STORY STATUS: Completed 9/10/06
ARCHIVE PERMISSIONS: Ask first. I'll probably say yes.
DISCLAIMER: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. This story is for fun and I sure as hell didn't get paid for writin' it. No copyright infringement intended.
WORD COUNT: 1326
I make my way cautiously down the hall. Anxious as I am to get the hell out of here, I really don't want to run into a contingent of Jaffa.
No sooner does the thought enter my mind, who should come around the corner but Thing One. I felt a blinding rage I haven't felt in a very long time. Before I even realize it, I've got him pinned on the ground and I'm beating the crap out of him. Good as it feels, I can't keep it up. Reluctantly, I stop after a minute. I'd like nothing more than to finish beating him to a bloody pulp, but I really need to get the hell out of Dodge. I pick up his zat and take off again.
I need to find Shallan quickly. Apparently Kanan left behind more than I thought (or care to admit) because I suddenly know which way to go. I make my way through the corridors as quickly as possible. I find the Shallan in no time.
She almost seems frightened of me, or what I'm here to do, and backs slowly away shaking her head.
"Come with me."
"No. He'll stop us."
Like hell he will! Not this time. He's too busy trying to save his own smarmy ass. I grab her arm and yank to make sure she gets my point. "Come." Unlike the snake, I won't leave her behind.
The `thunder' gets louder and the structure shakes as we make our way through the seemingly never-ending corridors. Just when I think we'll make a clean break, three Jaffa round the corner. Luckily, I see them first. A few quick shots and they're all down for the count. Three more, and none of them will be getting up again.
A few more minutes and we stumble out of the trembling structure. I glance up at the sky full of gliders. And one honkin' huge mother ship. Never thought I'd be happy to see one of those.
Go Yu! I smirk and allow myself a moment to watch as Baal's palace shakes once more then begins to collapse.
The sound of angry Jaffa shouts shakes me from my reverie and I take off in a full out run. At least Shallan isn't resisting anymore.
I don't slow down until we reach the DHD. I start dialing without thinking. I catch myself after hitting the first symbol. No GDO. I really don't feel like becoming a permanent part of the iris. Luckily, the first symbol for Earth is the same as the Alpha site. A staff blast strikes mere inches from my foot and I dial as quickly as I can. We race towards the gate
We exit the gate at the same time and trip over each other landing in an undignified heap on the ground. Security surrounds us, MP5's stuck in our faces. A familiar voice calls out telling them to back up. I look up into the grinning face of Major Joseph Shultz. "Welcome back, Colonel O'Neill."
I give him a small smile and shakily get to my feet then extend a hand to Shallan. She smiles broadly and accepts my out stretched hand.
Once standing, we are approached by four men and a woman. I stiffen at the deep rumble of the symbiote's voice as the woman speaks to Shallan. "I am Kinna if the Tok'ra. I am pleased to see you have escaped unharmed. Kanan has told us much about you and how you aided him."
"Told ya all about how he used then abandoned her did he? Or did he leave those parts out?" I growl.
The woman returns my glare. She opens her mouth to respond, but one of the men steps forward and speaks first. "The Tok'ra are truly sorry for what has been done to you Colonel O'Neill. It was unjust of Kanan to do what he did."
He seems sincere and I'm sure he means it, but I seriously doubt the others do. At this point, I really couldn't care less. "Yeah, sure, whatever." I growl. I can feel my strength draining quickly. I just want to go home. I am so not in the mood to deal with the Tok'ra and their posturing.
I look at the woman; she's not ready to drop this. A harsh look from the Tok'ra who'd apologized silenced whatever the female was going to say. He turns to Shallan. "You are welcome to come with us."
"So you can use her some more? I don't think so." I stand in front of Shallan defensively. "Haven't you people done enough?"
"We do not take kindly to accusations such as those." It's the woman again.
"I don't take kindly to being kidnapped and abandoned then left to deal with the consequences of someone else's fuck up." I take a step towards her.
Shallan steps out from behind me and takes my hand firmly in hers. "Stop this." She says firmly. We all look at her. "I will go with them."
I stare at her dumfounded. "What?"
The Tok'ra bitch is smirking, looking like the cat that ate the canary. Shallan has no idea what she's getting herself into.
"You really don't want to do that."
"I am sorry you had to suffer so much because of me. What Kanan did was wrong, but I cannot fault him entirely for it."
"Shallan . . ."
She puts a finger on my lips, effectively silencing my protest. "Their fight is a just one and I wish to help. I believe I can be of more help to the Tok'ra then I can to your people."
One of the Tok'ra men walks over to Shultz. I watch as the sergeant dials up the gate and turn my attention towards it as I hear the kawoosh of the wormhole opening. I watch two of the Tok'ra leave then turn my attention back to Shallan.
I don't agree with her. The Tok'ra do nothing but use people to fulfill their own needs then toss them away like yesterday's trash, but the decision is hers. It's her life.
I nod once and turn towards the sergeant. I pause at the feel of a hand on my shoulder, and turn back around. Before I realize what she's doing, I'm embraced in a tight hug. Shocked, I just stand there. After a moment, I return her hug.
She holds on for a minute longer, then releases me. Standing on her tippy toes, she gently kisses my cheek. "Thank you for rescuing me, Colonel Jack O'Neill of the Tau'ri. You truly are the brave, honorable, warrior I have heard so much about. I am forever in your debt. I will never forget you or what you have done for me this day." That said, she turns and follows the last Tok'ra through the gate.
I watch in silence. When the wormhole snaps shut, I turn to Shultz. "Dial it up, Major. Time to go home."
"Sir, I think you should let . . ."
A harsh glare effectively silences him. He nods and he turns to the sergeant. "You heard the man, Gibbons. Dial Earth."
It takes all I've got to walk unaided, up the ramp and through the shimmering pool. I stagger as I exit the wormhole and immediately turn my attention to the control room.
I don't think I've ever seen a bigger grin on General Hammond's face.
"Stand down." Hammond commands. The SF's lower their guns. I think they're smiling too.
The doors slide open and I see the beaming faces of my teammates. Even Teal'c is smiling. I manage a weak smile. "Miss me kids?"
That's it. The last of the adrenaline leaves me and my trembling muscles can no longer support me. I sink wordlessly to my knees. My friends are at my side in a flash. The last thing I see before my eyes slide shut is three relieved faces.