Life Support

AUTHOR: Rebecca Ratliff


DATE: December 2002

ARCHIVE: If I haven't submitted to your archive, please ask. (I'll say yes, I just like to know where it is.)

CATEGORY: Missing Scene/Tag, angst, romance (J/S).

SPOILERS: Unnatural Selection


SUMMARY: conscience and duty conflict


DISCLAIMER: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/ Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the authors. Not to be archived without permission of the author.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: Thank you, transcripts list! :)

Carter pushed her hands deeper into her pockets. This whole deck was cold. Something was going on with the life support, she would have to look into that.

Homeward bound.

"Carter? Where are you?"

Damn. She just wasn't ready to deal with Jack right this minute. Not until she got her own head straightened out, not until she wouldn't say something she would wish she hadn't.

"In here, sir. There's definitely something going on with the life support on this deck. I'm going to have to figure out what the Asgard did before I can locate the problem and lock it down. It might take a while."

He stepped inside. "This isn't about the life support."

"Sir, I really don't think now is...."

"Sam, you didn't break your promise. I did. I gave you an order and you obeyed. I didn't see any other choice then, and I still don't. Unless you believe that order was illegal, you didn't have a choice either, not if who and what we are means something."

"Yes, sir." It had to mean something, she thought. Duty had to mean everything if it was going to stand between them.

"It won't be long until you have to make decisions like that for your own team. Until that happens, you let me live with the right and wrong of what I have to do."

"'Have to do' being the operative words, Colonel," she said. "You could never have taken the chance. This and a dollar will get you a cup of coffee, but for whatever it's worth, I'd have made the same call in your place."

"Difference between us, Carter, I would have made the same promise with no intention of ever keeping it."

Sam stared out a frost-rimmed porthole at an ocean of unblinking stars. "I could afford to put conscience before duty. I have you to make the tough calls for me. You're stuck with doing whatever needs to be done."

For a stolen moment he put his arms around her and she leaned back against him. She watched her breath fog in the air and apologized, "I do need to get the environmental control fixed in here." Systems didn't stop breaking down, or fix themselves, just because she wanted to stand here like this for a short eternity.

"In a minute, Sam."

She rested her hands over his and shut her eyes. "Looks like we saved the universe again. That ought to entitle."

"Doesn't, though," he said, unaware of just how much weariness and regret and longing his voice betrayed.

"No, it doesn't. We'll be OK tomorrow, Jack."

He held her tight for just a few more seconds. "I'll be on the bridge."

She nodded and, as his footsteps receded towards the gangway, she started the long process of opening panels and looking for the problem.

After several hours of looking, it turned out that some Asgardian who couldn't read English had simply turned a thermostat the wrong way. She reset it and shortly the heat came on. If only all their problems could be so easy to fix.


Back to SG-1 fanfic index