DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of these characters. I do this only for my sanity.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: For this story, I've managed the most words I've written in over 3 years, I think. It was a real pleasure to go back to my first love Sam/Janet. So, kudos to Cabenson for the suggestion. As always, my thanks go to Darandkerry for the beta work and the constant support and encouragement. It means a lot. Warning: There are character deaths within the story, but there are happier endings, too you'll see :)
SPOILERS: Shout outs to some of the classic Sam/Janet episodes... so, Heroes , Singularity, Rites of Passage, 2010, and Ripple Effect oh, and one Universe episode!
DEDICATION: To Cabenson who kindly donated $20 for my words to help_japan
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To deb123em[at]gmail.com
Convergences in Time
Earth 3 - 2035
Two old women, one tall with bleached white hair and one small with very grey hair, shared a park bench, sitting as close as they could, smiling. They both looked outwards, entranced by their family playing together in the warming sun.
Janet, a quiet schoolmistress specialising in Human Biology had met Samantha, a boisterous motor mechanic specialising in military vehicles, many, many moons before. The love they had found and shared now spanned across six enthralling decades.
And still, Sam held the ability to surprise her lover. Like now, as she regaled Janet with tales of her grease monkey years. "Did I ever tell you about the young woman who shared my name, the one who brought her Harley in for regular servicing?"
"Why no, Sam, I don't think you did," Janet replied with a twinkle in her eyes. "Shared your name, you say?"
Sam took a hold of Janet's hands, remembering vividly the young Air Force officer that had turned up out of the blue many times over a ten year period, each time with a new and wondrous story to tell; each time with a secret to tell. And, until this very day, Sam had kept those secrets close to her heart.
"Yes, shared my name, shared my looks, shared my love, and asked me to keep it a secret, until now."
Janet looked up and saw tears at the corner of her love's still blue eyes. "Sam?"
"It was 2004 and I was working late when I looked up into the eyes of another version of myself. I nearly dropped through the floor, I can tell you. She held out her hand and introduced herself as Captain Samantha Carter of the United States Air Force, Earth. Why she mentioned Earth would come to light later in our conversation."
"Oh, Sam, you don't have to tell me tall tales anymore, you know; you won me over all those years ago. 50 years and counting, I think..."
Sam stopped Janet's words with a gentle touch. "I'm not telling tales, Jan. It really did happen."
The seriousness in Sam's voice alerted Janet to the fact she was going to hear something interesting; she smiled and nodded.
Sam looked at her lover and saw incredulity and interest in equal measures shining out of the ebony eyes she had always adored. "Go on," the listening woman urged.
"Well, she took me to a quiet bar and told me the most amazing story of travelling through time and space, through a portal called a Stargate, through Quantum Mirrors, and how she was searching for 'her' beloved, a USAF doctor called Janet Fraiser, who had recently been killed in action..."
Earth 2 - 2004
"You try to tell yourself that every man and woman under your command means the same to you. You don't want to lose anybody, ever. Each has to be equally valuable if you're going to make the kind of decisions that affect their lives the way I have to. But you can't help it. You get closer to some people."
Major Samantha Carter stared at her superior officer, unable to hold back the tears she had been shedding since she'd heard the fateful words, 'I need a medic! Fraiser's been hit; I need a medic!' Taking a deep gulp as she acknowledged the General's words, Sam watched as he turned to leave. The man she had considered a second father for the past few years looked suddenly older and grey. At the door he turned back, concerned, "How are you holding up, Sam, really?"
She couldn't find the words to say how she was really feeling; she just couldn't, but she tried, if only for the man so broken before her. "I'm okay, Sir."
General Hammond looked at her, sighed, and then nodded.
How could she say what she was really feeling when she'd never been allowed to say it before, never even said it to the woman she was now missing with the intensity of a lover lost. And there was the crux; she mourned Janet as a lover would mourn her lost love, but in reality she'd only ever been Janet's friend.
She opened up her laptop; she'd been asked to speak at the memorial service and needed to write a eulogy for the woman she loved with a passion. No matter how much she tried not to, the tears continued to roll down her cheeks as regret after regret flashed through her mind.
Suddenly, strong arms wrapped around her as Teal'c absorbed her grief, and the words rushed out, "Why wasn't I with her, Teal'c. Where's the sarcophagus? How come *he* ascended but she dies? Where's the justice? Dad's got a symbiote she's dead. Why her? Cassie; God, I gotta go pick up Cassie..." Teal'c just held on tighter as the words died and the sobs finally quietened. Sam looked up into his knowing gaze. "Oh, Teal'c, I love her."
Teal'c just nodded and said his first words. "I am aware." He took a step back, surprised at the look of on the human's face; surely everyone knew that fact. He handed her a piece of paper. "I have pondered what I would say were I given the chance to speak of Janet Fraiser, but I believe it would be best from your heart."
Sam took the paper and read his words. She smiled for the first time since Janet's death and hugged him once more. "Thank you, Teal'c."
Teal'c took the opportunity to whisper in her ear, "She loves you, too, Samantha Carter."
His words seemed to bring Sam out of her funk, enough for her to get through the next few days until the memorial service, spending time with Cassie and planning how she would cope with the next few months.
As Sam looked out over Stargate Command and the gathered mourners, she couldn't help but look forward to some requested leave time; time she needed to remember Janet and time she needed to throw in a few 'unofficial business trips' through the Stargate.
"Janet Fraiser was an extraordinary person. She was kind and funny and talented. Above all, she was courageous. Try as I might, I could not find the words to honour her, to do justice to her life. Thankfully I got some help..."
Earth 3 2035
"I couldn't understand how she could love so completely and yet had never dared share that depth of feeling with the other woman concerned.'Don't ask, don't tell' that was the name given to some national policy that made Sam's love for Janet impossible and yet her love was there, and reading between the lines of some of her stories, I'm pretty sure her Janet felt the same way."
The smaller old woman glanced at her lover of over fifty years and frowned. "What sort of world denies love? They were fighting an enemy obviously, so somewhere along the way there was quite a degree of hate; how then can they then deny love? It doesn't make sense."
Sam chuckled. "I don't think Sam's Air Force would have stood a chance if you'd been around teaching their kids, huh? You always were pretty outspoken; even in college you were sure of yourself. It's one of your many redeeming qualities, I think."
"Oh, I'm sure I have enough redeeming qualities for the both of us, Samantha dear. So, tell me, why did she search out 'hardnosed grease monkey, Sam Carter' to tell her tale of loss and regret. I'm not sure I'd have directed her to you for any sympathy back then."
Sam punched her lover on the upper arm, "Hey, you! I guess she just needed to talk things through with someone who understood what it would feel like to lose the love of her life. Once she'd heard about me, you, and our life, I couldn't get rid of her; she returned many more times after that with stories of more Samanthas and more Janets."
Earth 4 - 2009
Janet Fraiser stared out of the window; seeing nothing, feeling nothing. A gentle hand on her shoulder brought her eyes up to lock with her daughter's.
"Please, don't do this, Mom. She'll be home soon."
Janet just sighed. She knew her daughter was only trying to be helpful. She'd heard the official version of events, just the same. Her girlfriend, an officer in the USAF , had been lost on a mission behind enemy lines. She wasn't dead, but no one could tell her when she'd be home, just that she would be one day.
The mission had gone wrong over six months ago and still there was no word to the positive. Janet had coped for a while, working each day as a doctor at the local hospital, her patients' wellbeing stopping her dwelling on her own problems. Yet, gradually, life without Sam had become unbearable. She'd always known Sam led a dangerous life; had always known there was a chance she could be killed in action but this, this waiting, was worse than anything she'd ever imagined.
Lost in her thoughts of her beautiful blonde lover, she almost missed the insistent knock at her door. Standing slowly, she opened the door to a small, stocky, Air Force officer. He tipped his hat in greeting and spoke carefully, constantly glancing over his shoulder.
"Ms. Fraiser, Ma'am, a Lieutenant Aster is insistent that she needs to speak with you."
Janet looked towards the official-looking black sedan parked at the end of her driveway, seeing a woman she did not recognise. "I don't know a Lieutenant Aster, Officer."
"Please, Ma'am, it's important."
The small woman sighed, nodding her head in agreement.
The officer turned towards the car and motioned for the visitor to step out.
Janet watched a tall, dark skinned woman walk towards her. Something about the way she held herself made Janet wince in anger that it was her and not Sam walking towards her. The woman approached slowly, staring at Janet with intense brown eyes, seemingly drinking in the sight before her. The eyes held such a look of coming home, Janet's heart skipped a beat as she took the hand offered her in greeting.
A voice she didn't recognise whispered, "It's me, Sam, I'm here for a few hours."
Janet's head spun and her knees buckled. "What? No! How can you be so..."
"Please, Janet, it's me, really!"
The smaller woman visibly sobbed and turned her back on the intruder, pulling up short at the angry words that followed her.
"Don't you dare turn your back on Samantha 'Morticia' Carter!"
Janet spun around at the name only ever whispered before in private moments of joyful passion, "Sam?"
The tall dark woman instantly pulled Janet into a crushing hug, pressing their mouths together urgently.
It was a kiss that Janet couldn't fail to recognise.
Earth 3 - 2035
Janet's voice was incredulous. "So, Samantha Carter came back to her Earth in another person's body? And, Janet Fraiser could tell it was her just from the kiss? I think you've been reading too many of those fan fiction things you're always reading."
Sam chuckled. "Oh yea of little faith, Janet; Sam told me that story on one of her first visits to see me. I think the thought that she could visit many worlds, many universes even, and with one kiss, she would know that she'd found her love again was the thing that kept her going through those early years after Janet's death. And anyway, you read as much fan fiction as I do."
"Yeah, it gives me new ideas on how to keep you happy, some of the things they get up to is beyond me, but I think we've tried more than a few over the years." She chuckled. "I think we've achieved a few successes over the years, too. Can't remember you complaining much."
Sam smiled evilly. "No, no complaining, Janet. We've still got it, we're still very happy, I think?"
"Yes, Sam, we are. Do you think all the other Sam and Janet couples out there are happy?"
"Now that I can't honestly say..."
Earth 5 2006
Cassie Xantig-Fraiser stared out over the devastated valley below. Once again she was alone in this Godforsaken world. Twelve years of age and already she had lost two sets of parents.
Brought up in a loving family, she'd shared her home world, Hanka, with her mom, dad, and two brothers. Only to lose them all, five years previously, to some unknown plague. Within days of her mother dying, a team of scientists had arrived from some place called Atlantis to watch a total eclipse and she'd found another family.
Major Janet Fraiser, the soldier sent to protect the scientists, had risked life and limb to get Cassie home and safe on Atlantis. The soldier's lover, Samantha Carter, a specialist in Infectious Diseases, had taken Cassie under her wing in more ways than one. As a doctor, she'd determined that something called Naquada, found in her blood stream, was the cause of her immunity to the plague. As a woman, she became Cassie's second mom, taking up part time work in the local Air Force base so she could care for the growing girl.
Through the years, Cassie had become a typical Atlantis girl. She'd developed a keen interest in Math and Biology and was leaning towards a medical career like her new mom. She'd also become the star hitter for her Little League Baseball team, having been awarded the position of 4th batsman, a position Janet had told her was to die for. The thing that happened a few weeks later meant she'd have given anything to be able to take Janet's words back; she'd rather have her parents than the honour of batting clean-up any day.
She could remember vividly Sam coming home from work, ashen faced and red eyed, taking her into the conservatory and sobbing as she told Cass that Major Fraiser had failed to return from her Mirror jump; falling foul of the fastest acting infection she had ever seen. And once again, it appeared Cassie was immune. Sam had asked and she'd agreed willingly to be a guinea pig to Atlantis' experiments to find a cure. And yet, yesterday, she'd held Sam's hand tight, pleading for her not to go, not before the visitors from Earth had arrived to help with finding a cure. Pleading that had all been in vain when Sam had whispered her love for the young girl in her last breath.
And now Cassie was waiting, all alone, for the visitors to arrive.
All she knew, as she dragged herself back to the Air Force base, despite being terribly alone, was that she was full of wonderful memories of four loving parents, and that she wouldn't let them down, ever. She would meet these people from Earth, and she would help them find a cure. She was determined that no other child would lose his or her family as she had done.
Earth 3 - 2035
Janet looked at Sam quizzically.
"I always wondered how a lost young girl just happened to turn up at your garage, and how that same young girl was allowed to just stay by all the authorities. You're talking about Cassie's family, aren't you? Our Cassie?"
"You never asked me anything and, when I saw you fall in love with her from that very first meeting, I sorta forgot to say anything."
The two women watched their middle-aged daughter playing with her children's children, a smile playing on both their lips.
"I'm sorry, Janet."
"What for, Sam, for giving me our family. Don't be; your version is way better than the life I had her living before she came to us."
Sam laughed out loud; knowing Janet as she did, she had the awful picture that drug lords and prostitution were mentioned somewhere in that story. She sighed.
"At least, we gave our Cassie the life she deserved, not the one Sam found her living on one of her jaunts..."
Earth 6 - 2008
Two women stood beside their daughter's sixteenth birthday cake. The atmosphere was tense, not least because the taller of the two women had been late to the party, and certainly not least because the daughter was indeed a teenager.
The smaller woman muttered, it was obvious she was already pretty wound up tight. "I'm not imagining it; I mean she WAS here ... was she not?"
The taller woman sighed, "Yeah, Jan, she was but leave it, huh? It is her birthday."
"Yes, and she should be here with us, her parents. We should all be here."
Sam didn't miss the dig. It had been going on for a while now, Janet's digs about how late she stayed at work when she was on Earth, and even worse, the digs about how often her team was sent off-world. Sam just couldn't get it through to Janet that Stargate Command really couldn't manage without her.
For Janet's part, she did understand how much Stargate Command needed her lover; what she absolutely hated was that Samantha Carter, the junior soldier she had fallen in love with and supported on her way up through the ranks, failed to recognise that her family couldn't do without her, either.
At that point, Cassie came running into the room with a face like thunder. "Dominic's waiting outside; you said I could go to the club with him."
This time it was Janet that sighed deeply, "Yeah, I did, after... fine! Invite him in; I'm sure he'd enjoy a piece of the birthday cake Sam went to all the trouble to bake."
Even Cassie twitched at the sarcasm in her mother's pointed barb towards Sam, wincing inwardly when Sam took the bait, hissing, "Buy."
"For crying out loud, Jan, it's only a frakking cake."
Both women went silent, a little guilty, as Cassie stormed out of the room at their interaction.
Janet went into the kitchen, ostensibly to make a cup of tea, but really to cool down. She knew her actions were hurting her family, but it was damn hard to stop the churlishness at the moment. Quietly, Sam padded up to her side, resting her hand on the small of Janet's back. Janet smiled at this hidden communication; a gentle touch was often their only means of being together in the closeted atmosphere of the Air Force bases they had worked on through their time as a couple. For the first time in what felt like years, Janet knew she was still loved.
The quiet moment was rudely interrupted by a young male voice screaming out, "HELP!"
The two women rushed out to find Cassie rolling around on the floor, seemingly in the middle of a seizure. Janet dropped to her side as the boy muttered, "I only kissed her and then she..."
Sam grabbed the boy and pulled him around. "You KISSED her!"
Despite the gravity of the situation, Janet couldn't help a small smile at her lover's attitude. "Hey Sam, get the car keys quickly; I want to take her to the infirmary."
Many hours later, after numerous tests, all Janet knew was that Cassie's body was being attacked by a Retrovirus trying to replicate itself, that Sam was nowhere to be found, having been sent off-world again, and that her daughter was rejecting her.
Janet looked down on Cassie from an observation room, knowing instinctively when her partner arrived. Too tired to argue about Sam's disappearance, she just shared a smile of welcome. Sam came to stand behind Janet and, wrapping her arms around her tightly, rested her chin on the other woman's shoulder. "How is she?"
"Not good, Sam, she just can't fight the virus attacking her young body. Did you find anything to help?"
The hope in her voice was too much for Sam and tears pricked at her eyes. "We think it's something to do with Niirti, Jan. We found a lab back on Hanka; Daniel's trying to decipher some of her writings now. Hopefully, we can find a cure."
The two women allowed themselves a few quiet minutes to soak in the comfort and solace of each other. The kiss they shared reminding both women just how much they had meant to each other and how much they still did; their petty disagreements forgotten in their shared worry about Cassie.
Teal'c's head appearing around the doorway brought their togetherness to an end... literally.
While Sam was off-world again, searching for Niirti herself, Janet was called to a rapidly deteriorating Cassie. Despite all her love and expertise, there wasn't a damn thing the mother could do to stop the death of her child. Ultimately, there wasn't a damn thing Janet could do to stop her hating her lover for not being there as their daughter died in her arms.
Janet Fraiser would always love Samantha Carter but, like many bereaved parents before them, no amount of love could survive the death of their daughter.
Earth 3 - 2035
"Oh Sam, love, that's horrible. Why'd they do that? Separate like that and at a time when they needed each other the most?"
Sam glanced at her lover of over half a century and smiled. "I don't know. Do you remember that time when our Cassandra was really ill; I remembered this story of Sam's and was worried it was happening all over again. I can remember how we spent hours at the hospital just holding each other and all the time I was wondering if I should finally come clean about her history. But I didn't; I couldn't bear for you to share that worry with me. It was enough that you were just there."
"And that Sam wasn't there for her Janet. Maybe that was the big difference; that Sam just didn't have the guts to say no to her commanding officer."
"Hm, maybe; maybe Sam wanted to be the hero, wanted to save her daughter. I guess she blew it. All I know is there would have been nothing on Earth that would have kept me away from yours and Cassie's sides at that time."
Janet watched her daughter for a moment then turned to share a long kiss with her lover.
"My hero, huh? I've been so lucky."
Sam laughed out loud. "I'm not sure luck has much to do with it; I'm just too good."
"Modest with it, too," teased Janet.
"I can afford to be. Sam told me that all Samantha Carters were destined to be heroes and who am I to disagree with someone who travelled the universes..."
Earth 1 2010
Fingers twisting deep inside, playing in time to some hidden symphony, and the gentle tongue sweeping across her lower stomach, wetting already over-sensitised skin, was almost too much to bear. And yet, it was still not enough. A breath, blown achingly long over Janet's throbbing clit brought her crashing over the edge with a verbal intensity only the woman playing her could wring, "Jesus, fucking Christ... sweet Jesus..." Janet's voice stalled as she sat up to reach forward and caress the blonde hair resting on her inner thigh.
Samantha Carter grinned lazily and lifted her head to kiss the palm above her. "God, Jan, I love it when you do that."
Janet chuckled. "Yeah, me too." Lying back down, she allowed her heartbeat to settle back into a normal rhythm, just enjoying the tenderness of the aftermath shared with this woman. She turned her head sideways and saw the time; suddenly, her reverie was interrupted. "Sam, Sam, get up, love, you need to go."
Sam jumped up with a start. "Jeez, Janet, I told Joe I'd meet him for coffee; what can I tell him this time?"
The small woman watched Sam intently, trying hard to not let her real feelings show, but failing miserably with her voice. "You know something, Sam, I don't really care what you tell him. I'm getting tired of being your bit on the side, you know..." she sighed, "... tired of being the one you run to when there's bad news; tired of not having the strength to resist falling into bed with you, tired of being on my own while you play 'happily married' Doctor Carter." She looked up to find Sam had disappeared into the bathroom to straighten her hair. "Oh Sam, are you even listening to me? We can't keep doing this."
Sam reappeared, walked over to the bed, and bent over to kiss Janet soundly. "I *do* love you, Janet; please be at the 2010 Anniversary Ceremony tomorrow, I need you."
Janet watched Sam leave, knowing damn well, despite her previous words, which she was pretty sure Sam had heard but ignored, she would be at the ceremony and they would do this all over again. If there was one thing Janet Fraiser knew, it was that she could never turn down Samantha Carter, not now, not ever.
She remembered those thoughts much later as she stood by Sam's side in an Aschen lab. planning how to, in some way, destroy the very existence of this timeline. After the anniversary ceremony, Janet had convinced Sam that the Aschen had not only murdered General Hammond six years earlier, but now had a plan already in progress to take over the world completely within the next decade. It was her belief, and now Sam's, that they were systematically sterilising the human population so that very soon the continuance of the human race would be halted. Conversations with Daniel, Teal'c, and Jack had resulted in a plan to send a message back though time to an SG1 team in 2000.
Janet turned to Sam, "So, exactly how do we do this?"
"Well, we know that by dialling coordinates that are precisely on the opposite sides of the sun at the exact moment of a solar flare, it causes the wormhole to turn back towards Earth on itself and it creates a time distortion. I've been studying Aschen knowledge of solar dynamics for the Jupiter ignition project and there are significant changes just beneath the surface of the sun preceding a flare that are detectable by the satellite net. If we wait a few minutes..."
"Ask a silly question, huh?" muttered Janet as Sam looked at her with a bemused smile.
"Look right here. If my calculations are right, there should be a flare in about five seconds. Now all we need to do is wait for the computer to predict another flare." She looked again towards Janet. "Have you got your travel papers for Chulak?"
Sure enough, as Janet answered 'yes', another flare rose up and Sam jotted down the appropriate coordinates. "Give this to Teal'c; it's the coordinates he'll need to punch in the dial code for 2000."
The two women then acknowledged Jack and Daniel who had been keeping watch down the corridors. Sam smiled ruefully; "It's a go, guys." She hugged them both quickly and murmured, "Can you give us a few minutes?"
Taking Janet's hand, she whispered, "Jan, I need you to promise me something; I need you to stay on Chulak after you've spoken to Teal'c."
"I mean it, Janet; I need to know you're safe."
"Sam, if you pull this off, it won't matter where either of us are."
Sam sighed heavily, "Yeah, I know, it's just..." she pulled Janet into a bone-crushing hug, "... I'm sorry we were only ever lovers, sorry I was such an ass, you know, with Joe and all that."
"Shush, Sam, it doesn't..." Janet tried to butt in, but Sam was insistent that she needed to say her piece.
"No, I really am sorry, just don't forget me, and know, if we pull this off, I'll do right by you next time." The kiss she shared with the smaller woman left Janet in no doubt that Sam meant every word she said. All too soon, they pulled apart and Sam pushed Janet out of the door. "Now go, take that message to Teal'c and be safe."
Unable to keep her promise to Sam, Janet heard the gunfire as she returned from Chulak. Seeing Teal'c, injured grievously, still trying to dial home, she realised for one of the only times in her life she needed to intentionally set out to hurt another being. She grabbed for a fallen gun and defended Teal'c until he succeeded in his mission. With a nod from the great man, he fell at her feet as she continued to fire at will until an emotional pain ripping through her chest told her the moment Samantha Carter fell. Tears blurred her vision as real pain hit with a vengeance and she, too, fell by Teal'c side, still unsure their sacrifice had been Earth's salvation.
Earth 3 - 2035
"They all die in the end," Janet whispered through a heavy sigh.
Sam looked at Janet, "We *do* all die in the end, my love, even us."
"Yeah, I know, but in those worlds, they are so young. Were we... are we the only two that get to live a life together?"
"No, I don't think so, Sam did talk about a time when she had a situation with lots of Sams and..."
Earth 2 2006
Colonel Samantha Carter was trying to concentrate on the problem at hand fifteen SG1 teams stuck on Earth trying to get back to their own worlds. So far, she looked around the room, there were fourteen Sams available to help and another one on the way, maybe. Fourteen brilliant minds and yet... all she could think was that some of them were as gobsmacked as she. When Black teams Colonel Carter had said she'd just come back from her honeymoon, she was sure a couple of others had not dared dream it was with Dr. Fraiser. But there it was: Black team Carter was married to Janet Fraiser.
Samantha Carter was married to Janet Fraiser.
"And I'm thinking that the proximity of these realities in relation to each other may account for the absence of the, er, Entropic Cascade Failure. But, it still doesn't help us with the main problem: How do we reverse the process?"
Sam tuned out Dr. Lee's words while she pondered, for the umpteenth time, just why she had never dared voice her feelings before it was too late. Two years had passed and she still mourned Janet dearly. Glancing around the room again, she wondered how many of these women had lost a beloved, how many were with their own doctor, how many didn't have a Janet at all the possibilities were endless.
Suddenly, Landry's voice interrupted her thoughts. "I've brought another volunteer who's offered to help."
Sam spun around to come face to face with a Martouf wearing desert camos. She sighed; Martouf, another mistake that had stopped her opening her heart up to Janet.
Later, chatting with Martouf, she dared to ask a question she really didn't want to know the answer. "So... how are things in your universe? Between us, I mean?"
Martouf smiled brightly as he answered, "We worked together, even lived together for quite some time. But in the end, things didn't work out. You're with someone else now."
Just as he started to answer, Black team's Carter entered with a theory of how they could all be saved. And so, much, much later she finally managed to ask another question that had been plaguing her since Martouf had told her 'she' was with somebody else. A question driven more by the frisson of feeling she continued to have as Stargate Command worked tirelessly to get the errant SG1 teams home that made her feel she was missing something important, right here, right now. A question she knew he could answer. "Martouf, if you're on SG1, who from my world is missing? Who's here with you now?"
The twinkle in his eyes told her she just might be about to get the answer to all of her questions.
"Ah, Samantha, we are missing you and Colonel O'Neill; replaced by myself and Dr Frasier."
Stunned into silence, Sam could only sit and stare. Janet Fraiser was here on Earth, and she'd been stuck with a whole load of Samantha Carters, a Martouf, a truly Black SG1 team, and a mission to save the goddamn world once again. Daniel popping his head around the door to say it was time for Martouf's SG1 to leave was the final kicker no time to seek out Janet; could her life get any worse?
She rose slowly to follow Martouf and Daniel back to the Gateroom, just in time to see Janet striding towards her. Her heart skipped a beat at the sight and the longed for voice. "Have all the other teams left, Sir?"
Landry smiled; "You're the last ones to go."
At last, Janet turned towards Sam, and it was as if everyone else just disappeared; the smile they shared spoke volumes.
Even Martouf's awkward kiss on the cheek as he spoke couldn't break the spell. "It was nice working with you again, Sam, your presence has been sorely missed on our team."
"Just out of curiosity, where did I go?"
Sam watched the look of pleasure cross Janet's face as she shared a glance with her team before answering, "Maternity leave."
And with those two words, Janet finally stepped forward to share a bittersweet hug with Sam, which Sam returned with interest. Muzzling gently into Janet's hair, enjoying the much missed, but almost too familiar scent, she was awed when Janet whispered for her ears only, "It's mine, Sam, we're together; we're happy."
The small kiss to her ear made all her bad thoughts of earlier disappear into the ether. And, as she watched this Janet disappear with her world's gift of a cure for the Priors' plague, she realised that maybe life wasn't that bad after all.
Earth 3 - 2035
"At this point, I think she finally realised that somewhere out there life could be good for her and Janet. All she needed was to put her brilliant mind to it and the world, um, universe could be her oyster."
Janet chuckled. "Why Sam, I never knew you'd become such a romantic in your old age."
"How can I not be romantic about all these Janet Fraisers, huh? Sixteen teams that day and do you know what the count was?" She pulled out a worn photograph with the corners curling inwards, caressed the picture gently and then turned it over to read. "Four Sam/Janet couples, three Sam deaths, two Janet deaths, three Sam/other couples, three best friends, two unrequited loves... the variations were endless, I guess."
Janet looked at her soulmate and murmured, "Is that her? May I look?"
Sam handed over the photograph and watched as Janet ran her thumb over the face so like her own when they'd originally got together. She smiled to herself when she saw the moment Janet recognised a couple of other folk as well. "That's George, your old boss, and this..." she stroked the picture of Teal'c, "... if it wasn't for this funny gold tattoo, is my dearest, Christopher."
Christopher had been Janet's best friend through teacher training, and she'd been heartbroken when, only a few months after becoming Cassandra's Godfather, he'd been killed in a car accident. Handing the photograph back, she asked, "Do you recognise either of the other two men?"
"I don't think I do, no. Sam told me, in her world, they were called Jack and Daniel, but even that didn't ring any bells. We talked about that and decided that in different worlds, parallel universes if you will, the corresponding people took differing paths..., um, one Janet turns left when you turn right at that fork in the road. So, I chose mechanics while she chose astrophysics; you chose teaching while her Janet chose medicine, and so on."
"So, between the two of you, you worked out that out there..." she pointed upwards, "... there are how many different universes, and each one has a different version of Samantha Carter and Janet Fraiser?"
"Infinite universes, Janet, and an infinite number of us two, in infinite combinations and roles." Sam smiled thoughtfully and looked off into the sky as if considering her next words, "Another time, I remember Sam finally admitting she'd realised she didn't want to find her Janet Fraiser; she'd finally realised that her Janet Fraiser could never be replaced. What she needed and wanted was to find a woman who loved her for herself and whom she loved in return. A woman like I had."
Sam took hold of Janet's hand, bringing the palm to her lips, and kissing gently along the strong lifeline. "If that woman happened to be called Janet Fraiser, then so be it."
Earth 2 and Earth 10 2010
Sam looked up into the apprehensive face of a young sergeant. She knew she should remember his name but, lately, she'd lost interest in all things Stargate Command. She smiled as warmly as she could muster. "Yes, Sergeant?"
"A message just came in from Chulak. Teal'c would like you to visit."
This time the smile that graced Sam's face was much more genuine. At last, something she might actually enjoy, a visit with her dear friend, Teal'c.
And that was how Sam found herself sitting in the United States Air Force Academy Hospital on the tenth version of Earth she had ever visited, waiting for the arrival of Dr. Janet Fraiser. On arriving at Chulak, she'd been met by Teal'c and spent a few pleasant hours catching up before he told her the main reason for his contact. His team had found a Quantum Mirror locked on to a new version of Earth; an Earth broadcasting a loop message requesting help from the famous Major Carter.
Teal'c and Sam had stepped through the mirror to find a decimated Stargate Command. Investigations proved that, here, the Goa'uld had been defeated and the population saved by an agreement with Heimdall of the Asgard. Unfortunately, replicators had damaged much of the country before victory was assured. Internet research further proved that a new and developing America was being resurrected from the ashes.
It appeared Sam's presence had originally been sought to help develop a defence strategy to be played out in space. She was years too late at this point. Instead, a Dr. Meredith Rodney McKay had beaten her to the punch and all was apparently well. Sam was due to meet the astrophysicist tomorrow and was taking today to pursue her own goals.
Within minutes of finding numerous entries in the Stargate mission logs devoted to the development of a number of Naquada based cure-alls signed by one Dr. J. Fraiser, Sam had arranged an appointment to meet the important doctor.
Her heart skipped a beat as the door to the office opened. She stood and prepared herself to be reunited with a Janet Fraiser.
"Colonel Samantha Carter?" A deep voice brought her spinning around in shock to come face to face with a small, dark haired, dark eyed man holding his hand out in greeting. "I'm Doctor Jefferson Fraiser, I believe you wanted to see me."
Sam took the outstretched hand and nodded. Taking the seat she was offered, she chatted amicably with the doctor, amazed at how well they immediately connected. The more she looked at him, the more she thought she could see hints of Janet. She sighed in defeat. This was a new experience, ten Earths and thousands of other lands and always before J. Fraiser had been a woman, what were the odds on that one?
"Are you okay, Colonel Carter; that sounded like a weary sigh?" the doctor asked.
Sam's reply was somewhere near the truth, "I'm sorry, Jefferson, it's just I'm so, so tired recently. I think I'm getting ready for a vacation. Maybe I'll stay here on your lovely planet for a few months. Do you think that'd be possible?"
He laughed a delighted laugh. "You know something, I'm pretty sure it would be." His face turned a little sombre as he added, " Don't know whether you realised this, but our Samantha Carter, a Sergeant in the Marines, died in the first skirmishes with the Replicators, so there's nothing, nothing at all to stop you from staying here a while."
The news didn't have the impact she'd thought it would have, if anything she felt relief that maybe she could finally let go of the stress of fighting and just be for a while.
Dr. Fraiser smiled at her look of quiet contemplation. "Maybe you'd join me at the theatre tonight; my sister's performing the lead in a musical called Wicked. Have you heard of it?" At Sam's nod, he laughed again, "She tells me she's all painted green, but I'm told it's a brilliant show. Please join me, we can meet her for pre-show drinks; I'm sure she'd love to meet you."
Later that night, driving to the restaurant, Jefferson explained that his sister had lost her partner in a plane crash just over a year ago and that this was the first show she'd attempted since her loss. "She's just starting to get back on her feet, you know; it's been hard. Her partner was Jennifer Hailey, the astrophysicist that helped Rodney McKay in his work. That's how I got involved in the Stargate programme; the dutiful brother-in-law who'd do anything for his sister's lover."
Sam just listened, pondering the whole scenario; if it wasn't that she'd done so much unbelievable stuff in her own lifetime, she'd think this story was just implausible. Lost in thoughts, she realised she'd missed the doctor's last few words.
"What... what did you just say?" Sam muttered as she saw they'd pulled next to the kerb.
Jefferson pointed to a small beautiful woman waiting expectantly in the doorway to a restaurant. "There she is, my twin sister, the famous actress and singer, Janet Fraiser."
Earth 3 - 2045
"I only saw her once more after that."
Stargate SG-1 Fiction
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