Disclaimer: I don't own Stargate or any of its related properties. If I did, Jack would be retired and be married to Sam.
Having admitted to being a shipper, I'm not sure this story really qualifies as Jack/Sam. This a story about broken people and opportunities lost. It may have a semi-happy ending but don't count on it.
Garshaw of Belote
It had been nearly a half-century since the last time she visited Earth. Her host had been uncomfortable with the idea but eventually had agreed that it was time.
The Tok'ra alliance with Earth had been an uneasy one at best. Neither side truly trusting the other. She couldn't find it within herself to blame them anymore. The Tok'ra had been fixated on the destruction of the System Lords for millenia. Nothing else had mattered. Everything was dedicated to the Cause. The Tau'ri lacked that level of commitment, or so the Tok'ra thought. In the early years, Jacob/Selmac had been able to smooth over many things. His relationship with SG-1 and Stargate Command had provided the foundation for the alliance. His death had proved that the foundation was built on sand.
The alliance began crumbling almost immediately. The High Council decided that Anise/Freya would replace Jacob/Selmac as liaison. SG-1 and General O'Neill couldn't stand them, especially Anise. If Garshaw had known all of the details surrounding Anise's experiments the armbands, she would have demanded that the Council chose another Tok'ra. She found out much too late and the mistrust had deepened.
The final blow to the alliance was the loss of SG-1. Acting on information provided by the Tok'ra, they had walked straight into a trap. Only Daniel Jackson had made to back to the SGC, more dead than alive. By the time the Council realized the enormity of their error and Garshaw went so far as to lead a rescue mission herself, it was too late.
The Tau'ri placed their hopes on their alliance with the Jaffa rebellion despite the lost of Teal'c. It had been a wise choice. The Jaffa provided a fifth column, valuable intelligence, and numbers. The Tau'ri provided coordination, supplies, and strike teams. The Tau'ri also worked to open diplomatic relations with other worlds, something that the Jaffa, and the Tok'ra, usually had great difficulty with. The Tau'ri continued to benefit from their relationship with the Asgard, bringing advanced technology to the fight.
The Tok'ra were relegated to minor players in the war that they had begun so long ago. From time to time, the Tok'ra provided assistance to the Tau'ri or Jaffa, trying to rebuild what had been lost. The war had ended before the old wounds healed.
Now, as she waited for the finally chevrons to be encoded, she wondered what she would find on the other side.
He really, really, didn't want to be here. Damn brass insisted. Oh, wait, he was one of the damned brass. Major General Jack O'Neill, Jr., at your service. Although in this case, maybe it should be at your disservice.
He would have retired if he thought it would get him out of this. But no, the remaining brass would have dragged his sorry ass back for this historic occasion anyway. Just like they dragged back everyone else they could track down from the original SGC. Despite advances in medicine over that last half century, there weren't that many left though. Hell, he wasn't even a member of the original SGC. That had been the other Jack O'Neill. He was just the clone for crying out loud. Why did he have to be there?
There had been many things that he had missed while waiting to rejoin the SGC— commissary jello, Carter's technobabble, Carter... The Tok'ra, apart from Jacob, he did not miss. If they were sending Anise, he'd shoot her, consequences be damned. She had been the source of the intel that cost them SG-1.
Neither O'Neill recovered from the loss. They both went through the motions, continuing on with their lives. According to Cassie, the wedding to Kerry went off right on schedule. Jack still couldn't understand why O'Neill had been engaged to her in the first place. They had been in love with Carter. Yes, the regulations stood in the way for one and a massive age difference for the other but still... O'Neill's second marriage had ended in divorce within a year and he ended his days in Minnesota, fishing in a pond without fish. Jack didn't make the same mistake. Oh, he had relationships over the years but he didn't kid himself. He had loved two women in his life, Sara and Carter, and even though they were both gone now, he wasn't going to settle for second best.
He looked up from his desk as his aide entered the office.
“I guess we'd better head to the gateroom.”
She still didn't think it was a good idea but Garshaw and the Council were adamant. It was time. But for her, there were too many bad memories associated with their destination. Twenty-eight stories beneath a mountain, the SGC only represented pain and loss. It had become crypt for all of her hopes and dreams. She had lost too many over the years. Martouf, Narim, Janet, her father, Daniel, Teal'c, and O'Neill. Funny how the only one who didn't actually die on her was the one that still hurt the most.
She had made a terrible mistake turning to Pete all those years ago. She knew it and broken it off within a few months but it was too late. Jack had found somebody else. She thought she had died and gone to hell it hurt so much.
Then came the mission from hell. Despite assurances from Anise, the Ancient ruins were not deserted. The team had been separated when they had fallen under heavy fire. Her 2iC was killed immediately and she was mortally wounded. Teal'c and Daniel were trying to make it back to the gate when they were strafed by a death glider. The Goa'uld who had set up the ambush used a sarcophagus to revive her. She spent the next year in his not so tender care before Garshaw rescued her.
She declined to return to the SGC and joined the Tok'ra. With her team dead, there wasn't anybody other than Cassie to return to. She became a host a few years later. Now, decades later, she was returning to where it all began. She wondered if anyone would recognize Garshaw's host as the late Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter.
She stepped through the stargate.