Sam Carter idly picked up a pen from her desk and started twirling it around her fingers. Concentration was the only way to solve the equations in front of her and she knew it.

The trouble was she was having problems keeping her mind on the job at hand. Every time her mind went off on a tangent she would mentally chastise herself and focus intently on the computer screen in front of her...only to find herself wandering off again.

Muttering under her breath about her lack of discipline, Carter threw down the pen and stood up. She grabbed her jacket and, after locking her office, strode purposefully towards the infirmary. If she wasn't getting any work done then there was no point in being there at all, she thought. She may as well just see the Doc, go home, and try to get some sleep.

Sleep. Ah. Another thing that had successfully been alluding her of late. And the reason for her evening stroll down to the infirmary. Every night for the past week and a half (and yes, she was counting) Sam had made concerted effort to ensure she had been in bed by ten, ready to get some well-deserved rest. And every night for the past week and a half (still counting) she had given up at exactly two in the morning, got up, and resorted to watching some god-awful late night television programs for insomniacs.
Not that this had been affecting her work off world. SG1 had been on stand down for a week since both Daniel and Colonel O'Neill had gone down with the flu.

Upon reaching her destination, she heard raised voices coming from the ward. Sam smiled to herself as rounded the corner and saw the face behind the temper. Dr Frasier was rapidly losing her patience with a certain uncooperative patient as he complained - again - about her 'serious lack of bedside manner'. The crux of it was that Janet's bedside manner was just fine. It was her patient who had the attitude problem. It basically came down to the fact that he wasn't. Patient, that is.

She remembered the look on her Colonels face earlier that day when Janet broke the news that he would have to remain in the infirmary for another 24 hours before she would allow him to go home. And now it seemed, hours later, nothing had improved.

"I'm fine!" he all but yelled at her rapidly reddening face. "I feel absolutely fine. In fact, I feel better than I have in years!"

"Colonel O'Neill." Janet began, the calmness in her voice sounding deadlier than a rattlesnake. "The fact that you have a temperature that should scientifically class you as dead, and that you haven't managed to stay awake for more than a couple of hours at a time says to me you are far from ready to be released - let alone go back on active duty. So you should consider yourself lucky that I'm allowing you to go home tomorrow. But," she added quickly before he could interrupt her again "if you insist on keeping this up, I will be reconsidering."

"Doc..." Jack whined, giving his best impression of a petulant child.

"Don't even think about it." Janet warned. "I have a whole bunch of empty sample bottles and test tubes that I will be quite happy to fill with various fluids from your body if I hear one more word out of you. Now, do we have an understanding?"

"Yes, Ma'am." He muttered quietly.

"Good." She turned to Carter, who had surreptitiously placed herself by his bed, and was now watching the scene unfold with a somewhat amused expression on her face. "Now, let's go into my office and let the children sleep." She glared pointedly at her patient before ushering Sam out of the room.

"Night Sir." She smiled at Jack as she passed the foot of his bed. "Carter..."

"Sir?" Sam stopped and looked at his face. She could see by his expression he was wrestling with himself about saying something, but it seemed he couldn't quite get the words out.

"Night, Carter." He frowned at the wall behind her and closed his eyes as she walked out of the room.


"So what can I do for you, Sam?" Janet asked as she perched herself on the edge of her desk and looked at her friend. "Not sleeping?"

Momentarily stunned, Carter's jaw almost dislocated itself in surprise before she collected herself. "How'd you know?" Janet smiled and shrugged nonchalantly. "Either I've discovered a sudden Psychic ability, or you have bags the size of Mexico under your eyes."

"Oh." Sam sat down heavily in the chair next to the doctor's desk. "Yeah, well I haven't slept in a week or so. I mean, I've slept, but only for a few minutes at a time."

Janet put on her best 'disapproving mother' face before saying; "And you chose to leave it this long before seeing me because...?"

"I thought it was temporary. That if I ignored it, it would pass." Sam answered bleakly, sheer exhaustion masking her pale features.

Janet sighed. "Well, you came eventually, so I guess you're forgiven. But you know better than anyone that hiding from things like this doesn't work."

She stood up from her desk and walked over to the medicine cabinet at the back of the room. Fishing in her pockets for the keys she turned and looked at her friend. "I'm gonna give you some pretty strong sleeping tablets. One of these'll knock you out nicely for eight or nine hours, so you'd better stay on base tonight."

"Aww, Doc..." Sam grinned as the doctor winced at her poor imitation of the Colonel.

"I mean it, Sam. Even after you wake up the effects won't have worn off completely and you won't be safe to drive." Janet paused for a moment. "No, it's definitely for the best if you stay here."

After locating her keys, Dr Frasier opened the cabinet and rooted around until she found the drugs she was after and re-locked the doors.

"Now, I'm going to give you two of these as I think you need more than eight hours tonight. Take them directly before bed and you should feel the effects almost immediately." She placed the drugs in her friend's hand and sat down behind her desk, folding her arms across her chest.

"So, are you going to tell me why you can't sleep?"

Sam looked at the tablets and frowned. "To be honest with you Janet, I don't know."

Placing the pills on the desk, she ran her hands through her short hair. "Like I said, it's been going on for a while now. Ever since we got back from Tollana."

"You feeling guilty about Narim?" Janet asked, concern marring her elfin features.

Sam shook her head. 'No, I don't think so, not in the way you mean. I mean, what happened on Tollana was pretty horrific, and I cared about Narim a lot, but I know what we did was for the best. And despite his reservations." She paused for a moment, collecting her thoughts before continuing. "I think Narim knew that too."

"So, what then?"

"Maybe...Maybe it's what I should have done." Janet studied her friend for a moment. "How do you mean?"

"I mean - Oh, this is going to sound ridiculous." Sam looked at the doctor, color forming on her cheeks. "When Teal'c and I went to Narim's house to look at the Curia records, he had a kind of voice system that could control room temperature, and do...other stuff."

Janet frowned in confusion. "And?"

"And, well, the voice"

Janet was stunned. "You?"

"Yeah." Sam grimaced. "He used my voice for his home computer."

The doctor smiled quietly. "And this bothers you? I mean, you know how he felt about you."

"Yeah, well, that's what I can't stop thinking about." She said, absently studying the framed qualifications hung on the wall behind her friend's head. "He had my voice in his home because he cared about me. I mean it was flattering and all, but after the initial shock all I could think about was...well, the mechanics behind it!"

She frowned again. "It's not funny Janet!"

"Sorry." Doctor Frasier tried to suppress her laughter. "You're a scientist Sam. Why does this bother you? I'd be more surprised if you didn't wonder how it worked."

Carter looked at her tablets. "The point is, Narim had my voice in his home because he had feelings for me. He cared for me. But all I wanted was to study the damn thing. I blew him off, Janet. Last time I saw him I tried to explain why I didn't want a relationship, and I thought he understood. But I can't help thinking he didn't get the message. And now he's dead."

Moisture formed in the Majors eyes as she continued. "I should have told him the truth. I should have explained about my feelings for...I should have told him the truth. At least then he could have found someone else instead of waiting for me. He died thinking he still had a chance. "

Tears were flowing freely down her face now, obviously hating herself for her unwitting part in Tollana's destruction.. "I stole his chances at happiness, and all because I can't have mine."

Janet stood and walked over to her friend. She placed her arms around her and held on tight until Sam's sobbing subsided. When she had calmed down, Janet gave her a glass of water, which she received gratefully.

"So, you think he would have just given up if you told him you were in love with someone else?" she asked carefully. Sam's head snapped up to look at the doctor. "What do you mean?"

"C'mon Sam." Janet sighed. "You can't fool me. I was there, remember? During the tests. I know how you feel for Colonel O'Neill, and I know that the time since it happened hasn't changed anything." She smiled as she stroked her friend's cheek. "So be honest with me. Do you *really* believe that if you told Narim you were in love with the Colonel he would have just accepted it and moved on? It doesn't work like that Sam, and you know it."

Defeated, Carter merely shrugged her shoulders and said; "At least he would have known the truth instead of thinking it was Jolinar's fault."

"But it wouldn't have changed anything. You can't stop yourself loving someone just because they can't reciprocate. Sam," Janet placed her hand on her friend's shoulder "None of this is your fault. Narim must have known how you feel for the Colonel. It's written all over your face. His too." She indicated towards the ward where the Jack was making a valiant effort to look asleep whilst listening intently to every word spoken.

"That doesn't make it any easier to accept, Janet." Sam muttered as she wiped her eyes with the sleeve of her shirt.

"Well eventually you are going to have to accept it or you're never going to get on with your life. Look," Janet refilled Sam's water glass and handed it back to her. "Why don't you stay in here tonight? I've got the night shift so I'll be around if you need me, and there's plenty of room. Besides, I want to make sure you don't get any side effects from the pills."

Sam nodded mutely and took the proffered tablets. After swallowing them down, she turned to her friend and smiled weakly. "Thanks for listening. I don't think I could stay sane without you here to put up with me."

"You're welcome." Janet smiled back. "Now why don't you change into a gown and pick a bed before those drugs kick in? I'll leave you to change." She handed Carter the bedclothes and left the room.

Sam removed her fatigues and carefully folded them into a neat pile before changing into her gown and, carefully holding the back shut, she softly made her way to an empty bed at the end of the ward.

Stopping at the foot of the bed, she paused for a moment before changing her mind and turning back. Tip-Toeing over to the empty bed next to her 'sleeping' Colonel, she climbed under the hospital blankets and made herself comfortable, before looking over at Jack.

Convinced he was sleeping, she allowed herself to study his relaxed features. It was a rare occasion that these moments presented themselves. Usually they were off world when it happened and Sam would look for a long moment at his sleeping form before resignedly waking him for his watch.

But tonight, tonight she could look for as long as her tablets would allow her to remain conscious.

She began at the top of his head, looking in the dim light at how his hair fell softly over his face slightly. A sure sign for military men everywhere that it needed cutting. Smiling to herself, her eyed moved to his closed lids. His eyelashes were long, but masculine, lying gently on his face, flickering slightly. Sam could feel the tablets begin to take effect as she moved past his nose to his beautiful mouth, even in sleep the cheeky smile remained in the corners of his lips.

She had often wondered what it would be like to touch his mouth, softly, using only her fingertips...her lips, gently meeting his. She wanted to know if his mouth would open slightly under hers, if...

"That's very disconcerting Carter." Jack's eyes flickered open, and his smile grew wider as Sam's cheeks became inflamed with surprise and embarrassment.

"Sir, I..." Unable to form the necessary words to save her from her own humiliation, Sam swore slightly and closed her eyes in shame.

"Look at me." The order was softly spoken, husky and leaded with drowsiness. Opening her eyes slowly, and reluctant to meet his stare, she looked at the partition slightly to Jack's left. Feeling the heat still rising in her face, Sam curled up tighter into the foetal position, and waited for the tirade.

Instead all she got was a hushed whisper. "I do it too."

Shock overcame embarrassment, and she looked at her CO. "Sir?"

"I watch you when you sleep. Every chance I get." It was Jack's turn to be embarrassed now, but after the conversation he had recently overheard, he knew she deserved at least this.

"Mostly off world, when I relieve your watch." He smiled again. "Do you know you sigh in your sleep? Quietly, as if you couldn't be more content."

"Oh." The fluttering in her heart seemed to be stopping Sam from forming coherent words.

"So." The Colonel began conversationally. "You can't sleep."

Sam's eyes widened in surprise. "You heard? she whispered, humiliation once again rushing to the surface.

"Yeah, I heard. Carter, I need you to understand something. What happened to Narim wasn't anyone's fault except the damn Goa'uld - and maybe the Tollan Curia. It certainly wasn't yours. And as for the other thing, well," he took a steadying breath, hoping that the extra oxygen would provide him with the courage he desperately needed to finish this sentence. "I feel the same. You know I do."

He tentatively looked into her eyes, hoping to see recognition, acceptance, but what he saw there was more. So much more.

Pure, unadulterated love. For him.

Sam's eyes shone brightly in the darkened room, tears falling softly down her face, but love was in her eyes. It was written all over her face.

Slowly, Jack sat up and pulled back his bedcovers. He swung his legs off the bed and stood up, holding onto the post for support. Once his legs gained their strength he made his way over to Sam's bed.

The look in his eyes spoke a thousand words, and she silently scooted over and lifted her covers. As Jack climbed in next to her and placed the covers over them both Sam had the fleeting fear of them being caught, and looked worriedly at her Colonel.

Seeing the concern in her eyes, he placed his arms around her and pulled her close until she was curled safely in his arms.

"I don't care." He said determindley. "Not tonight. Tomorrow we can worry all we want, but tonight, I just want to be here. With you."

Sam looked deeply into the eyes of the man she loved before nodding and placing her head on his chest. "Goodnight Sir." She said quietly.

"Goodnight Carter."


Janet walked silently over to the sleeping couple, and after a moment of just watching them, she pulled the partitions closed around them, away from the cameras and prying eyes.

Let them have this, She thought to herself. Just for tonight.