Title: Home for the Holidays
Feedback address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date in Calendar: 9 December 2004
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Summary: Romance and a little friendly help Sam be more honest about her happiness.
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC04
Disclaimer: Oh for crying out loud, do I really have to say this?........what?........I do.......*rolls eyes* okay......As should be plainly obvious to everyone, I do NOT own Stargate SG-1 or it's characters. They belong to MGM; Gekko; Double Secret and only the gods know who else. This story was written for entertainment purposes only. No copyright infringement was intended.
Note: This was supposed to be a light, fluffy, happy story, but my muse decided to invite Jacob along to play and it became something else entirely. Maybe it's my own consternation over the whole coming out process that caused this fic to happen. Who knows....I just know that the story refused to be told any other way and was bound and determined to run away with me in the process
This was unusual. Here it was a few days before Christmas and for once there were no pressing matters that were in need of tending. No teams were offworld. There were no impending crisis' to fret over. No attacks to avert. Everyone was back home, safe and sound. So General Hammond made the decision to keep them there. With the exception of a small skeleton crew that would be necessary to keep the basic functions of the SGC running, almost everyone was going to get the next two weeks off.
Major Samantha Carter took one last look around her lab just to be sure she wasn't leaving anything behind. She didn't want to come back to Cheyenne Mountain at all over the next two weeks, if she could help it. In the past, she ordinarily would have been happy to lock herself away in her lab when she was given leave time. But that was before----
"So, whatcha doin'?" Carter was interrupted midthought by Colonel O'Neill who for some reason decided to stop by her lab before leaving.
Crap. He's going to try to invite me somewhere again. "Colonel...er...um...just...you know," the astrophysicist gestured around her lab as she fumbled over what to say; trying desperately to come up with some good excuse to get out of whatever he had planned.
"Oh, let me guess, you have some wonder of the universe to study."
Perfect! Sam's face blossomed with a smile that could almost put the Cheshire Cat to shame. "Actually, sir, yes I do."
Jack could barely contain his exasperation. "Oh, come on, Carter. It's the holidays. Please don't tell me that you're gonna keep yourself all cooped up in this mountain for the next two weeks." He allowed himself to pause for a moment as he scanned the room for the projects that should have been lying around. She cursed herself mentally for not having something out and handy already. For once her obsessive neatness was working against her. "So, just what is this so called wonder of the universe that requires your scrutiny?"
"Well, sir...um...it's hard to explain," Sam flailed mentally for some kind of explanation; something that would confuse her CO enough that he'd just tell her to forget about it. Luckily she was saved the trouble when the aforementioned 'wonder of the universe' happened to waltz into her lab. "Janet! Hi," Carter greeted, trying unsuccesfully to let her relief show.
"Hey, Sam. Evening, Colonel."
"Doc! Good. Glad you dropped by. Could you do me a favor and get Carter here out of this mountain for awhile. For crying out loud, we've all been given two weeks off and she's telling me that she's just gonna hole herself up in this dank, dark, dismal, underground lab of hers."
"What?" Janet put on her best 'I can't believe what you're telling me' face. Sam was impressed with her girlfriend's acting ability. "Oh no. We can't allow that now can we?"
What the colonel didn't see was the look on his 2IC's face behind him as she struggled to keep from showing how thrilled she was. It was a battle the major was losing. Don't laugh. Don't laugh. Don't laugh.....It was the reason she was such a lousy poker player.
Fraiser peered around their superior officer to see her partner's fight to not look too elated at the unexpected turn of events. "I'd be more than happy to help you out with that, sir. In fact, let's start right now." The diminutive woman glided past O'Neill to take Sam's arm. "You're coming to my house for dinner tonight," she stated, adopting her mother hen, I'm-your-doctor-don't-mess-with-me voice.
Jack spun around to follow the exchange and much to the major's surprise she was actually able to compose herself rather quickly. At least on the outside. Don't laugh. Don't laugh. Don't laugh...she repeated over and over again in her head as she looked down into her lover's deep brown eyes that glinted with mischievous glee. "Sure. Dinner sounds great." Carter was extraordinarily proud of herself for having kept a straight face the whole time. Maybe there was some hope for her and poker yet.
They both looked up at the colonel who looked strangely pleased with himself. "Well, I guess my work here is done," he said as he rocked back on his heels; both hands stuffed in his pockets. With a self-satisfied grin that stretched from ear to ear, he turned and walked out the door.
Sam looked over at Janet with her own self-satisfied expression. "You have the best timing. I had just been trying to come up with some 'wonder of the universe' that I could tell the colonel required my attention for the next two weeks. He had that look like he was going to ask me to go fishing again."
"Fishing? In December?....You know what, never mind." The brunette shook her head and raised a hand to indicate that she no longer wanted to ponder the subject of Colonel O'Neill's many "fishing" invitations. "I don't even want to know what is going through that man's mind anymore. Might make me do nasty things to him the next time he's incapacitated in my infirmary."
"Why wait 'til then? Just get him during his next physical," the major joked.
"Hmmm...come to think of it, I do have a batch of extra large needles that I'm just itching to use on somebody."
"I get to watch right?"
Both women dissolved into soft laughter. "If you want..." Janet flashed a smile that could disarm a nuclear warhead before continuing. "'Wonder of the universe'?"
"Seemed like as good a description for you as any." Carter's smile broadened. "And I do intend to study you thoroughly over the next couple of weeks."
The small doctor waved a finger at her lover as she turned to exit the lab. "I'm going to hold you to that, Dr. Carter."
"I'm counting on it. So your place in about an hour?"
"See you then."
Sam sat in the window of the darkened living room to watch the snowfall. It had been coming down steadily all day, making it appear like a magical wonderland outside. She watched the flakes drift slowly in the light cast by the external floodlights to lie atop the white blanket that already appeared to envelope the world around the house.
It was the perfect setting for the day she had spent with both Janet and Cassandra. They had finally gotten the tree up and hung all the ornaments...which was promptly followed by an outside venture in the snow. She couldn't remember the last time she had been out playing in it. It had certainly been far too long. Now Cassie was upstairs on the phone with her boyfriend, which meant they wouldn't be seeing her again the rest of the night.
She pulled the quilt tighter around her body, longing for its warmth. Many things had changed since she had found herself in the love affair to end all love affairs. It used to be that she thought that she could never take a moment to just relax. She always felt that she absolutely had to be doing something or else she was just wasting her life. But then came Janet who made her realize that she had been going about her life all wrong. Before she had just been working non-stop as a way to fill some void that dominated her soul. An emptiness that she didn't even know was there until the most incredible woman in the world swept in and filled it. And taught her that sometimes it was important to stop and smell the roses...or in this case, watch the snow.
"Penny for your thoughts." The sound of her lover's sweet voice brought Sam out of her reverie and back into the present moment. Janet Fraiser, keeper of her heart, was standing beside her with two mugs of steaming hot chocolate in her hands.
"I was just thinking about how you've made my life so much better," Sam told her as she was handed one of the mugs. Janet's face blossomed into that glorious smile that the blonde knew she'd kill just to see one more time. "You really have, you know? I honestly don't know how I lived before you came along. All I know is that I can no longer imagine a life without you in it."
Janet placed her mug on a table close by before she took a place on the window seat next to Sam. Carter smiled as the brunette let her chin rest on her bent knees. Suddenly she found that she no longer needed the quilt to keep warm. Not with the feel of her girlfriend's arms wrapped around her lower legs.
"It goes both ways, sweetheart. I knew the first moment I saw you that you'd change my life forever. Makes me wonder why it took us five years to finally figure out what we meant to each other."
"Fear. At least I know that's what held me back. Fear that you'd reject me...and then I'd lose the best friend that I ever had."
"Well, none of that matters now." Fraiser took the mug from Sam and placed it on the table beside hers before leaning forward to kiss her partner. Sam felt herself get dizzy with the passion of it. It was easy to lose herself in moments like this when she became consumed by the hunger. She pulled Janet closer; wrapping her arms around the woman she loved.
Janet pulled back slightly. "It's nice and warm over here."
"So I've noticed."
"Mmmmm..I just might have to stay here for awhile."
"I love you."
"I love you, too."
The brunette gave one last gentle, languid kiss before turning around in Sam's arms, so they could both look out the window.
Meanwhile, back at the SGC, the gate started to spin. Soldiers in full combat gear started to run. Technicians started to panic. And General Hammond wondered just what the hell was going on this time.
He wandered down into the control room just as the gate opened.
"Tok'ra IDC, sir."
"Open the iris."
In the minute or so that it took for someone to eventually breach the wormhole's event horizon, the general imagined all the possible worst case scenarios that he could think of. He just hoped that it wasn't anything too serious. After all, he had sent most of his people home a couple of days ago. Of course, they all knew that they were on call, so if any major threat presented itself, he was prepared to call them all back if necessary.
The Texan slowly wandered his way out of the control room and into the gateroom just as figure finally broke the surface and emerged onto the ramp leading from the stargate. The general felt himself go from frown to smile in 3.2 seconds.
"George! How's it going?"
"Jacob," Hammond reached to shake the former Air Force General turned Tok'ra operative's hand. "Well, now, I guess that all depends on why you're here."
Janet felt a finger lightly trace a line up the center of her back; just lightly enough to bring all her nerves to the surface. They sang at the touch. Longed for more. It suddenly stopped at the nape of her neck where it was joined by a few more fingers as they caressed the smooth, warm skin. Her lover knew just what she was doing. She learned long before just how sensitive Janet's neck was.
"You are so evil. You know that, don't you?"
"What?" The hand stopped its movement, but remained in place. " I don't seem to recall any complaints out of you last night."
"And I don't recall telling you to stop just now either," she replied over Sam's soft laughter.
The brunette expected a resumption of the hand's prior actions, but was instead surprised when it was replaced by her lover's mouth. Janet uttered a soft moan as she felt Sam nibble softly on the ultra sensitive flesh. The hand moved back down her spine, exciting the nerves even more.
It was just as things were about to reach a critical moment when the phone rang. Or, to be more exact, Carter's cell phone began playing the Wormhole X-Treme theme song.
"Damn," the blonde muttered as she went on a search around the room for the offending, stray cell.
"Wormhole X-Treme?" Janet asked incredulously.
"Well, you have to admit that it's highly appropriate...AHA!!" She pulled the still ringing phone out of the pocket of her jeans that somehow had wound up in a tangled heap on the other side of the room. Sam answered it on the way back to the bed. "Carter...........Dad! What are you doing here?"
Janet quashed a chuckle as her lover began to absentmindedly cover herself with the bed sheets. It would have been hypocritical of her anyway as she tended to do the same thing. The nearest she could figure, it was a subconscious compulsion that took over at the sound of a parent's voice.
"Okay..............if you want to.................Dad, it's not that I don't want to see you. Of course, I want to see you. I'm just surprised is all............I'll be there in a little while to pick you up........Bye." She clicked her phone off with a sigh and ran a hand through her close cropped hair. "Dammit...."
"What's going on?"
"Dad decided that he wanted to come home and spend Christmas with me for some reason."
The major tried to keep her frustration from showing, but Janet wasn't fooled. "I finally get some time off to spend with you and Cassie..and....and...." She broke off as she felt her girlfriend's hand enclose hers.
"It's okay, honey," she said softly. "Maybe we could just tell him."
"You've got to be kidding me," she scoffed. "My father used to say that he thought 'don't ask; don't tell' was far too lenient."
"But maybe things have changed since Selmak."
"Yeah...maybe. I just can't take that risk though. I'm sorry."
"I understand. After all, it's not like I'm in a huge hurry to tell my family either," Janet used her free hand to delicately stroke Sam's face before pulling her in closer for a soft kiss.
"I have to go," the blonde whispered softly as she pulled away.
"I know," she sighed. Janet tried her best to hide her disappointment while she watched her girlfriend get ready to leave. This was certainly not the vacation that she had planned.
"I don't think I've seen that much snow in years," Jacob Carter exclaimed as they trudged into Sam's house laden with groceries. "Neither has Selmak for that matter."
"We certainly got a lot more than we usually do this time of you. Did you miss it?"
"Yeah...in a way I have. Only I didn't realize it until now." He opened the pantry door and shook his head in disbelief. "You weren't kidding about not having any food."
His only daughter tried to shrug off his observation with an explanation that she knew sounded mildly moronic. "Well, I'm off-world alot." After all, it wasn't like she could just tell him the truth. See, Dad, I spend almost all my off time over at Janet Fraiser's house...you know, that cute, little doctor that you seem to like so much. Although you probably wouldn't like either of us if you knew that we'd been secretly seeing each other for months now.
She sighed under the weight of it all. Part of her wanted nothing more than to just tell him the truth. Hiding something so important to her was far more difficult than she had anticipated. But the part of her that feared the worst kept her from doing nothing more than putting the rest of the food away.
"And what's with the lack of Christmas decoration?" She heard him ask from the living room behind her. "You used to always be so into decorating for the holidays, yet you don't even have a tree up."
Sam cringed inwardly. Again, she found herself caught by her utter lack of preparation to give a plausible cover story. She had been planning on spending the entire holiday over at Janet's. It was going to be her, Janet and Cassandra. Her happy little family. She'd gladly set about decorating the other house with no thought of her own at all. But how to tell him that....
She knew she couldn't. Not without risking a total wig-out by her father, the career Air Force officer. There was just too much at stake-her position in SG1 as well as her girlfriend's career. Sam couldn't imagine a life outside the military. Plus the thought of having to deal with being discharged dishonoraby was more than she could bear. "It's just...you know...I've been off-world a lot."
"That seems to be your excuse for everything lately," he stated incredulously. "Sam, George told me that he sent you home over two days ago. That's plenty of time to get the shopping and decorating done." Her father closed the gap between them and placed a hand on each shoulder. "Are you okay, kiddo? I mean, you've hardly spoken a word since you picked me up. Normally you talk an ear off of me telling me about all the things you've been up to since I saw you last. You have me a bit worried here."
She did her best to avoid eye contact with him. "It's nothing, Dad. Really." Sam didn't know what else to do, so she fell on the only thing she could think of--she changed the subject. "You know, I was just thinking that Mark and the kids would probably love to see you too. It is Christmas after all."
Jacob pulled back and wandered deeper into the living room. "I already called him. Seems he's gone to go visit the in-laws."
"Oh, yeah. That's right. I forgot about that."
"Guess that means that you're stuck with me."
"Dad, it's not like that."
"Oh, and incidentally, your little I'll-just-change-the-subject ploy didn't work." He settled into an armchair and took on the air of someone who didn't have any plans to go anywhere anytime soon. "There's something going on with you and I want to know what it is."
"There's nothing to tell. I'm.just.fine."
His only response was a rather skeptical look aimed in her direction. Major Carter was never one to run from conflict, but she didn't see any other way out of this one. "Um....I need to go take a shower..."
Jacob Carter argued with his symbiote, Selmak, as he watched his daughter retreat towards the bedroom.
You're cruel, Jacob.
~Cruel? Just how am I being cruel?~
You can see how anxious she is over telling you. You should just tell her you know and that you're okay with it.
~I want her to tell me.~
~I don't get that. For goodness' sake, I'm her father.~
And your culture is still very backwards in its thinking in regards to homosexual relationships.
~But, I'm her father...~
Jacob, who do you think you're talking to? You can't hide anything from me. I know that you used to be a very closed-minded person before blending with me. That's what she remembers. That's why she's afraid.
~I'm her father and I want her to tell me.~
Selmak sighed in resignation. You can be so stubborn sometimes.
Janet put the chicken in the oven to roast before attending to the chocolate cake roll that she had planned for dessert. There was already enough food scattered around her kitchen to feed the whole SGC. Well, maybe not, but there was enough to at least keep Teal'c happy while still leaving enough for the rest of SG1. She had certainly made far more than she had intended.
It had all started not long after Sam had left that morning. Somehow she had found herself in the kitchen and had barely left since. It was an exercise in busy-ness that she did in a vain attempt to keep herself from thinking about her disappointment in the unexpected turn of events.
They had made plans. This was going to be their first Christmas together. As a couple anyway. They had spent almost every holiday they could with each other ever since Cassandra had come into their lives. Looking back she could see the subtle flirtation that had been happening over the years. She couldn't believe how blind she had been to it before.
She had been looking forward to this evening and tomorrow....their first Christmas as a family. Albeit an unconventional one, but a family none-the-less.
The brunette had the cake roll halfway "rolled" when the phone rang. "Great..." she sarcastically muttered. "Cassie! Honey, can you get that!" The phone stopped mid-ring as she heard her teenage daughter pick up the living room extension. Janet figured it was probably one of her school friends anyway. She had just finished cleaning the powdered sugar that the cake had left on her hands when Cassie entered the kitchen; phone in hand.
"Mom, it's for you."
She took the proffered phone. "Hello."
"Dr. Fraiser, hey, this is Jacob Carter."
"Oh...hi..." He was certainly the last person she expected to hear on the other end of the line. She wasn't sure what to think about that. "Sam mentioned that you were back."
For some reason she thought she detected a bit of a laugh in his response. "Only for a couple of days. I was actually just wondering what you and Cassandra were doing for dinner tonight?"
Janet took a moment to assess the plethora of food options that littered the room around her. "Well, in all honesty, I seem to have enough food to feed a small army over here." That was when she figured out just how she could salvage the evening. "You know what? Why don't you and Sam came over here for dinner. I sure would hate to let all this food go to waste."
They hung up with each other a few minutes later, but she wasn't quite through with the phone yet. She proceeded to dial a number that she knew by heart and waited patiently until there was an answer. "Hey, Daniel..."
Appoximately two hours later, Janet Fraiser found herself with a house full of people. Daniel and Teal'c had been the first to arrive; both carried gifts that they had for the other members of their extended family...or as was the case for most of them, the only real family they had. At first she had protested at the gifts (even though, she had stuff all wrapped up for them as well) for that wasn't why she had invited them all over. But they had both insisted that it was their pleasure. Teal'c especially who had come a long way from that first year in which he had found the whole holiday gift giving thing a quaint custom. Now he seemed to take the most pleasure in it. The doctor was quite surprised every year at how he seemed to have the greatest knack for finding the perfect gift. It was certainly a testament to his keen observation skills.
The Carters had been next. There had been an awkward hug from Sam when they first arrived. Janet had been puzzled by the slight smirk she thought she had seen on Jacob's face, but decided to write it off as her overactive imagination.
Jack was the straggler as usual. If it didn't have anything to do with work, odds were that'd he be late. But he always made up for it with his overwhelming charm. That, and the fact that he usually was the first to volunteer his services when it came time to clean up. Which was odd considering his house was in an almost perpetual state of untidiness. Of course, he brought the obligatory beer that seemed to be a staple at any of their get-together's.
Dinner went fabulously. Her assumption turned out to be correct. The amount of food was enough to keep everyone happy...even Teal'c, who normally could eat more than the rest of them combined. Inviting everybody over had definitely been a good idea. Having the whole group there instead of it just being Sam and Jacob helped to keep the tension down to a minimum. Although she kept getting an odd feeling that he was slyly watching the two of them. She shook it off as her paranoia getting the better of her again.
After they had all eaten, they all retreated to the living room for some post dinner conversation and drinks. Laughter abounded as they each recounted all of the events of the past year. Most of which hadn't of been that amusing when they happened, but this was a group that was gifted with being able to find the humor in everything. O'Neill seemed to think that the best part was when she had gone all "mama bear" when Cassie's life had been threatened due to a gou'ald experiment.
"I swear the look on ole' Nerdy's face when Hammond reminded of her of your parental status was priceless. I wish I'd had a camera."
"I was so sure that I was going to wind up being court martialed after that," she stated while giving her adopted daughter a warm, motherly look that made Cassie squirm with embarrassment. "But I didn't really care at the time."
Nothing had mattered more to her then than her child's health and well-being. Afterwards had been a whole different story. The doctor had been mortified by the lengths she had taken. Violence really wasn't in her nature, so to have taken it to the point where she had actually drugged a guard into unconsciousness and then to have threatened the life of another living being was a little hard to deal with. To make matters worse, she knew that she would have pulled that trigger if it had come down to it. Thankfully the SF had been much more understanding than he had to be.
Daniel echoed her thoughts when he chimed in. "I had a talk with the guard afterwards. He told me that as he was a father himself, he really couldn't blame you for your actions. In fact, he thought that he'd probably have done far worse if it had been his kid."
"I, for one, am just happy that it's all over with," she stated as she wrapped her arms around almost grown daughter.
Cassie, of course, reacted like any teenager when faced with parental affection. "Mom, stop it. You're weirding me out."
Her obvious discomfort was answered by a round of chuckles from around the room.
"I hate to break it to ya, Cass, but that's a mother's responsibility. You should be used to it by now," Jack informed her after the laughter had died down.
The adolescent responded with the eye-roll; the type that had been perfected by juveniles throughout time and space as she extricated herself from her mother's arms by rising up from her position on the couch.
"Where are you going?"
"I told Dominic I'd call him," she answered as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. It was a statement that was followed by much teasing from most of the people in the room. "Stop it."
Naturally, nobody did.
"Stop it!" Appearing to be in the verge of a fill scale temper tantrum, she turned and stomped out of the room to go upstairs.
"You know, you guys can be so cruel sometimes," Sam said knowing full well that sometimes she was guilty of the same teasing. Unfortunately, without realizing it, all she did was turn their attention onto her.
"So, tell me, Carter, how is that a 16 year old can have more success with boys than you can?" O'Neill teased.
She flushed visibly while she took another long swig out of her bottle of beer to keep from having to say anything. Not that she had to when her father decided to take the moment to jump in.
"You never know, boys. Maybe she is seeing someone and just hasn't told you about it."
Fraiser's heart stopped mid-beat as she looked over at her girlfriend's father only to see that, this time, it certainly wasn't her imagination. This time he was definitely looking right. at. her. Janet blinked. Nope. Not her imagination.
The boys, as in Jack and Daniel, Teal'c as usual had very little to say, pounced on that statement like a cat on a poor, frightened, little mouse.
"Anything you care to tell us about Sam?"
Sam's only response was to start guzzling her beer.
The senior Carter took the opportunity to interject again. "Now, now. I see no reason to gang up on my daughter like this." But before either one of them could have a chance to feel any kind of respite from the pressure, he continued. "So, Dr. Fraiser, you seeing anybody lately?"
This time there was no ignoring the smirk. Her heart beat erratically as she tried to come up with something to say. She never liked lying, but Janet just didn't see any other way out of this one.
To both her and her partner's grateful relief, Teal'c broke in with a diversion. "Has anyone seen the new episode of Wormhole X-Treme?" The really good thing about when the guys started to get inebriated was that they were very easily distracted. Within a few seconds, both Daniel and Jack seemed to forget all about the prior conversation.
Janet looked over at their savior with obvious thankfulness. He simply smiled and inclined his head in their direction. Teal'c had known about her and Sam almost since the very beginning. Having a friend that was as perceptive as he was had both its good and bad points. The good-he always knew what to get you. The bad-there was no hiding anything from him.
It hadn't taken him very long at all to figure out that their strong friendship had somehow become much more than that. He had eased both of their fears when he promised that he would never tell anyone their secret as he knew that there were regulations against it. Teal'c was rather fond of both of them and had no desire to see any misfortune befall either of the women.
Jacob still had that smirk on his face. He unquestionably resembled the proverbial cat that had just eaten the canary.
"Sam," she whispered quietly, "we need to talk."
"Yes," the smaller women took hold of Sam's arm in an effort to get her out of the chair and out of the room. "Now."
Selmak was angry. Much angrier than Jacob had ever felt his symbiote ever get in the few years that he had been a host. Which considering some of the things that they had been through together was saying a lot.
You should be ashamed of yourself.
Jacob, you are going too far with this. If the Jaffa had not of interceded when he did, the others may have found out.
~Hey, it's not my fault that the doctor decided to invite an audience. Besides, nobody here would do anything to them.~
That's not your place to determine. I warn you. If you don't stop torturing them like this, I'll assert myself and take over.
~You wouldn't dare.~
He felt himself spin out of control. It was like he was falling down a deep chasm and no matter how hard he tried to grab onto something to stop his descent, he couldn't. Suddenly he found that he no longer had any control over his body whatsoever. It was a feeling that he had gotten used to over the past few years, but this time it was different. This was the first time that it had ever happened against his will.
I have allowed you much freedom, Jacob. Mostly because I respect you. This time though...I have had enough of this game. Either you end it soon or I will.
Sam let her significant other practically drag her through the foyer and into the kitchen.
"What's going on?"
"Did you tell your father about us?"
The blonde blanched at the thought. "God, no..."
"Well, I think he knows anyway. At least I'm 99% sure he does."
She listened as Janet spilled out everything she had noticed that evening starting with the strange phone call that had precipitated the dinner invite.
"Wait. He called you? All he told me was that you had invited us over for dinner." For some reason she had assumed that Janet had called while she was in the shower. "Come to think of it, he did seem a bit surprised when he saw Daniel's car in your driveway."
She peered across the foyer and into the living room. It looked like her father was in the middle of an argument with himself...which considering the fact that he shared his body with another living being was entirely possible. She turned back to face Janet. "You really think he knows?"
"Yeah, I'm pretty sure he does. Maybe we should just tell him."
"I can't, Janet," she sighed. "I mean, what if you're wrong? Besides, the fact of the matter is that he won't know anything for sure unless we say something."
Before the smaller woman could respond, they were interrupted by Daniel's voice yelling from the other room. "Hey guys, it's snowing again."
They both turned to look out the dining room windows behind them. The view was spectacular. If she had to guess, she'd say that it must have been coming down at a rate of two inches an hour.
"Has anyone seen the weather report today?" Sam asked upon their re-entry into the large living room.
Daniel answered first, "Nope. Sorry, I was engrossed in the History Channel."
"No really. I would never have guessed," uttered Jack in classic sarcastic form. Everyone turned to look at him. "ESPN," he shrugged. "That leaves Teal'c."
"I am sorry to disappoint you, but until DanielJackson fetched me this evening, I had been watching the Star Wars trilogy."
"Again?!" Everyone asked at once.
Sam dug out the TV remote and turned it to a local station.
So far there has already been about six inches reported to have fallen the past couple of hours. Now this is on top of the foot and a half that had already fallen as of last night. Needless to say, the roads are getting pretty bad. The Highway Patrol has issued a statement urging everyone to stay where they are, unless it is a dire emergency. We're expecting at least another foot out of this system before all is said and done. One thing's for sure- this is destined to be the whitest Christmas that we have seen in a very long time.
"I guess this means that everybody is stuck here at my house tonight."
With the exception of a short-lived power outage and a minor panic attack when O'Neill realized that they were out of beer, the evening had been going smoothly. The beer problem was solved when Daniel remembered that there was a convenience mart only about two blocks away.
"Relax, Doc, nobody is driving anywhere. We can all walk there and back with no problem," the colonel said trying to assuage her fears about the roadways and the fact that he was decidedly in no condition to drive anywhere. He recruited all the other males in the house to help carry back any purchases they made. It was only the males by default though as he had tried to encourage his 2IC to come along by describing the expedition as SG1's most important mission yet.
"It's a beer run, sir."
"Which is exactly why it's so important," O'Neill implored.
She claimed fatigue and watched as they all bundled themselves up to handle the cold and precipitation. "If we're not back in an hour, send out a rescue party," he joked on his way out the door.
She headed back into the living room to join Janet on the couch as soon as the door closed behind them. Being the mother-hen of the group, the petite doctor couldn't help but worry. "I certainly hope he was just joking about that."
"They'll be fine."
"They better," she stated as she turned towards the blonde with an impish smile on her face. It was a look that Sam knew well.
"Uh oh...what are you up to?"
"Oh, nothing...." The brunette began to trace a line down from her partner's shoulder with a small finger. "It just occurred to me that with the exception of Cassandra, who is more than likely locked in her room for the rest of the night, we now have the whole house to ourselves."
"Janet---" she tried to protest, but was cut off by the force of her lover's kiss. Sam knew this was a bad idea. The guys could walk in at anytime, but the feel of those lips pressed against hers, not to mention all the alcohol she had consumed that evening, made it impossible to think clearly. The kiss became more insistent until even the tiniest vestige of rational thought was lost in the onslaught. She got disoriented with the feel and taste of Janet. Janet was her whole world. Nothing else mattered.
Nothing was going to tear her out of her lover's embrace; away from her hands, her tongue. The feel of the smaller woman's soft, warm flesh became all that she cared about. Janet Fraiser was truly the most amazing "wonder of the universe" that she had ever discovered. All others paled in comparison.
Sam wasn't sure how much time had passed since it all began. Time always ceased to have all meaning when they were together. All she knew was that it never seemed like it was time enough. This was certainly no exception...which is why she was so surprised when they heard the front door slam shut. She knew that look of total panic on Janet's face had to be matched by the look on her own. How they happened to get halfway undressed (or in her case, almost all the way there) was something that she just could not figure out.
The unmistakable sound of the guys stomping the snow off their booted feet echoed in the larger room. If it weren't for the potentially catastrophic consequences of their predicament, she would have laughed at the look of extreme annoyance that crossed her girlfriend's face.
The diminutive homeowner leaped up while she frantically tried to re-button her shirt. "Hey! Don't be doing that in my nice, clean house. Take it outside!"
"Oh, for crying out loud."
"Did I not tell you, ColonelO'Neill?"
"Yeah, yeah, Teal'c. Whatever...."
The front door opened and closed again as all but one of the men, ostensibly Teal'c, trudged back out onto the porch. He moved into the kitchen as both of the women cowered on the floor desperately attempting to get back into all their clothing. It was a mess of buttons, zippers and clasps compounded by the fact that the winter weather had them dressed in multiple layers.
The major's anxiety went into overdrive at the sound of the front door being opened again. "Janet, your shirt is buttoned wrong," she hissed.
"Crap...yeah, well, you're still missing yours."
"You think I don't know that."
The doctor seemed to be wandering aimlessly around the room at the sound of the approaching footsteps. "Aha!" The blonde turned around just in time to see a quilt being flung in her direction. "Wrap it around yourself. We'll just say that we got cold."
The had barely enough time to get all bundled up in the blankets and ensconced into a couple of armchairs before the rest of the party guests rounded the corner into the living room, but somehow they managed it. They smiled at each other as the men settled in around them, seemingly none the wiser to the fact that they both were hiding miscellaneous pieces of clothing under the concealing coverlets.
Janet felt a beam of warm sunlight move ever so slowly up her arm. She knew that it was well past time to get up but was hesitant to do so.
For one thing, it had been well after midnight before they had all stumbled off to bed. Jacob has been given the guest room down the hall (the same room that they always said was Sam's when she stayed there). Daniel and Jack had both just crashed in the living room while Teal'c said he'd be fine over in the corner. After all, he really didn't need much space in which to kelno'reem. That had left just Sam...which led to the other thing that made it difficult to get out of bed.
The good thing about them both being women is that no one really questioned the times when they shared a bed. She had this sprawling bed in which two people could both fit comfortably, so it only made sense that with a house full of unexpected overnight guests that she'd offer to share it with her best friend. It was a comfortable and cozy place to be; bundled up under the covers (which included the two quilts from downstairs) with the most wonderful person in the known universe snuggled up against her.
The subtle aroma of coffee wafted up from downstairs and was soon joined by that of cooking food. She opened her eyes and blearily focused on the clock across the room to see that it was just after 8:30. A faint sigh escaped from her as she slowly tried to extricate herself from her lover's embrace. As much as she wanted to stay where she was, she knew that she couldn't. Somebody might decided to come up and check on them and they couldn't risk being caught is such an obviously compromising position.
The elfin brunette quietly slid out from underneath the covers in an effort to not wake the somnolent form beside her. The golden hair and flawless peaches and cream complexion made Samantha resemble an angel when she slept. She looked so peaceful that Janet couldn't bring herself to wake the other woman.
She belted a robe around her slim figure and walked over to the window to take in the icy view outside. The scene was truly breathtaking. With the exception of a tree here and there her whole back yard was one unblemished white sheet. It was impossible to see where her deck ended and the yard began due to the depth of the well above-average snowfall. The unfiltered sunlight glinted off the top giving the illusion of thousands of tiny crystals sparkling in the light. Icicles hung from every conceivable surface. In just a couple of days, her rather ordinary house had been transformed into the very vision of a winter wonderland.
Janet turned away from the window just in time to see Sam's eyelid's flutter open to reveal her startlingly deep blue eyes. She scowled at the bright sunshine that was streaming into the room from the now open blinds and threw the comforter over her head.
"Good morning, Beautiful."
The petite woman couldn't quite hear the muffled response, but from the tone she guessed that the word "good" had not been anywhere near it. She peaked under the covers. "What was that?"
"Nothing", the formerly angelic looking woman grumbled. "Come back to bed."
"I wish I could but we still have company, unfortunately."
"I smell food."
"Mhmmm...I was just about to get dressed to go check on whoever it is that's messing around in my kitchen. Care to join me?"
One look into the living room revealed a still sleeping Jack O'Neill and Daniel Jackson who were sprawled out on various pieces of furniture; one on the sofa, the other in the recliner. The chorus of their alcohol induced snores followed the two women into the kitchen where they found Teal'c expertly flipping some pancakes.
"Merry Christmas, MajorCarter and DoctorFraiser." They both simply stared dumbfounded at the unexpected image of a smiling Teal'c cooking traditional Tau'ri food. "Is there something wrong?"
"Um....no..."Fraiser dragged out as she looked around her kitchen to see plates stacked with such things as waffles, pancakes, french toast, bacon and eggs.
"Wow, Teal'c, no cuisine of Chulak this time?" Sam filled in.
"I have discovered that there is an entire network on television that is devoted to nothing but food," he said as he slipped a pancake onto a plate before handing it to Carter. "I have learned much."
Sam looked down and couldn't help but grin back at the perfectly formed smiley face on the top. "My mother used to put smiley faces on pancakes," she stated with a slight laugh touched with a bit of nostalgia.
"Yeah, I told him about that."
Sam and Janet both looked over in surprise to see Jacob peering around the edge of a newspaper that he was reading.
"Dad! I didn't see you over there hiding behind that paper."
"Somebody needs to work on her observation skills." He carefully folded the copy of the Colorado Springs Gazette back and laid it on the table. "I was beginning to think that you ladies were never going to get up. You never used to sleep in this late on Christmas morning."
"Well, I also used to be ten."
"Those were the days," he sighed as he watched his only daughter get situated at the table. "Hard to believe that in the grand scheme of things that really wasn't all that long ago. You know, it really is amazing when you think about it. Life changes so fast. You think you have an idea of how things are going to go, so you make all these plans around it. Sometimes those dreams come true. Sometimes they don't. Most times things go in a totally different direction that you never expected, but life was all the more better for it."
"Selmak must really be getting to you, Dad. You almost sound wise there," she joked.
"Oh, you'd be surprised how much things have changed with me. I mean, I'm still me, but Selmak has given me a whole new perspective on things."
Sam felt her girlfriend give her a gentle nudge with her foot under the table. She knew what Janet was trying to say - that now would be a perfect time to tell him. Maybe she had been right this whole time. Maybe the blending had in fact made her father more open to ideas that he never considered before.
She finished her meal as she steeled her resolve. The blonde looked over at her partner and realized that she was worth risking everything for. One look into Janet's deep brown eyes told her that her lover felt the same way. Teal'c already knew everything, so she didn't have to worry about him overhearing anything that he wasn't supposed to.
The astrophysicist stared down at the black and white checkerboard floor while she mulled over what to say. Whatever she came up with, she knew had to be perfect. Just in case Janet was wrong and he really had no clue what kind of revelation he was in for. But right as she looked up and was about to open her mouth she saw a reflection in the window that made her realize that she was too late.
"Gee, Carter, whatever it is you're thinking about, stop. It's Christmas for crying out loud. Give your brain a rest."
She wilted like a deflated balloon and laid her head atop the table in front of her (which thankfully had been cleared of the syrupy plate by the ever conscientious Jaffa who hovered around the kitchen). A gentle hand reached over and lightly began to stroke her hair before it moved down to massage the base of her skull. One thing about her best friend was that she always knew the right thing to do to make everything feel okay again.
She lifted her head just as she heard Teal'c wish Cassandra a Merry Christmas. Cassie smiled as while she would have thought the words were unbelievably corny coming from anyone else, somehow they sounded perfect when they came from the burly, bald man with the rarely seen grin on his face.
"Merry Christmas, Teal'c," she replied as he handed her a plate. Her smile grew wider as she looked down into the dish. "Cool. It has a smiley face." She walked over and sat down at the table. "My mother used to do that."
Sam stared into the distance, oblivious to the activity that surrounded her. They had all moved into the living room some time before, having eaten their fill of the enormous smorgasbord in the kitchen. The gifts were then all opened amongst all the usual upbeat fun and conversation.
Cassie was now playing one of her new video games with Jack. One would think that everyone was playing along with the way they kept exclaiming over every little success and failure. Not to mention aggravating the players by yelling every conceivable suggestion. The colonel's gripes about armchair quarterbacks fell on deaf ears. But try as she might, she couldn't seem to bring herself to join in the revelry. Instead she had become focused on this one single icicle that was slowly melting away.
She watched as the individual drops of water fell from the glistening spear onto the ground below it. Somehow the process had mesmerized her. It was astonishing really, how nature could create something so beautiful yet transient. Before long it would be as if it had never existed.
Focusing on something so insignificant to her life helped her to clear her mind of the chaos that had taken root in it starting the morning before. It was getting exhausting. She hadn't slept very well at all the night before. The only thing that had kept her from literally tossing and turning was that she hadn't wanted to disturb Janet who seemed to be resting so peacefully in her arms. This is how she found herself presently zoning out on the steady drip-drops falling outside the window. It was an oddly meditative process. The only thing that seemed to exist in that moment was her and that one piece of hanging ice.
"Sam...," The pressure of a hand on her shoulder jolted her out of her trance. "Sam? Are you still with us? Yes?.....No?....Maybe?"
She finally shrugged at her father's query as he perched himself on the edge of the ottoman in front of her.
"You haven't been yourself the past couple of days. It has me a bit worried about you."
The last thing she wanted to do at that moment was make eye contact with him, so she continued to stare past him out the window. While there had certainly been a moment earlier that morning when she has found herself wanting to tell him everything, it had passed long ago. Now she felt as if she had lost all her nerve to do so.
"I got the feeling earlier that there was something that you wanted to tell me."
"It's nothing, Dad."
His vehement response took her by surprise," Nothing?! Don't even try and tell me that. 'Nothing' wouldn't have you all tied up in knots for days." He took both of her hands in his and positioned herself in such a way that she would have no choice but to look right at him. "What I want to know is just why you can't seem to bring yourself to trust me."
"Dad, it's not that I don't trust you. It's just....just...," she trailed off, unable to finish her thought.
"Just what?" he prompted.
Jacob gave a sardonic laugh. "You know what; I really am getting a bit tired of this game. You must have inherited that stubborn streak from me. How about I throw you a bone here. What if I told you that I already know?"
Sam started at his admission. "You know?" While Janet had posed the possibility the night before, it still surprised her to actually hear her father say it. She glanced over at the rest of the group who all still seemed to be engrossed in the video game.
"They're not paying us any attention, Sam."
She looked a second longer. It was just enough time for her to be able to tell that her father wasn't entirely correct. Janet was looking over at them with a slight smile on her face. Sam returned the smile before turning back. "Janet mentioned last night that she suspected you knew about us."
The former General pulled back with a look on his face so earnest that at first she didn't realize that he was teasing her. "Janet? Just what does she have to do with anything?"
It took just a moment for the mortification to set in. Then the total panic that she had just admitted to something that she shouldn't have took over. "Oh, god...oh, god...oh, god," she groaned, her face buried in her hands,
"Sam, relax. It's okay. I'm only kidding with you."
"You what?!" she exclaimed as she jerked upright in the chair. Before either of them knew it, she had a throw pillow grasped in her hand and was using it as a weapon. "Don't. you. ever. do. that. to. me. again!"
They both dissolved into peals of laughter at the absurdity of it all.
"If it makes you feel any better, you should have heard what Selmak had to say to me right then. Trust me, there is nothing like having someone yelling at you inside your own head."
"Good. You deserved it." She punctuated the last remark with one last thwack of the pillow before she subsequently put it down. It only took them a moment to grasp the fact that there was something different about their surroundings--the room had gone dead quiet. They both slowly turned to see that every last person in the room was staring at them.
"Sorry," the apologized in unison, but couldn't control the laughter for very long.
"No. Carry on," Daniel commented, "It's nice to finally see you having some fun, Sam."
"No kidding. I was beginning to think that we were going to have to slip you some happy pills."
The major rolled her eyes at her CO before she returned her attention to her visiting parent. "Now that we have an audience, I guess we'll have to continue this conversation later."
"What do you say we go take a walk outside? It's been a long time since I've really been out in the snow and I'd like to take advantage of the opportunity while I can."
"That sounds great."
They both rose and went for the door, but he stopped them right as they reached the foyer. "I think we're forgetting something important. Hold on. I'll be right back."
She began to put on her coat and gloves while she waited, curious as to just what it was her father wanted to bring along. It wasn't much later when he rounded the corner with a rather surprised but pleased looking medical doctor in tow. Jacob smiled. "I figured that we might as well make it a family outing."
"So, when did you first figure it out?" Janet finally inquired after several minutes of companionable silence. It seemed that each of them needed a few moments to gather their thoughts as they negotiated their way through the still melting snowfall.
"The last time I came back home for a vacation."
"But how? I mean, we thought we were being so discreet about it."
"You were. To be honest, left to my own devices, I probably wouldn't have figured it out. Selmak, on the other hand is an intuitive, little guy. Trust me, it's hard to get anything past anyone that's been around as long as my other half."
"Anything in particular that gave us away?" Sam finally interjected, a bit worried that maybe they had given something away to others on the base..other than Teal'c anyway.
"Nah. There was nothing specific. Just a lot of little stuff such as the way you looked at each other. Then there were all these light touches that cemented it all. Selmak eventually had a little talk with me about it." He came to a stop and faced his two companions. "Look, I understand why you were so hesitant to tell me. I was really hoping that you would though. I hated that you felt that you had to hide something so important from me."
"I'm sorry, Dad. It was just so hard, you know..."
"Yeah, I know. Growing up you sometimes heard me say some very hateful things." The brunette watched as Sam tried to interrupt. She knew her partner well enough to know that she was about to say that it was okay and it didn't really matter. Apparently Jacob knew her just as well. "No, Samantha, let me finish. It's not okay and it does matter. The cold, hard fact is that I was wrong back then. Horribly, horribly wrong. And if I have ever done or said anything to ever make you feel bad for being who you are, I have to apologize to you for that." Sam's large, blue eyes began to well up with tears, but she deftly held them back. "One of the reasons that I was so frustrated over your refusal to be honest and tell me about this is that it made me see that I must have hurt you pretty badly over the years. I didn't like having to face that."
There was a brief instant in which Janet wondered just what she was doing there. Despite the fact that she had been invited to come along, she felt like she was intruding on a private moment between the father and daughter. Sam could no longer hold back the tide and wiped at her damp cheeks with the palm of her hand as she reached out to embrace the man whose opinion mattered more to her than she cared to admit. It was an emotional moment that bled over onto the brunette woman as she felt tears prick at her own eyes. She knew how important this acceptance was to her girlfriend. It was an acceptance that Janet could only hope she would get one day from her own family. Until then, this occasion would have to do.
They pulled apart, but only long enough for both the Carters to reach over and drag her into the mix.
"So, you love my daughter?"
"That's good enough for me. Welcome to the family," he said while giving her an extra squeeze. "Hey, you know, I just realized something. This means that I have another granddaughter to spoil rotten now, doesn't it?"
Major Carter was taken completely by surprise when the cold snowball collided with her chest. "Oh, no. You just didn't." A second one quickly joined the first as the impish brunette giggled mischievously. "Okay, I see just how this is gonna be now." She reached down and began to gather some snow for a counterstrike, but just as she got started, Janet took off running. "Oh! I don't think so! You are not going to get away with that."
The taller woman had the advantage when it came to speed. Her longer legs gave her a greater stride which let her catch up with the rather diminutive doctor quickly just as she rounded the corner that led behind the house. But what Janet lacked in speed she made up for with agility. Her smaller size made her much more maneuverable, so when Sam lunged in for the take down, it was easy for her to dodge out of the way. Instead of the tackle the blonde expected, she found herself sprawled face down in the snow herself.
"Dammit," she muttered as she rolled herself over onto her back. "You are so evil."
"You know you love me for it."
"Don't push it, Missy," Carter teased. "You know, you could at least be nice enough to help me back up."
She gave her best imploring, doe-eyed, pity me look. It was a look she knew her best friend couldn't resist.
"Awww...I guess I can." Janet reached down to grasp the blonde's outstretched hand. Sam though had another idea and was quick to prove that she had just a devilish mind as her partner. As Fraiser began to pull up, the Air Force Major used her training to suddenly jerk the brunette down onto the ground beside her and rolled over so that she straddled the smaller woman's body.
"Gotcha," she said as she pinned Janet's arms above her head.
"Why, so you do. So what are your intentions now that you have me?"
"Hmmm...let me think about that for a minute."
She pretended to be giving the matter much thought when in fact she was only thinking about how for the first time in two days, she had her lover all to herself. The guys had all left just a little while ago as the roads were finally clear. When the skies started to cloud up again and they heard that they were calling for some more snow that evening, they decided to make a run for it. Her father had left with Jack to go visit General Hammond at home for the evening.
It was just as that last vehicle had disappeared on its way down the street that Sam had been pelted by the first snowball. For the first time since this vacation had started they were truly alone together as even Cassandra had left to go visit with another friend in the neighborhood. And she intended to take advantage of every minute of it. She reached down and gave Janet a kiss so passionate that even her own head began to spin. Her hands released her girlfriend's arms and slid themselves under her body to lift it off the ground so that they were both seated upright in the snow. She felt the petite woman's arms immediately wrap themselves around her body. They broke off and opened their eyes in time to notice that there were fresh, white, delicate flakes dancing around them.
"Funny. It doesn't feel cold enough for snow." commented the brunette as she entwined her fingers in Sam's hair.
"No, it sure doesn't."
"Another kiss like that and I might not even need this coat anymore."
"Merry Christmas, Janet. You are the best present that I could ever have asked for."
"Merry Christmas, Sam," the doctor replied softly before giving her partner a tender kiss of her own.