Stargate SG-1 fic: Last Chance (7)
Title: Last Chance
Sam had just slipped the last crystal back into place when she heard the hiss of the door again. The panel in front of her hummed softly, not as strong as it should, but it was something. She still had no idea how the plumbing or heating worked in Goa’uld ships but she felt a little less cold already. There were no vents blowing warm air, it just felt warmer. She couldn’t explain it and, at the moment, didn’t really care as long as she could feel her fingers again.
Something flew past her vision, startling her out of her thoughts. She watched as the object, the book she had brought to read, dropped to the floor next to her with a wet thwump. She looked up to see the colonel standing a few feet away, his arms wrapped around himself, still shivering slightly. His cheeks and ears were tinged bright red and his lips looked a little blue.
He noticed her staring. “It’s a bit nippy out there.”
Sam nodded and picked up the book as she stood. “I think I got the heat going again. Not sure how long it will last or if rerouting power from the water heater was a good idea.”
“How’s that?” he asked, falling into step beside her as she wound her way back to their pallet. She had managed to get some power to the lights as well. She left them at 50% to save energy giving the room a dim, orangey glow as the low light bounced off the gold covered walls.
“I’m worried that we’ll suck all the power from the water heater.”
“So?” The colonel dropped to the pallet. She watched him glance at the blanket but refuse to admit he was cold enough to need it. She rolled her eyes and sat down next to him, pulling both blankets up over their laps.
“So… if there’s no power to the water heater the pipes will freeze and we’ll be out of water, cold or otherwise.”
“Not a problem. There’s enough snow out there to make a nice sized snowman.”
“Yep, and a lot of it.”
“Great,” she mumbled, burying her face in her hands.
The colonel didn’t say anything for awhile. The room gradually grew warmer and Sam felt the incessant tremors subside. Finally the colonel began fidgeting next to her, apparently warming up, too. “Uh, Carter,” he said. Sam didn’t like his tone. He always used that when he lectured Daniel, it grated on her nerves. “Didn’t I tell you eat earlier?”
Sam sighed, picking up the MRE he had spotted on the pallet. “I’m not eating all of this,” she told him as she stared at the now cold contents.
“Sir, you can’t order me to eat the last of our food.” She looked up into his eyes feeling just as tired as he looked. He licked his lips. She pushed the package closer to his face, nudging him with her elbow in the process. His eyes slid from the food up to her face. He opened his mouth to say something but his stomach grumbled loudly putting an end to his protest. He turned away with a snort.
“Fine, have it your way, Carter.” He took the MRE and separated the different packets of food, putting the dessert which looked like an apple pie, to the side. They sat next to each other for several minutes slowly eating the last bits of meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Sam couldn’t remember the last time military food tasted so good. They moved on to the dessert, trading the plastic fork back and forth between them. When there was only one bite left she found the fork in her hand. She looked up at the colonel. He shrugged and started cleaning up their mess.
She considered fighting him on this but figured it would be a pointless waste of energy. The tiny piece of crumbly, dry crust with a gooey center of apple filling (although no actual apples) and a hint of cinnamon tasted like heaven she thought as she swirled it around in her mouth. She thought about how this might actually be the last bite of food she may ever have. The energy bars might sustain them for another couple days but they could hardly be considered food. More like bird seed and cardboard held together with stale peanut butter.
She realized she had her eyes closed and opened them slowly to find the colonel half off the pallet, his hand still reaching for a dropped napkin. He stared up her, his eyes wide and a little unfocused.
“Sir?” she asked, more than a little concerned. His behavior just kept getting more and more erratic.
“Uh,” he mumbled, shaking his head and almost falling to the floor before catching himself and somewhat gracefully standing. “Must be some good pie.”
Sam’s hand flew up to her mouth. She felt her face flush, not too hard to do considering how cold she still felt.
The colonel chuckled as he wandered off to the bathroom. He came back after a few minutes to sit next to her again.
“So, what do you want to do now?”
Sam shrugged, staring at her boots as they poked out from under the blankets on her lap. “We probably shouldn’t leave the lights on for too long or they’ll suck what little power we have from the heaters.”
He nodded in understanding. “How about some cards? I think I have a deck in my pack.”