Against All Odds
The summer night was beautiful. It was the middle of August and close to midnight, but the temperature was still in the high twenties, the air still smelled of pollen, crickets chirped their romantic serenade, and the sky was a vast sea of stars. It was an atmosphere of complete and utter peace. On a blanket in her back garden, Janet Fraiser lay curled up on her lover's chest. A bottle of wine sat on the grass, three quarters empty, and two glasses sat on the blanket either side of the two lovers. Sam Carter wrapped her arm, tighter around Janet's waist and pulled her closer to her. Janet happily let her, moving her hand so that it sat just under Sam's top, on her flat stomach.
"The group there, is Taurus, even though it looks nothing like a bull," Sam said, pointing vertically, with her free hand, at the sky. "You normally can't see it."
"Taurus as in the star sign?" Janet asked, watching intently.
"That's my star sign."
"I know. That's why I showed you," Sam replied, gently stroking Janet's forearm.
"Where's yours?" Janet asked, shifting her head to just under Sam's chin so she could get a better view of the sky.
"Scorpio? You can only see it from the Southern Hemisphere." Quickly sweeping her hand across the sky, she stopped at another group. "That's 'the great bear' and…" moving her hand almost 180 degrees pointed to a group behind them. "…That's 'Orion'."
"Where's the Big Dipper'?"
Sam moved her hand so it pointed directly above them. "There."
Janet frowned. "I thought that was the North Star?"
Sam shook her head. "No, the North Star is only called that because it's directly above the North Pole. It doesn't mean that its position is always North to wherever you or I are."
"So the saying, 'if you're lost just follow the North Star and it will guide you home--'"
Sam cut in. "Crap. You'd end up in the North Pole."
"Maybe that's just Santa's saying then." Janet joked; both women laughed.
"If you give me a minute I'll show you something really amazing," Sam said, concentrating on the stars above them. Janet nodded and sat up, taking a sip of her wine she watched Sam make several calculations before closing her eyes to let her mind work them out. She was obviously looking for something. Putting her glass down, she lay back down on Sam's chest, smiling to herself as Sam's arm instantly wrapped back round her. As she waited for the astrophysicist to finish the calculation, she listened to her slow heartbeat, and gentle breathing. She had realised about a month a go that they were the most relaxing sounds in the world. Sam opened her eyes again and searched the sky until she found one of the smallest stars. Reaching up she pointed it out to Janet.
"See that star?" she asked, a low level of excitement in her voice.
Janet nodded. "Yeah."
"I think it's Abydos."
"Really?" Janet asked, shocked. "Wow! Can you see anywhere else you've been from here?"
Sam shook her head. "I don't think so, maybe two or three, but certainly no more. They're too far away. Besides I'd need a telescope, the exact co-ordinates, and a computer to work out which ones they were."
Janet smiled. "I'll bet. This job must be a dream come true for you, I mean, traveling to other star systems and things."
"It is. When I was a kid, I'd come out every night with my Dad and get him to tell me all the names and positions of planets and constellations visible through my telescope. I made star charts, and graphs, I read books upon books on space, it's all I ever wanted to do. It's still all I want to do. It just… it fascinates me to think that we're just a tiny race living on a tiny planet, in this gigantic universe." Sam moved her head down slightly so that she could see Janet. "It doesn't mean anything without you though."
Janet propped herself up on her elbow and looked deep in to Sam's eye's.
"You mean that?"
Sam nodded. "Yeah, of course I do. The universe is amazing, but without you, every one of those stars…" she swept her hand across the sky, "would go out." everyone is a word, but refers to groups of people. In this instance, it's two words
Janet held back tears. "Sam, that's beautiful."
Sam shrugged. "I love you, Janet. My life, no matter how fascinating, is not worth living without you." Leaning forward, she gently kissed Janet's forehead, before fully lying back down again. Janet quickly took her position back up as well, only this time she hugged Sam tightly.
"I love you so much, Samantha Carter. Tell me this night never has to end."
Sam smiled. "I'm afraid I can't, but I promise, there'll be thousands more like it." She returned her gaze back up to the sky and searched until she found the brightest Star. Pointing it out, she gave Janet a gentle squeeze. "That Star's for you."
Janet looked at it. "Why?"
"Because it's the brightest out there, and if you took my heart, a few minutes after I'd been with you, and placed it with every other Human's in this galaxy, that's what it would look like."
A tear rolled down Janet's cheek and she turned over so she was lying on her stomach and looking down at Sam. Sam gently wiped the tear away.
"What did I ever do to deserve you. You're so beautiful and perfect," Janet said lovingly. Leaning down, she kissed Sam full on the lips, putting every emotion she possessed into it. Eventually, she broke the kiss and smiled.
"Come on, let's go to bed, we've both got a long day ahead of us tomorrow."
Sam nodded and allowed Janet to pull her to her feet. Grabbing the glasses and bottle, she let Janet get the blanket, then wrapping her arm around Janet's shoulder, she led them both in side.
* * * * *
The alarm rang out across the bedroom. Janet's hand shot out from under the covers and turned it off, while Sam threw a pillow over her head and turned over.
"Come on, sleepy, you've got to get to get up," Janet said, pulling the pillow back off her lover's head.
Sam groaned, the sound almost primitive. "It can't be morning already, we just got to bed. Give me a few more minutes," she mumbled.
Janet chuckled. "No! You're setting a bad example for Cassie. Every time you stay over, she's impossible to get out of bed. Now get up and show her that it's good to be on time."
Sam groaned again so Janet leaned forward and placed a kiss on the end of her nose.
"Look, Sam, if I had it my way, I'd keep you in here all day, but I don't think General Hammond would appreciate his senior medical officer and highly intelligent major, taking the day off to spend it in bed."
Groaning for the third time in as many minutes, Sam sat up and rubbed her eyes.
"You're right, but we can dream, can't we?"
"We certainly can," Janet said as she pushed back the covers and began to get out the bed. Sam quickly grabbed her arm and pulled her back onto the mattress.
"Don't I get a good morning kiss?" she asked smiling wickedly.
Janet rolled her eyes and placed a kiss on Sam's cheek. "Good morning, Sam!" she said sarcastically. Sam cocked her head and sighed, then grasping both of Janet's shoulders, forced her to lie back down, before kissing her tenderly on the lips. Smiling, she bent down again, attempting a more passionate one, but Janet placed a finger over her mouth before Sam made contact.
"Sam!" she warned. "Don't even try it." Quickly she left the bed and watched as Sam's head dropped into the pillow where a few seconds ago, she had been lying.
"You can't blame a girl for trying," Sam said innocently.
Janet smiled. "I'd blame you if you didn't try." Picking up her dressing gown she put it on and tied it. "I'm going for a shower, do me a favour and wake Cassie up," she instructed as she left the room. Sam grunted and lay back down.
"And don't you dare go back to sleep, Samantha," she shouted from the bathroom as if reading her mind.
Sam sat back up and saluted. "Yes, Ma'am," she said to the empty room before grabbing her jeans off the floor and jumping out of bed.
* * * * * *
Sam entered the kitchen. It had taken her the whole time it took Janet to get a shower to get Cassie out of bed. Now twenty minutes later, she had finished her own shower and was in search of some coffee. Cassie was sat at the table, eating a bowl of cereal, her eyes were still half closed and she kept yawning. Sam grinned and rubbed the girl's head as she walked past.
"Someone's not very good at getting up in the morning," she teased.
Cassandra scoffed and pointed at Sam. "I learn from the best."
"Hey! Cheeky," Sam said, smiling.
"Maybe, but she's right," Janet cut in, taking some bread out the toaster.
"Oh fine." Sam threw her hands up in the air. "What is this, pick on Carter day?"
"Would we do that?" Janet asked sweetly.
Sam scowled and poured herself, a cup of black coffee. Taking a sip, she placed the cup on the table and walked over to where Janet stood. Picking up a slice of toast, she tossed it across the kitchen onto a plate lying next to her coffee, and wrapped her arms around Janet's waist.
"Good morning, gorgeous," she said cheerfully. Janet shrugged out of her tight grip and straightened her uniform.
"Sam, would you quit grabbing me," she scolded. "I only just ironed my uniform, you'll crease it."
Sam huffed and threw her hands up in mock surrender, "Fine then, I can't speak, I can't touch, I'll just go and sit at the table and eat my breakfast if that's allowed." She sat down at the table and looked across at Cassie who instantly started laughing.
"Oh well, I don't know about that," Janet teased. "What do you say, Cass? Shall we let her eat?" This made Cassie laugh even harder and she almost fell off her chair. Sam just made a face. Janet sat down with them, reaching across the table, she placed a kiss on Sam's cheek.
"Oh, come on, Hon, you know how much I love to tease you." Sam smiled and shook her head. Picking up her toast she took a bite.
"Are you jumping today, Sam?" Cassie asked when she'd recovered enough to speak.
"No, I've got to work on speeding up the time it takes to dial out. SG-1 don't have another jump until the end of the week." The horn from the school bus, came from outside and Cassie jumped up. Placing her cup and plate in the dishwasher, she picked her bag up from the floor and kissed the two women.
"Bye!" she shouted over her shoulder as she headed for the door.
"See you later."
"Bye, Honey." Janet called after her. "And don't be late, we're going out tonight, remember?" The only answer she got was the front door slamming; she looked towards Sam and rolled her eyes. Sam smiled in return and stood up taking hers and Janet's plates with her. Janet stood up after her and grabbed her round the waist, turning her so they faced each other.
"Oh, so I can't grab you when you're in uniform, but you can grab me," Sam said playfully.
Janet's arms moved to Sam's neck. "Ah, but you're only wearing your fatigues. I'm in dress."
Sam nodded. "Point taken."
Stretching up, Janet kissed Sam softly on the lips. "I just wanted to say thank you for last night. It was beautiful."
This time Sam kissed Janet. "It was, wasn't it? We'll have to do it again."
"Definitely." Kissing for a third and final time, Janet let her arms fall away and looked at the floor. "Erm Sam?" she began nervously. "About tonight, and you meeting my parents."
"Well, I wanted to warn you that they can be very judgmental, they might get a bit a funny." She paused, placing her hand on Sam's hip. "But I'm sure they'll end up loving you. I mean, what's there not to love."
Sam smiled and squeezed Janet tightly. "Stop worrying, It'll be fine. You wait and see." Looking down at her watch, she saw that they were all ready ten minutes late. "Damn, were going to be so late." Bending down, she kissed Janet again. "Are you ready to resume the role of doctor and best friend, lover?"
"Yeah, I hate all this secrecy."
"I know," Sam said taking her car keys out her pocket. "But it's either that or our jobs"
Janet nodded and opened the front door, motioning Sam through it. "Yep, guess it's back to reality, Major." She commented sadly, before following Sam out.
* * * * * *
After saying bye to Janet in the parking lot, Sam entered the briefing room, surprisingly, bang on time.
"Thought you were going to be late for a minute there, Carter." Jack O'Neill said as she sat down.
"I nearly was," Sam replied truthfully.
"Late night with a new guy, hey Sam?" Daniel Jackson asked teasingly.
"Something like that," Sam answered, trying to prevent herself from blushing. Turning back to the Colonel, she quickly changed the subject. "What does the General want to see us for, Sir?" she asked.
Jack shrugged. "Don't know, was hoping you could tell me."
"Is it possible we have a mission?" Teal'c asked from the far end of the table.
"Well, wouldn't we know about by now?" Daniel pointed out.
Jack shook his head. "I don't know. I have a life too you know." The other three looked at him in disbelief. "I do," he cried. "Carter's not the only one that gets out of this place." Daniel was just about to ask him exactly what he was doing last night, when the door opened and General Hammond walked in. Jack and Sam instantly stood to attention.
"As you were," Hammond ordered. He sat down and the others followed.
"So what's this about, Sir?" Jack asked once they were all settled.
"I won't keep you long, I know you all have a lot of work to do before your next jump in four days. However, I think you should know that the natives on planet P364-826, have turned a little bit hostile towards us."
"P364-826. Isn't that where we went last week?" Daniel asked.
Sam nodded, "That's the one." She looked towards Hammond. "What's the problem, Sir?"
Hammond cleared his throat. "It seems they've taken the information we gave them on how to defend themselves against the Goa'uld as an insult. They think were trying to tell them how to run their planet."
Jack rolled his eyes. "Oh, for crying out loud. You try and offer a bit of friendly advice, and you get kicked in the ass."
"I'm afraid so," Hammond agreed.
"Does this mean we are to go back to the planet to settle the matter?" Teal'c said calmly.
"No. SG-9 are the experts on diplomacy. You'd only make it worse. They'll be going back at 1100 hours."
"Well then, with all due respect, Sir, what have we got to do with it?" Jack asked politely.
"You might need to go back there once SG-9 have sorted the problem, to apologise."
"Apologise?" Jack was beginning to get angry. "Sir, we didn't do anything. We said Hi, ate their food, drank their water, gave them a bit of advice and left. They're the ones making the big deal here, not us."
Sam nodded her head in agreement.
"I know you have nothing to apologise for, but if we want to remain friends with this race, then you might have too. I don't need to tell you that we can't afford any more enemies right now."
"Understood, Sir," Jack answered, knowing only too well the threat that the Gou'ald still posed.
"Alright, do whatever you were going to do today, if you are needed you'll be sent for, until then, forget about it." Hammond stood and collected several papers. "Your dismissed SG-1." He said, leaving the room.
* * * * * *
The rest of the day passed without incident. SG-9 didn't report back on the situation on P364-826, so it was assumed that the talks were going on longer then expected. Since the meeting with the general that morning, Sam hadn't even seen any of her team. She'd spent the day in her lab trying to speed up the time it took to dial out. By the time she clocked off at 5:30, she had managed to speed up the time by five seconds, something the General was extremely pleased to hear, Even though it was obvious he was starting to worry about SG-9. It was now 6:30 and Janet was just pulling her car up the gravel driveway of a very big house. It looked at least six bedrooms and was sat in its own grounds.
"Wow!" Sam said from the passenger seat, her eyes almost popping out of their sockets. "Your parents live here?" Her tone was that of shock.
Janet nodded. "Yeah. Unfortunately."
"Unfortunately? How can you say that? Look at this place, there are five brand new cars parked up the drive, and two of them are Ferrari's."
Janet scoffed. "Well what do you expect with a professor for a father and a lawyer for a mother. They like to show off. The dinner will practically be silver service."
"Ow! Should I have worn my dress uniform?"
Janet let out a small chuckle. "Probably. However, these cars aren't all theirs. Ones is my brother's and his wife's."
"Oh. They're going to be here as well?"
Janet parked the car and turned the engine off. "Yeah. It's about the only time in the year we get invited."
"Nice." As soon as the car stopped, Cassie jumped out and ran to the front door. It was round and wooden; more like something from a castle then a house. She knocked once and turned back to the two women, beckoning them to join her. They got out the car and walked the small way up the drive. Janet was absently playing with a chain round her neck, the worry clear on her face. Sam grasped her hand and squeezed it reassuringly. She squeezed back grateful for the gesture, but quickly let go when the front door opened. Sam frowned, not quite certain as to why. The women that answered the door appeared to be in her late fifties. Bending down she engulfed Cassie in a hug and pointed out someone inside to her. Giggling with delight, the girl ran inside, leaving only Janet's mom, on the doorstep.
"Good evening, Janet." Sam was quick to pick up on the sudden coldness in her voice.
Janet leaned forward and kissed the woman. "Hi, Mom," she replied sheepishly. "How are you?"
"We're both fine," a male voice said from behind Janet's mother.
"Dad!" Janet acknowledged, kissing him also. He was dressed in a suit and Sam instantly felt out of place in her jeans, shirt and leather jacket.
"Come in," her mother said, taking both their jackets. "I see your new soldier boyfriend, what was his name…."
"Sam," her father prompted. Sam looked straight at him when she recognised her name, totally confused as to what they were talking about.
"Sam," her mother corrected, "couldn't make it."
Janet let out a breath and looked at the floor, her face turning a deep shade of pink. Sam's eye's widened in horror as she suddenly realised why Janet had been so nervous. Gathering all her confidence, Janet looked her mother straight in the eye.
"James and Sandra Fraiser," she moved her hand to Sam's shoulder, "this is Major Samantha Carter. My girlfriend." Sam felt all colour drain from her face as she watched James and Sandra's jaws drop so low they almost hit the floor.
"What?" James blurted out.
"I'm gay, Dad." Janet informed him, her body completely tense.
James looked at his wife and she shook her head in denial. "This is insane," she said and turning, stalked out the room. Sam glared at Janet, she couldn't believe she hadn't told them before now. Quickly gathering his emotions, James extended his hand to Sam, she shook it cautiously.
"I'm sorry, where are my manners? It's nice to meet you, Major, interesting, but nice."
"Thank you, Sir," Sam replied
"Your brothers in the lounge, Janet. Dinner won't be ready for a while so why don’t you introduce them to your new…." He eyed Sam, trying to find the right word. "Partner."
Janet led Sam into a huge lounge. It looked like something you would find in an English stately home. The floor was wooden with oriental rugs scattered here and there, and the fireplace was intricately carved in knots and twists. A man that appeared to be a few years older than Janet, saw them from across the room and smiled broadly, jumping up to greet them, his arms outstretched.
"Jan!" he shouted happily. Janet returned the smile and hugged him tightly.
"Hi, Pete," she replied, kissing his cheek. It was obvious that the siblings were a lot closer to each other than their parents.
"How are you?" he asked, holding both her hands.
"I'm fine, never better actually. How about you?"
"Great, great. If you're wondering where Cassie is, she's with Chris and Rachel. I don't know what they're doing."
Janet nodded. "Isn't it yours and Rachel's anniversary soon?"
"Yeah, two weeks, and you're invited to the party." He looked towards Sam. "So is Sam. I assume this is Sam?"
Janet nodded and wrapped her arm around Sam's waist. "This is her. Gorgeous, isn't she?" Sam smiled at the comment. Pete shook her hand.
"She certainly is. You have a beautiful smile, Sam."
"Thank you," Sam replied, relaxing a little. At least Pete knew about their relationship.
"So how long have you two been seeing each other?"
"About two months." Janet informed cheerfully.
"We're just about to serve dinner." James cut in from the doorway, still eyeing Sam strangely "If you'd like to go to the dinning room."
* * * * *
Janet had been right. The meal was practically silver service. It was three courses and very formal. The conversation had been awkward. It was obvious that Sandra had a problem with her daughter's choice of a partner although she didn't say it. Every few minutes, Pete would make a light remark, trying to lighten the mood, but it didn't seem to be working, and James sat at the head of the table, constantly casting suspicious glances towards Sam. Eventually, after finishing his main course, he wiped his mouth with his napkin and addressed Sam directly for the first time all night.
"So, Major, Janet tells us you’re a soldier. You're in the air force, are you a pilot?"
Sam cleared her throat, clearly uncomfortable. "Ah yes. I'm a fighter pilot. Or at least I was."
"Are you any good?"
Sam opened her mouth to speak but Janet got their first. "The best," she said proudly. "You've seen the film 'Top Gun' haven't you, Dad. Well, that was Sam."
"What was your code name then?" Pete asked from opposite them. "You know, like Tom Cruise's was Maverick."
"Gravity." Sam replied, smiling.
"So how long have you been in the military, Major?" James asked seriously.
"Dad, she's not on duty now, would you call her Sam, that is her name," Janet scolded.
James glared at his daughter, but she ignored it. Sam answered the question.
"About ten years."
James nodded respectfully. "So you fought in the Gulf?"
"Yes, Sir, I did."
"Don't you get scared knowing that you have to fight in wars?" Sandra asked, taking the line of questioning from her husband.
"Yes, Ma'am," Sam replied truthfully. "I always wonder whether or not I'll make it back home, but you just have to get on with it."
Silence fell over the table again; Janet looked at Sam who was concentrating on her empty plate. She reached under the table and gave Sam's leg a gentle squeeze to let her know that she was doing fine. Sam smiled at the small gesture and took the hand in one of her own.
* * * * * *
After dinner, Janet helped her mother wash the pots and make some coffee, while the others all went through to the lounge. Janet watched as Sandra gave the knife and fork Sam had used an extra clean, almost as if she thought Sam would pass some fatal disease onto the family. Rolling her eyes, Janet turned the kettle on and looked at her mother, she was fed up of the way Sam was being treated and wanted an explanation.
"Why do you have a problem with me being gay?" she asked harshly.
Sandra looked shocked, almost a little hurt at the accusation. "I don't, sweetie. It was just a shock that's all. I don't mind who you're with as long as it makes you happy."
"Okay, then why do have a problem with Sam?" Janet tried again.
Sandra sighed and lent against the sink, refusing to look at her daughter. "I just don't think she's right for you."
"Because she's a soldier. Soldier's are cold, hard people."
Janet scoffed, "I'm a soldier, Mom."
"Yes, but not in the same way. Your job is to help as many people as you can, hers is to kill as many."
Janet shook her head. "I can't believe you would judge her by what she does. Sam's not like that. She hates to kill and only does it in self-defence. You don't know her like I do. She's kind and caring, and if it wasn't for her then Cassie wouldn't be the girl she is today."
"I don't care. She doesn't deserve you. You're too good for her. You're intelligent and beautiful. She's…just a soldier."
Janet slammed down on the worktop with her fist. "What? You think she isn't intelligent. Is that it?" she shouted. "Well, in case you're interested, she happens to be a doctor as well."
"A medical one?" Sandra asked.
"No, she's a theoretical astrophysicist. One of the best in the world, if not the best. She can work out calculations in her head in thirty seconds that you couldn't work out in three hours, with the equations in front of you," Janet stated bluntly.
"Don't insult me, Janet," Sandra ordered, her voice agitated.
"I'm not, but Sam is amazingly intelligent, and you're not treating her fairly."
Finishing off the last of the dishes, Sandra emptied the water from the sink, the next question surprised Janet.
"Do you love her?"
Janet nodded. "Yeah, Mom, I do, and I know she loves me."
"Okay, but I still don't think she's right for you."
Janet smiled. "No, Mom, Sam's not right for me, she's perfect, and all I ask is that you give her a chance."
Sandra nodded, "One chance, but I swear to God, Janet, if she breaks your heart, soldier or no soldier, I'll kill her."
* * * * * *
It was late night when Janet drove them back home. She was pleased with the way the night had ended. Her parents had given Sam a bit of break, and although she got the impression that they still didn't approve of her, they were willing to give her a chance. Cassie was sat in the back seat, every few minutes she would say something to prove that she was still awake, unlike Sam, who was not making any effort at all to hide the fact that she wanted nothing more then to go to sleep, frequently yawning or rubbing her eyes. Janet thought she looked adorable.
"Sorry I didn't pick you to play basketball with, Janet," Cassie said, talking about the game of three on three basketball herself, Janet, Sam, James, Pete and his Son Chris, had played. "I know you taught me how to play, but I really wanted to be on Pete and Chris's team."
"That's okay, Honey, I love playing with Sam anyway," she replied.
Sam picked up on Janet's double meaning and raised her eyebrows, grinning. Janet looked across at her and smiled suggestively, indicating that the second meaning was the one she had meant. Cassie didn't pick up on the sexual innuendo and smiled, pleased that she'd sorted that problem out. Settling down, it wasn't long before the girl had fallen asleep and Janet took that as the time to talk to Sam.
"I'm sorry that my parents were so rude."
Sam shook her head. "They just worry about you. They don't want you to get hurt, and I can get a bit of the cold soldier attitude. Plus I have a foul sense of humour."
Janet chuckled. "Yeah, all the things I love about ya."
Sam smiled. "It's nice to know they care about you, and I'm sure they're really friendly when you get to know them."
Now it was Janet's turn to laugh and the sound woke Cassie up who sat straight up.
"I wasn't asleep you know," she said sleepily.
Both women smiled at each other. "No, sure you weren't," Sam said sarcastically as Janet turned into her street.
* * * * * *
It was six a.m. when Sam entered the canteen in search of some breakfast. She had turned down Janet's offer to stay over because she had an early start the next day, so she had spent the night in her quarters on base. Picking up a blueberry muffin and a coffee, she sat down by herself at one of the tables and began working on some calculations she had brought with her. She hadn't been there long when a young airman came up to her, looking like he'd just run a marathon.
"Major Carter, Ma'am," he said, saluting. Sam looked up, returning the salute.
"Yes, airmen, what is it?"
"General Hammond requests your immediate presence in the briefing room. It is a matter of extreme importance."
"Thank you, airmen, I'll go right there," she replied, standing.
Sam was surprised by the amount of people in the briefing room. Whatever was going on it was certainly serious. The General wasn't there yet, but the rest of her team, and SG-3, were. No one seemed to know what was happening, and Sam suddenly got a very bad feeling about the situation. She remained standing behind her chair until Hammond walked in. He nodded once and everyone sat down. He looked concerned and angry; his uniform was slightly creased indicating that he hadn't changed so he probably hadn't been to sleep either.
"Yesterday, when SG-9 failed to report back from P364-826 by 1500 hours, we sent SG-11 in after them. They reported that despite SG9's best diplomatic efforts, the natives were still uncooperative and had taken SG-9 prisoner. At around 1700 hours the natives sent us a message saying that they had caught SG-11 on the outskirts of the city and executed them. They made it clear that they saw the rescue mission as an act of war and began to send hourly bombs through the gate."
"Are you saying they've declared war on us, Sir?" Jack asked, clearly shocked.
"That's exactly what I'm saying, Colonel. No one here knows how much more the iris can take before the bombs destroy it and, with the execution of four of our men and the imprisonment of SG-9, the President has ordered a full-scale attack. Since SG units 1 and 3 are the main fighter teams, you will join forces." Stunned silence fell over the table as the officers tried to absorb what had just been said.
"Join forces, Sir?" Sam asked after a few minutes from her position next to Jack.
"Yes, Major. You will be the front line. Once you have established a perimeter; all the other SG teams will join you. We may even set up a medical facility. Your main priorities will be to rescue SG-9 and prevent them from firing the bombs."
"What's the standard of their technology and weaponry?" Makepeace asked.
"Ah, it's very similar to ours," Daniel spoke nervously from the far end of the table. "Machine guns and computers. They're very close to us in that manner."
"Any more questions?" Hammond asked. The room remained silent so he continued. "All right, you will all properly be debriefed at 1400 hours. However, you won't ship out until 0800 tomorrow as we have to run tests on what sort of bombs they're sending through and the exact time that it would be safe to send you. When you get there, the chain of command will go as follows, Colonel O'Neill will run the operation, Colonel Makepeace his second in command and Major Carter the third. The same will apply once all the other teams have joined you. If at any time, any of those three officers are incapacitated, then command will fall to the next, highest ranked soldier. Is that understood?"
"Yes, Sir," everyone replied simultaneously.
Hammond stood up and leaned over the table. "I don't need to tell you all how serious this is. It is not a drill and it is not an exercise. You're going to war. You eight officers are the best of the best and I know you won't fail this country or planet." Straightening himself, he nodded once. "I'll see you all at the official briefing. Dismissed."
* * * * * *
Janet lay in bed, her mind concentrating on Sam who lay fast asleep in her arms. Gently stroking the blonde's hair, she tried to work out why Sam always fell asleep right after they made love. She smiled to herself; maybe she just knew how to tire her out. Her thoughts were broken as Sam snuggled closer to Janet, murmuring her name in her dream. Janet kissed the top of her forehead, that one word while sleeping proved exactly how much Sam loved her, and her heart stopped every time she heard it. She watched Sam while she slept, her face was relaxed and a contented smile rested on her lips. She looked so vulnerable and helpless, Janet found it hard to believe that in less then twelve hours time, that same woman would pull on some fatigues, arm herself with guns and grenades, and head out to fight in a war. Lying in Janet's arms, breathing softly, She didn't look capable. Her body was certainly not that of a soldier, the only sign that she was came from the scar on her right shoulder where she had been shot during the Gulf. She didn't want to think that this might be one war Sam didn't return from, the thought of the woman she loved ending up as another name on another war memorial made her cold inside. There was no question about it she had to survive. Her thoughts were again interrupted as Sam inhaled sharply and opened her eyes.
"Hey, beautiful. Sweet dream?" Janet whispered, her voice breaking the silence of the dark room.
"Mmm," Sam replied sleepily, "About you actually."
"I'd never've guessed," Janet said sarcastically.
Janet smiled. "You said my name."
Silence returned for a few minutes until Janet decided that there was something she had to tell Sam.
"I'm scared." Janet's voice became desperate and small. Sam moved her head off Janet's chest and rested it on her raised hand so she could see the other woman's face.
"I know, so am I," Sam replied, stroking Janet's cheek. "I've fought in a few wars during my career, not caring about my own safety. I never had anybody to live for." She kissed Janet. "Until now."
"Promise me something, Samantha." Janet asked, her voice quavering.
"Anything," Sam replied in a soft whisper.
"Promise me you'll survive!" she pleaded. Sam hugged her tightly, wishing more then anything that she didn't have to go.
* * * * * *
Major Samantha Carter stepped onto the metal ramp in the embarkation room. Bending down, she picked up her side arm and began to fasten it round her right leg.
"Okay guys!" Jack said solemnly, addressing the three people who stood in the room with him. "I'm not too good with all that sappy stuff but I just want to talk to you alone, before the rest of the cavalry arrives." Taking his baseball cap off, he rubbed the top of his head and breathed deeply. "I've been working with you for the past three years now, and truth be told, you're the best friends I've got in the world. We've been through one hell of a lot together, and I care about you all, much more then you'll ever know. I guess, what I'm trying to say is that I want us all to get through this. I don't want anyone dying on me. I know the odds are slim, but they always are in war. We're the best team out there, let's not let them take that away from us." He nodded once and the rest of the team smiled. They understood what he was trying to say. "So good luck, live bravely, fight proud and I'll see you at the victory party." Stepping back he put his cap back on and picked his rifle up. At the same moment, the doors to the embarkation room opened and SG3 walked in, geared up and ready to go.
"SG-1? You ready to go kick some alien butt?" Makepeace asked confidently.
Jack nodded. "You bet we are, marine."
Ignoring the general conversation, Sam glanced down at her watch it read 7:55 am, five minutes until they shipped out. Looking up at the control room, she caught sight of Janet, who stood with her arms wrapped tightly around herself. She looked terrified, exactly the same as Sam felt. God she wanted so badly to just throw all her weapons down, run to the control room, throw her arms around Janet and never let go, but endings like that only happened in dreams. For the first time in her life, she actually regretted joining the Air Force.
* * * * * *
Janet watched from the control room as General Hammond entered the Gateroom to give his final orders to the 'front line'. She hated that phrase, exactly what did it mean anyway, that in a fire fight the 'front line' would be the first to die? She prayed that it didn't. Sam meant too much to her for that to happen. She watched as the doors opened and everyone stood to attention. She smiled. Although she was scared stiff as to what might happen once on the other side of the gate, she was proud of Sam. The major stood tall and proud, her head held high with honour. Her stance was powerful and strong, full of determination, she almost looked invincible. Unfortunately, due to her medical training, she knew invincible was the last thing her lover was and that's what scared her.
"Anyway, enough with orders and tactics." Hammond said after a short five- minute briefing, it pulled Janet out of her painful thoughts and she focused on his speech. "If you don't go now, the iris won't be shut before the next bomb. When we open the gate, all the blast doors will be sealed so there will just be you eight in the room. This is to safeguard against any unexpected attacks. "He nodded once and cleared his throat. "Do your country proud, people." Standing to attention, he saluted. "Godspeed." Janet wiped a tear away as the six officers returned the salute perfectly, even Daniel and Teal'c tried to return the gesture. She smiled grimly, standing there they all looked unbeatable, but how many of them would come back?
* * * * * *
General Hammond left the room and all the blast doors began to close. Glancing up for one final time, Sam looked directly into Janet's eyes as the cover for the control room window began to come down, Janet's eyes told her everything she needed to know, the love, the fear, the respect. It was all there. Once the doors had all closed, the gate spun into life and a few minutes later, the wormhole opened.
"That's our cue campers," Jack said as he stepped up to the event horizon Giving his equipment one last check over he looked at the gate reluctantly. "Once more into the breach," he muttered before disappearing into the shimmering blue. The other six quickly followed until Sam was the only one left on the ramp. Sighing deeply, she was just about to follow when the doors to the embarkation room began to open, and Janet ran in, tears streaking her face.
"Sam, baby, please don't go, I'm frightened," she cried. Sam threw her gun down and took the doctor into her arms, hugging her tightly.
"Honey, I have to, I'm a soldier, this is what I do," she replied, kissing Janet's forehead.
"But I love you so much, you're my life, I can't live without you," Janet replied, squeezing Sam so tightly the major could barely breathe.
"I know, I'm sorry…." Sam replied, tears beginning to sting her eyes as her emotions got the better of her. "Listen…" she said softly, cupping Janet's face with both her hands and looking directly into her eyes. "I promise I will try and make it home, but if I don't…" she paused to wipe a tear from her cheek, her voice breaking, "If I don't, I want you to know that I love you. That I'll always love you, and that I'll never leave you. I'll lay beside you every night and I'll wake with you every morning, I'll be in the infirmary when you're treating patients and I'll be at the table when you're eating dinner with Cass. I love you with all my heart and soul, Janet. You're my everything. Promise me you'll always remember that."
Janet shook her head. "Please don't say your goodbyes, you have to come home, you have to live, I won't survive if anything happens to you."
"I swear to God, Janet, if there is a way for me to survive this war, no matter how small, I'll take it. I don't want to leave you either."
"What the hell are you doing, Doctor Fraiser?" Hammond's voice came over the Com. Janet quickly cleared her throat.
"Er, I'm giving Major Carter some important medical supplies, Sir," she replied as professionally as possible to the steel door covering the control room window.
"Very well, but do it quickly, Major Carter has to go through the gate within the minute."
Janet nodded "Yes, Sir." She turned back to Sam. "Don't leave me alone," she begged.
Sam leant her forehead against Janet's. "I won't. You mean too much to me." Bending down, Sam brought their lips together in a long, lingering kiss, their tears falling into each other's mouths, neither wanting to part. After several long tender moments, Sam broke the kiss and bent down to retrieve her rifle while clinging onto Janet's outstretched hand with her free one. She backed slowly up the ramp until their hands finally pulled apart, never taking her eyes off Janet's gaze.
"I love you, Samantha," Janet whispered in farewell.
"I love you too." Sam replied the pain of leaving the doctor clear on her face. Janet watched heartbroken as Sam turned and disappeared through the wormhole, the gate closing the second she had gone.
* * * * * *
The gate finished dialing in and the wormhole opened. Janet raced into the embarkation room; right behind her was a team of medics carrying two stretchers. It had been eighteen days since the war began, all SG teams were out there along with a lot of security and office workers who had been sent out to replace the dead. It was a war they were heavily losing. Janet stopped at the foot of the ramp and waited for the incoming travelers. That was the part she hated the most, the waiting. You never knew who would come through the gate or whether or not they would be alive, and that's what Janet found hardest, the small agonizing thought that maybe this time it would be Sam that came back either dead or close to death. She stood there, barely breathing, as the seconds took an eternity to tick by. Eventually, two figures were thrown out of the event horizon; they hit the ramp with a hard thud. Janet ran to them immediately and it didn't take her long to realise it was Jack and Daniel who had returned. Jack had been stabbed through his right rib cage and was obviously suffering from a punctured lung because of it. He was barely conscious, on the other hand, Daniel was very conscious but his right shoulder was dislocated and he had a deep cut across his forehead. Quickly switching to professional mode she checked Jack's vital signs, they were quite weak, and they had to operate on him and fast.
"Okay, get him on the stretcher and get me some oxygen. I want an injection of barbiturate thiopentone, and I want you to call the surgeon and tell him to prepare the theatre." She began walking out the gate room, keeping a constant check on Jack's pulse while trying to observe the full nature of the stab wound. She was aware of Daniel who followed behind them, his right arm hanging off at an odd angle.
"Will he be alright?" he asked Janet, his voice filled with worry.
Janet nodded. "He'll be fine provided we operate right now," she replied, injecting the Colonel with something a nurse had just past her.
"And Makepeace?" Daniel added, reminding Janet that Makepeace had been brought into the infirmary just day's before, he had taken a bullet in the leg, which had temporarily paralyzed him.
"He'll be alright. He suffered slight nerve damage, and he still can't move his left leg, but all that can be repaired with extensive physiotherapy. Unfortunately for him though he's going to be off active duty for six to eight months." She rounded into the infirmary where a team of medics converged on Jack; another doctor came out one of the offices and walked over to Daniel. Jack was only kept there long enough for the nurses to prep him for theatre and he was rushed back out the infirmary about as fast as he had entered. Janet waited behind for a few minutes while she changed into scrubs, she was just about to leave when a thought struck her and she ran back over to Daniel who was now sat on one of the beds, waiting for a local anaesthetic.
"How's Sam?" She asked, trying to keep the sudden fear out of her voice.
"Last time I saw her, she was drawing up plans for a jailbreak to rescue SG-9, but that was this morning."
"Why was she drawing up plans?" Janet asked, confused, "Oh God, she's the commanding officer now isn't she?" she replied, answering her own question, and bringing to life her worst nightmare. If Sam was in charge then it was only natural to assume that she was the enemy's main target. She felt a cold shiver run through her at the thought. Daniel's only reply was a solemn nod of his head. Shaking off the implication that fact suggested, she turned on her heel and quickly headed after Jack.
* * * * * *
Four hours later, Janet left the infirmary. She was absolutely exhausted. The operation wasn't complicated or life threatening, but it was certainly long and tiring. Daniel was sat on one of the chairs outside Jack's personal room his arm in a sling and a bandage round his head. Janet sat down next to him and rubbed her eyes wearily.
"He's going to be fine. Out of action for a few weeks, but he'll survive, and that's the main thing," she said reassuringly.
Daniel nodded. "I know, thanks. I just wish Sam and Teal'c were back home as well." Janet felt an ache in her heart at the mention of Sam, she watched as Daniel shook his head. "You should see it out there, Janet. It's horrible; there's death everywhere you look. It's a massacre."
Daniel's words did nothing to help Janet's overwhelming worry for Sam's safety; it was beginning to get the better of her. After a few minutes of silence Daniel stood up.
"I'm going to sit with Jack tonight. If there's any news you'll tell me won't you?"
Janet nodded, "Of course I will."
Daniel opened the door to Jack's room and was just about to enter when he frowned and reached into the pocket of his dirty fatigues.
"Oh, I almost forgot," he said, handing her a piece of paper. "Sam asked me to give you this." Janet took the paper and Daniel entered Jack's room, closing the door behind him. Unfolding the paper, she examined the carefully drawn star chart. One of the stars was circled and underneath it in Sam's handwriting was written;
Wiping a tear from her eye, Janet looked at her watch. It was 1800. That gave her just enough time to catch a few hours sleep before heading up to the top of the mountain. Standing, she placed the note in the breast pocket of her lab coat and was just about to head to her quarters when the incoming traveler alarm set off. Sighing deeply, she set off at a jog towards the gate room. Who was it going to be this time?
Entering the gate room for the fourth time that day, Janet's breath caught at the sight that greeted her. There were at least 20 officers stood on the ramp, Teal'c and S-G9 included. That had to be everyone out there. Some were being carried and in desperate need of medical attention, others were limping or leaning on their comrades, no one looked completely unhurt.
"What happened here?" Hammond asked as he entered the gate room, quickly scanning the newest arrivals. "You're all back. Is the war over?"
Major Ferretti stepped forward from the middle of the group. "General Hammond, Sir, If I may?"
The General nodded. "Go ahead, Son."
"We were totally outnumbered, at least twenty to one. Major Carter decided that the best thing to do was conduct a full-scale attack on the prison and destroy the headquarters they were launching the bombs from while their armies were mobilising near our camp. We left at dawn and everything went according to plan under the Major's command. We attacked the prison at approximately 1200 hours and managed to free SG-9. Unfortunately, their alarm system was better than we realised, and within minutes of our escape, fifteen troops were on our tail. We tried to fight but we were shot up real bad. We lost sixteen men in the space of ten minutes. Major Carter ordered us all back through the Stargate. She said she wasn't going to watch us all die."
"Where is Major Carter?" Hammond asked concerned.
Ferretti swallowed hard, it was clear he found his next words painful. His voice was laced with regret. "Major Carter was shot during the initial attack, I don't know where and I don't know how bad. That was when she ordered us to leave the planet. She said that she would destroy the headquarters and try to get back to the gate. I swear to God, Sir I tried to go with her, so did Teal'c, but she pulled a gun on us and ordered us to go. She said she wasn't going to see any more good men die."
Janet felt her heart completely stop beating. Sam hadn't made it. She couldn't have. It was impossible. Holding back a sudden tirade of tears, she couldn't hide the heartbreak In her eyes, she didn't even want to, life had suddenly become pointless.
"It's okay, son." Hammond tried to console Ferretti. "If it's any consolation, I think Major Carter succeeded. There hasn't been an attack on the facility in the last two hours." Feretti nodded sadly and Hammond continued. "I know this is hard for you, son, but I want your honest opinion. With Major Carter's injuries and her mission to destroy the headquarters, what were her realistic chances of survival?"
Feretti's gaze dropped to the floor. "Negative, Sir," he replied truthfully.
Hammond nodded somberly "Thank you, Major." Looking up to the control room, he sent an order to Simmons. "Keep the front door open Lieutenant, just in case the major decides she want's to come home." Turning, he walked out, "Get these men seen to," he ordered the medical staff as he left. Janet heard the order but didn't move, she couldn't, shock had taken over and she was frozen to the spot. The only person unaccounted for was Sam, her Sam. What if she never returned, what if she'd lost the only person she ever truly loved? Shaking out of her heart wrenching thoughts, she left for the infirmary, the best thing she could do now was work, if she didn't she would break down completely.
* * * * * *
Stepping out into the cool night air, tears streaming down her face, Janet sat down on a large rock by the side of the road and pulled Sam's note out her breast pocket. She studied the stars for few minutes and when she found the one she was looking for she settled back and watched it silently for several long minutes. Eventually she spoke into the darkness.
"Well, Sam, its 2300 hours, and I'm here." Letting her tears fall into the soft mud she continued, "I just want you to know, that whatever happens, you’re a hero, and I'm so proud of you. I hope wherever you are now you're at peace. I don't know what I'm going to do with my life now, I don't think I can stay here, there's too many memories. You know, I don't just feel like I've lost you, I feel like I've lost a part of me too." She scoffed sadly, "the good part, the part that makes my life worth living. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't want to continue living, if I can't have you."
"You love her, don't you?" a male voice came from behind. Spinning round, Janet was greeted by Daniel. She shook her head and smiled. The tears were continuing to fall.
"Yeah, of course I do. She's my best friend."
"No…I mean, you're in love with her." Janet shook her head again, trying to dismiss Daniel's idea. "Come on, I'm not military, you don't have to hide the truth from me, I'm not going to tell anyone."
A silence fell between them and Janet looked back up at the stars. Eventually she answered. "Yes, I love her. I'm in love with her. We've been together for about two months now and I love her so much that she makes up more of myself than I do." She turned to face her friend. "How do I live without her, Daniel? How do I find the will to get out of bed every morning?"
Daniel walked up to her and hugged her tightly. "I think you've signed her death certificate too soon. Sam's a good soldier, I wouldn't put it past her to still be out there, planning her route back home to here, to you." He kissed the top of her head lightly. "And if the unthinkable is true, and she hasn't made it, then you'll get through it. It'll kill your very soul, but you'll survive with our help. We'll get through together."
Janet shook her head, "What if she's still on that planet, in pain, dying and alone? God, Daniel, I feel so helpless. I just want to know what's going on. I mean if I find out she's dead, then at least I'll know, but not knowing, living with the thought that every breath I take could have been her last, it's killing me."
"I know, I know," Daniel soothed, pulling her closer to him. "But you've got to be strong, you've got to hang on even though you feel you don't want to. It's what Sam would want, besides when she finally makes it back I don't think she'll appreciate finding out that her lover's written her off as dead without even knowing for sure."
Janet chuckled slightly. "Well, you're right about that."
Daniel smiled. "If there's one thing I've learned about Sam in the few years I've known her. It's that she feel's things with the very depths of her heart. She's also very stubborn, and if she loves you anything like you love her, then all the system lords in the galaxy couldn't prevent her from coming back. Trust her, trust the strength of your love." Wrapping his arm around her shoulder, he led her back into the mountain.
* * * * * *
Janet sat on the couch in her living room, her knees drawn up to her chest, and her chin resting on them. Being a doctor, she knew she was suffering from shock, but she couldn't find the will to give herself anything to help. It had been twenty nine hours since Feretti returned, five hours since General Hammond had officially declared Sam as 'killed in action' and two hours since Janet had handed in her letter of resignation and left Cheyenne Mountain for good. She looked down at the photo of Sam lying on the chair in front of her. The blonde major smiled back happily.
"You broke your promise, Samantha," she said directly to the photo. "What do you expect me to do now?" She shrugged. "I was watching the stars last night you know, watching my star, and I could feel my very soul crying. It's funny, they looked duller somehow. You know when you told me that without me they would all go out? Well, I think last night they did. Do you know what the strangest thing is though? If I close my eyes I can still hear you breathing, I can still smell you, it makes it feel like you're still here." She laughed. "But at the moment I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I guess I'm a little lost. You've broken more then just my heart you know. You've broken Jack's, Daniel's, Teal'c's, Ferretti's, and you'll break Cassie's into a million little pieces as soon as I find the courage to tell her. At least Mom and Dad will be pleased." Picking up the photo, she rubbed her thumb over the image of Sam's face. "I thought true love lasted forever. I thought the good guy's always won. I guess I was wrong."
A loud knocking on the door broke Janet's train of thought, and she looked at it angrily. When the sound repeated a few minutes later, she cursed under her breath and pulled herself out of the chair. Opening it slightly, she shouted through the gap,
"If you're selling something, I don't want it, and if you're here to see me, I'm not in a talkative mood. Either way, go away." She was just about to close it again when a voice replied;
"Is that any way to treat a war returning soldier, ma'am?"
Janet's heart skipped several beats as she flung the door open, stood on the step in front of her house, dressed in jeans, shirt and leather jacket, sporting one of the most amazing smiles ever seen, was Sam Carter.
"Sam?" Janet whispered, dumbfounded.
"The one and only. Told you I'd keep my promise, babe."
"Oh God, Sam!" Janet exclaimed, grabbing the lapels of Sam's leather jacket and pulling her into a tight hug. "Baby! God, baby! You're alive?"
Sam kissed Janet's cheek. "Of course I am. You didn't seriously think I'd leave you, did ya?"
Grabbing both Sam's cheeks Janet gave her the once over, ignoring the strange looks being cast their way by the passers-by in the street. "Are you hurt?" she asked, concerned.
"No," Sam replied, shaking her head, "Not a scratch"
"But Feretti said--"
"I know what Feretti said, I've been briefed. Long story short, it wasn't me that went down, it was Lieutenant Castlemaine; took a bullet right in the head. If it hadn't been for her, I'd have been dead for sure."
Janet shook her head in disbelief; "I can't believe it's really you." Pulling Sam closer to her, she hugged her with all the love she felt inside. Sam gladly returned it. "Can we just hold each other forever?" Janet asked, her voice breaking as tears of joy began to fall.
"That's my plan." Sam replied, picking the smaller, lighter woman off the ground and carrying her into the house. Once inside she kissed her full on the lips. "I missed you so much," she whispered as she broke the kiss.
"I thought you were dead. Everyone did." Janet looked deep into Sam's eyes, still not believing that the woman stood in front of her was really there. "I was so scared," she said, crying as she wrapped both her arms round Sam's waist and hugged her again. "The thought of losing you made me realise just how much you mean to me. God, Sam, I love you so much."
"I know, I feel the same. It was horrible out there. I saw some of my best friends die. Getting home--seeing you again--it was all that got me through." Wiping a stray tear away from Janet's cheek, she kissed her again. "You wouldn't believe how good if feels to be able to do that." Leaving Janet's arms, she placed her rucksack down on the floor, took her jacket off, and sat down on the couch. Janet didn't take her eyes off her for a second, for fear that if she did, Sam would be gone when she looked back.
"Where's Cass?" Sam asked once she'd settled down at one end of the couch.
"She's gone to summer camp; went last week. She didn't want to go knowing that you were fighting, but I convinced her that if she went, by the time she got back you'd be home."
"You were right?" Sam replied, smiling. Janet reached out and traced her fingers along the outline of Sam's lips. Sam closed her eyes, savouring every moment of the sensation.
"I missed that smile so much." Janet muttered as Sam gently kissed her fingertips. Then letting it drop from Sam's mouth, she moved it to her lover's thigh. "Are you okay?" she asked, concerned.
Sam nodded, "Yeah, I already told you, not a scratch."
"No, I don't mean physically, I mean mentally. War is a very traumatizing experience and you've already said you watched several of you're friends die."
Sam shrugged; her eyes suddenly became tired and sad. "I'm okay, I guess I'm just happy to be alive. So many people died for nothing, Janet. Do you remember Sergeant Claymore?"
Janet nodded silently.
"He was shot in the heart, the fourth day of the war. I was fighting next to him; he just fell on me. The worst thing was, he wasn't dead and nothing could be done for him. He was only twenty-two and had just got engaged. He looked at me and started crying. He gave me a photo of his fiancée and asked me to tell her he'd died bravely and that he loved her. The last thing he said was that he didn't want to die; he was grabbing onto my arm so tightly that I couldn't feel it. I think he thought if he didn't let go of my arm, then he wouldn't die. Of course he did, five minutes later, in my arms." Sam's look was distant and her eyes full of unshed tears.
"Sam, honey, that's awful, I'm so sorry," Janet consoled, rubbing the other woman's thigh, gently.
Sam shook her head. "You know I should have felt sorry for him, I should have been sad for him, but I wasn't. All I could think was 'what if it had been me?' I was awake all night thinking about you and how I felt exactly the same as Claymore, not wanting to die. I tried to imagine what it would be like to know for certain that I'd never see you're face again…." She stared at Janet, a small smile on her face. "You're so beautiful."
Janet blushed. "I am not."
"Yes, you are. You're the most beautiful thing in the universe." Leaning forward, Sam captured Janet's mouth with her own, and Janet quickly returned the gesture, feeling her lips being teased open by Sam's curious tongue. She gave in easily, allowing Sam's tongue to enter her mouth; the act seemed to send shock waves of electricity through her veins. She tried to hide her disappointment when Sam broke the kiss, but it was soon forgotten when Sam's hands moved to her shoulders requesting that she lie down on the couch. Lying down on top of her, Sam kissed her way up Janet's neck, stopping when she got to her ear.
"Make love to me, baby." Sam whispered seductively her breathing slightly faster then normal. "I need to be with you right now. I need to know that this isn't some torturous dream and I'll wake up still on camp. I need to know you're still mine."
Janet smiled. "With pleasure," she replied, rolling them both off the couch and onto the floor, so that she was on top. Pressing her lips to Sam's, she began unbuttoning the blonde's shirt. "You know I could never resist you." She added, straddling her lover. A shiver ran through Sam at those words and she copied the Doctor's movements and began to take Janet's shirt off, her fingers stopping every once in a while, to trail across Janet's warm skin. She felt her breath catch as Janet opened her shirt, pushing it apart and letting her hands run over Sam's bra. Sam quickly finished undoing the last buttons on Janet's shirt and grabbing both sides of the material with her fists, pulled the brunette's lips down to her own, kissing her passionately. Breaking the kiss, Sam freed Janet of her bra and began exploring the newly bared flesh with her lips and tongue. Janet let out a small gasp as Sam's tongue continued it's sweet torture, the need for more overtaking every sense in her body as she unclasped Sam's bra and the top button of her jeans.
"I love you, Janet," Sam murmured breathlessly, feeling her clothes gradually disappear.
"I worship you, Samantha." Janet replied her mouth only inches away from her lovers ear, as she arched her legs off the floor so Sam could remove her trousers. Their lips joined again, the excitement fast building between them; it wasn't long before all their clothes lay thrown across the sofa. Slowly, Janet worked her way down Sam's body, kissing and licking, until eventually; she inserted three fingers into Sam's hot centre.
"God, Janet…" Sam moaned as her lover picked up the pace. With experienced hands, Janet found Sam's nub and began to rub it with her thumb, all the time speeding up her thrusts. Her other hand entwined in her hair while she nuzzled her neck. The feeling was almost too much for Sam to take; she could barely breathe, her whole body aching for release. It wasn't long before she came, bucking hard into Janet. Sam cried out her lover's name, wanting to hold onto the feeling of pure ecstasy for eternity. Slowly, Janet removed her fingers and planted a small kiss on Sam's nose.
"Was that real enough for you?" she teased a panting Sam, who was desperately trying to regain some control of her breathing.
"Janet, that was soul combining." Sam answered, quickly flipping them over so that Janet was on the bottom. Bending down, she set to work straight away, capturing one of Janet's nipples in her mouth and gently nipping on it. She felt Janet's heart beat respond immediately as she moved onto the other one, a groan escaping the other woman's lips. Slowly, Sam's tongue traveled lower, leaving a trail between her breasts and down across her stomach. Finally, after what seemed like forever to Janet, reaching its destination. Sam sucked and nipped on Janet's sensitive nub until Janet was thrusting into her with need.
"Sam, please…" Janet begged, her heart beating so fast she thought it would burst out of her chest. Smiling wickedly, Sam gave in to her wishes and, as Janet had done to her earlier, inserted three fingers into her lover. Janet's response was immediate. Fierce shudders wracked her whole body as she writhed beneath Sam. One hand tugged at the blonde's hair while the other one pulled on the rug they where lying on. It had never been so special before; it was their way of saying that they would always be there for each other; they lived, breathed and loved as one. Janet bucked hard, calling out Sam's name and tender words of love as she came. Withdrawing her fingers, Sam rolled onto her back and pulled Janet with her so that the smaller woman lay nestled in her arms.
"Have I told you lately that I love you?" Sam asked, kissing the top of Janet's head.
"Just a few times." Janet chuckled once she'd caught her breath. "But you could say it a hundred times, every day for the rest of our lives and I'd never tire of it. By the way, I love you too." Pausing, she snuggled closer to Sam's chest, listening to the steady beat of her heart, it was the most beautiful thing she'd ever heard, "Thanks for coming home, Sam." Janet said tenderly after a few minutes of silence.
Sam shrugged and tightened her grip. "Thanks for waiting for me," she replied, her voice barely above a whisper. Sitting up, she grabbed a blanket off the end of the sofa and, lying back down, pulled it over them both. They kissed gently and fell asleep in each other's arms, both silently thanking the angelic God that had brought Sam home safely.
* * * * * *
The summer night was beautiful; it was the end of August and close to midnight. The temperature was still in the late twenties and the sky was a vast sea of stars. On a bench in her back garden, Janet Fraiser sat in the arms of her lover. Both were dressed in white towel robes and nothing else, after having shared a very long and very erotic shower together.
"Hey, look!" Sam Carter cried pointing up at the sky. "Your star."
Janet smiled and entwined her fingers with Sam's.
"I watched it the night you asked me to, you know," she informed her, leaning further back into Sam's embrace.
"So did I. I was sat at the foot of a tree, hiding from the enemy. I imagined you were there with me and I talked to you."
Janet grinned, "I talked to you too!"
"What did you say?" Sam asked cheekily, resting her chin on Janet's shoulder.
"I told you I loved you, that I didn't want to live without you, and that I was proud of you," Janet replied confidently. "Why? What did you say?"
Sam shook her head. "Nothing. I was being dramatic."
Janet turned her head to the one on her shoulder, "Come on, what did you say?" she teased.
"I just asked you something I've always wanted too, I only did it because I thought I was going to die." She replied trying to dismiss the subject.
"What did you ask me?" Janet asked curiously. Sam shook her head again. "Sam?" Janet prompted.
The major took a long breath. "I asked you to marry me." She blurted it out so fast that Janet didn't hear her.
"I asked you to marry me!" Sam repeated, her cheeks flushed pink in embarrassment. Janet didn't answer she just stared at her, eyes wide and mouth open. Sam continued nervously. "It was a silly idea, I know. I just thought it would be nice for you, me and Cassie to become a real family…"
"Sam!" Janet tried to interrupt to no effect.
"…I even got off on the thought that you would change you're name to Carter, but that was an unfair thing for me to expect. I mean why would you want to lose your independence for me…"
"Samantha!" Janet tried again, but Sam was speaking so quickly she probably hadn't even noticed Janet was still breathing.
"…I just wanted to be as close to you as possible, I wanted us to be together forever, I just missed you so much, I was just thinking aloud really, I'd never expect you to go through marriage again, I know how much you hated it the first time and…"
"Major Samantha Carter!" Janet shouted almost at the top of her voice. That got Sam's attention and she looked at her, surprised by the loud outburst.
"Thank you," she sighed, having finally been able to shut the other woman up. Turning slightly so she faced the blonde she smiled gently.
"Doctor Janet Carter. I like the sound of that." She watched with slight amusement as the shock registered on Sam's face.
"What?" Sam spluttered out.
Reaching out, Janet cupped Sam's cheek with her hand. "Of course I'll marry you, I can't think of anything in the world I want more. That's providing the offer still stands?"
Janet laughed as Sam's jaw dropped so low it nearly hit the ground. She had never seen the major completely speechless until now.
"O…of course it does," Sam choked out a few minutes later. "You really want to marry me?" she asked again as if not believing what she'd just heard.
"Yes, I really want to marry you," Janet confirmed. Sam's whole face lit up at Janet's words, the smile stretching from one ear to the other.
"Wow. This is a dream come true. Are you sure, because I can be a real pain in the ass sometimes."
Janet nodded, her smile matching Sam's. "I've never been more sure about anything in my life and I know just how much of a pain the ass you can be, but you're my pain in the ass."
Bending forward, Sam kissed her tenderly. "Does this mean we're officially engaged?" she asked, the excitement clear in her voice.
"I guess it does," Janet replied, kissing the end of her lover's nose.
"I love you, Janet Fraiser," Sam said, standing up from the bench and holding her hands out to the doctor.
"I love you, Samantha Carter." Janet replied, allowing Sam to pull her up, straight into her arms. "Where are we going?" she asked as Sam's arms encircled her waist.
Sam tutted and rolled her eyes. "You just said you'd marry me. Where the hell do you think were going?"
Janet smiled playfully, "To bed?" she asked hopefully.
"You read my mind," Sam replied seductively. "We must be made for each other."
Janet smiled and pulled Sam down to her. "Must be!" she whispered, capturing Sam's mouth in a passionate kiss. Above them and unaware to the two lovers, the brightest star in the sky, suddenly seemed to get a little brighter.