Story Notes: Title: Another Life

Author: Karen


Spoilers: Broca Divide, There But for the Grace of God (season 1) and Point of View (season 3)

Rating: PG

Summary: Another visit to the alternate universe.

Archive: Sam and Jack, yes; Heliopolis, yes; anyone else, please ask. Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 is owned by Showtime Networks, MGM/UA, Double Secret, Gekko,


P9J442 was another in a long line of abandoned planets. Lots of trees, some ruins, a little mystery. It seemed like the last few planets SG-1 had visited all fell into this category. They once were populated, then abandoned, leaving behind bits and pieces of the lives of the people who once called them home.

Major Samantha Carter was busy taking soil and plant samples, Dr. Daniel Jackson was examining the garbage heap left by the departed populace, Teal'c was keeping watch, and Colonel Jack O'Neill was watching the clock. He tended to do that lately on these uneventful missions. One would think he was bored.

Packing up the last of her samples, Sam stood and dusted the soil from her knees. Colonel O'Neill would be calling her on the radio any minute, telling her it was time to go. Ah, right on cue.

"Carter, pack it up. Time to head on home." O'Neill did his best to make sure that the team arrived back at the SGC on time, if possible.

"Coming, Sir," she answered.

Just at that moment, she spotted something shiny hidden in the underbrush. She approached it cautiously, then pulled the ground covering back a little. 'What's this,' she thought. Sam touched it, then suddenly a bright light flashed in front of her eyes. Crying out, she was knocked unconscious.


She could hear voices in the background, sounding as if they were coming from very far away. As she moved her head toward the direction they were coming from, they began to get louder.

"She's beginning to come around." That was Janet Frasier's voice. I'm in the SGC infirmary, she thought.

"Sam, Sam, can you hear me?" Janet asked.

Sam groaned a little, then opened her eyes a slit. Her head was pounding. "Yes, Janet, I can hear you. What hit me?"

Janet smiled. "We were hoping you could tell us." She turned to the medical technician behind her. "Tell Colonel O'Neill that she's awake."

"I found something hidden under some ground cover, there was a flash, and that's all I remember." Sam tried to sit up a little. "The guys must have found me when I didn't show up at the Stargate."

"Lie back down, Sam." Janet cautioned. "You need to rest a little longer." At that moment, Colonel O'Neill entered the room. Behind him, standing in the doorway, were Daniel and Teal'c.

"Hi, Sam," he said gently. "How do you feel?" He walked over beside the bed. He took her hand in one of his, and brushed back her hair with the other. "I was so worried. When we found you I thought the worst had happened."

Sam was a little alarmed at the colonel's odd behavior. "I feel all right, Colonel. Just a little shaken up."

"Colonel? Sam, you haven't called me by my rank in three years." O'Neill chuckled. "That bump on the head must have confused you."

"Sir?" Now she really WAS confused. She decided not to say anything more until she knew more about what was going on.

"You rest now, sweetheart," he said. He leaned down and kissed her gently on the lips. "I'll take you home as soon as Janet says its okay."

"Bye," she whispered. Now she knew something was definitely wrong. The Colonel kissed her and called her sweetheart. Although it was something she'd wished for, she knew it wasn't likely to happen. Her head was pounding again. She'd just close her eyes for a little while, until her head stopped hurting and she could think more clearly. Just for a little while . . .


The next time Sam woke up, her head was much clearer. In fact, she was convinced that she'd dreamed the exchange she'd had with Colonel O'Neill. When Janet came in, she asked when she could leave the infirmary and get back to work.

"Whoa, hold on tiger," Janet said. "Do you know that before you woke the first time you were unconscious for three hours. Jack was about to stand on his head until I sent him out of the infirmary."

"Janet, I had the strangest dream while I was unconscious. I dreamed that I woke up and Colonel O'Neill came in here. He called me sweetheart and kissed me."

"I thought he was pretty restrained. He probably didn't want to scare you." Janet picked up Sam's chart and made some notations on it. "Sam, why do you call him Colonel O'Neill? You haven't called him that in over three years."

"What?" Sam was incredulous. "Why?" she asked.

Janet looked at her in concern. "Because he's your husband."


"General, Colonel, it's my belief that Sam is suffering from a form of amnesia." Janet explained to them during the debriefing.

"Amnesia?" Jack was stunned. "What doesn't she remember?"

"Well, for one thing, she doesn't remember anything about being married to you for the last three years." Janet went on. "She does remember the missions you've been on, she remembers the people here, she just doesn't remember being married to you."

"I need to talk to her." Jack jumped up out of his seat. "Permission to go talk to my wife, Sir."

"Permission granted." General Hammond was also concerned. "Take it easy, Jack, I'm sure she'll remember eventually."

"She has to." Jack left the briefing room.


Sam was up and dressed when Jack got to the infirmary. Physically, she was just fine. Janet had given her a clean bill of health. It was just that she couldn't remember what they all said she should remember. And it wasn't as if she had no memory of the past three years. She did. Just not the memories everyone said should be there.

"Sam." Jack was at the door.

"Sir," she said.

He flinched at her manner of addressing him. "You can call me Jack, Sam," he said. "I am your husband even if you don't remember that."

"I'm sorry, Sir, um, Jack. It's just so strange. I remember the last three years, I remember all the people here, but I don't remember being married to you. If you could tell me . . .how did we happen to get married?"

"You remember the 'touched' virus, don't you?" At her nod, he continued. "We were both infected, and when you approached me in the locker room, we were together, and you got pregnant." He noticed that she blushed. "You resigned your commission and we got married. We have a little girl, Katie." Jack reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet. He opened it and drew out a picture. "This is our Katie. She's two."

She was a beautiful little girl with blonde hair and brown eyes. She had Sam's nose and mouth, and Jack's chin. Sam's heart melted just looking at her.

"She's so beautiful," Sam breathed. "She looks like the two of us." Sam looked up at him with tears in her eyes. "But I don't remember it that way." She shook her head. "When we were 'touched', we weren't together. You took me to the infirmary, and Janet took care of me until a cure was found. We were never married, never had a child. Our relationship is purely professional. And I don't remember resigning my commission. I was promoted to major. It's almost like I'm in an alternate reality."

"But, Sam, in both the alternate realities we're aware of we're together." Jack couldn't comprehend the two of them not being together.

Suddenly the light came on in Sam's mind. "Where's Daniel? I need to talk to him," she said. "I think I touched a quantum mirror on P9J442."


They met Daniel in his office.

"From what you say Sam, it's entirely possible that you did touch a quantum mirror," Daniel said. "If you and your counterpart touched the mirror at the same time, then you could have changed places. Our Sam is now in your reality, and you are in our reality."

"But they're so much alike. How is that possible?" Jack asked.

"Well, from what Sam here has told us, the two realities didn't diverge until the 'touched' virus incident. That could account for the similarities being so close," Daniel explained. "Our Sam left the military at that time, and Major Carter stayed in the Air Force and was even promoted later."

"Was your Sam infested by a Tok'ra named Jolinar, also?" Sam asked.

"Yes, she was. It was the most frightening period of my life. We'd just had a baby, and there she was, possibly lost to me forever." Jack pinched the bridge of his nose. "I realized then how much I loved her."

Sam reached out and touched his hand. In a strange way, she felt closer to this Colonel O'Neill than to the Colonel from her own reality. This man showed more emotion than her Colonel O'Neill. Apart from being concerned about the whereabouts of his wife, he was a much happier person. Since their realities had diverged only a short time ago, it must be his relationship with his Sam that caused the difference in him.

"So, what do you think we can do, Daniel, to get the two of us back to our correct realities?" Sam wanted the Colonel to get his wife back and for that beautiful little girl to get her mother back.

"Well, if the two of you touched the mirror at the same time again, you would probably be switched back," Daniel answered. "We should go back to P9J442 and attempt to reverse this."

"Then let's do it," Jack said decisively. "I'll go see General Hammond. We'll get this thing straightened out." He left.

"He's so different," Sam commented. "He's not like the Colonel in my reality."

"When we went on the first Abydos mission, he was suicidal. His son had just shot himself with Jack's own gun. He wanted to die," Daniel said. "The mission changed him. Meeting Skaara changed him, made him want to live. He wasn't suicidal anymore, but he still kept his emotions closed off. His relationship with you- I mean, Sam, has opened him up. He's probably happier than he's ever been. He has a wife he loves, and a little girl he adores. I hope he doesn't lose that."

"Me, too," Sam said softly. "Me, too."


"General Hammond, it's imperative that we return to P9J442, ASAP. It's the only way we can switch the Carters back." Colonel O'Neill explained.

"From listening to Dr. Jackson's and Dr. Carter's explanation of what happened, I agree with you, Colonel. You will depart through the Stargate at 1400 hours. Dismissed." General Hammond left the briefing room.

"Well, Dr. Carter, hopefully you'll be returning home soon." Jack was still a little off-balance by the fact that *this* Sam was married to him in an alternate reality and they had a child. When she had explained about the 'touched' virus, and the consequences of her and her Jack's infection with the virus, he was astounded. She had even shown him a picture of their little girl. She looked like Sam, but with his eyes and chin. He had asked to keep the picture. He wasn't quite sure why. She had let him have it, saying that she had more at home. She was confident that she would get there. Quite frankly, he was too. This Carter was as smart as his Carter, and if one of them had figured out what the deal was, then the other would, too.

"I hope so, too, Jack, excuse me, Colonel O'Neill." She smiled at her mistake. He really was so much like her Jack. But he was so unhappy, just like Jack had been before they'd gotten married and had Katie. She could understand why he and his Major Carter hadn't gotten together. It was, after all, against regulations. If it hadn't been for being infected by the 'touched' virus, she and her Jack wouldn't be together. She thanked heaven for that virus everyday.

"Well, Dr. Carter, we'd better go get ready for our mission."

"Yes, sir, Colonel O'Neill, sir." She snapped a smart salute.

He laughed and shook his head. "Still cheeky, no matter what reality, eh, Carter?"

Sam just laughed and left the briefing room. It was time to get ready to go home.


SG-1 departed through the Stargate at exactly 1400 hours. When they arrived on the planet, Sam led them to the area where she'd found and touched the object. There it was, lying on the ground, half-hidden by undergrowth.

"Well, here goes nothing," she said, and she reached out and touched it. There was the flash of light again, then blackness.


She could hear voices in the background sounding as if they were coming from very far away.

'Deja vu,' she thought. 'I've done this before. But did I get home?'

She opened her eyes. There beside her was Jack.

"Sam?" he asked hesitantly.

"Jack," she said and smiled.

"Welcome home, sweetheart." He leaned down and kissed her. His Sam was back.


She could hear voices in the background sounding as if they were coming from very far away.

'Deja vu,' she thought. 'I've done this before. But did I get home?'

There beside her was Colonel O'Neill.

"Major?" he asked hesitantly.

"Yes, Colonel," she said, smiling.

"Welcome back, Major Carter."


Sam stood on the mountain looking up at the stars that were starting to appear in the sky. So much had happened in the last twenty-four hours. She'd actually been in an alternate reality, where Sam Carter was married to Colonel Jack O'Neill. Her counterpart was a lucky woman, she had a husband who loved her and a beautiful child, everything that Sam had resigned herself to never having. The phrase, "There but for the grace of God," had never meant more to her than now.

"Carter." She turned and saw Colonel O'Neill behind her walking up the path.

"Hello, Colonel." Sam turned back to her stargazing.

"Doc Frasier said you were up here." He walked up beside her and looked up at the stars, too. "How you feeling?"

"Just fine, Sir. No after effects at all. Janet says I'm all clear." She turned and looked at him. "What was she like?"

"She was you, Carter. She looked the same, talked the same, acted the same. More so than the other Carter we met."

Sam nodded. "Well, the two realities only diverged three years ago. Essentially, they ARE us." She paused, then said, quietly, "They have a daughter."

"I know." At her surprised look, he explained. "She told me. Even showed me a picture." He pulled it out of his shirt pocket and handed it to her.

"This is the same one I saw. She's beautiful isn't she." Sam felt sad looking at the picture of the little girl who would never exist in this reality. She handed the picture back to him.

"Yes, she is." Jack looked at the picture one more time, then put it back in his pocket. "Hey, Carter, you hungry?"

"Yes, a little, why?" she asked.

"Let's go get something to eat. I know a little place in the Springs that makes the best lasagna this side of Chicago." He looked at her a little hopefully, she thought.

"Okay," Sam said, smiling. "Let's go."


The End

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