A/N: This is the result of a prompt given to me by lazydevil40.
“O’Neill saw us, Sam! He saw you with–”
“Without my shirt on. I know, Janet. It’s not that big of a deal and it certainly isn’t the first time,” the blonde said casually as she continued to undress.
The doctor, on the other hand, was doing her best to keep herself hidden as she tried to pull BDUs on over her still wet skin. “I can’t believe you’re so blasé about it.”
Sam shrugged. “They’re my teammates; we’ve all seen each other less than fully dressed at one point or another.”
“Well, I’m not in the habit of taking a bath where just anyone can walk up and see me. I thought you said it’d be private!”
“The spring is private.”
“Apparently not, since the colonel just walked up while I was naked in the water.”
“Relax, Janet, he didn’t see you.” Sam had finished stripping and stepped down into the natural spring.
Janet came out of the bushes, fully dressed, and looked around. She impatiently waited for the blonde to finish washing up.
Sam chewed on her lower lip as she and the doctor made their way back to the campsite. By her silence, it was obvious Janet was upset. She didn’t really understand it because of her relationship with the team. They didn’t treat her any different because she was a woman. She was in an equal partnership with her teammates.
So she tried to look at it from the doctor’s point of view. Janet was in a rather unique position at the SGC. As the Chief Medical Officer she could actually pull rank on anyone at the base, including the general. She was responsible for everyone’s health and medical care, even if she wasn’t their primary doctor. She held injured soldiers together by force of her will until she could patch them together. And it took a piece of her soul every time she lost one.
That’s when Sam finally understood.
Back on Earth, the next day, Janet completed her post-mission physical and then headed straight home. Her daughter, Cassie, was staying with a friend, so she had the house to herself. She spent the first couple of hours getting some household chores done. Afterwards, she sat down on the couch with an ice cold glass of water. She reviewed her reaction to what had happened on P6S-538.
She shook her head at herself. You harp on SG-1 to treat you just like one of the team while off-world, yet you get bent out of shape over something that wasn’t really that big of a deal. The colonel only passed on some information to Sam and then left. He didn’t try to ogle either one of us and was every bit of the professional soldier. No wisecracks, no jokes, no inappropriate behavior. It’s not like Sam was nude; she did have her pants and bra on. And I was in the water where he couldn’t see me. So why did I react so strongly?
Before she could come to a conclusion, she was startled by the doorbell. She smiled when she opened the front door. “Hey, Sam.”
“Hey. Can I come in?”
They went into the living room and sat on the couch.
“Listen, Janet, I want to apologize for yesterday. I didn’t think about how the situation would affect you.”
“No need to apologize, Sam. I’m not sure myself why I reacted so strongly.”
“I think I know.” At Janet’s arched brow she explained. “You’re the Chief Medical Officer; you’re responsible for everyone’s wellbeing, even if you aren’t their primary doctor. And everyone, even the general, look to you to take care of us when we’re hurt or sick. And sometimes it’s only our belief in you that gets us through. You need that air of mystique and almost omniscient power, that belief that your patients have in you that you’ll save them, that larger than life presence. You need to be the doctor, even when you’re off-world as part of a team.
“You let me see another side of you when we’re off duty, and I forgot the others don’t see you the same way. I’m sorry, Janet.”
“No apologies, Sam. You didn’t do anything wrong. I asked you and the guys to treat me just like one of the team, and you did. So, thank you.”
“We do consider you part of the team, Janet. But at the same time, we all trust in you to take care of us; we need to believe that you can fix us no matter what; that you’re a more than just another officer.”
Janet sat back with an almost silent sigh.
“That’s a lot to live up to.”
“But you do it – every day.” Sam paused, then reached over and took hold of her friend’s hand. “Come on. Get changed, we’re going out to eat.” She stood and pulled the smaller woman up, directing her towards the stairs leading up to the second floor. “Go. Change.”
During dinner at Janet’s favorite restaurant, she managed to forget about the day before and relax. By the time she and Sam arrived back at her house they were both smiling and laughing. Inside, she opened a bottle of wine and they settled on the couch.
Janet went quiet as she remembered their earlier conversation on the couch. She watched, with a small smile, as the blonde animatedly told a story about an off-world adventure. It felt so good to be able to relax and completely let go with Sam.
It suddenly struck her – Sam had been right. She felt the need to keep a certain… separateness from her co-workers. Despite the friendships she’d formed, particularly with SG-1, she still had to be ‘Doc.’
Except for Sam.
She’d been drawn to the blonde from the very beginning. Sam was smart, professional, and beautiful. God was she beautiful. Those bright, blue eyes and dimpled smile just had a way of making her heart do little flip-flops… Like it was doing right now.
Sam paused to take a sip of her wine. As she looked over at Janet she saw her expression. “What? Did I dribble?” she asked as she ran her hand across her chin. She felt her pulse increase at the beautiful smile she received.
“No. I was just thinking.”
“Anything in particular?”
“Yeah. I was just thinking how grateful I am that I can be myself with you.”
Sam blushed, but smiled. “I feel the same way.”
Janet’s heart skipped a couple of beats as she slowly leaned towards the blonde… and lightly pressed her lips against Sam’s lips. When Sam’s hand came up and tenderly cupped her cheek Janet’s felt lightheaded and heard the rushing of her own pulse in her ears. She brought her own hand up and cupped the back of the blonde’s head, deepening their kiss.
Finally, a need for oxygen parted them. Their eyes locked, both stripped of everything but their very core – no uniform, no rank, no title – just two people who trusted each other with everything.
The blonde nodded. “Yes.”
Holding hands, they stood and made their way upstairs to the bedroom.