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Chapter 10

 

Warning: There is a brief mention of rape in this chapter…nothing to make this more than a PG-13, but it is suggestive.  If this is a problem for you, please move on.

 

 

Daniel slowly opened his eyes and blinked.  After sleeping soundly for what seemed like a few hours at least, he couldn’t understand why he was wide awake.  The last thing he remembered was saying good night to Sam, kissing her and heading for the guest room. 

 

He slowly sat up, put his glasses on and looked around.  Something seemed different.  His brow creased in confusion as he realized that he was no longer in Sam’s guest room, but in one of the SGC’s holding cells.  He quickly looked down at himself and discovered that he was still wearing Sam’s black t-shirt and his pajama bottoms.   He eased up off the bed, slipped into his beige sneakers and headed for the door.  He was a bit surprised to find it unlocked.

 

Daniel cautiously made his way down the corridor of the SGC, hoping not to run into many airmen, as he was sure they’d get more than a chuckle out of the way he was dressed.  What was going on, anyway?  How did he get here?  Was this a dream?

 

“Ow!” Daniel exclaimed as he pinched his arm, proving to himself that it wasn’t a dream. 

 

He hastened his pace as he walked further down the corridor, hoping to figure out how he got here.  It just didn’t make sense.  A few hours ago, he was sleeping in Sam’s guest room, and now he mysteriously ended up at the SGC.  Would Sam have actually driven him down here herself?

 

Daniel shook his head and silently berated himself.  No, why on earth would she have done that?  It’s ridiculous.  Sam wouldn’t…

 

Daniel found himself outside of Doctor Fraiser’s office and he stopped dead in his tracks, his mouth gaping open.  Inside were Sam and Janet, looking at a computer monitor and talking about something that seemed rather important.  So, she had come back here after all.  What were she and Fraiser doing at this late hour? 

 

He stood in the doorway and cleared his throat.  Neither of the two doctors reacted.

 

“Sam,” he raised his voice.

 

Sam didn’t acknowledge him, but rather kept talking to Doctor Fraiser.  Daniel’s brow wrinkled in confusion.  Fraiser didn’t even notice him.  This was just too weird.

 

Finally he rushed into the room and stood right in front of her.

 

“Sam, what’s going on? Why are we at the SGC?” he said desperately.

 

Neither Sam nor Janet had reacted at all.  Daniel sighed, frustrated, and retreated out of the office.  What was going on to make them ignore him like that?  Had he said or done something to offend them?

 

Daniel briskly headed back down the corridor, hoping to run into someone who could give him some kind of explanation.  The whole situation didn’t seem right at all.  He was at the SGC in the middle of the night, in his pajamas, and Sam was acting as if he didn’t exist.

 

A tiny ray of hope filled him as he spotted General Hammond heading down the corridor toward him.

 

“General!” he called out. 

 

Hammond nodded at Daniel as he made his way closer.

 

“Oh, thank God,” Daniel said quietly as he breathed a sigh of relief.  “General, something weird is going on.  Just a few short hours ago I was off base, and I suddenly woke up here in one of the holding cells.  On top of that, neither Captain Carter nor Doctor Fraiser will acknowledge my presence, and…”

 

He trailed off as he watched Hammond pass right by him.  His brow furrowed in confusion and his mouth hung open as he caught the dreamy look on the General’s face.

 

“Airman, the little lady requests your presence in the locker room,” Hammond addressed a sergeant standing near the open door to one of the VIP quarters. 

 

“’Little lady’?” Daniel mouthed curiously as the airman nodded and headed down the corridor with the General.

 

Okay, now something was really wrong.

 

Daniel waited until the two military officers were gone from sight before he cautiously made his way up to the VIP room and peered inside.  The sight that greeted him made his insides lurch.

 

Inside was Hathor … and him.

 

Daniel quickly turned away and sunk to the floor, his back against the wall.

 

“No, no, this isn’t happening, this isn’t happening,” he muttered desperately.

 

He took in a deep breath, held it for several seconds and exhaled slowly.  What was going on?  It didn’t make any sense.  If this wasn’t a dream, what was it?  He slowly got to his feet, and took another look.

 

“We must first have the code of life from the juices of the species intended as the host.”

 

Daniel winced as he heard that voice again.  It sounded so seductive the first time he heard it, and now it made him want to vomit.

 

“Code of life?”

 

Before he could hear anymore, the door slammed shut.  Daniel’s brow creased.  Since when does a goa’uld like privacy? He thought to himself.  He quietly pushed the door open and slipped inside, not thinking he would be a distraction, as no one had seemed to be aware of his presence before. 

 

Fortunately, neither Hathor nor his doppelganger seemed to notice him.  He positioned himself at the far end of the room and watched the scene that unfolded before him in disbelief. 

 

“In order to assure compatibility for the goa’uld child and host.”

 

Daniel felt his impending dread grow as he became aware of what was going on.  The reason no one had noticed him was that it wasn’t completely real.  It was like a recording being played over again, almost like watching a movie.  He had experienced all of this just a few weeks ago, but now he was being made to relive it as a witness.  He couldn’t explain it any further, though.  He wished it could have been a dream, but it seemed so real and made him think otherwise.

 

“DNA.  You mean you need DNA to prevent rejection.”

 

“Brilliant, Einstein,” Daniel said under his breath as he rolled his eyes.  He covered his hands with his face and sighed, still not believing that this was happening.

 

“We do so enjoy the method of procuring the code in your species.”

 

Daniel took his hands away from his eyes, just in time to witness Hathor removing “his” glasses. 

 

“It is much more pleasurable than most.”

 

“Oh…my…God,” Daniel uttered, feeling sicker by the minute.

 

“I’ll bet.”

 

You idiot, what the hell is wrong with you?? Daniel silently berated his double.

 

“Since you are to be our first pharaoh, you will honor us by being the one to contribute the code.”

 

“Ooo-kay, I think I’ve seen enough,” Daniel said dreadfully as he made his way back across the room, stopping himself as he heard his double’s next words…

 

“You want me to help you make more goa’ulds?”

 

   Daniel turned in time to watch his double grab Hathor’s arm, as if he finally broke through her spell and was trying to fight her. 

 

“Come on, come on, fight her!  Don’t let that witch do to you what she did to m…”

 

Daniel stopped himself as he realized how ridiculous he sounded.  There was nothing he could do to stop the outcome, since it had already occurred and was now history.  His face fell as he watched Hathor induce his double with more mind-controlling chemicals.

 

“Now that Ra is gone, we are finally free to rule this planet, with you, our beloved, at our side for all eternity.”

 

Daniel stood, trancelike as Hathor locked lips with his double.

 

“NO!!!”

 

He realized no one could hear him, but he felt that at that moment a part of him had died.  He wanted to run, but his legs felt like blocks of cement.  He stood and stared as Hathor kissed his double, then proceeded to remove his BDU jacket, t-shirt, and unbutton his pants.  He watched, helpless as that vile goa’uld used him to get his DNA. 

 

Finally, after a few minutes, he got the strength to move his feet and launch himself out of the room.  He ran as fast as his feet would carry him down to the Men’s room, where he made a beeline for one of the sinks and began splashing cold water on his face. 

 

Panting, he surveyed himself in the mirror as he stood, hunched over the sink.  He realized he was trembling, and with good reason.  He had just witnessed himself becoming a victim of rape.  He was undoubtedly not in his right mind when it had initially happened, so he didn’t remember the experience at first.  Bits of it had begun to come back to him not long after, and the thoughts disturbed him, but this was much worse.  He had bore witness to every single thing Hathor had done to violate him, and he couldn’t imagine anything more traumatizing.

 

“I…c-can’t believe this,” he stammered, the trembling going so far as to affect his voice.  He sniffled and became aware of the tears that had run down his cheeks.  He reached into his pajama pants pocket for a tissue and blew his nose.  Struggling to regain his composure, he stuffed the tissue back in his pocket and raked his hand through the damp hair that now hung in his face.   He straightened up, squared his shoulders, and made his way out of the room.

 

Daniel felt as if his emotions had been drained from him as he walked slowly down the corridor.  He wasn’t sure where he was heading right now, but he didn’t care.  What he had just witnessed in the VIP room was enough to leave him in a nearly catatonic state, wandering the corridors of the SGC, just totally oblivious to anything going on around him. 

 

It seemed that way as Sam, in full combat gear, and Jack walked hurriedly past him, armed with what appeared to be tranquilizer guns.

 

Tranquilizer guns.  Something inside Daniel suddenly snapped and brought him back to reality … reality in this … place, anyway.  What were they going to do with tranquilizer guns?  Daniel hastened his pace and ran down the corridor to catch up with them, and realized they were heading for the locker room.

 

As he entered the room, he swallowed hard and another sick feeling began to overtake him.  Sitting in a hot tub that he had never noticed before, surrounded by goa’uld larvae, was the “little lady.”  Kneeling next to her and looking revoltingly devoted to her was his doppelganger.  A group of four entranced – yet armed – airmen guarded them.  When Daniel took notice of the lovey-dovey look on his double’s face, he felt his insides lurch.

 

“We demand that the woman you call Carter be brought to us so we may gain retribution.”

 

He winced as he heard those words.  So, the witch planned to have Sam killed.  Daniel wished he could have gotten his hands on Teal’c’s staff weapon right about now.  He sighed deeply and covered his face with his hands.

 

“Captain Carter does deserve to be punished, my queen, but she does not know what she is doing.  I beg of you to show mercy.”

 

Daniel abruptly pulled his hands away from his face and stared at his double incredulously.  Even in his drugged, infatuated state, he was begging Hathor to spare Sam’s life.  Nevertheless, it didn’t seem to make up for the emotionless, uncaring way he had said it, and that he admitted that Sam deserved to be punished.  Daniel couldn’t decide which was worse – that, or the fact that he had referred to Hathor as his “queen.” 

 

He became emotionally overwhelmed and could no longer deal with what was going on.  He was still overcome with shock from witnessing what Hathor had done to him in the VIP room, and the present scene didn’t help at all.  It was all starting to come back to him: Sam and Jack shooting the guards, Sam attempting to shoot Hathor and the tub going up in flames, Sam and Jack dragging him away, and his “waking up” as Hathor had exited through the Stargate.  He then recalled what he had said as Sam and Janet were hunting for samples of Hathor’s DNA.

 

“A lot of that will probably be mine.”

 

Oh, God, he had to have known right then.  But, then again, it was only the bare minimum facts – that Hathor had simply used him to get his DNA.  He hadn’t witnessed the whole scene playing out in front of him. 

 

Daniel sunk to the floor and sobbed as chaos began to erupt in front of him.  Why did he have to relive this?  He realized that this wasn’t a dream.  It was a nightmare; a nightmare that he felt he could never escape.

 

He pulled his knees up, folded his arms and rested his head on top.  Feeling utterly helpless, he sobbed softly.

 

******************************************************************

 

Sam’s eyes flew open as she heard soft sobbing coming from the room just across the hall.  She sat up and her brow furrowed in confusion as her mind, groggy from sleep, tried to figure out what was going on.   She checked the clock radio on her night table and discovered it was a quarter to four in the morning. 

 

She heard the sobbing again, accompanied by cries of “no” every so often.  Her eyes widened as she realized what it was. 

 

Daniel.  She remembered that she had convinced him to stay the night, as she was concerned about what had happened to him earlier in the evening.  From what it sounded like, it appeared he was having nightmares again.  He insisted to Sam that he was no longer experiencing them, but the way he reacted when she brought up Doctor Fraiser made her think that they were still plaguing him.  She remembered what she had promised him, though; that she would help him through it all by herself.  She wasn’t about to subject him to anything the doctors were eager to try.

 

Sam eased up off the bed, slid her feet into her slippers, and made her way a few feet down the hall toward the guestroom.  Daniel’s sobs became a bit louder and her heart ached each time he cried out.  When she entered the room, the sight that greeted her made her heart leap up into her throat.

 

Daniel was lying on top of the bed in a modified fetal position and his hands were fiercely clutching the bedspread.  She found his pajama bottoms lying at the foot of the bed and surmised that he had gotten hot and threw them off.  He lay in his t-shirt and boxers, his hair was disheveled and hanging in his face, and he appeared to be broken out in a cold sweat.

 

“No! No! Please, this can’t be happening!” he cried out, his voice trembling.  “Sam!”

 

“Daniel…” Sam said softly as she made her way over to the bed.  She sat down on the edge and reached out to touch him.  She nearly winced as she discovered his skin was quite clammy.

 

“Sam, I’m so sorry…. I….”

 

“Daniel, shh, I’m here,” she said soothingly as she lightly touched his arm.

 

Daniel’s cries subsided, and at long last his eyes blinked open.  Panting, he looked her over and his eyes widened as he realized it had all been a dream.

 

“Sam! Oh my God,” he exclaimed, panting.  “It was a dream…”

 

“It was a dream, Daniel,” she affirmed as she looked into his eyes sadly.

 

“It was,” he replied, his voice trembling.  “Sam, I…I’m so sorry!”

 

Sam pulled him close to her and embraced him.

 

“For what?”

 

“I…I saw it all happen,” he said cryptically.

 

Sam’s brow furrowed in confusion.

 

“You know what I’m talking about.  When you and Jack were in the locker room and saw me with Hathor, she wanted you dead.  I said that you deserve to be punished, but she should show you mercy,” he uttered, sniffling.

 

“I know,” Sam said quietly.

 

“You don’t understand, Sam.  I … I called her … ‘my queen’…” he blurted out as his words got choked off by a sob.

 

Sam felt him literally shaking in her arms, and she realized just how upset he was.  She began to rub his back in slow, circular motions.

 

“Daniel, it’s okay,” she said reassuringly.

 

“No,” he insisted between sobs.  “I saw it all happen.  I witnessed everything that happened that day.  I saw what she did to me in the VIP room.  I saw the whole thing, Sam!” 

 

Daniel’s words became swept away in his nearly uncontrollable sobbing.  Sam blinked a few tears as she held him and began to rock him back and forth.

 

“Oh, Jesus, Daniel,” she muttered, her voice wavering.

 

She continued to rub his back, hoping he would calm down.

 

“It’s okay, Daniel. I’m here, everything is okay,” she said soothingly as she began to stroke his hair.

 

He eased back down on the bed, and she climbed up next to him.

 

“Don’t leave, Sam,” he begged her, sniffling as he calmed down a bit.

 

“I won’t,” she returned. 

 

Daniel nodded slightly as he sniffled once more.  Sam put her arm around him and held him close.  After a minute or so, he put an arm around her, almost as if she was a security blanket or something.  Sam smiled sadly as she looked into his blue eyes, from which a thousand tears had just fallen.  He seemed to shiver slightly, so she cautiously reached down and pulled her handmade quilt on top of the two of them.  She sighed as his eyes finally began to shut and his breathing became more regulated.  After a short time, she too began to fall asleep.

 

************************************************************

 

A loud knocking sound jolted Sam awake.  Her eyes flew open and she groaned as a bright ray of sunshine emanating from between the break in her curtains nearly blinded her.  At first she thought the knocking was part of her imagination, but she was proved wrong when it sounded again.

 

She raised her head slightly and glanced at her clock radio.  It was only 6:30 am.  Geez, will I ever get some actual sleep? She thought to herself.  She turned to her left and noticed that Daniel still had his arms around her.  He hadn’t changed position at all, and it made her giggle affectionately.  She was reluctant to get out of his arms, but whoever was knocking was being damn persistent and now resorted to ringing the doorbell.  She’d just get rid of whomever it was and go right back to bed.

 

She heard Daniel whimper softly as she eased up out of his arms and off of the bed.  She quickly put on her robe and slippers, and headed down the hall toward the front door.  She afforded a quick glance through the peephole and furrowed her brow in confusion.  She opened the door and appeared slightly startled to see Meredith standing in front of her, looking quite concerned.

 

“Meri?” Sam said quietly.

 

“Hey, Sammie,” Meri began gently. 

 

Sam looked at her curiously.

 

“I didn’t wake you, did I?” Meri suddenly asked as she took notice of Sam in her robe, her hair a bit tousled.

 

“Well, to be honest –“

 

“Oh, I’m sorry, hon.  I just figured that since you were always the early bird type, you’d be up about now,” Meri giggled nervously.

 

“Yeah, well, I didn’t get much sleep last night,” Sam muttered, sounding exhausted.

 

Meri’s eyes turned apologetic.

 

 “Actually, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about,” she began.

 

Sam raised her eyebrows.

 

“I wanted to make sure you were all right after what happened last night.”

 

Sam looked at her curiously and raised an eyebrow.  Meri caught her look and giggled softly.

 

“Yeah, I know, I guess that’s the last thing you’d ever expect from me, huh?” she smiled sadly.

 

Sam looked at her and shrugged.  “Oh … no,” she said awkwardly.  “I just –“

 

“And how’s Daniel?” Meri suddenly broke in.

 

“D-Daniel’s… fine,” Sam blurted out as she turned her head in the direction of the hallway. 

 

“Are you sure?” Meri persisted.  “I felt really bad about what happened to him last night.  Did you manage to find him?”

 

A slight smile grew on Sam’s face.  “Yeah, I did,” she nodded.  “He’s all right now, Meri, honest.”

 

“Oh, I’m so glad,” Meri gushed. 

 

Sam smiled and looked past Meri out toward her front walk.

 

“Where’s Jon?”

 

Meri turned and nodded in the direction of the gray Lexus parked across the street. 

 

“He’s waiting in the car,” she said as she turned back to Sam, rolling her eyes.  “I don’t understand it.  He’s so outgoing, but now he’s Mister Shy.”

 

Sam forced a giggle.

 

“Are you sure you’re okay, hon?” Meri asked again.

 

Sam’s smile grew and she nodded.  Before she could say anything, the sound of footsteps behind her caught their attention.  Sam turned around and noticed Daniel standing behind her, still wearing the black t-shirt and his boxers.  He wasn’t wearing his glasses, he had a bit of five o’clock shadow, and his hair, which wasn’t as disheveled as Sam would have expected, hung at the sides of his face.

 

“Sam? Whass going on?” he asked sleepily as he rubbed his eyes.  “Who’s that?”

 

Meri’s eyes widened when she first saw him.  After a minute or two, her surprised look was replaced by a knowing look as she turned back to Sam.

 

“Oh, um … I won’t disturb you two,” she said as she leaned in toward Sam and winked.  Sam rolled her eyes and grinned.

 

Daniel rubbed his eyes once more, yawned silently and fixed his squinting eyes on Meri.

 

“Oh.  Hello,” he said in a dumbfounded tone of voice. 

 

Meri’s smile grew wide and she gave Daniel a little wave.  Daniel smiled back and gave her a little wave in return, then scrunched up his face as he gave her an odd look before heading back down the hall toward the bathroom.

 

Meri giggled affectionately as he left the living room and turned back to Sam after he was gone from sight.

 

“I’m so glad he’s okay,” she said, lowering her voice.  “You’re very lucky to have him, Sam.”

 

Sam smiled.  This time it wasn’t a forced smile, the kind that she usually gave Meri; it was a genuine, bright smile.

 

“Thanks, Meri.”

 

She was interrupted by the honking of a car horn.  Meri turned once again toward Jon’s Lexus and snorted.

 

“And you’re very lucky, too,” Sam finished.

 

“Yeah, really?” Meri said dryly.  Her smirk faded and she began to laugh as she pulled Sam into a hug.

 

“Thanks, Sammie.”

 

Sam nodded as she stepped back.

 

“If you ever need anything, please call or email,” Meredith said.

 

“Thanks, I will, Meri,” Sam nodded. 

 

Meri turned and started to walk down Sam’s front walk.  She stopped as she reached the curb and turned back toward Sam, giving her a final wave.

 

Sam smiled and waved back as Meri headed toward her seemingly disgruntled fiancé.  She shook her head and grinned before making her way back inside and shutting the door.

 

Sam sighed as she looked up at the clock on the wall.  It was just about 7 a.m.  She couldn’t believe how exhausted she still was.  Usually she would have finished breakfast by then, and they’d be suiting up for their next mission.  They were on stand down, though, she had been out all night and had gotten about three hours of sleep, if she was lucky.

 

She thought about hitting the mattress once again, just for a few more hours so she could catch up on her sleep.  But, what about Daniel?  He had to be up now, as he’d just shown his face while she was talking to Meri.  She wondered if he had gone back to bed, and she started down the hall toward the guest room.

 

Her question was answered when she heard the sound of an electric razor coming from the bathroom.  Ah, so Daniel was still up.  She slowly made her way toward the bathroom and noticed that the door was not only unlocked, but wasn’t shut tightly.  An impish grin formed on her face as she slowly pushed the door open with one finger.

 

Inside, a bare-chested Daniel was leaning over the sink, shaving his face.  The bathroom was a bit steamy and the mirror was slightly fogged, which meant that he must have showered first, although his hair was dry.  Sam stared longingly at him, and this time she felt she didn’t have to apologize for it.  She unconsciously pushed the door open a bit further, and turned bright crimson as it emitted a loud creak.

 

Daniel abruptly turned the razor off and whipped his head around, looking at Sam with raised eyebrows.

 

“Uh …” Sam blurted out.  She coughed softly, still embarrassed.  “I … didn’t know where you were,” she trailed off awkwardly.

 

Daniel stared at her for a few seconds before a look of realization spread across his face.

 

“Sam!  You… you look …”

 

He stopped himself as he reached for his glasses and put them on.  He looked at her again and his brow wrinkled.

 

“Sam, you look … exhausted,” he exclaimed.

 

Sam giggled softly as his fresh-faced countenance belied his obvious mentally exhausted state. 

 

“Uh, no offense,” he quickly amended his statement.

 

Sam grinned and shook her head.

 

Daniel headed over to her and began to caress her cheek with his hand.

 

“Really, Sam, you must be exhausted,” he said quietly as he looked into her eyes.

 

Sam shrugged slightly and stifled a yawn.

 

“Why don’t you go back to bed for a while?” Daniel coaxed.

 

“Are you sure?” she asked after a beat, furrowing her brow in confusion. “I mean, what about you, Daniel?”

 

“I’ll be okay,” he said softly.  “You must have stuff for breakfast, right?”

 

Sam stared at him for a moment.  “Uh … yeah, I’ve got some cereal, eggs, bread for toast … just help yourself,” she said as she gestured in the direction of the kitchen.

 

Daniel studied her face and nodded.  “Okay.”

 

Sam looked at him tentatively.

 

“Are you sure you don’t mind?  I feel bad about this, Daniel, and I don’t feel right with just leaving you to fend for yourself like that.”

 

“Sam, I’m not going to burn the house down, if that’s what you’re worried about,” he said wryly, chuckling a bit.

 

His statement made her blush madly.

 

“Oh, no, I don’t mean that, I –“

 

Daniel grinned widely as he noticed her blushing.  He took hold of her arms and gave her a soft kiss on the cheek.  The kiss made her beam, but did nothing to get rid of the color in her cheeks.

 

“You deserve to have some rest after all you’ve been through.  Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine,” he reassured her with a sweet smile.

 

 Sam looked at him for several seconds before nodding resignedly.

 

“Okay.  Hold down the fort while I’m asleep,” she said jokingly.

 

Daniel smiled and nodded at her before she headed down the hallway.

 

As Sam entered her bedroom, she stared at the bed and was reminded once again of just how exhausted she was.  She felt a twinge of guilt for leaving Daniel on his own while she prepared to catch forty winks.  She really felt for him after what he went through, especially where the horrible nightmares were concerned.  She stuck to her promise of helping him get through this all by herself, but she wanted to do something extra for him to let him know that she cared.  For starters, she thought she would fix breakfast for him, but he insisted on making his own breakfast while she got some sleep. 

 

Sam sighed deeply as she made her way over to the side of the bed.  She stared down at it and, within seconds, collapsed like a ton of bricks on top of it.  She no longer had to be reminded that she was dead tired as she immediately drifted off to sleep.

 

********************************************************

 

“Sam …”

 

Sam stirred for a moment, having been pulled out of a sound sleep.  She’d just had what she considered to be the best sleep she’d had in a long time, and she didn’t want to end it just yet.  She was fully awake, but she refused to open her eyes. 

 

Then she heard Daniel’s voice calling her.  It was soft and gentle, not pushy at all.  How could she refuse?  She breathed in deeply through her nose and caught the unmistakable aroma of fresh-brewed coffee, sizzling bacon, and something vaguely resembling cinnamon and sugar. 

 

Reluctantly, Sam opened her eyes and blinked.  As her vision came into focus, she caught sight of Daniel standing next to the bed, looking down at her with a slight smile.

 

“Daniel?” she nearly whispered.

 

“Ah, she’s awake,” he said facetiously, a grin dancing upon his face.

 

Sam didn’t say a word, but merely sat up and stretched her arms.  She actually felt rested, more rested than she had felt in a long time.

 

“What time is it?” she asked curiously, not bothering to look at her clock radio.

 

Eleven o’clock,” Daniel replied.

 

Sam’s eyes grew wide in shock.  No wonder she felt so rested.

 

“It’s okay,” Daniel reassured her, his grin growing wider by the second.  “You needed it.  Come on,” he coaxed as he reached for her arm and helped pull her out of bed.

 

Sam looked around and took another deep breath.

 

“Something smells really good,” she said frankly.

 

“Oh, ah … yeah,” Daniel nodded.  “I figured you’d be hungry,” he trailed off as his cheeks became rosy.

 

Sam looked at him and a smile slowly grew on her face. 

 

“Daniel …” she said, a bit surprised.

 

He said not a word, but took hold of her hand and led her down the hall.  As they neared the kitchen, the pleasant aroma became stronger and she shut her eyes, breathing in deeply again.  They walked past the kitchen and into the dining room.  Sam’s jaw dropped at the sight in front of her.

 

The table was set with a small vase filled with flowers, and there was a plate loaded with goodies such as scrambled eggs, bacon, and two large pieces of French toast sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.  Next to the plate was a mug of fresh brewed coffee.  The sound of light jazz music filled the room, thanks to the portable stereo that sat in the corner.

 

“I hope you’re hungry,” Daniel said hopefully as Sam stared down at the plate.

 

Sam’s cheeks grew hot as her stomach growled loud enough for both of them to hear.

 

“I don’t think you have to worry about that,” she giggled sheepishly. 

 

Daniel chuckled and pulled the chair out for Sam to sit down and then headed back to the kitchen.  Sam shoveled some eggs onto her fork and chewed them thoughtfully.  She never thought that Daniel was much of a cook, but he managed to surprise her yet again. 
She looked down at the pieces of French toast and grinned.  It looked so good, so wonderfully made, and she doubted that Daniel could have made it himself.  She struggled to remember whether or not she had ever bought packaged French toast, unless Daniel had found it in the back of her freezer.

 

A couple of minutes later, Daniel entered the room with his own cup of coffee and joined her at the table.

 

“So, what do you think?” he prodded her, raising his eyebrows.

 

Sam’s mouth was too full for her to say anything, and she nodded until she managed to swallow.

 

“Daniel, I have to admit I didn’t know you could cook,” she started.

 

Daniel raised his eyebrows higher, and then gave her a mock hurt look.

 

“But, it’s great,” she quickly added.  “You did a really good job.  Where did you find this French toast, though?  Did I have it at the back of my freezer or something?”

 

Daniel’s brow wrinkled in confusion. 

 

“What? Oh, no … I, ah … I made it myself.”

 

Sam’s eyebrow edged upward.

 

“No, seriously,” he insisted.

 

Sam took a bite of the toast and was surprised at how good it tasted.

 

“Wow, this is really good,” she remarked with her mouth full.   “We should fire the cooking staff in the commissary and have you do all the cooking.”

 

“Never in a million years,” Daniel chuckled in spite of himself.

 

Sam grinned in between bites of toast.

 

“So, you like it, then?  Nothing’s overcooked … or undercooked?” he asked awkwardly before taking a sip of his coffee.

 

“No, not at all,” Sam insisted.  “Everything’s great.  My cholesterol just went up another fifty points, but how often do I get to eat like this?” she finished with a teasing grin.

 

Daniel’s lips twitched upward into the faintest of smiles.

 

Sam finished off the bacon and was about to get up and head toward the kitchen when Daniel got up first and took her plate from her.

 

“No, let me get the dishes, Sam.”

 

“Daniel, please, you’ve done enough,” she said as her eyes met his. 

 

He studied her face and then dropped the plate back onto the dining room table.

 

“I still can’t believe you went to all this trouble for me,” she continued.  “You didn’t have to do all that.”

 

Daniel smiled sadly and she could see the pain in his eyes.

 

“Sam, it’s no trouble at all.  I felt I owed it to you … for ruining the entire evening for you like that.”

 

Sam’s heart wrenched as she heard those last words.  He was still feeling guilty over what he had put her through, even though she had assured him there was no need to be guilty.

 

‘I mean it, Sam, I apologize for ruining your evening … our evening.”

 

Sam studied his face.  There was so much she wanted to say to him.  She wanted to remind him a thousand times that he didn’t have to apologize, that none of it was his fault.

 

In the end, she merely shook her head.

 

“Actually, in my mind, the evening was already half-ruined,” she sighed.

 

Daniel looked at her curiously.

 

“After what Meri and her fiancé tried to do, and …” she trailed off.

 

Daniel continued to look at her.

 

“Actually I guess I shouldn’t even say that,” she amended her statement.  “The evening wasn’t a total bust.  We did enjoy one really nice slow dance, at least in the beginning.”

 

Daniel stared at her.

 

“That kiss … I haven’t been kissed like that in a long time.  Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever been kissed like that.”

 

Daniel blinked.

 

“You’re a darn fine kisser, Daniel,” Sam drawled, grinning widely at him.

 

Daniel’s cheeks flamed, and he appeared to be a bit surprised at Sam’s forthrightness. 

 

“Well, I guess I should admit that you’re not a bad kisser yourself, Captain Doctor,” he grinned. 

 

Sam’s cheeks grew hot and a smile spread across her face.  They sat on the couch and edged closer and closer together until they proceeded to kiss each other passionately.  Daniel’s tender kiss caused her to moan softly, and she began to run her fingers through his hair.

 

After a short time, they decided to come up for air and their lips parted.  Sam noticed that Daniel’s glasses were on crooked, and she grinned.

 

“See?” Daniel said quietly. 

 

He adjusted his glasses and raked a hand through his hair.  Suddenly he stopped and his eyes widened.

 

Sam’s grin faded.  “What?”

 

“It didn’t happen,” he muttered, a serious look upon his face.

 

“What didn’t happen?” Sam asked as her brow furrowed in confusion.

 

“I didn’t see Hathor,” he replied.  “She’s gone.”

 

Sam looked at him seriously at first, and then a slight smile formed on her lips.

 

“She’s gone!” Daniel said jubilantly. 

 

Laughing, he grabbed Sam and hugged her tightly.

 

“That witch is gone,” he said as he breathed a sigh of relief.  “You’ve done it, Sam.  I’m cured.”

 

Sam heard pure giddiness in Daniel’s voice as he said “I’m cured” over and over, and it made her heart melt.  She smiled broadly and stroked the back of his head.

 

“Oh, Daniel,” she said, her voice wavering slightly.  “I told you I’d get you through this.”

 

After several minutes they pulled out of their embrace and Daniel looked at her gratefully.

 

“Sam, there’s so many things I want to say, but I think this sums them up pretty well: thank you.”

 

Sam looked at him seriously.

 

“Thank you for putting up with me, thank you for being there for me, and thank you for loving me.”

 

Sam rapidly blinked to drive away her tears and bit her lip.

 

“After all that’s happened these past two days, I’ve only begun to realize the extent of our friendship,” he continued solemnly.  “It’s a friendship that knows no bounds.  It has a rock solid foundation, and nothing can destroy it.  It’s a friendship between two people who not only have great respect for each other, but care deeply – love – each other.  Thank you for loving me, Sam.” 

 

“Daniel, there’s so much more I want to say than just ‘you’re welcome’, but I don’t quite know how to put it into words.  All I can say is … you’re welcome,” she replied, her voice thick with emotion.

 

Daniel smiled at her and they embraced once again.

 

*******************************************************

 

Sam hummed as she did the dishes.  She wasn’t about to let Daniel get away with doing them, as he’d done enough for her already and he was undoubtedly exhausted.  They had spent a bit of time talking, and she could tell how tired he was as he tried to stifle a few yawns.

 

After she finished the last set of dishes, she made her way back into the living room and noticed he was leaning back on the couch at a slight angle, snoring softly.  A large grin crept across her face as she gently set him down so he was lying across the couch and removed his glasses, setting them down on the coffee table.  She quickly headed toward the guest room and returned with the handmade quilt.  She draped it over him, tucked him in a bit and stroked his hair.  Finally she bent down and gave him a soft kiss on the cheek.  She smiled as she noticed his lips twitching upward, as if in response to the kiss.

 

********************************************************

 

One week later…

 

Sam sat alone at a table in the commissary, eating her chicken Caesar salad with great relish.  For some reason it seemed to taste a lot better than usual, even though it was the same old wilted lettuce and watered-down mayonnaise dressing. 

 

Jack poked his head into the room and hobbled over on his crutches to her table. 

 

“Hey, Carter,” he said as he sat down next to her and leaned his crutches up against the other side of the table.

 

Sam looked up at him and nodded.

 

“Hey, Sir,” she chirped.

 

Jack looked at her, at bit surprised to find her in such a good mood.

 

“So, down time’s officially over, isn’t it,” he said wryly.

 

“Yeah,” Sam nodded with her mouth full.  “Shame, isn’t it?” she smirked slightly.

 

Jack looked at her curiously before his eyes drifted down toward her salad.

 

“Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone enjoy a salad that much,” he said facetiously.

 

“I don’t know, it’s pretty damn good today,” Sam shrugged.

 

Jack raised his eyebrows.  “’Pretty damn good’?”  he repeated, almost incredulously.

 

“Yeah, it is, Sir!” Sam insisted.  “Want some?”

 

“Nah,” Jack shook his head.  “I’ll take my chances with the blue raspberry Jell-o.” 

 

Sam shrugged and continued eating her salad.

 

“Teal’c around?” she suddenly asked.

 

“He just got back from Chulak last night,” Jack nodded.  “He hated leaving his wife and son, but when Hammond says ‘one week of down time’, he means ‘one week of downtime.’  He’s off doing that kel-no ... meditating thing he does with all the candles.”

 

Sam rolled her eyes and grinned as she took another bite of salad.

 

“So, did you and Daniel have fun last Tuesday?” he suddenly blurted out.

 

Sam nearly choked on her salad and coughed a few times.

 

“Uh … sure, Sir,” she said awkwardly.  “How did you know about that?”

 

“Daniel told me about it the other day, but he wouldn’t say very much,” Jack shrugged.  “He was walking around in a fog, with an ever-present grin on his face,” he said playfully.

 

Sam raised an eyebrow.

 

“What did you do to him, Carter?”

 

Sam furrowed her brow before giggling incredulously.  “I didn’t do anything to him, Sir!” she insisted.

 

Jack raised his eyebrows curiously.

 

“I know he spent the night at your place,” he said conspiratorially.

 

Sam looked at him warily.

 

“How did you know that?” she asked carefully.

 

“He told me that, too,” Jack answered matter-of-factly.

 

Sam furrowed her brow in confusion.

 

“I have to admit I’m a little worried,” he continued.

 

For a moment, Sam was actually a bit worried.  Did Daniel tell Jack or anyone else on base what had occurred?  It wouldn’t make sense, as he seemed adamant about no one being made aware of his Hathor nightmares. 

 

She then remembered what they talked about at her house, as she helped him recharge his car battery.  They promised each other that they wouldn’t say a word to anyone what had happened.  Sam wouldn’t tell anyone about Daniel’s hallucinations and nightmares, and Daniel would tell anyone about her singing and – in her own mind – making a fool out of herself.  If anyone asked how the evening went, they would be as vague as possible.

 

She grinned widely as she wondered if Daniel was pulling Jack’s leg.  He had mentioned to her that he had something special in store for Jack if he pried, but he wouldn’t tell her what it was.  Sam had an idea, though, and thought she would go along with it.

 

“Well, that’s all you’re going to know about it, Sir,” she said, grinning mischievously.

 

Jack looked at her curiously and then seemed a bit disappointed.  He turned around as he noticed Daniel approaching them with a cup of coffee.

 

“You’re in my seat, Jack,” he deadpanned.

 

Jack looked at him incredulously before turning to Sam and noticing the loving look she was giving Daniel.  He snorted and reached for his crutches as Daniel came closer and stared at him, stone-faced.

 

“Well, I’ll leave the two lovebirds alone,” Jack said sarcastically as he hobbled away from them.

 

Daniel sat down next to Sam, edging his chair closer to hers.

 

Jack briefly turned around and hobbled a few feet back toward them.

 

“Just one juicy little tidbit?” he begged.

 

“No,” Sam and Daniel answered in unison.

 

Jack snorted and stormed out of the room, causing Sam and Daniel to laugh.

 

Daniel sipped his coffee and patted Sam on the shoulder.

 

“Thanks for not saying anything to him about how I acted,” he said gratefully.

 

“Hey, a promise is a promise, Daniel,” she reminded him, smiling tenderly.

 

Daniel looked into her eyes and smiled back.

 

“And thanks for not saying anything to him about my little singing act,” she grinned as a faint blush crept up into her cheeks.

 

Daniel nodded.  “It’s okay.  I would never do that to you,” he said quietly.

 

Sam nodded back and smiled.

 

The two sat together for a while, Daniel drinking his coffee and Sam finishing her salad.  After a few minutes Sam thought she heard him singing under his breath …

 

“I’m gonna harden my heart …”

 

Sam stopped in mid-chew and turned her head to see Daniel grinning playfully at her.  She swatted him across the chest and began to giggle.  Daniel chuckled along with her, and once they calmed down they ended up staring at each other, blue eyes piercing blue eyes.  They both glanced around the room, and, finding it empty, embraced and began to kiss tenderly.

 

 

@ ~ THE END ~ @