DISCLAIMER: No profit is intended in the writing of this story. Stargate – SG1 and its characters are the property of Metro Goldwyn Mayer.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
BETA: Athaena28.

The First Time – Fourth Step
By Olli


As Janet arrived at the camp there was no sign of Sam. She looked around; Sam's backpack was nowhere to be seen. Janet sighed. The only word to describe the whole situation was 'catastrophe'. There was nothing she could do. She had not the faintest idea where Sam could have gone. The only thing Janet could do was wait.

Two hours later O'Neill, Daniel and Teal'c were back. They found a spotless camp. Janet had busied herself tidying up the camp. A pot hung over a small fire on a frame Janet had built from branches lying on the ground. In the hot water five MRE's, in their nearly indestructible black plastic bags, were heating.

Janet sat near the fire unconsciously playing with a branch. As she heard the men arriving, she looked up. After a few moments, she noticed the odd glances O'Neill and Daniel threw at her. She frowned. Janet waited a few moments more but there was no cheerful comment from O'Neill.

"Hi, Janet," Daniel was, on the other hand, overwhelming cheerful. "How are you?"

"Um, well."

"Fine." Daniel peered into the pot. "You cooked for us? That wasn't necessary, but thanks." He sat down beside her.

"Doctor Fraiser." Teal'c greeted her in his usual calm manner.

O'Neill was still silent as he dropped his backpack beside the guys' tent. He came back to the fire and scanned the camp. "Nice," he said. "Where's Carter?"

"I don't know, Sir. She wanted to… to check on something."

"Hmm. When did she leave?"

"Two hours ago."

"Has she called in?"

"No, Sir."

O'Neill watched her for a few seconds. "Have you tried to call her?"

"Um, Sir. I…"

The Colonel grabbed his radio. "Carter? Come in."

There was no answer.

"Carter, come in."

Janet frowned again. Daniel looked up anxiously. Teal'c lifted an eyebrow.

Suddenly the radio crackled. "Carter here, Sir."

"Lunch is already on the table. When will you be back?"

"In a few minutes, Sir." Sam responded.

"OK. Out."

Some minutes later Sam arrived. They ate in near silence. Daniel tried to start a conversation but failed miserably. It seemed as if a thick, dark cloud lay over the camp dampening everyone's mood.

Sam and Janet hardly spoke a word to each other and O'Neill was unusually quiet as well. It was late afternoon when O'Neill finally exploded. He'd stood beside Daniel and Teal'c and watched as Sam and Janet tried to ignore each other for the last few hours. As Sam again passed Janet without looking at her, O'Neill had had enough. "OK. That's it," he mumbled.

Daniel watched him. "Jack, what…?"

"This can't go on. They should figure it out before we return to earth."

"Jack, I don't think we should interfere. They will…"

"Carter's too frightened and Fraiser's too stubborn. They will do nothing and in the end it will cause pain for them both." He looked at Daniel. "I know what I'm talking about."

Daniel saw the grief in O'Neill's eyes and knew he was referring to the loss of his wife and son.

"Have anything to say, T?"

Teal'c looked at Sam and Janet and then at O'Neill and Daniel. "I have never understood why the Ta'uri prohibits loving a person if she or he is of the same gender. On Chulak, Captain Carter would have had claimed Doctor Fraiser for herself long ago."

O'Neill and Daniel stared at Teal'c due to the length of his speech. For the big Jaffa, at least, these few sentences constituted a speech.

"Carter! Fraiser! Over here!" O'Neill suddenly yelled at the top of his lungs.

Daniel flinched in surprise.

Sam and Janet reacted like first day rookies when a drill sergeant sneezed. They dropped everything they were holding and came running. Three steps in front of O'Neill they snapped to attention. "Sir?" They said in unison.

O'Neill waited for some moments and glared at them. "The next time you two get intimate be sure the radio is shut off."

"Sir?" Janet asked carefully. She was certain she knew what O'Neill was talking about. But she couldn't say anything. As long as no one asked her, directly, if she were gay she had the right not to answer. Don't ask, don't tell.

O'Neill watched her for a second and then turned to Carter. What he saw felt like a stab to his heart. He had seen this expression before. He had seen it on the faces of enemies who were at his mercy. It hurt him that Carter feared him in this way.

His voice softened. "We heard everything over the radio…what happened on the hill."

Carter swallowed heavily. This was it. There was no way to deny it. But she wouldn't beg. Not after what had happened to her and Susan; what this mother-fucking ass Garland had done to them… "Sir, I take full responsibility. I was the higher-ranking officer. I shouldn't have allowed it. General Hammond will receive my letter of resignation as soon as we're back on base. But Lieutenant Fraiser shouldn't be put on report for my actions."

They all stared at her.

O'Neill continued. "Bullshit, Carter!"

"Sir?" She asked baffled and uncertain.

"No one will be put on report. All I want is that the two of you come to terms. You love her?" The question was directed to Sam.

Sam swallowed and looked at Janet and back to O'Neill. "Yes, Sir."

"And you? You love her too?" He asked Janet.

"Yes, Sir."

"Well, that's a good start." The dark cloud became thinner. "It's just that I expect certain things from both of you."

Sam felt the lump in her belly vanish.

"Carter," he continued. "I think I deserve a little more trust in the future, don't you?"

Suddenly Sam felt ashamed. She lowered her eyes. "Yes, Sir."

"Doc, Carter was gone for more than two hours and you didn't even try to call her?"

Janet swallowed. He was right, she thought. Even if she was disappointed in Sam's behaviour, she should have called her over the radio just to be sure Sam hadn't had an accident. As peaceful as it was here, this was still another planet. "Sir, I…"

O'Neill cut her off. "In the future, I expect professionalism from both of you. I expect a strict separation between your private and professional lives." His gaze wandered back and forth between the two women. "Do you understand me?"

"Yes, Sir," they said again in unison.

"If you ever again have sex on a mission, I will personally transfer you both to opposite ends of the galaxy. Understood?"

Sam and Janet blushed. "Yes, Sir."

"If an argument, ever again, influences you in the performance of your duty, I will personally kick your asses across the galaxy. Understood?"

"Yes Sir."

"Good. Daniel? Anything to add?"

"Err. No."


Teal'c lifted an eyebrow.

"T, are you sure there wasn't a Vulcan somewhere in your family?"

"I am sure, O'Neill. There was not."

"Fine." O'Neill clapped his hands. "Let's pack. We're going back to earth."

Sam and Janet went to their tent and the Colonel, Daniel and Teal'c to theirs.

Both women worked in silence as they broke down the tent.

Sam felt relieved she had a new chance with Janet and was still ashamed she hadn't trusted the Colonel in the way he deserved. It made a difference if someone accepted you as you were and not as others thought you should be.

Now she had to beg Janet's forgiveness.

Janet waited for Sam to make the first move. Now with the Colonel's 'half-official' permission and Daniel and Teal'c's approval, she saw no reason to hold back. Their friends were willing to support them. All she needed was Sam to take the first step.

"Janet… I… I'm sorry. I should..."

"Would you have dinner with me on Friday?" Janet interrupted.

Sam smiled. "I would like that." Sam leant towards Janet to steal a kiss.

O'Neill watched them for a second, then turned away. He shook his head. "If that's the way orders are carried out in the Air Force nowadays, I should think about handing in my own resignation," he mumbled. Then he smiled.

The End

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