DISCLAIMER: The story, characters and everything regarding SG-1 belong to MGM, Gekko, Secret Productions etc. They are not mine and never will be.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Where do I start? I have had trouble writing for a long time now. The words stopped flowing. But tonight, somehow, they just came. I opened up Word and just let it out. It was beautiful. It felt so good to be able to write again. It energized my soul, and made me happy once again.
SPOILERS: For 'Heros' from season 7, and several from season 8 and 9. Set during the events of Ripple Effect, season 9.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
When you were gone
Sam lay there in her quarters and thought of the last few years.
It had been so long since she had seen the smile on Janet's face, but she never could forget the radiance of that single smile. It was as if a holy light filled the room. It was a miracle. She was a miracle.
But that had been taken away from Sam, in the blink of an eye. She'd been through the 'what if 's and the 'if only I ' a thousand times, a million. Nothing was as bright or as fulfilling as Janet's smile, and Sam knew that there never would be.
She had deluded herself with Jack, made a mess with Pete, and still nothing could fill the void that Janet's death had left. The Goa'uld were gone, a new threat stood in their stead. When would it end? Would it ever end? She didn't understand how such evil beings could live, and the one true love of her life could be taken away.
She had taken Cassandra in, and raised her as best she could. She tried to live up to Janet's legacy, but failed miserably. Cassie had withdrawn from everything, except science. She thought that if she became the best she could then somehow, just somehow, she'd find a way to bring her family back. All of them.
Sam tried to tell her it was impossible, that they were gone, and although Cassie knew that on some level, she needed to do it, she needed to try. Sam couldn't blame her. Apart from Cassie, and her failed attempts at mediocre happiness, Sam had thrown herself into her own work. Although this was typical of her, it was with a new vigour. But the hole wouldn't fill. Janet could never be forgotten or replaced. Never.
The strangest thing had happened over the last few months. Daniel had been to another galaxy telepathically, Ba'al took the term 'mini-me' to the extreme, only proving his egotistical ways, and Orlan came back as a kid. Man that was weird! Surely, as an Ancient he'd have known what she'd been through. Maybe that had made the decision easier, knowing that there was only one person for Sam. A ghost.
But all that was nothing compared to what was happening now. SG-1. Lots of them. Sam could barely believe her eyes, walking into a room full of herself. It was certainly a sight to behold. She didn't even think that Janet would have believed it. Not even if she'd kissed each one! Ok. That was just wishful thinking of Sam's behalf, only if she could pretend to be each of herself, over and over again.
Sam was sick of herself! 'Would you like a coffee?' 'Would you like some blue-jello?' 'How's your Jack going?' 'Been to Atlantis yet?' 'Have you thought of ?' She was sick of them! All of them! All she wanted was to be left alone.
The only place she could find solace was her quarters, with the doors locked. Numerous times she had heard herself calling from the other side, and each time she just lay on the bed, curled in the foetal position, silent. She reached for one of the pillows and held it tightly in her arms. God, she wished Janet was here. Unfortunately, thinking this at least twice a day hasn't done her any good as of yet.
Now there was another knock at the door. It was the last straw; whoever was on the other side was just about to receive a verbal beating. She had had it up to here with the whining, the endless questions, and the scientific debates with herself. She'd been beating herself up about not telling Janet how she felt for years, screaming at herself seemed like a piece of cake now.
Sam swung the door open. But instead of yelling, screaming and/or cursing, her body froze. It was impossible. It couldn't be. There was no way in the universe it was possible!
Janet. Janet Fraiser. THE Janet Fraiser that she had spent years crying herself to sleep over. Sam was shaking now, obvious shock setting in. It looked like Janet. Those were the same warm brown eyes that Janet had. Was this really her? Could it really be?
"J Janet?" Sam stammered in disbelief.
"Yes Sam. It's me." Janet stared back at her.
Now Sam was frozen from indecision. Should she hug Janet? Ask how she's been? Kiss her? Or just collapse from the shock of facing the ghost of her one true love?
Lucky for Sam Janet had some experience reading her. Janet stepped forward and wrapped her arms around Sam's shoulders. Sam immediately reacted, wrapping her own around Janet's petite waist. They both held each other tightly, Sam more so than Janet.
The tears started to flow. There was no sobbing or sniffling, just raw, saturated, emotional tears flowing down her cheeks. How could this be? How could she be so blessed to have Janet in her arms again?
Janet loosened her grip, ready to let go and try to explain why she was there. But Sam wouldn't let go. She couldn't. After every 'what if' she'd thought, there was one she finally had the chance to act on.
"I love you." She blurted. It wasn't the romantic or tactful way in which she would have liked to proclaim her love for the Doctor; it was more desperate than anything. She couldn't bear to let the chance to tell Janet how she truly felt slip through her fingers, like she had countless times before, before her Janet had gone.
"I know, honey." Janet whispered caringly, softly running her fingers through Sam's hair. "Let's sit down. There's a few thing I need to tell you."
"Me too." Sam said as she let go and grabbed Janet's hand, gently dragging her to the bed.
They sat down, knees touching and hands clasped together. Sam couldn't take her eyes off Janet. She was afraid that if she did then she'd wake up and it would have all been a dream. If it was, then she wished she was in a coma, and that the vision would never fade.
"Janet I need to tell you how I feel. I need to tell you what I should have years ago. I love you. I have since the day I met you, it just took me a while to realise how much." The tears were back. "I should have said something before you left. I knew something was going to happen. I felt it inside me. I just thought it would be that stupid camera guy getting his just reward. But I was wrong. I was so wrong. I should have told you I loved you. I should have told you every day, every second I could."
"Sam " Janet tried to stop her, but to no avail.
"I love you, Janet. I love you more than I have anyone in my entire life. You are my soul mate. The only person I truly want to spend my life with, to grow old together, to sit on the back deck with while drinking coffee and watching the sun rise. I shouldn't have wasted all the time in the lab. I should have been with you and Cassie. I should have told you. I should have told you everything. I love you. I've never stopped loving you, and I never will."
"Sam, I know." Janet said, a little louder this time. "I know how you feel. I've known in my heart for a long time. I was scared. I was scared that I was imagining how our friendship had evolved. But I wasn't."
"How is this possible?" Sam asked the million dollar question.
"I'm from another world, another Earth, one where we are together. You and me, we're together, and happy."
Sam breathed in sharply.
"We're married. Cassie is nearly finished school. We're both really proud of her. And we're having a baby. You're pregnant, with our child."
"We're gonna have a baby?" Sam sobbed.
Janet nodded, "Mhmm. You and I."
Sam smiled and cried at the same time. She didn't know what to think, or to feel for that matter.
"But the Ori plague is on Earth. It has spread all over the world. People are dying, and more will die if we don't find a cure. That's why I was out there Sam. I was searching for it. You're on maternity leave, you're safe, but others aren't. I need to find it Sam. I need to save our baby."
Now it was Janet's turn to cry. Sam couldn't bear to see her in pain. She leant forward and wrapped her arms around the Doctor, holding her close to her body. She had never been good with words, she just wished that this was enough to comfort the woman she loved, and who miraculously loved her back. Not her. Not the real her. The other her. The lucky one
"I'll find a way Janet. I'll find a way, I promise."
Sniffling, Janet said, "I know Sam. You're the most brilliant person on Earth, on any Earth."
"I don't know about that " Sam chuckled nervously.
"You are." Janet said unwaveringly.
Sam looked into her eyes with uncertainty, but Janet believed it with all her heart, and wouldn't let Sam doubt it. She leant forward slowly, and touched her lips to Sam's. The contact was soft and caring at first, but Sam was soon washed over by all the hidden grief she'd felt since her Janet had died. She deepened the kiss, grateful that Janet was allowing her this brief reprieve from the heart wrenching reality she'd been existing in.
They laid there together, bodies entwined, as Janet spoke of their lives together at Sam's request. She wanted to know everything, every happy detail of the life that one of her got the pleasure of spending with Janet. Once Janet had finished recalling all she could Sam sighed heavily with painful remembrance, as it was her turn to recall the cruel years in Janet's absence.
"When you were gone "
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