The coin span, almost lazily, catching the light, as it made its way down to hit the water with a dull 'thunk'.
"I do not understand the meaning of this ritual." Teal'c said.
"It's a wishing well. You throw money in, and the well grants your wish. It's an old superstition."
"What wish did you make?"
"I'm not allowed to tell. It won't come true if I tell."
"Intriguing. I will also make a wish. How much should I throw in?"
"A dime will do."
He threw in his coin, and watched it fall all the way. He looked confused for a second, as if expecting his wish to come true straight away, then he turned to me and said.
"Interesting. Show me more, Cassandra Frasier."
My name is Cassandra Frasier, and I'm from...Toronto. But I live here, in Colorado, and mostly in the SGC with my mom. At first General Hammond wasn't happy about having me on base, but he came round after Jack argued with him for three days straight about it. Jack is leader of SG1, and I'm sort of SG1's unofficial team-mascot/child-substitute. My old school principal used to say I had five parents, my Mom, and Jack, Sam, Danny and Teal'c. Sam says I'm going to grow up to be a scientist who works on SGC. She seems very sure about this. Jack said that was one thing, but I could do something else with my spare time, like be a great writer (my principal told him I was good at English). That's why he gave me this diary for my birthday, so I could have 'something beautiful and warm in my life'. Then Sam said there was nothing cold and ugly about science, and then they started arguing, but it wasn't a real argument, because she was laughing, and he let her win. I like writing, and I like science, and I like archaeology too, so everyone's happy. Mom says she doesn't care what I do, as long as I don't get married when I'm sixteen and realise he's a no-good dope when I'm twenty-six.
Anyway, that's my life, and here is my story for today. I know Sam's been through a bad time lately, what with her dad being ill, and that hell place. (I know what you're thinking. You think Mom shouldn't be telling a thirteen year old these things. She didn't used to, until she realised I was just going to Danny and asking him, and it never occurred to him I was too young. So now Mom tells me their stories, and gives them a PG rating). Well, Mom was going to take me to the fair, and I decided SG1 should come too.
"Honey, I'm not sure they'll come. They're busy, and exhausted."
"So they need a night off. Please can I ask them? If I do my Bambi eyes Jack will give in, then the rest will come. You said they needed a break."
She grinned, and let me. So five minutes later, I'm standing in front of the four of them, begging away as hard as I can. "Please? Pretty please?"
"Cassie, we'd love too, but we've got work to do." Sam said.
"But you look so tired. You need a break."
When I said this, Jack looked up sharply at her, and saw the dark rings round her eyes, and the way her shoulders drooped. "Cassie's right. Let's go. That's an order, Carter." he said before she could disagree. She nodded in defeat.
"Great! Meet you in twenty minutes." he said, winking at me.
So twenty minutes later, we're all piling into the jeep Teal'c bought after he learnt to drive in 1969. I'm in the front with Jack and Teal'c, and Sam is in the back, next to Mom and Danny. I can hear Mom and Sam start to chat, and Danny sigh contentedly.
The bit I like best about fairs, is just before you get there, when you see the lights on the horizon. Then you hear people laughing, and screaming, and you start to get all excited. (This is the point when grown-ups usually tell you to stop bouncing up and down.). Then you start to smell the hot dogs, and cotton candy, and the petrol from the machines that drive the rides, and suddenly, you're in heaven.
We all tumbled out, Jack as excited as I am, Teal'c looking confused, Sam and Mom laughing and Danny grinning. I grab Danny's hand, and Teal'c's hand, effectively separating them from Sam and Jack. Mom stays behind me.
"I'm not sure." Sam says. "I really have a lot of work to do."
"Sam, relax. It's one evening. And its for Cassie. Besides, you're just scared I'll beat you on the shooting range."
And they both dashed off to the firing range together. I turned around to look at Mom. She just winked at me. That was when Teal'c and I made our wishes, while Danny and Mom were buying enough cotton candy to feed a small nation. We all joined Jack and Sam.
"So, who won?" I asked.
"It was a draw." Sam said, complacently, hugging a large alien. Jack had one too, but he was having trouble holding it, and his cotton candy. Eventually, he gave the alien to a passing kid, who was smaller than the toy.
"What is this....food." Teal'c said dubiously.
"Cotton candy." Danny told him.
"It is made of cotton?"
"No." I laughed. "It's made of sugar."
"And air." Sam added.
"And fairies wings." Jack said.
"Butterfly wings too." Sam said.
"Breath of small boys."
"The smell that's left over when you bake cookies."
By this time Teal'c was throughly confused, then his face cleared.
"I believe." he said seriously, "that you are making fun of me."
"He's noticed!" Jack cried. "Three years and he's finally noticed."
Teal'c said nothing, merely nibbled his cotton candy.
"Well?" I said.
"It is strange." he admitted. "It is nauseatingly sweet, yet, I find I want more and more of it."
Sam was eating her's now too, but she's just like me when it comes to cotton candy. She managed to wrap it all round her face, and get it caught in her hair, and was having trouble getting it all in her mouth.
"Let me help." I heard Jack say, and he pulled it out of her hair, and wrapped it round his fingers, and stuck it back on her stick. By this time though, he was covered in it too, and he started to pull it off his fingers.
Sam, collapsing in giggles, reached for his hands, and started to eat the candy trailing off it.
"That tickles!" he said, but I could see his eyes widening as she chased the candy with her tongue round his hand. She, of course didn't notice a thing. I mean, come on, I'm only thirteen, and I can tell he likes her. What's the matter with the woman?
"Blind as a bat." I murmured.
"You're telling me." Mom whispered back.
So then we did the usual fair stuff. We found one of those strong man things, where you have to hit something with a hammer, and ring a bell. Danny did it, but won nothing. (He was brilliant at throwing rings over things though.). Then Jack did it. He dinged it of course, and he won a big fluffy bunny.
"For you, Cassie." he said, giving it to me. "For coming up with the best idea I've heard in ages."
Then Teal'c did it. He almost broke it. The bell flew off the top, and Teal'c had to help the man mend it. (He gave his fluffy bunny to Mom...which gave me an idea.) But before we left, Sam insisted on having a go.
"Are you sure?" the guy running it said. "It's a pretty heavy hammer for such a little lady." and he grinned in a way he thought was charming.
Everyone took a step back from Sam. She had that look in her eyes, that 'oh-boy-are-you-going-to-get-it' look.
"Oh boy." Danny said.
"Go on 'little lady'." Jack said. "Show the big strong man what you're made of." and he handed her the hammer with a conspiratorial smile. She grinned in return, hefted the hammer, and slammed it down.
The bell didn't break, but it did come loose.
"Wow!" said the guy, as he handed her the fluffy bunny. "Your wife sure is tough." he said to Jack.
"As old boots!" he answered cheerfully, draping his arm round Sam's shoulders and ignoring her indignant look. "Well done." he congratulated her. "Although you should get some interesting looks on base when you come home with a giant pink rabbit."
"Oh, I'm not going home with it." she said innocently. "You are.", and she presented the bunny to Jack.
Well that started a whole hour of Jack and Sam competing against each other, and presenting each other with their prizes. They ended up with two giant bunnies, three frogs, a penguin, and a coconut each. Then came the pistol range. Both of them fired at the same time. Both of them got the same score. Both of them got the same prize.
A red velvet heart, edged in lace.
They both received their prizes, glanced at them, then glanced at each other. I held my breath. They'd been swapping prizes for the past hour. Would they swap this time? Mom dragged me away, but I peeked round the corner.
"Mine's a little damaged." Jack said sheepishly. "But it's yours anyway." he said, holding it out to her. His eyes were so hopeful, but so ready to just close off. It was so obvious what he really meant. Would she understand?
"Mine's still untouched." she said, holding it out, and taking his. I waited, for just one brief second...then she turned and walked away.
"Oh for crying out loud!" I yelled. Jack heard me, but before he could see me, Daniel dragged me away.
"It's rude to spy on other people." he said. Then, after a pause, he said, "What happened?"
"Nothing!" I said. "He gave her a heart and she did nothing!" I was annoyed. I loved Sam, and I loved Jack, and I desperately wanted them to love each other. Why wouldn't they?
"Your wish does not appear to be coming true, Cassandra Frasier." Teal'c said. I sighed in agreement, but then I saw the solution.
"Mom, look!" I cried out. "The tunnel of love!"
We all stood around the entrance to the tunnel.
"What is this?" Teal'c asked.
"A tunnel." Daniel replied. Teal'c looked at him, and elevated one eyebrow. Daniel got the message. "You go in, and its all pretty, and dark, and sometimes there's music, and you're in a boat, and its all romantic, and you're supposed to kiss." he said, getting redder by the minute.
"I wannna go!" I yelled, quickly, adding, "I'm going with Daniel."
"I will accompany Dr. Frasier." Teal'c announced solemnly. I turned round and winked at Mom, and she blushed.
"Guess that leaves you and me, Major." Jack said. He looked so worried that she would turn him down, and so embarrassed at the situation, that I couldn't see how she could help but love him if only she would look at him. She didn't though. He handed her into the middle boat. As the boat with me and Daniel in it moved off, I saw Mom and Teal'c climbing into the last one.
We all moved into the tunnel.
No doubt as I get older, I will get more cynical about these things. Everyone tells me I will. But for now, I'm only thirteen, and I'm quite prepared to believe in true love, happy ever after, and love tunnels. It was lovely. There were fairy lights strung across the ceilings, that reflected back off the water. The water lapped round the sides, so you couldn't quite hear what people in the other boats were saying. I glanced at Daniel. His eyes were closed, and he was leaning back. He looked sad, and I guessed he was thinking of Sha're.
Every so often, a gust of wind, blew a fragment of conversation from the boat behind.
"I wish you'd call me Jack."
And then later.
"Jack, there's no need..."
And again later.
"I think Cassie set us up."
"God bless Cassie."
We left the tunnel after about ten minutes, and as Danny helped me out of the boat, I saw Sam and Jack's boat sail into view.
"Look Danny!" I cried. "I got my wish!"
Sam and Jack were kissing, gently, softly. His hand was tight round her waist, and her hand was in his hair, running her fingers through it. At my cry, they pulled apart guiltily, Sam blushing, and Jack grinning so hard I thought his face would split.
"So you wished this, did you?" she said. "I had no other choice then, I was enchanted."
"Now you know how I've felt for three years." Jack replied, and she stared at him with a wondering, beautiful gaze, and the love in her eyes finally matched his.
"Cassie." she murmured. "If you ever want anything, anything at all, you can have it."
"I don't need anything..right now." I said.
"Looks like Teal'c got his wish too." Daniel said, as Mom and Teal'c finally emerged. They weren't kissing, but Teal'c was smiling, and Mom's hair was a mess.
"You kissed, didn't you." Jack said as they stepped ashore.
"So did you!" Mom replied.
"I was curious to see if it was the same on Earth as it is on Chu'lak." Teal'c said.
"Liar." Jack replied, as they wandered off.
"Cassie." Mom said. "We need to talk."
"No we don't." I replied. "I already know everything."
We got back late. Jack sat in the back, his arm round Sam, who had fallen asleep on his shoulder. Daniel sat in the front asleep against the window, next to Janet, who was talking to Teal'c as he drove. Jack tuned to me, and said, "Nice wish, Cassie."