Convention

Mild spoilers for Samantha Carter's character through the pilot episode of "Stargate: Universe" and for Helen Magnus's character through "Sanctuary" Season 2

Kind of brought on by reports of the Helen Magnus/Sam Carter in an elevator skit performed by Amanda Tapping and Thomasina Gibson at AT4

Sam walked into the convention, offering small smiles to the scientists and engineers whom she passed.

"I've told you before, Sam, I absolutely love these things." Dr. Bill Lee said with a grin as they walked into the mix and mingle.

"I know." She said with a chuckle. "It's the 'dynamite singles' scene', right?"

Bill grinned as he grabbed a couple of drinks and joined a few of the other female scientists as Sam shook her head.

She commanded the George Hammond now, but in order to keep her from disappearing from the scientific community, like Rodney McKay had, the Air Force had insisted that she take a little time off to attend this convention.

Truth be told, she had a hundred other places where she'd rather be right now. And most of them were within a few blocks of this hotel in DC.

"You'll want one of these, I suppose," A woman's voice suggested, offering her a drink.

"Oh, no, thank you." Sam said, turning to refuse the offer. The last thing she needed was to get herself involved with a...

Her own blue eyes twinkled back at her in amusement under carefully styled brown hair. "Dr. Magnus," she said, shaking her head. "What are you doing here?"

"I might ask the same of you," she said, offering the drink once more. "As I heard you were no longer in Research and Development."

"You heard that?" Sam asked, raising an eyebrow somewhat suspiciously as she took a sip of the wine Magnus had brought her.

Helen shrugged. "It's quite simple to keep yourself informed if you know that there's something of which you'd like to be kept informed."

"And being friends with the President, doesn't hurt..." Sam finished.

Helen smiled mysteriously as she sipped from her own glass. "I know a great many influential and powerful people."

"Is that why you're here? To "make contact"?" Sam asked, curiously.

"Why not?" Helen teased. "We are family, after all."

"We certainly are that." Sam said, shaking her head with a small chuckle.

"Actually, I'm here for Henry – my engineer. He came down with a head cold and was unable to attend himself."

"Ah." She said, nodding. "I guess in your line of work, you need to be apprised of the latest developments in technology."

"Yes, but so far I've been only mildly impressed." She said with a shrug. "My father's technological advancements alone have far surpassed this level of amateur competition."

Sam shook her head in amusement at the eccentric woman.

"In fact, until now, I've been astounded by your work, Samantha."

"My work?" Sam asked, confused.

She nodded with a sly smile. "I knew who you were long before I met you in Cheyenne Mountain."

"How..." Sam asked, confused.

"It's my business to know who is extraordinary in their fields."

"Ah."

"The only thing I didn't count on was how very much like me you looked in person."

"Well...I try..." Sam said with a sardonic grin.

"In fact, I wonder if my staff could notice a difference between you and I." She said, thoughtfully. "Perhaps Will – he is the most observant of the group. And my manservant is one of my oldest and dearest friends..."

"Notice a difference between the two of us?" Sam asked, raising an eyebrow. "You mean, besides the dark hair and British accent?"

"The color is easily changed," Helen said, brushing that concern away. "I used to have yours after all..."

Sam shook her head, somewhat bewildered by her brunette, British double.

"As for the accent, it would be more difficult. After all, I have standards..."

"...And my American accent would be far beneath them." Sam finished.

"Something like that, yes." Helen smiled, goodnaturedly.

Sam chuckled softly.

"What presentation are you making this year?"

"You'll have to check it out." Sam said with a secretive smile.

"I will at that." She said with an amused laugh.

They fell into a companionable silence before Helen looked over at Sam. "Where is your military escort?"

She won a confused look from Sam.

"The General who is so fond of your work?" Helen intimated carefully.

"Oh...him..." Sam said with a light blush. "Uh...he's at work."

"Do you have plans later?"

"Yeah, actually." Sam said, nodding. "Dinner."

"Long-distance relationships are difficult." She said in perfect understanding.

"What about you? Have you got plans after this?"

Helen shook her head. "Not that I know of."

"Which is code for: 'there will probably be a top-secret mission in my future'." Sam said with a knowing chuckle.

"Exactly." Helen smiled.

"Okay, so you know about my love life...what about yours? Ever get back together with the guy in the locket?"

She tensed. "No."

"Dead?"

"Not exactly." Helen said, shaking her head nervously.

"Then why aren't you with him?"

"It's a...long-distance relationship. In more of a...metaphorical sense."

"Not interested in sharing feelings?"

"More like I'm not interested in hearing them." She said with a shrug.

Sam's brow furrowed, curiously.

"There are some things that can be forgiven, but never forgotten." Helen said, succinctly.

"Okay..." Sam said, shrugging. She'd been there with Jonas. "So, how's Ashley?" She asked, finally remembering a safe topic.

Helen tensed as she looked away.

"What?"

"Ashley's gone." She managed, the pain of losing her daughter coursing through her body like a knife to her heart.

"Gone?" Sam asked, confused.

"She...died...several months back."

"I'm sorry to hear it." Sam said, sympathetically.

"Such is the circle of life," Helen said with a small sigh.

Sam took a sip of her drink, trying to decide how to clear the air. "So...I've had a family history question I've been dying to ask you for a while..." Sam finally said, looking over at the older woman.

"Oh?" Helen asked, interested in the new topic. "Go ahead."

"My mom, before she died, told me about this family rumor that...uh...someone in our family tree had dated Jack the Ripper...do you know who?"

Helen tensed again, and Sam's jaw dropped as she stared at the 158-year-old. "Oh my g...it was you?"

Helen managed an uncomfortable smile. "Yes."

"Uh...wow..." Sam managed, surprised.

"When you've been around for as long as I have, there's...quite a colorful tale to be told."

"I bet." Sam said, shaking her head.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the demonstration on the latest security technologies will begin in fifteen minutes in the auditorium to your right."

"Shall we find ourselves some seats?" Helen asked, motioning to the auditorium.

"After you." Sam said, nodding.

-

Dr. Bill Lee happened to look over at Sam at that moment, and his eyes widened at the image of the nearly identical women. The only difference he could see was that one was blond and the other was brunette. He blinked several times. He couldn't be drunk. He'd only had a half-glass of white wine.

"Bill? You okay?" One of the blonds beside him asked, seriously.

"Fine." He coughed as the women entered the auditorium. He was just losing his mind. It was the stress of his job. That's all it was. "Just fine."