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For disclaimers and author's note see Part I.

 

Continuing Admissions - Cont


George Hammond breathed a sigh of relief as the limousine pulled away from the White House. He glanced out of the window at the dark sky. It had been a long day. The President had follow-up calls arranged with each Head of State of the nations informed of the Stargate programme and had required Hammond on hand during each. He pressed his lips together. It had been tiresome but it had been worth it. As he had said to Jack earlier that day; the Stargate programme was safe for the time being.

Major Paul Davis shifted on the seat beside him. Hammond noticed the surreptitious look the dark-haired Pentagon liaison darted at his watch. ‘Plans, Major?’

The Major flushed; two high blotches of colour appearing over his cheeks. ‘Just dinner with a friend, sir.’

Hammond smiled. ‘If it’s more convenient I can have the driver drop you somewhere else in town other than at my hotel, son.’

‘No, it’s not a problem, sir.’ Davis hurried out. ‘Julia will understand.’

‘Julia?’ Hammond’s thin eyebrows rose up his forehead. ‘As in Julia Donovan?’ The news reporter had been caught up in a plot to steal the Prometheus a couple of months before.

‘Yes, sir.’ Davis blushed again. ‘I think she initially just needed a friendly ear about what happened on the Prometheus and then we started to meet for an occasional drink and,’ he caught himself, ‘and I have no idea why I’m telling you this, sir.’

Hammond hid his pleasure at the new friendship between Davis and Donovan. And he genuinely was pleased. He knew it hadn’t been an easy couple of months for the Major since the Prometheus had been stolen. Davis had been technically in charge of both the assignment to give the news crew access to the spacecraft and to respond to the hostages. Although Davis had done his best, the Prometheus had still been stolen and two valuable prisoners lost. It had only been the intervention of SG1 and the Asgard that had ensured the safe return of the ship. All of which had earned Davis a black mark. For a while it had also looked as though the Pentagon would move to replace him but Hammond had argued fervently against it and luckily he’d had a few senior officers back him including General Vidrine.

‘You did a good job with the presentation.’ Hammond said, changing their conversation from personal back to the professional.

‘Thank you, sir.’ Davis said. ‘Although I think if it hadn’t been for Thor’s intervention, Senator Kinsey may have achieved his objective and gained control of the programme.’

‘He’s determined.’ Hammond commented dryly. ‘I’ll give him that.’

‘I would have thought almost being assassinated would have made him reconsider his position.’ Davis said.

‘I agree.’ Hammond said. Unfortunately, it seemed that the Senator’s political position had only been strengthened by the assassination attempt and the cover story concocted to explain his survival and to clear Jack’s name.

His mind drifted to the evidence stored in his desk against the Senator. He had considered using it a few months before but had been stopped by a voice in his head whispering ‘not yet.’ He was certain the voice had belonged to the Ascended Daniel Jackson and he had followed its advice. He had to admit that while everything had worked out given Thor’s intervention that perhaps it had been a foolish move either to believe that the voice had belonged to Daniel or that he should heed it.

The hotel loomed up ahead and the driver made his way to the entrance, gliding to a stop. Hammond got out, briefly adjusting his cover.

‘General.’ Davis saluted him.

Hammond saluted back and nodded. ‘Have a good evening, Major.’

‘And you, sir.’ Davis set off along the pavement and Hammond watched as Davis pulled a cell phone out, no doubt to call Julia Donovan and apologise for the delay in meeting her.

Hammond made his way into the hotel, the driver following with his bag. He sighed quietly. It was times like these he regretted Jacob Carter’s absence in the capitol. It would have been good to have relaxed over a good meal and shared thoughts with his old friend.

He had just checked in when a familiar form caught his eye and he turned to politely greet the Russian liaison Colonel Chekov, his heart inwardly sinking a little.

‘General.’ Chekov said formally.

‘Colonel.’ Hammond replied. He motioned at him with his card key. ‘I didn’t realise you stayed at this hotel.’

‘It is not my usual accommodation. However, I was unable to reserve a place there this visit.’ Chekov explained. ‘May I buy you a drink, General?’

Hammond’s pale blue eyes widened a fraction but he nodded. As much as he didn’t want to spend another hour doing a political dance with the Russian, he knew he needed to keep the man on side. He turned to his waiting driver and instructed him to have the bag delivered to the room before he dismissed him. He followed Chekov into the hotel bar.

They took seats at a small round table in a corner alcove. It was private enough that they could talk without being overheard.

Chekov said something in Russian, raising his glass of clear liquid. He must have seen Hammond’s questioning look because he smiled. ‘Your health, General.’

Hammond raised his glass, the tumbler full of bourbon. ‘And to your health.’ The alcohol burned its way down his throat and he made a satisfied murmur of appreciation. He set his glass down and regarded the Russian Colonel. ‘I didn’t get a chance after the end of the meeting to thank you for your support today.’

Chekov gave a small shrug and gestured as though to dismiss Hammond’s words. ‘Had we known in advance, we could have provided additional assistance in helping you to disclose the existence of the Stargate.’

The hidden rebuke didn’t go unnoticed by Hammond. He nodded. ‘You would have been informed much earlier but the President only determined that he would go ahead with the disclosure at the last moment.’

‘May I ask what prompted the decision?’ Chekov asked.

Hammond wasn’t fooled by the idle tone. He could see the sharp speculation that coloured the other man’s eyes. ‘The idea of disclosure was gaining a groundswell of political support especially given problems with our allies in recent cover stories. The President thought it was time.’

‘And I presume Senator Kinsey was part of this...political groundswell.’ Chekov commented.

Hammond took a sip of his drink to refrain from replying. Regardless of his antipathy towards Kinsey, he wouldn’t give the Russians any ammunition against the US.

‘I have to admit that even I was surprised by the arrival of, uh,’ his eyes darted around the bar, ‘our friend.’

Hammond knew he meant Thor as Chekov’s gaze moved back to him.

‘It is unusual is it not, for them to intervene so directly in the affairs of another?’ The Russian continued.

‘As he himself said, his friendship would have continued had there been another outcome.’ Hammond said mildly.

‘But he has a preference for you retaining control.’ Chekov noted.

Hammond shrugged easily. He could see why Russia would be concerned at the way the Asgard had supported the SGC retaining control; he had in fact set out to intimidate the other nations by suggesting the Asgard backed only them. He had to admit that though that he had been surprised when Thor had acquiesced to his request, made during a discussion on the planned outfitting of the Prometheus with Asgard shields and weapons. ‘I believe he has a fondness for Colonel O’Neill and the rest of SG1. They’ve risked their lives on several occasions to save his.’

‘Ah. Yes. Colonel O’Neill.’ Chekov murmured. ‘I now understand why he was so ready to take responsibility for Colonel Evanov’s death during his last mission.’

Hammond bristled at the implication that Jack had only taken responsibility to ensure the Russians remained supportive during the disclosure. ‘He meant every word.’ He stabbed the table with a finger. ‘He regrets Evanov’s death as do I.’

Chekov held up his hand. ‘I apologise. It was a poor joke.’ He said quietly. ‘Even I could see O’Neill meant his words sincerely.’

‘I know Jack can seem irreverent but he’s a good man.’ Hammond said loyally. He doubted the Asgard would be so fond of Jack if he wasn’t.

‘Doctor Jackson once said the same to me.’ Chekov said. He drained his glass and stood. ‘It has been a pleasure, General. Until next time.’

Hammond nodded. He breathed a sigh of relief as the Russian left and downed the rest of his drink. Room service, Hammond determined; a nice steak with some fries – he could almost hear his daughter’s voice correcting him and insisting on baked potato. He’d call her, he decided, while he waited for the food. He stood up slowly and made his way to the elevators.

The journey to his room took moments and he stepped inside the suite with relief. He barely took in the tasteful decor and the antique furniture. He was just pleased to finally be alone. He pulled off his tie and jacket and made for the telephone in the living room of the suite.

The buzzing sound of a transporter made him freeze and put down the phone as he slowly turned around to see Thor. He swallowed his resentment at the interruption to his plans. He owed the alien a great debt of gratitude after all.

‘Thor.’

‘General Hammond.’ Thor inclined his large grey head, his dark eyes blinking at Hammond. ‘Colonel O’Neill informed me that all had gone well with our plan.’

‘It worked like a charm.’ Hammond confirmed. ‘I have to thank you again for agreeing to help.’

Thor nodded. His thin fingers grasped the Queen Anne style chair in front of him.

‘Please. Sit.’ Hammond said, walking over to sit on the sofa as the Asgard took the chair. ‘I have to admit Thor that I am curious as to why you agreed to lend your assistance. I understand you don’t usually intervene so directly in the political affairs of others.’

‘This is true.’ Thor acknowledged. ‘And I am certain that there are those on the Asgard High Council that would be most displeased with my action here today.’

‘But?’ prompted Hammond.

‘But I believe it is in the Asgard’s best interests to continue working with those we know are honourable.’ Thor said.

In other words, better the devil they knew, Hammond thought half-amused.

‘Particularly given our decision to share our technology with you.’ Thor continued. He gestured at Hammond. He inclined his head. ‘Is everything being prepared for the installation as we discussed, General Hammond?’

‘Everything is being done as you requested. I know Major Carter is looking forward to assisting you.’ Hammond said, recognising the change in the subject.

‘I am also like a human infant the night before Christmas.’ Thor said.

Hammond looked at him bemused.

‘I am looking forward to working with her once again.’ Thor clarified. ‘She has an exceptional mind.’

‘That she has.’ Hammond agreed. ‘They’re an exceptional team.’

‘As I believe Teal’c would say: indeed.’ Thor said.

Hammond chuckled.

‘I owe them my life.’ Thor said simply.

Hammond nodded; everyone on the planet owed SG1 their lives, several times over. He sighed. ‘They’ve been through a lot this last year.’

‘The loss of Daniel Jackson was most difficult for them.’ Thor commented.

Hammond nodded. ‘I won’t pretend otherwise.’ He admitted. He gave a small smile. ‘And I won’t deny that I would have liked his expertise today myself. Daniel had a way of convincing people to do the right thing.’

‘Not just people.’ Thor said.

Hammond looked at him curiously. ‘Thor?’

‘All I can say,’ Thor said dryly, ‘is that despite the constraints placed upon him as an Ascended being, I believe that Daniel Jackson has continued his work to ensure the safety of Earth.’

Hammond stared at him. Thor had seen Daniel, he realised, his heart pounding with the realisation. They’d had interactions with Ascended beings themselves before so it wasn’t unthinkable that the Asgard had seen Daniel in his Ascended form.

His mind raced. They had been told the Asgard had changed their mind about giving them technology upon realising that Anubis had effectively broken the Protected Planets treaty when he had attacked Thor. He was beginning to wonder if Daniel Jackson hadn’t had some part in helping them come to that realisation. The archaeologist had known the treaty better than anyone else.

Thor rose smoothly to his feet. ‘I have taken up enough of your evening, General Hammond. I will contact you tomorrow ahead of the installation.’

‘One question, Thor.’ Hammond stood up too. ‘Is he OK?’

Thor’s wide eyes blinked at him innocently. ‘I believe he is, General Hammond.’ The bright white light zapped him away before Hammond could ask anything further.

Hammond sat back down.

A slow smile spread across his face. His own doubts about hearing Daniel’s voice in his head disappeared. He was more certain than ever that it had been Daniel Jackson, and he trusted him. He debated briefly whether to inform SG1 but dismissed the idea. They had only just healed from the archaeologist’s departure and he didn’t want to open up old wounds. Moreover, Hammond didn’t have proof nor any explicit confession from Thor that Daniel had been involved with the decision to give them technology. It seemed such a fanciful notion that Daniel would continue to watch over them as an Ascended being.

Fanciful notion or not, Hammond thought firmly, it certainly made him feel better. And if it had been Daniel who had spoken the words ‘not yet’ perhaps he had been right. After all, the Stargate programme was safe from Kinsey’s machinations for another day without Hammond using the evidence he had saved. Perhaps, Hammond considered thoughtfully, there would be another opportunity to bring Kinsey down, or a better time for Hammond to play the remaining ace up his sleeve. He patted the arm of the sofa softly. He could wait. He’d managed to outwit Kinsey during the day’s events; he could do it again.

o-O-o

‘Maybe she wants to date Jack.’ Cassie’s stage-whisper to Sam reached Jonas’s ears as he approached the kitchen.

‘Cassie.’ Sam’s tone held a warning that mothers the galaxy over seemed able to convey without effort. Jonas remembered his own mother speaking to him with the same note if he was in danger of pushing his luck.

‘I’m just saying,’ Cassie murmured, ‘between the Harrison Ford thing, The Simpsons and now hockey?’

Jonas couldn’t blame her. He had just watched, as Cassie had, Stacey joking with the Colonel about some hockey reference as he helped the others clear the dishes away. A lump formed in Jonas’s throat that he resolutely ignored. So Stacey loved hockey along with The Simpsons. She had ensured Jonas was part of the discussions too, explaining things to him as they went, Jonas told himself briskly. But it didn’t help the encroaching feeling of exclusion the more time Stacey continued to dwell on the topics closest to his team leader’s heart – topics that Jonas had little interest in.

Jonas made the plates clatter audibly as he took the final steps into the kitchen.

Sam greeted him with a sympathetic smile. She looked strained herself; white lines of tension bracketed her mouth and eyes. ‘I think it could be time for dessert.’ She said with false bravado. ‘What do you think?’

‘Sure.’ Jonas attempted a smile. It wasn’t her fault his date had gone so badly. It wasn’t even the Colonel’s – he’d been nothing but a gracious host all day. Sam and Teal’c had both tried to introduce other topics as had Cassie. Perhaps the young girl had gotten it right; maybe Stacey would prefer to be dating Jack O’Neill.

‘Cassie’s wrong, you know.’ Sam’s voice nudged him out of his introspection.

Jonas looked up and belatedly realised that he was alone with Sam in the kitchen. Cassie must have been dispatched with the pie given it was missing from the counter. He feigned innocence. ‘About what?’

‘Stacey likes you.’ Sam said. ‘You can tell.’

‘You can?’ Jonas blurted out the question. Somehow in the last few hours he had begun to doubt that.

Sam nodded and dropped her gaze as she manoeuvred the cake onto a large plate. ‘I think she’s just...a little in awe of the Colonel.’ She licked her thumb where the cake icing had gotten smudged.

‘I don’t know half the stuff they’re talking about.’ Jonas remarked as he picked up the smaller plates she indicated.

‘It doesn’t mean anything, Jonas.’ Sam said comfortingly. ‘It doesn’t change that she came here with you.’ She pushed him gently in the direction of the den. They had come inside after eating, the falling temperature a signal to seek the warmth of the indoors.

Jack gazed at the cake, rubbing his hands with glee and making Jonas smile, as Sam put it down. ‘Now, this was what I was waiting for.’ His dark eyes met Sam’s and she smiled, the tension draining out of her expression for a moment.

‘What about a slice of pie, Jack?’ Stacey asked, interrupting the moment.

Cassie gestured with her drink. ‘It’s chocolate. He prefers vanilla cream.’

‘It’s not a competition.’ Jack said mildly. But Jonas noticed the way his eyes remained on Sam. ‘But I admit; vanilla cream’s my favourite.’

‘I’ll have some pie.’ Jonas said quickly, seeing Stacey’s disappointment.

Stacey grinned at him. ‘You prefer chocolate?’

‘I do.’ Jonas said with absolute truth. ‘We don’t have chocolate on Kelowna.’

‘Nor I on Chulak.’ Teal’c said. ‘I will also have pie.’

‘We didn’t have it on Hanka either.’ Cassie said as Stacey leaned forward to cut Jonas a section of pie. ‘We had pinbar.’

‘Pinbar?’ Jonas asked curious.

‘It was a dark, sticky cake. Kind of like fruit cake here but much, much better.’ Cassie sighed. ‘I miss pinbar.’ She gestured with her glass and it flew out of her hand.

Jonas watched as the glass landed squarely in the pie, sending the chocolate cream splattering, and the last liquid contents of the glass arching through the air. It all landed over Stacey.

For a second, nobody moved.

Stacey looked down in horror at her ruined blouse and splattered jeans.

‘Oh my God!’ Cassie clapped a hand over her mouth. ‘I am so sorry!’

Jack’s lips twitched as he got to his feet; Jonas noticed Sam was already moving to right the glass, Teal’c to whisk the ruined pie away.

‘Carter, maybe you can find something for Stacey to change into? I think I have some of Daniel’s old sweats in the spare room closet.’ Jack suggested.

‘Yes, sir.’ Sam gently took hold of the other woman and led her away.

Jack looked at Cassie and Jonas wondered at the look of admonishment on his face.

‘I swear,’ Cassie said, holding a hand up as though she was taking an oath, ‘it was an accident.’

‘It’s not your fault.’ Jonas said. ‘Let’s face it, it wasn’t going well before...’ he waved toward the scene of the accident. ‘She has more in common with the Colonel than me.’

Jack winced visibly at Jonas’s assertion. ‘Jonas, she’s just trying to impress a senior officer; that’s all. She’s not actually interested in me. Believe me; I’ve seen it a hundred times before.’

Jonas could see the belief in what he’d said in the Colonel’s brown eyes. ‘Maybe.’ He allowed. ‘But, no offence, Colonel; I kind of hoped my date would spend more time talking with me than with you.’ He pushed a hand through his hair. ‘If you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll get some air.’ He walked out before anyone could stop him.

He sat on the edge of the deck, his legs dangling a good few feet off the ground as he stared across the Colonel’s backyard. He wasn’t surprised to hear the door open behind him – he’d expected someone to come out and talk with him. He was however surprised at who it was.

Cassie sat beside him and let her legs swing back. They thumped into the wall below. ‘You overheard me talking with Sam.’

Jonas shrugged. ‘You only said what I was already thinking.’

‘I was being mean.’ Cassie blurted out, gesturing at him.

Jonas looked at her surprised at the confession.

‘I really, really, didn’t mean to drop my glass and ruin her blouse,’ Cassie rushed out hurriedly, ‘but before in the kitchen,’ she bit her lip in a way that reminded Jonas of Sam, ‘I was just being mean to you.’

‘Why?’ Jonas asked confused. What had he done to make her want to be mean to him? It didn’t make any sense.

Cassie looked at him as though he was stupid and he suddenly got it; Daniel Jackson.

‘Oh. Well. I can understand that.’ Jonas said softly. He remembered only too well the cold shoulder he’d been given his first few weeks at the SGC when it seemed everyone blamed him for the other man almost dying, leaving; he’d blamed himself – did blame himself.

She sighed. ‘I lost everyone once. Mom, SG1...they’re all I have left.’ She murmured, her gaze dropping to her hands on her lap. ‘And I don’t want to be mad at Daniel for leaving so...’

Jonas nodded. ‘I get it I do.’ His voice rang with his own understanding. SG1 was everything he had left too. He held his breath because he knew if she made them choose between him and her, he didn’t stand a chance.

‘But I like you and it’s very annoying.’ Cassie complained, tossing her auburn hair back. ‘You kind of remind me of me when I first came to Earth.’

Jonas didn’t know quite how to respond to that. ‘Thank you?’

She gave a soft huff. Her eyes lifted to spear his. ‘Stacey likes likes you.’

Jonas opened his mouth to argue.

‘She looks at you when she thinks you aren’t looking.’ Cassie said before he could say something. ‘And she always knows where you are. She sneaked food off your plate and she might have been talking to Jack but she never moved from your side all dinner.’

‘So you think her talking to the Colonel...’

‘So totally her trying to impress a senior officer.’ Cassie agreed, waving a hand in the air. ‘Apart from my Mom and Sam, they all do it when Jack gives them the rare opportunity to see him off-base and he isn’t just, you know, being scary Colonel O’Neill.’ She grimaced. ‘You should see my Mom’s staff sometimes and she’s just a Major.’

‘OK,’ Jonas said, ‘I get that.’ He had seen it before when SG1 worked with other teams; the deference of the junior officers, the awe in which they were held. He really shouldn’t have been surprised that Stacey felt the same. He shook his head. ‘I guess I really didn’t think this team barbeque thing through as a first date.’

‘Well, that’s because you listened to Jack.’ Cassie pointed out with a teenage bluntness. ‘You really shouldn’t get dating advice from him.’

‘Why not?’ Jonas asked bemused at finding himself discussing his love life with a teenage girl. ‘I understand that he’s been married in the past.’

‘Emphasis on the past as in distant.’ Cassie stressed. She grinned at him. ‘You want to fix this?’

Jonas nodded.

‘Stay right here.’ Cassie sprang up and left before he could say a word.

He shook his head in bewilderment. Nothing about the date was going the way he had imagined it. He wasn’t sure quite what he had imagined. He’d read so many books on dating; on Earth romantic traditions that he’d gotten confused. It was so different from Kelowna where courtship had a strict set of rules that had to be followed.

The door opened again. Cassie hurried out her arms full of candles. Jonas pushed himself to his feet to help her and she tumbled the lot into his arms.

‘Teal’c always keeps a stock here. He says you can have them. Put them out.’ She ordered briskly. ‘I’ll get a light for you.’

She was as good as her word; within moments the deck had been transformed by a blaze of candlelight. He was just blowing the taper out when she arrived back again with some drinks.

‘Just stay here. I’ll go and get Stacey now – I told Sam to stall her.’ Cassie said firmly. She pointed at the sky. ‘Sunset. We’ll leave the two of you out here alone for the rest of the evening.’

‘Cassie.’ Jonas stopped her with a wide smile. ‘Thanks.’

Cassie grinned back at him and disappeared through the door. Jonas sat back down. He got up when the door opened again and Stacey stepped out onto the deck. She was swamped by an oversize sweater proclaiming her allegiance to a University in Chicago that Jonas presumed was Daniel Jackson’s. Her jeans had a couple of damp spots where the worst of the mess had been scrubbed off the denim.

She stopped abruptly at the sight of the candles and Jonas reached out for her hand, closing the door with his other before he led her to the edge of the deck.

‘Jonas, this is just...incredible.’ Stacey said as she gave in to his urgings to take a seat where Cassie had sat beside him a few moments before.

Jonas handed her a glass of ginger ale. ‘I thought we could watch the sunset.’ He motioned at the sky where the sun was inching towards the horizon, a large golden orb, its colours beginning to seep into the thin grey light and create a swathe of pinks and oranges.

‘Just the two of us?’ Stacey checked darting a look behind them.

‘Just the two of us.’ Jonas promised.

Stacey sighed and he could see the relief flicker across her open expression; the way her shoulders dropped an inch. She cuddled closer and he hesitantly put his arm around her shoulder as she focused on the sky ahead of them.

‘I’m sorry about your clothes.’ Jonas said softly.

‘Cassie apologised.’ Stacey murmured. ‘She, uh, also explained about the Kelownan tradition of taking your date to meet your family.’ She turned her head to meet his gaze. ‘I’m honoured really.’

‘Even though this was a bad idea?’ Jonas questioned. ‘I mean, I never really thought about how it would be for you being in the company of senior officers.’

She winced visibly. ‘I got a little carried away talking with the Colonel, didn’t I?’

Jonas shrugged.

Stacey smiled. ‘I tell you what. Why don’t I make it up to you on our second date?’

‘Our second date?’ Jonas questioned hopefully.

‘And I can show you what a first date on Earth is really like.’ Stacey said.

‘I’d like that.’ Jonas said.

They looked at each other warmly for a long moment. Jonas felt a frisson of attraction skitter over him.

‘So, the first thing you should know,’ Stacey said, her voice low and soft, ‘is that you should always be suspicious of a woman who kisses on the first date.’

‘Yeah?’ Jonas asked roughly.

‘Yeah. She generally wants something.’ She shuffled position and kissed him softly on the lips.

Jonas examined her expression and moved to cup her cheek in the palm of one hand. He kissed her again, slowly and thoroughly.

‘So,’ Jonas asked as he pulled away reluctantly, ‘what do you want?’

Stacey smiled brightly at him and tugged him back to her. ‘You’re doing just fine.’

Jonas smiled widely. ‘We’re going to miss the sunset.’

‘There’ll be another one tomorrow.’ Stacey commented just before she kissed him again.

o-O-o

Cassie peeked out from behind the curtain and grinned. It looked like Jonas caught on quick. She sighed inwardly. It all looked so romantic. She wondered if she dropped enough hints to Dominic whether he’d do the same for her.

‘That’s just wrong.’ Jack complained beside her as Jonas continued kissing Stacey.

Teal’c raised an eyebrow from his vantage point on the other side of the window. He was busily demolishing the remainder of the chocolate cream pie. ‘Do you disagree with his technique, O’Neill?’

Cassie snorted at Jack’s outraged look. Jack and kissing? She so did not want to think about that.

‘She’s wearing Daniel’s sweater.’ Jack pointed out. ‘Don’t you think Jonas kissing a woman wearing Daniel’s sweater is the least bit creepy?’

‘I don’t think Daniel would mind, sir.’ Sam said dryly. ‘Should we even be watching them like this?’

‘Probably not.’ Jack admitted with a sigh.

They all didn’t move.

Jonas suddenly shot them a look and they all stepped away from the window except for Cassie. Sam tugged at her and Cassie moved, rolling her eyes.

‘That was a nice thing you did.’ Sam said.

Cassie nodded. She liked Jonas and she was pleased she’d helped him fix things with Stacey. She felt a flutter of grief for Daniel but let it simply flow through her. She missed him, Cassie thought with a sigh, but she figured he would have been proud of the way she had helped Jonas. She turned hopefully to Jack. ‘Maybe we should go out?’

‘Out?’ Jack prompted.

‘To the ice-cream place on Main?’ Cassie wheedled. She looked at Sam. ‘They do the most awesome hot chocolate with marshmallows too.’

‘I believe it would be wise to leave Jonas Quinn and Stacey Rush alone.’ Teal’c inclined his head at Cassie, backing her up.

Jack exchanged a look with Sam who shrugged.

‘I guess I’m in for another sleepless night.’ Sam said ruefully as she gave in.

Jack winked at her. ‘I don’t mind.’

Cassie wondered at their exchange and the way Sam blushed. That had almost sounded like...

‘Are you not coming with us, Cassandra Fraiser?’ Teal’c offered his arm and Cassie took it gratefully, shaking away her thoughts. She snagged her coat by the door as they followed Jack and Sam out of the house.

Ice-cream with her favourite people seemed like a good reward to her.

Fin.

 


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