As if she'd tell Anise that. ::Second shelf in the back of the grey cabinet in my lab. Wait. You mean you haven't been drinking it? Jack, you might wanna keep an eye on Daniel...::

::Oh, for crying out loud...::

::He's the only one I ever told, but that was right after Sha're... Hrm. That explains why it stopped going down when he was dead.:: And made her worry about his current state of mind. Then she brightened. ::I can drink tequila when I get back.::

::Sure. And then we'll go get a kitten.::

::I feel about five, but I can't clap my -- ow -- hands.:: She sent Anise a glare that should have boiled metal. ::No, I am NOT a za'tarc, you stupid woman. I wasn't the last time, either.::

::Yep. Just sheer, unadulterated Samantha Carter in there.::

Oh. ::Yeah. And if you could see it, I'm blushing. And Janet is giving me a strange look again. Oh. Oh my. I just realized something. One of the SFs just called her Dr. O'Neill... Heh. You and Janet. Gosh.:: She smirked, completely amused again.

::Er...:: Then he said, hastily, ::I, uh, was just kidding about the moron thing, Dr. O'Neill.::

Sam snickered. ::I'm not tellin' her that. She might stick me with extra needles as revenge. And, remember, she can't reach you, so it's me she'll stick.::

He muttered something almost unintelligeble.

So she broke her own mental promise to herself and said, ::Do you know why you're the safe bet, in my head? Because you've always been there. I think I lost count how many times I woke up for watch, and knew everything was all right because you were there. Now it's Daniel I hear snoring, and Teal'c....::

::Carter, I-::

::Stupid drugs.:: Oh, yes. Blame the drugs. Or Anise. She glared at the latter. Because anything was better than letting herself believe she could turn this maudlin at the drop of a hat. ::Oh, good. Tok'ra Spice has decided I'm not a za'tarc. She's SO smart. They should give her a cookie. Laced with cyanide.::

::Yeah...yeah, that's a good idea.:: His tone was distant. Probably trying not to let her know how flattered he was, but he wasn't interested in her that way anymore. Or some sack of shit thing like that.

::Ah, walking again.:: Her time sense was still skewed, because one second she'd been strapped in the Chair, and now she was walking next to General O'Neill. Who was treating her like an idiot. ::Why, no, General, I won't tell anyone what I saw under your mountain. I won't mention that there was a big metal ring or -- Gah. You'd think he would realize that if WE have a quantum mirror that we also have a stargate and security clearances that prohibit casual observers from knowing about the stargate.::

::I take it back. He is a moron.::

::Janet probably doesn't technobabble at him. I wore off on you.:: She smirked, ignoring the disturbed looks on the faces of the people around her.

::You keep me on my toes.:: Then he added, slightly smug, ::Although if the Asgard ever need a really stupid plan...::

::Yeah. They know where to find me. Well, they will if these people ever get me back to the damned mirror.::

::Do I need to come through and look for you?::

::No. Janet would stick needles in you, and I'd have to wait even longer to get my tequila and kitten.::

::...I could send Daniel through.::

Sam smiled at that. It could be good revenge. ::Nah. We're -- oh, for cryin' out loud! Felger has my lab! Felger! In my lab!:: As if it wasn't injustice enough that she'd been stuck here, that her counterpart was still Jolinar, that Jack was married to Janet (who was still alive), that idiot, Felger, had her lab. ::Ah, there's the mirror. And, actually, it might be a good idea to have people standing by. They turned the mirror off and now we have to hunt.:: Idiots.

::Right. I'll get a team together to welcome you back.::

::Thank you, Jack.:: She continued, muttering in irritation. ::Felger. My beautiful equipment....::

::Eh. I bet your lab is better.:: He was trying to placate her.

It sort of worked. ::Of course it is. I have more toys. Bet Felger doesn't know how to sweet-talk the General into signing every requisition.:: Now she was smirking again.

::Well, if you'd prefer more of a challenge...:: he suggested.

::I get enough of a challenge out of -- hah! He doesn't have an Electro-PentaSpectometer! -- investigating the machines we find. But thank you for the offer.::

::I love to make my people happy.::

Wildly, she wondered if she could hold him to that, but it wouldn't be fair. ::Really? I'll keep that in mind.:: She distracted herself by watching the worlds showing in the mirror. ::Oh! Daniel! Wait.... Did you send Daniel, Siler and Walter to play strip poker in my lab, Jack?::

::...not that I know of.::

::Right. Not the right one, then... Daniel again, with Teal'c and...:: She blinked. ::Aris Boch? Yeah, definitely not the right one.:: They passed that universe by, and continued. ::I don't know why he's letting Felger do this. I'm sure I'd find the right universe better. Speaking of which, who IS being sent to meet me?::

::Daniel and Teal'c. Hopefully not playing strip poker.::

Oh, thanks, Jack. Those mental images wouldn't go away anytime soon. ::Okay... Maybe I'll even be home in time to sleep before my next duty shift.::

::I'm sure I can arrange for you to get some downtime.::

::Awww, and that's 'cause you know the nice man at the top, right? Aha. Daniel and Teal'c. And Daniel's... Awwww. Daniel's holding a picture of a cat. Was that your idea or his?::

::Sorry I couldn't find a black one. Short notice and all.::

::It's still cute.:: To the other General, she said aloud: "This is it."

"You sure?"

"Yup." She chuckled. ::I should be back in a minute, they're... huddling and arguing. Don't know why. Daniel's waving, Teal'c is looking stoic. Ah. Here we go. They're telling me good luck. Gosh. I'm touched.::

::And am I going to get my officer back anytime soon?::

::Hold your horses.:: She rolled her eyes and reached out to touch the mirror. ::Gah. That's not as cold as the gate, but it's still -- wiggy, Cassie would say. And I'm back.:: And Daniel was descending on her, arms closing tightly around her. "Ow! Daniel, don't break my ribs, damnit."

Daniel pulled back, looking sheepish. "Sorry, Sam."

"It's ok. As long as you stop drinking my tequila."

The archeologist had no response to that, he just looked a little disturbed.

"Which, speaking of tequila, I could really use a drink."

"Uh, Sam, I'll, uh, have to buy you some more," Daniel mumbled, looking a little disreputable. Or maybe just embarrassed.

"Good, good." She patted his arm absently. "Now I need to go find the General and request some leave. And then we're going kitten-shopping."

Daniel gaped at her, "...all right, then!"

"I was unaware that you liked cats, Colonel Carter." Teal'c said, his tone slightly amused.

"Well, I do. They're not very high maintenance, and they're kinda cuddly... And the General promised he'd buy me one." Sam decided that she was legitimately still slightly loopy from being locked up and poked and drugged and za'tarc-machined.

"Jack offered to buy you a kitten?"

She peered at him, disturbed at his denseness. "Did you get enough sleep last night?"

"Uh...not really."

Right. He was tired and worn out. "Neither did I. Did you know you're dating Jonas in another reality?"

He blinked at her.

"I know." She said, as if he'd spoken. "Weird for me, too. And Janet's married to Jack--I mean the General."


Sam patted his arm again, "You seem very confused. You should probably go get a nap."

"...yeah." Daniel pushed his glasses up his nose and exchanged a glance with Teal'c.

Before she could call him on the strange look, Jack walked in. "Carter?"

"You promised me downtime, a kitten, and tequila. Pay up."

He blinked at her bluntness. "I think you need the downtime first."

::Does it include beer and fishing in a lake without fish?:: She asked him, not letting anyone else hear the question that was suddenly strangely important. could.:: He responded the same way.

Sam let out a yawn, "I should sleep, then. And decide on the leave and stuff tomorrow." And maybe have this strangely important conversation when she was, y'know, awake.

"Do you need someone to drive you home?"

"My house is empty." She pouted at him, knowing it was childish, yet adorable. Not that she wanted to be adorable, but she could let that slide, here and now. "I have no kitten. I'd rather stay on base where there are other people."

"Got it."

"Right. I should... go and find quarters for the..." Sam squinted at the clock, then continued, "night."

"You're officially off-duty until Dr. Brightman gives you a clean bill of health."

"I retract all the nice things I thought about you. You promised me no more needles!"

"Does that mean I don't have to go get you beer?"

He was going to get her beer? That was kind of -- sweet. And why was she thinking of Jack O'Neill as sweet? "No." She crossed her arms and looked grumpy, and hoped that Jack didn't notice how she'd drifted over to kind of lean against the wall. Maybe she was keeping the wall stable. "But you can wait on the beer until tomorrow."

Jack's eyebrow raised, and she knew he knew she was leaning against the wall. "Carter. Downtime. Now."

A cough escaped her, and she looked down, trying to ignore how the floor seemed to gently sway in the breeze. "I'm not sure I can walk without help. I think my legs are too tired."

He gave an exaggerated sigh and moved to stand next to her, offering his shoulder. "Let's go."

Moving carefully, she slung her arm around his shoulders and felt his arm go around her waist. "If I pass out, you promise not to let me hit my head?"

"Well, I enjoy having all my major limbs attached, so yeah."

She tightened her grip. "Good man. Oh, look. There's my favorite home away from --" she paused to let out a massive yawn. "-- home." It was a short walk from her lab to the nearest base quarters, and she almost always used them when on base (because she spent lots of time there, as Jack was always telling her.)

They maneuvered into the room. He shot her a glance, smirking. "Need me to tuck you in?"

"Yes." She eyed the bed, wondering if she could just fall over right here and never get up again.

Quietly, he replied, "And, uh, maybe tell you that story?"

"The one where the Colonel and General blow up lots of snakes then fall asleep?" Seperating from him, she reached over and yanked down the covers to reveal clean white sheets. She smothered another yawn and sat down to take off her boots.

He grinned. "That's the one."

Sam glanced back down at her boots and sighed. The left boot lace was all triple-knotted and there was no way her fingers would have the co-ordination to undo it, so she pulled out her boot knife and hacked at it. Milo was useful. "Good. I don't think I'll be awake for most of it, though." She kicked off both boots and set Milo on the small bedside table, then flopped sideways on the bed and shuffled under the covers. Contemplating even bothering to undress would take too much energy. "You could tell me when ... I wake up?" She finally suggested, since he was still standing in the middle of the small room, looking at her.


I don't want to sleep alone. But she couldn't come out and say that, not even telepathically. "You're not a teddy bear."

"No. No, I'm not."

"Which is a pity, because I could really use one. Not that I normally sleep with a teddy bear, but they're kind of cuddly. And snuggly." She curled more on her side, still looking up at him. "And I bet there isn't one on the base."

He came towards her and leaned over to pat her shoulder. "I'm sure you'll manage."

"Yup." She could do this. She could sleep alone. Really. She closed her eyes. "Good night.. Jack."

"G'night, Sam."

He was still hovering, and suddenly she really didn't want to sleep alone, and she was tired of dancing around the subject and not saying anything. And so she found herself half-sitting up, her hand wrapped around his collar. He was just a little off-balance.

"Er, Carter."

"You're very dense. Get in here before I wake up more and hit you." Her grip loosened.

Luckily, she didn't have to tell him twice, he shed his boots and slid underneath the covers, his arm going around her waist.

"Now," she yawned, "We just wait for someone to find us like this. Then they can stop speculating."

"Oh, this'll give the rumor mill lots of fodder. They've already been buzzing with the telepathic connection..." He mumbled against her shoulder.

"You told them?"

"Daniel did."

"Can I kill him tomorrow?"

"I'll hold him down."



Further note: There are at least three more scenes we've got that have to be played with, converted, etc.