Exiles Gate 14


Exiles Gate
By Elizabeth Carter

Chapter 16

Enter the Gateway

"Sam!" Janet called out, and without any thought to her own safety, she rushed the doors tailing her wife. Panicked she would come to harm Turel and Zaire tailed the petite doctor.

Teal'c and Daniel said nothing but looked to one another and followed the CO of their team, Colonel Samantha Carter. Neither one was willing to see their friend come to harm.

"Hey!" Cassie barked, as she was not to be left behind and she too ran into the chamber beyond the golden doors. "Wait for me."

"Has everyone gone insane?" Jack growled at the appalling lack of procedure. He could excuse Carter, but not the rest for taking a non-strategic entry. Still, even his training hadn't stopped him from rushing trough the door as well. In fact, the General had barely managed to avoid the stampede of angelics that sprinted forward after their Liege Commander.

Colonel Samantha Carter, CO of SG1 and a doctor of theoretical Astrophysics, card-carrying genius and a former child prodigy was losing her grip on reality. She didn't know what prompted her to rush the large golden doors, nor did she know now why she stood in front of an altar with glyphs inscribed upon it.

The chamber she had taken siege of was beyond massive, it was large enough to comfortably fit twenty supertankers with room to spare. Not as gargantuan as the Giant's Crystal Scull Pyramid, but still of magnificent size. This was the holiest of holies in the world of temples, or rather what had been converted into such. At one time this chamber was the private quarters of a Dragon-king.

Somehow, the tall blonde airforce office knew that, without a measure of doubt, it was safe within its walls. She didn't feel the apprehension she had while outside the doors. For this Sam could give no explanation, only that it felt right to go inside and every time Sam had gone against her instincts in the past, she regretted it in some form or fashion. She had learned at a very early age to trust that inner voice, that inner feeling. That feeling, that voice, had told her to enter the chamber.

Sam hadn't moved more than an inch after she had entered the monstrous chamber. A part of her didn't dare. The others bombarded her in their own personal panic as they swarmed into the chamber. No one moved after that. All questions if of why Sam bolted, fled when they truly saw what lay before them.

The flooring was as no other had seen before. The floor looked to be made out of glass, crystal or clear ice, or a mirror. Perfect reflections of the Humans and Malakim cast upwards along side colossal pillars of gold. Catwalks stretched from pillar to pillar, with intermediate hubs surrounding each of the five-dozen masts that stretched to a ceiling far above, that none of them could see.

Cassandra was the first to speak, "This is different." .

"It is a mockery of Hy-Basil," Boudicca bristled.

The smile fell right off of Cassie.

Sam still hadn't moved even as the others moved around the chamber inspecting the painted upon the wall, depicting scenes of an aerial war between the Malakim and Remnants.

Janet however stayed with Sam, her dark eyes watched in concern and worry. Through the Bond she was able to pick up the mist that had covered Sam's mind once more. Squashing down her own fears, Janet flooded Sam's mind with her support, her love and strength.

Only then did the blonde look up and reflect her true self. "I'm alright now." She whispered to her wife. And for the moment it was the truth. Somehow Janet's very presence was enough to pull Samantha back to reality. The taller woman placed a warm hand upon Janet's shoulder thanking her in that small touch of love.

Sam felt as if she was waking to a strange defused light. A brightness that came with coherent thought. And she, for a moment, forgot why it was she was standing in front of the altar or why she had found the twin circles, one on top of the other, so fascinating. Her long fingers traced the outline of the circles, something about them drew her, but it was beyond her grasp for now.

Janet's hand rested upon her wife's, as mahogany eyes took in blue. "Sam?"

The blonde said in sudden bluntness. "I had the key a moment ago, Janet..." her eyes begging Janet to comply with her wishes.

Jack nearly wilted, he had seen that expression before. When Anise had SG1 wearing those infernal armbands, Carter had told him he had to leave. She pleaded with him, she used logic and command structure but Jack wouldn't leave her. He would rather die himself then lose Carter. She had told him he had to go, but he wouldn't. Now Carter held that same exact _expression looking at Janet. He knew personally what it meant. Carter was terrified, but she knew what had to be done and she would fulfill that need. Whatever it took, Carter would sacrifice herself to save those she cared about, to fulfill a mission, to fight for a cause she believed in.

Sam winced, as if fighting the wave of a migraine headache, and shook her blonde head. She grunted in pain and shivered in her unease. Slowly but with resolute determination, she pushed herself out of Janet's grasp and stood solid before the altar.

Frustrated, hurting, she was instantly catapulted into motion, sorting through the fog of her mind, staring at the stone tablet beneath her fingers. Without being aware of it, she was focusing her search on touch, the weight of one particular pictograph against her skin. Words were withdrawing from her. Other more visceral perceptions dominated. As she searched the inscriptions she urged and berated herself. "Find it. Find it! Can't stop—know it! Where?"

Janet exchanged frightful looks between the General and herself. She could offer little explanation to the rest of SG1 who now came to the side of the irrational blonde.

"Mom?" Cassandra asked Janet, her grey-hazel eyes washed in her own concern. That same expression was reflected in both Teal'c and Daniel.

"Sam?" The archaeologist offered slowly.

Janet grabbed Sam and reeled her around so she was facing the doctor. "Sam…what do you have to find?" Absently she brushed sweaty, disordered hair out of Sam's face. Wounds healed, losses faded. Beyond grief, the living memory of their love would remain to guide and strengthen Sam; give her the courage to reach out again to life and possibilities.

"The way home." Sam shook her golden locks. "Had…had…promised…" The thought galvanized her, brought her at once back to herself. "Janet…I want to go home." Sam was teetering once more. Her emotional equilibrium was far from stabilized. Janet took the initiative by Sending her strength directly into Sam. The Bond they shared connected their hearts and minds; by locking onto that connection Janet knew she could alleviate some of the mist of uncertainty. It was the only thing Samantha responded to. The tall blonde stood, ramrod straight and became the solider.

The Malakim had dispersed through out the chamber, many of them flying upwards to the catwalks. Their Liege Commander was confident that the lost Stargate was within this room. Not one of them thought to challenge that assumption. If the Liege Commander said the Exiles' Gate was here then it was here.

Sam rubbed her forehead trying to massage away the pounding headache that was assaulting her. She didn't know what was worse, the intense nausea or the headache, but she wished both would go away.

Janet had noticed the pallid appearance of her wife, and noted the _expression of pain Sam was trying so hard to disguise. The doctor spotted it immediately. She took off her ALICE pack and recovered the Malakim med-pack. She had forgotten she had the advanced kit, considering that it was not yet a standard issued medical assortment. She withdrew a small pack of painkillers that she knew would help her beloved. The small gel-capsules were not unlike vitamin E caps as such they were easy to swallow.

"This should help." Janet handed Sam the meds. "They will take care of your migraine and the nausea."

Sam gave her an expression of gratitude and relief. In her eyes Janet read wonder and bafflement. " I felt your pain." The smaller woman explained as she flashed a supportive smile. "You're not the only one who can take pain away." Janet rubbed her wife's arm. She had been referring of course to when Rebecca had been born. Sam had not only taken the pains of the pregnancy onto herself, but most of the pains of the childbirth itself. Now it was Janet's turn to reciprocate. Sam was battling for the soundness of her mind, there was no need for her to battle aliments such as the nausea, anemic stress and headaches if she didn't have to.

"We found something!" Razeal and Daniel called out from one of the top most catwalks.

Turel and Zaira both stood behind Sam and Janet ready to carry them up. Zephon flew down from her own search and smiled almost shyly at the General.

Sam bit her lower lip then padded up to O'Neill. "Sir?"


"A word?"

"Sure what is it?" He answered as Sam pulled him over to her.

"Sir…" She paused and looked at him with an _expression of concern.

"I know that look Carter. What don't you agree with.?"

"Sir, it's about Zephon."

"Zippo?" He looked to the tall fiery maned angelic, feeling heat rising within him. "What about her?"

"Be careful sir."

"What?" He was almost defensive.

"Sir, she is the equivalent of being eighteen."

Jack did a double take. "WHAT?"

"Sir, she is just past the Malakim adolescence. She's…um…well she's never been…with...."

"She's a…"

"Yes sir."

"Oh." He nodded and looked back to the young female. "Good to know."

"Yes sir." Sam shook her head. "Just be…gentle."

"Carter! For crying out loud I'm not going to rob the cradle…"

"I know." Sam smiled. Despite his off world flings, Jack O'Neill wasn't Kirk the Jerk who bred with every off-world female he met. "What I meant was be gentle when you let her down. She kinda has feelings for you. More then she is supposed to."

The gray haired general nodded. God he'd almost made a mistake. He found the young winged woman very attractive and he thought she was giving him signals. She was, but there was no way Jack would take advantage of an inexperienced young woman. He shuddered, it would be like someone taking Cassandra. The fact the winged woman was younger then Cassie almost made the man ill, for it would have been to him paedophilia.

"I'll be smooth Carter. Not to worry." With that he clapped her on the back.

When he returned to the group he flashed a bashful smile. How was he going to let the poor kid down? Getting a woman pissed off at him worked, hell Carter was cool to him for almost a year after their first encounter. "Hey Zippo, how about a lift?"

The feathers of the redhead ruffled then settled. "Very well. Wingless." She grabbed a hold of him as if he was a sack of flour and threw him over her shoulder. In the next instant she was taking off into the air.

Turel and Zaira raised an eyebrow but kept silent. Neither one of them could understand why the grey-haired mortal insisted on vexing their fellow Malakim.

"If you are ready?" Zaira asked of both mortal women.

"Up. Up and away." Sam joked and winked to Janet letting her know she was not losing it again. "Hanging around the General too long." She explained.

Turel took a hold of the blonde and her beloved took Janet.

"Sammy you have your own sense of humour." Janet uttered as they were in the air. "After all didn't you talk to that 'spirit'?"

" 'My what big ears you have'." The blonde smirked. "I felt foolish complementing a wolf…well what I thought was a wolf."

"You spoke with animal-kin?" Turel seemed impressed.

"No. It wasn't a wolf…exactly." Sam explained. "Long story. I'll tell you another time."

"As you wish." The blue haired angelic said as she landed on the catwalk that all the others were now standing upon.

"What did you find, Daniel?" Sam said moving to the forefront of the group.

Then stopped in her tracks realizing why the others were staring.

There it was, the Stargate.

And it had an iris over it.

"Okay we have to find a way to open that thing." Jack said. "Carter...any ideas?"

"Eclipse." Sam said.

Those gathered winced as they felt their companion once more slipping into the fog of irrationality.

"On the stone…the altar… there were two circles, one larger then the other…it was depicting the moon and the sun."

For a moment Janet held a fraction of hope. This wasn't madness setting in it was techno-babble. The dread fear she had felt was indeed Sam's but she also felt the inspiration of understanding a puzzle. The Colonel was hanging on the precipice of her lucidity with everything she had, something she knew she could not have done without Janet.

"So what are you talking about Carter?"

"Liege Commander we are several miles beneath the surface. Even if the celestial bodies were to…" Pumah started softly his golden wings shifting in his discomfort.

"No…the key…" Sam interrupted him. "On the alter below there was the overlapped circles and what might have been a bridge...and then a ring…"

"The ring being the Stargate." Rahabim concluded. "Astute observation."

"So what are we looking for?" Jack asked.

"Something that resembles the makings of an eclipse. Perhaps a model." Daniel offered.

"How do we know she's right?" Jack said under his breath.

"Because we trust Colonel Carter." Teal'c answered. "In her unique perceptive way she has yet to steer us wrong."

Once more the group dispersed with a new mission. The golden chamber had many an icon of the celestial heavens. Finding a representation of an eclipse should not prove that difficult.

Time seemed to lapse as the others searched for the image of an eclipse to open the iris. Not yet finding anything, Sam had wandered over to the Stargate, wondering if they could remove the shielding if needs be. She knew the Malakim had unique powers that controlled the elements and ecosystems. If they could command base elements to their will then perhaps they could command the metal in the iris to heed their want. It that was so then the barrier was not a deterrent at all. All that one of the Malakim had to do was to command the metal to bend and warp out of place.

A wave of dizziness shivered throughout her body, so much so that she teetered on her feet and grabbed hold of the ring of the Stargate to hold her up. She cast a brief paranoid look over her shoulder in case someone had seen her falter. Pride was such a bitch sometimes. So was the fact that Sam's partner had seen her wavering in her dizziness.

Janet was there immediately. The doctor unscrewed the cap off of her canteen and handed it to Sam as her other hand stroked the long back of her lover. "Sam?"

"Head rush." The blonde commented. Shaking her head, the wooziness returned sending the colonel unceremoniously to her backside.

"Want to tell me another story?" Janet commented in full medical authority. The masque of professionalism covered her deep worry. Indeed the doctor was more than worried for her patient / lover. Samantha was going through withdrawals from a drug Janet knew nothing about. DDT's, the nausea, the almost lethal malnutrition… anemia… would play havoc on Sam's physiology. If it had not been for the unique protean marker in Sam, Janet doubted very seriously that the proud scientist would have survived as much as she had, if at all.

"I think I am going to throw up." Sam muttered. Then she made a quick dodge behind one of the golden pillars. Janet followed at her heels. The doctor held Sam around the waist with her left arm as her right hand pushed back the blond hair, helping her lover balanced.

"Oh God." Sam managed before she did indeed vomit. Her body shuddered before she vomited twice more. They waited before Janet led her beloved away from the dark mess, to yet another pillar. Taking a handiewipe from her vest pocket Janet cleaned around Sam's mouth, smiling gently as she did so.

"You're going to be okay." The doctor said in her best bedside manner as her hand feathered back the locks of golden hair. Janet was thankful that she had the med kit close to hand. Reaching in she withdrew a patch for nausea and placed it over Sam's chest. "This should help." She then handed Sam her canteen.

The Colonel took the canteen and rinsed out her mouth twice, before handing it back to her lover. "That's what you said about the pills."

Janet winced. The medication was indeed strong and fast acting. She knew from the Bond that Sam was no longer suffering from the migraine, but side effects were strong. Trying to make light of the situation, Janet flashed her best comforting smile. "But you're not suffering from your headache."

Sam groaned. She was so tired. All she wanted to do was to fall asleep on her lover's lap for a hundred years. Ironically, Sam was almost terrified of falling asleep less she suffer the terrible nightmares. But Janet was here, and Sam knew she would be okay. Janet always made everything okay. Her beloved made everything all right. Closing her eyes, Sam leaned on her beloved's shoulder until she felt her body being positioned exactly where she wanted to be, on her lover's lap.

"I want to rest just for a moment." Sam said softly, trying to justify her weakness.

"Shh…its okay." Janet whispered. "The other's will find a way to open the iris. Just close your eyes my love. Rest."

"I should be looking…"

"As your CMO, I'm ordering you to rest. That's a direct order Colonel Carter."

The blond smiled. She couldn't disobey the direct order of the CMO. She was allowed to rest without guilt.

Sam drifted into the softness of a dream:

"Now, for the most important part of the meal…" Sam leaned in kissing her daughter on her forehead. "Jello…blue jello is the best." She raised her blonde eyebrows up and down as she sported one of her large smiles, as the tapped the eighteen month old's nose.

Rebecca clapped her hands together, grinning a near toothless smile widely. "Yummy." She squealed as Sam brought a tiny spoonful of blue jello to her mouth.

She bent in giving Sam a very messy open-mouthed kiss. Because she was still teething, she drooled quite a bit. Some of the spittle landed on Sam's lip. She grimaced a little, wiping her mouth. "Rebecca, you and I are going to have a little talk about closing your mouth when you kiss." She said in a mock serious tone. Both mother and daughter chuckled. Rebecca leaned over once more igniting another very wet kiss. It had suddenly become a new game.

For a moment the woman and child existed outside of time. Deepest turquoise and sienna eyes to ice sapphire eyes, it was a mother and child's embrace. Rebecca reached out for her mother sticking her fingers in her mouth, which Sam gingerly lipped, then she did the same to the other. It was one of their favourite games. Rebecca enjoyed it with almost anyone. But it was more special with either her mothers. She liked to feel their happiness.

"Mama." Rebecca grinned showing off a blue tongue. "More."

Sam winked. "Do you have any idea how adorable you are? Just like your mommy. So little like her too..." Sam winked thinking of her beloved wife.

Sam lifted another spoon filled with quivering blue gelatin. Rebecca eagerly opened her little mouth and accepted the offered desert. She closed her eyes and made an 'mmmm' sound just like her Mama had taught her.

"Mmmmm." Sam mimicked as she nipped a small taste of the jello. "Good stuff."

"Goodstuff." Rebecca repeated happily.

"See nothing is as yummy as blue jello." Sam giggled along with her daughter.

Somehow the dream changed in the same time it took to draw breath.

Intrepidly, she entered the cavern's mouth. Sam started to plan out her next strategy, but her thoughts were drowned out by a horrible, rendering moan from somewhere close by, a bizarre cry that echoed and rang through the dark passageway. The very foundation of the mountain trembled with the terrible sound, and Sam felt her heart thump anxiously.

Sam took off down the corridor at a dead run, almost afraid the mountain would come down around her ears. Better a quick death, if that cry belonged to her opponent. Beyond the wall was a giant hallway, stretching back into the shadows that flickered and danced with a deep, murky light. From off in the distance, the detective could hear the cries of her nightmares and childhood imaginings come to life.

This was Achelous's realm. In it was death. Not the warm embrace that brought the faithful home, but the cold stink of decay and abandonment. It was the death of the hated, of the tormented.

Monolithic lintels capped pillars rising above the earth in monument to Achelous's depravity. Past it, she saw only tombs. It was a city of the dead, a necropolis, larger and greater than she had ever laid eyes, headstones, mausoleums and crypts littered the path. From off in the distance, Sam could hear the cries of the restless; tortured screams of those cursed to remain in the Dragon- kind's clutches . . .but she barely heard them; she was too entranced by the monstrous beast that slithered on the ground in front of her.

Achelous was huge; three times the size of a Clydesdale, its dark scaled body thickly muscled and powerful. From its barrel viper's chest sprang a stout neck topped with an angry and evil face. Its shoulders were broad, branching out not into arms, but massive leathern wings. It was a legless dragon. Six red-rimmed eyes glared out at Sam, the long jaws of its wedge-shaped head, like Goa'uld's symbiotic jaws, lean and efficient for their killing purpose. Foam dripped down its chin, the forked tongue quivering, taking in Sam's scent. The neck flaps flared out, fanning as a cobra's.

"So, now you come to me, little child." The voice deep baritone resonated within Sam's very soul vibrating her bones jarring them together. It was almost painful. Muscle memory. Without a thought, Sam drew her military issued dagger and ran to meet the raging beast.

"So now you die!" a retort came from the blonde

If Achelous knew fear there was no sign . . .the serpent leapt at her, its jaws straining and gnashing to tear at her throat. Sam slashed, left… right, cleanly slicing through the dark scaled and muscled neck of it's howling head. A blood as deep red as to be almost black immediately started to flow, staining the giant chest of the creature . . .. It's head fell back and bayed, a long and deeply angry sound of pain and fury. But even as Sam watched, and the serpent coiled backwards, the wounds began to heal, the cuts mending themselves right before her eyes, the tissue knitting over to close the deep gashes.

Sam raised her sword and the Dragon-kind hissed, its red eyes filled with blood lust, but it didn't lunge at her again. Her flashing blade had given Achelous something to be wary of, and the demon glared at her but circled back slowly.

As she followed along with the movement of the Dragon-kind, she felt an amazing and horrible sensation behind her from the vague direction of beyond the mouth of the cavern. Janet had found her. Sam couldn't allow the distraction; she focused on the monstrosity in front of her as its wounds mended and it prepared itself to attack again, rumbling throatily. She could see its intention in the way it watched her, the way it wavered back and forth, its muscles tensing with anticipation.

With a scream like a loathsome soul of Hell itself, Achelous leapt forward.

Janet watched in horror as the wounds that Sam had inflicted miraculously began to close and heal. Why hadn't Sam used the angelic sun sword? She was using her own military issued knife. Why wasn't she fighting? Sam didn't look away from the snarling serpent as she cried out her fury.

Achelous suddenly lunged forward, and Sam jumped to the side, slamming the hilt of her sword into the side of one of the terrible wings. The serpent yelped and turned, snapping . Sam hit it again. Dancing forward and then back again nimbly, the hilt clunking dully against the skull of its shrieking head, then another wing.

Achelous staggered backward in frustration and pain, Janet watched as Achelous lunged at Sam again, howling . . . and what she saw next chilled her heart, made her cry out in fear and surprise. Sam threw down her blade in the clutter of stone and dead candles and faced the frenzied demon unarmed!

Janet moved with out thinking, she leapt from the precipice on to the thing's back, straddling it like a horse. Her own blade raised high, two quick slashes, a howl of pain. Not Achelous's but Janet's. She toppled from the beast, holding her hands to herself; hot pain had shot through her body. Slashing blows that killed every time were now ineffective. She might as well have tried to tear through solid steel. Blood seeped from every fingertip. Achelous paid as much attention to Janet as he might a mosquito.

Sam realized the weapon she used was inefficacious, the thought flashed through her mind in a split second, as the baying and snapping demon lunged forward again. Sam saw an opening, one swift thrust to the heart, and it was herself that would be no more. Sam would then have been completely vulnerable to his attack. A trap he would have deliberately set. She threw down the weapon before she changed her mind. Her blood was high, her actions hardly thought out, and Sam knew that in the heat of battle she would not be able to stop herself from making the killing stroke. With the military dagger, that blow would only serve to kill her. Even as the blade clattered to stone floor, Achelous lunged again. She jumped and spun, and landed just behind the creature; it's wings craned out and it's voice roared out. No not Achelous! Janet! The doctor pounced on it slashing, sparks flew, he cried out again, falling from his perch, landing on his backside, into a shoulder roll, onto his feet. She cradled her torn hands to her chest, a look of confusion on her face.

Achelous whipped around; jumped again as the talons on its wings dug furrows in stone, its jaws gnashing at her for blood. Janet turned just in time to see Achelous reach out with one mighty wing and rake down Sam's arm, drawing blood.

Sam sprang back, but too late. Achelous's ragged talons of his wings had found the bare flesh of her arm, digging through the skin. She instantly dampened the pain, there was no time, and quickly cataloged the wound. Not deep, no scars, bearable . . .

Achelous howled in gleeful victory, its tongue flickering at the sent of fresh blood, and it lashed out again eager to draw more.

"Not this time," breathed Sam, and she ducked the giant wing, bent down and delivered a powerful sidekick to its chest. A rib snapped. Achelous screamed and slithered back wincing. Sam touched her own wound, reaffirming to herself that it wasn't too bad, and then crouched, ready for the next attack. The tall blonde was running out of breath, and out of strength, she wouldn't be able to hold the demon off for too much longer. She couldn't allow Janet to be harmed, she had no fondness to die herself.

Achelous's broken rib must have healed. Its whines had become growls again, and its head ducked low, hissing at Sam. The hood flared out fanning the air. Sam backed away, heart hammering from exertion. The serpent jumped, and Sam danced, whirling and spinning, darting away from the slashing jaws. Her dance was true, all of her instincts in full play, feinting left and right as the demon snapped and howled, torn bits of rubble flying up around legs and scales.

Achelous seemed to grin, the look in its eyes somehow sly. The demon spun and stepped into the huge shadow filled corridor that led out of the chamber, turning back to face her again with its terrible eyes. It hissed, backing into the hallway, trying to get her to follow.

Sam instinctively took a step forward, ready to battle, and then stopped, and frowned. The realization hit her like a cold slap across the face. If she set foot into that passage, she would be lost. The gate was too near, and she would fall in to that oppressive darkness, never to step out again.

"Nice try," she panted, and stood there waiting. If the demon wanted to stand in the hall, let it, all the more time for Sam to come up with a strategy. Achelous must have seen that she would not follow. It crouched and tensed, and with a killing roar, it sprang once again. It's target this time, Janet.

Again it raised its gleaming talons and stabbed at Sam, howling. She jumped, let the wings rip through air . . .and, suddenly, Janet was there, right in front of Achelous.

"Hey!" Sam shouted, and the demon looked up, away from Janet. As s Sam vaulted herself over her lover and crashed into the surprised dragon-Goa'uld, knocking it back.

Sam, had exhibited bravery like none Janet had ever seen, leaping at the demon to protect her. Sam wasn't fast enough, Achelous lunged forward, one powerful swing of it's wing, whacked the doctor's head and drove her to the floor , from where she didn't rise again.

"No!" Sam screamed as she saw Janet go down, crumbled to the floor in a heap. The blonde warrior leapt from the serpent, scooped up Janet on to her back and was away in only a second. Janet didn't move from her sweetheart's back. Sam set her lover down quickly, away from the grinning snake, and felt her heart turn to ashes and ice, all at once. The blonde remembered the angelic sun sword. Pulling it from her belt, gleaming in the dull light, her eyes blazing with a fury she had never felt in all her years as a solider.

With a howl that surpassed the rage of the demon, she sprang forward, ready to kill. Sam slashed at the dragon-Goa'uld, nothing held back. Nothing would satisfy her but to see it dead. Janet! Her mind cried out, and she let the pain guide her sword, driving Achelous back. The serpent howled and snapped, but Sam felt no fear. She cried out, sliced, and drew blood from its throat, from its wings and head.

It fell back farther, begging now, stumbling. Still she slashed, drawing new blood for each cut that healed. The vision of Janet's crumbled body fed her rage, urging her on. Nothing mattered; Janet could be dead, and Achelous would pay for it. Time had no meaning as she danced forward, her movements quick and sure. There was only her sword and her dance, and the imminence of the death of the thing in front of her. She blinked and the serpent had somehow been backed into the far corner of the room. It snarled at her, still begging, but Sam could see that it needed time to heal itself; it would not attack. She raised her sun sword, aiming for the demon's heart, ready to put an end to this monster that had hurt, maybe killed her beloved lifemate… and she stopped, the sword quivering in her upraised hands. Janet, her wife, her soul.

Janet who had traveled to her to stop the Remnant prophesies from being fulfilled. Who had wanted nothing more than to see her safe. Who had risked all, to save her from this moment. Whose life didn't deserve to be connected with the death of a demon and consequently the vengeance of its brethren.

Sam lowered her weapon slowly, feeling the strange trance of her fury break and crumble. She backed away from the injured creature, watching as it nursed its wounds, and tiredly got to its feet, growling with pain. From behind her she heard a sweet and beautiful sound that made her want to cry out in joy and relief.


She tuned and saw a groggy Janet sitting up and rubbing at her head. Sam's heart suddenly seemed to beat again, as if it had gone still throughout her vicious battle, she smiled, stepping toward her wife. Janet's eyes widened. A growl burst out. Janet lurched to her feet, Sam spun as Achelous leapt for the blonde with death in its eyes. The launch would have killed her and then suddenly there was no more Achelous. No corridor. Only a golden chamber, aglow with topaz light, the last wisps of a strange grey mist curling away into the corners : two women embracing.

It was over.

"Sam." A soft whisper called out to her. "Sammy honey you're having a nightmare." Janet drew back the golden locks of hair.

"Baby-girl?" Sam shifted. Blue eyes fluttered open and tried to focus on the image of absolute pure beauty before her. "Jan." Sam sat up abruptly and with sudden strength drew her wife into a powerful embrace. "Oh Janet…Janet…"

"I'm here." Janet purred soothingly as she returned the embrace with equal strength. "I'm right here. Always…here."

"Oh Janet…it…tried to kill you…"

"I'm not hurt Sammy." Janet used her entire strength to hold her shuddering wife. "You're safe now." Janet rubbed the long back of her lover knowing it would soothe her wife as it always had. "You're safe." She brushed her lips over Sam's sweaty forehead. "My love you have faced your fears, have let them pass through you and you've beaten them. Sammy you're safe. I won't let anyone hurt you."

"I know." Sam pulled back just enough to gaze in those doe eyes. She always fell in love all over again when gazing into the dark orbs. How could any mortal being have such beautiful eyes? Sam thought that Janet had to have come from the heavens. The blonde was agnostic but if there was proof of a higher power it was evident in Janet's being. The Powers That Be had created Janet, so that Sam could fall in love with her. That was one thing the scientist did believe in without a single doubt. Sam had an insatiable need to love and be loved in return. She never thought she would have that until her beloved fawn-eyed Janet drifted into her life. It was this love that drew the tall blonde back into the world beyond all the pain, fear and nightmares. Janet was the embodiment of healing.

"I love you." Sam admitted suddenly. "I have always loved you, even before I was born I loved you."

Janet felt her heart summersault as she drew her wife into her arms. For the first time, she felt, no she knew that Samantha Carter was going to be all right. That everything was going to be all right.

Sam moved as a predator, as the feline, her movements so reminded the doctor of. She fastened her lips onto Janet's. Running her tongue playfully across Janet's lips, the doctor groaned involuntarily, and Sam thrust her tongue inside her lover's mouth. The kiss was lustful and passionate, wanting and begging for more. Janet deepened the kiss, she too just wanted more. More kissing, more touching, more of everything. She had been starving for her lover's touches since Sam had left for Chimera several months ago.

She wanted to love Sam so thoroughly. So she pulled away. Sam growled in disappointment.

"Not here babe." Janet whispered as she softly nipped Sam's ever-sensitive earlobe.

"So beautiful…" Sam murmured. "So perfect. Gorgeous brown eyes that I always fall into. I want you. I want to worship and adore your tiny body." Sam cooed while kissing her passionately. Her hand slipped under the ALICE vest searching to slip under the uniform blouse.

"God I want that too." Janet felt herself succumbing to Sam's more then effective administrations. "But Sammy we don't exactly have privacy…her...mummph…" The words were cut off as Sam thrust her tongue into the wet cavern of her mouth drawing Janet's breath into her own. Sam traced the line of white teeth as she pulled Janet's tongue into her own mouth suckling upon it. Causing the diminutive doctor to moan her pleasure.

It was at that moment Jack O'Neill chose to approach the couple. "Whoa!" He stumbled to a halt. His dark eyes gleaned over Sam, he couldn't help himself. Even after fourteen years, knowing she was a married woman with a child…he was still drawn to her. Her lips were swollen from the kisses she had tied to devour Doc Fraiser with, her cheeks and neck flushed with arousal…

'For crying out loud I gotta think of something else…pretend I didn't just see what I saw… he thought embarrassedly to himself.

"Sir." ?" Janet said

A moment after her Carter 's own sir followed.

"We think we found something." He said slowly.

"Yes sir." Both chorused.

"Good to see you're feeling better Carter." The silver haired general muttered as he tuned his back on the women shaking his head.

'Okay okay so I am a creep…I can go for a little girl on girl action…I am such a fucking nit! She's one of my closest friends next to Tee and Danny…the best officer I've ever served with…God…can't think of it...not her, not them…not ever…Pull a Homer Simpson think unsexy thoughts. Think unsexy thoughts…She's not the hottest chick I've ever met…Not the strongest…make Xena run for her money better then a blonde Borg in a skintight bio-suit woman. Nope not thinking it…Not thinking of the only two kisses I ever got from her. Not thinking of the locker room when she pounced on me…nope not this guy…So not thinking of the kiss I gave her when Tee and I were going all Groundhog Dayish…nope…nadda…not this guy. Not thinking how great a kisser she is. Or of those sexy blue eyes…or her mind that can run circles around Einstein…Or…or that smile that can make your stomach flutter…or heart race…No not thinking of that captivating smile…Or the fact she is a crack shot with any firearm…or one hell of a pilot. Not even thinking about that sweet voice…nope…not thinking of that hot kiss she gave the Doc…not this guy…not me…nope…God I am doomed. ' Jack wandered off with a dazed expression on his face.

Both Janet and Sam found their feet as they collected their gear. It didn't take long to rejoin the gathered group even if it was several tiers above their heads.

"What have you found?" Sam said in her normal take-charge voice.

Cassandra Fraiser grinned ear to ear when she heard her blonde mother sound like her old self. The younger woman stepped forward ready to give her report. "We think we found the "Eclipse key" Colonel. She pointed to a large black globe in the center hub several feet away from the catwalk they were standing on. Apparently the self-suspended dark sphere was representative of a moon. If that were so, where then was the sun?

As if reading her mind the dark winged Razeal pointed to twin braziers directly adjacent to the dark sphere. "Liege Commander we believe that igniting the blazers will activate the key. However there is a dilemma."

"What?" Carter now became the scientist.

"First the light will not reach the model of the moon with enough intensity to create the desired effect Colonel" Cassie offered trying to show that she too knew a bit of science. "We need to enhance the range of illumination." Cassandra took a deep breath. "The second dilemma is that the DHD is damaged, the main crystals are gone, missing."

Janet smiled, her eldest always tried to gain Sam's praise in science and mathematical fields. And Sam had always freely given it. In fact it seemed the woman stood prouder whenever Cassandra showed an interest in the blonde's field of expertise. For that Janet couldn't fault her wife. After all Janet had her own pride in her daughter, Cassandra was a full-fledged registered nurse. The young woman had chosen to pursue medicine as well as physics for which she carried a Master's degree in both.

Sam nodded and looked around the chamber trying to gain a full understanding of everything. "Razeal you're an archeologist, what can you tell me of your ancient temples." She gave an apologetic look to Daniel for not including him in her request.

"I assume that you want to know how such places were illuminated? And how power was generated?"

The blonde tilted her head. "Yes."

General O'Neill could by regulations take over the command of the mission as he had; however he was content to watch Carter in action. He had been impressed with Cassie and he was always impressed with Carter. Now he could watch her in action. He, like the Wing of Malakim, remained in awe of her. And the silver haired man knew why they followed her so easily. She had an undeniable presence.

"Liege Commander, Malakim Temples have never been under the earth. We are a sky-born people and thus our structures have a direct lighting." Razeal cast his brilliant blue eyes to the floor. "I know little of the Exiles. I will remedy this once we return to Hy-Basil my Liege."

Sam smiled and held up her hand. "Its okay Razeal."

That smile was as a personal stay of death for the young winged warrior. She had pardoned him and his pitiful knowledge of the Exiles Temple. Razeal however would not let her down a second time.

O'Neill was amazed to see the utter loyalty the angelic beings showed his best officer. The Razeal kid looked absolutely dismayed he could not answer the question Carter had asked him. It almost looked like the kid was going to cry because he had disappointed her. When she flashed a small smile the young dark winged warrior appeared as if he had won a million dollar lottery. All that from a smile.

"Liege Commander I do believe however, that the sculptors near the braziers are constructed to hold reflectors." Razeal offered in a small voice.

Sam patted him on the arm nodding her approval. "Good job. I think you're right."

Razeal if possible stood several feet taller. He was positively beaming.

'Hell I was wrong. That is the look of a guy who one the lottery.' O'Neill smirked.

"Okay…" Sam turned to her team. "We have to build reflectors. That floor down there is highly reflective. Razeal and Zephon, take measurements of the brackets that would have held the mirrors. Boudicca, Cassandra, Teal'c and Turelim, go below and make preparations to start removing the mirror tiles so can fashion then in the correct shape."

Teal'c nodded his dark head. He was beyond happy to see that Colonel Carter was seemingly back to her old self. He had always admired her skills as a scholar and as a leader. She was indeed a formidable warrior. He thought it adorable that she took the time to listen to her team's insights. Teal'c always thought ill of the fact that O'Neill rarely listened to everything Samantha Carter had to say about certain scientific item's, even though he had asked her to explain it. If Colonel Carter asked a question she never cut a person off during the middle of explaining it. In his days as a First Prime he would not have liked to be her enemy. That brilliant mind with her military prowess was more then formidable, it was downright lethal.

"Rahabim, retain custody of the prisoner. Pumah, be ready to manually dial Hy-Basil. Malachi, you and I will see to the power couplings to the braziers. Sam turned to Janet. "Doc, you mind helping perform a little surgery on the conduits?"

"I am your woman." A dark eye winked.

"Carter?" Jack smirked.


"You forgetting someone?"

She furrowed blonde eyebrows. "I don't think so sir. Turel and Zaira are not going to go far from Doctor Fraiser."

He gestured to himself.

"Oh." She smiled. "Unless I've completely forgotten command structure sir a general out ranks a Colonel."

"So I'm just along for the ride?"

"Sir…with all due respect this is more scientific…" Sam was uneasy that she had completely skirted over the General's presence. She had been in command of SG1 for seven years now and thus unaccustomed to O'Neill's presence. She had owed her life to him a dozen times over (and vice versa) however she was used to her command now and not answering to him in the field.

"Take it easy Carter, its good to see you back." Privately O'Neill was more then pleased to see Carter regain her normal composure. Though he was concerned over her almost too quick return to that normality.

It took a little over three hours for the teams to complete their respective tasks.

The first team, cut and shaped the mirrored tile, as well as affixed the new reflectors to the brackets in the statues of Malakim warriors. The second team, melted down shavings of the gold from the pillars to create wire. They then linked the reflectors to the model of the moon, in the central hub, to the iris over the Stargate.

The Malakim, like the Nox, were powerful enough to generate enough energy to power the Stargate, so there was no need to worry about the lack of the DHD missing crystals.

Once the new reflectors were in place and positioned, Malachi and Boudicca called upon their inner power and ignited the blazers. It was an instantaneous domino effect. The light struck the reflectors, and like a prism redirected the light to the globe in the hub.

A brilliant flare of light flashed, nearly blinding everyone gathered, as blazers gave birth to the Eclipse. The dark globe was in truth a perfect model of Chimera's moon complete with craters and mountain ridges. The power generated by the 'Eclipse' traveled down the gold wires to the iris over the gate.

There was a recognizable sound as the iris reeled back away from the Stargate. They were now free and clear.

With little difficulty Pumah manually dialled the gate as ordered. It was Turel who activated the wormhole.

There was not a face that did not carry a wide smile.


After all the filth, the rain and fog, the mud, blood, the hunger, the burning thirst, the never, never, never any decent sleep, this was all right. This was more then all right. This was the Hy-Basil Ritz-Carlton. This was the Four Seasons. This was Club Hy-Basil. They had beds that defied description. To say that they were deep clouds of the softest down wrapped in some magical fabric, that was as smooth and cool as silk, but with the comfort of 300-count Egyptian cotton didn't begin to touch the profound, soul-soothing wonder of the experience.

SG1 had slept on the ground for a long time. To go from dirt, with a rock digging into the backside or a tree root stabbing one's back, to this…it was in a word Heaven, not the real thing, but it would do. It would definately do. Saint Peter would have to hustle to impress them after this.

The last thing on Sam Carter's mind was sleep. She had been starved, beaten, mentally raped…and all she wanted right now was to love and be loved by her wife. She didn't care for rest or food, what she wanted was five foot – two of redheaded doctor.

"Janet…Baby-girl." The tall blonde purred as she padded up to take her beloved into her arms. She didn't have to convince her lover to move to the bed after their bath in the pool-sized tub. She began to love Janet with all her senses, causing Janet's own to roar in anticipation. Janet's reactions intensified her own. She for got the large urgencies into a turgid expectancy and rising need. Pressing her mouth to Janet's made her lips ache for deeper contact, more pressure. Janet's quickening breath made her's come fast and tight. As though they were already in some sense one being, and each stimulating shuddered and gassed across one acutely sensitised skin, kindling to a fused core.

Sam stared down at Janet in fathomless shadow; and need. Need to be touched, need to know she was alive and not dead worse not dreaming as she lay in the cold floor of the Calabim cells. Need to know her Janet was there, solid and warm.

"So soft." Sam whispered as she trailed two fingers along Janet's waist along the silkiness of the skin around her breasts, never quiet touching the hardening nipples. The fingers continued their journey their study of the warm muscular body beneath her. "So real." Sam leaned in nipping her wife along the lines of her throat; her tongue flickered out to taste the warmth of skin behind Janet's shell-like ear. Her hand down made its journey around the swell of breast heavy in her palm to the rippling rip cadge. Her fingers stoked along the defined muscles of her stomach to her thigh. Tracing small symbols of eternity along the curve of Janet's inner thigh as she continued her down ward journey.

She felt the hitch of hot breath as Janet arched to her lovers touch. Her heart hammering hard against her chest, Janet felt her entire body tremble. Slowly she exhaled her heated breath out of her mouth as he felt the white lighting gathering deep within her.

"So perfect." Sam cooed softly in the redhead's ears as she took the lobe between her teeth and suckled knowing Janet loved it. She took Janet's leg and placed it high on her own hip before the fingertips of her hand began their journey once more. When she reached the apex of Janet's core she could feel the heat, the warmth, the slick wetness and all for her. "So wet." Sam murmured as she bit Janet behind the ear.

"Sam…please…no …teasing…"

The lanky blonde pressed further, tighter into her wife, her hardened nipples scrapping against Janet's own full yet pieties breasts. She could feel her own body becoming awash in adrenaline and unfulfilled desire. "Janet." She whispered in a voice thick with want, lust and love. She could feel her own womb clenching and somehow opening at the same time. She could feel her own wetness filling her.

Sam knew if she allowed Janet to touch her she'd cum right there. She didn't want that. Not yet. She wanted Janet; she wanted to feel her wife's organism. Binging her hand down along the inside of Janet's thigh closer to the thatch of hair, she let her nails scrap a line along her slit. The redhead let her know how much she wanted Sam how much she need Sam by biting her lover's neck, hard.

The blonde's hand turned downward as she added another finger, feeling the silky warmth. Moving them in circles she pressed her thumb onto her clit and stroking the rosebud until it swelled against her touch. She pressed then circle and pressed then circle searching out her rhythm. With the thumb of her other hand Sam rubbed across and around her nipple, in repose Janet opened her thigh bucking into the touch.

God Sammmmm.. Oh god Sammm."

The blonde pushed her fingers beyond the outer lips and wetness, into her depths. Janet's fingers rested upon the muscular shoulders of her lover, her nails scrapping against the flesh. "Oh Saaammmyyyy." Janet moaned wanting more.

Sam entered a third finger up to her knuckles and kissed her to catch her moans in her mouth. But Janet grunts impatiently and Sam moved her hand out of her must a little. Janet's hands slide around the long back, tighten, digging in and Sam felt more bruised forming. But these bruises, these starches she wanted.

"Sammyy please… oh god Sammm….."

Sam tensed her arm, and pressed her fingers in up to the second knuckle, her pace grinding faster as she withdrew and re-entered hard each time, faster each time. Janet grasps desperately as Sam thrusts harder, then smiled as she felt something washing over them both.

"Oh God Sam… I ma cumming….Sammmmyyyy God!" Janet was bucking against her pushing harder into her wife's hand. She grabbed a hold of Sam as they both ride hard and fast. Janet was so wet now she locked down in her fingers, her thighs tightening around Sam's own. Sam leaned into her wife, still loving her as had as she could was she pressed her face into Janet's neck, nuzzling, and scrapping her teeth along the hollow until she reached, her wife's earlobe, where she started to suckle and bite. Janet set her teeth into Sam's shoulder and cums letting lose a roar of pleasure. Her thoughts tightened around Sam's hand like she's afraid she will escape.

The blonde pressed her cheek into Janet's and felt wetness there, and froze. Sam wanted to cover her beloved like a blanket, like a wall to protect her. She felt the walls of Janet's womb contracts, as she spasmed in the afterglow of her climax, her breath hard and deep gasps.

Sam started kissing her once more hard and hungry, without a trace of coyness, and instantly their tongues connect in a frenzied tangle. Desperately Sam hangs onto her wife with bruising force not braking contact even as precious oxygen is drawn in. Despite Janet's small whine of protest, a definite warmth forms once again between her legs, and her hands find their way into Sam's blonde hair, burrowing through the lush softness of spun silk. Only when Janet gasps for breath does Sam take mercy. She removes her mouth from her wife attacking her neck, her collarbone, her breast first one nipple the other.

Janet shifts quickly as her own hands travel up the alabaster body of defining muscle, thumbing Sam's hard nipples. The compact doctor shifts again and positions a thigh against Sam's moist mound with astounding accuracy.

"Oh God," Sam moans in her ear. "Janet….I need you. I need to feel."

Janet's breath is hot against her eat, she whispers." Let me take over." They flip so Sam was sandwiched between the bed and her wife.

Sam swallowed hard rocking her body against Janet's leg, losing herself in the sensation. Janet's hands cub both full breasts causing Sam to let out a cry of pleasure that only deepens when she feels Janet's fingers squeeze her breast with seeming currents of electricity.

Janet paused to give Sam another fierce kiss full of ravenous longing before bending her head to her lover's rounded full breasts. Her tongue darts expertly over the swollen pink tips of her nipples, and more shock waves vibrate through the lanky body. Janet waist no time as her hand snakes down between the bodies.

"Mmmmm. You're so wet." She purrs into the blonde's chest. Sam fills the room with desperate needy mewling with unguarded honesty. Janet's strong nimble fingers pump her lover's throbbing clit, edging her s close so fast. Sam rocks her hips increasing the pressure, wanting more.

"Not yet." Janet coos. "Not yet." She slips her hand free, causing Sam to growl in disappointment. The growl turns to a gasp as she feels her wife's body slid down the slick perpetrated stomach. Sam opens her legs wider as she feels her love move.

"So wet. So sweet. I want to taste you." It was only warring before Janet plunged her tongue onto her warmth, then lick straight up from the opening of her womb to her clit. Janet moves her fingers inside her once more, in and out, increasing the speed of her licking and pumping until Sam groans and her hand rests atop of the red mane. Janet was intoxicated tasting the sweetness of her wife, she wanted to tease her Sammy but never stooped to purse that desire.

Sam grabs Janet's hair as she cums. Her legs twitch, her hops buck, and her other hand grabs Janet's upper arm. Janet rested her head upon Sam's stomach and pushed her fingers deep inside her as the orgasm rips through her.

For a moment they lie there like feeling the after waves of climax washing over both of them. Janet is pulled up closer into an embrace, the blonde holding her lover tightly to her body. Arms encircled possessively around Janet's body, Sam finely feels that she is real, a live and becoming whole.

"You are so beautiful Sammy." Janet purred, as she kissed her wife's sweet lips.

She felt warm and protected here in the circle of Janet's arms. She knew there was much to discuss concerning her imprisonment, but Samantha Carter was certain that, whatever happened, they would face it together, as one. Here Sam had finally found the unity that she craved, with the one person who could love her in her entirety, woman, solider, scientist, and mother. For fourteen years she had enjoyed such wonder. Yes this was the woman she had suffered so much to reach. And Sam knew in her heart of hearts she would suffer so again, if only to feel Janet's love.

Janet watched as Sam slipped into sleep. She felt the comfort of her arms holding her close, their legs entwined. As she too began to fall asleep, after three long months she started to believe things would be okay. She had her wife back where she belonged: in her arms

Only twice was Janet roused from her deep sleep because of nightmares Sam had fallen into. But soon her wife would fall back into a hard deep sleep of her own clutching Janet's small frame to Sam's own longer one as if she would disappear.

Breakfast was served by a young Malakim who said nothing at all as she flittered about the room. It was a sliver platter roughly the length and depth of a library table, loaded with red-flesh oranges, green and pink and red apples, pale red cherries, split green and orange melons, and seven different types of grapes.

Then there were the breads; flat bread, braided bread, wheat bread, sour dough bread, white bread in the shape of a mushroom with seeds on top. And, of course, the cakes: cakes made with honey and poppy seeds and currants, some shaped like crescents, some shaped like little shoes filled with cream cheese, some shaped like parts of the female anatomy you don't normally expect to find staring at you from a breakfast tray.

Eggs? Of course there were eggs, from chickens, from ducks, from geese, from robins and eagles and hummingbirds. Then there were the distinctly Mediterranean touches: Olives, maybe six kinds, ranging from almost sweet to intensely salty; raw clams and raw oysters and steamed mussels and shrimp you could saddle up and ride and chunks of white fish sizzling hot on silver skewers.

In addition to each of these dishes there were little pottery bowls filled with six different kinds of honey, two different butters, various creams, an array of cheeses made from goat's milk, cow's milk, sheep, horse and yes even mountain lion milk. Mountain lion milk that was something you never saw on the finest menus in Colorado Springs.

Woven through and around the food itself were the garnishes and decorations: the flowers, the sprigs of herbs, the decorative swirls of gold thread wrapped into little winged beings. And every single thing, every single cake, every single loaf of bread, every dollop of cream, every last grape on every last bunch was perfect. It wasn't 'a' strawberry it was "the" strawberry. The oranges were so good it made you cry. It was enough food to feed a single person for three weeks. And it was only breakfast.

"Would you look at all of this?" Sam said as she walked around the table nibbling on a strawberry dipped in thick cream. "All this opulence…it can't be just for us."

Janet padded up behind her taking in the scents of fresh from the oven breads. It was as if she walked into a bakery. The petite brunette smirked as she saw a dapple of cream on Sam's lip and reached up to kiss it off. "Humm, I could get used to this." She pulled back much to the chagrin of her lover. "How about we go get Becky and we make an early retirement?" Janet smiled biting into a jam roll.

"Its tempting." Sam mouthed around the last of her strawberry. Moving around the table she uncovered a very small dish and smiled widely. "Ah now its perfect!" She declared. She held up a bowl filled with blue jello topped with whipped cream. Janet giggled thinking of the blonde's addiction to the gelatin desert. A meal wasn't a meal without blue jello.

The night before was almost surreal for it had passed in a haze. A bath in a tub so big you could have swum laps, filled with hot, clear lavender smelling water and a sound night's sleep to follow made both woman feel more alive, more human. Now they had eaten a breakfast that could have fuelled an Olympic marathon runner. Still Sam wanted nothing more than to escape from off-world. Get back home. But maybe not right this minute.

A knock at their door disrupted the conversation.

Janet was a little more then put out. She wanted to spend the morning with her wife, without interruptions. Yes?" She said a little more curtly then she had intended to.

Sam merely rose golden eyebrows at her beloved's cool voice; she after all was bubbling over with goodwill for all creatures big and small.

The door opened, Jack O'Neill stood there wearing a massive grin. "I just have one question for you," he said. "Is this place cool or what?"

"Did you get breakfast?" Sam asked warmly.

"No. No, I didn't get breakfast I got an entire brunch buffet table. You can't even call it breakfast. That would be an insult. It was BREAKFAST in giant, flaming Hollywood-sign letters a hundred feet tall. Damn, I love theses guys. Can they run a great hotel or what?"

Sam and Janet both grinned. He grinned. Teal'c, Daniel and Cassandra poked their heads around the corner and they were grinning. (Well Teal'c had a very small smirk.) There are few pleasures in life deeper then the pleasure of a filthy, thirsty, hungry, tired human being who gets a hot bath, a cold drink, a great meal and ten hours of deep untroubled sleep.

"I just want to say this, right up front." Cassie said. "I'm not leaving. I'm never leaving. They have to chase me out of here with a baseball bat, and even then I'm not leaving."

"I too have enjoyed my stay here. The food is far superior then the Commissary." Teal'c commented in his deep voice. "Though I have no wish to stay here."

"I was kidding Teal'c" Cassie said as she passed him and very unsoldierly hugged both of her mothers. "But I think I've found my vacation spot. I think I'll come back here a lot."

"Yes and I think that both Turelim and Boudicca would be happy to hear that." Sam smirked.

"Huh?" Cassie played dumb.

"You don't think that I caught the way they were looking at you?" The blonde insisted on teasing.

"They're friends." Cassie tried to brush away the comment.

"You could do worse dating an angelic."

"Would you stop?"

"Oh I guess if either of them thought you wanted to stay they may try to talk you into staying." Sam looked up from underneath honey colored forelocks.

"Stop!" Cassie tried her best to pout. But she couldn't keep a straight face to save her life.

"You'd have to choose which one you wanted to date…" Sam rose, her golden eyebrows, smirking.

"Mom! Make her stop." Cassie tried desperately not to smile. In truth she was beyond joy that Sam was almost her old self, making jokes about her dating life, or lack there of.

Part 17

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