Promise of a Rainbow
By Blue Topaz
Disclaimers: Stargate SG-1 and their characters are sadly not mine.
AN: I finally managed to find some time to write a fic, a short fic ;). This is for all the wonderful people at the thalassa_ipx Yahoo groups, thanks for brightened up my days guys. And thanks also to JayBee-Bug, my beta-reader who beta-read this one for me.
She was shivering in front of his door. Her trembling hand knocked the wooden partition unconvincingly. Wrapping her arms around her body, she waited somewhat patiently despite her condition.
The door opened to reveal the sight of one sleepy Colonel rubbing his eyes. She could tell that he was about to shout, probably because she had just disturbed his rest. But when he finally saw her, the annoyed look instantaneously transformed into a concerned one. A drenched and pale major tended to do that.
"Carter, what's going on?"
Smiling weakly, she answered with chattering teeth, "C-car broooke d-d-doooown ... y-your houzzzze i-izzz clozzze b-by."
"Yes, of course. Sorry. Come in."
Not so delicately, he grabbed one of her arms and practically dragged her inside his warm house. But she didn't care, she had gone slightly numb long ago. Running in the pouring rain on a cold October night does that to the human body. He guided her to the bathroom, leaving a wet trail behind on his carpet. He didn't seem to mind.
Reaching their destination, he rummaged through one of the closets in there and pulled out a clean blue towel. He wrapped it around her. Although it didn't get rid of all the extra moisture from her body, she welcomed the extra warmth that the dry cloth gave her. She watched him turning on the shower and saw the steam starting to rise up.
"Get in there," he ordered gently.
She did just as she was told to do; still engulfed in the blue towel, she stepped under the shower. The hot water warmed her almost immediately. She closed her eyes and sighed. This was heaven.
"Take your time in there, I'll leave another towel on the back of the door for after you're finished. I'll also put some clothes outside the bathroom door. Just leave yours in the laundry basket. And that's an order, I don't want any arguments on this," he said before he closed the door.
Finding no time or energy to disagree with him, she could only nod, even though she knew he didn't see it. She spent several more minutes without doing anything but enjoying the rise of her body temperature. And then she started to strip off her clothing.
Fifteen minutes later, she was in his living room, wearing his clothing, sitting on his sofa, covered in his blanket, drinking hot chocolate that he had made, and wrapping her fingers around his mug. Overwhelmed to be surrounded by the things that were 'him', she allowed herself to be comfortable and enjoy the luxury that she knew she couldn't have.
"Warm enough now?" the Colonel asked from the kitchen. He was making a cup of coffee for himself.
"Yes, Sir. Thanks," she replied.
He then brought his cup to the living room and sat on the other end of the sofa.
"So ... wanna tell me what exactly happened?"
She frowned. "I thought I told you already. My car broke down just a few miles down the road. I probably could've fixed it myself, but it was raining cats and dogs out there and there was no light at all. My cell phone's battery was dead, so I couldn't call for help." She took another sip of her hot beverage. "Your house was the closest place that I could think of. I could've stayed the night in the car and waited until the rain stopped, but I couldn't contact anyone if something happened. So, I decided to run to your house." A pause. "I'm sorry if I bothered you, Colonel."
"Come on, Carter, you know me better than that. I don't mind really. I'm just curious, that's all. Because I know for sure that the route from the SGC and your house would never ever lead you to my house."
She smiled. "I was invited to dinner by my old teacher in the Academy. He and his wife live just a few blocks from here."
He nodded. "It's getting late now. I've already prepared the spare room for you to sleep in tonight. I see no reason why you should go home at this hour. Besides, the rain is still pouring like mad out there."
Glancing outside the window, she couldn't see anything but the dark of the night. The sound of the raindrops against the rooftop and windows confirmed his statement.
"Thanks again, Sir. I'm sorry I woke you up."
"No big deal."
He then decided to turn on the TV. They watched some old black and white movie as they exchanged comments about the film several times. Sometime around midnight, the end credits rolled. But neither made a move or suggestion to end the night there. Instead, they watched another program, an omnibus of a drama series that they had never seen before. But it didn't seem to discourage them, although now and again they wondered who was who, who did what, where were they, and so on.
She didn't imagine her night turning out like this, not that she had any objection. Sitting on a sofa next to him, trying to concentrate on the TV screen so that she could ignore their close proximity, and keeping her head in control over her heart. It wasn't a hard task to do. She had been doing it for a while now. For a reason that only a few people could understand. And he was one of them.
People have said that if someone was worth it, then there were no prices too great to pay. Maybe they were right. Maybe they were wrong. She didn't know for sure.
Did she trust him with her life?
Did she trust him with her heart?
She knew what kind of man he was. She saw what he was capable of. He was no saint. But neither was she.
He was an enigma. While it was fascinating to watch, it was dangerous to touch.
There were times when he made her laugh. His warped sense of humor that endlessly amused her. A little comment here and there that made her smile.
There were times when he made her cry. Not that she would let anyone see it or admit it. Tears were precious, and she once swore that she wouldn't waste any on a man. But he was 'the Colonel', not just a 'man'. And that made all the difference.
There were times when he drove her mad. Sometimes he was just impossible to deal with. His lack of patience and his military way of thinking had somehow made him narrow-minded. But that was what his country molded him to be.
There were times when she could see her future with him. Together. The dream that brightened up her days. She could make it into a reality. Someday. Just not today.
There were times when she felt unsure. Was he really the one? Could she spend the rest of her life with him?
She hated feeling unbalanced, when she didn't know what to do and what to say. She hated being clueless even more. They had a history but not a relationship. How does one end something that has not begun? And even if she could end it, she wasn't sure that she wanted to.
In some twisted way, she enjoyed being stuck in this bizarre situation. Suddenly, feeling unbalanced and being clueless didn't seem so bad after all. In fact, it made her excited about the future. It made her beautifully frail.
It made her realize that she cared about him more than she was allowed to.
She wouldn't waste her breath on other men, but she would give him all the time in the world. Whether it was to explain the wormhole theory or just to be in his presence. Whether it was to listen to what he was saying or just comparing notes about The Simpsons.
Did that make her a fool?
But she was a happy fool. Who had a shit-eating grin on her face every time he did something 'idiotic'. Sometimes she wondered whether he acted like a big kid on purpose just to make her smile. How she adored him when he was like that.
On occasion, she saw the dark side of him. It didn't make her think less of him. Instead, she appreciated him even more. He had the burden of command on his shoulders and he did what he had to do.
He made mistakes. She made mistakes too. But life went on. And they forgave even though they did not forget. How could they? When memories were all that they could have for now.
The omnibus had ended over a couple hours ago. Two empty mugs stood on his coffee table. The clock on the wall showed that the time was already 06.54 in the morning. Their bodies didn't seem to object to being cheated out from the rest that they needed. They often stayed awake for more than 48 hours on missions.
The TV screen flickered as the Colonel changed the channel, trying to find anything decent to watch. She fought back a smirk when she realized that he was purposely avoiding watching the morning cartoons on her behalf. After a few more minutes of channel hopping, she finally insisted that he should choose whatever he wanted to see and stick with it. And therefore, she was watching an animated Jackie Chan now. Which was not a bad thing.
The sun had already made an appearance although the rain had not gone away. The sound of the rainfall had accompanied them all through the night, filling the silent gaps between their senseless conversations.
Life was good, when she narrowed down the whole world into his living room. Unfortunately, when the rain stopped ... this world would expand. And she would have to come back to reality.
Jackie Chan had been replaced by Imotep. And an archaeologist family whose kid was like Daniel, or that's what the Colonel said. Never listening to what other people said and always wandering off on his own.
When the clock struck 07.00, she reluctantly borrowed his phone and called her garage. They promised that they'd send a tow truck for her car and fix the problem. They would let her know when the repairs were finished.
"Are you heading back to the mountain now?" she asked him when she returned to the living room.
"Yes. Let me fix us some breakfast. I'll drive you back to your house to get changed first."
"Can I have some plastic bags for my wet clothes?"
He mentioned for her to follow him into the kitchen. Opening one of the drawers there, he took out what she had asked for and handed it to her. She accepted it gratefully and went to the bathroom. When she returned, he had already set up the table. Two bowls, a carton of milk and a package of Fruit Loops were present.
"I need to go shopping for food," was all the excuse he offered.
She smiled as she sat down. "That's OK. I happen to like Fruit Loops."
They made small talk as they enjoyed their simple breakfast. She helped him with washing the dishes before they finally got ready to go. As they stepped outside, she waited for him to lock his door. Something caught her eyes.
The rain had stopped and a perfect rainbow decorated the clear blue sky.
The multi-colored bow reminded her of her Mom. She always said that God made it as a promise not to send another flood that destroyed humankind. And God always kept his promise. A rainbow was a symbol of something that was always true. A wonderful sign to mark the end of a tribulation.
"Carter, are you ready to go?"
He was already by her side when she looked at him. And then, she acknowledged that their own rain was still pouring. She could feel it in her gut.
She used to hate rain. It restricted her from playing outside. But she came to accept the fact that without rain, life would cease to exist. Rain gave sustenance to the trees and it filled the rivers. Rain recycled polluted water into pure water. Rain was a natural force that they required.
They needed rain.
She smiled nevertheless. Because she knew for certain that every rain shall end. Theirs would not be an exception.
And when that moment came ... their rainbow would finally appear.
Side Note: For anyone who wants to know, the cartoon that Sam and Jack watched is 'Jackie Chan : The Adventure' and 'The Mummy.' Any feedback and review are greatly appreciated.