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rocketfic | aquila

Title: Aquila by Rocketchick
Rating: 15+ Pairing: Sam/Janet
Notes: Set shortly after "Gemini."

"What's that one? It looks like a bird."

Beside her, unseen in the darkness, Sam grinned. "Well... It's a bird."

Janet backhanded her friend's arm lightly. "You know what I mean. What's the story behind it?"

The blonde sucked in a breath, trying to remember. "Okay. See those two bright stars, there, and there?" she asked, pointing. "One story says they're lovers, banished to opposite sides of the river in the sky. Once a year a great bird flies into the sky to form a bridge across the river, so they can be together for a day."

"Just a day?" Janet breathed.

"One day, every summer. And they say it rains that day, because the lovers weep when they realize they have to be separated again."

The brunette pushed herself up onto an elbow to peer down at her friend's shuttered face. In the starlight, she could see tears gathering in Sam's blue eyes. "Hey," Janet whispered.

Sam shook her head a little, and kept her eyes fixed on the stars above.

"Sam," Janet murmured, as she reached out with one hand to tug her fingertips through her friend's light hair. "Even if it's just for a day, it's worth it."

"Not just a day," Sam said suddenly, turning her head to meet Janet's gaze. "Forever."

Janet smiled slowly, and canted her head to one side. "When did you become such a romantic?"

"When I lost you," came the choked reply. Sam swallowed hard and sat up. The tears pooled in her eyes crested and spilled down her cheeks.

A gentle hand rose to wipe them away. "But then you found me again," Janet said in quiet wonder.

Sam captured her friend's hand and pulled it away. "I didn't bring you here for this," she ground out.


"So... I don't expect you to rush headlong into anything. Or feel like you're obligated."

Janet watched her for a long moment, with long-missed humor dancing in her eyes. "Sam, we can't waste the day weeping." She leaned forward, the sultry intent in her gaze clear even if the subsequent touch of her lips to Sam's was light enough almost not to count as a kiss at all.

Sam inhaled sharply, and flopped backward onto the grass. She pressed the heels of her hands into her eyes, willing the tears to subside.

When she regained her hold on herself, she could feel the raised edges of the replicator blocks under her back. She sat up slowly, cursing the cold metal walls that now stood in place of the starlit evening.

One of her brethren approached, its spindly legs twitching as it transmitted the ship's latest navigation information. They were still a day out from their destination -- tantalizingly close to her ultimate goal.

With a gesture she dismissed the mechanical creature, then scooted toward the nearest wall, now glad of its strength and support when she collapsed against it.

"Hey, Sam," Daniel said cheerfully as he bounded into her lab. "How did the NID debriefing go?"

She tilted a wry glance his direction. "The next time an exact mechanical duplicate of you sucks everything out of your brain and goes on a rampage across the universe, remind me to ask you that question."

He plopped down in the chair across the table from her. "Well, the next time you ascend to a higher plane of existence, then return as a naked amnesiac, we can really compare notes."

Sam raised a hand in surrender. "Touche."

"You were only gone a week, though. Couldn't have been that bad."

"There wasn't much to tell them, really. They just kept asking me the same questions over and over, hoping I'd be able to tell them more."

Daniel pursed his lips. "She's you, Sam. Somehow I have a hard time believing she's a threat to us."

"She's me, but the way Fifth wanted me to be," Sam replied bitterly. "Of course she's a threat to us."

He didn't have a ready answer for that, so he pointed to the stacks of binders she'd been flipping through when he came in. "What are those?"

"Bridal catalogs," she answered. Her lips twisted in a wholly involuntary grimace. "Pete's mother thought she'd be helpful."

Daniel hissed a breath in sympathy, then pushed himself upright. He leaned across the table to peer at the gaudy gowns sparkling off the pages. "Well. That one's nice," he said dubiously.

"Sure, if you're a character in a Disney movie," she replied. She flipped a few more pages, her expression blanching subtly with each successive picture while Daniel tried to make appropriately encouraging noises. After a couple minutes, the off-world activation alarm sounded, sparing her from further sequined horror.

Daniel strode next to her as they hurried to the control room. "So, have you thought about eloping?"

"Every second of every day," Sam muttered in reply.

Her father's face was grim as he strode down the gateroom ramp.

"Dad? What's wrong?" Sam asked, as she stepped in to give him a quick hug.

Jacob hesitated, and nodded briefly in greeting to Jack over her shoulder. "We found another human-form replicator, Sam. Or more accurately, she found us."

Her jaw clenched, as she realized her double had used her own knowledge to track the Tok'ra, endangering them all. "We can take the disruptor to your base, Dad. We'll stop her."

"It's not what you think, kiddo. She literally just wandered in and surrendered."

"She has to be destroyed, Dad."

"Sam," her father said sharply, as he grasped her shoulders. "It's not the same one. It's not you."

"Then who is it?" Sam asked, mentally calculating their odds against another of Fifth's creations.

Her father sighed. "It's Janet."

To be continued...

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