DISCLAIMER: Stargate SG-1 and the characters within are the property of MGM, Showtime, Gekko etc.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This fic was inspired by one line in the Indigo Girl's: Hope Alone... <We were just an empty dream too big for hope alone to fill>
DEDICATION: To mother's and children everywhere, enjoy.
NOTES: We posted Hope Alone 2 for the British Mother's Day (30th March) so, as you will see, it is more than appropriate that we post this for the American Mother's Day (May 11th).

Hope Alone 3
By b and Debbie

Major Samantha Carter was secretly in love with Doctor Janet Fraiser. A few days earlier in a conversation with her long dead mother, she had finally realized this truth. Since talking to her Mom, Sam had decided she wanted Janet to know her secret, but hadn't yet plucked up the courage to do anything about it. That was why she found herself sitting with Janet and Cassie around their large dining table in the open but welcoming kitchen of the Fraiser house.

The dining room was suddenly enveloped by a deafening silence that made Sam uncomfortable. Earlier that week, when Janet had called and invited her for dinner, she just couldn't say no. The truth was, she wanted to spend time with Janet, was desperate to spend time with Janet. But, deep down, she was scared. Terrified more like it. Terrified that Janet would look into her eyes and find her secret there.

When the Major had arrived earlier, she was truly surprised when Janet opened the door instead of Cassie. She had stood there, awestruck with how beautiful Janet seemed to be every time she saw her. She stuttered her greeting like a dumb teenager in the presence of the prom queen. Yes, Janet was the prom queen all right, in her blue silk shirt and faded jeans that hugged her gorgeous curves in all the right places. Sam really hoped Janet had not noticed her eyes grow big at the sight of the beauty at the door, or noticed her breathlessness while walking behind her into the house.

And now that dinner, which Cassie had cooked for them, was almost over, Sam found herself lost in her own thoughts. Thoughts of Janet and how she and Cassie made a wonderful family; a family she wanted to be a part of, in all sense of the words.

Suddenly, someone kicked her leg. She was so in her thoughts that it didn't register for her to do much except scowl at the sudden intrusion. Looking up, she saw Janet watching her questioningly. She could only smile to ease Janet's apparent concern. Deciding to change the focus towards Cassie, who seemed so quiet tonight, Sam glanced at Cassie before looking back at Janet with a raised eyebrow, mouthing the question, "Is she ok?"

The watching Janet could only shrug her shoulders. The look in Janet's eyes told Sam the Doctor was at ends to find out what was troubling her young daughter. Sam knew that sometimes, the young girl had a hard time spilling her heart to Janet. Not because she couldn't talk to Janet, but because she was more afraid of disappointing the woman that had become her mother.

If she had stopped to consider things, Sam might have wondered just how she knew that Janet wanted her to approach Cassie, to see if they could help with whatever was so obviously troubling their daughter. To wonder how the two of them had this uncanny knack of knowing the other's thoughts. If she stopped to wonder too much, she might even have wondered at the fact she instantly thought of Cassie as "their" daughter, meaning hers and Janet's. As it was she was more intent on finding the right way to approach Cassie and her thoughts could wait.

Taking a deep breath, Sam looked over at the teenager who was playing with the spaghetti she had cooked for her and Janet. The sauce had been superb, almost as good as Janet's. Sam thought that was her opening, and so, not wanting to waste more time, she cleared her throat, bringing Cassie's attention to her.

Smiling gently, she rubbed her stomach. "Wow! That was superb Cass. Thank you."

This had the effect Sam was looking for. Cassie beamed with pride, saying, "Thank you. I hope I got everything right?" Although Sam had initiated the question it was towards Janet the young girl looked, expectantly. Obviously wanting her Mom's approval too.

"Yup! You got it all right, Sweetheart. This could rival mine. Thank you," Janet smiled at Cassie gently. Pleased beyond compare, Cassie could only smile back.

Deciding to go for a direct approach, Sam grasped Cassie's hand across the table. "Cassie?"

"Hmm…" Cassie murmured. The 'hmm…' was full of dread, and her face dropped.

"Is there anything wrong?" Sam tried to convey her concern to the young woman. "Are you okay? You just seem so quiet tonight." She squeezed the cold hand in hers. As Sam was asking the questions, Janet had taken hold of the girls other hand. If there was anything wrong, it was going to be obvious to Cassie that she had both Janet and Sam there for her.

"I… I'm okay." Cassie stuttered her reply. A second later, before either Sam or Janet could say anything, Cassie nodded to herself, as if coming to some decision. She looked up at both of her "parents". "Actually, I need some advice," Cassie's admitted softly.

"Oh! About what?" Sam inquired, taken aback at the ease of Cassie's acquiescence.

Cassie appeared deep in thought for a moment, as if she was arguing with herself over what to say.

Janet was more than comfortable letting Sam take the lead, and quietly waited for Cassie to continue. While waiting the doctor unconsciously rubbed the back of her daughter's hand. Glancing at her best friend, she couldn't help but smile inwardly to herself, Sam too was massaging away in a soothing gesture. Truly "our" daughter Janet thought.

Sam was having similar thoughts. She looked at Janet just as the doctor was glancing her way. The smile on Janet's face seemed to say "our" daughter, and Sam could only agree. She raised her eyebrows in question, but Janet only shrugged in return.

The significance of her two moms' waiting patiently, sharing a worried but reassuring look with each other, was not lost on the thoughtful Cassie. She could feel their attraction and love for each other daily, and was astounded the two intelligent ladies had done nothing about it. At that moment it came to her, maybe talking about her uncertainties would help direct Sam and Janet towards each other too. Making the decision, Cassie whispered in a voice almost too low to be heard, "About love."

Sam scolded herself when she heard herself gasping in surprise, what the hell did she know about love. She felt Cassie reflexively pull her hand away, and instinctively, like any mother would, the blond woman tightened her hold drawing the small hand into her lap.

Sam felt rather than understood that the doctor would now take the lead.

Looking at Janet, Sam saw the brunette who sat at the head of the table move closer to Cassie. One hand holding tightly to Cassie's other hand, one hand holding Cassie's chin gently, the instinctive mother tilted the girls head towards her own. Sam saw the girl and her mom share an intense look for a second.

"Talk to us Cassie." Janet's soothing voice captured both Sam and Cassie.

"I think I like someone Mom," Cassie's small voice murmured, full with fear and sadness. Looking up into her mom's eyes, she continued, "What I mean… I think… I more than like someone... I think I love someone"

Floundering a little at the intensity she felt from Cassie, Sam's immediate thought was, her little girl had fallen for some guy big time. And yet, the haunted look in Cassie's eyes was not what Sam expected to see; something else was obviously troubling Cassie. The young girl looked up into Sam's eyes with an unreadable expression on her face. Sam thought like she was begging acceptance.

Turning back to look at Janet with the same deep look on her face, Cassie went on, "I know you will say I'm too young, that I have all the time in the world to figure this thing out, but…" She paused to take a calming breath, "It's just that…" She paused again, willing the words to come out, and then they did, in an almighty rush, "herbirthday'scoming… andI'er… wanttobuyhersomething… and, maybe… maybe, uh… askhertogotoamoviewithme." Cassie finished her sentence quickly and immediately looked down at her lap.

Janet knew that was the crux of the matter - 'her'. She immediately moved to hug Cassie close in easy acceptance. "Oh Cass. It's okay honey. It's okay."

Thinking the same thoughts Sam had meanwhile moved to Cass' other side and now held both Janet and Cass in her arms. The three women shared a comfortable hug of understanding, acceptance, and love. Sam felt as if she had her family with her, and wondered if the other two felt it too.

"Oh Cassie." Janet said gently. Again holding the girl's chin in her hand she forced the teenager to look up at her. "Do we know this special young lady?" The warmth Sam could hear in Janet's voice made her think of her long lost mother, made her want for her mom to hold her just like Janet was holding Cassie.

"Mandy," Cassie answered meekly.

Sam, who was still reeling with the realization that her daughter liked a girl, leaned a bit towards Cassie and gently kissed her temple. Sam's action startled both mother and daughter. They both turned to look at her. Shrugging her shoulders, Sam just offered her beautiful smile. She said, "I like her. She's very nice and cute."

Both Fraiser women looked astonished, and in unison said, "Oh." Janet raised a quizzical eyebrow as Cassie spluttered, "But you don't know her Sam, you… "

Sam had to laugh at their expression, "I know, I know, but if my daughter likes her she must be nice and cute." Smiling first at Janet and then deep into Cassie's eyes, she added, "And if my daughter likes her then I will too."

Janet grinned at Sam, as their eyes locked for a long moment, Sam never ceased to amaze her. The rigid air force major was ok with the idea of her daughter loving a woman. Maybe, just maybe... but her thoughts refused to read anything more into the fact.

Cassie looked into Sam's eyes and glanced at her mother's warm expression, she exhaled in relief. "You're okay with this? Really? Both of you?"

Sam and Janet both nodded and continued to smile gently at the young woman.

"Oh Mom, Sam. I was afraid I would disappoint you." Cassie sighed heavily. She looked up at Janet.

"Never Cass, never." Janet shook her head to emphasize her words. Brushing an errant lock of hair, she smiled gently at her daughter, and added, "And yeah, I agree with Sam, Mandy's nice… but Cass… does she… does she like you too? I mean the way you want her to?" Janet almost stumbled over the words that echoed her own turmoil.

"I think so." Cassie answered. "I mean… she always treats me special. And she makes me feel so happy mom. She makes me laugh and smile." Cassie, lost in her own thoughts, did not realize how taken aback the two adults were on hearing her words. Their daughter was speaking out loud their unspoken words.

The teenager continued. Looking at her mom she squeezed Sam's hand that was still holding hers tight, she gushed, "I mean, I think I want to see. I saw this beautiful and perfect gift for her, and just want to buy it for her. And when she sees it, she will know that I mean it more than just for a friend. Then I want to ask her to go to movie. And then… "

Lost in her own thoughts and plans Cassie was unaware that both Janet and Sam were drowning in the silence of their own mind. She was unaware that her words, spoken from the heart, haunted both Sam and Janet as they echoed their own hearts' whispers.

Janet watched her daughter. Now that she and Sam had given their agreement, Cassie had become alive with the joys of young love. Not wanting to dampen her daughter's enthusiasm, she listened and nodded in the appropriate places, while hoping ten-fold that the teenager was right, that Mandy really did return her feelings. After all, she knew what it was like to love a woman that didn't return the sentiments.

Glancing at Sam she wondered if that was true. Something today had made her wonder if she had a chance with the delightful Major. Whether it was Sam's easy acceptance of Cassie's revelation, or whether it was the comfortable family feeling that had presided all night, she didn't know. All she knew was, for some reason she now had more hope that things would work out fine.

Something about Cassie's words tugged at Sam's heart. Looking at the woman who had stolen her heart, Sam wished she could spill her secret to Janet. Wished she could tell the delightful doctor just how much she cared for her. Sam wondered if Janet felt anything for her. Something tonight had made her feel different. The way Janet had spoken to Sam without words, the way she had just allowed Sam to be a part of the family. Something had given Sam more hope.

As the evening gradually drifted to a finish the three women involved all held a feeling of hope within their hearts. Cassie, after receiving her parents' easy acceptance, that she might have a relationship with the wonderful Mandy. Sam and Janet, after the thoughts they had shared, that they might make a step in the same direction as Cassie. What the two older women needed was a slice of the courage the young woman had demonstrated earlier. Courage and hope to make a future bright.

The End

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