Title: Five things SG-1 hid in Sam's luggage before she left for Atlantis

Rating: M

Spoilers: Atlantis, season 4. Blink and you miss for: Fire and Water, Line in the Sand

Summary: written for lj: sg1_five_things

Author's Note: sg1_five_things

Date: 29/08/09

Disclaimer: Stargate doesn't belong to me, someone outbid me on ebay.

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1.

Sam looked around at the quarters she had been escorted to. They were bigger than any other room she had been assigned in her career, but even with the amazing view (and the alien fruit basket she had agreed to taunt McKay with when he turned up), she couldn't help but long for her quarters back at the SGC. They were little more than a small room with cold, concrete walls, but they had practically been her home for ten years.

She sighed as she flipped the buckle on her case, knowing that it wasn't her quarters, but her friends that she was missing, and she berated herself for feeling homesick so soon. This was Atlantis – Atlantis! She was so proud to be here, had worked so hard. And she knew for a fact that Daniel would have cut off one of his own arms to be here. She should be overjoyed, not sad. Her friends would always bee there, waiting for her at home.

Raising the lid and letting it fall back onto the mattress, her eyes landed on a brown paper bag and, gradually, a cheered grin cut through the confusion. Cameron. She lifted the bag and opened it under her nose, smelling the sweet chocolately scent that she had come to love over the past year. It seemed her friends weren't about to let a little thing like an entire galaxy stand in their way, they would be here with her too.

Digging out the one macaroon Cam would always insist on including in her packages of chocolate chip cookies, she set it aside. Maybe she could foist it off on McKay.

2.

It was in her briefcase, between her mission orders and the tech. specs. of Atlantis which she had barely looked away from in days that she found Daniel.

The journal was, quite simply, beautiful. The covers were bound in a soft leather, in the deep golden colour that Daniel usually preferred; 'Abydonian gold' he had once called it. The pages were thick, lending a textured elegance to their unlined surface. And the smell, the distinct fragrance of paper and glue would always smell like his lab.

It was something she would have never chosen for herself, too afraid to tear and stain the parchment with her uneven scrawl too long pampered by the use of a keyboard. It left little room for error, o chance to perfect or analysis, but, like Daniel, it was just so human.

It was under the photo he had clipped to the first page, a rambling shot of the team in it's entirely (Hammond, Jonas, Cassie – Janet it's only glaring absentee), that she found Daniel's confident script offering up works of advice he had given her countless times before. They were words she had heard whispered into her exhausted mind time and time again, and their familiarity was all the more touching now.

Take the time to breathe, it said. Look around you, take notice, and appreciate. It's an amazing life, Sam, don't miss it. And remember, I want to hear all about it when you get home.

3.

Teal'c was found curled up between the folds of her favourite worn flannel pyjamas – a notion that, when she thought of her large friend, seemed both ridiculously funny and oddly appropriate. She was comforted by the thought that, tonight at least, her pyjamas would smell of Teal'c, of home.

The candles were indicative of the odd mix that made up his collection on base, basic tools for kelnoreem-ing and, later, meditation that had gone into overload in the face of the many scents offered up on Earth.

He had long given up on trying to convince her to join him as Daniel (and even Cam and Vala) had done on occasion, knowing that she could never seem to slow her mind enough to enter a meditative state. But, many nights over the years had found him, candle lit, in the corner of her lab. She had found the scents, and even more so the presence of her friend, so relaxing that it had been something she had always looked forward to.

She fingered the candles' waxy surface gently as she placed them on her bedside. Mulburry, vanilla, a clean biting citrus and, she felt a tear threaten, a roughly moulded Jaffa-style candle that she knew he had crafted himself. She would light it tonight, she thought, knowing he would be doing the same.

4.

Vala, in an unsurprising fashion, was not found, but rather made her presence known in a way that bough packing to a screaming halt. Sam had never thought herself a prude, but having a friend in Vala had taught her that she was, perhaps, a little more conservative than she had every realised.

It was, conveniently enough, tangled within her underwear that Vala had chosen to hide. Sam ignored the disapproving note that her friend and pinned to white-cotton regulation underwear (Boring, Samantha. We must shop.) and carefully removed the items concealed between the few more delicate articles she had packed. Her face reddened, annoyingly so, as she lined up each item alongside her suitcase on the bed. No one could ever fault Vala Mal Doran for being underprepared.

Refusing to think about how Vala had purchased these items without her own money, credit card, or permission to leave the base unescorted – oh dear God, who did she take with her?? – she swept the items into one of her now empty bags and slipped it under her bed. She'd take a closer look later.

5.

She was almost beginning to think that Jack wasn't hiding amongst her luggage (surely he hadn't been around when this infiltration had been going on, after all) when, suddenly, there he was.

She had been transferring her second dress uniform from its hanger bag to her wardrobe at the time. he knew the opportunity to wear her dress blues would be few and far between on the civilian based Atlantis, but Sam's training had started early in life and it was hard to break.

Hanging up the uniform, her eyes were drawn to the newly minted eagles she had pinned to the shoulders, only to find them surprisingly lacklustre. Her mouth opened in wondered surprise as she plucked them off her uniform and held them in the palm of her hand. They weren't shiny at all, in fact they were even a little scratched. And she saw the left one, though it had been carefully polished, had the slightest black tinge to its edge, almost as if it had been burnt at some point. She curled her fingers around them, their dulled edges digging into but not piercing her skin.

Jack had never been a man of words, and though their months back and forth between Colorado and Washington had helped, it certainly hadn't cured the problem. She understood him anyways, she always had.

You can do this, they said. You're ready. I'll be right here if you need me. I'm so proud of you. I'll miss you. I'll be waiting. I love you.

Sam slipped the newer, shining insignia from her shoulders onto the clean uniform and transferred Jack's onto the shoulders of her base uniform. She could do this. But it sure felt better knowing that part of her family was there with her. She touched the metal again. Always.