-- Epilogue --
After leaving Dad and the Tok'ra on the newly-christened moon of Endor, we had flown our Ha'tak home to Earth. Daniel and I had spent a lot of time studying the data we'd copied from the Ancient device. We also spent a lot of time studying each other. One thing about living on a Tok'ra base, even for a short time, was that it really gave a person an appreciation for doors. Luckily, the Ha'tak had plenty. And for the most part, Teal'c and the Colonel were busy flying the ship.
One of the planets on the list of addresses from the Ancient device held a very interesting society. Technologically, they were about sixty years behind us, but their planet was rich with naquadah deposits as well as a highly unstable radioactive variation that they called naquadria. Daniel and I had stayed on the planet for three months, working with their research staff to learn more.
There'd been a few political problems. It's funny. No matter the planet, societies seem to follow the same general pattern of development. People are always far too eager to blow each other to kingdom come. Daniel pulled off no small miracle when he managed to negotiate an agreement between the planet's three rival nations.
He still insists that the only reason they started talking was because he pointed out the fact that their mineral deposits made them a prime target for invading Goa'uld. But I know better. No one can get people to see things clearly like my Daniel.
We had agreed to provide them with information about the Stargate in exchange for some mining rights. We'd even started a cultural exchange. All in all, I think it worked out rather well. I was eager to see how I could use the naquadria to boost the efficiency of our Ha'tak's systems. I was already imagining possible designs for defensive shields, hyperdrive engines, and interstellar vessels built entirely on Earth.
Tonight though, all schematics and test results were happily out of my mind. Tonight, Daniel and I were enjoying the company of our friends at the welcome home party Colonel O'Neill and Teal'c had thrown for us. I've never seen so many desserts under one roof. I planned on sampling every one of them.
I also planned on finding interesting uses for some of the leftover whipped cream.
I watched, smiling, as Janet practically dragged Sam into one of the quieter corners of Jack's living room. Judging by the number of blushing glances Sam was casting in my direction, I guessed she was getting the inquisition about our relationship.
It was certainly good to be home. The word tense didn't even come close to describing the situation Sam and I had faced for the last three months. I'd found a reference in some historical records about a massive explosion three thousand years ago that took out Thanos, the resident Goa'uld at the time. Somehow, Sam figured out that the explosion had triggered a reaction in one of the planet's surface naquadah deposits.
Her discovery put an immediate halt to all naquadria bomb research. I won't pretend to understand all of the science behind it, but I'm pretty sure she saved their entire planet. Not that she'd ever admit it, of course. I only hope the people of Kelowna appreciate what she did for them.
The cultural exchange between our planets holds a lot of promise. I've already decided on at least one Kelownan applicant to join my staff through it. Jonas has made quite an impression. He was invaluable during the delicate negotiations between the three nations of his planet, and he's very quick to learn anything thrown at him. I was looking forward to working with him at the SGC.
I grabbed Walter as he made his third trip from the dessert table. A few whispered words sent him across the room on a top secret mission. I sipped my wine, watching the scene unfold.
All things considered, it'd been a good three months off-world. Tonight had certainly been a good night with our friends.
Walter successfully managed to pry Janet away from her interrogation victim. I caught Sam's eye and winked at her. She gave me a smile and tilted her chin toward Jack's front door, raising a suggestive eyebrow.
When I nodded, she disappeared into the kitchen, only to reappear a moment later, stuffing a can of something into her purse. I had no idea what it was, but if it was worth the risk of stealing it from her CO, it was going to be worthwhile.
The twinkle in her eye as we bid our goodbyes confirmed it. The night was about to get even better.
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Author's note: There were a lot of firsts for me within this trilogy - my first time writing a real sequel, first AU of episodes, first (ahem) sex scene (even if it was only T-rated)... But I think it all worked out more or less okay in the end.
Once more, I'd like to thank my beta extraordinaire, Thraesja, for all her hard work on this story. Despite the insanity of her RL, she still managed to find the time to point and laugh at various scenes until I whipped them into shape. In particular, the sex scene was all of three sentences long until she told me that I'd likely have a riot of readers screaming their denial. Yeek! Anyway, my point is, if you enjoyed this story, send a virtual cookie to Thrae and her muse. 'Cause all the good parts are her fault. :)