She opened her eyes slowly, trying to avoid any more of the dulling headache her coming to had provoked. Her vision blurred for a moment so she closed her eyes again, only to reopen them again with more conviction. Looking around, she took in her surrounding and noticed the medical equipment around her and recognized the beeping sound of the monitor just beside her bed. She must be in a hospital of some sort, she realized, and yet she couldn't figure out why people would like to go to a hospital where the walls were a dull gray and the lighting insufficient, as if the builders were still trying to figure out how they would paint it. Of course, she thought, usually people don't go to hospitals because they like it, so why was she here?
The door of the room swung open and a small woman wearing a white lab coat came walking and rushed at her side with a warm smile.
"Hey, how are you feeling?" She asked with a soft voice.
"Where am I?" Her own voice seemed rusty compared to the woman's and she frowned, trying to clear her throat a little.
A slight frown touched the doctor's face, but her warm smile didn't waver as she replied. "You're in the infirmary." She noted something on the pad she was holding and looked up at her again. "So how are you feeling? Any pain? Headache?"
"Yeah, headache." Her voice sounded clearer this time. "What happened?"
"You fell and hit your head in the process, no wonder it hurts. You had a minor concussion, but I'll give you something for the pain. Should go away in a few minutes." The doctor explained as she walked over to a red phone and picked up the receiver. "General Hammond, she's awake." Was all she said before turning to her again. Still smiling, she came back to her bed and checked the monitors to be sure everything was ok.
Feeling exhausted, the woman on the bed closed her eyes again and listened to the woman fussing around. A few minutes later, the sound of footsteps entering the room made her open her eyes again. The first thing she saw was a tall man, good looking, greyish short hair pointing in all directions and wearing military trousers and a black t-shirt. Damn good-looking she thought. A pang of recognition flashed in her head (she knew this man) as her eyes locked with his brown ones. But then it was gone. She couldn't tell who or what he was. He looked down at her with relief and a little concern, his fingers unable to stay still as they tapped on his thigh. There were other things in his eyes too; eagerness, longing, affection, pride, but she wasn't sure if she was supposed to see those emotions in his features, she wasn't sure if he wanted her to see them. He crooked up a tentative smile and as she returned it he took one step towards her bed, only to stop when another man entered the room.
He was smaller, but larger, and contrary to the tall man, this one was wearing a complete military uniform; Air Force, the thought sprung into her mind. He walked proudly and decidedly, but when he spoke, she was surprised at the soft tone in his voice.
"Major, how are you feeling?"
Major? Was she military too? She couldn't tell, in fact, she couldn't tell anything, aside from the fact that the ache in her head hadn't diminished at all. She was disrupted from her thoughts by two more men entering the room. One was wearing glasses and had penetrating blue eyes, he rushed at her side with unabashed relief and happiness at seeing her awake.
Sam? Was that her name? He stopped just beside the bed and smiled down at her. And then she looked at the last man, a very tall and very strong-looking man, dark skin and dark eyes, a strange golden tattoo on his forehead. This one seemed calmer than the others but still happy to see her as he bowed his head gracefully in acknowledgment. The woman doctor started briefing them on her current state of health, but her mind wandered without listening.
She was starting to feel uneasy. She had no idea who these people were, but from their reactions to her awakening, she could affirm that they knew her very well, otherwise they wouldn't show as much concern towards her well-being. She looked at every one of them with confusion clouding her thoughts, and again her eyes fell on the tall man. He was listening attentively to the doctor, and then, as if sensing her eyes on him, he turned to look at her. He raised an eyebrow at her staring, but she merely frowned, trying to remember why he was so familiar. She had the feeling she had met him at some point before, but she couldn't remember the circumstances.
"Carter?" He suddenly asked, silencing the doctor in the process, and all turned to look at her.
"If…If I may, I'd like to speak to the doctor…alone." She said quietly, trying not to sound too harsh on the men in her room. Some of them exchanged glances, but the tall man shrugged and looked at the bald man.
"Very well," this one said with the voice of a commander, and they all left the room and closed the door.
"Sam?" The doctor asked when they were alone again. Reading the tag on her chest, she saw the doctor's name was Janet Fraiser. Obviously none of them had noticed her faltering memory, how could she announce to any of them that she didn't recognize, let alone know them?
"I…ah…" She managed to breathe, "I can't remember anything." The shock on Doctor Fraiser's face was noticeable, but she still managed to ask the next question with an amazing calmness.
"Wh…What do you mean?"
"This is not a joke, I swear, I can't tell who I am or where I am or who these people are. I don't remember anything." She choked on her own words and all she could do was whisper the end of the sentence.
Doctor Fraiser closed her eyes momentarily, but when she opened them she forced a smile to her lips. "Okay," she said as she laid a gentle hand on her arm, "don't worry, I'll go tell the others, and you get some rest, ok? I'll be back later, this is probably temporary, but I'll run some tests, just in case."
She nodded and closed her eyes, but she knew she wouldn't sleep. How could she when she had no idea who she was?
The next thing she knew, she was opening her eyes. So she had managed to sleep after all. She couldn't remember her dream, and it made her snort mentally. How ironic was it that she couldn't remember her dream any more than her entire life?
As she looked around, she was surprised to find the tall man she'd met earlier casually leaning on the doorframe of the infirmary. He was looking down and kicking his boot with the other, as if waiting for something.
"Hi." She said, making him jump slightly. He looked up at her with a smile forming on the corner of his mouth.
"Hey," he replied as he crossed the room to sit on the chair beside her bed. "Ole Doc Fraiser says you can't remember a thing?"
Not knowing how to respond, she looked down, and her fingers found the cover to play with. As if sensing her discomfort, he went on. "Well, how about we start at the beginning? This way I can talk about myself. That's what men do, talk about themselves so…"
A slow smile appeared on her lips and that seemed a good enough answer for him so he continued. "I'm Jack." He extended his hand and she took it, enjoying the warmth of his palm and the way her hand seemed to fit perfectly in his larger one.
"And I'm…Sam, right?" She asked with a frown. Somehow having him here was making things a little easier, but still she felt very, very awkward. As if something was very wrong, and it was driving her crazy. He let go of her hand, reluctantly it seemed, and nodded with a little smile. He cleared his throat and shifted on his seat, but the smile didn't leave his face.
"Yeah, actually, you're whole name's Samantha Carter."
She snorted frustratingly but he didn't move an inch, so she dropped his intense gaze. "This must be weird for you," she said as once again her fingers toyed with the rim of the cover. "I mean clearly you know a whole lot more about me than I do, I don't even know my own goddamned name!"
He took a while to reply, obviously trying to find the right words to make her feel better. "Well, it is weird, I won't lie to ya on that, but doc Fraiser says it's only temporary, so you'll remember everything in no time. And the good thing is, you know your own name now, so can I keep on talking about me?"
Sam smiled and decided to play the game. For all she knew it could make her remember somehow. "Okay so what do you do? I'm guessing you're military." He raised his eyebrows and looked down at himself.
"What gave it away?"
Her smile got wider and her tone playful when Sam answered. "The boots."
"Ah." Apparently he wasn't too keen about talking about himself, no matter how he'd joked about it a minute ago.
"And I'm military too right? The...man called me Major earlier."
"Yeah that was General George Hammond, he's the commander of this base. A good man, but don't tell him I said that." He said conspiratorially, "And you're an air force officer too. We work together."
Just as he was about to add something, Doctor Fraiser came in and Jack sat straighter in his chair. "Hey," she said as she approached the bed. "How's the headache?"
"It's gone!" Sam realized and she smiled at the doctor.
"Good, Colonel," she said as she turned to Jack, "I'd like to have a word with Major Carter alone, for a moment."
"Sure," he said as he got up. "I'll see you around Carter!" He waved and left the room.