Ache

Genre: Angst, UST
Pairing: Sam/Daniel
Spoilers: Children of the Gods, Singularity, In the Line of Duty, Need
Summary: A wanting, painful ache. Sam's thoughts during a scene from Need.
Season: Two, during Need
Rating: K+
Disclaimer: The only thing I own that's related to Stargate is my DVD collection. I'm not making any money off of Stargate. In fact, the reverse is true.
Notes:
Thraesja, your speediness is equalled only by your thoroughness. Thanks for doing such a quick-and-great beta on this story.

--

Before we even met, I knew I'd like him. I had read all of his research, read all of his theories, read between the lines to find the man behind the science. I knew I admired his brilliance and intuition, and once I'd heard he was alive, I also knew we'd be great friends. I just didn't anticipate what else I'd feel for him.

I can't remain detached. Not when it comes to him. He taught me last year that military detachment wasn't always desirable. Or possible.

Memories that aren't mine insist that he needs help. But they fail me when I attempt to seek a cure to his suffering. My inability to control access to the memories in my own mind is disturbing. And my confidant, the one who would normally help me through this frustration, is now the cause of it.

And his pacing really isn't helping.

"You're going to wear a hole in the floor."

"I can't get her out of my head, Sam. I think I've made a big mistake."

He said he was going to go nuts if he stayed in the infirmary. That's why I brought him to my lab. It obviously isn't working. He's going nuts anyway.

"You're not serious."

"I am."

I blurt out the first thing that comes into my mind. The thing that I've been telling myself over and over since the moment I laid eyes on him.

"You have a wife."

"Had. Had a wife. Come on, seriously. How long am I supposed to wait? And even if I find Sha're one day, what are – what are the chances she'll ever be the same again?"

Those words wash over me in waves of concern, disbelief and shame. Those words uttered from his lips, those words that the darkest part of me whispers in my ear, those words that I often almost fail to ignore, those words that remind me what a horrible person I really am.

"Look, your endorphin level was through the roof when we came back. And now you're coming down off of it. The effects of the sarcophagus are like a narcotic, Daniel."

"Yeah, that makes you smarter, stronger, you live for hundreds of years, feel great. What the hell is so wrong with it?"

"I think it's partly what makes the Goa'uld as bad as they are."

"How?"

Yes. His tone is condescending, but he still wants to know. Be inquisitive, Daniel. That's more like it. Theorize. Hypothesize. Think with me. We can solve this problem. Just like any other.

"Who knows? It's Goa'uld technology, Daniel. Maybe its healing effects alter your brain chemistry. Increase adrenaline, the hormones that make you more aggressive and irrational. Pyrus probably used to be a decent man."

He's not even listening to me. He's looking into an empty microscope. Daniel, please. Look at me. Talk to me. We work better together. We can solve this together.

Damn it.

"Look at yourself. It's like you need a fix. You've only used it a few times and already it's changed you."

"We can't just leave it there. We have to study it."

Why can't he see what it's doing to him?

"We can't go back either."

"Well, I'm going."

Over my dead body. An alien whisper filters through my mind: If he goes back there, if he uses the sarcophagus again, he'll be lost forever.

"She used us to get you addicted."

I curse myself for flinching when he slams his fists down on the lab bench. Instruments and microscope slides clatter to the floor. I'm surprised to realize that I'm afraid. How can I be afraid of Daniel?

His normally bright blue eyes are dark with anger as he glares at me. I am strangely mesmerized by the intensity of his stare. I feel like he can see right into my heart. He knows. Oh, God. How long has he known?

"You've never really known what love is, have you?"

I feel his words like a slap to the face. He doesn't know, then. And somehow that hurts more than if he did.

"See, the Daniel I know would never have said that."

He narrows his eyes at me and then casually knocks the naquadah samples and some of my equipment off the bench. On his way out of the room, he brushes past me. I jerk my arm away as the contact sends a chill down my spine. Not the familiar, pleasant tingle of a casual touch that I know means more to me than it does to him. Instead, it's the fearful tremor of knowing that this Daniel is cruel. This Daniel hurts for the sake of hurting. This Daniel is not the Daniel I know.

I kneel on the floor and reach for blurry shards of glass. He's wrong. I know exactly what love is. I've known since I first met him.

THE END
Please read and review.