"See, this is a better class of film than Moulin Rouge."

"Shut up, Jack," Cassie said firmly.

"Yeah. Shut up sir," Carter said, giving him a dig in the ribs.

The remains of their takeaway still sat on the kitchen table, abandoned in favour of Lord of the Rings. Carter and O'Neill sat next to one another on his sofa, Cassie on the other chair, completely absorbed in the film.

Or possibly watching Orlando Bloom very intensely, it was hard to tell.

"We should do this more often," she said suddenly, making Carter jump guiltily as her head had been mere millimetres away from resting on O'Neill's shoulder.

"Yeah," O'Neill said, in definite accordance. Julia had 'phoned him earlier that night to tell him she was sorry, but it was over. He was exhibiting a disturbing lack of emotion over this development.

"Uh-huh," Carter added, sitting more upright in a firm attempt not to come dangerously close to breaking fraternisation regulations.

O'Neill took a malicious pleasure out of shifting his weight ever-so-slightly to his left, so the small gap Carter had created between them was obliterated. She didn't move again.

It wasn't perfect, he thought. But it didn't have to be permanent.

The weight of his resignation letter weighing firmly on his mind, he put his arm around her shoulders.