Regrets

The way they did Legacy really annoyed me, like given all the stuff they'd been through couldn't it have been entirely possible that Daniel was telling the truth about not being crazy? I thought they all jumped the gun and I wanted some regret going…

She regretted not believing Daniel when he said he wasn't going crazy, that Marchello was behind his visions. It was hardly the first time something bizarre had happened to them as a result of their alien encounters. Jack aging rapidly. Their deaths and rejuvenations at the hands of the Nox. Daniel becoming addicted to the Goa'uld sarcophagus. Samantha herself having latent memories of Jolinar, her Tok'ra symbiote.

So they should have known there was actually a chance he might be telling the truth when he talked about Marchello. After all, it was something the man was capable of pulling off, even from the grave. And it wasn't Daniel's first run-in with the man.

But instead they'd thrown him in a padded cell and not given it a second thought until they'd also been infected with the parasites, or whatever they were called.

In retrospect, it wasn't their most inspired hour. They all felt bad, Samantha especially. She was a scientist, she should have thought of something like that – or at least kept an open mind when Daniel thought of it.

She didn't know how to make it up to him.

He'd been pretty jacked off at them, she could understand that. In the same situation, she doubted she'd be talking to them, either. He inquired about Teal'c, and then retreated to his quarters. They stood around the convalescing Jaffa, all feeling remorseful.

" We should have listened to him, we should have kept an open mind, " Samantha said regretfully. " Goddamnit, I study this kind of stuff, that's why I'm here, how could I have been so oblivious? "

" It's no-one's fault, " Jack replied, feeling that if anyone were to blame, it was him. He was the leader. He should have known Daniel better then that. " Just give him some time to get over it. "

" Yeah, 'coz if you guys chucked me in a padded cell without a second thought, I wouldn't be getting over it anytime soon, " Janet said dubiously. She wasn't a scientist in the same way Samantha was, but she still felt she shouldn't have jumped the gun. Countless times Stargate team members had come down with this or that affliction picked up from another planet, they really should have learned by now that anything – anything – could happen to them.

The three of them lapsed into morose silence. Not knowing what else to do, they stood around, not saying anything until Samantha couldn't stand it anymore and made her excuses.

She spent an hour in her lab, going over some old samples, but she couldn't concentrate. The truth was, she was deeply regretful of her treatment of Daniel, even more then Jack and Janet were. Daniel was her best friend, she should have known him better then that.

" Damnit! " she yelled, not sure if she was yelling at the samples she was getting nowhere with or her guilt over her treatment of Daniel. She wondered if he was up for any company, and decided it wouldn't hurt. She'd done enough damage in writing him of, the least she could do was apologise.

She walked up to the door of his quarters. The lights were out, but she couldn't think of anywhere else he'd be, so she knocked on the door. There was no reply, but if Samantha strained her ears she was sure she heard the sounds of muffled sobbing.

She turned the doorknob, and to her relief, it wasn't locked. Not that someone with a PhD in astrophysics would have had trouble picking a simple lock.

The lights were out, and being twenty-eight floors down there wasn't much in the way of windows or sunlight, but Samantha could make out Daniel's figure sitting on his bed. His legs were tucked under his chin, his arms wrapped around him, his head low. He didn't seem to notice Samantha was there.

Closing the door and engulfing herself in pitch blackness, Samantha cautiously made her way over to the bed. Thankgod Daniel was the kind of disorganised scientist who only left their clutter on elevated flat surfaces such as desks, benches and chairs – and not floors. She thought about turning on a light, but decided this was how he wanted to be, and given it was kind of his fault he was so upset she should let him have it.

She sat on the bed next to Daniel and reached out for him. Daniel flinched when he felt her touch, so lost in his despair that he hadn't noticed her come in. " It's OK, it's only me, " she said. " I – uh – I came to see how you were doing. "

" Well you've seen me, now you can go, " Daniel replied. At first Samantha was surprised at the coolness in his voice, then she realised he was embarrassed at being caught crying.

" Danny, I feel really bad about what happened – " Samantha began.

" You mean about having me chucked in the loony bin when, oh, I don't know, given our history, I could have been telling the truth? " Daniel interrupted her.

Samantha cringed. It was only what she had been feeling guilty about already, but having Daniel accuse her like that made it seem all the worse. " I'm sorry, " she said helpless. " I should have had more faith in you. "

Daniel sniffled. " Damn right you should have. I thought we were friends, Sam. I thought you knew me better then that. " Hell, it had taken her – and Jack and Janet – less time to be convinced that he was Daniel in Marchello's body then it had to convince them that he was Daniel infected with yet another alien virus. And he hadn't even convinced them – they had been convinced when they had become infected themselves. With a touch of uncharacteristic maliciousness, Daniel was only sorry Samantha and Jacket had cooked up an anecdote so quickly. He would have enjoyed seeing karma come to bite them on the ass.

His words cut through her heart, especially the way he spoke in the past tense. " We were, I mean, we are – and I do, " Samantha insisted. " I just – it was a really, really stupid think for me to do, OK? I should have known better. "

" But you didn't. Do you have any idea what it was like for me, Sam? The way you guys looked at me? I – " his voice broke as the recollection of their betrayal – and their quickness to have him committed after all they'd been through together felt like a betrayal – emerged once more to the forefront of his thoughts and despite himself and not wanting to look any more dignity in front of his so-called best friend, he broke down again.

Sam wrapped her arms around him. " I'm sorry, " she whispered. It was impossible to mistake the sincerity in her voice. " I'm so sorry Daniel. I – " Great, now she was going to start crying. " I thought we were losing you. "

Daniel was still hurt by his friends easy write-off of him, but he was surprised by the fear and regret in Samantha's voice. That she had come so soon after had soothed his hurt somewhat, even if he didn't know it. He could just imagine Jack and Janet, feeling remorseful but too afraid of Daniel's wrath to face him just yet. In fact, Jack would probably pretend like it never happened. Maybe that was the best way for Jack, but it wasn't for Daniel. He wanted an apology. He wanted them to admit they'd jumped the gun.

Samantha's betrayal had particularly cut him. He tried to tell himself it was just because they were such close friends but deep down he knew it was more then that.

Part of him, a small part that he usually succeeded in suppressing, was in love with Samantha. He suppressed it for so many reasons, because it wasn't workable within their existing relationship, because of his marriage – even if he was getting used to the idea of never seeing Sha're again as Sha're and not Amonet – because he thought there was something between her and Jack and he didn't want to make a fool of himself.

So he felt betrayed more by Samantha then the others because he cared more for Samantha then he did the others, although he couldn't never say so. And because he couldn't say so, he wanted her to leave him alone.

Part of Samantha thought she should respect his wishes, and part of her knew that he was only acting out because he was hurt. He must want her with him – she couldn't bear the thought of him rejecting her. He had meant so much to her for so long that the possibility he might not want her here because he didn't care about her made her heart twist painfully.

She was confused by the feelings that were racing through her head – and her heart. When she'd seen Daniel in his padded cell, her heart had broken. Not her Daniel, who she loved – as a friend, she told herself, and almost believed it. The alternative was too complicated. The Stargate program. Sha're. Yes, definitely too complicated. This way was much better.

But that hadn't stopped her heart from breaking when she'd seen Daniel looking the way he had when they'd seen him. And that didn't stop her heart from twisting painfully at the thought that Daniel didn't want her here.

" You need some company, " Samantha told him decisively.

" I'm not military, Sam, you're not actually my commanding officer, " Daniel pointed out crossly. " You can't tell me what to do. "

" I'm not telling you what to do, " Samantha replied with cheerfulness she didn't feel. " I'm telling you I'm going to stay here. "

For a moment, Daniel was tempted to leave, but he decided he liked his quarters better then any alternative. And he kind of liked having Samantha's company. At least she'd had the decency to apologise, and they so rarely spent time by themselves. He couldn't help but be aware of the pressure of her arm around his back.

Samantha noticed that Daniel stopped making vocal protests about her presence, so she took that as a sign he was happy – or at least not unhappy – for her to be there. Tentatively, she leaned her head against his shoulder. He didn't push it away.

They sat in silence for a few minutes, getting used to each other's company. Finally Daniel said, " It was horrible, Sam. I was trying to work out what was going on, I knew I wasn't going crazy but everyone else thought I was. Maybe outside the command I could understand that, but in here – "

" I know, Danny, how many times can I say I'm sorry? I feel terrible. I should have had more faith in you. "

" I had more faith in you when you were blended with Jolinar, " Daniel pointed out.

Samantha winced. It was just another reminder of how badly she had screwed up. " I don't know how I can make it up to you, " she said sadly.

" I don't know if you can, " Daniel replied, just as sadly. " I need to know I have my friend's faith – and after this, well… " he shrugged. He didn't have to finish his sentence ; his sentiment was obvious.

Samantha felt tears spring to her eyes. She leaned over Daniel to switch on his overhead lamp so they had a little light to see each other in. " I do have faith in you, " she cried. " I love you, Danny. You're my best friend. I was so worried about you. I – I thought we might loose you. And I had no idea what I'd do without you. "

" You would've had Janet… and Jack. "

His meaning was obvious. There had been a lot of talk about a relationship between her and Jack, Samantha knew, and once upon a time there had been a teensy amount of truth in it – Jack O'Neill was a strong, attractive man that Samantha might have dated in different circumstances. But the circumstances they were in was almost of a father to his children, and it hadn't taken long for their relationship to take after that analogy. Instead, she had been noticing more and more a man closer to her age and interests…

" Jack doesn't mean anything to me, " Samantha said dismissively. " I mean, not in the way the gossips would have us. He's like a father to me. Hell, I have a better relationship with him then my actual father. "

" Yeah, him being a Tok'ra leader will do that to you, " Daniel commented wryly, and for the first time in days Samantha felt she had her Daniel back, at least in part. " So… you've never thought of Jack like that? "

Samantha shook her head. " Well, not for ages. He's just Jack to me now. Anyway, I kind of have my eye on someone else. " She felt the blood rushing to her cheeks – and she almost never blushed. She couldn't believe she had actually said that out loud.

Daniel looked at her mildly, hoping the dark was hiding the flash of jealousy he was sure passed over his face. " You mean Narim? " he asked. Samantha didn't see as much of the Tollan man as she wanted to, but Daniel was sure there was something going on between them – he had witnessed a pretty passionate kiss between them. He had sulked in secret for a week over that, not willing to admit even to himself that he was sulking.

Samantha shook her head. " No. It doesn't matter. "

Now Daniel's interested was piqued. " Martouf? "

" Daniel, drop it, " Samantha warned menacingly.

" It's gotta be someone in the Command, then, if you're so worked up over it, " Daniel said thoughtfully. At least Samantha could take cold comfort out of Daniel being distracted by his hurt. Yeah, right. She would much rather he dwell on his hurt then trying and work out who had was interested in.

" Even if it is, it's none of your business, " Samantha snapped.

Daniel took that to be a confirmation. He began rattling off names he thought Samantha might be interested in, but truthfully, he couldn't see why – they barely spent any time with the other team members. Suddenly, a huge grin swept across his face. "Oh, my God, don't tell me it's Teal'c? " he said incredulously. That was a coupling he would never have thought of. " Oh, wow, Sam, I would never have guessed. "

" Oh, for crying out loud, Daniel, " Samantha yelled irritably, truly convinced Daniel was trying to piss her off. " It's you and you know it's you. You're just being an ass to pay be back for not believing you. "

The look on Daniel's face when she blurted out the truth made Samantha realise that he truly had had no idea. He stopped grinning and looked very serious. " I – I had no idea, " he admitted, reverting to his bumbling geek persona as he did whenever the possibility of romance came into play. Not even Hathor and her drug had managed to wipe that out completely. Samantha had always found it endearing.

" Of course you had no bloody idea, " Samantha yelled, even more irritable now that she had told Daniel how she felt about him when she didn't need to. Better that he thought she had a thing for Teal'c then he knew the truth. Hell, she hadn't even been aware of her feelings for Daniel until she had blurted them out just then. Oh, God, what was she going to do?

Suddenly Daniel was having trouble maintaining eye contact with Samantha. " I, uh, don't know what to say, " he said. He was completely floored by Samantha's admission. Part of him wished it had been Teal'c she had the hots for – it would be so much easier them to deal with his conflicting emotions. On the one hand, he couldn't deny he had feelings for her – feelings that weren't exactly inappropriate given their working situation – and on the other – well, there was their working situation. And if not Jack, then the spectre of Sha're loomed before them.

Samantha sensed Daniel's thoughts of his wife, and her heart plummeted. She had been a fool to say anything. She shouldn't have even come here – better that Daniel hate her for underestimating him then to have him reject her like this. " I shouldn't have come, " she said abruptly, getting up hurriedly. " Do me a favour and forget I ever said anything. "

Not sure what to do, but knowing he didn't want Samantha to leave, Daniel reached up, pulling on Samantha's arm to bring her down on the bed. He had intended to have her sit beside him, but his movement took her off guard and she lost her balance, falling ungracefully into his lap. Instinctively she wrapped her arms around his neck for balance. Daniel automatically wrapped his arms securely around Samantha's waist. For a moment their eyes met and their chemistry was undeniable.

Then Samantha scrambled out of Daniel's arms, almost as apprehensive of Daniel's embrace as she was desirous. " We shouldn't be doing this, " she said, trying to keep her voice even.

Daniel focused his piercing blue eyes on hers. " Why not? " he asked.

Samantha was irritated again. Why not? That was so typical of Daniel, he just didn't understand the military.

" And before you say anything about the military, " Daniel interrupted, as if he could sense Samantha's thoughts like she had sensed his about Sha're, " you know that can be got around. Hammond won't be happy, but all he'll do is separate us. We're too valuable to let go. Hell, I don't even think he has the authority to let me go over something like this, and you're certainly too valuable to let go of. "

Samantha was quiet for a few moments, knowing Daniel had her on the military thing. They were both too valuable for Hammond to give up, and him not being military certainly made things easier, although there was no way Hammond would let them stay in the same team – something they understood the reason for clearly. When you were defending yourself and the rest of the planet from God knew what, you needed to be objective and know when it was time to leave someone behind. Being involved with that someone could compromise your objectivity and leave you with two causalities instead of one. " Well, what about Sha're then? " She demanded.

" What about her? "

" What about her? " Samantha parroted incredulously. " She's your wife, Daniel. If anything were to happen between us you would be cheating on her. Did you ever think of that? "

Her words were as potent as a slap across the face. Suddenly Daniel looked very sad and very tired. " Of course I thought about that, Sam, " he said. " I'm a man and I have urges and I'm trying to stay faithful to her. But I know I can't do it forever and… I know I'm not going to get her back. " These last words were spoken in a whisper, like it were a betrayal. He had promised to find and save Sha're but realistically, that wasn't going to happen. And over the last two years his love for Sha're in the sense of being in love with her had been replaced with a sense of loyalty. She had been his wife, even if he had moved on, of sorts, and he owed it to her to at least try and get her back.

Samantha was immediately sorry she had brought Sha're up, although she knew she had to know about it. She realised now Daniel wasn't in love with his wife anymore, and that his attempts to find her were out of a sense of loyalty – to her, to her father. " Danny, I'm sorry. I should have been more tactful. I just… " she trailed off, not wanted to reveal the depth of her feelings.

Gently Daniel cupped her chin in his hand, turning her head towards him. " You just what? " he prompted softly.

" I just don't want to be involved with someone… who's in love with someone else, " Samantha whispered.

A few seconds passed which felt like eternity. Then, with a slowness that was nearly agonising, Daniel kissed her gently, tentatively. His lips barely grazed hers for a split second. He withdrew slightly to give her the opportunity to pull away.

She kissed him, doing away with Daniel's initial tentativeness. She could tell by the passion, restrained as it had been, in his kiss that Daniel was in love with her, not Sha're. With that kiss, all her objections flew out the window – if there were any windows this far beneath the surface.

Daniel was pleasantly surprised at the passion in Samantha's kiss. He'd always thought beneath her tough, military exterior was a passionate woman.

Their kisses quickly deepened, their hands exploring each other's bodies through the material of their stand-issue gear. Samantha easily manoeuvred Daniel so he was lying on the bed with her on top of him as they began making out.

They heard footsteps in the hall, and broke apart just before Jack entered the room, quite characteristically without knocking. Jack O'Neill considered him team to be his responsibility, and as such, he saw no reason for privacy.

" Hey, Danny-boy, just seeing how you're holding up, " Jack said in a typical laid-back way.

" I'm holding up OK, " Daniel said nervously, wondering just how much Jack had seen.

Jack hadn't seen anything incriminating, but Daniel's tone of voice made him wonder. " Anything up Danny, Major? " he asked, turning his attention from Daniel to Samantha.

" No, sir, " Samantha and Daniel replied in absolute unison. Jack looked at them suspiciously – it was out of character for Daniel to call him 'sir' but decided to let it go for the time being.

" Then I'll leave you two to… whatever you were doing, " Jack said, deliberately leaving the door wide open when he left.

" That was close, " Daniel commented when Jack left.

" Yeah, " Samantha agreed. " We need to do something about this before it gets out of hand. I'll go to Hammond and ask for a transfer. "

Cautiously Daniel threaded his fingers through Samantha's. " But you're OK with this? " he asked.

Samantha nodded, licking her lips. How badly she wanted to kiss Daniel again. Like hell she was going to back away from this now they'd finally gotten it together. " I've never been so sure of anything in my life, " she admitted sheepishly. " But we should make things easier for Hammond if we don't move too quickly until we're in separate teams. "

As reluctant as he was to be parted from Samantha for any amount of time, Daniel knew she was talking sense. " Is another kiss taking things too slow? " he asked hopefully.

Samantha smiled at the look in his eyes. Daniel was such a sweetheart. " Of course not, " she said, as she moved in for another kiss.

THE END.