Story Notes: E-mail:

Rating: M. Heavy Angst. Bit of language. Character Death.

Warnings: Major Kleenex warning. I mean it!

Spoilers: Solitudes (Season 1) Forever In A Day (Season 3)

Author's Notes: Constructive criticism wanted as always. No flames. Thanks a bunch people! =] /--/ Indicates thoughts.

"Happy birthday Daniel, happy birthday to you!" They all sang. Daniel stood in the middle of the crowd in front of a table with a large chocolate cake and five candles on top. He smiled then leant over the cake and blew the candles out. Everyone cheered. He smiled proudly.

"Who wants cake?" he asked. There was a loud roar of people who were obviously interested. He chuckled then started to cut it and put it on plastic plates for the people. Sam sat on a chair further back and watched all the people flock over to the table for cake. She smiled as they all waited for their plate to be handed to them by the Jaffa, Teal'c. As Daniel cut the pieces of the cake, he placed them on a plate held by Teal'c and then he passed them on to the eagerly awaiting customers. She noticed her Colonel, Jack O'Neill, was not among the cake goers. She looked around the room and saw him tucked away in a chair in a corner. She finally caught his eye and he smiled. She got up and went over to him.

"No cake for you Carter?" he asked as she sat down next to him on the sofa.

"No. I'm not much for cake. What about you sir?" she replied.

"Not the cake type, myself. And we're off duty now Sam. It's Jack" he said. She smiled sheepishly.

"Sorry si... Jack" she corrected. He smiled.

"Looks like Danny might have had a little too much to drink huh?" Jack said.

"Yeah. Does doesn't it? Oh well. It's his birthday. One of the many exceptions for getting drunk" Sam replied.

"Oh? What are the other many exceptions?"

"Hmm. You're birthday. Christmas. Thanks Giving. Uh, I think that's it. Oh, and when you're depressed" Sam explained.

"Sound like pretty good reasons to me. Especially when you're depressed. Drinking always seems to help. Even though you feel like shit the next morning. Still, it drowns your sorrows long enough to make you feel a little better" Jack responded.

"Do it a bit do you Colonel?" Sam asked light heartedly.

"Maybe" he replied a little defensively, "And it's Jack" he reminded with a smile.

"Oh, sorry. Jack. You don't have a lot of sorrows. Do you?"

"Not really. Just feel a little down sometimes."

"Really? Mind if I ask why?"

"Oh, just things. Don't worry. I'll get over it. After I leave" he said quietly. Of course, Sam heard.

"Leave? Leave where?! SG1? The SGC?" she asked incredulously.

"Maybe. You got a problem with that Carter?"

"Yeah, as a matter of fact I do. You can't leave!"

"Oh? And why's that?"

"Why though? Why do you want to leave?"

"The SGC doesn't need me anymore. I've taught all I can. They don't want me hanging around anymore."

"Sir, that's not true. They need you."

"No they don't. Neither does SG1. You would be a better Commanding Officer now. You need that experience. I've had it. I've had everything. And I've stuffed it all up. Someone else needs to get new experiences now. And I think you should." He opened up a lot, and Sam was quite shocked. He'd never opened up to her much before.

"You know that's not true! We do need you. SG1 needs you! I need you" she said softly. Naturally, he heard.

"What? You don't need me."

"Yes I do. I do need you Jack. I've always needed you. You just never knew. You've saved my ass on more than one occasion. But I need you more than that." Sam couldn't believe what she was saying. She did need him, but she couldn't believe she was sitting in front of him and telling him to his face. They sat in an awkward silence for a while. Jack contemplated what Sam told him. She needed him? He didn't know if he should believe her, or take it as she was just saying it to make him to stay. But then, she would obviously have a reason to want him to stay. Too confusing he decided.

"Jack. Say something" Sam said finally.

"I, uh, I don't know what to say. What do you want me to say? I won't go? I'll stay for you? I can't do that. I handed in my resignation this morning" he said. Sam sat dumbfounded. /He's resigned. No! / She thought.

"Take it back!" she said the first thing that came to mind. Excluding, /No! /

"I don't want to. And I won't. Don't worry; I'll be around for a little while longer yet. Hammond hasn't handed it in yet. It won't take effect until a couple of days." / Well, that makes me feel a whole lot better! / Sam thought.

"Oh. And that's supposed to make me feel better?!" she exclaimed.

"What?! I'm supposed to make sure you feel alright about the whole situation before I do something now am I?!" He was right and Sam knew it. He didn't need to get permission from her to say he could leave. She thought he did. She didn't want him to leave.

"Sorry sir" she said. He sat silent for a moment, wondering why she seemed so upset at learning he was leaving. /Could she actually care that much? / He thought. /Lord no! She couldn't possibly! /

"It's Jack" he told her again. She looked up from the floor. "I'm not your CO anymore" he reminded.

"Sorry Jack" she repeated, using his name.


The party went on longer into the night until nearly everyone there was either completely inebriated or had left. Sam found herself drowning her sorrows in beer. She was in a complete state of shock and almost anger at knowing her CO was leaving her. She kept thinking of it like that too. He was leaving her. No one else. Just her. She knew it was stupid, but she kept feeling that way. She found herself drowned in many more beers until she was well and truly smashed.


"Jack! Hi! How are you?" she asked drunkenly. He grabbed her arm as she turned to him and nearly fell over. She fell into him and smiled.

"Sam, sorry to state the obvious, but, you're drunk" he said as she slowly stood on her own.

"You think so? Oh, damn! I was really trying, so hard. It worked! Wahoo! What am I supposed to do now? I've drowned my sorrows, and now what? I just forget 'em all, and go on livin' life normally?" she asked and almost sounded a little sober for a minute.

"Sorrows? What sorrows?" Jack asked as he walked her to the couch and sat her down, sitting himself next to her.

"My sorrows! Damn you! You're leaving me! Big sorrow there" she replied, rubbing her red, bloodshot eyes. It was late. Real late. Daniel had disappeared somewhere, and the rest of the people were slowly starting to leave.

"Why? You don't need me. You can go on living just as good without me. If not better. I'm nothing important" he said.

"Oh yes you are! You are important to me" she said, trying to sound a little less, intoxicated.

"I think that's the beer talkin' there" he said with a smile.

"No it isn't! I'm talking. Carter. Sam. Whatever you want to call me. ME! I'm talking. I love you! And I don't want you to leave me!" she exclaimed and actually held back tears. She flopped to the side and her head landed in Jack's lap. She sniffed and let some lonely tears escape her eyes.

"Oh I'm sure you'll survive Sam. You've still got Daniel and Teal'c. And you'll be getting a new member. Probably someone interested in all your Physics stuff. Someone who might actually understand it all. That'll be nice" Jack consoled. Sam shook her head in his lap.

"No. They won't be you. I don't want anyone else. Just you. Not Daniel. Not Teal'c. Not someone who understands Physics. You! Only you!" she exclaimed. Jack was shocked. /It's probably the beer. She probably doesn't know what she's talking about. Tomorrow she'll wake up with a huge headache and think, "oh my God! What did I say?" and then she'll come and apologise. That's all it is. The beer/ Jack thought continually. Sam was dead serious though. She didn't want him to go. She did love him. She was in love with him.

"Jack. Please tell me you feel the same" she said. She sounded like she was a little in control. She sounded a little more like Sam.

"I do Sam. But I have to leave. I'm sorry" he said.

"No you don't. You don't have to go!" she exclaimed, lifting her head from his lap swiftly, "You can stay! Tell General Hammond! He'll let you stay! He will. Oh, please Jack! Please!" she begged. He shook his head solemnly.

"I'm sorry Sam. I can't" he said. She cupped his face in her hands and kissed him roughly. He didn't argue. He wanted to kiss her as much as she wanted to kiss him. She kissed him more. More and more. She wanted him so much. And she wanted him to stay. She didn't think she could go on without him near her.

"Sam" he protested lightly.

"Shh" she said on his lips. Reluctantly, Jack made her stop.

"We can't do this Sam" he said.

"Sure we can. Just like this" she opposed as she kissed him again. Jack fought with her and managed to get her off.

"Sam please. You're drunk. This is taking advantage of you. I don't want to do that. Let me take you home."

"Take advantage of me. I don't care" Sam said and she smiled. Her breath wreaked of alcohol as she reached for him again. He moved from her grasp and she fell forward on the couch. She laughed and then sat up again.

"Why'd ya do that?" she asked as she frowned.

"Because you're drunk and you don't know what you're doing. Come on. I'll take you home" he explained.

"No! I don't wanna go home. Let go! I'm not goin'! Hey! No! Stop!" she protested as she got up and walked with him. He kept his hand clasped firmly around her arm. She went with him willingly, but disputed the whole way out of Daniel's place. They said their goodbyes to everyone and Jack dragged her out to his car.


"Keys" Jack said and held out his hand for them as they reached her front door. She rummaged in her pockets and found nothing.

"Can't find 'em" she announced with a cheeky smile. Jack sighed and shoved his hands in her pockets, only to find the same thing Sam had. Nothing. She giggled as his fingers searched her pockets.

"Tickles" she laughed out.

"Sam! How could you forget the keys to your house?"

"Umm, I don't know" she replied with another pert grin.


"I'll sleep on the porch."

"No you won't. You have to stay somewhere. Daniel is obviously in no shape to take in guests. Looks like my place" he said.

"Wahoo!" Sam shouted.

"Oh, for cryin' out loud. Come on" Jack said as he grabbed her arm again.

"Ok, ok. I'm comin'. I could just sleep on the porch ya know?" Sam gibbered as they got back into his car.


"At least I have my keys. Somewhere" Jack said as he rummaged through his pockets.

"Ha ha! Not so smart now are we mister!?" Sam exclaimed. "I help?" she added, shoving her hand in his left pocket with a mischievous smile.

"Sam!" Jack exclaimed as he pulled her hand out. She giggled. "Found 'em" he said triumphantly as his hand emerged from a pocket with his keys in it. He shoved the key in the hole and jiggled it around until the lock clicked open and he turned the door knob. Sam burst into the house as Jack turned to close the door and lock it. Sam stumbled around in the dark until Jack turned on the light.

"Coffee for you" he told her as she found the kitchen and sat down at the coffee table. He filled the kettle and switched it on. Once ready, he made a very strong coffee for Sam and handed it to her. "It's hot!" he said as she took a gulp. She swallowed it and then coughed violently. It quickly turned into a crazed giggle. Jack sighed. "I'll take the couch and you can have my bed if you like? Sam? Which do you want?" he asked. She looked up from the mug.

"You. I want you. But umm, bed or couch? Don't care" she replied. Jack put her remark about him, down to the beer and went to get blankets for the couch. He'd let her have the bed. She'd need a good sleep, and a lot of Asprin in the morning.

"I'll take the couch then" he said as he returned with blankets and a pillow.

"Ok then. But I don't mind sharing ya know?!"

"Mmm. Come on. It's late. Finish that coffee and then go to bed."

"Party pooper!"

"I've been called worse" Jack smiled as she finished her mug of coffee. He took it off her and left it in the sink. She managed to get up, but she didn't stay up long. She stumbled forwards. Jack caught her.

"You gotta get a little more coordination there girl" he said as he helped her stand.

"Nah! I think it's great" she said as she leaned on him. They slowly made it to his room and Sam collapsed onto the bed. Her grasp was tight around Jack's waist, and he fell with her.

"Stay here" she said as he sat up and she caught his arm.

"No. Go to sleep. You'll feel terrible in the morning, but that's what you get. So, sleep well. G'night" Jack said as he released her hand off his arm and let her fall onto the soft pillows of his bed. She snuggled her head into them. He pulled the blankets over her and smiled. He went back into his lounge room and switched on the TV. Turning the volume down low, he searched through the TV guide for something interesting. Nothing. Removing his jacket, shoes, socks and jeans he lied on the couch and pulled the blankets he brought out for himself, over him and slowly fell asleep.


A sudden crash woke Jack up.

"Sam?" he called. "Oh, for cryin' out loud" he said softly as he got up and rubbed his eyes. Time? 03:17. /Way too early for it to be Sam / he thought. "Sam?" he asked again as he slowly walked to his room. No one in there. /Where the hell could she be? / He thought. Suddenly he ran into her. She grabbed his shoulders.

"Sorry" he said.

"Oh. Toilet?" she asked.

"Down there" he pointed in the general direction.

"Sorry. Did I wake you up?" she asked, starting to sound more like a sober Sam.

"Matter of fact, you did. Don't mind. Wasn't sleeping that great anyway. See you in the morning. The real morning that is."

"Yeah. Sorry."

"It's ok. Like I said, I wasn't sleeping all that great anyway."

"Right" Sam said. She noticed he was wearing only his boxers and his T-shirt. He turned around and padded back to the lounge. She watched him go then found her destination then returned to the comfort of his bed.


Sam woke slowly in the morning. She turned and saw the glowing red digital numbers on Jack's alarm clock. 06:49. /No point going back to sleep now / she thought. She got up and put her jacket back on. She walked through the hall and into the lounge. Jack was still asleep on the couch. She was happy to just watch him sleep. After a while, she actually wanted to thank him, so she shook him softly.

"Jack. Jack" she whispered as she shook him. Slowly she got harder. "Jack!" she exclaimed. He head jumped and he looked at her through blurred vision.

"Hi" she said.

"Hey" he replied sleepily as he rubbed his eyes to focus. Finally, they did and he could see her clearly.

"Sorry to wake you, but I wanted to say, thanks for saving me last night. I would have embarrassed myself if you hadn't brought me here" Sam explained. Jack sat up, and she sat next to him. Rather close too.

"S'ok. I thought you might do something you'd regret. I know what that feels like, so I thought I'd save your ass. Remember anything?" Jack asked.

"Hmm, not much. Vaguely remember, kissing you. That right?"

"Yeah. Anything else?"

"Did I do anything stupid? Cos that's about all I remember."

"Nah. I stopped you before anything happened. Nothing else" he said.

"Why did I kiss you?" she asked.

"Not sure actually. Thought you might be able to answer that one?"

"Uh, I think it's because I also remember you telling me you're leaving. I don't want you to Jack. And I'd do all that again if it would stop you. Oh, and by the way, I remember it was a damn good kiss too" Sam smiled and kissed him again. This time there were no arguments on either part. Sam put her arm around his neck and pulled him in closer. Then, without warning, she pushed him backwards and was on top of him. She smiled deviously on his lips and kissed him more. Slowly they parted and she smiled at him.

"Well. That was even better."


"Jack. Please don't leave. Don't go anywhere. I need you near me. I need you. Please don't leave me."

"Sam. I have to go. I'm sorry."

"No Jack. You don't have to go. There is nothing making you go. It's your own call."

"Exactly. My call. And my call is to go. I'm sorry."

"Are you saying you don't love me?"

"No! No. I'm not saying that at all. I do. I love you Sam. But I just can't stay. Not anymore."

"How can you love me, but still leave me?"

"It's not easy. Believe me. It's not easy at all. Please Sam. I'm sorry." Sam sat up. She slumped into the softness of the couch. Jack sat up with her.

"Why do you have to leave so bad? Is there something going on?"

"No. Nothing. I just can't stay. I am sorry Sam. You have to believe me."

"Why? Why won't you tell me why?"

"I told you last night. New people need to learn. I'm just taking up space. They don't need me there anymore."

"What about me? Huh?! I need you. So much! Can't you see that? You don't have to leave me."

"I know. And I'm sorry. But,"

"But what?"

"It's better this way" he murmured.

"Right. Better" Sam said as she got up and left the lounge room. She got dressed and stood at the door. Jack looked at her as he pulled on his shoes.

"Are you going to take me to the SGC, or do I have to catch a cab?" He shook his head.

"No. I'm coming" he replied as he did the laces and grabbed his keys off the table.


The journey to the SGC was long and silent. No words were spoken. Except, if the radio was annoying. And the reply, a simple, no. At the SGC, they both went to the Conference Room for the briefing they knew they had. Although it was heavily protested, considering Daniel's birthday was only the night before. But that gained no yield from General Hammond. He insisted they either changed the date of the party, or had it and all came to the briefing with a headache. They left it on the same night and said they would all try not to drink much. Well, that agreement fell through.

"Morning Colonel. Major" the General acknowledged their presence as they entered and saw a very tired Daniel and Teal'c sitting in their usual chairs.

"Sir" they both accredited as they sat in their normal seats also.

"Before we start the briefing, Dr. Jackson. Did you have a good birthday?" the General asked with a smile.

"Yeah. Perhaps a little too much to drink though. Ugh!" he said as he rubbed his forehead.

"Yeah. Me too" Sam added as she massaged her own.

"That's what beer does to ya" Jack quipped.

"What is this substance you call, beer, O'Neill?" Teal'c questioned. /Oh great. Here we go / Jack thought. /Should a kept my big mouth shut! /

"It appears to have something within it which causes your head to feel strange" Teal'c said, also lighting rubbing his head. / Teal'c got drunk! Who would a thought?! / Jack thought.

"Yeah. It's called a headache, and it's what ya get if you drink too much of that lovely stuff" he explained. Teal'c seemed to have forgotten about that and was concerned about his head now.

"Well people, let's get the briefing started" General Hammond said. "Now, I was going to send Dr. Jackson and Teal'c on this mission. It is a relatively simple mission and should be accomplished within about six hours" he began.


Another hour later, and Jack and Sam were watching their teammates leave through the Stargate on their 'relatively simple' mission, as the General put it. Sam started to leave.



"Can we talk for a minute?"

"Sure" Sam replied as she followed Jack. They went to his quarters and he shut the door once inside.

"Well? What's there to talk about?" Sam asked ostentatiously.

"What happened Sam? Just because I'm leaving, you're not going to talk to me? What's with that?"

"Jack, you don't seem to get it! I don't want you to leave! You don't have to leave! There is no reason for you to go. You just think there is. I need you Jack. I need you" she explained, fighting back her tears. Jack walked closer to her and took her hand in his.

"You don't. You can get on just fine without me. I'll only start gettin' in the way of the people who,"

"Stop it! Stop putting yourself down and saying no one needs you! Haven't you been listening to me?! *I* need you! And I'm not drunk now. I know what I want Jack. You! I want you. Only you. Please listen to me. Believe me!" she exclaimed, allowing few tears to escape her eyes. She kissed him. "I love you Jack" she said on his lips.

"I know. I believe you."


The next day, and Daniel and Teal'c still hadn't come back from P8X 160. Sam and Jack were told they were assigned to the rescue mission. They were going alone. Just the two of them. Before they knew it, they were geared up and going through the Gate.


The land was dry and baron on the planet. Sand covered the ground and the firm wind blew it up into their eyes. Jack pulled on his sunglasses. The wind swirled the sand up and around in circles like small twisters.

"Maybe we should spilt up?" Sam said.

"No. There's only the two of us. It would be too dangerous. Stick together" Jack said firmly. Sam nodded as she realised he was right. /I'm still learning things from you even now. How could you possible think people can't learn anything else from you? / Sam thought while she followed Jack and they progressed over to a cliff. They shouted for Daniel and Teal'c on several occasions, and heard it echo around the gorge. Several hours later, they reached it.

"They could have gone down there" Sam pointed down the middle of the gorge. Jack saw it as he walked and nearly fell. It was a long way. A hell of a long way. Straight down too.

"Maybe. Pretty dangerous to go down there though. One mistake and we're history" he pointed out. Sam nodded.

"Yeah. But they might be down there and hurt real bad. Don't you think,"

"Yeah. Ok. We'll go down there. It's probably about a two hundred and fifty feet, or so, drop. Gotta be real careful."

"I know. We can do it. Right?"

"Sure we can. We gotta see if Daniel and Teal'c are ok. Right? That's the whole point of this mission. So. We go down there. Then how the hell do we get back up? Climb I guess" Jack sounded as though he were almost talking to himself. Sam marvelled at his deep thought and consideration as to how they were going to accomplish this feat. She had full faith they would be able to pull it off, but she still wasn't too sure about going down that cliff. She could climb, but not that great. They would Ab-sail down if they could, but they didn't have the equipment. And they certainly didn't have time to go back and get it. They could do an improvisation of Ab-sailing if one of them stayed at the top, but that would be a bit risky. /Like what we are going to do now isn't risky! / Sam thought. Jack dropped his pack from his shoulder and started rummaging through it.

"If one of us stays here, we could improvise Ab-sailing" Jack stated, as though he had pulled the thought from Sam's mind.

"Wouldn't that be a bit risky?" Sam questioned.

"Sure. But if we find them, then one of us could go back and tell Hammond, and get a rescue team" he explained. Sam knew he was right, but didn't like the idea of one of them staying at the top. She knew he would say she could stay at the top. He would think that, that way, if someone got hurt it would be him. She knew he would think something like that. That was why she didn't like the idea.


"Right, you stay up here, and I'll go down. There's not enough rope, so about half way, I'll start climbing down on my own. Ok?" Jack said suddenly.

"No! No, it's not ok! I won't stay up here and let you go down there alone. What if there is nothing down there? What if they're not down there? Then you'll have gone down there for no reason. I won't let you do that!" Sam disputed.

"Sam. We came here to find Daniel and Teal'c. Now if they're down there, then we're going to find them. I'm sorry, but this is the only way. Here" he said, handing her the rope. He wrapped some of it around himself and knotted it tightly. "I'll be fine Sam. And I'll find them" Jack said as he backed to the edge of the cliff face. Sam grasped the rope tightly.

"Be careful" she said softly.

"I will. Here" Jack said as he gave her his gloves to put on. He knew how hard it was to hold rope tightly for that long without getting blisters all over your hands. She took them from him then took his hand in hers.

"Promise me you'll be ok" she said.

"I'll be better than ok. I'll find them" he said resolutely. She kissed him warmly and then pulled on his gloves.

"Go slow at first" Jack said as he slowly let his feet go over the edge of the cliff.

"Right" Sam responded by holding the rope tightly in her hands as he went over the periphery and his figure slowly disappeared.


Just over half way down, and Jack was tired. His hands hurt badly. They were gathering blistered and throbbed red with pain. The rope had run out about forty feet before, and now he was climbing down on his own. No support. He still had about eighty feet to go.

"Jack?" Sam called down. She sounded so far away to him.

"Still here!" he shouted back. She heard his reply faintly. He was a long way down. She didn't dare look over the edge in fear she would throw up. Jack continued down. He still couldn't see the bottom. He knew he had a long way to go. Suddenly he heard Sam's faint, urgent cry from above. It sounded so far up.

"Jack!" she cried urgently. "Watch out!" he could only just hear her, and even that was muffled.

"What?!" he called. As he looked up, a huge chunk of rock met his face brutally. He released one hand from the rock surface and grabbed his head as the rock continued to plummet down. Blood. A fair bit of it too. His head felt faint and dizzy. Not a good thing to feel when you're eighty feet above the ground. His vision blurred until everything he saw was fuzzy an unclear. He tried to control the nausea, but it soon overcame him completely and his hands slowly slipped from the rock face. He fell the full eighty feet and landed on the ground hard. The ground was wet with only a trickle of water. He landed on it. The rocks under the small mat of irrigation were sharp and jabbed cruelly into him.

"Jack!! Jack are you ok?!" Sam shouted frantically. "JACK!" she screamed, thinking maybe he didn't hear her. Nothing. No reply. "Oh God" she whispered to herself. He wouldn't hear her. He was unconscious, two hundred and fifty feet or so down from her. It wouldn't make any difference if she was right next to him, he still wouldn't have heard her. Sam decided she would have to go down there and see. She would have to climb the whole way down without support. There was no point tying to the rope around her. She had ravelled it all back up after Jack got half way and untied it from himself. No one was there to hold it for her, and there was nothing to tie it to. She stuffed all the important and useful things from both packs into hers and pulled it on. It would make it harder to climb, but she needed food and a medical kit for Jack. She started the long and slow descend to the bottom.


Nearly an hour and a half later, Sam made it to the bottom safely. She was so tired and surprised she actually made it without falling. Although, she did take her time. She was no use to Jack, injured. She saw him. His motionless, injured body lying in the dampness of the trickle of water.

"Jack!" she exclaimed. She dumped the pack on the ground and fell next to him. "Jack. Jack wake up!" she said as she shook him fervently. She decided he would probably stay unconscious for a while longer. His wrist looked broken. She looked at his leg. It was lying in a funny position. It looked broken too. /Not another broken leg / she thought. Another splint. Like Antarctica. She had saved him then though. That splint had probably saved his life. She thought she should do the splint while he was unconscious and save him the pain.


Hours later, and Jack was still unconscious. Sam had completed the splint a while before and was satisfied with it. She leant again the rock wall and watched him. Finally, he woke up.

"Oh God" he groaned as he moved slightly.

"Jack" Sam sighed as she went closer to him again so she could make sure he was ok.

"Whoa. Wrist and leg's broken, huh?" he asked.

"Yeah. Did a splint while you were unconscious. Thought I'd save you the pain" Sam told him.

"How'd you get down here?" he asked dazedly.

"Not how you did thankfully. I climbed down. Slowly. But I made it in one piece" she smiled.

"Yeah. Oh God" he gasped as he moved slightly.


"Think I cracked a few ribs."

"Oh. Anything else hurt?" Sam asked, concern lacing her voice.

"Breathing" Jack replied as his breathing rasped. He coughed. Blood. Sam panicked. He was bleeding internally. If no one came looking for them within a couple of days, she knew he wouldn't make it. Not without medical attention. /Could this get anymore like Antarctica?!/ Sam thought.

"Jack. I'm gonna have to try and get back up there and get some help" Sam told him.

"No you won't. I'll be fine. Help me up" Jack replied.

"No! Stay there. You can't walk like that."

"Won't know until I try. Help me up." Sam reluctantly took his hand in hers and pulled him slowly and carefully to his feet. He winced as weight was put on his leg. Sam wrapped her arms tightly around his waist and he put his arm around her shoulder for extra support.

"See. Not so bad" Jack said.

"Not so good either Jack. You're no good to Daniel and Teal'c like this. We came here to rescue them, and now we need to be rescued" Sam stated.

"The rescuers need rescuing" Jack quipped.

"Yeah. Now sit down. You can't stand on your own" she instructed. Before she got the chance to help him sit down gently, his legs collapsed from under him and he fell to the ground.

"Jack!" Sam exclaimed as she fell to his side.

"Oh God. Did that have to hurt *that* much?!" Jack exclaimed as he leaned against the cliff face.

"Are you ok?"

"No. I'll be fine."


Slowly, night approached and it got colder. Much colder. Their thermal blankets were soon wrapped tightly around them and they lay close to each other on the rocky ground. Sam was still awake. Sleep didn't seem to want to go her way. Jack had fallen asleep a long while before. She knew it was because of his condition. He wasn't going to be able to go anywhere. All night she thought about how she would be able to get them both out. She knew she could get out and go through the Stargate for help, but she didn't know if Jack would make it that long. And even then, they still hadn't accomplished their original task of trying to find Daniel and Teal'c. That seemed impossible now. How the hell were they going find them if they themselves were trapped. They weren't trapped as in, tied to a chair or locked in a cage, kind of trapped. But with Jack's injuries, it would make it hard to do anything. Sam couldn't, and wouldn't leave him. She would never forgive herself if something happened that she could have stopped if she were there with him. She was adamant she would stay with him. But what good would that do? If she stayed there with him, then he *would* die. She would have to *try* to get help. But then she would leave him. She was so absorbed by her thoughts that sleep eventually did take her. She was glad. But even in her dreams, she saw visions of them dying or being hurt, or Jack not making it. So many dreams. Bad ones. Some were good though. Not many. But some.


In the early morning, Sam woke up. She knew Jack would probably sleep for a while longer. He would get weaker. Broken ribs. Broken leg. Broken wrist. All this reminded her so much of Antarctica. And the more she thought of that, the more she knew she had to save him. She couldn't let him die. He couldn't die here. If he made it on Antarctica, then he would make it here too. She was so close to him, and she just liked to hear him breathing. She had her arms coiled around his waist, and knew it was probably not what he was thinking, but she remembered how in Antarctica they had lied that close too. Sharing body heat. That was the excuse. It was true. They had to on Antarctica, but here, it wasn't quite that cold. She just liked being close to him. But this wasn't exactly a great situation to be in. It was precarious, as always. But she hoped, that they would make it. Just watching Jack sleeping, was enough to make Sam smile. She leaned over him and kissed his cheek. He smiled in his sleep. Sam wondered if it was because he knew, somehow, that she just kissed him or because he had a nice dream or something. That seemed more likely to her.


Sometime later, and Jack stirred.

"Hi" Sam said softly.

"Hey. How long you been awake?" Jack asked sleepily.

"A while. Thought I'd let you sleep. You need rest" she replied. He sat up against the cliff face.

"No more than you" he said.

"Yes, you need more than me. I don't need anymore rest I do on any other normal day. You do. You're injured. I'm not" she explained.

"That doesn't make any difference. You still need rest."

"It makes a whole heap of difference Jack. Stay here. I'm gonna see if there's anything down further."

"Anything? Like what? More rocks and maybe some water?"

"Just stay here" Sam instructed. Jack sighed, but obeyed. Sam walked down further as the cliff face curved around, almost into a full corner. She found nothing. In fact, she found exactly what Jack had said she would. Rocks and some water. Nothing changed. The tiny bit of water grew slightly as she walked along and of course, the cliff continued. She returned to Jack and saw him standing up, leaning against the cliff for support.

"Jack! What are you doing?!" she exclaimed.

"What does it look like I'm doing?"

"Don't be a smart ass! I told you to stay here."

"Yeah. And I'm still here. You didn't say I couldn't get up though."

"What are we? Four years old?! Do I have to give specific instructions?"

"Maybe. But I thought, if anything, that I would be the one giving instructions. Or did I just dream I was your CO?"

"Shut up! Stop being so childish! Grow up Jack! Just grow up!" Sam exclaimed angrily and stormed off, back the way she had came. Jack tried to go after her, but couldn't walk, and fell. Sam was already a long way, and didn't hear his weak cry of pain as he passed out. She continued on and wished that he wouldn't be so stubborn. She continued until she reached a point she thought was far enough away and paced up and down about two metres of ground.

"Why does he have to be so stubborn?!" she said aloud. "He's got a broken leg for God's sake. And he still insists on walking around! Most people wouldn't even consider moving for weeks! He's crazy!" she exclaimed to herself as she paced the same ground over and over. Finally, she gave in and thought she should go back to him.


"Jack! Oh God!" Sam exclaimed as she ran over to him on the ground. "I shouldn't have stormed off like that. Why did I have to get so angry?! God, I'm so stupid! It's all my fault!" she said to herself as she turned him over. "Jack? Jack" she shook him. Weak and uneven pulse. But there was one. That was something at least. Even if not much, it was still something. She lifted him gently and propped him against the cliff face. His temperature, although his skin was cold to touch, was burning up. She got out the medical kit and attended the cuts on his face from his original eighty foot fall. They bled a little as she wiped disinfectant on them so they wouldn't get infected. Slowly, his eyes opened. He was getting weaker already. Sam could see it in his eyes. The weakness and pain from his injuries.

"Jack" she sighed.

"Oh God" he said.


"Head. God it hurts."

"Yeah. Well, falling over again wouldn't have helped any."

"Guess not Doc. What do you, suggest?"

"Rest. Rest, rest and more, yes you guessed it, rest! I'm sorry Colonel, but that is the only solution" Sam explained.

"Right. The only solution" he mumbled.

"Well, what do you suggest? You go walking around on a broken leg with broken ribs to go and save Daniel and Teal'c? Oh yeah! And how do you propose to do that without gaining further injuries?! Huh? Why won't you just admit defeat and say that you are injured and that you can't do anything but rest right now?" Sam questioned with annoyance.

"Alright. I know. But I can't just lie here and do nothing! I'll go nuts for starters. And I won't watch you wear yourself out while I lie here, 'resting'!"

"I won't wear myself out. And you're not doing nothing. You're resting. That's important if you want to recover. Which you do want to do. Don't you?"

"Yeah. Alright. So I'll rest. Then what? That ain't gonna get us outta here!"

"I know. I haven't figured that part out yet. But I'm working on it. Meanwhile, rest!"

"Yah. I'll get onto it."

"No. Now."

"Pushy, pushy."

"Yes. Now, rest!"

"Ok, ok. Resting" Jack said. Sam helped him lay down, and watched as his weakness led him into an unconscious sleep. She smiled. Only because she was glad he was resting. Unwillingly though. He needed rest, but his body wasn't resting him, it was just too weak to do anything. His 'resting' sleep was really just his body saying 'I'm too weak to keep you awake'. Not him sleeping because he was tired. That made Sam worry. She knew that if his body was too weak, that it wouldn't just make him sleep, it would make him sleep, forever. It would send him into an eternal sleep. She didn't think about that very long. The thought alone was disturbing.


Before long, it was night again, and Sam joined Jack in sleep. Only hers was a sleep of fatigue. His was too, but he had other reasons of which he had no control. Sam again dreamed of ways to get out of the canyon. She knew she had to get Jack out. He wouldn't make it long in his condition. Dreams of climbing out seemed to dominate the others. She wondered how she would climb out though. She knew she could. But she didn't want to leave Jack alone. She didn't want to let him stay down there. It was dangerous, even while she was with him, but if she wasn't. She knew it wouldn't be good. She had to go for help though. He would die if she didn't at least *try* to get out and get help. If she just stayed there with him, then he would die because he didn't get medical attention. Sam woke harshly and found that the weather had a taken a turn for the worse. Just what they needed. The wind blew harsher and faster. The water flow was faster than before. The clouds gathered above the gorge and looked heavy with rain. Rain would just add to their problems. Jack slept soundly. Unconsciously. But soundly. Sam wondered when he would wake up. She didn't want to wake him up, and thought she probably couldn't anyway, but she thought they would have to move soon. The clouds gathered faster, and looked very threatening. She knew it would start to rain soon, and it looked as though it would be fairly heavy and last a while too. She didn't want Jack to get Pneumonia as well. She left him to sleep, as the thunder got louder above them. She went in search of shelter the opposite direction she had previously gone in. Finding nothing very quickly, she went back to try and wake up Jack. She would have to. She couldn't carry him. Although he wouldn't be that heavy, she wouldn't be able to carry him. She would have to try and help him walk.


"Jack. Jack wake up" she called as she approached him. He stirred in his sleep, but didn't wake up. She shook him forcefully. Still unconscious, she knew she wouldn't be able to rouse him. The overhang of the cliff would protect them from some rain if they stayed close enough. If it got heavy, and came on the opposite angle, it would get them though. Nothing would protect them from it. Sam's stomach craved food. She rummaged through the full pack and found some rations. Macaroni and Cheese. Although it didn't taste anything like Macaroni and Cheese, Sam unpacked the cooking gear and started to boil some of the crystal clear water from the small stream further down. The smell, although fairly vile, must have roused Jack.

"Hi. Hungry?" Sam asked as he carefully moved.

"Not really" he replied.

"Come on. I know this stuff tastes awful, but you have to eat something. And I'm afraid, this is the only something we have" she explained.

"Then I think I'll go without something. Thanks all the same."

"Jack please. Eat. You'll never recover if you don't eat" Sam reasoned.

"You have it. You need food too."

"I know. And I will have some. I don't know where they get the right to call this stuff Macaroni and Cheese. It doesn't even look like it. Little own taste like it."

"Yeah. Another reason why I'll pass."

"Jack. Do I have to force this down your throat?! Cos I will if I have to. You *have* to eat something!"

"Well it looks like you'll be ramming it down my throat. Cos I don't want any."

"Why do you have to be so stubborn?! Why can't you just eat some! I know it's revolting, but it's food, and right now, you need nourishment if you want to get better!"

"I don't think I'm gonna get better Sam. Do you? Not here. I've got no chance. But you have. Climb outta here. Get back to the Stargate. Get a rescue team here to find Daniel and Teal'c. Forget about me. I'm not gonna make it anyway. You might as well go now. Less time,"

"No! Shut up! I'm not going anywhere sir. I'm staying here with you. I will not leave you. And I won't forget about you! I'm staying with you. Til the end. No way known will I leave you. So, stop going on about all that 'leave without me' bullshit! Cos it isn't going to happen! I'm not going anywhere. I'm staying right here!" Sam said resolutely. Jack looked mildly surprised at her sudden outburst. She stared at the ground, unable to look him in the eye. She hated to think that he would think for even a moment that she would go, and leave him there alone. She hoped he didn't think she would.

"I'm sorry, that was completely out of line" Sam said after a while of silence.

"No. No it wasn't. I didn't actually expect you to do any of that, but I guess I thought it was worth a try" Jack said. Sam smiled.

"I'm so glad. I hoped you didn't think I would actually do any of that. There is no way in the world I would leave you alone. Nothing in the world would convince me to. Not even you. I'm never leaving you again. I love you too much. And I'm scared I might loose you. I couldn't ever except that. I can't live without you Jack. I hope you know that."

"I do now. And I can't live without you either. Although it might have taken me a little too long to admit it, it is true. I do love you Sam. I just don't want to see you staying here and throwing your life away because I don't have much of a chance. Ok? That's all. I care about you. A lot. And I don't want to see you get hurt."

"I won't. Don't worry. Come here" Sam said as she wrapped her arms around him. In her warm embrace, Jack shivered. Although it wasn't cold, his body was. He was weakening. Fast. Sam worried about him..

"Are you gonna be ok?" she asked as she released him slowly. He nodded in discomfort.

"Yeah" he managed softly. The rain clouds were beginning to release their anger now, and the water was starting to pelt down on them. Sam worried more. The rain wouldn't help Jack at all. They shared the Macaroni and Cheese, but didn't exactly enjoy it. Jack didn't keep his down long. His stomach didn't want food in it. Or so it seemed. Sam's concern grew more and more each minute. The more time passed, the weaker and more pain Jack was in. Sam continually prayed that a rescue team would be sent through for them soon. She hoped, real soon. It would have to be within the next few hours too. If Jack was going to survive, anyway. He had fallen unconscious again a few hours before, and Sam worried he may not wake up this time. Soon after spending a few just watching Jack, Sam gave into the nagging arms of fatigue.


"Sam. Sam are you ok?" She heard a voice, and she established it wasn't Jack before she opened her eyes. She felt dry. Warm. Slowly she opened her eyes. It was Daniel's voice.

"Daniel. Where's Jack?" she asked instantly.

"Don't worry. How are you?"

"Where's Jack?! Tell me where he is dammit!" Sam repeated angrily.

"He's in surgery. He's going to be alright. What happened?" Daniel asked anxiously.

"He fell" Sam replied.

"No. With you both. Why were you down there? How did you get there?"

"We were sent on the rescue mission to find you and Teal'c. We found the gorge and thought you might have fallen down there. Jack insisted on going down there and finding out if you were down there. I didn't want him to, but he did. A chunk of the cliff face broke off and hit him. He must have lost balance and then he fell. I climbed down there to make sure he was ok. He wasn't. So, I had to stay down there with him. He still wanted to make sure you and Teal'c were ok, but he couldn't go anywhere cos of his leg. Then, well, I don't remember anything else" Sam explained.


"Where were you and Teal'c anyway?"

"I don't really know. I mean, no, I do know. We were with some natives, but they kinda didn't want to be friends. They thought that we were dinner. But the rescue team came and found us. Luckily they came for you and then found us, otherwise, you wouldn't have got far, and we would have ended up natives dinner!" he explained. Sam sat up in her bed. The white sheets crumpled as she moved the pillows to support her.

"So, when's Jack coming out?" she asked Daniel.

"I don't know. Janet said he's injured pretty bad. I mean other than the obvious. She said she might be in there a while. Said to tell you not to worry too much though."

"Right. Not to worry. Uh huh. That doesn't even sound easy. How can I not worry too much?! I love him for Christ's sake! Of course I'm gonna damn well worry!" Sam exclaimed angrily, but her voice laced with concern.

"He's going to be ok Sam. You do know that don't you?"

"No. How do I know he's going to be ok? Huh? How do I *know*?! No one *knows*! You don't know! Janet doesn't even know! I'll die without him! I will!" Sam shouted through her tears.

"Did you say you loved him?" Daniel asked.

"Yes! Yes, I love him! I've loved him for ages! I thought you'd picked up on that?"

"No. No I hadn't actually."

"You, General Hammond and Jack are the only ones then."

"What? You mean everyone else noticed, and Jack didn't?"

"Yeah. He's so stubborn; he didn't want to believe it was true. That's probably why he's leaving too" Sam said, forgetting Daniel didn't know about Jack leaving.

"Jack's leaving? What, SG1 or the SGC?" he questioned incredulously.

"Both" Sam answered.

"Wow! Since when?"

"Since a while ago."

"How long is a while?"

"Your party."

"That long?! How come he didn't tell anyone?! How come you know?!"

"Calm down Daniel. I got drunk at your party and Jack took me back to his place. I got drunk because he told me he was leaving. I guess he thought he should at least save me from any embarrassing stuff I might have done, so he took me back to his place. I told him I loved him. He told me he loved me too, but he still had to leave. Oh God! Then I thought he was gonna die on P8X 160 and, " the rest of her words were covered in tears.

"It's ok Sam. He's gonna be ok" Daniel said, placing a friendly hand on her shoulder. She sighed and wiped the tears from her face.

"I hope so" she said. Daniel nodded.

"He will. Trust me."

"I want to Daniel. I really do."

"It's ok. You'll see for yourself when he comes out of surgery."


Two hours later, Daniel and Sam talked. Sam worried. Daniel kept telling her not to. Still no sign of Dr. Fraiser. Finally, she emerged and walked over to them.

"Janet! How's Jack?" Sam asked anxiously.

"He's pretty bad. I won't lie to you Sam. We nearly lost him in there. He's stable, for now. I don't know for how long though. We only just kept him with us. Not only did he break a few ribs, he broke nearly all of them. Punctured lungs. Both of them. Lost a lot of blood. He was bleeding internally. He was a mess, put it that way. He still isn't great, but better. How did he manage to stay in such good shape after a fall like that was my next question?" Janet explained. Sam was in shock and didn't hear her question.



"How did he manage to stay even that good a condition after a fall like that?" Janet repeated.

"I don't know. He's strong, I guess" Sam replied. She couldn't believe Janet could say he was in good shape. She knew what she meant by the statement. Obviously, he should have been a lot worse or even died from a fall like that. He was lucky enough to have survived, but it didn't exactly look as though he was in good shape now though. Sam was even more worried than she was before, now.

"Where is he?" she asked finally.

"A private room. You can see him later. You need rest too. You'll see him tomorrow. Both of you. Daniel, Sam needs rest, so you might wanna go for a while. Come back tomorrow and you can both see Colonel O'Neill" Janet told Daniel. He nodded.

"I'll come back tomorrow Sam. Ok?" he asked her. She nodded.

"Ok" Sam said as he left. The day seemed to go on forever for Sam. No one visited her. Not even sleep. She was so tired, and she really did want to sleep, but it didn't seem to want to let her. After a long while of just trying to fall asleep, she finally did.


Sam woke up late. She was partly glad, and partly angry. She wanted to see Jack as soon as she could. She sat up quickly.

"Morning." Came a voice.

"Morning" Sam said inturn, still unsure who it was. Finally, a body accompanied the voice. Daniel. Why hadn't she known that voice? She was still waking up.

"How do you feel?" he asked.

"Fine" she answered abruptly. Daniel was a little taken aback, but put it down to being worried about Jack.

"You want to go and see Jack?" he asked.

"Of course" Sam replied.

"Let's go."

"Did Janet say you could? I mean *we* could?"

"Yeah. Yesterday. Don't you remember?"

"Yeah. But I thought maybe she would want us to let her know or something?"

"No. I don't think so. Let's go" Daniel said as he helped Sam out of her bed. Her white hospital gown wasn't exactly flattering, but she didn't care. They went to Jack's room. Sam was less than surprised to find him unconscious. They both occupied a chair beside the bed. Sam looked him over. Wrist bandaged, leg in a cast and chest wrapped thickly in bandages also. He hardly looked like Jack anymore. The Heart Monitor's sound was less than reassuring to hear. It beeped steadily, constantly reminding Sam that she was sitting next to a severely injured man. The man she loved. She didn't want to believe it. But it was true. He was only just alive. A Respirator tube was stuck down his throat to help him breath. His normally clean face was covered in cuts and bruises. His hair was tangled. His chest had dark bruises covering it also. Sam's tears escaped her eyes, as she looked him over. She found the sight disturbing. She felt that she had let him down. She swore to herself that she would save him. But she didn't. She ended up being saved as well. She knew she didn't have to prove to him that she was strong and could do things on her own, but she didn't want it to look as though she didn't even try to save him. She knew he wouldn't even think that for a moment, but she kept feeling as though she had let him down. She wanted the feeling to stop, but it wouldn't.

"Sam. I'll leave you alone now, ok? I'll come back later" Daniel said.

"Ok" Sam whispered. Daniel looked at her watchfully, but thought that her worried expression was due to the fact she was so worried. He knew she would be ok, eventually, and so he left. Sam waited for the room's door to be closed and then turned to Jack again. She stroked her fingers through his tousled hair. Slowly she got out some of the kinks and it looked a little bit neater. She left her fingers to comb through anyway. Just because it felt nice.


Sam waited for hours. Hours and hours. It seemed like forever to her.

Dr. Fraiser had come in several times to inject painkillers into Jack's IV. She never spoke though. Sam never said anything to her either. She liked it silent. The only time she wanted to speak was if it was to Jack. Unfortunately, that didn't look like it was going to occur through that particular day. Sam wasn't about to give up though. The day wasn't over yet. She was going to wait. Even though her eyes and body protested immensely, she tried not to give in to sleep. Fatigue nagged at her. Continually reminding her of how tired she was. How sore. How much she really *wanted* to sleep, but knew she couldn't. She didn't want to sleep. She wanted to stay awake. She held Jack's hand tightly, hoping that in some way that would remind her body that she couldn't sleep. Not yet. It didn't work. Eventually, her tired and sore body gave in to sleep. Janet came in and saw her sleeping. She smiled. Knowing that she was going to have to fall asleep sooner or later. She got a blanket and draped it over her. She untangled her fingers from around Jack's hand, gently, and placed his back on the bed, and hers in her lap. It was late. Janet knew Sam would fall asleep, but she didn't think she would even make it as far as she did. It was 23:31. She thought Sam would have fallen asleep sometime during the day. Janet knew she was so worried about Jack. She'd talked to Daniel, and he told her about how Sam said she loved him. Janet thought it was amazing. Amazing she had kept it a secret for that long, and now that she had finally told him, he was so close to death. But Janet didn't tell her he was close to death. She thought if Sam knew that then she would never accept it if he died. She left that part unsaid. And if he did end up dying, Janet thought she still wouldn't tell her that she had known. She would just leave Sam to think it was just that he wasn't strong enough. It was the injuries. She knew it wasn't fair to Sam, but thought it was better in the grand scheme of things if she didn't know.


Janet walked into Jack's room, and saw Sam still sleeping peacefully. She smiled, but as she looked to Jack, she saw his eyes opening. She quickly removed the Respirator tube so he could talk. He breathed a few raspy breaths until his body got used to the whole, breathing idea. Janet smiled.

"Morning Colonel. How do you feel?" she asked. He nodded weakly.

"O.k." he managed faintly. Janet looked thoughtful for a moment.

"Would you like a drink?" she asked. He shook his head instead of attempting to speak again. "Ok then" Janet said as she shone her doctors' penlight into his eye. Then switched to the other. She put the penlight back in her pocket and checked his vitals. Writing some things in her files, she silently left. Jack turned his head gently to the side and saw Sam sleeping in the chair next to the bed. Suddenly, her eyes flew open and she sat forward on her chair.

"Jack" she sighed as she saw him awake. He managed a weak smile. Sam embraced him gently, knowing he was fragile. Slowly she released him and sat back in her chair, but pulled it closer to the bed. It was already close, but she pulled it even closer. "Are you ok?" Sam asked. She could see he wasn't, but thought she should at least ask him. He nodded softly. Sam could see the weakness in his deep brown eyes. Those eyes she loved so much. Those eyes were now weak, and drowned with pain. She hated to see those beautiful eyes like that. His eyes had so many depths to them. There were so many things she didn't know about him. So much pain he had been through that she still didn't know the full extent of and or fully understand. She used to be able to look into those eyes and see past the pain and see into his soul. His soul was so deep. It had so much to tell. So many stories, so much pain. Pain Sam had not yet experienced herself. Now, that soul was injured. Not injured as in betrayed or hurt, but injured. This time, his physical injury had injured his soul too. It saddened Sam to see him like that. Those brown eyes were so beautiful. They still were to her, but they were so full of pain. She liked to see them when he smiled. When he laughed. Then, those eyes were happy. The pain was pushed aside, and happiness was allowed in. Happiness almost overcame the pain. That was when she loved to look into his eyes the most. Even when his determination to climb down that cliff had overcome his eyes, she liked to look into them. Determination had a goodness to him. He always showed, to her, that he could do anything. Even if it was impossible, he could still do it. And he usually did. He was the most amazing person she had ever met. And probably ever would meet. His determination to achieve. His admirable hiding of the pain he kept inside. And his ability to love. He did love her. And she knew it. He would do anything for her. Anything to save her or protect her. He would do it. Anything. Sam, as well as loving him, admired, believed in, and trusted him completely. Whatever he told her, she would believe it. Even though that sounded gullible, she did. She believed almost everything he told her. And she wasn't ashamed of that either. His eyes were trusting eyes. She felt as though she could put all of her trust in those eyes, and they wouldn't lead her astray. He would always lead her the right way. He would always take her in the right direction. Save her from confusion. She admired that too.

"Jack" she said softly as he closed his eyes. He opened them again and raised his eyebrows slightly. "I love you. Please never forget that."

"I, won't" Jack managed to reply quietly.

"Are you sure you're alright?" Sam asked concernedly. He nodded dimly. Before Sam had a chance to say anything more, unconsciousness had swiftly stolen Jack away from her.


"Sam." A voice spoke to her. She turned her head and saw Janet standing in the doorway. "It's late. Don't you want to sleep in your own bed tonight?" she asked.

"No. I'm staying here" Sam replied.

"Sam. He's unconscious. He doesn't know you're here. I think he would want you to get some sleep" Janet told her. Sam knew she was right, and she wanted to sleep in her own bed. She wanted a good night's sleep, and she knew Jack would want her to have a good sleep too. But that didn't change her mind. She still wanted to stay with him.

"I know he would. But I want to stay here. I'll sleep some" Sam said.

"I'll make you go. You shouldn't be staying in here anyway. I'd never let anyone else stay in here."

"Yeah I know. And I'm grateful, but I want to stay with him. Please."

"No Sam. You're either staying in the Infirmary, or you're going to your quarters. They're your options. That's it."

"Please let me stay Janet. Please."

"No. Infirmary or quarters. Or home. But that's it. Make a choice. Come on. Which one?"

"Quarters" Sam whispered.

"Good. Off you go then. You can come back in the morning" Janet said, as she helped Sam stand and gently ushered her out of the room. Sam turned back and caught one more glimpse of Jack before Janet closed the door and walked with her a little way.

"I think I can go the rest of the way on my own Janet" Sam said as she stopped halfway through a corridor.


"Yeah. Thanks."

"It's ok. Just make sure you get a goodnights sleep. Ok?"

"Yeah ok. G'night" Sam half smiled.

"G'night" Janet returned her smile and then left. Sam waited in the corridor until she thought Janet was gone, and then she turned back the way they had came. She reached the room and quietly went in and closed the door behind her. She sat down in the chair she had previously sat in and looked at her sleeping friend. He wasn't just a friend anymore. She knew that. Seeing him like he was now, she almost couldn't see who he was, little own remember she loved him. His bruised face no longer even resembled the Jack she used to stare at. Although she could still tell it was him, his skin was dirty and covered in cuts. He just wasn't the same to look at anymore. Not now. Sam would normally have relished the chance to look at his bare chest, but now, it had so many bruises and machines hooked up to it, the thrill just wasn't there. Even his face wasn't the same to look at. His face was normally so clean and fresh. Full of life and energy. Not now. Now it was drained of nearly all its life. Nearly all its freshness and energy. Now, now it was bruised and cut. The clean skin drowned with horrifying contusions. His whole body wasn't the same. He usually kept his hair neat, but it had a cute, scruffy look about it. Now it was just tangled and messy. Sam's hand found it again, and she let her fingers stroke through it. Allowing her gentle strokes to compress the knots again. Even in sleep, Jack seemed to be taunted by pain. His face expressing it's continual grating. Sam didn't know what she could do to help. She basically knew that there was nothing she could do. Even the doctors could do nothing for him apart from shooting him up with drugs for the pain. Sam couldn't even do that. She felt as though she was doing nothing to help. She wasn't helping. She was just useless and in the way. Something kept telling her that wasn't true, but for some unexplainable reason, she didn't believe that something. All the 'somethings' in her head just didn't seem believable to her at that moment. It all seemed fake. Unreal. Transparent. As though it was all a dream. She wished it was all a dream. She didn't want it to be real anymore. She wanted to wake up in Jack's arms and find that it was all a big dream. Or more to the point, a huge nightmare. She wanted the rescue mission to never have happened. She wanted Daniel and Teal'c going on the mission in the first place, to never have happened. She wanted it to be back at Daniel's birthday party and that she didn't get drunk, but instead, told Jack she loved him and he said he loved her too, and then, them having a night filled with love making. If she could go back in time, Sam told herself that that would be how she would make everything happen. And Jack wouldn't even consider leaving the SGC. As Sam sat in her chair, fingers still stroking through Jack's hair, she realised that she couldn't go back in time, and she would have to live with the way things were now. Not exactly a great bunch of things, but she knew she couldn't change any of it. She left her fingers to rake through the short strands of Jack's hair, until weariness finally led her to sleep.


Daniel walked to Jack's room and upon entering it, found Sam there sleeping in the chair she had sat in the day before.

"Sam" he whispered. She didn't stir. He thought he'd let her sleep. He knew that Janet would have tried to make her leave. /Maybe she gave up trying/ he thought. He knew Sam would have put up a fight over the matter. Her head was slumped to the side, and looked, to Daniel, rather uncomfortable. Her right arm was outstretched to the bed and her fingers were embedded in Jack's hair still, from the previous night. Her left hand held his tightly. Like she was connected to him. She felt she needed to be. As though she was holding his spirit and soul inside him by holding his hand. Like it might have escaped if she didn't. Daniel quietly placed a chair next to hers and sat down. The blanket she had used the night before, was draped over her lap. He decided she had probably put that there herself. He lifted it to her neck. If she'd stayed there all night, which she clearly had, then she probably had it up higher around herself, but when she moved, it would have slipped down. A few minutes later Dr. Fraiser came into the room. She sighed emphatically as she saw Sam sleeping in one of the chairs.

"Has she been here all night?" she asked Daniel.

"I'm guessing so" he replied.

"Damn her. I told her to go to bed. I even walked her half way there. Sneaky little bugger she is. She came back here after she told me to go. Oooh, I swear that girl's got nerve. I'll have a strong word with her when she wakes up, I tell you" Janet said quietly. Daniel chuckled softly.

"You must have known you couldn't keep her away from him. She's completely in love with him. She can't do without being around him. You didn't seriously think you could make her go to bed did you?"

"No. Not really. She was damn near convincing though. I thought she was actually going to go. Sneaky thing she is" Janet smiled as she injected some more painkillers into Jack's IV. "Tell me when he wakes up ok?"

"Ok" Daniel answered as she left.


Daniel waited silently next to a sleeping Sam and an unconscious Jack. He waited for either of them to wake up. He wasn't picky about which one of them, but he hoped Jack would, just to prove he could wake up. Everyone, especially the doctors, were speculative as to weather or not he could wake up. They knew he *could* wake up, but weather or not he *would* was another question entirely. Daniel waited. And waited. After many painstaking hours of waiting, Sam was the first to wake up. She sat up quickly. The blanket fell to the floor as she raised on of her hands to her face and rubbed the sleep from her eyes.

"Morning" Daniel said. It was hardly morning anymore. 10:54. Not exactly what he would call morning, but he thought he would leave it alone.

"Hi" Sam replied. "Has he woken up yet?" she asked. Daniel shook his head solemnly.

"Not yet. I was waiting for one of you. You're first" he said, trying to sound slightly less sombre. Sam didn't seem to notice. She was intent on making sure she stayed fairly serious. Not as though she had to work very hard at it. She was deadly serious. Daniel didn't think anything would make her laugh at the moment. Even a smile was hard to get out of her. The only time she would smile was when Jack woke up. But he had been yet to accomplish that task. It remained unachieved. The pair sat in companionable silence for almost the whole day, just waiting for something. 'Something' being, the waking of Jack. The whole day passed, and their 'something' didn't occur. Sam hardly moved, and Daniel made several trips to get coffee and food for the Major. She refused the food, but swallowed many of the cups of coffee. It would keep her awake. She was still so tired. She longed for a goodnights sleep, but she also anticipated Jack's awakening. She could only just keep her eyes open, but the coffee, she decided, would help with that. Daniel watched the blonde as she struggled with fatigue and stress. She was so stressed. She was in constant worry. Anticipation. Agony. Trauma. Everything that meant, pretty much, constant sadness and worry, described Sam at the moment. She was all that and more. Daniel watched her closely. He thought she was on the verge of a breakdown. A metal one, and almost physical too. Her body was constantly fidgeting. She couldn't stay completely still. That was the caffeine in the coffee working too. She had had so many cups of coffee, it was countless. To give a number would be stupid. But her fingers fidgeted, everything did. Her legs, her arms, her fingers, hands, feet, everything. The only thing that she didn't move was her gaze. Her eyes stayed on Jack. They never left him. Daniel watched her and felt it dizzying just to look at her. She couldn't move and yet she couldn't keep still.

"Sam! Stop fidgeting! You're driving me crazy! You'll drive yourself crazy if you keep it up" Daniel exclaimed as he placed his hand softly on her arm. She sighed.

"Sorry" she said.

"It's ok. I just thought you would go crazy if you didn't stop, that's all."

"Yeah. You're probably right. I just can't stop moving. I have to know if he's ok. He hasn't woken up in ages. I just can't stop worrying. I can't sleep. I can't stay awake. I can't eat. I'm a mess, and I know it" Sam explained. Daniel felt great sympathy for her. He knew how hard it must be for her in particular. He was worried, very worried, along with everyone else, but Sam was, and had the most reason to be, more worried than everyone else.

"I know how you feel Sam. I'm real worried too. But you have to do what everyone else is doing. You have to believe that he will wake up soon and be ok. You have to at least try and believe that. Ok?"

"I know. It's not as easy as it sounds Daniel. Not for me. You, and everyone else, don't love him. Not like I do. You do as friends. I do as a lover. As in, I love him. I can't live without him. He means everything to me. Everything. If he dies, then I won't live on."


"No Daniel. I won't. I won't have any reason to. He is my reason to live. If he doesn't make it, then there goes my reason to live. I'm sorry. I've made up my mind."

"Sam. You can live. You'll find someone else. Everyone always does. I thought I couldn't live without Sha're, but I have and I am. She's gone. But I've learned to live with that. It's hard, and I'm not denying that it'd be hard for you too. But you learn to live. And I'm not saying I don't think about her everyday, because I do. I think about her everyday. Every minute. There isn't a moment that goes by I don't think of her. But I know she is gone now, and I can live on without her. I'm not denying that there are some days when I think I can't go on and that I want to die, but I get through them. I get past all that. I know that Sha're would want me to live on and have fun. Have a nice life. Live on without her. And I am. And I think that would make her happy. That's what keeps me going. You could do that too Sam. You're strong. And it wouldn't be any easy ride, but you would make it. Please promise me you'll at least think about it? Ok?" Daniel explained.

"I'll think about it. But it won't change my mind. My mind's made up Daniel. It's all a matter of time now. No one can stop me. I'm sorry" Sam replied.

"Ok. It's your choice. I still think you should think about it more. But I won't stop you if that's what you want."

"It is Daniel. It is."


"You're telling me he still hasn't woken up?"

"Yeah. I've been in there all day and half the night. He hasn't woken up. Is that real bad?"

"It's not real good. If he still hasn't woken up by tomorrow, then I'd say he isn't going to."

"What?! You mean he won't wake up as in, he's dead?!"

"No. I mean it as in he won't wake up. He's not dead. But if his body is too damaged and weak, it just won't wake him up. As though he's dead, but he's not. I know it's hard to understand. It's hard to explain, but that's basically the gist of it. Daniel. I'd appreciate it if you didn't tell Sam either. I think it's better if she doesn't know yet" Janet explained. Daniel nodded.

"Yeah. You're probably right" he replied as he left. As he traipsed back to Sam, he looked at his watch. 22:48. Late. He was tired. And he knew Sam was too. And exhausted. He opened the door slowly and saw Sam. Sleep had gotten to her. She had her head resting on the pillows, next to Jack's. She was smiling in her sleep. Daniel smiled too when he saw her. Her hands were clasped around Jack's left hand and her head was so close to his. Daniel thought it was such a Kodak moment. The picture itself was so sweet. The context behind the picture however, was not so nice. This blonde haired woman, who looks so sweet sleeping next to the man she loves, is going through the most traumatic time of her life right now. This man next to her is, currently, in an eternal sleep. She is so tired, she sleeps as well but she is going to wake up. It is that revelation she awaits to occur in her lover. So far, it is a disappointment to her, and she is in severe shock and denial. She even claims if he doesn't awaken, that she will join him. She will take her own life so that she can be with him, even if it is only in death. Daniel contemplated the whole situation, for a while, in the doorway, until he realised he was standing in the doorway, and then stepped inside the room of the pair. He situated himself in the seat he had previously occupied. He watched the couple sleeping for a while, until sleep also came to him.


Sam woke up a ridiculous time of the morning. 03:01. She yawned as she stretched her free arm. Suddenly she felt movement from above the hand she had under Jack's. She looked to his face and saw his eyes slowly open.

"Oh, Jack" she sighed. Where her head had been lying, there was an impression in the pillow. It was so close to Jack's that their heads had touched. Some strands of his hair escaped the rest and were spread across his forehead. Sam brushed them back with the rest as he smiled bravely. "We were so worried. I was so worried" she said.

"Don't have to, anymore" Jack managed a barely audible whisper.

"I know" Sam's tears escaped her eyes and trailed down her cheeks as she spoke while her voice quivered happily.

"No, cryin'" he told her.

"Sorry. I can't help it. I'm just happy, that's all" Sam said. Jack winced and his body jolted as pain gripped him. Sam shifted slightly at the suddenness of the jolt. "Jack?" she questioned. He couldn't reply. "Daniel. Daniel! Wake up!" Sam shouted as she shook him forcefully. He shook his head, startled by the unexpected awakening.

"Sam. What?" he asked before seeing Jack was awake and in pain.

"Get Janet! Quick!" Sam yelled. He got up and followed his orders.


"Dr. Fraiser! Janet!" Daniel shouted as he ran into the Infirmary.

"Daniel. What can I,"

"Jack's room! Come!" Daniel managed to puff out and grabbed her arm. She ran willingly with him to Jack's room.

"Sam. What happened?" Dr. Frasier asked as she and Daniel ran into the room.

"I don't know" Sam replied as Jack's painful cry echoed through the small room.

"Colonel. Jack, pain, where?" Janet asked. He attempted replying, but no words formed. Sam ran her hand slowly down his body and told him to nod when she reached where the pain was. As her hand reached his stomach, another ear-splitting cry escaped his lips.

"Your stomach?" Janet questioned.

"Yes!" Jack managed to shout through the pain. The Heart Monitor's pace increased by double. Janet slammed her hand down on the red emergency button. The red alarm light shined above them and rotated, shining on various points in the room over and again. Janet injected some Anaesthetic in Jack's IV. Moments later, a few nurses ran into the room wheeling a gurney ready to go into surgery. They carefully slid Jack across onto the gurney and then they all left. Sam followed the speeding gurney. Jack was almost completely under the Anaesthetic as she ran with them. The drugs had obviously sedated him enough and he now looked relaxed and not constantly troubled by pain. He looked at her through quiet eyes. The drugs were taking him to the place where he had been for so long, and had only just woken up from. Now he was going back there. Sam hated that place. She didn't want him to have to go there anymore. His eyelids felt so heavy. He felt as though they were weights. Heavy weights. They were nagging at him to close. They were harassing him to let the drugs take him. He didn't want to go. He wanted to be with Sam. Although his mouth felt as though it was full of marbles, he managed to try and speak.

"Sam" he whispered. He held his hand up slightly. Sam held it firmly.

"Jack" she said.

"Promise me,"

"What? What do you want me to promise you Jack? I'll promise you anything. Anything."

"Promise, you'll go on."

"When? What are you talking about?"

"You won't give up."

"Give up what?"

"Just promise me you won't give up. Please Sam. Promise me" Jack begged her in his quiet hoarse voice that she strained to hear.

"I promise Jack. I promise" she told him. They reached the doors leading to the OR. Sam kissed the top of Jack's hand. The Anaesthetic had taken him into an unconscious sleep now. They opened the doors. Sam started to go with them.

"I'm sorry Sam. You have to stay out here" Janet told her.

"No! No, I want to come in too! Please Janet! Please let me!" Sam pleaded. The doctor shook her head solemnly.

"No Sam. I'm sorry" she told her.

"Janet! Please!"

"No. I'm sorry Sam. Now if I don't get in there soon, we're gonna loose him. I'm sorry. I'll let you know the minute I can" she replied sternly. Sam nodded weakly.

"Thank you Janet" she said quietly. The doctor was already gone. Sam pulled out a chair from the Infirmary and sat outside the OR. /Why not?! She said I couldn't go in there. She didn't say I couldn't wait outside/ Sam thought. She sat and waited. Daniel found her a few minutes later and offered to get her another coffee. Amazingly, she declined. Daniel was surprised, but went and got his own. He returned a couple of minutes later and found Sam had already fallen asleep. She was amazingly tired, and it was still so early. Hours and hours past. Dr. Fraiser came out of the OR and declared that, just to add to Jack's problems, his appendix burst. She had to perform an emergency appendectomy. Sam wasn't awake to hear it all, but Daniel promised he would tell her everything when she woke up. Funnily enough, she didn't wake up. Jack was taken to the ICU and Daniel and Teal'c took Sam to her quarters. She could at least sleep in peace there.


Sam's sleep continued, uninterrupted, all through the day. Until around 15:00. Her body clock obviously decided that that was enough sleep and woke her then. She wasn't complaining though. She at lease got *some* undisturbed sleep. That was all she wanted. She jumped quickly out of her bed and ran to the room she had previously slept in. Empty. Infirmary was the next place she would search.

"Janet!" she exclaimed as she ran in.

"Sam. What," she was cut off again.

"Where's Jack?"

"ICU. Did Daniel talk to you?"

"No. Was he suppose to?"

"It's ok. I'll tell you myself. I had to perform an emergency appendectomy. His stomach pain was caused by his appendix. They burst. He's in the ICU now. He should, depending on his condition, come out later today. But don't quote me on that" Janet explained.

"All right. Can I see him?" Sam asked hopefully.

"I guess. I would never let anyone else. Got it? Only you."

"Thanks Janet."

"Yeah. Come on" the doctor gestured for Sam to follow her. They entered the ICU and came to a bed in isolation, like the rest of them. Jack's bruised and battered body lay motionless beneath the white sheets of the hospital bed. Janet left silently. Sam didn't really notice. She slowly walked over to the man. She sat down. How was this man going to live through all this constant torture? Sam wondered. He was already injured badly enough, couldn't the forces of darkness and pain just leave him alone? Sam continually questioned the integrity of God. How could they name him a saviour and marvel at his power and might, if all he could do is put this man through pain? Sam felt as though God was just a figure. A figure people could look up to until they saw the real power he had. The power to cause pain. The power to hurt. To injure. To torture. If he was so wonderful, then why didn't he stop hurting this man? Why wouldn't he just leave him alone to live his life? Instead of putting him through endless pain. And not only was he putting him through endless pain, he was putting all the people around him in a state of worry. Of constant fret. It wasn't fair. Sam thought it wasn't. She knew Jack would agree. How could it be fair to him? He was just bound to a hospital bed. That was neither fair, nor just. It was unjust of anyone to put someone through so much pain. Jack was in pain. Constant. Endless. Even when he slept. Even when he was unconscious, his face was expressing the pain he was in. Sam hated to look at him like that. It wasn't an expression she was used to seeing. She was used to smiles. Laughing. Fun. Happiness. None of which she could see at the moment. The only thing she could look at at the moment was an injured man. She continued to question God's veracity while she sat. In her head, she had a million questions and accusations that she wanted to get up and shout, just in hope, God would hear her. In knowing he wouldn't, she contained them to her thoughts and kept them private. She looked to the sleeping body the hospital bed contained. His body had so many things connected to it, it just wasn't funny. Machines surrounded the bed, and he almost looked as though he were part of them. His tranquilly silent body laying still under the sheets. Against them, Jack's face was unclean. The sheets were so white. Sam thought if she cleaned Jack's face that it would almost be that white too. She could see there was no colour in his face, just his skin was dirty and made it look as though he did. She knew better. She knew it was just an illusion the dirt was playing on her. She looked at his face closely. It was definitely a different face now. The cuts, from when he fell from the cliff. The bruises also caused by the same incident. The dirt that no one had bothered to clean away. Usually they cleaned people's faces when they were in hospital. Made them look clean. Not like they were just in an accident or anything like that. That was what Sam always though. She obviously thought wrong. Jack's eyes slowly fluttered open. Sam sighed and almost cried at just seeing him move slightly.

"Jack. Oh, thank God you're ok" she said. Suddenly remembering her hatred against God only a few minutes before. She decided if he had the decency to save Jack, then he wasn't so bad after all.

"Jack. Are you ok?" Sam questioned. He nodded weakly and uncertainly. Sam didn't think he was too sure, but him being awake was enough for her. She hugged him softly. He attempted to return it, but was clearly unsuccessful.

"Sam" he managed a barely audible whisper.

"Shh. Save your strength" Sam told him softly. He took a breath to attempt speaking again, but Sam stopped him. She kissed him tenderly. Slowly separating their lips, she smiled. Jack mirrored her bravely.

"That wasn't what you were going to do was it?" Sam asked with a half smile. Jack shook his head slightly.

"No" he said quietly, but as loudly as he could. Sam smiled. Just happy to be with him.

"Jack. You're gonna be ok. Got it? You're gonna make it through this and be ok. Ok?" Sam almost told him. He nodded weakly.

"Mmm hmm" he murmured as his tired eyes closed slowly.

"No! Don't go!" Sam exclaimed worriedly.

"Not, goin'. So, tired. You should, go, and, sleep. Come back, later. You look, tired" Jack managed. Sam was still so worried.

"I'm not. I'll stay" she said.

"Pretty, boring. Go. Sleep. I'm ok."

"No. I'm staying."

"Sam. Please. Sleep. How're you, going to, take care of me, if you keep fallin' asleep?" he joked at a whisper. Sam smiled.

"Who says I'm going to take care of you?" Sam asked audaciously.

"Me. Can't, do stuff, on my own. Need help. You seem, like the perfect, person for, the job. What'd ya say?"

"I say yes. Of course, I will. I love you Jack" Sam said.

"I know. I love you. Now, go. Sleep. Please" Jack replied quietly.

"Ok. Only for you. G'night baby" Sam said as she kissed his cheek. He smiled stanchly. Sam started to leave. She stood at the end of the bed for a while. Jack still had his eyes closed. She thought he wouldn't mind if she watched him for a little longer.

"Go and sleep, Sam" he said softly. /How did he know I was still here? / Sam thought. /Wow/

"How did... ok. I'm going. Sleep well" she said.

"Mmm. You too."

"Yeah. I will. G'night" Sam said, and when she heard no reply from Jack, she knew he was already sleeping. She was glad. She wanted him to get better. ASAP. She left for her quarters, and quickly let sleep come her way.


Sam woke early in the morning and instantly thought of Jack. She got up and had a shower to wake herself up. After a nice hot shower, Sam headed for the ICU.

"Janet" she said as she saw her.

"Sam. Hi. Sleep well?"

"Very. I needed it."

"I know. You seem very chirpy this morning? Something happen?"

"Like what? No nothing happened. I'm just awake properly for a change. Can I see Jack?"

"I suppose. He's asleep."

"Oh. I don't mind. Same as before?"

"Yeah. Down there. Last on you right" Janet replied as she gestured down a long line of screen inclosed beds. Sam smiled her gratitude and followed the doctor's directions. In the place she had said he would be, was Jack. Tucked away in the last bed on the line. Sam closed the curtain over again after she walked in. She sat in the chair that was there. As though it knew she was coming and positioned itself there for her comfort. She smiled at the thought. It seemed stupid, but almost made sense. She watched Jack in sleep. He seemed so peaceful. Although his face was relatively calm now, because of the increased dosage of drugs, she knew he was still in pain. It was still taunting him. She looked at the machines surrounding the bed. All with different 'beeps' and other sounds. She noticed the IV was almost empty. "Janet" she called. Jack shifted in his sleep. "Sorry" she whispered, as she realised she had shouted rather loudly.

"What's up Sam?" Janet asked as she parted the screen and stuck her head in.

"The IV" Sam told her as she pointed to it.

"Oh. I'll get a new one" she said. Sam nodded and the doctor left. She returned moments later with a new IV. Sam watched meticulously as Janet changed the old one for the new. She smiled as the doctor looked at her, as though for her confirmation she had done it good enough. Janet smiled back, and then left.

"Morning" Sam said as she turned and saw Jack waking up.

"Hey" he managed softly. Sam was worried. Jack smiled reassuringly. She managed a half return, but still wasn't convinced. "Sleep well?"

"Yeah as a matter of fact. Hey, thanks for making me go. I really did need the sleep. You're pushy, but at least you made me go" Sam smiled at her comment.

"S'ok. You were tired. I could see it in your eyes" Jack replied.

"You could huh? Clever thing you are."

"Nah. Anyone could a seen that."

"Not anyone. But you did. I love you."

"I love you. Sam."


"When you promised me, did you mean it?"

"Yes. What did you mean?"

"It doesn't matter. I just had to know if you meant it or not."


"Just, did" Jack words didn't come out as he would have liked them to. They staggered. He didn't mean to, but the pain got to him and made him shudder.

"Jack? You ok?" Sam asked worriedly. He nodded. That proved to Sam he wasn't, otherwise he would have spoken. His eyes slowly closed. Sam silently got up and went to find Dr. Fraiser.

"Janet. Is Jack ok?" she asked as she approached the doctor.

"Ok, as in what?"

"As in, is he ok? Is he getting better?"

"He just had a complex operation. He'll be in substantial pain for a while yet. Not including the injuries from your rescue mission that is. They will take a while to heal too. If you mean is he going to be ok, as in is he going to survive, then yes. I am very confident" Janet explained.

"Very confident? In other words you don't know for sure?! Why? Why aren't you 100%?" Sam asked angrily.

"I'm not 100% because I can't see into the future Sam. I can only see what you can. At the moment, he is recovering from a serious operation. And to add to his problems he's got a broken leg, wrist and ribs. Not to mention two punctured lungs. Ok?! You seem to think I can work miracles, but I can't. I'm just a doctor! Not a magician. So, I'm sorry if I can't give you the answers you are looking for Sam, but they are the only ones I have. So you'll have to be satisfied with them, or nothing. Ok?!" Janet exclaimed. Sam was slightly taken aback by her sudden outburst, but realised she was right. Sam was expecting miracles to occur. She was expecting things that just weren't possible. She was hoping, not expecting. Janet knew Sam was just anxious for him to get better, and didn't mean to sound so pushy, but she just couldn't handle the pressure Sam was putting on her. Sam was expecting everything to happen before it's time. Janet didn't mean to snap at her like that, but she just couldn't take it anymore.

"I'm sorry Sam."

"No. No, I'm sorry. I was expecting too much from you. You can't do anything more. I *was* expecting miracles. They just aren't going to happen. I'm sorry for putting so much pressure on you. I shouldn't have done that. I'm really sorry Janet." Sam apologised repeatedly.

"It's ok. I know how hard it must be for you. I'm sorry, but I can't do anything else at the moment. He's going to have to stay in here for a few more days I think. He isn't improving much. His body is too heavy with injuries, and just isn't responding to the drugs at all. I'll have to up the dosage again or try something more powerful" Janet almost thought out loud for a moment.

"He's not responding at all?" Sam queried.

"No. I don't know what else to do for him for the pain. I know it's incredibly severe. I'll have to try a few more and hope they help."


"Yeah. You can come if you like?"

"For sure." Dr. Fraiser gathered some equipment and another nurse to help and then they returned to Jack. His face contorted in pain. Sam looked away as Janet tried the many different painkillers on Jack to no avail. He cried in agony. Sam couldn't stand it anymore.

"Stop" she commanded.


"Stop. Try again later." Janet raised her eyebrows until they were almost lost in the fringe of hair over her forehead. "It's not working. He's already in pain, do you think jabbing him with needles is gonna help?! Give it a rest for a while. Try again later."

"Ok. Come on" Janet nodded for her nurse and to leave. They both vacated the inclosed space.

"You didn't, have to, do that" Jack said in his barely audible voice.

"Yes I did. You were in pain. I didn't want to see you like that" Sam replied, sitting down again.

"Thanks" he whispered.

"It's ok. I love you, and I don't like to see you in pain."

"Apparently, pain, is hangin' around, for a while, longer."

"Yeah. Apparently. Janet's trying to get painkillers for you. She says your body isn't accepting the ones they're using now."

"That explains a lot. I wondered, why, the painkillers, weren't killing, the pain."

"Yeah. That's why."

"That's great. Just, what I wanted. Painkillers, that don't kill pain." Sam smiled.

"Yeah. Are you in a lot of pain?" Jack nodded weakly as he closed his eyes. "Jack."


"Can you promise me something?"


"Promise me, that you'll always love me. Even if you find someone else."

"I promise Sam. And I'll never, love... anyone else" Jack's voice trailed off as he fell unconscious.

"Thank you."


"Sam. Sam!"

"Whoa! What?" she asked, as Dr. Fraiser shook her awake.

"You fell asleep. It's late. You should go to bed."

"No! I mean no, I'll stay here."

"What's up Sam? You seem a bit edgy."

"No. No, I'm fine. I just wanna stay here."

"No, I'm afraid you can't tonight. Sorry, you'll have to sleep in your own bed."


"We're going to run some tests tonight. Sorry. You can see him in the morning. G'night."

"No! No, I don't wanna go!"

"Sam. What's the matter? Nothing's going to happen. He'll be fine. Go get some sleep. Please."

"No. Please let me stay. I won't get in the way. Please."

"I'm sorry Sam. You wouldn't get in the way, I know. But these tests are very important. He'll be fine. He's in good hands. Get some sleep and come back in the morning and I'll tell you how everything went. Ok?"

"I suppose. He'll be ok won't he?"

"Of course. G'night then."

"Yeah. G'night" Sam replied hesitantly. She slowly left, and as she did, she watched Dr. Fraiser as she injected something into the IV. Sam thought she was just being silly and continued to her quarters, slowly. She hadn't gotten very far when she heard an ear-splitting scream from the ICU. She quickly ran back there. On her way, she heard more cries, but not from the ICU. From another room adjoining the corridor. She slowed to a walk and looked through the glass on the doors. Through one, she saw nothing. Another, nothing. And then another, and she saw a large crowd of nurses, including Dr. Fraiser, surrounding a bed. She couldn't see if anyone was in the bed, but from where she was, it looked as though there was. All the nurses seemed to be focused on it. They all smiled evil smiles. Sam was scared. None of them looked like the people she knew. They all looked possessed by something. But not a Goa'uld. It didn't look like that anyway. She couldn't sense a Goa'uld. She watched through the glass longer, until finally some of the nurses moved away from the bed. To Sam's horror, it was Jack in the bed. His expression, scared and painful. The few nurses that had left, soon returned with large, sharp instruments in their hands. They looked through the door, as though they had known she was there the whole time, and smiled at her treacherously. They raised their sharp silver instruments high in the air, like in a horror movie.

"NO!" Sam screamed piercingly. She went closer to the door and hurriedly jiggled the handle. Locked. She screamed more. No one came to her, and the people on the inside of the room ignored her cries. Janet looked out the glass of the door. She smiled evilly.

"NO!!!" Sam shrieked. She banged on the glass of the door. She tried to break it, but she couldn't. "NO! No, no, no!!! JACK!" Sam cried. Tears flowed down her cheeks as she watched the nurses. They all surrounded the bed once again. She couldn't see him anymore. Seconds later there were more heart-stopping cries from the inside. So loud. So painful. Sam cupped her hands over her ears to block the agonizing screams from her reach. Suddenly, blood was flung onto the window of the door.

"Oh God!" Sam banged on the window of glass again. She screamed for them to open the door. "NO! Oh God no! Jack!!!" she cried.


"No, oh God! NO! Jack!"

"Sam. Sam!"

"No. No! Get away from me!" Sam shouted as she opened her eyes and saw Daniel shaking her.

"What's wrong?" Daniel asked as Sam jumped from her chair.

"Stay away from me! Stay away" she began to cry as she collapsed to the ground in a heap.

"Sam. You were dreaming. Are you ok?"

"Dreaming? That was a dream? Jack? Jack!" she exclaimed as she stood again. She began to leave.

"Sam. Jack's here" Daniel said. She turned her head and found he was right.

"Jack" she sighed. She came closer to the bed again and shook him. "Jack. Jack wake up. Jack!" she exclaimed. Slowly, his eyes flickered open.

"Sam?" he whispered while blinking the room into focus.

"Yeah. Are you ok?" she asked, in reference to the dream.

"Tired. But yeah. Why? What's wrong?"

"Nothing now. I'm just fine" Sam smiled. She embraced Jack instantly. He winced at the abruptness. Sam didn't seem to notice.

"She was dreaming" Daniel confirmed Jack's quizzical expression over Sam's shoulder.

"Dreaming? About what?"


"Me? Why?"

"I don't know. But don't jump to conclusions. It wasn't a nice dream by any stretch of the imagination" Sam said as she let go of him and sat back in her chair.

"Bad dream?"

"Very. Extremely! Never want to have it again. Ever! It was horrible" Sam shuddered at the thought.

"Hey, it's ok. I'm alright" Jack reassured her.

"Yeah. It was just a dream Sam" Daniel added.

"Ok guys. You're going to have to go and sleep in your own beds tonight. I have some tests scheduled for you Colonel" Dr. Fraiser said with a smile as she entered.

"Oh yay" Jack said sarcastically.

"NO! No tests!" Sam shouted.

"Sam?" Jack questioned.

"I'm not leaving you. You either do them with me here, or you don't do them at all" Sam said.

"Sam. They're not dangerous. He'll be fine. It won't take too long Colonel" Janet told him.

"I said no! No tests!"

"Sam. I'll be fine. Nothing to..." Jack began.

"NO! I said no!" Sam cried. Tears flowed freely down her cheeks.

"What's wrong Sam?" Daniel asked.

"Nothing. NO tests! And I'm not leaving" she said resolutely.

"He'll be fine Sam. There's nothing to worry about. Daniel, can you help Sam calm down and take her to her quarters please?" Janet lowered her voice and leaned close to Daniel's ear. He nodded.

"Come on Sam. Let's go get some sleep hey?" Daniel asked softly, as though she were four years old and didn't want to go to bed because her older sister got to stay up and she didn't.

"NO! I don't want to leave! I won't leave! No!" she shouted.

"Wait" Jack said as loud as he could. "Sam. What's the matter? Why don't you want me to have these tests? I mean, I'm not exactly excited about it either, but I'll be ok. Nothing's going to happen. Why are you so worried?" he asked.

"I just don't want to leave you. I want to stay with you" she answered.

"Why? You left last night. I'm ok. You don't have to worry so much. I'll be fine. Come on Doc. Let's get these tests over and done with."

"Ok Colonel. See you in about an hour or so Sam. Ok?"

"No! No goddamn it! It's not damn well ok! I won't leave. Let go Daniel! Daniel! Leave me alone!"

"Hey Danny! Easy" Jack said forcefully. His voice frail, and still barely perceptible.

"Sam. Please, come on. He'll be fine. Come on" Daniel told her. She refused to have a bar of it. The dream had gotten to her deeply. She felt as though it was going to happen again if she left Jack alone. She didn't want to leave him. She wanted to stay with him. Daniel held her arms tightly, making it hard for her to get him off.

"Hey. Can I have a minute? Come back after a while" Jack said softly. Janet and Daniel nodded and left. Sam went and sat in the chair she had previously.

"Sam. What's wrong?"

"I don't ever want to leave you alone again Jack. Never. I want to stay with you. I'm sorry, I just won't leave."

"Why? You were fine before. It's that dream isn't it? It's got to you. You think whatever happened in it is going to happen again don't you?" Sam sniffed, holding back more tears.

"It was so real Jack. Everything seemed real. And now it's happening again. I left you last time, I won't leave you again" she explained.

"Sam. It's not gonna happen again. It was a dream. A dream Sam. It wasn't real. It might have seemed real, but it wasn't. Really. I'll be ok. Doc'll take care of me. She's a doctor. Go with Daniel for a while. Please. You don't have to worry. It was just a dream" Jack consoled. He touched her face softly. So gently, he wiped her tears away. Sam put her hand on his.

"I know it was only a dream. But the same thing happened. Tests and everything. I don't feel right leaving again. I'm just scared it'll happen again. That's all" she said.

"I know. But you don't need to be scared. It's not going to happen again ok? Trust me. I'll be fine. Ok?" Sam nodded weakly. "Ok?"

"Yeah. Ok" she said reluctantly.

"Good. Go with Daniel a while. Doc said you can come back when she's done" Jack said. Sam nodded again and got up to leave. "Sam."

"Yeah?" she turned her head back to him.

"I will be ok" he told her again. She smiled.

"I know" she replied. She left with Daniel and sent the doctor back in, after apologising a million times.


"Sam! Stop fidgeting! He'll be ok. Stop worrying" Daniel told her sternly. She sat in a chair fiddling. Her fingers doing circles around each other. Her foot gigging. She couldn't stop worrying, and thus, she fidgeted.

"I'm sorry" she said for the thousandth time. But she didn't stop fidgeting. She continued to twitch and shoot her eyes over to anyone who moved, in case it was Janet. Daniel sighed, but left her to drive herself crazy. She would if she wasn't careful. She'd drive herself completely mad. He thought he'd leave her to it, considering she would probably break something if she didn't fiddle. He decided it was better she fiddle than break something, or worse, hurt someone. She'd had that much coffee in the past few days, he thought she would soon be addicted to the stuff. It must be making her fidget too. Although she hadn't had any yesterday. Oh yes. A few cups. But she would have slept it off by now. They waited patiently for a few hours until Sam drove herself completely nuts and fell asleep. Daniel took her to her quarters and decided when Janet came and told them they could see Jack, that he might either wake her up, or just let her sleep and she would go in the morning.


"He's weak at the moment. It looks as though none of the painkillers we tried are working. His body seems to be rejecting them all. The only way I can help him is if I use sedatives. But that isn't fair. I can't keep him on sedatives anyway; I'd go over the recommended dosage. Way over. That would just cause more damage. He's unconscious now if you want to see him. Wait until morning to tell Sam. Ok?"

"Yeah. Ok. I think I'll go to bed too. I'm real tired."

"Ok then. G'night" Janet said.

"Yeah. G'night" Daniel replied. He left for his quarters and quickly fell asleep once in bed. Janet watched Jack religiously through the night. He didn't wake up, he didn't stir, he didn't move. She worried. He was weak and in a substantial amount of pain. Because the drugs weren't working, he had to just lie there in pain. She was surprised he'd made it this far. She also didn't tell Sam or anyone else that either. The pain he had to endure was unthinkable. She couldn't even imagine half of the pain he was going through. All she knew was, he was damn strong to have made it this far. She knew if most other people she knew were going through as much pain as he was, they would have died long ago. She knew if it were her, she would have too. Most people have a hard time dealing *with* the drugs, little own *without*! It was more than just amazing. It was incredible. She admired him for being able to survive that long without drugs. He was damn strong. But how much longer he would remain strong was a question that weighed heavily on the doctor's mind. She wondered if she should tell Sam. It would probably break her heart, but at least she wouldn't have lied to her. Maybe it would be better if she didn't know though. The doctor's head was filled with, presently, unanswerable questions.


Jack's sleep, although unconscious, was disturbed. Disturbed by image. Horrifying images. Dreams. And nightmares. Sickening nightmares. He slept uncomfortably. And even then, in pain. The drugs, still proving ineffective, were providing no relief from the agony at all.

"Morning Sam" Janet greeted her cheerfully.

"Hi. How'd the 'tests' go with Jack?" Sam asked, stressing the 'tests' part.

"Not too bad. None of the drugs we tried have any effect on him. His body just rejects them. I have no idea why though. I won't lie to you Sam. He's very weak, and very lucky to be alive right now. Without any drugs to alleviate the pain, he's doing amazingly well though. I don't know anything else. Weather or not he'll make a full recovery is another question entirely. There are so many questions that I just can't answer at the moment. I'm sorry Sam" the doctor explained. Sam smiled gratefully.

"I'm sorry I was so, so, well, I'm sorry I acted so weird yesterday. It was just, I don't know. I know you're doing you're best though, and I'm really grateful. Thank you Janet" Sam embraced the doctor. She smiled at knowing Sam appreciated her workings, even if they weren't quite what she hoped for. She released her and told her she could see him. Sam thanked her then left. She found the same partitioned off room. The same chair. The same bed. The same white sheets. The same injured man. She sat down in the chair and watched him. Watching him in his unconscious sleep, Sam saw how hard he was battling. The pain tormented him constantly. It never even let up for a second. She was amazed at his strength to keep on going through such torture. She was, however, not going to be able accept it if he couldn't go on. She wouldn't. She would loose it, completely. She wouldn't be able to go on. She promised him she would go on. She didn't fully understand what he meant by that though. He meant if he didn't make it, that she would keep on living. She wouldn't give up on life. She didn't know that was what he meant by the statement. She had promised him, but she didn't know what she was promising. If she'd known, she mightn't have promised so willingly.


"Shock him at 250!" The Be-fib charged up and then it was yelled, "Clear!" The jolt from the machine sent his body a jolt, but not enough to stop the Heart Monitor's endless 'beeeeep'.

"Again at 300. Clear!" The jolt, again, was not enough.

"350. Clear!" 'Beep. Beep' the Heart Monitor's sound changed to that of a heart beat. The doctors all sighed and Janet checked his vitals quickly.

"Right. He's stable for now. I want his vitals checked every ten minutes. Tell me if anything changes" she said as she left.

"Janet! Janet is he ok?" Sam asked hurriedly.

"He's stable, for now. I don't know what caused that Sam. It's like his body is confused, and it's doing everything wrong. It's doing too many things wrong though. If it happens again, I'll have to operate again I think. It's just not safe to leave him like that. I'm sorry Sam. I can't tell you anything else" she explained. Sam nodded appreciatively. "You can stay tonight. I won't stop you" Janet added as she left. Sam thought maybe that meant that she didn't mind because she didn't want something to happen during the night and Sam not be there with him. She pushed past the curtain and sat in her usual chair. A few hours later, and Jack woke up.

"Sam" he whispered. She lifted her head to look at him.

"I'm here Jack. How do you feel?" she asked.

"Awful. How are you?"

"Fine. It's not me who's in the hospital bed here."

"I know. I just, thought, you'd probably, been, stressing" Jack managed.

"I have. I love you Jack. You're in an ICU and you haven't got any painkillers. Who wouldn't stress?"

"Stupid, question. Sorry."

"You don't have to be sorry Jack. Did any of the other painkillers they tried work even a little more?" He shook his head.

"I haven't, got any painkillers, shootin' into me, at all?"

"No. Why? Don't you feel any pain?"

"Oh yes, I do."

"Oh. I'll be back."

"Ok." Sam got up and went in search of Dr. Fraiser.

"Janet" she said when she found her.

"Sam. What's,"

"Janet, is Jack supposed to be in a lot of pain?" Sam cut her off.

"Well, sorry to say it, but yes. Why?'

"He says he is. Can't you just use the drugs anyway?"

"Yes. Nurse, come with me for a minute please" Janet told the nurse at the desk near her.

"Yes doctor" the nurse replied and followed the doctor.

"Colonel. How do you feel?" Janet asked as they walked to his bed.

"Awful" he repeated for her.

"Do you want us to try some painkillers anyway?" Jack nodded. He couldn't speak as a sudden pain rushed through him. Janet nodded for the nurse to inject some painkillers into the IV. She went to the IV and got a syringe filled with an amber coloured liquid out of her pocket. Another abrupt pain hit Jack, and he cried in agony. The nurse jumped slightly. Once she recovered from the surprise, she pushed the plunger on the syringe into the IV. They all stood silently for a moment while they watched it travel down the tube and into Jack's arm.

"Feel any relief Colonel?" Dr. Fraiser asked. He shook his head, not prepared enough to try and speak. Suddenly he nodded.

"Is that helping?" Janet asked, almost elatedly. Jack continued to nod weakly. They smiled, all happy he was given at least some relief.

"A lot Colonel? Or just a little?" He tried to respond vocally, but it didn't work. He opened his mouth in another unsuccessful attempt.

"A little?" Janet helped. He nodded softly. They could all see, just by his expression, that it was only very little. His squeezed his eyes shut as the drugs obviously didn't provide as much liberation as he had first thought. He opened his mouth in an invisible cry and then fell unconscious.

"I want him in the OR, stat!" Janet exclaimed. The nurse nodded and went to collect a team of nurses. Janet injected Anaesthetic into Jack's arm and then unhooked some of the other machines from his chest. A team of nurses quickly returned and hurriedly pushed past Sam to get in, and get Jack out. They wheeled the bed out of the ICU quickly and headed to the OR, Dr. Fraiser yelling various commands to the nurses surrounding the bed. Sam stood in shock for a minute. Finally, she woke from her state and left to wait in the Infirmary and tell Daniel.


"We're loosing him!"

"Pulse is rising. 170."

"Come on Colonel!"


"Get a Be-fib in here!"

"200. We've lost a heart beat!"

"Shock him at 300! Now!"



"Nothing. He's not responding."

"Again! 350."




"Dammit. 450!"



"Dr. Fraiser, I'm getting a reading. 210 and rising. Wait, I just lost it."

"Shit! Go 600."


"Clear! Oh God."

"No response Dr. Fraiser. We've lost him."

"Oh God" Dr. Fraiser cursed as the Heart Monitor's never ending beep continued. All that work, and, nothing. No result. They lost him on the operating table. God it was hard watching someone die in your care. You're trying so goddamn hard to save them, and their life slips through your fingers while you stand there and helplessly watch them die. That was hard enough. Now she was going to have to tell Sam. Oh God, that was going to be so damn hard. The nurses covered his lifeless body in a white sheet. Janet washed her hands and took off her clear plastic gloves. She took off her operating gown, and headed off to find her friend and tell her that the man she loves just died on the operating table.


"What's taking so long?! She should be out by now, don't you think?" Sam asked as she nervously paced the Infirmary with Daniel.

"No. It's probably complicated. She'll be out soon, I bet" he replied confidently. He sat in a chair facing the entrance of the Infirmary as Sam anxiously paced in front of him. He saw her before Sam did. She stood in the doorway for a moment, watching her friend pace fearfully for her lover. The doctor sniffed and tried hard to stifle back tears as she walked over to them. Daniel knew what she was going to say before she even opened her mouth. He could see it in her eyes. Sam didn't notice her until she was next to her.

"Janet! How's Jack? Can I see him?" Sam asked, just happy to see the doctor. She wouldn't be so happy to see her in a moment.

"Sam. Uh. I... I regret to inform you..."

"NO! No! Oh God no! Please. Don't say it."

"I'm sorry... but... Colonel O'Neill didn't... he didn't make it" the doctor managed to tell them. Tears cascaded down her face as she watched her friends face turn a ghostly white before her eyes. Daniel's tears escaped his eyes.

"NO! No, no, no! Oh God. JACK!" Sam cried. She ran out of the Infirmary and toward the OR.

"I tried to save him. I tried. God. I'm so sorry" Janet cried endlessly. Daniel got up, and through his tears told her she did her best and that it wasn't her fault. He hugged her and she didn't refuse as she cried. She felt so at fault. He was in her care, and he died. She felt so responsible for her friends' loss.


Sam pushed the doors open and ran in. She saw the body lying on the bed with a white sheet covering it.

"Major. I'm sorry, you shouldn't be in here" one nurse told her.

"I don't care!" Sam snapped. Another nurse pulled the other nurse out of the way. Clear to her that Sam wasn't going to just leave. Sam pulled the sheet back. His face. Lifeless. Sam leaned over him and kissed him, one last time.

"I love you" she whispered through her endless river of tears. She knew now what he meant when he asked her to promise to him that she would go on. "I'll keep my promise. And I'll always love you Jack. Never anyone else. Only you."


Before you ask. Yes. There is a sequel. Please tell me what you thought. ~*Nutty1*~

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