Better than a Sarcophagus

Genre: Romance/Parody
Pairing: Sam/Daniel
Timeline: Some time post-Unending, not too distant.
Spoilers: None, except cast changes in Seasons Nine and Ten.
Rating: T, for sexual situations.
Summary: Siler looking for his wrench. Felger doing an experiment. Vala behind the wheel of a Honda Civic. Teal'c teaching her to drive. Anyone else hear that ominous music?

Authors' note: This fic was a quickly written collaboration between fanfiction(dot)net writers Amaranth Traces and Thraesja to try to cheer up fellow Sam/Daniel author Jess13 as she recovered from being hit by a car. She is the mysterious Jess who makes a cameo and drives the plot of the story.

Before anyone panics, Jess is recovering quite nicely. And quickly, too. Maybe a little too quickly. A Tok'ra among us, perhaps?

--

Somewhere in the 'Real' World

A brilliant puff of blue-green smoke filled the empty page, er, stage, and two women emerged from the mist. One, the blonde, had a mysterious and distant expression on her face. The brunette looked around at the set with great interest and curiosity despite the fact that, besides the smoke, it was quite empty.

Thraesja: We're here to tell a tale of woe,

Brave author felled by mortal foe,

Amaranth: It was an accident y'know,

Thraesja (glaring): To make the tragedy seem less,

This humble gift we will express.

Amaranth (grinning): We wrote a story for you, Jess!

Thraesja: A romance 'twixt two PhDs,

Physics and archaeology,

Amaranth: They're gonna kiss. Just wait, you'll see.

Thraesja turned to Amaranth, looking quite annoyed. "Can't you see I'm trying to be dramatic? You're completely killing the atmosphere I'm going for here."

"Will you be quiet already? No one wants to hear you prattle on pretending to be all poetic and stuff when we have a story to tell. Hello! There's a Sam and Daniel make-out scene to get to."

"I know," Thraesja said irritably. "I wrote most of it."

"Then shush and let's start the story."

"Fine."

Commissary, Level 22, Stargate Command

Vala was positively beaming. "Really, Muscles? You'll teach me?"

Teal'c gave a small smile and bowed his head over his meatloaf. "I would be most honoured."

This could not end well. Daniel took a deliberate bite of his reconstituted potatoes, knowing exactly what was coming next.

"Daniel?"

"No."

Vala stuck her lip out in a pout. "You don't even know what I was going to ask."

"Yes, I do. The answer is no."

"What if I promise to be really, really careful?"

"Still no."

"Spoilsport."

"Uh huh."

Vala harrumphed and turned her concentration back to pushing her peas around her plate. "It's not fair."

"What's not fair?" Mitchell asked as he and Sam placed their trays on the table and joined them.

Vala turned to them, smiling. "Samantha. You'll be a good friend and do me a favour, won't you?"

Sam looked at her warily. Daniel shook his head slightly when her questioning gaze turned in his direction, careful not to let Vala see the gesture. Sam wisely picked up on the message. "I'm going to go with no."

"Cameron?" Vala turned her big pleading eyes to the team leader. "You trust me, don't you?"

"Uh," Mitchell stalled. "What would I be trusting you about?"

"I'm learning to drive. Teal'c's going to teach me."

"Is he now? I knew he was a brave man."

Teal'c raised an eyebrow. "Indeed."

"So we need to borrow a car."

Daniel was hard pressed to keep from laughing at the fear that crossed Mitchell's face. The man had won the Medal of Honour, and the very thought of Vala Mal Doran driving his baby turned him white as a sheet.

Sam's hand reached across the table and grasped Daniel's briefly. "Thank you."

He smiled. "You're welcome."

"We will be in need of a vehicle for our lessons," said Teal'c. "Your car will suffice."

Mitchell was still very pale. "Does anyone else see any inherent problems with one alien teaching another how to drive?"

Daniel unhurriedly took another bite of his potatoes, pausing to wipe his mouth afterwards. "Do you want to teach her?"

The Lt. Colonel turned back to the others. "Y'know, Teal'c, I heard Siler complaining the other day that since he's always out on his bike, his poor Civic never gets any use. Might want to keep the reason you're borrowing it a secret though."

Teal'c nodded again. "That is most wise, Colonel Mitchell."

Vala squealed. "Oh! I'm going to learn to drive! How exciting."

Oh, yeah. Nothing good could come from this.

Office of Dr. Daniel Jackson, Level 18, the following day...

Daniel sat at his desk, squinting at the tablet in front of him. It wasn't particularly urgent, but it did allow him to look busy, which was the only thing keeping Vala from literally driving him insane.

"Daniel?" she whined for what seemed like the hundredth time that day. She was sprawled in the chair he normally reserved for invited guests, but the lack of an invitation never seemed to bother Vala in the slightest.

He didn't look up. "Yes, Vala?"

"Have you gone to see Jess yet today?"

"I'm heading down there right after I finish this." Which might be never at this rate.

"Can I go with you?"

Now he did look up at her. "I really don't think she's going to want to see you right now."

Vala stuck out her bottom lip in a pout. "She knows I didn't mean to, doesn't she?"

Daniel sighed. "I'm sure she does. Just give her some space and some time."

Vala nodded slowly, and Daniel went back to his tablet. He managed to translate another line and a half before, "Daniel?"

On second thought, going insane and getting locked up in a quiet, peaceful, padded cell again was looking better all the time. "Yes, Vala?"

"Can you give Jess a, what do you call it? A nurture bundle for me?"

He absently puzzled that one out as he scribbled the translation down in his notebook. "A care package?"

"Yes! I'll put together some things for her. You'll pass it along, sharing some of that winning personality of yours. Jess will forgive me. It's so simple, it's brilliant!"

"It's simple, alright."

Vala jumped out of the chair and began puttering around the room. She pulled a few artifacts out of a cardboard box, placed them on a nearby bookshelf, and then left the room with the box. Daniel sighed again, this time with relief.

It was short-lived.

"Daniel?" Vala was standing in the doorway, two magazines in her hands, the box on the floor behind her. "Do you think I should give Jess my copy of Cosmo or Glamour?"

Daniel propped his elbow on his desk and rested his chin in his palm. "Why on Earth would I know or care? And why are you giving her second-hand magazines?"

Vala shrugged. "You seem very in tune with your feminine side, grouchy as it is. And I can't very well give her new magazines. Your credit cards don't work anymore."

"That would be because I cancelled them. Again." He frowned. "What do you mean 'in tune with my feminine side'?"

She turned her back and bent double, rummaging around in the box behind her. "You're clearly much more sensitive and effeminate than the average male on your planet."

He narrowed his eyes at her, and then realized he was basically staring at her ass and looked away. "Effeminate? Are you implying that I'm gay?"

She looked back at him over her shoulder. "I've never considered you very cheerful, no. Oh! You mean homosexual? Well, yes. I mean, how else could you have resisted me all this time? Really, Daniel, it's so obvious."

Clearly he shouldn't have been so gentlemanly about not staring at her ass. "Vala!"

She stood up and smiled sweetly at him, holding two skimpy-looking outfits up. "Do you think she'd prefer this black nightgown, or my red lace robe?"

"I am not giving her used lingerie for you!"

She looked taken aback. "Daniel, I'm shocked. They haven't been used. That's what I was just complaining about. Haven't you been listening to me?"

Closing his eyes and taking a calming breath, Daniel pushed up his glasses, pinching the bridge of his nose. When he opened his eyes again, he found that Vala had lain out a half-dozen coloured ribbons and bows on the edge of his desk.

She looked up at Daniel expectantly. "Which one of these best gives the message I'm trying to send?"

"What message would that be?" he asked wearily.

"Oh, something like..." Vala waved her hands in the air. "I'm sorry I hit you with a car. Get well soon."

"And you want to convey this message with a ribbon."

Vala grinned broadly, nodding. "This one?" She held up a bright purple one covered in yellow smiley faces. "It's so cheerful!"

"Hmm." Daniel set his pencil in his notebook and closed it. The translation could wait. He got up and studied the ribbons Vala was displaying, trying to look like he was seriously considering her question. "Oh!" he said, quickly lifting his head to look at her. "You know what? I have a great idea for something you could give Jess that would really make her feel better."

Vala's eyes sparkled with excitement. "Really? What?"

"Follow me." Daniel headed out of his office, jogging down the corridor. He could hear Vala's footsteps behind him. When he had reached a suitable distance from his office, Daniel stopped at a storage closet. He opened the door and gestured for Vala to enter.

She wrinkled her nose as she took a step into the small room. "Where is it?"

"Way back there, on the top shelf," said Daniel, pointing.

Vala moved farther into the closet, examining various items on the shelves as she went. Then, after looking both ways down the corridor to ensure no witnesses, Daniel slammed the door. He swiped his security card to lock the room from the outside.

"Daniel?" came Vala's voice through the door. "I think the door slipped."

Daniel tried to fight the evil grin that was growing on his lips, but failed. "Oh, it didn't slip."

"You're locking me in here? But you said you had a great idea for something I could give Jess!" Her pout was actually audible. "I never pegged you for a liar, Daniel."

"It wasn't a lie. You can give her some peace and quiet." Daniel leaned back against the door, knowing he was probably enjoying this a little too much. "And you can do that by staying in here for a while." The fact that he would enjoy the peace and quiet far more than Jess would didn't make him selfish, did it? If it did, he could live with it.

Pushing off from the door, Daniel wandered down the hall, whistling. He could hear Vala shouting and banging behind him. He pushed the elevator call button. Stuffing his hands in his pockets, he rocked back on his heels while he waited for it to arrive. A few seconds later, the doors opened, revealing Sam inside.

"Daniel!" she said with a smile. "You look awfully cheerful. Didn't you hear what happened to Jess?"

"Yes, I did." He stepped into the elevator and saw that his floor selection was already lit up. "I'm on my way to see her now."

"So am I," said Sam, studying him. "So what's with the grin? Not that I'm complaining. It's just...rare."

"Oh, I just finished locking Vala in a closet."

Sam's eyes widened. "Aw, man! And I didn't get Jess anything!"

They laughed as the elevator started to move. "Did you know she thinks I'm gay?"

"Jess?"

"No, Vala."

Sam nodded. "Her explanation of why you haven't taken her up on any of her oh-so-subtle offers, I assume?"

"Apparently."

She snorted, shaking her head.

Daniel looked at her out of the corner of his eye. "I'm not."

"I know."

"Good. I needed you to be clear on that."

Beside Daniel, Sam turned to face him. She was frowning. "Did you explain that to Vala?"

"Uh, not really, no."

Her eyes narrowed. "But you needed it to be clear to me?"

Oh, boy. "Uh..."

At that moment, the elevator chose to come to a screeching halt, and the lights cut out, plunging them into complete darkness.

"Oh, thank God," Daniel said as he regained his balance, his voice echoing loudly in the now silent car.

"What?" Sam asked.

"Uh, I said 'Oh, my God'. What's wrong with the elevator?"

"I'm not sure."

There was a brief shuffling sound as Sam moved around, and then something grabbed him. In a very, very personal way.

Daniel cleared his throat. "Sam, is that your hand?"

The emergency lighting flickered on, catching what was definitely Sam's hand as she pulled it hastily away from him.

"Sorry! I was, uh, I was looking for the phone." Daniel couldn't really tell in the half light, but he was pretty sure she'd become an impressive shade of red. She turned around so she was facing the control panel. "Oh, look. Found it." She picked the receiver up, shoulders cringing in what was undoubtedly mortification.

"This is Colonel Carter," Sam said into the phone. "What's going on?" She listened for a moment before leaning forward, her forehead hitting the wall with a soft thump. "Yes, I'm in Elevator Five with Doctor Jackson."

There was another pause, and then she gave Daniel an exasperated look. "How long?" She sighed. "Alright. Thanks."

Sam hung up the phone and turned to him. "Harriman says the entire base is without power. Apparently, Felger was doing an experiment with...something. Harriman didn't really know."

"How long?" asked Daniel.

She shrugged. "He says Siler can't find his wrench, so it might be a while."

"Great. Hope Jess is okay."

"Me too. Carolyn said she was going to be alright though."

"Well, that's good."

Daniel looked over at her. She still seemed embarrassed about the hand thing. He decided to try to lighten the mood with a subject change. So he chuckled softly.

"What?" asked Sam, rising to the bait.

"I was just thinking how lucky I am to be stuck in here with you rather than Vala." Daniel smiled at her. "She'd have us playing some stupid game like Truth or Dare or something to pass the time."

Sam's eyebrows rose, and she bobbed her head back and forth. "Actually, that's not a bad idea."

Daniel blinked. That was not exactly what he intended. "What?"

She crossed her arms over her chest, looking at him with a playful grin. "Truth or Dare, Daniel?"

Storeroom, Level 18

Vala Mal Doran was pissed off. No, she decided. She wasn't pissed off. She was miffed. Miffed was a much cuter word than pissed off. It fit better.

She was poking through the items stored on the shelves in the storage closet that Daniel had so rudely locked her in. Really. Who did he think he was?

Vala pulled a box down and rummaged through its contents. She found a nice pen and pocketed it.

"Ooh!" she exclaimed, pulling a shiny red Swingline stapler from the box. "These are so much better than the Boston stapler that Daniel insists on using. They don't bind up nearly as much." And she pocketed that as well.

Finding nothing more of interest in the box, she put it back on the shelf. "Hmm. What's this?" she murmured, picking up a huge wrench.

She hefted it in her hands, studying the tool. "Well, now. This is just unwieldy."

Elevator, somewhere between Levels 18 and 21

Daniel stared at his friend. "You're kidding right?"

"What else are we going to play? I Spy? Not much to go on in here." Sam sat down on the floor, leaning against the back wall. "You going to choose, or shall I choose for you?"

Daniel reluctantly sat down beside her. He had a feeling he was going to regret this. "Uh. Truth?"

Sam smirked. "Coward." She tapped her fingers on her chin a few times. "Hmm. Oh, I know. Why did you want to make sure I knew you weren't gay, when you don't care what Vala thinks?"

Damn. He'd really hoped she'd forgotten about that. Daniel looked around the car for inspiration. He didn't find it. "Ah, well, if Vala thinks I'm into guys, it might mean she'd leave me alone, or at least tone it down a bit. Your turn. Truth or Dare?"

Sam pursed her lips, her eyes narrowing. "Daniel?"

"Sam?"

"You only answered half the question. You're reneging on your truth challenge."

"Am I?"

"Yep."

"Huh. Didn't notice."

"And yet it's still true."

Daniel nodded in what he hoped was a pacifying manner. Dodging was clearly not working. Time to try distraction. He'd found it very effective when dealing with overly curious colonels, lieutenant or otherwise, in the past. "How long did Siler say it'd be until we're up and running again?"

Sam frowned. "Daniel?"

He waved his hand in a vague circle. "'Cause I'd think the elevators would be pretty high in the list of priorities, what with people being, y'know, stuck."

Sam caught his hand in hers, halting its motion. She squeezed. Hard. "Spill, Jackson."

Clearly Sam was far smarter than Jack, as if there had been a doubt. Damn.

Storeroom, Level 18

Vala turned around as the door of her storage closet opened. Sergeant Siler peered in.

"Oh, thank goodness. I was wondering when someone would rescue me from my unjust incarceration."

Siler jumped in surprise, but recovered quickly. "Sorry, ma'am. Didn't realize that the power outage was locking people in closets."

Vala beamed her most winning smile at him. "It wasn't so much the power that locked me in the closet as the linguist who apparently still wants to be in one."

The sergeant frowned. "What?"

"Never mind."

He blinked a few times, then appeared to notice what she was holding. "Ah. You found it."

Vala held up the big wrench. "Oh, is this yours? I just love a man with a large tool."

Siler nodded enthusiastically and stepped towards her, his hand outstretched. "Yep. It's the largest one on base. The biggest available in Colorado."

Well now, that was interesting. "Really." She sidled closer to him. She wasn't about to give away the wrench just yet, not when she was fairly certain that giving it to him would make him go do some military duty somewhere. Siler wasn't a bad looking man. Not Daniel, of course, but not bad at all. This could be a bit of fun. "I find that...intriguing."

Vala watched as her innuendo sank in. Siler backed away a step. "Uh, Ms. Mal Doran, I really don't think it's a good idea—"

She closed the distance to him and ran a hand up his arm. "It's alright, Sergeant. The base has no power, and we're here, all alone, in this teensy, tiny, storage closet. My, my. Whatever could we get up to?"

He swallowed heavily, glancing around the small room. "That would be highly inappropriate. I mean, I'm married."

Vala stepped closer still. "I don't see a ring."

Siler backed up again, straight into the door behind him. "Right. No ring. Uh, I have a girlfriend."

Vala's hand reached his shoulder and continued up his neck. "What she doesn't know won't hurt her. I won't tell if you don't."

Siler reached blindly for the doorknob behind him. "No, really, I , ah!" He must have felt her other hand on his quite well-shaped rear. "I'm into men!" he blurted.

That stopped her cold. "You have got to be kidding me. Are all Earth men homosexual? How does your kind procreate?"

Siler stopped his retreat for a moment. "What? All?"

"You mean, you don't know?" A new idea was forming. True, Vala would rather have him to herself, but if he wasn't interested in women, perhaps she could make two people happy with one try. It was the least she could do, considering how inconvenient he'd probably found being attached to her. Must have infringed on his sex life, which he was quite desperately in need of, given how high strung he was. He'd be grateful if she set him up with Siler. Well, as grateful as he ever was. He would owe her. "Sergeant, how do you feel about Daniel?"

Elevator, somewhere between Levels 18 and 21

Daniel coughed and tried to pull his hand out of Sam's. Her eyes were twinkling playfully at him, but he had a feeling he might end up with a few broken bones if he answered her question with the whole truth.

"Is it too late to switch to Dare?"

Sam raised an eyebrow. "Hmm," she murmured, looking him up and down in a manner that was a little too much like Vala for Daniel to handle right now. Especially with the memory of what happened when the power first went out still so fresh in his mind. When Sam's hand was on his...

He tugged on his hand again, finally freeing it from her tight grip, and ran it through his hair. "Never mind."

"So?" asked Sam. "Why was it so important that I know you're not gay?"

"Uh, well, I, uh..." Daniel's mind raced for an answer that was true enough to meet the requirements of the game, but not so true that he'd end up with a broken nose. "It's just that we've known each other for so long, I didn't want you to believe something about me that's not true."

She studied him silently, her eyes slightly narrowed.

"Your turn now," said Daniel, shifting uncomfortably under her gaze. "Truth or Dare?"

He saw a flash of what he thought might be disappointment cross her features. Then, she took a deep breath. "Dare."

He should have known. Daniel wondered idly what he could get her to do, and found that his traitorous imagination was all too eager to wander down a road that would definitely get some bones broken for him if he had the guts to ask. He looked frantically around the elevator for an idea that wouldn't get him killed, his eyes finally resting on the security camera in the corner. The one that was missing its normally blinking red light. Why not put the onus on Sam?

"I dare you to do something you've always wanted to do on base, but never could when someone might be watching."

Sam stared at him for a long moment, looked up at the camera, and then back at him. "You know, you're right. This is a silly game."

Daniel raised a finger at her. "Oh, no you don't. You started this, and I had to answer already. Fair is fair, Sam."

Sam hesitated. Then she smirked slightly, and quickly tried to hide it.

"Sam? You've thought of something, I take it?"

She shook her head. "It's, uh, it's not something I can do here."

He cocked his head to the side. "Why not? Camera's off. You did choose dare, you know."

"I need..." She sighed. "I need a corridor."

Daniel's eyes widened in surprise as he figured out what she meant. "Streaking?"

Sam cleared her throat and stared at the floor.

"Colonel Doctor Samantha Carter is a streaker? Interesting."

"Yes. Isn't it? Your turn again."

"That's not fair."

"Truth or Dare?"

"You didn't even do anything!"

She dismissed him with a wave of her hand. "Because the venue is not conducive to my intendment, not due to any meticulous contrivance on my part to equivocate—"

Daniel rolled his eyes. "Sam? You know I'm not Jack, right? I can still understand you, and I know that you're full of—"

"Daniel!"

He batted his eyelashes at her. "What? Am I wrong?"

She looked away. "That's beside the point."

Daniel nodded. "You're right. The point is that you haven't done anything for your turn. Now, I dare you to do something, right here in this elevator, that you have always wanted to do on base and couldn't with someone watching."

She seemed to study him intently for a long time. Finally, she shook her head. "You really don't want me to follow through on this dare, Daniel."

Daniel grinned at her, happy that she was feeling as on-the-spot as he had been. "How do you know what I want?" he asked playfully.

Her eyes moved over his face, her teeth tugging at her bottom lip. Sam glanced at the inactive security camera and then back to Daniel. Then, she leaned forward, pressing her lips gently against his.

When she pulled away, Daniel blinked at her, dazed. "How did you know..." He cleared his throat, trying to regain his composure. "What was that?"

"That, Daniel, was a kiss," she said, her eyes were locked fiercely on his. "You may remember them."

"Yeah, vaguely." Daniel licked his lips. "So, you've always wanted to kiss someone on base?"

There was a subtle change in her expression. As if she had just come to a decision. "Not just kiss," she said quietly.

Oh boy. Daniel shifted slightly, his eyes darting to the floor in front of him. When he looked back at Sam, there was a small smile playing on her lips.

"And not just anyone," she whispered.

He gaped at her as her smile slowly grew. "Me?"

Sam's smile turned shy, and she turned her gaze to the floor. Then, with a little shrug, she looked at him again. "You."

"Really?" Daniel was overcome with a sense of wonder. Sam had always wanted to kiss him? She had wanted to...more than kiss him? "And, uh, what besides a kiss did you have in— Mmmph!"

Storeroom, Level 18

Siler frowned. "How do I feel about Doctor Jackson? Well, he's—" Suddenly, he seemed to figure out the point that Vala had been trying to make. "Wait. What?"

Vala sighed melodramatically. "Too bad," she purred, tickling his neck lightly with her fingers. "You're kinda cute. In a charred-around-the-edges kind of way."

He laughed strangely. Clearly, she was making him nervous. "Um, I need that." Siler pointed at the wrench still in Vala's hand.

"Yes, everyone's in need of a good, big tool now and then, I suppose." Vala trailed her fingers up and down the handle, studying Siler's reaction. A vibrant blush spread over his features, giving her the distinct impression that he was lying about being attracted to men.

"I need it to restore power to the base."

"So, you're sure about that liking men thing?" she asked, giving him her most seductive glance.

Siler cleared his throat and grabbed the wrench from her. "Uh, I – I have work to do."

"Work, work, work," Vala said, rolling her eyes. "It's always work with everyone on this base. Why don't you let me show you how to have a good time?" Vala smiled as she saw Siler's adam's apple bob up and down with a large gulp.

"Ms. Mal Doran, I, uh, I think you should know that while my skills may be invaluable on this base, I actually have very little influence on anything. Whatever you're trying to accomplish, I won't be able to help you."

Vala pouted. "Almost everyone here thinks I'm a manipulative liar with only her own interests at heart. It's not fair. I've risked my life for you people! Deliberately put myself into situations that could get me, Vala Mal Doran, killed! All because I've finally found a few people who believe in me and a cause I can believe in myself." She looked up at him from under her eyelashes. "I just want to make some new friends."

Siler's expression softened. "Maybe, uh, we'll talk after I return power to the base."

She smiled triumphantly. "It's a date!"

"Oh!" His eyes widened alarmingly. "Um, that's not what I— I gotta go."

Vala watched him hurry down the corridor. Sergeant Siler might be an interesting person to get to know. She'd about had it with Daniel and his stubborn and repeated rejections of her advances.

With a grin, Vala closed the storage closet door and headed down the hallway in the direction Siler had gone. It was time for new prey. Perhaps Siler would be it.

Elevator, somewhere between Levels 18 and 21

Daniel wasn't quite sure how they had arrived at this point, but he certainly wasn't complaining. He had Samantha Carter straddling his lap, her mouth locked over his, showing every indication that she wanted nothing more than to be exactly where she was. Which, coincidently, was exactly where Daniel had wanted her to be for some time now.

Sam's hands were sliding across his chest, undoing the buttons in her way with a remarkable degree of skill and then slipping under the bottom of his T-shirt. His own hands were doing a bit of exploring themselves, having long since pulled her shirt out of her pants, and were smoothing up her back and over her breasts like they belonged there. And when his fingers slid under her bra and found a nipple, the gasp Sam gave into his mouth told him they were most welcome to stay.

She shifted on his lap and placed one hand behind his head, pulling him deeper into her kiss. Her tongue almost frantically explored his mouth, and his did likewise to hers. Her other hand strayed south, along with half the blood in his body, and started tugging at his belt. He moaned into their kiss and freed one of his hands to work on hers.

Without warning, the lights came back, nearly blinding him. The elevator car lurched into motion. Sam's lips separated from Daniel's with a pop, and she scrambled off his lap. He might have heard what was a most unladylike curse from her, but he was too busy trying to both stand and do his belt back up to pay attention. His shirt buttons were next, and when he looked up again it was to see Sam smoothing back her hair just as the elevator doors slid open.

They revealed Cameron Mitchell, who seemed far too amused to see them for it to have been a coincidence. Mitchell's gaze travelled down, and then back up, making Daniel nervous. "Everything okay in there you two? No one traumatized by being trapped due to Felger's usual brilliance?"

"No," Daniel said, a little too sharply. He cleared his throat. "No, we're just fine."

Mitchell nodded. "Uh huh. Sam?"

Sam was still a little flushed. Daniel hoped it wasn't noticeable to anyone but him. "Just fine. We killed time discussing...uh, discussing..."

"Ancient Mesopotamia," Daniel filled in for her, barely suppressing a wince afterwards. What was he thinking?

Mitchell raised an eyebrow. " Mesopotamia?"

Sam smiled wanly. "Yep. Daniel has some interesting theories."

"Does he now?"

Okay, this wasn't going well. "You wanna get out of the way, Mitchell? We're on our way to the infirmary to visit Jess."

"Ah," Mitchell said. "Just came from there myself. We had a nice candlelit lunch, what with the power being out."

"Great," Sam said brightly. "We'll just pick up where you left off." She brushed past their team leader and Daniel followed, relieved. They'd be fine. Mitchell hadn't noticed anything. Daniel was just being paranoid.

Mitchell stepped into the elevator. "You do that." He hit a floor button. "Oh, and Jackson?"

Daniel turned back to him. "Yeah?"

"You might want to fix your shirt. The buttons are mismatched." The doors closed, but not before Daniel saw Mitchell's face break into an evil-looking grin.

Sam grabbed Daniel's hand and dragged him into a nearby room. Once the door was closed, they straightened their clothing with considerably more care than had been permitted in the elevator.

Daniel double-checked his buttons, and then looked over at Sam. "I, uh... Sam, you need to know that I—"

"Daniel," she interrupted him. "You know how I said 'not just kiss'?"

He gulped, nodding. "Yeah..."

"Well," Sam said, taking a step closer to him. "I didn't mean just sex either."

Daniel released a relieved breath. "Really?"

Her hands slid up his chest to his shoulders. "The truth is, I want to spend the rest of my life with you." Her eyes met his with startling intensity.

"Sam," he whispered. "I'm in love with you."

A slow smile spread over her features, making her eyes sparkle. "That works out well then, doesn't it?" Sam's fingers inched up the back of his neck, tangling in his hair. "Because I'm in love with you."

For years, Daniel had longed to hear those words come from Sam. He stared at her, barely believing his ears. "You never said any—"

His words were interrupted again. This time by Sam's mouth pressing hungrily over his. Daniel wrapped his arms around her, returning her kiss with equal enthusiasm.

When she pulled away, she smiled at him. "Neither did you."

He grinned. "Fair enough."

Daniel lowered his lips to hers once more, pulling her body firmly against his. Turning them around, he pressed her against the door, his hands roaming down her sides to her hips. Sam moaned softly, arching her body against his. She raised one leg and curled it around him, pulling him closer to her.

Oh, God. Daniel couldn't believe how good this felt. He brought one of his hands up to her head, tilting it to a better angle to deepen their kiss. His other hand grasped the thigh wrapped around his own. He gave a strangled groan as Sam's hips gave a delicious wiggle, and his hands travelled on their own to her belt.

Sam's fingers began undoing the buttons of his shirt again, and Daniel froze. He and Sam had finally let each other know how deeply they cared for one another, emphasizing it wasn't just about sex. And yet here they were, for the second time in ten minutes, doing everything in their power to get into each other's pants. While on base. And on duty. This time with a security camera blinking behind them.

Sam's fingers stilled as well, and Daniel could almost hear her having similar thoughts. Her leg lowered back to the floor, and she wrapped her arms around his waist.

Daniel gave her one last kiss, and then rested his forehead against hers. "So, what now?"

"Now, we should go see Jess. Then we should stay in public until we're off base."

Daniel smiled. "Probably a good idea." He stroked a hand up her side. "We going to tell Jess about this?"

"We'll have to tell people sooner or later. Might as well start with her." Her hands slid over his waist and down to his rear end. With a sly smile, she gave him a squeeze and pulled him firmly against her body.

"Sam," he groaned, his eyes half closing.

"Yeah, I know." Sam loosened her grip. "It's just that if you had any idea how long I've wanted to..." She kissed the tip of his nose. "I mean, I've been in love with you for..."

"Years," Daniel said softly as he lowered his lips to hers again. After a long and slow kiss, he pulled away. "Let's go see Jess. Spend some time with her. We can make up for lost time later."

"That sounds like a plan."

They took a few minutes to straighten their clothing and hair. A short while later, they found themselves in the infirmary. Teal'c was sitting with their injured friend.

"Hey, it's the Science Twins," Jess said, smiling out from under her bandages.

Sam and Daniel pulled up chairs next to Jess's bed and sat down.

"How's our favourite geologist feeling?" Sam asked with a smile.

Jess nodded. "Better. Thanks. I'll be fine."

Daniel looked over her injuries. "Clearly you need to look up the definition of the word 'fine'."

"Doctor Lam is a skilled physician," said Teal'c. "Our friend is in good hands."

"Jess is pretty tough, too," Sam said. "I mean, you're not going to let Vala take you out of the game, are you?"

Jess chuckled, and then groaned softly, closing her eyes.

"Sorry." Sam winced. "Okay, no more making you laugh. Check."

"Vala feels terrible," Daniel said.

"I also wish to once more express my deepest regrets for my part in these events," said Teal'c.

"It wasn't your fault, Teal'c." Jess smiled at the Jaffa. "And as for Vala..." She rolled her eyes. "Sure she does. She feels so terrible she hasn't even apologised."

"Ah, well, um..." Daniel shifted on his seat and glanced briefly at Sam. "That might have something to do with the fact that I locked her in a closet."

Teal'c raised an eyebrow at him.

"You did that for me?" Jess asked with a broad grin.

Sam sighed melodramatically. "I feel terrible that I don't have anything even remotely comparable for you, Jess."

"Well, we do have news," said Daniel. "Why don't you tell her?"

"Yes, we do have news." Sam smiled at Jess but it quickly faded. "Um, it might be good news." She glanced at Daniel. "I mean, I know I think it is..."

"Uh, Sam?" Jess patted Sam's hand in a reassuring way. "I think the suspense is adequately built. Please tell me?"

Sam cleared her throat. "Well, Daniel and I are, um, in love."

Jess's eyes widened in apparent surprise and a broad grin grew on her face. "Finally!" she exclaimed.

"Indeed," Teal'c said, smiling.

"Guess it is good news then." Sam smiled at Daniel.

With a whoop of excitement, Jess leapt out of her bed, bandages flying. Sam and Daniel watched, dumbfounded, as their geologist friend started doing cartwheels around the room.

"What's going on out here?" Carolyn came out of her office, a scowl on her face. "Jess! How are you out of bed? And there's no way you could possibly be doing cartwheels!"

Jess came to a stop directly in front of her doctor. "I feel great, Doc!" She gave a broad grin to everyone gaping at her in the infirmary.

Carolyn did a quick check of Jess's injuries. "This is impossible. You're completely healed! How did this happen?"

Before anyone could even attempt an explanation, Vala entered supporting a scorched Siler. "See?" she said to him. "This is where they keep the doctors. You'll be good as new in no time."

"It's really nice of you to help," said Siler.

Vala smiled at him. "I really am a very helpful person. Most people don't understand that about me."

Daniel thought he saw Siler return Vala's smile as Carolyn helped him onto a bed and examined his latest electrical burns, but he quickly dismissed the idea as insane.

Vala approached Jess, her head hanging. "I'm really sorry about hitting you with the car. Can you ever forgive me?"

Jess grinned widely. "I think I can manage that, Vala."

"Really? Well, that's wonderful news!" Her eyes narrowed slightly as she studied Jess. "Wait. Weren't you injured?"

"I've had a miraculous recovery," said Jess. "Thanks to Sam and Daniel."

"So it would appear," Teal'c said with a smile.

Daniel blinked. "How did we...?"

Jess just grinned at him. "Trust me. It was you."

"I don't understand," said Vala, frowning with her hands on her hips. "What happened in here?"

"Come on, you two. Kiss."

Vala gaped at Jess. "Kiss? Who's kissing?"

Jess pointed at Sam and Daniel. For his part, Daniel didn't need more than one request to lock lips again, and it seemed Sam didn't either.

As they kissed, Daniel could faintly hear Vala's rapid-fire questions. "What's going on here? Doesn't he like men? Why is he kissing Sam? Who told him he could do that? She didn't even have to hit him first!"

"They're in love!" Jess answered excitedly. "They have been for years and they've finally come to realise it! I'm so excited!"

Breathlessly, Daniel pulled away from Sam, smiling at her glowing face.

"You're in love?" asked Vala.

Daniel draped his arm casually over Sam's shoulders and pulled her close as her arm wrapped around his waist. "We are."

"Well!" Vala threw her hands up in the air. "Why didn't you just say so? It all makes so much sense now!" She stepped closer to Siler's bed and placed her hand lightly on his knee. "I suppose that means you'll have my full and undivided attention, darling."

To Daniel's surprise, Siler gave Vala a little smile as he hopped off his bed. An action that apparently caught Carolyn's attention as well, though clearly for a different reason.

"I can't believe it!" she exclaimed. "Your burns are completely healed!"

Jess laughed. "Sam and Daniel! Better than a sarcophagus!"

Somewhere in the 'Real' World

The scene from Colorado faded, leaving only the original two women and their drifting blue-green smoke.

Amaranth: Jess, you've suffered a nasty scrape,

We hope you're soon in better shape,

Thraesja: So, have we left you all agape?

Amaranth: Our story's of a love so pure,

All wounds it manages to cure.

Thraesja (rolling eyes): Although some jokes were quite obscure.

Amaranth (glaring): Sam and Daniel, in love at last,

A co-written tale, penned too fast.

Thraesja: My sap tolerance was surpassed.

"Yeah," Amaranth said, wrinkling her nose. "And I'm officially out of rhymes."

Thraesja snorted. "It was your idea."

"Well, next time you should tell me it would be so hard."

"Ha!" Thraesja grinned evilly. "And miss you floundering around with the closing? Not a chance."

"Nice. You're such a sweetheart."

"Oh, we've resorted to name-calling now."

"Actually, it seems we've resorted to rambling. We should end this."

With matching grins, Amaranth and Thraesja threw their arms over each other's shoulders and looked out at their audience. "Get well soon, Jess!"

THE END

Final notes: All "real people" in this story have given permission for their pennames to be used. As well, the stories of both Thraesja and Jess13 can be found on this website. They're linked under my "Favourite Authors".