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. Lyrics are from "No Distance left to Run" by Blur.
WARNING: This contains SPOILERS for the Season 7 Episode Grace. Read no further if you'd rather not be spoiled.
EXTRA WARNING: this is set in an imperfect universe where sh*t happens even to the best of people. Angst and more angst, I'm afraid.
SERIES: This is the fourth story in the Grace series.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author

No Distance Left to Run
By Celievamp

I had gone to bed early but sleep seemed to be a stranger tonight. I did wonder if Sam would visit but so far there had been no sign of her. It had been a surprise to see her earlier – she wasn't scheduled to return for two more days but something unexpected had happened on one of the missile tests and she had needed to run her figure through the base computer to pinpoint the flaw in the guidance system. Our conversation was as it had been since the break up. Polite but light years distant from each other.

The phone rang. It was a little after midnight. "Fraiser Household," I said.

"Hi Doc, it's Jen over at "Decade." Ummm, are you missing anyone?"

"Not really," I said and then closed my eyes and pinched the bridge of my nose. Sam… it could only be. Very few other people of my acquaintance frequented the gay-friendly "Decades". Fewer still had my contact number posted behind the bar in case of emergencies. "Oh god, Sam. How is she?"

"Well she's had two pitchers of beer, diverted her way around the vodka shots for a bit and she's making inroads on the tequila. Don't worry, she's only harming herself. It's like she's got a freeze zone around her about five feet wide. No one dares go near her except the staff. Tash has already picked her pocket for her bike keys and wallet so she's going nowhere until you get here."

"I won't be coming over, Jen. I'm kind of the reason she's drinking herself into oblivion and I'm the last person she'll want to see. We split up a few weeks ago."

"Damn, I'm sorry to hear that Doc, I really am. You two made the cutest couple."

"Look, I'll see if I can get a mutual friend to come over and collect her. He's called Daniel. Just… don't let her do anything stupid, okay."

"Don't worry, doc. And don't be a stranger yourself, okay."

"I won't," I smiled. "Thanks, Jen."

"Any time, Janet."

I laid back against the pillows for a moment. Sam already hated me so what did I have to lose. I picked up the phone and dialed Daniel's number, praying that he was at home and not still at the Base."

"Daniel Jackson here."

"Daniel, it's Janet. Look, I know its late but I need a huge favour from you."

"Name it, Janet. What can I do?"

"It's Sam. She's at a bar called 'Decades' and she's pretty drunk. The barkeep is a friend of mine and she gave me a head's up. She didn't know we weren't… anyway, could you go over there and make sure Sam gets home safely."

"No problem," he said and I silently blessed him.

I gave him directions to the bar and asked him to call me as soon as he'd got Sam safely home. And then it hit me. As far as I knew, Sam's home was still officially here. Only it wasn't. She hadn't been back once since she transferred to the Alpha site. Perhaps she could sleep it off at Daniel's place. She couldn't go back to the base in the state she was in. She would end up in the brig.

I just hoped that this wouldn't be the end of another beautiful friendship.

I was drunk. Finally. Jen had been giving me the evil eye for the last half hour. One more for the road. I had never driven the bike this toasted before. It should be quite something.

Someone slid into the seat beside me. "Hi Sam."

Not remotely in the top one hundred thousand of people I ever expected to darken the doors of Decades. Part of my mind was thinking how I alliterated sentences when I was drunk. Did it make me sound cool or just… drunk.

"Daniel? No offence but what the hell are you doing here?"

"Janet asked me to come pick you up. Make sure you got home safely."

That explained the evil eye Jen had been giving me. I felt in my pocket for my bike keys and my wallet only to find them both gone. Jen reached behind the tips jar and held them up. "No way are you getting your bike keys back tonight, Sam. Let the nice man drive you home. You can collect the bike in the morning. It'll be safe in the lock-up overnight."

This was a fight I wasn't going to win and suddenly one I wasn't in the mood for anyway. Jen gave me back my wallet so that I could pay my bar bill and then I let Daniel escort me off the premises.

And then it struck me. Where the hell was I gonna go? I could not go back home – back to Janet's house. Not home. Not any more. I had forgone the right to that when ...

It was a great pity that the only working time machine we had went back a total of ten hours. I needed a lot more time than that to undo what I had done.

"Sam? I thought you could spend the night in my spare room if you wanted. I know things are still a bit difficult between you and Janet and you don't want to go to the base like this…" We were parked outside his apartment building. I must have been really out of it for a while there. I didn't realise we had even left Decade's car park.

"Don't want to wake up in the brig with a hangover. Not nice," I agreed. "You're a good friend, Danny, best friend ever…" I let my mouth spout off rubbish whilst I concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other and making it up the steps to the front door without falling over or throwing up.

I zoned out again because suddenly I was in his living room and he was leading me to the couch. "Do you want a coffee, something to eat?" he asked.

"Not hungry," I mumbled. "Had bar chocolate b'for I left."

"Sam," Daniel said softly, "Woman cannot live by chocolate alone. Why are you doing this to yourself?"

'But she can have a damn good try,' I said, wiped the back of my hand across my face, surprised to find it was wet. I was crying. "And I deserve it."

"Talk to her, Sam. Whatever you..." I must have glared at him "... whatever happened between you - no way could it have been bad enough to negate everything that you and Janet had between you. I..."

"Has she said anything?"

"No! No." Daniel was slightly taken back at the tone in my voice. "She hasn't said anything. But she's hurting. And so are you. Any fool can see that."

"I don't know if I can. I don't know if it's possible, after everything I... after what happened between us, what I said, I..." I looked down at her hands which were shaking. "Oh Danny, it's all such a fucking mess."

"What happened, Sam?" Daniel asked gently, sitting on the couch beside me. And so I told him the whole story from the Prometheus onwards and then I cried all over him and then I fell asleep.

"It's over
You don't need to tell me
I hope you're with someone who makes you
Feel safe in your sleeping tonight
I won't kill myself, trying to stay in your life
I got no distance left to run."

There was soft music in the air even if the sentiment was a little close to home and a warm blanket over me and a taste like three day old Commissary curry in my mouth. And did I mention the pounding headache and the memory loss and the cartwheeling stomach?

"Good, you're awake."

"Daniel? What are you doing in my…" I opened my eyes long enough to realise that this was his livingroom. "Why am I here?"

"The throbbing hangover isn't a big enough clue for you?" He could be irritatingly cheerful sometimes. Like his doppelganger on my trip down the rabbithole. Oh shit. It all came flooding back. I had told him everything. The kiss. The stupid insecurities that made me break up with Janet. The even stupider pride that stopped me from crawling back to her and begging her forgiveness. Which I didn't deserve.

"Sorry," I said. "I'd better… " I tried to stand up and something in the greenness of my expression made him start towards me and then back off again.

"Second door on the right," he said as I bolted past him.

I rinsed out my mouth and then filled the sink with water and dunked my head trying to clear it. Checking my watch I saw that in a little over an hour I had to be back at the Base to go through the test results and then head back to the Alpha site to make the next set of modifications. Towelling off my hair I walked back into Daniel's livingroom.

"Thanks for rescuing me last night," I said, accepting the cup of coffee he held out for me.

"Don't thank me, thank Janet," he said. "She's the one who asked me to go after you. For god's sake Sam make it up with her. You're both hurting over this."

"I will," I said. "I promise. But I don't know if she'll have me back. I hurt her pretty badly, Daniel."

"Tell her," Daniel urged. "Before it's too late."

Tell her. I closed my eyes, nodded. "Next time I see her I will, I promise."

If only I'd known.

Daniel phoned me a little after two a.m. Sam was safe, sleeping it off on his couch and they had had a talk which he fervently hoped she would remember in the morning.

"She told me the whole story, Janet. I've never seen her cry so hard. She misses you terribly. This is killing her bit by bit."

"It's killing me too, Daniel. But this was her doing. I can't be the one to do the asking here. I know it sounds stupid, but that's the way it's got to be. The way Sam's mind works she's got to make the first move. Otherwise we'll be back at square one."

"I know. Look, I'll work on her again in the morning. But if you get the chance, let her know that the way is clear, would you."

"I will," I said. "Next time I see her, I will. I promise."

If only I'd known.

"You don't need to do this, Major," Hammond said gently from the doorway to Janet's office. The CMO's office, I amended automatically. Not Janet's. Not since…

… weaponsfire all around us, the Colonel down bleeding out chest wound hands pressed against his flesh his blood cooling on my hands screaming for medic

see Janet look up

see Janet run

see Janet scream

see Janet fall

screaming her name knowing there was nothing I could say or do nothing left she's gone dead no way she could survive no way never say again I loved her never know how much hurting hurting…

"Yes I do, sir." I could not meet his gaze, could not see the pity there. I continued to place Janet's personal belongings in the cardboard box I had brought for that purpose. The photo's on her desk. One of all three of us together with Cassie's dog, one of Cassie on her own. Her coffee mug that Cassie and I had made for her in a weekend craft class her first year on earth. Her hairbrush and make up bag. Her diary.

It was two days since the memorial. There had been no funeral – none of the bodies had been found when we went back to the Alpha site. We had found what looked like a firepit, a few charred remains, fragments of uniform. Not enough to bury.

"You are listed as Doctor Fraiser's next of kin and the executor of her will," the General said. "She left letters for everyone. Strangely enough she updated them a few weeks ago. I…" He shook his head, sighed and handed me two slim envelopes. "There is one for you and one for Cassie."

I stared at the envelopes, looking at the strong clear handwriting that was heartbreakingly familiar to me. I would not cry. Not again. Never again. If I did I knew I would never stop. "Thank you sir," I said.

"Major, I don't know what happened between the two of you before you were posted to the Alpha site but I do know that Dr Fraiser's feelings for you never changed. She would not want you to blame yourself in any way for what happened."

"I said some damned hurtful things to her, sir, things that I can never take back." I felt as if I was increasingly disconnected from my body. It didn't hurt. Nothing did any more. What could compete with the pain of a broken heart? I could hear the Colonel's voice shouting cliché in my head. I wished he would wake up so he could say it to my face. But then I would have to tell him about Janet…"I would do anything to be able to make things right with her again, but I never will, will I? And I will have just have to find a way to live with that sir."

The unauthorised activation alarm sounded interrupting anything else the General might have said. Hammond gave my shoulder a squeeze and then headed towards the observation deck. After a few moments hesitation, I dropped the envelopes in the box of Janet's personal items and followed him.

"Receiving Tokra IDC, sir," the duty sergeant informed us.

"Open the IRIS," General Hammond ordered.

I looked towards the shimmering gate as the IRIS opened and dad and two other Tokra came through. Dad spotted us on the observation deck and set off up the stairs at a pace not easily matched by someone half his age.

"The Alpha site – the dead weren't burnt, they were taken hostage. They're alive and prisoners of Anubis. He had a sarcophagus. One of our operatives just got the intel to us. Two Tokra, four Jaffa and eight Tauri, seven male, one female. We have ground plans of the installation, the shield harmonics, everything we need to make a strike."

One female. Janet was the only woman on the KIA/MIA list. Janet was alive. My back hit the wall as if I had been physically pushed. Janet was alive.

Later. I could process it all later. "Permission to mount a rescue mission, sir."

"Granted, major. Liaise with your father and the Tokra. I'll send Major Ferretti, Dr Jackson and Teal'c to the briefing room as soon as they get here."

Teal'c would be with the Colonel. I don't think he's left his side except to attend the memorial service. Our people were alive! Janet was alive. And I would bring her home.

We never did get round to having that conversation.

I remember dying. I remember the pain so bad that it was a relief to simply cease to be. The last thing I saw was Sam's eyes, wide with terror as she tried to keep the Colonel alive long enough to get him back through the Gate.

And then I was here. There was so much light at first that I thought, huh, heaven exists after all. Then the black line appeared and an armoured hand reached in and closed around my throat, bodily dragging me out. Anubis had put me – and all of the others – in the sarcophagus long enough to revive us but not long enough to really heal us. He wants us weak and vulnerable when he questions us.

I am alive, or rather half alive. I can't consciously move my legs and beyond the pain actual sensation is patchy. The wound on my back and hip is hot with infection. Every time I am moved I am probably aggravating the damage to my spine. I don't think I'll be taking Sam out dancing any time soon. And the fever is getting worse. I keep zoning out. I'm afraid that the next time Anubis takes me I'll just tell him everything he wants to know. Either that or he'll use the same device on me that he used on Jonas Quinn and Thor. He's already used it on one of the Tokra, Keiron. He just sits and rocks now. I don't know whether its brain damage or shock.

Captain McDougall swears he saw Sam go through the Gate with Teal'c and O'Neill before the last wave of bombs hit. He was knocked unconscious and came round just in time to see the Gate shut down and the whole area overrun with Jaffa.

My flygirl is safe. That makes this more bearable. Sam is safe. And if they find out that we are alive she will come for me. And I will get the chance to make things right with her again. I have to make her understand what she means to me is all that I care about and if she loves me or doesn't love me – I can live with that. As long as we can be together.

Anubis's Jaffa are back. They're pushing and kicking everyone out of the way. One of them sees me and he grins. I want to be sick. They're coming for me again. I have to get through this. Sam is coming for me. I know she is. She must. The Jaffa drags me to my feet and…

Our rescue planning session was interrupted by the welcome news that Colonel O'Neill had woken up and was already aggravating the nursing staff. We went down to see how he was. The first thing he said to me was that he was so sorry that Janet was dead. Apparently he hadn't been as out of things as I thought he was when I saw her go down.

And I had the pleasure of telling him that she might not be dead after all. It was like someone had pumped joy juice into his IV. He asked to see the plans that we had printed out of the layout of the facility, asked who and what we were taking. When you see the Colonel in his favoured duffer mode it's sometimes easy to forget that this man pretty much wrote the book on covert operations. Before the infirmary staff made us leave he had mapped out a couple of strategies for us to use. Even though there was no way he could be with us physically he made sure we knew he was with us in spirit.

It was a two-pronged attack – SG1 and the Tokra by cloaked teltac, SG2, 9 and 12 through the Gate with a contingent of rebel Jaffa after throwing through a couple of stun grenades. We ringed down into the heart of the complex where our Tokra contact had managed to divert the sensors. We laid C4 everywhere we could and managed to take out a couple of his undead troopers with the ramped up zats that was the first weapon against them the Tokra had come up with.

We got to the cells without tripping any alarms. The cells were little more than holes in the base rock, dark and damp. Not a good place to be for any length of time even if you were in perfect health. Anubis had apparently put our people in the sarcophagus long enough to bring them back to life but their injuries from the battle and their subsequent torture had not been treated. The Jaffa and Tokra were in slightly better state due to their symbiotes but ours were in pretty bad shape. Those who could walk helped those who could not. I scanned the faces looking for one I could not see suddenly desperately afraid that that part of the intel had been wrong. Captain McDougall guessed my intentions. "Dr Fraiser – she's at the back. We made her as comfortable as we could, but she's in a bad way. Anubis really went for her the last time he took her."

I nodded and crawled further into the cell. I saw a shape ahead of me, reached out and touched soft skin, startlingly warm in the dank cool air of the caves. I felt for a pulse, sobbed in relief when I felt one and heard a moan of pain.

"Janet!" I whispered. "Janet, it's Sam. Hold on, we're going to get you out of here. Just hold on." I took a blanket from my pack and wrapped it around her.

"Sam…" Dark eyes raised blindly to mine "Knew…come…she said… never… let you go." Her arms crept around my neck and she clung to me as I lifted her into my arms. I shivered as I realised how light she was. My fingers brushed over the still oozing wound on her back and it scared me that she showed no signs of it causing her pain.

"Do you need assistance, Major Carter?"

"It's okay, Teal'c, I've got her," I said. "Just give us cover will you?" We were a much larger group and moving slower because of the injured. It would take at least two probably three trips to ring everyone back up to the teltac. I flicked on the radio sent a coded transmission to Feretti letting him know we had our people and were on our way out.

Was I dreaming that I heard Sam's voice? Was it another of Anubis's tricks? The last thing I remembered clearly was lying on a slab, something being attached to my skull, then pain and darkness. But in the darkness there was a little girl. She held her hand out to me.

"You have to come with me now or it will be very bad."

I took her hand and let her lead me through the darkness. It was as if we passed through some kind of invisible barrier and suddenly we were walking through grassland full of wildflowers. She stopped and turned to me.

"Play with me."

I looked at her, the white dress and frilled socks, the long blonde ringlets, the deep brown eyes. "You're Grace, aren't you. Sam's Grace."

"Your Grace as well, Janet. If you want me to be." She turned to me and started to pick flowers. Dumbfounded, I sat down in the grass and watched her as she wove the flowers into a sort of crown and smiling, placed it on my head.

"Very pretty," she said. "Oh, don't be sad," her small hand touched my cheek in a familiar gesture that brought tears to my eyes.

"I'm sorry, Grace, but where I am right now there's not much to be happy about. I'm being held prisoner by one of Earth's bitterest enemies and he's currently reading my mind to find out everything I know about Earth's defenses and the SGC. And the people that I love probably think I'm dead."

She laughed. "Silly. The bad man thinks his machine is broke because all he's getting is bits of nursery rhymes and stories. Like the one I told Sam to get her to see things the way I did. And Sam is coming. You have to be brave though and strong." She tilted her head as if listening to something. I couldn't hear anything.

"Time to go. Close your eyes and count to ten. And when you open them again, everything will be all right."

What did I have to lose? Obediently I closed my eyes and…

Another gentle touch on my skin. "Janet?"

"Sam…" Please, if it really is you never let me go, Sam, please, please, never let me go.

I'm not running any more, Janet. I'm right where I am supposed to be, who I am supposed to be. And I'll never let you go.


No Distance Left To Run - BLUR

It's over
You don't need to tell me
I hope you're with someone who makes you
Feel safe in your sleeping tonight
I won't kill myself, trying to stay in your life
I got no distance left to run

When you see me
Please turn your back and walk away
I don't want to see you
Cos I know the dreams that you keep is wearing me
When your coming down, think of me here
I got no distance left to run

It's over, I knew it would end this way
I hope you're with someone who makes you feel
That this life is alive
And it settles down, stays around
Spends more time with you
I got no distance left to run

The End

Sequel Born Stubborn

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