You Never Knew

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~~~~ A thin steady hand held the glinting piece of steel, poised momentarily, before slashing the crème-colored wrist, veins and all.~~~~

 

Daniel paused in his work and glanced up, taking an absent-minded look around his darkened office. Nothing was out of its place. He frowned and blinked behind his glasses as he sat there thinking. He could’ve sworn he’d felt or heard something.

 

Glancing at his watch, he noted that once again, he’d spent the night and a greater part of the early morning cooped up in his office, working. He shook his head wearily and stretched, wincing as he heard the pops and cracks that his body made.

 

Dropping his pen down on his desk, he lifted the coffee mug beside him to take a sip, grimacing as it had long gone cold from hours of sitting useless and forgotten on his desk. He looked over at the empty coffee pot in the corner of his office and decided that the manuscript he was working on could wait until tomorrow – or rather, later on that same day.

 

Scraping back his chair, he stood slowly, his brow furrowing as he felt a sharp pain in his chest. He rubbed at it, thinking maybe he should stop by the infirmary and see if Janet was around. However, a few minutes later the pain lessened to a tolerable throb and Daniel decided to ignore it, hoping it would go away.

 

As he headed out of his office toward the commissary, coffee cup in hand, he stopped to look at a picture of him and Sam on a rare vacation together when he had convinced her to go attend an archaeologist conference with him. Daniel smiled to himself as he remembered the way Sam had grumbled goodheartedly about attending a conference with a bunch of bookworms and stuffy people. He had bantered back that the torture she would endure was the same as the astrophysicist meeting she had dragged him to months earlier. It turned out that they hadn’t even stayed more than an hour before Daniel and Sam got bored and tired of the snide remarks Daniel’s former colleagues had made about him. They had spent the rest of day at a carnival nearby, eating cotton candy, riding the Ferris-wheel, and winning a multitude of stuffed animals. Daniel’s smile grew wider. That had been one of the best days of his life.

 

Daniel stared fondly at the photo and then continued out the door to grab some coffee. The aforementioned picture was caught up in the small draft of wind that Daniel had created as he passed by and it wobbled precariously on the dusty shelf where it sat, propped up. The picture was of Sam and Daniel posed standing close together, laughing and smiling, arms full of sugary treats and stuffed toys. With a final quiver, the picture fell off the shelf and floated slowly to land face-down on the floor.

 

~~~~ A muffled exclamation stifled as pain coursed through the body and silent tears dripped down smooth cheeks and slender throat. ~~~~

 

Jack paused as he reached for a cold beer in his fridge and looked up. His ears attuned to the sounds his house made as well as the sounds of the night. He stayed frozen, quiet and listening in the silence of his darkened house for awhile.

 

He frowned a little before shaking his head and picked up a beer bottle, popping the cap open, and taking a big swallow. He shut the fridge door and padded back to his couch where he was watching the late-night show with Conan O’Brien. The guy was just too funny.

 

Jack sank down and took another sip. As the cool liquid flowed down his throat, Jack felt a sharp pain. Thinking the beer had gone down the wrong way, he thumped his chest hard, hoping to let loose a burp. The pain subsided and Jack picked up the remote to put the volume up; Conan was in the middle of a funny joke.

 

As he chuckled quietly, his eyes strayed to the wooden plaque with a huge bass mounted on it. He gave a small smile, reminiscing over the time he caught it…okay, so he didn’t catch it, but still! He shook his head, still smiling and reminded himself that he’d have to go back up to that cottage of his. And maybe this time, he’d bring along the entire team. Teal’c sure didn’t understand what fishing was, but maybe Daniel and Carter could. As Jack thought on that, he laughed a minute later. No, they wouldn’t. Daniel would spend the entire time sneezing from all of his allergies and Carter would be busily typing away on her laptop, thinking up revolutionary space theories to add to her already impressive record. Jack thought of his team with fondness. They were so incredibly different, but they were the best friends he could ask for.

 

While his team couldn’t understand the concept of fishing, they knew about *his* passion for it. The new fishing rod and lures that Carter, Daniel, and Teal’c had chipped in to buy for him on his last birthday lay just waiting to be used the next time Jack went on leave. Carter had actually listened to Jack when he was talking about how the best lures to use for bait were ones that were brightly-colored. She had gotten him a whole set of fluorescent colored lures. As he stared at the plastic box they were in, they seemed almost to glow in the dark.

 

Jack shrugged, sipping his beer, and turned back to Conan. Mary Steenburgen was set to be a guest tonight.

 

~~ The serrated edge of the knife cut deeply across the blue vein of the identical wrist. ~~

 

Teal’c opened his eyes suddenly during his kel’no’reem and stared straight ahead into his candle-lit room. Something had disturbed his meditation. The flames of the candles surrounding him created a haunting, but peaceful atmosphere.

 

He listened with a raised eyebrow and was surprised with a feeling of pain deep within. He assessed his surroundings to see if someone had entered his room with the purpose to cause him harm, but his well-trained eyes detected no one. The symbiote within him could not find the source of pain and Teal’c deduced it was not physical pain he was feeling, but something deeper.

 

He shifted slightly on the padded mat insulated with soft foam that Major Carter had given him as a surprise one day. He had been confused since it was just an ordinary day and therefore she was not required to give him a gift. Major Carter had spent a great deal of time telling him that one does not need a reason to present another with a gift. She had purchased the mat on impulse and had wanted him to have it. He was confused, but greatly appreciated her thoughtfulness and kindness. The floors of the facility were not the most comfortable and he had yet to find a suitable material to sit on that would not cause him discomfort. That had been awhile ago. Since then, Major Carter, along with Daniel Jackson and Colonel O’Neil, had sporadically given him small things to further his education of his adopted home-world. Major Carter had stopped by earlier today and handed him a book of her favorite poems, telling him to read it. When prompted the purpose of reading such material, Major Carter had replied that poems could invoke powerful emotions in people. He had been touched and thanked her as they went their separate ways. His gaze wandered to the as of yet unopened book and he reached over to pick it up.

 

Teal’c opened it up slowly and began to read the first poem.

 

~~~~ The knife clattered to the floor, sliding on the kitchen tiles, covered and dripping with blood. ~~~~

 

General Hammond sighed to himself for the twelfth time as he reached for another document awaiting his attention. Why was the pile of his Inbox always twice as large as his Outbox? Maybe he was growing too old for this.

 

Picking up his pen, Hammond stared at the form in front of him that seemed to have never-ending paragraphs of words. He slid a sideways glance at the bottom locked drawer where he had hidden a small flask of whiskey. It was 1:20 am and he had yet to leave the base.

 

As Hammond sighed and began reading the paper in front of him, he felt a sharp pain. He flexed his fingers and rolled his neck; a feeling of pain was the first thing he attributed to sitting in one position for far too long. Sitting back for a moment, Hammond waited for the irritating pain to settle, which it did seconds later.

 

Rubbing at his eyes, he wondered briefly if they looked red from lack of sleep. It wouldn’t matter even if they *were* red, half the people at the SGC *always* had red eye eyes whether it was from lack of sleep, stress, nightmares, or all of the above. Two such people who were famous for it were the two members of his best team, SG-1. Dr. Jackson and Major Carter. Now there were two people who never quit working. He smiled as he thought of his favorite team. They were a mottled bunch that he had reservations about, but was surprised at how well they worked together. Dedicated to their job and to each other.

 

Hammond signed his signature on the form in front of him and placed it quietly in his Outbox. Automatically, he moved on the next stack of papers. As he stared down at the stapled report in front of him, he was once again reminded of red eyes swollen from lack of sleep. It was a report from Major Carter about the construction and uses for some abandoned technology SG-14 had discovered on P5X-911. He shook his head as he skimmed over the report, getting lost in all the technical jargon that the Major was apt to use.

 

He filed the report away without much a glance, knowing that the Major knew what she was talking about. She always did. Unlike the rest of SG-1, he never had to worry about Major Carter; she had proved repeatedly that she could handle herself.

 

~~~~ A bloody hand convulsively gripped the counter as a heavy body fell to their knees. ~~~~

 

Janet quietly closed the door to her house so as not to wake her sleeping teenaged daughter upstairs. She had just gotten back from a date with another doctor that she had bumped into at the grocery store. She smiled and leaned against the door, happily reliving the past few hours spent with Michael. He was absolutely wonderful.

 

Janet sighed wistfully and took off her shoes, tiptoeing up the stairs, stopping to check on Cassie before moving down to her own bedroom. As she undressed, she peered critically into her closet. Tomorrow was Saturday and Michael had invited both her and Cassie to a picnic. She would need something to wear. Something sexy. But not too sexy.

 

A piece of clothing that was definitely not in her closet at the present moment. Oh well, she’d just have to wake Sam up early tomorrow and drag her to the mall. As Janet thought about her best friend, she was struck with a wicked thought. Maybe Michael had a single good-looking friend she could introduce to Sam. Her love-life was practically non-existent. The thought, though, deflated just as soon as it popped into her head. Sam was famous for her stubbornness and had flatly refused to go out on any blind dates that Janet had offered to arrange for her.

 

Janet shook her head. She padded out of her bathroom, dressed in her comfortable nightgown and headed straight for bed. Stopping suddenly as she felt a jagged pain, the doctor in her immediately took over and she checked to see if she was hurt. She wasn’t. Before she could properly diagnose the problem, the ache vanished just as quickly as it came. Janet narrowed her eyes in confusion, thinking about what had just happened before a yawn overtook her.

 

Getting comfortable in her bed, Janet’s hand hovered uncertainly over her phone. Was it too late to call Sam? She had told her that she was going out on a date and Sam had told her that she had wanted all the juicy details as soon as Janet got home. Should she call her now?

 

Her eyes shifted to the digital clock and the glowing red numbers. Deciding against calling Sam at such a late hour, Janet took her hand off the receiver, and settled into her cool comfortable bed. Sam was probably sleeping peacefully; she didn’t need Janet to wake her up from whatever happy dreams she was having at the moment. Janet smiled giddily as Michael’s face popped into her head once more. Oh yes, Sam could wait until morning; for now, Janet settled for having happy dreams herself.

 

~~~~ A sharp thud of a body collapsing minutes later echoed throughout the otherwise empty house; the crack of a head landing hard followed.~~~~

 

Cassie unconsciously shifted in her sleep and her brow furrowed as she wondered when her amorous dream of a luscious Brad Pitt had turned into a memory from long ago. It was one of the first memories Cassie had of her new home, Earth. She and Sam had been playing on the swings after going over her cover story to other non-SGC people.

 

Cassie vividly remembered the wind on her cheeks as she closed her eyes, relaxing her body as the swing she sat on carried her through the air. Every once in a while, Cassie would feel Sam’s reassuring hands gently pushing her, adding momentum to the already swaying swing and with each push, Cassie soared higher into the sky.

 

Never in her life had she experienced something like this and in that moment, Cassie felt safe once more. What she had gone through on her home-world was horrifying, but she was so lucky to have been rescued by Sam, Jack, Daniel, and Teal’c. Here, swinging freely through the cool air, eyes closed, and a content smile on her face, Cassie began to believe that she *could* start a new life with those around her.

 

Especially with Sam around. She’d been there for Cassie throughout the entire thing and Cassie hoped she’d be there, by her always. Slowly, Cassie became aware that she was losing momentum and realized that Sam had stopped pushing her. She opened her eyes and saw that the park she was in and remembered was teeming with children just like her was now forlornly empty.

 

The sky was overcast and Cassie was startled to find herself sitting on the swing, not as a little girl, but as the sixteen-year-old, she was now. The empty swings beside her swung loosely in the wind, their rusted chains squeaking. Cassie looked around and called out uncertainly, “Jack? Daniel? Teal’c? Sam?”

 

When no one answered, Cassie eased off the swing and turned around to see if Sam was still, hopefully, behind her. What she saw caused her to scream in fear.

 

Sam was gone, but in her place was a large pool of blood. A knife slick with it lay in the middle. Overhead, the clouds rumbled and it began to rain.

 

“Cassie! Wake up!” Cassie was jolted from her nightmare by Janet, who was shaking her frantically.

 

Cassie gasped and opened her eyes wide before crumpling into her mother’s arms and began sobbing hysterically.

 

“Cassie, honey, you were screaming, what’s wrong? What is it?” Janet demanded, worried.

 

She received no answer as she held her crying daughter.

 

~~~~ Shallow breathing gasped out through a partially opened mouth, blue eyes wide open and unblinking, blurrily focused on nothing. ~~~~

 

Mark Carter halted in his lesson to his class as he felt something. It was a sharp jolt, uncomfortable, but fleeting.

 

He closed his mouth, confused. He thought intensely for a moment, knowing that something had happened. Was it his subconscious telling him he’d forgotten to turn something off at home before heading to work? Was he forgetting a special day, a meeting, an errand he had to run? Or was he getting sick, coming down with something? Maybe he should book a doctor’s appointment.

 

 He told his class to read a passage from their textbook, using it as an excuse to gather his thoughts. For that brief moment, he felt like there was something off. But it was gone now. Still frowning, he shuffled the papers on his desk, perturbed.

 

A slip of paper fell to the floor and he bent to pick it up. It was a message that his wife had slipped into his briefcase that morning. Sam had called to say hi and to wish her niece an early happy birthday, apologizing that she would be out of the country the day of, but that she had already sent her niece’s present by mail and that it should arrive soon.

 

Mark knew that his daughter, Lena, would be sad and disappointed that her newly-found aunt wouldn’t be able to come to her party. Just like her also newly-found grandfather, Jacob.  Mark scowled briefly as he thought of his father and sister and their ludicrous holy duty to the military. What could they possibly be doing that was so important that they couldn’t take one day off?

 

Mark bit his tongue and mentally reminded himself that both Sam and their father had been trying to reconcile with Mark after his father’s cancer scare. And Mark was happy to have his family back in his life. While he didn’t like or understand their passion for the Air force, they were his family and so he tried to make the best of it.

 

Mark was shaken out of his thoughts by the sound of his students quietly discussing amongst themselves and he slipped the phone message from Sam into his pocket, He’d call her later and chat with her. For now, he had a class to teach.

 

“Can anyone tell me what the significance of the passage you’ve just read?”

 

~~~~ Pale wrists, slit open, fell limply to the cold floor, fingers twitching slightly. ~~~~

 

Narim stopped his scan of his daily duties for a moment. He felt a chill. Were the environmental controls malfunctioning? Frowning, he asked, “Computer, run a system check on the environmental controls. Are they functioning properly?”

 

“Environmental controls are performing within established parameters.” The computer responded back. As it did, Narim let loose a small smile as he heard Samantha’s voice talking back to him. He had programmed it into the system as soon as he was able to do so. He wondered briefly what the real Samantha would say if she knew.

 

Narim couldn’t help it, however. He had never met anyone like Samantha. When he had first seen her, he had thought her an angel with her blonde hair and blue eyes, volcanic ash falling softly on her. She fit the description of the superstition of the Sher’mau perfectly and he still believed that she was special.

 

Wandering over to the window in his home, he stared out onto the green grass lawn. The sky was the perfect shade of blue, and his fellow Tollans walked leisurely to and fro. Everything gave a sign of how perfect and uneventful the day was going to be…so why did Narim feel like there was something he was missing.

 

Something brushed up against his legs and Narim was reminded again of Samantha. Picking up the ginger cat, Narim petted Schrödinger fondly, listening to him purr. Narim was eternally grateful to Samantha for giving him Schrödinger; he had never seen a real live animal for a long time. Seeing a bird on Earth was something miraculous to him. Meeting Samantha and sharing that kiss with her was even more miraculous. He hoped he’d meet her again. It was just such a shame that the Tollans were so against sharing their technology, lest they risk the same disaster as before. There were just so many things preventing Narim from making a commitment to Samantha, their being on different planets and living in different cultures was just one thing.

 

 Without warning, Narim was startled as Schrödinger let out a yowl and squirmed in his arms. Frowning in puzzlement, Narim attempted to calm his pet down.

 

“You must be hungry; come I will make up some nourishment for you.” Narim walked away, continuing on with the rest of his daily duties.

 

~~~~ Blood flowed from the deep wounds to pool around the warm body of its owner. ~~~~

 

Jacob grumbled to himself as he headed to his quarters. He had just come from the High Council and he’d been denied to go home as the Tok’ra had a mission they wanted him to undertake. No, they didn’t care that it was his only grand-daughter’s birthday soon and how important it was to both her and him that he be there.

 

<Sometimes we must make sacrifices, Jacob.> Selmac offered sympathetically.

 

“They would rather me go to some planet to spy on some no-name Goa’uld that, may I just add, *any* Tok’ra could do, than give me two days off to spend time with my family on an important day.” Jacob shot back as he stormed into his quarters. His eyes strayed to his desk where a brightly-colored present was perfectly wrapped and just waiting to be opened viciously by his vibrant five-year-old granddaughter.

 

He had bought it the last time he had free time on Earth and he’d taken it back with him to wrap and bring it with him the next time he’d visited. Now that wasn’t possible. In a matter of hours, he was scheduled to fly off to a far-off sector of space and when he would be returning was unforeseen. Jacob sighed. He’d have to have someone deliver it to Sam for him along with an apologetic note to Lena.

 

Along with Lena’s present, his desk was littered with mementos of his home and his family. Crayon drawings from his grandchildren, pictures of Mark, his wife who was pregnant again, and their children, a small box full of baby pictures of Sam and Mark, along with pictures of his deceased wife, his wife’s wedding ring, a picture of Sam and the rest of SG-1 goofing off, and a small framed picture of both Jacob and Sam, arms around each other as they grinned into the camera on their vacation together after that whole Sokar incident.

 

Jacob picked up the frame and smiled fondly at it. He was so proud of his daughter. He was proud of her when he thought she was just a little satellite geek, albeit a little disappointed, but proud, and then to have her turn around and reveal to him what she was really doing was mind-blowing. Thinking back on it now, Jacob couldn’t stop beaming at the achievements his Sammy was accomplishing, both technological and military-wise.

 

<We must be going soon, Jacob.> Selmac reminded softly, hating to bring Jacob out of his nostalgia.

 

“I know, I know.” Jacob replied, still staring at the picture. As he held it, Jacob’s eyes widened as the glass in the frame cracked as if it had been struck with something hard or had been dropped onto the floor.

 

Staring at the crack that was directly over the smiling face of his daughter, Jacob was bewildered and both he and Selmac wondered what the hell just happened. Running his fingers carefully over the crack, a superstitious person would’ve believed it was a bad omen, but Jacob wasn’t a superstitious person and so he flipped the frame and took out the picture, placing it and the broken picture frame down on his desk.

 

“I’ll have to buy a new one next time I visit Sam.” Still pondering over the strange incident, Jacob shook his head and headed out to gather the necessary gear he would need. He still needed to find someone to deliver his present to Sam to give to Lena. Sighing to himself, he mentally calculated with a heavy heart that it would be at least a couple of weeks before he could contact Sam.

 

~~~~ A blonde head lolled to the side, eyes mutely closing, misery, sadness, and quiet acceptance flashed dimly seconds before. ~~~~

 

Martouf nodded to a familiar face as he crossed the elegantly furnished banquet hall to retrieve another glass of wine. As he moved, his eyes surreptitiously scanned the room for any who would be able to recognize him and thus blow his cover he had established of being a minor Goa’uld weapons dealer. Already it had been three weeks into his stay here and he was still planning to make his move to sabotage the newly formed alliance between the system lords, Minerva and Pluto. Though their power, even together, was minimal compared to others such as Lord Yu and Apophis, the Tok’ra did not want to worry about more system lords popping up.

 

Picking up a wine glass, Martouf sipped at it, smiling and nodding to those around him. Both he and Lantash hated these things, preferring activities that were outside and consisted more of just standing around, drinking, and continually watching one’s back.

 

“Ah, Liteas, there you are. I have been looking all over for you.” A feminine voice purred from Martouf’s left.

 

Turning, Martouf braced himself as he came face to face with another Goa’uld by the name of Renalia. It was not the fact that she was Goa’uld that unnerved him, but the fact that she slightly resembled a woman who, he recently admitted to himself, he had feelings for. A woman with blonde hair, blue eyes, and a wonderful smile.

 

Playing his part, Martouf replied huskily, “If I had known you were looking for me, Renalia, I would not have made such an effort to hide.”

 

Renalia laughed and Martouf noted that her laugh was cold and brittle compared to that of Samantha’s. Mentally rolling his eyes, he pasted a charming smile on his face. “You are such a charmer, Liteas. I knew once I met you that you were one to watch carefully.” As she talked, Renalia blatantly roved her eyes over Martouf, licking her lips.

 

Feeling uncomfortable inside, but unable to show it, Martouf kept his smile and moved to grasp Renalia’s hand in his, he raised it to his lips, gently planting a kiss on her open palm. “I have been watching you carefully as well. I always keep an eye on such beautiful women.”

 

Her hand felt cold and her skin was clammy. Martouf couldn’t stop comparing her to Samantha. *Her* hands were warm and soft, smooth and gentle, as he recalled from whenever he had held her hands. But Martouf could not afford to refuse Renalia’s advances; she was in the service of Minerva and was very close to the Goa’uld system lord. Renalia played an instrumental part in Martouf’s plan to sabotage the alliance; she just didn’t know it.

 

A sharp pain in Martouf’s chest caused him to suddenly gasp and drop his wine glass, causing it to shatter on the carpeted floor. Holding his chest, he almost bent over at the sharpness of the pain, which roused even Lantash’s attention who was taken also by surprise.

 

“Liteas, are you alright?” Renalia placed a hand on Martouf’s cheek, caressing it.

 

Martouf resisted the urge to slap her hand away and yell at her to go away. Instead, he gritted his teeth and with Lantash sending chemicals to sooth the pain as well as regulating the pain receptors, he was able to straighten and regain his smile.

 

“It is nothing, my lovely Renalia, just an irritation. It has passed.” Martouf managed to steel his voice into a reassuring soft tone. Conferring with Lantash, Martouf decided that he needed to end this assignment and return to the Tok’ra immediately, to check if something had happened, just to be on the safe side.

 

Taking a deep breath, he stepped close to Renalia and curved an arm around her waist. Leaning down to whisper in her ear, “Would you like to take a private walk with me, lovely Renalia?”

 

Renalia smiled seductively and nodded, leaning in close and laying her head and one hand on Martouf’s cloth-covered chest.

 

Martouf guided the two out of the banquet hall, ignoring the pain and considering asking Lantash what the cause of the pain could possibly be. Lantash sternly reminded him of his current mission and to stay focused, Martouf could not afford to let his thoughts wander when there were more important things at hand.

 

Continuing to guide Renalia out into the empty garden outside, Martouf could feel the result of Lantash’s work as the pain lessened to a dull throb, but did not completely disappear.

 

~~~~ The light pants emanating quietly slowed to still silence, chest rising one last time. ~~~~

 

The figure watched sadly as the events in one house on the planet Earth slowly unfolded. Cursing himself and the rules that bound him as he watched. Though he was still somewhat of an outcast, the Others had their ways of keeping him from descending or even helping.

 

Both of which Orlin desperately wanted to do now as he watched the actions of the woman he loved and had sacrificed his life for did in her house in the middle of the night. Prevented from doing anything but helplessly watch, Orlin’s heart broke.

 

Orlin knew that Samantha had not loved him as he had loved her, but she did care for him and that’s all that mattered to him. Sharing his essence, his spirit with her created something between them that he would always remember.

 

His blue eyes blurred with tears and he remembered what he said to her a few years ago and what he still believed in. Hearing his words to her echo through him mind, he slowly raised his hand.

 

…“That you are a good person, that your heart is pure, that inside your spirit is as beautiful as you are on the outside.”…

 

The already cloudy sky darkened into blackness and thunder cracked. Lightning flashed brilliantly and the rain began to fall.

 

The End

 

Notes: In case anyone’s forgotten, Narim’s Sher’mau was a superstition about angels. Minerva is the Roman goddess of wisdom, practical arts, and war. Pluto is the Roman god of war.

 

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