When we came through the gate nothing was overtly different, but the feeling in the room just wasn’t right. I look over at the Colonel, and he’s noticed it too. Then Daniel notices something that we’ve failed to. "Uh, Sam" I didn’t turn until I heard two responses.
"What Daniel" said at almost the same time, but with a slight pause before her response. It’s as if she was waiting to make sure we would hear her response also. I whipped my head around risking whiplash, and see myself standing there. A little older, but a lot less happy. I don’t know how I knew she wasn’t happy, but I did. Maybe it was the missing twinkle in her eyes, and then I knew why she wasn’t happy.
"Where’s the Colonel?"
"It’s 2010 and the Colonel is no longer with us." She had the most pained look on her face when she said that. The look said that him not being here could have been easily prevented.
"Wait a minute! I’m dead?" Jack said.
"It doesn’t matter, we have to find a way home NOW. We can’t risk damaging the timeline anymore than we already have!" I shout.
"But that’s exactly what you have to do. You have to destroy this timeline. Nothing is right here." She screams back at me. If I’m willing to damage the timeline, I know it has to be bad.
"For crying out loud will somebody please tell me whether I’m dead or not?"
"No you’re not dead. Untrustworthy aliens have taken over the planet. Kinsey is president, and Hammond is dead. He died in a Stargate *accident*, Kinsey was on base that day. He retired for what was to be the third and final time."
"Besides the obvious, why is that not right." I ask.
"Because the Colonel left for one reason. Because you’re married to a man named Joe. His skills mixed with the skills the three of you have respectively were needed to stop what happened on that fateful mission. The *extremely* young Captain that replaced the Colonel on SG-1, not only didn’t help, but he actually hindered your team. He didn’t mesh well with any of you, let alone all three of you as a collective unit. Teal’c you didn’t like him because he took O’Neill’s position. The Colonel had been the one to show you that Apophis wasn’t a god, and you were extremely loyal to him for this. To add to all of that, Captain Ryan didn’t trust you because you weren’t human, he always said that on one of the missions you would kill all of us on one of our missions. Daniel you didn’t like him, well because he wouldn’t tolerate your love of artifacts, or the fact that you were a civilian. Unlike the Colonel, he never got over his dislike of something that you were. With the Colonel you understood that beneath all of his joking about them being just *rocks* he really didn’t mind your love of them. On the anniversary of Sha’re’s death, you were upset, and he couldn’t even pretend to care enough to listen. The straw that broke the camel’s back for you though, is when he told you "to get the hell over it, she’s just some alien chick." And Sam you didn’t like him for one simple reason. He wasn’t the Colonel. He didn’t try to make you smile with lame jokes, he didn’t ask you to explain things to him, and well he didn’t challenge Hammond’s sanity every other second. He didn’t take the time to understand the three of you, or to become your friend. He was a by the book kinda guy. Basically he was the Anti-O’Neill."
"Wait a minute. You said Jack left because Sam was married to Joe."
"Only you Daniel. Always able to pick out the details. Yes he left about a year after I married Joe. He took me to the party where I met Joe. I knew I loved the Colonel, but I never thought he would love me the way I love him. So I married Joe, knowing that I’d never be truly happy, knowing that I had married someone who would always be second best in my heart. When I got married the flirting stopped. The jokes to make me laugh stopped. The downtimes spent together stopped. When he told me he was retiring I asked him why. He told me that he missed me. I wanted to know what he meant, I had been there the whole time. Deep down inside, however, I knew what he meant because I missed him too. We had both changed so much since I had gotten married to Joe. So afraid of letting the love be seen, that we basically became different people. As he left me that day, he reminded me that the worst way to miss someone is to have them there, with you every day, and know that you can never have them. It causes a pain in your heart, but it’s a pain you miss when it’s gone. Because that pain tells you that you’re still alive, and that, maybe, one day, you won’t have to miss that person anymore. That you can finally have them. That’s the day I realized my grave mistake. I settled for second best, when I could have had the one I’d always loved. Now I know you guys have been forced to admit your feelings publicly, so why don’t you do it know, to each other. Before you say anything about it being against regulations, let me tell you something. General Hammond told me on my wedding day that he had always believed that we would end up together. He said that he’d ad the regulations suspended, because he could see the love in our eyes whenever we were together. He saw us light up when one of us would walk into the room and see the other. He told me that you can’t help who you love, and that you can’t change it. I think he was trying to tell me he knew I didn’t love Joe. The president agreed with him. He decided that they couldn’t have their frontline team split up, just because an uncontrollable emotion came in to play. He believed that with our team, it would’ve brought our team closer together, and made us stronger. Come on you have General Hammond rooting for you, Dad’s rooting for you, Daniel and Teal’c are rooting for you, now that you know that you can finally be happy, do it. One more thing, in case you’re wondering, Sam you never find happiness with or learn to love Joe." And with that she took off towards the control room. The gate starts to spin, with the first chevron locking into place, and I know that it’s now, or face this future.
I turn to look at Jack, and I see the uncertainty in his brown depths, that I’m sure is reflected in mine. When I hear the familiar whoosh of the gate, I know that this is my last chance, and I guess so does he. We say it at the exact same time, and it was something that I never thought I’d hear. "I love you" and with that he leans down to kiss me gently. It may not be passion filled, but it’s full of promises.
"Damn, now I owe Hammond one hundred bucks."
"As do I, DanielJackson."
"SG-1 you have a go." God that sounds strange to hear myself say.
"Space Monkey shut up, and walk up the ramp will ya!" We gate to the planet of light and dark, kind of symbolic if you think about it. The planet that caused my attraction to him to be acknowledged is also the planet that we end up at when my love for him was forced to be acknowledged. I wonder if she did it on purpose, or if it was just a coincidence? "Danny-boy dial us home, and if you don’t stop laughing about this so help me..."
"Oh Jack just be happy, and let him be." I send the GDO code through. "Jack are you sure this is what you want?" I ask him before we go through.
"Yeah Sam, I am. I love you with all of my heart and soul!" And with that he takes hold of my hand, and we step through the gate behind Daniel and Teal’c. The General only smiles when he sees our hands. I don’t no what’s going to happen in the future, then again who does. I do know one thing though; I’m happy, and I’ll stay that way, because we fixed the future.