DISCLAIMER: I only borrowed them for a while. MGM and whoever can have them back whenever they want. Lyrics are for `The Other Woman' by Nina Simone, written by Jesse Mae Robinson.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Janet's half came directly from the song. Then Sam decided she wanted her say. The two are exactly 500 words long each if anyone's interested… No, thought not.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author

The Other Woman
By Celievamp

Sometimes I feel like I am the other woman in Samantha Carter's life. Our relationship has to be circumspect, I know. We both have too much to lose – Cassie, our jobs. But even if we could be open about what we feel for each other I know that I would still be – giving her the benefit of the doubt – joint first in her affections.

The `other woman' is an alien artifact. A ring of metal and quartz not native to Earth. A technological marvel. An archaeological wonder. Something that Samantha Carter fell in love with even before she had seen it. Something that she will spend the rest of her life trying to comprehend.

I'm not complaining, not really. When Sam is with me, it's wonderful. She makes me feel things I had begun to fear I was incapable of feeling. Too many years alone. Even when I was married.

Sam saved me from myself. I think I saved her as well. Continue to save her – not in the medical sense though I do that far too often for my piece of mind. I saved her from loneliness from acceptance that this was the way things had to be if she was to maintain her position, to be the perfect scientist, the model soldier. I know that what I see when she is laid in bed beside me as we kiss, cuddle, talk about anything and everything, is the real deal, the essential Samantha Carter. Sweet, gentle, funny, sensual, bright, beautiful - perceptive, though she insists that she's not a `people person', I'd trust her judgment any day of the week. Insightful in many ways, wise and innocent at the same time. And she loves me. I have no doubts that she loves me. But all too soon I will lose her again to the siren song of the Gate. And I might not see her for days.

She loves me but loyalty and honour are her watchwords. She invented a whole new branch of physics to bring back Jack O'Neill. She put aside her night terrors to seek out an almost mythical group of Goa'uld rebels and make an alliance with them. She risked her life and her career to stop our military making the same mistake that ended a civilization on another world.

Sam brought Cassie into my life. My daughter. Our daughter. The terrified little alien girl who is now indistinguishable from any other American teen. She is alive because Sam took a chance, went beyond her training, her discipline. A brilliant mind, a beautiful heart.

Sometimes I think she uses the Gate as an excuse to distance herself from what we have. I don't think she wants to get used to us, to the idea of their being an `us'. I don't think she wants to take me for granted. She wants to keep the time with me as stolen, secret, exciting. The perils of loving an adrenaline junkie, I suppose.

And I do love her.

****** musical interlude *******

The Other Woman (Nina Simone, written by Jesse Mae Robinson )

The other woman finds time to manicure her nails
The other woman is perfect where her rival fails
And she's never seen with pin curls in her hair

The other woman enchants her clothes with French perfume
The other woman keeps fresh cut flowers in each room
There are never toys that's scattered everywhere

And when her baby comes to call
He'll find her waiting like a lonesome queen
Cos when she's by his side
It's such a change from old routine

But the other woman will always cry herself to sleep
The other woman will never have his love to keep
And as the years go by the other woman
Will spend her life alone

I do love her.

It's just - sometimes I wish I could have more of Janet's time. Between my work and her work and Cassie some days it feels as if we don't have more than five minutes together.

I worry that I'm not demonstrative enough for her sometimes. I know we can't do anything to draw attention to ourselves in that way on base but for some reason it's hard for me to break the habit even when we're off duty and on our own. Cassie knows about us – she wouldn't care what we did (well, within reason). It's me. I won't hold hands with her if there's a chance someone might see us. It's me that resisted for so long the idea that I should move in with her even though it made sense in a lot of ways – financial as well as emotional. And she was right. No one blinked an eye.

I think it hurts her sometimes. I think she's afraid that she comes second to my career, to the Stargate.

She is such a loving person. So caring. I know it goes with the whole healing persona. Janet gives so much of herself to so many people that sometimes I worry that she stretches herself too thinly. Sometimes I worry that there won't be enough left for me. Pathetic!

I'm not complaining, not really. Any time that I spend with Janet is just so amazingly special. She makes me see things that I never did before, things about myself, about the way the world works. She knows people, she has an instinctive understanding of how they work, how they think. And I don't. I can listen to her talk for hours about the people we work with every day. I know their names, their titles, their jobs. She knows their lives, their families, their hopes and fears.

Sometimes she denigrates herself, putting her job down in importance compared with mine. Come on, I mean I do math and play with doohickeys. She heals people. I've seen the look of relief in people's eyes more than once when they've come back through the Gate injured and scared that they're gonna die this time and they see that its Janet that's waiting for them and the fear just melts away because they know that she will make it all right. I've probably had that look on my own face more than once.

Her work comes first, I know. I understand. But sometimes I resent it so much. I even resent Cassie who I love like she was my own for taking up her time, her attention. I hate being so insecure. Like it's her fault – before I met her before I admitted that I loved her I was this cool, collected person with no emotional life whatsoever. Any inclinations I had towards one had been pretty much killed off by Jonas Hanson. I did not know what I was missing.

Now I do. And it scares me.

The End

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