The music was blaring and the liquor flowing as Sam Carter threaded through a thick crowd of eagerly partying soldiers, scientists, politicians and ambassadors. Without even being asked, cheerfully grinning waiters refilled the tankard in her hand as she passed by, pouring from brimming jugs of something sweetly alcoholic until amber liquid sloshed over the edge of her glass and spilled across her hand. Not that anyone cared or even noticed. They were too busy laughing, dancing, and making assorted assignations that she would just as soon not know about.
The Oneurisi definitely knew how to party and several members of the SGC weren't far behind. Her teammates and colleagues were clearly enjoying the company of the locals, whose genetic enhancements during their enslavement by the Goa'uld some two hundred years before had created a people who were intelligent, attractive, and remarkably free from any kind of physical defect. They were also garrulous, good-natured, inclined toward the sensual, and loved any excuse for a celebration. Unfortunately for Carter, she wasn't much for chatter or mating and dating, and she'd never been big on parties. As a result, she was having about as much fun as was typically offered in a Goa'uld torture session. She ducked a meaty arm that swung past as a very happy marine made a point to an adorable blond whose waist measurement was smaller than his thighs. Neither the blond nor the marine noticed the near miss.
Sam sighed softly and took a long draft from her glass, more to try and cool down in the sticky warmth of the overcrowded room than out of any real thirst. She really would have preferred a calmer way of celebrating the technological trade agreement they'd made with the Oneurisi, but it was the local custom, and judging by the way her various colleagues were enjoying themselves, her opinion was in the minority. As she continued moving through the crowd, she spotted O'Neill tucked into a corner with an enthralled redhead, while Daniel swapped stories with several local archaeologists, two of whom appeared to be need at least a C cup. Even Teal'c appeared to have found company, a tall, forbidding woman who was strikingly beautiful if one's tastes ran to the extremely intimidating. Judging by the look in the Jaffa's eyes, his did.
Carter took another gulp from her mug, wishing she could find something non-alcoholic. At least she thought it was alcohol she was drinking – in any event, it had a kick that was somewhere between a Kamikaze and a Long Island Iced Tea, and in the heat, the temptation to guzzle left her worried that she'd wind up face down on the floor if she wasn't careful. She was still musing on her own impending lack of sobriety when something slammed into her arm from the side and a familiar voice reached her ears.
"Now, now, boys -- and girls -- I really need a break. I've been ... ow ... Oh... Sam, sorry about that," Janet Fraiser apologized as she spun and saw that she'd knocked Carter's arm hard enough to spill a considerable percentage of her drink over her hand.
"Not a problem," she assured Fraiser as she reached out to steady her with her free hand. Carter raised an eyebrow as she realized she hadn't seen the doctor due to the wall of bodies, both male and female, around her. Judging by the way the small crowd was staring at the small woman like a particularly tasty treat on a dessert tray, Fraiser had her pick of partners if she was interested. By the look of it, she was also apparently comfortable enough with the easy bisexuality of the planet, accepting it with the same ease she'd applied to studying their technology during the negotiations on the trade agreement. Sam hoped her friend was being careful on that score, because as liberal as the world the Oneurisi were, the Air Force wasn't likely to follow suit. It would be all too easy for someone to get the wrong impression in the sexually charged atmosphere at the celebration.
As if in response to that thought, a striking brunette with a figure that Pamela Anderson would have killed for stepped forward, her expression anxious. "But I was hoping for the next dance."
Sam shook her head, wondering if there was such a thing as an ugly, or overweight Oneurisi. As far as she could tell the whole damn planet was populated by similarly perfect specimens of the human species. It was starting to get more than a little intimidating.
"I'm sorry, but my feet are killing me and I really need something to drink," Janet insisted politely.
"Then I'll--" the brunette started to offer, her eyes still locked on the doctor with an expression that bordered on worship. Sam frowned, suddenly recognizing her from the lab. She'd been eager to help the doctor there too. A crush and a rather intense one, judging by the look on her face.
Barely resisting the urge to roll her eyes, Sam started to pull away, only to find Janet gripping her sleeve tightly. She took a step back, flushing as she saw several of the doctor's entourage cast speculative looks her way. Judging by their expressions, they didn't regard her as much competition, and their attention quickly returned to the petite doctor.
"Really, I just want to get a drink and some fresh air," Fraiser said quickly, her hold on Sam's sleeve keeping her right where she was. "And I need to speak to Major Carter for a few minutes. There are some issues concerning the negotiations that we need to go over."
Carter's eyebrows rose. That was the first she'd heard of it.
Meanwhile, the whole group looked disappointed and stared at the doctor with looks that were almost uniformly adoring. Sam frowned ever so slightly. Maybe it was like the American Indians reputed fascination with blonds when Europeans had first arrived in the new world, because as far as she could tell, Fraiser was the only one in the room under five foot eight or nine. Actually, now that she thought about it, she'd yet to see a single Oneurisi man or woman any shorter than her own five-nine and most were several inches taller. Yet another mark in their physical perfection column. She supposed they probably saw the pretty doctor as exotically appealing; something new and excitingly different from the norm. They probably couldn't wait to find out if there were any other unique attributes hidden under her uniform. She suddenly realized she was grinding her teeth and took a long drink from her glass.
The brunette took a step forward and looked like she'd like to drag Fraiser off for a night of...well, something pretty intense, judging by the look on her face. Sam decided she didn't want to know. "But you'll be back," she said hopefully.
"We'll see," Fraiser responded, smiling gently to soften the blow. "Major Carter and I have several things we need to discuss, and it's been a very long day."
The pretty brunette flashed a frown at Sam, and the major could only shrug helplessly while several members of the doctor's entourage expressed considerable disappointment at her withdrawal. Fraiser just tightened her hold on Sam's sleeve, made another apology and dragged her fellow officer away through the crowd.
"Not one word," Janet warned to forestall any remarks when she heard Sam draw breath to comment.
Carter snapped her jaws shut, allowing herself to be hauled through the mass of moving bodies, a bemused expression on her face as it occurred to her what most of the locals probably thought. Thankfully, her own colleagues were too busy with their own hormones to notice or she'd never have escaped the teasing. She was pulled up short suddenly as the doctor grabbed a passing waiter by the arm.
"Excuse me, but do you have anything a little lighter to drink around here?" It was hot and she was thirsty and already well past the advisable amount of alcohol for her weight class if she was planning on remaining reasonably sober.
He flashed a set of straight, gleaming, white teeth -- yet another example of their perfection; an orthodontist would have starved to death on Oneuris – and started to hand Fraiser a full mug from the tray, but she waved him off.
"No, something non-alcoholic ... I'm getting a little hot and this isn't really helping."
The waiter considered her request for a moment, looking back and forth between the two women as though the concept needed additional translation, then suddenly his face split into a broad grin. "Understood, Ma'am. We do have just the thing on hand. There just hasn't been much call for it tonight."
"Thank you," Fraiser muttered, while Sam held up two fingers, the sound of something tall, cool, and virgin sounding like a small slice of heaven.
"Make it two," Carter requested.
Fraiser flashed a glance toward the opposite end of the room, then pointed toward the tall set of French-style doors she spotted. "There's a small balcony out there, isn't there?"
The waiter nodded politely, eager to be of service. "Yes, Ma'am, but it's seldom used ... the way the speakers are set, you can hardly hear the music and there aren't any lights there." His tone made that sound like something worse than hell itself, but Sam privately thought it sounded like a wonderful idea. Like the press of bodies, the music and the mirror ball were getting on her nerves. It was like being trapped in a bad 70's disco movie.
"We'll be out there getting some air," Fraiser said instantly.
The waiter nodded. "Of course, I'll deliver your drinks personally. Would you prefer individual drinks or that I simply bring you a bottle and two glasses."
"Let's go for the bottle and glasses," the doctor said gratefully and even Sam managed an approving smile before he disappeared into the crowd.
A moment later, the major found herself pushed to the forefront as Fraiser used her like a battering ram to thrust her way through the thick crowd, sidestepping bodies on all sides as she moved, until, finally, they were through the doors and onto the balcony.
The nice, dark, cool, breezy, quiet balcony.
Sam heaved a relieved sigh, inhaling pleasantly chilly air into her lungs as she felt some of the tension drain out of her body.
"Oh god, this feels good," Fraiser groaned. The balcony was roughly eight feet wide and six feet deep, with an ornate carved stone railing. She leaned against the railing, inhaling the cool night air as though she hadn't had a breath of fresh air in weeks. "I thought I was never going to get out of there."
Carter flashed a glance at her friend. "What? You were the belle of the ball." She tried to keep the sarcasm out of her voice, but didn't quite succeed. The doctor had appeared to be enjoying herself as far as she could tell.
Fraiser raised an eyebrow as she kicked out of her shoes and lifted first one foot and then the other to massage her sore toes. "Mmm, some belle of the ball," she muttered through a low groan of pain. "My feet are killing me, I've got a tension neckache from spending the entire evening with my head tipped back at this angle," the doctor flung her head back to demonstrate, "and, can I just ask, is there anyone on this entire planet under six feet tall -- and I'm about to die of thirst." She dug her thumb into a particular sore spot in her arch and hissed through clenched teeth.
"Well, it looked to me like you enjoyed having your dance card filled," Carter grumped, wondering even as she said it why she was being such a grouch.
Russet brows lifted in irritation. "Did you miss the memo about being polite to our hosts?" Fraiser inquired, her tone sweetly acidic. "General Hammond was quite clear on that point. I was trying to foster closer relations."
"Mmm, yeah, I saw," Sam muttered disapprovingly. "That brunette was particularly interested in closer relations...the closer the better by the look of it."
"Cute," Janet snapped, clearly annoyed. "But if you must know, that's why I'm out here. She's been getting more persistent, and I prefer to leave the interstellar STD's to Colonel O'Neill." Not that she figured these people got sexually transmitted diseases any more than they did the common cold, but the colonel's sexual habits had gotten him into trouble on the other side of the gate on a couple of occasions, and she had less than no desire to wind up the butt of the jokes that ran around the SGC the way he had.
The two women glared at each other for a long moment, and then suddenly Fraiser chuckled softly. "Now that the forced party-hearty mode has turned us both into a pair of raving bitches..." she trailed off without finishing the sentence, before muttering, "God, I hate these things."
"Yeah, I saw how much you hated it," Sam said before draining the last of the alcohol in her mug.
Fraiser shook her head, her tone chiding. "Sam, I'm as miserable as you are." Her mouth twisted in a wry smirk. "I just hide it better."
Carter looked insulted. "I hide it," she insisted. She'd tried to be polite and courteous, and if she'd barely spoken to anyone all evening, well, that wasn't that big a deal, was it? They'd barely spoken to her too, after all.
The doctor couldn't restrain a soft laugh. "No, Sam...trust me, you don't," she corrected through continuing chuckles, before grumbling, "Where the hell is that waiter?"
As if on cue, one of the doors swept open and a smiling, perfectly perfect six foot, two inch specimen of manhood appeared bearing a tray with frosty bottle of something and a pair of clear cut-crystal glasses balanced on top. "Madames," he said as he offered the drinks with a flourish. "Would you like me to pour?"
Sam snatched the bottle and the glasses off the tray. "Thank you, but we can take care of it," she assured him, tired of all that perfection.
He looked back and forth between the two women, teeth gleaming in the moonlight as he grinned knowingly. "Of course. I can see you're in a hurry to be alone," he said mildly, then slipped out again.
"You do realize what he thinks, don't you?" Janet chuckled after he'd gone.
Sam snorted softly, wishing she could just ignore the question. "I really have no idea," she lied unsteadily. She'd had quite enough embarrassment for one night and the notion that the waiters were having a hearty laugh over her non-existent sex life was really more than she could handle. It didn't occur to her that there was also a little thrill at the thought that they thought she had caught the woman half of the people at the party seemed bent on pursuing.
Fraiser canted her head to one side, a quirky grin curving her lips. "Not even you could be that innocent," she mused out loud.
"Could we just not discuss this?" Carter growled. Oh, joy, now the doctor found her humorous. There was a thrill. She thrust the glasses into Janet's hand and began fumbling with the cork in the bottle.
"I...um...think it unscrews," Janet pointed out helpfully.
Sam threw her friend a dirty look and continued fumbling.
"Okay," Fraiser exhaled and took a cautious step backward before asking, "Have I done something to piss you off?"
Sam paused, pulling up short as she realized just how petty she was being. Okay, so the doctor had had an entourage of admirers, while she was wandering alone and miserable through the crowd, but that was hardly Fraiser's fault. As she'd said, there'd been a memo reminding them to be friendly with the locals. She might privately doubt that Hammond had intended for his people to be quite as friendly as they were being, but still.... Sam sighed softly. "Sorry," she apologized. "It would probably be best for our friendship if you just ignore me for the rest of the night ... maybe the rest of the mission." The planet of cheap sexual thrills was really starting to get on her nerves.
Fraiser lifted an eyebrow, her expression ironic. "You really are on edge," she sighed sympathetically.
Sam shrugged, not denying the charge as she continued working the cork free.
Janet watched with the effort with a wry smile, then turned out toward the gardens. The negotiations had been held on a government resort of some kind, and the buildings were all built in an architectural style that reminded her of 15th century Italian palazzos, while the grounds were landscaped in huge displays of multi-colored flowers that filled the air with a steady bouquet of sweet scents. "God, I wish this balcony had a staircase," she murmured thoughtfully, thinking that she'd much rather be down there, or in her nice quiet room, than back in the party. "Preferably one that led down there."
Finally getting the bottle open, Sam retrieved the glasses from Janet and began pouring as she questioned, "Worried about trying to make an exit through your adoring fans?"
"Har dee har har," Fraiser muttered sarcastically and took one of the glasses, inhaling most of the contents before complaining, "But you try being my height trying to force your way through that crowd. I feel like a mixed breed Chihuahua in a room full of overly friendly, champion Irish Setters."
Sam couldn't contain her first genuine laugh in hours at the image that popped into her head. "You could always nip their ankles to get them to move out of your way." She took a long swallow of the sweet drink – it tasted like fruit juice of some kind – enjoying the chill slide of the liquid across her tongue.
"Very funny," Fraiser shot back.
A wicked grin curved the major's mouth. The quiet and fresh air were doing wonders for her mood. "Well, it's better than the other joke that came to mind," she teased.
"I don't want to know, do I?" the doctor sighed in a resigned tone.
"Um...well, let's just say the term mounting was mentioned." Carter had the good graces to look embarrassed.
Janet rolled her eyes. "You've been spending too much time with Colonel O'Neill," she pronounced, then held the chilled glass against her forehead, absorbing some of cold into her overheated skin.
"Probably," Sam admitted through a smile since she had to admit it was the sort of remark that O'Neill would have enjoyed. "But you have to give me some credit for not actually saying it."
Chuckling softly, Fraiser shook her head in denial. "Nope, you said enough to put the thought into my head. You can't do that and get points for holding back."
Sam's mouth pursed. "Well, damn," she pouted, then turned to stare thoughtfully at the night sky, enjoying the quiet and company. This place wasn't so bad once she was away from all the noise, lights and people.
They chatted lightly, discussing the technology trade, until Janet finally sighed softly and straightened away from the railing. "I really should be getting back," she said regretfully. She drained the last of her drink. "But, god, I wish I didn't have to," she whimpered after a beat.
"You and me both." Sam considered the problem as she sipped the last of her drink, then a sudden thought occurred to her and she leaned out over the railing. "Y'know," she said thoughtfully, "it's really not that far down from here."
Fraiser stared at her friend as though she'd lost her mind, then looked pointedly down at the grass some distance below. "Says you," she disagreed.
"Hang from the rail and drop and it's just a few feet," Sam murmured as though Janet hadn't spoken. She'd made a lot longer jumps with SG-1. This would be nothing.
"Some of us don't do things like that on a daily basis, y'know," the doctor pointed out archly, then flashed a glance down at her semi-dress uniform. "Especially not in A-line skirts and heels."
"Scared?" Sam taunted, and flashed her best wicked grin again.
"Of explaining to General Hammond how I broke my ankle leaping off a balcony for no apparent reason – why, yes, actually, I am."
Sam took another swallow of fruit juice. "I dareya," she challenged. She wanted out of there, but for some reason she couldn't quite name, she didn't quite have the courage to flee on her own. With her friend along the for ride, taking the small risk would go from something to be ashamed of to something wickedly enjoyable.
Janet's mouth twisted in a smirk. "Sam, I'm not twelve," she pointed out helpfully. "I don't respond to dares. And besides, we can't just sneak out the back." No matter how appealing the thought might be.
"Oh, come on. They're all so busy in there no one's going to notice." Just thought of doing something irresponsible had a sudden defiant appeal. "I Double dareya."
"Would you stop it?" Janet was starting to sound annoyed, though her eyes glittered with good humor. She wouldn't have admitted it at gun point, but she was tempted.
The two women stared at each other for a long moment in some strange test of wills, then Sam's grin broadened a notch as she challenged, "Triple...dog...dareya," pronouncing each word clearly and carefully.
The doctor's dark eyes narrowed dangerously. A triple dog dare was not something to be taken lightly. She opened her mouth, fully intending to refuse, only to hear herself respond, "All right, but we take the bottle and the glasses."
"Deal...I'll go first. You can toss them down to me, then follow. I'll steady you when you jump," she added with a triumphant grin. She kicked off her shoes and tossed them down, then hitched her skirt enough to climb over the rail.
"I can't believe I'm doing this," Janet muttered as she watched her friend gracefully drop to the grass a moment later. She was normally so calm and controlled – they both were. Clearly, the anything goes atmosphere of Oneuris was getting to both of them.
"Glasses, one at a time." A beat later, the major snatched them easily out of the air when Janet lobbed them to her. Janet checked the cork on the bottle, then tossed that as well, and finally her shoes were the last to go. Moments later, she found herself hanging from the railing, Carter's hands on her hips, steadying her as she let go. She stumbled backwards as her feet hit the grass, bracing up against the solid body pressed close to hers. The doctor was startled by the shiver of awareness that went through her as her friend's arms closed around her, holding her upright when she might have fallen.
"Stable now?" Sam whispered near her ear, her breath warm on Janet's neck.
Aside from a racing heartbeat, breathlessness, and a definite– Fraiser cut that thought off right there. She'd just spent too much time in the company of the Oneurisi, having her hormones jangled by the sometimes intriguing offers being made by both men and woman at a rate that, while flattering, was also slightly overwhelming. She had a sudden flash on several particularly tempting propositions made by a striking blond who bore a distinct resemblance to the major. Straight, gay, or somewhere in between, a woman would have had to be dead – probably for several months -- not to find the softly whispered, sensual promises a little arousing...or even more than a little arousing. Which was why she really didn't need to be thinking about them right at that moment. Arousing and Sam Carter were the last two things that should be allowed to go together in her head, particularly while spending time on a planet where almost nothing in the way of sensual pleasures was considered taboo. That was just asking for trouble.
"Janet?" Sam questioned when Fraiser still hadn't answered after a long beat.
The doctor shook off her brief daze, forcing down the remembered temptation to respond, "Ahm, I'm fine," she assured Sam.
"You're sure?" Carter questioned, finding she had no great inclination to release her hold on the smaller woman's waist. Where the press of human bodies in the great hall had left her feeling tense and annoyed, the feel of the doctor's body had her feeling tense and decidedly not-annoyed. Actually, she was feeling pleasantly buzzed, a little dizzy, and maybe just a little aroused. Sam all but thrust the doctor away from herself as her brain decoded the last part of that thought. Aroused...as in– Oh, that was not good. "That's good," she babbled as she pulled away to reach for the bottle and glasses where she'd set them. "I mean, good that you're fine," she clarified nervously.
"Mmm ... fine," Janet confirmed, then retrieved the bottle and a glass from Sam and poured herself a healthy drink, tossing close to half of the chill liquid back in one gulp in hopes of cooling her suddenly overheated nerve endings and wetting her parched throat. "Just a little warm," she added in response to the look Carter cast her way. She recorked the bottle, then found her shoes and slipped them on, holding her glass against her cheeks in hopes of chasing away some of the blush glowing there.
Sam let out a giddy laugh. "Yeah, it was pretty hot in there," she agreed, conveniently forgetting that they'd actually been outside for several minutes. "Would you pour me some more of that?" she asked as she found her shoes and slipped them on. As she straightened, a glass appeared in her line of sight and Sam grabbed for it, sipping gratefully. Anything cool was good at that point.
"I think I should probably head for bed," Janet murmured, concluding that it was time to get away and regroup. Any less than entirely collegial, comradely, militarily appropriate thoughts she might be having about her fellow officer were strictly a product of suggestion, exhaustion, alcohol, and the heat...the very hot, sultry, clinging...heat. "Quickly," she added after another swallow of fruit juice, her voice slightly higher pitched than normal. "I mean I'm really tired," she added when Sam looked at her funny. "I just want to soak in a hot bath and crash."
Carter's brows lifted. "You've got a bath in your room?" she questioned.
"Mmm, a big sunken Turkish type thing." Janet smiled happily, relieved to be distracted from her brain's sudden insistence on thinking about Carter in less than appropriate ways. "All marble lined and the size of a small swimming pool." She sighed as they turned and headed toward the building that housed the guest's quarters. If she could just get in and soak away the day's stresses, maybe indulge in a few strictly acceptable fantasies, then she'd be fine.
"Geez, all I got was a dinky shower I can almost stand up straight in." Carter sounded utterly pathetic. "And the water tends to randomly change temperature at the worst times."
Under normal circumstances, Janet would have offered to let her friend use the huge tub, but – she slanted a look at Sam – maybe that wasn't such a good idea tonight. Not that anything would happen, of course, but...well...no sense pushing it. "Sorry."
Sam shrugged, still looking pathetic as she sipped from her glass and trailed along the narrow, tree lined pathway. "Yeah, it really bites."
Janet flashed another look at her friend, suddenly feeling guilty. Really, what was wrong with her? Sam was her friend. She was being ridiculous. They were just friends and she was being both silly and stupid letting some silly pass made by a woman who just happened to bear a passing resemblance to Carter bother her this much. "If you want, you could borrow mine," she offered before she could think better of it. "My tub, I mean."
"Really?" Sam exhaled before she could stop herself. She hadn't had a decent hot shower during entire negotiations and the thought of a steaming bath was almost orgasmically good.
"Um, sure," Janet exhaled as she came to a halt in front of the door to her room. "Go get what you need. It's all yours." Her heart sank because it occurred to her that she was going to be nice and let Sam have the tub first, and she'd really been looking forward to that hot soak. On the other hand, the beatific smile that curved the major's mouth was almost reward enough for having to wait. Almost.
"I'll just be a couple of minutes," Sam assured her before hurrying off.
Janet watched the blond disappear around a corner as she poured herself another glass of cold fruit juice, then retrieved her room key from her jacket pocket and slipped inside. Sipping the chill tangy-sweet drink, she pushed the door closed again in her wake, though she didn't bother to throw the lock. In her room alone, she felt better, more in control; still warmer than she would have liked, but not so rattled. After flipping on the lights and ceiling fan, she stripped off her uniform jacket and kicked off her shoes, then stepped into the bathroom. She took a moment to start a hot bath for Sam. The tub was so huge, with a seating platform around the edges and a deep center well, that it took several minutes to fill, even with four separate faucets letting water in. That started, she added a healthy dose of bubble bath from a pitcher that sat along one edge of the marble platform, then turned to the sink to splash cold water over her face and neck.
"I can't believe you got a room this huge," Sam complained when she appeared in the doorway to the bathroom a short time later.
Janet glanced over her shoulder, her expression surprised. "Didn't you?"
Carter stood staring at the huge, marbled bathroom, her eyes round with awe. "Are you kidding? I got a little tiny room, just barely larger than the bed with an attached bathroom smaller than my locker back on the base. The whole thing would fit in your bathroom." Her eyes fell on the rising mound of bubbles in the nearly full tub. "Actually, I think the whole thing would fit in your bathtub." She turned a perplexed look Janet's way. "Are they trying to recruit you or something? Add a short gene to the local populace?"
"Careful, Carter," Janet warned, "I don't have to share my bathtub... and I certainly don't have to let you go first...and believe me, tonight, that's no small sacrifice."
Sam stared at the tub with a look of raw lust in her eyes. "Well, we could share. It's not like there's not enough room. We could fit the whole SGC in there without being terribly crowded." The hot water looked heavenly, and she was on the verge of just flopping in with her clothes still on.
Janet's breath caught and she felt her pulse accelerate in her chest. "I don't think so," she croaked.
Carter had actually been making an unthinking joke, but as she glanced over her shoulder and saw the doctor's flushed image in the mirror, some devilish impulse pushed her to add, "Hey, you've seen me in the altogether dozens of times...scared of what might happen if the shoe were on the other foot?"
"No," Janet said quickly. Too quickly.
Those devilish impulses were having a high old time as Sam turned toward her friend, eyeing her from head to toe. "Have you got something unusual hidden under that uniform?" she inquired, her tone polite, though her eyes were dancing with wicked highlights that, if asked, even she would have admitted were decidedly out of character.
"No!" Fraiser yelped, staring at Sam as though she'd lost her mind, while some traitorous part of her had the barely controllable urge to say something equally taunting.
"You're sure?" Sam questioned as she kicked out of her shoes and stripped off her jacket. "Because we can't afford to risk some kind of infiltration of the SGC–"
"Very funny," Janet said crisply and folded her arms across her chest as she struggled not to watch when Sam began unbuttoning the front of her blouse. Then she heard Sam's soft, triumphant chuckle and felt her spine stiffen. Eyes flaring with glittering highlights at the obvious challenge, Janet purposely let her gaze slide over Sam's lean frame until a pink blush rose on her friend's cheeks. "Actually, now that I think about it," she drawled, "I don't really feel like waiting for my bath...so, you can join me or you can wait." Apparently Sam wasn't the only one with a few devilish impulses she couldn't resist.
It was Sam's turn to look away as it occurred to her that she'd started this little game -- whatever it was -- and now it looked like she was about to pay the price. A second later, she caught sight of Janet's skirt and blouse hitting the counter, then heard the soft splash of someone entering the water.
"Coming?" Fraiser queried politely as she leaned back in the tub and draped a warm, wet washcloth over her eyes.
Sam gnawed on her lower lip. She couldn't actually see much of the doctor for all the bubbles frothing the water and the tub really was huge.
Janet made a tiny clucking sound in the back of her the back of her throat.
And Sam really hated to lose, even when she wasn't entirely certain what game she was playing. The major stripped off the remainder of her clothes as fast as she could -- praying as she did so that Janet wouldn't lift the washcloth from her eyes -- grabbed her glass, and stepped down the four stairs that led down into the tub, sinking until the bubbles were up around her neck. Thankfully, the heat from the water seeped into her muscles almost instantly, and Sam found herself relaxing back against a slanted wall of the tub, their brief power battle momentarily forgotten. She set her glass on the edge of the tub and closed her eyes with a soft sigh. "Oh, this feels good."
"Mmhmm," Fraiser agreed idly, her own body going limp in the hot water. She took a sip of sweet fruit juice, enjoying the contrast of cold on her tongue and heat on her skin.
"By the way," Sam commented as she followed through on another impulse before she could stop herself, "I ran into a very pretty blond outside your door. She looked broken-hearted when she realized where I was headed." Janet snorted something incomprehensible under her breath, while Sam continued, "Poor dear, you've made quite the conquest there--"
Another snort, followed by a muttered, "Trust me, she'll survive." There was only one blond Janet could think of who might have considered showing up at her door – the Carter-lookalike with her erotic promises and sensual looks, and that one was in heat, not love. She felt her pulse accelerate as she remembered those sweetly whispered words. In an effort to distract herself from the memory, she folded a leg up and began massaging an abused foot, working at the tension the hot water hadn't yet drained away, pressing her thumbs deeply enough into her arches to release taut cords and send sharp bolts of mind-clearing pain through her leg.
"That's not going to work," Carter's voice broke into Janet's efforts. "With your leg bent like that, the muscles can't really relax."
"Then you do it," Janet snapped without thinking, unfolding her foot and holding it out to Sam before wiser impulses could prevail.
Blue eyes dropped to the delicate foot poking suggestively out of the water, then lifted, taking in the relaxed pose of the woman leaned against the opposite wall of the tub. Or maybe not so relaxed, Sam decided as she noted the tension that rippled through Janet's shoulders, while her expression had a decidedly set cast where not hidden by the steaming washcloth.
Sam retrieved her glass and took a sip of the still cool fruit juice, futilely hoping it would ice down some of the heat coursing right through her–
She drained the last of the juice as she stopped that thought right there, though stopping the accompanying tingle vibrating through her more erogenous zones proved less than successful. She was just about to politely refuse when delicate toes wiggled tauntingly and the doctor teased, "I'm not feeling anything." Janet reached up and lifted one corner of the washcloth away from her eyes to peer at Sam. "Actually," she decided out loud, "now that I think about it, I think a good footrub is pretty cheap payment all things considered." Full lips lifted in an elfin grin. She wiggled her toes again. "Well?"
Sam stared at her friend, heart pounding in her chest, suddenly very aware of the water moving caressingly over her skin. She should get out and run away now, she realized distantly, because something was definitely happening here, and she seemed to have absolutely no control over it. Instead, she pushed away from the wall to the center of the tub and caught Janet's dainty foot in her hands, massaging slowly as she watched the satisfied smile that spread over the other woman's face.
"Oh, that's heavenly," Janet sighed.
Sam dug her thumbs into taut cords and felt them let go, then rested the bottom of Janet's foot against her thigh as she worked her way up a narrow ankle. An all new kind of tension entered the doctor's muscles and she lengthened the stroke of her hands to follow tight calf muscles. A hint of a smile touched Carter's mouth. She couldn't resist the urge to take the game to the next level. After all, it wasn't like anything was really going to happen. She'd just tease until Fraiser rabbited out of there, since that seemed to be the point of the game of one-upsmanship that had developed between them.
"Sam?" Janet croaked, her voice rising the better part of an octave mid-word.
"Mmm? Aren't I doing a good enough job?" Sam asked mock-innocently. Her fingers reached the back of Janet's knee and pressed deeply into the spring steel tension she suddenly found there. "I wouldn't want you to feel I hadn't settled my debts."
"Thatsfineyoucanstopnow," Janet gasped all in one word.
But Sam only made a leisurely grab for the doctor's other foot. "Now, now, I wouldn't want you to think I don't finish what I start," she chastised and found she was enjoying the flush she could see settling on Fraiser's skin. She half expected resistance as her fingers closed on Janet's other foot, but she seemed to have so thoroughly startled the other woman that she made no effort to pull back. "Besides, considering what you what you gave up with that blond," and Sam found her lip curling with dislike as she mentioned the other woman, "the least I can do is a thorough job on your feet."
Janet's groaned, "Oh God," did nothing but make Sam smile a little more broadly. She was definitely winning now. The doctor grabbed for her glass, drained the dregs left in the bottom, then refilled it from the bottle that she'd set on the edge of the tub. She peeled the washcloth back from her eyes to hold the chilled glass against her forehead. "Sam, I think maybe we'd better back off from whatever it is we're doing here," she stammered uncertainly, struggling to get the situation back under control.
"Footrubs?" Sam inquired innocently.
Janet swallowed hard, closing her eyes tightly as Carter's hands slid up her calf and flashfires of arousal went off all over her body. She'd started this, or maybe Sam had, she wasn't sure anymore, but in any event, it was fast threatening to overtake any common sense she had left. "Whatever," she muttered, refusing to give the game any kind of name for fear that would give it more power, and it already had quite enough, thank you very much. "But we need to stop right now."
Carter leaned closer as her hands reached the doctor's knee. "You know what the blond said to me...she said she envied me because she could tell you'd taste good." Sam pulled up short, surprised to realize that she'd spoken aloud because that was the last thing she'd intended to say. She flashed on the mental image she'd had as she first heard those softly spoken words said in a voice thick with envy. Her fingers crept higher on Janet's calf. "What do you think she meant by that?" she asked with false naiveté.
Fraiser shifted as if to pull her leg back, but Sam refused to release her hold and a rounded breast momentarily peaked above thick bubbles with her efforts, the sight making Sam's breath catch and her mouth water. "I don't...I don't know," the doctor gasped unevenly.
"Oh, come on," Sam breathed, amazed by her own behavior. "I'm guessing she's not a cannibal, sooo it must mean something," she couldn't resist the urge to taunt. She admitted now that she'd been jealous as hell at the notion that her friend might have been contemplating saying yes to the other woman.
"Maybe," Janet admitted breathlessly as she remembered all of the things the woman had offered to do. A fresh wave of heat flowed through her as she envisioned Sam whispering those same words in her ear. She wouldn't have been so quick to refuse if that had been the case. Actually, judging by what she was feeling at that exact moment, she wouldn't have refused at all. Which was one hell of a dangerous thought to be contemplating, a distant part of her brain tried to remind her. She ignored it for the first time in more years than she could remember.
"What?" Sam demanded, her voice low and throbbing with hunger.
Janet's head tipped back on her shoulders and she leaned against the wall of the tub, eyes lifting as it suddenly occurred to her there was a mirror on the ceiling, the surface flecked in flakes of antique gold. Another spark of electricity ran through her veins as she saw the look on her own face. "She wanted to kiss me," she admitted, perversely relieved to say the words. She saw the bird's eye view of Carter surge forward as she felt those skilled hands make their way to her knee then slide on up to her lower thigh, massaging tired muscles with firm strokes.
"Where?" Sam whispered, needing to know every detail.
"My mouth," Janet exhaled, still staring at the glassy eyed, sensual creature in the mirror.
"Was that all?"
Janet continued staring at her flushed image in the mirror, taking in the slow smile that curved her lips as she whispered. "My shoulders....my stomach...." She let her gaze fall until it met Carter's. "My breasts," she added on a bare breath.
Sam's hands slid higher, fingers moving against Janet's inner thigh, every soft touch sending bolts of awareness through the brunette. "Anywhere else?" she questioned breathlessly, well past any thought that they were just playing a game.
"Guess," Janet challenged, her voice throaty with passion.
They played a silent duel of wills as Sam's hands kept sliding steadily higher on Janet's inner thigh. "Here?" the major questioned.
"Yes." Just a tiny, little gasp.
Still holding the doctor's chocolate gaze, Sam trailed her right hand higher.
Janet's breath caught as she felt water swirl against her most intimate flesh, and then Sam's fingers made contact and a tiny gasp was wrenched from her throat.
"Here?" Sam demanded almost inaudibly.
Janet could barely get the single word answer out. "Yes."
Graceful fingers slowly began to move, learning the sleek new landscape opened for Sam's touch. "Tell me what she said." She lifted her other hand out of the water, bracing it against the tile tub edging as she leaned forward, not quite touching, but close enough that every movement sent water swirling through the narrow space between their bodies. She had no clue what she was doing, but some instinctive part of her seemed to have taken over, and it was feeling more than competent for the activities at hand.
Janet's hips began to move with Sam's stroking fingers and she lifted her hands to the major's lean shoulders. "You really want to know?" she husked.
Sam didn't even have to consider the question. "Yes."
Janet took a deep breath. "All right," she whispered. She took another deep breath and let it out slowly before speaking, her voice throaty with arousal. "She said she wanted to kiss her way down my body and make love to me until I begged for mercy."
Sam's fingers found a taut bundle of nerves and circled lazily. Any thoughts of backing out were completely forgotten for both women. "She's not going to get the chance," she drawled, her voice thick with jealousy. She ran her fingers everywhere, pressing more firmly now; staking her claim.
Janet lifted a hand to Sam's head, fingers digging into thick blond hair as she pulled her closer. "Planning on getting there first?" she asked, staring deeply in pale blue eyes.
"That's right." They hadn't even kissed yet when Sam thrust long fingers deeply into Janet's body, stroking smoothly as muscles clamped down and rippled around the sweet invasion. "First ... last ... and everything in between."
"Sure you're up to the task?" the doctor panted, hips thrusting to meet Sam's fingers.
"Very," Sam groaned low in her throat, shivering violently as Janet trailed a hand down her chest to cup a rounded breast and toy with the coral tip.
"Good answer." Janet used her grip on Sam's hair to drag her forward until their mouths clashed, trading hungry, open-mouthed kisses as their tongues dueled wildly. Nothing in her past experience had prepared her for the desperate need burning in her blood. She simply couldn't get enough of the taste and feel of her friend, and her body throbbed with the instinctive need to feel those exploring fingers as deep as possible. "More," she gasped through the blending of their mouths.
Sam thrust harder, driving deep while she rubbed her thumb against the swollen center of Janet's need, making it throb with every stroke, their passionate struggles churning the water around them. As good as it felt, every thrust into the smaller woman's body making her own throb syncopation, Sam couldn't help but feel there was something more. Something....
Suddenly, she stopped, tasting her lover's cry of disappointment as she pulled her fingers free and dragged them up the length of her torso. She curved both hands to Janet's ribcage, thumbs stroking the outer curve of full breasts as she held on tightly. Blue eyes glittered with uncertain highlights as it occurred to Sam that she wasn't quite sure what to do next. "I want to know how best to please you," she breathed near the smaller woman's ear, erotic images dancing in her head. Then she knew what she wanted ... what she needed; something she would never have imagined herself asking of a lover. She smiled, experiencing a tiny thrill at the taboo thought ... as well as about a dozen others. It was like every inhibition she'd ever possessed had been washed away.
Janet frowned. "I don't understand," she gasped, her eyes glazed by passion.
"I've never made love to a woman--"
"I think that's what you're doing now," Fraiser disagreed blearily. She didn't want to pause for any reason, didn't want to have to think about any of this. If she thought about it too hard, her responsible side might talk her into doing the wise thing and putting an end to the sweet pleasure. And for once in her life, she didn't want to do the wise thing.
Carter smiled. "But I want to do it right," she whispered and claimed soft lips again, then pressured Janet to rise, guiding her up and back until she was sitting on the edge of the tub. She caught the doctor's right hand and lifted it to her lips to press a delicate kiss to the tip of each finger. "And I want you to show me how." She guided the finely made hand downward and felt her Janet tense as she realized what she intended.
"Sam," Janet gasped sharply as her fingers made contact with her own body. She blushed a deep shade of crimson. "I-I can't," she moaned.
Sam's fingers covered her lover's, pressing them firmly against silky flesh when Janet would have pulled away. "Yes, you can," she murmured. "Just do it." She leaned forward, wrapping her lips around a swollen nipple to suckle hungrily, laving the tightly puckered flesh as the sweet-salt of skin and bubble bath flowed over her tongue. She purposely didn't look down, giving Janet time to adjust to the intimacy of the moment as she continued to guide her fingers with a firm hand until she felt them begin to move of their own accord. "That's right," she praised, slowly pulling her hand back as Janet's touch firmed and became more confident, the temptation for more pleasure overpowering her embarrassment. She kissed her way lower on the doctor's body, lips dusting down the flat plane of her stomach, while gentle fingers stroked her inner thighs. She looked down, eyes touching on slender fingers where they were slowly stroking silky flesh and felt her friend stiffen self-consciously. "Don't stop," she whispered, her breath playing over damp skin. "Let me see ... all of you...."
"I've never had someone ... watch," Janet gasped unsteadily, feeling unbelievably exposed with Sam looking on.
"It's beautiful," Sam assured her. Her eyes lifted momentarily. "Just like the rest of you." Blue eyes gleamed with erotic hunger, and Sam's voice dropped low, taking on a coaxing timbre. "Now, let me see," she whispered in measured tones as she let her eyes slide back down the length of her friend's torso.
Her breath coming in harsh pants, body quivering with erotic awareness, Janet couldn't resist the urge to do as bid, and she began the slow stroking pattern again; circling, then slipping inside, then circling again. She lifted her free hand to the back of Sam's head, toying with damp strands of hair as she stared down at the top of her head, torn between excitement and discomfort at the thought of performing this way.
As if sensing that thought, Sam slid lower in the water, dropping a kiss on the top of Janet's thigh. "It's amazing," she whispered, fascinated by the flex and play of graceful fingers and the tiny, responsive shivers that slid through pink flesh. She rubbed her thumb rhythmically against her inner thigh, eyes drinking in the way Janet's fingertips moved, silently memorizing the exact pattern and cadence of each caress and thrilling to the small sounds bubbling up from Janet's chest as she rode the knife edge of desire. "Do you like knowing I'm watching?" she whispered, leaning so close her breath touched on slowly stroking, tapered fingers.
Janet's head fell back on her shoulders, a ripple of heat sliding down her spine in response to the softly spoken question. "Yes." She tightened her hold on silky blond hair as she kept caressing herself, any embarrassment dissipating under the thrilling impact of knowing Sam was there, seeing it all. It went on for long moments, until she could feel a familiar tightening, the sensation more intense than she could have imagined. She tugged Sam's head up, covering her mouth hungrily in a desperate, open-mouthed kiss. "As much fun as this is," Janet panted as the kiss broke, "I think it's time for you to do more than look." She kissed her lover again, petting blond hair back from her brow before gently pressuring her lower. Soft lips brushed her stomach during the journey, but kept moving, guided by the gentle hold on pale hair.
Sam felt her breath catch, her body vibrating with awareness as she made her way lower, tongue dipping into Janet's navel, then sliding downward to brush damp curls. She was surprised when the doctor's strong hands caught her wrists, pulling them up and sideways. Tipping her head up, she stared at her lover, caught by the wicked glint in near-black eyes. "Janet?"
"Just your mouth," the other woman exhaled almost inaudibly. She pressed Sam's hands flat on the marble on either side of her hips, then reached out to cup her head in her hands. "Kiss me."
A moment passed and then Sam pressed her mouth against silky flesh, tongue washing the length the length and breadth and ending in a flourish that swirled around the taut bud at the top. Janet's soft groans filled her ears as slender fingers tightened in her hair. She kept licking, pressing inside -- the taste of sleek heat filling her mouth -- then washing upward to stroke the tiny bundle of quivering nerves.
"Oh God, Sam," Janet gasped over and over, her voice a ragged shadow of itself as her lover explored with knowing caresses. In the last moments, Sam yanked her right hand back from its braced position on the edge of the tub and thrust two fingers into Janet's body as she increased the intensity of their lovemaking.
Janet's head snapped backwards, teeth digging into her lower lip as electricity suddenly flared outward from the point of Sam's tongue, arcing through already over-sensitized nerve endings with enough intensity to leave them crisped in its wake. The hot pleasure went on for what seemed like minutes, and she heard her own voice making tiny pleading sounds, until the wave swept on past. She fell back in a sprawl, barely aware of her surroundings beyond the perverse urge to wave at the bleary-eyed woman grinning down at her in the mirror overhead.
Strong hands closed on Janet's hips, tugging her back into the water, and she instinctively slid into the arms braced to catch her, coiling her legs loosely around slim hips. "Oh, Sam," she exhaled heavily, resting her cheek against a supportive shoulder as she felt a gentle hand pet her hair.
"Oh, Janet," Sam chuckled teasingly, holding her tenderly as she floated back to earth. She ducked her head to taste soft lips. "Your suitor was right," she mumbled through the kiss, "you do taste good."
"Mmm," Janet groaned, leaning into the kiss, her body already coming back to life as she trailed her hands over Sam's chest, toying with her breasts with slow strokes. As their lips parted, she leaned back to stare up at her lover. "So, how do you taste?"
Sam shrugged, heat flaring in her expression in response to the sensual question. "I don't know."
A smile full of erotic knowledge curved Janet's mouth as she slid a hand down between their bodies, fingers lingering as they slid lower. "I think it's time I find out, don't you?"
Her body already so close to the edge it was hard to breathe, Sam could only nod as agile fingers teased her, then slipped inside.
A part of Janet couldn't believe what she was doing. She'd always been so conservative when it came to her sex life, and suddenly she felt insatiable and ready to do anything. She buried her face in the curve of Sam's throat, tasting her skin as she struggled to make her brain function more clearly. There was something–
"Look," Sam's thick voice broke in on Janet's musings and she lifted her head, following the line of her lover's gaze to the ceiling, where she could see the reflection of their twined figures. "We look good together."
Her attention distracted by the sight, Janet nodded dazedly, then grinned at herself in the mirror. There was so much more she wanted to see. "We can look better," she drawled, pressing Sam to stand. "Look at that," she gasped as she watched the mirror image of her lover rise from the water like Aphrodite from the sea. Water sluiced down the blond's pale skin, following graceful curves as she moved, and Janet leaned forward, catching droplets on her tongue as she pressed her backward. "Are you ready?" she gasped.
Falling back onto the cool marble tile, Carter nodded jerkily, barely seeming in control of her own body. She was already so aroused that she knew she wasn't going to last long as she clung mindlessly to her lover. Tiny, aroused whimpers slipped from her lips, begging for the feel of Janet's touch. A second later the doctor arched over her and strong hands molded to her breasts as a rough textured tongue stroked her stomach, following the silver trickles of water lower on her body. "Please," Sam gasped, nearly incoherent with pleasure. A tongue dipped into her navel, then followed the centerline of taut abdominal muscles. "Don't stop."
"Don't worry," Janet promised, her breath teasing dark blond curls. She kissed Sam's hip lightly, then found her inner thigh, where she O'd her lips, suctioning just hard enough to leave a small red hickey before pressing butterfly kisses in a random pattern.
"I can't wait any longer," Sam panted, her body heaving with the force of her response.
"Poor baby," Janet breathed, fingers spreading silky pink flesh. "You really are desperate."
"Please." Sam almost screamed as a warm, sandpapery tongue pressed into her intimate flesh, exploring and learning the new landscape, each caress sending white hot flares of pleasure through her lean frame. Her hips instinctively lifted a moment later as slender fingers thrust deep into her body, their way made easy by the slick heat of her arousal.
Janet nuzzled deeper into slick heat, washing her tongue down and around her own fingers where they were clasped inside Sam's body, the taste of lust and need filling her senses. She was amazed to feel herself already painfully aroused once again, as though her body was in sympathetic vibration with the tiny shudders rattling through her lover.
"God, Janet," Sam gasped, every muscle in her body pulling taut as her hips surged upward, seeking more of the erotic contact. She reached down, fingers finding her lover's forehead to tenderly stroke damp auburn strands back from her brow as the sweet sensations flared outward from the center of her body with an intensity that left her breathless and desperate for more.
The thrust and play went on for long minutes as Janet brought Sam to the brink of orgasm, toying with her body and taking pleasure from the taste and feel of her flesh, the tiny sounds she made deep in her throat, and the way her muscles flexed and rippled with uncontrolled passion. It was every sensory delight imaginable, and she felt as though she could have stayed there forever. Then she felt sleek muscles clamp down on her fingers as a cry bubbled up from Sam's chest, and redoubled her efforts, increasing the sweet intensity and pushing her lover the last little way over the edge.
Sam cried out, back bowing as her body exploded with raw pleasure. She was lost in a tidal wave of heat and fire, her only tie point to the real world the woman making such sweet love to her. And then as fast as it had washed over her, the conflagration burned itself out, leaving her limp and unmoving on steam-warmed tile. A dazed, but happy smile curved her mouth as Janet caught her hands and tugged her back into the water. Carter slithered bonelessly into the tub, wrapping her arms loosely around the smaller woman's shoulders, trusting her lover to keep her from just sinking out of sight. "Dear God," she groaned, her cheek just brushing Janet's as she leaned against her shoulder. She cupped a hand along her lover's jawline, finding her mouth in a slow kiss. She couldn't even begin to understand why this had happened. It was pure compulsion moving through her blood. Already, she could feel the need heating up again, driving her to kiss and caress. "Water's cooling off," she groaned between kisses.
"Mmm," Janet mumbled through the meeting of their lips. "But we're not." She spread her hands against Sam's narrow back, fingers digging in to taut muscles. When the kiss broke, she leaned back to stare up at the blond woman, meeting the hungry look in her eyes with one of her own. "Maybe we should move this to the bedroom," she suggested and rose, standing gracefully as she caught Sam's hands in her own.
Sam couldn't stop grinning as she allowed her lover to lead her out of the tub. Several thick towels in a soft woven fabric similar to cotton were folded in a small alcove, and they retrieved two, using them to dry each other off and quickly turning it into a new sensual experience that left them both trembling with need.
"Bedroom," Janet reminded Sam through a heady kiss, her skin pleasantly flushed from the erotic rubdown.
"Right," the taller woman exhaled, trailing behind her lover into the bedroom, where they soon found themselves lost in passion once again.
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *~ *
The loose sprawl of her own arms and legs among cool sheets. The soft whoosh of the ceiling fan turning overhead. A warm body curled catlike against her side. A pleasant post coital ache.
A pleasant post coital ache?
Janet Fraiser's eyes snapped open, going wide in the dim interior of her temporary quarters on Oneuris. The first thing she saw was her bra – or maybe it was Sam's, she couldn't remember – going round and round as it dangled from a blade on the ceiling fan directly overhead, the result of a very strange slingshot game as she only vaguely recalled. She swallowed hard. She really would have preferred that to have been some kind of very surreal dream.
But if that was real, that meant that....
Janet cautiously tipped her gaze downward, hoping against hope....
But no, she wasn't imagining anything, that really was Sam coiled naked against her side, her head pillowed on her breast. "Ho boy," Janet exhaled and swallowed hard. A beat later, her eyes slid around the interior of the oversize room, taking in the general chaos that had not been there a few short hours before.
There was the chest and vanity where they'd....
And the mirror that they'd....
The rug in front of the fireplace.... Twice.
The divan chair in the corner. Through there, the bath. Three times. The couch that sat against the opposite wall. The writing desk near the window.
"Oh God," she groaned. They'd been like a pair of crazed weasels in heat, moving from one sex act to the next with a desperate fluidity that was almost inhuman. If there was anything left that they hadn't done, it was due strictly to ignorance or oversight. "Oy." It was almost like they'd been drugged.
Like they'd been drugged.
The juice. Janet groaned softly as she remembered just how much they'd drunk. In her case, she'd even drained the last dregs by licking them off velvety skin. She had one arm wrapped loosely around Sam's limp body, but she lifted her other hand to run it through her hair, unsurprised to find the auburn strands apparently standing on end. She was comfortably certain she had a case of bed hair to end all cases of bed hair. She shook the distracting thought off, returning to the subject of the juice. That had to be it. She flinched as she remembered the waiter's look. He must have thought she was asking for something to enhance what he thought was going on between she and Carter. It was probably some kind of aphrodisiac.
A pretty powerful one, judging by how many times they'd....
She was getting good at not quite finishing thoughts. Janet massaged her temple slowly in an effort to relieve a growing stress headache. This was not good. Not good at all. Sleeping with Sam was definitely way close to the top of the verboten things she should never even contemplate doing. And she had done it. Oh boy, had she ever done it.
Then, despite her shock or maybe because of it, her mouth curled in a sudden sensual smile as more memories caught up with her, reminding the doctor of the thick pleasure she'd found in the other woman's arms. Unfortunately, despite the fact it wasn't good, it had been so very good.
She sighed softly, wondering if it was the drug making her thoughts so fractured and incomprehensible. Sam stirred against her side, drawing attention to the shared heat of their bodies. Of course, it might also be Sam who was doing that, because all Janet had to do was look at her and she could feel her hormones doing a little watusi with her heartrate.
Sam mumbled and blindly nuzzled the warm breast under her cheek, lips clinging to velvety skin in ways that sent Janet's temperature spiraling and had her pulse doing very strange things. A long fingered hand found the curve of her hip and began stroking slowly, and it suddenly occurred to Fraiser that if she didn't put things to a stop quickly, she wasn't going to have the defense of drugs in her system to excuse her actions. She briefly contemplated trying to slip out of bed unnoticed, but the way their bodies were twined together, she didn't have a prayer in hell of getting away with that plan.
Janet lifted the hand resting along Sam's back to her head, slipping her fingers into short blond hair to tug gently. "Sam...Sam...."
Carter stirred, muscles tensing ever so slightly as she mumbled something incomprehensible under her breath.
Janet tried again. "Sam...come on, you need to wake up." Though she wasn't actually in that big a hurry to rouse the other woman. There was going to be hell to pay when she did, and the soft caresses floating over her chest and hip felt so good.
The hand at Janet's hip tightened fractionally. "Mmm, jus' a sec'," Carter mumbled against warm skin, then wrapped her lips around a puckered nipple, suckling gently.
Swallowing hard, Fraiser redoubled her determination. "Sam ... now," she spoke sharply, tugging just hard enough on pale blond hair to force the other woman's attention.
Blue eyes opened and lifted, sliding up the plane of Janet's chest, then snapping into focus as they locked with the doctor's dark brown gaze. Fraiser saw the realization of their situation start to sink in with returning awareness, then Carter's gaze swung away from her, touching on various points in the room, much the same way hers had when she first wakened. Then Sam's head tipped back on her shoulders, gaze rising until it touched on the bra still sweeping round and round where it dangled from the end of the fan blade. "Oh ... my ... god," she exhaled as her gaze dropped back down to Janet's face, shock etched in her expression.
Fraiser offered a weak smile.
Carter swallowed hard, her eyes round as she stared at her ... friend? "What the hell?"
"We seem to have ... um ... I think ... er ... apparently things got a little out of control last night..." she finally got the brief explanation out in fits and starts.
Sam rolled away from her friend, dragging the thick comforter with her as she moved. "Oh god." With her back to Janet, who suddenly found herself lying there naked with nothing whatsoever to protect her modesty, Sam reached up to rub her temple as she struggled with the memories tumbling through her head. "I was at the party," she exhaled. "And then ... and we ... the bathtub ... oh God," she moaned again and yanked the comforter up over her head, turning herself into a softly groaning Sam-lump.
There was a sheet in a tangle on the floor, having fallen or been tossed there sometime during the night, and Janet grabbed for it, winding it around her body as she slid out of the bed. "Sam, we need to ... to talk about this..." she said haltingly as she stood staring at the comforter hiding Sam's lean form.
The lump muttered a muffled response.
Janet frowned. This really wasn't helping. She dug a robe out of her closet, tossing the sheet aside as she shrugged into the black velour, feeling a little more in control by the time she tied the belt tightly around her waist. "Sam," she began cautiously as she approached the bed once again.
The lump quivered.
Janet sighed softly. "Sam, we need to talk." She wouldn't have minded a brief bout of hiding under some blankets at that point, but they really didn't have time for this.
"No," the single word response was muffled, but understandable.
Fraiser's eyebrows rose and for a moment, she had no idea what to say to that. She reached out and carefully started to peel back one corner of the quilt only to have Sam snatch it back and tuck it tighter around herself. "Sam?"
A long moment passed, and then one small section of the comforter slowly eased back and blond hair peeked out a few strands at a time. Luminous blue eyes lifted to meet Janet's worried gaze. "I don't wanna discuss this," Sam said shortly and disappeared back under the quilt.
"But, Sam..." Janet exhaled helplessly, "We really need to talk--"
"No, we don't," Carter disagreed vehemently without coming out from under her impromptu hiding place.
Janet barely resisted the urge to hide her face in her hands and moan pathetically. This was just getting worse and worse. "But, Sam, there are things--"
"No, there aren't," the lump disagreed instantly. "There are no things, whatsoever."
"B-but what happened here," Janet murmured, eyes sliding over room and taking in the reminders of everything they'd done. "Don't you think that was a little--"
"Lalalalalala." The quilt was humming now, and Janet leaned forward, catching a corner of the fabric and tugging it back a few inches before Sam could yank it out of her hands. She just barely caught a glimpse of Sam's hands over her ears before the major grabbed for the blanket and pulled it back around herself.
"Oh, this is a mature response," Fraiser complained and leaned down, muscles flexing as she pulled the blanket back an inch or two despite Carter's best efforts, peering down into terrified blue eyes. "Look, Sam, what I'm trying to tell you is--" Whatever she was about to say was cut off as someone knocked sharply on the front door.
Any ground she'd made with Sam was instantly lost as the major let out a squeal and disappeared back under the comforter with the pointed exclamation, "Whoever it is, I'm not here."
Janet frowned, wondering how in the hell she was supposed to explain the lump quivering in the middle of her bed if someone happened to ask.
Another sharp knock. The doctor barely contained the urge to shout, "Go away!" instead grumbling to herself as she stepped up to the front door and threw the lock, opening it a tiny crack. "Yes?"
Daniel Jackson stood there, looking like he'd been drug behind a humvee for several miles. "Hi...um..." he began as he stood there wavering on his feet and looking profoundly embarrassed.
"Doctor Jackson," she said impatiently, just wanting him gone so she could go back to the problem of the woman on the bed behind her.
"I'm sorry to bother you," he groaned, peering at her through eyes slitted down until they were only open a millimeter or two. "But I kind of ... um ... overdid it at the party last night and I was ... uh ... wondering--"
"Drink plenty of liquids, hit the vitamin B and Tylenol pills in your medkit, eat something light -- preferably healthy and low on the grease -- and get plenty of rest," she fired off the list in a shotgun blast of professional advice that left him staring at her as though he had no idea who she was.
A sudden moan from the bed drew his attention, despite her efforts to press the door closed before he realized she wasn't alone. Daniel abruptly blushed beet red. "Um, thanks," he squeaked.
"Is he gone?" the voice that came from the Sam-lump was muffled by the quilt, but easily recognizable.
"Isn't that...." He almost said 'Sam,' but trailed off a beat before his teammate's name crossed his lips as he leaned sideways to peer past the petite woman standing in the doorway, eyes touching momentarily on the obviously human lump on her bed before snapping upward. God had no mercy, and the only sight he encountered was a pale wisp of a bra dangling from the fanblade, going round and round. And when his eyes dropped to the floor, he noted another pale bra tossed there. His brain was still putting two and two together as his eyes dropped to the woman trying to barricade the door with her body as he realized what he'd walked in on. Swallowing hard, he started to back away, but not before she snatched him by the front collar and yanked him forward and down until they were nose to nose.
"Not one word...ever," the doctor hissed, her dark eyes glinting dangerously.
"Me? Who? No. Not ever. I will never say one, single, solitary word," Daniel promised instantly, while the Sam-lump apparently realized what it had done and moaned that much more pathetically. "Not ever," he said again for good measure. He was smart enough to understand that his survival was at stake.
Janet smiled at the raw terror in his eyes. "Good choice," she praised as she released her death grip on his collar. Suddenly she straightened her shoulders, turning back into the calm, cool physician he was used to. "Now, you should go get some rest," she suggested smoothly.
He nodded jerkily, backing away several steps before turning and hurrying off down the path.
Janet was just pushing the door shut when a familiar voice reached her ears.
"Hey, was that Daniel?"
The Sam-lump squealed. Clearly, Janet wasn't the only one who'd recognized Jack O'Neill's voice.
"Colonel?" the doctor squawked and tried to dart back into her room, hoping he'd get the hint that she wasn't looking for company. Unfortunately, O'Neill didn't get hints applied with anything less than a two by four, so he staggered up the walk, his eyes squinted tightly against the morning light, hair and uniform askew, his skin ghostly pale except for the dark circles under both eyes. He would have had to improve several notches just to look like hell.
"Yeah, Doc," O'Neill muttered. "And could you not scream so loud?" he pleaded, his voice threatening to turn into a whimper. He ran a hand through his hair. "I was just wondering if you could...uh...suggest something?" He tapped his temple lightly, wincing as his finger made contact. "I think I'm a little...well–"
"Hung over?" the doctor supplied helpfully as she managed to surreptitiously kick the bra on the floor behind her out of his line of sight. Unfortunately, there was nothing she could do about the one on the fanblade but pray.
"I was gonna say, 'Under the weather,'" O'Neill groaned, while the lump began muttering, the sounds too muffled to be recognizable, but loud enough to make Janet uneasy.
O'Neill smirked as he realized she was trying to prevent him from seeing that she wasn't alone. "Relax, Doc, believe me, you aren't the only one who had a little fun last night." He massaged his aching skull. "Actually, I think if there's anyone who didn't get laid, they're the unusual ones." He offered a bleary smirk. "Carter was her usual party-hearty self, but other than her, I think we all scored." He peered past her shoulder, but could only make out the vague outline of the lump on her bed. A groaning lump. Which was unusual, he had to admit. "Is he okay?" Jack questioned worriedly, then eyed the doctor. She didn't look big enough to do much damage, but then again, he had a funny feeling the doc had some hidden fires that could leave a man erotically singed within an inch of his life. Then he noted the slowly turning fanblade with its unique bit of decoration and couldn't contain a grin as he considered how it might have gotten there, storing the thought away for future reference some day when he was short on fantasies and needed a kick start.
"Fine, sir," Janet clipped, struggling to maintain some degree of dignity under his assessing gaze, a near impossibility under the circumstances, but she made a valiant effort of it. "You wanted something?" She pointedly ignored the fact that her bed moaned again.
O'Neill raised an eyebrow, but didn't comment. Instead, he tapped his head again and repeated the drunken wince. "Um...yeah...best course of action?"
She sighed softly. "Lots of fluids." She started to suggest fruit juice only to change her mind. The last thing they needed was for O'Neill to get into the local version of the Kickapoo Joy Juice when he'd already overimbibed within an inch of his life by the look of it. He could probably kill himself that way. "Tylenol and B complex pills from you medkit, something healthy to eat – none of that garbage you prefer – and plenty of rest. Past that I'm afraid you're stuck suffering through it."
He eyed her for a moment, noting that she looked a little tired, but not ready to jump off the nearest cliff like everyone else he'd run into so far that morning. "You seem to be doing pretty good." The smirk returned as his eyes touched on the moaning lump despite her best efforts to block the door, then swung back to her with an all new kind of respect. "I hope you didn't do any permanent damage to the poor bastard," he drawled, grinning as a ruddy blush crept over her skin.
Janet smiled too sweetly. "Colonel, in case you're considering continuing this line of conversation, may I remind you that sooner or later you will need medical attention in my infirmary."
He chuckled, her discomfort briefly taking his mind off his own problems. "You're too professional to get revenge that way," he said confidently.
Janet's icy smile broadened a notch and she didn't say a word.
After a moment, Jack started to sweat. The effect only got worse as her grin became more feral with every passing second. "Then again," he exhaled after a beat and started backing away. He nodded toward her shadowed bed. "Try not to kill the poor guy, huh? That could probably screw up the treaty."
Janet sharpened her glare, chasing him on his way, though not so quickly that she didn't hear his muttered, "...always figured she'd be a firecracker...."
Molars grinding together, the doctor stepped back inside her room and pushed the door shut, thinking Jack O'Neill would be wise to avoid needing medical care for the foreseeable future.
A corner of the blanket lifted a millimeter or two to allow blue eyes to peer out. "Is he gone?" Sam whispered almost inaudibly.
"He's gone," Janet confirmed, as she leaned down until their eyes were on level. She sighed softly. "Now, can we talk?"
Sam cautiously eased the blanket back a few inches. "Look, Janet," she began, sounding apologetic, embarrassed, and confused all at once. "I know you probably think I'm acting like an idiot."
Russet brows arched in wry acknowledgment.
"B-but I just...I mean...it's just that...this is all a little...a little overwhelming..." Sam stammered and stumbled over her own words, barely resisting the driving urge to yank the comforter back over her head and just hide from it all. She was not good at things like this. That was why she usually avoided emotional – and physical – entanglements. They were just too damn messy.
"Believe me, I know how you feel," Janet said dryly. Ironically enough, if anyone had laid out this scenario for her in advance, she'd have predicted she'd be the one hiding under the blankets and Sam would be the one handling things...well, if not calmly, then at least more calmly. Her friend always seemed so totally controlled. She'd always assumed she'd be the same way when it came to every aspect of her life. Then again, maybe that was the problem. Self-control had clearly not played a major part in what happened. She supposed it was probably pretty jarring to Sam's view of the world and herself. She certainly felt like any number of assumptions she'd long made about herself had been turned on their side. "But we really need--"
And someone knocked on the door. In an instant, Sam had let out a startled squeal and yanked the comforter over her head, while Janet had to bite back on a frustrated scream. She would have ignored the knocking, but it only got louder.
"Dammit, I'm coming!" the doctor shouted to make herself heard over what was rapidly turning into door battering pounding. She opened a narrow crack in the door, and pulled up short as she found Teal'c standing on her doorstep. "Oh no, I cannot believe that your symbiont hasn't taken care of any hangover problems," she snarled without thinking.
He arched one neat eyebrow as he stared down at her as though she had somehow morphed into an all new life form. Of course, considering what she probably looked like, standing there in a robe, with her hair askew and her skin pink from a night of lovemaking, she wasn't exactly the calm professional he was used to. "Hang...over?" he said after a beat. "I do not know this term. However, I am fine."
Janet bit back on an annoyed growl. "Then what do you need?" she demanded impatiently.
The single eyebrow climbed another notch. "I was supposed to accompany you to your meeting on what you have learned of Goa'uld biology."
"Oh God," Janet groaned. She'd completely forgotten about that. "It totally slipped my mind," she admitted in a rush while Teal'c simply continued to stand there and stare at her. She ran a hand through her tangled hair with a low curse. "Obviously, I'm running a little late," she added at his look.
Dark eyes slid over the doctor's small frame, taking in her disheveled appearance, and Teal'c sighed very softly, the most subtle of acknowledgments of the situation. "Apparently everyone is running late today," he said simply.
"Yeah, well, we can't all be perfect," Janet muttered, her tone acid. "If you'd prefer, go on ahead and I'll get there as quickly as I can." That would certainly be her preference, since the last thing she wanted was for Teal'c to stay any longer than absolutely necessary.
"I will wait," he said calmly to her extreme annoyance.
"Really, Teal'c, it's not necessary."
He simply stared at her while Fraiser scowled at the Jaffa, her best intimidating look doing nothing to faze him. "Regardless, I will wait."
Janet found herself wondering how much worse this morning could get. Despite her better instincts, which were telling her to slam the door and go hide under the blanket with Sam, she gingerly tried to explain, "Look, Teal'c, I may be a little while, and I would really prefer it if you just went ahead and got to the meeting. Tell 'em to start without me."
"Without your presence, the meeting is pointless," he pointed out so logically that she really wanted to hit him.
"I think Dr. Warner is quite capable of getting things started."
The Jaffa shook his head. "He is also running late," he pointed out quietly.
"Oh." Janet took a deep breath, struggling to mentally regroup, then tried to get rid of him again, though judging by the set cast to his expression it was doomed to be a futile effort, "Nonetheless--"
"Will you just go!?" Sam exploded suddenly as she sat up and stuck her head out from under the comforter, her blond hair every bit as mussed as, and her skin an ever ruddier shade than, the doctor's.
Janet just whimpered and dropped her head into her hands. Obviously, she'd been very bad in a previous life and the karma was catching up with her.
Teal'c silently craned his neck just enough to peer around Fraiser through the narrow opening in the door until he spotted his teammate, who sat frozen and clearly naked except for the quilt on Fraiser's bed. His eyes lifted, tracking the slowly turning bra. Clearly, there were elements to Tau'ri behavior that he did not yet understand. "Perhaps I should attend the meeting," he said at last.
As Janet looked up, she was surprised to find him looking as close to embarrassed as she suspected was possible for the large Jaffa. "Thank you," she said in a very small voice, while Sam suddenly realized what she'd done, let out an appalled squawk, and disappeared back under the quilt.
"It seems wisest," Teal'c responded in perfectly measured tones.
"I'll be there as soon as I can," Fraiser sighed, then quietly added, "And I'd really appreciate it – and I'm sure Sam ... er ... Major Carter would as well – if you could just not mention this to anyone."
That lone eyebrow lifted again. "You need not concern yourself," he intoned perfectly deadpan. "I will inform no one."
He let out another tiny sigh, indicating he was no more thrilled with his discovery than she was. There were certain things about his teammates' private lives he would just as soon not have known. In the last few hours, he had unfortunately learned all too much about all too many of them. "I will attend the meeting now."
Janet simply nodded and pushed the door shut in his wake. Sometimes, it's best to just take your lumps and go on in this life. "He's gone," she exhaled as she turned and leaned against the door, praying to whatever gods might feel like listening that no one else would knock. She wasn't sure what the hell she'd do if she had to deal with another person at the door staring at her slowly turning bra ... or maybe Sam's ... she still couldn't remember.
"Oh, God, I can't believe I did that," the Sam-lump moaned. "How stupid could I be?" She abruptly poked her head out, turning a sharp look on Janet. "That was strictly a rhetorical question, by the way."
"I guessed as much," Janet assured her as she pushed away from the door. She heaved an exhausted sigh. "Look, Sam, I have to get dressed and get to that meeting." She rubbed the bridge of her nose. "But at some point we're going to have to talk about this."
Sam didn't answer, just sat there, looking like she'd really rather crawl back under the comforter than deal with any of this.
Finally, Janet crossed to the closet, quickly grabbing what she needed and heading into the bathroom. There was a small shower stall in one corner and she took a quick rinse off, and fifteen minutes later, was headed out, her hair still slightly damp and her complexion paler than normal. She found the lump gone from her bed, Carter's clothes missing from the various places around her room where they'd landed, and her bra no longer dangling from the ceiling fan. Most of the signs of their more ... energetic pursuits had also been cleaned up. It would have been easy enough to pretend absolutely nothing had happened. Easy, logical, and, considering her career, probably even the wisest course of action.
So, why did she find the whole concept completely depressing?
Finally, Janet grabbed a briefcase and larger valise, then started to leave. She paused in the doorway, and turned back. Finding the bottle they'd emptied the night before, she tossed it into her valise, then hurried out.