Title: Five things Sam wished she'd said to a superior officer instead of (or in addition to) "Yes, sir", but didn't
Spoilers: minor general spoilers for Stargate: the movie, The Devil You Know, and season 9/10
Summary: nothing really - minor/general for Season 8 and 9, minor for "The Devil You Know"
Author's Note: sg1_five_things
Disclaimer: I don't own them, I just like them :)
She had been on base a whole week before he came to find her. She was already crossing the hanger to begin her manoeuvres when he entered, but as always, everything stopped when he entered the room. Her CO paused in his last minute instructions and indicated that they'd wait. After all, having the base commander seek you out afforded you a little leniency. No one dared mention that having the base commander as your father could also be construed as a cause for leniency. Sam knew it was flying through their minds anyway.
Having made his way to her, he addressed her in a low voice, at least having the courtesy to limit eavesdropping, even if he hadn't managed to have this conversation in private.
"I just wanted to welcome you to the base," he said, expectedly formal.
"Thank you, sir." She refused to notice the slight wince at her 'sirs'. She remembered when he used to be so proud when she did so.
"It's been a while since we've seen one another," he continued, his eyes begging for her to relent, even a little.
"Yes, sir, it has." She wasn't ready to do so.
He sighed. His daughter had certainly inherited his stubbornness and he recognised a loosing battle when he saw one. "You're only stationed here for a few months, but I just wanted to make sure we'll be okay; that we can work together."
What could she say to that? They couldn't even manage to talk to each other. In fact, aside from birthday and Christmas cards (sent more out of guilt than anything else) they'd hardly talked to each other for years. She hadn't yet forgiven him for shutting her out, and he, well, she didn't really know what he hadn't forgiven her for. Not being her mother, she supposed.
"Of course, sir."
Jacob Carter nodded, resigned, and turned to leave. Stopping short, he looked back over his shoulder at her, "Fly safe, Sammie."
She stiffened, remembering many nights long ago, before their lives had been turned upside down. Nights when her father had tucked her in, wishing her sweet dreams with just those words. Would it really be so hard to reach out? She wished she knew how.
Samantha Carter was one of only two women sitting around the large round table; just she and Dr. Langford surrounded in a sea of testosterone. It was something she was used to by now, as a woman in a still male-dominated military, and it rarely bothered her. Except in situations like this.
General West sat at the head of the table, his expression firm and resolute as he flipped a file of papers closed. "I'm sorry Captain Carter, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to stand by my original decision. Should we manage to activate the device, we just don't know what the repercussions may be, we don't know what dangers may be faced on a mission of this magnitude. The bottom line is, that while we are all grateful for your considerable contributions to this program, I am simply not prepared to assign a female officer to a mission with this scope of unforeseen circumstances. You can be assured however, that the team assigned will be of the highest level and you will have access to any scientific data that may arise."
She tried to loosen her teeth that have tightened throughout his speech. The outcome wasn't entirely unexpected, but it hurt all the same. She knew of the men that had been assigned to the mission and all of them were good soldiers. But, with the exception of their leader, she had equal or surpassing experience in all areas.
She opened her mouth to say so, but caught Catherine's eye as she did. The older woman stared at her gently, reminding her of their earlier discussion. Catherine had agreed to do what she could to get Sam on the mission, but they both knew they couldn't afford to alienate the military funding the program. She sighed and schooled her expression back into that of the subordinate officer.
The party had been one of the best they'd ever thrown. It had all the essentials: lots of beer, all the meat-turned-charcoal you could eat, and more SGC personnel than you would have thought possible crammed into Jack O'Neill's backyard. The toasts had been made (some sweet, some funny, and some downright scary), the presets had been presented and now, after much well-earned frivolities, all that was left were the goodbyes.
Sam hadn't anticipated how hard this goodbye would be to make. She had served under many COs in her career, and had, in her life as a "military brat" attended for more retirement bashes than she'd care to count. But this one was different. By the time he made his way around the group to stand in front of her she was desperately fighting that one tear that threatened to fall. He just smiled at her and reached for her hand.
"It has been an honour serving with you, Colonel," the now Lieutenant-General Hammond said, emphasising her own new rank. "You take care of yourself, all right?"
Sam looked into his face, so sincere in his care for her and the men and women around her, and tried to summon up the right words to say. It's been an honour serving with you, too. I'm going to miss you. You never really stopped being 'Uncle George'. Thank you for being my father when he couldn't be around. Please don't leave us, we need you.
But every one refused to take shape.
Sam took the phone from General Landry with a confused look, who would call her on this line? Especially seeing as the people most likely to call her were all in the room. She lifted the phone to her ear. "Carter."
The answering drawl travelled over the line and reverberated right down to her toes. "Good morning, Carter."
How he managed to do that she never knew but she darted a quick look over at the briefing table to check they were all still absorbed in their conversation. "Good morning, sir. What can I do for you?"
"Many, many things, Carter. All of them fantastic but, sadly, unable to do from this distance." Sam blanched, he wasn't really going to do this to her at work, was he? "However I am about to jump on a plane for Colorado, so perhaps I better prepare you for my arrival…"
Yes. He was.
Sam felt the blood come back to her face in a rush, and she was sure that if Daniel or Teal'c looked over in her direction right now she would be caught out. She knew she should hang up on him, put an end to the fun of the irresistibly smug man and his gleefully seductive words… but she couldn't bring herself to do it. It had been three weeks since she had seen him and several days since they even had the chance to talk. She was so happy to hear his voice. Now if only he would behave.
He had started his litany of pleasures with her still-tingling toes and by the time he had reached her waist she was certain she was shivering visibly. She didn't dare interrupt him to divert his words back to safer grounds, nor could she participate as she normally would standing as she was in front of her team and boss. She was left with only one option, to stay and listen, hoping that she could successfully convince those around her that it was a business call. Prompted by that though she drew in a soft shuddering breath and said the only words she could think to say.
Sam hurt. With the very air pressing down heavily on her as she walked, she realised that she couldn't even remember what it felt like not to hurt. The mountain had been empty for some time now, with only a handful of people to fill the halls with shuffling echoes as they fruitlessly went about going through the motions of their work. She didn't recognise any of their faces, though she was sure that in her past she had met them, smiled with them, lived with them. She hardly saw them, anyway.
As she stepped over the threshold into the commander's office she didn't even flinch at the short thin woman sitting in the chair, the once impressive leather ripped and burned. It had felt like an age since she had seen someone familiar in that seat. Faces floated behind her eyes from the time before – before the loneliness, before the death, before the war – but she pushed them back.
The general just flicked her eyes towards the file on the edge of her desk. It was on the edge, almost falling, and Sam knew that it wasn't by accident; she didn't want to have to touch it either. She knew what it was. It was their last plan. The plan to end all plans. The plan to end everything. And Sam was the only one who had the know-how to pull it off.
No! She heard the word scream inside her head. No! No! No! It was all she could hear, over and over and over. But it wasn't just her voice. She heard Daniel's passionate panic, No! She heard Teal'c's solid avowal, No! And Jack's guilty whisper, no… She hadn't heard them in what seemed like a lifetime, but now they all came flooding back, filling her, begging her to give them voice.
As she opened her mouth, she felt the last unbroken part of her shatter. There was no more hurt.