misaffection: (Default)
[personal profile] misaffection
Fandom: Stargate SG1
Characters: Baal, Sam Carter
Pairing: Baal/Sam
Rating: FRC
Warning: Character death
Written for: [livejournal.com profile] 10_orders ("smile for me")
Word Count: 1,450

Series so far: Sticks and Stones, A Rock and a Hard Place & Recovery and Recalcitrance

The ruins are old Ancient, dating back centuries. Sam wanders along the weed-strewn path, between the straight rows of marble pillars. The planet is a long-forgotten world, populated only by a brightly-coloured species of bird that closely resembles a parrot. They swoop from the branches of the snarling jungle, their song a constant ripple of sweet sound. It’s peaceful and pleasant, and for once she’s not bothered by how long Daniel is spending poring over the translations.

She glances back. SG-3 has accompanied them and its members stand around, guarding various points of interest from the Goa’uld who’s wheedled his way onto the mission. Said Goa’uld has his hands in his trouser pockets as he stares up at what remains of the temple.

No one is really paying Baal that much attention, but Sam recognises the line of tension between his shoulders. Shifting her P-90 to a more comfortable position, she goes over to him, keeping her pace casual. His head moves as she closes in, though he doesn’t actually look at her.

“Something wrong?” she asks in a low voice.

His shoulders jerk. “Perhaps. Doctor Jackson hasn’t looked at this yet, has he?”

“I don’t think so.” If she’s honest, she has no idea. “Why, have you found something interesting?”

“Perhaps,” he says again and lifts one hand to rub at his goatee. “Have a look at the etchings and tell me what you see.”

Sam looks up. Ancient text isn’t her forte, but along association with Daniel means she understands a few of the words. She also recognises that some of the symbols aren’t Ancient at all. She turns to Baal, suspicion curling in her gut.

“Where have you brought us?” she hisses at him. The corner of his mouth twitches and he returns his steady gaze to the temple.

“Somewhere that Anubis mentioned once. Since he has sadly departed not just this realm but that of the Ascended as well, I believed that it was finally time to uncover its secrets.”

She’s not angry yet, but she’s definitely working up to it. “Did you now? And at what point were you going to fill the rest of us in on this little scheme?”

He looks at her, the smirk vanishing. Her stomach turns over at the hard expression on his face. She hasn’t seen this for weeks, has even half forgotten that he can be like this. That, she thinks, was probably the point.

“Oh,” she says, and more than anything she’s stung by his deception. Is this all he thinks of her – a means to an end? Two months ago, she’d have laughed at such naivety, but now she can’t help replay his visits to the infirmary and what she has believed to be a genuine friendship. It galls her to think of how much she’s given away. “Well, I guess I should have known better than to trust you.”

“Please, Samantha, such dramatics are unnecessary. Come along, my dear; let’s uncover Anubis’ secret.” He walks to the door and presses a section. It slides in on a stony grate and the door swings open. He throws a smile over his shoulder. “After you, since you have a flashlight.”

Banking down her hurt and anger, Sam enters the temple, P-90 at the ready. The light reveals nothing in particular so she edges in. Baal follows her, hands loose at his side. There’s a look in his eyes that she doesn’t trust at all.

He has betrayed her, used her. She can’t believe that she was stupid enough to let that happen. It’s the storage room all over again – him using his charms and her attraction to wheedle out what he wants. How could she have thought that he could have changed?

She watches him walk around the inner room. There’s nothing special that she can see. Pointing her rifle at him, she clears her throat to draw his attention.

“Well,” she says coldly. “Did you find what you wanted? Is this worth betraying me? You had a chance, Baal; a real chance at being our ally. But you just couldn’t think of someone other than yourself, could you?”

Something flickers over his face. It might even be guilt. “I had to know how he did it, Sam. It’s only because the Ancients suddenly decided to deal with Anubis that he’s gone, but what if another finds the secret? That sort of knowledge cannot be allowed to fall into the hands of the Goa’uld.” A wry, sad sort of smile touches his lips. “Not even mine.”

“So this is really a good deed, is it?”

“Yes. I will not allow Ancient knowledge to fall into the hands of whatever minor System Lord happens upon it. Dakara has to stay in with the Jaffa, the weapon beyond the use of any that would use it for the levels of destruction that Anubis planned.” Baal walks towards her, hands spread. “This is where our paths diverge, Samantha. And I have to say... I have very much enjoyed our time together, but you have to leave.”

She frowns at him. “Why?”

“Because,” he says, and tucks a lock of hair behind her ear, “I’m going to do something final and will not have you harmed.”

“What?” Her veins run cold again, but for a wholly different reason. She grabs his hand. “Baal, what are you planning?”

“The end of all this, my darling. Now, give me one last smile and go.”

“No,” she breathes, but he ducks his head and kisses her. It’s quick and light and when he pulls back, he is still smiling. But there is a pain in his eyes that wrenches at her heart. “There has to be another way, Baal.”

“Perhaps, but at least this way I know that you will be safe.” His expression hardens. “Now, go before I make you leave.”

“I–” she starts, but he lifts his left hand. Where the hell did he find the ribbon device? He wouldn’t... would he? There is an intention on his face and she scrambles for the exit. “Cam!”

Halfway back down the path, the earth shakes as an explosion rocks the temple. The concussive force knocks her to the ground. The earth tremor goes on and on, throwing dust and dirt into the air. When she manages to rise, her eyes go straight to the temple.

It’s in ruins. Her heart lurches.

A strong arm catches her dash before she’s registered the overwhelming need to get to the wreckage, to find him. Already a quiet voice in the back of her head is assessing the damage and the likelihood of survival.

“Let me go,” she begs Teal’c, fingers scrabbling at his arm. “Let me go!”

“It is too late,” the Jaffa intones and she shakes her head, moaning a denial. “I do not believe anyone could have survived such a blast.”

“No.” He isn’t dead. He can’t be dead. “Oh, god, Baal.”

“What the hell did he do?” Cam looks shocked. Sam shakes her head again, unable to speak. Tears roll down her tears and this? This hurts more than his apparent betrayal. He’s gone, and there is a hole in her heart at his loss.

Teal’c lets her go and she crumples to the ground, weeping. “It... it belonged t-to Anubis,” she manages between sobs. “He said th-that he couldn’t let it fall into other hands.” She looks up at Cam, then shifts her gaze to Daniel. “T-to keep Dakara free,” she whispers.

Daniel’s eyes widen. His mouth works, but nothing comes out. Teal’c walks past them both and heads towards the ruined structure. Sam watches as he stops and slowly takes it in. Finally, he removes something from his uniform and lays it on a large section of stone.

“His sacrifice is noted, Colonel Carter. One day, Jaffa will say his name with respect rather than fear.”

It’s not enough. “I’d rather have him back,” she says as she gets to her feet. Unable to look at the ruin any longer, she turns to the Stargate. “Get me out of here.”

The walk back to the ‘Gate is subdued. Sam simply can’t believe that Baal is just... gone. She keeps catching herself looking for him. Daniel puts an arm around her shoulders; it’s not what she truly wants, but she leans in anyway. Her emotions are tumbling over each other: anger and hurt and soul-numbing loss, and the sharp realisation that he’d planned this for some time and she never knew, never guessed that he was going to sacrifice himself for the galaxy.

Oh, who is she kidding? He’s given his life for hers, and that knowledge weighs heaviest on her.


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December 2013

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