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Out of the Shadows

by Lin

[Story Headers]

Janet slid her hand across the bed until it met warm, soft resistance. She rolled over and curled herself snugly against Sam's back. "G'morning," she murmured, slipping her hand around Sam's waist to rest warmly on her stomach.

"Morning, sleepyhead," Sam grinned and glanced at the clock, resting her hand over Janet's. "It's only eight fifteen, you can go back to sleep if you like. We don't have to pick up Cass 'til after lunch."

Sam stayed in bed until Janet fell back into a doze, and then got dressed and crept down to the kitchen to make coffee. Sometimes she wished she wasn't so used to getting up early; a lie in would be wonderful, but her body clock seemed to have forgotten how days off worked. When the phone rang she lifted it without thinking, and immediately regretted her action when she heard General Hammond's voice in her ear.

"Major Carter?"

Sam cringed inwardly, but managed to fake a professional tone. "Yes, Sir."

"I thought I dialled Dr. Fraiser's number."

"You did, Sir." As Sam spoke Janet came through the door, dishevelled in her pyjamas and yawning. Sam gestured for her to be quiet, then turned away to avoid the sight of Janet's expression as it turned from amused to horrified as she realised to whom Sam had answered the phone.

"I stayed here last night so we could have an, uh, girl's night in. I can get Dr. Fraiser for you, or pass on a message, Sir."

"You've saved me a call, Major, since you were next on my list. I need you and Dr. Fraiser to report to the base immediately." Suddenly Sam heard past her own embarrassment to Hammonds strained tone. "Is everything okay, Sir?"

"I can't tell you anything until you get here, Major, so make it as soon as possible."

"We'll be right there, Sir." Sam hung up the phone and turned to Janet, who opened her mouth to complain about being called in on their day off. Sam cut her off as she walked over to stand beside her. "It's serious, Jan. He didn't say anything, but it's serious."

Janet squeezed Sam's hand, and then turned to head back towards the stairs. "Call Jayme's mom and ask if Cassie can stay there for the day, okay? I'll go get dressed."


The rest of SG-1, plus the commanders of SG-2, SG-3, and SG-6, were already in the briefing room when Sam and Janet arrived. They slid into two empty seats across from Colonel O'Neill and Daniel, and Hammond wasted no time in letting them know why they were there.

"We've been contacted by the Tok'ra. There is an unidentified ship, about four times the size of a Goa'uld mothership, on course for Earth. If they continue at their present speed, we estimate they'll reach us in a little over an hour. Their intentions may not be hostile, but until we have more information we can't count on that."

Only those who knew O'Neill the best could tell that he was anything other than completely calm when he raised a finger to catch Hammond's attention. "What can you tell us about them, Sir?"

"With certainty, very little," Hammond responded.

"And say I'm not fussy about certainty.?" Sam smiled, despite the situation, but her smile faded at Hammond's answer.

"Not much more, I'm afraid. We know they have massive amounts of naquadah on board, and an extremely fast ship. The Tok'ra have attempted to communicate with them, with no response, and are still attempting to do so. They'll get back to us if they learn anything new." Hammond shook his head, aware of the hopelessness of what he was about to say. "For now, we need to make the base as secure as possible, and somehow formulate a plan of defence against an enemy we know virtually nothing about."

O'Neill nodded once, then turned to the rest of the people in the room. "Just another day at the office, right guys?"


Janet tapped her pen against her desk, and then tossed it down. There was no point in pretending she was doing paperwork. The only thing she was doing was waiting for klaxons to start blaring, or casualties to start pouring through her door. That, and wondering what Sam was doing.

She hadn't heard from any of SG-1 since the briefing, when they all rushed off in different directions to tend to whatever it was a theoretical astrophysicist, a colonel, an ex-Jaffa, and an archaeologist attended to on occasions such as this.

Sam would be building something. Building a machine that would save them all and then smiling deferentially, trying not to blush when she was given another medal.

Colonel O'Neill and Teal'c would be organising troops, so they were ready for attack from any angle, any entrance. If any of the aliens made it onto the base, Janet imagined, they wouldn't last long with O'Neill and Teal'c at the head of the defence force.

What would Daniel be doing, Janet wondered? Burying himself in his books, studying satellite photographs of the ship, and translating some mysterious special marking on its hull. It would probably contain the key to disabling the entire alien ship, and allow O'Neill and Teal'c's troops to take them out using Sam's machine.

Janet sighed. "And I'm just sitting here, pretending to update charts." She didn't realise she'd spoken aloud until one of her nurses stuck her head around the door.

"Did you say something, Dr. Fraiser?"

"Oh, no, Beth, it's nothing. I'm just muttering to myself."

Beth went back to work, and Janet went back to staring at her desk. The infirmary was just too quiet. The ship had arrived in Earth's orbit a little under half an hour before, and Janet knew that their instruments had detected scans being taken of the mountain, but as of yet she hadn't seen or heard any sign of attack, and nobody had updated her on the situation. It just didn't feel like an emergency to her.

She was about to begin an inventory of supplies, an attempt to occupy her mind, when suddenly there was a muffled sound from above, and the floor of her office lurched enough to send her stumbling for several steps as she moved towards the door. She took a deep breath to calm herself, and went to the telephone to try and find out what was going on.

No klaxons were sounding, at least on this level. Janet hoped that whatever had happened wasn't as serious as it had sounded. Her hope lasted for about two minutes - the same length of time as it took for her first casualty to limp through the door. He clutched with his left hand at a gash running across his right shoulder.

"Beth, help Captain Morris to a bed," Janet pulled on a pair of latex gloves and moved over to help the captain. He gritted his teeth as she cleaned his wound, but filled her in on the situation through his pain.

"They're right above us, dropping these 'shock devices'. They make mini-" he gasped as Janet probed a little too deep for his liking, "-earthquakes. Our X-302s have been taking them out before they hit ground, but I guess one made it through."

"Are you the only injury that you know of?" Janet gestured a nurse over to stitch Morris's shoulder, but stayed to find out what he knew.

"Yeah, but I'm sure there are more nearer to where the thing landed. I was a bit away, got off lightly. It was stupid how I got hurt," he shook his head in embarrassment. "When the room shook I stumbled and knocked into some machinery. Should've just let myself fall, but like the idiot I am, I tried to grab on and stay upright - pulled it over on myself."

"Don't beat yourself up too much," Janet resisted the urge to point out that the machinery had done a pretty good job of that already. "It's instinct to hang on when you're falling."

Morris opened his mouth to reply, but was cut off by a frantic shout from the corridor. Janet momentarily tensed at the thought of the deluge that was about to begin, but quickly calmed and prepared herself. Of course she was never pleased to see injuries, but at least, she told herself, she knew what to do with them.

A busy infirmary she could handle, it was the waiting that killed her. The waiting, and the guilt she felt for being relieved each time her next patient wasn't Sam. Injured soldiers on stretchers, and limping in with the support of other walking wounded, began to fill up the room. Janet pushed her unprofessional thoughts out of her head, and went to work.


Daniel left his meeting with General Hammond and headed straight for Sam's lab, needing to vent his frustration. He found her there, bent over a mess of mechanical pieces.

"He won't let me negotiate with them."

Sam looked up from her work briefly, and then returned to it. "How were you planning on negotiating when they won't talk to us?"

"I wanted to go up in a Teltac, or an X-302. I thought I might get them to talk if I went up in person."

"They probably don't even speak English, Daniel." She saw him open his mouth and forestalled him. "Or any of the other however many languages you speak now. They don't want to talk to us, they want to kill us, and at risk of sounding like Colonel O'Neill, our only way out of this is to figure out a way to kill them first."

"We can't just give up on talking to them!" He reached for her arm to get her attention. "Look at me, Sam." And so Sam was looking straight at Daniel when the shock device went off, and a piece of the ceiling crashed down on him.

They arrived in the infirmary, Sam wheeling Daniel on a gurney because all the nurses were busy, to find chaos. The beds were full, mostly of people who had suffered a similar injury to Daniel - falling equipment, walls, ceiling. Each time a shock device made it through their defences more parts of Cheyenne Mountain shook loose and hit people. They were coming apart at the seams.

Janet was on the phone when Sam and Daniel arrived, but hurried over to them as soon as she hung up. Sam knew she had bad news when the first thing Janet said wasn't to ask what had happened to Daniel.

"That was Colonel O'Neill. They've started sending troops through the Stargate."

Sam immediately began to ask, "But what about the-"

"They know how to breach the iris. I don't know how they're doing it, and neither does Colonel O'Neill. It just slid back when the wormhole engaged." Janet reached across Daniel on his gurney between them to touch Sam's arm lightly. "General Hammond was looking for you. Colonel O'Neill, Teal'c, and pretty much everybody else who isn't in here is defending the Gateroom, but if the aliens breach the blast doors and get into the rest of the facility he's going to set the self-destruct. He needs you to be the other ranking officer."

Sam didn't acknowledge Janet's words, just turned back to Daniel. "He got hit by a piece of falling ceiling. He was conscious until we put him on the gurney. I think moving him hurt so much he blacked out."

"I'll take care of him, Sam. Go and see the General."

She nodded slightly, and tried to smile as she turned to go. "I'll be back soon, Janet."


If Sam had not already known the situation was dire, returning to the infirmary would have confirmed it for her. Patients had spilled out into the corridor, sitting cradling broken arms, holding gauze patches over wounds nobody had time to stitch.

No less then four people were calling for Janet's attention when Sam caught sight of her, but Sam walked over and pulled her aside regardless.

"Sam, I'm a little busy!" Janet moved to go back to her patient, but Sam reached out and anchored her, Sam's fingers firm around Janet's wrist, not letting go even when it was clear she would stay.

"There's about to be an announcement, but I couldn't let you hear this on the tannoy." She let it all out in a rush of breath and low whispers. "They breached the Gateroom. They've got superior weapons, and there are just too many of them. It's like Culloden in there. We've set the self-destruct. It doesn't matter if you go back to your patients or not. In ten minutes they'll be dead, and so will we."

General Hammond's voice came over the tannoy, and a hush fell over the infirmary as everybody listened. Sam clutched for Janet's hand as Hammond told them it had been an honour to serve with them all. It wasn't until that moment it hit Sam that O'Neill and Teal'c were probably already dead. Janet squeezed Sam's hand, and then let it go as Hammond's announcement ended and patients and medical staff alike stayed in stunned silence. "I'll be right back," she murmured, and gestured Sam towards where Daniel lay. "Wait with Daniel."

Janet moved between her nurses, instructing them all to administer enough pain killers to each patient to keep them comfortable, and then to find their closest friends and make sure they saw them. She found herself unable to form the words 'to say goodbye'. She pulled each of her nurses into a brief hug, and thanked them for their hard work. She did not cry, and this surprised even herself.

Sam was standing by Daniel's bed when Janet finished her round of the infirmary and returned to her. Daniel had just regained consciousness after another blackout, and Sam was explaining to him what was happening. Janet slipped her arm around Sam's waist for support - what did it matter who saw them now? - and Sam offered her a weak smile in response.

Her arm around Sam's waist was as much for Janet's support as for Sam's. Janet sent out a silent apology to Cassie, who had lost so much already, and today would lose so many more of the people she loved. Please forgive me, I didn't mean for this to happen to you. She knew she wasn't alone in thinking of her daughter. She, Sam, and Cassie were a family.

Daniel had said nothing when Sam broke the news, and she neglected to mention the likelihood of O'Neill and Teal'c already being dead. Janet was about to ask Daniel if he had understood when he began speaking so softly Sam and Janet had to bend down to hear him.

"There's a quote that's been floating in my head since this morning, and I can't remember who said it - 'Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.' We've fought our hardest, for as long as we could. None of us need to be ashamed."

As Daniel finished speaking an announcement declared one minute to self-destruct. Sam pulled Janet into a tight embrace with one arm, and held Daniel's hand tightly with the other while they stood in silence. The countdown progressed towards zero, and none of them said goodbye.

The End.

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Fandom:  Stargate SG-1
Title:  Out of the Shadows
Author:  Lin   [email]
Details:  Standalone  |  PG-13  |  *slash*  |  13k  |  08/11/04
Pairings:  Sam/Janet
Summary:  "There is an unidentified ship, about four times the size of a Goa'uld mothership, on course for Earth. If they continue at their present speed, we estimate they'll reach us in a little over an hour."
Disclaimer/Other:  Only the plot, such as it is, is mine. I'm a non-profit organisation, I swear.
Author's Notes: Written for Sam O'Flaherty, for the Janet Ficathon. Also known as The Challenge That Ate My Brain. Absolutely no thanks whatsoever to LauraJo, because she went to bed before she could help me think of a good title. Many, many thanks to CGB for the read through, and allowing me to fire questions at her when I was not entirely coherent.

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