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Whew! That's a job I never want to have to do again for a very long time. Samantha Carter pushed her damp bangs out of her eyes, and surveyed her work. The dead bodies of the Russian scientists and technicians had been cold enough to keep some of the decomposition at bay, but not completely. Now the dead were stored efficiently in the plant storage freezers, neatly tagged and identified. Not all of them, as a few had to be left behind on the Water Planet, but that couldn't be helped.
"Major Carter, may I have a word?" Sam turned to the shorter Russian woman, Dr. Svetlana Markov, Sam smiled wearily to her. She liked the way her name sounded with a Russian accent. "Of course. I'm just about finished here. I was just going to find you to see what needed to be done next."
Dr. Markov ran a hand over her face, and grimaced at the scent of latex gloves and disinfectant on it. Her face showed the fatigue of working for too many hours to count, but her eyes had lost the controlled panicked look of a few hours ago when all she knew was that her co-workers were dead. Now all she felt was numb.
"Actually, I think we are getting to a good break point for the day. All of the bodies are contained. The Gate is shut and appears to be operating properly. And my colleagues in charge of this project won't be here until tomorrow." She smiled grateful for the chance to rest and reflect on the events of the past few days before the grilling her government superiors were sure to put her through. "I would like to suggest we get some food and then I can show you to the guest quarters. Not the Hilton, you understand, but definitely the best Siberia has to offer."
Sam laughed. "Well, that's the best offer I've had all day." She stopped to take a close look at the scientist. Laying a hand on her arm, she asked gently, "How are you doing? I mean, these were your colleagues " she finished lamely, wishing she had just kept her thoughts to herself, but unable to escape the sadness in Dr. Markov 's expression.
"I can't quite get my head around it, yet. I guess it's too soon. But thank you, Major Carter." She looked at the hand on her arm, giving it a quick squeeze; "I appreciate your asking."
Sam followed the woman down a darkened hallway toward the mess area where Tealc and Jack appeared to be arguing over whether or not the large tin can in front of them was chili or refried beans. Daniel sat slumped in the corner, nearly asleep, muttering, "I don't care what it is, as long as it's protein and hot and soon. I'm staving."
Dr. Markov smiled, "Didn't you know that's one thing we really do well here in Siberia, Doctor Jackson? Starve people?"
Daniel looked up at her, startled and confused as to whether the dark woman was joking or not. Before he could start sputtering his innocent comment, Sam jumped in. "I don't know what's in the can, just open it, nuke it, that is," catching Dr. Markov's eye, "Microwave it, and pass it over. All I want is food and then a shower and then sleep."
Dr. Markov laughed and proclaimed, "But aren't you forgetting something, Major Carter?" At Sam's puzzled expression, she said, "Drink! You don't think you can eat a meal in a Russian scientific facility without a drink?" She walked around to a cupboard and reaching up on her tiptoes, pulled down a tall, brown bottle. It had no label and was corked with a plastic cork that looked like it had been hammered into place. She deftly pulled the cork out, tossed it aside, took a long swig and passed the bottle to Sam. Sam sniffed carefully at the contents, but not carefully enough. The smell was harsh and acrid, more like industrial cleaning solvent than a digestible liquid. At the crinkle in Dr. Markov's eyes, Sam screwed up her courage, and took a tentative sip. Hot fire, molten lava, the inner recesses of a sun gone supernova came to mind as the liquid scorched it's way down Sam's throat. "Holy crap, " she croaked. Jack raised an eyebrow at that, it being the harshest invective ever from Sam. "Gimme that." he demanded. Without bothering to smell it, Jack tipped the bottle up and took a healthy swallow. Every muscle in his face contorted as he tried to control his reaction. Sam hooted, "Not so easy is it?" After he recovered from a long burst of coughing, Jack demanded, "Jeez, what the hell is that stuff?"
Dr. Markov smiled broadly, "How should I know, I never eat in here. There is a kitchen reserved for the plant supervisors and senior scientists. This kitchen is for the service men and low ranking officials. Russia may be a republic now, but that doesn't mean it doesn't pay to be at the top." She took another swig from the bottle, frowned at it, then passed it to Tealc, who drank deeply with no ill effects, much to Sam and Daniel's delight. The colonel scowled and snapped, "Ok Dr. Hotshot. Where is this Officer's mess then? I suppose we can get something decent to eat there?"
"This way, " waved the dark haired woman. She led them all down a hallway, up a staircase and on a brief elevator ride before throwing open polished wooden doors to a large dining room. There she bent and flicked a switch to a mobile generator. Light glowed from a row of lamps along one wall showing a comfortable room with one side set aside in comfortable couches and deep leather chairs, while a galley type kitchen lined the other wall. In the center was a long, wooden table set with china, silver and glassware for twenty. Quick purposeful strides brought Dr. Markov to a sideboard where she pulled out more bottles, this time with labels. She looked through a few then brought one back to the low table in front of the couch. Settling herself into it, she looked up at Sam. "Would you grab a few glasses from the sideboard? We can go over our findings while the men make dinner."
Jack retorted, "The men make dinner? Why should we have to make dinner?"
Dr. Markov smiled sweetly at him, "Because you are obviously better cooks than either the major or myself." She glanced at Sam, "I don't know about you, but I have been far to busy with my career to ever learn to cook."
Sam settled herself in one of the deep wingbacked chairs. "Yeah, sir, you've tasted my cooking. You really want to go through that again after the day we had?" She took the bottle from Dr. Markov and poured out two glasses of rich amber liquid. Sniffing it carefully, she smiled broadly. "Mmmm, scotch. A good one too? How did you know?"
Dr. Markov drained half of hers with one gulp. Looking at Sam appreciatively, she replied, "You just look like a scotch drinker, Major."
Holding the dark eyes longer than intended, Sam finally looked away saying, "You know, after all we went through with the Gate and the Water Planet and everything, you can call me Sam, if you want."
"Then you must call me Svetlana." She raised her glass to clink with Sam's. "I noticed that Daniel already does. Is he always so friendly?"
Sam answered, "Yes, he doesn't mean to be rude. He just hasn't met many people he doesn't like, and when he likes someone, he uses their first name."
"Not our custom here, but then, I suppose he has never been to Siberia has he?" she leaned closer to refill her glass. "But you Sam, you have been here before?"
Sam said, "Me, no I've never been to Russia at all, let alone Siberia. Why do you ask?"
Svetlana gave Sam another long look, "Well, you just seem to fit right in. The cold didn't seem to bother you on the walk in, or the jump from the plane for that matter. And your coloring is very, oh what's the word, Scandinavian?" she finished hopefully.
"Yeah, I think I'm part Norwegian and part Finish on my mother's side." Sam sank into the comfort of the chair, pushing off her boots, and pulling her feet up under her. "As for the cold, I've always been able to handle extremes in temperature. Not too long ago I spent some time in the desert with our CMO and she was fit to be tied that she was sweating buckets and I was cool as a cucumber."
"Your CMO?" Svetlana asked uncertainly.
"Our Chief Medical Officer," explained Sam. "Her name is Janet Frasier. She's been with SG1 almost as long as I have."
Svetlana nodded, "Oh yes, Dr. Frasier. Our records are fairly scant about her. Does she go on many missions?"
Sam sipped her drink again before answering. "No, not too many but with a job as unpredictable as ours is, she sees more action than a medic at most facilities."
Svetlana smiled bemused, "Oh really?"
"Hey" Sam protested, "Not that kind of action! I meant, military action, not " she stopped, turning red at the though of Janet in a sexual context. Svetlana laughed again, pouring more into their glasses. "And what about you, Sam? How much action do you see?"
Sam was spared having to answer as Jack took this moment to announce that dinner was ready. Svetlana laughed again and sat down at the table between Daniel and Tealc. Jack on one side left Sam facing the Russian woman. Soon Svetlana was regaling them all with tales of Russian princes, snow monsters, and fairy princesses. The food, though plain was warm and hearty, and soon Daniel's head was nodding toward his soup bowl. Jack noticed first and nodded to Tealc. "Alright ladies, since we cooked you get clean up. Svetlana, those rooms off to the right out the door, we can use those right?"
"Yes, colonel. Each one should be made up with towels in the baths." She smiled at the gruff man. "Sleep well."
"Oh you can bet we will." He smirked, "Oh and I like my eggs scrambled."
Svetlana glanced at Sam, and the two burst out laughing. "Well, I guess we know who's cooking breakfast." Svetlana said. She went to the sink and began filling the basin with thick foamy suds. Turning to Sam she asked, "Wet or dry?"
Feeling her face grow red, Sam could only say. "Excuse me?"
"Do you want to wash or dry?' Svetlana asked innocently.
"Wet. I mean, I want to be wet. I mean," Sam sputtered trying to get the words out. "I'll wash the dishes you dry them."
Svetlana turned to the basin and began washing the dishes. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Sam take a deep breath to compose herself. "So, tell me more about this Janet Frasier. She is a good doctor?"
Sam smiled at the thought of her friend. "She's brilliant. She deals with things we bring back from off world all the time, life threatening stuff, like it was nothing more than chicken pox."
Svetlana watched as Sam rattled on and on about the doctor. The major's face became animated and her eyes sparkled as she talked about the incredible medical mysteries she had unraveled. It was clear that Sam felt very highly of her. Svetlana thought back to the intelligence report she had read on the CMO. The photo showed a rather severe woman with large eyes and a tight bun and even tighter smile. But based on Sam's reaction to talking about her, there was more to Doctor Frasier than met the eye. Sam continued to talk about Janet all through washing up, and back on the couch, this time each taking an end.
"I can see you have a good medical colleague in Dr. Frasier." Svetlana said. "Are you two, friends, outside of work as well?"
Sam's face brightened, "Oh yeah, Janet's great. She's just about my best friend." And realizing how juvenile that sounded, Sam tried to backstep. "That is, we do stuff together off base every once in a while. With her daughter."
"Oh yes, Cassie. How is she doing?" Svetlana asked, forgetting that she wasn't supposed to know anything about the young alien girl adopted a few years ago by the doctor.
Sam did remember though, and answered quietly, "She's o.k. How much do you know about her?"
Svetlana realized her mistake and tried to smile, "Sorry about that. All I really know is that you tried to save her people and when you realized you couldn't you at least did your best to save the girl. And that now she lives with Dr. Frasier." She leaned over and taking note of the concerned expression on Sam's face, took Sam's hand, "Really that's all I know."
Sam looked down at the hand in hers. The nails were blunt but well kept; the fingers long and tapered. She gave it a quick squeeze of forgiveness and said, "Oh well, no such things as secrets anymore, eh?"
Svetlana smiled warmly, "No, not really." She went to the sidetable again and brought back another bottle.
"One more nightcap before we call it a night?' she asked. When Sam nodded, Svetlana told her, "This was brought in by Kruschev himself, or so I'm told." Sam sipped the liquid and sighed deeply, "God that's good." She tipped her head back on the couch and let the warmth spread throughout her tired body. Svetlana watched and found herself unable to look away. Sam's hair fell back against the couch in a golden fan, revealing her long neck and strong jawline. Her lips were opened slightly and Svetlana could see the tip of Sam's tongue run along the edge of her mouth. Sam's breath began to even out, but before she could fall fully asleep, Svetlana leaned close. She could smell the liquor on Sam's breath, and see the relaxation on her face. She murmured, close to Sam's ear, "Sam, time for bed." Sam tilted her head toward the soft sound and found herself staring into huge, brown eyes. She tried to look away but soon gave up in favor of the sight in front of her. Svetlana moved closer laying her cheek along Sam's, whispering into her ear, "Sam, it's time to go to bed. Are you ready?" Sam nodded her head, stroking Svetlana's cheek with her own. Svetlana pulled back and stood up holding her hand out to Sam. She repeated staring into deep blue eyes, "Ready?"
Sam reached out and took the offered hand. When she stood, she found she was taller than Svetlana by more than a few inches. She stood close enough that their bodies were only inches apart. She could feel heat radiating from the shorter woman, who slowly brought Sam's hand to her lips and kissed the palm. Sam sucked in her breath, never taking her eyes off the Russian. She bent her head to the other woman and gently kissed the full lips. Sam heard Svetlana moan a little in the back of her throat, prompting her into deepening the kiss. She reached out tentatively with her tongue and felt Svetlana open her mouth. Inside it was sweet and warm, tasting faintly of scotch. Svetlana pulled back and regarded Sam with a slightly, puzzled look. "You want this?"
Sam could only nod.
"You understand that the men cannot know." Svetlana explained, "Nor can my government. This has to stay between us."
Sam was solemn, "I understand."
Svetlana leaned up for another long kiss, then led Sam to her quarters down the hall from the dining room. The room was sparse, but the bed more than adequate with thick down comforters and crisp white sheets. Once inside the room, Svetlana lit two candles on the plain wooden dresser. "They're mostly for emergencies. Believe me, we rarely have time for romance around here." Suddenly she seemed ashamed of her simple room, so Sam led her to the bed and sat down with her. "Everything in here is perfect." She looked deep into Svetlana's eyes, "Including you."
Svetlana stared at the blond woman, touched at Sam's caring. She leaned into Sam and kissed her again marveling at the softness of her lips. She felt Sam's hand reach into her hair, caressing it softly, pulling back one side to place kisses all along her neck. Svetlana arched her neck, giving Sam more flesh to work with. Sam licked and nibbled her way up to an ear, sucking the lobe into her mouth. Svetlana gasped at the sensation, and marveled at Sam's tenderness. Her lovers had been confined to the Russian scientists and technicians with whom she worked. "Technician is the most appropriate term for them as lovers." She thought idly as she enjoyed Sam's caresses. "All very formulaic with them, no imagination, no creativity, no, Oh God!" This last escaped her involuntarily as Sam delicately plunged her tongue into Svetlana's ear. Sam immediately withdrew and began descending Svetlana's neck, nibbling on the strong muscles as she went. She spent a long time outlining the clavicle before pulling back to begin unbuttoning Svetlana's blouse. Her eyes were nearly black with desire. Svetlana had never been with someone who treated her body with such reverence before and it threatened to overwhelm her. She hooked a finger under Sam's chin to force the major to look at her. Sam looked puzzled for a moment, then realized what was behind it. She gently kissed the doctor saying, "You are so beautiful."
"As are you, Samantha." Svetlana sounded shy as she tried to calm her mind. Sex at the research facility was usually conducted furtively in the dark and over before it began. This show of true affection and caring was out of the scientist's frame of reference. She had never seen in the eyes of another toward her the look of longing and anticipation that Sam was gazing at her with at that moment. And even as it filled her with inexplicable warmth, it also sparked in her a fierce desire for the woman sitting beside her. She pulled Sam's shirt from her waistband and over her head. Sam's regulation sports bra did nothing to hide the fullness of her breasts, much to Svetlana's delight. Leaning her head forward, Svetlana buried her nose between them breathing deeply. "The best scent in this, or any world." She said before tracing the line of cleavage with her tongue. Sam gasped something between a chuckle and a moan. Svetlana nuzzled each nipple into hardness, then helped Sam out of the garment granting her access to the softness beneath it. As she licked and kissed Sam, the major unhooked the other woman's industrial strength bra, marveling for a moment at its design. The smaller woman's breasts were firm and high with rich brown nipples, which Sam licked and teased into pebbled hardness. Smiling at the noises this caused, Sam spent a good amount of time enjoying herself with Svetlana's chest before moving down to unbuckled her trousers. When she moved to the foot of the bed to remove Svetlana's shoes and stockings, she was surprised to hear the Russian say, "You've done this before." Puzzled she stopped what she was doing and looked at the reclining woman. "What makes you say that?"
"Don't worry Samantha, I'm not judging you, at least not negatively. It's just that all my male lovers forget to take off shoes and stockings before the pants. I wind up getting all tangled." Svetlana laughed. Sam chuckled as she continued her task. Casually as she could, Sam asked, "So your female lovers remember to take them off first?"
Svetlana knew immediately what Sam was really asking. Keeping her tone light, she replied, "Yes, Samantha. I have female lovers as well as male. Does it bother you that you are not the first?"
Sam ducked her head to hide the blush rising in her cheeks, "No it doesn't bother me."
Svetlana considered Sam for a long moment. "Because I know I am not your first, and it doesn't bother me." Sam looked up sharply, "How do you know "
"I know a lot of things, Samantha. Just because the Cold War is over, doesn't mean our intelligence ended. But if it's any consolation, I am fairly certain, your government does not know. And who am I to, what is that phrase you have, tell if I am not asked?"
"Don't ask, don't tell" spat out Sam.
"Yes, that is it. Now come here, I am getting chilly and lonely, and you have far too many clothes on still."
Sam looked at her and decided to let the Air Force take care of itself for tonight, and she would take care of herself. Or at least let Svetlana take care of her. She stripped off the remainder of her clothes and climbed under the sheets, marveling as she had so many times in the past as the incredible softness of another female. It never ceased to amaze her that although men and women were covered in the same skin, that one gender's could feel so silky, so smooth, so full while the other tended to be, well, not. It wasn't that she hadn't enjoyed herself with men, it was just that she always felt so much more with women. More cared for, more sensation, more delight in the act of making love. It never felt like a race to see who could finish first when she was with women. More like who could last longer, give more pleasure to the other, and prolong the feelings in both.
Sam ran her hands along Svetlana's taut stomach, bringing them up to brush the sides of her breasts before running them over the tight nipples. Svetlana arched her back and moaned deep in her throat, reaching to pull Sam in for a fierce kiss that left both women breathless. As the kisses continued, Sam let her hand drift lower until it brushed against the soft hair at the juncture of Svetlana's legs. Sam was surprised at the texture; for some reason she expected more coarseness. But just beyond, it was all slick warmth and slippery folds. She felt her fingers slide through a surprising amount of moisture and brought her wet fingers to her lips. "Mmm, better than soup." She smiled.
Svetlana gasped at the sight. It was the most erotic thing she had ever seen; yet tinged with humor from the beautiful blonde. She smiled and began her own exploration. "Mmm, good, but I think I can find something better." With a mischievous grin, she dove under the sheets and positioned herself over Sam's center. Inhaling deeply ("The next favorite scent in this or any other world," she decided), she then used her thumbs to peel back Sam's outer lips and swiped at the delicate juice within, first with the tip of her tongue, then lapping with eager abandon. Within minutes, Sam cried out and bucked so hard, Svetlana could only hold tightly to Sam's thighs for fear of being tossed from the bed. When she emerged, Svetlana's face glistened with sweat and moisture, her hair was plastered to her face, and her smile dominated her expression. Sweat poured from Sam and plastered her hair to her face as well, but her expression was one of bemused contentment. "Better?" she gasped.
"Oh definitely." Assured Svetlana. "Time for seconds, then." Said Sam as she managed to pull the smaller woman up while sliding herself down the bed until Svetlana was positioned over Sam's eager mouth. Svetlana grasped the headboard and was soon rocking a gentle counterpoint to Sam's tongue. It didn't take long for her to climax, but when she did it was more of a sigh than an explosion. That is, until Sam managed to take hold of her glistening nub and suck hard on it. The second orgasm took Svetlana completely by surprise. Her shriek resounded through the room, and once again Svetlana was thankful for the soundproofing her last lover installed after one particularly noisy night. As she panted and tried to catch her breath, Svetlana rolled to one side to allow Sam up from the edge of the bed. "Goodness, I think I needed that." She smiled, watching a blush creep into Sam's cheeks. Gathering the taller woman into her arms, Svetlana buried her nose in the blond hair and quickly fell asleep.
In the morning, Sam awoke to find Svetlana gone. Dressing quickly, she hurried to the dining room to find Svetlana calmly standing over a toaster billowing with smoke. "Yikes, get the bread out, quick." Sam said. But Svetlana only waited patiently brushing Sam gently on the cheek with hers. "Good morning, Samantha. Breakfast should be started any minute now."
Sam looked at the black, acrid smoke saying, "Started?"
At that moment, Jack entered the room, took notice of the smoke, and immediately started barking orders. "Oh for crying out loud, you gals are useless in here. Go set the table. And" he looked pointedly at Sam, "Try not to set anything else on fire, would ya?" Svetlana marched past Sam grinning broadly. Sam followed her but didn't speak until out of the colonel's earshot. "You did that on purpose! To get out of making breakfast"
Large brown eyes looked up at her innocently. "Why Samantha, what a thing to think." Immediately she set the table, then turned to ask Sam, "How do you like your coffee?" Sam smiled at her, and making sure the men were all in the kitchen snaked her arms around the Russian. "Dark and sweet, like my women." Svetlana hugged Sam back laughing. "Yes, you do, don't you. And quite well I must say. Come sit over here on the sofa, we need to talk about something before the men come back in. You are leaving today and we may not get another chance." She turned to the sideboard preparing two coffees with just enough cream to make the dark liquid swirl and added a teaspoon of sugar to each. "Mmm," said Sam with a gleam in her eye, sipping hers. "Why is it everything here tastes so good?"
Svetlana smiled ruefully, "Perhaps because it is something you know you can only enjoy here, out in the wilds of Siberia? Something you can't get back home?"
Sam was started out of her playful mood by Svetlana's tone. "Svetlana," she began.
Svetlana cut her off with a gentle touch on the major's arm. "Samantha, don't worry about it. I knew last night what I was doing, that it was only going to be a one-night thing, and I am ok with that. I love my work, and for me that is more important than anything else, including love."
Sam squeezed the hand in hers. "I know what you mean. My work is everything." She stared again into her cup, wondering why she suddenly felt so alone and melancholy. She was started to hear Svetlana say, "But Sam, you do have something more important than your work."
Sam's brows knit together. "What are you talking about?"
Svetlana looked at her with such concern and caring it made Sam feel tears begin to well up in her eyes. "You don't know, do you? You don't even know?" Svetlana took Sam's hand again. "Sam, last night, do you remember what you said, you know when you " Svetlana trailed off, looking at Sam hopefully. Sam thought back. She remembered screaming something, but in the heat of the moment what exactly it was eluded her. She shook her head.
Svetlana smiled sweetly, "Samantha, when you came, you called out for Doctor Frasier." She watched as this information sank in. "And I don't think you wanted her in a medical capacity." Sam's eyes grew wide and she immediately shook her head to deny it. "No Svetlana, I couldn't have. You must have misheard me."
"No, Samantha, I didn't." she reassured the other woman, "And after all you told me about her, I am not too surprised. It's clear you are deeply in love with her."
"With Janet?" Sam could only gasp. "But I can't be in love with Janet. Besides" she looked at the other woman closely, "she's straight, so it wouldn't matter if I was."
Again, the sweet smile on Svetlana's face as she chuckled lightly, "Well, not according to my information. It seems she has a thing for tall blondes. As you do for short brunettes." She smiled wistfully, thankful for once for her small stature.
Sam's mind was reeling. Janet? Her Janet had been sleeping with tall blondes? And when did she become "her Janet"? Suddenly she realized what she had done and turned to apologize to the woman on the couch. "Svetlana, I am so sorry. I hope you don't think last night was just my foolish attempt to substitute you for someone I can't have? Because it wasn't. At least I didn't mean it to be."
Svetlana reassured Sam. "Sam, I needed last night as much as you did, to feel good after a very long day of feeling not good. I needed the release as much, if not more than you and the fact that you were convenient will not diminish any of my pleasure from the memory. As for Doctor Frasier" Svetlana cocked her head to one side, "It would be a shame for her to miss out on what could be the best she's ever likely to get."
Sam blushed again. "The best, really?"
Brown eyes smiled at her, "Definitely."
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