It had been a long couple of months. Long glances traded when no one was looking, cat naps spent in one anotherís arms. That had been the story of their lives after the incident of being locked in the lab after the explosion on level 42. Finally the SGC had gotten the base up to working condition only three weeks ago and the SG teams had been busy ever since. There had been co-workers to find, allies to reassure and enemies to check up on. Not a good time to try and build a relationship with someone. Anxious and eager, Sam Carter stumbled out of the Stargate and was shocked when a medical technician grabbed her roughly.
"Sorry maíam," he explained hastily as an oxygen mask was pressed over her face. Nearby, Jack OíNeill was grumbling at another harried-looking nurse who was doing the same to him. Both Daniel Jackson and Tealíc were also accosted before any explanations were offered.
"SG4 brought back a bacterial infection thatís been wreaking havoc around here practically from the moment you left two weeks ago," Danielís attendant explained. Needles were being prepped from a medical cart and the members of SG1 reluctantly began to strip down to their t-shirts. "We managed to cobble together a vaccine," he continued as he swabbed an alcohol pad over Jackís bicep. It was a small dose and the nurse quickly waved Sam over. One of the other three took Tealíc in hand. "Iím afraid weíre not entirely certain the vaccine will work on you, Tealíc, so youíll need to go into quarantine until Doctor Fraiser can attend to you."
The mention of the womanís name brought Samís head around as the cold bite of the rubbing alcohol teased her skin. "And thatíll be awhile," her attendant growled as he prepped the syringe for Sam. "Sheís off on PFH-567 with SG10."
Jerking back around in shock, Sam felt the needle plunge into her arm and shift painfully with her movement. The nurse smacked her hard on the shoulder blade as she yelped.
"Donít move, Major!"
"Ouch! Why is Janet offworld?"
He gave her a frustrated glance, distress stark in his pale eyes.
"SG10 took the contagion with them and sheís the only one who really understands it enough to save the natives from a full blown plague." Something not unlike concerned terror shaded the manís eyes dark and Sam felt her gut clench.
"That was almost six days ago."
Somehow Sam managed to look professionally aloof even as her insides twisted and danced in anxiety. Janet was lost offworld. This was worse than awful. In a distressed silence Jack, Sam and Daniel reported to General Hammondís office.
"Come in," was shouted through the door when they knocked. The man looked tired and worn out but he lit up when he saw who it was. "Excellent, youíre back. I hate to drop this on you, but weíre in a bind here. I need the three of you to go to PFH-567 and retrieve our missing personnel. Immediately, if not sooner. Thereís been no one I could send because of this goddamned plague and weíve been waiting for a healthy team to return from a mission. Take Lieutenant Hopper with you, he knows whatís going on. The supplies youíll need are already piled in the corner of the Gateroom. Now go, Iíll await word from you."
Bemused and worried as well as mildly amused at their superiorís behavior, the three members of SG1 left Hammondís office without saying a single word to him. "Well, címon," Jack said quietly. "Letís go get the Doc."
When voices were suddenly raised outside of her makeshift lab, Janet Fraiser took only vague note of them. After nearly a week of working in this dim cave trying to stave off another plague, she was certain she finally had it under control. The restless natives had dispersed only hours ago to inoculate their fellows and she had been dozing fitfully beside SG10. All of them would live, but it would take time and care to recover from their fight with the bacteria. It had been a virulent, sneaky little bug that SG4 had brought back with them from the idyllic-looking tropical planet. Thankfully, it had not killed anybody, but it had managed to make its way to another world with SG10. With desperate abandon, Janet had single-handedly managed to save the barely industrialized natives from a nasty plague. Far from feeling egotistical or celebratory about that fact, Janet just wanted to curl up in a corner and sleep herself out. Suddenly, the shouting in the hall increased and a sweetly familiar voice broke through her exhausted stupor. "Look dammit! I donít care who you are, we need to see our people!"
"But the healer said no one was to go inside!"
Good lord in heaven, that wasÖ
Sam was rapidly becoming angry with the little man who dared block her path to Janet. As though conjured from her desperate need, the brunette suddenly materialized in a doorway not thirty feet away. She looked like hell, but was upright and under her own power. "Sam?" She breathed in disbelief.
"Janet!" Pushing aside the little man, Sam trotted over to her soulmate and dimly heard Daniel reassuring the native. When she was halfway over, Janet suddenly seemed to come back to herself and ran forward. They met in a crushing hug, Janetís arms strong and solid around Samís neck and their bodies reassuringly real to the other. "Are you okay?"
"Yes, yes," Janet almost sobbed as she clung tightly. "I donít think Iíve ever been so glad to see anyone in my entire life. I missed you Sam."
After a long moment, they both became aware of the pressure of the MP5 trapped between their bodies. Samís tired muscles informed her that she was suddenly carrying far too much weight for them to handle and she set Janet back on her feet. With all nearly hundred pounds of gear on her person, she could not handle even Janetís small weight right now. Dazed and faint with relief, Janet stared up into the shadowed blue eyes beneath the flared edge of the Kevlar helmet and smiled idiotically. This was like a wonderful fever dream, having the tall Major here in her arms. Then another voice broke in on their private moment. "Doc? You okay?"
Jackís voice was a cold dose of reality that made Janet step away and look around Samís uniformed bulk. Daniel and Jack looked at them curiously. Shaking herself out, Janet approached and answered the question. "Yes sir, sorry sir, I was just overwhelmed by the familiar face. Six days of being surrounded by ill strangers is enough to make anyone a little loopy." All three members of SG1 still looked worn out from whatever mission they had obviously just returned from. Behind them, Jeff Hopper looked exhausted from his duties and rattled from the trip through the Stargate. "Jeff, good to see you, howís the base?"
"Recovering at the rate you predicted. How are you doing here?"
The poor lad looked like he wanted to hug her in relief, but he maintained decorum with effort. Quickly, the men and Sam were led to the makeshift sick room to see SG10. All four of them were wasted from the bacteria, but alive. Still shaken from the shock of the sudden appearance of familiar faces, Janet raked trembling fingers through her hair and addressed Jack. "Colonel? If the epidemic is under control back at the base, these four really should go back for observation."
"No problem, weíll go immediately."
"Thatís the catch. I need to stay here to ensure that the epidemic has been stopped on this side of the Gate, sir."
For a long moment Jackís face darkened and Janet felt certain that he was going to object. Then his eyes flickered over her shoulder to where she knew Sam stood. "Iíll stay sir. Weíll be fine," the blonde woman affirmed quietly.
Jack was agonized by the decision to leave two of the SGCís most valuable personnel, not to mention his friends, behind. But he knew Janet was right. The visitors from the Stargate had brought this plague to this world. It was their responsibility to ensure it was stopped. Janet had already proven she could stop it once; she only needed time to repeat the miracle. So he nodded tightly and left the two medical officers to prep SG10 for travel through the Stargate. Shedding backpacks, SG1 was drafted as manual labor to move people and equipment. Litters appeared so that the swarthy natives could assist in the job. Finally the whole gang of them was at the Gate and readied to go their separate ways. Jack gave the two women his best glower as Daniel dialed home. "You two be careful, I hate leaving you here. In 48 hours weíll dial back in to see how youíre doing. You be right here waiting, you got it?"
"Yes sir," they chorused obediently and he nodded. There were warm goodbyes and a few last minute instructions before they stepped in. Quiet settled over the forest glade where the Stargate was located just outside the caverns where the natives lived. When Janet suddenly shivered in the cold; Sam wrapped an arm around her and headed back. The skittish local folk stayed out of her way. They had to have been descendants of some island or tribal folk, small and brown with inky hair and big, dark eyes. Sam towered over them like some kind of Amazon goddess and they shied away from her. They fact that her startlingly pale eyes blazed with predatory protectiveness of the healer helped considerably. Once inside the cavern, Janet automatically headed back to her lab and gestured for a few of her native assistants to follow her. A strong hand on her sleeve jerked her a halt. She glanced up to be pinned by those burning blue eyes.
"Are things under control for now?" It took a moment for Janet to nod in response to Samís intent question. "Then you need a break, no buts." Those eyes moved to pin poor Thega with a feral stare. The elder healer flinched but held his ground. "Youíve been helping her?"
"Can you handle things for a night or so?"
"Good. Weíll see you then." And without another word, Sam dragged a weakly protesting Janet deeper into the living caverns. After grabbing her pack, Sam took Janet in hand with a strong grip on the back of the small womanís neck. "Lead the way to whatever quarters they assigned you."
Under less stressed circumstances Janet would have been annoyed at Samís overbearing attitude. But training won out and she meekly obeyed her superior officerís demands with no protest. The fact that she was about to drop unconscious helped soften her up. Somehow, Janet found her way to the cavern the locals had shown her after her arrival. Considering she had not been back to it since, she was impressed with herself for finding it. Warily, Sam prowled about the big room and poked the MP5 into every corner. It was a rare experience for Janet to see this side of Sam and it was fascinating. This was the wary, battle-hardened soldier that searched this unknown territory so carefully. Bulky in her padded fatigues and ALICE vest, Sam Carter made quite a striking figure. "God youíre sexy."
Pastel eyes jerked around, surprise melting into pleased embarrassment. Instantly, it was just good oleí Sam standing there rubbing the back of her neck and grinning shyly. "Get some sleep Janet, before you fall over."
But insidious warmth stole through Janetís body, perked her right up and made her move towards the woman who had stolen her heart not so long ago. The many facets of Samís personality were too much to resist.
When the brown eyes went black in the flickering firelight, Samís heart rate kicked up into high gear and her mouth went dry. Had anyone ever looked at her like this? That burning, lusty stare that made her want to get on her knees and beg? Only a few feet away, Janet paused and let the force of the feelings between them drag Sam the rest of the way. They met in a gentle kiss that made the rest of the universe fade away as they reacquainted themselves again. The sweet gesture rapidly turned into a lusty duel of tongues and lips that left them both breathless. Finally, Janet pulled away only far enough to stare into Samís dilated blue eyes. She had her hands wrapped around the taller womanís neck, the helmet and tufts of gold hair brushing her fingers. The big gun lay against both of their sides and various pieces of gear in the ALICE vest pressed into Janetís body.
"Did you know?" Janet purred softly to her enraptured soulmate. "That you looking like this is one of my oldest fantasies?" Again pleased surprise registered on Samís face, but she seemed to be incapable of coherent speech. So Janet lovingly stroked her face and throat and seduced quietly with her voice. "All those times youíve been brave and selfless and determined for Earth and the SGC... Every time I see you all geared up like this, it drives me wild."
This time Sam was the aggressor, yanking Janet roughly into another kiss and smoothing her hands over the brunetteís back and backside. When those hands, padded by the fingerless gloves, dug into the strong muscles there, Janet groaned in earnest. For 64 endlessly busy days they had quietly courted one another among the chaos of work and the waiting had suddenly become too much. Even Janetís banal Doctor brain did not have the heart to tell her to knock it off and get some sleep. Some things were just more important. One of Samís hands slipped under Janetís uniform jacket to yank the black undershirt from the waistband of the green pants. The press of softly callused fingers and stitched leather against her vulnerable skin made Janet moan again. After long moments of slow kisses and getting reacquainted with Janetís skin, Sam reached up to take the doctorís hands in her own. Drawing their entangled fingers to the small of Janetís back, the nylon jacket began to slide down her arms. For long moments Janet had to completely rely on Samís strength to hold her up as the aggressive kisses pressed her back into their joined hands. It was enough to drive Janet half-mad and she made a supplicating sound deep in her throat. A low, needy, animal sound that reached deep into Samís soul and sent up an answering chord.
"No one to interrupt us," Sam breathed across Janetís swollen lips. "No rules to follow. Lead the way, love."
Carefully, Sam stepped away only far enough for the two of them to get a good look at one another. She unclipped the helmet before tossing it aside and ran fingers through her matted hair. Eyes blazing with lust and tenderness, face flushed, she was quite the contradiction to her no-nonsense uniform. Shaking with need, Janet ogled for a long moment before drawing off her own shirt in one fluid motion. She was desperate now to feel Samís hands on her bare flesh, not to mention that talented mouth. If she had not been so riled up, Janet might have been amused when Sam crossed her arms nonchalantly across the deadly MP5 and watched in enraptured silence. Still as a statue, she watched Janet shakily remove her clothing and bare flawlessly smooth skin. There was hardly a mark on her, her curves firm and toned, nipples rock hard on sweetly rounded breasts. After the boots and pants dropped to the floor, Janet froze at the sound of a heavy zipper. The ALICE vest gaped open, offering her a haven of familiar cloth and Samís seductive warmth. It was arousing to feel anotherís sturdy uniform material against her skin, the cold touch of the gun on her waist and the web belt pressed into her naked belly.
"I need you," Sam whispered into the dimness of the fire-lit room and Janet burrowed closer to her warmth. The half-gloved hands roamed restlessly over Janetís back, teased along the edge of her plain cotton underwear. With a quick, hard kiss, Janet moved back only far enough to help Sam out of her own clothes.
"I need you too, help me out here."
The gun came off over Samís head and Janet laid it respectfully on the chair beside the bed. The vest clattered to the floor and Janet fumbled with the gun belt as they kissed. The moment it clattered to the floor, Sam half-crouched to sweep Janet into her arms and lay her gently on the bed. "MmmÖ love, you are so beautiful. Just lie back."
Feverish and incoherent with need, Janet felt Sam map out the curves and planes of her naked skin. First with gentle hands and then with that tender mouth. It was utterly maddening. Completely undone by her own fierce need, Janet dug her fingers into the silky gold hair to keep herself anchored and placed her body and soul in Samís care. The gift was not accepted lightly. In time, the loving caresses tore Janet asunder and she screamed her pleasure into the perpetual dimness of the caves. When she returned to herself, she was shocked and relieved by the feel of Samís warm body cradling her close. Still completely dressed. "Oh SamÖ how I adore you."
"I love you too, now sleep."
"No buts, youíre exhausted. Iíll be here when you wake."