Category: Angst, Sam/Jack UST

Season/spoiler: season 4-6ish…

Summary: Dancing or camping? No whumping or violence…. completely G-rated. Whimsical, fluff. Flight of fancy and just for fun.

Status: complete

Archive: Heliopolis, Gateworld.net, Fanfiction.net and whoever who wants it.

Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended.

A/N: Author's Notes: I wrote 'Come Fly With Me' first... and then a few weeks later...this storyline popped into my head. 'The Zen of Dancing' almost works as a prequel....but it actually was born, and stands, on its own.

==========================

The Zen of Dancing

.

"Come on, Sam!" Cassie shouted at her impatiently.

"Coming, coming… just have to grab a bottle of water," Sam returned with a smile at the impatient teenager. Janet and the rest of SG-1 were standing just outside as Sam gathered her jacket and knapsack. "You do realize that you are an hour and a half early," Sam allowed herself to be ushered outside by the exuberant young girl.

"Sorry about that, Sam," Janet apologized, "She was completely packed -last- weekend and she dragged me out of bed at 5am this morning…" The members of SG-1 had promised Cassandra a four-day camping and fishing trip. The trip had already been postponed three times and Cassie had been particularly bent out of shape…. She had actually stated that she didn't care if the Go'a'uld were knocking on the Stargate this time….

She'd wheedled Janet into rounding up the others early. Similar scenes had played out at as they'd arrived at each residence. First, they'd gone to Daniel's and dragged him out of bed… and then Cassie had dragged him, literally, out of his apartment. Janet didn't think that anyone but Cassie could have gotten away with it. But, she knew that Cassie had Daniel wrapped around her finger…However, the young girl had insisted that they stop at Starbuck's for the young archeologist…. just to make sure that she didn't fall out of his good graces.

The Colonel's house was next on their list. Teal'c had stayed at O'Neill's house overnight to reduce the logistics of the morning's departure. He and Teal'c were already up and Janet could tell that they were ready to go… but Jack deliberately enjoyed teasing Cassie, so he'd tormented the young girl as he found one thing after another to check up on or take care of before they could leave.

And then, they were at Sam's… and Sam was allowing herself to be whisked away from her morning ablations. Janet shook her head…. Cassie had them all wrapped around her fingers.

"Hey guys," Sam greeted the group standing on her front lawn as she turned to lock the door behind her.

"Morning, Sam." "Good Morning, Samantha." "Hi, Sam." "Morning, Carter," she received an overlapping chorus of greetings.

"Come -on-, you guys," Cassie was already at the SUV and gesturing impatiently.

The adults traded amused looks and then turned to follow the instructions of the expedition's self-appointed leader. "Young Cassandra appears most impatient this morning, Doctor Frasier," Teal'c commented as they walked towards the SUV.

"She's afraid that the phone is going to ring and that you are all going to get called out on another mission to save the world," Janet explained.

"Can't blame her there, can we?" Daniel responded. "It's almost like the Go'a'uld have decided that best way to torture SG-1 is to try something nasty just as we are scheduled for some serious downtime."

"Sam, just stow your stuff in the back, and we can get this menagerie on the road," Janet instructed.

"Aye, aye, ma'am," Sam replied amicably. As she was popping the back hatch, a dark blue, 4-door sedan parked behind Janet's SUV. Turning around, she saw a 6'2" handsome Captain, in full dress uniform, step out of the sedan. Cassie let out a small, teenage wolf-whistle.

"Major Samantha Carter?" the handsome Captain had placed his cover neatly on his head and stood at attention before Sam.

"Yes, Captain?" Sam returned evenly while the rest of the group waited patiently… all except for Cassie.

"Major Carter, Captain Gregory Thomas respectfully requests you to the dance tomorrow," the Captain responded.

Sam smiled and sighed, "At ease, Captain," she gave him an amused look and glanced at the group assembled around the SUV. "Let me introduce you to a few folks… Captain Greg Thomas, this is Doctor Janet Frasier and her daughter Cassandra…, this is Doctor Daniel Jackson, archeologist…., this is Teal'c…., and this is Colonel Jack O'Neill." Each of them nodded or waved politely as they were introduced.

Turning back to the handsome Captain, she smiled and shook her head at him, "Now Greg, I already explained that I have a prior obligation and I can't make it this weekend."

Thomas's eyes scanned the assortment of people and the pile of gear stuffed into the back of the SUV. "Mmmm…..," and he smiled at them all and then fixed Sam with his eyes. "Looks like you are going camping… mmmmm… yeah… dirt… twigs… lumpy sleeping bags….," and he glanced over at her and she was rolling her eyes, "and you want to do that instead of dancing with me?"

"Greg…," she started to speak and he interrupted.

"You know, I put this monkey suit on just to impress you. I know that you think I look hot in it," he tried teasing her.

"Oh, yeah… you do look hot in it… too bad you had to go and spoil it by opening that mouth of yours," she teased him right back while shaking her head 'no.'

He sighed. "Well, I had to try. You are really going to be missing out this weekend…. When you're laying in the dirt, trying to sleep, just remember…. I had a little bit of everything planned… a little Tango here and there… a little Salsa…"

She was smiling and shaking her head at him, "You are incorrigible… and tempting," she raised her eyebrows at him, "but you know I can't go. Next time…. I promise."

With one last attempt, he pulled some papers out of his pockets, "I have reservations… and everything's booked… all ready to go…," and he looked at her hopefully.

"Greg! You are impossible!" she was laughing now, "But I can't, and you know it."

"Sam?" Cassie was calling for her attention.

"Yeah, honey?" Sam turned back to see the young girl gesturing for her to come over to talk privately. Turning back to Thomas, "Greg, I'll be right back," and she stepped over to the other side of the SUV with Cassie.

Cassie spoke in a low voice so that the Captain couldn't hear them, "He's cute, Sam."

Smiling at the teenager, Sam replied, "Yes, yes he is."

"Are you canceling out on him so that you can go with us?" Cassie asked.

"Well, yes, honey, but I really, really do want to go with you guys," Sam assured her.

"But…. he's -really, really- cute, Sam," the teenager had a young predatory look on her face and Sam couldn't help but laugh a little.

"Yes, he always has been…," Sam agreed.

"So… you should go out with him, then… and not with us….," Cassie assessed to Sam's surprise.

"But…," Sam started to say something but didn't get the chance.

"He's not married is he?" Cassie asked abruptly.

"Well, no… ummm… he wasn't the last time that I talked to him…," Sam floundered a bit with that unexpected question and then looked around to find that her fellow SGC colleagues were all silently listening in on their conversation. Her face reddened as she saw that the Colonel, in particular, was enjoying the parental third degree that she was getting from young Cassie. She glared at them all and they all fastened their gazes nonchalantly elsewhere…

"You aren't sure?" Cassie asked and then didn't wait for an answer as she stepped around Sam and walked over to the tall, handsome officer.

"Erk, Cassie….?" Sam looked up in surprise.

"Captain Thomas?" Cassie asked.

"Call me Greg," he responded immediately with a winning smile that captivated the young teenage girl.

"OK, Greg, are you married?" she asked bluntly.

Amused he looked over at Sam to see her cheeks pink and her eyes closed in embarrassment. "Nope, I'm not married," and he gave the young girl another smile.

Cassie leaned forward and whispered to him, "Do you like Sam?"

He looked over at the person in question, "Oh, yes, I do like Sam," and he said it loud enough for everyone to hear…. and he saw Sam close her eyes again and lean back against the SUV for support.

Grinning at the group, he spoke up… "And, we don't get the chance to dance nearly often enough… it's been more than a year since that last dance…"

Cassie turned around and stepped back over to Sam. "I think that you should go dancing with Captain Thomas, Sam," and with her back to the officer, she gave Sam a look that teenagers reserved for hot-looking-males.

Sam turned to her colleagues for help, but didn't find it. Janet had a look on her face that was similar to Cassie's… one that said 'Get out there, girl, get yourself that man.' Daniel just raised his eyebrows with encouragement and grinned at her. The Colonel's face was introspective and non-committal.

"Teal'c…?" she turned to the Jaffa for support.

"Samantha Carter, I agree with young Cassandra, you should go dancing with Captain Thomas," the Jaffa was no help at all and Cassie looked smug. Sam looked back over at the extremely self-satisfied Captain while the Colonel took the chance to shoot a glare at the Jaffa.

"It's not what you are all thinking…," Sam tried to explain….

But Cassie cut her off, "Just go dancing, Sam… and then you have to tell me all about it when you get back," and the teenager grinned at her.

"You'll have to tell us all about it," Janet agreed and leaned over and gave her friend a push towards the Captain. Sam looked back at her friends in disbelief.

"Errr… Greg…. I think…," Sam turned to him to try and straighten things out, but found that Cassie and Janet were pressing her gear into her hands and before she could go any further, her SG-1 colleagues smoothly drove off, with "Have fun," "See you in a few days," and other such salutations drifting on the breeze.

Sam turned back to find the handsome officer looking at her sideways as he tried to gauge what her reaction was going to turn into… and whether or not he would need to defend himself… or simply run…

"I… you…. they…. wha- -… you…," and she said a few other things that he couldn't quite make out.

Then she just stared at him. He winced and tried not to squirm as the moments passed in the early morning sun.

"You know what they think we are going to do this weekend, don't you?" she said quietly, but very directly.

"We-e-ellll…," he returned sheepishly and looked at her quickly to see if he could figure out where this was headed yet. And he found that she couldn't keep a grin from spreading across her face… and she was rolling her eyes and shrugging as she accepted what he'd accomplished.

He grinned back at her hopefully and she shook her head at him. "You are incorrigible… always have been… always will be…," she muttered, but she didn't seem angry with him.

"So… dancing?" he asked again and let her see the hope in his eyes.

"Oh, ye-aa-aah… we are soooooo going dancing…," she replied with an evil glint, "and I am sooooo going to kick your butt!"

"You wish!" he replied quickly, "I've been practicing and you are in for a surprise, young lady."

"Just remember the ROE, young man," she returned, "Just remember the ROE…"

==========================

0900 the next day

Daniel, Janet and Cassie were rowing a small boat across the lake. Teal'c had gone for a hike. The Colonel was fishing.

"So… Janet… do you think that Sam is having a good time?" Cassie asked her for the umpteenth time and Janet grinned at Daniel.

"Oh, yeah, I'm sure that Sam is having a great time, honey," she replied as she had each time the teenager had asked. They all knew that Sam was in for one intense teenage inquisition when the long weekend was over.

"Do you think Captain Thomas will ask Sam to marry him?" Cassie asked with the innocence of youth. Daniel looked intently off into the distance to make sure that Janet had to field that question.

"Well, honey, I don't know if that will happen, but it's unlikely that something that serious would happen so quickly…. Sam's not the kind of person to rush into anything," Janet replied.

"Well, it's not like they just met… and he was trying to impress her," Cassie returned with a moony look on her young face. "Have you met him before?"

"No. But then, being in the military, Sam knows people from all over the world that we've never met," Janet responded honestly.

"But… he was soooo handsome, mom…," the youngster breathed. "You'd think that she would have mentioned him," and she paused, "It would be cool if they got married, don't you think?"

"Cassie, you can't get your hopes set on other people's relationships. Matchmaker is a very dangerous game," Janet warned.

"Well, I wouldn't be disappointed if Sam and Greg didn't get married," the youngster admitted and then continued, "if Greg at least made -someone else- jealous."

Daniel and Janet exchanged looks of astonishment. There was no doubt in their minds who the innocent-looking teenager was referring to. "Cassie!" Janet admonished and the teenager gave her a devious grin and waggled her eyebrows.

"I'm growing up, mom!" she teased her mom.

"Yeah, well, slow it down a bit, OK… at least let me catch up!" Janet returned.

A few minutes of silence passed and then,

"Do you think that Sam is having a good time, mom?"

==========================

Dancing. Oh, -this- was dancing.

They'd done the Tango and the Salsa… some Jitterbugging… and she'd worn him out, so he'd led them through a more sedate, majestic waltz.

And, now it was a combination of Hide and Seek and Tag.

Not traditional dances, no… but then they weren't dancing in any traditional fashion….

The ground blurred by underneath and he banked starboard and then port…. where was she? Where was she? He'd only lost her a few seconds ago…. glancing around… no joy…. he pulled back on the stick and climbed straight up… up…. up…. shooting past Angels-21, then arced over and leveled off…. now, where was she…?... and he scoured the terrain below.

"Looking for something?" her voice came through the radio clearly.

"Arrrrggghhh….," he ground back at her as he continued scanning the terrain below.

"Hey, flyboy….," she teased him, "I think that your left wing needs some touch-up paint."

ACK! He looked over his shoulder and there she was, just behind his wing. Waving at him… insolently. He sighed. She was such a great pilot. What was she doing out at that research facility anyway? He'd always known that her life would be a constant tug-of-war between her scientific brilliance and this other side of her… but he'd never expected the research to win – not over this! How could anything beat this?

He shook his head as he led now and she followed.
They ripped through the air above the Air Force training grounds.

Deep Space Radar Telemetry.
Bah!
Even the title sounded horrible to him.
How could she not want to do -this-?

==========================

They'd landed, grabbed some lunch and spent an hour going over their flight plans for the afternoon. They had some scheduled time with the Flight Instructor. Thomas always ensured that Carter remained her flight-ready status. Deep Space Radar research or not.

Her eyes were shining and she'd hugged him more fiercely than he could remember. He knew that flying ripped a cord in her soul that no other experience could match. He knew that she was one of the best pilots that he'd ever met. The Flight Instructors always gave her top marks. And he knew that they'd dangled flight assignments in front of her.

He'd known her since the academy and flight school.
They'd been each other's wingman at different times.
There was no one he'd rather have on his squad… there was no other pilot that he'd rather fly with.

He knew that her heart sang in perfect pitch when she was racing through the heavens.

He'd just have never figured that any kind of research would ever take her away from flying.

Especially something like Deep Space Radar Telemetry.
Gak!
Yak!

She'd always spoken of wanting to be an astronaut.
That was the only thing that he'd ever thought would pull her away from this.
Traveling through the stars.
Although, his pilot's heart did not consider the Space Shuttle flying…. not in the sense that he needed for his pilot's soul.

But that had been her dream.

So why wasn't she there?
Or here?

Instead, she was inside some research facility buried inside a mountain!
Go figure.
He couldn't.

But he tried, at least once a year….
….to take her dancing.

Back out here.

And, every time, he saw her transform back into that impish, happy pilot that he knew from so many years ago. He saw her cut loose and regain some of that devil-may-care that looked so good on her. That radiant positive attitude that was necessary for jet pilots. That attitude that said, 'I can take on anything, and wrestle it to the ground.'

Whatever she was doing in that mountain, it wasn't feeding that part of her soul. And he could see it every time he came round to pull her back for a few days. She'd grown quieter and there was something in her eyes that spoke of knowledge and experiences beyond her years.

It didn't make sense to him and he'd tried to get her to talk about it, but she couldn't.

It was classified.
And he knew that he'd have to accept that.
He was in the military too.
But he hated what it had done to her over the years.

He knew that it wasn't just research that she had been doing over these past years.

It couldn't be.
She wouldn't be a major already if she was just doing research.
Nope, she was doing something else.
Maybe…. in addition to research, yes.
But something else besides just research.

Whatever it was, he knew that it must be important.
Because he knew that her sense of duty would completely bury her personal needs.

But, he thought, she still deserved to be happy.
And she was happy – up here.
So, he did what he could do and he dragged her out here as often as he could.
Which wasn't often enough.
But it was better than nothing.

Dancing.
Their own kind of dancing.

==========================

She was leading now in what they'd dubbed their own Tango.
Stately.
Poised.
Seductive.
Elegant flying.
Side-by-side.
He was sideways on his right wing.
She was sideways on her left wing.
She was a little in front… then he was….
Across the range one way… then back the other.
They exchanged leads.

He'd never found anyone else who flew with the same passion that she did.

And, then he slid upsidedown under her plane and they flew their own version of the Salsa. Rotating around each other and then dipping and sliding they moved through the sequence that they each knew so well. In spite of its sexy name, this dance took complete concentration from both of them as they flew closer than regulations normally allowed.

But, this was another way that he knew that she was doing more than just research out at that mountain. The airwing commander never said a word about their flights. And, he knew that Captain Greg Thomas hadn't earned such privileges….

Jitterbugging over the hills now, they popping up and over the terrain and each other… then swinging wide and waggling their wings at each other…. Their own version of a jitterbug… And then they were reaching the limits of the flying area….and they arced up and over.

"Wizard, tell me again why you aren't up here flying on a regular basis," he sent her the same question that he always did at this point in their tryst.

Silence answered him as she tried to find a new way to answer him.

He waited… knowing that she'd have to give him the same words as each time before.

And, then she surprised him. "Coyote, I can't thank you enough for dragging my butt up here," she sent over to him.

Definitely not the standard words to his standard question. And, she knew that she'd touched him with his old pilot's handle from their flight training days.

"Wizard, just tell me that what you are doing over there in that research facility is worth it… that it's worth missing all -this-," he pursued.

"It's worth it, Coyote, it's worth it," she sent back, but he could hear sadness in her voice.

==========================

She looked out of her cockpit and over at one of her dearest friends.

Greg Thomas had asked her to marry him, more than once. And, she knew that the two of them could have been happy… flying together… having a family together….

But, he didn't know about the Stargate… or the Go'a'uld… or the Tokra… or the Asgard… or the Nox… or… the countless other worlds and alien cultures. He didn't know about the constant struggle to keep earth from becoming the pawn in some intergalactic struggle.

He didn't even know about the Tauri.

And they were all the Tauri.

She'd put her life on hold when Katherine had introduced her to the Stargate project. At first, she'd been captivated by the physics… by the immense puzzle presented to her…. but then, she'd lost herself in the idea of interplanetary exploration through a galactic doorway.

She knew that Greg couldn't understand why she hadn't pursued NASA, the Space Shuttle, or her dreams of being an astronaut. But she couldn't explain it to him… and she knew that he was frustrated with her 'classified' responses.

She'd hoped that Greg would find someone to share his life with.
Someone to marry and have a family with.
She wanted him to be happy.
He so deserved it.

He didn't ask her to marry him anymore.
He knew what her answers were, even if he didn't understand them.

And, now, how could she tell him that she'd fallen in love with someone else? Truly fallen in love. Not just courting. But that she was deeply in love. And it wasn't with him.

Well, she couldn't tell him. Besides, she was in love with someone that she'd never even dated. How could she explain that? She couldn't. She could barely deal with it herself.

And, she knew that she'd changed over the years.
She was no longer the person that Greg had fallen in love with.
She'd seen too much.
Lived through decades of experiences in just a few short years.
And it showed on her soul.
She knew that it did.

She and Greg had come to an agreement years ago.
She had to do what she was doing… classified and all.
And he would let her.
He was one of her strongest, dearest friends.
And, she was one of his.
They teased each other that they were going to name their kids after each other…
….or at least their dogs or fish….

They would each hope for happiness for each other…
…and they meant it.

And they would go flying together…
…like this…
…whenever they could…

==========================

She relished the times when he brought her out here and she could let it all fall away… if even for just a short time.

Her heart sang as they ripped along in the heavens.

She couldn't stop the smile that had been permanently fixed on her face for the past several hours.

She breathed deep and let herself feel the plane as she few suspended above the earth.

There was a magic.
A freedom.
She knew the physics involved… but flying still inspired awe in her heart.
Her soul was unleashed as they soared above the earth.
Unfettered.
Seemingly to defy the laws of nature.
The laws of physics.
Which weirdly said that this was possible.
And, yet, it still felt like they were stealing magic somehow.

"Coyote, the last dance of this evening is your choice," and she tucked herself under his wing and allowed him to command the flight back home.

He led her straight up and she followed.
Then he arced them back down and they plummeted.
Again defying logic… seeming to defy some sort of rules….
Her grin was plastered across her face.
Coyote pulled out of the dive upsidedown and she stayed with him.
They flew with the terrain below their cockpits now as their planes shot through a pass.

She grinned even more.
He loved doing that.
He always had.
He got some kind of special thrill going upsidedown through passes.
And she was the only one who'd follow him.
He flipped back over and she stayed with him.
He was taking them through some lazy corkscrews and she knew what was next….
He shot up and throttled back and slipped behind her.
Passing the lead to her again.

She led them up again.
At Angels-45, she leveled off.
They were going to have to RTB, soon.
They were almost out of fuel.

They had just a few more minutes…
…and she wanted to spend them just floating up here….

==========================

The four days were over and the dirty campers were heading back into town.

"Mom… can we stop by and see Sam before we drop off everyone?" Cassie asked her mom.

"Well, I don't know….," Janet started with.

"But it's on the way…, please, please?" Cassie asked insistently.

"Well, let's leave it up to the guys, honey, you know that they might like showers….," Janet smiled and said it in a tone that suggested that -she'd- like the guys to take showers.

"I believe that we should take a few minutes and check on Major Carter's well-being before we return home for the evening," Teal'c spoke up with his serious tones.

"Daniel? Colonel?" Janet asked.

"It's OK with me," Daniel grinned. The Colonel shrugged silently, but did not object.

"Allright, then, I'm just going to warn you that I'm letting her know that it was your idea, Cassie, to bring this dirty crew into her clean house…," Janet warned them.

"Well, if she'd come with us… then she'd have been dirty too… so, we can just tell her that we are bringing her some of what she missed," O'Neill said that with a glint in his eyes and Janet shook her head at him.

--------------------------

"Sam!" Sam opened the door to have a young teenage bundle leap into an exuberant hug.

"Oooof!" was the best that the surprised woman could manage.

"Cassie, let her breathe!" Janet admonished while grinning at the pair of them.

"Hey, Sam." "Samantha." "Hey Carter, got anything to eat?" a chorus of greetings came from behind the teenage bundle.

"Um….sure… come on in…. you can tell me how the trip went," she invited.

"Yeah, and you can tell us how the -dancing- went," Cassie said with her eyes shining bright with anticipation.

Sam smiled and rolled her eyes, "Allright, allright… come on in…we should probably order something for delivery… I don't have enough for this crew….and… in the meantime… ummmm…. my shower is open for any and all who would like to partake….?"

--------------------

A couple of hours later and they were showered and fed and recounting the various adventures of their four-day camping trip.

Teal'c had actually caught some fish. Quite a few actually. He'd actually caught onto what fishing was all about and he'd caught so many fish that he'd taken them to the small general store down the road and given them away.

The Colonel maintained that Teal'c had actually spoiled the entire Zen of Fishing….

But what they had the most fun relating was the stories about a young man who worked at the small store at the fishing dock… and how one young Cassandra Frasier had been smitten with the boy… and had spent most of the four days around the dock….

Cassie turned red and spluttered and denied their teasing, but it was obvious that she'd liked the boy.

"I'm sorry that I missed -that-!" Sam teased her.

"Mmmmhmmmm…., so… Sam… what about -your- weekend…. and that yummy Captain Greg?" Cassie went for the kill shot. "How was the dancing?"

Sam sighed and looked around the room. Janet and Daniel were both watching her with grins and anticipation. Teal'c… looked impassive as usual… but he was also listening intently. The Colonel… was looking out the window with studied nonchalance. Cassie looked like she was going to burst.

"Sam…, if you don't tell her, my life is going to be miserable," Janet pleaded, "She's been asking me about it the entire weekend."

Sam laughed at the image of her friend's weekend of persistent questions by the curious teenager. "Well, it was a fantastic weekend. We spent two days dancing…"

"TWO DAYS?" Cassie and Janet said it together and the others looked shocked.

"Well, yeah… we would have liked a few more, but getting the permission isn't easy," Sam teased them.

"Permission?" Cassie was the only one to ask… the others were speechless.

Sam grinned at them. This was too easy. She hadn't set this up this way on purpose… but she was ooooohhh sooooo enjoying this….

"Yeah, at an Air Force Base, actually," Sam elaborated and they were all staring at her like she had two heads…. or was suddenly speaking Go'a'uld…., so she grinned at them again.

Cassie huffed with frustration. "Sa-a-amm!" the teenager growled and Sam just chuckled and kept grinning.

"Samantha, I must admit that I am most confused… did Captain Thomas not ask you to go dancing?" Teal'c asked seriously.

Sam tried to tamp down her amusement, but she was having a hard time. They all looked so…. soo…. frustrated and perplexed. Even the Colonel was not pretending to look out the window any more.

"Ummm…. sorry…. Greg and I call it dancing….," she grinned.

"So you were not actually dancing?" Teal'c asked for clarification.

"Well, no, not in the traditional, ballroom-sense…," Sam replied while choking back the giggles fairly successfully.

"Then what were you doing?" the Jaffa asked directly.

"Umm…, Sam?" Janet interrupted, "Perhaps this is a conversation for another time?" and she gestured with her eyes to her teenage daughter.

Sam couldn't keep the smile from breaking full-force across her face, which just served to reinforce their conclusions.

"I….… told him that you were all thinking…," she elaborated unhelpfully.

"Sam….?" Janet asked, unsure of what to do or think.

"We were flying… Janet… flying jets… out at Frawley Air Force Base….," she was regaining her composure… but she wasn't sure how long she was going to be able to hold onto it… this was all just -too- funny. She tried not to look at their faces… she knew that she'd lose it….

"Flying? But Captain Thomas said that you were going to Tango… and Salsa…," Cassie asked, bewildered.

"And, we did… our versions of it, that is. And we did the Jitterbug… and a Waltz or two….," Sam continued grinning.

"So, these dances were flight maneuvers?" Teal'c asked.

"Well, yeah… we put something like 'flight maneuvers' on the flight plans… but well… it was much closer to dancing than 'flight maneuvers'," and they all heard the wistful tone in her voice.

"So…. you and Captain Thomas aren't going to get married?" Cassie asked in disappointment.

Sam looked affectionately at the teenager. "Uh, no, honey, we're not. Greg is an old and dear friend who I get the honor of flying with every so often. We went through flight school together and I hope he is a friend for the rest of my life…. but, no we're not going to get married…. what made you think that?"

"Oh, nothing… he was just so handsome… and he showed up in his dress uniform to ask you to go dancing… it just looked like a fairy tale or something," and the teenager looked embarrassed and disappointed.

"He did look handsome, didn't he?" and Sam smiled at her, one girl to another, and waggled her eyebrows at the teenager…. who giggled. "You know… you'd probably think he was even cuter when he was younger… I'll bet I could dig up some old photos… if you want to see them?" And the young girl's eyes lit up.

-------------------------

A little while later and Cassie was mooning over some old photos of a young Greg Thomas… and some of the other dashing male pilots from Sam's younger days.

Sam stepped back and looked over the rest of the room.

"So, Carter, you went flying this weekend? In jets?" the Colonel stepped over beside her.

"Yes, sir," she replied.

"And… you didn't ask any of us along… I mean… I'm sure that Teal'c would have loved to go for a flight in a jet," he continued.

"Well, I was going to try and explain… but you all left before I got a chance," she sent back with a raised eyebrow.

"Mmmmm…., and you look like you had fun… flying…?" it was part observation and part question.

"Yes, sir," she replied shyly and quietly.

"Well… I think I'm a bit jealous… you missed out on the dirt… and you got to spend a couple days flying around… up there…," he replied while looking out the window and into the sky.

"Yes, sir… it is special… up there…," and she wondered if she'd ever get a chance to take this man 'dancing'. Up there…

Turning to the rest of the group, "Okay, campers, I think it's time we headed out and let Carter have her apartment back. So whaddya say that we hit the road?" O'Neill addressed them all.

As they were filing out, Jack looked back to see Sam giving Cassie one more tight hug. Cassie was whispering something to her and Sam was laughing. He narrowed his eyes… it was good to see his 2IC laugh more. She hadn't done as much of it lately as she used to. None of them had. Lately.

Maybe he could see about taking her 'dancing'.
This was a type of 'dancing' that was completely within USAir Force regs.
Actually this kind of 'dancing' was what the Air Force was all about.
So….they could go 'dancing'.

Dancing.
Flying.

It had done something to her.

Released something in her.
Something that fishing invitations hadn't piqued.

She was so… relaxed… and happy…
…she seemed ok with herself… and the world…

He'd spoken of the Zen of Fishing…
… but obviously, Carter was into the Zen of Flying…

He could imagine her soaring 'up there'.

And the image was so vivid, he thought…
…he thought he could almost hear her heart singing.

He wanted to hear her heart sing.

He wanted to -make- her heart sing.

.

====o0o==== The End ====o0o====

Note: the pilot's handle Wizard was given to Carter by Starbuck92 in the fanfic '1991', which can be found at the Stargate Novel Archive.

Again, all of my thanks to all of the other Stargate fanfic writers out there.

I hope that you enjoyed my short story. Thanks again to Heliopolis, Gateworld.net, Fanfiction.net, The Stargate Novel Archive and all other Stargate SG1 fanfiction websites.

If you like Carter fic or Sam/Jack fanfic, you might like
'Dancing With An Angel' or
'Come Fly With Me' or
'A Beautiful Mind' or
'Nine' or
'Who's An Angel?' or
'What Doesn't Kill You'

If anyone is interested in the trilogy that I cited in 'What Doesn't Kill You,' the trilogy is 'Universal Beat' by Aeddey and can be found at The Stargate Novel Archive.

I highly recommend 'Night Sky' by Joolz at www.geocities.com/joolz4me/NightSky.htm