Bowls, spoons, spatulas, and mismatched cake tins were strewn over the center work area in the Odyssey's galley. The lone "chef" looked mildly frustrated and definitely out of her element. The silence of the large empty room was punctuated every so often with mild epithets expressing Sam's irritation with her lack of culinary talent.
"Damn it!" she spat, as one more blob of cake mix flew off the beaters landing squarely on her chest, missing the apron by less than an inch.
Seconds later, Earth's foremost expert on the Stargate, the woman who held herself responsible for trapping her friends in the cursed time dilation bubble, had company.
"What are you doing?" Daniel asked timidly, peeking around the entrance to the galley. Teal'c, much less intimidated by Sam's obviously irritated mood, walked right in and approached her position.
"I'm baking a cake," Sam answered her friend, doing her best to avoid any hint of irritation in her voice. What do you think I'm doing, she thought.
"Really?" Daniel asked, knowing how Sam had studiously avoided most all cooking chores since they'd been stuck on this ship nearly one year ago now. "What's the occasion?"
"It's Jack's birthday," she answered flatly.
"Ah … Jack O'Neill … as in our friend who isn't here?" Daniel said innocently, stating the obvious.
Sam glared at Daniel, wondering why he just didn't get it. The sometimes dense archeologist was deftly rescued from Sam's wrath by his Jaffa friend.
"I believe O'Neill would be honored that you are remembering the day of his birth, Samantha," Teal'c observed with a profound nod of his head.
"Thank you for understanding, Teal'c," Sam replied with a grateful smile. "Obviously, I'm not very good at this, but I wanted to do something. We all know how much Jack loves his cake."
"Indeed," Teal'c said with a smile, taking a seat next to the erstwhile baker.
"So Jack was born what, fifty-six years ago today?" Daniel asked, figuring he might as well get with the program. "Can't really imagine Jack O'Neill as a kid."
"Oh, it's not so hard, just think of Jack as an adult … on his happier days," Sam replied, sporting one of the smiles that were becoming increasingly rare these days.
After a moment's silence, Teal'c observed matter-of-factly, "I believe you love O'Neill."
Without missing a beat, with a sureness based on years of denial, Sam countered, "Of course I do. And I love you and Daniel. After all, we're family."
"I don't think that's exactly what Teal'c meant," Daniel suggested.
"Daniel Jackson is correct, Samantha. My exact meaning is that you are in love with O'Neill."
Sam blushed furiously. How ironic, marooned for God knows how long on this ship and now her friends decide to blow her cover. Now when there is nothing she can do about it.
"Don't bother to deny it, Sam," Daniel teased with a smile.
"I wouldn't even try, Daniel. What's the point, now? We may never see him again," she said, wiping her hands on the already christened apron and sitting down heavily. "You know, much as I try, sometimes I have a hard time remembering his face. Soon I won't be able to picture him in my mind at all."
The sadness in their friend's heart was disturbing to both Daniel and Teal'c. They'd known she was more vulnerable than usual these days, but this, somehow this was different.
"Hey, I think I can help you with that, Sam," Daniel volunteered, as if a light bulb had gone off in his head.
"How's that, Daniel?" Sam asked with a morose chuckle.
"The Asgard data base, of course," he said. "Do you really think the entire Asgard data base would omit a visual representation of the great Jack O'Neill? I think not."
"You're right," Sam said, a sweet smile returning to light her features.
"I'll find it tonight, Sam."
"Thank you, Daniel," she said sincerely.
"O'Neill loves you as well, Samantha," Teal'c volunteered at that point.
"I believe you heard him, Sam," Daniel said impatiently.
"And you would know that how, Teal'c?"
With the smile of infinite surety, Teal'c replied, "There have been multiple occasions where my observation of O'Neill has indicated as much. However, my personal favorite was during the time loop, nearly 6 years ago. After multiple loops, both O'Neill and I decided to break the endless monotony and perform actions usually out of the question because of the consequences normally involved."
Sam looked at the Jaffa quizzically. She recalled the incident and the mission, but couldn't see the connection. "So …?"
"Samantha, I am not at liberty to divulge the exact nature of O'Neill's actions, but I will say they involved expressing feelings for a certain then Air Force Major, his second in command, I believe."
Sam looked at her two friends. She knew how much they valued her and wanted her happiness. And she did love them for it. With a grateful smile, she reached out to Teal'c, taking his hand in hers while reaching to Daniel and taking his hand as well.
"I miss him," she said.
"Me too," Daniel answered.
A/N: Finally seeing Unending myself last night, I was compelled to write a little addition. There is no way they would have forgotten Jack.
Please let me know what you think.