals office. Teal'c had had an idea!