The word was still foul in her mouth. Years of calling him sir, not saying what she wanted to, not being able to formulate the thoughts into words, possibly not even having the thoughts coherent enough to coalesce into words.

She wanted more. She wanted a life. She had always thought she wanted him. She thought she could wait.

And now...and now she was so damned tired of waiting she wanted it now and he said to look elsewhere. She was pushing 40 and the man she had foolishly set her hopes on said look elsewhere, that he didn't want what she craved, a life, a family, some stability, a someone who would love and understand her.

In those few moments she hated him. Hated him for those wasted years of hero worship. Hated him for flirting with her. Hated him for `caring a lot more than he was supposed to'. Hated him for not wanting what she wanted. Hated him for not loving her enough.

Then it occurred to her, for someone so bright how could she be so stupid. While he'd been talking about her and kids and carpools, she had almost missed that look in his eyes. The same look she'd seen before. She thought again about the Za'tarc testing, seeing O'Neill turn to look at her with that very same expression while going off to sacrifice himself for her. He'd been ready to give up everything - his life - in order to have a shot at saving her. Was he doing it again?

She stopped cold on the path, her mind racing at the possibilities. She saw through the half-veiled truths he'd just told about SG-1 getting along without her. Through the talk of deserving more and needing to reach out and take it. She saw through his evasion of the truth. And cursed herself for being a fool and believing his half-truths and lies. He'd never once said he didn't need her. He'd never once said he wouldn't miss her. He'd never once said he didn't want her. He'd implied it all with his offhand comments about going out and finding someone, while never actually saying that the things they'd said that day in the isolation room had been a lie. And she couldn't believe that she had almost fallen for it.

If she was the SGC's resident genius perhaps she should use some of that brain power to get what she wanted out of life. She had been waiting for love and happiness to fall in her lap, perhaps she needed to do a little research and make a plan. It sounded a little cold, maybe even a bit calculating to her but if she waited for her future to stroll in her front door she would probably be a white haired old lady in a rocker with three cats before it ever made an entrance. No, this was no time to sit back and wait passively for come what may. It was time to be proactive, to face this with the mind of a scientist, the strength of a warrior and the wiles of a major strategist. The target had been selected and now to get him in the cross hairs.

This was going to be more difficult than building a naquadah reactor and quite likely as potentially explosive.