Pairing: Sheppard/Carter
Spoilers: Set in S2, but no plot spoilers
A/N: Thanks to Kate98 for her speedy beta.


Sam's feet are cold against his legs but John doesn't care. The rest of her is warm and he intends to keep her that way.

He runs his hands up her sides, trying to keep her warm. She's shivering from the cold of the cellar the people of MX3-382 locked them in, after taking 90 of their clothing.

"So, first time getting stripped down and thrown in a cellar?" John tries to lighten their situation with humor, and when Sam lets out a low laugh he's thankful she is going to let him.

"Wish I could say it was, Colonel, --" John interrupts her and tells her to call him John. Seeing as they are half naked cuddled together, he thinks a first name basis is appropriate. She agrees and continues. "No, John. Not the first time. Definitely the coldest, but not the first." Her voice shakes with cold as she speaks so John pulls her tighter against his chest.

They had been with his team, looking at ruins, when the natives attacked. They got separated from Rodney, Teyla, and Ronon when Sam fell into a stream. John had to pull her out because her jacket got caught on a branch. When John finally pulled them to shore, the natives were there waiting.

They had marched Sam and John to their village, took most of their clothing and threw them down a hole. That had been at least 30 minutes ago. John was thinking of yelling for a blanket or something because Sam's shivering was getting worse, and he didn't want to reach the point where she finally stopped.

He wasn't sure what screaming would get him, and he wasn't sure he wanted to take that risk. Keeping her talking was good, for now. "How do you find the Pegasus Galaxy so far?"

Sam turns enough so John can she her facial expression is one of amusement with a hint of disbelief. There is also cold and fatigue on her face. He can tell she is getting tired. He has to keep her awake. Awake is good.

"It's been interesting. Can't say it's much different than the Milky Way so far. Same ancient temples, hostile aliens, and cold, damp cellars. Good company though." She smiles at him when she says the last part. He can't tell if she's smiling because she means it or smiling because she knows it's what he needs to see; either way, it's appreciated and he smiles back.

"I could tell you stories about McKay? I heard you two we're having quite the torrid affair back on Earth." Sam starts sputtering and muttering darkly about the things she is going to do to McKay's corpse when they get back to Atlantis, because she is going to kill him. John smiles because this is the Sam Carter he's heard stories about. The one he always thought he would be friends with if they had chance to meet.

He thinks she's brave. Braver than most. He knows McKay, Teyla, and Ronon will rescue them, so he's not worried. But she doesn't know that. She knows they don't leave people behind, but right now his team is just a group of people she's read reports about. It's not her team. It's his and he has to assure her they will come.

"They will find us, they're a good team." He tells her and she nods, but he can tell she wishes it was her team out there looking for them instead.

He can tell she is worried so he keeps cracking jokes and she keeps pretending to laugh up until the moment Ronon breaks down the door and bursts into their cellar. Then she smiles, and when McKay makes a crack about John kirking his way through the Pegasus Galaxy she laughs and smacks him.

John takes the survival blanket Teyla offers him and wraps it around Sam before he takes one from McKay for himself.

When Sam snuggles close to him in the jumper on the way back to Atlantis, he feels her cold feet rub against his legs but he doesn't care. The rest of her is warm and soft and is starting to feel like home.