Crayola's

by Sharim

TITLE: Crayola's

AUTHOR: Sharim

EMAIL: MissSharim@yahoo.com

STATUS: Completed

CATEGORY: Angst, fluff, not much really. Character death I guess.

PAIRINGS: Hinted S/J

SPOILERS: Learning Curve

SEASON: Four years after Learning Curve.

SEQUEL/CHAPTERS: None

RATING: G

CONTENT WARNINGS: None. Just a bit of fluff, written aimlessly...

SUMMARY: Uh... Merrin gets a visit from Sam.

YEAR COMPLETED: 8 January, 2002

SIZE: 18 KB

ARCHIVE: Sam and Jack yes Please, Heliopolis, my site (if I get round to it)

DISCLAIMER: The usual stuff... I don't own them, i don't make money, no infringementy stuff intended... I would write 'no similarty any persons dead or alive intended' but seeing as the Stargate in itself is pretty much fictional, i sincerely doubt someone else could lay claim to visiting another person off-world....

AUTHORS NOTE: Like a said, a bit of fluff intended to amuse. Well... not necessarily amuse... just keep me busy and hopefully keep you busy for a few minute while you read it!

~o~~o~~o~~o~~o~~o~~o~~o~~o~~o~~o~~o~



"Hey Merrin." Her head whips around quickly, the large blue eyes wide with curiousity as she surveys her visitor.

"Sam!" She smiles, her lips parting into a wide, infectious grin.

"How are you doing?" The woman asks, stopping a little way in front of the young girl, clutching a small parcel tightly in her hands.

"Good." Merrin announces, nodding her head to emphasise the firmly spoken words, and then turns promptly back to her drawing.

"What are you drawing?" Sam asks, licking her lips and sitting down gingerly on the stone wall next to Merrin, letting her eyes trail down to the paper.

"A dog. Have you seen a dog?" She asks, her tongue creeping out between her lips in concentration as the purple stub of a crayon weaves its way over the paper.

"Yes. Have you?" Sam questions, a half smile playing around her lips.

"No." Merrin shakes her head, turning most of her attention back to her drawing. "Jack has."

"Jack has what?" Her fingers tighten involuntarily over the parcel still clutched between her hands.

"Seen a dog." Merrin looks up, satisfaction on her face. "Why are you sad?" She asks, curiousity still shining in her eyes as she gazes up at the woman.

"I'm not sad." Sam says gently, licking her lips as she gazes down at the package. "I brought you a birthday present." She continues, looking down at the simply wrapped package she's holding in her hands. "How old are you now, Merrin?"

The girl screws her brow up in thought, fighting to remember. "Fiveteen?" She frowns.

"Almost. Sixteen." Sam corrects gently, smiling slightly.

"I know." Merrin defends herself, her eyes narrowing as she studies Sam to make sure the woman believes her.

"Of course." Sam meets Merrin's eyes. "Can you count to sixteen?"

"Yes." Merrin nods eagerly. "Want to hear?"

"Sure." Sam agrees, relaxing slightly as Merrin starts to count, her voice confident on the first few syllables but fading until she's slowly struggling to remember. "Eleven." Sam helps out, her eyes lost on the sheet of paper lying between them.

He used to draw his dogs like that. She remembered watching as his pen flitted across the paper during debriefing, doodling all sorts of odd designs and shapes that, if she stared at hard enough, she could make out animals and cartoons. He loved dogs. He loved children.

"Sam?" Merrin frowns, annoyed that her attention had wandered.

"Yeah?" Sam blushes slightly, embarrassed as she gazes down at Merrin.

"How was that?"

"Very good." Sam lies, glancing down at the package. "Do you want to open it?"

"What is it?" Her fingers clutch at the package, removing them eagerly from Sam's hands. Sam looks at their hands as they lie side by side for a brief second on the paper. Merrin's are smooth and young, stained by the crayola's she'd been drawing with. Her own are older, marred by tiny scars and cuts, writing callouses and age.

"If I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise, would it?" Sam smiles gently, letting go of the object.

"Where's Jack?" Merrin asks, her brow narrowing into a frown again as she gazes around.

"He couldn't come this time." Sam apologises softly, the words falling sickeningly flat, even to her own ears.

"But he *always* comes." Merrin whimpers, her eyes starting to fill with tears.

"I know that honey, I know." Sam swallows, her own eyes stinging. "He wanted to come, he really wanted to come."

"Why couldn't he come?"

Sam flinches, jerking away from the question. No. She shouldn't ask that, she shouldn't be so curious about everything.

"He... he couldn't." She draws her breath in shakily, closing her eyes against the red walls that used to house the sound of his laughter while he played with the children. He used to love coming here on his downtime, spending time with 'his' kids. Teal'c too, the children had a bond with the two of them that neither she nor Daniel seemed to possess.

"You're crying." Merrin observes, childlike amazement on her voice as her slender yet clumsy finger wipes at the errant drop of water rolling down Sam's cheek.

"No, I'm not." Sam says gently, opening her eyes again and offering the girl a smile, forcing the tears away. "Are you going to open it?" She asks again.

"What about Jack?" Merrin asks again, a mulish tone making itself known on her voice.

"Merrin... he can't come." Sam swallows, her shoulders slumping slightly as she gazes at the girl. "He... the Colonel..." Her stuttering ceases as she gives up trying to vocalise the words.

"Will he come later?" Merrin asks, confused and scared by the tears starting to run down the older woman's cheeks again.

"No." Sam shudders slightly, her shoulders shaking. "He can't come, Merrin. He can't come anywhere." She whispers.

"Why not?" Merrin demands, forgetting about her present.

"Did... did he ever tell you about Charlie?" Sam whispers, her eyes locked on some children in the distance. They were playing ball, their laughter echoing off the walls around her, mocking her.

"Yes." Merrin blinks. "He said that Charlie would have liked me. Where is Charlie? Is Jack with Charlie?"

"Yes." Sam chokes back a sob, stifling her grief.

"When are they coming home?" Merrin frowns, concerned.

"They're not, Merrin. They can't come home. Not ever." Sam whispers, squeezing her eyes shut and pressing her fingers against her temples. "They're gone."

"Oh." Merrin looks down at her paper. "I want Jack to come. He always comes on my birthday." Merrin states. Sam can't stop the small smile that breaks on her lips. Jack came at least once a month, to Merrin each visit meant a present and therefore a birthday.

"I know, Merrin. I know. But not this time." Sam rubs a tired hand over her face.

"Sam?" Merrin frowns, her eyes frightened as she gazes up at Sam. "Are you going too?"

"No, I'm not." Sam shakes her head, touching Merrin's cheek lightly. "I promise I won't go, okay?"

There's silence as Merrin fingers the brown package, the crinkling of the paper the only noise between them.

"Will you give Jack his picture?" Merrin asks hopefully, looking up at Sam.

"I..." Her breath catches in her throat. "Merrin, I can't..." she stops, taking a deep breath. "I'll take it home for him, okay?" Why disillusion her childish dreams when it's all she had in this world of learning?

"Okay." Merrin agrees, putting the picture in Sam's hand.

"So. You going to open that now?" Sam asks, pushing her sorrow away and smiling at the girl.

"Yes." Merrin nods solemnly and slowly, then painstakingly pulls each bit of sticky-tape off the paper until she's finally able to unfold it and reveal the object hidden inside. She glances up curiously at Sam, accusation clearly present. "But Jack always gets me these."

"I know." Sam hesitates. "But he can't get them for you anymore, he can't come anymore Merrin." She reminds the girl gently, leaning forwards tentatively and brushing a stray lock of hair off of the girl's forehead. "So I got them for you. Is that okay?" She holds her breath, studying the girl as she surveys her present.

Slowly Merrin's fingers prise the lid open, and her lips get drawn into a gentle smile as she lets her finger tips run over the smooth, pointed heads of the crayola's. "They're beautiful."

~ Finis ~