Archiving: Sure. SJFic yes, please. Pairing: Sam/Pete, Sam/Jack.
Notes: started while walking to my car last Tuesday when I was falling down with being sick and feverish. (I stayed home from work the next day, I was so sick. And slept until 2).
In Sickness And In Health.
by ALC Punk!
It had, he thought, started with Orlin. No, wait, before that. With Martouf (the smarmy bastard) and her father and the Tok'ra.
This obsessive need to work herself into the ground.
Orlin, of course, had been the catalyst for Dr. Janet Fraiser to inform Major Samantha Carter that she wasn't allowed to stay on base past a certain amount of time.
Carter had been hell to work with for weeks after that. Missions had consisted of keeping Daniel and Carter from killing each other (he and Teal'c were glad for jaffa patrols -- at least there, they could just shoot things).
Thankfully, with Doc Fraiser's edict, Carter hadn't been able to work herself into the ground since.
He was pretty sure it was Orlin's fault again -- maybe later he'd pick up and move the blame over to Pete. After all, Shanahan seemed to have no clue that his fiancee was working herself into the ground.
And, yes, there might be a slight chance that a little bit of it was Martouf's fault.
She looked up from her bench and blinked at him almost guiltily. "Sir."
"How long you been here?"
"A while, sir."
"Look, sir --"
"You know, I had a chat with Dr. Brightman this morning." He shoved his hands into his pockets and rocked on the balls of his feet. "She mentioned that your last blood test came back a little anemic."
Was that a guilty start? "I just haven't been eating too well. Sir." Her eyes met his then looked away.
"So. Jell-o in the mess hall?"
"Can't sir. Busy."
Her body suddenly convulsed as she coughed. It was a dry cough, full of the memories of death rattles and gas grenades going off too close to airmen without their masks.
"Quite a cough there, Carter."
"Just a cold, sir."
"Mhm." He nodded. Right. "Well, I think we'll take you to the infirmary and have Dr. Brightman check you out."
"That won't be necessary, sir."
"It's just a cold, sir." Repeating herself didn't really help her case. Neither did the next coughing spasm.
"Mhmm." Jack considered, and then did something very dirty. He removed one hand from its sheltering pocket and threw a pen at his ex-second in command.
The Lieutenant Colonel attempted to catch it. Unfortunately, Jack's aim had been a little off and the pen ended up somewhere behind her, while the Lieutenant Colonel turned, lost her balance, and almost fell.
"You know, Carter." Jack began conversationally, his arms around her as he kept her from the floor.
"Sir?" She was clutching kind of strongly at him.
"If you're really all right, why did I just have to catch you?"
"Um... Grease on the floor, sir?"
"Uh-huh. Right. Time to visit Doc Brightman."
"No! Sir, I'm OK."
"Carter! You're shaking."
"Fine. Just... Let me go home."
"Really, sir. I should go home. It's only a cold." But she was listing a little to the side as she said it, so some of the impact was lost.
Jack huffed and hoisted her upright a little more, she was still gripping the front of his shirt and his collar a little desperately. "Uh, Carter?"
"Oh." She focused suddenly bleary eyes on him and let go, standing away. "Sir?"
"Maybe that wasn't such a good idea."
As he caught the suddenly unconscious Colonel, he figured that maybe she was right.
"I told you Colonel Carter has been pushing herself too hard." Dr. Ellen Brightman's tone was crisp and professional. None of the irritation she felt towards this particular commanding officer showed through. It wasn't that she didn't like General Jack O'Neill -- on his good days, he was one of the best commanders she'd ever had. But he didn't have good days all that often.
"Yeah, you told me." He ran a hand over his face then gestured at the now-sleeping Colonel. "How bad is it?"
"Borderline malnutrition, what could possibly be mono-nucleosis, and general exhaustion. She's not as young as she used to be. She shouldn't be pushing herself like this, General."
"I get that, Doc. But Carter's..." The General sighed, "She's always been good at hiding how hard she was working."
"That is going to change, sir. Until further notice, I'm instituting a regime. Colonel Carter is to eat, sleep, and work on the time table I will prepare."
He stared at her. "She's not going to like that, Doc."
"I don't care if she likes it or not, she's going to comply or I'm pulling her off active duty." Ellen watched his eyes go wide with surprise in satisfaction. "What's she's doing to her body, General, isn't kind."
"Yeah." He shoved his hands into his pockets and nodded, "Do you want to tell her?"
"Frankly, sir, no."
His lips tightened and he nodded again. "Call me when she wakes up."
"You're not --" Right. He wasn't going to stay and watch her sleep. That would be too much to expect. "Don't make me order you to the same regime, sir."
"I'm going to finish some paperwork in my office, Doc. Then I promise I'll get a good night's sleep. Until Carter wakes up."
Ellen eyed the man, the way his arms tensed slightly, and slowly nodded. "Very well, sir. But I'll be making a check on your office in two hours. If I find you there, you get the bed next to the Colonel."
A blink, and something approaching respect was in his eyes. "Gotcha."
Ellen watched him go with a sense of satisfaction. She was finally getting a handle on these people. You had to be firm (especially with SG-1 and its former commander), even letting them have a little leeway tended to mean they simply ended up back in her infirmary. She glanced towards the Colonel, frowning thoughtfully. And they pushed themselves too much, sometimes forgetting to eat, drink and be merry.
Something that she hoped would change.
The Colonel stirred, her eyes flickering open. "Sir?"
"He's gone back to work, Colonel."
"Doc." Weary blue eyes looked at her, "I should get back to my lab."
"The General had one of your assistants shut everything down."
"Ah." The woman shifted slightly, then frowned, "I need to go home, then, there was --" her expression blanked, then turned chagrined. "Oh, god. Pete. I had a date tonight. I need to --"
Ellen set a hand on Sam Carter's shoulder, holding her down. "You're not going anywhere, Colonel."
"Give me the number and I'll call him. I think fainting and being jabbed with needles is enough of an excuse to get out of standing him up."
Wavering slightly, the blonde Colonel attempted to sit up, and failed, her exhausted body keeping her pinned to the bed. "All right." She rattled off a series of numbers. "And tell him I'll call him."
"I will. Now you rest, or I'll sedate you, Colonel."
A weak grin crossed the woman's face and she settled back against the pillow. "Not really going to argue with you, Doc."
Ellen heard the silent 'for now', and determined that she was going to keep the Colonel in bed for as long as possible. "I'll go make that phone call. Sleep."
The number engaged, and after three rings was transferred to voice mail. "This is Dr. Brightman at Cheyenne Mountain Complex, I'm just calling on behalf of Colonel Carter. She's been settled in the infirmary overnight due to her cold. Please give me a call if you need to speak with her." She repeated her direct line number twice, then hung up and went back out into the infirmary.
General O'Neill had tried. He really, really had. There was just such a mountain of paperwork that by the time midnight rolled around, he was still buried behind it, struggling.
"Sir." Dr. Brightman's frosty tones broke over the desk.
He looked up at her, wondering if he should feel guilty, and discarding it for merely feeling exhausted. "Doc."
There was an uncompromising look in her eyes, and her arns were crossed. "I will get SFs to escort you down to the infirmary if I have to, sir."
"Look, Doc --"
"No. Move, soldier."
With a sigh, he stood. "I go under protest, Doc."
"I'm sure you do, sir."
Jack had a sneaking suspicion that she was mocking him, but he wasn't going to question her and find out. Plus, well, he was kinda tired.
The trip to the infirmary took very little time, and Jack soon found himself relieved of his pants, shirt, boots and socks. "General, the nurses have orders to bar anyone from waking you unless there's an emergency. I've also had the alarms turned off for abnormal gate activations."
"General." Her tone was uncompromising, "I understand your need to be in the thick of things, but you will do NO ONE good if you can barely keep your eyes open. You have a reliable crew to manage things while you sleep."
"Walter will come looking for me," Jack muttered, climbing into bed.
"He might. And he might not." She pointed at the nearby bed which held the sleeping Sam Carter. "If he wakes either of you up, I'll have his head on a platter."
Gesturing with his chin, Jack asked, "How is she?"
"Asleep. Which you will shortly be."
"Fine, fine," he was feeling like a sulky little boy caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Really, even Doc Fraiser had been better at this. Well, actually, Doc Fraiser had just known how to threaten better. He eyed Brightman. "You're too tall."
Confusion colored her gaze, but she refused to rise to the bait. "Sleep, General."
Jack closed his eyes. Fine. If the stretched-out Napoleonic power-monger in training wanted to make him sleep? He'd sleep.
Sam woke up cold. It took a moment for her mind to orient itself, and she found she was shivering. Cracking open her eyes in the dim lighting of the infirmary, she ran a quick checklist. Blankets wrapped around her in a cocoon: check. Body curled in fetal position: check. Blankets wrapped around her head so only her eyes and nose poked out: check.
A snore from the next bed distracted her, and she focused to discover General O'Neill sprawled across it, half of his torso bare to the cold air of the infirmary.
If there was one thing Sam Carter had learned in her life, it was that men tended to exude heat more than women. He was warm enough to only need a sheet, in fact. A shiver racked her body, and she tightened her hands into fists, attempting to get her fingers warmer.
Five minutes of doing this and shivering, and she was no warmer.
Her eyes strayed back to the sleeping General, and she came to a decision. After all, it wasn't as if she hadn't shared body heat with the man before -- hell, she'd slept with all four men of SG-1 (Jonas exuded more heat than the other three, and she figured that was his natural exuberance) to stay warm on more than one occasion. This would be no different. Even if they were both half-naked.
Gripping her courage, she carefully sat up. Another shiver almost made her fall off the bed, but she had enough control to simply land on her feet and not her knees. For a moment, the room spun crazily.
With gritted teeth, she stepped from her bed to his, blankets clutched in one hand. A moment later, and her shaky legs were grateful that she could lean against the side of his bed. Now she faced the difficult task of making General O'Neill move so there was enough room for her. He tended to sprawl when not sleeping off-world, and tonight was no exception.
Experimentally, she poked a finger into his side. Damn, he was warm. But it hadn't made him move. So she poked him again.
This time, he shifted slightly.
Frowning, she set her palm flat against his side, feeling the warmth flood her stiff fingers. That produced a reaction and he turned on his other side, setting his back to her. And leaving enough space to climb into the bed and huddle at his back. In less than a minute, she was curled into his back, grateful for the warmth he produced and wondering if it would wake him up to set her feet against his legs.
With her body finally warm, her mind drifted back into fuzziness and sleep soon overtook her.
Eight hours of sleep was just what the doctor ordered, and Ellen yawned to herself as she got dressed. Hopefully, her patients had followed those orders. The infirmary staff as a whole tended to let SG-1 have leeway, but she'd attempted to put the fear of Janet Fraiser's ghost into Nurse Travis the night before, so hopefully, her two patients were still there and undisturbed.
After grabbing a cup of coffee in the mess, Brightman made her way to her domain.
"Judy." She tipped a head towards the back of the room where the curtains blocked the two officers from view. "Any disturbances?"
"Wonderful." Ellen moved briskly to her office and retrieved her stethoscope and lab coat, then headed for the curtained area.
At first glance, she frowned. Colonel Carter's bed was empty, but Nurse Travis hadn't said she'd left. A closer examination revealed a larger lump in the General's bed than one man could produce. Ellen stepped closer and blinked. The tip of Colonel Carter's nose and a tuft of blonde hair were the only indications that the woman existed in the mound of blankets. O'Neill had her tucked under his chin, and Ellen had time to wonder how this had occurred before the man woke up.
He yawned and shifted, then yelped. "Carter, your feet are blocks of ice."
"Sorry, sir." The sleepy mumble came from inside the blankets.
Brightman studied the situation a moment longer, then turned on her heel and made sure the curtain was still pulled. They needed more sleep. Obviously. "Judy? I'm going for breakfast. Standing orders still apply."