A New Life
Sam's eyes opened at the sound of the loud snoring and looked over at her husband shaking her head; he was snoring so loudly he could wake the dead. Her eyes focused on the alarm clock seeing it was an hour before the alarm was scheduled to go off but knew that she would never get back to sleep so she got up to start her day. Sam walked to her daughter's bedroom and watched her sleeping and smiled. Her daughter was the best thing that ever happened to her. The smell of the coffee being brewed pulled her away to the kitchen where she let the pot finish brewing before fixing a cup then returned to the doorway. The clock in the den chimed and she realized she needed to get cleaned up so she could be clear of the bathroom before her husband woke up; he wasn't exactly a happy camper in the morning.
After showering and dressing Sam was about to walk out of their bedroom when she spotted her daughter standing her the bedroom rubbing the sleep out of her eyes. Catherine looked up at her mother stating his snoring woke her up as she pointed to the bed. Sam walked her daughter to her bedroom and told her to get dressed so they could go to the park and play. Lately her husband was grouchier than usual since she had been out of work so she decided to keep Catherine out of the line of fire by taking her out to the park.
Things on her project had gone wrong thanks mostly in part to a pair of arguing assistants. A fire had erupted and all of the data and back up data was destroyed, causing her to loose the government funding and essentially her job. Being a mature person, Sam took responsibility for everything but knew that if the assistants asked for recommendations they would be out of luck. So for the past month she had been staying at home and working around the house. She was bored and wished that she was busy doing almost anything but housework.
The alarm went off and he called out for Sam to turn off the alarm. He reached out his arm to touch her only to find cool sheets on her side of the bed and the sound of the alarm still blaring in his ears. After shutting off the alarm he started getting ready for work, yelling for Sam to bring him a cup of coffee but there was no reply. Eric came out of the bedroom looking around for Sam but only found a note she left by the coffee pot, stating she took Catherine to the park for an early walk. That was fine by him because Catherine always seemed to get in the way while he got ready for work. He didn't have too much contact with Catherine while Sam was working but since Sam was working she kept Catherine at home and Catherine was always underfoot now and he wished Sam would have let her stay in day care. Ever since Sam was fired she had been acting strange and wondered about the sudden change in his wife and if it anything to do with her yearly trip and wondered when she was going.
At the park Sam asked Catherine if she wanted to go on a trip with her. Catherine nodded her head vigorously asking when they were going. Sam smiled saying they were leaving later this morning. Catherine told her mommy that they should go home and pack with Sam stating she has both of their bags already packed. Catherine then turned to her mother.
"Is daddy Eric going?"
"No this trip is just for you and me. Do you want daddy Eric to join us," Sam asked.
"NO! I only want you and me, mommy," Catherine said as she smiled up at her mother.
For the last few months she noticed Catherine pulling away from Eric, not that they were ever close in the first place and realized that Eric seemed to be pulling away from her too. At first she wondered if there was something wrong between them but Eric said it was because he has a new boss who was very demanding. Sam hoped that by the time they got back from their sabbatical he would miss them and things would be better between all of them.
They were unpacking their bags when the phone rang.
"Hi Janet," Sam said.
Sam laughed when Janet asked how she knew it was her and Sam reminded her that only she knew she was coming into town this time. The two made plans to meet for dinner in about two hours, giving Sam plenty of time to take care of her private business.
"Mommy I'm hungry. Can we go eat with Aunt Janet now?"
"In a minute sweetie," Sam replied.
Sam continued to watch the house from down the block. She noticed the porch light go on and the front door open a moment later. He ran out to his truck and was backing out of his driveway. Sam told Catherine to bend forward and to hide from the car, which was a game they played at home. Sam lay across the front seat and sat back up after the truck had passed. She waited a minute then started up her rental car and drove past the house, turned around driving back past the house where it all started then looked at her daughter the rearview mirror with tears in her eyes.
After dinner Sam drove over to Janet's house where the two stayed up late talking. Sam had just tucked Catherine in bed when the phone rang. She wondered what she could have forgotten that would make Janet call her this late at night.
"Hey Janet, what's up" Sam asked.
A few moments later the receiving fell out of Sam's hand.
"Oh no," Sam exclaimed and covered her mouth with her hands.
She could not believe what she had just heard. Sam looked over at her daughter as tears rolled down her face. Sam stepped into the bathroom where she started to cry. After composing herself she got out her cellular phone.
"Eric, sorry to leave this on the machine but you wouldn't answer your cell phone. I'm going to be staying a little longer than expected. A friend I used to work with died in an accident and I'm going to the funeral. It's late and I need to get some rest. I'll call you later" Sam said then hung up.
The next morning the ladies went to the hospital where Janet spoke with the attending physician. He informed them that the bodies had already been sent to the funeral home per the request of their son. Sam started to say something but Janet poked her in the ribs. Janet asked if their son had silver hair and looked like he was in the military. The doctor nodded then Janet asked if his name was Jack. The doctor thought a moment saying he believed it was Jack. Janet asked the doctor what happened. He stated that Mr. Littlefield died at the scene of the accident and Catherine died last night due to complications from the accident.
Janet turned to Sam asking why Catherine and Ernest where they could have been going knowing she was in town. Sam stated that Ernest and Catherine were going on a cruise and they were going to see each other later this year as she wiped a tear from her eye. At the funeral home the director informed them of the events and advised that there would be a delay in the services to allow friends from out of country to attend.
The evening of the viewing Sam saw a lot of her former co-workers and friends and was happy to see them despite the circumstances. The day of the service she was approached by the director who asked her to ride in the family limousine. She started to object when he advised that the gentleman who made the arrangements said that the Littlefields considered her their daughter. Sam smiled and told Janet she would meet her at the gravesite.
At the gravesite Sam noticed six chairs in the front row designated for family members. The chairs were filled by people the director escorted to the front row, consisting of Janet, Teal'c, her and Catherine. They all took their places with one seat at the end next to Sam remaining empty all throughout the gravesite services. After the service Sam pulled Daniel aside commenting on how she wished Jack would have attended.
"What are you talking about? Jack's been here all the time. Who do you think brought me here from the airport?" Daniel stated.
"Jack's here? Where, I haven't seen him once during the services," Sam stated.
"He's been here all the time, right up there," Daniel said pointing to tree a short distance away.
Sam followed Daniel's finger to see the striking figure of her former commanding officer standing under the shade of a tree. He was standing under the tree with a shadow hiding his face. Sam would recognize his silhouette anywhere and just stared at him. Slowly she started walking towards him feeling compelled to be by his side. Janet turned to see Sam walking to and smiled.
Sam was halfway to him when she felt something pulling on her dress. She looked down to see the face of her beautiful Catherine asking where she was going and stating she was hungry. Sam told her they would go eat in a minute and looked back up at Jack only to see he was gone. She looked all around but he was no where in sight. She took her daughter's hand and walked back to the group struggling to contain the tears forming in her eyes. When she got back she said Catherine was hungry and asked if any of them wanted to join her. Teal'c advised he needed to return to the SGC and Daniel said he needed to find his ride.
After dinner the girls went back to Janet's house where they found someone waiting for them on the front porch. In a shot Catherine ran from the car to the front porch where she launched herself into her Uncle Jonas' arms. They spent the afternoon talking until Catherine again interrupted stating she was hungry.
They had just ordered their dinner and Catherine became bored very quickly. Sam gave Catherine some paper and a pen to draw with while they waited for dinner. Catherine noticed a man walk into the restaurant and thought he looked like the man at the park this afternoon. She slipped out of her chair and walked over to him.
Catherine tugged on his pants leg and the man with the glasses looked down and smiled at her. The man standing behind her squatted down as she turned to face him. He said hello and told her his name was Jack then said she was very pretty like her mommy. Catherine was puzzled by his comment and asked him if he knew her mommy. Jack smiled stating he used to work with her mommy. He asked her what her name was and she smiled stating she was Catherine Carter. Catherine reached out and touched Jack's smiling face making his smile even larger.
A pair of legs in jeans appeared behind Catherine and Jack looked up to see the beautiful face of Catherine's mother. He was surprised at how much mother and daughter looked alike. Catherine touched her mother's leg and stating this was Jack. Sam smiled at Jack as he stood up remarking on how he could still charm children. Before Sam could say anything else Catherine told them to come with her and grabbed Jack's hand. Sam smiled and asked if they felt like having some company for dinner.
After dinner the group walked out to the parking lot to say so long to each other with each of them promising not to let a funeral be the next reason for them getting together. When Janet hugged Jack she slipped a piece of paper into his hand whispering for him to open it later. Daniel noticed this and smiled. Knowing Janet the note contained something to encourage Jack to take action concerning Sam.
They stopped just short of the metal detector to say their good-byes to each other. Daniel thanked Jack for taking care of all of the arrangements. Jack said he was glad that so many were able to attend the services.
"Even Sam," Daniel asked.
"Daniel, it's good to see you again. Give me a call sometime," Jack stated.
Daniel smiled noting that Jack wasn't answering his question but instead changed the subject. Daniel extended his hand to Jack to shake which Jack took and pulled him in for a hug and wishing Daniel a safe journey. Daniel walked through the metal detector, turned and waved to Jack.
"See ya around, Dr. Jackson" Jack stated with a smile. It was his usual way of saying good-bye to Daniel.
Daniel smiled and walked to his gate shaking his head at Jack trying to deny there being anything him and Sam. He hoped that one of these days those two would stop denying their feelings for one another because they were destined to be together.
Jack watched the departure screen for Daniel's flight change from boarding to departing. He started to walk out the doors but turned around and stood in line at the ticket counter. Later as he sat waiting he began to wonder if he was doing the right thing. He looked at the ticket in his hand, stood up then left the gate area to exit the airport.
Sam was about to pass through the metal detector and instructed Catherine to wait for her once she walked through. Sam waited for her purse to come out from the x-ray machine when Catherine started to wander from her side. Sam called out to Catherine and told her to wait right there. Sam grabbed her purse and her carry on bag and had just put them over her shoulder when the strap to her purse broke spilling the contents of her purse all over the floor. Sam started picking up her belongings trying to avoid having her hands stepped on by others walking past her. Catherine called her and she told Catherine to wait a minute while she finished picking up her stuff.
Jack was in the corridor to exit the airport about to walk past the metal detector for exiting passengers when he saw her and she waved at him. He waved back at her then tried to loose himself amongst the few people exiting. He glanced to his side as he walked past them and saw her waving more vigorously so he looked straight ahead avoiding eye contact with her.
Catherine continued to wave at Mr. Jack but he still didn't come over. She couldn't understand why because he was so nice at dinner last night and played with her. Catherine called her mommy again only to have her once again tell Catherine to wait while she picked up her stuff.
He was leaving and she wanted him to play. Catherine then turned and ran in the direction that she saw Mr. Jack so she could ask him to join her and her mommy. She caught a glimpse of his coat and his pants so she called out his name but there were too many adults in her way. She called out his name a little louder and some of the adults moved aside allowing her to see him.
Jack had walked out into the lobby of the airport by the ticket counter when he thought he heard his name called. He stopped for a moment then started walking when he heard "Mr. Jack" being said by a child. He turned and noticed some of the people stepping to the side allowing him to see a blonde hair little girl running towards him. Jack knelt down with his arms out which were filled by this beautiful little girl. He hugged her as she asked him to play with her. Jack lifted her up in his arms asking her where her mother was.
The blur that represented her daughter in the corner of her eye suddenly disappeared. Sam looked up to see her daughter run into a group of people who were exiting the gate area. Panic set in and Sam ran to catch her, shouting out Catherine's name. The security guard grabbed Sam's arm telling her to slow down and tell him what was wrong. Sam was enraged by his actions, jerked her arm from his grasp yelling that her daughter just ran past his watchful eyes and she was going to get her as she ran away from the guard. Sam started running down the ramp when she saw her daughter rise up in the crowd and noticed a man's arm around her daughter.
Fear rose in Sam; her worse fears of her daughter being kidnapped were coming true. Everything around Sam was blur, all she could see was her daughter in the arms of a stranger and it looked like he was leaving the airport with her Catherine. Sam increased her speed; she was going to stop him and kill him if she had to. No one was going to take away her daughter. She was just a few steps away from the stranger and she was going to make him pay for trying to take away her Catherine.
Jack heard Catherine's name shouted and turned to see Sam running down the ramp towards them, drawing back her fist. He knew what was about to happen and had to react quickly. As Sam threw the punch she recognized the stranger with her daughter. Jack stepped to the side barely catching Sam around the waist as she lunged past him from the force of the missed punch.
Jack eased his hold on Sam so she could stand. She looked him in the face surprised to see it was him with her daughter. Just then several security guards came up to them yelling at Jack to release the child. The security guards yelling scared Catherine and she tightened her grip on Jack and started to tremble.
Sam saw fear in her daughter's eyes at what was happening and started telling the guards that everything was alright stating she knew him and to stop because they were scaring her daughter. She noticed Catherine shaking and tears falling from her eyes as she held steadfast onto Jack. The guards seemed reluctant but Sam repeated that everything was fine.
Jack felt Catherine tighten her hold on him with the guards yelling at him then could feel her tremble and hear her start crying. He pulled Catherine closer to him as Sam assured the guards everything was okay. Jack whispered to Catherine that she was safe and he would protect her and her mommy.
After everything settled down Jack walked Sam back to the metal detector with Catherine still holding tightly onto him. They stopped and she told Catherine to walk through the detector. Catherine said she wanted Mr. Jack to come with her. Before Sam could say anything Jack held up the airline ticket he had used earlier to pass through the security checkpoint and told Sam to walk through first and he would follow Catherine.
One of the security guards motioned Sam over to where they were watching her purse and bag she left behind. Catherine walked through the detector and immediately turned around reaching out for Jack's hand as he walked through the detector. He had just managed to put his keys and change back in his pocket when Catherine pulled him, telling him to come with her. Sam smiled seeing the strong bond Jack had already formed with her daughter. She shook her head silently and chuckled, because Jack was forming a strong bond with their daughter.
At the boarding gate they sat away from the crowd. After they played with Catherine for a few minutes Sam gave Catherine some paper and a pen, asking her to draw something while she and Jack talked. The first thing Jack did was apologize for forcing Sam away from the SGC, stating it was never his intention to do that, he had just been so afraid when she got hurt that he went a little crazy. Tears filled Sam's eyes as she said that she waited so long to hear those words. Jack realized she was about to cry so he changed the subject to something cheerier or so he thought.
Jack asked Sam if her daughter was as smart as her. Sam smiled stating in many ways Catherine was smarter because she had her father's wit. Sam noticed the smile on Jack's face had disappeared for a moment only to see it replaced with what looked like a forced smile. They continued to talk about things in the life. The best thing was when Jack learned that Sam's husband was not the father of her beautiful daughter.
The plane arrived at the gate and Sam informed Catherine to put away her stuff so they could go. Catherine stood up and handed Jack her drawing. Jack asked her if this was for him and Catherine nodded her head saying she drew it for him then started telling him what she drew. Jack smiled and said it was one of the most beautiful pictures he'd ever seen and said he would hang it on his wall. Sam nudged his shoulder saying it was such a sweet thing to say. He looked at Sam saying he was serious about mounting it because a great artist named CC gave it to him. Catherine said she gave it to him. Jack smiled at Catherine saying that CC stood for Catherine Carter. He said that he only gives special names to very special people and asked her if he could call her CC. Catherine looked at her mother asking with pleading eyes asking for approval. Sam asked Catherine if she liked the name and she said yes because Jack said she was special and it was for her.
They stood in line talking until it was time to board. It was awkward for them so they just gave each other a quick hug and Sam started down the tunnel towards the plane. Catherine looked at her mother noticing she looked sad and asked her mommy why she was so sad. Sam stated she was happy that she met Jack. Catherine suddenly gasped saying she forgot Jack and that was all Sam heard because Catherine had left her side.
Jack was standing back watching Sam and CC walk to the plane. CC suddenly pulled out of her mother's hand and came running back towards him.
"Wait Jack! Wait!" CC called out.
Jack stooped down just in time for CC to run into his arms. She said she forgot to say good-bye and hugged him tight. She told him that her mommy said she should always say good-bye to friends and she forgot to do that. Sam rushed up looking at them hugging each other. She saw Jack's face expressed tenderness towards CC. The sight brought tears to her eyes and several others standing in line watching. CC told Jack that she really likes him and Jack hugged CC a little tighter saying that he really likes her too. As Jack stood up Sam thanked him, hugged him and kissed him then took Catherine's hand telling her to wave bye-bye to Jack. CC threw him a kiss and winked at Jack as she turned to go to the plane with her mommy.
Jack felt tears forming in his eyes and quickly wiped them away only to notice several people waiting to board smiling at him based on the open display of affection that just happened. As he walked away he felt jealous, jealous of the man who was now married to Sam and who had the honor of raising her beautiful daughter.
Jack stopped by the hobby store on the way home arranging to have his drawing mounted. After getting home he got on the phone and made a call to an old acquaintance stating he was calling in a favor. At the end of the conversation the acquaintance said he still owed Jack several favors. Jack said if he would do this for him then he would call them even. The guy said he would do his best. Jack thanked him and hung up the phone.
Sam came home to an irate husband instead of an understanding husband. His attitude quickly changed when she commented on him not being home the couple of times she called. He stated he was busy working hard for a promotion. Instead of things settling down between them over the next few weeks things seemed to get worse and Sam couldn't figure out what was wrong.
One evening Eric came home telling Sam that he just quit his job. But instead of being outraged as Eric expected, Sam asked him if he was sure about his decision and he assured her he was. Sam smiled and said she supported his decision. This was definitely was not the reaction he expected. She figured this decision was because of her big job offer in Utah by Dr. McKay. Then Eric told Sam that he had another job in California, close to San Diego so they could be close to her brother and his family. He expected Sam to be excited but the look on her face told him differently. He said he would be taking a slight cut in pay but he figured it was worth it if she would be happier living close to her brother.
Sam asked Eric if he had been listening to what she had been saying for the last couple of weeks about her job offer. He told her it wasn't necessary for her to work; they could survive on his salary. Sam said she wanted to work and her new job would pay her more than what he had been earning. He scoffed saying her offer couldn't be that good. He said he would support the family and she didn't need to work. Sam shook her head stating that wasn't the point; she reiterated she wanted to work and since he had just quit his job he could move back to Utah with them. Eric shouted he wasn't going to Utah and she couldn't take the job.
Prior to the argument Sam had only been considering the offer from Dr. Rodney McKay but with Eric's chauvinistic statement she made up her mind to take the job in Utah. She was not going to let any man dictate what she could and couldn't do.
One evening Eric came home with a dozen roses and told Sam that he just bought a house in Lakeside, California. Sam threw the books she was packing down on the ground asking Eric if he ever listens to what she says. Eric then told Sam that he decides what happens in this family and he decided that they are moving to Lakeside. Sam stated that she doesn't need him to make decisions for her because she has a Ph.D. and she can think for herself and refused to play to the part of a silly doting wife. Eric warned Sam if she left and moved to Utah then their marriage was over. He announced he was going to close the deal on the house tomorrow and she should pack faster so they can move by the end of the month. Sam smirked as she stated she would be packed. Two days later when Eric returned to Portland after closing on the house he found an empty house. There was a note taped to the television set stating he could do his own packing because she and her daughter had moved to Utah.
Sam had a warm welcome to Area 51 led by Jonas whom she was assigned to work with. Dr. McKay was there at her welcome back party and she thanked him for making her such a wonderful offer. He asked her if she had found a house yet for her family and she said that she and her daughter were still looking. He handed her a business card of a Real Estate agent and said that she was very good and to drop his name to see if she could get a better deal. He smiled as he left the party knowing that all favors previously owed to Colonel O'Neill were now settled with this unexpected surprise.
Sam fussed at CC to stay out of the way of the movers when she heard some lady asking her where she wanted these to go. Sam looked up to see the smiling face of Janet holding several boxes of pizza followed by Jonas with drinks and Jack with a bag full of groceries. Sam's first night in her new house was made pleasant by her friends surprise visit who promised to visit often.
Sam had been in the house for a month when the phone rang and Eric's voice was on the other end of the line. They talked for a bit with him asking her to forgive him for trying to force her hand and asking if they could try and work things out. Sam stated things had to change and Eric said he had changed and things would be different. The following weekend Eric came to visit and to Sam he seemed to have changed. However, Eric's attempt to coerce Sam to moving to California was evident during his trip.
Thanksgiving was rapidly approaching and Sam began to make arrangements to celebrate the holiday in Utah with friends when Eric called informing her that they had been invited by Mark to join him and his family for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Thanksgiving holiday was pleasant making Sam anxious for the Christmas holiday.
A very large package arrived from Jack with numerous presents to CC and a present for Sam. Sam allowed CC to open one of the packages from Jack saying the rest would have to wait until they got back from California. Sam opened her present from Jack seeing it was a portrait of CC but she didn't recognize it as any she had taken CC to get previously. Sam asked CC when she took this picture with CC saying she and Jack did it while shopping. Sam called Jack but got his answering machine so she thanked him for the presents. Sam noticed CC pulling a tote bag saying they had to hurry because she wanted to see Jack. Sam told CC that they were going home to California and spending Christmas with Uncle Mark. Sam realized she was still on the phone so she again thanked Jack for the presents and hung up the phone.
Jack had just come in from outside when he heard Sam's voice. He listened to Sam talking and smiled thinking about the presents he gave them. Then he heard Sam telling CC that they were going home to California. He shook his head, angry at himself for even thinking that Utah was Sam's home.
Christmas time was great for CC as she was showered with presents from the family and Santa Claus. It was a great day for the whole family ending with lively conversation amongst the adults, each talking about their favorite Christmas. Eric knew this was the perfect time to bring up the subject of Sam moving to California. To really drive home his point Eric pointed out what a wonderful time they had today and how much CC needed to be around family.
Upon hearing Eric say CC, CC stopped what she was doing and walked over to the adults. She shook her finger at Eric and said that she was Catherine. Eric stated that he was just calling her what her mommy calls her.
"NO!" Catherine yelled. "That's my special name and you no use it."
Eric shouted at Catherine, telling her not to yell at him then told her to go sit down. Sam told Eric not to shout at Catherine. He said Catherine shouldn't yell at him and asked why he couldn't call her CC. Catherine shouted "No" with Eric yelling at her to be quiet. Sam stood up telling Eric that she will discipline her daughter and for him not to yell at Catherine. Sam took CC's hand saying they needed some fresh air and stepped outside.
When Sam came in she overheard Eric speaking with Mark, saying ever since Sam took the damn government job she hasn't wanted to be a family anymore. He asked Mark to use his influence on Sam and make her quit her government job. Mark stood up saying his sister has a mind of her own and can make her own decisions. He told Eric not to drag him into this and walked out of the room.
Sam cleared her throat alerting Eric to her presence. She said Mark was correct not to get involved and she expressed her disappointment in Eric trying to abuse her relationship with her brother. Sam advised that it was late and she was taking CC home because they had an early flight. Eric stated he thought her return flight was on the third and not the twenty-sixth. Sam said there were some last minute changes.
When they landed in Utah CC asked if she could go visit Uncle Jonas. Sam said she would call and see if he was there and maybe they would go see him. As expected Janet was at Jonas' house and Jonas took CC outside to play while the ladies talked. When he came back in he said that he was going to throw a New Year's Eve party and invited Sam to bring CC with her to the party.
It was early on the 31st when Sam opened the door to find Eric standing on her front door step with some flowers in his hand. Eric apologized for what happened at Christmas saying he was just desperate and wanted them to be a family again. The two talked for a bit and Sam informed Eric that it was getting late and she needed to get ready for a New Year's Eve party and asked him to join them.
At the party Eric noticed that Sam seemed to be looking around the party for someone but he wasn't sure exactly who. Several times he spotted Sam talking privately with Jonas and noticed them touching each other. He suspected this guy was the reason Sam didn't want to come back to California. Sam introduced Eric to some of her co- workers but all he did was smile at them and say it was nice to meet them before moving away from them. At the stroke of midnight everyone did their New Year's kiss and that was when Sam noticed there was something different about the way Eric kissed her.
Once home Sam asked Eric why he didn't mingle with the others at the party and he replied they weren't his type of people. Eric asked Sam what was going on between her and Jonas Quinn, stating they looked pretty chummy at the party. Sam chuckled stating there was nothing between her and Jonas because he was in love with Janet. Still Eric suspected there was something else going on so when he returned to California he made a few phone calls that would prove whether his suspicions were correct or not.
Despite his visit Sam felt as if things still weren't right between her and Eric and he wasn't home very often when she called. When she did get him on the phone he told her he was trying to advance in his new job so he was spending more time at work. He said he was doing this to get ahead at work so when she finished her contract they could live a comfortable life together. Sam felt bad suspecting that Eric was up to something when all he had been doing was trying to make things nice for them. She decided if he could make the extra effort then so could she. Sam approached Jonas asking him if he and Janet had any special plans for Valentine's Day and he said nothing he knew of. Jonas smiled saying they would be glad to watch CC. He asked Sam what she was up to she blushed and said nothing.
It was late when she arrived at the house and was glad that Eric had already gone to bed because that would make her surprise even better. She slipped into the house, changed into her Victoria's Secret Valentine's Day special for Eric in the hall bathroom. Sam then walked to the doorway of their bedroom, struck a seductive pose and cleared her throat to get his attention. After a few moments of not hearing anything she flipped to the other side of the doorframe, reached in and flipped on the light to wake Eric and again struck a pose. Still no response so she looked to the bed only to find that it was empty. She looked and noticed that it was 11:00 P.M. and he still wasn't home and she began to wonder where he could be so late in the evening.
Sam walked into the kitchen to see if Eric left and note for her then remembered that he didn't know she was coming so he wouldn't have left a note. She looked at the kitchen table where there was a pile of mail so Sam decided to pass the time looking through the bills until Eric came home. There was a statement from a bank that she didn't recognize so she opened it and was surprised to see the balance. She started checking some of the charges and noted that several of them were to nice hotels, fancy restaurants and to floral shops, surprising her because she never received the benefits of any of these purchases. Sam continued looking through the mail and came across an overstuffed manila envelope that had been opened.
She emptied the envelope and the first thing she came across was an itinerary of everything she did for a two week period of time. Directly behind that were numerous photographs of her shopping, driving and things she did on a regular basis. Then near the end of the photos she noticed pictures of her and Jonas. On these photos points where they were touching was circled in red. She read the final page of the report which was a summary by the private investigator. He concluded that although there was no proof positive in the photographs that Dr. Carter was having an affair with Jonas Quinn, he was sure that if his services were continued he would have the proof of their affair very soon.
Sam was shocked by what she had discovered and decided that it would be best if she confronted Eric in her street clothes because she knew it wasn't going to be a pretty scene. She fixed herself a drink and sat in the living room becoming angrier by the minute waiting for him. The sound of the front door closing woke Sam up and she was surprised to see it was morning. She started walking to the bedroom to confront Eric with the credit card bills and private investigator's stuff in her hand. She heard the water to the shower go on so she tossed the contents of the envelope across the bed as well as the credit card bill, turned and went to make a pot of coffee because she definitely needed a cup to start the day.
She heard the water in the shower turn off so Sam walked to the bedroom with her cup of coffee. Eric was standing by the bed with a towel wrapped around his waist staring at items scattered across the bed. Sam stated he wanted to know if she was having an affair he should have just asked her and the answer was no. Sam asked Eric where he had been all night but all Eric stated was he had to get ready for work. He turned to grabbed his underwear off the dresser behind him, letting his towel drop so he could put on his boxers. Sam let out a gasp and Eric told her to knock it off because she's seen him naked before.
Sam exclaimed that she's seen him naked plenty of times but she's never seen him before with fresh claw marks on his back from his girlfriend. Eric quickly turned to look at his back in the dresser mirror; he had forgotten that things got a little carried away last night.
"And to think I had come home to give you a Valentine's Day surprise but it looks like I'm the one who got the surprise," Sam said with a scowl on her face.
Sam left the house in a hurry to get back to Utah. She could not believe that she had fallen for his lines, she felt so betrayed, so humiliated but most of all she was angry. Upon her return to Utah she asked Jonas if he would take CC out back so she and Janet could talk. Jonas could tell right away that things had not gone as planned so he arranged for Sam and Janet to have the rest of the evening alone while he took CC out to the movies.
Sam looked at the envelope she had been holding in her hands for the last half hour that she received before leaving for work. The return address confirmed exactly what was inside. She opened it reading the decree ending her marriage. She felt sad because it meant she failed at something she had strived to have; a normal life.
Jonas walked into her office with a piece of paper in her hand and asked Sam if she had signed a long term lease on her house. She said no and he said that was good because it was time to move. Sam looked at Jonas asking what he was talking about. Jonas handed Sam the paper and after reading it she asked if this was for real.
"Pack your bags Sam, we are going to work at Cheyenne Mountain," Jonas said with a smile.
The doorbell rang and Jack opened the door to see the smiling face of CC and Sam who were the first guests to arrive for dinner. Sam walked in carrying a desert asking if she could put this in the kitchen. She heard CC cheering and ran into the living room to find CC jumping up and down on the sofa and pointing to the wall. She told CC to stop jumping on the sofa and asked her what was she was doing.
"Look mommy, it's my picture I gave Jack," CC stated.
Sam noticed the drawing was the same one that CC gave Jack at the airport. Janet walked up behind them asking Sam if she knew who gave Jack the picture. Sam smiled saying CC gave it to Jack. Janet commented to Jack that his secret was out; he had impeccable taste when it came to good artists. Jack smiled then changed the subject by asking everyone how they liked their steaks then stepped outside to start the grill.
CC threw open the door stepped out on the porch in her lion outfit and let out a roar. Sam rushed up then burst out laughing at the site before her. There was Jack dressed up as a scarecrow cowering from CC's ferocious roar. Jack smiled telling Sam she makes a nice looking Dorothy right down to her ruby slippers. Janet and Jonas walked up with Janet dressed as the Good Witch of the North and Jonas as the Tin Man. A neighbor walked up and asked if they had a camera because she had to get a picture of them all dressed up like "The Wizard of Oz" characters. After taking the picture the group grabbed their jackets and went trolling for goodies then to a party for adults and children.
Sam put the pre-sliced Thanksgiving turkey on the table telling Jack that she didn't dare risk him cutting it because knowing him; he would have blown it up. The Thanksgiving holiday was made even better by a surprise visit from Cassie. Before the group left for the night Jack invited everyone to come to his place for Christmas and said he wouldn't take no for an answer.
Christmas morning Sam received a call from Jack telling her to hurry up and get over to his house because Santa left a lot of presents for CC under his tree. When she arrived at his house she was shocked to see all of the presents for CC and told Jack he shouldn't have spent so much on CC. Jack smiled saying he didn't do it, Santa Claus did it then sat down on the floor to play with CC and her new toys.
It was New Year's Eve and they were all shivering while standing on the porch waiting for Jack to set off the fireworks. After the display went off CC was telling Jack to do some more and he said used up all his fireworks for her. They returned inside to where the rest of the guests were watching from the warmth of Jack's house. At the stroke of midnight Jack received his first kiss from CC quickly followed by a much longer kiss from Sam that left him a little bit breathless.
The last of the party goers left after helping clean up Jack's house and he was pleased that Sam was still at his house. He walked by the room where he put CC to bed to find Sam tucking a strand of hair behind CC's ear as she slept. Sam looked to see him watching her and called his name but instead of coming to her side he turned and went to his bedroom. Sam was startled by his actions and wondered what was wrong. She followed him into his bedroom and found him staring at a picture CC gave him that was next to the pictures of Charlie on his nightstand. The picture CC gave Jack was a representation of CC holding Jack and Sam's hands and they were smiling and together like a family. Jack stared at the picture wishing so much that it would be true.
Sam walked up sitting on the bed beside him and putting her arms around him. She said that CC loves him and Jack said the feeling was mutual. He turned and looked at Sam telling her that he never stopped loving her either. Jack stated that if she didn't reciprocate those feelings it was fine but maybe he had better leave. Sam touched his ear with her finger and stated they were at his house. Sam asked Jack if he could wake early enough so she could slip into the second bedroom before CC woke up because their being in bed together might be hard to explain to CC. Jack smiled saying he could do that. The two started kissing and lay back on the bed to ring in the New Year in a more personal and private fashion.
Sam woke to see Jack smiling at her saying that he overslept. Sam was rubbing the sleep out of her eyes when she noticed a pair of blue eyes staring at her, telling her to hurry and get up so Jack would make pancakes. Sam looked over at Jack to see him shrug his shoulders. He said CC had crawled up on the bed about twenty minutes ago and woke him up. CC told Jack she was hungry and he told her to go wash her hands so she could help him fix breakfast. CC ran out of the room and Jack grabbed some clothes and tossed Sam her clothes with a smile on his face.
Jack was sitting on the front steps waiting for them to drive up. When they stopped CC burst out of the car with her backpack and gave Jack a big hug. She was happy that her mommy was going to let her stay with Jack while she went on her trip. Sam handed Jack CC's itinerary as well as papers giving him temporary guardianship of her daughter. Jack felt this was one of the best things he was ever asked to do, watch over Sam's child while she went on a mission to another planet. Of course she couldn't talk about it but he knew that it had something to do with the project that she and Jonas were working on.
They said their good-byes and Sam had tears in her eyes as she drove away. After returning from the mission Sam was so anxious to leave that as soon as her post mission and briefing were over she almost ran over an airmen walking down the hall. The greeting she received when she arrived at Jack's house was one of the best she had ever received after returning from a mission and the special welcome back she got from Jack that night really gave her a reason to smile in the morning.
The frequency of the missions picked up with Sam going once every three weeks for a couple of days. What surprised Sam was when she heard CC calling Jack, "Daddy Jack". She asked him what that was all about. Jack said that when he picks her up at school the kids asked if he was her grandpa but she said that he was "Daddy Jack". So CC has been calling him by that name since then. Jack asked if she minded and Sam said it was fine giving him an endearing smile. She was glad her daughter was considering Jack to be her father.
Sam was thankful that they were able to postpone the mission until after Spring Break which meant that they could spend more time together. Sam was anxious for the mission to be over because of the reception she would receive when she came back; it was always something to look forward to.
"Have we received a signal yet," asked General Turner.
"No sir," the Sergeant replied.
"Close the Iris" the General replied.
"We just received a signal, it's SG-16," the Sergeant stated.
The Iris was opened and staff blasts came through the wormhole and General Turner ordered the blast doors closed and telling the guards to be alert as SG-16 was under fire. Lambert and Gregory came through the wormhole supporting Jonas Quinn between them before a blast came through the wormhole, striking Lambert in her leg causing her to fall to the ramp. Jensen and Rigdon hobbled through shouting to wait for Colonel Williamson. Another staff blast came through striking the blast doors followed quickly by Colonel Williamson who was flying through wormhole shouting "Close the Iris" then landed in a heap further down the ramp.
The Iris closed and the medical team rushed in the gate room led by Dr. Fraiser. She first stopped at Colonel Williamson checked his vitals and shook her head, he was dead. She went to check on the others and saw Jonas in extreme pain with a staff blast to his abdomen and leg. Her staff was attending to the other wounded and Janet noticed her friend was missing.
"Where's Sam," Janet asked Jonas.
"Sam's …" was all he could say before blacking out.
It was hours before General Turner was able to determine what had happened. He ordered a MALP through to try and locate Dr. Carter but the MALP was destroyed upon arriving on the planet. Five hours later another attempt was made with the same results. General Turner was upset because the briefing he received as only bits and pieces and no one but Jonas Quinn and Colonel Williamson knew the details. Unfortunately Jonas Quinn was still unconscious and Colonel Williamson was dead. He had a frown on his face as he walked to his office to make a phone call; he hated this part of his job.
CC was planting the flower seeds Jack bought her when a blue sedan with government license plates rolled up getting Jack's attention. An officer stepped from the passenger side and Jack immediately recognized the insignia on the lapel and held up his hand signaling him to stop. The officer stood by the car waiting for Colonel O'Neill to take the little girl inside. Inside the house Jack asked CC if she could make him one of her special sandwiches because he was really hungry, knowing this would keep her occupied for a bit while he spoke with the chaplain.
Jack walked up to the chaplain waiting to hear what he had to say. A few minutes later Chaplain Thomas offered his condolences and assistance if needed help in telling her daughter. Jack asked when they would know for sure about her status. The Chaplain stated Mr. Quinn knew the details but he was unconscious at this time and they have been unable to confirm anything at this time and that is why she is listed as MIA.
Jonas opened his eyes to see a very concerned Dr. Fraiser at his bed. After checking his vitals she asked if he could answer a few questions then summoned General Turner. Jonas was informed Colonel Williamson had died, breaking his neck when he landed on the ramp after coming through the wormhole. Then General Turner asked Jonas if he knew what happened to Dr. Carter.
Jonas stated she was killed on their retreat back to the Stargate. He said Sam was hit in the upper back knocking her down. Jonas said he ran over to her and was helping her up when they were knocked down. He looked over at Janet to see her lip quivering as he spoke. He then looked at General Turner as he continued to talk. Jonas stated Colonel Williamson pulled him out from under Sam. He reached for Sam when the Colonel told him to leave her. He refused and continued to try and pick her up but she was limp. He felt for a pulse but there was none. He tried to pump on her heart but Colonel Williamson checked her pulse and said she was dead. Jonas said that Colonel Williamson dragged him away and that was when he was hit, stating that he doesn't remember much after that.
Janet sat there listening fighting back the tears as Jonas talked. Once Jonas had stopped speaking Janet said he was tired and needed to rest. Jonas fell back asleep a few moments later and Janet walked to her office, closed the door and sat down at her desk and started to cry. She didn't want to believe what she had heard from the other team members earlier but when Jonas said it, it sunk in. Sam was dead. She felt so empty inside. After composing herself she picked up the phone and called her daughter to give her the news. The news upset Cassie and she knew it was because of the special bond between the two.
A wormhole was opened to the planet and it was deemed safe for SG-2 to attempt to recover Dr. Carter. However after hours of searching the recovery mission was called off. There were a few Jaffa warriors still on the ground but no sign of Dr. Carter. They searched an area where Jonas said he had last seen Sam but there was no sign of her. When they returned to the SGC they advised General Turner of the sad news.
It was mid day when Jack noticed a blue sedan pull up in front of his house with Chaplain Thomas getting out and walking to his front door. Chaplain Thomas advised that Sam was no longer considered MIA (Missing In Action) and was now official listed as KIA (Killed In Action). Jack thanked the Chaplain and walked into his house where he sat down on the sofa thinking about what he was told. He felt it coming and ran to the bathroom, reaching the toilet in time to throw up. After a minute or so he brushed his teeth to rid himself of the taste in his mouth, then walked out to his bedroom and saw the picture on his nightstand; the one that CC drew of her, him and Sam all holding hands and he felt his heart breaking. This picture would never come true of them being a family. Jack rushed out of the house, got in his truck and sped off to CC's school.
After meeting with the principal, Jack was escorted to CC's classroom. The principal called Ms. Callo out of the class explaining the circumstances for Catherine leaving. She composed herself before stepping back into the classroom. She called Catherine to come to the front and to bring her bag. Catherine was very confused and was fearful that she did something bad. Just then Jack stuck his head in the doorway and told CC to get her book bag. A smile broke out across her face because Daddy Jack was here and he was going to get out of class which meant they were going to go have some fun.
CC ran up to Jack and he picked her up and hugged her tightly as he walked away and out to his truck. He decided to wait until he got home before telling her news that he knew would crush her.
The phone rang and Janet was surprised to hear Jack's voice. He said he needed her help and Janet rushed over to his house breaking all of the speed limits along the way. Jack escorted Janet into the living room so he could talk with her. Janet noticed Jack looked very old and tired at that moment and knew he was hurting deep inside.
Jack stated that CC took the news very hard about Sam and she had cried herself to sleep. He asked Janet to watch her while he went to Sam's house to get some things, stating he didn't CC to go back into the house just yet. Janet said she would glad to help and upon hearing that Jack started to leave. He heard Janet sniffle and turned to see tears in her eyes. He walked up to her and pulled her to him allowing her to cry into his chest. He knew that Janet and Sam were best friends and that she probably had been too busy being a doctor to allow herself time to grieve so he allowed her to lean on him for support. A few minutes later Janet eased out of Jack's arms drying her eyes and apologizing for loosing control. He smiled stating that's what friends are for. Just then they heard her crying out.
"Mommy! I want my mommy!"
Jack sprinted to his bedroom where CC was sitting up crying in bed. He rushed to her side and took her in his arms, trying desperately to comfort her. She continued to cry stating she wanted her mommy. Jack rocked her in his arms.
"It's okay honey I'm here. I'm here," Jack said softly.
"Don't ever leave me daddy, I don't want to be alone," CC cried into Jack's chest.
"I'll never leave you CC. Your daddy will never leave you," Jack said as tears flowed down his face.
Janet watched from the doorway with tears streaming down her face. Father and daughter were together and together they would get through this tragedy.
CC had returned to school further ahead in her studies than the other kids. Jack had kept his promise that he would make sure CC did good in school, it was the least he could do for Sam. It was almost the end of school when CC came running out to the truck where he was waiting for him with tears streaming down her face.
He managed to get her calmed down and find out what had happened then walked into the principal's office for a brief meeting. Ms. Callo was called into the office. Jack stated he was CC's guardian and that he had the right to sign her homework. Ms. Callo said that wasn't the problem, the problem was that Catherine demanded to be called Catherine O'Neill but she told her no because Catherine O'Neill because that was not her legal name.
Jack took a seat in the lawyer's office. The lawyer pulled out a file advising Jack that Dr. Carter had taken precautions to assist him in adopting Ms. Catherine Carter if that was his wish. Jack was shocked by this news and said that he was expecting opposition from her brother Mark. The attorney stated upon Dr. Carter's death a letter was sent to her brother explaining her desires concerning the welfare of Catherine Carter. The attorney smiled stating he did not anticipate any interference from Mark concerning Catherine's adoption. Jack thanked the attorney for his assistance yet he sensed there was something else the attorney wasn't telling him. He asked if there was something else that he needed to know and the attorney told Jack not to worry and that everything had already been taken care of.
Catherine was beaming as Ms. Callo called the roll for the field trip they take at the end of the school year.
"Catherine Carter-O'Neill," Ms. Callo said.
"Here," CC stated proudly as she got on the bus for the field trip.
Jack was standing off to the side watching as the kids got on the bus and waved to Catherine as it pulled away. Once the bus left the principal approached Jack saying he wanted to talk to him about Catherine. After the meeting Jack was smiling. CC was definitely Sam's daughter and had her mother's brains to prove it. The principal wanted CC to take some tests to so she could skip a grade. Jack swore he would make Sam proud of her decision to leave CC with him and swore he would love her as if she was his biological daughter for the rest of his life. She was all he had left of his beloved Sam.
Jack had finished packing his truck to head for the cabin. He thanked Janet for looking after the place while he was gone and told her to tell Jonas to hurry up and get better and he would take him fishing. Janet chuckled and said she would pass that on. CC then walked over to Aunt Janet and asked her to remember to water the tree. Janet promised she would, telling them to have fun as the truck pulled away.
Janet walked over to the tree that had been planted in the front yard of Jack's house. Instead of an empty grave plot he chose to have a living reminder of Sam, surprising everyone. Janet walked over to the sapling looking at the plaque by the tree.
"This is planted in loving memory of Samantha Carter Ph.D. Beloved mother and friend"
Janet looked up at the sky and smiled. She wished Sam could see how happy Jack and CC were together. Maybe one of these days she would reveal Sam's secret about Jack being CC's biological father but it could keep for a while longer. She smiled thinking about how happy the two were together in their new life and knew that Sam was probably smiling where ever she was up amongst the stars.
~THE END ~