Rating: PG-13

For tsiankiio, who wanted Evil Sam.

The nice thing about Maybourne was that there were exactly two kinds of people in his world: Useful, and Not Useful. As far as Sam could tell, nothing else mattered to him. You're a woman? Hey, that's great; you've got nice breasts, have you ever considered seducing a Congressman with them?

Sam should have been offended by that, but honestly, by that point she was just so relieved at someone being blatant for once that she let it go. She'd had enough of sideways excuses, enough of sitting in Area 51 reading reports written by civilians about trips to other planets, enough of arguing about combat exclusion policies and the proper classification of off-world teams. Maybourne had decided that she might just be Useful, and while Sam certainly couldn't trust him to have her best interests at heart, she was pretty confident that the whole thing wasn't some sort of elaborate ruse to get her in bed.

Still, she'd been very clear from the beginning that she had limits, and no, she was damn well not using sex to get ahead--not with Congressmen, and not with Colonels, either. Just seemed like a good idea. It didn't stop Maybourne from sleazing at her, but frankly he was like that with everyone, so she wasn't worried. A little disgusted, but not worried. Maybourne wasn't the only person who could value people's usefulness, after all.

He said he could get her through the Stargate eventually. She didn't really believe him, but the tech had gotten better since they'd been working together, at least; she was getting the best of the crumbs that managed to make it to Area 51 from the big boys' table at the SGC, and Maybourne wasn't one to set limits on what she did with the stuff. "Really," he said, "what's more important here? The letter of the law, or the final result?"

Sam had been a believer in the letter of the law, once. Before she'd realized that she was the only one playing by the rules.

Three days after her father's funeral, Sam submitted her resignation. With Maybourne around to grease the wheels for her, she was in Utah two weeks later; a hour after her arrival, she went through the Gate for the first time, and after that she was mostly too busy to worry about the rights and wrongs of her situation. God, it was fantastic, fascinating work, and when it was her turn to go on pickups she went and no one batted an eye.

The SGC didn't approve, they all knew that, but that was turf battles for you, wasn't it? Really, Sam thought, everything had worked out as well as could be expected, and if she wondered sometimes where all those wonderful alien gadgets went once they were out of her hands, well... honestly, what was the difference between that and what she'd been doing before? It would all work itself out in the end, she figured, and if the aliens came after Earth before they could defend themselves--well, it sure as hell wasn't going to be her fault.

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