SG-1 FIC: U Is for Understanding Title: U is for Understanding Rating: (G) Pairings: None Category: Drama Word Count: 949 words Summary: With Cassie's help, Sam comes to terms with her life Author’s Note: Written for abyssinia4077's birthday surprise fic. It just didn't quite fit the bill, word count wise. :D And major thanks go out to Diane who dusted off the cobwebs on her red pen so that she could get back into beta'ing my fic. You're the best!!
U is for Understanding
Sam Carter understood loneliness. She’d been there way too many times before and knew the helpless feelings that came with it. Loneliness was hard enough to deal with as an adult; she could just imagine what that little girl in the chamber was going through.
Sam also had a great understanding of terror, having faced it more times than she ever wanted to remember. Terror fueled by adrenalin had gotten her through many rough times, but even adrenalin couldn’t help Sam when Cassie had opened her eyes. The memory of the horror she felt at that moment caused her to slam her fist into the elevator wall in frustration. She hated herself at that moment, a hatred that crashed down on her and left her feeling like a monster.
Hatred was another emotion that Sam understood. If there was one thing she learned throughout her career as an officer, hatred could be controlled. It could be hidden behind a façade when she needed to pretend, and unleashed with a fury when the situation called for it. But hatred toward her own misgivings made for self-loathing, an emotion she wouldn’t let take over. Cassie needed her, and Sam wasn’t going to let her down.
The answer came to her in an instant, and Sam jumped up to slam her fist into the Stop button. How could she have missed this solution in her efforts to save that little girl? She had always been so persistent in finding an answer, yet she was willing to let go of her determination when it seemed as if all was lost. Knowledge was something she thought she understood, having relied on it all her life. Yet, when it came to saving the world, she had settled for the most obvious solution, with only a minimum effort on her part. Cassie deserved more than that. Sam deserved more than that.
She pressed the button to turn the elevator around, to descend into the depths of the building, if for nothing else than to sit with Cassie, whose trust in Sam cut like a knife. Cassie had exhibited no fear at being left alone, didn’t cry or beg to go with Sam, she just sat there with faith shining in her eyes, a look that brought tears to Sam’s eyes as she thought of it. But Sam also had a deep understanding of loyalty, instilled by a certain Colonel who demanded that no one be left behind. Even if it meant death, Sam was going to stay with Cassie until the end.
And death was something else that Sam understood. She had faced that particular enemy many times, and she knew that there was a fine line when it came to who would be the conqueror. One of these days, death would win the battle, but until then, Sam was going to do whatever she could to keep it at bay. She walked into the room and straight over to the child sitting on a ledge, picking her up and wrapping her arms around her to wait out the storm. She smiled down at Cassie, even as her doubts clouded her mind. What if she was wrong? She hugged Cassie tightly, as she tried to chase away the doubts. She didn’t want to even think about it.
The seconds ticked on while Sam and Cassie waited. Colonel O’Neill’s voice echoed in her mind as he tried to reason with her, but she had already made up her mind. She understood the consequences of her decision. She knew that she could very well be dead in the next few moments. But she had come to terms with her decision, and in her heart, it was the right one to make.
They waited, and nothing happened. Elation soared through Sam’s soul when she realized that she had been right. Cassie was going to live, and Sam hugged her once again out of sheer happiness. The happiness didn’t last long though. She had disobeyed a direct order, and fear took over on the ride up to where O’Neill and the rest of her team waited. She hoped that he would understand, and knowing the Colonel, he probably would, but there was still a lingering doubt, and she took a deep breath before leaving the elevator to face him.
Stars painted a scene across the sky when Sam and her teammates stepped outside. Cassie walked next to Sam, hand in hand, while the others took off toward the van. But Sam stopped to stare up at the heavens, wondering at the vastness of the universe and at peace with herself for the time being. She had gone back to sit with Cassie, choosing to face death one more time instead of leaving her to do it alone, and in doing so, she had gained an understanding of how friendship and love tied in with loyalty. She had been willing to die for her little friend, a gesture that gave Sam the strength to move on with her life.
There was that trust in Cassie’s eyes again, Sam thought as she waited for Cassie to speak. It was funny how she didn’t feel like a fraud this time.
“Which one of those stars is my home?”
“Earth is your home now,” Sam said, with an emphasis that surprised her. “But that one, that one up there. See it? That’s where you used to live.”
Cassie smiled as she stared up at the star. The universe is huge, Sam thought, as she beamed down at the child she had grown to love in such a short time. Vast and full of new beginnings, the galaxy was hers for the taking. And she would take it by storm, because if there was one thing Sam Carter understood, it was that determination and perseverance, mixed with the willingness to do the right thing, would always give her the advantage. She couldn’t help but win.