Meeting Mr. Right
"I don't care! How many times do I have to tell you that," Lt. Col. Samantha Carter said into the phone.
She sat in her lab, talking into the phone, staring at the blank screen of her computer. She couldn't believe she was actually having this conversation.
Listening to the speaker on the other end, she rolled her eyes in exasperation.
"I really don't think it will have that great of an impact, and quite frankly I'm getting tired of the whole--" she trailed as the voice on the other end began speaking to her as though she were a child.
"It was different then, I wanted to wait till ...I understand why you think..." again she was cut off by the speaker on the other end.
"So let me get this straight," she started again. "You don't think I can handle it? I'm just some little woman who can't..." cut off once more. Sam was starting to feel the heat rise to her face as she became increasingly angry.
"You know what," her voice was eerily calm and soft, belying the anger and frustration she was feeling, "You're right. I surrender. You're always right. But if this is how it's got to be, then I want out. Finished. As in over. I'm beginning to think this isn't about me, but about you. You're not ready, as in you can't handle it. So fine, let's just forget it."
The voice on the other end tried to interject again, trying to soothe her ruffled feathers, but Sam was on a roll.
"No really," Sam bit out angrily. "I blame myself. We never did talk this out when we got together. You have your career. I have mine. I didn't realize that you would feel so threatened by..."
An angry voice blasted through the phone receiver so loudly Sam had to hold the phone away. She'd never heard him that angry. Well, she had, but not at her. When his tirade had subsided, unshed tears glistened in her eyes. Obviously she had hit a nerve.
"I knew you'd throw that back at me, sooner or later. Now you're trying to convince me that my friends will..." she choked out, unable to finish. Then she tried again "If that's what you think...maybe this isn't about what people will think of me. Maybe you're more worried people will think you're..."
Again she had to move the phone away from her ear before she was deafened. Their first fight and it was a doozie.
"The only man to have ever made me feel cheap was you... just now. Don't call me," she lashed out cuttingly, and with that she slammed the phone into its wall cradle.
She sat for a few moments, trying to get her emotions under control. Looking down at her hands she noticed they were shaking. She tried to comprehend what had just happened. How couldn't she have seen this coming?
For the past year she had been wildly in love. He was everything she could ever have imagined wanting. Sure it had been difficult. Her job, going off world, trying to save Earth from the Ori. Finding time for him had been a struggle at best, but he didn't seem to mind and always managed to rearrange things whenever she called and let him know she was "back in town" and wanted...ok...needed...to see him. And the best part, he wasn't her CO. No military regulations to get in the way. No unresolved feelings to deal with. Finally, she had the man of her dreams. Or so she had thought.
They had rarely discussed their work when together, wanting to spend what little time they had together free of worldly troubles. It was so refreshing just to be a woman in love with a man, loved by a man. He was intelligent, intuitive, funny, and as the months went on she had discovered that he was really, surprisingly, quite charming and romantic. And he could dance. She'd been amazed at what a remarkable dancer he was. Oh, and can't forget hot! Wow, a body she'd kill, or die, for, she thought wryly to herself.
Now, in a flash, it was over.
It was to be their undoing. This whole issue of her now wanting him to spend time with her and her friends, as her 'guy'. Coming out of the shadows. For crying out loud, they all knew she was involved with someone. Or at least they all knew that's what she told them, having never actually met or seen 'the guy.'
Mitchell had tried to talk her into setups with a couple of his buddies, and Agent Barrett had actually asked her out. But she had easily side stepped by making it clear she was seeing someone, without actually giving away anything. It was Mitchell who had come up with the tag 'the guy' to describe Sam's boyfriend, real or imaginary.
Sam and the guy hadn't seriously talked about going public before; part of the problem was that he was so well known, almost to the point of having a celebrity status. She hadn't fully known how much so until she'd be some where and over hear people, mostly women, talking about him. She never minded though, she was content to know that he was her's, even if secretly for now.
The few times the topic was broached he seemed so genuinely concerned that it could hurt her career or reputation within the Air Force. Now she wondered if he just didn't want people to think he was off the market, so to speak. Part of her felt she was being unfair, but another, slightly insecure part wouldn't let it go. After all, her track record with men hadn't been that great.
Sam tried to pull herself together. She was at the base after all. It would not be very professional for someone to walk by and see a Lt. Colonel crying in front of her computer. Now that could hurt her reputation.
"There you are, I've been looking all over for you," Vala stated as she came bouncing into Sam's lab, all full of her usual energy, smiling broadly. "I've challenged Teal'c and Cameron in a game, and I desperately need a partner. Nothing like making hot men all sweaty!" she chirped with her usual wickedness.
Vala's smile faded as she saw the look on Sam's face and realized not all was well with her only female ally in this godforsaken place.
"Ok, out with it! If it's one thing I can sense, its man trouble. What has the guy gone and screwed up?" Vala flopped into a chair and plopped her elbows onto the desk, looking wide eyed at Sam.
Sam looked at Vala and gave her a doubtful smile.
"Come on Sam, I know we're not life long girlfriends, but I'm probably the closest you have around this place, and if there's one thing I know about it's men. I promise, between just you and me," Vala offered, giving Sam a wink.
Sam just shook her head. "Thanks, but this really isn't the place, and really not a good time."
"Well then, I'll just have to leave the boys to play with themselves," Vala drawled impishly. "Come on, you're taking me to town for a girl's lunch out."
Before Sam could get out of it, Vala jumped from her chair and went around to where Sam was sitting. Linking her arm in Sam's, she pulled Sam from the chair and almost dragged her to the door.
"Come on, it'll be, well not fun exactly, cathartic is maybe the best word. You haven't told us much about the guy and it's time you unburdened it. And who better to unload man troubles to?" Vala finished with a happy flourish.
Sam couldn't help but laugh. Vala was incorrigible. Although still unsure of what the real Vala Mal Doran was like, Sam felt that the overt boldness was more a tactic than anything else. Similar to how General O'Neill liked everyone to think he wasn't as smart as he really was. Vala had had a difficult life. Her flirtatious nature was largely a ploy to disarm those who would underestimate her. Sam could respect that, and although it was not her own style, she couldn't help but like Vala despite it, or maybe because of it. And Vala was right, she did need to talk to someone, and Vala was the closest woman she had to a girlfriend since Janet...she left the thought unfinished.
An hour later, having gotten the necessary authorizations to leave the base, the two women found themselves sitting on the patio of Susan's café in downtown Colorado Springs. Vala was diving into her salad enjoying the taste of real food, while Sam just moved her greens around with her fork.
Vala eyed Sam cautiously while chewing. After swallowing she said, "Ok, we're off the base and away from prying ears-out with it. All of it. I'll sit here and eat and you pour your heart out to ole Vala. And puhlease," she drawled out slyly "don't leave out anything. I want every juicy detail."
Sam laughed, how could you not? Then looking around to make sure there was no one around she recognized, she set out on her sordid tale of love, and loss.
Sam had been at Area 51 for about two months, working hard on several projects. She was beginning to feel a little burned out and thought it was time for a little R&R. Putting in for weekend leave; she packed her bags and headed off to the bright lights of Las Vegas. Time to see how the other half lived. Those that didn't have the weight, and the fate, of the world constantly on their minds.
Maybe she'd take in a show, or maybe play some slots, or maybe she'd just find a place to sit and watch the people as they went through their own merriment.
Sam checked into the Sands, and then went down to the hotel's restaurant. From her spot she could see people going to and fro, playing slots, heading excitedly off to somewhere. Bright lights and happy people were everywhere.
Her time at Area 51 had been busy, so much so that she'd barely had time to miss her old friends, her team, her family. Sitting here alone, watching all the happy people, most of them in groups, it started to hit her.
Daniel was getting ready to go to Atlantis, Teal'c was off getting into Jaffa politics on Dakara, and General O'Neill...Jack...was in Washington. She remembered seeing him off on his last day at the base. Instead of telling him how she had felt for him, how she had felt for years, instead of holding onto him and refusing to let go, she saluted and wished him luck in his new post.
Cold, simple, military. And he in turn, saluted her back, then in a surprise move hugged her. When he pulled away he had looked into her eyes, and she could tell he wanted to say something more, but instead he smiled that half smile. The one that never made its way to his eyes, and with a nod he turned and was off.
She'd heard through the rumour mill that he'd been quite a hit in Washington. Every young single civilian female at the Pentagon apparently had their radar tuned to one very handsome General Jonathan "Jack" O'Neill. One of the rumors, the one that had torn at her heart the most, was that he and Kerry Johnson of CIA fame were once again an item.
Chances lost, she thought wistfully.
She had no life really, not outside of her job. Maybe it was time she left the military, tried her hand at something else? She could prof for any of the major colleges. Should she get out before life totally passed her by?
She was pulled from her reverie when she heard a deep, raspy, and decidedly masculine voice right beside her, "And what is a gorgeous woman like you doing in a dump like this? Sitting alone?" The last word was said with emphasis, as though the answer was very important to him.
She looked up at the man who was standing beside her table, hands in his pockets, a mischievous glint in the most beautiful soft brown eyes she had ever seen. She was such a sucker for brown eyes.
He was looking down at her with a wide smile and she found herself speechless. Her voice stolen by his raw handsome face. Weathered, yet tanned with chiselled features. A lean and long body, with lithe muscles she could only imagine hiding under his clothing. His short hair was mostly grey, yet it didn't make him look old, just added to the attraction.
He was dressed casually in cream colored Dockers with a dark blue cotton shirt, the top two buttons undone, the others begging to join them.
Her face reddened. Where the hell did that thought come from?
Not understanding the reason behind her obvious embarrassment, his smile waned.
"Not alone then? Uh..." biting his bottom lip, he thought for a way to retreat gracefully.
Finding her voice, she let out a little laugh, then responded, "No, alone it is, I was just uh...surprised by ...well...you," she finished a little lamely.
Suddenly, his handsome smile was in full bloom again, and her heart started beating wildly. Her stomach muscles tightened in anticipation. No one, not even when Jack O'Neill was her CO and her imagination ran rampant on lonely nights, did she ever have this kind of reaction. It was that smile, the way it made his whole face light up, made his eyes twinkle. Make her want to wantonly...never mind, she shut the thought down.
"Would you mind if I joined you?" he asked, motioning to the chair opposite her.
"Um, no...that would be...nice." she permitted. What the hell is wrong with me, she berated herself. I'm sounding like an idiot.
"So what is a gorgeous woman like you doing in a dump like this, now sitting with a slouch like me?" he asked, still smiling that smile.
Sam laughed, well giggled actually, but was still too taken aback to be able to form an intelligent thought. And Jack O'Neill had thought she never stopped thinking.
Looking her over he explained, "Ok, so maybe not a great pick up line, but I'm a little rusty. I don't usually approach women in casinos. Actually, I don't approach anywhere. But there's something about you that makes me throw caution to the wind," he waved his hand in the air comically. "So, let me try this one: Hey baby, what's your sign?" he chuckled.
Recovering, Sam decided quickly that this was a game she definitely wanted to play. His obvious sense of humour and surprising playfulness were contagious.
"So is that what you're doing tall and handsome, trying to pick me up?" she looked at him coyly, slightly batting her baby blues at him.
Now it was his turn to look slightly flushed, but his gaze never wavered from hers.
"Uh, well, ya. If that's ok with you? I mean, that is, if you're...available. Or even interested?" he replied, seeming for the first time a little unsure of himself.
"That depends," she retorted playfully, now in the game.
"On...?" he asked.
"What's your sign?" she laughed.
"Libra," he responded immediately, his gaze dropping to watch his left hand fidgeting with a water glass on the table, smile playing on his lips.
"And your availability would be...?" she continued.
"Very...at least until I'm successful in catching you," he laughed infectiously.
"I guess that settles it then," and she reached over and took his hand.
They sat there for hours just talking like old friends. Sam had learned he was in Vegas on vacation. He'd come to play in a week long poker tournament, but after having convinced her to extend her visit from just the weekend to the full week, he withdrew himself from the competition.
The first evening in Vegas, the pair went travelling along the Strip, sharing thoughts, sharing feelings, and holding hands. Well Sam did most of the talking, but he was a great listener. They agreed that they wouldn't talk about their jobs. Apparently he didn't have a clue what he was doing (or so he said), which Sam found very funny. And, well, he probably wouldn't get all the science behind the stuff she was working on anyways.
They stopped for dinner; they took in a Celine Dion show (Sam couldn't believe he got tickets on such short notice) and did little more than enjoy each other's company.
Here, in Las Vegas, for the first time since her childhood, Samantha Carter found herself feeling totally happy, and totally at ease. And for the first time ever, she found herself totally in love. The only stress in her life, right here, right now, was the tension she felt in her stomach every time she caught this gorgeous man looking at her with such obvious desire. Her reactions to him were so uncharacteristic for her, and yet seemed so natural, and so right. She didn't want it to stop.
It was true that she had loved Pete. But that had been more of a comfortable love. A love borne from all the wrong reasons, which is why she couldn't marry him in the end.
And she had loved Colonel/General Jack O'Neill, for years. But that had never been comfortable, and in a lot of ways painful. Secretive, unfulfilled, full of self denial.
Now with her companion's hand firmly held to hers, she felt the passionate flair she'd felt for her former CO, but this time it was so much more intense. Perhaps because she knew this time she did not need to deny it. She held his hand even tighter which earned her a questioning look from him, and suddenly he let go of her hand, and put his arm around her shoulder pulling her tighter to him as they walked. Her arm, in turn, travelling around his waist.
When they finally returned to the Sands that night he walked her to her room. Taking her door card he swiped it in the lock and opened the door for her before handing her card back to her. Chivalrous. Nice.
They stood for a moment outside her door. Neither said a word, they just looked into each others eyes, communicating volumes. It was he who broke the silence first.
"I'll come down in the morning and we'll do breakfast?" it was a question, but his tone was more a statement. "We can figure the rest out later."
She had learned earlier that he too was staying at the Sands, on the top floor no less. A suite, apparently. She hoped she'd get to see what the suites here looked like. Then she blushed. He noticed, and smiled, thinking she was probably just feeling a little awkward, as was he.
"I have a better idea," she offered.
He raised his brow and his eyes locked with her's. His smile wavered. His gaze intensified. But he didn't make a move or say a word. She saw his body instinctively tighten as he quietly waited for her 'better idea'. Unconsciously, his tongue flicked out to wet his now dry lips.
That was Sam's undoing. She slowly slid her hands up the front of his shirt until she reached his neck. His eyes closed, and he took a deep intake of breath. She could've sworn it was a gasp.
Taking one step into him, she pulled his head to her's. She found no resistance, and when their lips touched her body flared with a need and a desire she had never before experienced. His powerful arms snaked around her waist and he pulled her tight into him. She could feel that his need matched her own. Her stunned mind could take in nothing more than the feel of his tongue invading and taking command of her mouth. His strong grip holding her so tight against him, the masculine smell of him. Faintly she was aware that his breathing had become quick and ragged. And from some part of her brain that still functioned, she thought she heard him moan. Or had it been her?
Bringing him with her, she pulled them both into her room. She heard him kick the door close behind them.
His lips continued their assault on her mouth as his hands slid up her back almost desperately, trying to pull her even closer, as though he wanted to pull her right through his ribcage. She knew he was barely keeping control. And then he started to pull away.
He looked down into her blue eyes, his desire so evident on his face that it was almost a look of pain. But he had to be sure. She read his mind and pulled him back to her. She softly whispered in his ear, "Don't hold back. Please."
That was all he needed to hear.
Colonel Carter was by no means an innocent when it came to love, but her experience was limited. So when her partner commandeered and took control, she surrendered completely. Her nagging feelings of inadequacy in the field of love making quickly dissolved when his passion engulfed them both.
With skill he began to remove her clothing, quickly yet gently, not once taking his mouth from her. His hands worked with incredible stealth. She tried to reciprocate but her hands shook as she unbuttoned his shirt, her mind flitting back to her first thought upon seeing him standing beside her table.
When she finally pulled his belt free of its buckle, she heard him suck in his breath and mutter, "Oh god." Then his hands were caressing her soft flesh.
He removed the rest of his own clothing and gently laid her on the bed. She was lost. Her usually scientific brain swirling in unknown territory. His hands, his lips, his tongue, were everywhere, as though he was trying to memorize all of her with his mouth. Her fingers entwined in his hair, and when his mouth landed where she was most sensitive, his tongue working expertly, her body could handle no more. Her back involuntarily arched as she let out a yelp. Every nerve tingled with electric shock as her mind exploded in bright white light.
When the waves subsided she hoarsely ordered "Now! I need you now!" And she struggled to pull him up.
His body was hot, so hot, and sweating, and she could feel his muscles tremble under her touch. His breathing jagged. She couldn't believe after what she'd just experienced, that she could be having a similar effect on him.
"Please," she almost begged.
He responded, and Sam felt him become a part of her. He moved in rhythms, one of his hands again caressing her, his mouth reclaiming hers. He used his other arm to balance himself so as not to crush her under his weight. She slowly slid her leg up his to lock him in place.
For Sam, the room ceased to exist, the bed ceased to exist, the world ceased to exist. All she knew was this man, all she felt was this man, touching her, loving her, filling her with himself. She heard his rasps for air, she felt him move his lips from hers and bury his face in her neck. His pace quickened until once again she felt the electricity rip through her with a blinding flash. His whole body went taut, and then he shuddered, whispering the long form of her name into her throat.
All experiences before this paled. Had they even existed? This was love. This was love making. He was incredible. She held him tight to her, even as he adjusted so he was no longer in a crushing position. Neither of them spoke. What could be said? Words could never give justice to what they had just shared. And so he lay wrapped in her arms, his head moving to rest on her breast, his arm draped over her waist. It was like this that sleep found and over took them.
The rest of the week had been the best of Sam's life. An amazing companion to traipse around Las Vegas with. They saw shows, they ate, and they danced. Yup, they danced! He had taken her to an out of the way, well out of the way for Vegas, restaurant. And the headliner was an old time ball room band. He swept her off her feet and twirled her around the dance floor like a pro.
He was so quick with the quips. She never imagined anyone could be this funny. He kept her laughing constantly. Whether it was with jokes, looks, or the reactions he elicited from other people. At times his antics made her feel like she was hanging out with a twenty year old, a delinquent twenty year old at that. She couldn't remember having this much fun with anyone. And every night he made her body sing, now in his suite that they shared.
Their last night together was like their first. But as they lay wrapped in each other's arms, she felt him tighten his hold. Rather than falling contently off to sleep, he shifted his head on to his pillow and looked seriously into her eyes.
After what seemed like forever, he spoke. "So tell me gorgeous, this isn't going to be a one ni...ah...week...stand is it? I am going to see you again, right?"
The question shocked her a bit. Especially coming from one who seemed so confident. She didn't know how to respond. She didn't want this to end, hadn't really thought what would happen when she went back to her world, and he to his.
"I'm not a complete idiot," he tried again. "I know that this could complicate things, especially for you, given your position, but..."
"But...?" she answered still feeling unsure of just how she could possibly move back into her life without him.
"We could make it work. I can be discreet you know," he said with a boyish smile.
Sam could only grin back at him. This was so different for her. Being with this man. There were no walls to climb, no barriers to have to blast through, no eggshells to walk on. He was showing her the real him, freely and without a fight. He treated her like an equal in every way, yet still made her feel so feminine. Something she'd not been used to given her Military life. Having been in love with a man, who for the most part, had barked orders at her for most of their association.
"I know we live far apart, but I think it's worth it for us to-explore this thing- we have," he let it drop. He had to leave it up to her. No pressure.
"Scheduling might be rough," she finally responded. "I have to apply for leave, and well, I never know for sure if I'll be in one place too long."
It was his turn to grin. "My schedule is much more flexible. I can work around yours. Plus I make big bucks. I can afford to travel," he quipped.
"Well if it's not too much trouble for you," she laughed.
"I love you," he said quietly.
Sam couldn't respond. She stared at him, open mouthed in shocked disbelief. She couldn't believe she had heard him come right out and say it. She was so used to feelings being hidden, forbidden, unspoken, but to hear this man, the one she had fallen so in love with, volunteer his feelings so openly.
"What can I say?" he continued. "It was love at first sight, well, almost first sight, and I haven't been the same since I met you."
He waited. And it was worth it, well sort of.
Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter was reduced to tears as she snuggled closer to him, burying her face in his chest and holding him tightly.
"I love you too," she finally whimpered.
"Great, that settles it then," he chuckled, as he began to stroke his hand along the softness of her lower back.
"Ready for round two?" he whispered suggestively.
That was the beginning. Well the beginning of anything significant. Samantha Carter had found heavenly love in America's city of sin.
True to his word, he had arranged his schedule around her's. And whenever she needed him, he came through. Sometimes they would go weeks without seeing each other, but when they did manage to get together, it was always like the first time. What they had seemed to be deepening, rather than waning, as time went on.
Her transfer back to the SGC had made things a little more complicated, and the fight against the Ori had taken a lot of her attention, not to mention time. But when she called, he came. Or at least met her somewhere half way.
Sam was still unsure of Lt. Col. Mitchell, and wanted to make sure he respected her as his equal before sharing any information about her private life. So when the issue of careers, and going public did come up in conversation one night, Sam had asked that they keep their relationship below the radar, for just awhile longer. He had understood, and agreed. Private life private, professional lives, separate. At least for now.
Sam hadn't given Vala all the juicy details, but had relayed enough for the other woman to realize how smitten her friend really was.
"Wow. Way to go girlfriend!" Vala exclaimed. "I never thought you had it in you. Picking up a hunk while on vacation. You can live a little on the wild side can't you?" Vala laughed approvingly.
"So what's the problem?" Vala asked.
"He called last night and mentioned he would be in the Springs sometime next month. Something to do with a film he has to work on," Sam started.
"I knew it! He's an actor, isn't he? A movie star, am I right? Come on, which one? Let's see knock down dead gorgeous? Grey hair? I know, Harrison Ford, am I right?" Vala excitedly chimed.
Sam laughed and rolled her eyes. "No-and Harrison Ford is married."
Suddenly Vala turned serious. "And you don't think your guy is, or otherwise attached?" she offered cautiously, not wanting to hurt Sam, but thinking someone had to get her mind thinking clearly.
"No, he's not," Sam replied, looking down at her uneaten Salad.
Vala threw her a doubtful look, which Sam barely caught.
"Really, he's not. I'm sure," Sam offered. "It's just that- his reasons for not wanting to go public are more of a concern of how people would react with me. I believe him. At first it was my idea, but, I don't know, I just thought since he's coming here, he could stay at my place. I could invite my close friends over, and well, you know, do some normal couple stuff."
Vala nodded, wanting Sam to continue, although her face clearly showed she wasn't buying it.
"I'm just tired of everyone knowing I'm seeing someone, but no one else sees him. People are going to start thinking I'm delusional, or outright nuts! Been there, done that." Sam laughed in a self deprecating manner.
"Doesn't matter now anyways," Sam continued, tears returning to her eyes and now starting to flow. "I called it off. If he's too ashamed for anyone to know he's seriously involved with a Lt. Colonel, or embarrassed about what other people might think or say, then I guess I don't really know him. How long can we have a relationship in secret, anyways? I just..."
Vala reached over and took Sam's hand, which had been lying limply on the table.
"Now you listen to me girlfriend!" Vala's tone was firm and serious. She hated hearing this amazingly brave woman that she was just getting to know and befriend sound so defeated over a man!
Sam's head shot up at hearing the vehemence in Vala's voice.
Good, Vala thought, I have her full attention.
Out loud she said, almost angrily, "You are an incredibly beautiful woman, who is probably smarter than any other human on this planet. Any man lucky enough to have won your heart and not do back flips in order to keep it, is just quite simply a stupid ass! And might I add, quite frankly, doesn't deserve you. This guy, whoever he is, should be thanking whatever God there might really be and shouting from every mountain top that Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter has honored him with her affection."
Sam stared across at her friend, stunned at the depth of feeling Vala had just given her a glimpse of, then she started to laugh. And it felt good. Vala's angry features softened and she too started laughing.
"Now, let's forget all this nastiness," Vala smiled mischievously. "Pay the bill, and let's go shopping."
"No! No uh's," Vala mock ordered, her finger waggling at Sam.
"The only way to recover from falling off a horse, is to get right back on, or something stupid like that. Anyways, my point is, we are going shopping. I am going to help you pick out a very sexy outfit to show off your incredible figure, and you and I are going to hit this town Friday night. Girl's night out. And I won't take no for an answer. Am I clear Colonel?" Vala ordered, again throwing Sam a mischievous wink.
"Crystal," Sam replied, feeling very unsure, but unable to keep from grinning widely.
DISCLAIMER: "Stargate SG-1," "Stargate Atlantis," and its characters are the property of MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, Gekko Film Corp., Showtime/Viacom and USA Networks, Inc. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations and story are the property of the author(s), and may not be republished or archived elsewhere without the author's permission.