* * * * * *
**Janet keeps looking at me funny.**
**Ask her why.**
**No, I probably don't want to know.**
Jack grinned as he waited for the number to connect.
Viv had to be home.
**You don't know?**
Jack frowned a bit.
**No...umm...why don't you let me in on the secret? Ugh...what is that?**
**Menstrual cycle, Jack. And yes, it's awful.**
Jack grimaced and heard the long distance operator connect the call.
She was probably the wealthiest friend he had and was always travelling, but not during July and August.
She never left Florida during then so she had to be home.
Jack determined to be cheery and not let on the he felt like he was going to puke at any moment.
"Hey! You get my message?"
"Jack! Yes! Hold on...let me get to a room that isn't so noisy."
Jack nodded to Teal'c as he and a rather scowly Hagar left the photo shop and walked toward him.
Teal'c held out the bag of photos.
"AirmanTrivies will accompany me back to the vehicle."
Jack groaned inwardly, really sorry Teal'c was doing all the guard duty, but Daniel was refusing to volunteer and Jack sure as anything wasn't going to.
He wouldn't mind it if he never saw the guy again.
Teal'c bowed his head minutely before glaring Hagar into the Voyager.
**Can't you take a pill or something?**
**Nothing helps me. I just ride it out.**
Jack shook his head at the discomfort, trying to smile when Viv picked up another extension.
"Sorry, Jack. The place is crawling with post-wedding guests. I think someone took an ad in the paper advertising free food or something. I'm the bride's mother and I don't know a third of the people here."
Jack gritted his teeth.
It wasn't Viv's fault, but he really didn't want to get a hotel room for everyone.
"Well congrats on Tanya's wedding. I take it the bride and groom left safely?"
"And in a hurry, thank goodness. Took all those lovely gifts, though. Jack, about you staying here. I really can't spare the room tonight or tomorrow, but after that, I'll have all of these people gone and you're more than welcome to be here. Just bad timing, love."
"Actually, we're not flying in, we're driving."
"Oh! Well, when would you get in?"
"Uh...we'll have about 36 hours actual driving time since we're rotating drivers plus probably four hours of breaks. With the time difference, we'd get in between midnight and two in the morning your time if we leave now."
"Oh, well everyone should be gone enough that I can put you up. To make it up to you, though, I'll get invites to the Hunter's Fall Fest. You and Sara loved the one you went to last time."
Jack chuckled, remembering the extremes the Hunter Family went to for the one party they threw each year.
He couldn't believe it when Sara had scored those invites from Viv as a birthday gift.
To get to take the team and...Janet...would be unreal.
They'd love it.
"Now that's a plan. When is it?"
"Only a few days, so I'll scurry. How many will you be bringing?"
"Well, there's 6 adults and 1 almost teenager. Her birthday's in a week."
"Even better. Well, I will get those and I'll put you and your friends...at least one of which, I hope, beside the child, is a female with which you are involved...hint hint...in the family side of the house in case some of these guests stick around longer than we want them to."
Jack decided Janet was just going to have to be a surprise, so said nothing to ease Viv's curiosity.
"Sounds great. We'll be taking Cassie to Universal while we're there, so if you could see about getting us a discount?"
"Of course, Jack. In fact, I have an idea. Be right back."
And with that, she was gone.
**I thought cramps came with this.**
**I only just started. Just think. You get three days of this.**
**Oh please tell me you're joking. This is just another psychosomatic reaction, right?**
**Are you feeling pain in your heels?**
**That means the heel pain is psychosomatic and the menstrual cycle is real. Sorry.**
**Arg...what is that?**
**It's egg flushing, Jack.**
Her amusement was quickly killing what was left of his ability to pretend joviality with Viv.
Jack rolled his eyes as Daniel came out of the video store.
"You get the photos?"
Jack nodded to the bag in his hand.
"Who you on the phone with?"
"Viv Sekhquicks. She's an old friend we'll be staying with."
"Ah. Was wondering about that."
"All about connections, Dannyboy."
"You look tired."
"Yeah...one way of putting it."
Daniel sighed and leaned against the wall when Jack's friend obviously came back on the line.
Jolinar had taken to trading memories with him.
She didn't actually remove memories, but the more memories he gave her access to, the more she let him in.
Not just to her own, but to her former hosts.
Rosha had been...her counterpart.
Jolinar's preference for the blond Tok'ra was marked and present in the fondness she displayed with each flashback.
Daniel wrinkled his nose at all the Martouf memories, unable to suppress his instinctive response to the familiarity he now had with the man.
Jolinar deliberately toned those memories down and took instead memories she'd gotten from Sam.
Sam's favorite memories, in her mind when Jolinar had joined with her.
Cassandra, perfect moments with SG-1 on planets with scientific promise, and time spent together on Earth whether shopping or somewhere else.
Sam's memories were fragmented and Jolinar explained that she hadn't been with Sam long enough to actually copy her memories like she had with Rosha and was doing with Daniel.
Daniel's mind was starting to fully accept his symbiosis with Jolinar and their contact was easier and softer with each memory transfer.
Snapping fingers caught Daniel's attention.
Jack's eyebrow was raised and Daniel tried to figure out what was wrong with the picture in front of him.
"Yeah. I was talking to Jolinar about some stuff. Got distracted."
Jack handed Daniel the page with directions clearly written on it.
"That's where we're going. Viv supplied the directions to their new place. They were still building it on the lake when Sara and I were there with Charlie. You'll like her. She's got a small personal museum of stuff she's collected from around the world. Maybe you can help her classify some of it while you're there."
Daniel stared at Jack for a moment before deciding he was serious and not poking fun.
"All of you will just love her. Even Teal'c'd crack a jawbreaker of a grin if she asked him to. She's just that type of person."
Daniel grinned at Jack's enthusiasm and Jolinar's curiosity about Jack's past with this woman as they walked toward the Voyager.
He knew better than to ask, though.
Not like Janet and Jack needed any more angst than they already had.
"So, you're getting a little more okay about the "BunnyMobile"?"
Jack glared at Daniel.
"What BunnyMobile? I see a sweet Hunter Green KingCab..."
"Uh huh...and that cute vehicle next to it?"
"Daniel...no. I don't see a cute vehicle. I refuse to see that vehicle."
Jack leaned against the truck, trying to look like he was waiting for someone.
Daniel stared at Jack.
"Umm...Jack, get into the Bunny now. Just trust me."
Jack's brow furrowed, but the serious tone in Daniel's voice brooked no argument, so he hurriedly got into the back of the Voyager, smiling grimly at the serious glint in Teal'c's eye.
No way Hagar was going anywhere with the virtual leash Teal'c had on him.
"I can't believe you're calling it a 'Bunny'. Cassie's a kid. She can do that."
Daniel smiled a little as he turned on the Voyager, glancing back to see if Jack still looked the same.
"She's not really a kid, anymore, Jack. She'll be thirteen..."
Jack winced as Amber's amusement filtered in.
"No. Don't do that. Until that day actually happens, it doesn't exist. She's still a kid."
He was catching a little of the women's conversation now and he really didn't want to know who wanted what brand of tampon.
**Not a wuss. I was married long enough to be blast-proof when it comes to feminine hygiene. Doesn't mean I want to learn all the specifics. Bad enough I'm...cramping. Ugh.**
**Congrats. Your first menstrual cycle. Maybe we should throw a party.**
**Oh ugh...no wonder women are such witches during this.**
Amber's amusement turned to chuckling as she obviously shared his reaction with Janet and Cassie.
Jack felt like his gut was going to explode, completely uncomfortable.
**I don't even know how to describe that...feeling. I don't have the parts to generate that feeling.**
Amber laughed at him.
**Don't worry, it'll get worse. My second day is always more horrific than my first day. You'll be looking for knives, pills to overdose on, and windows to jump out of if you can drag yourself to them by tomorrow night.**
Jack was not enjoying himself and mentally cursed the day he met her.
Daniel snickered at Jack's image of Cassie as he pulled out of the parking lot and onto the road.
"You don't have to go so fast."
As if on cue, nausea and apparently a lake's worth of water retention hit him and he gagged on each bump the vehicle hit.
"Reasons for going fast, Jack. One, the faster I go, the less chance there is of anyone getting any details on our faces while we're in this thing. Two, Amber's eyes are probably glittering with glaze again, so we need to get back to the store so she can hide, too."
"Nope. I suggest you put your sunglasses on and keep 'em on or else you'll be as hidden as Sam and Jolinar for the next few days and won't that just suck."
Jack scowled at Daniel, both for the reminder of the girls' situation as well as voicing the possibility he might join them.
His sunglasses were out and on within seconds.
Jack groaned and leaned further down in the seat as some kids standing on the curb waved at the pastel Voyager.
"Are you well, O'Neill?"
"No, Teal'c. I'm not well and if I never hear the word tampon or period again, I'll be thrilled."
"I will endeavor to refrain from using those words."
Jack groaned as another wave of cramps and nausea went through him.
How in the world did women stand this and not try to kill everyone in sight?
He wanted to kill Teal'c just because he was the closest living thing he could strangle with his bare hands.
Jack decided Amber's technique was wonderful.
He envisioned her laying on her back, serene and lovely except for the rather large tree trunk sticking through her torso causing blood to spray up and out as her now lifeless body hit the ground with a distinct thud.
Really liking that, he did an instant replay, mentally turning up the sound so the thud reverberated.
* * * * * *
George smiled as SG-13 filed out of the briefing room.
He'd been planning to put them on extended stand-down, but Maj. Gorowitz had politely asked for another mission...one that looked like it was a bit more than a techno-library.
George had only smirked then, but he knew how boring that last one had to have been.
He'd consented to assign the next planet to them for exploration.
George glanced at his watch.
He wondered what SG-1 was up to right now.
* * * * * *
"Are you serious?"
Janet giggled insanely at the thought of Jack O'Neill getting a clue when it came to "women problems" as her ex had always put it.
He was a total wimp when it came to menstruating.
"Take an aspirin or something."
That was his usual reply to even her smallest complaint.
He never knew how strong her willpower was...not even in his nightmares could he possibly picture her doing to him what she thought about doing to him during her waking hours.
Amber blanched and Janet stepped back.
Amber's eyes had been twinkling a bit, but Janet had thought it might just be the light since the glaze had disappeared.
Now, though, as Janet watched, the glaze slipped across Amber's irises, a golden glitter giving her a rather alien appearance.
"What's wrong? Besides your eyes?"
"Jonathan's eyes are glazed too, according to Daniel and he's imagining me dying a rather bloody death."
"Ah...I'm not even going to figure that out. Jack O'Neill's mind is still a mystery to me."
"It's actually rather simple once you get through his ego and self delusion."
Janet grinned at Amber's irritated sentence as Cassie tossed her toothpaste into the buggy.
"Wanna ride, Amber? You look like Daniel after a mission."
Janet hushed Cassie, privately agreeing with her.
Amber definitely looked half-dead and ill.
"No, Daniel's already driving them over here now so I can hide. I don't have any sunglasses, do you?"
"Yes, but I'll need 'em for Florida. I'll go to the front and grab a cheap pair from the racks they always have up front. They'll do until you can buy some from somewhere else."
Amber just nodded, pausing mid-step to ride out a cramp.
Janet led them to the medication aisle, picking out a couple brands she hadn't thought to have Vera bring.
Sam finally began stirring and Janet waited, not allowing any sounds to go near Sam in case she wasn't ready to wake up yet.
Her mind needed time to relax and deal...without her conscious self stressing it out.
Hopefully when she woke up she'd have at least partly dealt with her identity crisis.
Amber was biting her lip and Janet sympathized.
As soon as Sam relaxed into a deep sleep again, Janet headed to the check out.
Cassie walked up with a couple pairs and quickly had Amber try on each before picking one and tossing it in the buggy and putting the other pair back.
Amber handed Cassie a ten and told her to go first and buy the glasses so Amber could wear them while she and Janet waited.
Cassie grinned and was gone.
"She loves the express lane."
"Me, too. Usually I can use it."
Janet smiled at Amber, mentally sending her calming vibes.
She had no idea whether it would work or not, but if it didn't, well...Sam couldn't be hurt if some of those vibes bounced back and hit her.
* * * * * *