"Just thought I'd check how things were going back there."
"I believe that's what I said."
"You're not alone."
"That would be correct."
"Right. Well, things are pretty much as you'd expect. You've spoken to Daniel?"
"Yes, he told me about the bomb."
"Damned idiot won't listen to a word I say."
"I'm going to assume you're not talking about Daniel anymore."
"I can't get through to him, no price is too high it seems. We have no idea what the consequences of this will be, yet-"
"The general's not listening to you, I get that." He paused. "Must be a new experience for you."
"Jack! I can't believe you... I don't... Hey, you're not even alone!"
"No, but I can tell you are."
"Since you weren't home when I got here, yes."
"I don't know how long this will take. Think you can hold the test off?"
"He really isn't listening to you?"
"Man's an idiot."
"Kinsey has great plans for you."
Sam lifted her head from Jack's shoulder and turned to look at him, suspicion warring with curiosity in her eyes. "Plans?"
"Involving Alaska. And toilets. And scrubbing."
"I'm assuming you put him in his place."
"Much as you did General Bauer, it seems."
"I wouldn't recommend the method."
Jack half-smiled. "Me either. Still, ways and means. You got your base back."
"Might as well be, sometimes. Hell, most of the time."
The look Sam shot at Jack told him she wasn't entirely amused by the implication.
"Hey, that's not necessarily a bad thing! Me and Hammond, we recognise brains when we see them. We know when you think something's a good idea, it generally is. And vice versa."
"You know, you should probably question me more. You and the general."
"We wouldn't understand the answer if we did. Really Sam, things work just fine the way they are."
"Maybe." Sam curled further into the chair, cuddling her mug of coffee. "I guess I've added to the research on my weapon."
"Yeah, 'Carter's cataclysmic catastrophe in a can'."
"Carter's cata... what?"
"You remember, my weapon."
"Didn't know it had a name."
"Does now. Figured a spark of levity might help me deal."
"Sounds like something I'd do."
"Does, doesn't it?"
Jack thought about that for a second. "Cool."
"Actually, in a funny way, I think this incident may actually have lessened the issue."
"In what way?"
"Now some of the weapon's potential has been documented, and the test preparations were shown to be inadequate, they'll tread more carefully if and when there is a next time. By the time anyone suggests a naquada bomb again, the simulations alone could put up to a dozen more names on it."
"You'll still head that list."
"Point is, it's a list. And I'm down on record saying the test was a bad idea. I at least managed that."
"Bauer put that in his report?"
"Yeah. Seems he really was sorry."
Jack looked at Sam a little more carefully. He could tell the issue still bothered her, but she didn't look haunted in the same way she had before, as she'd sat outside staring at the stars.
"Actually, I learnt something else from all this," Sam added.
"Yeah. I don't want to work full-time in the lab."
Jack expression turned to one of confusion. "I would have thought you knew that already."
"I did." Sam paused, then realised she owed Jack more of an explanation. "It's been on my mind more recently, I guess. You realise, if I was to transfer to the lab on a full-time basis, we could get us out in the open?"
Jack shrugged. "I guess."
"I mean, I know we'd have to sort something to make sure I was in no way reporting to you but... Anyway, the point is, I've been thinking about it. Not in any definite way, and it has nothing to do with me wanting to change anything about how we are now, but-"
"Sam, you're babbling."
"Yes. Well. Point is, I don't want to do that. It'd drive me crazy. I'm glad I can stop wondering about it."
"There's something else that occurred to me."
"You really don't ever stop thinking."
"On the phone, both of us carried on as though we had to keep hiding."
"We didn't. At that point, you weren't my CO."
"I... wow. Didn't even occur to me."
"Me neither. At the time. I think it's possible we both knew the situation wasn't going to last."
"Huh. Promise me something?"
"When the time comes that we really can tell people about us, when it's all okay and you realise it... make sure I do too?"
Sam giggled, and rested her head back on his shoulder. "Absolutely."