Chapter Five Summary: - On an off-world mission, Sam and Daniel spend a night separated from Jack and Teal'c. They discuss some things, including a certain Tok'Ra and how Sam really feels about him.
Pairing: this chapter - Sam/Daniel friendship
It was at times like these that Major Samantha Carter wished the armbands that Anise had used on SG-1 in an experiment not long ago, had turned out to be something that would work. She could use some superhuman strength, energy, night vision, and speed right now. It would have made their whole situation easier to deal with. Unfortunately, she didn’t have one, and they only worked once anyway, so wishing was pointless. She would have to get them out of here without them.
Here being at least two hours from the Stargate on a nice day, with no Jaffa, no hostile natives, and no injury. Their circumstances were slightly different; it was night, it was raining, there was a party of Jaffa around, and at least four of the natives appeared hostile. The arrow that had found its way into her thigh was enough, to her mind, to prove it. Sam thanked whatever deity was listening, that it was not a poisoned arrow, and that it had not gone in so deep that it could not be pulled out. It had, in fact, gone in just far enough to be painful, but it had pulled out easily, as there were no barbs on it, and that was another thing for which to be thankful. The rain had not been coming down long. It was a warm mist rather than a cold downpour, so they would not freeze to death or even get very wet if they could find permanent shelter soon.
For the moment, they were taking a short break. While she took stock of their situation, Sam fashioned a makeshift bandage around her leg.
They had spotted the Jaffa earlier. It looked like a scouting party, as there were only six of them. Not a lot, but enough that logic decreed they stay undetected, if possible, and try to get back to the Stargate. Evidently, the Jaffa had already been on the planet when SG- 1 arrived. There had been no evidence of them around the gate. It was lucky that they had moved ‘FRED’ away from the gate and camouflaged it, a practice they had started recently.
Colonel O’Neill and Teal’c had seen a small party of Jaffa earlier, too. So, there were probably a dozen on the planet. After a short radio con, they had decided to head for the Gate. O’Neill and Teal’c would break up the base camp and get rid of any evidence that they had been there. Since the area seemed to be riddled with caves, the Colonel and Teal’c would stay in one near the Gate tonight.
After making sure no one could tell they had been at the ruins, Sam and Daniel were to do the same. They would use the radio only when necessary. The Jaffa appeared to have come through the gate, but they didn’t know for sure, so there could be a ship in orbit. Radio silence was a precaution.
Unfortunately, Sam and Daniel had run into a group of natives just after they left the temple. Since they immediately started brandishing weapons, Sam had decided that it might be in their best interests to retreat. Luckily, only one of the arrows had found its mark, and it had not done a lot of damage.
So here they were, hiding from two hostile enemies, injured and getting wet. They needed to find a cave soon.
“I don’t think the natives are truly hostile, Sam,” Daniel whispered.
Sam looked pointedly down at her leg. “Really? You could not prove it by me, Daniel,” She whispered back. “Look, we need to find some shelter for the rest of the night. How much farther to that cave you remember seeing?”
“Not far. If we can skirt around the bottom of the cliff over there, I think it was just beyond that point jutting out.”
She looked in the direction Daniel indicated; she could just make out the cliff and remembered passing it that morning on their way to the temple ruins.
Squinting at the night sky, she saw that there was very little moonlight. One of the two moons of this planet had not risen yet; the other was in its quarter phase, and the weather was cloudy and misty. Occasionally, a break in the clouds would allow the one moon to peek through, but it threw very little light. The dim light should make it more difficult for anyone to spot them; on the other hand, it was going to be harder for them to find the cave.
It was time to head out. Sam indicated to Daniel that they should move cautiously toward their goal. They moved quietly through the underbrush, which grew right up to the bottom of the cliff. A few straggly bushes were clinging to the cliff face. It would afford them some cover, but not very much. Well, they would make do with what was here and this was it.
“It is up about twenty-five feet and to your left, Sam,” Daniel breathed into her ear.
“Up?” She groaned in response.
“Yeah. There are some old foot and handholds in the rock face. From what I noticed this morning, they have probably been abandoned for a very long time. You should be able to see them if you look closely.”
Sam studied the rock face. “I think I can make them out.”
“Good.” Daniel nodded as he too looked for and spotted the crude indentations in the face of the cliff.
“Okay. I will go up first.” Sam decided as she studied exactly where she would need to move up the rock.
“Are you sure you can do this with that leg, Sam?” Daniel asked, frowning in thought, his tone tinged with concern.
“Yeah, it is really not a very bad wound, Daniel. I have had a whole lot worse,” she reminded him mildly.
“Yeah, I guess we both have,” came the laconic reply.
“All right, here we go.” Sam slowly started the climb, searching carefully for hand and footholds. Falling was not an option, as not only would one of them end up hurt, but also, the sound of falling rocks would carry on the night air a very long way. Remaining undetected was their goal, and a rockslide would not be conducive to that.
She finally reached the ledge that led to the cave entrance. The ledge was fairly roomy; however, the opening to the cave was not very large. She would have to bend over to get in, so crawling seemed the logical decision. She brought her zat up in case she needed a defensive weapon. It would not make much noise if she had to use it, so it would not give them away. The cave appeared deserted. She could not hear anything, but then, she could not see very far inside either. Daniel joined her on the ledge and they both peered into its blackness.
Making a decision, Daniel stated firmly, “Stay here and watch our backs, Sam, and I will go in, follow the wall around, and see how big it is. If we are lucky, it will have some little areas off to the side like the ones the temple was built into,” He spoke so softly she barely heard him. Feeling her rejection of his offer before she voiced it, he told her, “I will be okay; it is just like a creepy tomb, and I am used to them.” As he had planned, he was gone before she could disagree with him.
It took almost no time at all for him to get back. Still speaking in a voice that was just a notch above no sound at all, he reported what he found inside the cave, “It is empty and fairly small. There are two side caves far enough back to shield our light from the outside. We should be able to use our lights and even have a small fire to fix our meal.”
Sam almost sighed in relief, but instead simply nodded her agreement, speaking in the same almost silent way, “Great, let’s go then because I am starving. Right now a meal sounds really close to heaven.”
Sam led the way and, as soon as she checked it out, she knew that Daniel was right. The cave was small, but absolutely perfect for their needs. No one could enter without them knowing it, and their lights could not be seen from outside. They would not have to sit in complete darkness and eat cold MRE’s. That was a definite goodness, as there was very little food as unappealing as a cold MRE. They were not the best meals in the world when they were hot, so cold they were, just, well, they just were not something that would tempt the taste buds, to put it politely.
That being true and, since they were both hungry, they quickly set about making a meal. “Mm. Chicken. My favorite.” Sam glanced up from her meal, and gazing across their small fire at Daniel, she grinned. “You always say that. Didn’t that particular statement come about because of the meal you guys had that first trip to Abydos. Wasn’t there some meat offered to all of you that the others were to, ah, timid, to try?” Sam did not say “to squeamish to try,” but the comment lay between them, unspoken though it was.
“Yeah, it originated there, I guess.” Smiling slightly, he quirked an eyebrow at Sam, and said, “I don’t know if you remember, but on one of our first missions, I discovered that all the MRE’s actually do taste like chicken, even the macaroni and cheese. The first Abydos mission though, they brought out this cooked animal-lizard-like-thing, and Kawalski more or less dared me to try it. It really did taste just like chicken, too. I tried to explain a chicken to people who had never seen or heard of one. Ferretti and Jack have never let me live my chicken imitation down either.” He laughed softly, thinking back to that first trip through the wormhole, the chicken incident…Sha’uri. So much had changed; so many events had taken place since then. He sighed deeply. It all seemed so long ago now, and yet, it had only been a handful of seemingly very short years. Eventful years it was true; however, in actual time passing, it was not all that long ago.
Leaving that unproductive train of thought behind, he focused on Sam again realizing that she was trying to take care of the wound to her leg. “Here, Sam, let me do that,” Daniel said, as he made his way over to her. It was just like Sam not to ask for help. Looking at her, he realized again, how difficult it must be for a woman to be in the military. Men had to prove their abilities and worth, women had to prove those same things over and over, until the men around them finally realized they were viable capable ‘people’, in every respect. To reach that point, they had to be tougher on themselves, because anything less and they took the chance of being considered ‘weak’ and incapable of making it.
“No, that is okay, Daniel. I can do it.”
“I know you can, Sam. Then again, it would be easier if you just held the light, and let me do it. Besides, you have patched me up often enough; I would like to return the favor,” He returned, quietly admiring her, as he so often found himself doing.
She chuckled softly, “Oh, well, okay, since you put it so nicely, how could I refuse?” She relaxed, trusting him, as she always did.
“There don’t seem to be any broken pieces in the wound. I will just clean it out. This will hurt,” he warned her.
Sam hissed, and then gasped, “Yes. It will.” Then she ground out through gritted teeth, “Damn, that smarts!”
“There should be antibiotic cream and some oral antibiotics in the med kit. You should put some gauze over the wound after you put the cream in and then wrap it. It might start to bleed again tomorrow, but not bad; they did not hit anything vital. There should be some Ibuprofen, too,” Sam instructed through clenched teeth.
“Okay. All done. Daniel listened to Sam’s instructions while he worked. “I’m finished, Sam, so you can relax now. Here are the antibiotics and the Ibuprofen. Sure you don’t want something stronger?”
“Thanks, Daniel. No, it would probably make me mellow and goofy. I need to be alert. I will take first watch. My leg is still throbbing enough I wouldn’t be able to sleep, anyway, and if I am going to be awake, I might as well be doing something useful,” She answered, practical as always.
“Right. Wake me in a couple of hours, then.” She could hear him sliding into his sleeping bag, and then all was quiet, except for the sounds of the night creatures that drifted in from the outside.
Daniel rolled over onto his left side. Several minutes later, he rolled over onto his back. He rolled over onto his right side for a few minutes before sitting up. “It is no use, Sam. I can’t sleep.” She could hear him dragging his sleeping bag her way. Then she felt him settle in beside her and lean back against the wall of the cave. They’d had a very small fire. The few embers that were left allowed her to see his silhouette, nothing more.
Sam looked at her friend and it was obvious, even in the dim glow, that something was bothering him. “We have been up since early this morning, and it is very late now. We spent hours hiking and then climbing all over a temple and its ruins. We have been dodging natives and Jaffa for hours now, too. You should be exhausted.” She paused slightly, and then continued, “What is wrong, Daniel?”
“Hm?” he queried, lost in thoughts of his own. As his brain finally registered what Sam had said, he responded, “Oh, it is nothing, really.”
She tilted her head and looked at him quizzically. “Since when does nothing really keep you awake on a mission?” She asked.
She could sense his grin in the darkness. She felt him duck his head in that little boy gesture he used when he had been caught in saying, or doing, something he was not supposed to be doing. His evasive answer did not really surprise her, and she knew he would tell her soon if she was patient.
Daniel seemed to be trying to get his thoughts in order. “You know, Sam, I really loved Sha’uri. I told her I did, too. In every way I could think of. It’s the one thing I don’t feel I have to regret. I know she knew how much I loved her,” he said earnestly. “I made sure of that.”
Suddenly, Sam found herself asking, “Do you think you will ever fall in love again?” She gasped, appalled at herself. “Oh, God, Daniel, I am sorry. I have no business asking you that.”
“Hey, Sam, it is okay. We are the best of friends, aren’t we? I have felt for a long time that we can discuss absolutely anything. Anything, Sam. Sometimes, I feel like we have known each other for a very long time. It is as if I feel connected to you in some way.” He dipped his head again, feeling very slightly embarrassed at the emotion he had allowed to show.”
“I am glad, Daniel. You know I have felt the same way about you, too. Like I could confess or tell you anything, and you would not stand in judgment of me; you would continue to care about me just the same.” Clearing her throat, she added, “It is odd that you should mention feeling like you have known me for a long time because sometimes I feel as if we have some kind of connection, bond, I don’t know exactly what to call it. Nevertheless, I know it is there, too,” Sam replied, also feeling the tug of unwanted, and she realized, unwarranted, embarrassment. “I am glad we are good friends, Daniel, and I hope we never lose that feeling, or that trust.”
“I am, too, and to prove it, I will answer your question. Do I think I will ever fall in love again? Yes, I think so. I don’t think Sha’uri would want me to be alone forever. In fact, I am pretty sure of that.” He paused, and Sam could tell he was debating with himself. He cleared his throat, “I, um, I keep having this recurring dream lately. Well, actually, I have been having it on and off since Sha’uri died, but it is becoming more frequent.”
“What is it about?”
Daniel took a deep breath, and then spoke softly, “We are in the control room at the SGC. A wormhole has been activated off world, and we can’t shut it down. Sha’uri is in the dream, and she is dressed in the type of robes we wore on Abydos, not the dress of a Goa’ uld. We are all standing, watching the event horizon as a group of people come through it. Their clothes place them during our medieval period, but I don’t think that is a true representation. Impressions aside, I believe they are much more advanced; it is obvious, since they could keep the iris open.” He paused for a moment remembering the dream.
“The last one through the Stargate is a woman, and after she comes through the wormhole shuts down. I think she is wearing some kind of blue robe or dress, but I can’t make out anything else about it, and I can’t see her face. There are two men and a woman standing in front of her, and I don’t know them. There is another man standing off to one side of the gate room, and although I can’t see his face, I get the feeling I know him well. It is a very strange tableau, almost as if, although all of the elements belong, they are not necessarily in the correct order.”
Daniel shook his head saying, “I know that does not describe it very well, but it is the only way I can think to say it. Anyway, Sha’uri turns from looking at the group of people, and she touches my face, very lovingly, saying, “The time has come to release me, my Dan’yel. ‘She’ is here. She has come to you once again. You must not be afraid. You must go to her.”
“I turn to look down at Sha’uri, and I ask, Who is coming? Who is ‘she’? Then she answers with the most beautiful smile on her face. She says, “It is the Woman. The other half. You must accept that which is meant to be.”
Daniel paused again, before continuing, “I tell her, “I don’t understand; I love you, Sha'uri.” As soon as I tell her that she says, “Yes, and you will always love me, for I am a part of your heart, but you must release me into your memories, my Dan’yel. It is time for you to go to the Woman. The mate.” Daniel sighed, “That is when I wake up.”
“Is that all of it? I mean, are you leaving anything out? Sha’uri didn’t say anything else?”
“Well, yeah, that is pretty much all of it.” Daniel cleared his throat, and Sam could tell that he was hedging.
“Come on, Daniel. I need to know it all, if I am going try to help you figure it out, although I think its meaning is obvious anyway. But, you really need to tell it all to me.”
“Okay, okay.” She could tell he was smiling. “But, I only dreamed this part one time, so I don’t know how significant it is.” He paused yet again, evidently thinking how best to phrase what he was about to disclose. He sighed. “Okay. Here goes, but you have to promise not to shoot me.” He did not wait for a response, but hurried on. “You remember the blue dress the Shavadii gave you?”
“Yes, I remember it, Daniel, but I never wore it on the ramp to the Stargate,” Sam said, testy at the mention of a dress she had kept only for its costume value.
“I know. Do you remember that hot blue number that Janet wore last year to the Christmas party?” He asked another seemingly irrelevant question.
“Yes, she was a knock-out in it.” Sam smiled, remembering how great her friend had looked that night, and how the men had been practically salivating every time one of them got near to her.
“Yeah, she was. Anyway, I got to thinking about those two instances one day and I, um, that is I thought, um that is I wondered, if maybe the dream could mean you or Janet.” The last part came out in a rush. “That night I had this variation of the dream, and I have only had it that one time.”
“In the dream that time, I asked Sha’uri if it was you or Janet. She told me that although loving friends could become lovers of the heart, it was not meant to be in our cases, at this time. She went on to say something about you and I and Heartmates that I did not quite catch. Then, she said that Janet was meant for someone else and that,” he stopped suddenly, but then continued slowly, “She said that you were already bonded in your heart, but that you refused to acknowledge it.”
Sam gasped in surprise, and then managed to choke out, “Did she say who I was bonded to?”
“She didn’t have to tell me the answer to that, Sam. As soon as she said it, I knew,” Daniel answered softly.
“Really? And who do you think I am bonded with, Daniel?” Sam asked in a low tense voice.
Daniel answered her gently, saying, “Well, unlike some at the SGC, I know that while you feel a great deal of loyalty, respect, and the kind of love one friend feels for another, for Jack O’Neill, you do not love him in that way. Nor do you love Teal’c in that way, although you do love both of them very much.” He stopped speaking, and she could feel him looking at her.
“So who did you decide it was then?” She asked hesitantly.
“You love Martouf and Lantash, Sam. In my dream, Sha’uri agreed with me. How much longer are you going to deny both yourself and them, Sam?” Daniel questioned her even more gently than before.
“Those are Jolinar’s feelings, Daniel,” Sam snapped, at once on the defensive. This was a subject that bothered her a great deal. Not because she truly thought the feelings she felt for them were Jolinar’s, although that did concern her, but not deeply. No, it bothered her because she suspected that the emotions were not Jolinar’s feelings. She could not seem to put them into their own separate place. She could not tell which feelings were hers, and which ones Jolinar had given her. Their emotions seemed too entwined to separate, no matter how hard she tried. And then, there was the fear. However, she had never put any of that into words; she simply felt it and it was confusing.
“I don’t think so, Sam.” Daniel’s voice was soft as he refuted her words. “You have some of Jolinar’s memories and feelings, but I think that if you look deep into your heart you will find Martouf and Lantash there. I think maybe you are just afraid to admit it to yourself, let alone them.”
Sam sighed, thinking about what he said. “I don’t know, Daniel. I feel confused when I think about them. Sometimes, I am afraid that it isn’t really me feeling those things. At other times, I know it is. I just don’t know what to do about it. I can’t even put the emotions into words.”
“Just remember, Sam. The one thing I don’t have to regret is telling Sha’uri how I felt about her. Don’t let it go until something happens, and you can never say it to them.” Daniel gave her what advice he could.
Sam shook her head changing the subject, “We are supposed to be talking about your dream, not my non-existent love life. I think it means that your subconscious is telling you that you are ready to move on with your life.”
“I think you are right.” He paused. “I think I am right, too, Sam. Your love life does not have to be non-existent, and neither does mine.”
Sam sat still, not moving and barely breathing. Then, Daniel caught the tiny catch in her breath that indicated that Sam was trying to rein in wayward emotions. A circumstance that years of practice had made her quite proficient in.
“Daniel?” She barely breathed his name loud enough for him to hear.
“Yes, Sam?” He answered her promptly.
“Daniel,” she whispered brokenly, “You are right. I love Martouf and Lantash so much it scares me. Daniel…Daniel, what am I going to do? He is Tok’Ra. I am on Earth; he is God only knows where. I worry about him all the time. I can’t wait to see him when I know the Tok’Ra are coming to Earth. I am disappointed if he is not one of them. When he does come, I am all tied up inside, and I can’t even make myself let him know how I feel verbally, let alone make a move on him. I want to so badly, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. He is not safe, Daniel. I could get so terribly hurt. I just don’t know what to do,” she repeated.
The anguish and uncertainty in her voice shocked Daniel. He had known she cared, he just had not realized how much.
“I don’t know right now, Sam, but we’ll both think about the situation. I am sure it will work out. We will make it work out. Now that you have admitted it to yourself and actually put it into words, you will figure out what to do. The most important thing though is to tell him.”
“But, what if he doesn’t love me back? Me, Daniel, not Jolinar. How will I ever know for sure?”
“I believe he loves you for you. My God, Sam, the man’s face lights up like a Christmas tree just at the mention of your name. You walk in the room, and I swear we don’t need electricity to light the SGC or power the Gate. And Sam, it is not just Martouf. On the rare occasions when Lantash takes control, I have seen him look at you with hunger in his eyes, as if he wants to carry you off and never let you go.” He stopped speaking, obviously trying to think of how he wanted to say what was on his mind. “Sam, do you remember when you came through the gate to Abydos to get me?” He finally asked.
Sam was puzzled. “Yes, I remember.” Where in the world was he going with this? Sometimes, Daniel’s mind worked so far outside of the box that even she could not follow him.
“Then do you remember that last kiss Sha’uri and I shared?”
“Well, yeah, Daniel. I mean, that kiss Sha’uri gave you seemed to put your brain in neutral. I thought we might have to send out a search party for it. I don’t think you even knew where you were,” she teased him gently.
“So I have been told. My point is that I have a feeling that, if you’d just kiss Lantash and Martouf the way Sha’uri kissed me that day, we would find them wandering around the SGC in a daze. If they could even move at all. I am serious, Sam. I really believe that man is seriously head over symbiote in love with you.” He coughed. “If you need more proof, just look at the way Jack reacts to Martouf and Lantash. He practically foams at the mouth,” Daniel pointed out.
“Daniel, the Colonel is not in love with me,” Sam said firmly, “and we both know it. We thought about it, but not only is it against regulations, it just isn’t there for us, not now and not ever.”
“I know that, Sam. However, you know, as well as I do, that he does love you in his own way. We are a family. All of us. Jack can’t seem to separate the Tok’Ra from the Goa’ uld. Intellectually, he can do it, but not emotionally. So he is not happy at the thought that Martouf and Lantash love you in ‘that’ way.”
Moaning softly, Sam replied, “I agree, Daniel. It is just one more thing that I have to give thought to before I do anything,” she stopped and, startled by what she had said, she added “not, that I would let that make a difference, if I thought they really loved me.”
“Sam, in the end, the only thing that really matters is if you love them, and they love you. Furthermore, you do. I think this will all work out in the end. I am not saying that just because you have admitted it, everything will suddenly be okay. Your situation will take a lot of work to make it last. Nonetheless, I think they would work at it, I mean, look at the last relationship in which they were involved. It lasted for almost a century, Sam, and that is not the sign of a man that loves lightly or will take off at the first sign of trouble. That is the sign of a man that means his vows and takes them seriously. He would work hard at making a long distance relationship work. If anyone can do that, too, it is you, Sam. You are going to have to trust Martouf and Lantash. Between you three, you can do this.”
“I don’t want anyone to know anything, Daniel. Promise me this is just between us,” Sam requested suddenly, her voice holding panicked tones.
“You are not going to say anything to Martouf and Lantash,” he stated flatly.
“No, no, not yet. I want time to think this through first. I mean, I have just now confronted myself with this and admitted it. I am still not sure if it is Jolinar’s feelings, mine, or both. Do you understand?” Her voice pleaded with him to know what she was going through.
“Yes, I do and I think you are right in thinking you need some time to come to terms with what you have admitted. On the other hand, don’t think too logically about it. Then once you have done the requisite thinking, feel the answer in your heart, Sam. Because in the end, that is the only thing that really counts,” Daniel answered, giving her the reassurance she needed, telling her that he did understand, and he cared about her.
“I know. You have taught me that.” She leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. “Thank you, Daniel.”
Daniel turned, took Sam in his arms, and kissed her back gently. “You are welcome, Sam. Anytime. I will always be there for you, I promise.”
“Me, too, Daniel. Anytime.” She cleared her throat and sat up straighter. “Well, I should go do a quick perimeter check. Why don’t you bed down and try to get a couple of hours sleep. I will wake you in two,” Sam said, as she fought to keep her emotions under control. Damn, why could Daniel and his sweet caring always get to her when almost no one else could?
“I don’t think you should go outside, Sam. I think it stopped raining, and if the other moon is up, you would be plainly visible in the moonlight,” Daniel cautioned her.
Sam sighed, reminding him, “I am the soldier here, Daniel. I am just going to check to see if I hear anything and take a quick look around. I need to make sure there isn’t someone prowling around. Sheesh, you are worse than my father,” she concluded lightly.
“All right, but I will wait until you get back before I go to sleep.” He chuckled. “Just like Dad.”
She threw him a slightly exasperated, but affectionate look, nodded, and silently slipped away. Within minutes, she was back. “It is completely quiet out there except for the normal night sounds you would expect, which, of course, is good. I really don’t think we will be bothered tonight. It is obvious that the natives did not follow us, and the Jaffa don’ t seem to know we’re here. I hope that come morning, we can head for the Stargate. “I am going to contact the Colonel. Let him know we got held up, and it will take longer than we thought to get back,” Sam explained to him, as she settled herself.
“Probably a good idea,” Daniel agreed.
Grabbing hold of her radio, Sam keyed her mike, but did not say anything. She did it three times in a row and then waited. If the Colonel or Teal’c were okay, one of them should have heard it, and they would answer. If they did not, then something was wrong, or they knew for sure that there was a ship in orbit. Either way, it would indicate that she and Daniel needed to be, if possible, even more cautious tomorrow.
“Major Carter, is that you?” She heard Teal’c ask as quietly as possible.
“Yes,” Sam responded, in an equally soft tone. “Are you clear to talk?”
“Yes. Are you and Daniel Jackson well?” Teal’c’s calm tone came to them quite clearly.
“Sort of. We ran into some unfriendly natives, and I got a puncture wound in the thigh. It isn’t bad, but it will slow us down a little tomorrow. We are going to have to be watching for the natives as well as the Goa’uld. I just wanted you to know we are still probably four or five hours from the gate because of it. Other than that, we are both doing fine. Are you both all right?” Sam gave her report as concisely as possible.
“Yes. We have had no difficulties. We are within an hour of the Stargate. If no one has discovered it, we still plan to rendezvous near the FRED. If it has been found by others, then we will be in the caves in the hills behind the Stargate.”
“Roger that, Teal’c. Carter, out.” Sam released the button on her radio, and turned to Daniel. “They are fine, Daniel. Get some sleep.”
“Night, Sam.” She could hear him snuggling down into his sleeping bag. Morning was still a long time away. They had a long night ahead on this planet. Sam settled into her watch ‘mode’. Now if she could just keep herself from thinking, she would be fine. Something inside her said that was not going to happen. If that was the case, then she might as well indulge herself with a little bit of fantasy with Martouf and Lantash as the leading men. It was an easy dream to enter. She had been there hundreds of times before. The difference was that this time she could add her love to the lust that usually took center stage. She smiled and figured the next two hours would go by pretty fast…and they did.
Before she knew it, three hours had passed. Sam leaned over to Daniel and shook him awake. “It has been three hours, Daniel. It is time for your watch.”
“Why didn’t you wake me earlier, Sam? You must be exhausted by now,” Daniel said, as he began to wake up.
“I had some thinking I needed to do, Daniel, but I am tired. I think I can sleep now. Morning should be here in about three hours. Do you think you can last that long?” It was a rhetorical question, she knew. Daniel was always good to go once he was awake and had some coffee in him.
“Yeah, no problem. Is that coffee I smell?” Daniel asked, still groping for his glasses. Finding them, he put them on and climbed out of his sleeping bag.
“I made some a while ago. If you do get sleepy, wake me in two,” Sam told him as she prepared to bed down. It was a good thing they had planned to stay the night at the temple; otherwise, they would not have had all of this equipment with them.
“I will if I need to, Sam,” Daniel assured her, as he poured his coffee and inhaled the aroma. Just the fumes appeared to work on waking him up.
“I just checked everything again. Not that there is much to check. Still seems normal out there. ‘Night, Daniel,” Sam said sleepily from her bedroll.
“Goodnight, Sam,” Daniel answered softly.
She was asleep almost before her head touched her jacket that was serving as a pillow.
Colonel Jack O’Neill was pacing. It was mid-morning, and they had heard nothing from Carter and Daniel. Where in the hell were they?
“Are you sure they were okay, Teal’c? He asked for what must have been the twelfth time in the past half an hour.
“Indeed, O’Neill,” Teal’c answered patiently. “Major Carter said that her wound was slight, and that they were safe. She calculated that it would take them several hours to reach us today. Particularly, since she would be traveling slower than usual, and they would have to be on the lookout for both Jaffa and natives.” Teal’c wondered if he could remember to bring a Tau’ri recording device along on the next mission. Then he could simply record his response and play it aloud every few minutes. O’Neill, while an excellent leader and warrior, was not a patient man.
“If they don’t show up soon, I am going to go look for them,” Jack announced.
“I do not think that would be wise, at this time, O’Neill. We must give them time to make their way here safely. If we go to look for them, we are much more likely to run into the Jaffa, or the natives, ourselves,” Teal’c again answered with patience.
Jack O’Neill scowled at his Jaffa friend, and then sighed, as he paced some more, knowing that Teal’c was right. If they left their hiding place and attempted to find the Major and Daniel, they could cause more problems than they solved. It was not late enough yet to be overly concerned. The Major and Daniel would be going slow and using extreme caution this morning. He had faith in them; he really did. It was just so darn boring just sitting here.
He just needed to relax, he thought, as he sat down. He would think about hockey. Or fishing. Yes, he would plan his next fishing trip. No Thor this time, and he would take the whole team. They would all go to his cabin and just relax. He frowned as he tried to envision Carter or Daniel relaxing at his cabin. Well, anyway, they would have a great time. Speaking of time, what time was it? Oh, ten minutes since he had looked last time.
His mind wandered onto another subject. They had not heard a thing from Thor’s surprise as he always thought of her. He figured they had backed out and had not told Thor, or Thor had not told them. Just as well, because he didn’t need some alien who would try to take over his command and cause problems.
He would bet she was some politically correct Daddy’s girl. No doubt about it. They must have pulled the wool over Thor’s eyes, and he would bet that didn’t happen often. Probably the only thing Thor really knew about her was what her Daddy had told him. He probably trusted the old guy, and didn’t realize that parents sometimes thought their kids were more accomplished than they really were.
That mental telepathy-empy-thing would have come in handy, though. However, it probably would not have outweighed the downside. They would have to baby-sit her, and make sure nothing happened to her that would cause an intergalactic incident. Yup, he definitely hoped something had happened to stop that little plan from taking place; he was in no mood to coddle some politician’s daughter. He didn’t have time for that. Ah, speaking of time, what time was it? A whole thirty minutes later than it was the last time he had looked. He would give them a little more time. The sun was up early here. Set early too. He wished he had his yo-yo.
“I believe someone approaches, O’Neill,” Teal’c’s voice, breaking into his thoughts, was a welcome diversion.
Watching from their hiding place, they saw Carter and Daniel move unobtrusively toward the FRED. Teal’c and O’Neill stood up.
“Hey, Carter, it is about time you two showed up. Are you and Daniel ready to blow this place?” Jack greeted them jovially, all worry and boredom forgotten in his relief to see them appear, relatively whole and unharmed.
“Yes, sir. Sorry it took so long. It looked like the Jaffa were all back together, unless there are more than the ones we all saw. They were heading toward the temple. They are in for a surprise when they arrive, though. There must be a couple of hundred natives waiting for them.”
“How do you know that?” Jack was interested at once.
“Well, we also ran into those natives from before. After listening to them talk for a while, Daniel figured out what language they were speaking. He talked to them, told them about the Jaffa, and they assured him that the Jaffa would not leave this place to go back to report to their God. They came back with us part of the way, and that made the journey a little faster, since we didn’t have to watch out for hostile natives as well as Jaffa.”
“Great. Let’s get a move on, campers.” Jack lost interest once he got the basic drift of events. They got the FRED moving and headed towards the gate.
“How’s the leg, Carter? Thought you said the natives shot you?” Jack suddenly thought to ask.
“Yeah, they did.” Daniel answered. “It turned out that they were just trying to scare us away, so we would not be in the temple when the Jaffa got there. One of the warriors was young, and his aim was not the best. They were not trying to hit us. Seems he needed more practice. They apologized profusely.”
Sam was grinning by now. “Yeah, he was really embarrassed. They were teasing him pretty bad, I guess, from what Daniel was saying. My leg is not bad at all. Daniel cleaned it up for me last night.”
“We managed to get the mineral samples and the video of the temple ruins, before we saw the Jaffa, so we even managed to complete the mission successfully. The natives assured us that the Jaffa won’t come back for a long time again after today, so we’re welcome to come back if we want to.”
They maneuvered the FRED into position. Colonel O’Neill made a wide sweeping gesture with his arm toward the gate. “There is no place like home. Dial us up, Daniel. To Earth.”