Descent

Descent

Disclaimer: Only my stuff is mine.

A/N: This is one of my all time favorite episodes! Being a blatant Sam/Jack shipper I'm sure you can all guess what my favorite scene is…yep! The underwater/drowning thing. When the water recedes…and Jack grabs Carter's vest and puts his hand on her chest…I died.

I'm sure this has been done before, but I wanted to take a crack at it. LOL.

Oh! For those of you reading my other story 'Double Entendres' I'll update really soon, kay? Gotta re-dirty my mind. LOL.

ENJOY!!

Drowning has got to be the worst way to die. He'd never thought about it before. Sure, he'd been killed before…tortured, stabbed, shot, blasted, blown to hell, sent to hell, rotted in hell…but never drowned.

It sucked.

Beyond all the pain Jack O'Neill had experienced in his life…this was the worst. And it wasn't even the burning, ripping sensation in his lungs as they begged for oxygen…no. It was the fact that he had to watch as the same thing happened to Carter, right beside him. He was right there…but he still couldn't save her.

Both had their heads against the ceiling of the room; scrabbling hands growing weaker the longer they went without air, pounding uselessly against the ceiling.

Sam's eyes widened as the first spasm rocked her body. Her brain screamed for her to open her mouth and just swallow the water. Fill her lungs with something. It was terrifying beyond all imagination as her wide eyes met the colonel's. She knew he had seen her spasm and he shook his head at her, pleading with her with his eyes.

Don't give up. Don't give in. Don't let go.

Sam squeezed her eyes shut as another shudder ran through her, jerking her limbs like she were being electrocuted. When she opened her eyes again, they immediately locked on Jack's. He was struggling to defy his body's need for oxygen as well. It wasn't working.

They were dying.

'No.' Sam thought wildly, desperately. 'We can't die. I haven't…we haven't…he doesn't know!' Squeezing her eyes shut, her face turned upwards, her mind screamed out to whatever god was out there. 'You can't take this from me! I won't let you!'

A strong hand on her face brought her back to reality. Not that she wanted this to be reality. They were still underwater…still drowning…still dying. Jack had a hand clamped down on her chin, fingers digging into her cheeks. His eyes were hard, silently ordering her not to do what her body wanted her so badly to do. It would be so easy…

Just take a breath.

End it.

His hand drops away, his fingers lingering gently on her cheeks before they were jerked by another oxygen deprived spasm. Sam reached wildly and clutched his shirt. His chin was against his chest as he struggled to keep control. To not fade into the black.

As Sam's vision narrowed, all she could see was her hand twisted in his shirt and his eyes crashing into hers. Her own desperation and defiance reflected in them. Reaching out with his own hand, he grabbed her collar and yanked her toward him. His cheek pressed against hers and, with a frightening certainty, they knew they had only seconds.

Jack felt Sam go limp as she tried to conserve the last of her energy. He knew its useless.

What a stupid way to go.

After everything…what a goddamned human way to go.

No battle or firefight.

No alien disease or weapon.

No heroics.

Just…water. Plain, old Earth water. Not even an alien planet's water.

Jack's vision turned grey and he slipped sideways. 'Wait…slipped?' he wondered sluggishly. He should still be floating in…Holy Mother of God! The water was going down.

His feet hit the floor and he crumpled, taking Sam down with him. He landed on top of her, but quickly rolled off, so she could breathe. The first breaths are jarring, causing his vision to dim and brighten almost to the point of being unbearable. Jack struggled to stay on his knees as nausea threatened to consume him. He slowed his breathing, knowing deep, rapid breaths would only screw with his body more.

He glanced over at his second, expecting her to be on her knees coughing and spluttering water. No…she was right where he left her.

"Carter!" It was no more than a strangled half-cry, half-whisper. A broken sound.

Jack scrambled towards her prone figure and searched for a pulse. When no answering flutter met him, his mind went blank. Tipping her head back and ripping off her vest, he put his hands over her heart.

"Don't you dare do this, you hear, Carter?" he growled as he forcefully pumped her chest. "We're out! We didn't die!" He pressed his mouth to hers, breathing into her. "C'mon, c'mon, c'mon!" he shouted as he pumped her chest again.

He was barely aware of the other people that were suddenly in the room. He didn't hear the shouts or worried cries. "Dammit, Carter! Breathe!"

He pressed his lips to hers again, trying to transfer life into her. Jack knew he was crying. It didn't matter. Nothing mattered unless she opened her eyes again.

"Goddammit, Sam!" he cried suddenly. "We're not through here! We haven't even started!"

As his lips met hers again, he felt her splutter. Quickly pulling back, he watched through wide eyes as she rolled over, retching and coughing up water. Jack just stared, hardly daring to believe that she was back. That she was alive and breathing.

Exhausted, she collapsed onto her back. Moving faster than he thought he could, Jack was next to her, leaning over her, asking if she was okay.

"Carter? Carter? C'mon, talk to me." Jack slipped an arm under her shoulders and lifted her head onto his lap. "Carter?" he pleaded again. "Sam." His voice was soft, but insistent. Sam opened her eyes and met his gaze.

"Hi, sir." Her voice was low and gravelly.

Jack smiled in relief. "Welcome back."

Sam couldn't tear her gaze away if she tried. She could see streaks of water running from the colonel's eyes, but she couldn't tell if they were tears or just droplets of water. His arm was soft and warm under her, his eyes filled with relief and…and something. Something Sam couldn't…wouldn't put a name to. If she did…it would all be over. No more going back to pretending she didn't feel anything for him.

No. Right now, she couldn't pretend if she tried. Her lips still tingled from where his had been a moment ago. She knew he wasn't kissing her…but it was damn close. If she hadn't almost died, that is.

A persistent cough broke them out of their 'spell.' Jack's arm instinctively tightened around her in a protective gesture. It took him a minute to recognize who the four other occupants were. Major Davis and Jonas stood just inside the door, watching the interaction with slightly knowing and fearful expressions. Teal'c was further inside the room, his normally bland expression traded for one of worry and a slight smugness. Jacob was standing the closest…and had a torrent of emotions running across his face. Worry, fear, frustration, relief, understanding, and…acceptance?

"Dad." Sam said, debating whether or not she should stand up. She didn't want to leave Jack's warmth…but she knew they couldn't stay like this forever. Sure, her father liked Jack…but she didn't know if he would take so kindly to him cradling his daughter.

Even if he had just saved her life.

"C'mon, Carter. Let's get you up." Jack said in a low voice. Helping her to sit up, he stood and reached a hand down for Carter. His skin pricked with a weird sort of electricity when her hand slipped into his. He gently pulled her to her feet.

Sam stumbled as her legs tried to remember how to hold her up. Jack immediately reached for her, holding her as she steadied herself against her. Her head resting against his chest, Jack selfishly wished they were still alone. "You okay?" he asked when she braced her hands on his shoulders.

"Yeah." She murmured. "Sorry." Not meeting his eyes, she turned around to face her father again. "Hey, dad." She gave him a weak smile.

Jacob stepped forward, but didn't reach out for her. She probably didn't even realize it, but she was still leaning against Jack's chest.

And she looked quite content.

Jack didn't seem to realize it either. His hands were resting on her shoulders, making sure she stayed upright.

"Thanks, Jacob. Cutting it a little close, but…" Jack gave the older man a lopsided smile and gestured with his chin in a so on and so forth manner.

Jacob looked slightly taken aback. "That wasn't me."

Jack felt Sam tense, he, too, straightened up. "Dad?" Sam asked tentatively. "What do you mean that wasn't you?

Jacob shrugged. "Something overwrote the ship's main protocol. Something that wasn't me."

"We think it may have something to do with that voice on the intercom." Davis said, from the door.

"Really?" Sam asked. Jack grinned slightly. Even after almost drowning, she was still the most curious person he'd ever met. Except Daniel…Jack swallowed. He still couldn't think about the space monkey without getting the uncomfortable twinges of loss and sadness.

Davis looked to Jacob to back him up. The older man nodded, still eyeing Jack and his daughter. They still hadn't moved from their close stance.

"Perhaps it would be best if we moved this discussion to the peltac." Teal'c said pointedly, eyeing the other people in the room.

Jacob nodded slowly. "Right. We wouldn't want you two to get hypothermia." He smiled warmly, ignoring the way Sam's eyes reflected disappointment when Jack moved slightly away from her.

After various agreements from the others, they made their way back to the peltac. Sam and Jack left their wet gear on the floor and gratefully accepted the dry jackets from their teammates. They sat down on the throne steps…much closer than was probably considered appropriate.

But, hey, they were trying to stay warm. Purely health-related reasons.

Or…at least…that's what they'd tell anyone who asked.

TBC

A/N: This was gonna be a oneshot, but I think I'll make it a two parter. LOL. Please R&R! I'll update soon!