Always Around Me
Summery: Sam is on Atlantis and finds some reminders of those who love her. S/D.
Colonel Sam Carter unpacked her office; still half disbelieving she was here. She was standing in Atlantis, in the office once occupied by Dr. Elizabeth Weir, who, having meet several times herself, had become a vital part to the Atlantis mission, and her job.
Of course she couldn’t help but notice the looks and the mutterings in the commissary when she first arrived, and even now, two weeks later. No one said it was going to be easy.
Sam took a break and sat in her chair, surveying the still stacks of boxes she managed to carry over from her office on Earth. Each one carried a bit of her life back home. Files mostly, but she had taken the few art pieces and pictures she had on her walls in her office in the SGC, she had even managed to swipe a few extra mugs from Daniel’s collection.
She smiled as she opened a nearby box, wondering what it contained. She had managed to pack her office in a few days; with they help of her teammates. On her second day of unpacking, Sam had found a note, in Teal’c precise handwriting, about how much he wished she would do well in her new position, and the promise to come and visit someday. Sam had stopped and cried for fifteen minutes before Colonel John Sheppard had rushed in and asked if everything was okay.
Sam had found a corkboard that had held her mission calendar and had tacked the note up, to remind her of her team back on Earth. They’d always be a team, as Cam had written in his note, found a day later. Once more Sam had to stop and think if she was doing the right thing by stepping into the command of Atlantis. Was she ready to stop being an explorer and be a true leader? Cam had said she was, and deep down she knew she was also. But the gentle reminder never hurt.
Next was a perfumed scented note from Vala. It even included small pictures of them laughing at the last night they had all gone to the bar after a hard mission. Sam had blushed when she found a blue panties and bra set in the same box. Obviously the woman herself had packed the box of books. Sam had tucked the lingerie deep into her closet when she had gotten to her room.
Box after box Sam wondered which one would contain another note. Really it had become a wonderful motivator to unpack and also to become more secure in the knowledge she really was in the positions she needed to be in. But after a few days and no more letters, Sam began to wonder. She glanced at the board and saw only one name missing. The one person who she had deep down wanted all the notes to be from.
Dr. Daniel Jackson.
Sam pulled her eyes from the board continued to unpack the box she had just pulled toward her. Simply filled with packing paper, she wondered what was so delicate that would require so much paper. Piling the paper beside the box, Sam began to dig. Her fingers finally found something and she took it out, crinkling her brow she flipped the frame over and smiled.
There was Cassie, smiling in her cap and gown. She had graduated college a few days before Sam had been given command, and Cassie was glad to be able to see her before she left for another galaxy. Sam felt hot tears burning again; the little girl who had been orphaned twice was always very, very special to Sam.
Sam got up and placed it on the table top in back of her desk, Cassie’s smiling face making her smile. Going back to the box, Sam picked it up but found it was still heavy. Once more digging into the box, not sure what she would find, Sam brought up another frame. This one was of her and Jack, General Jack O’Neill, when, as a team, they had all gone to the lake house and relaxed. Teal’c had taken the picture of the two of them fishing. Jack wanted to show everyone that they really did fish with him every once and a while. Once more, the picture was placed on the table, beside Cassie.
Next came was a note from Cassie, talking about how proud she was of her Aunt Sam and how this new adventure would bring so much more to her life. She also wrote that her first job would be starting in a few weeks, at Area 51, under the direction of the SGC. “A full circle and following in my mom’s and my aunt’s footsteps,” she had written. It was tacked beside the other letters.
Next was a wedding invitation, addressed to “Ms. Carter and Guest.” Sam flipped it over and opened the envelope, gasping when she saw “Jonathan ‘Jack’ O’Neill and Sara O’Neill” were the two getting married. She quickly put the date into her calendar and pinned the invite to the board, smiling at how Jack had finally found happiness and with his wife, again.
A carved giraffe gave Sam a pause as she pulled it out. A small tag dangled down and she read it. “Hand carved from Africa.” She turned it over but nothing else was written on it. She cleared a place between her books and placed the animal on the shelf. It was beautiful and gave some extra color to the room. Once more, another frame was found, this time with Cam, Teal’c, and her sitting on a fence, each chewing a stalk of grass. Sam chuckled; leave it to one world to be still stuck in the old west. Another frame followed, with a note taped on it.
My dear one,
Though you journey to the stars, and beyond; though your hand isn’t in mine; though our bodies are not near; our hearts are forever one.
Though the path has become unclear; though the clocks of time keep ticking; though our lips may not touch; our spirits will be intertwined.
Do not drop the tears for me, for I do not drop mine for you. I only look upon the beauty that I only know and think of the time of our next meeting, of the next time I can gaze upon your face and tell you out loud…
I love you.
Sam untapped the note, and kissed it. It was the most beautiful thing anyone had written. She closed her eyes and held it close to her heart, knowing whoever had indeed written it was loved back. She opened them and looked at the picture underneath, caressing the picture of the man she had always loved, but was always afraid to really say so.
The bright blue eyes shone even through the picture and his smile seemed to say a million things: I am happy to be here; I can’t believe I am here; why can’t I be standing beside the photographer? Sam bit her lip and wiped her tears from the glass.
It had been a good day she had spent with Daniel. He had surprised her with a trip to New York, the day after she had been promoted. It was the last place she had wanted to be on Earth, Sam had joked once, and Daniel figured it was a good time to make good on it.
They had flown to JFK, taking the subway all around town, walked around the city and ate some of the best Chinese and pizza they ever had tasted. It was the best day they had spent just the two of them, being normal people. But than Daniel had surprised her with a dress, and had told her to meet him in the lobby; the night was young and they hadn’t really experienced New York.
Sam gazed at the tux Daniel wore in the picture, remembering how amazing he looked waiting for her. She had closed her eyes and wondered if it wasn’t a wedding they were going to. She felt like a Queen, and Daniel had looked like a King. It was a special night at the Opera, and a horse drawn carriage ride through Central Park. Neither seemed to want it to end, and when they got back to the hotel, their separate rooms, Sam had only meant the kiss to be chase and innocent, but something about Daniel standing there, looking amazing, making her feel amazing, had propelled her forward into his arms, and had kissed him like he was the last man standing. If Daniel had protested, he never showed it, and they spent the next few minutes exploring each other’s face, wondering if the night had taken them under, or if it was really the one thing they each tried to deny it was.
If a gentler night of passion could exist, Sam was totally unaware of it. It seemed as if they each just had to look at the other and they knew where the other one was going. And they followed each other the whole night, down the road they had thought they would never go down. Morning found them tangled in sheets clothes thrown on the seat, and the most comfortable people in the world. The usual awkwardness of the morning after was nonexistent, and Sam never once felt the need to hide herself in the sheets as Daniel moved beside her. His soft kisses and hot touch etched every move they had done the previous night. Why they had never opened up to their desire before baffled them both, causing them to laugh all the way to the airport, hand in hand. The flight back to the SGC seemed like a death march and Sam briefly had wondered if they had crossed the line they had feared would forever put their friendship asunder. But the way Daniel had made her feel, the way he secretly stole kisses when no one was around, how he said she was beautiful, and really meant it, how he told her his heart beat only for her, and let her feel the rhythm… how could she have found the one thing she needed, only to loose it?
Sam was crying openly in her office now, the workday, abnormal as it was at Atlantis, was over, and only a few people knew she was even still in her office. She sat on the floor, hugging the man she loved to her chest, praying that it wouldn’t be long until she could look into his face and whisper the words they had danced around for a long time.
“I love you too, Daniel.”
Finally she placed the last picture on the shelf, tracing the strong man behind the glass, letting her fingers linger a moment longer. She glanced at the other pictures and smiled. No matter how far she ventured, her friends, her family, her lover, those who loved and believed in her, would always be around her. Looking up to the small screen that displayed the constant outline of Atlantis, she knew she would make her current home fit in there too.