There are very few things that human beings like less than introspection and self examination. There is nothing so ugly as coming face to face with things that you don't want to think about, much less come to terms with.

Hence why many people avoid it altogether, speeding through life without slowing down long enough to take a look in the mirror for fear that they find something they don't like staring back at them.

Samantha wasn't given the opportunity to do that though. Rodney McKay had yanked the rug right out from under her feet and left her sprawling, groping for some sense of normalcy in the insanity that had suddenly clouded her universe.

He said something about the way she looked at General O'Neill…

Was it really that obvious? Was it so obvious to everyone but her?

Had she blinded herself so much to her own emotions that she was the last person to know she was…

She was…

Damn it, she was an adult, she could say that she…cared about Jack O'Neill.

Apparently she wasn't grown up enough to admit she loved him, but damn it, she was mature enough to say she cared!

Of course, she cared about Rodney too…but he cared about her in return…and she didn't know if Jack felt anything for her more than, what, friendship?

And God she was confused.

And staring at the hotel room ceiling certainly wasn't helping matters at all.

How long she'd been lying on her bed just staring without seeing, she didn't know, but the events of the evening just kept replaying in her head again and again so much so that she was getting sick of it. She hadn't even bothered to slither out of the ridiculous dress she was wearing, she was so consumed by her thoughts.

She'd asked Rodney to be her escort, she'd kissed him in hopes of making Jack O'Neill jealous, and even through their argument in the elevator, Rodney forgave her all her trespasses against him.

He saw through every one of the ruses she thought was so clever and poked at the part of herself that she thought was covered under the thickest of armors.

Sam sat up so suddenly that her back made a cracking noise that was not indicative of her continued chiropractic health.

Rodney had seen through her as though she were made of freshly Windexed glass…

He really knew her.

He really loved her.

And she…well, she did like him…sort of…

Maybe more than sort of, now that she'd gotten to know him better…maybe, just maybe

No, that was stupid. She was in---no, she cared about Jack O'Neill. Not Rodney McKay. Yes.

She'd cared about Jack longer than she'd even known Rodney; it was impossible to suddenly out-of-the-blue feel something for Rodney, right? You don't just stop loving one person when another one comes along…

Even if that other one tends to disarm you and surprise you continuously by proving he's…compassionate and somewhat sweet and understanding and…

Dear God.

Realization slammed into Sam so hard she felt dizzy with the strength of it.

She scrambled off the bed and darted for the telephone, which she picked up and stared at for several seconds.

No. This wasn't the kind of thing you did over the phone…that wouldn't do.

Besides, she might come to her senses and hang up on him before she said what she'd finally grasped.

But he was staying in the same hotel, wasn't he?

She picked up the phone again, inquired what room Rodney McKay was staying in and then declined the operator's offer to connect her to said room.

This had to be done in person.

She rushed to slip her shoes on and hoped she wouldn't manage to fall on her mad dash down two flights of stairs (like she was going to take the elevator again? Please.) before she came to a screeching halt in front of his door.

Sam didn't even give herself the chance to second guess what she was doing as she pounded furiously on his door.

If she second guessed or thought about it, she might lose her nerve, turn tail and run…and she couldn't have that.

"Rodney!" She continued banging on the door. "RODNEY!"

The door was flung open and a disheveled Rodney McKay greeted her in pajamas and a hastily tied bathrobe. For a split second he looked like he was going to start shouting at her for trying to bust his door down at this ungodly hour but then the gears in his head seemed to grind to a stop when he realized who was beating on his door.

"Sam? What're you do--"

"You were wrong," she said, cutting him off.

"Wrong?" He muttered from around a yawn. "About what?"


Rodney blinked dumbly at her. "Huh?"

She launched herself at him, arms around his neck and he sputtered, trying to pry her off.

"What're you--Sam, have you been at the mini-bar? What's the matter with you? If somebody slipped something into one of your drinks tonight, maybe you should go see a docto--"

She put her hands on either side of his head and forced him to look at her. "I hate to be cliché, but Rodney?"

He looked at her, still horribly, but adorably puzzled. "What?"

"Shut up and kiss me."


A/N: It should be noted that I feel like a total sell-out…but since there was no way to end this fic without me feeling like a sell-out in some capacity (I could have gone Sam/Rodney or Sam/Jack at the end here), I felt I might as well end things the way I wanted to. And really, between someone who ignores you and how you feel about them and someone who worships the ground you walk on...who would you pick? (Never mind the fact I've been a Sam/Jack shipper since SG-1 premiered, I let my fics take me where they want to...and Rodney is an awfully pushy fellow to work with.)

So, now that it's over, I've got my fireproof jammies on. Let the flaming begin.