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rocketfic | love me, love my polar fleece

Title: Love Me, Love My Polar Fleece by Rocketchick
Rating: 15+ Pairing: Sam/Janet
Notes: Set during "Frozen."

"Hey, didn't I order you to get some sleep?" Janet said as she dropped onto a stool next to Sam. She winced when her backside protested the cold, unforgiving seat. How many millions of dollars had the government spent on this place, and they hadn't managed to ship down a single comfortable chair?

"I thought you ordered all of us to sleep," Sam answered. She didn't look away from her laptop screen, but smiled a bit at the doctor's exasperated sigh.

"I did do that, didn't I?"

At that, Sam's fingers finally paused over the keyboard. She looked over at her friend; the fatigue and defeat evident in Janet's posture were alarming. "You okay?"

The doctor gave her a wan smile. "Not really." She shivered a bit, and snuggled deeper into her fleece sweatshirt. "I can't believe I wasn't more careful."

"About what?"

"We should have been following proper procedures."

Sam snorted. "There are procedures to follow when you dig out an Ancient being from under an icecap? C'mon, Janet."

"There are isolation and decontamination protocols to prevent just this exact sort of thing from happening, yes."

The blonde's jaw clenched. Of course there were procedures. They'd been too eager and too caught up in the mystery of Ayanna to stop and consider the risks. Now it might cost them all their lives. It was hardly the first time the headlong rush toward discovery had gotten them all in trouble. Usually it was Sam herself making the dangerous, unheeding leaps that required countless minor miracles and lucky guesses to salvage, still...

"It wasn't your fault," Sam said softly.

The doctor sighed and propped her elbows against the counter. "I suppose it doesn't matter much now."

The resignation in her voice broke Sam's heart, though she had little to offer in response. No miracles or guesses seemed to be forthcoming just then, and they couldn't very well force Ayanna to heal them all and put herself at risk. She folded her laptop closed and watched the brunette push a microscope slide idly across the surface of the counter.

"I sent Cass an email," Janet said quietly.

"Yeah? What did you say?"

"Just reminded her to do her homework and get to bed at a decent hour. The usual." In these most unusual of circumstances, Janet sighed. "I don't want to worry her."

"Nah. Besides, we'll be home before you know it." Dark eyes lifted to search her face, and Sam flashed the most confident smile she could muster in response.

The doctor shook her head. "You say that so easily."

"Janet, this isn't even the most interesting thing that's tried to kill me this week. We're going to be okay."

"Hm." Sam's brash confidence bordered on annoying at times, but right then the doctor found it fairly comforting. "You should still be getting some rest," Janet grumbled in a mild voice.

"I won't unless you do," the blonde returned. She pushed the laptop away and forced herself upright. "Come on. I know this converted storage room dug into the ice that has absolutely no privacy and a painfully lumpy mattress. You'll love it."

"Smartass," the doctor muttered. She stood as well, proud of herself when she only wobbled a little. She chanced a look up into Sam's tired eyes and found herself pinned by the honest concern there.

Sam took a deep breath and lifted one hand to touch the doctor's forehead, then pressed her fingertips and palm gently to her friend's flushed, overheated skin. She saw Janet's eyes slide shut, and felt the smaller woman lean ever so slightly into her touch. In response one of Janet's hands bunched in the front Sam's zippered vest, tugging so they were a bit closer together. For a long moment they remained standing together, drawing strength from the contact. "We're gonna be okay," Sam whispered once more. Her fingers felt thick and uncoordinated when she pulled them through Janet's mussed hair.

Janet tipped just a bit on her feet, then opened her eyes. She smiled up at her friend and cast a rueful glance over to the door to the designated women's barracks. "Bedtime, Major."

They entered the stark bunkroom and stripped. Janet flopped onto a low bunk and burrowed under rough covers with a groan. Sam bent over her and tucked a blanket firmly around Janet's chin, trying to ignore the unnatural burning heat pouring off them both.

The brunette looked smaller than usual, out of uniform and huddled miserably under stiff, unforgiving military-issue bedding. Sam stared down at her with a gentle, if exhausted, expression. Once more her fingers walked unbidden through the soft tangles of hair at Janet's forehead, then she forced herself to break the contact and stand again.

Sam hauled herself into the bunk above her with an astounding lack of balance. She barely managed to keep from pitching face-first back onto the floor.

Once they were both settled in the half-frozen half-dark, Janet chuckled wearily. "Sam, you goof. There are lots of other bunks. You didn't have to climb up there."

"I'm sick, don't make fun of me," Sam slurred. She turned onto one side to dodge a particularly vicious mattress lump. "I just wanted to stay close to you."

In the miserable hours before Ayanna's healing touch, that one comment kept Janet warmer than fever, blankets, and polar fleece combined.

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