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.
CHALLENGE RESPONSE: Submitted for the Passion & Perfection Xmas Challenge 2005
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Set late Season 2.
The Good Stuff
Janet has her on the good stuff again, the drugs that make pain nothing more than tainted memory, that make time ellipse and thoughts crystallise. The drugs that make the mundane profound. She knows from Janet's amused recollections that 90% of what she says on the good stuff makes no sense whatsoever. She doesn't mind how it takes her away from the pain. She hasn't been afraid of the dark since she was two. And in the place she creates here she can forget that she's lonely and insecure and prey to so many emotions she can never give voice.
Superstrings resonate, the high notes sweet as spun sugar. From them she hangs theorems, those she has learnt from her years of study, standing on the shoulders of giants. These are solid blocks, symphonies of colour and sound, some entwine around each other others fly apart like opposing magnetic forces. Her own theories are deceptively delicate constructs, like origami lanterns. But they shine so brightly.
She thinks its been a day maybe two. She remembers visitors the Colonel talking of inconsequentials, his hands busy mangling some poor piece of medical equipment that hopefully was not essential to her continued wellbeing. Daniel had promised to water her plants. Teal'c didn't say a lot but his presence made her feel safe when she woke from the nightmare of falling, her flesh burning from where the staff weapon struck her. If she hadn't fallen back into the half-frozen lake she would probably be dead right now.
The burns and damage she does have to her chest and shoulder are bad enough. Full thickness burn on her shoulder, a broken collarbone, three broken ribs and a cracked sternum. Bad enough for Janet to give her the good drugs and to keep her in the infirmary right through the holidays not to mention ensure a couple of months of light duty afterwards. Unless someone stops by who can use a healing device. But Dad hasn't been around for a couple of months and the Tok'ra aren't picking up their messages at the moment.
She drifts again, her mind picking delicately over some equations she had been working on before the mission, crafting spiderglass strings of energy and time and quantum strangeness. The drugs trick and tease her senses and she can taste vermillion and silver, fractals form and fade in tempo. The music of the spheres sounds like Christmas carols.
Something cool touches her skin. Janet smiles down on her. Her angel. She manages to smile back. A radio is playing softly in the background. Once in Royal David's City. It is Christmas Eve after all. Or maybe it's Christmas Day.
"How do you feel?" Janet asked.
"Okay " she says after pondering the answer a while. "Fuzzy," she opines.
"So I see," Janet adjusts the IV and she knows it's probably illusion but she can feel the coolness enter her body, permeating through her veins. She imagines it as fog, billowing through the streets in an old British movie. The kind she used to watch with her mother, curled up on the sofa.
"Hey, hey, it's okay," Janet sits on the side of the bed, reaches out a gentle hand. Her cheeks are wet, she realises. She's crying. "I know its hard, being stuck in here over the holidays "
"You're here too," she whispers. "What about Cassie?"
"She's at my parents, remember. It was all arranged weeks ago. She rang me a couple of hours ago to wish me a Merry Christmas and to ask how you were doing. I have some presents for you from her you can open them later when you're feeling a little stronger. I promised her that I would make sure you got them today."
She nods. Tries to get herself under control again. She's a Carter. Carter's don't cry, don't show weakness. She can't let down her guard, not with Janet. Especially not with Janet. It's hard though. Janet is a friend, her best friend, her best But she might just say something
Would that be so bad?
"What?" Janet asks, a puzzled smile touching her lips and she realises she spoke aloud. "What would be so bad, Sam?"
"Spending Christmas here," she lies. Janet does not look convinced. Lies and small talk two things she is just no good at. Give her something to break, or fix and she is in her element, but small talk leaves her baffled and lies Her eyes betrayed her every time.
"Something's bothering you, Sam," Janet said. "If you're worried about your injury and your prognosis for recovery, I can go over your care plan again, but you're going to be fine in a couple of months. I don't think you're going to lose any movement in your shoulder and the scarring " Her voice trailed away. "That's not it, is it."
She shakes her head, keeping the movement minimal. The drugs make her woozy enough as it is.
Janet leans in closer, her hand reaching out to close over Sam's fingers. Her thumb rubs gently up and down the V between Sam's thumb and forefinger. The action is soothing yet seems to focus her thoughts.
"Is it us you and me?" Janet whispers. She nods, glances up to meet dark eyes, seeing the love that shines out of them. And that look makes the Good Stuff fade by comparison. That look guards her from all sorrow, all pain.
"This isn't the time or place," Janet said, and her smile is so sweet, "and you're not really in the condition to appreciate it anyway, but there is nothing to worry about, Sam, believe me. As soon as you're ready to be released you and me and Cassie are going away somewhere for a week or two so that you can recuperate and we can take some time and have this conversation properly. You don't have to worry and you won't be disappointed. I can promise that. Now, I want you to sleep a little more and then we'll see how you feel about eating something solid. You aren't up to the full turkey dinner, I'm afraid. But you can probably manage some chicken soup and jello blue, of course."
She is moved to speak but Janet holds up her hand in a gesture she probably uses all the time with Cassie and Sam knows she's going to have to get used to it as well if her relationship with this amazing woman blossoms as she hopes it will.
"Sleep, then eat. And then we'll see about maybe getting you out of bed for a while," the doctor stands up, smoothes the blanket into place again. She contents herself with watching Janet instead as her eyes grow steadily heavier. She can still hear the carols playing softly and in the spaces when her eyes close the silver soft filigree spidersweb and sharp lemon velvet of her equations are beginning to spin her into places that even her beloved Gate can't take her. One day she'll find a way to write it all down.
The Good Stuff. She embraces its potency as she allows it to take her away. But she's not hiding now, she's biding her time, waiting on the moment, waiting for the conversation. Waiting to say Yes.
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