Subjects: Friendship, Hurt/Comfort, First Person POV
Pairings: Sam/Daniel, Sam/Other
Summary: Something is upsetting Sam and only one remedy can help her feel better. Written in Sam’s POV.
Spoilers: The First Commandment, Solitudes.
Season: One. Takes place soon after Solitudes.
Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters do
to me; they are the property of MGM/Showtime/The SciFi Channel/Sony
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 February, 2006 and
may not be used or altered without the express permission of the author.
Sitting at the desk in my dimly lit office, I am depressed.
I am depressed about what happened during our latest mission. We followed through the Stargate after Daniel and Teal’c, but a power surge sent us to a completely different location.
I thought it was an ice planet. Yes, there was an awful lot of ice there. But it was just one specific location on a planet that featured diverse climates and temperature regimes, one that was otherwise teeming with life.
We had landed in Antarctica. I had a swollen knee. The Colonel had a broken leg, broken ribs, and he was bleeding internally. Our batteries were running low and we were in danger of freezing to death.
I couldn’t get the Stargate to work. I found a DHD, but that didn’t make it any easier. It wouldn’t work. My mind was starting to go numb from the cold, but it would not let me give up.
I couldn’t get the Stargate to work. Samantha Carter, theoretical astrophysicist and alleged technological genius, could not get the Stargate to work. I was trusted with the duty of finding a solution, and not having done so depressed me. Nearly one week later it still does.
That’s not all that has my spirits so low this late night. I have personal problems as well, personal meaning my almost non-existent life outside of the SGC.
I’ve never been very lucky in love. Okay, so I’ve never been so sure of my feelings. I haven’t made very good decisions regarding my love life. I had one or two boyfriends in high school. They started out as sweet, funny, intelligent guys, but they would soon take advantage of me. I blamed myself for being so blind in not recognizing their true nature.
The same was true in the case of Captain Jonas Hanson. He swept me off my feet when I first met him. Unfortunately I wasn’t made aware of his egotistic, controlling personality until after we became engaged. I shudder as I recall what took place when I “met up with him again” earlier this year.
Since then I’ve met a few men who seemed nice enough and with whom I thought I might have a real chance at love. I don’t know if they didn’t have their priorities straight or if they found something wrong with me, but none of them ever worked out.
Before the last mission I had met a nice, shy, man named Jason. It was an accidental meeting, really. I was at O’Malley’s with Daniel, Jack, and Teal’c for dinner. We talked and joked and laughed a lot, and I’d forgotten that my tolerance for alcohol was only a tad higher than Daniel’s. I was feeling good and some old friends of Jack’s who happened to be there asked me to join them in a game of pool. I think they took advantage of me, at least as far as the beer was concerned. I ended up pretty drunk and not really in command of my faculties while they only laughed and kept egging me on.
I didn’t remember much of what happened, except that the Colonel told them something like “enough is enough” and saw them out the door, and that Daniel offered to drive me home. I might have obliged but I was so embarrassed about what had happened and I didn’t want to trouble him. He reluctantly left with Teal’c. All I could do was sit back down at our booth, arms folded on top of the table and my head down so I couldn’t see anyone else get a laugh out of my predicament.
It was at that moment that a tall, shy man who didn’t appear much older than me asked if I was all right. With his short, black hair, hazel eyes, and uniform bearing an O’Malley’s logo, I recognized him as one of the bartenders. I squinted as I noticed his nametag. It read “Jason.” He admitted that he saw what happened and felt bad that I’d been taken advantage of. He asked if I had a way to get home. In my still-present drunken haze, I barely answered yes. That must have been enough to clue him in to my actual condition.
He insisted on driving me home. Truth be told, I would rather have waited until the feeling left me, as well as the more-than-expected hangover, before driving myself home – even if it meant waiting until around lunch time the next day. The effects of my carelessness were beginning to make themselves known in the form of a pounding headache, however. I decided that sleeping in my comfortable bed might feel better than sprawling out uncomfortably in one of O’Malley’s booths. At least in my own bed I wouldn’t be ogled at by dozens of curious strangers.
Still embarrassed as hell, I barely muttered a “thanks” to him for the ride home. He insisted I don’t know how many times that it was no trouble at all and momentarily brought me out of my drunken stupor by leaving me his name and phone number. Boy if that couldn’t sober me up, nothing could; not even a bucket of ice water.
Normally I would have thought he was flirting or being much too forward, but his whole manner didn’t project that. He seemed reserved, sweet and shy. I decided to give him a chance and chatted on the phone with him. The phone calls led to get-togethers. We met for lunch one day when SG-1 was on stand down. Another day, we met over coffee for some good conversation.
I didn’t talk to anyone at the SGC about this budding relationship. They must have noticed that something was up with me, though. I admit that I did seem to be a bit more cheerful than usual. Daniel had given me a few curious looks here and there, and the Colonel put on his best “Duh” expression when I unconsciously began whistling some random tune before one of our briefings. As usual, Teal’c just silently observed the whole thing.
There were times when Daniel and I would discuss something pertinent to one of our missions that had me wondering if he knew what was going on. He would trail off and gaze at me, almost as if he was trying to get inside my head. It was definitely something I was used to by now, but this time there was something different about it. It was like he had more to say but wasn’t sure if he should say it or not. I’d silently prompt him to go on, but he’d just shake his head or shrug his shoulders and continue where he left off. It made me wonder if he knew I was seeing someone or if he was just curious to find out what was responsible for my sunnier attitude.
Time passed and neither he nor anyone else on base questioned me on what was going on – not seriously, anyway. Once or twice, Jack wondered aloud if the tooth fairy was especially good to me, usually prompting a glare from Daniel or a raised eyebrow from Teal’c – or both – depending on who was around at the time. I didn’t indulge him and I kept mum about it. After all, I liked to keep some aspects of my life away from the SGC private – and this was part of my private life.
I should have known that it wouldn’t have worked out after the day we spent in the Museum of Space Exploration. Jason and I had talked about our hobbies and interests. Astronomy was not one that we shared. Jason was a – not so sure how else to put this – “car guy.” He loved everything about them – their maintenance, collecting classic cars, models, you name it. I don’t mind checking out classic cars myself from time to time, but it’s definitely not my main interest. But that’s not so important; a little give and take should be expected in a relationship.
Apparently, Jason did not feel the same way. When we entered the museum, I tried to subdue the childlike excitement that still resided within me at the age of thirty-five upon seeing anything related to air and space. I realized it was hopeless, though, because my eyes lit up as soon as they fell upon the huge “Spaceship Earth” diorama located in the middle of the lobby.
I was like a kid in a candy store and Jason was like a kid reluctantly following his mother around the Ladies section of a department store, bored out of his mind and hoping to leave soon. He tried not to let on, but I could tell as he mindlessly floated around the exhibits that he couldn’t wait for me to finish gawking at a scale model of one of the first space shuttles so we could move on to the next room.
We took in a show at the planetarium and he seemed to tolerate that a bit more, if only from the slight smile he gave in reply to my “what did you think” question. Over coffee in the museum café, I made yet another mistake: gushing like crazy over the show as well as my favorite exhibits. For the moment I was completely oblivious about how the subject bored Jason. Once I caught him giving me a glazed stare a la Colonel O’Neill, I trailed off and cleared my throat, embarrassed.
He didn’t seem to think anything of it and gave me a small grin. It seemed as if he found my babble amusing. I thought I hadn’t made as big a mistake as I’d originally thought. We left the museum and headed for our cars. Jason made some comment that he had to get home so he could pay his bills on time. Brushing it aside, I smiled and told him I had a nice time. I even apologized sheepishly if I had bored him.
He only nodded and wished me a safe drive home.
I pondered his behavior quite a bit the next day back at the base and people were noticing how preoccupied I was. I only gave the excuse that I had a lot on my mind regarding our upcoming mission. Before we embarked on that I decided to give Jason one more call and let him know that I would be busy at work, but it would be nice to get together the following weekend. I ended up talking to his voicemail.
Then came our disastrous mission to P4A-771. I was laid up in the infirmary for a few days with a swollen knee. The Colonel was in much worse shape and was there for a good week. After I was discharged I was still feeling guilty for not having found a solution to help us get back home, and, of course, that I had failed him as his second-in-command. I don’t remember how many times Daniel tried to reassure me that it wasn’t my fault and that I had tried my best. The fact that he was concerned about my well-being was comforting, but I still couldn’t shake the guilt and depression that plagued me.
It had been more than a week after I’d first put the call in to Jason, and the weekend I’d proposed that we get together had come and gone. I wondered if he had tried to call me during that time, so, before I was about to head home for the night, I checked my cell phone and found that I’d received two voice messages. One was a wrong number, asking if “Stan” was there. The other was from Jason.
I smiled upon hearing the sound of his voice. That smile quickly faded when his words penetrated my mind …
“Sam, I guess you’re busy and I guess it would have been better to say this to you in person. Still I had to tell you this before what we have together goes any further. I just don’t see us having a romantic relationship together. We’re two different people with different interests. Don’t get me wrong – the museum was fun. But between work and deciding whether I should go back to school or not, I don’t even think I have time for a relationship. You are a very sweet person and …”
“Bullshit,” I muttered, not even listening to the rest of his one-way conversation. I abruptly shut the phone off and threw it into my bag. Now I wasn’t so intent on leaving the base. I sat back down at my desk with my head in my hands.
I don’t know how long I sat there, first trying to make sense of all this and then wallowing in self-pity. What was the real reason for his decision to break it off with me? Did I really annoy him that much at the museum? Was he being sincere that we were just too different to get along? I finally concluded that either he was seeing someone else on the side, perhaps the whole time, or it was something as shallow as me not being glamorous enough for him.
My eyes stung with tears as the floodgates of my self-pity came crashing open. I convinced myself that I was the unluckiest person in love and would never find true happiness in that regard. I conveniently bypassed thoughts of the dear friendships I had made over the past year, especially those of my team members. No, the thing that concerned me the most right now was the thought that I would have an aching void inside me – the one normally filled with a loving soul mate and family of my own – for the rest of my life.
It is now four days later and I am still sitting in my dimly lit office, still letting my depression eat me up inside. I have tried so hard to take my mind off of this – engaging in activities I enjoy like reading my astrophysics journals or studying some piece of alien technology brought back by another team. Heck, I’ve even met my team members for breakfast at the commissary, thinking that some friendly conversation would pull me out of my doldrums.
None of it helped. As much as I tried to bury myself in readings about planetary shift or a piece of something-or-other made of naquada, or tried to laugh at Jack’s corny jokes, nothing did the trick. I didn’t say much during breakfast and no one really seemed to notice that I was in a bad mood, at least not that I saw.
I now sit in my office, wondering if I should risk a glance at the digital clock hanging on the wall above my desk. I do so and, realizing it is well after 2300 hours, I straighten up and draw in a quick little breath. It seems like just minutes ago I had finished dinner in the commissary and couldn’t wait to hole myself up in my office once again. Have I really wasted so much time dwelling on this?
The cynical, defeatist side of me rolls her eyes and wonders, so what if you have? Like you have anything important you need to be attending to at the moment? You met a wonderful guy and he dropped you just like that. Why does anything else matter right now?
That voice acts as a mind control ray over me and will not allow any part of my rational, more optimistic side to have a say. It resonates deep within me over and over until it threatens to become too much for me to handle. My eyes fill with tears and I finally place my head down on my desk, conceding defeat.
It is at this very moment that a knock on my partly open door saves me. I attempt to compose myself, sniffling and wiping the tears from my cheek with the back of my hand. “Yeah? What?” I ask dully.
“Sam? It’s me,” speaks a familiar voice.
I raise my head and tentatively turn in the direction of his voice. He is holding two cups of coffee and gazing at me with a concerned expression.
“What’s up?” I ask, attempting to mask my emotion, but not succeeding with every sniffle.
“I, ah … I just thought you might like a cup of coffee,” he says slowly, holding up the cup in his left hand.
My gaze shifts to the coffee cup and I know Daniel wants to talk to me. Bringing me a cup of coffee is usually an excuse to talk to me about something. Not that I don’t think there isn’t anything sincere behind the offer; after all, he is a very sweet guy. I feel I am too much of a mess right now to be able to talk to him. Plus I'm not in the mood to talk about something like a doomed relationship with him.
“I’m sorry, Daniel, could you come back another time?” I blurt out desperately.
Daniel raises his eyebrows quickly and then they come back down and furrow. “Ah …?” he starts curiously.
“I’m just … I’m not in the mood to talk,” I say, regret creeping into my voice.
“Oh … um, okay,” he replies, still surprised at my reaction. “I just thought you might like a cup of coffee.” He trails off, gazes at me one last time, and then slowly leaves the room.
I sigh heavily and put my head in my hands. I am about to go back to my ridiculous self-pity when my cynical, defeatist side loosens its stranglehold on my mindset, allowing my more rational side to speak up. I recall the expression on Daniel’s face before he retreated from my office. It was a mixture of concern, bewilderment, and even a bit of hurt. I berate myself for shooing Daniel away. He is a dear, close friend – hell, my best friend, and all he wanted to do was help. How could I refuse such an offer?
“Daniel, wait,” I call out, hoping that he hadn’t gotten too far down the corridor.
I wait a few seconds and sigh heavily. He must have already reached the elevator and taken it down to his office. I can’t see why he’d want to linger around my office after the way I just brushed him off.
Suddenly I hear several soft footsteps approaching, followed by Daniel tentatively sticking his head back in the doorway. He looks at me curiously.
I affect something reminiscent of a faint smile. “Actually, I … I could use someone to talk to,” I relent.
Daniel looks at me for a brief second and then grows a small smile of his own as he makes his way back inside. He hands the cup to me and I take it, the warm liquid soothing my bones as I sip it.
“One cream, one sugar, just as you like it,” he continues once I’ve relaxed a bit more. It isn’t fair. The cute smile he wears threatens to melt my heart into a puddle of goo. How can he get away with this? He seemed to sense that something was bothering me and he was trying to cheer me up. My haggard expression finally wears thin and I supply a smile of my own.
“You’re so thoughtful,” I reply softly. I reach out and pat him on the arm before gesturing for him to sit down. He grabs the chair in front of my desk and scoots over next to me.
For a few moments, neither of us speae a word. I meet his gaze and find both affection and concern radiating within his deep, cerulean orbs. I’d always had a certain fondness for Daniel’s beautiful eyes, marveling at what a clear, bright blue they were. Looking into his eyes at this moment, however, I realize just how expressive they are. They convey the feelings of strong friendship that he has for me, those which he’s had for me almost since we’d first met nearly one year ago.
His eyes are pleading me to tell him about all that's bothering me so that he might try to make it better in some way. I stare at him, not sure where to start.
“Start from the beginning,” he says.
I told Daniel everything. I told him about how upset I still was over not being able to figure out how to get the Colonel and myself home when I thought we were on an ice planet. He empathized with me, telling me about how frustrated he would sometimes get when he thought he was unable to solve a particular problem. He told me how worried he was about me and Jack the whole time, how he’d forgone sleep for three days and how frustrated he was that he couldn’t figure out where we were. He’d never lost hope, though, even after General Hammond called off the search.
I then told him about the thing between me and Jason. Funny how I was so insistent about keeping that part of my life private before. I was willing to make an exception for Daniel. Even though we had not known each other very long, we shared a special friendship and we trusted each other with our lives. I didn’t feel ashamed as I told Daniel about this and apparently he didn’t think I needed to feel ashamed.
I could feel the depression returning as I told him about what a nice guy Jason was and about the time we shared together. When I told him about our museum excursion, especially about my behavior, Daniel chuckled fondly. He stopped and gave me an apologetic look when he saw how melancholy I was.
Finally when I told him about the message that Jason left on my phone, the emotional wall I tried to build up began to crack and my tears returned. My voice became rather shaky and I did start feeling ashamed about my display of emotions. Daniel assured me that there was nothing to be ashamed about.
He actually felt quite bad about how Jason had treated me. He agreed that there had to be some amount of give and take in a relationship, that it’s virtually impossible for both people to share the same exact interests. When he talked it reminded me of the different interests that the two of us have, yet we respect each other for them.
I told Daniel about how I tried to analyze the situation. I told him about the possible reasons for Jason breaking it off with me, from dating someone else at the same time whom he happened to like better to actually being annoyed about our different interests to actually not finding me attractive. When I brought up that last reason, the tears increased and I almost found it hard to continue.
At that point, Daniel said not a word but pulled me into his arms and hugged me. He held me tightly until the hurt evaporated. He told me that any man who found me unattractive was blind and didn’t deserve me in any way, shape, or form. As he spoke, he stroked my hair. It was a small gesture, but one that meant so much. Yes, we were only friends, but being held in his arms made me feel warm and loved. It also made me realize how stupid I was to dwell on this whole thing and especially to forget that I was surrounded by good friends who cared a great deal for me.
“Feeling better now, Sam?” he smiled once he let me go and stepped back.
The sweet smile peeked out of the corners of his mouth and strengthened the warm, fuzzy feeling I felt deep inside.
I gave him a bright smile and nodded. “Yeah, I am. Thanks, Daniel.”
He nodded back and squeezed my arm. “Anytime you need advice or a shoulder to cry on, you know where to find me.”
I nodded again and silently mouthed another “thanks.”
Daniel smiled and then nervously raked a hand through his hair before making his way out of my office. He was about to walk away when a thought seemed to occur to him and he turned around. Standing against the doorframe, he met my gaze and said, “You are a wonderful woman, Samantha Carter. You are an amazing combination of outer beauty and inner strength, and vice-versa. Any man who can’t see that is deaf, dumb, and blind.”
My eyes widened and a huge lump threatened to close up my throat as I took in Daniel’s words. I began blinking my eyes rapidly to prevent the tears that were sure to fall. “Thanks,” I said yet again, my voice wavering slightly this time.
Daniel gave me another warm smile before finally making his way out of my office. I hurried out of my chair and stood in the doorway as I watched him head for the elevator.
Returning to my desk, I took a deep breath and
slowly let it
out. His words began to sink in and they
only caused my smile to widen. Daniel had
reminded me of what a lucky woman I was.
So I didn’t have a boyfriend or a lover at the moment … so what? I had
his friendship. Actually,
I had more than his friendship – I
also had Jack’s and Teal’c’s and Janet’s.
But his was the strongest and most special of all.
The way his words and actions had caused me
to change my attitude really spoke to me.
Just minutes earlier I was feeling so down in the dumps over the
of my love life. I could have read any
book or advice column on the subject, but Daniel’s offer of love
friendship, just in the form of cups of coffee, talking, and warm hugs,
remedy I know I can rely on.
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