Bill Lee could hear the plant scraping its way across the floor, he was sure of it. He pulled the thin blanket up to his chest and wished he'd called dibbs on the top bunk. Dr. Friesen was snoring away above him.
The thing was, he was certain they'd eliminated the last of the plant brought back from P6J-908. Or at least he'd assured General O'Neill that they had. There was only the faint possibility that they had missed a rogue seed pod. Very faint possibility. So faint, it was almost impossible that that a seed could have stuck to the sole of somebody's boot or caught in the cuff of their pants. Almost.
There it was again. That quiet shushing of a vine stretching its way though the dark room, searching for the faint glimmer of the nightlight under the bathroom door. Bill rolled onto his side and pressed his back against the concrete wall. If there was a plant out there, and 'if' being the operative word, it wouldn't be able to sneak up from behind him. He pulled his knees up to his chest and pushed his glasses up his nose. He had a full view of the room from this angle. Dr. Friesen mumbled something and then it was all quiet again.
Bill blew out a sigh. This was silly. He'd been offworld dozens of times. Ok, not dozens. A few. Twice, actually. Still, this was ridiculous. The plant was gone. Siler had incinerated the remains.
There was a whisper from the far corner, just underneath the air vent. Bill tensed, held his breath, and strained his ears. There it was again.
What if the plant had the properties of a succulent? The jade plant could drop a shoot and have it take root with next to no soil, pulling moisture from the air with its tiny filament roots. What if they'd dropped a shoot or a leaf somewhere between the lab and the incinerator and now it was in the ventilation system? O'Neill would kill him. Feed him to the plant. Bill had never really been fond of gardening. He was less fond of having to explain things to General O'Neill.
That was it. He couldn't stand the speculation any longer. If the plant was going to get him, he was going down fighting. He would not be taken cowering in bed with the blankets pulled over his head.
On the count of three, he bolted from the bed and hit the lights.
The cockroach skittered across the floor and slipped out under the door. Bill let out a huge sigh of relief and reached for the light switch.
A thought occurred to him as got back into bed. Hadn't Friesen mentioned something about the flesh eating mutant cockroaches that SG-12 brought back yesterday?
Bill Lee did not sleep for the rest of the night.