Rating: R. Sex, violence, dead people. Drugs and rock'n'roll sold separately. Notes: This really rambled all over the damn place. Bits were inspired by Nostalgia. A large portion is simply backlash due to all of the "Sam and Jack must have sex! to stay alive/together/in captivity" type fics. And Jara and Ryuu can also be thanked for patting me when I'd say, "Oops. Scotch tape isn't gonna fix that."
Cauterized People Chapter One: Choked Flowers
by ALC Punk!
It's been two weeks and three days since they were first sent here. Two weeks of trying to escape, of being thwarted at every turn. She is dirty and filthy, the grit and sweat molding themselves to her skin. All she wants, all she really wants right now, is a shower. Gallons of water pouring down her body, washing away this life.
Soap on a sponge making her clean again.
Instead, she has him. Lips and fingers and tongue and cock, sliding in and out. They have to do this, she knows. He has to prove every night that she is his. That he is hers. There are too many, here in the pits who would claim her - or claim him.
And so there is this. On some level, she thinks she hates him. He knows how to make her wet, to make her writhe and beg, to make her plead in a choked voice as he's thrusting in and out, hands and body keeping her pinned.
She feels smug, sometimes, knowing she does the same to him. But there's less chance for her to prove it.
In the end, they are simply biological processes and conditioned responses.
Sam likes to remember that she was the one who made the first move. That it was her brain which made the connection that first night. He had no clue why she was pushing him against the wall and kissing him. Even as around them, the men and women paired off, and those who weren't fought amongst themselves.
During the day, they don't talk about it. There are no words for what amounts to mutual rape in the interests of survival (and enjoying it means nothing, she tries to convince herself).
With the sunlight pounding down on them, they work as they're ordered. Tilling the soil, or moving rocks. And she can sense the naquadah in some of them and knows they're mining for their 'God'. Neither of them joke or mock him anymore, though.
Teal'c died the first time, flayed alive before their eyes, his own full of feverish misery as his body destroyed itself due to its lack of immune system. And she thinks it was her fault, for making an off-hand joke, but isn't sure. Too busy avoiding Daniel's eyes, because Daniel was in another wing of the cells, and Daniel didn't know why there were fingermarks on her arms and a hickey on the back of her neck.
Dust and mud now cover both.
She saw Daniel two days after that, head hanging as they dragged him onto the stake. She watched as he died over three days, body slowly crisping in the sunlight, and at night, she buried herself in Jack, clinging to the last of her humanity.
Mockery stays hidden in their heads now.
They don't talk much at all, really.
Sometimes, she wants to hate both of them. But she understands the concept: stay alive at all costs.
There are parts of her that have atrophied, that have disappeared beneath the veneer of filth. She likes to think parts of him have, as well. But she never asks.
It's none of her business how much humanity he has left, just as its none of his business that she has none.
At times, she tries to think of it as a science experiment.
But other times, she knows it isn't. When he's buried inside of her, his head turned into her neck as he comes.
Three months, and four days after they arrive, she knows something is wrong from the way her body reacts to movement. Her second day of losing breakfast, and she can't meet his eyes.
On the day after, two guards silently escort (drag) her away from him, to an examination room where cold fingers and hands glide along her skin. And she can sense the naquadah in the woman's symbiote and cringes away.
There are fresh bruises and scrapes by the time they're done with her.
He doesn't ask until a week later when she collapses.
"Don't." Is what she says when they arrive to drag her off. I need you alive, she doesn't say. She understands, though, what can happen. They can kill him, leave her single and vulnerable. And right now, she doesn't know if that would be worse.
Her rational mind says yes.
"What happened?" he asks her skin when they bed down that night. She's still shaking and sick, almost unable to think in coherent sentences much less explain.
There was so much blood.
"Miscarriage." Is all she manages.
He goes still behind her, and she knows he's begun to hate her even more.
Back to work the day after, and she fights not to lag. That night, he doesn't touch her until one of the others comes close enough, and then it's cold and perfunctory.
There aren't tears, she convinces herself.
Days melt into weeks. He either comes to terms with her statement, or forgets it. The sex returns to normal (as normal as fucking in a cave filled with other people can be). She begins to lose track, until she gets sick again. This time, she sees the desperation in his eyes.
This time, the bruises are buried under layers of dirt and grime, and she wants to be half-hysterical. She doesn't know why they needed to beat her after the tests. Cold fingers clawing down her skin, and the goa'uld had looked so pleased at the thought of another worker for the Gods.
She doesn't tell him.
The week passes. She stops being sick in the mornings. It doesn't happen like the last time.
They're watching her, this time, perhaps wondering if she will do something as she did last time. She can't fake a collapse to get into the medical unit again. It's night when it happens, not quite deep dark, and the dominance games are still playing out in the center when she steps into the ring. The woman facing her is brutal, dark hair and blue eyes, and fists and teeth.
By the time Sam is dragged off of her, there's no life in her.
They patch her up, not paying attention to the belly wound, barely noticing the knife wounds on her thigh and arm.
And she carries the stark deadness in his eyes down into her dreams.
She awakens to blood and fever, wonders dimly if this is the last time or the first time, or if this is all a terrible dream she keeps having.
The dream shatters.
The voice can't be real. Not in this hell.
"Sam. Sam, it's ok. You're safe." Dad, her mind identifies.
Disbelief fills her, but there is something missing. Something vital. "Jack."
"He's here, too."
Delusion or not, she leaves the world behind again.
Voices, again. Talking about the place, about her condition. She hears them discussing her pregnancy. Or lack thereof.
"A miscarriage?" Her dad, voice filled with anger and disbelief.
"And cuts, bruises, those infected knife wounds you healed." He's talking. She hasn't really heard him talk for a long time, she thinks.
"You two were in pretty sad shape when we found you."
Daniel and Teal'c, she wants to say, are nothing but dead bodies. At least they're alive.
"Hey, Sam." Her father's hand brushes her cheek.
She wants to flinch away from the first human contact she's had in months, but there's no energy to do it. Instead, she opens her eyes.
Beyond her father stands Jack. She can think of him by name, now. They're alive.
As if her waking is a signal, he moves, one hand reaching out to tangle in her hair, smoothing it back from her forehead.
He wouldn't be touching her if he knew. She wonders if its selective memory, of if he really is as stupid as he sometimes pretends to be. But right now, she's not going to quibble, even if she is digging herself in deeper.
"So..." Her father looks between them, then nods, "Selmak wants you both to know that you did the right thing. She, uh, explained about these sorts of places."
Her eyes look at him. And she wonders if her father understands exactly what he and his symbiote have just sanctioned. But she doesn't ask. "Dad."
"Good to see you, too, kiddo." His fingers graze her cheek again, and he smiles.
"Hey." The hand in her hair wriggles.
She looks up at him, meets those brown eyes. For a moment, they're cold, nothing staring back at her. Then the cold slides away, something that might almost be cheerful peeking out at her. How he does it, she doesn't know. And she also knows he shouldn't be touching her, but she's not going to object. Not right now when she needs him as a connection to her reality. "Jack."
A wealth of meaning in one word, and she wonders if you can tell someone you love them, need them, and hate them, all in one breath.
"You should sleep." Her father smiles.
"I've slept a lot," she replies carefully. It takes a slight struggle to move exhausted muscles and convince them to sit up. "Tell me where we are."
"Nearly at Earth," there's unforced joviality in her father. As if finding them and making them healthy is all that's needed. "You'll be safe in Doc Fraiser's eagle-eye care in about two hours."
She shoots Jack a glance, but doesn't say anything, just nods. "All right." A breath in, because she doesn't want to ask, "Daniel and Teal'c?"
Her eyes close and she nods, "I knew. I just wanted to make sure it wasn't all simply a nightmare."
"We'll leave you to sleep."
"Both of us."
She wants to object, but her father has him steered out the door before she can gather the right words. And then she decides it doesn't matter. She doesn't need him curled around her to sleep. The tremors start a little while later and don't stop until she's in the SGC infirmary, dosed to the gills while Janet's people take samples and measure responses.
There is no one there when she wakes the first time. She stares at the ceiling of the infirmary, and then looks at the empty bed next to hers. He was supposed to be there, she thinks. He was there, at one time.
Probably moved pending court-martial, which is black humor she didn't used to have.
She wants to blame it on him, but knows it was simply brought to the surface under his influence. Always the pessimist, Carter, he used to say.
Well, how's this for pessimism, sir, she thinks as she watches the lights haze out as sleep begins to reclaim her, I didn't think we would ever escape.
General Hammond is talking to Janet, the second time she wakes. They're trying to be quiet, but months spent listening for the smallest sound in the night which might require defense from have left her with acute paranoia.
"...don't know how long recovery will be."
"How is she, otherwise?"
"I really can't say, sir." Janet is lying. There's a wealth of things she can say, but they would violate patient-doctor confidentiality. At least until the patient is awake (and as long as she isn't a threat to the SGC).
"Let me know, then, doctor."
"I will, sir." When he's gone, Janet turns to her. "How much did you hear?"
"Well, I'm not going to sugar-coat it, Sam." There's something full of sadness in Janet's eyes. "Several blows to the torso and two infected knife wounds have caused your body to lose the baby rather strenuously."
"I'm afraid that you can no longer have children, Sam."
One goal accomplished, she thinks as she stares up at the grey ceiling. "What else?"
"The infection has left your body in a weakened condition, you're malnourished, and you recently had five broken ribs and a fractured wrist."
So much blood, she thinks, but doesn't say. "Ah. They put me in a sarcophagus, I don't remember why." She can't work up the energy to wonder why she wasn't in it long enough for the evidence to fade.
"Ah. Sam, what happened?"
She stares at the ceiling, counting the tiny cracks. "We were captured, Daniel and Teal'c are dead, the Colonel and I shacked up to stay alive, and Dad rescued us."
Her head turns to meet the concerned gaze of a friend, and she knows she isn't worthy of it. A humorless smile touches her lips, "I'll let you read the report when I write it."
The doctor knows that isn't all. The diminutive woman has been her friend for nearly eight years now. There's a distinct tilt to her lips, a tightening of her stance that says she knows when you're holding back. But Sam isn't going to tell her what she's done. "Fine. I'm keeping you at least overnight until the tests all come up clear."
"You do that." There are fourteen cracks in the lower left quadrant of the ceiling.
Janet leaves, and Sam is left alone to her own thoughts. So she stops thinking.
Ten minutes later, she's shaking again. Vaguely, she wonders if this will happen forever, or if it would stop if he were here.
But he's not there, and he obviously isn't planning to be, ever again. The empty bed is testimony to that. Got out while the going is good, she thinks as her exhaustion drags her down again.
Two days later, they have a shrink talking to her. But she knows the games, now, has known them for years. Only now, she's playing. He thinks she is, but there's nothing he can do to prove it. He doesn't understand her, of course. It's hard to understand someone with very little humanity left inside of them.
One week later, and they have sex on Earth for the first time. It's short and not particularly sweet, she doesn't orgasm, and he doesn't care. But it's enough.
Routine is established. They've let her back into her lab. No talk of going off-world, but they need her brain (they've always needed her brain, whereas, he just needed her). So she has her lab, and her work, and sometimes he visits with his hands in his pockets (afraid of stealing something, and she can at least be honest about his kleptomania now). And leaves a note behind. In her pocket, under her microscope, on her desk. Some place she'll find it. And then they meet.
Two weeks into the routine, and he's just come (he made certain she did, only the first time did he forget), leaning into her, pushing her into the wall when the cops arrive.
Arrested for public indecency.
She thinks it's a good thing they hadn't caught them the night before when he'd had her bent forward until the packing crates left bruises on her ribs.
General Hammond isn't pleased (an understatement), he stalks around the room and they both sit silently behind the table. Finally, he whirls and slams his hands down, "I'm trying to understand, how two of my best officers are selling their careers down the river."
We're not the best, she wants to tell him. We're merely second-rate. Cardboard cut-outs pretending to be human. She doesn't say any of that. Just watches the General.
"Fine. Colonel, Major, I think a night cooling your heels in a civilian jail might give you both time to think things over. We'll talk more in the morning." As he leaves, Sam considers telling him that Earth civilian jails don't have a thing on any cell they've been in before.
They put her in with a drunk, a prostitute, and a woman claiming to be Saint Teresa. Sam curls onto the small cot and tries to sleep. She spends the night shaking instead, and wonders if he does it, too.
Morning dawns cold, and she doesn't say much as they release her on bail. A trial date is mentioned, but she doesn't record it (and she used to memorize facts and figures so easily). They send her home, and she knows she's not allowed back on base yet. Hammond sends an SF with official papers.
The courts-martial are two weeks later. Two weeks spent pretending she doesn't wake up every two hours, she doesn't shake, she doesn't crave. It's almost a relief.
"I'm being turned out to pasture," he hisses into her ear as he fucks her against the wall in her office.
"Ah." It's all she feels up to managing right now.
That he's even somewhat interested almost wakes her up, but she pushes reality away. "They're shipping me off to Russia. I've been demoted to Captain." The irony is that she thinks she'll enjoy living in the middle of nowhere, teaching scientists the basics of stargate theory.
Days later, she's packed. Janet and Cassie helped, and she had to put on a mask, pretend to be normal. There was girl talk and chatter, and it was almost easy to slip into the role. Only finding pictures of Teal'c and Daniel sliced the hold into ribbons, and she's sure Janet knows she was in the bathroom for too long.
They make her promise to write them.