Disclaimer: Wish I owned them. Wish I had made money off this fic. If wishes were horses...
A/N: Missing scene tag to season eight's episode 'Threads.'
I knew from the beginning, Pete told her in a
regretful but honest voice.
Guess I just thought when you
said yes that... His voice trailed off into nothing.
Sam sat on the bench in front of the house that Pete had
bought 'for her,' and stared at Pete in surprise as he sat next
to her while she was in the middle of trying to gently put an end
to their relationship. But with that attempted ending came
confusion as well at what Pete had just said... confusion laced
with her surprise, a surprise that was quickly giving way to
Wait, she said, putting a halt to their current
conversation and starting a new one, some force behind her word.
You knew? About us? she clarified.
From the beginning, Pete admitted with a sad sigh.
Like I said, I just...
He knew? Sam thought, still stuck on that one idea as
Pete continued to ramble his explanation to her. Sam ignored his
spoken words to go on with her thoughts, He went ahead with
this... relationship... between him and me... asked me to
marry him, for crying out loud... even though he
knew that it would never work in the end?! Sam cut
him off to ask in a voice of tight, incredulous anger,
why..? She cleared her throat and tried to ask the same
question without the anger lacing her tone.
Why did you ask
me to marry you if you knew..? And what did you know? She
wanted to be certain that she and he were definitely referring to
the same thing in this new conversation. Look before you
leap, Sam was able to remind herself, recalling the need for
logic even in her growing sense of emotional upheaval.
Pete regarded her in miserable silence. Finally, he took a
deep breath and said,
I knew that this day would eventually
That what would happen? she required him to
This day, Pete said again, as if repeating what he
had already stated would make her understand without him having
to vocalise anything more. But when she just continued to stare
at him with an uncomprehending expression on her face, he tried
to be more specific.
That we would be here, you saying what
you're saying, me just taking it...
Again Sam broke in on his comment.
What do you mean?
she asked, getting slightly exasperated now.
Do you mean that
you knew that I would eventually want to... She hesitated.
To... to break up with you? She stared at him when he
didn't immediately answer. So she specified,
That I would
eventually want to put an end to our relationship, whatever state
that relationship was in?
Pete closed his eyes in regret, then kept them closed as he nodded his affirmation.
Sam's lips thinned down to a tiny thread of a line, and she
looked away from him, trying hard not to let her anger with him
for what he was confessing grow to huge proportions, but she
found it fairly difficult.
You knew that I would eventually
end things, she repeated in a dumbfounded voice.
Yeah, Pete said in confirmation.
I just hoped
Yet you proposed marriage anyway, Sam firmly
Pete sat beside her in silence, looking guilty now.
Yeah, he eventually whispered his agreement with her
assessment of the situation.
Sam sat beside him, trying again not to let her anger at him
take control of her, but having less and less success with
repressing her emotions all the time. She rubbed her sweating
hands on her jeans, then balled her fingers into her palms in a
tight attempt to stay in control.
So, she carefully
If you knew that the end of our relationship would
happen eventually, that 'this day would come,' she quietly
said, repeating his earlier words,
Then everything... our
entire relationship... the engagement... all of it... was
something that you didn't expect to last?
Pete remained quiet for a moment, then responded,
that about says what I've been thinking all along.
Sam sharply turned her head to gaze at him in an unnerving
stare that pierced through him in an instant.
Yet you asked
me to marry you anyway? she inquired a second time.
knowing that we would one day find ourselves here, at the
Yyyeeaaah, Pete slowly admitted after a silent
Sam hissed a breath out between teeth that were tightly
clenched together. At last, she said,
Then I have some
questions about that.
Pete winced, but didn't stop her asking.
First, Sam said,
How did you 'know,' and..?
Here she cut herself off to gaze at him again with her large eyes
that could be so clouded with passion one moment, and chips of
icy blue the next. He was being treated to the ice chips at the
moment. Her eyes positively glittered.
Do you have any idea
what I've been going through these last few months? she
asked, almost as if she didn't expect him to answer.
know what that proposal of yours caused me to think, to
Pete didn't answer her second question, but focused on her
How could I possibly know what you've been going
through? he repeated.
Though... He looked a bit
What? Sam asked.
So Pete continued.
You suspected? Sam ascertained in a slow repetition
of his confession. Pete nodded again.
How? Sam at last
asked in a soft, angry voice that compelled him to answer.
Pete looked almost eager to tell her what he had to tell
her. Eager, as well as very reluctant at the same time. It was
an odd combination that showed in his expression.
I... followed... you... around for a few days way back at the
beginning. Then I saw you with him...
Confused again, she asked,
Him? Pete nodded. Sam
went on to inquire,
Who is 'him?'
Pete gave an exasperated sigh then.
Come on, Sam,
him, the General, only he was a Colonel then I
Sam tried not to appear too horrified that Pete had actually referred to General O'Neill by title... rank... even if he hadn't spoken a specific name to accompany that title. The title was damning enough.
But Pete seemed unaware of her horror. He went on, shaking
The whole rank thing is still a bit confusing to
me. Ranks in the police force are a bit different... He
lamely trailed off, as if he knew that his explanation was a bit
on the bad side. But gamely he went on,
Anyway, the minute I
saw you with him... And the two of you weren't even doing
anything at the time... But it was there.
What was? Sam calmly asked, trying to move beyond her
horror to continue their discussion. The fact that she thought
she already knew what he was going to say to her helped.
Pete sighed, then put words to his thoughts.
You... You both lighted up like... He stopped, struggling
to voice his ideas.
It was subtle, he finally said.
If you weren't looking at both of you just right, or...
Again he paused. At last he turned to stare at her.
like something electric, he said, then added,
Sam instantly stated,
But we never...
I know that, Pete quickly said.
Anybody who knew
you at all would know that. I mean, Mark had told me about those
Air Force rules keeping you and him from ever doing anything ages
ago. He shrugged.
So... I thought I had a shot.
But you soon knew..?
Yeah, Pete said again, and sighed.
He linked his fingers together, as if he had to have something to
hold on to.
Again Sam looked away from him and furiously worked her
mouth back and forth. Finally, when she felt that she had enough
control of her emotions to say something, she reluctantly stated,
Pete, what I'm about to tell you is partly of my own doing,
not all yours, and I want to make sure you know that before I get
going and forget to mention it. She rubbed her hands on her
jeans one more time. Then she pierced him with her ice chips
You knew that our relationship wouldn't work out,
But you proposed anyway.
Pete miserably stated,
I figured that I didn't have
anything to lose.
Sam could no longer hold back her snort.
you didn't, she said.
But somebody sure
Now Pete was confused, and he looked it.
Are you talking about you? You losing? he
Sam sent him a withering stare, then visibly tried to hold
back the contempt she was feeling.
No, she said with a
voice that was only half strangled venom.
Sam hissed another breath out through her teeth. She didn't
answer his question, but instead went on with her own
You asked me to marry you, she plainly
I did a lot of soul searching before I
answered. She grimaced, as if in pain.
I'm still soul
searching, she admitted next.
But when you asked, I
wanted to be fair to you, she explained, and turned to regard
That's why I did all that soul searching. And I wanted
a normal life, and that you were offering it to me, and that all
I would have to do is accept you along with it, and that I needed
to forget... Her voice faded, but it was clear that she felt
But you didn't forget, did you? Pete softly inquired,
as if she had ended her question/comment, leaving him to respond
to what was only her implication of somebody, that she had
instead actually named exactly whom she thought she needed
to forget... even if she hadn't done any such thing. It didn't
matter... they both knew who she was referring to.
Sam again angrily worked her mouth back and forth, her tight
control being asserted again. Finally she was able to vocalize,
The point is not about me. Her eyebrows rose.
isn't even really about you.
Pete's confusion intensified.
Then who is it
Sam hissed, the air around them burbled, and tires squealed
in the distance, but both ignored the sound so she could say,
It's about him.
But Pete was already shaking his head.
No Sam, you've
got that wrong, he firmly said.
The fact that you said
that you would marry me has nothing to do with General
Sam looked at him, askance He had dared to actually say the
General's name! More importantly, Pete had said that name in
conjunction with her! The nerve! But now that it had been said,
Sam didn't see the point of pretending that she and Pete weren't
talking about General O'Neill.
Not have anything..! It has
everything to do with him! she answered.
Pete appeared confused again.
I don't quite
Sam gasped her breath this time.
I said 'yes' to you
because he didn't stop me! she blurted.
Though I know you
probably don't want to hear about all that. She gave a
semi-regretful pause before going on,
But you asked me even
when you knew it wouldn't work out between us, so, excuse me for
stating this, but... You kind of asked for it.
I asked because I asked? Pete... asked.
Sam looked aghast now.
You know, she said, and
looked Pete's way again.
I think I would have been perfectly
content to wait around on him forever if you hadn't asked that
Pete was angry now.
Hey! he objected.
But Sam went on,
You hurt him... We hurt him, she added.
We put him through agony... And for
what? she rhetorically queried.
Because you knew that
That's not exactly fair! Pete exclaimed then.
This isn't my fault! No one made you say 'yes!'
True, Sam conceded, then added,
But if you knew,
and asked anyway... No one made you ask in the first place,
she pointed out.
And by asking, you hurt... You and
me... It was Sam who shook her head this time.
your fault that I'm a stupid genius who can blow up
Blow up suns? Pete repeated, then peered at her.
I haven't heard about any...
The point! Sam emphasized.
The point is...
We did a total number on him. I didn't know that it was all for
nothing... and have spent the last weeks feeling so
Guilty? Pete asked.
Why would you feel..?
But Sam cut him off this time.
Because I knew that I
couldn't marry you, didn't want to, even if nothing happened
between me and... anybody else... And I didn't know how to tell
You're telling me now, Pete said.
Sam gave a ghost of a smile.
Yes, I guess I am.
Pete was silent.
Sam was silent.
Finally Pete held the engagement ring out in front of both
of them. It sparkled in the dying sunlight.
Guess I should
see if the jeweler guy will take this back, huh?
Sam quickly added,
It should have been taken back a long
time ago. But like I said, that wasn't all you're doing. I'm as
angry with myself as I am with you.
Angry with yourself, Pete said again.
Sam's sigh split the air.
Because he told me to get a
life outside the mountain, to be happy, and I did, with you, and
I thought I was fine, but I wasn't, and discovered that I wasn't,
and in the mean time the thing you and I had together was nice
enough, but wasn't real, and it all hurt him so
You can't be responsible for...
Sam's hand shot out to stop him.
You didn't see him,
Pete. These last weeks, she added to specify.
see what I was doing... And I thought that he wanted it this
way... She looked at Pete again.
But if you knew that it
would never work out between us... and you never said so...
She didn't finish her thought.
That's something that you're
going to have to live with, that we're going to have to
live with... She stood up then, springing to her feet so
fast it was as if her pants were on fire. She began striding off
towards her car without looking back at Pete.
Pete called after her,
Where are you going?
Sam still didn't look back at him, but answered,
if he can ever forgive me. If he can... and that's a big 'if'
right now... then I'll think about forgiving you for asking me to
marry you when you knew it was a doomed relationship right from
Pete began to get incensed at what she was saying, but
stopped himself long enough to think about things from her
Yeah, okay, I deserve that, he thoughtfully
But Sam didn't hear him as she slammed shut her car door, started the engine, then sped off into Colorado Springs.
Pete sat alone on the bench in front of the house he was
going to have to sell back to the Realtor. He sighed. Then he
It was all too good to be true, Shanahan. He
stood up, but went on,
And you knew it. He looked to
where Sam's car had disappeared into the distance.
hope that you can find in in your heart to forgive me, Sam.
he mumbled to himself.
I knew things would someday go
wrong... He had pushed her into doing something that she
really didn't want to do, he admitted to himself at last.
It had been wrong.
And he knew it
Sequel: Trilogy; Part Two: Still a Chance?
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