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Chapter 6

The teammates went their separate ways once they returned to the mountain; Sam to her lab, eager to begin work on the stele, although she realized that it was too late in the day to start. There was only an hour or so left before her duty shift ended. She still had that ugly box she could work on...

Daniel was eager to check the translation notes he had taken, certain that he’d find the clue to the next piece of the weapon...the fourth piece, if what Jonas had drawn was accurate. They had one piece, knew that Ba’al had the scepter that belonged to the weapon, and they did have the location of a planet that most likely hid another part. He pushed away the thought that the only thing they would locate would be another clue. It was a possibility. One that he shared with his teammates. It was not a thought they met with enthusiasm. The first thing he wanted to do, however, was double check that he hadn’t inadvertently drawn an incorrect symbol, or that Walter had been unable to determine which symbol he had drawn. Just one more try, he had said. Sam had agreed. If there was any chance that the ‘gate would open, a MALP could be sent through immediately. He knew it was a long shot, but he also knew he wouldn’t be satisfied until he’d witnessed the ‘gate being dialed, knowing that the correct symbols had been used.

Jack had promised to speak to the general about having the Prometheus scan good ol’ Planet Earth. Several of Jonas’ notes indicated there might be another weapon hidden somewhere on the ‘First World’. Having found the second Stargate in the Antarctic, Daniel had suggested the scans be focused near the area where the second Stargate had been discovered. If there was an Ancient weapon on Earth, chances were it had been left near that Stargate. Anything as large as this weapon would have already been discovered had it been anywhere near the first Stargate. If they could see a complete version of the weapon, even a ‘smaller’ version, according to the text, they’d have more of an idea what they were looking for.

Casey was determined to get at least a partial entry into the database, hoping that she and Daniel would be taking a few days off in the coming week. The more she could finish, the less she’d have to come back to. She was still dealing with her mixed feelings about the fact that he’d hit Cam Mitchell. Maybe, she thought, time alone with Daniel was more important now than ever. She had no doubt that Daniel had overheard what Cam had said. Had seen him push her hair over her shoulder; a move that, while it wasn’t intimate, it wasn’t a casual thing, either. Daniel’s reaction wasn’t exactly typical of him. He wasn’t a violent man. But still, even Cam had admitted that Daniel had been within his ‘rights’ for slugging him. Can’t be mad at him just because he loves me so much, she thought, with not a little impish glee.

Teal’c made a noncommittal reply when Casey asked about his plans. He had determined to speak to Janet Fraiser, just to let her know he had returned. And then... He glanced surreptitiously at the major. He had a problem, and needed to find a resolution to it as soon as possible, for the sake of his friend, Daniel Jackson.


A  A  A  A  A  A


When the elevator stopped on level twenty-one, allowing two medics to join them on the elevator, Casey squeezed Daniel’s fingers, told him she would be up in just a moment, determined to speak to Janet before her courage failed her. The little tête-à-tête with Teal’c had been...disappointing. She realized that she had to get this personal issue dealt with, before she was on a ‘real’ mission with the team. Just seeing Teal’c was enough to keep the puzzle foremost in her mind. Standing beside him like she was...she rolled her eyes mentally.

"As soon as I have Walter try one more time, I’m going to find Cam, see if he and Jonas have finished those translations," Daniel said.

"Just leave room for me at my desk," she teased, kissing Daniel’s chin. "I’d prefer working there."

"I’d prefer that you work there," he replied softly. Less chance of that bastard showing up for some reason, and trying to kiss you again! He shook his head mentally. Mitchell was on the Daedalus. Daniel wondered briefly if that was enough distance between the colonel and his Wife. During the time at the warehouse, Casey had been...well, it had been obvious to him that she was still angry with him. Now...it was as if nothing had ever been wrong between them. He didn’t think it was merely ‘show’ for their teammates...all of them had been together in the warehouse working on the stele. Maybe she finally understood that it was his love, his intense need for her, that had driven him to hit Mitchell. He wouldn’t question why. He would simply be grateful that it was.

"Good," she smiled.

"You two are just nauseating," Jack said, rolling his eyes.

"Now, ask me the important question," Casey retorted.

"Which would be?"

"That’s not it," the slender blonde grinned. "Ask me if I care."

"About what?"

"About how you feel about Daniel and I...and our loving relationship." Her grin broadened. "Because I really don’t."

"Care?" Jack asked.


Jack snickered loudly.

She gave another squeeze to Daniel’s hand. "I’ll be just a few minutes."

"I’ll hold you to that," the archaeologist smiled.

Teal’c watched, his stoic expression hiding his confusion. In the warehouse, the Jacksons had seemed to avoid speaking to one another, or even looking at one another. Now they behaved as if nothing had transpired between them. He was more certain than ever that he needed to speak with Samantha Carter before approaching Daniel Jackson about the conversation he had had with the young seer.

Wiggling her fingers in a wave, Casey stepped off of the elevator, watched the doors close. Her smile disappeared, and she took a deep breath. Okay, let’s get this over with.




Janet was sitting at her desk filling out a form when Casey walked in. The carafe on the coffeemaker was full, evidence that it was a fresh pot. She took two mugs from the pegboard behind the tiny sink, filled both. Added cream and sugar to hers.

The petite doctor looked up and smiled when a cup of fresh coffee appeared in front of her. "Welcome home."

"Thanks. Total success. My Stud Muffin did it again."

"Well, I hear you helped a little bit," Janet teased.

"Yeah, well, all I knew was that he had to look beneath it. He was the one who figured out it was the right stele," Casey replied proudly.

"Glad to know that you’re making progress."

"Me, too. General Hammond wouldn’t have approved another mission to 611."

"That’s a shame. At least any team going there would have been safe," Janet grinned.


"So, what brings you to my office today?"

Casey took a deep breath. "I um…I wanted to talk to you."

Janet sipped her coffee. The look on Casey’s face, what looked like reluctant acceptance in those ever expressive eyes, and the hushed tone of voice, had her instantly alert. "Okay."

Another deep breath. "I just wanted...I mean..." Casey lowered her eyes. Wrapped her hands around her mug and held it so tightly her knuckles turned white. "I know…well, not personally…but I realize…it’s okay if a woman loves two men. It happens, right?"

The petite doctor frowned. "I suppose it happens."

"Well, if they’re okay with it, then it’s okay. Okay?"

"I guess so. Casey, is there something wrong? Are you and Daniel fighting?" Janet paused. "Is there someone else…for you?"

"Someone else...for me?" Casey squeaked. "No! I have Daniel! There’s not a man on this planet…or any other planet," she added, remembering where she was, and to whom she was speaking, "who could ever interest me."

"Then what on earth are you-"

Doctor Fraiser, call on line seven. Doctor Fraiser, call on line seven.

Janet frowned at the speaker above them.

Casey grabbed her best friend’s hand. "It’s okay. Really. Whatever makes you happy."

"We’ll talk later," Janet said, squeezing the slender hand that surrounded hers.

"I’ll be here. Probably working on that cursed database," Casey replied, rolling her eyes dramatically.

In spite of her bafflement, Janet chuckled. "I’ll rescue you."

"You’re a true friend, Janet."

"Don’t you forget it!"

Casey took a swallow of her coffee, put the mug on the counter. Gave a wave and a smile, and hurried out. She leaned against the wall in the corridor. Okay. She’d told two of the three...partners. Now she only needed to speak with her dad. Once they knew she was okay with ‘it’, no doubt they’d probably admit to their...relationship. And that will be just too freaking weird!

Janet frowned as she watched Casey leave. She honestly had no idea what had just happened. Whatever Casey had been trying to ask...She shook her head, punched the number seven on the phone beside her. She’d deal with…whatever it was…after she’d taken the phone call.


A  A  A  A  A  A


He had always been a cautious man. A trait learned as he worked his way up the ranks of Apophis’ Jaffa. That caution had kept him alive. Now that caution would perhaps keep intact his friendship with the one man who had every right to hate him. For he had no doubt that if Daniel Jackson were aware that Casey had spoken to him about her...desires...the archaeologist would be hurt...and furious.

When Casey had announced her intention to speak with Janet Fraiser, Teal’c had determined to take the opportunity to speak with Samantha Carter. He made an excuse about checking the schedule in the gym, as he had been away for several days, and left his teammates on the lift.

The schedule was, of course, the same as it always was; his name penciled in as instructor for at least three workouts per day. If he was unavailable, one of the Marines took his place. It was a system that worked well for all involved. Learning the moves to expect from a Jaffa in hand to-hand-combat gave the SG teams an advantage over their enemy, and any time that the men and women had a chance to work with Teal’c, they did so. He was a grueling taskmaster, but those who learned from him could testify to the fact that the skills they had gained were the key to their success when facing Jaffa loyal to their Goa’uld ‘gods’.

He glanced at the clock. By now Samantha Carter was in her lab. He would speak to her. Contingent on the results of that conversation he would either speak next with Daniel Jackson, or Casey Jackson. Either way, this...problem...needed to be dealt with swiftly. For the sake of the Jacksons and their marital happiness, but also for the safety and coherency of the team.

He knocked on the door to Sam’s lab. "Major Carter, am I interrupting?"

Sam looked up from the report she’d been reading. Scans on the box that sat in the middle of her work table had been finished during her absence, and frustratingly revealed nothing. And she still hadn’t been able to get the damned thing open. "Not at all."

"I wish to speak with you regarding our teammates."

She sat up straight, put the report on her desk. "Okay."

"I believe that Casey Jackson may be infatuated with another man."

Good thing she wasn’t trying to do anything, Sam thought dryly. Teal’c had always been a man of few words, but his tendency to be blunt had softened over the years. This, however, was as straightforward as it could get! "What makes you say that?"

"She came to me, wished to discuss a ‘relationship’ with me. Apparently she was seeking my advice on whether or not it was prudent for a woman to be involved with two men at the same time."

She bit back her grin "I think, Teal’c, that Casey is struggling with the concept of being able to love more than one person…a strong, deep love. She loves Daniel with all of her heart. To have…feelings…for anyone else, well, for any other man, bothers her. Even when those feelings are of friendship, and not a romantic type of ‘love’."

Teal’c frowned slightly. "I believe I understand. So you do not believe that Daniel Jackson should be informed of this?"

Sam shook her head. "Casey’s feelings for this…friend…are pretty well known around here. I doubt that Daniel would be surprised in the least. I’d even bet that he’s more aware of what Casey is feeling than she is at the moment. She just needs time to work things out for herself."

"Her heart loves deeply, and anyone who is the object of that love is lucky indeed," Teal’c said quietly.

"Yes, he is. I don’t know when…or if…she’ll be able to say the words to you, but I think you already know that the feelings are there," Sam said gently.

The Jaffa started. He was the ‘other man’ of which Casey had spoken? It had seemed to him that she had been insinuating a more…physical…relationship. Perhaps he had misunderstood completely. His heart swelled with love for the slender seer. "Indeed," he said, his voice soft, his eyes full of warmth. "Thank you, Major Carter. You have been most helpful."

Sam grinned. "Glad to have helped." She motioned toward the box. "Want to return the favor?"

Teal’c picked up the heavy object, turned it in his hands. "It is quite..." his voice trailed off as he examined it, frowning slightly.



"I promised Casey to toss it back through the ‘gate if I can’t find anything out about it. She doesn’t want to have to study it."

The Jaffa grinned. "This appears to be the opening."

Sam sighed. "I know. The only problem is, I can’t get it open."

"Perhaps there is a combination that unlocks it?"

She studied the grotesque figures that covered all four sides of the box for a moment. "Okay, that’s a possibility."

"Perhaps Daniel Jackson should examine this," Teal’c suggested.

"I hate to bother him now..."

"One of the others who have such training, then."

Sam nodded. "Daniel has put Doctor Meyers on the list as his assistant, I’ll give her a call. She’ll know who among the archaeologists would be able to help me. Thanks, Big Guy."

"You are most welcome."

"Want to stick around and see what we find?"

"Indeed." If there was any danger from the object, Teal’c wanted to be nearby. He cared for Samantha Carter, if not in the same way as he loved Casey, then certainly as much.




The abrupt cessation of the klaxons had let her know that the ‘gate address Daniel had found once again refused to work. She headed straight for level eighteen. Casey found Daniel, Jonas, and Cam huddled around his desk. This is going to be a late night, she thought. Knowing that she was the only person who could get by with disturbing him, she sidled around Cam, slipped behind Jonas, so that she could plop onto the desk almost in front of her husband. "Hey, handsome."

Daniel looked up, couldn’t help but grin. "Hey, gorgeous. Your sexy ass is on my notes."

"I know. I’m also starving. I do not want commissary food."


She put a finger on his lips. "I can go pick up something. Bring it back. For all of us," she said, flashing a smile at Cam and Jonas.

"That would be great, Angel."

"Okay, any requests?"

"Pizza’s a bit messy," Daniel mused. "How about something from Sonic?"

"Very doable." And, she thought, it was only a few blocks out of her way to stop by her Dad’s apartment. She could talk to him about the...situation...and it would all be out in the open and dealt with. Then all she would need to worry about was actually accepting the...relationship.

"What do you guys want?" Daniel asked, grabbing his notepad. The three men discussed their favorites, the list was written out, and handed to Casey.

She dropped a kiss on the top of sandy-blonde hair. "I’ll be back in a bit."

"We’ll be here," Daniel replied.




Casey crossed her arms over her chest as the elevator took her upwards to level eleven. Her little ‘talks’ with Janet and Teal’c hadn’t been the most enlightening. She’d been able to convey that she was all right with the situation, even if they hadn’t admitted to anything. She could only hope the conversation with her father would go more smoothly.


A  A  A  A  A  A


To say that he was surprised to open the door to find his daughter standing there, looking like she had the weight of the world on her slender shoulders, was an understatement. It wasn’t unusual for Casey to drop by his apartment. It was unusual, however, for her to do so alone, or without calling first. Gary glanced down the hallway, expecting to see Daniel step off of the elevator when it pinged, then opened. It was only the lady from down the hall. Nice enough woman, he supposed, but never offering more than a nod and a smile, or a quiet hello, occasionally commenting on the weather.

"I’m not bothering you, am I?" Casey asked, noting the papers spread across the small table.

"Nope. Just forms for me to read and sign. Something about the accountant and payroll," Gary replied. His casual attitude toward the paperwork was for show; he knew exactly what was going on within his company on every level, at all times. "Coffee?"

"Please," Casey said. Wishing she could ask for a dollop of brandy in it to strengthen her resolve. Her fingers twisted around one another. "I was wondering if…well…I sort of have a question for you. I know it’s…well, I suppose it’s really not my…" She heaved a sigh.

"What’s wrong, honey?" Gary asked, filling the filter with coffee grounds. It wasn’t ‘gourmet’ coffee, like she was accustomed to. But it was coffee.

"Um…well…I just want…" She shook her head. How in the world would she be able to say that she understood, when she didn’t? "What two people…or…um…three…um…three people…choose to do, if they’re all…that is, if they’re okay with it, then it’s no one else’s business, right?"

Gary frowned.

Not the most graceful way to say it, she mused. But she’d said it. Now, she just had to believe what she said. That if her Dad, and Janet, and Teal’c were happy, then what happened between the three of them was private. They didn’t need her approval, or her permission. But they did deserve her efforts to at least accept their relationship, odd as it might seem to her.

Three people? What three people chose to do…That little shit! That sorry son-of-a-bitch! He was pressuring his little girl into doing something she clearly wasn’t comfortable with. No doubt the little shit had developed the hots for someone…some marriage-wrecking little bitch…whom he wanted to bring to his bed. With his wife. I’m gonna kill him!

"As long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters, really."

"Why should I be happy about it?" Gary demanded gruffly.

"Aren’t you?"

"Not particularly."

Well, that certainly put a monkey-wrench in the works, didn’t it? "Oh…I just assumed…"

"The only one who matters in this…situation…is you."

"Me?" She knew that her dad had been concerned about her reaction when he had been seeing Janet. Was his hesitation to accept Teal’c into that relationship because of his fears regarding her acceptance? "Dad, it’s okay, really. Whatever floats your boat, as Jack likes to say."

Her boat, however, didn’t seem to be floating, Gary thought. Floundering was more like it. "Don’t let anyone push you into doing something you don’t want to do. Just tell him if you don’t want to do it."

What in the hell was he talking about? If he was that upset, why didn’t he simply walk away? Or did he love Janet so much that he couldn’t? "Um…sure. Okay."

"I’m here for you, Casey. If you need to leave for awhile, maybe do some thinking, you can stay in my condo in Kansas City. I’m sure the SGC will survive without you for a few days."

Teal’c had asked if she was ‘dissatisfied in her marriage’; Janet had asked if she and Daniel were fighting...what was with the questions about her and Daniel? Okay, her father hadn’t actually said anything directly, but the insinuation was certainly there; and he hadn’t mentioned Daniel in that offer! Or was it simply a way to divert attention from themselves, and their…unique…situation? "Dad, I have no idea what you’re talking about."

Of course you don’t. Because you love that little shit so damned much you’re willing to do whatever he wants. Goddamn bastard. "Okay. I’ll back off. The offer stands, whenever you need it."

"Well, thanks…I think." She and Daniel had been discussing taking a few days off, just the two of them. Now that she thought about it, a few days away from the SGC with Daniel sounded just about perfect. Then she wouldn’t have to see Teal’c and Janet and her dad and that damned white glow whenever they were together. And she could try to sort out just why it all felt so...wrong!

"Coffee’s almost ready."

"Thanks. So…what else is new?"

"Not much," Gary said. "Still working on that Ancient Weapon thing?"

She nodded. "We found one of the pieces...Daniel figured out it was the stele we needed. It’s hollow, and filled with miniature data crystals. Sam is hoping it’s the most vital piece of the weapon...if it is, we beat the Goa’uld to it. We have a couple of places to look now for the others. Daniel wants to start looking next week. He’s hoping to find more clues before we leave…it would make it easier to just collect the pieces and bring them back."

Gary nodded, letting her know that he was listening.

"When we got back, which was this afternoon, by the way, Daniel was looking at the stele, and realized that on the inside of the cover, well, the piece that covers the bottom of the stele, was a ‘gate address."

"Jack mentioned that the Daedalus will be taking you to a planet that doesn’t have a Stargate." That particular conversation had taken place not more than an hour earlier, as Gary had been leaving the base. He grinned as he remembered the excitement in his friend’s eyes over the fact that the SGC now had two working spaceships.

"Well, not a functioning one," Casey replied. "Sam had Walter try dialing it a couple of times, and Daniel had him make one more attempt, but there was never a connection."

"Must be buried or something."

"That’s what we figure. That might be on purpose. Daniel thinks it’s possible that the Ancients hid the weapon piece, and then set some sort of explosives to bury the ‘gate. What he doesn’t know is if that was done before, or after, the symbols were scratched into that stone."

"If this thing is so dangerous, why didn’t the Ancients destroy it, rather than just hiding it in pieces?" Gary asked.

"That’s the twenty-million dollar question," Casey sighed. "I have the sinking feeling, and Daniel agrees, that the thing couldn’t be destroyed, for whatever reason."

"Or the Ancients wanted to make certain they had access to it if it was needed."

"Makes sense," Casey said. "Scary, though…if the Ancients didn’t think they could control the weapon, I don’t think we have a prayer of using it."

"Is that the plan…to use it?" Gary asked.

"I’m not sure. I think Jack and General Hammond would like to know one way or the other if that’s even possible. If it is…then yes, I’m certain it will be used. What I don’t know is if that’s such a good idea. I mean, we have no idea what this thing is even capable of."

"Once you get it together, I’m sure Sam can tell you that."

"I hope so."

Gary watched as Casey curled up on the sofa. She seemed more relaxed now than she had when she’d first arrived. He could only assume that his offer for…escape…had lifted the burden of her doubts and fears. And he was going to kill that little shit. Or at the very least, have a long ‘talk’ with him.

She chatted for a few more minutes, and then, holding up the list, explained that she had stopped by on her way to get dinner. "Before I forget, I’m having the team over for dinner on Saturday. I want you to be there, too. And yes, I remember that you said Charley would be here, so of course she’s welcome, too." She stood to her feet, crossed the room and wrapped her arms around his waist. "Remember, Dad, what happens in a relationship, no matter how many people are involved, is no one else’s business."

"Right," he muttered. Yep. Definitely going to kill the little shit.

"As long as you’re happy, I’m happy." She kissed his cheek, hugged him tightly, and in true Casey fashion, zipped out the door and onto the elevator before her father had a chance to respond.

"Why in the hell would I be happy about that bastard hurting you?" Gary asked the empty room. He kicked the door closed. He and Romeo were going to have a long talk. And fists most certainly would be involved in the ‘discussion’!


A  A  A  A  A  A


Casey hurried through the checkpoints, three bags and the cardboard tray holding drinks in her hands. She was trying to figure out how to swipe her ID badge through the reader to open the elevator on level eleven. One of the guards gave a low chuckle, and came to her rescue. "Thanks," she said, smiling up at the man.

"You’re welcome, Mrs. J," the guard replied. "Have a good evening."

"I’m working...how good can it be?" she retorted.

"Good point," the guard laughed.

The elevator doors closed. Casey was still smiling when the words the guard had used impacted on her brain...

"You’re welcome, Mrs. J...welcome, Mrs. J...Mrs. J...Mrs. J..."

The only men who didn’t refer to her as ‘Mrs. J’ were the archaeologists she and Daniel worked so closely with, General Hammond, Tony Sabotti, and of course her teammates. To everyone else, especially the men of the SGC, she was ‘Mrs. J’. An acknowledgment not only that she was Daniel’s wife, but of the deep love that was so obvious between them.

So...why had Cam reacted the way he had...behaved the way he had? Did he really not see how much she loved Daniel? Or was something else going on? "I am not going to work on another damned puzzle tonight!" she grumped out loud.




The three archaeologists had moved into the commons area, the large table covered with notes and photographs. She bit back a groan at the sight. No way was she staying here all night!

The smell of burgers and onion rings permeated the room, and had all three men looking up.

"I was wondering if you’d gotten lost," Daniel teased.

She smiled. "I stopped by to see Dad for a couple of minutes, he just lives a few blocks from Sonic," she explained.

His heart lurched. Was she seeking advice from her father...how best to dump him? He closed his eyes tightly, shoved the dark fears back into the corner of his heart where they had remained hidden...until Mitchell had shown up.


Her voice was soft, the touch of her hand on his cheek set him on fire. "What?"

"Are you all right?" She put her wrist against his forehead. Immortal, they had learned, did not mean immune to common illnesses. It only meant that they suffered far less, and were sick for a shorter amount of time than their coworkers.

The concern in her eyes filled him with hope...and love. "I’m fine, Angel. Just a bit hungry."

She tugged her lip between her teeth.

Damn it! Now she’ll feel guilty for making that stop! "I guess I didn’t realize that until I smelled those burgers."

"I’m sorry," she whispered.

He pulled her into his arms. "There is no need for you to be sorry. How is your Dad, anyway?"

"He’s fine. He acted a little weird when I-" She broke off. Glanced at Jonas and Cam.

Daniel’s eyes watched her. Whatever it was, she didn’t want to discuss it in front of their friends. Oh, so not a good sign!

Casey smiled at Jonas and Cam. "Okay, who had the chocolate shake, and who wanted the strawberry?"

If the two men were aware of the undercurrents between Daniel and Casey, they chose to say nothing. Burgers and fries and onion rings were passed around, and the four sat and ate, conversation doggedly focused on the Ancient weapon.


A  A  A  A  A  A


She'd had every intention of trying to talk to Casey as soon as she’d finished her phone call, but the seer had left the base, for the night she had assumed. Apparently it had only been long enough to grab dinner for herself, Daniel, Cam, and Jonas. If she’d known that, Janet thought, she’d have stayed and made certain to talk to her. Then, the very first thing this morning there had been an emergency appendectomy. Had the sergeant waited just another hour to report to sick call...she shook her head. What was it with the men around here, and the damned bravado that had them ‘sucking it up’ when it came to any pain they suffered? She shook her head again, her thoughts returning to their focus. She’d come to level eighteen for the express purpose of having a chat with Casey. Now, it seemed that the Jacksons had left the base for lunch.

Janet headed to the commissary on level twenty-six, and poured two mugs of coffee. Carried both carefully toward the elevator. If Casey had come to her, chances were, she’d probably spoken to Sam as well. The seer often sought their opinions, and not always at the same time. Maybe Sam would have more of an idea what was going on than she had. She could only hope that the delay, the simple result of life at the SGC, wouldn’t cause more problems…she’d more than learned her lesson on that score.

Casey’s visit had left her with more questions than answers. Janet feared that the nearly incoherent comments Casey had made meant impending heartache for a certain archaeologist. What she needed to know, she decided, was whether to talk to Daniel or not.

Sam was bent over her workbench, her head twisted slightly as she attempted to see inside the box she had managed to open, with a bit of help, the night before. Teal’c’s suggestion that there was a combination to unlock the thing had been spot on. Doctor Izett, and her knowledge of Indonesian art, had been extremely helpful to that end. It hadn’t taken the two women long to find the correct combination, which had the hinged top of the box swinging open. However, the only way it would stay open was by laying the box on its side.

A scan had revealed that the interior of the box was lined with naquadah. Which explained why the thing was so heavy, and why preliminary scans had shown absolutely nothing. Other than that, the box was empty. Hoping that there might be a ‘secret compartment’ hiding...something...Sam had continued to poke at the interior. Disappointed, the blonde dropped her screwdriver onto the table and stood up. The aroma of coffee caught her attention, and she turned toward the door. "Janet!"

"Thought you could use a break." She nodded at the box. "So what is it?"

The major shook her head. "I have no idea what this was used for. I’m guessing to store something that needed protection, considering how it’s constructed. But what that something might be…or have been…not a clue."

"Does Casey know?"

"Nope. She did ask me to toss it back through the ‘gate if I didn’t find anything," Sam grinned. "She said it’s too ugly to want to work with."

Janet examined the box. "No arguing with that!"

Sam accepted the mug of coffee. "So, what did I do to deserve coffee brought to me?"

Janet sipped her own coffee, trying to gather her thoughts. "Have Daniel and Casey seemed…okay…to you? No fighting or anything?"

"They’re fine, as far as I know," Sam replied. She frowned slightly. They had seemed a bit...miffed...at each other for awhile, during the time the team had been in the warehouse the day before, but when the team had returned to the SGC, all seemed to be well between the two. She'd put the entire thing down to her over-active imagination. It was possible, she told herself, that they'd just been wrapped up in what was going on. The discovery had been exciting, and it was extremely important. It was just possible that the Tau’ri of planet Earth had managed to snag the most important part of the Ancient weapon on the first try.

"There’s something going on. Casey came to me, said the strangest thing…" Janet said softly, almost distractedly. "Something about a woman loving two men, and it being ‘okay’."

Sam smiled. "She asked me the same thing. I think, and this is just my opinion, but I think Casey is feeling guilty over what she feels for Teal’c. She loves that Jaffa, not like she loves Daniel, of course, but still, it’s a strong emotion. We both know that love was not a part of her life growing up. I’m guessing that she’s having to...adjust...to being able to feel such love for people...well, technically for a man other than her husband."

The petite doctor nodded. "That makes sense. I swear, Sam, I don’t know how she ever survived, and is so open, so trusting, so...loving. That...bitch...has so much to answer for!"

"I know. Jack said that from what Gary could find out, that bitch isn’t doing so well in prison."

"Good!" Janet spat.

"So, how are things between you and Gary?"

Janet’s eyes dropped to the floor. "Oh, well…we sort of broke up. We’re still good friends. Just not sleeping together."

Sam was taken aback. "Oh. I didn’t know…when did this happen?"

"Couple of weeks ago. When all those family members just showed up out of nowhere." Janet shook her head slightly. "Actually, we were…drifting apart…before that. We just didn’t acknowledge it." She looked up at the blonde major, her dark eyes full of wonder. "I was the first woman he had a relationship with after his wife died. Cookie died ten years ago, and I was his first!"


"Yeah. He helped me…" Janet shook her head again. "Gary was my ‘rebound’ after Paul and I broke up."

"I figured as much," Sam admitted.

"Gary is very much in love with Charley," Janet continued. "Although he didn’t realize it, or wouldn’t allow himself to realize it. I think they’re together now, and I’m really happy for him."

"What about you?" Sam asked softly.

Janet studied her coffee mug. Teal’c’s handsome face flashed in her mind. "I’m not sure…yet." Liar. You know you love the Jaffa. She pushed that thought as far back in her mind as quickly she could.

"You’ll find someone, Janet. I know that for a fact," Sam said encouragingly.

"I suppose so," Janet sighed. "I have to get back to the infirmary. Thanks for the chat."

"Thanks for the coffee," Sam replied, holding up the now half-empty mug. She wiggled her fingers in a return wave as Janet hurried out of the room. Thought about the rather strange conversations she’d been having lately. "When did I become the freaking team confessor?" she mumbled to herself, unaware that she'd mentally added Janet to that lineup.

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