* * * * * *
Jack watched as a call for a Coroner to come was made while Sam, pretending to be mute, was checked over to make sure none of the blood was hers.
Quick, detached details given, outlining the state of his corpse.
**They still don't believe me!**
**Try again. Someone's gotta see the blood on your face and at least let you through to get medical treatment even if you weren't in the actual mess here.**
**This is just so...**
**It's your fault, too.**
**Finished? Thank you.**
A lot of curiosity was left unfulfilled as bystanders all told what they thought they saw.
Jack cringed each time "floating girl", "flashing/glowing eyes", and "tied up man" were used.
At least Daniel and Jolly had kept their heads on that aspect.
He had no doubt Hammond would put a stop on the local PD getting too much information, but he had a bad feeling the damage had already been done.
He glared at Carter, knowing it wasn't her fault.
It was his.
**Sorry. I know you're hurting, but this is insane.**
**Don't worry about it. Just try to get over here.**
**Yeah. Will do. Eventually...**
He'd constantly cursed having her in his mind, but now that Amber could only hear his thoughts, it just felt like another huge hole inside him.
He missed her emotions and he missed having her know immediately what he was thinking and feeling and...remembering.
He didn't know what he'd do if he couldn't even talk to her like this anymore.
He shook that thought away quickly and concentrated on the beautiful face tilted to let the blood be cleaned off her neck.
He wanted Janet to come out, but knew it would probably be awhile before she was willing to be anywhere near him.
This was different than when she was just his doctor...they all knew it.
She was his.
He was not gonna let a little thing like death stop him from making her happy...somehow.
His mouth twisted a bit and he turned to see Cassie peering out the window, tears leaving glistening tracks down her cheeks.
His heart rent itself into shreds.
His...she was his, too.
She was still alive, but he felt as if part of her were dead to him now.
Jack traced a finger down Sam's cheek, saddened for Carter, but still pretending it was Janet that smiled that trembly smile and leaned into his touch.
Janet fought off the horrible memories of Jack's smile and his head flying apart.
She groaned and abruptly took back control, startling Sam.
Sam's eyes flew wide as she dropped into a mental box with a brand new shockwave pulsing toward her.
The box's walls were closing around her and she began screaming at Janet not to trap her again.
Janet glared at nothing, feeling the touch on her cheek.
Her anger became insatiable.
He'd touched Sam.
He had touched ... Sam.
Janet knew, she really did know, her jealousy was stupid and undeserved, but she felt as if she was going to explode.
She stood, throwing off the hand of the person cleaning Jack's blood off of her and she yelled, her rage choking her so that she was almost inaudible, but she knew Jack heard her.
"I hate you. I will never forgive you. Ever. Don't you touch me. Don't you ever touch me."
Clutching her stomach, she tried to run, tripping and falling to the ground, jarring her knees with the crooked impact.
Her throat was raw, but her ears were worse, burning and sharply stinging from how tensely she was holding her jaw.
The whisper tore at her heart, burning her eyes.
"I hate you, Jack O'Neill. I hate you."
Sam was terrified.
Janet seemed to have completely lost it.
Sam banged on the walls, desperately screaming at Janet not to do this to her again.
Jack stood awkwardly behind Janet, having almost run to keep from getting pulled into her.
He was stunned at the violence with which Janet had reacted.
He saw the love in her eyes, but he also heard the hatred in her voice and he didn't know which hurt him more.
He couldn't move for a moment and then he did move.
He had to move.
He wrapped his arms around the shaking woman as she heaved with each sob.
"Go 'way...go 'way...stop it...go 'way..."
Jack shook his head and held her tighter, marveling at how much power such a small woman held.
"I hate you...I hate you..."
Tears ran freely and Jack gathered her to him, trying to get through to her.
She looked up and for a moment he thought she saw him, but then she screamed and this scream was full of pain as well as rage.
Suddenly a light sliced through him and he fell backwards a bit before being dragged back into Janet.
He turned, careful not to go too far again, and saw his second in command floating around about three feet away.
She was well outside the barrier and she wasn't connecting to anyone or being pulled anywhere.
"You can hear me?"
"Oh yeah...see ya, too. What happened?"
"Janet kicked me out, sir. Hard enough I just...flew."
"You don't know what she's like, sir. Her mind...it's insane. She's emotional, not rational and to be honest, I think I'm safer out here!"
Jack raised an eyebrow at her, wagging his finger to come forward.
He hated to admit it, but he was really glad someone like him was around now for company.
Sam walked toward her CO, paying only a moment's aggravated attention to a paramedic about to walk through her.
As she intersected the busy man, she blinked out.
Jack stared because now, in her place was a fuzzy double of the man Carter had apparently entered.
"Who are you?"
"Uh...Rick. What happened?"
Jack started to walk forward, but stopped when he saw someone else heading his way.
He hadn't walked through anyone but his team before now and after what just happened with Carter, he figured he'd better wait and see how it went.
The paramedic was now freaking, watching his body walk towards the woman crying on the ground.
Jack wasn't too thrilled either.
She paid him no attention, walking to Janet cautiously.
The man's voice shook as he was dragged along with his body.
He wasn't flying through the air, yet, but warning tugs were obviously grabbing at him.
Jack shook his head at the man's hollered questions.
"Who are you?"
"O'Neill. Don't worry, we have this completely under control."
Jack's projected confidence did nothing to ease the man's flurries of activity.
"Why don't you just walk back in?"
The paramedic stared at him for only a moment longer before running back into his body.
Jack watched, fully expecting Carter to go back into Janet.
Instead, she hit Janet feet first and just froze halfway through...as if stuck in mud.
"Umm...what just happened?"
"That guy took his body back and you're playing popsicle with the Doc."
Sam glared at her CO before looking at the man as he shook his head as if to clear it.
"This feels so incredible."
"In...credible? That's a word for having your feet planted in her like that?"
Sam rolled her eyes a moment before trying to explain.
The paramedic looked around, confused, and muttered something about a blackout to a uniformed woman who came up to him, concerned.
"Sir...I went right into him. Not through him, into him. I didn't want to attach to him, so I shoved myself through him to get to Janet. Usually I find myself just...in someone, looking at their intestines, but this time, I deliberately walked through him"
"Yeah, I watched the light show too."
"Sir, this means that we may not be able to simply walk through people who weren't in the Temple with us. We may actually possess them...like...a ghost. I had a body for a moment there and it was really...nice."
Jack's raised eyebrow didn't stem her thoughts for a moment, though she tried to keep her mind on getting unstuck from Janet.
"So what do you need me to do?"
Both ghosts froze, hearing Janet's unexpected whisper.
Her voice was broken, shattered, and very tired.
"I'm sorry, Sam. I'm sorry to Jack, too. It's not really your fault. You didn't know this would happen."
"Janet, I can't get back into you and I can't seem to get out of you, either."
"So you're inside me?"
"Well, sort of. My legs up to...almost my knees, are inside you. I'm...perpendicular with the ground and I can bend my knees to sit, sort of, on your ribs, but..."
"I get it. Let's see what we can do about getting General Hammond to overrule the locals and get us home. Unless the Colonel still wishes to go to Florida. I'm sure we could toss his corpse in the cooler...if we get creative with how we store it."
Jack recoiled, trying not to hear the bitterness tingeing her cracking sentences.
He dropped to his knees on her other side, careful to avoid where Carter's head was sticking out.
"Ah, Jan. I am so sorry. I don't know how, but I will, somehow make this up to you."
"I don't see how you can."
Janet looked up at Cassie who had watched the entire episode from the Bunny, and who now stood, her arms folded tightly across her chest.
"Are you gonna be okay...cuz...umm...I really need you right now."
Janet pushed everything else from her mind, wrapping her arms around Cassie and pulling her into a tight hug, almost laying down with her.
Jack suppressed a pained chuckle.
Jan had lain down on her left side, so Carter's head and upper body was now stuck deep in the ground.
Jack moved closer and cocked his head, running his finger along the outline of the feet just barely visible in Janet's right side.
He heard Carter sigh, loudly, and sighed with her.
This was just a really bad day.
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