Summary: Sam and Jack are lucky.
Content Warnings: None
Season/sequel info: Time period of Season 4 of Atlantis (before Midway), but takes place on Earth
Spoilers: General knowledge of Stargate SG-1 and Season 4 of Atlantis
Summary: They're very lucky.
Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me though the Captain and his family are original characters...and I'm not making any money for this. No copyright infringement is intended. Any similarity to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
Author's Note: This story is dedicated to my friend Amy, who just saw her husband for the first time since he began his deployment process to Afghanistan. And to my friend Alaine, whose husband is a chaplain who left earlier this month and is waiting to deploy to meet his unit which is already in Afghanistan.
Author's Note 2: I started this version of the story first before I decided to go with a more general version, so I apologize for the overlap. As promised, I have finished this one and posted it as well. Hope you enjoy!
Copyright © SGater926, 19 February 2008
Sam sighed and snuggled into Jack's side as they sat on the couch together after months apart. "You know, Jack, we're lucky."
"Whaddya mean?" Jack rested his cheek on the top of Sam's head.
"I've been thinking..."
"Jack!" Sam slapped his arm playfully and he kissed her temple, smiling. Jack could sense her mood shift back to serious and he settled down.
"What did you mean, Sam?"
"Well...at least we get to see each other, even if it is just once every few months." She paused for a moment. "And when we are apart we have regular communication, unless Atlantis or Earth is on lockdown or something, which isn't often. It's hard to be stationed a galaxy away, to be in localized command of the front line of a war, but at least I live in a city with more than all of the modern conveniences and defenses. When I do get to come home, it takes me a 30 minute stop-over at the Midway station and maybe a delay at the SGC and then I'm here to my home. My husband knows everything I go through and he can get the words straight from me or from my superiors, in fact, it's required that he know my status. We have regular transports back and forth between us with almost no danger of things being lost, stolen, or damaged..." Sam straightened and turned to look at Jack. "We're just...lucky."
She took a deep breath. "I think of all the men and women who are deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan...and everywhere else we have troops. They're gone from home for years sometimes. They're not allowed to come back from a mission and go home, turn on the TV and have a beer and a steak. They're not allowed to see their families on downtime. Their families are left in the dark about where they are, what they're going through... We've both been there. I was raised as an Air Force brat, we were both in the Gulf War..." She stopped suddenly remembering that this was something Jack might not want to be reminded of, both because of his time as a POW and the family he left behind that he eventually lost. She looked up apologetically and he just smiled softly at her and held her tighter.
"It's okay. Go on."
"W-well, working for the SGC, we've always had all those luxuries. Even looking death in the face more times than I can count, we've been incredibly lucky. I've worked side by side with my best friends, my family really, and the man I love, for years. When I've been in danger, you guys have always been right there by my side or I know you've been out looking for me. When any of you have been in danger I've been right there too either with you or working to find you. And you know, those times when we haven't known where someone was or what happened to them, it was torture...but at least we knew the situation and could try work to do something about it. I can't imagine going through that emotional distress all the time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for over a year at a time..." Her arms tightened around him. "I'm not saying our lives are easy, or that they ever were, but when I think about it, it could be so much harder. I mean, the dangers they face over there are no less real than the dangers we face in this galaxy or the Pegasus galaxy. Death is no less of a reality for them than it is for us. Their lives, their families, are no less valuable than ours. Their sacrifice isn't any easier..." She trailed off, worried that Jack wouldn't understand or that he would think she was being silly.
He was silent for a moment, contemplating what she had said. Suddenly he remembered something. "You know, Sam, I think I heard there's an Army Airborne Special Forces unit coming in next week to the Denver airport. We could go welcome 'em home if ya want."
Sam raised her head and turned to meet his eyes. "Really?"
"Of course. You and me, and I'll see if I can't get some more people to come along."
Sam buried her face in his chest as she hugged him. "Thank you, Jack."
The next Saturday, along with other well-wishers who had gathered at the terminal at the Denver International Airport, a good number of people from SGC, including Major General Hank Landry, Major General Jack O'Neill, Colonel Samantha Carter, and Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell and the rest of SG-1, gathered to welcome home some of the Army's finest back to the US. Sam never imagined that her little declamation would end in this. Marines and Air Force personnel were showed up in an array of dress uniforms and BDUs, and they brought their families with them. All the military members lined up on either side of the exit to the gate and stood waiting with their families with Landry and Jack at the head of the lines, Mitchell and Sam next to them respectively. Jack glanced at Sam and she smiled her 1,000-watt smile at him and he grinned back. As the soldiers deplaned, they were greeted with the call to attention given by O'Neill and all the SGC military members snapped to attention on either side. The Company Commander, a Captain, halted and came to attention before Jack out of respect and stood in awe at the reception that greeted him and his troops.
"At ease, Captain." Jack smiled kindly and reached out to shake the man's hand. "Welcome home."
The commander was still a little shocked at the welcome. What in the world would make the flyboys and even some jarheads assemble the troops and come to the airport for some Army Airborne unit? Especially considering said "flyboys" included 2 two-stars, a full bird, and a light bird? "Th-thank you, sir."
Jack turned to address the other soldiers who were coming out of the terminal. "We just wanted to show our appreciation for your sacrifice and your dedication to our country. Welcome home." Jack finished with a sharp salute that was echoed by the men and women under his command and returned by a stunned but smiling group of soldiers.
A loud "Ooh-rah!" went up from the Marines and soon the soldiers were surrounded by the applause and cheers of the SGC members and their families and the other civilians and veterans who had come out to greet the unit. The soldiers made their way down the line shaking hands and receiving hugs, well-wishes, and care packages. When the last soldier was through and the crowd was starting to disperse, the commander, accompanied by his wife holding their daughter, came back to where Jack was standing with Sam, Landry and SG-1. He stepped forward to greet her.
The commander's wife gave him a teary smile, "Thank you so much, General. I know it means a lot to them, to us, to have people welcome them home like this."
Jack was at a loss for what to say, so he went with short, sweet and honest. "We're just glad to have them home, ma'am. We know what it's like." He looked back at the others and they smiled and nodded in acknowledgement.
"Thank you for helping make my daddy smile." The little girl in her arms piped up and quickly ducked her face in her mother's arm.
Jack smiled gently at the little girl. "You're welcome, sweetheart." The little girl turned her head a bit and peeked at him out of the corner of her eye. Seeing him smiling at her, she turned her face fully towards him and gave him a shy smile back. Jack's smile broadened and the girl giggled. Jack reached out with one hand and ruffled her hair.
Jack turned again to the commander. "You have a beautiful family, Captain. Take care of them."
"Yes, sir." The Captain wasn't sure what was going on with the Air Force General, but he sensed that there was something more behind his words than just polite small talk.
"Thank you again, sir."
Jack just nodded. They shook hands once more before the young man turned with his family and made his way home. Sam came and stood by Jack's side, placing her hand in his and leaning into him, and they stood and watched the family depart. After they were out of sight, Jack turned toward her, wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into a tight hug. After a moment they broke apart and just shared a wordless moment.
Sam finally broke the silence as she spoke quietly. "Thank you, Jack."
"Actually, thank you, Sam. Anytime you get to thinking, you just let me know." He winked at her. "But seriously, I'm glad we did this."
"As usual, your brilliant plan is met with resounding success!"
"Actually, Jack, it was your plan. I just provided the idea." She quirked an eyebrow at him.
"Sam..." Jack's voice held a teasing warning.
They just smiled at each other until Jack turned to their companions.
"You all ready?"
The other five members of their little family nodded, smiling to themselves at the little moment they witnessed.
"Well then, let's go!"
Daniel rolled his eyes while Teal'c simply inclined his head with a small smile. Vala smiled brilliantly and insinuated herself between the two men, taking each of their arms. Landry shook his head, laughing slightly and Cam smirked and snapped off a sloppy salute muttering a "Yes, sir!"
"So, what do you guys think about grabbing some dinner before we head back? I hear there's this place that serves great steaks..."
"That would be most satisfying, O'Neill."
"As long as there's a pool table." Sam smiled wickedly.
"I don't know if we want to go there again, Colonel..." Jack teased. "Right, Dannyboy?"
"Shut up, Jack."
"Ooh, I sense a good story behind this."
"Vala..." Daniel warned.
"Come on, Jackson! Live a little!"
"I think that's maybe what got him into trouble in the first place."
Daniel just groaned as the others laughed.
Jack walked out of the airport that day feeling better than he had in a long while. He was reminded of what they were really fighting for. It was so people like that could have a chance to be heroes to their families, their friends, and their nation. It was so that little girl could grow up without the fear of alien invasion or slavery. It was for moments like this when he could put his arm around his wife and be surrounded by their best friends...their family, moments where they were free to just be who they are and to show their appreciation to others like themselves who also stand in the gap and fight for freedom. Yes, indeed, Jack thought to himself, Sam was right, they certainly were very lucky.
End Notes: So, there you go. The shippy version. Really the ship is just a plot device, so I don't even think I would consider this to fall under the "romance" category. Anyway, hope you enjoyed it. Let me know!