As they turned the corner, Teal'c grabbed the briefcase out of her hand. Sam started to protest, but one look at his expression–one eyebrow lifted, jaw clenched, and she bit back her words. Noting her objection was stalled, his eyes twinkled humorously. But there was something bittersweet in its depths.
Sam had seen it happen occasionally when he watched SG-1 or General Landry. She caught it most often when he thought she didn't realize he was watching her, but wondered if that was just her imagination. The cost he had suffered from the reversal of time was more than the slight wrinkle in his skin or streak of white in his hair. It was mourning ghosts of remembered teammates who had never existed. Living with this new timeline had tempered the reaction, but now that she was leaving the SGC, she had noticed him more withdrawn. She was sorry to be the source of more pain. She would miss him.
She would miss all of them. Sergeant Siler was waiting just outside the elevator doors. He glanced at Teal'c before meeting her eyes and nodding his head. He opened his mouth and nothing came out for several seconds. Then finally he just bowed his head in farewell and said "Ma'am."
"Goodbye, Sergeant." She squeezed his arm as they entered the elevator. Siler remained behind.
"I'll still be working on that old Honda." She grinned at his reference to the old motorcycle he'd gotten on e-bay and was starting to restore.
"Let me know your progress." She was able to get the words out just before the doors sealed shut.
Just as the elevator doors opened to Level 28, she could hear the familiar bickering of Jack O'Neill and Daniel Jackson all the way down the corridor.
"I'm just saying there's a lot of material in the database still needing to be translated."
"The intergalactic bridge doesn't even make it a difficult trip anymore."
"Daniel, how many times do I need to say it?"
Daniel's tone lacked its usual vehemence when bringing up Atlantis. Sam wondered how much he was arguing his request to go to Atlantis from habit and how much was a strategic distraction from letting either man think of her leaving. She expected it was more the latter because of how abruptly he stopped as soon as she and Teal'c turned the corner.
Beside the two men, Cameron was trying not too look as if he was suffering from a hangover from hell. She'd tried to warn him not to get into a drinking contest with Vala at the farewell party, but he didn't listen. Beside him, Vala was dressed in her uniquely tailored BDUs, her hair sparkling with her shiniest barrettes.
General Landry was the first to speak up. "It's been an honor to serve with you, Colonel Carter." He saluted.
Surprised at the action, she returned the salute. "Thank you, sir. The honor was mine."
General O'Neill's eyes were shuttered. He'd spent half of the party last evening telling her everything he knew or remembered about his experiences in Atlantis last year, trying to give her whatever warning or intel he thought she could use in fighting these new enemies. It was the closest he came to showing how worried he was about her leaving. But there was pride hidden there too. She knew O'Neill had supported Woolsey's recommendation of her to the IOA.
Informal goodbyes were last night, amongst the "SG-1 club" and Cassie. And that was after the base party for her. Government employees loved excuses for a luncheon. But today was official pomp and circumstance. General O'Neill gave her a crisp salute that she proudly returned. She hoped she would live up to the expectations everyone seemed to have. She wondered if her insecurity showed because abruptly he hugged her anyway, whispering in her ear. "You'll do great."
"Thank you, sir," she whispered back.
She turned to Cameron, who made no pretense of official military goodbyes. He gave her a handshake turned into a hug. His voice was gravelly with emotion as he said. "You want back in the band, say the word. You ever need us, we're there."
"I know, Cam." She smiled, trying to blink back the tears that were threatening her by now.
Daniel tilted his head, his hands still in his pockets at first, delaying the inevitable. "We'll keep track of Cassie."
"Oh, we will." Jack spoke up. "General with big airplanes who can make unannounced visits."
"Sir." Sam admonished him. Cassie would probably blame her for wrecking her social life from a galaxy away.
Daniel grabbed her in a bear hug. "You take care of yourself," he whispered.
"I will." She definitely wasn't able to keep the emotion back now.
Before he let go, Daniel made one more comment. "And after you've settled in, I really will find an excuse to come visit. Jack can't stop me."
Sam stepped back. "I'd expect nothing else."
Vala attacked her with a wild hug that almost stole Sam's breath. "I'll miss you, Samantha."
"Me too," she was able to choke out.
Teal'c had said his goodbye before. This time the hug was wordless as he set down the briefcase and held her. Sam couldn't resist whispering, "Don't forget, undomesticated equines."
"Indeed." Teal'c's rumble of choked emotion almost undid her.
Embraces finished, she straightened her uniform. She felt something in her pocket. Based on Vala's expression, she had slipped something in without Sam noticing and was hoping it wouldn't be revealed in front of everyone in the Gate Room. Sam was very touched and slightly worried at what she would find when she checked her pockets later.
She had tuned out the everyday chatter of the control room until she heard Chief Harriman's voice through the intercom. "Chevron Seven, Locked." She glanced up to see the control room filled with scientists and personnel. Bill Lee and Simon Coombs was there. As was Carolyn. Walter gave a small unobtrusive wave before his fingers moved back to the keyboard. She smiled and nodded a farewell to them all.
Brushing away any lingering tears, she picked up her briefcase and headed up the ramp. At the event horizon, she paused and turned back. With their smiles as encouragement, she straightened her shoulders and headed to Atlantis. She knew SG-1 had her back.
|Genres:||Crossover, Friendship, Missing Scene/Episode-Related, Team, Vignette|
|Summary:||Goodbyes are never easy. Set during SGA Reunion (spoiler warning!)|
Just a little sappy (but necessary) scene after seeing "Reunion". Thanks to the AG moderators for letting me archive this SG-1 fic that just happens to take place during an SGA episode.