Setting: Sometime during SG-1 season 9 or 10, and therefore before Sanctuary season 1.
Prompt: 'Mandy²' - from Eisette and thoroughly seconded by a lot of other people.
Summary: When Helen Magnus asks if she's single, Sam Carter gives her standard response, and is intrigued to find out that Helen knows -exactly- what she means. Prelude to smut
Pairing: Helen Magnus/Sam Carter, with hints at Sam/Jack because they're endgame.
Rating: mild M
Disclaimer: If I owned Helen Magnus, Sam Carter, or anything associated with them, this (and a lot of other things) would be canon and I'd be able to afford a one-way ticket to Vancouver.
A/N: Unbeta'd smut. I apologise for the awful quality but hey, it's Amanda Tapping getting it on with herself – it can't be too horrible, right? Second part soon.

"Are you single, Colonel?" Long, slender, stockinged legs pressed against her own, denim-clad ones, and she wondered if it was solely accidental. Sure, the window seat in Helen's office sagged a bit in the middle, drawing them closer, but Helen showed no signs of trying to shift away.

Sam looked down at her wine – a well-deserved treat for catching a group of rogue NID operatives working out of Old City – watching it swirl around the glass as she replied, unable to meet Helen's eye.

"Not exactly." she said quietly, hoping Helen wouldn't ask any further questions – she had a feeling it would be impossible to hide much from the mysterious brunette, who had turned up with her team to free the so-called 'abnormals' the NID agents had been experimenting on at just the right moment, serving as impromptu, yet well-needed, backup when the mission turned out to be an ambush.

Fortunately, Helen smiled knowingly, nodding slightly before she took a sip of her own wine.

"Ah, of course. Jack?"

Sam turned sharply to look at Helen, who retained her look of amusement. "How did you know? Is it that obvious?"

Helen chuckled, reaching out her free hand to pat Sam's leg in reassurance. "No, don't worry. Your secret is safe with me." Her hand slipped back to its place on the seat beside her. Slowly. "You're forgetting – I know Jack O'Neill. Very well, in fact." She took another sip of wine, eyes clouded for a moment, a slight smile on her full lips, as if recalling a fond memory. It wasn't missed by Sam.

"Wait, when you say you know him 'very well'...?" She let the question hang in mid-air, unsure if she wanted to ask it. On the one hand, the thought of anyone with Jack in that way was unsettling – even through the wine and exhaustion she knew that was probably jealousy. On the other hand, however, there was something dangerously exciting about the thought of both the inscrutable Helen Magnus and the equally unreadable Jack O'Neill together. She couldn't stop the blush that spread across her cheeks, nor the slight flutter in her breathing caused by the mental image of the two tangled together in one of the four-poster beds she'd glimpsed in the bedrooms she and Helen had passed on their way here, limbs entwined, fingers clutching creased sheets... Lifting the wine glass to her lips with a forcibly-steadied hand, she took a slow sip, dismissing the image and focusing instead on the woman next to her, whose head was tilted in amusement, waiting for Sam to lower her glass again before she spoke. Her rich voice spoke casually words that made Sam's stomach flutter, and she was glad her wine glass was safely rested in her lap.

"I mean we were lovers, yes."

"Really?" Helen chuckled at the tone of incredulity in Sam's voice, tipping her head back a little as she did so.

"Really." For some reason, Helen moved to set her wine down on the side-table to her left, leaning away from Sam to do so, and Sam couldn't help but notice the way the older woman's charcoal pencil skirt fit snugly to her toned body, meeting the fitted blouse that strained, even at the back, with the stress of her generous chest.

Then Helen was back in her original position, a slight smirk on her lips at seeing the quick upwards flicker of Sam's gaze.

"He mentioned you, you know. The brilliant Colonel Doctor Samantha Carter." There was a fondness in the upwards curve of her lips as she spoke, though her eyes seemed to be searching Sam's face for something, lingering on her lips, the flush in her cheeks, then meeting and holding her blue eyes – sparkling from something other than the wine. "I do believe he even called your name once or twice at, shall we say, inappropriate times." The last was delivered in an all-too-innocent tone, but the smirk had returned full-force, and there was no mistaking Helen's intentions now – to tease, to flirt, and possibly to initiate something Sam was becoming increasingly sure she would readily welcome.

Sam somehow managed to keep her voice steady as she raised an eyebrow and replied to Helen's comment. "Really? Wow. I'm not entirely sure I'd do the same."

And suddenly Sam knew why Helen had set her glass down. A perfectly manicured hand was sliding slowly up her left thigh, almost absent-mindedly stroking through the denim of her jeans.

"Care to find out?"

Magnus' tongue darted out to lick her lips, though her steel-blue eyes remained fixed on Sam's, and Sam could barely drag her gaze away from them to meet Helen's. She bit her lip, still slightly hesitant, and she the way that affected Helen's otherwise-calm demeanour from the way her chest shuddered with the momentary hitch in her breathing.

"Well I guess if Jack thought it was a good idea..."

A softly accented laugh accompanied the arrival of Helen's other hand on the small of Sam's back, complementing its left twin's hastened progress to her inner thigh. "Although I wouldn't normally support that logic, I think you may be right there, Samantha." She drew closer so their lips were almost touching, before giving Sam the briefest of kisses on the lips and ducking to her neck, peppering Sam's soft skin with kisses, causing her to tilt her head back and let out the slightest of moans, before murmuring one last coherent response.

"Oh yeah, definitely a good idea."