Title: The Journal

Series: Stargate Atlantis

Theme: General/Romance/Mystery

Characters: Main Cast of SGA

Rating/Warning: PG-13/Mild Language/SEASON 5 SPOILER

Summary: It was a simple question. Straight forward and honest, like the man who asked it and yet powerful enough to bring Sam close to tears.

Links: devinem27 (dot) livejournal (dot) com

Chapter 5: Welcome Home

The sudden flash of light and resounding swoosh of the event horizon briefly drew John's attention. It was a sight that he never tired of and doubted he ever would. John leaned against the upper railing, just outside of the control center, and glanced down at the gate room below. Nearly twenty military and civilian personnel were preparing to depart for Stargate Command; their notices of reassignment having arrived less than a week ago, along with the news that Atlantis would be receiving a new expedition leader. The latter news had come as a surprise to everyone, including the current leader, Col. Samantha Carter.

John was saddened to see her go. Over the last year, he'd grown to trust and respect Sam's command. She had the field experience and scientific knowledge needed to successfully muddle through the ciaos that they handled on a daily basis. But what saddened him even more, was the fact that her temporary replacement would be Woolsey.

John sighed as personnel began to enter the wormhole and turned to the woman on his left.

"Well, I guess it's about that time."

Sam turned from the gate and slowly nodded. Together, they made their way down the stairwell leading to the gate room.

"Anything you plan on getting done before Woolsey arrives?"

John looked back over his shoulder at Rodney's solemn figure, standing near the top of the stairwell. He glanced down at the gate in time to see Katie Brown wave goodbye, before stepping through the event horizon. John turned back to Sam and sighed.

"Yeah, trying to cheer up a friend."

When they reached the lower level, Sam briefly glanced at Rodney.

"He'll pull through. He just needs a little time."

John nodded.

She turned to John and shook his hand.

"It's been a pleasure."

John smiled.

"Same here."

"I leave Atlantis in your capable hands."

John tipped his head in acknowledgement.

"Goodbye and good luck."

Sam smiled.

"Same to you, John."

John stood back, giving Sam a moment to take one last look around the city before she headed for the gate. With one last smile and a quick wave, she was gone. John made his way up the stairs taking them two at a time. Pausing beside Rodney, he gently shoved the other man's shoulder.

"Come on. Let's go drown our sorrows in a couple of large bowls of blue jello."

Stargate Command

Sam inhaled the moment she stepped out of the wormhole. She glanced towards the end of the loading ramp and smiled. Slowly making her way forward, she nodded at General Landry and walked into the waiting arms of Dr. Daniel Jackson. He squeezed her gently before letting go.

"It's good to see you, Sam."

"You too, Daniel. Sir."

General Landry shook her hand.

"Welcome home, Colonel. After your check up, I'll need to give you a quick debrief, but after that you're fee to go. For the moment, please excuse me, I have a few phone calls to make."

Daniel took one of Sam's bags and walked with her to the infirmary.

"Once you're all done here, I'll take you to the hotel where you'll be staying. It has a new restaurant that's supposed to be really nice. We were planning to have a celebratory dinner in your honor at around seven-thirty, unless you're too tired."

Sam's brow knotted.

"A hotel? I could stay at the SGC."

Daniel turned up his lips.

"Vala suggested it."

Sam did nothing to cover her smirk.

"Ahhh! And how is Ms. Mal Doran these days?"

Daniel mumbled under his breath.

"We're engaged."

Sam stopped in her tracks and turned to face him.

"Excuse me? Did you say…..engaged?"

Daniel glanced up out of the corner of his eyes and adjusted his glasses. He knew what was coming, but tried to think of something that would distract her.

"Yes, I said engaged."

Sam laughed.

"I knew it! I told y-."

"Did I tell you that Jack was in town?"

Sam's eyes widened.

"General O'Neill is here?"

Daniel slipped his hands into his pockets and slowly rocked from heel to toe.

"Don't you mean Major General Jack O'Neill, U.S.A.F., retired?"

He slowly smiled.

"Yes he's in town. Jack heard you were coming back and decided to make a trip, Teal'c as well."

Sam turned continuing down the hall.

"How did they find out?"

"Cameron. You know how he is about 'getting the band back together' whenever he can."

"I would have thought they'd both be too busy to get away."

Daniel smirked.

"Are you kidding? When I suggested dinner, they both had the same reply."

Sam smiled.

"And what was that?"

Daniel gave her a telling glance.

"Undomesticated equines could not keep me away."

Later That Evening

"So Teal'c is out, Daniel loses a contact and is down, leaving me against Vala. I'm thinking to myself, 'game over'. There's no way, no way that she could possibly take me."

Cameron glanced across the table at Vala's smiling face and shook his head.

"I don't know what the hell she called it. The, the…Cai..Cake ta-."

"The Qaik-Ta, Teal'c taught it to me."

Cameron nodded at Vala, but rolled his eyes.

"Whatever, I didn't even see it happen. She hit me so damned hard, man, I though my teeth would shatter. Before I knew it, I was flat on my ass and the game was over. I don't care what anyone says. She tried to kill me."

Sam wiped the tears from her face. She was laughing so hard, she could hardly breathe. Jack, Vala and even Teal'c were laughing as well.

Daniel tried to cover his grin.

"Cam, Vala did not try to kill you."

Mitchell leaned back in his chair and folded his arms.

"The hell she didn't."

Cam glanced down at his watch.

"Well anyway, Teal'c, if we're going to get you back in time, we should go in a few minutes."

Teal'c bowed his head, which was covered by a black beanie, in acknowledgement. After paying for the meal and gathering their things, the small group moved from the restaurant into the hotel lobby. They exchanged numbers, shared hugs and wished each other good night, before finally going their separate ways.


Sam shifted the book to one hand and reached for her glass of wine. It was a best selling murder mystery that she'd picked up earlier today at the mall, along with her new cell phone. While on Atlantis, she'd never had the time to sit down with a good book and relax. It wasn't something that she did often; only when she needed to clear her mind and tonight was one of those nights.

Sam was startled when her phone suddenly sprang to life, vibrating against the glass end table. She flipped it open and noticed that a new text message had been received. Sam navigated her way through the phone's menu until the message appeared. She glanced at the sender's info and smiled.

Are you up?

Her reply was simple.


It didn't take long to get a response.

Feel like having company?

Sam smiled as she sent her text.


The phone vibrated again a few seconds later.

See you in twenty.

When a knock sounded at the door, Sam felt her stomach muscles tighten. Since the last text message, she'd grown more nervous with every minute that passed and more anxious with every second. Slowly making her way to the door, she glanced through the peep hole before flipping the lock. As the door opened, he glanced up meeting her gaze. Sam stepped back, inviting him into the room and closed the door behind him. She caught the scent of his cologne as he walked by; it was warm and earthy, reminding her of the outdoors.

She watched as he slipped off his jacket and tossed it on the back of a chair, before leaning against the arm of the sofa. He glanced around the room.

"Nice. Expensive?"

Sam smiled, his question immediately putting her at ease. The sense of familiarity and comfort returned.

"The Air Force is picking up the tab."

"Hhmm, even better."

He sighed, glancing down at his hands, which were loosely folded together.

"So, how are you?"

Sam nodded.

"I'm good."

He titled his head, giving her a knowing look. Sam shrugged.

"Okay, I'm a little angry."

He arched a brow.

"A little?"

She held up her hands in surrender.

"Well okay, it's more like pissed. That little weasel back stabbed me and then volunteered to 'temporarily' take my place, when it's clear he just wants the job for himself. Uh, if I could catch him alone for a few minutes, I'd beat his as-."

Sam stopped her rant mid-sentence and glanced up to find him watching her intently.

"A little upset, huh."

Deciding change to subject, she asked a question.

"How have you been?"

He shrugged.

"Well, you know me, just staying busy."

Sam grew quiet. She tried to think of something else to say, but her brain refused to work. It was as if it had shut down and placed an 'out for lunch' sign in the window.


She glanced up as he held out his hand.

"Come here."

Sam slowly stepped forward and placed her hand in his. He used his free hand to gently caress her check and gazed into her eyes.

"Are you happy, Carter?"

It was a simple question. Straight forward and honest, like the man who asked it and yet powerful enough to bring Sam close to tears. She bowed her head to hide the gathering moisture.

"No, not really."

He lifted her chin, returning her gaze to his.

"Are you sure, absolutely sure, that this is what you want?"

Sam nodded, even as the tears rolled down her cheeks.

He stood, cupping her face with his hands and brushed the tears away with his thumbs.

"If we do this, everything changes. There's no going back."

She sighed.

"I know, but fighting this is useless. We've tried ignoring it, we've both pursued other relationships, you moved across the country and I even moved a galaxy away, but no matter what, we always end up here. It's time we accept the truth and take a chance. I love you too much not to try."

Jack tilted his head, capturing her lips in a deep, passionate kiss. When it ended, he glanced down at her slightly swollen lips and gently brushed them with the tip of his finger. He rested his head against hers and sighed.

"I love you too."

Sam readily went into his arms as he gathered her in another embrace. She held on tight; savoring his scent, his warmth, his taste. She'd missed this. It had called to her from millions of miles away. This was what she'd left behind. This was what her heart longed for. This was home.