DISCLAIMER: I only borrowed them for a while. MGM and whoever can
have them back whenever they want.
SPOILERS: Missing Scene for: Season 6: REDEMPTION. Brief mentions of episodes up to that point.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author
More Adventures with Electricity
Sam opened her eyes. The infirmary ceiling. Again. She had named every one of the different cracks and stains over the years, as familiar to her as the moon's geography. She lay still, mentally inventorying her status. She remembered MacKay's device malfunctioning, electricity arcing through their equipment, General Hammond ordering her to close the IRIS. And as her hand pressed against the palm pad, the light show began and she was sent flying backwards.
"Good, you're awake," Janet's voice seemed to come from a million miles away. "How do you feel?"
"Slightly roasted," Sam said. "Thirsty How bad this time?"
"Your hand again. Same place as when the Entity got you. You might need a skin graft this time, but we'll see how it heals on its own for a few days," Janet said, her voice and manner business like. But her eyes said everything.
"At least there's just me in here, this time," Sam said.
"How is the head?" Janet did not want to acknowledge the mordant joke. Sam had nearly died when the Entity took control of her. Janet had been seconds away from switching off her life support when they realised what had happened. It wasn't something she ever wanted to remember or relive.
"Fuzzed, but it's getting better by the minute. How long was I out?"
"About an hour. MacKay and the General are waiting to hear how you are."
"MacKay. His damn machine didn't work!" Sam struggled to sit up trying not to show Janet how much the room was whirling. "They're going to need my help up in the control room."
"Hey hey wait up a minute," Janet said, pushing her back down again. "You're going nowhere for a little while longer. For starters I need to properly dress your hand. And I'm still waiting for some test results. I don't think you did any damage to your heart but I want you monitored for a while longer to make sure. Siler and MacKay can handle things up there a while longer."
"But " Sam caught the full effect of one of Janet's patented "I'm the doctor and if you don't stop arguing with me I'll sedate you," looks and subsided. "Okay okay "
"Okay," Janet grinned at her captive audience. "Now, I want to leave your hand in the gel for a little while longer and then I'll dress it for you. That thick skull of yours came through again and you don't appear to have concussion. I'll give you something for the headache and to help you get a little rest. I suggest you try and get some sleep while you can."
There isn't time, Sam wanted to tell her. We have hours left and I can't spend them in sleep. They're depending on me. They're all looking at me to get us out of this. And I don't know if I can do it. I just don't know if I can pull it out of the hat this time.
Janet injected something into her IV and then stood beside her again, carefully positioning herself so that the security camera's could not see her face.
"You scared me this time, Sam, you really did," she said quietly. "I know that things are going to get worse for everyone very soon but for a few minutes there I thought I thought you'd gone on ahead "
"Never leave you behind, Janet," Sam whispered. The sedative was starting to take effect, she could feel her eyes closing of their own accord. "Too much left to tell you no time love." Her thoughts turned to mush as sleep took her away.
She had slept for four hours and felt all the better for it. Her mind had cleared and she actually had one or two ideas of how to proceed. Accidentally dropping MacKay down a lift shaft seemed one way to go at the moment.
As promised, Janet was dressing and bandaging her burnt hand. As ever, she seemed to guess the direction of Sam's thoughts.
"He's waiting outside you know. Has been for the last half hour."
"Who MacKay? He's the last person I want to see right now. Honestly, Janet I "
"All done," Janet smiled brightly. "I'll go tell him you're ready for visitors, shall I?"
"Janet, no please, if you love me at all, don't do this!" Sam hissed at her retreating back. She would have done some retreating of her own but she was entirely too aware that all she was wearing was a hospital gown that did not cover nearly as much of her as she would like. Especially with MacKay walking towards her. A full bourkah would be not sufficient coverage for dealing with a sleeze like MacKay.
"Oh man, and I was just starting to feel better."
"You going to be okay?"
"At least until the Gate explodes, yeah."
MacKay looked discomforted at the reminder of his continued failure. Their continued failure. "Look, I, er I never meant for anyone to get hurt. Much less you."
"It's okay," Sam said. "We had to try something."
There was a long pause. "I always wanted to be a pianist," he said suddenly.
Something about that had to have got lost in translation. "Excuse me?" Sam frowned.
"Concert pianist. A guy who plays the piano in front of lots of people."
Sam just managed to bite back her laughter. "Right." That image was almost as sad as the first one that had come to mind.
"What did you think I said?" MacKay looked genuinely alarmed.
"Never mind " She managed to smother another giggle. It was at times like this that she almost almost liked him. Then she realised that he was about to launch into some personal history.
"I had a not so comfortable childhood. My parents hated each other and blamed me. Music was my salvation. It had this perfect order for me."
Carter knew that her expression was set in a fixed smile. It was the only way to deal with this. "That's nice. Really." Janet was going to pay big time for this.
"When I was twelve my teacher told me to quit. A fine clinical player he said, but no sense of the art whatsoever."
Okay. Enough was enough. Next he would be telling her how his cat had died or his puppy was sick. "Why are you telling me this?"
"I'm just trying to bond."
It was worse than she thought. "Why?"
He paused, grinned. "Hospital gowns turn me on."
That was it. She was going to deck him so hard that the world exploding would be light relief.
"I turned to science because I thought it would be different than music, but it isn't its just the same, its just as much of an art as anything else."
Now she had hurt his feelings. "Look, it's not your fault that the EM Pulse didn't work."
"You're an artist, Major. Maybe the best I've ever seen. I'm just critical because I'm jealous."
"I'm touched, really," Carter said, wishing she had a clue where the hell she stood with this guy. "I wish I had a brilliant plan to draw for you."
"And you're funny too, even when you're electrocuted. Me, I got I got nothing."
That was it. "You're creeping me out, MacKay."
"It's just self preservation you see. I'm starting to realise that I'm not going to solve this and that one of your typically insane ideas is probably gonna be our best chance?"
There was one question she hadn't asked yet. "How much time do we have till detonation?"
"You were right. We cut it almost in half."
A day give or take. "Twenty five hours?"
He was looking at her again, that expression somewhere adoration and hunger. "What now?"
She was going to have to deal with this the only way she knew how. "Well first I thought I'd get dressed."
Hunger won out. He grinned. "Right."
"Right do you want me to hold anything?" He might be socially inadequate with no people skills whatsoever but he was reading her expression 100% accurately. "I'll just "
He left. Quickly. Janet appeared, an air of studied nonchalance. "What's this about you leaving?"
Absurdly a line from Flash Gordon came into her mind. "Flash, I love you but we only have 24 hours to save the earth." Oh god, she was losing it big time.
"What we did cut our time in half. I have to "
"I know." Janet took hold of her injured hand, carefully holding it in her own ostensibly to inspect the dressing. "Just don't push yourself too hard, okay. And if you start to feel dizzy or breathless, stop. And "
"It's okay. No more adventures with electricity, I promise," Sam said softly. "Thank you for taking care of me. Again. But I will get you back for MacKay."
"Just make sure you do." Soft fingers coolly traced a heart on her forearm, dark eyes promised much, Sam saw no fear there just love and trust. Janet knew that Sam would do whatever it took to pull them out of this.
And that faith gave Sam new heart.
When they were in sync it was scary. He seemed to second guess what she needed, his fingers flying over the keyboard before the thought was out of her mouth. And it was done, the gate jettisoned. Earth was safe. And alone in the Universe once more.
She was on her way from the echoing cavern that was the Gateroom without the Gate to share a stolen moment with Janet when she heard that MacKay was leaving. Just slightly ahead of the rest of them it seemed. She tried not to think of rats and sinking ships. The ship wasn't sunk, just misplaced. There was no Stargate Project any more. Unless and until their allies managed to destroy Anubis's weapon. Sam intercepted him on his way to the elevators.
"So that's it. You're just giving up, closing up the shop."
"Well at least until we find a way to defend ourselves against this thing, yes."
"Shouldn't take you long." He smiled, shuffled his feet nervously.
"Yeah, right " she remembered his earlier attitude. "I thought you'd be happy."
"I never said we shouldn't use the Stargate " He'd just called it a Pandora's box, called her scientific capability even her mental state into question once or twice. Hell, he'd even called her a dumb blonde. Come to think of it, how come he was still walking? "Well, let me know if I can help." He reached out to shake her hand.
"I will. Thanks." The devil on her shoulder made her do it, just to see him squirm. Sam kissed him on the cheek.
She swore he almost levitated. "That means you don't hate me."
"Maybe " she grinned, giving him the benefit of the full wattage. "Too bad for you."
He had no idea. "Why?"
"I was more attracted to you when I did." She turned and walked away.
There was lunatic fringe and there was lunatic fringe. And then there was MacKay.
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