Stranded by Mandarax

Summary – the inevitable "Jack and Sam get stranded" story that each of us fanfic writers have to write at one point. Random spoilers for random episodes. Most notably – Grace and Emancipation. Yes, two very different seasons... Takes place sometime after Heroes and before Lost City.

Author's note – I told myself I wouldn't do it, wouldn't write it, but it just kind of wrote itself.

Disclaimer – yes, sir.

Rated T.

He flopped down on the grassy stairs next to her.

She didn't acknowledge his presence, just kept on staring off into the blue ridges ahead, the Stargate standing proud behind her. It was symbolic of sorts; the past behind her, the future ahead of her.

"Errr," the colonel murmured, "What's up, Doc?"

She swallowed the bile that rose in her throat and turned her head to her CO, "I'm sorry to say, Sir, that it seems we're…" She trialed off.

He picked up right where she left off, "Stranded, marooned, isolated, stuck?"

"Yes sir," she nodded and looked away.

O'Neill readjusted his P90 so that it doesn't poke a hole in his upper thigh. "Carter, was there anything you could have done to stop it?"

"No sir," she shook her head, "But I can't get us out of here either, I mean, there's no DHD, there's no power source –"

"Never say never," the Colonel cut her off. "They're probably already looking for us."

She nodded again, staring off into space.

"Hammond's probably already used to me getting stranded," he grinned at her.

She half smiled back. He was intent on cheering her up but it would take more than just one of his stupid jokes.

He must have realized it because his grin softened. "At least this time I'm not alone."

"Weren't you stuck with Maybourne the last time, Sir?"

"You just had to remind me, didn't you."f

Her lips twitched. "Sorry."

He thought she didn't look sorry at all.

"Carter, if I have to be stuck off world with no way home, there is no one else I would rather be stranded with then you."

She looked at him again, searched his face. Though he was looking away from her, she knew he could feel her eyes on him. She examined his battle-worn features, his toned skin, his hair, sticking out at all ends. Talk about a loaded admission.

"Thank you," she said softly, purposely not adding his honorific or title.

He twisted in his seat to face her. "What do we need to do to dial the gate?"

Back to business. Every moment of tenderness between them was always followed by business.

"A power source. Which we don't have."


"We've got enough water for a day and a half, and MREs to last us two days."

He looked around him. "And trees. Can't forget the trees, Carter."

"And trees."

"We'll make camp on the edge of the trees. Rest for the night. We'll search in there tomorrow," he indicated to the trees, "for power sources."

"I'll take first watch, Sir," she replied.

He was about to say something but thought again. He searched her face for a moment. "We better search for food and water sources, too."

She nodded. She understood the undertone of his words. Food and water sources meant that they were staying here, wherever they are, for a while longer.

It had been a week since they were stranded and they managed to explore the whole island they were stuck on. It wasn't a big island, it only took three hours walk its circumference. It was surrounded by beautiful blue water and white sandy beaches. The trees proved fruitful. Literally. Blue apple-like fruits, and something that looked like grapes but were actually yellow hung off the branches in abundance.

Over the week they had established that they were alone on the island, and the biggest creature they had come across was bug-like, but the size of a kitten. After three nights of watches, her CO decided with her advisement that they stop with the night watches all together, and instead slept, giving them enough strength during the day to explore the forest and adjust to the simple life.

The shelter they built was a small one. They only had one tent since Daniel and Teal'c had the other one. Colonel O'Neill macgyvered it into a slightly bigger area by cutting the sides of the front fold and attaching it to two poles he shaped out of branches so that they had a little shade on their "front porch". Inside the tent they placed their sleeping bag and the rest of their supplies just at the edge by their feet.

During the day they would carry their P90s and zats. At some point he had given up his BDU shirt, and it now served as a makeshift pillow. She had yet to lose the shirt and he often teased her about it.

In the evenings they would light a fire and sit together talking and sometimes not talking. Dinner would consist of some fruit. The MREs were long gone. They would boil water in a pot she had with her and they would drink fruit tea.f

At night he would secure the perimeter while she prepared for bed. She would step outside when he would come back and busy herself with whatever until he would call her and tell her she could go to sleep, usually with some silly joke.

She would smile at him and say, "good night, sir," before turning her back to him on her cot and letting sleep consume her.

She sat down on the Stargate stairs next to him to watch the final rays of light as the sun disappeared behind the ridges of the mountains on whatever other continent was there on this planet.

"Carter," he said, pulling his hat off and running a hand through his short hair.


"The two moons, how cool is that?"

She glanced up to see the bigger moon appearing up in the darkening sky. The little one, the one further away, will appear in a few minutes too. She smiled, her eyes still on the moon. Yes, it was really pretty cool.

It suddenly occurred to her that she hadn't responded and she looked at her CO. She found him staring at her, his lips in a tight smile. She could feel the blush rising in her cheeks.


He kept his eyes on hers for another moment before looking back up just in time to see the second moon appear.

"It's going to be a beautiful night," she whispered. "The sky's going to be clear. Just stars and moons."

"Kinda makes me wish we carried a telescope wherever we went," he responded, and then added, "Sam."

Sometime during the week he started calling her Sam more often. She even heard a few Samantha's. On one hand, she was happy he was letting go. On the other hand, she was concerned for just the same reason. Letting go meant he was accepting their situation. That he might be giving up on going home.

"Carter, I think we need a way off this island just so I can go get mine."

And then he would say something like that and her confidence in him would return.

"Your telescope, sir?"

"Yes, ma'am."

She grinned. Maybe one day she'll build him one.

Maybe her own confidence that they would leave was slowly dissipating.

She leaned back on two hands, spreading her fingers on the grassy stones, and looked up at the two moons, now up high in the night sky. She had been right; it was turning out to be a gorgeous night. Dark sky, stars shining brightly, a soft breeze from the sea, two moons.

He mimicked her position, thrusting his hands back and leaning on them. She didn't move her hand when his fingers covered her own.

"So, what's for dinner tonight?" he asked.

She was about to answer when he interrupted. "And if you say fruit, god help me, I will zat you."

"Sorry, sir," she smiled softly, biting on her lower lip.

He shook his head, "fruit it is."

He squeezed her fingers and stood up, offering his hand to help pull her up.

She let him help her until she was standing a few inches from him. She could feel the heat of his body. Or maybe it was off the P90.

"Come on, Sam, its fruit time."

A month passed. The novelty of the two moons wore off sometime in the last two weeks. The beach was still beautiful but it was a sight that she was tiring of. Deep exploration of the forest revealed nothing of particular interest.

Their tent was becoming too small for her. Her CO, much as she loved him, was starting to get on her nerves.

He was bored and so was she. There was nothing to do and it bore heavily on him. While they were in survival mode he was fine. Keeping them safe, preparing food storages, improvising a shelter, it all kept him busy. But now that it was all done, he was bored. And frankly, so was she.

If there had been walls, she would be climbing them. They were both restless. And the restlessness had them arguing from morning to evening. Arguing, or not talking at all.

Both were uncomfortable. Especially since neither had anywhere to go. If only she could get the gate working…

She sat on the Stargate stairs and stared at the waves lapping at the sandy beach. The day before had been so bad that the Colonel disappeared before she woke up. She didn't know where he'd gone and it didn't really matter either. That he was gone in the first place gave her some relief because it meant there wouldn't be any arguing. At least not for a while.

Nothing was the same as it had been those first two weeks. No longer did they share friendly fruit-filled suppers. Instead they fought. He no longer called her Sam or Samantha, sticking to Major even more often than Carter.

And it was getting cooler by the day. No longer did the warm breeze from the water dissipate the stillness of the day. No, now the cold air was slowly penetrating her bones and chilling her from the inside out.

It was even cooler during the days now. He still hadn't taken to wearing his BDU shirt yet but she thought it was because he refused to acknowledge that their little heaven was turning to be little hell as well.

A hand appeared in her field of vision, holding one of the blue apples.

"A peace offering," she heard him say.

She took the apple, "Thanks."

He nodded and sat down next to her.

"Sam," It had been at least two weeks since he last called her that, "We need to stop this… fighting…"

"You're bored. So am I." She bit into her apple.

"Yeah, I came to the same conclusion."

She sighed as she chewed on her apple. She knew what she thought they needed to do but she didn't want to be the one to bring it up. What she thought they needed to do would mean that they are settling. That they are giving up. She wasn't sure she was ready to admit it out loud.

"We need a better shelter."

She closed her eyes. He was going to admit what she wasn't willing to.

"And I swear if I eat fruit one more day I'm going to shoot myself."

He had a point, they had both lost some weight and eating the damn fruit was getting on her nerves too.

"What are you saying, Sir?"

"I'm saying we need something to do. And I'm saying I need a bed. And a bigger shelter."

She let out a breath she hadn't known she was holding and looked at him.

"It doesn't mean we're giving up, Sam," he said softly. "It means we're dealing with our circumstances."

"I know."

"You may actually have better luck figuring things out if you actually sleep on a real bed," he gave her a half smile and she was reminded just why she loved him.

"We need to find something to cover ourselves with during the night, it's going to get cold," she put in her two cents.

There was another way to keep warm during cold nights, a military-advised way even which involved body heat and sharing, but she wasn't going to bring it up.

"I just can't stand fighting anymore," he admitted softly. He took her hand in his and pulled it into his grasp.

She looked at their joined hands and then at his face, "Neither can I."

He pulled on her hand, forcing her closer to him. He pulled her into his arms, hugging her to him.

"We'll be okay," he whispered into her hair.

"Sir, do you think there are any eatable fish in the sea?"

"Make ya a deal," he answered, "Stop with the Sir and I'll take you fishing."

She pulled back from his arms. There were tears in her eyes. "Are you giving up?"

He stared at her, trying to figure out what she was thinking. "What?"

"Sir – "

"Sam, I don't care how long we're here for, I'm not going to live the rest of my life as Sir and Colonel. "

"Okay, Jack."

"Alright then. Let's go find something to make a fishing pole out of."

He pulled her close again, his arms around her shoulders. "Are we okay?" he whispered into her ear.

"Yeah, Jack," she practiced the usage of his name. "We are."

She sat on the top step of the Stargate and stretched her back, turning her head from side to side on its hinge.

It's been another month since they were stranded. Two months of being stuck. It was cold now, even during the days, and Jack had finally agreed to put his BDU shirt back on. Only now it wasn't enough. They had a fire going for most of the day now. They had split the work of constructing a better shelter between them. He wanted to start with a bed because his back ached so much and his knee was killing him. She argued that they're going to need a better shelter first because it was getting cooler by the day. It took some convincing, but he agreed.

The shelter they built was a wooded one, large enough to stand up right in, as opposed to the tent. They hadn't built a front door because the smoke from the fire would have no way out. Instead, they left half a wall open.

She had built a hanger on which they hung their bullet proof vests, which they had given up wearing a month earlier.

The little house kept them warm enough, and with the fire right outside, it was even warmer, but still, the nights were cold. Freezing, even.

And last night had been the coldest of any they had so far. They hadn't built the bed he so wanted yet, having just completed the shelter itself. They still slept in sleeping bags they had brought with them from Earth. But last night… Last night even the thick sleeping bag hadn't been enough.

Her teeth were chattering. She was sleeping, but just barely. Every breeze from the small windows they built sent a chill down her back. She curled into a tiny ball, wishing the night would be over so she could warm by the fire she would built first thing in the morning.

Her chattering teeth must have woken up her CO because all of a sudden he was behind her, his own sleeping bag on top of hers. He began rubbing her shoulder, and from her shoulder down her arm to her thigh. He rubbed her upper thigh hard, pressing his knuckles down, generating as much heat as he could.

Slowly she began to relax, the warmth from his body behind her, the thick sleeping bag on top of her, and his fingers on her thigh generated enough heat to calm her down and her sleep became easier.

And then the fingers on her thigh slowed to a feathery touch. So soft that it woke her up fully. She could feel his breath on the back of her neck, and she could feel it quickening. And then she wasn't tired anymore. Instead, she snuggled closer into him, feeling her own breathing coming in faster.

She turned her head towards him.

He held her gaze before moving his hand from her thigh to her cheek, feeling the soft skin against his own. Turning his hand over, he slid his knuckles down her cheek, all the while holding her gaze.

"Jack?" she asked softly, her tongue licking her lips quickly before retreating into the cavern of her mouth.

His eyes followed it and then settled on her red lips before rising to meet her eyes again.

"I –" he started to say but never got the chance to finish, her lips were firmly attached to his.

He kissed her back just as hard as she was kissing him, his fingers sliding into her hair just as her own arm went around her head to reach the back of his neck to pull him closer.

It was long moments before they broke off the kiss. But the need for air was too strong and finally he pulled back. She let her head drop back on his arm, her eyes wide open and a smile the size of Minnesota on her lips.

He gave her a quirky smile, his fingers on the softness of her cheeks again.

"Think you can sleep better now?" he whispered.

She nodded and slowly turned back, snuggling closer into him as his arms came around her.

They slept like that for the rest of the night. For the first time since it started getting cold Sam slept the whole night through, not feeling the effects of the cold.

Now, hours later, she sat on the top step of the Stargate, fingers touching her lips, the memory of the greatest first kiss in the history of the universe hovering right before her eyes. They had shared a good morning kiss as well, but nothing beat that first kiss the night before.

She knew exactly when he appeared behind her. He had taken a liking to walking through the Stargate, wormhole or no wormhole. He did so as often as he could. She wasn't surprised to find him coming up behind her.

He dropped a jacket in her lap. "Wouldn't want you to catch a cold."

"Thanks," she mumbled, fingers still touching her lips.

"Preoccupied much?" he twisted a smile her way.

"Guess so," she finally looked at him, blushing slightly.

"Hey,I can understand. I have a preoccupation with your lips too."

She smiled widely at him. "I just can't get it out of my mind."

"Get what?"

"The kiss."

There was smugness in his smile then. "I've been trying to find something to make a bed out of. I was thinking we were going to need two but now..."

And she knew he was asking her what came next. They'd kissed but he didn't want to assume anything. "I'm thinking more about what we can make a mattress out of," she said.

"Sleeping bags?"

She shrugged.

"Maybe we should call up Ole' General Hammond and have him send us a King Koil."

She smiled but it didn't reach her eyes. "Jack, what happens if they find us?"

"We go home," he said, unsure where she was heading with this.

"Whose home?"

The other shoe dropped. "Where do you want to go?"

"I don't know. Would you want to live at your place?"

"I don't know. Do you want me to retire?"

"Do you want me to?" Her blue eyes stared at him, her expression unreadable.

After a moment of silence, he shook his head. "This is a very hypothetical conversation."

"Isn't it?" She smiled. "Not really relevant."

"No, not really."

Both stared off into the water.

"There are those big leaves by the lake, if we get enough of them, we can maybe make a mattress," she said.

"Let's go," he jumped up and started heading towards said lake. She smiled at his enthusiasm and followed him.

She lay in his arms at the base of the Stargate, snuggling into the warmth of his naked body next to her.

Another month passed and the weather was becoming nice again. Warm enough to lie naked at the base of the Stargate. Or maybe she was still warm and tingly from their previous activities.

The bed they built was big and comfortable. The big leaves by the lake proved to be an excellent idea, both for mattress and for blankets. In a brilliant moment of ingenuity she zipped the two sleeping bags together and filled the pocket created with the big leaves.

They still argued every once in a while, mostly about what to eat and where to eat it.

He taught her to fish and they sat together side by side and fished and talked and sometimes forgot to fish when they got lost in a kiss.

They often talked of home, living an alternate life back on Earth. In one fantasy they lived at her place, she retired and he went on leading SG1. In another they lived in the cabin without any contact with the outside world, making love all day long. In a third they both still served in the same command. On base they were nothing but professional, but back home, his home, they couldn't keep their hands off each other.

This was kind of the situation right now, really. It wasn't that they were having sex all the time. They did spend most of the day apart and doing construction work. But if their paths happened to cross during the day, well, Sam grinned to herself.

He often said he had years to make up for. Sometimes he would remind of her of a specific day during some mission that he remembered for less than honorable reasons. He reminded her of the blue dress she was forced to wear so many years ago and told her just what effect it had on him. She reminded him that it was the first time he called her Samantha.

She stretched her limbs, moving against him. She wasn't surprised when his arm came around her.

"What day is it?" he said softly into her ear.

"I don't know."

"How long have we been here?"

"Three months, give or take a day."

"What happens if the gate opens now?"

She looked up; judging the distance between them and the kawoosh of the gate, should it suddenly open. "If we stay down here… Nothing. It'll just open and snap back above our heads."


She grinned. It would be just like him to want to try it. If only she could get the Stargate to work.

She turned on her side to face him, her fingers making small circles on his chest. "Do you think they put someone else in charge of SG1?"

"I wonder if we're MIA or KIA," he said in response.

"Do you think Daniel and Teal'c are still looking for us?"

"No doubt about it, baby."

"Jack!" She hated when he called her that and he knew it.

"Leave no-one behind," he cupped her cheek. "At least, I hope so."

"Me too," she leaned down to kiss him.

She sat down on the ground beneath the stairs of the Stargate and laid back, her head on his chest. His fingers automatically went into his hair. With his other hand he popped a grapelike fruit into his mouth. She looked up to see what he was munching on and he popped another grape into her mouth.

Four months had taught them much. They learned that once a month the two moons shine brightly, more brightly than other nights, and because of that on that specific night each month they sat under the night sky, devoid of any other lights and watched the moons rise.

It was on these nights that she knew for certain that they were meant to be together. They had begun fighting a lot again. This time around there wasn't much of the sexual tension there was between them two months ago. No, this time their fighting was combined with makeup sex and lots of it. But still, they fought and fighting meant that he was bored. So was she, but she had better ways to occupy herself than pick fights.

Two weeks ago she made a yo yo for him from a string she made from a branch of a tree she found and two pieces of wood she had smoothed with her knife. She gave it to him over dinner one day and he thought it was the best damn thing she'd ever given him. He gave back as good as he got that night.

But the yo yo kept him busy for another day or two and then he was bored again. And the fighting started again. Sometimes it made her feel like maybe they weren't the match made in heaven that she always thought they would be. But then they would lie under the dark sky and watch the moons climb up the sky and they would talk and he would be sweet and amazing and funny and just the man she fell in love with oh so many years before, and she knew that she would never love anyone else.

"Whatcha thinking about?"

She glanced up at him when the hand in her hair stopped.

"That we need to find you something to do," she answered honestly.

"Was thinking about it, actually."

"You didn't hurt yourself, did you?" her mouth quirked.

He gave her a look, "Funny."

He had a met a side of her he didn't know on the island, the side of her that laughed at him. A lot .She smiled at him. "What did you think about?"

"I'm thinking I need a project. For the rest of our lives."

"Let's start with something to keep you busy for now."

He gave her a small grin. "How about a boat?"

"To explore the rest of the planet?"

"At least the mountain range across the water."

"Maybe there's a civilization over there," she mused. "With technology."

"Roughing it not working out for ya?"

She smiled at him, her brightest smile, "I really wish my laptop had some juice left. Think of the number of Freecell games you could have played."

He snorted.

"We'll look for wood to make a boat for you tomorrow."

He kissed her.

She flopped down on the stairs of the Stargate, leaned back on her elbows and threw her legs straight ahead. She hurt. Everywhere. There wasn't a single muscle in her body that didn't ache. Her dad would have said that that was a good thing and she knew it was; it meant her body was working, but god damn it, she hurt. Letting her head fall back, she tried to relax.

It was so hot.

Both had long ago given up on BDU shirts. He walked around shirt-less most of the time. He tried to encourage her to do the same but she just smiled at him and turned away. Instead she wore her black tank top. They talked about making shorts out of their BDU pants but both remembered the freezing days just two months back. Instead, they both rolled their pant legs up.

The boat-building was going well. They decided not to make just a tiny little row boat but something bigger that maybe they can spend more than just a few hours on. No, they were going to build a boat with a living compartment and a bed and a little kitchen. They would attach fishing rods to it so they'll have food while sailing.

It was a long project that kept them both busy and they were taking their sweet time working on it, taking days off to relax, and making every oar and every piece of wood the perfect size, thickness, and smoothness to make their boat livable. The only thing they argued about was what to name the boat. His affinity with the name Enterprise could drive her crazy but it was the good kind of crazy, the kind that made her laugh. The kind that made her want him. The kind that made her love him.

He was great. He was amazing. He was everything she ever thought he would be. He gave her life meaning. He balanced her. He was… everything the illusion of her dad told her love would be that time she was marooned on Prometheus.

She was happy. Truly and undeniably happy.

Until a splash of water hit her in the face. Splattering, she ran a hand over her eyes and opened them, to see him standing over her, grinning.


"It's hot today," he said by way of explanation. "You looked like you needed to chill."

"Thank you, really," she sat up. "Why are you wet?"

"Went for a swim in the lake."

She was jealous. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"That's why I'm here, sweetheart," he splashed her again.

"Sweetheart?" It was almost as bad as 'baby'. He kept trying pet names on her, so far she vetoed most of them. She blamed it on dreaming that he call her Sam or Samantha and not when she was in a bed in the infirmary for so long while she was under his command. He seemed content that she called him Jack, it brought a smile to his lips every time. She thought he had the same reason as she had.

"Can't blame a guy for trying," he shrugged. "Come on, we're going swimming."

He pulled her to her feet and off the stairs and into his chest, kissing her lightly before pulling her behind him to the lake deep in the woods.

She sat on the stairs leading up to the Stargate. It was night and dark around her. Elbows on her knees, hands covering her face, she rubbed her eyes. Tonight the two moons will shine the brightest over the planet.

Six months had passed since they were marooned. Their boat was nearly ready; it only required a little bit more work, mostly on the esthetics side. He had decided that since they didn't have two more sleeping bags to fill with the big leaves they would just carry their "mattress" from their little home to their boat.

They left the boat on the beach and ran to their shelter when they heard the Stargate engage.

They both pulled their vests on and attached their P90s, which he had kept clean and battle ready, and ran back towards the Stargate.

It had engaged and kawooshed while they were in the shelter.

She thought they must look ridiculous. Rolled up BDU pants, he was shirtless under the vest, she wore her tank top. They were barefoot. But they had P90s attached to them.

Jack grabbed her hand and squeezed it.

A MALP was coming through the gate.

She wasn't sure what she felt. She looked at him and he smiled. "We can ask for that king koil now," he told her.

And she knew. She knew it didn't matter that they were going back to Earth. It didn't matter that he was her CO and that she was second in command. They would be together whether on Earth or not. It put her mind at ease, making her accept the idea that they were going home much more easily.

When the MALP was on the ground next to them they could see the camera part panning, Jack jumped in front of it, pushing his face right into the camera, the way he used to do to report back on their old missions.

"George! How nice of you to stop by for a visit!"

Behind him, she giggled. He grinned at her.

"Colonel O'Neill? Is that you, son?"


"Jack, are you alright? Is Sam with you?" another voice, Daniel's, came over the MALP.

He gestured for her to join him and moved back a little to allow her to stand next to him. Without much ceremony, he put his arm around her the way a CO would never do with a subordinate.

"Hi, Sir," she smiled to the camera.

She wished she could see the expression on the General's eyes. She wondered if he was alone and she doubted it.

"Is Teal'c there too?"

"It is good to hear your voice, O'Neill," Teal'c's deep voice responded and she could just imagine his head bowing at them.

"Hi Jack," Daniel's voice carried over the MALP again. "How you doing?"

"Been keeping busy, filing our nails waiting for you to come pick us up."

"We're coming through," Daniel announced.

"Bring a Naquadah generator!" Sam called out.

Ten minutes later Daniel and Teal'c walked out of the gate. Still standing in each other's arms by the gate, she and Jack welcomed them.

From there things just rolled out the way she always imagined they would. Jack showed Daniel and Teal'c around while she hooked up the generator to the gate so she can dial home. When they returned from their tour of the island she dialed the gate.

There was a tearful welcome back to the SGC. Even her dad was there to welcome her back. A trip to the infirmary confirmed that they were both fine.

For the first time in six months she didn't have to work hard for a good shower and there was no need to make sure that the water flowed in the tunnels they had built from the lake to their little home. She must have spent an hour under the water, washing away six months of sand and dirt that their shower back on the island couldn't get rid of.

When she finally stepped out of the shower and dressed in the BDUs she had left in her locker six months earlier, she made her way to the commissary to find her dad and Jack sitting across from each other, talking. She knew Jack noticed that she came in but instead of heading towards them she headed to the line to pick something to eat. She avoided any apples and grapes like they were the plague, though they were widely available for her choosing and picked a piece of chicken and blue jello. Finally, she joined them, dropping her tray next to Jack's and pulling the seat out.

Her dad just looked from one to the other. Then, shaking his head, he just went on eating.

Hammond debriefed them both, well aware right off the bet of the situation. He promised to bring back solutions once he talks with his superiors. He asked them to stay on base, at least for the time being.

Somehow she found herself on the stairs leading up the ramp to the gate, unable to sleep. She had her back to the control room, her eyes on the gate itself. It was beautiful, she'd forgotten just how much. Like the first night on their planet, she felt like her position was symbolic. She was facing her future again and the future, she hoped, included this amazing artifact.

But she didn't know, couldn't know what the future held.


She looked up to where she knew he was standing; she'd felt him come into the empty gate room.

"I checked out the quarters they gave me," he sat down next to her.


"They put us together."

"As if that would have mattered," she chuckled. Sleeping in his arms for the past four months was ingrained into her, she would have snuck into his quarters had they separated them.

But she still looked tense, like something was wrong. "Come're," he said, and when she snuggled into him easily, he added, "You okay?"

"Yeah. I'm fine. It's just…"

"It's weird."

"Tonight would have been this month's moon shine," she whispered, using the name they had dubbed their astronomical monthly event.

"I know," he said just as softly. "But here we can get real moonshine."

"What happens now?"

"Don't know," he shrugged. "But no matter what, I love you."

The smile she gave him was more beautiful than any moon shine event in the universe. "I do too," she said just as softly.

It wasn't the first time they had shared the words. Nor was it the second nor third. But they reassured her nonetheless.

Together they sat, silently looking at the gate.

"Have you figured out what happened that we got sent to another planet?" he asked softly.

"The wormhole went through an energy barrier. Daniel and Teal'c made it back here right before the gate back on S43 overloaded and the wormhole snapped and changed gates."

"Ah." As if he understood. "How much did you miss the technobabble?"

She chuckled softly.

"Sammie," his hold on her tightened, "Whatever happens now…"

"We're together."

She bit her lower lip and smiled at him. He finally found a nickname she could live with. Her dad and her brother were the only two to call her Sammie. And now that he is family too, he had every right to call her that. And it had only taken him six months.

A/N: Yeah, not sure I like this ending, I might just revise it at a late date...