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rocketfic | the emergency stand-by caretaker

Title: The Emergency Stand-by Caretaker by Rocketchick
Rating: 15+ Pairing: Sam/Janet
Notes: Set at some point after "One False Step."


"All right. The way I see it, we need to set some ground rules."

How on earth had she gotten herself into this?

Oh, right. Sam had looked down at her with that little half-smile, batted those blue eyes, and it was a done deal.

Stupid smile. Stupid beautiful blue eyes.

Stupid Sam.

"But just because Sam asked me to take care of you doesn't mean I have to like you."

No answer. Of course.

This wasn't fair. She was a busy woman. She had responsibilities. She kept hours almost as irregular as Sam herself. Her friend shouldn't have imposed on her like this.

She shouldn't have agreed so damn easily.

"This is just temporary until we can work something else out."

Just because she was a doctor didn't mean she was automatically suited to provide this kind of care.

She'd just known this wasn't going to work. The natural affinity absolutely everyone and everything had for Sam just didn't apply elsewhere.

"You'll be lucky if that dumb mutt doesn't eat you."

And for just a moment, she had an evil, evil vision of plying the dog with strategically placed kibble.

"I know you like Sam better, but you're stuck with me now. Just deal with it."

Everyone liked Sam better. Why wouldn't they? Sam was brilliant, charming, beautiful...

Dammit. Sam was gone, that was what she was. Just wandered off and left her "best friend" to deal with the obligations she'd left behind.

"I'm not your real mother, okay? There. I said it. Happy now?"

"Mom?" came a voice from the living room.

"Yeah, Cass?"

The teen ambled into the kitchen, giving her mother a confused look. "Who are you talking to?"

Janet sighed and gestured to the potted rhododendron on the counter. "Sam asked me to look after her plants while she's in Washington."

Cassie blinked. "You're talking... to the plant."

She regarded the flora with a critical eye. "It's a surprisingly good conversationalist," she said dryly. It was more pithy than her ex-husband, certainly.

Pithy. Ha. Janet rubbed her eyes.

"It... it answers you?" On the doctor's utterly blank look, the teen blushed. "I mean, do plants on Earth talk?"

The doctor sighed again, for lack of any other way to vent her frustration. "No, of course not. But they do respond well to elevated levels of carbon dioxide, which is why Sam insists on talking to them."

"Couldn't you just breathe on it, then?"

"I suppose." The fact that Sam had specifically asked, in her most infuriatingly sweet way, that Janet take a few minutes a day to chat with the damn foliage was not a part of the equation. Really.

"When will Sam get home?"

Not soon enough. "Couple days."

"I could read my history chapter to it," Cassie said hesitantly. "If that would help."

Janet slumped in abject relief. "That would be great, thank you, Cass." She patted her daughter on the arm and hurried out of the kitchen to attend to absolutely anything that didn't remind her of Sam.

Cassie watched her go, then peered at the innocuous looking greenery. She leaned closer, her nose almost brushing against the leaves.

"So," she whispered. "What's Sam really like?"

When the plant remained stolidly unresponsive, the teen shrugged and went to get her history book.

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