Title: Leaving

Rating: G

Spoilers: Heroes, Part 2, characters for s9

Summary: Samantha Carter was a creature of habit…

Author's Note: Written for the Gateland rare pairings challenge.

Date: 21/11/09

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

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Samantha Carter was a creature of habit. Sure she had a job which often required her to drop everything to run off and save the galaxy, but when it all boiled down to it, she had her routine – one that was often followed quite rigorously.

On Monday the commissary served a mystery chicken dish and, as it was their least hated base meal, lunch was spent in the company of Daniel, discussing their weekend, their work, the antics of Jack O'Neill – whatever the subject, it was their time. Wednesday morning was SG-1's scheduled time in the gym, meaning a guaranteed workout and gossip session - though Teal'c still maintained after all these years that he was not gossiping but merely imparting information of interest. And Friday, Friday was her night with Janet. Cassie would be off at the movies or visiting with friends while Sam and Janet had the house to themselves.

Except that there wasn't any Janet. Not anymore.

Since Janet had died, Sam spent her Friday nights on base – something which, sadly enough, garnered little attention. She considered going home, going out, spend the time doing something she knew Janet would approve of, but every step closer to the door just reminded her that she would be doing it alone.

A year later 'not leaving' had become just as much of her routine as anything else, and as she sat in her lab, files and electrical components littering the table around her, she spared not a thought for the things she could be doing instead. It was like this, her work slowly crowding in around her, that Vala found her. Sidling up to Sam's desk, Vala took up a stool and cleared a space to rest her elbows as she stared at her friend.

"Whatcha doing?" Vala asked.

After a brief consideration of whether or not ignoring her would do any good Sam looked at her friend, ignoring the ribbons she had attached to her base uniform in an attempt to 'spice it up'. "I'm working."

Vala rolled her eyes. "You're always working, Samantha."

"That's not true. I had lunch with you today, that's not work."

"That's not what Daniel says," Vala said with the grumps. "And you know what I mean. Come on, let's do something fun."

"This is fun."

"I meant fun for me."

Sam put down her pliers and considered the woman in front of her. She wasn't Janet, would never be Janet – but that was okay, because she made no claims to be. And maybe, just maybe, it was time to leave the mountain.