Four hours passed and along side the untouched fruit basket laid a few candy bar wrappers that they had taken to stashing away in their bags. After the incident with the Unas, Daniel had plenty of chocolate near, Sam following simply since she enjoyed something to snack on when she was doing watch.

Finally the Priest came back and escorted them into the rotunda room, facing the same chancellor and dignitaries as before.

"We have discussed your rulers' feelings toward acquiring new technology, and admit we felt the same at first. We have been free with the knowledge of what is beyond the great stone, and let anyone freely come and go. We understand that your planets rulers' relationships are more fragile, hence the keeping of the great stone from your people," the Chancellor said. "We agree to discuss the trade now."

The three earthlings and Vala sighed in relief; maybe this would speed up the process. Cam nodded and stepped forward. "We are very pleased that you have come to see where we're coming from. If we may, I would like to go back to the gate and send a message and see if the Pegasus team is ready to come through and also represent Earth in this treaty."

The group consulted with one another and finally nodded. "Hushin shall escort you."

SG-1 nodded and the Priest once more stepped out of the shadows and escorted them out the door, past the room in which they had spent hours in, and back toward the gate.

The Gathering House was in the side of the hill facing the great green forest that dominated the planet. Small homes would peak around tall trees and men and woman walked on the dirt road that was a "main street" of sorts. SG-1 got curious glances but mostly was left alone by the villagers; all were used to seeing strangers from other planets and had accepted the sight as normal.

Coming to the Gate, Cam dialed Earth, and walked over to the MALP, Vala and the priest trotting after him. Sam and Daniel stayed beside the DHD, listening through their earpieces.

"General Landry! Colonel Mitchell checking in," Cam said.

"Colonel, nice of you to show; I did not expect you so early."

"Ah they let us out for a bit of a breather," Vala said, stepping beside Cam, almost dominating the screen.

"Wonderful," Landry said. "What's the news?"

Sam and Daniel looked at each other as Cam started to relay the few moments they had spent in the presence of the Chancellor and dignitaries. Daniel leaned over and whispered, "If Jack was here he would be going crazy. All the trees and people who can't communicate."

Sam gave a knowing smile. "He would have let Vala eat the apple and suffer. He should be glad he never had to suffer that."

They smiled and nodded, once more listening to the conversation.

"Dr. Weir sent me a message saying that Colonel Sheppard and his team are on the Prometheus. I heard it touched down and they are being flown straight here to the base. Expect the team to come within the hour," Landry said.

"Sounds great, General. Cam and co out," Cam said, clicking off the camera and triggering the wormhole to disengage. "Well you heard we are getting new people. So I guess if it's okay, we can just hang out here."

Hushin nodded and indicated a small garden with strange flowers. "We may rest here and wait."

Vala started walking down one of the paths; she could only be still for so long and had already exceeded her weekly limit. Cam sat quietly with the Priest, talking in hushed tones, leaving Sam and Daniel once more. They decided to walk about, choosing a different path than Vala; they really needed to have some time away from the woman.

"Well, alone," Daniel said as he relaxed some.

"But on a foreign planet," Sam reminded him. As part of the agreement that they would be allowed to stay on the same team, Landry had insisted they act professionally at all times, never letting their guard down. The only time they allowed themselves to be more relaxed was at night when they shared a tent, and the small alone time around the campfire Cam allowed.

"True. I think we need a vacation," Daniel said as he walked beside her.

"Aren't we away enough?" Sam said smiling as she looked at Daniel. She watched as his eyes twinkled with hidden laughter and a smile danced on his lips. An unspoken rule between them was to never have physical contact until their designated time; a militaristic approach to their artificial emotional barrier, but now Sam broke part of it by slipping her arm around him. "I guess what we really need is another few days away from the SGC."

"You know we can always ask Jack if we can go to his cabin for a few days," Daniel said slipping his arm around her. "I think it would be good to just take Jacob and maybe travel. Around Earth of course."

"And what about our jobs?" Sam asked scanning the area subconsciously.

"We have put what, eleven, almost twelve years into the Program?"

"You are not suggesting we leave the SGC, are you?" Sam said, stepping in front of him. She shook her head. "I admit it has been a strain on everything to be married and be leaving Jacob every time we go across the galaxy, but to give up our jobs? Daniel, what would you rather be doing?"

He hung his head and slowly brought his eyes up to hers. "I would rather have a normal life, where I don't have to worry about you being hurt," he said softly.

"Oh, Gawd, Daniel," Sam said, slipping her arms around his neck, forgetting all professionalism and holding on to her husband. "Never worry about that, love. We protect each other and, if something happens, I hope it happens to both of us. I don't want to face raising Jacob on my own, either." She kissed his cheek and gently looked into his eyes. "If I leave and stay at home with Jacob - be safe - I would still feel like I was raising our son alone, not knowing if my precious husband was coming back or not."

"Never would I want that," Daniel said, stroking Sam's cheek. "I'm sorry to have even thought of it. I have finally found the one who makes me see the world in techno-color and the last thing I want is to lose you." He crushed his lips on her and drew her close, wishing so much for her to know how deeply his love for her ran.

"I see you have made friends with more of the natives," a voice said dryly behind Daniel.

Daniel pulled back; suddenly realizing they had let their barriers down. "Crap," he breathed as he looked into Sam's eyes, also wide and already scolding herself. Taking his arms from around her, Daniel turned to face the eerily familiar voice. Sam moved to Daniel's side and gaped at the man who was gaping back at them.

"What? How... oh Gawd... that's just wrong!" the man said as he tried to regain any composure he had. "You are so dead!"

"'You're so dead' is the best you can come up with?" Daniel asked, amused. Pulling himself up a bit straighter, he looked at the red faced Dr. Rodney McKay. "You know it feels so natural, I forget not everyone knows we are married," Daniel said as he looked over at Sam.

"True. I guess it would be a good time to also say we have a lovely one-year-old son who is also the joy of our lives?" Sam said, now eying Rodney. She smiled as he squirmed again.

"I offer my congratulations," the woman next to Rodney said. She extended her hand out to Daniel and Sam. "I'm Teyla Emmagan. You must be Daniel Jackson who found the power crystal to bring Colonel Sheppard and his team to Atlantis."

Daniel shook her hand and nodded. "This is my wife Colonel Samantha Carter."

"What, no Carter-Jackson?" Rodney said sarcastically. He crossed his arms and regarded them coolly. Teyla looked at him oddly.

"No, we figured everyone knew us as Jackson and Carter, and it made it easier for people to accept that we stayed on the same team," Sam said.

"There you two are!" Cam said as he rounded the corner and came into the small garden's clearing. "I see you have met some of the Atlantis team," he said looking at the four people in front of him.

"Rodney, what is going on?" the man beside Cam asked, coolly.

"They are married," Rodney spat. "And on the same team."

"Congrats," the man said. "I'm Colonel John Sheppard. There seems to be an abundance of Colonels around here..." he mused to himself as he saw Sam's insignia.

"The priest Hingman, Handmin, Hiddiehoman, whatever... oh," Vala said as she also came into the clearing. "Oh a party that started without me."

"I don't think this is a party," a large man said behind Vala.

"Oh bug off! Of course they are.... Oh never mind, they look mad," Vala said.

"Colonel's Cameron Mitchell and Sam Carter, Dr. Daniel Jackson, and you have met their temporary member, Vala Mal Doran," Sheppard said, eying each member of SG-1 as he introduced them. Turning to his team he continued, "This is Ronan Dex, Teyla Emmagen, and of course Dr. Rodney McKay."

"I resent being called a 'temporary member.' Look now that we are all cozy, can we follow the Priest and get on with the show?" Vala said, gesturing to the path she had just come down.

"After you," Rodney growled as he kept his eyes on both Daniel and Sam.

They moved down the path, ahead with Vala and Cam. The exchanged a glance between themselves, letting Cam know that the week just got longer again.

 

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