HomeNews & InfoFan FictionMessage BoardLinksEmail


Upon hearing Sam's words, Daniel suddenly knew what to do next, and it had nothing to do with talking.  He covered the remaining feet separating them in a single step, cupped Sam's face with his hands, and lowered his lips to hers.  What happened next was not quite the reaction he'd expected.  With a deep moan, Sam grabbed his head, opened her mouth wide, and thrust her tongue deep into his mouth.  A feeling like the explosion of a thousand suns went off inside Daniel.  With a low groan, he crushed Sam's body to his and devoured her mouth.  She arched against him, molding her body as tightly to his as humanly possible.

Sam couldn't slow down.  She knew that she should, but the memory of those ten horrible weeks in a world in which Daniel was dead made it impossible.  She needed more desperately than anything in her existence to feel the life inside him in every way possible.

Daniel had no idea how he got there, but he suddenly found himself lying on the couch, Sam on top of him, legs bracketing his hips.  His body instantly reacted.  He clutched at her, his pelvis grinding upward into hers.

With hands that fumbled and shook, Sam fought to unbutton Daniel's shirt.  She nearly cried out in protest when he took hold of her wrists, stopping her.  She looked into his passion-darkened eyes.

"Sam, this is too fast.  We're going too fast," he panted, wishing that he was a whole lot less of a gentleman so that he could feel free to rip her clothes off and make love to her right there on the sofa.

Sam's head shook.  "I don't want to wait.  I need to feel you, Daniel.  I need to feel you alive inside me."

There was a look of desperation in Sam's eyes that cut right through Daniel.  He did not know the reason for it, but he did know that there would be no waiting.

Click here to go to PG-13 rated version of the rest of this chapter. Continue reading below for R-rated version.

Getting up, he carried Sam into the bedroom.  After pulling back the covers, he laid her down on the bed and set his glasses on the night stand.  He then slowly began removing her clothes, placing kisses on the uncovered skin.  When he removed her bra she began to tremble, whispering his name.  He lowered his mouth to the soft, round globes, kissing, licking and suckling upon her until Sam was writhing beneath him.

Sam was drowning in the sensations, her body craving still more.  Ignoring the buttons, she began pulling at Daniel's shirt, trying to get it off.  He grabbed the shirt and yanked it over his head.  His mouth was then back on Sam's as he unfastened her pants at the same time as she undid his.  They struggled out of their remaining clothing.

Naked at last, they came back together, Sam parting her thighs to allow Daniel to lie between them.  His hands caressed her body as his mouth covered her neck and upper chest with kisses.  One of his hands went between them to the apex of her thighs, his fingers teasing and stroking, driving her wild with pleasure.

All at once, Sam couldn't wait a moment longer.  Her hand joined his between them and encircled him, guiding him toward her entrance.  Gasping, he pulled her hand away from him and, entwining his fingers with hers, rested her hand on the pillow beside her head, doing the same with the other.  He then met her eyes.

Their gazes locked, Daniel slowly pushed his way into her.  'Oh God,' his mind cried as he felt her heat surround him, encase him.  The silent cry was matched in Sam's mind at the feeling of Daniel's hardness sliding deep into her body, filling her in more ways than just physically.

By the time Daniel was all the way inside, they were both panting, their eyes tightly closed.  Their eyes opened and met once again.

"God, Sam," Daniel whispered hoarsely.

"Yes.  Oh, God, Daniel.  It feels so good."

Daniel's lips came down on hers, their tongues plunging into each other's mouths in a deep, hungry kiss.  He then slowly withdrew almost completely from Sam, paused, then quickly thrust back, ripping a cry from her throat.  He did it again, then again, each time a little harder, feeling the need to go as deep into her as he possibly could.  He was fast becoming consumed by the feelings inside his body, his mind now solely immersed in the lovemaking.  In all the dreams he'd had of making love to Sam, it had never been like this, never made him feel like nothing in his life had ever compared to this moment of becoming one with her.

The euphoria of the lovemaking was suffusing Sam's whole body, making her want more and more.  She clutched as Daniel, back arching, hips pushing against his with every thrust, desperately seeking the explosion of ecstasy that would drive out every last trace of the grief that had ruled her life for so many weeks.

Sensing Sam's desperation, Daniel flipped them over so that she was on top.  He lifted his knees and braced his feet on the bed.  Sam sat upright, hands planted on his chest, and began to rise and fall above him, taking him into her body with increasing speed and force.  He grabbed hold of her hips and began thrusting upward in sync with her movements, a thumb sliding forward to stroke her center.

Within a matter of seconds, small cries began issuing from Sam's throat, her face alight with rapture.  And then she was flying, soaring high on the most glorious of ecstasies.  Daniel watched her come, holding off his own orgasm so that he could witness the beauty of hers.  It filled him with wonder and the sweetest of joys to know that he was giving this to her.

As Sam slowly came down from the heights, her body shaking in reaction, Daniel rolled back over on top of her.  He kissed her cheeks, her eyes, her forehead, feeling her gasping breaths waft across his face.  And then he began to move again, his own body now demanding release.

As Daniel's thrusts drove him deeper and deeper into her body, Sam felt a spark flare back to life, slowly growing toward another explosion.  Daniel began to tremble inside, his climax rushing upon him with unstoppable speed.  And then he was going over the edge, taking Sam with him.  Matching cries tore from their throats.  Immersed utterly in the fire, Daniel was unaware of Sam fighting to lessen the force of her own climax so that she could watch and feel him come, so that she could see and feel this ultimate expression of the life within him.

As the fire inside Daniel slowly banked, he sank down upon Sam, face pressed against her neck, his chest heaving, body trembling.  It took a while before he had the strength to roll onto his side.  She came with him, not wanting to be separated from him for even an instant.

For long seconds, the lovers lay recovering.  Then, all of a sudden, Sam began to cry, quiet sobs shaking her body.  Alarmed, Daniel tried to see her face, but she had it buried against his chest.

"Sam?  Sam, what's wrong?"

She lifted her face and pressed tear-wet lips hard against his.  As she pulled back, she cupped his cheek, her eyes delving deeply into his.

"I love you," she whispered.

Tears came to Daniel's eyes upon hearing those words and finding an answering echo inside him.

"I love you, Sam."

They came together in another kiss, slow, deep, and full of love.  Daniel placed soft kisses across her face, brushing back the sweat-dampened tendrils of her hair, sweeping away the wetness of her tears.  He then drew back and smiled into her eyes, letting all the love he felt for her show inside his.

And there it was, the look in his eyes from Sam's dreams, the look that she had thought she'd never get to see in reality.  It made joy swell so powerfully in her chest that it felt like her heart was going to burst.  Not wanting to cry again, she pulled Daniel's mouth to hers in another kiss, this one full of passion.  He returned it eagerly.

Their lips separating, Sam snuggled her head beneath his chin.  She could hear the beating of his heart, strong, and steady, and so wonderfully alive.  She rested her hand over the organ, a gesture of protection.  She would do anything to make sure it kept beating.  She would give her life.

Daniel shifted onto his back, keeping her close, and pulled up the covers.  Sam began placing kisses on his chest, then moved up to his neck.  Her tongue came out and dipped into the hollow of his throat, making him gasp.

"Sam," he moaned.  "I hate to disappoint you, but I am only a couple of years shy of forty, you know."

Sam giggled, actually giggled, smiling against his skin.  She lifted her head and levered herself above him, meeting his eyes.

"Sorry.  It's just that, now that I know what making love with you really feels like, I don't think I'm going to be able to get enough of it."

Daniel searched her face.  "What it really feels like?  Sam, have you had dreams of us making love?"

Feeling a little embarrassed, Sam replied, "A few."

"Ah.  Well, I've had a lot more than just a few.  I have to say, though, that reality is a whole lot better than the dreams."

Daniel's words made Sam think about when it was just the opposite for her, when she had wished that she could live in her dreams forever and never go back to the reality of his death.

Refusing to let the sorrow of that time dim the joy of this moment, she rested her head back on his chest and hugged him close.  With a contented sigh, she closed her eyes and let herself drift, sleepiness gradually creeping over her.  After a while, she became aware of Daniel's respiration deepening, the cadence of his heart slowing.  She raised her head and gazed at his sleeping face, open and peaceful, looking happy even in slumber.  She caressed his cheek with her fingertips, allowing herself to devour his features with her eyes, taking in every curve, every hollow, every line.  She forcefully pushed from her memory the sight of this same face pale in death and replaced it with the living version.

The new image firmly in her mind, Sam laid her head back down on the pillow of his chest and joined Daniel in sleep.

Consciousness slowly returned to Sam.  Oh, God.  Another cruel dream of Daniel being alive.  Another. . . .  Sam's mind cleared fully, and she became aware of a warm, solid body next to hers, an arm wrapped around her waist.  The memories of the previous day's events came rushing back in.  Daniel was alive!  It wasn't a dream.  It wasn't a fantasy.  It was real.

Joy exploding inside her, she lifted her head to discover Daniel gazing down at her with a happy, all-is-right-with-the-world smile on his face.

"Hi," he said, his smile brightening even more.

"Hi," Sam said back, feeling like her face was going to split open if she smiled any more broadly.

Daniel pulled her close and started running his hand up and down her back.  "I really, really like this."

"Mmm.  So do I.  It definitely beats waking up alone." She studied his face.  "So, how long have you been awake?"

"Around an hour."

"And you've been lying there, watching me sleep for all that time?"

"Pretty much.  It was a very enjoyable pastime watching the woman I love sleeping."

Sam gazed into his eyes, soaking in the joy of hearing those words.  "Well, maybe next time, I'll get the pleasure of watching the man I love sleep for an hour or so."

Daniel smiled brightly, and she saw the same joy in his eyes that she had just felt inside herself.

"Well, I doubt it will be as pretty a sight," he remarked.  "Has anyone ever told you that you are breathtakingly beautiful when you're sleeping?"

"Oh, I am not!  I probably look a mess."

Daniel became serious.  "Not to me."

Deciding that comment most definitely deserved a kiss, Sam did that very thing, delving into his mouth in a slow, leisurely exploration.  He joined the expedition and conducted a thorough search of her mouth.

At last, their lips separated.  Sam laid her head on Daniel's pillow, their faces just inches apart.  They lay like that for several long seconds, just looking at each other and soaking in the incredible feelings of that moment and what they'd shared last night.

Sam brushed her fingertips over Daniel's lips, then down his jawline.  "I cannot believe how much I am in love with you," she said.  "I don't know why I didn't see it a long time ago."

Daniel smiled.  "Well, at least you didn't have to get amnesia to see it."

'No, you had to die for me to see it,' she silently responded.

Sam hastily pushed that thought from her mind and began caressing her lover's body, her hand slowly moving down his form until she finally reached her destination.  Daniel let out a low groan, hardening at her touch.

"We don't have time," he gasped as she started stroking him.

Sam glanced at the clock and smiled.  "We'll, just have to go fast," she said with a twinkle in her eyes.

Having no desire to argue, Daniel grabbed the back of her head and plunged his tongue deep into her mouth, launching them into a kiss of ravenous hunger.  With a quick move, he rolled Sam beneath him, one of his hands going straight to her center.  In a surprisingly short amount of time, he had her fully aroused and more than ready for him.  He positioned himself and thrust into her, nearly making her scream.  Fueled with unbridled passion, he drove into her again and again, his body on a single-minded quest for release.  Sam wrapped her legs high about his back, grabbed onto his shoulders, and joined him on the same quest.  It took only a few minutes for their orgasms to rip through their bodies with stunning force.

"God.  That was. . . ." Sam gasped when she was finally capable of speech.

"Yeah," Daniel agreed.  He rolled off her to lie flat on his back.  "Wow.  This is way better than the dreams."

"Well, I'm very glad that the real me is better than the fantasy."

Daniel pulled her close.  "That you are."  He sighed.  "Unfortunately, this being the real world, I can't do what I really want to and keep you in this bed all day."  He grinned.  "However, there is always tomorrow, which we both have off."

"Mmm.  We'd better store up plenty of energy today, then."

"I completely agree."  He became serious.  "I know we need to talk, Sam.  There are a lot things we need to discuss about how this is going to affect things, especially work."  He stroked her cheek.  "And there are so many things I want to tell you."

Sam smiled.  "Ah, that communication thing, eh?"

Daniel smiled as well.  "Yep."

After sharing a deep, passionate kiss with Sam, Daniel very regretfully got out of bed, giving her the great pleasure of studying his gorgeous, naked body.  God, he was incredible.

The archeologist scooped up his underwear and headed off to the bathroom, quite aware of the female gaze that was glued to his derriere.

"Wow," Sam breathed once he was out of the room.  "No wonder all the nurses fight over who gets to give him a sponge bath."

She got up and put on her robe, heading off to the kitchen to start the coffee.  Daniel joined her a few minutes later, all dressed except for his shoes and socks.  He came up behind her, wrapped his arms around her, and placed several kisses down the side of her neck.  He then pulled something from his back pocket and presented it to her.

Sam smiled brightly upon seeing the flower.  "Where did you get that?!"

"From the planter outside your bedroom window."  He grinned.  "Is it still romantic if I steal the flower from your own property?"

Sam turned around in his arms.  "You bet it is," she replied before rewarding him with a kiss that made him really wish it was not a work day.

"I love you," he murmured against her lips.

"I love you, too."

"You had better be prepared, Major-Doctor.  Tonight I intend on showing you how romantic I can be."

Sam smiled.  "You do, huh?  Any hints on what I can expect?"

"Well, among other things, I am going to fix you dinner."

"You are?  Should I have a stomach pump handy?"

"Ha ha.  Very funny.  I'll have you know that I'm a halfway decent cook.  I wouldn't make any money as a chef, but I can promise you that I won't poison you."

"Well, in that case, I will be delighted to let you cook for me."

They shared another kiss, then drew apart.

"Are you staying for breakfast?" Sam asked.

"I really wish I could, but it's getting late.  I've got to hurry and get to my place so that I can shower and change.  When I came here last night, I wasn't exactly prepared to spend the night, and we have a mission this morning."

Sam's body stiffened as she suddenly remembered what day this was.  It was November 22, the day her life was shattered.

As Daniel went off to put on his shoes and socks, Sam tried to calm herself.  It wasn't going to happen that way this time.  This time, they'd be together, and she'd be prepared for the attack.

Daniel gave her a long kiss at the door, and she couldn't stop herself from clinging to him.  She was afraid to let him go, afraid that history would repeat itself, and she'd lose him.  She knew that, if it happened again, it would kill her.

As Sam got ready, she thought about what she could say to keep the colonel from splitting up the team.  With all four of them together, Daniel would be even safer.

Of course, there would be one sure-fire way to protect Daniel: telling her teammates what happened.  Jack would then refuse to let any of them set foot in those ruins.  But if she told them, what would be the consequences?  They'd have to agree to keep secret the existence of the time device.  Daniel wouldn't be a problem.  Once she explained what was at stake, he'd go along with her.  Teal'c, too, would see the wisdom in her reasoning.  But what about the colonel?  He'd definitely agree that the danger of the device being stolen by that NID sleeper cell would be a good reason not to tell anyone about it, but Sam suspected that he wouldn't understand why they couldn't go ahead and take care of the repository.  She could almost hear him now.

"Carter, I see no sense in waiting until the last minute to get that thing out of Anubis' reach.  What possible difference could it make whether we get it now or two months from now?"

Would she be able to convince him of the wisdom of waiting?  She honestly didn't know.

But there was also another reason for not telling her teammates . . . or, specifically, Jack.  If, sometime in the future, the existence of the device had to be revealed to the military, Sam knew that she was going to be in a lot of trouble for not doing so right away.  As things stood now, she was the only one who would get into trouble.  If she told Jack about the device and he kept the secret as well, he'd get into trouble, too.  She couldn't put him in that position.

The astrophysicist decided that as long as she could convince her C.O. to keep the team together, she'd stay silent.  If she failed to do that, then she'd tell them.

Sam was horribly tense all the way to work and had to fight to keep her attention on her driving.  As she changed into her BDUs, she forcefully tried to calm herself.

'Relax, Sam.  Relax.  It's going to be okay.  Daniel's going to be fine.'

By the time she reached the gate room, she'd managed to achieve at least some calm.  This time, when Daniel arrived a couple of minutes later, not only did he look at her, he gave her a great big smile.

"Well, you're looking quite chipper this morning, Daniel," Jack remarked.  "Have a good night, did you?"

"As a matter of fact, I did, Jack.  I slept wonderfully, the best night's sleep I've had in weeks."

"Glad to hear it."

As she and her teammates ascended the ramp a short while later, Sam's anxiety began to return.  And then they went through the gate and stepped out onto P9H-331, and Sam was deluged with the stark, cold memories of the last time she saw this planet.  She clamped her eyes shut and took a couple of deep breaths.

"Sam, are you okay?" Daniel asked.

She turned to him and saw that he was watching her in concern.

"Yeah, I'm fine."  She thought up a quick explanation.  "I guess something I ate this morning doesn't like gate travel."

"Big breakfast, Carter?" Jack inquired in amusement.  He looked around.  "Well, I, for one, don't want to be here all day, so Daniel, Carter, you go check out those ruins over there," he waved his hand at the ones on the left, "and Teal'c and I will go take a look at the others.  Radio check every hour."

"Um, sir, do you think it's wise to split up the team?" Sam asked.  "We didn't send a UAV through, so all we saw was the video feed from the MALP.  We really can't be sure that there isn't someone living in or near the ruins."

Jack appeared to ponder her words.  Sam nearly held her breath waiting for his reply.

At last, he nodded.  "You're right.  Just to be on the safe side, we'd better stick together."

Sam was just about to suggest that they explore the ruins to the right of the gate when Daniel said, "Well, if I have a vote, I'd like to go check out those ruins first."  He pointed at the ones to the left.  "I saw a large sign of some kind on the MALP video feed that I'd like to get a better look at."

"I have no objections," responded Jack.  "Carter?  Do you have any preference on which of these lovely examples of crumbling cities we go to first?"

Sam frantically tried to think up some reason why they should go to the other one first, but there was really nothing she could say.  The MALP didn't even go into that city, so she couldn't claim that she saw something on the video feed that she wanted to see.

With a silent sigh, she replied, "No, sir."

As they traveled through the ruins, Sam tried to keep at bay the memories of what happened here in the original version of history, but it wasn't easy.  She decided that the best thing to do would be to keep them away from the area of the city where the natives were.  There was some chance that there were more elsewhere in the ruins, but she suspected that what she and Daniel encountered was a hunting or scouting party.  If she was right, they might be the only ones in the city.

Ironically, Sam's plans were derailed yet again by Daniel, who, after studying the fallen, billboard-like sign covered in a language that he couldn't decipher, hurried off to explore a structure that was in exactly the direction Sam did not want to go.

And so the next hour and a half went, Sam 'discovering' things in a direction that would lead them away from that certain spot in the city, but then having her purpose defeated by Daniel steering them back that other way.  She felt like screaming.  She consoled herself with the knowledge that, if they did end up in the same place as last time, they'd be getting there quite a bit later, so the natives would likely be gone.

That thought didn't help Sam's nerves, though.  The closer they got to the place where the natives attacked, the tenser she became.  All her senses were hyper-vigilant, her grip on her weapon so tight that her hands were starting to cramp.  She knew that, at any second, they could encounter those natives.

As they reached a certain spot in their journey, Sam recalled what she found there.

"Sir, look," she said, pointing at the thing lying on the ground a few yards away.  They all approached it.

"It looks like some kind of rifle," Daniel observed.

Jack bent down to pick up the arrowhead bullet.

"Careful, sir," Sam warned.  "It's sharp."

Jack stared at her, his eyes clearly asking how she could know that.

"Um, it . . . it looks sharp, sir," Sam stammered.

Jack carefully picked it up and studied it.  "Well, they sure didn't fool around when it came to their ammo, did they.  This could probably penetrate Kevlar, if the velocity was high enough."

Teal'c asked to see the bullet.  He fingered the razor-sharp edges.  "I believe that the new ceramic polymer insert would also fail to stop it, O'Neill."

Sam knew that they were both right.

Daniel was examining the rifle.  "Um, Jack, this wood is only just beginning to rot, which means that it hasn't been here for more than a few years."

The colonel realized what he was saying.  "Which means that we're probably not alone on this planet.  And, judging by the ammo they use, they may not be the friendliest of people."

"We can't say that for certain, Jack," Daniel countered.  "The bullets could be designed to penetrate the thick hide of some kind of large animal."

"True, but let's all be on our toes regardless."

They resumed their search of the ruins.  The team was approaching that one particular building, the one on the other side of which was the place Sam never wanted to see again, when she stopped dead in her tracks.

"Sir, I thought I heard something," she lied.  "Up ahead."

Jack looked at her, noting that she appeared unusually tense.  She also looked a little pale.  Was she still feeling sick?

"Teal'c, take point," he said, lifting the barrel of his P-90.

Teal'c took the lead as they continued forward at a slower pace.  As they came around the building, Sam's eyes were darting about frantically, looking for anything that moved.  She saw nothing, no sign of the natives at all.

As SG-1 advanced unchallenged, Sam began to relax.  The natives had moved on.  They weren't here.

She glanced at Daniel and froze upon seeing where he was standing: in the exact spot that he'd died.  Sam had to choke back a shout for him to move.  She quickly averted her eyes, unable to bear looking at that wall.

"I guess it was just an animal that I heard," she said, not relaxing the grip on her weapon.

"Maybe," Jack responded.  "Regardless, I'm getting progressively less inclined to explore this place.  We haven't found anything important enough to make it worth getting shot at."

"O'Neill," Teal'c called.  He bent down and picked up something.  "It is the remains of some kind of animal that has been eaten recently.  The meat was cooked."

"Okay, that's it," Jack said.  "We're heading back to the gate.  And, Daniel, don't you dare say you want to find those people and try to make friends."

"I wasn't going to suggest it, Jack."

They turned around and headed back toward the Stargate.  Sam couldn't get out of those ruins fast enough.

They took a different, more direct route back.  They were cutting through the shattered remains of what must have been a pretty large building when they all heard something.

"O'Neill!" Teal'c shouted as two natives suddenly appeared, rifles aimed at them.  Everyone dove for cover.  An instant later, there was the sound of a rifle firing, and one of the deadly arrowhead bullets whizzed by.  It was followed by more.

Daniel cried out to the natives that they'd come in peace, but his words fell on deaf ears.  Seeing that diplomacy wasn't working, everyone fired their weapons into the air, hoping to scare the men off, but that didn't work either, and more of the lethal projectiles were fired at them.

Jack noticed that some of the natives were moving to surround them.  The time for playing nice was over.  He lowered his aim and took out several of the attackers.  He noticed that one of the men he hit was dressed in fancier clothing than the others.

Suddenly, all the natives let out an angry cry and charged straight at SG-1.  Having no other choice, the teammates opened fire on the men.  Within a matter of seconds, the natives were all on the ground.

Silence fell upon the ruins.  Cautiously, the members of SG-1 came out from behind their shelters.

"Everyone all right?" Jack asked.

"Yes, sir," Sam said.

"I am unharmed," Teal'c answered.

"I'm okay," replied Daniel, his eyes on the natives, wishing with all his heart that there had been some way to prevent this.

Sam's gaze went to the archeologist.  He was all right.  He was okay.  She'd done it!  The natives were dead, and Daniel had survived.

Feeling like shouting for joy, Sam turned fully to him.  She failed to see one of the natives on the ground reach out a bloody hand, grab his weapon and aim it at her back.

But Daniel did see.

"Sam!" he yelled, pushing her out of the way at the same time as he fired at the man.  He heard a second gunshot and felt something slam into his chest, burning a white-hot trail of agony through him.  And then he was falling, Sam's cry of torment and denial following him down.

"Noooo!" Sam wailed as she scrambled over to him, already sobbing.  "No.  Oh, God, no.  Not again.  God, please.  Not again."

Jack ran to Daniel's side.  "Crap!" he cursed upon seeing the blood on the archeologist's chest.  He quickly uncovered the wound and pressed a wad of bandages against it, putting pressure on it in an attempt to stem the bleeding.  He looked into Daniel's eyes, which were quickly losing focus.  "No!  Dammit, Daniel.  You hang on.  You are not gonna die on us."

Sam was spiraling downward into a black pit of grief.  He was dying.  Daniel was dying.  He was going to die.

A small voice inside her cried out a denial, cried that she had to save him.  She had to make him hold on.

Heeding the voice, Sam grabbed Daniel's face in both of her hands.  "Daniel, you have to hold on!" she told him.  "You can't let go.  I can't lose you again.  Please, Daniel.  I love you.  I love you!  Please don't leave me."

Stunned by her confession, Jack and Teal'c said nothing, only exchanging a long look, their eyes then going back to the man whose life was hanging in the balance.

Through the pain and darkness eating away at his consciousness, Daniel heard Sam's words as if from far away.  With rapidly blurring vision, he found her terrified eyes.

"I love you," he whispered.  Then the darkness closed over his mind, and the world went away.

The three members of SG-1 sat, unmoving, in their chairs.  Sam was silently crying, arms wrapped tight about herself.  Jack's head was resting in his hands, eyes closed.  Teal'c's gaze was fixed upon the wall across from him.

A door opened, and all three of them were on their feet in an instant, eyes staring intently at the person who was approaching them.

"He's alive," Doctor Brightman said.  "The surgery went well.  He is still in serious condition, but I have high hopes that Doctor Jackson is going to make it through."

Sam's knees were suddenly too weak to hold her.  Jack grabbed her shoulders and set her back in her chair.  He was feeling pretty weak in the knees as well.  They'd almost lost Daniel.  For a moment, he'd thought that they had.  When Daniel's eyes closed, and he went so terribly still, Jack was certain that his best friend was dead.  He didn't think he'd ever forget the scream of torment that came from Sam.  But a thready pulse within the archeologist's neck testified to the fact that he was still hanging on.  It took some doing to get through to Sam that the man she loved wasn't dead.

Recognizing that they needed to get Daniel medical assistance right away, the colonel made the decision to have Teal'c carry the archeologist toward the gate as Jack ran ahead and got help.  Sam was clearheaded by then, so he felt confident that she'd keep her senses alert for danger.

It took a while for the medical team to get Daniel stabilized enough that they felt it was safe to take him through the gate.  And then the waiting began to see if Daniel would make it through the surgery.

"All of you need to get cleaned up," Doctor Brightman said.  "And I should imagine that you have a debriefing to go to.  Daniel will be in Post-Op for a while before we put him in the ICU.  You're not going to be able to visit him until then."

Getting the message, the three teammates went off to shower, change and take care of the debriefing.

Neither Jack nor Teal'c revealed to Hammond the confessions of love that Daniel and Sam gave to each other.  That was something that Jack would speak to them about in private.  He did wonder about how it was going to affect the team dynamic, though.

Jack also wondered about Sam's ability to handle any future situation in which Daniel was threatened or injured.  She had definitely not kept her cool this time.  But then, who was he to judge her?  He wasn't exactly calm and collected either, and he knew that if it had been someone he was in love with lying there, possibly dying, a cool head would have went right out the window.  If this had been three years ago, and it had been Sam in Daniel's place, he'd have been pretty frantic, too.  His feelings for Sam had mellowed a whole lot since then.  Though some remnant of them remained, the feelings weren't strong enough to make him jealous over the fact that Sam now loved Daniel.  The truth was that Daniel would be a whole lot better match for her than he would have been.

Once the debriefing was finished, Daniel's teammates went back to the infirmary.  The archeologist had just been settled in a bed in the ICU.  Hooked up to what seemed like a dozen monitors and other various paraphernalia, he looked alarmingly pale.

Sam immediately took a seat at his side, picked up his hand, and pressed it to her cheek, her eyes locked onto his face.  Jack found another chair and sat down as well, Teal'c taking up a spot near the foot of the bed.

Jack looked at Sam.  She was stroking the arm she held and looked to be on the verge of tears.

"He's going to be all right, Sam," he told her.

She dragged her eyes from Daniel's face and looked at him.  "I know.  I-I mean, I hope. . . ."  She stopped and sighed.  "I was just so scared, sir.  I was so certain that I was going to lose him again."

Jack stared at her.  "Again?  You said that several times on the planet."

Sam paused, her eyes darting away from his as if to hide something.  "I . . . I was just thinking about the radiation poisoning.  When he was dying, it tore me apart, and when he ascended . . . it hurt so much to lose him."

"Then you knew even back then."

Sam's gaze returned to him.  "Knew what, sir?"

"That you love him."

Sam stiffened for an instant, then relaxed.  "Um . . . no, I didn't know, but, looking back on it now, I guess I should have.  I was in so much pain after he left.  Even months later, it still felt like we'd just lost him."

"So, how long have you known?"

Sam wasn't quite sure how to answer.  The date she figured it out hadn't even happened yet, in this timeline.  Since, by her frame of reference, she had known for around six weeks, that's what she decided to tell Jack.

The colonel absorbed that bit of knowledge.  "And have you and Daniel acted upon these mutual feelings?"  The blush that suffused Sam's cheeks answered his question.  He wondered how long they'd been in a relationship, hiding it from everyone.

"We haven't been together for long, sir," Sam said, guessing what he was thinking.  "We got together very recently."  'Very, very, recently,' she added in her mind.  There was no way that she was going to tell her C.O. that she and Daniel confessed their feelings for each other and made love for the first time just last night.  "We had every intention of telling you," she told him, though she and Daniel hadn't actually discussed it.

Sam studied the look on the colonel's face, which was unreadable.  She had to wonder what his feelings were about this.  Three years ago, she knew that the feelings she had for him were requited.  Did he still feel that way about her?  He hadn't given her any signs in a long time that he did.  She hoped that he didn't.  She'd hate it if her relationship with Daniel hurt Jack.

"Sir, I . . . I don't know how you feel about this.  Daniel and I both want to stay on SG-1.  I know our relationship isn't technically against the regs, but I also know that a lot of commanding officers wouldn't be willing to allow two people in a relationship to be on the same team."

Jack thought about it, about the complications that could arise.  But then he thought about losing one of them from the team.  It had been no fun having to replace Daniel after he ascended.  Not a single one of the replacements had equaled the archeologist, most falling far, far short of the mark.  Even Jonas Quinn, whom Jack had eventually sort of come to like, was unable to match Daniel in many ways.  Jack had no doubt that Sam would be equally as difficult to replace.

"I guess we'll just have to see how things work out," he said.  "Of course, mine isn't the only voice who has a say in this."

Sam nodded.  "General Hammond."

"I'll talk to him when the time is right, probably after our semi-immortal archeologist here is out of the infirmary . . . or at least out of the ICU."

Sam hid her reaction to Jack's adjective for Daniel.  They'd joked in the past about the archeologist's propensity to come back from the dead, but in the history that Sam had now changed, they had all learned the terrible truth that Daniel was not immortal, that death, permanent and immutable, could take him away from them.

But then, thinking about it, Daniel had cheated death again, and not just by surviving his injury.  His death had been undone, not in the same way that it had by a sarcophagus, strange little aliens, and various other ways, but undone nevertheless.

They all turned back to Daniel and were pleased to see his eyes flutter open.  The first thing those eyes came to rest upon was Sam.

"Hey," she murmured softly, giving him a gentle smile as she stroked his cheek.  "How do you feel?"

Daniel thought about the question and decided to be completely honest.  "Horrible," he replied.

"Yeah, well, that's no big surprise," Jack responded.  "According to the doc, if you'd been hit just a couple of inches to the left, we wouldn't be having this conversation.  It was still touch-and-go for a while, though, so I'd wager that you'll be a guest of the infirmary for quite some time," Jack smiled, "which, of course, means that you and Carter here won't be going on any more dates for a while."

Startled, Daniel stared at him.  "How did you find out?"

"Ah, I guess you don't remember the declarations of love that you and Carter made to each other as you lay bleeding all over the ground."

Daniel's face colored with embarrassment.  "Oh."  His eyes went to Sam, who was also looking a bit embarrassed.

Jack got to his feet.  "Well, I'm guessing that you two would like some time alone, so Teal'c and I are going to make ourselves scarce."

"I am most pleased that you will be well, Daniel Jackson," the Jaffa said.  "I would have grieved if you had perished."

"Thanks, Teal'c," Daniel responded.

"And I wish to state that I believe you and Major Carter will have a strong and mutually satisfying relationship.  When the proper time comes, I will travel to Chulak for the materials needed to craft you a traditional Jaffa wedding gift."

Teal'c's statement shocked the two scientists speechless, which was quite an accomplishment.  Jack was coming up a bit short for words as well.

"Uh-uh . . . thank you, Teal'c," Daniel finally managed.  He received a small smile and a nod of the head.

The two men left the ICU.

Daniel looked at Sam.  "Are you as stunned by that as I am?"

"Oh, yeah."

They both chose not to discuss the Jaffa's reference to marriage.

The archeologist sighed.  "So, I guess my plan to show you that I have more than just one romantic bone in my body is going to have to wait for a while."

"Yeah, but that's okay.  I can wait . . . as long as you make it really good once you get out of the infirmary."

Daniel saw the teasing light in her eyes.  "I assume we're not going to enlighten Jack to the fact that we haven't actually managed to go on a date yet."

"Not on your life!" Sam responded emphatically.  "And speaking of dates, you're not getting out of that.  I want my date, mister."

Daniel smiled.  "Well, if it hadn't been for a certain woman who apparently couldn't wait to do things in the proper order, there would be no reason for you to insist upon a date.  It would be a given."

Accepting the teasing remark, Sam leaned over and gently kissed him.  She then grew serious.

"I was so scared, Daniel.  I thought I was going to lose you ag—"  She stopped herself short of saying "again".

He squeezed her hand.  "I'm okay, Sam.  Well, not exactly okay, but I will be."

Sam nodded.  "Yes, you will be."  Sudden tears filled her eyes.  She clasped his hand in both of hers and pressed it against her chest, over her heart.  "You are so precious to me, Daniel.  If you had died . . . I-I think I'd have died, too."

Daniel tightened his hand around hers.  "When Sha're died, I felt like something inside me had died with her.  But I discovered that I could go on without her, that I could even be happy every now and then.  It took a long time, but my heart healed.  Yours would have, too, Sam."

Sam thought about that, wondering how many years it would have taken before she finally healed from Daniel's death.  Even after five years, her future self still bore the pain and guilt.

But she didn't want to think about that.  Daniel was alive, and she had every intention of spending the rest of her life with him.

The astrophysicist noticed that Daniel's eyelids appeared to be getting heavy.  "Get some sleep.  We'll have plenty of time to talk once you're better."

Daniel gave her a sleepy smile.  "Ah, some of that communication stuff, huh?"

"You bet."

Daniel's eyes closed, and he slipped into sleep.  Sam stayed with him for a few more minutes, then decided to go get something to eat.  She was famished.  It was a good feeling.

After eating, Sam went to her lab.  She decided to check on the time travel device.  Blocking the view of the device from the closed circuit camera, she opened the cabinet.  Staring at the device, she thought about all the things she could change with it, terrible events she could undo.  With the ability to go back five years, there were so many horrible events that could be altered, lives that could be saved.

But the scientist in Sam knew she couldn't do that.  Meddling with the timeline was dangerous.  It was impossible to anticipate how each change, no matter how small, would alter future events, possibly for the worse.  By saving even one life she could so dramatically alter the future that it would result in a catastrophe.

Sam couldn't help but think about going back to save Janet.  But if her friend could talk to her, what would she say?  Sam already knew.  She'd say that saving her wouldn't be worth taking the chance that it would result in a cascade of events that would make something worse.  She'd say that her life alone wasn't important enough for that.  Sam wanted to think that only good would come of saving Janet, but the truth was that she didn't really know.

But she had saved Daniel.  His was a death that needed to be undone, a death that doomed Earth to destruction.  Yes, she could have destroyed the repository instead and saved Earth that way, but something told Sam that Earth needed Daniel, that the galaxy needed him, that, sometime in the future, the fate of a whole lot of people would be depending on him.  Perhaps she was just letting her feelings for him get in the way of logical thinking, but the feeling persisted.

One thing was for certain.  She needed him, and, right now, that's all that mattered to her.

Sam turned the device over in her hands, her breath catching upon seeing something.  The power meter was at zero.  How did this happen?  How could her older self's calculations have been so wrong?  Shutting the device back up in the cabinet, Sam went to her worktable and thought about it.  After a while, she could come to only one conclusion.  The only answer she could think of was that jumping back in time into the body of your former self took more power than jumping back in time the other way.  It did sort of make sense.  Unlike in Quantum Leap, this was not a case of only a person's consciousness traveling through time.  The traveler actually physically merged into the body of their earlier self.  The device would have to perfectly align and synchronize the atoms of the traveler's body with those of their other self.  Alterations would have to be made since a person's body goes through changes over the years.  Even a few months could make a significant difference.  Her body from two months in the future was thinner than this body.  That would require adjustments to be made by the device.  Thinking about it, it really was quite extraordinary.

So, there could be no other trips back in time.  Yes, it was possible that she might be able to find a way to recharge the device, but it would be impossible to do so secretly.

There might come a day in the future when they'd desperately need the ability to go back in time and undo something, when that need outweighed the dangers of altering history, just as this time did.  If that time ever came, then Sam would reveal the existence of the device and do what she could to recharge it.  For now, she believed that it would be best to keep it a secret.

The astrophysicist wished that she'd gotten the address of the planet the device was found on.  Then there would be the option of taking it there to recharge it, if they ever needed it.  Actually, they wouldn't have to recharge this one.  Its . . . time twin was still sitting in that lab, waiting to be found.  Perhaps, someday, it would be.

Sam thought about the older version of herself, the sad, scarred woman who would never exist.  She'd be happy to know that Sam did things right and made it possible for her and Daniel to have the happy life together that she saw in her dreams.  Sam wanted that golden-haired boy with eyes of brilliant blue . . . and perhaps a sister for him, too.

A soft smile on her face, Sam got up and left her office, intent upon returning to the side of the man she had altered the course of history to save, and, in doing so, saved her own heart and soul as well.  Her guilt had been undone, the months of grief rewound, and she had so much in the future to look forward to.


Previous Chapter

Return to Index

HomeNews & InfoFan FictionMessage BoardLinksEmail
Stargate-Horizons.com Home Page   |   Site Map of Stargate-Horizons.com