Spoilers/Timeline: Set sometime in season 4.
A/N: This is the result of a prompt given to me by cherokee62.
– Henry Ellis
“Bite me!” Sam said to Janet’s retreating back.
The doctor paused. She didn’t turn around, but took a deep breath and mentally counted to ten before continuing on her way, angry at the blonde’s childish behavior.
Sam turned on her heel and stomped away down the hallway in the opposite direction, fuming about being betrayed.
She knocked on the general’s door.
“Enter.” General Hammond looked up and smiled. “Dr. Fraiser, I’m glad you’re here. I need to talk to you about something.”
She took a seat. “What is it, sir?”
“It’s about your leave request.”
“Don’t worry about it, sir. I understand that you couldn’t approve it.”
“Actually, I am able to approve your request,” he said with a smile. “But only if you can take your leave starting tomorrow rather than a month from now. I know it’s short notice, but will that work for you, Doctor?”
Janet’s first instinct was to let it go, but then she remembered Sam’s recent attitude and behavior. Some time away from the SGC – and Sam – sounded like a really good idea. “That’s fine, sir.”
“Good. You’re long overdue for some time off,” the general said with a smile. He handed his signed authorization to her across the desk. He took in her expression. “Is there something wrong, Doctor? You don’t seem happy about it.”
“No, no. It’s not that, sir. I just…” She stopped and gave him a somewhat forced smile. “Never mind, sir. Thank you for approving my leave.” She stood.
“What was it you wanted to see me about?” Hammond asked.
“You came to see me. Why?”
“Oh. Sorry, sir, it’s not important.”
“Are you sure?” He frowned at the uncharacteristic behavior of his Chief Medical Officer.
“I’m sure. Thank you for approving my leave, sir.” She waited for his nod dismissing her before turning and leaving his office.
“JJ, it’s me.”
“Hey, Janet! What’s up?”
“Is the offer to use your cabin still good?”
“So your blonde major said yes, huh?”
“Not exactly,” she sighed.
Hearing the tone of Janet’s voice, JJ frowned. “What’s wrong?” she asked gently.
“I don’t want to talk about right now. So can I use your cabin? Starting tomorrow?”
“Of course, but on one condition.”
Sam sat in her lab at her work table, but she wasn’t getting any work done. She was rehashing everything that had happened and been said between her and Janet lately. She had fallen for the doctor almost as soon as they’d met, but they circled around each other – and what was between them – for over three years.
They’d only been dating a few months and things had been great… until yesterday. Sam had accused Janet of flirting with their waitress when they’d gone out to dinner. Then she accused her of flirting with someone on the phone when she’d overheard Janet on the phone in her office. And that had led to a horrible argument that ended only when Janet walked away.
After working late – well, pretending to work late – Sam finally straightened up her lab and left. She needed to apologize to Janet and make things right. She got on her bike and headed to Janet’s.
When Sam rounded the corner onto Janet’s street, she saw an unfamiliar vehicle in the doctor’s driveway. Suddenly Janet exited the house. Sam slowed down as she watched Janet toss a duffle bag in the back seat of the jeep and then got into the front passenger seat. Sam brought her bike to a complete stop when she saw her girlfriend lean over, embrace, and kiss the person in the driver’s seat.
The blonde left tire rubber on the pavement as she angrily gunned her bike, spinning the back of it around 180 degrees and taking off back the way she’d come.
Janet was standing on a balcony of log cabin just shy of the tree line on Crested Butte in the Elk Mountains. The view was nothing less than spectacular. Despite it being summertime, the brisk breeze at that elevation put quite a nip in the air.
A hand holding a mug of hot cider appeared in front of her.
“Here you go,” JJ said from where she stood behind the petite doctor.
Janet took the mug and smiled. “Thank you.” She took a sip.
“You’re welcome.” JJ moved to stand next to her friend, slipping her arm around Janet’s shoulders. She guided the doctor to the porch swing where they sat and Janet laid her head on JJ’s shoulder. “It’s a nice view, isn’t it?”
“It’s gorgeous! No wonder you love it up here.”
“Yeah. Great scenery, peace and quiet, starry nights… a great place to relax and think.” She paused for a beat. “So has coming here helped you? Have you found the answers you’re looking for, Janet?”
Janet sighed. “I don’t know.”
“Do you love her?”
“Then you have your answer.”
Janet picked her head up and sighed. “I can’t deal with the jealously, JJ. That kind of jealously and lack of trust leads nowhere good. I’ve been through all that already.”
“Do you really think Sam is violent like Nelson was?”
“I’m not willing to put up with the attitude to find out. It’s not worth it,” she said softly as she laid her head on her friend’s shoulder again.
JJ placed a soft kiss on Janet’s forehead.
“I don’t want to go back tomorrow.”
“You’re welcome to stay as long as you want.”
“Thanks, but I have to get back to work.” She paused for a beat. “And I’m sure your husband will be glad to have you home,” she said with a smile.
“Ben’s quite capable of getting along without me for a while. We take time away from each other every few months. Does wonders for keeping things fresh between us.”
Sam’s eyes cut to the wall clock for the fiftieth time in the last ten minutes. Her left foot was on the lower support of the stool she was sitting on, her knee nervously bobbing up and down. Her latest project was on the work table in front of her, in pieces. She’d been distracted and unable to focus all week. Everyone on the base had been steering clear of her since she was irritable and snapped everyone’s head off, especially anyone who asked if she was okay. She was sleep deprived because she’d spent the last several nights tossing and turning, imagining her girlfriend doing all sorts of things with someone else.
It wasn’t until that morning that Sam took a hard look at herself in the mirror… and didn’t like what she saw. The look in her own eyes was so much like the one she’d seen in Jonas’s when he got jealous and angry… and violent. She’d spent the day going over everything had happened with a different perspective. She realized that Janet hadn’t been flirting with anyone and that she had overreacted.
Actually, ‘overreacted’ was an understatement. Her attitude and accusations were completely unfounded. It was no wonder Janet had left town and refused to answer her cell phone for the past week. Even if she’d permanently messed things up between them, Sam needed to apologize to Janet.
So when the clock finally ticked the last second of her workday, Sam bolted from her lab. She drove to Janet’s, parking a couple of houses down the street to wait and watch for the doctor’s return. Janet had to be back to work the next day, so she had to come back home that afternoon or evening.
Sam woke up with a start, banging her knee against the steering column. It was dark and when she looked out she saw lights on in Janet’s house. Sam started up the car and drove down the block to park in front of the house. She turned off the car, but before she got out Janet’s front door opened. What she saw made her heart ache.
JJ opened the door but Janet put her hand on her friend’s arm, turning JJ back around.
“Are you sure you’re okay to drive? You didn’t get much sleep last night.”
“I’m fine, Janet.” She paused and gazed into her friend’s eyes. “I can call Ben and tell him I’m not coming home yet; he’d understand.”
“No, but thank you – for everything.”
They hugged and held each other closely. “That’s what friends are for, hon. Anything you need – anything – you say the word and I’ll be here in a heartbeat.”
“I know, JJ.”
As they parted they gave each other a quick peck on the lips. When JJ turned to leave she and Janet both saw Sam parked at the curb.
Having been spotted, Sam got out of her car, but stood where she was. Part of her really didn’t want to hear what was said between the other two women.
JJ turned back to her friend. “I’ll stay,” she offered.
Janet seriously considered it, but with a sigh shook her head. “No, it’s okay. Go on home and give Ben a hug and kiss from me.”
Sam watched as Janet hugged and kissed the other woman again. She waited until the jeep pulled out and drove away before slowly walking across the grass towards the front porch. She stopped at the bottom of the steps, not wanting to encroach closer if she wasn’t welcome.
“Can we talk?”
Janet crossed her arms and leaned against the doorjamb. “About what?”
“About where we stand.”
“I thought you made that quite clear last week.”
“No. What I did was make a complete ass of myself.” When Janet didn’t disagree with her Sam dropped her gaze and took a deep breath, marshalling herself for the worst. “I’m sorry, Janet,” she said when she looked up again. “I was completely out of line. I don’t have an excuse, but I would like to explain… if you’ll let me.”
Janet considered the blonde’s request for a moment or two, but finally nodded. “Okay.”
Sam nervously followed the doctor inside and into the living room where they sat on opposite ends of the couch.
“You know I was engaged to Jonas Hansen and that I called it off.” At the doctor’s nod she continued. “I never really talked about it with you, so you don’t know why.” She took a deep breath. “Jonas was… very controlling. He always accused me of being unfaithful and it didn’t take too long for his jealousy to turn into violence.” She looked at Janet. “I’m so sorry, Janet. I never want to be anything like him – or your ex-husband. I just… I’ve never known anyone like you and I feel… out of my depth with you. Look, I know I really screwed up. I can only hope that you can forgive me. If you don’t want to give me another chance I’ll understand, but I at least don’t want to lose your friendship.”
Janet took a few moments to gather her own thoughts. “You haven’t lost my friendship. But, Sam, I can’t deal with that kind of behavior. You know what I went through with my ex-husband. I won’t ever go through that again – not for you, not for anyone.”
“And you shouldn’t.” Afraid of the answer, but still needing to know, Sam asked the question. “Have I totally messed us up… or do we still have a chance?”
The doctor took a slow, deep breath. “I think it would be best if we took a step back…” She saw the disappointment in blue eyes when she paused. “And take things slower next time.”
“Next time?” Sam’s heart skipped a beat at those words.
“Yeah, next time,” she said with a soft smile.
They weren’t where they had been a week ago, but that was okay. They hadn’t lost the most important thing – their friendship. And they had a chance to try again and do things right, one step at a time.