Sam groaned softly to herself as she read through the invitation a second time. She checked the calendar, then sighed and put the invitation down.
"What's wrong?" a voice asked from the doorway.
Sam turned. "Oh, hi, Janet! I thought you'd left already."
"Without saying goodbye to you?" Janet looked offended. "I'd never do that!"
Sam smiled, a little bashful. "I know. Sorry. I hope you and Cassie have a nice couple of weeks. You're going to visit your sister, right?"
"Yes. We haven't seen her and her family since Christmas. With the school out for the summer, it's a good time to go. Lord knows I've got enough vacation saved to stay there for a couple months, but I can't leave you guys alone that long." She grinned.
Sam laughed. "How very thoughtful of you!"
"So, what was causing your sad face? SG-1 is on downtime for the next week, so maybe you should take some time off? Instead of sitting in your lab, like you use to, I mean." Janet gave her a meaningful look.
Sam rolled her eyes. "But that's what I like to do! I've been looking forward to having some time to myself, to focus on my research!" She sighed. "But then I found this invitation - to my 15 year Highschool reunion! It had somehow ended up among some old reports, so I hadn't noticed it until this morning!"
"What's the problem? Too late to tell them you want to come?"
Sam scoffed. "If only! No, they're doing it the other way around. Always had to be different, I guess. If you don't reply, they expect you to come. And unless Jackie and Wanda - that's the two women who are in charge of this - have changed a lot since I knew them, then they'll bug me endlessly about it if I don't show. Besides, they'll have ordered food and such corresponding to the number they expect will come, so if I don't go, they'll complain about that!" She rolled her eyes.
Janet shrugged. "Then go? Wouldn't it be fun to see them again?"
"I didn't go last time, and I didn't intend to go this time! I was, ah, a bit of a... geek, back then." Sam grimaced. "I didn't get along so well with the others. Well, not all of them, at least."
Janet laughed. "You preferred studying to having fun back then too? Why am I not surprised!" She frowned. "Wait... 15 year anniversary? But you're only 30, how...?"
"I... started school early, so I graduated high school while I was still 15," Sam told her.
"Impressive! Well, that explains why you didn't have much in common with the others. That age difference is a lot when you're no older than 15."
"Right. Anyway, seems like I have to go this time." Sam sighed. "And without a date, which certain people will enjoy pointing out and be secretly pleased. They even have a '+1' added on the invitation." She shook her head. "I don't know why I even care what they think. I don't usually."
"Being reminded by High School is probably causing you to react like you would back then? It's not unusual."
Sam nodded. "You're probably right, I mean, it's not like it matter to me what they think." She smiled. "As for being single? Usually I have no problem with that, not at all. My job and my friends are more than enough, and to be honest I don't feel I have the time for a relationship. Anyway, I guess this is one of the few situations where I do wish I had a boyfriend."
"Forget about the negative ones you went to school with! It's just one day, and I'm sure some of your classmates back then were nice and you'd enjoy meeting them again?"
"Sure. You're right." Sam nodded, a bit bashful. "I did have some good friends, and I do know I'm making this out to be worse than it is."
"Why don't you just bring one of your teammates? Or have they all left already?"
"Yup, even Daniel, who usually is as bad as I am about staying here and working." Sam smiled wryly. "He's on a dig on P3X-278, with SG-11."
"I'm sure he wouldn't mind coming back just for a couple days."
"I'm sure he would do it, even if he'd rather be at the dig. At any rate, I wouldn't do that to him. He's been looking forward to studying those ruins for months." Sam smiled. "Don't worry about it, Janet. I'll be fine."
She smiled back. "I know you will. Have fun." She looked at her closer. "Doctor's orders!
"Yes, doc!" Sam laughed and gave her a hug. "Say hello to Cassie - and have a nice vacation!"
"I will. Bye!" Janet said as she left.
Sam looked at the invitation one more time before she sighed and shook her head, got up, and left to get some coffee. She would have to go shopping later today, to get something suitable to wear for the reunion.
She had only just made it back to her laboratory, when she heard the speakers announce an unscheduled, offworld activation.
Worried something might have happened on the dig Daniel was on, she hurried to the gateroom.
When she arrived, the Stargate had just shut down, and General Hammond was there with Martouf/Lantash and two other Tok'ra. All were carrying boxes.
Surprised, she smiled at Martouf/Lantash. "Martouf... hi." She looked to Hammond. "General."
Martouf smiled back at her. "Hello, Samantha."
"I was going to take Martouf and the two other Tok'ra to a briefing room and hear what they have to say. I realize you're officially on stand-down, Major, but do you have time to join us?"
"Of course, sir," Sam said, following the others. She was very curious about what Martouf's reason for visiting was. She hoped he was not carrying bad news.
"All right, Martouf," Hammond said, when they were all seated around the table in the briefing room. "Let's hear why you're here."
"I have come to bring the Goa'uld technology we promised you some time ago."
"Great!" Sam exclaimed, smiling. "I've really been looking forward to getting to study that."
"As well, I offer my assistance in showing you how it works," Martouf said.
Hammond nodded. "We're grateful for the technology you're sharing with us, and we'd be more than happy to accept any help you can offer us with it."
"The High Council has approved that I stay here for a week, or more if necessary. Would that be acceptable to you as well?" Martouf asked.
"It would." Hammond turned to Sam. "Major Carter, I realize SG-1 is on stand-down, and that you may have other plans, but would you have a problem working with Martouf on this?"
"Not at all, General. I'd be happy to." She hesitated. "Damn, I forgot. I have to leave for two or three days, beginning tomorrow afternoon. High School reunion." She grimaced.
"In that case I will find someone else to work with Martouf, and you can join them when you return."
"Yes, sir." Sam suddenly thought of something. "Unless Martouf wants to come with me?"
"To the High School reunion?" Hammond looked at her, surprised.
"Yes. Dad mentioned last time he was here that the Tok'ra High Council wanted some of their people to learn more about us, and this would be a good opportunity for that, wouldn't it?"
Hammond nodded slowly. "He mentioned that to me too, and I agree that it's a good idea. I'm just not sure this is the right occasion."
"Yes, sir." Sam hesitated, then decided to press on. She suddenly really wanted Martouf to come along. "Why not, though? It's a completely harmless situation, but at the same time it would give him an opportunity to learn something about us in a more... normal situation."
"That's true." Hammond turned to Martouf, who had followed the discussion with interest. "What do you think? Would you like to go with Major Carter and see a little of Earth, and our culture? I realize that means you won't get started on the Goa'uld technology immediately, but there'll be some time afterwards."
"I would like that." Martouf turned to Sam and smiled at her. "I would be honoured to go with you to this 'High School reunion'. It would be very interesting to see some of your planet, and your culture."
"All right." Sam smiled back. "We're leaving tomorrow afternoon, then."
"You should go and get Martouf some ID made," Hammond reminds her. "He'll need that when you leave the mountain."
Sam nodded. "Of course - especially since we're flying. It's in Kansas City, Missouri."
Martouf turned to the two other Tok'ra that had accompanied him. "Please inform Master Garshaw that I will be remaining here for the next week. I will report back if anything changes."