Chapter Three Author's Note: 'Sweet Surrender' by Sarah McLachlan, off the album 'Surfacing'

Daniel inspected himself in the mirror nervously. He supposed it didn't really matter, Samantha was used to seeing him in his military gear so as long as he looked presentable it was OK, but he couldn't help but feeling nervous. This was his first official date with Samantha. Everything before, their almost kisses, their intimate cuddles, had happened naturally. And this felt very unnatural.

But he was glad to be making this step.

Dinner and a movie, I can do this, he told himself. It was nothing special, they had agreed it was stupid to do something fancy when they already knew each other so well. Samantha had even suggested DVDs and ordering in, except Daniel had pointed out with that much time alone, it would defeat the purpose of them taking things slow. She'd blushed at that implication.

"… You don't strike me as a Hugo Boss man, " Samantha teased him when she saw him. She had never seen him in anything other then his military-issue clothes and that cloak-thing he wore on Abydonia.

Daniel grinned sheepishly. " Jack's idea, " he admitted. " Said Abydonian clothes weren't really suitable for twentieth-century United States. "

I bet he said it a lot more tactlessly then that, Samantha mused, thinking about Jack's words to her about her relationship with Daniel. Well, she loved the Colonel anyway – as a brother and leader. But Daniel – well, Daniel looked pretty damn hot, even if he wasn't entirely comfortable in the clothes Jack had chosen.

… She looked like an absolute knockout. Not that she wasn't beautiful all the time, but in a dress with a tight bodice, spaghetti straps and a skirt that flared from the waist to her knees she looked… he felt his throat go dry. " You look amazing, " was all he could get out, clichéd as it was.

Samantha blushed. " Thanks, " she whispered self-consciously. She had bought this dress months ago on a whim because it looked so pretty, without thinking about the fact she had no place to wear it. The military wasn't a place to emphasise your femininity. It was good to have a reason to get it out of the closet. " Shall we go? " she suggested.

" Yeah, we'd better, " Daniel agreed, throat still dry. If he spent much more time alone with Samantha, that dress would soon end up on the floor.

Dinner was fantastic. Or maybe it was just the company. In the few days that had passed between Samantha and Daniel's passionate reconciliation and this date, they had both been nervous. But at the restaurant, they quickly relaxed with each other and it was like it used to be, a comfortable camaraderie.

" I've missed this, " Samantha admitted when Daniel snaked his arm around her waist while they were walking to the cinema. She pressed her head against his shoulder.

" So have I, " he said, kissing the top of her head. He couldn't believe he'd let a month pass with them being on the outs – and over such a stupid thing, too. " Sam, promise me if I did something to piss you off – or even if you just think I did something – you'll tell me. Think about what we could have done in the last month. "

" Well, if you'd have been more of a man about it… " Samantha teased. " I think I ought to be insulted by how fragile you seem to think I am. "

He squeezed her tightly. " Admit it, you like me caring about you, " he responded.

Samantha crossed her arms over her chest. " Never, " she declared with a twinkle in her eyes that belied her words.

Laughing, he turned her around to face him and kissed her forehead. Her eyes sparkled in the moonlight, and he was tempted to lower his mouth to hers. But that would come later.

She curled up to him in the movie, and it was hard to concentrate with her being so close to him. But he enjoyed himself nonetheless.

After their date, he drove her home and walked her to the front door. " I had a great night, " he said sincerely. " I'm really glad we did this. "

" Me too, " Samantha said, her cheeks flushed with excitement. " Do you – do you want to come in? "

Daniel laughed softly. " I don't think that's a good idea, " he said, and they both knew why. " I want to kiss you, though. " And he drew Samantha against him, supporting the back of her head with his hand. He lowered his mouth to hers, his lips softly grazing over hers teasingly until she was whimpering with anticipation. Following his lead, slowly she opened his mouth to his and met his tongue with his own. He backed her against the front door, afraid he would let her drop given how shaky his legs felt. She wrapped her arms around him, her fingers stroking his back, through his hair, down his arms. Slowly they explored each other's mouth, savouring the experience until they were both breathless.

Regretfully Daniel pulled away from her. " I have to go, " he whispered. " I'll see you tomorrow night, OK? " Samantha nodded wordlessly and watched him walk down the drive, steadying herself against the wall for fear that her shaky legs wouldn't support her.

Early the next evening Daniel showed up early at her house. " Ready to go? " he asked. He'd told her he was taking her somewhere secret, and to dress comfortably.

His heart skipped a beat when he saw her. True, he was used to seeing her in her army gear, which was hardly flattering, but he didn't consider skintight jeans and a figure hugging button-down shirt ( with the first two buttons undone) 'casual'.

But then, given how he felt about Samantha, she always looked stunning.

They drove for an hour until they were well into the Colorado desert. " Just you, me, and a picnic under the stars, " he whispered in her ear, pulling out a picnic basket laden with far more food then they could possibly eat. " I like to spoil my lady, " he said, wrapping his arm around Samantha's waist from behind and nuzzling her neck. She felt shivers run down her spine. She liked the way he'd called her my lady. She liked the way he touched her.

He certainly had come prepared. Three different kinds of cold meat, salad, rolls, fruit, water, and a bottle of champagne. Afterwards, they lay under the stars wrapped up in each other, a tangle of limbs. " I love you, Sam, " he said.

" I love you too, " she replied, and soon they were making out under the desert night sky. She climbed on top of him and undid the buttons of his shirt, exposing his chest. She ran her fingers down it, then her tongue. She liked the sounds he made in response. She was turning him on and she got a kick out of it.

Daniel responded by slipping his hands inside her shirt and doing the same thing with his hands to her that she was doing to him with her mouth. She shivered, and not because of the desert cold. She lowered her head to kiss him, and he took the opportunity to flip them over so he was on top of her. Their legs were tangled, and he started trailing kisses down her neck, nuzzling his face gently between her breasts, frustratingly covered by a lacy black bra – but he would deal with that some other time – down her torso, his hands and mouth lingering until she was well and truly turned on.

Meeting her eyes for approval, his fingers lingered on the top button of her jeans. " Only if I get to return the favour later, " she said, knowing Daniel would be quite happy to spoilt her and not give her the opportunity to spoilt him in return. " This relationship goes both ways, Mister. "

" Say that again after I'm done with you, " he teased, his fingers undoing the buttons of her jeans, pulling them and her panties down far enough to he had access to her most intimate parts. " Tell me to stop whenever you want, " he said, although Samantha knew he knew her body well enough to stop long before she told him to.

Slowly, patiently, he touched her in way she had never been touched before. She never knew sexual experiences could be so pleasurable. He seemed to know her body better then she knew it herself. He brought her up slowly, almost over the edge, and brought her down again, building her up and bringing her down until she was completely lost to him. " Daniel, " she screamed into the desert night as he brought her to an intense climax. " DANIEL! "

After he was finished, she curled into his arms, clinging to him. Her body felt like it was made of jelly. She couldn't speak, could barely breathe. Nothing needed to be said. To be with him like this was enough. It was perfect.

After an eternity, she pulled away from him slightly and grinned. " I will return the favour, " she promised. " Just not tonight. " She snuggled against him happily.

As it turned out, she had plenty of opportunity to return the favour. It was a kind of compromise between sex and abstinence while they built on their relationship. A few weeks went by, and they were the best of their lives as they discovered new things about each other and slipped into a routine of togetherness.

The atmosphere at the Stargate Command was a lot more relaxed now Samantha and Daniel were no longer at each other's throats. The collective Command was beginning to accept their relationship as part of the operation. No-one knew they weren't sleeping together and they didn't bother to correct people when the inevitable ribald remarks came up. Let them think what they wanted. They were the only ones that mattered.

The weeks went by and before they knew it, their one-month anniversary was on them. Between missions and dates, the month had gone quickly.

Daniel met Samantha in the hall. He pulled her against the wall for a quick kiss – well, quick by their standards, anyway. " Be at my place, seven tonight, " he said.

Samantha's breath was taken away when she saw the efforts Daniel had done to. There was no electrical light, his whole apartment was candle-lit. He couldn't have flowers, because of the pollen, so he scattered rose petals through the apartment.

" It's beautiful, " she said.

Daniel wrapped his arms around her from behind. " You're beautiful, " he said. He reached for the remote to his stereo, and switched it on to play Sarah McLachlan's 'Sweet Surrender'. He pulled her into his arms. She nestled her head against his chest and moved in time with Daniel's body and the music.

It doesn't mean much

It doesn't mean anything at all

The life I've left behind me is a cold room

I've crossed the last line

From where I can't return

Where every step I took in faith betrayed me

And led me from my home

" I love you, Samantha Carter, " Daniel whispered in her ear.

" I love you too, Daniel Jackson. "

You take me in, no questions asked

You strip away the ugliness

That surrounds me

Are you an angel

Am I already that gone

I only hope that I won't disappoint you

When I'm down here

on my knees

And sweet sweet

Sweet surrender

Is all that I have to give

Daniel fumbled in his pocket for a small box. He suddenly felt very nervous. " Sam – " he began. He opened the box and turned it to face her. Inside was a small ring with a line of eight small diamonds that curved around. He had liked that particular ring because it was valuable without being showy. Like Samantha. " Samwillyoumarryme? " he blurted out.

Samantha's eyes went wide when she saw the ring. " Oh my God… " she whispered, her eyes flickering between the ring and Daniel's tortured, hopeful voice. " Oh, God, yes, Daniel, YES! "

With trembling hands, Daniel pulled the ring out of its box and slipped it on Samantha's finger. It was a perfect fit. Samantha admired it for a few seconds, then wrapped her arms around Daniel and kissed him passionately. " Danny, " she said breathlessly after a few minutes. " I love you. I'll marry you. But if you don't make love to me right now I might take both back. "

He grinned and kissed her. Then he scooped her into his arms. " You have yourself a deal, " he whispered, and carried her to his bedroom.

He made love to her with painstaking slowness, saving every moment, until she was crying out for him. Their bodies shook together in silent climax that was beyond screaming, beyond any noise. Turghan was a distant memory as he brought her to climax again and again, all the while looking into his loving eyes, feeling his hands on her body and knowing he loved her and he would never hurt her. Their tears of happiness mingled together as they kissed.

After it was over, he held her against him, his fingers trailing randomly over her naked body. " No taking it back? " he said lightly.

She turned her neck to face him. " No. I love you, Daniel, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. "

He kissed her. " I love you too, Sam. "