DISCLAIMER: SG-1 its characters belong to B.W, J.G. and MGM. No copyright infringement intended, no money be made.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Special thanks to oxfordshoes2 for the beta! AU. Starts immediately after Heroes II, so anything before then is fair game. However, since this is AU canon may or may not be followed.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Pain. God-awful, indescribable pain.
The staff weapon blasts to her side and chest hurt more than her mind could comprehend. She'd never question a patient about their level of pain from a staff blast again.
Nothingness. Blessed, peaceful nothingness.
The pain was bearable... barely. It hurt to breathe. She wanted to retreat back into the nothingness. She kept her respiration shallow in an effort to minimize the waves of pain that accompanied every breath. After a few minutes she tried to open her eyes. She sensed more than saw a shadow pass over her and then felt something pressed to the side of her neck. She no sooner registered the pain receding before she felt her mind and body succumb to sedation.
The pain wasn't so bad the next time she woke. Still, she took several slow breaths while she tried to find her mental balance. She slowly took stock. Her chest and side hurt, but the pain was no longer debilitating. She felt the soft resistance of the bed beneath her body and the light caress of the slick sheet covering her. Definitely not Air Force issue. She opened her eyes a crack, the light preventing her from opening them any wider.
A warm hand touched the bare skin of her shoulder.
"Easy does it. Don't try to move yet. Your injuries were severe and you still need to rest."
She closed her eyes and tried to swallow. "Thirsty," she managed to croak.
"I understand. I'll get you something to drink." The hand on her shoulder disappeared. The women quickly returned with a glass of water. She supported Janet's head as she held the glass to her lips. "Just a few sips."
The water seemed to absorb directly into the dryness of her mouth before she could actually swallow it. After a couple of sips she laid her head back. "Thank you."
"You're welcome. Now get some more sleep."
Janet couldn't fight her body to stay awake; she was soon asleep again.
The woman looked at the dog tags in her hand.
FRAISER, JANET E.
She'd only seen such identification tags in a museum or in a computer file. It had been a very long time since they'd been used. She turned away from the bed and walked away. She placed the tags on a sensor and ran a scan. The quantum signature verified the injured woman was not from an alternate universe. So the question was: Had she been thrown back in time, or was this Janet Fraiser thrown forward in time? Or were they in some totally different time altogether?
Kris sensed her wife coming to and rushed to her side. She gently took her hand in her own and gazed into her deep blue eyes as they opened. She couldn't stop her tears from escaping no matter how hard she tried.
"I don't know. We were flying along and all of a sudden a planet appeared out of nowhere, and we were already in its atmosphere. If not for your skill, we would have crashed at full impulse speed."
Her wife took a slow breath. "I can't feel my legs."
She let out deep breath. "That's... probably for the best."
Her wife looked her in the eyes and nodded in understanding. "I love you," she whispered quietly, even as she reached out to her with her mind.
When Kris felt her wife's mind touch hers, she was flooded with the purity of emotion behind those three small words. "And I love you," she replied verbally as well as in her mind.
They both knew her wife was dying and that they were probably sharing the mind-touch for the last time. The dying woman slipped into unconsciousness. Kris simply sat next to her with silent tears running down her face, holding her hand.
The next time Janet woke up she felt significantly better, though far from pain free. However, she was finally strong enough to attempt to move. Very carefully, with her arm held tight across her chest, she managed to sit up. The movement stole her breath and it took a few moments for her get her bearings. One step at a time she methodically evaluated herself and her surroundings.
She was naked with nothing but the satin sheet that she held to her chest. She looked around her unfamiliar surroundings. It appeared she was on some kind of ship a space ship but not of any design she recognized. On a nearby counter she spied some clothes neatly folded. Janet carefully eased off of the bed and onto her feet. She picked up the garments a t-shirt that was a little large for her and cotton, drawstring pants and put them on. The movement pulled at her sore chest. It took a few minutes to catch her breath.
Once Janet marshaled her reserves and her resolve she began to look around, trying to discover some hint about where she was and whose ship she was on.
"How are you feeling?"
Janet jumped at the unexpected voice. She hadn't heard anyone approaching.
Kris took in the injured woman's scared but defiant expression. It was obvious she was afraid of her so she backed away a little. She took a deep breath and slowly let it out. "It's alright. I'm not your enemy, and as far as my ship's sensors can tell, whoever did attack you is nowhere around here." The petite brunette seemed to let go of a little of her apprehension, so she tried again.
"How are you feeling?"
"Better." Janet paused. "I didn't mean to be so nosy."
She smiled. "It's alright. I'd be curious, too, if I were you."
Janet winced a little as she sat down.
"I'm not surprised. You had some very bad plasma burns. It'll take a few more days for your body to fully recuperate. In fact, now that you're up, your new skin could benefit from another treatment with the dermal stimulator. I'm sure you're still more than a little tender." The clenched jaw and deep breath that Janet let out as she closed her eyes and nodded confirmed her observation. "Come on."
Janet was led back to the bed where she was told to lie down. Doing as she was told, Janet pulled the t-shirt up to expose the wound on her side. The woman ran some device over it. Janet took the opportunity to take in her mysterious benefactor.
The woman was obviously humanoid. She was about four inches taller than herself, had short, dark hair and the darkest eyes Janet had ever seen. She couldn't even distinguish the pupils from the surrounding irises. They were completely black, and she found them rather mesmerizing. She had no idea who this woman was, but there was something about her... Janet found herself calming and somehow sensing she had nothing to fear from this woman. She was pulled out of her musings when the woman spoke.
"How does that feel?"
Janet suddenly realized her side felt better. "Better."
"Good. Now I need to do the same to your chest wound."
Janet nodded in understanding and raised the t-shirt up to expose her chest. When the woman was done she put the dermal stimulator back in the medkit. Janet lowered her shirt. "That feels much better. Thank you."
"You're welcome. From the looks of it, you should only require one or two more treatments with the stimulator." She pointed to an open door that appeared to lead to a bathroom. "What's left of your uniform is in there. I didn't find any other belongings except these," Kris said as she handed her the dog tags. "Make yourself at home. I have to get back to Lena. She was injured too severely to be moved." She turned to go.
"Wait, maybe I can help. I'm a doctor." Janet didn't get a response, but she grabbed the medkit and followed the other woman.
Stepping outside, it was obvious the ship they'd been in had crash-landed. There was considerable damage to the exterior of the ship. The planet looked much like others she'd been on it had a lot of trees.
Kris sat down next to her wife, taking her hand in her own. Janet moved to the other side of the obviously injured woman and began to examine her to assess the damage.
"There's no need, Doctor. There's nothing you can do," she said quietly.
Janet looked beseechingly at the woman that had helped her. "You healed me and I was hit by a staff weapon. There has to be something in this medkit that can help her."
Kris sadly shook her head. She pulled out the medical scanner from the medkit and scanned Lena before handing it to the doctor. "See for yourself."
It didn't take long for Janet to understand the readings... and the futility of any treatment. She spoke in a whisper, "I'm sorry."
She caressed Lena's face. After several moments she let out a deep breath and looked at the doctor. "Are you hungry?"
"I'll get us something to eat. I'll be right back."
She went back inside the ship and came back out with a light meal for both of them, which they ate in silence. When they were done eating Kris took their plates back in and disposed of them. When she came back out the doctor was checking Lena's pulse.
She sat and took Lena's hand in hers, then looked up at the doctor. "So, according to your dog tags, you're in the Air Force, Dr. Fraiser."
Janet nodded. "You have me at a disadvantage. You know my name, but..."
"I'm Admiral Kris Kay." She looked down at Lena. "And this is Admiral Lena Sheldon." She paused as she caressed her cheek. "My wife," she was barely able to add in a choked whisper. A lone tear trailed down her face. She closed her eyes and took a slow, deep breath in an attempt to gather herself.
Janet laid her hand gently on her arm in sympathy. "I'm so sorry," she said quietly. Once she could tell the other woman had gotten herself together she spoke again. "And where are you from?" she asked.
"Actually, our home is in Montana where Lena grew up."
"So you are from Earth."
Kris nodded. "Yes. I don't think the question we're facing is so much where we're from, as when. Particularly since our quantum signatures verify we are from the same universe and we're not dealing with some alternate universe situation. What's the last thing you remember?"
Janet let out a deep breath and nodded in understanding. "I was in the field tending to a wounded soldier on P3X-666."
"That's one of the old binary designations, and if I'm not mistaken, not anywhere near where Lena and I were before we crashed. Let's take a look." She got up and entered the ship; Janet followed. Kris pulled up the info on the computer. "Our last known position was in the Capson Sector and P3X-666 was in the Elon Sector," Kris said, pointing to the different points on the display.
"So how the hell did I end up here? Wherever here is," Janet asked.
"I don't know. I found you a few meters from the ship, brought you inside and treated your wounds."
The two women then compared dates 2004 vs. 2498. There was nearly 500 years between their places in time.
"So now we have to deal with a possible time paradox," Janet said with a sigh.
"Yeah. I'll have to watch what and how much I say."
Janet groaned. "This is giving me a headache."
"I know what you mean. Temporal mechanics is always worth a migraine or two."
"Sam would be better at this."
"Major Samantha Carter. She's the expert on this kind of stuff. She has a PhD in Theoretical Astrophysics, and knows more about the Stargate Program, alternate realities and grandfather paradoxes than anyone."
Kris detected a note of sadness in her expression and tone of voice. She gave her a small smile. "Dr. Samantha Carter her work was required reading at the academy."
Based on what the woman from the past had already told her, Kris quickly downloaded some information from the computer into a DAT so that she could review it.
"Well, this ship isn't going anywhere, and according to the computer we're not anywhere near our last coordinates or P3X-666, so I'm not sure how long we're going to be here. Let me show you around."
Kris gave Janet a quick tour. She showed her how to use the waterless 'shower' and gave her some additional clothes she could change into. She then left her alone.
While Kris sat with her wife she reviewed the information she had downloaded from the computer. The information verified that Lt. Colonel Janet Fraiser was declared killed in action on the date the doctor said she'd been shot. It also indicated that she was indeed the Chief Medical Officer of the Stargate Program, and that she'd been survived by an 18-year-old daughter, Cassandra Fraiser.
She was surprised that much of the information downloaded was still highly classified and required such a high clearance to access. There was also a large encrypted file named Phoenix that her security clearance wasn't sufficient to allow her access... which made absolutely no sense.
Finally she set the DAT down and took Lena's hand in her own and tenderly caressed her cheek with her other hand. She bent down and placed a kiss on her forehead. "As much as you hate temporal mechanics, I could sure use your guidance right about now." Her tears began falling again.
Janet started to exit the small ship, but when she heard Kris speaking, she stayed discreetly in the doorway.
"I'm so lost, Lena. The last time I was lost you rescued me... you rescued me by stealing my heart and showing me what love is." Her tears turned to quiet sobs, which then turned to uncontrolled coughs. She started coughing up blood.
That got Janet moving. She was at the woman's side quickly. "Okay, Admiral, time to take care of you."
Kris finally stopped coughing. She shook her head. "I'm alright."
"Since I'm the doctor let me be the judge of that."
She shook her head again. "I'm not leaving her," she declared as she tightened her grip on her wife's hand.
Filled with compassion Janet gave her a small nod. "I'll be right back." She went into the ship, retrieved the medkit, and returned. She quickly took out the medical scanner and scanned her. Janet looked at her in surprise. "Either I'm not reading this correctly or..."
"I'm not Human. Well, I'm part Human."
"Okay then. You have four broken ribs and some internal bleeding." She gestured to the open medkit. "Is there anything like the dermal stimulator in here that can help with your injuries?"
She pointed to one item and then a second. "This is the osteo stimulator, and that one will repair soft tissue and vascular damage."
Once Janet was shown how to use the items, she quickly caught on. Afterwards she did another scan of the admiral with the medical scanner. She seemed satisfied with the readings. "You really should consider getting some rest, Admiral."
"I can go without sleep longer than a Human."
"And is that stamina affected by physical trauma?"
Kris scowled at the doctor. Even without knowing her, she could see the skepticism in the set of the doctor's jaw. She definitely had that 'doctor' glare. She almost smiled when she realized it was the same as Lena's 'command' glare. All of sudden the doctor's face transformed from a fierce doctor's glare to a very kind look of compassion.
Janet reached out and put her hand on hers. "Get some rest. I'll stay right here with her. If there's any change, no matter how minor, I'll get you I promise."
Kris closed her eyes and let out a slow breath. She had to swallow past the lump in her throat. "Alright," she finally replied in a whisper. She got up and went into the ship to lie down for a little while.
After about an hour in a healing meditation Kris came back outside. True to her word, the doctor was still at Lena's side. As she approached, Janet moved so that Kris could reclaim her spot next to her wife.
Janet scanned her again with the medical scanner. "Since your color is better, Admiral, I'm going to assume these readings are actually closer to normal for you."
Kris couldn't keep from giving her a small smile as she looked at the scanner results and nodded. "Yes, they are."
"And please, call me Kris."
Janet blushed slightly as she nodded. "Okay... but I might slip and still call you Admiral after so many years in the military it's kind of hard to ignore the proper etiquette when addressing a senior officer."
Kris did give her a smile at that. "Well, considering we're basically shipwrecked here, and we don't know where here is, and we don't even know when we are, I think some informality would be more appropriate than inappropriate to our situation."
There was a long silence as the reality of Kris's statement and their situation suddenly sunk in. Up until then Janet had been running in automatic 'doctor mode.' She stopped to really think about the situation and it hit her like a ton of bricks, even though they had briefly touched on it earlier in the day. She turned a little pale. Even though Janet was kneeling in front of her, Kris grabbed her shoulders to steady her as she wavered.
"Easy does it, Doctor. I think you'd better sit down."
She sat down. "I'm sorry. I guess everything just finally hit me."
Kris gave her hand a squeeze. "It's okay, Doctor."
She looked up and held the admiral's impossibly dark eyes a few moments. "My name's Janet; call me Janet."
Kris gave her hand another squeeze which Janet returned. "Okay, Janet." She let go of her hand.
Janet took a deep breath and winced a little. She closed her eyes a few moments to fight back the pain.
Kris knew the look it had been on her own face plenty of times. "Easy. Take small, easy breaths." She slipped her over-shirt off and spread it out behind the doctor. "Here, lie back and relax." She took her hand as Janet opened her eyes and helped her lie back.
"What in the world for? Your wounds were very severe, and even though I treated them I'm not a doctor. I did the best I could. A doctor probably could have completely healed them, but as it is, you're going to need some time for your body to completely recuperate. You still need a lot of rest."
"Believe me, I'm not complaining. I know I wouldn't have survived without your help." Janet closed her eyes again.
Kris opened up the medkit, took out the med-dispenser and pressed it to her neck. Janet's eyes flew open and looked up at her.
"That should help ease the pain."
"What was that?"
She showed Janet the vial she'd used. "I couldn't risk using it before, not until you'd been conscious a while and had something to eat."
Janet nodded in understanding.
Kris picked up the dermal stimulator. "It's time to treat your new skin again as well."
The doctor hiked her t-shirt up to expose her side and the admiral ran the dermal stimulator over it. She did it for longer than the previous time. "How does it feel?"
Kris nodded. "It looks good. You shouldn't need any more treatments with the dermal stimulator." She finished with her side. "Okay, now your chest wound."
Even as she started to raise her t-shirt, Janet couldn't stop herself from stealing a quick glance around. She received a reassuring smile.
"There's no one around for miles. Trust me."
"I know," she replied with a self-depreciating smile as the stimulator was run over her chest wound. "It's just that it's usually me who's asking someone to expose a part of their body," she said with humor in her voice.
"If it'll make you feel better I'll take off my shirt."
Janet chuckled. "No, it's alright." She closed her eyes and let out a deep breath as she lowered her shirt. "I'm tired," she said as the admiral put the dermal stimulator away.
"Why don't you go in the ship and lie down?"
"I don't think I can move."
"Then just relax right where you are. I'm not going anywhere. You're safe."
Janet couldn't explain it, but she did feel safe with Kris watching over her. She closed her eyes and was asleep in only a moment.
Kris sat there, watching over both women her dying wife, Lena, and a woman from the past.
After a while Janet woke up with a start and panicked. Her hands were clutched to her chest.
"Easy. You're okay, Janet."
Her eyes finally focused on the admiral and she got her breathing under control. She let her hands drop from her chest and Kris let go of her shoulders.
"Are you alright?"
She closed her eyes and swallowed, but nodded.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
Janet opened her eyes, and let out a deep breath. "It... it was just..." her voice trailed off and she hung her head as she closed her eyes again. After a moment she took another deep breath, lifted her head up and opened her eyes. "I'll be alright." She got up and went into the ship.
A few hours later Lena woke up. All three women knew she was in her final moments. Wanting to give the couple some semblance of privacy, Janet withdrew a few feet.
"Kris..." It came out a whisper.
Holding Lena's hand to her heart, Kris leaned down and gazed into her eyes. They were glazed but soon focused on hers. "I'm right here, Lena."
"Body and mind. To know..."
"Heart and soul."
Kris was so choked up she could barely speak, but she continued in a tight whisper. "Now... and forever more."
Lena gave her a weak but loving smile, "Darling, no."
With that Kris felt her wife sever their bond. It was like a physical blow and seared her mind. It literally took several seconds for her to be able to draw a breath. When she did, it was a gasp so clearly filled with pain it shocked Janet.
Janet was at her side trying to steady Kris as she struggled to breathe. She caught the expression on Lena's face as she spoke her last words to her wife.
"Live." Even though it was said in less than a whisper, it was clearly a demand.
And then Lena was gone.
Kris let out a strangled yell. "No!" The emotional pain was unbelievable, but the psychic loss was even more profound. It was physically painful. She stood up, pulling away from Janet, pulled some kind of weapon, and thumbing it to the highest setting, used it to disintegrate her wife's body.
Not knowing what to expect, and out of concern for Kris, Janet quickly moved and took the weapon from her hand where it hung limply at her side. She led the admiral back toward the ship. A couple of steps shy of the entryway the pain in her mind became overwhelming and Kris dropped to her knees. It felt like someone had shoved a white-hot, metal rod through her mind. Janet helped her into the ship and onto the bed.
Not realizing what Kris was really dealing with, she assumed her behavior was simply due to grief... at least until the woman went into a seizure. Taken by surprise, and not being familiar with her alien physiology, all Janet could do was ensure Kris didn't injure herself until the seizure passed. Kris was unconscious once the seizure ended.
Janet scanned her with the medical scanner. She didn't like the readings, though she didn't have much of a baseline to go by. She took stock of the medkit and didn't recognize most of the medications in the kit. She felt out of her depth, but she was a doctor with a patient, so she was going to do her best.
Janet had seen the admiral access the computer earlier when she pulled up the display to show the location of P3X-666, so she knew it was voice activated. "Computer, do you have Admiral Kay's medical file?"
"Display it, please." She started looking at a very abbreviated file. "Computer, this can't be the entire file. Please display the complete file."
"Unable to comply."
"Admiral Kay's medical file is classified."
"Damn it. Talk about no information this doesn't even list her age," she muttered.
"Please repeat request."
She still wasn't going to give up. "Computer, list medications found in onboard medkit, their normal usages and dosages and possible side effects. Also notate any that would be inappropriate for use for Admiral Kay due to her physiology and medical history."
She then asked if the information could be downloaded into something portable. The computer told her about a DAT a Data Access Tablet. She had the information downloaded, including visual images of each medication to properly identify them without error. The next time Kris had a seizure she was ready with a med-dispenser. She administered the medication, hoping she was not doing the wrong thing. The medication slowed and then stopped the seizure. She let out the breath she'd been holding.
A while later Kris didn't exactly come to, but she was no longer unconscious. She rolled onto her side into a fetal position. She was trembling and had her fists balled up and held at her temples. Her face twisted in agony. Janet scanned her again. She saw hyperactivity in the pain receptors in her brain. She selected a pain medication and administered it, but it had no effect. She was afraid to give Kris another dose.
"Damn it! I'm working blind here. I don't know what's causing this and I have no medical history."
She looked back down at the medkit. She knew pain was pain and if the pain medication wasn't doing the trick she'd do what she would for any other patient. She selected a sedative. Once the sedative took effect she scanned Kris again. Not knowing her physiology she couldn't be sure, but she saw nothing that seemed to account for her symptoms.
Janet suddenly felt very tired. She didn't want to leave Kris alone, so she made sure the medkit was within immediate reach and lay down on the bed next to her. She planned on closing her eyes for just a few minutes.
Janet was woken up about four hours later by the thrashing of Kris's body in the midst of another seizure.
"Damn it!" She quickly gave her a shot. Afterwards Kris was semi-conscious.
"Kris? Can you hear me?"
She started to curl up into a fetal ball again.
Janet was getting frustrated. "Kris?" The admiral's balled fists went to her temples again; Janet grabbed her chin and physically lifted her face. "Kris," she tried again. "Admiral!" she finally barked.
Her eyes didn't really focus but they were at least directed at Janet.
"Can you tell me what's going on? What can I do to help you?"
Kris closed her eyes and tears squeezed out of the corners. "Hurts."
"I know. But what's causing it?" She tried to tuck her chin and curl up tighter, but Janet wouldn't let her.
"Admiral! Talk to me!"
"Don't understand... should've died... with her..." Her tears started flowing.
Janet misunderstood her meaning. She wiped away some of her tears, and her tone of voice changed a little as she continued. "I know you're grieving, but I need to know what's causing your seizures."
Kris started slipping back into unconsciousness.
She opened her eyes partway. "Areth... death... mate..." she managed before passing out.
Janet went back to the computer. "Computer, what is Areth?"
"Areth is a planet. Areth also refers to the people from that planet and the language spoken there."
"What are the customs of the Areth concerning death?" When the computer started she decided to be more specific. "Stop. Computer, is there anything in Areth customs concerning death that have to do with suicide?"
"Computer, cross reference Areth, death, and mate."
"What are the results?" The computer told her and she finally had her answer. "Oh, God," she breathed quietly. She knew she could only do so much to provide medical support for the symptoms. There was no real treatment for her to give.
After consulting the onboard computer, Janet managed to get a meal from something called a matter converter. She shook her head. "I'm in some damn Star Trek episode," she muttered as she watched her used plate and utensils disappear from where she'd placed them back into the converter's receptacle.
When Janet returned to check on Kris she found her beginning to tremble again. She quickly scanned her, took note of the activity in the pain receptors, and again sedated her. From what she'd gathered from her research, keeping Kris heavily sedated was the best thing she could do for her. With her patient sedated and being in need of more sleep herself, Janet again laid down after making sure everything she needed was within easy reach.
Just a couple of short hours later Janet woke up with a gasp from another bad dream. She felt like she couldn't breathe. She was lying on her right side and practically jumped out of the bed when she realized Kris was lying against her back... not quite spooning her. Once she took several deep breaths to calm down from the nightmare, she gathered herself enough to take a closer look at the woman to see that she was still heavily sedated. She also noticed that Kris was as distressed as she had been when she first woke up. Janet didn't need the medical scanner to see her breathing and pulse were both elevated. She sat back down on the bed and put her hand on the woman's shoulder.
"Shhh... it's alright... everything's alright..." She was only a little surprised to see the admiral settle down.
Janet went to the bathroom then got a pitcher of water from the matter converter. She sat on the side of the bed and filled a glass. After slaking her thirst she finally laid back down, making sure to leave plenty of room between her and the unwell woman. Just as Kris had told her, though Janet's wounds had been healed, her body was still in much need of sleep.
The next time Janet woke up, she did so slowly. She took a slow, deep breath as she enjoyed the feel of the head on her chest and the warmth of the body that still slept snugged up against her. She didn't open her eyes as she tightened her left arm around the shoulders it rested on. Her right hand rested on the arm that was across her waist. She drew in one more deep breath.
"Hey, Sammie, wake up," she murmured.
Instead of a grunt of reproach she felt the body next to her start to seize. Memory suddenly flooded her mind and her eyes flew open as she quickly grabbed the med-dispenser and administered the anti-seizure medication. She hastily got out of the bed.
She went into the bathroom and looked at herself in the mirror. "What the hell are you doing?" she asked herself. She took a waterless shower and put on some fresh clothes.
She sat vigil with the admiral that day but kept herself busy by reading information she kept downloading onto DATs. She was determined not to sleep in the bed that night, so she settled down on the floor. However, she was awakened by Kris having seizures several times early on she was having a bad night.
Janet found that the woman's breathing and pulse seemed to slow and recover faster when she was in close physical proximity. She didn't understand it, but finally gave in to the inevitable. She lay down to sleep in the bed about halfway through the night. She made it through the rest of the night without being woken up.
When Janet woke up in the morning, she found Kris's head on her chest again. Instead of waking her, she just reached over and grabbed the medical scanner. She awkwardly did the best she could to scan her but ended up with a double scan one that showed their hearts beating in time with each other. Janet frowned thinking she'd did something wrong. She put the scanner down and carefully slipped out of bed trying not to disturb Kris. She then did another scan. It confirmed she was still unconscious and that the pain receptors in her brain were still hyperactive. Janet noted her heart rate. She then scanned herself. Her own heart rate was slightly different. She shook her head.
"It must've been a bad scan," she mumbled, and went into the bathroom.
Due to the restless first half of the night and because she was still recovering from her own injuries, Janet was tired if not sleepy, and didn't have much energy. It had been almost 36 hours since Kris's first seizure, and from what she'd read, it could still be a while before the symptoms abated. Even as that thought went through her mind she saw the admiral's body start to curl in on itself again as the pain made its way to a certain level of consciousness in her my mind. It was time for more sedative.
Janet lay back down. She was on her side facing Kris and spoke to her gently in an attempt to calm her. "Shhh... relax, it's okay... settle down now... get some rest... you're going be okay..." she said softly. She watched as the sedative took effect and her body relaxed.
She rolled over and grabbed the scanner again, but when she rolled back again the admiral was closer than she expected a lot closer. Janet ran another scan, then gently nudged the woman over onto her back with a small smile. "You are a bed hog, Admiral," she said as she put the scanner back on the nightstand and settled onto her back as well.
Kris's breathing and heart rate increased almost immediately, signs that the pain had also increased even though she was sedated.
Janet grabbed the scanner again, not understanding what was going on. She was surprised the admiral's vitals had changed so quickly. She reached out and put a hand Kris's shoulder and gave it a small squeeze. "I'm sorry, Admiral, I just can't give you any more sedative."
She was surprised to notice her breathing was slowing a little bit. The admiral rolled onto her side, ducking her head towards Janet. She had to sit up and remove her hand from Kris's shoulder to run another scan. As she did so she noted Kris's breathing was increasing again. Janet watched the readings as they indicated the woman's level of pain were increasing. She reached out and laid her hand on her shoulder again. "Relax," she soothed.
A glance at the scanner showed her Kris's vitals were settling down. It surprised her.
Suddenly the doctor had an epiphany. She closed her eyes and shook her head at herself for not making the connection before. She opened her eyes and looked at the woman again. "You're not a bed hog; you're simply seeking a connection."
Janet lay back down, slipping her arm under her neck and pulled her close. Even unconscious Kris instinctively sought out the sound of her heartbeat. This time when she did the scan, Janet smiled when the reading showed their hearts beating in time. "Whoever thought I'd one day be treating a patient by getting into bed with her and holding her?" she said quietly. She gently held the woman's head to her chest and fell back asleep.
At some point during the night Kris had actually slipped into regular sleep. No longer feeling the instinctive need for contact with Janet or to hear her heartbeat, she shifted and rolled away from the doctor.
Kris woke up very early in the morning. It took a few minutes to remember everything that had happened and to get her bearings. She looked over and saw Janet sleeping. She didn't want to wake her, so she very carefully got out of bed. A quick check of the computer let her know how much time had passed. It also told her what files the doctor had accessed in an effort to treat her. Kris looked at the DATs and the quantity of drugs that had been used out of the medkit. It was immediately obvious that she owed her life to the doctor this doctor from the past. She was impressed.
For Janet to know nothing of her alien physiology or the medical equipment she had available to her, and yet be able to piece together the right actions to take and the right medications to use was quite amazing. The doctor was obviously quite brilliant and gifted. There were some doctors with 500 years more advanced training who Kris doubted as capable as Janet under perfect conditions, much less under such conditions as the ones which she'd performed.
After a quick shower and a change of clothes Kris quietly stepped outside. She just sat on a log. Silent tears trailed down her face. Her heart was breaking. It had been almost three days, but she hadn't had the chance to do her crying since she'd been unconscious. The Areth had a meditation for such loss, but she was not Areth by birth. What she really needed was to grieve... if only she could allow herself to.
Janet exited the ship. She spotted Kris and quietly approached with scanner in hand. She sat down on the log next Kris and began to scan her.
Without looking, Kris reached over and stopped her by gently placing her hand over the scanner. "I'm fine... physically," she said quietly.
Janet turned off the scanner.
"I'm quite aware that I owe you my life. Thank you." She swallowed as more tears rolled down her face.
"Do you want to be alone?" Janet asked gently.
Kris inhaled and clenched her jaw as she tried to find her voice and looked at the doctor. "I never really knew what alone was until now," she said as she broke down sobbing.
Janet didn't hesitate to wrap her arms around the woman and gently rock her.
The next three or four days passed with little conversation. Janet, still recovering, spent much of the time sleeping. And Kris, not feeling particularly talkative, was withdrawn as she kept busy by salvaging and repairing whatever equipment she could.
Kris sat down heavily in one of the two seats in the cockpit with a sigh. After about three seconds she flung a broken piece of circuit board with an yell, "Dammit!"
She whipped her head around and spotted the petite doctor in the doorway. She took a deep breath and let it out. "It doesn't matter how many repairs I do this ship is never going to fly again!"
Janet noticed blood dripping from the upset woman's hand. "Hey, you're bleeding." She moved into the cockpit and took hold of Kris's injured hand, starting to examine it.
"It's not nothing, Kris. This needs to be taken care of now."
Even though they'd only known each other a week, she already knew there was no arguing with the doctor when she took that particular tone. Kris simply sighed as the smaller woman led her by her injured hand back the main area of the ship.
Janet opened the medkit and began treating the gash on the palm of Kris's hand. Within a couple of minutes the wound was closed and healed. She still couldn't get over how advanced the futuristic medical tools were. She sure could have used a medkit like that at the SGC. She put the device back into the kit and then gave the woman a hard look. "When was the last time you ate something?"
"I'm not hungry."
"And I'll bet you didn't get any sleep again last night either," Janet said with a tinge of irritation in her voice.
"I told you, I can go without sleep longer than a Human can."
"But you" Suddenly an alarm sounded. "What is that?" Janet asked.
Kris stood and headed to the exit, with weapon in hand. "Someone's approaching."
Janet followed her outside where a man in loose robes approached.
"Greetings. Welcome to Jidiri, Admiral Kris Kay, Dr. Janet Fraiser. I am Cayden."
"How do you know our names?"
"I was informed of your impending arrival. I apologize for the delay in coming to greet you, but this is not where you were expected."
Grief, frustration, and a lack of sleep combined to make Kris very irritable and short-tempered. She advanced on the man menacingly. "What the hell do you mean you were informed of our impending arrival? You mean someone arranged for Lena and I to crash?! That they deliberately killed my wife?!"
"No," he replied calmly. "I am very sorry for your loss, Admiral. No one foresaw or wanted your arrival here to occur in such a manner." He spoke with seemingly genuine sympathy. "We consider all life precious."
"How did we end up here?" Janet jumped in.
Cayden looked at her. "I don't know. I only know that you were expected; however, as I said, not in this place or manner."
"Just in what place and manner were we expected?" demanded Kris.
"Actually you were expected yesterday, just outside the village. I made an inquiry when you did not show up. That's when I was informed of your location. Apparently something occurred that necessitated a change in the time of your arrival." He paused and looked at Janet. "That event was your death, Dr. Fraiser."
"I don't understand," Janet replied.
"Neither do I," added Kris.
"Quite simply, you died before you were supposed to, Dr. Fraiser."
"So I was dead..."
Kris didn't miss the waver in Janet's whisper. She turned in time to steady the suddenly ashen doctor. "Hey, you're okay, Janet."
"Indeed. Now, if you're ready, a place has been prepared for you."
"What do you mean?"
"As new arrivals of Jidiri we have prepared a dwelling in the village for your use. There's no need for the two of you to remain here, isolated from everyone else."
"I still have repairs to make to my ship," Kris replied.
"I understand your desire; however, your ship will not fly again."
It rankled the admiral that Cayden knew the true state of her ship. She exchanged a quick look with Janet before addressing the robed man. "We need a few minutes to discuss this."
"By all means, take all the time you need."
Kris turned on her heel and headed back into the ship. Janet was right behind her. Once inside Kris dropped down into a seat heavily. She rubbed her temples as if she had a headache.
"So what do you think we should do, Admiral?"
She looked up at the doctor and quirked an eyebrow. "I thought we agreed to drop the titles."
"Sorry, but right now you're the ranking officer here."
"And you didn't get to be a lieutenant colonel without some experience at making decisions. So, what do you think we should do?"
Janet closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "I'm completely out of my element here, Kris. I know nothing about this planet or its people. And all the evidence that's available to me indicates I'm nowhere near my own century in time. I don't think I could feel more lost."
Kris nodded in understanding. "Well, I don't know anything about this world either. I've never heard of Jidiri, but Cayden is right this ship is never going to fly again no matter how many repairs I try to make. Not even a fully qualified engineer, which I'm not, could get it to fly again. As long as we have power for the matter converter we have all we need for food, water and anything else. However, once we lose power, which we eventually will, we'll be on our own. Perhaps going to the village is a good idea, if only to check it out." She turned and retrieved a couple of weapons, handing one to Janet. "But we don't go unarmed."
The women had gathered together a few items before following Cayden through the woods and down the hills into the valley and then into the village. It took about four hours to reach the village. Both of them were surprised to see people of over two dozen humanoid alien races as they walked through the streets.
Cayden showed them to a small house, explaining they could share it; or, if they preferred, a second home, a block away, was available if they each wanted a place to themselves. He went on to explain that anything they could want or need was theirs for the asking from any of the vendors since there was no monetary system on Jidiri. People simply contributed whatever they could to the community, be it goods or services.
After some private discussion, Kris and Janet decided to stay in the village. They also decided to share the same house so that they at least had the comfort of someone somewhat familiar around.
Over the next few days Kris made trips back to the ship to retrieve useful items. On her final trek, she set charges in the small ship to destroy whatever she hadn't taken from it. It may not have been an Alliance Fleet ship, but she didn't want to risk any of the advanced technology falling into the wrong hands there were numerous races present on Jidiri that she'd never seen or heard of. As evidenced by Dr. Fraiser's presence, there was also the issue of a possible contamination of the timeline.
While Kris was gone making trips back and forth to the ship, Janet began to explore the village. She found shops that supplied anything they could possibly need or want. Restaurants and cafés with delicious food were plentiful, some specializing in specific alien cuisines and others serving just about any and everything. Clothes were not considered a fashion statement on Jidiri. Clothes were chosen simply for functionality or comfort. The most common clothes worn were comfortable loose fitting pants and pullover shirts, though there was a variety that necessity provided.
It was during her explorations she also realized that the level of technology on Jidiri seemed to be a mix of current (to her), old, and futuristic. One of the areas that seemed to be more advanced than her level of experience was the medical technology. At the clinic, she was given a tour by a Dr. Lettie Boson, who reassured Janet that her knowledge and skill would be a welcome addition to the clinic. And based on Janet's questions, Dr. Boson also assured her she'd be able to 'catch up' to the level of medicine on Jidiri.
Being a doctor was such a part of who Janet was that she couldn't imagine doing anything else. So she reached the decision to take on the challenge and get up to speed with medicine on Jidiri. Dr. Boson sent Janet home with study materials.
Each day, after both women return to the house, they would discuss their day. So, through Janet, Kris learned about the village as well. Each day, Kris would show Janet what she'd salvaged from the ship, separating out items that seemed to exceed the local level of technology to be kept just between them.
The day after her final trip to the ship, Kris went for a walk through the village while Janet stayed at the house and studied. Despite everything Janet had told her about the village she was surprised by a number of things, not the least of which was a total lack of law enforcement. During her walk, she saw Cayden and stopped him.
The man turned and smiled. "Ah, Admiral Kay. How are you?"
"Fine, and you can call me Kris."
"Thank you. Are you finding everything you need, Kris?"
"Yes. I do have some questions though."
Cayden gestured to a nearby bench. "What can I answer for you?" he asked as they sat down.
"How do you keep order on Jidiri with no law enforcement agency or personnel?"
He shrugged. "We have no need for law enforcement."
"But what if someone steals from another person?"
"Why would anyone steal? Anything they could want or need is freely available."
"But it appears that everyone comes from a different level of technology."
"This is true. But here on Jidiri everything is available to whomever wants it, no matter how advanced the technology."
"Okay, but what about other crime? What if someone were to get into a disagreement that escalated to a physical altercation? Or, heaven forbid, someone is murdered?"
He smiled gently. "I understand why you ask these questions, but no such crime has ever occurred on Jidiri."
"Kris, would you ever steal, or attack or murder someone?"
"No, of course not."
"And that is why we have no need for law enforcement. Everyone who comes here is of strong moral character, such as yourself. And those who have lived here all their lives have never been exposed to these things and would never consider committing such an act."
"What about planetary defense?"
"We have no need. Jidiri is perfectly safe."
Kris looked around, taking in their surroundings and the many different races and cultures represented by the people just within the immediate area. "Utopia," she breathed quietly.
She turned back to Cayden. "It sounds like Utopia... I'm just afraid it's too good to be true."
Cayden again smiled. "You will come to believe it, Kris."
"I have not seen or heard anything about space travel here. Does anyone ever leave Jidiri?"
"Yes, but only those who are called to serve."
"Called to serve? As in the military?"
"Oh, no. We have no military. A small number of our citizens are called to serve elsewhere in varying capacities."
She tried to press him for answers on how people left the planet without space travel, but that was the one thing he was not able, or not willing, to answer. She wasn't sure which it was.
Janet looked up from her spot on the couch when Kris came in several hours after she'd left on her walk. She smiled. "So what did you think of the village?"
"It's certainly different from any place I've seen before." She sat down in a chair facing the couch. "If it lives up to everything Cayden says it is it may very well turn out to be a Utopia."
Janet cocked her head in thought, measuring the woman's words, tone of voice, and expression. "So what's wrong?"
Kris took a breath and slowly let it out. "It's been my experience that anything that seems too good to be true usually is."
The doctor nodded. "Yeah. Have you seen or heard anything that would indicate if it is?"
"According to Cayden they have absolutely no planetary defenses or military. Even if the citizens are non-violent and of high moral character, we both know that's not the case with other worlds. And even though they have no space travel at all, he did admit that a small number of people do leave Jidiri."
"How?" Janet asked, unable to contain her excitement.
"He couldn't, or wouldn't, say. All he said was that a small number of people are 'called to serve elsewhere in varying capacities.' I couldn't get any more information beyond that." Kris quietly sighed and then changed the subject. "So, how was your day?"
"I feel a little like I'm back in medical school studying for finals. Their medical facilities are more advanced than what I'm used to. And of course I'm trying to learn how to treat a number of alien races."
Kris gave her a small smile. "Well, considering how well you did treating me, I'm sure you'll do just fine."
Janet let out a rueful huff. "At least I'll have access to medical records."
"Yeah... about that." Kris got up and retrieved a DAT from her bedroom. She handed it to Janet before sitting back in the chair. "If you're willing, I'd prefer to have you as my doctor rather than someone else. You've already proven yourself to me," she finished with a smile.
"Sure, okay." She turned on the DAT and skimmed the medical file contain in it. After a couple of minutes she looked up. "There's still seems to be some missing sections."
Kris nodded. "You have everything that's available."
"If you have any questions just let me know."
Janet nodded. "I will."
Janet immersed herself in her studies from morning to night. So much so that the days ran together and she didn't know it was night time until Kris came home.
One evening, after quitting her studies early, it dawned on Janet that she had no idea where Kris went all day. She would leave in the mornings and not come home until late in the evening or even bedtime. As a consequence Janet hadn't really even seen her housemate in days, much less talk to her.
Tired and frustrated, Kris entered the house. She got something from the refrigerator to drink and dropped into a living room chair heavily.
"You look tired," Janet observed.
"I am. In more ways than one."
It was her tone of voice more than her words that captured Janet's attention. "What's wrong, Kris?"
She let out a sigh. "I just... I guess I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop." She took a deep breath and sipped from her drink. "I've been checking out the area surrounding the village, scout out in a different direction every day."
"And... nothing. There's nothing to indicate there's anything here other than this village." She paused for a couple of beats. "Also, the remnants of my ship are gone."
"It's completely gone. There's not a scrap of metal anywhere in the area. I set the charges and pretty much destroyed it, but there was still the bulk of the hull and debris." She shook her head. "Now there's no evidence it was ever there I went over the area with a fine tooth comb."
"Maybe Cayden can explain what happened."
"I'm sure he can... if he's willing to."
Janet steadied her housemate. "That's not all that's bothering you."
Kris looked up at the doctor, holding her gaze for a couple of seconds. "For one, I was hoping to find a way off of Jidiri, but I haven't seen anything to contradict what Cayden said about a lack of space travel, and no one I've talked to has clue about how someone could leave."
Janet frowned when Kris abruptly stood and went into her bedroom. Something else was definitely bothering the woman.
Kris stripped and put on her robe. She then went into the bathroom and took a shower. After her shower she returned to her bedroom and put on her pajama pants and a tank top. She looked up when Janet knocked on the half-closed door.
"Can we talk?" Janet asked, standing in the doorway.
"Sure. I'll be right out."
When Kris came out of her bedroom, she found the living room empty. But Janet entered from the kitchen with a couple of mugs of hot chocolate.
The doctor smiled. "I made some hot chocolate, so I poured you a mug."
"Thank you," Kris replied as she took the mug and they both sat on the couch.
They sipped the hot chocolate for a couple of minutes in silence. Kris finally spoke.
"So what did you want to talk about?"
Now that she had Kris in front of her, Janet wasn't sure where to begin. "I guess I'm wondering what you've been up to during the day." She paused for a beat. "And I was wondering how you're doing?"
It was all Kris could do to not hurl the mug of hot chocolate at the wall across the room. She clenched her jaw so hard Janet was afraid she was going to break a tooth. Kris set the mug down before she lost all control, stood, and moved to a window. She looked out but didn't see anything. After what felt like a small eternity, she finally spoke.
"How the hell do you think I'm doing?" she snapped with venom. "My wife was killed 23 days ago!" She dropped her head and covered her eyes with a trembling hand.
Janet had dealt with more mourning family members than she cared to remember, and her instinct was to go to the woman and comfort her, but something told her to hold back. Her heart ached at the depth of the grief she heard in Kris's voice. She waited patiently.
Finally, the rigidity in her body eased and Kris literally sagged. She turned. "I'm sorry... I don't mean to take it out on you."
"What you're feeling is perfectly normal, Kris. I'd be more worried if your emotions didn't get the better of you sometimes."
She listlessly walked over and took her seat on the couch again. She sighed. "It might be easier if I didn't feel so damn useless."
"What do you mean?"
"I'm stuck on a planet I've never heard of with no means of leaving. And there's nothing here for me to do. Jidiri has no need for someone like me. I've spent most of my life in the fleet and most of that time in covert intelligence." She looked Janet in the eyes. "Jidiri doesn't even have law enforcement, much less a military. There's nothing to do here for a person like me."
"I'm sure there's something you can do, Kris. Why don't you speak with Cayden? He did say to let him know if there was anything we needed."
"I don't know how much I trust him... or anyone else here for that matter."
Time passed. Kris, after talking with Cayden, opened up a martial arts school. The goal of her school was not to teach how to fight, but to teach the discipline required, and realize the benefits of becoming proficient at Vor'kesh, the martial art of the Areth.
Once Kris opened her school, she was approached by a man named Chuzu who wanted to learn her style of martial art and to help her teach. Chuzu looked Human, though his blue hair and vertical slit pupils belied that classification. He identified himself as Luccan another planet/race Kris had never seen or heard of. Chuzu proved to be a very quick study and was soon quite proficient at Vor'kesh, becoming Kris's assistant teacher. He was also the first real friend she'd made on Jidiri, besides Janet.
Meanwhile, Janet started working at the clinic. Initially she worked under the supervision of Dr. Lettie Boson, like a resident. But Janet had an innate talent for medicine and soon was working on her own. Most of the residents of Jidiri tended to see a doctor of their own race, but Janet did have some patients who were non-Human.
As both women settled into their new roles on Jidiri, they each found a small measure of peace despite their personal losses, and comfort in their strengthening friendship.
A few months had passed since Dr. Janet Fraiser was killed on P3X-666. Though her loss was felt throughout the SGC, none missed her more than her daughter, Cassandra. It just wasn't fair. She had lost her family, lost everyone she had ever known, when the Goa'uld Nirrti wiped out everyone on her home world of Hanka. She'd been the only survivor and SG-1 had brought her back to Earth with them.
Even though Cassie had bonded with Captain Samantha Carter first, it was Dr. Janet Fraiser that had given her a place to live, a home... a new family. Of all the people at the SGC, it seemed that her mother should have been the last one to be killed off-world. She was a doctor the Chief Medical Officer and shouldn't have been anywhere near an ongoing firefight.
Her mother's death hit Cassie hard, but her teachers were understanding and supportive, giving her a little leeway when her schoolwork slipped. She still managed to graduate with good grades and was accepted into the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. But even so, it was apparent that she wasn't herself.
Sam, in an effort to be supportive of Cassie, approached General Hammond about not going on quite so many off-world missions, especially scheduled extended missions. Colonel O'Neill wasn't the happiest about her reduced responsibilities on SG-1, but was glad that she was still on the team. Besides, it was only until the girl went away to school.
Not wanting to uproot Cassie, Sam had moved into Janet's house with her. It was only temporary, only until Cassie went away to college.
The klaxons sounded as the gate began to spin.
"Unauthorized off-world activation. Unauthorized off-world activation."
General Hammond and Colonel O'Neill came out of the general's office and entered the control room.
Before the general could form his question, many of the lights in the base suddenly cut off. "Close the iris!"
"I can't," Sam replied as she tried to get the computer to respond.
All the armed guards in the gate room tensed as a figure emerged from the event horizon of the gate.
"It's Thor!" Sam exclaimed.
"Security team, stand down," Hammond ordered over the PA.
The gate disengaged and the lights came back on. Jack and the general headed down to the gate room.
"Thor! Buddy! What's shaking?" the colonel quipped.
"Welcome, Thor. It's always good to see you," said the general. "To what do we owe this honor?"
"I must speak to SG-1 about an important matter."
Teal'c and Daniel Jackson joined Jack, Sam and Hammond in the briefing room.
"Alright, Thor, you have our attention."
"SG-1 must take a trip through the stargate."
"Where to?" asked Hammond.
"I do not know."
"Excuse me? How are we supposed to get to wherever it is we're supposed to go, if you don't even know where it is we're supposed to go... to?" asked Jack.
"I do not know the stargate address. You do, O'Neill."
"The stargate address was downloaded into your brain by the Ancients' repository of knowledge."
"But the Asgard removed all that information from the colonel's mind," Sam pointed out.
"The stargate address to which I am referring was not removed."
"I think I'd know if I had any strange gate addresses floating around in my head I don't."
"The information is there. It will come to you when it is time."
"Time for what?" Daniel asked.
"Time for you to go."
They all exchanged looks that indicated they didn't feel like they were getting very far.
"Okay, so we're not sure where we are going yet. Can you at least tell us why we're going?" Daniel pressed.
"To retrieve something that you've lost, and something that you seek."
"Could you be a little more specific?"
Confused looks were again exchanged around the table.
Jack leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table. "Look, Thor, you're not giving us a lot to go on here. You want us to take a trip through the stargate to someplace, you don't know where, to retrieve something we lost and something we seek, but you can't tell us what. Come on, buddy, why would we do this with so little information?"
"Because of the prophecy."
"There is an age old legend that tells of a world where a certain special people are taken to either live in peace or be prepared for their roles as Guardians."
"Guardians?" Sam asked.
"Yes children of the four races. The prophecy states that Earth's Guardian and mate will be born again, of the heart and in life. They are a phoenix. They become as one." He paused for a moment. "The time of Earth's Guardian has come."
"So... this Guardian is some super-Human, indestructible, Goa'uld butt-kicking, soldier?"
"I would not say that, O'Neill. Guardians are not indestructible. And, there are other things out there besides the Goa'uld worse things."
"Yeah, so I've heard."
"Only you, O'Neill, have the information necessary to find Earth's Guardian."
Once again looks were exchanged around the table. Finally Jack turned to Hammond.
Hammond sat in silence for several moments. Finally he let out a heavy sigh. "Well, if you can come up with the address, Colonel, then I guess we can take a look and see what's on the other side."
Jack looked at Thor. "When do we go?"
"When you say so."
SG-1 remained on standby until whenever the colonel could remember the gate address that the Ancient repository placed in his mind. According to Thor, Jack would not only remember the address, he would also know when it was exactly the right time to go.
A few days after Thor's visit, SG-1 was together in the mess eating lunch. Jack's face suddenly went blank and he mutely stared off into the distance.
"Jack? Are you alright?" Daniel asked.
He didn't respond.
"O'Neill." Teal'c clamped a large hand on Jack's shoulder. "O'Neill."
"Ist este vicisti."
"What did he say?" Sam asked.
"It's Ancient. He said, 'It is time,'" Daniel translated.
The colonel abruptly stood up and the other followed him to the control room. He sat at the computer terminal and input a gate address.
The general rushed in when the klaxons went off. "What's going on?" he demanded.
"The colonel just said 'it was time' in Ancient and then came in here and entered a new stargate address with nine symbols," Sam explained.
"Nine? Even the address of the Asgard homeworld only had eight. Why nine?"
"I don't know, sir. I surmised the eighth symbol was an additional distance calculation, but I have no idea what the ninth symbol is for."
"Well, send a MALP through and see what you get back on telemetry."
A MALP was sent through the open wormhole.
"Unable to track the MALP, sir. However I am getting sensors and audio/video feedback. Sensors indicate an Earth-like atmosphere."
"Any sign of life?"
"Not in the immediate vicinity. No DHD evident either. It's just an empty white room."
"Then you better take one of your naquadah reactors with you so you can dial out manually."
The colonel spoke up again in the language of the Ancients, "Uto iste esta viciti uto revertum portacus mos addonom nos tergume hictum."
Daniel again translated. "'When it is time to return the gate will bring us back.' So you're saying we don't need to take a reactor with us?" he asked.
The colonel silently nodded.
"I don't care. Take it anyway," General Hammond ordered.
"'Time to go,'" Daniel again translated.
Within a few minutes SG-1 was on the ramp and ready to go. As soon as they stepped through, their weapons and the reactor had completely disappeared. The wormhole closed behind them.
"Hey! Where the hell did my P90 go?" exclaimed Jack.
Surprised, it took them a few moments to verify that every single weapon, including their knives, were missing. And without the generator, they couldn't power up the gate to dial back home. None of them were very happy.
"You did say that when it was time the gate would bring us back home, O'Neill," Teal'c said.
"Yes, you did."
"Well, I hope I was right." Jack sighed. "Alright, spread out. Look for a way out of here."
The room they were in was a completely nondescript white room with no windows or discernable doors. Suddenly a section of the wall slid aside revealing a doorway. A man stepped into the room.
"Hello. My name is Cayden. I am here to welcome you to Jidiri."
"Hello, I'm Daniel Jackson. This is Colonel O'Neill, Major Carter, and Teal'c. Were you expecting us?"
"Not you specifically, but I knew that we would be receiving some guests when the stargate appeared. I wanted to make sure you were made welcome and as comfortable as possible. If you'll come with me, we have a guest house prepared for you. You'll find food and changes of clothing." He smiled at them. "And this evening there's a concert in the park."
"Do you know why we're here?" asked Jack.
"Visitors always come when it's time for one or two of our residents to leave," Cayden replied, sounding a little sad.
"Do you know who we're here to find?"
"No. Visitors know who they're looking for when they find them. Sometimes it takes only a few hours, sometimes it takes a few weeks. But rest assured, you will find who you are looking for." Cayden said little else, despite constant questioning by Daniel, as he led them to a house. He explained it was theirs for however long they were on Jidiri. Then he left them to their own devices.
Each member of the team found 'native' clothing for them in one of the four bedrooms. Daniel and Sam decided to change into the clothing, while Jack and Teal'c remained dressed as they were.
Jack was impatiently pacing in the living room when Sam and Daniel returned from their respective bedrooms. "What the hell are we doing here?!"
"Well, it was your"
"I know that, Daniel! But what the hell are we supposed to do now that we're here? That Colin guy"
"Cayden," Daniel automatically corrected.
"Colin was no help. How are we supposed to find this damn Guardian if we don't know who he is or what he looks like? And how the hell are we supposed to find something 'we lost' when we don't even know what it is? And how did these people remove all of our weapons?"
"Well, Cayden did say there was a concert in the park tonight. Perhaps that's where we should begin," Sam offered.
"Why are you so blasé about all this, Carter? These people took away our weapons and we have no way to dial the gate to get back home!"
The blonde shrugged. "I don't know, sir. But I just have a feeling about this place. I don't think there's anything to fear here, I believe we're perfectly safe."
"Yeah! I feel it, too," Daniel predictably agreed.
Jack looked at Teal'c. "And you?"
"I do find myself surprisingly unconcerned about being unarmed."
Jack was not a happy camper. "We split up, but no one goes anywhere alone. Carter, Teal'c, see what you can find out especially about how the hell we can get home. Daniel, you're with me. The sooner we find whoever we're supposed to the sooner we can leave this... place."
None of the four members of SG-1 found anything or spoke to anyone who could be of assistance to them. They did, however, find that every single person they encountered was welcoming and nice to them. They were also surprised to discover that there was no monetary system and that anything they saw in the shops was theirs simply for the asking. It was late in the day when they all returned to the house.
Kris got up before the sun and silently left the house without disturbing her housemate. She began her four hour trek.
When Janet awoke she didn't want to get up or go to work. But then realized going to work was better than just sitting about the house and brooding. She didn't want to think about what the day represented. She dressed and knocked quietly on her housemate's bedroom door. When there was no answer she opened it and was surprised to see that Kris was apparently already up and had left for the day.
By lunchtime Janet was convinced she was having one of the worst days of her life. She already had to deliver some bad news to a patient and had to rush another patient into surgery. Of course, it didn't help that she was in a foul mood to begin with. She pinched the bridge of her nose and considered calling it a day. She looked at the pile of folders on her desk and gave up the notion of leaving for the day; however, needing to get out for a while, she did decide to go for a walk during her lunch break.
Janet walked through the village and absentmindedly acknowledged the people who waved at or greeted her. She actually let out a breath of relief when she reached Kris's school. Even though both she and Kris had made other friends on Jidiri, there were things they only discussed with each other. She knew some time talking with Kris would help her feel better.
She opened the door and entered the school. There wasn't a class in session, but there were a few students in the main room practicing on the mats. Janet walked on back to the office since she didn't see Kris anywhere. She jumped as the office door opened just as she about to reach for the knob.
"Dr. Fraiser, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to startle you."
"It's alright, Chuzu. And I told you to call me Janet."
"But you are my doctor; it would be impolite to address you so informally."
Janet smiled. She'd tried for some time to get Chuzu to address her by her name, particularly since she almost always saw him in a social setting, either as a guest of Kris in their home, or when she came to the school to see Kris. But Chuzu's race placed a very high value on showing proper respect. Despite the closeness with which he worked with Kris, and their personal friendship, he refused to call her anything but Uzhinn the Areth equivalent of Sensei, Sifu, or Teacher.
"Is there something I can do for you?" Chuzu asked.
"I'm just here to see Kris."
"Uzhinn is not here. She canceled all her classes for today. I haven't seen her since yesterday."
"Oh. I see." Janet was completely taken by surprise. Not only did Kris not say anything to her, but canceling all of her classes was completely out of character for the woman. Kris was nothing if not dependable. Even when she was not feeling her best Kris never missed a class.
"Is there a message... in case she comes in later?"
"No, no. Thank you, Chuzu." Janet turned and exited the school. Even though she had been looking forward to talking things through with Kris, she was surprised at just how disappointed she was. In fact, as she walked back to the clinic, she actually found herself getting a bit angry.
Back at the clinic, Janet's day got worse.
It was after dark when Kris returned home. She felt completely wiped out. With a heavy sigh she opened the front door and entered the house. As soon as she walked in the door she could tell something was wrong. Janet was in the kitchen washing up her dinner dishes. Her movements were stiff and even without seeing her face Kris could sense she'd been crying. She moved to stand behind Janet and gently laid her hand on her shoulder.
"Janet, what's wrong?" she asked quietly.
Janet jerked away from her touch. "Like you give a damn!" She turned and stiffly marched into the living room.
The venom in Janet's voice was like a slap across the face and it stung enough to bring tears to Kris's eyes. The day had made her own emotions raw. She entered the living room feeling like a whipped puppy. She desperately wanted to make things right, though she had no idea what she had done to upset Janet. The doctor was staring out the window. Somehow Kris knew she wouldn't turn around and look her.
Her whole body stiffened. "The K'wen baby died today," she said in a shaky whisper. It was always hard when she lost a patient, but losing a baby was the worst. However, that was not all that was bothering her. After a long pause she continued. "And it was a year ago today that..." She started crying.
Kris took a couple of steps toward her but stopped when Janet turned around. There was still a look of accusation in her brown eyes as tears trailed down her face.
"And where the hell were you? It was like you disappeared. You were gone when I got up; Chuzu said you canceled all your classes today; you weren't here when I came home." The accusatory look in her eyes changed to one of pain and need. "I didn't know where you were... and I needed..."
Kris walked up to her and wrapped her arms around her friend and roommate, tears also trailing down her own cheeks. "I'm so sorry. I never... I didn't mean to abandon you." They clung to each other tighter. "I don't know what I was thinking. Please forgive me. I didn't think... I was so selfish... I wouldn't have made it through this last year without you, Janet. I should have been here for you today. I'm sorry."
She felt Janet's knees start to go, so she slipped her left arm under her legs, picked her up, and carried her to the couch. Kris sat down and cradled Janet as she gave full vent to her anger, pain, and grief.
Janet tucked her face into the crook of Kris's neck and curled into her. She cried like she hadn't really allowed herself to cry in all the time she'd been on Jidiri. After several minutes she calmed a bit, but tears still rolled down her cheeks. "Where did you go?"
"It doesn't matter," Kris whispered. "I should've been here with you. I'm so sorry I wasn't here. But I'm here now; you're not alone."
The two friends talk and cried together for quite a while. Eventually, Janet drifted to sleep. Kris picked her up and carried her into her bedroom. She gently laid her down on her bed and turned to go, but Janet caught her hand.
"Please... I don't want to be alone."
Kris sat on the side of the bed. "Alright. Just let me go to the bathroom and get ready for bed, okay?"
She gave Janet's hand a squeeze and then left to prepare for bed. When she returned to her bedroom Janet was in the bathroom. She slipped under the sheet and waited for her friend to return. When Janet returned she was in her pajamas as well. She lay down facing Kris.
"Where did you go today?"
She turned onto her side facing Janet. "It doesn't matter."
Janet let out a deep breath before she continued. "You went back there today, did you?" she asked softly.
Kris took a slow, deep breath as a couple of tears squeezed past her closed eyelids. "I sat... and cried... and talked to Lena..." She fought to keep back the flood of tears she knew was coming it was a battle she didn't think she'd win. "I made her a promise... and then I told her goodbye."
"You made a promise to her?"
She nodded. "To fulfill her final request of me..." She opened her eyes and looked at Janet. "I'm sorry I didn't consider how you would be feeling today. Please forgive me."
Janet reached out and wiped away some of her tears. "Oh, Kris, there's nothing to forgive." She shifted and took Kris into her arms and holding her as she cried. "You did exactly what you needed to today, exactly what you should have done."
"But I wasn't here for you."
"You've been here for me every day this past year, including this evening. I was the one being selfish; I didn't even think about what you must be feeling today. I miss my daughter, but you lost your wife."
Both women soon fell asleep.
Over the next few months Janet and Kris continued to lean on each other and support each other. As they both continued to heal they started attracting the attention of some of the other residents of Jidiri. Both women were approached and asked out on dates.
Kris was asked out by the mother of one of her students, but declined because she simply wasn't interested. Janet, on the hand, accepted a date with the woman who ran one of the cafés she'd go to lunch at on her work days, Darcy Brogan.
Kris smiled when Janet came out of her bedroom. "You know, clothing isn't a fashion statement here on Jidiri."
"Yet that's the third time you've changed clothes this evening."
"Shut up." There was no sting in her words or tone.
Kris chuckled. "Janet, you look fine. And you looked fine before you changed clothes. Relax, have a good time at the concert."
Janet looked at her roommate, "Thank you." She paused and cocked her head a little. "I know Jenna asked you to the concert, why didn't you accept?"
"Jenna's nice, but I'm not interested in her that way." Kris sighed. "I'm not interested in anyone right now," she said softly.
"Why don't you come with us, Kris?"
"Oh, no. Three's a crowd. Go; have a good time."
About a month later, Kris finally accepted a date with someone. She wasn't particularly interested in a romantic entanglement, but she accepted the notion that it would do her good to get out and socialize.
One night, Kris was sitting on the couch reading when she heard Janet and her date outside the front of the house. She couldn't hear what was being said, but she could sense a growing discomfort in Janet which soon turned to desperation. Kris stood and went to the window to look out. Janet was dealing with a date that was way too handsy and wasn't picking up on the signals Janet was giving to back off.
Kris decided to help Janet out. She tapped the DAT she was using and looked something up before she opened the front door startling both women. Janet's date gave her a not-so-welcome look, while Janet gave her one of relief.
"I'm sorry to interrupt, Janet, but I've been waiting for you to get home. A patient is here to see you."
Janet tensed and immediately slipped into 'doctor mode.' "What's wrong?"
"It seems to be a severe case of acute dysphoria of the splenius capitis."
Janet's eyes lit up when she realized exactly what Kris was saying. She turned to her date, "I'm sorry, I have to go. This is serious."
"Will it take long? I could wait."
"No, you should go. A case like this will take many, many hours. If it becomes critical, it could even require surgery." She looked at Kris. "Now, let's see to my patient," she said as she marched into the house ahead of her roommate.
Kris closed the door behind herself and then peeked out the window to make sure Janet's date had indeed left. Once the coast was clear she turned around.
"The splenius capitis, huh?" Janet said with an amused smirk.
"Okay, I admit it I had to look it up. But it worked, didn't it?"
Janet smiled, plopped down on the couch, and kicked off her shoes. "Yeah, it did. It took me a second though, I had to stop and remember my basic anatomy."
Kris got them both a cold drink and joined Janet on the couch. "Well, you're the one who thought she was a pain in the neck."
"Actually, I thought she was a pain in a different part of the anatomy," the doctor said with a chuckle. Janet stopped and looked at her roommate. "How did you know?"
Kris took a deep breath and let it out. "Remember, I can be empathic with people I'm close to. I could sense your... shall we say, desperation. I knew you were not eager for the date to continue, so I thought I'd help you out with an easy exit."
"Thanks for your help," Janet said with a smile. She paused in thought before continuing. "So, can you always tell what I'm feeling?"
Kris looked her in the eyes. "No. I probably could tell more often if I were to consciously put effort into it, but I don't. When I do sense something, it's usually when your emotions are particularly strong... like tonight. Your 'discomfort' with your date was just radiating off of you in waves."
Janet took a few moments to absorb what her roommate said. "So why don't you put effort into it?"
The admiral took a slow breath before answering. "It would be considered impolite, an invasion of privacy. The first and foremost principles the Areth hold dear are the privacy of the individual and the sanctity of certain bonds. It's why we don't initiate a mind-touch without permission."
"And it's through the mind-touch that you're able to communicate telepathically?"
Kris nodded. "There are different levels of the mind-touch. Some only brush against another's thoughts, while others are very intimate. The most intimate mind-touch though is the one shared between those that are bonded as mates."
"Like you and Lena," Janet said softly.
She again nodded. "But even a mind-touch not as intimate as the one shared between mates can be a pleasant experience and good way to exchange a lot of information."
They sat in silence for several moments as Janet sipped her drink. It was clear she was thinking. Finally she set her drink down on the coffee table and turned to Kris. "Will you mind-touch with me?"
Kris was completely surprised by her request and didn't know what to say. When she didn't say anything, the doctor spoke again.
"You don't have to, of course. I understand if you don't want to..."
The admiral finally found her voice. "No, no. It's not that. It's just that most people most Humans are so apprehensive about the mind-touch, about telepathy in general. It's not a request that's made very frequently. You just took me by surprise."
Janet smiled. "Well, I'm not most people. I worked as the Chief Medical Officer of the SGC and now as a doctor here on Jidiri. I've seen enough to know there's so much we Humans don't know." She took a deep breath and let it out. "And we're friends; I trust you, Kris."
Kris nodded. "Okay." She moved closer to her on the couch. "Try to relax and don't fight it. This will not be an intrusive mind-touch; anything you want to keep private will remain so and you'll be able to end it if you choose to." She held out her hand and Janet trustingly placed her hand in Kris's. "Look into my eyes... and relax," she said with a smile and gave Janet's hand a gentle squeeze.
She found Janet's mind to very open and receptive to hers. Janet shared many thoughts and memories... of Cassandra, Sam, her parents and brothers, and her career. In turn, Kris shared her thoughts and memories of her adoptive mother, her childhood, and Lena. Several minutes passed in what felt like only a few moments. Kris gently backed away from the touch.
Janet opened her eyes, not knowing when she'd closed them, feeling a bit awestruck. "Wow," she softly breathed.
Kris smiled. "That's as good a description as I've ever heard."
Janet took a few slow breaths, trying to fully grasp what she'd just experienced. "And you said that was not a deep mind-touch?"
She nodded. "There are deeper, more intimate, touches. During this one only the thoughts and memories that you consciously chose to bring forward and share were accessible to me. During deeper ones thoughts from the subconscious and even emotions can be shared. It can be very intimate and pleasurable for both parties." She paused for a beat. "There's also a mind-touch that is for interrogation purposes where information is forcibly taken. It's... not a pleasant experience for either party." She was barely able to suppress a shudder.
Janet didn't miss it though. "I take it you've been a party to that kind of mind-touch."
Kris took a deep breath and slowly let it out. "Unfortunately... from both sides. It's extremely unpleasant."
The doctor reached out and took Kris's hand in her own, giving it a gentle squeeze. "Want to talk about it?"
Kris closed her eyes and shook her head. "Maybe some other time." She opened her eyes and looked into the Janet's. "Tonight's been too special to ruin with talk of unpleasant things."
Janet smiled brightly. "It has been a special night at least the part I've spent with you." She received an answering smile.
Suddenly, both women felt quite tired and decided to call it a night. After Janet was changed into her pajamas she knocked on Kris's bedroom door.
Kris was sitting on her bed, leaning against the headboard. Janet walked over and sat on the side of the bad, facing her. "About tonight... I want to thank you."
"You're welcome. Like you said, we're friends."
"Yes... but I know it was the first time you touched someone's mind since... Lena died."
"How..." She swallowed painfully around the lump that suddenly appeared in her throat.
"You shared your thoughts with me, too... remember?"
"So I know how big of a step it was for you." She placed her hand over Kris's and gave it a squeeze. "Thank you, for trusting me." Janet stood and placed a kiss on her friend's temple before turning to go.
The doctor turned back. She didn't need to ask what was on her friend's mind; she could see it in her eyes. She simply nodded and slipped into the bed as Kris scooted over to make room.
When Kris woke up before dawn, she found herself snuggled up against Janet's back with her arm around her. Her hand was clutched in the doctor's and tucked up against the center of Janet's chest, their fingers interlaced. It was an intimate embrace and felt good, but it was completely platonic. She didn't want to disturb Janet so she simply closed her eyes and started to drift back to sleep. Just before Kris dozed off she felt her hand squeezed by Janet as she snuggled back against her. She squeezed Janet's hand back and drifted back to sleep.
When she woke up later in the morning they were in the same position. She could tell Janet was still sleeping, so Kris carefully eased her hand from the doctor's and her arm from around her. She then silently slipped out of bed. She went into the kitchen and began to fix breakfast.
When Janet woke up she immediately missed the warmth and comfort of being held. She knew her housemate had been feeling particularly vulnerable the night before. When they had shared the mind-touch Janet suspected that Kris had shared more of herself than she realized; however, even without the mind-touch Janet would have known what the woman was feeling it was evident in her impossibly dark eyes.
Janet had noticed over the past year or so, that Kris's eyes had become more and more expressive, more and more revealing. Her demeanor became less guarded and more open as she acclimated to their new home. Despite the fact that they dropped their ranks from the beginning, she could see a clear a difference between the woman who first arrived on Jidiri Admiral Kay and the woman she now shared a house with Kris. They had been on Jidiri for about a year and half, and they had yet to find anything to indicate it wasn't exactly what it appeared to be... a utopia.
Of course Janet missed her daughter, her family, and her friends on Earth... but life on Jidiri was good. There was no violence, no crime of any kind; no prejudice; no poverty; no discord. If she wanted or needed anything it was available at no cost. There was no 'keeping up with the Joneses' to contend with since there was no materialism or avarice. People, be they Human or alien, would do anything to help another out without a second thought.
There was a peacefulness that had settled in Janet's heart and mind, and evidenced by the almost constant and easy smile she now wore.
Janet drew in a deep breath and her mouth watered at the wonderful aroma wafting through the house. She got up, went to the bathroom, and headed to the kitchen. She found Kris in process of setting breakfast on the table.
"You've got great timing. I was just going to wake you."
They both sat and started eating.
After breakfast they dressed and parted for the day, going to their respective jobs.
There was an outdoor concert in the park that evening. Janet and Kris both had declined more than one invitation from potential suitors because they had decided that they wanted to just enjoy the evening together as friends.
During her last class of the day, an advanced class, Kris wrenched her back and tore a couple of muscles. So once she dismissed her class she stretched out on one of the mats and entered into a healing meditation.
Janet got off work earlier than she expected and decided to go by Kris's school instead of going straight home. She entered and saw her roommate lying flat on her back on a mat. She became concerned though when Kris didn't respond when she called her name. Janet rushed to her side, slipping into full 'doctor mode,' and checked her breathing and for a pulse. When she didn't detect either she raised her fist to bring it down on her chest.
Kris caught Janet's fist a couple of inches from her chest. She drew in a deep breath. "That won't be necessary," she said as she opened her eyes and looked up at her.
The doctor jerked back, startled, and turning pale. "You weren't breathing... and you didn't have a pulse."
Kris sensed her shock... and her fear. She sat up and quickly wrapped her arms around her, feeling her tremble slightly. "Hey, it's okay, Janet. I'm fine."
She took a few moments to gather herself. She took a deep breath and pulled back. Her eyes glistened with unshed tears. "What just happened? I thought..."
"I was in deep meditation."
"I've seen you meditate before; your heart's never stopped before when you've done that."
"My heart wasn't stopped; it was just beating very, very slowly. I was in a much deeper meditation than you've observed before a healing meditation."
"I wrenched my back today and tore a couple of muscles, so I had to heal them. A healing meditation allows me to heal at an accelerated rate." She reached out and gave Janet's hand a squeeze. "After all, I didn't want to miss out on going to the concert this evening." She reached up and gently cupped Janet's cheek for a moment. "I never meant to scare you. It just took me few moments to come out of it and respond to you."
Having gotten her equilibrium back, Janet let out a deep breath and nodded. After a moment of silence she spoke, "You said you tore a couple of muscles in your back?"
"Yes, but the tears are healed now." Kris stood and then pulled Janet to her feet. "Come on, let's go home and get ready for the concert."
They walked home arm in arm.
Once they arrived home, Janet and Kris began preparations for the evening. They packed a picnic basket with a tasty meal and then changed clothes. Even though it was still rather early, they headed over to the park hoping to get their pick of choice spots.
They spread their blanket out under a large tree. Other people started arriving as they were enjoying their picnic. They were done eating by the time the concert started. Kris winced as she leaned over to put some stuff back into the picnic basket, and, of course, Janet noticed.
"Are you alright?"
"My back aches."
"I thought you said you'd healed your torn muscles."
"I did, but I came out of the meditation early. The tears are healed, but the muscles are still strained."
"We should go home then, so you can get some rest." Janet started to get up.
Kris grabbed her arm to stop her. "Janet, no. I've been looking forward to this evening all week, and you have been too. We're here, so let's just relax and enjoy the concert.
Janet looked at her in thought for a few moments. "Okay... but only if you agree to lie down."
"Yes, Doctor," she replied with an amused smirk.
"And you let me examine you afterwards."
Kris was going to object, but she could see that 'doctor' glare in her eyes and knew it was a moot argument, so she simply nodded.
Janet put the rest of the picnic things away in the basket and then sat back against the tree. Kris lay down on the blanket next to her, but was finding it difficult to get very comfortable.
"What's the matter?"
"I would have brought a pillow if I'd known I was going to be flat on my back during the concert."
Janet smirked at Kris's grumbling. "Alright," she chuckled, "just slide around this way and put your head here," she said indicating her lap. Kris got situated and found it more comfortable with her head pillowed in her lap. "Now relax and enjoy the music."
Kris closed her eyes and smiled. She felt a hand brush some hair away from her forehead and then fingers absentmindedly card through her hair over and over.
After the concert it was time to gather their things and head for home. Kris let out a wince as she struggled up off the ground. Janet wouldn't let her carry anything as they left the park. On the way home she tugged on her friend's arm when they came to the turn for the clinic.
When Kris looked at her she arched an eyebrow. "You agreed to let me examine you after the concert." The tone of her voice made it clear she that was going to hold Kris to their agreement.
At the clinic Janet did a quick physical and asked which muscles Kris had torn. She then ran a scan to make sure the tears were indeed mended. With the scan results verifying the absence of any damage they headed home.
Because Kris had already healed the injury, as verified by the scan, she was merely dealing with residual stiffness, so Janet gave her a suggestion when they arrived home. "You should take a long, hot bath; it should help with the soreness and stiffness you feel."
"I do believe that is a good idea."
"Come see me when you're done."
After her bath, Kris put on her pajamas and then knocked on the door to Janet's bedroom.
"Come in." Janet looked up and smiled when her roommate entered. "You feel any better?"
"Good. Come over here; I have something that should help."
"What?" she asked as she approached.
"Lie down on your stomach." When Kris did as she was told Janet straddled her hips and began massaging her back, starting with her shoulders.
"Your muscles are in knots."
"You're not kidding," she groaned.
Janet stopped. "Did I hurt you?"
"It's a good hurt."
She leaned over, pulled open the drawer in her nightstand, got something out, and sat back up. "This is an oil that feels warm to the touch and should help your muscles relax. Take your shirt off."
Kris slipped her t-shirt off as Janet poured some of the oil in her hands. The doctor began massaging her shoulders again and worked her way down her entire back, digging in with her fingers and loosening up clusters of knots. Once the knots were gone Janet eased up and her massage become more of a gentle, soothing backrub as she worked her way back up to her shoulders and neck. By the time she was done Kris was asleep.
Janet got up and went into the bathroom to wash her hands. When she returned to her bedroom she simply slipped into bed and turned off the light.
"Mmmm... thanks," Kris murmured.
"How do you feel now?"
"Wonderful... You have amazing hands... definitely the hands of a healer."
"The advantage of being a doctor knowing where the muscles are and how they connect," she replied with a small smile.
"I don't think I can move."
"Don't. Just close your eyes and go back to sleep."
Kris drifted off to sleep again before Janet reached over and pulled the covers over her.
As Janet slowly woke in the morning, she found her head was resting on Kris's left shoulder and the other woman's arm around her shoulders. Her left hand was on Kris's right breast, her fingers lightly fondling the nipple. Kris, though still asleep, reacted by nuzzling the top of her head. A quiet moan escaped her throat.
Kris's low moan was enough to suddenly make Janet wide awake. She froze, even holding her breath. Once she determined that Kris was still asleep, Janet very carefully removed her hand from Kris's breast. She quietly slipped out of bed and went into the bathroom... where she took a cold shower.
Kris woke up while Janet was still in the shower. She sat up and retrieved the t-shirt she'd removed the night before. As she was slipping it back on Janet re-entered the bedroom wrapped in a towel.
"Morning. How did you sleep?" Janet asked.
"Great! How about you?"
"I slept well, too."
"How does your back feel?"
Kris moved carefully, tentatively testing the muscles in her back. "Much better thanks to those wonderful hands of yours."
Janet felt herself blush and turned toward her dresser, opening the top drawer. "You're more than welcome. I'll go ahead and fix something for lunch; it seems we slept in late."
"Okay. I'll be out after a quick shower. I won't be long." Kris left the room.
When Kris entered the kitchen Janet was already setting out a light meal for them. They sat down and started eating.
"So, what was that oil you used on my back last night?"
Janet smiled. "I don't know exactly. It was given to me by one of the other doctors when I complained about my legs aching after pulling a double shift. He said it's made from some of the plants found up in the mountain ridge. His mother-in-law makes it, but won't tell him what all the ingredients are."
"Well, whatever is in it, it seems to help soothe sore muscles."
"I know. I use it on my calf muscles after extra long days."
"Thanks again for the massage, Janet."
"I'm glad I could help."
"I owe you. The next time your legs hurt after a long day I'll be glad to massage them for you with the oil."
Janet grinned. "You got yourself a deal."
It was only a week later when Janet came home after a very long and trying day at work. Kris could tell that her roommate was tired and sore, both physically and emotionally.
"Hey," she said as she came through the door.
"Hey. You look beat."
Janet simply nodded.
"Why don't you go take a hot shower and I'll fix you something to eat?"
Again, she just nodded as she headed to her bedroom.
After a bit, Janet came back out, wearing her robe. There was a little more color in her face.
"How do you feel?"
"A little more human."
"Here, you'll feel better if you eat something." Kris set a bowl of hot soup in front of her. She finished making a sandwich and set that on the table for Janet as well.
"Mm, this is good. I didn't realize how hungry I was."
"When was the last time you ate?"
She stopped to think. "Before I went in to work last night."
"Janet, you're a doctor you of all people should know better."
She sighed. "I know. But things were nonstop from the time I got to the clinic until I left to come home. I didn't even get a chance to sit down, much less take time to eat."
"Why were you at the clinic for so long?"
"Bergan's son and Garant's daughter had their wedding today. So I volunteered to cover at the clinic."
Kris smiled. "Well, at least it was for a good cause." She took a sip of her water. "Well, I guess I get to repay you for that great massage you gave me last week."
"What do you mean?"
"Your legs must be sore."
A look of comprehension, and then anticipation, crossed Janet's features.
"Finish eating. I'll go get the oil."
"It's in my nightstand."
When Kris returned from the bedroom she found Janet washing her dishes. "Hey, I'll take care of that, Janet. You go get comfortable on the couch."
"I'm not an invalid, you know."
"Yeah, I know. You're a stubborn, independent, I-can-take-care-of-myself-and-don't-need-anyone-to-do-anything-for-me-even-if-it-kills-me kind of woman."
The doctor stopped and looked at Kris for a moment. "Sounds a little bit like someone else I know," she said with a smirk and an arched eyebrow.
"I won't tell anyone if you don't," she countered.
A smile lit up Janet's face. "Deal."
"Good. Now go sit down. Get comfortable."
"Yes, Admiral," she quipped and tossed off a mocking salute before turning to leave. She let out a yelp when Kris snapped her with the dishtowel.
When Kris finished in the kitchen she joined Janet on the couch in the living room. She sat sideways, facing Janet, with her right leg tucked up under her left leg and her left foot on the floor. She had the doctor turn so that she was semi-reclined against the arm of the couch and her ankles rested across her left thigh.
"Good." Kris poured some oil into her hand and started on Janet's right calf. She didn't miss the wince the doctor let out.
"You would think I'd be used to it after all these years."
"I'd hate to think about how many miles you actually put on them during a double shift."
Janet let out a groan. "I don't want to know."
Kris continued to massage her calves for several minutes. "Feels like the knots are finally loosening up."
She answered without opening her eyes, "Mm hmm. You're pretty good with your hands, too."
"Glad to be of service," she replied with a smile. When she finished with Janet's calves she adjusted so her feet were in her lap.
Janet started to move to get up. "That was great, Kris. Thank you so much."
Kris stopped her by holding onto her feet. "I'm not done. Just lie back and relax." She poured some more oil into her hands. She took a foot into her hands and started massaging it.
"Ohhh... that feels so good."
"I figured if your legs were that tense then your feet must be achy as well."
"At least they're not as bad as when I got stuck wearing my Air Force dress shoes. Those heels really got to me at times." She paused. "Of course, they did add a few inches to my height," she said with a smirk.
"There's nothing wrong with your height, Janet."
"Being female and in a position of authority over some very macho soldiers was enough of an obstacle to overcome at the best of times in my century. Being short on top of that just made it harder."
"You obviously handled it well since you were the Chief Medical Officer at the SGC."
Janet opened her eyes as she smiled. "It helps to have very large needles on hand with which to threaten them. And you have to be able to stare down even the most battle hardened soldier and not flinch."
Kris laughed. "I know. I've seen that 'doctor' glare you have. You used it on me the day we met, when I told you I didn't need to sleep."
"It worked, didn't it?"
She nodded. "I almost smiled though, because I realized your 'doctor' glare was the same as Lena's 'command' glare."
"Fortunately, I don't have to use that tactic much here."
"Well, you're off for the next few days. And don't forget, we're getting together with Taran and Delsie tomorrow evening."
"I remember. Taran had an appointment this morning."
"How is she doing?"
"She's fine; her morning sickness has finally stopped."
"That's good. Oh, I almost forgot."
Kris nodded at the flowers on the fireplace mantle. "Those flowers were given to me to give to you by one of my students."
"Do you remember Vesh?"
"I think so. Isn't he the Suenis on the archeology team with Taran?"
She nodded. "Yes, that's him. Anyway, he wanted me to give the flowers to you, and find out if you would go to dinner with him. He's quite taken with you."
Janet closed her eyes and let out a sigh. "Please tell him thanks for the flowers, but that I'm sorry, I can't go to dinner with him. That... that I'm... things are..." She sighed. "I don't know..."
"Hey." Kris waited until Janet opened her eyes and looked at her. She gave her a reassuring look, "It's okay, Janet, I'll take care of it."
"No problem. Now forget about everything and just relax."
By the time she finished the foot rub Janet had fallen asleep. After washing her hands she carefully slipped her arms under her and picked her up. Janet roused only enough to tuck her face into Kris's neck. Kris carried her into her bedroom and set her down on the bed.
"Don't go," Janet murmured softly.
"Okay." Kris slipped into bed next to her and Janet nestled up against her, laying her head on her shoulder. Kris reached over and turned off the light on the nightstand.
Whenever either Janet or Kris went out on a date, one would wait up until the other got home. They would then stay up long into the night, talking, and inevitably falling asleep in the same bed. And they always seemed to wake up the next day holding each other. Neither of them ever commented about it, but neither did they do anything to prevent it. They both started going out on fewer and fewer dates until they eventually stopped dating altogether.
Kris finally recognized her feelings for Janet for what they were, that they had developed into something more than close friendship. After losing Lena she thought she would never be able to feel that way again... However, she had other things to deal with.
Even though Janet had treated and kept Kris alive after Lena died, it didn't mean there weren't consequences. When an Areth bonded with a mate it was for life. Normally, when a mate died, there was a healer, or a family member, present to support and help the surviving mate through the psychic trauma caused by the loss of that bond. It was a ritualized process. The guided meditations and healing mind-touches helped to ensure the survivor not only lived, but did so without psychic damage. This was accomplished by making sure the bond was completely severed and that no remnants of it remained.
Kris didn't have the benefit of that process. Stranded on Jidiri, there had been no healer or family member to take her through the requisite ritual. And just over two years after Lena's death, it was finally catching up with her.
She started feeling quite out of sorts and was finding it harder and harder to concentrate. Her daily meditations were not helping much. She tried working out more at the school to burn off as much energy as possible so that sleep, becoming more and more elusive, would hopefully claim her for a few hours at night. She started staying late at the school, only going home in time to shower and go to bed. She would then rise before the sun and leave, going for a long run before her classes at the school.
It certainly didn't take long for Janet to notice the change in her roommate's routine. After a few days she decided to check up on Kris. Since she had been putting in some extra time at the clinic she was due for some time off. On her first day off she decided to do some basic snooping. She got up early and went to the school.
Janet watched as Kris arrived flushed and sweaty from her run. She waited a couple of minutes outside before she went into the school. She expected to find Kris in the shower, so she was surprised to find the woman working out, hitting and kicking the bags in a seemingly agitated manner. She surreptitiously watched until the students for the first class started arriving. She decided she would come back at lunchtime, take Kris out to lunch, and get her to talk about whatever was causing her to become so driven and reclusive.
When Janet returned to the school at lunchtime she found Kris sitting alone... meditating. Rather than disturb her she chose to silently observe her. Janet had seen her meditate before, but she could tell something was different, or wrong. She studied her face and posture. Kris's expression was not relaxed and her body was obviously stiff. There was sweat on her forehead and her jaw was clenched.
When Kris finished her meditation she opened her eyes. She held her hands out and looked down at them... they still shook, but not as badly. She quickly balled them into fists, got up, and headed over to the punching bags. She started working out until the next class arrived. She never noticed Janet as she slipped back outside.
Janet went back home, retrieved some of the DATs they'd brought with them from the ship, and began her research. After a few hours she put down the DAT she'd been using after she found what she'd been looking for, closed her eyes, and let out a heavy sigh. Oh, Kris, why didn't you say anything? Knowing it would be late before Kris got home, she decided to take a nap.
Kris was surprised to find Janet up and waiting for her when she got home.
"Hey, stranger," Janet said pleasantly.
"Hey." She headed back to her bedroom without stopping to talk.
After a few moments Janet got up and followed. She didn't let the closed bedroom door stop her either. She entered without knocking and found Kris sitting on the side of her bed with her head down and her eyes closed. Her hands were in her lap and Janet could see them trembling. She approached and crouched in front of her, placing a hand on her knee.
"Kris, tell me what's going on. What's wrong?" she said, concern clearly evident in her voice.
She took a slow, deep breath and let it out, but didn't say anything.
"Please, talk to me." When Janet put her hand over the shaking ones in her lap Kris couldn't keep from wincing and jerked her right hand away. Janet recognized pain when she saw it and immediately went into 'doctor mode.' "You're hurt. Let me see your hand."
She brought her hand back so the doctor could see it. Janet very gently cupped it in one hand and carefully examined it with the other.
"I broke it," Kris said softly.
"In more than one place. I'll be right back." She left the bedroom to retrieve the medkit and then returned. She scanned it with the medical scanner and to get an accurate picture of which bones were broken. She started using the osteo stimulator to heal the breaks. "How did you break it?"
Kris shrugged. "During my workout."
A dark brow arched. "Hit something a little harder than the bags?"
Her blush gave her away. "Yeah."
Janet finished with the osteo stimulator and put it back in the medkit. She then used the stimulator that healed soft tissue and vascular damage. Finished with treating her hand, she picked up the medical scanner again and ran a complete scan before closing up the medkit and setting it on the night stand. She took hold of Kris's hands, taking a deep breath and slowly letting it out before speaking.
"Kris, I know there's something going on with you, more than a broken hand. I really don't need the medical scanner to tell me that. I can see it in your trembling hands, rapid pulse, shallow breathing, and I can feel it in the fever you're running."
Kris finally opened her eyes and looked down into Janet's.
"Please, Kris, tell me. I'm your doctor, but even more importantly, I'm your friend and I'm here for you no matter what." She reached up and gently cupped her cheek.
She took a deep breath and swallowed. Janet's touch was actually making things worse instead of better. But then there was no getting better without addressing the root of the problem. Her voice was shaky when she finally spoke. "Visvium..." she said quietly and closed her eyes again.
"I thought that might be it," Janet said just as quietly. "Why didn't you say anything?"
"It's not something... discussed... with outsiders."
Janet lowered her hand from her cheek. "Is that what I am to you? An outsider?"
Kris's eyes flew open, tears filling them as she sought out Janet's. "No." Her trembling was getting worse.
"Then let me help you through this."
She was having trouble concentrating. Coherent thought was becoming more and more difficult. She could no longer hold back the visvium. "You don't understand."
Janet stood and took Kris's face into her hands raising it so she could look into those impossibly dark eyes. "I understand that when Lena died your bond was severed... at a cost. I understand the damage has brought on the visvium which is affecting your higher brain functions and you'll die if nothing is done." Using her thumbs she tenderly wiped away a few tears that trailed down Kris's cheeks. "Let me help you... because I love you." She lowered her head and gently brushed her lips against Kris's.
Kris was at the point of no return. She could not hold off the effects of the visvium any longer. In truth, this moment had been inescapable; it had only been a matter of time. She'd been surprised it had taken over two years. She had a choice to make... succumb to the visvium... or inflict herself on Janet. And the longer she took to decide, the less control she had over her mind... or body. She looked up at Janet, begging her to understand. "Too far along... no control... I could hurt... you..." Tears streamed down her face and her whole body began to shake.
Janet, standing between her knees, pulled Kris to her, cradling her head against her chest. She kissed the top of her head. "Shhh... don't fight it anymore. Just let it happen."
It was a long time later when Kris came to her senses. She found herself cradled in Janet's arms, the beat of her friend's heart beneath her ear... resonating through her body and mind. As Janet slept soundly, Kris took a couple of slow, deep breaths and tried to clear her mind. She knew she had made it through the worst of the effects of visvium, but the way her mind still burned from the scent of the other woman it was clear that she was not entirely over it. She opened her eyes... and her heart froze.
She recoiled when she saw Janet's arm draped across her own; Kris felt like she'd been dumped into a tub of ice. She carefully slipped out of Janet's embrace and sat up. Tears welled in her eyes as she saw bruises littering other places on Janet besides her arm. She retrieved the stimulator from the medkit on the nightstand and began running it over the bruises. Kris moved the covers to heal the bruises on the lower half of Janet's body causing her to wake up.
Janet opened her eyes and smiled. "Hey. You're awake," she said sweetly.
She simply nodded and continued to work on the bruises. Unable to look Janet in the eyes, Kris concentrated on the task at hand. Finally she asked Janet to turn over onto her stomach so she could get at the rest of the bruises. When she placed the stimulator on the nightstand Janet turned back over again and looked at Kris as she ran the medical scanner over her for a final check.
She nodded and returned the scanner and the stimulator to the medkit. "Feel better?"
Janet sat up. "Yes." She paused as she reached out to put her hand on Kris's arm to stop her as she started to get out of bed. "And how are you? Is the visvium over?"
She didn't look at her, but simply shook her head. "Not completely... but the worst has passed... I... I'm in control of myself now..." She took a deep breath and let it out. "I'm going to take a shower." She abruptly rose from the bed and went into the bathroom.
Once under the cascading water of the shower she let her tears finally fall. She was so upset about the bruises she'd found on Janet's body knowing she'd been the cause of them. After several minutes she got out of the shower, slipped on her robe, and walked back into her bedroom. She still couldn't look Janet in the eye.
"Yeah, I am."
"I'll fix something to eat while you take your shower."
"Actually, I think I'll take a bath," Janet replied.
"Probably a good idea. It'll help ease your sore muscles. Take your time." Kris quickly left the bedroom.
Janet was a confused by Kris's behavior, her distance. She frowned as she got out of bed and went into the bathroom. She drew a bath and eased herself down into the hot water, letting the heat leach the soreness from her body. She laid her head back and placed a folded washcloth over her eyes.
As she soaked she thought about the last two years and everything that had happened. She'd been killed while tending a wounded soldier in the field; woken up in a crashed spaceship on an unknown planet, her fatal wounds healed; sat by helplessly as the woman who'd saved her life watched as her own wife died; been integrated into a community made up of several alien races; and... fell in love with her roommate.
She let out a sigh. She didn't know if Kris felt the same way, but she knew that she couldn't sit back and do nothing. Not when she realized what was going on with Kris... regardless of what it might mean for their friendship. She'd rather lose their friendship than allow Kris to die.
At first, she'd been a little shocked when she'd read the DAT entry on visvium: its cause, its 'treatment,' and the outcome if it were to be left untreated. Visvium was caused when the bond between mates was severed, but a remnant remained behind. Inevitably it led to the survivor's death, after a decline of his/her mental faculties, if an Areth mind-healer was not able to treat the survivor. The only other thing that could save the survivor was to establish a new bond... with a mate.
The fact that Kris's condition had improved indicated that their 'coupling' had been successful, but Janet didn't feel any... she didn't feel anything that indicated a bond had formed between them. And that brought her back to Kris's behavior, and the distinct distance she seemed to be putting between them. Maybe she resents that it was me. Maybe I shouldn't have pushed her. She felt the backs of her eyes sting.
When Janet entered the living room she found Kris sitting on the floor in front of the couch, staring into the fire she'd lit in the fireplace. Janet didn't know what to say to the woman. After a couple of moments she went into the kitchen and found some cut up fruit and a sandwich sitting on the table waiting for her. She sat down and started eating.
"Mm, this is good. Have you eaten?"
"Yes," Kris fibbed she didn't have an appetite.
When Janet was done eating she cleaned up and put everything away. She was still confused by Kris's aloofness. Not knowing what else to do she decided to take the bull by the horns. She walked over and sat on the couch next to Kris's shoulder. She took a deep breath and let it out. "Kris, did I do something wrong?"
"Oh, God. No!" Tears ran down her face as she looked up at Janet. "I did." She broke down sobbing.
Janet immediately slid off the couch and enveloped Kris in her arms, holding her tight as she cried. "Oh, honey, what's wrong?" She rocked her and kissed her temple, trying to comfort her.
"I never wanted to hurt you."
"Shhh... you didn't hurt me."
Kris pulled back and looked at Janet in disbelief. She then turned back to stare into the fire. "I think those bruises proved otherwise."
Janet sensed she really needed to convince Kris that everything was alright, to get her past this stumbling block. She moved to straddle Kris's lap and lifted her chin so she could make eye contact.
"Listen to me, and don't say anything until I'm done. You did not hurt me. So I got a few bruises; I've experienced much worse at the hands of others. I made a choice, a choice I would happily make again. Losing you was not, and is not, an option. I love you. Neither of us were born yesterday or were virgins. I endured much rougher sex with my ex-husband. I chose to be with you out of love. So quite frankly, even though you were not yourself and it was all about biology, I didn't notice any of the bruising at the time." She cupped Kris's face in both her hands, gazing intently into her impossibly dark eyes. "I have no regrets." She paused for a couple of beats. "Do you?"
Kris was stunned. Even while in the grip of the visvium she had not actively sought contact with Janet's mind. She didn't feel she had that right since Janet had acted out friendship... or so she had believed. So to hear that Janet loved her and to see the sincerity in her eyes left her feeling bewildered. How could she be so incredibly fortunate for a second time in her life?
"No," she whispered. "I love you," she added.
Janet lowered her head and tenderly kissed Kris. Kris wrapped her arms around the doctor and held her close. After a couple of minutes they parted due to a lack of oxygen. They rested their foreheads together as they both tried to catch their breath.
"Not exactly how I imagined our first time together."
After a moment Janet pulled back and looked down into Kris's eyes. "You imagined us together?" she asked with a pleased, and teasing, smile.
Kris blushed. "When I realized I'd fallen in love with you... well, of course I did..." she couldn't keep from smiling, "... frequently."
The doctor's smile widened. "And just when were you going to make your feelings known to me?"
"In time. Actually, I had planned on courting you." She took a deep breath and let it out. "But then this all started and... well..." She hung her head.
Janet kissed Kris's forehead and ran fingers through silky hair, then wrapped her arms around Kris's head and shoulders, pulling her close. Kris closed her eyes and drew in a deep breath as she tucked her face into the crook of the doctor's neck. After her bath Janet must have reapplied her perfume it's scent tickled Kris's senses as she inhaled slowly and smiled with pleasure. When she exhaled it was almost a sigh.
"What is that perfume you're wearing?"
"It's the vanilla scented one."
Kris smiled. "I love the way it smells on you. It's my favorite."
"I know. That's why it's the only one I wear anymore."
Kris started nuzzling her throat. Janet's breathing changed when Kris's lips found a particularly sensitive spot at the base of her throat. Janet pulled back and claimed those lips in a hungry kiss. When they parted Kris gazed up into soft, brown eyes. She reached up and caressed Janet's cheek.
"I want to share something with you."
"I want you to know exactly how I feel about you." Through the bond that had been established during their coupling, Kris touched Janet's mind and shared her feelings directly with her newfound lover.
Janet's eyes widened and she let out a quiet gasp as her mind was filled with the love Kris felt for her. Her heart skipped a beat as she actually felt Kris's feelings. It was unbelievably exhilarating.
[Never doubt my love for you, my beloved.]
Her eyes closed and she basked in the absolute truth and purity of being utterly loved. Then it dawned on her that she had heard Kris's words in her mind, but it was different from the mind-touch they'd shared before. She took a breath, opened her eyes, and looked at her.
[This isn't is a mind-touch, is it?]
Kris nodded. [Yes, we are bonded.]
[Then you can feel my love for you as well.]
She smiled. [Yes, I can. With time and practice you'll learn to control the level of connection we share through our bond. Your private thoughts will remain private unless you wish it otherwise. But there will always be an awareness of each other.]
[So I am your...]
[My beloved... my Janet... my mate.] Tears of joy filled her eyes and she let all the love and joy she felt flow through their bond... and felt it returned in full. [And by the traditions and laws of my homeworld my wife.]
They both smiled and shed a few joyful tears as they started kissing. Kris untied Janet's robe, slid her hands inside, resting them on Janet's hips, and pulled her closer. She ran her hands up Janet's sides as she rained her neck and throat with kisses, focusing on the sensitive pulse point she'd found earlier. Kris's hands cupped her breasts, thumbs lightly teasing her erect nipples.
"Mmmm... I still need you."
"I'm right here, my love."
Kris kissed her way down to Janet's breasts and took a nipple in the moist heat of her mouth. Janet let out a pleasurable moan as she suckled. After a couple of minutes they kissed again, deeply. When they had to part due to a lack of oxygen Kris laid her head back on the couch for a few moments as she panted.
"Let's get a little more comfortable."
In a matter of seconds they had all the couch cushions and pillows on the floor in front of the fireplace. Added to that was the fleece blanket always kept on the couch and they were quite comfortably stretched out. Janet was on her back and Kris was lying on top of her. They had already shed their robes. Kris kissed, licked, and nipped her way down to her breasts and latched onto one of her nipples again. Janet moaned and her hips began to rock of their own volition. After a couple of minutes Kris kissed her way back up as her hand trailed down and along a shapely thigh.
She lifted her head and gazed down into Janet's eyes. "I won't lose control this time... I'm beyond that point now."
"It's alright if" Janet's voice hitched as questing fingers discovered how wet she was, "you do." Her eyes closed in pleasure as fingertips lightly ran up and down wet folds a few times then circled her clit. Her eyes opened when Kris withdrew her hand. "Please... don't stop..."
"Shhh... don't worry. We're just starting, my love." She kissed Janet tenderly. "There's more to the visvium than..." Her eyes closed as her voice trailed off, shame at her earlier behavior filling her.
Janet reached up and took Kris's face in both her hands. "Shhh... it's okay." She pulled Kris down into a kiss.
"There are benefits to the bonding." [A true blending: physically, emotionally, psychically. To be as one...]
The connection they shared was once again expanded as they began to slowly explore each other's bodies and discover what made them moan and whimper with want and need. The pleasure experienced was intensified by the fact that these sensations now were shared through their bond... touching and being touched, kissing and being kissed, licking and being licked, penetrating and being penetrated... physically and mentally all melded into an exquisitely mind-blowing experience.
Eventually, they drifted to sleep in an exhausted and sweaty tangle of limbs.
It was morning when they woke. After some languid lovemaking and a joint shower which turned into some more lovemaking they finally got dressed. Kris contacted Chuzu at the school and arranged for him to take over all her classes for a few days. Janet, of course, was already scheduled off for a few days. Since it was a beautiful day out, a day that matched the way they felt on the inside, they decided to go out for lunch.
After lunch they went to the central building to the registrar's office. They filled out the paperwork and then got into line. Fortunately the line wasn't very long and it was soon their turn. They handed over their paperwork.
"What name do wish to have on the marriage certificate?"
The man nodded and entered the information. He then looked at Kris. "And what name do you want on the certificate?"
Janet's head snapped around in shock. "Kris, are you sure?"
Kris smiled at her. "Yes." She reached up and tenderly caressed Janet's cheek. "I'm very sure."
The clerk finished. "Sign here," he instructed.
They signed their names and were sent on their way with their certified copy of their marriage certificate.
They walked through the park, hand in hand and with wide smiles, stopping frequently to kiss.
Janet chuckled after they came up for air. "I feel as giddy as a teenager."
"So do I, and it's been a lot longer for me since I was a teenager than it's been for you."
As she carded her fingers through short, dark hair Janet gazed into Kris's eyes, smiled and then pulled her in for another kiss. "Mmmm... Kris?" she murmured around their kiss.
"Take me home... and make love to me."
Sometime the next morning they were cuddling on the couch, naked with just the fleece blanket tossed over them. Kris was leaning back into the corner of the couch with Janet's body curled into hers. She kissed the top of the head that was tucked under her chin and continued to run her fingers through the soft, brown hair.
"I know everything has happened so quickly"
"Not so quickly."
"I've been in love with you for a while."
"And just when were you going to make your feelings known to me?" Kris asked.
Janet chuckled at having her own question turned back on herself. "It just took me a while to get up the courage to say anything."
Kris gave her a squeeze.
"I was afraid you didn't feel the same way, and I was afraid of hurting our friendship."
"I know exactly what you mean. I'm glad you were braver than I was."
Janet tilted her head back so she could look up into Kris's eyes, she brought her hand up to caress her wife's cheek before their lips met in a kiss. She readjusted back into place after the kiss.
"Anyway... what I was going to say was, with everything happening the way it did, because of the visvium, we kind of skipped the whole dating and courtship and wedding bit. We basically went from 'I love you' to married all in one fell swoop." Kris could feel Janet's concern growing as she talked. She shifted a little so she could look down into her soft, brown eyes. "And no, I have no doubts or regrets. I love you, Janet, and I want to spend the rest of my life showing you how much." [Don't ever forget this,] she added through their bond with all the emotional force behind it.
"I just don't want you to ever feel like you've missed out on anything."
"Like what?" she asked, confused.
Kris smiled. "Like a wedding."
Janet still looked a little confused.
"You know, an event you plan, invite friends to, have a reception afterwards, and celebrate."
She swatted Kris's arm. "I know what a wedding is, smart ass." She paused. "Honey, I don't require some ceremony to make me feel any more married to you than I already do. I had all that when I married my ex-husband. But I realize we come from different worlds. I want to give you whatever your customs or heritage would call for."
Kris let out a soft chuff of amusement. "I have such a mixed heritage," she said with a smile. "But we've already bonded, and as is the custom on my homeworld, such things are always done in private. However, there is one tradition from our common heritage that I wouldn't mind though."
Janet smiled widely and nodded. "I'd like that, too."
"We can go looking after lunch at the café."
"But that means getting up and getting dressed," Janet said as she snuggled up tighter against Kris.
Kris chuckled and kissed Janet's forehead. "True, but then I'll get to undress you all over again."
Janet didn't move... or rather she didn't move to get up. She cupped Kris's breast, lightly teasing the nipple. "I like having you already undressed," she said with mischievousness in her tone of voice.
"Don't you need some fresh air and something to eat?"
She looked up into ebony eyes. "I have everything I need right here," she said softly, before their lips met in another deep kiss.
They finally got up from the couch. Once they were dressed they headed out to the nearby café and enjoyed a nice lunch. They then went shopping for their wedding rings. Since there were so many different cultures and races represented on Jidiri, there was a wide selection of types and styles of wedding rings, and their equivalents, available in the local jewelry shops. Janet and Kris had looked in two of the three closest shops and were both feeling a bit overwhelmed by some of the garishness of some of the selections.
They were both relieved to find the third shop catered to the less flamboyant population of the planet. The gentleman who waited on them, Teshen, was very nice and patient as they took their time. A lot of the rings contained gem stones set in different metals. While they were all quite beautiful, none of them seemed to be quite right. Teshen sensed they could use a few moments alone and stepped away.
"What do you think, Janet?"
"They're all quite beautiful."
"Is there one that you particularly like?"
Janet hesitated. "What about you? Which one do you like?"
"I agree, they are all quite beautiful."
"But, I don't think our rings are among them."
Janet gave her a smile. "I don't think so either."
"I was thinking perhaps something more"
Kris smiled and nodded.
"Just a simple band; something that I wouldn't have to remove for any reason, even at work," Janet said.
Teshen, seeing both women nod, assumed they'd come to a decision and again approached. "So, have you two decided on which rings you would like?"
"Actually, these are all beautiful, but what we're looking for isn't here," Kris said. "But we're hoping you can still help us."
"What we want is something very basic, with no stones or fancy carvings. You see, Janet is a doctor and she needs something that won't catch on anything or scratch anyone, so she won't have to remove it while at work. And I teach over at the martial arts school."
Teshen smiled. "I understand. Do you have a preference in the metal they're made out of?"
"Something strong, to represent our bond," Janet answered.
Kris and Teshen both smiled at her answer.
"We can make the bands out of any metal, but the strongest metal available would ventinium. It is available in both a silver and a gold tone."
"How about both?" Kris asked.
"That would be perfect!" Janet agreed.
"Alright. All we need to do is get your sizes, and have you pick out the width and style of band you want. It's early and we don't have any other special orders, so we should have them done for you tomorrow," Teshen informed them with a smile.
The next day Janet and Kris excitedly made their way to the jewelry story to pick up their rings. Teshen smiled as they entered the store.
"Good afternoon, ladies." He reached under the counter and pulled out a small velvet box. "I have your rings right here." He opened the box and showed them the two rings sitting side by side within. They were perfect.
Teshen took them out of the velvet box and gently laid one in each of their palms. He had knowingly placed Janet's ring in Kris's palm and Kris's ring in Janet's palm. They smiled as they slipped the rings on each other's finger. They gazed into each other's eyes and then kissed.
They couldn't stop smiling all the way home. When they got back to the house, Kris stopped Janet from going inside.
"What?" Janet asked.
"I should have done this before."
Kris scooped her up in her arms and carried her inside. "Carried you over the threshold," she said with a grin."
They both chuckled as Kris sat down on the couch with Janet still in her arms.
Janet held up her left hand and admired her new wedding ring.
"So you like it?" Kris asked.
"I love it; it's perfect." She cupped Kris's cheek. "I've never been happier," she said before kissing her.
After they picked up their rings Janet and Kris decided to invite their closest friends, Taran and Delsie, over for dinner. They were looking forward to telling their friends about the change in their relationship.
When Taran and Delsie came over they brought their daughter Layla, who was only a few months old. While Janet was in the kitchen checking on dinner Layla let it be known that she wanted her dinner immediately. Kris was holding the baby when she threw her fit.
"Sorry, Kris, don't take it personally," Taran said.
Kris smiled. "I don't." She smiled down at the crying baby in her arms. "I understand, Layla. When you're hungry, you're hungry."
Taran took Layla from Kris and began to breast feed.
Janet came back from the kitchen. "Well our dinner will be ready probably about the time Layla is done with hers," she said with a smile. "So, have you two been getting any more sleep lately?" she asked.
Taran and Delsie both smiled and nodded. "Yes, thank goodness. She's starting to sleep more than two hours at a time," Taran replied.
"Yeah. I thought Taran was going to break something walking into walls all the time," commented Delsie.
"Ha, ha. Very funny. Just remember, you're having the next one."
Kris chuckled and received a playfully cross look from Taran. Kris held her hands up in surrender. "Hey, don't look at me, Taran; I didn't get you pregnant."
That made Janet laugh which earned her a dirty look of her own. She, too, held her hands up in surrender. "Hey, I don't make babies, I only deliver them. My own was 12 when I adopted her. I didn't get you pregnant either." She paused when Taran gave her a dumbfounded look. She dropped her hands and her expression changed as she reconsidered her statement. "Well, I guess I did get you pregnant... but you asked me to."
Delsie grinned. "She's got you there, Taran."
Taran smiled as she looked down at Layla suckling. She looked back up at Janet. "Thank you, Janet."
"You're most welcome."
As soon as Layla was done with her dinner she was put down for a nap. The four women then enjoyed their own dinner. Afterwards the table was quickly cleared and some music was put on while they relaxed in the living room. Taran and Delsie sat on the couch while Janet sat in the overstuffed chair.
"Kris, I noticed you weren't at the school the last few days," said Taran. "And Chuzu said he thought you weren't feeling the best before you arranged to take some time off. You okay?" she asked.
Kris smiled as she sat down on the floor in front of Janet. "I was feeling a little under the weather, but I'm fine now. The advantage of living with a doctor or at least this particular doctor," she said with a chuckle.
Delsie gave both Kris and Janet a hard look. She noticed how Kris was leaning against Janet's leg and the way they were both smiling. "Alright, what's going on?" she asked.
Just then Layla woke up. She also let it be known it was time to change her diapers. Taran grabbed the diaper bag and handed it to Delsie. "Your turn."
Delsie spread out a blanket on the floor and put Layla down on it. After changing her Delsie sat back up on the couch still holding the baby. She gave Janet and Kris another look. "I'm still waiting for an answer, you two."
"An answer about what?" asked Taran.
"Just look at them. They're up to something, Taran."
Taran looked at the pair. "Hell, they've been living together over two years. Maybe they finally figured out what we've known all along that they should be dating each other instead of other people," she said flippantly as she took the baby from Delsie.
Both Janet and Kris blushed at Taran's friendly nagging. Both Taran and Delsie had been anything but subtle in expressing their opinions of Kris and Janet's choices of dates in the past. Delsie saw their blushes.
"Oh, my god! That's it, isn't it? You're finally dating each other."
Taran's head snapped up to see both Janet and Kris smiling. Her jaw dropped. "Damn, and I was only joking."
Kris chuckled. "Well, you're half right, anyway," she said with a smile.
"What do you mean half right?" Delsie asked.
"Well, we figured out we love each other and belong together, but we're not dating."
Delsie and Taran looked confused."
"We're married," Janet explained.
"You've got to be kidding," said Taran.
They both held up their left hand and waggled their fingers to show off their wedding bands.
"No joke," Kris said. "You're looking at a bona fide married couple."
"Just the other day," answered Janet.
"And we didn't even get invited," grumbled Delsie.
"No one did, Delsie. It wasn't planned. It just... sort of happened. You two are the first ones we've told. It's the whole reason we invited you over tonight."
"Damn. There goes our reliable babysitters," Delsie said with a smirk.
"What do you mean?" asked Taran.
"Think about it. They're newlyweds; they'd rather have an evening alone together than with a baby to care for," she said with humor in her voice.
"I guess you have a point."
[Hmm, she does have a point.]
A wave of desire tickled Kris's senses. [Hold that thought until after they leave.]
"Don't worry, we'll still be glad to watch Layla occasionally. Can't have you falling to pieces at work, Delsie. The clinic needs you in top shape," Janet said. "What would we do without you in admin to make sure everything runs smoothly?"
"Wait one minute!" Taran said suddenly. The other three women looked at her and she pinned Janet with a look. "Look, I love you both, and I know we've given you a hard time about some of the choices you've made when it comes to some of the dates you've gone out with." She paused. "I also haven't forgotten how wicked your sense of humor can be, Janet. I remember how you kept a perfectly straight face when you told me I was pregnant with twins!" She moved her gaze to Kris. "And I wouldn't put it past you, Kris, to try to pull one over on us either. So, until I see some proof, and I don't mean just a couple of rings, I'm not falling for it. I want to see a marriage certificate with names of Janet Fraiser and Kris Kay on it before I'm convinced this isn't a joke."
Kris chuckled as she got up off of the floor. "Janet, I warned you that your sense of humor was going to get the best of you one these days."
"I guess you were right."
Kris left the room, retrieved their marriage certificate from the other room, and returned. "Taran, considering everything, I understand why you're skeptical. And you're right I can't provide you with a marriage certificate with the names Kris Kay and Janet Fraiser on it."
"Damn, you guys really had me going!" said Delsie.
"I'm going to get you for this especially you, Janet!" warned Taran.
"Before you do, check this out," Kris said and handed the certificate to Delsie since Taran was holding Layla. She then sat on the arm of the chair Janet was sitting in and put her arm around her shoulders.
The couple immediately recognized the certificate for what it was. They quickly looked at the names on the form which Delsie read out loud. "Janet Fraiser and Kris Frasier?" They both looked up at the newlywed couple and smiled.
"So it is for real!" exclaimed Taran.
"You better believe it," Janet said with a grin.
Janet rushed home from work. She wanted to surprise her wife with all of her favorite things for dinner. She had hoped to get off early, but an injured patient had prevented her escape. She stopped by the café on the way home and picked up dinner for two. If she hurried she should have time for a shower before Kris got home.
Janet came to an immediate stop when she entered the house through the front door. The interior was lit entirely with candles. Standing in the middle of the living room, wearing nothing but a silk robe, was her wife.
Kris smiled. "Happy anniversary, love."
Janet returned her smile. "Happy anniversary." On her way across the room she set her package down on the coffee table. She then wrapped her arms around her wife and they kissed, deeply. They parted only when oxygen became an issue. "Mmmm... I didn't think you'd be home this early."
"I took half a day off; I wanted to surprise you. I picked up your favorite dinner from the café and I've already drawn a hot bath for you."
Janet let out a chuckle. "Great minds think alike I picked up dinner on the way home, too."
"Then we certainly won't go hungry. Go on and take your bath; I'll take care of the food."
"But I'd be much happier if you joined me in the bath."
"You would, huh?"
"Yes, I would."
"Alright. I'll join you as soon as I take care of the food."
"Don't take too long."
With a kiss Janet headed into their bedroom. Kris put the food up, retrieved a bottle of wine and a couple of wineglasses, and then joined Janet in the bathroom.
"Hey, you got room in there for me?"
Janet looked up and smiled at her wife. "I sure do." Janet scooted forward so Kris could slip in behind her. She leaned back into her wife's embrace. "Mmmm, this is nice."
"Yes, it is." Kris began to nuzzle the side of Janet's neck.
The doctor tilted her head to give Kris better access and let out a soft moan when a knowing hand captured her breast and teased her hardening nipple. [You know I love you, right?]
[Mm hmm. I feel it... but I'd know it even if we weren't bonded, because you show me every day. You're my beloved and I love you with all my heart.]
Janet gasped as deft fingers slid down through her curls and caressed her slick folds. It didn't take long before Kris's touch brought her to an orgasm. She slumped in her wife's arms afterwards.
"You ready to get out?"
"I don't think I can move."
"I guess it's a good thing I brought the wine then," Kris said with a chuckle. She reached for the wine and poured them each a glass.
That night after making love, Kris lay with her head on Janet's chest, listening to her heart as it slowly returned to its normal pace. Janet slowly carded her fingers through her wife's hair.
"I love you so much."
"I love you too, Janet."
The doctor took a deep breath and slowly let it out.
"I didn't say anything."
"No, but you have something on your mind."
Janet remained silent.
Kris lifted up her head and looked at her wife. She shifted to lie on her side next to Janet, reaching out and caressing her cheek. "What is it, love?"
"I've been thinking about something lately." She paused for a long moment. "Have you ever thought about having children?"
Kris took a moment to gather her thoughts. "While I've never felt a strong urge to have a child, it was something Lena and I discussed on more than one occasion. With my career it was never a viable option for me you don't exactly go undercover in special ops pregnant. And, neither of us were comfortable with the idea as long we were in deep space. When Lena accepted promotion to admiral we decided that it would be best to wait until we got settled before attempting to raise a family. I think we both knew subconsciously that it was a mistake for her to accept promotion to admiral and that's why we put off having a baby. In fact, if we hadn't crashed, Lena was going to notify Allied Fleet when we returned from our vacation that she wanted to step down and command a ship again. We were going to go back into deep space. So, the decision for us was not to have children." She paused and gazed into Janet's eyes. "So this is what's been on your mind lately?"
Janet nodded. "It may be because of the number of patients I've assisted lately, but yes, I've been thinking about it. I adopted Cassandra when she was 12. Sam was a help, but she was not around a lot of the time because of her duties with SG-1. She was my best friend but not my spouse. We weren't even lovers until just a couple of months before I ended up here on Jidiri." She paused. "I'm not saying I need for us to have a baby to make me feel complete or anything. And if you're not comfortable with the idea it's okay. Believe me; I've never been happier than I am with you." She leaned in and gently kissed Kris. "There's a part of me that would certainly like to have your child. You're the only person I've ever felt that way about," she said softly.
Kris wrapped her arms around Janet and held her close. [My beloved.] She kissed her long and tenderly. Afterwards she gazed into Janet's soft brown eyes again. "I'm not sure how good of a parent I'll be, but if they can make our DNA compatible and having a baby is something you want, then I'll take mommy lessons from you," she said with a smile. Her mind was flooded with Janet's joy.
Janet and Kris ended up going to see Dr. Lettie Boson, who specialized in difficult reproductive cases. There had been some difficulty making their DNA compatible due to the fact Kris was only part Human. Eventually they were finally able to fertilize a number of Janet's ova they used Janet's ova since Kris didn't have any with their combined DNA. Then it came time implant an embryo.
Unfortunately Janet miscarried after only a month. The same thing happened with the second and third attempts as well. The fourth time she made it to nine weeks. Her body apparently kept rejecting the fetus because of the alien DNA from Kris. So, it was decided that Kris would try to carry the baby. However, that was not without its challenges either.
Since Kris didn't have any functioning ovaries and no period, her body was not prepared for pregnancy. It had to be tricked into thinking it was fertile and the lining of her uterus had to be stimulated. She underwent daily injections until her body was ready for the embryo.
She miscarried at 11 weeks.
When the final fertilized egg was implanted the doctor gave them a one in ten chance of the pregnancy going to term.
To celebrate their three-year wedding anniversary Janet and Kris joined Taran and Delsie and went to one of the concerts in the park. Delsie, who was almost nine months pregnant, was enjoying having her achy lower back rubbed by her wife Taran. Janet was leaning against a tree and Kris was sitting between Janet's legs, leaning back against her. The doctor's left arm rested lightly around her wife while her right hand was discretely slipped underneath Kris's shirt and rested on her belly.
Delsie looked over at them and smiled. "So tell us, Janet, when are you and Kris going to have a go at raising one of your own?"
Janet gave her wife a gentle squeeze. "I already have a grown daughter, Cassie, on my homeworld."
"And?" prompted Taran.
"Well, we've discussed the possibility, but we'll see. There's been some difficulty making our DNA compatible. We've decided that if it's meant to work out it will, if not, it won't. Either way, I'm sure those twins of yours will give us all plenty enough to do," Janet said with a smile.
"Yeah, like Layla doesn't already have us in a tizzy," Taran replied.
"Well, it's called the terrible twos for a reason. But don't worry, she's three now. At least we can send Layla and the twins back to their mommies when we're ready for some alone time," Kris said with a laugh. She turned her head to look up at her wife. Through their bond they both felt their love shared and magnified in return.
Janet lowered her head and gently captured her wife's lips with own.
Delsie spoke quietly. "I've never seen two people more in love than you two."
Janet and Kris blushed as they came back to the moment and looked at Taran and Delsie. "Sorry," they said in unison.
"No, no, don't apologize," Taran said. "You're an inspiration to be around the way you two love each other."
Delsie chuckled. "Yep. And I don't think we're going to be able to rely on them too often as babysitters."
All four women laughed.
The music started and Kris felt Janet's hand gently caress her belly. She was over four months pregnant but the loose clothing she wore concealed her growing baby bump.
"I love you," Janet whispered in Kris's ear.
"I love you, too."
About halfway through the concert Delsie let out a yelp.
"What's wrong?" asked Taran.
"I don't know. I felt something," she said with an alarmed look on her face.
Janet immediately went into 'doctor mode' and took charge. She took hold of Delsie's wrist and checked her pulse. "Was it a contraction, Delsie?"
"I'm not sure."
"That's okay. I want you to keep breathing slowly for me." Janet felt around Delsie's distended abdomen.
Delsie winced again.
"Janet?" Taran asked.
"I can't really tell anything here. Let's get Delsie to the clinic where I can do a proper examination."
Taran started gathering everything up.
Kris turned to Janet. "Why don't you go on ahead and get everything ready at the clinic. I'll bring Delsie."
Janet nodded in agreement and left immediately. Once Taran had everything together Kris picked Delsie up in her arms and carried her.
In another part of the park Cayden was sitting with the four members of SG-1. He noticed Kris carrying Delsie out of the park. "Oh! It appears we may have yet another arrival this evening."
"What do you mean?" Major Carter asked.
He pointed to the three women leaving the park. It was obvious even from a distance that the one being carried was very pregnant.
"Oh. Do you think they need any assistance?" Sam asked.
"No, no. Their friend obviously has things well in hand. She's undoubtedly taking them to see her wife one of our best doctors."
"Her wife?" asked Colonel O'Neill.
Sam smiled to herself as did Daniel Jackson, but it was Teal'c who spoke. "Have you not noticed, O'Neill? There are many couples here both of the same gender as well as the opposite gender."
Jack took a look around and saw male/female couples, male/male couples, and female/female couples. "No, I guess I hadn't noticed." He fixed Teal'c and Daniel with a look. "Just don't get any ideas I'm not interested." He paused. "Well, I might be interested in watching some of the female couples," he added with a leer.
"I have never understood why so many of the Tau'ri have trouble accepting same gender couples," observed Teal'c.
"Neither have I, Teal'c," agreed Daniel.
"I don't see the problem either," added Sam.
Jack looked at his team. "Well, I don't have anything personally against anyone who's gay. It's just doesn't seem... natural."
"To you," pointed out Sam.
"Well, we were made different for a reason, weren't we? Take babies for instance. Those two women still had to have the assistance of a man to have that baby, didn't they?"
Cayden was the one answer his question. "Actually, no. Taran and Delsie are the sole genetic parents of their children."
"How?" Sam asked.
"DNA is taken from both women, combined and then used to fertilize an egg, which is then implanted in the woman who will carry it to term."
"You're talking about parthenogenesis."
"Sir, it's just like he described. By splicing together the DNA of the two women they don't need a man to have a baby."
The same can be done for male couples. However, a surrogate mother would be needed to carry the fetus to term," Cayden explained.
Janet was ready when Kris and Taran arrived at the clinic with Delsie. Kris gently set Delsie down on the exam table before leaving the room. Janet examined the woman and determined that she had simply experienced some false labor. However, Janet did think it was best to play it safe and admit Delsie anyway. Taran stayed with Delsie for a while before going to pick up Layla from the babysitter and going home. Janet and Kris went home, but Janet left instructions for her to be contacted if Delsie went into labor or if anything else came up. It was a short walk to their home.
That night, after making love, Kris watched Janet sleep for awhile. Then she slipped out of bed and stood at the window looking out. After a while she felt Janet slip her arms around her from behind.
Janet rested her chin on Kris's shoulder. "Something interesting out there?"
"Don't see anything."
Kris took a deep breath and let it out. "I don't know. I just have this feeling... I can't put my finger on it."
"Could it be you're worried about Delsie and the twins?"
Kris took another deep breath. "I suppose it could be that."
Janet kissed her wife's shoulder. "But it's not, is it?"
The doctor placed her hand over Kris's growing belly. "Are you worried about our baby?"
Kris placed her hand over her wife's. "Always," she confessed. Suddenly she let out a small gasp.
"What is it?"
"She's moving!" Kris quickly turned in her wife's arms and mind-touched with her. Through the deep mind-touch Janet was able to actually experience the sensation first hand. Once the baby settle down Kris ended the mind-touch.
Janet stared into her wife's eyes. "That was incredible! It was like I felt it in my own body. Thank you." There were tears in her eyes. "Will you share other moments with me?"
Kris smiled. "Of course. Just remember you asked for it when I'm in labor."
The doctor chuckled. "Okay. Come on, let's go back to bed." She led Kris back to bed and held her close. "You're still unsettled, aren't you?"
Kris took a deep breath and slowly let it out before answering. "I just have this feeling that's hard to describe. Despite the ups and downs we've experienced trying to have a child, everything here has been, and is, so peaceful and tranquil. In fact, I can't think of a better place to raise a child."
"So what's bothering you?"
"The only way I can describe it is to compare it to the flat surface of a lake. It feels like someone has tossed some stones into it... made some ripples. I just sense... something... a disturbance."
Janet didn't dismiss her wife's feeling or belittle it. "Well, if there is something amiss, you'll be better able to deal with it after you've had a good night's sleep."
The next day Kris had an appointment with Dr. Boson. Janet, of course, went with her. The doctor was pleased that the pregnancy had progressed to the four and half months and was becoming cautiously optimistic.
"Have you had anymore contractions, pain, fever or dizziness?"
"Not since the last incident I told you about."
"That's good. Your blood tests still show an elevated white blood cell count, as well as an elevated antibody level that's continuing to increase."
Kris looked Janet worriedly.
"Your body is still not fully accepting the fact that you're pregnant, and it's fighting against the pregnancy like it's an infection," Janet explained.
Dr. Boson nodded in agreement. "The fact that you seem to have some control over your body is the only reason you've progressed this far with the pregnancy. From now on I want to keep a much closer watch on your blood work. I want to see you twice a week and I want you to get as much rest as possible. I'm not putting you on bed rest, but I want you to cut any strenuous physical activities. If you have any contractions, pain, fever, or dizziness I want you to come to the clinic and have me contacted immediately."
When Kris and Janet left Dr. Boson's office, after setting their next appointment, they decided to stop in and see how Delsie was doing. They found Taran already there visiting her wife. She was sitting on the side of the bed holding Delsie's hand. Kris sat in the in the chair while Janet stood behind with her hands on her wife's shoulders as the four of them talked.
[I'd like to tell them,] Kris told her wife.
[Are you sure?]
[They're our closest friends and they'll be happy for us... and if... well, they'll be there for us...]
Janet understood what Kris meant and gave her shoulders a gentle squeeze. Kris reached up and took one of her wife's hands in her own.
"We've got something we'd like to tell you," Janet said.
"What is it?" Delsie asked.
Kris exchanged a looked with her wife before answering. "I'm pregnant."
"I knew it! I knew something was going on with you two last night," declared Taran. She got up and hugged them both. "Why didn't you say anything last night when we asked you about it?"
Janet let out a small sigh. "We told you the truth when we said they've been having some trouble making our DNA compatible. We've been trying to have a baby for a couple years," said Janet.
"Because of my alien DNA Janet's body kept rejecting the fetus. She's had four miscarriages. And my body just doesn't seem to like the idea of being pregnant. It keeps wanting to treat the fetus like an infection. This is the second time around for me," Kris explained.
"And the last," Janet said softly as she squeezed her wife's hand.
"But we've never made it this far before."
"How far along are you?" Delsie asked.
"Four and half months."
"You're not even showing."
Kris let out a bark of laughter. "You should see me without my clothes on."
"That privilege is all mine, my love," Janet replied.
That night Kris got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. On the way back to bed she experienced a sharp pain that dropped her to her hands and knees. "Janet!"
Janet woke up and rushed to her wife who was curled up on her side in the middle of the floor. She took Kris's head into her lap. "I'm right here, sweetheart."
"Are you having contractions?"
Sweat popped out on Kris's forehead, arms, and chest. She nodded.
"Remember to breathe slow and deep."
Kris tried to take a slow, deep breath.
"That's it; just like that." She placed her hand on her wife's belly. [Now clear your mind and focus. Relax all the muscles in your body. Slow breath in; release the tension with each exhale.]
With Janet's help Kris was able to focus. After a while she was lying flat, totally relaxed, and breathing regular, deep, cleansing breaths. The contractions had stopped and there was no more pain. She opened her eyes and looked up into Janet's brown eyes. Janet was cradling Kris's head and smiled down at her. Kris didn't miss the concern in her wife's eyes.
"How do you feel now?" the doctor asked.
"I'm okay. Thank you."
"You're the one who did it, love."
"You guided me."
Janet smiled. "Can you get up?"
"We need to get you to the clinic."
They got dressed and went to the clinic
Lettie Boson was contacted and came in immediately to examine Kris. During the exam Janet stood next to the table holding Kris's hand.
"Okay, you can get dressed now, Kris," Dr. Boson said before stepping out of the room.
After getting dressed Kris and Janet joined Lettie in her office. Boson wasn't as optimistic as she had been that morning.
"I have to tell you, I don't understand how you were able to stop the contractions. If you were any of my other patients I don't believe you'd still be pregnant."
"Kris is only 19 weeks. How much longer do you think she'll be able to carry the baby?" Janet asked.
"I don't know. We're in uncharted territory here." Lettie locked eyes with Kris. "No more work for you. Someone else will have to teach your classes. This pregnancy, and whatever it is you're doing to keep it going, is taking its toll on you. You're going to have to take extra good care of yourself. Good nutrition, lots of rest, no stress, plenty of relaxation." She then smiled at the couple. "Pamper yourself doctor's orders. Now go home and get some sleep."
"Thank you, Lettie," said Janet. The couple left the doctor's office. They were about to leave the clinic when Janet turned to her wife. "I want to take care of something. It'll only take a minute."
"I'll be right back."
Kris watched as Janet went into her own office. While she was waiting Dr Boson came out of her office. Kris waved the doctor over. "Dr. Boson, I have a question for you."
"Sure, Kris, what is it?"
"As far as physical activity, just how far do I need to cut back?"
"Nothing strenuous. Walking is a good choice for keeping active." The doctor paused as she took in the expression on her patient's face. "What is it you're concerned about?"
"What about making love?"
"You don't swing upside down from a chandelier, do you?"
Kris smiled. "Not too often."
"Kris, there's no reason for you and Janet to avoid making love. An orgasm is not going to jeopardize you or the baby. Just let 'gentle' be your guide word as far as your body is concerned."
"You're welcome." Dr. Boson left.
Janet returned from her office a moment later.
"Are you ready?" Kris asked.
"I sure am. Let's go home and get some more sleep."
In the morning Kris was woken up by a kiss on the forehead. She opened her eyes and saw her wife smiling down at her. "Mm, morning."
"Afternoon would be more accurate."
"Why didn't you wake me up sooner?"
"You needed the sleep, especially after our trip to the clinic in the middle of the night."
Kris's stomach chose that moment to announce it was also awake with loud growl.
Janet chuckled. "I have the solution for that. Sit up," she told her blushing wife. She then placed a tray across Kris's lap.
"Breakfast in bed?"
"Well, lunch in bed."
"Because I love you."
"Aren't you supposed to be at work?"
"I'm taking some time off."
Kris stopped and looked at her wife. "Janet?"
"I'm taking a leave of absence. Except for keeping my promise to Delsie and Taran to deliver their twins, I'm not seeing any patients."
Janet looked her wife in the eyes. "Because some things are just more important." [My place is right here with you, beloved. No matter what, we're going to get through this together.] She reached up and wiped away a tear that made its way down Kris's cheek.
[I love you so much more than I know how to tell you.]
"I know. My job is pampering you. And making sure you take good care of yourself, so eat your vegetables."
Janet and Kris didn't really do much for the next four days. In the meantime, SG-1, particularly Jack, was beginning to wonder just how long it was going to take to find what they'd come to Jidiri to find. They'd already been on Jidiri six days and had no clue what or who they were looking for. Not surprisingly, Jack was the most impatient of the group.
"This place is really getting to me. Everyone is so... nice," he groused.
"Actually, I like it here. I've met a lot of very interesting people," said Sam.
"I agree. Do you realize there are people here from not only other planets but from other times as well?! This place is a utopia!" exclaimed Daniel.
"There are many people with different backgrounds and yet there is total peace and harmony," observed Teal'c.
"There's only so much peace and harmony I can take. Everyone split up. We can cover more ground that way. I want to find this Guardian as soon as possible so we can go home. If you think you've found anything use your radios. Otherwise see you back here tonight." With that Jack marched out the door leaving the other three behind.
The other three went their own ways and planned on having a pleasant day while keeping an eye out for the Guardian. Sam ran into Cayden while she was out walking.
"Are you enjoying your stay with us, Major Carter?" he asked.
She smiled. "Yes, I am, Cayden."
"Good. Please, just let me know if there is anything I can do to make your stay more comfortable."
"Actually, I was wondering if I could speak to someone and discuss some of the advancements you've made in the medical sciences specifically parthenogenesis."
He smiled. "The best place to get such information would be at the clinic. I'll take you there." He walked her to the clinic where he spoke to someone. "Just have a seat, Major Carter. Someone will be with you shortly who should be able to answer any questions you may have."
"Thank you, Cayden."
"You're welcome. Have a good day."
A couple of minutes later Dr. Boson came out. "Major Carter?
The blonde stood. "I'm Major Samantha Carter; you can call me Sam."
"I'm Dr. Lettie Boson. I'm one of the doctors here. I understand you're a visitor here and have some questions about some of our medical procedures."
"Yes, I do. On Earth, where I come from, we haven't advanced as far as you have with reproductive medicine and we haven't been able to achieve parthenogenesis. I'd like to see how you've accomplished this, if possible."
"Come with me."
Sam and Dr. Boson talked for quite a while.
"It sounds like it's practically full proof," Sam observed.
"Not by any means," sighed the doctor. "Don't get me wrong. It's made such a big difference for so many couples. Infertile heterosexual couples and female couples can now have children. One of the toughest riddles was figuring out how to make things work for the male couples. But still, there are cases that can just break your heart. Usually the difficult cases are the ones where the couples are not of the same race. Sometimes the DNA just isn't compatible enough."
"I can only imagine how difficult it must be in those cases."
"Those are the cases I get. The majority of the cases are handled by the couples' regular doctors. The tough cases are referred to me or one of the other doctors that specialize in difficult cases. So when we do succeed it's a big win, but it's heartbreaking when we don't."
While Sam was talking with Dr. Boson, Kris was also at the clinic visiting Delsie and Taran. Delsie was getting very impatient to have the twins. She had been in the clinic for almost a week and was actually two days past her due date.
It came time for Kris to head home. Janet had been out running a few errands when Kris went to visit with Delsie and she wanted to get home before her wife did, so Kris said goodbye and left. She didn't get very far. Kris was only a few feet down the hallway when Taran came flying out of the room.
"I think Delsie's in labor."
Kris grinned. "Well, it's about damn time," she said with a chuckle. She took in Taran's panicked expression. "Calm down, Taran. I'll send someone in and I'll go get Janet."
Kris stopped at the nurses' station and told them about Delsie, and then headed home. It was only a short walk.
Janet had arrived home before Kris. She was a little surprised to find that Kris was not at home, but through their bond could sense that everything was fine with her wife. In fact, she could tell that Kris was in a particularly good mood. She suspected that her wife was at the clinic visiting Delsie, so she thought she would go to the clinic and check on her patient anyway. She headed out of the house. The doctor didn't get very far when she saw someone stop and stare at her from across the way. That person moved slowly towards her, eyes wide open in disbelief.
"Janet?" asked the woman from her past. "Is it really you?"
"Sam? Oh, my god."
Kris was almost to the house when she saw Janet faint a few feet from their front door. She ran to her, but a tall blonde got to her first and was kneeling next to Janet looking very concerned. Kris recognized the blonde from Janet's memories, but right at that moment she didn't really care who Sam was or why she was there.
"What happened?" Kris demanded.
"I don't know. She just fainted."
Kris picked her wife up and carried her into the house. She carefully laid Janet on the couch and quickly ran a clean dishcloth under the water. She kneeled next to Janet, laid the cloth across her forehead, and held her hand. "Come on, Janet. Wake up now." [I'm right here, love.]
Janet's eyes opened and she looked at her wife.
"Hey there. Want to tell me what happened?"
She let out a deep breath. "I thought I saw Sam."
[You did, love.] Kris tilted her head towards Sam who had followed the couple inside the house.
Sam gave Janet a half-smile and waved.
"I'm seeing things," Janet said.
"No. But I know how you feel, Janet," said Sam. "I thought you were dead." There was a lot of emotion just barely held in check in her voice.
"I am I was. I guess we were both surprised."
"That's putting it mildly."
Janet took another deep breath and let it out as she sat up and put her feet on the floor. "How did I get in here?"
"I carried you in," Kris said.
Janet gave her wife a concern look. "You know you're supposed to be taking it easy."
[I'm alright, love.] "I know. I was careful."
The doctor looked up at the blonde. "I guess we've a got few things to talk about."
"I hate to spoil your plans, but I was just on my way to let you know that Delsie finally went into labor."
Janet couldn't keep from grinning. "Well it's about damn time."
Kris returned her grin. "That's exactly what I said. Anyway, your presence is requested, Doctor."
Janet sighed. [I was not expecting this. I can't deal with this right now.]
[It'll be alright. I'm right here beside you, beloved.]
The doctor stood. "I'm sorry, Sam. We'll have to talk later, perhaps tomorrow. I have to go deliver a pair of twins."
"Can I come along?"
"I don't know how long I'll be. It could take all night."
"I don't care."
Sam walked on one side of Janet while Kris walked on her other side.
[You really should get some rest, honey,] Janet told her wife.
[I'll get some rest at the clinic during the wait. I'll be fine.]
At about 2:00 in the morning the twins were born. Both mothers and babies were doing fine. Sam had radioed in to the colonel that she may have found something. She also told him that she wasn't coming back to the house that night but that she was perfectly safe and sound.
Kris and Janet headed home around 2:30 with Sam in tow. Kris's back ached and she knew her wife needed to talk to the blonde, so she took a hot bath and soaked for a bit, giving the other two some privacy.
Janet got herself and Sam something to drink and they sat down in the living room. She looked at the blonde, feeling her stomach do a flip-flop. "So, where do we start?" she asked with some trepidation.
Sam just looked at her for moment. "What the hell happened, Janet? I thought... we all thought, you were dead. You were hit by a staff blast. It was all caught on video."
The doctor took a deep breath and slowly let it out. "Well, I was killed, but someone with more advanced medical technology was able to resuscitate me and heal my wounds. I woke up here on this planet. I have no idea how I got here."
"I've missed you so much."
"I've missed you, too, Sam. And Cassie. How is Cassie doing?" Janet asked, certain that her daughter had excelled at whatever she'd decided to do with her life.
"As well as can be expected under the circumstances. She misses you. I've always been her friend, but you're her mother. I can't replace you." There was a long pause.
"How did you get here?" Janet asked.
"Thor came to the SGC and told us that SG-1 had to go through the stargate to retrieve something. He couldn't tell us where or when. He said the colonel had the information downloaded into his mind by the Ancients' repository of knowledge."
"Didn't the Asgard remove all of that information?"
"Apparently everything except for the stargate address. It has something to do with some prophecy of the Ancients. Thor also said we'd find something we'd lost. I'm betting that's you, Janet." She paused. "You have to come back with us."
Janet stood up and started pacing.
"I know General Hammond would welcome you back at the SGC. Cassie needs you... I need you, Janet... I love you."
Janet paced for a few more seconds and then finally stopped. She stared at the fireplace instead of looking at Sam. "No," she finally said quietly.
Sam couldn't believe what she'd heard. "What do you mean 'no'?"
"I mean I can't go back. At least not right now."
"Because I can't go without Kris, and right now she's needs to be here."
"What does she have to do with any of this?"
Janet took a deep breath a looked at Sam. "She's my wife."
Sam was stunned... and hurt. It took her a several seconds to gather herself. Tears welled in her eyes when she finally spoke. "I see. I guess it didn't take very long for you to move on."
The doctor couldn't miss the pain in the blonde's voice. She saw the tears in Sam's eyes and sat next to her on the couch. "Actually, it took me quite a long time," she said quietly, trying to make Sam understand.
"You've only been gone seven months!" Sam said accusingly.
It was Janet's turn to be stunned.
"Sam, I've here over five years."
Both women were silent for a while.
Sam, who was much more comfortable when working on a scientific problem or figuring out a puzzle, started thinking out loud. "Okay. Obviously time has passed at different rates for us. Thor did say this planet was a special place. And Cayden said he knew to expect visitors when the stargate appeared indicating there's not always a stargate here."
"Cayden told Kris that Jidiri had no need for any planetary defense, that it's perfectly safe."
"Then perhaps it's the planet that appeared when it was time for us to come here. If Jidiri is normally on a different plane of existence it would explain time passing at a different rate, and why there's no need for planetary defense." Sam stopped and shook her head. "Anyway, why did you say she needs to be here?"
Janet let out a sigh before answering her. "She's pregnant with our child, but it's a high risk pregnancy. There have already been complications. Even with the advanced medical help available here the odds are against us. On Earth..." she shook her head as her voice trailed off. "We've been trying for two years to have a baby. This is our last chance."
Even though Sam was hurt that she had 'lost' Janet a second time, she was still the doctor's friend. Their friendship had lasted seven years. Her heart went out to Janet. "I understand, and I hope everything turns out okay." It was obvious that Sam was sincere.
"Thank you." Janet yawned. "I think it's time to get some sleep before the sun comes up. You can stay in the guest room."
Kris came out of the bedroom to get something to drink. Dressed in her pajama bottoms and a tank top, instead of the usual loose fitting pants and pullover shirt, it was obvious she was pregnant. "Sorry to interrupt," she said.
"Actually, you're not. We were just going to turn in." Janet stood, and walked over to her wife. "How does your back feel?"
"A little better."
Janet took Kris's hand and started to lead her to their bedroom. "Let's see if a backrub will help." At the bedroom door she stopped and pointed to the guest room door (Kris's old room). "That's the guest room, Sam. If you need anything just let me know."
"Thanks. I'm sure I'll be fine. Good night." Sam paused. "It was nice meeting you, Kris." Although sincere, the sadness in Sam's voice could not be missed.
"Nice meeting you, too, Major."
Janet gave her wife a nice backrub that took care of the residual soreness. She then lay down next to Kris who then rested her head on the doctor's shoulder.
"Mmmm, that felt good. Thank you."
Janet kissed Kris's forehead. "I like making you feel good."
Kris's hand began to wander across her wife's body until she cupped a breast. She teased her wife's nipple which became hard. She then bent her head and teased the other with her mouth through the material of Janet's top, eliciting a quiet moan.
[I like making you feel good, too.]
After a few moments Janet stopped Kris. She pulled Kris's head up to look into her eyes. "Not that I don't want you, my love, but Lettie said no strenuous activity."
Kris smiled. "It's alright, Janet. I asked her. She said an orgasm wouldn't hurt me or the baby. She just recommended we avoid swinging from the chandelier for the duration."
The doctor smiled up at her wife. "Well, damn. So much for that idea." She caressed Kris's cheek very lovingly. "There's never been anything wrong with tender and gentle."
Kris dipped her head and kissed Janet, who slipped her arms around her wife. Kris reached down to the hem of the doctor's top and started pulling it up. The doctor broke their kiss just long enough to slip her top off over her head. Kris kissed her way down Janet's throat, pausing at a sensitive pulse point, but she didn't take too long before continuing on her way. She stopped her journey and spent lavish attention on Janet's breasts. The moans and whimpers escaping from her wife's throat were turning Kris on. She trailed her hand down to the waistband of Janet's pajama bottoms and carefully slipped her hand inside the pajamas. Janet let out a quiet gasp.
"You're so wet."
"That's what you do to me," Janet replied.
Kris removed her hand.
"I'm not. I just want to get these clothes out of the way."
With Janet's pajama bottoms removed Kris replaced her hand and gently caressed her wife's slick folds as she sucked on her breasts. It was obvious from Janet's ragged breath, the volume of her moans, and the way she clung to Kris that she was very, very close to coming. Kris claimed Janet's mouth with her own in a deep, passionate kiss just as her wife came. They were still kissing as Janet came down from her climax. She was panting when they finally parted.
"You take my breath away," Janet panted.
Kris smiled and then laid her head over her wife's heart. Janet ran her fingers through the dark, silky hair.
"Have I ever told you how much I love listening to your heartbeat?" Kris asked.
"No, but you do it a lot."
"It centers me... it's hard to explain." [It has something to do with our bond... I can't really explain it in words.]
[I think I understand what you mean.]
[Your touch whether it's my body, my heart, my mind, or my soul makes me... better.]
[I know I feel things with you I've never felt before. I know you're as essential to me as breathing. You're my beloved.]
Kris noticed Janet's heart rate was approaching normal. She turned her head and starting trailing kisses down her wife's torso. She dipped her tongue in and out of Janet's belly button.
"Where are you going?" Janet asked.
Kris glanced up at Janet as she trailed her lips and tongue over a hip bone. "I want to taste you." She took her time relishing her wife. When Janet neared her climax again Kris slipped a couple of fingers inside her and sucked on her clit. Janet's thighs closed around Kris's head and her muscles clamped down on the fingers inside her. She came crying out her wife's name.
Afterwards they lay on their sides facing each other. Janet caressed Kris's cheek and gently kissed her.
"I think you have entirely too much clothing on, my love."
Janet helped her wife remove her pajama bottoms and tank top. Kris lay on her back and Janet molded her body to Kris's. The doctor propped her head up on her hand and studied Kris's body as she gently caressed it.
Kris closed her eyes and let out a soft moan as her breast was gently fondled by Janet. "Mmmm, that feels good."
The doctor dipped her head and gently teased the nipple with her tongue. After making love to Janet, Kris was already quite aroused and didn't need much attention from her wife to climax something Janet was well aware of. She kissed her way up from Kris's breast to her mouth. As they kissed Janet's hand slipped between her wife's legs. Her caresses were designed to be both calming and satisfying. The doctor guided Kris through a gentle yet very satisfying orgasm.
Kris softly sighed her wife's name as she came. She opened her eyes halfway and looked up at Janet. "You're amazing, love."
Janet kissed Kris's forehead. "Get some sleep, beloved."
Kris was asleep as soon as her eyes closed.
The doctor lay on her side next to her wife with her hand on Kris's growing belly. Despite the late hour, sleep came slowly to her. She was concerned about some of the changes she saw in Kris's body, such as her ribs becoming more noticeable instead of less so. And then there was the arrival of Sam and SG-1 to contend with. Eventually sleep claimed her as well.
Both Janet and Sam got up before Kris did. Janet fixed lunch and set it out on the table. They sat down to eat.
"Is Kris going to join us?" Sam asked.
"She's still sleeping. I'll make sure she eats when she gets up."
As they ate, Janet was reminded by Sam that she would have to report her discovery to O'Neill. After they finished lunch Sam finally radioed the colonel. She didn't tell him what or who she'd found, but that she thought he needed to see for himself. She also recommended that Teal'c and Daniel come with him too.
"Trust me, sir. You're going to want see this for yourself."
"Alright, Carter. We'll be there in about an hour."
Shortly after that Kris woke up. She dressed and then left the bedroom. She found Sam in the living room and Janet in the kitchen.
"Hey, sleepyhead." Janet gave Kris a quick kiss.
"Hey. Why didn't you wake me?"
"I figured you needed your sleep. What do you want to eat?"
"What did you have?"
Janet told her.
Kris had to suppress a shudder as a wave of nausea overcame her. "Ugh, I don't think so." She swallowed hard. "Why do they call it morning sickness when I get it at all times of the day and night?"
The doctor looked at Kris with some concern and touched the back of her hand to Kris's forehead to check for a fever. "I don't know, honey. How about I fix you some soup and crackers, okay?" At Kris's nod Janet brushed her fingers through her wife's silky hair. "Go on and get comfortable on the couch. I'll bring it to you."
Kris again nodded. She went out to the living room and sat on the couch. She could sense a lot of tension coming from Major Carter. She didn't know what it was about exactly, nor did she have the energy to delve into it right then. Fortunately, Janet joined them after only a few moments. She brought the soup and crackers which Kris was able to eat. While she ate Janet brought her up to speed about the time differential between Jidiri and Earth. The tension coming from the blonde made a lot more sense to her then. Sam hadn't had time to deal with her grief yet and to move on. To her, Kris was competition for her woman at least a part of her felt that way. It was obvious Sam was intelligent enough to know better, but until she came to a resolution regarding her feelings for the doctor there would be a tension between her and Kris.
A few minutes before the other members of SG-1 were to arrive Kris started to feel sick to her stomach. She politely excused herself and headed to the bathroom. When Kris didn't come back out Janet went to check on her. Janet found her wife throwing up her lunch. Janet kneeled next to Kris and rubbed her back until the dry heaves stopped. Kris brushed her teeth and rinsed her mouth out with mouthwash. Janet then helped Kris into the bedroom where she lay down on the bed and curled up on her side.
Janet sat on the side of the bed and rubbed her wife's upper back. "This has happened before, hasn't it?" she asked.
"Just a few times."
"Why didn't you say anything?"
"It's just morning sickness. I'll get it under control. I didn't want to worry you any more than you already are."
"You're my wife; it's my job to worry about you."
"Janet, they're here," Sam called from the other room.
"Go on; I'll be okay. Just let me rest for a few minutes. I'll be out in a little bit to meet your friends."
"Are you sure?" Janet asked.
Janet leaned down and kissed her wife before going out to the living room.
Sam went outside to meet the men of SG-1.
"Okay, Carter, what's the big surprise you have for us?" asked the colonel.
"I think I found part of what we came for the something that we lost."
She was grinning from ear to ear. "Let me show you, sir." She went to the front door of the house, opened it, and indicated for them to enter.
The three men entered and then came to a standstill and stared at the woman standing in the center of the living room. After a few moments of stunned silence there were hugs and explanations exchanged. Sam explained the time differential. Then the colonel made his pronouncement that Janet would have to return to the SGC with them.
Janet's quiet and simple response seemed to register with everyone except the colonel. "No."
O'Neill's reaction was delayed, but finally the doctor's answer sunk in. "What?"
"I said no, Colonel. I'm not leaving Jidiri."
"Why the hell not?"
"I have my reasons."
"Well, I'm sorry, Lt. Colonel, but you're in the Air Force, and I'm ordering you to return with us to the SGC."
"Actually, Colonel, I'm no longer in the Air Force. I'm officially dead. I was killed in the line of duty. My dead body was transported to this planet where I was revived. I have since made a new life for myself here, and there are other things I have to take into consideration now."
"Like what? Are you taking into consideration things like your daughter Cassandra and how she needs her mother?"
Janet's expression went cold.
Kris, who'd been keeping track of what was going on through their bond, figured it was time to join the proceedings.
[It's alright, love, I'm right here.] Janet and the colonel were staring each other down so he didn't even notice Kris when she approached and stood next to the doctor. "Why don't we all have a seat?" Kris suggested.
Janet turned to her wife. "How are you feeling?"
"Better. Let's get everyone something cold to drink, and then you can introduce me to your friends."
Kris and Janet went into the kitchen to get drinks for everyone while Sam and the others got settled. Janet carried the tray of lemonade into the living room. Kris sat in the overstuffed chair while Janet passed out the drinks. Sam, Daniel, and Teal'c sat on the couch. The colonel was too keyed up to sit, so he was pacing in front of the fireplace. After passing out the drinks Janet sat on the arm of the chair Kris was sitting in.
"Kris, you already know Sam. This is Dr. Jackson Daniel, Teal'c, and that's Colonel O'Neill." Janet paused. "Everyone, this is Kris Fraiser... my wife."
Daniel smiled. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Kris."
"Indeed, it is an honor," Teal'c said as he gave a nod of his head.
The colonel came to a stop and stared. "Your what?!"
"But you can't marry a woman!"
"Actually, by the laws and traditions of my homeworld and of this world, I assure you we are married, Colonel, and have been for over three years," replied Kris.
"And this... this relationship is the reason you're willing to turn your back on your career? On your daughter Cassie?"
Kris knew the man had pushed her wife too far. She could feel the anger radiating off of Janet in waves.
Janet stood and marched up to the colonel defiantly. "What you derisively call 'this relationship' is my marriage. I am not 'turning my back' on anything, I'm fighting for something. I'm fighting for the health of my wife and life of our unborn child. So, Jack, you can go fuck yourself. Now get out of my home."
Jack was left speechless.
Daniel was the first to stand. He grabbed hold of the colonel and started to lead him out. "We'll be going now, ladies."
"Janet, you know he"
Janet cut Sam off with an upheld hand. "Sam, I don't want to hear one word in defense of him right now."
The blonde nodded. "Is it okay if I come back later?"
"Of course it is. Make sure Daniel and Teal'c know they're welcome as well."
"I will." Sam left.
It didn't take too long for SG-1 to arrive back at the house they were staying at.
Jack rubbed the back of his neck. "I guess I didn't handle that too well."
"No, Jack, you didn't," agreed Daniel. "In fact, you screwed it up pretty bad. If I were you I'd stay clear of Janet for quite a while."
"Carter, can you help me smooth things over with the doc again? You two are close friends."
Sam shook her head. "I don't think so, sir. Not with this. You're just going to have to give it some time and let her get over it."
"If she does," added Daniel.
"If Dr. Fraiser is the one born again in life from the prophecy Thor spoke of, then it is most likely that Kris Fraiser is the Guardian we have been sent to find," observed Teal'c.
Daniel got excited. "That's right! Thor said, 'Earth's Guardian and mate will be born again, of the heart and in life. They are a phoenix. They become as one.' So if Dr. Fraiser is the one born again in life, then Kris, her mate, is Earth's Guardian."
"Then we'll just have to convince them to come home with us," said Jack.
"There's no way you're going to get them to go until after Kris gives birth," announced Sam.
"Janet said it's a high risk pregnancy and even with the more advanced medical technology here on Jidiri the odds are not on their side."
"Then we shall remain until Kris Fraiser gives birth," declared Teal'c.
"Look at it this way, sir, maybe Janet will forgive you by then."
"Thanks a lot, Carter."
Kris and Janet had another appointment with Dr. Boson. She expressed some concern that Kris's blood work was still showing increasing levels of antibodies and white blood cells. And, like Janet, she really didn't like the fact that she was losing weight instead of gaining.
"If things continue the way they are I'm going to have to insist you go on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy. In the meantime try eating several small meals a day. Even if all you can tolerate is something as bland as oatmeal. We'll supplement your nutritional needs with injections that Janet will administer."
"Why injections?" Kris asked.
"Because if you take them orally and then throw up they won't be doing you much good, will they?" Lettie answered.
"I see your point."
"Okay, I want you back here in four days to check your weight and blood work again, unless anything else comes up, in which case you should come in immediately."
Janet and Kris stood to leave.
"Janet, could you wait a minute, please?" Lettie asked.
Kris stepped out as Janet remained.
"I don't know how much longer Kris will be able to carry the baby. With the pregnancy now in the 20th week there's slim chance of viability."
"Not much of one," Janet said quietly.
"No, you're right. The longer she can sustain the pregnancy, the better the chances are for the baby. I just wanted you to know that I have the neonatal unit on alert. If anything happens, they'll be ready for you and Kris."
Janet's eyes watered. "Thank you."
Lettie nodded. "Now go spend some time with your wife. I'll have the supplements delivered to your house this afternoon."
Janet sat on the edge of the couch, bent down, and kissed her wife's forehead.
Kris opened her eyes and smiled. "Hey."
"Hey, baby. What do you want for lunch, love."
"Let's go to the park."
"Kris, you're supposed to be taking it easy."
"I know that, Janet. I'm not suggesting anything more than a lazy picnic in the park. I just want to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. I can rest on a blanket on the grass as well as I can here on the couch. Please. You heard what Dr. Boson said. I want to go while I still have a choice."
Janet didn't miss the pleading in her wife's voice. She gave Kris an understanding smile. "Alright. I'll get everything together and we'll go to the park."
Janet got the picnic lunch together and placed it in their basket. She then grabbed a blanket and a small pillow. Of course she didn't let Kris carry anything as they walked to the park. Janet spread the blanket out under their favorite tree. After they were done eating Janet leaned against the tree and cradled Kris in her arms. The sound of Janet's heartbeat beneath her ear lulled Kris to sleep.
That's how Sam found them. "Nice day for a picnic," said the blonde as she approached.
Janet smiled and nodded. "Yes, it is," she said.
Sam then realized Kris was asleep. "Oh, sorry. I didn't realize she was asleep," she said softly.
"It's okay." Janet looked down at her wife and brushed some hair away from Kris's temple and caressed her cheek. "I don't think a marching band would wake her right now."
"Is she okay?"
Janet took a deep breath and let it out. "That depends on your definition of okay."
"Janet, it's only been seven months for me since you were... killed... and I can't sit here and pretend and tell you that I can just flip a switch and change the way I feel about you. I still love you... but I've always been your friend, and I still am. I'm here for you as your friend."
The doctor smiled. "I'm glad. Thank you, Sam."
The blonde nodded at the sleeping woman. "You're worried about her. I can tell."
Janet took another deep breath and nodded. "Yes, I am."
"We don't know how much longer her body can sustain the pregnancy. If she were anyone else she would have already miscarried."
"What do you mean?"
Janet let out a sigh. "I guess I should start from the beginning. First off, Kris is only part Human. She has a mixture of alien DNA, so there was some difficulty in making our DNA compatible."
"Is that why you said you'd been trying to have a baby for couple of years?"
"Partly. I don't know if it's a result of her mixed heritage of not, but she's infertile. She has no ova. So when they were finally able to make our DNA compatible they fertilized six of mine. I miscarried the first four."
Sam was shocked to hear what the woman she loved had been through. "Oh, my god. I'm so sorry, Janet."
"My body kept rejecting the alien DNA." Sam couldn't keep the frown off her face and Janet saw it. "What is it, Sam?"
Sam hesitated but answered. "I'm sorry, Janet, but I can't believe someone who cares about you would put you through all that, that she would even ask it of you." The blonde lowered her eyes. "I never would have," she added softly.
Janet realized Sam misunderstood the situation. "Sam, you don't understand. Kris didn't ask anything of me. The baby was my idea. I want this."
The blonde was clearly surprised. "All the years I've known you and I never knew you wanted to have a baby."
The doctor gave the blonde a small smile. "I never did." She then looked down at her wife. "But I want hers," she said lovingly.
Sam had to swallow the lump that formed in her throat.
After a few moments of silence Janet continued. "Since I couldn't carry the baby we decided to have Kris try. The problem is her body just doesn't seem to want to be pregnant. We had to trick it into getting pregnant. She miscarried the first time at 11 weeks. This is her second pregnancy."
"Can't they fertilize some more eggs if she miscarries this time?"
Tear welled in Janet's eyes. "I can't ask her to go through this again, Sam. Her body is fighting the pregnancy like an infection. Her white blood cell count is climbing every day; she's developing antibodies; she's losing weight instead of gaining; she's throwing up half the time; she's only 20 weeks along and she's had contractions on four different occasions that would have resulted in a miscarriage if she hadn't been able to stop them; and she's getting weaker and weaker every day." A single tear slid down Janet's face.
Even in her sleep Kris sensed her wife's distress. Her body tensed and her breathing increased as if she were experiencing a bad dream. Janet caressed her wife's cheek, kissed her forehead, and then laid her own cheek on top Kris's head.
"Shhh, it's okay, love. I'm right here." [Just relax, beloved.]
When Kris settled down Janet dropped another kiss on her wife's forehead.
"You said Kris was able to stop her contractions. How?" Sam asked.
"Due to her alien heritage, and training in what she calls the mind-skills, she's able to have some conscious control over her body in ways that we don't. And she's able to heal much faster than Humans if she enters into a healing meditation."
"Like Teal'c's kelnorim?"
"It's similar, yes."
"So that's what you meant when you said if she were anyone else she would have already miscarried."
"She's literally been keeping the baby safe by force of mind over matter."
"Yes, but at a cost to her own health. As long as she's pregnant she can't go into a healing meditation to heal herself it would lower her heart rate and respiration to a level too dangerous for the baby."
"I had no idea what you've been going through. I'm sorry." Sam paused. "I'm sure if the colonel had known"
"No, Sam. I'm not ready to deal with him yet."
Sam knew when to retreat. She nodded. "Okay. Then let's talk about something else." She paused, not really sure what to talk about. "So, how long have you known Kris?"
Janet smiled. "We met the day I arrived here. She's actually one who revived me. She found my body near the wreckage of her ship. She revived me and healed my wounds."
"It had crashed. Apparently whatever or whoever brought me to this planet also brought her ship here. P3X-666 is on the opposite side of the galaxy from where they were flying. She said that all of sudden there was a planet in their path; it seemed to appear out of nowhere and they crashed here."
"They? She wasn't alone?"
"No. Her wife Lena was with her. Lena's injuries were just too great. She died a few hours later. There was nothing we could do."
"Oh. So you two weren't..."
"No. We were just friends. It was over a year before either one of us ever went out on a date, and that was with other people. But eventually I realized what was right in front of me." Janet smiled at Sam. "At least it didn't take me seven years this time. I'm learning."
Even Sam had to smile at that. "And you got married."
Janet grinned. "Yep. I never thought I would after the last time."
"Well, considering what you told me about you ex-husband, I don't think you can hardly compare him to Kris."
The doctor looked at her wife. "You've got that right."
Kris woke up. "Did I hear someone mention my name?"
"Hey there, sleepyhead."
Kris opened her eyes to see her wife gazing down her very lovingly. Before she was able to say anything, Kris grimaced.
"What's wrong, love?"
"Your daughter has decided to turn my spleen into a punching bag."
"Oh, so she's mine when she's acting up, huh?"
"Oh course," Kris said with a smirk.
"Then why do you get to pick out her name?"
"Because it's my spleen."
Janet chuckled. "Well, I guess that's fair."
"You've picked out a name?" asked Sam.
Kris moved off of Janet and lay on her side next to her wife facing the blonde. "Yep."
Janet knew Kris's lower back was aching so she started rubbing it for her. "And she won't tell me," the doctor playfully complained.
"Well, it's not like you've told me what her middle name is going to be," Kris countered.
Sam looked at both women like they were crazy. "I don't believe this! How can the two of you not tell each other the names you've picked out for your daughter?"
They smiled at Sam. Then Kris sat up so she was facing her wife. She took Janet's hand in hers, giving it a squeeze. "Actually, I didn't want to say anything before now because I'm aware of the point of minimum viability, too." She lifted Janet's hand and kissed it. "Picking her name was very easy. She's to be named after her mother her name is Elyssa."
Janet looked surprised but touched. "And she's to have your name as well Kay," she said with a smile. She looked over at Sam with a smile. "Well, Sam, you're the first to know. Our daughter's name is going to be Elyssa Kay Fraiser."
"Janet's middle name and my last name before I changed it to Janet's," Kris explained.
"But I always thought your middle name was Elizabeth."
"That's what everyone assumes," Janet replied.
"How come I never knew your middle name?"
"Because growing up I never liked it."
Kris looked at the blonde. "Don't feel bad, Major. She didn't exactly tell me either."
"Did I know?" Kris looked at her wife. "I take it you haven't told her everything yet?"
"Well, she knows you're not completely Human."
Kris looked at Sam again. "I have... some abilities that Humans don't, Major."
"Please, call me Sam. Janet said you're able to have some control over your body and can speed your healing process."
"Under certain circumstances, yes. I can also communicate telepathically through a mind-touch."
Sam looked surprised. "You can actually read somebody's mind?"
"It's a bit more complicated than that. It takes effort, and it's not something that's done lightly."
"Can you do it against somebody's will?"
Kris frowned. "Yes, but not only is it unethical, it's extremely unpleasant for both parties."
The blonde looked at Janet. "So I take you let her read your mind... and that's how she found out your middle name?"
Janet could see the concern on Sam's face. "It's not quite what you're thinking, Sam." She looked at her wife. [We need to put this in terms she can understand and relate to... computers maybe.]
Kris looked at the blonde. "Think of the mind like a computer. All of Janet's knowledge, ideas, and memories are like files. It's not like my computer connected to hers and read all her files. We simply shared selected files. And Janet herself had control over which of her files were shared, just as I had control over which of my files were shared." She smiled. "I just happened to find out her middle name when one of the things she chose to share with me was a memory of her mother in which her mother addressed her by her full name. I don't think Janet even realized at the time that she'd let her secret out. Anyway, does that make it any clearer for you?"
Sam nodded, but it was obvious that the gears were turning in her head. "You told the colonel that by the laws of this world and of your homeworld that you and Janet are married. May I ask what is your homeworld?"
"I'm not sure I should answer that."
Sam was clearly confused by Kris's answer. "What do you mean?"
Kris closed her eyes and let out a sigh. "So you didn't get to this part."
"No, I didn't," Janet said wearily.
"I think we ought to go home and have this discussion there."
Janet nodded in agreement. Sam helped Janet gather everything up and carry the stuff back to the house. Janet and Kris walked arm in arm on the way back to the house. Once at home Kris started to help Janet put things away but Janet quickly stopped her.
"Uh uh. You're feeling woozy. I want you on the couch with your feet up. And you need to eat again. I'll bring you something as soon as I get everything put away." She gave Kris a 'wife' glare rather than a 'doctor' glare which was even more effective.
"Yes, dear," Kris replied with a smirk and left the kitchen.
Even Sam chuckled as Kris made her way to the couch. "Wow, I guess you've got her trained," she said jokingly as she helped Janet put everything away.
"Actually, no." Janet frowned. "She gave in too easily." She fixed a small plate of food for Kris.
Sam followed Janet out into the living room. "Hey, wait a minute. How did you know Kris was feeling woozy?"
"I... she let me know."
Janet didn't know how to answer and the blonde could tell something was up. "Okay, what's going on?"
Kris was the one to explain. "Remember that computer analogy I used?"
"Well, using the same analogy, things are different between Janet and me since we're married. It's like we have a permanent link between our computers. Either one of us can increase or decrease the bandwidth at will at any time. And the link cannot be broken, except by death."
"So you two can communicate telepathically with each other?"
"If we both choose to do so, but it's more than that. It's a bond that goes much deeper than can really be described. I can tell how Janet is feeling both physically and emotionally without asking, unless she chooses to block it from me, which she can. She can tell what I'm feeling unless I choose to block it from her. There is still privacy for the individual. She can't tell what I'm thinking if don't want her to any more than you can. She or I could forever block all thought and feeling from each other completely, and yet the bond would still provide an awareness of the other. At the other end of the spectrum is what happens when we both open the link wider. Not only can we communicate and tell how the other is feeling, it's possible to actually feel what the other is feeling."
"Sam, I actually know what it feels like to feel the baby move. I've felt it as if it was happening to me," said Janet.
"I... Holy Hannah... I don't know what to say. That's incredible." After a few moments she spoke a again. "And that's what you wanted to tell me here at the house instead of at the park?"
Kris let out a sigh. "No. You asked me about my homeworld. I'm not sure I should tell you anything about it, because Humans aren't supposed to meet anyone from it, from your viewpoint, for about another 110 years. And it is even longer before any Human actually goes there."
"You're saying you're from the future?"
"From your future, yes."
"But is it our future or an alternate future? I mean if this planet doesn't exist in our reality on a regular basis then it's possible it is crossing through different realities."
Kris shook her head. "Already considered that. Everything here, including us, has the same quantum signature. We're all from the same reality."
Sam sat back, lost in thought. "So there's a lot you may know but can't tell us because of the time paradox."
"Temporal mechanics is always a pain in the ass."
The blonde shook her head as if to clear it. "Just don't tell the colonel. He'll be bugging you for the scores to every Super Bowl until, well, until your time."
"Well, it's not something we're going to solve right now," said Janet. "And you still haven't eaten, honey."
Kris looked at her wife. "I really can't, Janet. I won't be able to keep it down if I do."
Janet gave her a look of concern but nodded. "Okay. Lettie had the supplements sent over. I'll give you an injection." She took the plate back into the kitchen. She came back and gave her wife the injection. Janet then sat on the couch and had Kris lie down with her head in her lap. Kris was asleep in only a few minutes.
Sam became Kris and Janet's permanent house guest. She helped Janet around the house and kept her company while Kris slept which she was doing more and more. Daniel and Teal'c took turns visiting on alternating days. The colonel knew he wasn't welcome and stayed away.
A month after the confrontation with Colonel O'Neill, Kris was napping in the bedroom. Janet had given her an injection about half an hour earlier. Janet and Sam were sitting in the living room talking and drinking lemonade. Sam was still trying to convince Janet to let Jack apologize to her. All of a sudden Janet froze and turned pale.
"Janet, what is it?"
She put her glass down, got up, and ran into the bedroom. Sam was on her heels. Janet found Kris on the bed having some trouble breathing and running a high fever. "She's burning up! We've got to get her temperature down. Sam, go start filling the bathtub with tepid water and then come back and help me get her into the bathroom."
Sam ran into the bathroom, started the bath, and then came back. She and Janet got Kris up out of the bed and into the bathroom.
"Hold her steady for a moment," Janet said as she removed her shoes.
The doctor stepped into the tub and then they eased Kris into the water with her wife holding her from behind. Janet dipped a washcloth in the water and then squeezed it out over Kris's throat and chest. From where Sam kneeled at the side of the of the tub she helped to cup water over the overheated woman.
"Come on, baby, fight it. You can do it. Breathe... breathe nice and slow. Come back to me, love."
Kris opened her eyes halfway and tilted her head so she could look up at her wife. "Come back?" She tried to take a deep breath. "Where did I go?" She couldn't keep her eyes open.
Janet kissed Kris's forehead, as a way to gauge her fever as much to express her love. "You're running a high fever, honey. We're trying to get you cooled down." She continued squeeze water from the washcloth over her wife's chest.
After a while Kris started to feel cold. "I'm c-cold."
"Sam, get the medkit from our bedroom. It's in the closet."
The blonde hurried into the bedroom and returned with a hard plastic case. "Is this it?"
"Yes." Janet opened it and took out the scanner. She scanned Kris and read the results. "101.2. Okay, it's time to get you to the clinic, honey. Help me get her up, Sam."
They got Kris up and out of the tub. Janet asked Sam to go ahead to the clinic and tell them she was bringing Kris in and to have Dr. Boson notified. Janet and Kris both changed into some dry clothes and started for the clinic. Kris was still rather out of it and Janet had her arm around her wife steadying her.
Meanwhile, Colonel O'Neill had decided it was time to finally bite the bullet. It was time to face Janet and beg her forgiveness. He saw Janet and Kris on their way to the clinic. He wasn't a doctor, but even he could see Kris wasn't in the best of shape and had lost weight since the last time he'd seen her.
Kris wavered. "Janet..."
Jack saw Kris was about to go down so he rushed over and scooped her up in his arms. "Where to, Doc?"
Janet gave him a look that indicated she was still irritated with him but was grateful for the assistance. Jack nodded, indicating he knew that they still had things to work out, but understood that taking care of Kris was the primary issue at the moment.
"This way," Janet said, and led the way to the clinic.
Jack carried Kris into the clinic. "Got an emergency here," he called out.
Dr. Boson was waiting them. "In here."
Directed by Dr. Boson, Jack laid Kris down on a gurney before stepping out of the room to wait with Sam. Kris's temperature had spiked again so Lettie and Janet packed cold compresses around her to cool her down again. Kris opened her eyes once her fever broke.
"Hey, honey," Janet said as she brush some hair back from her wife's forehead.
"Hey. Guess I got lost again."
Janet nodded. "Your fever spiked again."
Dr. Boson stepped up. "You certainly are making things interesting, Kris. We're going to have to keep a very close eye on you from now on. I'm afraid I'm going to have to admit you. You're on bed rest for the duration."
Kris merely nodded. She then closed her eyes and went to sleep.
Lettie looked at Janet. "I assume you're going to want to stay with her."
"Why don't you go on home and get your things while she's asleep. I'll make sure the staff knows to make up a second bed in her room for you."
"Thank you, Lettie."
When Janet exited the treatment room Jack and Sam both jumped up from their seats.
"Janet?" Sam asked.
"Her fever spiked again on the way here." She shot the colonel a look. "Thank you for your help."
Jack simply nodded. "How is she?"
"We were finally able to break her fever. Lettie is admitting her and putting her on full bed rest for the duration of the pregnancy. I've got to go home a get some things together."
"I'll give you a hand," offered Sam..
"May I come by and see how she's doing tomorrow?" Jack asked with genuine concern.
Janet didn't have the energy to be mad him so she nodded yes before leaving.
At the house Sam helped Janet pack some things for the stay at the clinic. Janet explained that she would be there with Kris until the baby was delivered. She then told Sam she was welcome to stay at the house in the meantime.
The next day Taran and Delsie brought the twins by for a few minutes and to offer their support. SG-1 also came by. When Janet finally agreed to talk with, or rather listen to, Jack, the others kept Kris company.
"Look, Doc, I'm sorry. I'm not proud of the way I handled things. I respect you, Doc; I always have."
"Apology accepted. I just don't have the energy to stay mad, and I have more pressing concerns right now. But make no mistake, Jack, I love the woman in that room," she said pointing to the door of Kris's room, "like I've never loved anyone else; she is a part of me, and she will always be my first priority. Don't you ever forget that."
"I won't. Maybe if I'd remembered to keep my priorities straight I wouldn't be divorced," he said quietly.
She turned to head back into Kris's room.
Janet turned back to look at him.
"She's lucky to have you."
She gave him a small smile and shook her head. "I'm the lucky one, Jack."
Even with being in the clinic on full bed rest and with an IV providing constant nutrients Kris was losing the battle. She was getting weaker and weaker every day.
Three weeks after she'd been admitted Sam came by for a visit. She found Kris asleep. A nurse sitting with her told Sam that Janet had gone to the cafeteria to get something to eat. Sam went to the cafeteria and joined Janet. They were almost done eating when Janet suddenly dropped her fork.
"Oh, my god!"
"Janet, what wrong?"
They both up and ran to Kris's room and were shocked by what they found. There was a team of doctors working on Janet's wife, led by Dr. Boson. There was what could only be described as a large pool of blood staining the sheets between Kris's legs. Dr. Boson handed off what was obviously the baby to a couple of doctors who placed it in a portable incubator and raced out of the room with their precious cargo.
"Get her to OR2, stat!" ordered Dr. Boson.
Dr. Boson paused only long enough to give Janet a quick answer. "I know exactly what your questions are. I've got to go in and stop the bleeding. Other than that I don't have any answers for you right now, Janet."
Janet swallowed and nodded in understanding. With that Dr. Boson hurried on her way. Sam accompanied Janet to the waiting area. Janet couldn't sit still and constantly paced. Sam made the excuse of going to the bathroom to slip out for a moment to radio the rest of SG-1 and let them know what had happened. They all came running, literally, and showed up in a matter of minutes. Janet acknowledged their presence but still just paced.
The colonel called Sam over. "So what do we know?"
"Nothing about the baby yet. They had to take Kris into surgery to stop the bleeding."
"What are the chances the baby will make it?" asked Daniel.
"I don't know. On Earth, with advanced neonatal care, 25 weeks is considered the point of minimum viability, but with very little success."
"How far along was Kris?"
"Less than 28 weeks. The medical technology here is more advanced than on Earth so maybe there's a chance." She shrugged. "I don't know."
About 40 minutes later a doctor came out to the waiting area. "Dr. Fraiser?"
He spoke to her quietly for a few moments and then left. Janet just stood there without moving.
Sam got up and went over to her. "Janet?" When Janet didn't respond Sam got concerned. She walked around in front of her friend. "What is it, Janet?"
Janet finally looked up at Sam with watery eyes. "The baby's heart stopped before it was born. They've tried everything possible to revive her, but because the placenta was torn free in utero she was without oxygen too long." She spoke with the dispassion of a doctor, but her expression was that of a grieving mother.
When Sam reached out and took Janet in her arms the tears flowed freely. The men obviously knew something was wrong. Daniel caught Sam's eye and silently asked was it was. Sam silently mouthed back that it was the baby.
"Aw jeez," said Jack.
It was a couple of hours later when Dr. Boson came out. "Janet?" She pulled Janet aside and spoke with her. Janet knew Kris was still alive because their bond, but Lettie let her know what had happened. "I'm afraid the bleeding was caused by some tearing of her uterus. I'm afraid there was nothing else I could do, Janet; I had to remove her uterus. I'm so sorry."
Janet shook her head. "I'd never let her go through this again anyway, Lettie. This was the last time no matter what."
"She's going to be under for a few hours yet, but you can sit with her in recovery when they get her settled."
Janet let the others know that Kris was going to be okay and then went to sit with her wife.
Despite what Dr. Boson had said, Kris woke up not long after Janet joined her in recovery, though she was very groggy. "Beloved..."
"I'm right here, my love."
"S'ry about the baby... I tried..."
"Oh, honey, I know you did."
"I'll do better... next time... pr'mise..."
Tears started rolling down Janet's cheeks. "Shhh... Don't worry about that right now. You have to focus on getting better. Can you enter into a healing meditation? Can you do that for me?"
"Fuzzy... need your guidance..."
Janet took her wife's hand and placed it over her heart so Kris could feel Janet's heartbeat. [I'm right here, beloved. Just relax... remember slow, deep breaths. Concentrate on healing yourself.]
When Kris's heart rate dropped below a certain point an alarm sounded, bringing Dr. Boson and some nurses rushing in. "We're losing her!"
"No. It's alright," Janet assured them. "She's entered into a deep self-healing state. "See her pulse and respiration are steady, just very slow."
Lettie turned off the alarm and stared at Janet who was holding her wife's hand and running the fingers of her other hand through Kris's hair. It was the least worried she'd seen Janet in months. With a silent gesture she excused the nurses. "If Kris is able to enter into a self-healing state then why didn't she do so before?" she asked.
"Because it lowers her heart rate and respiration so low that it would have been detrimental to the baby," Janet explained.
Dr. Boson looked at the readings again. "I see what you mean. Do you know how long she'll be like this?"
Janet shook her head. "No, I've never seen her this ill before."
"Okay. We'll get her moved back into her room. I'll let you know as soon as we have her settled."
Janet found SG-1 still in the waiting room. She again told them Kris was going to be alright and that she was going to stay with her wife. The men left, but Sam hesitated.
"Are you sure everything's alright?" Sam asked.
Janet nodded. "She woke up briefly. And she's finally able to enter into a healing meditation. She'll be okay now."
"Did you tell her about the baby?"
"She already knew." Janet swallowed past the lump in her throat. "She promised she'd do better the next time." She closed her watery eyes and sat down.
"I thought you said this was the last time you were going to try."
Janet let out a sigh. "I would never allow her to go through this again, but she wouldn't hesitate to do it for me if I'd let her." She opened her eyes and looked up at Sam. "I didn't have the heart to tell her they had to remove her uterus."
Sam down next to her friend. "I'm so sorry, Janet."
A nurse came out. "Dr. Fraiser? Your wife has been moved into her room. You can go in now."
After a full day in a healing meditation Kris was doing much better. The monitoring equipment signaled the change in her vitals, so Janet was smiling down at her when Kris opened her eyes.
"Hey, honey. How do you feel?"
Janet looked at the monitors. "Your vital signs are certainly looking better. Do you think you can tolerate some light food?"
"Good. I'll be right back with some lunch then." Janet kissed her and left.
When Janet returned with lunch she found Lettie in the room drawing some of Kris's blood for some tests. Dr. Boson was clearly surprised at how quickly Kris was recovering. "If you keep improving at this rate, I may consider letting you convalesce at home sooner rather than later. Enjoy your lunch," Lettie said before leaving.
Janet sat on Kris's bed facing her with the bed table between them and they ate lunch together.
"I love you."
"I love you, too, honey."
"Oh, baby, you have nothing to be sorry for. We always said that if it was meant to be it would work out, and if it wasn't, then that was okay, too. We said that no matter how things worked out that it would be okay."
Kris took a deep breath and slowly it out. "I know... I just wanted to make it happen for you."
"I know that, love. And I know just how hard you tried." Janet pushed the table away and moved closer. She reached up and caressed her wife's cheek and gazed into those impossibly dark eyes. "As long as I have you I have all I'll ever want or need. You're my heart and soul..."
"My beloved," they whispered in unison before kissing.
A few moments later there was a knock on the door. Janet and Kris released each other and looked over to see all of SG-1 standing in the doorway.
"I hope we're not intruding," said a smiling Daniel.
"No; come on in," said Kris.
"We just wanted to stop in and see how you were feeling," Sam said.
"I'm feeling better. Thank you."
"Kris Fraiser, it is good to see that you are much improved today."
"Thank you, Teal'c."
"Any idea on how long you'll be in here?" Jack asked.
"Not yet, but hopefully not long."
"But even after you are released you'll still have to take things easy for a while," Janet pointed out. "Your body's been through a lot."
"I know, but I'll need to get back into shape. And I need to get back to my students."
Janet gave her wife a stern look. "We'll talk more about this later."
Two days later Kris was released from the clinic. Janet stayed at home with her wife for three days, but because Kris was being good about not pushing things too hard the doctor went back to work.
Kris spent most of her days slowly getting her body back into shape by doing a lot of stretching. But she had lost some muscle mass and as a result she simply wasn't as strong and didn't have quite the stamina she did before. She really needed some good old-fashioned workouts to build up her strength and stamina. But Janet was still worried and didn't want Kris going to her school yet.
Sam was still their houseguest and was Janet's other set of eyes, keeping watch on Kris to make sure she didn't overdo things. Sam was also the voice of the colonel. She was supposed to convince Kris and Janet to come back to Earth with them.
Sam told Kris about Thor and the prophecy that brought SG-1 to Jidiri. That, and the fact that they believed it referred to Kris and Janet.
"Interesting theory, but I see a couple of problems with it."
"Well, first off, your prophecy, or any prophecy for that matter, doesn't take into account free will. What if I choose to stay right where I am? I have seen and combated things more vile and evil than you can possibly imagine, and I did it for more years than anyone at your SGC has been in uniform. My own uniform bears the rank of admiral. As they used to say in your time, 'I've done my bit for king and county.' I deserve the right to retire and live in peace with my wife. Secondly, I've been through the files of the SGC. They record Janet's death in the line of duty. There is nothing in them to indicate she ever returned. Surely if we were meant to return with you to the SGC Janet's remarkable return from the dead would have been noted in the files, as was Dr. Jackson's when he returned from 'life as a non-corporal being living on another plane of existence.'"
"Wait a minute. How did you access the SGC's files?"
"I simply downloaded them from my ship's memory core."
"Why would our files be in your ship's memory? I mean no offence, but it's possible that not all our files would be shared with your world."
Kris let out a sigh. "You don't understand. My homeworld may not yet be known to Humans in your time, but my wife Lena and I made our home in Montana where she grew up. We were both in the Allied Fleet."
A look of comprehension finally crossed Sam's face as she sat back. "Dare I ask just how far in our future you're from?"
"500 years, give or take."
Sam closed her eyes and started rubbing her temples. "And you're sure there's nothing that indicates Janet returned after her death?"
"I've reviewed the files. There's no mention of her at all after her death. There is one file I never accessed though."
"My security code would not allow me to access it," Kris said with frown.
"Then maybe that file is the one that indicates Janet returns," Sam argued.
"You don't understand; there's no way my code should not have been able to access the file."
"If you don't have clearance"
"That's just it, Sam, I do have clearance the highest clearance there is."
"Hmm. Is it possible the file was damaged or corrupted when your ship crashed?"
"It's possible. The Phoenix file was a fairly large one."
"Did you say Phoenix?"
"Thor said, 'Earth's Guardian and mate will be born again, of the heart and in life. They are a phoenix. They become as one.' I understand you have your own opinions about prophesies, but you have to admit there are a lot of coincidences if nothing else. Janet was dead and revived 'born again in life.' You lost your first wife 'born again of the heart.' And you told me yourself how you and Janet are connected, a bond that can't be broken except through death 'they become as one.' And now the one file you couldn't access on the SGC is a file name Phoenix 'they are a phoenix.'"
Kris just looked at Sam. "And all this is supposed to make me leave the life Janet and I have made for ourselves here and go back to Earth some 500 years in my past and become a Guardian of Earth based on some vague alien prophecy?"
Sam sighed. "Well, when you put it that way..."
Kris gave the blonde a tired smile. "You're right about one thing, Sam. I did lose my first wife. When Lena died you have no idea how close I came to dying too. Janet's love has given me a new life. She's my heart and soul. There's nothing I wouldn't do for her."
"And if she decides she wants to return home?"
Kris pinned Sam with a look. "This is our home."
Janet came in the front door with a concerned look on her face. "Honey? What's wrong?" she asked as she immediately crossed the room and knelt in front of Kris.
Kris closed her eyes and took a slow, deep breath. She opened her eyes, her expression softening as she gazed into Janet's dark, brown eyes. "Nothing. I was just telling Sam that Jidiri is our home."
Janet smiled and reached up to cup her wife's cheek. "Yes, it is," she said with a smile. She rose up and kissed Kris very lovingly.
Sam had to look away and swallow around the lump that suddenly grew in her throat. It hurt to think that Janet might really elect to stay on Jidiri rather than return to Earth. Despite the time she'd spent with Janet and Kris, she was still struggling with the fact that Janet was with someone else.
After dinner, while Kris cleaned up, Janet and Sam went into the living room. Janet confronted her friend about whatever it was she had said or done that had upset her wife so much.
"Alright, Sam, what did you say to Kris just before I got home?"
"I-I simply told her about the prophecy."
"The one Thor told us about. The whole reason we came to Jidiri."
"That's not all of it, Sam," Janet said with certainty.
"I asked what she would do if you decided to come home."
Janet's eyes flashed with anger. "I am home."
"Sam, my place is with my wife, and Kris is happy here. I won't leave Jidiri unless it's something she wants to do." She abruptly stood up and walked into the kitchen. She slipped her arm around Kris's waist. [Come for a walk with me. Please.]
[Anything for you.]
Sam was surprised when Janet and Kris silently walked out the front door arm in arm.
"So, you care to tell me what brought on your sudden desire to go for a walk?"
Janet sighed. "Sam..."
"Ah. Well, she hasn't had five years to deal with losing you and to move on."
"It's not that exactly." She paused. "Do you remember what you said about Jidiri when we first arrived here?"
"That it seemed too good to be true."
"But it's turned out to be exactly as advertised."
"Yes, it has."
"I love it here."
"So do I, Janet."
"Sam said she told you about the prophecy."
Janet stopped and moved to face her wife. "I want you to know that I have no intention of leaving Jidiri unless you want to."
Kris reached up and tenderly cupped Janet's cheek. "And rest assured that my place is by your side... wherever that may be, beloved." She leaned in and they kissed.
Sam wasn't around when Janet and Kris returned home. They retired to bed early that night.
After leisurely making love Kris rested her head on Janet's chest, listening to her heart. Janet carded her fingers through her wife's dark, silky hair.
"I need to go back to work."
Janet smiled. "I wondered how long it was going to take you to bring it up." She paused for a beat. "I'm concerned that your strength and stamina aren't what they used to be."
"And they won't be if I don't start actively pushing myself."
"I know. Just promise me you'll do it right, Kris."
"I will, love."
In the morning Janet got up early, letting Kris sleep. She wanted to fix breakfast for her wife since Kris was going to go to the school. Sam, who must have come in sometime after they'd gone to bed, got up while Janet was setting the table.
"Good morning. Go ahead and have a seat. I'm going to go wake Kris."
Janet returned, with Kris in tow, after only a couple of minutes. The three women started eating breakfast.
"I'm going into work today, Sam, would you care to join me?" Kris asked.
"You might enjoy yourself, Sam," said Janet. "Kris teaches at the martial arts school."
"Sounds interesting. Sure."
The first class of the day included some of the youngest students. When Kris stepped into the room discipline went out the window amongst shouts of "Uzhinn! Uzhinn!"
Kris couldn't keep from smiling even as she gently admonished them for breaking form. They all crowded around her trying to hug her at the same time. She finally got them to settle down and then she introduced Sam to them.
"Have you all been practicing and meditating like you have been taught?"
"So how many of you can avoid the stings of the practice remote blindfolded?"
No hands went up.
"Is it really possible?"
"Is what possible."
"Is it really possible to avoid being stung by the practice remote when one is blindfolded?
"Yes, Tala, it is. In fact, not only can you successfully avoid the sting of the practice remote, as you progress you will be able to handle at least four remotes at the same time. However, you will only be able to do so when you are calm and at peace within yourself. When you get frustrated or angry you will not succeed." She looked at all of them. "So, with that in mind, it's time for all of you to continue your lesson with Chuzu." She nodded at Chuzu to go ahead and continue the class. Kris and Sam stepped out of the room.
"So what are these practice remotes the kids were talking about?" Sam asked.
"I'll show you." Kris led the blonde into another smaller room. She retrieved one of the remotes which looked like a pencil-sized laser pointer. She turned it on and it began to hover.
Sam's eyes widened and she smiled. "Some kind of anti-gravitational field I take it."
Kris nodded. "I'll put it on the lowest setting." It started to move around Sam in a completely random pattern. Suddenly it zapped her with a mild static discharge.
"Whoa!" she exclaimed out of surprise rather any pain.
"The idea is to not be where the next zap will be."
"I get the picture."
Kris let Sam play with it for a few minutes. Sam managed to avoid a couple of zaps, but got stung the rest of the time.
"There's no pattern to its movement or the timing of the zaps."
"No, there's not." Kris turned it off.
"And you expect those children to avoid this thing blindfolded?!"
"In fact, they will before they can graduate to the next level. It's actually far easier for a child than it is for an adult."
"Because children still believe that anything is possible. Adults have already decided it's impossible."
Sam thought about it for a moment. "I think I see your point."
Jack was climbing the walls. He'd lost any and all patience with the situation. They'd been on Jidiri for weeks. Although, according to Carter, it could actually be a shorter amount of time time being relative and all that. Either way it felt like forever since they'd arrived on Jidiri. Also according to Sam, Dr. Fraiser and her wife he still hadn't gotten used to that concept were not giving any indication of being willing to return to Earth; just the opposite in fact. And on top of all that the stargate was no longer in the white room they'd arrived in. 'Colin' assured him it would 'reappear when it was time.'
Jack needed to get away from everyone and all their... niceness or else he couldn't be held responsible for his actions. So, he went for a walk, one that specifically took him out of the village and away from any people. Of course, that meant he ended up going in the direction that took him to the only active archeological dig on Jidiri. It was actually a system of underground caverns they were exploring.
Since he wasn't in the mood to be around people he simply waved and was about to continue on his way when there was a loud commotion by the dig. A big billow of smoke and dust and an acrid stench came up out of the caverns. He ran over to see what the problem was. There was a lot of yelling and disorganization. There had been a cave-in and some people were unaccounted for.
The only way down into the cavern was by rope and they needed more, especially if they needed to haul any injured people out. Jack radioed back to his team to bring some more rope. Daniel and Teal'c both radioed back that they would bring more rope. Since Sam was at the school Kris heard the radio call.
"Come on, I know exactly where they are." [Janet! There's been a cave-in at Taran's dig site. You better get a team out there now.]
[I'll take care of it, honey.]
[See you there.]
[Be careful, Kris.]
Since the site was on the opposite side of the village as the school, Teal'c and Daniel arrived before Sam and Kris. Daniel joined Jack down in the cavern and helped him get everyone out that they could. When Sam and Kris arrived the guys were just being hauled up out the cavern. A headcount revealed there was still one person unaccounted for Taran.
"I didn't see anyone else down there," Jack said.
"Taran was in the second cavern," said Vesh.
"The entrance to the next cavern was caved-in."
Kris turned to Teal'c. "Lower me down." There was no way that Kris could stand by without attempting to rescue her friend. She was quickly joined by Sam, Daniel, and Jack. They moved rocks one at a time. While they worked Janet and some other medical personnel arrived and started helping the injured.
As soon as there was an opening in the rubble Kris called out to her friend. "Taran, can you hear me?"
"Kris, is that you?"
"Yes. We're coming to get you. Are you alright?"
"I think my leg's broken."
"Okay. Sit tight."
Once the hole was big enough Kris crawled through to the other side.
"Boy, are you a sight for sore eyes."
Kris smiled. "Well, we have to get you out of here before dinnertime; otherwise your wife will have my hide."
"Delsie's going to kill me."
"Probably, but let's worry about that later. Now let me take a look at your leg."
Taran let out a yelp.
"Yep, it's definitely broken. Let's get this splinted and then get you out of here." [Janet? Can you have a splint sent down so I can get Taran out of here?]
[You got it, love.]
A splint was sent down. Once Kris had it in place she helped Taran up and over to the opening. There was only room for one person to get through the opening at a time so she helped Taran into the opening first. Jack and Sam got hold of Taran and pulled her the rest of the way through barely in time to avoid a second cave-in. Jack and Sam saw the tons of rock fall before their eyes. Jack caught a last glimpse of Kris as she threw her arms over head and tried ducking for protection. Shocked, the colonel did not see any possible way that Kris could have survived that cave-in.
Daniel, Sam, and Jack scrambled to get Taran up to the surface with Teal'c's help. Once they were hauled up to the surface Jack looked over at where Janet was working on a patient.
"How the hell am I supposed to tell Doc?" Jack hung his head and rubbed the back of his neck.
Before Jack could figure out what he was going to say Janet turned and rushed over to the edge of the cavern. It was apparent from the look on her face that she sensed something had happened.
"Doc, I need to talk to you a minute."
"Tell me what happened, Jack?"
"I don't know any way to tell you this other than to just say it. So... Kris was helping with the rescue, but she was caught in the last cave-in. I'm afraid there's no way she could have survived it."
Janet took a deep breath and let it out. "She may be hurt, but she's not dead."
"Doc, I saw the cave-in happen, no one could've survived it."
"You're wrong, Jack. She's not dead. If she was I would know it."
Jack was at a loss of how to handle Janet thinking she was being irrational. Sam came over when she realized something was going on.
Janet looked at Sam, "She's not dead, Sam. I'd know it if she were." She tapped her temple. "I can still feel her here. If she were dead our bond would be broken, and it's not."
Sam nodded. "Colonel, if Janet says Kris is alive then she is. We have to try to dig her out."
Jack looked at Sam incredulously. "Carter, you saw that cave-in."
"I know, but I also know that we have to try." She turned around and walked back over to the cavern. Teal'c lowered her down and she started to work.
Daniel and Teal'c quickly joined Sam... as did a number of the locals. Jack finally joined them even though he didn't believe Kris could be alive. It was several hours before they finally found her. She was in a very deep healing meditation so Jack was convinced Kris was dead. They brought her up and laid her on a work table.
"I am afraid we were too late, Dr. Fraiser."
Janet moved to her wife's side and took her hand in her own. "No, it's alright. She's not dead."
"But she is not breathing and has no pulse."
"She's in a deep healing meditation similar to your kelnorim, Teal'c." Janet tenderly caressed Kris's cheek.
Suddenly Kris drew in a deep breath and opened her eyes, looking up at Janet. "Beloved." She returned her wife's smile. "You're not going to believe this."
A small, bright light emerged from her body and hovered between Kris and Janet. Then several large, bright lights appeared and surrounded the two of them.
"Whatever you do, do not interfere," Daniel cut Jack off.
The large light-beings that surrounded Janet and Kris picked them up and carried them away.
Jack, Teal'c, and Sam all turned to Daniel. "Daniel, what the hell just happened?"
"I don't know, Jack."
"Why not? You used to be one of those glowy things! Are they going to bring Doc and her wife back?"
"On why they took them. Oma Desala took Shifu to keep him safe. According to Sam, Orlin said they wiped out all the people on P4X-636 because they misused the knowledge he gave them."
"Dr. Fraiser and Kris Fraiser both appeared to be very joyful as they were taken. I do not believe they are in any danger," observed Teal'c.
"So what do we do now?" asked Jack.
"We wait," answered Teal'c.
"Why don't we wait at their house? I'm sure they'll go home whenever they get back from... wherever," suggested Sam.
They all agreed.
SG-1 was already fatigued from the rescue effort and since it was the middle of the night, they decided to get some sleep. They took turns so that someone would be up when the women returned home.
Jack was on watch but Sam couldn't sleep, so they were both sitting at the table. Daniel was asleep on the couch and Teal'c was sitting in the corner deep in kelnorim.
"What's on your mind, Carter?"
"Janet. What's going to happen to her if she does return with us?"
"What do you mean?"
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell? Is she going to return to face a court martial?
He took a breath a let it out. "Hammond would never do that to her."
"What if it's not up to him? You know how the NID and Kinsey are always poking into everything. And don't forget who's in the White House right now."
"I know, but I seem to recall that the President signed a treaty recognizing off-world marriages."
"But that treaty is with our allies."
Jack nodded. "We'll figure something out."
Suddenly a very bright light flared in the living room, bright enough to wake Daniel and rouse Teal'c from his kelnorim. After the light died down to a bearable level they saw Janet and Kris standing the center of the room facing each other, holding hands and gazing into each other's eyes as if nothing else in the world existed. There was a softly glowing aura that surrounded them that eventually faded.
After several moments of silence Jack spoke. "Welcome back, ladies."
"Are you alright?" Sam asked.
"We're just fine," Janet replied.
"I am pleased that you have returned safely," said Teal'c.
"We were never in any danger," Kris said.
"We're going to get some sleep since we'll be returning to Earth with you tomorrow," said Janet.
With that they walked arm in arm into their bedroom and closed the door. The others looked at each other in shock.
Finally Jack broke the silence. "Well, I guess we'll head back to the house and get some shut eye ourselves. Looks like we finally get to go home. The general is probably wondering what's happened to us. Carter, stay here and bring Doc and Kris to the house tomorrow. Let's give them a chance to get a decent night's sleep. Let's say we meet up at 1100 hours."
Janet and Kris couldn't take their eyes off of each as they undressed and slipped into bed. They came together and wrapped their arms around each other. They both felt a little awestruck by what they'd experienced while with the ascended Ancients.
[The time has come for you to leave this place. Your destiny awaits. Earth needs her Guardian.]
[So the prophecy is true,] thought Janet.
The Ancients cut off Kris's next thought before she could even form it. [And no, no one's future is written in stone. Your preparation has not been complete, for it was not foreseen that through your love you would bring Elyssa into being.]
Both women felt sorrow at the mention of their lost daughter.
[When your body could no longer sustain her we welcomed her into our midst, for one conceived of such love and selflessness is a gift to all those she will one day encounter. Your Elyssa lives on among us.]
Tears of joy rolled down the cheeks of both women.
[Accept these gifts from us: health, long life, wisdom, love that never fades, courage, and compassion. Our gifts to you, and help that will be sent to you, will help prepare you for your roles. Remember, it is from each other you draw your greatest strength.]
When Janet and Kris made love that night their bond seemed to connect them on a much deeper level than they'd ever experienced before.
The next morning Janet and Kris donned the traditional traveling robes of Jidiri. Before leaving the house they destroyed all of the DATs and other equipment from Kris's time. They did not want to risk contaminating the timeline with advanced technology. They took only a few mementos of their time together on Jidiri nothing that would seem out of place in Janet's time.
The three women then met up with the men at the house SG-1 had been using. The colonel looked at the small satchel Kris was carrying.
"Is that all you're bringing?"
She simply nodded.
They all went to the building that contained the stargate. Cayden was waiting for them at the door to the white room. He addressed Janet and Kris.
"I am sorry to see you go. You both will be missed here on Jidiri."
Janet gave him a hug. "Thank you, Cayden, for all of your support and helping us get settled here."
It was then Kris's turn to give him a hug. "I have not had a chance to make any arrangements for the school."
"Don't worry, I'll take care of it."
"And will you give this to Taran and Delsie? We haven't had the chance to say goodbye." Kris handed him a letter she and Janet had written.
"Of course. Rest assured they will understand."
Cayden then opened the door so that the group could enter the room and closed it behind them.
There was no gate.
All the members of SG-1 turned and looked at the colonel.
"You are the one who said the stargate would take us back home when it was time, O'Neill," said Teal'c.
"Well as far as I'm concerned it is time!"
All of sudden the gate appeared out of thin air and activated. Sam and Daniel exchanged looks but Sam punched in the IDC on her GDO.
The klaxons sounded in the SGC when the gate activated. General Hammond left his office and entered the control room.
"Who is it, Walter?"
"IDC coming in now, sir... it's SG-1."
"Open the iris."
The general went down to the gate room and was waiting at the base of the ramp when SG-1 and two other people wearing robes with hoods hiding their faces came through the gate. The members of SG-1 were all surprised to have their weapons and other equipment back in their hands; their surprise was easy for the general to see.
"Colonel, is there a problem? You've only been gone about 90 minutes."
Jack managed to keep from looking even more surprised. "No, sir, but I think it's best we speak with you in private," he said indicating the two people in robes.
"Alright." The general led the way up to his office.
Kris felt... off.
[What's wrong?] Janet asked.
[I don't know. I feel a little funny.]
[Do you feel sick?]
[No. I just feel a little off since we came through the stargate.]
[That's not unusual the first time or two. You get used to it.]
[That's probably all it is.]
[I'll check you out later just to make sure.]
They arrived at the general's office and colonel closed the door behind them. They all had decided ahead of time to let Jack handle the first part of the meeting.
"Okay, Colonel, you suggested we talk in private. Do I get the pleasure of being introduced to our guests?" General Hammond asked.
"As you know, General, Thor said we were to go through the stargate to 'retrieve something that we lost and something that we sought.'"
"Meaning Earth's Guardian."
"Right. 'Earth's Guardian and mate will be born again, of the heart and in life. They are a phoenix. They become as one.'"
The general nodded. "I remember."
"Well, we found what we lost." Jack gestured towards Janet who reached up and lowered her hood. She gave Hammond a smile.
"Hello, General Hammond."
The general was absolutely stunned. He stood and came out from behind his desk. He shocked Janet by wrapping her in a bear hug. "How?" It was a single word, but he was asking more than one question.
"I don't know how I ended up on Jidiri."
"That's the name of the planet we went to, sir," Jack interjected.
"As for how I was brought back to life... apparently it was a matter of being found by someone with more advanced medical technology than ours. I was revived and my wounds were healed."
"So, General, according to the prophecy, Doc here is the one who was born again in life. So let me introduce you to Earth's Guardian, Kris Fraiser."
Kris reached up and lowered her hood. "Formerly Admiral Kay of the Allied Fleet," she said as she shook hands with Hammond.
"My wife," Janet added proudly... and with a touch of defiance.
Her statement set Hammond back on his heels. "I see," he said quietly.
"The prophecy clearly stated that Earth's Guardian and mate would be born again," Jack pointed out.
Hammond indicated for everyone to take a seat. Janet and Kris sat in the two chairs while Jack sat on a credenza off to the side.
The general took a deep breath and let it out. "Dr. Fraiser, you know I have the utmost respect for you, but I'm not the one who dictates the current policies of our military. You know the possible consequences to your career if the wrong people find out about this."
"With all due respect, sir, it really doesn't matter to me what the military has to say about our marriage. If the Air Force and the SGC want me back, it'll have to be with understanding and acceptance that Kris and I are married and have been for over three years."
"Three years? It's only been seven months since you were killed in action on P3X-666."
"That may be, but I've been living on Jidiri for over five years."
"Trust me, sir, somehow time is different there. Carter can probably explain it," Jack interjected.
The general took a moment to absorb that tidbit. "I'll take your word for it." He looked at the women. "I understand your feelings, Doctor, but you know the military, and given the current administration, the likelihood of any governmental body recognizing your marriage is about zero and none."
"General Hammond, I assure you, by the laws of my homeworld and of Jidiri we are legally married," Kris finally said.
"General, as I said, I don't give a rat's ass what the military thinks. I can just as easily go into private practice," Janet said with determination.
He sighed and just looked at her. There was no doubt that she was dead serious. He also knew he wanted her back in his command and the military would be making a huge mistake to lose her services. One only had to look at her service record to see how big of a mistake that would be. Even seven months after her death he had yet to permanently fill her position at the SGC. He wanted her back.
"Sir? Didn't the President sign a treaty recognizing off-world marriages?" Jack asked.
"Yes, but it's only valid with our allies. And there was nothing in it about same gender marriages."
"Was there anything in it preventing same gender marriages?
"No," Hammond said with a small smile. "But until Jidiri or your homeworld becomes one of our formal allies..."
Kris shook her head. "Not yet."
"Oh, that's another thing," Janet said.
"What?" The general suspected he wasn't going like the like the answer.
Kris took a deep breath and let it out. "I'm not from this time."
"What?!" Jack exclaimed.
"Kris is from the future."
"You really are trying to make my life difficult, aren't you?" Hammond quipped rhetorically.
"So who wins the Super Bowl this year?"
"Doctor, Admiral, please allow me some time to think about how best to handle this situation."
"Please, call me Kris, General. I consider myself retired from the Allied Fleet."
"Very well. Colonel, will you accompany them to the infirmary so that they can be cleared medically?"
When Kris stood up she became very dizzy. She had to grab the edge of Hammond's desk to keep from toppling over.
Janet grabbed hold of her wife. "What is it, Kris?"
"I don't think this is from going through the stargate."
"It could be from the temporal displacement. My body may just need to adjust. I feel better now," she said as she straightened up.
"Have Dr. Warner check her out," Hammond said with concern.
"Sir, I'd rather examine her myself. I've been her physician for over five years and Dr. Warner is not familiar with her unique physiology."
He nodded. "Very well. I'm sure you still know where everything is. As a matter of fact, until I decide what to do about all this, I think it best we keep Dr. Fraiser's presence here under wraps. I want SG-1 to clear out the infirmary until she's done examining Kris Fraiser. Then escort them to the VIP quarters."
"Yes, sir," responded Jack.
Janet and Kris pulled their hoods back up to hide their faces.
Once in their quarters Kris sat on the side of the bed. Janet stood between Kris's knees and held her head close, running fingers through silky hair.
"I don't know why, but yes."
"I couldn't find anything wrong with you, so maybe it's like you said your body is having to adjust to the temporal displacement. Why don't you lie down and rest?"
"Will you lie down with me?"
Janet smiled and kissed the top of her wife's head. "Of course, love."
They stretched out on the bed and Kris laid her head over Janet's heart. Kris was quickly lulled to sleep by the rhythm of her wife's heartbeat.
Janet carefully slipped out of Kris's embrace and out of bed when there was a knock on the door. It was Sam.
"I'm not interrupting anything am I?"
"No, no. Come on in."
Sam entered and brought a bundle of clothing as well. "I realize you didn't really bring anything from Jidiri. I mentioned it to the general and well... here are some fatigues, t-shirts, and stuff for both you and Kris."
Janet gave her a smile. "Thank you." She set the bundle down on the dresser.
Sam glanced over at the bed. "How is she? I heard she got dizzy or something."
"She's sleeping. I couldn't find anything wrong with her. She said it could be her body having to adjust to the temporal displacement."
"None of us had to deal with that when we traveled back to 1969. But then again, we didn't go back five centuries... and her alien physiology may be more affected by the displacement."
"Yeah. And it's not like she hadn't been through enough lately even if the Ancients did restore her health to what it was before the pregnancy."
Sam nodded. "You know tomorrow is Saturday, and well... Cassie's coming home this weekend. Have you thought about what you're going to tell her? I mean, she'll obviously be glad to see you, but it's going be quite a shock."
"The truth? I can't wait to see her. I've really missed her."
"She's really missed you, too. I'm supposed to meet her for lunch. I'll pick up her and bring her back here."
"I appreciate it, Sam."
Janet paced. She was as nervous as she had ever been.
"Shouldn't I be the nervous the one, Janet? You're her mother and she already loves you."
Janet gave her wife an appreciative smile and sat down. "I just... She's been through so much. She lost her parents and everyone she ever knew when Nirrti wiped out the population of Hanka except for her. Not once, but twice, she almost died because of Nirrti. And then I go and get killed off-world. It's going to be a shock to not only find out I'm alive, but that I'm married to someone she's never even met."
Janet stood up and started pacing again. "From her perspective Sam and I were dating only a few months ago. She has always idolized Sam." Janet sighed. "She may be angry with me."
Kris stood and stopped Janet's pacing by embracing her. [Just remember, no matter what we'll get through it together, beloved.]
[I know, my love.]
In the meantime Sam met with Cassie.
"So where are we going for lunch, Sam?"
"Actually I'm taking you back to the base."
Cassie gave her a confused look. "Why?"
"There's someone I want you to meet."
"It's a surprise.
At the base Sam led Cassie down to the VIP quarters. Before Sam knocked on the door she turned to Cassie. "Are you ready?"
"Sam, what is this all about? You're making me nervous."
The blonde smiled. "Trust me, Cassie. I know this is going to be a shock, but it's a good thing. And remember, you're very brave." She knocked on the door and opened it.
Janet was standing in the middle of the room. Cassie was shocked to see her mother alive and well.
The young woman flew into her mother's arms. "I thought you were dead!" she sobbed.
"I know, sweetie, but I'm here now," Janet said through her own tears while trying to console her daughter.
From where Kris was sitting she glanced over at Sam and noted the tears in her eyes as Janet guided Cassie to the couch and they sat down. Sam took the other chair.
When Cassie settled down she pulled back and looked at Janet. "I don't understand, Mom. What's going on? What happened? Everyone said you were killed. They even had it on tape! Daniel said he saw it happen."
Janet wiped away a few of her daughter's tears. "I know, sweetie. That is what happened."
"Then what's going on?"
Janet took a deep breath and slowly let it out. "I can't tell you how or why or who, but apparently I was taken from P3X-666 to a planet called Jidiri. Someone there found my body, revived me, and healed my wounds."
"Was it the Goa'uld? Did they use a sarcophagus?"
"No. It was just someone with more advanced medical technology."
"So is that where you've been for the past seven months?"
"What do you mean 'sort of'?"
Janet let out a sigh. "I've been living on Jidiri, but it's been longer than seven months."
"I don't understand."
Sam decided to explain. "You see, Cassie, Jidiri isn't normally present on our plane of existence. Time doesn't move at the same rate on Jidiri as it does for us. What was seven months for us was over five years for your mother."
Janet nodded. "That's right."
"So how did you get back?"
Janet nodded at Sam.
"Thor asked SG-1 to go and retrieve something according to an Ancient prophecy. It turned out that the planet we went to was Jidiri. You can imagine I was pretty shocked when I ran into your mother."
"If they had a stargate, why didn't you come home sooner, Mom?"
"Remember when Sam said Jidiri isn't always on this plane of existence?"
"Apparently they only have a stargate when the planet is in this plane of existence. When it's not, there is no stargate."
"Oh. Sounds like a strange place."
"Actually it's a wonderful place a utopia," said Janet.
"The whole time we were there I never met a single person that wasn't nice or helpful. And there were people not only from different planets and races, but from different time periods as well," said Sam. "But the time difference thing does take a little getting used. We were there for several weeks, yet when we got back, the general said we'd only been gone about 90 minutes."
There was a knock on the door. Sam got up and answered it. It was an airman with lunch. Sam wheeled the cart in. "Well, your lunch is here. I'll catch up with you later, Cassie, to give you a ride back."
"Aren't you eating with us?" Cassie asked.
Sam exchanged a look with Janet. "No. You and your mom have some catching up to do. Just call me when you're ready to go." She left.
Lunch was pizza since it was one of Cassie's favorites. Cassie grabbed a couple of slices and put them on her plate. Janet did the same and then looked at her wife.
"Only one, please."
It was the first time Kris had spoken, so until then Cassie had not taken notice of Kris. Cassie shot her mother a look of surprise. Janet handed Kris her plate and then sat back down on the couch with Cassie.
"Oh, I'm sorry, Cassie. I should introduce you. Cassie, this is Kris. Kris, this is my daughter, Cassandra."
Kris gave the young woman a smile. "It's nice to finally meet you. Your mother has told me so much about you."
It was clear Cassie didn't really know what to say.
"Kris is the one who found me on Jidiri and revived me."
Cassie smiled. "Then I want to thank you for saving my mom's life."
"Believe me, it was my pleasure."
"So are you from Jidiri?"
"No. I arrived about the same time she did."
Cassie turned to her mother. "So what did you do on Jidiri for all that time? You did say it was over five years, right?"
"Right. I worked at the clinic in the village we lived in."
"And you liked it there?"
"Yes, I did. There wasn't any crime or prejudice, and anything you could possibly want or need was free for the asking."
"Wow. Sounds like a nice place to live."
"It was." Janet reached out and grabbed Cassie's hand. "But it didn't have you, sweetie. I missed you."
"I've missed you, too, Mom."
After the women finished eating the cart was put in the hallway outside Janet and Kris's quarters.
Cassie pinned her mother with a look. "Mom, there's something you're not telling me, isn't there?"
[I don't know how to do this, Kris.]
[Just tell her the truth. And remember I'm right here, beloved.]
Janet took a deep breath and let it out. "I'm not hiding anything, Cassie. I just haven't figured out quite how to tell you."
"What is it, Mom?"
"As you already know, what's been only a few months for you has been over five years for me."
"I had no way of getting home, so I had to make a life for myself. Eventually, I started to care for someone someone who became very special to me."
"Was it serious?"
"Yes, it was... and is."
Cassie glanced at Kris. "I guess that explains why she came back with you. How serious?"
"Well, according to Jidiri law, and Kris's homeworld, we're married."
"Married?" Cassie was definitely surprised.
Kris didn't need their bond to know that Janet was nervous as hell as she waited for Cassie to say something else.
Finally the young woman broke the heavy silence. "Are you happy?" she asked her mother.
Janet smiled. "Yes, very much so, Cassie. More than I ever thought possible."
Cassie gave her mother a smile. "It's kind of hard to argue with that." They hugged.
"I love you, Cassie."
"I love you, too, Mom, and you deserve to be happy." They let go of each other and Cassie looked over at Kris. "I don't know you very well, but you saved my mother's life and you make her happy that makes you okay in my book."
"Hopefully we'll get a chance to get to know each other much better. And, I promise you that there's nothing I wouldn't do for your mother."
Cassie gave Kris a smile because she sensed the sincerity behind the words. "Welcome to the family, Kris..."
Kris couldn't keep from smiling as she answered the implied question. "Fraiser."
Cassie looked at her mother who was also smiling. "Really?"
"Really," Janet confirmed.
"That's so cool."
The Fraiser women talked for hours. In fact, they were still talking at dinnertime so they had dinner sent from the mess. Finally, it was time for Cassie to go. Sam picked up Cassie when she called.
It was quiet in the car but Cassie eventually broke the silence. "What do you think of her?"
Sam had wondered what she would say if Cassie asked her that question. In the end, her friendship with Janet dictated her response she told the truth. "I think she's a very caring person, honest, selfless, and giving."
"And you know about her and Mom being married, right?"
"What do you think about that? I know you care about Mom."
"You're right; I do care about your mother. We've been best friends for a long time. And before she was killed..."
"You were dating."
"Yeah, we were dating. But I have to tell you, Cassie, I've seen Janet and Kris together and it's obvious that they truly love each other. I've never seen your mother happier." Sam took a deep breath and slowly let it out. "Does a part of me wish it was me that made Janet that happy? Yes. But I'm still her best friend, and as her best friend I can't help but be happy for her. There's something very special between them that just doesn't come along every day." The blonde glanced over at the young woman. "So, I've answered your questions. Tell me, what do you think about the situation?"
"A part of me is afraid I'm dreaming and I'm going wake up and find out that Mom is still dead."
Sam reached over and took hold of the young woman's hand, giving it a squeeze. "It's not a dream, Cassie. She's really alive."
"When Mom first told me about her and Kris... I thought I'd hate her being involved with anyone besides you, but then I stopped to really think about it. I mean she was on a strange planet with no way to get home; it had been years for her, not just the few months it had been for us. She had to start her life all over with no family or friends... it must have been so lonely for her." She paused. "But eventually she found someone she cared about and who also cared about her. Mom fell in love and found someone who makes her happy. In the end, that's what mattered to me that she's happy."
Sam smiled at the young woman and nodded in agreement. "Yeah."
The first thing the next morning the phone in Kris and Janet's room rang. Kris answered it since she was the closest.
"Hello?... Sure." She handed to the phone to her wife.
"Hello?... Hey, sweetie... Yes, I'm still here... No, I don't mind you calling, Cassie," she replied with a smile.
After spending a couple of hours on the phone with her daughter, Janet snuggled up next to her still sleeping wife. She laid her head on Kris's shoulder and slipped her arm across her wife's waist. She felt lips press a kiss to her forehead. "Mmmm, I thought you were asleep."
"I am," Kris softly chuckled. Her chuckle changed to a hiss when Janet suddenly started sucking on Kris's nipple. "That's so not fair..."
Janet moved to straddle Kris's hips and gazed down into her eyes. "Have I told you how much I love you lately?"
"Not since yesterday."
"Then I've been remiss in my wifely duties. Let me make it up to you."
"Well... if you think you c"
Janet cut Kris off by claiming her lips in a passionate kiss.
That afternoon there was a knock on Kris and Janet's door and General Hammond announced himself. Janet opened the door and let him in.
"I hope I'm not disturbing you ladies."
"Not at all, sir. Have a seat."
"Actually, I'm here to see if you're ready for a quick trip."
"A quick trip? To where?" Kris asked.
"To" his answer was interrupted as they were transported up to an Asgard ship, "Thor's ship."
"Thor, it's good to see you again. You know Dr. Fraiser. Let me introduce Kris Fraiser."
"It is an honor to meet you, Guardian."
Kris wasn't sure quite sure what think about everything. Despite their encounter with Ancients she hadn't actually been told just what being 'Earth's Guardian' entailed and she was having doubts about it. So, she said the only thing she could think of, "Thank you."
Thor turned to Janet. "I cannot tell you how much it pleases me to see you are well, Dr. Fraiser."
"Thank you, Thor. It's good to see you again."
"It also pleases us that you are the one chosen as the Guardian's mate. It is obvious that yours is a perfect match."
Neither of the women could keep from smiling. "Thank you," replied Janet.
"When you said it please us, who did you mean?" asked the general.
"Certainly not anyone in the government," Kris murmured bitterly. Coming from a more enlightened time, the draconian and bigoted intolerance of the 21st century didn't sit well with the woman from the future.
Thor looked at Kris and blinked. Then he answered Hammond's question, "The four races: the Asgard, the Furling, the Nox, and the Ancients." He paused. "Why is there a problem with your government concerning the Guardian and her mate?"
The general was stuck having to explain the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy and the federal government's prohibition of same sex marriage.
"That is unacceptable. The treaty, which your president signed, clearly states that your government will recognize and give all rights to off-world marriages."
"That's true, Thor, but Kris's homeworld is not one of our allies."
"But the Asgard are. The Guardian has Asgard DNA. She"
"is a child of the Asgard. She is Asgard, and is entitled to all the rights of citizenship of the Asgard."
"I don't believe the President will see it that way, Thor."
"Then I will make it clear what will happen if he chooses to not abide by the conditions of the treaty."
A moment later the President of the United States was beamed aboard the ship. He was clearly surprised, but recognized General Hammond who quickly introduced him to Thor. Although this was their first meeting, the President understood the both the position and power held by the diminutive alien standing in front of him. Janet and Kris were then introduced to the President.
Thor explained precisely what the consequences would be of not fully recognizing Kris and Janet's marriage it would mean the nullification of the Protected Planets Treaty. Earth would be completely vulnerable to Goa'uld attack with no help from any of her current allies, including the Asgard. All technology given to them by the Asgard, the Tok'ra, the Tollan by all their allies would be taken back. Despite how intolerant and bigoted the man was personally he realized he couldn't put the entire planet in peril because of his own prejudices. So, by executive order witnessed by General Hammond Janet and Kris's marriage was fully and legally recognized with all rights, responsibilities, and benefits.
Hammond also had the President sign another document one specifically giving Janet permanent dispensation from the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy and recourse should anyone in the future try to hold her back in her career because of her marriage to Kris. The President no sooner finished signing his name and Thor beamed him off the ship.
Kris couldn't hold her tongue any longer. "Now, what's this about me having Asgard DNA?"
"All will be explained," Thor replied. And then he beamed Kris, Janet and Hammond back to the SGC.
Kris turned to her wife. "Is he always like that?"
"Thor? Well, he can be a little... abrupt sometimes."
"But he's definitely one of the good guys," Hammond added. He held up the two pieces paper in his hand. "I'll make copies of these for you and then lock the originals in my safe. Enjoy the rest of the day, ladies."
Before General Hammond could even sit down behind his desk in his office the klaxons sounded. He went to the control room.
"Unauthorized off-world activation. Unauthorized off-world activation."
"Do we have an ID yet?"
"Why isn't the iris closed?"
"I can't close it, sir. The computer is accepting the command, but nothing is happening."
Hammond grabbed the PA mike. "Security team to gate room!"
Even as the additional troops poured into the gate room a person stepped through the event horizon of the gate. The general smiled and countermanded his previous order.
"Security team, stand down." Hammond went down to the gate room. "You are always welcome here, Lya."
"Thank you, General Hammond."
"What can we do for you today?"
"I am here to see the Guardian."
Hammond nodded, not at all surprised. "I'll take you to her."
Once again the general knocked and announced himself at the couple's door.
Janet opened the door and admitted the general and Lya. Hammond did the introductions. Then Lya made an announcement.
"Your preparation was incomplete. There are things yet for you to learn and understand." She turned to head to the door. "Come with me."
"Wait a minute. Just where are you taking them?" General Hammond asked.
"The Guardian must be brought to the Nox to continue her preparation." Lya didn't miss the look Kris and Janet exchanged. "And there are things we must teach Dr. Fraiser as the Guardian's mate. They both must come."
Hammond wasn't too sure how he felt about the situation. He'd just gotten Janet back and things had been rather out his control the past couple of days. First Dr. Fraiser returned from the dead with a wife... from the future! Then Thor showed up unannounced and blackmailed the President. And now Lya was insisting both women go off with her to the Nox homeworld. It had been a hell of weekend. Retirement was looking more and more appealing.
"Alright," the general said with a sigh.
Kris wavered a little bit when she stood. Janet immediately slipped and arm around her waist to steady her.
[I'm okay. Just a little lightheaded.]
Lya didn't miss Kris's misstep when she stood up. "You've been feeling the effects of temporal displacement."
Kris nodded. "I believe so, yes."
"Can you help her?" Janet asked.
"Yes, we can."
"How?" Kris asked.
"Our ways," Lya replied and walked out of the couple's quarters.
Janet grabbed their traveling robes which they quickly slipped on before heading to the gate room.
[Why did you smile when Lya said, 'our ways'? I mean, what kind of answer is that?]
[That is a very typical Nox answer.] Janet chuckled when her wife mentally rolled her eyes. [Well, they consider us Humans 'young.' Which is more polite than what the Tollans called us when we met they called us primitive.]
Kris actually broke out in a full belly laugh and had to reach inside the hood of her travel robe to wipe the tears from her eyes.
[I didn't think it was that funny,] Janet deadpanned.
[I'm sorry, love.]
[No you're not.]
When they arrived in the gate room Janet suddenly realized something very important. Janet approached Lya before just before she could activate the gate and spoke to her quietly. Lya nodded in understanding. Janet then pulled the general aside and told him what she needed. He went to the phone mounted on the wall and arranged the call. Once it went through he handed the phone to Janet. She had to leave a voice mail, but that was alright. Janet wasn't about go off-world without letting Cassie know about it, at least not so soon after getting back. With a nod she let Lya know she was ready.
Lya waved her arm, activating the gate. She led Janet and Kris up the ramp.
When Kris stepped through the gate to the Nox homeworld she felt... something... undefined yet palpable. It actually brought her to her knees as she drew in uneven, deep breaths.
"Kris!" Janet was immediately at her side.
But Kris was unable to speak, or even to form a coherent thought, to answer any of her wife's questions.
And then Lya was before her, gently smiling as she took Kris's face in her both of her hands. After a couple of seconds the world seemed to right itself and Kris could think clearly again.
"Welcome home, child," Lya said affectionately.
"I-I don't understand."
"I don't either. What the hell just happened to Kris?" Janet demanded to know.
"All will be explained. You need food and rest. Come." Lya turned and started walking away.
Janet was not happy. "We're not going anywhere until we get some answers."
"She's right. If I don't get something to eat... and some rest... I'm going to drop."
Janet still wasn't happy, but she slipped her arm around her wife's waist to steady her and followed the Nox woman to the nearby clearing with some huts.
Kris and Janet were told to sit. Fresh fruit was laid out before them.
After a light meal, they were shown to a hut that had been prepared for their use. Kris barely made it to the bed before succumbing to the inevitable. She was out like a light. Janet was so worried about her that she began to examine her. Lya entered the hut.
"Do not worry. The Guardian is fine."
"Then please tell me what is going on, because this is not normal," Janet insisted.
"You are a healer, yes?"
"It is very fortunate that the Guardian has a healer as a mate."
"The Guardian's role is to defend and protect Earth. It is not an easy path for one to follow. There will be times of great mental and physical stress. It is your role to see her through those times of stress or injury."
"But Kris can heal herself."
"Can she? Always?"
That brought Janet up short. Kris had to be conscious to enter into a meditation, and even then there had been times she'd asked for Janet's guidance to help her.
"It is from each other you draw your greatest strength," Lya said.
Janet blinked. The Ancients had said the exact same thing.
"Rest. When you wake, all will be explained and we will begin."
"Teaching you... both of you. Now rest."
When Janet and Kris woke up they changed into the Nox clothing that had been set out for them. Outside Lya smiled at them and indicated that they should take a seat around the small campfire that had been started. Lya introduced them to Anteaus, Ohper, and Nefreyu.
Kris was more than ready for some answers, as was Janet.
"You said everything would be explained. So... please explain," Kris said.
It was Anteaus who spoke. "A very, very long time ago, before the Ancients seeded Human life on Earth, the alliance of the four races the Ancients, the Nox, the Asgard, and the Furlings created the Guardians to help us watch over the worlds under our protection."
"Created? How?" Janet asked.
"In a lab."
"You're talking about genetic engineering!"
"Yes. Guardians were created and then trained in a place called the Crèche until it was time for their assignment."
"But what does that have to do with me? I was raised on Areth and I'm from the future," Kris said.
"Yes... and no."
"What does that mean?"
"Something terrible happened. The location of the Crèche was compromised and nearly everyone was killed. The survivors were relocated."
"What exactly are you saying?" Kris asked.
"You were created in a lab tens of thousands of years ago, survived the attack on the Crèche, and were relocated to Areth... in the future."
Kris was bit overwhelmed.
Janet reached over and took her wife's hand in her own. "Then what does Jidiri have to do with all of this?"
"Removing Jidiri from this plane existence came later. It took time to accomplish that. The majority of the residents of Jidiri are descendents of families that agreed to foster Guardians just like the woman who raised you as her own," Anteaus said, looking directly at Kris.
"That doesn't explain us being sent to Jidiri," growled Kris.
"We've found that sending a Guardian to Jidiri for awhile, instead of directly to where he or she is needed, makes the transition much easier."
"She was never supposed to be on P3X-666." Anteaus looked Janet in the eyes. "You died before you were supposed to."
"And what of my wife Lena?" Kris asked in a whisper. "Where does she fit into your grand plan?"
"That was not foreseen," Anteaus said with genuine regret.
After a moment of silence Janet asked a question. "Will you explain what happened to Kris when we arrived here? And why you told her 'welcome home'?"
"Please! Stop calling me 'the Guardian,'" Kris snapped. "I have a name it's Kris. Call me Kris."
"Kris," Lya said with a benevolent smile, "no disrespect is intended. In fact, it is a great honor for us to have you here and to assist you." She looked at Janet. "Now, to answer your questions." She glanced again at Kris. "I said 'welcome home' because Kris is a child of the Nox."
"Wait a minute. Thor said I was a child of the Asgard."
"You are. You are also a child of Nox... and of the Ancients, and of the Furlings. All the Guardians were."
"Oh, my god," Janet murmured.
"How?" Kris asked, a little shell-shocked.
"As Janet said: genetic engineering. You were designed with specific traits from each race of the alliance. We Nox get life from the forest the trees, the moss, the earth, everything. So, too, do you. What did you feel when stepped onto this world?" Lya asked.
Kris took a moment to gather her thoughts. "I don't know how to describe it, but it wasn't unpleasant, just... overwhelming."
"As a Nox you will always feel a connection to this world, and to any natural environment."
[Your favorite place on Jidiri always was the park, love,] Janet pointed out.
"You said you could help Kris with the effects of temporal displacement."
"Yes. It will be our honor to do so." Lya stood and moved directly in front of Kris; she held her hands out for Kris to take them. "Come with me."
Lya led Kris to a moss covered stone table and had her lie down on it. Anteaus, Ohper, and Nefreyu joined Lya and formed a circle around Kris. Janet watched anxiously from a few feet away as the Nox completed a ritual of some sort. It only lasted a few minutes.
Afterwards Kris sat up and swung her legs over the side. The smile she gave her wife told Janet as much about the way Kris felt as their bond did. Kris stood and stepped into Janet's embrace.
[I'm so glad you feel better.]
[I feel great. Now you can stop worrying about me.]
[I'm your wife, it's my job to worry about you. You're also the source of my great joy and happiness. Don't ever forget that, my love.]
The couple parted and turned to face the Nox.
"Now we can begin," Ohper pronounced. "Please, come with me, Kris. Janet, you will go with Lya."
Kris and Janet both nodded and went their separate ways for the day.
Ohper and Kris simply walked through the forest in silence for quite some time. Out of respect for her benefactors, Kris held her tongue. Finally Ohper broke the silence.
"You have questions."
"Learning begins with questions." He gestured for her to ask her questions, although Kris sensed he somehow already knew what her questions were.
"I'm not sure I'm the right person to be Earth's Guardian."
Kris took a deep breath and slowly let it out. "I've seen and battled against many evil things. I no longer wish to fight and shed another's blood." She paused. "I find the path the Nox have chosen pacifism to be more to my liking now."
Ohper nodded. "You are a child of the Nox, but your path must be your own."
"I have heard that said before," she said, thinking about her decision to join the Allied Fleet, and then her decision to go into Intelligence/Special Ops.
"Yet you still struggle with it."
"Not so much still, as again. It seems I'm destined to face such difficult choices many times," she said with a sigh.
"How have your choices turned out so far?"
Kris took a deep breath and let it out. "So far I don't regret the choices I've made."
Ohper simply nodded. "You have chosen not to further your skills, yet you chose to teach others as you were taught."
She was surprised he knew about her school on Jidiri, but only nodded.
"Is that not a contradiction?"
She didn't say anything.
"You honor what you have been taught, and yet are hesitant to put to use that which you honor."
"How can I use such skills and not spill the blood of another?"
"If your mate's life was in danger and the only way to save her required the taking of her captor's life, could you, under those circumstances, use your skills and kill to save her life?"
Kris's jaw tightened as she drew in a slow breath. "Yes," she said quietly, "without hesitation. I could never allow any harm to come to her if it were within my power to prevent it."
Ohper nodded. "And if you were with a group of your friends and they came under attack, would you use your skills to help defend and protect them."
"Yes, I would."
"And would you use your skills to defend and protect the world on which you made your home if it was attacked."
"Then how can you say you are the wrong person to be Earth's Guardian? You are already willing to defend and protect it."
She simply looked at him and digested what he said.
"To better fulfill your role, it is now time to further hone your skills and to expand your abilities. You are a child of the Nox; you have within you some of our abilities. So you will learn some of our ways. Let us begin."
At the end of the day Ohper and Kris returned to the huts in the clearing. Kris was told that Janet was already waiting in their hut. Kris's heart actually skipped a beat at the bright smile her wife gave her when she entered their hut.
"What is it, honey?" Janet asked when she took in her wife's expression.
"You take my breath away."
Janet's smile brightened even more. She walked over to Kris and they embraced. After a few moments they parted. "Come on, I've got a light dinner of fresh fruit for us."
"That sounds great."
Janet didn't miss how stiff Kris seemed to be as she moved. They sat down and began to eat.
"So, what were you doing in the forest today?" Janet asked.
"Choosing a path," Kris said in a thoughtful tone.
Janet gave her wife an amused smirk. "Now you're starting to sound like a Nox."
Kris smiled. "What did you do with Lya today?"
"We talked a lot... and she taught me some things that I need to know as your mate."
Kris gazed into her wife's eyes. "As far as I'm concerned, you already know everything you need to you know how to love me and make me happy."
Janet reached up and tenderly caressed Kris's cheek. "Loving you is the easiest thing I've ever done."
Kris covered the hand on her cheek with her own. "How did I ever get so lucky to have you in my life?"
"You stole my heart." Janet got up from her chair and then sat on her wife's lap. "And for the record, I'm the lucky one," she said before kissing Kris, long and thoroughly.
"To hell with dinner," Kris murmured as they broke the kiss for some air. She slipped her arms under Janet and started to stand but winced as her strained muscles protested.
Janet immediately hopped off Kris's lap. "You're hurt!"
"Just some strained muscles."
The doctor grabbed her wife's hand and pulled her up from the chair and over to the bed. "Take your clothes off and lie down."
Kris smiled. "Now you're talking." A dark brow arched as Kris received a 'doctor' glare. She sighed as she did what she was told.
Janet gave her wife a massage, working the soreness and stiffness out of her muscles. Afterwards they made love and drifted to sleep in each other's arms.
Each day Kris would go off into the forest with Ohper. He helped her to expand and refine her skills, both mentally and physically.
Janet spent each day with Lya, who was teaching the doctor things she never dreamed of learning. Such as how to access what the Chinese would call her qi, combine it with wife's qi, and use it to heal Kris when she was unable to heal herself. Their bond was what made it possible. It wasn't something she would be able to do for anyone else.
Each night Janet and Kris would make love before falling asleep in each other's arms.
After a week it was time for Janet and Kris to return to Earth. They put on their Jidiri robes and walked to the stargate with Lya and Ohper. Ohper addressed both women.
"You will both always be welcome here. If you should ever need our help, we will do what we can within our ways."
They both nodded.
"Lya, will you please escort Janet back to Earth? There is one final thing I wish to share with Kris. She will be with you shortly."
Lya activated the gate and took Janet through.
At the SGC Janet and Lya were met by several armed airmen. General Hammond came down to the gate room after he ordered the room cleared.
"It's good to see you."
"Thank you, sir."
"Where is Kris?"
"She'll be along in a just a few minutes. Ohper had one last thing he wanted to share with her."
"What have you been doing all this time?"
Lya has been teaching me some helpful things when it comes to treating Kris if she were to be injured... since she's part Nox," Janet replied.
The general's head snapped around to look at her in surprise. "And what has Kris been doing?"
"Ohper has been helping her to prepare for the path she has chosen," answered Lya.
"What does that mean?"
"Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Guardian's preparation was incomplete. It is a great honor for her preparation to be continued with the Nox. Her path is a most difficult one. No Nox could take on such a burden as she now chooses to. We are humbled by the Guardian, and the one from whom she draws her greatest strength," Lya said with a nod to Janet.
Meanwhile, still on the Nox world, Kris looked at Ohper. "What did you want to share with me, Ohper?"
"Can you feel your mate, even now, when separated by so much distance?"
She smiled. "Yes."
"Then go to her."
"What do you mean?"
"Step through the gate and go to her."
"But the gate is not active. I have to dial Earth on the DHD."
Ohper shook his head. "The connection you have to your mate will always guide you to her, no matter where she is. Believe it, and it will be so. You have Nox DNA, you are a child of the Nox, you are Nox. It is the Nox way."
Kris closed her eyes a moment and reached out to Janet. [Beloved.]
[Beloved,] Janet answered.
[I'm coming to you now.] Kris walked up to the gate and it activated as she stepped through. On the other side the klaxons went off letting them know an incoming wormhole was forming.
"There's no need for security, sir, it's Kris," said Janet.
"How do you know?"
"She just told me."
"We uh... we have a connection. A kind of psychic link," she said with a shrug.
Kris stepped through gate and Hammond ordered the room cleared again. "Welcome back, Kris."
"Thank you, General."
"It has been an honor, Kris. Do not forget that you and Janet will always be welcomed by the Nox."
"Thank you for everything you have done and for all of your hospitality, Lya," Kris replied.
Lya kissed both women on the cheek before walking up the ramp, activating the gate, and disappearing into the event horizon.
"Well, ladies, I believe we have a few things to discuss. Let's go to my office."
The two women sat in the chairs facing the general's desk as he closed the door to his office. He then took his seat behind his desk.
"So, either of you care to tell me just what's been going on for the past week?"
"Sir, as you know, Kris was experiencing some physical difficulty adjusting to the temporal displacement since coming here from Jidiri. The Nox were able to treat her for that. The rest of the time we were there, as I said earlier, Lya was teaching me some things that will be helpful medically should Kris be injured since she's part Nox," replied Janet.
"And what about you, Kris?"
"I wasn't fully prepared like I was supposed to be on Jidiri before coming here. Ohper spent time with me helping me prepare and train."
Hammond frowned. "Why didn't you receive the preparation you were supposed on Jidiri before coming to Earth?"
Janet and Kris shared a look. "It was something unforeseen by the Ancients and... personal. It's a moot point now anyway." Kris suddenly stood and paced in what little room was available. She stopped and leaned against the credenza that O'Neill had sat on the day they'd arrived. "General, part of what I had to do while on the Nox world was to decide if I was willing to take on this role that everyone seems so eager for me to play this role of Earth's Guardian. Truth be told, I have already spent a lifetime fighting things much more vile and evil than you can possibly imagine. I've spilled the blood of more beings than I care to count." Kris took a deep breath and swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat.
Janet got up from her chair and stood next to her wife. She took Kris's hand in her own. Janet knew how Kris struggled with her past from time to time just like any soldier who had seen action. [I'm right here, love.] Still holding Kris's hand, Janet led her wife back to the chairs.
With Janet's support Kris was able to continue. "I wore my uniform for more years than any Human on this base has been alive. I find the pacifism of the Nox much more to my liking at this point in my life." She took a deep breath and slowly let it out. "So how can a pacifist fill the role of Earth's Guardian? That's what I asked Ohper. A true pacifist can't. I had to come to accept the fact that I am not a true pacifist, because there are a few things that I am still willing to kill for." She couldn't prevent a quick glance at Janet.
General Hammond saw the glance and knew exactly what it meant.
"However, having said that, I am not willing to take a life unnecessarily, even an enemy's. What I have been doing is working to hone my skills and abilities so that it will be easier to not kill if possible. I intend to use my skills and abilities defensively or for protection, rather than offensively or to attack. I will always choose the path that leads to the least amount of bloodshed even for the enemy. That is the choice I've made as Earth's Guardian."
Hammond held her eyes as he took her measure. Finally he nodded. "Very well." He paused for a moment. "Is there anything else you require?"
The general sat back. He'd already spoken with the White House about integrating Kris into the SGC and had been granted quite a bit of leeway especially considering how important she seemed to be to... important allies. He could give her just about anything she might want. "Go ahead, Kris."
"As you know, I'm from the future. However, I'm not ignorant of the past, nor of the dangers of interfering with it."
"I've had a little experience with that myself," Hammond replied. "SG-1 was accidentally sent back in time to 1969 where I met them when I just a lieutenant."
"I know; I've read the files."
The general's eyebrows climbed up his forehead. "How?"
"Remember, General, from my perspective, this is all 500 years in my past. The point is, there are going to be times when I may know something that I cannot share with you. What I need from you is the understanding that there will be times when I need to do something that makes no sense to you and that I won't be able to explain, and other times I can't do anything for the same reason. My actions are not always going to makes sense or seem reasonable."
"So you want the latitude to either do, or not do, as you see fit in a given situation, and trust that you have a good reason for it," Hammond summed up.
The general took a deep breath and slowly let it out. It was a lot to ask blind faith in an individual he really didn't know much about despite the company she kept and endorsements she'd received.
During the past week Hammond had contacted some of Earth's allies. The Tollan were impressed to learn Earth was getting a Guardian they believed the last Guardian had been killed almost a 1000 years ago. The Tok'ra were less enthused. There was no love lost between the Guardians and the Goa'uld. The Goa'uld steered cleared of worlds that had Guardians. And there was a grudging... tolerance of Guardians by the Tok'ra. It wasn't something they talked about.
So the general then contacted Thor and asked a few questions: Why now? If a Guardian kept the Goa'uld away why not before now? Thor had said that a Guardian was the Alliance personified. And Kris was assigned not to deal with the Goa'uld, but to help Earth fight a greater foe that was out there. He also told Hammond that she was the last her kind the last Guardian.
"Alright, Kris. I'll do my best to accommodate you."
"Thank you, General. I know it's not easy."
"My medical and personnel files. Access to them should be limited to as few people as possible."
"I agree wholeheartedly. Kris carries the DNA of all four races of the alliance. Her physiology is unique. There are too many of the wrong kind of people who would be interested in her if they found out. Her medical file should be kept off of the computer system and locked in the CMO's safe, and her personnel file in yours."
Hammond nodded. "Speaking of which, your reinstatement has been cleared, Doctor. I still haven't been able to permanently fill the CMO billet. It's yours... if you want it."
Janet exchanged a quick look with Kris. "I'll take it, General."
"Then Janet is to be my doctor my only doctor." As the general drew in a breath to object, Kris cut him off. "Janet is the only one familiar with my unique physiology and has the specific training to treat me. She can, of course, have others assist her, but that is up to her."
Hammond looked at Janet and before he could even open his mouth she spoke.
"She's right, sir. If Kris is conscious she can enter into a healing meditation similar to Teal'c's kelnorim and self-heal. If she's unconscious I'm the only one familiar with her unique physiology. I've been her doctor for over five years now."
"You're also her wife."
"I know. We have a bond and it's exactly why the Nox taught me to use it to treat her."
Hammond sighed knowing he was beat. "Very well. You do realize that means any time Kris is off-world you will be required to stay here on the base, regardless of how long the mission."
"That's fine, sir. Cassie's in college now. I would just be going home to an empty house. I'd just as soon be here to welcome her home," she said with a smile.
"Alright. I'll make sure that you are assigned permanent quarters here on the base."
A few other things were worked out before the women left, such a settlement package for Kris which included enough to purchase transportation and clothes, ID, driver's license, social security card, etc. everything needed to be a 'person' on Earth and a citizen of America.
Kris also told Hammond that anything having to do with herself or Janet should be classified and put into a secured file the Phoenix file.
Finally, Janet and Kris were able to leave the base. The general told them to take whatever time they needed to get acclimated and settled in. He had an airman drive them to Janet's house.
The house, of course, had been left to Cassie, and the mortgage insurance paid it off. Janet wasn't sure what was going to happen with the insurance company, but Hammond said the Air Force would square things one way or the other, so she didn't need to worry about it.
Janet inserted the key Hammond had given her in the front door. She hesitated.
"What's wrong?" Kris asked.
"It's been a while since... I've been here."
Kris put her hands on her wife's shoulders and turned Janet around to look into her eyes. "It's okay, love. I'm right here with you."
Janet closed her eyes as she took solace in Kris's warm embrace. "It's probably stuffy inside and a mess."
"I don't care. It's your home."
Janet pulled back and looked into impossibly dark eyes. "It's our home. But it doesn't have to be. We can sell it and buy a new place."
"And why would we want to do that?" Kris asked with a smile. "This is where you raised your daughter. You have a lot of memories here, Janet."
"God, I love you." Janet kissed Kris before turning back around and opening the front door.
When the couple entered the house, it was immediately apparent that someone had very recently cleaned the place. There was a pleasant, light citrus scent in the air.
"Janet." Kris pointed out a note on the table in the foyer.
The doctor picked up the note and opened it.
I didn't know when you'd get back from off-world, but figured you wouldn't feel like having to clean house when you did. Welcome home.
PS: Be warned, the colonel is already planning a welcome home party for you. Don't be surprised if the team shows up for an 'impromptu' BBQ.
Kris slipped her arms around Janet's waist from behind and kissed the side of her neck. "She's a good friend," she said softly.
"Yes, she is. Sam's been my best friend for a long time."
"And she was your lover."
"For a little while."
"This can't be easy for her."
"Sam's always been a person of honor and integrity." Janet turned in her wife's arms and slipped her own arms around Kris's neck. "You're a lot alike, you know."
"Hmm, does that mean I have competition?" Kris asked playfully.
"No one could ever compete with you, my love. You are my heart and soul," Janet replied seriously. They kissed. "Come on, let me show you around."
Janet was sitting in the corner of the couch with her feet up on the coffee table. Kris was stretched out on the couch, leaning against her wife with her head pillowed against Janet's chest. Janet's fingers slowly carded through Kris's silky hair as they watched some TV.
"I love this."
"What? The TV show?" Janet asked.
Kris let out a bark of laughter. "No, silly. I love time spent like this with you."
Janet kissed the top of Kris's head. "I do, too." She took a deep breath and let it out. "I'm afraid we won't have nearly as much time like this once we start at the SGC."
The doorbell rang.
Janet dropped another kiss on the top of her wife's head. "I'll get that." She slipped out from under Kris and went to the front door. She smiled when she opened it.
"Hey, Doc! We bring steaks and beer."
"I guess you better come on in then, Colonel."
Daniel, Teal'c, and Sam followed him in, each carrying a grocery bag full of food.
Sam paused next to Janet. "I warned you he'd do this."
Janet smirked. "I'm surprised he managed to wait until we'd been home three days."
"Me, too," the blonde said with a chuckle. She started to head to the kitchen but Janet stopped her with and on her arm.
"For everything. You've been so helpful and supportive through everything recently. Thank you."
"I told you: I'll always be your friend."
"I know. I just want you to know I appreciate everything you've done."
"You're welcome," she said with a small smile.
Jack took command of the party, directing everything and refusing to let Janet do anything. He and the rest of the team had brought more than just steaks and beer. They'd also brought potato salad, coleslaw, rolls, baked beans, soda, and booze... and cake.
After the steaks were cooked and everyone was seated at the dining room table Jack stood up. Everyone looked at him expectantly.
"You all know I'm not one for fancy speeches, but there are a couple of things I'd like to say. First off, Doc... it just hasn't been the same around here without you. We've all missed you, I've missed you. We're glad you're back."
"Thank you, Colonel," Janet said with a smile. "But you do know that won't get you out of your annual physical, which by my calculation is due very soon."
Jack grinned. "As long as it's you doing it, I won't even try to hide this time. So go ahead and schedule it. I'll be on time."
"Pfft. I'll believe that when I see it," Janet quipped.
"Jack, sit down and let's eat. The steaks are getting cold," Daniel pointed out.
"I just have one other thing to say." He turned and looked at Sam. "Carter."
"Catch." He tossed a small box to her and then sat down.
Fortunately Sam had good reflexes and caught the box. "What's this?"
"Open it up and find out."
Sam opened the small box to reveal silver oak leaves.
"Congratulations, Lt. Colonel," Jack with a grin. "Now we can eat."
"Sam! That's great!" exclaimed Daniel.
"A well deserved promotion, Colonel Carter."
"Congratulations, Sam," Janet said as she leaned over and gave her a quick hug.
Kris mostly sat back and observed that evening. She asked a few questions that prompted the others to cheerfully tell stories about Janet from their perspective. Even though Daniel was a natural storyteller, Jack was the one who regaled them with one outrageous tale after another that evening. And it was obvious that Jack took great pride in trying to get under Janet's skin and embarrassing her. But Janet wasn't rising to the bait. She was laughing just as hard as everyone else and even told a few stories at her own expense.
Teal'c was the designated driver and ended up driving a drunk colonel and archeologist home. After the men left, Janet and Sam relaxed in the living room. Kris had insisted on cleaning up in the kitchen by herself. It was mostly just a matter of rinsing the dishes and putting them in them in the dishwasher.
It had been a chilly fall night, so a fire had been started in the fireplace. Sam and Janet were sitting on the floor leaning against the couch, sipping some wine that Janet had opened after the men had left. Janet got up to put another log on the fire.
"Is that a new picture on the mantle?" Sam asked.
"Yeah." Janet handed it to Sam before placing the new log on the dying fire.
"Who is it?"
"That's Lena, Kris's first wife."
"Oh." Sam paused. "She was pretty."
Janet nodded in agreement. "She was a remarkable woman. I wish I'd gotten the chance to know her." She took the picture and placed it back on the mantle, gazing at it.
"It doesn't bother you to have her picture here? Especially on the mantle with all the other 'special' pictures."
"Not at all. I'm the one that placed it there." She turned and looked at Sam. "I would never ask Kris to forget about her. She loved Lena very much. I also know how much she loves me."
"That telepathic link, huh?"
Janet smiled. "Something like that. But I'd know even without the bond we have. She shows me in so many ways, and I feel it... in my soul."
"Anyone need a refill?" Kris called from the kitchen as she finished up.
"Nope. We're good, honey."
Kris joined the other two with her own glass of wine and they relaxed in front of the fire and talked. A few questions by Sam got both Janet and Kris to open up and talk about their life on Jidiri.
It hadn't escaped Sam's notice that Janet and Kris, while not being 'in everyone's face' about their relationship, were a very tactile couple. They were almost always in some form of physical contact, whether they were holding hands, or one had her arm around the other, or they were simply touching. But now that the men were gone, the two were even more affectionate with each other. Kris was sitting, as Sam was, on the floor leaning against the couch. Janet was sitting between her wife's legs leaning back against Kris who had her arm around Janet's waist.
Kris set her wineglass on the end table, pushing a framed picture aside to make room.
"Is that a new picture of you, Janet?" Sam asked. "I don't remember that one."
Kris picked up the picture and handed it to Sam.
"Well, it's sort of new. It was taken at the park on Jidiri over three years ago," Janet said with a smile.
"You look really happy."
"It was taken just a few days after we were married." Kris couldn't keep from smiling as she gave Janet a squeeze. "It's my favorite picture of her," she said. "Of course, she looked a little different just a few minutes after that picture was taken," she added with a grin.
"What do you mean?"
"She means she dumped me in the pond right after that," Janet said with a chuckle.
Sam looked at them surprised.
"Well, I had to cool your jets somehow before you got us arrested for public indecency."
Janet elbowed her wife's ribs playfully. "Right. Like you weren't a willing participant. Besides, you should have known it wouldn't work," she said with a smirk. "Anyway, there's no law enforcement on Jidiri."
Kris actually blushed. "Yeah, well... I think we scared the fish."
Janet sat up, twisted, and gave her wife a kiss. "But we had fun."
Sam chuckled, but was having more than a little trouble picturing Janet as a publicly demonstrative person. As two Air Force officers they could never have risked such behavior when they dated. And even though she'd been affectionate with Kris when the guys were around, once they left Janet had let her guard down completely. Sam realized the trust Janet was demonstrating in their friendship... and it felt good. It was also obvious that Janet was really happy.
"I know you two were friends for quite a while before you got involved, but who approached whom about becoming more than friends?" Sam asked.
"Janet did but only because she beat me to it."
"Yeah. And how long would I have had to wait if I'd left it up to you?" teased Janet.
Kris grabbed Janet's waist and started to tickle her. Janet quickly set her wineglass on the table as she laughed and tried to still her wife's hands.
"Are you saying I wouldn't be worth the wait?" Kris asked.
Amid her laughter Janet managed to squirm out of Kris's grasp, turned, kneeled in front of her attacker, took Kris's face in both of her hands and really laid one on her. "Of course you'd be worth the wait. I waited my whole life for you. I was born to love you."
Kris knew she was grinning like a fool as she murmured, "Sweet talker."
Janet stood, picked up her empty wineglass and took a couple of steps towards the kitchen. She looked back over her shoulder with a smirk. "I need some way to keep from being tickled to death." She continued on her way. "Do you want some more wine?"
"No thank you. I've had plenty."
"How about you, Sam?"
Kris got up to go to the bathroom so Sam joined Janet in the kitchen.
"You need help with anything?" Sam asked.
"No. I'm just putting the cake away. Kris took care of everything else." She put the leftover cake in the refrigerator.
"You've changed, Janet."
Janet looked at the blonde in surprise. "I have?"
"Yes, you have. You smile and laugh a lot more than you used to. You're... freer, more relaxed... happier. I know Kris has a lot to do with it. I think... It's obvious you two were meant to be together." They hugged. "I'm so happy for you, Janet."
Janet knew what Sam words meant she had finally come to a resolution about her feelings for Janet and Janet's marriage to Kris. "I'm glad to hear to you say that. Your friendship means so much to me, Sam, and I didn't want anything to come between us. Thank you so much."
"Yes, thank you, Sam, for everything."
The two friends parted and looked at Kris where she stood in the doorway. She walked over and slipped her arm around her wife's shoulders as Janet's arm snaked around Kris's waist. Kris held her hand out and Sam took it. They shook hands as they exchanged warm smiles.
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