Title: Fear of losing you
Summary: When he heard what happened, he felt as if his heart stopped.
Type/Pairings: angst, hurt/comfort, Sam/Jack
Season/Sequel: season 10, before the finale
Disclaimer: Not mine, I just borrow the characters for this fic.
Author's note: This fic was written for the Sam/Jack ficathon, on LJ. Annerb wanted "Established relationship H/C. Either Jack hurt or Sam. I'm not picky!". I hope you'll like this fic! Many thanks to my beta, Jaclyn, who did a fantastic job, as always!
When he heard what happened, he felt as if his heart stopped.
He had been in the Oval Office, meeting with President Hayes and General Hammond, when his cell phone rang. Seeing that it was the SGC calling had been his first clue that something was wrong; Landry usually called his office and left a message. Apologizing to the President, he had taken the call, and if he wasn't sitting, his knees would have probably buckled; SG1 had been under attack from Ba'al's Jaffa while on a routine mission, and both Sam and Daniel had been critically injured.
After he hung up, he had stayed silent, thinking about what Landry had just told him. He knew that one of these days, he would receive a call like that about his old teammates, but he didn't mean he was ready for that.
"What is it, Jack?" General Hammond asked, feeling that something was going on.
"SG1 had been under attack off-world, and Carter and Daniel are injured. It doesn't look good according to Lam."
"Go. Both of you," President Hayes told them. "And keep me informed."
"Yes, sir," they answered at the same time.
With one last salute, they left the Oval Office, and were on their respective cell phones only seconds later. Jack was calling his secretary to inform her of what happened and to tell her to cancel all his appointments for the next few days; he wouldn't be leaving the SGC until he was a hundred percent sure that both Daniel and Sam were alright.
"We'll have a plane ready in an hour at Andrews," Hammond informed Jack as they both hung up.
"Good. I'll see you there," he replied, as his car pulled up before him.
"Jack?" Hammond started, and waited until the other man was facing him to continue. "They'll be fine."
Jack only nodded before getting in his car.
They were an hour away from Washington before Jack finally turned towards Hammond, and noticed his look. He immediately felt guilty for not having thought about what he was feeling. Not only had Hammond been close to his team when he was still the leader of the SGC, but he knew Sam since she was just a little girl. And Jack knew for a fact that he had stepped up as a substitute father for her since Jacob's death. But he had been so worried for his friends that he hadn't considered that there were other people in this along with him.
"You were right. They're going to be fine. They have to. He may know Oma Dessala quite well by now, but that doesn't mean he can die. And as for Sam..."
"She has you to fight for," Hammond concluded for him. "And since Jacob isn't there to do this, I guess I have to ask: when do you plan on making an honest woman out of her?"
Jack chuckled; he couldn't say he hadn't been expecting this question. If Jacob was still alive, he bet that he would have said it the moment he knew about them being a couple. And he couldn't say that he hadn't been thinking about it. They had been together for less than three months, and not only did he think that it was too early in their relationship, but he could already hear some people saying that they had been together longer than they were saying. And he didn't want Sam's career to suffer from that.
"Soon, I hope," he answered truthfully.
"You're concerned about what people could say," Hammond guessed. "I know you, Jack," he continued, knowing that the younger man was surprised. "And I know that even when you weren't in Sam's direct chain of command anymore, you waited for a long while. Once, Sam told me that she wondered if you had realised that you were feeling nothing more than friendship for her."
"She never told me this..."
To say that Jack was surprised would be an understatement. But then, he didn't say that he too had wondered if she really wanted to be with him. Insecurity had been a strong trait in both their characters at the very beginning of their relationship. But it had soon been soothed by just some words.
"What do people say?" Jack asked, needing to know what was being said behind their backs.
"Never worry about what other people think. You have the support of your friends and that's the more important thing. And people who know you and Sam, know to not lend an ear to gossips."
Jack had to admit that Hammond was right. But he still didn't want people to think that Sam didn't deserve any of her promotions.
They had still a few hours of flight before landing at Peterson, and Jack was starting to get restless. He'd longed to go to the cockpit and get his hands on the controls for a while, but he knew that while he was a Major General, they wouldn't let him pilot this plane. So he settled for looking out of the window. There was of course nothing of interest out there, besides the sky and clouds, but it gave him time to think.
Think about the fact that while he was stuck in Washington in what seemed like endless meetings, his old team was still going off-world, still fighting against their enemies. He couldn't help but feel like he should be with them, that he should still lead the team, instead of sitting behind a desk all day long.
He should have been there when Sam and Daniel had been hurt. That was the one thing that kept coming to the front of his mind since Landry's call.
They were met by General Landry on the infirmary's floor.
"I'm sorry I couldn't come and meet you at Peterson. I was waiting for a communication with Atlantis."
"How are they?" Hammond was the one to ask.
"Everything seems to be fine. Doctor Weir sent the weekly reports, if you want to read them."
Both Hammond and Jack nodded, following Landry to the infirmary. There, they found Cameron, Teal'c and Vala waiting. Teal'c came towards them, and grabbed Jack's arm, then Hammond's. Cameron and Vala were behind, both feeling a bit out of place during their reunion.
"How are they?" Jack asked.
"Doctor Lam is still operating on Colonel Carter, and they've just finished operating on Daniel Jackson. They said the next few hours would be critical for him."
"What happened exactly?" Hammond wanted to know.
"We were on P3X-901 where Jackson wanted to check some ruins SG-12 had found," Mitchell explained. We were nearly back at the Gate when the Jaffas attacked us. We hadn't seen them coming. We fought back, but they hit Sam and Jackson. I really don't know how, but we managed to kill them, and made it back to the Gate."
"It's lucky you three weren't hurt," Hammond said, knowing that otherwise, it would have been more difficult for the whole team to go back to the Gate.
"Do you think they knew you were there?" Jack asked.
"It's possible," Vala was the one to reply.
It was a question the three uninjured members of SG1 kept asking themselves. At first, it hadn't seemed possible, but the more they thought about it, the more they wondered. Though they hadn't been a lot, it seemed like they were waiting for them. Vala was starting to suspect that they had come near the ruins, but the team hadn't noticed them, but then, she wondered why they would wait for them to go back to the Gate, instead of attacking them right there and then.
"Did you find anything at the ruins?" Jack asked after Vala voiced her thoughts aloud.
"No," she answered while Teal'c and Cameron shook their heads; she had followed Daniel around the whole time, and if he had found something, she would have known. "You think that there was something to find? And that Ba'al's Jaffas were there for whatever it is? Those were Ancients ruins, but I don't think there was anything left behind."
Jack shrugged; he wouldn't put it past Ba'al to order his Jaffas to search every single Ancient ruin in the Galaxy.
But before anyone could say anything else, Carolyn was coming towards them, her face as unreadable as if she was wearing a mask.
"Carolyn?" her father prompted her to talk.
"I'll start with Doctor Jackson. He has been hit on his right side, and has lost a lot of blood. We nearly lost him on the table." She paused, as Vala gasped, and Jack closed his eyes; this was the worst part of her job, and if she could never do that again, she would be more than happy. "As for Colonel Carter, she was hit on the back. The muscles of her left shoulder have been damaged. I've managed to repair some of it but she won't be able to move her arm for the next few weeks, and she won't be able to fully recuperate and resume the missions with SG1 for at least a few months."
"Thank you," Jack said, sighing with relief that Sam would be ok. And as for Daniel, he remembered what Teal'c had told him. "Teal'c told us that the next few hours are critical for Daniel..."
"Yes. Like I've said, he's lost a lot of blood, and was very weak when we started the surgery. His heart stopped, but we resuscitated him. But he's still weak. You can go see them. Doctor Jackson is in a private room, and Colonel Carter is in the main room. She should be waking up soon." They were going to go see their friends, when Carolyn stopped them. "I think you already know General O'Neill, but you're Doctor Jackson's next of kin. And since he's unconscious for the moment, you'll be the one making decisions for him if we need to."
"There's only one thing I have to tell you, then," Jack replied. "I want him to live. Do whatever it takes to ensure that."
With that, Jack left, followed by Hammond and the rest of SG1. General Landry stayed behind, and put an arm around his daughter's shoulders. That surprised her; though no one at the SGC ignored that they were father and daughter, they usually didn't show anything at work, or anywhere else for that matter. While in other circumstances she would say something, at the moment, she was feeling so tired, that she just put her hand over his, and smiled tiredly at him.
"You should go take a nap. Your team can take care of the rest."
"I have to write the reports..."
"Don't think about that now. Go sleep for a while." He paused, waiting for her to agree, and when she nodded, he smiled. "Good. Now, shoo, before I come with you and tuck you in."
She chuckled a bit, before walking away from her father to give some instructions to one of the nurses. That done, she left the infirmary, hoping she wouldn't be lying awake in bed despite her tiredness.
Jack sat on the chair beside Sam's bed, and took her right hand in both of his. He looked at her face, her eyes closed and a cut on her forehead, that she probably got when she fell after she had been hit. His gaze then fell to her chest; it was moving with every breath she was taking, and he could remember the other times when he had been relieved to see it rise and fall, breathing in and breathing out. His eyes finally found her left shoulder, and saw it bandaged beneath the hospital gown. Her arm had been strapped to her chest, so that she wouldn't move it and hurt herself more than she already was.
This time again, it had been close. A few centimetres lower, and her left lung would have been hit. Who knew what would have happened then. She had been lucky this time again, but one day, she might run out of luck. Maybe sooner than later, and it was what frightened him the most. When Landry called to say that she had been injured, he had been worried that this time, that was it. But they had been lucky, again. It would take some time, but she would be fine.
Caught up in his thoughts, Jack hadn't noticed that Hammond had followed him into the room, and startled when the older man put a hand on his shoulder. Turning slightly, he looked at him, and smiled a little.
"I'm going to get something to eat. Do you want anything?"
"No, thank you."
Hammond nodded, though Jack could see that he was concerned. At that point, Jack didn't know if he was feeling concerned about Sam or him anymore. As he was leaving, Jack noticed that Teal'c was in the doorway, and he gestured for him to join him.
"Where are Mitchell and Vala?"
"With Daniel Jackson. I decided to stay with you in the case you need anything."
"Thanks Teal'c. But if you want to go with Daniel, you can."
"I'm good where I am." He paused, looking at Sam, and then resumed talking. "I'm sorry about Colonel Carter, O'Neill."
"It's not your fault, Teal'c."
"I should have noticed them before they attacked us."
"You did what you had to do. Don't blame yourself for what happened to Sam and Daniel. They'll tell you the same thing when they wake up."
Teal'c nodded, and went to take his position back as a vigil near the door. Jack couldn't help but smile at that, before returning his eyes to Sam. Bringing her hand to his lips, he kissed it, willing her to wake up.
Jack must have fallen asleep, because next thing he knew, his head was resting on Sam's bed, her hand still in his. Raising his head, and his neck hurt like hell, he looked up towards Sam, and saw her looking back at him, a small smile on her face.
"Hey," she whispered.
"Hey. Want some ice chips?"
"Yeah, please," she replied, and he raised a spoonful of ice chips to her lips. She let them melt in her mouth, before swallowing the water, sighing at the effect it had on her dry throat. "You came all the way here," she said, though she was pleased to have him.
"Of course. And I'm not the only one. Hammond's here too. Not sure where he is right now, but he's here."
"I'm right here, actually," Hammond said, walking into the room. "How are you feeling, Sam?" he asked, kissing her forehead.
"Good. Could have been better, but good. What's the verdict?"
"You'll live," Jack deadpanned, though she could see through this facade. "Some muscles have been damaged, so it'll be a while before you can move your shoulder and arm, and a lot longer than that before you resume missions."
"Ok. What about Daniel?" she asked. She had seen him fall before she had been hit, and she needed to know that he was fine.
"He's in a more serious condition. He has lost a lot of blood. But you know Spacemonkey, he's going to be fine," he tried to reassure her, deliberately leaving out the fact that he nearly died on the table.
"Is he awake?"
"Not yet," Hammond answered, after Jack had looked at him for the answer.
"Go see him," Sam said, turning her head to look at Jack in the eyes. Knowing him, and knowing that he was about to protest, she continued. "Don't think I can't guess that you stayed with me the whole time since you arrived at the base. So go see Daniel, now. He needs you just as much as you need him."
"Ok," he relented, knowing that he wouldn't win this one.
He pecked her on the lips twice, before releasing her hand, and leaving the room. He knew that Hammond was going to stay with her while he wasn't there, and he guessed that they needed some time alone too.
He stopped for a minute to let the nurses know that Sam was awake, and then resumed walking towards the private room Daniel was given. Once he was awake, Jack would have to tell him that one of these days, they should just give the room his name, seeing how much time he was spending in there.
Entering the room, he saw that Vala was alone, sitting at Daniel's bedside.
"General!" she startled, not having heard him coming in. "How's Sam doing?"
"She just woke up. Daniel?"
"The nurses that keep coming in and out told me that he was doing fine given the circumstances. A few more hours, and they think he will be ok."
"He's going to be ok," Jack said, putting his hand on Vala's shoulder. "Daniel's tougher than he looks."
"I know." She paused, remembering the first time she met him; he had been quite a fighting opponent.
"Go get some rest. Or at least, go to the mess to get something to eat. I'll stay with him. Don't make me order you to do it," he finished, knowing she would be protesting.
"Fine... But...," she started but he interrupted her before she could go further.
"I'll send someone to get you if there's any change."
With one last look towards Daniel, Vala stood and left the room. Jack went to sit on the chair left vacant by Vala, and looked at his friend's still form. It was far from the first time he saw him like that, but it didn't help him feel less worried about him. He knew from the different machines surrounding Daniel that everything was fine for the moment. Jack could still remember the time his friend died. He had been covered in bandages following his radiation, and seeing him dying had been difficult. Even after, when he knew that he hadn't really died but ascended, it hadn't eased the pain he had been feeling.
This time would be different though. Daniel wouldn't die, couldn't die; Jack wouldn't let that happen. As he told Vala, his friend was tougher than he looked, and he would be back with them in no time. He had to.
He didn't know how long he had been there, maybe no more than a few minutes, maybe more than an hour, when he heard someone come into the room. Expecting a nurse, or Vala coming back, he didn't acknowledge the presence, and was surprised when a hand rested on his back. Turning his head, he saw Sam in a wheelchair, with Hammond just behind her.
"What are you doing here? You should be resting."
"She wanted to see Daniel, and she wouldn't leave Doctor Lam alone until she got what she wanted," Hammond said with a smile. "It looks like someone has been teaching her how to nag the nurses and doctors."
"What can I say? She has learnt from the best."
"How is he?" he asked, looking at the archaeologist.
"Vala told me that the nurses think that if everything keeps being fine, he should be ok."
"Good. I'll leave you three alone. Do you need anything?" Hammond asked, knowing the two officers better than to ask them to have something to eat.
"We're fine," Sam answered, after having looked at Jack.
"I'll see you tomorrow, then."
Jack watched Hammond leave, and started to feel a bit guilty to not have spent time with him since they arrived here.
"Don't worry, he understands," Sam said, as if reading his mind. She then turned her head to look at Daniel, a worried look on her face. "I hate seeing him like this."
"I thought Vala would have stayed with him..." Sam mused out loud.
"She was there when I came in, and I all but ordered her to go and get something to eat and some rest." He paused, before asking something that had been on his mind for quite some time. "What's going on between them?"
"We don't know, and I don't think they really know either. You should ask Daniel when he wakes up. They've put him on morphine, and I don't think he'll be able to lie," she said, and chuckled along with Jack.
"What about you? Are you on morphine, too?"
"Yep," she answered, gesturing to her IV.
"So, that means you're not able to lie, either?"
"I've been trained to not tell the truth under any circumstances," she joked along.
"Damn... And I thought that I could pry some things out of you."
At that, they both turned their heads quickly, albeit a bit too quickly for Jack's still sore neck and Sam's shoulder, towards the bed, and saw that Daniel had opened his eyes. They both let out a sigh of relief, as Sam took his hand in hers, and Jack left the room to call Carolyn.
"What happened to you?" Daniel asked, his voice a bit hoarse.
"The same thing that happened to you. How are you feeling?"
Carolyn and two nurses came rushing into the room, followed by Jack. Sam let go of Daniel's hand, and allowed Jack to push her out of the way, as they waited for Carolyn to finish. Jack's hand rested on Sam's good shoulder, and she covered it with her own.
"He's fine," she finally reassured them a few minutes later. "His BP and heart rate are normal. Some rest should take care of the rest. And that's for you, too, Colonel."
"I'm going to take her back to her bed," Jack told her, ignoring Sam's protests that she was feeling fine. "Could you tell Vala that he's awake? She's either in the Mess Hall or in her quarters."
"I will. You should get some rest, too, sir?"
He nodded in answer, before pushing Sam's wheelchair back towards the bed. He sat on the chair, and they started talking with Daniel, bringing him up to date with what happened since he had been hit.
It was late at night when Jack came back from a meeting with the Joint Chiefs and the President, but he wasn't surprised to see that there was still a light in the living-room. He would have actually been surprised if that wasn't the case.
"How did it go?" Sam asked him, from where she was sat on the couch.
"It was boring, as always. But they've finally decided to not question Elizabeth's leadership anymore. "
"It was time."
"How was your day?" he asked, sitting beside her.
"Pretty uneventful. I went for a coffee with some old friends. Came back here, made dinner, by the way, there's still some left in the fridge."
"Thank you," he kissed her. "I think I'll take a week off and we'll go to the cabin."
"Jack... You don't have to do anything like that."
"I've asked you to come to Washington for the duration of your leave, and I leave you alone..."
"You're working at the Pentagon, you're the head of Homeworld security, so of course you have to work long hours. When I came here, I didn't expect you to spend every day with me."
"I'm sorry," he whispered, as she was hugging him to her.
"It's ok. Now, go eat something. I'm going to bed."
"Is that an invitation?"
Jack watched her leave the room.
Now wasn't the time to tell her that he was thinking of retiring. She would think he was doing that for her, and he wouldn't be able to tell her that she was in the wrong. These past few weeks, with Sam living here with him, made him want to have that every day, and not just until she could go back to the SGC and to work. He would wait until telling her, but he felt like it was the right thing to do; that it was time for them to live a little.
That in mind, he decided to forgo his dinner, after all, he wasn't that hungry, at least not for food.