Learning to Live With It Part 6
Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author(s).
Title: Learning to Live With It Part 6
Author: Su Freund
Category: Angst, Drama, Action/Adventure, romance
Content Level: Age 13+
Content Warnings: Minor use of mild language
Pairings: Jack & Sam
Spoilers: General S9 spoilers
Summary: Reports of Sam's death have been greatly exaggerated
Sequel/Series Info: Sequel to Learning to Live With It Part 5
Copyright (c) 2006 Su Freund
Art Credit: The great cap of Daniel and Teal'c used to illustrate this fic on my site was made into a book cover by fulinn28. Thanks my friend! It can be viewed here if you want to see it: http://www.ficwithfins.com/AA3_1/archive/2/learningto6.html
Author's Note: Thanks to Bonnie for reading this over for me and correcting my UK English slang!
Learning to Live With It Part 6
It wasn't until he woke with a start next morning to the sound of his cell phone ringing that he realised it wasn't a dream, it was very real. The phone also woke Sam, and Jack looked at her as if he couldn't quite believe he had slept in her arms, probably because he couldn't. He was out and off the bed so quickly she could hardly draw breath.
"O'Neill!" he barked into the phone, "this had better be good, you woke me!"
"Jack, you are never going to believe what the autopsy came up with..."
"Calm down Daniel, take it slow will ya?"
"Jack! I'm too excited to take it slow. The woman in the car; she wasn't Sam."
"Okay Daniel, as I said, calm down. I know." He wondered how Daniel had got to hear that so quickly this morning.
"Is anyone there with you Daniel? Where are you? Don't trust anyone except T or Jon, okay."
"Right." What Jack had said was just beginning to sink in. "Um, how?"
"I could ask you the same question. Grab T and come over here ASAP. Don't forget to pick up Jon."
"Got it. Later!"
Daniel was not a master of subtlety but Jack thought he'd got the point.
"Daniel," Jack said, turning to Sam.
"Sam, what am I doing in here? Wh...?"
"We just slept in the same bed Jack. Nothing sinister, okay?"
Sam recognised those walls he surrounded himself with all too well. For a few separate moments the previous night he had let them down, and she had pressed home that advantage, but she thought any chance of getting him to demolish them again was probably gone forever. He was suddenly totally business like.
"Okay." He decided not to question it further, just to distance himself from her as quickly as possible, "I'll make coffee and maybe you'll drink it this time. And I'll make some breakfast. You need to eat. Daniel and T are coming here. You are okay with that aren't you?"
"Seems I haven't got much choice."
"Not really. Cat's out of the bag, Sam. They know it wasn't you in the car. You can't play dead anymore. You can play 'in hiding' but not dead."
"I guess it was going to happen sooner or later."
"So when they get here, I expect chapter and verse on what the hell's been going on, okay? We've been trying to find out. Jon hacked into the system at Groom Lake, but we haven't even started looking yet."
"Jon O'Neill?" she stared at his open mouthed.
"What? It surprises you that someone with my brain actually uses it?"
"Jack I didn't mean..."
"Can it Sam. I already know you're way more intelligent than me."
Jack's face was a cold and impenetrable mask, making Sam shudder.
"Jack, don't do this."
"Aw crap, forget it. Can I take a shower?"
"Sure. Towels are in the cupboard in the bathroom."
"Doubt you're going to find anything that remotely fits, but knock yourself out."
He left her to it, eager to get away. The memory of something he'd thought to be a dream was surfacing and making him feel way too vulnerable to be alone in the same room with her, particularly a bedroom. By the time she entered the kitchen he had recovered his equilibrium enough to feel safe in her presence, or as safe as he ever would in this current strange predicament.
She was wearing a pair of his jeans, bottoms rolled up and a belt tightened around her waist to keep them up, and one of his shirts. Both were way too big for her but, with her hair wet and tousled from the shower, she looked alluring and sexy. Jack made a supreme effort to tear his eyes away and appear nonchalant.
"Smells good. What is it?" she asked, mouth watering.
"French toast? I haven't had that for years. Yum."
"Easiest breakfast in the world. Do you want bacon? Maple syrup?"
"Mmm... yes please Jack. Both!"
He handed her a plate piled with crisp French toast and even crisper bacon, placing the maple syrup on the table so she could help herself, and sat down with a much smaller portion for him. She tucked in enthusiastically.
"Orange juice?" he asked as an afterthought.
"I'll get it."
"No. You're the guest. Eat, Sam. You need to eat."
He poured her juice and sat again, picking at his food and surreptitiously watching her wolf down hers. When she finished he pushed his own plate towards her.
"Want mine too? I'm really not very hungry."
"You should eat too."
"I'm holding out for Daniel and T buying donuts on the way over, or some other morsel of fun."
"Are you sure you don't want it? You make a mean French toast."
"Yeah, who says I can't cook? Eat Sam."
She was grinning appreciatively, whether from his efforts to keep their conversation light-hearted or because of the breakfast Jack wasn't sure, but it made him feel good to make her smile so wholeheartedly at a time of huge stress.
Having polished the whole thing off, she washed it down with more coffee and then sat back in the chair and heaved a satisfied sigh.
"That was very good."
"You're kidding, right? I'll be lucky to move within the next half hour."
"Okay, so now let me ask you a question Sam, and I need the truth. When you broke into this house last night, whose house was it? General Jack O'Neill's, or just plain Jack's."
She stared at him for a moment wondering why the answer to this was so important to him. Truth? Right!
"Jack's. My very dear and old friend Jack's."
Jack nodded and Sam thought he looked a little pleased with that answer.
"Why? Why me?"
"Because I trust you with my life, Jack. I trust you to be here for me, to be my friend when I need one."
"What about Daniel? Or Teal'c?"
"Breaking into Cheyenne Mountain is such a bitch," she joked but he merely regarded her silently, "Seriously? Because they aren't you."
"Neat answer. Got 'em all down pat Sam?"
"I know I hurt you Jack and that makes you suspicious of me, but please don't. I need you. I need your help."
"Okay. I'll try to pretend you didn't dump me on my ass with no explanation, just until we get this sorted out. After that all bets are off."
"Don't. I don't want to hear it."
"No, you never did want to hear it, did you?"
Jack was slightly puzzled by her response but chose not to pursue it. He really did not want to talk about this, not right now, probably never. Sam bit back her irritation, recognising that he was still angry with her, and still hurting. She needed him on her side and couldn't afford to estrange him. Things were bad enough between them already.
The silence between them stretched and Jack was relieved to hear the knock on his door: Daniel, Teal'c and Jon.
"So what do you know that we don't and how?" Daniel said excitedly as he entered.
"Living room. Sit and be quiet," Jack responded quickly. Daniel glanced at him askance and then exchanged a look with Teal'c, but bowed to Jack's demand, "I'll get coffee in a minute."
As he suspected, Teal'c had brought donuts and handed them to O'Neill.
"Smells like you've already eaten Jack."
Jack didn't respond but signalled that Sam should come join them. She was diffident, uncertain what her reception might be and worried her friends might be angry.
"Sam? Sam!" Daniel rushed towards her as she came in, pulling her into a tight hug.
"Daniel. It's so good to see you. Teal'c."
She extricated herself from Daniel's embrace and approached the Jaffa tentatively.
"Colonel Carter," he smiled broadly, "you are alive. That is good news indeed."
When she embraced him, he returned it eagerly, happy to see his friend and colleague.
Jon stood staring at her hesitantly, still unable to take it in. Sam was alive! He glanced over at Jack and their eyes met, an interesting exchange of thoughts occurring, for anyone who could reads minds, or the O'Neill eyes. Jon hadn't seen her for so very long and now, having believed she was lost, there she was.
"I'm glad to see that reports of your death are greatly exaggerated, Sam," he said.
"Jon," she responded, "it's good to see you."
"Is it? Well, perhaps we should play catch-up later. You might be able to save us a lot of time trying to find out why someone killed you. Oh, wait a minute, you're not dead!"
"Still got the O'Neill humor, huh?" she retorted.
"Yeah, well no one's perfect."
Jack rolled his eyes in response to that and, catching his expression, Sam suppressed a laughed, but smiled.
"Look, guys, what the hell is going on?" Daniel looked from Jack to Sam and back again and Jack simply shrugged.
"Not a clue. But, hopefully, Sam is about to reveal all."
"Sam, we thought we'd lost you. You can't know how relieved..." Daniel declared with a huge smile. "But you let us believe you were dead." He expression turned to a frown.
"Daniel, she's already had enough of that from me. It's all part of the story so let's just trust her to explain it all to us, shall we?" Jack intervened, for which Sam was grateful.
"Can we have coffee first to go with the donuts and Sam's story?" Daniel looked at Jack pleadingly.
"Sheesh! All right, Daniel, as long as you don't badger Sam while I'm in the kitchen making it. She's been through enough already without her friends turning on her."
"Umm, I'll come help, Jack," Daniel offered, dying to know whatever it was Jack knew already.
Following him out to the kitchen he watched for a short while as Jack started making fresh coffee, but couldn't contain himself for long.
"So, what's going on Jack?"
"I told you, I haven't a clue."
"How did you find Sam? How did you know she was alive?"
"I didn't do either. She broke into the house at some godforsaken time in the early hours of this morning."
"She hasn't told you what's going on? That's a bit odd isn't it?"
"Daniel, she was exhausted and upset. She needed to sleep. And this morning she was hungry. She needed to eat. The subject didn't come up."
"Look, call me a little odd if you like Daniel, but someone tried to kill her and a friend of hers was killed in her place. She's been on the run, in hiding, and not knowing where to turn or who to trust. I figured she needed some time to pull herself together."
"She must have known she could trust any of us."
"Well, that's why she's here, isn't it?
As Daniel and Jack talked in the kitchen, so did Sam and Teal'c in the living room, while Jon sat in a slightly stunned silence, feeling like the odd man out and wondering whether he was welcome there anymore.
"Are you well, Colonel Carter?"
"Not really, Teal'c."
"No. Clearly not."
He reached out an arm and she sunk into his chest gratefully. Teal'c was never one for unnecessary and irksome questions.
"That sure feels good, Teal'c."
"We are friends, are we not?"
"I hope so."
"And this is what friends should do, is it not?"
"Yes. Thank you."
"You can count on my support Colonel Carter."
"I know, and I am so grateful for that Teal'c."
After that they were silent as Teal'c strong arms encircled her in a comforting embrace.
'It's so good to be home,' Sam thought.
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