DISCLAIMER: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. No copyright infringement is intended and nothing is being made. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Feedback is greatly appreciated (especially if you like it). Single quotation marks denote thoughts.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
DEDICATION: To everyone who's loved and lost.
I'll Be All Right
By Lena Smith
'Sam's fine! Safe and sound!' Janet's body flooded with relief as she completed Sam's physical exam. "Well I don't understand it given everything you've gone through, but you're absolutely fine!"
Sam laughed, "Well, except for the Zat headache."
Janet smiled, "That will be gone in a couple of hours. Do you want to come over for dinner tonight? Cassie is dying to check you out for herself." Janet paused. "She loves you a lot, you know. She worries about you." Cassie wasn't the only one though.
"I know she does," Sam smiled indulgently. "Sure, dinner sounds great."
"7 p.m., all right?"
"I'll be there."
"Good." Janet smiled. "General Hammond wants to see you. Debriefing time."
Janet watched as Sam jumped off the exam table and walked out of the room, her stride as fluid and graceful as always. Janet thanked God for the ten thousandth time that day. Just yesterday her world had turned to ash when she thought she was going to have to turn off Sam's life support. Only Jack's plea, his face reflecting the guilt he felt for shooting Sam twice with the Zat, had stopped her. Then they'd realized her consciousness was in the base computer system. Somehow, someway, their jury-rigged connections enabled her to return to her body. Janet's whole being reverberated with the joy she felt at that moment. That was when she made the decision to tell Sam how she felt. Life was far too short to do otherwise.
The table was set with Janet's finest china, two dozen red roses as the centerpiece. The living room and dining room were aglow with flickering candlelight. Soft R & B played on the stereo. From the kitchen came the aroma of Sam's favorite meal, honey-glazed ham, candied sweet potatoes and homemade noodles.
Janet looked around trying to make sure everything was perfect, as she tried to calm the butterflies in her stomach. She could only hope for the best . . . and pray the worst did not happen.
The ring of the telephone shattered the silence, but with a teenage daughter in the house, Janet knew better that to attempt to answer it. In a couple of minutes Cassie came thundering down the stairs, bursting with excitement.
"MOM!!! Jenny has an extra ticket to the 'N-Sync concert tonight! It starts at 9:30, can I go?"
"What about seeing Sam?" Janet asked, totally exasperated.
"She's not picking me up until 8. Is it ok?"
Janet thought for a moment. Given what she was going to do tonight, perhaps it would be best to have Cass out of the house. "Yes, I guess you can go. Are you going to stay at Jenny's afterwards?"
"Can I? Cool!"
"Yes. Now go on and get ready."
Cassie flew back up the stairs to get dressed.
At three minutes to seven, Janet's doorbell rang. Sam, punctual as always.
Cassie threw her arms around Sam and hugged her until Sam could barely breathe.
"Hey squirt, don't crush me now! It'd really damage my rep if I survive an alien possession and two Zat blasts only to be squeezed to death by a teenager!" Sam said, grinning.
Cassie laughed and released her and Sam ruffled her hair fondly.
"Boy, something smells good!"
Janet came out of the kitchen, wiping her hands with a dishtowel. She smiled at the two, "Yep, all your favorites. And it's all ready for you."
Sam looked around in amazement at how lovely the rooms looked. "Wow, you did all this for me?" She asked, rather taken aback.
"Sure! We're celebrating. After all it's not every day you come back from the dead!" Janet gave Sam a wry look. "Although I think you're beginning to push the envelope a bit. You need to watch it. I think you've used up three lives already, at least!"
Sam groaned. "Yeah, this is getting to be a baaaaad habit!
The meal was delicious but while they enjoyed each other's company, Sam thought she detected some kind of uneasiness or apprehension on Janet's part that confused and worried her. As they cleared the table, Cassie told Sam about the concert ticket.
"It's OK, isn't it, Sam? I mean, you're not upset, are you?"
Sam hugged her. "Nah. It's a wonderful opportunity. Just go have fun." Sam held Cassie at arm's length and attempted her best "Mom" look and tone. "Just be careful, OK?"
"OK!" Cass was amused by Sam's "Mom" routine.
A horn honked twice outside the house.
"There's Jenny!" Cass ran over to Janet, hugged her and kissed her on the cheek. "Thanks Mom. I love you. I'll see you tomorrow." Then she kissed Sam goodbye. "I'm so glad you're ok. I love you."
"I love you too."
With another quick "Love ya! Bye!" Cass was out the door and running to the car.
Sam shook her head. "Were we EVER that young?"
Janet laughed ruefully. "Sure we were! And I'd love to have some of that energy right now!" She handed Sam a glass of wine as they went into the living room to relax on the couch.
Janet watched the crackling flames of the fireplace intently, as if she were trying to divine some secret of the universe in them. Sam had rarely seen her friend quite so pensive and distracted. It bothered her and she waited, hoping Janet would open up to her.
Finally, Sam couldn't take it any longer. "Janet, what's wrong? I know something has been bothering you all night. PLEASE, talk to me. Let me help YOU for once!"
Janet looked over at Sam and Sam flinched at seeing the raw pain in Janet's eyes.
"Yesterday, I almost lost you forever. I was this close" Janet's voice broke "this close to turning off your life support." Her trembling hand put down the glass of wine and she rose to stand before the fire, her back to Sam. "I knew that when I did that, part of me would die too. And then, miraculously, you returned to us. I knew then, that I had to tell you . . . no matter the consequences . . . even if you end up hating me."
"Hating you!" Sam said in disbelief. "I could NEVER hate you." She saw the tenseness in every inch of her friend's body and her heart ached. Softly she asked, "Tell me what?"
Barely above a whisper, "I love you, Sam."
"Oh Janet, I love you too!"
Janet shook her head, the tone of Sam's reply telling her that Sam didn't understand her meaning. "No, Sam." She took a deep breath, hoping to find strength in the power of the flames she contemplated. "I'm IN LOVE with you. As the one I want to share my life with, to give myself to, body, mind, heart and soul. I have been for a very long time. But I couldn't say it, couldn't tell you. But after this, I knew I couldn't continue hiding it from you. I know you love Jack. And I know he loves you. But I had to let you know that he's not the only one who's in love with you." She fell silent, watching the fire, waiting fearfully, hopefully, for Sam's reply.
Sam sat on the couch, stunned. She'd never guessed . . . never even imagined that Janet felt that way. She looked at Janet, her head down, shoulders drooping, her whole body shaking uncontrollably. Slowly, Sam rose and walked up behind Janet and gently wrapped her arms around the smaller woman. Janet shuddered at the gesture. "Oh Janet . . . I could never, NEVER hate you for loving me." Sam rested her cheek on Janet's head. "I am SOOOO honored that someone so beautiful and kind and giving could love me."
"I hear a "BUT" coming," Janet said, brokenly.
Sadly, slowly, Sam nodded. "Yeah. I DO love you Janet, as a friend." She sighed. "I wish I could return your feelings the way you want me to but . . . I can't. I am so, SO sorry. The last thing in the world I want to do is hurt you." Sam could feel Janet's silent tears splashing on her arms. "You are the best friend I have ever had, on this world or any other. I don't want to lose you. I will always be here for you and I will always love you."
They stood there before the fireplace, Janet weeping and Sam holding her and softly murmuring over and over, "I'm sorry, honey. I am so sorry."
Finally, Janet said, "There's nothing you should be sorry for, Sam. This is my problem and I'm going to have to deal with it." No more fantasies: mutual declarations of love, strong arms holding her tight, loving and touching long into the night. No more dreams of the three of them being a real family. It hadn't been the absolute worst-case scenario . . . but neither was it the best. It hurt. Oh God! How badly it hurt!! She shrugged out of Sam's embrace and moved away.
"If you don't mind, I think I need to be alone for a while." Janet looked up and couldn't suppress a flinch at the concern, despair, and pity in Sam's blue eyes. "Please."
"Are you sure, Janet?"
"Yes. I'll be all right."
Sam could see her small body shaking but she couldn't deny Janet's request. She knew Janet was trying to retain her dignity and Sam respected that. Sam got her coat and Janet escorted her to the door.
"Janet, no matter what, I'm always here for you. Don't forget that."
"I know, Sam. I just need to be alone now."
Still worried, Sam could only hope Janet could weather this emotional storm. She vowed to come back tomorrow and check on her.
As Sam went down the front steps, Janet closed the door and slowly stumbled to the couch. The candles were still flickering. The music still played.
"I'll be all right,
It's just another heartbreak, baby.
I'll be all right,
I'll just write another love song."
The only other sounds were the crackling of the fire and the brokenhearted sobs of the figure curled up on the couch, grieving for what could never be.
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