DISCLAIMER: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. No copyright infringement is intended and nothing is being made. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Feedback is greatly appreciated (especially if you like it). Single quotation marks denote thoughts.
DEDICATION: To Ripley, who has to put up with a lot of my ranting.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

How Many Times?
By Lena Smith


Jack O'Neill was totally wrong, she mused as she collapsed on the couch in the darkened lounge. Saving the world DOES get old. Especially when you're the one expected to pull a rabbit out of your hat again to do it. Her neck and shoulders were totally cramped from the stress but it was over and she'd pulled through again.

'One of these days, I'm not going to find the answer in time. We just can't keep getting this lucky.' She rubbed the bridge of her nose, trying to dispel those disturbing thoughts. The others didn't understand how miraculous these saves, time after time, had been. The weight of her responsibility often drug her down after times like these. Self-doubts, swirling in her brain like so many bees, threatening to overwhelm her.

She was always viewed as the consummate professional, cool, calm, collected, rational, a genius. Nobody realized she was human too, with her own fears and insecurities. And after one of these situations, where the fate of the world literally rested on her shoulders, she would find a dark corner to hide and decompress and hope it never happened again. She wanted to cry, to help relieve the anxiety that built up, but she was too tired to do so.

As she reclined there, she heard the soft footfalls of her best friend, the only other person who REALLY understood what she was going through. Gentle arms enfolded her and she rested her head on the strong shoulder.

"I thought I'd find you here. Everything's going back to normal. Rest now." Soft words, spoken tenderly.

Finally, the tears began to fall, the release of stress, fear, and pain.

"Oh Sam, I really wasn't sure I could do it this time. It was so close. And I couldn't save everyone."

Samantha Carter held the other woman, letting her have the release she needed, just as Janet had done for her time and again. "I know, honey, but you saved the world, again. And as much as it hurts, you can't always save everyone." Sam brushed back the auburn bangs. "I always have faith in you. Remember that."

The End

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