Staring Into the Abyss
She attempted to observe the surroundings as they moved in the slim chance that she may be able to free herself and return to the gate. She watched the steady procession in front of her focusing on the elaborate carrier that held Apophis. There were no distinguishing markings as they moved along the route just the same bland gray outcroppings that she had observed since she had reached the planet.
The procession came to a halt and she looked around the wide-open space wondering why they had stopped. There was nothing to indicate a base. He questions were soon answered however when a glider sliced silently through the air to hover over the group. A set of transportation rings descended from the craft, taking the first of its passengers.
Sam watched feeling the faint hope that she would see her teammates dwindle as she watched the transports. On this planet there was a chance they may have been able to find her and get her back home but on a ship there was no way for them to follow. She felt a moment of hopelessness fall over her before she renewed her struggles with her captors.
The Jaffa seemed oblivious to her as they calmly stepped up for their transport.
Janet finished recording the last round of checks she had done on Daniel. She placed his chart in a box near the bed and briefed the current nurse on specific duties while she was out. She needed to brief the General on Daniel's current condition and she had a feeling she would find the rest of SG-1 wherever he was. She placed a call to the command center and was informed that the General was in briefing room one. She hung up and headed there quickly anxious to find out what had happened.
Janet entered the briefing room acknowledging the brief look that was sent her way by the General. The Colonel and Teal' C sat with their back to her not having heard her enter silently. She was alarmed to find Sam still missing from the ensemble and knew that something had to be terribly wrong. She heard the Colonel arguing urgently with the General.
"Sir, we have got to go back and quickly. Every minute she is in their grasp could mean a minute less she has to live."
"I understand that Colonel but we were ordered not to return to the planet until we had been contacted by the Tok'rah," Hammond replied.
Janet felt a fresh wave of fear wash over her when she realized it was Sam they were talking about. She had not returned with the team. She made her way over to the table, hoping her shaking knees would not collapse before she was able to take a seat. The General nodded to her when she had reached a chair and she took it gratefully.
"How is Dr. Jackson?" Hammond asked as O'Neill and Teal' C looked on awaiting her answer.
" I am not sure whether or not he is going to recover at this point. Whatever hit him served to overload his central nervous system. It has basically paralyzed all of the autonomic functions of his body sending the system into a spasm unable to communicat--" Janet was interrupted by O'Neill.
"Laymen's terms Dr. Fraiser. Is he alive or not?" O'Neill said impatiently his frustration with her technical terms evident.
"Well right now we have managed to get his heart started, but the rest of his involuntary functions are being supported by machines. If his neural network, his nervous system does not recover from its paralysis to take over theses functions, then there is no way he will live. Basically right now the best we can hope for is that the shut down is merely because the system is stunned, not due to any damage. We'll know more in the next 12 hours," Janet finished, receiving nods from around the table. She wanted to ask what had happened on the planet but was spared when the Hammond spoke up.
"Doctor, I think you need to know what happened to SG-1 during the last jump. Since you were present for the meeting with the Tok'rah I feel you should have access to the impact of the wild goose chase we were sent on," Hammond said and continued to give Janet an outline of the events that SG-1 had experienced while on their mission.
"Sir, I still say we need to get back to that planet." O'Neill again interrupted.
"Colonel we will return as soon as the Tok'rah give us the go ahead. They have been fighting the Goa'uld for longer than you or I have been alive. I think they know what is best. Now I want you and Teal'C to both get cleaned up and get ready to go at a moment's notice. That is unless you don't think you can handle that order, Colonel."
O'Neill eyed Hammond for a few moments the tension in the room thick as he weighed his options. He knew Hammond was right but his frustration made it difficult for him to accept the facts. He finally nodded rising from his seat. He stopped as Janet broke the silence.
"General, I think you should include me on the jump that goes after Captain Carter. If she is in anywhere near as bad a shape as Dr. Jackson, she will need someone who is qualified to handle her injuries." Janet presented her argument calmly without a hint of the inner turmoil that she felt.
Hammond gave her a long look before answering. "I am sorry, Doctor, but there is no way I am going to send you on a jump this dangerous." He held up a hand as she started to argue with him "No, Doctor, this is not up for discussion. Your assignment to this mission is completely out of the question."
Janet saw a sympathetic look from Jack as he looked over understanding her frustration. She nodded standing also ready to leave the room. "Very well General I will be in the infirmary if you need me." She left trying not to show her frustration as she passed the other men.
Jack held back as Teal' C exited the room. "As much as I hate to add another scientist to the group she may have a point, General." Jack left his comment hanging in the air as he hurried to catch up with Teal' C. He wanted to be sure they were as prepared as possible on their next jump.
Hammond watched as his officers left the briefing feeling the weight of command settle on him. He hated losing people and he had lost more in the last 2 years of his command over the StarGate project than in the entire time he had been in the Air Force. He had known Samantha Carter long before she had ever become a member of his command and the only solace he could find in the possibility of her loss was that he did not have to face her father with lies.
Chapter 9Sam had been waiting for a visit from Apophis as soon as they had closed her in the small cell. She continued run through various exercises in her mind to distract her from the mind numbing fear that kept threatening to overwhelm her. She had been terrified that she would find her father enduring the torture that she had dreamed about so incessantly. With the turn of events the memories of Jolinar's torture were coming back to haunt her in full force.
She paced the small cell, checking over every inch for the umpteenth time,
looking for any way out of the sealed box. She used her hands to rub her arms
briskly fighting off the chill that was more in her mind than body. She
considered what she knew of the torture that the Goa'uld employed. They did not
use so much physical force in damaging their victim as a sort of mental
telepathy. They were able to inflict a great deal of damage physically and
mentally with their natural capabilities. She fought off the shiver that ran up
her spine. Thinking of what was ahead was unproductive. It only served to make
her more receptive to the torture and giving into the despair they thrived on in
the sessions. She took a deep breath focusing on the things that were good in
She leaned back sliding down the wall as she remembered Janet's gentle touch
as she had held her. Sam couldn't remember the last time she had allowed herself
to be comforted by another. The last time she had truly cried in someone else's
arms. She had felt a security with Janet that even now as she thought about her
came flooding back. She felt a warmth touch her as she remembered waking up with
her this morning. Or was it yesterday morning. It didn't matter, Sam held onto
the thought and the feeling as she closed her eyes resting against the wall.
"Now, Captain, where are the Tok'rah currently hiding?" he asked in a silky voice as he reached out his hand lifting her chin with his fingers so that her eyes met his.
"I don't know" Sam managed in a hoarse whisper as she tried to cope with the pain coursing through her body. The memories of the pain did not do it justice she thought as she watched his gaze narrow at her words. She felt the Jaffa release her and she sagged trying maintain her footing as Apophis once again raised his hand. Sam braced herself for the attack.
Apophis watched as the woman writhed in his hold, knowing that shortly she would reveal all he wanted to know. Their method of torture was ever more effective than it had been in the past. Attacking in varying degrees different systems within a living organism. They had refined it to a point where they could pinpoint any area they wished to affect. He released her again this time with more force watching with satisfaction as her body impacted the wall will a solid thud. The Jaffa had reached her before she was able to slide the rest of the way to the ground, raising her up once again.
Sam felt the impact of the wall through a haze of pain hearing the crack of breaking bones. She wondered dully what it had been since the all consuming pain she had just been released from had dulled all of her senses. She felt the Jaffa roughly raise her up to Apophis once again. Her head lolled as she tried to regain control over her body. She felt her chin roughly gripped as he once again forced her to look at him.
"Now, where are the Tok'rah hiding?" he asked once more as Sam stared at him, unable to answer.
Sam watched Apophis's anger grow as she shook her head, demanding an answer, She was grateful she did not know because at this point she was sure she would have betrayed the Tok'rah to stop the pain. She felt her release by the Jaffa once again and the pain was back only worse than before if that was possible she thought hearing her own ragged scream as it was torn from her involuntarily.
The session continued, Apophis asking questions she had no answers for and her mind becoming number with each attack. Apophis looked on in frustration as the woman hung limply in the arms of his guards. She was beyond torture at this point, her body shutting down from the shock. He motioned his guards to drop her where she was. He would have a healer come in and restore her to a point where he could once again question her. He was sure she could not be withholding information that he requested; it was impossible. He would have to find a way to get what he wanted without posing questions for answers she did not have. This would prove to be a challenge and an amusement. He smiled to himself as he left the cell looking forward to the upcoming sessions but for know he had other duties to attend.
Sam was vaguely aware as the room emptied of her torturers. She tried to move but found her body completely unresponsive. For the first time in her life she felt the despair that she was possibly not going to make it back from a mission wash over her. Until her latest meeting with Apophis she had still been hopeful that she might escape. But at she lay there on the cold floor she felt the last of her reserves fading as darkness closed in on her.
The complex PA system rang out with the orders of, "O'Neill and Teal' C
to report to the gate room." They both arrived within moments meeting
Hammond at the door.
"As it is to see you although I wish not under such dire circumstances. I have arranged to conceal a set of transportation rings in a vacant room near here. We should be able to get there unnoticed even though we shall have to carry her," he said motioning to the still form of Sam.
"You have done well, Malec. It is a pity that we have lost our eyes on Apophis's ship. It will take us a long time to infiltrate his group again" Jacob said as he watched Janet care for his daughter. He caught a brief questioning look from her as she looked up to him.
Carter nodded, giving Janet a few more minutes with Sam before motioning to his
men to take charge of her. They lifted her easily but the movement elicited a
small groan from Sam. Janet moved closer to her, taking a moment as Sam stirred
opening her eyes to see Janet.
Janet did her best to shield Sam as the battle ensued around them. She held
her gently blocking most of her body with her own. The battle was over within
minutes although it was sure to have attracted unwanted attention. Jacob's men
quickly gathered Sam up heading behind Melec at a fast pace. They passed through
a doorway as a group of Jaffa spotted them. Melec sealed the door motioning them
to a central spot within the room. Within seconds they were encased within the
transportation rings and on the surface. They hurried for the gate, knowing
their pursuers would not be far behind.
Janet worked feverishly over Sam trying to pinpoint all the damage her body had sustained at the hands of Apophis. She snapped out a series of short commands to her staff as she formulated various treatments for each of the injuries. She did not give Sam any pain relievers or sedatives, afraid of the impact they would have on her already weakened system.
When she finally finished issuing the last of her commands she took a moment to glance at the clock shocked to find almost two hours had passed. She finished the last of her checks taking a moment to look over the various instructions she had given, double-checking herself.
Janet checked on Daniel and conferred with Davis, the doctor she had left in charge in her absence. Daniel seemed to be doing fine, the paralysis of his nervous system finally lifted by the device the Tok'rah had returned with. Janet satisfied herself with his condition before leaving the infirmary to deal with her report to Hammond and Sam's father.
Janet was surprised to find the small crowd seated outside the infirmary door when she exited. Jacob and Jack stood as soon as she cleared the doorway followed closely by Teal'C and Hammond. She zeroed in on Jacob first feeling he had priority in the condition of his daughter.
"Sir," she said as she came to a stop before him, "Your daughter's condition is stabilized for the moment. I am going to have to call in an orthopedic surgeon to handle some of the fractures. I am afraid I just don't have the expertise to deal with injuries that severe. She hasn't regained conscience yet, but I have refrained from giving her any sedatives until I can fully assess the damage to her system. I am hoping she will become aware of her surroundings soon and give me an idea of the damage to her nervous system. I have found signs of the same damage recorded in Dr. Jackson's chart. Although I m hoping the damage is not quiet as extensive." She watched as Jacob nodded and felt Colonel O'Neill crowding her from behind.
"When can we see her?" O'Neill asked impatiently.
"I am sorry, Colonel, but I am only going to allow close family in to see her right now," Janet answered.
She saw Jacob look to her. "You can go in now if you wish, Sir," Janet told him. She watched as he nodded turning to disappear through the infirmary door. She turned back to face the rest of the waiting crowd.
"I won't be allowing her or Dr. Jackson visitors for at least two days. You all might as well leave and come back later I will be making no exceptions," she said as she watched O'Neill begin to protest. She would not be swayed on this decision. She watched as they left. Hammond stopped briefly to request a report in writing on both Carter and Jackson that he could submit to his superiors. She acknowledged his request, knowing she would not be leaving for sometime.
Janet returned to the infirmary glancing in the direction of Sam's bed, noting that her father was seated there holding her hand. She moved past the bed into her office compiling the reports the General had asked for earlier.
Janet finished the last of the reports sealing them in a envelope to be delivered to Hammond office. She leaned back in her chair closing her eyes for a moment, enjoying the brief silence.
"Doctor, I would like to talk to you for a moment." Janet eyes shot open in surprise at the unexpected interruption. She sat a little straighter in her chair as she eyed Jacob Carter.
"Yes, Sir, what would you like to discuss?" she managed in a professional voice.
"I think the injuries that she has sustained can be mended by the healing device we sent to assist with Dr. Jackson. It has the capability to restore the body to original form that includes physical as well as neural injuries. It will not completely heal her, but it will mend her bones to their original form although she will still need time for them to fully recover to their original strength." he finished.
Janet listened as he spoke, wondering why he had not already used the device on Sam before realizing he was awaiting her permission." Sir, by all means if it can help please," she said finally as she stood following him out of her office.
Jacob attended to Sam as Janet watched taking in the way he handled the device and monitoring any changes in Sam that would signify distress. Jacob finished quickly, handing Janet the device after he had finished.
"You may keep this device, we have many others," he said simply.
Janet nodded as she took the device handing it to one of her staff to assure it was stored in a safe place. She watched as Jacob laid a hand on his daughter's forehead. He paused for a few moments before speaking again.
"She should recover physically, but it is unknown how she will deal with her treatment at the hands of Apophis," his words dripped with bitterness and Janet wanted to reach out to him, but he spoke again before she had a chance. "But she is strong, she has always been strong since she was a little girl," he continued on as if speaking to himself. "She will fight what has happened and she will prevail as she always has." Jacob said the last as he looked to Janet.
Janet watched him as he spoke seeing his exhaustion. "Sir, I know they have assigned you quarters. I think you should go and get some rest. I don't think Sam will be coming around any time soon."
Jacob nodded and with a last look at Sam he left the infirmary. Janet ordered another set of X-rays to convince herself of the repairs Jacobs had promised. Once the results were in Janet finally breathed a sign of relief. She had been worried over some of the breaks and the possible complications they could present. She checked the time again noting that it was almost 1 am. She relieved the nurse at Sam's bedside and took a seat. She watched the gentle rise and fall of Sam's chest as she thought about the events of the past few days.
Janet could hardly believe that just 3 days ago she had been an observer of Sam Carter's life. She had spent 2 years watching the woman go off on missions that risked life and limb and had been able to maintain a professional distance. Then in the course of 48 hours Samantha Carter's vulnerability had managed to break through every professional barrier she had in place. Janet wondered how long she had been hiding the feeling she had for Sam from herself. It was not like her to fall for someone so fast; she must have been building an attachment for some time. For the life of her Janet could not recall when her feelings had become less than professional, but she knew when they had come to her attention.
Janet moved her chair closer to Sam's bed taking a moment to brush the hair back from her face as she caressed her cheek. She lowered the side rail and took Sam's hand as she laid her head down on the bed content to know that Sam would be here when she opened her eyes.
Janet was awakened by a gentle nudge at her shoulder. It took her a few seconds to orient herself to her surroundings. She looked up to find her gaze met by Jacob Carter. Rather belatedly she realized she still had Sam's hand clasped within her own. She released it as unobtrusively as possible feeling a slight blush crawl up her neck as Jacob's gaze was momentarily drawn to her action.
"Can I help you, sir" Janet asked, rising.
"Yes, I need to speak to you. In your office if you would," Jacob asked motioning to Janet's office. Janet nodded leading the way, she closed the door after they had entered taking a seat behind her desk.
"What is it you wanted to discuss, sir," she asked.
"My daughter, Doctor. I have to return immediately. I have already be away too long and I must get back," he stated.
"I understand ,sir, but why would you need to discuss this with me." Janet inquired.
"Doctor, since Sam was a child it seems that I have always been on my way out the door when she needed me. Although I have never felt that she has needed me more than she does now. I have no choice, yet I feel that she will not understand when she comes to and realizes I have left. I was hoping you could let her know that I love her and I wish I could stay, but I must leave. I want you to give her this when she is recovered enough to read it," he said, taking out a small envelope and handing it to Janet.
Janet took the envelope eyeing Jacob with uncertainty. "Sir, are you sure you want me--" she stopped as Jacob raised a hand.
"I have seen how you look at my daughter, Doctor, and I know you care for her deeply."
Janet felt her blush returning as she heard his words, wanting to protest his observations but unable to.
"I know that you will be here to look after as she recovers and that you will care for her when I cannot. I want you to understand that Sam is very good at hiding her feelings and putting up walls. I don't know what kind of relationship you have with my daughter, but if you want it to succeed you will have to deal with her attempts to push you away. Persistence is the only way to break through to my daughter, Doctor," Jacob finished.
Janet sat back in her chair stunned at the conversation she found herself a part. "Sir, I don't know what to say," Janet finally managed.
"Why do you seem so surprised, Doctor? I love my daughter and I have seen her push herself so hard she has neglected any personal happiness for herself. I used to wonder why I never met any of her boyfriends before I came to realize that she had none. Then I thought perhaps she was pursuing other avenues, but I finally came to the conclusion that she had chosen to close herself off from any close relationships. I have always felt that was somewhat my fault, Doctor," Jacob confessed.
Janet continued to reel from the conversation she was having. "Sir, even if you think I care for your daughter, there are still her feelings to consider. I do not believe Captain Carter has the least idea what I feel for her, much less returning it," Janet replied.
"I think you are wrong, Doctor Fraiser. I know my daughter better than she realizes. I just want you to remember what I have said when you find yourself on the short end of frustration with her," Jacob said, rising. He had a small smile on his face as he extended his hand to her. "It has been a pleasure to meet you, Doctor, take care of my daughter."
Janet nodded reaching out to grasp his hand, still trying to process the conversation she had just had. Jacob left her office headed over to Sam's bed. He stopped briefly, laying a kiss on her forehead before exiting the infirmary. Janet watched the exchange, feeling a tugging at her heart as she considered his words. She was going to have to do something if her feelings were so transparent to him.
Janet tucked the letter from Jacob into her pocket for the time being. She returned to Sam's bedside checking over her. As she was recording the information she looked up to find Sam staring at her. She lowered the clipboard to the bed moving closer to Sam to lay her hand against her cheek.
"Hi there, I see you have decided to rejoin us," Janet managed to get out.
Sam tried to reply but found her throat to dry. Janet signaled her to wait a moment as she retrieved a cup of ice chips near the bed. She managed to get a few spoonfuls into Sam before Sam finally managed to speak.
"Did Daniel make it?" she croaked out.
"He is in the other room, Sam. Thanks to some technology from the Tok'rah both you and he are going to be fine," Janet answered her. She continued to give Sam ice chips until she rebelled in protest.
"Have you seen my father?" Sam asked in a somewhat stronger voice.
"He just left. I ordered him to get some rest," Janet replied knowing she was lying a little, but unwilling to see the disappointment in Sam's face at the news that her father was gone. She watched with relief as Sam nodded, her eyes seeming to grow heavy as the fatigue overtook her once again.
Janet put the cup of ice back on the table, considering calling a nurse in to sit with Sam while she managed a short nap.
"Janet," Sam's voice stopped her and she turned her attention back to the bed. "Stay for a while, please," Sam requested.
Janet nodded, taking Sam's hand as she sat. Sam brought her other hand to cover Janet's as she drifted off to sleep.
Janet watched as Sam relaxed into a gentle sleep. She felt the warmth from Sam's hands as she sat and finally laid her head down her cheek resting against Sam's fingers as she too fell into an exhausted sleep.
Both women were unaware as Jacob stopped by one last time to check in on his daughter. He took in the scene, a gentle smile crossing his lips as he felt for the first time a security in leaving his daughter behind. He quietly left careful not to disturb either sleeping woman.
Janet awakened after a short time. Looking at her watch she realized that a staff changeover would be occurring in the next hour. She gently disengaged her hand from Sam's careful not to disturb her sleep.
Janet rose checking over Sam briefly to reassure herself that she was still stable. She moved over to the bed where Daniel rested when she was done. She was surprised to find him awake.
"Hi there, how are you feeling?" she asked as she began to record his vitals.
"A lot better than I did when I made the mistake of asking Apophis what he had in mind for Sam," Daniel replied with a small grin.
"Well, you are doing much better than when I last checked on you. Are you having any difficulty with any normal functions? Breathing? Vision? mental processes?" Janet asked as she continued to probe her second favorite patient.
"No, I feel fine, actually great. How is Sam doing?" he asked as he looked over to her bed.
"I think she is going to be ok. But because of her physical injuries she is going to need some down time to recuperate. But all in all I think she will make a full recovery." Janet said as she finished the last of her checks.
"I am glad she is alright." Daniel said not looking at Janet. "When I first woke up and they wouldn't tell me what was going on and I couldn't talk to Jack or Teal' C I thought..." his words trailed off as his voice became choked with emotion.
Janet gave his hand a gentle squeeze of understanding as she waited while he recovered.
"She' going to be fine, Daniel," Janet said simply.
"I know," Daniel replied, nodding his head in agreement. "It's amazing how attached you can become to someone who is your teammate after two years of battling the things we have battled. Isn't it Janet? The feelings just sneak up on you," he said, shrugging his shoulders as he looked to her.
Janet smiled at him, nodding. "Yes they do, Daniel. Yes they do." she repeated looking over to Sam as she spoke.
"Well, I need to finished my report for Hammond. How do you feel about getting out of here today?" Janet asked.
"I think that would be great," Daniel replied enthusiastically.
"Good," Janet replied. "I think I will release you by this evening if everything still looks good, but I want you to come in for daily check ups until I am satisfied. You had a severe shock to your nervous system and I want to keep an eye on you although I can't see forcing you to stay here 24 hours a day until then."
"Great then I will look forward to tonight. Until then do you think it would be ok if I went over to see Sam?" he asked earnestly.
Janet nodded. "But wait until the day staff comes on and there is a nurse to assist you. I don't want you to over extend yourself," she cautioned.
Daniel nodded, relaxing back against the bed, doing his best to look obedient.
"Don't try that look on me, Dr. Jackson. I know how well you follow instructions. Especially since most of your disregard of instructions tends to land you here. I mean it. Wait for the nurse to assist you," Janet said sternly as Daniel blushed, his plans of leaving the bed as soon as Janet left having been effectively exposed.
Janet smiled as she left his bedside and headed for her office. She stopped to leave instructions for the shift change before retiring to her desk.
Once she had logged the report for the night, Janet stretched and stood. She checked her watch again noting the early time. She wandered out and over to Sam's bed. She found her awake, but her responses sluggish from the sedatives administered as well as her body's own healing processes. Janet looked down at her as she checked her chart.
"Hello there, Captain Carter, how are you feeling today?" Janet asked with a smile.
There was a slight delay as Sam focused on Janet's face. "Fine, but you look awful," Sam replied in a somewhat fuzzy voice.
"Look who is calling the kettle black," Janet shot back.
It took Sam a moment to get the joke before she managed a slightly lopsided grin.
"Really, Janet, when was the last time you slept?" Sam asked.
"Well, actually, I managed a few hours last night, but I thought I would grab a shower and crash in the on-call room for a little while," Janet admitted.
Sam nodded before speaking again. "If you want to you are welcome to use my room and shower. There should be some spare clothes you can sleep in and I am sure it is much more comfortable than that cot in the on-call room." Sam said remembering the one time she had decided to use it. The key word being one. She closed her eyes resting a moment before remembering that Janet would need her combination to her lock.
She opened her eyes to Janet's nod and relayed her information before the fatigue forced her eyes closed once again.
Janet watched as Sam struggled with the exhaustion finally giving in as she drifted off to sleep. She resisted the urge to reach out and touch her aware of the full staff that now hustled around the infirmary. Janet gave a final look before heading out to Sam's quarters. She left notice of her whereabouts in case of emergency as she exited the infirmary.
Janet found the corridors still relatively quiet in the early morning and met no delays in reaching Sam's quarters. She keyed in the combination and was rewarded with a faint click as the lock was released. She entered, feeling slightly like a prowler without Sam's presence.
She slowly surveyed the room spying Sam's dresser in a corner. She moved over to it picking a drawer at random. 'Oopps, wrong drawer,' she thought as she surveyed the various items. She felt her face flame as she closed Sam's underwear drawer and opened the one below it. It held an array of tee shirts and shorts. Janet chose a matching set of Air Force Academy shorts and shirt. She closed the drawer gently and turned looking for the bathroom. She found it directly behind her as she moved into it closing the door behind her. She turned on the water, letting it warm as she stripped out of the clothes she had been wearing for almost 48 hours. She hung her lab coat on the back of the bathroom door and allowed the rest of her clothes to drop in a pile outside of the shower.
Janet stepped into the shower, feeling the relaxing spray wash away the grime from the previous day. She rested for a few moments, enjoying the silence and release from responsibility and worry. Janet took her time in the shower and was thoroughly relaxed by the time she exited, using the towel that was hanging on the hook beside the shower to dry herself. She ran a comb through her hair before pulling on Sam's borrowed clothes.
The shirt was almost 2 sizes too large as where the shorts. She laughed as she realized the difference in their height which could be concealed when she was in heels was all too apparent when she was in Sam's clothes.
She finished in the bathroom feeling freshly scrubbed as she sought out Sam's bed. She turned back the blankets and slid in-between the sheets. the crisp coolness was welcoming to her exhausted body. She snuggled into the pillow belatedly realizing she had forgotten to turn off the light. With a groan she hopped out of the bed quickly extinguishing the light before dashing back under the blankets. She once again snuggled into the pillow inhaling the faint scent of Sam's perfume.
Janet took a few moments to be grateful for Sam's safe return and to reflect over the words her father had spoken. Janet had seen no indication from Sam that she might return any feelings other than friendship. But Janet's thoughts drifted back to the time she had spent with Sam in the infirmary. She felt a warmth steal over her as she recalled the touch of Sam's fingers against her cheek as she slept. The feeling cocooned her as she drifted off to sleep as a gentle smiled playing on her lips.
Chapter 14Sam awakened in the infirmary temporarily disoriented before her eyes came to rest on Daniel. She took a few more moments before she finally spoke to him.
"Hi, I am glad to see you," she said thickly, surprised to find her word such a struggle.
Daniel smiled at her attempt to speak. "It's tough to talk when you've been out a while," he said, smiling.
Sam smiled back at him unable to help herself. "I was afraid I had seen the last of you when Apophis decided to knock you out with that energy burst," Sam managed as her voice grew stronger.
"Well you know me, Sam. It takes much more than that to take me out of the picture" Daniel joked weakly both of them knowing how close to death he had come.
Sam squeezed his hand in a show of understanding as she changed the subject. "Have you seen the Colonel or Teal' C?" she asked.
Daniel shook his head as he answered. "No, as I understand it Dr. Fraiser left orders that no visitors were allowed in the infirmary before she left," Daniel explained.
Sam processed the information without comment. "When is Doctor Fraiser supposed to return?" she asked.
Daniel looked up at the clock before speaking. "Well, she told me she would release me from the infirmary if everything remained normal by the end of today. So I expect to see her at anytime," Daniel finished.
Sam felt a warmth flood through her at his words which she pushed back, hoping Daniel would not notice.
Almost to the mark of Daniel's words the infirmary door opened to allow Janet Fraiser to enter. Sam tried not to follow her movements as she made her rounds before coming to rest at her bedside.
"Well, Dr. Jackson, I see you're doing quiet nicely today. I think it is time we released you to return to your quarters unless you have any objections?" Janet said as she began running a check on Sam's vitals.
Daniel nodded his acknowledgement to Janet's assessment. "No, Janet, I think that is an excellent idea. Actually I will change and be on my way right now," Daniel managed as he scrambled out of his chair as Sam watched in amusement.
Sam turned to look at Janet as Daniel beat a hasty retreat. "Do you always have this affect on your patients?" she asked in a teasing tone.
"No," Janet replied, "Only the ones that seem to spend to much time in my infirmary," she said with a smile as Sam blushed.
Janet finished her checks assuring herself that Sam was fine. "Well, Captain, everything seems to be checking out although you will be experiencing some extreme soreness due to your injuries," Janet said as she probed the discolored flesh surrounding Sam's ribcage.
"I'm sorry," she said as she saw Sam wince. "The area is going to be extremely sore and weak for some time due to the trauma," Janet explained.
Sam nodded at Janet's explanation taking note of the pants Janet was wearing for the first time as she continued to maintain her hunched over position.
"Hey, aren't those my academy sweats" Sam asked as she raised her head to eye Janet. She noticed Janet's blush as she recognized the T-shirt beneath the lab coat. She reached out to tug the Lab Coat away as she placed the shirt in her memory. "Hey, that's my shirt also," Sam exclaimed.
Janet blushed at Sam's observation but her embarrassment grew as Sam's hands came to rest directly over her breast to expose the T-shirt she was wearing. Her embarrassment was shared in short order as Sam realized she was grasping a rather private part. Janet smiled as she returned Sam's questioning eyes. "I borrowed a shirt and sweats. I hope you don't mind but I forgot to grab a bag on the way out of the house," Janet admitted.
Sam nodded, not really minding at all, just having been caught off guard by seeing Janet in her clothes.
Janet was relieved with Sam's reaction and completed her set up for the shift. She finished and took a seat to talk to Sam until she fell asleep. She was surprised to find Sam talkative and challenging her on her release date. Janet found herself finally worked into a corner, promising that if Sam still felt well she would release her in the morning.
Janet watched the night fly by as she monitored Sam. Once the morning had been reached she was not at all surprised to find her favorite patient waiting for her discharge.
She checked the last of Sam's results before speaking. "Sam, you have had a major trauma to you cranial plate as well as the abuse you body has taken. I am not 100% comfortable with releasing you now but at this point there is nothing more I can do for you in this environment." Janet watched as Sam absorbed her words.
"I know, Janet. I just want to return to my quarters," Sam said quietly. "Would you mind escorting me there?" Sam asked.
Janet didn't need to be asked twice as she nodded her head. They both left the infirmary Sam moving a little slower than Janet. Before they had reached the stairs Sam had had to pause to catch her breath. Janet grasped her shoulder reassuringly, "It's ok Sam the muscles wrapping your ribcage are spasming and it is making it difficult for you to breathe. In a short time the injuries will heal and you will not become fatigued so easily, "Janet explained.
Sam nodded as they entered her room. She moved slowly about her room gathering her things before heading to the shower at a much slower pace than before. Sam stopped to rest against the doorway to the bathroom as she looked to Janet.
"I am having a little difficulty, but I really need a shower," Sam said as she looked over to Janet. "I really hate to askm but could you help me?" Sam finally managed.
Janet watched as Sam moved about the room slowly before finally asking for her assistance. Janet moved to Sam as soon as she requested. They moved into the bath, Sam resting her clothes on the sink adjusting the water temperature. Janet stood awkwardly for a few moments before Sam turned to her.
"I think I am going to have a little problem undressing," Sam confessed as she looked to Janet.
Janet tried to maintain a professional calm as she helped Sam out of her clothes. The purple and blue marks crossing Sam's body served as a reminder to Janet how close Sam had come to dying. It took everything in her power not to reach out and caress her before she stepped into the shower.
Janet waited patiently outside the shower as Sam talked to her. The minutes passed and in a short time Sam shut off the shower and emerged. Janet handed her a towel and helped her dress.
Within a few minutes Sam was ready to go to bed. Janet helped her into her bed pulling back the sheets for her to climb in comfortably.
Janet had settled Sam in when she was hit by an unexpected offer.
"Janet, would you please stay?" Sam asked as she gently grasped Janet's hand.
Janet was surprised but warmed by the request. She nodded to Sam and was again surprised as Sam lifted the covers for her to slip under.
Janet slipped under the covers feeling the warmth of Sam sidle up behind her. Janet leaned back, basking in the warmth and felt Sam's hand steal around her to come to rest around her belly button. Janet reached down and brought her hand up to grasp Sam's pulling it snuggly against her chest as she drifted off to sleep.