Chapter 10: Coming to Terms

"It has to be Mary," Jack said to Teal'c. His mind working overtime, he struggled with knowing the danger Sam was in at this very moment. "I never should have left her," he continued. "What was I thinking?"

"Neither of us believed Mary would strike this soon or this violently, O'Neill," Teal'c stated as they raced to the surface, hurriedly making their way to Jack's truck. It didn't take much for the Jaffa to sense his friend's desperate determination to reach his wife as soon as possible. As it was, even the heavily muscled warrior strained to match O'Neill's stride as he sprinted from the elevator to reach his vehicle for the trip home.

"I am surprised you have allowed me to bring a Goa'uld weapon out of the SGC," Teal'c observed once he'd managed to catch up with Jack.

"Whatever it takes, T., We might need it," Jack said gesturing toward the zat Teal'c now concealed in his jacket.

Jack threw open the driver's side door and jumped in, slamming the door behind him. Before Teal'c could close the passenger door, the vehicle was in motion. With no regard for the speed limit or rules of the road, he madly piloted his favorite vehicle over the local thoroughfares. He only wished Thor was available to instantaneously beam him to his location. Even that wouldn't have been soon enough for him. If anything happens to her ... he thought.

"Samantha is a formidable warrior," Teal'c said, attempting to calm his distraught friend. "Furthermore, I believe Daniel Jackson is more than capable of mounting a significant defense. It was he who alerted us to this situation."

"Yeah, I know," Jack answered. It was the tone he used to tell Teal'c he'd prefer to go the rest of the way in silence. In fact he was devoting his energy and attention to listening to the feed from Daniel's phone. Teal'c was right, it was a stroke of genius that Daniel had the presence of mind to place the call and switch to speaker. Otherwise...

Good, Sam, keep her talking, Jack thought, listening to his wife stalling for time.

Then the phone cut out; there was silence, nothing.

"Damn it!"

Jack had no way of knowing why Daniel's phone cut out. He assumed the worst and hoped for the best. If Mary had realized what Daniel was doing ...

The truck went faster. There was no way Jack was stopping, even for law enforcement If anyone tried to stop him, he'd keep right on going and lead them all in a merry chase to his front door, to Sam's rescue.

OoOoOo

At the house, Sam realized her time was running out. She had to think and think quickly. Then she remembered. She knew this girl. It was a long time ago, but she knew Mary.

"Wait," Sam said, as she followed Mary's orders and rose to her feet. "I'm having a baby, Mary," she said. "The doctor says I'm having a boy. I know you don't want to hurt an innocent child. You have no argument with my child. Please, think of that."

Mary's face showed little recognition of what Sam was saying. Her index finger began to push against the trigger. Sam was loosing this battle, but she had one more card to play.

"Remember when your mom lost her baby, your little brother, before he was born," Sam said. "Jonas told me about it, how you cried and cried. You were only a little girl yourself. The baby was stillborn; Jonas believed your father had something to do with it, hurt your mom and your baby brother," Sam continued, closely watching Mary's reactions.

"You aren't like your father, Mary. You wouldn't hurt a child. Please, think, remember the baby."

Mary began to cry silently. Whether they were tears of sadness or rage, Sam wasn't completely certain. But Mary didn't drop the gun. While the tears continued to fall, the woman holding the gun pulled herself up sharply and regained her strength of will.

"How dare you compare yourself to my mother!" Mary shouted. "You're nothing like my mother! You don't deserve to have a child, not after what you did to my brother!"

It wasn't working. Sam's words simply antagonized Mary all the more. She knew what she had to do. She couldn't wait any longer.

Without warning, Sam gasped.

"Oh my God," she whimpered, doubling over in pain and holding her abdomen. "My baby..."

"Sam," Daniel called, beginning to crawl towards her, realizing inaction was pointless now. Whatever Mary was going to do she was going to do. He'd stop her any way he could. He couldn't anticipate what she actually did next. But Sam had guessed correctly.

Sam was on the right track when she called to mind Mary's mother's troubled pregnancy. She knew Mary had witnessed her mother's struggles when she was a young girl and mourned the loss of that baby. Instinctively, interpreting Sam's actions as signs another pregnancy was in trouble, Mary lowered her gun arm and rushed to Sam's side in a supportive gesture. Then, in the blink of an eye, everything changed.

As soon as Mary was at her side, Sam straightened up and flew into action. In an instant, the well trained officer kicked Mary's legs out from under her. Mary was thrown face first onto the carpeted floor. In the process, the pistol went flying out of her hand. More slowly than usual but just as effectively, Sam managed to pin her assailant to the floor, twisting one arm behind her back. In the meantime, Daniel succeeded in pulling himself forward far enough to gain possession of the handgun. Now, he reversed positions with the shooter.

"Stay right where you are," Daniel said from his braced position on the floor. "I know how to use this too."

With a sigh of relief, Sam glanced at Daniel from her uncomfortable position on the floor, kneeling over Mary.

"Thanks," she said, with a wan smile.

"You okay?" Daniel countered

"Now I am," Sam answered. "Much better; I'm not sure if I can get up, but here goes nothing."

Knowing Daniel had Mary contained for the time being, Sam grabbed onto the sofa behind her and pulled herself to a standing position. Without further ado she walked around Mary, still lying prone on the floor and past Daniel to the side table where the landline was.

"What are you doing?" Daniel asked.

"Calling for help," she said.

"Jack should be here any second," Daniel replied. "I paged him," he said, pointing to his pocket with a proud grin.

"That's great," Sam said, "but you need medical help."

Daniel winced. "Yeah, I guess I do," he admitted, reminded of his tenuous condition by the throbbing pain in his leg.

"And we need the police."

OoOoOo

Though it was normally a twenty minute commute this time of day, it took Jack and Teal'c all of ten minutes to traverse the ten miles between the SGC and the O'Neill home. Barely putting the truck in park, Jack leapt from the driver's seat and positioned himself in a crouch beneath the large picture window looking into his living room. What met his eyes was far better than the sight he'd expected.

Sam stood facing the window, talking on the phone. Daniel was sitting spread eagle in the middle of the floor holding a gun on the blonde female intruder. The woman, most likely Mary, was still laying face down in front of Daniel waiting for what would happen next.

Sam waved when she saw Jack, all the while maintaining her concentration on the phone call. She looked okay.

She waved at him. Here he was, his heart pounding out of his chest all the way over here and she was waving at him! He should have known she could take care of herself. Signaling Teal'c to go in, Jack got up and followed his good friend into the house. Gratefully there was no need for the extra weapons they'd brought with them.

Teal'c went directly for the intruder, pulled her to her feet and securely restrained her. Daniel breathed a sigh of relief. Without a second thought, he gladly surrendered the gun to Jack who removed the clip and placed the weapon out of harm's way. By then, Sam had completed her 911 call and put down the phone. Jack was at her side.

"Are you okay?"

"I'm fine," she assured him, doing her best to flash him a slight smile. "The ambulance is for Daniel."

"I am the one who's shot," Daniel protested, feigned deep distress over Jack's lack of concern.

"Yes, you are," Jack said. Despite that acknowledgment, Jack focused all of his attention on his wife. What with Teal'c clearly in charge of the situation with Mary, Jack slowly wrapped his arms around Sam. In spite of herself, Sam all but collapsed into his arms. She had to admit, she was emotionally exhausted and so glad to see Jack riding to the rescue. Plus, she didn't feel all that well. For a moment she simply let herself relax into her husband's arms.

Then the sirens drew closer. The ambulance, followed closely by the police cruiser, had arrived.

Reluctantly, Sam pulled back from Jack's embrace.

"I need to talk with her Jack," Sam said, "before they take her away."

Jack couldn't believe his ears. The woman had tried to kill his wife and child, and Sam wanted to talk with her. Jack wanted to strangle Mary, not talk with her. He was glad Teal'c had been the one to restrain her. He wouldn't have trusted himself.

"You sure?"

"Yes," Sam said. "I owe her that much."

OoOoOo

The next week found everyone slowly getting back to normal.

Much to Jack's chagrin, Daniel hadn't been the only one requiring a trip to the emergency room. Shortly after Mary was taken into custody, Sam complained of abdominal cramping. With Jack beside himself, she'd been ushered to her obstetrician and admitted overnight for observation. Turns out, hand to hand combat, wasn't exactly recommended for pregnant woman. Fortunately the only damage done had been a pulled groin muscle. The baby, gratefully, seemed content to stay put for the time being.

Meanwhile, Daniel's wound had been treated, a cast was applied to his leg and he was fitted with crutches. He was released from the hospital the next day with activity restrictions he promptly violated in order to visit the O'Neills. Vala insisted she'd agreed to drive him over under extreme emotional duress.

As for Mary, well, she'd been arraigned the next morning, charged with assault in the matter of Daniel's shooting. At Sam's instigation, a fairly elaborate plea agreement had been worked out. In exchange for an abbreviated prison sentence, Mary agreed to a prolonged period of post release supervision and mandatory long term therapy. Where she could have received up to fifteen years on all charges, the plea agreement allowed for two years at a minimal security women's prison, followed by five years supervised release.

What's more, the O'Neills agreed to forgo any charges stemming from the unauthorized making and use of the DVD. That meant neither Mary nor Vanessa would be charged in that matter. Better yet, for the O'Neills, no one else need be aware of the existence of that particularly objectionable piece of handiwork. In a private document drawn up by their lawyers, a conditional release was detailed where the O'Neills were guaranteed all copies of the DVD had been turned over to them. Any violation of that agreement would result in immediate prosecution of both women to the fullest extent of the law.

If it had been up to Jack, he would have thrown the book at Mary. Be that as it may, one week after Sam and Daniel had been held at gunpoint, Jack was getting used to seeing things Sam's way … very slowly.

"Sam, I get it," Jack said. "You feel sorry for her. But do you have to visit her?"

"No, I don't have to," she replied. "But I want to do it. She may not want to see me, but I can try."

"So I'll go with you," Jack said. He knew better than to try to talk Sam out of something once she'd made up her mind. And he certainly wasn't having her go alone.

"Can you explain one thing to me?"

"What's that?" Sam asked.

"Why?"

"Why visit Mary?"

Jack nodded.

Sam took a deep breath. She grabbed Jack's hand in one of hers and placed it on her abdomen. With her other hand she tenderly stroked his cheek. She had his full attention.

"We're having a baby in less than three months," she said. "He'll be one lucky kid; he'll have two parents who'll always be there for him. Maybe I'm foolish, but Mary never had that. Everyone abandoned her, including me. I'd like to do something about that, even if it's only visiting her in prison. Nobody else will."

Jack reached up with his free hand, tangling his fingers gently in her hair. He thanked God she was safe. Sam, his wife, the one he loved more than anything. He knew she wasn't the kind to sappily believe Mary's behavior could be excused by a poor childhood. Still, Sam cared. And whether or not he could agree with her, he loved her all the more.

The End


I hope you enjoyed the story. Reviews, thoughts, suggestions for improvement greatly appreciated.

I'm intending to take a break from fanfic writing for awhile (I'll see how long that resolution lasts). I'm planning to take time to sit back and enjoy reading some of your stories!