In Demand 13: Bad Days
Sam kept a calendar to note important dates. She had started the habit in high school. In those days it was a pocket-size calendar that she used to keep track of the birthdays of the friends she had made as she moved around. She kept in touch by sending birthday cards, letting old friends know where she was in the world. She had continued the habit while she was at the Academy, and in flight school, during her time in the Gulf, and her stint at the Pentagon. Eventually the pocket calendar had become an electronic one on her computer, and e-mails had replaced letters. But she still sent birthday cards via the post. There was just something nice about getting a card in your mailbox.
When she had started at the SGC she had added the birthdays of her new teammates, although for Teal'c she'd had to calculate it, and the Colonel's had taken her weeks of intel gathering. Janet's and Cassie's had been added, again using a calculation to find the Earth date for Cassie. She even had Hammond's noted. She hadn't been on SG1 very long when she had started adding the bad days to her calendar. Days that she knew her friends would need a shoulder to lean on or some personal space. She started with the anniversary of Sha're and Daniel's marriage, and the anniversary of Sha're being kidnapped by Apophis. Since the two were a year and a week apart Daniel had always had a very bad week each year as the anniversaries rolled around. Eventually she had added the anniversary of Sha're's death. She also had Charlie's birthday and the date of his death marked, although it had taken a bit of research to get them. The date of Daniel's ascension was recorded, although she really didn't think she would need any reminder. She had also added Shan'auc's death, and most recently Drey'auc's. The first anniversary of that one was coming up soon. She would need to make sure SG1 was on downtime somehow so that Teal'c could visit his son.
Her bad days were not recorded anywhere. There was no need. If she was lucky they would pass while she was distracted by a mission. Last year she had been fortunate enough to be unconscious for the anniversary of her blending with Jolinar. Currently she was enjoying good health, and it was Saturday, so she was home for the weekend. Therefore there was nothing to distract her from the fact that her mom had died twenty-three years ago tomorrow. As she dried the dishes, she glanced over at her husband who was putting away the remains of their dinner. Jack had opened up a lot to her recently. Although he hadn't yet talked about his torture at Ba'al's hands, he had told her all about his conversation with Daniel while in captivity, and how Daniel had offered to help him ascend. She in turn had admitted that while she had been hurt that he hadn't offered any explanation as to why he had not told her about it before, she was really more upset with Daniel because he had never bothered to come to see her in his glowy state. And she was furious that he had offered to help Jack ascend rather than actually help him escape. Didn't he know how that would have devastated them? Especially her?
But for all of that they still skirted around the subjects that gave them the most pain. Her mom and Charlie. She had been thinking about her mom a lot lately. As she had tried on her wedding dress for the first time with Cassie and Janet she had been overwhelmed with longing for her mom to be there. And every time she and Jack discussed having kids, she wished she could talk over her concerns about being a good mother with her own mom. She put away the last two dishes and sighed. Then two strong arms wrapped around her from behind and she was pulled into a warm embrace.
Jack didn't keep a calendar of important dates. He didn't need to. There weren't that many good ones to keep track of, and the bad ones were permanently etched in his mind, never to be forgotten. Besides, he knew she kept track of all of the rest of them. He had figured it out on the second anniversary of Sha're's kidnapping when Carter had asked for a couple of days of leave. Daniel had hightailed it though the gate to Abydos so fast it had made his head spin, and when he had figured out that Carter hadn't gone anywhere on her leave it had dawned on him what she had done. Then he had thought back and realized that in two years he had never missed his gravesite visits with Sara on Charlie's birthday or the anniversary of his death. Carter was manipulating their mission schedule. One time she had delayed a mission claiming she had a sensitive experiment that she was running in her lab. Another time she had suggested that they cut what was proving to be a fruitless mineral survey short as her instruments were indicating that a bad storm was moving in.
Since he knew that she had the rest of the team covered, that left him to be sure he had her taken care of. He had been there for most of her bad days. Jolinar, the entity, Adrian Conrad. He knew that she liked to keep busy during the anniversary of those, so he did some manipulating of his own and tried to get them on missions during those timeframes. He had already known the date of her mom's death, because on the 20th anniversary Jacob had come through the gate and whisked her off to a memorial. He had eventually asked Jacob for the date of her mom's birthday, hoping he would think Jack was just being a good commanding officer.
She had been quiet this evening, and he figured correctly that she was thinking of her mom. He knew from pictures that Sam looked a lot like her. He wondered what she had been like. Sam's stubbornness and quick wit were pure Jacob, but he was betting that her laugh that sometimes bordered on a giggle and her tendency to think too much came from her mom. He smiled at the thought and walked up to her and enfolded her in his arms. With a kiss to the top of her head he braved the topic.
"So tell me about your mom."
She turned in his arms with startled eyes, and then she smiled.
"She would have loved you," she began.