DISCLAIMER: The story, and characters and anything and everything else concerning SG: SG1 belong to MGM, Gekko, Secret Productions etc, they are so not mine and no money is being made from this and no copyright infringement is intended, absolutely none what so ever.
ARCHIVE: Only with the permission of the author.
By Elizabeth Carter
"Sam, hon, you're fidgeting," Janet teased her lover. "It's going to be okay." Janet reached over and took her lover's fingers from her mouth.
Of course there was very little of Sam's thumbnail left on her right hand as she had bitten it off. It was one of the tiny habits the brilliant woman brought with her since her childhood. Or more accurately her teens, as the habit emerged during the funeral of her mother.
Sam and Janet were sitting upon the dark green velvet sofa looking at the large Douglas firtree.
Janet brought the blonde's long fingered hand to her lips and kissed it, before she leaned over to kiss her beloved's cheek. "I love you, Sammy. And trust me, it's going to be okay."
Sam closed her eyes, enjoying the richness of her beloved's touch. She loved the rush of adrenalin she always found in Janet's kisses, whether they be little pecks on the check or the deep devouring hungry kisses that always made her beg for oxygen.
"This is our first Christmas as a family, and I want it to be perfect," Sam said softly.
"Ohh, Honey." Janet wrapped her arms around the taller body of Sam. "Anyone ever tell you you're too cute?"
"My Mum, when I was seven," Sam snickered.
"Well, she was right on the money." Janet placed another kiss on Sam's lips, then pulled away, much to the blonde's disappointment. "Come on we'll get the tree up and ready for trimming for when Cassandra comes home from her outing with the guys."
For the next couple of hours, the two ladies went up into the attic and brought down several boxes marked 'XMas.' Sam checked the lights, making sure they all worked, as Janet busied herself with setting up the boxes within boxes containing the glass ornaments she had inherited from her parents when she moved away. Her brothers Jeffery and Scott had the other two thirds of the family ornaments. Marjorie had wanted her three children to have something of their roots when they all ventured out to make homes for themselves. During Christmas they could see the ornaments and reminisce about the past.
Janet pulled out more gift boxes that were used to store special ornaments. These belonged to Sam. Or more accurately, they had belonged to Sam's deceased mother, and thus were very, very dear to Samantha.
Sam looked up from placing the control bulb in the socket that would cause the string of lights to blink and watched as her lover pulled out of the large box the special ornaments that had belonged to her mother. Setting the lights down, she moved with the stealth of a feline and padded up behind Janet.
"You know, it's so much fun pulling all of these out and look at them again. It's kinda like pre-Christmas gifts."
"Anything like foreplay?" Janet teased.
"You're in a rare mood, Doc." Sam brushed up against the smaller woman, kissing the redhead's brow.
Janet cocked her head and smirked, saying nothing.
Gingerly Sam opened the red lacquered box containing spun glass ornaments of reindeer, snowmen, angels, and stars inside snowflakes. There were perfect globes with mini photos of Sam and her mom, depicting scenes as they were actually making the other ornaments, sliding on toboggans, ice-skating, and making pottery, which Sam had discovered was a Zen for her, and baking cookies and soufflés.
"Sam, I didn't know you and your mother made these." With gentle care Janet held up one of the reindeer.
"Mum liked to do a lot of creative things, especially with me." Sam shrugged with a warm smile. "She was always worried I would hole myself up in the basement, or rather 'my lab,' and forget to live. Granted we did a lot of science things together, too, but she wanted artistic things in my young life. We took this class together in October before her death after school, making spun glass things. She and I worked on the ornaments for the Christmas tree all semester. It was a lot of fun." Sam smiled. She picked up one of the ornaments that showed her and her mother snuggling together. "This was one of the last things we really did together, that and play guitar and we both loved to do pottery."
Janet rubbed her lover's long back. "It's great to have those memories, Hon. You know every time you look at theses you have a bit of your mom with you."
Sam nodded, her impossibly blue eyes tearing up in the recollection. "I miss her at times like this so much and then looking at these, I don't miss her quite so much. Does that make any sense?"
"A lot of sense." Janet kissed Sam's cheek. "The memory of your mom is so strong when you look at these that she's right here with you."
Sam flashed a Cheshire grin, "Yeah . that's it exactly." With great care, Sam replaced the ornament back into its cushioned resting place to be placed upon the tree later on.
Cassandra came home overly excited from her adventure in sledding with the guys of SG1. Her explanation of what they had done became a long run on sentence, causing both mothers to giggle at her excited state.
Teal'c had won the snowball fight and Daniel had lost his wind when he hit a bump on the sled and landed hard when he lost control over his sled. Uncle Jack taught the girl how to make snow-angels and how to build snow forts.
The guys left soon thereafter, leaving the ladies to a small family tradition of trimming the tree. Janet said it was a part of her own tradition to make a small batch of Pillsbury ready-to-bake sugar cookies to eat as the tree was decorated.
All three were in the kitchen cutting the pre-made dough into forms of Santa, reindeer, sleds, angels, and stockings as well as stars.
"Why don't you two go start on the tree and I'll pop these into the oven," Janet offered.
"Kay!" Cassie said and bolted from the kitchen through the den into the living room.
"Kay." Sam kissed her lover and sprinted after their daughter.
"I don't know whose influencing who!" Janet snickered. Watching the two hearts she loved most decorate each other with tinsel.
Lights, of course, were placed on first, then a garland of gold and silver foil. Next came the ornaments.
Winter scenes on globes, angels, stockings, Santa, a miniature nativity, Disney characters, Pooh-bear and other animated characters. Cassandra even had a few Harry Potter ornaments. Some were old, dating back to when Marjorie Sutton Fraiser was a lass, as well as plain ornaments that had been doctored up with cut out pictures of last year's Christmas cards pasted to their surfaces.
Janet came in and helped decorate, the three of them giggling as they arranged the ornaments, candy canes, and the strings of popcorn and cranberries that the three of them had created.
The buzzer rang, calling Janet back into the kitchen so she might take the freshly baked cookies out of the oven. She set them on a wire rack to cool.
Cassandra looked at a small box on the table and noticed that there were several spun glass ornaments that had yet to make their way onto the tree.
"Oh! Be careful, Honey," Sam warned her adopted daughter. "Those are special to me and very fragile."
"I'll be careful Sam," Cassandra said as she examined one of the reindeer. "They're very beautiful."
Sam came over to Cassie's side, smiling. "Thanks. They belonged to my Mum. She and I have special memories with these. See?" Sam pointed to the photos that were suspended in the globes like a ship in a bottle. "They mean a lot to me because it helps me think of good times with my Mum."
Cassandra knew that Sam was only a year older then herself when she lost her own mother. The alien girl and the captain had bonded over this and shared the pain and the joy of having a new family in their lives to take that pain of loss away.
"Your mum looks a lot like you, Sam." Cassandra pointed out. "You both have the same blonde hair and blue eyes. Both very, very pretty."
Sam ducked her head and smiled shyly. Samantha Carter could handle almost anything but compliments on her physical presence. It always made her turn bashful as if she was a young girl paid her first womanly comment.
"Hey, who wants cookies?" Janet asked as she came from the kitchen carrying a dinner plate with fresh sugar cookies.
"I do!" Cassandra said and bolted from the chair. In her excited state she had neglected to mind her body's position and when she leapt up her quick actions caused the box to go end over end and collide with the hardwood floor.
What followed was a horrible explosion of shattered glass.
Time remained frozen for a moment, no one moved. No one said a word.
Sam stared wide eyed at the shattered ornaments. She didn't say a thing, she just stared.
"Oh, Sam, I am so sorry. I didn't mean to!" Cassandra wailed. "I didn't mean to be careless. Sam .I .." Cassandra's words were lost in her sobs. "Mom please I didn't "
"We know, Honey." Janet put the plate on the dining room table and quickly made her way to the others. The petite woman took the girl into her arms, hugging her adopted daughter as Cassie wept.
Cassandra didn't know what to do. She watched as her hero slowly knelt before the debris, mindless, shifting through the broken bits. "It's . . . just ...things ." Sam said, deflated.
Cassandra looked to Janet, then back to Sam. "I am so sorry. Sam, I am so sorry."
"I know, Cassandra. I'm not mad at you," Sam said, her voice husky from holding back her own tears as she picked up the broken bits of glass and photos.
Cassandra turned away, her head hung low as she moved away from the living room. She couldn't take Sam's sadness, it was too much for her.
Janet was torn between comforting her child and soothing the heartache of her beloved. Seeing that Cassandra was trudging up the stairs, her head still hung low, the mother figured the girl wanted a moment alone. Cassandra had decided for Janet and so she turned to the blonde.
"It's so stupid. Why should I cry over this?" Sam gestured emptily over the pile of glass shards. "They are just things . It's things . It's not a person . they are only things. Stupid, fucking things," Sam sniffed, not trying to stop the tears that were now running down her cheeks. "So stupid to cry over objects."
Janet put a hand on her lover's shoulder. "Sammy, its not the objects, but what they represented. It was a tie to your mother. But look, see, there is one reindeer still intact." Janet dug the solitary glass ornament out of the debris, and held it out to her beloved. "And you do have the photos. See?" Janet collected the small photographs into her hand so she might present them to Samantha.
Sam nodded, then slowly held the glass deer possessively to her chest. Janet held Sam to her own chest just as possessively and allowed the blonde to weep quietly over the broken bits of memories. Janet berated herself, for in this moment, Sam never seemed more real, more human. "It's okay to cry, Sammy." The smaller woman knew her lover. She knew Sam needed permission to mourn over the loss of these material objects.
But the ornaments were indeed more than the material, they were memories; it was one of the last things she did with Rebecca Carter before she died. And when they were broken, it was like everything those ornaments represented were shattered. Janet understood this and she wanted to show Sam that it was perfectly okay to mourn over such things.
"Come on, Honey, I'll take care of this, okay." Janet pulled the sullen blonde out of the living room and away from the remnants of the spun glass ornaments. She kissed each red puffy eye as she guided the taller woman to the den. Janet knew it was futile to take the reindeer out of the blonde's hand and so she simply pushed the taller woman down on the sofa allowing her to vent her grief.
Once Sam was quieted, Janet moved up the stairs to her daughter's room to find Cassandra on her bed with her knees pulled up under her chin.
"I made Sam cry," she said as soon as Janet closed the door. "Nobody makes Sam cry . Not even the Goa'uld can. But I did ." Cassandra mumbled solemnly, her fingers keeping busy by tearing the tissue that was in her hands into shreds.
Janet didn't say anything but quickly traversed the space between her and her hurting child.
"Does she hate me?" Cassandra managed between large gasps of air as she recovered from the hard wracking sobs that had taken her earlier. She had convinced herself that Sam would want nothing to do with her ever again.
"Oh, Honey .No, .no, .no, of course not. Sam loves you. She could never hate you." Janet cooed a mother's love.
"But I broke her mommy's special things. Her mommy like my real mommy is dead Mom, I didn't mean to really I didn't!" Cassandra wailed anew.
Janet took hold of yet another broken hearted soul she loved dearly. And like Sam, she let Cassie cry out her grief. She rocked the child in her ever-capable arms, as she stroked the auburn hair.
"Honey, Sam knows it was an accident. She's just a little sad about it, but she loves you. And good news, one of the ornaments wasn't broken and the pictures are okay."
Cassandra barely nodded. Janet placed a mother's kiss upon the brow and took a tissue from the box that was by the bedside and wiped her daughter's face. "Look, Honey. Just give a moment for Sam to collect herself and her thoughts, okay?"
There was a slow nod of the child's head. Janet kissed the brow once more then left. "Honey, it's going to be okay. I promise. Why don't you take a moment and gather yourself as well. I'm going to go clean up the mess."
Again a sullen head nodded and Janet closed the door.
Moments later Cassandra descended the steps with deliberate slowness. Her head was hung down, her long auburn hair hanging limply over her eyes, veiling her grief-stricken face. If anything, Cassandra had learned from both Sam and Janet to face the things that bring difficulty into your life. Neither one of them backed down from the hard moments. Even if they failed, they never backed down, because if they did they would lose.
Slowly Cassandra moved into the living room to face Sam. She saw her hero sitting on the couch, her thumb of her right hand stroking the side of the spun glass ornament.
Swallowing hard, Cassandra moved to the captain's side. "Sam " said the little girl.
Sam looked up and said nothing, but opened her arms wide. Cassandra fell heavily into them, holding onto her hero for dear life. "I am so so so sorry I ruined Christmas!"
"Oh, Honey, you didn't ruin Christmas." Sam cooed in her best mimicry of her mother's voice, as she returned the embrace with her own bearhug.
"But I wrecked your special ornaments!"
"I still have this one. See?" Sam held the reindeer in front of Cassandra as she situated the girl more comfortably upon her lap.
Cassie looked down with moist hazel eyes, not daring to touch the deer. "Cassandra, I love you. I am not mad at you either, so get that silly notion out of your mind. I might be a little sad, but I still have the pictures of my Mum and I still have this deer, and more importantly, I still have the memories." Sam kissed the child's brow. "I am not mad."
"I .." Cassie still had a hard lump in her throat making it impossible to talk, and so she nuzzled into Samantha's arms just holding her tightly. "Sorry."
"I know, Honey. You know my Mum wouldn't want us to dwell upon this little hiccup. So we won't. Cass, you are very special to me and as much as those ornaments were special you are more so."
Cassandra's arms tightened around Sam all the more, until she was hugging Sam for all she was worth. Even Sam tightened her embrace. Then with the pad of her left hand she wiped away the tears from her daughter's eyes, as if to wipe away the grief, for they had reconciled.
Janet looked on and wiped her own large brown doe eyes as the two hearts she loved most had healed. Silently she began to clean up the broken bits of glass and placed then into a small paper sack to be disposed of as Sam saw fit. Of course Janet felt sorry for her Sammy. Those treasured ornaments were a strong memory for the blonde before her tragedy. Now she had little left of that time, just one single ornament and a few scattered photographs, not much at all. When she heard Sam talking once more the tiny doctor couldn't help but pause in her cleaning endeavors to listen.
Sam cuddled the growing child in her arms trying to wrap the girl in all of her love. "You know, the ornaments were made the in the fall just before Christmas. My Mum and I made them in a class given at her university, where she taught philosophy. It was her belief that beautiful things should be useful and useful things beautiful."
'That explains you, my lovely Sam,' thought Janet as she was still listening to her lover and Cassandra.
"When we took the class, Mum decided we would make ornaments for the Christmas tree, instead of dust collectors. Come to think of it, that's probably why she collected all those plates, and I continued to do so."
'Yes, but you simply display them, Love.' Janet smiled to herself. 'I wonder if your mom hung them up or she actually used them, or she used the beauty - useful thing as an excuse to allow her to collect something '
Sam's voice pulled Janet's attention back to the present. As she walked softly back into the living room she gently placed a kiss upon the two girls she loved with every fiber of her being. Without saying anything else, Janet sat on the couch sharing the togetherness.
"It's tradition to pass on special things, to share them. I want you to have this reindeer, Sweety."
Cassandra's hazel eyes grew large. "But Sam! That is so special to you!"
"Cass, you are the single survivor of your homeworld and this deer is the single survivor of an accident. Both causes of this singularity are very sad, but it also makes you both extremely special. So I want you to have this ornament.
"You and I both lost our Mums, but we have a new family that is very dear to us, so this reindeer can be a reminder of what is important to us both. When you look at it you will know how much I love you just as I know how much my own Mum loved me when I look at it."
Cassandra gingerly touched the ornament then took it into her hand; the smile on her face was never so bright. Together she and Sam hung the glass bauble on the tree.
When it came time to take the tree down, the deer found a new home not in a box but rather upon a thirteen year old's dresser until the next Christmas.
"Oh! Sammy be careful!" a thirty-three year old Cassandra moved swiftly to her daughter's side and took the blonde into her arms. "That is special to Mommy. It used to belong to Nana." She took the spun glass reindeer from the five year old's hand.
"When Mommy was thirteen, Nana gave it to me. See, Nana and her Mum made it, and it was special to Nana, more so because Mommy became careless one Christmas. I wanted to see the ornaments, but Nana asked me to be very careful with them. She said that she and her Mum had made them before Great-Gran Rebecca died. Nana treasured them. But I was not as careful as I should have been and when Grandma said she had fresh cookies I turned quickly from the table and all the ornaments in that special box crashed to the floor. It made a horrible noise and all the other ornaments that this matched were broken. Nana was very very sad, she even cried."
"Nana hardly ever cries," young Samantha pointed out.
"I know, and I felt even worse that it was me that had caused her to cry, but she forgave me and gave me this deer so I would always know how dear I am to her. One day you will have it for your own, when you are a lot older, but for now, no touchy. Okay?" Cassandra kissed her daughter's brow.
"Okay." Samantha Janet nodded, looking with wonder at the wonderfully sculpted glass ornament. And as all children her age she couldn't wait to have it for her own. Then she thought that one day she would hand it down to her own little girl once she herself became a mommy. With wide hazel eyes she watched as her mother placed the spun glass ornament high upon the tree bough.
And so it was that the story of the spun glass reindeer would be told to each generation and in each generation the eldest girl inherited the ornament from her mother.
Return to Stargate Fiction
Return to Main Page