Summary: Hathor makes her presence known at the SGC.
"Ernie?" David Richmond sounded pissed. "Where the hell have you been? I've been trying to get through to you on the 'phone for days now."
"I told you it would take time," Ernie replied, barely concealing his impatience. "It's not like you've given me much to go on. Name, cellphone number and the fact that she's probably still in the air force. You gotta give me time, man."
"How much time?" David's voice was low and dangerous.
"Call me in a week," Ernie said. "I've made some progress, but I'm waiting on information from some of my contacts. It's not an exact science, you know. These things are sensitive."
"I'll call you in three days," David said. "And you'd better hope you've got some answers for me."
= = =
"I'm gonna get a dog," O'Neill announced, as SG-1 sat round the campfire on P3X-988. "I always used to have a dog. I like dogs."
Daniel smiled back. "Great idea Jack. As long as you've got somebody lined up to care for it when you're away. Don't look at me," he held his hands up. "Allergies."
"I know," O'Neill said impatiently. "Anyway, space monkey, you're away most times that I am. No, I talked to Siler. He said he'll take it, and if he can't I'm sure I can find somebody who can. I've got a big yard, so it can be out during the day. I'll build it a kennel!" he smiled widely.
You'll build the kennel, Sir?" Sam asked tentatively. She knew that the colonel had his strengths, but judging by the number of 'doohickies' he'd broken in her lab, she doubted that manual dexterity was one of them.
"Build, buy, what's the difference?" O'Neill said with a crooked grin.
"No difference," Sam smiled. "None at all."
"What's up with you Carter, don't you like dogs?" O'Neill teased.
"Me Sir?" Sam asked. "I love dogs. I think they're great. One day I want us to have a dog, the bigger the better," she smiled at the thought.
"Us?" O'Neill asked, picking up on Sam's slip of the tongue. "So there's an us now is there Carter?"
Daniel looked round. "You never told me you were dating!" he said, an eager, open look on his face.
Sam blushed. "No, I didn't," she said, realizing that she'd given herself away. "It's early days," she said.
"Not too early to be considering a dog!" O'Neill said. "C'mon Carter, spill. Who's the lucky guy?"
"It's not important," Sam tried to backtrack.
"Just a casual thing, huh?" O'Neill pressed.
"No," Sam said in a quiet voice. "Not casual at all actually Sir."
"But private," Daniel said, coming to Sam's rescue.
"Yeah," Sam shot him a grateful look. "For the moment."
"Ah c'mon, Carter, I want to know what geek has managed to capture your heart!" O'Neill grinned widely.
"I believe Captain Carter is uneasy at this interrogation," Teal'c intoned in a serious voice. "I am sure that when she is ready, she will share the information with us."
"I will," Sam said. "I swear. Just not now," her tone was firm, and she stood up. "I'm gonna hit the sack," she said. "I'll be ready for my watch in two hours. G'night guys," she said, and walked off before she said anything she regretted. A big part of her desperately wanted to talk about Janet, about her many perfections, about how happy she made her. But she knew the rules. One day, she'd know them well enough to tell them.
= = =
"You told them what?" Janet was grinning.
"I told them there's an 'us'," Sam said glumly. "Now they're gonna be watching my every move. I'm so sorry, Jan," she looked up at Janet, misery evident in her face. "I didn't mean to make life more difficult."
"Would it be such a big deal if they knew?" Janet asked, keeping her tone light. "After all, they are your friends. My friends too," she added. "They wouldn't judge us."
"I know that," Sam still sounded distinctly unhappy. "I just don't want to make things awkward. Don't ask, don't tell, all that bull."
"And it is bull," Janet reminded Sam. "My guess is that the colonel and Daniel think so too. And Teal'c. Teal'c has such respect for you baby. Only last week, he told me," she couldn't keep the proud smile off her face, "that he thinks you are one of the most formidable warriors he's ever met."
"Did he?" Sam brightened slightly. "Wow. That's some compliment, coming from Teal'c."
"Try and relax," Janet advised. "Sure we're not gonna advertise our relationship. But I'll be honest, Sam, I'm not gonna try all that hard to hide it either. Sometimes we come in to the mountain in the same car. Let people draw whatever conclusions they want. Anyway, surely one day soon, the rules will change. God," she looked pensive. "I can't wait for that day to come. I want to be able to tell everybody just how happy I am. How my life has been totally transformed by this sexy Air Force captain."
"Has it?" Sam's eyebrow quirked. "Now there's a coincidence. My life has been transformed by this hot little doctor I came across on the 21st floor of a top-secret underground complex."
"Well whaddaya know?" Janet grinned. "Love is in the air, huh?"
= = =
"Hey Sam," Janet said as she entered her lab half way through the next day. "What are you doing?"
Sam looked up, more than usually pleased to see Janet. "Hey," she said, real warmth in her voice. "Janet?" she said. "Have you noticed the way the men on the base are acting?" Sam was disconcerted, as she had had a very disturbing morning, with Daniel, the colonel and even General Hammond seemingly falling for the charms of the Goa'uld Hathor.
"Yes," Janet said, sounding frustrated. "You noticed too?"
"No kidding," Sam replied. "It all seems to be tied into the arrival of this Hathor person ... or, whatever she is. I'm researching her right now on the 'net. This is really Daniel's field, so I'm kinda starting from scratch. This one academic webpage theorizes that a bunch of the sex goddesses from different cultures were actually all the same woman. Hathor. The Greeks identified her with Aphrodite, there's Ishtar of Babylon, Astarte of Syria, Ceres of Rome... According to the stories, this woman had magical powers over men. She was supposed to be able to seduce them into doing anything for her. In almost every case, it describes them as 'drunk with her presence'.
"Well," Janet mused. "That would be how I'd describe our boys. What are we going to do Sam?"
Sam took a deep breath. "We have no choice," she said. "I suggest we neutralize her."
Janet nodded her agreement.
= = =
Janet went off to round up the few other women on the base, while Sam spoke with Teal'c, discovering to her great relief that he was unaffected by Hathor. They all worked tirelessly together to rid the SGC of Hathor's pernicious influence.
At times it looked like their efforts were going to fail, as they were overpowered, imprisoned and then, horrifyingly, Janet was shot. Sam's heart was in her mouth when she saw Janet take the hit in her shoulder, and wanted nothing more than to run to her side and take care of her. However, she saw Janet rise shakily to her feet, and knew she was going to be okay. Sam's military training kicked in, and she and the colonel sprinted to the armory to get tranquilizer darts to free the rest of the SGC personnel from Hathor's control.
Eventually, Sam and the colonel managed to liberate the rest of the SGC personnel from Hathor though, unfortunately, Hathor herself escaped through the Stargate before they were able to stop her. Sam had an unpleasant foreboding that this was not the last that they would see of her.
"Well done, Carter," O'Neill said, as he took Daniel's arm and started to lead him to the infirmary to have him checked out. Daniel was looking dazed and embarrassed, as his role in the whole debacle became cringe-makingly clear to him.
"Thank you Sir," Sam said, suddenly feeling drained and simultaneously greatly relieved that the danger was now over. She was itching to get down to the infirmary, to check on Janet.
"I mean it Carter," O'Neill said, "God knows what would have happened if you hadn't stepped in the way you did."
"It wasn't just me, Sir," Sam said modestly.
"You mobilized everyone," O'Neill said. "Okay, Danny boy, let's get you to Fraiser."
"It won't be Janet," Sam said. "She was hurt," Sam tried to keep her voice even as she reminded the colonel that Janet and Teal'c had been shot. "In fact, I think I'll just go check on her, is that okay Sir?"
"Knock yourself out Carter," O'Neill replied. "And tell her thanks from me, huh?"
"I will Sir," Sam was already half out of the door. She reached the elevator, but frustratingly it wasn't there. Unwilling to wait even a few seconds more than necessary, Sam decided to take the stairs. By the time she had climbed seven flights, she was breathing hard. She burst into the infirmary, and was relieved to see Sharon by the door. "Is she okay?" Sam demanded.
Sharon smiled. "She'll be fine, Sam," she said. "The bullet went right through. It's gonna hurt like hell for a while, but the bullet hasn't caused any lasting damage."
"I need to see her," Sam said. "Where is she?"
"She's in her office," Sharon replied. "I thought it would be more peaceful for her there. She's okay, Sam, she's been treated and she can go home tonight. As long as there's somebody to take care of her, that is."
Sam finally smiled. "Sorry," she said. "I've been rude. I was just worried."
"Of course you were," Sharon said. "She's in there. Waiting for you. She might be asleep, though. Those painkillers are strong."
"Thanks, Sharon," Sam put a grateful hand on her arm. "I appreciate it."
Quietly, Sam let herself into Janet's office, and was relieved to see the young doctor curled up asleep on the couch, wrapped in a warm blanket. Sam's eyes filled with tears as she approached her lover, and saw that her color was good and that she was sleeping peacefully. Her arm was in a sling, but otherwise she looked unhurt. Sam leant against the arm of the couch to steady herself. She couldn't help but think how this could have gone down; if the bullet had been a few inches lower... Sam inhaled sharply and banished the thought from her mind. Janet was going to be fine, and the SGC would get back to normal. This time.
Sam turned away to find a chair; she would wait until Janet awakened, and then she would take her home with her.
"No," Janet said in a quiet voice.
"Jan?" Sam spoke softly.
"No chair," Janet's words were slightly slurred. "Here. With me. On the couch." She opened her eyes and looked up at Sam. "Hold me for a bit," she asked.
Sam knelt down next to Janet, and ran her hand lovingly down her face. She kissed her tenderly. "Okay," she said simply. Very carefully, she helped Janet to sit up slightly, and slid in underneath her, pulling her back onto her lap. She pulled the blanket back over Janet, and ran a hand through her auburn locks. "How're you feeling?" she asked.
"Good," Janet said. "These drugs are great. Feel like I'm on a cloud," she reached out and took Sam's hand. "I love you," she said.
"I love you too, Jan," Sam said. "Thank God you're gonna be okay. We'll go home soon, huh? Unless you think you should stay here for a night?"
"Home," Janet said. "Please."
"We'll go to my place, it's closer, okay baby?" Sam asked.
"And you've got a bigger bed," Janet's voice sounded amused.
"Yeah," Sam smiled.
= = =
Half an hour later, Janet nudged Sam. "I think we'd better go," she said. "Before we get too comfortable."
"Whatever you want, Jan," Sam told her. "Wait here, I'll go get the car warmed up."
"Don't bother," Janet said. "Wanna stay with you. We'll go together."
"Are you sure?" Sam asked.
"Totally," Janet told her. "I don't want to be apart from you right now. Sharon'll get your purse from the locker room, then we can go, huh?"
"Okay, sweetie," Sam said.
= = =
O'Neill watched as his 2IC helped her friend to the car, and a sudden realization hit him. "So that's 'us' then, huh, Carter?" he said softly to himself as he watched Sam's arm sliding tenderly around the wounded doctor. "I would never have guessed. Well the doc's a lucky woman," he mused.
= = =
"How does that feel?" Sam asked Janet, as she tucked her into bed.
"Empty," Janet said.
"Huh?" Sam was confused.
"The bed," Janet was almost asleep. "Too empty. Hold me Sam, please."
Sam didn't need to be asked twice. She kicked off her shoes and climbed in next to Janet, being very careful not to jar her injured arm. Very carefully, Sam pulled Janet into her lap. "You were so brave," Sam whispered, running her hand through Janet's soft hair. "Try and sleep for a while. I'll call for take-out later. Just relax, baby, you're safe now," Sam felt Janet's breathing even out and within minutes she was asleep.
= = =
"Shit, the bruising's really come out," Sam told Janet the next morning as she helped her out of her nightshirt and saw the deep purple and red bruise that extended down half of Janet's arm and even part of her torso.
"I'm okay," Janet was sounding much stronger than the previous evening. "Another few days, you won't know I was ever hurt," she smiled. "I think you're gonna have to help me dress," she winced. "I'll never get my dress buttons done up."
"Oh no," Sam told her. "You're not going in today. General Hammond said you don't need to be back until after the weekend, and then only if you feel up to it."
Janet shook her head firmly. "I need to be there, Sam," she said. "We've gotta do the clean-up. Nobody else knows what tests we need to do on all the larvae, I need to check Daniel over thoroughly, I need to take another look at the colonel to make sure he's okay, that there's no lasting damage from nearly becoming a jaffa. There's too much to do, Sam. And I want to be there. I don't want anybody thinking I can't do my job." She looked pleadingly at Sam.
Sam could see that Janet was serious. "Okay," she compromised. "We'll go in, but only if you let me help you. You'll need another pair of hands to take samples anyway. And you are not staying late."
"Deal," Janet said. "Actually, I need to go back to my place at some stage, check the mail, pick up some clothes, water the plants, that sort of thing. So how about we go in, I do the really urgent stuff, then early afternoon I get somebody to give me a ride to my apartment, and you can swing by there after work and give me a ride back here?"
"Sounds like a plan," Sam leant forward and kissed Janet tenderly. "So long as you promise to tell me if you get too tired?"
"I swear," Janet smiled.
= = =
"Told ya I was okay, doc," O'Neill harrumphed as he did up his shirt again.
"I know colonel, but I have to check these things," Janet was firm. "I still need to see you every morning for the next week, just to make sure. No needles, I promise," she smiled.
= = =
"Those three should be marked for the centrifuge," Janet pointed to three test tubes, which Sam gathered up and labelled accordingly. "And that," Janet smiled wearily, "means we're done with the samples. Until the results come in tomorrow, that is." She leant back in her chair and rubbed the back of her neck.
"Tired?" Sam asked, moving behind her to massage her.
"A bit," Janet admitted. "Oh God that's good," she said, as Sam's strong hands worked at the tendons in her neck.
"You're all knots," Sam said gently. "You need to relax."
"I'm okay," Janet said. "C'mon," she turned in her chair to face Sam. "Let's get some lunch. Then I'll catch a ride home. And later," she grinned, "you can work out those knots for me, huh?"
Sam smiled. She wanted to take Janet in her arms and kiss her, but knew that she couldn't risk getting caught by the security cameras. "Okay," she said. "Will you try and catch a couple of hours' sleep this afternoon?" she asked.
Janet yawned. "Try and stop me," she grinned ruefully.
"I won't be late this evening," Sam told her as they made their way to the commissary.
"Good," Janet smiled. "I have plans for you."
"Dr Fraiser!" Sam pretended to be shocked. "You've gotta behave tonight. Remember you're injured."
"Oh I'm sure we can work something out," Janet winked.
= = =
"This is real good of you Daniel," Janet said, as she settled into the passenger seat of Daniel's car.
"It's no problem at all," Daniel said. "I've got to get to the museum anyway, and your apartment is on the way."
Janet smiled. "Well, I really appreciate it," she said.
= = =
An unfamiliar ringing sounded in Sam's lab, and it took her a while to realize that it was coming from her jacket. She smiled, it was Janet's cellphone. She remembered seeing it on the kitchen counter that morning, and slipping it in her jacket pocket, meaning to give it to Janet. But then she was distracted by Janet's attempt to lift a heavy bag into the car and, after scolding her, forgot all about the 'phone.
She reached into her jacket pocket and pulled the 'phone out. "Janet Fraiser's 'phone," she replied.
"Janet Fraiser?" the male voice sounded agitated. "Is that you Janet?"
"This is Janet's 'phone. I'm afraid Janet's not here right now. Can I take a message?" Sam asked politely.
"I need to speak to Janet Richmond, I mean Fraiser, right away," the voice replied. "This is a matter of extreme urgency."
"I'm so sorry," Sam replied. "She's left for the day. She should be back at home in five minutes or so," she looked at her watch. "I can call her there, get her to give you a call back?"
"She's going home?" the voice said. "No, you have to stop her."
Sam's blood ran cold. "What is this?" she demanded. "Is Janet in any danger? You have to tell me, I may be able to help."
At that moment, O'Neill stuck his head round Sam's door. Sam urgently beckoned him in.
"I'm sorry," the voice said. "I'll be quick. My name is Jake Alliss. I know Janet from before. I'm an old colleague, as well as her husband's psychiatrist. I've been trying to get hold of Janet for nearly three days now. I finally managed to persuade her old CO to give me her cell number."
"What's so urgent?" Sam asked. "I'm a close friend of Janet's, if she's in danger, you really must tell me."
"It's her husband," Alliss said, "I'm worried that he might do something. He's been seeing me for nearly six months, but when I saw him Monday, he was so angry. He told me he was getting back with Janet, that he had plans to persuade her to come home. And then he went missing. I tried all of Tuesday to contact him, but he won't answer his cell. His work said he didn't turn up. I may be wrong, but I've been seeing him twice a week, and I'm concerned that I'm seeing no improvement in him. I'm worried that he might be dangerous."
"You think he's gone to her apartment?" Sam's voice was not much above a whisper.
"I may be wrong," Alliss said.
"But you may not be," Sam said. "We'll do what we can. Can I get you on this number if I need you?"
"Sure," Alliss said. "Good luck. And hurry."
O'Neill saw Sam's face as she hung up the 'phone. "Call Daniel," Sam barked. "We have to stop Janet going home."
"Daniel doesn't have a cell," O'Neill said. "I keep telling him to get one."
"What???" Sam started to panic. "We have to get there. Janet's in danger."
"Meet me in the parking garage," O'Neill was already running down the corridor. "I'll get Teal'c. Bring your gun."
Sam reached her car seconds before O'Neill and Teal'c. "I'll drive," she said shortly, "my car's faster."
= = =
"Thanks, Daniel," Janet gave him a warm smile. "I'll see you tomorrow, huh?"
"You need a ride tomorrow morning?" Daniel asked.
"No, that's okay," Janet said. "Sam said she'd swing by."
She waved as he drove away, and let herself into the apartment block. She was looking forward to crashing on the couch for a few hours until Sam came to take her home. She smiled; already she thought of Sam's apartment as her 'home'. Anywhere Sam was would be home to her, she realized.
She let herself into the apartment, and kicked off her shoes. She headed toward the bedroom, planning to get out of her starchy uniform and find something more comfortable to wear. She switched on the light, and started as she saw a man sitting quietly in the corner chair, a knife in his hands.
"You changed your name," David Richmond said in a low, dangerous voice. "Did you think you could hide from me?"
Next: Face To Face