went back to my house the next day, which was Sunday. I packed Daniel's
last package of Chocolate covered Almonds in a crate that held an
artifact I knew he was studying. I was sure he would find it - an
ancient mystery! I carried my duffle bag into the living room and the
week's worth of bundled mail that is delivered every Saturday, placing
it on the kitchen counter. I placed my keys beside it and pressed the
flashing button on my answering machine.
"Hey Sam, Cassie here. Oh and so is Calvin -"
"Hey Sam," a male voice said.
"We wanted to tell you Happy Valentine's, in case I don't get to talk to you. I just know you are arranging all those roses around your house... and I am sure you are enjoying the attention!"
I smiled as the message ended; leave it to Cassie and her good friend Calvin to call. I rummaged through the mail, sorting the magazines, letters and junk mail. The junk mail was quickly leading the race. Two cards stuck out; one with roses drawn on it and Cassie's address on it, the other a plain white one. I flipped the white one over and opened it carefully. It did not have a return address, but the small, neat handwriting looked very familiar.
I hope you have a very nice and romantic Valentine's Day. If you do not have plans for some reason, I will be in town the next day.
- Jack O'Neill
Jack asking me sort out? I sighed and leaned against the counter. Jack needed to quit leaving small notes with offers on it. But really, what else was happening? It was not like I had a date anytime soon. The only one I have is on Valentine's Day, but that one I got by contest. But I was fairly certain I would have a good time with my secret admirer; he had certainly been giving me some funny cards and great gifts.
I looked across the room to the candy hearts box I had stuck on the counter. In my duffle bag was a tub of homemade double chunky chocolate chip cookies, a box of truffles and a gift card to Blockbuster. In a mauve bag beside the duffle bag were the remaining gifts for Daniel, a pewter frame, another book of poems by Elliott, and a gift card to a small restaurant. I had given him the theatre voucher the other day.
The doorbell's ring pulled me out of my thoughts. I wondered who would be stopping by as I opened the door. At least two-dozen yellow roses greeted me.
"Yes?" I asked after a freckled face appeared beside the glass vase and stunning arrangement.
"You a Colonel S. Carter?" he asked, smacking his gum.
"Yes," I replied.
"These here are for you. You're one lucky lady, Mrs. S. Carter. Your husband is very sweet to you," he said, handing me the vase.
I was admiring them when I realized what he said. "Oh no, I'm not married, just have a Valentine's Secret Admirer," I said, but he was already peeling down the street. "Thanks."
I shut the door and walked back into the kitchen, reading the simple card, "From Your True Valentine's Love," over and over.
What did that mean? I felt like I was suddenly trapped in a web of my own doing. It was Cassie who dared me; she should be blamed. But I would keep the flowers and candy. Now I really am convinced this guy can't be so bad. Unless he is over compensating ... I let that thought die. I left the roses on the coffee table as I went back to pick up the magazines and curled up on the couch.
* * *
I feel really productive; my clothes are washed and repacked, my kitchen is looking like it lost a small war, and dinner was in the oven. My cell phone rang, making it jump and skitter across the counter as it vibrated first.
"Hello," I said as I answered it.
"Hey Sam," Daniel said. "Do you have any plans?"
"Not really, I just put dinner in the oven, but beyond that I have nothing planned."
"Dinner in the oven?" he asked with a hint of uncertainty. "Whatcha making?"
"A chicken roast. Well a chicken breast roast, I don't have time to do a whole chicken. Potatoes, carrots, I was thinking a nice salad, but my lettuce seems to have morphed into some wacky colored object, and I suddenly have realized I don't have bread. Man I need to learn how to plan," I said, leaning against the bar top and cradling my head. "Common over."
"I don't want..."
"Daniel, really, if it is halfway decent it will become lunch and dinner for me for the next few days."
"Being single does produce a lot of food," Daniel mused. "Well I'm at the market, so I'll pick up the other half of the meal and we'll call it even. And I am sure the chicken is perfect."
I smiled as we hung up, Daniel saying it would take about 20 minutes to get the food, and to my house. I checked the food once more and turned the chicken satisfied it was looking good. Daniel was the cook; he would know how to make even the burnt chicken taste divine. I sat on the stool and flipped through one of the catalogues I got. I wonder what it would be like to come home, and have someone who can cook make meals. Not every night, that could get too strenuous with my schedule, but just to come home some weekends and not dread cooking, or be running out to the fast food place every few hours.
But then there are the complications of having a home; I'm hardly here to take care of it, and I had decided a while ago to not have a maid service clean it, so after some missions where I am gone a month or longer, the place is sometimes covered in more then just a fine dusting. Having another person around could help, but would I want someone who I might not be able to tell my own husband what I do? No, I would go crazy; look how I handled Pete. I cringe. No someone who knows the program exists already would be able to understand the difficulties of the job, and we would be able to combat the dust bunnies together.
I fell into a daydream, which had my husband - who oddly seemed to have a Daniel-eque figure - and me hunting and wagging war on the household dust bunnies after a mission. Would a zat take care of the problem?
"I don't think so," a voice behind me said.
I jumped and turned to see Daniel holding two plastic bags. "What?"
"You asked if a zat would take care of the problem," Daniel said smiling. "I don't know what you wanted to zat, but zatting is not the answer."
"I'm sure there is an 800 number for people who have that problem, but I was thinking more about my dust problem."
Daniel cocked his head to one side and took out the pre-made salad. "Hmm sounds like a good experiment. You should come over to my house and we can see."
I laughed and came around to help pull the chicken roast out of the oven. "I'm sure there will be plenty of time to conduct that experiment," I said, spearing a carrot. It was nice and tender, and I tried a potato to make sure they were done also.
"Hey if you eat all that there will be nothing left," Daniel said in mock horror.
"You'll survive; I have some wonderful Mac and Cheese MREs in the basement," I replied.
"And they can stay there," he said, slicing the bread. I took out two plates and silverware as he continued. "So how have you been enjoying this past week?"
"It's been nice. Cassie would be squealing if she saw the latest addition to my flower collection," I said, moving the roses to the sideboard and off the dinning table.
"Very nice," Daniel said, lightly fingering the pedals. "I think you can dry these, these are really good smelling ones, too."
"Cassie sent me an email on how to dry roses, so I already have some ideas. She said she would help arrange them the next time she is here."
"She still with that guy, Calvin?"
"They are not together; Cassie would try to kill you for sure if you said that."
We spent the evening laughing, talking and sipping more coffee then a human should at midnight. Finally we went upstairs, Daniel settling into the guest bedroom as I changed and slipped between my own bed's sheets.
* * *
Orange juice and coffee was set out on the bar counter as I came into the kitchen. Daniel was also fully dressed and standing by the toaster, flipping through the paper. I stopped for a moment and admired how domestic he looked even in his SGC camo-pants and black t-shirt. I had a matching outfit on, but I highly doubt I looked as good as he did.
"Good morning, Sam," Daniel said as he folded the paper and the toaster popped two pieces of toast out.
"Good morning, Daniel," I replied, reaching for the coffee mug. "Ready for another day of meetings?"
"I sometimes would rather face Priors then a room full of service men who really have no interest in learning about how the allies have helped open trade agreements and extraterrestrial languages."
"Oh and they get really excited about theoretical physics which we have proved is not quite theoretical anymore. All they care about is that we go to places, not that there are distinctions between moons, planets and nearby star clusters."
"Maybe we need more than one crafte of coffee then," Daniel said, handing me a plate with the toasted bread. "At least we have those small presents to look forward to," he added, with a sparkle in his eye.
Yes, at least we had that. I returned the smile as we walked out of my house, locking the door once more. I had hung the roses over the stove, letting them dry like herbs just as Cassie suggested in her email, and already the house had a hint of roses in the air. Even if there were dust, the smell would be nice.
We took Daniel's car back to the base; no point in having two cars there when we would most likely be on leave together, and he could just drop me off on his way to his house. The guards smiled as we went past, and some of the NORAD personnel were standing around and discussing the latest football game that the Air Force was going to be participating in. Daniel and I went our separate ways as we prepared for our parts of the biannual lecture series we seemed to be elected for. At least there would be some others from our departments and there were always a handful that really was interested in the topics.
I decided to stop by the mailbox and drop of the second to last present for Daniel. I got a small giddy feeling as I neared my decorated mailbox. I felt like a teenager going out to get the mail, hoping against hope that my sweetheart had sent me a letter. Sadly it only had a departmental notice about the upcoming party for the next day. Odd, nothing was there for yesterday. I was about to close the door, when a small note stuck to the inside of the door caught my eye.
The yellow rose is most precious, just like you. I hope you were home to enjoy the token of my love. XOXOX SA
I blushed as I reread the note.
"Is something the matter ColonelCarter?" Teal'c asked as he came into the mailroom.
"No, nothing. Just got a note from my secret admirer. I got a beautiful bouquet of roses yesterday. It has been the nicest thing I have received in a long time," I said, smiling at him.
"I am glad," he said, giving a small tilt of his head, and a small lingering smile on his lips.
Could it be Teal'c? Now I am so confused. I left as he checked his own mail and hurried to the storage room turned lecture hall, maybe I would still be able to slip in and listen to Daniel's lecture.
One more day to V-Day. Why does it feel more like one more day to D-Day?
|* * *
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