Subject: [glass_onion] New (Stargate SG1): Timely PG (1/1) by cgb Date: Friday, July 19, 2002 3:01 AM
Because six fandoms is never enough...
Author: cgb (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Web: http://appelsini.tripod.com/Christine/ Category: Jack/ Sam UST Angst(ish)
Disclaimer: Much respect to Showtime/ Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions
Summary: "He never hits the ground, of course. No one ever hits the ground." This is set late in the second season, post "1969", so prepare for a ride in the way-back machine. Umm - figuratively speaking...
For Lil, of course.
He rubs his eyes when the fine print gets blurry. He thinks he could do paperwork in his sleep if he had to but he's yet to test the theory. He signs his weapon in, signs an injury report - Carter has a gash just above her ankle - signs his house and car away, for all he knows. He writes his name where he sees 'signature of authorised personnel' and repeats the process until the pile is gone.
Sam and Daniel are low static in the background. Every now and then he catches a phrase or two, decides it's nothing he wants to hear and goes back to signing.
Then Sam starts talking about time travel and he finds himself tuning in. They went back and forwards in time and it blows his mind only he's diligently maintaining this non-plussed expression that even he can't explain. He puts it down to habit because he's been this old since he was half this age and he doesn't know how to be otherwise.
Sometimes, like today, it gets in the way and he's annoyed with himself and his forty plus funk.
He hears Sam mention a recurring headache she's had over the past week. She brought it up a couple of days ago and he sent her to the Doc for a once over. Sam shrugged it off, said it was nothing that couldn't be treated with aspirin, and suited herself up for the next mission.
Now he hears her theorising on its persistence. "Some kind of interdimensional 'jet lag,'" she says. "I mean, surely it's ridiculous to jump around the timeline and not expect a physical toll of some sort."
Sam has an answer for everything so he expects she's right. He knows he can't get out of bed lately and he's having the kind of dreams he's too embarrassed to talk about.
He dreams infrequently so the recurrence of vivid and disturbing dreams over the space of a week concerns him.
And the subject matter. He dreams he comes back through the wormhole accompanied by SG1, as usual, only when he turns towards them their eyes are glowing. He wants to scream. He wants to yell, call for help, shake his team clear of their goddamn infestation but he is paralysed. And then the General is there and for a moment he is relieved, until he sees his eyes shining and the black worm he is brandishing in Jack's face.
And then there's the dream where he and the rest of SG1 are being chased by Jaffa. They're running through the mud and it's dragging them down, slowing them to a crawl's pace. The Jaffa are able to walk on the mud as though it were solid ground and they are gaining fast. And then Daniel starts sinking. Jack reaches to pull him up only to see Carter sinking in the other direction. He stretches hands out to one, then the other, then to both, but they're going under too fast.
And then there's the dream he'd rather not think about, a dream that surfaces only when he lets his guard down. He curses himself for remembering it now.
In his defence, he imagines it's not entirely unexpected and probably quite normal under the circumstances. You don't work this closely with someone for nearly two years and not indulge a fantasy or two. Hell, even Teal'C looks cute after five days without sleep.
But in the dream it's Carter and she's Goa'uld, coming at him with her voice low and seductive. She gradually sheds her clothing and he thinks he might have stolen those moves from Hathor which is disturbing in itself, but like Hathor she transfixes him, leaves him mesmerised by the swaying of her hips and the way she drags a finger slowly from her shoulder to her navel as if it's a show just for him. And then her eyes flash and she holds out her hand revealing a Goa'uld bracelet, glowing, draining. His knees buckle and he falls...
He never hits the ground, of course. No one ever hits the ground.
He doesn't need Freud to spot the recurring themes, and maybe it's all quite normal in a position of great responsibility, but he'd rather not be conjuring nocturnal visions of his comrades. He tries blaming it on a lack of private time - time alone to expunge the frustrations of the job, put euphemistically. It's a viable explanation. Another good reason to get through these reports and go home. Soon.
Daniel warms to the subject. "So if I go back in time and murder my own grandfather, I'll never be born, right? So how do I go back in time and murder my own grandfather if I've never been born?" He gesticulates with a pen in his hand, contemplating it for a moment before placing it back on the table. He takes off his glasses and begins wiping them with his fatigues.
Sam shrugs. "It's why they call it a paradox."
"Damn. We should have solved that one while we had the chance," Jack says.
Sam shifts her chair around to include Jack in the conversation. "All kidding aside, Jack, we have to try again. I know it seems crazy..."
"You got that right."
Sam is persistent. "Come on, Jack, don't you want to know the future? Don't you want to know what happens to the SGC?"
He knows she's trying to manipulate him, appealing to the side of him that is curious enough to want to step through a Stargate in the first place. Of course, he imagines they'd be instructed against knowing the future even if they were green lighted to attempt time travel again, so Sam's appeal is really futile. She probably knows this, and he doesn't see fit to remind her. Sometimes these conversations are more about talking than actually communicating.
"I'm a simple man, Carter," he says. "I'm just happy to know the weather before I go fishing." He throws her his best-forced smile and she responds by leaning her head into her hand so she can rub her temples.
Daniel puts his glasses back on and gathers up his paperwork. "Well," he says. "I'm finished. Anyone want to get a bite?"
Sam shakes her head. "No - I'm going to bed early. I feel like I haven't slept in days." She leans back in her chair and stretches her arms above her head.
"Raincheck," Jack says.
Daniel smiles a well-at-least-I-tried smile and nods at them before leaving.
Sam lets her arms fall to her side and rolls her shoulders. Jack gets to examine the way her t-shirt pulls across her breasts as she moves her shoulders backwards. He catches himself staring and looks away.
She stands and begins packing her stuff away. "I can do this tomorrow," She says. "You make sure you get some sleep, huh?"
She looks at him with sisterly concern and he's grateful. He reminds himself that he's grateful.
She leans over and places a hand on his and it makes him think that she's been increasing liberal with her contact over the last six months or so. So this is familiarity? He isn't sure he appreciates it.
She leaves and his hand feels suddenly cold, missing the pressure of hers.
He thinks about time travel. And then he does.
He travels forwards in time. Two years, three maybe. He wakes up with her next to him. Naked and post-coital with clothes strewn about the room in obvious abandonment. The sex was great. No, fantastic - and the evidence is in his aching body, muscles that don't get used as often or as well as he'd like.
His face is in her hair and he breathes in the scent of sex and perfume and stale alcohol (neither of them could get this far without a little intoxicated courage). There is a moment when he thinks that this is bliss, this is what it's all about but it's all too brief and all too readily replaced by a creeping doubt that is as familiar as it is unwanted. He moves away from her.
The movement wakes her.
She turns towards him and her eyes are filled with confusion, and he knows, he knows all too well, that if he looks too long he'll see fear and regret.
So he turns away.
And because he's so out of practice, and because it's just easier this way, he says the wrong thing. He tells her to forget about it, pretend it never happened. He says that it's a mistake and she agrees because she's a good Officer and he's not the only one who puts duty before self.
And then, weeks later, he'll notice she doesn't touch his hand like she used to, doesn't reach into his personal space or come any closer than she needs to. He notices she doesn't look at him like a brother anymore. He notices she barely looks at him at all.
He picks up his jacket and swings it over his shoulder. He gathers the papers and stuffs them haphazardly into a folder. Like Sam, he'll finish them tomorrow. Like Sam, he'll try to get a good night's sleep for once.
Like Sam, he realises the benefits of time travel because the future is a dream-scape, the moment before waking when it's all so real.
The moment just before hitting the ground.
Acknowledgments: Thanks Lil - my girl who is sailing on Lake George at the moment - but is entirely responsible for my Stargate predilection. And Teanna my other girl and beta-love.
"Why do I feel like I'm in a women behind bars movie?" - Major Samantha Carter
If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to cgb
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