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Secrets: A Father Goose Tale

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This story is No. 3 in the series "Father Goose Tales". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Just a happy little story about culture clashes, deceit, trickery, dancing girls, snakes, toads, witches and the law of unintended consequences. With beheadings. Featuring Xander, Faith and company, and the friendly folks of SG1.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > General > General: SG-1litmouseFR1822125,49671613191,2982 Apr 0717 Jan 08No

Chapter 13: A Sam and Xander Evening

A/N: See Chapt. 1 for disclaimers, warnings, timelines.

Thanks as always for the many kind and stimulating reviews.









Secrets: A Father Goose Tale
A BTVS-SG1 Crossover


Chapter 13: A Sam and Xander Evening





Colorado Springs, Colorado, October 2007




Samantha Carter, hands buried in her coat pockets, head down, kicked idly at chunks of dirty snow as she walked along the unshoveled sidewalk that ran along the cemetery.

A vampire leaped out from behind a tree, eyes yellow, fangs glinting in the glow from the corner streetlight .

Samantha sighed. She was getting sick and tired of vampires.

“Hey there, sweetie,” the vampire leered, “what’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?”

Sam stared at him, shook her head. “What’s a nice…. My God, Faith wasn’t kidding when she said most of you were morons, was she?”

“Who are you calling a moron, dinner gong …..did you say ‘Faith’?”

“Yeah. Faith. Vampire slayer. Dresses like she’s posing for a cd cover. Kills things like you. Standing right over there.”

“Yeah, right, nice try…,” the vampire laughed. “You don’t know anything about slayers, ‘cause that would mean you know about vampires and if you knew about vampires you wouldn’t be walking…. all alone… next to a cemetery… at midnight … oh shit.”

Sam nodded as the understanding slid slowly across the vampire’s face. She almost felt sorry for him. Almost. But she’d been cured of that.

For starters there had been the getting-the-crap-beat-out-of-her in the warehouse. She could still feel the bruises, his handprints imprinted on her arms, bruises on her back from when he’d thrown her down, on her mind from seeing the fangs approaching… so maybe she’d been a little slow on the uptake, having to be rescued twice before turning to Daniel and Teal’c for help, able to drive her stake home only after the two men had, on their second try, been able to hold the vampire still. So fine, lesson learned.

She was Samantha Carter, first in her class always and forever. Major S. Carter, US Air Force, pilot, scientist, soldier, who could do quadratic equations in her head and fire a P90 with the best of them. Samantha Carter who could do anything she put her mind to …. except kill an unarmed vampire in one on one combat.

She had thought she was being clever, using the crossbow she’d taken from the weapons table, but the vampire had put up his hand and taken the bolt through the arm and hadn’t even slowed down. The second time around she’d put six bullets in his chest, nicely grouped. He’d winced, stumbled… and brushed her sharpened staff aside and been on her. Fine. Lesson learned.

Faith had even felt the need to spell it out for her later, taking a pipe down off a wall and tying it in knots. “You had to understand, it’s not just training and experience. We were made for this. Don’t try to compete.”

“You could have just said.”

“Really? Do you think that would have been enough? You have to know in your bones that you can’t win. You see a vampire out there, when we’re not around, you have to run before you even think about it, yeah?”

She’d had a point, Sam admitted grudgingly. There’d been a bit of pride. And a lot of anger. Rage even, she’d seen the pain in the Colonel’s eyes after he'd dusted the child vamp, and she'd been spitting mad, even as O’Neill himself calmed her, telling her, “Harris was right. I froze, if it hadn’t been a training exercise I’d be dead. I froze, I won’t again.”

Maybe. But she’d still been pissed, she’d had the “I’ll show that one-eyed bastard,” in her mind right up until the vampire dodged her strike and picked her up like a doll and threw her down and she’d understood what it felt like to be the mouse under the cat’s paw. Simple equation. Vampire=run. She’d learned. She was still pissed.

There had been lessons for the others. Daniel’s vampire, the mousy woman, had cried and begged for help, told him she’d heard there was an amnesty program… if you made promises, please, just ask them for me, tell them to just give me a chance, and Daniel had turned, looking for Harris and the vampire was on him, actually breaking the skin on his neck before Faith pulled her off. Daniel was quicker though, he didn’t need to be knocked down again before asking for help. Teal’c held her legs, Jack and Sam herself held the arms, Daniel staked.

Even Teal’c had had to be rescued once, and was only barely able to dust his vamp after a long hard-fought battle … his lesson a straight forward don’t underestimate the enemy exercise. So. Training. Vampires are tougher than they look, understood.

But still the vampires had been captive, Sam could hardly blame a cornered rat for fighting back. Even if cornered bear was a better analogy.

Then there had been the Mcartner place, an old, not-quite-big-enough-to-be-a-mansion house in disrepair, perfect setting for a horror movie when the sun went down but not so ominous in daylight.

“We like to hit the big nests in the sunlight when we can,” Faith had explained, “if we can do it without drawing too much attention. Keeps any stray from slipping away.”

Even with what they’d seen, it was a little disturbing to stand back and let four teen-age girls take the lead in an assault.

“You guys are just observers tonight,” Harris had explained, then stepped back, said, “All yours,” to Jennifer, who hardly looked like a grizzled veteran.

Jennifer had opened a duffle bag and armed herself with a compact shotgun which she slung over one shoulder and crossbow which she held ready. She attached a short range walkie talkie to her open shoulder, did a quick sound check that Harris answered. She spoke briefly with the girls, clearly confirming already agreed upon plans. The girls went in in pairs, entering through opposite corners, crossbows in hand, swords strapped to their backs… Jennifer gave them a forty-five second lead then followed, going in through the corner window where Marisol and Sassa had entered.

There had been silence for awhile, then four sudden distant versions of the ‘whooshes’ that Sam had come to recognize as a vampire dusting … then there was shouting, roars of rage, some screaming, a window smashed and what appeared to be a young man flew out onto the lawn and burst into flames, wailing, then crumbling into dust leaving the imprint of a blazing skeleton on the back of Sam’s eyes.

Then Faith kicked open the big front doors and they went in and found themselves with front row seats at macabre French farce as the remaining vampires darted desperately from doorway to door way as the girls, moving with startling speed chased after or appeared just long enough to unleash a stake thrown with force enough to take the fleeing vamp off its feet and into the air before exploding.

Sam decided she wouldn’t feel bad about letting the girls go forward first anymore. But still the vampires were the victims, animals cornered in their lair, the girls merciless, killing machines, impressive but cold, more menacing than comforting.

And then Jennifer had given the all-clear, then added, “I’ve got three live ones.”

Faith had popped the Jag’s trunk and pulled out three blankets and led the way as they hurried down into the basement.

Sam recognized the smell as they started down the stairs, and braced herself, she had seen dead bodies before, and people in chains before but this…. she found she was relieved there were only two dead, bodies slung carelessly in a corner and only beginning to decompose … the live ones were three people, two men, one woman stripped and hanging by their upraised, manacled arms, sagging against the wall, their necks and arms a constellation of scabbing bite marks, their faces dull with numbed horror. To the side were a couple cases of energy bars and bottled water that the vampires had apparently been using to keep their larder alive.

Sam felt her vampire sympathy fading fast and slinking away.

Harris tossed Renee a bolt-cutter and she made quick work of the manacles. Efficiently the girls rolled the three survivors into blankets and started upwards with Jennifer trotting after, calling back,

“Meet you on Sixth.”

“Where…” Sam had started.

“Drop and run at the emergency room,” Harris had answered. “Let’s go.”

“What about the …” Daniel asked, indicating the bodies.

“I’ll call 911 as soon as we’re off the property.”



They got a better view of the girls at work in the warehouse on Sixth Street. Once the initial surprise was over Faith led them inside and then up on the raised platform where the foremen’s offices were.

Sam stood next to Faith, her attention torn between watching the girls moving through the jungle of empty shelves like cats at the International House of Free-Range Mice, and watching the slayer at her side. Faith's eyes were bright and wide, and seemed able to dart back and forth fast enough to watch both ends at the warehouse at the same time. Faith had brought a compound bow with her, holding the weapon loosely in one hand. A weapon Sam thought seemed all too appropriate, like the bow Faith stood calm and loose and yet Sam fancied she could feel the banked power just waiting….

And then it wasn’t waiting anymore, too fast for her to follow the movements Faith nocked an arrow, raised the bow, pulled and released … Sam saw the brief flicker of the brightly colored fletchings and then in the far dark corner there was puff of dust. Sam glanced back in time to see a quick smile of satisfaction come and go and then it was as if it had never happened. Sam wondered what it was like, to have that power coiled inside you. Like the feel Sam got when flying a jet, perhaps, when she had all that speed and power at her fingertips....

And then the girls were making a final circuit and Jennifer called the all clear. To her slight shame Sam was relieved they found only bodies this time, four of them, still in their clothes whose age and wear marked them as less than thriving members of society. Vampires… playing it safe, Sam thought, what a weird concept. Predators culling the herd. Sam pulled away from that thought with a shudder.

A Colorado Springs city police cruiser pulled into the loading dock alley as they were coming out. Sam froze, then started to pull back, a b and e bust on her record was not going to do her career plans any good, but she felt Faith’s hand on her shoulder, heard her whisper not to worry. The patrol car came to a stop and a caricature of a small town cop got out, adjusted his belly and belt and came forward. He was in his fifties, brush moustache, bit of gray at the temples, sun-weathered face.

He stood a moment staring at them, then said, “Thought you might be coming here next. Any survivors?”

“No, sir,” Harris answered. “Four bodies. Northeast corner.”

“So, you folks really exist?” the cop said flatly, half-statement, half-question.

“Yes, sir, we do.”

“Could have used you all here a week ago.”

“And somebody somewhere else will be telling me that exact same thing this time next week.”

The cop thought that over for a moment, then nodded. “Fair enough. So, what did bring you down our way?”

“Leticia called us.”

“Did she now? I wondered what was goin’ on with those two. Always kinda counted on them … keeping the riff-raff out. Guess they just got outnumbered, huh?”

“Something like that.”

“So that mean…”

“They’ll be getting a pass, yes.”

“Well. I guess better the devil you know. …… Damn, Jack, that is you, isn’t it?”

“It’s me, Marvin,” the Colonel answered.

“You ain’t gonna tell me these folks are what all the hugger mugger at that base of yours is all about, are you?”

“No, this is…. all new to me.”

“Well. All right then, I guess I better let you folks get on with it. You want to tell me where you’re going next, I’ll have an ambulance waiting around the corner. And if you ever need anything in this town, just give me a call.” He reached into his pocket, pulled out a card, handed it over to Harris who gave him one in return, Jennifer stepped forward and gave him another.

“Watcher’s Council, for real, huh? I’ll be damned.“



“There’s always some who know,” Faith said in the car. “Who they gonna tell?” she answered before Sam could frame the question. “Nobody ever made detective by blaming the latest crime spree on vampires. There’s a reason we can hide in plain sight like we do. People don’t want to know. They don’t want to see the shit you’re seeing tonight. Different for you, I guess. People want to believe in space travel and aliens. I mean there’s a few that want to believe in vamps, I guess, but not that many. And if they go looking, they don’t last long.”

The four survivors at the third nest were in better shape, kept clothed and well fed if you counted Marie Callendar and Swanson as adequate caterer’s. Their necks and wrists were bandaged, they had cots and a toilet and a small TV and the two older men weren’t all that eager to leave. There were a half dozen bodies though, in an unheated tool-shed and Jennifer recognized a couple of them from ‘Missing’ posters.

Harris called the cop and gave him the low down and they moved on. It was getting dark when they hit the fourth nest, Harris and Faith handed out over-size crosses and flare guns.

“Remember, the cross will only slow them down, don’t try to stop them, this is only if they’re coming at you. If you see one escaping, yell and point, but don’t go after them. Agreed?”

The fourth nest was on a small farm just outside of town. Harris armed himself with a crossbow and stayed with SG1 while Faith took her bow and a quiver and climbed to take position on top of the tallest of the two barns. The girls checked the barns first, then three girls went in the house while Jun Lee waited outside by the old-fashioned cellar door. Soon there came the familiar shouts and whooshes, the cellar door erupted only to fill the air with dust as Jun’s sword flicked left and right and around again as the escaping vamps were efficiently beheaded. Jennifer didn’t call an all clear this time, instead she came out, carrying a plastic sack, waving for the girls to come with, pointing back toward the small barn.

“There’s a hose,” she reminded them, “Go wash up.” She took a deep, deep breath and let it slowly out. “No one needs to go in there. You guys got the idea right?” she addressed SG1. “Vampires bad?”

“I believe we have grasped the concept,” Jack answered.

“Then you don’t need to see this. We should burn it, Xander.” She handed him the plastic sack. “I found a bunch of wallets and stuff, there’s ID’s, but no one wants to know their loved one died like that.” She turned and followed after the girls.

Harris took a moment looking through the sack’s contents, then handed it to Jack,

“Hold on to that, would you? Thanks.” He popped the Jag’s trunk and rooted around for a moment, then came out with a small brown bag. And then he went inside. Jack started to follow, Harris paused in the doorway. “I’m not gonna stop you, but I’d take her advice if I was you. I really would.”

And then there was deathly silence, every once in a while they could hear the sound of his cane on the wood floor. He was just coming back out when Jennifer and the girls returned.

“Mr. Harris,” Jennifer angrily said when she saw him, “what do you think you’re doing?”

“It was your call, Jen. Just doing the detail work. I know you would have done it if I wasn’t here. But I was.” Sam saw the woman start to speak again, then glance at the house and sag.

“Okay,” she said. “You’re forgiven. Just this once, Xander. Next time you let me do my own dirty work. Promise?”

“I promise, Jen.”

“Liar,” she said, but with no anger in her voice.

“Colonel?” Harris said, reaching out to take the plastic bag back. He turned away, Sam shifted her position to get a better view and she saw him add several sealed and labeled baggies.

“DNA,” Faith said softly beside her. “Nuff said?” She’d brought a bucket of water from the barn and got soap and a towel from the slayer’s SUV and helped Harris wash up. They spent another fifteen minutes spraying the outbuildings down. Then they loaded up, Harris stopped at the end of the driveway and stuffed the white bag in the mailbox and they headed back into town, glancing back Sam saw an orange glow just beginning to show in the darkened sky.

Back in town the little convoy stopped at a Blimpies to load up with sandwiches and sodas.



They spent the next two hours visiting the individual lairs, ranging from crypts to hotel rooms, that showed on Leticia and Ardyce’s map. This early in the evening they found the vamp at home more often than not. They found four more captives, plus one enraged girlfriend who didn’t quite the fit that definition, even if she was looking a bit more thin and pale than seemed healthy. But only three more bodies.

After that they split into two groups and began staking out the indicated preferred hunting grounds of the remaining vampires.

Sam found herself sitting in the slayer’s SUV with Daniel and Faith, watching Sassa and Marisol pretend to be tipsy party girls wandering the streets around the downtown bars.

“So this is what you do, all the time?” Sam asked.

“Well, this was an especially big night, but this is what we do. Slay vamps. Sometimes other things if we catch them being naughty. Course with some demons, just, you know, being is bad. But there’s a bit of gray there.”

“So you do stakeouts?”

“Some, if we have information. But once the vamps know we’re around, well, girls acting stupid are a lot safer than they should be. From vamps, anyway. So, mostly we hunt, patrol, we cover more ground that way. And we monitor suspicious deaths so we can give a proper welcome to new risers. That’s the day to day. Every once in a while some wannabe big bad gets ambitious and we have a big battle and put’em down.”

“And you always win?”

“The first time we lose, you’ll hear about it.”

“But you don’t have any… long term plan. An endgame strategy?”

“Oh, the big foreheads in London may play with the idea. But there is no end, Sam. We closed the Hellmouth in Sunnydale and another opened in Cleveland. There’s a balance. The demons know as long as they stay off our radar they’ll be safe, so they try not to be too bad, as a general rule. One gets too actively evil, we come after him and the others scatter until we’re done, then they filter back in and fill the vacuum. Thing is the only thing demons hate as much as they hate slayers is other demons. So as long as we don’t push them too hard, they’ll be their own worst enemies. But if we push them too hard…. some ...friends of ours did that. Ended up taking out a couple blocks of LA. Killed some Lords and hordes of hell. Died themselves. Now it's all back to normal, demons have a new office, slayer's have a house. If there ever was an all out war I don’t know who would win, I’m pretty sure nobody, but I do know who would sure as fuck lose. And that would be everybody else.”

“This doesn’t bother you? That you can never win?”

“Nah. Everyday I’m alive, I win. Some of the girls, maybe, Sassa, she’s a bit of thinker. Maybe it’ll bother her some time….. but me, I need it. Maybe if all the demons were gone the whole slayer thing would go away. But the way it is, I don’t worry about it. I guess it’s different for you, yeah?”

“How do you mean?”

“Well every time you go to a new planet you gotta be thinking, maybe this is the one, yeah? Where you find the big gun or the superpeacemaker or whatever. Some sort of solution. Hell, maybe you’ll even find the answer to demons out there, though I kinda doubt it. But I can see where that would get you going in the morning.”

“Yes. That’s part of it. ‘Course we also have to wonder if each planet is the one that brings the end. A plague, something even worse than the goa’uld.”

“Yeah, that’s the way of it, ain’t it …. Oops, here we go. Two vamps taking the bait… and sucks to be them, don’t it. See, Sassa’s way too serious about this, didn’t even play a little.”

“It’s fun for you?”

“What? Yeah, course it is, thought that was obvious. The nests, the victims, shit like that, they’re bummers, but you can’t let that shit get you down. Dusting the vamps … it’s what we live for, but you know the slay only takes an instant, gotta let it build a little when you got the chance, foreplay, you know?”

The next vampire on the list was female, Daniel volunteered to be bait.

“You sure, man. I mean, you’ll be safe an all but… you sure you’re ready?”

But Daniel was insistent, he was tired of being merely a useless observer. They moved inside a bar then, Sam watched in puzzlement as the clearly underage girls slipped easily past the bouncers, Faith laughed at her.

“Just a little basic mojo. Let’s you and me grab that table, the girls will flank him, if we have to move you stay with me, right?”

Carter had a coke and Faith to her surprise ordered a rum collins, Faith grinned at her.

“Don’t worry, it takes more than bit of watery rum to slow me down.”

After awhile Sam pressed on, still curious.

“And you’re paid, right?”

“We’re paid, yeah. Not a lot, but then our living expenses are all taken care of.“

“This is your job, your career? Is it enough?”

Faith stared at her. “Enough?”

“Doesn’t it bother you that … if you do this for another twenty years, you’ll still just be doing the same thing? I mean, you’re right. Going to new planets, best job in the …” she grinned, “Best job in the world, but …. We may never find that one big answer. That may not end either. I’ll get too old and others will take up the challenge. But at the same time …. The military, rank, it’s not just about orders and obedience, it’s about having goals, about earning a place in a properly structured world. I’m a Major. It means something. I earned that. It means I’ve achieved something, made progress. And I’m working to be a Colonel, I want to make General before I retire. It’s a goal I know I can achieve, it’s something to work on that’s not … ephemeral, not cosmic…. Don’t you want something like that?”

Faith shrugged, “Nah, long as I’m alive and Xan’s alive, I’m cool. I figure one day he’s gonna take one too many chances, he’s gonna get in the fight one too many times. Then I’m gonna find me a big mess of demons and I’m gonna just start killing things until they kill me. …. You gotta understand, it’s what we are, it’s not a choice we made. Nobody signed up for “slayer’ on career day. Watchers insist all the girls finish high school, some of the girls are going on to college. But, this whole having-a-life thing, it’s a new concept for us, see? I know we’re making it look easy tonight. But there’s not always five of us, and the vamps are not always the average mugs these guys are. Denver’s been slayer free for a long time, the vamps are soft. But that will change, once we’ve taken out the easy targets the game gets a little rougher. So mostly we have one goal, not dying. Day after day, world without end, yeah? Everything else is gravy. Well, shit.”

“What?”

“Our boy is ‘sposed to draw the vamp not score a hottie. She’s on like a leech, too. Okay, go on up there, make like you’re hitting on him from the other side. Whisper in his ear, tell him he should favor you until the leech gets pissed and splits. Then he should politely blow you off and take up a new position down the bar a few.”

“I don’t know … we know each other pretty well, I’m not sure we could keep straight faces… maybe it would be better if you did it. I’m a big girl, I’ll be all right here by myself for a few…”

“Nah,” Faith said, “that won’t work. Vamp sees him blow me off she’ll know something’s up.”

And the worst part, Sam thought, as she made her way toward the bar, is that I’m pretty sure it didn’t even occur to her that I might be insulted. Or maybe the worst part was that she was probably right.



Marisol had plucked the vampire away from an increasingly nervous Daniel just as they emerged out of the back door and Sassa discreetly did the honors in the alley. The next vampire on the list was male so Sam insisted it was her turn to play bait since she could hardly let Daniel have sole rights to that tale. By the time they came to the cemetery it was her fourth up close and personal experience with vampire seduction… and she was sorely disappointed.

The first had been a straight forward lunge from an alley, Sam hadn’t really even known he was there…. Until he wasn’t. The second had been quite frightening, three of them, actually, cornering her outside a twenty-four hour supermarket, all heavy with the we’re gonna play with you then rape you attitude… not fun at all, but she had to admit she’d enjoyed Faith’s subsequent instruction of Sassa in the art of extended slaying.

The third had been a bar pick-up, not too bad looking, easy on the cheesy lines, relying a bit too much on an intense stare but not wholly out of the question if she had been in the mood… but still not a patch on Frank Langella or Christopher Lee. And the fourth was just pathetic.

“Oh shit.”

The vampire turned and leapt up onto the cemetery fence where the stake caught him in the back and he dusted.

“And that’s it,” Faith announced, “Colorado Springs is officially if probably not completely vamp free.”



They met up outside a Waffle House, SG1 stood around waiting as Sassa and Marisol gave Harris the high points from their time apart, got their attagirls and quick hugs. And then he sent the girls inside to join the others already terrifying their waitress, with a slight head nod he sent Faith in as well.

“We’re gonna have a tiny little post slayage nibble,” he said, “you’re welcome to join us but I assume you want to talk amongst yourselves….”

“Yeah,” Jack said, “we might have a few things to discuss, yeah.”

“Good. Okay, you have the number to call if you have questions, I’ll call to confirm, but assuming we’re a go we’ll meet at the warehouse tomorrow night at seven. Pack light, for hot and wet country, underwear, a couple pairs of cargo pants… do me a favor, wear some different colors so you don’t look quite so much like a unit, cross-trainers instead of boots, bright tee-shirts, just a couple, we’ll pick up local stuff along the road. Questions? Okay, bring what ever documents make you feel comfortable, but we’ll mojo what’s needed. Bring cash, dollars and euros. Now, weapons. We’ll supply some blades and stakes, got a favorite knife, bring it. Those Zat things would be perfect if they’ll let you take them out of the house…..No?”

“Not to be just walking around with, no. Perhaps when we have more specific target information.”

“Okay. Next best thing is compact shotguns, like the SPAS 15, we can hook you up with those, but I’ll need Unca Sam to pay his way, cash, those babies ain’t cheap. XMS-26, MAG-7… All right, I probably shouldn’t be lecturing you about guns. Main thing, stopping power, need to be able to conceal it in a back pack or duffel … No, the main thing,” he paused, made eye contact with each of them, “is that I have zero tolerance for friendly fire accidents. Hit one of the girls in the back and you’re dead. Chose your weapon accordingly.”

“What about getting through customs…..”

“Not an issue. One more thing. Make yourselves a war chest. Everything you’d want, short of a tank, if you were going to assault one of these spaceships. C4, staff weapons, P90’s, stingers, whatever. Put it in a crate, one apiece. Put a drop of your blood at each corner….. just trust me on that one, okay?”

“Drop of blood?” Jack said.

“On each corner, yeah. Put the crates in a storeroom on the base and tell Hammond to make sure they’re left untouched. Major Carter, could I have a word with you in private?”

Without waiting for an answer he turned and limped away. Sam looked at Jack a moment, then shrugged and followed after. He was waiting just around the corner of the restaurant, leaning back against the pseudo stone wall.

“Yes, Mr. Harris?” Sam said.

He patted his chin. “If you want to take a shot at me, now’s the time. This was still pretty controlled circs, tonight. After this, we’ll be out in the wild. I’m not asking to be BFF but maybe if you get a little anger out we can work together better.”

“I don’t know what….” Sam lied.

“Major… look, that was a nasty stunt I pulled with the Colonel earlier, you’re pissed, as you should be.”

“You had your reasons,” she said as calmly as she could.

“Yeah. And I like to think they were good ones. But if someone had done that to someone I was in love with, I don’t think I’d care about their reasons.”

“I don’t…. I’m not…” Now he was grinning at her, he held up his hands.

“Okay. Sure. Don’t ask, don’t tell, got it. So, if beating up one-eyed cripples is your thing, now’s your chance.”

“Now, that’s not fair.”

“Hey, we have our rules too. And rule number one is not ‘be nice,’ or ‘play fair.’ It’s don’t die. Right here,” he tapped his cheek again. “Get it out of your system.”

She pulled her fist back, he lowered his hands, relaxed his muscles and waited.



SG1 reconvened at Denny’s, though only Teal’c had much of an appetite. Sam watched Teal’c stare at the menu, praying he wouldn’t ask her what a breakfast slam meant … We really need to get him off the base more often, she thought.

“So what did Harris want,” Jack asked her,

“I think that’s between me and him, sir,” she answered. “No bearing on the mission.”

Jack gave her the hairy eyeball, but let it go. “So?” he asked in general.

“The slayers are indeed formidable warriors,” Teal’c stated.

“Ya think?” Jack said, a bit of his weariness in his voice, “Daniel?”

“I feel like we’ve just come back from a very strange planet.”

“Yes, Daniel, that’s helpful. Carter? Thoughts? You know, that aren’t private?”

Sam sat back. She thought about Faith’s fatalism. She thought about Harris walking without hesitation into the defiled farm house. She thought about the warmth in her voice when Jennifer called him a liar.

“Obviously we have to go with them. If the goa’uld or whatever have something that scares those people, it’s big.” She sighed.

“But…..” Jack prompted.

“You know how you say about some officers, ‘I’d follow that man into Hell’?”

“Yes.”

“Much as he might hate me saying so, I think Harris is that kind of officer. But the thing is, if you say you’d follow Harris into Hell, I think you better mean it.“

-30-
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