Title: Christmas, Interrupted
Author: Caitrin Torres
"Mark? It's Sam. Yeah, Merry Christmas to you, too. Look, I'm not going to be able to make it out there for another few days. ...No, it's not that. I- ...It's not my fault! My leave was canceled. ...Yeah, I wanted to be there, too. First Christmas together in years, I know. ...Listen, say hi to the kids for me, and tell them I miss them. Bye, Mark.
"And after all that, the Scelti just gave you the device?" Major Davis asked, disbelief evident in his voice.
Daniel nodded enthusiastically. "Their elders decided that even if Teal'c and Sam are demons, they can't be very dangerous."
"No glowy eyes, no funky bracelets..."
Jack scowled as Daniel continued without acknowledging him. "After that, Ania was very apologetic about having ordered us held prisoner. The sfera-" Daniel indicated the smooth, marble globe Major Davis had picked up to examine, "-was a token of her remorse. It seemed appropriate since it's one of those that got us into trouble in the first place."
"It appears to be Asgard technology, sir," Sam said. "I'm not sure how it works, but it does work." She held out her hand, and the globe was passed down the table to her. A faint glow began to emanate from within as soon as she touched it. "I only have traces of naquada in my blood so I need to hold it for it to register anything. But watch this." She rolled it over to Teal'c. Even before he touched it, a light brighter than the one Sam had generated alone shone from the sphere.
"Wow." Major Davis leaned forward in his seat to get a better look.
"'Wow' might be right in this case. Good work, people," General Hammond said. "This sort of goa'uld-detection technology could be very handy indeed. Anything else interesting happen that I should know about, Colonel?"
Jack shrugged. "We went, we sat around for a few days, Teal'c was deemed harmless, Daniel got a present, Carter took an unexpected swim, we fished her out, we came home. Easy mission. No need to send for the big guns."
Teal'c and Major Davis each raised an eyebrow at Jack's characterization. Janet, who had been idly examining the sphere, pinned Sam with a stare. Hammond decided to let it rest. "SG-1, we're glad to have you back. Major, thank you for coming out here so close to Christmas. You're all dismissed. I don't want to see any of you until after the holidays."
They all stood. Janet stopped Sam before she could turn to leave. "What's this I hear about a swim?"
"It was nothing, really. Hey, it's a good thing the briefing ended when it did. I need to leave right away if I'm going to make it to Denver in time to catch my flight."
Janet held Sam's forearm to keep her from moving. "If it was nothing, you would have mentioned it when I checked you over earlier. What happened?"
Sam looked around for an escape, and found none. "The village was on a lagoon. I tripped and fell in the water. It was stupid of me. I have a little blister from walking back in damp boots, but it's really not a big deal, Janet."
"When you tripped, you fell into a canal, Major Carter. It was not the lagoon."
Sam spun around to glare at Teal'c. "I couldn't have been in there for more than a minute."
"During that time, you were underwater for several seconds. Had I realized that you did not inform Dr. Fraiser, I would have spoken sooner."
"Oh, Sam..." Janet sighed. "I can't let you go to San Diego tonight. I'm sorry."
"Janet, I feel fine!"
"I know. Hopefully, you'll continue to feel fine, but I've never seen a canal flowing with clean water. You know as well as I do what can come from swimming in dirty water. Or have you forgotten what happened after P4X-339?"
She hadn't. It was one of very few times she'd wished Jolinar had never died, if only to take advantage of her healing abilities.
Janet saw acquiescence in her expression and gentled her voice. "You can't risk getting sick in San Diego, Sam. Your brother would have to know to bring you to the Navy Medical Center, and you can't warn him ahead of time without raising questions you can't answer. Forty-eight hours here. That's all I ask."
Eventually, Sam nodded. "I'll go call Mark and reschedule my flight."
Teal'c and Janet watched her leave. "It's not your fault," Janet said quietly.
"Nor is it yours, Dr. Fraiser."
"Yeah." Janet shook her head in disgust at the situation as she gathered her notes from the table. Cassandra was waiting in her office. If she didn't leave soon, they'd never make the flight to her parents' house.
Three hours later, Sam sat at her lab bench with the disassembled bits of a naquada reactor scattered in front of her. She picked up her mug and watched dispiritedly as the last dregs of her coffee swirled around the bottom. A sudden knock on her door frame startled her. She looked up to Colonel O'Neill enter, closely followed by Daniel and Teal'c.
"Sir, what are you doing here?" she asked. "I thought you three were headed to your cabin for some ice fishing."
Jack picked up a tiny screwdriver and tried to balance it on his fingertip. "Yeah, well, the cable cuts out when there's snow on the ground. We couldn't let Teal'c miss out on the big event," he said casually.
Sam smiled despite herself as Daniel rolled his eyes behind Jack's back. "The big event?"
"A Christmas Story, Carter. Twenty-four hour movie marathon? Happens every year? Starts in, oh..." He made a show of checking his watch. "Fifty-three minutes?"
She glanced at her own watch reflexively. "You'd better get going, then, sir. I hear the roads were a mess today."
Daniel nodded. "Paul mentioned that before he left. Where's your coat?"
Surprised at the non sequitur, Sam answered without thinking. "In the locker room. But wait, Daniel, I can't-"
Jack held up a hand to silence her. "Ah, ah! Daniel, go get her things. We have a movie to watch. And watch."
Daniel left and headed back towards the elevator. "Colonel," Sam said tiredly, "I appreciate the invitation, but I can't leave. Janet confined me to base for 48 hours as a precaution."
"Oh, but you're wrong." Jack shook his finger at her in admonishment. "Gotta learn to listen, Carter. According to the big guy here, what she said was that you can't run the risk of coming down with some alien bug from your little swim and ending up in a civilian hospital because your brother doesn't know any better. Warner says we can spring you as long as I keep an eye on you."
"I believe Dr. Warner said that he trusted that Daniel Jackson would be able to recognize any signs of illness due to his depth of experience of a patient."
"Thank you, Teal'c." He turned back to Sam. "So?"
She waved an arm in the general direction of the mess on her work table. "I have something to keep my busy. You should go fishing, sir. Don't cancel your trip on my account."
Teal'c stepped up and waited for her full attention. "I would greatly appreciate your presence tonight, Major Carter. It is not right to be alone when one has family and friends waiting."
Sam studied Teal'c for a long moment, then turned to looked at Jack. Satisfied by what she saw, she smiled and quickly logged off of her computer. Pizza and A Christmas Story wasn't quite the family experience she'd been counting on with Mark and his kids, but it was a pretty good substitute. And if the Colonel and Daniel started bickering, she suspected it might end up a very good substitute.
She loved her niece and nephew, but angels they were not.