A/N: This brief piece takes place toward the end of Season 8's 'Threads'. I was in a philosophical mood, what can I say.

Times Change

There are times when the old rules no longer apply, times to reach beyond what is familiar and well tested.

There are times when change is mandatory.

In these times, the stakes are highest: continued existence vs. annihilation; happiness vs. despair; companionship vs. loneliness; fearful paralysis vs. courageous action.

These times are opportunities for growth beyond our wildest dreams, but they're also fraught with challenges to our stamina and determination.

In times of change, we stand on a precipice. Reluctant to abandon the past, yet eager to embrace the future, we look out over the beautiful, inviting valley of promises laid out at our feet. To get there requires a leap of faith. We have no guarantee the landing will be soft and welcoming. If we jump, the risk of injury is considerable, if not to our physical bodies, then surely to our egos, our psyches.

Shortly after her father's death, Samantha Carter stood at the edge of that precipice. Her career was flying high, the Goa'uld had been vanquished and, largely due to her efforts and those of her team, the planet was safe. But she was alone. Alone, yearning for the love that stood just outside her reach, she remained frustrated and unfulfilled. As much as her intellect told her it shouldn't be that way, her heart said otherwise. And, after all these years, her heart demanded attention.

She surprised herself. She was frightened, fearful of taking the leap, telling Jack O'Neill how she truly felt about him. It was risky. What if he didn't feel the same way? After all this time, what if she were the only one whose heart ached for more.

This should be easy, her mind told her. After all, it wasn't like the fate of the known world hung in the balance. This time Samantha Carter would risk something much more fragile. If she decided to take the leap, she would risk her heart.

The decision, as always, was hers.

The End