Coda
With Bees (Outro)
by Neko Case
How's hope feeling today?
Tired and sick of this place.
Red wine is fast at the lip of your glass and I'm gonna ruin everything.
Everything.
So it's better, my sweet,
that we hover like bees
`cause there's no sure footing,
no love I believe.


Sam felt no better than she had upon immediately waking. Of course, it had only been a couple minutes. It might take weeks for her to feel like herself again. Everything around her maintained the surrealism she had experienced on the ship. For a vacillating minute, she wasn't even sure she wasn't still there and not here. It felt as if she was at the bottom of a deep pool of water, looking up at him. Jack rippled and moved, even though she was pretty sure he was standing still. People didn't usually ripple.
"Need anything? Magazine? Yo-yo?" Jack said.
It sounded like he was about a thousand miles away from her and his question was flip and ridiculous. She didn't understand why he was so cheerfully blas while she lay here in misery. It angered her to think about, that he could be so...normal. When she was a freshman in college, she'd had an English major roommate who had tried to tell her that the point of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" was not that the two main characters were madly in love and that the world just couldn't understand that - it was that they were foolish children who couldn't possibly know what love was. And that they died just as foolishly for false love.
Sam hadn't bought that theory. She thought perhaps she should reconsider.
For now, though, she reconsidered the wavering thing - maybe she was the one who was moving. Which direction was she going, Sam wondered, and what was her final destination? She didn't know if she was supposed to be going one way or another, forward or back. She decided it might be best if she hovered in once place, if that was even possible, and just wait.
But waiting was passive, and it felt wrong, felt not Sam. It seemed she didn't even know herself anymore. She was so confused. Jack's face was bland and she couldn't tell if that was his intention or not. He was no help in guiding her. He was always the same. He should be a rock, someone for her to rely on. Instead he was a rock, someone for her to smack into over and over again until she bled from her soul. His stupid question rattled around in her aching head, a boulder. It pinned her to the bed, inexplicably prevented her from hovering.
Sam hated herself for being this way. She shouldn't need guiding, she reminded herself. She never had, not in her whole life. And she had certainly never needed a man to cling to and give her identity. She swallowed thickly. Her tongue felt too large for her mouth. There was something wrong with her. There had to be.
"I'm fine," she answered his question.
She wasn't fine, though she had no idea why she'd lied about something that must be so obvious. She was irritated. She was hurt that Jack wanted to be funny when she was lying here, crushed by his heavy weight. Of course, it was entirely possible he didn't have a clue what he was doing to her. She blinked at him and he just stood there. It continued to bother her tremendously that she couldn't interpret his expression. She didn't know if she had ever been able to do that. Thinking about it made her realize Jack was always inscrutable to her. There was something intensely upsetting about that. It wasn't right, was it? It shouldn't be. It should be exactly the opposite.
The water effect rippled violently. Her head throbbed and her stomach turned. Sam found herself wanting to close her eyes or to look away from him, maybe, but she could do neither. Her mind kept turning it around, over and over - he had rebuffed her, refused to allow her the simple pleasure of addressing him by his first name. He was always doing that and she had thought it was simply because of the fraternization rules.
She was no longer certain that was the only reason. A sick idea swirled inside that regulations were just a tiny factor. She stared at him anyway, wanting him to tell her he'd made a mistake. Everything was a mistake. That the rules were stupid and didn't apply to their unique situation, and that what they went through every day was grounds for exemption from them. Or at least bending of them.
"Yes, you are," Jack said and smiled softly.
And for one exhilarating moment, she was back on the Prometheus and she was kissing him for all she was worth. It felt so damn good. It was everything to her. Sam wanted to forget her body's pains and pull herself out of bed now, and up to him. Into his arms, where she belonged. She vaguely wondered if perhaps it was her vision of him, of them kissing and finally together, that had kept her holding on when she had really just wanted to sleep without thought of waking ever again. She hoped it was. She was almost positive it was. Nothing had ever felt so right.
"Thank you, sir," she whispered.
Jack stared down at her, looking thoroughly baffled. Sam wanted to retch. She'd called him sir and that felt so right.
And for one sickening moment, she was back on the Prometheus and she was realizing she was nothing more than a foolish girl with foolish dreams. She couldn't ever have that. It was fantasy, make believe, and Jack was telling her this was the truth. The colonel had always told the major this was the truth. As the kiss had filled her, this realization gutted. It was this terrible reality that had kept her going, perhaps, and not the kiss. It had never been the kiss. It was never him. That was a horrible thing to think about, as the truth often was.
"For what?"
Sam's lips tingled with the remembrance of the kiss that never was, not even in her imagination, really. Her heart ached with the knowledge he had given...no, that she had known all along. She must have known. If she hadn't, then she truly was a foolish girl.
There was nothing. There was nothing more in his eyes for her than concern for a team member. Even if there might be or ever had been...Sam knew in her heart there was still nothing.
"Nothing," she said.
It broke her soul to admit it. And, strangely, it set her free.
She hadn't even realized it until this very moment, but she had so wanted freedom. Her head swam and Jack rippled up above her again. He didn't look unkind. But he also didn't look like he loved her. Suddenly, she thought all of her experiences on the Prometheus had been because she hadn't even realized she needed freeing. She thought she was going to be fine after all. If she kept repeating that over and over, maybe it would become as much the truth as the non-relationship.
Jack looked around, appeared to be puzzling out her behavior. He looked gorgeous and she wanted him so badly. Strange how now that she had gained her liberty, Sam wondered if being chained was not such a bad thing. She had harbored these feelings and impulses for Jack for so long it was a huge part of her identity.
No. No, she had to stop this. She was in purgatory between these two extremes and she knew it. And she didn't believe either one, not truly, because both options were too terrible to bear.
"Think nothing of it," Jack said. "I've got plenty of that."
Yes. Nothing. Sam watched him for a moment. He couldn't know how accurately he had spoken. She didn't want him to know. Finally, Jack wandered away, seemingly unaware of her. She closed her eyes and contemplated if she should keep hovering in one place or float away at long last.
She was no Juliet.
End

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Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Stargate (II) Productions, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. This is a parody for entertainment purposes only. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author. This story may not be posted anywhere without the consent of the author.