Disclaimer: Not mine. Rating: PGish. Set: between season 7 and 8. Spoilers: up through s7.
Notes: This was originally started before the new season began, so there is blonde Dr. Weir in this. Deal. Just a... strange piece that's been sitting in my head for a while. And Peacekeeper Wars gave me enough brain power to end it. Title is ganked from Katy Rose's "Teachin' Myself to Dream". Further note: After a discussion with Liz, I decided to add onto this. Partially because, well, I had the first meeting scene already written. And also because I did feel it needed more (either that or it's the late hour talking...)

Sky so Blue by Ana Lyssie Cotton

Samantha Carter was tired. Again. She couldn't remember when she hadn't been tired. When, in fact, she'd done anything that didn't sap her strength and make her wonder what the hell she was doing in the first place. Still, this time she was awake enough to know that she needed to blunt the edge a little.

O'Malley's had lifted the ban on SG-1 at some point in the last three months, but she hadn't taken advantage of it (that was the sort of thing you didn't do when you were working 36 hour days and forgetting to eat and basically wondering how the hell to get your commanding officer back from a tomb in Antarctica). But tonight was different. Tonight marked the anniversary of something she didn't want to forget. Not yet, anyway.

Looking around the main room, Sam noticed that it was actually kind of full. She turned to the bar, and blinked. There was someone familiar sitting on one side, a rather large space between her and everyone else. It was the kind of space that said, "Stay the fuck away from me."

But Sam had long since stopped following most orders. Unless they were justified. And for some reason she felt the need to step out of her self-imposed roll as the silent scientist tonight.

If only for a little while. And then she could descend again, bury her feelings and life in a mountain of work until she forgot.

But the forgetting had always been the hard part.

"Dr. Weir?"

Briefly, the woman focused on her. "Major."

"Mind if I join you?"

"Taking pity on me, Major?"

"Nope." Sam hopped onto the stool next to the good Doctor, and waved a hand at the bartender. He eyed her for a moment, then took the order. Sam fought a smirk. He didn't recognize her. But the smirk became bittersweet as she considered why the man should be worried about her being in his bar.

They sat in silence for a while, until finally, Weir sighed. "How do you do it, Major?"

"Do what?"

"Take all of this in, and just... move on, and accept it as normal?"

"I've had nearly eight years to get used to the idea of the stargate." Sam tilted her glass, watching the light fall through the liquid. Whiskey. She used to drink it cut with something. Recent experiences had led to drinking it straight.

"Don't give me that crap, Major. You were used to this the first time you walked through it."

Sam chuckled, "I didn't, actually."



The good Doctor blinked at her, momentarily distracted. "You didn't?"

"Nope." Sam took a quick sip, letting the alcohol burn its way down her throat before adding, "Colonel O'Neill shoved me through."

'Oh, I adore you already.' The words echoed in her mind for a moment, and she shoved them away, sipping again. The glass was empty. Raising it, she tilted her head at the bartender, and he nodded, bringing the bottle over and pouring two fingers in.

"Shoved?" Weir asked when he'd gone again.

"I was fascinated by the event horizon."


The silence fell again, both involved in their own thoughts. It wasn't, Sam realized, an uncomfortable silence. It was more a silence that two people could share because they were comrades in some way. Women in it together, and there was a cliche. And she hated cliches. But, no. It was more as if they recognized something in each other. Or maybe it was just that they were simply acquaintances and hadn't learned to hate each other yet.

"I miss him."

Sam blinked. "Hrm?"

"The Colonel. I didn't know him for long, but he..." Weir sighed. "He reminded me of an old friend. Sarcastic, straight and to the point."

"That's the Colonel, all right." Except when he was lying to himself. And her. Or letting her push him away and push this thing between them somewhere they couldn't touch it. Or was it that she was just simply lying to herself, and she projected it onto him?

"He saw things more clearly than I do."

"Yeah, well, that's the Colonel for you. Acts as dumb as a box of rocks, then pulls a life-saving cracked out idea out his ass ten seconds later."

That surprised a laugh from Weir, and she giggled herself in response.

"I miss him, too."

"Ya think?"

Sam chuckled. "Ok, so it's obvious. Daniel and Teal'c miss him, too."

"Major, the entire damn BASE misses Colonel O'Neill."

The look Weir was shooting her made her raise her eyebrows. "Is there a point there, Doctor?"

"Not at all, Major."

"Call me Sam."


"Ladies." The voice was slightly drunk, the man who owned it had crossed eyes and couldn't quite stand still. There was a bald spot somewhere, although the rest of him was quite fit. At least, the clothes seemed to say he was.

"Can we help you?" Weir asked him, her tone cool.

"Buy you a drink, blondie?" He hiccuped, and smirked, "Blondie One and Blondie Two."

"Hey, Elizabeth." Sam's voice was syrupy sweet.

"Yeah, Sam?"

"Ever played pool?"

"Pool, huh? Kinky." The man's smirk changed to a leer and he gestured, "I've got a table all staked out."

Sam slid off her stool and tossed the bartender a look. "We'll be back."

He nodded.

"It's been a while, actually."

Their 'escort' moved swaggeringly towards the table, and set up the balls. Sam took the cue he handed her, weighed it in one hand, and nodded. "Care to make a bet?"

"You're a woman, it wouldn't be fair, Blondie Two."

"Oh, honey," Weir said, her tone amused. "I'd take that bet."

"Twenty I sink four balls at the break." Sam said. "Take it, or we go back to the bar."

"Fine. But I just hate takin' money from women."

Sam pointed at the sidebar of the table. "Money down, or no dice."

With a condescending smirk, the man peeled a bill off the wad in his pocket, then bowed mockingly.

Moving with confidence, Sam bent over the table, lined up her shot, and struck the ball. She counted the balls. One, two, three, four. A fifth wavered on the edge, but stopped before falling all the way in. "Double or nothing?"

Mr. I'm So Hawt blinked, then nodded.

Five trick-shots and three hundred dollars later, Weir silently applauded as their would-be threesome suitor disappeared.

Sam carefully folded the bills and slid them into her pocket. She could send the money to Cassie. And Cassie might not even accuse her of trying to buy her affection.


Tilting her head, Sam smiled. "I'm a pool hustler, Dr. Weir, are you gonna turn me in?"

"Elizabeth, remember?"

"Right." Sam struck out for the bar, tossing over her shoulder, "Wanna get really drunk and tell each other's life stories and paint our nails and do our hair and--"

Weir held up a hand. "I'm not trying to pry, Major."

"I know." She'd reached the bar to find a shot already there. Tossing the bartender a grateful look she downed it without looking over at the other woman. "I'm just... god, I'm so damned tired, Lizzie."

"Don't call me that."

"Lizzie?" Sam raised an eyebrow and picked up another shot.

"Yes. Sammie."

A shudder went through her. "Ugh. You're right. Sorry."

"Just don't do it again."

"Right." Raising her glass, Sam glanced at the clock and decided it was good enough. "To Janet Fraiser, may we never forget her."

"Oh." Hastily Weir grabbed her half-empty glass (including melted ice) and clinked it against Sam's. "To Janet Fraiser, a woman I never met, although I suspect I would have liked her a hell of a lot."

"Yeah." Sam looked away, eyes focusing on the rows of bottles in the shelves behind the bar. "You might have, at that."

"So... Tell me about her."

"Is that a request or an order?"

"A request. You're off-duty, Major. And I don't think you've ever talked about Dr. Fraiser."

"Janet..." For a moment, Sam composed her thoughts. Faced the feelings that had been hovering under her skin all night. Her composure slipped slightly. "Dear god, I miss her, Elizabeth."

A hand touched her shoulder. "She was very special."

"One in a million. The best doctor you could ever hope for, diagnostician, scientist, and this incredible warmth and passion and vitality, all rolled into this tiny package that could kill a man, in three-inch heels." Sam felt a wry grin cross her lips. "I don't pity Dr. Warner, having to deal with the daily ins and outs of the SGC infirmary now."

"Dr. Warner will live. Tell me about Dr. Fraiser."

Sam set her glass down and poked it. "We kicked Hathor's ass together." The grin stayed, changing slightly, almost wistful. "She was one of the first people to ever look beyond the facade I wore back then."

"I'm sure she had her own facade."

"Yeah. Hard as nails, with a chip on her shoulder that didn't seem to stay once you were stuck in one of those stupid hospital gowns." A soft chuckle made its way out of her mouth.

With a shudder, Weir nodded. "I always think footie pyjamas would be more dignified."

Sam chuckled, then stopped as the image of Jack O'Neill in footie pyjamas crossed her brain, followed by Daniel, Teal'c and Jonas. She began snickering and found she couldn't stop. Weir's hand touched her shoulder, and she found her control slipping. The laughter stopped and she stared down at the bar. "Damnit." Her voice was a croaking whisper.

"You're allowed to cry, Sam."

"There are too many tears to cry, Elizabeth."

"So cry then for Janet, who I will never meet. For Cassie who hasn't a mother, and for everyone who has lost over the years to the StarGate Program."

"That's a lot of tears."


Sam lowered her head to her fists and sighed. "I can't. I need to be awake and stable--I need to think, damnit. And I cried too much for Janet already."

The hand on her shoulder tightened then released. "Tell me about Jack O'Neill and Jonas Quinn and Daniel Jackson and Teal'c."

"Best family a girl could have." And if it was a cliche, and if Sam shed tears, Elizabeth pretended not to notice as she listened to the artless affection and passion that colored Sam Carter's words about the men who filled her life.

And while she remembered her guys, Sam also remembered Janet, and their first meeting.


"Captain Carter, what the hell happened to you?"

"It looks worse than it is," Sam said, her voice rueful. She gave a wince as professional fingers probed at the scattered bruises, efficiently evaluating the tissue underneath them. "Really. I've had worse."

"Mhm." The new Chief Medical Officer crossed her arms. Sam could have sworn the woman was shorter than her, but the look in her eyes was making her seem a hell of a lot taller. "Talk, Captain."

"I..." Blushing at her own clumsiness, Sam shrugged--and winced--then replied softly. "I got a little drunk and sort of fell off a wall."

"A wall."


"And drunk." The CMO sighed, "We'll have to do extra blood work on you, make sure whatever you drank doesn't react badly with your physiology. And--"

"More needles." Sam guessed. She looked down at her hands, then back up at the CMO. "Can't you just... use what you've already got?"

"You're a scientist," the woman pointed out.


"So you understand the need for new, and uncontaminated, samples."

"Oh." Yeah. Letting loose a sigh of her own, Sam slouched further.

"Carter!" The voice came from the other side of the curtain, "Quit monopolizin' the Doc, we have a debrief in ten."

"Be there in five, sir." Her eyes met those of the other woman. Don't hold me back, she thought. Don't make a fuss, make them treat me differently because I'm a woman. Sudden understanding seem to catch the other woman, and she slowly nodded.

"Colonel," The CMO called, "You'll get your second in command on time for your briefing, now shoo."


And he was gone.

"Thanks." Sam said gratefully. It might not have been a problem, but she'd rather be on the safe side. She was still feeling her way here. In some ways, it was completely different from the Pentagon. She almost could believe that Colonel O'Neill really only took her on her merits and not her sex. Some of the others, however... Were just like the Pentagon. Small-minded, bureaucratic little boys who wouldn't understand theoretical astrophysics if she explained it to them with pictures.

"I'm still drawing that extra blood, Captain." She made a notation on the clipboard she'd left sitting on the bed. "I expect you back here as soon as the debriefing is over."

"Right." Hopping off the bed, Sam bounced for a moment. Then she held out a hand, "Sam Carter."

"Janet Frasier."

They shook solemnly, then Sam grinned that irrepressible grin. "Welcome to the SGC, Doctor."

"Get to that briefing, Captain."

"Yes ma'am." Tossing off a wave, Sam exited the curtain and headed for the door.


Then Captain Carter hadn't realized how much she would come to rely on Dr. Janet Fraiser. Even now, exactly eight years (well, not precisely -- the exact day had passed while she was concentrating on other things) after the fact, she still needed her.

Eventually, O'Malley's closed. Weir took one cab to her place, and Sam took one to the graveyard. Her driver appeared rather disturbed, but agreed to wait outside for her to come back.

She briefly considered climbing the fence, but she was getting a little old for leaping tall trees in a single bound. Luckily, the alcohol was merely a pleasant haze by now, so she picked the lock and let herself in, leaving the chain swinging.

Her feet knew the journey even if she didn't like remembering it.

At the foot of Janet's grave, she stopped. The light from the stars and distant streetlights filtered around her, and even at this distance she could almost read the inscriptions. She knew what they said, of course. There wasn't reverence in a grave, she thought. Only a dead body, the spirit long since released. But this was the closest she'd get to Janet, and so she stepped across and sat at the base of the stone, settling with her legs drawn up and her arms around her knees.


The word seemed strange in this rustling silence, but it was all she had.

"I miss you."

Again, she thought they were inadequate and she leaned her head back against the cold granite and sighed. "Janet, I don't know why you had to leave."

Stupid and trite.

"Jack's frozen with the knowledge of the Ancients in his head, and I never got the chance to tell him--"


"I don't think Daniel's been home all that often since you died. He worries me, sometimes. So do some of the others. Lieutenant Rush especially. General Hammond," she paused and wiped a hand across her damp face, "He thought -- when he was in charge -- that we'd have her transferred. Somewhere quiet with less of a body count."

Almost the truth.

"Why'd you have to die on me? It wasn't fair."

The truth, but a very whiny truth.

She sniffled. "God-damnit, Janet, I'm being pathetic."

"You're not pathetic, Sam."

She almost jumped out of her skin as the man stepped into her view. He looked tired even from here, his shoulders bowed with exhaustion and inner turmoil. "Daniel."

"I come here to talk to her, it's very therapeutic."

She could hear the irony in his voice from where she sat. "Daniel, this isn't easy."

"Isn't it?"

"No. She's dead, Jack's frozen, and the war..." She doesn't know how the war is going because she has been buried in her lab trying to find the answers to other things.

"Yeah." Daniel finally moved closer until he stood above her, looking down silently.

"Grab some grass."

"It's cold."


He huffed out a sigh, then moved to flop down next to her, bumping her shoulder with his.

"Got any fabulous insights into death, Dr. "I've been Ascended" Jackson?"

"Nope. How about you? You've died a few times."

"Yeah." She sighed and stared out across the graveyard.

Daniel settled more firmly against the headstone.

"I bet my taxi's gone."