DISCLAIMER: The story, and characters and anything and everything else concerning SG: SG1 belong to MGM, Gekko, Secret Productions etc, they are so not mine and no money is being made from this and no copyright infringement is intended.
SPOILER: Any episode up to and including Absolute Power
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
WARNING: IMPLIED RAPE, character deaths.
Janet curled up on the bed, sobbing quietly. The room was quiet, dark. She was alone. But she knew he would be somewhere in the house, watching her. It was what he did, now. Now she was his, his angel, his trophy.
A year ago everything had been so different. Everything had been right. Then Shifu came and the lesson began. But Janet hadn't really understood that she was part of the lesson for months. Her job at the SGC continued as normal. Teams still went through the Gate on an almost daily basis although their brief was now to bring back naquada by fair means or foul rather than exploration and contact with other races. It didn't mean that they got into any less trouble. Sam was seemingly busy with all the new technology that derived from Daniel's Shifu-inspired visions. It had taken Janet several weeks to realise that instead of being in tech-heaven with all the new developments, Sam was profoundly unhappy with the way things were going.
"We shouldn't have shut out the Tokra," she said. "They could help us with this. I mean, we only have Shifu's word what these satellite weapons are really capable of. I don't think Daniel understands it all yet. And after all Shifu is the son of Apophis, our greatest enemy..."
Sam was sitting on the couch in Janet's office whilst Janet dressed her hand - a lab accident with a welding torch. Luckily the burns weren't too serious though they could have been an awful lot worse. Janet considered asking Sam to take a little time off to unwind a little; there was a brittleness about her that Janet did not like and they had not spent any quality time together for weeks - a few snatched hours here and there.
"... and he keeps sending Teal'c out on all these secret missions for him. Janet, I'm really worried about him. He never just sits and talks any more. We could spend hours talking, you know. He was like a brother to me, closer to me than Mark my real brother. And now when he actually acknowledges that I'm there, it's as if he doesn't see me, as if he doesn't even remember that I'm his friend. He certainly doesn't trust me."
"I know what you mean," Janet said softly. "He's been weird around me as well. Sometimes I find him just standing, watching me. When I look up, he doesn't say anything. He just turns and leaves."
"The Colonel and Daniel are barely speaking these days. There's a coldness about Daniel that scares me. And he keeps sending Teal'c out on mission after mission. I think this has changed him more than he'd like to admit. It's hard to believe that only a few months ago we were SG1 - scourge of the Goa'uld. We were a team, Janet. We were invincible..." she bowed her head, blinking back the tears. Janet knelt at her feet, looking up at the shadowed face.
"It's okay, Sam. It's only right that you miss it, it was a very important part of your life. But if this new technology gives Earth protection from the Goa'uld, well then this temporary difficulty will all be worthwhile, won't it? Daniel must be under incredible stress with all this new information sweeping through his mind. Cut him a little slack, please Sam. And cut yourself some slack whilst you're at it. I want you home this evening for a decent meal and a good night's sleep. Understood?"
"Understood," Sam said, accepting the mild reprimand with the self-deprecating grin that always made Janet weak at the knees.
"Now you can kiss me," Janet said.
"Now I can kiss you?" Sam grinned. "Oh I want to do a lot more than kiss you, doctor. I want " and leaning forward she had whispered in Janet's ear in lurid and frank detail exactly what Major Doctor Sam Carter would like to do to Major Doctor Janet Fraiser if they both weren't on duty at that moment.
Janet swallowed audibly. "What time can you get home?" her voice squeaked. There was nothing self-deprecating about the grin this time.
That had been one of the good times, one of the last good times. Daniel's demands on Sam's time grew more insistent and their arguments about how the project was being handled more savage. Sam did not like how compartmentalized the whole operation had become. Only Daniel seemed to have the full picture. Even though Sam was one of the project leaders she realised that she was completely in the dark about a lot of the other elements of the project. Her natural curiosity and agile mind reacted badly to being kept in the dark. Then Teal'c was killed. Twenty four hours later Jack O'Neill handed in his resignation and left the Mountain.
Daniel called everyone together in the Gateroom and gave a rousing speech about the great sacrifice Teal'c had made on their behalf and how they owed it to his memory to make the Earthnet project a reality. Sam had wanted to be sick. Teal'c had died in an alley way on a backwoods planet trying to make a deal on a consignment of weapons grade naquada that had been diverted from Ba'al. Somehow he was recognized. He had been stabbed at least ten times and his primta ripped out of him. O'Neill had found his body and brought him home. His body was escorted to the Land of Light for burial. It was O'Neill's last duty.
Over the weeks that followed the incident Sam became convinced that Teal'c had been set up. Daniel had been acting strangely around him since this whole thing started, as if he no longer entirely trusted him. She began to use her computer skills, hacking classified files, copying data. Within a couple of weeks she had a broader overview of the project than anyone bar Daniel himself. And something about it had scared her to death.
Janet had found her curled up in their bed, shivering, tears streaming down her face. Janet had had run towards her, climbing onto the bed and taking her into her arms. For an hour or more Janet had just sat and gently rocked her lover as she sobbed silently. Janet had no idea what had scared Sam so badly. She flatly refused to talk about it insisting that it was for the best, that she had to 'protect' Janet and Cassie.
Sam never returned to the SGC or the EarthNet project. A letter was hand delivered to their home the next morning informing Major Samantha Carter that she was relieved of duty with immediate effect pending an official enquiry into her conduct.
Later that same day Janet received the first rose and accompanying note 'from an admirer'. She did not show them to Sam, not wanting to upset her further.
Sam withdrew further and further into herself. Her computer and files had been confiscated; anything even remotely to do with EarthNet removed from her possession. After a hurriedly convened board of enquiry Sam was discharged from the Air Force on health grounds. According to the tribunal she was mentally unstable, paranoid and delusional. They recommended appropriate medication and psychiatric help and above all a long rest well away from anything to do with the project.
The roses and anonymous notes kept coming, not every day but once or twice a week. Janet found the letters disturbing. Whoever was writing them knew a great deal about her, her life, her past, her relationships. Somehow he and Janet knew instinctively that it was a he - knew that her relationship with Sam was not at its greatest at the moment. Sam was falling into her old obsessive behaviour patterns intent this time not on bringing one of her team mates home but on bringing EarthNet - and Daniel Jackson - down.
And today Sam had dressed with unusual care, got into her car and driven away, determined to confront Daniel about his motives regarding the EarthNet project. She had evidence. Janet had seen the light of the fanatic in her lover's ever-expressive blue eyes and it scared the hell out of her. For the first time she began to believe that the trumped up charges of mental instability against her lover might be coming true.
A few hours after Sam left another rose was delivered. The note promised that soon they would be together, that there were no longer any obstacles in their path. Realisation brought her to her knees. Janet knew who her admirer was now. The very real possibility that Sam might not be coming home broke her heart.
She ignored the knock on the door for a good five minutes. Someone passed in front of the window as if checking whether anyone was home. Then there was a thud and a cracking noise and her front door was forced open.
"Dr Fraiser. You need to come with us, please." A man and a woman, dressed in charcoal grey suits. They looked efficient. They would not take no for an answer.
They allowed her time to shower and change. Then they walked her out to the car where a second man was waiting. The man got into the front passenger seat, the woman into the back of the car beside her. The doors locked. They drove away.
Janet recognized the house although she'd never been there. It belonged to Daniel Jackson, presented to him as part of his 'personal requirements' for heading up the project. It was set back from the road in a heavily guarded compound. Janet looked for any sign that Sam had been there, but there was nothing.
There was an air of expectation about the place. No one bothered to speak to her. She was taken down several levels and shown into a room. It was nicely furnished; in fact it looked very like Daniel's old flat. The door was locked behind her.
An hour or so later the door opened and a woman came in with a tray with a cafetiere of coffee and a plate of sandwiches on it. There was a guard with her who stood in the doorway, his hand on what looked very like a zat gun. He did not take his eyes off Janet. The woman put the tray on a side table and left. The guard closed the door again. In the silence Janet distinctly heard the lock click.
She drank the coffee but did not bother with the sandwiches. Another hour passed. It was very quiet. Then suddenly there was some sort of commotion she thought she heard a siren ringing somewhere. The door opened and the guard came in again. He stood in front of the door, his hand to his ear where he was obviously receiving instructions over a headset. After about twenty minutes some sort of all-clear was obviously given and he left the room again.
The door opened again. Janet realised that she must have fallen asleep. Daniel walked in as she levered herself off the couch.
"Sorry to have kept you waiting, Janet, but it's been one of those days," he said, smiling down at her and looking almost his old self.
"Why am I here, Daniel? Is it about Sam?"
He frowned. "Why does everything have to be about Sam all of a sudden? You're an old friend, Janet, a very dear friend. Can't I just catch up with you without bringing Sam into the conversation?"
"Sam is an important part of my life, Daniel. You know that. It's going to be very difficult to 'catch up' as you say if you don't want me to talk about Sam. She came here today, didn't she?"
"Okay. I can see you're going to be difficult as well. I don't see why it's so hard for you all to accept that things are different now. I'm different. There's something you need to see," Daniel said, coming to sit on the couch. He took what looked like a remote from his pocket and pointed it at the wall. A large high definition flat tv screen lowered into place.
"Sit down, Janet. Please."
Janet sat on the couch, keeping as much space between them as she could manage.
"You know already that Sam came to see me today. She made accusations against me, threats to destroy me, the alliance that we have put together. It was heartbreaking to see how mentally unstable she has become. As a doctor, Janet, I'm surprised you didn't see it yourself, didn't do something sooner about getting her the medical help she so obviously needs. You weren't always so hesitant about committing someone to mental health." This was a barb she had expected, a reference to when she had agreed with Dr MacKenzie's diagnosis that Daniel was suffering from schizophrenia possibly a side effect of gate travel when he had been infected with one of Machello's Goa'uld killers.
"What happened?" Janet asked. "What did you do to her? Let me see her, please, Daniel. Please."
"All in good time," Daniel said. He pointed the remote at the screen again. She could see what looked like a dining room. Shifu was sitting stolidly eating his way through a bowl of brightly coloured cereal. Daniel was reading through a sheaf of reports. Then the door opened and Sam burst in, followed by the woman Janet had seen earlier and several security guards.
"You can't seriously think you're gonna get away with this!" Sam burst out.
"I relieved you of your responsibilities because you were starting to crack under the pressure. You seem to have lost all perpective. Quite frankly I think your jealousy finally got the better of you." The scene froze.
"My security people didn't think she should be running around at such a critical time in the project. We took her into preventative custody. No one laid a finger on her, Janet, I promise you. Then Jack O'Neill turned up, demanding to see Sam. We allowed the visit. Did you know that they were conspiring together?" The screen clicked on. She could see a view obviously from a security camera. Sam was in a cell, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, her hair disordered, her face drawn. She looked ill, jumpy, pacing up and down in front of the bars then sitting on the narrow bench, hugging herself, rocking. She jumped to her feet again as O'Neill was shown into the holding area.
"I'm trying to do what's right!"
"No one will take your calls, Carter because they think you're nuts!"
"I just have my opinion. That used to be worth something to you." Watching, Janet could see that that statement got to O'Neill.
"Sir, you have to try. Somebody has to stop him before its too late."
Daniel had moved closer to her as she watched the surveillance footage. Too close. She was entirely aware of his presence beside her. Too aware. She realised that she was truly afraid of him.
"You see, we had no choice. We had clear proof of conspiracy, of a threat against me, against the project. All that time posing as Earth's saviours and then we finally have something that will be a real deterrent against the Goa'uld, when I finally have something, they turn against me. They never respected me, never."
The screen froze on Sam's face, the desperate sadness in her eyes.
Janet realised that he was talking to her. "You were the first thing I saw when I woke up after Shifu gifted me, you know. Your beautiful face. You looked like an angel, Janet. My angel. I knew then..."
His angel. A line from one of the notes came back to her. She stood up, turned to face him. "It was you. The flowers... the notes. I just realised - they only came when Sam wasn't at home. You've been keeping us under surveillance."
"The Pentagon has been keeping Major Carter under surveillance at my request for several months. I receive regular reports on her movements. I was worried about her potential to commit sabotage to the project. However as of an hour ago that is no longer a concern. The satellites have launched, my control over their usage assured."
"Oh my god, Sam was right, wasn't she - what did you do?"
"The Russians objected to the satellite launch. They were going to disrupt the network. The President wanted to negotiate. I thought more in the line of a short, sharp shock." He pressed a button. The surveillance footage of Sam switched to a view from space. The satellites grouping, a beam of light brighter than the sun striking the ground.
"Moscow," he explained. "I have made my position clear. I must retain control of the system as I am the only one capable of making a rational, dispassionate decision as to its use."
"Millions of people..." Janet whispered. She realised she was shaking and sat down again. "Millions of people, dead."
"Millions dead so that billions can live in security for the rest of their lives," Daniel said. "A million lives, one life. In the face of the bigger picture it does not matter."
"The Daniel I knew would never have said that," Janet said decisively. "What the hell did Shifu do to you?"
"Gave me clarity," Daniel said. "Essentially I am the same man, Janet, with the same drives, the same needs." His hands were on her shoulders, his touch gentle. Janet felt her flesh creep. She was unable to suppress a shudder. This man had been stalking her for months. He had her lover, her life partner in a prison cell - if she was still alive at all. A million lives, one life. Sam's life.
"What did you do to Sam?" she asked.
"Ah, we're back to our poor, deluded Samantha. She is safe, receiving treatment for her condition." He activated the security footage again. They were back with Sam and O'Neill. "I always wondered at the hold she had over him, you know. Do you think he was truly in love with her? I mean, she persuaded him to try to assassinate me. And I always thought I was one of his best friends. Just shows how wrong you can be about people."
The footage changed. Sam was alone in the cell, sitting on the floor in the corner, shaking, her face slack. She had obviously been heavily medicated, probably with something like Thorazine. She raised her head as the door to the holding area opened and Daniel came in followed by two heavyset men in white tunics wheeling a gurney. On the gurney was a closed body bag.
"You need to see this, Sam," Daniel said. "You need to see the consequence of your madness. Did you really think I was so unprotected?" He unzipped the body bag to reveal Jack O'Neill's body. His grey hair was dark with blood from the wound to the side of his head, there was more blood on his shirt.
"He attempted to assassinate me at your instigation," Daniel said. "You are sick, Sam, and your sickness, your delusion, is an infection that cannot be allowed to spread." Sam had managed to pull herself to her feet, her hands gripping the bars of the cell so hard that her knuckles were white. Tears ran down her cheeks as she looked at the body of her former CO. "You killed him, Sam."
"No, you killed him, you bastard!" she whispered, managing a flash of defiance before the shakes took her again.
"No, you killed him, just as surely as if you had pulled the trigger yourself, Sam." He zipped up the body bag again. The gurney was wheeled out and another, unoccupied one, wheeled in. Daniel pressed a control panel and the door to the cell slid open. Sam's reactions were slowed by the drugs. She could not resist as Daniel prised her hands from the bars and lifted her into his arms, laying her on the gurney. Her wrists and ankles were strapped down, her forearm bared and one of the men set up an IV, a colourless fluid dripping into her veins.
"Before you were forced to resign, I used to fantasise about you, Sam. You would be arguing with me and I would hit you, force you to your knees. And I would have one of those Goa'uld pain sticks and I would hold it to the back of your neck. And your screams could be heard all over the SGC. You always thought you were superior to me, Sam. You were the scientific genius, the wunderkind who figured out the Stargate. You thought Shifu should have chosen you as the repository of his knowledge, not me, not Danny, not your little brother."
Sam made a choking noise, as she attempted to speak, her eyes intent on Daniel's face as it was poised only a few inches above hers.
"Don't worry, Sam. We'll take good care of you from now on," Daniel said, stroking her cheek. "You were like a sister to me, remember. Family. Family is important when you have so little. You make your own. As you did. As I will. Don't worry, I'll take good care of her." Sam's eyes were open but unfocussed as the drug held her. The camera seemed to go into a close focus on her face, then the recording ended.
"What did you do to her?" Janet asked. Jack was dead, Sam helpless. She was alone with a madman who just happened to have the capacity to destroy the world.
"I took away her pain, her confusion," Daniel said. "I just wish that I could give her the same clarity that Shifu gave to me. But I have nothing to do with Sam's future. That depends on you, Janet my love. Now, there is something else you need to see." Another surveillance camera, this time on a room much like the one in which she sat. It was Cassie. She was curled up on the bed, asleep.
"Cassie! If you've done anything to her I'll..." She fell silent as he smiled. It was his old smile, the old Daniel.
"I would never hurt Cassie, Janet. You must know that. She's like a daughter to me. She will be a daughter to us. Here, I can protect her, protect you. But out there in the world..."
This brave new world, Janet thought dizzily. "What do you want, Daniel? What do you want me to do?"
"Make a choice, Janet, my love. A very simple choice. The past or the future. Sam or me. I will keep Sam locked up, drugged for the rest of her life. That brilliant mind reduced to mush. And you forced to care for her every day of that existence. And I will make sure that you never see Cassie again. Or you can end it for Sam tonight, painlessly. Spare her that meaningless, helpless existence. And then you and Cassie and I can build a new life together. One life, a million lives." He smiled, reached out to touch her hair. "It will all be for the best, Janet, you will see that. I want you so much, but I need you to be free of her. She was bad for you, Janet, she held you back."
"Held me back! She was my life, Daniel. She is my life." The screen showed Sam again, still lying on the gurney, moving slightly, her eyes opening and closing. Now it was splitscreen, Sam on one side, Cassie on the other.
"Choose, Janet." His hands were touching her again, lifting her hair, running over her shoulders. She knew she was crying, she knew there was no hope.
"I want to see Sam, to touch her, to say goodbye," she whispered.
"We can do that," Daniel said softly. She did not see what he did but the door opened and two guards stood ready to escort them down to where Sam was being held.
It was as she had seen it on the screen except for the covered tray that now stood beside the gurney. She ignored it for the moment, crossing to Sam's body, running her fingers through her bright hair trying to get Sam to focus.
"What drug did you give her?" she asked.
"Oh, it's very new," Daniel said. "Not licensed yet, actually. Still needs a little tweaking. It is a very effective neurosuppressant, possibly a little too effective. No one will be contaminated by Sam's thoughts again because she will never have another thought." He giggled. "Oh, it's quite toxic after a while, especially on the dosage she's on. Even if we take her off it right now, she'll be a child in many ways, an infant. It's a pity Jack's dead. He would finally have been smarter than she is."
Janet wanted to hit him, but Sam's fingers had just tightened on hers. She was fighting, fighting to focus on her. "J'net" she whispered.
"I'm here, baby, I'm here," she soothed, staring down into the frightened blue eyes with as much compassion and love in her heart as she could muster.
"Hurts leave you fight fight him for me Jack Teal'c promise " she shuddered.
"I promise. I will always love you, Sam. Always. And I will be with you very soon and no one will ever part us, I promise." She stroked Sam's cold cheek, brushing away her tears, bent and kissed her on her lips, kissed her eyelids closed. "Go to sleep now, baby. There'll be no more pain, I promise."
He was standing just outside Sam's line of sight, by the tray that was now uncovered. "It will be quick, I promise," he whispered. "She won't suffer. We were close once. I honour that."
She picked up the injector, pressed it to Sam's forearm. "Forgive me. I love you," she whispered. Sam's arm jerked as the high pressure dose dissipated into her system.
Her eyes flew open "J'net!"
"It's okay, don't fight it, please don't fight it, Sam. Just close your eyes and go to sleep. Please, Sam, close your eyes and go to sleep. For me." She kissed Sam again, pressed her lips to Sam's soft lips, knowing that if she captured Sam's last breath she would have something of her forever. And with Sam's death, something within her would die as well. They would go on together, in life and in death, whatever Daniel wanted to happen.
She felt the heart beneath her still, the flesh imperceptibly cool. On this at least Daniel had kept his word. It had been quick and it had been painless.
"It's over," Daniel said. He tried to pull her away from Sam's side. She resisted for a moment but then allowed herself to be almost carried from the room.
He took her to his rooms deep in the complex, waving aside his aides who wanted to give him the latest data on world reaction to his destruction of Moscow. "Later. Later!"
She had no idea what he was expecting from her if anything as he took her. She lay under him and stared at the ceiling of the room as he spent himself inside her then rolled aside. "It will get better, I promise. Tomorrow we'll talk, you and me and Cassie and make some plans. There are some things I need to sort out now. Honestly, I save the world for them and all they can do is bitch about the details." She just rolled onto her side and ignored him.
Shifu came out of the shadows and stood at the foot of the bed.
"You shouldn't be here," she whispered. "He'll be watching. And I don't want to see you either. This is all your fault. Why did you have to do it?"
"Everything will be well," Shifu said. "The lesson is done. All will be as it was." He began to glow.
Janet Fraiser looked down on the young archeologist as he regained consciousness in her infirmary. "He's awake," she called.
She looks like an angel, Daniel thought a little muzzily. He hadn't a clue why he was here again. Another figure came to stand by the bed, tall, blonde. Even without his glasses he could see their hands touch briefly and almost feel the love that bonded the two women together. Yep, an angel, but Sam's angel. He closed his eyes for a moment, surrendering himself to his headache. And he wouldn't have it any other way.
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