DISCLAIMER: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of MGM, Showtime, Gekko etc. no infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: AU… I think… Oh… and I wrote two possible endings… a happy one… and a bad one… the bad one is the last… it is marked… and you should stop then if you don't want to read it. THANKS: to my beta elfcat255 *bows* …it must've been a lot work to look through this one… umm… my first longer ficlet in english… but… I like it …nontheless *g*
SPOILERS: Foothold, Prometheus, Unnatural selection.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
WARNING: Sam whump… and it is pretty dark.

By sinadino


Part 1

She tossed and turned in bed while Janet tried to soothe her nightmare; Sam didn't react to her attempts for what seemed like hours. When she finally woke up and looked into her lover's eyes the clock on the nightstand read four in the morning; her expression was haunted as blue eyes searched for brown.

Janet smiled, she moved to pull Sam into an embrace but the blonde backed away, "Sam? What is it?"

The fear visible in her eyes Sam retreated further until she fell of the bed, knocking her head on the nightstand. The last thing she saw before drowning in darkness were the eyes of her tormentor.

The light was bright when she finally opened her eyes…she was lying in an infirmary bed…something bad must've happened. Her head hurt…when she reached up to touch her throbbing forehead she learned that she was restrained…this was so not good.

She looked up and saw an IV but couldn't decipher what was in it; the color was odd, pale green… she didn't remember having ever had something like that.

Hearing a noise she turned her head, "J'net?" she croaked.

The brown eyes weren't the same.

No feeling visible, no warmth.

Not even a hint of the tender gaze.


No emotion… just… coldness.

Sam shivered and pulled against the restraints desperately trying to free herself.

The brunette smiled while she motioned for a SF to help her with her patient. While she prepared another injection Sam saw another fluid she'd never seen before, "What is that? What are you doing? What does all this mean? Don't do this I…"

Helplessly she watched Janet add the contents into the IV… slowly everything vanished into a blur.

She knew she had to free herself. Something was wrong but then…why should she?

She felt warm…content…it was nice. Somewhere in the back of her head she heard a desperate scream telling her not to give in…to stay strong…then the voice subsided.

'These people wouldn't hurt me would they?' she thought, 'They would've done that long before if that was their intention,' slowly she opened her eyes once more.

Again the brown eyes waited for her… she looked at them and remembered the pain these eyes provided… no…nonononono her inner voice chanted…outwardly she smiled as the brunette reached down and stroked her cheek then turned to a medic, her voice freezing, "She's ready for further testing. Let's begin!"

She felt awake, but didn't dare to open her eyes; she hated her nightmares but they'd never been this…vivid. She'd never felt this lost after finally escaping them either; this one had been totally different…it was something she had feared during the foothold situation. That the alien who had taken the form of her lover would experiment on her like she'd planned. She'd never talked to Janet about that and never dreamed about it either… until now…this was strange… again she felt a strange feeling of being alone in darkness.

Usually Janet was by her side and helped her to get back but now… she was alone.

Sam jerked awake when someone touched her shoulder and everything came back to her…

They'd met the Asgard…asking for help after the incident with the Prometheus…

they'd met the replicators…only… they didn't look like those bugs…they had human forms and one of them had shoved a hand into her head. Sam raised a hand to feel her forehead… there was nothing.

She opened her eyes and saw a female curiously scrutinizing her, "What was that?" the blonde demanded.

"That will be your punishment every time you try to distract me!"

"Distract?" But Sam didn't get an answer.

Again she felt the pain of the invading hand…a pain that would become familiar in time.


Part 2

Her world went on in a blur; she remembered things, people, places, situations and the human replicators.

And she refused…with a blink she was back with the female replicator.

"I told you…you'd be punished if you kept distracting me," with these words Sam felt the pain returning to her head.

Slowly she woke up…opening her eyes she saw the familiar surroundings of the infirmary.

'So… am I back or is this just another illusion?'

She heard footsteps which indicated to her that Janet approached, she was always able to differ between hers and those of the staff. When she looked into brown eyes she had her answer…she didn't even bother to look at the syringe in the brunette's hand.

'This isn't happening…it is all my imagination…she can't hurt me."

Sam closed her eyes and chanted that mantra in her head but stopped when she felt the needle enter her stomach. Looking down she saw it wasn't a needle that had hurt her; the gown was gone… the restraints were still there and she pulled against them…nothing happened. She saw the doctor working in her abdomen, raising her head she got a glimpse of what was happening down there.

Janet held a scalpel in her hand; Sam felt warm liquid running down her waist…the mantra wasn't working anymore…she felt the pain and screamed. Sam never believed she could scream like that.

The next time she woke up her voice was hoarse. Janet gazed down at her, stroking her face and smoothing her hair. Fear made Sam stiffen under the touch…she panted heavily still feeling the burning inside of her.

"Will you be a good girl for our next turn?" Janet's face changed into the human replicators' cold mask. Sam wasn't even able to nod.

Sam tried to resist, but found that she could not. Second wandered through her memories, visiting planets and moons Sam herself had walked on…searching for something useful for them…advanced technologies…knowledge. Sam refused to give up but she was too weak to prevent things from happening. It took some time but after Second had seen the events on Netu she felt her strength coming back.

"I will reward you for your behavior. You did well," the replicator said smiling at her. It was a cruel smile and Sam wondered what the machine might have meant.

"Janet, I had the strangest dream last night," she said as she turned over and reached to pull her lover into an embrace; the brunette smiled at her.

Sam told her everything about her imprisonment she'd dreamed about; the fear, the emotionless eyes of her lover she'd seen and known that it wasn't true, "I'm glad it was just a dream. It's creepy to think this could be true," she told the brunette.

Sam wondered why she'd pulled out of the nightmare so easily. Usually it took some time and now…she thought of it as a dream…nothing to be really scared of.

Deep in thought she didn't notice Janet's movements and was surprised when she felt soft lips covering her own. Gladly she allowed the demanding tongue entrance…when she felt a change in Janet's demeanor she opened her eyes…she couldn't remember she'd closed them…and saw Second's face next to hers.

Sam backed away, seeing a wicked smile curving her opponents' lips, "It wasn't a dream. This…this is the dream," she murmured still in shock.

'How am I supposed to know what was real and what is not?'

The smile of the replicator widened at the sight of her prisoner's shaking body, "It is time to continue our path!"

Sam prepared herself for the intruding hand but this time she didn't feel anything. There was no pain… or was she just getting used to it? Again she started to hide her thoughts… she didn't even know how she did it but she felt the anger of her captor immediately.

She was back in restraints… again…helplessly looking into what was once the most calming sight to her… Janet's face. She didn't dare to look at the smaller woman's eyes…she knew they would be cold.


Part 3

Her head hurt like hell. She should ask Janet for a painkiller…Janet. Sam swallowed, opened her eyes and took in her surroundings.

She was in some sort of cell. Crawling closer to one of the walls she realized that they like the floor were made of replicator blocks.

Sam slowly rose, steadying herself against the wall only to slide down again and she heard unfamiliar voices before her mind drifted into darkness again.

Minutes, hours or was it days…Sam woke up again.

Outside, wherever outside was… there was noise…explosions.

A ripple shot through the wall and the Major took the chance and punched against it. The blocks gave in and she could look through a hole into a corridor where she saw her team fighting against the bugs. It took all her strength to crawl out of her prison.

Teal'c saw her first, "O'Neill!"

The colonel nodded, "Grab her…we gotta go!"

Unceremoniously the Jaffa threw her over his shoulder then carried her out while Jonas and O'Neill covered their retreat.

"Wakey wakey, Carter!"


"Finally!" he exclaimed, "Good to see you by the way."

She cracked her eyes open, "Good to see you too Sir. What happened?"

He grinned, "Oh… just the usual…we got captured…split up; we freed ourselves and then freed you."

Jack helped her sit up and she asked, "So…the replicators are gone?"

"I hope so… that was a hell of an explosion… I think these neat little blocks are spread out all over the universe," he said proudly.

"Galaxy Sir," she corrected.

"Whatever; so…you feel any better?"

"Actually… I feel like myself Sir. So I guess that's a yes."

"What happened to you? None of us took that whole hand in head thing that hard."

She shrugged, "Second liked to remind me of my nightmares."

"Carter, it's just the two of us here. So please…be honest. What happened?"

She looked at him, his face showed his concern openly, "Sir… I… she made me feel like they were true, the nightmares that is. I didn't know what was real and what not; it was… creepy."

O'Neill nodded, "Okay… you," he pointed at her chest, "should rest. We'll be home soon and then you'll have good ole' Doc Fraiser to patch you up. Everything will be fine."

He turned to walk away and didn't see the frightened blue eyes that followed his movements as he walked out of the room.

It took her some time to calm down. Nothing of what happened on that planet had been real…she was safe now…wasn't she? 'Everything will be fine just like the Colonel said,' she thought, 'it'll just take some time to re-adjust. Time… time is relative,' Sam smiled at that.

She scrutinized her temporary quarters, to say they were spartan would be an understatement but the Prometheus wasn't finished yet. The thought of that gave her something to look forward to; she would request some time to work on the vessel…she'd need something different…for some time…to heal.

The blonde lay back down, turning on her side and drifted back to sleep.

"So Major? You gonna wake up today?" a voice asked.

"Warner? Where's Janet?" she asked, not opening her eyes yet.

He grinned, "As soon as you open your eyes I might be in the mood to tell you."

She obeyed but closed them immediately, "Bright," she complained.

"Okay, Major Carter. I'll turn them off; how about now?" he asked.

Sam opened her eyes again, the light was dimmed and the brightness easier to bear, "Better."

She returned his smile, "Where is Janet?"

"Doctor Fraiser is with her daughter; Cassie has a mild case of the flu but refused to stay in bed, so she went back home to make sure that her daughter follows doctors orders. But she sends her regards and she'll be here soon. We already informed her that SG-1 is back."

"The Colonel? Jonas? Teal'c?" she asked in a hoarse voice.

Hearing the hoarseness in her voice Warner motioned to the nurse to bring some ice-chips, "They are all well. They don't remember anything of their…" he pondered, searching for the right word.

"Interrogation?" Sam tried to help out.

"Yes…are you able to recall anything of what happened to you?"

Not entirely trusting her voice Sam just nodded.

"Okay Major, you're still weak due to the malnutrition and dehydration. Rest! I'll see to it that you're informed as soon as Doctor Fraiser gets here."

"Thank you," she told the doctor as he walked away.

Thankfully she leaned her head back in the pillow and closed her eyes but she found it difficult to sleep; the images of what the replicator had shown her still haunted her. She was tempted to ask for a sedative… but what if Janet arrived soon and she wouldn't be able to wake? Sam tried to concentrate on Kelnoreem which Teal'c had taught her and it seemed to work. She soon felt more relaxed and minutes later her breath evened out as she drifted into sleep.

Slender fingers were wrapped around her wrist when she opened her eyes again; "He-ey Sam," she smiled at the familiar greeting, "Hey Jan! How's Cassie?"

"Oh, better now. Better than you actually," Janet said as her gaze lingered on the monitor for a moment then returned to her patient; then Sam knew… Second had tricked her…again. Tears welled up in her eyes when her lover's form changed into her tormentor's.

"Why are you doing this?" the blonde demanded.

"Because I can!" was the simple answer as the journey continued.


Part 4

I felt the headache increasing and pinching the bridge of my nose didn't help to ease it any.


"Yes, Abby?" I turned around half expecting her to tell me that some emergency had occurred but she just looked at me.

"You should get some rest," the nurse said.

I wanted to argue but when I felt her hand on my shoulder I gave in, thankfully accepting her concerned actions as I let Abby lead me to my quarters; I let myself go and then slumped down on the cot nearly falling asleep. I hadn't had enough during the last few days…weeks to be honest…the worry over SG-1…okay, it was mostly for Sam…held me awake…she got herself trapped on the Prometheus hijacked by Simmons and his pet Goa'uld and then they just…disappeared.

We had received word from O'Neill… apparently the Asgard were in trouble and needed another dumb idea…so SG-1 had to come to the rescue…but who would rescue SG-1?

What sleep I have had is dreamless…which was good; I remember the nightmares I use to have whenever Sam was off world… I know them too well. They aren't easy to handle when I'm home; I'm not sure how I'd react if I had them here on base. Every time she goes through the gate there's the chance she won't come back but somehow… I don't know… this time my feeling about all this is much worse then I shiver as I remember Reese and her animated toys.

'SG-1 has faced dangerous odds before but Sam better make damn sure she doesn't come back injured,' I think frustrated as sleep finally overtakes me.

I do my job on autopilot like always when Sam's in trouble… at least this way I get all the paperwork done. I usually hide in my office working on all those reports which need to be finished and would have to wait longer…unless there are patients then I manage to wake up… get myself back together.

I come to myself as soon someone enters the infirmary for medical attention or like now when its General Hammond asking for some reports. I hand them over and his hand brushes my arm; the unexpected touch makes me look into his face.

"They'll be fine and come back ASAP, Doctor. It'll just take time…traveling across the universe you know." I smile inwardly at his Texas drawl and swallow, clueless how to respond to this.

"Well, thanks for the reports, Doctor Fraiser," he says and walks out of my office.

Somehow I feel better now.


Part 5

She heard her name, "Carter!"

Something touched her right arm and she jerked awake. Her first movement was to slowly raise her hand and touch her forehead.

This was new…during Second's torture she'd never awakened on the Prometheus but the others were with her.

"I don't remember much of it," she had lied to O'Neill…deliberately.

She still wasn't sure if this was real; so often she had explained to O'Neill what happened…only to find out that the replicator had tricked her…over and over again…she was tired of it…worn out.

"37 hours Sir," she said coming out of her thoughts and answering the Colonel.

Could that be real? Only 37 hours? Unbelievable… but well… it would make this whole scenario more believable in a way; after all, everything had been played out in her own imagination…she shivered inwardly

"Ship time" she added still confused by it. ' Only 37 hours…so short but so many events…so much pain…so real. Well at least we have a better plan in this…version…play…scenario?' she thought as she left the bridge on her way to prepare the hyper drive.

It had felt real when she'd sensed the Goa'uld inside Janet.

It had felt real when Sam herself was in that asylum…when she was unable to tell Janet…when every fiber in her body disobeyed her will.

It had felt real when she'd screamed at her lover.

It had felt real when she'd made Janet cry… when she…

She swallowed it down…this felt different now. Maybe this was real…she walked towards the console, starting with her work when she heard footsteps behind her.

Sam took a deep breath,'Please', she thought,'please don't let it be Janet. Please let it real this time…I can't take anymore.' Slowly turning around she faced the newcomer.

Puzzled she looked into the man's face, "You're…?"

"I am Fifth," he said smiling widely.

"Uh huh… what are you doing here?"

"I brought you here. All of you...one by one; I thought it might be a bit more comfortable," he remarked, the smile never leaving his face.

Sam looked at him…stunned; this was different, he was different. He seemed so…human. Her brows furrowed; was this another wicked joke by Second?

Fifth seemed to be able to read her mind, "This is real…you can be sure of that. What Second did to you was wrong, I know that. This is why I carried you here…you're safe. But you have to come back at the temple."

Sam shivered; that was the last place she wanted to go but she knew for fulfilling the mission it might become necessary.

"Blowing up the hyper drive would only provide energy to the blocks on the surface. It won't help you…believe me, I speak the truth," Fifth blurted out, interrupting her musings.

Sam looked at him, still not sure if she should trust this promising thought of reality.

She searched for the words to explain to him, to ask for his help but nothing came to her mind. Her heart jumped in joy when she heard O'Neill approaching and realized that she better explain Fifth's presence.

The replicator disturbed her; he smiled… the whole time talking with O'Neill, he smiled.

He reminded her of Cassie…he seemed so…childlike, so naïve… as if nothing bad could happen but he felt sympathetic for them in a way...well…for her…maybe he would help them…maybe they'd have a chance to flee or was it just another figment of her imagination that Second had planted in her mind to learn how the humans would react.

'So we're invited for dinner…I wonder what will come of this.'


Part 6

They are on their way back, Thor has informed us… well that is what General Hammond has told me. They seemed to be unharmed so far but that is what the Asgard have said… I'd like to prove it myself.

A few hours to go and then they'll be back here. I can't wait to have Sam back…I can't wait to take her home. Abby gives me an odd look, I doubt that she has ever seen her CO humming and nearly dancing through the infirmary. But she just smiles at me...Sam will be back…she will be back soon.


"Yes Sir?"

"Didn't I order you to get some rest?"

"Yes but…"

"No buts…you'll go to those quarters and catch some sleep!"

"Sir I..."

"NO! Do as ordered Major!"

"Yes Sir!"

O'Neill watched his 2IC retreat, 'Her head is hanging down as she leaves the bridge… she doesn't look so good. She has taken this whole replithingies ordeal much worse than the rest of us or she just hates me for the order I gave her; leaving that machine behind. She thinks he's nearly human, but I don't think so. I just hope that the Asgard will be able to fix this…I don't want to relive this ever again. I only remember that it had hurt whatever they did but that's bad enough.' He thought.

"So, Teal'c… when will we reach home?"

"Two hours from now Sir."

'I asked Teal'c, why does Jonas answer?'


"Yes airman?"

"SG-1 is on its way down here. General Hammond requests that you prepare for the post-mission exams."

"Very well airman, inform the General that everything is ready."

"Yes Ma'am!"

'He's a newbie, I have to let him know not to call me Ma'am but his salute was neat,' I think with a small grin.

'Why did Hammond inform me? He must know that everything is prepared…like always. Maybe he just wanted to get rid of that greenhorn. Maybe? I think I can be sure of that and now I sent that poor boy back.'

Approaching footsteps and hushed voices tell me that someone has entered the infirmary; I turn around fully expecting to see my lover but there are only the male members of SG-1. I throw them a stern look, "Where's Major Carter?"

Abby tilts her head around the corner, "Warner is already examining her. She went straight there Doctor."

This throws me for a loop, 'Why did she do this? Since we've been together she always came to me for the exams when I was on duty.'

O'Neill approaches me, "Look Doc, I think we have to talk."

"Colonel I…"

"I had a talk with Carter after I ordered her to get some rest back on the ship. You should know what happened," with this said he leads me into my office.

'What did he mean by happened? What happened? I'm not sure if I want to know but… Jack knows about us, he knows me. He wouldn't pretend this to be important if it wasn't; something in his voice scares me. What the hell happened out there?' I think as I follow him into my office.


Part 7

Sam tossed and turned in bed while Janet tried to soothe her nightmare; Sam didn't react to that for what seemed like hours. When she finally woke up and looked into her lover's eyes the clock on the nightstand read four in the morning. Her expression was haunted as blue eyes searched for brown… Janet smiled. She moved her arms to pull Sam into an embrace but the blonde backed away.

"Sam? What is it?"

The fear visible in her eyes Sam retreated further until she fell of the bed, knocking

her head on the nightstand.

The last thing she saw before drowning in darkness were the eyes of her tormentor.

"Sam? Sam…please… Sam wake up!"

Slowly the blonde's eyelids fluttered open and again she faced her own fear. Janet tried to keep her face free from the sorrow she felt, tried to stay professional, to reassure and to help her lover, to make her feel safe again but Sam's expression stayed the same.

"Please…not again…I won't hide…I won't conceal…I'll show you whatever you want, just let me go…please."

Janet's heart nearly broke when she heard Sam's sobbed words; the blonde didn't try to back away anymore. She lay curled in a fetal position on the floor; Janet knelt next to her stroking her back as silent tears found their way down her cheeks.

"God Sam, what did she do to you…what did she do to you?"

Janet pulled Sam into her lap holding her lover close she rocked back and forth in a steady rhythm mumbling soft assurances as she tried to calm her but nothing seemed to work.

Her face felt warm when she woke up. Rays of sunlight fell through the crack between the curtains falling upon her face but something wasn't quite right. Alarmed, she opened her eyes and jerked in an upright position…she was still on the floor and Sam was gone.

'Maybe she was just in the bathroom or in the kitchen preparing breakfast or… or she was so frightened of me that she fled,' Janet thought while standing up and went to search for a certain blonde.

After half an hour she had to admit that Sam wasn't in their house anymore. Janet grabbed for her purse and retrieved her cell phone, hoping she could reach Sam but the only thing she got was a busy signal. When she called O'Neill and again got a busy signal her nervousness receded. If the two of them were talking Sam had to be…okay…well at least alive…her being okay… that would take time Janet knew.

Yesterday O'Neill had told her he planned to stay home, "If there's anything I can help with, just give me a call!" he had said; well, she would take him up on it. She reached for the car keys and rushed out of the house…she had to find Sam… she had to do something.

When she pulled up in his driveway he was already waiting and greeted her from the porch, "Hey Doc!"


"It's Jack!"

Janet smiled, "Jack then, is…"

"She's sleeping in the spare room. I had hoped you would come, Sam didn't say much."

Janet gave him a puzzled look.

"She just gave me a call and asked if she could sleep here. Ten minutes ago she arrived gave me a short 'Hi Sir' and went for the spare. What happened? Nightmare?"

"Yes…a bad one. She didn't recognize me…she thought I was this…"


"Yes…dammit, Jack that thing broke her. I have never seen her like this she's so…lost and…I just … I just don't know."

She hugged herself and looked at him, searching for help.

Jack saw the pleading look in her eyes then pulled her into an embrace, unsure if it was the right thing to do but this was his best friend's lover and she seemed to need this.

"We will get her through this," as soon as he had spoken he heard Janet sob, her small form shaking in his arms.

Stroking her back he murmured, "All of us will…whatever it takes…we will fix this."


Part 8

Sam slept the entire day; Jack and Janet decided not to wake her since she seemed to have a restful sleep for once. They sat on the deck and watched the sun going down; fireflies swirled through the warm evening air only visible as tiny light dots floating above the lawn.

'Peaceful' Janet thought, 'Will we ever be able to feel this together? How long will it take and how much effort will it take to bring Sam back to peacefulness?'

"How do you cope?"

Jack's question rattled her out of her musings, "Huh?"

"How do you feel Doctor."

"I'm fine, thanks."

"No…you're not. I know you think you have to be strong for her but I also know that you're hurting because of… this," he said waving a hand in the air.

"It isn't her fault," Janet said, her voice barely a whisper.

"Janet of course it is not her fault. She's gone through hell according to what she told me and I doubt she told me everything but…you two are lovers and her rejecting you because of what this machine did to her…that must be hard."

She snorted, "You have to rub it in, huh?"

"What I mean is…the team is there for you. You just have to give us a call, we're here when you need us and when you need to talk we will listen."

"I thought we were talking."

"About all and nothing, not about how you feel. I don't know if I'm a big help with that but you two should talk, maybe with someone who'll be able to help you get through this. Don't give me that look, I'm not talking about McKenzie…I know Carter isn't exactly thrilled about his… abilities."

Janet looked down at her feet, "Jack, everything is so… fucked up!"

"Doctor Fraiser, I didn't know you had such a vocabulary."

This comment was rewarded with a smile and he smiled back, "So…" he stood up then stretched, "What now?"

Janet shrugged; "I don't know. We'll see if she wants to talk to me when she's awake. For now I think we should let her sleep, as long as she can sleep without nightmares it's fine I think…even if it has to be at your place."

He looked at the small form of his friend slumped down in her seat, "Well let's get inside; I think I heard something maybe Sam's awake now."

When they heard the noise of a motor being started Janet bolted upright, running for the door and Jack followed her but they were too late. The only thing they could see were the rear-lights of Sam's Volvo disappearing down the street.

"Jack…what… where?"

He pulled her in a hug, "I don't know…I don't know."

"We have to follow her!"

"Where? If she doesn't want to be found we won't be able to locate her. Let's go see if she left a message."

Janet could only nod as they went inside and found a post-it on the door.

The note read…I can't stay. Tell Janet that I'm sorry, I have to go. Tell her that I love her. Don't follow me. I need some time away…sorry.

Janet swallowed, looking up she met O'Neil's gaze. He gave her a smile and sighed, "Well at least we know where she's headed. It's ironic actually," he snorted. The brunette's expression showed that she didn't understand.

"She's on her way to my cabin, I think. She took the keys," he shook his head, "I don't know how often I asked her to come up there with me and when she finally does…"

He winced at the glare Janet gave him and held up his hands in surrender, "Hey… I didn't know back then that the two of you were together."

She laughed at his reaction, "Thanks Jack…I needed this."

"You're welcome, I'm glad to amuse the CMO. Can't let myself get on her bad side."

"So…you have a map?"


"Colonel Jack O'Neill, do you have a map I can use to find my way to that cabin of yours?"

"You wanna follow her?"

"No…I just asked because I think it might be fun watching you search for it," was her sarcastic reply.

"In my car, wait a minute!" He grabbed the car keys and rushed outside, 'Dammit why didn't Carter stay put?' he thought, groping in the glove compartment until he finally pulled out what looked like a former map.

"Got it!" he said when he reached her, "Are you sure? I mean she wrote that she…"

"I'll give her two days. If she hasn't given me a call by then, I'll drive there," Janet said interrupting him.

"Good…take someone with you, it's a long way you know."

She sighed and smirked, "You want to tag along?"

"Me? You know how I am when I don't drive myself and as far as I know you are worse… at least that's what Sam told me," he slapped a hand over his mouth, "I didn't say that loud, did I?"

Janet quirked an eyebrow, "Yes you did and this comment leaves me curious as to what else Sam told you."

"Ummm… nothing…not a thing…you know…she isn't that much of a talker uh…" he stammered.

"Thanks for the map Colonel maybe I'll ask Teal'c to accompany me on the trip or Jonas…or both," she grinned and walked towards her car.

The sorrow for Sam didn't cease but somehow the easy banter with O'Neill had made it more bearable. Janet still hoped that Sam didn't head for the cabin… that she was at their home… rethinking her plan and deciding to stay but she knew better.


Part 9

She woke up, went in the bathroom, ate breakfast and then she left the cabin for a walk through the woods. It would be evening when she returned to the cabin. This was her routine for two days.


She didn't know what else to do.

She didn't know how to live.

She existed but this wasn't life.

Life… she pondered… or was this just another illusion?

Sam hoped not…she hadn't seen Janet for two days.

She'd heard her at the Colonel's but the first thing that came to her mind had been to run away… not to approach them and talk.

Sam closed the door, wrapped in a blanket she moved towards the pond.

It was cold, autumn was coming…she could smell it in the air as the mornings grew colder.

What now? This question kept bugging her. She couldn't live like this; Second had tortured her…yes and it still haunted her. In her dreams and even now when she was wide awake.

She watched the wind curling the smooth water into small waves, it seemed so peaceful here. But she nearly expected Second to come out from a hiding place, maybe she stood behind a tree and waited for her to settle in…only to pull her out and re-adjust her in her hopeless prison.

A shiver ran down her spine, this wasn't what she wanted.

But… what did she want?

What did she really want?

The answer screamed inside her and Sam cried because of it…Janet.

Only she wasn't able to face her lover.

Not after everything that had happened… or... could she?

"Dammit I can't even think straight anymore!" she muttered and walked back to the cabin.

Her military training kicked in when she heard the sound of a car nearing her position. This was a dead end…only someone who would want to reach the cabin would drive this way.

Sam dropped the blanket and snuck along the backside of the cabin, making her way to hide behind a group of trees until the car stopped; then she heard voices. Their voices…they were talking …about her.


Part 10

"I promise I won't be gone long Honey. The keys are…"

Cassie pulled her in a tight hug, "I know Mom! I'll be fine."

Janet ignored that comment, "And if there's anything the number…"

"…is on your desk; besides I could also call Uncle Jack."

Janet smiled at her, wondering when her daughter had grown up. The small doctor embraced her once more, "Take care, okay. I'll be back soon."

Cassie smiled down at her, "Just bring her back home, okay. Give me a call and I'll cook."

"You mean you'll order a pizza."

"Details…details," Cassie grumbled and they both grinned.

"Doctor Fraiser?" Jonas' voice came through the closed door. "Gotta go hon, see you soon, bye!"

"Bye Mom!"

Janet smiled, remembering her goodbye with Cass. When she looked over she discovered that both of her companions were asleep. Teal'c sat next to her but he was as still as could be in the moving car, maybe he was kelnoreeming but Jonas lay across the backseat softly snoring. Janet chuckled, Sam had told her about night time at camp; they couldn't decide whose snoring was worse, O'Neill's or Daniel's… and now… with Jonas… everything was different. Good and nice but still… different.

Sam had a hard time accepting Jonas as a new member…they had talked about it a lot. She felt like she was betraying Daniel by allowing Jonas to be a friend. Janet remembered all those sleepless nights when they had talked about it; Sam had come to her and asked for it…now she'd just run away.

Janet drove for another hour, her friends still sleeping and she felt herself growing tired,

"Good time for a break," she murmured when she turned right then pulled into the parking area of a motel. Immediately Teal'c stirred and looked at her; she smiled at that then they both looked at Jonas who was still fast asleep.

"Okay, Teal'c, I'll check in and you get Jonas into your room," she told him grinning as she left the two men behind and headed inside the motel.

The last part of the tour went smoothly. After a good nights sleep…not so good considering her dreams but at least she'd gotten some…she felt slightly better.

Jonas was bouncy, it wasn't often that he got to see Earth and now he was in for quite the trip. Teal'c occasionally raised an eyebrow his answers as efficient as usual.

When they finally reached the road leading to O'Neill's cabin Teal'c turned and looked at her, "Doctor Fraiser you asked for my presence during this trip but I must inform you that I am not interested in fishing."

Janet stopped the car and looked at his cool expression…was that a hint of a smile on his face? She grinned, "Oh Teal'c… I think you'll get enough opportunity to go fishing with Colonel O'Neill. He'll make sure of that I believe."

The Jaffa turned and looked out of the window again.

"What is that? Fishing?" Jonas asked.

"You should ask Colonel O'Neill as soon as we get back," Janet replied.

It took them ten minutes to get to the cabin, stopping in front of it they stepped out and stretched.

"You guys should go first and ask Sam to come out or if I may come in."

"You sure about that? I mean she might feel better and…"

"Jonas, O'Neill told me what she'd told him about the replicators. I don't know what happened exactly but I know enough to expect Sam to feel threatened if I am the first person she sees."

"How much time do you think will it take for her to heal?"

This was one of the questions Janet refused to think about, "It could take years…or…it might happen never. But I will wait…even if it takes forever," she murmured as her shoulders sagged.

"I hope it won't come to that," a calm voice came out of the trees; slowly Sam approached them and hugged Janet, "But it'll take time I'm afraid," she whispered.

Sam smiled as she looked at her friends. Teal'c ducked his head slightly, while Jonas grinned.

"So…your first time in Minnesota, Jonas?"


"You're grinning!"

"Oh! Yeah…"

Janet stepped back from Sam's embrace to gaze at her lover. Sam smiled; she'd teased Jonas with their running joke.

"Ummm…guys…I really appreciate that you all took the long way up here but…would you mind camping out at the motel in town…I think Janet and I should talk."

"As you wish Major Carter," Teal'c bowed and went back to the car while Jonas still stood there with a grin plastered on his face, "Glad you're back, Sam!" he stated and then turned back to the car.

"Are you certain Sam?" Janet's eyes locked with blue.

"Yeah… if you want to cope with me."


Fingers intertwined and smiling they walked back to the cabin.


Part 11

Sam stared at the flames in the fireplace; Janet had gone to bed some time ago. They had agreed that they shouldn't sleep together since Sam didn't trust herself yet; she had nightmares and she still was somehow expecting that Second would show up. Sam had told Janet about her fear, that she would hurt her because she would mistake her for the replicator and this made Sam shiver.

She remembered her former relationships… and… she realized that she's never been as open with a partner as she was with Janet. She had told Janet everything, every single nightmare Second had confronted her with.

Janet being a Goa'uld…torturing her…how she herself had been taken as a host and killed her lover…she clearly remembered the feeling of power that flashed through her at that moment. Sam even told her that she'd begged Second to let her free; this was the hardest admission.

Sam sighed and curled into her blanket, slowly drifting into sleep. It was all good now… she was home… kinda… she was with Janet…so…in a way it was home even if it was in O'Neill's cabin…she smiled sleepily before the darkness claimed her again.

Her sleep shirt was soaked and the only thing she heard was the soothing nonsense her lover whispered to her. She felt a hand stroking her back and she felt Janet's body next to her.


"Hush, everything's okay Sam. Remember we are in Jack's cabin…you're back. You had a nightmare and woke screaming… I know we agreed I should stay upstairs but I couldn't," Janet admitted, trying to reassure the blonde.

She felt Sam relaxing and when their eyes locked, Sam smiled. "It… it… is… better!" she stammered in wonder, "I… I knew it…I knew it was you and not…her."

Relief visible in her face Janet smiled back, "You're all sweaty Sam," she chided. "Come on, let's get you into the shower and then back to bed."


"You sure you want me to sleep here? I mean I can get down and…"

The doctor didn't get to finish her sentence; "Janet, I think…it is better now…just…let's cuddle and fall asleep okay?"

Janet nodded, slipped under the covers next to her love and reached over to turn off the bedside lamp. Sam immediately spooned the smaller woman and hugged her tight; a single tear found its way down Janet's cheek. There was a hope now…everything would be alright.


Part 12

The silence was only disturbed by her breathing and startled she realized another's; familiar warmth surrounded her…she felt safe. Sam didn't need to open her eyes to know that Janet was lying next to her. Smiling she let her mind wander…no nightmares…for the first time she'd slept without any nightmares. Opening her eyes she turned to her lover and took in her beloved's features, Janet still slept; as always it soothed Sam's mind to watch her sleeping, everything else faded out then and the only thing she was able to feel was happiness. Leaning over she brushed her lips over the brunette's temple and moving carefully so she wouldn't wake her sleeping beauty she stood up then walked out of the room to prepare breakfast.

The smell of fresh brewed coffee made Janet blink her eyes open.

"Hey sleepyhead! Rise and shine…it's nearly noon!"

Janet blinked once more, "Huh?"

"Oh and I sent Teal'c and Jonas back home, they called earlier asking if they should come over. I told them that we'll clean up and leave then."

"Why? It's nice here," Janet said grinning.

"Well," Sam drawled, "I still like our bed better!"

If possible Janet's grin grew wider but then her gaze turned seriously, "Sam I…"

"I know there's still a lot to talk about….and yes…I will visit a counselor but no…it won't be McKenzie; I really don't like him and I don't trust him."

Sam jumped on the bed, tackling her lover, "But for now… I'll change the sheets… while you take a shower and then we'll have some breakfast."

Janet raised an eyebrow but did as she was told.

Two hours later the cabin was empty again, waiting for Jack's next fishing trip.

Three weeks later

"Honey, I'm home!"

Janet was standing in the kitchen, preparing dinner and shook her head, "Uh huh…I thought you didn't like clichés."

"No… that was my CO."

Janet turned around and frowned at the blonde, "Are we in a happy mood today?"

"I don't know about you but I am!" Sam bounced around her lover and grinned.

Amused the diminutive doctor led the blonde to one of the kitchen chairs, "And the reason for your… high spirits?"

Sam pulled Janet to her and the brunette took the opportunity to straddle her hips,

"I…am…declared…for…full…duty!" every word was punctuated by a kiss on the smaller woman's lips.

"Sooo… you want to celebrate?" Janet grinned.

"Oh yeah!"

Sam picked her up, stopped at the stove and turned it off. Janet giggled when Sam bounced on every step, carrying her upstairs towards their bedroom.

Janet loved it when Sam was home, she always had. When she woke before her taller lover and felt the breath of the blonde tingling her ear…it was like heaven. Slowly she turned around, still pleasantly sore from their night of passionate love-making and looked into Sam's peaceful face. The last weeks had been hard on her, hard on both of them if she was honest with herself. They'd kissed sometimes… but hadn't made love since Sam's abduction by Second. She knew Sam still had nightmares about that mission but they weren't as vivid as before and receded to bad dreams just like all those others did.

She sighed happily; they were okay… much sooner than she'd dared to hope. Sam was fooling around again; it was like for their first time when they made love last night.

"I need you…I need you Janet…more than ever; I need to relearn your body, my body…I need you," it was only a whisper but it was too strong to resist… even if Janet had wanted to.

Janet reached up and softly stroked the beloved face, "You're back Sam. You're really back."

"Five more minutes Mom!" was the mumbled reply while Sam turned and snuggled deeper into the blanket. Janet suppressed a giggle as she spooned against her lover.

Everything was well now…everything was back to normal.


*********** But what if that ending was just another false reality? ***********

She felt warm when she opened her eyes.

Her whole body tingled with the remembrance of the last night.

But still, she felt too warm.

They'd taken a shower… they'd made love… for the first time in what had seemed like eternity. She felt feverish, reaching up she touched her forehead.

The movement was incredibly hard.

Just then Sam realized that she couldn't see clearly; her vision was blurred..

She tried to sit up but found she was too weak.

Something wasn't right.

Then she heard the voice…her voice.

"You should've eaten when you were told to."

Sam tried to concentrate, tried to remember where she was.

She felt something cold touching her forehead and then another voice.

"Give her some water!" Soon she felt a cup touching her mouth, she sipped and swallowed the liquid down but she still felt disorientated.

After a while her vision cleared.

Three women and four men looked down at her and then it struck her… she hadn't escaped…she was still imprisoned by the human replicators.

"Why?… Please…let me go," she begged, only to hear the one called First laughing; "Well if you can reach the door on your own…I might allow you to go."

Slowly she rolled on her side and crawled forward, hearing amused giggles from those surrounding her. Sam collapsed again and gave up, she tried to move…something, anything but her muscles wouldn't do as she told them. Her eyes closed again and she wasn't able to resist the darkness this time.

But she heard her captors…one last time, "It has been too long, she's already dying. Leave her…we still have the Jaffa!"

The End

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