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SPOILERS/SEASON INFO: Slight ones for Cold Lazarus, Singularity, Solitudes.

ARCHIVE: SJ Relationship Archive and Heliopolis; all others just drop me a line first.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: I wrote this in a fit of insomnia, don't know if it even makes sense. One pertinent point is that I'm Australian, and here I'm trying to write about an American way of life, so there might be some mistakes due to cultural differences. Please forgive that! Also, feedback is welcome! In fact, it's craved!

Copyright (c) December 1999

December 23rd 20XX

So, this is my first diary, journal ... whatever you want to call it. I'm 15, and it's my first journal. Geez that sounds lame. Oh well, better late than never. I guess it's every girl's prerogative to keep one. A journal that is. Well it's not as if I just woke up one day with the thought - hey, I need to get a diary! This book was a birthday present from Uncle Daniel last year. But I haven't actually felt like writing in it until now.

Well, where do I begin? I mean, I don't exactly know the rules and etiquette for keeping a journal. Am I supposed to write down every single detail in my life, or just thoughts and feelings? Hmmmm.

I guess everything should have an introduction, so this is mine. For the record, my name is Sara Janet O'Neill, I'm 15 and I'm a freshman at Colorado Springs High. My measurements? Uh, not that anyone would really want to know, but currently I'm 5'7" (still hoping I'm gonna grow a bit more - I'm still shorter than mom) and weigh 110 pounds. I've got blonde hair and dark, hazel eyes ... hmmm, what else? I live in, well, Colorado Springs (obviously ... sometimes I tend to repeat myself, but bear with me) with my parents - my mom, Colonel Samantha Carter and my dad, General Jack O'Neill. Apparently his real name is Jonathan but he never lets anyone call him that, not even his mom. Ha ha, but mom does sometimes when they're in the middle of an argument about their work just to tick him off, and it works, every time. But then he'd get her back with all those sarcastic comments he always manages to come up with - but then mom always gets the last laugh when she reverts to talking "like a scientist" (quoted directly from dad) and when he can't take it anymore he'd stick his hands in his ears and start to sing (which is really annoying for the rest of us, since he really can't sing to save himself).

But that's only when they're fighting (mom swears it's only "spirited disagreement") over work. Where do they work? They're both in the air force, but they don't seem to fly very many places. They've been working at the same base for years and *years* - it's supposed to be this top-secret, covert, classified government operation thingee - but thanks to my ingenious eavesdropping skills (or rather, strategically placing myself where I *accidentally* hear things) I learned a long time ago that they've been working at a place called the SGC where they do something with inter-stellar travel. (So I haven't really managed to hear all that much - it's kinda hard sneaking up on my parents when they're both professional soldiers!) In fact, that's where they met. They were in the same unit, called SG-1. Mom tends to make light of it now, but from what she tells me, they've been in so many situations where they've nearly died that she's lost count. She remembers this one time especially, where they were stuck in Antarctica after they crash landed there, and dad was so close to dying it wasn't funny. I bet that's how they fell in love. I mean, passion forged out of the heat of battle and all that ... Oh wait, these are my folks ... I *really* didn't want to go there ... *Ew* ...

Okay, okay, quick, back to me. What else do I have to record for prosperity? I imagine some archaeologist in a thousand years time digging up this diary and reading all this stuff ... how embarrassing. Okay ... a message to future historians ... if anyone *ever* reads this in the future, please, *please* don't laugh! Although judging by Uncle Daniel, who never tires of sitting in some dusty library looking at some dusty object, that's probably not going to happen. They'll probably just go around wondering where the hell Colorado Springs was, or something equally as unamazing.

Oh yeah, almost as a postscript. There's also my brother. Jacob Charles O'Neill - Jake for short. He is, I'm sad to say, *the most annoying brother a person can have*. Ugh. What a pity he was named after grand dad, who is the exact opposite - he's such a sweetie, and he's always so nice. Although I keep on having this recurring nightmare of seeing him with yellow eyes for some reason ... /shudder/. Oh well, I shouldn't dwell on that too much.

Oh, I suppose I'm being too hard on Jake. He does have his moments I guess. Even though he's relentlessly tormented me with practical jokes galore (he poured honey in my sleeping bag once when we were all out camping - the scum!!!) he *did* do that nice thing where he carried me all the way to the house when I fell off a tree in our yard - had a broken leg - but those moments are few and far between. I can't believe we're even related. He goes around chasing after anything in a skirt - and more, since I guess not all girls wear skirts. But the thing about him is his tremendous luck for inheriting genes - he's got dad's rugged good looks thing going (apparently, mom says they look soooo alike) plus he got all mom's brains in the bargain! He's always aced every class he's been in, especially the ones involving science, and he doesn't even have to *study*. He even had several chances to skip grades, but he always refused, saying he didn't want to be known as a geek. God. Talk about supreme unfairness.

You'll notice that the thing about me is that I'm one talkative person. Give me a topic that I love, and I can talk for hours and hours. Me and Dad

always argue for hours after watching hockey together - he can't hack it when his team loses. Dad says I take after Mom, especially with the talking. I don't see how - for one thing she's as smart as hell; for another thing I don't even look like her. You see, she's this gorgeous blonde bombshell with large, round blue eyes. She's smart and clever, funny and caring, and well, this sound icky, but she's the coolest mom a girl can have. She really is.

And after that slight moment of truth ... I feel like I want to *gag* ...

But then I guess I shouldn't. Want to gag that is. I'm supposed to be writing down my innermost thoughts and feelings in this book. After all, no one's supposed to ever look in here, so I should write down everything in my life, so that my future (hopefully more mature) self will remember what it was like to be 15. But as if I'm actually going to do that. I mean, even assuming that I can find a suitably unusual hiding place for this book, my snoop of a brother Jake can always be depended on to try to find it. If I actually wrote down *everything* in here and he managed to read it - well, let's just say my life will definitely not be worth living.

Oh that's such a cliché. But then my mind is so empty right now it's the only expression I can think of. You know what I mean.

Oh wait, now I'm actually *talking* to my diary ... journal ... whatever. What's the difference anyway? I guess one's a thorough record of all the events that happened in your day and the other is where you just jot down what you're feeling. Well, maybe not, I just made that up. See - that's what dad means when he says I'm chatty ... I just talk ... and talk ... and talk ... (or in this case I write and write and ... well, you get the idea... )

But back to the diary thing. Mom once said that Uncle Mark used to do that too - sneak into her room and try to find her diary. But then she told me she had this bizarre rotation system that meant she never left it in the same place twice in one month, and she'd also rigged this trap that told her whenever he tried to come in. Hmmm. I think she had a bit too much time on her hands personally. I can't imagine she and Uncle Mark ever fought - they're so nice to each other! Does that mean that sometime down the track, I would actually feel the compulsion to be nice to Jake??!! That is one scary thought that's best left uncontemplated.

But talking about my annoying (and unfortunately slightly older brother of mine) ... you'd think that because he was a guy, he and Dad would have heaps in common. But that's so not true. (hey I'm talking like Chandler Bing. Hmmm, I've watched *way* too many re-runs of Friends ...) Jake's 17 and thinks he's the coolest guy on the face of the planet, and he struts around the house and never does a single thing! I think he got that from Dad. I mean, besides the not doing a single thing bit. Dad is so cool. He's always running around after Mom, asking if she needs any help with stuff (you know, like cooking - not that she ever lets him actually cook anything, since she doesn't want all of us to die from food poisoning). But that's not to say he's like those whimpy domestic types that just hang around the house and pander to mom's every wish.

So I'm using "cool" a lot in conjunction with my parents. I can't help it! I know it's meant to be this teenage institution to have all these 'issues' with your olds, but hey - I'm lucky!

Anyway, today we're having our annual (almost traditional, but then it'd make it sound like a real bore) pre-Christmas get together with all our friends. Well, actually it's just Mom and Dad's friends. Jake and I (for once being in complete agreement - what a surprise) had petitioned to invite some of our friends too, but then Mom said the house would get too crowded. *Hello*? We have like, five bedrooms, two huge lounges, a really *really* ginormous yard and a pool - we could probably fit half of Colorado Springs in here - and she still says it's gonna get crowded? Oh please. And Dad didn't help any either. He's always agreeing with Mom when it comes to us whingeing to him for something. *Always*. Well, okay, maybe not. He just agrees with her *a lot*. His standard response is always "Whatever your Mom said". I'm glad to say that Jake didn't have any luck either. Dad just said "Listen to your mother, she's one smart woman" And that was that.

Anyway, it's not that bad. These get togethers are never boring, although they are somewhat (okay, very) predictable. Uncle Daniel (otherwise known to the rest of the world as Dr. Daniel Jackson) and Uncle Teal'c always comes, no matter where they happen to be working at. They used to be in the same team as mom and dad - I guess they've bonded for life with all that life-threatening stuff they'd had to go through. Still, how exciting, to go on all those missions and have all those adventures. Wish I could do that!

Uncle Daniel is awfully young looking for his age, and (this is so gross) but some of my friends who've seen him when he's come over to our house actually think he's *cute*. I guess so ... I mean, he's excruciatingly smart (he and mom are on a level all on their own - Uncle Daniel is an archaeologist/linguistics expert and mom is - get this - a theoretical astrophysicist). He's nice and friendly, and I guess there aren't very many historians running around who aren't balding and well, old. Well that wasn't very politically correct of me but I don't care. Uncle Daniel is also awfully absent-minded sometimes, and dad and I have heaps of fun ribbing him about that. He just grins and bears it until mom comes to his rescue, after which me and dad beat a sensible tactical retreat.

As for Uncle Teal'c ... wow ... talk about a muscle-bound man. I used to be so scared of him when I was a kid, since he's always not smiling, and always wearing those *hats* of his. What's with that? So he's got some gold tattoo on his head (I peeked). So what? I often wonder about that. My theory is that he's hiding some deep dark secret ... something really outrageous, like ... he's an alien or something. I don't know. He's nice enough, and he *does* have a sense of humour, although it's a very subtle one. I think he's been too heavily influenced by dad though - it's kinda disconcerting to see him ask dad and Uncle Daniel about stuff - I know through personal experience that sometimes dad is *not* to be trusted.

Mom and dad's old CO, General Hammond always comes too. I swear these people etch this day permanently on their calendars since they never miss a single one - not that I mind, since they're like family to me. General Hammond and Grand dad are old cronies - so he's kinda like a second grand father to Jake and me. I like him. He's so roly-poly that when you hug him it's like hugging one huge teddy-bear ... although that's probably not a good thing to say about a highly decorated retired General. Oh well. I think I learnt that from dad himself. When I was a kid he always used to give me all his little medals and things that hung off his dress uniform to play with ... until mom found out and totally flipped, giving him the "Jonathan" speech. I can sort of imagine what she must have said, since she's said it so many times. She doesn't shout or anything, or even sounds angry, she just says quietly, "Jonathan O'Neill ... do you realise that ..." and then she'd proceed to tell him just what she thought he was doing wrong. Many a fight has been started with those fateful words, believe me.

Dad has his moments too. That time when I broke my leg falling off the tree (that was the first time I'd broken something), mom had rushed to my side and started ripping bandages from the first-aid kit - and dad had come in and barred her from setting my leg. Apparently he's had first hand experience of her medical expertise in that area - and said it hurt like hell - and then some. It was one of the few times I've ever seen her caught speechless - she just sat on her hands and turned kinda pale. Don't get me wrong, dad wasn't being mean or anything; he'd trust mom with his life - just not with any broken limbs that had to be set.

Anyway, I've tangented. Other regular guests that always put in an appearance are Aunt Janet (that's where I got my middle name from) and her daughter Cassie. I love talking to Cassie. She's 25, so it's kinda like having an older sister. I guess she kind of is an older sister in a way, since it was mom that found her. (Auntie Janet then adopted her). She's nice and doesn't try to be patronising just because she's heaps older than me. She's in college (MIT of all places - is everyone in the universe obscenely smart??) doing something related to science (don't ask me what, since my head kind of goes fuzzy when anyone starts talking too 'scientific' - hey, that's one thing me and dad have in common!) and she plans to join the air force when she finishes.

Aunt Janet is another integral part of our nice little extended family. She's the CMO at the base and has been for the past twenty years. Me and Jake used to stay with her and Cassie quite a lot when I was a kid, when mom and dad were still going out on their missions and stuff, that's why I feel particularly close to them. And in return mom and dad always asked them to come over and have dinner so they wouldn't feel so guilty about always dumping their kids with her when they were away. There was this one time at Thanksgiving, when dad had tried his hand (the first and last time might I add, since mom added it to the list of things he should *never* attempt to do again) at cooking the turkey - well, it turned out kinda hard. We couldn't tell what was wrong with it - not even mom - and dad had gotten so frustrated he'd almost ran into the garage, rambling about getting his machete or chainsaw and hacking it to death. But then Aunt Janet had calmly stepped in, appropriated the implements from the table, and started digging in, like she was operating on it or something. Except by the end it was more like *hacking*, with a surgeon's skill no less. Dad had whispered at that point, "Wouldn't want her operating on you like that, would ya?" and I had to stifle a laugh when she gave him a *look*. That was a classic.

And then there's always like, another 100 people who're always coming, year after year, although some get transferred out from the base and live too far away to make it every year. It's like, 99% military personnel, so if you stood in the middle of the room and randomly uttered a rank - mainly Colonel, Major or Captain - there'd be a dozen answers to your calls. Some have been coming ever since I can remember, like Colonel Ferretti, Colonel Makepeace and Captain Connor. Others who're newer come since it's become this SGC personnel *tradition* (there, I used the T-word).

Well, mom's back with the groceries. Don't know why she even bothered to go shopping, since our collective fridges are already jammed packed with all this stuff, and the only thing our 'guests' need is beer anyway. Dad apparently thought so too since he went out earlier this morning to get another box-full.

Whoops. Looks like mom asked him to get something and he totally forgot about it. Ha ha. Apparently this low-fat low-cholesterol dip thingee that you can only get at the health food place on the way to the bottle shop - I don't think dad even knows where it is, let alone actually go there. "Jack - don't tell me you forgot it?!" Dad sounds sheepish "...Sam, I was planning to ... I didn't really know where it was ... I get confused sometimes ..." I laugh inwardly. That's an understatement. Whenever he gets confused he just makes this *face* and turns away. He's such a riot sometimes.

I hear kissing. Yuck! Sick! Stomach churning gross! Do they have to make that much noise?? There are children in here!

Talking about kissing ... I can't believe I've written so many pages without mentioning the most wonderful, adorable, gorgeous, handsome guy in the world - my boyfriend! His name is Thomas Ryan, well, Tom for short, and he's got this gorgeous, sun-tinted blonde hair and the bluest of blue eyes. He's on the track team, so he's quite well-built in all the right places, if you know what I mean! ... Okay, I'll try and get my mind out of the gutter! Dad would be so shocked if he ever heard me talking like that ... his little princess is all grown up!

Tom's a junior at school and we've been going out for two months now. Actually, it's a little less, since our first official date was the Halloween Dance at school. He's so gorgeous ... have I already used that adjective? Oh well, it suits him. I couldn't believe it when he actually asked me out ... he's kind of a popular guy, and well, I'm not exactly Miss Popularity, or Miss Cool for that matter. He's Mr. Popular Jock guy and I'm ... well I'm more Miss Come-One-Step-Closer-And-I'll-Punch-Your-Lights-Out girl. Which explains *why* I am still in a state of shock that he actually *likes* me ... life never ceases to amaze me ...

I met his parents last week. He invited me over for the 'meet the folks' dinner over at his place. God I was so nervous. Usually I'm not really scared by much, (probably gotten too used to Jake's lame jokes) but I was literally and figuratively quaking in my boots. I was absolutely convinced that they wouldn't like me, since I'm such a direct and honest person ... sometimes I realise that I should something more flattering, but then my mouth just totally decides to disregard that and say exactly what's on my mind. I guess I've got to work on that.

Anyway, it turned out *fine*. It fact, it was kinda surprising too. Half-way through dinner (spaghetti marinara as I recall) his mom asked me what my parents did for a living. I told her "Both of them are in the Air Force. My dad's a General and my mom's a Colonel." I always love saying that, it sounds so damn impressive. So then she gets this funny look on her face, and she asks me, "Oh ... I might know them then. I used to ... know some people around the base." And then she looks at me, expecting an answer, so *I* reply, "Yeah, you might then. My dad's General O'Neill, and my mom's Colonel Carter." And *then* ... she has this look of total and utter *shock* on her face, and she whispers, "*Jack* O'Neill?", and I'm like, "Yes, so you *do* know him?" thinking Yes, I'm scoring points with his mom! But *then*, she drops the ultimate bombshell - "... Did you know I used to be married to your dad?" And then of course, all the total and utter shock is transferred to *me*. I was like, Oh My God! *Married to my dad*? "Oh my God" I said, "I'm named after you Mrs Ryan! Sara O'Neill!" And then she'd just hugged me laughed, and remarked how small the world was.

I can't *wait* to spring this on dad ... the look on his face would be absolutely *priceless*.

Of course, I already knew that dad had been married once, and that he'd lost a son, Charlie, to an accident. He doesn't really talk about it much, but every once in a while, we'd all go to visit his grave, and dad would talk to him and tell him all the stuff that's happening to us. Recently we've taken to going by ourselves, since mom's always really busy with work and Jake's just too busy going to parties and stuff. I feel sad when I think of Charlie - if he was alive, he'd be around Cassie's age, maybe even older. I suppose it's unreasonable of me, since he died long before I was even born, but somehow, I feel a tremendous sense of loss. Hearing dad talk to him, it's almost as if I've gotten to know him myself, and that he's actually listening to me when I tell him stuff. He's like the older brother I never had - one that would listen and take care of me, and not let others hurt me - I miss that. I guess I miss what might have been - I miss the future. Dad misses the past. He doesn't say much, but I see it in his eyes. I think dad knows how much I'm affected by this, and I'm glad that he understands - it bonds us. He said once, when we were by Charlie's grave at dusk, how much I reminded him of Charlie. We asked the same questions and we liked the same kind of stuff. I'm glad about that. It brings him a little closer somehow.

Sometimes I would even go there myself - just for a nice, quiet place to sit and think, or dream. Even when I'm not telling him stuff, I always feel that Charlie's listening to me, my every thought, my every wish. That sounds kind of morbid, but it really isn't. It's nice to feel someone's listening, that someone cares. I guess when I'm writing in this journal, it's not only for me, but for him. I feel like I'm writing *to* him. So Charlie, this is for you ... from your sister Sara.

Oh heck. There goes dad, yelling for me to "get my butt" down here and help him light the barbeque. I guess I *have* written a lot today ... it felt better than I thought. I could hardly tell I was writing ... guess this might become a habit.

Anyway, better go help dad in lighting the coals, or else he might burn the house down. When he's not in his "Mission Impossible" mode, he has all these bizarre accidents. It's really funny. Ah. Better put my pen down.

Note to myself: remember to thank Uncle Daniel.



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