Sam sits on the low-backed sofa, running her hand over the soft upholstery, using its flower design as a focus. The maroon and eggshell coloring blend like melting ice cream and she stares at them till her eyes blur. I have to decide, she thinks with reluctance.
Her short, damp hair makes her shiver and she pulls the belt of her robe tighter, more for her mood than for any goosebumps. She smooths her hair, callused fingers catching on the collar of her robe. She remembers when she first cut her hair short; centuries away, it seems.
The Academy had thought it sharp, sassy. They'd accepted the cut but never her mind. Too intelligent. The shuns and snubs still linger inside the SGC. You're different.
Geek. Science Geek. Woman science geek.
It is difficult to hear the jealous talk even now, accusations of important daddys or about how her long legs eagerly spread for advancement. Sam despises assumption, false and meaningless, but uses it against the rumor-mongers, making herself stronger like some Nietzschean ideal.
It's ironic, she thinks. She's sitting on a loveseat deciding on which lies to tell. To herself, to others. Time to consider who she wants between her thighs.
Her mother's voice intrudes like a vague memory, advice she'd gotten at 16, a few months before she'd died.
Never play their game, Sam. Change the rules to suit yourself.
Mom had liked baseball and was very fond of euphemisms.
Bend but don't break. Compromise but don't give in. Once you give in, you will regret it. You can't take it back.
Sam remembers old anger and funerals. Job promotions, and her father's influence everywhere. She remembers how Mark never had that problem, how his anger created distance. Hers has simply blossomed into a siege wall.
Time to make the decision, but Sam shies away, not wanting to handle this particular problem. None of them are good at relationships, she tells herself. Jack's always going to be 'sir' even when she doesn't say it and Daniel's always going to have his nose buried in his work. Do either of them ever leave their jobs?
She can't choose, she realizes. It's the $64,000 question, and it's just as rigged. There was never really an option with either of them and all the others had been rentals. So who now, she asks herself. She's 45, isn't she? Isn't it time to get over it and move on?
With a sigh of resignation, knowing she needs to her the voice of reason, the one that calms her down, Sam picks up the phone. She knows ahead of time that the line won't be busy but it's still a flood of relief when it isn't.
Cassie's not home, Sam thinks with additional relief. "Hi, it's me."
"I just called because..."
"What?" Janet asks, the tone saying, 'you don't need a reason to call.' Sam knows this, too.
"Just making decisions."
There's hope in that tone, Sam thinks. "I give up. I don't want either. All I want is..."
"To veg out in front of the TV with me, eat ice cream and watch filthy movies?"
Sam can see the mischievous smile through the phone line. "Yeah," she laughs, heat rising to her cheeks that has nothing to do with embarrassment. "Wanna come over or..."
"You'd better come over here. Cassie's going out for her birthday. I need to be at home, just in case it goes bad and she doesn't want to brood alone."
"And..." Sam knows there's more. There always is with Janet, and it's not always bad.
"And... I bought peppermint ice cream."
Janet knows it's her favorite. It's already out of Sam's mouth to say yes, and her mind whispers that Janet already knew she would.
She's there in what seems like a flash, doesn't remember the drive. And when Sam settles down for peppermint ice cream, it eventually morphs into an enthusiastic joys of Peppermint Sex.
When it brings her the hot friction and loud, vocal pronouncements, Sam wonders just how Janet got so good at this. If she'd always been good at this. Sam then ponders why she didn't already know this about her.
When she grabs handfuls of auburn hair and the mouth around her clit makes her scream, only then does Sam realize that she's never needed to decide on what man to have. It was never the issue, and the decision had actually been made a very long time ago.