Based on Stargate: SG-1

Set almost immediately preceding SGA: Enemy at the Gates. Sam/Jack established.

- . - - - . -

It had come by a phone call to Jack's cell in the middle of the night. Well, about 11:30 at night. It was from Lieutenant Morrow, General Hammond's aide. He had had a heart attack and was in emergency open heart surgery.

Jumping from their bed, Sam and Jack dressed quickly and were at Walter Reed, Army Medical Center in record time. They met Morrow there. They called George's daughter, Rebecca, again. She had gotten her plane ticket and was getting ready to head to the airport and fly out that night. Well, it was actually morning by then.

Jack had fallen asleep in a small uncomfortable chair in the waiting room, his head slumped to the side. Sam was exhausted, but couldn't sleep. The doors to the waiting room opened and a man came out. She knew it was the General's doctor, no one else was there.

Elbowing Jack, Sam stood up. Jack jumped and took his place behind her. Morrow also took her feet.

He held his hands out in an offering manner. "I'm so sorry, we did all we could."

Sam's hands shot to her open mouth. Jack's hand came to her shoulder. She could hear him talking to the Doctor, but she couldn't process their conversation. She couldn't believe it. She just wouldn't believe . . .

"Rebecca," she said, causing both Jack and the doctor to look at her. "We need to tell Rebecca, she's in flight right now. She can't find out by a phone call that her father . . ."

Jack squeezed her shoulder reassuringly. "I'll leave her a message to call me when she lands. We can go get from the airport and tell her then."

Sam nodded. "I think I should call Daniel and Teal'c."

"Wait until we get home, we can call them on OLVisGCS." OLVisGCS - On Line Visual Stargate Communication System - was the secured video chat network they used. It was supposed to be for official use only, but since the expansion of the section at the pentagon and the creation of the 304 fleet, it was rarely used for official use only.

Sam nodded again. She obviously wasn't completely lucid. "You're right. That's a good idea."

They headed home and Sam set her laptop up on the coffee table and Jack joined her on the couch. She had cried on the way home, just spontaneously burst into tears. He could tell she was still on the edge of tears, even though she was trying to ignore it.

"Hey, Sam!" Daniel said as his face appeared on her laptop, he then saw Jack as well. "Jack!"

"Hey, Daniel, where's Teal'c?" Sam asked, getting right to the point.

Daniel's expression sunk, clearly reading Sam's tone. "Around here somewhere, let me go find him."


Daniel disappeared.

Jack glanced over at Sam, she was wiping the remaining tears from her eyes. He placed his hand on her thigh. She covered his hand with her own and squeezed it for a second before turning her attention and both of her hands to her hair. She had simply pulled it back sometime this morning after they had gotten out of bed. Now she was running her fingers through it, trying to maintain some sense of order.

A few minutes and a semblance of a tidy hair style later, Daniel and Teal'c appeared on Sam's laptop. "Colonel Carter, O'Neill," Teal'c greeted them. "Is something amiss?"

Sam cleared her throat, noticing Jack's hand on her thigh again. "This morning General Hammond had a heart attack and was taken into emergency surgery."

"Oh my God," Daniel reacted. "Is he alright?"

Sam opened her mouth to speak, but words escaped her. She shook her head and squeezed Jack's hand again.

"When will the funeral take place?" Teal'c asked.

"I don't know. We need to talk to Rebecca, we're going to pick her up when she lands."

"You two will probably want to fly out pretty soon, either way," Jack said. "And, Teal'c, you might want to invite Bra'tac."

Teal'c nodded. "That is a wise suggestion. I will do so."

Jack glanced at his watch. "We've got to go get Rebecca. Her plane is going to land soon."

Daniel nodded. "We understand. We'll talk later." He waved.

Sam waved back and everyone said their goodbyes. Sam shut her laptop. She looked at Jack. "How I am going to tell her that her father . . ." The tears started again.

Jack wrapped his arms around her and squeezed gently. "I don't think you'll have to say anything."

They got to the airport and Sam waited by the baggage claim and Jack stayed with the car. Sam had known Rebecca Hammond for most of her life. But they weren't really friends. They had met when they were young, their fathers being friends, and had been at the same functions over the years. They didn't really have much in common, so they remained pleasant acquaintances.

Sam was looking around when she heard someone call her name. She turned to see Rebecca. Rebecca dropped her suitcase. "Dad, is he alright? How was the surgery?"

Sam shook her head slowly.

Rebecca covered her mouth with one hand as she began to weep. Suddenly, but not entirely unexpectedly, she threw her arms around Sam and hugged her.

"I'm so sorry," Sam whispered.

After a moment, Rebecca released her and wiped her eyes. "I should call my kids."

Sam nodded. "You can call them from the car, Jack's outside waiting."

- . -

Daniel, Teal'c and Bra'tac arrived the next day. They stayed in a hotel, allowing for Rebecca and her family to stay with Jack and Sam. They all agreed that a house - even that of a single man and his sometimes-live-in girlfriend - was better than a hotel.

The funeral followed. It was at Arlington. A nice service.

President Hayes came and offered his condolences. Rebecca was more than a little shocked that the President came to her father's funeral. She had known they had been friends before her father worked in Washington, but still. Her two daughters, Kayla and Tessa, light of their grandfather's life, were amazed and excited to meet him.

Rebecca's family, as well as Daniel and Teal'c, flew back to Colorado the day after the funeral.

- . -

Jack was sitting on the couch watching whatever was on the History Channel at the time when Sam finally joined him. She had been changing all the sheets. He had told her not to do it and relax. He assured her that he would get to it later. After all, she didn't live there (not yet) and he could do it. But she insisted.

Finally, she sunk down next to him and leaned into him. Jack slung his arm around her shoulders.

She was quiet for a few moments. He muted the television in anticipation of her words.

"I can't believe he's gone."

Jack didn't have an answer to that.

"He's one of those men who you think is invincible." She paused for a second. "I just never considered him dying a real possibility. And now . . ." she shifted against him a little. "Now General Hammond is dead."

He kissed her temple, not having a response.

"With my dad, it was different. I mean, I always knew that one day he was going to be gone. And then Selmak . . . I thought he'd outlive me. But it was different, you know?" she looked up at him.

He nodded. "I know."

"Because I lost Mom so young, I had grown up knowing that my father's funeral could be right around the corner."

"Sucks for a kid to realize."

She nodded.

They were quiet for a moment before tears started down her face again. Jack shifted to pulled her tight to his chest and wrap both arms around her.

"I guess no one's invincible," she finally concluded.

"But he was close." He kissed her forehead and held her tight. "As close as they come."

- . - FIN - . -