Title: A Christmas Carol Stargate Edition: A Different Rendition

Author: Dragonland

Email: PG-13 for profanity

Summary: I decided to make all of the spirits actually be dead, but the overall story is the same. Enjoy the new spin!

Classifications: Christmas fic

Spoilers: Season 8-mayhaps into season 9 later.

Archive: SJD, and heliopolis

Disclaimer: Thesecharacters don't belong to me and either does the show, which is okay because I couldn't afford it anyway. But I get to play with them for free.

ALSO: I 'yoinked' the lines from the show off some website. The script or website does not belong to me.

CHARACTER CHANGES: Harry Mayborne-Ascended Orlin

General Hammond-Jacob Carter

"Dammit, Walter! If you give me one more report I'll-,"

"Coffee, Sir?" he cut him off. "It's coming right up," he said warningly.

General O'Neill mumbled some incoherent profanities under his breath and picked up another manila folder from the leaning tower. He glanced at his watch and exhaled loudly. 'Where is that coffee?' he grumbled.

"Sir?" Walter asked, not ready to take on the raging beast. He grunted an 'enter' and Walter stepped in. "Sir," he started again, "the annual SGC Christmas party is tomorrow evening. Are we going to be able to make an appearance?"

He raised his eyebrows and scoffed.

"Sir, it's the holidays. If I may be so bold, Sir, SG-1 misses you as much as they miss them. It would be good to-"

He pointed towards the pile of folders and scowled.

"Yes, Sir. Merry Christmas," he replied as he left him to sulk.

'Like I really have time for a Christmas party,' he thought. 'Honestly.' Though the thought of a free night with friends did tempt him. Teal'c, Daniel and Carter. They'd be wearing civilian clothes. Sam'd probably wear some Christmassy red sweater with those tight hip-hugger jeans and-. He shook his head violently. Sam- CARTER wasn't his to think about in civilian clothes or anything not work related. He slammed his fists on the desk in frustration. 'Bah!' he exclaimed. A knock on the door added to his frustration.

"What?" he barked.

"I'm sorry to bother you Sir. I'll come back later," Carter said, obviously not wanting to be the recipient of his wrath.

"Carter? What, uh, no. Come in," he said, fumbling with the folders on his desk.

"Thank you Sir," she stared at him intently and became lost in thought. Normally, he'd love a reason to stare at her. But she wasn't free anymore. She belonged to someone else, someone she loved. He tapped his pen impatiently.

"Well, Colonel?" he asked, sounding too abrupt.

"Sir, Daniel, Teal'c and I want to know if you'll be going to the Christmas party," she asked hopefully.

"Take a look at my inbox. Does it look like I'm going anywhere?" he responded sarcastically.

"Sir, it's Christmas. We'd really like it if you were there."

She stood in silence waiting for his response. Realizing that she wasn't going to leave on her own, he spoke.

"Is that all?" he asked.

She bowed her head in defeat and quietly murmured, "Yes, Sir."

He dismissed her without even looking up. She left his office feeling frustrated and a little hurt. He'd been sharper than usual with her. The General sure knew how to spread holiday cheer.

"Sam!"

"Hi, Daniel."

"Are you okay? You look like you just bit into a lemon."

"Nothing. The General is very grouchy right now. If you can avoid him, I'd do it. I hate how he uses the holidays as an excuse to be such a jerk!"

Daniel looked behind Sam and clamped his mouth shut.

"Uh, Sam…" he started.

"No! He doesn't have the right to treat us like this! I know that he's the General, but it doesn't give him the right to treat us like shit!"

Daniel lowered his head and cleared his throat.

"What Daniel?"

She turned around to find General O'Neill behind her with a scowl that made her stomach do somersaults.

"General-" she croaked.

"Colonel, before you decide to insult a superior officer, I'd advise you to take a look around before you actually do it. I thought you were smarter than that," he responded coolly.

Carter stood at attention and took his reprimand. He pivoted 180 degrees and slammed his door to his office. She closed her eyes and sighed.

"Well, that could've ended up a whole lot worse," Daniel said.

As the initial forced respect wore off, she repeated the last few words the General had said. She opened her eyes and Daniel swore he could see fire in them.

"He insulted me!" she exclaimed.

"What? Of course he did. You insulted him first, Sam."

"The truth isn't insulting, Daniel. He called me stupid…" she trailed off.

"Sam, I'm sure he didn't mean-"

"Yes he did! Why else would he say something like that?"

"People say things in the heat of an argument which they don't mean."

"Excuse me, Daniel, I have work to do," she said acidly.

"Sam…"

"I'll talk to you tomorrow."

The pile of folders now resembled more of a molehill rather than a mountain. He checked his watch again and groaned. 1100. It was time to close down shop. He rubbed his face and leaned back in his chair to stretch. Everything was in order for another day as he left the office. The halls of the SGC were absent of the bustling daily activities. A few of the staff wished him a good night and he grunted in response. His quarters were calling him. General quarters. A comfortable bed and quiet classical music playing in the background. His home away from home. He sighed and pulled back the dark blue comforter and slid into a dreamless sleep.

"Jack…" a voice whispered. He didn't stir. "JACK!"

He immediately awoke and pulled out his weapon.

"There isn't a need for that," the voice said.

"How in the hell did you get in here?"

"You know me General, I'm resourceful."

"Orlin, what are you doing here? Am I dead?"

"No, you aren't General O'Neill. I'm here to deliver a message. Listen carefully because this will affect the rest of your life."

"I'm not really in the mood. I'm tired and grumpy."

"You'll be fine. But you need this. Trust me. The lives of those around you are miserable."

"Are we done yet?"

"I'm a spirit, Jack. A figment of your imagination. You will be visited by three spirits tonight. Listen to what they have to say."

"This story is sounding vaguely familiar. Didn't Disney make a movie about this?"

"This will affect the rest of your life. If you value what you have now, it may disappear sooner than you think."

"Sure."

"Do you want to end up like me?"

"You're Ascended. From what I hear, it's a pretty good deal."

"That's beside the point. I lost out on a once in a lifetime opportunity. Sam is a wonderful woman. I was in love with her and let the fate of your world fall in the way of loving her. I let her slip away."

"I don't know what to tell you."

Orlin shook his head and continued. "This isn't about me. This is about your relationship with your ex-team and Sam."

"What about her?"

"Do whatever the spirits tell you to do. You're lucky to get an intervention. Take advantage of it."

"Whatever you say."

"You're in for an adventure General."

"Goodnight, hallucination."

Jack awoke immediately at the sound of gunfire and staff blasts.

"Take position!" he heard himself yell. The memory left as soon as it came.

"Hi, Jack."

"Kawalski?"

"In the flesh. Well, figuratively."

Jack rubbed his forehead and moaned. "What do you want?"

"I am the spirit of the past. Here to stir up memories."

"That's what alcohol is for."

"I'm here to stir up specific memories."

"Kawalski, I don't really have time for games. In case you didn't know, I am a General. I need all the sleep that I can get."

"Jack, stop being such a hard-ass. This is important."

"Alright, hallucination. What's the plan?"

"I'm going to show you some things of the past. Pay attention."

"Alright. Fire away."

A white light washed over him. He was flooded with the memory of his first time back at the SGC since Abydos.

CARTER
I take it you're Colonel O'Neill. Captain Samantha Carter reporting, sir.

KAWALSKI
But of course you go by Sam.

CARTER
You don't have to worry, Major, I played with dolls when I was a kid.

KAWALSKI
GI Joe?

CARTER
No, Major Matt Mason.

KAWALSKI
Oh…
(To Ferretti)
Who?

FERRETTI
Major Matt Mason, astronaut doll. Did you have that cool little backpack that made him fly?

HAMMOND
Let's get started, Colonel?

O'NEILL
Thank you. Those of you on your first trip through the Gate, you should be prepared for what to expect.

CARTER
I've practically memorized your report from the first mission, I'd like to think I've been preparing for this my whole life.

KAWALSKI
I think what the Colonel is saying is, have you ever pulled out of a simulated bombing run in an F-16 at 8-plus G's?

CARTER
Yes.

KAWALSKI
Well, it's way worse than that.

FERRETTI
By the time you get to the other side you're frozen stiff, like you've just been through a blizzard, naked.

CARTER
That's a result of the compression your molecules undergo during the millisecond required for reconstitution.

O'NEILL

Oh here we go, another scientist, General please.

CARTER
Theoretical astrophysicist.

O'NEILL
Which means?

HAMMOND
Which means she is smarter than you are Colonel. Especially in matters related to the Stargate.

CARTER
Colonel, I was studying the Gate technology for two years before Daniel Jackson made it work and before you both went through. I should have gone through then. But, sir, you and your men might as well accept the fact that I am going through this time.

O'NEILL
Well with all due respect Doctor I…

CARTER
It is appropriate to refer to a person by their rank, not their salutation. You should call me Captain, not Doctor.

HAMMOND
Captain Carter's assignment to this unit is not an option, it's an order.

CARTER
I'm an Air Force officer just like you are, Colonel, and just because my reproductive organs are on the inside instead of the outside, doesn't mean I can't handle whatever you can handle.

O'NEILL
Oh, this has nothing to do with you being a woman. I like women. I just have a little problem with scientists.

CARTER
Colonel, I logged over a hundred hours in enemy airspace during the Gulf War. Is that tough enough for you? Or are we going to have to arm wrestle?

Jack grinned. That was one of his favorite memories of Carter. 'She played with fire being so abrupt with me,' he thought. That's how he knew she'd be a good member of his team.

"You remember that, Kawalski?" Jack said laughing.

The spirit didn't respond.

"Okay, throw another one at me. I think I may enjoy this!"

Kawalski frowned. "This isn't a game, Jack." The spirit made a point to show him.

O'NEILL
How was your day?

SARA
Fine…Oh, look what came home from school today.

O'NEILL
Ah…Is Charlie about ready?

SARA
Yeah, he was running around here a few minutes ago…

There was an explosive sound. A gunshot.

SARA
Charlie!

Jack yelled in frustration. "What the hell was that for? You don't think I relive that day enough, you sick bastard?"

"The past explains your future," the spirit said.

"I've had enough. Get away from me. If you were my friend, you wouldn't make me relive that."

"Jack-"

"No, enough! Go away!"

"I will not. You still have more to see. Open your mind."

Jack closed his eyes and suppressed a shudder.

CARTER
Hi, Sir.

O'NEILL
Carter?

CARTER
Did I wake you?

O'NEILL
Sorta.

CARTER
I couldn't sleep at all last night.

O'NEILL
Shoulda called.

CARTER
I didn't want to bother you, I…

O'NEILL
Um…I was just looking at the sky. Trying to figure out how many stars we'd actually been to.

CARTER
Actually… only a few of the stars visible from Earth have Stargates on them, so…

O'NEILL
I knew that. Hammond send you by, check up on me?

CARTER
No. It's funny really, I, um, I was out driving… you know, in my car, and I, um, I drove here. Yeah.

O'NEILL
Funny.

CARTER
Yeah.

O'NEILL
There's coffee around here.
Maybe not. Do you want a beer?

CARTER
Sure, why not.

O'NEILL
Wanna glass? I can wash one.

CARTER
No, I'm fine, thank you Sir. So, do you ever talk to her?

O'NEILL
Can we not talk about that?

CARTER
Sorry.
How you feeling?

O'NEILL
Can we not talk about that either?

CARTER
Okay. What do you want to talk about? You want to be alone. This was a bad…I should go.

O'NEILL
Finish your beer. And then you have to wait at least an hour before you drive.

CARTER
Sir…

O'NEILL
What?

CARTER
I should have done it.

O'NEILL
What? Stick your head in that thing? Are you nuts? Carter, you're one of this country's natural resources, if not national treasures. It couldn't have gone down any other way.

O'NEILL
I just…hope it's worth it.

CARTER
Even if we do find the Lost City, even if we get there and find exactly what we're looking for to defend the planet—

O'NEILL
That…would be worth it.

"It was worth it," Jack said.

"Was it?"

"What the hell is that supposed to mean? Of course it was! We found Atlantis and the ancient outpost," he said defensively.

"I'm talking about the big picture, Jack. Do you remember how you were feeling when Sam was there?"

He sighed and nodded his head. "She looked so uncomfortable. Not surprising. She was standing next to a ticking death bomb."

"Wasn't it more than that?"

"I don't know. Why don't you go and ask her?"

"This isn't about her, it's about you."

The spirit disappeared and left Jack in his quarters. In a matter of minutes, he snapped awake.

"Get up! We have a lot to cover and not much time," the second spirit said.

"Jacob? You're in on this?"

"You're a sorry sight, Jack."

Jack smirked bitterly. "Thanks, Jacob. So when are we going?"

"Not when, where. I'm here to show you the present."

"Well, that's not necessary. I'm up to date on what's going on around me."

"Are you?"

"Well obviously not if you're here. Fire away."

O'NEILL
Excuse me, George.

HAMMOND
Colonel, what are you doing out of uniform?

O'NEILL
Handing you my resignation.

CARTER
Resigning, what for?

O'NEILL

So I can do…this, he said kissing her.

Jack smiled briefly at the memory. "Uh, Jacob, that was in the past. Actually a few years in the past."

"It's one of your favorites."

"Using it to soften the blow of the present?"

"I would never do that Jack," he said smirking.

"Yeah you would. Kawalski did the same thing."

Jacob frowned and looked at Jack. "I'm just here to show you your reality. You obviously can't grasp the gravity of the situation. You wouldn't be able to see what the problem was if it hit you square on the head!"

O'NEILL

Carter.

CARTER
Sir.

O'NEILL
I never thought I'd hear myself utter these words. I need that report.

CARTER
Right. Um, I just need to finish typing up my notes. Uh…yeah, I'll have it for you first thing tomorrow.

O'NEILL
It is tomorrow.

CARTER
Oh.

O'NEILL
I'm joking, I don't need the report.

CARTER
Well then, why….

O'NEILL
Because something's going on with you. You haven't tried to confuse me with any scientific babble for the last couple of days and that's a red flag to me.

CARTER
Pete gave me this.

O'NEILL
People normally wear these on their fingers.

CARTER
I haven't said yes.

O'NEILL
And yet, you haven't said no.

CARTER
I told him I needed to think about it.

O'NEILL
And?

CARTER
That was two weeks ago.

O'NEILL
Ah!

CARTER
You know, all these years I've been concentrating on work I just assumed that one day I would…

O'NEILL
Have a life?

CARTER
Yeah. And now it comes down to it, I don't know. I mean, every time we go through the gate we risk not coming back. Is it fair to put somebody else through that?

O'NEILL
Pete is a cop. I think he could handle it.

CARTER
What about kids?

O'NEILL
What about 'em?

CARTER
Do I take maternity leave and then come back? Do I drop the baby off at daycare on my way to some unexplored planet on the edge of the crab nebula?

O'NEILL
Carter, there are people on this base who have families.

CARTER
What about you? If things had been different…

O'NEILL
I wouldn't be here.

"That was a few days ago," the spirit said.

"And?"

"You're not this dense, Jack. Stop making an ass of yourself!"

"What do you want me to say? That she should leave that putz? That I'll retire again and marry her?"

"There's a start."

PETE
So, it's normal for the bad guys to just disappear into thin air, right?

CARTER
Not really. Although now I think about it, it's not the first time it's happened.

PETE
Just another day at the office.

CARTER
Yes.

PETE
Figures you should be used to it by now.

CARTER

No, I mean, yes.

PETE
Yes, as in?

CARTER
Yes.

PETE
Are you messing with me?

CARTER
No.

PETE
Which means?

CARTER
Yes.

PETE
You don't need more time?

CARTER
No.

PETE
Therefore…

CARTER
Yes.

"That's not my memory. That isn't any of my business," he said with a pain in his voice.

"Really? None of your business? Then why are you allowing it to affect how you run the base?"

"WHAT!" he yelled.

"You heard me! Take a look around, Jack."

A knock on the door added to his frustration. "What?" he barked.

"I'm sorry to bother you Sir. I'll come back later," Carter said, obviously not wanting to be the recipient of his wrath.

"Carter? What, uh, no. Come in," he said, fumbling with the folders on his desk.

"Thank you Sir," she stared at him intently and became lost in thought. Normally, he'd love a reason to stare at her. But she wasn't free anymore. She belonged to someone else, someone she loved. He tapped his pen impatiently.

"Well, Colonel?" he asked, sounding too abrupt.

"Sir, Daniel, Teal'c and I want to know if you'll be going to the Christmas party," she asked hopefully.

"Take a look at my inbox. Does it look like I'm going anywhere?" he responded sarcastically.

"Sir, it's Christmas. We'd really like it if you were there."

She stood in silence waiting for his response. Realizing that she wasn't going to leave on her own, he spoke.

"Is that all?" he asked.

She bowed her head in defeat and quietly murmured, "Yes, Sir."

"Sam!"

"Hi, Daniel."

"Are you okay? You look like you just bit into a lemon."

"Nothing. The General is very grouchy right now. If you can avoid him, I'd do it. I hate how he uses the holidays as an excuse to be such a jerk!"

Daniel looked behind Sam and clamped his mouth shut.

"Uh, Sam…" he started.

"No! He doesn't have the right to treat us like this! I know that he's the General, but it doesn't give him the right to treat us like shit!"

Daniel lowered his head and cleared his throat.

"What Daniel?"

She turned around to find General O'Neill behind her with a scowl that made her

stomach do somersaults.

"General-" she croaked.

"Colonel, before you decide to insult a superior officer, I'd advise you to take a look around before you actually do it. I thought you were smarter than that," he responded coolly.

"You let your emotions run the show. Everyone around you is miserable, Jack."

"I hadn't noticed. See, I'm the General of this secret base known as Stargate Command. And contrary to popular belief, it isn't easy to run."

"Jack, if you don't lose the attitude, you're going to lose everything important to you."

"Whose to say I haven't?"

"She loves you, Jack."

"What am I supposed to do?"

O'NEILL
You okay?

CARTER
Actually, I'm fine. Good even, strange as that sounds. I thought I lost him four years ago. Since then we've been closer then we ever were my whole life. In a way, Selmak gave me the father I never thought I'd know.

O'NEILL
Come here.

CARTER
Thank you, Sir.

O'NEILL
For what?

CARTER
For being here for me.

O'NEILL
Always.

"I didn't notice. I was too busy looking at the diamond ring on her finger."

"Cut the sarcasm Jack. You love her too. Even if you're too proud to admit it. The rest of us know how you feel."

"Well at least someone knows."

KERRY
How's Colonel Carter's father?

O'NEILL
It doesn't look good.

KERRY
Sorry to hear that.

O'NEILL
Closing the door.

KERRY
Yeah, deeply symbolic.

O'NEILL
Really?

KERRY
I really like you. We're good together.

O'NEILL
Yes. We are. But…

KERRY
You have issues. It's okay, we all do. There's just one big one in particular that I don't think I can love with… live with. I need to get out before I get more involved. We can still work together, can't we? I'd hate to have to ask for reassignment. This is really important to me. We agreed this would never affect the job.

O'NEILL
We did.

KERRY
Good.

KERRY
You know, there's just one thing I don't understand.

O'NEILL
Just one?

KERRY
Is the Air Force the only thing keeping you two apart? Rules and regulations? Because if it is, you're making a very big mistake.

O'NEILL
And you know what I should do?

KERRY
Retire.

O'NEILL
Again.

KERRY
Don't get me wrong, you're considered invaluable to the program by the Pentagon, but the President has appointed a civilian to run the SGC before. Just a thought.

"She was great, let me off the hook easily," he said.

"She let you go because she wanted you to go after the woman that you love. That is how much she cares about you," the spirit replied.

"Right."

"Women have more insight than we give them credit for. Remember that, Jack."

Jack awoke in his cabin, half-dressed and cold. He groaned and blindly searched for the comforter.

"General O'Neill, I didn't know you slept alone!" the third spirit said.

"You're dead, Kinsey. What do you want?"

"So was everyone else you talked to tonight. What difference does it make?"

Jack looked at his watch. "Listen, I've had a lot of fun tonight with revisiting the past. But unlike you, I have to get up in the morning and run the base. Could we get a move on?"

"Jack, you were always impatient. Yes, we can. Here is what's behind door number one.

Jack peered into the window of Sam and Pete's perfect cottage home. Two beautiful children ran around and Sam came out of the kitchen carrying a fresh baked pie. She'd let her hair grow out. 'This looks like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting,' he griped. As he looked closer, she saw her smile. He held his breath. But it wasn't him she was smiling at. Pete rounded the corner and placed a kiss on her cheek. She smiled again, but it didn't reach her eyes.

"Thanks to you, she resigned her commission at the SGC. She couldn't handle

being around a hateful old jackass. Well, Pete asked her to leave also, but you were her main reason for leaving. She's been a housewife for a while. She loves her children and Pete, but her life isn't complete. I wonder why that is?"

"Enough, Kinsey."

"As you wish, General," he said smugly.

They disappeared from her home and reappeared in his office.

"What happened to Daniel?"

The spirit's demeanor turned grim. "Daniel took the next trip to Atlantis. But on the way there, their ship was attacked by a Goa'uld mothership and destroyed before they even had a chance to retaliate. Before he left, he wrote you a short letter. Here it is."

Jack:

Thank you for allowing me to take this trip. My whole life I've dreamed of doing this. Jack, I'm sorry what happened between you and Sam. You both screwed that up. Your lack of communication skills and military barriers ruined you. Good luck in the next step of your life. You're a good person, even if you're a jackass."

Take Care Jack,

Daniel Jackson

"How convenient," Jack said sarcastically.

"I'm not making this up, Jack," the spirit said.

"Okay, what happened to Teal'c?"

"Well he didn't die, if that's what you're asking."

"Well?" he asked impatiently.

"O'Neill," Teal'c said firmly.

"What do you want?" Jack slurred.

"Your conduct has been most dishonorable recently."

"Come on, Teal'c. I'm loosing up. Everyone has been calling me a tight ass.

"I request permission to leave SG1."

"You too?" he groaned and let out a loud belch.

Teal'c's eyebrows raised in disgust. "I will not sit and watch you destroy yourself."

Jack scoffed and took another swig of his Guinness. "At least you're honest with me."

He nodded and turned to leave.

"Teal'c,"

He turned and waited.

"It's Ishta, isn't it?"

Tilting his head, he offered a smile.

"Good. Best of luck," he said before he passed out.

"Everyone left. What a surprise," he said sarcastically.

"You were forced into retirement a few months later. Something about not being able to stay out of your famous drunken stupor."

"Come on. I'm not that pathetic. You really think I'd throw my whole life away because I couldn't be with Carter?"

"You're doing it right now! How many people do you have to lose to get it through your thick head, you stupid ass?"

Jack stood motionless and waited for him to continue.

"Your life gets worse, if that's possible. You decided to live out the rest of your miserable life isolated in Minnesota. Fortunately, your death was relatively painless. Alcohol poisoning killed your liver. You were found slumped over your couch two weeks later. You died a pathetic, friendless, heartless bastard. Cheers to revenge. It sure is sweet."

"Is it true?" he whispered, his face as pale as a ghost.

"Yes, Just continue on your way and you'll be there sooner than you think."

"What should I do? Spirit! Tell me!"

Kinsey grinned manically and disappeared without a word.

"Spirit!" he yelled.

He thrashed around in bed and mumbled incoherently.

"Jack?" a voice said, waking him from his slumber.

"Daniel? You're alive!" he exclaimed.

He looked at him puzzled.

"What's the date today?"

"December 24th. Are you alright?"

"Teal'c and Carter are still here, right?"

"Yeah I think Teal'c is in Kel'no'reem and Sam's cleaning up a mess in her lab and then she'll be going home."

He jumped out of his bed still in his boxers and standard black t-shirt. "Daniel, call Walter and tell him we'll be at the party. I have to apologize to Carter," he said racing out the door with his card key.

"Pants?" asked Daniel.

"No time," he said flailing his arms about. He arrived in her lab minutes before she left. He opened the door and called for her. "Sam," he gasped.

"Sir?" she said, startled at the lack of clothing, tousled sliver hair and stubbly cheeks.

He maneuvered around the gizmos and doohickeys in her office. She looked at him like he was crazy. He knelt in front of her and took her beautiful smooth hands in his hard calloused ones. He looked into her confused face and cleared his throat.

"I'm a jerk. No. A stupid jackass would be more accurate. I've been so wrapped up in this," he gestured around him.

"Sir," she started.

"Please, let me finish," he pleaded. "You can kick my ass when I'm done."

She nodded and allowed him to continue.

"I've hurt the people I cared about. I'm sorry. I had no right to insult you like that. You were right. I have been treating everyone like shit. I'm sorry. Forgive me?" he said with his brown puppy-dog eyes.

She looked down at him. He looked so absurd kneeling in front of her looking like he just woke up. She started to smile and kneeled in front of him. "I forgive you."

"Really? T-that's great!" he said, hugging her tightly against his chest.

She was shocked again at his out of character gesture, but wasn't one to complain. "Can I ask what brought this on?"

He released her slowly and answered her. "A lot of things, actually. I couldn't live with you being upset at me."

"Is that all?" she whispered.

Memories of the previous night flooded his brain. "No it isn't. Sam… I don't want to upset you more than I already have… but I have to bring 'it' up again. I still feel the same way I did five years ago. Well, maybe even more, but you know what I mean."

Tears ran down her face and she looked down from his gaze.

"Sam, I'm sorry," he said, trying to brush away her tears. "I didn't want to make you cry. I should have kept my trap shut." He began to get up when her hands pulled him back down.

"I told Pete that I couldn't marry him last night. I was confused on the reason why, but I knew that I needed to do it. I couldn't lead him on anymore. I thought he was perfect for me. He made me laugh, but he wasn't you," she sobbed. "He wasn't you."

"I love you Samantha Carter," he said, his eyes boring into hers.

She gasped at his sudden affirmation. Then with fresh tears running down her cheeks, she pulled him to her chest clinging to him.

"I love it when you smile for me," he whispered in her ear.

"How did you know?" she mumured.

"Your eyes."

She smiled again as he stroked her tear-stricken face. As Sam reassessed their current situation, she began to laugh.

"What's so funny?" he said, smirking in her shoulder.

"Do you normally profess your love in your boxers?" she giggled.

"I didn't want to miss you. The next time I do it, I promise I'll be better dressed."

"Good. Now kiss me already!"

Daniel peeked into the lab and smiled. "And God bless us, every one!"

TBC, that evening…

Feedback: Second verse, same as the first!