DISCLAIMER: Stargate Atlantis and its characters are the property of MGM, Showtime, Gekko etc. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Set just before Sam and Keller's appearance in the last scene of "Doppelganger."
SPOILERS: "The Pegasus Project" and "Doppelganger"
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Geonn


Sleep hadn't come easily for Samantha Carter since she arrived on Atlantis, but it was even harder tonight. She viewed Atlantis as a temporary stop, a brief mission a year before had brought her and the rest of SG-1 to the Ancient outpost. The first and only night she'd spent on the base had been spent with McKay going over the specifications of their plan to open the Ori Supergate. She hadn't gotten a chance to really explore the city, let alone get used to the sound of the ocean so close by.

Ten years working inside a mountain had gotten her used to the idea of night as a quiet, dark time. But insistent alien waves and two iridescent moons hanging over her head destroyed both of those concepts.

She had just taken a shower and still wore her robe. She hadn't bothered with pajamas; another member of the expedition had advised her that shorts and a tank top, paired with an open window, was the best way to sleep. At this point, she was willing to try anything.

None of the infected personnel had touched her, and the entity that had taken Colonel Sheppard's appearance was disposed of. Still, Kate Heightmeyer's experience would be enough to give anyone a few sleepless nights.

The thought of Heightmeyer brought another wave of regret and self-doubt. She had been in charge of Atlantis for barely two weeks and she had already sent back notice that another expedition member had died. Excellent work, Carter. Wonderful leadership skills. If she had been infected by the entity, she had no doubt what her nightmares would have been about.

She wasn't sure what had drawn her from her quarters, whether it was a conscious decision or just muscle memory that prompted her to dress and hurry down the already-familiar corridors. She had to consult the computerized directory McKay had set up to find Dr. Keller's quarters, and checked it again when she had to admit she didn't remember the woman's first name.

The chime had been answered almost before it had a chance to stop echoing. Her hair was down, and her jacket was unzipped, but she was still fully in uniform despite the lateness of the hour. Sam smiled and said, "Looks like I'm not the only one having a sleepless night."

Jennifer smiled and looked down at her socks. In that moment, with her hair hanging down over her face, was almost physically painful for Sam. In that moment, that split-second, she had looked so much like another brunette doctor... Sam closed her eyes and forced the apparition to the back of her mind.

"Do... do you want to come in?"

"I don't want to impose," Sam said. She immediately kicked herself; why else would she have gotten dressed and come all the way over here in the middle of the night, if not to impose? "Are you sure?"

"Please. I was getting tired of just staring at the walls and trying to fall asleep."

"It's probably going to be a while before anyone on base gets a very good night's sleep." She stepped into Jennifer's quarters and took a quick scan. It wasn't much different from Sam's own room; suitcases still stood against the foot of the bed and pictures were stacked on the desk waiting to be hung.

Jennifer said, "It's still kind of a work in progress." She slipped past Sam and shut one of the suitcases, tucked something lacy under the edge of the blanket. She turned and gestured at the desk against the wall. "Have a seat."

Sam, unsure if she was going to stay that long, leaned against the edge of the desk and crossed her feet at the ankles. Keller sat on the bed and folded her hands between her knees. "I, uh... assume this isn't a professional visit."

"No! Oh. No, it's just..." She scratched her eyebrow. "No. I couldn't sleep and I wanted to talk. And it seems crazy, seeing as we just met, but... I felt like I could talk to you."

"I'm honored. I don't know how much help I can be." She offered a small smile and Sam was again struck by how young this girl seemed. Bright-eyed, eager to please... She said, "I mean, I just started this job a couple of months ago. And you're Colonel Samantha Carter."

"Well, maybe being that isn't so easy." The words were a whisper, the first time she'd said them out loud. But she had been thinking it ever since the IOA had contacted her with the possibility she would be picked as the expedition's new leader. She looked up and saw Jennifer staring at her expectantly. "Colonel Sam Carter. SG-1. The brain trust. The one everyone counts on to know the solution."

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean--"

"I know you didn't. I shouldn't be laying all this on you. But it's just..." She looked up and suddenly she was somewhere else. A dark living room, facing another brunette in silk pajamas and a robe. "It's all right, Sam. I'm here for you. You can stay as long as you need to." She closed her eyes. "I should go."

"No," Jennifer said. "You just got here. Look, before I got promoted, I had only had the time to get to know a couple of people on base. Then, suddenly, everyone I knew was subordinate to me. Not exactly the best way to start a friendship."

Sam smiled. "You're telling me."

"Right. The burden of command. I can't imagine how hard it must be in your shoes."

Sam lifted a shoulder. "Well, you're about as close to an equal as I'm likely to find on this base. And judging by the way you were there for me during the announcement about Kate earlier..."

"That was nothing."

"It meant a lot that you were there," Sam said. "Thank you."

Jennifer smiled. "You would have done the same for me."

They sat silently for a moment and listened to the waves outside Jennifer's window. Sam looked down at her boots and her eyes unerringly moved a little further to Jennifer's socks. She sucked her bottom lip into her mouth and swept her tongue across it, searching for the right thing to say. "You know. Sam. You don't always have to be the one to say something. You don't always have to say anything. Just be there. "

Janet's voice was the push she needed. Sam stood up so quickly, she startled Jennifer into jerking back. "Sorry. Um... do you want to go get something to eat?"

Jennifer's smile returned. "I would love to get something to eat."

Sam offered a hand and Jennifer wrapped her fingers around the palm. She pulled gently and Jennifer came up, standing much closer than she had any right to. Sam looked into the young woman's face, the way her hair caught in her eyelashes, and suddenly realized they were still holding hands. Sam squeezed gently and released her fingers. She coughed lightly and stepped back. "So. Commissary."

"Right. I just need to get my shoes."

Sam moved toward the door to give Jennifer room to get dressed. She sat on the bed and pulled her boots on, lacing them expertly. She zipped her jacket closed when she stood and smiled. "Okay. Lead the way, Colonel."

"Sam. When it's just us, it would be okay if you called me Sam."

Jennifer's smile widened. "Okay, Sam."

They stepped into the corridor and fell into step next to each other. Once they left the personal quarters' area, they reached another corridor that was open to the night air. Both women looked out at the water. "It's lovely."

"Very," Sam agreed. They hesitated and moved to the railing. Sam let the sea breeze wash over her and inhaled. Alien world or not, there was one thing that never changed. The smell of the ocean at night was just as intoxicating as on Earth. She was standing to Jennifer's left, just a bit behind her, and the loose strands of her hair were whipping in the breeze.

Sam reached out to tuck the hair behind Jennifer's ear, a casual gesture that meant nothing, but Jennifer turned to look at her just before she made contact. Sam's hand jerked, as if she'd been caught in the act of doing something scandalous. Which, of course, she had. She said, "Your hair. Um," and lamely dropped her hand to her side.

Jennifer tucked the hair behind her ear and turned to face Sam fully. Sam said, "I don't want you to get the wrong idea."

"It's okay," Jennifer said quietly.

"No. It's not. I'm you superior, we're both new to the city, we're..."

Jennifer kissed her.

It wasn't an insistent kiss, or much more than what a friend would give another friend. Her hand rested lightly on Sam's shoulder, just above the Atlantis patch, her other hand moved hesitantly to Sam's waist to pull her closer. Sam closed her eyes and tilted her head. She felt Jennifer's tongue against her mouth and parted her lips in a gasp to accept it.

Before she could return the touch, Jennifer stepped back and dropped her heels to the floor. She brushed her fingers over her bottom lip and, suddenly shy, ducked her head. "Sorry about that."

"You should be sorry." Jennifer's eyes met hers again and Sam smiled. "No one told you to stop." Jennifer smiled and Sam looked toward the cafeteria. "Sounds like we're not the only ones looking for a midnight snack. Still want to go in or would you rather have some alone time?"

Jennifer took a deep breath and let it out slowly before she answered. "Yeah. It might be nice to be around a lot of people right now. But I'll take a rain check on the alone time."

Sam smiled and they continued to the cafeteria. Sam reached out and took Jennifer's hand. She held tight until they got to the door, then gave the fingers a final squeeze before she let it go. As they approached the table, McKay looked up from his smorgasbord and said. "Ah. Colonel Carter. And Doctor Keller! Looks like the gang's all here, huh?"

Sam pulled a chair from the next table and sat next to Colonel Sheppard at the head of the table. Jennifer sat next to her as Sam leaned over to look at Sheppard's snack. "Does that help you sleep?"

He picked up another wedge of his orange and popped it into his mouth. "Oh, yeah."

"Hey!" McKay said. He raised his hand next to his face as a shield for the juice Sheppard was threatening to spit all over the table. "Careful with the spittle, all right, Colonel Citrus?"

Sheppard sneered at him, but did move the orange bowl closer to Sam's seat. "The trick to getting a good night's sleep. You find something that relaxes you, something that eases the stress of the day and you take advantage of it whenever you can." He popped another wedge into his mouth. "I'm sure you have something like that."

Sam glanced at Jennifer without really looking at her. She smiled, looked down at the tablecloth and said, "Yeah, I have something that I think works okay."

Jennifer stood with her hands on the railing, eyes constantly scanning the far horizon. "Can you believe I never even saw an ocean before I was assigned to Atlantis? I mean, the oceans on Earth."

"Right," Sam said. She scanned the water and said, "It's amazing how different it looks. It's waves and waves of the same kind of water, but... you can tell. It's different." She looked at Jennifer and noticed she had wrapped her arms around herself. "Are you cold?"

"No, I'm fine," Jennifer said.

"Maybe we should head back." They were on the outskirts of Atlantis, in one of the farthest and least-traveled corridors of the city. Had anyone asked, they would have claimed they were just taking a stroll to explore their new home, to get used to being in Atlantis. In truth, it was their fourth date.

A dinner with Colonel Sheppard, Dr. McKay and Dr. Zelenka had constituted their first date, while Sam hosted their next two dinners in her quarters. Jennifer had been set to host Sam for dinner, but had asked if they could just take a walk instead. Now it was getting close to 2200 and she had an early morning. Hell, they were all early mornings since she'd come here.

"Are you okay?" Sam looked up and met Jennifer's eyes. "You just seem like you were a million miles away."

"Sorry. I was just thinking about work tomorrow."

Jennifer glanced at her watch and suddenly straightened. "Oh, God. I didn't even notice." She pushed away from the railing and said, "Sorry about that."

"Don't worry about it. I enjoyed it." She reached out and took Jennifer's hand. They walked hand-in-hand to the first transporter and Sam reluctantly released Jennifer to activate the pad. They stepped into the small cab and the doors swished quietly shut behind them.

Jennifer noticed their destination and smiled. "Colonel Carter, ever the lady. Walking me to my quarters."

Sam grinned. "The least I can do."

The doors opened and Sam said, "I'll never get used to that."

"Ten years in a mountain," Keller said, echoing one of Sam's new favorite phrases. "You had the whole twenty-eight floor descent."

"Few times a day, every day," Sam said. "This nearly-instantaneous arrival system is a bit disconcerting."

They stepped into the deserted corridor and walked down the now-familiar path to Jennifer's quarters. "Do you have plans for this Friday?" Jennifer asked. "Colonel Sheppard somehow got a copy of Alien through the Gate and he's setting up a movie night with McKay and Ronon."

"Oh," Sam said. "I wondered why Ronon seemed so excited earlier."

"Ever since the Colonel brought it up, Ronon has been... I hate to use the word giddy..."

Sam laughed. "But it does fit." They stopped at Jennifer's quarters and Sam clasped her hands behind her back. "Well. I guess this is it."

"So. Friday?"

Sam winced. "I'm not much into Alien, to be honest."

"I was actually telling you about that because Colonel Sheppard, Teyla, Ronon, Dr. McKay... the majority of people we know will be preoccupied with movie night. We could probably have a semi-romantic dinner in the commissary."

Sam's eyes brightened. "Oh! That would be lovely. Thank you, Jennifer. And thank you for tonight. I had a wonderful time." She stepped hesitantly forward and brought her hand up. She cupped the back of Jennifer's head, threading the feather-soft brown hair through her fingers as she leaned in.

"Should we do this?" Jennifer whispered. "Out here, where anyone can see us?"

Sam changed her angle at the last second and brushed her lips across the corner of Jennifer's mouth. "Are you inviting me into your bedroom?" she whispered. Her fingernails curled at the base of Jennifer's skull and Sam saw Jennifer's eyelids flutter.

"Yes," Jennifer said. Her right hand reached blindly for the pad next to her door. She found it and unlocked the door, then grabbed the hem of Sam's jacket. "Come inside."

Sam allowed herself to be pulled into the room and closed the door behind her. She pushed Jennifer against the wall, planted her feet apart to give her leverage, and moved her hands to Jennifer's hips. Jennifer parted her lips to moan just as Sam's mouth closed over them. As soon as contact was made, Sam shuffled her feet closer. She braced Jennifer's legs with her own and curled her tongue forward.

Jennifer tilted her head into the kiss and wrapped her arms possessively around Sam's waist. She pulled her close, rolled her hips forward against the crotch of Sam's uniform trousers and closed her lips around Sam's tongue. She sucked gently, then dug her fingers into Sam's ass and went limp.

Sam groaned and pulled back. She kissed Jennifer's chin and cheek, then said, "God, I should go."

Jennifer's fingers tightened. "After a kiss like that? I think not."

Sam looked into Jennifer's eyes, bright in the darkness. She could smell the doctor's perfume, could still feel the weight of their palms pressing against each other. She brought both hands up and curled them in Jennifer's long, beautiful hair. "Are you sure?"

Instead of a reply, Jennifer leaned forward. She kissed Sam hard, slid her tongue between Sam's lips and thrust her hips forward against Sam's. Sam stepped back and gently pushed Jennifer away, breaking the kiss. "What?" Jennifer asked. "Was it too... should I not have..."

"No, it was fine," Sam said softly. She took Jennifer's hands in hers and brought them to her lips. She kissed the knuckles of each hand, then guided her to the bed. She sat Jennifer on the edge of the mattress and stepped back. Jennifer leaned back on her elbows, her breasts rising and falling under her jacket. She sucked in her bottom lip and stared up at Sam.

Sam unzipped her jacket and let it slide off her shoulders. She wore a red blouse underneath, cut low to accentuate her cleavage. Jennifer said, "Take your hair down. I want to see you with it down."

Sam reached up and undid the clasp. She ran her hand through it a few times to settle the waves before she let it fall to her shoulders.

Jennifer's eyes sparkled. "You're so gorgeous." There was a crack in her voice and she added, "You look like an angel."

"You're the angel," Sam breathed. She knelt on the edge of the bed, pushed Jennifer down and covered her body. Jennifer gasped just as Sam kissed her again. Sam eased Jennifer's legs apart with her knee and settled between them. Jennifer brought her feet up and hooked her ankles behind Sam's back.

Jennifer ran her hands through Sam's hair. "You really had short hair?" she gasped.

"For over ten years," Sam said. She moved her lips to Jennifer's neck, leaving small, gentle bites along her pulse point. Jennifer moaned and dug her heels into the small of Sam's back.

Jennifer balled her hands into fists and said, "I like it the new way. Gives me something to hold on to..."

"Yeah?" Sam whispered. She kissed Jennifer's chin, her bottom lip and her nose. "What were you planning that you need handholds?"

Jennifer's smile was sly and innocent at the same time. Sam smiled back at her and said, "Do you want to try and get undressed?"

"Yes." Jennifer reached for the zipped of her jacket and Sam rolled to one side. While Jennifer shrugged out of her jacket, Sam moved her attention south. She kissed Jennifer through the material of her shirt, cupped her mound through her trousers, and pressed hard with her fingertips against the lips she knew lay hidden below. Jennifer arched her back and gasped.

Sam chuckled and said, "You like that?" She used her free hand to unzip Jennifer's trousers and slipped her free hand inside. Jennifer pulled her blouse over her head, cinnamon-colored hair falling down over her face. Sam kissed her breasts through her bra, finding the nipples with her teeth. Her hand, exploring the unseen terrain under Jennifer's trousers, pressed against her panties.

"You're wet," Sam whispered against Jennifer's cleavage.

"Are you wet?" Jennifer asked.

"Since the moment you kissed me," Sam admitted. She kissed Jennifer's neck and used her fingernails to pull aside Jennifer's panties.

"Oh. Sam..."

Sam used three fingers, spreading Jennifer's lips apart and stroking her lips with the tip of the middle finger. She slid her hips forward and spread her legs around Jennifer's hip. She rocked her hips against the hard curve, combining her movements with Jennifer's quick, eager thrusts. Before long, both were panting. Sam's loose hair was caught in her eyelashes so she was watching Jennifer through a hazy veil.

Jennifer's eyes opened and she arched her back. She closed her hand around Sam's wrist and squeezed her thighs together to make sure she couldn't escape. She gasped Sam's name, squeezed her eyes shut and shuddered twice.

When she sagged to the mattress, Sam was already on top of her. Jennifer accepted the kisses lazily until she regained her senses. Jennifer ran her hands over Sam's blouse and caressed her breasts. "Take this off."

Sam sat up and pulled the blouse over her head. She took the opportunity to push her hair out of her face so she could see Jennifer clearly. "I'm not going to be the only one undressing."

Jennifer quickly went to work on her own clothes. Sam slid off the edge of the bed and bent down. She undid the laces of her boots and tossed them across the room. She stood up straight and undid the button on her pants. Jennifer watched as Sam pushed her trousers and panties down her legs, only allowing herself to breath when Sam finally stepped out of them. "You're..."

"...nothing compared to you," Sam said softly. She knelt by the bed and turned her attention to Jennifer's footwear. She undid the laces and slipped them off as Jennifer slid her trousers down.

Sam pulled the pants the rest of the way off and dropped to the floor. She pulled off Jennifer's socks and brought the foot to her mouth. Jennifer's breath caught as Sam gently kissed the instep, moving her lips higher to capture the big toe. She circled the toes with her tongue a few times, then moved on to Jennifer's ankle.

"You're going to tease me to death, aren't you?"

"Who's teasing?" Sam asked. She kissed the inside of Jennifer's knee. "You've already come."

Jennifer blushed and kneaded the sheet with her hands. She bit her bottom lip and lifted her hips as if showing Sam where she should be. "Please, Sam..."

Sam kissed both of Jennifer's thighs and finally focused on her destination. Jennifer was wet, fragrant from her earlier orgasm. Sam closed her eyes, her cheek against the soft cotton of Jennifer's panties, and breathed it in. Jennifer shuddered. "Huh. Oh. God, you're going to kill me..."

"No, Jennifer," Sam promised. Her voice was nearly a whisper. She lifted her head and hooked her thumbs in the waistband of Jennifer's panties. She tugged them forward and Jennifer lifted her hips. Sam lifted Jennifer's legs, freed them of the panties, and carefully dropped the panties onto the pile of her own clothes. "For later," she said with a grin. She knelt on the bed between Jennifer's spread legs and said, "Now. The bra."

Jennifer reached behind herself, never losing eye contact with Sam, and undid the clasp. Sam bent down and kissed Jennifer's stomach. She used her tongue to trace a line to her cleavage and curled her tongue around the spot between Jennifer's breasts. She used her tongue to lift the material and snagged it with her teeth. Jennifer raised both arms as Sam sat up, letting her strip the bra away.

Sam sat up completely and tossed the bra across the room.

"You don't want that?" Jennifer asked, sly gleam in her eye. "For later?"

Sam grinned and put her hands on Jennifer's hips. She pulled her close, letting Jennifer sit on her lap. Jennifer wrapped her legs around Sam's waist, looped her arms around Sam's shoulders and kissed her hard. Sam ran her hands up and down Jennifer's back, remembering what it was like to hold someone and be held. It had been so long.

Jennifer's hips began to rock against Sam's stomach. She sat back, sweat glistening on her forehead and cheeks. Sam brushed her hair away and cupped her cheek, letting her thumb sit on Jennifer's thin bottom lip. Jennifer sucked the thumb into her mouth and gently nipped it with her teeth. She looked up again and focused on Sam's eyes. "When I took this assignment... when I learned about the Stargate... I never expected to find someone like you on the other side."

Sam smiled and kissed Jennifer. She moved her hands to Jennifer's ass and pressed her forward. Jennifer moved her hand between their bodies and covered Sam's mound with the flat of her hand. They pulled back and looked at each other, Jennifer rocking forward as her fingers pressed insistently between her folds. "Jennifer," Sam whispered.

Jennifer cupped the back of Sam's neck with her free hand. They rocked together, Sam lifting her hips to meet Jennifer's exploring fingers. "Right there," Sam breathed. She closed her eyes and pressed her sweaty cheek to Jennifer's shoulder. "Yes, Jennifer... rub... my clit..."


Sam nipped at Jennifer's shoulder and tasted her sweat. Jennifer groaned and said, "I'm coming again..."

Sam turned her head and kissed Jennifer's neck. "So am I. I'm coming too, sweetheart. Keep your fingers right there... right there. Oh, Jennifer..."

Jennifer cried out and tightened her fingers in Sam's hair. She threw her head back and Sam let her go, falling after her so they would be lying on top of each other. Jennifer freed her hand from between Sam's thighs, looked at her wet fingers and exhaled sharply. She rolled onto her side and looked into Sam's eyes. She slowly smiled, her face flush and her eyelids slowly dropping. "Hi," she breathed.

"Hi," Sam chuckled. She dragged the back of her hand up Jennifer's stomach, between her breasts and ended cupping her cheek. "Jennifer."

Jennifer turned her head to kiss Sam's palm. "Can you sleep here tonight?"

Sam hesitated. She thought of the morning walk to her quarters wearing the same outfit she'd worn the night before. She thought of how early she would have to wake up to go 'home,' change clothes, shower and get to her office on time. She looked into Jennifer's eyes and immediately said, "Yes."

After all, Atlantis wasn't going to be destroyed if she was five minutes late to work.

The End

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