EXTRACT FROM THE DIARY OF COLONEL JACK O'NEILL,
DATED ONE MONTH AFTER THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN SAMANTHA CARTER.
She haunts me night and day. Everywhere I go, everything I do, I see her. A flash of blond hair disappearing round the corner, a slight figure outlined in black against the shadows. A whisper that I can barely hear. A whiff of a perfume that I never knew was hers. A distant laugh. It's all her.
It started a week after she died, at the funeral. I sat in the front row, with Daniel and Janet. I'd been asked to speak, but how could I get up there and speak about her death? I could barely comprehend it myself. I knew if I got up there and talked about her, I'd say things that I should have only ever said in private, only to her. I'd never said them. I always thought there'd be time. I'd left her only for a second, and now there would never be time.
Daniel sobbed quietly. He was trying to be brave, but Daniel loves very deeply very easily, and he was devastated. It must have seemed to him as if everyone he ever loved... his parents, Shar're, had died, and now one of
his best friends was gone too. Janet didn't cry, but she had been. Me, I hadn't cried. You see, to cry would be to admit she'd gone, and I doubted my sanity could take that at the moment.
So when Teal'c got up to speak, (Teal'c, who'd have thought it) I didn't listen. When he told us what a true and loyal friend she was, I just let my attention wander... and then I saw her. The pew next to us, that should have been filled with her family was empty, except for this figure. I could see her blonde hair. I could see the dirt on her cheek where she'd fallen for the last time, and the blood I'd left there, trying to revive her. I could see the torn and stained battle fatigues she'd died in. What was more, I could also see, very clearly (God help me!) the huge gaping wound the Jaffa staff weapon had left in her back. I could see her, every detail, but I knew it couldn't be.
She didn't look at me. She watched Teal'c, listening to her own obituary.
I watched, fascinated.
Daniel stirred beside me, and I turned to check he was okay. In a way, I'd taken on her job where Daniel was concerned, and I found myself looking out for him more these days. When I turned back, she had gone, and I told myself I had imagined it.
We held the wake at Janet's place. I wandered aimlessly through the crowd. I caught snatches of reminiscences.
"And she said 'why do I feel like I'm in a women behind bars movie?'"
"I told her, it's what the anthropologists do, but boy, was she mad. Looked good though."
"I fought beside her many a time. I was proud to consider her a friend."
"You know, I wasn't sure about a woman joining the team, but I'm sure glad she did. She was one of the best officers I've ever served with."
I didn't join in. How could I? The Sam I knew wasn't their Sam. I knew the girl they talked about, but I also knew a steadfast friend in need, a girl who shared our secret jokes, who lived as openly and passionately as I lived closed and cold. A girl who pretended to be my wife to soothe my dying moments. A girl who wouldn't leave a dying child to save her own life. A girl who protected me as much as I did her.
No-one tried to talk to me. I think they sensed this bubble of denial round me. They left me to deal with it. Only Sam would have forced me to face it. Only Sam would have got me through it.
I wondered out on the balcony, trying to imagine what she would say to me, but I couldn't do it. I strained harder, then it came.
"Jack." Her voice, floating through the night air. I turned to go back in, then turned to face the garden again.
"Sam?" I whispered, gently, afraid to break the illusion that I was all too aware was probably spun by my own madness.
"Jack. I'm here."
Oh God. It really was her. Her voice. She was really out there, calling me.
"I'm coming Sam." I shouted. "Wait for me!" but there was no answer. "Sam!" I shouted, again and again.
Daniel told me he had come out with Janet when I started calling. They had found me trying to climb over the fence at the end of the garden, screaming her name. If I had succeeded, I would have fallen straight into the canyon below. I wouldn't have survived. I wish they'd let me go.
Janet diagnosed post-traumatic stress syndrome. I was back at work in a week. She thought it would keep my mind off things. It would also keep me under Daniel's constant watch. I didn't tell her that I heard Sam's voice often, calling to me. She would have said I was mad, but I knew I wasn't. Once in a while, I would hear Daniel turn his head as if he heard something, Teal'c look uncomfortable as if he sensed something, and I would know she was there.
We went back through the gate. Then one time, I turned my head to look at the surface of the gate just before I went through.
"You can actually see the fluctuations in the event horizon!"
Memory this time, not her. But then I saw it. I saw the fluctuations move, as if someone else had passed through it. I went through. When I got to the other side, she was standing there waiting for me, like she had done so many times before. She hasn't left me since. I don't want her to.
She was there when I went to Daniel's apartment one evening.
"Do you believe in ghosts?" I asked him. He looked at me seriously. I think he knew.
"That depends." he said. "On what theory you believe. I don't believe in ghosts as a malevolent entity coming back to earth to wreak revenge."
"What do you believe?"
"I tend to subscribe to the theory that when a person becomes strongly emotionally attached to a place, they leave a sort of recording of themselves behind."
"You think Sam haunts SGC, don't you?" he asked. Good old Daniel, always straight to the point.
"Do you?" I asked, anxious to know if the madness was confined to myself.
He got up, paced around. It was good of him not to just dismiss me out of hand. Maybe I shouldn't have done it to him so often.
"Sometimes," he said closely, "I do feel like she's there. I can feel her, standing behind me, watching me work, like she used to. Once, the feeling was so strong, I actually turned to say something to her. When I realised she wasn't there, and wouldn't be ever again, I..." His voice trailed off, and I could see the tears on his cheeks.
"I don't think its SGC she's haunting." I told him. "I think its me."
I see her more clearly now, day after day. I even talk to her. At first it was only in my head, but now it's out loud. I know my friends are worried about me, but they don't understand. You see, she's never actually looked at me directly, never looked into my eyes. I know when she does that, she'll leave, and take me with her. I can't wait. I'm desperate to go with her. I hear her calling me, night and day. Her voice echoes through my dream, her face is always before my eyes. I know it won't be long now before she comes to me, and takes me with her, away from the sad devastation my life has become since she left.
EXTRACT FORM THE DIARY OF DOCTOR DANIEL JACKSON,
WRITTEN ONE MONTH AFTER THE DEATH OF COLONEL JACK O'NEILL.
It wasn't the way I'd expected Jack to go. We were sitting in the briefing room, chatting idly. Jack didn't join in. He still hadn't recovered from Sam's death, and I was beginning to think he never would. Then I saw him look up at something behind me. I turned around, but there was nothing there. I turned back to Jack. He was still staring at whatever it was, not scared, but... happy.
Then I heard him whisper, "I'm ready Sam."
He stood up, then clutched his chest and fell. I rushed to him, but he was dead instantaneously. Janet said it was a heart attack. All those battles, all those injuries, and he dies of a heart attack. A broken heart. And now I'm all alone. Only Teal'c is left, and he is talking of going back to his family. I'm be all alone soon, and I can't stand that. I don't think I'm coping too well.
Call me crazy, but the other day, in the gate room, I could have sworn I heard saw two shadows in the gate, and Jack's voice whisper, "Daniel."