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Blind To The Truth

Part 1

Samantha Carter hummed as she walked down the corridors of the SGC. She had no idea what she was humming, but she was humming it. It may have been one of those popular boy bands that seemed to be every where. One of those really slushy, romantic bits of fluff, that you really really hate but find yourself singing to anyway.

Along with the humming came a small spring in her step and a grin about a mile wide, was a strange site indeed. She did, however, have her reasons. The first being that she was about to go home for a well-earned rest. SG-1 had been working hard lately and the General had finally granted them some downtime. The second reason Sam was in this state was that the sun was shining o the surface. She had bumped into Janet Frasier as Sam was on her way to the women's locker room. Janet had just spent a glorious week with her adopted daughter, Cassandra, and it seemed that the sun was going to keep shining for the rest of the weekend.

Well even if the sun did decide to leave them Sam's smile would more than make up for it. She couldn't help it, happiness radiated from her. And she couldn't tell a soul why.

As she made her way to the elevator, dressed in her civvies, grin still beaming from her face she though about whom she was going to spend the weekend with. Her smile broadened even more as she thought of the plans that she had made for their weekend together.

A Picnic. That was the first thing on her list. A picnic in the park, or maybe at one of the beauty spots in the mountains, far away from their work. They would spend the day just talking and eating and enjoying the view, forgetting all the stresses of work for a few blissful hours.

Those few blissful hours world run into the evening, an evening filled with delights. A bottle of rich red wine, necking on the couch. Necking in the bedroom......doing other things in the bedroom.

Sam loved how her man made her feel. She had never had a man make love to her the way he did. So sensual but powerful, they would spend all night just enjoying their union.

She couldn't wait.

Just as she reached her car she heard a voice from behind her calling her name. She turned to see one of her team-mates walking towards her.

"Hey Sam, you off for the weekend?" Daniel asked, taking in her appearance, making special note of the smile adorning her face. He knew she had been seeing someone lately, knew she was falling for the guy big time. What he didn't know, however, was who he was.

Daniel didn't like to pry into other people's lives, goodness knew that he hated it when they did it to him, but he couldn't help but be curious as to who had put the spring back into Sam's step. She had been down for a while after Martouf's death. Never being able to sort out her feelings for the Tok'Ra, she spent a lot of time thinking if she really had lost an opportunity or if the feelings had never really been hers but those of Jolinar.

Daniel had been there for her when she needed to talk, often spending nights at her place just sitting together in a peaceful silence as they both got lost in their thoughts. He always felt, though, that she was holding something back, keeping something locked away, he didn't want to force it out of her. It was none of his business.

Gradually the clouds lifted themselves from around Sam and Daniel began to notice the smiles. After a few days of the constant cheerfulness Daniel finally asked her what was going on. Sam's answer was to wink at him and say "Nothing really Daniel" and to walk off grinning. That was when he realised that she must have found someone.

Their talks became much less frequent and he missed them. He'd always been drawn to Sam, first of all as a fellow scientist, then as a friend. She had understood him when everyone else on the base had looked at him as if he were something they had picked up on the bottom of their boot. From their first meeting they had a connection, being able to finish each other's sentences, being on such a similar wavelength that Daniel couldn't help but like her.

Somewhere along the line though, Daniel began to think of her as something more than a friend, more than just the substitute sister. She had been there for him after Shau'ri had died, spent nights with him just talking, drawing him back to the real world, helping him to forget his pain. He found himself longing for their next evening together, just so he could see her smile.

He'd kept it to himself though, willing to admire her from afar rather than to wreck their friendship, admitting something that could never be reciprocated. He knew he didn't stand a chance with Sam and he would rather not make her uncomfortable knowing how he felt, in turn breaking up the team.

So now he watched her with sadness and joy in his heart. Joy that she had found someone to make her happy and sadness that it was not him.

Looking at her now in the glorious spring sunshine she looked more radiant than ever. Whoever he was, was a damn lucky guy.

"Yeah," Sam said dreamily "I'm really looking forward to relaxing this weekend"

"Good for you. You could do with the break Sam. I hope you have a nice time" He smiled and turned back towards his own car. She was in such a dream that she didn't really notice him. Her thoughts were on someone else. She got into her own car and drove off down the mountain.

Daniel watched her go, a sad smile on his face. She rarely noticed him now, when they weren't on a mission. Starting the car and turning on the radio he made his way home.

When Sam got in she made a beeline for the shower. She'd stopped off at the market on the way home to get food for the picnic. Now she was going to get cleaned up and changed and make her way over to his house. Yes, she'd probably be a bit earlier than they had arranged but he wouldn't mind.

Once clean she rummaged through her wardrobe for something to wear. After a lot of umm-ing and arr-ing she finally settled on a light floral dress, perfect for the sunny day. I didn't occur to her that this was the same dress that she had worn to Daniel's wake when the had thought him dead on Oannes. Now she only thought of the happiness she had when she wore the dress.

She checked her makeup one last time, made sure her dress wasn't rumpled and headed out the door to he car.

As she drove she fiddled with the radio 'til she found some "Happy Music" as she and Daniel called it. The sort of music that you really only listen to when your happy, music so sweet and sickly that if you weren't already on a high you'd go into sugar shock.

She found her favourite "Happy" station and immediately the car was filled with a bouncy, poppy tune, designed to be forgotten.

"Don't stop, never give up, hold your head high and reach the top...." Sam sang along. She tapped her fingers on the steering wheel as she drove, a picture of joviality.

After a 20-minute drive she was turning down her lover's street. She could feel the endorphins pumping through her system, just as the adrenaline was starting to kick in as her excitement at seeing him doubled as she parked her car on the street outside his house.

Checking her make up once more in the mirror and stepping out of the car she took a deep breath and made her way up his driveway to the house. She paused at the door and knocked. She could hear music coming from inside the house. It was pretty loud and Sam figured that her man must be out the back of the house in the yard. She carefully and quietly made her way round to the back, wanting to surprise him.

As she got closer she could hear his voice.

'Must be on the phone' she thought.

He was sitting on the raised decking leading off from the living room so Sam crept quietly underneath him, listening to his conversation.

When she could hear clearer she wished she hadn't.

"I know, Honey. I want to give us another know I want to make it work this time........look I'll tell her she should be coming round here in about half an hour....I promise I'll tell her Sara.....listen I have to go. She'll be here soon.....I love you. Bye." As Jack O'Neill hung up the phone on his ex-wife Samantha Carter's heart shattered into a million little pieces.

End of Part 1

Part 2

Jack O'Neill felt terrible.

He felt terrible about what he had to do that evening. About what he had been doing for the past two weeks. About life in general. The one small glimmer of light in his terribleness though was the thought that his love wanted him. She wanted to try again. To see if they could work.

Jack had changed a great deal over the past four years. He knew that. She knew that. He wasn't the same man that left the house five years ago. The one hell bent on destroying himself because of the boy that he had failed to protect. His son.

Sara had seen the change. He was more like the old Jack O'Neill that she had loved. The Jack O'Neill that she had married. The man that she still loved, had never stopped loving. She wanted him back.

That small flicker though was obscured by the darkness that consumed his thoughts. He had a hard task ahead of him that night, A task that no man would envy him. He had to tell a beautiful woman that he was leaving her. That he had been seeing someone else behind her back and that he loved that other woman.

Sam would be heart broken. He knew that. But it would be crueller to keep stringing her along, to keep pretending that he felt things for her that were more, felt things for her as he did for his beloved Sara. Hopefully though Sam would understand. After all what they had together wasn't true love, was it? They hadn't been together long enough for those sorts of feelings to develop.

Little did Jack know, was that Sam was at this moment stood under his decking, sobbing silently to herself. Crying her heart out for the love that she had just lost, a love that was never hers to begin with.

She didn't know how much time passed. She was trapped in her own little world of endless pain.

How could he?!

She had given him her heart!

She had given him her soul!

How did he repay her?

By cheating on her with his ex.

How could he?

As she stood there under his deck, shivering from the shock of what she had just heard, her pain began to turn. It was still raw and cutting at her soul but it was changing. It turned into a small flame.....

A flame of anger.

Jack was just about to get into the shower when he heard the doorbell ring.

'Damn' he thought 'She's early. God how am I going to do this?' he begged his mind to give him some kind of solution but his brain remained stubbornly silent.

'Some help you are' he grumbled to himself.

He mad his way to the front door, still desperately searching for some way of breaking the news to Sam gently. He was trying so hard to come up with something that he wasn't looking at her when he opened the door, he didn't see her fist rushing towards his nose, didn't know about it until it connected with his face.

One moment he was standing at his door the next thing Jack new he was sprawled on his floor clutching his bleeding now.

He looked up to see and extremely angry looking Sam glaring at him from the doorstep.

"How could you?" She asked. She wasn't shouting. Jack would have felt better had she been shouting.

Her voice was icy cold. Calm and unwavering. Her eyes were exactly the same.

"Why Jack? Why couldn't you have told me before?"

Jack didn't have to ask what she was talking about. He could tell. What he didn't know was how she had found out.

"Oh I know what you're thinking." She said before he could answer her questions "You're thinking 'How did she find out? How did she find out that I have been cheating on her with my ex-wife?" Well in answer to your question, SIR, I heard every word of your conversation."

Jack just stared at her in stunned silence. His nose throbbing and bleeding profusely.

"I would recommend not having private conversations out in the open air, Jack. You never know who might be listening."

Realisation shot through Jack. He sat, dumbfounded, looking at her furious face. 'Oh my God she heard me. She heard me talking to Sara on the phone.'

"Sam, please you have to listen to me. I never wanted to hurt you. I..I just..." he stammered into silence by the sudden blaze of fury that swept over her face. He knew that there was nothing he could say to make this any easier for her, nothing that would take away the sting of what she had heard.

"You never wanted to hurt me huh? Tell me one thing Jack, just one thing. How long has it been going on?"

He just sat there, looking at her, sorrow evident in his gaze.

"How Long!?" She demanded. Jack could see that there was no way of getting out of this so he opted for the truth. Nothing he said now would be able to change the fact that he had hurt her.

"Two weeks." he said meekly.

"Two weeks." Her voice was flat. No emotion carried through to his ears. He was afraid to look at her, afraid of what he might see in her eyes.

"Well, that's just great isn't it Jack? You have been seeing your ex-wife for two weeks without telling me. Were you thinking about her when you made love to me? Huh? Were you?" The anger was starting to build inside of Sam now. She could feel it bubbling in the pit of her stomach, ready to boil over.

"Sam I...I'm sorry.." He stammered. It was the final straw. All the rage that Sam had been holding inside exploded.

"YOU'RE SORRY!!!! Well it's not FUCKING good enough!! What did you think that this wouldn't hurt me? Did you think that I wouldn't care that you had been seeing someone else behind my back?
Well ya know what JACK?! I don't care. I don't give a FUCK what you do. You are nothing to me now! You're less than nothing. Oh I'm not going to make a scene at the base. Far from it. I want you to see me every day and know what you did. No one will ever know about us Jack. No one but you and me."

With that she turned around and walked down the steps, leaving a stunned Jack O'Neill to contemplate all that she had said.

Sam strode back down the driveway to her car. She swiped at the tears that were slowly trickling down her face.

She was not going to cry anymore over him. She was not.

But the tears kept coming. They wouldn't stop. It was as if someone had turned a tap on in her head and then snapped off the faucet. She couldn't seem to turn it off.

By the time she made it to her car the tears were running down her face, her breath hitching in her chest, the sobs coming faster and faster. She paused as she sat behind the wheel, managing to get herself under control again. She didn't want to break down here, outside his house. She need to get away from him. Somewhere he couldn't come after her. Then she could break down. The she could finally realise the true extent of her pain.

She turned on the engine, the radio came on too, blaring out its happy, cheerful tunes. She growled at it in disgust. Slapping the off button immediately. She REALLY didn't need that right now. Putting the car in gear she drove off. Away from the source of her pain, away from the place where her heart had shattered with every word that he'd said on the phone. Away from the man that she loved, from the man that she thought had loved her back.

End of Part 2

Part 3

Sam didn't know where she was going. She had been driving for an hour.

She didn't want to go home. Didn't want to face the memories in her house. See the bed that they had slept on just two nights before. See his razor in her bathroom. See the wineglasses left on the coffee table that she hadn't had time to wash yet.

It was all too soon. Too raw.

She didn't want to go home.

So she drove.

She finally found herself in a familiar part of town. She knew this area well. She had been here many times before. Somehow she always found herself here when she was depressed, when she was upset about something.

She pulled in beside a small building on the street. Looking up she saw his window was open, letting in the warm air, a glowing light shining forth into the coming darkness.

Sam was draw to that light. Drawn to the warmth and comfort it's owner would give her.

She shut off the engine and lowered her head to rest on the wheel. She was just so tired.

She felt drained, weak. Her body just wanted to curl up in a ball and never come out into the light again. She didn't even have the strength to hate Jack O'Neill at that point. She just felt numb.

She got out of the car and made her way up to his apartment. She knew he would welcome her. He always did. He always knew exactly how to handle her when she came to him, what she needed, what she didn't.

With a heavy heart she gently knocked on Daniel's door.

Daniel Jackson's afternoon had consisted mainly of work.

He had stopped by the market on his way home, picked up his essential supplies, which was predominantly made up of chocolaty things. There were other things too, vegetables, salad stuff, some pasta, a bottle of white wine.

Contrary to popular belief Daniel did drink. He just didn't drink a lot. He knew when to stop.

After he got home and had put away his purchases he sat down at the desk in his living room and set about reading through some of the reports that seemed to pile up whenever he was off world. Other teams' reports on civilisations and artefacts brought back through the gate, reports written by the bases other archaeological staff and their analyses of aforementioned artefacts. The seemed never ending. Every time Daniel thought he had managed to get a handle on the number in his in tray, he would go off-world and then come back to find it overflowing again.

By 6pm he'd got fed up with the reports.

Yes, Daniel Jackson, Workaholic, had gotten fed up with reading the reports.

He cleared up his desk and walked over to his window. It had been warm in the apartment when he came home, so he had opened one of the windows that looked out onto the street. Letting the sounds of the world outside to gently filter into the room.

He could see the pinks and purples of the sunset glowing from behind the opposite buildings. He loved sunsets.

There had been spectacular sunsets on Abydos. He and Shau'ri had sat on the dunes and watched them hand in hand. Her head would rest on his shoulder and they would bask in the remaining glow, watching as the three moons rose overhead.

Those days were long gone now. But Daniel still loved sunsets.

He walked back to his sofa and sat down. He had been restless all afternoon. Not concentrating totally on his work. He flicked on his TV and surfed through the channels, looking for something to watch.

He pondered his feelings, he knew why he was feeling restless. He knew who had caused it.

It was Sam. He couldn't stop thinking about her. He was falling for her, he knew that. But she had this new mystery man. The man of her dreams it appeared. He was happy for her, he truly was. But something inside him ached when he saw her dreamy smile. Something that he hadn't felt for a long time. It ached because he knew that smile would never be for him.

He tried to shake himself from his musings and looked at the TV. He'd stopped flicking through the channels some time ago and finally looked at what he had chose.

It was some inane comedy program. It took him a few seconds to realise that it was the lame American attempt at recreating the classic British show Fawlty Towers. Man was it awful.

Daniel had seen the original. Now that was comedy. This new attempt to simulate the sharp British humour really wasn't working. He switched off the TV and decided that music was probably a better choice.

He flipped through his CD collection. It was diverse. He had music ranging from Jazz and blues to rock music. He settled for his Cardigans CD. It always seem to blend with him when he was in his pensive mood.

He settled on the couch, lying down looking at the ceiling, as the first strains of Paralyzed came through the speakers.

He found himself drifting away when suddenly there was a knock at the door.

He got up to answer it. He wasn't expecting anyone and was doubly surprised at who he found when he opened the door.

"Hi Daniel" Sam said quietly.

Daniel stood at his door for a moment in shocked silence. Then seemed to recover himself and invited Sam to come inside.

Once inside he was able to take a good look at her. He noted the slump to her shoulders, the slight shiver that raced through her frame, and the red rims around her eyes. He knew instantly that she had been crying.

"Sam what's wrong?" he asked worriedly as he moved towards her, "You've been crying, what's happened?"

She looked up into his eyes and opened he mouth to say something but nothing would come out. She suddenly found the tears beginning to flow again. The next thing she new was she was being enveloped in his arms and she was sobbing her heart out onto his warm chest.

As soon as Daniel had seen the tears start to form in her eyes his heart broke. He put his arms around her and held her while she sobbed. It had been a long time since he had seen her in this state and he knew that something terrible must have happened to put her in it again.

Neither knew how much time had passed until Sam finally had calmed down enough to pull away from Daniel slightly. She didn't leave his arms. She felt too safe and comfortable there to do that. Instead she just looked up into his eyes and thanked him.

"I'm sorry Daniel. I didn't mean to ruin your evening. it's just....just that I didn't know where else to go...I..I didn't want to go home..." she trailed off. He just hugged her tighter and whispered into her hair.

"'s ok Sam. You know you're always welcome here. You know I would do anything for you." he realised how that must have sounded so quickly added, "what are friends for?"

She just nodded and sniffled. Daniel could still fee the shiver running through her body and took in the thin dress she was wearing.

'she must be freezing in that thing'

"Listen Sam why don't you sit down and I'll get you something warm to put on, Ok?" he asked her,
"Then I'll make us some tea and you can tell me what happened, Ok?"

She nodded again and moved to sit down on the sofa. Daniel made his way to his bedroom and pulled out a pair of sweats from his draws and a big pair of socks. He took them back out to her and watched as she made her way back into his room to change.

He busied himself with preparing cups of tea. He kept some green tea in his cupboard, it was left over from previous occasions such as this. It always seemed to have a calming effect on a distraught Sam. Daniel figured she need it more than ever tonight.

Sam padded her way of Daniel's bedroom and made her way back to the couch just as the tea was ready. Daniel made his way over to her and set the mugs down on the coffee table and sat back down on the couch as he watched Sam curl herself up on the other end.

She just sat there for a while, not making a sound. Daniel knew not to push her, had been here before. She would talk when she was ready and no amount of prodding could prize it out of her.

It was some time before Daniel heard the first quiet sob, but he knew he could now act, help her through whatever was hurting her. When she started to cry, when she could show her pain in front of him, it meant that she was ready to accept his comfort and help.

He quickly set down his mug, from which he had been slowly sipping his tea whilst watching her, and knelt down in front of her on the couch. Gently he placed a hand under her chin and lifted her face so that he could look into her tearful eyes. As soon as she looked at him she crumbled, throwing herself into his arms, sobbing her heart out.

Daniel just rode with the storm, just held her and let her cling to him until it had passed. It had been some time since he had seen her like this. He knew something very bad had happened to get her into this state. Not since Martouf had died had he seen her cry this hard. It broke his heart.

Gradually she calmed herself. When she felt she had herself under control she pulled back from his embrace and sat back into the sofa. Hesitantly, she began to tell him of what had happened that day.

The words came out of her mouth, faltering at first, but slowly the full tale came out. She told him of her excitement at their date that afternoon, the plans she had made for the picnic. How she had dressed up to look especially nice for him. How she had gone to his house earlier than they had planned together, just to catch a few extra minutes with him.

Daniel smiled inside as he thought how happy she had been that morning, the radiant smile adorning her beautiful face. That inner smile soon turned into anguish at the thought of her current pain. He grew angry when she told him of the phone conversation she had overheard, his heart ached with hers at the betrayal she had been subjected to, at the dishonesty of the man that had done all this to HIS Samantha.

He felt somewhat triumphant when she told him how she had punched the guy, and how the sight of his bleeding nose had made her hurt the better by the smallest fraction. He quashed his feelings, though, he could see how much pain and despair this was causing her. He did not want to turn it to his advantage, to feel like he had some vague victory over the man that had stolen his Sam's heart.

He was brought back from his thoughts when she said,

"Why Daniel?" her voice was full of tears "Why would he do that to me? I thought he loved me" her voice breaking at the end of her plea for understanding and she again burst into tears. He got up from his place on the floor at her feet and sat next to her on the couch. She just threw herself into his arms again and cried.

"I don't know Sam, I honestly don't know why." he whispered softly into her hair as he waited for her to calm again, waited for her to drain some of her pain. Just as he tried to absorb it for her, to take it away just that little bit to make it bearable.

After about five minutes of her crying and his whispering of nonsense, calming words, to her, Daniel noticed that she had gone still in his arms. He could feel he even breathing on his neck and when he looked at her face he saw that she had fallen into a gentle sleep.

Gently, so as not to disturb her too much, he picked up his beloved Sam and carried her into his bedroom. He placed her on his bed and pulled the covers over her body. He sat there watching there for a few moments, brushing a stray lock of hair off her brow.

Gently kissing her forehead he left the room, leaving the door slightly ajar.

End of Part 3

Part 4

Sam woke up to find herself in a strange room, in a strange bed, and wondered what on Earth she was doing there.

Suddenly, as full consciousness returned, she remembered everything that had happened that day. Every detail, from hearing Jack's phone conversation, to punching him on the nose and going to Daniel's apartment. She then remembered crying in Daniel's arms, telling him all that had happened, just leaving out the names.

That's when she realised where she was. In Daniel's room. In Daniel's bed.

She rolled over and looked at the bedside clock. It's little green numbers read 11:00. As there was no light coming through the closed drapes she assumed it meant 11:00pm.

She noticed the door to the room was slightly ajar, she could hear soft music coming from the living room. She pulled herself out from the covers and made her way back out to Daniel. It had been about 6:30 when she had gotten to Daniel's and she had no idea how long she had been there before she had fallen asleep in his warm embrace but suddenly she felt hungry.

She found Daniel lying full along the length of the couch, his bare feet hanging over the armrest at one end. His head rested on the other one, one arm draped over his eyes so that she couldn't tell if he were awake or if he had fallen asleep.

Her feet shuffled slightly on the floor and she soon got her answer when he moved the arm covering his face and sat up.

He watched her as she shuffled over to the couch and made room for her to sit beside him. She gave him a small, sad smile as she sat down.

"How do you feel?" he asked her gently. He knew that she could not feel better just yet, that a few hours sleep and a talk with a friend couldn't possible take away the pain that she was feeling, but it did make it feel slightly easier to deal with. To know that there was someone there for you. To know that no matter how bad things got, no matter how much it hurt. There was someone there who you could talk to, cry on and generally look after you when things seemed out of control.

"Numb," she said softly, "I don't feel anything right now. I'm still trying to take it all in." her sentence was punctuated by a loud growl of her stomach. She gave a soft laugh at the sound.

"Well actually I feel a little hungry." Daniel got up and wandered to the kitchen.

"I fix you something," he said on his way. "You just sit there"

She did as he said, then she lay back on the couch, much as he had been when she had come out of his room. She let the soft sounds of the music wash over her, the gentle voice of James Taylor flow through her numb mind, until there was nothing but her and the music in the room.

She was brought out of her trance by the sound of something being placed on the coffee table in front of her. Sam sat up and look at the tray that Daniel had put together for her. She sat up again as he went back into the kitchen.

He had made her soup, her favourite, vegetable. On the side was some thick, crusty bread, along with a glass of juice and another cup of tea.

She picked up the spoon he had left for her and began to eat. Daniel came back into the living room with a mug of his own in his hand. As he sat down Sam could smell that he was not drinking tea.

"You know that coffee this late at night is not good for you Daniel." She admonished teasingly. "You'll never sleep now."

Daniel just chuckled lightly and sipped his drink. She was right, he probably wouldn't sleep that well tonight, although it had nothing to do with the caffeine.

The sleep had done Sam good. She looked less fragile, less like she was going to shatter at any second. Daniel could still see the rawness in her eyes though, could still see that it was going to take a long time for her to get over this. He was determined to be there for her though, every step of the way.

After Sam had finished her meal and Daniel had cleared away her tray, they just sat listening to music. Eventually they both lay stretched out, side by side on the couch, letting themselves drift away into their thoughts.

Late into the night Sam brought herself out of her melancholy thoughts and turned her head to look at Daniel.

His eyes were closed. She could see the even rise and fall of his chest and hear the gentle snores he made as he slept.

She took this time to study him. She's done it so many times in the past, when he had helped her through other emotional episodes.

She took in his short brownish blonde hair. Sometimes she missed seeing the long hair, it made him stand out so much from the other people on the base. The sight of Daniel, his hair flopping about all over the place, running down a corridor, glasses about to fall off, was enough to make anyone smile.

Daniel had changed though. He was no longer the innocent young scientist who had first been brought back from Abydos. He was no longer the idealistic man who thought that if he just tried hard enough he could do anything.

Daniel had become hardened in his years working at the SGC. Had lost a lot if his faith in the world that he had once known, or a world he thought he knew. He had become hardened by hurt and pain. Personal tragedies seemed to follow him everywhere. Just when he thought he was over something the universe just threw another curve ball at him.

Sometimes Sam missed the long hair. She missed his innocent optimism that seemed to have been cut away along with it.

She let her eyes travel down to his face. He still looked boyishly young, despite everything he had seen, everything that he had felt. She noticed a few lines creeping in here and there when he was awake, but in sleep his face was relaxed and peaceful, giving him a child like appearance.

His torso and arms were next on her inspection. It was hidden well by the baggy T-shirt he was wearing but she could see the well-muscled chest, something else that had come from working for the SGC. Jack had put him through a rigorous course of training to get him fit enough to be on the team. Daniel no longer need Jack to push him though, he was more than just fit now, he was in peak physical condition. Daniel put in his hours at the gym each week just like every other soldier on the base, just another reminder of the innocence that had been lost with his beloved Shau'ri.

Daniel was becoming less and less the civilian and more the soldier. He would never fully be mistaken for a member of the Air Force though and just when the other members of SG-1 would think that he was being a full team player and abiding by orders, Daniel would just surprise them totally. The universe wasn't the only one who knew how to throw the proverbial curve ball.

She followed the sculpted lines of his arms down to the fine, long fingered hands at the ends. Here there was no mistaking him for a soldier. His hands were those of a scholar. Hands made to hold a pen, not a gun. She smiled slightly at the ink stains peppered lightly over his right hand. Obviously he had managed to find himself a leaky pen. Sam took in the writers bump on the middle finger of his right hand, well formed after years and years of writing vast amounts of notes, the small callous a testament to his hard work and many achievements.

She also remembered the beauty that those fingers could produce. Daniel was a surprisingly good pianist but he rarely played for anyone but himself. Sam had only heard him by chance, going to see him one day she had heard a wonderful rendition of Mozart's "Moonlight" Sonata coming from inside his apartment. At first she assumed it was a CD, until a wrong note was hit and a curse uttered and the music picked up from a few bars before. Sam had never let him know that she had heard him play, for fear that he would be embarrassed, but there were times when she watched those long fingers dance over a computer keyboard and would wish that it were a piano instead.

Sam moved her eyes down, his T-shirt had bunched up slightly at his waist, she could see the tip of the pink scar, the leftover from his appendectomy months before. She had been worried about him then and she knew he had nearly worried himself sick about the rest of the team when they had been transported and then trapped up on Thor's ship. Janet had told her how he had, repeatedly, ignored medical advice as he worked to find a way to save them. Yet again.

As she thought back to that time she was hit by the pain again. The day that all the problems with the Replikators started was the day that Jack had first, tentatively, let her know that he had a more than professional interest in her. The day he asked, sort of, her to go fishing with him. That had been the start of it all.

She pushed back the dark memories and continued her Daniel Inspection. She nearly giggled when she thought that.

His legs were like his arms, muscled and strong. They were hidden beneath the jeans that he was wearing but she knew they had great stamina and a hidden strength. She reached his feet with her eyes. Like his hands they were long and fine boned. She could see the slight scar on the bottom of his ankle. He had told her once that he had been on a dig and had fallen down an old mineshaft. He'd managed to break his ankle and had to have surgery to set it again. It seemed that Daniel had been accident prone for most of his life.

She returned her gaze to his face. Watching him slumber peacefully made her feel sleepy herself. She gently rested her head on his chest and drifts off to sleep listening to the steady beat of his heart.

End of Part 4

Part 5
The rest of that weekend was spent in amiable companionship. Sam and Daniel stayed in and watched movies ate junk food and were just there for each other. Sam was glad of Daniel's company. She dreaded having to go back to her own house, to face the emptiness there. Occasionally, usually in the wee, small hours of the morning, when they had watched a particularly weepy movie, Sam would just cry into Daniel's shirt. Letting the pain at her betrayal flood through her. It was her release valve, something that she need to do in order to get past her pain.

Daniel knew this. He knew how to get her through it. He had done it before, just as she knew how to get him through his hurt. They were best friends, the kind of friends that knew each other inside out.

Monday came around all too soon though. Sam knew that despite the progress she had made that weekend she would have to face Jack back at the base. She knew that she had to put up a good front, especially in front of Daniel. She had to be strong or else Daniel would know that it was Jack who she had fallen for, Jack who had cheated on her. And as much as he and Daniel were friends knowing this would tear the team apart.

Sam left Daniel's apartment early in the morning so she could go to her house to get some clean clothing. Slopping around in Daniel's sweats all weekend was fine for just staying in but she needed some proper clothes to go to work in and the dress she had been wearing for the picnic really wasn't suitable.

So she left him, still groggily wandering around his apartment, mug of coffee in hand, searching for his glasses. Before walking out the door though she gave him a big hug.

"Thanks for this weekend Daniel. I don't know what I'd do without you."

Daniel stood there in shock for a moment and then gently wrapped his arms around Sam. His mind raced for something to say, anything.

"Anytime Sam, you know I'll always be here for you. Always." She let him go and stepped back, smiling sweetly at him. She knew she could count on him. He was her best friend. She'd meant it when she had said she didn't know what she would do without him.

She gathered her things and quickly left Daniel's apartment, feeling so much better than she had when she had arrived two days before. The ache was still there but the friendship she had shared that weekend had lessened it somewhat. Sam felt stronger, ready to face what she was dreading.

Daniel stood in the middle of his living room, still reeling from the hug. He'd wanted to say so much more to her, to tell her that she was more than a friend to him. Much, much more. But his brain hadn't responded, his voice hadn't co-operated and she had left without knowing how he truly felt.

Shaking himself out of his reverie he went about his morning routine, which generally consisted of lots and lots of coffee before anything useful could be accomplished. He managed to gulp down his second cup before rushing out the door to make his way to the base.

Jack O'Neill had had a terrible weekend. He'd spent half an hour on Friday evening desperately trying to get his nose to stop bleeding. I was still sore now. But his nose had not been the problem. No it was the person responsible for the bleeding nose that was the source of his trouble that weekend. He still wasn't quite sure how he was going to explain the black eye to his friends.

He had tried and tried to call Sam over the course of Saturday and Sunday but all to no avail. Her answering had picked up each time and when he went round there to talk to her she didn't answer the door.

Jack couldn't say that he really blamed her. He supposed that he deserved the way she was treating him, that she was bound to be hurt by what had happened. All he wanted though was a chance to talk to her, to explain what happened, but he knew that nothing he could say would take away the pain that she felt. He just hoped that she would be all right, that it wouldn't affect the team.

He'd spoken to Sara that Sunday too. They had made arrangements to spend the next weekend together. He had no reason to sneak around now, he could get on with trying to fix things with her, the way he should have done years ago.

Determined not to let his guilt show, Jack sat in the locker room trying to pull himself together. Suddenly the door flew open and in bustled Daniel. The archaeologist looked even more flustered than usual this morning.

'Probably managed to get the second cup in this morning' Jack snorted to himself. He knew what coffee did to Daniel. The guy practically turned into the Enigizer Bunny, on speed.

"Morning Danny-Boy," Jack said wearily eyeing the ball of energy that was stood changing into his SGC uniform. "Good weekend?"

Daniel turned around from where he was trying to put on his T-shirt over his glasses and failing miserably.

"Oh, Hi Jack. I didn't see you there" came the muffled reply from inside the shirt. Contorting himself at some strange angle Daniel managed to get one hand underneath the hem and pull the glasses off his face, successfully allowing the shirt to fall over his head. Turning back to changing his clothing Daniel seemed to forget that Jack had spoken to him.

The Colonel sighed. He really didn't feel like dealing with a youthful, energetic Daniel today.

"I said, how was your weekend?" He said with what seemed like infinite patience. 'Damn, sometimes this guy is annoying' he thought to himself. Then he squashed that thought. It was not fair of him to take his bad mood out on Daniel. He'd done nothing to deserve it. 'So Far' the mental voice taunted.

"Oh, my weekend. Yeah it was good. Didn't do much. Just read a few reports that I missed and I had this great new book about the significance of the ground drawings of the Nazca.....and what the hell happened to your eye Jack?" Daniel had seen the glazed look come over Jack's eyes. That was exactly what he hoped would happen. For some reason he didn't feel entirely comfortable telling him that Sam had spent the weekend at his place. So he carried on about the ancient pre-Incan land drawings hoping that Jack would soon get fed up and start on a different topic. But then he'd noticed the shiner that Jack was sporting and thought that maybe he'd found a better diversionary tactic.

He got what he wanted.

"Oh this?" Jack waved disinterestedly at his face, he'd managed to get his story straight in his head, it was definitely one that everyone would believe because of the simple fact that it had happened before. "I was playing hockey outside again and I caught a wayward rebound in the face. Hurt like hell, real messy too, left me with this rather interesting coloration."

"Oh" said Daniel. Jack was well known for ending up with various bumps and bruises after his weekends off, usually from playing hockey in his driveway.

"Well as interesting as this conversation is Danny-Boy, duty calls." Jack sighed dramatically and got up to make his way out of the locker room. "I'll see you in the briefing."

"Sure thing Jack," Daniel shouted to the closing door.

Sam Carter strode purposefully towards the briefing room. She had prepared herself for seeing Jack, she felt ready. So she walked normally, greeting people as she went.

Then she saw him and her world came crashing down again. Her heart began to beat faster; she felt the sting in her eyes again.

She schooled herself though. Giving herself a mental shake and telling herself in a non too gentle voice to 'Get a grip!', she entered the briefing room right behind the Colonel.

Jack looked up as she came in. He hadn't wanted to see her like this. Not when they hadn't had a chance to talk properly. He watched as she went to the projector and began setting up for the briefing, never once looking at him.

"Hey Sam," he said softly. She stopped momentarily, as if she were about to say something but then carried on. Jack sighed. He'd known this wasn't going to be easy.

"I tried to call you this weekend." He tried again. "I wanted to talk to you, to explain to you about everything." The end of the sentence trailed off under the heated gaze that she had turned on him.

"Yes I know you tried to call. I was out, I heard your pathetic excuses on my answering machine." Sam's voice was deadly quiet, the venom practically dripping from her tongue. As soon as he had spoken she had realised that she was no longer hurt by his actions. No, now she was angry. Very Angry. And she was right, his excuses had sounded pathetic.

Sam had arrived home from Daniel's place and found a large number of messages on her machine. She had listened to every one, her heart breaking again with every word. Now, in his presence though, his words were pointless. There was no excuse for how he had treated her, no excuse to explain why he had been sleeping with his ex-wife, all the while sleeping with her.

She turned back to what she had been doing, pretending he wasn't even in the room. She could be civil to him, keep up the faithful Major routine around the others but when they were alone she wanted to make a point of showing him just how much she hated him for what he had done.

Jack just sat at the briefing table looking at his hands. She was right, there was no excuse for his behaviour. He'd never meant to hurt her. That was just the way it had worked out. A right mess. He couldn't help but wonder, though, where she had spent the weekend if she hadn't been at her house. Of course she could have been home and was lying so that it wouldn't look as if she had been home crying her eyes out all weekend.

Now that he looked at her though, she looked good. She didn't look as if she had spent the weekend crying her eyes out alone in her house. He really had to wonder where she had gone.

Sam could tell what he was thinking. She could practically feel the question burning out of him. She wasn't going to play to his ego, even though that was how she had reacted. She just wasn't alone.

"Oh don't flatter yourself, Jack." She snorted "You're not worth a nervous breakdown. In fact, you know," She said turning to look at him "Sara's welcome to you. I really don't give a shit what you do anymore. Except I am rather interested in finding out how you're going to explain that" she said pointing to his eye. He looked at her in shock and was about to say something when Teal'c and Daniel walked into the room.

"Morning Teal'c, Daniel." She said. Her demeanour completely changed, as if the argument hadn't taken place.

"Morning Sam." Daniel said brightly.

"Major Carter," Teal'c nodded in his customary stoic way. "I trust you had an enjoyable weekend?" he asked politely.

"I did thank you Teal'c. I went to see an old friend. One that I haven't seen nearly enough of lately." Sam said with a smile. The large Jaffa turned to take his seat and Daniel moved around the table to sit next to Jack. Sam sat opposite the archaeologist, he looked at her with concerned eyes, wanting to know if she was alright. She just smiled back at him, letting him know she would be fine.

Jack witnessed the exchange between the two scientists of SG-1 and suddenly realised where Sam had spent her weekend. With Daniel.

He didn't know why he hadn't thought of it earlier. Daniel was always the one she went to when she was upset. Always the one she confided in. Even when they had been seeing each other, Sam had never really talked about anything with him. That honour was saved for Daniel. Her best friend. Jack had always envied that about Daniel. The fact that even though he had been Sam's lover for a short time, Daniel would always be her best friend, the person she would always turn to.

Sam had gone to him after the incident with Cassandra, he had supported her through losing Jolinar, she had been there for him after Shau'ri had been on Abydos, when she had had Apophis' child. Sam had been the one who Daniel had talked to after his wife's death, after all that business with his grandfather. Lately, she had turned to him after Martouf's death. That's what hurt Jack the most. They had finally admitted that they had some feelings for each other but she still couldn't talk to him.

No. Now that he thought about it, it really didn't surprise him that Sam had turned to Daniel that weekend.

Before any more could be said, the General walked in and the briefing started.

End of Part 5

© Starfish1295 April 2001
Disclaimer: I don't own them (although I would like to lock Daniel up in my bedroom and have my wicked way with him but that's not something you really need to know about) They belong to MGM and the other Powers that Be who make the money out of Stargate and Stargate SG-1. Please don't come after me, I'm making no money out of this (in fact I'm probably losing money cause I'm makeing this site instead of working), you'll only end up with 10000 of student loan debt and a raggedy old teddy bear.

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