Pairing (if any): Cameron/Sam/Daniel
Prompt: A storm of fire has scourged the Earth, burning cities and leaving only ashes blowing on hot winds. Sam, Cam and Daniel look for answers among the ruins.
Notes: Thanks to twasadark and gigerisgod. Based loosely on Reign of Fire. Written for apocalypse_kree.
She’s not really sure what wakes her in the dark recesses of the night. It might be the guttering candle or movement from one of them men curled around her, Cameron with a hand on her hip behind and Daniel facing away. All she knows is that Cameron’s hand tightens and he whispers, “You okay?”
Sam knows that if she answers, she’ll wake Daniel. His face is close to her and even the lowest whisper, the slight disturbance of air on his face, will break him out of sleep. She rests her hand on Cameron’s instead, squeezing briefly before tucking it back into the warm space between her and Daniel.
His own hand lifts away and up, spanning her and coming to rest on Daniel’s shoulder, tucking him back towards them. Daniel is forever curling away in sleep and Cameron is always reeling him back. He grumbles but doesn’t stir and Sam is often caught wondering why Cameron can manhandle Daniel without disturbing him when a single syllable from her has him awake and blinking.
The candle on the crate that is serving as their nightstand goes out with a drowned hiss and Sam closes her eyes.
Cameron is the one who explains to the kids just why they sleep three to a bed, when all the other adults sleep in pairs or by themselves.
“We’re just used to doing everything together,” he says with a shrug and for some reason that’s enough when it comes to Cameron. Sam knows that if she tried the same vague, noncommittal answer they would pepper her with endless questions.
She’s resorted to saying, “Ask Cameron,” for most of the stickier issues.
The other adults take it at face value, a side effect of living in a Brave New World. Everyone has their own problems and their own way of dealing with them and three people sleeping together is certainly not the weirdest way to tame your demons. Sam’s glad for the acceptance, mostly understanding that people think it’s her and Cameron looking after Daniel even though that’s not strictly true.
They are all broken and only when they fit their jagged pieces together do they lie smooth.
Celeste, one of the older children at fourteen, holds a pad of paper out. “I can’t get the wings right,” she says, nibbling on her lower lip. Sam looks at the lines etched in charcoal, both graceful and terrible and pauses for a second to digest the fact that this small girl is drawing dragons from memory rather than fantasy.
“Looks good to me,” Sam says, taking another forkful of MRE lasagne into her mouth. Raided supplies from underground bunkers are what they have been subsisting on lately. She’s not sure how others—those who don’t know where to look--are surviving.
“Do you think Doctor Jackson would help? Didn’t he have some?”
Sam pauses for a moment, not really sure what Celeste is talking about until it clicks. Cameron often tells a gathered horde of rapt children stories about SG-1. They all love hearing about how Daniel fell from the sky, butt-naked Cameron is always sure to add, with no memory.
It seems the children have been embellishing on their own.
“Daniel wasn’t an angel,” Sam starts to explain but the look of disappointment on Celeste’s face is so tragic that she quickly amends, “We don’t think.”
Satisfied that Daniel is still shrouded in mystery just the way she likes him, Celeste nods and scampers off, legs in grubby jeans pumping.
“Cameron should stop telling them that kind of stuff,” Daniel says, emerging from the shadows of the kitchen area.
“C’mon, it’s not harming anyone and they like his stories,” Sam says, scooting over a little so Daniel can join her on the bench seat. He doesn’t though, instead circling and touching items and she’s reminded of Jack so sharply that Sam has to close her eyes for a second.
“I just don’t want them getting the wrong idea,” he says cryptically and disappears back through the archway he’d emerged from.
Sam doesn’t really want to know just what wrong idea the kids would be getting.
The water filtration system always needs repairing. It’s fairly dull, repetitive work but Sam relishes the time with just herself and her tools, almost to the point of only very grudgingly teaching others how to fix it.
Jane, a tall red-head with a knack for mechanics, sits by Sam’s feet, handing her tools when they’re asked for. Jane doesn’t talk and Sam’s pretty sure it’s because of something that happened to her when she was sheltering with another group. She won’t let Annabel, the fifty year-old nurse who is their only medico, look in her mouth to determine a cause for her silence and Sam believes that she wouldn’t find anything physical anyway.
Jane is sitting with her knees drawn up to her chest, toying with the laces of her sneakers when not actually handling tools.
“What happened to you?” Sam asks. She does that sometimes because she doesn’t want to take Jane’s silence for granted, assume that it’s going to last forever. She wants Jane to remember that she can talk if she wants, to Sam more specifically.
Jane makes a gesture with a wrench that Sam can’t really interpret and goes back to staring at her shoes.
Sam hadn’t even gotten that before so she believes she’s making progress.
Sometimes Daniel disappears.
Sam has come to accept it because he always comes back, but she notices the way Cameron tenses right up until the moment Daniel comes back. The kids think it’s got something to do with the whole Ascension thing, asking the first couple of times if Daniel has gone like before but Sam always assures them that no, he’s just gone for a walk.
To be honest, she has no idea where he is or what he’s doing, but she suspects.
There’s a crater about three hours East. Standing alone at its center, at the very bottom, is a metal ring, the sole survivor of wanton destruction. In her mind’s eye, Sam can just see Daniel sitting on the lip, swinging his feet and waiting to be rescued.
Sam thinks she’ll probably worry more when Daniel stops disappearing.
Cameron is the one that bears their weight.
He laughs and jokes and tells stories. He makes plans and forages, always coming back exhausted but elated. He found the mine that they were able to convert into their living space.
He was the one that asked them to bed first, not with any words but just a gentle tug on each of their hands. There were no explanations, just shadows, skin and them.
It’s easy to forget sometimes that even though he’s the only one who remembers how to laugh, Cameron is the most fragile of them all.
“I always assumed that our doom would come, just from out there,” Daniel says as they lie on their backs during their watch. Sam half rolls so she’s up against his side and even though he’d always been a furnace in the past, ever since they came through the gate to find nothing left, he’s been cool to the touch.
“I always assumed it would be my fault.”
Sam sometimes writes little notes to Jack in her head.
The only person I ever met who liked MREs was Rodney McKay and even he would be getting sick of them by now.
Cameron is burying himself and Daniel is growing more distant with every day. I’m not sure what to do…
But most commonly,
Don’t be dead.
P.S. Wherever you are not being dead, have Teal’c and Cassie there with you too.
Jane starts talking without any warning, just like Sam always suspected she would.
“Sometimes when they’re circling, looking for us, I think I can understand them,” she says.
Sam knows the calls the monsters make, how you can feel it through your bones.
“I know what you mean,” she agrees.
Atlantis is still out there somewhere and with it, humans from Earth.
It’s only a matter of time before they make their way home to find out what the radio silence is all about.
For now, Sam nestles in the space just for her and tries not to think about all the space that’s left.