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The Journey Back to Her

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Part 30

 

General Jack O’Neill studied the SGC Commander as the other man stared out through the window of Jack’s study into the backyard where the barbeque—which Walter Harriman was able to pull together overnight for that Sunday afternoon—was still in full swing even as the sun dipped towards the horizon. More specifically, General Hank Landry was watching Sam and Janet with a concerned look on his face as the women sat under the old oak tree; Sam sat behind the smaller woman, bracing against the tree as Janet’s head rested against her chest, their hands laced over her protruding belly.

 

It was that look on Landry’s face that prompted Jack to invite him into the study for a drink.

 

“Here,” Jack said, handing him a glass of Glenfiddich, his favourite single-malt Scotch whisky—neat, the way Jack liked it.

 

“How long?” Landry asked accepting the glass from him and taking a good slug.

 

“What—how long they’ve been friends?” Jack said sarcastically. “How long they’ve been lovers? How long they’ve been soul mates?” Landry grimaced as Jack continued, “Well I don’t remember the exact date, but I’d say the moment Janet set foot on the base, there was no one else for either, although I don’t think they acted on those feeling until Cassie nearly died. Something like that tends to highlight what’s really important in life.”

 

“Hammond knew.”

 

“Of course Hammond knew,” Jack grated out. “He was Sam’s godfather, for crying out loud; of course he knew. But they were discrete and they were professional—no one could fault them on that.”

 

“Well they’re not being very discrete right now,” Landry said sourly returning his gaze to the two women.

 

“Yeah, well Janet died ... ascended ... whatever—and then she came back from the dead. Like I said, something like that tends to highlight what’s really important in this life.”

 

Jack sat down in his desk chair, studying the other man for a few moments longer.

 

“Sam’s got a second chance, especially since Janet’s got her memory back now—and we both know she’s a very smart woman—she won’t waste it. Oh no, she’s going to grab hold of that second chance with both hands and hold on tight. You’d better accept that right now and deal with it.”

 

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Landry demanded.

 

“Don’t play games with me, Hank!” Jack snarled before taking another sip from his glass; the whisky was smooth going down. “Push this—try to make Sam choose and I guarantee you’ll lose. I know Sam’s service records as well as I know mine. Her stint is up in six months. Janet’s now a civilian and Sam’s a step away from being one as well—so what are you going to do? Reprimand her? Threaten to court martial the woman the president’s pinned with enough medals to sink a battleship?”

 

“No,” the other man replied hoarsely, watching as Teal’c served a couple slices of cake to the two women and then settle down next to Diana and Mike, chatting with them as he ate his own large piece.

 

“What do you suggest, Jack?” Landry asked.

 

Jack gestured to the armchair across from him. As Landry sat down, he continued, “Like I said, accept it and move on. Come Monday morning, Sam’s going to be in your office asking to take her accumulated leave—she’s got, what three or four months?” Landry nodded. “Then grant her request,” Jack said.

 

“That baby is coming in just a couple of weeks and there’s no way she’s going to want to leave Janet. She’s also going to ask for reassignment to Earth—like she did when Cassie was in trouble—so do it. I’m sure there are a lot of projects going on at the SGC that can use her expertise. And if there’s trouble and you really need her, I know she’ll go ... she’ll do her duty ... but you can’t be calling her in every time some damn crystal breaks. As for re-upping in six months, it could go either way. Before this, even before Janet died, I would have said Sam was a lifer. But now, she’s got to be reassessing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she did decide to go civilian. If so, offer her a place as a civilian consultant—hell offer them both spots ... you know how good Janet is.”

 

“My daughter is already excited about the prospect of consulting with her,” the other man said ruefully.

 

“So take advantage of the fact that Sam is not going to want to leave the SGC unless she’s pushed,” Jack said practically. “Take advantage of the fact that in a year or two, when the baby is older, Janet is going to be craving the chance to get in on some cutting-edge research. Work with them … work around their schedules so that they can still spend quality time with their family without having to worry. Come with me and talk to the president; lay it out before him and get whatever special dispensation you’re going to need to make this transition as smooth as possible. Advocate for a more concerted push to repeal DADT.”

 

Landry chuckled. “You don’t think small do you?”

 

“Tell me they’re not worth it,” Jack said quietly. “Tell me “don’t ask—don’t tell” is working. Tell me that you don’t lose a lot of good men and women who opt out, not because the work is too hard or it’s too dangerous, but because they can’t have a home life outside the SGC that isn’t couched in secrets and lies ... because if they get caught living with and loving the partner they want, they get court martial and lose everything.”

 

“There is that,” the other man agreed tiredly. “All right, Jack, I’ll follow your lead on this. When do you think we can meet with the president?”

 

“I have a Homeworld Security briefing with him on Thursday; we can do it then.” As Landry nodded, Jack smiled and rose. “Well let’s get back to the party—looks like they’re serving the chocolate cake Vala brought and Cassie’s about to start singing.”

 

Siler was busy lighting Cassandra’s impromptu stage in the middle of the lawn, while Walter Harriman checked the camera and the recording system.

 

As they stepped outside, Jack accepted a large slice of cake from Vala and promptly began shovelling the delicious confection into his mouth. Finding a lawn chair not to far from where Sam and Janet were sitting, he settled down to watch the concert; Landry settled on the lawn close to his daughter, Carolyn.

 

Jack took a moment to surreptitiously watch the two women talking and laughing as Sam fed Janet small forkfuls of cake. Landry was right; they weren’t being very discrete today.

 

But then again, he didn’t think they should have to.

 

Daniel sat down in the chair next to him, which of course meant that Vala immediately plopped herself down in his lap.

 

“Hey Jack,” his best friend said with a strained smile as Vala wound her arms around his neck.

 

“Daniel, Vala,” Jack acknowledged with a grin as the alien woman proceeded to devour Daniel’s mouth. “Having fun are we?” he teased as Daniel sputtered, barely managing to break the voracious kiss.

 

“Loads of fun,” Vala answered, flexing like a large cat in Daniel’s lap before laying her head against his shoulder. Daniel groaned and rolled his eyes, but snaked his arm possessively about her waist as she reclined against him.

 

Jack glanced at Sam and Janet again, but this time found two pairs of eyes trained on him. Raising his glass of Scotch, he saluted them.

 

And after a surprised moment, they smiled radiantly.

 

The moment was broken as Walter called for their attention. “All right everyone, settle down,” the little Stargate technician ordered. “Without much further ado, it gives me great pleasure to present for your listening pleasure, our very own Cassandra Fraiser!”

 

After a roar of applause, the young woman stepped confidently into the spotlight; then bowing to her mothers, she opened her mouth and sang!

 

 

A time for us, someday there’ll be

When chains are torn, by courage born of a love that’s free

A time when dreams, so long denied

Can flourish as we unveil the love we now must hide

 

A time for us, at last to see

A life worthwhile for you and me

 

And with our love, through tears and thorns

We will endure, as we pass surely through every storm

A time for us, someday there’ll be

A new world, a world of shining hope for you and me

 

A time for us, at last to see

A life worthwhile for you and me

 

And with our love, through tears and thorns

We will endure, as we pass surely through every storm

A time for us, someday there’ll be

A new world, a world of shining hope for you and me

 

A new world, a world of shining hope for you and me …

 

(Music by Nino Rota, 1968; Theme from Zifferelli's Romeo & Juliet; Lyrics by Larry Kusik and Eddie Snyder)

 

 

The End