Birthday Gift by Jess

Author: Jess

Rating: PG

Summary: Daniel gives Sam more than she could have asked for.

Subjects: Romance, Hurt/Comfort, Fluff

Spoilers: The Pegasus Project. Takes place in Season 10 not long after that episode.

Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters do not belong to me; they are the property of MGM/Showtime/The SciFi Channel/Sony Pictures, Double Secret Productions and Gekko Film Corporation. This story is written solely for entertainment purposes and is not intended for commercial profit. This story is copyrighted November, 2006 and may not be used or altered without the express permission of the author.

Note: Written as a gift for Chris. Happy B-day, AU Sis! :)


Smiling faintly at the pile in her hands, Sam left the mail room for the second time today. The pile consisted of several memos from General Landry, but also some cards and small presents. Today – May 16th – was no ordinary day; it was her birthday and all of her friends warmly acknowledged it. Well, almost all of her friends...

She shifted the pile to one arm and used her free hand to summon the elevator. While she waited, Sergeant Walter Harriman approached her, smiling shyly.

“Happy Birthday, Colonel Carter,” he nodded, presenting a white envelope to her.

Sam accepted it, not quite expecting anything from him, and her smile revealing it. “Thank you, Sergeant. That's very sweet of you.”

Smiling again, he nodded and then walked away. In the meantime, the elevator had arrived. Sam entered and, upon no one approaching, pushed the button to close the doors.

As the elevator made its descent to the floor on which her office was located, she studied the pile of gifts again. Let's see... there was a humorous card from Colonel Mitchell. On the outside was a cartoon cat that said, “Smile! It's your birthday.” On the inside, it read, “Laugh! This is your present.” Cam had signed it, “Just kiddin'! Check the envelope for a little something. Happy Birthday! ~ Cam.” Inside the envelope was a little book that featured pictures of Garfield the cat with cute, funny sayings. Sam chuckled fondly, appreciating the gift.

Then there was Vala's card and gift. Hers was one of those Shoebox Greetings cards, featuring a drawing of two middle-aged women on the front talking about not growing older. The humor was a bit juvenile but Sam overlooked it. Her card also contained a small gift, a pin in the shape of an angel with a faux emerald, Sam's birthstone. When Sam had seen her earlier, Vala explained that Cam had given her some help on choosing a gift and a card. She told Sam that “that Hallmark store” was quite interesting.

Teal'c had presented his gift to Sam earlier, while she was eating breakfast in the commissary. It was a small, potted plant – some jasmine with a subtle, yet lovely, scent. Teal'c explained that it represented his friendship with her, that had started as a small seed and had bloomed into something sweet. Sam was quite touched and gave the Jaffa a big hug.

Landry had also expressed his birthday wishes earlier to her. The last card in the pile was from Dr. Lee, who had included a small bag of Skittles candy with it. She chuckled, knowing how addicted to sweets the good doctor was. Oh well, at least it was nice of him to share his addiction.

She remembered that two more cards waited for her in her office. She'd received them this morning, postmarked from Washington, D.C. One was from General Hammond, and the other from General O'Neill. Both cards were a lovely gesture and made her glad she still kept in touch with both men.

A sudden realization caused her smile to evaporate. She'd received birthday wishes from everyone but Daniel. Not only had she not received a card from him, but he hadn't even wished her a Happy Birthday. In fact, he hadn't said a word to her since she first arrived this morning. She'd walked by his office several times throughout the day, and each time Vala was with him. At one point, she'd asked him if he wanted to get some lunch with her.

“That's okay, Sam. I'm very busy here,” he'd replied distractedly, not bothering to look up from whatever he was studying.

“Oh, sure, you're too busy to have lunch with me on my birthday, but you can let Vala assist you in that ... thing that you're doing,” she had muttered to herself angrily after leaving.

Daniel was always good about remembering people's birthdays – hers, Jack's, Teal'c's ... if anything, it demonstrated his loyalty to his good friends. He seemed to be gradually withdrawing from her since Vala had joined the SGC, but Sam liked to believe that she and the archaeologist were still good friends. If Daniel was extremely busy, she would understand ...

... But, damn it! Even Walter had wished her a Happy Birthday! She didn't know what to do; march back down to Daniel's office and drop a few dozen hints that it was her birthday, or shove the cards in his face and remark how his seemed to have gotten lost. Either option wouldn't leave her much dignity. Maybe she should just face the fact that things were now different. A sadness began to envelop her.

The sound of the elevator door sliding open shook her out of her deep thoughts. As she exited and headed down the corridor to her office, she glanced down at the gifts in her arms once more and felt her sadness grow. She reached for her key but found that the door opened easily. She furrowed her brow, sure that she had locked it before she left.

She neglected to shut the door completely or turn on the light before dumping the cards on her desk. In the darkness, it sure looked cluttered; more than usual. Turning, she switched on her desk light and drew in a quick breath at the sight that greeted her.

On top of her desk sat a large, crystal vase with a delicate flower arrangement: four long-stemmed roses - two pink and two red, Baby's Breath, some kind of Lily, and a few Carnations. A small, plush, white puppy with long, black ears, and with “I Love You” embroidered in red across its tummy, was tied to the base of the arrangement. Next to the vase was a box of Ghiradelli chocolates, the kind filled with smooth caramel that melted in her mouth. They were a guilty pleasure of hers, one she didn't get to indulge in that often. A note attached to the box read, “I got you your favorite. Enjoy!”

Hmm, who around here knew her this well ...?

She almost neglected the card propped up against the vase. Her name was done in calligraphy on the outside, so she couldn't trace the handwriting. Well, the gift bearer was obviously very clever. He was also very sentimental. The outside of the card featured a floral design and read, “To A Woman Who Means a Lot to Me.” Sam slowly opened the card and felt a lump grow in her throat when she read the poem within:

“It’s your birthday...
and I’m thinking how glad I am
that you were born.
You have given me so much--
supported me, encouraged me,
cared for me; I didn't even need to ask.

I am in awe of your boundless generosity,
your infinite kindness--that gentle inner glow
that you so freely use to warm my life.
Your birthday is as much a celebration for me
as it is for you, maybe more,
and I wish for you the best of birthdays,
the best one ever.
May each birthday be better than the last.
Most of all, I hope you will always be
As happy as you have made me.”

She didn't get to read the signature and figure out the mystery before a familiar voice saved her the trouble . . .

“In this busy world we often take those closest to us for granted, and we don't stop to tell them what's in our hearts.”

Sam whirled around and found Daniel standing, silhouetted against the doorway. She tried to speak, but no sound would come out. He entered the room and made his way up to her, gazing at her tenderly. Noticing the tear that had traveled down her cheek, he reached up and wiped it away with his thumb.

“Daniel,” she finally uttered, her voice shaky. “I ... I can't believe you did all this.” She gestured to the lavish – in her mind – gifts.

He chuckled softly, fondly. “Why not, Sam?” he asked, wrapping an arm around her waist. “You know how I love you.”

She almost kicked herself for coming to such a ridiculous conclusion just earlier. Still, she had been hurt that he seemed to ignore her so readily. “I've been questioning it sometimes,” she admitted with a regretful sigh. Upon Daniel's curious look, she continued, “Daniel, ever since Vala came back, it feels like you've been withdrawing from me. We don't socialize as much as we used to, whether here for coffee or off base during our down time. You're so busy working and Vala's usually there with you most of the time. We hardly do anything together anymore. The fact that I thought you forgot my birthday made it feel even worse.”

Daniel's expression turned regretful and he bowed his head slightly. “I know. I'm very, very sorry, Sam,” he said quietly. “But if you want to know the truth, I haven't been enjoying Vala's company at all. I've been working so hard trying to find clues to the whereabouts of Merlin's weapon. All she does is babble nonstop about Morgan Le Fay and the wonderful time she had in Atlantis.” He stopped to roll his eyes. “I've hardly been socializing with anyone since we got back from there. I understand why it's hurt you. As I said, we often take those closest to us for granted.” He wiped another tear from her cheek and pulled her closer to him. “I meant everything that I said in that card, Sam. I cherish you. I always have, but I cherish you even more now. I'm sorry if I haven't been showing it. I hope you'll let me show you now.” He nuzzled her neck, causing her to smile and chuckle softly.

“Okay, Daniel,” she conceded easily. She faced him more directly and pulled his familiar round glasses off, dropping them gently onto her desk. She wrapped her arms around him, running her fingers through his hair as he caressed her back. Daniel captured her lips for a long, tender kiss, making Sam moan with a pleasure she hadn't felt in ages. He was soon dipping her, and the edge of her desk was digging into her back. He slowly brought her back up and they moved to the couch where their expression of love continued unabatedly until Daniel finally separated his lips from Sam's.

“Sam?” he breathed.

“Mmm?” she answered.

“I love you.”

Feeling her heart cry out in joy, she smiled widely. “I love you, too.”

Daniel wore a smile that rivaled hers. He then reached into his BDU jacket pocket and produced a small, dark, felt-covered box. He wordlessly handed it to her.

Her curiosity mounting, she opened the box and gasped. It was a ring with a small diamond surrounded by two emeralds. “Daniel --” her voice caught in her throat.

His eyes bored into hers.

“Is this ... what I think it is?” she barely got out.

He didn't answer, just kept his gaze steady on her. “Will you marry me?”

Did she hear him right? “Um ...?”

Daniel eased up, rose from the couch and got down on one knee. Taking her hand, he repeated, “Samantha Carter, will you marry me?”

So, she did hear him right. She only hoped he'd be able to hear her right, that she wouldn't start babbling incoherently. “I ... Yes, Daniel!” she blurted out. As he stood, she threw her arms around him and let the tears spring forth again. “Yes,” she repeated over and over.

Daniel kissed her tears away and then stepped back to gaze at her tenderly. “Happy Birthday, Sam,” he said before engulfing her in another hot, passionate kiss.

As the two lovers continued their declaration thereof, Daniel's card still sat open on Sam's desk. The closing line had read:

“I love you, Always and Forever.


Note: The poem in Sam's card was written by Joanna Fuchs and was found on this site:

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