Barely suppressing another sigh of frustration, Captain Samantha Carter forced a smile onto her face. "Look, guys......I know you mean well, but.......I'm fine. You can stop hovering."
She watched as the Colonel and Daniel exchanged glances, while Teal'c just raised an eyebrow - a gesture that was rapidly becoming a trademark for the large Jaffa.
"We're not hovering, Captain," O'Neill quickly disagreed. "We're simply......" He trailed off, his hand waving around in the air as he tried to find the words he was looking for.
"Er...we're merely....sticking close," Daniel put in, picking the sentence up where the Colonel had left off. He shared another look with the other man, O'Neill nodding in - thanks? - for the quick save. "You know.....in case someone else tries to make trouble. I mean....we haven't met every tribe on this planet."
"Right," Sam said slowly, drawing the word out. She was feeling - well, touched, really - at her new teammates and their obvious concern. And.....crowded, by their continued close presence. They were hovering, no matter what excuse they used. "Okay then," she said, instead of voicing her true thoughts. "We're at the DHD. I doubt anything is going to happen now." She kept the smile on her face, even though it made her cheek ache where Turghan had smacked her.
O'Neill nodded slowly. "Daniel," he called. "Dial it up."
The archaeologist waved a hand in acknowledgment, moving to the dialling device and carefully inputting the co-ordinates for Earth. Sam moved a little closer too, the Colonel and Teal'c staying where they were and beginning a low conversation. Daniel pressed the center crystal, watching as the wormhole whooshed into life. He saw Sam reach for her GDO, wincing as several aches and pains obviously made themselves known.
"You okay?" he asked quietly, his gaze still on the Stargate. Sam felt a rise in her irritation levels - this man barely knew her, after all - until she took a good look at his face. She could see the genuine concern there.
"I'm really okay," she assured him, her smile more natural now. Daniel nodded, turning to her as she punched the GDO code in, then signalled the Colonel.
"Let's go, kids. I think we've had enough fun on this planet for one day, don't you?"
Sam found herself in total agreement, stepping forward slowly as the others passed her on their way to the 'gate. She paused, turning to take one last look at the planet where so much had happened. She raised her hand, bidding it good- bye and good riddance, as she jumped through the waiting wormhole and gated back to Earth.
Sam sat silently thinking on the gurney assigned to her, only half listening to the banter coming from the Colonel and Daniel, with the occasional rumble from Teal'c. Her mind couldn't settle; constantly whirling with the repercussions of their visit to the society they had just left. She was so absorbed in her thoughts, that she didn't hear her name being called, and jumped as a hand was placed on her shoulder.
"I didn't mean to startle you, Captain," a voice said.
Sam turned, locating the speaker, who was standing next to her. It was one of the nurses, obviously there to give Sam her physical. Whoa, she told herself. Must have really zoned there. "Sorry," Sam apologized. "I was...just thinking."
The nurse nodded, turning away to pull the privacy curtain around on its rails, shielding the bed from the rest of the room. As she prepared to undergo her exam, she could hear the Colonel's distinctive voice bellowing something about needles, and where the new medical staff 'could stick 'em.' When she listened closely, she could hear a new voice under his, the smooth, low tones of a woman, most likely belonging to one of the new medical personnel, she decided. Whoever it belonged to, it managed to shut the Colonel up, making Sam smile at what she was beginning to realize was a great accomplishment where her new and outspoken C.O was concerned.
After the exam, Sam was in the female locker room, while the men in her team went to their own showers to get cleaned up before the debriefing.
Tilting her head back with a wince as the tight muscles of her neck protested the movement, Sam gave a blissful sigh. The hot water from the showerhead beat down on her tired body, temporarily creating gooseflesh until her body had adjusted to the temperature. Grabbing her bath scrunchie and squirting some body gel onto it, she began to rub it over her wet body, trying to remove the smells she seemed to have picked up since the start of the mission. Taking a deep breath, she inhaled the different scents. She could smell the body wash she was using, the steam that was clinging to the tiles and causing condensation, and -- what was that smell?
"You will learn your place...and be obedient. Or you will suffer far worse than a beating."
With a gasp, Sam spun around, dropping the bath scrunchie as she threw her arms up, covering her breasts as best she could. Blinking her eyes rapidly as she tried to clear the water that was obscuring her vision, she scanned her surroundings, searching for the owner of the voice that had just spoken.
There was no one there. But as she stood still, shivering and hugging herself tightly as the temperature seemed to drop, Sam identified the smell that she had inhaled. It was.....horses and dirt......cooking meat and unwashed bodies.....it was Turghan.
"You will learn your place...and be obedient. Or you will suffer far worse than a beating."
She shuddered, reaching blindly for the shower controls. Turning off the water, the locker room became almost silent, save for the sound of water dripping behind her, and her own shaky breathing. She waited, but there was no indication that she wasn't alone. But that didn't make the smell disappear.
Taking deep breaths now in an effort to calm herself down, Sam took the shower controls again, twisting them until the water began once more. She noticed that the smell seemed to be everywhere, filling her senses and unsettling her stomach. She bent quickly, picking up the bath scrunchie from the floor and began scrubbing herself once more.
In her haste to make the smell go away, she didn't notice that she hadn't re-lathered the scrunchie, it's previous soap having been washed away by it's time under the direct spray of the shower while it had been on the floor.
Rubbing it against her skin almost frantically, she didn't notice time passing. She didn't even notice when the water went cold and her body began to shake again. She continued to cleanse herself this way; until she accidentally ran the scrunchie over a patch of scrapes she had received in her fight with the Mongol tribe leader. She hissed, the sudden pain succeeding in bringing her to her senses. Ceasing her movements, she struggled to get her breathing back under control.
"God, I can't believe I lost it," she murmured, looking down at her body. Her skin was flushed an angry red where the harsh netting of the scrunchie had brushed her.
"Get it together, Samantha," she berated herself. Once more turning off the water, she grabbed her towel, wrapping it tightly around herself. She decided that her hair would just have to be content with simply being wet down until she could get home. But as she stepped from the stall, she heard something that made her freeze - something that sounded like the locker room door opening and closing.
Her breath caught in her throat, but she bravely pushed on. "Hello?" she called out.
After a moment of silence, she was startled by a voice from behind. "Hey.....I didn't know anyone was in here."
Spinning as quickly as she could in nothing but a towel, Sam saw the speaker. It was a woman - well, d'uh, she told herself. It is the woman's locker room. She was petite, her brown hair loose and falling just over her shoulders as she opened a locker.
Sam finally found her voice. "Fraiser, right? Um, the base's newest doctor."
"That's right," the woman replied, throwing Sam a smile. "But......seeing as how we're in the locker room and, as a physician I'm probably goin' to get to know you real well soon......why don't you call me Janet."
The blond woman returned the smile. "Sam," she offered. She knew by the sound of the other woman's voice that she had been the one to put an end to the Colonel's complaining in the infirmary earlier. She didn't know whether to feel admiration or intimidation.
Fraiser nodded, looking Sam over and noticing her reddened skin. "Um....look, you can tell me it's none of my business.......I'm mean, I just got off duty, but....are you okay?"
Sam considered it. There was just something about this woman that put her slightly at ease. "Ah, just a....a tough mission, is all." She tried for casual, but didn't think she had quite pulled it off.
The doctor nodded again, slowly this time. Well, er......I don't need to rush home or anything....why don't you meet me in the commissary in -- say a half hour? You can fill me in on who's who on this base."
Sam gave a half smile. "I don't know...."
"C'mon," Janet cajoled. "I don't want to get all amateur psychologist on you, but......from what I've heard via the grapevine - and may I just say that it seems to work extremely fast at this base - but I had heard that your latest mission wasn't exactly a picnic for members of the female sex."
The automatic denial to any offer of help stuck in her throat. This was another woman she was talking to, one that had most likely faced the same adversity in order to sign up for the Air Force.......she had nothing to prove. "Yeah," she finally said. "I think I'd like that."
Janet smiled, her dark eyes sparkling in the florescent lighting. "Great. I'll meet you then." And with that, she proceeded to gather her gear, moving to one of the cubicles with a final wave to her new friend.
As she watched the other woman go, Sam realized she was still smiling. She'd never really felt his sort of instant friendship, especially with another officer in the Air Force. She wondered why she did now. Perhaps, she mused, it was the other woman's smile. It seemed warm and kind, and - Sam shook her head. "You're getting sentimental, Carter," she muttered to herself, knowing that the other woman wouldn't be able to hear her words over the din of the shower.
She put her things in her own locker, drying quickly and then pulling some deodorant out. Using it where needed, she took a deliberate breath, inhaling the scent of vanilla. The smell had always reminded her of her late mother, and another smile blossomed on her face.
And as she dressed, in a new set of clothes, Sam realized that she could no longer smell Turghan and his camp anywhere. A pressure she hadn't been aware of, lifted from her chest, and Sam closed her locker door, exiting the locker room to find something to do to occupy her time until she met Janet. She had a feeling that the two of them would become firm friends.
|Summary:||Sam went through a traumatic time.....did she leave the trauma at the Gate? Or did it follow her home.|
Author's Chapter Notes:
This fic references the emotional after affects of being threatened in such a way. (Ep: Emancipation)