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Janet blinked in surprise at Sam's announcement.  "You . . . you have?"

"I was up half the night last night thinking about it, weighing the pros and cons."

"Sam, that's great!" the doctor exclaimed in delight.

Shocked, the astrophysicist stared at her.  "It is?  I-I mean, you think it's a good idea?"

"Sam, you and Daniel would make a terrific couple, and, though I probably shouldn't tell you this, I'm pretty sure that Daniel has feelings for you."  Janet saw the look that passed over Sam's face.  "Uh oh.  Did something happen?"

"He told me that he's in love with me."

Again, Janet was surprised.  "When did this happen?"

"While we were on vacation.  We went down to the lake, just the two of us, and, um . . . ended up doing a lot more than swimming and sunbathing, if you know what I mean."

"Oh!"  Janet's eyes had gone wide.  "You mean that you two. . . ."

"Not quite, but it got pretty close to it.  It happened so suddenly, and I wasn't thinking clearly.  Once I came to my senses, I stopped it.  I told Daniel that it was a mistake.  Now that I think about it, I realize that I gave him the equivalent of the 'I care about you as a friend' speech."

"Oh, Sam.  How did Daniel take it?"

"Not good.  Oh, Janet, I hurt him so badly.  He started to cry and told me that he was in love with me.  He went off by himself for a few days, and during that whole time, I thought that I'd ruined our friendship.  But we made up, and Daniel told me that he'd never ask for anything more than friendship from me.  At the time, I really thought that it was for the best and what I wanted, but. . . ."


"But . . . I'm not so sure now.  I've been thinking about it a lot since it happened.  I talked to my dad about Daniel's feelings for me, and he said some things that got me to thinking.  And then that whole thing happened at the Alpha Site, and. . . ."  Sam heaved a loud sigh.  "I am just so confused.  I am very attracted to Daniel, so much so that I sometimes have a hard time looking at him and not thinking about picking up where we left off.  I can't tell you how incredible it was, Janet.  I've never experienced anything like it before, and we didn't even have sex.  But I can't base a romantic relationship just on lust and my feeling for him as a friend."

"Are you sure that's all you feel?"

"No, not anymore, and that's the heart of the problem.  I'm really not sure exactly what I feel for Daniel.  I do love him very much as a friend."

"But you also want him," Janet said.


The doctor thought about her reply.  "Sam, what exactly is love, the romantic kind of love?"

"It's . . . it's a deep feeling of romantic attachment to someone."

"Okay, that's the dictionary's definition, but what is love to you?"

Sam took a lot longer to reply this time.  "It's wanting to have someone in my life for as long as I live, to sleep in his arms every night and wake up every morning with him.  It's wanting to make love to him and only him forever, wanting to have kids with him.  It's walks in the park, and quiet evenings in front of a fireplace, having fun together because we enjoy each other's company, long talks about anything and everything.  It's sharing all my hopes and dreams with him and him doing the same with me.  It's . . . caring about someone more than I do about myself and feeling like he is a part of me that I don't want to live without."

Janet nodded.  "And how many of those things can you picture yourself feeling and experiencing with Daniel?"

Sam thought about that for a long time.  It was easy to imagine them taking walks in the park or sitting before a fireplace together, and they already talked about pretty much everything.  Their vacation showed how much fun they could have together.  Daniel was the kind of man with whom she could share her hopes and dreams and not feel self-conscious, and she guessed that, if she gave him enough encouragement, he would share his with her.  She loved him enough that she would not hesitate for a second to give her life for him, and she had already learned that living without him was more painful than she could have imagined.  But did all those things mean that she was falling in love with him or just that they were extremely close and loving friends?  Could she picture herself living the rest of her life with Daniel, having kids with him, building a life together with him?

"I . . . can picture some of them, a lot of them, actually," Sam admitted, "but Daniel and I have always had a wonderful friendship, the closest one I've ever had.  We get along so well together and have a lot in common.  He's an easy person to talk to about things because he really listens and cares about your thoughts and feelings.  In that letter Daniel wrote to me, he called us kindred spirits, and he was right."

Janet realized what the problem was.  Sam and Daniel were already so close that Sam was having a hard time making the distinction between loving him as a friend and loving him as a woman.  After all these years of being such close friends and teammates, it's no wonder that Sam was having trouble seeing the truth.  Her love for Daniel as a friend was clouding her vision.  However, you didn't feel sexual attraction for someone who was just a friend.

"I know that we'd be a perfect match for each other, Janet.  He's everything that I could ever want in a man."

"I'm sensing another 'but' here."

There was a slight pause before Sam answered.  "But I'm afraid of what will happen if I do love him," she admitted in a small voice.

"Afraid?  Of what?"

Sam met her eyes.  "That I'll lose him, that . . . something will happen to him."

All at once, Janet understood.  Ever since she broke up with Jonas Hanson, Sam had, in one way or another, lost virtually every man she cared about like that.  So many of them had died.  If Janet had guessed right about Sam's feelings for Jack, it would make him the only man she'd had romantic feelings for in all those years that she didn't lose, and there was never really a chance that they could get together anyway, not as long as neither of them was willing to give up their place in the Stargate Program.  Janet had to wonder if that was part of the reason why Sam had 'held a torch' for him for so long.  They couldn't get together, so he was safe to love.

Janet knew that, if she had lost that many guys she'd cared about, she would have begun to think that she was under some kind of black widow's curse, regardless of how ridiculous and unscientific such a belief would be.  Now, Sam was experiencing feelings for Daniel, and she was apparently afraid that the 'curse' was going to strike again and take him away from her.  Could that fear be another reason why Sam was having a hard time seeing the truth about her feelings?

"Sam, I can't tell you what you do or don't feel," Janet said gently, "but I can tell you this.  Don't let fear control you or cheat you out of having what you want and what you deserve."

Sam recalled similar words being spoken by the hallucination of her father on the Prometheus.

"The human mind can blind itself to a lot of things if it doesn't want to see the truth," Janet told her.  "Is it possible that your fear of loving Daniel is blinding you to how you really feel about him?"

The question startled Sam.  Could Janet be right?  Sam had told her father that she didn't want to be in love with Daniel.  The reason for that feeling was her fear that something terrible would happen to him if they embarked on a romantic relationship.  Could it be that, because she felt that way, she was failing to see the truth?

As a scientist, Sam knew that her fear was irrational.  How could being in love with a man doom him to death?  But then she remembered Narim, and Martouf, and Orlin, though Orlin probably didn't actually die since he was ascended when that weapon blew up.  But he was still gone, and she'd never see him again.  There was Joe Faxon, a nice guy Sam had felt some attraction for during the all too brief time that she'd known him before being forced to leave him with the Aschen, who no doubt killed him.  And then there was Jonas Hanson, her former fiancé.  He, too, was now dead.

Janet's voice brought Sam out of her thoughts.

"I know one thing for certain," the doctor said.  "A woman couldn't do any better than to have someone like Daniel.  Yes, he can be frustratingly single-minded, obsessive, and so stubborn that it makes you want to pull your hair out, but he's also compassionate, courageous, selfless and possesses more integrity than the majority of people on this planet.  Put it in a nutshell, he is pretty much the most beautiful soul that I have ever known."

Sam stared hard at the doctor.  "Janet, do you . . . have feelings for Daniel?"

Janet shook her head.  "No, Sam, not like that.  I just have a great deal of love and appreciation for the kind of man that he is.  However, if Daniel had ever asked me out on a date, I'd have said yes in a heartbeat.  I wouldn't have passed up the chance to see if something more than friendship could develop between us.  I'd be nuts not to."

"So, you think that I should ask him out?"

"In a word?  Hell yes!"

Both women laughed.

"That's two words," Sam said between laughs.  After a couple of minutes, she sobered.  "But what about SG-1?"

"You mean the fact that you're teammates?"

Sam nodded.  "I know that the regs don't forbid a relationship between us, but that doesn't mean that the general wouldn't insist that one of us leave the team.  He might worry that our judgment on missions would be impaired."

"I guess that's something that you're just going to have to decide if and when the time comes.  When you really love someone, you're willing to give up an awful lot for them.  I suspect that Daniel wouldn't hesitate to give up his place on SG-1 to be with you."

"I know that he wouldn't.  I never told anyone this, but, at the Alpha Site, when the rocket didn't destroy the second drone, Daniel was going to kill it like he did the other one.  We both knew that it might be too much for him, that it could kill him or cause brain damage.  He looked at me, and . . . and I could see him saying goodbye."  Sam's voice wavered on the last word.  "I knew that he was doing it for my sake, not his own.  He was willing to risk permanent mental and physical impairment for me.  For somebody like Daniel, that kind of fate would be far worse than death, and he was going to do it for me.  That's when I truly realized how much he loves me.  It made me think even more about what it would be like to be with him as more than a friend."

Janet gave Sam a warm, gentle smile.  "You're very lucky to have someone love you like that.  A lot of women don't ever have that.  Just go for it, Sam.  I have a feeling that you won't regret it."

Daniel was busy jotting down some notes on an artifact that SG-16 had just brought back when Jack came in.

"I talked to Hammond," he said.  "He's going to issue a base-wide order to speak to no one about your abilities throughout the time that the film crew is here."

"That's good.  I really don't want news of what I can do making it into that documentary.  Can you imagine what my life would be like if it did and that thing was ever aired?"

"Yeah.  It doesn't paint a pretty picture.  You'd have every kook out there on your doorstep."

"Not to mention all of the people who'd want me to find lost loved ones."

"And it worries me what certain other countries might do to get their hands on that kind of power.  All of which makes me wonder why you agreed to let those guys at Area 51 experiment on your DNA."

Daniel stared at his friend.  "What do you think they're going to do with it?  They're not a bunch of mad scientists over there, you know."

"Oh, I wouldn't be so sure of that."

"Jack, if it wasn't for the people at Area 51, a lot of the technology we now have wouldn't exist.  They've been instrumental in adapting Goa'uld technology to work with ours."

"Oh, I know that.  Those aren't the guys I'm worrying about.  It's the ones like that Doctor Fairview and this new guy that give me the heebie-jeebies, the ones who mess around with genes and your brain matter."

"Well, Doctor Holt is hoping that they'll be able to figure out exactly why this happened, and that's something I'd like to know."

"How come you want to know so badly now?  When Morrison, Rice and Fairview showed up, you said that you wouldn't undergo any of their tests to find out.  You said the same thing to Anise when she and Jacob came calling."

"Jack, there are two big differences between now and then.  One is that Doctor Holt is going to be running tests on my DNA, not me.  I won't be subjected to a thousand tests and experiments; only my DNA will.  The other difference is that, back then, I didn't know the extent of how different I am.  Don't you think that I might want to know why and how this happened?"

"Yes, I can understand why you'd want to know, Daniel.  In your position, I would, too."  Jack fell silent for a few seconds.  "So, is Surfer Doc gone yet?"

Daniel's gaze on Jack intensified.  "I think so.  You could always go to the infirmary and check."

"No thanks.  I don't want him to decide to experiment on my DNA."  Jack's frown returned.  "Frankly, I don't know how Fraiser could like someone like him.  She deserves better."

A smile crept over Daniel's face.  "Jack, are you jealous?"

"What?  No, of course not.  Why would I be jealous?"

"I don't know, but it sure sounds like you are."

"Daniel, you're nuts.  Sure, I like the doc – when she isn't poking or prodding me with something, that is – but I'm not interested in her.  She is so not my type."

"Oh?  And what is your type?"

"Someone who can't intimidate me with a stethoscope."

Daniel nodded, his expression thoughtful.  "Yes, you're probably right.  If you became a couple, you and she would most likely spend half your time arguing over who's in charge . . . and you'd lose."

"Hey, now that is not true!  Okay, so I admit that, in the infirmary, I have to do what she says most of the time, but that doesn't mean it would be like that in our personal life.  I can be just as stubborn as she is, even more so."

"And just as passionate."


"But you're not interested in Janet like that."


"So, it wouldn't matter how good you could be together."

"Not a bit."

"So, if I told you that Doctor Holt asked her out on a date, you wouldn't care."

"N. . . .  He asked her out on a date?"

Daniel kept his face straight with an effort.  "I didn't say that."

"Then what are you saying?"

The grin finally broke free on Daniel's face.  "I'm saying that you like Janet."

"I do not like her, Daniel!"

"Uh huh."

"I don't."

"Sure, Jack."

"Really, I don't."

"Whatever you say, Jack."

"I'm leaving now."


After Jack had left, Daniel let out a chuckle, then got back to work.

Forty minutes later, all of SG-1 met in Daniel's office.  A list of all the base personnel who were scheduled to be on duty was divided among the four of them, and for the rest of that day and a good part of the next, they covered one end of the base to the other, making sure everyone understood how important it was for nobody to talk about Daniel's abilities while the film crew was there.

As luck would have it, Colonel Bray had ended up on Daniel's list.

"Doctor Jackson," the man said a little stiffly as the archeologist came up to him.

"Colonel Bray.  I'm sure that you've received General Hammond's orders not to say anything about my psychic abilities during the time that the film crew is at the SGC."

"Yes, sir."

"We just wanted to make sure that everyone understood that they shouldn't talk to anyone about them while the film crew is here.  We don't want to take the chance that something will be overheard."

"Understood, sir."

"Good."  Daniel paused.  "Um . . . I'm sorry if I came on a bit too strongly yesterday.  I'd just gotten some news that upset me, and I guess I vented a little on you."

The colonel stared at him, clearly shocked by Daniel's apology.

"I do need to say something, though," the archeologist continued.  "Like the rest of the scientists and other civilians here, I've had to deal with your . . . less than pleasant attitude toward us, and I never quite understood why you have that attitude.  I can understand why some people would think that only military personnel should be on SG teams, but you target just about everyone who isn't military, whether they are on an SG team or not.  Why?"

Still surprised by the apology, Bray took a while to answer.  "I believe that the SGC should be a strictly military operation.  Civilians have no place here."

"And you think that gives you the right to be rude to them?  Colonel, are you aware that many of the civilians here are doing jobs that they are better qualified for than any available military personnel?  For instance, Doctor Weisman is fluent in eleven spoken languages and can read an additional six dead languages.  He is a brilliant linguist who graduated with honors from Cornell University.  There aren't many people in the military with those kinds of credentials.  Every man and woman here, whether they are military or not, is here because they are the best person for the job they are doing.  And in regards to the civilian members of SG teams, they have contributed equally as much to our ongoing mission as anyone here who's in the Marines or the Air Force.  They have fought against the Goa'uld, sometimes sacrificing their lives in the process.  Three of the people who died at the Alpha Site were scientists.  They could have run, but, instead, they picked up weapons and tried to hold back Anubis' drones so that others could get away.  Not counting the year that I was . . . away, I've been a member of SG-1 for going on six years, and I'd like to think that, during that time, I've managed to contribute something to the program and save a few lives.  All of us are in this fight together, Colonel Bray.  I think you should remember that the next time you talk to one of the civilians on this base.  We're not your enemy; the Goa'uld are."

Having nothing more to say, Daniel turned and left, hoping that his words would do some good.

Jack was heading for the commissary when he spied Ferretti up ahead.

"Hey, Lou!" he called.

"Jack!  How's it going?"

"Oh, could be better, could be worse.  Same as usual."

"I hear you.  So, I heard about this gag order about Daniel."

"Yes, I need to talk to you about that," Jack said.  "You need to be careful while that film crew is here, Lou.  I know that one of your favorite topics of discussion is Daniel's new abilities and how you knew him back when he was just a long-haired geek who didn't know how to get us home, but you have to cool it with that talk.  We can't take the chance that someone on the film crew will overhear you.  Now, from what I've been told, the two men who will be with him are both military, so they'll follow whatever orders they've been given, but this Emmett Bregman is a snoopy journalist, and if he gets wind of this thing with Daniel. . . ."

Ferretti held up a hand.  "Say no more, Jack.  I'll keep quiet about Daniel.  Not a word about him will pass my lips while Bregman is here.  You know, since this whole thing with Daniel started, you and I haven't really had a chance to sit down and talk about it."

"Well, as it so happens, I was just about to get some lunch.  Care to join me?"

"Sounds good."

The two men got their food and sat down at the table that was farthest from everyone else.

"I can imagine that this stuff with Daniel and his abilities has been quite an adjustment for you," Ferretti said, "what with him being on your team and all."

"You can say that again.  Between you and me, it can be pretty darn spooky, and I sometimes have a hard time accepting the fact that it's really Daniel doing that stuff."

"Personally, I'd love to have someone on my team who could do what he can.  It certainly would reduce the risk factor."

"Yes, but there is a risk involved in him using those abilities.  He nearly killed himself when he blew up that Al'Kesh, and you didn't see how much pain he was in when he caught and held that Stargate.  He was in agony, Lou.  And he overdid it again during this whole thing at the Alpha Site.  Sooner or later, I'm afraid that he's really going to push himself too far and end up brain damaged or dead."

"I had no idea it was that serious," Ferretti responded.  "We knew that there are limits to what Daniel can do, and we knew that he'd hurt himself blowing up that Al'Kesh, but I didn't know that he could actually kill himself doing this stuff."

"Yeah, well, I think about it all the time."

Ferretti was quiet for a long moment.  "He's changed since this happened, Jack.  We've all seen it."

"I know.  The funny thing is that I don't think Daniel's even aware of it."

"I talked to Captain Drake.  When the alert was given that Goa'uld ships had entered orbit, he and some of the others at the Alpha Site started gearing up for battle.  He said that Daniel came running up to them and told them not to try fighting the drones since it would be useless.  He told them to use the rocket launchers against the ships and get everyone through the gate.  Drake said that Daniel giving orders to a bunch of Marines and airmen surprised the hell out of him, but he didn't even consider going against them, no more than he'd go against an order from a superior officer.  I've talked to some of the others who were there, people who saw Daniel do all that stuff with the Al'Kesh, the bombs, and the drones.  Some of them said that they hardly recognized him."

Jack poked at his food.  "I know.  You should have seen him fight that Jaffa.  Not a man on this base would have stood a chance against him.  And when he stood before all those Jaffa afterwards and talked with them, there was this air about him, like a four-star talking to an army."

Ferretti shook his head.  "You know, back when I first met him, and even when we were reunited with him on Abydos, I'd never have guessed that he'd turn out like this.  The guy's as stubborn as a cantankerous mule, but he never struck me as the leader type."

"At times, I would have agreed with you, but you're not the one who had to go toe-to-toe with him in a battle of wills more times than I can count.  And you're not the one who had to deal with him going off and doing what he wanted to against your orders or behind your back.  I might be in command of SG-1, but that never stopped Daniel from saying to hell with my orders and doing what he felt was right.  He might not have been what we'd call a leader all these years on SG-1, but he sure wasn't a follower either.  This whole thing with his abilities didn't create something new in him, Lou.  I think it just brought out something that was already there."

Ferretti gave a nod.  "He scared the crap out of Colonel Bray yesterday."

"He did?"

"Oh, yeah.  Bray was being his usual charming self and tearing into the linguist who translated that tablet, the one that was supposed to have led SG-20 safely through the maze.  Well, Daniel showed up, and, boy, was he ever pissed at Bray, or at least that's what the guy who saw the whole thing told me.  Daniel let Bray know that what happened on the mission wasn't the linguist's fault, then told him in no uncertain terms that he was not to ever again verbally attack someone on Daniel's staff.  According to the guy I talked to, it wasn't so much what Daniel said to Bray.  His words were actually quite mild, considering.  It was the way he said it and the look on his face."

"Damn.  I wish I'd seen that.  I've been itching to do something about Bray for a long time now.  The guy's an ass."

"Well, now that Daniel's put the fear of God into him, he'll probably be a lot more polite to the civilians here."

Ferretti looked down at his plate and began fidgeting, a sure sign that he had something to say but didn't know how to say it.

"Spit it out, Ferretti," Jack ordered.

The man met his eyes.  "The guys have been making bets on when Daniel will be offered the command of an SG team."

Jack was so shocked by the announcement that he almost missed what Ferretti said next.

"Quite a few of them have said that, if he is given command of a team, they want to be on it."  Ferretti studied Jack's expression.  "I'm guessing by the look on your face that you hadn't heard this."

"No.  No, I hadn't."

"Can you really blame them, Jack?  The casualty list for SG team members goes up by leaps and bounds every year.  The guys figure that being on a team Daniel commanded would dramatically increase their chances of survival."

Jack had to admit that Ferretti was right.  "No, I can't blame them."

"Of course I told them that it would never happen, that Daniel wouldn't leave SG-1."

Deep in thought, Jack didn't respond.

The two men finished their lunch and parted company.  Jack continued talking to people about keeping quiet about Daniel, though his mind was no longer on that task.  If Daniel was offered command of a team, would he take it?  It would give him the opportunity to do things the way he thought they should be done.  No more butting heads with military-minded colonels while on missions.  No more having to sneak behind said military-minded colonel's back to do what he thought was right.  No more having to do things against his better judgment because that same military-minded colonel wouldn't listen to his advice and insisted on doing things his own way.

Several months ago, the idea of Daniel commanding his own SG team would have seemed pretty unlikely, unless that team was strictly for archeological exploration.  Several years ago, it would have seemed ludicrous.  But now. . . .  Jack had to admit that Daniel would be a damn fine commander.  After all these years on SG-1, he knew all the ins and outs of military operations, he could fire a sidearm and a P-90 with the best of them, and he could definitely handle himself in a tough situation.  With his psychic abilities, he could protect his men better than any other SG team commander could.  And he was brilliant, smart enough that he could figure out ways to fulfill their mission objective.  The one possible stumbling block, Daniel's ability to lead, was no longer an issue.  Jack had no doubt that the archeologist could take command.  But would he want to?  Jack didn't fail to notice that, when the Jaffa asked if Daniel would lead them into battle against the Goa'uld, he had said that he would stand beside them, not lead them.  Was that simply because he was trying to make a point that it wasn't his place to lead the Jaffa or was it because he doesn't want to lead?  Jack had to admit that he hoped it was the latter.  He didn't want to lose Daniel from SG-1.

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