Janet couldn't read the scribbled note left on the counter, something about Sam and Cassie, the dog and the river. She set her keys and handbag on the kitchen table and leaned over the sink to peer out the back window.
What on earth happened to my flowerbed? She gazed at the yard, at the upturned soil and tulips scattered about. The dog must have got into them as she noticed paw prints scrambled in the dirt.
“He's never done that before.”
Janet turned abruptly as the phone rang.
“Hey Janet, what's up?” Sam was checking in. She and Cassie were down at the river's park with the dog. Apparently Sam had given him a large ham bone that she had bought from the butchers when she had picked up the steaks for dinner. She knew that Janet was very particular about not feeding him people food, but thought what dog should go through life without at least once experiencing an honest to goodness juicy mouthwatering ham bone. Needless to say, the dog felt what honest to goodness juicy mouthwatering ham bone wasn't even tastier after a couple of days curing underground?
“So I thought it was best if we got him out before you got home. I was going to clean everything up, but I didn't exactly know what was salvageable and, well, then I thought it was best if I got myself and Cass out too.”
Silence hung over Sam for a few very uncomfortable moments and then she heard Janet lightly chuckle.
“Really Sam, you're worse then my sixteen year old daughter.” Janet smiled, she could sense Sam's confusion. “At least Cassandra would have confessed and dealt with the consequences face on. Honestly, what are you teaching that girl, not to mention the dog, taking him out for a celebratory romp in the park after he devastated my spring blossoms?”
“I...I, I guess I wasn't thinking,” Sam said apologetically, and then with an edge of humour, “you know us brilliant scientists, we lack the social graces and common sense of mature, well adjusted, responsible, intelligent, not to mention beautiful, ... individuals, such as yourself.”
Janet stumbled slightly. “Well...these steaks won't barbeque themselves; get your butts back here. We have some food to prepare and some landscaping to repair.”
“Yes ma'am, we're on our way.”
Janet had decided as compensation for this mild disaster that Sam and Cassie could prepare dinner and she would restore her flowerbeds. The actual damage was minimal, it was more of a mess than anything. The flowers were cut at the stems but most of the bulbs were still undisturbed.
Janet had always taken pride in her garden, not that this garden was as elaborate as ones she had in the past; her job did not allow the time for it but there was something rejuvenating about working with the earth on any scale. Her time spent raking out the beds, preparing the soil; seeding, watering and watching things grow, always left her with a sense of satisfaction. And the payoff...textured layers of color and the fragrance of sweetness and earth mingled, it was simply beautiful.
Janet's hands raked the soil as her thoughts wandered, paralleling her garden with her life and her work. She was a good doctor. She loved to nurture, to tend to things, to heal things. She loved challenges and certainly her job at the SGC was challenging. She remembered the day SG1 had come back with the news that there had been an outbreak on Hanka and that the entire population perished. Everyone...everyone except for Cassandra. Sam had been right to persuade her to take on that challenge. The girl had suffered so much and needed so much care and love. When Cassie first came to her, Janet could not have imagined that the girl would have recovered and then flourished so dramatically. Cassandra was very strong and so, she supposed, was she. She did not think she would have had the strength to deal with her job, her home, and a much wounded young alien girl. But Sam knew. “She always knew!” she whispered slowly. And now she couldn't imagine her life without her daughter…or her best friend. They were all indisputably linked.
Janet sat quietly, weaving in and out of the soil and her thoughts, finally settling on Sam and the trouble that had occurred earlier. Her smile grew. Why was it that Sam always got into trouble, and how was it that she could charm her way out with such ease? The woman had something. Yes! The woman definitely had something.
She did not hear her blonde friend step out onto the deck to start the barbecue. Sam gently placed her cooking utensils on the lid and cocked her head to the side catching sight of a most breathtaking picture. The sunlight was brushing the length of Janet's auburn hair, pulling out tiny golden sparkles. Janet's eyes were closed and framed by long dark lashes, and her smile, it filled Sam with wonder. What was she thinking about? Sam had a sudden urge to walk over to Janet, kneel behind her and lightly touch her hair to steal just a little of the warmth and light.
At that moment Cassie slid open the patio door, a platter of steaks in hand. The dog bolted out barking excitedly, startling Janet and shaking Sam away from the image but not before Janet noticed her staring.
“Good God, Cassie!” Sam frowned as she recovered from the shock of the dog's sudden outburst and maybe, her own thoughts.
“Cassandra, grab him!” Janet shouted, as Hank bounced over Janet to search out his buried treasure. “Sam, didn't you recover the ham bone before you left for the park?”
Sam's eyes widened. “Oh shit,” she muttered as she witnessed Hank spraying the neatly raked soil over the remaining tulips and into Janet's shielded face.
Sam lunged over the flowers and latched onto Hank's hind quarters just as he secured the bone and scooted out from under her, leaving Sam face down in the dirt. As Sam lifted her head to call out, Cassie breezed over Sam knocking her wide-mouthed into the dirt. Coming up, Sam turned to see Janet lying on her side, elbow under chin, looking bewildered and staring at her strangely. She suddenly realized her mouth was filled with dirt.
“Pphuhg, ... ppphuhg!”
Janet looked down and away, pursing her lips tightly, but could not resist. “Sam?”
“Whaaat …,” she said still spitting and annoyed.
Janet tilted her head and smiled, “You have a filthy mouth.”
“Janet,” Sam collected a handful of soil and moved closer.
“You made your bed,” she said as she dumped the contents of her hand down the back of Janet's shirt, “you lie in it.” Sam pushed Janet flat onto her back and gently into the ground, their eyes locked for a few seconds, caught in the moment.
“Hey you guys,” Cassie called out as she returned with a jumping dog in one hand and a ham bone in the other, “I think it's going to rain.”
Light drops clipped the foliage; it didn't take long for them to multiply.
“Come on, Mrs. GreenThumbs,” Sam smiled and reached out, offering Janet her hand, “let's get inside.”
“What, you're not into some healthy mud wrestling?” Janet shot back as she shook out the back of her T-shirt.
“The only wrestling I like to do is with my demons and on that note I think I could use a beer.” Sam smiled as she slid the patio door open for Janet. “Entrée, Madame.”
Janet sat at the kitchen table while Sam and Cassie cleared the dishes.
“So we get to the off leash area …,” Cassie replayed the adventure of their afternoon in the park, “... and there is this tiny five foot nothing gray haired lady with her pack of three toothless poodles and one, unusually wiry and very mangy terrier.”
Cassie's voice, weighted by an irrepressible grin, grew louder. “... And at the other end of the park was this sophisticated uptight woman, whom I'm sure only shops at Saks - Fifth Avenue, and she was walking her freshly quaffed ball of white fluff. Well, fluffy notices the mangy terrier barking at her from a distance and she suddenly yanks hard on the leash and pulls free.” Cass looked over at Sam.
“Miss Daisy! Miss Daisy, come back here!” Sam, with hands flat on both cheeks, mimicked the woman.
Cass laughed knowingly, “...by the time Fifth Avenue gets to her dog, old mangy Jake, as he is lovingly named by his owner, has mounted Miss Daisy and is jumping to the pump ...”
“Cassandra!” Janet reprimanded, but still grinning.
“Well then Fifth Avenue says ...,” and Cass looked over at Sam again.
“Miss Daisy, Miss Daisy, what is he doing to Miss Daisy!” Sam mimicked through her laughter.
“And the tiny gray haired old lady looks over at her and sweetly says, 'Oh my dear, don't you know? He's Driving Miss Daisy.”
At this Janet burst out in laughter, and all three continued to giggle throughout the evening.
“Dinner was great,” Sam leaned against the column supporting the front porch.
“You and Cassie did the cooking; I can't take any credit there.”
“I meant the company,” Sam grinned back at Janet who settled across from her.
After a few moments, Janet looked down at her feet as she rocked back and forth on her heels. Finally she let out a slow sigh, “God, I have so much work to catch up on tomorrow.” She brushed the hair off the back of her neck and rubbed lightly. “Do you have a heavy work load tomorrow? Maybe we could do lunch?”
Sam missed the question; she had been staring at moonlight reflected in Janet's hair, hundreds of tiny diamonds washing over it. Again, she found herself fighting the urge to reach out to touch the sparkling waves.
“Sam? Everything okay?” Janet leaned forward slightly.
“Oh ... yeah, I was just thinking about … things,” she whispered. She shook her head, “Things I have to do tomorrow,” she stated with more clarity.
“A heavy work load?” Janet repeated.
“Hmm, we brought back some samples from P4X223 and I think I'll be in the lab most of the day.”
“Well, if you change your mind…”
“Change my mind?” Sam looked over confused.
“Hello, earth to Sam, lunch tomorrow?” Janet squinted and then smiled.
“Oh yeah, sure.” Sam forced a casual smile, which failed to hide her panic.
Janet stared after Sam as she pulled out of the driveway. What was that about, she wondered?
Sam turned another corner and slowed up as the light turned red.
“God! What is wrong with me?” She ran her hands through her hair and tried to make sense of her behavior.
“I just stood there ogling Janet like an idiot, and staring at what? Her hair?” Sam blew her bangs off her forehead, exasperated.
She tapped her fingers on the steering wheel and continued the conversation with herself. “It was the light reflected off her hair, it was shimmering, with the sun in the afternoon,” she raised one hand off the wheel, “and then the moonlight this evening,” and then the other one. “... like tiny stars, fiery in her hair...”, Sam's thoughts faded into the image.
“…oh God, I'm losing it here.” She sat up straight, grasping the wheel tightly with both hands and twisted the crook out of her neck.
Sam drew in a deep breath. “It was the light from her hair,” she said calmly, “… it was her hair,” she said slowly, “... it was her…”
It was her.
Sam paled and the light turned green.
“Good morning, General,” Sam yawned as she entered the briefing room.
She had spent most of the night restless and avoiding any thought of her evening, which only made her more unsettled. Tossing, turning and beating her pillow didn't seem to help, so she finally sat up to deal with her thoughts head on. Sam went over the evening's events and finally acknowledged that Janet was a physically attractive woman with an equally attractive manner, personality and sense of humour. And that there was absolutely nothing wrong with her recognizing that; moreover, they were best friends and spent an awful lot of time together. Of course you're going to notice those things. Sam had lain back against her pillow and smiled at her logic and her resolution. It did not take long, however, for her smile to dissolve into a frown, and for her pillow to pay for it.
“Major,” General Hammond greeted, “you look a little tired this morning, we're not working you too hard, are we?” He shuffled his notes.
“No sir, just a little restless, must be the spring air.”
“Ahhh, the new sprigs of spring,” Jack walked in. “…The lilacs, the tulips, the poppies, … you haven't been sniffing the poppies have you, Carter?”
Jack, sharp and dry, like aged cheese. “No Sir,” she replied.
“Major Carter,” Teal'c entered, “…General Hammond,” Teal'c nodded, “… Jack,” Teal'c frowned. The Colonel had gotten it into his head that the Jaffa should 'loosen up', so he insisted that Teal'c call him Jack. Somehow it had the opposite effect.
Sam rolled her eyes, why was it that some people wanted to change the people around them. Teal'c was a great ally and a wonderful friend and he was a little … rigid. Sam had a sudden flash of Janet's backyard – tulips up ended, flowerbeds dug up and one very large ham bone rotting on the deck. You know, that was my doing, she thought. That was my doing and still Janet never truly complained. Sam smiled affectionately. She must love me just the way I am.
She must love me just the way…
Sam blinked a second time.
“She must love me,” she breathed.
Sam didn't quite get what she had just said, something made perfect sense but it was still filtering through her mind. She looked down to her hands and brought back the moment when Janet was lying beneath her in the flowerbed. She recalled the sensation of Janet's soft skin against her hands, the relaxed tone of her body and the intense trusting eyes staring up and into her own.
Suddenly Sam could see it! She could see the way Janet looked at her, the way Janet's eyes smiled at her, the way those eyes held on, opened up and … revealed things. If Sam had really been looking she would have seen it … It? … Love!
“Carter …Carter!” Jack snapped his fingers.
Sam's head shot up, blue eyes huge.
“Everything okay Major?” the General questioned.
“Yeah, sorry.” She met his gaze for a moment then looked away. “I'm just a little tired.”
“Okay people, let's focus,” General Hammond began.
But Sam veered in and out of the entire meeting, pulled away by soft brown eyes and a warm sensual smile.
Sam had barely made it out of the meeting without making a complete ass of herself. At one point she was sure the General was going to order her to the infirmary and that was the last place she wanted to be.
Lunch with Janet was definitely out of the question. She left a message for her with one of the nurses, not wanting to speak with Janet directly.
Sam sat forward on her stool in her lab. She tried to concentrate on the specimen slid under her microscope, but she could not. Her mind continued to replay that look in Janet's eyes. Feeling uncertain about this new information, Sam began to flood her mind with unanswered questions. If Janet was in love with her why hadn't she said something? Were Janet's feelings new, had she been suppressing them so not to jeopardize their friendship? Is my head buried that far under the sand?
Sam didn't know quite what to do. Janet was still unaware of her discovery and Sam didn't even know how she truly felt. All the bantering over the years, all the playfulness, was it actually flirtation?
My God, she mouthed as she remembered, all the times I held Janet's gaze just a little longer than comfortable, all the times I shivered and at the same time felt warmed by her touch, and the times we would smiled lovingly at Cassie and then at each other, did it mean something?
Sam continued to unveil the layers. Why, when I spend time with Janet, do I feel like I belong there, with her? Why, when I think of family, do I think of Cassie and Janet? Why do they feel like home?
Sam suddenly recalled an instance several months ago, when Janet had asked if she had ever truly been in love. 'Once or twice,” Sam had replied '… well, definitely with Jonas.' For a brief time she had felt the closest to 'in love' then, but not since. Sam remembered the sadness in Janet's eyes, the loss. At the time she had thought that it was because Janet was thinking of someone she had loved and lost. Was it possible that she was responsible for that look? Was it possible that Janet was feeling something for her then and just didn't say anything? Tears clouded Sam's eyes as she tried to get that hurtful expression out of her mind.
Suddenly, the lab door swung open and Sam spun to see Janet carrying a tray with some sandwiches and two cups of hot coffee.
“Well if Mohammed won't come to the mountain…” Janet smiled turning towards Sam and then paled.
“Sam! What's wrong?” Janet slid the tray down and rushed across the room.
Janet took Sam's chin between her fingers and guided her gaze to her own. “Sam! What is it?” she said, as she watched tears gather.
Sam looked straight into Janet and then pulled away.
In that one moment she knew everything. She knew how Janet felt. She knew how she felt. She knew that it wasn't shimmering reflections she wanted to touch. She knew she wanted to wrap her arms around this woman and dissolve into her. She knew that in the span of twenty-four hours her life had spun continually until all the feelings, all the secrets, all the denials were revealed. She knew that she loved Janet and she knew that she was attracted to Janet. The only thing she didn't know was what to do about it.
“Janet, I can't…not right now,” Sam pushed herself back, tears threatened to spill. She stood abruptly and walked towards the exit and as she reached the door she turned back, “I'm sorry.”
“Sam! Wait!” Janet called after her.
Janet set her keys and handbag on the kitchen table and leaned over the sink, peering out the back window.
“What a mess ...what a bloody mess.” She stood staring at the flowerbed.
Janet had tried to find Sam after she ran out, but it seemed she just happened to miss her at her every inquiry. Sam was avoiding her and she didn't know why.
“Why?” she whispered aloud.
Janet closed her eyes and did not turn around. “Yes, sweetheart.”
Cassie had been watching Janet stare out the window for sometime and began to worry. “Are you okay?” She took a step forward.
Cassie heard her tearful tone, “Mom, what is it?”
Janet turned and wiped her face with her palms. “Oh, just a really rough day, sweetheart, nothing to worry about.”
“Mom you can talk to me.” Cassie was a typical sixteen-year-old, but she was not typically human. She was insightful and held a maturity that, perhaps, only comes from experiencing immense tragedy. And now, less than a year after coming through a near tragic end herself at the hand of Nirrti, Cassie felt a fierce need to protect her family and especially Janet, who was undeniably a mother to her.
Janet smiled back lovingly, but did not wrestle with the idea of burdening her child with her own problems. She held out her hand and folded Cassandra in a tight hug. “I know, baby, thank you. You know sometimes things can get to be a little overwhelming and a good cry is the best release. It doesn't mean I'm feeling hopeless.”
Cassie squeezed tightly. “I know Mom. I'm here if you want to talk.”
Janet stroked Cassie's cheek as they parted and Cassie stepped back from the warm soft hand.
“Come on sweetie, let's start dinner.” Janet felt better.
After dinner Cassandra left to go to her friend's house to watch an old episode of Charlie's Angels; apparently retro was in. Janet smiled at the thought, she remembered doing the same thing when she a young girl. Good Lord, does that mean I'm retro too.
Janet finished up the dishes and decided to take up where she had left off in the garden after the rain had chased her and Sam inside. She knelt in the same spot and noticed something poking straight out of the soil. The ham bone! She dug it out, set it down beside her, and began to think about yesterday's events. After a day of plenty of fun and humour, Sam had left the house rattled. What had happened? Janet retraced her steps, had she done something to offend Sam? She thought about the comment she had made here in her flowerbed, and its implications. No, Sam responded playfully and things were fine after that, at dinner. Something happened after dinner, but what? She just couldn't see it.
“Boy I don't want to lose her,” she said with sudden fear. She's too important in our lives. Cassie adores her and I, well, I need her. I need her help with Cassandra.
Janet had locked away her growing attraction for Sam many months ago. She had resolved that Sam wasn't 'wired that way', and even if she were she would never risk losing gate travel and her career. And Janet had never really felt any kind of sexual energy coming from Sam. There was definitely a connection, an attraction of sorts, but Janet had never felt anything overtly … except ... maybe…
Yesterday … Sam was staring at me with a look of … warmth … affection … desire? Janet breathed slowly. And when Sam realized that I had caught her staring, that look changed to panic. Janet's mind sped up ... Sam had that same panicked look on the porch last night.
“Sam,” Janet said aloud. “What are you feeling?”
She brushed the soil slowly, “Nope, no…can't go there.”
Janet raked over the spot where Sam had pinned her to the ground, and then straightened the edging safely around her flowerbed. “All done,” Janet said relieved.
The next couple of days left both women on edge, Sam purposefully avoiding Janet, needing time to think, and Janet on edge every time she heard footsteps approaching, wondering if Sam was ready to talk.
Janet slapped her stethoscope on her desk. “This is ridiculous!” she said, and picked up the alien rootberries she had been studying. Needing to clear her head, she decided a walk to the lab would be a good idea.
Janet turned sharply around the corner and jumped as she bumped into Colonel O'Neill.
“Colonel,” Janet caught her balance.
Jack looked forward, over Janet's head, and then behind them. Grabbing Janet by the elbow, he pulled her aside.
“Have you noticed Sam's strange behavior lately?”
Janet rolled her eyes and shook her head. “Hmm…yes.”
“What's going on?” He looked down at the samples in Janet's hand. “Ahh… the lucky clovers,” he added an Irish flavor to his voice, “there magically delicious.”
Janet chuckled and focused back on his question. “Colonel, I just don't know, she won't talk and she's been avoiding me for the last couple days.”
“I think she's been avoiding everyone, she's been acting very bizarre. Yesterday in the briefing room she was, well, wherever she was it wasn't there. I think the General was two shakes of a symbiote from sending her your way and I, personally, have been fighting the urge to snag a Zat and buzz her out of this.”
“Has she said anything?” Janet questioned.
“No, not really, although at the meeting she claimed to be tired and I did, at one point, overhear her say something like, and I quote, 'She loves me'.” Jack leaned into Janet trying not to notice the color drain from her face, “Personally, I think spring has sprung and she's been plucking too many poppy petals,” he whispered and plucked an invisible petal. “She loves me not,” he said brightly.
Janet remained silent.
“It's very strange, doc”, he slapped her on the shoulder lightly. “Well, keep me in the know if you get any answers. Maybe you should just haul her into the infirmary and run some tests or conduct some genetically engineered experiments, or something.”
“Yes Colonel.” Not hearing his last words, Janet turned slowly on her heels and headed straight back to her office.
Jack stared after her and smiled. Really, I didn't just fall off the Radish Wagon.
Janet sat back down at her desk.
“Okay, so she knows. I think it's time Sam and I had a talk,” she made up her mind firmly.
Suddenly red lights flashed and the alarm peeled throughout the SGC.
“Unscheduled Off-world Activation.”
Janet leapt out of her chair and out of her office.
“General?” Sam took her post at the computer in the control room.
“Major, we're not sure. See what you can find!”
“Yes Sir,” Sam's fingers searched the keyboard for more information.
Jack, Teal'c and Jonas all entered at the same time.
“General?” Jack questioned
“We don't know yet,” he responded.
“General, I'm picking up an IDC signal,” Sam informed. “It's the Tok'ra.”
General Hammond motioned for Jack to greet their guests; Teal'c, Jonas and Sam followed.
The watery portal flickered and faded as Jacob and two Tok'ra companions walked down the ramp.
“Dad!” Sam burrowed into her father's arms.
“Sam,” he affectionately clasped his daughter tightly.
“Jacob, what brings you home to good ol' earth?” Jack shook the extended hand.
“The Tok'ra have received a communication regarding Goa'uld activity on the Ves'nary home world. This is a primitive planet with relatively little, if any, technology.”
Two days prior a message had been sent to the Tok'ra. The Goa'uld had been taking the local people forcibly through the Stargate to an unknown location. And, since the Goa'uld had deemed the planet and its people too primitive to be of value, the Tok'ra felt it was important to investigate. “So we came here to see if you would be able to infiltrate the sight and get a clear picture of what's really going on.”
“Primitive, hey,” Jack mumbled, “shouldn't be too hard to fit in.”
Sam turned to the control room. “General?”
“Well, let's file into the briefing room and discuss this further.”
After further discussion General Hammond decided that one team, SG1, would try to go in unnoticed and make their assessment. They had 24 hours. “Just a quick head's up and then out again, understood. We'll decide on a plan of action once we know what we're up against.” General Hammond stood up. “Okay team, I want you to head to the infirmary, get the okay from Doctor Fraiser and then we meet in the gate room at 0600 tomorrow.
Sam walked with her father to his assigned quarters. It was rare that Jacob returned to earth and most often his return was related to the Tok'ra/Taur'i alliance. She couldn't actually remember a time when he showed up just to visit her, but then there was a war to fight, or perhaps Jacob was still Jacob. Despite this, Sam felt that they had become much closer since his blending, maybe because Sam could now be honest about her life with the SGC. What little time they did spend together was still greatly valued.
“So Sam,” Jacob said, “you seem a bit off, is everything okay?”
Sam looked at her father. “You can tell? We've barely spent 5 minutes alone together.”
“A father knows.” He smiled. “Well, a father blended with the oldest and wisest of all Tok'ra.”
She smiled back at her father. “I suppose,” she said and then lowered her head. “It's complicated.”
“One thing I've learned, in the last few years, is that complicated only happens when you don't follow your heart.”
“Oh, dad, this is really complicated.”
“Come on, try me.” He took Sam's hand and sat her on the bunk.
Sam took a deep breath. “It's personal.” She paused. “I guess I've made a discovery about myself and someone very important to me.” This was hard, he was military and so much about her newfound feelings was taboo.
“Sam come on, it'll be alright.” His eyes were soft and encouraging. He was military, but he was also her father.
“Dad, I'm in love.” After giving her feelings much thought Sam could no longer deny them.
Jacob held her hand tightly. “…And?”
“With Janet, Doctor Fraiser.” Sam couldn't look up.
Jacob raised his hand up to her chin and waited until she lifted her eyes to his. “Another thing I've learned in the past few years is that life is short and love, true love, is a gift.” He let go and held her gaze. “Does she love you?”
Sam nodded. “Dad, I'm scared.”
Jacob took Sam by both hands now and turned to face her straight on. “You're telling me that you've gone through that Stargate; battled the system lords and their armies of Jaffa; that you've battled Anubis, conquered Apophis and helped the Asgard defeat the replicators and you, Samantha Carter, are afraid of your feelings?”
“Sam,” he softened, “you opened my eyes when you showed me your world. You gave me a second chance because you took a chance with this Stargate program and it opened a door to many worlds, many people, many ways of life.” Jacob continued, “Selmak's host before me was a woman. When I took over, I took her memories too. She loved several times in her lifetime and I can feel that. I remember her intimate experiences. Man, woman, human, Tok'ra one thing is constant, love is love is love.” Jacob spoke on, “Sam you love her, go to her, love her. Life is really too damn short, don't deny yourself that.”
Sam's head fell back as she tried to keep her tears from falling, but the immense breath that escaped from her lips forced her to let go … of everything. And as her tears fell, so did her reservations.
It was after 6:00 PM when Sam entered the infirmary. She knew that Janet had most likely left for home, but she scouted around the room to be sure.
“Major Carter, Doctor Fraiser has gone home.” Sam turned to see Teal'c straightening his T-shirt.
“Teal'c,” Sam nodded.
“Did you get your father,” Teal'c tilted his head slightly, “… settled in?” He truly was trying, but casual just wasn't his style.
“Yes, thanks for asking.”
“Doctor Fraiser asked me to tell you that she is sorry she missed you and that she will see you upon our return from Ves'nary.”
Sam thought for a moment and then patted Teal'c on his massive chest. “Not likely,” she skipped past him.
“Major Carter!” Doctor Warner called out as he entered the room from the office.
“I'll be back,” she turned her head, still hurrying away. “I promise, before morning.”
Doctor Warner stared after Sam and then turned to Teal'c questioningly. One raised eyebrow was the only reply.
Sam watched Cassie shoot down the front steps as she pulled into the driveway.
“Hey Sam,” Cassie waved.
“Hey Cass,” Sam shut the door to her car, “where are you off to in such a hurry?”
“Bowling night, don't ask,” she rolled her eyes, “it's the latest thing with the gang, there's always something new.”
“Actually, bowling has been popular for a very long time. I remember when I was your age ...”
“Yeah, that's very interesting ... gotta run, thanks,” Cass scrunched her face at Sam and then smiled innocently.
“Smart ass,” Sam mumbled, her eyes smiling as she watched Cassie's friends make room for the girl in the car.
“Mom's out back in her garden,” Cass called through the open window.
Taking a deep breath, Sam closed her eyes tightly. You can do this, Sam exhaled nervously. This is so worth it. Janet is so worth it.
Sam made her way along the side of the house, deciding not to disturb Janet with the doorbell. She stretched her arm over the gate and unlatched the lock. As she rounded the deck, she saw Janet sitting on the bench in the very back of her yard. Shaded and cool it was the best spot to view the garden. A small waterfall offered a soothing hypnotic melody. Sam took in the surroundings, still unnoticed by Janet. The yard was beautiful, a little sanctuary, in complete contrast to the SGC. On the ground in front of Janet was a woven basket, the one that Janet used to collect the flower petals for her baths.
Sam looked on. How could I have been so blind? She heard the trees begin to rustle and sway, wind streaming through the shading branches and caressing Janet's hair. She looked up to see the clouds moving swiftly.
Sam stepped forward and Janet, completely focused on her task, was still unaware of her presence. As she stepped closer, Janet twirled the stem of a spring daisy and slowly pulled a petal from it.
“She loves me not,” Janet whispered.
Sam took another step.
Janet, sensing motion, lifted her head curious. She startled when she saw Sam and then froze when she saw the expression on her face and all it conveyed.
“No,” Sam said stepping in front of Janet, “she loves you.”
Sam knelt at her feet. “She loves you with all her heart.”
Light raindrops began to fall, dancing with the sunlight. Sam reached out and finally touched the shimmering red, closing her eyes and pulling Janet's lips to hers.
Soft and tender gave way to passion and Janet gathered Sam in her arms, whispering through the kiss “…She loves me.”