NEW FIC: Under Friendly Fire - Chapter 5 Chapter 5
Samantha Carter stood in the shower, moaning in pleasure as the hot water poured over her. The heat from the water massaged her sore muscles and she couldn’t help but luxuriate in it. She stood there as the hot water ran through her hair and over her face, mingling with the tears that came without warning.
This was what she had been craving ever since she had wakened in that prison. Warmth and cleanliness, mixed in with the relief of being home had a huge affect on her well-being and Sam welcomed the bliss that came with these sensations. She stood there for several minutes letting the hot water sooth her muscles as well as her soul before finally taking up the soap in an effort to wash away the dirt and grime that had collected in her hair and on her body. Hot tears continued to fall, mixing in with the water from the shower and Sam hoped that she would be able to control those tears if she concentrated on something more constructive, like scrubbing away the dirt.
Sam scrubbed every inch of her body as she fought against the weakness of her tears. She was an officer in the United States Air Force and she had to keep up the image that she could hold her own in a career that was populated predominately with males. Keeping up pretenses meant that she had to constantly prove that she was just as capable of handling anything a man could. She had succeeded in this endeavor over the years and she worked hard to earn the respect of her peers, as well as earning every last one of the medals she had been awarded.
A man wouldn’t resort to tears no matter what hardships were encountered in the field or how badly he had been treated. Soldiers were not supposed to cry. Yet here she was sobbing her heart out in the shower. She tried to reason that the tears were inevitable and that she had every right to cry, especially since she was alone, but years of training and putting on the brave front for her peers made her feel like a fraud and a weakling for giving into this weakness. The crying had to stop and it had to stop now.
So much for bravado, Sam thought, as the tears continued to fall while she scrubbed her scalp. She decided to just let the tears fall so that she could get it out of her system. This way, she could move on with her life without fear of breaking down in front of her team, or worse, in front of Janet Fraiser.
Sam went back to scrubbing her arms again as she thought about her friend, Janet. She and Janet had become great friends over the years, and Sam was having a hard time keeping the truth about what happened from the doctor, whose thorough examination told her more than Sam did. Janet seemed to have a radar in her head that zeroed in on Sam’s deepest feelings and thoughts and Sam had the distinct feeling that Janet knew who it was that had raped her. It was probably evident in the faces of her teammates, but Sam couldn’t bring herself to admit the truth to her friend.
Janet had looked Sam in the eyes and asked her point blank who had violated her. Sam just kept her silence, hoping that Janet would take it that she didn’t want to talk about it, that she was too traumatized to talk about it. Janet took the hint and Sam was thankful for her friend’s understanding. This was one of the few times when she knew she would get away with using a feminine tactic, and she had no qualms in taking advantage of the opportunity.
Sam couldn’t explain why she was trying to protect her friends. She thought it might have something to do with the fact that they had been drugged, or it could be because they had tried to fight the alien influence. Deep down, Sam knew it was because she had always protected them, fought for them and was willing to die for them, as they would for her. They had learned to rely on each other and Sam couldn’t let them down now.
She found herself dwelling on that thought as she washed her stomach and legs with the soapy washrag. Why should she protect them? They had failed her when they couldn’t fight off the effects of the drug. She had cuts and bruises all over her body to attest to that fact. Worse, she had memories of the kisses and their hands groping and pinching, while she fought with everything she had to stop them. Shame and disgust moved into her thoughts and she scrubbed her skin harder in an effort to chase away the memories.
She finally stopped scrubbing her skin when it dawned on her that she had been at it for a long time. She was not going to get any cleaner, so what was the point? She let the water pour over her body for a few minutes longer, then turned off the shower. It was time to face her teammates and the General.
If there was one thing she had learned during her career, it was that it’s best to face the consequences head on and get it over with. With that in mind, she dressed quickly and prepared herself mentally and emotionally to face the next hurdle. She was not prepared, however, to find all three of her teammates waiting for her outside the showers. They were watching her with concern and she didn’t know whether to smile at them or give into her weakness and start crying all over again.
The soldier kicked in and she smiled at them to let them know she was okay. Colonel O’Neill smiled back before saying, “How are you holding up, Carter?”
“I’m fine sir,” she responded. “I so needed that shower.”
“I had been thinking of finding someone to go in there and check on you,” he said, as he turned to walk down the hallway. “You were in there a long time.”
Sam wasn’t sure what to say to that, so she kept her silence as she walked down the hallway. Daniel and Teal’c fell into step with them as they made their way to the briefing room and Sam felt a small comfort knowing that their nearness didn’t bother her. She was going to survive this, she just knew it.
“Are you ready for this?” the Colonel asked as they got on the elevator.
“Yes sir,” she responded quietly. Keep up the pretense Sam, she thought encouragingly.
“Good, because Hammond is getting impatient,” the Colonel said. “We don’t want to keep him waiting any longer than he has to.”
Yes, she did. Not only did she want to keep him waiting, she also wanted to get as far away from people as she could get. She wanted to go home and crawl into her bed and hide from the world. But reality had a way of butting in and Sam knew she didn’t have a choice, which is why she followed her commanding officer into the briefing room to face her fears and her shame.
They were quiet as they entered the room, as no one seemed to have anything to say. Sam, Daniel and Teal’c sat down at the table while the Colonel went over to the General’s office to let him know they were there. “Hammond will be here in a minute,” the Colonel said, as he came over to join them.
Sam gave him what she hoped was an encouraging smile. The smile didn’t last long as she looked over at Daniel. He was going to be her biggest worry, she could just tell. He hadn’t said a word to her since they’d been back, and she was hard pressed to remember if he had said anything to her after awakening on the planet that morning. He was taking this way too hard and she didn’t know if she would be able to help him. Hell, she wasn’t sure she was going to be able to help herself.
She and the Colonel stood up when General Hammond came into the room. He was followed by Janet Fraiser, causing Sam’s heart to speed up as she worried about what her friend had told the General. She had no right, Sam thought angrily, as she glared at the Doctor. She had no right telling him anything.
Janet took in Sam’s glare, giving her a reassuring smile before turning to find her own seat at the table. General Hammond took a seat, as well, while Sam and the Colonel followed suit. They were all settled in and no one had a thing to say. “Colonel O’Neill,” Hammond spoke up to get the ball rolling, “Tell me what happened out there.”
Sam watched as the Colonel heaved a heavy sigh, then took the bull by the horns. “I’m not quite sure what happened once we arrived on that planet sir,” he said, while he stared at his hands. “I mean one minute Carter and Daniel were collecting information, while Teal’c and I were making sure there were no surprises to jump out at us, then the next I knew I woke up in a jail cell. Teal’c and Daniel each had their own accommodations right next to mine, but Carter was nowhere to be seen.”
He stopped talking to look at her and she saw that he was hiding his thoughts from her again. It didn’t matter this time, though. She knew what he was thinking and feeling - the exact same thing that was going through her mind. He was in deep shit, but more than that he was going to have to admit to his failure and his shame. Sam looked down at the table when the tears she had thought were no longer present threatened to make an appearance. She wished with all her heart that he didn’t have to do this. The whole thing was destroying him, as it was, why did they have to broadcast it to the world?
“They came and got Daniel not long after we woke up,” Colonel O’Neill said, as he continued his narration of the events as he saw them. “Two men came and took him away and left Teal’c and me to try to figure out what was going on. They wouldn’t talk to us, whether it was because they didn’t know what we were saying or were told not to, is beyond me.”
“Some time later they brought Daniel back unconscious and then left, without answering any of my questions,” the Colonel said, a little indignantly. “They came back later and took Teal’c. Daniel woke up for a second after Teal’c left, but went right back into la la land, so there were no answers from him.”
Sam looked over at Daniel, wishing he would snap out of the funk he had fallen into. He was just sitting there watching the Colonel, waiting for God only knows what. Sam went back to staring at the spot on the table in front of her, quietly waiting for her turn.
“Dr. Jackson,” General Hammond prompted. “What did they do to you?” Daniel just stared at the General, not bothering to speak. “Dr. Jackson?” the General asked again.
“They injected me with something that caused me to go ballistic,” Daniel said angrily. “I couldn’t stop myself from doing the things I did, no matter how hard I tried.” He stopped then as he stared at the Colonel. “I wanted to stop, Jack. I just couldn’t.”
“I know Daniel,” the Colonel responded quietly. “I went through the same thing, remember?”
“Yeah,” Daniel said, as he went back to staring at the table. He looked so despondent and Sam found herself wishing he would just look at her. He was hurting, but so was she. She needed him and all he could do was wallow in his shame. She forced herself to stop this train of thought before she did something that would embarrass her even more.
“Colonel?” the General demanded. It was clear he wanted explanations and he was going to get them, no matter what it took.
“I can’t speak for what Teal’c or Daniel did while under the influence of that drug,” Colonel O’Neill said, “And I would rather not admit what I did, but I know it has to be said…”
“I raped Major Carter,” Teal’c spoke up, interrupting the Colonel. He was just sitting there with his hands clasped and placed on the table while he stared straight ahead. He then turned to look directly at the General as he said, “I am relinquishing myself to you, General Hammond, and will accept whatever punishment you deem necessary.”
The silence was deafening. Sam sat there trying to act as if nothing was wrong, but she found that she couldn’t face any of the people sitting in that room. She stared at the table in front of her instead, all the while wishing she could just vanish into thin air.
“Just a minute,” the General finally spoke up, having gotten over the initial shock. “I want to hear everything before I make any decisions.”
“I was taken to the room where Carter was being held,” Colonel O’Neill said. She looked up at him and was surprised to find that he was staring at her while he talked. His eyes conveyed his faith in her, even if his features didn’t. She stared back at him, hearing his words as he told them all what he did, relishing in the strength he tried to give her through his gaze.
“She was chained to a wall and she was naked,” he continued. “I immediately tried to kill the men who were there, but I was overpowered. They injected something into me, then left me there alone with her.” He stopped speaking, although he wouldn’t break eye contact with her. She watched him as he took a deep breath to fortify himself, then sat mesmerized as he continued with his story. “The drug brought out the mean side of me and all I could think about was hurting Carter. I tried to stop myself, but whatever that stuff was, it was too strong for me to fight. I took advantage of her, as well, sir.” He finally looked away from her to stare directly into the General’s eyes as he said, “I raped my second in command. From the way Daniel’s been acting, I would hazard a guess that he did too.”
“Yes I did,” Daniel said, as he put his head into his hands. “God help me, but I hurt her badly.”
“Did they tell you what was in the drug they were administering?” Janet asked, finally stepping up to the plate.
“They never said one word to me,” Colonel O’Neill responded.
“They wouldn’t talk to me either,” Sam spoke up for the first time, having been bolstered by the Colonel’s faith in her. “I tried to get them to tell me why they were doing that stuff to us, but they wouldn’t talk to me.” This last was said with anger as she remembered the pain and the shame she went through for those jerks.
“I know this may be difficult Major,” General Hammond said, “But I need you to tell me what happened to you while you were on that planet.” Sam saw the apologetic look on his face, and realized that he was having a hard time dealing with the news of what his people did.
“Yes sir,” she responded, knowing that she was having a hard time dealing with this herself. She turned to stare at the Colonel, hoping to garner more strength from the man who just seemed to ooze with the stuff. “They were brought in one at a time and injected with the drug. I knew the minute the drug had taken over, but the men who… hurt me were not my teammates,” she continued, stumbling over her words. She had started to say rape, but couldn’t bring herself to utter it. “My teammates surfaced during the violence,” she added as she turned to give Janet more information regarding the drug. “I saw them come out and try to fight it. They didn’t want to hurt me, I could tell. The drug doesn’t take complete control, like the disease we encountered in the Land of Light. They knew what they were doing and tried to stop.”
Sam stopped speaking at that point, looking around at the others then aimed her next words at the Colonel. “Daniel surfaced on the way home, Colonel. You saw him.” Sam heard the desperation in her voice and wondered why it was there. “Daniel!” she demanded, now looking at her friend. “You did try to stop, you just weren’t strong enough.”
“What do you know about it?” Daniel snarled at her, as he looked at her for the first time that day. “I wanted to hurt you Sam. I wanted it! You tell me how to deal with that!”
“You also wanted to stop, didn’t you?” Sam yelled back at him, completely forgetting her resolve to remain the professional. He had no right to yell at her. “Well? Didn’t you?”
“Yes,” Daniel replied, going back to staring at the table, “Apparently not wanting it bad enough.”
“All right people,” the General said, before Sam could get up to hit her friend. “It’s apparent that every one of you suffered a great deal on that planet and I am going to recommend that you all take some time to work through your feelings. I’ll arrange to have Dr. Mackenzie come to spend some time with all of you. In the meantime, Colonel, I want to know how you got out of there.”
“Oh come on, General,” Colonel O’Neill complained. “Mackenzie? That guy gets on my nerves just from hearing his name. I’ll pass on visiting with him this time, thank you very much.”
“I’ll make it an order Colonel,” General Hammond responded dryly. “Now, you were going to tell me how you got out of there.”
“Yes sir,” the Colonel grumbled. Sam had to smile at that. She knew her commanding officer was going to be all right. Lord knows he had survived worse situations.
“After we all survived the first round,” Colonel O’Neill continued, “They came and chained all three of us together to take us down to visit with Carter again. Apparently they thought they were in for a special treat,” he said dryly and with a little anger. “Anyway, the three of us were able to overpower those bastards and we grabbed Carter and ran. Unfortunately, the leader of the group managed to inject more of the drug into Daniel before Daniel killed his ass, so we had to keep him chained up while we tried to find our way out of there.”
“Did the second dose cause him to act worse than the first?” Janet asked, determined to get as much information on the drug as she could.
“I don’t know,” the Colonel responded with a frown. “You’ll have to ask Carter.” Sam shook her head at Janet, while he continued his speech. “We spent a good hour, maybe more trying to find our way out of there. We finally found a room that held our clothes and equipment, and best of all, our weapons.” This last was said with a wicked smile and Sam felt a tug of emotion that she quickly pushed away. “I managed to administer some basic first aid for Carter, we got dressed, grabbed our stuff and got out of there.”
“Did you run into any more of the natives?” Hammond asked.
Not until after we left the building,” The Colonel answered. “There was a clearing immediately around the building and as soon as we found our way out, we made a run for the woods. We were chased by four men who were shooting arrows at us, but we were able to eliminate that threat and settled into the task of finding our way to the Gate.”
“We didn’t see anyone else until we were almost at the Gate,” he continued. “They attacked, but we were able to get to safety. You know the rest sir,” the Colonel said, looking at Sam again as he finished his story.
“What can you tell me about the drug?” Janet asked, her pen ready to take as many notes as she could manage. Sam smiled as a fleeting image of Urgo mimicking the doctor flashed through her mind.
“All I know is that I could feel the anger build up in me as it took effect. Anger, hatred and lust all rolled up and Sam was standing there looking altogether fetching while chained to the wall with nothing on,” Colonel O’Neill spoke up and Sam wondered why he’d called her Sam, instead of Carter. She tried to find the answer in his face, but couldn’t see past the anger and self-recrimination in his eyes.
“After awhile the drug seemed to drain me of all my strength and I passed out,” he continued, now staring at Janet with a look of intense anger. “Not before I took advantage of the resources made available to me,” he snarled.
“I may need to run some more tests, which means I would like to get more blood from the three of you,” Janet said, apparently unaware that Sam was dying. Now she was just a resource? What the hell did that mean?
“What good would that do?” the Colonel asked, as he got a handle on the anger that was boiling just beneath the surface. “Neither Teal’c nor I have suffered from any more symptoms since we both woke up and the chances of us ever going back there to have them repeat their torture sessions are zilch, so why bother finding a cure?”
“I want to rule out future reoccurrences, as well as possible damage done to your biological systems. We have specific tests and procedures set up in order to prevent an alien influence from taking over and I insist that we follow through with them.”
“Fine,” the Colonel responded angrily. “Do whatever you have to do.”
“I will, Colonel. First things first, I want all three of you to report to the infirmary once this debriefing is over.”
“May I be dismissed?” Sam finally found her voice and spoke up before she even realized she was going to. She noticed the others staring at her in surprise and she could feel her cheeks redden. What was the matter with her? She was supposed to be the professional officer and here she was letting the world see her weakness. Get a grip, Carter, she told herself firmly. “I’m sorry sir, I don’t know where that came from,” she admitted with a shaky smile.
“It’s okay Major,” General Hammond responded. “This meeting is over anyway, unless anyone else has anything to say?” No one spoke up and Sam knew it was out of deference for her. “You are all restricted to base until further notice,” Hammond continued, causing Sam to panic at the thought. “I’ll make arrangements for you all to meet with Dr. Mackenzie. Dismissed!”
Sam stood up along with Janet and Colonel O’Neill when the General got up from the table, then took her opportunity to get away from them all and practically ran from the room. Oh man, was she pissed! They were all wallowing in their guilt and shame, Daniel especially, and the irony of it all had Sam wanting to scream. Just who did they think they were? She was the one who had to endure Janet’s pity and condemning looks. Sam was the one who had been brutally victimized, complete with bruises and cuts, and she was the one who had to face Hammond’s look of patronizing pity. She was the one who was going to have to deal with the shame and the looks from others.
She stalked down the hall heading for the elevators that would take her to her quarters on base, all the while steaming about the circumstances she was now faced with. She couldn’t even count on Daniel to help her through this. He had always been her rock, someone she could talk to about anything, and here he was wallowing in his own shame, not even willing to give her the decency of talking to her about what happened.
And then there was the Colonel. What the hell was that all about? One minute he was conveying his faith in her, then the next thing she knew he was telling her she was just a resource. He could be such a son of a bitch, she raged silently. She knew that all his anger was directed at himself, but still, he could stop long enough to tell her everything was going to work out. But no, he would rather condemn himself to whatever hell he deemed was appropriate while totally ignoring what it was she needed.
And she could just forget about talking to Teal’c. That man was a virtual wall when it came to making him understand her needs. He would be more than happy to lend her his shoulder to cry on or to be there for her to rant at, but he was still a typical male. Understanding a woman was just as foreign to a Jaffa as it was to the men on her own world.
She got on the elevator and viciously punched the button that would take her to her destination. To make matters worse, she was now expected to talk to another man and tell him all about her feelings. She had the utmost respect for Dr. Mackenzie, but he was a man and Sam wanted to weep at the injustice of it all. Instead, she hung on to her rage, keeping the tears and her fears at bay with thoughts of kicking the crap out of her commanding officer. She knew that her thoughts would never come to pass, but it made her feel better when she imagined punching him just as hard as she had punched Daniel. She closed her eyes and leaned against the wall of the elevator as she visualized the look of surprise and pain on the image she had of Colonel O’Neill’s face.
She could feel herself calming down. She just needed to be alone and she could only hope that the others would realize it and stay away for awhile. She got out when the elevator stopped, and walked down the hall toward her room, sighing in relief when she stepped in and closed the door behind her. She was finally alone and she had every intention of hiding out, at least until she was strong enough to face her friends again. Knowing them and the way they were acting now, she would be alone for a long time to come.