Disclaimer: Not mine. Set: Season 7, a few for season 4.
Notes: Eh. Wrote this at work, iirc. Title comes from Seether's "Fine Again" (finally. Dude, it took forever to title this... sigh.) Warnings: PGish. Shippy. Whatever. Het. No violence, for once.

Every Day's The Same by Ana Lyssie Cotton

She's not supposed to let herself think about this. But Daniel got them all drunk (except Teal'c) and he gave her C4 (again), and it's been a long year. And for just a moment, she stares down at the man in the bed, and wonders.

And she knows if she wasn't this drunk (damn Daniel), she wouldn't even be considering this. She never allows herself to think about this.

There wouldn't be this sleepy part of her that wants to consider how nice it would be to simply crawl into bed with the man and curl at his side. To wake up in the morning, to-- ok, so, puking over the toilet with him wouldn't be romantic. But it would be realistic.

And if they're turned off then, perhaps that's it.

Except she knows, since she's thinking it, that it wouldn't be. They've already seen each other at their worst.

And so she allows herself, just for a moment, to wonder if it's worth it.

It is. It has to be.

She refuses to give up her life, and refuses to ask him to. And in the end, they both need to move on.

And she refuses to do so.

It takes more effort than she wants to consider to walk away. To turn and physically leave this moment in time. At the door to the room, she fights against herself and eventually leaves without a backwards glance.

She knows that if she doesn't look, she won't be tempted. And if she isn't tempted, she won't wake up next to her CO.

And she wants to.

Right now? She really wants to.

"Sam?"

Daniel's voice is rusty, and she looks up from her shoes. "Hrm?"

"Teal'c has said he'll drive us back."

Heh. The jaffa was very proud of his ability to drive. And it would be good to leave the Colonel's house. Remove her from the vicinity of temptation. Yeah.

"Sam?"

There is something oddly sympathetic in Daniel's voice, and when she meets his eyes, she realizes he knows. Or thinks he knows. And for just an instant, she lets him see, lets him attempt to understand. And then she slams the door on that section of her brain for another year, or day, or month, or week. Until she has to watch him die again, or has to let him kill her, or let herself die again, or kill him. Or found herself drunk and idiotically maudlin. She makes a face. "Let's go. I need coffee."

"And sleep." For a moment, he seems to be trying to think of something to say. And then he says nothing.

She is grateful for that. She's closed the door. She doesn't need him bumbling in and ripping the hinges off. Reaching out for his elbow she steadies him as he wobbles slightly. "Next time, it's non-alcoholic for you, Dr. Jackson."

A snort escapes him. "As if you're any better, Doctor-Major Carter."

Fighting the grin on her lips she sticks her tongue out sideways.

"Hey, don't point that at me, missy."

"Brat." Oh, they were so 5 when they were drunk. It made her giggly and giddy. And glad. This distraction is the seal on the door in her brain.

"Shrew." He's beginning to sound like he's whining.

Teal'c held the door for them while she endeavores to come up with the perfect rejoinder. Getting in the car on the passenger side gives her the brilliant insight. She half-turns to the back. "Universal slut."

Something suspiciously like a giggle comes from Teal'c, but she decides it couldn't be.

Daniel, for his part, blinks at her, his lips revealing that he is amused and stunned and irritated all at once. "I," he announces, his tone deep with meaning, "Am not a slut."

She holds up a hand. "Sha're." Ok. Low blow, but he'd still shacked up with a 'gift'. Her finger flicks up. "Hathor." Also a low blow, since she'd drugged ALL the men on base. "Princess." Again, he'd been addicted to the sarcophagus. "Linea's younger self." Legitemate, since he'd been on Sha're rebound.

"Sam." Daniel's voice is definitely irritated now. "Shut up."

"Child."

Fine. They were back to stupid insults. She closes her eyes and bumps her head into the headrest with a grumble.

It's not until Teal'c pulls up to her house that she realizes he's been silent this whole time. She glances at him, ignoring Daniel's irritated mumbles about people who need to go away so he can go home and sleep. "Teal'c?"

"Major Carter."

She wonders at her sudden audacity in even considering posing this question, then asks it anyway. "Have you ever told anyone about the za'tarc testing?" She also wonders at her own imbicility in asking something that could have personal consequances. That opens that mental room again. But she suddenly wants to know, and is selfish enough that this is all about her now.

"I have not." His tone isn't rebuking, but the inclination of his head says that he is hurt she would even have to ask.

"Good." It should have been I'm sorry. But she's still tired and drunk and suddenly cranky. "I--"

"SAM." Daniel's voice is extra-petulant. "Just go. You can talk to Teal'c in the morning."

No. She wouldn't have the courage then. She wouldn't be tipsy enough to let a few barriers drop. She opens the door anyway. "Thanks for the ride, Teal'c." And the other thing. She hopes he gets the implication. He probably does.

"Sleep well, Major Carter."

Yeah. Probably. She gets out and walks towards her door.

Either that, or she's so wasted she's reading into everything anyone says and does. Next thing she knows she'll believe her neighbors are all swingers and they trade dogs on weekends. The thought makes her giggle and she fumbles her key into the lock.

Her breath is misting in the air, and she considers the scientific implications of this fact before turning the lock and stepping inside.

The car drives off, the sound loud in the still of the winter night.

She wants to call someone, she wants to cry, she wants to go to bed before the maudliness of her body's reaction (or over-reaction) to alcoholic intoxication makes her do something stupid.

Janet, she thinks, would have had answers for her.

But she's not going to call Janet.

She's going to bed, she decides firmly, and she's part of the way there before the phone rings.

Instinct gets her there before the machine picks it up, and she has it cradled to her shoulder before conscious thought has identified the caller's ID. "Hello."

"You liked the C4, right?" His voice is gravelly, like he just woke up.

She closes her eyes, and wonders why he chose now to do this. "Yes, sir. I did."

"Good."

They're both silent, and she wants to suddenly laugh. This is stupid. This is so. Fucking. Stupid. They both know better than this. But it's the holidays, and Christmas and family, and they're both alone right now. And it feels like it's too much. She wants to tell him they are stronger than this. "Jack..."

His breath catches for a moment, then he makes a strange sound. Probably a groan, and she bets herself that he banged his head on the wall. "I'm goin' back to bed, Carter."

Good plan. Take me with you. "Good night, sir."

"Night."

But they don't hang up.

And she takes the cordless with her, wanders into the bathroom and brushes her teeth while she listens to him settling into the covers again.

"Carter, do you have to floss?"

"We ate stringy things, sir." Her fingers are in her mouth, so it probably comes out gargled.

A snort. "Very scientific there, Carter."

"I'm tired." She informs him before dropping the floss into the trash. For a moment, she eyes herself in the mirror. You're an idiot, she announces. Tell him to go to sleep. Hang up.

"Well, so'm I." His voice is getting fainter, and she guesses he's succumbing to sleep.

Sam takes her shoes off and sits on the edge of her bed. "Go to sleep, sir."

"Ordering me around, Carter?"

"You're drunk, sir."

"So are you."

A smile touches her lips as she crawls into bed, balanced carefully with the phone still cradled to her ear. "I, however, am not attempting to prolong a conversation like a 5 year old who knows it's past his bedtime."

"So I'm 5 now?" He sounds grumpier than Daniel.

"Going on 100, sir."

"Gee, Carter, you do such fabulous things for my ego."

"Someone," a yawn escapes her and she settles the rest of the way into her mattress. Sleep is tickling at the edges of her eyes. "--yaaah. Has to."

"Elected yourself, then. Carter, tinpot dictator of the SGC."

A giggle escapes her, "Go to sleep, Jack."

"Yes, mom."

A snort. Again with the 5 years old mentality. "I am NOT your mother, Jack O'Neill."

"Well, thank god for that."

Later, she blames the alcohol, the sleepiness, the camaraderie, hell, the fact that her toes are cold.
Because, really, it's unforgivable. And, the way grey is edging into her brain is also responsible for what slips out. "Wish you were here."

She wakes up enough to realize what she's said, and she almost panics, because she's not supposed to admit things like that.

"Me too."

Neither is he.

It takes a long time to remove the phone from her ear, to push the end button, to stop listening to the way he breathes on the other side. But they need to sleep. And admissions in the dead of night when half-drunk aren't conducive to long careers in the US Air Force.

Sleep claims her before she can build court-martials out of molehills.

-end-