DISCLAIMER: Stargate and characters are the property of MGM, Gekko....you get the picture. No infringement of copyright intended. I have gained nothing but the pure pleasure of my own satisfaction.
DEDICATION: The rejuvenation of my writing and the birthing of this story rests solely in the very capable hands of RocketChick. Without her kind words and gentle prodding, I would be lost.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SERIES: First in the Evolution series.
SPOILERS: Season One and on.

Bridging The Chasm of Doubt
By MajorDoc

Part 1

All was not well with the usually unflappable Samantha Carter, captain in the USAF and member of the flagship SG-1 team. Not well indeed. The young, blonde captain had just returned from the infirmary after a meeting with the new CMO for the Stargate Program. Now she was safely ensconced in her familiar territory of the science lab, until she began to think about the meeting with the new CMO, Dr. Janet Fraiser. Just thinking her name brought a smile to the tall captain's lips.

Dr. Fraiser was a petite brunette with deep brown eyes that could hold and captivate at will. Carter could attest to that, she was quickly ensnared and left staring dumbfounded. She smiled again, but it quickly faded as she reviewed those earlier embarrassing moments in the infirmary.

General Hammond, Commander of the SGC, had ordered SG-1 to the infirmary to meet with the new base CMO. Dr. Fraiser was transferred after her predecessor, Dr. Lee, was brutally murdered by a fellow officer. She came highly recommended and the General felt lucky to have her knowledge and experience on the new and uncharted program. Carter and the rest of her team, Col. Jack O'Neill, Dr. Daniel Jackson, and Teal'c, were introduced to the young doctor in turn. Indicating the shy blonde standing to O'Neill's left, Hammond introduced the last member of SG-1. "This is Captain Samantha Carter."

Reaching out her right hand in greeting, Dr. Fraiser was surprised when Carter only stared at her. The doctor cleared her throat. Nothing. Carter stood transfixed. The doctor guessed the young woman wished she were anywhere but here. If any of the rumors were true, and she believed most probably were, then Captain Carter did not take time to socialize. She no doubt was preoccupied with some monumental problem or thinking about SG-1's jump scheduled tomorrow, now that the good doctor would like to see.

"Captain Carter, it's a pleasure to finally meet you. I have read and heard much about you." Dr. Fraiser stopped momentarily and gazed at the rest of SG-1. "All of you," she added.

The doctor was still standing with her right hand extended when Carter finally moved to shake her hand, but only after a considerable kick to her right ankle by Jack O'Neill. "Dr. Fraiser, the pleasure is all mine," Carter managed to mumble. Oh God, what an idiot. She's going to think I'm an absolute moron.

Dr. Fraiser stuffed her hands into her lab coat pockets. "I wish I had more time to chit chat." When Carter minutely flinched, Fraiser continued, "But I've got a lot of moving to oversee." The doctor briefly looked around the unorganized infirmary and her eyes honed in on an unsuspecting man struggling to land what looked to be a very heavy object to the floor with minimal damage. "Airman, do NOT put that monitor on the dirty floor!" She was already walking away from SG-1 when she turned and over her left shoulder said with a smile, "Don't forget your pre-mission exams at 0800. I expect you all to be on time." The last statement was directed to Colonel O'Neill. His reputation had preceded him as well.

O'Neill visibly paled and ushered his teammates out the door. "OK, Doc. See you then." Once they were safely out of harm's way, he turned to Carter. "What the hell is wrong with you, Carter? I mean, you aren't the most social person I know, but for crying out loud, you totally zoned out in there."

They were waiting for the elevator to arrive when Carter found her voice. "Sir, I was pre-occupied by an experiment I was conducting before I was interrupted by General Hammond." Carter looked into O'Neill's eyes daring him to disagree. "It's a very complicated reaction and has to be timed perfectly, Sir." That even sounded lame to her ears. The colonel just gave her the patented O'Neill eye roll. Luckily, the elevator chose that particular moment to appear, and all four members stepped inside.

"Sam, I could come by and help out later if you want," Dr. Jackson began. "But I need to double check on an artifact I've been translating that SG-3 brought back earlier today."

O'Neill tuned out their conversation as he exited the lift with Teal'c. "Hey, buddy, how's about a little boxing lesson?" Teal'c raised his left eyebrow, slightly bowed his head, and followed O'Neill down the corridor. Carter and Dr. Jackson also soon parted company with Jackson's promise to meet later.

That was how Sam Carter found herself alone in her lab contemplating her earlier conversation with Dr. Fraiser. Conversation my ass. A first year cadet could have conducted herself better than me. Why was her tongue so tied to begin with? Oh yeah, because she completely lost the ability to speak once she laid eyes on the gorgeous woman. Her eyes were like dark shimmering pools of liquid obsidian. And that smile! Carter felt hypnotized by that beautiful face. She sat heavily on her chair behind her desk and mumbled out loud to nobody in particular, "I am so in trouble." She rested her head on the desk and closed her eyes.

Hours later, Dr. Fraiser had commandeered the infirmary into a suitable layout that even she approved. Sipping a cup of lukewarm coffee, she enjoyed an all too brief respite in her hectic schedule. She turned in her chair and closed the medical file on her computer. She allowed her mind to roam and she found herself drawn to her first meeting with the infamous SG-1. They were, to say the least, not what she had expected. Colonel O'Neill looked more 'boyish', but the smugness and charm were definitely evident. Teal'c. Now what pre-conceived notions could she possibly have about an alien from another world? Fraiser snorted, an alien with an alien incubating in his abdominal cavity. Dr. Jackson was quiet and had a warm inviting personality. He was what she expected of the reserved archaeologist. Then her thoughts turned to Captain Carter. The doctor didn't know what to think about the beautiful woman. She was young, intelligent, and painfully shy. This she knew from the rumor mill, but she did not expect Carter to be so......flighty, so.... blonde. Fraiser opened the computer files once again and perused through Captain Carter's personnel and medical files. First impressions can be wrong, and she had been known to be wrong on occasion. The files and the first meeting with the fair-haired woman were not in sync. Fraiser decided she needed further study.

Later that evening.

Carter was tired. She wanted to go home and sleep. She wanted to stop thinking about the beautiful CMO. She had abandoned her work earlier since she couldn't concentrate and was afraid she would blow something up at the very least.

As if drawn by Carter's thoughts, Dr. Janet Fraiser poked her head in the doorway and quietly knocked. Carter appeared to be sleeping at her desk. The doctor's face clouded over and she knocked again, this time a bit louder. Still no response. "Captain Carter," she tried not to shout, she really did.

Sam snapped her head and jumped to attention gazing around the lab. She spotted the doctor standing in the doorway. Dr. Fraiser looked pissed; there was no other way to describe her. Carter started to panic. Had she said anything that the doctor might have heard, like how breathtakingly beautiful she thought she looked?

Janet Fraiser interrupted her musings. "Captain Carter, I've been warned about your workaholic tendencies. I'll tell you now, I will NOT tolerate you working yourself to exhaustion." All 5 foot 2 of the diminutive doctor stood in the doorway with her hands balled on slim hips. Her contentiousness implied it would be in the captain's best interest to comply with her wishes.

Carter swallowed and motioned Fraiser to the chair opposite her own. As she once again took her seat, she flashed that famous Carter grin and tried to back pedal. "Well, you see...." Carter's head was spinning. What excuse could she fabricate on such short notice? She was so preoccupied with her own misery, that she completely missed Fraiser melt, as she was witness to Carter's own toothy smile for the very first time. Carter took a breath and chanced another look at the beauty sitting before her. She was pleasantly surprised to see the brunette had relaxed and was grinning at her. The doctor was amused at her inability to make up a boldfaced lie on the spot!

Raising her hands in supplication, Carter finally admitted, "Okay, okay. You caught me. I have no excuse. I'm working late. I'm tired and I know I should be...," Carter glanced her. "What is so funny?"

Dr. Fraiser slowly shook her head, "I never saw that one coming, Captain. I was waiting for some extraordinary lie and then you come up with.... the truth." Fraiser laughed again. "I'll have to keep an eye on you."

Carter's facial flush was not lost on the good doctor. She continued in a teasing fashion. "So, what else should I prepare myself for when dealing with obstinate astrophysicists?"

Carter's jaw dropped ever so slightly. What the hell was going on here?

Both women looked to the doorway when they heard footsteps rush into the room."Hey, sorry I'm late, but you know....," Dr. Jackson stopped speaking when he noticed Sam's company. He inclined his head and she smiled in return. "... how that can happen sometimes," he finished. He cast an inquisitive glance towards Carter.

"Hey Daniel." Carter stole a quick glance at the doctor. "I'm gonna have to give you a rain check tonight." Another look at Dr. Fraiser. "I'm gonna call it a night and go home."

"Oh, really? I mean, okay." Daniel stammered. He had definitely missed something here. Sam was going home instead of working into the night. Will wonders ever cease? "Then I'll see you in the morning." He turned his attention to Dr. Fraiser. "And I'll see you at 0800." As an after thought, he added, "On the dot, Doctor." With a wave and a smile Daniel Jackson was on his way out the door.

"I guess my job here is done, Captain," Frasier said with a certain smugness to her voice.

"Sam," Carter corrected. "Please, call me Sam." Carter found herself helplessly drowning in those dark eyes once again, but vowed she would not turn into a bumbling idiot as she had done earlier.

"Okay, Captain Sam." Hummingbird quick, the wink was there and gone. The doctor definitely was a tease Sam had decided. "But only if you call me Janet."

As Janet gathered herself and rose from the chair intending to leave, Sam asked in a quiet pleading voice, "If you wouldn't mind waiting while I lock up, I'll walk out with you." Then she added, " Janet." Carter tipped her head to the side and with a shy smile challenged, "That is if you intend to follow doctor's orders, Doctor? You look beat." Oh there were so many other adjectives Sam could think of, but none were suited to this particular conversation. "Your day must have been longer than mine."

Suddenly, the doctor's stomach growled, and Janet unconsciously patted her stomach. They both laughed when Sam's did a perfect imitation. Seems they both had forgone dinner. In Sam's case, she also missed lunch, but she would never admit that to the doctor.

Sam reached for her leather jacket and retrieved a rather large key ring from an inside pocket. As she moved to lock the lab, she asked, "How would you like to join me for dinner?"

"No offense, Sam, but I've already tried the mess and I'm not too interested in eating there again anytime soon."

"I know what you mean, but you'll get used to it." Sam laughed when Janet wrinkled her nose. "There's a little coffee shop I sometimes stop by on my way home." Sam stopped. Suddenly she felt very apprehensive. She looked away from Janet. "I know it's late. I'm sorry, I didn't think. I should let you get home." Sam glanced at her watch. It was 1900 hours, but there certainly was enough time for a quick dinner. Sam was not feeling so sure of herself anymore. Here it comes, the big rejection. There's a reason you are alone, Carter.

Janet put a reassuring hand on Sam's arm. "I would love to join you for dinner. I've been here in Colorado Springs for two weeks, but haven't had the opportunity to get out much." At Sam's questioning glance, Janet continued, "I've been at the Academy Hospital most of the time setting up my office and being briefed on the Stargate Program." As they made their way through the empty corridors, Janet continued. "I am very grateful you have extended this welcome, Sam. I'm sure you've noticed, but there aren't that many women around the SGC and I've been hoping to make some friends." Carter was delighted to hear that. "I will need to drop by the infirmary to get my things," Janet explained as they stepped into the waiting elevator. "I won't be too long," she reassured.

"Sure. I'll just meet you up top in the parking lot," Sam said as Janet exited the lift. On impulse, Sam hit the hold button and watched Janet walk down the corridor. As she appreciatively eyed Janet's form from behind, Sam felt her heart race and her temperature skyrocket. She needed to gain some semblance of control before she made a complete fool of herself. She could not allow herself the luxury of believing there was a chance Janet Fraiser could be the least bit romantically interested in her. She desperately tried to get her mind out of the gutter and just be glad to have met an intelligent woman, someone she would not need to lie to about what she did everyday. With her inner self appropriately chastised, Carter continued her trek to the surface.

Janet Fraiser stood in the slightly empty parking lot searching for Sam. To the left, near the front of the lot, she spotted a lone figure standing next to a rather large motorcycle. The figure donned a full-faced black helmet, but it did not take a physician's practiced eye to see a very feminine body. "Oh, tell me that is not Sam," she silently pleaded.

Sam turned when she heard crunching gravel under approaching footsteps. She flipped the faceplate up and sported a huge toothy smile. "Hey Janet," she said in greeting as she removed her helmet and balanced it on the seat. "Where's your vehicle?" Sam asked as she surveyed the parking lot.

"Do you ride this bike to work every day?" Janet asked, totally ignoring Sam's question.

Janet's obvious disapproval should have hurt the young woman, but Sam was very good at hiding her emotions. She usually received one of two reactions to the motorcycle. She was perceived to be either very cool to ride such a monster, or very reckless. Janet's reaction obviously fell to the latter.

Sam decided to go with it. "Yeah, pretty much when the weather cooperates. After being cooped up under the mountain or off on some stressful mission, I love to feel the speed and wind." With a shrug, she added, " The ride rejuvenates me. Makes me feel alive." Embarrassed at this small admission, Sam changed the subject. "So, what do you drive to work, Doctor?" She spun on her toes taking in the entire parking lot. "Don't see any Hummers," Sam deadpanned with a smirk.

"Touché. I'll shut up now." Janet pointed to a silver X-Terra one row over. "That's mine." Janet walked over and unlocked the door. "I'll follow you." Then added under her breath, "at least then I'll know you won't get hit from behind."

"I heard that," laughed Sam. Carter should have felt insulted, but Janet's apparent interest in her well being warmed her heart. But, of course, Janet would be concerned; she now was her doctor after all. She decided all this second-guessing was giving her a headache.

The coffee shop was cozy. They ate in companionable silence interjected with bits of conversation about nothing and everything. Sam spoke of her mother's death and subsequent departure of her brother and father from her life. She was just a young woman at the time and Janet wondered how she managed to cope through such a traumatic experience. Sam struggled, her composure nearly failing as she admitted how devastated she was with her father's lack of support.

Janet decided there was much more to Captain Carter. More than the rumors, not that she put much stock in idle speculation. Sam was much more complex than the sum of her files. That Sam was the soldier, the scientist. The woman seated across the table was quiet, reserved, and as much as Janet surmised Sam would deny it, emotional. She held her feelings close, and Janet was amazed at her willingness to share such an intensely personal part of her life.

Sam Carter could not believe she had just dumped all of her emotional baggage onto the unsuspecting doctor, could not fathom the need to do so. She had never, ever spoken of her true feelings of abandonment and rejection. Yet, here she sat, as one emotion after another was helplessly ripped from her. She just knew it was safe to talk with Janet. Oddly, she felt more at peace now.

Janet permitted Sam to unburden herself. It was a catharsis long in the making. No wonder Sam Carter held everyone at arms length; she was terrified of being rejected by anyone she let close to her. So she chose to be alone, instead of taking a chance of having her heart broken again. She felt an overwhelming compulsion to comfort Sam. She wanted to cuddle her and take away the hurt, but knew how inappropriate that would seem to Sam. Should seem to Janet herself.

Janet reached across the table and held Sam's right hand. Sam looked into her dark brown eyes and smiled. "Janet," Sam began. "I'm sorry." She was interrupted by a gentle hand squeezing her own. When she looked at Janet once again, all she saw was understanding and compassion. Sam smiled through blue shimmering eyes, and knew this was right.

"Don't, Sam. You don't need to apologize. You obviously needed to get that out. I am honored you felt comfortable enough to let me inside." Janet glanced at their still clasped hands, and then stared intently into her blue eyes. "I'm not just saying that as a doctor, but as your friend."

Sam slowly closed her eyes and nodded. "Thanks." Sam needed to change the subject. Needed to talk about anything else, because she could feel her control slipping. She felt incredibly close to Janet at this moment, and could not bring herself to deal with any more emotional outbreaks tonight. With one final squeeze, Sam pulled her hand free.

The moment was gone, Janet felt it slip away the instant she lost contact with her cold hand. How to get it back, not the pain Sam had gone through, but the shared closeness. She was surprised when Sam broke the silence.

"So, any skeletons in your closet, Doctor?" Sam was setting boundaries now. Enough was learned about her life tonight, it was Janet's turn to divulge something personal, something to bind them together.

"I don't know about skeletons," laughed Janet. "But I do have two younger brothers." For the next ten minutes, she told Sam her life's history. Growing up on a farm, going away to college, and then med school.

Sam was entranced, captivated by the lilting quality of Janet's voice. She was falling for the young woman, and for once, felt it reciprocated. Then the bombshell, she supposed she should have seen it coming. She just wished for once in her life she could have a chance at happiness.

"I met my ex- husband while in med school," Janet began. Upon hearing the words 'my ex-husband', Sam flinched as though slapped. The rest of the conversation was almost lost on Sam. She was preoccupied trying to rationalize her misconceived signals to minimize the devastation she would no doubt lose herself into once she was safely home alone. She was able to sit and smile and nod her head at all the right times. She catalogued all the information to be dealt with at another time, but here and now, Sam really could not comprehend another word after 'my ex-husband'.

Janet tried to gage Sam's reaction. She didn't want to admit she was married, but didn't want to keep something like that from Sam, not when she felt so drawn to her. Janet felt compelled to tell her everything if she planned on getting closer to her, and Janet surely wanted to be much closer to Sam. She noticed the flinch at the mention of her ex. As she spoke more about the biggest mistake she had ever made in her life, Sam seemed to relax. Relieved, Janet continued to tell of her joining the Air Force and her subsequent divorce.

A loud crash brought Sam out of her reverie. A young man dropped his coffee mug on the floor where it lay in several pieces. She involuntarily glanced at her watch.

"It must be getting late," Janet said as she raised her wrist to see the time. "Jesus, Sam. I am so sorry to keep you up, some doctor I am." As they both prepared to leave, Janet picked up the check. "Let me get this. You can pick up the tab next time." Janet smiled, already planning on asking Sam to dinner once her next mission was over.

Sam acted on autopilot. She watched as the graceful beauty glided to the counter and then to the door. Sam followed her, and as she neared the exit, she had a vision of the broken cup shattered in many tiny pieces and thought her heart was going to break.

They said their goodbyes and parted company, each lost in thought. Janet making plans to see Sam as much as possible, and Sam, just hoping to make it home in one piece before her heavy heart failed her and she was miserably alone once again.

Part 2

Cheyenne Mountain Complex 0700

Dr. Fraiser lounged at her desk enjoying a hot cup of coffee and daydreaming about her evening with a certain gorgeous, blonde haired woman. She had not been this happy since.......since she could not remember when. Janet was surprised to feel fresh and alert this morning, she did not get much sleep last night due to her overactive imagination. Her dreams were filled with many different thoughts about Sam Carter, ranging from idle speculation of her possible previous love interests, to the highly erotic. The latter were occupying her imagination right now, and she blushed thinking about her 'dream night' spent with Sam.

Janet glanced at the clock on her office wall. One hour. She needed to make it through one hour, and then she would see Sam again. She felt like she was in high school, she could not think of anything else at the moment. If an emergency happened right now, she would be sorely pressed to concentrate on the matter at hand. This thought stunned the doctor; she honestly could not recall a time she could not perform at her top level. Realizing she was in way over her head, Janet took a few deep breaths to relax and clear her mind. "You have got it bad, Fraiser," Janet chuckled to herself.

Jack O'Neill sauntered into the mess. Slowly circumventing the area, he spotted a blonde head in the back of the room. He zigzagged through the empty tables to finally reach his destination behind the blonde. "Hey, Carter," the colonel said sliding into the chair opposite the captain. "Whatcha doin'?" he asked casually.

"Morning, Sir." She sipped from her coffee cup. "Just trying to wake up."

"Bad night? Daniel said you went home early last night. Are you sick or something?" When he failed to get a response, any response, he continued, "Maybe you should go see the new doc now. I'm sure she'd fix whatever ails you."

She shook her head. "I don't think that's necessary, Sir. Just didn't have a very restful night." That was the last thing Carter needed right now. She was already dreading the pre-mission exam. Perhaps the doctor would prefer to handle the colonel for the first time, get to know the C.O. of SG-1, and to set some ground rules. He could be a real pain in the ass when it suited him. Sam could only hope.

O'Neill turned and hooked a thumb in the direction of the serving line. "I need to eat something before we report to the infirmary." He took a few steps away from the table and looked back at the captain. "Remember, don't be late, Carter," he teased shaking a finger at her. "I heard the doc can be a mean SOB if you cross her." O'Neill knew he was being hard on Dr. Fraiser. He had been privy to the selection process of replacing the former CMO. It took a lot to impress him, and the young doctor's did just that. In her short career, Dr. Fraiser was considered an expert in emergency medicine and virology. She served a tour of duty in the Gulf, and worked closely with the CDC on secret projects deemed classified even to his eyes. So complain as he might, O'Neill was thrilled to have such a knowledgeable doctor looking out for all the SGC; however, he was not about to broadcast his personal feelings to Dr. Fraiser, or any one else for that matter.

Carter rolled her eyes as the colonel sauntered away. She knew he was joking about Janet. She had also heard the talk about the new CMO. The grapevine made Dr. Fraiser out to be a little Hitler of the infirmary. It was also rumored the SGC could not be in better hands. If half of what was floating around the base was true, then the new CMO was more than competent for the job.

After draining her coffee cup, Carter returned to the sanctity of her lab. Not enough time to get too involved in work, so she willed herself to relax. She knew she would never pass the medical exam if she did not calm down. Her blood pressure and heart rate would be through the roof and Dr. Fraiser would be forced to ground her.

She could not believe she had allowed herself to drop her guard so blatantly and expose her inner self to Janet the previous evening; could not fathom the need to do so. How could she have screwed up so badly and misread the signals the doctor sent her? Looking back, the evening had progressed much better than Carter had anticipated, given her nearly incoherent introduction to Janet earlier that morning. She had held all her old fears at bay, and opened herself totally to Janet without realizing she was practically giving the young woman her entire life history. With the conclusion of her confession, Sam felt relieved, happier than she could remember. Now, she wondered exactly where she went wrong. As her C.O. was fond of reminding her, she wasn't the most social person around. She had had relationships in the past, just not very many.

When she was in the Air Force Academy she had a torrid love affair with a fellow cadet. It ended after a short time, since the young woman felt Sam was either unwilling or unable to commit to their relationship. Most recently, while she was stationed in D.C., she had dated women occasionally, but nothing serious.

Her most serious relationship ended disastrously since it was doomed from the start. Sam, in what she still referred to as her 'fit of lunacy', became enamored with an older fellow officer. To this day, she internalized she was seeking a father figure to replace her non-existent relationship with her own. At first, Jonas Hansen had been charming and attentive. Over the months, he quickly began to dominate and belittle Sam, and so she ended that facade prior to the wedding. Only now, she could look back and laugh at herself. She wondered what the hell had ever possessed her to date and almost marry a maniacal man. Thankfully, she came to her senses in time to prevent making the worst mistake of her life.

Sam suddenly jumped from her chair and began to pace the length of her lab. When she reached her desk again, she leaned heavily against it. "The worst mistake of my life," she repeated the phrase aloud this time. "Damn, those were Janet's words verbatim."

Sam had listened to and cataloged Janet's admissions from the previous night. She just did not like what she had heard. How could she have been so stupid. She was once engaged. Janet was married and divorced. With the click of the proverbial light bulb, she made a mad dash out the door.

She slowed as she neared the entrance to the infirmary. She stood in the doorway with her hands in her pockets searching the room for the petite brunette.

A medic named Lt. James, approached Carter. "Captain, are you here early for the pre-mission exams or is there something I can do for you?" He appreciatively eyed Carter.

"Well, I'm looking for Dr. Fraiser," Sam began. "Has she reported in yet?"

"She's in her office," James said as he directed Sam to the closed door.

"Thanks, Lieutenant," she said with a smile. Sam felt incredibly nervous as she absently combed her moist hands through her hair and straightened her jumpsuit with a tug. Once she felt presentable, she knocked on the door.

"Enter." Sam heard Janet's mellifluous voice and butterflies immediately swarmed her stomach.

Sam swallowed involuntarily and with a deep breath apprehensively peeked her head into the doorway. "Dr. Fraiser?"

Janet was seated behind a huge mahogany desk flipping through a manila folder. She smiled brightly upon seeing her visitor. "He-ey, Sam," she purred. "Please, come in and have a seat." Janet directed her to an empty chair across the desk with a delicate hand.

Janet casually glanced at her watch. "You're early," she stated with a smiled, not that she was complaining. "You haven't been listening to all those rumors have you, Sam?" admonished the doctor. She watched curiously as Carter blushed and fidgeted. "I really don't bite." The doctor's eyes mischievously twinkled. "Did Colonel O'Neill send you to test the uncharted waters?" Janet continued to tease her.

"Yes. No. Of course not," she stuttered. "He suggested I come by when he thought I wasn't feeling well."

Janet immediately sat straighter in her chair. "Why would he think that? Are you ill? Maybe I should take a look at you." The words tumbled from Janet's delicate mouth.

Sam was touched by Janet's genuine concern. "No, Janet. I'm fine. I'm just a bit tired, that's all. Nothing to bother you about."

"You are not bothering me, Captain." The emphasis on her rank was the only warning she received. The doctor's eyes darkened as she leaned over the desk. "Don't EVER think you're bothering me. Is that clear?" Janet slowly shook her head. "I would hope to think you feel comfortable enough to trust me." When Sam opened her mouth to interrupt, Janet held up one hand and quickly continued. " I know we haven't known each other that long, but I thought, after last night, we had established a connection."

So, thought Carter, I am right. She felt it too. She permitted her insecurities to surface and almost missed a chance in a lifetime to get to know the beautiful woman. Do not screw this up, Cater.

With a mental shove, Sam's rich blue eyes met Janet's deep brown. "I didn't come here because I was sick." Although she did feel like she would puke at any moment. Sam's silence allowed Janet to digest her words. "I came because I wanted to ask you to dinner when I get back from the mission." Sam nervously wrung her hands in her lap, blushing furiously. She did not realize she had closed her eyes and was surprised to feel a tender squeeze to her shoulder. She slowly raised her head and opened her eyes.

"To dinner? Like a date?" Janet clarified as she held her breath and silently pleaded.

"Yes. Would you go out with me?"

Elated, the doctor could only nod. God, but she was gorgeous. She could drown in those deep blue eyes.

Sam reached up and put her hand over Janet's still resting on her shoulder. She breathed an explosive sigh and uttered ever so quietly, "Oh, thank you. I don't know how I was going to handle a negative response. I stayed up all night tossing and turning, convinced you wouldn't want anything to do with me."

Janet furrowed her brow. "Sam, why would you think that?" Janet quickly went over last night's conversation. "My ex-husband."

"Yes. I should've known better, but I just lost focus after you admitted to being married."

With Sam's hand tenderly cradled in hers, Janet leaned against her desk. "That's why you couldn't sleep last night? You thought because I was once married I wouldn't go out with you? Oh, Sam. I'm so sorry."

Confused, Sam asked, "Sorry about what?"

"Next time, I'll know to hit you with a two-by-four when I want to get your undivided attention," Janet smirked.

A soft knock at the door separated the women like opposite polarities of a magnet, propelling them towards and then out the door.

"Gentlemen, nice to see you could make it on time." Janet briefly sorted through the charts she was handed. She had planned on conducting the exams herself. She always made a habit of being personally involved in all initial exams if at all possible. As CMO, Dr. Fraiser felt it was her duty to be acquainted with all potential patients as best she could to be able to provide optimal care in any given emergency. She had learned, first hand, just how effective a few extra seconds could be in determining if someone lives or dies. These men and women, who willingly and consistently, put their lives on the line so the rest of the world were ignorant of unthinkable enemies, bent on either total submission or total annihilation, deserved her very best.

Fraiser locked eyes with the colonel. "Colonel O'Neill, you're first," she said in her most authoritative voice. She turned and spoke to the others as O'Neill was ushered into exam room one by Lieutenant Rita Simpson. "This won't take long. Ten minutes tops for each exam, and then you will be free to go."

Simpson handed the colonel a flimsy gown that tied in the back. "You know the drill, Sir. Strip down to your boxers and put this on." He dutifully accepted what shred of decency he was given and closed the door. He skeptically eyed the gown, and then quickly disrobed.

A polite knock at the door preceded Dr. Fraiser as she stepped into the exam room reading over the colonel's medical chart. "You received a blow to your head a few months ago. Any lingering side effects?"

So much for small talk. He shook his head and tapped his knuckles on his temple. "I have a hard head," he smirked then shrugged his shoulders. "It was just a love tap, a reminder to keep my mouth shut."

"Uh huh." She flipped another page and positioned the chart on the counter. She removed a penlight from her breast pocket. "Then you won't mind if I check for myself." She began by shining the obnoxious light in each eye, and then put him through a few hand eye coordination tests.

The doctor continued by checking his blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature. She moved behind him and positioned her stethoscope to his bare back. With occasional commands to breathe, she moved the stethoscope with practiced ease from his back to his chest.

Dr. Fraiser finally broke her silent ministrations. "Have you sustained any recent injuries?"

He furrowed his brow. "We haven't jumped in over a week," he simply stated.

"But you did give Teal'c a boxing lesson, yes?"

"Actually, no. Something else came up."

Dr. Fraiser looked at O'Neill from head to toe, and then back up again until she was facing him. "Take my advice, Colonel. If and when another boxing opportunity arises, wear lots of padded protection," she deadpanned and paused for effect. "I do not want to treat anything more serious than a bloody nose." She stood before him with arms crossed against her chest.

Before O'Neill could utter a response, the doctor turned to leave. "Everything is in order, Sir. You're as healthy as a horse." She jotted some notes in his chart. When the expected retort was not flung her way she asked, "Anything else I can do for you, Sir?"

After a few beats, with eyebrows in his hairline, O'Neill smirked, "No, Doc. Even I wouldn't touch that one."

Janet snorted as she exited the exam room. Rita was waiting with chart in hand. "Well then, who's next?" Fraiser asked.

"Captain Carter is ready for you in exam room two, Doctor Fraiser." She handed over the colonel's chart and picked Carter's from the top of the proffered pile.

She could do this. She was a consummate professional. She was also very well practiced in hiding her emotions. This would not be difficult for her. The question was, how would Sam respond to being examined by the very woman she had just asked out on a date?

Dr. Fraiser knocked and entered the exam room in much the same manner as she had approached Colonel O'Neill. Sam fidgeted on the exam table when Janet drew near.

"Relax, Sam. This is just a cursory exam, nothing too invasive." Janet flashed her most reassuring smile. "But, if you would rather, I could have another physician..."

"No." Sam hastily interrupted. "This is fine. A little weird, but fine." She wiped her moist palms on her gown. "Let's just get this over with, shall we? No offense, but I don't like exams much. Something about sitting half naked and vulnerable in a tiny room with nowhere to hide makes me nervous."

Sam picked at an imaginary piece of linen on her gown. "Maybe I'm a little more nervous than usual," she admitted with a shy smile.

In her most calming, caring bedside manner, Dr. Fraiser completed her physical exam of Captain Carter. It was a pivotal moment in their fledgling relationship. They successfully proved to themselves they would be able to separate their professional and private lives.

Janet leaned against the counter, studying Sam's chart. She frowned.

"What?" Sam apprehensively asked.

"You suffered a concussion and a bruised kidney when you were assaulted in an elevator by Major Kawalsky?" Janet studied Sam's face and saw a confirmation as she dipped her head and nodded.

"What is it with SG-1 and their affinity for head trauma?"

Before Sam could reply, Janet continued. "Don't bother, that was a rhetorical question. I do not want to know."

Changing her tact, the doctor asked, "So, any problems from these injuries I need to know about, Sam?"

"Nope." Short and to the point. "No problems."

"Then we are finished here, Captain." She smiled at Sam and with a twist of her hand, the door opened and the doctor was gone.

True to her word, Dr. Fraiser completed the exams in forty minutes. Daniel Jackson and Teal'c, in turn, were also given a clean bill of health, and the entire team was dismissed from the infirmary.

Part 3

The Gate Room

SG-1 and SG-3 were ready to travel to P3X-797. Colonel Makepeace, the C.O. of SG-3, was trying to goad O'Neill into an argument. He rudely pushed his way between Carter and O'Neill, trying to assert his team at point.

General Hammond watched from the control room. Unbelievable, they are about to step through a wormhole to another world, and all they could do was flex their muscles to boost their egos. God, he wished he were twenty years younger. He could have given even O'Neill a run for his money.

O'Neill won this round as Hammond watched SG-1 push through the gate first, with SG-3 hanging back to protect their six. A few seconds later, SG-3 rushed through the watery ring. The wormhole disengaged and all was silent.


SG-1 was swarmed immediately by a group of the indigenous population bent on beating the team senseless. Only SG-3's quick actions and loud discharge of automatic weapons fire scared the Neanderthal-like attackers away.

"Glad you took point." Makepeace sarcastically said.

Eventually the two teams discovered that this new world was literally divided in two by an invisible line between light and dark. The Land of the Light was home to an advanced Minoan culture, while The Land of the Dark contained the savages. Tupelo, the Minoan leader, explained the savages were cursed and thus banished to stop the spread of infection.

It was an interesting discovery, however neither the savages nor the Minoans could offer anything of militarist value. O'Neill scrubbed the mission much to the consternation of Dr. Jackson and Captain Carter.

SGC Briefing Room

General Hammond sat at the head of the large conference table while Dr. Jackson briefed him on the unusual discovery dubbed the Broca Divide. In the middle of his report, Lieutenant Johnson, wide-eyed and frothing at the mouth, attacked Teal'c without provocation. The Marine was subdued and escorted to the infirmary. The briefing continued without further interruptions until it's conclusion an hour later. Then all hell broke loose when two officers from SG-3 fell to their deaths after fighting and crashing through the observation bay window.

Carter and Jackson were in the Gate Room at the time. She jumped off a ladder she was perched on and immediately called for medical assistance. She reached down to feel for a pulse on both of the Marine officers. She should not have bothered. They were both dead, and beyond resuscitation, one with his neck at a hideous angle, the other with the back of his skull crushed.

She moved to make room for the medical team. She absently wiped blood on her pants, and suddenly felt very hot and light-headed. She massaged her neck and made her way to the locker room and showers to wash away the blood and cool her overheated body.

Carter stood under the cool spray of water. As if her very flesh burned, she turned the knob to cold to dowse the soaring heat. Her chaotic thoughts swirled in her mind and she fought to gain some lucidity. Her restraint slipped as one thought fed into another until her mind raced out of control. Something was not right. The duplicity of another consciousness asserted itself and she could not fight against the overwhelming need to be heard.

She exited the shower and quickly dressed in shorts and tank top. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she knew she should report her odd behavior to...who? She groaned in frustration. More and more of the Captain was pushed to the side as the beast gained control.

The banging of the locker room door startled her. The resulting adrenaline rush catapulted the blonde back to the last shower stall. Safely hidden, it quietly assessed the interloper. The other knew him, was not afraid of him. The beast felt threatened. Powered by the massive catecholamine release, it felt the need to run in ten different directions at once. Carter fought to keep the beast at bay. Unable to release the build up of hormones racing through its blood stream, the beast tore through Carter's remaining thread of restraint.

O'Neill was toweling his hair dry when the attack came. Sam Carter grabbed him by the back of his neck and crushed her mouth to his. O'Neill's greater muscle mass was all that saved him as they wrestled, first against the lockers, then to a bench, and back to the lockers again.

As if Carter was trapped in a very tiny compartment of her brain, she watched helplessly as the scene unfolded before her eyes. She no longer controlled her actions. She watched as the beast took charge and assaulted the colonel. It was not about sex. The beast responded to an overwhelming need to dominate and defeat him. The sexual nature of the attack justified the means to an end. She did not want this, did not want O'Neill. She wanted Janet.

He managed to restrain Carter. The beast within her howled and tried all the harder to free itself. "Time you saw a doctor, Doctor," he said as he directed her towards the exit.

The beast stopped struggling and the young woman's fully dilated eyes looked around the locker room sniffing the air. Sam could not stop it. The desire was too great. "Doctor," the beast growled as her need intensified. "Janet."

"That's right, Carter. Be a good girl and we'll get you to the infirmary and the Doc."

The beast bolted with O'Neill struggling to keep up. All the while, it held a running monologue about exactly what it planned on doing with and to Janet once it captured and dominated her. Sam powerlessly clung to what little light was left shining as her tiny box was squeezed almost out of existence.

It was a red-faced Jack O'Neill who shouted for help as soon as they were in range of the infirmary. Flushed partially from exertion, but mostly from Carter's more colorful ramblings, he gratefully relinquished her to Teal'c and two orderlies.

The beast fought viciously as it was thrown on a bed and forcefully held in place by all four men. A low growl emanated from deep within its throat and culminating in a harsh howl, "Janet," it repeated over and over.

Dr. Fraiser was busy sedating another infected Marine when she heard the commotion. She wasn't alarmed when she heard the new arrival, more impaired personnel were arriving at a frightening pace. Then she heard her name screamed repeatedly. She turned to the source of the noise, but could not see over the backs of several men trying desperately to hold someone on the bed. Janet grabbed a syringe and ran to help.

Once the doctor was close enough, she recognized voice and face. Stunned, she stopped several feet away. No, no. Not Sam. Please, not Sam.

Janet swiftly gained her composure and Dr. Fraiser emerged. She desperately tried to get to Carter so she could sedate her, but she fought as though possessed.

The beast could no longer articulate. Sensing its impending defeat, with one final heave, it pushed up from the bed and lunged toward Janet. Her pupils were so dilated her eyes turned black with lust. A sheen of perspiration seductively hugged her writhing body, and Janet's eyes were drawn to the wild woman's heaving chest, mesmerized by hardened nipples that poked through the sweat soaked shirt as she growled and gasped for air.

Jack O'Neill anticipated Carter's movements and stepped in front of the doctor. "Whoa, Doc. You do NOT want to be anywhere near Carter right now."

The overpowering need to help Sam snapped her out of her trance. "God damn it, I need to sedate her before she hurts herself," Janet spat.

All four men, in unison, looked at Fraiser like she had grown two heads. They were all bleeding from one injury or another inflicted by the enraged woman. Carter, on the other hand, did not have a scratch.

Fraiser watched as the crazed woman was placed in leather restraints. She was once again drawn to the seductive form wrapped in the tight tank top and wondered what it would feel like to have those nipples harden in her mouth. Feeling her own stiffen in response, she attempted to shake off her inappropriate reverie. She thought she must be infected. What else would explain her uncharacteristic response to a patient? No, not just a patient. This was Sam, the woman she had instantly fallen in love with the first time she laid eyes on her.

The doctor needed to clear her head. She had never been in this position before. She was not infected; her judgment was impaired by her deep feelings for Sam. That sobering thought acted as a natural antidote and instantly snapped the doctor into action. She held the syringe in a steady hand and impatiently waited for the men to contain the thrashing young woman. Once Carter was safely restrained, Janet approached to sedate her.

"I mean it," O'Neill shouted. "Let someone else give her the shot."

Fraiser glared at him. "Sam is not going to hurt me," she said as though explaining to a child.

He turned beet red. "I didn't say she was gonna hurt you, Doc."

She gave him a quizzical look.

O'Neill suggestively raised his eyebrows and leered.

"Oh!" Fraiser's crimson face shone bright, warm with embarrassment, then paled.

Despite the chaotic situation all around them, Jack O'Neill could not suppress a chuckle.

"Don't worry. For what it's worth, she attacked me in the locker room. Only when I suggested she see a doctor, did she start her..." Jack paused, "... lewd description of you...and her...together."

He ran his hand through his short hair. "Oh, for cryin' out loud. The point is, Carter's not responsible for her behavior." He pointedly took in the entire infirmary with a worried glance. "I think we're all gonna have some embarrassing moments before this is over."

Fraiser hoped he was wrong.

On hour later, Jack O'Neill was dragged kicking and screaming into the infirmary. He had savagely beaten Daniel Jackson after the archaeologist innocently inquired about Carter's condition. He was sedated and safely secured in Isolation Room 19. More than half the base was in quarantine exhibiting various symptoms of overtly aggressive behavior. Before it could be contained, the bizarre disease spread unchecked throughout the SGC.

Daniel was stiff from the beating he had taken at the hands of this friend, Jack O'Neill. He and Teal'c were dispatched back to The Land of the Light to retrieve a blood sample from an uninfected inhabitant. Dr. Fraiser discovered the disease fed on the body's histamine levels, which she concluded, was the reason neither she nor Daniel contracted the disease. They both suffered from severe allergies and took antihistamines everyday. Teal'c, it seemed, was immune, no doubt due to his symbiote.

Finally, with the aid of information gathered from the blood sample and the working antihistamine hypothesis, Dr. Fraiser was able to counteract the disease. The SGC was once again fully operational.

Part 4

Sam and Janet enjoyed a quiet evening together. Janet had invited her to dinner at her house, though technically, Sam pointed out, she had asked the doctor out first. Janet assured her it did not matter where they had their first date, just that they had one. The astrophysicist could not argue with her logic.

After dinner, the women moved to the backyard deck. The warm, breezy night shone bright with a sky full of luminous stars. They sat and drank wine in a companionable silence, occasionally stealing shy glances at each other.

Sam broke the silence. "You know, everyone is saying you saved the day. Not a bad way to start." She sipped her wine. "I don't know what would have happened if you hadn't figured this out," she admitted as she shivered.

"I do," the doctor said with a sly grin. "I would have spent the rest of my life hiding from sex-crazed, bone-bashing Neanderthals."

Sam winced. "Yeah, about that, Janet."

"Don't you start, too. I have heard far too many apologies in the last couple of days to last me a life time." She gently placed her hand on Sam's knee. "Let's just forget everything and start fresh, okay?"

"I don't know," she hesitated. She turned away and looked to the night sky. "I still feel bad about my part in all this." She could not look Janet in the eye.

Janet reached up and cupped her chin and gently turned her head so she could gaze into Sam's deep blue eyes. "Let's make a deal. You can apologize and then we leave all this behind."

Sam laughed nervously as she ran a trembling hand through wind blown blonde hair.

She looked deep into her chocolate eyes, she wanted to study her face for any reaction to what she was about to admit. With a deep breath, "I really don't remember much, and what I do recall is all jumbled together." She paused gathering her thoughts.

"You're doing fine," the doctor encouraged.

"What I remember the most is while I attacked the Colonel all I could think about was what the hell am I doing? I don't want this." She paused again staring intently at Janet.

"I wanted you, Janet," she admitted in a whisper.

Janet slowly closed her eyes as a beautiful smile sculpted her face.

Sam did not want to stop, not until she told her exactly how she felt. "When I....she....it." She shook her head and grimaced. "Definitely it, the beast. That's how I imagined it in my mind," she continued as the brunette opened her eyes to look upon her with wonder.

"It was like I was squeezed into a tiny little box, unable to think for myself. I watched in horror as it practically raced Colonel O'Neill to the infirmary and finally to you. I was terrified it would inadvertently hurt you." Carter's ears and face flamed red with embarrassment. "I'm not gonna go into detail about what was unwillingly flooding my paralyzed mind."

Janet raised her hand and snorted. "No need. O'Neill was more than kind enough to enlighten me." Now it was her turn to flame crimson red.

"Oh, God!" She plunged her blonde head into her hands. Abruptly she jumped from the chair and paced the deck, a bundle of nervous energy. She stopped at the far end with her long back to the doctor.

"Janet, I am so sorry. You have to believe me, I never..." Sam was silenced as she was embraced from behind.

The petite woman turned the taller blonde around and waited for her to take a few calm breaths. "Apology accepted," she simply stated. When Sam began to protest, she quickly added, "Remember the deal. Apology, then we forget all about this silly mess."

Janet grasped her hands and gently guided her back to their vacated seats. She picked up the bottle of Merlot and refilled their glasses. The women sat in silence, sipping wine and staring at the stars.

"Can you see Abydos from here?"

Sam barely registered her question as she tore her gaze from the bright pinpoints. Enthralled with pouty red lips, she wondered exactly what it would feel like to taste them. Being the good scientist, she experimented by slowly closing the distance and captured Janet's lips in a soft kiss.

As they slightly parted, Janet unconsciously ran her moist pink tongue over her own lips savoring the sweet taste of wine with a hint of Sam. She leaned forward, and as she kissed Sam again, she felt her smile. Both shifted to deepen the kiss and Janet ran her fine-boned hands over her slender back and then caressed broad shoulders. Sam could not repress the shiver that inched its way up her spine and moaned into the doctor's mouth as she pulled her closer to wrap her arms around a tiny waist. Instantly, Janet responded by slipping her tongue between parted lips and began an eager exploration of her mouth. Soon Sam's tongue dueled with hers, giving and taking until neither could breathe.

Time was irrelevant as seconds, moments, an eternity passed. Both women sat immovable savoring this first kiss. It could never be repeated, just a very cherished memory, one of many yet to experience.

Grinning like fools and holding hands, they remained outdoors until the chill night air drove them inside. Janet led Sam to the living room and sat on the big couch. She patted the empty spot beside her and motioned for the blonde to sit.

Sam watched her as she silently walked to the couch and took a seat beside the pretty brunette. She reached for her right hand and tenderly kissed each fingertip with soft lips. She looked up through short blonde bangs. "You are so gorgeous, Janet. I cannot believe I'm here with you," she admitted.

"What's not to believe?" Janet ran just kissed fingers through Sam's unruly hair. "God, Sam. I have never felt this way before." She palmed her face and caressed her cheeks with delicate thumbs. "Let's just be thankful we've found each other, not question the hows or whys."

Speechless, Sam leaned forward and was met halfway by a very eager Janet. As their lips meshed again, she pulled the smaller woman onto her lap. Deliberate lips and tongue conveyed what her voice could not.

Janet turned and straddled slim hips without losing contact with her mouth. Their kisses became less urgent, replaced by deep passionate open-mouthed kisses as they learned to please each other. An unspoken signal separated the women and she cuddled into Sam's left shoulder.

Sam softly played with the brunette's longer dark curls inhaling her sweet scent. "Janet, I've never been very good with sharing myself, my emotions." She kissed her temple. "I know this is all so sudden, but I know it's right." She paused. "I don't want to mess this up," she said in a small voice.

"Oh, sweetheart. You aren't the only one here who has had a bad track record with relationships. You didn't marry any of your mistakes." Janet shot her a quizzical glance as she suddenly realized she knew nothing of Sam's romantic past, only knew she was very emotionally scarred.

Sam needed to tell her everything, not that there was much to tell. She did not know how to bring it up, but now the opportunity had presented itself. She rubbed Janet's upper arms in a comforting gesture. "No. Almost." Sam held her breath waiting for the doctor's reaction. When none was forthcoming, she continued. "I was really messed up, drifting along without purpose. I even contemplated quitting the Air Force. Then I met Jonas and he literally swept me off my feet. I thought his undivided attention meant he cared, but all he wanted was someone to dominate. I know now I was trying to replace my father." The words tumbled from her in waves. "Luckily, I came to my senses in time."

Sam was on a roll. "It seems like a lifetime ago, but in actuality only a few years. Then I was recruited for the Stargate Program in D.C. I dated a little, but I guess I never found the right woman." She studied Janet's face willing her to comprehend what she was about to confess. "I was searching for something special, to give my life meaning."

She held Janet's steady gaze. "My life has meaning now. I feel complete. No, that's not exactly true. You complete me, Janet." Her confession was emotionally draining, but she felt much better now it was out in the open.

A perfect teardrop rolled down Janet's face as she fiercely hugged this woman who was brave enough to bare her soul. "Then you know I feel the same." It was a simple statement of fact.

They held each other until late in the evening, content to swap stories of their not so sordid pasts. Simultaneous yawns reminded the women of the late hour. Sam inspected her watch and was surprised to discover it was 2300 hours. "Damn. I've got to report in at 0700." She lightly pressed her lips to Janet's forehead.

"So do I, " She whined. "I think this party is officially over."

Sam retrieved her leather jacket from the antique hall tree and holding hands Janet escorted her to the front door. "I had a wonderful time. Well, except for the gut-wrenching bare my soul kinda feeling, but even that had its moments." Sam laughed and embraced the doctor.

Janet ran her hands over her back and up her neck until she was gently urging the taller woman down to meet her lips. She backed Sam up against the door and pressed her body seductively against her. When they came up for air, Janet was pinned between the door and Sam's athletic body.

"I don't want you to leave," she pouted.

"Do you have the weekend off?" Sam waited for her to nod. "Good." Sam flashed her megawatt smile. "I want to spend my every free moment with you." Sam peppered her face with kisses. "Let me show you some of the beautiful places I've discovered here. I'll take you for a ride into the mountains..."

"Sam, I am not getting on that bike." Her tone broached no argument.

"Don't knock it, till you've tried it, Doc," she chided the doctor. After one last kiss, Sam reluctantly relinquished her possessive hold and opened the door.

Janet watched her straddle the huge bike. With an impish grin, Sam winked before slapping the helmet shield in place and eased onto the open road. Janet watched as bike and rider disappeared, and wondered what it would feel like to sit on the back of Sam's bike holding on for dear life. How the hell am I ever going to resist that smile?

Part 5

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