DISCLAIMER: Like them, don't own them, doing this for my sanity.
SPOILERS: Season 5. Rite of Passage. (Brief for Threshold, Ascension, The Fifth Man)
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Coming Out
By Debbie


She'd walked on more planets than she cared to remember, faced down alien monsters that most kids could never imagine, killed men more than twice her size, and even blown up a star. She'd become one of the world's, indeed the universe's, foremost experts on Alien culture, and way back before all this started, been the first woman to take a step through the wormhole formed by a Stargate. Yet, standing on Janet Fraiser's porch, hand poised to knock on the door, she was more scared than she had ever been.

It was Cassandra's 16th birthday, and Janet had invited her second Mom to a small 'family' get-together. More than that, Sam needed to make things right with Janet. Three times in the past few months Sam had completely ignored Janet's professional opinion, the most serious and repercussive episode being the long night when they had nearly lost Teal'c to the Rite of Masuraan. Janet had needed to save Teal'c, and everyone else, herself included, had talked Janet down. The hurt look on Janet's face still haunted Sam's dreams.

More than that, Sam needed to acknowledge that this family was indeed her family. She'd realized two years before that the love she felt for Janet was more than that of friends but, like the good officer she was, had hidden her feelings deep inside.

Recently, Sam had gained the distinct impression that Janet returned her feelings; the look of pure jealousy on Janet's face when Sam had admitted to having a brief liaison with the alien, Orlin, and the anger on the doctor's face when Sam had played on her friendship during the Lieutenant Tyler debacle, had proven to Sam that Janet's feelings ran deep.

So standing on the Fraiser porch, with a parcel for Cassandra, a large cake box, and a bunch of flowers for Janet, she was more than scared.

The door opened before she could even knock and a smiling Janet beckoned her through to a gaily decorated kitchen. Handing her flowers to Janet, she offered up a sheepish smile and began to say she was sorry.

Janet stopped her with a raised hand, indicating with her eyes that any sort of apology was surplus to requirements.

Sam smiled, the unspoken communication they had built over the years another indication of the depth of their relationship.

Just then a sullen Cassandra came into the room, and from that point on the night went to hell in a hand basket. From Cassandra's displeasure at Sam's present and her resentment of having to stay in the house with two 'old women', through her collapse into the arms of Dominic, through the long days and nights of her life threatening illness, all the way to Sam once again denying Janet her ultimate support in a time of crisis, Cassandra's 16th birthday was not a happy one.

Eventually, Janet's stand-off against Niirti, and Hammond 's skilled negotiation of the situation resulted in the Goa'uld saving Cassandra's life in return for her freedom.

The night of Cassandra's recovery became the night Sam had wanted to share at the party. After finally getting Cassandra to sleep, Sam and Janet exchanged quiet words at her bedside.

"Janet, I know you stopped me saying this once before, but please let me say it now."

"You don't need to say anything, Sam; just being here with me is more than enough."

Janet rested her hand on Sam's knee and squeezed gently.

"I do, Janet, I need to tell you that you'll always have my support. These past few months I've denied you when all I wanted to do was to be there; this damn secrecy is tearing me apart."

"The Air force is both of our lives, Sam; I understand why you do what you do. I understand…"

Sam grabbed Janet's hand and quickly interrupted. "No, you don't understand. Not *that* secrecy, not the secrecy behind Stargate Command, no…"

Indicating the space between the two of them, she rambled on, "… I mean this secrecy; this denying of what we have; this hiding behind our shared love for Cass; this, this, denying of our relationship."

The major's eyes dropped away from Janet's gaze, and Janet put her finger under Sam's chin lifting her eyes back up.

"Sam, we have to."

Sam looked around the room, checking to be sure they really were alone before saying, "Here, maybe, but to each other, Janet, no. I love you, and I need you to hear it."

Janet's smile was immediate, as were her words in return.

"And I love you, Samantha Carter."

She rested one finger on her lips as if in thought, then gently rested it against Sam's lips with a wink and a promise of 'later'.

Days later, when Sam called to play chess with her daughter, the smile that illuminated Janet's face was huge and genuine as she realized, from now on, she was taking both her girls home.

The End

Stargate SG-1 Fiction

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