<<Previous  | Story Intro | Return to Stories | Next >>

A Promise Kept

Chapter 1

Jessica filled her mug with steaming hot coffee, adding in a heaping teaspoon of sugar and a dollop of cream. Glancing around the commissary, she saw the usual hustle and bustle of the morning rush, some stopping to indulge in a sit down breakfast, while others grabbed a bite on the go. It had been more than a month since she had returned to work, and while everyone welcomed her back with open arms, she still felt an uneasiness. It had nothing to do with anyone but herself. She continued her outpatient sessions with Dr. Bailey, and while the good doctor assured her what she was feeling was absolutely normal, Jessie wondered if she would ever feel normal again.

She would be the first to admit that she had put a wall up between her and the rest of the world…or, more specifically, between her and Cam. Despite assurances from everyone—Dr. Bailey, her close friends, even Calandra—that what had happened didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, she still had to come to terms with it. And until she could, that wall would remain up. The way she felt right now, it would take a bomb to bring it down.

The klaxons’ wail cut through the routine chatter, announcing to all the gate’s activation. Jessie for the most part ignored it, selecting a piece of toast from the limited breakfast offerings, a pat of butter and an individual serving of strawberry jam. Heading for the nearest empty seat she quickly settled in, focusing on the task of spreading the butter and jam on the dry toast, attempting to make it a bit more palatable.

As if on cue, the door swung open. The young colonel scanned the room briefly before finding her, a mixture of emotions on his face. He slid his hands into his pockets before heading straight for her.


She looked up at him, managing a smile in return. "Hey yourself."

"Mind if I join you?"

Jessie stifled the sigh that threatened to escape. She hated this eggshell dance she and Cam were engaged in…hated that it was of her own making. Until she could figure out how to get past the mental and emotional blockade, though… Using her foot, she pushed the chair opposite her out from the table. "Make yourself comfortable."

Not wanting to take a chance of her leaving before they talked, he immediately launched into what had brought him there in the first place. "There are a couple of missions coming up in the next few weeks…routine meet and greets. General Hammond wanted to know if you’re feeling up to joining SG-7, or if you’d rather stay here."

Jessie caught herself before automatically answering. It would be so easy to stay, burying herself in research. Lord knew there was plenty to do with all the discoveries the other teams were bringing back. However, that wasn’t getting her anywhere. If she had any intention of getting back ‘out there’, she was going to have to take that first step.

Cam watched, waited for her to decline the offer. Hell, he expected it. Was surprised when she didn’t say anything at first; felt a glimmer of hope when he realized Jessie was actually considering the offer. He knew these were steps she had to take on her own, but he so badly wanted to help. He damned near did a somersault with her next question.

"Do I get to shoot any Goa’uld I see first, and ask questions later?" The smile that lit up his face tugged at her heart, the urge to cry…scream…strike out against the hand Fate had dealt her threatening to boil over. Giving it a mental shove, she pushed it back into the shadows.

"I’ll be right there beside you, ready to zat them into oblivion." He watched, trying to keep the slight frown off his face as she pushed the toast away, untouched. Saw the whitening of her knuckles as she gripped her coffee mug tightly. In a softer voice he said, "Jessie, there’s no hurry. If you’d rather wait…"

"No," she said as she shook her head emphatically, "I don’t want to wait. The longer I do, the harder it’s going to be to walk through the gate again. If I have any intention of getting back on mission rotation, I need to do it sooner rather than later." And even though the urge was there, she didn’t bring up their relationship, nor her thought that it was going to take her longer…much longer…before she felt comfortable being with him in any other aspect than as a friend. Twice they had had that discussion, and twice he shot her arguments down, insisting he would wait as long as it took, even if it meant years. Not one thing she had said fazed him or the steadfastness of his decision. Taking a sip of the coffee, she focused her thoughts back on the task at hand. "So, where is SG-7 scheduled to go?"




Sam examined the weapon closely. It looked innocuous sitting on the metal cart, but they all knew better than that. "This is it," she finally stated, her gaze shifting from General Hammond to her father and the accompanying Tok’ra.

"How did you manage to get hold of it?" Hammond asked.

Thoran, the Tok’ra chancellor, drew himself up to his full height. "Chatka created a diversion, enabling him to secure the weapon before being extracted by the rendezvous team."

The Tok’ra in question took a small step forward. "Ba’al and Camulus had been in negotiations regarding the weapon for quite a while, each thinking they were outmaneuvering the other in their quest to gain the most benefit from the transaction. I was able to plant seeds of doubt in both their minds regarding their true intentions towards the other. I took the weapon while they were in the midst of a heated argument."

Jack leaned back in his chair, stretching his legs out in front of him, not the least impressed by this latest development. "So the Tok’ra sent in a rescue team and rescued you just like that," he said, snapping his fingers for emphasis. "Why didn’t they do that the first time around, instead of us sending in someone to get the oh so important data crystal?" Jack didn’t even bother to try to look chastised when General Hammond cleared his throat warningly.

Jacob answered in an attempt to defuse the situation. "At that time we had lost contact with Chatka, but he was still undercover. This time around, his identity had been compromised. During our last communication, we arranged his rescue." Seeing the puzzled look Chatka gave him, Jacob said, "When we lost contact with you several months back, General Hammond sent some of his people in to retrieve the data crystal. The mission ended up…complicated."

Jack wasn’t finished yet. "I still have a hard time believing that the Tok’ra didn’t keep tabs on you while you were busy spying for them." There was something about Chatka that was rubbing him the wrong way, though he couldn’t put his finger on exactly what it was.

Chatka’s eyes narrowed slightly. "Perhaps you are unaware of the dangers of working undercover, O’Neill. The only one who knew my alter identity was Delek. Information is on a need-to-know basis. The less that is known, the less likely information leaks out."

Sam interjected before a full-blown argument could ensue. "General Hammond, I’d like Dr. Watson to see this." She left the remaining part of the sentence unspoken, knowing that he would understand what she was referring to.

"Yes, of course. Call her in…Colonel Mitchell as well. Once Ba’al and Camulus stop fighting amongst themselves and realize their toy is gone, we need to be prepared for any attempts at retrieval."




Jessie was already back working on the documents when the call came for her and Cam to report to the briefing room. She sighed softly to herself as she refilled her mug with coffee, wondering if the summons had to do with her getting back on the roster. Dr. Bailey had given the green light for her to return to full active duty—the only things standing in her way were the shadows in her mind. Squaring her shoulders, she headed for the briefing room, trying to convince herself she was ready for the full load once again.

A few minutes later Jessie approached the open door, mentally giving herself a pep talk as she did so. A millisecond before she stepped into the room, she saw Cam in the periphery of her vision coming down the hallway. Her forward momentum prevented her from stopping before crossing the threshold, and in the ensuing couple of seconds she noted the scene before her, surprised slightly by the number of people in the room. General Hammond stood at one end of the table; Jack was slouched back in his chair, a scowl on his face. Jacob Carter was standing with another man, whom Jessie guessed was another Tok’ra, apparently someone of importance given his stance. Sam was standing next to a cart, but it was the item on the cart that brought Jessie to a standstill. The Destroyer weapon. Before she had a chance to even begin to wonder how it had ended up there, or to assess whether she was having any type of reaction to its proximity, time for her stopped with a single word.


<<Previous  | Story Intro | Return to Stories | Next >>

SciFi Topsites