Page 64

**Good. Make sure to bring an ice pack with you.**
**What? No way.**
**I want the pain to go That means ice to bring down the swelling.**
**I am not getting a cold pack. Grin and bear it. I'm a soldier and I'm not...**
**Acting in a mature and considerate manner? Amen.**
Daniel looked up as the door to his office opened.
He really hoped it was Sam or Teal'c.
They were the only ones he really wanted to talk to.
Well, he wanted to talk to Jack, too, but apparently it was to be a permanent three-way conversation with Amber if he did.
*You are jealous.*
*No, I'm not...okay maybe I am.*
*Perhaps O'Neill feels the same way about you and Samantha being joined with others while he speaks to you.*
*Like a joke he'll never be in on, but keeps being brought up...yeah, you're right. I just can't shake how weird it is that he's with Corvores.*
*Neither chose it, but they are obviously trying to make the best of it. Perhaps you should try to be nicer?*
"Daniel? Corvores."
Sam entered, still smiling a bit, and Daniel relaxed, although he couldn't miss how incredibly blank Corvores' face had become.
Daniel stepped forward to help Sam with the folded chairs she had brought.
"I would've helped you get these if you'd said something. I didn't even think about everyone wanting a place to usually just sit on the table or..."
*You are...babbling.*
*I know. I talk when I'm nervous.*
Corvores muttered something and Daniel only heard enough to make him stare at her.
She turned her head towards him, defiance shining in her eyes.
Daniel swallowed a surge of disgust, trying to figure out why the woman got on his nerves so easily.
Usually he could either work with or ignore anyone, but she got right under his skin.
Sam finished setting up the chairs as Jack entered the office, followed by Teal'c.
Daniel handed Sam a chair to set up for Jack as he took his desk chair.
"Thanks, Carter."
"You're welcome, sir."
Daniel saw Jack rather pointedly grin at the legroom under his desk and looked over to catch Corvores' glare, which only made Jack grin wider.
He then saw one of Corvores' eyebrows lift a bit and Jack's face collapse in a scowl, his body language a warning in itself.
A very satisfied smile played on her lips before she blanked again.
*If they were Tok'ra mates, we could...*
Daniel felt Jolinar's amusement and stifled as much of his disgust at the thought as possible.
Her pain was still raw, but she was starting to get a grip.
Time for everyone to figure things out.
He pulled over the last folded chair that Teal'c had refused so that Corvores could sit.
Jack leaned back in his chair, folding his arms.
"Okay. What's up with Demona?"
Sam looked around.
*You want control?*
Sam was dropped into a huge, plastic floater in a clear-watered pool, the viewscreen positioned so she could see everything without budging.
The dizziness cleared almost instantly.
*I like that this is getting easier.*
*Me too.*
Janet sat back in the chair.
Daniel grinned.
"That's the code name for Nurse Morhs."
"Code name?"
*Yeah, right.*
*Sounds like Jack's invention.*
Sam smiled in agreement.
"Well it would be a shame if the vampire cult knew we were onto them."
Janet turned a bit to look at the Colonel.
"Oh, you're absolutely right, sir. A code name like Demona will never give us away."
Jack's grin matched Daniel's.
"Now you see why we chose it."
"Yes, sir."
"Anyway, what did you find out?"
*Diddly is a word, right?*
Sam grinned fully now.
*Yes, Janet, diddly is a word.*
*Just checking.*
Janet repeated herself.
Jack closed his eyes for a moment.
"Okay...anyone with some helpful information?"
Daniel was completely sober now.
"Jack, we followed her all over the place. She stopped to talk to every blond airman she met..what?"
"Blond airmen seem to be a running theme here. Go on, then Amber and I'll tell what we know."
Daniel's eyebrows were raised, but Teal'c picked up the thread.
"Demona withdrew blood, then walked in a circuitous route back to the infirmary, O'Neill. Other than to speak with the airmen, she made no stops."
Daniel's expression matched Jack's.
"Yes, Jack. She took the blood for a walk. I swear I keep waiting to see her pet a vial or something."
"So she's insane."
"You doubted?"
"Okay. Doc, Amber didn't just up and take your stuff out of your office. She received an order in a sealed envelope with a key to Carter's quarters. She followed the order and that's why she was upset when you obviously weren't following it and why she was completely stumped when Hammond got on to her about it."
Before anyone else spoke, Amber silenced them.
"A blond airman, the same one the General was just talking to in the infirmary, gave me the order."
Jack sighed.
"I didn't know it at the time, but now that I have his face in my mind, I recall him walking up to stand just outside the infirmary while Daniel was doing his zombie thing. Not long after, Hammond left."
"Sir, that could be completely coincidental."
"Yes, it could and we could be completely paranoid, but you can't deny something's going on and that order had to have come from somewhere. I'm convinced the General didn't issue it, but someone who had access to his office could."
"Why would someone want my things out of my office."
"To generate gossip."
"Where'd that come from?"
Everyone turned to Amber.
**I wish you'd tell me these things before you voice them.**
**It makes sense.**
"The Grapevine has gotten some really fantastic scoops recently and..."
"You read the Grapevine?"
"So, I can't believe you actually read that...that...stuff."
"Dr. Jackson, just because you're unable to..."
"Shhh....okay, okay. Should we leave you two alone?"
Jack earned a glare from Daniel and remembered threatening Daniel when he'd tried to say it to him, earlier.
"I just noticed some definite sparks here and, well..."
"Jack, I'm not normally a violent man..."
"No kidding, you're just a tag-a-long geek."
Daniel spluttered and faced her, but before he could get a word in, Corvores stood, her hands covering her flaming face, words spilling out of her.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean that and I promised you I wouldn't use what I learn about you from Jack against you. I'm so sorry."
The words completely deflated Daniel's anger and he stared at her while he figured out what exactly he should do.
Silence reigned, broken only by a cough, sniffle, and maybe a stomach or two grumbling.
*She more than likely did not mean what you think she meant.*
*She took it from his mind. You saw the way her face turned red and the way Jack glared at her.*
Jolinar had no defense for it and Daniel resolved not to make an issue of it in front of everyone.
"So we have a group of people going around, trying to create gossip? That just doesn't track...Sam?"
Janet's eyes had flashed as Sam took over.
"Yeah, it's me. Sir, Dad told me the General has a contact inside the Grapevine. I didn't even think about it before, but if it is connected..."
"A contact, possibly blond, possibly connected to Demona and the blood-sucking angle."
Daniel shook his head, amused at the way Sam almost immediately gave control back to Janet.
"We should question Bre."
"Bre Jacey? Why?"
Daniel just couldn't look at Jack, so looked at Teal'c instead.
"Bre's been giving the Grapevine scoops for awhile. I heard Simmons talking about Sam and me making out in here. You know how they found out?"
Jack choked for a second.
So did Janet as Sam sat up indignantly, almost tipping the floater.
"You mean it's true?"
Daniel couldn't help but grin at the shock on Jack's face and the barely contained laughter from Janet.
"No, we weren't making out. Janet was tickling me. Bre saw us and changed it enough to turn it into a scoop."
"The tickling would explain the laughter on the .wav file the website posted."
Daniel looked at Teal'c again as he answered Amber's statement.
"Website? Figures. Anyway, we shouldn't have that problem for awhile. I had the listening device removed after Sam found it."

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