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Why God invented Am-Ex
By ncruuk


"Hi, this is Carter....leave a message please..."

"Hey, you still in that mountain?" Hanging up the phone, Janet put any thoughts about her girlfriend's workaholic tendencies to one side...it was time to laugh at Grey's Anatomy.

"You have one message...." As the machine began its usual cycle of bleeps and clicks before revealing the message, Sam sank in front of her laptop and began checking her personal email accounts, frustrated at the fact it was 23:30 and she was only getting home now, having not, as Janet's message assumed, been caught up in the mountain, but instead having to give a class at the Academy in a subject of her choice (she'd chosen motorbikes, saved her having to remember what was and wasn't classified wormhole theory) in order to preserve her notional staff position there. That she actually had a full time day job which had required her to save the world last month three times was not something the Academy Staff were privileged to, and so as far as they were concerned, the students taking her class for credit were currently failing owing to her having to cancel....not wishing her students to fail, she'd rescheduled...Remembering Janet was currently on the early shift, and probably wouldn't appreciate a phone call now, Sam hurriedly typed a short email which she sent to Janet's private account apologising and explaining why she'd missed their loosely scheduled TV watching date.

"You have email..." announced the computer as, wearily, Janet collapsed in front of her computer, mug of tea in hand. She'd started the day at 6am, intending to be home by 16:00 having done nothing more strenuous than two sets of pre-mission briefings and a dozen or so annual physicals. Unfortunately, she'd forgotten to include SG3 in the circulation list for that memo, resulting in their untimely return at 14:28 oozing interesting purple stuff from a variety of knife and arrow cuts, the result of a cultural dispute on PX2-6T5. Suffice to say, after 4 hours of careful lab work wearing the SGC'c bulkiest haz-mat suits, Janet had identified the source of their colourful affliction...which incredibly, wasn't fatal, but did take some time to be purged from their systems. She'd finally dragged herself out of the Mountain at 22:21, just in time to sleep for 6 hours before starting her next early shift, a huge yawn distracting her from the computer and ensuring she trudged to bed, her email from Sam forgotten.

"You alright Sam?" asked Daniel kindly, coming to stand next to his friend as they stood on the plateau, surveying the expansive city stretching out before them.

"Hmm?" Distracted from her thoughts, Sam turned to look at Daniel, obviously having no clue what he'd said.

"Leave her be Danny, probably nervous," interjected Jack jovially, coming up to join them, unusually wearing his Dress Uniform, as Sam was.

"Sir?" asked Sam, still confused about their conversation.

"Nerves Carter, even science geeks can get them," he explained, before pulling on his sunglasses and nodding towards the vehicle that had just pulled up, "....chariot's arrived."

Glad to no longer be the focus of their conversation, Sam followed her colleagues into the vehicle and tried to shift her thoughts from Janet's lack of response to her email to the upcoming inter-galactic conference she had to give a lecture at, at Thor's request (hence the dress blues) on, of all things, 'The Logical Extrapolation of Tauri Spontaneous Insight' which O'Neill had helpfully subtitled, 'How to teach people to have really dumb ideas that save the universe.' There would be plenty of time in the next three days, when she wasn't speaking or translating stuff for the Colonel, to get paranoid about Janet's lack of response.

"She's not coming Mom, is she?" asked Cassie, trying desperately not to whine.

"She's not due back for another hour...she'll be here by lunch time," reasoned Janet, trying not to scold Cassie for her impatience - Sam had promised last month that she would come with Janet and Cassie for their Easter vacation trip to San Diego, and Janet had no reason to doubt Sam's promise....but a response to her phone message earlier in the week would have been nice, although quite when she would have had time to listen to it, given how chaotic her last three days had been…that was one of the many $64,000 questions she was pondering this week.

"Why couldn't she leave last night?" asked Cassie, struggling to comprehend inter-planetary time zones.

"Because then it would have been lunch time on the final day. She promised she'd gate home as soon as the third day was finished and that we could leave immediately, rather than waiting for her to sleep," explained Janet patiently, mentally reviewing everything that needed to be considered, before asking suddenly,

"Cass? Did I ever get you a costume?"

"A what?"

"A swimsuit....I know it was on the list."

"Nope." Suddenly spurred on by something to do, Janet grabbed her car keys.

"In that case, let's go to the Mall now....Sam will probably need one too."


"Hey." Tongue-tied, Sam stood on the doorstep, still in her uniform, having rushed from the conference, via the SGC, straight home.

"How was the speech?"

"Good...you guys ready?"

"The flight leaves in three hours," observed Janet kindly yet pointedly, Sam was late!

"Then we best get going," confirmed Sam, reaching for the suitcase by the door and heading back towards the car that had brought her from the SGC, "...the General instructed Airman Jenkins to drop us all off at check-in."

"Where's your case?" asked Janet, pushing Cassie out onto the porch and, second suitcase in hand, turning to shut up the house.

"In my closet," admitted Sam, moving to take the second case with surprising ease, despite her uniform and heels, reminding Janet just how deceptively strong she was.

"At home?" asked Janet, worried - Sam's house was thirty minutes away, in the wrong direction for the airport.

"And empty," shrugged Sam, smirking at the memory of her nightmarish week.

"Ah." Crestfallen, Janet wasn't sure what was happening. They'd never get to Sam's and pack a case and still make it to their flight.

"Hey," coaxed Sam gently, wishing she could be a little more intimate with Janet but the Airman and the uniform preventing her, "...you best get in the car and cheer up....we've a holiday to start."

"But your luggage...."

"I've got my wallet," explained Sam, smiling, as if that explained everything.

"How's that going to help?" asked Janet, not seeing why this was cause for jubilation.

"You've got my air ticket and the hotel reservation, I've got my ID...we've got a plane to catch."

"You're going to fly like that?"

"Sure....maybe I can get a go with the plane!" teased Sam, straightening her shoulders so her silver wings, insignia she rarely wore anymore but was nevertheless entitled to wear with pride, glinted in the late afternoon sunshine.

"And when we land?" asked Janet, obediently following her girlfriend and enthusiastic daughter towards the car.

"We discover why god invented hazard pay and Am-Ex..."

"And swim suits…"

"Swim suits?"

"It's the only thing I packed for you."

The End

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