It shined. No, it... it glowed. Brightened up the whole room whenever it made an appearance. It seemed... happy and joyous at the same time, and it made a person *glad* to have witnessed it. It made people respond, lightened them up, even if only for the moment it was facing their way.
Janet watched as Sam smiled again, lips curving as they parted, revealing white teeth as her nose crinkled up and she laughed.
That smile was perfect. A reflection of the way that Samantha Carter felt inside, bubbling up to show on the surface.
Or it would have been... if Janet hadn't known the truth.
Janet knew the *real* Sam. The Sam that lived inside the lie. The one that suffered. The one that came to *her* for solace and comfort. And sometimes for more.
There was laughter again, and Janet felt the pull that smile exuded. Felt her own mouth twitch, corners pulling up as she returned the expression. It was useless to resist. She looked around, saw the same effect all over the room. The general, looking as proud as he ever had, his eyes on that smile. Teal'c, as close to all out grinning as he ever got. Daniel, Colonel O'Neill, everyone. Snagged by that glow, that light. The glitter in Sam Carter's smile. The one that looked like gold, but shielded cracked and dented steel.
But who would be paying the price later? Who would be there, at her side, helping to purge all of the crap that smile covered? Of course... the same person who had been there every other time... Janet.
The doctor took a drink from her cup, trying to melt into the wall a little further. She didn't want to be noticed. Didn't want to be drawn into the act, the show that Sam put on while she celebrated. As they cheered a new victory over the Goa'uld... while all silently thanking God the cost hadn't been higher. That more hadn't died. When Sam was clearly grieving those that already had.
Talk buzzed around them. How had Sam enjoyed her shot at command while the colonel had been recuperating? Was she thinking about the day she had her own team? Her own unit to lead, and order into battle, and watch die? Of course, no one actually said the words. But Janet could hear them, as plainly as if they had.
So Janet stood, and waited. Waited for the party to be over, for Sam's duty to end. And then she'd take the major by the arm, towing her towards the car -- that Janet would be driving -- and on to home. Their home, secretly. And there they would talk, or not... they might move into the bedroom, might love all night long if they had to.
And then in the morning, Sam would rise early. She'd shower, and dress, and shine that smile up until it sparkled, ready to face a new day.
Until the next time.
Janet took another drink, noting absently that her glass was nearly empty.
|Summary:||Janet sees the truth.|
Author's Chapter Notes:
Not a particularly happy story.