AUTHOR'S NOTE: Normally, I don't archive my Stargate fic here (there are just too many to catch up, apparently I can't shut-up in this fandom LOL), but this one was new and short and sweet, so I thought I'd go for it.:)

DISCLAIMER: Yeah, the SG-1 guys are all property of MGM, World Gekko Corp and Double Secret productions. This is all in fun, no infringement on copyrights or trademarks was intended. All other characters, ideas, etc., herein are copyrighted to the author.

Rowan Darkstar
Copyright (c) 2010

Most days she's okay. Good, even. Most days it all makes sense in her head and she's sure she's right where she belongs.

Other days she stands in the middle of the sidewalk and wonders how she ended up on this planet and not another, whether she even really belongs on her own planet, anymore. She remembers Tok'ra tunnels and dual sunrises and the feel of Asgard fingers wrapped around her own.

She dreamt once of a house with a marigold patch by the gate and a butter yellow kitchen and a bay window with deep cushions and old books and a marble step before the fireplace. She still finds warmth in these things. But she's not sure she can take them into her life, anymore.

She thinks this should be her retirement dream. But then she thinks she wants to retire somewhere like Atlantis, rather than leave the Mountain and its secrets locked in a box in her wilder past. She thinks a wormhole is a one way trip. First journey and you're never just an Earthling again.

She misses having a Mom. Having another woman to sit on the porch steps and talk. She thinks Vala, of all the improbable women in the universe, has been a spark of warmth in her life, and she thinks of calling her sometimes. Then she withdraws.

Sam Carter has had friends around her for years. But she can disappear for 48 hours and never be missed. She didn't realize how much she had come to count on him to...notice. To catch her eyes across a room, flicker his eyelid just a bit and say things like, "That's a red flag to me," and the so much simpler and all the more meaningful, "Carter?"

She drives, Indy humming beneath her thighs like a wild beast, drives like she wants to be back in the sky, to pilot a glider through a wormhole and save their asses by the skin of her teeth. She detours on her way to the SGC, up into the hills, and pulls to a dusty halt on the narrow shoulder. She frees her hair and breath from her helmet and walks off into the field of sunlit wildflowers calling to her in butter yellow. She looks out over the valley to the town below.

She is considering calling in sick and spending the day hiking in the mountains, when the sound of her own phone startles her to the present. She slips the small red device from her coat and flips it open. Text message. General O'Neill.

"You've been quiet. Okay?"

She doesn't expect the tears that blur the words.

She stares at the simple line of text a long time and the mountain wind ruffles her hair. She types the words "Not really". Then she deletes the message before hitting 'Send'. She types, "Would you mind a visit?" and sends that instead.

She's terrified of the reply and waiting on pins and needles for the warble of her text alert.

She has almost given up, is slipping the phone back in her pocket and thinking she should leave or be late for work, when the small device vibrates and tweets in her hand.

She flips the top and presses 'Read Now'.


Sam Carter drops heavily to the grass and starts to cry in earnest. Her phone falls to her lap and catches on the rim of her boot.

She doesn't even know why she's hurting, why she's going to D.C., when or how she'll get away from work, or what she'll tell Daniel who thinks she is going to join him on the project with SG-19 for the next few days. But she knows she's going home. That planets and symbiotes and wormholes and yellow kitchens and hieroglyphs won't matter for a few days, and if she disappears there'll be an army of soldiers out looking for her. Or at least one.

She sits in the grass too long. She tucks her phone in her pocket like a treasured piece of her soul.

She revs her Indy, checks for traffic, and charges toward her mountain with a warmth burning in her guts and a buzz in her chest she hasn't felt for too long.

The wind is brisk and the sun rises with the city.

Sam Carter is flying home.