Whimsy: Epilogue

Hey, I didn't forget about Whimsy's Destiny. A little surprise for Jack and Sam, and you, dear readers, too. Enjoy. Complete.

Confluence

"You have been mine since time untold.
Our love is immortal, don't you know?
Others will come and they will go,
but I loved you young and I'll love you old."

--

Alas.

Even the magic of Whimsy couldn't rush the course of human events.

And especially not these two humans.

So it was that two years later, a firmer deeper friendship grew between Col. Sam and General Jack. A trusted treasured friendship that would have remained a comfort to recall in their (separate) later years. Except for An Incident that shattered their status quo.

Until Sam returned from Atlantis where she'd nearly died.

--

Nearly died. Jack's insides quaked like jello at the near miss. No Whimsy to save her, no Jack watching her six.

Sam, unnaturally pale, deathly white – no. He'd waited – planned - to see her bathed in pearly moonlight. Sam swathed in moonlight, yes. Sam swathed in death whites, no, no, no. He sat by her bed after the surgery and willed her, cursed her, begged her to stay. 'Cause half a man couldn't live, could he, without his other half?

--

Sam couldn't move anymore. Where was this awful too loud, too quiet nowhere place anyway? Damn that weapon. And damn her for leaving it one day too late to do what she'd promised she'd do.

Too late. It couldn't be, could it? Not to see him just one more time? He was the someone who would kiss chocolate from her pinky. Walk with her. Keep her sane. Complete her.

Not quite the eternity she felt it was, but finally Sam glimpsed light beneath her heavy lids. All systems check, she mused as she registered feeling in her limbs. Ow. Headache, back pain, abdominal ache. Better let this wreck recharge first, she groaned.

--

Jack jumped straight up at the sound from the bed. He uncoiled from the infirmary's torture chair and leaned over her. Her eyelids fluttered, her lips parted and closed.

He fed her water sips, then her eyes opened at last. Unfocussed eyes met brown and their joy reflected in the other's. Tired determined blues met determined browns.

"Marry me." They demanded together. Amazed silence.

"Yes," they both answered.

"Today," Sam whispered.

"No, when you can walk with me," Jack replied tenderly. No way he'd wed this remarkable woman on what she thinks is her deathbed. Slowly she smiled her agreement.

"I walked with you…" she said softly, as he wiped a stray tear from her cheek.

"Once in a dream," he finished with a lopsided grin. He'd never really gotten those words right, but it didn't matter; she got it. Go figure.

Jack's joy radiated through her, and Sam saw that he also noted an ersatz echo. Her hand went to his neck, shaking as it made its way down the chain to his tags. She saw an engraved letter wriggle into a shamrock and back. Her smile was broader, happier.

It wasn't an especially easy recovery but since Sam walked cheerfully beside Jack after the ceremony it was ok. And then they went back to work, 'cause duty, duty and then marriage was the order of their lives.

They made it through the horrendous Atlantis assignments, three children (who dutifully reproduced), the awful Ori. And finally, finally to retirement. The two aged USAF generals headed for the place of their final retreat.

Whimsy.

Gen. Sam Carter and Gen. Jack O'Neill had no regrets, no sorrow; a glow of peace and expectation surrounded them. They'd never figured out Whimsy's "destiny" thing but this visit felt right for both of them. Now they were ready.

When the chevrons connected and turned a smoky tint, injecting the event horizon with the same color, witnesses to the spectacle would relate it as the most emotional time of their lives. SGC staffers sent their belongings through with a gentle shove, lined up in farewell salutes.

Sam took her husband's hand. Jack gazed down at her with mutual love and they stepped through the horizon and left earth forever.

Or not.

--

As the wormhole connected on Whimsy, a voice whispered over the clover fields.

"They're home."

--

The O'Neills stepped onto the world they they'd never forgotten. It was gloriously green and private and perfectly temperate. Jack turned to Sam as they surveyed their new home, noting where their luggage landed clear of the gate. But all wasn't well with them.

His legs, of late, had begun to weaken; standing tired him easily. She noted his growing distress, and the light tremor that had begun to creep into her hands showed as she tightened her grip on him. Their thoughts were similar.

Maybe they'd waited too long to return.

"We don't need to go far, Jack. Let's just stop here," Sam coaxed softly. They hadn't any idea what to expect after all this time. Jack nodded, his snow white hair gently lifting in a breeze. "Here, sit with me." Sam said and eased them both to the springy clover. The grass began to flutter.

"Hey there, fellas. Remember us?" Jack asked, glad to be sitting now. The green leaves fairly danced. "See that, Sam? They remember us," Jack laughed. Sam put her arm around him, and he edged her closer and they effected a support for each other.

"They'd better," Sam replied. They sat, chuckling, giggling, chatting; or simply smiling as the clover morphed into patterns around them. The ground swelled underneath into a little hill giving them a wonderful view of the manic crop circle-like displays. Then she felt tiredness creep into her; she yawned and felt herself slipping down.

"Sam?" Jack asked, laying her down gently. She smiled a little and he breathed in relief. "Napping? Ok, good idea," he said. He laid beside her. Their hands joined by long force of habit. "Been a long day for us, huh?"

"A long life," Sam replied, her head on his shoulder. Then she recalled this very position, next to the Other Jack, and chuckled. Jack turned and nuzzled her. "A good life."

"A great life, especially with you in it," Jack said. They were silent a moment, looking into each other's eyes. His hand tightened in hers. "What happens now, Sam? This is it, Boot Hill?" When she giggled he fell in love with her all over again. The clover rustled crazily under and around them.

"I don't know, hon. But it's where I can be alone with you again, and that works for me," Sam replied. So much had changed with age but never the sincerity or depth of their feelings. She'd never been happier than with Jack.

"Hey, flattery never gets old, love," Jack said into her hair. Her blonde hair remained only as a tint on the silvery white. She wore a simple braid these days, which she kept trimmed to shoulder length for easy maintenance. He blew the wispy bangs and that made her giggle again. He snuggled closer, and his breathing slowed to match hers. Soon their breaths barely ruffled the fragrant clover.

--

"This is just what I knew it would be like."

"Can't believe it; this is it."

They emerged from the soil silently; she on Sam's side, he on Jack's. Half of their bodies remained below ground, intertwined with the restless clover. They filled themselves with the wondrous love and affection surrounding the resting couple. Blue eyes sought brown and twinkled together.

"Now that's a high," he whispered gruffly. "Whimsy's got nothin' on their mojo."

"Heady," she said softly. "They're so beautiful." She let her hand finger Sam's fine white hair, refraining from touching the weathered cheek. "I feel beautiful just being near them." She smiled over at him.

The two basked in the lifetime rich in devotion, trust and love from their original counterparts from the world of humans. The clover rejoiced around them, tumbling like froth rolling on an emerald sea. All of Whimsy was poised for a Grand Event, and the contented pair resting in each other's arms was the key. At last.

When Sam and Jack finally stirred, their doubles separated from the soil and eagerly sat beside them. Whimsy's couple sighed as they absorbed the way these two had awakened together over the decades; it was amazing. Their eyes softened; soon they would know it all. They would all know.

The Whimsy couple held hands over their counterparts. They felt the enormous bounty of the love these two shared not only for each other but for the good causes, their friends, and those who were innocents in deadly times. Such a wealth of humanity inundated them until they knew it was time. They smiled and the love radiated from their eyes into their touch.

"I love you, Samantha."

"And I love you, Jack."

Still clasping hands, Whimsy Sam laid down and melted into the still form of her original. Whimsy Jack watched, and did the same with his counterpart. And in the extra-terrestrial, interdimensional mysterious realm of Whimsy, they met and merged into a new reality.

The fields of clover erupted around the united couple, briefly enfolding them and releasing them amidst an eruption of colorful flowers, rainbows and tumbling celestial bodies, and finally fields of quivering clover leaves settled as the couple gradually awoke.

--

Sam and Jack awoke with a sigh and the urge to stretch. And when they did, the swell of energy that flowed through them shocked them fully alert. They sprang upright. Hearts pounding, hands exploring sound limbs, eyes and ears alert and all other senses tuned up, they finally swung to each other.

"Holy Hannah, Jack!" Sam exclaimed, gawking at him. Not the man she'd aged with, no; this was Jack of four decades ago, at least! Toned arms and legs. Salt-peppered hair. Skin clear and unwrinkled and…Clear chocolate brown eyes looking at her with the same shock she was feeling.

"Yeah, ditto here, too, Sam," Jack gulped. He was looking at the Sam he married, and not just literally. Her blonde hair was longer, fuller. Shoulders straighter, arms toned and her legs stronger and her body slim, not thin. Her eyes were wide and blue as ever, and her face unlined by age. Jack reached for her just as she reached for him. He noticed her hands, younger and steady.

They stood and faced each other, still unsure of what had happened.

"So we call this Reboot Hill?" Jack quipped. That was enough to bring Sam's lips up from their downturn.

"Sounds like a winner, Jack. Oh my god I just don't believe this," Sam replied. She laughed then, and so completely and freely that they were both holding each other up. It was release, Sam thought briefly in the back of her mind. "Jack, are we delirious?"

"Ya think?" Jack replied and they whooped into helpless guffaws again.

The newness was intoxicating, and not unlike their first experience with Whimsy. But they both knew they weren't high like that, rather it was this reboot as Jack called it. For mindless joyful minutes neither let thoughts enter their heads. Instead, Jack took Sam in his arms and began to dance. Suddenly they froze in place.

They remembered. The images of their Whimsy counterparts flowed through their minds.

"Whoa, that's some rewind," Jack whistled.

They stared at each other, with the full knowledge of the planet's entities, the full knowledge of how each had known the other so well that they'd recreated the other in an ideal reality. And it was all good; it was love all over again.

"So, we're dead, you think? This is our heaven?" Jack asked after they came out of the vivid recall. Sam was in green BDU pants and the sweet little tank top, without shoes. Jack saw that he was dressed similarly but with the white athletic tee.

Sam looked around, curious. All her senses were quite sharp; she could feel the clover move, feel a quiet vibration in the ground. She looked back at Jack and smiled.

"Transitioned. We're one with Whimsy now," she explained. The memories of the other Sam were so beautiful. Before Jack could speak, she rushed into his arms and hugged him.

"Well, thank you, ma'am," Jack replied, happily. He also felt the connection to her, and well, everything. He gazed down at Sam and their lips touched briefly. "And it seems we're going to have all the quality time we never had, if this is like that."

Sam nodded and took a step back. The world they stood on was restless beneath them and inside them at once. Jack took her hand, they closed their eyes and opened themselves.

"You fulfill my destiny. I am your home, you are the gift for which I was created," the voice rang through them in clear bell tones. The couple stood still, rooted in the living ground, green clover swirling about their feet.

"Yeah, ya know that's still a little vague," Jack said in his thoughts. He could feel Sam's thoughts like ping pong balls in a can – ever moving, colliding, connecting, resolving. No wonder the planet liked her – they thought alike! Her hand squeezed his; of course she knew what he was thinking, too. They let their planet consciousness flow into them.

"It's about…wow…" Sam murmured. The dream – more than a dream – came back swiftly. They had been with their planet counterparts!

"We knew you'd come back," Sam's voice. "We'll be part of you, at last," she added softly. "Don't worry. You're both here in time. Whimsy's destiny is about your transition."

"I think they're talking about ascension, Jack," Sam said in amazement. Their hands tightened on each other. Looking at their look-alikes was unnerving!

"Ascension? Don't you need an Ancient for that?" Jack asked his counterpart, who sat easily beside him. Jack recognized his own "you-know-the-deal" look on the younger face, mixed with sympathy.

"You're right. We're talking about something very like ascension. I think transition fits better." Whimsy Sam replied.

"Passing on? Going beyond the veil?" Jack asked a little uneasily. He glanced up at his double; that smirk was his, alright. "Well? If we don't have much time I sure don't want to spend it trying to figure this out!" he growled. Whimsy Jack rolled his eyes.

"You'll never have to be apart, ever," Whimsy Jack explained patiently.

Sam's head filled with what this all meant. Jack was warm beside her; had been for long, wonderful years. The thought of him gone from her side…She saw that another pair of soft brown eyes watched her. Cherished her.

Jack noticed Whimsy Sam looking at him, her clear blue eyes soft for him. Just like his beloved's. She was his beloved, too, right? He found his wife's eyes – the same eyes – on him now.

"Let it happen." Whimsy Sam urged gently.

"Just let go, it's time," Whimsy Jack said. "I'll be with you. We both will."

"Jack. I…I think it's alright," Sam whispered. Her body was still tired, but she eased herself closer to him and embraced him. "I think it's about the next step, the one we know has to come. I'm not afraid with you here," she said with a brave smile. Not quite true; she was afraid. But they'd get to do this together, a blessing few couples ever got.

Jack turned to her and searched her face. He reached to hold her in return and smiled his steadiest smile to abate her fears. And his. When it came to parting from the loves of his life and especially Sam, this was an offer not to be refused. His lips touched hers.

"What a way to go," Jack grinned. He felt lighthearted, free. "I love you, Samantha Carter O'Neill, always," he whispered against her lips.

"I love you, Jack O'Neill, then, now, always," Sam whispered back. She too felt the burdens of a lifetime fall away. Their lips met and they breathed for each other. Around them, inside them, they dimly heard

We're home.

Sam opened her eyes. Jack was looking at her. The soft voices and their reverberating joy slowly faded, leaving them to know where they were meant to be at last.

Continuity

Gradually the voices and visions of the Whimsy pair merged seamlessly with Sam and Jack's memories. They knew the planet, how to communicate with it and manifest its elements for use. Some time had passed as each explored the enormous resources at their beck and call. They covertly visited earth, and their descendents, marveling at the ability to watch their family tree sprout profusely.

The planet's restlessness intruded, however. Before long they realized part of the unsettled feeling originated in them. Was this life? Was it their destiny to cavort around the plane of their former lives? Sam posed the questions to Jack.

"I'm feeling you on that, Sam. I think there's more but as you've noticed, Ol' Whimsy's stopped speaking to us," Jack replied. He watched Sam as she neared completion of her most elaborate model of Whimsy's table of elements to date, expanding on the one on Ernest's Planet. He dodged a glowy ball of magenta light; it could pass through him of course but he thought it looked gooey.

"Uh-huh. If I slept, it would keep me up at night," Sam said. She finally finished and walked over to him. He grinned. Walking on air just never got old to him! "What do you think it is?"

"Hey, you're still the theoretical astrophysicist. Come up with a theory!" Jack quipped. He laid down on his favorite cloud and stretched out. He smiled when Sam laid down beside him. "Although I can't say I want anything more than this," he murmured happily, as she cuddled.

"But as heavens' go, is this ours? And is it meant to be this way?" Sam asked. She sighed as his arm held her against him. Truth; she'd never change this part of their lives. Existence. "Whimsy sure seemed to have, well something more important in mind than us."

"Oh? Air Force heroes without compare, intergalactic heroes, you mean?" He balked playfully. She squeezed him.

"Something important besides us, you loob!" They both stopped as the air quivered, and the ground thrummed. "What in the world…"

Sam and Jack looked at each other, listened; and then they knew.

"Earth's in danger," Jack murmured. "Recon?" He asked with a here-we-go-again smirk. Sam gave him her sure-you-betcha grin. In a blink, they were gone.

--

Earth: the SGC

Col. Elaine Fieldstone trudged down the corridor. Earth's future seemed bleak against these new baddies. She had to get away from the other scientists and soldiers who kept expecting her to pull a Carter. As if! If they didn't do something soon, however, no one ever would be again.

A lone serviceman saluted as he passed. The hour was late even for the round-the-clock operation at the SGC. For the chief astrophysicist and 2IC on the base and this being a crisis, there was no such thing as early or late; just…Fieldstone stopped. She heard a sound from a side corridor that appeared empty. Curious, she turned into it. Surely no one was lurking there?

"Control room, Col. Fieldstone. Give me eyes on corridor 121NW," she touched her radio. "Thought I saw something, I mean someone passing but couldn't be sure. Thanks." While she didn't really think there was a danger, Fieldstone knew these were uncertain times, and SGC history always urged caution when reason seemed enough. So, revolver in hand she followed the sighting.

"Stand by, Colonel."

Fieldstone waited. The last thirty hours of brainstorming left her brain drained. Her CO, who was a plain speaking military general, had separated her from the meeting and ordered her to quarters for a break. But during that brief escort to the door of the lab he'd said something ("If I have to carry you out on my back...") that rekindled an idea that formed earlier. She came alert; a voice…no, voices.

"Control?" Fieldstone frowned. Even in sleep mode those guys were trained to be on top of things. She tapped her radio; soft static. Then she heard the voices again: male and female. Easing around the bend of the corridor, she stopped when she saw…them. Sort of saw them; was she seeing through them?

"The reverse tracker idea was solid, wasn't it? I mean, if the enemy's energy uses the same naquadah reactor frequency they discovered in the lab, it would make sense," the tall female said. Her hair was pale and in a single braid over one shoulder; they wore green BDUs. And were barefoot. Weirder.

"Sounds like a plan. Send it back on the doohickey like the ball on a paddle and wham, done," the taller male said. They stopped, and each leaned on the opposite wall facing each other. She braced one foot behind her; he did the same with the opposite foot. Mirrored. "Will it make a big bang, ya think?"

"Light it up like a Christmas tree," she replied, a smile in her voice. "Boost the power on this end, that would chain all the way to their beachhead, probably take 'em right out."

"Yeah, reminds me of that life form that hijacked your brain. Didn't it ride our radio waves back…" he said then stopped.

Fieldstone gasped. That was what she was missing! The naquadah reactor frequency had nagged her because it was exactly inverse of the enemy's weapon; rigged to piggyback to its source it could…She looked up. The two figures were facing her as if just realizing she was there.

"Well, I'll be…" he said.

"Make that we. Oh dear, we're…Do you see us?" the woman asked the startled watcher. Fieldstone could only nod. "Wow. And oops."

"Er, who are…hello?" Fieldstone asked when her voice returned. But the two figures grew more and more transparent until they faded away. Gone. She stood for minutes rerunning the scene in her head, always concluding she'd hallucinated from sleep deprivation. Yet the solution the woman came up with…It could work.

"Shouldn't you get working, colonel?" The male voice prompted. She jumped. There was no one there. But Fieldstone heeded the voice and took off to save the earth. Courtesy of...ghosts.

The Legend began.

--

As its charges finally tapped into their higher cause, Whimsy was like a great cosmic cat curled in contentment.

It knew.

It knew it was in perfect harmony with the two humans who were its elemental match-up out of the incalculable varieties of life-forms in the vastness of space. On the elemental level they completed each other. Just as other encounters with the right combination of elements formed other species such as the Nox, the Asgard and the even more unique Furlings.

It knew that they had passed their first test as the Fifth Race, avidly watched and approved by the old Alliance. Together, the Samantha and the Jack of the humans will take their places in the renewed Alliance. Whimsy knew that their honor, their fierce thirst for knowledge and freedom would forever change the way the Alliance functioned in the galaxy.

More importantly: It knew that the Samantha and the Jack spread love, and this was a long dormant element in the Alliance. There was love in their assisting humans while not interrupting their development, love in the wisdom they gained with each 'ghostly' hand they extended. Love in the ways they accepted and assisted nonhumans in the galaxy. Love in each word and caress they exchanged which flowed through them and into it like gentle stroking.

Whimsy purred; it liked the stroking. It was, after all, part of its destiny.

THE END

Well, totally done with my first SG1 fantasy! I hope you enjoyed the final installment of the Whimsy cycle. Be kind, please review. It was rather sobering that so few reviews came in for Whimsy: If Only. (Hint!) But, thanks for reading, as always.

The opening quote is from the song, Love Me Still, sung by Chaka Khan from the movie Clockers.