Title: She Is Eternal
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Date in Calendar: 12 June 2005
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Setting: Season 7, right after “Heroes Part II”
Summary: Sam has to confront the past in order to find her future…and realizes that maybe things aren’t quite as lost as she had feared in the process.
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Disclaimer: Oh for crying out loud, do I really have to say this?........what?........I do.......*rolls eyes* okay......As should be plainly obvious to everyone, I do NOT own Stargate SG-1 or it's characters. They belong to MGM; Gekko; Double Secret and only the gods know who else. This story was written for entertainment purposes only. No copyright infringement was intended.
Samantha Carter looked up into the heavens and wondered what exactly it was all about. Just what was the meaning of everything?
She knew these were questions that everyone asked at some point in their life. Knew that in reality she wasn’t experiencing anything that was truly unique. But somehow it didn’t make things any easier. In the end she was still alone.
After spending countless hours…or was it really only minutes, gazing up into the evening sky, she finally found it within herself to approach the front door. Somehow the key was already in her hand even though she couldn’t remember reaching into her pocket to retrieve it. She stared down into her hand, recalling the day that Janet had given it to her. Things had been so different then; so much simpler.
It had never even occurred to her then that she might lose the woman she loved. In fact, Sam had always thought that it would have been the other way around. The odds were so much greater that she would be the one who was violently killed off world.
She never should have been there. Carter curled her fist around the key, wincing slightly at the feel of the metal teeth biting into the flesh of her palm. Sam knew she had to stop thinking about that. Second guessing decisions that had already been made wouldn’t do any good.
Her fist unclenched and she finally shoved the key into the lock before she could think of anything more. It was too soon in her self-appointed task to start getting emotional now.
It was why she had decided to come here on her own. Cassie was with Daniel who had taken her home with him after the memorial service. The poor girl couldn’t even bring herself to be there during the ceremony and had instead hid in her mother’s office until it was over.
Sam felt the sun set as the door closed behind her; the entryway now awash in near darkness. But the first thing that struck her wasn’t the darkness. She was familiar enough with this place that she didn’t really need any light to get around. Rather it was the silence that disconcerted her the most.
Never before could she recall it ever being so quiet. There had always been something going on: the television droning; music blaring from upstairs; someone chatting on the phone…laughter.
Most of her memories here almost always involved laughter. Now the utter and complete absence of it was almost too much to bear. The deafening silence was nothing short of oppressive.
She began to move forward, not hearing her own footfalls. It was almost as if the house had become a vacuum, absorbing any sounds that dared to be made in its presence. Not even the checkerboard tile floor in the kitchen reverberated with her steps.
A single coffee mug remained on the kitchen table, causing her to stop in her tracks. The morning newspaper from that fateful day still laid neatly folded open beside it. She stood, gripping the edge of the island countertop unable to get the visual of Janet sitting there at the head of the table, warmly wrapped in her bathrobe, out of her mind. It was a sight that she had gotten used to seeing every morning that she had woken up here. But in one blink of her eye, the image was gone. The long-cold mug was back to resting on the tabletop, alone in the waning twilight.
Sam crossed the short distance over to the table and picked up the empty mug as she sat down. Her finger gently traced out the words printed on the front in bright red: #1 MOM. Cassandra had given it to Janet one early Mother’s Day. She remembered the way her love’s face had beamed upon seeing it. Unable to hold back the tears any longer, her vision blurred as she placed the cup back down.
“I really wish you’d stop doing that.” The blonde lifted her head up, blinking back what remained of her tears. Janet was sitting there at the table in her usual spot. Somehow Carter wasn’t surprised to note that she was wearing a white terry cloth bathrobe and holding a now steaming #1 MOM coffee mug in her hand.
“What?” The petite brunette had never looked so beautiful to her. She was almost luminous, like she was glowing from the inside.
“Crying,” she stated matter-of-factly before taking a long sip of her coffee. “It’s not very becoming.” Her eyes closed as she took in the aroma. Nobody else Sam knew could savor a cup of coffee the way Janet Fraiser did. “I never realized how much I’d miss a good cup of coffee,” she sighed as she reluctantly sat the mug down.
It was only then that Sam realized that Janet had also been holding the folded newspaper in her other hand.
“Interesting headlines today, don’t you think?” She smiled as she slid it across the table for the blonde to look at. The smaller woman moved to stand next to her, forcing Carter to tear her gaze away from the mesmerizing brown eyes to look down at the newspaper.
At the top of the page was a picture of Janet. The one she had taken a couple of years ago out at the lake. Her hair had been much longer then and was pulled back into a simple ponytail. A few wispy strands that had fallen out of place were being played with by the slight breeze. It had to be Sam’s favorite picture, taken at a time when things had been at their best between them.
Under the photo were the same three words printed over and over again in bold print: She Is Eternal.
“I’ll always be here, Samantha…”
Sam jolted upright in the chair, surprised by the sudden darkness in the room. “Must have been dreaming,” she said softly under her breath as she pushed away from the kitchen table. She’d gotten very little sleep over the past few days. Mostly as every time she closed her eyes all she would see was Janet’s body laying there on the cold ground. After the particularly emotionally draining day she had just had, it was no surprise to her that she had dozed off the first time she actually sat down for a moment. If she was being honest with herself though, she had to admit that part of her hoped that it hadn’t been just a dream born of her grief stricken mind. As much as she’d always found security in science and logic, this was one of those times when she needed something more.
The major continued on into the living room, switching on the lamp by the couch. This was where she had found Cassie the other day, flicking through the channels on the television after school. The teenager had immediately known that something was wrong. It wasn’t exactly normal anymore for her to just drop by for no reason.
Cassandra hadn’t cried at first. She simply sat there in numb shock; not wanting to believe what she had just heard. Having lost both her birth parents years before, she never really thought that it could happen to her again.
This house was all Cassie’s now. Although it would probably still be some time before she decided what to do with it. Carter wasn’t even sure when she’d even be able to come back to this place again. Cassandra had been staying with her since the tragedy and certainly showed no inclination to return here.
Sam stopped at the stairway and looked up into the silent darkness. She knew that she couldn’t keep putting off the inevitable. Sooner or later she was going to have to go up there and deal with it.
Reluctantly, she began to climb the stairs. Her heart beat faster with every step. After what felt like an eternity, she finally arrived at her destination. The master bedroom door was standing open. Slit open window blinds allowed the light from the nearly full moon to bathe the room in a silvery blue glow. Janet’s bathrobe had been tossed casually onto the end of the bed, but otherwise the room was as orderly as she always had remembered it being.
She gathered the robe up into her arms and pressed it against her face, inhaling the distinctive scent of Janet Elizabeth Fraiser as she did so. The blonde became almost heady with the memories that particular smell conjured up in her. Still clutching the garment to her chest, she made her way over to the closet to retrieve the item that had brought her here. Even in the unlighted room, it took her only a moment to locate the shoebox she knew the other woman had kept up on the top shelf.
Carter stumbled back to the bed and gently placed the container onto the nightstand before turning on the lamp in order to examine the contents. Inside she knew was every single card and letter that she had given Janet along with a few small mementos of their time together.
Sam slowly began to work her way through the letters, forcing herself not to cry as she felt herself reliving each emotion that she had put down on paper before ultimately coming to the last one. She had written it a few months before, right after they had decided that no matter how much they had loved each other, they just couldn’t do it anymore. The secretiveness of it all had simply become more than either of them could handle, and both were far too devoted to their careers at the SGC to quit.
Now, as she sat there lost in her own suffering, she wondered just how she could have been so wrong. She would have given anything for Janet to still be alive right then…even the Stargate.
The blonde bolted upright in the bed, wondering just when she had turned off the light. She certainly didn’t recall having reached over to shut off the lamp. Then again, for that matter, neither did she remember falling asleep.
Her gaze fixated on the figure who sat perched on the edge of the bed, framed by the bright moonlight. “Am I dreaming?”
“I wish I could say…but that’s really up to you.”
“Great,” she muttered sarcastically, “leave it to death to make you start being all vague and cryptic.”
“It’s something I had never really thought of before-just how much of reality is nothing more than perception.”
“I never really thought about it that way either,” she replied as she stared deeply into Janet’s eyes, willing her to be real. “I don’t want this to be just a dream.”
The brunette’s face blossomed with a smile so dazzling that it seemed to light up the room more than any light ever could. “I was hoping you’d say that.” Her hand reached out to lightly brush Sam’s cheek. “You know, coffee isn’t the only thing I miss,” she said gently with what Carter swore were tears welling up in her brown eyes.
“I have to go now, Sam.”
“What?…No,” she started to protest. There was so much that she wanted to talk about. So many things that she wished she had said before.
“I can’t stay…there’s someone else who needs me too,” Janet pronounced tenderly, “and you need to finally get some sleep.”
“Promise you’ll come back?”
The petite form rose to stand beside the bed as Sam laid back down. “I promise.”
She curled herself around Janet’s pillow and closed her eyes as she felt the warm robe being draped over her like a blanket. “Janet…”
“I just wanted to tell you that I never stopped loving you.”
“I know. And I love you too, Samantha Carter.”
Sam smiled softly in her sleep, thinking that maybe, just maybe, she wasn’t so alone after all.