Disclaimer: Don't own 'em.

Rating: PG

Spoilers: Anything up through Secrets, but not Bane. Falls right between the two, basically.

Archive: Ask and ye shall receive.

Summary: SG-1 and Janet and Cassie spend a lazy spring day doing... silly things.

Notes: This... ended up places I never thought it would. It really was composed as I walked home from work, right by a field full of dandelions. But then the end. Perhaps I've been reading too much of Cherry Ice's fabulous X-Men fic. And, since I've just tacked on an epilogue (in a different tense, go me... Not). I'll shut up now.

Springtime for SG-1

by Ana Lyssie Cotton

Janet Frasier was many things. She was not, as a rule, forgetful. So it mistified her to look out onto her backyard and discover that it had not been mown three days ago as she'd assumed. Of course, the fact that it had taken this long for her to notice was not something she wanted to consider. It smacked of over-work. Or senility setting in. And senility in a Chief Medical Officer is a bad thing, especially when that self-same CMO had a nearly teenage daughter to care for and a base of over 500 people to keep healthy.

Not that the slightly less than tame yard was a bad thing. If her daughter's whoops and shrieks were anything to go by, it was a fabulous thing.

"So, where do you want this?"

Looking away from the window, Janet half-smiled at Sam Carter. The blonde woman was waving one hand while hoisting up a bag of groceries. The two of them were in charge of the food portion of the afternoon's entertainment. Which probably meant the men would go macho and grill that night. "Counter."

In the living room, the men (all two of them) were flopped on the couch and recliner. Jack O'Neill had control of the television remote, and he and Daniel Jackson were bickering about what to watch.

Janet glanced out the window again, amused to see Teal'c (the last man in the house) sit down to talk to her daughter.

Then she turned to Sam and began helping her unload the chips and dip.

--

The sunlight had made her homesick for a while. But Cassandra Frasier was made of sterner stuff than most children her age. And so while the sunlight sometimes made her sad, it also made her happy. She revelled in it, throwing herself backwards into the thick grass and sighed contentedly.

"Cassandra Frasier."

She blinked open one eye, and grinned up at Teal'c. The jaffa was looking around the backyard, his gaze slightly off. "What?"

"There appears to be more vegetation in this vicinity than Doctor Frasier normally allows."

"Dandelions." said Cassie helpfully. She sat up and reached out to run one hand through the white heads of a bunch sitting nearby. They frothed outwards, the seeds taking flight in seconds. Delightedly, she watched the phenomen, then looked at Teal'c. "See?"

"I. See." He tilted his head to one side. "To what purpose do you shake them into shreds, Cassandra?"

"Well, from what Sam said, this is the way they," she paused and screwed up her nose in concentration. "'propogate their species'. And that if I wanted them to grow, I should tell Derek not to mow back here. And not to tell mom, because then there'd be big needles, and Sam doesn't like big needles." She ran out of breath, and paused to blow a breath at another stalk.

Teal'c inclined his head.

"Anyway. They're fun." Standing suddenly, Cassie waved a dandelion at Teal'c, the white fluff floating off. "See?"

"Fun?"

"Yes. Fun." Drawing herself up with all the regality 12 (going on 40) could muster, Cassandra nodded once. "They are fun. They explode." She swooped down, gravity forgotten, and grabbed another handful, shredding them as she bounced away, giggling in the sunshine.

"They are not fun."

"Are, too!" She stamped a foot, then threw the now-headless stalks at Teal'c. "You just have to--" She paused, eyeing the alien as he raised the super soaker that had suddenly appeared in his hands. "Where'd you get that?"

"I believe, Cassandra Frasier, that this is more fun." He pulled the trigger.

Cold water blasted onto the surprised pre-teen for a moment, then she squealed (more in anger than any other emotion), and yelped. "Teal'c! I'm gonna tell mo-om!"

So saying, she turned and ran into the house leaving the Jaffa sitting calmly in the over-grown grass. It would not be long, he decided, before revenge was exacted. It should prove. Amusing.

--

"MoooM! Teal's shot me with a water gun! And now my shirt's all wet, and he didn't like dandelions, and--"

"Whoa! Slow down, Cassie." Janet demanded as she turned from putting together the salsa and cheese dip. She paused as she took in her slightly dampened child. "Teal'c did that?"

"Yeah. With a super soaker." The girl pouted, "How come I don't have one?"

"Hrm. I think Mr. Teal'c is going to have a vacation from Junior on his next trip to the infirmary."

"Janet," Sam began, her voice amused.

"I know, Sam. But I think he should discover how much he dislikes large needles."

"Aw, c'mon, Doc," Jack O'Neill interrupted from where he stood in the doorway. He surveyed Cassie with a professional eye. "Cass's still got fight in her, right Cass?"

"Yeah."

With a smirk and a flourish, O'Neill produced his own water gun. This one was purple (Cassie had decided, when the violets had been in bloom on the third Wednesday of the previous month--and for two hours--that purple was her favorite colour. Jack hadn't forgotten) and silver. "What'ya say, Cass?"

"Uh, Jack?" asked Daniel, who had followed him from the living room. "Isn't that a little childish?"

"Daniel." Jack placed a hand over his heart. "I'm touched that you worry I'm childish."

Sam chose that moment to snicker, which she turned into a cough when O'Neill glared at her. "Um, sir, don't you think--"

"Stop thinking, Carter."

"Right, sir." She tossed him a sloppy salute, then looked at Janet. "I suppose you have towels."

"Yes."

--

Really, Jack should never have made this big a tactical mistake. But he really hadn't thought that his stalwart comrade in arms would turn against him so. Still, he decided, as he knelt behind one of the hedges and tried to ignore the fact that he was now dripping wet. He should have seen it coming. After all, only Carter had never betrayed him. Cassie was fair game for turning her coat.

Which she had. As soon as he made the mistake of handing her the super soaker so she could use it on Teal'c.

So now he was stuck, facing two people who seemed to delight in aiming accurately to get him as wet as possible. With no backup, no hope for a reprieve.

"Sir?"

And possible salvation.

"Carter. Tell me you brought a big honkin' gun."

"Can't, sir." She crouched next to him, her eyes alight with mischief, but her mouth was completely serious. She handed him a small round object. It jiggled.

"Water balloons, Carter?"

"Yes, sir."

"We're up against two maniacs with super soakers, Carter. And you're givin' me water balloons?"

Her lips twitched, but fought to remain serious. "Well, sir, isn't it the best tactics that win the day in the end?"

"For cryin' out loud, Carter, this isn't a military assault!"

"Isn't it, sir?"

He paused. Considered. And an evil smile began to form on his lips. "How many of these do you have?"

"A whole bag, sir." She lifted up the shopping bag he had failed to notice. It jiggled. "About thirty. I believe."

"Good. C'mon. Here's the plan." He leaned in and began whispering in her ear. Just in case there were spies around. And not because he wanted to get close enough to smell his second in command. Nope. Not at all.

--

Four exhausted, yet completely soaked, people made their way back into Janet's house less than thirty minutes later. The doctor eyed them, then directed Daniel to hand out the towels she'd scrounged. "None of you are allowed to sit on the furniture."

"Ah, for cryin' out loud, Doc, my knees hurt!" Jack objected.

Janet folded her arms and pinned him with a look. "And whose fault is it that your knees hurt now?"

"Cassie's." The man stated, as if this were irrefutable logic.

"Was not!" The girl in question objected.

"Jack."

"Daniel."

"I believe, O'Neill, that the fault lies entirely at your own domicile."

"Door, T."

At that precise moment, Sam Carter giggled. If there hadn't been a sudden silence, none of them would have heard the young Captain's exclamation of mirth. But it was, and they all turned to stare at her. Which made her giggle harder.

Janet felt her own lips begin to twitch. "What is it, Sam?"

"No-nothing." The woman managed to choke out before leaning against the counter and breaking out into full laughter.

But it wasn't nothing, Janet suddenly realized. And before any of the others could understand that there was something very wrong with the tone of Sam's laughter, she grabbed the other woman's arm and dragged her from the kitchen and into the bathroom. Where the laughter suddenly became ragged sobs as the Captain collapsed onto the edge of the tub and buried her head in her hands.

Janet stayed silent for a few minutes, letting Sam cry herself out. She had no clue what had caused this, but it could have been many things, not the least of which was the fact that she might simply be exhausted. Then she touched her shoulder. "I'll get you a shirt to wear. Can't help with the pants, sadly."

"It's ok." There was a soft sniffle, and Sam accepted the offered toilet paper, wiping her eyes and then blowing her nose. "My bra is wet." She gave a last giggle, then sighed. "God. Janet, I'm so sorry."

"For what?"

"Falling apart."

Reaching out, Janet touched her shoulder carefully. Even now, she was uncertain how much comfort Captain Sam Carter would take from people. "It's all right, Sam. Sometimes, things get to be too much, and--"

"It all breaks apart. Yeah." Scrubbing another hand through her hair, Sam stood. "I think I'll take that shirt."

"Right." Janet paused at the door. "Wash your face, too."

With a grimace, she nodded.

--

"Carter?"

The back patio was now covered with barbecue paraphenalia, lawn chairs, and the occasional small table-like thing that could, in a pinch, be used to balance a beer on. Sam turned from her contemplation of the slowly darkening backyard and looked at her commanding officer. "Yes?"

He gestured with his half-empty bottle of beer. "You ok?"

"Yes, sir."

He eyed her for a moment, then took a sip of his beer. "Sam..."

The use of her first name made her pause, but she met his eyes, "I'm all right, sir."

A moment more of eye contact, while he assessed what he saw, then he slowly nodded. "Yeah. And about that, Carter. WHAT have I told you about giggling?"

A tiny smile touched her lips. "That it's not allowed, sir?"

"Exactly."

Deciding to be brave, she reached out and stole his bottle of beer, tipping the last few mouthfuls down her own throat. When she came up for air, she shot him an arch look. "What's my punishment, then?"

"Jack!" Cassie bounced up to them, breaking into the suddenly charged silence without even realizing it was there. "Daniel says you'd better come, that Teal'c is going to ruin the steaks. Mom says he's being silly. And, besides, mom can cook better than Daniel. So she would know."

Chuckling, Sam handed the empty bottle back to Colonel O'Neill. "Better go, sir. There could be war breaking out at any time."

"Ah, for cryin' out loud." The man muttered. Then he gave into the insistent tugging of Cassie. But not before he shot Sam a look that said he was going to push and poke and prod another time. She hoped it would be a long time before he got that chance.

In the relative silence of the night, Sam Carter studied the growing dandelions, and grinned.

--

Epilogue (hence, the tense shift. Sorry, it wanted to be like this.)

Nearly two a.m. Cassie fell asleep around midnight, and no one had the heart to move her from her perch on the recliner (Jack might have tried, but he was too busy coercing Daniel and Teal'c out to a cab since Janet was kicking the guys out. And none of them were able to drive by now). Sam has her feet propped up on the coffee table, Janet next to her on the couch. They're sharing the last bottle of beer, taking slow sips then passing it back and forth.

Janet might have objected, said something about shared germs. But she's had a few too many herself. And it's alcohol.

Pleasantly hazy, Sam wonders about the punishment the Colonel has planned for her. If memory serves her, the worst it could be is itching powder in uncomfortable places. Of course, the Academy is a long time ago for the Colonel, and it's possible he's a bit more mature than that.

On the other hand, he rarely is.

Not that he shouldn't be fore-warned. Maybe she could e-mail an old classmate. Have them drop him a letter about not pissing Sam Carter off.

The halls of the Academy had wrung for months with the rumours of what she'd done. After she'd figured out the three responsible for the itching powder in her bras. No one had ever tried anything on her again, or on anyone she seemed to consider a friend.

"So what were the tears about?" Janet's had enough to not feel tactful anymore. And she's dying of curiosity.

Reality slams back into Sam. She considers saying a lie. Sticks to the truth. "My father's dying of cancer." Jolinar. Okay. So, most of the truth. And at least her father is something tangible she can touch, taste, sense, feel. It's not a hundred memory fragments that aren't her own coupled with myriad emotions that flare up without warning and make her wonder where she ends and Jolinar began.

"Oh, god, Sam. I'm so sorry." There's sadness in Janet's eyes, she reaches out a hand and touches Sam's shoulder. "Is there any..."

"Inoperable."

Her eyes close, but she nods. As a doctor, she knows this disease. Has considered a hundred ways she might fight it, if they can just find the right cure, the right mixture of chemical compositions and alien technology--but they're so far from that still. And research was never Janet's field. She likes people more. "If there's anything I can do."

Sam half-smiles, "Don't tell anyone."

"It's a confidence, Sam. I wouldn't break it."

"I know," she ducks her head, then sighs. "I'm sorry, Janet. I didn't mean to break down in your house."

"You've already said that. Sam, you can't blame yourself for having an emotional breaking point."

"Can't I?"

"No." the other woman replies firmly. She shakes the now empty bottle at her. "No one can understand where that point is. Even psychologists barely understand it." She sighs. "Ah, pop psych in bottle form."

"Don't sell yourself short, Janet." Sam sinks back further into the couch and sighs for the what feels like the sixtieth time. "I should sleep."

"So should I."

But they're still oddly content to just sit there, staring into the middle of nothing.

"Oh, and, Sam?"

"Hrm?"

"The next time you suggest something to Cassie about my lawn, you won't be able to walk for a week."

Because, as everyone at the SGC knows, Janet Frasier? Knows. Everything.

-finis-

Final note: C'mon, how could I resist wanting to call this after the bad play from The Producers? (singsongs, "It's springtime for S-G-1... Summer has never coooome...." [I filk. Badly. ])