Back For Good

Last in my trilogy, following Please Don't Go and With You in Your Dreams. Sam and Daniel around Fallen, so a little spoilerish. I haven't actually seen Fallen, so forgive me if the details are a little off. Have shamelessly derailed from the original storyline. And of course I don't own anything, if I did, I'd be writing scripts, not fanfiction.

Samantha had insisted that it was an excellent idea to visit Vis Uban, the planet they theorised was once home to the Ancients, for reasons nobody could fathom – least of all herself. She just had a feeling that there was something important on the planet that they had to go for.

Rarely seeing his 2IC in such a passion over something (except maybe Daniel) Jack backed Samantha and off the four of them went to the planet – Jack, Samantha, Teal'c and Jonas, still feeling like a bit of an outsider. " You'd better be right about this, Carter, " Jack warned. " Else I'm going to look very stupid, and you know I don't like to look stupid. "

" Yes, sir, " Samantha said automatically, too distracted by her growing sense of instinct. There was something on Vis Uban, she just knew it. It didn't matter much to her that Jack didn't believe her, that he was just humouring her – he hadn't believed her about Daniel being in her dreams, either, and she knew that had happened.

The civilisation on Vis Uban was a fairly primitive, tribal one, like most of the planets they visited, although they were remnants of ruined cities – probably left by the Ancients – that reminded them of the deteriorating Aztec cities.

SG-1 entered these ruins, and found a nomadic tribe who had taken in a stranger they had found – a stranger who had no recollection whatsoever of who he was. The tribe took SG-1 to the stranger.

When she saw Daniel, Samantha passed away in a dead faint, something that was very unlike her.

Daniel, who of course had absolutely no idea that he was Doctor Daniel Jackson, looked at the attractive woman on the floor of the abandoned city, puzzled. " Do I know her? " he asked, looking at Jack, Teal'c and Jonas with absolutely no recognition in his eyes.

" You could say that, " Jack said in his usual deadpan that went straight over Daniel's head. Daniel just stared at Jack, wanting him to elaborate. " Oh, never mind, " Jack said. Far be it from him to meddle in what no doubt would be a convoluted affair. Credit where credit was due, the Major sure knew how to puck 'em. " She'll explain when she comes to. "

Samantha came to within a few minutes. For a few seconds, she stared at Daniel, unable to believe it was really him. Was this just another dream, or her mind playing tricks on her? Finally, when it dawned on her that it was Daniel, flesh and blood, standing in front of her, alive and well, she rushed into his arms with a strangled cry of relief.

Needless to say, she didn't get the reaction she was looking for. As flustered as any man would be when a strange woman hurls herself into his arms, Daniel gingerly look a step back, looking at Samantha with confusion. " I'm sorry, " he said with regret and embarrassment, " do I know you? "

Samantha's heart fell. Daniel didn't remember a thing – and she had thought what they'd had could transcend anything. Apparently not amnesia, she thought, trying not to be bitter. It wasn't fair that she had all these memories of him and he had no idea who she was. The hits just keep on coming. " It doesn't matter, " she said, walking off before Daniel could witness her crying.

Jack followed her, leaving Teal'c and Jonas with Daniel. " What's going on? " Daniel demanded the Jaffa. " Who are you guys and what do you mean to me? "

" It will be explained in time, " Teal'c said with maddening vagueness.

" In the mean time, we should probably get you back to earth, " Jonas volunteered. " Hammond won't believe this. "

" Who's Hammond? " Daniel asked. Teal'c and Jonas exchanged a look. Well, if he couldn't remember Samantha, why should he remember Hammond?

Outside with Samantha, Jack attempted to stem the flow of her tears. " I don't think it's anything personal, " he offered pragmatically. " I don't know what caused it but it'll come back to him. "

Samantha sniffled. " How can you know that? "

" Because you love him. And he loves you. No technology in the world can transcend that kind of bond for too long, " Jack said knowingly.

Samantha dried her eyes and smiled. Jack was far more sensitive then he let on. " Thanks, " she said gratefully. " OK, I'm ready to go back in now. "

Jack, Samantha, Daniel, Teal'c and Jonas made the trek back to the Stargate, abandoning their initial mission to search for Ancient technology left behind in the mass ascension. They were in agreement that they were taking home a much bigger prize, although it took some convincing of that to Daniel. He was sure he had committed some terrible deed, and that was why he was being punished with his memory loss.

The best theory they could come it with regarding the loss of memory was that it was punishment for defying Ancient orders not to interfere. " You could never follow orders when you thought your way was better, " Jack recalled, like he was totally innocent of such indiscretions.

Samantha's cheeks flushed as she recalled the 'nights' she had spent with Daniel – she was pretty sure that had been interfering, too.

Daniel, though he had no recollection of their relationship, was still as intuitive as ever. He manoeuvred to have him and Samantha fall behind the other three men so they could talk with some degree of privacy. " Was there… was there anything between us? " he asked her awkwardly.

" Depends what your definition of 'anything' is, " Samantha said wryly and sadly. Daniel looked at her in confusion. " The military, which I'm a part of and you're not, has strict rules about forming romantic relationships within the military. I think that's why nothing happened for five years, well, nothing tangible – a look, a touch that held for too long, that kind of thing. The night before you went on that last mission – "

" To Langara, " Daniel supplied, testing the name on his tongue. Jack had told him that had been his last mission, and the one that had caused his death from radiation poisoning, and Daniel had been saying it to himself, hoping it would bring back memories. Nothing.

" Yes, to Langara, " Samantha agreed. " Anyway, the night before, we… " she trailled off, finding herself blushing, although a few kisses was nothing to blush about. It was the intimacy of the moment that had her stomach in knots. She knew only Daniel would understand that particular moment, and Daniel wasn't exactly himself right now.

" Did we…? " Daniel began uncertainly, not sure how to ask this brilliant, beautiful woman if they'd ever slept together. She claimed they'd been in a relationship, but he had no recollection of it.

Samantha shook her head. " No, we never did. There was just that first night where we kissed a few times before the last mission. We agreed it would be best not to go too far before I transferred. "

" Why were you transferring? "

Samantha sighed. It was questions like that that reminded her how little Daniel knew. " Hammond – that's the guy in charge – would never have allowed us to stay on the same team. We would both have been too concerned about the other and not the team or the mission. It makes sense, and I thought the best thing to do was request a transfer. "

" I see. " But Daniel didn't see. He truly didn't remember being with this woman, and he didn't see how he could forget such a thing. He was frustrated with his inability to remember a thing before waking up on Vis Uban, stark naked.

He and Samantha walked a few meters in silence, both lost in their thoughts. Samantha failed to notice a large uneven surface in the ground, and she lost her balance. She would have fallen if it hadn't been for Daniel's quick reflexes. His arm snaked around her waist, drawing her close to him. It was entirely a defensive move, but once her body was pressed tightly against his, with his arms wrapped around her waist as he looked into her face, automatically searching for a look of pain, a strong attraction passed between them. He had vauge memories of her, being concerned for her… some guy named Turban?

" Turghan, " Samantha corrected, recalling with a shudder the Mongolian chieftain she had been sold to six years ago. " How did you remember that? "

Daniel shrugged. " It just came to me… being close to you, I guess. "

Ahead of them, Jack had noticed the disruption to his team. He ground his teeth with a little frustration – even with no memory, Daniel still managed to cause an interruption. Some things were just ingrained, the Colonel decided.

Samantha reluctantly withdrew from Daniel arms, but didn't object when he laced his fingers through hers. She realised it was a comfort thing, that having remembered something for being close to her he wanted to remain close to her, but it meant a lot to her.

Needless to say, General Hammond – and the rest of the Stargate Command – were absolutely floored when they saw Daniel come through the Gate. Samantha was more then a little smug in reminding everyone – especially those who had doubted her – that it had been her insistence that they go to Vis Uban.

After he got over his initial surprise, Hammond was delighted to have Daniel back, although disappointed that Daniel had no memory who he was. " Show him around, " he instructed Teal'c. " Maybe he'll remember more when he sees everything. Major Carter, I want to speak with you. "

With reluctant looks, Samantha and Daniel were separated, Daniel going off with the Jaffa, Samantha staying with General Hammond.

Samantha knew what was coming so she beat Hammond to the punch. " I still have feelings for him, sir, but he doesn't have a clue who I am – except for something about Turghan. "

Jack rolled his eyes when he heard this. " Trust Daniel, " he snorted. " Rather then something about this so-called connection you claim to have with him, he just remembers something about some backwards civilisation. I don't know why you bother, Carter. "

Samantha replied with a deadly look that made Jack think the best thing to do was keep his mouth shut.

She turned back to Hammond. " So it will be a problem if I keep you in the same team? " he asked, getting straight to the point.

" Yes, sir, I think so, sir, " Samantha admitted, although it pained her to think of not being in the same team as Daniel. She hoped it was for the best. She hoped they would remember what they had eventually – otherwise a transfer would have been all for nothing.

Get real, Carter, she told herself. You can't stop thinking about him even if you do get back together. You're no use to SG-1 whatever happens. " I think it will be best if you transfer me, " Samantha said. " I think its important that Daniel stay with the people he knows – with Jack and Teal'c. "

" You're sure you want to do this? " Hammond asked, and Samantha knew he wasn't just referring to the transfer. He was talking about her pursuit of a relationship with Daniel when he had no idea who she was. But he does, Samantha thought frantically, unwilling to face the alternative. He remember about Turghan, and that was only after a few minutes.

" I'm sure, " Samantha said confidently.

Teal'c showed Daniel around the base, to no avail. It was completely foreign to him. " These are your quarters, " he said when they came to Daniel's room. Samantha had insisted they keep it like it was ; she was sure he was going to come back eventually.

Wandering through the room, Daniel came across a photo of his late wife Sha're. He stroked the glass of the frame, and memories came back to him. Abydos. Their first meeting… their first kiss. She had offered himself to her as a 'prize' for a God ; he had turned her down. Then later… Daniel could clearly remember their first kiss, followed by their first night together.

Smiling at the memory, Daniel started talking excitedly about her. The look on Teal'c face helped bring back other memories… Sha're being taken by Apophis… the way she, as Amonet, had looked at him when he had reminded her he was her husband… seeing her stomach swollen with Apophis's child (he had a very vivid memory of his love for her scarcely getting the better of his revulsion)… Teal'c killing her, as Amonet, to stop her from killing Daniel.

His blue eyes started to spit anger, the same anger he'd felt when Teal'c first killed Sha're/Amonet. Rationally, he knew Teal's had simply taken the best of a bunch of bad choices – kill Sha're/Amonet, or have her kill Daniel then turn on him. But the loss of his wife was a vivid as when it had first happened.

He ordered Teal'c out of his quarters, and sat on his bed, his mind racing as memories of his wife were jumbled in his brain. It had been three and a half years ago now, but it was as if it had happened yesterday.

How could he possible have thought of another woman?

Time flew by with Daniel lost in his thoughts, and an hour later, Samantha tentatively knocked on his door. " Danny, it's me, " she said. " Can I come in. "

Daniel looked up at her, and made a slight nodding motion. Samantha rushed in and sat next to Daniel. " Teal'c told me… you know about Sha're, " she said, coming straight to the point. " You can't hate him for it, Danny. He felt terrible when it happened and he really did it to save you. "

Daniel didn't say anything in that regard. He knew that was true, he had vauge memories of forgiving Teal'c over it – at Sha're's request. His brain raced through that period of his life. He knew there was another woman in there somewhere, he was trying to place it… " Kera, " he said suddenly. " She was… wasn't who she said she was. No, she wasn't who she thought she was. "

Samantha smiled tightly. " Yeah, you were pretty fucked up at that point, " she said. It was something Jack always crowed about behind Daniel's back – no matter how dodgy his taste in women might be, he had never slept with the Destroyer of Worlds. " Had to give you credit though, you certainly stood up for her. Jack wanted to kill her and be done with it but you insisted she had changed. I really liked that about you. "

" So, Sha're, Kera… and not you, " Daniel recited, referring to the women he'd slept with since joining the program. " Was there anyone else? "

" No, " Samantha said, telling herself it wasn't entirely a lie. After all, it could be argued he'd been making a rational choice to be with Sha're and Kera (albeit an uniformed one when it came to Kera), and by that argument it could be rationalised that he'd made so such rational choice when it came to Hathor. Daniel had beaten himself up over that for months over that particular incident (another example of Daniel's excellent taste in women, Jack would say sarcastically – Samantha would tell him not to mention that – if Daniel didn't remember it they weren't to remind him) and never really gotten over it. Admittedly, it could have been his DNA that created Goa'uld symbiotes for the human race, and that had only been circumvented by the actions of the women of the base and Teal'c. No, if Daniel didn't remember Hathor, she wasn't going to remind him – and neither was anyone else, so long as she had breath in her body.

" To tell the truth, " she said wryly, " I always wondered how you did it. I've been in the airforce all my adult life, and I never knew a man before you who could go that long without sex. You wanted so badly to be faithful, I thought it was the nicest thing I'd ever seen. Honestly… " she trailled off, realising she was about to say something that maybe she shouldn't say.

" Honestly what? " Daniel asked, his interest piqued. With time passing, his memories, initially so vivid, were beginning to fade into their proper time context. He was beginning to appreciate that Sha're had been dead for three and a half years – and because of the Amonet thing, they hadn't slept together for two and a half years before that. With Samantha in such close proximity to him, Daniel suddenly became very aware that he was a man.

Samantha blushed but decided to tell Daniel. " Honestly I was a little jealous. I suppose that's what first attracted me to you, you're loyalty to Sha're. "

Not knowing what instinct he was responding to – only knowing it wasn't borne of any reason – Daniel kissed Samantha. His mouth pressed against hers, his hand on the back of her head, his free arm around her waist. He kissed her and she kissed him back until they were both giddy.

Reluctantly Daniel pulled away. " Sam, I have no idea what I'm doing, " he admitted. " I just… I'm so attracted to you and it felt so right. But I can't promise you anything until I know enough about who I am… "

Samantha threaded her fingers through Daniel's. " It's OK, " she whispered huskily. " I don't want anything from you that you can't give honestly. If all you can do right now is something physical… that's OK. I have faith that eventually it will work out. " The truth was, having Daniel so close to her and very much alive and physical after a year was wreaking havoc on her hormones. She wanted him so badly.

Daniel kissed her again, harder, more passionately. The amnesia certainly hadn't affected his sexual prowess. Samantha whimpered against the tide of passion that washed over her. Her hands combed through Daniel's hair, over his arms and back, touching his face… Daniel moved one of his hands up her body, cupping her breast through her clothes.

Daniel pushed her down onto his bed ; she made no protest. " Do you want this? " he asked nonetheless.

Samantha nodded. " I've wanted this for ages, " she admitted. " Make love to me, Daniel, " she begged. " Please. "

A few hours later they lay in bed together, naked. " I see there are some things you haven't forgotten, " she teased gently.

" And how would you know? " Daniel asked with a smirk on his lips. " I thought we never did it. "

" We didn't, " Samantha confirmed. " But I thought about it… a lot. "

Daniel stiffened slightly. Samantha was obviously very committed to him, and had been for years – intensely so for the last of those years. And couldn't remember a damn thing. " Sam, I was serious about not being able to commit to a relationship, " he said. " Maybe I made a mistake doing this. "

Samantha looked at him understandingly. " No, it's OK, I didn't mean it like that, " she reassured him. " I don't want anything you can't give, that's cool. " She knew she had to give Daniel time to work out who he was, but in her secret heart, she was disappointed – more then disappointed, that Daniel couldn't commit the way he wanted to just over a year ago. She knew it wasn't his fault, but she was frustrated nonetheless.

He trailled a finger across her abdomen absently. " You have injections… to stop you getting pregnant, " he recalled.

Samantha smirked. " The first thing you remembered is a Mongolian civilisation. The second you remember is that you don't have to use a condom. You are so Daniel and so a guy. " She kept her tone light so he wouldn't feel hemmed in by their past.

" I remember… " Daniel bit his lip, his brow furrowed in concentration. " Cathy? "

" Cassie? " Samantha offered.

" Yeah. You're very fond of her. She was in danger at some point? "

Samantha couldn't help but snuggle against Daniel, and he didn't seem to mind. That particular memory meant a lot to Samantha ; it was when she and Daniel had really connected. Jack and Hammond just hadn't gotten why Cassandra had gotten her so worked up, but Daniel had.

" You've always wanted to have kids, your career got in the way, " Daniel mused.

" They tend not to take to well to pregnant woman traipsing around the universe, " Samantha commented wryly, her heart soaring. She had never told Daniel that – he had just known – and he still knew. She resisted the urge to smother him with kisses and words of love.

They slowly drifted to sleep over the course of a few hours. Occasionally Daniel remembered something and shared it with her, but mostly they lay in silence together, her in his arms, thinking there was no place she'd rather be, until they fell asleep together.

Jack burst in the next morning with typical Jack thoughtlessness. Needless to say, he'd think next time he burst into his teammates quarters. He stumbled back and knocked over a pile of books.

The noise he made woke Samantha and Daniel up. " Jesus Christ, Jack, " Samantha yelled when she saw her commanding officer in the room, forgetting all about army protocol – like hell she was going to call him 'sir' in these circumstances. " Haven't you heard of knocking? "

" Uh, yeah, sorry, " Jack mumbled. " Carter, can I see you in my office… as soon as possible? " he asked with more directness, now that he was thinking military and not of the two naked people in front of him.

" Fine, " Samantha growled. " Just get out. "

" I'm really sorry about that, " she said, turning to Daniel and blushing when Jack left. " Jack is – "

" An ass sometimes, I know, " Daniel replied with a smirk. " I have this memory of… being invisible? "

" The crystal skull, " Samantha offered. She remembered that. Daniel had been out of phase from playing with an artefact, and the only person who could see him was his grandfather – he'd used the man as a go-between to call Jack an ass. Samantha had thought the expression on Jack's face had been priceless.

Daniel nodded, his blue eyes twinkling at the memory. " He can be… rather autocratic sometimes, " he said with a laugh in his voice. " There was something else… just before the accident… Reece? "

Samantha nodded. " We figure she was the creator of the Replicators, " she said. Daniel had already been debriefed on who the Replicators were. " You wanted to talk to her, be her friend, try and redesign her so she'd stop creating those nasty things – Jack shot her instead. You were furious at him, you never really resolved that – it was something that really bothered him, I think. "

With a clarity he hadn't had before he'd ascended, Daniel understood that Jack had just been doing what was in his nature to do – shoot first, ask questions later. It was Daniel's job to try and negotiate their way out of it, temper Jack's trigger-happiness, but when it didn't work, it couldn't be helped. " I'll talk to him later, " he said.

" I think he'd like that, " Samantha said. " But for now – I really gotta talk to him myself, " she said sheepishly.

" I haven't gotten you in trouble, have I? " Daniel asked.

" Nothing I didn't accept before, " she assured him, pulling on her clothes. She decided she should have a shower before she met with Jack.

" Do you really think this is a good idea, Carter? " Jack asked Samantha twenty minutes later when she fronted up to her commanding officer, looking suspiciously clean.

Samantha looked as innocent and wide-eyed as she could manage, which wasn't very well – subterfuge had never been her thing. " Do I think what is a good idea, sir? " she asked innocently.

" Do you really think it's a good idea to sleep with Danny-boy when he barely knows who you are? You're so obviously in love with him, Carter, you're setting yourself up to be hurt. "

Resolutely, Samantha squared her shoulders. " I'm prepared to take that risk, sir, " she said, hoping the inner fear she felt didn't betray itself in her voice. She was deeply in love with him, and was petrified Daniel would never remember what they had – maybe it had been too long, maybe the ascension had changed him too much. But she wasn't going to confide her fears in Jack – he was hardly the most objective person to talk to.

Jack eyed her suspiciously. He would love to forcibly separate Daniel and Samantha, but unfortunately, now that they were in separate teams, that wouldn't be an option. " If you ever want to talk… " he offered.

" I'll come right to you, " she lied reassuringly. If there was anyone on the base she'd talk to, it would be Janet, but she would give him his illusions. Besides, he must suspect there was no way she would talk to him about her love-life. He was like a father to her – and she had never told her own father about her boyfriends, so why should she start now?

The weeks went by, and Daniel slowly regained his memory. It helped being at the base, surrounded by the people he'd come to know so well in five years – a touch, a scent, a voice, a vision all helped to bring back memories, good and bad, but mostly good. Most distinctly, he remembered his relationship with Samantha – their ups and downs, that first kiss… he relived that moment in his head often, pulling it out whenever he was a little down, savouring it… and the many kisses he shared with Samantha in the current time.

He was back on offworld missions with Jack, Teal'c and Major Ashly Jones, Samantha's replacement. Daniel was sorry Samantha had been transferred but he appreciated the gesture. He more then appreciated the gesture. He grinned, thinking about the night before… and the night before that… and the night before that…

" Danny-boy, pay attention! " Jack yelled at Daniel irritably. Daniel snapped to attention. Was it him, or was Jack increasingly short with Daniel as the days went on?

It wasn't just Daniel's imagination. Jack had watched Samantha and Daniel's relationship progress – or not progress. From Jack's point of view, it looked like Daniel was more then happy to have Samantha in his bed every night, but balled at anything that resembled actual commitment – like calling her his girlfriend, or letting her call him her boyfriend. Or being affectionate outside their quarters. In private, they were lovers, in public, they were teammates, despite the fact everyone knew about them.

Jack knew that attitude was affecting Samantha in a negative way. She was too proud to admit it, of course, after all, she had become Daniel's lover knowing he couldn't give her much until his memory had fully returned, but he knew because he knew her how much she wanted to be in a proper relationship with him. She wanted a real claim on him – however psychological that might be.

Jack knew Daniel wasn't stupid enough to play around on Samantha. He was physically faithful, that was obvious enough. But his emotional fidelity was another issue. Daniel enjoyed the company of other women, and beyond that, the freshly-recalled pain of Sha're's death was burned into his brain. He was afraid of being close to someone like that – and losing them.

Jack knew all of this, and understood it, but that didn't mean he was going to tolerate it. One day he told Daniel he knew exactly what he was up to – and he wasn't going to stand for it.

Daniel deeply resented Jack's interference. How the hell would Jack know how he felt? He loved Jack, admired him, depended on him to watch his back, but sometimes the man and his forthrightness infuriated him.

" I told Sam I couldn't commit and she was OK with that, " Daniel defended himself.

Jack snorted his derisiveness. " She only said that because she'd settle for anything she could get. She still will. Hell, I'm sure you could screw every woman on the base and she'd turn a blind eye – although I wouldn't, " he added, just in case the younger man was getting any ideas. " She loves you. And she wants more from you. And don't give me that crap about your memory, you remember fine. I'm sure you remember just how much you cared about her right up to your death. "

Daniel was silent. Jack's words were true. He could remember just how deeply he cared for Samantha as he was dying – how much he still cared about it.

Jack sensed the moodiness of Daniel's thoughts. " So what are you going to do about it? " he demanded.

" What do you propose I do about it, since you seem to know so much about it? " Daniel asked sarcastically, thinking that if Samantha hadn't already resigned from SG-1 for him, he would do it himself right now.

" I propose that once we get back to earth, you buy her flowers, candy, and get down on your knees and thank God that he let a woman like that in her life. "

Daniel knew Jack was talking comment sense, but he couldn't bring himself to make that commitment. It wasn't that he wanted someone else, he didn't, but he was scared of commitment. He had died, for Christ sakes, he was very aware of the pitfalls of this job.

He brushed Jack off with vauge promise of doing something that Jack knew to be a brush off. He let it be for the moment, knowing the only thing that was going to make Daniel act was Daniel himself.

More weeks went by, and Samantha became increasingly frustrated with Daniel's unwillingness to commit. She had understood it when he didn't remember their relationship, but now his memory was perfect – at least up to the time he ascended – he knew damn well how close they had been – how much they had meant to each other.

And he couldn't even bring himself to call her his girlfriend. It wasn't like Samantha was asking for much – she didn't want a ring, although she wouldn't turn it down if it was offered. She just wanted to be able to call him her boyfriend.

Frustration turned to irritated, and anger. She kept hinting to Daniel that they should move forward with their relationship, and he kept either not getting it or ignoring her. Knowing Daniel was pretty sensitive to such thing, Samantha could hazard a guess that he was ignoring her hints.

Finally she confronted him about it. " Danny, I think we need to take things further, " she said vaguely, hoping he would know what she was trying to say and make things easy for her.

No such luck. " Tale things further? Could you be a bit more specific? " he asked.

This wasn't going as well as she had planned in her head. " Damn you, Daniel Jackson, you know exactly what I'm talking about! " she yelled, her temper flaring. " You've been evading the issue for weeks! You owe me commitment! " Way to go, Carter, she admonished herself. You owe me? You sound like a petulant child who didn't get what she wanted and now she's throwing a tantrum. Which wasn't far off how Samantha felt right now.

" I owe you commitment? " Daniel asked. " What is this, I sleep with you for so many weeks and we're a couple? I told you how I feel, Sam. "

" You told me you couldn't commit until you knew how you felt – about yourself, about us. Well, you've got your memory back so now you've got no excuse. How do you feel about me? "

" It's not that simple, Sam, " Daniel said quietly.

" Like hell it isn't! " Samantha yelled. " You get your shit together and commit to me, Daniel Jackson, or you find some other woman to keep your bed warm at night! "

Daniel looked pained. " Please, Sam, don't do this to me – to us. "

" To us? " Samantha incredulously. " This is just my point – there is not us. I want there to be an us. "

" I can't – not yet, " Daniel insisted.

" Why not? " Samantha was determined to get an answer.

" I can't explain, I just can't. I need more time. "

Samantha had never expected Daniel of all men to be commitment-phobic. But here was the proof – he cared about her, he was attracted to her, but he couldn't make that commitment. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? The old cliché echoed in her mind. Fine, if Daniel wanted to be commitment-phobic, she could pull out the old ultimatum.

" If you can't commit… then I can't be with you, " she told him resolutely.

She took a little pleasure in seeing the light go out in Daniel's eyes when she said those words. Clearly, he cared about her that the loss of her presence meant something to him – but not enough to give her what she wanted.

" Don't do this, Sam, " he begged.

" You're the one doing it, " she replied, and she left the room before he could see the tears in her eyes.

Daniel and Samantha both did their best to pretend everything was OK, apart from the fact they no longer slept together. The truth was, they both missed each other terribly. There wasn't an hour that went by when both of them thought they should back down. Samantha felt Daniel in any capacity was better then no Daniel, and Daniel wondered would it be so hard to give her what she wanted – what he wanted deep down?

But the thought of committing to someone who put their life on the line every day scared the crap out of him. And Samantha had too much time to share her bed with a man who wasn't willing to be her boyfriend as well.

One day Samantha was on what was supposed to be a routine mission with SG-9, her new team. The MALF they had sent through had shown the planet to be deserted, with plenty of oxygen and vegetation – a possible site for a new base.

But it had turned out to be a trap, and almost as soon as they arrived they had been fired at by Anubis's ships. Their commander, Colonel Patrick O'Brien, had been killed, and the other three of them had been lucky to escape with their lives. Samantha felt something penetrate her lower back as she dived through the wormhole.

With a cry of pain, she stumbled onto the walk-up and collapsed. Samantha had been hit by a piece of flying metal, a long solid cylinder-shape about two inches across with a sharply pointed front end that had been designed to penetrate the skin though airforce safety gear, causing a great deal of pain with the intention to have a person eventually die from blood loss. Anubis really had it in for the people of earth.

Samantha was no stranger to pain – a career in the airforce, then six years in the Stargate program had taken care of that – but this was absolute agony for her. She felt like her abdomen had been completely ripped open, and she wasn't far off the truth. It was a small mercy that the metal hadn't pierced any vital organs – only flesh and muscle – but that was little consolation right now. And it would be no consolation if they couldn't stop the bleeding.

Daniel heard about the attack a few minutes later, and fear filled his heart. He and Samantha hadn't spoken to each other since her ultimatum, and now thoughts of her loss filled his heart. What if she died? It sounded pretty serious. This was just like the night they'd spent together before Langara – was it going to be another too late?

He ran into the infirmary, asking a million questions. Where was she? What had happened to her? How were they treating her. Most importantly, was she going to be OK?

Janet answered his questions as best as she could. Samantha had lost a lot of blood, that was true, but Janet was a damn good doctor with a damn good team and they had managed to stem the bleeding and give her a massive transfusion. It had been a blessing that she had been stepping through the gate as she'd been hit – even a minute longer and she could have died.

" But she's gonna be OK? " Daniel asked, breathlessly, frantically. Oh, God, if she died –

" It looks that way, yes, " Janet reassured him. " Why don't you go see her for yourself? " It was obvious that Daniel cared deeply for her. Samantha had never confided exactly what had gone wrong with their relationship, and Janet couldn't understand why two people who obviously cared deeply about one another could stand to be apart. Well, maybe this would be the wake up call that they needed.

Instantly, Daniel was at Samantha's side. She was unconscious, and she was pale, but the machines she was attached to said she her heartrate and blood pressure were normal – that brought Daniel some measure of relief.

But not much. Guilt wracked him. He knew he couldn't have stopped the attack, these things just happened – it had been why he'd been scared to commit. But now, when his worst fears about committing were realised, he knew that he wanted to be with Samantha more then ever.

And he couldn't tell her.

Be patient, he tried to tell himself. She's fine. She'll be awake soon, and you can tell her. But soon wouldn't come soon enough. They said a watched pot never boils, and for Daniel it was true as he watched his would-be lover sleeping, willing her to regain consciousness so he could tell her he loved her, and that he wanted to be with her – be her boyfriend, be her husband, be whatever she wanted him to be.

Oh, who was he kidding? He wanted to be her boyfriend. He wanted to be her husband. And like a fool, he hadn't realised it until it was almost too late.

Finally, she woke up feeling very groggy. " Ohhh… " she groaned, her hand automatically reaching for her back, where the pain was concentrated, which was heavily bandaged.

Daniel pulled at her arm so she wouldn't aggravate the wound. " It's OK, " he said. " You gave us a bit of a scare, but you're going to be OK. "

" I don't feel OK, " Samantha said, clearly in pain.

" I'll get Janet, she can give you more morphine, " Daniel suggested. " She was just concerned that you wouldn't be able to handle it. " Janet hadn't been the only one concerned ; once she had mentioned it to Daniel, he had been resolute not to give Samantha any more painkillers then absolutely necessary. It was a hard choice to make, but better she be in pain then risk death.

That hadn't been a risk Daniel had been prepared to take. Janet had restrained from mentioning Daniel was hardly in a position to be dictating what risks would and wouldn't be taken, but in this case, she had agreed with Daniel. Samantha could handle a little pain, and they didn't have a sarcophagus on hand.

Samantha shook her head. " It's OK, " she said. " Just… stay with me for a little while. "

Daniel smiled gratefully, glad Samantha hadn't ordered him our of the infirmary. " I'll stay as long as you want, " he said, his words loaded with meaning.

Even in the pained state she was in, Samantha didn't fail to miss the meaning in Daniel's words. " I want you… to stay for good, " she admitted. She was past the point of caring about rejection. She may as well put her feelings on the line, although she was still too proud to settle for just being Daniel's lover. Being near death had given her some clarity, and she realised there were just some things that were all or nothing – and love was one of them.

Daniel reached for her head, threading his fingers through hers, squeezing them tightly. He searched her face for some sign of pain at his touch, but there was none. " I've been a fool, " he blurted out. OK, so that hadn't exactly been how Daniel had intended to tell Samantha how he felt, but it was a good start. " I was scared… so scared of losing you… and I almost did… and you wouldn't have known how I feel about you. "

" How do you feel about me? " Samantha asked. Deep down, she knew the answer was the one she wanted, but she was still apprehensive. So many years dancing around the issue with Daniel and they'd never properly gotten their shit together – would this be another near miss?

" I love you, " Daniel said honestly. " I've always loved you. I was frightened of losing you, but when I almost did, I realised that I wanted to be with you and take that chance. I love you, Sam. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. "

Samantha felt her body flood with relief, taking a fair edge off the pain. Daniel loved her! She hadn't realised how much it had meant to her to hear those words until now.

Daniel loved her!

" Well, how about we start with you admitting I'm your girlfriend? " Samantha asked with a teasing smile.

" I think I can do that, " Daniel said, smiling at her lovingly.

" And then… why don't you kiss me? " Samantha added.

" I think I can do that, too, " Daniel said, lowing her mouth to Samantha's to kiss her. She shuddered with his lips met hers, her pain completely forgotten. She had thought the previous kisses she'd shared with Daniel had been amazing, but this one blew her mind.

" I love you, Daniel, " Samantha said when they parted for air.

" I love you too, Sam, " Daniel replied, and he kissed her again.

From the other side of the infirmary window, Janet watched the two lovebirds. It was about bloody time.