* * * * * *
Amber stood, waiting for the men to leave.**What was that?**
Finally, as they got up, she started forward.
She hadn't taken two steps when she felt something impact her feet.
Crying out, she fell on her rear to the ground, clutching her ankles.
**That, was me finding a freshly mopped floor with no sign to warn me it was wet.**
**The water didn't clue you in?**
A large mouth appeared in front of her, and she gasped out loud as an enormous tongue emerge and waggled itself at her.
**That was cool. Terrifying, and highly immature, but cool.**
**Yeah, it was. Soon as I stopped trying so hard, it all fell into place.**
She felt an instant of fear and then amusement.
**Teal'c was following me.**
**So you're going to the infirmary?**
**Already there. He picked me up and, well, I'm being set down on an examination table.**
**My ankles are really hurting.**
**Huh? Yeah, they're aching, but
no worse than what usually happens on a mission or something. Teal'c's just showing his mothering side.**
**Daniel just showed up.**
**Good, fill 'im in on everything until I can get out of here.**
**You know, the infirmary really isn't that bad.**
**Uh huh, whatever.**
Amber followed Daniel into his office, folding her hands behind her back as he shut the door behind
**Carter's not there, huh?**
**No. You know, when I first came here and the Stargate was
explained to me, the scientists said Daniel's name as if it was sacred. I just realized I've been judging him since before I met him.**
**So this is what it's like to be joined with a scientist. I get to hear your self-analysis.**
Amber ignored him, watching as Daniel ignored her and groped around his desk for
some paper he couldn't find.
**I had assumed he'd be full of himself and the fact that it was he that had made the Stargate work. He isn't, though, is he?**
**Nup. Never has been.**
**Oh, I bet when he first figured it out, he was. To make that device work
when no one else had been able to...**
**No, he honestly wasn't...**
Amber found herself in a corridor, reaching for the door in front of her.
She quietly entered the briefing room, trying to care about what Dr. Jackson was saying as his words reached her.
The messenger had told her Jackson
thought he'd figured it out so maybe he was about to pull a miracle out of his pocket and set in motion the last day of her life.
She tried really hard to care.
"I have some stuff to look at. Ah...if you just pass...pass them down. You'll have to share them 'cause I...I'm sorry I don't..."
Jackson gave one of those nervous laughs that really grated on her nerves.
"...I'm sorry I don't have enough of those, but...Anyway uh okay alright
we're obviously looking at a picture of the cover stones. Now, on the outer track, these figures that you would believe to be words to be translated were in fact..."
leaned forward a bit, inhaling on her cigarette as she realized the paper Jackson had awkwardly un-rolled was a star chart.
The stars had always caught her attention.
"...sorry about that...were in fact star constellations. Now these constellations were placed in a unique order forming a map or an address of sorts. Seven points to outline a course to a position,
Amber's mind recorded what she heard as Jackson began drawing a diagram on the board, and she forced herself to pay attention so she couldn't think about other
"...to find a destination within any three dimensional space you need six points to determine the exact location."
"You said you needed seven points."
Kudos to West for paying attention.
Jackson obviously hadn't expected that.
"Well, no. Six for the destination, but to chart a course, you need a point of origin."
"Except there's only six symbols on the cartouche."
Amber sighed inwardly, and her mind numbed a bit.
Too bad, it had sounded almost like the geek was on to something.
"Well the seventh, actually, isn't
inside the cartouche. It's just below it...here, designated by a little pyramid with two funny, neat, little guys and a funny, little line..."
He started that laugh again as he spoke.
"...coming out of the top."
Fingers snapping in front of her face shocked Amber out of the memory.
She stared into Daniel's face, trying to combine the impression she'd gotten from the memory with what she now knew of the man before her.
**Doesn't work. Parts of him seriously changed while he was on Abydos. The edgy nervousness he had before is gone. He's still passionate and opinionated and infuriating, but no where near as
"Hello...Earth to Corvores."
Amber blinked at him again.
"Sorry...Jack and I were talking about you."
**Umm...remember the agreement. No shared info without permission from the mind's owner.**
**Don't worry. I won't.**
"I mean, what were you saying."
"He says I can't tell you."
**Oh great, thanks. Now he'll latch onto me, trying to get it out of me.**
**At least I won't be violating the agreement.**
**Yeah...joy for you.**
Amber smiled, taking Daniel by surprise.
**He really had no clue about the Stargate when he translated it, did he?**
**No, in fact, that was what impressed me most, later, when I took the time to think
**You took time to think?**
**Anyway...why did it impress you.**
**Well, think about it. Carter spends two years working on the Stargate, Danny makes it work. Then,
after another year of trying to make it go other places, Carter meets Daniel and Daniel makes it work...again. All without her incredible store of knowledge...just his genius...**
**I'm sensing this is a personal moment...maybe I should leave you alone to enjoy it...**
**You're just dying to swallow my boot, aren't ya?**
**No need to be testy. I simply misunderstood why exactly you were upset with Martouf and Daniel...**
**The enthusiasm, the...**
suddenly realized Jack had gone silent and looked through his eyes to see what he was doing.
She jumped, her hand thumping Daniel's arm making the archaeologist jump and then look at her suspiciously.
**Put your boot back on!**
Just as Amber realized Jack wasn't
coming for her, a burst of amusement filled her mind and then descended to mental chuckles.
**Teal'c tattled and so Warren told me to take off my socks and boots so
he could take a look at my ankles.**
**Uh uh...I felt the fear...I rule.**
Daniel cocked his head to one side as Amber rolled her eyes.
**Exactly...I believe peeled grapes are on the menu today.**
**Really! Wow! First this adoration for Daniel and now Dr. Warren
peeling grapes for you...or was it Teal'c?**
A deadly intent filled Amber and she tried in vain to see through Jack's eyes, but all she got was white static.
**Wha...where...what are you doing?**
**I'm coming for you. Hide.**
Amber looked frantically around Daniel's office.
Images of Jack's boot shoved into her mouth so hard it split the back of her neck filled her mind.
Even though she knew he'd never do that, she swallowed from the shear
violence of the act.
Well, now she knew how Jack must've felt about the images of himself being tortured he'd seen.
She pushed past Daniel and ducked under his desk, ignoring his amused gaze.
**Whenever we talk in person, if you threaten me physically again, from now on...I'll call you...Jonathan.**
and I'll call you Amburger out loud from now on...or else Dr. Ham...wouldn't they just love that.**
Amber suddenly realized he should've shown up by now.
**You're still in the infirmary, right?**
**Actually...yes, I am. I didn't get past the door before Teal'c picked me up and put
me back on the bed.**
His annoyance deleted the white static and she saw Teal'c's disapproving frown.
**He looks normal to me.**
**That's because you don't know him like I do. He has happy frowns, amused frowns, disgusted frowns, jealous frowns, betrayed frowns,
**Okay...I get the picture.**
**Where are you?**
**Umm...I don't recall seeing that...you're under the desk, aren't you!**
Amber scrambled out even as Jack's mental guffaws assaulted her.
**You scared me.**
Jack sobered a lot, even though she still felt the undercurrent of humor.
**Amber, I'd never hurt you.**
He chuckled again.
"You wanna hide in one of the shelves, too, or can I put these books up?"
looked into Daniel's eyes, instant dislike flooding her and instinctively erasing the expression from her face.
**Whoa...calm down. He's just...**
**Out of the blue you climbed under his desk...he probably thinks you're nuts.**
**How soon can you get here?**
**Aww...sweet. You miss me.**
Amber stilled the automatic retort in her mind.
**I saw it anyway, but I appreciate the effort. I'm on my way. Warren says they're bruised, not sprained or