Title: The Rodeo Story
Date in Calendar: 4 December 2005
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Category: Romance/Missing Scenes
Rating: 13+ for language and same sex relationship
Summary: After seeing her dream woman at a rodeo, will Janet have a chance to find her again?
Spoilers: Enemy Within, Emancipation, Broca Divide
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DW05
Archive: Sure. Just ask first.
Disclaimer: Oh come on, is this really necessary? If they were mine, then I would be rich. I am not rich; therefore, they are not mine. It’s basic logic here, people.
Dedicated to: Geonn Cannon for making the icon that inspired it.
Special Thanks: To trynity7 for helping me out with all the medical stuff. I couldn’t have done it without you. Sams and Jen for being betas before I was even finished. And a great big hug to Joran for being my final beta. She picked up on a lot of little stuff that just makes it flow better. Thank you all!
Janet’s adrenaline rushed through her veins at break-neck speed. If her mind had been in doctor mode she could have explained where the adrenaline came from and how it affected her body. Right now, her entire focus was on the task at hand. She grasped the thick leather in her graceful hands and whispered words of encouragement to the beautiful female beneath her. Janet could smell the musky sweat of her partner; her heightened senses caused another wave of adrenaline to course over her. She used her legs to make certain her grip was steady and gave a small nod when she was ready.
The gate swung open and Janet gave a slight kick. Her horse, feeding off of her rider’s energy, shot out of the holding pen and immediately broke into a gallop. Janet steered her mare across the arena toward the first of three fifty gallon blue drums.
Country music played just loudly enough that it could be heard just under the cheering of the spectators at the rodeo. The smell of dirt, hay, and particularly manure were unmistakable. Sam tried to stifle a giggle when Teal’c lapsed into his native Goa’uld because he did not have the Earth expletives figured out yet. Sam supposed that there were more men, and women, in overalls than she had ever seen in one place in her entire twenty-nine years. How Colonel O’Neill had managed to convince her to join ‘the boys’ at the rodeo this Saturday, she had no idea. Then again, she knew that he was trying to cope with the loss of his close friend. She had not known Kawalsky very well, but for the short time they had worked together, Sam knew that the man was a loyal friend and an amazing officer.
“Pick up the pace a little; we’re missing the bull riding!” Sam turned and looked at Jack. He was almost bouncing off the walls with excitement.
“Sir, it’s still the barrel racing competition. We’ve got plenty of time,” she said as they rounded the corner of the bleachers and the arena came into view. As if on cue, the last rider shot out of the gate and struck off across the dirt.
“Hey Teal’c, watch this!” Daniel took the larger man by the arm and dragged him to the rail. “They race the horse around the arena and execute a sharp turn around each of the barrels and then come back. The rider who has the fastest time without knocking over any barrels wins.”
“Indeed. It would appear as if this rider is exceptionally fast.” The rider finished the race as Teal’c finished his statement. The crowd became increasingly louder as they began to realize that this rider had just scored the fastest time.
“Well, folks, it looks like we could have a tremendous upset here today. What an incredible run from Janet Fraiser! I think I can safely say that we have a new champion in women’s barrel racing. If y’all’ll hold on for a moment. . .” the announcer boomed over the loudspeakers.
“Oh! A new champion?” Jack pushed forward so he could see the woman. Sam followed him and when she could finally see, what she saw took her breath away. The winner was a young woman in a light denim shirt and jeans with pristine white chaps and a matching vest. As the rider passed by, she lifted her white cowboy hat and waved to the crowd. Sam stared intently at the other woman; feelings surfaced that she had long since repressed. From a distance, Sam could make out shoulder length auburn hair, messy from the ride and the hat. It was the same shade of red as the tri-color paint on which the lady was seated. Busy ogling, Sam did not realize that the woman had turned her head and was now staring directly at her. Sam immediately lost herself in brown eyes. Janet Fraiser, the announcer had said, smiled and Sam shook herself out of the long gaze. Embarrassed at having been caught, Sam gave a little wave and turned to go find a food booth and get some cold water. She missed the returned wave that Janet sent her.
“Danny boy, I think somebody likes you.” Jack elbowed the younger man, making him wince slightly. Daniel grinned sheepishly at the woman on the horse making her way around the arena.
“Your attention please,” the announcer commanded, “We have tallied the scores and factored in all penalties, and our new champion, with a flawless run and a time of fifteen point six four seconds is Janet Fraiser! Ms. Fraiser has been competing for six years here in the Colorado State Championship. Last year she won her first medal, the bronze. This is her first gold medal at the state level. Ms. Fraiser will be going on to compete at the national level in September at Austin, Texas>. Let’s give the little lady a big round of applause!”
Janet’s heart was pounding in her chest, and not just because she had won. While making her unofficial victory lap she had glanced up at the crowd and seen the most beautiful woman. Her breath caught in her throat and she could not help but stare at the blonde who had piercing blue eyes. When Janet realized she had been staring, she gave a little embarrassed smile. The woman in the stands blushed and waved her fingertips in the smallest gesture. Janet was a bit shocked, and by the time she waved back, the other woman had already turned away and become engulfed in the crowd. Janet sighed and scanned the bleachers to try and locate her mystery lady. No such luck. She didn’t have time to dwell on it; she had to go collect her prize.
After filling out the paperwork to claim her check, Janet led Tah, her mare, to the stables. She unsaddled her, rubbed her down, and gave her some oats and water. Janet petted Tah’s neck and scratched her ears.
“Hey girl, you did great today,” Janet said as the horse munched on the oats. “We’re done competing for a little while, Tah, but I’ll come riding whenever I get a chance.” Tah lifted her head and gave a quiet whinny. “I’m starting a new assignment and I don’t know how busy I’ll be,” Janet continued. The mare nuzzled Janet’s neck and the woman sighed.
This day really could not get any better. Janet finally won the competition she had been competing in since she was twenty-one. It had taken eleven years, but she had finally done it. On top of all that, she was starting her new assignment on Monday. She was grateful to be getting out of the Air Force Academy hospital. Well, that was not entirely true; she still had an office at the Academy, but she was technically transferring to Cheyenne Mountain. She was still confused by the arrangement, but she knew that if she saw one more sprained ankle she was going to scream.
Janet had done six months overseas straight out of medical school, but for the last year she had been cooped up in Colorado Springs . . . again. Janet had gone to study at the Academy over a decade ago and she had immediately joined a riding association there. For years she had been riding back home at her parent’s ranch in Texas, but never competitively.
In college, Janet got her first taste of competition. She had seen the barrel races before, but now she was actually riding. After finishing next to last in her first rodeo, Janet was determined to take the gold at state. She had finally, after all these years, achieved her goal.
“I guess you’re right. I will still be in C. Springs.” Tah’s ears perked forward as though listening intently. “I could probably come visit on the weekends,” Janet suggested. The mare lifted and dropped her head a couple of times. Janet smiled, “Okay, girl.” She gave Tah one more good pat and left the stables to go watch the bull riding.
“What does one gain from winning a competition such as this?” Teal’c cocked his head toward the arena after seeing the first bull rider.
“For one thing, they win a cash prize.” Daniel saw the blank look on his friend’s face. This one was even more blank than usual. “Money, they win money.” Teal’c raised his head in understanding. “They also show how tough they are. It’s kind of like a show of strength and skill.” Daniel tried to explain in a manner to which his friend could relate.
“Then these men seek to find a wife?”
“No, not exactly. They just want to show off.” Daniel did not really understand why anyone would want to ride a bull. Teal’c accepted the answer and continued to watch the riders. Daniel began to wonder why he let Jack drag him into this.
Jack was on his feet cheering; hollering at the riders to “hang on” and adding his two cents to the “ooooh’s” and “aaaaaah’s” emanating from the crowd when a rider was tossed. Sam was lost in a daydream about the barrel racing champion, Janet Fraiser. She could not for the life of her shake the memory of those liquid brown eyes locked with her own. All she really wanted to do was meet the woman and look into those gorgeous eyes one more time, even as just a stranger.
“Huh? What?” she answered Jack.
“I said, ‘Did you see that?’ but you were miles away,” he repeated himself.
“Sorry, Sir.” Sam tried to resume watching the bull riders, but Jack was not through yet.
“Please tell me that you weren’t analyzing the physics and whatnot of bull riding?” He glared at her. Seeing an easy way out, Sam decided to go along with it and grinned sheepishly.
“Sorry again, Sir. I can’t say I wasn’t,” she trailed off.
“Oh for cryin’ out loud, Carter! Just watch the guys fall! Quit trying to figure out how hard they hit!” He went back to watching the bulls, which so far were undefeated. Sam sighed and stared out across the arena, the competition on the dirt fading into the whole scene.
A flash of white.
Sam blinked and focused on the stands across the arena. There was someone wearing a white cowboy hat. She felt her heart jump but it sank again when the person turned around. She saw it was a young man. Sam sighed and made herself pay attention to the incredibly stupid men below. ‘Why would anyone want to be a rodeo clown?’ she thought.
Janet roamed the stands looking for the stunning blonde woman. She was in the area where the woman had been previously, but could not find her anywhere. Janet cursed her Lilliputian stature as she tried to scan the crowd. She was making her way through section ‘R’ when the announcer came over the loudspeaker.
“May I have your attention please? Would all the winners of the calf tying and barrel racing competitions please report to the stables for a photograph session? Thank you.” This time Janet cursed her luck. Not only did she not find the mystery woman, but she could not even watch the bull riding. She stalked off, slightly perturbed that of all years, this was the year she had to win: the year she saw the woman of her dreams.
When the final rider failed to remain on his bull for the required eight seconds, Jack was ready to leave. “Okay, campers, let’s get outta here before the crowd.” He stood and made a beeline for the nearest exit.
“Sir, what about the awards ceremony?” Sam asked. She had no real desire to watch the ceremony but desperately wished to see the young barrel racer again.
“Oh come on, Carter. You don’t really want to sit around and watch bruised and bloody men get little medals, do you?” Jack was impatiently trying to get her to just leave already. Sam looked at Daniel and Teal’c. They were standing behind Jack and even closer to the exit. Sam realized she was not going to win this one and conceded.
“Yeah, that’s what I thought.” Jack patted her on the back, “Come on, I’ll buy you a beer.” The group walked out of the rodeo arena, and Sam could not help but sigh at the thought that yet another potential love interest had ended before it began.
Janet had successfully made her way through the first two security check points with only her military ID. However, when she left her car and went into the mountain, the guards would not let her though. They apparently had not gotten word of her transfer, a typical military SNAFU. Now Janet was waiting for General Hammond to come and sign for her. She had no idea exactly was to expect, just that the project was top secret and not deep space radar telemetry like she had always heard. Janet wondered what could be to secret enough to require that everything be buried under a mountain. What if it was weapons testing? That could explain the need for a doctor. What if it wasn’t weapons, but some type of chemical/biological agent? Janet was the Air Force’s foremost expert on exotic diseases. Adding something like Ebola or malaria to necrotizing fasciitis would be stupid and asking for trouble. Yet another reason why they would need a doctor, she thought.
“Dr. Fraiser?” Janet executed a perfect about face as she turned to see the general approaching the guard.
“Yes, Sir!” She snapped to attention.
“At ease, doctor, we’re a little more laid back down here than what you’re used to at the Academy,” he drawled and extended his hand, “George Hammond.”
“Janet Fraiser.” She grasped his hand firmly, just like her daddy had taught her.
“Welcome to Cheyenne Mountain.” He released her hand and turned to sign for her.
Thank you, Sir,” the guard mumbled and sat back down, a little sad that the doctor had not been an intruder after all.
“Shall we?” Hammond gestured down the dimly lit hallway.
“We shall.” Janet slipped back into her southern drawl briefly, but just enough for the trained ear to notice.
“Ah, you’re from west Texas?” he mentioned.
“Oh, yes, Sir. Abilene born and bred.” She smiled, her Texas pride filling her for the first time in too long.
“I’m from back east, myself: Houston born, Nacogdoches bred.” He chuckled, “but it’s been a while since I’ve been home.” Hammond sighed and they turned the corner to the elevators. “Doctor, get ready to be amazed.”
“Sir?” Janet questioned. The door to the elevator opened and he ushered her inside. He followed and hit the button for level twenty-six. The doors closed and the car began its descent.
“Wait, are we going down?” Janet immediately wondered what was going on.
“Yes, ma’am, we are.”
“There are twenty-eight levels in the complex that are currently in use. Your new infirmary is on level twenty-one, by the way. Our main interest is on level twenty-eight, but you should see it from the briefing room. That’s our best view of the Stargate,” Hammond spoke through the ride.
“The ‘Stargate’?” Janet was now in full question mode. The elevator came to a stop and the pair stepped out.
“You’ll have to see it to believe it, doctor.” Hammond led her toward the briefing room. “This will be an assignment you will never forget.” He motioned her forward to the glass on the other side of the room. Janet stepped past Hammond and gazed down into the gate room. What she saw did not faze her in the least. A massive metal ring stood in a large open room.
“Um, Sir, what is it?” she asked, not even bothering to feign excitement.
“That, doctor, is the Stargate.” He laughed and stepped forward. “You can’t really appreciate it until you see how it works. SG-1 should be arriving shortly. Until then, I’d like to get to know a little more about our new chief medical officer.” Hammond gestured for the young woman to have a seat at the table in the middle of the room. He waited until Janet had taken her seat before pulling up a chair himself. “Now tell me, how did you become interested in the Air Force?”
A short while later Janet and the general were laughing and sharing stories of growing up in Texas when the floor began to shake slightly and warning klaxons began blaring. Over the loudspeaker system someone announced that there was an “unauthorized incoming traveler.” Janet visibly tensed.
“Ah, Doctor Fraiser, that’s our cue to head to the control room.” Hammond stood. “Follow me, please.” He exited down the stairs in the corner of the room. Janet quickly did as she was told and fell into step behind Hammond. Once in the control room, Hammond was in full command mode. A young technician sat at a computer console and was working furiously to follow procedure.
“Close the iris!” Hammond bellowed.
“Yes, Sir!” the sergeant pressed a button and a metal shield spiraled closed across the center of the Stargate. Janet jumped and Hammond turned to her briefly.
“It’s okay, doctor, this is standard procedure,” he assured her. The gate shuddered stronger and a clicking sound echoed around the room. Bright light shimmered around the edges of the circle. Janet, now exceptionally curious, took a small step forward.
“Receiving SG-1’s IDC code, Sir.” Janet looked down to find out the young man’s name. If she was going to be here for a while, she might as well start putting names with faces. His nametag showed his name to be Davis.
“Open the iris,” Hammond ordered and motioned Janet further forward so she could see the scene unfolding beneath them. She saw that the once inactive ring was filled with a shimmering liquid substance. The room was bathed with an eerie blue light emanating from the liquid. Janet stood in awe and when four figures suddenly emerged from the gate, her jaw dropped almost to the floor. Once the last person was through, the blue liquid fizzled out to nothing, seeming to vanish into thin air.
“SG-1, welcome home. Get cleaned up and report for debriefing in half an hour.” Hammond spoke into a microphone and his voice echoed in the large room. Janet’s attention was drawn to the people who had stepped out of the gate. SG-1 must be a team name, but what kind of team? she thought. They were in full combat gear. Hammond noticed her look of confusion and decided that now was as good a time as any.
“Doctor?” Janet turned her attention to her new commanding officer. “That is the Stargate. What I am about to tell you is quite possibly the most classified information in this country, if not the world.” Janet was all ears. “Those people just returned from a mission on a planet designated P3X-595. There is an entire system of Stargates throughout the galaxy. When we dial an address, like a telephone number, the two gates activate and form a wormhole. Don’t ask me how, Captain Carter will have to explain that. I‘m sure you’ll understand it better than I do. When someone enters the front of the wormhole, the side that was used to form the connection, they are immediately sent to the end of the wormhole and out the gate on the other planet.” Hammond hoped he had not confused her, but the look on her face was priceless. He loved watching someone hear about and see the Stargate for the first time.
“Planet?” was all Janet could say. Her mind worked frantically to wrap itself around this new information. Planet? It went against everything she had ever known. Her brother had always believed in aliens and UFOs, but she had just laughed at him. Now to find out he was right all along; she didn’t know what to think.
“Yes, Doctor Fraiser, planet. Not in our solar system. The planets we visit sustain life much like our own. I’ll wait and let SG-1 help with this briefing. You’ve got enough to think about right now. I just wanted to let you see the Stargate in action before we explained everything to you. As I said, Captain Carter can explain the technical aspects of the Stargate. Dr. Jackson is an archaeologist and anthropologist; he will be able to tell you about the indigenous races found on the planets we have visited so far. Colonel O’Neill is the CO of SG-1 and I promise you that he will be an interesting patient.” Janet was hearing the words but very little information was registering.
“And Teal’c is an alien called a Jaffa. His homeworld is Chu’lak.” Hammond decided to wait for her reaction on that.
“Planet?” she asked again. Hammond chuckled and nodded in the affirmative. “Wait, did you there’s an alien ‘here’?” Janet’s mind suddenly caught up.
“Yes ma’am.” Janet opened her mouth to reply but nothing came out. “Now, I’ll show you to the infirmary and your new office.” He started up the stairs, “I’ll answer as many questions as I can, but you’ll have to wait and ask SG-1 your specific questions when they finish their briefing. They’ll be needing a post mission physical. I hope you’re up for that.” Janet followed General Hammond up to the briefing room and then out to the infirmary, still in awe at what she had just learned.
A couple of hours later, Janet was in her office reading the files General Hammond had given her about the Stargate: where it was found, when the program began, and the more recent history and missions. She had just turned to the second page of Colonel Jack O’Neill’s personnel file when the man in question walked into the infirmary.
Janet watched the man poke around at a tray of instruments sitting by the supply cabinet. He picked up something long and shiny, ‘ style='mso-bidi-font-style: normal'>most likely a scalpel,’ she thought. Figuring that he would find her eventually, she turned back to the file to learn as much about him as possible before he could track her down. Moments later she heard a loud metallic clatter. Janet sighed and sat the file back on her desk. She entered the infirmary just in time to see the colonel attempting to straighten the instruments on the tray. He turned to see if anyone had noticed and saw the doctor standing with her hands on her hips. O’Neill grinned sheepishly and stuck his hands in his pockets.
“Colonel O’Neill, I presume?” Janet raised an eyebrow.
“Um, hi.” He shot her his best get-out-of-trouble smile. “Jack O’Neill.” He shot off a half salute. “And you’re Doctor Fraiser?”
“Yes, Janet Fraiser, the new CMO.” Jack’s brow furrowed for a moment before he replied.
“Hey! You’re the lady who won the barrel racing last weekend!” He held up a finger as if to say ‘hold on a minute’ and sucked into the hallway. Janet stood with her mouth slightly ajar and tried to hear the hushed whispers through the door. She shook her head and glanced down. What were the odds that the second in command of the base she was assigned to actually knew about the championship? When she looked back up, her eyes immediately connected with the crystal blue gaze of the same blonde woman from the rodeo. Janet’s breath caught in her throat when she saw recognition on the face of the other women. O’Neill was making introductions and Janet managed to get a grip on herself in time to catch the names.
“. . . O’Neill, but we’ve already met. This is the rest of SG1: Captain Samantha Carter, Dr. Daniel Jackson, and our resident alien, Teal’c.” The tall black man bowed his head slightly in a greeting. Daniel smiled and gave a little wave, and Sama.. . . Captain Carter was the first to speak.
“Uh, Sam’s fine.” She was silent again.
“See! I told you it was the lady from the rodeo!” O’Neill seemed way more excited than he should have been. He elbowed Daniel in the ribs, a motion that did not go unnoticed by Janet. She saw Sam sigh and it dawned on her that the motion was not unnoticed by the blonde either. What was going on? Was there an inside joke that she was oblivious to? And what did that have to do with Dr. Jackson? Janet was terribly confused until she saw that the young man was blushing slightly and it all clicked into place.
“Yes, I’m the same Janet Fraiser from the rodeo, but I am also your CMO.” Janet knew that with her small size, she needed to assert herself as the person in charge of this infirmary.
“Well then, Doc, General Hammond just sent us down for our physicals. Wanna get to work?” O’Neill openly taunted her, seeing how far he could push the woman. Janet knew what she had to do.
“All right, Colonel, you’re first.”
“Oh goody,” he said unenthusiastically.
“Just let me go get those brand new sharp needles and we’ll get started.” O’Neill froze and immediately backpedaled.
“Well, being the kind commanding officer that I am, I think I’ll let my second in command go first. Ladies first, right Carter?”
“Uh, I . . .” Sam was at a loss for words.
“Oh, no, Colonel, you want me to get to work, you’re my first victim. Captain Carter, I think Dr. Dworkin is here if you want to get yours over with too.” Janet hoped Sam would take the bait. She really wasn’t prepared enough to do a physical on the woman who took her breath away. . . twice.
“Oh, um, sure.” Sam executed a perfect about face and disappeared before anyone could reply.
Roughly an hour later, the infirmary was quiet again. The physicals had gone off, for the most part, without a hitch. Janet had sent Teal’c to Dr. Dworkin as well because she had not yet been able to read up on his particular physiology. She had, however, been able to take a look at the man’s pouch. O’Neill had compared it to a kangaroo and they all shared a good laugh while Daniel attempted to explain to Teal’c what a kangaroo was. When the men were finished, Daniel and O’Neill left the infirmary to search for a picture of the critter to show their team-mate.
Janet was finishing up the personnel file for the last member of SG-1, Teal’c, when someone knocked on her office door.
“Come in,” Janet said and began tidying up the files on her desk. The door opened and Hammond stepped in. Janet began to stand.
“As you were, doctor. Like I said, we’re less formal down here,” he said as he motioned for her to remain seated. “How did the physicals go? I’m sorry about dropping all that on you without proper warning.”
“Well, Sir, I completed Colonel O’Neil and Dr. Jackson’s physicals while Captain Carter and Mr. Teal’c went to see Dr. Dworkin. I figured I should read Mr. Teal’c’s file before giving him a physical. I wouldn’t have known what was normal for him.” Janet summed up the rest of the day for Hammond, mentioning briefly her interest in doing further testing on Teal’c to try and determine how his symbiote replaced his immune system. Her concern for his safety, however, made Janet cautious about any invasive procedures.
“I guess I can just ask him about what he’s willing to do. Anything is better than nothing.” Janet sighed and placed the four personnel file folders in her desk.
“It looks like you’ll fit in just fine with us. Don’t tell him I told you, but Colonel O’Neill was very impressed with you, both professionally and personally, I might add.” Hammond chuckled.
“I’ll wager a guess that he informed you about my extracurricular activities.” She rolled her eyes.
“Well, it’s not every day that the state champion barrel racer gets assigned to your base . . .” Janet sighed and rubbed the bridge of her nose. “When are the nationals?” Hammond seemed genuinely interested.
“It doesn’t matter, Sir, I’m not going. I have a new assignment now and . . .”
“What if you had a little fan club there with you?”
“I’m sorry, Sir, I just . . .” Hammond interrupted her again.
“I’m not trying to change your mind, Doctor. I’m just saying that if you need practice time, that can be arranged. I know several people who would be there cheering you on if you decided to see this through to the end.” Hammond turned to leave, then paused. “You’ve had a good first day, go home and get some rest. Be here at eight a.m. sharp for a briefing that you’ll never forget.
“Yes, Sir.” Janet snapped up but quickly sat back down again.
“See, you’re getting it already.” Hammond smiled and quietly left the infirmary. Janet looked around at the bare walls. She would have to bring in something to liven up the place. The grey walls were so, plain.
At the briefing the next day, Colonel O’Neill was in a bit of a grumpy mood until Janet managed to best him at a verbal sparing match. Despite having lost to the petite woman, he seemed amused with the whole situation. Doctor Jackson leapt straight into the history of the Stargate and the Goa’uld. Teal’c remained silent for the most part, only speaking to interrupt Daniel with information he thought pertinent. Captain Carter, however, embodied the epitome of professionalism. Even O’Neill told her to loosen up a bit. The captain explained all the technical aspects of the Stargate and asked if there were any questions. O’Neill immediately began asking her questions and Carter sighed and rolled her eyes. Janet was completely enthralled. When the woman sighed, a stray lock of hair blew out of her face in a child-like gesture and her blue eyes shone with annoyed amusement. Janet didn’t know how Captain Carter put up with O’Neill. She quickly looked away, not wanting to be caught staring. Outwardly, Janet gave the impression that she was moderately excited about everything, but inside, all she wanted to do was go hide in her office and try o forget those bright blue eyes.
When the briefing came to an end, Janet wanted to sprint out of the room, but the boys of SG-1 had other ideas. Fortunately for her, Carter had the same idea and disappeared almost immediately. Naturally, O’Neill had to open his mouth.
“Hey, where’d Carter go?” He looked confused and waited for an answer.
“She had some toy to go run simulations on, I think,” Daniel said and made his way toward Janet. “I can go get her if you want, Doctor Fraiser?” Daniel seemed eager to please but Janet refused.
“Oh, that’s alright. If she’s busy, let her work. What do you gentlemen have in mind?” The boys immediately shut up and Janet quirked an eyebrow. “Is there something I still don’t know? Some kind of initiation?”
“DoctorFraiser, we wish to lead you on your first journey through the Stargate,” Teal’c spoke, his low baritone voice resonated in the silence of the room. Through the Stargate? To another planet? In a different solar system? Janet shook off the surprise, not wanting to find out how many prepositions she knew.
“Wait, wait, wait. . . you mean you want to take me through the Stargate?” Janet was in complete disbelief.
“That’s it exactly, Doc.” O’Neill grinned like a Cheshire cat.
“General Hammond believes that it would be better for you to get a feel for gate travel before an emergency happens off-world that requires your help,” Daniel explained.
“Yeah, Doc, it’s quite a trip the first few times.” O’Neill began gathering his documents, which, Janet noticed, consisted of a couple of sheets of paper with doodles on them, from the briefing table. “We depart at fifteen hundred. Be geared up and ready to go in the gate room before then. Talk to Carter if you have any questions.” He turned to leave but paused. “Just don’t eat a big lunch, okay,” O’Neill threw over his shoulder and exited the room, followed closely by Teal’c.
“Have some crackers and cheese, something light. The first trip is the worst.” Daniel pushed his glasses up on his nose and gave a sheepish smile.
“Well, would you like to join me?” Janet offered. “I’d like to hear more about our enemies, more about their physiology, whatever you know,” she began to ramble. Daniel watched her and wondered briefly if Jack had been right back at the rodeo. He hoped the woman didn’t like him in anything but the platonic sense. He would find his wife and kill Apophis for stealing her from him. Until he found Sha’re dead, and he hoped he wouldn’t, Daniel could not give his heart to anyone else, no matter how cute or sweet she was.
“Sure, lunch sounds great! Let me drop this off at my office.” Daniel motioned to his papers. “Then I’ll meet you in the commissary.” He quickly made his way out of the room, only to reappear moments later. “Do you know where the commissary is?”
“Yes, thank you.” Janet smiled at his courteousness. If only men had treated her so nice before, she might still be attracted to them. When Daniel left for the second time, she gave a little laugh and thanked whoever was listening that she was going to be working with such an incredible group of people.
It had been a week since Janet’s off-world trip. It had gone surprisingly well, except for losing her cheese and crackers upon exiting the Stargate. She didn’t think that she’d ever get the hang of gate travel, but she was damned well going to try. In her week at the SGC, Janet had already encountered an alien cold virus, alien medicines, and alien poison ivy. ‘Alien’ had become a part of her everyday vocabulary. On this particular day, there were no teams due back and Janet was particularly grateful for the reprise. SG-1 was embarking on a mission to P3X- whatever and they weren’t scheduled to return for three days. She planned on using the free time to re-stock the infirmary and start putting her office together. Janet thanked her lucky stars that she had not had to deal with moving to a new home as well.
While unpacking her medical journals, Janet’s thoughts wandered to Captain Carter again. Throughout the week, SG-1 and a few other teams had been coming to see how the new doctor was doing and introduce themselves, most likely in the hopes that by being nice she would in turn be nice to them when it came time for their physicals. Janet was so unusually busy that she had to kick out the well-doers. Most had learned their lesson, but O’Neill had bothered her so frequently that she threatened to strap him to a bed and lock him in a store room. He only whined that he was bored because Daniel was trying to translate some alien text and Carter was busier that usual working in her lab. Janet mentioned that he should think about doing the same thing, and she was left well enough alone after that.
Though she had more company than she ever needed, the one person that she wanted to see was scarce. Captain Carter had not visited her once. Janet began to think that maybe the woman was avoiding her. Sam was acting funny. Well, at least she thought Sam was acting funny. The actions of her team only supported her theory. Janet did not really know what was normal for Sam. All she knew was that she could get lost in those eyes forever. The temptation to run her fingers through that blonde hair and trace those lips with her thumb was almost more than she could stand. Janet shook herself out of her trance and realized that she was still holding the first pile of journals. She sighed and pushed an errant strand of hair out of her face. How am I ever going to get anything done with Sam Carter around? she thought.
The next afternoon SG-1 and SG-3 returned early from their planet. Janet was waiting patiently for the briefing to end so she could finally do something other than inventory and unpacking. She glanced at the clock to see about how much longer and realized that the briefing had only been going on for twenty minutes. Janet picked up Sam’s file to read again. She was style='mso-bidi-font-style: normal'>not going to let the woman weasel out of her physical this time.
Before she was able to finish looking over the file two large security guards hauled an even larger marine though the doors to the infirmary. Janet immediately jumped to her feet and made her way quickly toward the men.
“Sergeant, what happened?” She snapped into doctor mode.
“I dunno, Ma’am. He went crazy during the briefing and attacked Teal’c who held ‘em down until we could grab him,” the young man replied.
“Well, let’s see if we can get him into the shackles.” Janet headed toward a gurney.
“I don’t think that’ll hold him, Ma’am,” the other SF, a senior airman, said as he struggled to keep his grasp on Lieutenant Johnson who continued his attempts at escape.
“Do you know where the holding cells are?” Janet asked and the first SF nodded.
“Yes, Ma’am, we’ll take him there.” Between the three of them and one of Janet’s nurses, Lt. Johnson had blood samples taken, was sedated, and locked in a holding cell.
“Will you take this to be analyzed, please?” Janet handed the blood sample to the nurse. “Hopefully then we’ll be able to tell what’s going on here.” Janet sighed, wiped her brow, and headed back to her office. Before she even made it to the door, Hammond entered the infirmary.
“Doctor,” he said to get her attention. Janet whirled around.
“Do you know what’s wrong with Lt. Johnson?”
“It’s too soon to tell, Sir.” Janet met the general in the middle of the room. “I took blood samples and they’re currently being analyzed. Lt. Johnson has been sedated and placed in holding cell twenty-one ten.”
“Let’s go have a look.” Hammond left the infirmary and turned left towards the holding cells. Janet quickly followed him and when they turned the corner, a loud banging could be heard. Janet rushed forward to find the marine behaving primitively in his cell. He was jumping around on the beds, turning over furniture, and banging on the wall, leaving smears of blood from where the skin on his fists had already broken. The huge man lunged toward the door and Janet noticed that his facial features were different. His brow ridge was more pronounced than it had been five minutes previous. At least she thought it was.
“I thought you said he was sedated!” Hammond raised his voice to be heard over the commotion.
“I did, Sir, the maximum dosage!” Janet looked at the marine incredulously.
“Can you give him any more?” Hammond was concerned about his officer.
“I don’t dare, Sir. Exceeding the maximum dose could. . .” Janet stopped when she realized that she was going to give more information than her commanding officer needed or wanted.
“Well, keep an eye on him. I want a guard posted just in case he hurts himself.” Hammond turned and stalked out of view. Janet peeked in the cell one more time before she hurried back to the infirmary. Lt. Johnson was still trying to bring the wall down with his fists.
Not more than two hours later, Janet’s infirmary was overflowing with previously civilized people, now behaving like animals. Whatever kind of disease this was, it spread like wildfire. The latest victim, one Captain Samantha Carter: Colonel O’Neill had carted her to the infirmary after she attempted to seduce him in the locker room. The poor man. Janet snorted at that thought. But it was not lost on Janet that Sam was going after a man. Why then, Janet wondered, was the Captain acting so strangely around her? Perhaps Sam was straight after all. Janet became increasingly confused and vowed to approach the other woman about the issue, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ be damned! She figured that broaching the topic couldn’t possibly make things any more strained between them than they already were. A loud growl, a howl even, resonated from corridor two. Janet sprinted toward the sound and discovered none other than Captain Carter involved in a knock-down drag-out fight with her cell-mate Lt. Astor. Then Janet saw the blood. Lt. Astor had broken a mattress support rail off the bed and slashed Sam across her stomach.
“A little help here, Airman.” Janet motioned to the guards on duty. The two men came over to assist her.
“You hold back Astor. Be careful, she’s armed.” Janet pointed at the first man. “And you help me grab Carter. She’s got a wound on her side so be gentle but firm. We’re going to haul her to the infirmary and strap her down, okay?”
“Yes, Ma’am!” the second man replied and readied himself. The three of them burst into the room. Amazingly, Sam was well behaved compared to Astor. Getting Sam out of the room was no great feat; the woman had all of her attention focused on Janet and followed her out. Keeping her tone gentle, Janet began to coax Sam toward the infirmary.
“It’s okay, Sam. You’re hurt and I want to help you.” Janet walked backwards and Sam followed her, almost stalked her. The two guards, having secured Lt. Astor in the room, fell in slowly and quietly behind Carter, prepared to jump in if Sam attacked the doctor. None of them were prepared for what Sam did next.
“Mine,” Sam growled and reached for Janet. The airmen reached for their guns, but one look from Janet made them pause and relax again. “Mine,” Sam repeated and grabbed Janet’s wrist.
“That’s right Sam. Come with me.” Janet began pulling the taller woman along, and much to her surprise, Sam followed willingly. They rounded the corner toward the infirmary and Sam jerked when the noises from the room became more distinct.
“It’s okay, Sam, we’re just going into the infirmary. Co-operate with me a little longer.” Janet turned her hand so that she could stroke her fingertips across Sam’s wrist in a calming gesture. Her skin was so soft to the touch and Janet briefly wondered if her entire body was that smooth. Sam’s grip on her loosened a small bit and Janet could feel the other woman’s pulse slow slightly. When they entered the infirmary, Sam saw all the people and panicked.
“Okay, time to get her strapped down.” Janet and the two young guards hoisted Sam onto a bed. The men held her down while Janet fastened the shackles. Sam struggled for a while, yowling furiously, until she realized she was not going to be able to free herself. When Sam quieted down, Janet made her move to try and inspect the wound.
“I’m sorry, Sam, but you’re hurt and I have to look at it.” Janet lightly stroked the blonde’s arm and after a minute, Janet even thought she could hear purring. Slowly and gently the doctor moved the captain’s shirt up to reveal a toned stomach with a raw, bloody gash across the left side. It wasn’t life threatening, but it needed stitches.
“Laura,” Janet softly called for her head nurse. The older lady approached slowly, motioned to do so by Janet. “I need you to bring me a 3-0 silk kit, please.” Janet kept her voice low and never stopped stroking Sam’s stomach with her thumb. “Oh, and bring a syringe of haldol too, five milligrams,” Janet added as an afterthought. A little sedative never hurt anyone.
“Yes, Ma’am,” Laura replied as went to round up the requested materials. Janet looked down at the woman on the bed and sighed. The skin on her stomach seemed even smoother than her wrist. With her other hand, Janet gave into her previous temptation and ran her fingers through the limp, blonde hair. She did it again, trying to convince herself that it was to comfort the woman. That is certainly how it would appear to anyone watching. Laura soon returned with the materials and Janet got to work stitching up her new favorite patient.
“It’s looking good, Captain,” Janet said as she taped the bandage in place over the stitched gash. “With any luck, there should be little to no scarring.” She pulled the t-shirt back down over Carter’s stomach.
“Thank you.” Sam kept her head down and her eyes on the floor. It must have been recently cleaned; there were no little balls of dust rolling around for her to watch. She sighed.
“Hopefully next week those stitches will be ready to come out too.”
“Great,” Sam said unenthusiastically. She let her legs swing in a decidedly bored manner and waited to be dismissed.
“What’s wrong, Sam?” Sam’s head snapped up at the sound of her first name and she met Janet’s eyes.
“I, uh, nothing. I’m just tired.” She stumbled over the words and tried to find someplace else to direct her gaze. The doctor had never called her by her first name. It had always been rank.
“Then I suggest rest. All of SG-1 has been run ragged lately. I’ll talk to General Hammond about getting you some downtime.”
“You really don’t have to, Dr. Fraiser. I’ll be. . .”
“Call me Janet. There’s no point in keeping with formalities.” She took a chance on how Sam would react. If she could get them on a first-name basis, maybe the captain would open up a little more.
“Uh, okay.” Sam seemed completely out of her element. Janet smiled at having thrown her for a loop. Sam was adorable when she was confused.
“So, I was saying, you’re all due some downtime after last week.” Janet paused and Sam just nodded her head. A few strands of hair fell in her face and Janet flinched, barely resisting the urge to return the strays to their former position. “I was wondering if you had any plans for tomorrow night?”
Sam stared at her, dumbfounded, head cocked to the side as she thought. Tomorrow night? What is tomorrow anyway? It’s Thursday. Am I busy? Yes, there is that new toy SG-3 brought back from. . . wait a second. Janet practically told me no working. Isn’t that what downtime means? Sam’s mind was racing; she was at a complete loss of what to say.
“Iumyeauhno,” was what came out. Janet blinked and smiled at the indecisiveness of the woman sitting before her. She had never heard such an answer to a yes or no question. Sam Carter certainly had a way with words.
“Beg your pardon?” Janet wanted a more direct answer from Sam.
“No,” Sam said, looking back down.
“Good, you do now,” Janet said as she flipped Sam’s folder closed.
“I. . . what?” Sam looked back up, confusion once again covering her features. I could get used to this, Janet thought.
“Tomorrow night, you and I are having a girl’s night out, in, whatever you want, but we’re getting away from the base and the boys for a while.”
“Um, okay,” Sam agreed. She was starting to feel stupid for not carrying her end of the conversation. Sam was rarely at a loss for words, but around this woman she had no idea what to say so she kept quiet. Somewhere in the back of her mind, a little voice told her that it was because she liked listening to Janet talk, liked watching Janet work, hell, just liked her. Sam tried to ignore the voice, but lately that had been harder to do.
“Well then, follow me to my place after work tomorrow and we’ll play it by ear. We can relax and talk the night away. That is, if you can find your voice by then,” Janet teased. She felt a little wave of something when the blonde blushed. Janet didn’t give her patient a chance to answer and sauntered back to her office.
Sam never made it to the girl’s night. The very next day all hell broke loose and SG-1, seemingly forgetting that their downtime started that weekend, was off-world again. This time, they went to rescue SG-9 from a deranged comrade. Janet found herself catching up on files and trying not to worry too much about SG-1, and the woman who, she could no longer deny, had stolen her heart. Her only patient was Sergeant Siler, who managed to knock himself out on the door to the gate’s fuse box. It wasn’t too serious, but it was enough to get her mind off SG-1 for a while.
When the flagship team returned a couple of days later, Janet was tasked with caring for their sunburned hands and faces. She caught Hammond while he was in the infirmary checking on his people to discuss SG-1’s downtime.
“Given that SG-1 has been running at a nonstop pace, and that they are now medically unfit for duty, I believe that some downtime is due.” Janet waited for Hammond to dispute her judgment and insist that his people get back in the field.
“Awe, Doc, is that really necessary?” O’Neill, not Hammond, was the one to start the argument with her. She expected no less from that man.
“I don’t care how much you whine, Colonel. Those burns are going to get worse before they get better. Your skin is just as vital an organ as your heart, and it needs time to heal.” Janet was putting her foot down on this one, and there was no way she was going to budge. Part of her knew it had to do with getting to spend a little time with a certain captain also.
“I think that Doctor Fraiser is correct, here, Colonel. You should take a break from work for a few days,” Hammond said to back up his CMO.
“But General. . .”
“No ‘buts,’ Colonel. Take a week off, and that’s final.” Hammond nodded to Janet and left the infirmary.
“Come on, Doc. . .” O’Neill was cut off again.
“You can argue till you’re blue in the face, Colonel, but it won’t help. Now get out of here and I don’t want to see you for a week.” O’Neill grumbled and hopped down off the bed on which he had been seated.
“Come on, kids,” he mumbled and headed towards the door. Daniel, Sam, and Teal’c followed, each looking a little sadder than they should have been for having been given a week off with pay.
“Ah, Sam, can I talk to you for a minute?” Janet piped up before the team had a chance to leave.
“Oooh, you’re in trouble now,” O’Neill said and chuckled at her.
“Careful, Sir, or I’ll keep you behind too.” Janet raised an eyebrow and looked at O’Neill.
“Okay, okay, bye.” He walked out the door quickly, not giving Janet a chance to change her mind. The other two vacated the infirmary and only Sam and Janet were left.
“So, you still want to get together for that girl’s night?” Janet asked with a hopeful air to her voice.
“Yeah, I guess.” Sam still didn’t sound too excited at the whole prospect of spending a lot of time with the woman that was making her feel and think all kinds of things that were not allowed in the military.
“Great! Do you know where Oscar’s Pub is down on E Street?” Janet asked.
“Uh, yeah.” Sam was once again letting Janet lead the conversation.
“Okay, I get off at eighteen hundred. Meet me there at nineteen hundred.” Janet smiled and waited for confirmation.
“Isn’t that a bar?” Sam finally found her tongue.
“Well, she can speak complete sentences!” Janet grinned like an idiot when Sam blushed. There was no way she was going to let the blonde go quiet again though. “I’m kidding, Sam. Yes, it is a bar, but the shrimp cocktails and cheese-stuffed mushrooms are to die for! I promise, you’ll love them.”
“Okay, I guess it wouldn’t hurt anything. I just -” Sam paused.
“What?” Janet was suddenly concerned.
“I just haven’t been out in a while. Like, to a bar, or club, or anywhere really.” Sam looked down, a little embarrassed at her lack of social life.
“Sam.” Janet put her hand on the taller woman’s arm to get her attention. “I haven’t been out in a while either. It’ll be good for us. Besides, I’d like to get to know you better. As few ladies as there are on base, we have to stick together!” Janet smiled warmly and Sam sighed.
“Yeah, you’re right. Let’s do it. Seven o’clock?”
“Yep. I’ll be there,” Janet said. They stood there for a moment, just staring at each other in silence. Janet suddenly realized that she was still touching Sam’s arm and moved her hand nonchalantly to scratch her ear.
“Well, I guess I should let you get back to work,” Sam said quickly. She turned and left the infirmary without giving Janet a chance to speak. Janet watched her lean frame disappear through the door, not missing a brief opportunity to sneak a glance at her rear end. Janet mentally whistled, then chastised herself for being so immature. A look at the clock told her that she still had another four hours until her shift was over. Plenty of time to get myself all worked up over nothing, she thought. style='mso-bidi-font-style: normal'>Then again, the way Sam is acting, who knows? Janet picked up SG-1’s files and returned them to the filing cabinet. She had a feeling that those four would end up with their own drawer before long.
Finally done with her shift, Janet made a stop by her house to get changed into something more appropriate for a bar atmosphere. A quick check in the mirror and she was off to Oscar’s. Janet hadn’t been completely honest with Sam. She had gone out more frequently than she had let the woman believe, but she was always alone on those nights. Finally, she had company.
Janet slid into the booth in the corner opposite the jukebox so that she’d be able to hear her colleague over the music.
“Can I get you something to drink?” A peppy waitress appeared out of nowhere with a pen and pad ready to go.
“No, thank you. I’m waiting on someone. We’ll order together,” Janet politely refused. The young lady, Kristy, her nametag said, nodded and turned to go find her next victim. She must have been watching from the moment Janet walked in and followed her without the doctor noticing. Oscar’s was a more low-key atmosphere. There weren’t a lot of college students, save for the staff, apparently. Mostly it was older locals who just wanted a place to chat with their buddies. Janet was watching a couple of old men argue over the baseball game that was currently on. Naturally, they were cheering for the Rockies, but had differing opinions on who should be pitching.
“Is this seat taken?” A voice to her left said. Janet almost said yes, but when she looked and saw that it was, indeed, Sam who was asking, she just grinned and motioned for the woman to have a seat. Sam slid into the booth opposite Janet and leaned in.
“Personally, I think they’re a little old for you,” Sam joked.
“What?” Janet asked, confusion etched on her features.
“The men over there that you seem so enthralled with.” Sam waved the waitress over. Janet sat there, dumbfounded as Kristy picked her way through the tables and chairs to their booth.
“Ah, your friend is here!” Kristy whipped out her pen and pad again. “What’ll you lovely ladies have to drink?”
“I’ll have a Corona, please,” Sam smiled at the waitress and then looked over at Janet. “And my friend here will have. . .” she left it open for Janet to answer.
“Um, a gin and tonic,” Janet finished.
“Okay, I’ll need to see some ID’s, please. I’m not sure either of you are old enough to be drinking.” Kristy winked at them and waited as they pulled out their respective drivers licenses. She checked their birthdates and headed off to get the drinks.
“Who are you and what have you done with Sam?” Janet finally managed to speak. Sam laughed out loud; the sound was music to Janet’s ears. How had she become so completely flustered by this woman? Wasn’t Sam supposed to be the one at a loss for words?
“Yeah, about my recent behavior, I’m sorry. I’ve been bitchy lately, to everyone, you included. I was just in a funk. But, thanks to somebody, and I owe her big time, I’ve got a little time off to rest and catch up on. . .”
“If you say work, I’m going to haul you to my house and chain you down so you can’t work, young lady,” Janet threatened. Sam immediately closed her mouth, then let out a little chuckle.
“Okay, catch up on my sleep then. How’s that?” Sam smiled at Janet and her eyes twinkled in the dimly lit bar.
“I dunno, I think you might just go work behind my back. I should tie you up anyways just for thinking about it.” Janet looked over and saw Kristy headed back with a tray carrying a glass and a bottle. She missed Sam gulp and take a deep breath. “Here come our drinks.”
“Here you go, ladies, enjoy!” Kristy said in her decidedly perky manner. “Would you like a couple of menus?” Janet looked over at Sam who motioned that it was all Janet’s decision.
“No, thank you. We’d like two shrimp cocktails, the cheese-stuffed mushrooms, and breadsticks, please.” Janet rattled off the order and Kristy took it down just as fast.
“Okay, I’ll have that out shortly,” Kristy turned and headed back toward the bar.
“So, besides sleep, what are your plans for your downtime?” Janet made an attempt to strike up a conversation.
“Well, I was going to try to look into the physics of how Teal’c staff weapon works, but when threatened with house arrest, I don’t think I’ll be doing that. Now I have no idea what I’m going to do,” Sam said with a hint of sarcasm in her voice.
“If it means that much to you, Sam, you can work. I just wanted y’all to stay Earth-side for a while and give yourselves a break, especially since you got sent off on that impromptu mission a couple of day ago. What was that all about anyways?”
“Uh, it was nothing, really, just a little fiasco with another team. They managed to get themselves in trouble and we went to try to fix things. We did, and we’re back: case closed.” Sam clammed up and sipped her beer a little faster than Janet thought was normal.
“Something happened on that planet, didn’t it?” Janet was not going to let Sam bottle up whatever it was she was trying to hide. Janet might not have been a psychiatrist, but she knew that keeping something in like that wasn’t good.
“Really, it was nothing,” Sam insisted.
“You’re doing it again, Sam. You’re getting all quiet. There’s something you’re not telling me and it’s bothering you.” Janet was determined to figure out what was going on with this woman if it killed her.
“Janet, nothing’s bothering me.”
“Obviously it is, otherwise you would have told me and you wouldn’t be acting all weird again. Actually, this is normal for you as far as I know. Or have you been worrying about something since we met?” Sam’s head shot up and Janet knew she’d hit a nerve.
“Fine, something did happen there, but I just don’t want to talk about it, not yet.” Sam was starting to get frustrated and that was the last thing Janet wanted.
“I’m sorry, Sam. I didn’t mean to push you. Just know that if you want to talk, I’m here. I know you barely know me, but hey, that’s why we’re here, right?” Janet perked up her attitude and patted Sam’s arm across the table.
“Right,” Sam said. She was grateful to the doctor for just dropping it. She wasn’t in the mood to discuss past lovers with this woman yet, not when she was having these mixed feelings about her.
“Now, how about a more neutral topic?” Janet suggested.
“What’s it like to be the state champion barrel racer?” Sam got a gleam in her eye that told Janet she was not going to let her live that down, ever. It was Janet’s turn to go silent. She knew that it had been Sam in the audience, and there was no way that Sam could not realize that Janet had been making eyes at her during her victory lap. Was Sam now testing her?
“I, it’s, I dunno.” Janet cursed herself for suddenly losing her ability to speak.
“Oh, come on, surely it’s something worth talking about? You are going to the nationals, right?” Sam waited for the answer the General had assured her she would get. Hammond had asked Sam to try to talk to Janet about the rodeo. He didn’t want Janet to think that just because she had a new assignment, she couldn’t continue her riding.
“You’ve been talking to the general, haven’t you?” Janet sighed.
“Guilty as charged!” Sam gave a toothy smile and Janet had to laugh.
“Well, I don’t think I’ll be continuing. . .”
“But you have to! The guys are dying to go watch you compete. You’re good, Janet, really good. Don’t let all those years of practice go to waste! See this through to the end.”
“I don’t know, Sam. I’m busy now, more than I was when I was competing before. I just. . .” Janet didn’t even know why she wanted to get out of the competition. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and she was just going to let is slip past. The bar suddenly erupted in a round of cheers and cries of victory.
“Do it for me?” Sam whispered, barely audible over the music and cheering as the Rockies won their series, winning them their division and a shot at the World Series.
“What did you say?” Janet had her full attention on the woman in front of her.
“I said, ‘Do it for me.’” This time Sam phrased it as a statement, or even an order, instead of a question. They continued to stare at each other, neither of them moving, or even thinking about talking, just lost in one another’s eyes, minds working overtime to process what had just been said.
“Here ya go, ladies!” Kristy sat the plate with steaming hot cheesy mushrooms between them, then placed the shrimp cocktails on either side of that and finally sat the bread on the edge of the table.
“Let me know if there’s anything else I can get you.” She waited a moment to see if they would ask for anything now.
“No, I think we’re fine.” Sam had given the girl her full attention the moment the mood had been broken. She was sure that she was blushing and hoped that Janet wouldn’t notice. Opposite Sam, Janet watched Kristy as well, hoping Sam wouldn’t notice the blush she could feel rising up from her chest.
“Well, the food looks great. This was a good idea you had,” Sam said, steering the conversation in a completely different direction than where it was heading before. Janet was grateful for this and jumped right into the new discussion.
“Yeah, the mushrooms are my favorite, but the shrimp is amazing too.” Janet dipped one of her shrimp in the sauce and took a bite. If her mouth was full, she couldn’t be expected to talk, right? Sam had much the same idea, opting for a mushroom instead.
Once most of the food had been devoured, the conversation became more frequent and Janet had set a neutral topic, discussing how she was so happy to be away from the Academy for a while.
“. . .so then I’m standing there with my hands full of Ace bandages and in comes at least a quarter of the football team, most of them nursing cuts, bruises, and sprained appendages. I had never seen anyone as furious as their coach, Colonel Hadley. That is one man I’d never cross!” Janet laughed as Sam stared at her questioningly.
“Hadley is still there? Wow, what had happened?”
“Apparently one of those Navy brats had challenged the tight end to a duel, old fashioned style with the gloves. When our cadet took him up on it and smacked him a good one, the rest of the Navy team jumped in and our boys went to the defense. By the time the refs and coaches pulled them apart, half the players on both teams had injuries.” Janet took a sip of her second gin and tonic and Sam started to laugh.
“So what did they do to them?!” Sam asked, dying to know the outcome of the punishments.
“Well, they sent them to me for one. Like I said, I’d had such a rough day and my shift had ended half an hour before. I was trying to restock and suddenly I’ve got eight huge guys in my infirmary bleeding and whining. Major Hadley pulled me aside, apologized profusely for handing them all to me, and told me not to go easy on them.” Janet laughed at the memory. “Those boys were shaking at the knees and begging to let me go see the coach about their punishment. I put every single one of them through a complete physical.”
“So what’d Hadley to do them?” Sam signaled Kristy that she wanted something.
“I don’t know. That was the last I saw of them. I don’t’ think they got kicked out because I would have heard about that.”
“So, ladies, can I get you anything else, maybe dessert?” the waitress was as peppy as ever.
“No, I think we’re good. Can I get the check please?” Sam asked.
“Oh, Sam, I’ve got it. I made you come out here and all.” Janet reached for her purse. Sam was too fast though and already had her wallet out.
“It’s fine, Janet. I owe you for getting me out of that mountain.” She grabbed the booklet before Janet and whipped out some bills from her wallet. Janet thought about arguing, but Sam didn’t seem like she was going to take ‘no’ for an answer. Janet dropped a five on the table.
“I’ve got the tip then,” she said matter of factly. On this she was non-negotiable. Sam sighed and acquiesced. Janet slid out of the booth and shouldered her purse before heading to the exit. Sam followed and once they got out of the bar she took the initiative to set up another get-together.
“So, you wanna get together again sometime?”
“That would be great!” Janet seemed genuinely interested in seeing her again. Sam felt herself beaming inside. She couldn’t wait to see the doctor again and they hadn’t even said goodnight.
“Um, how about day-after-tomorrow evening? There’s a place I go to relax and have fun sometimes. You might like it too.”
“Okay. What is it?” Janet was intrigued. Just what did the captain have in mind?
“Well, it’s a surprise. You’ll have to wait and see. Plan on a long night though. And I need you to meet me at my place so’s not to give it away.” Sam was now grinning fully and Janet became a little nervous.
“Okay,” she said slowly.
“Great!” Sam was smiling ear-to-ear now and she headed off toward her car with her hands in her pockets.
“How many beers did you have to drink?”
“What?” Sam stopped and looked back.
“How many beers, Sam?”
“Um, four. If you’re wondering if I’m okay to drive, I am. I’ve had more than this before, Janet.” Sam was not about to let herself get stuck with Janet overnight, no chance in hell. She was not ready for that yet. She knew Janet wouldn’t do anything, but she didn’t trust herself, not with four beers in her.
“Are you sure, Sam?”
“Yeah, don’t get too doctory on me, okay? We don’t know each other well enough. When we do, then you can get doctory.” Sam smiled a lopsided smile and watched Janet mull that one over as she headed back to stand by the doctor.
“Okay, if you can think straight enough to say that, then I guess I can’t argue. Just be careful. I’d hate for my favorite patient to get. . .” Janet turned to head to her car.
“Excuse me?” Sam reached out and put her hand out on the smaller woman’s shoulder to stop her from walking away.
“What did you just say?”
“I said ‘be careful,’” Janet repeated. She didn’t realize that she had been thinking out loud.
“No, after that.” Sam waited, thinking that maybe she had heard it all in her head. Janet’s eyes went round and she started babbling when she realized that she had spoken that out loud.
“Oh, I, uh, just that I’ve finally got a friend on base and I’d hate for her to get hurt or something driving home and that -” Sam put a hand over Janet’s mouth to quiet her.
“Hey, it’s okay. I wouldn’t want anything to happen to you either. I should have asked if you were okay to drive too.” Sam brought her hand back down to rest at her side.
“I just don’t think my infirmary would be the same without you,” she began softly. “Not to mention, you’re the only one who is on my side where Colonel O’Neill is concerned. How do you put up with that man anyway?” Janet tried to bring the conversation back to a different subject, but Sam would have none of it. She was tired of maneuvering around the big pink elephant that seemed content to sit right between them. Not that they hadn’t made headway tonight, but Sam needed to do this while she had the alch. . . courage in her system.
Sam leaned down and kissed Janet’s cheek. When she looked Janet in the eyes, she expected to see anger, hatred, and disgust. Instead, she saw what looked like a glimmer of hope and it floored her.
“What. . . what was that for?” Janet asked, hoping that Sam wouldn’t try to just play it off.
“I, uh,” Sam stammered, no longer knowing why she had done it. She looked longingly at her car across the parking lot.
“Sam?” Janet brought the blonde’s attention back to her.
“I’m sorry, just, you were being sweet and trying to look out for me, and. . .” It was Sam’s turn to stammer. Janet gave her a little smile, understanding what thoughts and feelings Sam might be having. She herself was feeling them too. Deciding to let Sam off the hook, she rose up on her tip-toes and returned the kiss. Sam’s head shot up and she brought a hand to her cheek. Janet was still smiling at her.
“Goodnight, Sam. I’ll see you in a couple of days,” Janet said as she turned to walk away. As an afterthought, ahs turned back. “Oh, and I’ve still been doing some riding on the weekends, and I haven’t dropped out of the championship yet, so we’ll see about that, okay?”
“Okay.” Sam stood motionless and watched Janet walk to her car, get in, and drive away. ‘No way,’ she thought to herself. There is no way in hell Janet Fraiser just kissed me. ‘You kissed her first,’ the little voice in her head pointed out. And she kissed me back, Sam thought. A huge smile crept across her face and she giggled. She kissed me back and she still wants to go out! Sam headed off to her car with a slight bounce in her step. She was going to sleep well tonight, and sleep in tomorrow. Hopefully her dreams would be filled with Janet Fraiser’s beautiful face.
“Damnit!” Sam cursed when the doorbell rang. She had just stepped out of the shower, running late as usual. Sam had hoped that Janet would be late as well, since she wasn’t the one on vacation. Nevertheless, Janet seemed to be the epitome of promptness. Sam wrapped herself in a towel and went to let her guest in. It wouldn’t do to leave her standing on the porch. Sam peeked through the peep hole to verify that it was, indeed, her date, erm, companion for the evening. Sure enough, there was the top of the petite woman’s head. Sam sighed and flipped the latch, opening the door and making sure to stay behind it.
“Come on in, Janet. I’m running a little behind, sorry,” Sam apologized as Janet made her way into the foyer. She closed the door behind her and waited for the inevitable. Janet turned around and her jaw dropped at the sight of Sam in a towel. Small beads of water were dripping off her hair and trailing down the sides of her neck to roll across her collar bones and down her chest to meet the towel. Sam watched Janet watching her and finally cleared her throat.
“Oh, um, hi!” Janet said. “That’s fine, take your time.”
“The living room is this way.” Sam headed around the corner and to the left. She motioned toward the couch. “You can have a seat or whatever. I’ll only be a couple of minutes.” Sam turned and quickly headed to her room.
Janet watched her go, admiring the long legs and wondering what was beneath that she couldn’t see. Realizing that the last thing she needed to do was get herself all worked up before they went out, she turned her attention to Sam’s book collection. Most were about space, astrophysics, and botany. So, Sam was a plant lover. She skimmed the titles of some of the fiction books, glad to see that they weren’t all cheesy romance novels. There was a fair amount of fantasy and science fiction, and then there were some horror novels that didn’t look like they’d ever been read.
“You’re looking nice,” Sam said from behind her. Janet whirled around to see the blonde in plain jeans and a vintage Atari t-shirt.
“Atari?” Janet asked.
“Yeah. I used to love Asteroids when I was little so I had to grab the shirt when I saw it.” Janet snickered and Sam smacked her arm playfully.
“Oh, stop it.”
“Sorry, it just didn’t seem like something you’d be into.”
“And how would you know what I’m ‘into’?” Sam raised an eyebrow and waited for an answer from her friend.
“I, well, I don’t really. But I’d like to.” Janet looked up. “From your book collection I gathered you like the sci-fi/fantasy stuff, and horror, I guess.”
“Ugh, I style='mso-bidi-font-style: normal'>hate horror, but my brother, Mark, keeps getting me those stupid books for my birthday. I just don’t have the heart to tell him I don’t like them.” Sam turned to Janet. “So, you ready for your surprise?”
“Yeah!” Janet smiled. “You said to dress down in the email, so I hope this is good enough.” She motioned to her faded jeans and dark green tank top.
“I dunno. . .” Sam took a moment to look her up and down, pretending to be analyzing the woman’s attire. Really, she was just getting a good look at Janet without raising too many suspicions. Sam walked a circle around the doctor and got a good look at her ass in the tight jeans. “Yeah, it’ll do.”
“Sam, next time you want to check me out, you don’t have to have false pretenses,” Janet said, “now, where are we going?” Sam visibly paled at having been caught. Janet noticed Sam clam up and get quiet again. She snapped her fingers in front of the blonde’s face, “Earth to Sam, hey, you there?”
“Uh, yeah. And it’s still a surprise,” she said as she moved to grab her keys off the hook in the foyer. Janet started to follow her, but didn’t. She’d had enough of this walking on eggshells. It was time to get things straightened out.
“Sam, we need to talk.” Sam stopped dead in her tracks. Great, she’s gong to tell me to fuck off and never go near her again, Sam thought.
“What?” Sam asked.
“We need to talk about what’s going on, what’s been going on.” Janet stood still and waited as Sam made her way back across the living room.
“What’s that?” Sam whispered, afraid to speak too loud.
“Us. We need to talk about us. It seems like we can’t even joke around and make little innuendoes around each other. Why is that? Why do we clam up and act weird when one of us says something?” Janet wanted Sam to answer on her own, but it was looking like that wasn’t going to happen. Sam stood there, suddenly fascinated with her shoes.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Sam finally said.
“Sam, it’s obvious.” Janet sighed, hoping that when she had said her piece, she would still have a friend. “The rodeo,” Janet said.
“What about it?”
“Sam, stop it! I know it was you at the rodeo! It was you I was staring at and you know it. I was infatuated with you from the moment I laid eyes on you! And if my memory serves me correctly, you seemed pretty damn interested in me too.” Janet stopped to see if Sam would jump in, or defend herself, or just say anything. She remained silent. “Then when you saw me on base you did everything in your power to avoid me. Only after I confronted you and practically forced you to take a break from work and relax did you even speak to me of your own accord. I enjoyed night before last more than any other night I’ve had in a very long time.”
“Janet, I. . .” Sam began.
“What, Sam? Why did you just recently decide to speak to me? I had no idea why you wouldn’t even look at me. Then I thought that maybe, just maybe, you liked me and were embarrassed or something equally childish. Yes, I’m sure I’ve had my babbling moments too, but at least I damn well tried to engage you in conversation.” Janet was letting Sam have it, reaming her up one side and down the other.
“Janet, stop.” Sam finally met the other woman’s eyes. For a moment, Janet thought she had gone too far. “I was having issues, Janet. I’ve never liked anyone quite the way I like you. The mission SG-1 went on a few days ago when we were supposed to be on leave, well, the guy that had convinced the locals he was God was my ex-fiancé.” Janet gave a slight gasp at this revelation. She had been wrong all along. Sam didn’t like her the way she had hoped at all and Janet felt like a fool.
“I’ll go.” Janet made for the door. Sam jumped in front of her and placed her hands on Janet’s shoulders.
“No! Let me finish.” Janet waited, ready for Sam to deal the final blow. “When he died, it was like part of me had been freed. Even though I had left him years ago, he still haunted me. I didn’t feel like I was allowed to do anything I wanted because it had been ingrained into me that I had no independence; that I had to do what he said, and only what he said. Are you following me?” Janet nodded, feeling the dread beginning to lift from her shoulders to be replaced by the warmth of Sam’s hands. “That chapter in my life is over now, it’s done. I’ve finally moved on, and you helped me.” Janet couldn’t believe what she was hearing.
“But why were you so distant when we met?” Janet still couldn’t quite figure it all out. Why then, if she had helped Sam, had Sam avoided her so intensely?
“I was scared. I was confused. I was feeling things I hadn’t felt in a very long time, things that I thought had been a phase at one time in my life. You brought all that back to the surface, but I was still too used to not being allowed to think for myself that I just tried to avoid it so I wouldn’t have to think about it.” Sam took a breath and Janet seized the opportunity to jump in.
“Okay, but you finally did pull yourself out of it, so why are you still acting like I’m the plague and need to be avoided at every little comment I make about us?” Janet was so frustrated with the woman in front of her that she really just wanted to get out of there and leave Sam to her own thoughts. Maybe she could figure it out on her own if left alone long enough.
“Because I like you, Janet. I really like you. It’s different than anything I’ve felt before and I don’t know how to deal with it. I’m scared to death because I’ve only known you a couple of weeks and these feelings are overwhelming me!” Sam had said it, and now all that she could do was wait. She dropped her hands from Janet’s shoulders and stood there, waiting for Janet to either say something or walk out.
“I know exactly how you feel.” Sam was surprised by this revelation.
“There’s no way you can understand,” Sam said.
“Sam, when I saw you at the rodeo, all I could think was that I wished I could get lost in your eyes every day. I’m having to come to terms with these feelings too. I was married once,” Janet admitted.
“What?!” Sam’s brow furrowed.
“Yes. To a complete jerk named Brian. We divorced because he didn’t approve of my joining the Air Force. Though, when I began to realize that every time a pretty girl walked by both our heads turned, I knew the relationship was doomed. It was a mutual separation but I don’t think either of us was sorry to see the other go. Neither of us had really been in love. We did things together because it was expected, but at the end of the day, he’d rather hang out with his buddies and I honestly didn’t miss him. The sex was so-so and now I realize why I wasn’t really into it.” Janet stopped when she realized that her previous sex life was probably too much information. “I’m sorry, I got carried away,” she apologized.
“Janet, it’s okay. It sounds like we’ve both got our own issues to work through. Maybe we can help each other,” Sam said.
“Maybe we can.” Janet smiled. “I’ve only recently been acknowledging these feelings I’m having towards women, Sam. It’s new for me too. But the way you make me feel, I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather discover myself with. I know it’s crazy.” Janet moved and sat down on Sam’s couch, no longer able to keep standing after all of the revelations that had been made. Sam sat on the coffee table and faced her friend.
“Janet, I hardly know you, but I’m dying to. I want to get to know you better; I want to spend more time with you. When I’m near you I feel like something is waking up inside me and I want to find out what it is.” Sam reached out and grabbed Janet’s hands and clasped them between her own.
“I like you too, Sam,” Janet admitted, both out loud, and to herself. By saying it, Janet felt like it was more real. It was no longer a hidden feeling, flaring up when Sam was near. It was tangible, almost as though she could reach out and touch it. Sam smiled and let out a relieved breath.
“That’s exactly what I wanted to hear.” Sam brought Janet’s hands up and kissed the back of each one. “Exactly what I wanted to hear.”
“So, now what?”
“Whatddaya mean, ‘now what’?” Sam wondered if her internal celebration was about to be cut short.
“Now that we know that I like you and you like me, what do we do? I hadn’t actually thought this far ahead when I called you on this. Where do we go from here?” Janet hoped with all her heart that Sam wouldn’t tell her to go home.
“Now, we go out. I’ve still got that surprise for you, right?” Sam hoped that Janet did not want to go home.
“Good! I don’t think I would have been able to sleep tonight without knowing what the surprise was.” Janet let fly a little sarcasm and was rewarded with a smile.
“You’re a smart-ass, Janet Fraiser,” Sam said. “And I like smart-asses.” Janet stood and headed to the door, anxious to find out where they were going. “And I especially like your ass,” Sam quipped and waited for Janet’s reaction. She was not disappointed. Janet craned her head around, trying to see her own rear end.
“Really? I never really thought much about it. I mean, when I fall, it’s always there to catch me. And when I. . .” Sam had swept across the room and planted a firm kiss on Janet’s lips. That shut her up real quick. When Sam pulled back, Janet stood in awe of what had just transpired. Not really thinking, she said the only thing she could muster.
“Do you do that to everyone?”
“Huh?” Sam grabbed her keys and reached for the doorknob. Janet huffed.
“Do you kiss everyone whenever you feel like it?”
“No, just you.” Sam threw a cocky grin in Janet’s direction.
Well, two could play that game. Janet reached out, grabbed Sam’s arm, spun her around, pushed her back against the door, and laid a kiss on her that Sam would have never expected. Warning bells were gong off in Janet’s head, telling her that this wasn’t the best idea she’d ever had. She ignored them and pulled Sam down as she rose up to meet her, deepening the kiss. Sam was completely dumbstruck and just went with the kiss, reveling in the feeling of Janet’s tongue on hers. It was exquisite and Sam never wanted to stop. Unfortunately, biology had other ideas and her lungs were screaming for air. Sam pulled back, banging her head on the solid oak door. Janet snapped into doctor mode almost immediately.
“Are you okay, Sam?! I’m so sorry, I don’t know what I was thi. . .”
“Whoa, Janet, chill. I’m fine. I’m better than fine, I, wow.” Sam stopped talking to take another much needed breath. She smiled down at Janet and noticed a bit of hair that became dislodged from its clip in all the commotion. She pushed it back behind Janet’s ear. Janet closed her eyes, concentrating on the sensation of Sam’s hands on her.
“Sam, I think we’d better get going to wherever it is you’re taking us, otherwise we might not make it.” Janet said breathing deeply, still pressed against Sam.
“I, yeah, probably,” Sam agreed. Neither of them moved.
“Come on, Sam.” Janet pulled back and reached for the doorknob, forcing Sam to move. Sam, still clutching her keys and grinning like an idiot, followed Janet out the door and locked it.
“Sam, I cannot believe you!” Janet raised her voice a little to be heard over the rattles and clangs and electronic whistles of the arcade.
“What?” Sam reached over and pulled Janet closer so she could hear her.
“I said, ‘of all places, why an arcade?’” She was amazed that Sam would have thought of something so off the wall. Janet had been expecting to go to the movies, or maybe even a walk in the park. Now, here she was, standing beside the woman of her dreams in an arcade, watching her feed dollar bills into the token machine. Sam leaned down to Janet’s ear so she wouldn’t have to scream.
“I just wanted to show you I could let loose and have fun. And I wanted to make sure you could do the same. I can’t very well date someone who can’t enjoy themself, can I?” Sam grabbed the handful of tokens and stuffed them in her pocket.
“Wait, date? Is this a test? Are you testing me to see if I’m dateable material?!” Sam blushed like a kid caught with her hand in the cookie jar.
“Well, what if I am?” she chided.
“Then I’d say you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!” Janet giggled and tapped Sam on the rear. “Let’s go. I gotta kick your ass on the air hockey table!”
“Pssshaw, style='mso-bidi-font-style: normal'>you kick my ass?! You’re too short to properly work the table. Let me show you how it’s done.” Sam followed Janet to the corner of the room with the air hockey tables and fed the tokens into the machine. The puck dropped down and Sam grabbed it. “I’ll even let you serve.” Sam tossed it to Janet.
Three games later, Janet remained undefeated. Sam couldn’t believe that she just had her ass served to her on a silver platter. Janet had bested her with scores at a minimum of double Sam’s.
“I don’t suppose I could blame my lameness on being sidetracked by the most gorgeous lady I’ve ever seen, could I?” Sam tried to maintain a small bit of dignity. Janet turned around to look for the said woman.
“I don’t see any ladies over there. I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Janet said with an air of faked confusion. Sam walked around the table to stand before Janet.
“I’m looking at her,” Sam said, her voice low with a hint of sultriness. Janet blushed; she couldn’t believe this was the same person who had been avoiding her like the plague the week before.
“How about some basketball?” Janet suggested and pushed past Sam, being sure to rub against her in all the right places. Sam groaned, but Janet was too far away to hear over the commotion of the arcade. Sam made her way over to the basketball hoops just as Janet was feeding the machine tokens.
“Basketball, eh?” Sam got a gleam in her eye.
“Yeah, you gonna say I’m too short for that as well?” Janet dared Sam to say it.
“No, no. I’ve learned my lesson, thank you very much.” Sam stepped up to the line and grabbed a ball. She started shooting as the timer clicked down. Sam made most of her shots up until she noticed that Janet was watching her intently, leaving no question that she was openly lusting. After that, Sam’s game went downhill.
“You are such a wench,” Sam whispered into Janet’s ear as Janet took her place at the line. The machine chimed and released the balls. Janet picked up the first one and shot it into the hoop, nothing but net. Sam gawked and couldn’t believe that Janet was going to kick her ass again. She watched Janet’s finely toned muscles as her arms flexed, thankful that the small woman was wearing a sleeveless shirt. Sam got so wrapped up in watching Janet’s arms and body that she didn’t even notice that Janet wasn’t making very many shots. Sam’s thoughts wandered to what other muscles might be in just as good shape and before she knew it, Janet’s game was over.
“You win,” Janet said.
“Huh?” Sam blinked and pulled herself back to reality.
“You win,” Janet repeated. Sam eyed the scoreboard and saw that she had beat Janet by six shots.
“Well, I’ll be damned,” Sam whispered. She leaned over and kissed Janet’s neck. To any onlookers it would have appeared that she was getting closer to speak over the noise.
A couple of hours later and few dollars poorer, the ladies headed back to Sam’s house, exhausted from all the excitement and activity. Upon arriving, they sat in silence in the car. Sam wanted to invite Janet in, but didn’t want her to think she was trying to get her into bed. She was at a loss for how to tactfully pull that off. Janet, however, had no shame.
“So, mind if I come in?”
Sam gawked at Janet, wondering if she had somehow read her mind.
“Uh, yeah. I mean, yeah, you can come in,” Sam stuttered.
They made their way inside and Sam went into the kitchen. Once there, out of Janet’s sight, she did a little victory punch in the air, then sighed.
“Sam? You okay in there?” Janet’s voice wafted in from the living room.
“Yeah, I’m good. Want something to drink?” Sam opened up her fridge to check its measly contents. “I’ve got Diet Coke, milk, apple juice, and water.” Sam began to wish that she had saved the bottle of wine that she opened the week before the rodeo.
“Yeah, I’ll take some water, thanks,” Janet replied, her voice closer than it had been. Moments later, she entered the kitchen as Sam was reaching for a glass. She filled it with ice, then water and handed it to Janet.
“Janet,” Sam began, “I don’t want to sound like I’m rushing you or trying to take advantage of you or anything, but,” Sam took a deep breath, “would you like to sleep over?” Sam stood in silence and watched Janet take a sip of her water.
“I don’t want you to think I’m trying to get you into bed or anything, but I’d love to,” Janet shot back at her and took a gulp of the cold water to clear her head. She would not think those thoughts with the subject of those thoughts standing right in front of her.
“Great! I’ll pull out some sleeping bags and we can have a good old-fashioned sleep-over in the living room! Maybe we can work on that getting-to-know-each-other-better thing.” Sam all but sprinted out of the kitchen and to the closet in the hall. Janet followed her as far as the living room and moved the table out of the way while Sam grabbed the sleeping bags. Sam returned and rolled them out and went back down the hall and into a room. Janet waited and soon she saw Sam on her way back with two pillows.
“I, uh, hope this is sufficient.” Sam motioned to her newly created sleeping area.
“Well, it would be better if I had some PJs,” Janet hinted.
“Oh, right!” Sam disappeared into the room again, then stuck her head out, “Are you coming?”
“Yeah, sorry.” Janet followed Sam and realized as she walked in that this was Sam’s bedroom. style='mso-bidi-font-style: normal'>‘Bad Janet, bad!’ Janet thought to herself when lewd thoughts sprang to her mind. Sam was already at the dresser pulling out clothes.
“How’s this?” Sam handed her a matching set of sea foam green satin pajamas.
“That’ll work,” Janet said.
“Sorry, I’ve only got the silky ones. I get too hot in cotton.” Sam blushed.
“Usually when I get to hot, I go sans jammies, but to each her own. Where’s the bathroom?” Janet looked up form the clothes to see Sam blushing more furiously than she had before.
“It’s down the hall, only door on the right.” Sam tried to get images of Janet naked out of her head without success.
“Thanks, I’ll meet you in the living room.” Janet strode out the door and Sam sagged down onto the bed. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. Flirting with Janet Fraiser was like playing with fire. It was only a matter of time until she got burnt. Not that she’d complain, but Sam didn’t want to rush anything. The last thing she wanted to do was push away the one person who had made her feel alive for the first time in her life.
Janet couldn’t believe that she’s said that. Then again, perhaps she could. She was pushing Sam, trying to see how far she could go without her claming up again. The huge breakthrough they’d made earlier seemed to have opened them up to each other phenomenally. It felt like she had known Sam for years, even if she knew essentially nothing about the woman. Tonight would definitely be a test of willpower for her. Why had she asked to come in? And why the hell had she agreed to stay the night? Sure, she wasn’t on till the late shift tomorrow, but still. This was one of the rashest things she’d ever done.
Once she had the pajamas on, she went back to the living room to find that Sam had beaten her there. Sam was already flopped out on top of one of the sleeping bags, propped up against the couch on her pillow. Janet got comfortable beside Sam and they proceeded to talk the night away, telling tales of their childhoods and their journey through life that had, eventually, gotten them stationed at the SGC.
Three weeks later, tragedy struck the SGC. Daniel Jackson was dead. SG-1 had come back form a routine mission short one member. Colonel O’Neill, Captain Carter, and Teal’c were all in shock, and Janet, though she was able to help them physically, was at a loss of what to do for them mentally. Seeing Sam wrapped up in a blanket, sitting on a lumpy bed in a grey, sterile infirmary nearly broke Janet’s heart. She wanted to take the woman in her arms and hold her, telling her it would all be okay. She couldn’t do that, not at the base, not in front of so many people. So Janet did all that she could. She looked at Sam with kind eyes and pulled the blanket around her a little tighter.
Janet made her way down the hall talking with General Hammond and when they reached the elevator, she went for it.
“Sir, I believe that given the circumstances, SG-1 should be given some downtime.”
“Absolutely not. They’re a military unit, and the best thing for them is to get back in the field.” Hammond seemed like he was not going to budge. Janet didn’t want to pull the ‘medically unfit’ card, but she would if it became necessary.
“Sir, they don’t need to be anywhere in their emotional state except at home where they can rest and deal with this. I’m worried about what mental ramifications this could have on them. Give them a week, I insist.” Janet held her breath, praying he would just go with her.
“Fine, one week.” Hammond stepped into the elevator and the doors closed, effectively ending the conversation. Janet sighed and hurried back to the infirmary. She wanted to get SG-1 as comfortable as possible and try to keep them from going into shock.
The service had gone off without a hitch and Janet found herself holding back tears when the trumpeters played “Taps,” the notes echoing off the concrete walls. When the service was over, everyone was given the rest of the afternoon off. Janet went looking for Sam and found her curled up in the corner of her lab, dress blues still on and becoming more wrinkled.
“Oh, Sam.” Janet hurried to her side and wrapped an arm around the taller woman. Sam turned into Janet’s embrace and began to sob, her tears staining Janet’s pristinely cleaned jacket. Janet knew that Sam and her teammates were bottling up their emotions. Letting out that pent up grief was helping Sam deal with the loss of Daniel and Janet welcomed her tears.
“Janet,” Sam whispered and clung more tightly to her.
“I’m here, Sam, let it out. I’m here. You’re coming home with me tonight and we can talk and I’ll hold you as long as you want.” Janet tried to soothe Sam and stoked her hair lightly.
“Please let me go home,” Sam said and looked up at Janet. Her eyes were red and puffy and her makeup was smeared. There was no way that Janet was going to say no to those eyes. She stood and helped Sam to her feet. A quick stop by the infirmary to grab her purse, and Janet was leading Sam to the surface and to her car.
The drive home was long and silent. Once home, Janet led Sam to her bedroom and pulled out a t-shirt and boxers for her to change into.
“Sam, I’m going to be in the kitchen fixing up a light lunch. Are you going to be okay in here?” Janet wasn’t sure if Sam was ready to be left alone yet.
“Yeah, go ahead.” Sam started pulling of pieces of her uniform and dropping them on the floor. Janet quickly excused herself before Sam could remove anything that would reveal too much. Janet cursed inwardly; SG-1 was finally getting into a routine of missions, none of them too dangerous, except that ordeal with Apophis. Why did something have to go wrong? And why so soon after the program started? There was bound to be an investigation after this and Janet could only hope that the government wouldn’t shut down the Stargate Program entirely.
Janet entered the kitchen and put on a pot of tomato soup. Her mother had always made it for her when she wasn’t feeling good. While that was heating, she pulled out sandwich fixings and quickly threw together a couple of cheese and turkey sandwiches. As she was slicing them diagonally because they tasted better like that, she heard a noise behind her. She turned to see Sam slumping into a chair at the table in the adjacent dining room. Janet pulled out a couple of bowls and filled them with soup. She placed Sam’s food in front of her and pulled up a chair of her own. They sat in silence, Janet eating and Sam staring into the bowl.
“Sam, you need to eat something,” Janet said.
“I’m not hungry.” Sam continued to stare, as if deep in thought.
“That may be, but you still need to eat. Just a little soup and half the sandwich, please.” Janet sat and waited to see if Sam was going to do as told but she remained motionless. “Sam, don’t make me make that an order. I’m still your doctor, okay?” Sam picked up the spoon and took a small sip of the soup. Janet watched her pick up the wedge of sandwich and start nibbling. Well, it’s a start, she thought.
“I can’t believe he’s gone.” Sam suddenly spoke up but kept her vision focused on the soup.
“I know Sam, I know.” Janet tried to soothe her.
“You can’t know,” Sam spat. “You could never know. You weren’t on his team, you weren’t there for everything we’ve been through.”
“I know that, Sam. But I worked with Daniel, I saw him on a regular basis, and I considered him a good friend. I know what it’s like to lose a good friend Sam. I know it hurts and. . .”
“You don’t understand!” Sam turned her eyes to Janet and in them Janet saw anger, hatred, and grief. It was a classic reaction to the death of a loved one. Janet didn’t want Sam to think she was alone, but any attempts she made to reassure the woman fell on deaf ears. Janet sat quietly and tried to finish her lunch, hoping Sam would do the same.
“I’m sorry, Janet.” Sam dropped her spoon in the bowl and walked into the living room. Janet quickly stashed the remains of lunch in the fridge for later and followed Sam. She found her curled up on the couch wrapped in her fleece blanket. Janet plopped down beside Sam who turned around so that her head was in Janet’s lap. The fact that Sam was allowing Janet to be close was a good sign. Janet stroked Sam’s head and ran her fingers through blonde hair. After a few minutes Sam’s breathing became more regular. If Sam was going to sleep, it wasn’t going to be cramped up on the couch.
“Sam, honey, I need to get you to bed.” Janet roused her friend and managed to steer her to the bedroom and get her under the covers. Janet leaned down and kissed Sam’s forehead and turned to leave, but Sam reached out and grabbed her wrist.
“Stay, Janet. Please stay?” Seeing Sam begging almost broke Janet’s heart. She’d never seen Sam so weak and fragile as she was now. Janet hoped that the boys of SG-1 were doing okay. If they were in the same state as Sam, Janet didn’t know who would be able to help.
“Okay, Sam. I’m not going anywhere.” Janet turned and headed to her dresser to pull out something to change into. She turned her back to Sam and quickly changed, feeling Sam’s eyes watching her intently. She crawled into bed with Sam, snuggling under the covers. The bed was already warm from Sam’s body and Janet could smell Sam’s shampoo on her pillow. This was all new to her. They had never shared a bed before, for any reason, and now here they were in the most intimate of settings. Janet’s body seemed to fit against Sam better than any lover she’d ever had. Once she figured out how to position her arm so it didn’t fall asleep on her, Janet reached out with her other arm to brush some hair out of Sam’s face. Sam was still watching her and waited until Janet was comfortable.
“Thank you.” Sam brushed her lips across Janet’s temple and closed her eyes. Janet sent up a silent prayer that everything would be okay sooner rather than later; she hated seeing her friends suffer like this. She lay there for what seemed like hours, listening to Sam’s breathing even out again, and then listening to her heart beat. So focused was she on the rhythmic beats that Janet didn’t even realize she was drifting off to sleep too.
Daniel was alive. He was back and in near perfect condition. Janet was still in awe at the circumstances surrounding the events of the previous few days. Colonel O’Neill was back to his usual sarcastic self, Teal’c seemed to be in a more cheery disposition, and Sam was smiling again. Apparently Daniel’s death had been faked by some alien creature so that he could keep Daniel to do his biding. Janet still was not sure exactly what has transpired on the planet, as Daniel seemed less that eager to discuss it.
“Well, Doctor Jackson, it would appear as though you are free to leave my infirmary once again.” Janet plopped his chart down beside him on the bed.
“Thanks Janet,” Daniel said and smiled. “At least it wasn’t my fault this time around.” He hopped down and his boots made a nice ‘thud’ on the floor when he landed. The infirmary was more desolate than usual and Daniel was sick of being alone in it for the last day and a half.
“Hey, if you see Sam, could you tell her I need to speak with her?” Janet asked as Daniel was heading toward the door.
“Will do,” the man replied without missing a step.
“And Daniel?” At that sing-song tone of the doctor’s voice, Daniel went rigid and hesitated before turning to look at her. “If you see the Colonel, tell him that next time he tries to talk me into letting a patient go early, I’ll have a full regalia of tests ready for his next physical instead of just the usual.”
“Um, sure thing, Janet.” Daniel blushed and double-timed it out of the infirmary. Janet had to chuckle at the poor man. It really wasn’t his fault that O’Neill had coerced him into going along with that plan. Janet went back into her office and sank into her chair, her eye catching the calendar. It was eleven days till the rodeo championship and she still hadn’t made any plans to go. She would have to talk to the general about that. She should have asked for leave a week ago. Janet rubbed her temple. She had no idea if she would even be going, much less how she was going to get to Austin with Tah. Janet sighed and headed up to speak with General Hammond.
Janet knocked once on the door to Hammond’s office.
“Enter.” She heard a voice inside command. Taking a deep breath, she opened the door. “Well, Doctor, I hear Doctor Jackson is on the mend.”
“Yes, Sir. He was discharged a few minutes ago.”
“So you came up here to tell me that?” Hammond raised an eyebrow. Janet stifled a giggle at what a likeness of Teal’c he was.
“Ah, no Sir. I came to speak with you about a different matter. The rodeo championship, Sir, it’s in less than two weeks.” Janet took another breath, trying not to babble too much.
“And you wanted leave time to go?” Hammond was three steps ahead of her and Janet silently thanked him for that.
“Yes, Sir. I’ve been keeping up on my riding in my off time, and I’ve been getting pressure from various members of a certain team. Actually, I can’t help wondering if you’d put them up to it, but that is silly for me to think, right?” Hoping that she wouldn’t get a reprimand for that one, Janet waited for his answer.
“Well, I have to admit that I had discussed it with SG-1, considering they were at the state championship, but it’s too late for you to request leave now, Doctor Fraiser.” Janet’s stomach turned over; she had feared this.
“Well, thank you anyway Sir, I’ll be. . .”
“So it’s a good thing that I put it in two weeks ago,” Hammond said and pulled a sheet from his desk, handing it to her with a smile. “Do us proud, Janet.” Hammond gave her a little wink and a nod that she was dismissed.
“Thank you, Sir,” Janet almost whispered. She smiled back and left his office. Gazing over the form on the way back to her office, she noticed that she had an entire week off. Now she wouldn’t be rushed trying to get to Texas, but it would still be a long drive.
“Doc!” A voice called from behind her. Janet stopped in the middle of the corridor and turned to face Colonel O’Neill. “Hey, I hear you might be in need of assistance next week.” He rocked back and forth on the balls of his feet.
“Well, news just spreads like wildfire around here, doesn’t it?” Janet gave a little grin.
“Yeah, well, the general knows I have a horse trailer, so he called me up and ordered me to volunteer it to you.” O’Neill tried to play it off that he was apathetic toward the competition.
“Ahh, he ordered you, did he?” Janet raised an eyebrow and O’Neill stopped the rocking.
“Not really, but if you need it, I’d be more than happy to join ya. Nothing quite like a rodeo to boost your spirits, and Lord knows that SG-1 is due some good spirit boosting. I’ll be dragging them along as well, whether you take the trailer or not.” O’Neill had completely put Janet out of her element. The man had never been quite this sincere and supportive toward her since that first physical.
“Sir, it’s wonderful that you. . .”
“And we’re not taking no for an answer. We’ve been talking about this for the last couple of weeks, and the team consensus is that there’s no way in hell you’re going alone.” You need a cheering section, ya know.”
Janet laughed inwardly at the thought of the boys of SG-1 in cheerleading outfits.
“Okay, Colonel, you’ve got yourself a deal. We leave in eight days.” Janet turned and walked down the corridor leaving an open mouthed colonel behind her; apparently he wasn’t expecting it to be that easy.
When Janet got to the infirmary Sam was sitting in her office chair waiting for her. Janet stopped before she could be seen by the other woman. Sam was looking at the books on the shelf beside the desk. Janet couldn’t fathom what had her so interested; they were just medical journals and handbooks. She started walking again and Sam looked up when the small doctor entered the office.
“Hey, Janet! Daniel said you wanted to see me.”
“Yes, I just wanted to see how you were doing. Now that Daniel’s back, all of SG-1 seems to be back in perfect condition.” Janet eyes Sam and waited for a response. Sam stood and turned to stand before her.
“Janet, I’m fine. Daniel is okay, he’s alive and he’s back. Most of the things we felt when he was ‘dead’ are not there anymore. The depression of losing a close friend is completely gone because he’s not lost. Does this make any sense?” Sam hoped that she wasn’t going to have to go through any more mental interrogations about Daniel; it was all over now.
“Yes, Sam, it makes perfect sense. I just wanted to be sure you were okay. I care about you,” Janet paused, “and all of SG-1 for that matter,” she added as an afterthought.
“I’m okay, Janet, really.” Sam grasped Janet’s hand and squeezed. She wanted nothing more than to sweep the woman off her feet and kiss her silly, but that would have to wait until they got home.
“Okay, Sam. I know you are, I just worry too much, and I’m sorry for that.” Janet squeezed Sam’s hand back and released it. “Hey!” Janet’s voice lightened and she put on a million watt smile.
“Huh? What?” Sam wore a look of confusion.
“Guess where we’re going in a week?” Sam tried to think of what missions they had planned for the next week. Coming up empty, Sam shrugged. “A mostly all expense paid trip to Austin, Texas.” Janet waited for it to sink in. Sam stared at her dumbfounded and still confused. Then the gears began clicking into place and Sam grinned like an idiot.
“You’re going to do it?!” Sam’s eyes lit up as she waited for an answer.
“Yes. I talked to General Hammond a few minutes ago, and then Colonel O’Neill caught me in the hall and loaned me his trailer. I think it’s just about set in stone. I’m leaving in 8 days to drive down there, and I was hoping you wouldn’t mind accompanying me. The boys will have their hands full with Teal’c and his first trip out of the state, I figure I‘ll need someone to keep me company too.” Janet looked up at Sam and when their eyes met she saw something new in those blue depths. It scared her and excited her all at once.
“Janet, I’d be more than happy to go with you. You know, I’ve never been to Austin, only Houston, and back when I just knew I was going to be an astronaut.” Sam chuckled at the thought. “Who would have known, huh?” she thought out loud. Janet laughed too, thinking just how close Sam had been.
“Well then, we leave in eight days, best start getting ready.” Janet smiled at Sam and the blonde smiled back.
“Yeah, I’d better get everything finished up so I don’t feel bad about abandoning work for a week.” Sam gave Janet one last look and headed out of the infirmary. Janet sat down and began writing up the report on one Doctor Daniel Jackson. An hour later when she had put the final touches on it, she put it in the ever growing file on the accident prone man.
“I’m telling you, we have to get on 287, Janet. That will take us all the way to Ft.Worth!” Sam pointed at the map but Janet was driving and couldn’t see where she was pointing.
“So where are we now?” Janet sighed, this was why she hated road trips, she sucked at directions.
“We’re on 50, we’ll hit 287 if we stay this course, and then we go south all the way though the Texas panhandle and to Ft. Worth and get on I-35 which takes us straight to Austin.” Sam apparently had the entire trip planned out and was getting restless only 3 hours into it.
“Sam, you wanna take a break?” Janet didn’t want her driving buddy to get too stressed out. This was supposed to be a fun trip, not excruciating.
“No, Janet, I’m fine, sorry. I’m just getting a little sick. Would you mind if I take over driving for a bit, it might help?” Sam rubbed her eyes and tried to fold up the map rather unsuccessfully.
“Not a problem at all, hon.” Janet looked for a good place to pull over and decided on the next gas station. When they got out to switch, Jack came walking up to talk to her.
“Hey Doc, Danny boy is getting a bit sick, so we’re going to get him some Dramamine and take a little break.” Jack motioned over his shoulder to Teal’c who was watching Daniel intently.
“That sounds like a good idea, Colonel. We’ll break with you.” She looked at Sam who nodded an affirmative and went over to walk with Daniel into the little restaurant. “Sam wasn’t feeling to well either, Sir. You head on in and I’ll check on Tah.” She headed to the back of the trailer and opened the smaller door. Tah was there munching on hay.
“Hey girl. How you doing?” Tah stopped chewing and look at her, then went back to her snack. “Yeah, you probably aren’t having too much fun back here, huh?” Janet scratched her ears and reached for the brush. “When we make it to Texas, we’ll stop and go for a little walk, how’s that sound?” Tah snorted and continued to eat. Janet started brushing her neck and back, trying to make up for such a long drive that was not even close to half-way over.
“You smell like horse.” Sam wrinkled her nose, but winked to show that she was kidding. Janet laughed and sniffed herself.
“Yeah, I’ve been brushing Tah when we stop to calm her down a bit. I didn’t grab an extra shirt, sorry.” Janet kicked her shoes off and wiggled her newly freed toes.
“Oh great, and now there go the shoes.” Sam laughed and put a hand on Janet’s thigh. “Hey, I don’t mind, really. Women who ride horses are sexy. Women who ride horses also smell like horse. So logically, women who smell like horse are sexy!” Janet gave a hearty laugh at that one.
“Samantha Carter, it’s moments like these that I realize just how much I lo. . .” she trailed off. Sam froze and kept her eyes on the road, her hand still on Janet’s thigh. They sat in complete silence for several miles, thinking about what had almost been said, but was now being thought repeatedly by both. Sam gave Janet’s thigh a little squeeze and pulled over on the shoulder. Janet was suddenly worried: worried that she’d gone too far, worried that Sam was upset, worried that Sam was going to ride with the guys. Sam looked over at Janet once the car had stopped.
“I love you too, Janet.” They stared into one another’s eyes and then Janet smiled and Sam started laughing. “That wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be,” Sam said after a few moments of laughter.
“Sam, you should laugh more often, its music to my ears,” Janet grabbed Sam’s hand and gave it a squeeze back. “I would kiss you, but the guys would have a field day over that one,” Janet said.
“I’ll bet they’re all sitting and watching, wondering what the hell we’re doing,” Sam said, still giggling.
“I do love you Sam, I just wasn’t certain how you’d take it, so I got scared for a minute.” Janet heaved a great sigh and sat back in her chair looking out across the landscape.
“Don’t ever be scared of me Janet, and don’t be scared about what I’d think or say, okay?” Sam’s face was all serious and her tone was almost pleading.
“Okay, Sam.” Janet looked back at her and started to reach up to stroke her face but pulled back. “Forgot the guys are back there, sorry. I want to kiss you so bad right now.”
“Hey, the sooner we hit Austin, the sooner we can relax.” Sam waggled her eyebrows and Janet laughed out loud.
“Then what are we doing sitting around here?” Sam laughed too and pulled back onto the road, not noticing that O’Neill had just stepped out of the truck to check on them. He stopped dead in his tracks, did an about face, and mumbled something about women drivers as he clambered back into the pick-up.
“What was that, Jack?” Daniel asked as the colonel pulled out behind the ladies.
“Nothing, never mind.” O’Neill sighed. There was something going on, had been for a while, and he just couldn’t quite put his finger on it. Daniel tried not to smile at O’Neill’s frustration but failed. Teal’c sat in the passenger seat and said nothing. Jack looked in the rear-view mirror and saw Daniel’s smirk.
“What is it?” Jack grumbled, still wondering what had just happened.
“Nothing, Jack. Maybe they were checking the map or something.” Daniel got himself under control immediately, not wanting to give away the idea that had formed in his head over the past few weeks. It was not the sort of thing the military looked highly upon. He had discussed the idea with Teal’c who agreed with him, but he wasn’t quite ready to let O’Neill in on it yet.
“Right, checking the map, they never once looked down!” O’Neill was not going to let it drop, and Daniel was worried that he’d still be griping when they stopped next and confront the ladies.
“O’Neill, CaptainCarter and DoctorFraiser were laughing. Did you not think that they pulled over so as not to be a danger to other vehicles?” Teal’c attempted to focus O’Neill’s thoughts elsewhere so that he did not continue to seek out answers that he might not be prepared to find.
“Yeah yeah, fine, whatever,” Jack said. “It’s no big deal, y’all apparently know something I don’t, I don’t care.” Jack thought to himself that it really wasn’t his business what Carter and Fraiser were doing in their spare. . . His mind dropped into the gutter for that one moment it took for everything to click. But that was impossible, at the rodeo she’d been looking at Daniel! Or was she? Sam had been right there too. Oh, so *that’s* why they’ve seemed so chummy lately. It all made sense now and O’Neill grinned at having finally figured something out on his own. Well, this could definitely be a fun trip, he thought.
“Jack. . . Jack!” Daniel’s voice penetrated his thoughts.
“You gotta take this exit.” Daniel pointed to an exit ramp just a little ways ahead.
“Oh, yeah, okay.” Jack signaled and followed Janet’s car out of Wichita Falls.
“Are we there yet?” Janet asked from the driver’s seat. They had made the final switch and Janet was driving them into Austin. After fifteen solid hours of driving and just under a thousand miles, everyone was exhausted and ready to just be there.
“No, the next city is Waco, then Temple, the Austin.” Sam didn’t even bother to look at the map anymore; she had the whole thing memorized.
“Next time Colonel O’Neill says, ‘We can make it in one day, I’ve done it before,’ I’m so not listening to him.” Janet glared in the rear-view mirror, wishing that looks could kill. Teal’c was driving the last leg, Daniel and O’Neill having finally succumbed to sleep.
“Meh, just give him a full physical next go-around, and call it even,” Sam suggested. Janet laughed and that thought was enough to get her to Austin.
“So, Carter, how was the room service?”
“What, Sir?” Sam was confused and O’Neill was grinning like he knew something she didn’t.
“You just look awfully rested is all.” Sam frowned, why wouldn’t she look rested, she spent the night in the arms of. . . he knew. He has to know, that’s the only reason for this line of questioning. But how can he know? Sam shook her head.
“I slept well after a hell of a day yesterday, I could say the same of you, Sir, you look rested too. Then again, you got Teal’c to do the last of the driving,” Sam mumbled.
“Awe, are you still sore about the drive being longer than I remembered? I’m sorry about that, really am. We’ll stop overnight on the way home, how’s that sound?” O’Neill tried to make it up to her, his original line of questioning forgotten.
“You’d have to take that up with Janet, Sir, it’s her trip, her horse that would be spending the night in that little trailer.” Sam walked away to go have that continental breakfast that probably consisted of a Dixie cup of orange juice and a donut. She ran into Janet just inside the door.
“H-ey Sam!” Janet waved her over to the table. Sam grabbed her orange juice and a blueberry bagel and sat down.
“Colonel O’Neill knows,” Sam said the moment she was in the chair.
“Huh? Knows what?” Janet looked confused. Sam looked around the room for the other members of SG-1.
“About us,” Sam whispered and took a bite of her bagel. Janet’s brow furrowed in deep thought.
“But how? There’s not anything that would give us away. We’re not even *that* serious yet,” Janet leaned across the table and whispered back. She took the last bite of her apple and sat back, waiting for a reply.
“I don’t know, Janet, but he knows. I swear he knows.” Sam took a sip of her drink. “Do you think that Daniel or Teal’c figured us out and told him? This isn’t the type of thing that the colonel just puts together on his own.”
“I don’t know, Sam,” Janet said, “I could believe Teal’c noticing something, he’s been trained to study behavior, and Daniel *is* an anthropologist, so I’d believe that he could tell also, but Colonel O’Neill? Are you sure you aren’t reading in to something that isn’t there?” Sam shook her head. “Well, it doesn’t really matter. If he knows, he knows. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t. But I’ve got a rodeo championship to win, so let’s get going!” Janet stood and grabbed Sam’s arm, dragging her out holding a half-eaten bagel.
Halfway across the parking lot, Janet spotted O’Neill watching them. She waved at him to come join them and he did as told.
“So, Doc, you ready to get going?”
“Yeah, Tah is probably wondering what the hell is going on. I feel bad for just leaving her at the stables like that.” Janet was checking the car to make sure all of her and Sam’s stuff they were taking for the day was there.
“I’ll go grab the guys then, back soon.” O’Neill hurried off to the room, not ready to interrogate the doctor yet.
“I don’t know Sam, it doesn’t seem like he knows much of anything.” Janet laughed. “Don’t worry about it, let’s just go enjoy this rodeo and forget about it.”
“Okay,” Sam said and plopped down in the passenger seat. Daniel and Teal’c came wandering across the parking lot to see Janet as she was opening the door to get in herself.
“Hey, Janet!” Daniel called. She stopped and walked over to meet them.
“DoctorFraiser, we wanted to wish you. . .” Teal’c looked at Daniel.
“Luck, we wanted to wish you luck today,” Daniel finished for him. Teal’c bowed his head in acknowledgement.
“Thank you, it means the world to me having y’all here to support me.” Janet smiled and Daniel grinned, thinking that she probably appreciated Sam’s support a bit more than theirs.
“Well, kids, let’s get this show on the road!” O’Neill clapped his hands together as he walked past them and to the truck.
The smell of dust filled Janet’s nostrils as she sat in the gate, waiting for it to swing open. Tah was excited about getting to run again, and Janet was excited because so far, her score was the best. This was her last run, and only three others went after her. She nodded towards the gate operator that she was read, and he signaled that the gate was opening. Seconds later, Tah was free and racing down the arena. Janet grasped the reins firmly, but with a light touch, just like Tah liked. Knowing her horse, though, Janet didn’t really even need to be there. Tah knew exactly what she was doing, and did it even better because Janet was there urging her on.
A new personal record was set that day. Janet bested her previous score, and the crowd went wild. Now all she had to do was wait. When she dismounted, Sam and the guys were waiting for her.
“Janet that was incredible!” Sam ran up and hugged her friend; O’Neill watched intently for any signs of something more than a friendship. Seeing none, he finally gave up and just went with it.
“Yeah, Doc, you really showed them who was boss!” he patted the woman on the shoulder and grinned.
“Thank you, it’s not over yet though. Now we wait and watch.” Janet crossed her fingers and hoped that a fourteen point eight four second run would take nationals.
“I am confident in your ability DoctorFraiser, I would not worry.” Teal’c remained stoic as ever, still not quite sure what the point of the rodeo was. He had gathered that there was an entertainment factor and that winning involved sought-after prizes. Perhaps that is the point, he thought. He’d only ever had competitions to win respect from fellow Jaffa and Goa’ulds, and those ended with the death of the losers.
“Good luck, Janet, and bad luck to your competition,” Daniel said. Janet laughed and turned her attention to the arena. They were down to two riders now, the first having failed to beat her score.
Janet held her trophy, beaming. SG-1 was congratulating her and photographers were taking pictures and asking questions. From the crowd of media people emerged a familiar bald head.
“Congratulations, Janet, you did us proud.”
“Thank you, Sir.” Janet stared dumbfounded at General Hammond. “How did you get here? Why did you come all the way out here for this?”
“I’ve got family in Texas, and that family likes rodeos. I flew in last night. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, literally.” Hammond laughed. “Would you mind terribly if we displayed the trophy on base for a while?”
“But it’s only second place, Sir.” Janet didn’t understand. She was thrilled to have placed at all and didn’t mind not getting first, but why would the general want to display a second place trophy. Second *was* first loser, after all.
“One of our best just won second place at the rodeo nationals, I’ll be damned if I’m not proud of that. And I think it would liven up the briefing room a bit, not to mention that when word gets around on base I doubt you’ll have trouble getting anyone to show up for physicals for a while. From what I hear though, Colonel O’Neill is already first on your list.” He chuckled at the thought of Jack shaking in his boots waiting for one hell of a physical.
“Ah, so you already heard about the drive, huh?”
“Yes’m, and I can’t say I blame you. Take your time getting back, okay? I need to get back to my family, they’re probably wondering where the old man wondered off to.”
“Okay, Sir. Thank you for coming over to say hi. It means the world to me. And yes, you can display the trophy, at least until I find a place for it at home,” Janet said and smiled at him. He waved and disappeared into the crowd as quickly as he had appeared.
After the award ceremonies, Sam found Janet in the stables giving Tah a good brush down and letting her sniff the trophy. Tah was checking to see if it was edible as Sam rounded the corner into the stall.
“Tah, that’s not for eating, silly girl.” Janet laughed and moved it just out of the horse’s reach. Having not been noticed yet, Sam took the opportunity to just watch Janet. She was beautiful. Her jeans hugged all the right places and her shirt was unbuttoned quite a bit to make up for the Texas heat. Janet had let her hair down and it cascaded around her shoulders. She looked so carefree, like she had at the arcade. Sam was completely smitten with her. Janet turned around to set the brush down and saw Sam watching her.
“So, you like what you see?” Janet unbuttoned one more button, giving Sam a glimpse of her perfectly tanned cleavage. Sam looked around to make sure they were alone.
“Oh yes.” Sam stalked up to her, as though Janet was prey soon to be captured for Sam to have her way with. Janet watched as Sam descended on her in three steps, grabbing her shoulders and kissing her fiercely. “I like very much.” She said when she broke the kiss for air. Sam smiled and was about to speak when she noticed Janet had gone completely still. Janet’s gaze was fixed at some point behind Sam, and her stomach sank.
“Ahem.” A throat cleared behind her and Sam turned to face the source. She knew that cough, and sure enough, it was O’Neill, with Daniel and Teal’c not far behind him. Having no idea what to say, she stood ramrod still and waited for the reprimand.
“Jack, I told you not to. . .” Daniel was shushed.
“Ah, Daniel! Now, Carter, I’m not going to pretend I didn’t see that.” Sam paled and thought for a moment she might faint. “But I am going to say one thing.”
Janet wanted to try to explain, but she couldn’t move either, she was just lucky that Sam was blocking her from the colonel’s view. However, she could see Daniel, and Daniel looked like he was a bit worried.
“Good catch.” O’Neill waited for that to sink in.
“Excuse me, Sir?” Carter half whispered, having not quite regained her voice.
“Good catch. The Doc, she’s a good one.” Janet didn’t know whether to be insulted that she was a ‘catch’ or elated that O’Neill didn’t seem to care much. “If you’re worried about me reporting you, Carter, don’t be. I’m not about to do anything that would disrupt my team. And I doubt any other doctor we got would put up with my shit, so I can’t chance losing her either.”
O’Neill moved forward to put his hand on Sam’s shoulder. “Hell, Carter, you two have my blessing.” He looked over her shoulder at Janet and winked. “Keep her in line, Doc.” And with that, he was gone. O’Neill turned and walked out of the stables, followed by Daniel. Teal’c, however, remained with the ladies.
“CaptainCarter, DoctorFraiser, I have been aware of the shift in your relationship, as has DanielJackson. Rest assured your secret is safe with us.” Teal’c bowed and followed after the other two. When he had left, Sam turned back to Janet to find her chuckling.
“What?” Sam asked. Janet shook her head and reached for Sam, pulling her closer. Sam went willingly with a confused look on her face.
“Nothing, I love you, Sam. I love you so much.” Sam cocked her head to the side to study the brunette. Her brown eyes sparkled back up at her, full of laughter at the situation, happiness of placing at the rodeo, and the pure undiluted love she had for Sam.
“I know, I love you too, Janet. I always will.” Sam leaned down and kissed her lips tenderly, not pushing, but yearning for more. Janet brought her hand up to Sam’s hair and intensified the kiss just a bit. Tah snorted and Janet broke away laughing. Sam glared at the horse.
“She’s mine now too, you know,” she said to Tah, smirking. Tah shook her head and whinnied. “Oh really now? I guess you’ll just have to learn to share then,” Sam continued conversing with the horse and Janet lapsed into a fit of giggles. Tah stared at them for a moment and then snorted again, turning away to eat a bit of hay in the corner. “I knew she’d come around. She’s gonna have to share you now,” Sam said to Janet who was wiping tears form her eyes. Tah stomped her foot and Sam jumped. Janet laughed again and gave Sam a quick kiss.
“You’d better scram. I know the guys are just dying to ask you all kinds of wonderful questions.” Sam glared at Tah again.
“Yeah, sad thing is, you’re probably right.” Sam turned and walked away. As she left, Janet thought she heard her mumble something about ‘damn lesbian horses.’ Janet grabbed some oats and fed them to Tah.
“You know, she’s right.” The horse kept eating, ignoring Janet. “You are going to have to get used to Sam. She’s part of my life now, and she’s part of yours.” The horse nudged Janet’s neck and tried to eat her hair. “I’m serious, Tah. When we get back to Colorado, there’s going to be a bonding session. You and Sam are going to have to get along.”
Janet gave the horse one last scratch on the ears and headed out of the stables to find Sam and join in the questioning. Janet smiled when she walked out the door and found the team not twenty feet away with Sam in the middle. She shook her head, steeled her nerves, and headed toward the proverbial firing squad.