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26 December 2006 @ 02:43 pm
Fic: What's Simple is True, 5/10 (SG1, 12A/PG-13)  
What’s Simple is True
By Kyizi

Disclaimer:
Stargate: SG1 and all related items do not belong to me. Only the story and all original characters therein are mine. No copyright infringement intended.

All notes etc in Chapter One


Previous Chapters

| Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four |




* * *

What’s Simple is True


* * *



She ran a hand through her hair and closed the door behind her. Putting the girls to bed had been an ordeal. Sarah was looking at her with sad eyes and she wished she had been able to mask her anger and hurt at Orlin's betrayal, but she didn't think she had been successful. Sarah was the most sensitive of her children and she supposed, given her recent discovery, she could understand why.

She glanced behind her as she heard Amy exiting the room and turned to face her. She took a deep breath and couldn't stop letting out a small chuckle as the small woman hugged her impulsively.

"Thanks," she said, "I think I needed that."

"I can understand why," Amy said ruefully. "I think I can safely say you've just had the strangest day in the history of…well, ever." Sam laughed softly as the small brunette continued. "I think the award's in the bag for this one."

"I don't think it'd make a very good movie; no one would ever believe it."

"That's true." Amy's smile slowly faded. "Have you spoken to Liam yet?"

Sam shook her head. "He was pretending to be asleep when I got back and continued to do so every time I went into the room. Thank you for having us," she added quickly. "I keep meaning to say it and something keeps getting in the way."

"It's not a problem. I don't think I've seen Daniel this content with his life since you left." When Sam opened her mouth to object, Amy raised a hand to quiet her. "Don't get me wrong, I know that Daniel's happy with me and I know he wouldn't give this family up for anything in the world, not even his friendships, but…but you're a part of him and, without you here, he's not complete."

"He's a part of me, too. Is it wrong that I sometimes wish I had never left?"

Amy shook her head. "Not in the slightest. Daniel’s family and you need him. You've lived fourteen years without him, that's a long time. I think I'd be upset if you hadn't wished it at least a million times because I know Daniel has."

Sam smiled. "You're good for him, you know. He needs someone like you; someone who can drag him away from hours of research and keep him on this planet. I mean, not literally, but-"

"I know what you mean," Amy replied, laughing. "We both frequent other planets."

They grinned at the absurdity of it all before Sam sobered and glanced down the hallway to the Jacksons’ spare bedroom. She needed to speak to her son; she needed him to speak to her. Nothing in her life made sense any more and she needed him. It was selfish of her to need him so much when he was the one who needed his mother beside him, but her children were all she had left and that scared her.

"Jack's in there with him."

Sam frowned. "He is?"

Amy nodded. "You should go and speak to him."

She didn’t ask which ‘him’ Amy meant, because she knew she had to speak to both of them at some point. Liam, however, was her primary concern, so she didn’t even acknowledge the other option.

"What if he's not ready to speak to me, Amy? I've been lying to him his whole life and I don't know how to fix that."

"By wanting to. I think that's a good a place as any to start."

Sam nodded. She said good night to Amy and walked to the other end of the darkened hallway. Pausing for a moment to collect herself, she frowned when she realised she could hear the murmur of voices through the door. Pushing it open slightly, she entered the room slowly, her eyes landing on the hunched forms of her son and her former CO as they sat on the bed playing computer games.

"I gonna to get you this time," Jack said with a laugh, his whole upper body twisting as he worked with the control panel.

"No way, old man, you're going down!"

"Hey, who you callin' old, kiddo!"

Liam laughed and Sam felt a real smile on her face; her first real smile in what felt like forever. "Hah!" he cried suddenly and Sam jumped, "I won!"

"You may have won the battle, buddy," Jack said with a grin, "but the war's not over yet."

"You'll never beat me; I've had loads of practice. I used to kick my dad's butt all the time. He sucked at computers." Liam stood up, waving his fists in the air in victory, his gaze eventually falling on his mother. Sam smiled a little and only prayed that he wouldn't go back into his shell. She wasn't quite sure what Jack had done to get him to talk at all, let alone behave like the twelve year old boy he was, but she didn't really care, only that she would be eternally grateful to him.

She could feel Jack's gaze on her as he turned around, but her focus was Liam. She needed her son back. After a moment, the boy crossed to the room to stand in front of her. He continued to look at her for a while before throwing his arms around her, mumbling, "I'm sorry, Mom."

"That's okay, sweetie," Sam said, wrapping her arms around him tightly. "I'm sorry, too; for everything, but mostly for lying to you."

"You'll tell me everything now, though, right?"

She took a deep breath, but nodded. "Yeah, I will." She glanced across the room and finally let her gaze settle on Jack. "Thank you," she mouthed. Jack nodded and placed the computer consol on the bed, before passing by and exiting the room. She knew that things were not all right between them, but that was another apology for another day; it was one she had no idea how to make, because nothing quite seemed like enough.

"Mom?"

She looked down at her son and smiled. "Yeah?"

"When you told me stuff the other day, did you mean it all?"

"Yeah, I did."

"So Dad was really an alien?"

Sam nodded. " 'fraid so, kid."

He took a moment to think about that. "Cool."


* * *


Sam groaned and rolled onto her side, squealing as she toppled to the floor. She growled and sat up, running her hands through her hair and pulling it back into a ponytail with the band that she kept around her wrist. She glared at the sofa-bed as she hauled herself to her feet.

“Momma, why are you on the floor?”

She turned to the doorway and narrowed her eyes, smiling at her girls. “My bed shrunk on me last night and I fell off the end.”

They giggled and Alice ran towards her, veering off at the last minute to launch herself onto the fold-out bed Sam had been sleeping on. She began to bounce up and down and give the sofa-bed a telling off for throwing her mom on the floor. Sam laughed and Sarah giggled before joining her sister.

“Okay, enough,” Sam said with a laugh, catching Alice mid-air and turning her upside down, much to the girls’ amusement. “Before someone gets hurt.”

“Auntie Amy said you had to stop being lazy and come get pancakes,” Sarah informed her as she carefully lowered herself to the floor.

“I’m not lazy.”

“Yes, you are,” Alice said, squealing when her mother began to move her up and down. “Stop!”

Sam chuckled, turning her up the right way and setting her on her feet. Alice took a few steps, but was clearly still a bit disoriented as she promptly fell on her bottom.

“Ali’s drunk!”

“Alice Cassandra Walker, have you been drinking?” Sam demanded, trying not to smile.

“No!”

Sarah giggled. “Yes, she has!”

“Have not!”

“Have too!”

“Have not!”

“Too!”

“Not!”

“Okay, enough. Go downstairs and I’ll be there in a minute.”

“Race you!” Sarah screamed, running out the door.

Alice scrambled to her feet, screaming, “Not fair!” and ran after her sister. There was laughter from the hallway and a few moments later Daniel appeared at the door.

“And I thought my family was insane.”

“Your family is insane,” Sam said with a smile.

“Yeah, I know.”

They grinned at each other, before Daniel entered the room, perching on the end of her makeshift bed. “Cassandra?” he asked a moment later and she frowned.

It took her a minute to realise what he was referring to, but when she ran through her conversation with the girls again, she got it. She smiled and sat down next to him.

“I guess I couldn’t forget you guys completely.”

“Glad to hear it,” he smiled. “Do they all…” he trailed off, shrugging his shoulders and she smiled.

“Alice Cassandra, Sarah Janet, and Liam Daniel.”

Daniel’s eyebrows rose in a gesture that reminded her so completely of Teal’c that she suddenly felt a sudden surge of longing to see her old friend again. “You named your son after me?”

“Of course I did.”

“Great minds, I guess,” he said with a smile and she frowned. Standing, he helped her get to her feet and then headed for the door. “Ask Katie what her full name is, sometime,” he said with a wink.

She smiled and made to follow him downstairs, intending to get him to just tell her himself. However, she caught a glance at herself in the mirror and quickly decided it might be a better idea to shower and change out of her pyjamas first.

Sam entered the kitchen about ten minutes later to find the place was complete pandemonium. She laughed as she spotted Liam and Amy throwing small pieces of pancake at each other, whilst Daniel was attempting to flip pancakes in the air, much to the delight of the three girls crowding his legs. He was failing miserably, which was also much to their amusement.

“Sam,” Daniel said in surprise, catching sight of her. Unfortunately, he turned slightly to look at her and, given that he had just tossed a pancake in the air, was unable to do anything as it landed on his head and dripped uncooked batter onto his shoulder.

There was a brief silence before Liam snorted, unable to contain his laughter, and everyone began to laugh at the glaring archaeologist. The sight of Daniel trying to pick the gooey lumps of batter from his hair was too much and Sam had to hold onto her side with one hand and the doorframe with the other. It had been a long time since she had really laughed and now that she had started, she found herself unable to stop.

After a quick cleanup (and, in Daniel’s case, a quick shower), they were soon seated at the table making the pile of pancakes in the centre rapidly disappear. The chatter was loud and Sam eventually found herself sitting back in her chair just watching her children interact with Daniel and his family. She had never thought she would ever see this. It wasn’t just seeing Daniel again and having them all just fit, but she had never really thought she’d see her children acting like part of a family again. It almost brought tears to her eyes.

“Where did Jack go?” Liam asked suddenly and Sam jumped, glancing around the table, despite the fact that she already knew he wasn’t there.

“He had to go into work this morning, so he left late last night,” Daniel said.

Sam hadn’t known that, but then she had fallen asleep in Liam’s room, not moving herself until her neck had protested so loudly at the uncomfortable position it had been forced into and the pain had woken her up. At that point, she had simply made her way into Katie’s playroom, where she had been told she was sleeping, to find a bed already made out.

“Will we see him again today?” her son asked and she smiled. She didn’t even try to hide the fact that it made her happy to see Liam and Jack getting along. It was important to her and she didn’t feel the need dwell on why that was. It was just something she needed.

“Eh…yeah.” Daniel glanced over at her and she frowned. “He wants us to take Liam into the base today. Says he has a few ideas where to start.”

Sam nodded. “Okay,” she said, keeping the smile on her face. She knew Daniel could see right through it and, given the frown Sarah was sending her way, he wasn’t the only one. Luckily no one called her on it.

She had known from the moment she set foot on the plane that she would have to enter the mountain. In fact it was the reason she had got on the plane in the first place. However, being faced with it was another thing altogether.

Suddenly, Sam wasn’t so sure that she was strong enough to handle this after all.


* * *


“Sam?”

She jumped and turned to face Daniel, smiling instantly. “I’m fine, Daniel,” she said for what had to be the fifteenth time since they’d entered the car. He gave her a look that told her he didn’t believe it for a second and she suddenly grinned, surprising him. She laughed and placed a hand on his knee as he returned his gaze to the road.

“What?” he asked and she shook her head, shrugging at him.

“I’ve just really missed you, Daniel.”

Smiling at her briefly, he placed his hand over hers and squeezed it. “I’ve missed you, too, Sam.”

“Mom?”

Sam turned and glanced into the back seat. “Yeah?”

Her son frowned at her. “Can Sarah really read my mind?”

Sam groaned and closed her eyes. “I have no idea, Liam,” she said softly, letting out a deflated breath, “I really don’t.”

“What about Ali?”

“God, I didn’t even think of that.” She turned to look at Daniel and he shook his head.

“Don’t. There’s no point in creating more problems. Let’s take this one thing at a time. We’ll figure out what’s going on, Sam, don’t worry about it.”

Liam snorted and she turned back around. “What?” When he was silent, she gave him the look that quite clearly stated that he had better tell her what was going on in his head, or else, young man.

“Is your name really Sam?” he asked, looking as if he thought the idea was hilarious.

“There’s nothing wrong with my name!”

“Sam’s a boy’s name.”

“It’s Samantha, if you must know, but there’s nothing wrong with Sam.”

Liam shrugged. “It’s just a bit weird. And why did Jack call you Carter when we were playing video games last night?”

She smiled sadly before shaking her head and replying. “Because my name is Samantha Carter. Do you remember I told you that the Col- sorry, Jack, was my Commanding Officer?” Liam nodded and she smiled. “Well, he always called me by my rank or my last name.”

“I still can’t believe you’re in the army, that’s so cool.”

“I am not in the army, young man. I am Air Force, thank you very much.” She frowned. “Well, I was. I don’t think I am any more.” She tried to smile as she took her seat again, but she was sure it was more of a grimace. She muttered something that sounded a lot like ‘dishonourably discharged’ and Daniel reached out to squeeze her hand again.

She had really missed him.


* * *


“Mom,” Liam asked, eyeing her warily. “Why did that man look like he’d seen a ghost?”

“Siler always looks like that,” Daniel said with a smile and Sam rolled her eyes.

“I told you, Liam,” she said, “I just kind of…left.”

“Did everyone think you were dead, or something?”

Sam’s eyes widened and she turned sharply to look at Daniel, who shook his head. Whether the gesture was meant to say ‘no’ or ‘not now’, however, she wasn’t sure. She also wasn’t sure she wanted to know.

“Major Carter?”

She glanced to her left and couldn’t help but smile at Major Davis, or rather, Colonel Davis, as she had been informed the night before. He spluttered a little before shaking his head and smiling at her.

“It’s good to see you, Sam,” he said softly, surprising both her and Daniel. She hadn’t heard him use that tone of voice since they had worked together at the Pentagon. She glanced briefly at Daniel and realised that she never really had told the others about her life before the SGC.

“It’s good to see you, too, Paul,” she said, surprising them all further by stepping forward and pulling him into a brief hug.

He chuckled and hugged her back. “So,” he said when she pulled away. “You’re back?”

“Eh, it’s…complicated,” she said closing her eyes. “Sorry, this is my son, Liam. Liam, this is Major – sorry – Colonel Paul Davis. We used to work together at the Pentagon.”

“Hi,” Liam said briefly, before turning back to Sam. “You worked at the Pentagon?” he asked, suddenly looking at her wide-eyed.

“Did I forget to mention that bit?” she asked, biting her lip and Liam nodded.

“Your mom’s a pretty smart woman,” Paul said with a laugh and Sam rolled her eyes. Her old friend had hidden his surprise about Liam rather quickly and she was grateful. There were going to be enough awkward moments today without adding to them.

She smiled at Paul and frowned a little. When she had transferred to the SGC, they had never really spoken much and when they had they had never really acknowledged the friendship they had basically abandoned. It wasn’t as if they had ever spent a lot of their down time together when they worked at the Pentagon, so it wasn’t much of a change in that respect, but they had been quite close within their work environment. Her sudden shift into the dynamic that was SG1 had been so complete that she had never really had a space that she could identify with the loss of that friendship and she had never really given much thought to it after that. Looking at him now, however, Sam realised that she did miss it. She supposed that nearly fourteen years hiding from her old life made her focus on everything she had left behind. Even the people she had moved on from before that.

“Excuse me…Major Carter?” She jumped and turned to find Walter staring at her a little unsurely and she smiled at him, instantly making him relax. “General O’Neill and General Tigh are waiting for you in the briefing room.”

“I assume everything is still in the same place?” she asked and they all nodded. “Then I guess it’s time to get things sorted.” She turned to Liam and pulled him against her side, surprised that he actually let her. He tended to think he was too old for hugging his mom in a public place. “You ready Liam?”

“I guess.” He frowned. “They’re not going to do tests, or anything, are they?”

“No.”

Her answer brokered no room for discussion and she felt Liam’s shoulders relax beneath her arm, hiding a smile when he shrugged away from her a moment later. He smiled up at her, but his look clearly stated that he was not to be treated like a child when they were in public. Not that the SGC could exactly be considered public, but the sentiment remained.

Also, she supposed, it had something to do with the fact that they were in a military base. She smiled when she realised that, now that her secret was out in the open, she was free to start openly dissuading Liam from his lifetime dream of joining the Marine Corps and start steering him rightfully towards the Air Force. It was only right, after all. The Air Force was the Carter family tradition and, now that Liam knew he was a Carter (by blood if not in name), it was his turn to decide if he wanted to carry on that tradition.

“Sam?”

She blinked and smiled, shaking her head as she realised she had been lost in her thoughts once more. “Sorry,” she said softly and followed Paul and Daniel through the once familiar corridors. Walter, it seemed, had already left them.

“It’s a lot to come back to, huh?” Daniel asked and she gave him a look that asked ‘ya think?’ in a voice that was basically Jack’s.

“So, I hear you head up SG2 now,” she said, drawing Paul into the conversation.

The man smiled instantly and nodded so enthusiastically that even Daniel was surprised. “Years of watching you guys do it never really did it justice.”

“I guess not,” Sam said with a smile. “I thought you were happier sitting on the sidelines,” she said, drawing a chuckle from him.

“So did I.” He shrugged. “It’s a long story.” He glanced at Liam and grinned as they approached the briefing room. “And I guess I’m not the only one with one of those.”

“You have no idea.”

He winked at her. “You’ll have to fill me in sometime. Anyway, I’m due to go off world in about two hours, so I’ve got to go.” He made a move to leave them before stopping and regarding her seriously. “I’m really glad you’re okay, Sam. It’s good to see you.”

“It’s good to be seen,” she said and he laughed. “I’ll see you later?”

“Count on it. It was nice to meet you Liam.”

“You, too,” Liam said politely, although Sam could tell he was rather overwhelmed by the whole thing. She waved slightly as her old friend walked away and quickly turned the corner towards the locker room.

“I had no idea you guys were close,” Daniel said and she turned to face him.

“It was a long time ago. I guess I kind of abandoned him when I came to the SGC. I was so focussed on fitting in here that I just sort of…forgot about everyone I left behind.” She shrugged. “When he started liaising with the SGC, I guess he found it easier to move on than to bring it all up. I think I did, too.”

The door behind Daniel opened and Jack entered the hallway raising his eyebrows in a way that quite clearly stated that standing in the hallway wasn’t the plan for the day.

“Hey Jack!” Liam almost shouted.

Sam smiled fondly at her son and suddenly realised that, even though he’d only met Jack the day before, the familiarity of seeing someone he could actually identify was what he needed to make him more at ease. It couldn’t be easy finding out that your parents had a completely different life before you were born. Most children didn’t really believe their parent’s had lives, but Sam figured it was more difficult being faced with it when those lives were literally out of this world.

“Hey, kid. So…Carter…are we standing in the hallway all day, or would you rather bring this inside?”

She smiled and nodded. “Inside might be better.”

“Ya think?” He turned around and led the way. “Besides, there are a few people who’d like to see you.”

Sam frowned, ushering Liam into the room. When she entered, she instantly spotted the man she assumed was General Tigh. A further glance around the room and she almost forgot how to breathe. She barely noticed that she had stopped walking, barely noticed that Daniel had to gently nudge her further into the room so that he could enter and close the door, she barely even noticed the silence.

She frowned, her eyes filling with tears as she spotted Teal’c, Janet, and Cassie. But it wasn’t them that had her frozen to the spot. She had expected to see them at some point. But she hadn’t expected anyone else…especially him.

“Dad?”

It was barely a whisper, but it was enough to spur the man into motion. He crossed the room, freezing in front of her before cupping her face and staring at her almost reverently, almost as if he wasn’t sure that he believed she was real.

“Hey, Sammy,” he whispered, his mouth quirking briefly into a smile and that was all it took.

She wrapped her arms tightly around his neck and buried her face in his shoulder. She didn’t even care that he was crushing her ribs as he held her to him. It was the one thing she had wanted for nearly fourteen years. It was the one thing that she had missed most of all, mainly because she had only just got used to having it in her life just before she left.

“God, I missed you, kid.”

“I missed you, too, Dad,” she said, hiccoughing into his shoulder. “You have no idea how much I’ve missed you.”

Suddenly, the idea that everything was going to be all right didn’t seem so far fetched after all.


* * *

Part Six

* * *