DISCLAIMER: The story, and characters and anything and everything else concerning Stargate are so not mine. "Late Bloom" Lyrics by Amy Ray from her album "Stag".
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author

Late Bloom
By Celievamp

The house was suddenly, devastatingly quiet. After `hanging' for an hour or so, Cassie and her friends had gone out for the evening. Janet flopped down on the couch beside Sam. "Wow – remember being that young and energetic?"

"Yeah!" Sam said, but something in her voice made Janet look up. "Not a care in the world."

And then Janet realised. At sixteen, Sam had just lost her mother in a terrible car accident, her brother had left home for good, unable to cope with his anger at his father and Sam had been left with a father who had no idea of how to bring up his daughter except in his own image. Jacob Carter had meant well but had had no idea how to cope with his daughter's emotional needs. Sam had thrown herself into her studies graduating a couple of years early as a result.

She described herself as focused, but Janet was beginning to know her better. Until quite recently, Sam simply did not know any other way to be.

"You never really did that, did you – just `hung' with friends?" Janet asked quietly, her fingers entwining with Sam's.

"No, not really," Sam whispered. "I was always the new girl, the bright one and the baby – as most of the time I was put up at least a class or two. We moved around a lot so I never really got to make many friends. But that was okay when I had Mom. But when she was gone… I guess I pushed it all down."

She looked anywhere but at Janet, desperately blinking back tears. "I felt as if I was the only person in the world for a while. Mark left and my dad went on a mission somewhere and wasn't home again for three months. I spent night after night imagining that he was dead in an unmarked grave somewhere. They wouldn't even tell me where he had been sent."

"You were on your own?"

"I insisted that I would be all right, that I could look after myself. And there wasn't anyone else around really that I could go to. Mom's relatives were all in England and Dad's – well, Uncle Irving wasn't really what you would call a responsible adult. The neighbours kept an eye on me but yes, I was pretty much on my own."

Janet tried to imagine what Sam must have been like. "Did you still have long hair then?"

Sam nodded. "I got it cut about a year later. Dad had a fit." She got up. "I think I've got a picture somewhere. Dad left all the photo albums with me when he was… reassigned." Before Janet could say anything else, she went upstairs to the `spare' room where a lot of her things were stored.

A few minutes later she came down again carrying a leatherbound photograph album that Janet had never seen before. It was the first time Sam had actually admitted to having any photographs from her childhood other than the few of herself and her brother or one or both of her parents that were framed and out on the shelves. None dated from the time after her mother's death.

She sat down on the couch, the album resting on her knees. "I haven't looked at this for ages," she said. Janet edged closer, resting her head against Sam's shoulder.

"We'll look at them together," she said. "If you're okay with that."

Sam nodded. She opened the album and began to quietly tell Janet the circumstances behind each picture. Janet literally watched her friend grow up in the pages of the book, marvelling at the difference between the almost fragile looking teenager with the Alice in Wonderland hair, complete with hairband, and the strong, self assured woman she now sat beside.

The last picture was of a leather jacketed short haired Sam Carter sitting astride a motorbike. "Aah, my first love," Sam smiled. "I bought her when I turned seventeen."

"My god, you were so beautiful," Janet whispered, tracing a finger down the profile and then reached up to steal a kiss from her companion. "You are so beautiful and bright and I can't think of anyone or anywhere else I want to be right now." She grinned at the blush that coloured her companion's cheeks. "A late bloomer, that's you. Nothing wrong in that."

"Just needed the right stimulus, I suppose," Sam said quietly, her gaze meeting Janet's for the first time. Janet shuddered at the raw emotion in those blue eyes.

"Sammie," she drawled, standing up and reaching out for the taller woman.


"Wanna hang?"

Late Bloom by Amy Ray (from the album `Stag')

I won't be a pawn.
We roughed it up when we were young.
I won't say," So much for that,
what do you do when it is done?"

Cause I know we grow,
when its over.

I used to dream
with all the force of Solyent Green.
Lazy geese and the weather warm.
Oh my life of humidity.

But I know we grow,
when its over.

All that time
I spent walking behind.
I don't mind,
cause now I know.

They ran us out of town.
Oh come on,
they cut us down,
raised the flag of the fealty,
oh the life of futility.

But I know we grow,
when its over.

All that time
you were walking the line.
I don't mind,
cause now i know.

We grow when its over,
we grow.

The End

Return to Stargate Fiction

Return to Main Page