Sorry, this one is shorter than pretty much all the others. I tried to explain why at the very end.



They left the infirmary a short while later. Tayan stayed in the infirmary to observe Janet at work with her medical tools. Janet had also offered to teach the young woman about medicines if she was serious about medical work. Tayan stubbornly said she was serious. Jack had made the comment that the two would make a force to be reckoned with in the infirmary since they were both as stubborn as hell.

On the way to the briefing, Jack tried to answer the endless flow of questions about all that had happened while his two teammates were away. So far it only made them ask more. Sue and Jonas just tried to stay back while the team reunited. It was kind of awkward because they were with three strangers: Doctor Jackson, Major Carter, and Colonel O'Neill. He was exactly how others said, if not more cynical and...cheerful, for lack of a more decent word. They exchanged a glance and shook their heads at how he had changed so quickly.

Jack breathed a sigh of relief when they finally entered the briefing room and General Hammond was waiting. The old SG-1 took their traditional seats (Sue and Jonas sat toward the end).

"Welcome back, Sam and Daniel," Hammond greeted. "I must admit, I'm extremely curious as to what you've been doing for the past three years."

Sam cut to the chase and began explaining everything that had happened, starting with when Camaxtli had them brought to see him. The others interrupted occationally to ask a question if they didn't understand something. Everyone, even Colonel O'Neill listened intently, and finally quieted to let Sam and Daniel finish.

"...and one of the village 'men' ran through the village shouting at everyone that Kaluck had caught four intruders," Sam finished. "You know what happened next. And before anyone says anything, I wanted to put in that I think Camaxtli sent me and Daniel was because he need more people. I mean, there weren't many people in the villages and Daniel and I look most like the inhabitants. It would make sense if he 'added' us to help with the population and help prevent some inbreeding."

"True. But what I don't get was all the taunting when we were brought in," said Jack. The others looked at him. "What? Just because I can't understand 'em doesn't mean I can't tell when a bunch of Neanderthals are throwin' a crapload of taunts at me."

Sam smiled in amusement and Daniel muttered, "Ri-ight. It's a form of intimidating the enemy, Jack."

"So, you are telling me that both of you were married?" said Hammond, interrupting any argument that might develop.

"Are, sir," corrected Sam quietly, glancing down at the table.

Hammond was silent for a moment. "Does this mean that you really are and still wish to be?"

Sam and Daniel echanged a glance, then looked back at Hammond, nodding in unison. "Yes, sir," said Sam.

Hammond nodded. "Alright. I'll dismiss you for now. I'm sure you're all hungry after having been in here for--" he glanced at his watch "--five hours. Come back in here in another two, at 1600 hours."

Everyone stood up. Quietly, they all headed to the commissary.

As Sam and Daniel entered, nobody noticed them at first. Then, as they walked into line, the volume of conversation in the room slowly decresendoed. Sam and Daniel were careful to ignore them because they weren't sure how everyone would react to their sudden reappearance.

The commissary erupted in cheers. Sam caught sight of Sue looking both upset and angry. People were decent enought to wait until after the scientists sat down before coming over and interrupting their first commissary meal in three years.

"Still tastes as bad as ever," Daniel commented dryly, spooning some peas that slopped back into the dish when he turned the spoon to let them fall. Instead of eating though, he picked up his cup of coffee and savored it. Sam had already picked hers up and was sipping it slowly.

"You two are gone for what? Three years, and the first thing you pick up is coffee," Jack said in exasperation.

Sam put her cup down and began eating her blue jell-o. "Of course, sir," she said lightly. "It's the thing we missed most here on Earth." She glanced up at Jack to see if he caught exactly what she said.

"Funny," he said.

She grinned and scooped some jell-o. She heard someone cough irritably. Looking up, she saw Sue glaring fiercely at an approaching SG team.

"Welcome back!" said the leader. "We all thought you were dead. I guess your team does have an excellent track record for coming back from the grave."

"So that's why Terry's dead and you have offered nothing in consolation for her death?" Sue spat. "We were never really part of SG-1. We just replaced two of the members, so we're unworthy of even being here let alone on the top team."

"We never said--" said one of the other members.

"Never said what?" Sue demanded. "Never said 'Wecome to the base. Glad to have you with us'. You're right. You never said. Do you realize Terry died thinking the entire base hated our guts, which I'm not saying is wrong. That little locker incident proved that much. Even Doctor Jackson and Major Carter don't hate us for 'replacing' them. Why did--why do you?" Her voice had been getting progressively louder. "Am I now 'worthy' of your grace since Sam and Daniel are back?" Not waiting for any answer to any of her questions, she stood up, gave the SG team a final glare, and set off to her lab and then to wherever.

Sam and Daniel were watching in alarm, but most of the people in the room that were oblivious to the conversation were staring at the door she had just exited, stunned.

"Colonel," Sam asked, "did you have any idea that she felt this way?"

"I had some clue," Jack admitted. "Terry said something along those lines as she was dying. She tried to apologize to me for replacing you, Carter. I, personally, had a similar reation to yours. After you two 'died' I tried to keep them from getting too close. Didn't work, but ya can't blame an old suicidal guy for tryin'. I found Kelly in the hall about to burst into tears and she said that it was true and I was one of the people against her."

"Were you?" Daniel asked softly.

"No, not really. Like I said. I just tried not to get close to them. Didn't work," said Jack.

Sam stood up. "I'm going to go talk to her."

Daniel studied the stubborn expression on her face. She wanted to go alone and he respected that. He nooded. "Okay."

Jack began to stand up. "I'm coming too. I'm her CO and--"

"With all due respect, sir," said Sam, "I'm technically her CO too. I think I should be the one to talk to her. I can kind of sympathize with her."

Jack was about to protest, but Teal'c laid a firm hand on his shoulder. Jack closed his mouth and nodded.

Sam gave a small smile in return and walked out the door. Sue was the not so new archaeologist of the team, which probably meant she now had Daniel's lab. Sam figured that she would rather go to her lab first and possibly the gym second.

It took a few minutes to get to Daniel/ Sue's lab and to Sam's disappointment, Sue wasn't there. 'Okay, I'll try the gym,' Sam decided.

The gym was empty when she first glanced in from the door but further observation showed the young captain pounding a punching bag. "Hey," she said.

Sue barely glanced up. "Hi," she grunted. The bag protested as she threw a particularly violent punch.

"Every person on this base seriously hated you because they thought you and your friend replaced Daniel and me?" asked Sam. It appeared that Sue hadn't let these emotions out and severely needed to instead of going for a punching bag every time she got mad. "I understand if you won't want to talk, especially to me, but I'd like to be your friend if you'll let me."

Sue finally stopped concentrating on her victim. "Why?" she asked suspiciously.

This would be a little harder than Sam had originally thought. "Why not? You seem like a nice person. I'm willing to bet you came here expecting welcome and everyone here gave you a crapload of shit."

"Gee, what could have possibly given you that idea?" Sue asked sarcastically.

"Look, I'm just trying to be a friend. No offense, but it looks like you don't have many."

"I don't need anyone's pity, let alone yours," Sue snapped.

"I didn't say I pitied you. I just said I want to be your friend," Sam pointed out.

Sue obviously didn't have anything to say back so Sam waited for her to speak. She was being sincere. Sue did seem like a nice person and she did want to be her friend. "I just want to talk," Sam coaxed, gently. "Why do you say that everyone hates you?"

"It's the truth," Sue said quickly. "Oh, geez." She put her face in her hands. "I sound just like Terry."

"Is that a good thing or bad thing?" Sam asked.

"Both, I guess," admitted Sue. Sam didn't reply so she continued. "I was the quiet, nice one and Ter was the...basically the Colonel O'Neill of the team. That's one reason I think people seemed to hate her more. She was replacing two people instead of just one like me," she spat bitterly. "Ter and I had some occational arguments over the people but it wasn't until 'the lock-in' that I, I guess I became meaner, tougher, colder."

"What was 'the lock-in'?" Sam asked. "Besides that, Janet and Teal'c are nice to you and you didn't bite their heads off like you did the marines."

"I think it was the marines that initiated 'the lock-in.' Janet and Teal'c were our only friends here. 'The lock-in' was a little prank the marines pulled. They locked me in the showers while I was trying to cool down from an arguement with Ter. It's like I said to her know it's not that big of a deal, but it's the intent. I just snapped.After that, I decided that this means it's me against the base. I made Terry decide: she was either with me or the base; there is no neutral. Then Terry died and they were still being assholes to me." Sue slammed her fist into her hand. "If they hadn't behaved assholes, I know I would have comforted them instead of treating them even worse! I don't what the hell they had up their asses, but it still pisses me off!"

"I'm sorry," said Sam. "I'll stand by you and try to help you. If they mess with you, they mess with me. I feel partly responsible for how they treated you and Captain Roland--"

"So you are just helping me out of pity," said Sue resignedly.

"No!" Sam said sharply. "I don't help fellow officers out of pity. If they're friends, I help them for that reason."

"And if they're not?"

"I tell them to get the hell away from me."

Sue smiled. "I accept. Friends?" She held her hand out.

"Friends." Sam grinned and shook Sue's hand. They were acting like two junior high girls for Pete's sake!

They left the gym and headed back to the commissary, talking like, well, two junior high girls. It reminded Sam a little bit of how she and Tayan sometimes behaved when Sam was still single.

SG-1 was still sitting at the table, so Sam and Sue walked over.

"Hey, Carter, Kelly," Jack greeted.

"Sir," Sam replied, taking her seat. She leaned back and sighed contently. For the first time in who knows how long, she had her friends back and a new family. She couldn't ask for much more. Except to see her dad and maybe Martouf again. But that was another bridge to come to later. She was home, and for now, that was all that mattered.


I know, I know, I know, horrible place to leave it off because of all the loose ends. I'm working on a short sequel that will hopefully tie them up (and if I don't tell me, 'cause there is a such thing as a trilogy (sigh)) My muse (and brain) are dead from working to get this done. That's another reason I'm doing a sequel: a nice little excuse to take a long break from this story and finish my LotR story, (mwahahaha)