TITLE: Saved By Love
DISCLAIMER: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of MGM, World Gekko Corp, Double Secret Productions and Showtime. I created this story for my pleasure and for the pleasure of others.
They were all sitting in a typical American diner; glad to be out of the SGC. Only half an hour ago they had been examined by Janet returning from yet another routine mission on some boring and even more so; green planet.
Routine, Jack thought to himself while staring to one of the televisions hanging from the ceiling. A baseball game between the Braves and the Cardinals was showing. We're calling it routine way too often lately, Jack's thoughts continued. Sometimes he felt himself slip into that routine…it shouldn't happen. After all he was responsible for his team. For his friends; Daniel and Teal'c and Sam.
She was more than just a friend. Much more. If she'd only knew how he really felt about her. He often wondered how she would react if he just told her he loved her. Secretly he wondered as the Regulations were still there and crushing those musings.
He always pictured a bad scenario anyway. Either Sam not being in love with him at all or her getting so shocked by his feelings, so uncomfortable she would put a serious distance between them.
Then there were the base rumors; whispers behind his back. People staring at him and Carter. Many, he knew, already suspecting them to be an item. It was odd and confusing. But they were wrong so that didn't really matter. They were all family down there, if someone suspected something and wanted him or Carter to be court-martialed they would've gone to Hammond a long time ago but no one had complained.
Would they if they found out if they were a couple?
Wow there, O'Neill.
These thoughts…these doubts…they came to him more often each day. Each night. And it was slowly tearing him up inside. No one knew. No one will ever know that at night it hurt him so much he would lie on his couch, the television on to quell the never ending silence, and bitter tears would be angrily wiped away by his hands.
Why did it all have to be so complex?
He was shaken out of his musings by Sam's voice.
"Welcome back." She said teasingly. "Looked like your thoughts were farther than we've ever travelled." She winked at him with that gorgeous teeth baring smile.
Guess the wine was taking its toll. Jack smiled back.
Daniel, sitting at the other end of the table smiled too, using his charms to get the waitress' attention…without success. She passed their table again, ignoring Daniel completely. Jack noted with interest Teal'c raising eyebrow.
"We would like to place an order."
The waitress, hearing the booming voice and seeing the big man with a cap on his head, almost dropped her small notepad but took their order nonetheless.
Was that the beginning of a grin on Teal'c face? Nah. The team gave each other knowing smiles. Teal'c was enjoying that way too much. Not that he would ever admit it.
It worked as they received their food incredibly fast. The portions looking bigger too.
They enjoyed these friendly dinners. Outside the base; no ranks, no command just a couple of friends enjoying each other's company.
Sam loved these moments. She loved being with the real life Jack. Okay, he was much the same outside of base as in. Mister Sarcastic. She knew he didn't always mean to be so; it was his safety mechanism. It was him; attention span of a five year old, sarcasm being his second nature. And he was the best team leader she could imagine. He cared for his team, would give his life for them. He did actually.
The baseball game ended and ice hockey continued the sports block. Jack's interest got peeked as he started talking eagerly about it while munching on his burger. His only audience being herself and Teal'c as Daniel, not caring for the sport at all, was reading some of his notes. Sam smiled as she watched his fork dancing around the food, often missing and ending bringing nothing to his mouth.
Fifteen minutes later they all finished their lunch. Jack had eaten Daniel's burger too, not wanting it to get cold while Daniel was living la Vida Loca in his notes and it was staring at him anyway.
Daniel and Teal'c had decided to go back to the SGC while Sam stayed behind with Jack for a beer. Much to Jack's surprise.
As they waved their goodbyes, a guy bumped into Teal'c when they exited.
Teal'c looked at the man's face, raised an eyebrow but followed Daniel out of the diner. Teal'c stopped and turned his head to look back. It is not warm outside, it is rather cold, he thought, but that man was sweating like a pink curly tailed domestic animal. Daniel called his name and he shrugged it off but an uneasy feeling stayed.
Sam saw the man entering the diner as well. Dressed in filthy clothes. Maybe a homeless guy, she thought without really giving him much attention.
The man sat himself down at the counter, ordered a coffee and looked around, scanning his surroundings as if searching for someone. A smug grin appeared on his face; as if pleased with what he saw. The diner was almost empty but he spotted the immediate threat. His eyes locked on the woman. He felt furious, angry, choking. He couldn't breathe anymore.
As the waitress arrived with his cup of coffee, he stood and in a flash pulled a gun from underneath his jacket and aimed it at the lady behind the counter.
"Alright everybody, I don't think this needs an explanation!"
Everybody froze. No one screamed, only dead silence.
"Okay, thanks for the cooperation people! Now my love, the contents of the register and we'll part as good ol' friends. Oh and you guys," he slurred while pointing his gun at Sam and Jack, "empty your pockets and remove your jewelry too."
The two Air Force officers were smart enough to obey the clearly desperate man. There was no doubt in their minds that he would shoot if necessary. Years of training made them understand and read the body language of their enemies pretty darn good. This guy was trouble.
The waitress gave him the money with trembling hands as he took a mocking bow and thanked her.
He then walked over to Sam and Jack. Sam was still taking her earrings off when he came to stand beside her. "C'mon hun, I don't have all day. Gotta be home for dark or mama gets worried." Sam removed the second earring and gave both to the guy. He kept looking at her. "Well sweetheart, I'm sure your lover boy here has given you a necklace to fit. If not, he doesn't deserve you." The man smiled while leering at her, revealing a mouth with few teeth; rotten. He reached out and grabbed Sam by the front of her blouse, ripping it as two buttons snapped and flew through the air.
That was a mistake. Jack jumped up and lunged for the robber, trying to disarm him, knowing he would win a hand to hand fight. But the man was surprisingly fast, too fast and Jack realized he wasn't messing with some ordinary street robber. This man was a professional or used to be one in a previous life.
The man spun around, reacted extremely fast by hitting Jack against the head with the gun sending him flying to the floor with a loud thud. There was no doubt in the robber's eyes as he fired the gun at Jack already spinning to get back to his feet but he was too late.
The bang was ear deafening and hit Jack right in the chest.
Sam cried out Jack's name as Jack's hand grabbed his chest near his heart.
The robber grabbed Jack's wallet in cold blood and ran towards the exit. But just as he grabbed the handle it swung open with brute force, knocking him down. He tried to get back up but a heavy boot kept him on the ground.
Teal'c loomed over him, his eyes filled with a rage that scared the man. A big fist knocked him out cold.
Daniel entered the diner; heart hammering against his chest. While walking to their car, Teal'c had stated something had been amiss. The Jaffa had turned back toward the diner and Daniel had followed knowing to take Teal'c's sixth sense very serious.
Now he saw the big man towering over a knocked out man; a gun next to the him but out of reach. Then his eyes glanced over to the cash register.
"Oh, god." The hammering of his heart stopped just a second and was replaced by a gnawing pain, his stomach turning.
Jack was on the ground, Sam on her knees beside him; crying, panicking hands checking his body. Oh, no. Please no.
Daniel felt his eyes water. "Is he…?" He couldn't say it out loud.
Nobody answered his question. And what shocked him the most was Sam's reaction. Military tough trained Sam was starting to get in shock. No control over her emotions, no snapping out of it. She couldn't stop crying, her hands now frantically tugging on his vest and popping open the buttons. Her face was white as a sheet.
Then she blinked and looked up at him, her eyes haunted.
It all went so fast. She almost threw herself on Jack and started to perform CPR. Desperately yet professionally. Daniel snapped out of it, leaving Jack in Sam's more than capable hands and called Janet knowing they were close enough for her to be there in less than ten minutes. Faster than the paramedics would.
While trying to keep his voice calm and steady, he watched Sam's hands trembling as they covered Jack's chest. Pumping, her mouth on his; breathing life into him.
Clapping his mobile phone closed he walked over to Sam but stopped dead in his tracks. If he was shot…. Where's the blood? "There's no blood." He knelt beside Jack opposite Sam as he glanced at the leather jacket that Sam had opened to give him CPR.
There was a thick piece of metal sticking out of one of its vest pockets. The pocket right on his heart. He reached for it, touched it gently and pulled it out. There was the bullet! It was wringed into the little metal box.
Teal'c raised his eyebrow at Daniel and a small smile on his lips. The bullet didn't go through, just knocked him badly on the heart taking it into arrest. They both looked at Sam massaging, pumping Jack's chest and as she reached back down to press her mouth onto his, she jumped back as if electrified. "He's breathing! Daniel he's breathing!" She bent down placing her cheek against his lips to make sure yet again and she smiled through her tears. Her hand cupped his cheek but Jack was still far from waking up.
She pulled out her handkerchief and started tending to Jack's head wound, though not heavily bleeding, Daniel thought it helped Sam get over her shock as she concentrated on him. Fixing him. Jack was still out but breathing. Thank whatever god was looking up on them now.
Content that Jack would be okay, he opened the metal box. Blue velvet covered the insides and then he saw it. A gorgeous silver ring. Well, at least what was left of it, the bullet had not only dented the box but dented the ring too. Technically it wasn't the box that stopped the bullet. It was the ring. It saved his life. Daniel took the dented ring out of its case, looking at it in disbelief. He then pulled the bullet out of it too. A small paper fell onto the ground.
Quickly checking on Sam, who was only paying attention to Jack, her hand now cupping his cheek, her thumb slowly drawing comforting circles as she was whispering something he couldn't hear.
Daniel picked up the paper and unfolded it. "A poem?" he barely whispered to himself.
This ring I carry next to my heart
Makes me think about what could be
Can't think of a way to start
Telling what you mean to me.
A secret love that's not allowed
Still so pure and very real
Wish I could say it out loud
The way that you make me feel.
Although this love is hurting me
There's nothing that I can do
But wait until I can be
The one who's gonna marry you.
Daniel mouth opened and stayed that way for a few mindboggling seconds. Not because of the poem itself, everybody could write something like that. No, it was the title that mildly shocked him.
Just then Janet and her assistants rushed inside the diner, followed by Hammond still in his Air Force uniform. They saw the scene in front of them. Teal'c holding down some now restrained guy. Daniel staring at something in his hand, his mouth wide open.
Jack laying knocked out on the floor, Sam whispering to him, holding onto his hand and caressing his cheek.
Janet quickly strode over to Jack and checked for his pulse, checked his heartbeat and nodded to one of her assistants. A gurney rolled into the diner as they lifted him onto it, Janet securing him in place, a hand on his leg as they rushed him back out.
As they left the diner with Jack, Sam followed, wanting to stay at his side. A hand on her arm stopped her as she frowned at Daniel. "Sam I think you should read this." He handed her the box, gave her a quick hug and pushed her toward the door. "Go with him, Sam. I think he would want that." He knew she would do that anyway but he felt he needed to say it.
Sam stepped into the back of the military ambulance where it was occupied by just Jack and Janet. The woman smiled at her and nodded. "I made sure you could be here with him." She held Sam's eyes and Sam couldn't help but glance away and look at Jack. Janet knew. She's known quite some time now.
She slowly opened the box in her hand.
"What's that?" Janet asked as she checked out Jack's head wound. The ambulance jerking alive as they sped off.
Sam's eyes watered, tears traveling down her cheeks but they weren't tears of sadness, no, these were the happy kind.
She gave Janet the note as her own fingers closed over the dented ring. "It saved his life Janet."
Janet now reading the note had a hand over her opened mouth. "Holy Hannah." She looked back at Sam with wide open eyes.
As Sam's fingers softly caressed the ring, knowing the meaning behind it, she got completely overwhelmed by her emotions as tears ran down her face, her body shaking with sobs. She reached out and grabbed one of his hands, bending down to look at his face. She heard Janet sigh next to her.
"So he is going to retire after all."
Sam barely heard what Janet said but knew this already. She had had her suspicions but they had never voiced them out loud. She glanced back at the ring, her eyes quickly checking back on Jack. He was breathing but he was still out cold. "Please, Jack, please be okay." She leaned over him and bent down next to his face, feeling his warm breath on her cheek. "I love you."
The ambulance shook as they hit a bump in the road and Sam looked over at Janet now smiling. Her heart skipped a beat as a warm hand grabbed onto her wrist, pulling her down. "Sam?" a hoarse voice brought her back to reality.
Jack had awakened. His eyes still drifting open and close but her hold on her wrist was firm. His fingers now stretching around hers as she let his fingers thread through hers.
Jack noticed the ring in her other hand and he smiled. "I'll need to buy ya another one."
Sam started laughing as she rested her head on his chest, bringing their joined hands to her lips and kissed his softly. She looked back up at him. His expression was open, every emotion showing and behind that façade she saw his pure emotions coming to the surface. His love for her. Even though he was probably hurting bad, he was smiling at her. "So that means…."
A huge grin spread on her face. "Yes. After you retire of course."
Tears filled Jack's eyes but he still held him in check. "Sam, I gave Hammond my resignation papers late last night. I'm…. We're…." He sighed. He wasn't good at all the emotional stuff. Could hardly put it on paper. But this was Sam. This was Sam agreeing to marry him, to spend the rest of her life with him. He smiled even though a single tear traveled down his cheek. "I love you."
He tugged on their joined hands and Sam reached down and let her lips softly, barely touching his. He kissed her back, tenderly; their first kiss with a promise that held so much more.
Their moment was broken by Janet clearing her throat, reminding them they weren't alone.
The couple laughed and Sam sat back down on the stretcher. "Yes Janet you can be a bridesmaid," Sam said with an evil smile as Janet stood in the cramped space and hugged her best friend.
The three of them couldn't keep the smiles of their faces and Sam couldn't help herself when she reached down and kissed Jack yet again, feeling his hand in her hair pushing her down to him, she braced herself on her arms not wanting to lean on his chest but Jack wrapped his arms around her, holding her close to his chest as Sam placed her head on his shoulder feeling him kiss the top of her head.