Cassie had never heard the word orphan until she had come to Earth. It had been whispered around her, but she didn't even learn it's meaning until she had started school and learnt all about all sorts of good and bad things about love, life and America.

The word orphan hadn't even applied to her until Sam had left for Atlantis. Not even after Janet had died, her mom, not her mother but no less important in her heart. She was still loved and looked after and it wasn't until Sam was gone that she really felt orphaned.

Abandoned.

At least when Sam was off-world she was coming back, soon. There were phone calls, dinner and Daniel, Jack and Teal'c. She brought them all together and now they were scattered and she felt scattered as well.

And as amazing as it was to receive emails from another galaxy, it really wasn't enough for her. She missed Sam too much.


When Sam was back for a series of meetings, she had demanded of General Hammond and Jack to let her be there; to see her.

She found herself pacing up and down in one of the meeting rooms, waiting and getting more furious with every step she wore into the concrete floor. She was angry because Sam had left her and she needed her to be there for her. She needed her.

The door opened and she whirled around to see Sam smiling at her in the doorway.

"Cassie."

The young woman glared at her. She'd been going over every angry word in her head for three days but now, faced with the woman she was so angry with, she found herself hesitating.

"What's wrong?" Sam asked.

"You left me. I can't believe you left me!" Cassie cried.

"Cass," Sam took a few steps into the room, letting the door close behind her. "What? We talked about Atlantis."

"I didn't want you to go."

"I thought you were happy for me?" Cassandra felt like she was burning up. Trying to stare down a woman who had faced Goa'uld, Replicators and death almost daily was futile, she knew, but she didn't quite have the words. She wanted to lash out.

"I never said I was happy Sam."

"I don't understand."

"I needed you. Last month, mom's anniversary, exams…my boyfriend dumped me!"

"Why didn't you say something in your emails?" Sam went to embrace her, wrap her arms around her and hold her tight but Cassie stepped away, a scowl still plastered on her face.

"What would've been the point? You were in another galaxy."

"We still could've talked it out, over email."

"It's not enough!" She screamed. Sam held her ground and Cassie knew she was letting her vent, waiting for her to be done.

"What do you want from me Cass?" she asked when there had been a little silence. "I can't be your mother, I never could."

"I don't want that at all," she said. "I miss you. I need you." When tears began to fall, the anger peaking, Sam pulled her into her arms. "I need you so much it hurts and you abandoned me," she sobbed into Sam's shirt, "left me here on this planet with a billion strangers." Sam hugged her tighter and kissed the top of her head.

"I never abandoned you, never intended to. I thought you considered Earth home?"

"You are home." She whispered. Cassie pulled her head back, her body still in Sam's arms and kissed the blonde on the lips. They kissed for a moment, lips soft and Sam felt herself falling into the touch. When Cassie moaned she let go and jumped back, making sure her arms and lips were at least three feet away from Cassandra who was leaning against the large meeting table.

"Where did that come from?"

"Me?"

"No, I mean, you just kissed me."

"I have kissed a woman before. I know what I'm doing."

"That's not the point." Cassie smiled, taking a couple of quick steps towards her, backing her up against the door with all her strength but Sam was faster and stronger, slipping from between the girl and the door.

"This is wrong."

"Why?"

"Because..." She moved around to the other side of the table to put some distance in between them, "…because you're upset, and angry…" she said, "…confused."

"I'm not confused." Cassie insisted. "I'm not a kid any more. I know my feelings. I need you. I love you."

"You're not even old enough to drink."

"I'm not trying to get you drunk." She moved around the table to stand opposite Sam. "I like your hair long." She reached out and ran her hand through the blonde locks, cupping the back of her head.

"Thanks." Cassie took a step towards her.

"I love you Sam," she smiled, "I want you. What do you want?" She kissed her then, trying to stop the blonde from thinking too hard about what she wanted. Cassie was still angry, but the abandonment was fading with every touch of their lips because this was her Sam and they were together and she needed her so much.

She grinned when she made Sam moan with the swipe of her tongue across her lips, seeking entrance.

"Mmno…" Sam mumbled against her lips. She pushed Cassie away with her hands flat on the girl's shoulders. "Cassie."

"Sam."

She looked at the girl; face flushed, hair falling loose and wild and she sighed. She was beautiful. She couldn't deny it, but she couldn't do this.

Not that she didn't want to. Part of her didn't think this was wrong. Part of her was very aware that Cassie was a pretty girl as well as a really good kisser and she really wanted her.

She really loved her.

All of it was hard to resist, but another part of Sam was screaming and Sam needed to get the hell out of the room before their relationship was ruined.

"Cassie, I love you. You know I do..." Cassie nodded, eyes burning into Sam and Sam wondered if her biological mother had had such intense eyes. Janet certainly had. "…and I know you miss me."

"But…" Cassie was a smart girl, Sam knew this, but she also knew she was determined just like her mother and Sam found this all the more frustrating and attractive.

Which made everything all the more wrong.

"I can't do this."

"Why not?"

"Not with you."

"Because I'm twenty, because you've known me since I was a kid, because I'm Janet's kid, because I'm an alien? Why Sam?"

"Not because you're an alien."

"The rest?" Sam nodded, unable to answer. "So you're going to leave me again, go back to Atlantis?"

"Even if I kiss you now and we go to bed, I'm still going back to Atlantis in the morning." Sam told her. "I made no promises; I can't make any promises."

"I'm not asking for them." She almost pouted. Sam wanted to smile at the fight Cassie seemed to be having with her own lips and how much she really wanted to kiss them. "Don't suppose I can come with? No, course not."

"Why? What about college? And boys, or girls, and being a doctor?" Sam asked, "can you see what I mean, when I say you're confused?"

"Maybe, but I still want you."

"You have me," Sam said, "but you shouldn't waste your life on me. I'm not worth it." Cassie jumped at her, wrapping her arms around her and hugging her tight.

"Never ever speak like that!" she said holding Sam, "you are worth it. I'd give up everything."

"I don't…" Cassie kissed her again and Sam had to admit, she had always been good for her self esteem and she was really good at this. With every kiss her resolve was melting away.

"All I know is, I don't want to be an orphan any more. I want to be more." She whispered between kisses. Sam didn't want it to stop; didn't want to think about Cassie, or Janet, or anything except the feel of this.

"You've always been more to me Cassie," Sam whispered, "I promise you that."


She woke up to a warm body curled up in her arms and sighed. She was still pretty sure this was at least a bad idea, but Cassandra had made her scream and that had been impossible to resist. The thrill of being perched on the edge of the table while members of the SGC passed outside the door really, really helped.

She was an adrenaline junkie and risky sex was pretty much up there with her motorbike.

She wasn't sure if this thing with Cassie was a good risk to take. It could damage their relationship forever; break it irrevocably and she didn't want that. She loved this girl in her arms. She wasn't sure how exactly, or even how much, but she loved her. And she desired her.

Badly, now that she knew how good she tasted and how loud she could make her scream.

She wished she could take her to Atlantis, but she had a future. They both had different futures. Sam was well into her life. Her future was Atlantis and the Wraith; the galaxies around her. Cassie was just starting hers. Medical school, relationships and whatever else she wanted. She really didn't want to get in the way of that, as nice as it was to hold her like this.

"Sam?" Cassie twisted in her arms and kissed her lightly on the lips.

"Morning…"

"I love you." The young woman said and Sam smiled. Of course they loved each other; that wasn't in question.

"I love you too," Sam kissed her back, "what now?"

"I don't know."

"You hadn't thought that far ahead."

"Not really."

"That's why this was a bad idea."

"No, no, no, this was a very good idea," she said with a grin, hand skimming down Sam's side.

"No," Sam said, putting a hand on Cassie's, and holding it to her hip, "bad idea. I knew you didn't know what you wanted."

"You?"

"Beyond that? Beyond this?" Cassie shrugged.

"Exactly." Sam leant over, burying her face in the girls hair, sighing.

"Maybe you were right," Cassie said, "I wasn't thinking."

"I've done that."

"I just wanted to be home again. I just wanted to belong again and I belong with you; to you."

"I don't think so," she pulled away and smiled, "we'll always be friends Cass."

"This is a one time thing."

"Well, maybe if you've no one and neither have I and I have a lapse in judgment again," Cassie laughed.

"That really makes me feel better."

"Cassie," Sam smiled, "I love you and we'll probably never do this again."

"Just…just come and see me soon, often, emails aren't enough." Cassie said, pulling out of Sam's arms and rolling onto her back.

"Do you still feel abandoned?" Sam asked, moving to lean on an elbow and look down at her.

"It was irrational."

"You are irrational," Sam said grinning.

"I do feel insulted though," she said. Sam stuck her tongue out at her and Cassie moved fast, sucking on it, pushing the blonde onto her back.

"I'll make it up to you."

"You have time?"

"I always have time for you Cassie."