Disclaimer: What with Jack belonging to Jara Dax, Jonas being property of Suz Voy, Daniel being Dietcokechic's and Sam being Robert's plaything, that only leaves Teal'c.

I'll take Teal'c.

A/N: For Schrodinga, who needed a 'Men Are Bastards' fic. {{watches all male readers snort in disgust and wander off}}

Many thanks and a cyber-beer to Maria for Beta Reading this one. Cheers mate.

Threnody for the Heart

"All men are complete bastards," Samantha Carter said venomously as she threw another empty bottle into the trash.

"Damn right!" Janet slurred from her slouched position on the couch, before taking another large gulp of wine, managing to spill half the contents down her front.

"That's gonna stain," the major pointed out, indicating to the rapidly spreading patch of red wine on her friends white top.

"Don't care," Janet replied with a shrug. "It's Cassie's."

Sam nodded as she managed to manoeuvre herself back onto her chair without falling over. "Why do we put up with it Janet?" she asked miserably.

"Put up with what?"

Sam glared the doctor, mildly irritated in her inebriation that her friend wasn't listening. "Men!" she replied obviously. "Why do we put up with men? Why couldn't we have all been born lesbians?"

"Well, it would make life easier," Janet agreed and they looked at each other for a moment before grinning and shaking their heads.

"I guess that means we're stuck with them then," Sam mumbled with a sigh as she lay back heavily into her seat and gulped down half a glass of merlot in one mouthful. "Want more?" she asked, indicating to the half empty bottle of French balancing precariously on the white rug.

Janet nodded and downed her own drink then held out her glass. "At what point do we know we've drunk too much?" she asked as she tried to remain upright on the couch.

"You're the doctor," Sam replied as she poured the wine half in the glass, half on Janet's hand, "you tell me."

Janet studied the crimson liquid for a moment, before regarding her friend thoughtfully. "I'd say we reached our limit two bottles ago," she murmured before slamming her glass down on the table and attempting to stand. "I have to use the bathroom."

Sam nodded and moved over to the stereo to put some music on. Before she even reached her CD collection she had already decided on what she wanted to listen to. What's needed here, she decided as she tried for the third time to make the player work without switching on the power, was some angry man-hating music. Something that damned the entire masculine population of animal, vegetable and mineral to hell before the first chorus kicked in.

What she needed was Alanis Morissette.

~*~

It wasn't a pleasant feeling, Janet decided as she threw up the contents of her stomach into the toilet bowl, her fingers gripping tightly to the rim, but then, at least it made her feel better.

The problem with these unscheduled girls nights in was that, as a general rule, one of them would begin the evening in a foul mood and from then on the both of them would endeavour to get as inebriated as they could in the shortest time possible whilst bad-mouthing the object of their distaste until one or both of them passed out in the living room.

When she finally felt her stomach was settled enough to risk movement, Janet pulled the chain and washed her face and hands.

Making her wobbly way back into the living room, the sound of music assaulted her ears and made her head throb. Alanis Morissette. Now she *knew* Sam was pissed off.

Slowly and with the greatest care not to upset her stomach any more, Janet walked over to the couch and sat down, opting for the glass of water Sam had placed on the table before her, over the glass of wine that stood tauntingly next to it.

Yeah, they definitely did this too often.

Sipping at the water, she looked over to where Sam was staring out of the window, swaying lightly in time with the angry music in the background. Her demeanour didn't worry the doctor at all, for she always became maudlin around this time in the evening, but the fact that she wasn't talking was a little concerning. Sam was a chatty drunk. After a bottle or two of red wine, she always had an opinion on something and was more than prepared to voice it. Normally when she played Alanis Morissette she would begin to agree vehemently with everything the singer was saying, nodding her head and yelling 'amen' at every opportunity.

But tonight was different. Tonight she was utterly silent, staring out of the window and into the black night as if she was waiting for something that was never going to come.

Sighing, Janet stood up and made her way over to the stereo, turning the volume down to a respectable level before coming to stand by the Major.

They both stood silently for a time, looking out into the night sky, watching with idle fascination as the stars twinkled like flecks of Gold against Onyx. After a moment Janet drew her gaze from the window and looked up at Sam's face, surprised to see that she was crying.

For a minute the doctor had absolutely no idea what to do. Should she hug her? Go and fetch her more wine or just some tissues from the bathroom? The thing was that Sam never cried, at least not that she had seen. Even when Daniel ascended Sam had kept up a professional façade in front of her colleagues, but Janet had known that she had wept her heart out as soon as she had made it to her quarters.

So what was the protocol for this sort of thing? There was no doubt in Janet's mind that they were friends, but were they the type of friends who hugged? Sam was such a tough cookie; fighting day in, day out right alongside the boys, living through violence, torture and worse, could she really be the type of person who would benefit from that kind of physical contact?

Tentatively, Janet placed her hand on her friends shoulder and squeezed lightly, but as soon as Sam felt the contact she turned away from the window and enfolded herself in the other woman's surprised arms; suddenly crying her aching heart out.

Janet soon relaxed into the embrace and held on tight as Sam wept, her heart breaking for the woman who had finally showed a sign of weakness. After a moment the awkwardness of standing on tiptoe to comfort Sam had Janet's leg and arm muscles griping in discomfort and slowly the doctor loosened her hold, instead leading the emotionally fraught major over to the couch where she continued to hug her until the tears ran dry and the shaking ceased to be.

Wordlessly, and much more soberly, Janet rose and made her way back into the bathroom, this time to retrieve tissues, before returning to the living room and handing them over to Sam, along with her wine. Sam nodded gratefully and blew her nose before taking a large gulp of her drink and placing it back on the table.

Janet took a deep breath. Now was the time for questions. "You wanna tell me what that was all about?" she asked gently.

Sam looked at her friend, her cheeks reddening slightly with embarrassment, but her words sincere. "Do you know," she replied shakily, "I have no idea."

Janet nodded in understanding. "I'll bet I can take a guess," she said quietly.

Sam looked at her, her expression blank and humourless. Janet continued unbidden, making her guess. "The Colonel?"

Sam sighed and picked up her wine glass, draining the contents in one big gulp. She grimaced as she placed the vessel back on the table before relaxing into the couch and closing her eyes in surrender. "Probably."

~*~

Janet made a retreat to her bedroom at a little after three in the morning, leaving Sam with a large glass of water, some painkillers and her entire CD collection in the hopes that her friend would soon find something more positive to listen to, then promptly passed out, fully clothed on her bed.

Walking over to the window once again, Sam stared sullenly at the black sky for a time before switching off the stereo and making her way to the spare room. Once inside, she shut the door and perched on the end of the bed, staring at the cell phone held tightly in her hand, contemplating her next move.

Sighing dramatically, she threw the cell onto the mattress and hunted through her overnight bag for her nightwear and toothbrush before heading off towards the bathroom.

Despite the fact that she knew brushing her teeth was futile and that she would still wake up in the morning with rotting animal corpse breath, Sam still gave her teeth a good clean and used copious amounts of mouthwash before washing her face and heading off back to her room.

No alcohol had passed her lips in a little over an hour and Sam was already feeling slightly hung-over, so she downed a couple of Aspirin before changing her clothes and hitting the light. Making her way by feel alone, she crawled under the covers and tried to sleep.

An hour later Sam was still tossing and turning, and the world around her seemed to be spinning out of control. In a moment of sheer frustration she kicked out and sat up with a sickening start as something hit the ground with a dull thud.

Leaning over, she switched on the lamp and peered down by her bed to discover her cell phone lying face down in the carpet. Not wanting to risk her nausea becoming any worse, Sam swung her legs out of bed and knelt on the floor to pick up the telephone before climbing back under the bedcovers and looking blankly at the offending item now held securely in her hand.

She pressed a couple of buttons in the right order and unlocked the keys before scanning absently through the names in her address book, unconsciously searching out one name in particular.

And there it was, filed securely under J. Jack O'Neill. Her justification at the time she got the phone was that Daniel, Janet and Teal'c were all stored in the cell under their first names, so it seemed to her as if she would be ruining her filing system if she stored the Colonel under O or C.

Of course, she ignored the fact that the General was still under H.

Sam stared accusingly at his name for a moment, as if all her negative, angry emotions could be projected to him by thought alone. He was the reason she wasn't asleep at four thirty in the morning, after all. She couldn't seem to stop thinking about him and it was making her restless.

Even though her hangover was becoming steadily worse, two hours of nothing but water was not going to neutralise the amount of alcohol in her system and for all intents and purposes, Sam Carter was still drunk.

And drunken people sometimes do stupid, stupid things.

~*~

Jack O'Neill groaned in his sleep as an incredibly irritating ringing penetrated a very bizarre dream involving himself, Carter (married to him) and Ralph Wiggum (their son).

The incessant noise finally roused him properly and he opened one tired eye to stare in irritation at his telephone. Stretching one arm out from under the covers he reached for the receiver and lifted it angrily to his ear. "This had better be good…" he growled by way of a greeting as he reached out with the other hand to switch on the lamp.

Nobody replied. Jack knew someone was there because he could hear them breathing at the other end, but whoever it was had apparently taken a vow of silence. Glancing at the clock on the bedside table, Jack narrowed his eyes and spoke once again to the anonymous caller. "Do you realise what time it is?" he hissed through gritted teeth. "Who the hell is this?"

Still nothing, and what patience Jack had had moments earlier dissipated into nothingness. "Either speak or leave me the hell alone!" he practically yelled down the mouthpiece. This got the anonymous callers attention and Jack heard a sudden, sharp intake of breath coming from the other end of the line.

Apparently his temper had shocked them, Jack realised with a grin and suddenly he felt a whole lot happier. "I'm gonna hang up now," he announced with a tight smile and a dangerously calm tone of voice, "and if you call again, I'm going to do everything within my power to hunt you down and shove your telephone up your ass."

"Colonel."

The quiet voice on the other end of the line stopped Jack from pressing the disconnect button and he blinked disbelievingly at the phone in his hand. "Carter?" he said after a moment.

Silence reigned once again and Jack started to think he had imagined the voice – that is until she spoke again.

"Yes sir, it's me," she said in a shaky voice and immediately he was concerned.

"What's the matter? Are you okay? What happened?" he asked all in one breath.

On the other end of the line he heard Sam laugh nervously. "I'm fine sir," she replied quietly. "I just…" Sam sighed deeply, unsure now as to why she had called in the first place and therefore unable to offer an explanation.

"Where are you?"

Sam let out a shaky breath, glad to be back on safe ground. "At Janet's house," she replied with a slight smile. "Girls night."

"Ah," Jack nodded understandingly. "A viable reason to drink way too much alcohol and bitch about men until one or more of you passes out."

Sam laughed again, now feeling slightly more relaxed. "Right."

Jack took a deep breath, not sure if he should really ask the next question, but knowing he would anyway. "And did you?"

Sam panicked and feigned ignorance to buy herself a little more time. "Sir?"

Jack smiled slightly, in some ways proud of his ability to know when his Major was faking it, even over the phone. "Bitch about men, Carter. Did you and Doc Fraiser spend the evening discussing every single fault bestowed upon the male population?"

"No, sir!" Sam said with mock indignation and for a moment Jack wondered whether he had got it all wrong. But then she continued. "There wasn't enough time to list them all!"

"Funny," Jack said mirthlessly, but grinned silently none the less. "So what can I do for you Carter?"

"Huh?"

"Did you ring for a specific reason or do you just miss the sound of my voice?" He regretted the words as soon as they were out of his mouth and he closed his eyes in self-admonition.

Apparently Carter was just as embarrassed as she had once again gone completely silent. Jack cleared his throat to ease the sudden tension in the cords of his neck, but they only grew more uncomfortable as he heard the words he least expected.

"I missed your voice." The reply was so quiet that at first he wondered if he had imagined it, but after thinking about it carefully for a minute or two, he realised she really had spoken.

"Are you drunk?" he asked just as quietly.

Sam was honest. "Yes, sir."

"And you can't sleep?"

"No."

Jack sighed loudly, completely at a loss of what to do or say next. She was the one who rang him, he rationalised, so really the next move had to be hers. "What do you want me to do?"

There was another lengthy pause and Jack could almost see her trying to pluck up the courage to say what she wanted to say. He knew what was coming; this happened a lot off world. Whenever one of them couldn't sleep they would come and sit or lie by the other until the steady breathing of the one asleep would lull them off too.

Sam took a deep breath. "Sleep with me tonight?" she asked quietly.

Jack smiled. "Okay."

Leaning over, he switched off the bedside lamp and snuggled back under the covers, listening to the tell-tale signs of Carter doing the same. Jack placed the phone next to his ear and looked out into the black room for a minute, waiting for her movements to cease.

"Thank you for this," she said quietly as she made herself comfortable.

Jack yawned, all at once exhausted but exhilarated. "Night Carter."

"Goodnight sir," came the murmured reply and less than two minutes later he could hear the settled breathing of a woman asleep.

It was a wonderful feeling, Jack decided as fatigue overcame him once again. The knowledge that he was the only person who could cure her insomnia was an ego boost like no other, but the fact that she had the ability to do the same for him always made his heart beat that little bit faster and his stomach turn somersaults like a child on Christmas morning.

Closing his eyes he concentrated closely on the soft murmurs coming from Carter on the other end of the telephone line and soon found himself drifting off into peaceful unconsciousness, dreaming once again of a perfect future.

But this time without the cartoon son.

The End.