Slash:  Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.
Rating: G.
Category: Established Relationship.  Romance. Angst.  Sam/Teal'c Friendship.
Season/Spoilers: Season 4.  Allusions to the 'red herring' relationship.
Synopsis: Becoming aware things have changed for a couple of her team mates causes Sam to contemplate making a few changes of her own.
Warnings: Nothing comes to mind
Length:  50  Kb  Originally completed and posted to the net 9 Apr 01.

Notes: Trying something a little different this time out. It's still J/D, but from a slightly other perspective!  Technically because it refers to an existing romantic relationship between Jack and Daniel, it is slash, however, it is only talked about.  Honest, they don't even hug!


The colonel thinks he's being discreet.  I guess if you want to be strictly technical, he is.  He most assuredly is.  There is absolutely nothing inappropriate, unbecoming, untoward or - courts-martial-able  - about the way he's bandaging the scratch on Daniel's arm.  Nothing incorrect about the way he is touching him.  Talking to him.  Nothing about anything in the colonel's behaviour to suggest he has tender feelings for one of his team mates.  In spades.

That is unless you're willing to overlook the way he's looking at Daniel.

A blind man could see how much the colonel loves him. And we're not talking about fraternal love.  It's funny, everyone is always saying Daniel is the one with the eyes you'd cheerfully die for.  The one with his heart on his sleeve.  Lord knows I've certainly gotten an earful on the subject of Daniel's eyes, not to mention just about every other part of his anatomy from the ever-growing ranks of the smitten. I've had more hopefuls take me aside, angling for an inside track to the good doctor's affections than I even want to think about. I've wished every single one of them well knowing they didn't have a prayer. Now, more so than ever.

I guess all those people mooning over Daniel's baby blues have never seen what I'm seeing right now.  You want to talk warm glows and a sparkle melting you right in your boots, there's nothing quite as amazing, or completely unexpected, as the spectacle of Colonel O'Neill in love.  I've served with this man for four years and in all the time I've known him, all the different faces he's worn, this is one I've never, ever seen before.  Neither has anyone else in the SGC. Because up until he finally let himself in on his best-kept secret and got together with Daniel, he's never been what he is now.  A man in love.

Colonel O'Neill is in love.  Really in love. L-O-V-E.  Truly madly, deeply.  Head over heels.  All the over-the-top, emotionally excessive clichés apply.  He's not turning cartwheels or acting any differently than he usually does.   When you first look at him, nothing's changed.  He's sitting there beside Daniel, as by-the-book as you please, all properly kitted and turned out as The Colonel and the Team Leader of SG-1, the same dedicated professional I've always known him to be.  Looking every inch the career military man I've grown to respect and been proud to serve with.   He's still the colonel on the outside.  And yet, when he turns those eyes on Daniel, he becomes someone I've never seen before.  Someone I barely recognise as - him.

A man in love.  A man deliriously happy and in love.  So happy it's spilling out all over him, in his soft, fond expression and his glowing, doting, completely smitten eyes.  Puppy dog eyes.  Holy Hannah, the colonel isn't just in love, he's absolutely besotted.  Gone.  Right out of there.  If he could see himself now he'd be making himself sick.

Who am I kidding?  Anyone in their right mind would kill to have this man looking at them the way he's looking at Daniel right now.  A way he's never, ever looked at anyone else since I've known him.


I guess that really was my first clue.  The look. The one I'm seeing now.  The one I never got.  No matter what I was hoping, and for a while no matter what his mouth was saying, the eyes, they don't lie.  He might have sat there and said those words, perhaps actually made himself believe them for a time, but although he thought he meant what he was saying -   he didn't.  It's all in the eyes.

He sure never looked at me like that.  Not even close.  Perhaps it was true in a way, what he said, he'd rather die than lose me, but even so,  he didn't love me.  Not like this.  Not like he loves Daniel.  Even when the colonel was owning up to 'feelings'and we were playing the little 'we can think about it but we can't do it' game we had going there for a while, he would still look at Daniel and that - light - that little extra something  was there in his eyes. It was there.  And it was only there when he looked at Daniel.  The colonel was never in love with me.  I can see that now.  Plain as day.

The colonel.  Listen to me, I can't even call him 'Jack' in my head.  Something else that should have told me, a long time ago, I was barking up the wrong tree.  What was I thinking? Was I planning to call him 'sir' on our wedding night?  'That's all right, Major, we're married now, you can drop the 'sir' stuff'.  'Only if you call me 'Sam' first, Colonel, Sir'.

Wow, that's romantic, all right.  Sets my heart all aquiver. Yasureyoubetcha.

Was that what it was all about for me?  Romance?  Speculation?  The what if - what would it be like, factor?  I'm not really sure.  I know the idea of him being in love with me appealed to me. He's a very attractive man.  And he's  - yeah, there's the power thing.  I'll admit to that.  I liked the idea I could make him feel that way about me.  It was flattering.  Okay, it was a rush.  I enjoyed thinking I could make him want me, but he could never have me. And now here we are, the tables have turned and the shoe is quite firmly on the other foot.

So now it is, now that it's my turn to be the one on the sidelines watching the action but not getting any - I have to admit it doesn't feel too hot.  What's more, it says an awful lot about the kind of man - the kind of friend  Daniel is he made it through being shut out by both of us without ending up hating either of us.

It's possible I didn't take it very well, at first, when I started seeing the signs maybe the colonel didn't quite have the 'feelings' for me we all thought he did. Let's just say Daniel handled being - pushed aside - a lot better than I did.  Especially as he ended up being the brunt of not only the colonel's confusion, but mine as well. Daniel took a lot of garbage from both of us, but thank goodness he is who he is.  He's never held a grudge, or let temporary - immaturity - damage our friendship.  He's one hell of a nice guy.  One of the reasons why the colonel loves him so much.

Me too.  But definitely strictly in the fraternal sense.  I figure one stroll down the 'never to be requited' path is enough for anyone.

But getting back to the path I did venture along for a time, I don't really know if I was ever in 'love' with the colonel. I'll admit to a crush, a certain envy, the belief if he should want anyone it darned well should be me, but love? It's not so easy to be honest with myself about this one.  I wasn't in any hurry to hand in my SG-1 patch and run into his arms, that's for sure. Perhaps I should have been.  It's occurred to me I shouldn't have been quite so smug, so sure of myself.  It could be in my complacency I let something really special slip through my fingers.  Missed my shot.  Blew it. Perhaps…..

 But what good does it do, thinking like this now, it's all rather academic.  All I have to do is take one look at those dancing brown eyes drinking in Daniel, that warm, beguiling smile shining only for him to know whatever I might have assumed was going on between the colonel and I or counted on always being there until I made up my mind whether or not I wanted to do anything about it or with it  - it ain't gonna happen.

Option expired, you snooze you loose.  While you were counting your chickens Daniel made off with the Silver Fox.

Yeah, I know, I know, that's not really fair and it's assuming a lot.  It's assuming the colonel was 'mine' to begin with and you know what - you should never make assumptions.  One of these days I'm going to practice what I preach. Okay, being brutally honest with myself here, the truth is I never had a chance. Fine. Great.  What's the big deal, then?  You can't lose what you never really had and had no realistic chance of ever getting. Still, it does hurt a little to look into the eyes of what might have been and know the colonel is never going to look at me like that.

And yet for all of that,  looking at the pair of them - at him -  I almost want to laugh.  Who would have thought it?  Underneath that hard-nosed, tough as nails, no-nonsense, bad-ass, 'don't mess with me I'm the Colonel' exterior lurks a heart of pure marshmallow.  The colonel is a softie.  Unbelievable. One look at Daniel and he's mush.

It's cute.  They're cute.  They're happy.  They look it, they look good together.  They're good for each other, dammit !  I'm going to be happy for them.  I am!  It'll take some time, but I am.  I will be.  They'd do the same for me.  They're the best reason I can think of to stop churning up pointless regrets and move on.

"Jaaaack," Daniel bristles, trying to look annoyed at the colonel fussing over him.  "It's just a scratch.  You don't have to - I can do it myself!"

"Ah!"  the colonel admonishes, his tone severe, business-like, but his brown eyes crinkling, soothing.  Melting. "Quit your whining and sit still 'til I finish, here.  You should have said something.  A scratch, even a little one, you know how fast any injury can get septic in a climate like this.  You wanna lose an arm or something?"

Daniel rolls his eyes and scowls, but it's protest without conviction.  "Jack, I hardly think that's going to happen.  It's one little scratch, not a sucking chest wound, and it's not worth holding the entire team up for.  Besides, if you hadn't goosed me and made me jump into that bush - "

"A motivational shove," the colonel corrects, a fond grin quirking at his lip.  "You were dawdling."

"Dawdling!"  Daniel huffs, affronted.  "I do not dawdle!"


"Do not !"


And so it goes.  Daniel is putting on his usual, stubborn show of thwarted independence.  His 'I can damned well take care of myself I don't need Colonel Bossy O'Neill hovering over me' requisite verbal objection to the colonel's blatant doting.  Saying he's annoyed whenever the colonel takes care of him and shows him how much he means to him when in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

Daniel literally come alive under the colonel's attentions, responding to his focussed affection with all the fragile, blossoming wonder and disbelief of a kid who can't believe he's finally received the one and only thing he's ever wanted for Christmas.  And Christmas is coming every day of the year. It's too good to be true, but it is true.  He's not only getting everything he wanted, but it's even better than he'd hoped.

Daniel in love is a much quieter wonder to behold.  Subdued, but every bit as passionate. He's equally radiant but it's contained happiness, an internal light.  You have to look very closely to see it.  You have to really know him to understand how utterly contented and fulfilled he is.  And how profoundly thankful and appreciative he is of what he has.

Daniel never takes his blessings for granted, and when he loves, he does it all the way, with everything he has. His are the eyes of deep, devout, unswerving devotion.  Quietly burning, never outwardly proclaiming, privately shining for the only one they'll ever see.  Completely oblivious to other eyes looking at him.  Seeing him transformed, unfolding and in love, and not with them.

I'm not the only one who had hopes they'll never know the fulfilment of.  There is another who has waited in vain for a certain pair of eyes to turn his way.  I'm not sure what makes me shift my focus from Daniel and the colonel to look over at the tall, silent figure of our fourth, but as I watch Teal'c standing stoically beside us and see the way he's looking at Daniel...

It seems our Jaffa friend and I have something in common.  We both know how it feels to be the one on the outside looking in.  Last across the finish line.  Passed over. The one not looked to when true love came calling.

If I hadn't been so wrapped up in my own personal melodrama I would have noticed this sooner.  But I'm looking now, and what I'm seeing is making me feel rather sad.  Teal'c has been nursing a few secret hopes of his own to his bosom. Right now he's getting his own wake-up call, and it isn't any easier to take.  It's one thing to know it, quite another to see it when the feelings are still so fresh, so raw.  When the disappointment, for all it is irrevocable, is so new.

I feel for him.  I really do.  He looks like someone who could use a friend.  Funny, that's exactly the way I feel right now.

I leave the children to their happy bickering and walk up to Teal'c.  As he turns to me his eyes lose some of their bleakness; a welcoming light warms their blackness.  "Major Carter," he acknowledges me with in deep, velvety voice.

"I think we're going to be here for a while," I grin at him.  "I don't know about you, but watching Daniel and the colonel fight isn't exactly my idea of a good time.  What do you say we leave them to it and scout up ahead a bit?"

He spares Daniel one last, fleeting glance, then blinks and slowly inclines his head, his large, full lips spreading in a generous smile. "I would be honoured to accompany you, Major Carter," he informs me gravely.

"Somehow I doubt they'll even miss us," I say lightly, looking slightly sideways at him as we walk.

He's still staring straight ahead, a muscle lightly twitching in his jaw the only outward sign he is betraying of any inner turmoil.  It suddenly dawns on me Teal'c has lost a lot more than hope.  He's alone again. Daniel is the only one of us who had a personal relationship with all of us.   Who made the effort to be a friend to all of us.  While the colonel and I were playing 'come here, come here, go away', Teal'c and Daniel got closer.  They started spending a lot more time together.  Commiserating.  Developing a rapport.  Maybe their reasons for coming together were different, but they were friends all the same.  It's possible they will be again once the colonel calms down and gets a fraction less territorial, but in the interim Daniel's free time is pretty much spoken for.

It follows whatever off-duty interaction Teal'c might have had with the colonel has pretty much gone up in smoke for the time being as well.  Although from what I've been seeing between them lately, there hasn't been a lot.  They haven't exactly been comfortable with each other except when we've been out in the field together, and the main reason for that is behind us getting his arm bandaged.

It adds up to the same thing, though.  Another door temporarily closed to Teal'c, for as long as it takes both of them to come to terms with their feelings for Daniel.  And how they feel about the other one having feelings for Daniel.  It'll happen. It'll take time, but it'll happen.  If we were talking about lesser men I'd be concerned.  But the three of them will sort it out.  They care about each other too much not to.  But until they do, if Teal'c needs someone to turn to, well, I guess that just leaves me.

It's an option he might not easily avail himself of.  Teal'c and I, we've somehow never managed to connect in the way he, the colonel and Daniel have.  We've served together, learned how to count on each other in the field, but we just never got personal.  We never got around to it, I guess.  I'm thinking all of a sudden I've been seriously missing out and it's high time I did something about it.

After all, now that Daniel and the colonel have each other, we're both sort of left adrift.  Something else we have in common.

"Indeed," Teal'c says finally.  "They are content with each other's company."

"Good for them," I say with feeling. "I don't know about you, but life goes on, you know.  What's more, I think there's a lot more to it than I've been allowing myself lately.  You too, I'm thinking.  If you don't mind me saying so?"

I hope not.  I hope I'm right in what I'm seeing, and he won't mind what I'm trying to do.

"I do not," he tells me sincerely.  His eyes are kind, but sad.  He's hurting, knows I am too, and it's not going to go away in the blink of an eye for either of us but maybe, just maybe...

"Teal'c, what does the expression 'more than one fish in the sea' mean to you?"

A burden shared is a burdened lessened?  We could give it a shot.  What do we have to lose if we share with each other?

"I hope it does not mean you also have an unfortunate fascination with fishing," he returns as he regards me with a slightly suspicious eye.

"Me?"  I grin back at him.  "No way.  Bores me silly."

You have no idea!

"I am relieved to hear it."  He is. I can tell.  Well, what do you know about that, we both don't like fishing.  It's a place to start.

"So Teal'c," I continue.  "Has the colonel ever taught you how to shoot pool?"

"He has not," Teal'c replies, his tone a little lighter.

"I don't wonder," I laugh.  "I have a feeling you'd be a shark in no time."

He looks at me again.  His eyes are definitely warmer, less sad, Verging on twinkling. "Has our conversation once again returned to the subject of fishing?" he inquires carefully.

"Uh - sort of, there are some parallels, some baiting, hooking and reeling in can be involved, depending on the circumstances.  Tell you what," I declare as I slap him on the back, "when we get back and get through why don't we check out and grab a bite to eat.  Then I'll take you to my favourite place and show you the ropes."

All of a sudden I'm feeling rather weary of the SGC.  I want to shake the latest astrophysical conundrum out of my hair and blow the joint.  Turn my back on the whole damned deal and just be a normal person for a day or two.  See how the 'ordinary' half lives.  Hang out in a place where they've never heard of Stargates, Sytem Lords or anything  with Naquadah in it.  Have some fun with some pleasant company.  Get to know an old friend.  Finally.

"You will - instruct me.  In how to play pool?"

"Sure!  If you want to learn, that is."

And if you wouldn't mind doing it with me.

He stops walking and turns to me.  "I would be most grateful for the privilege of your company, Major Carter.  However it would please you to spend some time."

"Great," I beam at him.  He's got a great smile.  He doesn't do it a lot.  Smile, that is.  Shame.  He really should smile more.  Maybe it's time he had more to smile about.

Me too.

"And by the way, when we're off duty - or any time even, I don't mind, why don't you call me Sam.  Or - Samantha.  Whatever works for you."

"Samantha," he smiles again and bows his head.  Uh huh, definitely a nice smile.  Great eyes, too.

I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship.  To hell with what could have been.  Life's too short to waste. There are always possibilities when you have so much in common.  New beginnings, for starters.



PhoenixE, 2001-9.
Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Stargate Productions, Sci Fi Channel, Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. These stories are for entertainment purposes only and no money exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author. These stories may not be posted elsewhere without the consent of the author. Copyright on images remains with the above named rightsholders.
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