What Isn't Said Is Often Loudest
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: What Isn't Said Is Often Loudest
Category: Romance - sort of
Spoilers / Season: anything after Pete shows up, Tiny ones for Singularity and Show and Tell
Warning: If you like Pete, don't read this. If you dislike original characters don't read this
Summary: An old friend of Jack's gives Sam something to think about.
Major Carter sat down with her morning coffee. She had gotten into the habit of stopping at the corner cafe on the way to work. But this morning would be a little different. A woman she had never seen before approached her table.
Carter looked up at the 40 something woman. She was pretty and plainly dressed, her black hair pulled back into braids.
"Yes?" Carter answered her.
"You don't know me, and I know that makes you uncomfortable, but I know of you, and I know Colonel O'Neill"
Carter frowned slightly, puzzled, and not a little suspicious.
The woman smiled reassuringly, "May I sit down?"
"Let me explain a little about who I am, so you'll understand. I am an old friend of Jack O'Neill's. I've known him since forever. I've known him since before Sara."
Carter raised her eyebrows.
"I talk to him, maybe once a year. And, not surprisingly," she smiled, "he never calls me. Once upon a time we were tight. Now we're all grown up, but I think about him now and again. I finally get curious as to whether he's still alive, and I call him and we catch up." Then she laughed, "Well, as you can imagine, he catches up on what I've been doing. I don't hear much about what he's, what you've been up to."
Carter's eyes narrowed slightly.
"Oh don't get all huffy now, Major. I won't ask about your secrets. I've been not-hearing Jack O'Neill's secrets for twenty years give or take. It don't bother me. See, I know Jack. His secrets can be. I trust him. He knows me better than any other person on Earth and I know him. So if he needs to keep secrets, that's fine."
She sipped her coffee while Carter waited. "I'll tell you what he does talk about when I ask him: people. I know about you and Daniel and Teal'c. I know Janet and Cassie." When Carter's surprise showed, she laughed, "I'm the one who ended up with that dog! He couldn't bear to take it back to the pound." She smiled again, "I know George and his grandchildren. He told me about a girl named Merrin and another boy named Charlie. I don't know how he met them or what happened to them, but I know how he felt about them."
"He told you?" Carter's disbelief at the thought of the Colonel sharing his feelings made her doubt this woman's story all the more.
She just laughed, "No! Are you kidding? Have you ever heard him? No, I listen between the lines. Like I said, I know him. With Jack you have to listen with different ears. Sara knew that, bless her. I remember when they met. Jack was so tied, but she never knew. He never told her. I could tell, but she couldn't. I don't know what made her figure it out finally, I had moved away by then, but when she did - well, they were great together."
Carter lowered her eyes out of respect and sadness for her friend's losses.
"So, you're wondering why I'm talking to you." She took a deep breath and plunged in, "I talked to him recently. He told me very little this time, but I know this:" her eyes narrowed as she leaned forward, "You hurt him."
"What?!" Carter asked, angry, confused and defensive. "What are you talking about?"
"There's no better man, no better person in this world than Jack O'Neill and he's had more than his share of hurt. He don't deserve this. What you have with him... You really have no idea, do you? You have what not even Sara could have. You go with him. Wherever it is he goes, and I know him well enough to know it's dangerous. He's always gone into danger - usually so someone else can stay safe. You go with him. You share his life in a way no other woman ever has."
Carter shook her head.
"If I could find a man like Jack O'Neill, half the man Jack is. And if that man cared for me like Jack does you? I'd grab hold and never let go, not for anything."
"And you know all this from what he didn't say?"
She just sat back and looked at Carter. They sat silent for a long time.
Carter finally responded, "We can't - there are regulations - "
"Regulations against what!? You give up on him because it can't get physical? Is that what you need?" She asked disdainfully.
"You have no idea what you're talking about."
"Then tell me."
"He's my commander, what we do, like you said, it's dangerous."
"What if - what if he was forced to order me into that danger, possibly to my death - "
"Oh that's right, `cause Jack might not do the right thing...?" She looked at Carter with a give-me-a-break expression.
"Maybe it's me. What if I had to" Carter gritted her teeth, "let him die?"
The woman sat back in her chair and regarded Carter with something like disappointment.
They sat in silence again for some time.
Finally the woman spoke, "What if it's worth more than life or death?" She asked. "When you truly care about someone, you receive what they can give you, and you give them all you can. You don't look to please yourself."
The mysterious woman stood somewhat sadly and shook her head. "I talk too much. I'm flawed in that way." She laid a bill under her coffee cup and walked away. "Good bye, Major Carter."
A very subdued Samantha Carter walked into Cheyenne Mountain much later than she was expected.
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