In love.

Oh, Sam's in love.

I knew it when I saw her Monday. I knew, of course, whom she'd spent the weekend with. I guess I just didn't expect the glow in her cheeks; the sparkle in her eyes.

I know all the signs. Sha're's gone, but our love will always survive.

I used to wonder if Sam would fall in love with *Jack*... despite the wrong reasons.

Now I wonder if she's fallen in love despite the right ones.

Because she's Sam. NOT Jolinar.

But she's in love. I see it. Teal'c sees it. Even Jack sees it.

Poor man.


Of all the people in the universe, she's fallen for one with a snake in his head.

When I saw how Sam reacted when HE walked into the room, I was nauseated. Guts cramped... eyes crossed... Wounded, I fled..

Because once, she smiled like that... at me.

Of all the people in the universe, she's fallen for a guy who bugs the crap out of me.

Somehow, I feel as though I should have been consulted about this. I at least should have seen it coming.

Of all the people in the universe, she's fallen for someone who's not me.


I know that I shouldn't have done it. But I did. I just wished I had listened to my instincts and refrained.

To make matters worse, I asked her planetside. It threw the whole mission off.

"Why *Martouf*?"

I just blurted it out. Open mouth, insert foot.

She simply stared at me. Danny and Teal'c busied themselves.

"Because you took too long."

I swallowed. Hard. The reasons why sounded frail and insubstantial.

"He wants me to go back with him, Jack."

The ground dropped out from under me. "Will you?"

She shrugged, and her eyes glimmered angrily. "Sure. Why not?"


I was ready to kill. Injure, maim, murder... all the same to me. Ready to spray insecticide into his skull.

We saw each other across the locker room, as I was getting out of the shower. We were alone, and my eyes narrowed. Perfect.

But my prey's smile was one of utter confidence. "You know, if you hurt me, Samantha will never forgive you."

"It'd make me feel better."

"I thought you were a bigger man than that."

"She ISN'T Jolinar."

"That's not why I love her."

"You believe that? You're lying to yourself."

"Yes. You would know about that."


She's leaving.

How can she leave? With HIM, nonetheless.

I still don't think I've accepted it. It's not registering.

Which is good, because the less I think about what I'm going to do, the better.

No time for a private conversation. No time to inflict horrible personal wounds on Martouf... emotional ones will have to do.

I just run.

It's the only way to delay her, I think. And no matter her decision, she deserves the truth.

I burst into the Gate room. Sam and Martouf look back. There's annoyance in his eyes... hope in hers.

"Sam, I love you."


Now he's done it.

Everything's different.

I order the Gate to be shut off.

Jack stands in the middle of the room, breathing hard. Everyone is watching him, and I mean everyone.

"I love you, too," I tremblingly admit. Either it's raining inside the embarkation room... or I'm crying.

Martouf and I look at each other. I never said the words to him.

But it's okay. I think deep down we knew... we were both only second best.

Our 'audience' waits breathlessly. Danny, Hammond, and even Teal'c all look a little glassy-eyed.

I drop my bags and run to Jack.


"Maybe Martouf isn't all that bad," I say, mockingly contemplative.


She wasn't expecting THAT. I smile, and kiss her bare shoulder. "If he hadn't almost charmed you away, I never would have... well, you know..."

Sam pulls the sheets up higher. "Well," she says sensibly. "He wanted Jolinar. I'm not Jolinar."

"Nope." I pull her even closer, as though we could get any closer than we just did. "And I hope this won't disrupt our... professional relationship..." My control slips. "With the little bastard," I finish happily.

She chuckles. "You still want to kill him, don't you?"

"You bet."


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