It was two rather subdued women who came down to breakfast the next morning. Each was engrossed in their own thoughts about the tentative kiss they had shared last night. Janet made scrambled eggs on toast for them both. Their conversation was slightly awkward as it was blindingly obvious that neither wanted to approach the subject of the night before.
Eventually it was Sam who broke first, "So, this kiss huh!"
Janet breathed a sigh of relief that they could now talk about it. "Yeah, about that."
Sam finished Janet's thought for her from their conversation before the kiss, "I know, you don't want to take it further. That's cool."
Janet just opened her mouth and closed it again. She was shocked (and a little disappointed) that Sam had accepted her choice so readily.
Taking Janet's silence to mean she stood her ground, Sam added, "Last night, we shared a lot. I didn't think it would be a problem to share a kiss."
"It's not a problem." Janet replied with a smile, "We're aware now of our feelings on the subject, so I don't think we need to take it further."
"Agreed." Replied Sam, resisting the urge to salute the small doctor, instead she gave her a small nod.
In the weeks following that conversation, the two spent even more time together. It was nice that they both had a shared secret in common, and that became the basis for a deep and intense friendship. They would meet for lunch every time they were on base together, and Sam would frequently join Janet and Cassie for dinner. On the occasions that this didn't happen, Sam would ring Janet every night before they went to bed. This ritual carried on for weeks until a passing comment Janet caught from an airman regarding her and her 'Flyboy Girlfriend', made her think that Sam's attention could be more than just friendship.
That evening when Sam called Janet, she didn't answer the phone. Janet knew she was being silly and that she should just talk to Sam about her concerns, but she couldn't find the words to say to her face. The same happened when Sam tried to ring the next night. Sam just assumed Janet was either busy with work or asleep. She left a couple of messages saying that she'd called to say 'hi', but otherwise wasn't concerned.
It was when Sam had come to collect Janet from the infirmary for lunch that she became suspicious of Janet's recent behaviour toward her - or away from her, as was the case. The other doctor on shift told her that Janet was having lunch off base. Sam checked her SGC email account in case there were any messages about Cassie that would explain her absence. The inbox was empty.
On a whim, she checker her personal mail. 'Aha!' she thought as she clicked to open an email from Janet. As she read the first few lines, her heart sank to the bottom of her combat boots:
I don't know how to say this as I don't want to hurt you, but lately I've been a little overwhelmed by the amount of attention you've been giving me. I really liked our relationship when we didn't know how the other felt and now I think its getting confusing. I don't know if this is me, you, or both of us. I just want to confirm that we are, and can only be, friends. I don't want to lose your friendship Sam. I think it would be best if we had a little time apart to reset the counter and gear our friendship back to safer grounds.
I'm sorry Sam, I know this is not what you wanted to hear.
As Sam read the email, tears streamed down her face. Her reaction was one of disbelief, hurt, and anger. As Sam composed a reply, she tried to keep her emotions even. The tone was reflected in her words:
" You're overwhelmed? After reading that, so am I. You seem to be confused about our friendship. Let me confirm what a friendship is to me: I ring my friends - a lot. I like to speak to my friends. I like to have dinner with my friends. I like to share hugs with my friends. I make an effort with my friends.
As you're my best friend, I find it hard to believe that you are surprised by my display of the aforementioned behaviour. I'm sorry you don't seem to trust my intentions. When we first discussed this, you said that you only wanted to be friends. I accepted that and have treated you accordingly. I do not believe that I have put any pressure on you to move our friendship on to anything more. Which, as you so eloquently pointed out, is all we have. I now understand your recent behaviour towards me. I just would have preferred you to discuss it instead of pushing me away. As you wish, I will honour your request and keep my distance. I hope that a reply to my response is not too much to ask. Just consider these lyrics if you will:
You and me
We used to be together
Every day together always
I really feel
I'm losing my best friend
I can't believe
This could be the end
It looks as though you're letting go
And if it's real,
Well I don't want to know
I know just what you're saying
So please stop explaining
Don't tell me 'cause it hurts
I know what you're thinking
I don't need your reasons
Don't tell me 'cause it hurts
They can be inviting
But some are altogether
As we die, both you and I
With my head in my hands
I sit and cry
It's all ending
I gotta stop pretending who we are...
You and me
I can see us dying ... are we?
Sam hit the 'send' button. She didn't know if she was being too harsh on Janet, but her behaviour towards her had really hurt. She had respected Janets's wishes and now she was being rejected as a friend as well. Sam spent the night at her quarters on base in a tearful, restless sleep.
To Be Continued
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