holdouttrout: not your ordinary fish (Sam)
[personal profile] holdouttrout
Title: Looking Back
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Pairing: Sam/Janet
Rating: PG
Category: Fluff
Summary: Janet's always watched Sam, but tonight, Sam's looking back. My thanks to [personal profile] pepper for the beta.





It was cold, and Janet's ears were numb, although the motorcycle helmet she was wearing was trying to warm them up as Sam sped them toward home.

Sam accelerated and Janet tightened her grip around Sam's waist. She wondered if Officer Lee was out tonight, because if he was, Sam was going to be $175 poorer by the end of the night. Just as she thought it, Sam slowed down to take the turn onto Janet's street. She pulled into Janet's driveway, stopping just at the beginning of the walkway that led to the front door, and turned off the engine.

Janet slid off the seat and stood--a little less gracefully than she liked, but the bike was just a little too tall for her. Not for Sam, though. Janet had long ago come to terms with her lack of height, but she still felt a stab of envy as Sam swung her leg over and propped the bike on its stand.

She caught herself starting at the way Sam's leather pants stretched across her butt. Janet would feel ridiculous in leather pants, but Sam—well, ridiculous wasn't a word Janet would ever use about Sam in leather.

Sam reached for her helmet, and Janet realized she was still wearing hers. She fumbled at it and managed to pull it off just as Sam put hers down on the bike.

Janet handed Sam her helmet, and Sam grinned. "So?"

"I still think you're crazy," Janet said, but her mouth twitched and betrayed her.

"Ah hah!" Sam said. "I knew you would like it."

Janet firmed up her mouth. "Motorcycles are very dangerous," she said.

Sam laughed. "At least Cassie isn't old enough to have one, right?"

"Yet," Janet said glumly.

Sam gave Janet a sideways look. "Not like her mom."

Janet's eyes narrowed. "Quiet, you."

Sam just grinned more broadly, and Janet shook her head, giving a dramatic sigh. Her eyes met Sam's, and everything was suddenly and inexplicably... tense. That had been happening all evening, and Janet wasn't quite sure why. When Janet first met Sam, she had thought Sam was disappointingly straight, but recently, she'd been wondering--there was nothing obvious, but sometimes when Janet was looking, she thought she could sense Sam's... awareness. Tonight had been different. Tonight, Sam had been looking back.

Janet waved to get Sam's attention, but Sam had already spotted her and started toward the table.

"Sorry," she said, putting the motorcycle helmet down on the bench before sliding in after it. "Dr. Lee had something he needed before tomorrow."

Janet shrugged, watching Sam shrug out of her jacket, exposing her shoulders for a second before she straightened her sleeves. Sam looked up and must have seen something in Janet's expression, because she put on the little half-smile that meant she had been caught off guard.

Janet carefully kept her expression neutral. "That's the job," she said. "I just got dropped off myself, actually."

Sam winced sympathetically. "Car still giving you trouble?"

Janet sighed theatrically for an answer. "Just in time to ruin my plans to drop Cassie off at her friend's house for the weekend. I had to call and ask if they could pick her up instead." She leaned forward, turning on a beseeching look. "I was hoping my favorite mechanic might be able to help me out."

Sam grinned and Janet was stunned yet again by the sheer brilliance Sam managed to pack into the simple gesture.

"I'll take a look at it this weekend," Sam promised. Her look turned sly. "But you're buying tonight."

Janet rolled her eyes. "I'm still paying you back for last time," she said, but Sam was already shrugging, and Janet knew better than to start an argument about it. Looking at cars--especially older ones without any sophisticated computers--was as relaxing and fun for Sam as reading a novel was for Janet.

"Thanks," Janet said. She added, impulsively, "I'll make you breakfast, too."

Sam's eyes flicked up to Janet's, and Janet knew exactly how Sam was interpreting her offer. Another second, and Sam's expression cleared, relaxed, as she put it together with the conversation about the car. Janet expected her to laugh it off, but instead Sam leaned forward.

"Do I get it in bed?"

Janet wasn't sure what possessed her, but she said, "Not unless you spend the night at my place."

There was a long moment when Janet thought Sam might actually be considering it, and then the waitress returned and the moment was broken.


If that had been the only thing, Janet would have shrugged it off, but the whole night had been filled with awkward pauses, teasing glances that seemed to go just over the line, and then the motorcycle ride, with Sam pulling Janet's arms around her, her hands lingering just a little too long, as if she heard Janet's breath catch.

Janet was not complaining, but she was confused.

Sam half-turned away and said, "I better get going."

Janet blurted, "Why don't you come in and have some coffee?"

The words hung between them, and Janet winced. "I mean, it's cold, and it's late, and I think Officer Lee only works until midnight."

Sam turned back. "Officer Lee?" she said with a smile.

Janet shifted her weight. "He likes to wait at Hall Street."

"I'm not sure coffee will help me slow down," Sam said, teasing.

"I have decaf."

Sam didn't reply, and she got a look on her face Janet was used to seeing when she was working out a difficult problem: worried, thoughtful, and maybe a little bit intrigued.

Janet took a step closer and said, "Please stay."

"For... coffee," Sam said.

"Coffee," Janet agreed, but she was close enough to feel radiant heat from Sam's body, and she wasn't thinking about coffee at all.

Janet's front door liked to stick in cold weather, so she had to give it a shove to get it open. Inside, it was almost too warm. Janet gave a distracted sigh that sounded like "Cassie," and moved toward the thermometer, turning it down before shrugging out of her coat.

Sam was still standing in front of the door, which, considering how many times she had been over before was another sign that something just wasn't right. The little hall light illuminated her face, but Janet couldn't quite read her expression. She looked guarded in a way that Janet wasn't used to seeing, and then Sam's eyes flicked to hers, and Janet knew.

Janet smiled.

Instead of heading toward the kitchen, she stepped past Sam into the hallway.

"I need to change into something more comfortable," she said. "Why don't you get the coffee started, and I'll be right back?"

Sam nodded. "Okay."

A few minutes later, Janet padded back into the kitchen on bare feet and rested against the doorway, watching Sam, who was watching the coffee pot. The coffee had barely started to drip into the pot below, but Sam hadn't taken her eyes off it, even though she had to know Janet was behind her. She still had her jacket on and looked as if she might bolt for the door at any second.

Janet moved close, resting her hip against the counter by Sam.

"So what are you doing tomorrow?" Janet asked. "Besides fixing my car, I mean."

Sam's tone was just a little too casual. "Oh, not much. I thought I'd take my bike out if the weather's nice."

"Mmm," Janet said. "Sounds fun." She paused, and then said, "By yourself?"

Sam shrugged.

Janet said, "Because if you wanted company, you might be able to convince me to get on that death trap again."

Her joke had the desired effect. Sam laughed and turned toward Janet, and even though Janet didn't move away, a little of the tension ebbed out of Sam's body. "There's a nice road just out of town," she said. Her tone turned mocking, "If you think you're up to it."

"Oh, I'm up for it," Janet said, and just like that, they weren't talking about the motorcycle anymore.

Sam drew in a small breath, and then the only sound in the kitchen was the coffee dripping into the pot. Janet kept eye contact, watching as Sam struggled to decide what to say.

Finally, her expression cleared, and just as quickly as she'd made her decision, she shuttered her reaction back up. "I'd want to go pretty early," she said.

Janet couldn't quite tell if that was encouraging or not, so she just went with what she wanted. "Well, if you stay, I could make us an early breakfast."

Sam's facade cracked, the corner of her mouth turning up, and just as Janet had known that Sam was, in fact, attracted to her, she knew that Sam had made the leap. Sam cleared her throat. "But... if I stay, I am not sleeping in Cassie's room again."

Cassie's room was nearly always a complete disaster. Not that Janet was going to suggest it anyway, but she couldn't help pushing Sam a little. "Oh? And where are you going to sleep, then? You don't fit on the couch."

Now Janet could see the devilish gleam in Sam's eye. Sam leaned closer. "I was hoping some nice person might share."

Janet pretended to consider it. "I don't know," she said. "I don't share my bed with just any--"

Sam cut her off with a kiss.

It was a quick kiss, as if Sam was making absolutely sure before committing herself. It was a hint of vulnerability that made Janet ache.

Janet couldn't help but lick her lips. Sam's eyes were wide, and Janet thought she might start panicking at any moment, so Janet leaned in and captured Sam's mouth with her own before that happened. Janet was anything but tentative, and after the first awkward moment, Sam responded, forgetting to be cautious.

Janet tasted, and she slid her arms around Sam's waist. She pulled back just enough to say, "I'm convinced."

"Really?" Sam said breathlessly. "Because I can do a lot better than--"

Janet never let her finish the sentence.

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