Summary: Janet brings Sam home after the mission to destroy Seth. But Sam still has some issues to resolve
Sam fell asleep in the car on the way home from the base. Janet just hoped that she could wake her long enough to get her into the house.
"Hey, baby, we're home," she opened the passenger door and leaned over to undo Sam's seatbelt.
"Mmm tired. sleep here," Sam slurred. Janet was momentarily worried about how unfocussed her lover seemed to be. This was unlike Sam. Had the use of the hand device affected her somehow after all? It was the first time that she had used it offensively. Or was it a residual affect of the nishta?
"Sam?" Her hand gentled Sam's warm cheek. Sam turned her face into Janet's hand for a moment and then her eyes opened fully. Janet lost herself in the blue depths for a moment.
"We're home," Janet confirmed, standing up and holding out her hand. Sam allowed herself to be pulled to her feet. She swayed dizzily for a moment and Janet steadied her.
"You're a lot stronger than you look, you know," Sam giggled, reaching out to touch Janet's cheek, brushing a lock of dark hair back behind her ear. "Like steel and velvet." She blinked sleepily. "Steel and velvet."
"Come on, sleepyhead," Janet walked the taller woman towards the front door, Sam's arm draped over her shoulders. Luckily for Janet, Cassie was still up and opened the front door for them.
"Thank you, sweetie. Can you help me get Sam upstairs? She's just about out on her feet. She's had a tough day." Seeing the look of alarm that crossed her foster daughter's face Janet hastened to reassure her. "She's not injured, just exhausted."
"Just need some shut-eye, Cassie," Sam smiled, her voice slurring a little. "I'll be fine tomorrow, I promise."
Sam slept restlessly. Despite her own need for sleep, Janet watched over her for hours, soothing her back into deeper more restful sleep as soon as it looked as if she was going into a nightmare. Eventually she fell asleep herself, curled into Sam's side, one hand resting lightly on Sam's abdomen.
Janet jerked awake as Sam sat up suddenly, breathing heavily, hunching over as if her chest pained her. Tears were tracking down her cheeks. Janet sat up, began running one hand across Sam's shaking shoulders and down her back in a soothing motion whispering soft reassurances to the disorientated woman. Her other hand rested against Sam's cheek and brow for a moment and then checked her pulse. Sam wasn't overly warm, despite being drenched in sweat but her pulse was racing. "It's okay, Sam,' she said softly. 'You're safe at home, with me. You're safe." Sam still had not spoken. She realised that Sam was trembling and that her nightshirt was soaked. "Let's get you warm and comfortable again, shall we?" Kneeling in front of Sam, she coaxed her into raising her arms so that she could lift the nightshirt over Sam's head. There was a warm towel on the rack in the bathroom and a clean nightshirt. Quickly Janet retrieved them, glancing at the clock. It was a little past three a.m. When she re-entered the bedroom there was no sign of Sam.
Dropping the towel and nightshirt on the bed Janet looked around the room. A soft noise alerted her and Janet went around the side of the bed to find Sam crouched on the floor in a posture of obeisance and submission. As Janet reached down to touch her, Sam raised her face, her eyes wide, her expression beseeching. 'Tell me how to please you, my lady' she whispered. 'All I want is to please you. I live to serve.' Janet realised that either the nishta had somehow reactivated in Sam's system or that her lover was locked in some kind of dream state that mimicked the effects of the nishta on her psyche making her unquestioningly compliant.
Either way, Janet had to snap her out of it.
"Sam, please, I need you to sit on the bed for me. Can you do that?"
"Of course, my lady," Sam scrambled up to sit on the bed. Janet dried her off, trying not to meet the gaze of those wide blue eyes. She got Sam into a clean nightshirt and then fetched her medical kit from the closet. Sam's bloodpressure was low but her pulse and heart rate were normal. There were a hundred and one tests she would have liked to have done but just did not have the facilities.
"Sam, can you understand me? Do you know where you are?"
"With you, my love," Sam whispered, reaching out to touch Janet's cheek. "That is all that matters." Her eyes were dilated, a thin rim of blue showing around the huge pupil, the expression of adoration on her face almost heartbreakingly earnest, impossibly innocent.
"Sam, do you remember what happened today? Do you remember Seth?"
"Lord Seth," Sam whispered, a frown clouding her face. She shuddered. "No!"
"You and the rest of SG1 infiltrated his compound. You went in there to free his followers, to prevent a massacre," Janet persisted. "You were captured and drugged. Do you remember?"
"No. Not Seth. Only you. Only you."
"The Nishta, Sam. Remember? It affected your mind. But you're clear of it now."
Sam gazed at her uncomprehendingly. Janet knew she had to shock her out of it. Preferably not by electrocuting her this time.
"Wait for me here," she said, gentling Sam's cheek in a familiar gesture between the two women. She found it hard to meet the ardent gaze. She went into the ensuite bathroom and turned on the shower, setting the thermostat to its coldest setting. Crude but hopefully effective.
"Sam, come to me, please," she said and in a moment Sam was at her side.
"How may I serve you, my love?"
"I want you to get into the shower, Sam and stay there until I tell you to come out," Janet said firmly. Or you get out yourself and deck me for getting you freezing cold and wet.
"Of course my love," Sam said, walking into the cubicle and standing under the cold spray without complaint. Janet closed the cubicle door and waited. Two minutes passed and through the frosted glass she watched as Sam's shape abruptly slumped against the tiles and then smiled in tearful relief as she heard her lover's voice raised in forceful complaint.
"Janet - what the fuck is going on? I'm freezing!"
She was back. Janet opened the cubicle door and dragged Sam out. "It's okay, you're okay," she said, wrapping a towel around her.
"Why am I taking a cold shower in the middle of the night?" Sam got out between chattering teeth. "I don't remember."
"It's okay. You had a nightmare. And well, you had a few problems breaking out of it. It was as if you were under the effects of the nishta again."
Sam shivered, drew back, tears starting in her eyes. "Did. did I hurt you?"
"Just the opposite. You promised to obey me. In fact you kind of wanted to worship me." Janet deliberately kept her tone light as she led the dazed, shivering woman back into the bedroom and helped her out of her saturated nightshirt. She got another towel and began to rub Sam's hair dry.
"God, I am such a fuck-up," Sam whispered, burying her face in her hands.
"The day you had, you're entitled to a few bad dreams," Janet said. "You went through a lot today - the capture, the nishta, freeing Seth's followers."
"Is that what's bothering you?"
'Janet, the fact is that I killed a Goa'uld with its own weaponry and I found it so easy - exhilarating even - and it scares me to death. I am enough like them to activate their technology. I just have to figure for myself what that means.'
'It does not mean that you are evil, Sam. Never believe that.' She reached up to touch Sam's face, gentling her cheek. Sam closed her eyes, tears slipping down her cheeks as she leaned into Janet's touch, taking comfort from it as always.
"Tell me about your nightmare, Sam," Janet asked quietly. Sam looked at her as if asking permission to touch her. Janet shifted herself back so that she was leaning against the padded headboard. Sam wrapped herself around her, her head resting on Janet's abdomen, her arm around her hips, their legs tangled together. Janet paused for a moment until she was sure Sam was settled, then she gently began to card her fingers through Sam's short blonde hair. "Tell me, Sam."
"First I was back in the tunnels. Seth was in front of me. I raised my hand to him, the hand device activating, I saw the look of surprise on his face. I could hear my dad's voice in my mind, telling me to do it, to access the part of me that knew how to activate the device that knew how to kill Seth. He told me that I had the will within me." She shuddered. "And I did it and I watched him die."
"He would have killed you, everyone Sam. You did the right thing."
"That isn't the end of the dream, Janet. I turn to the others and my eyes are glowing. I raise my hand again and I shoot them down one by one - Dad, Daniel, Jack, Teal'c. And then there's you. I don't kill you but I use the device on you to bring you to your knees. I cause you all the pain I am capable of inflicting. I make you beg me to kill you, to end the pain." She sobbed, clutching her chest again as if it hurts. "And all I feel is pleasure. You are dying at my feet and all I can feel is pleasure."
Suddenly she pushed herself away from Janet. "I don't know how you can stand to be near me knowing what I did, what I am capable of."
"Sam - don't do this to yourself!" Janet pleaded, catching hold of Sam's hand.
"You don't understand, Janet. It took Kendra years to master their weapons after she was possessed. She was a Goa'uld for a long time. I had Jolinar for a matter of days. The second time I pick up that weapon I am capable of using it against one of the oldest and most powerful Goa'uld. What does that mean, Janet? What does that make me?"
"Well, I don't for one minute think that it makes you evil," Janet said earnestly. "The Tokra can use the same technology after all. We've established that it's one of the more unusual side effects of having naquada in your bloodstream."
"I know. Really I do. But that doesn't make it better. It just shows how different I've become. How..."
"Alien?" Janet asked softly.
Sam nodded. "You know better than anyone how my body chemistry has changed. I try to make the best of it, to use it to help the team. I mean being able to sense the presence of a Goa'uld has come in useful more than once. But killing someone just by willing it! I swear, Janet, the Colonel looked at me as if he was afraid of me. I am afraid of me!"
"Sam, forgive me if I'm not understanding, but you are a soldier. You have killed before. Is this any different to shooting someone with a gun?"
"Yes!" Sam whispered. Her eyes were haunted. "I put my hand out and I buried this guy a couple of feet into the ground. I broke just about every bone in his body and reduced most of his internal organs to pulp. Just by willing it. That terrifies me!'
"You had no choice."
"But what about the host? I know what it's like to be in that position. To be a prisoner in your own body, a helpless bystander to the evil a Goa'uld is capable... "
"You had no choice," Janet repeated patiently.
"It was so easy, Janet. I just raised my hand and pushed with my mind. Summoned my will and..."
"From what I understand you took a hell of a chance, Sam. You did not know whether it would work or not. And you did not hesitate. You put yourself in the line of fire. You were more interested in stopping that monster and saving innocent people than with your own welfare. How can you possible think that you could remotely be like the Goa'uld? I've seen you, more times than I can count, put yourself at risk to help someone. You care about people, and not just people you know, everyone. That hasn't changed."
Sam's body language told Janet that she wasn't convinced.
"Sam, look at me. You always say that I'm a good judge of character, right?"
Sam nodded, but still did not meet her gaze.
"Then believe me when I say that you are a good person. Do you think the monster you fear becoming would have gone through the conversation we've had this evening? Do you think they would have had nightmares about they did, have regretted killing the host? No. But you did. You're not a monster, Sam. You could never be a monster. What happened to you with Jolinar allows you to access a power that the rest of us don't possess. And sometimes you're going to have to use that power to do what seem to be bad things but for the greater good. You killed Seth. You saved almost fifty people from the kind of enslavement that I don't want to imagine and probably from a horrible death once Seth got tired of his little game and decided to move on again. You saved them, Sam. You are a good person, never doubt that."
"I am a good person," Sam said softly. She met Janet's gaze at last. "If I ever."
"Never gonna happen," Janet said firmly. "You'll never go dark side, Sam. It's not in your nature. It's not in your soul." She got into bed, made a space for her lover. "Come back to bed now, sleep. You won't dream any more tonight, I promise."
Sam climbed into bed beside her and Janet held her close, pillowing her head on Sam's breast, one arm across her abdomen, her legs entwined with Sam's. She felt a soft kiss on her brow. "Thank you for loving me," Sam said softly. "For being here."
"No where else I want to be," Janet said softly. "No where in the world."