Sam’s eyelids began to droop as she perused the last few pages of the journal. Forty-five minutes had passed, and the room had turned a bit colder. In addition to her coat, she was now relying on an old comforter she’d brought from home to keep her warm. She finally decided that she couldn’t keep her eyes open much longer, and that it would be better to try to get some sleep.
Lacking the strength to get up off the couch, she flung the journal like a Frisbee. She merely shrugged when it hit the floor instead of the corner of her desk. She reached over and switched off the standing lamp, which stood close to her side of the couch.
Sam yawned and pulled the blanket tightly around her as she eased back down against the arm of the couch, her head cushioned by one of the small throw pillows, which she’d also brought from home.
“I wonder how Daniel is doing,” she thought to herself before she drifted off to sleep.
A knock on her partly open door jolted Sam awake.
She lifted her head up off the pillow and turned her glance toward the clock on the wall, which told her that it was As she swallowed, she uttered a slight sound of protest upon discovering that she had a bit of a sore throat.
The soft knocking resumed. Sam didn’t have to ask who it was.
“Daniel?” she croaked.
Daniel took a few steps forward and entered the room. In her darkened office, he appeared as nothing more than a darkened silhouette.
“Oh, uh, I d-didn’t wake you, did I?” he asked hesitantly.
Sam sat up a bit and shook her head.
“No,” she rasped out. A faint blush crept up over her cheeks as she cleared her throat.
“I’m a pretty light sleeper,” she fibbed.
Daniel took a few steps closer towards the couch, and Sam was finally able to make out his features amidst the darkness. Reluctantly, she peeled off her blanket and reached up to turn on the standing lamp.
She looked up at him and realized just how cold the SGC was turning. As he breathed in and out, she could see his breath, and his arms were wrapped around himself tightly once again, but this time it was due to being cold.
“I … ah, came to see if you were all right,” he said unconvincingly.
A slight look of surprise came over Sam’s face.
“I was in my office finishing that translation, and –“
“Oh, did you finish it?” Sam interrupted, her curiosity piqued.
His pensive expression was replaced by a small grin, which said it all.
Sam smiled and nodded.
“Nice job,” she said softly.
“Oh, it wasn’t a big deal,” he said dismissively.
Sam looked at him expectantly.
“Anyway, I was in my office finishing that translation when I noticed that the room started to become sort of … well … cold. I thought it was just my office, that the heat got cut off or something, somehow. I thought it was about time I get some rest, so I tried one of the holding cells, but it was cold in there, too. I tried one of the guest quarters, and that was cold …”
Daniel’s voice took on a weary tone, and Sam looked at him pitifully.
“Doesn’t seem to be much warmer in here,” he continued, rubbing his hands together.
“Do you know what’s going on?” he asked Sam.
Sam shrugged. Then, for a moment, her eyes gleamed as if an understanding had suddenly struck her. It quickly passed, however, when she realized that the idea didn’t seem right. She frowned and shook her head.
“What?” Daniel asked curiously.
Sam shook her head again.
“No, it’s not right,” she said, frustrated.
“What’s not right?” Daniel asked as he joined her on the couch, and pulled his knees up to his chest to keep warm.
Sam turned to face him.
“When I was ten and we lived in D.C., we had a severely cold winter. One morning I woke up and it was icy cold in my room. My father said that the extreme cold caused our water pipes to freeze. We had no heat up on the second floor of our house, and we had to sleep downstairs to keep warm. Dad put one of those space heaters in an upstairs bedroom to try to thaw the pipes. It worked, and once the outside temperature began to moderate, the heat came back up. I was thinking that something similar could have happened here at the base, but now I don’t think it’s possible with the heating system we have. We have backup generators in case our electricity or heating/cooling systems shut off.”
“Yeah. Well, the electricity seems to be fine,” Daniel noted miserably, gesturing toward the standing lamp.
“I don’t know see how this could happen,” Sam intoned, sounding more frustrated than ever. “Even if it was something like frozen pipes, the backup should have restored the heat.”
She sighed heavily, her breath visible once again. A chill went down her back and she shivered slightly.
“Damn, it’s getting cold in here,” she said quietly as she drew her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around them.
“I’m exhausted and cold. I don’t know which is worse,” he intoned dreadfully.
Sam giggled slightly out of pity, and Daniel smiled sadly at her.
“Well, I guess we should try to get some sleep,” she said. “If things keep going at this rate, it’s probably going to get colder in here. We should probably sleep up against each other to combine body heat and keep warm … “
She trailed off as she noticed Daniel sitting motionless and staring past her.
“Daniel?” Sam asked curiously.
Daniel shrugged himself out of it.
“Huh? Oh, sorry, I, uh … it’s nothing.”
At that moment, Sam knew something was bothering him.
“Daniel? What’s bothering you?” she asked softly.
Daniel sighed deeply and averted his eyes.
“Well, okay, you’re going to think this is stupid, but … it’s the first time I’ve slept with a woman since I lost Sha’re,” he replied, his voice thick with sorrow and regret.
He felt a comforting hand touch his shoulder, and he focused his eyes back on Sam.
“It’s not stupid, Daniel,” she said gently as she began stroking his hair in a comforting gesture. “I know how hard losing Sha’re was for you, and I know how awkward this must be.”
Daniel studied her face, and then nodded.
“I know,” he said simply.
“This is just so we can keep warm. We’re both exhausted, and it doesn’t look like this place is going to get any warmer anytime soon. I don’t know how cold it’s going to get, but this is all we can do to keep from freezing to death.”
Daniel mulled it over and nodded once again.
“You’re right. Besides, if I freeze to death, I’ll no longer be able to search for her, know that I have a chance of actually finding her and getting her back.”
Sam sighed and nodded. She turned to him with a slight smile.
“And more importantly, we’ll have lost our best and brightest teammate, the man who made the SGC a reality.”
Daniel raised his eyebrows.
“W-what? The ‘best and brightest?’”
“Daniel, please! Without you, none of this would have been possible,” she grinned.
Daniel’s cheeks flamed, and he immediately averted his eyes.
“Well, now you’ve done it. I hope you’re happy in knowing that you’ve made me feel about ten feet tall,” he said facetiously, a little smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.
Sam giggled softly.
“Always glad to help,” she winked. “Now, what do you say we try to get some sleep?”
With that, he eased his head down on the other throw pillow and folded his legs up so that he was in a modified fetal position. Sam lay up against him, her head resting nearly on top of his chest. She pulled out the comforter and draped it across them both. After about fifteen minutes, she and Daniel had finally drifted off to sleep.
Sam’s eyes suddenly fluttered open. When she saw the position she was in, she almost felt guilty. She recalled the conversation she and Daniel had had before they decided to snuggle up together to keep warm. She knew Daniel was married and still loved his estranged wife very much. She hadn’t known Daniel very long, and they were already very good friends. She cared for him so much that she wanted to do whatever she could to keep anything from happening to him. At first, it was hard for her to fall asleep, but the rhythmic rise and fall of Daniel’s chest was soothing and she slowly drifted off to sleep.
Now she was wide awake. She was still cold, but not as cold as she had been before. Something was keeping her awake, though. Something didn’t make her feel quite right. Her eyes drifted upward, and she realized that the top of her head was almost level with Daniel’s chin. She lifted her head and studied his face. His glasses were set crookedly over his eyes, causing Sam to grin.
She reached over, gently removed his glasses, and placed them on the small end table. She looked back down at Daniel’s face, and realized how boyishly handsome he actually looked. Most of the time his brow was creased, but now, as he slept, that feature was gone. He looked so serene, and it made her smile inside. A shorter strand of hair dangled over his forehead, and she brushed it over to the side of his face.
“Oh, God, I’m fussing over him like I’d be fussing over my nephew,” she suddenly thought to herself. Nevertheless, she broke out in a smile.
“Ummm?” Daniel muttered softly.
Sam turned back to face him and her smile faded. Even though Daniel appeared to be still asleep, the crease in his brow returned, and he shook his head slightly.
“Sh … Sha’re?” he muttered in a slight Abydonian accent.
Sam had heard him talk that way back on
“I’m here, my Dan-iel,” she answered in her best impersonation of Sha’re.
She began tracing his face softly with her finger.
“Um … it’s c-cold. Why is it so cold?” he mumbled.
“Do not worry, my Dan-iel. We will keep each other warm with our love,” Sam said softly.
“Mmm, Sha’re … “
Daniel finished by uttering a few words in Abydonian, words Sam couldn’t quite understand, but what she took to mean something like ‘I love you.’
Sam didn’t know what to do, so she uttered the same phrase back to Daniel. His face relaxed, and the crease in his brow was gone.
Sam sighed softly, and laid her head back down against his chest. She drifted off to sleep almost immediately…
“Carter … “
Sam slowly awoke as she felt someone nudging her shoulder. She lifted her head and her vision pieced together an image of Jack standing over her, a curious look on his face.
General Hammond stepped out from behind Jack.
“Uh? G-General?” she answered groggily.
She turned back to Daniel who was still asleep, snoring softly. She looked back up at Jack, who was now grinning amusedly. He bent down and grabbed Daniel’s nose, resulting in a fair amount of snorting and coughing from the archaeologist.
Daniel raised his head, glaring at whoever had been the cause of his rude awakening. Jack handed him his glasses, and once he put them on, his eyes widened.
Sam edged away from Daniel and sat up.
“Sir? What’s going on? What day is it?” she asked, still groggy.
“It’s Thursday, Carter,” Jack answered.
Sam furrowed her brow in confusion.
“You know, the day after that big, killer blizzard hit?” Jack clarified.
“One day??” Sam said quietly. “It’s only been one day?”
“Affirmative,” Jack replied. “They got all the roads plowed and de-iced by 0600 hours this morning. The parking lot is clear, everyone’s back on base, and everything is back to normal,” he said cheekily.
“Well … except for finding you and Daniel sacked out on the couch, in each other’s arms, of course,” he added.
Sam and Daniel immediately blushed furiously and sat up straight, trying not to look at each other.
“Um … Sir, regardless of what this must have looked like,”
she began, addressing
“You’re correct, Captain,”
“You did the right thing, Captain. If you hadn’t done what you did, you and
Doctor Jackson could very well have been stricken with hypothermia,”
“Thank you, Sir,” Sam replied, a bit dumbfounded.
The General nodded, and made his way out of her office.
Jack watched him leave, then turned back around to Sam and Daniel.
“Well, Carter, I … uh … well, I didn’t want to say this with Daniel around,” he began facetiously.
“Hey!” Daniel protested, furrowing his brow.
Jack smirked at him.
“Aw, what the hell. Carter, I’m sorry for acting like a jackass and nearly putting your life in danger on Simarka. It was a typical, pig-headed, numbskull Colonel thing, and I will never do it again,” he said, holding his hands up.
Sam grinned amusedly.
“Thank you, Sir. Apology accepted. I think.”
“Well, I guess I’ll leave you two to your own devices,” he continued as he headed for the door.
Sam and Daniel exchanged bewildered looks.
“Oh, and Daniel …” he began nonchalantly.
Daniel raised his eyebrows curiously.
“You wouldn’t happen to know where my rollerblades went, would you?”
Daniel’s eyes grew wide for a moment, and he looked over at Sam. He turned back to Jack, shrugged, and shook his head.
“That’s what I figured,” Jack said, as he turned back and walked out of the room.
Meanwhile, a familiar pair of rollerblades sat in Daniel’s office, behind his cluttered desk…
~@ THE END @~
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