Ships in the Night

Season/spoilers: Missing scene for "The Road Not Taken"
Rating: general
Genre: Drama, friendship, could be pre-slash if you want to see it that way
Disclaimer: These guys belong to MGM. I only play with them.

The lieutenant -- Random SGC Soldier #400, from Rodney's perspective -- stuck his head in the door just as they were hooking up the final leads to Carter's machine.

"Hey, Doc, the General wants --"

"Out. Busy," Rodney snapped.

Undaunted, the soldier paused, took a breath, and resumed. "Hey, jerk, the General wants you."

"The General can wait for half a second, and get out."

Carter's eyes darted over to the soldier in the doorway. Rodney happened to be watching her at that moment, so he saw her eyes widen, just a little.

"He'll be along in a minute," she said.

Rodney didn't bother looking to see the lieutenant leave. Instead he snapped the final connections in place, and bent over his laptop because now she would be looking at him, and he didn't want to meet her eyes. Didn't want to think about what she'd told him, and about the fact that once she was gone, he'd never see Samantha Carter again -- Major, Colonel or any point in between.

"Are you ready? Because I'm not really sure about the integrity of some of these connections, and I don't know if I'd trust my life to --"

"Rodney," Sam said quietly.

The softness in her voice drew his attention in a way that the sharpest tone would not. He'd rarely heard that from her, even before they were married, on those infrequent occasions when things had been truly good between them.

"Thank you for helping me."

He swallowed, because he didn't know where he wanted this to go, what he wanted to say. Well, all right, he did know where he wanted it to go, but where she was going was another universe, and what could you do with that? His eyes slid away from hers. "When you're ready to go, I'm going to hit this button, and you do realize there's no going back from that, right? Of course you do. Look who I'm talking to. You've already done it once. Look, just ..."

He trailed off. Damn these emotional situations. "You ready?" he asked, hating the slight break in his voice.

She nodded, then seemed to steady herself, as if coming to a decision, and took a deep breath. "When I'm gone ... go talk to that guy."

"Who? What?"

"The guy who was just in here, the ... lieutenant, I guess he was. Go find him and talk to him."

"Why?" Rodney demanded.

"Just ... do. I figure I owe you something for screwing up your life." She smiled at him, a smile that hurt. God, he did like her hair this way. "This is all I can do. Go talk to him, Rodney. His name's John, and I'd guess he's as unhappy here as you are. Now, hit the button."

He hit it, and she vanished in a flash of light.


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