Weight of the World

Genre: Sam/Daniel
Spoilers: Reckoning, Threads
Summary: Sam has something important to tell Daniel.
Season: Episode tag for "Threads"
Disclaimer: I don't own Stargate or anything related to it.

Notes: I miss Daniel's smile from earlier in the series. This is my way of getting it back. Italicized text indicates thoughts.

Thanks to my beta, Thraesja, for whipping this one into shape!

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Sam knocked on the frame of Daniel's office door. She was glad to hear that he had been released from the infirmary. He had died again, she was sure. His appearance in General O'Neill's office earlier was evidence that he had both ascended and descended again, too. Sam hoped that the fact that his memory hadn't been wiped clean meant that returning to human form had been his choice, instead of a punishment from The Others.

"Sam!" he said. "Hi!"

"How are you feeling?" Sam stepped inside his office and closed the door.

He shrugged. "Actually, pretty well, considering. Still a bit embarrassed."

Sam flashed him a brief smile.

"Are you alright?" Daniel asked. She should have known she couldn't fool him.

"I don't...I'm..." She sighed and started again. "Dad died."

"Oh God, I'm so sorry, Sam." Daniel stepped quickly to her side and gathered her into his arms. His chest rose and fell against hers. "I'm sorry I wasn't here for you."

"It's okay. I think I'll be okay." She hugged him back, fairly certain that she meant what she said.

Sam and Daniel held each other for a few moments. "Have you told Pete?"

"Oh. Um...Pete and I broke up."

He pulled back, his eyes searching hers. "What happened?"

She rested her head on his shoulder again. "I realised I wasn't being fair to him. I couldn't marry him after I realised–" She broke off.

Daniel rubbed her back gently, encouraging her to continue.

Sam took a deep breath. "I realised I'm in love with someone else."

"Jack." It was a statement, not a question.

She laughed softly against his neck and shook her head. "No."

He pulled back again to study her, a confused look on his face. She averted her eyes and pulled away from him completely, moving to sit down. He sat in the chair opposite her and waited for her to continue.

Sam stared at the floor for a long time before saying anything. "Daniel, you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. No one makes you do it...you just can't seem to help it.

"I don't want to add to that burden, but there's something I have to tell you. Before I do, you have to promise me that you won't add it to your load. You have to promise me that you'll simply hear what I have to say and then let it go. I don't expect anything from you. Nothing at all. Can you promise me that?"

"Okay," he said warily

She looked at him, waiting for him to say the words.

"I promise, Sam."

"Okay, here's the thing." She shifted to face him head on, biting her lip nervously. "I'm in love with you, Daniel." She studied his shocked face for a moment. "I just thought you should know."

Sam leaned forward, squeezed his hands and kissed him tenderly on his forehead before walking out of his office and down the hall.

That was the right thing to do, Sam assured herself. She knew that Daniel often felt unappreciated and unloved and she wanted to make sure that he knew how much she cared for him. Daniel need to understand that he mattered to people, that his friends loved him and needed him. More than that, he needed to understand that he deserved that love.

The depth of her love for him was something she had only recently realised. It wasn't until he had been taken by the replicator Carter and presumed dead that she realised how much she loved Daniel. It wasn't fair for her to marry Pete, even if Daniel was dead. She could never love anyone as much as she loved Daniel.

In her office, she curled up on her sofa to read the pile of reports that she had been putting off. She tried to concentrate, but her mind kept straying to Daniel, his most recent death, and her newfound feelings for him. Before she could get through the first report, someone knocked at her door.

She looked up to see Daniel's head poke through the open doorway, "Sam?" he called, squinting in the half-light of her office.

"Right here," she said softly.

He finally saw her and stepped inside. "You busy?"

Sam smiled nervously and shook her head. She closed the folder she had on her lap and put it on the table next to her.

Daniel closed her office door before moving towards her.

She evaluated his mood as he approached and she frowned. "Daniel, you promised."

With a sigh, he sat next to her on the sofa. "I know, Sam."

Sam closed her eyes and sighed heavily. "I shouldn't have told you," she whispered, mostly to herself. "I thought—I wanted you to know that—"

Daniel silenced her with a finger on her lips. She looked up at him, questioningly.

"Did you mean what you said?"

Sam nodded. "I'm sorry," she mumbled around the finger still on her lips.

"Don't be," Daniel whispered as he moved his finger and replaced it with his mouth. He kissed her softly, tentatively.

After a surprised second, she returned his kiss. Sam's right hand cupped the side of Daniel's face and her left tangled in his hair as his arms wrapped around her body and pulled her closer to him. The kiss intensified until the need to breathe finally separated them. Sam kept her eyes closed after they parted, afraid that what she had just experienced had been a dream. She was definitely not ready to wake up just yet.

Daniel caressed her face and gently kissed her forehead. She finally opened her eyes to look at him. Sam searched his face, trying to understand what had possessed him to kiss her.

"Why..." she started softly.

"I love you, Sam. I've loved you for so long." His voice broke with emotion. "I always thought you were in love with Jack." She smiled and shook her head at him as he continued. "Yeah, so you've said." Daniel laughed softly, his eyes sparkling.

Sam ran her fingers over Daniel's mouth and jaw, and then pressed her lips against his in another passionate kiss. They pulled apart, gasping.

"I was thinking of heading out," Daniel said with a smile, smoothing a lock of her hair behind her ear. "Would you like to join me for dinner?"

Sam sighed happily. "I thought you'd never ask." She took his arm and they left the base together. As they walked to Daniel's car, Sam couldn't help but notice that his step seemed lighter, and in just the last few minutes he had smiled more than he had for a very long time.

Daniel gave her a dazzling grin as he started his car.

Yes, thought Sam, returning his smile, we're going to make each other very, very happy.

THE END
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