Briefings will never be the same for Sam. She sits at the briefing table and looks at the seat next to her. Empty. It used to have somebody in it. Jack. He always used to sit there next to her. Smile at her. Talk to her. And now, nothing. No one to talk to. No one to smile at. No one to laugh with. No one. She promised him she would go on. She now wished she hadn't promised him. If she hadn't, then she would have joined him long ago. Six months ago. She wanted to leave the SGC. Why should she stay? She had no reason to now. For weeks, she grieved. At home. She had refused to come to the SGC, in fear she would just cry every time she thought about him. Everything about the SGC reminded her of him. Everything. The chair he used to sit in. When she walked past his quarters. The hospital bed he had layed in while he was recovering from injuries on other planets. When she closed her eyes, all she could see was his face. Weather it be happy or not, she always liked to see it. He would smile at her. Talk to her. Remind her that she was important there, and that she had to stay. She used to remember when they briefed and he sat next to her, hardly hearing a thing, and doodling with his pen or fiddling with it one way or another. She used to watch him. She even remembered the way he used to stand when he talked to the General in his office. Everything, everywhere she went, somehow reminded her of him. No matter how trivial, it was the memories that got to her. Because now, she couldn't look forward to going to the SGC and seeing him smile at her. That used to be enough to make her day. Just seeing him was enough for her. Now the place was empty. She had nothing to look forward to when she went there. She couldn't keep score of how many times she nearly went to the Armoury to get a gun and shoot herself with it. She had nearly done that, so many times. Daniel stopped her a few times too. Reminding her that she could live on, and that she had promised Jack she would. That didn't make her not want to do it any less.
"Sir, we have an unauthorised incoming wormhole."
"Close the Iris" General Hammond ordered. He nodded and did so. Sam, Daniel and Teal'c walked into the Control Room, as they always did, and waited to see what happened. "Who is it Sir?" Sam asked. "No SG units are due back until tomorrow. I don't know Major" he replied. Suddenly, on the computer screen, it flashed, "SG1 Code received."
"General?" Daniel questioned as he looked at the message on the screen. "How did someone else get our codes?! Major, is it possible for the Goa'uld to have worked them out somehow?" he queried. "I don't think so sir. It's very unlikely. We're all here, so you know it isn't us. I think we should take the chance and find out who it is sir" Sam replied. Hammond looked thoughtful for a moment. "Open the Iris" he said finally. The Airman did as he was told. The Iris slid open. They waited a moment, until a man stumbled through the Gate. They all ran down the stairs to the Gate Room. "Jack!" Sam exclaimed as she saw him closer. "Hey Sam" he replied. "Jack?" Daniel questioned incredulously. "Hey Danny. Teal'c. General" he acknowledged them all. "Colonel O'Neill. How has this happened?" Teal'c questioned, just as disbelievingly. "What? Where's Jack?" he asked. Sam didn't seem to hear his words. She hugged him tightly. He winced at her abruptness. "Sam? What's up?"
"What's up!? How the hell can you ask something like that?! God, I'm so glad to see you!" she exclaimed happily as she released him. He smiled gratefully, but his expression still confused. "What's say we take this upstairs?" Hammond asked. They all nodded and headed up the stairs to the Conference Room.
Jack sat in the chair he normally did, next to Sam. She continually smiled at him. He was still puzzled. "Colonel, how did you get here?" the General queried. "Through the Stargate."
"No. I mean, you, well, you were dead. What happened?"
"Dead? The other Jack's dead? Whoa. That explains a lot. I'm not your Jack. I'm the one from Harlan's planet. Remember? PX3 989?" he explained. Suddenly it all made sense. "Oh. Well that's made everything a whole lot clearer. We thought, well, we thought you were our Jack" Daniel said. "So what happened? How'd he die?" Jack asked. "He, he uh, we were on a mission, and uh, he fell from this cliff. Really high one. He was hurt really bad. I, I uh, well, I tried to, to save him, but uh," Sam's voice trailed off, covered with tears. They fell from her eyes and down her cheeks. "Sam saved him. When we got back, his Appendix burst. That didn't help. And then, it snowballed from there. The painkillers, well, his body rejected them, just adding to the problems. It was a disaster, to cut a long story short anyway" Daniel finished for Sam. She wiped the tears from her face and tried to look a little less, distraught. It didn't work. "Oh. Well, I guess that makes sense" Jack said. "O'Neill. Why have you returned?" Teal'c queried. "Yeah, I was gettin' there Teal'c. Harlan sent me. I know, we were supposed to bury the Gate, but after you left, he insisted we keep it. So, we did. Anyway, we can't go on like we are now. The place is getting too hard to run with only four people. He was wondering if you could send through a few people that he could 'create' some more people for us" Jack explained. "Four people?" Daniel quizzed. "Yah. Sorry, but you had to be disintegrated again Teal'c" he replied. Teal'c lifted an eyebrow but said nothing. "Oh. Well, I suppose we could arrange that Colonel. Dr. Jackson, Teal'c, could you assemble SG units, two, three and seven?" the General asked. "On to it Sir" Daniel said as he and Teal'c left. "Shouldn't take too long Colonel. For now, you can just wander around if you like. Nothing much else you can do."
"Thanks General" Jack said as the General left. "Sam. Are you ok?" he asked. "Yeah. Why?"
"You don't have to pretend with me Sam. I know you loved him. I know you. And I know him. Are you ok?"
"No! Of course I'm not! I miss him. I miss you, so much! I didn't even get to say goodbye. And now, now, you're here. It's like a dream come true. There isn't a day go by I don't dream that he might come back to me somehow. And, well, you have! Oh God Jack" Sam cried and fell into his arms. He hugged her warmly. He could understand how hard it was for her. "Sam. If it's any comfort, my Sam, and I. We're married on our world" he told her. She smiled. "She's a lucky bitch!" she said half joking and half serious. She kissed him. Oh God how she had wished she could do it again. Every day she wished to kiss him, to just see him. And now, he was here. How could this be fair? He didn't push her away. Although he didn't mind kissing her, it was just like kissing his Sam but, he only let her because he knew she needed to. She needed to because it was like her way of saying goodbye to her Jack. It was the only way. It was the only way for her to say the last goodbye. So many times, she wished, if it had to happen that way, why couldn't she at least have gotten the chance to say a proper goodbye? This was the answer to her wish. This was her only way of getting to say that goodbye. Even though it wasn't her Jack, and it wasn't a dream, it was as close as she was going to get to say goodbye to him. "Sorry" she whispered as she pulled back from the kiss, and his lips. "Why?"
"Because I shouldn't have done that."
"Why? Because I'm not your Jack? Because I'm married? That doesn't matter Sam. You're dealing with a loss right now. The only way you're going to deal is if you get to say a proper goodbye. And even though, I'm not your Jack, I'm the only one that's even remotely close to him. You don't have to be sorry for wanting to do that."
"You are him. But thank you. Are you sure you're Sam won't mind?"
"Yeah. She'll understand, under the circumstances. She's just like you. Right down to the mole on your,"
"Hey, hey, hey!"
"Got a smile. That's all I was after."
"Cheeky. But cute. You tell your Sam, that she is one very lucky girl."
"Why don't you tell her yourself?"
"Come back with me. Come with your people and see her. Just once. Talk to her. Tell her. It'll be good. What'd ya say?"
"Ok" Sam smiled. "Better get ready then, huh?" Jack asked with a smile. "Yeah" Sam liked to see him smile. She got to see him smile again. That was enough to make her day. He had already made her day by just being there.
Ten minutes later, and SG units two, three, seven, Sam and Jack were assembled and ready to ship out. The Gate was dialled and they all went through. On the other side, Jack was greeted by his wife. She smiled and embraced him warmly. Sam was covetous, but happy for them. "Sam. Sam" Jack said as she released him and the two women were face to face. "I'll take you all to Harlan."
"Harlan is here. Kumtrya!" he said as he waved his hands around and walked over to them all. "Please, please, come this way" he said as he led them all away. Jack went with them and left the two Sam's to talk. "Well. It's nice to see you again" Sam said. "Yeah. Where's your Jack?" Harlan's Sam queried. "Oh. He uh, well, he died" she managed to reply. "Oh. Oh, I'm sorry."
"Yeah. So am I."
"Were you married?"
"Oh. You know we are?"
"Yeah. Jack told me."
"Right. So, how come you came here?"
"Well, I guess I came to talk to you. I thought you might understand me better than anyone else does. Except Jack of course."
"Yeah. Yeah sure, come on. We'll go somewhere a little more private." Sam led her to her room. Small room. Consisting of nothing much at all. A bed, big enough for two. /Obviously *their* room/ Sam thought. They sat down on it. Sam explained everything that happened with her Jack to the other Sam. She listened intently, and felt extremely sorry for her double. She knew how much she felt for him, she shared the same feelings. But she hadn't been robbed of her Jack. She felt great sympathy for her twin. She couldn't imagine, herself, living without her Jack. She couldn't imagine life without him. It just wouldn't be the same. She didn't know how her clone could possibly keep on living without him. When Sam told her about how she had promised him she would go on, then she immediately knew how. Everything her double from Earth felt, she too could instantly understand and feel. They talked for a long while. Even laughing a little. "You don't know how lucky you are to have him. Just never ever, forget that. It's important you remember just how lucky *you* are. My chance was stolen from me. Don't you waste yours" Sam told her 'lucky bitch' twin. She smiled. "I won't. I love him. I know you do too. And I sympathize for you. I really do. I don't know what I would do if I lost him. He means everything to me. And I know he does for you too. I won't ever let him out of my sight. I think you are very brave to keep on going. I know I wouldn't be able to if it were me. I thank God it isn't me. If there was anything I could do to help you,"
"I know you would. He's yours. I'm not going to take him away from you. Believe me, I know how that feels, and I would never do it to anyone else. Just, do everything you want to do. Everything. I didn't get to do anything. I, we both wanted so much, but we didn't get any of it. It all happened too fast. And we were so stupid and so blind for so long. Too long. That's what the worst part is. We took so long to admit we loved each other, that's why we didn't get to do anything we wanted to. Please promise me, you won't waste a minute of the time you have together. Promise me *you'll* do everything *I* didn't get to do."
"I will. Don't worry, I will."
"You really don't know how lucky you are."
"Oh, I think I have a fair idea. And I promise. I will do everything, and more. I'll do everything twice. Once for me, and second for you. I'm not complaining."
"Good. Don't ever forget how lucky you are to have him either. You're the luckiest bitch I know. Got it?"
"Yeah. I got it."
"Hey, you two. Whatchya doin'?" Jack asked as he wandered into the room and sat next to his wife. "Talkin' about ya!" she said cheekily. "Ooh. Nothin' bad I hope?" he quizzed. "Nope. Nothin' but good things" Sam said. "Oh good. Hate to think you were tellin' her bout' how you snore" he smiled audaciously. "Oh! I do not snore!" his wife protested with a slap on his shoulder. "Do too."
"Do too! Oops. Sorry Sam. Your people are ready to go back now" Jack stopped the bickering between him and his wife after realising Sam was there. She smiled. She wished she could have had those childish arguments with her Jack. She wished so much. But knew it would never come true. "Ok. I'd better get going" she said. "We'll walk you" Sam said as she and Jack got up hand in hand and walked her back to the Stargate, where all three SG units were ready to ship out.
"Well. It's been great to talk to you Sam. Thank you" Sam said as she hugged the woman she was secretly extremely tempted to shoot so she could have her Jack. She knew she would never be able to do that. She knew he would be devastated. She would never do that to him, or anyone else. "Yeah. It was nice" she said as they separated. Sam moved to Jack. She smiled. He returned it affectionately. "I'm gonna miss you" Sam said as she embraced him tightly and held back tears. "Yeah. I know. Just remember, the Gate's always open" he said. "Yeah. I will." Sam slowly released him. She didn't want to. She didn't want to leave him again. She got to say goodbye this time though. "Well. I guess this is goodbye" she said. He smiled. "Yeah. I guess it is" he replied. Sam kissed him one more time. She had to. Just so, she had one more memory of him. A happy memory. She slowly parted from him. Leaving their faces only millimetres apart she said, "Goodbye Jack."
"Bye Sam" he countered. She released his neck and started for the Gate. All the other teams went through. Sam turned back for one last look at him. "The last goodbye" she whispered as she stepped through the Stargate back to Earth. Back to her lonely life without Jack.
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