None So Blind
Categories: Angst, Romance, Drama
Content Warning: Adult Themes, Mild Profanity, Sexual Content, Violence
Spoilers: The Tok'ra, Revisions, 200, Memento Mori, Bounty, Unending
Author's Notes: This story takes place sometime after the events of Ark of Truth. Most things in this universe happened the same as they did in the series, with two important exceptions: Sam broke up with Pete right after Chimera, and the events in Unending were completely different in some ways. The story contains a Daniel/Sam and Cam/Vala romance.
*** IMPORTANT NOTICE ***
Due to this archive's crackdown on sexual content in stories, I have changed all mature-rated scenes that may have been considered by the moderators to have an MA rating. The love scenes in this story have been replaced with the milder ones from the version of the story that had been rated Teen but now also has a Mature rating. I am keeping this version up because of the reviews attached to it. The real mature-rated version can still be found on my Web site at www .stargate-horizons. com (remove spaces). I welcome you to go there and read it, then come back here and review.
Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter couldn't stop smiling. For so many years she'd waited for this moment. Sometimes, it seemed like forever. Now that it was finally here, she felt like pinching herself to make sure it was real.
Two months ago, Jack had surprised everyone by announcing that he was retiring. Now that the Goa'uld were all but gone and the Ori had been dealt with, along with all their followers, he'd decided that it would be a good time to start collecting his military pension and let others deal with the stuff at Homeworld Security.
Three weeks later, Jack was officially within the ranks of the retired. His ex-teammates – along with Cameron, Vala and several others at the SGC – threw him a retirement party at Daniel's apartment. He then flew off back home to deal with selling his house, having no intention of staying in the DC area now that he didn't have to do so. He had not yet decided where he was going to live.
The day before yesterday, Jack called Sam and told her that he was going to be back in Colorado Springs for a while. That was followed by him asking her out on a date. For a second, Sam was so tongue-tied that she couldn't speak. When she found her voice, it was used to utter an enthusiastic acceptance.
The big event was tonight, and Sam was so nervous that she hadn't been able to sit still all day.
A good two hours before Jack was scheduled to pick her up, Sam began to get ready. It turned out that she needed every minute of it. It took her forever to decide what to wear, then she spent ages with her hair, trying several different styles before settling on wearing it up.
When the knock on her door came, Sam's heart began to race. Calming herself with an effort, she opened it to find Jack on the other side, looking quite distinguished in a light grey suit.
"Wow," he said. "Sam, you're a knockout."
Sam blushed and smiled. "Thank you, sir."
Jack raised his eyebrows. "Sir? We're going on a date, Sam."
Sam shook her head. "I'm sorry, sir . . . I-I mean Jack. Old habits die hard."
"Well, I'd better not hear that word pass your lips again this evening, Sam. If I do, you'll give me a complex."
Sam smiled again. "I'll remember that . . . Jack."
Sam got her coat and purse, then they headed off to the restaurant. After ordering, they slipped into casual conversation, wandering from topic to topic, though Jack stayed away from anything that was of a personal nature. Sam wasn't surprised when the subject of hockey entered the conversation. Apparently, Jack's favorite team had won a game recently, and he was really jazzed about it. As he described some of the highlights, Sam tried to remain interested in the conversation, but her attention kept wandering. She glanced about the room, seeing other couples talking and laughing, looking happy. She was happy, too. Okay, so maybe this wasn't going exactly like she'd imagined their first date would be, but she really shouldn't have expected it to be that way. In her fantasies, she'd imagined Jack being oh so very romantic, his brown eyes always on her, talking to her about things that really mattered, opening up to her about stuff. But come on. How realistic was that? This was Jack. She couldn't expect him to act differently just because they were on a date.
His narration of the big game complete, Jack asked what she'd been doing lately. Being in a public place, she couldn't tell him anything classified, but she could tell him about a little science project she'd been working on at home. She began to explain it, but about five minutes in, she noticed that it was now Jack's attention that was wandering.
"I'm sorry," she said. "I know you're not interested in things like this."
"Yeah, but that's okay. You wouldn't be you if you didn't technobabble at least once in a conversation. I've come to expect it." Jack smiled. "I'd think you were an imposter if you didn't."
Sam returned the smile, although, way deep down inside, she was a little disappointment that, even on their date, he hadn't made an effort to at least try to be interested in the science that was so important to her. That was another part of her ridiculous fantasy about this date, that Jack would listen to her spout off "technobabble" and actually pay attention. She should have known better. Jack would always be Jack in that regard. But she loved him anyway, even if he had no interest in a lot of the things that interested her. There were plenty of things in which they shared an interest, like the Air Force, and motorcycles, and stargazing, and. . . .
Sam frowned internally. Okay, there had to be some other things they both liked. She just couldn't think of any at the moment. When they were on overnight missions, they always had plenty of things to talk about around the campfire. Well, actually, the bulk of the conversation was always between her and Daniel, but Jack became involved, too.
Just then, the food arrived. They spent the next few minutes concentrating on their meals, each of them asking how the other's was. Sam smiled when she recalled the last time that she and Daniel ate together outside the SGC. They got together for lunch and ended up sharing part of their meals with each other, chatting away the whole time they were eating. It was great, something they hadn't done in far too long.
"What's the reason for the smile?" Jack asked.
Sam's attention returned to him with a start. "Oh, nothing. I was just recalling something. It's not important."
The conversation from then on was mostly small talk and things in the news. After the meal was finished, they headed over to the restaurant's bar and talked some more over drinks.
"So, would you like to go someplace else?" Jack asked as they left the place an hour later.
Sam glanced at her watch. "I really wish I could, but I need to get up early. We're running a gate diagnostic in the morning." She wondered why it was that she didn't feel more disappointed than she did that the date had to end early.
"Ah. Well, I'm planning on being here a week, so how about a second date?"
Sam smiled at him. "Sure, I'd really like that. But why are you going to be here that long?"
"I'm taking the opportunity to visit some old friends while I'm here. I'm also sort of thinking of moving back here, and I want to check the housing situation."
Sam's smile got bigger. "Really? That's great! We've all missed having you around here."
"Yeah, I'll take Colorado Springs and the people here over DC any day of the week."
Jack drove Sam back to her house and accompanied her to her door.
"I'll be stopping by the base tomorrow, so I'll see you then," he said.
There was a brief moment of awkward silence, then Jack said good night. Sam watched him walk to his car. He gave her a jaunty wave, then got in.
Sam went into her house, trying to ignore the sharp pang of disappointment that yet another part of her dream date hadn't been fulfilled. In it, Jack gave her a kiss that was supposed to be light, but ended up deep and explosively passionate. Whenever she really let her imagination go, the kiss led to both of them in bed, making love.
This was another thing she really shouldn't have even hoped would happen. After all, after more than ten years of being her superior officer, it was going to take Jack a while to adjust to acting a different way around her. Their second date would be much better. He'd be more relaxed and feel freer and more confident about this step they were taking toward a romantic relationship.
Nodding to herself, Sam headed toward the bedroom to get dressed for bed.
Daniel stared in fascination at the computer monitor. It was presently displaying some of the latest data sent over from Atlantis. The archeologist always eagerly looked forward to each data download, for the chance to dig into more information about the Ancients and the city they built.
Daniel knew that if he was right there on Atlantis, he wouldn't have to wait for the tantalizing bits of knowledge that were sent through to them. He could delve into the seemingly endless cache right at the source. It was something he'd been thinking about a lot lately. Cameron Mitchell was well aware of that fact and hadn't been shy about letting Daniel know that he would not be happy if the archeologist transferred to Atlantis.
Daniel thought back to a recent conversation he had with Sam about the transfer.
"We'd really miss you around here, Daniel," the astrophysicist said in a heartfelt tone of voice. "And think about this. Now that the Ori are no longer a problem, we might be able to get back to doing more exploration. I know that you always enjoyed that. Of course, the Lucian Alliance is still out there, but we wouldn't be dealing with them all the time."
"I know, Sam. It's just that I've wanted to go to Atlantis ever since we discovered it. That little trip there last year certainly didn't give me any time to do what I really want to."
"Have you talked to Cam about this?"
"Yes, and he's not happy about it."
"I don't blame him. You are an invaluable member of SG-1. It would be a big detriment to the team if you left."
"I don't know yet what I'm going to do, Sam. Right now, I'm just thinking about it. And it's not like it would have to be a permanent transfer. I talked to Landry last week, and he said that he could arrange for me to spend three or four months there. I could learn a lot in that amount of time."
Sam gave him a fond smile. "Well, I guess we could survive without you for that long."
A faint grumbling sound brought Daniel's attention back to the present. He looked at his watch and saw that it was after 8:30. He'd skipped breakfast due to his eagerness to take a look at the Atlantis stuff, and his stomach was now reminding him of that fact.
Deciding to go get something to eat, he headed over to the commissary. After getting his food, he noticed Sam sitting by herself at a corner table and took his tray over there. She was staring at her plate of food, apparently so lost in thought that she wasn't even aware of his presence.
"Stargate Command to Colonel Carter," Daniel said.
Sam blinked and looked up at him with a startled expression. "Daniel! How long have you been standing there?"
"Not long. So, is this seat taken?"
"Nope, it's all yours." She watched the archeologist as he sat down across from her. "So, I should imagine that you're already digging into the latest data from Atlantis."
"Yep. There's a lot of historical information this time." As he ate, he gave her a brief rundown of what he'd read so far. "So, what about you? I noticed that there's quite a bit of technical data."
"Oh. Um, no, I haven't gotten around to looking at it yet."
Daniel studied her face. "Is something wrong? You were pretty deep in thought when I came over here."
Sam was silent for several seconds. "Did you know that General O'Neill is in town?"
"Yeah, he called me a couple of days ago to let me know he was coming. He's supposed to be coming to the base today."
Sam started playing with the food on her plate. "We went on a date last night."
A long moment of silence greeted her revelation, followed by a single word.
Sam lifted her head and stared at Daniel, whose own gaze was now upon his food. There was a slight frown puckering his brow.
"What's wrong? Are you surprised? I know that we never actually talked about this, but I thought you knew that—"
"I did. I do." Daniel sighed and looked at her. "I'm sorry. I should have figured that you might do that now that Jack's retired. So, how did it go?"
"It was nice."
Daniel's eyebrows rose a notch. "Nice? Excuse me for saying this, Sam, but shouldn't it have been more than just nice?"
"Well, this is a big change for us. It'll take a while for us to adjust to this kind of change in our relationship."
Daniel studied her closely. "Why am I not hearing the ring of confidence in your voice?"
"Oh, it's stupid, Daniel. You'll probably laugh at me."
Daniel's intense blue gaze met hers. "Sam, when have I ever laughed at you?"
Sam went back to playing with her food, pushing it around the plate. "It's just that I sort of . . . imagined what our first date would be like. I had a lot of years to think about it, dream about how it might be."
"And reality didn't live up to the dream?" Daniel guessed.
Sam set her fork down. "Like I said, it was stupid. I had this unrealistic vision in my mind, and, now, I'm acting like a pouting teenager whose fantasy date didn't come true."
"I'm sorry," Daniel said.
Sam put on a smile. "I'm sure it'll be much better on the second date."
Something flickered in Daniel's eyes, but it was gone so quickly that Sam couldn't read it.
"Second date?" he inquired.
"Yeah. We haven't settled on a day yet, but it'll be sometime before he leaves."
"I see. Well, I'm sure you're right that the second one will be better." Daniel glanced at his watch, then stood up. "I really should get back to work."
Sam frowned. "But you just got here. You've hardly touched your breakfast."
"Yeah, I guess I really wasn't all that hungry. I'll get something later."
Saying goodbye to Sam, Daniel threw away his uneaten breakfast, then went to his office. He got on his computer, resuming his study of the Atlantis data. He'd been at it for only a few minutes, however, when he could no longer keep the thoughts in his mind at bay. With a sigh, he looked away from the monitor and just stared unseeingly at the wall across the room.
He really should have known this was going to happen. As soon as Jack made the announcement about the retirement, he should have guessed that it would only be a matter of time before Jack and Sam started dating. He'd known for years that they had feelings for each other that were more than friendship. The problem was that he'd fooled himself into believing that those feelings were in the past. It was a stupid thing to do, and, now, he was paying the price. Instead of being braced for Sam's announcement, it caught him off-guard.
Well, now that he knew, he could shore up his defenses, reinforce the walls. He'd be able to smile as she told him about her dates with Jack. And when she expressed how happy she was that she and Jack were finally together, he'd be able to say convincingly that he was happy for her. She would never know his real feelings. She'd never know that he was completely in love with her.
It was ten o'clock when Jack arrived at the SGC. His first stop was to Landry's office to shoot the breeze for a while. He then went to Daniel's office. He found the archeologist frowning over some paperwork.
"Didn't your mother ever tell you that your face would freeze like that?" he asked.
Daniel looked up at him. "No, but one of my foster mothers did. Since she often had a frown on her face, and it never seemed to get stuck like that, I didn't believe her." He set the papers down. "So, how is retirement treating you?"
"No surprise there."
"I'm going on a fishing trip next week."
"That's no surprise either."
Jack paused. "I'm going to ask Sam to come with me."
Daniel tried his very best to ignore the sharp jab of pain in the region of his heart. His gaze went to the papers on his desk.
"I'm guessing that did surprise you," Jack remarked.
Daniel got control of his emotions and looked at Jack. "It just seems a little . . . ambitious to me. You've only been on one date."
Jack's gaze sharpened. "You know about the date?"
"Sam told me."
"Ah. Well, yes, to some, it might seem ambitious of me to be asking her to go away with me when we've been on just one date, but I have actually asked her to go fishing with me before, more than once, in fact."
"Yes, but that was just as a friend."
"Yeah, you're right about that. Okay, so the truth is that, now that Sam and I can do something about this thing between us, I just see no point in dillydallying around."
Daniel was feeling a bit confused. If Jack was so eager to get the ball rolling, then why was it that Sam was disappointed with their first date? It was pretty obvious that nothing much happened on it. If it had, Sam wouldn't have been disappointed. So why the sudden push forward?
Jack was now frowning. "I get the distinct impression that you don't approve."
"I just think that you and Sam should get more comfortable in your new relationship before going off together somewhere. And I also think that when you do go off somewhere together, it should not be on a fishing trip. Have you forgotten what happened last time?"
Daniel was referring to the trip that SG-1 took to Jack's cabin in Minnesota. Sam enjoyed herself the first day, but then she started to get bored and restless. When Jack found out that she'd brought a laptop, he hid it, which definitely did not make Sam a happy camper. He gave it back after two hours of the deep freeze treatment.
"That was different," Jack declared. "She and I weren't dating then."
Daniel couldn't stop himself from getting a little mad. "So, now that you're dating, Sam is supposed to instantly start liking fishing."
"Well, no, I don't expect it to be instantaneous, but I'm sure that she'll come around to liking it."
"And will you be coming around to liking science?"
It was Daniel's turn to frown. "How so?"
"Fishing is fun. Science is work."
"Fishing is fun for you, Jack. Science is fun for Sam, something that you already know."
"Yes, and that's something that I totally do not understand."
"Yet that's the way Sam feels. I just don't think it's fair that you expect her to start liking the things you like, yet you have no intention of even trying to get interested in the things she likes."
Jack stared hard at Daniel. "Why are you so pissed off?"
"I'm not pissed off."
"Yes, Daniel, you are."
The archeologist paused. Jack was right. He was pissed off. He'd let his feelings get the better of him despite his best efforts. He couldn't help but think that if he was dating Sam, he wouldn't expect her to gain an interest in archeology just because they were in a romantic relationship. He loved Sam just the way she was and wouldn't want her to change. But he wasn't the one she was dating.
Daniel drew in a deep breath and let it out slowly. "I'm sorry. It just irks me when somebody expects the person they are involved with to change to suit their desires."
"I don't expect her to change."
"But you expect her to come to like fishing. Isn't that a change? And what about hockey and other sports?"
"Well, it would be nice if she could watch the games with me on TV or go with me to a game now and then. I mean, you're supposed to do things with the person you're dating."
"So if Sam wants to go to a museum or some science fair, you'll be right there with her?"
Jack shifted uncomfortably. "I . . . might be."
'Yeah, for all of an hour. Then you'll want to leave,' Daniel thought to himself. He didn't say that aloud, though he was very tempted to do so. This was none of his business. He needed to stay out of it and let Jack and Sam work it all out themselves.
"You know, this isn't exactly how I expected you to react," Jack said.
Daniel stared at the screensaver on his computer. "How did you expect me to react?"
"Oh, I don't know, maybe with a little encouragement, perhaps some words of support."
That made Daniel feel bad. He should be showing his support. Jack and Sam were two of his best friends, and they were finally going to get what they'd both wanted for a long time. Even if he could not find personal happiness in that, he should try to be happy for them.
"I'm sorry," he murmured. "I'm sure that you and Sam will have lots of fun." Desperately needing to get the topic off Jack and Sam's relationship, he asked the ex-general how long he was going to be in town.
"I'm thinking a week. I'll be leaving for the fishing trip from here. I have all my gear and some for Sam, too, if I can talk her into going."
So much for getting the topic off Jack and Sam.
Daniel picked up the paperwork. "I really need to get this finished, Jack. General Landry is expecting it by noon."
"Okay. How about if we all get together for lunch, you, me, and Sam? Heck, Mitchell and Vala can join us, too. Too bad Teal'c's off doing stuff with the Jaffa. Then we could have the whole gang there."
"Sounds good." At least he could be sure that there wouldn't be any discussions about Sam and Jack dating.
By the time Daniel headed to the commissary, he was certain he had a handle on his emotions. He was the second person to arrive, Sam having been the first. They were talking about the data that came over from Atlantis when she suddenly stopped speaking, her eyes on something over Daniel's shoulder. He turned to see that it was Jack. Returning his gaze to Sam, he watched as a smile spread over her face, a happy light in her eyes. He immediately looked elsewhere.
Daniel was glad when Cameron and Vala showed up just a few seconds later. The bigger crowd would mean more people to talk to, which would enable him to ignore anything that might go on between Sam and Jack.
Unfortunately, that proved not to be the case. Even with all the conversations going on, Daniel couldn't help but notice the occasional glance that Sam shot toward Jack and the ones Jack gave her. He was relieved when the lunch ended, and he could escape back to his office.
His relief didn't last long, however. Vala came bouncing in around half an hour later.
"I bet I know something you don't," she said with a smile.
Daniel sighed. "And what is that, Vala?"
"There's something going on between Samantha and General O'Neill . . . or should I call him Ex-General O'Neill now?"
"I hate to disappoint you, Vala, but I already know."
"You do? Pooh. I was looking forward to telling you all about the little glances I saw them exchanging throughout lunch. So, are they lovers now?"
Daniel instantly felt his lunch sour in his stomach. "No, they've just started dating. And that's all I'm telling you, so don't bother pushing for more."
A long, heavy moment of silence followed Daniel's outburst, one caused by surprise on Vala's part and chagrin on Daniel's. He hadn't intended to yell at her.
The archeologist let out another sigh. "Look, Vala. I'm sorry I yelled, but this is Sam and Jack's business, not yours and not mine. I'm not discussing it any further."
Vala was staring at him closely. "You're upset."
"No, I'm not," Daniel instantly denied.
"Yes, you are. You're also not a very good liar, well, at least not good enough to fool me. I'm an expert at spotting lies and deception, probably because I'm also an expert at doing both of those things. So, now, I have to ask myself why you're upset. Don't you approve of the relationship?"
Daniel turned his gaze to something on his desk. "I'm sure they'll make each other very happy."
"But it won't make you happy." Vala smiled teasingly. "Daniel, are you secretly in love with General O'Neill?"
Daniel rolled his eyes with a sigh and picked up a sheet of paper with a translation he'd been working on.
Vala kept staring at him. "Are you secretly in love with Samantha?" She didn't fail to notice the way his grip tightened ever so slightly on the paper he was holding. "That is it, isn't it! You're in love with her. I cannot believe I didn't see this before."
The dark-haired woman gaped at Daniel in stunned silence, shocked that she hadn't been aware of this. All this time that she'd been fantasizing about the two of them getting together, he'd been in love with another woman. Apparently, he was a whole lot better at deception than she'd given him credit. He'd never given any hint of this.
But then she thought about something. When Adria threatened to kill Sam if Daniel didn't do what she wanted, he caved in so fast that the last word of Adria's sentence was barely out of her mouth when he yelled, "All right!" At the time, Vala had believed that it was just Daniel's friendship for Sam that made him give in so quickly, but she now realized that it was more. How long had he been in love with her?
"How long?" she asked, taking a seat.
"I'm not talking about this, Vala," Daniel answered harshly.
After several seconds, he turned to her. The pain she saw in his eyes made her heart hurt for him.
"We're friends, aren't we?" she asked.
"I swear to you that I won't tell anyone."
Daniel's gaze fell from hers. "I don't know," he finally admitted. "A really long time, I think. I just didn't see it until it pretty much hit me over the head."
"And when was that?"
"You know that when I first descended, I had no memory of who I was. I'd been living with a group of nomadic people on another planet when SG-1 and SG-3 found me. Sam came to my tent to try to convince me to come back to Earth with them, and I . . . felt something. It was strong enough that I asked her if there had ever been anything between us. Of course she said no. Later on, after I got back the memories of my wife, I just chalked it up to my confused emotions over everything that was going on at the time and didn't think much more about it. But then, a few months later, we went on a mission during which Sam and I stayed overnight as guests of a married couple while Jack and Teal'c were staying in another house. We slept in the same bedroom." Daniel saw Vala open her mouth, and he quickly added, "Separate beds. I woke up in the middle of the night. There was enough moonlight coming through the curtains that I could see Sam in the other bed. She looked so beautiful and peaceful lying there, and I just . . . I just suddenly knew. At the same time, I realized that I'd been feeling things for her for a long time but hadn't recognized what was going on because I was still grieving for my wife."
"And you never told her."
"No. I already knew that she had feelings for Jack and that he felt the same. Telling her would have served no purpose except to make her uncomfortable."
"So, what are you going to do now?"
"I'm not going to do anything."
"You're just going to stand by and let her get into a romance with General O'Neill?"
Daniel gave a short, humorless laugh. "You act like I have a choice. Sam loves Jack, and he loves her. Nothing is going to change that, certainly not some declaration from me."
Vala thought about that for a moment. Then she smiled. "Well, then, Daniel. I see only one resolution to your problem."
"And what's that?"
"Engaging in lots and lots of sex with someone else. I promise that I'll make you forget all about Samantha."
For one crazy moment, Daniel actually thought about taking her up on her offer. It would certainly get his mind off Sam and Jack, and it had been so many years since he'd had sex that he sometimes forgot what it felt like. But then sanity took hold. He was never the kind of guy who engaged in meaningless sex, and he wasn't about to start now.
"Thanks, Vala, but I'll pass. Now, if you will excuse me, I've got work to do."
Vala paused, then stood and headed for the door. "Let me know if you change your mind about my offer."
"If I do, I guarantee that you'll be the first to know."
Daniel returned his gaze to the translation, hoping that he wouldn't regret having admitted the truth to Vala.