Past Future by Sasha713

I'd rather be on a dock in Minnesota... Jack and Sam deal with being stuck in Ancient Egypt.

For Ziva, because I've been a terrible fanfic writer. My bad? lol

Categories: Jack O'Neill, Samantha Carter Characters: Jack O'Neill, Samantha Carter
Episode Related: 0819 Moebius
Genres: Angst, Drabble
Holiday: None
Season: Season 8
Warnings: adult themes
Crossovers: None
Series: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes Word count: 3155 Read: 980 Published: 2012.03.23 Updated: 2012.03.23
Story Notes:

This interrupted one of my longer fics.

Egypt 3000BC by Sasha713

Jack cursed to himself as frustration eroded at his sanity, his eyes skimming the falling down, dusty chamber he currently stood in, trying to ease off the anger that was pulsing through his veins. It had been 6 months since they had come back to the past. Ancient Egypt. 3000BC.

Damn, he had known the moment that he had seen the determination in Daniel’s eyes and the agreement in Carter’s that this plan to come and get that now useless ZPM was a bad idea. Worst idea in history. Literally.

In fact, going along with the plan had been his first mistake.

He should have said hell no. What was the usefulness of the ZPM now in their possession if they couldn’t use it, or, help the Atlantis team in the future? It all gave him a headache.

He pulled the tan robes off over his head, throwing the garment in a sandy corner of the chamber before he planted his hands against the rough walls, bowing his head to try to get control of himself. He had been growing more and more impatient with the circumstances, and had not only snapped at Daniel, which wasn’t so odd, but at Carter too, revealing a little bit too much of his fraying edges.

They didn’t deserve his wrath. He was the commanding officer. If anyone deserved his wrath it was himself. Should have kept things in the present, or, the future as it had now become, but then again, he had never been able to deny Carter when she looked at him like that.

Yeah sure, things had been different between them since her dad had died, and the underscoring fact that she had ended her relationship with Pete hadn’t exactly been something he wasn’t happy about, but then they had been thrown into this situation with no real ability to get home seeing as they had fudged their timeline, which all seemed like a little bit more than bad luck to Jack.

Just when things had been getting to some irrevocable point between himself and Carter, they had to sabotage themselves with this impromptu trip back in time which had probably screwed any chance they had at…what?

A relationship?

It was just as forbidden as before. He was still a General. And although he had considered retirement, every time he had opened his mouth to say as such to George, to get that ball rolling, nothing had come out.

He was pretty certain in his own mind that Carter deserved better than a cracked up retired General with much more baggage than an airport and little worthiness in comparison to her. She was… special. And he felt like she was some star just out of reach that he continuously stared up at, awed by, while she was oblivious to him.

He knew that was a bunch of crap, especially after everything and he was way too old and too jaded to be stupid about her feelings for him, but, in this situation, so far from home, so far from anything that resembled the lives they had led for the last 8 years, Jack was starting to feel the strain of that loss. Like everything between them was represented by everything they had been through, and the fact that none of that even mattered here sort of made it feel like they had missed their chance. That it wasn’t enough when it was only some memory that hadn’t technically happened yet. Not for another 5000 years anyway. Give or take.

“Sir?” He froze as her tentative voice reached him from where she stood at the top of the wooden ladder that led down here under the sand and hidden from patrols, a chamber they had started to store weaponry they stole and things they would need for a revolt. If that ever happened.

“What?” he murmured grimly after a moment, knowing he sounded extremely unwelcoming at the moment. He just hated this stagnation. Six months was a long time for him to wait in the shadows, watching a Goa’uld he had already killed years earlier lord it over these poor, hapless people. It kind of seemed unfair that he had gone to all that trouble to liberate the Abydonians and finally kill this sanctimonious son of a bitch only to be thrown back in time to face the same threat he had already neutralised.

She took his gruff word as an invitation to descend the rest of the way into his little hide-away from the world that was just so wrong, coming down to stand at the bottom of the crude ladder, still seeming to be slightly uncomfortable in his presence when they were alone. Just another point of fact. Could they have even gotten past that CO/subordinate mentality if he had decided to retire? He was sincerely beginning to doubt it.

Yet another kick to the teeth.

“Are you…” She hesitated, trailing off and he had to wonder if she even had an answer to that stunted question herself. Are you okay?

“Okay?” He finished for her. “Let’s think about that for a second, shall we Carter?” He said bitingly, lifting his head and pushing himself off the wall, turning to face her full on, taking in the way her hair curled around her chin, longer than it had been in years, and the way her cheeks didn’t give off exactly the same glow they had before they had come here, the grime of this place a constant, dulling the beauty he saw through the smudges of dirt and the invisible smears of desolation.

“We’re in ancient Egypt. Ancient Egypt. We can’t go home because we have maybe stepped on the metaphorical bug and changed things without realising it. We let our ship get found by a bunch of idiot Jaffa and now we are stuck in this hell hole with people who are as advanced as door knobs. I don’t think I am in the vicinity of okay.”

“I know it’s hard…” She began, seeming to be uncertain of how exactly to deal with his degrading mentality, looking for all the world like she regretted following him down here. And he fought the humourless smile that threatened to sharpen his lips.

“I’m all for protecting the time line Carter, and yeah, sure, I had been considering retirement before all this started, but not in Ancient Egypt.”

“Retirement?” she asked, the shock in her voice making him realise abruptly that maybe he should have kept that to himself.

“Bit pointless now seeing as we are stuck here.” He murmured, turning away from the softness of her blue gaze, one of two people who even had blue eyes in this whole entire place. The Egyptians were mostly dark skinned and eyed. Carter was like some goddess to these people, one they were wary of given the way the other women parted when she walked through the tent village. Daniel’s effect was less obvious on these people, and maybe it was the paleness of her hair mixed with her pale skin and eyes that put her so at odds with the rest of them.

Whatever the cause, she had been singled out on more than one occasion, and Jack had had to step in quite a number of times to claim her like some wayward sheep so the locals didn’t get too excited in her presence. While some considered her a goddess the likes of Ra, come to save them from his evil tyranny, others saw her as a threat. So much so that Jack had ordered her to never leave the safety of their tents without at least one of them with her.

He knew it wasn’t exactly easy on her to be so limited by the qualities that endeared so many people to her. Not to mention she had nothing to do in this time that even remotely nudged at her talents. More often than not he would find her staring up at the stars like they would give her the answers they expected of her to get them back to their own time to continue their own lives.

“I’m sorry. I should never have…” She trailed off again, then sighed, leaning back against the wall closest to the ladder, seeped in shadow now.

“We had to risk it.” He said after a moment, thinking of the ZPM.

“Did we?” She asked in response, haunted eyes on his now across the small distance. “The ZPM doesn’t exactly help anyone much wrapped up in Daniel’s tent waiting for us to get home. In the scheme of things, what does a ZPM matter?”

“You know more about that than I do.” He said mildly, reaching down and picking up the discarded robe, dusting some of the sand off the rough hewn material.

“Why?” She asked sharply, like she was revealing some rebellious streak by asking that question despite the fact that he had no idea what she was referring to. He already knew that there was a passionate and fiery woman beneath the military strictures.

“Why what?” He murmured lowly, continuing to brush off the robes that kept their SGC gear hidden from the people here. Like it mattered now. They’d already apparently botched the timeline. Their clothing wasn’t important. What the Egyptians thought wasn’t important. Hell, they were all already dubbed as the foreigners. They looked different, spoke different.

“Why were you considering retirement?” she continued, determination tinging her words. She wanted an answer.

“Seemed the most logical thing to do.” He replied, not really giving her an answer. She didn’t push. In fact, she barely even shifted at all, and he could almost believe that she wasn’t even standing there if not for the ratcheted tension that was ripe in the air, something that had absolutely nothing to do with his deflating anger and everything to do with this thing that had never been really resolved between them.

“I didn’t know you were even considering it.” She mumbled after a moment, her voice soft, distracted, as if she was surprised by his words, readjusting to the idea in her head.

They stood there silently in the burning torch light that filtered in dimly from above them, casting a halo around the ladder like some ancient EXIT sign, urging them towards it and away from this unnaturally intimate moment.

But there was no intimacy here. No feelings. Just a whole lot of resentment and disappointment and a stark realisation that maybe nothing would ever change between them. The severe lack of rules to govern them now did nothing to persuade them to act.

Even when there was a distinct and dramatic change shifting like sand between them, moulding to some new relationship that he couldn’t begin to define.

He wanted to rant. To pace and explode with all the pent up frustration creasing inside him like origami folded in just a little too tightly.

“Maybe you should go.” He said gruffly, not even glancing at her to see her reaction to his words. He didn’t want to take this out on her. None of this was her fault. Or Daniel’s for that matter. They hadn’t been wrong to try to claim that ZPM. Didn’t exactly stop him from growing angry at everything. He hated standing still, and he felt like he had been doing just that for the last six months of his life, allowing the sand to erode away at his control and his strict adherence to his own personal guidelines. He felt like her very presence was crushing the life out of him, reminding him of missed chances and too much time wasted.

“Yes, Sir, of course.” She said stiffly, and he didn’t miss the sharp edge of her own frustrations clawing at him with her words. “I wouldn’t want to keep you from your mission of self-reproach.”

Jack stared hard at her, seeing the flash of anger in her blue gaze as she shot him an unrepentant glare, not moving to ascend the ladder that would take her far away from him. Instead she took a tensed step forward, her gaze not shifting from his, like she was daring him to react. To reprimand her, as if a reminder of their previous adherence to the rules would help to steady her in this world of the unknown.

“Watch it, Colonel.” He growled, giving her what she wanted, that need she obviously had for some remnant of the rules of before they’d come here cutting into him. Just another kick that said that maybe she would never have been able to live without the rules and regulations that had governed them. Instead of help him, or calm him, it only made him that much more determined to hate her. To rebel against her unyielding need for structure.

“No. You watch it!” She said angrily, her glare deepening, eyes flashing with annoyance at him, an annoyance that she usually would walk off, ignore, bury under the depths of their rank and her respectful demeanour that she just would not flinch from.

“You think you’re the only one struggling here, Jack?” She demanded shortly, her voice trembling with anger and maybe a touch of rebellion. “You’re not. I want to be here just as much as you do. There is nothing for us here. Nothing but sand, and uncertainty, and people who look at us –at me- with too much awe, and a false god that’s dead in our time. I’d rather be on a dock in Minnesota, because that’s probably the biggest regret of my life. Never being smart enough to see it for myself instead of imagining it!”

Her angry delivery left him reeling, unable to comprehend that her words hadn’t all been an attack on him, more an attack of her own frustration coming out to slap him in the face, bring him back to the reality that they were all in this together. He opened his mouth to respond with some harsh reply, his brows drawn, furrowing with his impotent hold on his own anger, until her words broke through, sinking into him like water seeping into gritty dirt, jolting him from his jumbled and dark thoughts.

I’d rather be on a dock in Minnesota.


They stood there staring at each other fiercely, his eyes taking in the intense gaze she was targeting at him, both of them struggling to retain some semblance of control over their snapping emotions triggered by their situation.

Jack couldn’t. His control was breaking its tethers, and instead of his planned furious retort, his next action was one stemmed from his helplessness and the knowledge that their may not even be a response worthy of following the annoyed confession she’d just tossed his way like a live grenade, the purpose of which was to blow his tenuous hold on control to hell.

He reacted, reaching out, his tightening fingers clutching in the shapeless robe that covered her curves, dragging her unceremoniously to him without finesse or tenderness, slanting his lips over hers abruptly, kissing her like his next breath depended on it. She didn’t seem shocked by his kiss, instead she was gripping him just as hard as he was gripping her, her lips parting under the brutal pressure of his, their tongues meeting, clashing as their bodies meshed in a harsh embrace.

Static buzzed between them, and for a moment, Jack thought it was in his head, but Daniel’s voice, hushed, vibrated over the frequency, breaking through the profound moment of complete surrender they were currently entwined within.

Daniel’s interruption brought them crashing back into reality, both of them breathing recklessly as they gazed at each other, both waiting for the moment they broke from this desperate embrace to put some distance between them, mumble about mistakes and barriers and reasons why this could be the one thing to break them and why they had to step back.

They didn’t let each other go however, and Daniel’s voice crackled in the radio again, a reminder that they couldn’t just stand here like this until the desert swallowed them, no matter how tempting that very thought was.

She reached up, clicking the button of his radio that he had on the edge of his vest, leaning forward. “We’ll be there in a minute, Daniel.”

Silence filled the room, Daniel’s reply stunted by the fact that Sam had responded. Like he knew that this moment had been a long time coming. Knew maybe even before they had known.

They stood there holding onto each other’s clothing, because neither could work up enough control to actually try for skin-on-skin contact. Not yet anyway.

“This isn’t just because we’re stuck here…is it?” She asked on a hushed voice, as if she didn’t want to disrupt this moment any more than it already had been.

“Didn’t even cross my mind, Carter.” He said with a grim smile, leaning back a little, easing off his tight grip on her robes to reach up to tuck a wisp of pale, sun-streaked hair back from her cheek before he traced the edge of her jaw in a moment of raw and silent confession.

They stayed silent for long moments, and he kept his eyes on her jaw, watching his thumb as he smoothed some of the grime from the smooth texture of her skin, seeing how deeply this place was beginning to imbed within them.

“We would have gotten to this point eventually… I mean, if we were still back there… wouldn’t we?” She asked, breaking the silence, and Jack met her gaze, the uncertainty and the vulnerability in her eyes cutting into him. He hesitated, smiling ruefully.

“Eventually.” He agreed, but they both knew that his words could potentially be a lie. She smiled back, the knowing glint in her eyes telling him that she knew he was only humouring her. In truth, there was no way to know what would have happened and when if they hadn’t unwittingly destroyed their lives as they had known them with this little trip back in time.

Maybe they never would have pushed each other, too lost in the structure and the formality that this ancient desert seemed to scour over so easily. She reached up, palm gentle on his stubbled jaw as she assessed his features for long moments, searching for some indication of what this combustion meant for the rest of their lives. Be it here or in their proper lives.

“We should go see what Daniel wants.” She said calmly, dropping her hand away, finding whatever it was she had been looking for. He took her hand in his, squeezing slightly to get her attention, telling her without words that this thing between them wasn’t going to fade away if they left this chamber. It wasn’t over.

Whatever would have happened in their lives without this little detour, Jack new that what was happening between them here was real, and it wasn’t too late. They might have nothing else for them here, might end up casualties to the Goa’uld, but for now, until fate dictated their next steps into the unknown, they at least had this. For as long as they could hold onto it, Jack wasn’t planning to let it go.

They climbed out of the chamber…


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