DISCLAIMER: The story, and characters and anything and everything else concerning SG: SG1 belong to MGM, Gekko, Secret Productions etc, they are so not mine and no money is being made from this and no copyright infringement is intended.
SPOILER: Paradise Lost, A Hundred Days.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author

Four Weeks and…
By Celievamp

Four weeks. Four weeks since Maybourne and the Colonel had vanished through the portal. It was my fault – Hammond had completely exonerated me, but I knew the truth. I had been so caught up in the technology that I allowed Maybourne to get my zat.

And now I can't get them back. I can't reactivate the portal. The research team has been pulled back to the SGC despite my protests. The Colonel is officially MIA.

Teal'c and Jonas are worried about me. They stay close. Teal'c obviously told Jonas of the state I got myself into when the Colonel was stranded on Edora for three months. And I can feel myself falling into the same obsessive behaviour patterns but I can't pull myself out. The same people look out for me now as they did then. Janet brings me food, coffee, holds me when I cry. She has ordered Teal'c to make sure that I sleep and for how long. She even authorised him to bring me to the Infirmary if I do not comply. She threatened to sedate me. She's also ordered that I get weighed once a week and if she thinks my weight has dropped she will relieve me of duty on the spot on medical grounds. I was so angry about this that I stormed off to see General Hammond. He told me that he fully approved of Dr Fraiser's regulations. I was lost.

After the second occasion when Teal'c bodily picked me up and carried me to the infirmary, I gave in. I couldn't be angry with them. They were only thinking of me after all.

And who was I kidding. I had no idea how to bring him back. I had no idea where he was.

Four weeks and one day. I think I had lost it completely by that point. I was just sitting in the dark in the locker room, crying. I didn't know why I was crying – because Jack was lost to me, because I had let Maybourne get my weapon, because I couldn't figure out how the damn portal opened, because everyone thought I was becoming a basket case and walked around me on egg shells, because I couldn't talk to Janet. The last hurt most of all. I knew she was hurting as well. All her old fears and suspicions about me and Jack O'Neill had come back in force. She couldn't stand to see me hurt myself physically and emotionally again the same way I had when he was stranded on Edora.

I was wiping away another flood of tears when I realised that Teal'c was standing behind me.

"Teal'c this is the woman's locker room," I choked out.

"It appears that there is no one else here but you and you are fully clothed." Jaffa logic. Gotta love it as Jack…

"True…" I whispered. He comes to sit beside me.

"Are you all right Major Carter?"

"I'm fine, yeah."

"Have you given up hope of finding O'Neill?"

Had I? "Hope, no. But I'm starting to think Dr Lee is right. I don't think the doorway is the answer. It's been almost a month Teal'c. If there was a way back… It just, it feels like we just lost Daniel and I don't know if I can…" To my surprise Teal'c put his arm around my shoulders. To my even greater surprise I turned into his body and clung to him tightly, crying my eyes out. I felt him tense then slowly relax as he murmured something to me, his tone soothing as if I was a frightened child.

Four weeks and two days. I woke up in the side room off the infirmary. He had carried me there when I ran out of tears and fell asleep in his arms. Janet was sitting in the chair by my bed, going over some notes.

"Hey," I whispered.

"Hey yourself," she smiled. I felt my heart tighten in my chest. God, I loved her so much. What was I thinking, putting her through this crap – again? "How are you feeling?"

I considered for a moment. "Better," I conceded. "Did Teal'c bring me in?"

"You crashed out on him in the locker room," Janet explained. "He was worried when he couldn't wake you. I explained that it had all caught up on you, finally. You've been asleep for almost eleven hours."

I sat up, scrubbed my hands through my hair. "I'd better…"

"No," she said, her tone firm but loving.

I just looked at her. I didn't want to fight, not now, not ever.

"You're going nowhere, Sam."

Little did she know just how true that was. "How long?" I laid down again, too drained to put up even a token fight.

"Another 24 hours observation," Janet said. "And then I'll think about putting you on limited duty." I could see on her face that the fact that I wasn't toe to toe with her fighting about this worried her.

"Okay," I said. I closed my eyes, turned to face her, letting my fingers stroke up and down her arm. I felt a featherlight kiss on my brow, heard a faint whisper. "I love you, you goof."

Four weeks and three days. She gave me space and time to recover myself, to put things back into perspective. And it came to me as I suspect she knew it would if I just stepped back and gave myself the time to think about it.

In the end it was all so simple. Big Circle = Planet. Small Circle = Moon. And a line of transportation between them. And I had missed it. But then so had everyone else. Scant consolation.

We brought the Colonel home with the help of the Tokra. And Maybourne, well, he got a free pass. He's out there somewhere, wheeler dealing, doing someone's dirty work. And I have no doubt we'll see him again some day. The universe isn't such a big place after all.

Four weeks and four days. I went home. I opened the front door and dumped my duffel bag in the hall. I went through into the lounge and there she was curled up on the couch, an open book in her lap, her eyes closed. I just sat and watched her sleep for a long time.

The Colonel was home. The team was complete again. I had got the job done, rectified my error. I knew that I loved this wonderful woman completely. I knew that she loved me far more than I deserved.

I realised that her eyes were open and that she was watching me watching her.

"Hey beautiful," I smiled, dropping to my knees by the couch.

"Hey beautiful," she replied, smiling, knowing that I would blush as I always did. She reached out to me and kissed me long and hard.

When I could breathe again she pulled me up onto the couch beside her. "You did good, you do know that, don't you?"

I winced. The colonel had lost another month stranded somewhere with only Maybourne, some dead Goa'uld and the paranoia lettuce for company. He had got shot. He could have died.

But he didn't. He survived. We survived. I know that I can trust Jonas and Teal'c to the ends of the earth. I know that Janet loves me no matter how stupid and obsessive I can get, beyond any lingering doubts she may have over my feelings for me CO.

Four weeks and five days. I wake up with Janet's body pressed against mine, our legs entwined, her head pillowed on my breast, one arm across my body. She is dreaming, but there is a slight smile on her face so I know it is a good dream. I wonder if I am in it. I did not dream. I feel as if this day is a whole new beginning. I have no fear of loss, of failure. My Colonel is not the only one who has come home.

The End

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