SUMMARY: A short interlude in the Davis household. Sam/Paul, Cassandra. AU. Spoilers for Singularity.
DISCLAIMER: Characters belong to MGM et al.
The teenage girl sailed through the front door, dropped her backpack in the hallway, and continued on through to the study. "Sam?" she sang out cheerfully.
The older woman stopped typing and looked up from her laptop with a smile. "Hi, Cass. How was school?"
Cassandra Davis flung herself down into the comfort of the battered recliner that sat in a corner of the room. "I hate physics," she groaned. "How do you stand it?"
Her adopted mother laughed. "Let me guess. You think the teacher is completely wrong and doesn't know what's she talking about?"
"Well, she doesn't," Cassandra replied, making a face of disgust. "You and Paul will be discussing something one night, and the following day she'll say something that's completely opposite. Oh, and you can't help me with my homework anymore. According to her, you got it wrong."
"That'll teach you to try to weasel your way out of it by having us do it," Sam retorted, grinning. "Seriously though, you have to remember that very few people have ever seen a wormhole in action, let alone all these alternate realities."
Cass nodded. "I know. They think it's just a Star Trek gimmick. Mention aliens to people and they either think of something with blue skin and possibly tentacles, or a gray thing from Roswell." She giggled. "Can you imagine how people would react if they did see an Asgard?"
"They'd probably think it was another hoax." Sam looked at her daughter warily. "You've not tried telling anyone you're an alien, have you?"
The girl rolled her eyes. "Please, Uncle Jack would kill me. I'm still 'Maple Leaf Girl'," she confirmed, referencing the Toronto hockey team and the nick-name given to her by the hockey-loving Colonel when they'd decided on her background story. "I don't even like hockey," she grumped.
"Don't let him hear you say that," Sam warned.
"Don't let him hear you say what?" a new voice asked from the doorway. "You better not be talking about me."
Cass launched herself up from her chair. "Paul! When did you get home?" She flung her arms around him in an enthusiastic hug.
"Just now." He returned her hug before releasing her and crossing the room to his wife. "Hi, hon," he said, leaning over to kiss her cheek.
"Another successful escape from hell?" Sam asked sympathetically.
"You have no idea," he replied wearily as he took the chair Cass had vacated. "I swear, Washington never used to be this bad," he added as he loosened his uniform tie.
"That's because you were there all the time," Cass observed with a knowing nod as she took up a new position in the room, leaning against the window sill. "You just accepted it. But because you moved out here, you're seeing it differently now. I used to think like that about the Goa'uld. Nirrti was a benevolent being until the SGC came to Hanka."
"So wise, and so young," Paul mused. "Are you fourteen or forty?" She stuck out her tongue and he laughed at her. "Oh, very eloquent."
Sam was less jovial. "Do you think you should have stayed in Washington?"
Paul shook his head. "It's just been a long few days, Sam, that's all. Besides, we discussed this. I'm the liaison between the SGC and the Pentagon. One way or another I have to travel. But you're needed at the SGC. Who else could fix the Stargate like you do? And the few missions you do go on…" He trailed off and his gaze flickered over to Cassandra. "If you hadn't gone out to Hanka when you did, what would have happened to Cassandra? You've given her a home here, Sam. I'd never take that away from the two of you."
His words made Cassandra smile. Paul had a point; if Sam hadn't gone to the Hanka observatory, things might have been very different for her. She might have been with a completely different family. Somehow, she couldn't picture herself with anyone else other than Sam and Paul. The two of them had only been dating when Cassandra arrived on Earth, but Paul had fully supported Sam in her decision to adopt her. They'd married a year ago, and Paul's gift to Cassandra had been that of his last name.
Sam and Paul would never replace her birth-parents; no one would. But they were the best parents Cass could have under the circumstances.
Even if they weren't allowed to help with her homework.