Sam was fast asleep.
She'd found one of the very few spots of shade available on the desert planet, had curled into the dark spot that wasn't much bigger than the woman herself, and probably wasn't much cooler than in the sun. Her desert camo wide brim hat was pulled down over her face and Daniel could just see her chin, her arms wrapped around herself.
He didn't want to wake her.
Jack and Teal'c were tucked into shady spots under the three stone pillars a little way to his right. He'd been sat on a dune of sand in the heat, watching the area between the little temple and the Stargate.
So far the night hadn't come, the days were twice as long and they were still working on Earth mountain time. And Daniel was still working on the temple ruins, so Jack had declared it dinnertime, then bedding down time. Which he didn't argue against, it was pretty late and he'd been up early. He was sure Sam had been up earlier than him, it was always a close call between them. He was sure their body clocks were in sync given how often they got up at the same time.
He checked his watch again and bent down to shake her awake, unsurprised when he ended up with a Beretta in his face. The silence of this desert planet had them all a little paranoid. If the temple ruins didn't have the Ancient language scattered over it, Daniel would've called it a day hours but it had been pretty fascinating and potentially vital.
"Hey," he said softly.
Sam holstered the weapon and stretched her limbs out.
He smiled at her, and helped out a hand to help her to her feet, she took it and stood, continuing to stretch.
"Want my spot?" she asked, indicating the little patch of shade and he thought about it. He didn't have much choice, but he wasn't sure if he could curl him up as well as Sam had though. She was a lot more flexible than he was.
"Thanks," he said anyway, and she nodded, squeezing his shoulder. He smiled and waited until she walked away a little before dropping down into the sand.
She was making another round past her when he realised it was too hot to sleep. He wasn't sure how she or the others had managed it. Jack was going to give him some hell when he woke up, more so if the night was as cold as Sam predicted.
He didn't curl up like her, he kept his legs in the sunlight, the rest of his body in the shade. When she saw he was awake, she sat down beside him and offered him a drink from her canteen.
"Thanks," he mumbled, not realising how dry his mouth was until he'd spoken.
"I hate to say it," Sam said, "but we should pack up and go home."
"I actually agree with you, but-"
"But you're close," she cut in.
"I know, I know you've heard it before, but I don't say it to be annoying, or even just to convince you all. I mean it."
She smiled, put her hand on his arm.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to insult you," she said. "It's hot, quiet and I'm grumpy."
"You're not the only one."
"Well, it's not me you have to worry about," she said, glancing over at Jack and Teal'c, dozing in their own patches of shade.
"It's not like I want to annoy him," he said. Sam chuckled, leaning against him, head on his shoulder.
"I know, and the Colonel knows that too. I don't think he's annoyed with you but this place is too quiet. Especially for a man like him. And he's impatient."
Daniel nodded with a smile.
She patted his leg, smiling back at him.
"Get some sleep Daniel."
After her watch, she had muscled in on the little spot of shade he had been sleeping in. He was glad of it, glad of the extra heat they generated together because it was dark when he woke, and much, much colder. Her head was on his chest, arm around his waist and her legs curled up next to his.
Despite the body heat they were both still cold, both shivering in their t-shirts, and he had barely shifted when Sam sat up suddenly, pulling away from him. She was blushing in the low light from the fire, and Daniel was pretty sure he was too.
"Sorry," she mumbled, standing up and stretching out.
"It's fine," he said.
He grabbed his pack, pulling out his jacket and putting it on.
The fire Jack had started was the only light now, burning brightly in the ruins, and he found a torch in his pack to light his way. Sam had pulled on her own jacket and was huddled up by the flames, talking to Teal'c.
"I can't believe I let you talk me into staying," Jack said. "Come and get some coffee."
Daniel smiled and moved to sit next to Sam, close to her, keen to reclaim some of the body heat they'd shared before. She shifted closer, offering it to him almost, while still talking to Teal'c about the extra oppressive feeling the night had brought. He had to agree, no amount of talking into his Dictaphone or whistling from Jack would help relieve the tension today. Even with the man's added pressure, Daniel would be working quickly, he knew how cold a desert could get over night.
"What's for breakfast?" he asked Sam and she smiled, handing him an MRE packet.
"What do you think?" she said,
"Lucky dip," he replied.
They ate and still, after five years, couldn't quite stomach MREs. He ate it quickly with a lot of water and stood up again.
"I'm going to get to work."
"I'll set up some lights for you," Sam said, standing up too.
"I'd like to be out of here before I get frostbite," Jack called after them, the Colonel holding his weapon close to him. "Or before the sun comes up."
Sam set up the portable lights, placing them around the little blocks of stone sticking out of the sand that Daniel was working on, then sitting next to him.
"I don't want to be out there," she explaining, "plus this is warmer."
He smiled and got back to work, while Jack and Teal'c wandered around the patch of ruins in the middle of the desert. It went silent again, all he could hear was Sam's rhythmic breathing and his team-mate's feet pressing into the sand softly as they pressed by him. There were no insects, no wind and he could feel the tension, the paranoia, creeping up his spine. All he could do to shake it off was to concentrate on his work.
Sam could feel it too. Next to him she was hunched up a little, alert, her P-90 in hand as she continually scoped out the area around them. And some time later, when he spoke, she jumped, whirling around to face him.
"What?" she said, and he looked at her face, her eyes wide.
"Sam are you okay?" he asked, reaching out to put his hand on her shoulder, and she jumped once more in reaction.
"Fine, fine, it's too quiet."
"We need to get off this planet."
"I'm working on it."
"What's going on?" Jack asked, standing over them, P-90 in his hands, holding it up and it was pointed at Daniel. So he reached out and pushed it away from his head.
The Colonel looked angry, and Daniel frowned at him. Jack nodded, giving them both suspicious looks before walking away. Daniel looked around for Teal'c, but couldn't see him, which was a little worrying considering there was no where for the man to hide.
"Where's Teal'c?" he asked.
Jack jumped at the sound of his voice, turning round, and he didn't think anything could make the man jittery. He didn't answer though, and kept walking.
Maybe Sam was right, they needed to get off this planet.
He thought it might be too late when the shot rang out.
Both he and Sam jumped up, and he pulled out his own side arm, while Sam held her Beretta in one hand and P-90 in another for a reason Daniel didn't know. They ran towards the sound of the shot, and found Jack standing staring at the ground, Teal'c heading towards them from the other side of the Stargate.
Jack was staring at one spot in the sand, any hole the bullet had made was covered up by sand again, his P-90 in hand and still pointing down, finger on the trigger.
"I saw something," he said. "In the sand!"
"I don't know, it was like that film, that film-"
He was rambling a little, and Daniel reached out for him.
"Tremors," Sam muttered, wrenching her neck as she looked around, eyes roving over the sand.
"Maybe we should leave," Daniel said, looking around too now.
"I didn't think you were finished."
"I'm not, but this place is-"
"Creepy," Sam finished for him.
"Indeed," Teal'c said. "It is having a negative effect on you O'Neill."
Jack stared at him, angry, but then he closed his eyes, squeezed them shut for a moment. When he opened them, he looked a little calmer, a little clearer and he nodded.
"Pack up," he said. "Let's get out of here."
He stayed where he was, next to the invisible hole in the sand, the rest of the team heading over the camp.
Then Sam screamed.
Daniel and Teal'c spun around, and saw her up to her knees in the sand, digging desperately. Her Beretta was thrown to the side, and she was struggling against something. Daniel reached her first, grabbing her hands and digging his heels into the sand to try and pull her out. Teal'c put his arms under hers and lifted her out of the sand. He struggled, despite his strength, and they both fell back into the sand.
"What the hell was that?" Daniel cried, trying to avoid the spot Sam had been standing in.
"Major?" Jack said, standing over her, Teal'c already getting to his feet.
"Something grabbed me, Sir."
"You okay?" he asked.
"Yes, Sir," she said getting up.
"Right, forget the equipment, we need to get out of here now."
"I have to get my notes!"
Daniel ran over to the ruins, Teal'c just behind him, and he tripped, falling face first into the sand. He put his hands flat down, pushing himself up with a splutter, Teal'c there to help him to his feet when he felt something tug at his jacket.
He was face first in the sand again, something pulling hard at his jacket. He felt it wrap around his middle, pulling, pulling him into the sand and he yelled in pain, his back being bent at the wrong angle, he screamed and he couldn't breathe as he went under, feeling the sand pour into his nose and ears, down his neck and into his clothes. He opened his mouth to breathe but sucked up sand, everything was dark, and he could feel his lungs straining to work.
Then there was a familiar pain that caused every skin cell in his body tingle, his muscles contract and relax, over and over. He tried to yell out in agony again, but there was only sand, and the pressure around his middle was gone. He was being pulled up, up, but the darkness remained.
When he came too, he thought it was daytime on the planet for a few moments, until he realised it was not sweltering hot, and his eyes adjusted to the lights in the infirmary. He could still feel and taste sand in his mouth, his back ached ferociously from being bent so unnaturally. He went to push himself up into a sitting position when he felt a strong hand on his shoulder, pushing him back down.
"You should remain still Daniel Jackson."
Teal'c came into view from behind him, and he smiled at the Jaffa.
"You shot me with a Zat again didn't you?" he said, voice hoarse.
The other man turned and fetched Daniel some water, helping him to take a few sips before answering.
"It was in fact Major Carter who shot you."
"Are they okay?" he asked. "Sam and Jack?"
"Both are well."
Daniel felt himself relax then, knowing they had all gotten back home safely. His mouth and throat were rough, and he felt awful, but he was alive and so were his friends.
He must've fallen to sleep because suddenly Sam was sitting on a stool next to him. When he moved his head to look at her, she smiled at him reaching out to take his hand.
"Hey Daniel," she said.
"Sam. You okay?" he rasped.
She handed him a cup, and he sucked the water greedily through the plastic straw.
"Better?" she asked.
"Thanks," he said, voice clearer. "You okay?" he asked again.
"Fine, paranoia's gone, and whatever grabbed us both didn't do any damage."
"Good." He kept hold of her hand and closed his eyes. "What happened to you out there?"
"I'm not sure. Janet gave the Colonel and I a clean bill of health. Might've been that sand creature."
"Maybe, why wasn't I affected as badly?"
"You were busy Daniel, Teal'c is a Jaffa, and the Colonel and I were caught up in the silence and darkness."
"I hate it when we're left with mysteries."
"I know," she said, with a smile. "Hammond is locking the address out of the computer, and you have your notes from Ancient ruins."
"Which mention nothing about monsters in the sand," he muttered, opening his eyes to look at her.
"I'm just glad you're alive," Sam said, leaning over and kissing him on the cheek.
She left him to rest, and he smiled to himself.
He was glad he was alive too.