Ten years after an alternative outcome for Heroes, the Gate becomes public. Daniel Jackson is in charge of the SGC, and Sam is there for the ride.
Categories: Jack/Daniel Characters:
Daniel Jackson, Jack O'Neill, Janet Fraiser, Samantha Carter, Teal'c
Angst, Established Relationship, Friendship, TeamWarnings:
27 Jun 2016 Updated:
27 Jun 2016
I've always loved fics showing the friendship between Sam and Daniel, and I've long wanted to write a fic from Sam's POV through a journey with Daniel.
The title of the fic is from the beautiful song Move On from Sunday in the Park with George. I highly recommend searching it out on YouTube and watching Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters performance of it.
Chapter 1 by babs
Just Keep Moving On
This is it, Sam thought as she looked at the crowd. The shining moment, the day they thought would never come in their lifetime.
"Colonel," a familiar voice said in her ear and without looking she responded with quiet acknowledgement, "Sir."
"Jack. Remember?" he whispered.
Sam thought he gave a snort of exasperation at that, but old habits did die hard.
They stood at the back of the stage, behind the President who was being fitted with a personal microphone. Teal'c stood on her other side, in robes and with his staff weapon, disarmed of course, a symbol of power and not might in the new beginning for all of them. Other dignitaries joined them on the stage—the secretary general of the UN, leaders of other countries, and the murmur of the crowd grew louder.
"I hope..." Sam began to say and O'Neill shook his head.
"Still the pessimist, Carter?" he asked with no trace of cockiness.
"This is a big step," she said. "Do you really think...?" She let the sentence go unfinished sure that some of the reporters were already watching their exchange and trying to read their lips through zoom lenses.
"Trust Daniel," her former CO said and it was enough to make her relax and even smile slightly.
She turned her attention to the crowd, trying hard to see Janet. She caught a glimpse of auburn hair and then saw General Hammond. A person on the stage held up a hand and she watched his fingers go down one by one until the President stepped forward to the microphone.
General O'Neill moved a millimeter closer, and Teal'c stood even straighter while she took a deep breath when the President began to speak.
"Citizens of the world," he said which alone was enough to start a flurry of activity among the reporters.
The President's speech was short and to the point. It surprised her—she would have thought his speech-writers would have used it as an opportunity to show off their skills. She didn't have the luxury at looking at a watch or clock but she estimated he took no longer than five minutes to outline the brief history of the Stargate project.
"And now I'd like to present to you, to the citizens of the world, the leader of the SGC, Doctor Daniel Jackson."
She heard the general take a quick intake of breath and she reached out her hand. He took it in his, his fingers closing around hers, squeezing gently.
Daniel walked to the podium. He took a moment to straighten his glasses and then smiled. "Hi, everybody," he said in English and then proceeded to give greetings to the people of the world in as many native languages as he'd been able to learn for this day before he began telling everyone just exactly what having the Stargate meant for Earth.
* * * ** *
Sam entered the briefing room, knowing Daniel would be there. He stood at the window overlooking the Gateroom. The base was finally quiet, at least for the moment, the media and all the political figures sent on their way. Granted, the road to the mountain was filled with news vans sending reports all over the world, but, in the SGC things were quiet and Daniel would finally get some much needed rest.
"Hey," he said without even turning.
She came up behind him and slipped an arm around his waist. He'd discarded the jacket and the tie and looked more like the Daniel she'd always known. He draped his left arm over her shoulders and gave her a one-armed hug.
"Where are Teal'c and General O'Neill?" she asked.
Daniel shrugged, but couldn't quite hide the wince. "They went to see if they could round up some food from the commissary." He turned to her and smiled a little smile, a genuine Daniel smile. "I'm hoping for some chocolate."
She smiled back. "If they can't find any for you, we'll break out my stash later."
"I always knew you were holding out on me," he replied, his gaze going back to the Gateroom.
She stood by him, listening to the quiet sounds of his breath, and feeling the thrum of slowly releasing tension from his body. She waited a few minutes before she looked at him again, his head tilted a little to one side and his glasses reflected the Gate. As she watched him, pain chased over his face. She wasn't surprised. This day was harder on Daniel than any of them, even though he was the one who insisted for the past two years that making the program public was the right thing to do.
"Sit down," Sam told him, tugging on his hand and urging him towards a chair.
"You realize if I sit down, I'm unlikely to want to move until morning?" Daniel said even as he obeyed.
"Hmm," Sam murmured. She placed her hands on his left shoulder and let her fingers trail across his upper back. The scar tissue on his right side was thick underneath her fingertips and she stopped just before the sloping curve of what remained of his right shoulder. She put her hands back on his left shoulder and began a slow massage, his muscles so tight they were like rocks under her hands. Slowly, under her fingers he relaxed as the muscles loosened. Sam was sure he'd have a headache too. She moved her hand to the base of his scalp and continued her ministrations. He gave a little involuntary gasp as his right shoulder jerked. Sam moved to his right side. After the mission, those first days and weeks when he'd lost the arm, Jack discovered that if they massaged the arm that was no longer there, Daniel's pain somehow lessened. So Sam moved to his right side and rested her fingers on the remaining part of his shoulder, beginning to move her hands in small circles and then lower and lower, sculpting an arm in the air. Daniel watched her, his face expressionless.
Sam looked up at him as she finished and took his left hand in hers. His fingers were warm and strong and curled around hers.
"Do you need a pill or something?" He looked like he had a headache, his eyes nearly closed. Maybe that was the reason for the darkened room.
He shook his head but kept his eyes closed. "I haven't had any phantom pain for awhile. It just took me by surprise, that's all."
"You're tired and hungry. Maybe I should go see if Teal'c and..." But she didn't have a chance to finish her statement as General O'Neill and Teal'c came into the briefing room pushing what looked like enough food for twenty people instead of four.
"Soup's on," the general said as he and Teal'c began placing food on the table.
"And strangely enough, there's no soup," Daniel said as they sat down.
Sam couldn't hold back a snicker.
"You want soup?" General O'Neill asked.
Daniel laughed and shook his head before he took a sandwich. The plastic wrap was gone, something the general had probably seen to before he'd left the mess.
The room fell silent as they ate. Sam looked up from a plate of fruit salad to see Jack watching Daniel, a small frown on his face. She ducked her head and glanced sideways at her friend.
If she thought he'd looked tired before, now Daniel looked ready to fall over into his pie. The fork in his left hand trembled ever so slightly and when he went to cut the crust, the plate slid away from him. He pulled it back, attempting to use his fork again but once more the plate slid.
Daniel pushed the plate away and dropped the fork.
Jack said nothing but cut the pie into smaller pieces before pushing the plate back to his partner, the same small help she'd seen Jack give for the last ten years.
Sam thought she must be tired too considering the way her eyes burned at the gesture.
Two bites and Daniel stopped. "Sorry."
"You need Fraiser or Warner?" Jack asked.
Daniel started to shake his head but Sam could tell the moment he thought better of it. His jaw tightened and he hunched forward.
"C'mon," Jack said. He got up and walked to Daniel's side, pulling him to his feet. "Let's get you to bed."
"Not tired," Daniel muttered.
"I know." The general placed an arm over Daniel's shoulders. "We'll just go to your quarters and relax for a little."
Daniel said nothing but as they approached the door, Sam heard him grunt in pain.
Sam swallowed hard at the tone in the general's voice, a timbre she only ever heard him use with Daniel—one she remembered with clarity from those first awful weeks after 666. Ten years back and she still could remember the sight of Daniel lying so still and seemingly diminished in the ICU.
Daniel said something she couldn't quite hear and O'Neill steered him through the doorway.
"You got any pills in your room?" she heard him ask before the door closed behind them.
Sam pushed her chair back from the table. She picked up the plate Daniel had been using and held it in her hands, trying to ignore the lump in her throat.
"Samantha?" Teal'c asked from behind her. He reached around her to take the plate from her.
She shook her head, not sure why she was reacting this way. She'd had ten years, nearly eleven to get used to everything. Maybe she *was* tired. Or maybe it was the end of an era she didn't want to see ever ending.
"He...I don't think I've ever realized..." Sam shook her head again and this time didn't try to hold back the tears that had been threatening to fall for most of the roller coaster of a day.
Teal'c's arms came around her and she turned into his comforting embrace.
"Always remember this, SamanthaCarter, we, O'Neill, DanielJackson, you, and I, are a team. Nothing changes that."
Sam nodded and held onto him even tighter.
* * * *
General O'Neill stood outside Daniel's on-base quarters. He straightened as Sam approached.
"Sir, is Daniel...?" Sam let the question go unfinished. Seeing Daniel in pain hurt her and she hadn't liked how tired and worn he'd looked in the briefing room.
"Fraiser's in with him now," he said. He looked down at the mug he held in his hand. "I promised him I'd get him coffee. He used up the stash he had in there this morning." He gestured at the closed door.
Sam smiled. "Want some help?"
Jack let out a breath. "Carter, he has at least ten different kinds of coffee in his office. Me, I like plain old coffee." He began walking down the hall.
"I'm sure we can find the right kind, sir," Sam said as she walked beside the general.
It only took them a few minutes to reach Daniel's office—the one he'd insisted on keeping even after he'd been made head of the SGC, not that he was ever able to spend much time in it anymore.
It looked much the same as it always had—books filling the shelves to overflowing, various artifacts placed on shelves and tables, and the familiar screensaver of an Egyptian papyrus scrolling across the computer.
"What do you suppose this is, Carter?"
Sam turned from getting a bag of coffee out of a cabinet to see Jack holding a small statue of what appeared to be a pregnant woman. She'd been around Daniel long enough to take a guess. "I think it might be a fertility symbol, sir," she said and then grinned when he hurriedly returned it to its place on Daniel's computer desk.
"You got the coffee?" he asked.
She nodded and held it up. She said nothing more as Jack turned off the lights and they went back to the quarters Daniel and he shared on the base.
Janet was just coming out of the door when they arrived. She gave both of them a smile. Sam let out a breath.
"How's he doing, Doc?" Jack asked. He gestured for Sam to precede him into the small sitting room.
"He's sleeping," Janet said quietly. "He'll be okay in the morning." She looked at her watch. "Speaking of which, he told me to remind you that he starts interviews at 0500."
"He gonna be okay for them?" Jack asked, his voice sounding slightly hoarse.
"Do you think I could stop him from granting them even if he wasn't?" Janet asked. "But in answer, yes. Call if there are any problems, but I anticipate that he'll sleep until then." She gave them both another smile.
"Thanks, Doc," Jack said as she left.
Sam stood in the middle of the room, not quite sure what to do with the coffee.
"You want some?" Jack asked her and held out his hand for the bag. "I've got three hours to kill until I have to wake him up." He filled the filter and started the coffee maker. "I'm just going to go check on..." he let the sentence go unfinished and gestured towards the closed door.
She looked at him in surprise and then found herself nodding. She sat down on the small sofa and picked up a picture in a frame. It had been taken three months before the mission that had changed everything. Daniel was between her and Jack, arms slung over both of their shoulders, whole and healthy. It was as far as she knew the last picture any of them had of Daniel before...not liking the path her mind was taking she put the picture back down on the table.
She could hear the gunfire, the whine of staff weapons, voices yelling, and see Colonel O'Neill falling on the battlefield.
"Cover me," she yelled at someone, running low and fast to her CO's side. She placed fingers on his neck, checking for a pulse, but couldn't feel anything. The weapons-fire was loud and she bent lower, trying to hear breathing even though she knew it wasn't really possible over the sound of battle. No time—she grabbed hold of his vest and pulled. Other hands appeared beside hers, helping her to pull the colonel to a safer position.
"We've got to get him back to the Gate," she said to Dixon. "ASAP."
Dixon gave her a grim nod. "We're doing our best, Major," he yelled as yet another staff weapon blast hit the rocks in front to them.
She took her own weapon and began firing towards the enemy. If the only way out was to kill them all, she was ready to do her part.
She was vaguely aware of a medic coming to the colonel's aid, the fighting dying down, and then, Janet's voice in her ear.
"Daniel's down. He's been hit," and Janet who always sounded calm in the midst of a crisis sounded as if it was very, very bad.
The colonel hadn't spoken once but now he was...
Sam looked up and saw General O'Neill sitting on the chair beside the sofa, holding out a mug.
"Carter," he said and waited.
"Sorry." Sam shook her head and then smiled as she took the mug. "Sorry about that. I was just..." she stopped and looked at the photo again. "Just remembering."
He nodded. "Yeah." He leaned forward and placed his own mug on the table. "It's been a rough day. A long day."
Sam looked at her former CO. His eyes were dark with what she suspected were his own memories of the past. She opened her mouth to say something, anything and then mentally sighed in relief when there was a sound at the door.
Teal'c entered the small room, bearing yet another tray of food.
"Party time?" Jack asked with a familiar half-grin.
"I thought perhaps we would all need sustenance until morning." Teal'c answered before he sat down cross-legged on the floor in front of the door.
Sam settled back on the sofa. It seemed right that they were all together this night as they'd been together so many times in the past. She looked at the closed door leading to Daniel's, and Jack's, bedroom.
"Sir, if you..." she said, not sure if she should be so presumptuous.
He followed her gaze and then shook his head. "I'll check on him in a little bit. He's out like a light."
Sam wondered just how much sleep Daniel had gotten over the past weeks as the countdown to making the program public got closer. Her own schedule had been tiring with meetings with scientists from all over the world and explaining Stargate physics to them. Daniel's must have been exhausting. She didn't think it was going to get any better over the next couple of months.
She leaned her head back and closed her eyes, hearing Teal'c and Jack talking softly.
* * * *
Sam wasn't surprised by the magazine in people's hands when she got off the elevator some six months later. She headed down the hall to her lab, shaking her head.
"Please tell me I can hide out in here," Daniel said when she closed the door. Sam pushed a few buttons and smiled at him.
"You can now."
"Thank you," Daniel said. He sat down on one of her stools with a sigh. "They didn't tell me that I was going to be the cover story."
Sam grinned and pulled out a copy of People magazine, Daniel's picture on the cover. He was dressed casually in a sweatshirt and jeans and had what she always thought of his archaeologist face on--the expression he used to have when he'd be explaining something earnestly to them on an off-world mission. "Sexiest Man Alive," Sam said aloud. "Score one for the geeks."
"Jack is never going to let me live this down. Hell, no one here at the SGC will." He looked dismayed.
"I don't think General O'Neill disagrees with the sentiment," Sam said. She knew she didn't although she didn't dare express that out loud. Besides, she'd always thought of Daniel as more of a brother than anything else.
"I thought maybe I could, I don't know, help you with some experiments or something," Daniel said. He pushed up his glasses. "I can't face the rest of..." He motioned towards the door, "them yet."
"I'm sure I can find something for you to do. Maybe some paperwork?" she asked innocently.
He gave the smallest of smiles. "Thanks," he said and got up from the stool. "Time to face my adoring public, I suppose."
Sam snorted and shook her head. "Don't forget the little people." She watched him punch in the code and leave before she looked back at the magazine. Sexiest man alive for sure.
* * * *
They hadn't expected a betrayal would come from within. One year in, it appeared that most of Earth had accepted the presence of the Stargate but evidently Major Riley DuBois had not accepted the decision to make it public.
Sam looked down in the Gateroom where DuBois stood on the ramp with a gun held to Daniel's head. The hostage situation had been going on for over an hour. Sam put one hand on the glass as if there was some way she could help. The audio was on and Dubois was ranting about the program and Daniel's part in it.
"C'mon, DuBois, you don't want this," General O'Neill said in a quiet voice.
But his words appeared to make DuBois even angrier and he tightened his grip on Daniel.
"Riley," Daniel said, his voice calm, "we'll help you and Marissa. There's marriage counseling available. I'll make sure the two of you get any help you need."
"Shut up," Riley said. "You can't help. You can't."
"We can. I'll personally see to it. Marissa needs you, Riley." Daniel continued speaking in that same tone Sam had heard on countless missions. We come in peace, we want to be friends.
"You don't understand," Riley said. "You don't. I can't do it." He pressed the barrel to Daniel's temple.
"No," Sam whispered from her vantage point. "Please no."
"DuBois," General O'Neill said again, "you don't want to do this."
"Please," Daniel said. "Riley, put the gun down."
"Shut up!" Riley screamed and Daniel flinched. "Shut up!" His hand twitched and in a fraction of a second, DuBois was on the gateroom floor, dead and Daniel was half on, half off the ramp, blood blossoming on the right side of his blue shirt.
"Damn it." Sam heard General O'Neill yell as he knelt on the ramp. "Get the medics here."
"On their way, sir," Sam said into the speaker. He looked up at her, his face grim, his hands pressed tight onto the wound.
* * * *
"DanielJackson has woken several times," Teal'c told Sam as she walked into the quiet hush of the infirmary. "The anesthesia did not agree with him."
Sam nodded. The bullet had entered Daniel's right shoulder and although Janet had assured them he'd make a full recovery, the whole incident had left them all shaken. Especially General O'Neill thought Sam.
"Where is O'Neill?" Teal'c asked. "DanielJackson asked for him earlier."
"He went to Major DuBois' house with the base chaplain," she said. "To tell Marissa DuBois her husband died in the line of duty. An autopsy is being done--to see if there is some sort of explanation for..." she motioned to a sleeping Daniel, "everything that happened today."
Teal'c nodded. "I am in need of kel-no-reem," he said and gestured to the chair he'd vacated at Sam's entrance.
"Thank you," she said. "I'll wait with him until General O'Neill returns." She sat down and opened her laptop.
"Sam?" Daniel said in a quiet voice, "What happened? My arm?" He brought his left arm across his body trying to pat the bed at his waist. She took his hand before he could touch the dressing at his shoulder.
"You were shot. In the Gateroom." She kept hold of his hand and watched as the confusion cleared. "You're going to be okay."
"Water?" he asked and Sam noticed the ice chips in a small cup. She gave him a spoonful and had to smile at the look of pure pleasure on his face.
"He and the chaplain went to the DuBois' home." Sam said quietly. "Major DuBois didn't make it."
Daniel closed his eyes a moment. "He was a good man."
"He was," Sam agreed. "They're doing an autopsy to find out if there is any sort of explanation for..." she searched for the right word, "his breakdown."
Daniel nodded and drifted off into a light sleep once again.
General O'Neill entered Daniel's cubicle a few hours later. He looked worn but his expression lightened when he saw Daniel sitting there, eating some applesauce.
"You," Daniel pointed a spoon at Jack. "You shot me."
"Someone had to do it," O'Neill shrugged and Sam had to hide her smile. She had the feeling Daniel knew exactly what he was doing.
"Well Daniel, sir, I'll be leaving now," she said as she gathered her supplies. She shook her head. It was quite obvious neither of the men had heard her. General O'Neill was perched on the left side of Daniel's bed, bent low to say something that made Daniel frown while Daniel reached up to touch O'Neill's cheek. Someday Sam hoped she'd find a love that strong.
When had they all aged? Sam wondered. Daniel sat at the briefing table and she couldn't help but miss the gray hair now threaded among the light brown. Hell, she noticed her age every time she looked in the mirror, wrinkles that she swore hadn't been there just the day before. Daniel nodded at something Doctor Jerald said and then smiled, the years seeming to melt from his face.
"SG-33, I have total trust that you will successfully complete this mission." Daniel stood and waited until the international team of scientists filed out. He walked to the large window and looked out at the Gate. She saw his hand clench into a fist before he relaxed and leaned his head against the glass.
Sam moved to his side, worry curling in her stomach. "Daniel?"
He turned to face her, his expression one of longing. "Do you ever wish you could..." he trailed off and faced the Gateroom again. They stood in anticipation as the Gate came to life and SG-33 walked through, the puddle of blue shattering in reflection in Daniel's glasses. "Jack's been able to walk away from it. I just..." There was a small hitch in his breathing, and she watched the line of his jaw tighten a fraction as he tried to clamp down the emotion.
Sam felt his unvoiced sigh and moved just a fraction closer, reached out to wrap her arm around his waist. "I think I always knew it couldn't last forever." She breathed in the scent of him—of the aftershave that smelled of sandalwood, the faint tinge of coffee and books. His left hand rested on her hand—she felt the warmth of the gold wedding band he now wore. She closed her eyes for a moment. Daniel had lost so much over the years—the Gate had been a cruel mistress. But she also knew Daniel. If she asked him right now, she was certain he'd say everything had been worth it. And maybe it had been. Her life certainly would be less rich were Daniel Jackson, Jack O'Neill, and Teal'c not a part of it.
"Yeah," Daniel murmured, "I knew it too." He gave a small huff of laughter tinged with regret and sadness. "Sometimes though...I miss it, Sam. Miss it more than I ever thought I could or would." He put his left hand against the glass once again. "This whole...adventure. Jack would say it's been one hell of a ride. I just don't want the ride to be completely over."
Sam had no words for him, especially not when she noticed the sheen of tears in his eyes. She simply held on, as SG-1, past and present, had always done for each other.
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