The Loves in My Life
Nominated for Best Romantic Story, Relationship: Other in the 2005 Stargate Fan Awards
Author's Notes: This story addresses a little fact that I noticed in Stargate quite some time ago, and I thought it was about time that I let Sam express her thoughts concerning it.
Daniel got hurt again. It turned out not to be really serious this time, but it was a tense few hours as we struggled to get him back to the gate, then waited for Janet's report. Because of Daniel's injury, SG-1 is on stand-down for a week. Normally, I appreciate the free time since it gives me an opportunity to work in my lab. But, lately, I've been preoccupied with thoughts that I'd really rather not dwell on. I've been thinking about my life beyond my career and realizing how lacking it is. Here I am, all too quickly approaching forty, and I have virtually no social life, no family to go home to, and no real hopes of a stable, romantic relationship in the foreseeable future. It's a pretty depressing thought.
When I chose to join the Air Force, I knew that I was putting my career first and having a family second, but I still thought that, someday, I'd have a husband and kids. When I met and fell for Jonas Hanson, I thought he'd be the one to give me those things. How could I have been so blind and stupid not to see him for the kind of person he was? When we met, he was handsome, strong, charming, charismatic and seemed like a nice guy. It wasn't until after we got engaged that I saw the ugly side of him, the controlling, manipulative side that I'd failed to detect before. I had thought that I was in love with him, but I think that I was more in love with the idea of being in love. I was so young and foolish. Jonas is dead now, and, though I mourned the death of the man I had once cared about, I know that he was never really who I thought he was.
Then came Narim. Sweet, gentle, kind and extremely intelligent, he was nothing like Jonas. I liked him, a lot. And he loved me. He truly loved me. I never thought that love at first sight existed, but Narim apparently fell for me when he first saw me crouched over him and mistook me for an angel. That was really flattering. When he gave me that device that records emotions and it showed me the feelings he had for me, it touched something inside me. And when we kissed, I have to admit that it felt really good. But then, he was gone, off through the Stargate with the rest of the Tollans. I didn't know if I'd ever see him again.
Ah, Martouf. The moment I met him, I felt something, a strange connection that I could not explain. That connection made sense once I found out that he and Jolinar had been a couple. She had loved him, wholly and completely, and those feelings were now inside me. But were the things I felt for Martouf only the ghostly emotions of a dead Tok'ra? He was a wonderful guy, kind, gentle, soft-spoken, not like most of the other Tok'ra we've met. His symbiote, Lantesh, possessed some of that same arrogance that they all do, but he was nice for a Tok'ra. He rarely showed himself, though. It was usually Martouf that we saw. It was Martouf that I really got to know. He was the one that I began to develop feelings for. But I was realistic enough to know that a relationship with a Tok'ra would never work out unless I was willing to become one, too, and that was something that I could not do. Does that mean that my feelings for Martouf weren't strong enough? If you really loved someone, you would be willing to sacrifice anything to be with them, right? If I had truly been in love with Martouf, I would have at least considered the idea of being blended with a Tok'ra so that he and I could be together, wouldn't I? Thinking about it now, I realize that, though I cared for Martouf deeply, I was never in love with him, not like Jolinar had been. Even so, it hurt, it really hurt, when Martouf died, when I was forced to kill him.
Orlin. I honestly don't know what I felt for him. I know I liked him. He was sweet and gentle – and cute – and he really cared about me, enough that he gave up his life as an ascended being to be with me. But I wasn't with him long enough to have the chance to develop anything more than fondness for him. I mourned all the same when he died, that is if he really did die. He'd ascended once again, so, for all I know, he might have survived that blast and still be out there somewhere. I hope he is.
Months later, Narim came back into my life, and I experienced those feelings again. When he sacrificed his own world for the sake of ours and stayed behind to die with the rest of his people, it hurt so much.
It was then that I began to wonder if I was cursed. It seemed like every man I developed feelings for was doomed to die. Was there some kind of cosmic joke being played on me that would doom me to live the rest of my life alone? If so, it was still being played the next time I met someone.
Joe came along only a little while after I lost Narim. I liked him quite a bit right from the start. He was a really nice guy, intelligent, kind, understanding, and enjoyable to be with. I have a feeling that, if we'd been given a chance, he and I might have developed a real relationship, but he was gone before we got the opportunity. I have no doubt that he's dead. The Aschen would have had no reason to keep him alive.
Narim, Martouf, Orlin and Joe, four men who came into my life and left again during these years that I've been with SG-1. All wonderful, gentle, caring, brave, intelligent men who touched my heart.
Wow. You know, I never really thought about that before. All those men had those qualities in common. They were all the sweet, gentle type, the kind of guys that most girls' parents would approve of. I guess I've finally figured out what my "type" is, and it's not the tough military type that Jonas Hanson was.
But what about Colonel O'Neill? I've had "feelings" for him for a long time now, feelings I knew I shouldn't have but that I couldn't quite let go of. But, recently, I came to realize something, that I was holding onto those feelings because I was afraid to get into a relationship only to lose someone else that I cared about. Loving Jack was "safe" because we couldn't be together.
Since waking up to that truth, I've begun to wonder if I was ever really in love with him at all. I'm definitely attracted to him, and I care a great deal about him as a friend. He has a lot of qualities that I admire. But would I really want to spend the rest of my life with him? The truth is that we're far too different. We have too little in common. Those alternate reality Samantha Carters may have had successful relationships their Jacks, but that was them. Maybe there was something fundamentally different about those Carters and those Jacks that enabled them to have a relationship that I honestly don't think the colonel and I could. I mean, neither of those Sams joined the military, and that alone proves that they were different from me. The one I met said that she couldn't even imagine joining the military, while I couldn't imagine not doing so. That major difference in our personalities shows that we really weren't the same people, even if we did have the same DNA.
No, being completely honest, Jack's really not my type. My type is the kind of man with a gentle nature, someone kind and compassionate, someone with a quiet strength and courage, a man who possesses great intelligence, yet does not flaunt it. Someone like. . . .
Oh. My. God.
Someone like Daniel.
Okay, I think I need to sit down. I cannot believe this. How could I have been so blind? The truth has been staring me in the face all these years, and I couldn't see it. All those men that I've felt things for over the past six plus years were like reflections of Daniel. Every one of them. And yet none of them could really come close to what I see in the man whom I think of as my best friend, the beautiful, caring, noble, passionate, brilliant man whom I admire, respect, and care about so very, very much. In truth, they were all like shadows of him, men who possessed many of his qualities but faded in comparison to the incredible inner beauty that I see within Daniel's soul. And what I felt for every one of them couldn't come close to the love I have for Daniel. When each of them died, it had hurt, but it had not been the soul-deep pain that I felt all the times that we lost or came oh so close to losing Daniel. When he lay dying of the radiation poisoning, I felt like a huge chunk of me was dying as well. The year without him was one of the saddest, loneliest times of my life.
What does this mean? Could it be that, all this time, I have been in love with my best friend? I know I love him. I came to love him after being with him for only a few months. How could I not? He is such a wonderful person, and we get along so well. But do I feel more than friendship love for him?
I have always prided myself on being a logical person. I look at the facts and extrapolate a logical conclusion from the data. So, let's look at the facts.
One: virtually every man whom I've had romantic – or potentially romantic – feelings for in the past six years possessed a great many of the same qualities that Daniel has.
Two: I felt an instant, strong connection to Daniel almost from the first moment I met him, unlike anything I have felt for anyone else. I have never experienced such a strong bond with anyone before. There are times when that connection is almost psychic in nature.
Three: We get along so well with each other, like two halves of a whole. I've never had a friendship like I do with Daniel.
Four: I care about Daniel more than anyone else in the world, except perhaps for my father. He is so precious to me that I cannot bear the thought of living without him.
Five: Every time I have lost him, or thought I had, I felt as if the biggest part of my heart died along with him. If he ever really did die completely, I don't think I'd ever recover.
Six: Hoo boy. Yes, girl, it's time to face that little fact that you've been keeping from yourself all these years. You think he is a total hunk. In the beginning, he was a bit on the geeky side, but as the years have past, he's matured and developed a lot, in more ways than one. When did I first notice the size of his biceps, the strength of his shoulders, the breadth of his chest, that tight a— Ahem! Is it getting warm in here? Did I leave a Naquadah generator running or something? Wow. I've never allowed myself to examine these feelings before, to actually let myself dwell on the physical attraction that I've felt for Daniel almost from the beginning. Now that I have, I realize that I've never felt an attraction this strong before, not even with Jonas, whom I had planned on marrying.
Conclusion: There is no denying it, Sam. You love Daniel, not just as a friend, not as a brother. You are in love with him, utterly and completely . . . and you're hot for his body. Oh, boy.
So, what are you going to do about it? Good question.
Before I even realize it, I find myself heading toward Daniel's office. I think about stopping and turning back, hiding in my office until I figure out what I'm going to do about these feelings that I've just woken up to. But I don't. I keep right on going. I need to see him. I can't run and hide from this. I really don't know what I'm going to do when I'm face to face with him. I guess I'll just have to play it by ear.
His door is open when I get there, as it usually is. He's sitting in front of his computer, totally focused on what's on the screen. I can see the bulge of the bandages beneath his T-shirt, just above his waist. He really got lucky this time. There had been no damage to any organs. But the fear I'd experienced as we carried him back to the Stargate, seeing all that blood and the paleness of his face, had still been enough to send my heart up into my throat.
Daniel becomes aware of my presence and turns to me. "Hey, Sam," he says in his soft voice, the voice I've come to know and love so well. A faint smile curves his lips, the smile that tells me he's happy to see me.
As I enter the room, I look upon his face, features possessing a gentle handsomeness that I know makes the hearts of many of the women on base flutter. I gaze into his eyes, those amazingly beautiful blue eyes, so brilliant and clear, eyes that look at me with friendship and compassion and make me feel so warm, safe, and loved. And then, as if sensing something, he gifts me with that wonderful, rare smile of his, and I feel my heart melt in my chest.
"Hey," I say quietly. Then I just stand there, soaking in the essence of him.
Daniel's smile fades, replaced by puzzlement. "Sam, is something wrong?" There is concern in his voice.
I smile and shake my head. "No. No, there's nothing wrong. I'm just thinking about something."
"I'm thinking about the fact that we can spend so many years looking at something and never really see it."
"Oh? What, for instance?"
I come further into the room, never taking my eyes off him as I close the door behind me. When I am only a couple of feet away, I stop. "You, Daniel. I've never seen you, not really, not until now."
He looks up at me, eyes clouded with bewilderment. And then, it's as if the sun has come out. His eyes clear with realization. Amazement on his face, Daniel stands. We are now only a few inches from each other.
"Sam," he whispers. A gentle hand lifts and touches my cheek. "I saw you, really saw you, a long, long time ago."
And that's when I see in his eyes what I have failed to see all this time. Even as that discovery hits me, his arms come around me, and I am in his embrace. His lips descend onto mine. With that first sweet touch I feel a warmth, love and unparalleled joy that makes me realize that there is nowhere else in the whole universe I would rather be than here with him.