There is Always Tomorrow

Author: Jess

Rating: PG

Subjects: S/D Pre-ship, Hurt/Comfort, Smarm, Episode Tag

Summary: Sam and Daniel talk following their first mission to Atlantis (tag for The Pegasus Project).

Content Warning: None

Spoilers: Grace, Grace Under Pressure (Stargate Atlantis), The Pegasus Project

Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters do not belong to me; they are the property of MGM/Showtime/The SciFi Channel/Sony Pictures, Double Secret Productions and Gekko Film Corporation. This story is written solely for entertainment purposes and is not intended for commercial profit. This story is copyrighted August, 2006 and may not be used or altered without the express permission of the author.


Daniel stood on the balcony, gazing out at the moonlit waters that surrounded Atlantis and reflecting on all that had taken place during this mission. After the rest of his team along with the Atlantis crew returned, they'd conducted quite an interesting debriefing. Daniel was somewhat stunned at first that they had blown up an Ori ship and were able to establish a wormhole in the supergate. He then told them how he had realized that Morgan Le Fay was not a hologram, but an Ancient, and how she'd tried to help them figure out where Merlin's weapon was located. His tone became regretful and even melancholy when he mentioned that she had been whisked away and prevented from giving them the clue they needed. It was clear that she wanted to help and Daniel understood her plight, as it was something he had experienced when he himself was ascended.

Daniel sighed. He was glad that they had finally scored a victory against the Ori, but he was still greatly troubled that they were no closer to finding Merlin's weapon. And then there was that clue Morgan had tried to provide: "Merlin's weapon is not …" Is not? Is not what, Daniel wondered. Could this possibly be more cryptic? Daniel couldn't decide what made him feel worse, that they were alone in trying to find what they needed to defeat the Ori, or his empathy for the Ascended being who really wanted to help but was quickly prevented from doing so.

He suddenly felt a hand on his shoulder. Turning around, he found a familiar pair of blue-gray eyes watching him with concern. "Hey, Sam," he said softly, managing a faint smile.

She returned the smile. "What are you doing up so late?" she asked him.

Daniel released an explosive breath. "Oh, I can't sleep," he said. "I just keep thinking …"

"... About all that happened today," she finished his sentence as she'd done many times before over the years they'd known each other.

"Yeah," Daniel replied with a slight nod.

Sam's smile grew an inch. "It's quite understandable after all you went through today. I can't sleep, either. I guess it's the excitement over managing to survive an Ori and Wraith attack, plus knocking the Ori down a peg or two." Thinking that she sounded as if she was bragging, a faint blush stained her cheeks.

Daniel turned and gave her a little grin. "I didn't get to tell you before, but it was great how you and McKay were able to pull that whole thing off … though I never doubted you for a second, Sam." He put a hand on her shoulder.

Sam briefly ducked her head and then smiled fondly at Daniel. The smile turned into a little smirk and she chuckled.

"What?" Daniel said.

"I almost had doubts that we would be able to get it to work," she told him, "especially because of the way McKay got on my nerves early on."

Daniel looked at her expectantly. "He was that bad?"

"You should have seen him, Daniel. He was hitting on me. He even told me that his mind conjured up an image of me during a life-threatening situation. It sounded like the time I was alone on the Prometheus and hit my head, and I saw the visions of you, Teal'c, General O'Neill, and my father … oh, and Grace, of course. He said I helped save his life when he was trapped in a sinking puddle jumper … and that I was 'partially nude.'" She made a face as she mentioned that last item.

Daniel bit his lip to keep himself from laughing. "After what you've told me about him, I can't say I'm really surprised." An indignant look flashed in Sam's eyes and Daniel's expression turned apologetic. "Sorry you had to be saddled with him."

Sam grinned. "No, we did need him for this. Even though he can be a creep, I don't think we could have pulled it off without him."

Daniel nodded. "Well, Vala was almost equally annoying in the library. She kept insisting on talking to the hologram – well, what we thought was a hologram and turned out to be Morgan Le Fay – and kept interrupting me. And I don't know how I managed to stay calm while she prattled on to Morgan. I was trying to get the information I needed and she was not making it easy for me." He stopped and sighed. "Granted, she did prompt me to ask Morgan for the information more directly, and it gave us the two addresses. Before you guys came back, we were standing out here and she tried to make me feel better, asked if we could still smile in the face of defeat." He grinned wryly and ducked his head.

Sam looked down at him. "Daniel, it's not really defeat. We're just not much closer to finding the weapon than we were before."

"I know," he said quietly as he looked back up at Sam. "I just … we were so close to finding the answer and she just disappeared right before our eyes. They just took her away."

Sam met his eyes with understanding. "The Ancients," she supplied.

Daniel nodded. "God, Sam, I have gotten so sick and tired of the Ancients tip-toeing around things. If only they'd change their policy of non-interference, then they could help themselves. I mean, after the Ori has everyone worshipping them, the Ancients will be next. I wish they would realize that the Ori have to be dealt with, how they've changed things. Morgan insisted that if they helped, they'd be no better than the Ori … and that there aren't enough among her kind that are willing to stop them. It's … it's so frustrating."

Sam looked into his eyes. "And that's what you went through while you were Ascended, wasn't it. You found yourself in the predicament where you really wanted to help people, to do the right thing, but you were prevented at every turn."

Daniel gazed at her. "Yeah," he said softly, lowering his head. "She said she remembered me from when I was among her kind, and how I spoke from the heart."

"Sounds like she knows you well, Daniel," Sam smiled. "You're one of the most passionate people I know. Over the years I've known you, I've always admired your integrity and conviction. And it sounds like you made an impression among the Ancients."

A wry smile appeared on Daniel's face. "I don't know about that," he said. His tone then became somber again. "It's clear that they won't help us against the Ori. We're in this alone, Sam."

Sam laid a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Daniel, we'll find Merlin's weapon, one way or another. The two gate addresses that Morgan gave you are a start. It might take some time, but we will find it. Look at how we saw the Goa'uld as a formidable enemy nine years ago. Did we think we could defeat them all … or even a handful of them?"

Daniel gave her a protracted stare. "No," he conceded.

"Look at how far we've come," Sam continued. "The only Goa'uld we really have to deal with is Baal. I know the Ori are nothing like the Goa'uld, but we've beaten our enemies before and we can beat them again. We already scored a victory against them by establishing a wormhole in the supergate, preventing any more Ori ships from coming through, and, in the process, we managed to blow one of their ships up."

"There's that," Daniel said. His tone still carried a hint of disappointment. He turned and looked back down at the water.

"Daniel, look at me," Sam pleaded. Daniel turned toward her again.

"We will find the weapon. It might take longer than we'd like, but we will find it," she said solemnly.

"I wish I had your confidence, Sam," Daniel said with a slight, sad smile.

Sam gave him a similar smile in return. "It will be okay," she said. Her smile turned into a grin. "Come on, where's that patented Daniel Jackson confidence?"

Daniel grinned and chuckled awkwardly as Sam patted him on the shoulder. "I've done a good job of hiding that, haven't I?" he said in spite of himself. His expression then turned serious. "I don't think I've ever thanked you enough, Sam."

She furrowed her brow in confusion. "For …?"

"For believing in me," Daniel clarified. "For believing that I have it in me to contribute something for the greater good."

"Daniel, I don't only believe it; I know it. You've demonstrated it many times before. You are a brilliant, caring man, which is something I've always admired about you," Sam smiled. "When I first met you, I was amazed at your brilliance and how we seemed to operate on the same wavelength. You continue to amaze me, and I don't think you'll ever stop amazing me."

Daniel listened to Sam's deep praise of himself with a somewhat sheepish smile on his face, and he'd managed to slip his arm around Sam, drawing her closer to him. "You don't think I'll ever stop amazing you, huh?" he said, his eyes suddenly sparkling.

"No, I don't," Sam grinned.

Daniel locked eyes with her and stared at her for a long moment. He then drew her closer to him and initiated a slow, tender kiss. Sam moaned in response to it as her hands snaked across his back and through his hair. This was something he'd wanted to do with Sam for quite a long time, but he'd never had much of an opportunity. Tonight, with the moonlight sparkling on the Atlantis waters, the soft breezes, and the woman he cared for deeply at his side, was the perfect chance.

After a few minutes, they decided to come up for air, and their lips parted. As they stepped back, Daniel gazed into Sam's eyes, sharing his deepest feelings of appreciation for her. "So?" he finally asked her quietly.

Sam broke her stare and affected a tiny grin. "Nope, I'm still amazed."

Daniel blushed faintly at first and then grinned back at her. He put his arm around her and pulled her close again. They stayed in that position for a while, just gazing out at the water.

"It's beautiful, isn't it?" Sam said.

"Yes, it is," he agreed. "This is just one of the reasons why I'm glad we were finally able to come here."

After some time reveling in the quiet solitude, the two began to realize how tired they were. Sam tried to stifle a yawn, but was unsuccessful.

"Tired?" Daniel asked quietly.

"Maybe a little," Sam fibbed.

"Yeah, I think it's starting to catch up on me, too," he returned. "Come on, I'll walk back with you."

Sam gave him a grateful smile as she hooked arms with him and they ventured away from the balcony. On their way to Sam's designated guest quarters, they passed several Atlantis personnel who were on late-night duty. As they wished the two scientists a good night, their knowing smiles suggested that they believed Sam and Daniel were romantically involved. How could they not, from the way the couple strode down the corridors arm in arm, gazing at each other lovingly?

Finally reaching Sam's room, Daniel lingered by the door, almost as if he didn't want her to leave him. His eyes met hers and he held her gaze with his clear, cerulean orbs.

"Good night, Sam," he said tenderly, a fond smile on his face.

She returned the smile and nearly surprised him by giving him a slow, tender kiss on the lips. His surprise was quickly replaced with pleasure as he reciprocated. Once their lips parted, he gently stroked her cheek with his hand and brushed her jaw line with his fingers.

Sam reveled in his touch and wished it would last longer, but she knew they both had to get some sleep. They were sure to have an early day tomorrow.

She gave him one last smile and turned to head inside her room. Something she saw made her halt dead in her tracks.

"Sam?" Daniel asked curiously.

She turned to face him and had a stricken look on her face.

"What's wrong?" he tried again.

She edged up close to him and leaned forward. "Look at this," she whispered, gesturing inside her quarters.

Daniel was confused but he followed her inside the room. His eyebrow lifted in a fairly good impression of Teal'c when he realized her cause for revulsion.

Dr. Rodney McKay lay on her bed, dozing away.

Having a pretty good guess of the other scientist's motives, Daniel shook his head in disbelief. His eyes then glowed mischievously as he reached down, attempting to touch McKay.

Sam grabbed his arm and shook her head quickly. She then gestured toward a lump that was situated behind him. A closer look revealed that it was Vala, sleeping up against McKay. She was snuggled up to him and looked quite comfortable. Daniel appeared perplexed while Sam tried to bite back an amused grin. The archaeologist and astrophysicist decided to leave the room and not disturb the "sleeping beauties."

"Well, that was sort of … odd," Daniel said awkwardly.

"I think it's pretty funny," Sam snickered softly.

"McKay and Vala have quite a few of things in common, but I didn't see them interacting very much at the briefing."

"Oh, I don't know. I thought I saw her flirting with him," Sam said, unable to contain her grin.

"She flirts with everyone, Sam."

Sam raised her eyebrows.

"Ah, well, everyone of the male persuasion, anyway," Daniel corrected himself, blushing in reaction to the return of Sam's grin. "Actually, now that you mention it, she did seem extra flirty with him. And he did pick up on it, from what I saw."

Sam nodded. "I didn't expect him to be in my quarters, although, come to think of it, he did seem to make a big deal of the fact that my quarters were very close to his own when we first arrived." She reacted in disgust.

Daniel looked at her sympathetically. "Well, you obviously can't stay in there, so …"

Sam gazed at him expectantly.

"You can always stay with me in my room," he finished with a slight smile.

"You don't mind sharing the bed, Daniel?" Sam said playfully.

"Of course not, Sam. In fact, I'd be happy to," he replied, his eyes twinkling once more.

Sam's smile broadened. "I can't say no to that," she told him.

Daniel chuckled fondly. "Come on," he said in a voice barely above a whisper. "Let's not disturb these two lovebirds." He hooked a thumb in the direction of Sam's quarters, where McKay or Vala – or both – was now snoring softly.

Sam gave a quiet little chuckle before she and Daniel headed up a flight of stairs and across a corridor to Daniel's guest quarters. Once they reached the room, which was a bit larger than Sam's, they got themselves settled on the bed, Daniel wrapping an arm around Sam and pulling her close to him. Sam settled into Daniel's embrace and leaned her head on his shoulder.

They took in their surroundings and the comfortable feeling of being close to one another. After exchanging a few gentle touches and kisses, they talked a bit more about where things stood right now. Sam once again expressed confidence that he would be able to figure out where Merlin's weapon was located, and that they had scored a victory against the Ori, even though it was a relatively small one. Daniel still fretted about the reality that the Ancients would not help them in this fight. Sam expressed some disappointment at that fact, but she reminded him that Morgan tried to help as much as she was able, and they now had a clue.

After a while, Daniel pretty much zoned out on what Sam was saying and paid attention to her face instead. He saw the face of a woman he knew he loved deep in his heart. That love had strengthened over time from the love of a friend to something even greater. He was certain of that just by the words she spoke, how she reiterated how much she admired him, as well as the things that made him great in her eyes.

She was right that what lie ahead might be difficult for them, but somehow they would succeed. They had to. He presently expressed that notion to Sam once she'd finished speaking and was looking at him with a curious expression. His statement earned a smile from her and a "Now that's the Daniel I know."

He briefly turned and caught a glimpse of the Atlantis waters from the small window. It was quite late and, if not for the moonlight dancing upon the ripples, they would be indistinguishable from the darkness that surrounded them. As he thought back to what had taken place just an hour or two ago, Daniel wished he could still be on that balcony with Sam, looking out over the water and pondering what was next for them both.

Oh well, there is always tomorrow, he thought before he bestowed a soft kiss upon her forehead and then reached over to turn off the small light.

THE END