DISCLAIMER: Some other lucky beggar owns the characters. Sorry for treading on any toes
NOTE 1: This is a parody based on the traditional British custom of pantomime. To learn more of Pantomime, go here: http://www.btinternet.com/~nigel.ellacott/history.html
NOTE 2:Cinderella is a well-known story that has been adapted into many languages and into many versions. It can be read in a number of differing traditional versions at: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0510a.html
NOTE 3:The story is written in sections... scenes from the Pantomime... interspersed with the thoughts and ramblings of the team <g>
NOTE 4:The story is best read with formatting. The Panto stage directions are in bold.
DEDICATION: To all my friends online and offline I give you this last (?) piece for 2003 with love and thanks. But most of all I give this last piece to my dear friend b, thank you for giving me back my Sam/Janet voice, I hope to finish all the projects we started in 2003 sometime in 2004. I am so glad you met up with the girl of your dreams and cannot wait to meet you both in February <fingers crossed>
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Cassie Presents the Stargate Panto: Janetella
By Debbie

Cassandra Fraiser had a plan.

She had been studying theatrical dynamics for the last year at school because of a deep love of drama. This interest had led her to correspond with a young English woman with the same interests. Recently she had discovered a form of drama that appears in Britain around Christmas time.

After a quick chat with General Hammond - she was - sitting around the briefing room table addressing her adopted family.

"You know I have been looking at Theatrics, and that I have made a friend in the UK with the same interests. Well, she has been telling me about a curious form of entertainment, something called Pantomime. It is a form of ritual theater staged around the winter solstice. Originally silent, a form of mime, hence the name. Yet, now, it is anything but, with extensive vocalization from both the performers and the audience."

The young woman looked nervous and worried as she suddenly ran off at a tangent. Instead of explaining a little more as she had intended, she jumped in with the real purpose of this meeting, "And I think we can put on a production. General Hammond says we can rehearse here... and put on a production for the troops... and charge admission... and collect for Jenny's charity... you know Jenny, my friend, who... " Cassie's words drifted off, as her eyes filled with tears, but she bravely soldiered on, "... so, what do you think?"

She glanced around the table and was met by a mass of bewildered faces. Her mom was smiling bemusedly to herself, Colonel O'Neill had a look of pure dread on his face, Sam was winking at Janet as if to say 'that's my girl', and Daniel and Jonas (especially invited by General Hammond at Cassie's request) were grinning funnily at each other. The only person who looked anywhere near his normal self was Teal'c, but that really didn't say a lot.

Ironically, it was Teal'c who broke the silence. "Cassandra, I think that is an excellent idea. Anything to help your friend Jenny, we will do."

His words opened the floodgates, as the words rang out around the table. It was Cassie who looked bewildered now. Her mom took pity on her and broke into the melee, "Perhaps you could tell us a little bit more about this 'pantomime', huh?"

"Well... um... in the UK this is considered to be family entertainment. Pantomime stories are usually well known, like popular folktales. The main characters are standard, like a boy, a girl, parents, and such. The fun thing is that a young lady with shapely legs usually plays the hero, and a girl also plays the heroine. The dame, or motherly figure, is played by a man as an exaggeration of a lewd middle-age lady." Cassie's voice got stronger as she warmed to her theme, only to be stopped in her tracks by Jack O'Neill.

The colonel stuttered out, "Uh, run that by me again. A man plays a woman, a woman plays a man, a woman... wooo!"

"Uncle Jack, please be serious here. It's only a play," said Cassie vehemently.

Suitably admonished, Jack shrugged and glanced around the table to see a few smirks. "Okay, okay, short stuff... carry on."

"As I just said, there are numerous parts, but the main ones are suitable for all you around this table. Can we give it a try, please? I have chosen the Pantomime; hereafter called 'The Panto'. You could help Jenny and me. I have an assignment to write or produce. Ple-e-e-ase? " begged Cassie.

Everyone around the table looked at each other. Finally, Sam answered, "Cassie, if you can cope with this team, I for one would be honored to be in your production."

"Indeed," was Teal'c's emphatic answer.

Jonas, Daniel, and General Hammond all nodded their heads, as Janet said, "You know I'll help you, Hon! Anytime."

All eyes turned to Jack and with a big grin he muttered, "Ok, ok, you win. It'll be fun, right?"

And so it was that Cassie held a cast list for the Panto: Janetella. It was to be a parody of the well-known Cinderella story, written by Cassie, based loosely around the SGC and its staff. The cast list read:

Janetella Hardup: Mom

Buttons: Uncle Jack

Ugly Sister, Danielita: Daniel

Ugly Sister, Jonasita: Jonas.

Fairy Godmother, Tealcina: Teal'c

Baron Hardup: Uncle George.

Prince Charming: Sam

Dandini (Prince Charming's Footman): Jennifer Hailey


Buttons: Yo man! Wassup?

Dandini: Hi! I'm Dandini, footman to the Prince, Prince Charming. Would you believe the king and queen have given me the hardest job ever? The Prince has to be married and I have to find him a wife. But you've seen him, haven't you? How the hell am I supposed to get a wife before midnight tomorrow?

Buttons: Yeah, I've seen him; nice looking but always seems to have his head stuck in some book or other. A wife, you say. Some pretty young thing, huh?

Dandini: Well yeah, but hey… um… what do I call you?

Buttons: Me? I'm Buttons, fine sir. Hey! I guess if the Prince is to be married, you too might need a wife?

(Behind his hand, to the audience) Two pretty young things needed, I might be on to a winner here. If I can just remove Janetella's sisters from the equation, she just might have time to notice me. I've got myself a 'love thang' on poor little Janetella. Just wait till you meet her and you'll see why.

Dandini: Well… er… Buttons… I'm not actually sure it's a young woman I'm looking for, kind sir… if you get my drift… I'm looking for a… well, might see you around, huh?

(He wanders off stage, slapping Buttons rump as he goes.)

"Jeez, Cassie, why'd you have to write that into the script? Dandini, he's a man, right? Buttons, he's a man, right? What's with that slap on the rump?" cried Jack as the scene ended.

"Oh, come on, Uncle Jack," muttered Cassie, "It's 2003 fercryingoutloud. Don't ask, don't tell. It's a modern world, you know. I'm ok with it, surely you are, being the kind, understanding man you are?" She hid a sly grin as she turned away from him.

"Yeah, yeah, watch the language young lady and please, quit the "soft-soaping". It worries me. It certainly makes an interesting dynamic, NOT! Anyway, I thought you said that the young ladies that played the young men were leggy, beautiful...."



Janetella: (To audience) Those damn sisters of mine. All they talk about is finding a man. They dress to the hilt and go on the prowl, leaving all the housework to me. Those damn Goa'uld's are perfectly harmless compared to Danielita and Jonasita. And tell me, what kind of a mother calls her daughters those sorts of names, huh? Ok, ok, one a little bit crazier than a mother who calls her daughter Janetella, I know. Look out, here they come.

(Clomping is heard off stage as two flamboyantly dressed "women" appear.)

Danielita: Janet, where's my cold-cream? You know my delicate face needs some protection before I venture out into the Colorado Rockies.

Jonasita: You're going into town, Sister dear, not into the hills. Anyway, it would take more than cold-cream to protect your face. How about covering it with a mud pack and leaving it on. Janet, I need a razor, my legs need a gentle shave.

Danielita: Lumberjack more like.

(A knock at the door interrupts their bickering)

Both Sisters: Get that Janetella.

(Janet returns with 3 tickets in her hand)

Jonasita: Oh My Gosh! An invite to the Royal palace for an evening in the company of Prince Charming. My, my, all those eligible young men. Come on, Janet, I need help to get ready.

Danielita: No, come here. It is me that needs the help. All those young men will be falling at my feet. Princess Danielita? Yep! That has a nice ring to it.

Jonasita: In your dreams, sister.

(They wander off stage, still bickering, and shouting Janetella over and over)

Janetella: But I have to get myself ready.

(Danielita returns, and snatches Janetella's ticket from her grasp. Ripping it into small pieces.)

Danielita: You won't be needing that since you're not going. You have too much work getting this house ready for when I return tomorrow with my betrothed Prince.

(Janetella crumples to the floor, sobbing as Buttons enters stage left)

Buttons: Hey Janet, what's the matter, now? (To the audience) As if I don't know.

Janetella: Oh, Buttons, those damn sisters of mine have ripped up my invite to the Prince's ball and I so wanted to go.

Buttons: Don't worry, Janetella. I'll help you with the housework. Leave those two to the Prince and his cronies. You and I will have a great time here, together.

Janetella: But I wanted the chance to win a Prince, Buttons. I want somebody to sweep me off my feet, someone to love me forever and ever. How can I do that if I'm stuck at home with you, my very best friend?

(A dejected Buttons wanders over to start washing some pans while Janetella looks all wistful)

Janetella: (sings) # One day my Prince will come…. #

"Hey Cassie. This is really good. Have you written it all? I suppose these Panto's are topical to the times they are performed?" questioned Daniel, as interested in a new custom as he always was.

"Yeah, Daniel. My friend says that each city in the UK will perform it's own Panto. In that way the jokes can be both topical and localized. I'm hoping to visit next year. She's promised to take me to a Panto, if I make it."

Jonas chipped in with his usual astute comment, "I suppose they're a wonderful escapism from the stresses of modern life as long as you remember to take it all with a pinch of salt. That means, take it as a joke, not seriously, right?"

"Yeah, that's right, Jonas," murmured Janet, giving her daughter a hug. "I tell you, if I had two sisters like you two, I'd need a little escapism. Do I get any happy scenes, darling? I like the idea of meeting a young, handsome Prince."

Cassie's smile spread from ear to ear, as she said, "Wait and see, Mom, wait and see.


Danielita: Now, Janet, don't forget to lay that fire. It'll be cold when we come in tomorrow morning.

Jonasita: And don't forget to leave some food on the table. After all our dancing we will be in need of eats.

(A door slams as the two overly dressed sisters depart for the ball. Once again, Janetella drops to the floor crying)

Baron Hardup: Now, now, my little one, what ails you?

Janetella: Oh, daddy, I so wanted to go to the ball but those goddamn awful daughters of yours ripped up my ticket and left me with a whole enchilada of menial tasks to do.

Baron Hardup: Tsk, tsk, language my dear. What do you mean 'whole enchilada'?

(They both laugh and the mood immediately lightens)

Baron Hardup: Darling, daughter, I have a little plan. Pass me that red phone there. I do have friends in high places you know. Now, what's the number? Oh yes, speed dial number 2.

(Into the phone) Yo, Bush Man! I need some help. Can you send over Tealcina, please?

Janetella: DADDY! Who the hell is Bush Man? And, more to the point, who is Tealcina?

(A soft tapping is heard off-stage and a window is thrust open. In jumps Teal'c dressed in white dress trousers, a white silk shirt, and carrying a white, sparkling Staff Weapon)

Tealcina: I am your Fairy Godmother, Janetella. Or something like that, I'm not much good at these foreign words. Give me a little Christmas Kree anytime. What seems to be your problem?

Janetella: I wanted to go to the ball, Fairy Godmother, but my evil sisters have torn up my ticket. Can you help?

Tealcina: Just a minute. Come Baron George, I need a word.

(They wander over to the side of the stage and dramatic whispers can be heard)

Tealcina/Baron Hardup: Stargate. Transport. Midnight. Buttons.

(They separate and Tealcina returns to Janetella's side)

Tealcina: Have you been a good girl?

Janetella: Oh, yes, Fairy Godmother, but I would like the chance to be a bad girl, please.

Tealcina: (Raises a hint of an eyebrow) Good answer, beautiful lady. In that case, do you have a pumpkin lying around? And any cardboard reindeer that just happen to be lurking? How about some snowmen made out of cotton balls.

(Janetella miraculously supplies everything she is asked for)

Tealcina: Stand back, my darling, and watch. Walter, Walter, sweetie, can you do me the honors?

(A smiling Walter Davies waves from the heavens and the Stargate rumbles into life. The kawoosh decimates the pumpkin and such)

Tealcina: Oh dear that's not quite right. Shut it down, Walter dear. Let's have a change of plan. Do me a favor and open the door when Brae arrives.

(Turning to Janetella, he whispers) Brae is my bestest friend, do you have one of those?

Janetella (whispering and drowned out by the Stargate firing up again): Buttons, of course.

(Through the wormhole appears Master Bra'tac in his finery, Buttons in his finery, and a perfect Pumpkin shaped carriage)

Tealcina: May I present to you your transport to the ball. Inside is your most gorgeous dress. Lya, of the Nox, will be on hand to help Brae escort you home. All we ask is that you leave before the clock has finished striking midnight as my dear friend has an appointment with the False God, Klorel. Goodbye my dear, use your time well.


(Janetella stands on the top of the Stargate ramp surveying the scene below. Below a large group of people are dancing and chatting. In the foreground two flamboyant young women are clearly annoying a tall, blonde young man: Jonasita, Danielita and Prince Charming. As Dandini walks up the ramp towards Janetella, the Prince and Janetella's eyes meet. The ensemble remains motionless for a minute of time with silence as a romantic tune plays in the background. Then Dandini takes Janetella's ticket from her hand and, while the Prince and Janetella still lock eyes, he announces…)

Dandini: Lady Cinderella.

(Janetella walks down the ramp and is met at the bottom by Prince Charming)

Prince Charming: Cinderella, huh? What an appropriate name for the most beautiful, late arriving young lady here.

Janetella: What do you mean? Late arriving? I was always told the way to make an appearance was spectacularly, and therefore I am late. Who, by the way, are you?

Prince Charming: I am Prince Charming, your host and soon to be ruler.

Janetella: Oh excuse me for breathing. I can quite look after myself thank you very much. Now, if you'll excuse me, your majesty, I will go find someone nice to spend the evening with.

Prince Charming: Please don't go. I am so sorry for acting like the stuck up boy I really am, it's just, when you have to spend nights with idiots like those two over there (indicates Jonasita and Danielita), you tend to set up some defense mechanisms. Come let me get a drink for you.

Jonasita: Did you see that? The Prince pointed me out to that ugly young thing. He obviously is just being polite and will be with me all night soon.

Danielita: In your dreams, Missy. It was me he was indicating. I'm going to dance my feet off with the gorgeous Prince later.

Prince Charming: So, Cinderella, am I forgiven for that awful first introduction? You really are the most beautiful woman here, you know.

Janetella: Well, if you keep giving me compliments like that I might allow you to dance with me in a moment. Can I ask you something? Is your name really Charming?

Prince Charming: (laughing out loud) Actually, it is. But my friends call me Sammy, it's a name I adopted as a child and it's kinda stuck.

Janetella: In that case, to show I have forgiven you, can I call you Sammy, just for tonight please?

(The room becomes absolutely still again and a romantic tune plays in the background)

Jonasita: Who the hell is that ugly young thing? Doesn't she know it is rude to keep a young man from his beloved?

Danielita: I sure as hell don't know who it is, but dontcha think she looks kinda familiar?

Prince Charming: Could I have the pleasure of the next dance, Cinderella?

(The scene continues with the romantic music playing as Janetella and Prince Charming dance in each other's arms)

"Mom! Sam! You can stop dancing now. We need to get onto the next scene quickly," called Cassie in a gentle ribbing tone.

"Huh?" was Sam's elegant reply, as she appeared mesmerized by something in Janet's eyes.

"Sam, honey! You'd better let me go, you know," whispered Janet into Sam's ear. A twinkle in the Doctor's eyes alerted Sam to the watching cast members.

Flustered, Sam muttered, "Okay, okay, I was just bewitched by that wonderful little tune playing in the background." To herself she thought, 'Of course, it's nothing to do with the shivers coursing through me at the feel of Janet's body through that gorgeous, silk, backless, low-cut dress, no way, no how.'

A bemused Janet was sharing some inner thoughts with herself too. 'It seems Sam's a little perturbed to be dancing with me. I wonder why? It felt rather good to me. I can't wait to try that again.'

Trying to take the attention away from Sam, Janet said to her daughter, "That was a lovely scene, Darlin', I love how you kept stilling the motion while that "bewitching" little tune was playing in the background, very effective."

Cassandra thought her plan was coming together nicely.


(Janetella and Prince Charming were still dancing together. The chimes of midnight begin to ring interspersed with a knocking sound)

Boing! Knock

Danielita: Who the hell is that woman? This is her 45th and a half dance with the Prince, not that I'm counting or anything, but if he doesn't hurry up, I'll be taken by somebody else.

Boing! Knock Knock

Jonasita: Actually, it's 46 and a half. You've lost the plot in that 45th glass of punch you've drunk. Can you hear that knocking sound?

Boing! Knock, Knock, Knock!

Danielita: Have not drunk 45 glasses of punch. You lost count after 20, you goof. And, yes, I can hear it; it's driving me up the wall.

Boing! Knock, Knock, Knock!

Janetella: Oh Sammy! I've had the most wonderful evening but I will soon have to be leaving. What's that noise?

Boing! Knock, Knock, Knock, Knock!

Prince Charming: Oh! It's the church bells and a funny knocking sound. I really will have to get Dandini up in that clock tower. Hey, but you can't leave now, the night is still young. We haven't exchanged details yet.

Boing! Knock, Knock, Knock, Knock!

Janetella: Exchanged details yet? You mean you want to see… huh? What did you say? Nox? Bells? Jeez, the bells, the bells, oh Esmerelda…. Shucks! Wrong Panto. Hey, Sammy! I've really gotta go… sorry!

(Janetella turns away and starts up the Stargate ramp. She is pulled back by Prince Charming)

Boing! Knocking incessantly!

Prince Charming: What do you mean, you've gotta run? I think I've fallen in l….

Boing! Even more knocking!

Janetella: Oh, Sammy! I lo… too.


(She runs up the ramp, trips, leaving behind a beautiful glass slipper. As she reaches the top she miraculously just disappears into thin air. Prince Charming picks up the glass slipper and turns it over in his hands.)

Prince Charming: Dandini!

Dandini: Yes, my liege.

Prince Charming: I want that girl found, now.

Dandini: But Liege.

Prince Charming: I don't care what it takes, I want her found. Tell the world that Prince Charming is searching for his wife to be. The lady whom this shoe fits will be my bride tomorrow evening before midnight.

Dandini: My Lords, Ladies and gentleman. The Prince Charming wants it known that tomorrow at this time he will be married. The lady whose foot settles into this shoe as if it were a glove will become Princess. We will visit every household until the owner is found.

"Cassie, this really is very good, you know," called out Janet. "Do I get the young man then?"

"Wait and see, mom. All will be revealed in this next scene, I promise," replied Cassie with a glow to her young face. It was obvious she was having the time of her life.

Sam meanwhile was sitting in the corner quietly reading the rest of her script. She was still troubled about the feelings that had coursed through her while holding Janet close. It had taken all her resolve not to pull Janet back into her arms as she had run up the ramp. Luckily, she had remembered it was only a play, but her fingertips had held on till the last possible moment. She looked across at Janet discussing the play with Jonas and Daniel, only to find Janet staring a little too hard in her direction.

Janet too was reeling from the feelings still coursing through her body. She was amazed how right it had felt holding Sam. They were best friends and they were both Cassie's parents. But dancing partners? She'd never, ever considered that. Or had she? Janet admitted ruefully to herself, she always introduced Sam as Cassie's other parent, not as her best friend, always as Cassie's other parent, maybe, subconsciously, she had been. . . What?

It was too late to think anymore as Cassie called them over to go through the final scene. It was to be an ensemble scene, and was to be followed by the finale on the show night.


(The stage is split in two. Stage left are Danielita, Jonasita, and Buttons. Stage right is Janetella. The Ugly sisters are making themselves beautiful. Janetella is sweeping the floor. As the scene opens both sides of the stage are lit. A loud knock is heard. Then Janetella is plunged into darkness and stage left is left lit.)

Danielita: Ooooh. Here he is. The Prince has come to claim Princess Danielita.

Jonasita: No way José. That shoe belongs to me and so that man is mine.

Buttons (to Audience): Those two haven't got a hope in hell of that shoe fitting. I wonder who the young lady in question really was. I can't stand watching these two strut their stuff; I'm going to go see the gorgeous Janetella.

(Before he can leave, he is stopped in his tracks)

Danielita: Buttons! Get that door.

(Buttons opens the door and lets Dandini and the Prince in)

Dandini (in a friendly voice) Hiya, Buttons, it's nice to see ya again. I suppose you know why we're here.

(Buttons nods and indicates the sisters. He then leaves stage right with a wink from Dandini)

Dandini (in an officious voice): His Royal Highness, Prince Charming, requests that every woman in this household be presented to try on said glass shoe. (He holds the shoe aloft) The woman it fits will be married to the Prince before midnight tonight.

(In the background the Prince is looking around. He is clearly displeased to see the Ugly Sisters)

Danielita: Hey, Princey! Bring that shoe over here. Come and see your bride to be.

(Minutes are spent with Danielita trying all manner of methods to get the shoe on her foot. The length of time is determined by the amount of laughter coming from the audience.)

Jonasita: Oh, come on, sister dear, pass that shoe over here. There is no way you can get it to fit because it belongs to me.

(More minutes are spent with Jonasita forcing the shoe on… eventually…)

Jonasita: There ya go, a perfect fit.

Danielita: Oh no it isn't

Jonasita: Oh yes it is.

Danielita, Prince Charming, and Dandini: Oh no it isn't.

(And so on with maybe some audience participation too)

(Lights go down stage left; lights come up stage right. Janetella is looking through the door to the antics stage left; she falls to the floor crying)

Buttons (putting his arm around Janetella) Hey Janet, don't cry. Wassup?

Janetella: Oh Buttons. It was me. I was the girl that danced all night with the Prince.

Buttons: It was you, but how?

Janetella: It was Daddy. He called in some favors from above. A lovely fairy arranged a beautiful outfit, some amazing transportation and some wonderful company. What am I to do? It was wonderful. He was wonderful.

(Her father enters the stage, seeing her crying)

Baron Hardup: What did you say Janet darling? It was you that won the heart of the Prince, my dearest daughter. In that case, come, it is time we stood up to those two imbeciles. Let's go win his heart once again.

Janetella: But daddy, look at me. I'm all tattered and torn. I can't see the Prince like this.

Baron Hardup: Leave that to me. (He picks up the red telephone once again). Buttons, you go and stall the Prince. Insist they see *every* girl in the house.

Buttons: Leave it to me.

(Lights go up stage left again as Buttons re-enters that scene)

Buttons: Hey, Dandini, come over here.

Dandini: Yeah?

Buttons: There is another young lady in this house. She's their sister but they treat her as the maid. I really think she should try on this slipper, if you get my drift.

Dandini: You think she is the girl? Ok, but what do I get in return for getting her to try on the shoe, huh? How about dinner with me tomorrow.

Buttons (to the audience): The things I will do for Janetella. (To Dandini) Ok, man. I tell ya' what, the "pirates" play at the weekend. How about watching the game, then eats afterwards?

Dandini (in his officious voice once again): Sir? It has come to my notice that there is a young maid within this household. I think circumstances dictate that we widen our field to *all* female household occupants.

(Stage right… a gentle tapping noise reveals Tealcina climbing through a window)

Janetella: Tealcina? What am I to do?

Tealcina: For you my dear, this.

(Janetella's dress changes in an instant to a beautiful gold evening dress)

Janetella: Thank you, thank you, thank you. But why me?

Tealcina: Because my dear, we fairy godmothers believe in the fickle finger of fate.

(He exits, quietly singing "Que sera, sera)

(Stage Left, Baron Hardup enters)

Baron Hardup: Did I hear the word, maid. Well, we have a most beautiful maid in this house. To my undying shame I have allowed those two buffoons to undermine my love of this lovely little lady. Prince Charming, it is my great pleasure to introduce you to my daughter Janetella.

(Janetella enters stage left just as the Prince follows the direction BH is indicating. His eyes meet Janetella's and once again there is a freezing of the action while a beautiful tune plays in the background.)

Danielita (not looking at Janetella): You have no need to meet that slip of a girl with her clothes all tattered and torn.

Jonasita: No my dear prince, please don't waste your time.

(They turn around in sequence, and ungracefully fall to the floor in a swoon, muttering can be heard)

Jonasita/Danielita: Who? What? How? Ughhh!

Janetella: I am Janetella, the beloved daughter of Baron George Hardup, and, latterly, the devoted friend of Tealcina. To some I am known as Lady Cinderella.

Prince Charming: Cinders? Is that really you? Come, fulfill my pledge.

(He reaches out and guides her to the chair. Dandini places the glass slipper on her foot, as Buttons brings its pair from stage right)

Prince Charming (pulling Janetella into his arms): Will you marry me, tonight, at the palace?

Janetella: Yes.

(Just as their lips are about to meet in a first kiss, the lights go down)

It was nearing midnight on December 23rd. The pantomime had been performed twice, each time to huge acclaim. The first production to the staff of SGC had been very well received, and the participants, getting a liking for the smell of greasepaint and the heat of the spot-lights, had insisted they put on a show for Cassie's college professors and students alike. Of course, some of the more topical themes had had to be altered, but the second performance was just as much appreciated. Cassie had collected a large amount for Jenny's charity and passed her end of term exam with flying colors. It was now the after show party and exam celebration, hosted by the producer, of course, with a little help from her very proud mom.

The party had been in full swing for hours. Sam, Janet and Cassie were having a great time, though it was noticeable that Sam and Janet were studiously ignoring each other. That said, to the more observant people, or to the people who were looking specifically, Cassie for instance, although studiously ignoring each other, each woman was continuously watching the other at the same time. Like at this very moment in time, Sam was dancing with Daniel and Janet couldn't take her eyes off Sam.

She watched and thought how beautiful Sam was. Being in the Panto, playing a couple with Sam had really brought home to Janet just how nice that situation could really be. There was the problem of the whole Air Force policy, but she was beginning to think that was a bridge worth crossing if only Sam felt the same way. After their first dance, Janet had got the distinct impression that Sam had been flustered. She truly hoped it was because of the nearness they had shared. As she sat watching the dance, Janet came to a sort of decision. She was going to ask Sam to dance when it got nearer to midnight, in the hope she could broach the subject of feelings while keeping things light-hearted enough to withdraw if necessary.

Janet almost didn't hear Teal'c ask her for a dance, so deep in thought was she. Guiding her to the floor, Teal'c's eyebrow hit the ceiling as Janet watched Sam's every move. Holding her closely to him he whispered one of his newly learned phrases, "Penny for your thoughts, DoctorFraiser?"

Janet laughed and said, "It's Janet, Teal'c, and we don't use pennies"

"I know, Janet, but Cassie has been teaching me some English words. Ready for next years Panto."

"You mean we have got to go through all that again? My daughter has a lot to answer for," was Janet's rueful reply.

Teal'c decided to continue his role of Fairy Godmother by prompting his favorite lady in the direction she really wanted to be heading. "But then you and Samantha could dance together to your hearts content. I could see that you were both, what's the word, comfortable together. Yes?"

Grinning at Teal'c's less than subtle suggestion, she whispered, "You just might be right, Teal'c, thank you."

Watching this exchange of words and shared smiles, Samantha Carter felt a little rush of jealousy run through her. She had seen in the past how close Janet and her teammate were, but had never thought anything of it. She now wondered if Teal'c and Janet were closer than even she thought. During the Panto, Sam had come to realize she wanted Janet as more than just a good friend, but she had also realized that she was too deeply entrenched in Air Force regulations to make the first move. The major in her, had, however, decided that if Janet was brave enough to make a first move she would indeed respond.

This time it was Sam that was whisked onto the dance floor by the strong frame of Teal'c. He indicated Jack O'Neill to her, deep in conversation with Jennifer Hailey, then whispered conspiritally, "He's asked her to the game on Sunday, you know, and she's said yes."

Sam laughed out loud, "Teal'c, you wouldn't be gossiping would you?"

"Yes, I am, Major, and I find I would like to gossip about two more of my dear friends," replied Teal'c with a hint of amusement.

If Sam didn't know it was highly improbable, she could have sworn Teal'c winked at her. But what did he mean? Boldly, she asked, "Teal'c, what are you unsubtley hinting at?"

Deciding he didn't have time to mess around, Teal'c answered the question immediately. "Let's just say, if someone asks you to do something later tonight, don't think, major, just do. Okay?"

Confused beyond words she decided to tease, "Indeed." With that, the two soldiers walked over to the food table, laughing heartily together.

Janet saw them getting a plateful of food each, and saw that Sam was in a good mood. Looking at the clock, she also saw the time was 11:45 pm. She decided that now was probably the best time to make her move. The brunette placed an appropriate CD in the player, then followed the tall blond and the broad Jaffa to the seats. Tapping Teal'c on the shoulder she grinned at him, and Janet's wink was very much a genuine one. "Is this an excuse me dance, Master Teal'c?" she asked of him.

Playing along, Teal'c made a show of listening to the music, then said, "Why, Ma'am, I think it is." Smiling at Sam, he took her plate in one hand and with his other hand directed his team-mate's hand into Janet's waiting palm.

Janet grinned at the bemused Sam, whose head was swinging to and fro between her friends, and asked her directly, "May I have the pleasure of this dance, Prince Charming?"

There were no more words spoken as Sam stood and allowed herself to be pulled into the center of the room. The ladies shared a chaste dance between friends, just as they had on stage in the Panto. As the song finished, and the powerful opening chords of "The Power of Love" by one of Janet's favorites from the 80's, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, started up, the small brunette looked up and gave what she hoped was her most seductive smile. She said, "Sam, can I have the pleasure of a *real* dance with you?"

Sam mumbled a scared, "yes." Her eyes darted around the room afraid of who would be watching.

Janet, seeing this and knowing too the gossip that could ensue, gently lead Sam onto the back yard decking. She then tucked her head under Sam's chin and leaned all her body weight in for a much more modern version of their Panto dance. Sam's body shivered with the feelings she could no longer hide. She pulled the smaller woman closer and whispered, "Thank you, Janet. This is nice, more than nice even."

Smiling into Sam's chest, Janet felt Sam's heart-rate pick up. She pressed her lips discreetly to Sam's open neck and allowed her warm breath to play over Sam's skin. Janet knew this would drive herself crazy, so she hoped beyond hope it was having the same effect on Sam. Hearing a slight hitch in Sam's breathing she guessed it was. She also knew that now was the time to play her last card. She had planned this dance almost with as much precision as Cassie had planned the Panto. The hall clock began to chime the midnight hour.

Janet pulled away from Sam. She looked all apologetic and said with a twinkle in her eye, "The bells, the bells, I have to go, Prince Sammy." This time, as Sam grabbed her hand to pull her back, Janet held on tightly and pulled Sam with her into a hidden corner. She pushed her up against the wall and stood quietly by her side.

Silence held sway as they both stared out at the midnight skies. It was as if both were taking a moment to cast a wish to the stars, which indeed they were. Both ladies were wishing that the next few minutes went in the direction they wanted it to. Janet gently spoiled the silence with a very quiet rendition of, "One day my prince will come..."

Chuckling, Sam pulled Janet around till she was leaning up against Sam's sweater. There was an immediate change in the temperature as body heat fed body heat, and tremor fed tremor.

Sam gazed deep into Janet's eyes and managed to whisper a query, "Janet?"

"We never did get the chance to share a kiss, did we, Sammy?" answered Janet carefully, gazing right back and just as deeply. She hoped the look in her eyes told Sam that this was what she wanted. "I thought it might tell us something, don't ya think?"

"I don't know Janet, maybe we should give it a try," murmured Sam against Janet's waiting mouth.

Their lips met in a gentle unassuming kiss, a kiss that was meant to test the waters, a kiss that was soon much more. The fire that erupted was beyond either woman's wildest dreams and certainly didn't deserve being shortened any moment soon. Sam pulled Janet deeper into the corner and proceeded to fan the flames higher.

In the background, a secretly watching Cassandra Fraiser congratulated herself and her accomplice, Teal'c, on a plan well executed.

I wish you a hopeful Christmas. I wish you a brave New Year. All anguish pain and sadness leave your heart and let your road be clear. They said there'll be snow at Christmas. They said there'll be peace on Earth. Hallelujah, Noel, be it Heaven or Hell, the Christmas we get we deserve..."

The End

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