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The news about Kinsey's estate, coupled with the fact that Daniel was gone at the same time it happened and was also apparently no longer in danger, had more than one person in the SGC suspecting that the senator was behind the murder attempts and that Daniel had "persuaded" the man to leave him alone.  Though the news reports stated that the fire was ruled accidental, everyone at the base knew that, with Daniel's abilities, he could set a fire and leave no trace of how it was started.

General Hammond did more than just suspect all of this; he was positive of it.  He did not confront the archeologist about it, however, knowing that, if he knew for certain, he would either have to report Daniel's actions to the president or go against his sworn duty.  Hammond reasoned that, as long as he didn't ask, he could truthfully say that he had no proof that Daniel was behind the incident at Kinsey's estate.

As to what he thought personally about the incident, he knew what kind of man Senator Kinsey was.  He had proof of it on a computer floppy disk sitting in his desk drawer.  The fact that the senator was connected to the threats on Hammond's family, the threats that had forced him to retire from the SGC over three years ago, had definitely not endeared Kinsey to the General.  But knowing that the man personally hired hit men to kill Daniel Jackson made things many times worse.  It had not been just threats this time.  If it wasn't for Daniel's psychic abilities, he would probably be dead now.  That thought enraged Hammond.  As far as he was concerned, whatever Daniel did to the senator was justly deserved.  The man belonged in prison, and if evidence of what Kinsey did ever came into the general's hands, he wouldn't hesitate to give it to the authorities.

So, if he had to pretend ignorance of Daniel's actions against Senator Kinsey, then that's what he was going to do.  It's the least that he could do for the man to whom they all owed so much.

Daniel was a little surprised when, that afternoon, Janet came to his office.  He was used to being called to the infirmary when she wanted to see him.

"Let me guess.  You saw the news about Kinsey's garage and want to know if it was my handiwork," he said.

Janet smiled slightly.  "I'm guessing that more than one person has already asked you that."

"Yep, although Jack didn't really ask.  He was already sure of the answer.  And Sam didn't need to ask either.  But I have had a few other people feel me out about it.  You know, if I'd thought about the newspapers running the story, I'd have picked something less spectacular to do.  I wasn't planning on half the base figuring everything out."

"I guess that answers one of my questions, then.  It was Senator Kinsey who hired those hit men."


"Do you know why?"

"No, not really."  Daniel looked at the doctor more closely.  "You said that answered one of your questions.  What other questions did you have?"

"Just one other, really.  It's about what you did to the garage."

"Oh.  You want to know if I burned it down in retaliation for what happened to my house."

"The thought did cross my mind," Janet admitted.

"The answer is no, Janet.  I needed a diversion, something big that would draw the attention of all the guards and everyone in the house.  The garage was the best thing that I could come up with."  Daniel paused.  "But if you're asking if it felt good to see Kinsey so upset about all his cars being destroyed, then, yes, it did.  Does that make me a bad person?"

"No, it doesn't, Daniel.  It just makes you human.  I can't say that, if I was in that situation, I wouldn't have felt the same.  Not many people could.  After the things he did to you, the things he took away from you, it's only natural that you'd feel some satisfaction in seeing him suffer a similar loss.  At the same time, though, I know that you could have done a lot worse.  You could have taken away his home just as he did yours."

"Yes, I could have.  Actually, I threatened to do that very thing – among other things – when I talked to him.  But it's not something that I'd really do.  Kinsey wouldn't be the only one to suffer if I did something like that.  And even if that wasn't the case, I would never stoop that low.  I won't lower myself to anywhere near his level."

"I really don't think you could, Daniel.  It's simply not in you to become that kind of person," Janet said with conviction.  "So, is it over?"

"Yes, it's over.  I don't think that Kinsey would dare try having me killed again, not after the scare I put into him."

"So, what now?"

Daniel shrugged.  "Now I start over . . . again.  Jack recommended that I not tell the insurance company that the fire was due to arson since the investigation would tie up getting my money for months.  I talked to General Hammond about it, and he told me that, because the fire was connected to the Stargate Program and my abilities, he agreed that it would be best to keep the insurance company in the dark.  So, I'll probably be getting a check from them within a few weeks.  I can't stay here on base that long, though, so I'm going to start looking for a new place now."  He smiled.  "Jack wanted me to find a house in one of those high security, gated communities.  I told him no way.  I already have to deal with that kind of stuff when I come to work.  I don't want to go through it whenever I go home, too.  We settled on me getting an alarm system."

Janet smiled again.  "Well, I guess you can't blame him for wanting to make sure something like this never happens again."

"Yeah, but in all the years that I've been with the program, this is the first time I've ever had a break-in.  Jack's also had people enter his house uninvited, yet that doesn't seem to worry him."

"No, but the colonel worries a great deal more about the safety of his friends and the people under his command than he does his own."  Janet's gaze sharpened.  "In that way, he's an awful lot like a certain archeologist I know."

"Really?  What archeologist would that be?" Daniel asked with mock innocence.

"The one I see in my infirmary way more often than I should."

"Hmm.  And here I thought that I was your number one patient out of everyone in the Archeology Department."  Daniel then smiled.  "I'm hoping that, now that this situation is over with, it will be a while before you see me in the infirmary again, well, except for post-mission physicals, that is, and that won't be happening for another couple of weeks or so since the general wants to give me time to take care of all my personal stuff first."

"Sooo . . . house hunting, huh?"


An idea came into Janet's mind.  "You should take Sam along."

Daniel's eyebrows lifted slightly.  "Sam?"

"Sure.  Get a woman's perspective.  We're way better at house hunting than men are."

The archeologist's brows went up another notch.  "Oh, really.  And why is that?"

"Because we know what's important in a house: lots of closet space, decent size bedrooms, nice bathrooms and, most importantly, a good kitchen."

Daniel had a big smile on his face.  "I'll keep that in mind, Janet."

The next day, Daniel began his search for a new house.  He looked at what was listed in the paper and checked the Web sites of the realtors in the area.  Though he had been intending to do this phase of the house hunting by himself, it didn't end up working out that way.  When Sam and Jack stopped by to see what he was up to, they got in on the search and began offering their personal opinions of each house that Daniel looked at in the paper and online.  Then Teal'c showed up and starting giving his rather . . . unique opinions on the pros and cons of each house.

When the time came to go looking at the houses later that day, Daniel found himself hitting the road with all three of his teammates.  It being a Sunday, they were doing no more than drive-bys and, in the case of vacant homes, taking a peek in backyards and inside windows, but, even so, Daniel was finding the number of "acceptable" houses dwindling rapidly.  Between Jack's complaints that the backyards weren't big enough or that there wasn't a decent porch or deck, Sam's comments that the houses had tiny rooms or weren't in good neighborhoods, and Teal'c's frowns of disapproval, what had been a list of fifteen houses was pared down to six by the end of the day.

Daniel could have pointed out that, since this was his house that they were shopping for, it was his opinions that counted, but the feeling of being part of a family who cared enough that they wanted him to find the perfect home was too important to him.  When he went house hunting after he descended, he did it alone, which was the way he had wanted it.  He had wanted the feeling of being in control of his life that shopping alone for a house gave him.  Things were a lot different now, and he liked having his friends play a part in finding a new place for him to live.

That evening, they all went to O'Malley's for dinner.

"So, you going to call to make arrangements to see those houses tomorrow?" Jack asked.

"That's the plan, though I doubt I'll be able to see all of them in one day."

"So, you want us to come along?"

"I don't want to intimidate the poor realtor or homeowner, Jack," Daniel replied.

The colonel glanced at Teal'c.  "You have a point.  Okay, how about just one of us, then?  You've gotta have a second opinion, after all."

Daniel glanced at Sam.  "Well . . . Janet thought I should take Sam with me."

Sam's eyebrows rose dramatically, her eyes widening.  "She . . . she did?"

"Uh huh.  She said that women are better house hunters than men are."

"Well, I could argue about that," Jack stated.  "When Sara and I went looking for a house, all she cared about was what the kitchen and bathrooms were like and how big the closets were."

"That's all Janet said?" Sam asked Daniel.

"Yeah."  The archeologist frowned at the hint of nervousness he'd detected in her voice.  "Was there something else she should have mentioned?"

"No," Sam answered quickly.  "No, there's nothing else."

Jack looked closely at his second in command, wondering what was up with her.  Apparently, whatever it was, the doctor had something to do with it or at least knew about it.

Thinking about it, maybe Sam going with Daniel would be a good idea.  It might encourage the archeologist to ask her out on a date.

"You know, I think the doc's right," he said.

"About women being better house hunters?" Daniel asked.

"No, about Carter being the one to go with you.  Getting a woman's point of view could be a good thing.  You already know what I think about what we saw of those houses."

"Yes, you like the last one we looked at best because it's got a big porch in front, and a deck in back, and would be great for barbeques."

"Well, there you go.  Carter is the better one to point out what's good and bad about the inside of the houses."  He looked at Sam, as did everyone else.  "So, what do you say, Carter?"

"Ummm . . . sure, I'd, uh . . . that would be fine, that is if it's okay with Daniel."

"Yeah, it's fine with me, Sam," he replied.  "I'd appreciate your opinion."

Jack slapped his hands together, grinning.  "Then it's settled."

The next morning, Daniel picked Sam up, and they began the task of taking a better look at the houses.  The first house they looked at turned out not to be all that great on the inside, an opinion shared by both scientists.  Daniel kind of liked the second house, but Sam pointed out that it had very little storage space, the closets being quite tiny.

"I don't really have all that much to put in the closets, Sam," Daniel said quietly, which resulted in the major giving his arm a squeeze and a gentle look of sympathy and understanding.

"I know, Daniel, but that will change in time.  We'll be helping you buy all kinds of nice new stuff," her smile turned mischievous, "and, judging by your office, I'd say that lots of storage space will eventually be a must."

"Hey, are you saying that my office is cluttered?"

Sam just smiled wider.

"Well, okay, so maybe it is a little cluttered, but I know where everything is . . . most of the time."

Sam let out a little laugh, which was a lovely sound to Daniel.  He was enjoying this time with her immensely and couldn't help but wonder what it would be like if they were looking for a house that they'd be living in together.

It was that thought that changed Daniel's viewpoint on what he wanted in a house.  When they toured the next home, he looked at it not with the eyes of a bachelor but with those of a man who hoped that, someday, he would no longer be living in it alone.

"Maybe I should consider something bigger," Daniel murmured after seeing and rejecting the third house.

"Bigger?"  Sam grinned.  "For all the additional storage space?  Hmm.  That might be smart."

"Ha ha, Sam.  Very funny."  Daniel's expression grew serious.  "It's just that these are all one and two bedroom homes with one bath."


"Two bedrooms are okay, but a second bathroom would be good."  Daniel paused.  "I mean, if I ever had . . . company staying with me . . . or something," he finished a little awkwardly.

Sam looked at him a little strangely.  "Company?"

"Or something."

Sam was silent for a long moment.  When she spoke again, she seemed a bit nervous.

"I . . . guess you do have a good point, and I have to admit that none of the places we looked at had very big bedrooms.  They'd fit a double bed okay. . . ."

Daniel glanced at her furtively.  "But anything bigger would be a tight squeeze."

Sam cleared her throat.  "Yeah."

"I had a queen-size bed in my apartment," Daniel said quietly.  "It was nice.  My feet didn't hang over the end."

Sam nodded silently.  "So . . . are we going to change the search criteria?"

"I think so."

"Two bedrooms, two baths?"

"With bigger bedrooms or at least a bigger master bedroom."

"Okay.  Is there anything in the paper?"

Daniel and Sam scanned through the newspaper and found a few possibilities.  They decided to go have lunch before taking a look at any of them.  As they waited for their meals, Daniel called the phone numbers for the places and made arrangements to see three of them that day.

The two friends were quiet throughout lunch, each of them busy with their own thoughts.  Sam couldn't be sure, but she had to wonder if the reason why Daniel was now looking for a larger house was that he was thinking about the possibility that, someday, the two of them would be living in it together and that they'd eventually have a family.

And what did she think about that?  Sam had to admit that the idea of living with Daniel definitely had its appeal, especially the part about sharing a bedroom, sleeping with him every night, waking up with him every morning, long nights of passionate lovemaking. . . .  Oh boy.

'Those are dangerous thoughts, girl.  You haven't even gone on a date with him yet!' she told herself.

Sam had been tempted to take this opportunity to ask Daniel out but had decided that, considering that he had just lost almost everything he owned and now had to start all over again, it might be better to wait until after he was settled in his new place.  Then they would be free to concentrate on finding out if there could be more to their relationship than just friendship.

A good portion of the rest of the afternoon was spent looking at the three houses Daniel had arranged to see.  One of them turned out to be pretty nice, but they both decided to continue looking.  They returned to the SGC to take a look at the Internet listings and call the realtors.

"So, any luck?" Jack asked when he came to Daniel's office.

"A little, sir," Sam replied.  "We've, uh, altered the search parameters a bit."

"What does that mean?"  Jack looked at the archeologist.  "Daniel?"

"I decided that I wanted something a little bigger," Daniel told him.


"Yeah, two bedrooms, two baths, bigger bedrooms."

"Why do you need. . . ."  Jack's voice trailed off as a look of comprehension lit his face.  He grinned.  "Ah.  Yes, maybe that is a good idea."

Knowing what Jack was thinking and not wanting him to say anything else about it, Daniel quickly said, "I figured that more room would be good.  The other house was okay, but kind of cramped.  I had to keep some of my stuff in storage even though you'd gotten rid of a lot of things after I ascended.  And it would be nice to have a bedroom big enough to hold a bed that I could sleep in without my feet hanging off the end."

"Yeah, well, didn't I say that you should have gotten something bigger the last time?"

"Yes, you did, and, now, I'm taking your advice."

"And it's about time that you did," Jack glanced meaningfully at Sam, "about more than just your house."

The two scientists were notably silent after his remark.

The next day, Daniel and Sam were back out on their house hunt.  Jack had not asked if they'd like him to tag along, which didn't surprise Daniel.  He knew that the older man was hoping this would result in him asking Sam out.  Daniel had thought about it, but he still wasn't sure if he should try again or wait for Sam to give some kind of encouragement first, some sign that she was now ready to consider more than friendship with him.  Also, considering that, in the upcoming weeks, he'd be really busy with getting a new house, new furniture, appliances, clothes, and pretty much everything else, it wasn't really a good time to be asking Sam out on a date.

The fourth house Daniel and Sam looked at was for sale by the owner, a pretty sky blue, two-story house with dark blue trim.

"Hey, look, Daniel.  It's your color," Sam said teasingly.

Daniel flashed her a smile but didn't have the chance for a retort since the owner of the house was coming out to greet them.

"Hello," said the plump woman, who looked to be in her late fifties.

"Hi.  I'm Daniel Jackson, and this is Samantha Carter," Daniel said.

"I'm Cecilia Winter.  You picked a lovely day to go house hunting."

Daniel looked up at the clear blue sky.  "Yes, we did."

"Well, come on in, and I'll show you around."

The three of them went inside, where the woman took them from room to room, talking about the features and interspersing it with chat about her kids and grandkids.  The place, which was a beautifully remodeled and maintained old home, had been the residence of the woman and her husband for nearly forty years.  Their two daughters had shared the smaller bedroom.  Mrs. Winter's husband had passed away a year ago, and she had decided to move to Denver to be closer to her daughters and their families.

It hadn't taken Daniel long to decide that he liked the place.  Being a house built back in the early part of the twentieth century, it possessed a charm that the newer houses lacked, yet, with all the updates and remodels that had been done, it was not lacking in modern conveniences.  The electricity and plumbing had all been completely redone several years ago, bringing them up to code.

"This is beautiful," Sam said.

"Yes, it is," Daniel agreed aloud.

"I'm pleased that you like it," Cecilia said with a smile.  "It is a lovely home.  I hate to part with it, but I need to be near my children and grandchildren.  It's not good living alone."  She looked at the two of them.  "It's always nice to see two young people starting their lives together, makes me think about when Frank and I first got this place."

"Ummm . . . actually, Sam is just helping me look for a new place," Daniel corrected a bit uncomfortably.  "My house was destroyed by a fire."

"Oh no.  How terrible for you.  What a shame.  So, you're not getting this together?"

Daniel and Sam shared a glance.  "Uh, no," Daniel replied.

A little smile came to Cecilia's face.  "Ah, I see.  Well, there's plenty of room here for a nice young man like yourself in case you ever need it in the future."

Daniel cleared his throat.  "Could we see the backyard?"

"Of course!"

The backyard turned out to be quite spacious and possessed a large, covered deck that Daniel knew would please Jack.  He said so to Sam, who smiled.

Cecilia looked at them curiously.  "Who is Jack, may I ask?"

"A friend," Daniel replied.  "He insisted that I get a house that had a backyard good for having barbeques."

The woman chuckled.  "Sounds like your friend and my Frank would have gotten along famously.  Frank couldn't have lived without his barbeque grill.  See?  There it is over there."

Sure enough, over in the corner of the deck was a large grill.

"I have no need for the thing, so it's staying with the house," Cecilia told them, "which should make your friend happy . . . that is, of course, if you decide to take the house."

Daniel glanced at Sam again.  He could tell that she really liked the place, which made him like it even more.

"I do like it a lot," Daniel told the owner.

"Do you have your financing all settled?"

"No, but that won't be a problem.  Between what I have in the bank and what I'll be getting from the insurance company, I won't be financing all that much, and I have a well-paying job.  I had no trouble getting the last house."

"Good.  It sounds like everything would be all right, then."

Daniel looked back at the house, the image of living there with Sam and their children coming into his mind.  The design of the house would even allow for additions, if they were needed.  It was the kind of house that you could live a lifetime in.

"I'll take it," Daniel said, making up his mind.  Even if he and Sam never got together, this would be a good house for him.

"Wonderful!" Cecilia said, beaming.  "I'll tell you the truth.  I wasn't prepared to sell this place to just anyone.  I wanted to make sure someone worthy of it lived here.  But I have a good feel for people, and I know that you're the right sort.  You both are."

That caused Daniel and Sam to look at each other again, then quickly look away.

"I'll go to the bank first thing in the morning to work out the financing," Daniel told Cecilia, "but, if you'd like me to, I can give you some earnest money now."

"Oh, that won't be necessary.  I trust you."

Daniel gave her his contact information.  When she saw that he worked at the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, she assumed that he was military, and Daniel explained that he was a civilian consultant there.

A few minutes later, he and Sam were on their way back to the mountain.

"That house is really nice, Daniel.  I think you'll like it there."

"Yeah, me too.  Of course, you know that when I tell Jack that I'm getting a hundred-year-old house, he's going to say that I picked it because it's an archeological site."

Sam laughed.  "Yes, he probably will."

Daniel became serious.  "Thanks, Sam.  I really appreciate you helping me find a place.  It was . . . nice doing this together."

"You're welcome, and, yes, it was kind of fun."  Sam smiled.  "But wait till I help you pick out your furniture."

"Oh, now, wait a minute.  I never said anything about you picking out my furniture, Sam."

"Help pick out your furniture, Daniel," Sam responded.  "And you need help.  You had nice furniture in your apartments, but some of the stuff you picked for your house was just way too plain.  You need to get good furniture this time."

"I can see my bank account plummeting already," Daniel muttered.

"Hey, I'll have you know that I'm great at finding good deals on stuff.  You have to be on a major's salary.  You just leave it all in my capable hands, Daniel."

Daniel kept his eyes on the road, hiding the little smile that wanted to come to his lips as the thought came to his mind that, even if he did spend a fortune on furniture, it would be worth it for this.

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