Stargate SG1 is somebody else's, probably MGM/Gekko Corp/Sci-Fi, and I freely admit that whoever's it is, I'm borrowing their show and they retain all rights, etc.

9th April 2007: This story is now completed. Many thanks to everyone for reading and reviewing. I hope you've enjoyed it!

Author's Note: This story is loosely based on a concept posted by astrogeologist on the Sam's a Great Character thread at Gateworld which she kindly gave me permission to use. It is primarily a Sam/Vala friendship/SG1 team story. For the shippers amongst you, this assumes an established S/J relationship and pre-D/V ship but it's implied only and the story can be read as a gen fic. Some mild references to adult situations. Spoilers for S9 and S10. This is set between Uninvited and Counterstrike in S10.

One of Us

Prologue – Left Behind

Friday, 02:00 Earth time, P3R418

She was beginning to wonder whether her hiding place was going to be her grave. The hole in the ground had seemed like a good idea the day before; it was large enough to accommodate her, the P90 she carried and her rucksack of supplies yet small enough that a well-placed bush hid it from all but the most prying – or, as in her case, desperate – of eyes.

Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter wriggled a little to get more comfortable and pulled the blanket she had retrieved from the rucksack around her. The temperature had steadily dropped on P3R418 during the long night. She felt her eyes drifting shut again and snapped them open. She wasn't sure sleeping was a good idea given the very real threat of hypothermia, her shock and blood loss. Her hand strayed to her right leg and the makeshift bandage rigged around her thigh. Her stomach rolled at the thought of the deep, raw wound underneath. She swallowed hard on the surge of nausea; she didn't want to stink the hole out with vomit.

Sam could remember the moment her injury had happened with total clarity; the banked panic of her fear; the adrenaline rush of the thrust and parry of the initial blows with the assassin. The moment of judgement when she saw the opening to strike yet knew she had to sacrifice her own leg; the sharp slice of steel through muscle and flesh as she had taken the blow and made her own. The desperate yell of Vala Mal Doran that had sent Sam crawling across mud to grab her discarded P90 and kill the other two men who had pinned Vala to the ground and looked intent on raping her, despite the former thief's best efforts. It had been a dirty, messy fight for both women.

How had they ended up in the fight seemed a little fuzzy to Sam in hindsight. She cast her mind back to the beginning…