Broken

by Sharim

[pic]

TITLE: Broken

AUTHOR: Sharim

EMAIL: misssharim@yahoo.com.au

STATUS: Completed.

CATEGORY: Angst, drama, action.

PAIRINGS: Sam/Jack

SPOILERS: Minor for: Tok'ra, Singularity, Chain of Command.

SEASON: Future

SEQUEL/CHAPTERS: A series of 14 parts..

RATING: R

CONTENT WARNINGS: Violence, angst, language, implied rape. Character death.

SUMMARY: Sometimes, everything but the will to live is broken. 

YEAR COMPLETED: 4 June 2002

SIZE: over 200KB.

ARCHIVE: Sam and Jack, yes please. Heliopolis, my site (http://thecartouche.topcities.com), fanfiction.net under 'sharim'.

DISCLAIMER: Not mine. *sniff* Probably just as well, actually. Who knows *what* would happen if I took control!! The usual legal stuff. We all know it anyway...

DEDICATION: In remembrance of Molly. I miss you sweetie.

AUTHORS NOTE:  The biggest, most hugest thanks EVER to Hoodat. Who not only taught me how to review with word vbg but also went through the huge task of beta-ing this. And then rebat-aing. adn then rebeta-ing... Did I mention rebeta-ing? LOL. You rock hon!

And the girls/guys at Workshop, who never flinched in answering my Bazillion and one questions!

And as usual to Suds and Jo, simply because I owe it to them! (you also rock!). And of course to Sandy...

Broken 1 & 2

by Sharim  

~Prologue~

Jochen shifted in the darkness. From where he was hiding in the shadows he could make out the shapes and forms of the encampment around him, all bathed in the reddish glow of the moons as they hung in the sky like giant jewels.

Were Larya and Nicu here.

Jochen smiled to himself and agreed silently, letting his eyes rest on the moons. They were large, for their purpose, washing this world with a red hue that lent to the evil permeating every inch of the planet. Nicu would have loved it; her enjoyment of dangerous situations had never yet failed to surprise him. He, on the other hand, would much rather be elsewhere - perhaps in the green forests of Pelman. He loved studying the races from ancient times and searching the night sky for answers.

He was an astrologer at heart, but his profession was not always accommodating of his first loves.

They shifted again, leg muscles tingling from the prolonged cramped position.

Patience

Once again, he smiled. Patience. Patience was something Jochen had plenty of, but Yalman lacked sorely. The amusement was not lost on him. "You are a fine one to be talking," he whispered quietly, his breath no more than a slight breeze caressing the treetops.

The silent chuckle sounded throughout him, and once again they settled down into their watch.

Yalman was growing impatient. "It will not be long now," Jochen reminded him, gently easing his fingers onto the cool grip of the zat'nik'tel. A shudder ran over him and his heart rate increased slightly. He kept his eyes focused on the band tied firmly to his wrist. Barely seconds later, it flashed a small pinprick of light twice, and they knew it was time.

Silently they rose up from the shadows, running low across the dry and dusty earth towards the towering walls. Around him he could feel the others doing the same, their feet muffled on the loose soil and the sound of their breathing hidden beneath the call of the desert birds.

* * *

The water was a cool relief against her thirst, its oiliness slipping all too quickly down her throat and disappearing into the mysteries of her inner body.

From somewhere in the dark recesses of her mind, a drawing sprang to light. Lines... tubes... curves... strange patterns depicting meaning... duodenum, small intestine... appendix... stomach.

She blinked, confused by the images.

Greedily she licked the inside of the cup, having learnt the art of extracting as much moisture from it as possible while not losing moisture in the form of spit as her tongue ran over the rough surface.

And then it was gone. Everything; the food, the water... the one moment of silence and the absence of fear.

She huddled almost pitifully against the other women, her bowl and cup lying abandoned amongst the others.

This was the dangerous time. This was the time when they came for you, when they plucked you from the people and tormented you. Hurt you. Abused you.

When they defiled you.

A shudder raced through her, and she shrank even more, desperately pulling the tattered piece of cloth over her head to hide her soiled hair from view.

They liked her hair.

If she kept it hidden from them, then sometimes they couldn't find her and they made do with others.

She huddled. She *buried* herself against the other women, but all the while she knew she was always forced to the outside of the huddle, because the other women knew. They knew the guards liked her, and if they took her then there was less chance of one of them being taken.

She shuddered again. And then, she froze.

The footsteps were heavy, all of them, clanking as the metal of their armour fell down against the slimy moss floor of their prison pit. Another footstep and she felt her meal threatening to escape through her mouth.

It was the commander.

The First Prime.

She refused to move, refused to let her fingers relax on the rough material and to let it slip. She refused to look in his direction. She refused to show him her fear.

He still knew the fear was there, despite her best efforts.

The fear was always there.

Except when they ate.

When they ate, the guards didn't touch them.

The footsteps stopped in front of her, and she caught a glimpse of the black boot, the pale glint of her reflection on its dark and polished surface.

She felt nauseous again. For a second she wished she would throw up. On his boots.

But then she would have no nourishment within her. Without nourishment, one did not survive.

Why was she surviving? Why was she fighting to survive each day to endure more of the same?

Her stomach heaved as his fist clamped over her shoulder.

She shuddered again.

And then she threw up. On his boots.

He threw her backwards, roaring his anger at her.

And she laughed.

His fist struck her face, and the world spun. Once again, his hand bit into her arm and he dragged her to her feet.

She would be punished for her insolence tonight, more so than usual. But she didn't care. It had been worth it.

Still, as he dragged her through the hordes of prisoners and the sour scent of her vomit clogged her senses, she began to regret her rashness. She started fighting him, struggling against his hold.

Once, in the darkness of near-forgotten memories, she recalled someone helping her. Someone fighting alongside her.

Brown eyes.

And a laugh.

She struggled on vainly.

But no one came to help.

She wished she was still eating.

* * *

They always chose her, he realised with sorrow. The struggling woman was dragged away, her hoarse cries echoing through the room.

Perhaps it was because she still fought.

They had been here so long now... so long... and he couldn't remember her ever going willingly. He'd helped her once. Long ago, before he was chained every night.

The Tiredness settled over him again.

The Tiredness always came now, sooner and sooner everyday.

He shifted, ignoring the ache in his leg. It would get better soon. It always did. It had to.

The bonds were cold and hard, the metal chaffing into his callused wrists and biting away at the flesh.

He was in the wrong place. The guard had put him in the wrong place, and the bonds were too small. He wriggled again, trying to get comfortable.

Who was he kidding? He was never comfortable here anyway. Still... the discomfort was worse than usual.

A sudden shout roused him from his dreamless doze, and his eyes flew open. He watched as someone sprinted across the floor, rushing towards the exit.

The fool. The young, naive fool.

The fool would soon learn. One didn't try to escape. The punishment was ten times worse for trying to escape than for anything else.

He laughed to himself, as he watched the fool get captured.

So much for learning. He'd been here for so long already, so many days and nights… and yet, he still hadn't learnt. The bonds were testimony to that.

He stayed alert for a while longer, fighting off the temptation of sleep while observing the guards with interest. Eventually a guard came towards him, the red eyes glinting ominously within the metallic head.

Metallic head.

Metal.

Ore.

What he mined.

They weren't really gods, were they? His heart screamed no, but his mind... his mind was beginning to die. To lose its integrity.

He was getting confused.

Jaffa.

And he smiled in satisfaction as the word rolled across him. Jaffa.

Jaffa were bad. Terrible.

Not all of them.

Some were good.

They were all enslaved people.

Freedom.

Teal'c.

He jerked awake as he was jolted to one side, the guard roughly undoing his bonds and pulling him to his feet. They were moving him back to his usual spot. Good. He liked his corner. He liked watching the moss grow.

The building shook then, as though the gods themselves had grown tired with the ageless structure and decided to pull it apart. The walls crumbled. Stones and rocks hurtled from the roof and rained down on the people: guards and prisoners alike.

He jumped sideways as a section of the roof fell down near him, and landed awkwardly on his leg as he fought for balance.

Suddenly an entire section of the wall disappeared, and standing there, illuminated by the soft red glow of moons he had only glimpsed on one or two occasions, were several figures.

He ran towards them.

Why, he didn't know. All he knew was that he had to get to those people before anything else happened.

He got closer to them, running towards them as the crowd surged away from them. Freedom. Safety. Escape.

They represented hope, and he had to get to them.

Another rumble sounded, and the sky behind them was illuminated with an orange light, casting the whole world into a glow almost as bright as day.

He saw the man in front of him.

Something shot through him. Recognition? The man's mouth opened, his eyes widened. Still, he kept running towards them.

"Colonel? Jack?"

He stumbled for a second, the man in front of him looked shocked, completely stunned.

But the man also looked familiar.

"Jack, what the… Where's Sam? Pernon, we've got a situation!"

* * *

Jochen shrank against the wall, pressing his figure close against the shadows as the guard walked past, dragging a struggling figure behind him. Red light glinted dully on gold hair. Yalman seethed with rage, the anger pumping heat throughout their veins. Yet, they remained silent, allowing the guard to take the woman.

It was not their mission to stop him, and so they had no choice.

Jochen thanked Yalman for holding the tears at bay, sparing them both the disgrace of emotion even though there would be no witness to it.

"Change of plan." The communicator sprang to life in Jochen's hand. He stiffened automatically, pressing himself flatly against the wall.

What is Selmak doing? Yalman hissed, a different rage surging through them.

Jochen remained silent, frantically pushing at the communicator to turn it off. The guard was not all that far up the hall; the noise was incredibly dangerous and he wasn't willing to risk it.

"We have reason to believe that some of the Tau'ri are on this planet. We are going to rescue them..." Jacob's voice rang clearly through the long stone passageway, bouncing off the cold walls and disappearing away into the open skies. Jochen cringed in fear.

Just because he is a Tau'ri he believes that... Yalman started out bitterly, only to be shushed by Jochen.

"Selmak, we can not change our plans this late!" Pernon's voice joined the echo of Selmak.

"I am commander of this mission, Pernon, and Jacob's daughter is on this planet. What would you do if it was one of your host's off spring?" Selmak retorted, and for a second silence ensued. "If anyone sees either Major Carter, Dr. Jackson or Teal'c then you are to report in and do your best to get them out before this place blows, understood?"

Jochen hesitated for a second. Yalman took over. We have seen Major Carter.

"Is that Yalman?"

Yes, Selmak.

"Your mission was only secondary. Your objective now is to liberate her, understand?"

Yes. And Yalman did understand, because Jochen's own daughter had been slave to the Goa'uld, and as he was one with Jochen he understood the pain that Selmak and Jacob were experiencing. We will liberate Major Carter, and if possible still destroy the barracks.

"Thank you, Yalman. And Jochen."

Briskly they flicked off the communicator. Further debate and argument would only lead to more danger and an increased chance of failure in their new mission.

The room where the guard and Major Carter had entered was sealed with a large, golden door. It was the Prime's room, and Jochen trembled at the thought.

Relax. Yalman instructed, and Jochen gratefully let his symbiote have control. He was squeamish and did not enjoy battles. They hesitated for a second, listening to the muffled thumps and cries sounding from inside the room, feeling the thickness of bile rise in their throats.

With as much silence as possible, the door was slid open and Yalman sprang into the room, his hand shooting out and connecting solidly with the Prime's throat as the big Jaffa turned to face the intruders. He went down with a small, inarticulate sound and remained motionless.

"You killed him!" Jochen surfaced, forgetting about the women scurrying across the floor, but rather focusing on the corpse lying at his feet. He hated that his hands were used to kill, even if it was not his mind that ordered the limbs to commit the act.

Major Carter. Yalman stepped forwards slowly, his eyes flashing dull gold in the dingy room. My name is Yalman, I am Tok'ra.

For a second the woman looked as though she would speak, but she then shrank back against the wall, shaking hysterically and pulling a tattered piece of cloth over her hair.

"Major, we really must leave now. We are in very grave danger." Jochen stepped forwards, reaching out a tentative hand to help her stand.

She bit him. Hard.

He jerked back as her teeth sank into his flesh, the blood welling up and dripping on to the floor as he gazed dumbly at the injury.

We do not have time for this. Yalman snapped irritably to Jochen, fear of being captured rising with each passing second. She will not come willingly, Jochen.

Silently Jochen raised his weapon and readied it.

When she finally raised her eyes to his, the resigned, hopelessness in them nearly caused him to lower the weapon. But he could not. They did not have time for this.

The blue arc sped quickly across the room, and her eyes never left his until they closed and she shuddered slightly, slumping limply against the wall.

* * *

With a jerk the Teltak rose up from the ground and hovered in the sky. Jacob turned so that the nose was facing the Facility, and mere seconds later he was rewarded with the satisfying sight of an orange fireball rising up throughout the dark night sky. Success.

On more than one count. Selmak said gently.

Jacob swallowed roughly and turned the Teltak around, pretending to devote all his concentration to the mindless task of getting a Teltak into hyperdrive. Once this task was accomplished, he had no reason to avoid talking to Selmak.

Selmak understood, and she didn't press him.

Selmak would wait until he was ready. She would also decide for herself when he was ready and would make the first move if he didn't do it. Preferring to start the conversation out the way he wanted it to go, he finally spoke. "Jochen found her." Selmak chuckled at his reasoning, but didn't say anything. "They're pretty bad."

I know.

Jacob loved Selmak.

It was odd, thinking about loving a snake-in-the-head, but he did. They'd been together for what, nearly eight years now? And each year he found it harder to imagine himself without Selmak.

You want to see her. Selmak said eventually, breaking the silence they had fallen into.

Jacob didn't answer. Yes, he wanted to see her... but... He swallowed roughly, trying to banish the images burning across his mind.

He'd only gotten a brief glimpse of her as she was carried aboard, but it had been long enough for the images to be burned into his mind. Jacob shuddered at the memory. Sam, kicking and struggling – fighting like a wild thing. Her once bright hair and pale skin dulled with filth, a stale odour staining the air around her. An expression of terror on her bruised and battered face. His daughter… once so full of sparkle, intelligence and life reduced to such a pathetic travesty of her former self. It was terrifying to consider what she had been through. It scared him to see her now. Most of all… most of all it was her eyes that scared him.

Her eyes were dead. Soulless. They weren't Sam's eyes.

"She was... she was..."

I know. Selmak soothed him gently, and it felt almost as though he was a young boy again, crying while his mother held him and brushed the hair from his forehead. I am sorry.

Jacob swallowed roughly and stepped back from the control panels. He had to do this. He owed it to Sam.

"Jochen..." He grated out, the name catching on his throat. Jochen. The one who had found her. The Tok'ra who had rescued his daughter for him. "Would you take control, please?"

Jochen raised his wearied head from where he was slouching against the walls. Him? Take control? When there were far higher ranked Tok'ra present?

"Yes." He rose soundlessly and passed Jacob Carter. Jacob looked like an old man. Jacob was an old man.

Jacob watched as the young Tok'ra took the place at the helm, and noticed a rapidly healing wound on his left hand. A semicircular wound with teeth marks.

She bit him. Sam had bitten him. A quiver of fear ran over him then. Had she changed that much? Had she really changed so much that she couldn't even recognise someone who was helping her from those who were hurting her?

It was a Goa'uld prison world, Jacob. You know what they are like. Selmak reminded gently, and Jacob resolutely swallowed his emotions like the soldier that he was, and trudged determinedly towards the sleeping quarters.

The Tok'ra he passed along the way remained silent. No one congratulated one another on the success of destroying Genda, no one praised Jacob's leadership skills; there was no laughter on board the ship.

He stood outside the door, his hand hovering over it before rapping a firm staccato, requesting entrance. There was no answer.

"Sam?" He waited, his whole being quivering. Suddenly it didn't matter where she'd been. It didn't matter that he thought he'd lost her. All that mattered was that she was alive, she was here and she was okay. Relatively. "Sam, are you in there?" It was a stupid question, he knew, but one he'd often called out to her when she'd hidden in her bedroom, retreating from the real world after her Mom had died.

Still no answer.

And that wasn't unusual either.

So he followed the age-old tradition and slowly pushed to button to open the door. It slid open with a hiss, and he was surprised by the darkness in the room.

"Sam?" The room seemed hollow, his voice bouncing around and jumping off the dark walls, teasing him.

A muffled movement from the far right corner alerted him to where she was, and he cautiously upped the lights so that he could see her.

His legs weakened and he leant heavily on the doorframe, swallowing roughly to try to hide his emotions.

She was pressing herself against the wall, her whole being trembling as she clutched at the piece of burlap sack that covered her head and most of her face, the dirt on her stick-like arms caked on so thickly that he wouldn't have known her skin was fair.

"Oh... Sam," he breathed out, his eyes smarting and desolation creeping through him.

His girl. His little princess. "Oh... what have they done to you?" He murmured, stumbling forwards and dropping clumsily to his knees in front of her. Without thinking, he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her skeletal frame close against his body, ignoring the odour.

Without warning, she lashed out, her foot connecting solidly with his groin and her nails scratching into his face. With an anguished howl she propelled herself away from him, knocking him off balance and scuttling across the floor to crouch against the other corner, her teeth almost bared and her fingers clawed, ready to attack again.

His cheeks were stinging, and the dull ache in his groin gave testimony to her defense training. But he couldn't move.

He sat there, staring at her. Just watching her.

She grew self conscious then; he could see it in her eyes as she slowly drew back into herself and once again pulled the burlap sack over her head, attempting to hide herself from the world. And from him.

Jacob closed his eyes and sank back against the other wall.

Damn the Goa'uld.

Damn the things that had done this to her.

Damn himself for not being there. For not protecting her.

* * *

He gained awareness slowly, the unusual feeling of the floor pulsating beneath him slowly bringing him to wakefulness.

Instantly he was up and on his feet, pressing himself against the coldness of the unfamiliar metal walls.

Metal.

He pulled back and looked at it, feeling like a wild animal suddenly waking up in a new cage.

This cage was smaller than the big hall where they had all been kept before. It was cleaner too, the walls were the sterile, dull grey colour of buffed metal and the floor was cold and smooth.

There was a bed against the wall on one side, rumpled from where he had slept on it.

But more important, and most incredulously, was the lack of smell.

The lack of stink.

It was *clean*.

Was this another prison? Surely he wasn't being punished...

Then he remembered. He remembered the prison collapsing. He remembered running. He remembered someone yelling something at him: A man, screaming for Sam.

Sam.

The word conjured images of a woman with bright, smiling blue eyes and hair just as bright. Sam.

The woman.

The woman the guards always took.

He felt sick then, the meager contents of his stomach turning as bile and guilt rolled through his gut and up his throat.

He dirtied the nice, smooth, clean floor then. He sat, staring at the sickness, his stomach still heaving.

He was supposed to have helped her.

~1~

Hammond sat at his desk, idly pulling his pen over the paper.

He was doodling.

A man of his caliber, a Major General in the USAF was not supposed to doodle on documents bearing important looking blue seals and official looking stamps. But that knowledge didn't deter him. His pen still wandered aimlessly in the empty, white margins.

The knock on his door jerked him from his reverie, and he sighed as he pushed the paper discreetly under another one and called, "Come."

The door was pushed open and a frazzled looking Dr. Fraiser stepped into the room, her mouth taut and grim as she gazed at him.

"I have the reports on SG-2, Sir," she said briskly.

He waved a hand at her and she understood the familiar gesture, dropping quickly into her usual chair and placing the manila folders on her knees. She didn't need the folder, the conditions and observations of her patients all stored in her mind.

"How are they doing?"

"Major Letterman should be fine. His shoulder was only dislocated and his ribs are only bruised, not broken."

"What about Callan?" Hammond interrupted.

Fraiser sighed. She hadn't wanted to go straight to Callan; he was the worst of the lot.

"It's not looking good, Sir," she said eventually, raising her eyes to meet his. "The blast threw him almost ten metres, according to Major Letterman. He has several cracked vertebrae, broken ribs, a broken arm and severe head trauma. That's not even listing his internal bleeding, ruptured spleen... He's in a coma at the moment, Sir, and quite frankly, I don't think he's going to wake up."

Hammond sighed and picked up his pen, staring down at his desk.

"Are you okay, Sir?" Fraiser asked hesitantly, watching Hammond.

He smiled, but didn't look up to meet her gaze.

"The first time I retired, I told Colonel O'Neill I was tired of sending teams through the gate, of having them come back harmed in some way..."

Fraiser's eyes widened, but she didn't answer.

"I'm tired of losing my people."

She didn't know what to say. In all honesty, she felt the same. She wanted to start settling down. She wanted to find someone, to have someone when Cassie left home. The SGC simply didn't allow things like that to happen.

"I'm tired of losing my patients," she said eventually, smoothing the folder anxiously.

Hammond seemed to shake himself, and he looked up again, a genuine smile on his face. "I'm not about leave just yet," he stated, and she offered a grin in relief. "You'd better head on home, Dr. You're looking a bit worn."

"Eight hours of surgery does that to a person, Sir." She slipped back into their bantering, and stood up slowly. "General..."

He looked up, meeting her concerned eyes. "Janet?"

"You don't lose everyone," she said softly.

"I know."

She turned to go, but a knock sounded on the door before her hand touched the handle. It flew open, and she stepped backwards awkwardly to prevent herself from being bowled over.

"Sir!"

"Sergeant!" Hammond frowned, annoyed at the man's rudeness.

"Sir, there's a situation." The tone was hushed, but the underlying strain was present. Hammond sat forwards, and Fraiser paused before she walked out of the room, curiosity getting the better of her. "A man claiming to be General Carter is being held topside."

"Jacob?"

"Yes Sir. He's pretty cut up and annoyed, Sir."

Hammond almost smiled. Cut up. Yes, Jacob would be cut up if he was apprehended.

"Escort him down, please."

"No, Sir."

"No Sir?" Hammond queried, and flinched almost visibly. It was strange, but since O'Neill and his team had disappeared, most of the 'original' 'gaters had picked up on his sarcasm and his subtle way of being politely rude. Hammond himself was guilty of the habit.

"He says that you and Dr. Fraiser have to go topside. And you might want to bring a medical team as well as a people like Colonel Ferretti and Siler."

"Siler?" Fraiser blurted out, before remembering herself.

"Did he say why?" Hammond ignored her slip.

"No, Sir, but he seems pretty desperate."

"We're on our way."

* * *

"What the hell took you so long?" Jacob greeted Hammond, Fraiser and the rest of the people behind them.

"Good to see you too, Jacob," Hammond muttered, and was surprised to see a smile jerk bitterly at the corners of Jacob's mouth. "What's the problem?"

"In there." Jacob jerked his arm over his shoulder, pointing into thin air. "The cargo ship." A second later the cloak was turned off and the ship appeared.

"What is it?" Fraiser interrupted, studying the old man carefully. He had aged since Sam's disappearance; even Selmak's presence hadn't seemed to be able to slow the process any longer.

"We... there was a mission... and..."

George frowned.

Jacob is finding this most difficult, General Hammond. Selmak's head dipped before her eyes flashed gold for a brief second. And to be honest, I find it difficult as well. If you would like to step inside... I advise that Dr. Fraiser enter first. It was added almost as an after thought, but had barely passed over Selmak's lips before Janet politely shouldered her way past the General and pushed onto the ship.

Her eyes gazed around the room quickly. "Where is it?"

"Through there." Jacob nodded towards the doors. "Take your pick."

Janet frowned in confusion but remained silent. She stepped up to the closest door and waited as Jacob opened it for her.

As the door hissed open, her eyes followed it up, and then focused on the dim room inside.

A movement.

She squinted, and as her eyes adjusted to the darkness and she took a step forward, a form became visible. A form, huddled pathetically in a corner, with grimy, skeletal hands clutching desperately at something that resembled a burlap sack.

A glint of light on dull gold.

Fear and shock coursed through her body, a knot tightening in her stomach and winding up her oesophagus until she felt almost suffocated. The floor was hard and cold, her knees jarring terrible against the solid surface as she dropped to the ground, her hands clutching desperately at the dirty coverings.

The harsh sound of sobbing was sounding around, hacking breaths torn deep from somewhere, and only as her hands slipped past those of the person in front of her and closed over the rough material, did she realise she was gasping for breath.

But it wasn't her crying.

It was the woman who struggled desperately against her deft hands.

She was crying. Deep sobs of anguish bursting out haggardly from the fragile frame.

The covers slipped, and then Janet did cry as her eyes rested on Sam's pale face.

"Sam... oh... Shit, Sam..." She whispered, pulling the woman against herself and digging her fingers into the filthy material, almost as though she was refusing to let Sam go again, refusing to relinquish her hold.

Sam struggled, trying to kick and squirm out of Janet's hold, but the doctor refused to let go, rocking the blond woman desperately backwards and forwards.

The struggling subsided, and the weak body went almost limp, just lying in Janet's arms, the rocking motion never ceasing. Finally, Janet relaxed her hold, and Sam didn't move out of her embrace.

* * *

Hammond had spent many years watching his people. He watched them during briefings, when they were sitting up, eager and impatient to be off. He watched them during lectures and meetings, all bored and trying desperately to look interested. He watched them while they were in the infirmary, lying so still and quiet on the white beds, and he watched them when they were happy; relaxing and recovering.

He had seen many personal habits and odd quirks during his time, and fidgeting was one of the most common. He himself wasn't really a fiddler or a fidgetter; being quite happy to lose himself in some thought without the need for his fingers to be occupied with something.

Now though, he found himself fiddling. Fiddling with everything within reach and even stuff that wasn't within reach somehow managed to wind up in his fingers.

He put the coffee cup down, and stared at it moodily. Coffee. He hadn't felt like coffee. Something much, *much* stronger had been on his wish list. But he was on duty, and coffee was the strongest substance allowed. So it had to do.

The door swung open quietly, and a slumped Dr. Fraiser entered the room.

"Callan just passed away, Sir," she whispered, not even waiting for an instruction to sit down.

"What about Sam? And Jack?" Jacob Carter ignored her words, jumping straight the point.

She sighed, and almost absently started playing with the papers she'd put down on the desk bare seconds ago. "It's not good, Sirs," she whispered, swallowing roughly before stilling her fingers and raising her eyes to meet theirs.

Hammond closed his eyes. Not good. They weren't the words he had wanted to hear.

"Colonel O'Neill is... well... he has severe injuries, Sir. It's impossible to say without further study just how many broken bones he's endured over the last year. He's suffering from severe malnutrition, hypothermia and dehydration. His left lung has collapsed due to a broken rib that punctured it... his heart rate is erratic... and that's only some of the physical problems, Sir." Janet sighed, rubbing at her head.

Both Jacob and Hammond remained silent, waiting for her to continue. "If... if we can keep him stable, get some fluid and nutrients into him, he should pull through. He's currently sedated because he came round while we were stitching up some lacerations. I don't think he realised where he was because he started lashing out at us... but... We can't really do a mental evaluation until he's awake and lucid." Janet hated the words as they washed over her tongue, bittering everything in her mouth. Mental evaluation. Lucid. She shuddered internally.

She couldn't stop though. This was her job. She was a doctor. She was supposed to treat people... her emotions shouldn't be interfering.

"Sam... Major Carter..." Janet hesitated again, closing her eyes briefly. "Physically, I'd say she's in better condition than the Colonel. Her external injuries, wounds and so on are a lot less than those the Colonel has. She has more bruising, more shallow cuts - some of which are pretty badly infected - but no broken bones. Malnutrition, dehydration and hypothermia are also present just as badly as in the Colonel..." She trailed off, her eyes downcast.

Jacob swallowed roughly.

"She was raped," Janet whispered, studying her hands. Her hands were smooth and clean, the nails clipped short. Sam's fingers had been disgusting. Nails torn, chewed, cuticles bleeding, callused finger pads... scarred. Filthy. "The... the only good thing is that there shouldn't be any STD's. The Jaffa are all protected thanks to their symbiotes, and judging by the Colonel's appearance I'm pretty confident that none of the other prisoners were up to it." Janet paled as the words slipped out of her mouth. They sounded so harsh, too uncaring...

"And that's a good thing?" Jacob hissed, clenching his fists and closing his eyes, as Janet visibly recoiled.

"Jake..." Hammond said gently, putting a restraining hand across to rest on Jacob's arm. "It is a good thing."

Jacob swallowed.

"I... It's going to be hard for her," Janet said softly, whispering to her hands. "For the last year - probably longer, she's been used constantly." The words felt ugly. "She... before we sedated her she started panicking and fighting whenever one of the male nurses came near her. She doesn't even like the females being near her."

"What about you?" Hammond asked.

"She doesn't like it, but she's not fighting me."

"It's a start," Jacob said tiredly. "Can I see her?"

Janet hesitated. "I... Yes. She's sedated." Janet nodded.

Jacob stood up.

"What about Dr. Jackson and Teal'c?" Hammond asked as the chair scraped over the floor. "Were there any sign of them?"

"No." Jacob shook his head, and then looked down almost guiltily. "We blew the prison, like I told you, and found Jack. I put word out, and one of our operatives - Jochen - had already seen her. We just ran. The place blew not even two minutes after we took off."

"Is it destroyed completely?"

"No." Jacob sighed. "We didn't have time. It'll take them a while to get the planet and the prisoners organised again, but it will come back online again soon."

Hammond nodded and remained seated as they left the room.

His fingers twitched and absently he picked up the pen.

~2~

She felt as though she was swimming.

Swimming.

Her lips curled as a half smiled played around their edges. Swimming.

She used to love swimming. She used to love slipping and gliding through the water, moving without making a ripple. Sometimes she'd pretend she was a mermaid, and then she'd swim along the bottom, grazing her arms and the tops her feet along the bottom of the pool.

The feel of the cold, clean water against her skin had been like silk, caressing every inch of her. It had been bliss.

It was so long ago. Before the nightmare. Before *this*.

She shifted, not willing yet to face the reality of her life. She still wanted to dream. She wanted to *swim*.

The water had always felt so cold when she first got in, like a shock than ran right through her and made her core quiver with anticipation. A water baby, her Mom had teased her.

Mark had laughed.

She recoiled, jerking back with revulsion. She couldn't help it. Even in her dreams, her memories, they invaded -- bringing their filth and defilement into every corner of her world.

Her eyes opened, and then blinked in confusion. Where was she?

"Sam? Hi Sam." A gentle, smooth voice pulled her up completely from the cool depths of her dreams, and cemented reality into place around her. "How are you feeling?"

She frowned. How was she feeling? Where was she?

The woman's face hovering over her looked familiar. It looked friendly.

She remembered laughing with this woman, sharing a joke. She couldn't remember the last time she'd laughed.

"Sam?"

Sam.

A jolt ran over her. Sam. Sam. That was her name. Sam. She was Sam.

She smiled then.

"Janet," she croaked, the name feeling old and familiar, evoking a sense of comfort and relief.

But it was false. How often had that sensation been evoked only for it to fall apart and dismantle itself quickly and cruelly in front of her eyes?

Janet smiled, and her brown eyes glistened with moisture.

Janet was crying, Sam realised dimly. "I missed you," Janet whispered, her hand touching Sam's forehead.

Sam jerked, pulling away from the contact. Was this a joke? Was this another illusion forced onto her by those bastards who used her?

A surprised look flitted across the careworn face above her, which was instantly replaced with a sorrowed smile of understanding.

"You want a drink?" Janet asked, licking her own lips.

Drink.

Sam's throat felt thick and clogged, so dry and dusty that breathing was difficult. She nodded, ignoring the pain.

The pain was a constant, and one learnt to ignore constants. It was the unexpected, the unusual that one had to be on the lookout for.

A small plastic tube appeared in her view, and she eyed the white and red striped straw warily. What was it?

"It's water." Janet offered the straw. "Only water."

Suspicion flared. Only water. It was never 'only water'. There was always something in the extra water she was offered. Bad things. She turned her head away, refusing the offer. She could wait until everyone got water, and then she'd have some.

"It's fine, Sam," Janet persisted. "Look." Carefully Janet raised the straw to her lips, and Sam watch silently as the water lever in the cup sank a centimetre. "I promise you, there's nothing in it."

Sam was thirsty. She was so thirsty. But... Janet took another sipped and offered it to Sam again.

Gingerly, so hesitantly that Janet could almost imagine the yellow teeth snapping back together, Sam opened her mouth and allowed Janet to insert the flimsy straw.

The first sip was so hesitant that barely a drop of water made it up the straw. But the droplet was cool and refreshing on Sam's tongue, tasting cleaner and purer that anything she remembered. Greedily she took another swallow, pushing her head forwards in an attempt to get more quicker. It was so smooth, so clean...

"Easy." Janet gently removed the straw from her lips.

Betrayed. She knew it was too good to have been true.

"Not too much at once. You can have some more later," Janet soothed, stroking Sam's forehead again. This time Sam only tensed beneath her hands, her aching muscles stiffening and tightening until she was as rigid as a board and her breathing coming in quick, shallow gasps.

Janet removed her hand.

"Try to get some rest, okay? I'll be back soon," she whispered.

Sam's eyes followed her as Janet retreated, straining until the crisp white coat disappeared from her limited line of vision. She was confused, disorientated. Where were the harsh words? Why did she feel so comfortable? And why was she beginning to develop feelings of relief?

Relief was bad. She shouldn't be feeling relief, because relief got your hopes up... and hope was always destroyed. Always.

* * *

His chest was on fire.

He remembered once, long ago, when he was in Hell, how his chest had burnt. He remembered the way the searing flames had leapt in and out of his mouth, burning him raw.

Hell.

He would have chuckled if he hadn't had a tube down his throat.

This felt familiar. It felt so eerily familiar it scared him. But it also relaxed him, because if it was familiar it meant that it had happened before, so he knew the routine.

It was an old, near-forgotten routine, only experienced once, but he still remembered it.

He remembered returning for the first time, escaping from the dark, stinking dungeons and screaming voices. He remembered feeling safe.

He remembered a woman. A woman with blond hair, blue eyes and a gentle smile that had smoothed away worries the way her hand had smoothed back his hair.

And he remembered a small boy.

He closed his eyes. He didn't want to remember anymore, but the memories were still there.

This time, this time there wouldn't be a small boy. There wouldn't be a woman with blond hair and blue eyes either.

There wouldn't be a point to completing the routine.

There were people in the room with him, he knew that much. In the back of his mind, he knew that this place was familiar to him; that he had been here before. He didn't feel fear or panic in this small room, just like he didn't feel fear or panic when the short woman with brown hair gazed at him. But... he didn't want to remember this place. He didn't want to remember everything about this place because that would mean thinking about *her*.

Damn.

Too late.

He could see her clearly; he could hear her voice clearly.

And the worst thing, the most awful, life-ending guilt settled onto him because he couldn't save her. He hadn't been able to help her.

And that was why there was no point to completing the routine.

* * *

She opened her blue eyes slowly. Her gaze flitted around the room. She was clearly confused.

He longed to reach for her – to hug her tightly. But he had tried to hold her on the ship and the memory of their last encounter held him firmly in place.

Jacob watched as Janet offered her some water. She drank it slowly, warily watching the doctor fussing around her.

"Sam, I have a surprise for you."

He watched as his daughter flinched at the words, pure fear present in her eyes. She shrank back from Janet, shuddering beneath the sheets. Janet gazed back at him quickly, almost questioning him.

"Sam... Your dad-"

The words were barely uttered when Sam flew up, her eyes wide with panic as she gazed around the room, her limbs flailing wildly against Janet's attempts at soothing her.

"It's okay, Sam." Jacob approached the bed quickly, horrified by the transformation of his daughter.

An inarticulate sound bounced off the walls.

"Get me some Haldol., quick! She needs to calm down before she hurts herself!" Janet called, desperately trying to keep Sam lying on the bed "Sam... calm down honey..."

A nurse approached the bed, quickly fitting the syringe to the IV line.

Sam shook of Janet's hands, yanking the lines out of her arm and propelling herself backwards, away from the nurse.

Jacob caught hold of her and she turned on him, her nails scratching his face again as she tried to twist herself out of his grip.

"I've got her." Jacob grunted, his head jerking backwards as Sam's fist connected with his jaw.

The nurse handed Janet the syringe and grabbed hold of Sam's feet. She kicked at him furiously, her feet missing his face by inches.

"Now!" Jacob ordered.

Sam jerked, wrenching Jacob's arms as he held onto her.

The syringe pierced flesh.

Betrayal shone deep in blue eyes as they gazed up at Janet before finally falling closed.

Jacob slowly released his hold on Sam's arms, gazing with dismay at the bruises that were already forming. "I'm sorry," he whispered.

"It's not your fault." Janet put a hand on his arm. "It's mine. I should have seen it-"

"What?"

"You're a male, Jacob," she said softly, her hand brushing tenderly through Sam's sweat-soaked locks. Jacob watched her longingly, wishing that he was the one soothing Sam.

He closed his eyes.

"It'll probably be for the best if you don't see her again until... until she's better," Janet whispered.

Jacob nodded, his eyes stinging.

* * *