Spoilers: Season 7, post-Chimera (for Pete)
Summary: Jack contemplates the vision of Pete holding Sam’s hand in his
Date: April 2, 2008
Disclaimer: I own nothing, wish I did but sadly I do not. This story was written purely for my entertainment; no infringement intended.
There are times when I feel like I could just run out into the streets screaming – not for any true or worthy purpose, mind you, just so that I could let it all out and prevent myself from strangling well-meaning, but ultimately just annoying people. I had every intention tonight of staying in, staying away and staying sane, but of course, Daniel, being Daniel, would not have a word of it and so there I was, sitting unbelievably uncomfortably in the most comfortable chair he could offer, regretting my position, my luck and, mostly, the day I ever met that pushy guy. I swear, if I knew then what I knew know I would have just left him behind on Abydos when I had the chance.
But of course, I’m just saying that. We both know it’s not really true. It’s not really me that I had wished wasn’t there (let’s face it, if she’s here, I’m here); it’s him. Not Daniel, the other ‘him’. The one who shouldn’t be there.
Pete reached out and grasped her hand, pulling it, palm up, into his own, absently playing with her long fingers while he tried to listen to whatever it was Daniel was currently rambling on about it. I had no idea what it was that he was trying to explain to the poor guy this time as, hard as I tried, I could not draw my attention away from the sight of Sam’s hand lying gently in his. It just looked so completely wrong – and not just because I wished that it was my hands around hers and that Pete was somewhere else, far, far away – preferably somewhere with some seriously pissed off Jaffa, I reckon they could do some damage. No, it was Sam’s hands themselves that struck me as odd, that looked so completely wrong.
Her nails had a polish to them that I had never seen before, a soft pink that matched the dress (she was wearing a dress!) she was wearing tonight. What’s more, her hands were amazingly clean! Now I know that Carter can be a bit of a neat freak on occasion but never before have I seen her hands that clean, that white. Normally there’d be the tiniest smudge of oil or grease on the inside of her thumb that she had missed from whatever doohicky she’d just finished working on; and gone was the constant stain of ink on the pad of her middle finger, a result of her strange habit of holding her pen far too close to the nib.
I don’t really know what made me notice this; what it was about my mind that had locked onto those small details and held fast to them. As much as I’d hate to admit it, it’s probably not the first time I’d caught myself out in the middle of a hyperaware assessment of my 2IC - and god knows how often others had been the one to catch me mid-scrutiny. No matter the reason, these small details had come to mean something to me, had become part of who she was to me, and their unacknowledged disappearing had hit me even harder than her own absence would have done; it meant something.
She bought him here to Daniel’s tonight, said he wanted to meet ‘the guys’. We had agreed heartily (“Bout time we meet this fella of yours”) - well, at least Danny did, I tried my best though, honest - and along he came. But seeing her sitting next to him, her strangely immaculate hand in his, well, she wasn’t Carter anymore, she wasn’t even our Sam. She was his. This was a date for them. She wore that dress for him, she took extra care to find that smudge for him, she scrubbed at that ink stain for him … the sudden realisation hit me and, surprising even myself, I smiled.
There was nothing in this world I had wanted more than to have been able to reach out and wrap Sam’s hand in my own and the fact that this man could do it freely hurt to no end, but for the first time I realised that he wasn’t dating the woman I loved. He may be sitting there holding Samantha’s hand, but I knew that one day (please god, sooner rather than later) it would be me sitting there on Daniel’s lounge next to her. That he would be gone, and I would be the one in so fortunate a position to have the skin of Sam’s hand pressed up against my own.
She’d be wearing her scruffy old jeans, the ones she says are just too comfortable to throw out, and some old jumper that, knowing her, she’d more than likely have stolen from Daniel when she got here. She’d be holding my hand to stop me from fiddling with (okay, breaking) one of the many rocks in Daniel’s apartment - partly because she knows he would kill me if (and when) I sent them flying, and partly because she knows I just love to hold her hand. Despite the fact that she would have showered before she came (I mean our missions can get pretty rough) there’d be the tiniest bit of dirt under one of her nails from those samples she insists on taking and I’d take great pleasure in teasing her as I turn her hand over to find that smudge that had she missed (yet again) and laugh at the ink stain that meant she was, as usual, working way too hard. I wouldn’t spare a thought for the notion that she may have intentionally left them there for me to find, knowing just how much I enjoyed the search, but, rather, would simply revel in the awareness that I was able to hunt them out with my own fingertips, a familiarity that I had only ever dreamed of.
She wouldn’t have dressed up for me (even if I had tried to talk her into wearing that tank top), she wouldn’t have panicked about looking perfect, she wouldn’t have had to work so hard to be ‘Samantha’. There would be no need. She would simply be Major Dr. Sam Carter, my 2IC, best friend and woman I had adored since I had met her.
I sat back deep in my chair and smiled again in her direction, causing Sam to look at me, somewhat nervously, before slowly creeping her hand out of his and back into her own lap. I’ve never been known as a patient man, but for this, I can wait as long as I need to – as long as she needs me to. And I know that when the time comes that I do get to hold her hand, not a thing will be wrong.