Rating: um, PG I guess.
Subjects: S/D friendship, angst, smarm, episode tag
Archive: Anywhere, just let me know where it’s going and keep my name on it.
Summary: Sam has second thoughts about her decision regarding Pete. Tag for Affinity.
Spoilers/Season: Chimera, New Order, Affinity. Takes place in S8 after the events of Affinity.
Disclaimer: I am not trying to make any money off of this. None of the characters belong to me; they belong to MGM/Showtime, Double Secret Productions and Gekko Film Corp. This fic is copyrighted August, 2004, and may not be used or altered without the express permission of the author.
A/N: I was very unhappy with what took place in Affinity, especially the way it ended. This is my attempt at some sort of fix. I’m not very keen on Sam/Pete. I don’t exactly hate Pete, but I really don’t think he and Sam make a very good couple (I think it’s the S/D shipper in me). If you like Sam/Pete, please turn away now. Thanks to BethV for the beta!
Sam looked at Pete and sighed. She almost couldn’t believe what she had just told him, that one little word could say so much. Everything seemed so unreal at that moment. With Pete’s help, she realized that Teal’c had been framed for the murder of his neighbor’s boyfriend. Daniel had somehow been involved, as Jack had announced that he was missing as well. A lead pointed to an abandoned warehouse, where Daniel and Teal’c’s neighbor, Krista, were held hostage by a faction of ex-NID members known as the Trust. She, along with Pete and some SGC Special Forces, stormed the warehouse, but by the time they got inside, the NID members had vanished. All that was left was Daniel and Krista, lying on the floor, unconscious from a zat blast.
After Daniel and Krista came around, they were attended to by a few Special Forces and Sam confirmed that the situation was under control. Her mind had been going in circles lately, as she struggled to make a very important decision. Two weeks earlier, Pete had presented her with a ring and proposed. She was a bit overcome, and even though she loved him – or at least she thought she did – she told him she needed time to think before she made a final decision.
At that moment, the rational, military-minded part of her was satisfied. Daniel and Krista were going to be okay, Teal’c would no doubt be cleared of the crime, and everything seemed to be hunky-dory. It was almost euphoric, in a way, and it was a feeling that made her finally arrive at her decision. Behind the relative privacy of a black truck, away from all the action, she looked Pete straight in the eye and answered his proposal in the affirmative … five times.
After they shared a celebratory kiss, Sam turned back toward the other end of the building, where everything had died down and seemed to be back to normal. She spotted Daniel and Krista sitting in chairs. Krista was sipping a cup of coffee and Daniel seemed to be eyeing her jealously, which made Sam break out in a grin.
Her grin faded as she stared at them. Suddenly, she started to feel a twinge of guilt. After they made their way inside the warehouse, they all rushed over to him and Krista upon seeing them lying on the floor, doubled over. Pete checked to make sure Krista was all right, while a SF checked on Daniel. They were found to be unconscious, but Sam hardly reacted because her mind was on the disappearance of the NID people. They had found all their equipment – especially computer monitors and hard drives – intact, but they had completely vanished. Pete had asked how it was possible, and she had to think long and hard for an explanation.
The SF’s began packing up all the equipment to be analyzed, Daniel and Krista were recovering, and here was Sam, talking intimately with the man who had proposed to her. After staring at Daniel for some time, she suddenly felt like kicking herself. He was her friend – actually, more than her friend – and she’d basically ignored what happened to him. He’d been found unconscious and she’d hardly given him a moment of her time.
She turned back around and saw Pete eyeing her curiously.
Sam nodded tentatively.
“Uh … yeah. I gotta take care of something,” she said quietly.
“Okay. I’ll be outside.”
Sam averted her eyes and nodded. She watched him head out the doors, and then turned back to see a few of the SF’s escorting Krista outside. Daniel was still sitting in the chair, watching everyone leave.
Sam started over in his direction, and smiled faintly as she noticed his big, blue eyes looking up at her curiously.
“Hey,” she said as she blushed faintly. “How are you doing?”
Daniel’s brow creased ever so slightly.
“Where have you been all this time?” he asked in a slightly suspicious tone of voice.
Sam blushed even more.
“Um … “
At that moment, she turned her glance away from him, suddenly feeling quite embarrassed.
“I was just assessing the situation with Pete,” she finally answered, still blushing like mad. “He wanted to know how the NID guys were able to disappear like that. I still haven’t been able to give him an explanation.” A faint smile danced upon her lips.
Daniel averted his eyes, grinned slightly and nodded, as if he wasn’t buying Sam’s story.
Sam looked back at him, a slight sadness reflected in her eyes. She now felt like a complete idiot for not even considering Daniel’s welfare. She shook her head.
“Look, I’m sorry … I …”
Daniel merely shrugged.
“Hey, I thought I was going to help get Teal’c’s name cleared. Thought I was doing a good thing. I guess not,” he replied glibly.
Sam was at a loss for words. She felt like her throat was going to close up as she swallowed.
“Sam??” Pete called from outside the warehouse.
“I have to go,” she said quietly as her eyes darted toward the door.
Daniel averted his eyes and nodded once more.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” she asked. “Is there anything I can get you?”
“Cup of coffee would be nice,” Daniel replied with a small grin.
“I’ll see what I can do,” she said, her voice beginning to waver.
She made her way toward the door and looked back at Daniel before she left. He was looking in her direction, his blue eyes practically piercing hers. She couldn’t tell if he was still trying to make sense of all that had happened, or if he was trying to figure out what was going on with her.
It was then that she really started to feel guilty. Not only had she reacted when they found Daniel unconscious, but she hadn’t even confided in him over her dilemma in trying to decide whether to accept Pete’s proposal, and whether it could be possible to continue working for the SGC and have a family. At first, she thought it was because she was embarrassed. She had always had deep feelings for Daniel even during the early days of the SGC when Sha’re was still out there. In some way, she felt that talking to him about this might seem like she was betraying him.
But that was ridiculous. She had always confided in Daniel, and he had even asked her how Pete was on occasion. Out of all the men Sam had come to know during her time at the SGC, Daniel was the one she could always confide in. It seemed that he was the one who knew her best; he knew when she was in a good mood, and he knew when something was bothering her. When he, she and Teal’c were discussing Krista’s relationship with her abusive boyfriend, Sam let her agony over her predicament get the better of her, and launched into a mini-tirade over how being alone was perceived as being abnormal, in the context of the ideal relationship. Though she didn’t exactly realize it at the time, Daniel was definitely concerned, especially by the way he asked her, “How’s things?” She didn’t give him much of an answer, mostly because she just didn’t feel like talking about it then.
As she exited the warehouse, she could feel the tears threatening to escape the corners of her eyes. She quickly pulled a tissue out of her pocket and dabbed at her eyes, as she didn’t want Pete to catch her crying.
“Hey, everything okay?” he asked her.
Sam sniffled once and nodded.
“How’s Doctor Jackson?” he asked.
“Um … he seems much better. He asked for a cup of coffee,” she replied, clearing her throat.
“I was just thinking of stopping at the donut shop. I’ll get him a cup.”
“Thanks,” Sam nodded.
“Do you want anything?” he asked, before heading to his truck.
Sam shook her head.
“No, I’m fine,” she replied, her voice beginning to waver again. “I have to get back to the SGC.”
Pete looked at her carefully, and then merely shrugged.
“Well, okay. I’ll give you a call later.”
Sam nodded as he gave her a quick peck on the cheek, and then made his way to his truck.
She sighed deeply as she watched him drive away. Most of the SF’s had now left, and she was standing alone outside the warehouse. She buried her hands in her pant pockets and looked down at her feet. She tried to force back her tears, but she was unsuccessful as they came streaming down her cheeks. She was about to reach for a tissue when she felt a hand on her shoulder.
“Hey,” a familiar voice broke in.
She turned around to see Daniel standing next to her, his eyes full of concern.
“Are you okay?” he asked slowly.
Sam felt her cheeks grow hot. Suddenly, at that moment, her emotions came to a head. She really wanted to talk to Daniel, but she was just too upset to say anything.
Instead, she screwed her eyes shut, shook her head, rushed over to him and began to cry on his shoulder. A bewildered look passed over Daniel’s face for a brief moment, and it was replaced by one of pity. He pulled her into an embrace and patted her softly on the back as she sobbed softly. In a comforting gesture, he smoothed her hair down.
Embarrassed, Sam pulled out of his embrace and looked away from him.
She sniffled softly, refusing to look at him. She felt like an idiot for how she had treated him – or how she hasn’t treated him, and didn’t know how she could face those deep, blue eyes of his.
“Sam,” Daniel pleaded softly. “Look at me.”
Sam sniffled again and reluctantly turned her glance back to him. When she saw the hint of sadness in his expressive eyes, she wanted to die. She didn’t think she deserved to look upon those eyes, let alone that face.
“What’s bothering you?” he prodded.
Sam took a moment to regain her composure and looked at him hesitantly.
“A lot of things, actually,” she answered, clearing her throat.
Daniel looked at her expectantly.
“I don’t really want to talk about it here, though,” she said uneasily.
Daniel studied her face carefully, and then nodded in understanding.
“Okay,” he answered softly. “If you still want to talk about it after we get back to the base, you know where to find me.”
Sam’s lips drew up into a smile and she nodded.
“Thanks,” she said, sniffling again.
Daniel nodded, and began to make his way over to one of the SF’s trucks.
Sam grimaced as she sipped her cold coffee. She had poured the cup before Jack had broken the news of Daniel’s disappearance, and had left it sitting on her desk in her office. For some reason, she decided to finish it instead of pouring a whole new cup. Perhaps she thought she deserved to choke down cold coffee for the way she acted toward Daniel. She figured he was angry with her for not inquiring about his welfare shortly after he came to. She was so absorbed in the outcome of the situation, and how she thought she felt about her boyfriend, now her fiancé.
She was angry with herself for not bothering to confide in Daniel when her indecision to accept Pete’s proposal raged on. He had clearly been concerned when they were talking with Teal’c before, and she had basically dismissed it. Instead, she waited until her CO showed up before showing the ring to anyone and asking their advice.
She now felt stupid for confiding in Jack. Why on Earth would he care what she did? Granted, he was her friend, but she just didn’t see Jack as someone who could give expert advice on a situation such as this. She came to the conclusion that this whole predicament was making her act like an idiot, like someone who was completely irrational. She felt she owed Daniel an apology. For everything.
She made her way down toward his office.
Daniel sat at his desk, seemingly poring over some bits of Ancient dialect. He wasn’t concentrating much on it, however, as he was replaying in his mind what had taken place that day. In a way, he regretted having to give the NID people what they wanted, especially because of how he had been blackmailed into thinking that he could help Teal’c. He didn’t think that Krista deserved to die, though, so he felt he had no choice but to do it. He also considered himself lucky, as they could have very well shot him; he only ended up being zatted.
He was relieved when he regained consciousness and saw the SF’s along with Sam and Pete. The fact that Sam hadn’t been paying an awful lot of attention to him was an understatement. At first, he almost couldn’t believe it, as he thought that their friendship was so strong. He had been extremely worried about her when she was kidnapped by the replicator Fifth, and was beyond relieved when they finally found her. Even though this wasn’t the same situation by far, he was sure that she would have expressed the same concern for him. Instead, he thought he spotted her talking intimately behind one of the trucks with her boyfriend. Daniel felt stung by it at first, but then he thought he was being a bit selfish and shrugged it off. After all, she and Pete were dating, and she loved him … at least Daniel thought so.
A soft knock at his door interrupted his thoughts.
He looked up and noticed Sam standing against the doorframe, her eyes fixed upon him.
“Hey, Sam,” he said softly.
“Do you have time to talk?” she asked.
Daniel raised his eyebrows and gestured for her to enter.
“Oh, sure. I’m not doing anything important.”
“Could have fooled me,” Sam answered, a teasing grin momentarily dancing across her lips.
Daniel grinned back and nodded.
“Come on in,” he said.
Sam entered the room and sat in front of him. She didn’t know how to begin, so she merely stared at Daniel for several minutes.
Daniel pulled a series of bewildered faces, unsure of what to say at first. He knew something was bothering Sam, but he didn’t want to come off as too blunt.
“So…” he finally started. “Ah … you seemed a bit upset back there.”
Sam blushed deeply. She averted her eyes and nodded.
Daniel searched her face before continuing.
“How are things between you and Pete?” he asked.
Sam kept her glance away from him and took a deep breath.
“Oh … well …”
Daniel looked at her expectantly.
Sam avoided the question and shook her head.
“How is Sarah doing?” she blurted out, finally looking back at him.
Daniel’s eyebrows shot up, as he wasn’t expecting such a question.
“Sarah? Ah … I would imagine that she’s fine. I haven’t heard from her in a while. You know that she moved back to Chicago, Sam, at least I thought you did …” he said curiously.
Sam’s eyes widened.
“Oh! That’s right,” she said sheepishly. “Sorry, I forgot. So how is she, then?”
“Um … in her last email, she told me she’s been seeing a guy for the past three months. From what I’ve gathered, he’s an anthropology professor.”
“Really,” Sam replied as she raised an eyebrow.
Daniel nodded and gestured for her to take a look at his computer. She made her way around the desk and crouched next to Daniel as he clicked on a particular email, and opened up an attachment. The attachment was a recent photo of Sarah with her new boyfriend. The young man was a bit shorter than her, wore a suit with a tweed blazer, and had long, floppy hair, which nearly hung in his eyes.
“She said she has a thing for guys with long hair,” Daniel said dryly as he rolled his eyes.
Sam glanced quickly at him and giggled softly.
Daniel closed out his email program and Sam made her way back to the chair in front of his desk.
“So, why avoid my question?” he asked her as he looked at her intently.
Sam looked back up at him.
“How are things going between you and Pete?” he repeated.
Sam knew she couldn’t hide from it any longer. She took a deep breath before answering.
“He proposed to me.”
“Yeah, that was more than two weeks ago. So, so what?” he said quickly.
Sam looked at him and furrowed her brow in confusion. She hadn’t said anything to Daniel about it.
“How did you know?”
“Oh, ah … Jack told me,” he answered nonchalantly.
Sam sighed deeply and put her hand to her head, ashamed of herself once again. Daniel looked at her curiously.
“I am such an idiot,” she muttered.
“What? Why?” he asked softly, concern edging into his voice.
Sam looked back up at him.
“I was working here late one night … well, actually I wasn’t really working; more like agonizing over this situation. General O’Neill happened to drop by, bugging me about some ‘report.’ I think he was trying to say he was concerned. I practically poured my heart out to him, asked him for advice on what I should do. I was worried that working with the SGC would conflict with having a family. I asked him what he would have done if things were different for him. It … now that I think of it, it was just a load of crap.”
Daniel’s brow knitted in confusion.
“I just sounded like a complete jerk. I don’t know why I bothered asking him for advice,” she said ruefully.
“Well, even though he comes across as dense, Jack can offer good advice from time to time,” Daniel offered, giving her a half-smile.
Sam shook her head.
“Daniel … I said yes,” she blurted out as she stood up.
“’Yes’ to …?” Daniel asked in bewilderment.
“To Pete,” she clarified. “After we secured the warehouse and began packing everything up, we went off by ourselves and I told him ‘yes.’ I accepted his proposal.”
Daniel’s eyes widened for a brief moment, and Sam could have sworn that she saw a hint of sadness reflected in them. A smile grew on his face.
“Sam, that’s great. Congratulations.”
He picked himself up off his chair, made his way around the desk, and gave her a hug. A look of fear came over her face, and she wrapped her arms around him tightly.
“Daniel,” she whimpered.
“What?” he asked her softly.
“Please don’t let go of me. I’m afraid I’ll lose you,” she replied, her voice wavering.
Daniel stepped back a bit and looked at her curiously.
“I don’t understand.”
Sam sniffled to drive back the tears that were threatening to stream down her face.
“So many things have been happening the past few weeks. My mind has been going in circles. I haven’t been thinking very clearly and now I think I rushed through this decision.”
Daniel looked at her intently.
“I do care for Pete a great deal, but … “
“But what?” Daniel asked softly.
“… I’m not sure now that he’s the one I want to spend my entire life with,” she continued, blinking tears.
Daniel looked at her pitifully.
“Oh, Sam …” he sighed.
“Daniel, before you say anything else, I have to get this off my chest,” she began.
Daniel raised his eyebrows.
“I want to apologize for the way I’ve been treating you lately,” she said, her blue eyes piercing his.
“Um … what?” he asked as a bewildered look crossed his face.
“First of all, I failed to confide in you,” she explained. “When you asked me how things were going, I should have poured my heart out to you then and there. I don’t know why I didn’t. Out of all the guys here, you were always the one I knew I could trust to confide in.”
Daniel’s cheeks became rosy for a moment, and a faint smile appeared on his lips. Sam took another deep breath.
“Second of all, I completely neglected you after we stormed the warehouse and found you and Krista unconscious. I mean, there you were, lying on the floor, and I had other things on my mind.”
Daniel raised his eyebrows momentarily and shrugged.
“I do have to admit that I was a bit surprised that you had disappeared after I came to,” he said.
Sam shook her head.
“I was so selfish,” she said bitterly. “First I was trying to figure out how the NID guys … “
“Actually, they call themselves ‘the Trust’ now,” Daniel broke in.
Sam raised an eyebrow in bewilderment.
“Yeah, a little ironic, I’d say,” Daniel replied, rolling his eyes.
“Anyway, I was trying to figure out how they escaped, and next thing I knew I was telling Pete over and over again how I accepted his proposal. And all the while I should have at least paid some attention to you, checked to see how you were doing,” she sighed.
She looked straight at him with a piercing stare.
“Daniel, I can’t think of any other way to put this … “
Daniel looked at her seriously.
“I apologize. For everything,” she finished, her voice wavering yet again.
He looked into her eyes and began to caress her cheek.
“I was so sure that I loved Pete to the extent that I wanted to marry him. After seeing how I was treating someone whom I really care about, though, I’m not so sure anymore,” she said.
“What do you mean?” he asked quietly.
“Daniel, you’ve always been there for me. Whenever I needed to share good news with someone, or whenever I needed a shoulder to cry on, you were always there. I feel awful for the way I’ve been acting toward you these past few weeks, and it makes me realize how much you mean to me.”
As she looked up at Daniel, she could see his eyes glistening with unshed tears.
“The truth is, I really don’t know if I can be really happy with Pete. I mean, I did enjoy the little moments we’ve shared, but I’m not sure if that can translate into a lifetime. From the moment I met you, I knew I liked you and I’ve enjoyed every moment we’ve spent together. I don’t really know when that ‘like’ turned into ‘love,’ but it did,” she said frankly.
“Sam,” Daniel said softly as he looked into her eyes. “I love you, too. But if you really love Pete, I’d hate to see you get involved in a love triangle.”
“The one thing I’m certain of is that I don’t love him the way I love you. Daniel, our love was founded in friendship; a deep, lasting friendship. When I met Pete, it seemed like love, but it was more of a superficial ‘love-at-first-sight’ deal. I kept trying to convince myself that I really was in love with him, and at times, it worked,” she replied, blushing deeply.
Daniel looked at her seriously.
“Oh, God, Sam. You weren’t using him, were you?”
Sam shook her head insistently.
“I never wanted to use him. I really thought I did love him, especially after the whirlwind of events these past couple of weeks. I believe that the outcome has opened my eyes,” she finished, looking at him intently.
“So, what are you going to do?” he asked softly.
“I think I’ll start by giving him the ring back, tell him that we rushed into this decision and I need more time to think,” she replied before blowing her nose with a tissue.
“Well, that’s not exactly telling the truth, is it?”
Sam sighed deeply.
“I know. But, I just don’t want to come out and say that we wouldn’t make a good couple, at least not right away. God, I feel like such an ogre. I’m no good at this sort of thing,” she said regrettably.
“Well, I’m sure you’ll figure out what to say. Give it some more thought and I’m sure you’ll be able to make the right decision. You’re a very smart person, Sam,” he said, trying to sound reassuring.
“Hasn’t seemed like that lately,” she grinned in spite of herself.
Daniel averted his eyes momentarily before patting her softly on the shoulder. He shot her a quick smile.
“Hey, I could sure use a cup of coffee. You?” he asked in a more upbeat tone.
“Great,” he smiled.
As they were about to exit Daniel’s office and make their way to the commissary, he turned back toward Sam.
“By the way … ‘yes.’”
Sam furrowed her brow in confusion.
“’Yes’ what?” she asked.
“I accept your apology. And I love you, too,” Daniel replied, his smile growing broader by the second.
Sam grinned before they embraced once more, and then made their way down the hall for a cup of coffee together.
~@ THE END @~