SG-1, minus Daniel Jackson, stood at the foot of the metal ramp leading to the mouth of the inactive stargate. O’Neill impatiently fidgeted from one foot to the other, while he cradled his P90 protectively under his right forearm.
Carter glanced at her watch and looked up in time to catch Teal’c twitch his lip ever so slightly, indicating the tall, former Jaffa warrior also wondered why the absent-minded archaeologist was late.
O’Neill turned to his 2IC and agitatedly tapped his own watch. “Daniel joining us any time soon, Captain?”
“Yes, sir. He said he needed to make a quick stop by his lab first.” She silently hoped Daniel would show soon, the colonel was definitely in a snit about this mission.
O’Neill normally enjoyed first contact with new worlds. He could positively exude excitement at the prospect of exploring unknown territory, but so far the only intel of PX1-027 indicated a sparse planet and a bunch of caves with writing scrawled all over the walls. The area around the stargate was overgrown and looked like no one had stepped through the metal ring in a very long time.
Not much to get excited about, but there he was, not so patiently waiting for his team to assemble and disperse through the wormhole. Ironically, Daniel should be enthused the most about this mission, and where the hell was he? Not where he was supposed to be, for sure.
The heavy, metallic door slowly opened and Daniel strode into the room, oblivious to the hard stares cut his way.
“Nice to see you could make it, Daniel.” His tone dripped with sarcasm. He glanced toward the huge observation window above the gateroom to give the order to dial PX1-027.
General Hammond’s commanding presence hovered over Lt. Simmons as he reached for the microphone enabling him to communicate with the team waiting below. “SG-1, you have a go.” His southern drawl filled the gateroom.
As the outer ring spun and the chevrons engaged, Sam casually glanced to the observation window in time to see a diminutive figure come to rest next to the general. Her heart skipped a beat at the beautiful sight, as Janet’s radiant smile illuminated the room. Sam’s blue eyes sparkled as she minutely dipped her head in acknowledgment.
When the seventh chevron locked and the wormhole exploded into existence, SG-1 turned in unison and ambled up the ramp to disappear through the event horizon.
With a sigh, Janet watched as Sam disappeared from view and when the shimmering puddle winked from existence, she repressed a shudder. Recollecting Sam’s sparkling, impish blue eyes as she said goodbye the only way she could with a room full of people, Janet’s dark mood quickly faded as a warm, tingly feeling started at her toes and worked its way to her lips.
Smiling without restraint, she hoped nobody had noticed and covered her mouth with a delicate hand. Sam’s tiny goodbye gesture had warmed Janet’s heart and soul. She still could not believe her good fortune. Was it only two weeks ago she fell head first in love with the beautiful blonde?
She had recently resigned herself to the fact she would in all probability spend the rest of her life alone. The hectic infirmary schedule, not to mention the base hospital, was enough to keep several physicians busy. She really could not imagine finding time to date.
Then there was the whole military twist. Did she really want to rock the boat and chance a court martial? She laughed when a vision of Sam in her arms worked its way to her consciousness. Guess that answers that question.
Humming to herself, the doctor returned to the infirmary to await the safe return of SG-1 and her lover.
The team stepped through the watery ring with O’Neill and Carter in front, weapons at the ready and attentively perused the immediate area. Teal’c and Daniel, a few steps behind and flanking the MALP, silently waited for the all clear. After a moment, O’Neill and his 2IC soundlessly concluded the area was secure and Carter instantly headed towards the DHD hidden among the brush.
“Okay, kids. Let’s get started.” O’Neill adjusted his goofy, black goggles as he squinted into the brilliant afternoon sun. “Oy, why are all these planets so damn bright and hot?” He muttered under his breath, not expecting an answer, it just did not feel right unless he voiced his displeasure now and again. It kept everyone on their toes. He removed his hat and ran his hand through short, damp hair; effectively leaving it standing on end before smashing it once again as he slipped the hat back in place.
Teal’c unconsciously gravitated toward the colonel, and they walked side by side away from the stargate as Daniel took inventory of his equipment.
O’Neill stopped and turned towards the mass of tangled brush concealing the DHD and furrowed his brow when the captain was not in his line of sight. “Carter?” He shouted.
A blonde head topped the branches as she gazed toward the sound of his voice. She spotted the men standing on the overgrown path leading away from the stargate. “Looks good here, Sir. I just need to clear an unobstructed path so we can have access to the DHD without fighting our way through the thicket.”
“Negative, Carter.” He wore an extremely impatient frown. “You’ll be there all day.” He removed is ball hat once again to run his fingers through short hair wet with perspiration, and not so silently cursed the bright sun and oppressive heat. “Dial it up and request a team to come through and make the place presentable.”
As Carter pressed the appropriate symbols to activate Earth’s gate, O’Neill scanned the surrounding area. “Teal’c and I will scout ahead while you and Daniel...” he turned his attention to the archaeologist wrestling with the MALP and its contents, fascinated that the bespectacled man was having a difficult time unloading the machine. He wondered, not for the first time, how someone so unorganized could be as brilliant as the archaeologist proved himself to be time and again.
O’Neill shook his head and started to walk away from the gate. He brought his forearm up to glance at his watch. “Radio check in an hour, Carter. That should be enough time for you and Daniel to do... whatever it is you do.” He finished the sentence with a flourish of hand gestures, none of which the captain found too particularly amusing.
He winced as twin glares shot his way. He shrugged his shoulders and asked in his best defensive, whiny voice, “What?” When silence was his only answer, he sulked away from them.
Teal’c quietly watched the humans exchange heated looks, then shifted the large staff weapon to his right hand and followed the colonel down the path.
Once SG-5 arrived and Carter briefed them, she contacted Colonel O’Neill and arranged to meet them at the mouth of the nearest cave.
Sam and Daniel silently walked together, each lost in thought. Foremost on Sam’s mind were the highlights of her weekend spent in the loving arms of Janet Fraiser. It was hard for her to believe what a difference a few days could make. Her life had turned upside down and left precariously hanging at an impossible angle. Not that she was complaining. Change was a good thing sometimes, and her wonderfully exciting relationship with Janet was definitely one of those times.
Two weeks ago she would have been thrilled to explore PX1-027, but, like her C.O., she found herself a bit short and impatient. She had more on her mind than the mission, like Janet’s beautiful smile as it radiated through the observation window like a kaleidoscope of bright colors flashed through a prism. Thinking of her lover’s smile reminded the blonde of her soft lips, and soft lips reminded her of even softer kisses. Said kisses led to thoughts of gentle caresses, which....
Sam stopped that train of thought before she needed to find a nice cold lake to jump into to relieve her increasingly burning desire to once again lose herself in the arms of her very talented lover. She felt a warm flush begin at her neck and slowly crawl up her face.
Unfortunately, Daniel chose that exact moment to look her way. He pushed his glasses up the bridge of his slick nose and unconsciously licked his dry lips. Daniel had been covertly watching Sam all day and something seemed different about her. He could not quite put his finger on it, but given enough time, he could solve even the most difficult of puzzles.
He hesitated, questioning the wisdom of sticking his nose where it probably did not belong, then asked anyway. “You okay, Sam? You seem a bit.....preoccupied.”
She cast him a nervous glance. “What do you mean?”
Daniel fought to prevent the inevitable eye roll and failed miserably. “I mean, preoccupied. You know, not quite here, thinking about something else entirely.” He sing-songed as he pointedly captured her cobalt blue gaze. “Pre-oc-cu-pied.” He slowly pronounced each syllable.
Sam was not cognizant of when they had actually stopped walking, but at some point in the middle of Daniel’s inquisition, she found herself face to face with the prodding archaeologist. She slowly released the breath she did not realize she was holding and shrugged her shoulders.
“I am not preoccupied,” she flatly denied, hoping to convince her well-meaning friend he was way off base and end the annoying line of questioning.
He watched as the blonde woman nervously kicked at the small pebbles littering the sandy terrain. It may be true he had not known her for long, but her body language and far away expression signaled the captain was not in her usual state of perpetual alertness.
Samantha Carter was many things, but it was immediately apparent to anyone who had spent even a short period of time in her presence that she made a rather poor liar. Daniel also knew, without a doubt, he had pissed her off by the hard set of her sharp jaw and the way her normally crystal clear azure eyes turned a deeper shade of blue. He decided he needed to back down now before the conversation deteriorated and cascaded out of control, at least for the time being.
“Okay, Sam. I didn’t mean to pry.” He flashed his most reassuring smile trying to smooth things over with the increasingly agitated woman.
Despite her tense mood, Sam chuckled to herself. She suspected Daniel did not believe her, but grateful he finally decided to back down. Whatever his reasoning, she knew once his interest was piqued, there would be no stopping him. Like a dog with a juicy bone, Daniel would gnaw away until his curiosity was satisfied. Now she would need to be extra vigilant to protect her relationship with Janet, not that she truly believed he would have a problem with it. It certainly was not her place alone to confide in Daniel without Janet’s knowledge and consent to do so.
“So,” he began as he changed the subject. “Do you think Jack is going to get bored and scrub the mission today or tomorrow?” He asked referring to the colonel’s lack of patience, most recently demonstrated when he ended the mission to P3X-797, where SG-1 and SG-3 acquired an infectious affliction Doctor Fraiser had named the Broca Syndrome.
Sam laughed at his attempt to lighten the mood. Seeing his puppy-dog expression and smiling blue eyes made it hard for her to stay angry with him for long. “No. I think we’ll find enough information in the caves to keep him happy.”
They continued their trek to meet O’Neill and Teal’c, talking amicably about the MALP recordings and what they hoped to uncover in the unexplored caves.
Janet Fraiser had a difficult time keeping her overactive imagination off a certain fair-haired captain. She worried incessantly about her safety off-world, envisioning all kinds of terrible things that could happen to her love. She knew it would be hard to stand back and watch as Sam jumped from one mission after another, but this first separation was far worse than she could have thought possible.
She honestly did not know how she would react if something did happen to Sam. She would have to push her first inclination of stunned paralysis aside to perform at her best and give Sam a fighting chance at survival. Janet was not egotistical, she realistically accepted the fact she was the best physician the SGC had and she would perform accordingly. Later, when Sam’s life was no longer threatened, she could retire to her empty office and fall to the floor in an emotional heap.
She slapped both palms on her desk and pushed the chair back and away so she could stretch her cramped legs. She combed her fingers through shoulder-length hair and lightly massaged her temples. Some time in the past few minutes, she had acquired a pounding headache. Janet needed a diversion; if she did not have so much idle time on her hands she would not be worried sick and questioning her own sanity. Unfortunately, the infirmary had been quiet today. She normally did not wish for anyone to be injured or ill, but a minor distraction would not be frowned upon.
The doctor’s silent wish for busy work was answered when a commotion in the infirmary caught her attention and she quickly moved and exited her office in time to see a limping Captain Megan Owens of SG-3 hobble through the doorway. Janet hurried to her side and helped the young woman to the nearest bed.
“Captain Owens, we have got to stop meeting like this,” the doctor teased. “This is the third time this week you’ve needed my attention.”
The captain blushed and hopped up on to the bed unaided. A medic quickly appeared at Janet’s elbow to assist in removing the captain’s boot and sock. The ankle was slightly swollen and already discolored. As she manipulated the injured joint, fairly confident it was sprained and not fractured, she inquired as to how the captain had yet again managed to injure herself this week.
Before Owens could explain how the injury occurred, the doctor turned and addressed Lieutenant James, the medic helping her this afternoon. “Lieutenant, please get an ice pack and arrange for X-rays of the right ankle and foot.” Then she directed her gaze back to the young woman sitting on the bed.
“I was fighting with Colonel Makepeace.” She stopped when Janet frowned. “No, no. He was instructing me on a new hand-to-hand technique he had learned from Teal’c. Well, I wasn’t watching where I stepped and the next thing I knew, I was flat on my ass.” Owens paled, stricken to have spoken so colorfully. “Sorry, Ma’am,” she apologized.
“I have heard worse,” she laughed. O’Neill could be such a baby about medical exams and his more colorful expressions almost rivaled her own. Almost. People made the wrong presumptions when they met her. It was her small stature; they were apt to look at her as if she were a child. And did that ever piss her off. So when she let fly with the invectives, it was an amazing site to behold. “Go on,” she encouraged.
“I got my foot stuck in the first row of the bleachers and fell at an awkward angle.” She stared at the doctor’s hands moving so gently over her ankle, and blushed profusely when she wished those hands were caressing her somewhere other than her ankle. “No big deal,” she added as an afterthought.
Her ability to think clearly was rapidly dissipating. As Janet continued to poke and prod, the young woman tried not to squirm. The temperature suddenly increased in the room taking her heart rate with it. If the doctor did not remove her hands soon, she was going to melt in a puddle right in front of her eyes.
Intent on her examination, Janet missed the dreamy look directed her way. “Well, I think you are lucky this time. I don’t think it’s fractured, but I’ll get some films to be sure.” Janet looked up from her task to see Captain Owens staring intently at her. Misreading the look, she did her best to comfort the injured woman. Janet patted her thigh and smiled, “Don’t worry, Megan. Stay off the ankle for a couple of days and you’ll be good as new.”
Owens flinched when she felt the doctor’s hand burn into her leg and bit her tongue to distract her from the wonderful sensation the brief touch unknowingly caused.
Janet frowned. “Are you in much pain?”
“Um, no. It really doesn’t hurt that much, and I don’t think I need to stay off my foot.” She wiggled her ankle back and forth to show her she was fine, but winced in pain.
Janet stood back with arms crossed at her chest. “Uh huh,” she rolled her eyes. “What is it with you macho soldiers?” She shook her head in disbelief. “I just do not get it. You come to MY infirmary, asking for MY help, then you refuse to listen to ME.” Her voice softened. “Megan, I know you feel guilty about being injured and off the duty rotation when SG-3 jumped to PX....,” she absently waved her hand in the air. “.....whatever.” The doctor sighed and closed the distance to rest her hand on her slumped shoulder. “It wasn’t your fault they died. You have to stop pushing so hard, Megan. One of these times you are going to get hurt.” Janet tilted her head toward her injured ankle. “I mean seriously hurt or worse.”
The doctor was genuinely concerned for the young woman. She knew Owens harbored mixed feelings about what had happened to the two Marines after they were infected with the Broca Syndrome and fell to their deaths while fighting with each other. She had been on two weeks medical leave and was not part of the ill-fated jump. Owens confessed she felt as though she had let her team down, and she should have been the one to die, not the Lieutenant who replaced her.
Janet squeezed her shoulder to get her attention. “You need to take it easy for awhile.” When Megan began to protest, the stern-faced doctor emerged. “Two days. I insist.” Her tone broached no argument, and she received none.
Dejectedly dropping her chin to her chest, Owens nodded in agreement. The medic broke the silence as he walked into the room carrying an ice pack and Janet placed it on her injury. The depressed woman looked away when her sorrowful gaze locked onto big brown eyes full of concern.
“Megan, look at me.” Janet placed a finger under her chin and turned her head so she looked directly at the captain. “If you need to talk, you know where my office is.” She smiled her special smile and indicated to James her patient was ready to be taken for X-rays.
The floodlights set up at the mouth of the small cave illuminated the entire area. Daniel stood transfixed staring at the pictographs scrawled on the walls furiously taking notes. He felt like a kid unleashed in a chocolate factory after fasting for a week. “Willy Wonka, eat you heart out,” he muttered.
Sam cast a curious glance his way and laughed. “Willy Wonka, huh? Just don’t get too greedy looking for the elusive gold wrapper.”
“What is a Willy Wonka?” Teal’c asked with a straight face.
Daniel took a deep breath, about to explain to Teal’c, and was rudely interrupted by Jack.
“Come on. How are you gonna explain that to someone who doesn’t even know what a movie is?” He sat down heavily on a nearby rock and lifted his P-90 over his shoulder to place it against his right leg. He scrubbed his hands over his face and noisily exhaled. “I’m sorry, Daniel. Teal’c and I have been over this cave already while we waited for you and Carter. Aside from the flashy pictures of Ra killing his people, I don’t think there’s much here to discover.”
A withering look bored through the colonel.
“All righty then.” O’Neill shouldered his weapon and jumped off his perch. “You and Carter,” he pointed to the annoyed archaeologist, “stay here and see what you can uncover. We,” he gestured between Teal’c and himself, “are gonna take a break and get outa your hair for awhile.”
As the two men ambled toward the exit, O’Neill began to educate Teal’c on the finer points of entertainment. “You see, Willy Wonka was....” Two sets of wide eyes stared at the colonel. “What? You think I don’t know the classics?”
“The classics, Sir?” Carter repeated, a bit surprised.
“That’s right, Carter,” he stated with an indignant facial expression. “The classics, like The Three Stooges, The Simpsons, The Wizard Of Oz.” He glared over his shoulder daring them to say something, anything at all.
Daniel could not resist the temptation. “The Wizard Of Oz, Jack?”
“Oh yeah ” He smiled and sauntered out of the immediate vicinity, leaving his stunned colleagues staring open-mouthed.
The archaeologist blinked and turned to Carter, “I THINK he’s kidding.”
“I doubt it, Daniel,” the blonde laughed .
She turned her attention to the wall in front of her. It depicted the vengeful drawing of Ra the MALP first recorded. Sam repressed a shiver as she ran her slender fingers over the figure. She had not been part of the SGC when they had encountered Ra and his followers on Abydos, but she had had the displeasure of meeting his son, Apophis. He embodied the likeness of pure evil, pretending to be a god and demanding adoration from his worshipers, but at the same time, condemning them to death merely because they no longer served his purpose.
Sam unleashed the repressed shiver, and thought about what that pure evil could do released on the relatively innocent people of Earth. She did not want to come face to face with any Goa’uld again, except to defeat them once and for all. It would be the only way she could assure Janet’s safety. How odd to have all her fears boiled down to one thought alone, how it would affect her lover.
When she first joined the Stargate Program she was elated to visit strange worlds and encounter all sorts of extraordinary phenomena. She did not stop to think how dangerous it could be, just that she was in the thick of things.
Now, she found herself reevaluating her aspirations in life. She loved astrophysics and the opportunity the Air Force offered her, but meeting Janet had changed everything. She was not afraid for her own life. No, her fear was losing the only thing she had ever loved in her life, except for her mother.
Sam was powerless to prevent her mother’s death. Did she seriously believe she could keep Janet safe? Her mother was killed in a car accident. She could have just as easily died falling down the stairs or have been murdered in her sleep. It was preposterous of her to presume she could be by Janet’s side 24/7 protecting her against everything, real or imagined.
Sam swallowed the lump that had formed in her dry throat over the last few minutes. She knew she was being ridiculous. This was the first time she had been away from Janet since they had become lovers, and she was allowing her imagination to run wild. She needed to touch base with her lover and then everything would be fine. She would never give up the SCG, just as Janet would never entertain the possibility of setting up a mundane private practice. They were adrenaline junkies.
She continued to run her fingers over the rough wall where the flash of light extended from the ribbon device cradled in Ra’s left hand to the people scattered on the ground struck down by the lethal blast. Suddenly, she came to the realization that her spot as a member of SG-1 placed her in the exact position she needed to be to defeat her silent demons and keep the woman she loved with all her heart safe. A small smile tugged at her lips. God, I miss her!
“Hey, Sam. Look at this.” Daniel’s excited tone disrupted her musings.
“What have you found?” Tearing her gaze away from the carnage depicted on the wall and her carnal thoughts of Janet, she rushed over to the far side of the cave relieved to have something other than missing Janet occupy her thoughts.
Daniel sat in the middle of a dust cloud, digging through small rocks and pieces of the near wall that had crumbled to the ground. “I really can’t see much,” he grunted as he heaved a larger rock to the side, “but that’s not the point.” He brushed away some dust and debris that had accumulated at his feet. “It looks as though this part of the wall may have been deliberately defaced.”
Sam stopped and stared intently at the debris field and shook her head sending blonde locks into her bright blue eyes. She reached up and smeared dust across her forehead swiping her hair back in place. “Maybe a cave-in, Daniel,” she disagreed. As she leaned in to get a closer look her questing eyes unraveled the puzzle. “No, a staff weapon blast,” she exclaimed.
“Exactly,” agreed the archaeologist. “The question is, why?” He continued to sift through the rubble hoping to find something to explain the mystery.
Sam brushed the wall with her forearm in an attempt to ascertain if anything at all had survived the blast. Unfortunately, whoever had destroyed the drawings had done a thorough job.
That did not make sense to Sam. “I don’t understand.” She paused and Daniel could almost see her brain shift into over-drive. “Why only one wall? Why not the entire cave? Why would the Goa’uld, or Jaffa for that matter, limit the destruction? That certainly isn’t their way. Unless....” She furrowed her brow, pursed her lips, and began to pace the length of the small cave.
The archaeologist remained quiet, he sensed the excited woman waged a war with too many hypotheses at once and did not want to interrupt her concentration.
With her long back to the archaeologist, she asked, “In all of your travels or studies of ancient texts,” Sam turned to face him, “have you ever discovered graffiti among hieroglyphics or runes?”
Perplexed, Daniel did not answer right away. He mulled over her question, accessing every area of his brain attempting to respond to the unusual question. He pushed his glasses higher on the bridge of his nose and exhaled. “Graffiti?” He was not sure what Sam was implying.
“Yeah. Like ‘Kilroy was here’.”
Daniel chuckled at the joke, envisioning the beak of a Horus Jaffa leaning over a wall complete with hieroglyphic inscription. “Nothing comes to mind, Sam. I’ve only witnessed natural wear and tear from age or poor weather conditions.”
“What if Ra’s followers turned against him and defiled the sacred writings of the gods as an act of rebellion?” Sam walked to the intact scene depicting the vengeance of Ra. “Then Ra ordered his Jaffa to destroy the tainted wall and then punished them for their disobedience and left this,” she pointed to the destruction of the masses, “as a reminder of their defiance.” She knew there were holes in her theory, but at least it was a start.
Daniel stood and slapped the dust from his pants. “I guess that’s as good a guess as any.”
He walked over to his field kit and put his tools away. He sighed as he flipped through his field journal. “Jack’s not gonna like it, but there is nothing here to help in the fight against the Goa’uld. We already knew Ra and Apophis ruled with fear and destruction.”
Sam patted the dejected man’s back. “Don’t worry, Daniel. We have more caves just waiting to be explored. We can only hope to find something of militaristic value in one of them. Or we could find something really cool, just for you.” She flashed the Carter Grin until he could not resist and joined her with his very own version.
She reached for the radio resting in the left breast pocket of her vest. “Colonel O’Neill, come in.”
“O’Neill,” he replied.
“Sir, Daniel and I are finished with the first cave. Looks like you were correct, Sir, we didn’t find anything here, but a mystery.”
“Why does that sound ominous?”
“Not really, Sir. We would like to move on to the next cave. We’ll fill you in then.”
“Right. We’ll rendezvous in thirty minutes. O’Neill, out.”
True to his word, thirty minutes later, all four members of SG-1 were reunited. They worked together setting up and then dismantling the floodlights as they explored two additional caves. Now late into the evening, the sun began its nightly descent behind the far mountain peak in the west sending a plethora of brilliant shades of red and orange across the evening sky.
A loud yawn cracked across O’Neill’s face. “Okay, kids. Let’s call it a day.” He raised a hand to halt the objection on Daniel’s lips. “We haven’t found anything, Daniel. We’re not gonna set up again. There’s too much ground to cover and it’s getting late. We need to go home and rest and bring SG-6 with us tomorrow.”
“Jack,” he protested.
“No. We’re gonna gate home. Now.”
Teal’c watched the war of wills unfold. He agreed with Daniel Jackson. Something was not right here and he would rather discover the answer sooner than later. It was mildly disturbing to have discovered similar desecrations in the last two caves. “I will remain with Daniel Jackson.”
O’Neill cast a surprised look at Teal’c, and then glared at the stunned archaeologist. “Fine,” he shouted and raised his arms in defeat. He noticed Carter edge closer to his side. “I suppose you want to stay, too?” The colonel grumped.
“Not really, Sir.” The words rolled off her lips before she could take them back. She shrugged her shoulders and purposefully did not look at Daniel. “I mean.....umm....I should have said...,” she stuttered.
“Drop it, Carter. You’re a lousy liar.” He scrubbed his hands through slightly graying hair. “Let’s go, Captain.” He did not even stop to address the men staying behind. “We’ll be back tomorrow,” he shouted over his shoulder.
“You were just as bored as I was, Carter. Admit it, I’m finally rubbing off on you.”
The look of disbelieve on her face was worth wasting his time here.
He sighed and mentally switched gears. “I don’t know, maybe Daniel is right. Teal’c seems to think so.” He suddenly stopped and waved his index finger in the air. “Do not tell him I said that.”
They double-timed it and soon found themselves nearing the stargate. Sam quickly dialed home and the familiar swoosh opened the gate. She sent their IDC and right before they stepped through the shimmering pool, O’Neill turned a mischievous eye to his 2IC. “Way to back your C.O., Carter.” His laugh cut short by the ride through the wormhole.
General Hammond sat slumped in his chair waiting for Doctor Fraiser to join him for their monthly medical progress reports. He had had a long day and all he wanted to do was go home and see his grandkids. He really was not up for the meeting and debated on whether or not to cancel at the last minute. He momentarily entertained the idea, but was afraid the good doctor would haul his ass down to the infirmary. She was a sly one, and he knew he could never cancel without a good reason. She would see right through his ruse and not hesitate to call him on it. He chuckled to himself. He certainly knew how to pick a winner. Doctor Fraiser could snap anyone in line, from a first year cadet to a two star general, without breaking a sweat.
Blaring red lights followed by Lieutenant Simmons’ voice over the intercom announcing an unauthorized off-world activation pushed the general into motion. He was halfway down the stairs when he ran into Doctor Fraiser. She did an about face and they both hurried to the control room where Simmons was busy decoding the incoming signal.
“It’s SG-1’s signal, Sir.” He nervously informed the general.
“Open the iris,” Hammond commanded.
Long seconds ticked by as Janet waited for SG-1 to step through the gate. Her mouth had suddenly gone dry and her racing heart pounded so hard it threatened to leap from her chest. She heaved a sigh of relief when two figures emerged from the liquid ring. O’Neill and the familiar form of Samantha Carter stepped onto the metal ramp with a reverberating clank. They both appeared to be uninjured, but were covered in dirt and dust.
Hammond grabbed the microphone. “Colonel, where are Doctor Jackson and Teal’c?”
“No worries, General. Daniel wanted to stay and Teal’c volunteered to watch his back.” Dust flew in all directions when he removed his hat and beat it against his equally dusty thigh. “If you don’t mind, I like to hit the showers before the briefing.”
The diminutive doctor motioned to Hammond and he leaned down to her level as she whispered in his ear. He nodded and spoke into the microphone. “Report to the infirmary prior to the showers.” He glanced at his watch. “Briefing at 1900 hours.”
“Oh, for cryin’ out loud,” he complained.
“I think it’s a good idea,” Carter muttered, as she stood transfixed by the beautiful woman behind the glass. Her mind must be playing tricks on her. Janet was even more beautiful than she remembered.
“So much for backing your C.O., eh Carter?” He grumped as he brushed past the captain on his way out the door.
The contact snapped the blonde woman out of her trance, and she swiftly followed on the colonel’s heels eager to be reunited with the woman of her dreams.
The door to the CMO's office was slightly ajar and Sam quietly knocked and proceeded through without waiting for a response. The tall blonde stood in the open doorway head canted to one side and watched discreetly as the doctor stared at her computer screen. She was the most beautiful woman Sam had ever seen. The most beautiful, intelligent, graceful, humorous, stubborn, sexy woman she had ever seen. And she was Sam's. She fought an instant wave of nausea as her heart skipped several beats and her stomach lurched. A roller coaster of emotions...disbelief, awe, love, lust...played across her sharp features as she silently gazed at her lover dwarfed behind the large mahogany desk.
The stalwart Captain of SG-1 was not used to feeling so many emotions, let alone have said emotions run amok over her normally very controlled demeanor. While she was offworld, Sam could barely contain the fear that gripped her heart as if a frozen vise had managed to hold the bleeding organ captive. She was not afraid of exploring the unknown territory of a new planet. No, the blonde was apprehensive of being held hostage by her own growing passion of a life with Janet Fraiser and the numbing terror of a desolate life without her. The young woman carefully locked away her dread of losing the love of her life. She was well practiced in holding her emotions close, but the love that radiated from her in uncontained waves was something new and she just could not compartmentalize it into easily manageable boxes to be stored far in the back of her psyche.
Sam was positive her teammates had noticed the difference in her. How could they not? She was totally blind-sided by the unfamiliar feelings and incapable of hiding them from prying eyes, especially Daniel. She would need to keep up her guard around him in the future. It would be difficult, but somehow she would manage.
If their relationship was accidentally revealed it would ruin both their careers. Sam would prefer not to be put in that position, but she had already devised a plan; she would resign her commission to allow Janet to continue her work. She had not broached the subject with Janet yet wanting to avoid the inevitable ensuing argument, but Sam would accept no other option. The brilliant physician's career would not be compromised. Sam sensed her lover was destined to make a positive mark on the world. A slow smile spread across the blonde's face. Brains and beauty, a deadly combination as far as the astrophysicist was concerned. She had not stood a chance in hell to resist the siren call. Like a moth to a flame, Sam gladly fell under her hypnotic trance.
Sensing the silent perusal, the diminutive brunette slowly raised her head and locked eyes with Sam. "He-ey." She flashed a half-smile, blushing from the intense look her lover directed her way.
"Hey, yourself," the blonde replied as she leaned against the door and closed it with her back, the lock silently engaged with an inaudible click. "You about finished so I can take you home?"
Janet nodded, closed her laptop, and gracefully moved across the room into Sam's waiting embrace. Long arms encircled the tiny waist and pulled her closer as the two bodies became one.
"I missed you so much. I couldn't wait to get back home to you. It scares me how much I need you, Janet. How much I love you." She inhaled the familiar vanilla scent that she would forever associate with her tiny lover.
Janet combed through blonde locks to finally find purchase on the back of a slender neck and urged her head down to capture moist lips in a gentle, reassuring kiss. Ending the tender kiss, Janet slowly brushed her right thumb across a soft cheek. She closed her eyes and meticulously ran her hands over the taller woman's face as if to memorize every detail. Sam leaned into the touch and basked in the warm glow emanating from her tiny lover.
Brown eyes, brimming with unshed tears, opened to stare unwavering into depths of ocean blue. "I was tempted not to clear you to jump just so I could keep you close to me......to keep you safe," the doctor quietly admitted.
"I know, baby. It's gonna be hard for awhile, but I know we can get through this separation anxiety together." Sam planted a soft kiss on her brow and tightened her embrace. They stood together, inseparable through time and space, drawing strength from the other, for the other, just as sure as the sun set each evening making room for the moon to take its place in the night sky.
After a few silent moments, Janet found her voice. "I thought the post-mission medical would be the hardest part......to touch you, but not the way I really wanted. But now, here in your arms, I don't think I ever want to let you go."
The soft body held so closely to her own slowly shook as tears, fought back for too long, spilled against her lover's chest. "Let it out, baby. I'm here." Sam caressed her back and held her as she released all the pent up fears and insecurities that festered just below the surface waiting to erupt in an amalgam of undesirable emotions.
Janet Fraiser was not known to wear her emotions so cavalierly on her sleeve, but she had never been in love like this before. She tried to slow the haunting visions of a battered and bleeding image of Sam dying alone on some godforsaken planet. She quietly sobbed as she tried in vain to replace the lingering feeling of trepidation with a more pleasant one.
Slowly, the image changed as she remembered their first night together in her home, in her bed. Sam was so gentle and loving as she pleasured her again and again. Begrudgingly she realized in order to have the good in a relationship, she also needed to tolerate the inevitable bad. It would not be easy, but she would have to concentrate on the good times to get her through the anguish of being separated from Sam on a regular basis. It would take time and considerable effort, but she was willing to do anything to ensure a long-lasting life with her soul mate.
Janet collected all her reserves and the sobs decreased in frequency and intensity until they finally ceased altogether. She continued to cling to Sam like a lifeline as she felt her body and soul buoyed by the strength of her lover. She raised her head to witness one of the sweetest smiles to grace Sam's face. Strong, steady fingers wiped the tears away and then her lover leaned down to capture her swollen mouth to taste first longing, frustration, and then love. Janet deepened the kiss as she requested and gained entrance to Sam's willing mouth as she thrust her warm tongue over moist lips and teeth to finally run her tongue along side Sam's.
The kiss broke as both women feverishly panted for air. "Feel better now?" She asked the doctor.
Janet nodded and tightened her hold around a slim waist. "Now that you're back safe and sound in my arms."
"It will get easier, honey." She kissed the top of her head. "I promise." She wrapped strong arms around Janet and held her close. The brunette sighed and rested her cheek against her companion's soft chest content to once again lose herself in the woman of her dreams.
Recharged and rejuvenated by the pliant body so intimately pressed against her own, Sam fought a wave of arousal so intense it took her breath away. The impulsive need to take her lover where she stood warred against the underlying realization it probably wasn't the best time or place to show her lover how much she had missed her, but Janet's smell and touch invaded her senses until her heart rate steadily increased as it pulsed a rapid, irregular beat against her warm skin.
Aroused beyond rational thought, she pushed the smaller woman back a step to appreciatively stare at the brunette's attire. The lapels of the doctor's lab coat parted as Sam's hands wandered over a quivering stomach and jean clad thighs to finally settle over a well-rounded ass, which fit perfectly in the blonde's gifted hands.
"Is this a new dress code, Doc?" Sam wanted to steer the conversation to happier topics, and nothing made her happier than to have her hands roam over her lover's gorgeous body.
The continued massage sent the doctor's heart rate through the roof. Slowly, the concealing lab coat slid off her shoulders to lay in a heap at their feet. Hammond had cancelled their meeting and while she waited for the mission debriefing to end, Janet had changed into a pair of faded blue jeans that hugged and accentuated all the right curves and a lavender v-neck sweater, which highlighted an impressive chest.
"Cause if it is, I'll need to carry a rather large stick to beat off all your admirers." Deep blue eyes, dilated with need, lovingly caressed her beautiful body. Sam licked suddenly parched lips as she leered at her lover's considerable cleavage and swallowed the ensuing moan that escaped her dry mouth.
Moving with a purpose born of passion, she lowered her head and nuzzled the soft flesh, first with lips to kiss and suck at the brunette's heaving chest and then a wet tongue as she snaked over the exposed flesh. Roaming hands slid from a firm backside to momentarily waver over shapely hips as the blonde pulled the smaller body closer. Hips rocked in a deliberate rhythm as her mouth continued to worship warm flesh.
"Sam, honey, we need to stop." Janet tried to gain some control of the situation, but her statement only inspired the captain to rock her hips harder and moan into the warm chest.
Janet could not help the reciprocated moan as it ripped from her panting mouth. She did not want her lover to stop, but knew they needed to before things got out of hand. She grabbed a handful of blonde hair and gently pulled Sam's head up and away from her.
Rosy cheeked and desperately gasping for breath, glazed blue eyes stared through the doctor. "No. I want you," she growled. Deftly the fly to Janet's jeans was undone and Sam expertly maneuvered her right hand through the opening.
"Sammy, please. You aren't making this easy." Janet reached down and grabbed the wrist working its way under her soaked panties. "We shouldn't do this here."
She was not afraid of being caught because she knew the CMO's office was off limits to prying eyes and curious ears. Her hesitation stemmed from her ingrained military bearing and her aversion to having sex on the base. But Sam's fingers continued to tease her and, though her mind may say no, her body screamed yes.
"Me thinks the lady doth protest too much." Sam snickered and looked down to watch as Janet helped her hand navigate through her heated sex. Her fingers joined Sam's as they explored first her engorged clit and then down to her opening slowly sliding through folds wet with Janet's need. The erotic back and forth rhythm became more insistent with each passing until partnered fingers paused at the entrance. Deep blue eyes captured and stared straight through her lover's soul, and then suddenly she thrust their fingers into her wet center.
"Oh, God!" Janet quietly groaned and braced her hand against a broad shoulder and began to rock her hips riding Sam's longer fingers and sending them deeper and deeper with each thrust. The blonde leaned over and captured moist lips in a searing open-mouthed kiss. She thrust her tongue in Janet’s mouth slowly exploring every millimeter of wanton flesh before sucking on her lover's tongue and finally acquiescing to Janet's own desire.
The sexual frenzy lasted for seconds, minutes, or hours. Janet was not sure of anything at the moment. They could be caught in a time warp for all she cared, but she quickly became aware of her inability to stand as her knees buckled underneath her quaking body. Sam removed their hands from between Janet's legs and wrapped strong arms around a tiny waist preventing the brunette from falling to the floor.
Janet brushed their flushed foreheads together and panted into Sam's mouth. "We can't do this here." At the taller woman's confused look, she quickly added, "Carry me to the couch, Sammy. You are driving me crazy and I can't stand any longer."
Sam smiled and lifted her lover, who promptly wrapped her trembling legs around a slim waist, and headed for their impromptu bed. Soft lips met halfway and Sam eagerly opened her mouth as a moist tongue insistently darted inside. A deep groan rumbled from the blonde's chest as the smaller woman claimed and marked her willing victim as her very own with a wet tongue, sharp teeth, and swollen lips.
"I'm not hurting you, am I?" The brunette mumbled between kisses. Apparently the doctor in Janet never rested.
Blonde bangs fell across her forehead when she shook her head. "You aren't hurting me, but I am in painful need of release only you can give me, love."
With kiss-swollen mouths joined together in an erotic dance, Sam gently sat her lover on the edge of the couch and knelt between her legs. She tried to remove Janet's jeans without breaking the kiss and growled in frustration when the offensive garment did not peel off fast enough.
Reluctantly, the blonde ended the heated kiss and in one fluid motion shoes, jeans, and panties were flung across the room.
Janet's hands were not idle and she quickly removed Sam's blouse and bra to expose pert breasts and nipples screaming for attention. Tanned hands massaged the round mounds and then expertly pinched stiff peaks until Sam moaned and offered more of herself as she arched her back into talented hands. "You like that." It was not a question.
Sam answered with a mewling groan and purred as the lovely brunette continued kneading supple flesh.
With a devilish glint to blue eyes gone black, she whispered, "I like this, too." She slid her hands up the doctor's legs and gently spread soft thighs and lowered her face to Janet's wet mound, almost, but not quite touching. She slid her hands around curved hips to grasp each trembling globe and lifted the diminutive figure up and into her salivating mouth. Sam inhaled deeply, taking in the unique aroma of her lover's essence. Drunk with desire, she slowly ran her tongue up the length of wet, swollen folds to taste her lover as if for the first time.
Janet watched every move the blonde made. Captivated as her lover's tongue licked through her heat and tasted the desire that freely flowed from her heart to pour like an aching waterfall between her legs. Lust-filled brown eyes followed her tongue has it swirled around her throbbing bundle of nerves, mesmerized as lips rolled and sucked until it disappeared altogether in Sam's mouth.
Unusually quiet, Janet finally released a low moan and panted as her orgasm began to peak. She tried to hold back, but the imagery coupled with the physical stimulation was her undoing. She ran her fingers through golden hair and Sam looked over hooded eyes to bear witness as she pushed her lover over the edge and into the chasm.
The brunette fell against the back of the couch and quietly breathed out Sam's name over and over as she bucked into the warmth of the mouth consuming her. Sam easily moved with the sudden position change, her mouth firmly clamped and in position to take every delicious drop flowing freely from her lover as she came. She slowly brought Janet down from her exquisite high enjoying the soft sounds escaping her crimson lips.
Janet grasped the blonde's head between shaking hands and guided Sam up to devour her mouth, wet with her come, and tasted herself on her lover's tongue. Sam smiled into the kiss knowing Janet enjoyed this almost as much as she did.
The need to breathe finally separated the lovers long enough for Sam to stand and reach to unfasten her belt. Dainty hands swatted at Sam's and she acquiesced and lowered her hands to her sides.
"I want to undress you, love. Take what's mine." She gazed up and salaciously licked her pouting lips knowing the effect it would have on her impassioned lover.
A crooked eyebrow disappeared behind blonde bangs. "Why does that excite me?" She gasped through a shaky breath. Probably because she was so damned horny she could come on command if Janet so ordered. She felt as though she had not made love with Janet in weeks, but it had in fact, been only yesterday.
"To know you're mine?" She asked with a sly smile as she took her time unbuttoning the taller woman's jeans.
She nodded, unsure if she could actually voice a reply. She swallowed and then again as Janet leaned in to place butterfly kisses on her exposed abdomen as her fingers probed and lightly teased her beneath her panties.
"God, Janet!" She hissed through clenched teeth. Janet was in one of her 'moods', which meant her lover was going to unmercifully tease her until she begged for release, and Sam was going to enjoy... every... single...millisecond.
Perched on the edge of the couch, Janet slowly worked the denim material off one hip then the next until she had wiggled enough for gravity to pull them the rest of the way to the floor. Sam stepped out of her shoes and then the jeans leaving her to stand before the brunette in just her panties. The doctor widened her stance and then kissed her through the thin material while she continued to finger her through the satin barrier.
Strong hands came to rest on the smaller woman's shoulders and she arched her pelvis into Janet's mouth and fingers. She sucked through the satin until it was drenched with the combination of her saliva and Sam's juices. The moans escalated when she pulled the barrier to the side and entered her with her tongue.
"Janet, please." The blonde begged and thrust her hips to deepen the contact with the probing tongue lashing in and out of her at an increasing rate.
Annoyed at the limited contact, Janet reached up and removed the sodden barrier and immediately increased the contact between her mouth and Sam's dripping center.
"More." The blonde chanted and rocked her hips, louder and faster with each thrust until Janet feared she would be heard out in the infirmary. Fuck the infirmary; Sam would undoubtedly rock the mountain if she came now, so she slowed her tongue until it was no longer buried inside her squirming lover.
"No, don't stop." She pleaded. "I need you."
Janet placed wet kisses along her inner thighs and continued to kiss her way up her quivering body until she stopped the ascent to pay special attention to her breasts as she twirled her tongue around her left nipple prior to taking it in her mouth and suckle like a starving babe at her mother's breast while she palmed the other in her left hand. Sam whimpered as her breasts where skillfully lavished by lips, teeth and tongue. She needed more of Janet, more of everything. Instinctively, her lover realized she had reached her threshold and needed to release the ache throbbing deep within her center.
Janet stepped back and pulled her sweater over her head and Sam reached around to unclasp and remove her bra. They lay as one, Janet beneath her ardent lover, as Sam claimed her mouth and kissed her like she had never been kissed before. Dueling tongues and teeth scraped against swollen flesh and fought for dominance as each submitted to the other desires.
Janet urged her to straddle her hips and Sam shuddered as three fingers entered her molten heat. The blonde quickly set the rhythm while she continued to devour her lover's succulent mouth. She rode her hand faster, harder, and deeper until she wrenched her mouth from Janet's and started to scream, but Janet had anticipated her action and quickly muffled the screams and moans of pure ecstasy with her mouth. Sam convulsed in her arms and rode the tidal waves of her pleasure, and just when she thought she would pass out, the waves turned to ripples and then ceased.
She continued the kiss until oxygen deprivation became a real problem and they both panted into each other's sweaty faces. Sam could not believe it, but she was once again on the verge and if the freight train roaring in Janet's chest was any indication of her need, she was ready, too.
Sam stretched her body over naked flesh until she felt Janet's mound with her own and then began a slow, deliberate rocking motion. Janet lifted her hips to increase the contact, but placed her hands on Sam's waist to slow the pace.
She laughed at Sam's confused look. "Slow and easy, baby. No rush now that we've had a taste of each other." She pulled her down to lave her collarbone and neck making Sam purr as she sucked a tender spot behind her right ear.
"If you continue to do that, there's not gonna be any slow and easy to it, love," she growled as Janet found yet another tender spot as yet unmarked.
The brunette's breath quickened and she arched her hips and rocked into Sam. "It was just a... suggestion...not a... hard and fast... rule." She gasped as Sam reciprocated the motion and increased the pace and friction.
"That's what I thought." Sam managed to say between sighs. She was on the verge of another mind-blowing orgasm, but wanted to wait for Janet. She rested her forehead against her tiny lover's and thrust even faster. "The only thing that's gonna be hard and fast is your orgasm when I make you come." It was a simple statement of fact declared through a husky voice gasping for breath.
That did it, the combination of sultry promises and a naked Sam Carter pressed so intimately to her catapulted them both over and into the abyss.
Moments later, the spent lovers lay entwined on Janet's couch unwilling or unable to move after their intense lovemaking session.
"What time is it?"
Sam looked over Janet's head to read the clock hanging on the wall. "2230."
Not as late as she had guessed. "Up and at'em, Carter." She slapped Sam's bare ass and received the desired effect as Sam jumped off the couch and began to gather their clothes discarded haphazardly about the office. After a brief bathroom visit for each, they were clothed and ready to leave the mountain.
Janet gazed at the couch, luckily the stain hadn't set and she was able to wash it out without much difficulty. They must have been crazy to have sex in her office. Crazy in love.
"You know we shouldn't have done that here, Sam." She knew once they crossed that line at work there would be no turning back. They could not afford to get caught in the throes of passion. Yes, her office was safe as long as they locked out the rest of the world, but could they really contain the lust building between them in leaps and bounds? She chuckled to herself. Jesus, they were not out of control teenagers hell-bent on getting laid at any and every opportunity. Okay, so maybe they weren't teenagers. They would need to show some restraint at work, that was all there was to it.
"I'm sorry, honey. I missed you so much." Sam whined. "It's your fault, you know." She paused for effect, but Janet did not bite. "You know how much I love that sweater." She shivered, locked into a not too distant memory. "It....does things to me."
The doctor snorted. "The sweater, huh?" She embraced Sam from behind. "I know how much you love my cleavage in that sweater, Sam."
"So you admit it is your fault?" Janet had lost the argument; she just did not know it yet.
"How is that my fault?" She turned the taller woman to face her.
"You wore the sweater knowing how irresistible your," she pointedly leered at her lover's exposed chest, "assets are to me."
"You are incorrigible! ”
"And you love it!" Sam embraced and kissed her. "I am sorry, Janet. I know we shouldn't have made love here on base." She absently chewed on her thumbnail.
Janet recognized that particular gesture immediately. "But..." She drawled and encouraged Sam to continue.
"But, it was either your office or the car." The Carter Grin exploded in full force.
The brown-haired woman rubbed her chin and pondered the statement. Sam could see the wheels turning and suddenly she was very afraid. "The car, huh?" Oh yeah, the good doctor could imagine that scenario quite easily.
To be continued....