Title: Once and Future
Characters: Hailey and Satterfield
Summary: A passing moment in the greater history of Stargate Command.
A/N: Originally intended for the galpalficathon on LJ, but I failed to get my act together back then! :)
The sirens blared, red lights flashing on the walls of the hallway.
Satterfield flattened herself against the wall as the stretcher went by; she caught only a glimpse of the occupant through the medical team, but even obscured by blood, oxygen mask, and matted hair, she knew. She was sure.
Blindly, she reached out and grabbed the next person to walk by. "Is that Lieutenant Hailey?" she asked, turning to find herself staring up into Major Leeland's face. Hailey's CO's tense, angry face. Satterfield didn't need the curt 'yeah' he muttered as he pulled free and shouldered past her to know she was right.
She had no real reason to follow the crowd down the hallway; the brief flirtation with friendship she and Jennifer had after Elliot's death had passed quickly in a haze of duty rosters, crises on and off world, and what Satterfield had come to accept as genuine incompatibility. They'd spoken only once or twice in the months since Hailey received her SG team assignment. But reason or not , Satterfield somehow still found herself standing in the observation room next to Major Leeland, watching as her not-quite-friend and classmate got a tube shoved down her throat so the surgeons could set to work.
Neither she nor Leeland spoke, and when General Hammond strode in minutes later, Satterfield shrank herself small into the corner of the room.
"She got between Gomez and a Jaffa with a mission," Leeland said without prompting, his voice grim. "On purpose. Trying to pull him under cover, like there's a hope she could drag his muscle-bound ass anywhere on her own. Idiot."
Hammond grunted. "I trust you'll rephrase that for your report, Major."
"Yeah." Leeland rubbed a hand across his forehead and sighed. "Sir, Sergeant Gomez got pinned down and injured in a Jaffa ambush. Lieutenant Hailey took fire attempting rescue. Doc thinks she'll be okay, but she won't know for sure till they assess the internal injuries. Gomez'll be fine."
"And the Jaffa?" Hammond asked.
"Shot his ass myself, along with a few of his buddies."
Hammond nodded. "Good."
They stood in silence, and after several long minutes Satterfield finally moved, edging closer to the window to watch as the doctors conferred over charts and images and Hailey's still form, with her face too pale behind the anesthesiologist's mask.
The scene was far too common here at the SGC, but Satterfield's never stood and watched before.
The scenario was common, too; in fact, it was more than that. Trust, loyalty, and an unflagging will to be the last one standing between a teammate and certain death: those were currency in the field teams. Some days Satterfield wondered if she'd make it. If she deserved to make it. Or if her posting to the SGC was just some huge, cosmic mistake.
Behind her, Leeland cleared his throat, breaking the long silence.
"She did good, sir," he said softly.
"I'm sure she did, son," Hammond replied. "I'm sure she did."