Summary: Sam and Daniel share their New Year's Resolutions with each other.
Subjects: Angst, UST, Romance, Smarm
Spoilers: Stargate the Movie, There But for the Grace of God, Memento Mori, In the Company of Thieves, and some vague spoilers for The Shroud and The Road Not Taken. Takes place in S10.
Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters do not belong to me; they belong to MGM/Showtime/SciFi Channel, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Film Corporation. This story is copyrighted 2006 and may not be used or altered without the express permission of the author.
Well, here we go ... another year almost over; another one to look forward to, Sam thought, dropping her gaze to her nearly empty glass of champagne. She swished the few remaining drops of sparkling alcohol around, watching its movement around the bottom of the glass before deciding at last to finish it. Swallowing the remainder, she placed the glass down on Cameron Mitchell's kitchen counter.
I wonder what this next year has in store for me ... for us, she pondered once again. Her gaze settled on her teammates who had congregated in Mitchell's living room. They were talking and laughing amongst their glasses of champagne and some snacks he'd set out on the coffee table. Watching them, she was suddenly reminded of past New Year's Eve parties, back when SG-1 still consisted of her, Colonel O'Neill, Daniel, and Teal'c.
She remembered that very first party they had. It was held at the colonel's house, of course, and was a good excuse to spend some quality time together, sharing thoughts on all that'd happened to them that first year they were a team. There was much talking, laughing, and even a silly game of charades. Some people had over-indulged in spirits and ended up pawning theirs off on poor Daniel. He'd been too engrossed in conversation to notice his glass of champagne (which he'd normally decline but was talked into with the excuse that this was a party and they had to have a toast) not getting any less full.
Watching people take advantage of his low tolerance to alcohol, Sam felt very bad. She had a few choice words with some of the culprits and, after Daniel caught on and decided he didn't want to stay much longer, offered to drive him back to his apartment. Realizing he wasn't feeling so hot and seemed a touch melancholy, she stayed with him for a while. As he sobered up slightly, he told her how it was a new year and that Sha're wasn't with him. She'd offered him comfort, telling him that 1998 would be the year he would find her and bring her back. Although he still seemed depressed, her encouragement instilled some more hope within him.
She ended up staying with him the rest of the night and into the morning, tending to him with the love and care that only a friend could offer. He'd woken up with a massive headache, one akin to those he'd experienced when Ra had used the hand device on him during the first Abydos mission. He wondered aloud if all that had happened the previous night had only occurred in some alternate reality, as he was feeling quite different from the way he'd felt then. Back in the present, Sam chuckled upon remembrance of his comment. It had been pretty ironic considering the fact that, not long afterwards, he'd found the quantum mirror on P3R-233 and had actually experienced an alternate reality.
Blinking, she refocused her eyes on her friends and was reminded of how different things now were. Daniel was laughing at a joke someone had told, and seemed to be standing just a little bit closer to Vala than to the others. Vala was flashing cutesy grins at Daniel, winking at him, putting her hand on his shoulder and ... was she rubbing his back? Sam noticed Daniel wasn't pushing her away. Was he welcoming this? Would he be affectionate back towards her?
Swallowing hard, Sam shut her eyes tightly. You've got to stop this, she berated herself. Watching them interact led her to discover her New Year's Resolution: she would deal with the fact that things were different. She would move on and stop dwelling over Daniel. They'd been close friends and, yes, maybe some deeper feelings for him stirred within her, but she had to let go of them.
Still, it was hard to let go of them, with Vala and Daniel standing right within her field of vision. She couldn't bear to look at them anymore. She had to be alone. Turning back into the kitchen, she headed for the door that led out onto the balcony of Cam's apartment.
The clean, crisp air that greeted her was refreshing. As she breathed it in, she felt that maybe this year would give her a fresh, new start. She would have a chance to start anew, to put the ugly demons she'd dealt with this year behind her, including the aftermath of watching Colonel Emerson being killed on the Odyssey, the fallout from the alternate reality she found herself in, the mere sight of Daniel as a Prior, and, perhaps above all, the sadness that resulted from the seemingly strained friendship between her and Daniel.
Maybe she could put it all behind her. Would that be easy to do with the obvious reminders she'd find scattered throughout the SGC? Right now, the only solution she could think of would be to resign and be transferred somewhere else. Perhaps she'd have to go back to Area 51. Could she just do that? God, this was so complicated.
She deeply inhaled the brisk nighttime air, hoping it would ease her burdensome thoughts somewhat.
“Mind giving me another refill?” Vala asked Cam, raising her glass and giving him a coy grin.
“Sorry, darlin', I think you've had enough,” Cam smiled back, shaking his head.
Vala pouted and resumed rubbing Daniel's back. “Daniel here doesn't seem to think so, do you, love?”
Shutting his eyes and gritting his teeth, Daniel sighed angrily. “For the last time, Vala, do not call me that,” he insisted, his irritation cutting through the otherwise calm tone. “And I agree with Mitchell – you're soused and you've been that way the whole night.” He emphasized his displeasure by removing her arm from his shoulder.
Vala briefly glanced at him in mock disappointment and then shrugged. “Well, anything else we can do to pass the time until that ... thing drops?”
Cam grinned. “It's a ball, Vala. They drop a ball in Times Square to symbolize the start of the New Year.” He briefly glanced at his watch. “And we have about twenty minutes before that happens.” Moving past the other three, he turned the television on. The sight that greeted him was that of a young female singer screeching some high notes.
Teal'c raised an eyebrow in reaction. “Perhaps you could decrease the volume of the television until several minutes before midnight, Colonel Mitchell?” he nearly pleaded despite his stoic tone.
Wincing slightly, Cam agreed and did as Teal'c asked.
“It's twenty minutes to midnight?” Daniel suddenly broke in. Looking around, he realized an important member of their group was missing. “Has anyone seen Sam?”
Cam, Vala, and Teal'c exchanged confused looks. “That's a good question,” Vala replied, her eyes searching the room and the hallway.
Slightly put off by her glib tone, Daniel sighed and walked away from them. Where had Sam gone? She'd been with them just before, or at least he thought so. Had she gone home? He ventured a quick look out Cam's window and found her car still parked in the lot of the apartment complex. So, she was still here. She obviously wasn't in the bathroom.
A thought suddenly coming to him, Daniel's eyes widened slightly. He noticed she'd seemed very quiet earlier on. He knew her well enough to know when something was bothering her ... and he knew her well enough to know she liked to be alone during times like this.
Stepping out onto Cam's balcony, he was hit by a rush of cold air. He was glad he was wearing his zippered fleece pullover. His eyes settled on a familiar, blond-haired figure leaning forward against the white iron bars of the railing. Happy and somewhat relieved that he'd found her, a small smile briefly tugged at his mouth. He reminded himself that something was bothering her and it faded. Actually, something had been bothering him for quite some time as well, so he didn't mind being apart from everyone else either.
He walked over to her and touched her arm softly. Jerking her head around, Sam let out a tiny, startled yelp.
“I'm sorry; I didn't mean to startle you,” he said apologetically.
She visibly calmed and gave him a thin smile. “How did you know I was here?”
Returning the smile, he gave her a tiny shrug. “I guess I just knew.”
His response briefly widened her smile. It faded as she locked eyes with him for a minute that seemed like an eternity. She appeared somewhat troubled and withdrew her eyes from him, lowering her head.
Oh, yes, Daniel knew something was wrong. Moving closer to her, so close that his mouth was almost next to his ear, he asked, “What are you doing out here?”
He noticed a faint blush staining her cheeks as she continued to avoid his gaze. “I just needed a little fresh air,” she mumbled. Oh, this was fresh air, all right. Fresh and chilly. She wrapped her arms around her in a sort of self hug and shivered slightly.
Without a further thought, Daniel unzipped his fleece pullover, slipped out of it, and draped it over her shoulders. Watching her snuggle into it, he smiled. The expression on her face seemed to radiate warmth. She mumbled a quiet “thanks” and he patted her softly on the shoulder. She dropped her gaze to the ground once again, and he sensed something was still bothering her.
“Penny for your thoughts?” he prompted.
She appeared reluctant to tell him what was bothering her. He knew that feeling well, but he didn't like seeing her so troubled. If she would tell him, maybe it would force him to share what was on his mind as well. They both needed to get some things off their chests. He redirected his expectant gaze at her.
Finally starting things off, Sam took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. “I was just thinking about New Year's Resolutions,” she began. She shifted her gaze from her hands to his face. Okay, that was another step forward.
“Resolutions?” he asked in another thinly veiled prompt.
She nodded. “I've decided on one ...” He looked at her expectantly, causing her to continue in an uneasy tone, “I will finally face up to the fact that things are different now.”
Daniel had an idea of where this was going, but he just had to make sure. “Different?” he repeated.
“Between us,” she clarified. “I need to stop dwelling on the whole thing.” She looked away from him once more.
He furrowed his brow and pursed his lips. “I don't understand.” Well, that was a little white lie. He did understand – at least partially – but he wanted Sam to get it all out in the open.
She turned to him again. “We're not as close as we used to be; you, me, and Teal'c, but especially you and me. You've been spending so much time with Vala.”
Daniel frowned. He then thought it probably wasn't the right thing to do, because she seemed to think he was angry. She hurriedly continued, “I know she is your responsibility, but, please, hear me out.” Daniel's frown evaporated and he silently encouraged her to continue.
“I miss the closeness we had. I miss the late nights in each other's labs, talking about our latest missions and everything else over coffee. I miss the times we'd get together off-duty. I miss how we'd just go off and do fun things without a reason.”
Daniel saw the pleading in her eyes. The emotion suddenly disappeared and the deep blue-gray eyes became stoic. “I know things can't be the way they once were, so I will try to keep my resolution of getting past that and moving on,” she finished. Before she lowered her gaze again, he caught another look in her eyes. It was as if something had died inside of her.
That look crushed Daniel. He certainly had some explaining to do. Actually, in a way, Sam's admission served to help him get his own troubles out in the open. He needed to thank her, but, at the moment, what he needed to do was comfort her.
Reaching out, he touched her shoulder tentatively. She finally directed her gaze back to him, and he pulled her into a hug.
He felt her tremble somewhat inside his embrace. “Oh, Sam,” he said softly, stroking the back of her head. “I'm so sorry. I know I haven't been spending a lot of time with you over much of the past year. I admit that things have changed a lot for us. They've changed a lot for our team, and for the two of us personally. Our friendship has always remained a constant, through everything we've been through over the past ten years.” He felt Sam slightly pull apart from him, and found her eyes searching him curiously. “At least I've wanted it to remain a constant,” he continued. “I'm sorry if my behavior over the past year has caused you to believe otherwise.”
Sam seemed to give weight to his admission, but he sensed there was something else bothering her. Something in her eyes spoke of some unresolved issue that troubled her deep within. Daniel silently reviewed the major events that had befallen them this year, looked back at Sam, and put two and two together.
“Sam, let me tell you right now that I don't love Vala,” he said bluntly. She appeared a bit startled for a moment, and then gazed expectantly, perhaps even in disbelief, at him. “Yes, I know, there was the 'date' thing,” he continued softly, “but I was just carrying out my responsibility in spending that time with her, in showing her the world outside the SGC and in keeping her out of trouble. It doesn't mean that I love her, and I hope you don't think that, Sam.”
Appearing slightly chastened, Sam averted her eyes. Daniel cupped his hand over her chin and lifted her head to meet his face. “There is someone else who I love, and, you know what? Spending that time with Vala made me realize the true meaning and depth of my feelings for her.”
“Who?” Sam asked. Her voice seemed to be slightly tinged with fear.
Daniel's answer came in the form of a soft smile as he brushed his fingers against her jawline. Moving even closer to her, he tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.
Apparently 'getting' it, Sam's eyes widened slightly and a small tear worked its way down her cheek as she whispered, “I love you, too.”
Gazing tenderly at her, Daniel brushed the tear away with his thumb. “I just shared my New Year's Resolution with you, Sam: telling you how I really feel about you, something I'd neglected to do for quite a long time because I wasn't sure how you would take it or if you felt the same way. And, now that I do know, I've resolved to spend more time with you ... as much time as we can within the confines of the SGC, and even more time outside that.”
As they parted, a large smile lit up Sam's face and she chuckled softly in relief. The relief apparently turned into excitement as she grabbed him again and began to laugh once more, a bit louder this time.
It was less than one minute until midnight and, on the television, the countdown had begun with Cam, Vala, and Teal'c joining in. Daniel and Sam remained locked in each other's gazes, both smiling broadly, relieved as they had both gotten some heavy things off their chest and glad at the prospect of starting fresh in the New Year.
“10 ... 9 ... 8 ... 7 ... 6 ... 5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...”
The ball in Times Square finished its descent, the crowds were going wild, and Sam and Daniel were mired in a heated, passionate kiss. Daniel was expressing his resolution to its fullest, as was Sam. She didn't have to dwell on the issues with Daniel any longer because there no longer were any. Her heart was literally over-pouring with both joy and relief.
“Now, that's what I'm talkin' about!” they heard a familiar voice exclaim. Separating, they both turned toward the door and found Teal'c, Cam, and Vala watching them. Cam had an arm around Vala and was grinning in apparent satisfaction. Teal'c also wore a slight smile, one that seemed to project a hint of fondness.
Smiling awkwardly, Sam and Daniel waved to them. They had started to blush but then realized there was no reason to feel guilty or embarrassed about their feelings for each other. Turning back to one another, Daniel gazed at Sam lovingly. “Here's hoping that 2007 will be a better year.”
“I'd say it's already off to a very good start,” Sam returned with a broad smile.
one last tender glance, the lovers' lips then reunited for a kiss
that would last well into the night and a declaration of love that
would last for the rest of their lives.
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