Summary: Janet wants to make sure that Sam's leg is fixed by the best surgeon she can find.
"We should call Ella," Janet said, as she sat in the helicopter, holding Sam's clammy hand. "Tell her we found her."
"Is her number in your phone?" Sharon asked, as she reached into her friend's pocket.
"I'll call," Sharon said, as she flicked the phone open.
= = =
Sam whimpered with pain as she was transferred from the helicopter gurney to the infirmary bed.
"I know," Janet's voice was soothing, "I know sweetie. You'll be feeling better soon, I swear." She stroked Sam's cheek gently. "We're gonna take real good care of you. How long until he gets here?" Janet asked, referring to renowned orthopedic surgeon Dale Steadman who, it just happened, was lecturing at the Academy hospital that week.
"He'll be here in under an hour," General Hammond appeared from nowhere. "How is she doctor?" he motioned to Sam.
"She's alive," Janet's voice was grim. "But he made a real mess of her leg. And her lungs are badly congested. I've started her on antibiotics. I can't give her any more pain relief until the operation though."
"Is she in much pain?" Hammond asked, concern in his voice.
Janet nodded miserably. "Yeah," her voice was thick. "Pretty bad," she said. "But it won't be for much longer, honey," she addressed Sam, her hand tangling in her hair. "Soon you'll be feeling so much better."
Sam started to cough, jarring her cracked ribs. "Jan?" she gasped.
"Don't try to talk sweetie," Janet said gently, as she unhooked a nasal cannula and fitted it to Sam, rubbing her arm reassuringly. She was concerned by the wheezing and gurgling sounds she could hear in Sam's chest. "There, is that better?" she asked.
Sam nodded, her eyes shut in pain.
"I'll give you some privacy," Hammond said. "You call me if you need anything from me, right?"
"Yes, sir," Janet said. "She'll be fine. I'll make sure of it."
Sam's eyes remained shut, as she reached out blindly for Janet's hand, grasping it tight when she found it.
Janet settled herself at Sam's head and very gently raised her lover so that she was partly in her lap. She whispered soothingly to her as she ran her hand through Sam's hair and over her face. "It won't be long now, sweetheart," she promised. "Soon you'll get all the good drugs, I swear."
Sam had never known pain like it. She tried to remain as still as possible in Janet's loving embrace. She was so relieved to have made it back. She had genuinely thought she might never see Janet again. The pain was indescribable, but it paled into insignificance when she thought of what it would be like never to see Janet again. She felt Janet's hand in her hair, on her cheek, wiping the sweat off her brow. She found it hard to breathe, even with the supplemental oxygen from the nasal cannula. She could feel Janet's other hand in her own, and felt reassured. She knew that Janet would do whatever she could to take the pain away, as soon as she could. She knew she didn't need to panic. Janet would take care of her now.
"You're gonna have an operation," Janet said quietly to Sam. "Fix your leg right up. And then, my darling, I'll take care of you until you're all better. I'll stay with you, I won't leave you. You'll be fine, sweetie. This is the worst bit, and it's nearly over, huh?"
Sam started to cough again, squeezing Janet's hand desperately as waves of pain crashed over her.
"Shh, sweetie," Janet said, reaching up and pulling an oxygen mask over her face. "It's gonna be alright. Try and relax if you can," she kissed Sam softly on the forehead. Finally she felt Sam's breathing calm, and held her gently in her arms.
Twenty minutes later, there was a knock on the door, and Teal'c entered the room. "Dr Fraiser," he said, "the surgeon has arrived. He would like to speak with you."
Janet looked down at her lover in her arms. "Go," Sam's voice was faint.
"I will remain here, if Samantha will permit me," Teal'c said. Sam nodded weakly, her eyes remaining shut.
Very tenderly, Teal'c took Sam in his arms, being very careful not to jar any of her injuries. He took her smaller hand in his larger one, and brought it to his lips, kissing it affectionately. "You will be well, Samantha," he said softly. "Soon you will be home with your family."
Sam murmured incoherently, and reached out with her other hand, grasping his shirt loosely.
= = =
"Janet," Dale Steadman reached out and shook her hand. "I'm so sorry," he said. He was a colleague from way back, and knew about Janet's relationship with Sam. "We'll do everything we can," he motioned to his anesthetist.
Janet nodded miserably. "I'm worried about her breathing," she said. "Her lungs are very congested. And she's running a fever. She was sick even before this, said she was just catching a cold. But that water's filthy, Dale."
Steadman nodded. "That's why I've brought Michael with me," he said. "We've had a lot of success with epidurals in the last year. That way, the patient only needs to be sedated. Don't worry," he saw the look of alarm on Janet's face. "She won't be aware at all. As far as she's concerned, she'll be unconscious throughout. It'll just be a much milder anesthetic, with the epidural doing the work. It's ideal for situations like this," he said reassuringly. "And it'll be much easier to monitor her breathing."
"Can I come in with her?" Janet's voice was small.
Steadman shook his head. "No, Janet, I don't think that would be a good idea." Seeing the look of devastation on Janet's face, he continued quickly. "I want to be able to concentrate on Sam," he explained. "I don't want to have to worry about your reaction to anything I do or say. You can stay with her until she's totally out, and then we'll call you before we wake her, so you'll be the first person she sees when she comes round, okay?"
Janet nodded, not trusting herself to speak.
"You should try and get some rest while she's under," Steadman continued. "She's going to need you afterwards."
Janet nodded again.
"Janet?" Steadman said.
Janet looked up.
"We'll do our very best for her," he said gently. "I know what she means to you."
"Thank you, Dale," Janet put her hand on his arm. "I know you will."
"We'll be ready for her in 25 minutes," Steadman said. "We just need to get set up."
= = =
Janet returned to Sam's private room in the infirmary, and opened the door slowly, making sure that she wouldn't wake Sam if she was sleeping. She was relieved to see Sam, still asleep, nestled in Teal'c's strong arms. Teal'c moved to one side, ceding his position to Janet, who was careful not to jar her lover as she took her back into her arms. Sam shifted slightly in her sleep, but didn't waken.
Sam remained asleep until it was time to take her to the OR. She awoke as she was transferred to the gurney in the OR, and cried out in pain as she was moved across. Janet kept hold of her hand, and kissed it tenderly. "Shh," she said. "It's over now, baby. We're just gonna give you something to send you back to sleep. When you next wake up, the operation'll be all finished. And you'll be on the good drugs," she tried to smile encouragingly. "The pain'll be all gone." She saw the agonized look on Sam's face, and her heart broke. "Where's that anesthetist?" she demanded, more sharply than she had intended.
"Right here," Michael said mildly. "We're all ready. Okay, now, Sam," he said, taking her hand gently from Janet, who moved to Sam's head, maintaining contact with her lover, stroking her forehead lovingly. "Here it goes," he slid the needle under her skin. "That's it," he said. "Nearly there."
"That's it sweetheart," Janet tried to keep her voice calm. "There," she saw Sam fall into unconsciousness, "the worst is over." She kissed Sam very softly on the lips.
Sharon went over to Janet and put a warm hand on her arm. "We'll be in her office," she said to Steadman, who nodded agreement.
"We'll come get you when it's time to wake her," Steadman told Janet.
= = =
"It's been nearly five hours," Janet tried to keep the desperation out of her voice.
"There was a lot of damage," Sharon reminded her. "The leg and the ankle. He'll have to pin both. It'll take time to get it right."
"I know it," Janet said miserably. "I just can't bear this. Her in there. Me here. I should be taking care of her."
"And you have been," Sharon put her hand on Janet's shoulder. "The best way that you can. And now you have to let the specialists deal with it. You want her to get the best treatment. She'll be out soon. And then she's really going to need you."
"She's real sick," Janet said to Sharon. "I'm worried about her lungs. And the fever. She's on huge doses of antibiotics, but she doesn't respond as well as she should to them any more. Not since Jolinar. She has to be okay, Sharon. She has to be."
"And she will," Sharon's words were soft and kind. "She has you to take care of her. You're her whole world, you know that, don't you Janet?"
Janet sat in glum silence.
"She told me that," Sharon continued. "Told me that she felt like the luckiest woman in the world."
Janet shook her head. "No," she said quietly. "I'm the lucky one," she said. "I never thought I would get my life back. After David. But then I met her. Suddenly everything was okay again. Even the bad things. I found I could think about them, and it was still okay. But now," a fat tear spilled from her eye, "now that bastard has done this. To her. How could he?" she was sobbing now. "She's the sweetest, gentlest person."
"He's a shit," Sharon said succinctly. "A total shit. He won't get away with it. Colonel O'Neill will track him down, make him pay. And Sam will be okay. It may take time," she said. "But, with you at her side, she's gonna be fine real soon."
Janet nodded, and wiped her face with the handkerchief that Sharon proffered.
There was a tap on the door, and Steadman opened it and stepped into Janet's office. Janet looked up at him, fear in her heart.
Steadman smiled. "She's okay," he said. "It was a good operation. I've pinned the ankle in three places, and the leg in two. It's going to be a long recovery. But she'll walk again. How fast, only time will tell. But she won't lose the leg."
Janet started to cry again, as Sharon put a reassuring arm round her shoulder.
"But she's still real sick," Steadman continued. "Her fever has risen slightly, it's 101.8. And her breathing's difficult."
"Has she woken?" Janet's voice sounded tinny to her, as if she were in a different room.
"No, I'm coming to get you so you can be with her when she does," he said. "But the anesthetic worked well, she's only sedated right now. She won't feel her legs for a while, but that can only be a good thing. She has a lot of healing to do."
Janet was already out of the door, striding toward the recovery room.
"Hey," Janet whispered softly, as she cupped Sam's warm cheek. "Time to open those baby blues, Sam," she kept her voice calm and soothing. She was concerned by the sound of Sam's breathing, and wanted to do everything to keep her lover calm and relaxed.
Sam whimpered as she unconsciously leaned into Janet's cool touch.
"That's it, baby," Janet said. "You're doing well. The worst bit's over. You're gonna be fine, my darling. We just need to get your fever down," she ran a cool washcloth over Sam's face. "And you'll feel so much better."
Sam's eyes opened, and she tried to focus on the shapes in front of her. She blinked, trying to force her eyes to work properly. "Jan?" her voice was barely audible.
"I'm here, Sam," Janet took her hand. "And I'm gonna stay right by your side."
Sam started, and tried to sit up, wrenching her cracked ribs as she did so.
Janet put a gentle hand on her shoulder. "Don't try and move sweetie," she said. "Not yet."
Sam's eyes were fearful as she pulled at Janet's hand. "No," she croaked. "Not safe. You. Cass. Ella. He's gonna come back," and she succumbed to a fit of coughing.
Janet pulled the oxygen mask back over her face. "Please try not to talk," she pleaded with her, as she held her in her arms. "We're safe. All of us. The colonel has made sure of that. Ella's been picked up, she's here at the mountain. The colonel went over and picked Cassie up. He's taking her for ice cream, and he's gonna tell her what happened. And then she's coming back here. We're all going to stay here until they catch him. They'll watch out for us. Nobody's gonna get in here."
Sam's face crumpled and she started to cry. "So sorry," she whispered hoarsely.
"You don't have anything to be sorry for," Janet said quietly. "None of this is your fault Sam. Now try and sleep, honey. I'll be right here, I swear. I won't leave you. We just need you to get well."
As Sam fell into a fitful sleep, Janet checked her temperature. 102.4. It was still rising. Janet took a cool cloth and started to sponge her down. She spoke softly to her lover as she did so, trying to calm her, reassure her that they would all be alright. "It's okay, baby," she whispered, kissing her softly on the lips. "You're gonna be okay. We all are. It's over now." She raised the bed to ease Sam's labored breathing, and was relieved when it appeared to become marginally easier.
= = =
Cassie was crying. "Is Sam going to be okay?" tears ran unchecked down her cheeks as she sat opposite her Uncle Jack.
"Yes," he said firmly. "She's got a long way to go, but she will be okay. She has your mom taking care of her. And she's real strong, Cass, never forget that."
"What will happen to him?" Cassie asked. "The mean man."
O'Neill had not explained to Cassie that the 'mean man' was Janet's ex-husband. That was something that should come from her mom, he realized. He looked Cassie straight in the eye. "We're gonna find him Cass. And he's gonna regret what he did," he said.
"Will you hurt him?" Cassie asked.
"I'll do what I have to," O'Neill replied gently. "Try not to worry, Cassie. He won't ever do anything like that again."
"Good," Cassie said. "He shouldn't have done those terrible things to Sam."
"No," O'Neill said, grimly. "He shouldn't. He won't do it to anyone else. Ever."
"Can I see Sam?" Cassie asked.
"I don't think you'll be able to tonight," he said. "She's having an operation, to fix her leg. And then your mom is going to take care of her. Your grandma's at the mountain already, she'll likely know more."
"Can we go there now?" Cassie wanted to know.
"Sure we can," O'Neill stood up and took out his keys. "It will all be okay, Cass."
"I love Sam," Cassie said.
"We all do, Cassandra," he replied with feeling. "We all do."