Title: Persistence of Memory
Word Count: Approx 23 000 in 14 parts
Season/Spoilers: Set season 4, follows Beneath the Surface
Summary: Regaining their memories was just the beginning…
Disclaimer: Not mine! Just borrowing the characters, Stargate SG1 belongs to MGM, Rob Cooper and Brad Wright etc.
Author's notes: My first attempt at a longer fic and it proved much more difficult than I thought! Written as BTS is one of my all time favourite episodes and after watching it for the hundredth time this idea popped into my head. Thanks to wanderingsmith my fabulous beta.
Feedback, good or bad, is very much appreciated.
Story Notes: Italics are flashbacks to the planet in BTS, snippets of the life Jonah and Thera shared. Not necessarily in chorological order. Everything not in italics takes place in order.
It was difficult to maintain a relationship underneath the ice. It wasn't forbidden but the small, crowded quarters made the lack of privacy for more intimate relationships near impossible, or at the very least less than ideal for a couple who wanted time to themselves. Those who didn't mind the audience, used the main sleeping area, waiting until lights out to give in to their desires.
Jonah and Thera did not fancy an audience, they had gone as far as they both were comfortable with publicly. Thera stiffened and pulled away every time she spotted the greedy eyes of her fellow workers as she and Jonah grew closer. Jonah hated the thought of another's eyes on Thera's soft, pale skin when he himself had only been privy to flashes of what was beneath her thick uniform.
It was Jonah who found the alcove hidden away from the main working area of the facility, it wasn't a large space but it was sheltered from the general thoroughfare of the workers. The once used alcove had been home to one of the many power machines, however when it's overworked engines finally broke, it was deemed unfixable and destroyed. The empty alcove left behind was the perfect space for the type of privacy Jonah and Thera were craving.
Jonah whispered his find to Thera during the dinner meal, "I found a private alcove in the abandoned F sector."
Thera turned to him with wide eyes, "Is it safe… and private?"
"Yes," Jonah said keeping his voice low, "To both."
Thera didn't say anything for awhile, instead she focused back on her food but she seemed to be more interested in playing with the food than actually eating it.
"We don't have to do this Thera." Jonah saw her hesitation and decided to put the decision into her hands. He was not going to force her into doing something she was not ready to do.
Thera looked at Jonah for a long moment, seemingly looking for something important in his face. Eventually she slid her cool hand onto his cheek and whispered into his ear, "But I want to."
Jonah felt desire flood his veins at her whispered words, he took a deep controlling breath then asked again.
"Only if you're sure."
"I am." Thera said, her voice sounded confident.
Jonah nodded and whispered the directions to the alcove. They decided to meet an hour after lights out at the alcove, it was necessary to leave the sleeping quarters separately in order to avoid detection. They looked at each other with barely disguised hope and desire as they eagerly awaited the time to put their plan into motion.
Jonah pushed at her still full bowl with a smile, "Eat all your dinner. You'll need the energy."
Thera smiled and ate the rest of her food.
Janet Frasier put down the phone with a relieved sigh. SG1 were back, apparently suffering minor injuries and a strange amnesia, but they were back. Janet left her office and informed her team to prepare for incoming, she smiled to herself thinking that only SG1 had both the best and worst luck in all of the SGC. They seemed to attract the most trouble, but they also seemed to escape every single damn time.
As SG1 came through the infirmary door they appeared to look around at the room with concentrated expressions, as if they were trying to recall a memory. They were dressed in heavy brown generic clothing, their pale faces looked thin and Sam's hair seemed to have been sheared short, but other than that, they looked like the friends Janet remembered.
Her friends plus one, Janet noted as she realized a fifth, unfamiliar body had followed them into the room. She saw the blood first, and the way the woman's face was pinched with pain as she cradled her arm, and Janet snapped into action making a beeline for the injured woman.
"SG1, nice of you to finally return," Janet smiled as she reached the group and put a hand on the injured woman's arm, "And you've bought back a friend."
"Better late than never, Doc." Jack quipped. He certainly sounded like himself, Janet noted, but it concerned her how quiet the rest of them were, and the blank looks that greeted her from both Sam and Daniel.
"This is Brenna Doctor Frasier, she has been injured by a projectile weapon." It was Teal'c who helped Janet guide Brenna to a bed. Janet gave an order to the rest of the medical staff to commence post mission physicals on SG1 and she began to work on Brenna.
"Hello Brenna," Janet pulled the curtain closed around the bed and motioned the nurse, Anna, to remove Brenna's top, "I'm Doctor Frasier, this is Anna, we'll be taking care of you."
Brenna's eyes seemed to dart around the unfamiliar area but she remained calm, if still clearly in pain, "Okay."
"How did you get this wound?"
"Administrator Caulder shot me for assisting SG1 to regain their memories and escape." Brenna said.
"Regain their memories?" Janet hoped that whatever was done to SG1's memories was reversible.
"Yes, they were memory stamped to assure their compliance as workers."
Janet found the wound to be bleeding only minimally and it appeared the bullet had passed through cleanly, "Your wound doesn't look to serious. We should be able to patch you right up."
"Thank you," Brenna said.
"A memory stamp? Is this permanent?" Janet questioned the woman, aware of her pain but with the knowledge SG1 had been missing for a month and that the strange amnesia reported, would be better treated if she knew what she was dealing with.
"It is long term, although reversible. However in the case of SG1, we made slight alterations to adjust for their differing brain chemistry and the memory stamp was not as effective. Their memories will return completely."
Janet was relieved at the news, although she would feel much more assured when she was able to examine SG1 herself. She bound Brenna's arm tightly in gauze and a bandage.
"Okay Brenna, I'm going to give you something for the pain, then we'll get an xray, a picture of the inside of your arm, and providing that the bullet left no deep fragments, we'll stitch you up. Anna?" Janet waved the nurse forward.
Satisfied Brenna was being taken care of Janet went in search of SG1, finding them in the far corner of the room, it appeared as though the physicals had been completed on the men as only one curtain was closed, around Sam's bed. Janet approached Doctor Finlay who was shifting over the files near her office, away from the beds.
"Adam?" Adam Finlay was a fine doctor, he remained cool under pressure and seemed to tackle alien viruses as easily as he did dealing with broken bones. He also had much practice in treating SG1, and was familiar with the team.
"Janet," He greeted her, "They appear to be fine. Their memories aren't back fully but they appear to be returning rapidly at sight of familiar surroundings. Physically they are in good health too. Scans came back normal, no evidence at all of the memory stamp, well no evidence our scans could pick up."
"Really?" Janet was surprised, nearly three months lost off world and they came back healthy? She flipped through the files and saw that Adam was right, blood tests pending, none of them showed any real signs of physical illness. Scans of their brains showed only very slight changes, Janet could only guess how the memory stamp worked.
"I'd say slightly malnourished, some exhaustion but physically none of the men have any red flags."
"And Major Carter?" Janet frowned.
"Major Carter requested for you to do her physical when you returned. I did her vitals, they were stable so I didn't see the harm in waiting as none of the men have any urgent medical problems."
Unusual, Sam had never specifically requested her to do her post mission physical before. Alarm bells started to ring in Janet's head.
"Okay, Adam. I'll go see to Major Carter. Thanks."
"SG1's luck appears to have come through again." Adam laughed as they both turned back to the group, Jack was sitting swinging his legs and throwing cotton wool balls into an empty paper cup on the floor while Teal'c sat motionless on his own bed ignoring O'Neill's attempt to include him in his game. Daniel was on his feet picking up various infirmary items, an intense look of concentration on his face.
"Let's hope it never runs out." Janet said and she approached the three men.
"Okay gentlemen," she smiled as Daniel looked up at her and this time she saw recognition fill his blue eyes, "Your physicals are done. You can go shower and get changed."
"Janet, it's extremely good to see you." Daniel said, and Janet could tell he meant it, "How is… Cassie?"
"She's been worried about you guys, but otherwise fine." She'd avoided telling Cassandra about SG1's MIA status until Sam had missed two Saturday chess games in a row. The teenager had not reacted well to the news her second family was missing and Janet mentally reminded herself to call Cassandra as soon as she could.
"You said we could shower Doctor Frasier?" Teal'c stood up.
"Yes, General Hammond will want a debriefing soon I'm sure."
"Plus we should tell him that we need to start a mass relocation effort." Daniel added.
"Oh I'm sure Major Griff has filled him in on the visitors we are about to get."
"Colonel?" Janet was confused.
"Uh we kinda set the workers free when we escaped." Daniel answered before the Colonel could.
"You didn't bring them back straight away?"
"They had a score to settle." Jack said, "When we dialled the gate we told General Hammond the bare bones of the story. He sent Griff and his team through to begin help."
"Sounds like quite a story." Janet said.
"Oh it is." Jack jumped off the bed, "Showers! How I missed having hot showers."
"You didn't remember having hot showers before today, Jack." Daniel pointed out.
"I remembered I didn't like the cold showers we got in the workers quarters."
Teal'c gave Janet an almost pained look and he left the infirmary, an annoyed Daniel leaving with him. The Colonel hung around, giving Sam's closed curtain a worried glance.
"Something else you wanted Colonel?" Janet prodded him, she really wanted to get to Sam.
"Uh," the Colonel glanced again at Sam's curtain but Janet thought this time he seemed nervous, "No not really."
"Is there something I should know about Sam." Now Janet was really starting to worry.
"No!" The Colonel shook his head and turned to the door, "I'll just go shower now."
"Okay." Janet watched as the Colonel stopped again and turned around, "Yes Colonel?"
"Wouldn't happen to be able to point me in the direction of the locker room would you?"
She gave him the directions then finally pulled back Sam's curtain. The woman lay on the bed in her strange brown clothing, her face covered by her arm thrown across her face. She looked small in the oversized clothing and but Janet could read the tension in the stiffness of Sam's body.
"Sam?" Janet asked, "You wanted me to do your physical?"
"Janet?" Sam dropped her arm and looked at her, Janet was relieved the blankness had disappeared from Sam's gaze as it had Daniel's, she recognized her.
"Yeah, Sam. It's good to have you back."
"It's good to be home."
Janet pulled the standard infirmary trolley over the bed and began to pull out various items as she decided to try and go for the casual approach rather than ask Sam what was wrong outright, outright never worked with SG1 and medicals "I see you got a haircut."
"Yeah." Sam's voice was vague. Although apparently the casual approach wasn't going to work either.
"Sam." Janet pushed the trolley to the side and stood close to the bed so she could look Sam in the eye, "Why did you want me to do your physical? What's going on?"
To Janet's alarm, Sam's face crumpled.
"I think I'm pregnant."
To be continued in Chapter Two