Title: Tell Me Lies
Author: Vicky Ocean
Rating: All Ages
Written for the 2007 SJFicathon
Prompt: Something around "Beneath the Surface", pre or post memory getting back.
A/N: Thanks to Midori Jade for the beta . Thanks to Pepper Field for allowing me to bounce ideas off of her and talking me out of SG-1 does Madonna's Express Yourself video.
When the doctor had asked her who she was, she'd said, "Major Samantha Carter." She knew that's what they wanted to hear. In her head she knew that's who she was supposed to be. It wasn't who she felt like or wanted to be though.
Thera had basically been a slave, but she was free in ways Major Carter wasn't and longed to be. Thera had been free to love Jonah. The rules were simple. As long as work flow wasn't interrupted, the workers were free to find companionship where they chose. Pregnancy wasn't an issue. All female workers were periodically given some sort of birth control whether they were sexually active or not. It wouldn't even be the sex she would miss, though that had certainly been wonderful. She would miss Jonah's constant quiet companionship and support more than anything.
She sat alone in a curtained off cubicle waiting for the doctor to return and release her from the infirmary. Her ears unconsciously strained to hear the quiet rumble of Jonah's voice. His voice was usually so comforting, but it hurt to hear it now. The voice she heard was sharp and abrupt, the voice of Colonel O'Neill. Not at all the gruff but gentle tones she was used to hearing from Jonah.
She took a deep breath and fought back tears. She closed her eyes and tried to force thoughts of Jonah out of her mind. It would help nothing to keep dwelling on him.
She looked up and saw the red haired doctor was standing in front of her looking more than a little concerned. It took her a few seconds to assign the woman the correct name.
"Janet," she said offering the woman a smile.
The doctor returned her a smile and asked, "Are you feeling okay, Sam? You looked like you were a bit spaced out there for a moment."
"Yes, of course. I was just thinking."
"Well, I'll say that's certainly a good sign you're returning to normal."
It was hard to keep the smile on her face. Jonah used to tease her about thinking too much.
"The good news is it looks like the chemicals they used in the mind stamp have nearly dissipated and you don't seem to have any problems remembering who you are or recognizing people. Still, I'd like to keep you here under observation for the night."
"No!" she said loudly and with a slight edge of panic. "No, Janet, please," she said in a calmer voice. "I need to get out of here." Her mind quickly grasped for an acceptable reason to leave. "I don't want to stay underground anymore, even if it's the SGC. It makes me feel so claustrophobic."
Janet sighed, "That's what both Colonel O'Neill and Doctor Jackson said. I can understand that. I don't particular like it, but I understand." Hope sprang up in her, "So I can go home now?"
"Yes, but you have to promise to call if you feel the slightest bit unwell."
"I promise. Thank you, Janet."
"You might want to hit the salon and see if you can get your hair straightened out. What in the world happened to it anyway? I thought you were growing it out."
She reached up and touched her chaotically cut hair self-consciously. She'd forgotten about her hair. "It was getting in the way and Jonah cut it- I mean, Colonel O'Neill cut it."
Janet laughed, no doubt at the image of Colonel O'Neill as a hairstylist. "Yes, well, I think it's best for everyone that the Colonel decided on the Air Force and not beauty school."
She continued to toy with the ends of her short, ragged hair. She really didn't even know what it looked like. There weren't any mirrors in the plant. "Does it look that bad?"
"No, you just need it shaped up a bit. Why don't you stop by a salon on the way home?"
"I might. Can I go now?"
"Yes, just let me know if you don't feel okay.
"Thanks. I will."
Her house felt distinctly alien to her. She knew this was where she lived and these were her things, but she still felt extremely out of place. It was strange to have such comforts around her. It was also very odd to be so alone. She had grown so used to having all the other workers around constantly and never having a moment of privacy. She'd had her 'private time' with Jonah, but even then she hadn't been alone.
The emptiness of her house was made doubly lonely by not having Jonah around. He had constantly lurked in the background, keeping an eye on her as they both went about their duties. She might not get to speak to him all day except at meal times, but she knew he was always watching to make sure she was safe.
It seemed rather hopeless that she would be ever be the strong Major Carter secure in her place in the world again. She knew that everyone expected her to be that again but, she couldn't shake the feeling of being a stranger in Major Carter's world. Major Carter had always kept Colonel O'Neill at a safe distance, whereas Thera had let Jonah in past all her shields. She had tried all afternoon to push Jonah out of her mind and build those walls back up. Unfortunately, everything she did to distract herself made her think of him in some way. Inevitably, her thoughts always came back to him, because every little thing she did would have been so much better if he had been there.
She knew she had to forget about Jonah. She knew that he really didn't exist. She knew he was really Colonel O'Neill.
She hated that word. She hated the way it had extinguished the warm light in his eyes when she had used it to put distance between them.
That night she lay in bed unable to sleep. She had hoped to escape into a dreamless sleep and avoid her troubled thoughts for a while. She had reveled in her hot bath with tons of wonderful smelling bath salts, but it didn't relax her as much as she thought it would. She was tense and restless, causing her to toss and turn in the bed that felt both too soft and sinfully large.
Of course, her mind filled in that Jonah would take up the extra space very nicely. Something inside her broke and she could no longer stand being there alone. She flung back the covers of her bed intent on making her way to the one person she knew would understand that she really didn't want to become Major Samantha Carter again.
She stopped as she rounded the corner of the house into his backyard. She had no doubt that he would be out of doors tonight. She knew him well enough that even his own house would feel incredibly claustrophobic to him after spending so much time underground. She had expected him to be up on his roof with his eye glued to his telescope. Instead, he was sprawled out on a blanket in the middle of the lawn gazing up at the stars.
She walked slowly over and stopped halfway to him. The Major Carter part of her was screaming that she should leave. She was about to make a run for it, but he lifted up his head and she was caught in his gaze and unable to move forward or back.
"Jonah?" she whispered hesitantly.
"Thera?" he responded softly. She nodded, still rooted to where she stood until he reached out a hand and said, "C'mere."
She closed the distance between them and dropped down on the blanket beside him. His arm wrapped around her and held her tightly to him. She sighed in relief at the feel of the familiar warm body under her and the strong heartbeat beneath her ear. "I missed you," she told him.
His fingers ran through her still chaotically cut hair. "I missed you, too."
For the first time since they escaped from the plant, she felt at ease. She knew that they would both have to deal with their dual personalities sooner rather than later, but for the moment she was content to have a few extra stolen moments with Jonah.
His arm squeezed her tighter and she felt rather than heard his voice rumble in his chest,
"It'll be okay. We'll get through this┘together."
She knew he was right. It's what they always did. Whether they were Major Carter and Colonel O'Neill or Thera and Jonah, they were stronger together. She felt Thera and Major Carter slide a little closer to reconciliation just by knowing he would be there supporting her.
"For being here for me."