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Sketchy Mending

by Christi and Katrina

Post-Fail Safe

Tonight, Sam Carter had decided to get drunk.

For no particular reason other than that really, she hadn’t in…a very long time. When she thought about it, it had been a bit of a year so far, what with the alien staying in her house and the being kidnapped and the riding an asteroid through the Earth. If she wanted one night to get drunk and not worry about the next disaster looming on the horizon, she didn’t think it was too much to ask.

Judging by Janet’s rather perplexed expression, Sam might’ve been wrong about that.

“What?” Sam asked, a warning tone lacing her voice as she gulped down the last of her second (or was it third?) glass of wine.

“Just wondering what’s going on,” Janet replied.

“Does something have to be going on?” Sam demanded. “Maybe I just wanted to hang out with you and Cassie and be with girls and drink and have fun for a change.”

“I’m not complaining,” Cassie volunteered cheerily. “It’s sort of fun watching you get hammered, even if it is a bit…weird.”

Since weird had long ago stopped having any kind of significant meaning in her life, this didn’t really bother Sam. “Let’s talk about something else. How are things going with Dominic?”

Cassie blushed, but smiled. “Things are good. Oh! Guess what?”

Not feeling up to guessing, Sam just shrugged and took another sip.

“He wants to take me to Homecoming.”

Sam glanced toward Janet who simply shook her head in a somewhat lost gesture. “Really? Wow.”

“Yeah,” Cassie said tentatively. “I guess. I mean, I’m not that big a fan of dances. But if you can convince mom to say ‘yes’, then I might get a little more excited about it.”

“Sam will be convincing no one, Cassandra.” Janet interjected, “I’ve still half a mind to make you get permission from Colonel O’Neill anyway.”

Sam couldn’t help but giggle as Cassie’s face fell.

“Yes, I think that’s a splendid idea, my lovely daughter,” Janet continued, obviously having fun toying with Cassie. “If he’s okay with it, I’m okay with it.”

“Mom, why would you even joke about that?”

Sam considered the situation and couldn’t help but giggle again. “Good God, he’d have you in a chastity belt until you were thirty if he had his way.”

“Sam!” Janet squeaked.

“So true,” Cassie agreed mournfully.


“Oh please,” Cassie rolled her eyes. “It’s just a football game and a dance. And please don’t tell me I have to ask Jack. I swear, he forgets that I’m not a twelve-year-old girl anymore.”

“Mmm, yes,” Sam mused, “because fifteen really is so much older, after all.”

“Hey!” Cassie scrunched up her face, but laughed a little. “I could be married and having babies if I lived in Cambodia, you know.”

Janet chuckled. “Yeah, use that argument when you ask the Colonel for permission, Cass.”

“It’s not like I’m going to go whoring around homecoming.”

Sam snorted into her wine glass as Janet stood quickly. “I need a drink.”

“Oh, fill me up too, please. I’ve hit empty,” Sam pointed out, handing over her glass.

With a shrug, Janet reached to refill her glass, and Cassie perked up a little. “Can I try some?”

After a moment’s consideration, Janet grabbed a third glass and poured some of the red into it before handing it to her daughter. “Only at home, with supervision,” Janet warned.

Cassie rolled her eyes before taking a gulp of the wine – and immediately spitting it back out again. “Okay, ew. Explain the appeal of this stuff to me again?”

“It grows on you,” Sam assured her with a smile.

The young girl looked dubious, but took a smaller, more tentative sip. “Okay…maybe,” she allowed, still looking unconvinced.

With a grin, Sam tilted her glass in salute. “Cheers, then.”


Two more glasses of wine later, Sam was trying to explain exactly what her work week had entailed. “And then we just…rode it through the planet. Like…zooooom! And then poof!” she insisted, moving her hands in dramatic gestures.

Janet’s head moved back and forth as she watched Sam’s hands dart one way, then another. “You’ve definitely been spending too much time with Colonel O’Neill,” she observed wryly.

The observation made Sam pause and even pout a little. “Hardly any at all,” she noted, feeling particularly pathetic about it.

“Is that what all this is about?” Cassie asked with what Sam thought in her haze was a delighted sort of grin.

“No!” Sam objected. “Not really. It’s just hard not to notice, is all. At first I thought he was over compens…conpends…being too careful. But I don’t think that’s it.”

“And yet, that’s not what this little bender is about?” Janet asked.

Sam waved a finger at her. “Stop with the suspiciousness. I told you I didn’t need a reason.”

“Maybe you don’t need one,” Cassie allowed, “but you definitely have one.”

Now, Sam was reduced to glaring at a fifteen year old. It occurred to her vaguely that she would groan about this in the morning. “Do not,” she insisted stubbornly.

Cassie sighed and looked at her mother in exasperation. “Why do you all insist that I have no clue when something is up? Beyond me just knowing you all really, really well, you have to contend with the fact that you guys really aren’t as stealthy as you like to think you are.”

“I am too stealthy!” Sam objected rather emphatically before taking another big gulp of her wine. “I’m like a ninja, I’m so stealthy.”

That comparison had both Janet and Cassie staring at her in dumbfounded disbelief. “Did Sam just say she was like a ninja?” Janet asked Cassie.

“I told you there was something wrong,” Cassie just grumbled by way of confirmation.

“Oh, we’re definitely on the same page.”

Sam could see that they didn’t understand, so with some effort and careful wineglass juggling she slipped off her shoes and gazed down at her feet proudly. “See? Ninja.”

When they didn’t reply, she pointed at her stocking feet. “’Cuz see, the socks make it easy to be quiet. Though I could do it without socks.” The thought made her sad, and she sat down on the floor, taking another long gulp. “And I’m going to have to, because there are no more socks.”

“Ha!” Cassie exclaimed loudly. “I knew it! This is about Jack!”

“No!” Sam insisted stubbornly. “It’s just….I realized today that it’s been almost a week since we went poof through the planet and I haven’t gotten socks. And then I thought some more, because you know, it’s what I do, and I realized that I haven’t gotten socks in ages.”

The truth, now that it was out, seemed even more horrible to Sam’s cloudy mind. “I love socks,” she added, sounding more than a little pathetic.

“Oh boy,” Cassie muttered after a moment of watching Sam in a dejected heap on the floor.

“This is really all about socks?” Janet asked.

“It makes sense,” Cassie argued. “Socks have become important.”

“Very important,” Sam insisted, flopping down so she was lying on their rug and staring up at the ceiling.

Seemingly at a loss, Janet just shook her head. “I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again - I worry about all of you.”

“They’re not just socks,” Sam tried to explain, though focusing on her train of thought was difficult. “It’s like they’re…they’re….”

“They have subtext,” Cassie supplied.

“Yes! Exactly. They are subtextical socks,” Sam agreed, nodding and feeling proud of how smart Cassie was.

Janet pinched her nose with a sigh. “These are the days that I kick myself for not paying more attention during my psych rotation.”


“Let’s look at this logically,” Janet pointed out some time later, when the last wine bottle had been put away and the room had stopped looking quite so fuzzy around the edges. “I can’t believe I’m asking this question, but when did you first notice the lack of socks?”

“Just today, like I told you earlier,” Sam reminded her. Still, that wasn’t the whole story and she knew it. “But something’s been wrong for longer than that.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, back after the alien light, we were…it was good. It was hard, but we were fine. And then, suddenly, we weren’t.”

“Not exactly specific there, Sam,” Cassie prodded.

Trying to sort through the last year and pinpoint an exact moment that the colonel had changed, Sam frowned. “I guess maybe I first noticed it during the whole Orlin thing. I mean, I know it seems weird to insist on there being an alien living in your house…but it’s not the strangest thing that’s ever happened to us.”

“True,” Janet agreed a little too readily. “There was the body swapping thing.”

“The turned into aliens thing,” Cassie volunteered.

“The Daniel going crazy thing,” Sam added.

“Really, I don’t know how any of you are still sane,” Janet pointed out.

“Assuming that they are is taking a lot on faith,” Cassie pointed out with a teasing glint in her eye.

When had she become such a smartass? Sam just shook her head. “Nice, Cass.”

“Nice is overrated,” Cassie insisted. “I’ll stick with honest instead, thank you very much.”

Really, she probably had the right idea. “I just thought that after everything, he would’ve believed me. But he didn’t. And then I was kidnapped and no one noticed for awhile. And now, no socks. It’s upsetting.”

“You’re going to yell at me, but it has to be said – why don’t you just ask him about the socks?” Janet suggested.

“I can’t do that!” Sam protested, honestly appalled at the idea. “It doesn’t work that way.”

“Definitely not,” Cassie agreed immediately. Of course, given the fact that the only backup Sam was getting was from a teenager, she was a little concerned about the validity of her argument. Before she could worry about it too much, Cassie said, “Of course, you’re not the only one freaking out. Jack’s definitely been weird lately, too.”

That tidbit caught Sam’s interest. “Weird like how?”

“I don’t know. Weird like weird. He’s grouchier than usual.”

“Grouchy is the colonel’s state of being,” Janet pointed out.

“Not with me,” Cassie said simply. “At least, not usually.”

This piece of information made Sam feel…oddly better. So things were strained and something was wrong. That was life. At least, now she knew that it was bothering Jack, too. She leaned back against the couch, processing. “Okay then,” she said finally.

Mother and daughter were silent for awhile before Janet ventured, “That’s it?”

“Yeah,” Sam confirmed. It wasn’t much. But she’d take what she could get. “So, about Homecoming….”

Drunk Sam is fun.

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