Title: Winter Leaves.
fandom: Stargate SG1
Pairing: Jack/Lya, unquestionably.
Summary: In the (near) future, as Shakespear once said...
Dedication: to Anny, who asked for it.
Snow entered the cabin with him, a gust of wind propelling him indoors. After unlocking his cabin door, Jack brought the groceries to the fridge. “No coow,” she asks of me.
“Fish is always pleasant.”
The windows were open. Major draft was at work, scattering the few papers that weren’t weighted down. No surprise there. She’d assured him that the cold wasn’t a problem: that Nox were hardier in terms of climactic tolerance.
“Lya?” Usually she was here, waiting in the kitchen for his return -- waiting for a fish to chew on. Not knowing how to cook anything more than a jelly sandwich, Lya usually just ran her fingers along the patterns in the wood grains of the table while she waited.
Draped his jacket over a handy chair.
“Lya?” Still no answer. The Black Ops portion of his brain was throwing up nightmare scenarios -- kidnapped and taken away, gagged and held hostage here, something...anything but one -- something even that corner of his mind didn’t want to contemplate any more than it had in years gone past.
He found her in -
“And this, is the living room,” I told her.
“Do you not live in all of the rooms?” she asks.
“Well, yeah; but that’s just what it’s called.”
Lya had given a nod to that. “Vestigial words. Even we have them.”
She was sitting on the couch, eyes closed, utterly still. “Lya?” Jack asked. She was half-buried under afgans and blankets, facing an inactive television, holding that stuffed thing he’d picked up at a fair once. Lya had taken one look at it, declared it to be absolutely adorable, and spent at least one hour every day, just talking to it. Wouldn’t let me throw it away.
“Take some time off,” Hammond had told me. “If there’s any emergencies, we’ll give you a call.” </i>That’d been nine and a half months ago. Carter and the others, they’d stopped by from time to time, but they never talked shop with me, like they were afraid of letting me in on a secret.
Had they known?
He grips the blanket, squeezing it. If there’d been any humidity in the air, his hand would be soaked. Nobody’d said a word; just talked about mundane stuff - passed along messages from Lya’s folk.
They hadn’t been judgemental about Jack and Lya...about the relationship which built ever-so-carefully upon the blocks of diplomacy and friendship and aquaintance. They’d tried to discourage me a few times. But ultimately...no obstacle.
The wedding, more Nox than Human. “For the length of the first to speak,” Antaeus had said.
Stroking her long hair. Like Sampson, she’d never cut it. Unlike Delilah, he’d never tried to.
The first to speak. The first to break the silence.
“Lya,” softly, quietly, as though afraid to wake her.
Tried to fight it, tried to hold it down. Failed. Out came the sneeze. Failed.
I made the first sound.
That makes it my length. Damn.
But Lya, she hadn’t looked on him with annoyance or fear or hurt. She’d just given a small human-style nod, and smiled at him.
It only twisted harder.
Nox pregnancies lasted thirty years. Human pregnancies averaged nine months. The sneeze had made the length match the latter.
Outside, above the warrens of the SGC, the trees were sprouting new leaves. A fresh start, a new beginning for a not-so-new tree. Inside the warren, another new start. Human and Nox. Jack and Lya.
Outside, a few trees held their leaves, even in the face of mounting cold. They weren’t evergreen, but they fought, green with tooth and nail, to paraphrase the old writers. Inside, Jack wanted to fight, wanted to trade places: ‘let her live, take me instead!’
He stayed with Lya another hour, two. Three. Then, forcing himself, he eased off the couch, settling her down gingerly, carefully, tenderly. It was at least ten minutes before he left her to get the phone. Ten steps, ten long steps.
It rang, it rang, it rang again and aga-
“Happened,” Jack rasped.
“Hap-? Jeez, Jack, I’m sorry to hear that.” And Jack could hear genuine feeling in the voice. For once, he didn’t contemplate whether it was an act.
Even Maybourne had limits.
“Thanks, Harry,” Jack said.
“No problem; I know how you two were.” For some reason, Maybourne was one of Lya’s favorite guests - him and SG-1.
“You need someone to come over? I could -”
“Thanks, but no. Appreciate it.”
“Okay.” A pause. “I mean it, Jack: I’m really sorry to hear the news, and if there’s anything you need - anything at all...”
“I’ll ask,” Jack said, nodding to the phone.
“You do that,” and let Jack hang up first.
Then he hit the auto-dial for the SGC. Hammond had to know, if only so the Nox could be made aware -- if they weren’t already.
“Take some time off,” Hammond had said. “Enjoy yourselves.” While the phone rang, Jack wondered if Hammond had known.
Just then, Thor showed up.