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rocketfic | better than bondage

Title: Better Than Bondage by Rocketchick
Rating: 15+ Pairing: Sam/Janet
Notes: Set late in the second season, after "One False Step." I'd consider this scene to be a prequel of sorts to the Ancient Air storyline.


Her nose itched.

Her nose itched, she was hot, pissed off, and more than a little uncomfortable.

And it was Sam's fault.

"Which part of 'rampant superstitious misogyny' were you missing, Captain?" Janet spat bitterly.

Sam rolled her eyes. "Everything was fine until you showed up."

"Well, whose bright idea was it to have the CMO come out and do some vaccinations?" Janet snapped. "They must have thought you were a guy."

That would have stung if Sam hadn't already thought of it. In tactical gear, with her hat pulled low over her eyes against the bright alien sun, the natives could very well have not noticed the difference in gender. It wasn't the most flattering revelation, but unfortunately it was one she was fairly accustomed to.

Janet, however, was unmistakably female. Her arrival had roused great consternation in the native tribal population, and they'd closed around her in evident loathing and fear. Sam had shoved her way into the fray to defend her friend, and they were both captured, trussed together, and tossed into the ramshackle village prison.

As ramshackle prisons on alien worlds went, this one wasn't so bad. The roof looked like it wouldn't leak too much in the event of rain, there were no decaying carcasses in the corners, and the rats were relatively small and timid. Sam looked around in some satisfaction. Eventually the guys would make the natives see reason and they could go back home.

Sudden squirming behind her jarred Sam from her reverie. "Hey, what are you doing?"

Janet grunted as the knots around her wrists seemed to tighten with her movement. "Trying to get out of here."

"All you're doing is making it worse. Would you relax?"

"Relax? Sam, we've been locked up, tied together, and left to rot!"

"We've only been in here twenty minutes. Let the colonel talk some sense into these people. We'll be fine."

The doctor twisted her arms in their bonds with a wince. "You say that like this kind of thing happens a lot."

Sam shrugged. "Well, we do tend to inadvertently violate some local customs. Just last week Daniel was arrested for sneezing at a state dinner."

Janet snorted. "How'd you get him free?"

"Colonel O'Neill managed to convince them it was a sign of respect and appreciation. Then he proceeded to demonstrate a few other similar signs of 'respect.'"

"He didn't."

Sam grinned madly. "Yup, he belched out the entire alphabet, right in the prime minister's face."

Despite herself, doctor laughed, and Sam happily joined in. "You're sure we're not in imminent peril?" Janet asked.

"Trust me," Sam said definitively.

Her certainty seemed to appease the doctor, who relaxed and settled more comfortably against Sam's back. "Apparently I don't get offworld enough to gauge these things."

"Well, you can figure that if they wanted to hurt us, they would have done it sooner. And the colonel wouldn't hesitate to use force to get us out if he felt he needed to."

"So you're telling me to quit whining and let your team do their job?"

"Our team," Sam said pointedly. "You're one of us, Janet." When the doctor didn't answer right away, Sam squirmed around a bit, trying to get a better look at her friend. "Hey, you are." She nudged the other woman's back with her elbow. "Trust me," she said for the second time in as many minutes.

"I trust you, Sam," Janet finally responded in a small voice.

They both fell quiet then, and awaited their freedom. Sam was certain she'd said something wrong, but couldn't figure out what.

An hour later the sun was setting over the alien world. Through the gaps in the prison walls Janet could see the sky painted a brilliant red, then purple. Even under the circumstances, the sight was fairly remarkable.

"I guess it's easy to take it for granted," Sam said quietly. "'Went to another planet today. Met some aliens. Saved the universe. Came home.'"

"'Got captured and locked up by natives and had to tell an outlandish lie or cause an interplanetary incident to get free,'" Janet added with a grin.

Sam grinned. "That too."

"This is the fourth time I've been off-world." The doctor's voice was far-off, unfocused.

"Really? Is that all?"

"You probably can't even count the number of different worlds you've visited."

"Fifty seven," Sam said instantly.

Janet chuckled. "Okay. Colonel O'Neill probably can't count the number of different worlds he's visited."

"You might be surprised," the blonde replied. "He tends to remember the people more than the places, but he really does pay attention. We all do."

"You like him," Janet observed quietly.

Sam sensed a shift in mood, but without seeing the doctor's face she found it nearly to impossible to interpret. "I respect him."

"You know, there are rumors..."

"Just rumors," the blonde said firmly. "And I think you knew that."

"I did," Janet admitted with a smile. "Sorry."

For some odd reason, Sam felt the need to justify some of the grounds for those rumors. "You know, as a team, we have this bond... I guess it can be a little odd looking to the outside world."

"Which would also explain the rumors about the Colonel and Daniel, the Colonel and Teal'c, and you and Daniel," the doctor said with a smirk.

"Ah. Now you know the real reason we don't let you come offworld with us. We don't want our team orgies interrupted."

Janet chuckled and shook her head. "I envy you."

"You do?"

"Of course I do... I don't really know where I fit in the SGC, Sam. I go offworld sometimes. Sometimes I'm not allowed to. Sometimes I'm actually given the full authority of my position, sometimes my orders are countermanded. Most of the time I can't figure out if I'm an outsider or not." She sighed, and desperately wished she had a hand free to rub her eyes.

"We don't consider you an outsider, Janet."

"You don't."

That drew Sam up short, and she discovered she did not have a ready answer. The doctor had a point; it was probably too easy to dismiss Janet's concerns about respect, acceptance, and authority when all Sam could guarantee was her own perspective.

"I'm sorry for saying they thought you were a guy," Janet murmured.

"Don't worry about it. You were probably right."

She'd tried to sound dismissive, but there was a note of resignation in the response that bothered the doctor. "You're still 'the girl,' aren't you?" Janet asked softly. She remembered Sam complaining about it almost a year previous, how she could never seem to catch a break with her mostly-male coworkers and superiors.

Sam's head dropped forward. "Every so often, yeah."

"Well I've got to say, that if I have to be tied up with one of SG-1, I'd definitely prefer it to be you." She scowled at her foot as a rat scurried up to munch on a shoelace, and quickly booted it away.

And there it was -- the realization that they really were in it together, paired due to gender, intelligence, drive, Cassie, and the dozen other things only they shared in the whole of Cheyenne Mountain. Janet couldn't help but smile. It was entirely tolerable to be a team of two, especially when your partner was Samantha Carter.

The prison door swung open, and Teal'c stepped into the room. "Captain Carter. Doctor Fraiser. Are you uninjured?"

Sam peered up at him. "We're fine, Teal'c. Can you untie us?"

With a field knife he split the strong leather bindings, then helped both women stand.

Janet groaned as circulation returned to stiff muscles. "So, Teal'c," she said with a grin, reveling in finally being in on a team joke. "What story did you guys have to tell to spring us?"

The Jaffa winced almost imperceptibly. "Colonel O'Neill has informed the village elders that you and Captain Carter are his... personal servants. He must take you where ever he goes."

Sam sighed. "Not that one again. I hate that one."

"The elders were most impressed that he was able to tame not one, but two such formidable women."

"'Tame?'" Janet asked.

"Hooboy," the blonde breathed.

"Ladies!" came the bellowing voice of the colonel. "I trust our hosts didn't... damage you?" He swaggered up to the prison door and looked them over.

"No sir," both women answered.

"Wonderful. We've worked things out here, so how about we head home?"

"What about the vaccinations, Colonel?" Janet asked.

He eyed her for a moment. "How do you feel about letting Warner take care of those tomorrow?"

She sighed in some relief. "Fine by me, sir."

The natives scurried out of their way as they headed back to the gate, and somehow managed to fade away into the darkness entirely while Daniel worked at the DHD.

The colonel grinned while he waited, his hands resting on the stock of his MP5. "So, Doc. This is what, your fourth time offworld?"

"Yes, sir," she said. She was surprised he'd bothered to notice.

"I think that's a record. It usually only takes three trips before some pissed off native locks away a newbie. Welcome to the club."

She hesitated as he walked past, then watched him sling his hat onto his head and step into the open wormhole.

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