|What Might Have Been, and What Could Be
Author: aislara PM
Based on Ripple Effect. A look into what might have been.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Romance - S. Carter & D. Jackson - Chapters: 6 - Words: 11,011 - Reviews: 60 - Favs: 16 - Follows: 38 - Updated: 07-21-06 - Published: 01-22-06 - id: 2764953
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Mrm, wha, hrm?" Sam mumbled sleepily in response. It didn't take much of Daniel's considerable linguistic talent to determine that Sam had no idea what he was talking about. Daniel just smiled and rummaged around for his glasses. The doorbell rang again, this time the visitor leaned on it a bit more insistantly. Sam grumbled and pulled the pillow over her head.
"Never mind. Go back to sleep, I'll go tell them to go away."
"I'm coming, I'm coming," Daniel grumbled to himself as he stumbled sleepily down the stairs. The doorbell was buzzing almost continually at this point. Absently he ran one hand through his hair, which resulted in it sticking out every which way instead of smoothing it down like intended. He fiddled with the locks for a moment before opening the door. "Can I help you?" Daniel asked in a less than gracious manner, as he ran an assessing, if sleepy eye over the visitor.
The stranger was dressed in a black trenchcoat tied loosely over an expensive suit. He wore a bewildered expression on his face as he studied Daniel. The bright orange box of donuts balanced in one hand looked slightly out of place in the hands of the well groomed individual. Surreptitiously, he glanced over at the house number as if to confirm he was at the right address and then glanced over at the driveway to confirm the presence of a car. Finally deciding he was in the right place he smiled sheepishly at Daniel, "Apparently, Sam forgot I was coming."
"Apparently." Daniel repeated, still uncertain of the man's identity.
"I called her yesterday at the base when I got into town. I have a meeting downtown at 10:00 and I thought I could drop by for breakfast. She said she had a surprise for me," the stranger paused and took in Daniel's decidedly rumpled hair, wrinkled, half untucked clothes, and unshaven face, "I guess you're it."
"Well, that makes two of us that are surprised," Daniel said evenly.
Upstairs Sam lay lazily on the bed. The insistent ringing of the doorbell left her lying awake and unhappy about it. She could vaguely hear Daniel's voice, now that she had removed the pillow from her head. Faintly she could make out the sound of the second person's voice. 'Sounds familiar', she thought absently to herself. 'Not Jack, he's coming up this weekend, not deep enough to be Teal'c. Odd, sounds a lot like Dad. But he's. . .Oh, crap!" She launched herself out of bed and ran downstairs skidding to a halt in the foyer crashing into Daniel's back. Instinctively, Daniel grabbed onto the door frame with one hand, and grabbed Sam around her waist with the other. Tightening his grip around her, he pulled her up tight against him to keep her from tumbling head first out the front door and down the steps. She teetered unsteadily for a moment before wrapping her arms around Daniel for support.
"Hey, Sam," the stranger said, as he struggled to contain his laughter. "Never a dull moment around you, is there?"
"Well, you know how it is," she attempted to shrug casually from the exceedingly awkward position she found herself in. "Daniel, I'd like you to meet my brother Mark. Mark this is my fiance, Daniel."
"I'm not sure if I should offer my congratulations or my condolences," Mark said with a grin.
"I'm sorry?" Daniel said, blinking rapidly as if he wasn't quite sure if he'd heard his future brother-in-law right.
"From what I understand, most of the men she's dated lately have ended up dead."
Sam and Daniel exchanged a knowing grin as they disentangled themselves. "Oh, I wouldn't worry too much about that," Daniel said mysteriously. "I haven't gone through my nine lives yet." Sam opened the door far enough to let her brother into the house.
"Besides, Pete survived," Sam said with a smile as she led her brother into the living room. Daniel headed into the kitchen to start some coffee. "Maybe the curse is broken."
Mark settled himself into an armchair, and paused for a moment as if he was considering whether or not he should comment.
"What?" Sam asked as she flopped onto the couch and reached for a donut.
"I think you did the right thing by breaking it off with Pete." He picked a donut out of the box. "I know I was angry with you at the time. Pete and I had been great friends. But, now I think you might have had a close call."
"Close call?" Sam sat up, "What are you talking about?"
"Pete's gotten a little odd. He keeps talking about crazy things. You know he left the police force."
"I know he left Denver after we split."
"He's in Vegas now, started a private investigation company."
"Doesn't sound too strange."
"No," he hesitated. "I met up with him for drinks a couple of weeks ago when I was in Vegas for the new casino project. He's been taking up some strange cases. Alien abductions, UFO's, all sorts of science fiction kind of stuff. Kept insisting that there was a government conspiracy to keep us ignorant of the 'alien threat'."
"Oh?" said Sam, in an encouraging tone, "Alien threat?"
"Yeah, something about this race of snakes that jump in people's heads and bend them to their will. They make you immortal or something. He even said that Dad had one in his head, and that he didn't actually go into remission from that experimental drug."
"That sounds a little far fetched, don't you think?" Sam said with her best disinformation smile on her face. She glanced over at the kitchen. Daniel was lurking just inside the doorway, out of Mark's line of sight but where he could make easy eye contact with her. He had his cel phone out and raised an eyebrow at Sam. Almost imperceptibly she nodded her head and watched as Daniel turned his back to her and stepped off to the side. Landry would have to be informed of the security leak. When they had allowed her to disclose the Stargate Project to Pete, she had felt an immense sense of relief. If she was to have a future with anyone, she would have to be involved with someone who knew of her work. That's why she had allowed things to progress as far as she did. In some part of her brain, he was her only chance for normalcy. Obviously, she hadn't opened her mind to all the possibilities. In retrospect, though Pete was probably a bad choice to give full disclosure to. He discussed classified information way to openly, and in public places. It was some great game to him, despite him seeing up close the damage that even the most basic alien devices could do. Luckily, Pete seemed to have based himself near Nullis. It would make any action against him easier. A tiny chill ran down her spine and she wondered how long Pete had been in Vegas. There had been a few times when she had been working at Area 51 that she thought that she was being watched, but she always assumed it was just her active imagination.
"It gets even better." Mark settled in warming to the topic of the insane ramblings of his friend. But, there was an undertone to his voice that seemed to say he was also seeking reassurance, either confirmation or denial of the accusations.