CHAPTER ELEVEN - by Verb


CHAPTER ELEVEN

ALTERNATE UNIVERSE #2 ENDING

"Hey."

The familiar voice caused Abbie to spin around in her chair, dropping her pencil on the floor in the process. "What are you doing here?" she asked, a little incredulous.

Daniel slowly shuffled into his office, closing the door behind him. "Is that any way to talk to a man who was in a coma only a few hours ago?" he teased as he brushed a kiss on Abbie's forehead.

"Good point," Abbie admitted as she tried to retrieve the pencil with the toes of her right foot so that she wouldn't have to look away from the man who she had come dangerously close to losing. "But as the woman who stood by your bed ridden comatose self, I think I deserve an answer."

Daniel pretended to be in deep thought. "Because this is my office?"

"Smartass."

Daniel clutched his hands to his chest in mock pain as he collapsed on the couch. "Ow! That hurts!"

Abbie rolled her eyes.

"No, really." Daniel reached behind him and extracted a small wrapped box. "This yours?"

"Apparently." Abbie gave a small smile. "Aeda dropped it off before she and Daniel made their way back to their universe."

Daniel shook the box, trying to figure out what was inside.

"Hey, stop that!" Abbie reached out for the gift and instead found Daniel's hand wrapped around hers, pulling her onto his lap.

"Much better," Daniel sighed as he wrapped an arm around her waist and sank deeper into the cushions.

"I'm still annoyed with you."

"I'm ok with that."

Abbie snorted. "You would be. You broke out of the infirmary and have me sitting on your lap. What else could you possibly want?"

"Aeda and Daniel gave me a few ideas," Daniel grinned, leaning in so his breath brushed right against her ear. "How do you feel about closets?"

"Flexible," Abbie teased and wrestled the box from Daniel's suddenly loose grip. She turned the simply wrapped package over in her hands, her thoughts drifting to its contents and the woman who had left it.

"She reminded me of you," Daniel's soft voice broke through her thoughts.

Abbie tilted her head to look directly at him "Are you sure it wasn't just the hair colour?"

Daniel let out a low chuckle. "Maybe. But I don't think it's a coincidence that you're both smart, outspoken, independent women who happen to be cute as hell when you're angry."

"Aeda and I were right," Abbie frowned. "You Daniels do have a type."

"Guilty." Daniel lifted the blanket off the back of the couch and settled it around them, tucking it in around Abbie's legs. "But at least we have the good sense to admit it."

"That's because we've taught you well," Abbie joked and settled down into Daniel's warmth.

"That you have." Daniel rubbed his hands lazily up and down her arms, sinking into a comfortable silence.

"I wonder what this is…" Abbie twisted the box in her hands, pulling a memory from the back of Daniel's mind of her doing the exact same thing with a tube of sunscreen.

Daniel plucked it out of her reach and gave it another shake, just for good measure. "It sounds … sexy?"

"You know, if I roll my eyes any more at you, Carter says they're going to get stuck."

"She would know - she spent enough time with McKay."

"True." Finished with the waiting – she had never been very patient with presents – Abbie stole back the box and made quick work of the wrapping paper. Tossing it behind her at Daniel's head, she lifted off the top and looked inside.

And was promptly unable to speak.

Intrigued by the now red tips of her ears, Daniel peaked over her shoulder, trying to get a good view of the mysterious box's contents. "What is it?"

Abbie ignored the question and pulled out the folded sheet of lined paper that was tucked underneath the gift. With a flick of her fingers, she found herself reading the hastily scrawled words of her now relocated friend.

Abbie-

I'm no good with goodbyes – but I am good with gifts. A little something to remember me by. And I do mean little. It's not too late to give it a try – and if anyone else can be sure that you've got the right man to try it with, it's me. Be yourself, have fun, make each other laugh – and stay away from the white cotton!

Take care,

Aeda

P.S. Daniel made me add that he really likes satin. The degree to which I don't want to know, actually.

Abbie was having a small personal crisis. Words - the very things that occupied her life's work - completely and utterly failed her, the synapses in her brain refusing to fire, she was pretty sure on principle. For a woman who had breezed into her life for less than 48 hours, Aeda was certainly making sure she would never be forgotten.

"Abbie?"

The soft question refocused Abbie's attention, bringing her back from thoughts that revolved around asking Carter if it were possible to strangle someone from another universe.

"Everything ok?" Daniel asked, concerned at being met with a silence that didn't mean a difficult translation or impending doom. "Aeda didn't leave you strange pictures of Siler with a wrench, did she? Because I can see her trying to pull something like that."

The corners of Abbie's mouth curled gently into a smile. "Always stick with your gut, Daniel." She handed the box over, keeping a close eye on his features as she did so. "Your first guess was right on."

For all of his years as the diplomatic core of SG-1, Daniel was surprisingly bad at keeping a blank face. Abbie watched as his features reflected his brain cycling from confusion to recognition to something else entirely.

"It's . . . I mean, uh, they're . . ."

"Underwear?" Abbie asked with the best air of innocence she could muster.

Daniel made a noise somewhere between a snort and a growl. "You could call them that." His fingertips brushed the soft material, doing his best not to think about the fact that he was touching ... he couldn't actually make his brain form the words.

Abbie fought down a sudden flash of heat as his eyes met hers. As a kid, her mother had taught her to trust her instincts - that the hair standing up at the back of her neck meant something. When she joined the SGC, that trust in her own body's reactions kept her and her team out of trouble and alive. Every part of her well trained instinct was screaming that this was a man she could trust with anything - and that Aeda had simply provided a much needed nudge in a certain direction.

"Think maybe you'd like to give me a hand with those?" Abbie blurted out before she could register that her mouth was moving, completely without her permission.

"Putting them on or taking them off?" Daniel's waggled eyebrow and attempted leer had Abbie falling off the couch, laughing so hard she could barely breathe.

The words of Aeda's letter passed though her mind as she struggled to pull in enough oxygen. Abbie managed to catch her breath and gave Daniel a raised eyebrow of her own. "Why don't we say the former with an open option on the latter?"

Daniel's face spread into a grin so wide that it threatened to split his face in half. "Sounds like the best offer I've had in months." Abbie watched as the grin softened, transformed into something intimate and warm that made her tummy roll over and take notice. "But only if you're sure?"

Abbie grabbed him by the front of his shirt, pulling him closer. "Who am I to ignore the wishes of my well meaning but slightly perverted alternate reality counterpart?"

Daniel let out a little snort. "Well, when you put it that way." He leaned in, close enough that his next words were whispered right against her lips. "Did she leave you anything in satin?"

Abbie rolled her eyes and laced her fingers at the base of his neck. "We'll go shopping tomorrow."