RATING: Suitable for all
SUMMARY: Sam can't sleep, so decides to take a walk around the base.
ARCHIVE: SJD yes, Heliopolis, anyone else please ask.
DISCLAIMER: Stargate SG-1 is a registered trademark of MGM, Gekko and Double Secret Productions. No copyright infringement intended.
For the past five days an unexpected heatwave had gripped the city of Colorado Springs in its unrelenting heat. And now, it felt as though that heat had finally made its way through the many layers of rock to the secret base far below Cheyenne Mountain.
But as tired and hot as she was, Sam Carter knew the heatwave wasn't responsible for their uncomfortable predicament. That could be blamed on the base's heating system. For some inexplicable reason, it had pushed the temperature up several degrees before jamming in place.
Sighing, Sam tried to clear her mind, again, in the hope that she would finally fall asleep. She knew some of the best technicians on the base were working on the problem; there was no point in her lying here worrying about it when they were more than capable of handling it.
Staring at a spot in the darkness above her head, she let another long sigh escape before pushing the thin sheet even further down the bed, not bothering in the least when it fell to the floor in a tangled heap.
Instead, she rolled over, hoping to find another part of the bed would be cooler. No such luck. Letting a frustrated moan fill the dark room, Sam thumped her fist against the mattress before sitting up and swinging her feet to the ground.
The luminous numbers on the clock showed it was nearly 0330 hours, over three hours since she had first gone to bed. And to think, she could have been home sleeping in a nice cool bed, in a house with air conditioning long ago.
But Teal'c had been unfortunate enough to catch something on the last planet they had visited. For some reason his symbiote hadn't been able to protect him and it was taking longer than usual for him to recover. She shook her head, recalling Janet ordering the rest of SG-1 to stay on base, just in case they showed any symptoms later.
But, she thought, at least it hadn't been too serious, and she, Jack and Daniel seemed to be fine.
'No, not Jack,' Sam reprimanded herself. 'She, the Colonel and Daniel seemed to be fine.'
Pushing thoughts of her team, but especially a certain colonel to the side, she got up and threw on the least amount of clothes she could get away with, ran a hand through her hair and left her quarters. Maybe a walk through the base would help tire her racing mind.
Not even fully aware where she was going, Sam strolled through the dimly lit corridors, only occasionally passing a fellow member of the SGC. She was always struck by how different it was here during the night.
Turning a corner, she was only pulled from her thoughts when she noticed someone walking towards her. Apparently he was lost in thoughts of his own as it wasn't until he had almost bumped into her that he realised she was there.
"Carter?" he said finally looking up. She thought he looked a little startled, but he soon recovered.
"Colonel," Sam replied, trying to hide her surprise at seeing him.
But he must have noticed, shrugging as he said, "Couldn't sleep, too damn hot."
A smile tugged at the corner of her lips at the sight he presented. He wore the barest of clothes just like she did, bedraggled hair that looked as if he had tossed and turned for far longer than she had, topped off with drops of sweat that glistened on his forehead, noticeable even in the dim light.
"Me neither," Sam replied. "I thought a walk through the base might tire me out."
Jack nodded in agreement, unconsciously turning back in the direction he had come from, continuing to walk alongside her.
"I take it you haven't heard if they're anywhere near fixing the problem yet?" Jack asked, hope filling his voice.
Sam shook her head. "No, sir. Actually I haven't seen the technicians working on the problem, I've purposefully stayed away. I think my mind's too busy trying to solve the problem to let me get any sleep."
Jack grinned. That sounded like the Carter he knew.
"Well," he confided, "it seems I saw them a little too often. Captain Wylie politely pointed out that if I wasn't going to make any helpful contributions it would probably be wise if I just left."
Sam looked up at him curiously; she had the feeling he hadn't told her everything yet.
He shrugged again. "He did pretty well. I managed ten visits to his team in about as many minutes before he just *couldn't* hold back any longer."
Sam laughed outright at that. Colonel O'Neill looking over your shoulder every minute was not the most expedient way to solve a problem. She should know. She'd almost tossed him out of her lab on more than one occasion for that exact reason.
"Oh, how are we gonna get any sleep?" Jack grumbled, raking his hands through his hair.
"You could try counting sheep," Sam laughed.
"Hey, no giggling, Major." But his smile soon turned into a sheepish grin. "Actually, I've tried that already. I got to... oh about 10 before the sheep turned into little images of... he trailed off, looking at her out the corner of his eye. "Well, let's just say it didn't work."
Sam threw him a curious look, wondering what he had been about to say.
"Did you try anything else?" she asked.
"I started at 1000 and counted backwards. That didn't work either." Jack moved closer, brushing against her as he allowed a fellow officer to pass them in the corridor, nodding, before resuming their conversation.
Sam noticed he didn't bother moving back.
"How about warm milk?" he suddenly suggested. "Isn't that supposed to make you sleepy?"
Sam nodded her head. "I tried that one. Didn't help. I raided the commissary in the hope it would get me to sleep."
They sighed, trying to think of something else.
"My mom used to put a drop of lavender on her pillow if she couldn't sleep," Sam said quietly. Jack looked at her carefully, acutely aware that she rarely spoke of her mother. But before he could say anything, Sam grinned and carried on. "But I think you'd get a few strange looks if you turned up for tomorrow's briefing smelling of lavender."
This time it was Jack's turn to smother a laugh. "I don't know who would give me the strangest look, Daniel, Teal'c or Hammond."
"We could always try the method they use on P3Y 713," Sam suggested. Jack looked at her with raised eyebrows.
"I think I'll pass," he finally said. Sam grinned; he was the most squeamish Air Force Colonel she had ever met.
They continued walking, contemplating then discarding ways that could help them get to sleep. Before either realised it, they were standing outside Sam's quarters.
"Well," Sam gestured towards her door. "Maybe I'll be able to get some sleep now."
"What, did I bore you to sleep?" he teased.
She shook her head at his joke and grinned at him, suddenly feeling a little awkward, though she had absolutely no idea why.
"I think I'll try again as well," Jack agreed. He waited a little longer before turning away, but turned back almost immediately.
Sam looked at him, and waited expectantly. Her heart began thumping quicker as he moved closer, unsure what was going to happen, what he intended to do. But the sudden voice of someone further down the corridor interrupted them.
"Hey, guys, did you hear the good news?" Sam and Jack turned and faced an excited Daniel, who apparently didn't find it strange that his friends were up and about at this time of the morning.
"And what good news would that be?" Jack asked. "Please tell me they've fixed the heating problem." He was almost begging.
"Uh, no. Actually, Teal'c is going to be released from the infirmary tomorrow," Daniel explained. "We'll probably be off-world this time tomorrow and then we'll need at least a few days to explore the ruins SG-5 found."
Daniel was practically bouncing, obviously excited at the prospect of finally being able to spend some valuable time on a planet he had wanted to visit for weeks.
Jack and Sam winced. They were glad Teal'c had recovered but the planet the ruins were on was pretty cold. They turned to look at one another and shared a knowing look.
"I don't know what's worse," Jack began, "boiling my butt off here or freezing my ass off there."
Sam grinned openly.
"Well I guess I'll be going now. I need some sleep before we leave," Daniel said and smiled before disappearing around the corner as quickly as he had arrived.
"How does he find these things out after 4 in the morning?" Sam wondered, turning to look at Jack with some amazement.
Jack's gaze followed a retreating Daniel. "I have no idea."
He shook his head then turned back and silence descended once more.
"Well," Jack carried on, "we better get to bed, sounds like we'll need all the sleep we can get."
"Don't let the bed bugs bite," he carried on, slowly backing away.
"No, sir," she smiled. "Sleep well, sir."
"Yeah, you too, Carter." He stopped and hesitated before moving back towards her, not stopping until he was directly in front of her. He waited for what felt like minutes to her before he spoke again.
"Goodnight, Sam." This time his voice was softer, gentler. He wasn't saying goodnight to his second in command anymore.
She watched as his eyes openly travelled over the contours of her face before finally coming to rest on her eyes. Her breath caught in her throat at what she saw in their brown depths. It was a look that said far more than he could, was allowed to say, with words.
"Goodnight," she returned quietly.
His eyes flickered from hers and she watched as they moved down to her lips. Sam understood. A goodnight kiss without the contact. Smiling slightly to let him know she understood, her own eyes travelled down from his eyes to his lips as she returned the sentiment.
With one last wistful smile, Jack moved back again, stuffing his hands into his pockets as he went. Sam watched him retreat, until he had rounded a corner and was out of sight.
Taking in a shaky breath, she finally opened her door and walked in. Closing it gently behind her she slumped against it and let out a long sigh. That wasn't how she had expected her early morning/late night walk around the base to end.
But she couldn't stop the smile that spread across her face as she headed towards the bed. She quickly slipped out of the few clothes she wore then picked up the crumpled sheet from where it had fallen earlier.
Hot and exhausted, she sank into bed, pulling the thin sheet up and draping it over her. This time she didn't notice the heat. All that was on her mind as she finally fell asleep was the smiling image of Jack O'Neill, and the thought that one day... one day that goodnight kiss would be real.
Copyright © Diane 2002
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