The trip off world wasn't a mission, hadn't started off that way. It had just been an excursion. Sam and Cameron escorting Landry and Woolsey off world, to the new Beta site, but it had gone bad.

Didn't they always?

She hadn't expected him to be so ready for action, so gung-ho and barrel into the pre-fab building they'd set up not so long ago, but he was a General for a reason. She forgot sometimes, she'd been spoilt, she supposed, having seen both Hammond and her father going through the gate and into a battle, having O'Neill by her side for all those years before he was 'the man'.

She had liked that side of Landry, he'd been a football player in high school and college, and despite the expand of his waistline, it still showed as the three of them had charged into the base to try and rescue twelve scientists and nine AF officers, Wolsey's lagging behind them with a handgun, wanting to help but scared to try. He'd reminded her of McKay, in a way. Nervous but arrogant, but he was never anyone that could hold her attention.

The plan had been insane of course, one things she did remember was how General's got a little crazy sometimes, and the conversation had gone:

"This is insane," Cameron muttered, loud enough for Landry to hear, Sam trying to hide a grim smile.

"They must know someone will come eventually," Sam said, "they probably know they didn't kill us."

They were dirty, dusty from the insides of the walls of the little gate room showering over them as it had been destroyed by a few of their own grenades. Sam had always been pissed off at how easy it had been for some aliens to figure out how to work Earth's weapons and technology, when it took so long for her to figure out alien technology. Landry's tie had gone, his jacket torn, his hair telling them exactly how he would look with grey hair, which wasn't so bad in Sam's eyes, and a gash on his check that they'd cleaned with the tie. He was never going to be able to wear his shoes again, something he hadn't pointed out, but Woolsey had said that about his own shoes and Sam just figured the same applied to Landry's shoes.

Not that either man's shoes were important.

"I just want my objections to be noted," Woolsey said.

"They are," Landry said gruffly, annoyed, "Let's do this."

Those had been the last words she'd heard him say and now he was lying in the infirmary, unconscious and battered.

She was pretty sure she shouldn't look worse than Dr. Lam did, but Carolyn was caring for him like he had a cold, like it was certain that he would live and Sam was already mourning, heartbroken and God, she didn't know why.

She, Cam and Woolsey had been patched up and dispatched. Cam had been shot but it was just a graze, Woolsey had a few scratches from the initial attack with the grenades as they'd come through the gate. She had a gash on her forehead, a mild concussion, but she'd been free to go home since this morning, Carolyn had waved her away, throwing some painkillers her way as an after thought.

Thinking on it, maybe Carolyn wasn't coping so well.

She didn't know why she hadn't left the infirmary. Why she hadn't gone to lie in her quarters. Why she was still sitting by his bed, watching the monitor, listening to the respirator.

Because she liked this General. Because she wanted to keep him at the SGC, alive and well and happy. It was nothing she hadn't done for either Hammond or O'Neill, but she didn't know this man as well, didn't have a decade or two of history with him. After all that had happened in the alternative reality, that other place where Landry was the President and not the man she had come to know, she had been wary around him, because she'd realised didn't know him that well, knew there was potential for him to be that man, or a little like that man. She was still by his bed thoug, watching his chest rise and fall slowly, the beeping on the monitor steady and soothing.

A regular rhythm was good, his breathing was even, he was just, unconscious.

She should be resting. She knew that, a nurse had pointed it out to her, Cam too, Woolesy had wanted a report from her already but she had waved him away, pushing down that urge to flip him off that she got so often. Like she had so often with Rodney in those early days.

She could be consoling Carolyn. The two women weren't close, Sam was wary of making another friendship right now, with O'Neill gone and Janet's death still hurting. Her new friendships with Cam and Vala had come naturally, through time and peril, but Carolyn, just her position, her profession, had Sam's chest tightening just a little, first Janet, then her thoughts drifting to Cassie and how the girl was coping.

Looking back at Landry, she wondered how Carolyn would cope, but from what she knew, their relationship was fractured, tense. Hell, everyone knew it was tense, their conversations short. They were so 'to the point' sometimes they didn't get to the point before one had to walk away.

She smiled, she was still concussed, her thought processes were messy.

She could figure anything out with time, given enough time, she knew she would be able to think her way out of any dire situation. If dire situations gave her time, which they never did, but it was nice idea. There had been a few situations that had been too close to call, some situations where she had realised an easier, simpler, or faster solution later. She had figured out endless amounts of alien technologies with time.

Time even meant she could figure out her feelings. With time she had come to terms with her mother's death, her father's role in it all, her broken engagements.

Her reasons for her vigil next to her General's bed would take time. If she was given time before she was asked, or before he woke up and questioned her about it himself.

Lt. Colonel's weren't supposed to keep beside vigils by their commanding officers bedside. Friend of the family or good friend, not with standing.

She smiled.

She reached out and brushed Landry's hair back, bits of dust and dirt starting to get ingrained into his dark hair, noting the ratio of dark hair to grey hair, the numbers whirling around her head and making her smile.

"What are you doing Colonel?" he mumbled, one eye open a fraction, his forehead furrowed deep with confusion.

"I don't know Sir," she said, voice quiet, soft.

"Don't stop," he muttered in a harsh breath when she moved her hand away, both eyes open and wide.

"No Sir," she smiled and his eyes closed slowly, his lips tugged into a small content smile of his own.