Title: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Feedback address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date in Calendar: 5 June 2005
Word Count: 3318
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Summary: For every decision, there's a fork in the road. But which is the right one?
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC DD05
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters; please forgive my treading on any toes. I do it only for my sanity.
Author's Note 1: Written as part of the Dog Days of Summer Advent Calendar it was an idea I had had in my head from early Season 7. Many of you will know why I kind of lost interest in SG1 around this time, so I am pleased the calendar stirred my muses desire to write Sam/Janet again.
Author's Note 2: My thanks as always go to the two people that believe in my writing the most, Geonn and Sarah.
Author's Note 3: This is a story in 4 parts. An introduction and then 3 different versions of the next chapter, hence the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Warnings: Heroes never happens and yet we do have death in each version along these lines
Samantha Carter looked down on the Stargate that had been a part of her life for so many years. Although empty now, the gate-room echoed with the ghostly sounds of the chevrons locking into place to herald the arrival of “something” followed by the thunderous footsteps of the marines rushing to guard the base from whatever entity appeared. Glancing to her left she could virtually “see” Walter Davies and behind her a prickle at the nape of her neck told her that Jack, Daniel and Teal’c would always be with her, no matter what.
Stargate Command was closing down. The Goa’uld forces had been battered into submission. As always Sam had been involved in the final push but for once had remained firmly on earth, leading the assault from behind the Ancient designed computer system that Sam had personally built. The Asgard had helped to build a defence network of satellites not only worldwide but galaxy wide too. Finally Earth and its allies were relatively safe and the Universal Alliance had declared the imminent closure of all Stargate bases.
A small unit was to remain on each of the major worlds, analyzing data from the satellites but the Stargates were to remain inactive. As Jack O’Neill was finally taking his well-earned retirement Colonel Sam Carter was being promoted to General and would command this new unit.
Before that she had one more very important duty to perform; she shrugged and with an audible sigh released the breath she didn’t know she’d been holding. Suddenly, General Jack O’Neill’s deep voice shattered her musings. With a gentle hand on her shoulder he said, “Come on Sam, time to go.”
One final glance over her shoulder she followed her superior officer to the surface.
It had taken ten long years but the time was finally here. Ten years fighting the Goa’uld and ten years since Dr. Janet Fraiser declared her love for the tall blonde. An admission that had driven Sam to the brink of despair for a few highly charged weeks. There had been no doubt that she loved Janet in return but her heart and her head couldn’t reconcile on how to deal with the fact.
Her heart had screamed out to take a chance on love and the beautiful brunette: her head had argued there were more important things in life than love, like saving the world. Two months after Janet’s gentle admission, Major Samantha Carter had come to a decision.
Walking out of Stargate Command, Jack O’Neill by her side, it was once again time to face the decision she had made head on. It was time to face both her past and her future.
Pulling up outside of the Fraiser household Sam remained absolutely still, lost in thought and caught up with the emotion of the day. Eventually, she got out and walked slowly to the door, admiring the ranch-style house Janet and Cassandra had moved to those ten years earlier.
Sam opened the door quietly and swept her eyes over the entryway. How she loved this house, her perfect oasis of peace in a world full of pain and loss. Calling softly she padded down the hallway, “Janet? You here, love?”
Like a siren’s song her lover’s voice beckoned her towards the kitchen.
The small brunette was sitting at the kitchen table, surrounded by the debris of food preparation, tears rolling down her cheeks. Even like this Janet’s beauty mesmerized her taller partner. With a smile Sam once again thanked the heavens that she had taken a chance on Janet Fraiser and love. Through the open lounge doorway she could see a perfectly laid buffet and knew that Janet had, as always, excelled herself and probably worked herself ragged in the process.
Five days ago Janet Fraiser had lost her chief nurse to the suddenness of a road traffic accident. Alice Fernandez had been a part of SGC since its inception and had become a large part of Janet’s, and later, Sam’s life. Where Sam was Janet’s soulmate and lover, Alice was her best friend and confidante.
No matter that the date of Alice’s funeral coincided with the closure of the SGC, Janet Fraiser needed to make today special for Alice’s young family and therefore, by default, Samantha Carter needed to make this day special too: for Alice but especially for Janet.
The blonde woman crossed the kitchen to gently massage Janet’s shoulders, offering comfort both from her touch and from her words.
“Don’t cry, Jan love. You know Alice, she wouldn’t want this to be a sad day. Remember how she could always make us laugh even at the gravest of moments. Hell, sometimes at the most inopportune moments.”
Janet looked up and shared a tearful smile with Sam. Holding her taller lover’s hand she pulled Sam onto her lap, a position they had realized over the years was more comfortable than holding each other standing, when either a bad back or a cricked neck was the order of the day. Kissing Sam in welcome, the small brunette chuckled.
“Yeah, do you remember that time when the President came to visit General Hammond, she…”
Half an hour of quiet remembrance interspersed with sweet kisses and nibbles went by before the chiming of their Grandmother clock alerted the two women that it was time to get ready for Alice’s service.
Janet traced the outline of Sam’s lips with a tender touch, whispering, “I love you, Samantha Carter. Thank-you for staying when it would have been so much easier to just up and run.”
“What and miss the best ten years of my life, I don’t think so. You’ve made me happy, Jan. My job fulfilled me but you, you and Cass, you completed me. The guys and Alice were our support system but you and me, we’re the engine room. Without you I really would have been nothing.”
Sam finished her little speech with an embarrassed shrug and stared intently at her partner who reacted with a gentle swat at her shoulder. The tears that once again formed in Janet’s eyes belied the teasing tone of her response.
“You mushball you. Just shut up and kiss me, huh?”
With that the two women leaned in to share an intense kiss that was deep and true. Gentle lips massaged gentle lips in a dance that was older than time. Tenderly, chastely, each of the women shared their taste with their partner, barely flicking their tongues over each other’s. It was a kiss of love and togetherness. There was no need for passion; today was all about the loving and sharing, forever.
Sam rose and pulled Janet into standing, “Come on, let’s go and give Alice the send off she deserves.”
Hand-in-hand, the two women left to get ready, together.
Sam knocked on the door gently but firmly and waited until the sound of approaching activity heralded the door opening slightly. An obviously upset Cassandra Fraiser looked out, her face transforming as she spied Sam on her doorstep. Throwing the door open with a flourish, Cassie pulled the woman she thought of as her second mom into a hug.
“Thank you for coming Sam, Mom’ll really appreciate it. I’m just off to pick up Alice’s dad. Will I see you later?”
Sam managed to murmur her agreement before the younger woman rushed passed her, throwing over her shoulder, “She’s in the kitchen. Just go through.”
Nodding at her daughter, Sam entered the house and called out, “Jan? It’s me, Sam. You here?”
“In the kitchen, Sam, come on through.”
The small brunette was sitting at the kitchen table, surrounded by the debris of food preparation, tears streaming down her face. Despite the tears Janet Fraiser was beautiful and, as always, the brunette’s presence made Sam’s heart skip a beat. With an inward sigh the Colonel rued the day she had put her career before her love for Janet.
Luckily Janet Fraiser had been able to accept Sam’s rejection and the two women had maintained a steady deep friendship, supported in part by their mutual love for their daughter Cassandra. Through the open lounge doorway Sam could see a perfectly laid buffet and knew that Janet had, as always, excelled herself and probably worked herself ragged in the process.
Red-rimmed eyes locked with Sam’s and a sad smile flittered across the doctor’s face as she held her hand out to her friend.
“Hey! Thanks for coming, Alice would have appreciated it so.”
Five days ago Janet Fraiser had lost her chief nurse and lover to the suddenness of a road traffic accident. Alice Fernandez had been a member of the SGC’s medical staff from the very beginning and three years before had become the Janet’s lover. Where Sam would always be Janet’s soul-mate and friend, Alice was now her lover and partner.
For Janet it didn’t matter that the date of Alice’s funeral coincided with the closure of the SGC, she needed to make today special for the woman that had shared her life. The clash of dates held no significance for Sam either, if Janet needed to be at her partner’s funeral then the Colonel had to by Janet’s side.
Sam took the offered hand and pulled Janet towards her, gently stroking the head that now rested against her abdomen.
“Hey, Alice was my friend too. Remember how she used to tease me so…”
When Janet had started dating Alice, Sam had been insanely jealous of the gorgeous Hispanic woman. Over time she had come to realize, if she couldn’t give Janet the romance the doctor craved, then Alice certainly could and did. She also realized the dark haired beauty presented no threat to her friendship with Janet and once she’d accepted that truth a different sort of friendship had quickly developed between the nurse and the soldier.
Janet squeezed Sam’s waist with trembling hands as Sam continued to recount her own anecdotes about her friendship with Alice. The smaller woman’s sobs gradually subsided and she lifted her face to gaze into Sam’s eyes.
“Oh Sam,” murmured Janet, “I love you so much. Why…” Her voice trailed off and she ducked her head back onto Sam’s stomach.
Sam jumped at Janet’s words. It had been so long since she had last heard those very words and on today of all days she had no idea how to take them. Yet, she had to ask.”
“Why what Janet?”
“Why did you let me go? Why? We could have been so good together.”
Seeing the look on Sam’s face Janet faltered slightly before continuing in a shaky voice, “Oh, don’t get me wrong, Sam. I loved Alice in *my* way but she was never you. You’re my…”
Sam put her fingers to Janet’s lips and stilled her words. Tracing their outline gently she murmured, “Don’t Jan, not today. You’ll only regret it and I don’t want that. Later… later, I promise we’ll talk.”
Then, slowly and carefully, taking the chance she had rejected all those years before, she leaned forward and brushed her lips softly across her soulmate’s. It wasn’t a kiss as such but in the context of Sam and Janet’s relationship it was a silent affirmation of the depth of their feelings for each other. Put together with the almost imperceptible ‘I love you’ Sam whispered as she pulled away it was a promise for the two women to take forward.
Sam smiled at Janet and pulled her into standing, “Come on, let’s go give Alice the send off she deserves.”
Hand-in-hand the two women left to face their tomorrows, together.
Sam knocked on the door gently but firmly and waited until the sound of approaching activity heralded the door opening slightly. An obviously upset Cassandra Fraiser looked out, her face transforming as she spied Sam on her doorstep. Throwing the door open with a flourish, Cassie pulled the woman she had always thought of as her second mom into a hug.
“Thank you for coming Sam, Mom would’ve appreciated it.”
There was a catch in the young woman’s voice before she managed to continue, “I must go and pick up Alice’s dad. You’ll be here later?”
As she ran down the steps Cassandra turned and fixed Sam with a steely gaze and amended her question to a statement, “You *will* be here later.”
Sam managed to murmur her agreement before the younger woman nodded in acknowledgement and turned to leave. As if remembering her manners she threw back over her shoulder, “She’s in the kitchen. Just go through.”
Entering the building Sam tried to make enough noise to announce her presence. Sweeping her eyes around the hallway she marveled at how ‘Janet’ it felt. The Colonel had never been in Janet and Cassandra’s new house. Ten years ago she had rejected Janet and run for the hills, taking up a desk job in Washington DC. Wondering just exactly where the kitchen was, she called out gently.
“Hello! Anyone at home? It’s Samantha Carter.”
A tearful voice rang out in a voice she remembered well, “In the kitchen, Sam, end of the hall on the right. Please come through.”
The small brunette was sitting at the kitchen table, surrounded by the debris of food preparation, tears streaming down her face. Despite the tears Alice Fernandez was as beautiful as she had always been. As Chief nurse in Janet’s infirmary, Major Carter had crossed paths with the Hispanic beauty on many occasions. For what seemed like the millionth time, Sam rued the day she had put her career before her love for Janet.
Through the open lounge doorway Sam could see a perfectly laid buffet and knew that Janet had taught her lover well; it had always been the doctor’s role to lay on a spread and it appeared Alice had taken the mantle on her shoulders, probably working herself ragged in the process.
Red-rimmed eyes met Sam’s across the room and the seated woman held her hand out towards Sam.
“Colonel Carter, Sam. Thanks for coming, Janet would have appreciated it so.”
Five days ago Alice Fernandez had lost her lover, Janet Fraiser, to the suddenness of a road traffic accident. Sam’s lost love had remained a member of the SGC’s medical staff and had finally let go of her waiting for Sam to return and allowed herself the chance to date and love her chief nurse. Where Sam would always be Janet’s soul-mate, Alice had been her lover and partner.
For Alice it didn’t matter that the date of Janet’s funeral coincided with the closure of the SGC, she needed to make today special for the woman that had held her heart. The clash of dates held no significance for Sam either, she needed to give her support to Alice in respect of the love she would always have for Janet.
Forgetting her nervousness and her inner turmoil around this woman that had taken her place, Sam took the offered hand and pulled Alice towards her, gently stroking the head that now rested against her abdomen, giving the support and the strength that Alice needed.
“Hey, Janet was my friend, I loved her. How could I not be here?”
After running back to the Pentagon Sam had tried to keep in touch with Janet but the hurt on both sides had been too raw and they had drifted apart. Luckily for Sam, Cassandra had been old enough to maintain a relationship with her second mom and so the Colonel had at least known parts of Janet’s life.
When Cassandra had started to throw Alice’s name into her conversations Sam had been insanely jealous and yet she knew she had no right to be. It had been Sam’s decision to put her career before her love and it was a decision she regretted to this day.
Now, continuing to pat the hair resting against her as Alice’s sobs gradually subsided, Sam took a moment to appreciate the woman that Janet had chosen. Looking around the homely kitchen she could only wonder at the sort of home she could have had if only she’d been as brave in life as she had been in her job.
Alice squeezed Sam’s waist with trembling hands as Sam continued to remember the love of her life, the women she would never have the chance to set the record straight with, the woman who still held her heart, Janet. Suddenly, Alice interrupted her thoughts.
The tall Colonel looked down into ebony eyes and smiled. It was time to set at least one record straight. She held onto the trembling hands and sat down, allowing her gaze to rest on the face of Janet’s lover.
“Alice, I’m not sure how to say this, so I’m just going to say it. Thank you so much for taking care of Janet… for loving her… it means a lot to me to know she was happy. I never stopped caring about her and for a while there I was as jealous as hell of you. I thought you had what was rightly mine…”
Alice started to correct Sam’s words but gentle fingers touching her lips stayed the dark haired woman’s words.
“… But I was wrong. Janet loved you and this house is testament to what you had. Please forgive me for any hurt I’ve caused you. I never had a chance to apologize to Janet, so, please… for her… please…” a first sob escaped Sam’s mouth, “… please forgive me…”
This time Alice managed to stay Sam’s words and this time it was her turn to offer comfort. Pulling the blonde head towards her she hugged Sam and offered soothing noises. As Sam’s sobs filtered off, Janet’s lover offered up words Sam had never expected to hear.
“Oh Sam, Janet never stopped loving you. I always knew that but I loved her so much it was something I could live with.”
Sam jumped at Alice’s words. It had been so long since she’d heard the words from Janet that on today of all days, she had no idea how to take them. She shrugged her shoulders and looked at Alice with a questioning glance.
Seeing the look on Sam’s face Alice smiled before continuing in a shaky voice, “Oh, don’t get me wrong, Sam. We were happy together and I know Janet loved me in *her* way but I was never you. You were her one true love, I guess I was just holding the place warm till you managed to come back and now…”
Sam put her hand on Alice’s.
“Don’t Alice, not today. You’ll only regret it and I don’t want that. Thank you for saying it, just know Janet loved you enough to live with you and be with you completely. It was something I never gave her and it is something you must never forget. Janet loved *you*.”
Sharing a few more tears the two women smiled. Then, noticing the time, Sam stood and pulled Alice to her feet, “Come on, let’s go give Janet the send off she deserves.”
The two women who loved and were loved by Janet Fraiser left to say goodbye, together.
Lyrics: Deeper Than Crying (Mark Simos/Devachan Music, BMI) performed by Alison Krauss and Union Station