AUTHORS NOTE: Dedicated to Tarra, who inspired me to become a Jonas/Cassie shipper. Bunches of thanks to Robert.

The Secrets of Alien Chess

by Allie O'N

Cassie approached the infirmary but stopped short of going inside. Her mom had said that it would be fine to visit Jonas -- after all, he would have quite a long recovery ahead of him after the brush with death and the delicate surgery. The hard part for Cassie would be actually going in there alone.

Taking a deep breath, she walked through the doorway. She was relieved to find him awake. She wasn't sure what she'd have done if he had been asleep. "Hey, Jonas."

"Hi, Cassandra." He smiled brightly, and Cassie could not help but smile back. The way he said her name warmed her.

"Mom said that you'd be stuck here for a while, and that you may not mind some company." She had a hopeful look on her face.

"Sure. Sam and Colonel O'Neill are both off-base today."

"That's right! Mom said something about Jack doing some 'house work' for Sam because of her injury." She let out a small giggle.

"What? Don't you believe her?"

"Oh, I believe mom, but Jack. . ." Cassie pulled her chair closer to the hospital bed. "Let's just say he has a harder time hiding his intent from Sam's future bride's maids." She pulled the chess set from her bookbag, keeping one eye on Jonas's incredulous face.

"They're not! You don't mean --"

"No, no one is supposed to know." She eyed him carefully. "You've been part of SG1 for almost a year, now. You must have seen that way they look at each other."

"Yes. . ." Jonas began.

"Well, since Jack came back from wherever he was for a month, they have made a few officially unofficial arrangements." She held up the board. "Chess?"

***

"Best of three?"

"I guess it's only fair -- you are recovering from brain surgery." Cassie smirked.

"You're really good at this game." Jonas sat back and reached for his cup of water.

"I've been playing with Sam since. . . it seems like forever. . ." Cassie looked off at nothing until Jonas's voice interrupted.

"What was your life like. . . before?"

"Pretty simple, really," was Cassie's wistful answer. "My family had a farm, and I went to school. I was just average there. . . like everyone else."

"It's strange isn't it?"

Cassie looked at him with a question in her eyes, but she knew what he meant. "Being different?"

"Yeah. Everyone either expects me to be this Superman or they don't know what to think because I'm an. . . alien." Cassie heard a flavor of distaste in the word.

"One with a supercharged brain." Cassie emphasized.

"So," Jonas began, "how about that second game -- one super alien brain versus another?"

"You're on."

While Cassie started to arrange the pieces on the board, Jonas stared at the king and queen in his hand. "Cassie, do Sam and the Colonel really have an 'agreement'?"

"Well, that's a secret. . . for now."