AN: Oh look what happened...another one just popped up!

SUMMARY: Q27: Another early season 1. To help Cassie settle in and teach her a few things about Earth Janet has invited the whole of SG-1 round for an evening meal. For some reason Sam has her reservations, but surely Janet can handle a Colonel, an Archaeologist and a Jaffa...right? Friendship/Humour. K+ rated.

QUESTION 27: Why Is She Staring At Us?

The call to come inside hailed from the kitchen and like animated children the three male members of SG-1 and Cassie bolted in through the back door practically tripping over the madly bouncing dog.

Well two of the men had bolted in and Cassie was obviously exempt because she was a child. Teal'c followed at an almost respectable pace, but still it was enough to make the Captain in Carter finally give up and accept the inevitable. With a rather lopsided and slightly indulgent grin she scooped up her barely touched glass of wine and took a healthy gulp.

"Well that's better." Janet whispered quietly into her ear making the blonde jump at the closeness of her presence. Doctor Fraiser, whilst drying her hands, wore a soft grin as she gazed at her best friend. "I was wondering just exactly how long it was going to take you to relax."

"Sorry." Sam mumbled, staring intently into her glass. She had not meant to be so uptight but it was the first time the whole team had been invited round to the Doctor's house and Sam had been more than a little worried that the guys would embarrass her by acting like their usual immature, off duty selves. Or at least her CO would embarrass her. Jack O'Neill had a mighty fine habit of picking exactly the right thing to say at exactly the right moment to bring a mortified hue to her cheeks. Most of the time, she knew, he did it on purpose but tonight that was the only thing she really didn't want him to do. Janet had taken so much care over preparing tonight's three course meal that Sam felt her efforts should be respected. That was why she had stayed indoors to help. Now she was wondering at the wisdom of that idea as she had not been in the garden to attempt to tamp down Jack O'Neill's intensely roguish side.

"It's okay." the Doctor soothed, giving Sam's arm a casual rub, clearly reading the thoughts that played out in her mind. "Just let them be idiots. I won't be offended that easily and it definitely won't get out of hand. But for now isn't it just great to hear Cassandra laugh like that?"

Sam nodded in agreement. "Yeah it really is."

Silently both women watched the child squealing with delight as Jack picked her up and spun her wildly around the roomy kitchen.

"She deserves to be with you, you know." Sam voiced, unaware of her own words. "That little girl has lost so much and she deserves the absolute best. I'm really glad the Air Force allowed you to be the one to look after her. She deserves all of the love you obviously have for her."

Janet Fraiser stood in absolute shock, sudden tears welling in her eyes. "Why...why thank you Sam. I...I don't quite know what to say."

Sam blinked out of her own thoughts at the obvious husk in her friend's voice, still not realising that she had spoken out loud, but before she had a chance to make inquiries O'Neill was over and bouncing in both their faces in a manner that made the boisterous new pup seem like the best behaved creature in the country.

"So what we got? What'd you make for us Doc because I'm starved and this all smells great!"

"Yeah what is it?" Daniel chorused, also arriving overly close. "Because all we've had lately is MRE's and commissary food and anything is bound to be better than that!"

... ... And there it was, Carter felt her face flame over. "Jesus!" she muttered under her breath. What a bunch of ungracious morons!

Janet frowned hard and stared first the Colonel and then Daniel down. "If you'll both shut up for a moment and stand still I might just tell you." she snapped out, not at all in reprimand but more as a chance to try out her brand new motherly tone. It worked well it seemed.

"Sorry." Daniel mumbled, looking down at his boots.

Jack cleared his throat. "Yeah, what he said." he added and tipped his head at his friend.

Meanwhile Teal'c and Cassie had already made their way to their respective places at the round table. Slowly the boys drifted over and each of them looked for their names on the individualised place-settings that Cassie had made for them that afternoon. Jack, much to his delight, found his name between the same said girl and Carter. Daniel's seat was on the other side of Cassie next to Janet, whom was situated at what the child had deemed to be the head of the table (closest to the kitchen) and Teal'c on her right completing the circle. "Boy, girl, boy, girl, boy, girl." the child needlessly explained. "Janet says that's the way it should be done on Earth."

"And she's correct." Jack agreed, "Now, what's under here then?"

Sam, suddenly as ravenous as the boys hurried around the table and noisily trailed out her chair practically throwing herself into it as the upsetting notion that they might just start without her coloured her own behaviour.

"Don't you touch that!" Janet warned and O'Neill's hand instantly fell away. This lead to loud guffawing and numerous oohs and aahs that surrounded the debate as to what might well be under the covered tray.

The commotion slowly petered out as each of them in turn noticed that Janet Fraiser, head of this household and architect for the entire evening was still standing in the middle of the room, her arms folded and foot tapping.

An eerie silence descended over the entire room, broken only by the tapping foot and the slight whining of the dog as he noted the change in atmosphere and skulked off to lie on his own bed.

After what seemed like the longest of times and with Janet's glare refusing to diminish, Jack dared to move, just a fraction closer to Sam. "Hey Carter, why is she staring at us like that?" he whispered, sounding almost afraid.

Helplessly Sam shrugged, not daring to speak. How the hell was she supposed to know?

As her best friend and therefore most likely to know, all attention was on Sam now and she squirmed. In a sudden flash she remembered the purpose of tonight's gathering. It was all about teaching Cassie table manners...well they had right royally screwed that one up so far.

"Well?" Jack hissed as he noted her moment of introspective insight and slight wince.

Sam blushed a little and mumbled just loud enough so that the whole table could hear her confession. "I think we were supposed to wash our hands before sitting down."

Silence descended for a moment before Janet confirmed Sam suspicions with a dry "Mmm-hmm. Now ge-et, all of you!" she drawled, deliberately mimicking her mother's Southern accent.

Immediately the group scattered from the table as if the Commander And Chief himself had given the order. Once again Teal'c was the last to rise. "It's an Earth thing." Cassie explained sardonically as she screwed up her face. "Come on."

"It's a hygiene thing!" Janet called after the child. "And it's a house rule. So is having manners at my table!" she practically yelled to the whole group, just for the hell of it. "Make sure each of you bring them back when you return or with or without my Hippocratic Oath I'll chop those clean hands off with my carving knife! Like to see you eat your meal then!"

Chuckling to herself at her idle threat Janet headed towards her place at the table. Samantha Carter was absolutely right. This bunch, when they were off duty, were nothing but an absolute rabble, Sam herself included. Having said that they were the best rabble in the world and Janet was really looking forward to letting loose just as soon as the meal was over. "Yee-haa!" she sang to herself as she thought about the twister board and then later, when Cassie had gone to bed, the deck of cards and the tequila bottle that lay in wait in the other room...


AN: Oooh them boys don't know whatsa comin' do they!? Hee hee. Any thoughts...please? Pretty please :)