This story is Sam/Jack as well as Sam/Jack/Daniel.
Yeah, they're probably not going to find a way out of this one. It's not the first time Daniel has had this thought, but this time it seems pretty certain. Teal'c has been gone for almost a day and no one will say it, but he was supposed to be on the other ship and they all saw the other ship explode, so. Probably no rescue from that end.
And back up isn't coming because the SGC has no idea where they even are at this point. Hell, Daniel doesn't really know where they are. They started on P6X-989 in an underground base, but now it feels like they are in space. Hyperdrive just feels a certain way and Daniel has that little tug in his stomach like they are traveling somewhere very, very fast.
Jack looks at his watch. The first prime had promised he'd be back to kill them soon, and it's already been over an hour. Jack looks at Daniel and Daniel can't remember the last time Jack has look so frightened and more than that, resigned.
"Carter," Jack says, leaning over her. She'd taken the back end of a staff weapon to her temple and has been unconscious ever since. It's good to see her come to, but in a way, Daniel wishes she could have just slept through the end.
"Sir," Sam says. There's so much blood in her hair. Some of it is dry, but he can see fresh blood glisten in the low light. The jaffa took everything, though, their jackets and vests and weapons. They have t-shirts, pants, and boots. Jack takes his boot off, pulls off a sock, and puts the boot back on his bare foot. When he presses the warm cotton to her temple, she cries out.
There are distant sounds of footsteps.
"Daniel," Jack says. "Stay by the door."
Daniel moves back to the door but he's not really sure what difference it will make. He might get a good punch in before he gets shot to death and he might not.
"Just hang on," Jack is saying quietly. Sam says something back but he can't hear her. He looks over his shoulder in time to see Jack shake his head and Sam close her eyes. "Carter, you need to stay with me."
Daniel goes back to the wall, to the lumpy gold where a panel should be. A staff weapon has melted it closed. They're so screwed. He can hear the footsteps getting closer. This time, they don't fade away again.
"Guys," Daniel says. They don't respond. "Hey guys? I think... oh. Oh!"
It's not a secret that Jack has a thing for Sam and Daniel has seen the way Sam looks at Jack when she thinks no one is looking but the way they're kissing now is not a hesitant first time locking of lips. Jack has Sam's face cradled in his hands, careful of her wound. Daniel can hear the wet smacking of their mouths, the sharp inhalations and slow, deep sighs. He sees them come apart and Sam clutches at his shoulder.
"Jack," she says, her voice small. Daniel has never heard her call him anything but 'Colonel' or 'Sir' before.
"It's okay," Jack whispers to her. "Just close your eyes."
On the other side of the closed door, there is weapons fire, shouting, and then long seconds of silence. When the door starts to open, Daniel leaps back to the corner where Jack and Sam are.
But it's only Teal'c, alive and well.
"Oh thank God," Daniel says.
Later, on the Al'kesh, Daniel is cleaning Sam's head wound with the first-aid kit. She is watching him carefully while he cleans away the dried blood. Finally, she puts her hand on his knee.
"Daniel?" she says.
"Please don't tell," she says. He smiles at her. Taps her chin with his thumb where he is holding her face.
"Your secret is safe with me," he promises.
The envelope comes to Daniel's office. His research assistant drops it off with the rest of his mail.
"Thank you, Lucy," Daniel says, tossing the mail into his in-box to go through when he's finished with his grading. Lucy smiles and knocks into the chair as she leaves. He suspects she has a bit of a crush on him. He's learned that lesson the hard way and if Lucy can't get over it, he'll have to find a new assistant which would be a shame, because she's the best at deciphering his notes so far. Also, the university is beginning to think he's high maintenance. He's not, he just has high standards.
Nothing wrong with that.
It's late when he turns to the mail. The invitation is in the middle of the stack and when he gets to it, he almost doesn't open it. He can still recognize Sam's handwriting. But it's clear that the letter is from her, not from the SGC. The return address is residential, though still in Colorado Springs and it's addressed to Dr. Daniel Jackson and she's sent it care of the university. She wouldn't have his new address, would she?
He's a little surprised to see that it's a wedding invitation and that faint prick of surprise at the thought of Sam getting married is totally dwarfed by the tsunami of surprise he feels that she's marrying Jack O'Neill.
And that apparently, Jack made General at some point.
"Wha-aaat?" he says aloud.
And for a second, he's tempted to call her. To ask about it. To respond yes to the invitation if only to see something impossible happen before his very eyes. It's been a long time since he's witnessed something impossible.
But no. No. When he decided to leave the SGC, he'd decided to sever all ties for good. Jack had promised him that they'd save his wife and that was a promise he couldn't make good on and there's nothing for Daniel through the Stargate anymore.
He drops the invitation in the wastepaper basket, packs his briefcase, and goes home.
In the morning, it's gone. The cleaning people had come in the night. He doesn't think about it again.
Lockdown is a thing that happens - not often, but a couple times a year. Sometimes there's a foothold situation, sometimes an SG team brings something through the gate that requires quarantine, and sometimes Daniel doesn't even know why they're restricted to the mountain and doesn't care.
This one has to do with the virus SG-12 brought back with them. Three days of lockdown spent finding a cure and now they're on day five - just making sure no one else comes down with anything and that SG-12 and the personnel infected aren't going to relapse. Knowing Hammond, lockdown will round out the week. Teal'c takes it the best of anyone because he lives on the base full time, and Sam and Daniel can hole themselves up in their labs, but Jack is pretty unendurable at this point. He can't go home, he can't go off-world, and General Hammond even ordered him out of the firing range because he was blowing through so much ammunition.
Daniel is starting to lose track of time. He misses the sun, he misses his apartment, he misses seeing regular people interacting with the regular world. A glance at his watch tells him it's just past three am and it's no wonder he's bleary eyed and tired. He decides a shower, a shave, and some sleep will help him feel better and tackle the rest of the lockdown with aplomb. Plus, usually he gets the locker room to himself at such a wee hour.
He grabs his shaving kit from his locker and heads for the showers. He can hear the water running, but it's just one stall and so he doesn't mind. He'll stay quiet and shower in peace and get some sleep.
And then he hears a groan.
If it were anyone else, Daniel would be curious but Daniel knows Jack O'Neill as well as he knows anyone in his life and he knows that was Jack's groan. Well, at least Daniel knows what Jack's been doing to blow off steam instead of shooting guns. Daniel can't say that he's never jerked off in the shower before, he can't even say that he hasn't ever done it on the base, but he's pretty sure he's never done it with Jack as an audience and he doesn't want to be Jack's audience now. So he turns to go.
And then he hears a moan.
That certainly wasn't Jack.
And just as he immediately knew the groan belonged to one teammate, he knows the moan comes from Sam Carter. Because he's spent almost as much time with her as he has with Jack.
Jack groaning in the shower stall.
Sam moaning in the same shower stall. He catches his reflection in the steamy mirror and can see his shocked expression. "Holy shit," he mouths to himself.
"Shh," Jack says and then Daniel can make out the sounds of kissing above the noise of the water.
"Maybe we shouldn't..." Sam says.
"We already are," Jack says. "No one is here, Carter."
"I just... I don't know if this is a good... ohhh, oh God, Jack."
Daniel should leave, he should leave right now. He should turn around and give them their privacy, he should stand in the locker room and make sure no one else discovers them. They are his team, he should keep them safe.
But he doesn't go.
He can hear Jack panting, hear Sam gasp.
"Give me your... yeah, like that," Jack says.
"Just put your hand right under my... yeah," Sam instructs and then, "Just like that. You got me?"
"I got you," Jack says.
"Good," Sam says. "Yes, yes, ohhh yesssss..."
And Daniel just knows that Jack is sinking into her.
Daniel's whole body feels hot and the amount of blood rushing south is alarming. He needs to leave.
"Please," Sam grunts. "Please, please, please."
"I've got you," Jack says. "Got you, Sam. Got you. Love you."
"Love you," Sam gasps back.
Daniel spins on his heel and leaves. Because listening to his best friends have shower sex is apparently way easier than listening to his best friends be in love.
In the morning, Jack comes into his office and tosses Daniel's shaving kit onto the desk.
"You forgot this," Jack says, staring at Daniel steadily.
Daniel can feel himself flushing and his voice shakes just a little when he says, "Thanks."
Jack smirks and walks away.
There is a bit of a scuffle about who is going to be in the middle. It seems obvious that it should be Sam but she doesn't see it that way.
"Because I'm the girl?" she demands, clearly affronted. Though the effect is somewhat diminished by her chattering teeth. There's still some light coming in and he can see her lips are tinged blue. The sun is going down fast, though, and it's going to get colder. They're in for a long night.
"Because you're the smallest," he says.
Jack stays out of it, working with numb fingers to zip two of the sleeping bags together. They've already finished the argument about whether the third should go on top or beneath them. Sam won that one - worried more about the ground leeching whatever warmth they have away than having an extra layer.
"I still probably have more body fat than you," Sam mutters.
"Your boobs aren't going to be enough to keep you warm in another hour when it's twenty degrees colder."
"Daniel." Jack's voice is a warning.
Sam glowers at him for a moment and then, realizing that her glare isn't enough to actually physically harm Daniel (yet), she changes tactics. She darts her eyes at Jack and then back at Daniel and makes a pathetically pained expression where her eyes seem to double in size and glisten and her eyebrows arch pleadingly and she's suddenly the most adorable, helpless looking girl he's ever seen and all Daniel wants to do is give her what she wants so she's happy.
But nothing good is going to come from Jack and Daniel being plastered against one another all night and Sam too cold to get any rest. It's certainly not Daniel's fault that Jack and Sam have this weird, unspoken agreement that being alone together or touching or acting normal will somehow trigger the end of life as they know it. Not his problem at all.
"Jack?" Daniel says. He doesn't want to fight anymore and Jack will just give her an order and then they can all just get on with it.
"Carter, just get in already," Jack says. He sounds gruff and impatient and Sam just hangs her head and unlaces her boots. But as she's clambering into the bag, she shoots Daniel a look of utter disdain and he realizes that winning this battle has probably just cost him the war. They're in for such a very long night.
"Daniel," Jack says. Daniel unlaces his boots too and climbs in after Sam. It's already a tight fit for two grown people. She elbows him purely out of spite but he ignores it.
When Jack crawls in, Sam has to turn on her side and practically lie on top of Daniel to make enough room for Jack to zip the bag up behind him. Her face is in Daniel's neck and her leg over his hip and she sighs and says, "Sorry."
"S'okay," he mumbles, but quarters are incredibly tight. "This might be easier if we took off some clothes."
Daniel is right - it's why he suggested it - but Jack nixes the idea.
"Just don't wiggle," he says. "We'll be fine."
And they are. For a while.
But when the sun sets completely and the darkness descends, it gets a lot colder. Jack is working so hard not to touch Sam any more than necessary that he's not actually staying warm. Daniel can feel Sam shivering in his arms and his teeth are chattering too and so finally he moves his hand between him and Sam and starts to tug down her zipper.
"What are you doing?" she says.
"It's too cold," he answers. Jack doesn't even put up a token argument, which is telling. He just unzips his jacket, too. They lose a lot of warmth in the stripping and they're all miserable by the time they get the bag all zipped up again. Sam is shaking so hard that Jack reaches out to rub her arms and Daniel can hear her breath hitch again and again.
"C-cold," she says.
Daniel slips his arms around her waist and tugs her in close and Jack does the same, his cold arms just above Daniel's and for a few long minutes, they all just nuzzle together. Sam has her nose pressed into his neck and Jack is close enough that Daniel can feel every time he exhales and it seems to take forever, but slowly, they start to warm.
"You okay?" Jack whispers.
"Yeah," Sam says. "Thanks guys."
Daniel can't be sure, but he thinks that maybe he hears Jack kiss the back of her neck. Either way, the world doesn't end and he finally drifts off to sleep.
He wakes up to Sam's ass moving against his crotch. It's not unpleasant and he has to curb the urge to thrust back against her. He opens his eyes just in time to see Jack pull her close and then ease Sam down onto her back. He rolls over on top of her and braces himself on his elbows. They're not just kissing - they're making out and it seems like they've been at it for quite some time.
"Um," Daniel says. Sam pulls her mouth away from Jack's with a slippery pop and turns her glassy eyes to Daniel. Her eyes are as dark as he has ever seen them - her pupils blown wide.
"Oh, good," she says and then manages to get her arm around Daniel's neck. She pulls him in and then is kissing him, too, and it's Sam but he swears he can taste Jack on her too - that spicy, earthy scent that lingers in Jack's locker and truck. When she pulls away, Daniel looks at Jack in panic, but Jack just has that same hooded look in his eyes like he's been treading water for just a little bit too long.
"Jack?" he says. But Jack just tilts his head. It's not permission, exactly, but it's acceptance. And if he is going to say something, he doesn't get the chance because Sam goes back to kissing him. Daniel watches them, his arousal hitting him like a brick wall.
This is bad. He shouldn't cross this line because these are his friends, his family, and from the way they kiss, Daniel knows this has happened before. He doesn't want to mess up whatever they have but at the same time, he doesn't want it to stop.
"Sam," Jack says just as both her hands start searching for the waistband of their boxer shorts. "You know the rule." At Daniel's confused expression, Jack says, "No sex off-world."
"Just how much sex have you two been having?" Daniel asks.
"We try not to," Sam says, running her hands over their chests instead. "But sometimes we slip up."
Her lips are swollen and wet. Her cheeks are flushed. Outside the sun has started to rise again and the storm seems to have passed. In a couple hours, it will be warm enough to bundle up and make a go for the gate. And while two hours isn't very long in the scheme of things, it seems like a really long time with Sam's hips rotating restlessly inside the bag and against their thighs.
"Sam," Daniel says, helplessly.
"I know," she whimpers.
"Carter, we have to wait this one out," Jack says. He tries to make it sound like an order but in the grey light of the tent and all pressed together, it sounds more like a plea.
"I agree," she says, curling her arms back into her own body. "I don't want to cross the line."
They're all quiet, looking at one another. When Daniel catches Jack's gaze, Jack gives him a small little smile. Not a smirk, nothing cocky or arrogant. Just warm understanding.
Daniel is thinking about trying to doze for a few more minutes when Sam shifts against him, her bare skin a little chilled against his. She tilts her head up and kisses his jaw. "Jack," she murmurs against Daniel's skin.
"Hmm," Jack says.
"Can we take Daniel home with us when we get back?" she says.
Daniel and Jack's eyes meet across the top of her sandy head.
"If Daniel wants to," Jack says. "Daniel?"
Sam's fingers clench around Daniel's arm in anticipation of his answer. But Daniel can't look away from Jack's brown eyes, his tan skin, his small smile.
It's easy to answer.
Daniel tries to be early but Teal'c still beats him there. Sam is almost completely packed - there are a couple open boxes serving as catch-alls. She tosses pens and hair ties and power strips into them as she passes. Moving sucks and she's got that look on her face already like she just wants this day to be over.
But it's only the very beginning.
Daniel doesn't even know why she's moving, only that she'd ordered him to help and she's certainly helped him move enough times that he can't say no.
Jack arrives at 8:30 with the moving truck and she scowls at him.
"There's was a line," Jack says. "Apparently Saturdays in May are when people move."
She just makes a discontented growl and turns to Teal'c and Daniel.
"Furniture first, I guess," she says. Jack grins, saved from most of the heavy lifting by his bum knees.
A lot of the furniture is already gone, donated she says. "No room for all of it."
Daniel isn't sure why she's selling her house to move some place smaller. She'd inherited the house from Jacob when he blended with Selmak and she'd never complained about mortgage payments before... but maybe the house is too big for her to take care of alone. She's off-world a lot these days. He knows. He is too.
Jack looks well-rested and in a pretty good mood, considering Sam is already barking orders like a drill sergeant.
"Retirement suiting you?" Daniel asks feeling only slightly bitter.
"Oh yeah," he says and grins at Sam. She rolls her eyes and points to the huge stack of small boxes that contain her personal library.
"Get going," she says. She never calls him 'sir' anymore.
They pack everything up by lunch time. There's a cleaning service coming, so they don't have to worry about that and Sam makes sure the gray box is still on the door for the real estate agent.
"Hopefully by this time next week, I won't have to worry about it anymore," Sam says.
"Escrow is a bitch," Jack says. But neither seem particularly worried.
Sam rides with Jack in the truck and he and Teal'c stop at the market to pick up beer and a case of water and deli sandwiches for lunch.
It occurs to Daniel that he doesn't even know Sam's new address, but Teal'c is driving and seems confident so he doesn't worry.
He recognizes Jack's neighborhood, but doesn't really think anything of it until they turn onto his street. Well, maybe it makes sense to eat somewhere that has plates and napkins and chairs before starting in on unpacking.
Jack and Sam are already on the deck when they arrive. Sam waves. The truck is pulled into the driveway and they have to park on the street, which Daniel thinks was a little thoughtless, but this is Sam's day. He carries the sandwiches and Teal'c carries the beer and the water bottles.
"I forgot to say no tomatoes," Sam says reaching into the bag of sandwiches before Daniel even sets them down. He's learned not to get between her and a meal.
"I remembered nonetheless," Teal'c assures her.
They drag out lunch for as long as possible before Jack finally stands up.
"Okay gang, let's get her done," Jack says, eyeing the truck.
"I forgot to ask you about the new place," Daniel says to Sam.
"Oh ha ha," she says, before walking past him and hefting open the back of the truck.
All three of them are already carrying boxes in and he's still just standing there.
"Chop, chop, Danny, earn your keep," Jack calls.
Sam is moving here? Sam is moving into Jack's house? How weird. But why?
And why doesn't Teal'c think it's strange? Daniel watches Teal'c carrying a bookcase into the house. He looks as he always does.
Well he can play along, too. He gets to work.
When they reach the cache of boxes marked for the bedroom, he can't take it anymore. He has to ask.
"You want these in the guestroom?" he says, awkwardly. Sam stares at him for a moment and then laughs and then when Daniel doesn't smile back, her laughter tapers off into disbelief.
"Seriously?" she asks.
"Well, I'm just... not really sure what's happening here," Daniel admits.
"Really?" she says. "You're really serious, aren't you?"
"What's wrong?" Jack says, stopping behind Sam, his hand on her back. Daniel stares at their point of contact.
"I... I thought you told Daniel," she says.
"Told Daniel what?" he asks.
"That we were moving in together," she says.
Jack looks around. "I didn't think we were hiding it," he says. "We've been talking about it all month. Also, he's standing right here, so I think he probably knows."
"Daniel?" Sam says. "Where did you think I was moving?"
"I just... how long have you guys been... I don't know, dating, or whatever?" Daniel says.
Now Jack is staring at him with the same baffled expression.
"Seriously?" Jack says.
"I just..." Daniel says, waving his hands helplessly. He tries to think back. He's been pretty consumed with the whole Atlantis thing and there's that big dig with SG-9 that he's been doing and maybe he's just... but Jack retired seven months ago and maybe Sam has been spending less time on base and, oh God, maybe he's an idiot.
Teal'c walks by with a box meant for the kitchen and stops to look at the three of them.
"I did try to inform you," Teal'c says and continues on his way.
Daniel isn't sure which one of them he meant to address, but it probably doesn't matter anyway.