The Host

Chapter 1.

JACK SAT IN THE mess and tried unsuccessfully to stifle his yawn.

"I am boring you?" Daniel asked a trace of annoyance in his voice

"No" Jack's response came automatically "It's late and I'm...."

"It's only four thirty in the afternoon," Daniel told him looking at his watch

"What? Really?" Jack looked at his own watch tapping it a couple of times "oh."

"Anyway, what I was saying was I don't believe the tablet we found was written by the Goa'uld at all. Guess who I think wrote it?"

Jack looked at him blankly.

"Go on guess" Daniel told him enthusiastically

"J.K Rowling" Jack answered a small smile forming on his lips.

"Oh ha ha" Daniel said spooning up another mouth full of ice-cream "If you don't want to listen to me, just say so"

"I don't want to listen to you" Jack told him flatly

"I believe it was written by the furling's" he continued totally ignoring what Jack had said "and I think..."

"Oh for cryin' out loud" Jack muttered before standing up and walking away leaving Daniel to drip ice cream down his shirt.

JACK STOPPED IN FRONT of the closed metal door and knock twice before turning the handle.

Sam sat at her workbench peering down a microscope and at the sound of her door opening she looked up.

"Hey" He said closing the door behind him.

"Hey Sir" Sam sighed inwards. She was hoping to get a bit of quiet time to herself to go over the samples that SG3 had brought back. "Is there something I can help you with Sir?" she asked a little more formally than she intended, but the sooner she found out what the Colonel wanted the sooner she could get back to work.

"Well, no" Jack said taking a seat and picking up what looked like a lump of rock "Just thought I'd hang out for awhile."

Great, he wanted to hang out.

"With all due respect Sir, I'm kind of in the middle of something." She told him indicating to the microscope "and I really do need to get on"

"Oh. What is that anyway?"

She knew he wasn't really interested in what she was doing. "It's a mineral SG3 brought back from PX-7867. It might have some potential as a power source. You see the mineral contains a substance that has a similar chemical make up to Naqahdah and if it has the same power output as Naqahdah then we have an alternative source on a Goa'uld free world."

"Oh" Jack said replacing the rock and picking up a small dish

Ok so boring him out of her way wasn't going to work. Sam was starting to envy Teal'c. The large Jaffa had returned back to Chulak to spend sometime with his son who had been injured in a training exercise. Some guys have all the luck Sam thought.

"Sir, I really do need to get on with this," She said taking the dish off him "Can't you go and hang out with Daniel?"

"I was, but he started to go on about some tablet or other that he found and I got bored. They should hire that guy out as an instrument of torture. He could bored them into submission"

The image of some poor guy strapped to a chair being tortured by Daniel was too much and Sam couldn't help but smile.

"I don't think we could get away with charging much" She replied retaking her seat. "A couple of dollars maybe"

Jack smiled at her "Yeah, if we're lucky"

Sam returned back to work hoping Jack would take the hint and just go, but instead he picked up something from her bench and started to read.

Jack flipped through the magazine, not really reading it just happy to be sitting here with her alone. He enjoyed times like this when they could relax and he could almost imagine that the Goa'uld didn't exist.

Jack turned another page. Why on earth do women read this crap, he thought to himself. What the hell is exfoliating? Jack flipped another page. Why would any woman want to do wax that part anyway?

Jack flipped over to another page, getting bored and considered throwing the magazine down when...

Jack chuckled.

Sam looked over to him out of the corner of her eye. Oh God what on earth has he got now. Sam shook her head slightly and tried to concentrate on her work.

"How the hell...." Jack mumbled turning the magazine upside down.

Curiosity got the better of her and Sam just had to know "What are you reading?" she asked

"Ummmm" Jack asked looking up

"The magazine" Sam said pointing over.

"40 ways to satisfy your lover" Jack read out "It's got pictures and everything"

Sam paused. Oh God she forgotten that she had left her copy of Cosmo on the bench.

"I think I prefer number 20, oh but number 35 looks very interesting" Jack laughed as Sam reached over to snatch the magazine out of his hand, but Jack was just a bit too quick for her. "But hold on, I think we have a winner. Number 40, maybe a bit rough on the old knees..."

"Sir!" Sam practically shouted at him, blushing from shear embarrassment.

"Didn't think you were into this kind of stuff Carter" Jack teased

"I'm not," She said finally getting hold of the magazine and throwing it on the bench "It's Janet's. She must of left it here"

"Yeah, sure" he teased

"It is," she said failing to keep her smile from erupting.

"I believe you Major" He grabbed the magazine and started to flick through it. Leaning back on the chair, he resting his foot on the edge of the bench, "So tell me, what's your favourite?"

Right, Sam thought, there is only one way she was going to deal with this. Standing up she walked over to where Jack was sitting. Smiling at him she bent down "Actually, Sir, I quite like it hot, wet and up against the wall" she breathlessly whispered in his ear.

Jack's jaw dropped and he just about stopped himself landing in a heap on the lab floor, the magazine tumbled on to the concrete.

"That would be number 4, then" he managed to say

Sam lent down and picked up the magazine. "I would say more like number 6 Sir" she said dropping magazine into his lap.

"Oh" was all Jack managed to say before the alarm sounded.

DANIEL REACHED THE CONTROL Room first.

"Who is it?" Hammond demanded

"Receiving IDC code now Sir." Davis told him "It's the Tok'ra"

"Open the iris" Hammond ordered

"Visitors?" Jack asked Daniel arriving in the control with Sam

"The Tok'ra" Daniel told him

"Really?" Sam smiled.

"Could be Dad" Jack smiled towards Sam.

"Could be" she said before practically sprinting out of the Control Room.

The Iris slid open to reveal the shimmering blue event horizon of the wormhole. Sam stood at the bottom of the ramp waiting and hoping that this time it was her Dad. She hadn't seen him for at least 6 months and she was starting to really miss him. She was soon joined by Jack who smiled when Jacob walked through the Stargate.

"Hey Dad" Sam said smiling broadly walking up the metal ramp to hug him

"Hey Sam" Jacob said hugging her in return. With his arm wrapped around his daughter's shoulders Jacob walked to the bottom of the ramp.

"Hey great to see you Dad" Jack said shaking Jacob's hand

"You to.... I guess."

"Welcome back Jacob" Hammond greeted him

"George, Daniel"

"You all by yourself?" Sam enquired

"Actually..." Jacob began when the figure of a young man walked through the Stargate "...no"

The young man walked towards the group. He was taller than her father and several years younger Sam observed. His hair was almost raven black and his eyes where a striking green. He was carrying a small metal box the size of a briefcase.

"Everyone this is Ethan, Ethan this is General Hammond, Colonel Jack O'Neill, Doctor Daniel Jackson and my daughter Major Samantha Carter"

Ethan bowed his head.

"Strong silent type eh?" Jack commented

"Ethan has something that I think you will all be interested in, you especially Sam" Jacob explained.

Chapter 2.

JACOB PLACED THE BOX on the table and clicked the two latches open. After lifting the lid he reached inside.

"This" he began once everyone was settled around the large table in the brief room "Is a hellmar"

The objected he held in his hand was a round metal sphere slightly larger than a tennis ball. The surface was covered in tiny markings.

"A what?" Jack asked

"A Hellmar," Daniel said

"I heard what he said I just want to know what it is he said."

"We believe this is a Goa'uld neutralising device." Ethan told them his symboite voice reverberating around the room

"Oh" Jack said suddenly interested in the meeting. He'd had the feeling that this was just another hire gun mission for the Tok'ra. But this time it actually looks they have brought them something useful.

"We found this while we were checking out a new base for the Tok'ra. The writings on the outside tell us that it is a weapon to fight the Goa'uld." Jacob told the group.

"May I?" Daniel asked

"Of course" Jacob passed the sphere to Daniel who started to study the writings.

"Is it some kind of bomb?" Jack asked getting right to the point.

"We do not believe so" Ethan said

"Have you managed to get it to work?" Sam asked him

"Not yet, that is why were are here to ask for your assistance Major Carter"

Sam found herself blushing. "Please call me Sam" she told him and looked towards Jack who raised his eyebrows in surprise. Did he just see Sam blushing?

"Very well, Sam it is" Ethan smiled.

"Doctor Jackson do you think you can translate the rest of the text?" Hammond asked

"I think so"

"OK, in that case take images of the outside" Hammond told him, "Major Carter I want you and Ethan to start work on figuring out how to get this device working."

"Yes Sir" Sam said rising to her feet

Jack coughed in an attempt to get Hammonds attention.

"I guess you get to hang out with me Jack" Jacob said smiling

Jack turned towards Hammond silently asking for an assignment.

"You heard the General, Colonel" Hammond told him smiling slightly.

"Peachy" Jack said under his breath and smiled towards Jacob.

DANIEL STOOD BACK WHILE the camera took several snap shots of the sphere. "OK, now turn it 180 degrees to the left" Daniel shouted up to the control room. "That's great," he shouted once the images he been taken "I think that's all of it"

"Ok Doctor Jackson" The technician replied from the room above.

"Got everything you need" Sam asked strolling into the lab.

"Yeah, you can have it now if you like."

"Think you'll have any luck?" Sam asked him picking up some of the pages from the desk and leaning back against it.

"Yeah, I think so. It looks like some sort of Arabic writing. I should be able to figure it out... eventually"

Sam smiled "OK, if you need to look at the device it will be I my lab"

She picked up the sphere from the holders "I'll see you later" She said to Daniel before leaving

"Yeah, I'll erm catch you later" he just about managed to say already engrossed in the images.

"YOU KNOW WHAT I really miss about this place?" Jacob asked Jack as the sat in the mess drinking coffee.

"The lovely concrete d├ęcor" Jack said

"Funny" Jacob replied "Beer. I miss beer."

"The Tok'ra don't have beer?" Jack asked in mock surprise

"You would think so, wouldn't you?" Jacob placed his coffee cup thoughtfully on the table "Fancy treating an old General to a cold one?"

"Is that an order Sir?" Jack asked smiling

"Certainly is son"

"In that case Sir, I can't disobey a direct order"

Rising the two men left the mess hall and half a hour later the two were sitting in an almost empty bar, dressed in their civvies.

"What can I get you?" the bar tender asked

"Two beers" Jack gave their order "So how are things in Never Never Land?"

Jacob shook his head "Not a good as they good be." he stopped when the bartender placed their drink before them and Jack thanked him "We are hoping that this device we've brought back will help solve a lot of problems. In fact it could stop the Goa'uld for good."

"Sweet." Jack took a long drink of his beer and savored the taste. "So, whose this Ethan guy anyway?"

"He's one of the Tok'ra's top scientist. His host is called Jaimin and he's been with the Tok'ra for as long as Selmak can remember"

"Really, the guy doesn't look a day over 40"

"One of the benefits of being a Tok'ra" Jacob picked up his glass "Cheers" he said before take a long drink "God I've missed this stuff"

"Another?" Jack asked and indicated to the bar tender for two more.

"I won't say no" Jacob replied finishing off his beer.

Chapter 3

"OK..." SAM SAID SHIFTING from one foot another. "From what you've told me the device works on a timer right?" Sam asked Ethan

"That is correct"

"Right" Sam picked the device up and turned it over in her hand "I can't find any openings or buttons"

"I haven't had much luck either. I think it might work from some sort of remote"

"I guess you guys didn't happen to find one lying around?" Sam asked hopefully

"Unfortunately not"

"Maybe these are the instructions." Sam said half heartily rubbing her thumb over the embossed markings. "I wonder if.... Speak of the devil" Sam said as Daniel walked into her room "Found anything?" she asked

"Actually I think I have" Daniel placed the now taped pieces of paper on the table. "I think this is some sort of instruction manual that tells you how to activate whatever this is."

"You're kidding.... Well don't keep us all in suspense"

"OK... Well it works by remote, but" Daniel said seeing the disappointed looks on their faces "whoever built this thought ahead and if you" Daniel reached over and picked the sphere up "press here, here and here" Daniel place one figure on the underside of the device and one on each side and the top cover of the sphere dissolved showing the inside of the device. "Voila!" he announced

"Daniel you are a genius" Sam told him "How do we set the timer?"

"Well" Daniel said pushing his glasses further up the bridge of his nose "That's the part I haven't figured out yet"

JACOB EMPTIED HE GLASS and placed it down on the bar. "What do you say we have another one?" his words slightly slurred.

"Oh I think it's best we get you back home" Jack told him getting unsteadily to his feet. Jack was quite surprised to find that he was enjoying Jacob's company and if the truth be told he didn't want to leave either, but if Sam found out that he had gotten her old man drunk he would be for the high jump.

"Come on Jack, I'm oh vacation for Christ sakes. Do you know the last time I was drunk?" He continued before Jack had a chance to speak "2 years ago, can you believe that."

"2 years you say?" Good enough reason to have one more Jack thought to himself. Jack motioned the bar tender for two more beers and sat back down.

Clinking their glasses together Jacob made a toast "To beer"

"To beer"

"So how are things at the base?" Jacob asked

"And by the base you mean Sam?"

"Yeah, I miss not being able to keep an eye on her" Jacob said with a hint of regret in his voice

"Sam is a fine officer, you should be very proud of her." Jack told him with pride in his voice

"Oh I am Jack" Jacob took another long drink of his beer "I've always been proud of my little girl even though at times I didn't show it. I thought she was just wasting her career doing analysis of deep space radar telemetry. What a fool she must of thought I was, telling her that she should join NASA so she could go up into space, while all the time she was zipping here there and apparently everywhere."

"Yeah, life has away of throwing you the odd surprise" Jack told him wistfully

"You're telling me. A few years ago I was dying of cancer, thought that that was it. I wasn't going to see my grandkids grow up or see Sam with kids of her own. Now I'm an old man working for a resistance group sharing my body with a worm." Jacob stared into his now empty glass. "I'm tired Jack"

"Well come on then I'll take you home"

"No," Jacob shook his head "I'm tired of this whole thing."

"Oh" Jack said once he realised what Jacob meant "Me too" He told him truthfully.

"Are numbers are dwindling faster than ever. Soon and I mean real soon there wont be any of us left."

To say Jack was a little more than surprised at Jacob's admission was a bit of an understatement. Surly things weren't that bad with the Tok'ra.

"I had no idea" Jack told him

"Well we don't like to broadcast it, if you know what I mean. That's why getting this device to work is so important. If we have found away of neutralising a Goa'uld...."

Jacob didn't need to carry on. Both of them knew the implications of having such a device.

Chapter 4

"OK, SO IF WE attach this to here" Sam carefully connected the wire to the inside of the sphere "and this one to here" She placed another wire on the opposite side.

Daniel had given them a brief outline of what he had discovered so far and had returned back to his office to continue to translate the rest of the text. In the meantime they were trying the scientific approach of guessing.

"Nothing" Ethan told her looking at the laptop

"Are you sure?" Sam asked looking slightly confused. "There should be something."

"How about if we swapped them around" Ethan lent across Sam to pick up the sphere and accidentally brushed her arm. Sam couldn't stop herself from blushing again. What the hell was wrong with her? Ever since she had met this man she couldn't help but act like a schoolgirl with a crush. Was she falling for him?

"Sam?" Ethan's voice brought Sam out of her thoughts "Is everything ok?"

"Yeah course, sorry I was miles away. You were saying"

"I think we should try swapping the connectors over. We might have the current flowing in the wrong direction"

"OK" Sam tried not to yawn as she changed over the wires "Give it a go now"

"Nothing"

Sam let out a long sigh and rubbed the tired muscles in her neck. "I just don't get this"

"Maybe after some rest. We can try again in the morning when Doctor Jackson has translated some more of the text" Ethan suggested

"Yeah maybe your right" Sam agreed sitting heavily on a chair and stretching out the tired muscles in her back and shoulders.

"Can I ask you something?" she asked Ethan

"Yes, but only if I can ask something in return"

"OK, sounds fair. How come Jaimin hasn't put in an appearance? I'd like to meet him"

Ethan bowed his head and took a deep breath

"Hello Major Carter" The change of voice was astounding. Jaimin's was shy and gentle compared to the deeper tones of his symboite

"Hi." She said, "It is nice to meet you finally"

"To answer you question, my knowledge of this device was not needed and my symboite has much more experience with such devices"

"Oh I see." Sam could tell straight away that Jaimin was much shyer that Ethan. He didn't stand as tall and spoke with a certain amount of uncertainty.

Jaimin bowed his head allowing Ethan to surface "I believe it is my turn to ask you a question" Ethan took a step closer to her. "Will you allow me to kiss you?"

Without a response from Sam, Ethan took a few small steps to close the gap between them and gently placed a firm, but tender kiss on her lips. Sam closed her eyes and felt her body responded to his touch.

The kiss quickly deepened and she wrapped her arms completely around his neck. With the touch of his tongue Sam parted her lips and nestled closer, almost incapable of believing that this was real. Their tongues caressed gently as his lips slanted over hers hotly and hungrily. No sooner had it started the kiss was over leaving her feeling slight out of breath.

"Thank you" Ethan said, smiling into her eyes as she removed her arms from around his neck. "You are tired I should allow you to sleep. We can carry on in the morning"

For an instance Sam was unsure if he meant working on the device or working on the kiss. "OK... I'll see you in the morning. Good Night"

Once the door to her lab closed and Ethan was safely on the other side Sam let out a sigh. She could still feel his touch on her slightly bruised lips and she smiled to herself. She had no idea that a kiss could be so intense. Every nerve in her body was on edge and she shakily got to her feet. She was defiantly looking forward to tomorrow as she open her door and turned off the light.

"SHHHHHHHHHHHHH, YOU WILL wake everyone up" Jacob told Jack as they made their way down the corridor

"You're the one making all the noise" Jack told him as he rebounded off a nearby wall into Jacob.

"Uh oh" Jacob said trying to stand up right

"What?"

"12 O'clock"

"Eh? What?" Jack looked up and tried to focus in the direction of 12 O'clock. Sam was walking right towards them "ah crap"

"Evening..." Jack began

"Morning" Jacob corrected him

"Morning.... Major" He said trying not to slur his words, but failing miserably.

"Morning Colonel, Dad" Sam said, a stern look on her face.

Jacob was unable to stop himself bursting into laughter at the look on Sam's face and he grabbed hold Jack's jacket to stop himself from hitting the deck.

"It was all his idea" Jack began pointing over to the unsteady Jacob "In fact he ordered me to"

"Is that so?" Sam felt like she was dealing with a couple of teenagers.

"I'm sorry Sammy" Jacob said putting his arm round his daughter, pulling her into a bear hug.

"That's OK Dad," She said pulling him gently but firmly off her "I think we should get you to bed"

Jacob swayed slightly "Yeah I think that might be a good idea.

Together Sam and Jack managed to get Jacob to his room and into bed and before leaving him Sam kissed him on the forehead.

"Night Dad"

"Night Sammy" Jacob called out just before she closed the door.

Once the door clicked into place Sam turned towards Jack.

"Well?"

"I'm sorry, Sammy" Jack said smiling broadly, "but he did order me."

"You could have said no" she told him firmly

"An order is an order Major, you of all people should know that"

Suddenly the room started to spin and Jack grabbed hold of the closest thing to him to stop himself falling, which just happened to be Sam.

"I think I should go to bed now".

"I think you should as well" Sam agreed

"Well you see there we have a problem" Jack pointed out "I can't seem to manage to walk due to the floor moving"

Sam sighed and lifted Jack's arm around her neck. Finding the nearest empty room she open the door and deposited Jack on the bed.

"Thanks" he slurred

"Your welcome, Good Night Sir"

"Night Sam" Jack said

Just as she about to close the door she hear Jack swear to himself followed by a thump.

Sam switched on the light to find that Jack was no longer on the bed.

"Sir" she called unable to see him

"I'm down here" He said waving his hand in the air.

Moving over to the far side of the bed she found Jack sprawled on the floor.

"Someone moved the bed" he said in the way of an explanation.

"I think you fell off it"

"You know I think your right." Jack said looking around "Fancy giving me a hand"

Sam lent over and extended her hand and helped Jack get unsteadily on his feet. "Thanks" he said gently swaying

Sam raised her eyes upwards. "Come here" she told him and helped him struggle out of his jacket. Pushing him onto the bed she pulled off one shoe followed by the other.

"I can't believe you got my Dad drunk" She told him standing up

"I didn't, he got himself drunk I swear" Jack slurred staring up at her kind off happy with the way things were turning out.

"With a little help from you"

"Are you telling me off Major?" Jack asked

"Yes, Sir I am" she told him firmly

"I love it when you get angry" Jack told her lying back into the bed "You get a little crinkle above your nose. It's very attractive"

"Good Night Sir" Sam called to him from the door way

"Good Night Sam" Jack said his voice muffled by the pillow "Sam" he called to her as she was about to close the door

"Yes Sir"

"Your very beautiful" Jack told her before passing out.

Sam stood in the doorway for several seconds staring at her CO. Yesterday a comment like that from Jack would have made her heart leap, but now after meeting Ethan it didn't have the same effect and that scared her.

She had been so used to having these feelings for Jack that they had become part of her everyday life, the one thing she could rely on. She wasn't so sure if she wanted them to go, if she was ready to let them go. Your just tired she told herself and a bit emotional after Ethan's kiss. Everything will have sorted it's self out in the morning.

Gently Sam closed the door.

Chapter 5

SAM PULLED ON HER white cotton sock and reached over for her boots when there was a soft knock at her door. Sam had decided to spend the night at the base mainly because it had been well after 3 in the morning when she finally managed to get her father and Colonel O'Neill into bed.

"Yeah" she called

The door slowly opened and Ethan peered his head round the door

"Hey" she said smiling "Come on in"

Ethan moved the rest of the way into the room and closed the door behind him. Sam noticed that he looked a little a nervous. Maybe he has come to apologise for the kiss she told herself with a feeling of regret.

Sam stood and walked over to him "Is everything OK?" she asked a little concerned.

Without saying a word Ethan brought his hands up to cup her face and lowered his lips to hers. If this was some sort of apology, it was the best one she had received in years.

His mouth moved hungrily over hers only breaking contact when Sam felt her back hit the concrete wall behind her, but only for a second. Never before had she felt such delight as his mouth trailed little kisses down her neck.

Sam let out a small gasp as his hands tugged at her t-shirt finding their way onto her bare skin. Pulling hard at his shirt Sam knew that all she wanted to do was touch him, she had to know what it felt like to feel his warm skin under her own fingertips.

Oh God was this really happening to her, if this was some sort of dream then she never wanted it to end. She felt the waistband on her combats loosen and she realised that he had undone the button and she was amazed to find her own fingers undoing his. Soon they were both free and Sam felt him hard against her thigh. Ethan lifted his head to look at her, his eyes dark with desire. Cupping his hands under her arms he lifted her and Sam wrapped her legs around his waist, nuzzling her face into his neck to stop her scream from escaping as he quickly entered her. With every movement came wave upon wave of pleasure growing more and more intense with each assault and soon she was riding on a wave of total ecstasy, floating higher and higher never wanting to come down.

All to soon it was over and Sam was left gasping for breath, her face buried in Ethan's hair.

"Good Morning" he told her slightly out of breath his face nuzzled against her neck.

Sam laughed, lifting her head to meet his gaze "Is that how you usually greet people in the morning?" she asked

Ethan gently lowered Sam to the floor and smoothed a strand of hair from her face.

"I couldn't help myself."

Never before had anyone looked at her the same way Ethan was.

"Sam you are the most amazing, beautiful woman I have ever met and I want you to know that...."

He was interrupted by three brief knocks on her door. Oh shit she thought as she scrabbled around for her clothes.

"Come" Sam said once their clothes were back on. The door opened and a young looking airman entered "Sorry to disturb you Ma'am , but General Hammond would like to meet you once you are..." The airman looked from Sam to Ethan "erm... free" he finished

Oh God, don't tell me he heard... "Thank you Airman, please close the door on your way out"

The young man nodded his head and closed the door.

"Whoops" Ethan said trying not to laugh

"You don't think they heard" she asked him

"Well you do tend to make... noises when you get excited" he said reaching for her.

"I do n.." Sam's objection was cut short by Ethan's mouth descending on hers.

Chapter 6

JACK STUMBLED HIS WAY down the corridor towards the infirmary. If he didn't get something for this headache and soon his head was going to explode.

"Hey Jack!" A voice boomed further down the corridor causing Jack to wince

"Do you have to shout?" he asked Daniel

"Whoa you look rough"

"Trust me I feel worse" Jack said as a wave of nausea washed over him

"Yeah so does he" Daniel said indicating to Jacob slowly making his way towards them.

"Hey Jacob, rough night" Daniel asked

"Do you have to shout?" Jacob asked him "I feel like there is a 20 piece steel band in my head playing the mambo. I never remembered hangovers being this bad"

"The infirmary's this way" Jack told him

"I'll catch up with you later" Daniel told Jack as he sprinted off

"Yeah you do that" Jack said as Daniel disappeared round a corner

Janet signed the supply form and placed it down on the counter top, just as Jack and Jacob entered the infirmary.

It didn't take a doctor to figure out what was wrong with these two.

"Morning gentlemen" she said as both men winced

"Hey doc" Jacob said, "Can we have a couple..."

"A lot of aspirin" Jack finished

"You gentlemen not feeling too well?" Janet asked trying to keep a professional tone to her voice while trying to stop her smile from spreading. She had overheard a couple of Airman talking about the Colonel and Jacob's little escapade last night.

"Yeah just a little headache" Jack told her

"Oh maybe I should give you two a full physical" Janet said watching the look total horror descend on their faces "You might becoming down with something"

"NO!" the two men said louder than they should have, grimacing with the pain that shot through their heads.

"Just a few painkillers will be fine" Jacob told her

Janet smiled slightly as she went to find some painkillers.

"Hey Dad, Colonel" Sam said bounding into the infirmary.

"Not so loud Sam" Her Dad told her

"Oh Sorry"

"What's with you?" Jack asked indicating to the grin that she had found impossible to stop since this morning.

"What?"

"Your grinning like a Cheshire cat" he informed her

"No I am not" she said trying and failing to stop the smile spreading even further

"If you smiled any more the top half of your head would fall off" her Dad commented

"I'm just...." just what... what was it she was feeling? "....happy"

Had it been that long since she felt truly happy that the feeling was slightly alien to her?

"Here you go" Janet said handing Jack and Jacob a small tumbler each containing the painkillers they craved.

"Thanks Doc" Jacob said before swallowing the tablets. "Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go and find a nice dark room to die in"

"I'll think I'll go follow him" Jack said as the pair disappeared from view.

"So?" Janet asked sitting on the edge of a bed

"So?" Sam asked sitting on a bed opposite

"Are you going to tell me who has put that smile on your face or am I going to have to guess?"

"Oh Janet" Sam began "I've never felt this away about anyone before."

Janet started to feel alarmed. Had something happened between Sam and the Colonel?

"I know I've only know him for less than a day, but.... Oh I don't know."

"Ethan, the Tok'ra who came through the gate with your Dad yesterday?" Janet asked relief and confusion washing over her.

"We were working on the device in the lab yesterday and we got talking and he asked if he could kiss me and..."

"And you let him" Janet said in total disbelief.

"Oh yeah..." Sam grinned at the memory of his lips on hers "He is the most incredible kisser. It just totally threw me and this morning he came to my quarters and..."

"Oh no" Janet said closing her eyes at the thought of what was come "You didn't?"

At least Sam had a decency to look ashamed. "I like him, Janet, I like him a lot." Sam's smile disappeared and she looked at Janet with true sorrow in her eyes, "How long do I have to wait?"

They both knew what Sam meant and Janet's heart went out to her friend. Sam had been dealt a bad hand when it came to love. She had fallen for a man she knew she could never have without either of them giving up something they both loved.

"Oh honey" Janet said getting off the bed and reaching for her friends hand "I just don't want you to get too carried away. You said yourself, you've only known him for a day and sooner or later he's going to have to leave."

"I know" Sam said sorrow seeping into her voice "Isn't that more reason to enjoy the time I have with him?"

"Just be careful ok," Janet warned her "I don't like seeing you get hurt"

"I wont." Sam reassured her with a wry smile. "I know what I'm getting myself into this time"

FOR THE NEXT FEW days Sam spent most of her time with Ethan working on the device. She was careful to be nothing but professional around him during the day, well almost.

"You know what I would really like?" Ethan asked Sam standing behind her and sliding his arm round her waist.

Sam chuckled as his breath tickled her neck and she started to get butterflies in her stomach

"Not here" Sam warned him.

"Major Samantha Carter" Ethan exclaimed spinning her round to face him "I am shocked by your wonton behaviour"

"You weren't so shocked this morning" Sam told him smiling at the memory of their loving making.

"What I was about to say" He told her "was I would like to see what the stars look like from your planet."

"Ethan you're an old romantic" Sam teased him

"Actually, Miss know-it-all, Jaimin is interested in astronomy and would like the opportunity of studying the constellations"

"Oh" Sam said turning back round to the desk. The fact that it was Jaimin who wanted to go topside bothered her a bit. She had almost forgotten that Ethan came with a significant other. It wasn't very often that Jaimin appeared and on those rare occasions he had spoken to Jacob not her.

"Do you think you could talk to General Hammond?"

"Yeah sure" Sam said giving Ethan a tight smile "You know if Jaimin is interested in astronomy he should talk to Colonel O'Neill. It's his hobby"

"Oh but I would much rather see them with you" Ethan told her planting small kisses on her neck. "It would be so much fun, just the two of us"

"Ah you see, it won't just be the two of us" As soon as the words had left her mouth Sam regretted them. She felt Ethan stiffen and walk away. "Ethan, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have...."

"but yet you did." Ethan walked to the other side of the bench and sat down. "If you had a problem with what I am you should have told me sooner, before I..."

"Ethan, please I didn't..." Sam began "I have a unique perspective on what life is like as a Tok'ra..."

"I know all about Jollinar Sam. Your father explained it all to me"

"Then you must know how I feel. When Jolinar died she left such a huge chunk of herself in me. I have her thoughts, her memories..."

"Sam, what is it you're trying to tell me?"

"OK..." Sam said taking a deep breath, "I like you Ethan, I like you a lot..."

"Glad to hear it" Ethan interjected

"... but it is you and only you that I want to be with. I don't want to be with Jaimin. Can you understand that?"

"Sam, Jaimin is me and I am Jaimin. We have been blended with each other now for a very long time, so long in fact that I can't even remember not having him around."

"So whose idea was it to go up on the mountain? Yours or Jaimin?" she challenged

"OK, that was Jaimin" he told her

"So why does Jaimin want me to tag along?"

"Because I want you to and besides Jaimin requires you assistance to get to the surface"

"So Jaimin used you to get to me." Sam changed her stance slightly "He manipulated you"

Ethan suddenly stood up knocking the stool over and dragged his hand through is hair. "I think I need some time to myself. If you will excuse me Major"

"Ethan wait." Sam called to him as he stormed out of her lab slamming the door behind him.

Sam fell back onto her stool. What the hell just happened? She asked herself. What did Ethan mean about telling her, before he... before he what?

For now though Sam would just have to give Ethan and herself time to calm down. Thinking work was the best way to take her mind off things, Sam reached over and picked up the sphere.

Abruptly, her door barged open and Daniel came rushing in. Startled Sam nearly dropped the sphere, only managing to catch it before it hit the floor.

"I've got it" he exclaimed

"Go what?" Sam asked moving round the bench to stand next to him.

"The powers supply isn't electrically based"

"Well we've kind of figured that part out" Sam told him

"Yea, but what you haven't figured out is that it needs something called Nicqulite"

Chapter 7

"NICQULITE?" JACK ASKED when they were all in the briefing room to hear their findings "I gather you can't just walk into the nearest Wal-Mart and pick a bag of this stuff up"

"I believe that we will be able to find Nicqulite on the same planet the device was discovered" Ethan informed the group.

"It would make perfect sense Sir that whoever built this would use a power source that was common" Sam told Hammond

Sam sneaked a peek at Ethan who sat stony faced. Sam guessed he was still mad at her.

"Ok, you have a go" Hammond said

"Hold on a second" Jacob interrupted "This is the new Tok'ra base and you know how we like to keep our little hideaways secret. I'll go back with Ethan and Jack to collect some of this stuff"

"Colonel?" Hammond asked Jack

"Fine by me Sir"

"SIMPLY PLACE THE NICQULITE in here and make sure you press the top down firmly. When you hear a hiss then it's sealed." she told him.

Sam handed the plastic container to Jack. "How much of this stuff do we have to get" he asked

"I'm not sure Sir, just get as much as you can".

"Sure you don't want to come along Carter?"

"Thank Sir, but no" Sam looked over towards Ethan. She hadn't had a chance to say sorry. To tell him that she wrong to think what she had and if being with him meant being with Jaimin then so be it.

"I'm going to carry on with the sphere. Daniel's going to help me"

"Wont be the same without you" Jack told her a smile touching his lips

Behind her Sam heard the first chevron lock into place

"I'm sure you will survive Sir" Sam told him with a tight smile. Jack took a moment to study is 2IC. Something was bugging her.

The sound of the gate room door sliding open marked the arrival of Jacob.

"Carter, is everything alright, you seem a bit...." Jack searched for the right word "off?"

"Yes sir, everything is fine. Have a save trip"

Jack wasn't completely convinced by her answer, but it would have to wait till they got back. "OK kids" Jack announced as the final chevron locked into place and the gate room filled with the dancing blue light of the Stargate "To Oz we go"

The trio made their way up the ramp and Jack was the first through followed by Jacob and Ethan.

THEY HAD ONLY BEEN gone a couple of hours when the alarm sounded.

Sam and Daniel had been working on the device, but hadn't made any progress. "They haven't been gone long" Daniel noted looking at his watch.

"Maybe they didn't find any Nicqulite?" Sam said, trying to sound as casual as she could even through all she wanted to do was run to the gate room.

"Medical personnel to the Gate room"

Sam's head snapped up and she looked at Daniel. Horror enveloped her as they both ran towards the gate room.

Sam swiped her card through the reader and it felt like an eternity before the huge metal door slid open wide enough for her to go through. The scene that greeted her filled her with shock.

"DAD!" Sam shouted running towards him. "What happened?"

Jack and Jacob turned round to face her and Sam could see they were both cover with dirt and had small cuts on their faces and hands.

Jacob shook his head. "We traced some Nicqulite deposits to some caves just a few meters away from the gate. We went in to explore when the roof of the cave became unstable. Jaimin has been hurt badly. Jack and I just managed to escape serious injury."

Sam stood there in total shock.

"Erm is he... is Ethan..." Sam's asked desperately trying to cling on to her professional exterior

"Out of my way Gentlemen" Janet shouted as the trolley with Jaimin on hurtled down the ramp and out towards the infirmary.

"Colonel, Jacob, I want you to go and have yourself checked out as well" Hammond ordered

"Yes Sir" Jack replied and swung round to leave but stopped when he spotted Carter still standing by the ramp.

"Hey Carter" He said walking over to her "You OK?"

Sam quickly wiped at her eyes in a vain attempt to hide her tears, but she was too late.

"Hey your Dad's fine" Jack told her wrongly interpreting her tears "Just a bump on the head. Nothing to worry about"

Sam took a deep breath before facing Jack. Shakily she nodded her head. "OK?" he asked her once more

"Yes Sir, I'm fine."

"OK... I'll catch you later in the briefing" he told her before disappearing out of the room

Daniel stood by the door and watched with concern as Sam quickly tried to stem the flow of tears. Why would Sam get so upset over her father getting a bump on the head and she wasn't too worried about Jack. Then the answer struck him. It wasn't her Dad or Jack she was upset about.

Oh boy.

Walking over to her Daniel placed a hand on her shoulder and gentle guided her into his arms. Sam was unable to hold back her tears any longer and she wept for the lover she knew she was about to lose forever.

Chapter 8

"JAIMIN DIED AT FOURTEEN hundred hours from sever head and internal injuries, however his symbiote Ethan has survived" Janet informed the group surrounding the table "but it has some injuries of it's own and without the more comfortable environment of a host, I'm afraid it wont last much longer"

"How long are we looking at Doctor?" Hammond asked her

"2 maybe 3 hours max"

"I've informed the Tok'ra high council," Jacob said "but there isn't anyone available who can get here at such sort notice."

"So what do we do in the meantime?" Hammond enquired

"I'm not sure Sir, what we really need is..."

"You need a volunteer to become Ethan's host" Daniel said more of a statement than a question

"Yes." Janet nodded her head in agreement

"I'll do it" Daniel volunteered

"Are you sure Doctor Jackson?" Hammond asked

"Yeah, Ethan's knowledge of this device is invaluable"

"Daniel" Jack warned him.

"Jack, I'll be fine, beside I've always wanted to know what it felt like, in a weird sort of way"

"OK, thank you Daniel" Janet said "I'll see you in the infirmary in about an hour."

"Dismissed" Hammond said as the group disbanded.

SAM STARED AT THE computer screen in front of her not even seeing the letters, all she could think of was Ethan.

The touch on her shoulder made her jump and she spun round.

"Oh Colonel" Sam said her heart racing "I didn't hear you come in"

"That'll be my Special Ops training," he said smiling slightly. "Didn't see you at the briefing?"

"Erm no Sir. I asked General Hammond if I could duck out as I wanted to get to work with the Nicqulite you brought back " she lied. She didn't go to the briefing because she knew she wouldn't be able to stay in control of her emotions.

"And?"

"Well nothing much so far." She confessed, "I was kind of relying on Ethan's knowledge of the device to help me, but..." Sam swallowed trying to keep her sob from escaping.

"Well you might be in luck there" Jack told her picking up the device and turning it in his hands.

"Sir?" Sam enquired. Were the Tok'ra going to send another host? She wondered

"Apparently, the snake, what's his name..." Jack said snapping his fingers

"Ethan" Sam reminded him wanting Jack to get to the point.

"Yeah, Ethan survived. Janet's got him in the infirmary."

"Oh." Relief washed over Sam like a huge wave. Ok Sam stay focus she told herself "Are the Tok'ra sending another host?"

"No exactly" Jack told her

"Then who...?" Feelings of dread engulfed Sam like a blanket, nearly suffocating her and she couldn't breath.

Oh God...

Sam closed her eyes in a vain attempt to protect herself from what Jack was about to say.

"Daniel's volunteered to play host for awhile until...."

Sam didn't hear the rest of what Jack was telling her. Daniel was to blend with Ethan. Sam suddenly felt sick and dashed over to the sink. The lunch she had a few hours ago disappeared down the drain and she leant against the cold steel tap and tried to breath.

She felt Jack's arm rubbing her back "hey, you ok?" he asked his voice full of concern.

Feeling dizzy, all Sam could do was nod her head weakly. After nearly losing Ethan she didn't think things could get any worse, how wrong could she be?

"Come on," Jack said gently guiding her to the door "Lets get you checked out."

Chapter 9

"OK, DANIEL" JACOB TOLD him "all I want you to do is lie down with your head to the side."

Daniel did what Jacob instructed. Fear and anticipation careered their way around his body. This was either the stupidest or the bravest thing he had ever done. At the moment he couldn't decide which.

"Janet, can you get Ethan out of the tank and place him on the bed in front of Daniel"

Daniel closed his eyes. Yeah this was definitely the stupidest thing he had every done. He felt something move in front of his face and he opened his eyes. The symbiote Ethan opened his mouth and let out a screech that nearly sent Daniel running for the nearest exit.

"Don't worry, he's just say hello" Jacob told him, giving his arm a gently squeeze of reassurance "I want you to take a deep breath and open your mouth" Jacob told him

Daniel nodded and took a deep breath.

Closing his eyes Daniel opened his mouth and the wet slippery body touch his lips then his tongue causing him to retch. The creature moved down towards the back of his throat blocking his airway. Suddenly he felt like he was being suffocated "Breath through you nose Daniel" He heard Jacob telling him somewhere in the haze that had descended on him. Daniel could feel himself start to panic as he felt the creature's mouth burrowing it's way through the delicate flesh at the back of his throat and heard the crunching of bone as it moved it's way through his neck. The pain in his throat moved to the back of his head and increased. Soon it became too much, his eyes closed and Daniel gladly accept the darkness as he passed out.

Janet bent down and carefully lifted one of Daniel's eyelids. Shining a light into his eye she was happy to see his pupil react.

"I'd give him about an hour or two to rest and let Ethan start the healing process" Jacob told her

"OK" Janet replied feeling a bit out of her depth.

Just then Jack entered the infirmary with a reluctant Sam in toe.

"Colonel?" Janet asked "I thought I told you that you were banned from coming in here for the next few hours"

Janet had kicked Jack out a few minutes before Daniel was to be blended with Ethan because he was being a pain playing with everything. The last straw came when he knock a tray of instruments on to the floor.

"I'm on official business Doc," He told her and dragged Sam in front of him by the arm.

"Sam?" Janet asked

"It's nothing I'm fine" Sam told her

"She threw up in her lab" Jack snitched

"I'm just a bit run down," Sam explained, "All I need is to get this device working, then I can get some rest"

"Well let me check you over at least?" Janet said "For my own peace of mind"

Reluctantly Sam agreed and allowed Janet to lead her over to one of the beds.

"So is it done?" Jack asked Jacob while Janet looked over Sam.

"Yeah, they are both OK... Daniel passed out, but he should come round in an hour or two" Jacob explained

Sam's eyes wondered round the room and came across the unconscious Daniel lying on one of the medical beds.

A small shiver ran through Sam as she watched Daniel sleep. How much would Ethan choose to share with Daniel, she wondered. For the first time Sam actually wondered if Ethan would want to continue with their relationship? No she told herself that was impossible now. Not while he was blended with Daniel. How could she? Before it was easy for her to separate Ethan from Jaimin after all they rarely spoke to each other, but this was different Daniel was her best friend.

"OK, well there isn't anything wrong as far as I can tell. Might have been something you ate." Sam hopped of the bed and headed towards the door "If you're sick again though I want you right back here"

"Will do" She said before disappeared out of the in infirmary.

Chapter 10

GENERAL HAMMOND SAT IN the soft leather chair and flipped through the files on his desk looking up when he heard Sam gently tapping on his door

"You wanted to see me Sir" Sam enquired walking in and standing at the front of his desk.

"Yes Major, please take a seat" Hammond indicated to a chair next to her. "As I am sure you are aware, Doctor Jackson has agreed to become the host to Ethan on a temporary basis until the new Tok'ra host arrives"

"Yes Sir" Sam told him. Just the mere thought of it made Sam feel nauseous.

"I've been informed by Doctor Frasier that Doctor Jackson has recovered from the procedure. Therefore I am assigning him to work along side you to get the device working"

"With all due respect sir, wouldn't Daniel be more suited to translating the text" It was bad enough that Daniel now knew all her intimate secrets regarding Ethan, but to have to work with him in the confined space of her lab for hours on end filled her with dread.

"I don't see why Major" Hammond continued as Sam tried to protest "Doctor Jackson has told me that most of the text has already been translated and I feel that his time would be best spent working on the device"

"But Sir, what about his mission schedule. Isn't he due to go with SG-7 to PJ2-567? "

"Doctor Jackson is off all of the SG teams until the replacement host arrives. Is there a problem Major?" Hammond asked confused.

YES! A great big problem. You see Sir I had sex with Ethan and now Daniel knows what it feels like to screw me up against a wall, Sam wanted to shout but instead she said "No Sir, no problem"

"In that case Major, dismissed"

Sam rose from the chair and left the room, dragging her heels. Would he be waiting for her when she got to her lab? How would he react to her? How would she react to him for that matter?

Sam eventually found herself outside her lab door. Taking a deep breath she turned the handle and pushed the door open.

She was relived to find her lab empty. She quickly closed the door behind her and leaned against it. She was safe for now, but eventually she had to talk to him. Sam felt her legs start to give way and she slowly lowered herself. The concrete floor was cold through her combats and that suited her fine as she allowed her tears to finally fall.

SAM HAD NO IDEA how long she had been sitting on the floor for, until she heard the small knocks on the door.

"Sam"

Thank God it was Janet. Sam picked herself up off the floor, wiping away her tears before slowly opened the door. "Hi Janet" Sam said

"Hey" Janet said walking to the room as Sam took her usual place behind her workbench. "I thought you'd like to know that the blending went ok and that Ethan and Daniel are both doing fine"

Sam simple nodded her head. Seeing that her friend needed some time alone Janet turned to leave.

"I think I was falling in love with Ethan" Sam told her unexpectedly

"Oh"

"I keep wondering what was it about Ethan that attracted me to him. Was it his smile, his eyes? If it was only the physical then I can deal with that but what if it was more? Janet, how can I work with Daniel knowing that some part of him is Ethan?"

Janet moved to the seat next to Sam and placed a hand on her arm.

"When I was 18 I met a brilliant medical student, James Wright. God he was gorgeous, jet black hair and bright blue eyes. We started to see each other and I fell head over heels in love with him. I was so sure this was the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with." Janet smiled at the memory "We have 8 glorious weeks together before he was killed by a drunk driver who thought it would be fun to drive on the sidewalk."

"Oh Janet, I never knew"

"It's ok. I grieved and got on with my life, but what I wouldn't give to have him hold me just one last time, even if he was in the form of Daniel Jackson"

Janet patted Sam's arm and left quietly closing the door behind her.

DANIEL'S HEAD FELT AS if it was full of cotton wool as he opened his eyes and forced them into focus.

"Hey buddy" Jack said leaning over into Daniel's view "How you feeling?"

"Like I've got the biggest hangover in the world" Daniel said trying to sit up "AH! God my head hurts."

"Hey take it easy" Jacob told him helping him to sit up "It takes a bit of time for things to settle down"

Daniel started to feel dizzy as images flashed before his eyes of people and places he didn't know.

"How do you cope with all this stuff? I feel as my head might explode"

"You'll get used to it. Is Ethan in there?" Jacob asked

"Erm yeah, but I'm not sure how to make...." Daniel's eyes glowed suddenly "I am here Jacob" Ethan's deep throated tones echoed round the room.

"Woah!" Jack took a step back

"How are you feeling?" Jacob asked

"We are both fine. Please pass on my thanks to Doctor Frasier for saving my life and for all her efforts in trying to save my host"

"I will." Jacob said. "I am truly sorry about Jaimin"

"As am I"

Jack hovered nervously. He never really liked the Tok'ra and he damn well didn't trust them. "Erm can we talk with Daniel for just a second" Jack asked

Ethan closed his eyes and Daniel opened them "Wow, do I sound cool with the voice they have"

Jack shook his head slightly "Actually no, you just should weird"

"Really?" Daniel asked sounding a little hurt

"More like a duck farting underwater"

"Take no notice Daniel you sound great" Jacob said shooting Jack a look

"So what do you say we get out of here?" Jack asked Daniel

"Not with out my approval first Colonel" Janet told him entering the infirmary. Walking over to Daniel Janet removed her penlight from her top pocket. "Look at me" she instructed Daniel while shining the light to each of his eyes. "Open" she told him looking at his throat. "Well everything seems OK, but if you feel dizzy or nauseous you come and see me right away"

"Will do" Daniel said jumping off the bed

"Hungry?" Jack asked

"Yeah, but I'll meet you there, I just have to go and..." Daniel took off down the corridor leaving Jacob and Jack staring

SAM LET OUT A long and over due sigh and stretch her tired muscles before switching off her laptop.

She picked up the sphere from her desk and rubbed her thumb over the embossed lettering. The metal surface felt warm to her touch and she decided to x-ray it, but that could wait till the morning, right now all she wanted to do was go home and sleep. Placing the sphere back on to her desk, Sam closed her laptop.

"Long day?"

Sam spun round at the sound of Daniel's voice

"Daniel" she said feeling slightly awkward "How... How are you feeling?" She stuttered.

Daniel noticed that she was finding it hard to meet his gaze and he had the urge to reach out and just hold her.

"I'm actually feeling pretty good. No need for my glasses any more." He smiled trying to lighten the mood "I just thought I would stop by and see if you were ok" He told her, when in actual fact he just want to see her. Ever since he had been blended with Ethan, he'd had this overwhelming desire to just be close to her.

"I'm fine" she told him turning back. The moment she had been dreading was finally here.

"How... How is Ethan?" she asked

"He is doing OK. He just needs a little time to recuperate" Daniel told her.

"Right" she smiled and turned backwards her laptop. The touch of Daniel's hand on her arm caused her to jump "Please Daniel, don't" she told him smiling slightly to try and hide the fear she felt.

"I'm sorry, I just..." Lowering his hand Daniel stepped backwards

Seeing the confused look on her friends face Sam felt her anger dissolving. "It's OK" she told him reaching out and touching his arm. "I'm just feeling a bit off. Don't worry about it I'll be fine after a good night sleep," Maybe the best way to deal with this situation was to ignore it and not make it an issue she decided before continuing. "But before I do that, I thought you might want to have a look at this." Sam handed him several sheets of paper.

"What it is?" Daniel smiled as he realised that he already knew what it was he was looking at. "These are test results for the Nicqulite" He told her and he was surprised to find himself getting quite excited.

"Yeah" Sam pointed to a spike on one of the charts "Although it isn't as powerful as Naqahdah, it still packs a mean punch. We have more than enough supply"

Daniel stared at the information before him amazed that he could understand everything even the complex calculations and a crooked smile forming on his lips.

For just a brief instance Sam saw Ethan in Daniel's smile and she had to force herself not to reached out her hand and touch his cheek.

"Ah!" Daniel cried and stumble back lightly against the bench

"Daniel, what is it? Do you want me to get Janet?" Alarm filled Sam

"No, I'm erm fine" Daniel told her rubbing his temple "I keep having these flashes of memory that aren't mine. It's a bit disconcerting you know"

Sam understood exactly what Daniel meant. Even now she would get the odd flash from Jollinar's past. "What do you say to finishing this off tomorrow?" Sam asked him "I'm kind of beat"

"OK" Daniel said "I guess I'll catch up with you in the morning"

Chapter 11

DANIEL DOWNED THE TABLET and placing the tumbler of water on the bedside table he crawled into bed. Although he felt exhausted Daniel had found it near impossible to sleep and had practically begged Janet for a sleeping pill.

Rearranging his pillows Daniel lowered his head and closed his eyes. Soon he felt the effects of the tablet and his body started to relax. He had only been a sleep for what felt like a few minutes before he awoke with a start.

Looking around him Daniel was surprised to find he was no longer in bed, but standing fully dressed in front of a grey metal door. Knocking on it he heard what sounded like Sam telling him to come in.

Daniel slowly opened the door.

"Hey" Sam she said smiling "Come on in"

Hesitantly Daniel moved in the rest of the way and closed the door unsure why he was there.

Sam stood and walked over to him "Is everything OK?" she asked her face creased with concern.

All Daniel could do was stare at her. Never before had he noticed just how bright and blue her eyes were or how much the light played with her hair making it look like pure gold.

Suddenly and without saying a word he brought his hands up to cup her face. Her skin was as soft as it looked and he gently moved his thumbs over the warm smooth surface. He felt his heart start to race and his breathing quicken at the sight of Sam's tongue darting out to moisten her lips and he brought her mouth to meet his.

His mouth moved hungrily over hers and he heard Sam gasp as her back hit the wall breaking contact with his mouth. Daniel trailed small kisses down her neck fascinated with every contour.

Cupping his hands under her arms he lifted her and Sam wrapped her legs around his waist....

The knock on the door caused them both to freeze and Daniel whipped his head round to check that no one had opened the door.

When he turned back Sam was no longer in his arms and he was lying back in his bed.

It took a moment for Daniel to surface through his confusion.

At that instant Daniel realised he had gotten himself into something that was totally unexpected. He had known that Sam had gotten close the Ethan, that much was obvious by her reaction to his death, but he never realised just how close.

"Oh boy" Daniel said dragginging his hand through his hair.

Chapter 12

JACK HATED READING REPORTS and he hated writing them even more. Ever since Jacob had brought the device through the gate SG1 had been put on down time, giving Jack no excuse not to catch up on his paperwork.

Muttering to himself Jack screwed up yet another sheet of paper and threw it towards the wastebasket.

"So close" he said as it bounced off the rim and landed with the rest of the discarded paper on the floor.

The knock on the door was a welcomed distraction and Jack eagerly shouted out for the person to enter.

"Hey Daniel" Jack said a little surprised when Daniel walked in "Aren't you supposed to be working with Carter?"

"Erm yeah" came Daniel hesitant reply

"Well?" Jack asked wanting to know why Daniel was standing in his office looking like a lemon instead of standing in Sam's lab looking like a lemon.

Daniel scratched his head, desperate for a way of starting what was no doubt going to be a strange conversation.

Daniel knew the he had to come and talk to someone about what he had discovered and Jack was the only logical choice seeing as Teal'c wasn't here.

"Jack" he began coming further into the room, "what would you do if you suddenly realised that the way you felt about someone you had know for a while weren't the same feelings any more?"

"What?" Daniel didn't make sense to Jack at the best of times, but now he made no sense whatsoever.

"OK, say you were Sam's CO"

"Which I am" Did blending turn you loopy? Jack made a mental note to ask Jacob

"I know, but say your feelings towards her changed so that you no longer saw Sam as a simple colleague but something else say in a more romantic nature"

"Which I don't I swear, no matter what you have heard" Jack started to feel slightly uncomfortable with the direction that this conversation was taking

"What?" now it was Daniel's turn to feel confused.

"What?" came Jack immediate response.

"Is there something going on between you and Sam?"

"No" Jack denied, "Is there with you?"

"Actually... yeah" Daniel said grateful for the bone Jack had just thrown him.

"What!" Jack's eyebrows nearly hit the roof.

"Sort of"

"What do you mean... sort of?" ok this conversation as just totally out there. "Either there is or there isn't"

Daniel noticed the change in Jack's tone and he didn't like it much.

Swallowing hard Daniel pulled out a chair and sat down. He wished he had his glasses because Jack looked like he was about to punch him.

Daniel closed his eyes.

"Oh no you don't" Jack said correctly interpreting Daniel's actions

"Colonel O'Neill" Ethan's deep voice echoed round Jack's small office

"Daniel, you coward!" Jack shouted knowing full well that Daniel could still hear him. "OK come on lets hear it" he told Ethan

"Daniel has felt that it is best that I explain the relationship that I have with Sam."

"What?"

"I am in love with her" Ethan told him as if it was just a simple fact.

Jack felt like he had been punched in the gut. Jealousy swelled up inside him and it took all of his self-control to stop him from punching the Tok'ra into the middle of next week.

Anger was soon replaced with a deep sense of hurt. Obviously Sam had given up on them. Jack almost laughed out loud. Them, there was no them to give up on. He just thought that when this was all over then there would be a them.

"Oh" Jack said not wanting the Tok'ra to know what he had been thinking

"Daniel Jackson feels that this knowledge would compromise his ability to work with Sam"

"OK, I know I'm going to sound a bit dense here, but how exactly?"

"As you are aware, as part of the blending between host and symbiote I have no choice but share my thoughts and feelings with Daniel Jackson.

"Oh" the realisation that Daniel has the memories of Ethan kissing Sam finally dawned on him. "So Daniel knows what it's like to kiss Carter. Hey who doesn't... No big deal, I'm sure Carter can deal with it. She may be a bit embarrassed..."

"Sam and I had a much more intermit relationship" Ethan interrupted

"Oh" Things just keep getting better and better...

"and now Doctor Jackson has those memories"

...Or not. Jack rubbed the bridge of his nose before giving Ethan a wry smile "Great, just great"

Standing up Jack walked over to his filing cabinet and picked up the mini basketball that rested on the top and started the rhythmic movement of throwing from one hand to the other. Suddenly he stopped; there was just one thing he had to know.

"How does Carter feel about you?"

"I am unsure." Ethan began "We had an argument before we departed, but I hoped that she felt the same"

So Sam loved Ethan. That was just peachy.

"Daniel, you get out here now!" Jack demanded

Ethan closed his eyes and a very cautious Daniel slowly opened them.

"Daniel why the hell didn't you tell me about Carter and that damn Tok'ra?"

"I just did" Daniel said in his defence

"No you didn't. You left it up to the snake to do your dirty work"

"That's not the point" Daniel reminded him "What am I going to Jack. I have all these feelings that aren't mine for someone I don't want to have feelings for"

"How bad can it be?" Jack wondered. He'd been in love with Sam for ages and he'd always managed to keep his feeling to himself. Well sort of.

"Last night I had a dream about the first time they, you know..."

Jack crushed the mini basketball in his hand so hard that it escape and hit the wall barley missing Daniel on its way. Jack shrugged apologetically

"But instead of it being Ethan, it was me." a startled Daniel continued, "It felt real Jack. What would you do in my position?"

Jack stared at the grey concrete wall in front of him. He would have laughed if it weren't so tragic. How little did Daniel know how many times he had dreamt about holding Sam in his arms, feeling her against him. If he was in Daniel's position he would march into her lab, take her in his arms and kiss her like she had never been kissed before.

"Earth to Jack"

The sound of Daniel's voice brought him out of his daydreams.

"What, I was thinking." Jack went back and sat down on his chair. "What if you just let the snake take over. After all he is the one who has been..." Jack let the sentence go. He couldn't bring himself to think about the two of them never mind say it.

"I don't think that's going to work. Ethan needs time to heal and the quickest way for him to do that is to just simple stay quiet " Daniel didn't feel optimistic

"Listen Daniel" Jack decided that the only way he was going to deal with this was to put his military training into good use and ignore the situation "Carter needs your or more precisely Ethan's knowledge of this thingy, so you are just going to have to deal with it. This isn't only about you. You need to get a grip and think about the bigger picture. Millions of people are relying on you. Don't let them down."

"Right" Daniel said feeling a bit better. "I can handle this"

"That's the way to go." Jack said turning Daniel round by the shoulders and leading him towards the door

"Thanks Jack"

Jack lent over and opened the door "any time" he told him before giving him a gently push out of his office and closing the door.

Daniel marched on towards Sam's office with new sense of optimism while on the other side of the door Jack gave the metal bin a kick sending it flying across room.

Chapter 13

SAM REACHED OVER AND took a bite out of her cold egg and bacon sandwich although it could have been anything for what she tasted. Placing it back on to the plate she then reached over for her coffee and bringing it to her lips she noticed that the cup was empty.

Tutting loudly Sam threw the empty cup in the general direction of her bin and hoped fate would do the rest.

"Looks like you could do with a refill"

"Daniel" Sam jumped at the sound of Daniel entering her lab.

"Here" he said handing her a fresh cup of coffee.

Smiling slightly Sam gratefully accepted the cup from Daniel. "Thanks" she said, "I'm useless in the morning until I've had at least two cups"

"I know." Daniel stopped sorting through the papers he had brought with him and looked sideways at Sam who had become engrossed in the filling of her sandwich "So erm anything yet?" hoping to get the conversation back on topic

"I think so. I x-rayed the device this morning and take a look at this"

Sam picked up an x-ray from the counter top and held it up towards the light. In order to get a good view of the picture Daniel moved behind Sam. He was so close to her now that he could smell the scent of her shampoo. It was intoxicating and he closed his eyes as the memories of her lying next to him flooded through his mind.

Sam continued to talk about the x-ray as Daniel took the opportunity to explore the new memories that Ethan had reviled. He felt like he was a peeping tom.

He remembered being in the lab and watching her as she studied the device, concentration etched on her face. He never noticed before, but when Sam was concentrating really hard she held her bottom lip between her teeth or when she was searching for something she clicked her tongue against the roof of her mouth.

'She is beautiful' the voice of Ethan flooded his mind

'Yes she is' he replied whiling looking at Sam

'I love her Daniel so much' Ethan's voice was so full of emotion and Daniel was totally overwhelmed by the feeling of love.

'I know you do'

'So?' Ethan asked

'I don't know' Daniel told him honestly 'I'd have to give up my place on SG-1'

'Would that be so bad?' Ethan asked him

'Yes, just imagine what I would be missing. The chance to of seeing first hand, cultures that had been dead and buried for centuries on earth'

'But we would have her.' Ethan told him

"...so you see, if I could somehow get to this chamber here, which I'm sure holds the Nicqulite, then..."

Sam stopped when she realised Daniel wasn't listening to her but instead he was staring off into space. Sam placed the x-ray back down and turned her head slightly so her face was only inches away from his.

Sam watched as a small smiled played on Daniel's lips and she wondered for a brief second if his lips would kiss her in the same way? Taking her eyes off his mouth Sam looked up to stare straight in to his eyes. He had been watching her watch him. Her first instinct was to look away and start to go over the x-ray again, but she found her self trapped like a rabbit caught in a car headlight.

Without being aware of it Sam leaned back gently against Daniel and watched in fascination as his mouth slowly lowered towards hers. She could feel his breath play against her lips and she moistened them with her tongue. He was so close to her now. Sam closed her eyes waiting for his mouth to make contact with hers...

"Hey Kids"

Daniel and Sam jumped apart like someone had given them both an electric shock.

"So I see, we just need to..." Daniel began "Hey Jack what are you doing here"

Moving away from each other Sam took her seat on the opposite side of the bench "Hi Sir" she said not taking her eyes of the piece of paper she was pretending to study as if her life depended on it.

"Oh just thought I would stop by and see how you were getting along." Jack took a seat on one of the free stools and picked up the x-ray Sam had dropped on the bench. "How's it going?" he asked offering the x-ray up to the light.

"Fine" Daniel said taking the x-ray from Jack and turning it the right way up before giving it back to him.

Jack gave a small nod of his head "So how long do you reckon till you've crack this thing?"

Sam lifted her head and dared a glance towards Daniel. Feeling a little disappointed to find him tapping away at the computer keyboard Sam handed Jack a piece of paper.

"This is the initial test I performed this morning on the Nicqulite."

"Great" Jack said looking from Daniel to Sam "I take it we have a problem"

"We're not sure how to actually get the Nicqulite into device Sir" Sam told him with a bit of a shrug.

"Ah I can see that would be a problem."

"But, if you have a look at the x-ray you can see a small..."

"You know what Carter, I think I'm going to pass on the science bit and go grab a bit to eat"

"You're going?" Daniel asked not want to be left with Sam. He'd only been in the room with her for 5 minutes and he'd nearly kissed her.

"Well you know, places to be, people to see. It's a busy life being a Colonel." Jack took one finally look between Sam and Daniel "Unless you want me to hang round?"

"Well erm..." Daniel glanced across at Sam as she scribbled notes on to a piece of paper. "No, I think I'll... we'll be fine"

"Sure?" Jack asked him once more

Smiling Daniel turned to face "Yeah, everything is under control"

"OK, I'll catch you two later" Jack said as he left the room.

Chapter 14

"YES, YES, YES...." Sam shouted as she managed to extract the chamber from the bowels of the device.

They had been at it now for well over 5 hours. The kiss they almost shared long forgotten.

Daniel had gone over to the mess to pick up something for them to eat and returned to see a triumphant Sam holding the chamber in her hands.

"Hey you did it" Daniel exclaimed walking over to Sam.

"Thanks" she said gratefully accepting the cheese and pickle sandwich he offered her. Sam placed the chamber down on the bench beside her and tore into the cellophane wrapping on her sandwich. "All it was, was a couple of small clips holding it in place" She told him between mouth fulls of food "The problem was they were so small I could hardly see them."

Daniel nodded along his mouth too full of food to say anything and besides Sam was too excited to stop talking.

"So I extended the arm on the magnify glass and there they were, staring up at me. Little buggers" she continued.

Daniel swallowed the last mouth full of food and walked over to the bench to pick up the empty chamber.

"Any idea how much stuff we need to use?" he asked her

"Well I thought we'd start off small" she said taking the chamber of his hand "maybe only a few milligrams and go from there"

"OK" Daniel reached into his pocket and brought out a can of diet coke "here" he said handing it to Sam.

"Ah thanks" She said popping the top and taking a very long drink "I needed that"

"I could tell. If I knew you were that thirsty I would have gotten you one ages ago"

Sam smiled, touched by his thoughtfulness and when Daniel smiled back Sam felt her pulse start to quicken. Sam's smile broadened when she noticed Daniel had a blob of mayonnaise at the corner of his mouth.

"What?" he asked start to feel self conscious

"You've got..." Sam said indicating to the corner of his mouth

Daniel touch his hand to the opposite corner to the one Sam was talking about. "What?" Daniel asked again

"No the other one"

Once again touched his mouth, but failed to wipe away the mayonnaise.

Tutting Sam walked over to him, picking up a napkin on her way and dapped away at the corner of his mouth.

"There" she said and smiled up at him.

Her hand was still holding the napkin to his mouth and he took her wrist and lowered it. The touch of his hand spent sparks flying across her nerve endings.

The atmosphere between them changed and Sam knew that there was no getting away from it this time. She was defiantly going to kiss him no matter who walked in the room.

The skin on her arm still held the heat where he touched her and she brought her hand up to trace the outline of his cheek and jaw.

"Sam"

Sam gently pressed her finger on his lips and moved closer to him not taking her eyes off him once. Taking her finger away from his lips Sam moved her hand round to touch the back of his neck and slowly lowered his head as she raised hers.

Their lips hardly touch and that's how it stayed. Sam enjoying the soft feeling of lips on lips until Daniel brought his own hand up to stroke her neck. That one small touch sent shockwaves through her body and she pressed her mouth hard on to his.

Daniel's response was instant and his mouth moved hungrily over hers. Sam welcomed him with a sigh of pleasure and parted her lips to allow him access. They were drowning in a kiss that neither one of them was unable to or willing to stop as it threatened to spiral out of control.

The angry bang of a door across the hall startled them both. Sam opened her eyes and stared at Daniel their lips still locked.

Slowly she released her hands from around his neck and when she felt his hands leave her body she backed out of the kiss.

"I promised myself I wouldn't do that."

Sam backed away further. He had meant what he said and it was no longer a laughing matter for both of them. She had crossed the line and there was no going back for either of them.

"Then why did you" she asked feeling slightly hurt

"I just wanted to know what it felt like to kiss you" he said as away of explanation "besides you kissed me" he told her a smile twitching on his lips.

He was right; she was on the one who had kissed him.

"This isn't happening" she said more to herself than anyone else, "I didn't want this" Turning her back on him Sam reach over for her can of diet coke and finished off the contents. "I need another one" she said turning back to face him before hurrying out of the room.

Chapter 15

"I kissed him" Sam told Janet falling back into a chair

"You did what?"

"I kissed her" Daniel told Jack leaning heavily against the door

"But why?"

"I don't know, I guess I just missed him" Sam rubbed her tired eyes

"How did this happen?" Jack's face looked like thunder

"She kissed me first" Daniel said sinking to the floor

"You kissed him first?" Janet sat down in the chair opposite her

"He had mayo on the side of his mouth" Sam explained

"She grabbed a napkin to wipe it off" he told Jack

"He smiled" Sam stood up and started to pace the floor

"She smiled." Daniel paced up and down Jack's office

"He touched my wrist" Sam continued to pace

"I said Thank you" Daniel stopped and looked at Jack

"It reminded me so much of Ethan" Sam said returning to sit back in the chair.

"I felt her hand go round my neck"

"I lowered his lips to mine" Sam said her eyes firmly fixed on the floor

"And before I knew it" Daniel said throwing his hands in the air.

"We kissed"

"You didn't try and stop it?" Jack demanded

"No, it felt right somehow" Sam explained to Janet

"So then what?" Janet asked wanting to know every detail

"A door banged outside and we jumped apart" Daniel told Jack a hint of regret in his voice.

"You didn't say anything to him?"

Sam shook her head "No I just grabbed the empty coke can, told him I need another one and headed over here. Oh Janet, why did I let this happen?" Sam threw her head back and closed here eyes

"Because of that damn snake in your head, It's made you go wacko" Jack said jumping to his feet and picking up the mini basketball and threw it to Daniel.

"Maybe your right" Daniel said catching the ball and throwing it back

"No maybe about it, you have to talk to him about this" Janet told her firmly

"And say what" she asked

"That the damn snake in your head has made you go wacko." Jack threw the ball back.

"Yeah your right." Sam said smiling at Janet.

"Hey I'm always right" Jack said catching the ball

"Thanks" Sam said smiling and left the infirmary

"No problem" Jack called out as Daniel closed the door behind him.

Jack sat down in his chair; satisfied with the advice he had dished out and threw the ball towards the bin.

"So close" he said as the ball bounced off the rim.

Chapter 16

SAM REACHED A CROSSROADS. To her left was her office and a possible encounter with Daniel and to her right the mess with its busy atmosphere, endless supply of coffee and no Daniel.

So why was she hesitating? Why wasn't she running towards the sanctuary of the mess?

She wanted to bump into him.

Even now standing here she wanted him to come along. Even if it was the most embarrassing moment of her life, she wanted him.

Raising her hand to her mouth Sam tried to suppress the gasp of amazement from escaping. Had she just admitted that? Sam lent against the wall grateful for the support it offered her as her legs started to shake. Could she really continue her relationship with Ethan and therefore a relationship with Daniel?

Daniel. Her friend, her colleague.

A small smile appeared on Sam's lips. Her lover? That's what it would mean she would become Daniel's lover?

The decision that followed brought an unexpected sense of freedom

The bang of a door further down the corridor brought her out of her musings with a start. Sam eased herself away from the wall and with a new found confidence she headed towards her lab.

DANIEL CLOSED THE DOOR behind him harder than he intended and the sound echoed down the empty corridor.

'I am sorry' Once again Daniel heard Ethan's voice in his head

'So you should be.' Daniel wondered how exactly you shouted at someone in your head. 'I can't do this Ethan'

'I understand Daniel. You have saved my life and I repay you by placing you in a very difficult position'

'Yes, yes you have'

'Just let me spend sometime with her, just once'

'Are you well enough?' Daniel asked well aware of Ethan's weakened state

'I can experience it all through you'

'You mean you want me to... with Sam?'

'I love her Daniel so much' Once again Daniel experienced the feelings that Ethan had for Sam and he felt his new friend's pain. 'I have never felt this way about anyone Daniel. You of all people must understand what it is like to have loved and lost'

'Yes' Daniel told him sadly 'I do'

'Then help me'

Daniel's mind raced as he considered his friend plea.

Did he really want this to continue?

Shoving his hands into his trouser pockets Daniel headed off toward Sam's lab.

Maybe he should let Ethan talk. Yes that was the right thing to do Daniel thought. Jack would call him a coward, but Daniel saw it more as being cautious.

SAM SAT AT HER BENCH AND SIGHED. She had expected to see Daniel waiting for her when she got back, but she found her lab empty. Finding it impossible to concentrate on her work Sam had found solace in flicking small balls of rolled up paper into a beaker. Where the hell is he she thought. When you have made a decision that affects the rest of your life, you kind of want it to start happening as soon as possible. Sam flick a large ball of paper in the general direction of the plastic beaker and with a loud clatter the beaker hit the floor.

"Damn it" Sam said to herself as she bent down under the bench to retrieve the beaker. She was half under the bench when the door to her lab opened.

"Sam"

Sam sat bolt upright, totally forgetting that the bench top was in her way.

"OW!" she wailed as her head connected with the wood.

"Sam, are you ok?" a concerned Daniel asked walking closer to her.

"Yeah" she told him rubbing the sore spot on her head and wincing "I've had worse"

While Sam was somewhat distracted by the pain shooting round her head Daniel took the opportunity to talk to her. Taking a deep breath, he wandered over to the door and closed it.

'OK' he told Ethan 'over to you'

Sam watch as Daniel walked towards the door. After he had gently closed it he kept his back turned to her.

Standing up she quietly walked over to him. She was so closed to him that she could smell his aftershave and she inhaled slightly. That one tiny sound made Ethan turn round and he was a little startle see Sam standing so close.

"Sam" Ethan's dark tones echoed around the confines of her lab

Sam was surprised to hear Ethan's voice. He hadn't spoken to her since he had left her lab on that fateful morning.

Without saying a word Sam reached up and pressed a feather light kiss on his lips.

Ethan wrapped his arms around her and held her close. They stayed like that for a long time, just holding each other neither one of them speaking.

"I think we need to talk" Ethan told her

"OK" Sam said backing out of his embrace and leaned against the workbench "Ethan I am so sorry for what I said to you."

"I know you are"

"I didn't mean any of it" Sam fought to control the tears that threatened to escape "Please say you forgive me"

"Sam it is hard not to forgive someone you love so much"

"Love?" Sam asked her voice shaking. What it possible that Ethan shared her feelings?

"I love you Sam, so much it hurts"

Sam could no longer hold back her tears and see let them fall. She felt herself being gathered up in his arms, his hand smoothing her hair.

"I love you too." She told him her voice muffled by his shirt

Ethan placed a hand under chin and gentle lifted her face so he could look into her eyes.

"Sam I will not be able to stay dominant for much longer. My health is still in a weaken state."

"Oh" Sam's voice was full of concern "You will be ok?"

Ethan smiled at her and wiped away a stray tear "I will be fine my love."

"I miss you" Sam told him truthfully "I want you" Her voice was so full of need that Ethan found to hard not to make love to her right there on her lab floor

"I want you too, but I am not strong enough"

Sam buried her face into his shirt as she tried to unsuccessfully to stifle her giggle "I didn't realise I was such hard work"

Ethan let out a small laugh and held Sam closer to him. "There is a solution"

"Oh?" Sam was curious to find out what it was Ethan had in mind

"My host"

"Daniel?" alarm bells began to ring

"I will experience everything as if it was happening to me"

"Wait a minute" Sam stepped out of Ethan embrace not liking where this was heading "You want me to... with Daniel"

"Sam, please you must understand through your own experience just how much is shared between host and symboite"

"I was only blended with Jollinar for a short while." Sam had vague recollections of being in a cell and pleading with Jack to let her go, but it wasn't her. She had no control what Jollinar said or her actions. "It wont be the same" she told him

Ethan reached out and held Sam's hand "It will, trust me" Pulling her close Ethan wrapped his arms around her "I'll make it beautiful"

Sam closed her eyes and wondered what it would be like. Would he touch her in the same way? She already knew that their kisses where totally different. Ethan's had been gentle, but Daniel's were feather light in comparison. Oh God, but she wanted him so badly.

Sam lifted her head "OK" she told him and Ethan smiled before his head lowered to hers.

FOR THE REST OF THE day Sam and Daniel fell into a comfortable silence that allowed both of them to make remarkable progress with the Hellmar.

"I think I'm about ready to test this thing" She told him with a look of triumph

"Really?" Daniel had no idea she had made such progress. He had been too engrossed in simply watching her and thinking about what had been decided only hours ago.

Sam pressed the parts of the Hellmar that closed the top and placed it back on the workbench.

"Now what?" Daniel asked, as nothing seemed to be happening.

"I'm not sure. I was hoping that..." She began

BEEP

Sam looked over to the monitor as it sprung into life. The graph spiked.

"It's working" Sam started to type furiously away at the keyboard "There is defiantly a power signature."

BEEP

Sam began to laugh as she heard the computer register the power signature again.

Daniel felt an odd twinge in the back of his neck and wondered if it was normal for Ethan to move about so much. Suddenly he dropped to his knees as a searing pain shot through his head.

"Ahhhh!" he cried out

"Daniel!" she shouted

"Turn it off!" he told her

"TURN IT OFF!" Ethan's voice bounced loudly of the walls as Sam struggled to get the top of the Hellmar opened, but eventually she managed to remove the chamber.

Daniel lay on the floor not moving and Sam feared the worst.

"Daniel, Ethan" she cried rolling him over onto his back. Relief washed over her as she felt his pulse beneath her fingertips. Getting up she rushed over to the phone and dialled the infirmary

"This is Carter" she barked down the receiver "I need medical assistance in my lab immediately"

Chapter 17

"With the help of Daniel" Sam began "We know that the device works by sending low frequency sound waves that causes the symbiote to become distressed."

Daniel had been knocked out for several hours by the Hellmar but had recovered. He had been ordered to stay in the infirmary by Janet.

"From what little we know of Goa'uld physiology, we know that they do not cope well with stress" Janet told the group

"Hey do any of us" Jack said trying to inject a bit of humor into the otherwise dull meeting

"Now I believe that this device has been used in conjunction with others to form a network of sorts. Each node linking and intermittently releasing the low frequency sound waves" Sam continued

"So how many of these do we need?" Jack asked her

"Well sir, I would say well over a hundred spread over a large area."

"A hundred?" Jack asked "and how many do we have"

"Just the one Sir"

"Great" he said leaning back into his chair

"The Tok'ra will be able in time to replicate this technology" Selmak informed the group.

"Just how much time are we looking at?" Jack didn't like the way Selmak had said 'in time'

"Jack" It was Jacob who spoke "I know you are impatient to get this war over with and believe me I can think of a thousand other things I would like to be doing instead, but this isn't a pocket calculator we are talking about"

"Alright" Jack said accepting defeat

"But for now I have to return back to the Tok'ra" Jacob said standing up "I received word that Ethan's new host has arrived"

"Already?" Sam hadn't expected this to happen so soon. Now that their work had finished on the Hellmar she wanted to spend some time with Ethan.

"Jacob gave his daughters hand a light squeeze "I'll leave in the morning" he told her much to Sam's relief

"Great" Jack almost jumped to his feet "I'll go and give Daniel the good news"

"Actually Sir," Sam stopped him as he walked past her "I'm going to the infirmary anyway. I'll let him know"

DANIEL LET OUT A small groan as he lifted his head. The last thing he can remember was hitting the floor, hard.

There was a soft touch on his arm and Daniel turned round to look at Sam.

"Hi" smiling Sam was relived to see he was ok

"Are you ever a sight for sore eyes"

Sam smiled and sat down on the stool next to the bed. "How are you feeling?" she asked

"I've got a bit of a headache but apart from that I'm ok. How about you?"

"Me?" Sam was surprised that amongst his own pain he was actually concerned about the effect the little mishap had on her "I'm ok"

"Good" Daniel looked around the infirmary and when he saw it was clear "erm, Ethan wants to now if you are OK for tonight?" he said to Sam feeling slightly embarrassed

"Listen Daniel" she began "Dad has been in touch with the Tok'ra and it looks like they may have a new host for Ethan."

"Oh" Daniel heard Ethan groan in his head and he felt his sorrow

"Yeah. Janet said that you are fit enough to back with him in the morning."

"Oh" Daniel gently touched Sam's hand and smiled

SAM PACED NERVOUSLY UP and down her lab stopping occasionally to look at the clock on the wall. Only 20 minutes until she has to meet Daniel. He had suggested they meet topside after all Ethan never did get a chance to look at the stars.

Unable to stand the wait any longer Sam grabbed her jacket and headed towards the elevator. Swiping her card it felt like forever before it arrived and the doors slid open. If Sam's heart was racing before it was in a positive sprint now. Smiling to herself, Sam still couldn't believe what she was about to do and she began to pace anxiously back and forth in the confined space of the car.

The floors slowly ticked by and she continued to pace. Eventually she arrived and the elevator slowed down and the doors opened. Sam stepped out of the car and showed her pass to the airman.

With feet that felt like lead Sam walked towards the door that lead to the top of the mountain and to Daniel. Pushing it open Sam felt the cool breeze on her flustered cheeks and she stepped through closing the heavy metal door behind her.

At first Sam couldn't see him and was unsure if he would actually turn up, but there he was standing on the edge looking up towards the sky

"Hi" she said standing next to him

"They are beautiful." he said starring up at the night sky above.

"Yes, yes they are" Sam agreed looking upwards at the familiar stars

"I've never really noticed them before. It's funny how you can spend so much time with something and not realise just how beautiful it really is until you take the time to look."

Sam turned to study Daniel and she slipped her hand into his. Surprised by the sudden contact Daniel whipped his head round to look at her.

"I'm not quite sure what to do next" He told her feeling as awkward as he looked

Sam reached up with a trembling hand and gentle touch his cheek "Neither do I"

Daniel smoothed away a stray lock of hair and brought his finger down to trace the outline of her jaw, his finger stopping when it reached the underside of her chin and lifted it gently. All Sam could do was gaze into his dark blue eyes mesmerized.

Sam shivered, but not from the gentle breeze that had started to blow around them, but from the anticipation of what was to come.

"If you don't want this..." Daniel began

"I want this" She told him

Sam breathed a sign of relief when Daniel bent his head towards her and when his lips brushed hers she parted them allowing his tongue access. Daniel's hand gripped her neck pulling her towards him and he deepened the kiss with the hungry pressure of his mouth.

Sam felt a wave of desire flow through her and she some how managed to find away under his shirt to caress his warm soft skin with her fingers. Daniel groaned and lifted his head from her lips only to place tender kisses along her throat. Sam felt like she was in heaven but the slam of the metal door brought her down to earth with a bump.

Releasing her from him Daniel looked down at Sam and he couldn't help the smile that spread across his face. Sam giggled

"My place?" he asked her

Sam bit her lower lip and slowly nodded her head

"Come on" he said wrapping one arm around her shoulders and guiding her towards the door.

Once inside Daniel lowered his arm and searched for his pass. When he found it he showed it to the waiting airman and pressed the button on the elevator. Sam joined him just as the doors opened.

The ride down to the lower levels of the base was one of the longest of her life. She watched as the floors slowly ticked away

14

15

16

Oh God, can this thing move any slower Sam wanted to yell out

17

18

The elevator slowed as it approached level 19 and Sam felt her pulse start to race. Was she doing the right thing? She asked herself

As if to answer her question Daniel reached over and gently squeezed her hand.

"OK?" he asked her

Sam nodded and followed Daniel through the maze of corridors to the room he was using while staying on the base. Excitement flowed through her veins as they came to halt outside the door.

Daniel fumbled in his pocket for his key and with hands that shook he finally unlocked the door and let them both in.

Once in the room Daniel gently closed the door behind him, locking it he turned to face Sam.

"He loves you" Daniel told her, feeling it was the right thing to say

"I know" She told him before closing the gab between then and pressing her lips to his.

Daniel's mouth was demanding and Sam responded in kind allowing his tongue entrance when he demanded it. As he moved forward more forcefully, she slid her arms around his neck to help keep her balance. Her fingers lightly grazed the hairs on his neck and Sam let out a soft sigh.

With ease he picked her up and carried her over to the bed, their clothes quickly disposed of.

Daniel traced a finger up the small mound of her stomach and Sam tried not to groan out loud as he turned his exploration of her into a journey of tormenting pleasure and she let out a moan of delight as Daniel took first one hard pink nipple in his mouth and then the other. Moving over her he lowered his head and took her mouth passionately his need for her evident. His mouth ranged freely now, from her head to toe leaving her no privacy, tasting, taking but giving generously in return.

Daniel couldn't believe what was happening to him as Sam left a burning trail of kisses down his neck and over his chest. He drew in a shuddering breath as he felt Sam hand caress his thigh moving upwards to stroke him. Her kisses moved further down his body and Daniel gasped as her hand was replaced with her moist mouth. Wave upon wave of desire crashed upon him as Sam moved faster, her tongue playing havoc with the sensitive tip. Just when Daniel thought he couldn't hold on for much longer Sam lifted her head and eased herself up to straddle him.

Daniel felt himself sink deeper into her warm depths and a whole new sensation started as she moved her hips backwards and forwards over him.

Sam threw her head back as Daniel caressed her breast with his hands. Her movements becoming more and more intense as she felt his body stiffen with the delicious tension of holding back. With a wicked smile she slowed down her movements wanting this to last as long as possible. Something she was beginning to find out was easier said than done.

As Daniel felt Sam's movements slow he took the opportunity to take her in his arms and flip her over on to her back.

Sam gave out a small squeal, which was quickly replaced by a low moan as Daniel plunged into her. Their breath harsh and ragged Daniel thrusts became harder and faster and Sam could feel herself start to climax.

Sam clung to him tightly and he murmured something in her ear. She didn't catch the words but it didn't matter. His tone of voice was enough to tell her that he had waited too long.

Sam's body convulsed as the first wave of her climax wash over her and as she tightened Daniel felt his own release. He held on to Sam tightly as her movements slowed and she gave a gently sigh of contentment.

They stayed like that the rest of the night just holding each other and when the morning came, Daniel kissed Sam's forehead and left. The door closing quietly behind him.

Chapter 18

Sam waited apprehensively at the foot of the ramp and chewed at her thumbnail.

"Did anyone ever tell you not to bite your nails" the sound of Jack's voice made Sam jump

"Actually Sir, no"

Sam had never felt this nervous in her whole life. Any moment now Daniel would walk through the gate. He had been with the Tok'ra for three days and they were the longest days in history.

Jack studied the nervous looking Sam with a slight sense of confusion. Firstly she was nervous and Sam rarely became nervous and secondly they were only waiting for Daniel.

Jacks brow creased as he wondered just what on earth had happened between the two of them or more precisely between Sam and Ethan via Daniel.

Sam gasped as a ripple formed in the event horizon and Jacob walked through.

"Hey Dad" she said practically sprinting towards him "where's Daniel?"

Jacob hugged his daughter with a bit more force than usually and Sam felt something wasn't right. "Dad?" she asked a sense of dread forming in her stomach "Daniel is ok?"

Turning to face his daughter Jacob placed his hands on her arms "Daniel is fine"

Smiling broadly Sam asked "So where is he?"

"There's something you need to know" her father told her

Sam had a feeling that no matter what it was her father was about to tell her she wasn't going to like it

"There were some complications when Ethan was removed. We believe that it is an after effect of the Hellmar. Now Daniel is perfectly fine" he told her when Sam began to protest "but he has lost a bit of his memory, in fact everything that happened while he was joined with Ethan has been lost"

"Everything?" she asked

Her father nodded and Sam backed out of his embrace.

Sam wasn't sure what it was she felt. She was expecting to feel relieved, but she didn't. The time she had spent with Daniel on the night before he left has been one of the most magical nights of her life.

Lost in her own thoughts it was only when Jack shouted Daniel's name that she realised he had come through the gate.

Just seeing him made her heart quicken and she had to stop herself from running to him and hugging him.

"It's good to have you back" Jack said slapping him on the back. "It is just you isn't it?"

Daniel nodded his reply.

"Daniel" Sam smiled to him as he walked to the end of the ramp

"Hey Sam" he said to her and turned back to Jack "Did I miss much? I can't seem to remember the last two weeks."

Jack looked over towards Sam. He saw the tears that she was desperately trying to hold back and finally put two and two together

"No, not much" he told him

SAM SAT IN HER lab and tried to concentrate on the screen in front of her. She rubbed the bridge of her nose once more and decided that enough was enough; she was never going to be able to concentrate of writing her report. She might as well go home and think about it tomorrow.

Switching off her computer Sam stood up and stretched out her tired muscles. Sam heard the gentle knock at her door and just for a split second she wondered if it was Daniel. It wasn't of course, General Hammond had told him to go home over 3 hours ago.

Jack popped his head round the door. "You still here?" He asked her

"Actually sir I was about to leave"

"I just thought I would, you know, see if you were ok?"

Sam smiled slightly at his thoughtfulness.

"Yes sir, I'm ok" she told him, when in actual fact she had never felt worse in her life. All she wanted to do was go home, take a shower and go right to bed.

Watching the smiled disappear from her face Jack did the only think he knew.

Stepping in further in to her lab Jack closed the door. "Come here" he said to her walking closer.

Without thinking Sam moved to him and into his waiting embrace.

Unable to hide the hurt she was feeling any longer Sam let her tears fall while Jack soothed her hair.

He held her there and let her cry.

It was the only thing he could do.

The End