Sam looked up. She could hear something dripping. It was driving her mad. She found herself waiting for the 'drip' to occur. There did not seem a rhythm to it. The soft 'plink' noise always took her by surprise. Where was it coming from? This was getting too freaky for words.
She checked around her lab, careful not to trip over any of the wires trailing across the floor that were hooked up to various appliances, some standard, like her coffee machine and the small refrigerator, others not so standard such as the many earth/Goa'uld hybrid machines she was working on at any one time.
She had just opened the fridge door and stuck her head inside listening intently when there was a soft rap on her lab door and someone came into the room. "Sam?"
It was Janet. "Over here," she raised her hand and waved, knowing Janet would see it over the top of the bench. "Careful though, I've got stuff laid out all over the floor down here." Janet managed to negotiate her way around the room by a combination duck walk and crab movement. She smiled when she saw her friend's position, beautifully rounded posterior in the air and head in the fridge.
"Gas oven works better I've heard, if it's been that bad a day," she smiled. There was an inch of bare skin showing between the top of Sam's trousers and the bottom of her black t-shirt. Janet crouched beside her and let her hand oh so casually rest against the soft pale flesh. Sam squirmed at her touch and banged her head against the shelf in the fridge. "Oww!"
Janet winced in sympathy. "What exactly are you doing, Sam? Has someone nicked your chocolate stash again?" She knew what time of the month it was and even though she knew that Sam loved her dearly and would never ever take out any hormonally related temper against her (at least not on purpose), she had come prepared. She took the chocolate bar out of her pocket and waved it in front of her friend's nose. "If so, I come bearing gifts."
Sam stopped rubbing her head and quick as lightening grabbed for the chocolate bar. "I wasn't actually looking for chocolate but it's a damn fine idea. I'm trying to locate this really irritating dripping noise. It's been driving me mad all morning." She ripped open the wrapper on the chocolate bar and obviously controlling her baser instincts, broke off a chunk and handed it to Janet before tearing into the rest herself.
Janet cocked her head, listening intently. "I don't hear anything." She smiled evilly at Sam. "You sure it's not Urgo come back for a return visit?"
"Aaagh! Don't even JOKE about that!" The alien AI had almost driven SG1 insane and certainly given everyone else the impression that they were one or two chevrons short of a wormhole. "It's been driving me nuts all morning. You know, trying to fake me out, make me believe that it's stopped. Then it starts again."
"Must be a leak in the pipes somewhere." Janet dismissed the problem. "Anyway, the reason I came to dig you out was that I heard Hammond had given you all an extra week's downtime," Janet said.
Sam nodded around another mouthful of chocolate. "Uh huh. The boys have already left for a week's holiday. "O'Neill booked them all for a week in a dude ranch in Montana of all places. I was not invited."
"Good," Janet reached out to brush a smear of chocolate off her lover's cheek. "I get you all to myself for the week." She paused. "Does Jonas know how to ride a horse?"
"I don't even think Jonas knows what a horse is," Sam giggled. "They didn't have them on his planet. And they don't feature heavily on the Weather Channel. O'Neill promised he'd take good care of him. And I believed him."
"Liar liar your socks are on fire," Janet thumped her gently on the shoulder. "We'll be lucky if Jonas comes back with all his limbs intact!"
In the comfortable silence that followed, both women distinctly heard the 'plink' of another drop of liquid hitting a hard surface somewhere in the room.
"What the hell is that?" Sam rose smoothly to her feet, shutting the fridge door again. There was no sign of any leak from the small unit. Intrigued despite her intentions to get the Major off-base and in their bed as soon as possible, Janet decided to help Sam search for the leak.
"What's on the next floor up?" she asked. Sam shut her eyes, playing through schematics in her mind. "More labs, storage space. Could be something in there that's leaking and has found a way through, I suppose. Come on, let's check it out."
Pulling her friend to her feet they exited the lab and walked up the stairs to the next level. Taking out her skeleton keys, Sam opened the door to the storage area that was above her lab. She switched on the light and stepped into a pool of liquid. "Bingo!" Crouching down, she tried to work out the source of the puddle.
"Er, Sam I'd step out of that if I were you," Janet said.
"Why?" Sam looked down and saw to her horror that her sneakers were smoking.
"Oh, beam me up Scotty!" Carefully she stepped back and trying to touch her footwear as little as possible, eased her feet out, making sure that her socks only came into contact with dry surfaces.
Janet was in the corridor phoning the Janitorial team and the Health & Safety Officer, Captain Sinclair. The concrete floor was cold against her toes but Sam did not complain. Cold was good. Better than burning any day.
"They'll be here in a minute. Come on, Infirmary for you let's check the soles of your feet for damage."
"I'm okay, I think. More than can be said for my shoes though," Sam said ruefully. Holes were appearing in the uppers of her sneakers now. "What is that stuff? I just hope I can claim the cost of them back. They were just about new!"
Janet was leading her back towards the lift, intending to take her to the Infirmary. "You never struck me as a trekkie. When one of the others mentions it you're usually quite scathing. I mean James T Kirk all that macho all-American hero stuff. Even at his worst the Colonel's way better than that! And Shatner's such a ham!"
"Canadian bacon, actually," Sam said. "Sure, I watched it when I was a kid. Even then I knew the 'science' was hokum."
Janet smiled, trying to imagine Sam as a child. She had seen a few pictures. Sam had worn her hair long, usually in a ponytail or braids, looking out at the world with those wide spaced blue eyes under overlong bangs.
"Anyway, to get back to our earlier conversation. I was wondering whether you fancied a day out somewhere, a walk along the riverfront, a nice meal together, or if it's raining still we could stop by the deli and buy something nice and have ourselves one of our picnic lunches in front of the fire. You remember - all nice and cost together - in the all-together. Cassie won't be in until late. She's got a rehearsal after school for "The Gondoliers" Janet changed track with her usual speed - she knew Sam would keep up having had lots of practice. "You do remember that we have tickets to see her next week?"
"I think half the SGC has tickets," Sam grinned. "Hammond told me just yesterday how much he was looking forward to attending. I heard her practicing the other night. She's got a good voice a lot more powerful than I expected."
"She takes it seriously. I mean it's not a big screen debut or anything, but Gianetta is one of the main roles." Janet stood aside and let Sam sit on the examination couch and swing her feet up so that Janet could check them for damage. Carefully she removed Sam's socks and examined the soles of her feet, unable to resist the temptation to tickle her toes. Sam squirmed and giggled in a most unmilitary fashion. "Okay, you look fine to me. Give me your keys and I'll pop along to your quarters, get you some alternative footwear and your jacket. You are not going back to your lab until that leak is fixed."
"So you think you have me at your mercy, Dr Fraiser," Sam said in her best screen villain voice. "Oh, watch your footing as well. I was making myself a cup of coffee this morning and the filter split. There are coffee grounds all over the floor. I didn't have time to tidy up before the briefing."
"Okay," Janet smiled. Checking the position of the security camera, she gave Sam a quick peck on the cheek. Sam gazed after her, fondly for a moment, and then schooled her features to a more proper expression. No need to let the cat out of the bag, she thought. Or as Teal'c had phrased it a few days ago, flummoxing them all for a few minutes "the cat's in the oven, O'Neill."
She started to giggle again as she thought of her three friends on horseback, riding across the plain. And then there were the plans that Janet had for her for the rest of the day. Once upon a time she would have been annoyed to be hauled out of her lab when she had the whole day to fiddle with her `toys'. Now she could not wait to get out, especially if it meant quality time with her girl. Not that she would ever let on to Janet. Didn't do to look too keen.
Janet poked her head round the door and threw her a balled up pair of socks, her second best pair of sneakers and her jacket. "Meet you up top in ten, okay?"