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, absolutely none what so ever. This is just a fanfiction using the characters that were created by some wonderfully imaginative people, brought to life by some wonderfully talented actors purely for entertainment. Oh yeah another note this story depicts a relationship of a loving and sexual nature between two consenting adult women.
AUTHORS NOTES: An answer to Shaterpath and Storywriter's challenge, also somewhat of a sequel to "You can fix this right?"
PAIRING: Sam / Janet

This is a Fine Mess:
a caustic yarn

By Elizabeth Carter

The road wound its way through thickening woodlands, the trees as gnarled fingers stretched and twisted, as the bony fingers of a decrepit old woman reaching out to steal the very breath of the living. The hike thru witches-wood past the hangman's tree, was of dark foreboding, a place of twilight, a place it was rumored by the locals to be occupied by half beings. A twilight world of spirits, of ghosts, of ghouls, and banshees, and appreciations of the netherworld, of darkness and cold. A horrifying timewarp of disembodied souls lost forever in purgatory. A place of stark and strange happenings. The ground clotted with white blue mist that rose in the air, swirling about the trunks of trees as if to snuff the tenuous life they held.

The teammates of SG1 encroached with hesitant care, their boots grinding–popping against the gravel road, their flashlights reflecting off the fog, in flickering shadows... they were shadows weren't they? The wind is unmerciful in its galling forcefulness, nearly whisking the four from their feet. Somewhere in the distance a church bell tolls, hollow and lonely, haunting carrying the foreboding of the darkness.

A derelict hill loomed over them. A strange and barren hill, a place where birds won't sing and animals won't go, horses shy and dogs run with hackles raised in fright. Nothing much grows there any more. It is a dank and desolate place, where nobody stays for long. This was a place on the edge of darkness. Here people whistled bravely to themselves or try to despite a sudden dryness of the mouth, a quickening of the heartbeat. If the hairs on the back of their necks rose they would be intelligent enough to not to look back.

Before the four members of SG1 and the old derelict church stood the old wooden covered bridge. When they would start to move, thunder crackled above, in that gloomy black sky, though not a cloud was cast above. In a flash lighting flickered in white-blue fingers against the inky firmament and the full moon pregnant with silver light. It was a warning perhaps, not to cross that bridge. But nothing would stay SG1's curiosity. They approached with intrepid purposes.

When thru the centuries past the path became overgrown with choking foliage, they would need to walk with deliberate care, but there was truly nothing to worry about. A foot upon that first wooden plank and the bridge moaned, groaning with the weight. A groan with the second step and dust fell from the floorboards to the watery darkness below...perhaps there was something to worry about after all.

But everyone knows that manifestations of the spirit world are but figments of the imagination. Everyone knows that. Don't they?

The wind was unforgiving, with its galling force, whipping canvas BDUs around lean frames in chilling bites of its tantrums. Its sound a wailing dirge of sorrow and lamentation. Its sudden appearance like the lighting and thunder above was uncanny and spectral. The smell of rain was thick in the air, the stink of ozone as the lighting tore through the firmament. The wind as a bean sidhe's cry

Some people don't believe in ghosts, but in certain places and at certain times the unbelievable does happen. No terror is greater than that forged by an imagination that has had its reign. Gone unchecked in the inky blackness of a storm filled night, with the wind howling; the drumming of cattails against an old wooden stump can cause the blood to burn madly in frantic rushes from the heart. And the darkness pulls in everything, shapes and shadows... light and sound... the beating hearts... the darkness gives the mind twilight apparitions and visions from the beyond. And it gives off a powerful smell of night. Damp and miserable cold. Fantasy all. And the bell tolls from that ancient church, the hour of the night, in thick brass notes. Midnight. The witching hour.

A frown…the hour was... a glance to a watch... midnight... it was far gone past ...yet that primordial realm of twilight... the walls between the world exist not... time has no relevance... No--- no that can not be it ...there was a rational explanation.... the timer on the clock tower was off by two hours... it was not midnight ---- but two of the clock.... wasn't it....

"Sir, I think we should evacuate this area immediately." Sam looked apprehensively at the ruins of the church near the murky riverfront. Her cerulean eyes glued to the altar in the center of the ruins of the church and the crystal formations formed upon it.

"Oh for crying out loud Carter, why are you so skittish?"

"Sir, call it intuition if you want, but I have a very bad feeling about those ruins. I don't think we should tamper with it." She gave a dubious look to the sinister area that had so recently been the harbinger of her nightmare of becoming a six-year-old child. Again.

"Sam, these ruins have been here for a long time, if there was any danger I think its safe to say its long gone." Daniel said as he began to sketch the pictograms.

"I wouldn't be so confident in that." Sam murmured under her breath. "I had...a premonition…of sorts. Sir, I don't think we should go anywhere near it."

"When the hell did you become so eccentric Carter? You are acting like a raw cadet." Jack grumbled. "I thought you had a pair. This whole place has you spooked."

Sam bit down on any comment she wanted to spew out in answer to the Colonel's remark. "Sir, its just that I don't think we are alone." Blue eyes frantically searched the perimeter for any sign of a guy looking like a gondolier. Jack O'Neill was always hardheaded when it came to her advice. This time was no exception. But how could Sam explain her nervousness about the site was due to a bizarre dream she had only the night before? O'Neill would find more words to describe her behavior then eccentric.

Cattails upon a log, drumming incessantly------the wind was the cause of that screech of that madding shrike------It was the play of shadows-----The smell of stormed ripped earth.

There was an explosion of sound-----The Bridge gave a shudder– the wood trembled— dust from the rafters fell like rain------Something huge belched forth from the darkness --

Thunder drummed ... and with it another cacophony, an ominous sound that their sharp ears easily recognized, the sound of angry demonic fury and a great horse.

The beast was beyond massive.... it screeched his loathsome anger... it would run down the young Captain.... The demon horse-beast, black as ebony was moving closer... its heavy body lathered white with sweat, the eyes red as fire; nostrils flaring, ears flat against the skull...its antlers poised to strike. The mane sable waves whipped against the wind as black flame, the tail long arched behind it was a standard— it let out a terrifying cry of battled rage...bravado.

"Holy Hannah!" Sam yelped. Her hand reaching to her side for the quick draw holster . . .

A throaty warning roared from Teal'c... Sam went up into the air and was cast down with frantic force behind a wall of Jaffa muscle and mire for she had landed in the swampy river.

Teal'c, O'Neill stood poised, readying to confront the spectral equine. The creature rushed them, the thick sinewy muscled body, and its heavy girth would easily trample the teammates. Sam rose to her feet with the help of Daniel who had immediately gone to her side.

The riderless behemoth reared up its defiance at the puny males before it. A challenge called. A roar answered the challenge met.... the black demon lunged.

"Wait!" Sam bellowed, dodged past Daniel for her other teammate. Teal'c snarled and would fly at the monster if not for Sam grabbing him around the arm.

"No!!" Sam commanded. "No, don't stand against it!!"

The horse, screeched as it reared, pawing at the sky. The stallion landed with a thud, its' massive shire's body rocked the ancient bridge. A shriek of anger and the creature rushed past them... The heat of is body radiation, another cry of anger, as charged, and its rage overpowering its mind, clouding its vision.

Teal'c grappled Sam and pressed her lithe body hard against the splintered ancient planks of the covered bridge, his own anger as rank as the demon steed. The monster horse rushing past them caused their hearts, their breaths to stop in the quake of its passing, upon the other side, it nearly struck the Colonel in retaliation. Dodging past them, the beast flew by in adrenaline-primed blood, back into the inky blackness that gave birth to it.

There was a deafening silence.

"Okay mark one up for women's intuition." O'Neill said sheepishly his dark eyes watching where the horse beast had run off too. He shuddered shaking off the momentary stir of fright.

"Why did you not want me to stand against it Captain Carter?" Teal'c asked his voice stoic as always. He moved so that she was free.

"I don't think trying to wrestle wild horses is a good idea. I think it was just spooked because of the storm brewing."

"It was spooked?" O'Neill yelped.

"It was a wild animal, Jack" Daniel offered, "It was doing what was natural in defending itself, it was in a flight of terror not rage. The way it was acting it could have gorged Teal'c with its antlers. It was best to simply get out of its way and let it run."

"What are you the president of the Discovery Channel wildlife fan club?" Jack murmured. "This whole place is just a throwback to the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It's got us all a little edgy." He looked again to the sodden Carter wondering how it was she knew something was going to happen. She was into astrophysics not the psychic world of make-believe and pallor tricks. In this place he half expected some fat raven to perch upon a doorframe of the old church ruins croaking out "Nevermore."

Daniel didn't answer the Colonel instead turned his attention to his friend. "I don't know about you but after that my heart could use a jump-start with a defibrillator. You okay Sam" as always he was concerned with his friend. She had become his sister in so many ways, and he loved her as such.

She was raking long fingers thru tangled matted hair trying in vain to remove the muck that had clung to it. "Never better." She turned blue eyes to Teal'c. "But did you have to launchpad me into the swamp?"

"At the moment of danger, I thought only to remove you from it."

A chiding smile, Sam spoke, "Gee thanks." She was still swiping the mud from her body as best she could but it only proved to smear the muck more. "God I need a shower."

"Indeed." The large Jaffa said.

"You are a bit rank Carter." Jack added, wrinkling his nose in an exaggerated distaste for smelling something foul.

She gave her CO a caustic look, as she shook more of the mire from her hands. The soap-wet wipes stored in the ALICE vest at least cleaned her face and hands, but she felt grimy and gooey all over.

"We'll go back thru the Gate in a moment, but I want to check out that crystal formation." Of course the last time he had done something similar, he had been replaced by a doppelganger. "Carter, any idea what kind of crystals we're looking at?"

Carter was looking over her shoulder for any sign of the man in stripy socks and hat, for this and not the wild stallion was the true danger.

"Carter, you in there?"

"Yes sir." She said looking back to her CO.


"Sir with all due respect, I still insist we evacuate the premises."

"Hey, I know that horse got us a little shaken up, this whole Halloween-town is creepy, but come on Carter, you're more uptight then usual. Hell you're not like this when we face the Goa'uld. What gives?"

Sam took an involuntary step back as soon as she saw the gondolier figure stepped out of the shadows. "He gives sir." She pointed out the newcomer.

"What?" O'Neill wheeled around facing the being that had his 2IC edgy.

The man raised his hand

"Fire in the hole!" Sam barked.

Too late the monkish gondolier discharged the force from his hand chanting something that sounded like "Pull my turtle."

White light flashed.

The wormhole whooshed open spewing out two visibly weary travelers heavily upon the metal walkway with a clang.

"SG1, what happened?" General Hammond ordered as he saw Teal'c and Daniel Jackson. "Where are Colonel O'Neill and Captain Carter?" His grey eyes showed more than a little concern for his missing people.

"They are right here sir." Daniel said pulling from his pocket something that looked like a figurine, careful wrapped in his handkerchief.

"Okay definitely don't want to do that again." O'Neill coughed as he sat up.

"Holy Hannah!" Carter stood; her hand immediately felt her own body making sure everything was in its right place. Yep, she had the body of a thirty one year old...not a kid… "Are you okay, Sir?"

"Yeah, a little sore but okay." He looked around him frowning, as the ruins of the church seemed to have gone. He and Carter were standing on a massive soft very pliable surface, covered in what might have been white rice paper flooring.

"What the hell?"

She chuckled very softly to herself at least her voice was normal, as was the Colonel's. Nope not turned into kids. Thank god.


"Sir…" She pointed to a massive figure of Doctor Frasier.

"Holy shit." He spun around looking to his 2IC for answers, she had to know what happened, she had warned him something dangerous was going to happen logically she had the explanation.

"I don't know sir." Carter shook her matted wet head. "The only thing I can think of is that we shrunk."

"Shrunk! Carter for crying out loud we're GI-Joe dolls!" He bellowed.

She wanted to say it with dire need…I frigging told you so sir! What she said. "I know sir. I…"

"Don't you say I told you so, Carter." Jack grumbled.

"They're awake." Janet said coming back to the exam bed. Following on her heels was General Hammond, Daniel and Teal'c.

"Colonel, Captain do you have any idea on how this happened?" The old Texan commented with concern deep in his voice.

Sam took a big breath and was prepared to tell or from her perspective retell the narrative of what happened.

"Captain Carter felt there was some danger at the site sir, I discounted it due to an encounter we had with a wild horse that tried to gouge us in a stampede. There was this…protector he must have thought we were a threat and shot us with some sort of energy beam. Then we blacked out."

Hammond turned to the two unaffected members of SG1. "Why weren't you changed?"

"I don't know sir, but I think it had something to do with the altar Sam and Jack were standing by."

"I know it does. Clearly the energy shot had something to do with the crystal growing out of the center, as if it is a catalyst for the energy, acting like a reactor." Sam said. "Those caught in the blast radius are affected by energy wave in a molecular dispersion. I think it is meant to warn off enemies in a non-lethal manner. I mean when you're eighteen inches tall even a Goa'uld is little threat…. um no pun in tended. We have to find the gondolier-monk."

"I had a feeling you'd say that." Hammond said. "I'll deploy the rest of SG1 and SG3 to go after this monk and see if more information can't be extracted.

Jack gave an apologetic look to Carter for not taking her warning seriously. Of course every time he had discounted Carter's advice he regretted it. Every time he promised that the next time he would take her seriously. Next time he definitely would take her seriously.

"Oh I am so glad you find this amusing big guy." Jack growled at Teal'c who for the last ten minutes could not stop snickering.

"Sam…" Daniel tried to keep a straight face but found it impossible.

"You make any Barbie doll comments, I'll hurt you." The blonde snapped.

"How about GI-Jane." Daniel jibbed

"Not funny." Sam mouthed.

"Doctor, physically how are they?"

Janet had a small worried smile on her face. "We…that is to say it was hard to give them a complete exam, but I think physically other then being … Lilliputian…they are fine. But I want to keep them here for observation."

"Of course."

"Sir." Sam stood up, "I really need a shower."

"Go into the shower room, Sam and you'll be washed down the drain." Jack smirked

"She can use the sink." Janet offered.

All eyes went to the large sink near the wall. Sam rubbed her face with her hands stilling her impatience and nodded, she had very little choice, and at the very least she'd be clean. But there was another matter to attend to. Clothing.

Blue eyes blinked, as she realized appropriate clothing could be found. "Oh god…" She grumbled. "Janet?"

"In my quarters…are…" she pursed her lips wincing. "You know those Airforce dolls I got from the PX for Cassie for Christmas?"

"Yeah…" Then Janet allowed a giggle, "I got it. I'll go get them for you, they should be the right size."

Jack was about to open his mouth to make a sardonic comment about the doll clothing but the glare in deep blue eyes made him think better of it. After all had he listened to Carter's warning they wouldn't be in this fine mess.

Thirty minutes latter, Sam freshly bathed from her impromptu dip in the murky river, felt a bit better. The Blue cargo pants, and black tee-shirt, socks and jacket of the doll was a good fit, if not slightly large considering it was a male doll. But at least it wasn't the gaudy clothing Barbie dolls were known to have.

She was now sitting on a stack of books upon Janet's desk. "What am I supposed to do?" She uttered. "I…I can't even use a computer properly."

Soft dark brown eyes looked with sympathy to her miniature lover.

"Sam, I am sorry. Physically I can't find anything wrong with you."

"You're telling me being shrunk is not something wrong?" she ground her teeth together. "I'm walking around in doll clothes…God if he just would have listened to me…nothing like this would have happened. Its not like I can reboot the system and start over." She jumped off the books and paced the surface of the desk. "You know you have a dust bunny under the monitor." Sam said kicking the ball of dust, sending a plumb of fluff into the air causing her to sneeze with a very kittenish sound.

"I have something that might make you feel better." Janet rose and went to the tall filing cabinet then came back carrying what looked like a Starbucks thermos. "Good thing I took a trip to the PX as well." Janet reached into her bottom desk drawer and took out a tiny tea set, a perfect porcelain miniature replica. She poured what ever it was from the thermos into the porcelain cup she had extracted from the plastic container.

Curious, Sam stopped her pacing and tried to look into the tiny cup Janet set down on to the desktop. The blonde looked up into the angelic face of her beloved. "Is this what I think it is?"

"Triple-grande latte, light caramel syrup no foam, 150 degrees." Janet beamed "Just how you like it."

"God if I could, I'd give you a hug." Sam brought the regular sized mug to her nose inhaling the sweet sent of her drink, savoring the aroma before she took a heady sip. She closed those intense blue eyes, for a moment forgetting the fact she was only eighteen inches tall. She took another deep sip, opened her eyes and smiled for the first time. "Have I told you lately how much I love you?"

Janet winked. And for a suspended moment in time both forgot the dire circumstances of the situation, they were simply two lovers enjoying a cup of latte.

"Janet." Sam said setting down the tiny mug. "What happens if you…if I can't fix this?"

"Sam, we will find a way…there has to be a way to reverse this. You said the monk said something to you?"

"It's going to sound crazy but it sounded like 'Pull my turtle'." The blonde shrugged.

"Pull my turtle?" Janet repeated a bit mystified. "That's odd."

"That's what it sounded like. Look I saw him approach just like before, he raised his hand and said whatever and then poof, I am a doll sized Carter."

"Like in the dream you told me about."

"Yeah." Carter half smiled. "You know I think I kinda liked the kid better, at least I had a chance for growing up if I got stuck that way."

"Sam…I sure that Daniel and Teal'c will find the guy that did this to you."

"I guess, though I have one question."

"That is?"

"Where are we going and how did we get into this hand basket?"

"You could always try the paddles and go back up that certain creek." Janet smiled. "Unless you lost them."

The klaxon sounded blaringly throughout the complex, a female voice droned, "Off world Activation…Repeat off world activation. Alert in coming travelers, Med-team to the Gateroom. Incoming travelers, Med-team to the Gateroom."

The voice ricochet within Janet's subconscious, she had been on duty for eighteen hours trying to put together SG3 from an incident on P3X-633. Now another medical emergency called her attention. Rubbing her hand thru her red-auburn hair she rushed to the Stargate room. Silently thanking who ever was listening that her dream was that only some bizarre nightmare that had incorporated Sam's previous dream.

She saw a blur of figures plummet from the watery wormhole to clang forceful upon the metal walkway with a bone-crushing clang. She had only enough time to realize it was SG1…

The End

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