Recommend you read 'Spaghetti' before you read this.
Red Wine

"You love him." Major Samantha Carter gulped a large mouthful of her wine in shock at her friends unexpected outburst, and subsequently began to choke.

After a couple of minutes of requisite coughing and backslapping, Sam regained her momentum and stared at Daniel disbelievingly. "What did you say that for?" she asked incredulously, her breath still coming in heavy gasps. "Are you *trying* to kill me?"

Daniel Jackson grinned at his companion sheepishly. "Sorry, Sam. I should have timed that better." He paused for a moment before continuing. "But that doesn't negate from the fact that I know you're in love with Jack."

Sam studied her friend's empathic expression for a long moment, carefully choosing her words before replying. "Why do you want to talk about this, Daniel?" she asked, staring sadly into her half-empty wineglass. "You know as well as I do that nothing I can say to you will change anything, so why bring it up?"

The archaeologist reached for the bottle and refilled his friend's glass, silently studying her pained expression. He knew that, unlike with Jack, he wouldn't have to force a confession out of Sam. He had opened the topic of conversation with a blunt fact, and now it was down to her to talk. She nodded gratefully and took another sip of the heady liquid before smiling sadly into her glass. Replacing her drink on the tablemat, she took a deep breath and began speaking again.

"Yeah, I do, but what good does it do me?" She looked into Daniel's eyes, and he could see unshed tears forming. It was a rare occasion to see the steadfast, determined Major Doctor Samantha Carter crying. Thinking back, he believed the last time was when he lost his wife, and even then he was so busy wallowing in his own grief that he had barely noticed her empathic tears.

Sam stood up silently and left the dinner table. After grabbing her glass and the rest of the wine she slowly made her way to the living room, mutely nodding at Daniel to follow.

Settling herself into the corner of Daniel's oversized sofa, she kicked off her shoes and curled her feet under her. Daniel sat at the other end of the furniture and, turning his body to face his friend, he regarded her in silence.

Five minutes or so passed before Sam spoke again, but throughout this whole time Daniel felt no urge to fill in the silence, realising immediately that his friend was using this time to gather her thoughts. He also knew without a doubt that before the night was over, she would have told him everything.

Eventually, Sam looked up at him from her silent reverie, and smiling sadly she quietly murmured "I so badly wanted it to be you."

Okay, now *that* was unexpected.

"Uh," The power of coherent speech seemed to abandon the normally eloquent man, and he just sat there dumbfounded as Sam continued with her revelation.

"After about a year or so of us all working together something changed." She began, her voice barely a whisper, yet still finding the strength to meet Daniel's questioning gaze.

"At first I thought it was because of Jolinar, you know?" her rhetorical question serving only to confuse further, but still she pressed on. "As you know, after she...*blended* with me, I started to experience her memories, and her emotions, among other things." She said, grimacing at the sudden memory of killing the Goa'uld Seth with the ribbon device.

"The memories were strong, and for a long time I thought they were taking me over. It felt like I was losing Sam Carter to Jolinar, and it frightened me."

Ah, Daniel smiled in understanding. That explained the look on her face when she had killed Seth. The more she used Jolinar's memories and abilities, the less she had felt like herself. Sam Carter would never have wanted to kill a person in such a brutal manner as she had Seth, even a Goa'uld. But desperation had called upon her to use the *gifts*, for want of a better word, given to her by the Tok'ra Jolinar, and she had utilised her unexpected abilities to eliminate the enemy; as any good soldier would.

"I know now that what I did to destroy Seth was the right thing to do, but it didn't make me feel any better. His death was brutal, and I didn't even stop to think about the pain I must have caused the host."

"Yes you did." Daniel's quiet interruption caused Sam to look at him questioningly. "After Seth was dead. We saw your face, Sam. I could see the agony it caused you to have to kill him." Daniel placed his wineglass on the coffee table and reached for his friend's hand. " I know you only realised afterwards about the host, but you know as well as I do that if we're ever to defeat them, we have to remain detached - at least until the job is done.

"The point is," Daniel continued as he stroked the back of her hand soothingly with his thumb, "The Tok'ra have a goal. The same as us, ultimately to destroy the Goa'uld once and for all, but the difference is, despite their symbiotic relationships with their hosts, I think they've become tunnel-visioned over the years. They no longer think like we do. They're out to destroy the System Lords, no matter what the cost and the host isn't an issue for them. But for you and me, and even for Jack, the host is as big an issue as the symbiote."

"What are you trying to say Daniel?" Sam asked, studying their joined hands. Disengaging their fingers, he lifted his hand up to cup her cheek. Gently putting a small amount of pressure on her face, he slowly raised her head and looked deeply into her eyes.

"What I'm saying is," Daniel said as he stroked her cheek, never once breaking eye contact with her, "No matter what happens, there will always be more of you in there than Jolinar. If she had truly taken you over, then you would never have had the regret that you felt for killing Seth the way you did.

Don't you see?" he asked as he pulled her silently weeping body into his and held onto her tightly "Your remorse for using the ribbon device is what makes you human. It's what makes you Sam Carter." Daniel reflected silently on his words for a moment. " I can't honestly say that I'd feel the way you do if it had been me who killed him that day, but surely that just proves that Jolinar hasn't made you lose *anything* of yourself. In fact, I think she actually helped you rediscover a part of yourself we don't get to see too often. The one that I only saw once before when we thought Cassie was going to die."

Daniel pulled himself away from her slightly, and wiped her tear-stained cheeks with the back of his sleeve.

"My point is that a lot of the time you seem to forget that you don't have to be a soldier all the time. Sometimes it's good for you to just be Sam."

Sam smiled at him and extricated herself from Daniel's loose embrace. Grabbing her glass from the floor she drained the contents and refilled it before studying her friend again.

"When did you get so smart?" she asked, a cheeky grin on her face.

"Ah, I have a Ph.D in smart-ass." Daniel replied in a very Jack-like tone. "Now, tell me what you meant when you said you 'wanted it to be me'?"

Sam stood up and walked over to his fish tank. She bent at her waist and started studying the creatures behind the glass for a moment, absently noting the contrast between the striking colors of the fish against the dull brown of the rocks so methodically placed at the bottom of the tank.

Straightening up, she walked over to the window and stared out onto the road. Daniel knew that these weren't delay tactics she was using. She was prepared to answer his question, but ever the scientist, she needed time to prepare her answer before speaking.

Eventually, she turned once again to face him. "After Jolinar, I started experiencing strange feelings for someone I had never met. I only ever saw him in my mind - in Jolinar's memories. "

"Martouf." Daniel murmured in recognition.

"Yeah." Sam smiled before settling herself back onto the couch. "At first I had no idea who he was, but when I met him, I just *knew*. I never felt for him the way Jolinar did." She looked at Daniel for...what? Acceptance? Understanding?

"After I got my feelings for Martouf under control, I thought I'd be okay. And for a while, I was. But then I started to feel...*strange* again."


"Yeah, like I used to when I thought about Martouf."

Daniel blinked slowly. "Ah."

"The thing is, for a long time I found it difficult to differentiate my emotions from Jolinar's. Especially when it came know." Sam blushed a very endearing shade of pink.

"Matters of the heart?" Daniel interjected, helpfully.

"Yeah." Sam nodded in agreement. "Every time I saw the Colonel I got that feeling again. The same as I used to get when I was around Martouf." She smiled sadly. "At first I thought I was just a little mixed up you know? Still trying to get used to two sets of memories, but then one day I realised..." Sam's voice trailed off, but Daniel understood completely.

"You realised that Jolinar had never known Jack, and so the feelings you were experiencing were..."

"Mine." Sam closed her eyes and bowed her head, almost ashamed of her emotions. "When it occurred to me that these feelings had nothing to do with Jolinar, I prayed that there was some way I could switch my feelings from the Colonel, to you." She smiled at him sadly, but he simply nodded, willing her to go on.

"If it was you I'd...then I could have accepted it." Sam looked around her, mentally memorising pretty much everything in the room. "We have so much in common Daniel. Our love for the job, our interests in academia, both being classed as 'geeks'." Daniel grinned at her unintentional reference to Jack. "You're so much more my type of intellect than he is, plus I couldn't be court martialled for loving you." Sam almost laughed at the irony. Of the two human men on her team, one was handsome, available, safe, intelligent, and of absolutely no interest to her, and the other? Well, the other was different, but equally as handsome. Athletic, bloody minded, dangerous; the only man in the world she wasn't allowed, and by some sick twist of fate, the only man she could ever imagine herself loving.

"Don't get me wrong Sam" Daniel said, desperate to lighten the oppressive atmosphere, "You really are a beautiful woman, but it'd be like kissing my sister!"

Sam laughed, but the smile didn't quite reach her eyes. "You don't have a sister."

Settling herself more comfortably, Sam lifted her feet and placed them over Daniel's legs, she stretched languorously before continuing. "When I finally got the fact that my feelings for the Colonel weren't going to change, I accepted it as unrequited and just got on with things." She sipped her drink, "And it worked fine, until he started to show an interest in me."

"When did you know?" the archaeologist asked carefully, concerned that pushing her too hard would open the floodgates again.

"I got little inklings every now and then, but I didn't know for certain until we went to destroy Apophis' new ship. When I got caught behind the force shield." Sam's eyes glazed over as her memory of the Colonel's expression appeared in her mind.

"When he stayed behind with you."

"Yeah, he wouldn't leave me." Sam looked pleadingly at her friend, willing him to believe that it wasn't her idea that he stay behind. "I begged him to leave, Daniel." She said quietly, "I even shouted at him, but he wouldn't go. He just stood there, looking at me." She took a long drink from her glass, feeling the liquid warm her throat, as it made it's welcome way into her stomach. "That was when I knew."

Silence fell over the pair for a few minutes; both lost in their own thoughts. Sam mourning the loss of a love that never was, and Daniel contemplating the unfair fate of two star-crossed lovers.

Eventually Daniel spoke. "So, what now?"

Sam looked at her friend, a sad smile on her face. "Now? Now we go on as normal. Colonel and Major. Nothing can ever come of this - at least until the war with the Goa'uld is over."

"Well how are you gonna feel working with him?" This was the moment Daniel had been waiting for. He knew Jack's answer, he'd asked him the same question only a day earlier when he forced his confession in the commissary, but now he needed to know Sam's. Not just for the sake of his friends, but also for the sake of the team.

Sam laughed bitterly and entirely without humor. "Like I said. Nothing changes. I've managed to work side by side with the man for the last four years, and I've proved that I can still work with him even now. I mean, you guys had no idea, right? *Right?*"

"Right." Daniel was mildly surprised at how easily the lie slipped off his tongue. But despite having known both Sam and Jack had feelings for each other even before they did, he also realised pretty fast that they never let it interfere with the job at hand.

Sam stood up and grabbed her coat. "Well, I'd better go. Night Daniel." She opened the door and made to leave.

Then, as if suddenly remembering something terribly important, she turned and regarded her friend. After a silent moment, she walked back over to the archaeologist, leant down and kissed him chastely on the lips. "Thanks, Daniel." She whispered before walking out of the door.

Daniel smiled quietly to himself, then he got up and began clearing the table.

Well, he'd achieved his goal of getting them both to talk about their personal situation - more than the Psychologist on base had managed to do - now all he had to do was get them to talk to each other.

Final part to follow if you guys want it - just let me know.