lemonbombs (lem0nb0mbs) wrote in the_recroom,
lemonbombs
lem0nb0mbs
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Threadbare, PG13, SG1

I'm breaking my own rule and posting this here, so I can link it to Pornucopia. My own LJ is now flocked only, so I can't link it there, and (blush) I don't have web-space.

The story came out more implied and subtle than blatant. I figure you can all flex your "what have they been up to?" muscles.

Threadbare
Sam/Jack, maybe a PG-13, lightly angsty. No real spoilers.

It was the same as always, but not the same.

She worked the cloth over the rock, scrubbing the thinning fabric clean of local clay. Sam glanced out to the end of the rocky spit. Vala was slapping garments against a boulder, punctuating surly complaints with wet smacks of shirt. The brush around them was decorated with drying laundry, spread over low branches to catch the sun.

Sam stood, wrung out the last T and walked back toward the bushes to find a space for the clean shirt to dry. She knew them all, where to find the best branch for a pair of pants, which ones had just enough room for a bra or tank. She knew them the way she knew the closets in her home and her locker at work.

Daniel and Teal'c, she knew, were unseen somewhere on higher ground, watching for snipers, dinner, and a way out. A few of the others were gathering some local vegetation for food. Cam sat by a fire, staring blandly at the flames as he held stick after sharpened stick over the heat to harden the wood.

She dropped to sit next to Cam by the fire and reached for a raw point. "How's it going?"

"Depends." He turned a stick and considered the darkened point. "Got a lot of pointy sticks, but I still haven't figured out how to turn a piece of wood into a gun." He dropped it onto a pile of hardened projectiles. "There's a joke in there about diplomacy, but I can't seem to find it."

Sam held her stick near a coal, letting the silence join them together. Cam had been against this meet. Against the requirement that they come virtually unarmed, against the request to bring every damn one of them along including the requisite "Guy-in-a-Tie" – he loudly and clearly objected to each and every detail until he was pushed down with threats of staying behind.

When they were met at the appointed location with explosions and energy blasts, he could barely keep his peace. He herded the group toward cover near some enormous boulders as they tried to hold off their attackers with handguns and – God – flares.

The other shoe fell.

There must have been a storm upriver, hours away. The flash flood pulled the plug on the attack, flushed SG1 from their hiding niche and spat them out into air yards above the river. It was a blessing that they landed in water, or the injuries could have been worse. They found themselves on a peninsula that was walled off by cliffs and rapids. For hours they wondered if the enemy had survived, if they were safe. Hours later there was some sniper action on the opposite rim; the enemy had survived, but apparently could come no closer.

Sam heard the soft shuffling sound coming from the shelter. She caught Cam's eye, held it. He drew an injured foot back an inch unconsciously.

The injuries could have been much worse, she reminded herself.

She put the stick on the pile of finished points and rose. “I'll go.”

She approached the building they called “the shanty.” It was surprisingly spacious for a makeshift shelter. The construction took advantage of the natural shape of the canyon wall; roof poles balanced on one side on a narrow shelf in the vertical rock wall. Pine-like branches made an effective roof for the shelter, blocking the intense starlight and retaining heat at night. It was a tight, and defendable.

Sam shook the dirt from her boots before she entered. She knew this place now, too, knew where to step to avoid packs or supply boxes. In the dim light, she saw a muted green blanket, and took in the form under it, watching ribs rise and fall, looking for shaking or labored breathing. Afraid, somewhere inside, but she didn't notice.

Kneeling, she laid a hand on an arm that she knew as well as her own. Her voice was cotton-soft.

"Sir?"

A breath roughly exhaled, ending in a series of coughs.

"Carter."

"Yes, sir," She bent closer. A her hair fell forward, bright in the dark. "How are you feeling?"

His face looked thin, gray, in pain, but the brown eyes were clear. "Tell me again why I had to come along?" When she finally smiled, he tapped her hand with his own. "Progress?"

"Teal'c thinks he may have found a route out on the south wall."

"Not in any shape to climb."

She pressed her lips together. "We'll get you out, sir."

He didn't answer.

It had only been six weeks.

She was weary. Something took hold of her, or let go, and her head spun for a moment.

"Carter?"

"I don't know – Jack--"

His arm reached out instinctively, to catch her, even though he didn't have the strength. She eased down on the pallet's edge, feeling like she was falling, feeling like she could move no other way. His arm pulled her closer, and she rolled into the fold of his shoulder.

"Sir. I...." She shivered. "Jack."

This, too she knew well, the before and the after; she could not prevent herself from taking note. Even injured, he was hard and elegantly-shaped and felt like welcome against her. She could not fail to notice the blanket was worn and their clothes were sanded soft and sheer by the river rocks. The weeks in the canyon had scraped them all and everything to the bone.

She was trembling. He shifted against her, stilling her shaking.

"At ease, will you?" He turned his bristled cheek to her forehead, closed his eyes. She felt herself relax one muscle at a time, until they both could feel again.

Each day, she let her guard down a little more. Each day, she let the professional distance go a little more. The space between them could only close once there was no hope of rescue. She could not accept it, not completely, one way or the other.

Six weeks, and the life they knew was washed away by the river and sandstone and bleached by the sun. She wondered, many more days forward, how much of herself there would be left?
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