Title: Spring Thaw
Post "Solitude" Season 1, Episode #18
0200 SGC Infirmary
It was quiet. Too damned quiet, thought Colonel Jack O'Neill, as he shifted restlessly on his uncomfortable hospital bed. However, there was little hope of finding a comfortable position with a full bladder and an aching leg. At least he was out of that dark cavern and he wasn't cold anymore. Count your blessings O'Neill. He'd had quite enough of cold and pain amplified by loss and silence. And, he wondered, where was Sam?
"Is there something you need, Colonel?" It was the night shift med-tech suddenly standing by his bed.
"Dammit! I'm a wounded man and you just scared the hell out of me!"
"Sorry sir. I heard you moving around and just wanted to check on you."
"How about a pee, water, and pain meds, in that order?"
"Coming right up sir."
Once the Colonel was settled again the tech ventured a question. "Sir? Captain Carter is supposed to be resting. She won't stay in her bed. She just keeps pacing the up and down the hallway. Maybe, if you spoke to her she would listen to you. She really should be in bed. We are supposed to monitor her vital signs."
"Fine. Tell her I said to get in here."
With a grateful nod the tech turned toward the brightly lit hallway. Colonel O'Neill heard their voices, making out Carter's easily.
"No, I don't want to bother him."
"Ma'am. He said…"
"Carter! Get in here!" He yelled, waking up his cracked ribs in the process. "Damn," he snarled as Captain Carter walked in. The med-tech backed out of the room as Carter made her way silently to the Colonel's bedside.
"Wotcha do-in' Captain?" Then he ran out of words for once again he was caught by the smooth plains of her porcelain skin and sapphire blue eyes. Her short blond hair was back-lit from the hall light, casting her head in a golden halo. He has just begun to notice her eyes seemed to change color depending on what she was wearing. As she reached his side, he could smell the fresh scrubbed scent of her.
As if he would know what she meant, she said simply, "It's too dark and quiet sir. I can't be still."
"It's too much like that damn ice cavern. I know."
He reached out for her hand, impulsively and she automatically laced her fingers through his. She shyly looked up to find him staring at her face. His hand slid up her arm only to find her forearm prickled with goose flesh.
"And you're still cold." And before logic, the regulations, or differences their ages and rank could stop him, he pulled her down next to him on the bed. Before she could move away or protest he'd tucked an extra blanket over her bare legs.
"Quiet, Captain. Now I can't reach, but toss this blanket across your shoulders."
She really didn't want to move and his body heat warmed her chilled skin. But really, this was a military hospital so she drew herself up with all the military bearing she could muster and tried to slide off the bed.
"Where you going? You can file harassment charges tomorrow. Get back here."
She couldn't help smiling then. He was badly inured, but the strength of his warm hands was a siren call.
"I guess I could wait until tomorrow to file charges."
Re-wrapping the blankets around herself, Carter gave into her fatigue and curled her legs under the blanket.
"Glad to see you can still follow orders, Captain. Now, I have something to say. One problem though. The technician just gave me some pain medication. If I fall asleep during my big speech please remind me in the morning."
"Sam? Lay off the 'sir' for now. Now look at me."
Slowly, she turned her head to face him, with her hand on his chest for balance. As usually happened, his good looks caught her off guard. Why did this always happen? What was this attraction? In scientific terms she knew exactly why it happened. It was all about Serotonin and Endorphins.
And then as if he were reading her mind, he said, "Yeah, I know, Carter."
They were silent for a few moments, resting comfortably together.
"Samantha? I haven't had the chance to say thank you for taking care of me. Frasier said that without you I would have lost that leg." Then without another word Colonel O'Neill raised her hand to his lips and kissed her palm. Closing her fingers over the kiss he looked up at her again.
"You hang on to that, okay?"
"But?" she whispered.
"Look, I know I mentioned my ex-wife's name a couple of times. It's important to me that you know..."
"I do know. I thought it would comfort you if I pretended to be her. At that point we had run out of options."
"It was important that you were there, Sam. I never thought you were Sara. It was only at the end when I began slipping away."
"You were dying. We were dying."
"The point is and don't interrupt me again," he said menacingly.
"There is no one who I trust more or would rather have at my side. I felt at peace. So you hang on… Right time… We…"
"Right time?" She didn't really understand what he was referring to, but her heart did a long slow flip-flop in response to his words.
He pulled her close and murmured in her ear.
"Yes, Sweet Sam. We are going to make time for each other. We are done. We are done worrying about regulations and shouldn'ts and can'ts. Unless..?" He pushed her away, frowning into her face. "Unless you don't want to…"
Carter watched his eyes close and stayed with him until his breathing evened out. That she loved him was not an issue. The decisions they made concerning the expression of that love was. A very big and career-changing issue.
"Captain Carter? Ma'am?" The night shift med-tech prompted, finding them spooned together the next morning, their hands intertwined over Captain Carter's side.
"Captain, the day shift will be here in an hour and Dr. Frasier will be here any minute."
He assisted a sleepy Captain Carter back to her own bed just as Dr. Frasier walked in.
"Good morning, Sam. How are you feeling?"
"Fine. I'm just fine. Best night's sleep I've hand in a long time, and warm at last." She said sleepily as her eyes drifted closed.
In the next room, the empty spot next to Colonel O'Neill told her all she needed to know about the situation. As she smoothed the blanket over the Colonel he took her hand.
"Sam? You remember what I said."
"No, sir. I won't forget." replied Dr. Frasier with a smile and watched the Colonel slip back to sleep.
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