DISCLAIMER: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. We have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the authors. Not to be archived without permission of the authors.
A MATTER OF TRUST
The event horizon of the wormhole rippled as SG1 stepped through. It had been a difficult mission, but more so for one member.
"Welcome back SG1, I hope everything went well Colonel." Hammond said as he approached the ramp.
"Why yes Sir it did, if you don't count the little misunderstanding we had with the locals, culminating with Carter kicking this humongous guy's butt," O'Neill stated with a smile and look of pride on his face.
"I look forward to hearing all about it, clear medical and we'll debrief in two hours, dismissed."
The team acknowledged Hammond as they left the gate room; O'Neill watched them leave and noticed that Carter was moving slower a bit stiff. 'Must be a little sore from that fight with Turgan,' O'Neill thought.
"Okay Colonel, everything seems to be alright, now unbuckle your belt, so I can give you your injection."
'Did Fraiser have a smile on her face when she said that?' O'Neill thought. "Yea, sure what ever you say Doc. So how was Carter when you saw her?"
"I haven't seen her yet Colonel, why do you ask?"
"Oh it's just the last time I saw her she didn't seem to be moving as easily ad she usually does, and after that fight she had with the big Mongol, I wouldn't be surprised if she was a little sore." 'Speaking of which,' Jack thought as started rubbing as sore spot on his posterior, where a rather large needle had just been extracted.
"Okay Colonel, I'll look into it when I see her, she should be here soon."
"You know Doc, we have to debrief in about twenty minutes, so I'll make sure she shows up after that." O'Neill did up his belt buckle then headed out the door.
As O'Neill entered the briefing room, her noticed Teal'c and Daniel were sitting on one side of the table, while Carte sat on the other side, looking at papers in front of her. He went and sat in the chair next to her, when Hammond entered the room, O'Neill and Carter stood and waited for him to take his seat. O'Neill noticed the odd look on Carter's face as she stood and sat back down. 'Oh yea, he was going to make sure he led hr to the infirmary after this meeting.'
As the debriefing went on, O'Neill told the general about how they met the people of this world, how they were taken back to their village and welcomed. Well except for Carter, who was treated as a second-class citizen. He explained how Dr. Jackson convinced them to have Carter do as the people wished, and dress as their customs demanded. Jack looked at Carter as he said this, and noticed her face turning slightly red, 'boy she must be angry.' He continued to tell the general how he Daniel and Tea'c went to the celebration that night, leaving Carter alone in the tent. O'Neill looked down as he said the last part, the guilt evident on his face.
Carter took over and recounted how she woke up with a knife to her throat, how she was tied up and led out of the tent to an awaiting horse. She said she wasn't sure if it was two or three men who helped to abduct her. She told them how she was taken to the camp, and traded for gold. She said Abu wanted to trade her for Turgan's daughter, but he wouldn't hear of it and threw the gold back at Abu and told him to leave. She recounted how she almost escaped, making it to a horse, only to have it buck her off when the guard whistled for it.
"Why didn't you just wait for us?" Daniel asked.
"Since I didn't know where I was, yet alone where you were, I took it upon myself, like any soldier would, and tried to escape," Sam said slightly exasperated.
"That's alright Captain, you may continue if you like," General Hammond told her, his voice a little softer than normal.
"The guards tied my hand and dragged me back to the camp."
"Were there any repercussions we should know about?" Jack asked while looking Sam in the eyes. He couldn't read her, or just wasn't sure he wanted to know what she was thinking.
"Nothing worth mentioning Sir," Sam stated without a hint of emotion.
Hammond cut Jack off, "That's alright Colonel, this is just a preliminary debriefing, if anything needs to be added I'm sure the Captain will write it up in her report."
"Thank you General, I'll be sure to give you a detailed written report Sir."
The debriefing continued with SG1 reporting on how they made it to the camp, and eventually got Carter back, trading her for a pistol and avoiding a war between the two tribes. Next Daniel explained how they had to go back to Turgan's camp, so the young girl wouldn't be stoned to death, and how according to their laws it was only Sam who could fight him for the girl's life.
"Okay SG1 that will be all for now, you're dismissed," Hammond stated. They all got up to leave when the general called Jack, "Jack could you stick around a minute?"
"Why sure General no problem," they watched as the others left, then Jack closed the door and faced the general.
"Let me start by saying, that I know you and your team are still getting to know each other, but with what happened to Captain Carter…." Hammond was saying as Jack cut him off.
"I know General, it was my fault, I know better than to leave a team member, any team member alone, especially on another planet."
"You are quite correct Colonel, so I guess we don't need to have this conversation. Just go and make sure your team is alright, something like this can put a strain on a team, and I'd hate for that to happen." Hammond voiced his concern.
"Yes Sir, so would I. Now if that's all, I'd like to get to my team and make sure everything is okay." Jack noticed the general nod to him, as he got up to leave the room. Jack hurried to catch up to his team and found Daniel and Teal'c in Daniel's office. "Hey Daniel, have you seen Carter?"
"Ah yea, she said something about speaking to Dr. Fraiser about those samples we brought back," Daniel didn't even look up as he stared at an artefact they had brought back with them.
"Okay I guess I'll catch up with her there," Jack said hurrying out the door. Making his way to the infirmary, Jack stopped just out side the door when he heard two voices from within. One was definitely Captain Carter's and the other belonged to Dr. Fraiser.
"So Captain, I hear you may be having some problems, from that fight you had on your mission,"
"Yea doctor, but just some scrapes and bruises, not much to worry about," Sam said not looking Fraiser in the eyes.
"Let me be the judge of that Captain, where are these so called scrapes and bruises?" Fraiser asked with a questioning look on her face.
.Sam stood up and turned her back to the doctor, then lifted the bottom of her shirt. Janet's eyes grew wide in surprise as she took a gasp of air in horror. She immediately called for the one of the nurses to bring supplies for suturing and dressings.
"Geez Captain, what the hell happened out there?" Janet asked while grabbing Sam's shirt and lifting it all the way off Sam's back.
"Lie down Captain, this is going to take a while," Fraiser told Sam as she helped to manoeuvre her onto the gurney.
Jack's face paled in shock, as he listened to the exchange. 'What could possibly draw such a reaction from the doctor?' He had to find out for himself, no matter what it took. He walked up to the curtained off area.
Janet had Sam lying on her stomach as she cut the shirt from Sam's back. She noticed that Sam was not wearing her bra, but obviously knew why. Janet was putting on her gloves when she heard the Colonel speak.
"Doctor, Captain, this is Colonel O'Neill, I have to know what's going on in there. Now."
Janet was startled by the colonel; she picked up a sterile cloth and draped it over Sam's back to give her some dignity if the colonel actually stepped behind the curtain. Janet stepped out and came face to face with a very worried looking colonel. "I'm sorry Colonel, but my patient deserves some privacy." Janet stood protectively between O'Neill and the curtain.
"Look Doc, I have to know what happened to Carter," Jack said, trying to get passed the diminutive doctor. They both looked at the curtain when they heard Carter, "It's alright doctor, let him in."
Jack stepped into the curtained off area and saw Carter lying on her stomach, with a blue cloth over her back. He could tell from where the cloth didn't cover her side, that she wasn't wearing anything under the cloth, then he saw the cut up T-shirt hanging over the gurney. He felt a little awkward, but he needed to know what happened.
His voice lowered with concern, "Carter, what happened?"
Sam nodded to Janet, who then lifted the cloth. Jack was shocked and horrified with the sight before him. Sam's back was covered with long cuts, some criss-crossing over each other, some very red welts and a multitude of bruising. There was hardly any of her pale while skin left to see. After the initial shock wore off, Jack approached Sam, crouched down so he was at eye level with her, and with a very gentle voice asked her again what happened.
Sam drew a few calming breaths and started to tell Jack, "I'm afraid I left a few things out of my report at the debriefing. When I was captured after trying to escape, I was brought back to Turgan, with my hands bound. He was going to beat one of the women who were responsible for looking after me. I told him if he needed to beat a woman…to try me."
"Sam, this looks like more than just a beating," Jack said still letting his concern show.
"Well for him, a beating includes using some sort of whip," the others listened but couldn't hide the looks of disgust.
"I have to dress your wounds and few are going to need suturing, I'm sorry but this is going to take a while." Janet stepped forward and placed a comforting hand on Sam's arm, "Captain normally I numb area before suturing, but seeing the extent of the damage, I'm afraid I'm going to have to give you morphine instead."
"Doctor, could you hold off for a few minutes, I think the rest of the team should see this."
"Colonel!" both Sam and Janet called out, Sam with surprise but Janet with more concern.
"Look Captain, this happened on a mission, with your team; they need to know what happened, so we can learn from it, and make sure it never happens again.
"Yes Sir, I understand," as Sam answered, Jack noticed sheen of sweat on her forehead and that she started looking flushed. 'Was this from the pain or something else?'
One of the nurses stepped behind the curtain carrying an armload of supplies. Janet helped her put the items on the bedside table, then told her to get the morphine. "Okay Colonel, I'll give you until the morphine starts to work to get the rest of your team here, before I start working on the Captain's back,"
"Thank you Doctor," Jack saw Fraiser adjusting the curtain as he left.
Jack rounded the corner of Daniel's office and almost ran straight into the young archaeologist, "Daniel do you know where Teal'c is?"
"I think he went to his quarters, why do you ask?" Daniel looked up form his papers and saw the odd look on Jack's face.
Jack ignored Daniel for a moment as he reached for Daniel's phone and dialled, "Hey Teal'c, meet Daniel and me outside of the infirmary; don't go in until we get there. Yea, okay, see you in a few minutes." Jack hung up the phone and looked at Daniel, "Let's go Danny-boy, we'll meet Teal'c at the infirmary, then I'll fill you in."
As the three met outside the infirmary, Daniel could be heard all the way down the hall nagging Jack for information. Jack looked at both men and started to fill them in, "Look guys, our last mission didn't go off as well as we thought. It seems Captain Carter did end up with some injuries, I think you should you see for yourselves and then we can discuss it." Jack led the two men into the infirmary, standing just outside the curtains. "Okay Doc, we're here," Jack said quietly.
The doctor came out from behind the curtain, "You're just in time Colonel, the morphine's just started to work. She may be out of it for a while, but she won't feel any pain." Janet looked at the two men and told them what they were about to see may be shocking to them at first, but they should hold their emotions for the sake of the Captain. Both men agreed and were then led behind the curtain.
Daniel was the first to react, "Oh my God, uh Captain Doctor, I'm so sorry, are you alright?" Daniel's face was full of shock, and the guilt he was feeling started to weigh heavily on him. He took a step back and asked Jack what happened.
Jack explained to Teal'c and Daniel what happened on the planet. Teal'c took a step towards Sam and softly said, "I am sorry Captain Carter, I have failed in my duty to protect my team member, I hope you can find it your heart to forgive me." Teal'c gave a slight bow and awaited a response. There was none to come.
Janet stepped towards Sam's head, lifted her eyelid and checked her eye. "Sorry gentlemen, she's out, I don't think she heard you."
Jack looked at Fraiser, "So what's the prognosis?"
Janet sighed and shook her head slightly, "Well Colonel, I think it's going to take quite a few stitches to close up some of the deeper cuts, it looks like an infection has already taken hold, but antibiotics should clear that up, as for scarring I can use an ointment and frequent dressing changes and hope it will be kept to a minimum."
"Will she be able to go home after you are finished here?" Jack hoped that if she could, it might take away some of the guilt he was feeling.
"When I looked at her file, I noticed that she lives alone, and with these dressings needing to be changed three to four times a day, she won't be able to that herself. So she'll have to stay on base in order for that to happen. I will also be starting her on IV antibiotics for the first few doses and then I can switch her to the pill form."
"Thanks Doc," Jack said as he motioned for the others members of his team to follow him. "Well guys, I think it's up to us to remedy the situation. We can offer our help as team members and friends, or we can leave Carter to stay on base for her recovery."
"Seeing as we weren't there when she needed us the most, we should be here for her now. No matter what it takes."
"I too feel as Daniel Jackson, I will do what ever is needed to assist Captain Carter." Teal'c answered with a stoic look on his face.
Dr. Fraiser and a nurse came out from behind the curtain; Janet handed the nurse the chart she had been writing on, "Okay, I want you start the IV and get the captain ready for X-rays." The nurse took the chart and walked out of the infirmary.
Jack got Fraiser's attention, "Hey Doc, the guys and I decided we will look after Carter so she can get out of here, it's the least we can do."
"She's coming to, so why don't you check with her, and see what she has to say." Janet wasn't sure what Sam would think of this, seeing how they treated her on the planet.
The three members of SG1 walked up to Sam's bedside. She was now dressed in a hospital gown lying on her side with a pillow at her side helping to prop her up so she wouldn't fall back. The back of the gown was open enough for the guys to see the heavy bandages that adorned her back.
"Hey Carter, how you doing?" Jack asked with a small smile.
Sam tilted her head up towards Jack; her eyes were still weary from the effects of the morphine. "Fine Sir, thanks for asking," Jack could hear some bitterness in her voice when she answered.
"Hey Sam, we were in here earlier, but you were out of it. I just want you to know how sorry…"
"It's okay Daniel; I heard what you and Teal'c said before I passed out," Sam's attention was caught by a nurse making her way towards her carrying supplies. She started to put the IV together and then inserted the needle into Sam's hand. The nurse then added a small bag to the IV which had the medicine in it.
"Ah Carter, we were talking earlier, and thought we would like to help you out. The only way the doc's going to let you out of here, is if you have someone to help you out when you go home," Jack said tentatively.
"That's okay Sir, I can take care of myself very well, I've been doing it for a while now," Sam said shortly.
Jack looked a little surprised at Carter's answer, "I understand that Captain, I don't assume that you're not a very capable person. However, the doc says that you're going to need your dressings changed frequently, and unless you're a contortionist I don't think you will be able to do it yourself. That leaves you with the option of being struck on the base for your treatments, or allowing your team mates to help you."
Jack was interrupted by two orderlies coming to take Sam for X-rays. "Let me know what you've decided when you get back?" Jack asked as Sam was being wheeled out of the room.
Jack, Daniel and Teal'c waited in the hallway, Daniel's nervousness had him pacing back and forth, Teal'c sat quietly and Jack impatience was coming through in his rocking back and forth on his heels.
"Okay, I've had enough of waiting," Jack said as he led the others towards Dr. Fraiser's office. Jack stepped in while the others waited outside the door.
"Colonel, gentlemen, how did it go?"
"Well we told her what we wanted to do."
Janet looked up with a slight smirk on her face, "And, what did she say?"
"They took her to X-ray, so we will know her answer when she gets back," Jack grinned.
"If she says yes, you three will have to know how to change the bandages, which believe me, is not an easy job considering all the damage. So how about I call you when we do the next dressing change and you can get some lessons," Janet craned her neck to see all three men.
"The others may need lessons, but I've been in the military for over twenty years, and have done my fair share of changing bandages and taking care of wounds," Jack smiled smugly.
"Look Colonel, I realize you may have changed bandages in you time, but I'm not releasing her to anyone's care until I've seen them change the bandages, myself," Janet said firmly.
"Okay, okay, what ever you say Doc," Jack answered as a nurse knocked on Janet's door.
"Sorry to disturb you Dr. Fraiser, but Captain Carter is back form X-ray, here are the results," she handed Janet a large brown envelope and left.
Janet took the envelope and removed the films; she headed to the infirmary where she put the X-rays up against the wall mounted X-ray light. The three men followed Janet, looking over her shoulder as she examined the film, "Well Doc, what's the verdict?"
"From what I can see, there are a couple of hairline fractures on two of her ribs on the right side, but nothing too serious."
"Probably happened from the fall she took when fighting that Neanderthal," Jack shook his head at the memory.
Janet looked over at the Colonel and continued, "Why thank you Colonel, for the information, this injury will however make moving around difficult and painful; and as you may know, there's nothing we can do for fractured ribs."
"So can we still take her home?" Daniel asked finally speaking up.
"That's up to Captain Carter, why don't we go see what she has to say about it," Janet turned off the light and led the others to Sam's bedside.
Sam was now sitting up in bed, leaning forward resting on her bent knees. She sat up straighter as she saw the group head towards her.
"So Carter, have you made a decision?" Jack asked, bouncing on the balls of his feet.
"It depends Sir, so Doctor, is it true that you will only let me off base if I take them up on their offer?" Sam asked, looking nervously at Janet.
"I'm afraid so Captain, it's either staying on base and coming to the infirmary for treatment, or allowing your team mates to assist you at home."
"That's what I was afraid of," Sam sighed and shook her head.
"What's the problem Carter? It's an easy choice, us or here," Jack had a big grin on his face as he grabbed Teal'c and Daniel by the shoulders. Daniel also smiled slightly, while Teal'c just raised an eyebrow.
"Alright," Sam said shaking her head, not believing what she had just agreed to.
Janet took that as her cue, "Well Captain, since these gentlemen will be assisting you, I've already told them that they'll have to take lessons in changing your bandages. We'll do this in a couple of hours and I'll get your meds ready to take with you. I also want you to have one more round of the IV antibiotics before you go. This can be done while you are having your dressings changed."
"Thanks Doc, I think we can handle that," Jack said quickly before Sam could get a chance to reply.
"While we're waiting, I'll just go and clear things up with the general and let him know what's going to happen."
"So Sam, "Daniel began, "how do really feel about having us around, and helping you out?"
"I really don't know Daniel; I think it's going to be a little crowded at my place. I still haven't finished unpacking," Sam's nervousness was showing through a small smile on her face. She shifted slightly and her face paled as a sharp pain came over her. She held her breath and tried to wait for the wave of pain to pass.
"Are you alright Captain Carter?" Teal'c asked with concern.
"Yea, I'll be okay," Sam said as she tried to breathe through the pain. "I guess the morphine finally wore off."
"Dr. Fraiser, Captain Carter requires your assistance," Teal'c called out.
"What's wrong?" Janet asked as she came around the corner.
"Captain Carter is in a great deal of pain," Teal'c informed Janet.
"It's alright Teal'c, I just moved the wrong way," Sam said clenching her teeth.
"Obviously it's not, Captain," Janet reached into her pocket and took out a bottle of pills. "It's time to take some pain meds, since the morphine has worn off by now."
"That's okay Doctor, it's nothing I can't handle," Sam was holding her breath, trying not to show how much pain she was having.
Janet shook her head, tired of the tough soldier act, "Well now, there's something I haven't heard before. You will take your medication Captain, or do I have to make it an order."
"Okay Doctor, what ever you say," Sam gave in, thinking how much she did want the relief, but didn't want to show weakness.
Janet handed Sam two small pills, poured her a glass of water and waited for her to swallow the pills. "Okay, why don't you rest for a while and wait for the medication to take affect, by then it will be time to have your dressings changed." Janet helped to ease Sam down so she was lying on her side. Just then a nurse came in to take Sam's vitals. .
"Her temperature is 101.5 Doctor," the nurse informed Janet.
"Okay, give her two Tylenol to bring the fever down. In the mean time I'll get the next dose of antibiotics ready," both Janet and the nurse left
"I guess I'll go back to my lab and get things ready, so we can leave later." Daniel gave Sam a gentle squeeze on her arm, then he and Teal'c left the infirmary.
They ran into Jack by the elevator, Jack told them that Hammond was sorry to hear about what happened to Carter, and that they could have some time off to help out their team mate.
"Yea, about that Jack," Daniel started. "Ah Sam said she didn't know how we would fit into her apartment and that she was still unpacking. I get the feeling there won't be much room there for all of us."
"Well I have a three bedroom house; she can have one of the bedrooms and you and Teal'c can toss for the other one."
"Who am I to toss, and where am I to toss them, O'Neill?" Teal'c asked clearly puzzled by what O'Neill said.
"It's just a figure of speech Teal'c; Daniel will explain it to you later," Jack grinned at Daniel.
"Ah we were just headed to finish some things up, so we'll be ready when it's time to take Sam home." Daniel said as he and Teal'c entered the elevator.
"Okay I'll see you later in the infirmary," Jack called out as the elevator doors closed. Jack made his way to the infirmary and noticed Sam was asleep when he stepped in. He turned around and headed for Janet's office, "Hey Doc, I just cleared up everything with Hammond, so whenever Carter's ready to go we can take her home."
Janet looked at her watch, "Well Colonel, in about half an hour we'll be ready to get started. Here's a list of her medications, she's running a slight fever so make sure she takes the penicillin as well as the Tylenol. Other than that it's just some pain meds; she seems reluctant to take them, so you may have to be insistent."
"That won't be a problem Doc, I'll use my charming commanding voice," Jack grinned as he left to wait by Sam's bed. He brought up a chair and sat down; he noticed a troubled look on her face as she slept. 'Boy that must be some dream she's having, probably from what happened on the planet. Damn I'm such an ass for allowing that to happen; I hope she forgives me, us for letting that happen.' Jack was brought out of his musings by the arrival of the doctor, a nurse and the rest of the team.
"Okay gentlemen, let's get started." Janet went up to Sam and gently shook her shoulder to wake her, "Captain, it's time to change your dressings."
Sam lifted her head slowly, blinking her eyes to clear her blurred vision. She looked over her shoulder and noticed everyone standing around; before she could say anything Jack spoke up.
"Hey Carter, looks like you are going to be the centre of attention for a bit," Sam noticed he was smiling, but she had a puzzled look on her face.
"Um Sam, Dr. Fraiser won't let us take you home until we've had a lesson on changing your bandages," Daniel said slightly embarrassed.
"Oh," was all Sam could thing of saying, 'I am so not going to like this.'
Janet showed them how to set up before getting started. Then she helped manoeuvre Sam so she was lying on her stomach, and pulled the covers down. Janet untied the back of her gown, and moved it so her back and sides were exposed.
Jack was relieved to see that she was wearing the pyjama bottoms, but then again he couldn't be blamed if he hoped that she wasn't.
"Oh boy, do I feel like I'm on display here," Sam said sheepishly.
"That's because you are Captain," Jack grinned, 'and what a display it is' he thought as his eyes roamed over her body, taking in the sight of her exposed skin and how the pyjamas fit so nicely over her butt. 'Is it getting hot in here,' he thought as he tugged at the collar of his T-shirt. As Janet removed the bandages, showing again the angry red cuts and welts; as well as the multitude of bruises and now the numerous black stitches brought Jack back to reality.
Janet showed them how to clean the wounds, allowing each a turn then she showed them how to apply the ointment, and finally how to apply the large bulky dressings they would have to use, since they had to cover a large area. She told them and Sam not to get the area wet until the stitches came out. This meant that Sam would not be able to use the shower, but a shallow bath would be fine.
When they finally finished, Fraiser removed the IV from Sam's hand, "That's all for now gentlemen, you can go while we get the captain ready so she leave."
Twenty minutes later; Sam was sitting on the bed, dressed in her blue BDU"s with a bag of supplies in her hand. When her team mates entered the room, Teal'c took the bag from Sam and gave her a slight bow.
"Okay campers, ready to head out?"
"Ah Colonel, I need to get some things from my lab and locker before we leave; if that's okay with you?"
"Sure Carter, no problem," Jack saw Sam move to stand up; she was moving rather slowly and holding her right side. 'Oh yea, those ribs are going to be a problem,' Jack thought.
They finally made it to the surface, this time Daniel was carrying all the items Sam had retrieved. Jack led everyone to his truck, then turned to Sam, "Look Carter, the plans have changed, we are going to be staying at my place since I have more space and bedrooms. We'll stop off at your place so you can pick up some things and then head to my house." Jack used all the authority he could muster, hoping Sam wouldn't argue.
"Well seeing as I don't have much of a choice…"
"Great! Now everybody in the truck," Jack noticed Sam looking at the step to get into his truck. He went up next to her, "Here let me give you a hand." He put his arm out so she could use it to leverage herself up, and used his other hand on her side; careful not to touch her bandages as she manoeuvred herself into the front seat.
They arrived at Sam's small apartment, and were thankful Jack offered his place. There would be no way all four of them would be able to fit in there. Sam went from room to room to gather things she would need. Finally packed, they headed for Jack's house.
The time it taken them for driving and packing had taken a toll on Sam; the pain meds had started to wear off, and she felt every bump on the road they hit.
When they arrived at Jack's home he turned off the truck, then glanced at Sam; he noticed she looked pale and a small sheen of sweat adorned her forehead. He looked at his watch and noticed that it was almost time for her pain pills. He quickly got out of the truck, headed to her side and opened the door. "Hey Carter, let us help you down, Teal'c would you give me a hand here?"
Teal'c came over to O'Neill's side and the two of them tried to help Sam down, without too much jarring. Once on the ground Jack led Sam into the house and showed her to her room, he pulled the covers down on the bed and motioned her to sit down. Sam carefully sat down and Jack reached down to take off her boots, then helped her to lie down.
Jack left the room, and noticed Teal'c and Daniel carrying the bags into the house, "Why don't you put those on the table for now, it's about time for her pain meds, so I'll just take them into her now." Jack rummaged through the bag for the pills then went to get a glass of water. All three entered Sam's room, with Jack going to her bedside, "Here Carter, take these."
"That's okay Sir, I just need to rest and I'll be fine," Sam said though no one believed her.
"Come on Sam, you're obviously in a lot of pain, why don't you just take the medication?" Daniel asked with concern in his voice.
"Yea Carter, just take the pills like the doc ordered, or do I have to make it an order?"
"I ah, don't think that's a lawful order Sir," Sam answered tiredly.
"Yea, well then take it as a request form a friend, from all your friends."
"Yes, Sam we don't want to see you suffering when you don't have to," Daniel added.
Teal'c used a gentle tone, which not many had heard before, "That is correct Captain Carter, I too do not wish for you to suffer, when it is not necessary."
"Okay, okay, if you guys are going to be nagging me about it," Sam sighed.
Jack sat on the bed next to Sam and helped her into a sitting position, so she could take the pills. "So Carter, are you up for something to eat, I was just about to start dinner?"
"Sure, what ever you are having is fine, just call me when it's ready," Sam answered as she started to close her eyes.
The three men left the room and headed to the kitchen, "So Jack how do you think it's going?"
"I don't know Daniel, she seems a little off, but then again we don't know each other that well. I just hope we can work through this, I'm not even sure if she really trusts us any more," Jack sighed.
"Should we not try to regain Captain Carter's trust?" Teal'c asked.
"Yea Teal'c, but sometimes that's harder to do than you think," Daniel said softly.
In no time dinner was ready and Daniel went to tell Sam; she was asleep so Daniel went up to her, quietly said her name and gently rubbed her arm. She slowly woke up and wondered where she was. "Hey Sam, ready for some food, Jack made some pasta?"
Sam started to stretch and immediately regretted it, Daniel helped her to sit up and then to stand. The two made their way to the kitchen, where the table was set for four. Jack pulled out a chair for Sam and the rest sat down. They ate their dinner and enjoyed a light conversation Jack teased Daniel about his rocks, while Teal'c observed the odd behaviour of the two. Sam ate some, but not much and looked rather depressed. Jack decided not to call her on it and let her be for now.
After dinner was finished, Sam was led to the living room, while the guys cleaned up. They then sat around and watched TV for awhile, Jack noticed the time and realized it was time for Sam to have her bandages changed.
"So guys I guess it's time for Carter to be on display again," both Sam and Daniel shot Jack an astonished look, with Sam turning slightly red.
"Oh you know what I mean Daniel, why don't you start getting things set up and we'll be there in a minute. So Carter, how do you want to do this, I think it will be quicker if two of us do it, and you can choose who you want?"
"It doesn't matter to me Sir, you're the C.O. so you can decide," Sam was not going to make this easy on him, and why should she, after all it was their fault this happened.
Daniel came back to the room and told them it was all set up. Sam slowly got up and headed towards the bedroom. "Why don't you change into your night clothes Carter, then you won't have to move around afterwards if you don't want to," Jack suggested. "We'll just wait around here, call when you're ready."
Sam went into the room and closed the door. She noticed her bags were there now and searched for her night clothes. She pulled out a pair of old sweat pants and a loose grey T-shirt. Changing had been a little more difficult than she had expected.
During the time Sam was getting ready, Jack, Teal'c and Daniel were waiting outside the door, getting a little anxious wondering why it was taking so long. Finally the door opened and Sam headed back towards the bed. 'Boy this is going to be interesting,' Sam thought as she eased herself onto the bed so she was lying on her stomach.
"Ooookay," Jack said nervously, "Daniel and I will do the dressings and Teal'c you can assist us if we need anything." Jack noticed the oversized shirt Sam was wearing and signalled Daniel to pull it up over her back. Daniel turned red, and signalled Jack back that he should do it.
"Is there a problem O'Neill?" Teal'c asked puzzled by the behaviour.
"Ah no, Teal'c, no problem, just getting ready, that's all." Jack answered scowling at Daniel. Jack wiped his hands on his pants, then reached for the hem of Sam's shirt and pulled it up, so it rested on her shoulders. He took a deep breath and started to remove the old bandages. He and Daniel tried to be as gentle as possible, but when tape was being pulled off skin there was bound to be pain. Finally when all the bandages were removed, Teal'c took them out of the room.
Daniel and Jack continued to clean the wounds; Jack noticed the heat rising from the area and touched Sam's neck with the back of his hand. She shivered slightly, "Carter, I think you're running a fever again. Sorry this is taking so long, we'll be done soon, I promise."
Sam could only nod as she was fighting back the urge to cry out with the pain. She was holding her breath with every wave of pain. Jack and Daniel finally applied the ointment and bandages, being careful with the tape.
"There you go, all done," Jack reached for the shirt and pulled it down over her back. Jack noticed Sam wasn't responding to him, "Hey Carter, are you alright?" There was still no answer. Jack put his hand to her forehead, and then lifted her eyelid, "Damn, she passed out and is burning up. Teal'c go get some cold water and some washcloths, Daniel help me turn her over."
"But Jack, she'll be lying on her back."
"I don't think she'll notice right now," Jack said as the two men gently moved Sam onto her back
Teal'c entered with a bowl of water, some towels and cloths. Jack and Daniel grabbed a cloth each and started to dab the wet cloths over Sam's forehead and neck. Jack lifted Sam's shirt to expose her abdomen and started applying the cold compress on her stomach.
"Jack do you think this is going to work:" Daniel asked worriedly.
"We have to get her temperature down, the more skin we cool down, the quicker it should be. "Daniel you and Teal'c step out for a minute and close the door." They looked at each other questioningly and slowly left the room. Jack took one of the towels and put it over Sam's chest; he then removed her shirt keeping her breasts covered. Then he adjusted the bed sheet to cover her pelvis, and removed her sweat pants, so her legs were bare. Seeing that she was discreetly covered, he called the others back into the room.
Daniel blushed when he saw a scantily clad Sam, although all her private areas were covered, there was still a lot of skin showing. Jack told them to start using the cloths as cold compresses. Soon all three of them were trying to cool Sam down. Jack was wiping Sam's face, neck and chest; Daniel was wiping her arms and abdomen, while Teal'c was wiping her legs and feet. They kept this up for about twenty minutes when Sam started to stir.
Sam could hear voices, they sounded distant, yet familiar, why did she feel so hot? It felt like her eyes were burning, yet she couldn't quite open them. What that hell was going on, and why did she feel so wet? She was finally able to open her eyes a bit and noticed three men around her. A sudden panic took over her, was she back in Turgan's camp? Suddenly a burst of adrenaline hit her; she had to get out of there now.
Jack and Daniel noticed Sam's eyes a little, "Welcome back Sam, how…" Daniel started to say when Sam suddenly tried to jolt up. He and Jack immediately put their hands on her shoulders, to try and keep her down.
"Easy Carter, you're ok."
"No! Let me go, I have to get out of here. No! Not again, leave me alone!" Sam cried out, while struggling to get up. It was no use; the hands holding her down were not giving her a chance to escape.
"Come on Carter, snap out of it," Jack said loudly, he was worried that if she got up she would hurt herself, not to mention be embarrassed about being half-naked in front of them. "Sam, stop, you're going to hurt yourself." It was too late; by the time Jack said it, Sam had twisted and let out a scream of agony, from the pain from her ribs. Jack did the only thing he could think of, he lifted her into a sitting position, held her in a tight hug and made a quiet shushing sound in her ear. This had always worked whenever Charlie had woken up screaming from bad dreams.
In no time, Sam started to calm down; she looked over Jack's shoulder and saw the very concerned looks on Teal'c and Daniel. "Ah Colonel, as nice as this might be, what's going on?"
Jack pulled slightly away from Sam, making sure the towel stayed in place and looked into her eyes. They still appeared red and fevered, but more cognizant. "Uh Carter, your temperature got too high, you were out of it for a while, and we had to try to get it down. Daniel, go get the Tylenol and Sam's antibiotics."
As Jack was talking, Sam looked down at herself and noticed her state of undress; she automatically moved her arms so she was holding the towel snug to her chest. "Um Colonel, what happened to my clothes?" Sam couldn't help but be confused and worried about the situation.
"Teal'c, why don't you go and help Daniel, while I explain things to Carter," Jack never looked away as he said this.
"Very well O'Neill, we shall return in a few minutes," Teal'c bowed and left the room.
"Carter, why don't you lie back down," Jack helped to ease Sam down onto her side.
"Like I said before, your temperature got really high, you passed out and we had to bring it back down. The only way I knew how, was to apply cold wet compresses to your skin. The others waited outside while I undressed you, but before you say anything, I made sure everything was covered that should be covered, before removing the rest," Jack was sounding very nervous, and hoped Sam believed him.
Sam looked into the Colonel's eyes as he explained it to her, she was feeling very embarrassed and wasn't sure if it was just the fever causing her to go red. She desperately wanted to believe him; but something just kept her an inch away from trusting him. "I understand Sir. Do you think I could have my clothes back now?"
"Sure Carter, here let me help you," Jack picked up the discarded shirt and noticed it was wet. "Carter this one's damp, wait a second and I'll get you a dry one," Jack got up and left the room.
'Boy, this is going to be hard to live down, being naked in my C.O.'s bed, not to mention in front of my team mates. I'll never be respected after this. I should probably ask for a transfer to another team. Ha who am I kidding, who's going to want me on their team? They'll think of me as the woman who couldn't take care of herself. My career's going to be over before I even get a chance to prove myself,' Sam thought getting even more depressed than before.
Sam's thoughts were interrupted by Jack coming back in carrying one of his T-shirts. He sat down on the bed beside her, rolled up the shirt and placed it over her head, then helped to lift her slightly off the bed and let the shirt fall over her. Sam put her arms through the sleeves and then removed the towel. Jack then pulled the sheet up so it was covering the rest of her.
Daniel and Teal'c entered the room, Daniel went up to Sam and handed her the pills, then a glass of water so she could swallow them. "I wasn't sure if you wanted the pain pills or not, so I brought them just in case."
"Yes, thanks Daniel, I think I could use some right now," Sam gladly gook the proffered pills, and then eased herself back down.
Jack noticed Sam's expression, "So Carter, what's the latest damage?"
"Nothing much Sir, just the ribs seem a bit more sore."
Jack didn't believe her, and gave her a knowing look, "Yea, I'll bet, you were thrashing around quite a bit, Daniel and I tried to keep you still, but you put up a good fight Captain, I have to admit. Not to mention we had you lay on your back for awhile."
"That explains it then."
"Explains what Carter?"
"Why my back feels the way it does Sir."
Jack looked at her puzzled, and then leaned over to get a better look at her back, "Carter, do you mind if I have a look at your back?"
"Why not, you've practically seen everything else…Sir."
Jack motioned Daniel who was by the opposite side of the bed to lift the back of her shirt. They noticed blood had seeped through the thick bandages.
"Carter, I think you've started bleeding, I think maybe we should check."
"That's alright Sir, it can wait for the next scheduled change," Sam hoped to put it off as long as possible.
"Yea, well Carter, that's one of my favourite shirts, and I don't want you getting blood all over it."
Teal'c chose this time to speak up, "O'Neill, I have seen many wounds of this nature, and it is normal for blood to seep through the bandages."
"Thank you, Teal'c," Sam said appreciatively.
"It is my honour to be of assistance, Captain Carter."
Sam had had enough of all the attention, and just wanted to be left alone, "Uh, I'm feeling a little tired, you mind if I get some sleep?"
Jack took the hint, "Sure Carter, come on guys, let's give Carter some privacy." They all slowly left the room saying good night to Sam. Jack was the last to leave; he took one last look at Sam before turning off the light and closing the door.
"Um Jack, do you think we should call Dr. Fraiser?" Daniel asked, not being able to get over the worry he felt.
"We'll see how Carter's doing in the morning; the pills should help with the fever and the pain. Other than that there's not much the Doc can do. Let's give Carter some time, that's all she needs," Jack hoped that was all Sam needed. He didn't know what else to do for her, to help her through this ordeal. "Ok, one of us should be up throughout the night, in case she needs something. Daniel, you take first watch, I'll take second and Teal'c you can have the last. Oh and Daniel don't forget about the meds at 11 O'clock." Jack went to his room and Teal'c went to rest, or Kel noreem, in the second guest room. Daniel stayed in the kitchen which was closer to Sam's room and read a book.
Jack was on the second hour of his watch, everything was quiet, and he was somewhat bored. He didn't want the TV on and his eyes were too tired for reading. Jack startled, he thought he heard something but wasn't sure. There it was again, 'was someone mumbling?' he headed for Sam's door, he could just make out her voice, she sounded distressed. He opened the door slightly, letting a ray of light in, falling on Sam's face. He could see she was dreaming, or having a nightmare. He could just make out a word here and there, "No more," and "make it stop," were more than enough for Jack to hear, before he found himself sitting next to her on the edge of the bed. He gently rubbed her shoulder, "Carter, come on wake up." He shook her shoulder a little harder; she sprang up quickly, throwing her fist in his direction, luckily for him he was able to move out of the way before she could make contact. However, he ended up lying on the bed beside her. Sam grabbed her side and looked down at Jack, even though she was in pain, she couldn't help but grin at the look on his face.
"Carter, are you trying to assault a superior officer?" Jack asked as he sat back up.
"Sorry Sir," she said half laughing and grimacing in pain.
"I'll let you get away with it this time, as long as next time, it happens in the ring."
She gave him a puzzled look, "The ring Sir?"
"Hey, I saw how you fought Turgan; I thought maybe you'd like to give me a try in the ring. I think you may be a good opponent, your fighting skills are obviously above par."
"Well I don't know about that Sir."
"I do, there's no on else I'd rather have watching my six and backing me up," Jack noticed Sam flinch at that statement. Now he was sure he knew what was bothering her, but he had to figure out a way to make it better for her and the rest of the team. "So you want to go back to sleep?"
"Actually, I think I'd like to get up for a while, I've been in the same position for a while," Sam went to throw the sheet off her when she remembered she didn't have her sweat pants on. She started looking around when Jack realized what she was looking for. He bent down and picked the sweat pants off the floor, he was about to hand them to her when he realized it would be difficult for her to bend over to put them on. He moved to the foot of the bed, pulled the sheet up slightly and slid them on, up to her knees. "I think you can handle the rest," Jack said with a small grin on his face then he turned his back to allow her some privacy.
When she finished, she went to stand next him, "Ready." They turned to walk out the door, Sam felt a little dizzy, and lost her balance a bit but O'Neill was there with a steadying hand. He helped her walk to the kitchen and pulled out a chair for her. "Would you like some tea or something?"
"You actually have tea Sir?" Sam joked.
"I am a man of many tastes and talents," Jack answered with a gleam in his eye. Sam coughed a bit, trying to bite back a laugh, and wondering what kind of talents he had.
"So Carter, something to drink?"
"Ah yes, tea would be fine, thank you Sir."
Jack moved around the kitchen, making tea for two. He brought the cups t the table and asked Sam if she'd be more comfortable on the couch. She agreed and they moved to the living room. Jack gave Sam a pillow, and she rested leaning on the pillow against the armrest. The sun was starting to rise and the two didn't notice Teal'c and Daniel going into the kitchen.
"So Carter, tell me how you feel about what happened on the mission; I want you to speak freely, don't worry about rank, I just want honesty right now," Jack said taking a sip of his tea.
Sam shifted slightly, wincing as she did, and then looked up at Jack, "Well Sir, when we first encountered the Shavadai, I thought we should leave. I didn't feel comfortable after learning how they treated women on that planet; but I felt as a soldier, I should suck it up and not put the mission at risk. I didn't want my being a woman to be held against me, and give you a reason to pull me off the team. I know how you feel about having women in combat." Sam took a long sigh and then took a sip of her tea. She noticed Teal'c and Daniel had entered the room, taken seats but remained quiet as she talked.
"I'm sorry Carter, that I made you feel that way," Jack couldn't help but feel guilty. "There's no way I would pull you off the team, ever."
Sam looked Jack in the face, his expression told her that she could believe him; but she still had to get the rest off her chest. "I was angry that Daniel suggested I wear that dress, and then you agreed with him. Then when you guys went out to celebrate and learn from the locals, I felt somewhat…abandoned," Sam took a calming breath as she looked around at the guilt ridden faces. She began again, while holding her cup and rocking slightly back and forth, "Then that night…" she held her breath and looked down.
"It's okay; just tell us in your own time Sam," Jack said in a gentle voice. This was painful for all of them, but they had to know everything, if they were going to be able to function as a team again. Daniel got up from his seat and sat down next to Sam; he put his hand on her forearm and gave her a gentle squeeze.
Sam continued to stare at the cup, took a deep breath and began to talk, "That night, when the knife was held to my throat, I have to admit that I was scared. I didn't know what to do. I thought if I fought it wouldn't last long, one move of the knife and I'd be dead. I didn't know where my backup was, and felt all alone. Which by a matter of fact, I was," Sam finally looked up from her cup at the faces around her that looked shocked and hurt.
The three men sat in silence, each feeling their own guilt as they listened to Sam as she continued. "After I was bound, gagged and put on that horse, I had a lot of time to think. I was angry at the situation, at myself for not being able to help myself and at you guys." She took another deep breath, put her cup down, and started wringing her hands, "I am a soldier, and one of the first things I ever learned was how important it was to watch your fellow soldier's back when in the field. I was angry that I was abandoned and no one was watching my six." Sam's anger started to show now, her voice rose and she turned slightly redder. "I was wondering where the hell is my team! They should be here! Not leaving me alone on another planet we know nothing about." The last part she said quieter, with tears starting to form in her eyes.
Daniel was beside himself, feeling guilt and hurt for what he had put her through and squeezed her arm once more. Jack moved to the chair that was situated next to Sam and laid a hand on the top of her shoulder.
Teal'c remained seated, but also felt guilty, "Please continue Captain Carter," he said in a voice unusually quiet for him.
Sam took another deep sigh before continuing, "When I was at that camp and being sold…I never felt so angry and scared in my life. I thought I was going to be…be…oh God, I can't even say it," Sam finally broke down and let the tears flow, burying her head in her hands.
Daniel had tears in his eyes as he moved to pull her closer so her head was resting on his shoulder. He stroked her hair gently and whispered in her ear, "Its okay now."
Jack also wiped away a tear that had formed in his eye and Teal'c looked down at the floor.
"Carter, Sam, I know this is hard for you, but if you can, would you like to continue?" Jack said softly and handed her a tissue.
Sam reached for the tissue and wiped her eyes and nose, "I'll try Sir, I'll just jump ahead a bit, if that's okay with you?"
"It's fine, start where ever you like."
"I tried to escape; because I didn't know how long I would be there, of if any backup was coming. When I was caught and brought back to Turgan, he asked me if I cared for no one but myself, because the woman who was responsible for me had to be punished. I felt responsible for this and couldn't let someone else be beaten because of me. So I took the beating instead. I thought it would never end when he was…whipping me. I tried not to cry out, and be the brave soldier. It seemed the more defiant I was, the angrier he got, and would whip me more; but I was angry too and I couldn't give in. He finally gave up and stopped. He told the other woman to get me cleaned up for later that…night." Sam's voice trailed off, and again she looked down at her wringing hands.
This time O'Neill reached out his hand and gently put it on Sam's arm. "The time I spent waiting with the other women, I was trying to figure out how to get out of there, and if I did, wondering what would happen to them. I felt relieved when I heard the gun shot and knew my team had finally shown up," Sam was much calmer now.
Jack was the first to speak, "Sam, I don't know to tell you how sorry I am. I know Teal'c and Daniel feel the same way." Jack looked at the two men; both nodded in agreement, "I have to take full responsibility for this, I was in charge, and the decisions fell upon me."
"You can't take all the blame Jack; it was my idea to have Sam go along with the customs of that planet. If I had just listened to you Sam, when you wanted to go back, none of this would have happened," Daniel lowered his head in shame.
"I too have failed in my responsibility to ensure the safety of my team mate. I must ask your forgiveness, and assure you I will not let this happen again," Teal'c said solemnly.
Sam looked at each of her team mates as they each apologized, by the looks on their faces; she knew they really meant it. "Look, I know you mean what you say, but I just feel like, you all let me down, I don't know if…"
"If you can trust us again," Jack interrupted. Sam's head shot up and she straightened her posture. "You don't know; that if in another similar situation, we'll be there to watch your six. You've been there for us, watching our backs, and we let you down." Jack stood and walked to the sliding glass door. He turned back around to face Sam, "Look Sam, you've been one of the best soldiers I've served with, male or female. You've proved yourself in the field and have nothing left to prove. I however, have proved to be a CO that you can't depend on, or trust." Jack came back and sat down on the coffee table in front of Sam. He took her hands in his, "I hope to God, that I can win back your trust. I don't know how, but I just hope I can."
Sam looked from her hands in the colonel's hands to his face. She could see the hurt and pain in his eyes. She started to think that maybe she could trust him again, to give him another chance. "Well Sir, there is something you could do for me."
"What ever it is Sam, just name it," Jack responded.
Sam took a deep breath and looked Jack in the eyes, "Nest time the situation calls for a blue dress…"
"Yes," Jack replied.
"That you make Daniel wear the dress," Sam said with a devilish smile.
"Done," Jack answered with a wide grin, as he, Sam and Teal'c looked at Daniel who was blushing.
Sam started to stand; jack stood up and gave her a hand, "Now if you don't mind, I think it's time for my bandages to be changed. I could use some help, if you don't mind."
With that all three men stood with smiles on their faces, as they followed Sam to the bedroom.
'Oh yea, things were starting to look better,' Jack thought.