As I watch my 'real' self step into the shimmering blue surface of the wormhole I sigh and blink back tears. I want to go home. A quick glance at my team tells me that they feel much the same. Teal'c stands stoic and subdued, he will never see his wife or his son, Rya'c, again. And Daniel's face is as hopeless as I've ever seen it. I feel for him, and Teal'c. Teal'c so wanted to free his people, and while he will be able to, 'he' won't be. And Daniel, he was never happier than when he was on some world with a diverse culture to learn and study. Never again will he have to translate for us, or examine an artefact, or rock as Jack likes to call them.
As I think about Jack my eyes shift to him, the silver circle in his cheek reminding me quite horribly of the fate that has befallen us. His beautiful face marred and the technology showing through; the inside showing to the outside world where it not welcomed. Jack shows his annoyance more than the rest of us. He has done ever since we woke as robots. An onlooker could be mistaken to believe that he is struck by this more than the rest of us, but it is not so. We all feel a sense of immense loss and we have lost hope.
I felt isolated sometimes at the SGC; I was a female, one of very few, on a predominantly male base. At least, I realise now, there were other women there to talk to. Now I am the only female among 4 men, as Harlen so kindly pointed out earlier. It will not be easy. I sigh again, and this time Jack notices. He smiles weakly at me, conveying sympathy. I am unsure if he knows the cause of such a heart-felt sigh but I am thankful anyway. I try to smile back at him, it is a small smile. The only reason I can smile is him. At least I still have him.
That can be the only good thing about this situation. I still have Jack. I try to cheer myself with these thoughts. We no longer have rank, we had decided that earlier, and there are no almighty generals to forbid relationships, and so that means that Jack and I could... I grimace inwardly, I don't even know if he returns the feelings. It is an impossible dream, nothing more, but I have always been an impossible dreamer.
We turn and walk away from the gate. Harlen throws his hands up in the air and moves them in a circle until they are oddly clasped in front of him. "Kumtryia!" he beams at us in an attempt to cheer our sorrowful moods. I hear Jack mutter 'Kumbaya!" again in an attempt to take the piss and annoy Harlen, and I suppress a smile. Harlen is unconcerned with Jack's behaviour, which seems to annoy Jack slightly.
"O'Neill," Teal'c says, "Should we not destroy the Stargate?"
"Later, Teal'c," Jack tells him; he does not want to do that just now, I understand how he feels. Besides we have the next few thousand years to do that, there's no rush.
A few thousand years. It's a good thing that we are all friends, living with only four others, in semi-isolation, for any period of time can be tough, but for a few centuries... it is hard even on the best of friends.
I find myself back in our 'room', it seems more like a holding cell at present, and I have no idea how I got there. It seems my body is working on autopilot. That is an innocent phrase that is now so much more than a colloquial expression, it is probably an unerring truth. I sink ungracefully onto a bed resting my elbows on my knees and my head in my hands.
I raise my head when Harlen speaks. "You are sad, I will leave you for a while," he is still grinning, despite our foul moods. "There is so much to do you will forget soon. Kumtryia!" He bids us farewell and leaves us in our misery.
Teal'c moves over to a far wall and stands, quiet and still, like a sentry, and Daniel sits on a bed seemingly lost in thoughts of home. Jack slumps down next to me and sits for a couple of long, silent minutes, before rising and walking out.
My two companions made no move to follow him, deciding he wants, needs, to be alone, have some space. We sit in a tense silence; the occasional sigh the only sound. I have to get out of here. I rise and exit the room, wandering aimlessly, liking the privacy that is hard to come by when you are herded into a room with three others. At the same time though I feel oddly alone.
I continue walking and I suddenly hear a sound. A short bang, then another one, and another. My pace increases and I walk purposefully to the source of the noise. As I round the corner I see Jack kicking some piece of abandoned, non-functional machinery.
"Sir," I say, to alert him to my presence. "I think it's dead," I remark softly. He turns to face me as I say this. He has a sheepish look on his face, slightly guilty at being caught letting out his anger and helplessness, he sees it as losing control, I guess. He doesn't like to lose control. He likes to be in charge of the situation, but now he's not. He's as helpless as the rest of us. He doesn't like it one bit.
Jack moves over to the wall and sits down, knees drawn up to his chest and he looks straight ahead, not really seeing. I can't help but notice the way those tight trousers fit him so well, showing the shape of his lovely long legs. But now, I decide is hardly the time to think these thoughts. I sink down to sit beside him, close but not quite touching. I want to fill the silence that fills the air. "Sirů" I start.
Jack cuts me off. "Jack, we decided that," he corrects me, without moving his gaze.
"Jack," I start again and then stop. I don't know what to say, even what I want to say.
He turns his head now and looks at me. I see his cheek again and he notices me staring because he turns away. I raise my hand and touch his face softly, then I turn his chin so as I can see his whole face again. I stroke his cheek lightly. "You should get that fixed," I tell him.
"I told me that," he comments sardonically, with a sarcastic smile.
"You should follow your advice," I say, getting up and extending my hand to help him up. He takes it and I pull him to his feet.
We begin to walk to the little lab where we discovered Harlen's secret, a silent proposal discussed and agreed. When we reach there Jack drops my hand to open the door, and I suddenly become aware that he never let go of it when I helped him up. My heart skips a beat but I calm myself. We are all lonely here, he meant nothing, I tell myself, not really believing. I do not want to raise my hopes only to have them shattered.
We poke around the small room, looking for something that might prove useful, although neither of us know what any of it is. Our search proves to be unsuccessful and so we go to find Harlen, but there is no need. He walks in just as we are about to leave.
"Kumtryia," he greets us cheerfully. "You are out and about and... better?"
"We came to fix my cheek," Jack tells him.
Harlen's grin fades slightly. "I'm sorry, I should have thought about that and sorted it sooner. Oh dear, where is it. There's just so much to do. Ah, here it is," he speaks, half to us and half to himself, holding up a small bottle of a bright blue liquid. He pours some of it onto a cloth he finds on a nearby workbench and rubs the cloth on Jack's 'cut'?
The skin heals almost instantly, and there is no scar, no sign that anything ever happened. Jack feels his cheek, smooth once more and walks out without saying a word. Harlen looks slightly upset at Jack's behaviour. I smile at him and say, "Thank you," adding silently, 'for making Jack's face all beautiful again,' and I follow Jack from the room.
When we are a distance from the lab, Jack turns to me. "I was rude, wasn't I?"
"Yes," I tell him truthfully.
"No, please, be honest," he jokes.
I smile at him and he smiles back. We have stopped walking now and are facing each other.
"I understand how you feel, I feel that same way," I tell him.
A funny look appears on his face and is gone again in a heartbeat. "You do?" he asks.
"Sam," he says softly. I love the way he says my name, he makes it sound special and heavenly.
I look up and into his eyes. Suddenly his lips are on mine, kissing me softly, tenderly, lovingly. I respond to the sensations his mouth evokes in me, and wrap my arms around his neck and curl my fingers around the short hair at the back of his neck.
When we break apart we are breathless. He looks frightened, tense, anxious that I will tell him that I do not return those feelings. I put my hands on either side of his face and pull it closer to mine and I kiss him again. He relaxes and the kiss deepens. I lose myself in him, in a way that I never could have done back home. I think I might like it here, after all.