It was a sturdy sound, solid – exactly the sound you'd expect to hear from the heel of a boot making contact with a concrete wall. This wall, however, seemed to take pride in this noise. Its tonality did not budge in the slightest, no matter how many times Janet pounded that shoe on its surface, determined to find its weak spot.
It was on her third circle of the small cell that it occurred to Janet that just because she couldn't locate the elusive dull thud didn't mean that it wasn't there. She was, after all, a little to the south side of 'average height', perhaps all she needed was a bit of lift. The arm holding her boot got a rest as she hobbled lopsided over to her cellmate (who knew military footwear could be so heavy? She'd certainly gotten a little too used to her infirmary-approved pumps).
Janet Fraiser had known her fellow prisoner going on seven years now. Major Samantha Carter was her co-worker, fellow 'woman in this man's military', and on occasion her other half in a united parental front. When all was said and done, she was her best friend. 'Teammate', however, was not a regular occurrence – and though there was precedence for past joint imprisonment, it had not been on alien soil, and Janet doubted they'd be able to use their prior method of escape. Especially since Sam was currently leaning back against the cell wall, apparently dozing contentedly.
Having waited for several moments without acknowledgement, Janet reached out to nudge her friend, starting ever so slightly when Sam's bright eyes opened calmly, but immediately – instantly alert. She resisted the urge to ask if her friend had been ignoring her or if her finely-honed senses had tuned her out, knowing she wasn't a threat. Quite frankly, Janet didn't like either option.
Sam looked at the boot Janet held in her hand then glanced down. She smirked at Janet's small foot, bare but for the very non-regulation, not to mention non-Janet sock. The cheery yellow faces stared up at her and Sam had to bite down hard on her laugh. "Did Colonel O'Neill pack your gear by any chance?"
Janet looked down at her sock, wriggling her toes, "Actually, no; they're Teal'c's. He said they were for good luck."
Janet actually looked pleased by this, so Sam refrained from telling her that these were the gag socks that O'Neill had been slipping into packs for years
The boot was hefted up once more, "Can you help me with this?"
Much to Janet's surprise, Sam merely nestled back into the corner of her concrete bench, as if she were actually receiving some degree of comfort. "Nope."
"But – did you just say 'nope'?"
Sam closed her eyes, "Yup."
Janet couldn't be sure – the occasional interstellar house call aside, she had few off world missions under her belt – but she was pretty sure that being dragged off and thrown into a cell warranted a little concern. Where was the frantic desperation she had so often seen from SG-1 when one of their number were missing? Where was the reckless abandonment of rule and order that cropped up when the need arose? And, most important, where was the 'save-the-day-change-the-immutable-laws-of-physics' tendencies that her now seemingly lethargic cellmate once possessed? She had heard many an SGC officer wax poetic about their resident superhero scientist – why the heck wasn't she leaping into action?
Starting to think something seriously wrong (beyond the whole imprisoned on an alien planet deal), Janet took three very small steps and crossed the width of the cell to investigate the water their captors had so 'kindly' left them. Now that she thought on it, Sam had refilled her canteen from it with barely more than a glance; perhaps it had been drugged. Finding nothing wrong with it that she could see did nothing to alleviate her concern, and turning back to see that Sam had pulled a deck of cards from one of her many pockets only introduced a great deal of irritation to the mix.
"Sam! What the hell is going on?"
"We're in jail, Janet. What did you think was going on?"
The fact that Sam's eye did not leave the cards flying through her fingers did not make Janet feel any better. "And what exactly are we going to do about it?!"
"Seven card draw?" Sam offered. "The boys tell me I need to work on my poker."
"Okay fine, gin?"
Feeling her legs start to give way under her, Janet slid down to the floor as she tried to take stock of the situation. She was a prisoner. Her best friend had apparently lost her mind. Her visions of the swashbuckling all-for-one SG-1 were waning with each second she went unrescued. Oh, and her left foot was getting decidedly cold.
She took a deep breath. "Sam..."
Sam looked up from the game of solitaire she had laid out on the bench in front of her. "Yes, Janet?"
"Explain something to me..." That perked her up, Sam did like to explain. "Why aren't we currently knee-deep in rubble, breaking out of this place?"
Sam knocked on the wall with a considering look. "Too thick, we'd never get through."
"What about the door? Can't you, I don't know, pick the lock?"
"Nope." Janet was starting to hate that word. "I lent my picks to Daniel last week. He's still having the occasional memory lapse and keeps blanking on where he puts his keys."
WHAT? "Are you telling me he forgets where he puts his keys, but he remembers how to pick a lock?"
"Of course not, the wandering keys are all the Colonel's doing."
Okay. This was getting ridiculous.
"Sam, I don't want to die in this cell while you sit there losing at cards – play that red nine already! I just can't, I mean Cassie's got a date tonight, I really gotta be home for that."
"Oh! Cass has a date? With whom? Do we approve?"
"Sam! Focus! Jail! Escaping!"
Sam jumped slightly, a little shocked by the outburst. "Don't worry, Janet. They'll knock us around a bit and then we'll get outta here. You'll be home in time to glare disapprovingly when Cassie misses curfew."
Somehow this didn't exactly make Janet feel better about the situation. "It's that 'knocking us around' bit that I'm worried about. I do the patching up, I don't want to be the one falling to bits."
The look Sam gave her was slightly surprised, tinged with a touch of – was that annoyance? "If that's the way you felt about it, then you shouldn't have gotten us arrested in the first place."
Janet jumped up, stumbling over her boot slightly as she did so. "Are you saying this is my fault?"
"All you had to do was come through the gate, treat the Senten's son, and go home. It was a cake mission, Janet. Nothing should have gone wrong – nothing would have gone wrong – if you'd just followed the mission outline."
Janet just gaped at her, "The guy groped me Sam! He was a pig!"
"I know, but did you really have to slap him?"
"And knee him in the groin?"
"And hit him with the zat?"
"Yes. How else will he learn?"
"And what have you learnt from all this?"
Janet slumped down on the bench, ignoring the small squeak from Sam when she sat on her cards, "To have Teal'c accompany me next time. He'd have walloped the little twerp into next week." Sam just shook her head with a small smile. "I bet Teal'c would have busted me out by now as well."
Sam merely pulled the ace out from under Janet's butt, "I wouldn't count on it. He's halfway through a crossword." Sam cursed softly as she turned over her final card, scooping them up to shuffle and redeal.
Just when Janet was sure her head was about to explode from the pressure, the heavy cell door swung open and in walked Jack O'Neill. And as much as she would like to report that he came in guns a blazing, the only weapon he was sporting was an irritatingly crooked grin.
"Good afternoon, ladies," he said, crossing the room – apparently to check the progress of Sam's game of cards. He pulled up short when Janet darted forward to inspect the door. "Ah, Doc?"
"How did you get in here? You – you didn't blow the door down, you didn't shoot the lock..."
Jack shot a confused look at Sam, who was calmly collecting her cards and slipping them back in her vest pocket. "What are you going on about? The door wasn't locked, it's just a waiting room. Daniel's down the hall filling in the paperwork and clearing up your fine. Didn't Carter tell you?"
Janet turned and glared at Sam, "Nope."
"Weeeell it is. Alrighty ladies, let's head out shall we? Don't wanna be missing the Simpsons, now do we?"
Bouncing out of the room (the waiting room, Janet groaned) as easily as he'd entered, Jack left the two women alone. Though she once again carefully avoided her friend's glaring eyes, there was no denying the cheeky smirk on Sam's lips as she passed.
Resigned to the teasing she knew she would receive, Janet turned and followed. "Teal'c is so gonna whallop you."