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Chapter 5


Sam and Daniel reached the front door of the club, and as Daniel pulled the door open, the strains of partygoers having a good time filled the air. He held the door open for Sam, who smiled as she walked inside. The atmosphere was quite lively, with the B-52’s “Roam” playing at near top volume. There was a handful of people seated at the bar, partaking in various cocktails amid animated conversation. There were also a handful of people dancing in the middle of the club, and the rest were sitting at tables between the dance floor and the bar.


Sam looked over at Daniel and giggled. The way the colored lights reflected off his glasses and the surprised, open-mouthed stare upon his face made him seem like a little boy. It was a look she’d come to expect from him upon discovering some new artifact on their missions. His awe and wonder, coupled with an almost childlike innocence, was admittedly very endearing to her, and she’d grown to adore it.


Daniel heard Sam giggle, and he abruptly shut his mouth and blushed.


“I guess you’ve never been in a place like this?” she grinned.


Daniel’s eyes wandered away from Sam and toward the dance floor.


“Ah … yeah,” he finally admitted as his blush brightened.


Sam giggled sympathetically, and reached up to touch his arm.


“Don’t worry, I haven’t either,” she smiled.


Daniel looked at her and his brow wrinkled.


“You haven’t?” he asked quietly.


Sam shook her head.


Daniel raised his eyebrows thoughtfully.


“Well, that makes me feel better,” he sighed. He turned toward Sam and gave her a quick little smile.


Sam looked around and unconsciously began singing along softly to “Roam.” Daniel turned and gave her a curious look, which made her turn beet red.


“Uh …sorry,” she said awkwardly, clearing her throat. Daniel grinned at her amusedly.


“Hey, you think I’m bad, wait until you meet Meri,” she said defensively. “She is a B-52’s fanatic.”


“Wow,” Daniel uttered, raising his eyebrows.


Sam grinned and nodded.


“Just don’t ask them to play ‘Love Shack’,” she said facetiously.


Daniel chuckled softly, pleasantly surprising Sam as she thought he seemed a bit uncomfortable from the moment they walked into the place. She recalled what Meredith looked like – tall, slender but with a big frame, brown eyes and long, auburn hair – and scanned the club looking for her. There didn’t seem to be anyone there who fit her description. Sam sighed and looked down at her watch.


“Well, she’s just over five minutes late,” she muttered. She turned toward Daniel, who merely shrugged.


“So, should we grab a table while we’re waiting for them?” he asked.


Sam nodded. “Yeah, might as well. Then we can order some drinks.”


Daniel nodded, and they made their way to a corner booth in a more private area a bit closer to the bar. Sam sat herself down on the cushioned seat, and Daniel slid in next to her.


A small menu was stuck in a holder between the salt and pepper shakers, and Daniel removed it.


“Huh,” he muttered thoughtfully. “They do have food here.”


Sam looked at him curiously and he handed the menu to her. She looked it over and shrugged. It consisted mostly of appetizers and burgers.


“Not much different from what we had at O’Malley’s,” she remarked.


“Yeah,” Daniel nodded. “I’m glad we got something to eat over there before we got here.”


Sam flipped the menu over to find a list of drinks.


“Interesting drinks, though,” she continued.


Daniel looked at her as an amused grin grew on her face.


“This is just the list of martinis,” she said. “’Squirrel Nut Zipper…’”


Daniel raised an eyebrow. “That name sounds familiar.”


“It should,” Sam grinned. “It’s the name of a band – Squirrel Nut Zippers. There’s um … ‘Van Morrison’s Village Idiot’…”


“What?” Daniel sputtered, chuckling a bit.


Sam giggled slightly and pointed to the item on the menu. Daniel shook his head and grinned.


“Where do they come up with names like that?” he asked amusedly.


Sam shrugged and grinned back.


“Actually, it sounds pretty corny,” Daniel conceded. “Almost like something Jack would come up with.”


“Oh, God, it does, doesn’t it?” Sam giggled.


“You don’t think he’s ever been to this place, do you?” Daniel asked in a mock serious tone, eyes slightly widened.


Sam tried to match his expression, but failed as a wide grin grew on her face. She bowed her head slightly and giggled again.


“And when we go up there to order drinks, we’ll see a plaque with his picture on it … ‘special thanks to Colonel Jack O’Neill, for offering his mixology terminology.’ Actually, let me see that menu again. There must be a ‘Korny Kernel Jack Special’ or something to that effect,” he said playfully as he reached for the menu.


“Damn it, Daniel, you keep making me laugh. It’s not fair,” she said between giggles.


She lifted her gaze to see Daniel smiling in satisfaction, which made her laugh again.


“Oh – *hic* – no!” she exclaimed as she started with a bout of the hiccups. “Now Meri will have something else to – *hic* – lay into me about. She’ll probably think I’m – *hic* – drunk already!”


“Aw, poor Sam,” Daniel cooed as he patted her on the back. He turned his head so that she would be able to see him grinning amusedly.


“I’m serious, *hic* - Daniel!” she whined.


Daniel chuckled sympathetically. “I’m sorry, Sam. Want me to get you something to drink?”


Sam nodded. “Yeah, just a – *hic* – iced tea will be okay.”


Daniel nodded and stood up.


“Okay, I’ll be right back.”


“Thanks,” she managed to get out without hiccupping.


Sam absentmindedly turned her head toward the dance floor as the Macarena tune started up, and an eager flock of patrons rushed to the dance floor. Sam rolled her eyes and giggled softly. She remembered how they played that song for the shindig that was thrown for their high school reunion, and how Meredith got excited and insisted on showing Sam how to do the dance. Sam never cared much for line dancing, and she felt somewhat awkward following Meri’s orders in front of her fellow alumni. She was glad Meri wasn’t here now, as she’d probably force Sam up out of her seat and onto the dance floor…




Sam’s head shot up and she turned around in the direction of the voice. She looked up to her right to find her old friend standing next to a nice-looking gentleman.


“Meri?” she asked as a smile grew on her face. She edged up out of the booth and made her way over to the woman.


“Sam!!” she exclaimed as she reached forward and embraced Sam tightly … a little too tightly.


“Ah … Meri … ah … okay,” Sam rasped out as she felt the bigger woman was about to crush her windpipe.


Meredith giggled and stood back, allowing Sam to get a better look at her. She looked pretty much the same as she had at the reunion, except her straight auburn hair was a bit longer. She was wearing a black, velvet dress that fell to just above her knee, with a little matching jacket and black pumps. A necklace with a silver “M” charm hung neatly below her neck, and her finger was adorned with a dainty diamond engagement ring.


“Sammie, you look great! You haven’t changed a bit since high school!” she exclaimed.


Sam raised an eyebrow curiously. “Um, Meri … the reunion was nine months ago …”


Meri stared at Sam blankly before her eyes widened in realization.


“Oh! That’s right. What was I thinking? Geez!” she giggled nervously.


Sam shrugged and grinned.


Meri turned to the man at her side and beamed.


“Sam, I’d like you to meet my fiancé, Jonathan Milani,” she said as she turned back to Sam.


Jon smiled and extended his hand to Sam.


“Hi, nice to meet you,” he said kindly.


“Likewise,” Sam said timidly, smiling politely as she shook his hand.


As they withdrew hands, she took a moment to get a good look at him. He was a bit shorter than Meri, who, at six-foot-two was quite tall herself … he was probably around six feet tall, about Daniel’s height. He had a nice tan, somewhat chiseled features, hazel eyes and dark, wavy hair worn off his forehead and cut in a fairly short style. He was rather nice-looking, but definitely not as handsome as Daniel.


Where is Daniel?


Sam noticed Meri looking over toward the dance floor and she groaned inwardly. The Macarena was still going strong.


“OhmyGawd, I love this dance!!” she squealed. “Come on, Sammie, if you don’t know how to do it, I’ll teach you!”


She grabbed Sam’s hand and seemed ready to pull her onto the dance floor.


“Uh, Meri, I don’t –“


Daniel, help!


Almost as if he heard her silent plea, Daniel suddenly appeared with two drinks. The relieved look on Sam’s face seemed to emit a thousand thank-you’s. He set the drinks down on the table and made his way back to Sam.


“I brought your iced tea, Sam, honey. Sorry I took so long, there was a line-up at the bar,” he said before he leaned over and gave her a kiss on the cheek.


He put his arm around her, and she took hold of his hand resting on her shoulder. She blushed slightly and beamed at him. She looked back at Meri, who seemed just a bit surprised.


“Well, who do we have here?” she asked, grinning.


“Meri, this is Doctor Daniel Jackson, my … very good friend,” Sam smiled.


Daniel shyly reached out and shook Meredith’s hand.


“Nice to meet you,” he said quietly, smiling politely.


“Hmm, Doctor, eh?” Meri said, raising an eyebrow. “And what sorts of illnesses do you treat?”


Sam rolled her eyes. Oh Lord, what a stupid comment, she thought to herself.


“Not that kind of a doctor,” Daniel chuckled nervously.


Meri looked at him expectantly.


“I’m a PhD,” he elaborated. “Like Sam.”


“Oh,” Meri nodded. “PhD in …?”


“Ah … Archaeology. Actually, I have two PhD’s, in –“


“Fascinating,” Meri interrupted.


Daniel furrowed his brow in confusion as Meri and Jon sat themselves down at the booth. Sam sat down next to Meri, and Daniel slid in next to her.


“Well, I have to admit that I was a little worried that you weren’t going to show up, Sam!” Meri said teasingly.


Sam furrowed her brow in confusion.


“You were?”


“Yeah! When we first got here, I kept looking around the place but I didn’t see you. It’s a good thing we checked out the other side of the bar. I was almost ready to ask someone if they’d seen a woman about five-foot-nine, short, blonde hair …”

Sam looked at her awkwardly.


“…And a really big brain,” she finished, giggling a bit.


Sam lowered her head and blushed.


“Oh, come on, Meri,” she said, grinning slightly.


“I can attest to that,” Daniel smiled as he wrapped his arm around Sam and pulled her closer to him.


Sam looked up at him and beamed.


Aww,” Meri said softly. Sam and Daniel both blushed slightly as they noticed the wide grin on her face.


“Uh, so … I guess we have a bit more catching up to do, Meri,” Sam finally said after a moment of awkward silence.


Meri turned toward Jon and smiled adoringly before turning back to Sam.


“Well, as I said in the email, I met Jon at a business dinner,” she began.


Sam nodded.


Upon seeing Daniel’s curious expression, Meri grinned.


“I told Sam that he was the manager of the restaurant where we held the dinner. I was a bit early, he saw me sitting alone at that big table, and he sat down and struck up a conversation with me,” she smiled.


Daniel raised his eyebrows thoughtfully.


“Oh. Well, that’s … ah … interesting,” he said awkwardly.


For a moment, a flash of anger shone through Jon’s eyes.


“Oh, and like your story is any better?” he said in a challenging tone, gesturing toward Sam and Daniel.


“Um … excuse me?” Daniel said quietly, brow wrinkled in confusion.


“Jon, stop it,” Meri said sharply as she grabbed hold of his arm. She turned to Sam and Daniel and looked at them apologetically.


“I’m sorry about him,” she insisted.


Daniel shrugged.


“That’s okay, it’s just that I didn’t mean it like that – “


“No, I’m sorry, man,” Jon interrupted, shaking his head. “I’m not usually like this. I’ve just been under a lot of pressure lately.”


Sam and Daniel looked at him curiously.


“Stupid business decision … I hired a new cook, and it doesn’t seem to be working out,” he said, blushing a bit.


“Oh,” Sam finally said. “Uh … sorry.”


Jon shrugged resignedly, and Meri offered him a comforting pat on the shoulder. “It’s okay, sweetie,” she nearly whispered before giving him a peck on the cheek.


Sam and Daniel turned toward each other and grinned slightly.


“Sooo,” Meri began, turning back to them. “How did you two meet?”


They looked at each other once again, this time a bit uneasily.


“Come on, we want to hear all the details!” Meri prodded.


“Uh …well –” Daniel and Sam started in unison. They looked at each other and started laughing nervously.


“Why don’t I start?” Sam said once they had calmed down.


“Okay, you start,” Daniel replied, holding one hand up.


“When I saw you at the reunion, I was working for the Pentagon,” she began, addressing Meredith.


Meri nodded. Sam turned toward Jon.


“I’m a Captain in the Air Force. I logged more than 100 hours during the Gulf War.”


Jon nodded, seemingly impressed.


“And what about the PhD?” he broke in.


Sam furrowed her brow in confusion.


“He said he’s a PhD like you,” Jon clarified, gesturing toward Daniel.


“I have a PhD in astrophysics,” Sam smiled.


Jon nodded once again.


“I specialize in deep space radar telemetry, and that’s mostly what I’ve been doing at the Pentagon.”


She noticed both Jon and Meri giving her bewildered looks, and she grinned.


“Interplanetary shift, stellar drift … uh, it’s kind of complicated, I won’t go through it,” she giggled slightly.


Meri rolled her eyes heavenward and put her hand to her chest.


“Thank God,” she mouthed.


Sam shook her head and turned as she felt Daniel give her a little squeeze.


“Don’t worry, Captain Doctor, these plebeians can’t even begin to understand all the good work that you do,” he said facetiously before giving her a kiss on the cheek.


Sam grinned and kissed him back.


“Oh, we’re plebeians?” Meri said in a mock challenging tone. “Well, I don’t remember my ancient Greek history, but that doesn’t sound like a compliment to me.”


“Actually, it’s ancient Rome. And, no, it isn’t a compliment,” Daniel grinned wickedly.


He and Sam shared a laugh as they watched Meri turn red in embarrassment.


“Anyway,” Sam continued once they had calmed down. “I found out I was being transferred to NORAD around the time of the reunion. About two months later, I made the move from D.C. to Colorado Springs. I continued my work there, and it’s what I’ve been doing ever since.”


“NORAD, huh?” Jon said thoughtfully. “Isn’t that where they house all that suspicious intergalactic stuff … aliens and all?”


He and Meri looked at Sam conspiratorially.


“No, that’s Area 51,” Sam grinned. “NORAD is North American Aerospace Defense Command. We have no aliens there.”


She and Daniel looked at each other knowingly, as she had just told a little white lie.


“Ah, okay,” Jon nodded and grinned. “Just didn’t know what you were up to for a second there.”


“Nah, I just deal with boring old astrophysics stuff, as Meri can tell you.”


“Oh, God, she was totally obsessed with that stuff back in high school!” Meri said, rolling her eyes. “We were just learning about the basics in Physics class - torques, friction, centripetal force - and there she was, reading college textbooks already!” She shook her head, dumbfounded.


“Well, that’s one more thing we have in common,” Daniel whispered as he leaned in toward Sam. Sam smiled.


Meri scoffed. “I mean, think about it! No wonder you didn’t have much of a social life! All you did was stay home with your nose in a book.”


Daniel bristled. “Well, we all have our own favorite ways of passing the time. There actually are people who don’t think much of partying every night until they’re drunk as a skunk, or being so boy- or girl-crazy that they end up with hundreds of one-night stands and don’t have a lasting relationship,” he spat out with a sarcastic smile on his face.


Meri stared at him, dumbfounded.


“Daniel, please, it’s okay. I’m used to this,” Sam said quietly, taking hold of his arm and blushing madly.


Daniel turned to face Sam. When he saw how she was blushing, his expression turned apologetic. He didn’t like the idea that Meri was picking on Sam so much, but he realized he had embarrassed her, and he was coming off as a bit rude to her friend and her friend’s fiancé. He was also still smarting from Hathor’s visit a few weeks back. He blushed deeply.


“I … I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have snapped like that. I’ve been under a bit of stress the past few weeks myself,” he said regrettably.


Meri nodded slowly, still a bit dumbfounded.


“It’s just that I don’t like to hear anyone talk that way about Sam,” he continued. “I guess I’m a bit overprotective. But I love her, and it hurts me to see her treated that way.”


A warm feeling washed over Sam as she heard him say that he loved her. Even though she knew he was just playing along with the “serious relationship” façade, he had a damn good way of fooling everyone, including her.


Meri averted her eyes and smiled slightly.


“I can see that,” she said, looking back up at them. “I think it’s really sweet. I didn’t mean to insult Sam or anything; I’ve always teased her like this. I didn’t think it really bothered her. I mean, she never really said so.”


Sam shrugged. “I don’t know what to say, Meri. We’ve been such good friends, and it did hurt a bit, but I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it.”


Meri looked at her sadly. “I’m sorry, hon. If I had hurt you at all, why didn’t you say anything?”


Sam shrugged again. “I don’t know. I guess I thought you’d get mad.”


“Well … I am mad that you proved me wrong,” she said jokingly, gesturing to Sam and Daniel. “You managed to meet a really nice guy there.”


Daniel’s cheeks flamed and he averted his eyes. Meri giggled softly.


“So,” she said to Daniel. “How did you meet her?”


“Oh, ah … well, I started out working for the Pentagon myself as a consulting scientist. My expertise may be in archaeology and linguistics, but I also have a Masters degree in geology, so I was able to sit in on some of the briefings that Sam gave. We became good friends for a couple of years, then she found out she was being transferred to NORAD. We kept in contact for a few weeks, but I really, really missed her,” he said as he turned to Sam and smiled.


“I’ll bet,” Meri grinned.


“Oh, yeah, I didn’t know how I’d be able to get along without her,” he said wryly. “As luck would have it, though, I found out I had received an offer for a teaching position at Colorado State for the spring semester. I headed out there in January, looked Sam up, and, well …”


He trailed off and pulled Sam close to him again.


“… Here we are,” he finished.


“Aw, I love hearing stories like this,” Meri sighed.


Sam and Daniel both forced smiles. Daniel looked down at Sam’s glass and noticed she had finished her iced tea.


“Another iced tea, Captain Doctor?” he asked her playfully.


Sam nodded.


“Thanks, Daniel,” she smiled. He nodded, got up off the cushion and made his way over to the bar.


“I mean it, Sammie, he’s a really sweet guy,” Meri said as she leaned in toward Sam. “You’re so lucky.”


Sam felt her cheeks grow hot and she smiled shyly at Meri.


“Thanks, Meri. And you’re very lucky, too,” she added, gesturing toward Jon.


Meri looked at her fiancé and smiled.


“Yeah, I know. Thanks.”


Sam smiled and nodded.


“Here we are,” Daniel suddenly announced as he returned with another iced tea for Sam. He placed it down on the table and slipped back into the booth.


Sam looked at him expectantly.


“Unsweetened, just as you like it, Captain Doctor,” he smiled before giving her a quick kiss on the lips.


Meri gave Sam a confused look.


“What is this ‘Captain Doctor’ stuff about?” she asked with a crooked smile.


Daniel blushed slightly and averted his eyes, leaving Sam to explain.


“Oh, uh … it’s Daniel’s pet name for me.”


Now it was Sam’s turn to blush.


Meri raised her eyebrows.


“When I met Daniel at the Pentagon, he first knew me as a Captain. After he attended one of my briefings, he learned that I also had a PhD in astrophysics, so he asked me how he should address me, as Captain or Doctor. Technically he should have called me by my rank, but he seemed to feel more comfortable with the Doctor title, so he asked me ‘how about both?’”


Meri giggled softly.


“Whenever we were in public, especially around other members of the military, he’d address me as Captain, but after that he started saying ‘Captain Doctor’, so it sort of stuck, I guess,” Sam grinned, still blushing.


Awwww, that’s cute!” Meri exclaimed.


Daniel drew up the corners of his mouth tensely and rolled his eyes. Sam saw him and giggled softly. As Meri turned to face him, he forced a smile.


Meri giggled, then cut herself off as the B-52’s “Love Shack” began to play.


“Oh, I love this song!!” she squealed.


Sam and Daniel nearly jumped in their seats in reaction to her scream.


“Come on, hon, let’s go dance!” she said to her fiancé, who looked less than excited.


They edged up out of the booth and were about to head over to the dance floor when Meri looked back at Sam and Daniel, who decided to stay put.


“Coming, guys?” she asked.


Sam and Daniel looked at each other for a moment.


“Oh, uh … no, no that’s okay,” Daniel replied as Sam shook her head.


Meri looked at them incredulously.


“Maybe for the next song,” Sam added.


Meri shrugged and grabbed Jon’s arm. They headed for the dance floor, leaving a Sam and Daniel who were quite content to sip their iced tea for the time being.

Chapter 6 =>