Playing Gods

Genre: Humour/Romance
Pairing:
Sam/Daniel, of course.
Spoilers: Pretty much everything from Children of the Gods to the end of Moebius, as well as the mention of a theme that bugs me in Seasons 9 and 10.
Season: Season 8, near the end of Moebius, right before the fishing invitation.
Rating: T for gratuitous but non-descriptive nudity and some mild language.
Disclaimer: The only thing I own that's related to Stargate is my DVD collection. Sad, but true.

Summary: TPTB seem intent on keeping Sam and Daniel miserable. Well, there are two mysterious strangers who have something to say about that!
Warnings: Parody. Also, lots and lots of sarcasm.

Author's notes: Blame my muse for this little bit of madness. And before anyone asks, this isn't the long story I've been working on. That one's still in progress and considerably less insane than this one. ...I hope.

Thanks so much to my friend Seskal for helping me confirm that what I heard in Threads wasn't my imagination! Also, thanks to MaureenT, and extra-special-super-duper-megariffic thanks to my fabulous beta, Thraesja (as always, immensely helpful). You'll see why.

--

Sam tapped on the frame of Daniel's open office door. "Knock, knock."

The archaeologist looked up from the scroll on his desk. "Oh. Hey, Sam. What's up?" He pushed his glasses higher on his nose and smiled at his friend.

"Um. Nothing really. I just wanted to see how you were doing."

"I'm fine. You don't have to worry about me."

"You died, Daniel. Again. This makes me worry."

"I really am fine, Sam."

She studied him for a long moment before deciding to believe him. "What's this?" she asked, gesturing to the scroll.

"Oh, it's just something that SG-9 found on P7V-835. I'm only about halfway through translating it. It's written in what seems to be a cross between Oscan and Kitan, which is really interesting in that it's a practically impossible language combination. You see, Oscan was widely spoken in southern and south-central Italy from 500 to 50 BC. Kitan was spoken in Mongolia and northern China during the Kitan dynasty from 916 to 1125 AD. It's fascinating to think that these two cultures, separated by half of the globe and a thousand years may have interacted to create a culture all their own."

"Wow. That's amazing." Sam said with awe in her voice as she examined the scroll lying on Daniel's desk.

"Anyway, it's taking me longer to decipher it than I had expected. I'm getting there though."

"Well, that's good. Anything useful so far?"

"Um, I'm not sure about useful, but definitely interesting. It tells the story of two kindred spirits, soul mates if you will, who meet far from their home and become best friends. They travel all around the galaxy, battling enemies, making allies, solving puzzles and meeting new cultures."

Sam's eyes widened. That story sounded vaguely familiar. "So what happens to them?"

Daniel grinned. "I don't know. I haven't managed to get through it all yet."

"Well, hurry up and translate!" She nudged his shoulder, returning his grin.

He chuckled and turned back to the scroll on his desk. Sam wandered around his office, looking at the artefacts arranged on his shelves. As she ran her fingers over the spines of books lined neatly on a shelf, one caught her attention. Sam pulled the well-worn brown journal off the bookshelf and studied it. She ran her fingers over the symbol printed on the cover, remembering the last time she looked at that journal – not long after the terrible events on Kelowna.

Daniel had been 'dead' for a few days, and her heart had ached every second of that time. Just as it had ached the entire year he was gone, until the moment they found him on Vis Uban and he had agreed to return home with them.

A sad piano theme filtered softly into Daniel's office. Sam looked up, assuming that he had turned on a radio.

Daniel had a perplexed expression on his face. "Do you hear that?"

"Yeah. Where's it coming from?"

"I have no idea."

Sam put the book down and the music faded to silence. "That was weird."

"Yeah." He looked around his office nervously. "Uh, Sam, do you get the feeling..."

"That we're being watched? Yeah."

They both turned to look at the security camera in a corner, near the ceiling. The red light blinked steadily at them. They looked at each other and laughed.

"Guess that answers that," said Sam.

Shaking his head, Daniel turned his attention back to the scroll as Sam picked up the journal again. The music resumed.

"That melody is so sad..." Daniel murmured.

"It's your ascended theme," Sam said softly as she again traced the symbol on the cover of the journal. She stopped, confused. Ascended theme?

"Did you say something?"

She sighed. "I was just thinking that the music goes well with my mood right now."

Concern creased his forehead. "Why? Are you upset about something?"

Sam shook her head. "I was just remembering how awful it was that year while you were d— um...gone."

"Oh, Sam. I'm sorry."

Daniel stood up gathered her in a warm hug; she wrapped her arms around his waist. They held each other for a long moment.

"I don't think I could ever go through anything like that again," Sam mumbled into Daniel's neck.

He squeezed her tightly. "I hope you never have to, Sam."

She lifted her head from his shoulder to look into his eyes. The music around them changed to a romantic theme. The melancholy piano was joined by violins and cellos, rising with sweeping lyrical phrases.

Deep blue eyes gazed into blue. Years of suppressed emotions began bubbling to the surface. Daniel drew closer to Sam, his eyes piercing hers, searching their depths. Sam could feel her heart beginning to race; surely Daniel must be able to hear it. She felt an almost overwhelming urge to reach up and touch his full, expressive lips. She found herself wondering what they would feel like on her own.

Her imagination raced along with her pulse. She envisioned Daniel running his hands over her soft and sensitive skin, his mouth devouring hers. She imagined the kisses they had never shared. Would he taste like coffee, or some exotic spice, or a mix of flavours uniquely his own? Sam felt herself leaning closer, unable to stop herself from sampling just one taste...

Daniel blinked and looked away. Sam cleared her throat. The music came to a screeching halt, as if the needle on a turntable had been roughly dragged across a record.

They stepped apart, avoiding eye contact.

"Um..." Sam studied the floor and shuffled her feet. "What was that?"

"I, uh, I don't know." Daniel ran a nervous hand through his hair.

"The music was uh..."

"Yeah. The music." Daniel nodded vigorously. "We must have been caught up in the music."

"Right. Where the hell was it coming from?"

They were about to start searching his office for a hidden speaker when a woman with short brown hair suddenly appeared.

"Okay, hold it!" the stranger said.

There was a puff of blue-green smoke and a second woman, this one with shoulder-length blonde hair, appeared next to the first.

The brown-haired woman turned to the new arrival. "Blue-green smoke? Don't you think that's going a little overboard?"

The blonde woman shrugged. "I'm going overboard? What was that mush just now? 'She imagined the kisses they had never shared'? Yeesh."

"Hey! 'A mix of flavours uniquely his own' was your idea. I am not taking the blame for that one!"

Sam and Daniel gaped at the strangers.

"Who are you?" asked Daniel.

"How did you get in here?" Sam took a step toward the phone on Daniel's desk.

"Ah ah!" The brown-haired woman held up a finger and Sam froze. "You're not going to call security."

Panic flashed across Sam's face. "Daniel, I can't move!"

Daniel cast an alarmed look at his uninvited guests and reached for his phone.

"Oh, no you don't," said the second woman. His hand stopped inches away from the receiver.

"Who are you?" demanded Sam.

The brown-haired woman stepped forward, a broad grin on her face. "Sam. Daniel. It is just so wonderful to finally meet you. To be honest, I feel like I already know you. My name is Amaranth Traces, and I'm writing this story."

"Writing this...what? What kind of name is that, anyway?" Daniel appeared very confused.

"I'm glad you asked that, Daniel. Amaranth Traces is an anagram of Samantha Carter. Clever, no?" Amaranth's expectant gaze moved from Daniel to Sam and back again. Receiving no obvious reaction to the cleverness of her penname, apart from an eye roll from her companion, Amaranth pouted slightly before continuing the introductions. "This is my beta, Thraesja."

Thraesja waved.

"What's a beta?" asked the ever-curious Daniel.

The beta stepped forward. "It's a term for someone the author relies on to fix all sorts of things in a story before it's inflicted on the general public. I edit spelling and grammar. I check facts and dates. I help with characterization, sentence structure, pacing, and sometimes plotting. Stuff like that. The term was appropriated from the software industry which uses—"

Amaranth cleared her throat loudly. "Thrae, nobody wants to hear a long-winded explanation from you right now."

"Right. Sorry." The blonde shrugged self-consciously and turned towards Daniel. "I tend to get caught up. I write quite a few of your info-dump lines," she turned to Sam, "and some of your technobabble too."

"Hang on a minute," said Sam.

"This isn't a story." Daniel exchanged a glance with his friend.

Amaranth nodded, grinning. "Oh, yes it is. It came to me last night while I was trying to fall asleep. That's when my muse usually gives me things. I'm pretty sure she thinks it's funny when I stay awake typing up her whispers into the wee hours of the morning."

"Muse?" Daniel raised his eyebrows.

"I think it's pretty funny too," said Thraesja.

"Oh, you would. Just you wait. You have to beta this once I'm done with it."

Thraesja wrinkled her nose and stared at the floor. "Yippee."

Sam tried to regain control of the situation. "Okay. You two aren't supposed to be here. I'm calling security." She didn't move.

Amaranth shook her head. "No, you're not. I'm writing this, remember? You can't do anything unless I say you can. This is my story."

Daniel shifted uncomfortably on his feet. "I don't think I like the idea of being a character in any story, let alone one of yours."

"Trust me, Daniel. I won't let anything bad happen to you. At least not today."

Thraesja raised her index finger in the air. "I make no such promises."

Amaranth rolled her eyes. "Yes. You're very lucky that Thrae's not writing this story or she'd likely have you in the infirmary already." She scowled at her beta. "Probably with multiple stab wounds, a couple staff blast injuries, a broken arm or leg, a bullet wound that Jack would refuse to admit was his fault, and–and–and...comatose or something."

"Hey!" Thraesja held up her hands defensively. "You're not much better when it comes to her." She thrust a thumb in Sam's direction.

"Yeah." Amaranth wrinkled her nose and looked at Sam. "Sorry about that. I swear I don't do it on purpose."

"What are you talking about?" asked Sam.

"I uh, I sort of have this habit of getting you hurt either physically, mentally, emotionally or some combination of the three in my stories. I really don't mean to. It just sort of happens. But I swear it always works out okay. See, I'm a real sucker for a happy ending." Amaranth shrugged.

"Um, how many stories have you written, exactly?" asked Daniel.

"So far? Not too many. I'm pretty new to the craft. But boy, do I have a pile of ideas on how to get you two together."

Daniel raised his eyebrows. "Um, what?"

"'Together'?" asked Sam.

The two scientists exchanged another glance.

"Hooyeah. That's why Thrae and I have made an appearance in this story." Amaranth walked up to Sam and Daniel and put her arms around their shoulders. "Look, you two have the whole unresolved sexual tension thing down. So, let's move on and get some resolution to that, okay?"

"Sexual...there's no s–sexual tension between us!" Daniel's face was flushed bright red.

"Oh, Daniel. You're a terrible liar, you really shouldn't even try."

His mouth opened and closed several times, silently.

Amaranth watched him for a moment then turned to Thraesja. "Is there anything he could do that wouldn't be just completely adorable?"

Thraesja considered the question before answering. "Not sure. Don't think so."

"Maybe we should try an experiment or two? Test that theory?"

"Hmm...tempting."

"Oh, definitely."

The two women stared at Daniel as he nervously glanced toward the doorway. "Um, look, I think you two had better go. Jack and Teal'c are probably on their way here right now."

Amaranth grinned again. "Oh, no they're not."

Daniel gulped. "Uh. Yeah, any minute now. I–I'm sure of it."

Amaranth shook her head. "No, they're not in this story."

Sam's eyes widened in alarm. "Did you do something to them?"

"What? No! Of course not. What kind of person do you think I am?" Amaranth exchanged an incredulous glance with Thraesja. "They're fine. They're just not in this story, at least not until the very end, because that's how I want it."

Amaranth waggled her eyebrows. "I can make all kinds of things happen in my stories. Say for example I want you two to have some alone time to talk or y'know...not talk." She winked at the blushing scientists before her. "I just have Hammond come in and call Jack and Teal'c away for...something. It really doesn't matter what. The point is to get rid of them."

"Amaranth, your attention to detail is astounding. This is the end of Season 8. Hammond's been in Washington with Homeworld Security for a year now. Why do I always have to fix the timeline in your stories?"

"Sorry Thrae. I really do try. You're just so much better at remembering all the little details than I am."

Thraesja grinned triumphantly. "You're right. I am."

Amaranth turned back to the scientists. "A little flattery and she'll do anything I ask."

"I heard that."

"Oh, shush you. Now, where was I?"

Thraesja sighed. "You were having Season 8 Hammond call Jack and Teal'c away for pointless briefings."

"Right. Okay, so, not Hammond in this season, but I can send Teal'c off to Kel'no'reem, even if it no longer works quite right for him. That's a great way to get rid of him for several hours, sometimes even for the rest of the story. And I can always have Walter drag Jack back to his office to finish that paperwork he's always trying to avoid.

Sam and Daniel exchanged nervous glances again.

"And right now, I say that no one's coming in here. Even the security camera's deactivated." All heads turned to the camera on the wall. The red light blinked off. "Seriously. Relax. I'm not here to hurt anyone in this story at all. I'm here to help."

Daniel raised his eyebrows. "Help us?"

"Yes."

"We don't need help."

"Oh, that's where you're wrong, Sam. You need my help more than you know."

"Uh, why?" Daniel asked.

Amaranth giggled and leaned closer to Thraesja, pointing at Daniel. "Did you hear that? He gave me his I-think-I'm-talking-to-a-crazy-person why!" She clapped excitedly.

"Yes," said Thraesja, her expression carefully neutral. "Shocking, isn't it."

Rolling her eyes at her beta, Amaranth smiled at Daniel. "Okay. It seems that TPTB refuse to allow either of you two to be happy. It's sad, but true. That's where I come in."

"TPTB?" Daniel seemed to be taking this whole situation in stride.

"The Powers That Be. The show writers, producers, et cetera. For some reason that's completely beyond me, they don't want you two to get together. Next season and the one after that, they're going to start to drastically reduce the interaction between the two of you." Amaranth looked pointedly at them. "Now, is that what you want?"

Sam frowned. Daniel looked confused.

"Look. Daniel. You think Sam's in love with Jack, right?"

Daniel gaped incredulously. Sam gasped forcefully.

Thraesja leaned over to Amaranth. "Seriously, are we going to have to have another discussion on the overuse of adverbs?"

"Can you give it a rest for just one plotline? Sheesh. The truth is yes, Sam and Jack did flirt quite a bit in the early years. But after that zatarc incident—" Amaranth interrupted herself and turned to Sam. "Very sorry about Martouf by the way. I cried my eyes out when TPTB killed him."

"What?" Sam shook her head. "I'm the one who killed him."

"Oh, sweetie." Amaranth patted her arm reassuringly. "Only because they made you do it."

Sam frowned again as she processed that statement.

"Anyway. After the zatarc incident, the flirting really tapered down didn't it, Sam? And after Daniel...did that thing he did on Kelowna..."

"Two Kleenex box episode, that one," said Thraesja.

"Oh, man. No kidding." Amaranth shook her head before continuing. "That whole year there was very little flirting going on. And what about all those revelations you had on the Prometheus with Grace? TPTB never let you follow through on what you realised about your relationship with Jack. Complete lack of closure. That's another thing that really pissed me off."

Amaranth shook her head and sighed. "Anyway, my point is that while you still have some obvious confusion because TPTB never officially gave you any resolution to the whole Jack thing, you've all but stopped flirting with him, haven't you?"

Suddenly, she lifted her head and shouted at the ceiling. "And before anyone brings up that barbeque scene from just a little while ago, did you hear the music that was playing as she sat in her car outside Jack's house? It was Daniel's ascended theme! Yes, it's slower and in a different key, but it's the same theme! Go on! Check! I dare you!"

"Hey." Thraesja nudged Amaranth and pointed to Sam and Daniel, who had begun edging away. "You're scaring the natives. Focus. Stop talking to the readers."

"Oh. Sorry." Amaranth cleared her throat. "Anyway, it's quite obvious that Jack and Kerry what's-her-face totally misinterpreted why Sam went to Jack's place that day." Amaranth looked back at Sam. "Right?"

Without waiting for Sam to answer, Thraesja looked at Daniel. "Do you know why Sam stopped flirting with Jack?"

Daniel shook his head.

"Because she's not in love with him!" the two authors shouted at the same time.

"So. She's not in love with Jack," Amaranth repeated. "Okay. Problem one solved. Problem two. This one should be easier. Daniel, you remember that question you asked Sam on Vis Uban, right? Back when you had no memory? The world is dying to know. Where did it come from?"

Sam looked at Daniel expectantly. He turned bright red and dropped his head to stare at the floor.

"Hunh." Amaranth watched him and tilted her head to one side. "Still adorable."

Thraesja nodded. "The man's got talent."

"Daniel, you may as well admit what we already know. You've been in love with Sam for quite a long time now. But you haven't said a darned thing because you thought she was in love with Jack. Well, she's not!" Amaranth nodded authoritatively. "Good! Problem two solved."

She turned to Sam. "Sam, poor Sam. You're problem three. You really need to get over this whole 'black widow' fear thing you have and just tell Daniel that you fell for him the moment you laid eyes on him on Abydos."

"What? You did?" Daniel looked at his friend in surprise.

Sam stared at the floor.

"Why do you think she listens to your impromptu history lessons like the one about the languages on that scroll? Hello! She's an astrophysicist, Daniel. Now, don't get me wrong. You're wonderfully brilliant, but you go off on these little rants once in a while. Honestly, I could listen to your voice all night long but you do have a tendency to ramble a little now and then."

"Actually, I love his history lessons. Gives him more screen time," Thraesja said.

"Suck up."

Daniel ignored them; he stared at Sam. "Why didn't you say anything?"

"You were married, Daniel! Besides, why didn't you say anything?"

"I–I–I–"

"He's stammering," whispered Thraesja.

Amaranth nodded. "I noticed. And that's adorable too."

"I was just going to say that."

"Look you two. The Powers That Be are to blame for every horrible thing that's ever happened to you. It's all their fault. Sha're being taken host, Apophis's many returns from the dead, Hathor (that was just...beyond wrong), that whole Anubis thing (I mean really, how are you supposed to fight an enemy that's not entirely on this plane of existence?), Daniel's many and various deaths (seriously, I think they think it's a joke now), the Linea issue (she managed to kick both of you in the head), Jacob dying (I'm convinced they only killed him because he wanted you to be with Daniel, Sam)—"

"You keep interrupting yourself. It's breaking up the flow of your monologue."

Amaranth glared at Thraesja before turning back to Sam to continue. "You being tricked by RepliCarter..."

Sam spoke up. "RepliCarter? Oh, you mean the Replicator that took my form? That was my fault. She learned betrayal from me."

Thraesja snorted. "Oh, face it, Sam. She tricked you. She was evil and you trusted her. Not your brightest moment. I have to admit I was more than a little disappointed. And then she skewered Daniel! Unbelievable!" She shook her head at the astrophysicist.

Amaranth looked at Thraesja. "You know, the one thing they did really well was that scene in the briefing room just a little while back." She turned back to the scientists and continued. "When you descended again, Daniel. You remember, Sam. The flag scene. That was nice, eh? Wish I had written that myself..." Amaranth's eyes moved over Daniel, a pensive look on her face. "Hmm..."

Daniel shifted nervously.

Amaranth glanced at Thraesja. "What do you think?"

"A demonstration of our power might show them that we really are who we say we are."

"Excellent point. Good logic. I can always count on you for that. What shall we try? Flag scene, minus the flag?"

"It's a classic."

"Ooh! I've always wanted to do this!" Amaranth clapped her hands onto her elbows, crossing her arms in front of her, bobbed her head and blinked her eyes, hard.

POOF!

Daniel's clothes disappeared.

"Nice," said Thraesja, the appreciation quite obvious in her voice.

"Indeed," Amaranth agreed.

"Oh!" exclaimed Sam as she turned away.

Daniel scrambled around, grabbing a book from the shelf behind him. He used it to cover himself.

Thraesja giggled. "Daniel, I think you're gonna need a bigger book."

"Jaws reference! Sweet!" Amaranth raised her hand in the air and Thraesja gave her a high-five.

"Thank you, thank you, I'm here all week," said the beta.

Daniel looked down and opened the book to cover more of himself. "Okay, okay! I believe you," he said, blushing furiously. "You're writing this story. Can I please have my clothes back?"

Amaranth considered the request. "Hmm. What do you think?"

Thraesja shrugged. "He is a little distracting. I can't concentrate on my sarcasm."

"Ah, we must fix that then. Can't live without Thrae's sarcastic wit."

"Hey, it comes in handy for helping with Jack's lines."

"Yes, well, there is that."

With another I-Dream-of-Jeannie-blink, Daniel was fully clothed again. He breathed a sigh of relief.

"Huh," said Amaranth, her eyes still on Daniel. "Still pretty darn good."

Thraesja nodded. "Definitely easy on the eyes in any attire, or lack thereof."

Amaranth drummed her fingers on her chin and sighed. "Oh, Daniel. If only you weren't fictional."

"I beg your pardon?"

"Never mind." She shook her head. "Hmm. You know, I can't leave it at that. I'm gonna come back to TPTB thing in a bit. See, I think most of my readers are—"

"Your readers?" Thraesja raised an eyebrow that would make Teal'c proud. "I thought you were still stuck calling them 'the people who read your stories'. When did you take ownership of the readers themselves?"

Amaranth blushed. "Um, right about the time I got over 100 reviews on a couple of my stories?"

"Took you long enough."

"Anyway. I think most of my readers really, really appreciate a naked Daniel. I know I do. So that was a little something for me, er, them. However," Amaranth turned to Sam. "What about the rest of them? I have a feeling they'd like a little something special themselves."

"Oh, no!" Sam paled.

"Sorry. It's quid pro quo for Daniel here anyway. You've seen him, now he gets to see you." Amaranth blinked again.

POOF!

Sam's clothes vanished.

"Nice muscle structure." Amaranth nodded approvingly.

"Natural blonde, too." Thraesja held out her hand expectantly.

Amaranth rolled her eyes and dug a twenty out of her pocket. She handed it to her friend.

Sam squeaked. Daniel turned away, albeit a bit belatedly.

"Well, that was fun." Blink!

POOF!

Sam was fully clothed again.

"There. Now we have gratuitous nudity. That should increase the rating on this story to 'T'."

"Yes, well done."

"Whoa. Was that an actual compliment from Thrae? Are you feeling well? Are you really you? Should I be checking your house for pods?"

Thraesja rolled her eyes.

Amaranth turned to Sam and Daniel. "Her compliments are usually the type that leave you wondering if she was trying to be nice or insulting."

"Oh, that is so not..." Thraesja paused, then slowly nodded. "Okay. Yeah, that's true."

"Right. Anyway, back to what I was saying earlier. Sam. Daniel. After all that The Powers That Be have done to you, all that they've put you through, are you really going to let them keep the two of you apart? Or will you let me get you together so you can have the happy ending you both truly deserve?"

"Can't you just make them say yes?" asked Thraesja.

"Shush. I want this to be their choice."

Sam and Daniel exchanged a look.

"You're not in love with Jack?" asked Daniel.

Sam shook her head. "And you're..." her voice trailed off.

"Desperately in love with my best friend," he finished for her.

Sam smiled and stepped closer to him. "So am I."

The music resumed and started swell again.

"Aw, that is so sweet! Nice musical selection if I do say so myself." Amaranth smiled proudly.

"Shh! I'm waiting for them to get to the good part." Thraesja was watching Sam and Daniel intently.

"Oh, there won't be much of that. Must keep this story at a T rating so it appears on the default SG-1 fic page."

"Aww. Are you sure?"

"Yeah, Besides, I'm not quite up to writing any steamy love scenes just yet. Unless you want to take a crack at it?"

Thraesja blushed. "Um...no."

"There ya go. So, T-rating it is." Amaranth nodded.

"Ooh, they're going to kiss. The Sam/Daniel shippers will be so excited!"

"Yeah, a few Sam and Daniel smoochies and I think the shippers are pretty well good to go."

The music rose to a fever pitch as Daniel caressed Sam's cheek. Her hand ran up his arm to his shoulder. Her other arm wrapped around his waist. Daniel placed a hand at the small of Sam's back and pulled her gently closer to him.

Their lips brushed past one another.

Amaranth and Thraesja smiled and continued watching quietly.

Sam and Daniel pulled apart slightly and gazed at each other. A moment later, they pressed their mouths together hungrily.

"That's nice," Amaranth said as she passed a bag of popcorn to Thraesja.

"Kinda inappropriate for on base, though, don't you think?" Thraesja popped a few kernels into her mouth. "A little out of character for them." She waved at hand at the scene unfolding before them.

"Okay, there is such thing as too much logic. It's so much more romantic this way. I mean, look at them! They're swept away by their emotions! It's great."

"Hey, I'm not complaining."

"Yes, you were."

"No, I wasn't."

"Yes, you were."

"No, I wasn't."

"Oh, for crying out loud."

The music screeched to a halt again. Both Sam and Daniel turned to stare at Amaranth.

She winced. "Sorry. I watch your show so much I start using your common phrases in my day to day conversations."

"Ya think?" said Thraesja.

"Hello!" Amaranth turned to Thraesja, eyes narrowing. "Ladies and gentlemen, the Queen of Canon Minutia," she announced, gesturing dramatically to her friend. "Big freak who even looks up the power source of Asgard engines," she muttered.

"Oh yeah? Well, you have naquadah and Tau'ri and God knows what else in your word processor's custom dictionary!"

"You're still way sadder than I am."

"Will you shut up? They were kissing and now the Sam/Daniel shippers are writhing in agony 'cause they've stopped."

"That was your fault."

"Was not!"

"Was too."

"Um, can you two, uh...go away?"

Amaranth and Thraesja turned at Daniel's voice.

"What? Oh! Yeah, sure! I think we can say 'mission accomplished' with this story, no?"

Amaranth nodded. "One happy ending, coming up. You two have fun now."

"And remember! That security camera has been disabled. You two have nothing to worry about."

"Great." Daniel took Sam by the waist and lifted her to sit on the edge of his desk.

"Oh, my." Thraesja's eyes widened. "I thought you weren't ready to write steamy scenes yet."

"Um, I'm not. Something's bound to interrupt them."

"Howdy campers!" Jack poked his head through the door and waved. Teal'c was behind him.

"Something like that?" asked Thraesja.

Amaranth pursed her lips in frustration. "Hmm. Apparently."

Sam and Daniel looked back and forth between Jack and Teal'c near the door and Amaranth and Thraesja on the other side of the office.

"Oh, don't worry, they can't see us," said Amaranth.

"Whoa! Are we interrupting something?" asked Jack, eyes widening as he saw Sam sitting on the desk and Daniel standing between her legs, his hands on her waist. Daniel lowered his hands and took a step back.

"Uh, no sir." Sam hopped off the desk. "Daniel was just demonstrating the, uh, the ritual greeting of..."

Daniel came to Sam's rescue. "...of the Ancient Grushnian monarchs and their courtiers. You see, Jack, since the attempted regicide of the Lady Helnadra of the fourth dynasty, it was forbidden for anyone to stand taller than the reigning Queen, which, as you can imagine was often problematic for her male attendants, so she would have to sit on these high platforms in order to—"

"Wow," Jack interrupted. "That's uh...fascinating. Isn't it, T?

"Indeed."

"How'd you come up with that so fast?" Amaranth whispered to Thraesja. "I just left it as a note for something that sounded boring to be added later. Where did you find the whole greeting law thing?"

"Oh, I just made up the entire culture. I don't have Wikipedia handy right now to find something more realistic."

"Cheater."

"Look, I wanted to come by to invite you guys up to my cabin for some fishing this weekend." Jack continued, "Now that we've done that thing where we went back in time and made it so we didn't have to go back in time, we have some uh...time on our hands."

"Fishing, sir? I thought that tape said there were no fish in your pond."

"Oh, uh, right." Jack shifted on his feet. "Well, um, you don't necessarily need fish to go fishing."

"Great. Sounds like fun," Daniel said slowly.

"I knew you two would be excited."

"That was sarcasm, Jack."

"Go home and pack. It's gonna be great!"

"Uh-huh."

"Bye, sir."

Jack bounced out of the room and down the hall with Teal'c following behind.

Thraesja nudged Amaranth. "You made Teal'c part of the scenery again. He had one word. Come on!"

"Sorry. I'll try to do better by him in my next story."

"Are you two still here?" Sam looked pointedly at them.

"Don't worry. We're on our way out. But uh, before we go, you want to finish translating that scroll?" Amaranth asked Daniel.

"It could take me hours—"

"Just read it," Amaranth interrupted.

He looked at it, and his brow creased in confusion. "How come I can understand it now?"

Amaranth sighed. "I told you. I'm writing this story, and I have now decided that you can instinctively read that language." She waved her hand in the direction of the scroll. "Read the last line."

"What's it say?" Sam's curiosity was getting the best of her.

Daniel ran his fingers over the last line of the scroll as he read the line out loud. "And they lived happily ever after."

"Pretty cheesy ending," muttered Thraesja.

Amaranth shrugged. "Yeah, well. It's a pretty cheesy story."

"Good point. But it's not half bad. For cheese."

"Thank you, thank you, I'm here all week.

Thraesja scowled. "That's my line, damn it. Stop stealing my stuff."

"Hello! I'll take 'last lines of a story' for $100, Alex."

"Hey, that was a coincidence!" Thraesja cleared her throat and shifted on her feet. "Besides, I posted mine before yours. Nobody knows that you actually wrote it first."

Amaranth smirked. "Well, they do now."

"Ah, crap."

"So, how'd you do that smoke thing?"

"Like this."

The two women disappeared in a puff of blue-green smoke.

"They seemed nice. A little weird, but..." Daniel's voice trailed off. He stepped closer to Sam again.

Sam grinned and ran a finger across his lips. Glancing up at the security camera, she saw that the light was still dark. She hopped back up on Daniel's desk. "Why don't we get to work on that ending?"

Daniel smiled, running his hands up her legs to rest on her hips. "Sounds good to me."

THE END
Please read and review.

Additional disclaimer: All real people appearing in this story have given permission for their pennames to be used. Thanks, Thrae! I, uh, won't bother thanking myself. Modesty, thy name is Amaranth. :)

Thraesja's stories can also be found here at fanfiction(dot)net. In fact, she's linked under my "Favourite Authors" on my profile page! Go read 'em! They're great! And if you thought this was funny, you might also enjoy the story we co-authored together. It's posted under Thrae's profile and called The Whumpacious Whumpification of the Whumped. Enjoy!