Spoilers/Timeline: Takes place following S07E13 Grace. Spoilers for S07E13 Grace, S07E14 Fallout, S07E15 Chimera.
A/N1: Prompt provided by ml_spikie. Some dialogue taken from the show.
A/N2: Even though ml_spikie’s prompt was for a Sam/Janet story my muse demanded something else. Therefore, to satisfy both, I’ve written the story with two different outcomes.
Sam realized that while she was alone on the Prometheus, her subconscious had been telling her to face what she had buried deep inside her – she was in love with Janet. She had buried it so deep, that even subconsciously she had tried to deny it, as evidenced by her deliberately misunderstand-ing what the vision of her father had been trying to tell her… by kissing Jack O’Neill. But even in her self-delusional state, she couldn’t make that kiss feel right.
She also knew the little girl named Grace symbolized herself, symbolized her unwillingness to let go of the past. Sam needed to make some changes and move forward in her personal life.
She opened her eyes to see O’Neill. He gave her a small smile.
His eyebrows climbed up his forehead. “Excuse me?
“Yes, well, a massive concussion will tend to disorient one.”
“How long was I out there?”
“It’s all relative, Carter, that whole time space continuum thing.”
“Could have sworn it was weeks.”
“Teal’c and Daniel say ‘hi.’ They’re planning a little bit of a shindig for when you’re up and around. There’s talk of cake.”
“Need anything? Magazine? Yo-yo?”
“Janet. Is she here?”
“Uh, no. She and Cassie are out of town.”
Sam closed her eyes for a moment. “That’s right. She said they were going on vacation.”
“Do you want me to get Doc Warner?”
“No. I’m fine.”
“Yes, you are.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“Think nothing of it. I’ve got plenty of that.”
Sam wanted to talk to Janet about her feelings, but before Janet and Cassie returned from their vacation, Jonas Quinn arrived at the SGC and asked for their help in saving his planet. So, Sam returned to Kelowna with Jonas to study the problem with the subterranean naquadria in hopes of finding a solution.
Janet returned from her vacation in time to assist the Langarans following an earthquake brought on by the explosion of a pocket of naquadria 20 kilometers beneath the surface. The circumstances, though, did not afford Sam any time to see Janet while the doctor was on Langara, much less talk.
After the impending crisis was adverted Sam returned to Earth, exhausted. She went home and crawled into her bed. She didn’t emerge until almost thirteen hours later. Since she desperately needed to do some grocery shopping she decided to go out for breakfast.
“Is this seat taken?”
Sam looked up at Pete Shanahan’s familiar voice.
“Well no, but there’s plenty of other empty–”
He sat down across from her.
“Yeah, but none of them has a beautiful, single woman sitting at them.”
Sam almost jerked back at the word ‘single.’ She really needed to call things off with Pete, but she continued with their game anyway. “Well thank you, but how do you know I’m single?”
“There’s no ring on your finger.”
“I could have a boyfriend.”
“You’re having breakfast by yourself at 7:30 in the morning.”
“You’re very observant.”
“I’m a cop.” He grinned. “How about dinner tonight? My motel room.”
“Your motel room?”
“Yeah, I’ll order room service, open a box of wine–”
“Something with a duck on the front.” He cocked his head. “Or better yet, let’s go to my motel room now.” He leaned in to kiss her, but she pulled back.
“Pete, I have to go to work.”
“Come on Sam, call in sick. Spend the day with me; we’ll go to the zoo.”
“There’s no zoo in Colorado Springs.”
“Bowling. There must be a bowling alley around here somewhere.”
“I have to work.”
“Can’t the world wait one more day for more deep space telemetry?”
“Have you seen how much deep space there is out there?”
He leaned in once again to kiss her, but she turned her face away and his lips brushed against her cheek. He pulled back and looked at her quizzically. “Sam? What’s wrong?”
She dropped some money on the table as she stood. “Nothing. I’ll come by after work tonight. I’ve got to go.”
On the drive to the base Sam kept going over everything in her head. She should have just come out and told Pete that it was over, but she didn’t feel it was right to dump him and run. She would meet with him after work and tell him, when they had some time to talk.
Sam wiped away her tears as she got back into her car. Telling Pete it was over had been more emotional than she’d expected. He didn’t understand and was hurt when she finally admitted that she was in love with someone else. Then he got angry when she refused to tell him who she was in love with.
She looked at the clock in the dash – it was still early. Sam decided to go over to Janet’s house and finally confess that she was in love with her.
When she got out of her car, Sam could hear faint sounds coming from behind Janet’s house. It sounded like Janet and Cassie were in the pool in the backyard. As she headed around the side of the house, the smells of charcoal and barbecued chicken filled the air. A smile graced her lips as so many happy memories spent with Janet and Cassie filled Sam’s mind. It always felt like she was coming home when she came to Janet’s house.
Rounding the back corner of the house, Sam released the latch and pushed open the gate… and stopped. She saw Cassie in the pool playing water polo with some woman she’d never seen before.
“Alright, you two! Time to dry off and eat something,” Janet called as she exited the house through the patio door with large bowl of potato salad.
“Good, I’m starved!” Cassie replied as she hauled herself out of the pool and started to dry off with a towel.
“You’re just tired of losing,” the unknown woman retorted as she also exited the water.
“I’ll beat you next time, Toni.”
Cassie and Toni finished drying off and then joined Janet at the patio table. There was an air of familial intimacy surrounding the three, and Sam suddenly felt like a voyeuristic outsider. She was just about to close the gate and walk away when Cassie spotted her.
Janet and Toni both looked at her.
“Hey, Sam. We’ve just started eating. Why don’t you join us?” Janet asked.
“I don’t want to intrude.”
“You’re not intruding – I just invited you to join us.”
Sam wasn’t sure she wanted to know who Toni was, but she felt compelled to join the gathering.
Toni quickly stood. “I’ll go grab another plate and some silverware.” She disappeared inside the house.
Dinner passed in relative silence – a silence filled with tension. As soon as Cassie finished eating she excused herself, claiming to have homework to do even though it was Friday evening. All three women cleared the table and carried stuff inside to the kitchen. Toni also disappeared upstairs, os-tensibly to take a shower, but not before she and Janet had a quick, whispered conversation in the living room.
It was with a sinking feeling in her stomach that Sam asked about Toni when Janet returned to the kitchen. “So, uh… how do you know Toni?”
“We met in medical school,” Janet answered as she washed the dinner plates.
“Oh. So she’s a doctor?”
“Mm hmm. Toni’s a surgeon; she’s just taken a job here with Memorial.”
“So she’s moving here. Has she found a place yet?”
Janet set the last plate in the drainer and dried her hands on a towel. She turned and looked Sam. “Actually, she’s going to live here… with us.”
Sam felt gut-punched; she just knew there was something more than friendship between Janet and Toni. “You’re more than just friends… aren’t you?”
Nervous about her friend’s reaction, Janet didn’t say anything, she simply nodded.
Sam couldn’t help the flash of anger that accompanied the pain of knowing she’d waited too long. “You know you could be court-martialed, kicked out of the Air Force if anyone finds out,” she snapped.
“You mean if you tell anyone,” Janet replied, crossing her arms.
“How long has this been going on?”
“That’s really none of your business.”
“It’s not fair to Cassie,” Sam growled. “Doesn’t she have enough secrets to worry about keeping?”
Janet took a deep breath in an effort to calm herself before responding. “As a matter of fact, the decision to have Toni move in was made as family. The three of us discussed it at length during our most recent family vacation.”
“But what will happen if the Air Force finds out?”
“If it ever comes down to making a choice between the Toni and the Air Force, I’ll choose Toni.”
Sam closed her eyes and deflated. After several long seconds she finally spoke. “I’m… jealous,” she admitted in a low whisper.
“Jealous,” Janet repeated quietly.
“I’ve been in love with you for some time.”
Janet took a deep breath and let it out. “You know, if you’d told me that, up until even a few months ago, I probably would have kissed you. I was in love with you for years, Sam,” she said evenly.
“You never said anything.”
“No, I didn’t. I’ll admit I was scared to say anything. Your friendship was important to me. And there was never any indication that my feelings would be welcomed or reciprocated. So I enjoyed our friendship and let you cry on my shoulder when you broke up with Jonas, supported you as you pined away for Jack, listened to your tales of off-world liaisons with native men, watched as you became enthralled Narim, and got drunk with you when Martouf was killed.” She paused. “And now you’re seeing Pete.”
“No, I’m not.”
“I broke it off with Pete. I couldn’t go on seeing him knowing I was in love with you.”
“I’m sorry, Sam.”
Toni entered the kitchen and took in the expression on her lover’s face and then one on Sam’s face. “Is something wrong?” she asked as she moved to Janet’s side.
“Everything’s okay, honey. Go on upstairs, I’ll join in you in a minute,” Janet said as she gave Toni’s hand a squeeze.
“Okay.” With a glance as the blonde, Toni left Janet and Sam alone in the kitchen.
“Are you happy?” Sam asked.
A genuine, heartfelt smile formed on Janet’s lips. “Yes, I am.”
Sam didn’t know what else to say, so she nodded. “I’ll see you at work,” she said and abruptly left. Her heart was broken, but she couldn’t blame anyone but herself. All she could do was try to remember the lessons learned while on the Prometheus, and follow her heart in the future.