DISCLAIMER: Some other lucky beggar owns the characters. Sorry for treading on any toes
NOTE: I wanted to write a drabble based around the line, "You mean you forgot cranberries too?" from the excellent Christmas Wrapping by Waitresses (Written by Chris Butler, (c) 1981 Future Fossil Music, BMI). However, too many words ensued. Note added after my beta took a look: December 26th is called Boxing Day in the UK, but don't ask me why?
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

The Long and the Short of It
(Bah, Humbug!)

By Debbie

"WHAT! Cassie! Where are the cranberries?"

Janet Fraiser knew it was going to be a bad Christmas: she was already channeling Colonel O'Neill with some of her thoughts. She had only left base two hours ago but already the stress was hitting home. How a doctor trained in the art of thinking and acting without emotion could let a little thing like Christmas dinner preparations get to her was a mystery.

It was maybe something to do with having her parents and brothers visit for the first time since being in Colorado Springs, along side a teenage daughter who didn't want to be there. Cassandra Fraiser had made it known that she wanted to spend Christmas with their other extended family, SG1. Just as they had done every other year since Cassie had been on earth.

Of course, it may also have had something to do with the fact that Janet would have preferred to spend Christmas with SG1, too. She hated being separated from her best friend, Samantha Carter, for any reason other than work. It amazed her sometimes how much she had come to depend on her best friend. Recently she had come to realize, she was more than a little in love with the major. Sam Carter had wormed her way into Janet's heart. Truthfully, Janet saw Sam as more than a best friend, more as a partner.

Sam was another matter. She had never shown any obvious feelings for Janet other than friendship, and it was a well-known secret on base that Sam had a thing for Jack O'Neill. Janet really couldn't see that either, but what did *she* know what with the whole fraternization policy. Whatever Sam was, she was a good keeper of her own emotions. Even Janet was rarely privy to those.

This Christmas, for instance, Sam had said nothing other than "okay" when Janet had said she had her parents coming to stay. Janet had wanted to invite Sam to her house, leaving the guys to fend for themselves. But, before she had had a chance to suggest this, Sam had arranged for the guys to come to her place instead. Janet wondered if, deep down, this was the crux of her developing bad mood; Sam preferred to spend Christmas with her team rather than with her friend.

Mentally, Janet scolded herself. Christmas was the time for happiness and good times with those you love, and she did love her parents dearly, so she was going to enjoy herself, Samantha Carter or no Samantha Carter.

Luckily, this resolution hit just before her sulky daughter joined her in the kitchen.

"Cranberries? Mom, that was on *your* list," were Cassie's first sullen words.

Refusing to bite, Janet smiled sweetly at her daughter and said, "Ok, Hon, you get the vegetables semi-prepared then go ring Dominic. Tell him to come join us as soon as possible tomorrow. I'm sure Grammy and Gramps would love to meet him."

Completely flummoxed at her Mom's good mood, Cassie flustered, "Huh? Mom? Are you sure? I thought…"

"I know, sweetie. Sorry, I've been in such a bad mood. I will miss spending Christmas with SG1 too, but there's always the New Year, and Grammy and Gramps don't see much of us. Let's just enjoy this one as best we can, hey? So, for you, that's get Dominic here, I think," said Janet with a grin.

"Ok, mom, and I'm sorry for being a pain in the ass, too," said Cassie, smoothing the ruffled feathers between them. "Let's get on with Christmas then. What are we going to do about the cranberries?" she asked.

"I'll go get some, you ring Dominic," replied Janet turning to leave the room. Remembering her mom duties too she threw back over her shoulder in a mock stern voice, "Potatoes and Beans first though."

Cassie laughed out loud and threw the dishcloth at her retreating mother, "Take care, mom."

"I will," shouted Janet as she pulled on her boots, and trudged back out in the snow to the only all-night grocery.

Staring at the fresh cranberries Janet felt a presence beside her. Glancing to her left she was surprised to see the woman of her thoughts, Sam. Sam was oblivious to Janet's nearness, apparently as deep in thought as Janet had been. Grinning, Janet tugged on her friend's coat sleeve, "Don't tell me. You forgot cranberries, too!"

Startled, Sam spun around. The smile that split her face caused Janet's heart to race twice as fast. It was a look she had never really seen before, a look that spoke volumes, a look that seemed to say all that Janet wanted it to say. As suddenly as it appeared, the look disappeared once more as Sam spoke, "Hey, Janet! Fancy meeting you here. Do you fancy a coffee or maybe something stronger?"

Ten minutes later, over bourbon on the rocks (both ladies having claimed dire need of its medicinal purposes), the two friends discussed their woes.

Sam talked of how the guys were expecting her to do all the preparations while they talked a good Christmas. She apologized for all the previous years when she may have got taken in by the SG1 camaraderie and promised to help Janet with the next year's Christmas dinner. Laughing, Janet had told Sam it really didn't matter, as long as she remembered the cranberries next time. She then went on to tell about Cassie's mood and how she had decided to just go with the flow and to enjoy Christmas.

With no warning at all, Sam interrupted Janet, grabbed her hand, and whispered, "God, I miss you Janet." The fact they had only seen each other, at the most 3 hours ago, was conveniently forgotten.

Pleasantly surprised with the emotion in Sam's voice, Janet squeezed the hand that now held hers tightly. "I know, Hon, I miss you too, but I have my parents and you have the colonel… um… the guys."

"I know, Janet. I must have been mad inviting them over. I want to spend Christmas with you and Cassie. I don't know how to say this, but it's something I've wanted to say all year. It's just the time never seems right, somehow. I… " Sam's words drifted off as she obviously thought better of saying whatever she was going to say.

"Sam, what did you want to say?" prompted Janet.

Sam made a decision; she was going to tell Janet her thoughts. Christmas was the time of year for telling your loved ones how much you thought of them, and Sam loved Janet. She whispered, as if afraid her words were somehow wrong, "Janet, I want to spend Christmas day with my partner and our daughter, not with the guys. No matter how much I see them as family, no matter how much I love them; they are not the one I am in love with. Janet, I… I… oh…"

Bursting with happiness, Janet couldn't help but tease Sam. She adored the blush that was creeping up Sam's chest and neck with every passing minute, "What Sam… I what…?"

"I love you, Janet," finished Sam quietly.

Glancing around, Janet leaned forward and brushed her lips quickly against Sam's. It was only the barest of touches, but the faint wetness as her tongue razed Sam's lower lip on her release promised so much more. Smiling inanely, the brunette added, "And I love you, Major Carter."

"So? Boxing Day? How about me, you and Cassie go some place as a family?" said Sam excitedly.

Janet's laughing reply warmed Sam up immediately, "What the hell is Boxing Day, Major Carter?"

"Oh, I forget, we American's don't call it that. Mom and Dad always called it Boxing Day, 'cos mom called it that as a girl in England. It's the day after Christmas Day, you Goof," teased Sam.

Still laughing, Janet continued to tease, "Oh no, Hon, I'm not having our daughter there after your little declaration. On Boxing Day, the guys can have the pleasure of some teenage company. You and me are going to enjoy some precious time alone. But now, strange as it might appear, I want to get home and get ready for mom and dad arriving. The sooner Christmas day arrives, the sooner Boxing Day arrives…"

Getting up from the table she pulled Sam with her by their still joined hands, then added boldly, "… and the sooner I have you."

Joining in with the laughter, Sam pulled Janet into her warmth to give her a hug and whispered in her ear, "Oh, you shall have me, beautiful, for always."

They both smiled and allowed their hands to become loose. Janet turned and walked out giving a shy blown kiss off her upturned palm. Mouthing the words, "love you," she left.

Sam smiled to herself, Christmas Day apart, Boxing Day together, the future together.

The End

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