Major Samantha Carter strode down a hallway of the SCG facility toward the Infirmary, carrying two cups. She reached it and found her friend Dr. Janet Fraiser busily working at her desk of paperwork.

"Hey Janet" she said, handing her one of the cups.

"Hi Sam." They would often talk about missions Major Carter had been on and various other things going on at the SGC.

"Any hot gossip?" Dr. Fraiser asked enthusiastically.

"Not really, things have been relatively quiet lately" Sam replied.

"Really? Anything interesting to do with the inhabitance of SG1?" Janet asked, cheekily grinning.


"Come on Sam, a certain person on the team is more than just a teammate to you"


"So! Anything looking good?"

"No. He obviously doesn't feel the same way" Sam frowned and sat down.

"You don't know that. He might feel exactly the same about you and be thinking you don't feel anything for him." Janet explained.

"Come on Janet. I haven't seen any indication of him feeling anything" Sam took a sip from her cup.

"Well you don't exactly put up a neon sign either you know?!" she stated.

"I know" Sam sighed, "but he's my CO Janet! What am I supposed to do?"

"Tell him!?"

"Oh yeah, what do I do?! Go up to him and say 'Hi Colonel, how's it going? By the way, I just wanted to tell you that I sort of, have these really deep feelings for you, but you know!? Have a nice day, see ya'?"

"Well, you wouldn't do it exactly like that, but,"

"Yeah! See what I mean? It's not that simple to just, tell him" Sam cut her off.

"He has a right to know about how you feel Sam. And for all you know, he might feel exactly the same way" Janet reasoned.

"Maybe, or he might not, then what? Court-Martial! That's what!"

"Sam, when was your last mission?" Janet asked unexpectedly.

"Yesterday, why?" Sam answered.

"Well, don't you ever get jealous of the fact that *I'm* the one that gets to do the checking out?"

"Sorry, I'm not following"

"Well I mean, you've seen the men being examined before, haven't you?" Janet asked.

"No. Only SG1" she replied.

"Oh, well, they have to take their shirt off, sometimes, for one. And I mean surely you fantasize about, well,"

"About touching him. About putting my hands all over him. Oh, yeah!"

"Yeah, well?"

"I think I see where you're going. But you normally don't make them take their shirts off" Sam noted.

"Not always, but you gotta start somewhere, right?" They both smiled deviously.

"I see where you're going there too, but you'll be the one doing the checking out, so how are my hands going to get into the picture?"

"That you'll have to manage on your own. So, when was the last time SG1 had a full physical examination?"

"Oh, I think they're in need of one, well, now in fact"

"That's timing for ya! I just finished *all* my paperwork. Shall I notify the General?"

"Best you see to it. I'll round up the troops." Janet nodded and headed off for General Hammond's office. Sam went in search of her CO, Colonel Jack O'Neill.

She walked in the direction of his room but stopped after hearing a voice that sounded much like his, talking to another man, coming from the locker room. Sam stepped inside and saw steam coming from one of the showers, and another man left.

"Colonel?" she said hesitantly, "you in here?" Jack turned around from the wall he faced after he thought he heard a voice. He waited for it to speak again. Through the roar of the shower's water, he heard a weak calling of his title.


"Uh, hang on!" Jack yelled so he was heard over the water. Sam stopped dead in her tracks. 'He's in the shower Sam!' she thought. She looked at the bench in the middle of the two walls of lockers. In front of one reading 'O'Neill', was a towel, she presumed it to be his.

Jack fumbled through the steam to find his towel, but remained in the shower cubical.

"You seen a towel?" he called, still not knowing who it was or why they wanted him.

"Yeah, I think it's yours" Sam replied.

"Oh, great! Could you throw it in here?" Jack asked, not knowing it was his second in command that was going to throw it to him. Sam looked at the towel, then at the thick layer of steam. Through it, she saw a brief movement and suspected it to be him. She picked up the towel and threw it in the direction she saw the figure. Jack turned around, to have his towel meet his face. He smiled then took it off his head and wrapped it around his waist. Stumbling out of the steaming shower, he managed to see the long bench and a figure standing in front of it. Before it became clear enough to see who it was he briefly ran his fingers through his short, wet hair that dripped onto his already soaked body.

"Carter" he stated as the figure suddenly became visible as his second in command.

"Sorry, to, . . . How come there is no one else in here?" Sam asked mid-sentence, suddenly realising she was standing in front of her Commanding Officer, who was wearing only a towel, alone, in the steamed filled locker room.

"I don't know. Sorry to, what?" Jack replied.

"To, to barge in on you, like this, when you're," Sam's words dissolved, as she found herself staring at her Colonel's half naked body, even though his face wasn't hard to stare at.

"Carter? You ok? You look like you've seen a ghost." she didn't really hear any of the words he spoke, she just knew she hadn't seen a ghost, but something she longed to see more, touch and hold. "Carter!" Jack exclaimed. Sam finally snapped out of her fantasy and clicked into reality, which *looked* the same as fantasy, but was quite different.

"Sorry sir, miles away" Sam sighed.

"Yeah. Where were you?" Jack questioned.

"Somewhere I'd like to stay" she mumbled under her breath.

"Stay? That must have been some dream. I should go there sometime"

"Don't worry, you *were* there. You were the whole reason I wanted to stay." Jack stared at her for a minute in amazement at what she just said. He said nothing for a moment, but remained stunned.

"Oh. Well anyway, what did you come here to tell me? You did come here to tell me something didn't you? Or did you just come to get me out of the shower?" Jack smiled. Sam suddenly found her feet very interesting. In her mind, she said yes, that was the only reason, but thought she'd better answer him.

"No sir, we have a physical examination scheduled" she said, and instantly felt bad at the fact that their so-called, 'scheduled' physical, was actually scheduled by her and Janet for her own benefit.

"Really? When?"

"Uh, now. Sir."

"Wow! These medicals get sneakier every time. Ok, I'll be there, just let me get my shower."

"Ok. Sorry for interrupting you sir"

"It's ok Carter." Sam found herself staring at him again, and quickly took the unimaginable thoughts out of her mind.

"Thank you. I'll see you there sir"

"Ok." Jack turned back toward the shower, and as Sam left, she saw his towel fly out from the steam and land on the floor under the bench. She felt the feelings returning while she stood in the doorway and fought to gain control of her thoughts. She shook her head violently until the thoughts subsided. Suddenly the water stopped and an arm reached out from the steam. It moved around on the bench in search of the towel. Sam wanted to call out and tell him where it was, but then he would know she was standing there, spying on him. Finally, a head emerged from the slowly settling steam and looked where, he had thought, it would land.

"Oh for crying out loud! It's gotta be here somewhere!" he exclaimed. The steam slowly settling around the floor made it almost impossible to see the towel. Jack saw his fatigue pants on the end of the bench and reached for them. Finally grabbing them, he pulled them on. The steam had all settled in a small carpet above the ground, making it completely impossible for Jack to find his towel. He searched more, unsuccessfully. He hit his fist hard on one of the lockers causing a bang.

Dr. Daniel Jackson strolled down a corridor towards the locker room. As he approached, he spotted Sam Carter in the doorway watching *something* on the inside. He tapped her back lightly, startling her to turn around.

"Daniel! Hi" she whispered, suddenly completely embarrassed.

"Hi Sam, what are you staring at?" Daniel continued the quiet speech.

"Staring? I'm not staring at anything!" Sam exclaimed, still whispering, and occasionally sneaking a look in.

"Ok, what are you so interested in then?" Daniel looked over her to try to see into the locker room and what she seemed so fascinated by. Sam blocked and dodged him so he couldn't see in. "Sam! What's in there? What is so interesting about the locker room?!" Daniel asked, normal tone. Jack heard Daniel's voice and Sam's name. He turned to see the movement in the doorway. He grabbed his jacket and put it on, unsure where his T-shirt was. Jack stood behind Sam; Daniel saw him and stopped moving to see past her. She noticed and turned around. Jack watched her face turn red in front of him. Daniel grinned.

"So, it's not *what* you're looking at, it's *who* you're looking at!" he exclaimed. Jack looked puzzled. "Sam was, " she elbowed Daniel in the stomach, "not doing anything. Especially nothing to do with spying on someone in the locker room" he blurted out before receiving another elbow from Sam. He winced then smiled at Jack who's features suddenly became more puzzled.

"Excuse me?" he said.

"You heard me, she was staring at someone in the Locker room. You" Daniel repeated.

"Staring? Who was staring at who?" Jack asked.

"Sam, was staring at,"

"Nothing! I wasn't staring at anything!" Sam exclaimed.

"Oh yes you were!" Daniel stated.

"Hey! Hang on a second! Does anyone wanna tell me what the hell's goin' on here?" Jack interrupted both of them.

"Ok" Daniel began, before being interrupted again.

"No! I'll explain" Sam said.

"Let's not argue now. We are adults. Daniel" Jack nodded for Daniel to continue. He smiled his gratitude.

"As I was saying. Sam was in the doorway staring at you." Sam suddenly found the floor incredibly interesting to avoid eye contact from either of them. Jack raised an eyebrow in amazement, and then suddenly remembered how strangely she was acting; even while they spoke, she stared at him.

"Oh. I, uh, don't know what to say, except maybe, do you know where my towel went?" Jack said, quite literally surprised as to why she would be staring at *him* of all people.

"Yeah. It's under the bench," Sam told him quietly, feeling very embarrassed, and extremely pissed off with Daniel.

"Thanks. You obviously saw me looking for it. I didn't see where it went" Jack noticed her embarrassment and still wondered why she would even look at him little own stare.

"Yes sir, I did" Sam muttered.

"Thanks Carter. Well we'd better get ready for our physical then hey?"

"Physical?" Daniel questioned, not been told of it yet.

"Oh, sorry I didn't tell you yet. We have a physical examination scheduled now" Sam looked up from the floor at Daniel. He sighed.

"Know how you feel Danny. But we gotta do it. See ya both there" Jack said.

"Yeah" Daniel agreed as he left. Jack turned around to finish getting dressed but stopped at the calling of his title once more.

"Colonel" Sam said. He turned to face her.

"What's up Carter?" he asked.

"Sir, I, uh. I wanted to apologise"

"Oh don't worry about it Carter" Jack stated, not fussed with the knowledge of what she did, but still wondering *why* she did.

"But sir,"

"Carter really, it's ok, don't worry about it. I should probably finish getting ready now. Just don't do it again, huh?" he asked.

"No, of course not sir. I'm sorry," she added as Jack turned back into the locker room and found his towel where she had said it was. Sam left to find Teal'c and went to the Infirmary.

Daniel was already there talking with Janet when she arrived, closely followed by the Jaffa, Teal'c.

"Where is Colonel O'Neill?" he asked, upon noticing Jack wasn't in the Infirmary.

"He should be here soon" said Daniel, slightly staring at Sam for a moment. She sent him a dirty look.

"Hey, sorry I'm late guys. So, we started yet?" Jack said, briskly entering the Infirmary.

"Not yet Colonel" Dr. Fraiser told him.

"Ok, who's first?" he asked, as they all sat on a line of chairs against the wall. Jack sat on the first chair next to Daniel. On the other side of him sat Sam, and Teal'c on the end.

"You can go first if you like Colonel" Janet told him.

"Ockie dokie" he said, standing from his chair and moving to the bed she stood in front of. He sat down on it.

"So tell me Doc, why are we having this, check-up, now and not yesterday?" he asked.

"Well Colonel, shirt off, I didn't want to do it on the same day you came back from a mission, because you always have a de-briefing straight after you get back and have me check you over" she explained.

"Oh. Right" he said. He pulled his black T-shirt over his head, slightly ruffling his hair, and placed it on the end of the bed. Dr. Fraiser took out her Stethoscope and placed the cold end of it on Jack's chest, over his heart. He flinched slightly at the coldness. After performing several other checks, and sneaking a few looks at Sam, she produced a syringe ready for a blood sample.

Sam attempted to make conversation with Daniel and Teal'c, while eyeing the proceedings a short distance away from where they sat. Although she was failing miserably, and knew it, she continued to speak of missions and various other topics.

After taking a blood sample, Dr. Fraiser was satisfied that Colonel O'Neill was healthy.

"You're in perfect health Colonel," she confirmed. Sam didn't need a doctor to tell *her* that. She could see how healthy he was all on her own.

"Good" Jack said, standing up from the bed and grabbing his T-shirt from the end of it.

"Dr. Jackson. Do you want to be next?" Janet asked.

"Sure" he replied, standing up from his chair and walking to the bed Jack stood at the end of. They smiled at each other briefly, and then Daniel sat down. Jack walked back to the line of chairs and stood in front of the chair next to Sam. He pulled his black T-shirt over his head then down over him. Sam couldn't help but stare as the T-shirt hugged tightly to his trim chest. Jack sat down on the chair Daniel sat in before him next to Sam. They were suddenly very quiet. Teal'c looked at the woman next to him, and how she was staring at her Commanding Officer in a way that looked deeper than he had ever seen before. Normally they had both been very military and formal around each other. And although he didn't seem to be acting any different around her, she seemed to be acting very differently around him. Her eyes seemed to be looking at him in a different way than before. She seemed to be seeing him as he was for a change. Not as her CO, not as a higher rank than her, but as he was. A man. A person. Someone who had feelings, and thoughts and emotions. It was not a way she had really ever thought of him ever before. Suddenly she saw him as someone she could very easily fall in love with, and almost already had. She didn't care about regulations or Court-Martial, or anything, just for the fact that these feelings hadn't been getting any smaller or easier to deal with. She saw him nearly every day and went on missions under his command regularly, that made her feelings grow, and her understanding of him as a person more intense. The more she stared, the more she wanted to reach over and kiss him, and keep him for her own. The more she stared, the more Teal'c began to think, she no longer thought of him only as her CO, but as a friend, and he knew she hoped for more than just that. But Teal'c also knew of *some* feelings he shared for her. He had seen him looking at her when he had thought no one noticed. Oh yes, Teal'c noticed more than people thought he did. And Teal'c probably knew how they felt for each other better than they did themselves. He almost knew, though, that it would take some time before they would admit it to each other, maybe not at all. But although Teal'c knew all this, he also knew he couldn't interfere, and could not make them admit it to each other.

Daniel was given the all clear and returned to first chair in the line. Suddenly the calling of her name interrupted Sam's thoughts.

"Sam! You're next" Janet repeated as she saw Sam finally hearing her.

"Oh, right. Sorry" she said standing and walking to the bed. Jack suddenly realised she had been staring at him. Her eyes had been on him the whole time. Same as when they were talking in the Locker room. It seemed strange to him that she had been staring at him so much in the space of about a half an hour, when she usually never looked at him at all. Daniel had also noticed this. After she had admitted she was staring at him in the Locker room, and he even noticed her staring while they sat next to each other. Daniel had been noticing the things Sam had been doing, and intended to talk more about it to her. Sam and Janet chatted while she was checked over. Again, Sam was given the all clear and returned to her chair. Teal'c stood and headed for the bed. As Sam sat, she heard Daniel and Jack arguing about something. She smiled at their childish arguments. Although she didn't involve herself in the argument, she had her own opinions on the subject in question, but chose not to express them. She left the two men to fight on their own. Eventually Teal'c returned to his seat but remained standing. Janet came over and stood in front of them. They all stood.

"Well, it's looks like you're all very healthy. That's it. All finished," she told them with a smile in Sam's direction.

"Great" Jack smiled and left. Teal'c quietly left, and Janet headed back to her desk of unfinished paperwork. Just as Sam was about to leave, Daniel grabbed her arm.

"What Daniel?" she said, still feeling short tempered with him.

"What's going on with you Sam? You've never looked at Jack like that before" he stated.

"God Daniel! Will you get a hobby! Do you spend all your time watching what I'm doing, and who I'm looking at?!" Sam asked angrily.

"Look Sam. I know this is none of my business, but I saw how you were staring at Jack. You never look at him like that! You hardly ever acknowledge the fact that he's human, little own stare at him like you were. I know there's something going on, and you're going to tell me" Daniel explained.

"Now you see, that's where you're wrong. I'm not going to tell you anything, because there is nothing to tell. Now let go" Sam commanded.

"Sam, please" he begged.

"There is nothing going on between me and Jack, now let me go Daniel" she used his first name without realising, which gave Daniel all the explanation he needed to prove she had feelings for him, and that they were deeper than just friendship.

"Jack? Did you say, Jack?" Daniel asked incredulously.

"Yeah, well that's his," she stopped, realising Daniel was right, and had just made his point. She never called him that; it was always Colonel or Sir, but never Jack.

"Ah ha! You just proved my point," Daniel stated "you never call him that! Now come on Sam, what's going on with you?" he asked impetuously. Sam stood silent. Daniel had just said everything she thought to her face and proved his point, he was right. He knew. She was crazy about him. He just wanted to hear it coming from her. He wanted to hear her say it to his face and prove he was right undoubtedly. Sam knew she couldn't give him that satisfaction, but also knew he wouldn't relent until he knew, for certain, he was right.

"Daniel, there is nothing going on! Now let me go or I'll have to call security" she exclaimed. Daniel let go of her arm and she left. He stood in thought for a moment.

"There is *something* going on, and I will find out" he said to himself before also leaving.

Several days later SG1 were notified of their new mission, to destination, P8X 259 on the next day at 17:00 hours.

"Chevrone seven is locked!"

"SG1, you have a go!" General Hammond called over the loud speaker. They all stood on the ramp and slowly progressed up to the watery centre of the Stargate. Daniel and Teal'c walked through without hesitation, followed closely by Jack and Sam. Upon stepping through on the other side, they were greeted by some not so pleasant looking people. They jumped out from the forest on either side of a sand path, which obviously led to their village, pointing various weapons at SG1.

"Uh, Daniel?" Jack inquired.

"I'm guessing this is bad" he replied, knowing none of the team needed to be told that.

"Ya think?! Any idea who they are and if they're friendly?" Jack asked, figuring Daniel would try to communicate with them.

"Well, I, uh, no idea" he finally admitted.

"Sweet" Jack mumbled.

"Uh, hello. I'm Daniel Jackson. We're peaceful explorers from the planet Earth. We mean you no harm" Daniel explained to them. They appeared not to understand. They gathered in a small circle and spoke softly amongst each other. "I'm guessing they didn't understand" he said.

"We understand you Daniel Jackson. If you mean us no harm, then why do you carry weapons?" one of them said. SG1 stood in shock for a moment at the fact that they understood and answered them.

"Oh, we only have these in case we need to protect ourselves from harm. We only use them when necessary" Sam finally explained.

"I see" said the same man. He appeared to be their leader. "Who is the leader of your crowd?" he asked.

"That would be me," Jack answered. They rejoined their circle, and discussed something quietly. "Listen, we didn't come here to," he was cut off by their leader turning suddenly and shooting his Staff Weapon directly at his chest. Jack fell back on to the steps leading to the Stargate. The knife he carried in his back pocket was loose and as he fell, it also fell, and as he landed, it stabbed into his back. He screamed in pain, before loosing consciousness.

"Colonel!" Sam yelled, running to his side.

"Jack!" Daniel exclaimed, also kneeling by his side. Neither of them noticing the knife, they inspected the Staff Weapon blast.

"Why did you do that?" Teal'c asked.

"Take him to the village!" their leader said to one of the men. Sam quickly took of Jack's jacket and tried to wrap it around the injury before being held by one of the other men. Daniel and Teal'c were also grabbed and their weapons taken. One of the men roughly picked up Jack and carried him on the journey to the village, also not noticing the knife. Sam tried several times to get away from the man's grasp to look at Jack, but was continually pulled back and held tighter. Eventually they moved further ahead so she couldn't see him. She could hear Daniel attempting to reason with the people to no avail. Finally, they reached their small village that consisted of a number of small huts and one large one, which they were taken to. Jack was taken to a smaller one further away. Sam, Daniel and Teal'c were left in a small cell of the large hut. With bars on the window and two guards outside the small, leaf covered, door, it was impossible for them to escape. Sam paced the small empty cell, anxious to find out how Jack was.

"Sam! Stop pacing, you're making me dizzy!" Daniel exclaimed.

"Sorry" she stopped and lent on the wall.

"What are we going to do?" Teal'c asked.

"I don't know Teal'c" said Daniel.

"We going to try and get out of here, that's what we're going to do!" Sam exclaimed.

"Sam, *how* are we going to get out of here?" Daniel asked.

"I don't know Daniel. But we are going to get out of here!" she started pacing again. Daniel looked at Teal'c and shrugged.

"Jack will be ok Sam" he told her, hoping to get some information to do with her feelings for him.

"What makes you think I'm worrying about the Colonel?" Sam tried to dodge the words Daniel was waiting to hear.

"We all are, you're allowed to worry about him" he said truthfully.

"Well, I'm not. I know he'll be fine. He's been through worse" Sam replied.

"I concur Major Carter. Colonel O'Neill has been in far more precarious circumstances" Teal'c agreed. Sam lied very convincingly, but that still didn't change her real feelings. She was worried sick about him. She turned away from Daniel and Teal'c and fought back her tears but some escaped her eyes and trailed down her face. 'Please let him be ok' she silently thought. Wiping the few tears from her face, she turned back to her friends. Teal'c and Daniel both saw her tears and knew why she had been crying. They said nothing about it to her, but both shared knowing glances. They saw the deep concern in her eyes. Although they both felt worried, they weren't quite as concerned as she was. Her concern, although she tried not to make too obvious, was showing. Suddenly there were voices from outside their cell. The man who appeared to be the leader stood in the doorway.

"Hello. My name is Mar'coes. What are your names? And what is the name of your leader?" he said.

"Uh, I'm Daniel Jackson. This is Teal'c and,"

"Major Samantha Carter. Sam" Sam said.

"And the name of your leader?" Mar'coes asked.

"Colonel Jack O'Neill" Sam replied.

"Jack" Daniel added, to make it easier. "Why did you shoot him?"

"He is your leader" the man answered.

"Yeah, we know, but why did you shoot him?" Sam repeated.

"I have explained, because he is the leader. You may visit him for a short time before he dies. Please, come" he told them.

"I'm sorry. Did you say, die?" Daniel quizzed. Sam fought back more tears, not knowing if she really wanted to know.

"Yes, that is correct. We have found his injuries too severe for us to save him. Do you wish to see him? He has limited time."

"Injuries?" Daniel questioned.

"Yes. We have also found an instrument in his back, and we are unsure how to remove it. I am sorry, if you wish to see him, we must leave now" Mar'coes explained.

"Sorry" Daniel gestured for him to lead the way. They followed him to a small hut further away with leaves covering the doorway. Mar'coes parted them and nodded for them to go in. Sam froze. The voices in her head were telling her so many different things. One saying 'don't go in Sam. You'll be devastated at what you see' another said, 'go in and see him. Tell him how you feel while you can. He'll be ok' and another saying, 'he's dying Sam, you don't want to see him like that, he can't die, he can't die!' Mar'coes left them alone.

"Sam? Don't you want to see Jack?" Daniel asked, seeing her panic and confusion as she stared at the ground.

"I can't go in yet Daniel. I'll come in a minute" she said, turning away from the doorway. Daniel parted the leaves and Teal'c and he entered. He walked to the small bed Jack lay on. His eyes closed, and blood still flowing freely from his wounds. He saw his jacket on the floor and wrapped it around his chest to slow the bleeding. He had already lost a huge amount of blood from just lying there, not including the long walk from the Stargate to the village.

"Jack?" Daniel said. "Can you hear me?"

"Daniel?" was the weak reply, "back hurts" Jack slowly opened his eyes.

"Yeah, you're knife fell out you're pocket and well, I think you get what I mean" Daniel explained.

"You're saying I've got a knife in my back?" Jack asked weakly.

"Yeah. That's exactly what I'm saying."

"Hey Teal'c" Jack looked around for his second in command but found no sign of her. "Where's Carter?" he asked.

"Uh, she's outside. I don't think she expected you to be, umm,"

"Alive?" Jack filled in.

"Well, yeah."

Sam paced outside the small hut and heard the voices coming from inside. 'Come on Sam! Don't be so afraid of seeing him. Ok, you should have told him when you had the chance. But you didn't. And you can't change that. But you can tell him now, while you still have a chance'. She faced the leaf-covered door and slowly parted them and quietly entered.

"Colonel?" she said.

"Hey Carter" Jack managed, before gasping at a sudden shock of pain.

"Sam" Daniel took her arm and led her away. "Jack's knife fell out of his back pocket. That's what's in his back."

"Oh God. We gotta get it out" Sam struggled to get out of Daniel's grasp. "Daniel! Let go!" Sam exclaimed.

"Sam! It might get worse if we take it out. Mar'coes might have a Doctor that can take it out properly" he explained in a low tone.

"He said they didn't know how to remove it. So, we have to do it. It can't be that hard Daniel. Just take it out!" she concluded impatiently.

"No Sam! That might make things worse. Maybe if we can take him back to Earth, Dr. Fraiser can do it properly."

"Daniel, I don't think they're just going to let us take him back. Otherwise they wouldn't have shot him in the first place."

"Just let me go and find Mar'coes and ask him. I'll only be gone a minute. Please don't do anything while I'm gone."

"Just go Daniel, and hurry!" Sam told him.

"Come on Teal'c" Daniel said. He and Teal'c left in search of Mar'coes. Sam turned back to her injured friend, then thought, 'is he that? Is he just a friend?' Something inside her kept saying no.


"Hey Carter, " Jack's words trailed off, as his slipped into unconsciousness. Reaching for his hand, Sam began to talk to him.

"Colonel, sir, Jack. I, uh, I don't know how to say this, so I'm just gonna say it. I don't know if you feel the same, and I guess I'll never know, but, I.." Sam's voice trailed off covered with tears. She didn't know if it was hard because he was so badly injured, or because he was her Commanding Officer. But she knew, she had to say it. She had to tell him.

"Colonel, Jack, I think, I love you!" Sam's tears grew larger and harder to talk through. "No sir, I don't think, I know, I love you!" she cried hard into her hands and Jack's, which she held firmly within her own. She kissed the top of his hand. "You don't understand. You can't die. I need you. You just can't die on me Jack!" At that moment Daniel, Teal'c and Mar'coes returned. Sam dropped Jack's hand and quickly turned away to wipe her tears.

"What do you say is the instrument in his back?" Mar'coes asked.

"His knife that was in his back pocket fell and stabbed into his back" Daniel explained.

"I see. We shall remove it" he instructed.

"Won't that make the wound bleed more?" Daniel asked.

"Perhaps. But we cannot let it remain there. It will surely kill him. We must remove it" he answered. Jack slowly woke.

"Colonel!" Sam exclaimed, over excitedly

"You getting that knife out of me?" he asked, voice still weak and dry.

"Yes Colonel" Sam replied.

"Good" Jack's voice drained away from a sharp pain. His face screwed up.

"Teal'c. Can you hold Jack up so we can pull the knife out?"

"I will assist" Teal'c said. He slid his hands softly under Jack and lifted him high enough to get the knife out. Jack winced as Daniel found the very end of the knife and pulled softly. Sam stood back against the wall, but could still clearly see what was going on. As Daniel pulled more, the pain got harder for Jack to stomach. His face illustrating continuous agony. Sam heard him scream in pain, as Daniel slowly pulled harder on the knife. The pain unbearable, and getting worse for Jack, as blood streamed from the injury. Sam heard more cries from Jack, until she couldn't handle it anymore.

"Stop!" she yelled. Daniel and Teal'c turned to face her, their expressions quizzical. "Don't go on! It's horrible!" she exclaimed, tears rolling down her cheeks.

"But Sam, we have to do this,"

"No!" she yelled, cutting Daniel off mid-sentence. "It isn't fair to put him through so much pain. We should take him back to Earth. Janet could at least give him some drugs to ease the pain" Sam tried to explain, fighting back more tears as she looked at Jack's injured body.

"Sam." She heard the weak calling of her name.

"Colonel?" she said, moving closer to him.

"Sam, let them do it now. I'm ok. I really don't want a knife in my back. Let them keep going" Jack said to her.

"With all due respect sir, I don't think you are ok" she told him, then turned her attention to Mar'coes. "Please. Let us take him back to Earth. Please" she begged calmly. The room remained silent for an eternity. Sam looked at Jack. His eyes full of pain suddenly closed as he fell unconscious again. Teal'c felt his body limp on his hands and quickly held him tighter before he fell.

"Please" Sam repeated. "It's not fair to let him suffer like this. It's not fair" she couldn't hold back her tears as she looked at Jack's colourless face, and lifeless, bloodstained body. Suddenly, what appeared to happen in slow motion, Mar'coes pushed Jack off Teal'c's hands, before he or anyone else had any time to do anything. She watched as Jack fell and as he hit the ground, the knife re-entered his body, deeper even than it was before. Sam watched his face as it came to life for one last minute of pain.

"Bastard!" she howled at Mar'coes. She leaped toward him, pining him to the ground. She punched him furiously until Daniel and Teal'c restrained her from doing him too much harm, although he was unable to get up.

"You son of a bitch!" Sam yelled angrily. "How could you do that to someone? Someone who *you* already put through unbearable pain, you just put through more!" she screamed. But she was right. Jack was already in unbelievable pain, and now he was put through enough even to cause his death. But Sam was forgetting one thing. Jack was a fighter. He wouldn't be defeated that easily. She quickly checked his pulse. Weak and uneven, but there was one. Blood was quite literally pouring from his back. The look on his face was of nothing but pain even in unconsciousness, but through all that, he was alive. Barely.

"Daniel, dial the gate. We're taking him back to Earth."

"I'm on it" Daniel said, racing ahead to the Stargate. Teal'c gently lifted Jack and he and Sam quickly headed for the Stargate.

When they reached the gate, it was already dialed. Sam punched in their Iris Code before they all ran through the gate. When they got back to Earth, Jack's face was paler than ever. Daniel had already told them about him and a medical team was waiting. Teal'c placed him on the awaiting gurney and Janet yelled commands to her nurses surrounding it. Sam followed close behind.

"Doctor, what happened here?" General Hammond asked as he walked with them. She stopped suddenly.

"I'm sorry sir, I can't explain now. He's not going to make it unless we get him into the OR, right now!" Dr. Fraiser explained hurriedly.

"I'm sorry Doctor. Go" the General said. Dr. Fraiser didn't bother thanking him, but continued down the hallway shouting various instructions to the nurses.

"We de-brief at 19:00 hours people" General Hammond said as he left the hallway they all stood in.

"Yes sir" Sam mumbled, not *really* hearing a word of what the General had said. All she could think about was Jack. Daniel walked over to her and placed his hand softly on her shoulder.

"He'll be ok Sam" he said reassuringly.

"Hope you're right" she whispered.

At 19:00 hours, they explained what happened on P8X 259. After hearing the full story, General Hammond was amazed Jack was still alive after what happened to him. He told SG1 they were on stand-down until they, and Colonel O'Neill, were fully recovered from just *seeing* what happened to him.

After the de-briefing, which took longer than they expected, Sam went straight down to the Infirmary to see if Jack was out of surgery. There was no one there. She pulled out a chair and waited.

Eight hours, and countless cups of coffee later, Dr. Fraiser emerged wearily from the OR. Sam jumped to her feet, loosing her present cup of coffee to the floor, but didn't notice.

"Janet! How is he?" she asked anxiously. Dr. Fraiser looked down at the folder of papers she held and flicked through it.

"Janet?" Sam questioned, anticipating her verdict. The Doctor's face had 'bad' written all over it, and Sam knew it.

"Sam, I won't lie to you. He lost a huge amount of blood. Too much. It doesn't look very good. The knife damaged a few major organs, pretty badly. The Staff Weapon,"

"Janet!" Sam snapped, not interested in the Doctor analysis. "Just tell me, if he's going to be ok?" she asked, suddenly wondering if she really wanted a reply.

"He's in a coma. It's really up to Colonel O'Neill on this one I'm afraid. If he is strong enough to fight it, I'm certain he'll make a full recovery. If he isn't, then he may never wake up, ." Janet continued explained more in depth, but the words didn't reach Sam. She couldn't bear to even hear her say he might die, or even worse, that he would. Suddenly, the calling of her name made her thoughts fade.

"Sam?! Sam, hello?"

"Oh. Sorry Janet" she said, realising she wasn't even listening to her.

"You can see him now. He's through there" Janet gestured to a bed on the end of a line of beds. She nodded and Janet left. Sam hesitantly walked toward the bed, taking a chair with her. She told herself before reaching the bed, 'he's strong, he'll make it'. She placed the chair in front of the bed and sat down. She stared at him and the many machines connected to his chest. They all had their own distinct noises that she could hear. The most noticeable, the Heart Monitor, which beeped steadily. She looked at the peaceful expression on Jack's quiet, sleeping face. That was what Sam continually told herself, 'that's all he's doing, just sleeping for a while. He'll wake up soon and be fine'. Her thoughts didn't transpire.

Several weeks past and Jack remained in a coma, displaying no signs of waking up. Sam, Daniel and Teal'c accompanied SG units two, three, four and five on some of their routine missions, always leaving one behind, weather it be Sam, Daniel or Teal'c, to stay with Jack in case anything changed. Sam was beginning to loose hope. It was late March when they explored

P8X 259, and was now mid April. It had been nearly a month since it happened and Jack's condition hadn't changed. But she hadn't fully given up. She and Teal'c were scheduled to go on a routine mission with SG3, and Daniel was to stay with Jack. Sam didn't know why, but she had a feeling if she went on the mission, she was going to miss something, and insisted Daniel go and she would stay. She sat on the chair next to Jack's bed for, what seemed like, forever. She was so tired she'd fallen asleep. Her arms folded on the side of the bed and her head resting on them near Jack's head, she dreamed of him.

Jack felt his eyes opening slowly. He studied his surroundings. The ceiling was first, which made him realise he was in the SGC. He looked next to his head and saw Sam's resting on her arms, sleeping.

"Sam" he tried speaking but no words materialised. He tried repeatedly to speak until finally a weak whisper formed.

"Sam." She stirred. As she opened her eyes, she saw Jack's eyes as a jab of pain shot through him. He quickly tried to bypass the pain fruitlessly.

"Colonel!" Sam suddenly acknowledged his condition.

"Hey" he attempted speaking again, but managed only a whisper.

"I'll go get the Doctor!" she exclaimed. Before Jack had a chance to *try* and say anything, she was gone. Moments later the Doctor and she returned.

"Welcome back to the land of the living Colonel" Janet smiled, as she briefly shined her penlight into one of his eyes.

"Hey Doc" voice still not working, Jack sighed.

"Can you speak Colonel?" the Doctor asked, noticing his torment. He shrugged. Dr. Fraiser looked through the folder of papers she held and read a small paragraph.

"There is something causing that. I'm not sure what, but by the looks of things it might last a little while. I can't be sure of anything though. I may be wrong and you might be fine, but, just so you know" she explained, before leaving their company. Jack tried to make his voice materialise several times, but was unsuccessful and began to cause pain. Sam noticed.

"Colonel, stop! Don't hurt yourself" she commanded. Jack was surprised at her tone and stopped. He noticed her staring again.

"What?" he mouthed.

"Oh, nothing. Sorry sir" she lied. She was completely worried about him and fought back tears.

Slowly they began to escape her eyes and trickle down her face. Jack put his hand to her face and wiped them softly away, feeling his own welling in his eyes. He blinked them back. Sam noticed. She closed her eyes briefly, at his touch on her face. She leaned over to him and hugged him warmly, and was surprised when she felt his arm around her neck resting softly on her shoulder, hugging her back. Suddenly the machines began a long, raging beep. Jack's hand fell from her shoulder and Sam raised her head to look at him.

"Colonel? Janet!" she yelled, jumping from her seat. Dr. Fraiser and a few nurses came running in her direction. Sam took Jack's hand firmly within her own as Janet clasped her hands and pushed them heavily on his chest.

"Come on Colonel!" she said. The machines beeped continually until suddenly the rhythm of a heart beat took over.

"Ok, I've got a pulse but I don't know for how long" Dr. Fraiser checked a few other things and smiled briefly. "Watch him" she said to no one in particular. And Sam did. For the whole day and night. Daniel and Teal'c returned from their mission on schedule and she explained what happened, excluding the fact, she was crying and hugging him.

More weeks past, now early May and Jack hadn't woken again. They continued to go on missions with various teams, always leaving one behind. Sam and Teal'c went with SG2 this time, and Daniel stayed behind. He sat next to Jack's bed, dozing every few minutes then waking again. Between one of his dozes, Jack woke up.

"Sam!" he tried to yell as his eyes flung open.

"Hey Jack" Daniel said, unaware of what he was *trying* to say. Jack tried continually to say her name, until finally it escaped his lips.


"She's on a mission with Teal'c and SG2" Daniel began, seeing the need in his eyes. "She's not due back for another, six hours. Why?" he asked, already knowing the answer. They were crazy about each other. They would probably never admit it, but they were. Daniel knew.

"Get her here." Jack's voice, although he tried to yell, was dry and hoarse, but Daniel sensed his urgency.

"Why Jack? Why do you want her here?" he asked cryptically, eagerly awaiting his reply.

"Colonel. Dr. Jackson why didn't you come and tell me he was awake?!" Dr. Fraiser asked as she stopped at the foot of the bed.

"Sorry" Daniel apologised for not telling her, even though he really wanted to hear Jack's reply.

"Colonel, can you speak?" she asked.

"Yeah, sort of" he replied.

"That's good. Your voice is better than it was before" Janet said, getting out her Stethoscope to check his heart. "Heart beat's normal" she began, "well it looks like you're on the road to recovery Colonel. But I suggest you get some sleep, you're still badly injured. Now that means you, out!" Janet put her hands on Daniel's shoulders and turned him to the doorway, pushing him as she went.

"Ok, ok. I'll come back and see you later Jack! Bye!" Daniel called as he was pushed out of the Infirmary.

"But, what about," Jack began, still barely hear able, Dr. Fraiser cut him off.

"What about nothing. Sleep for you!" she instructed.

"Sam?" he queried.

"She'll be able to see you when she gets back. Sleep now" she explained. Before even realising it, he was asleep.

A few hours later SG2, Sam and Teal'c returned. As they stepped through the Earth Gate Daniel ran into the gate room.

"Sam!" he shouted. She looked at him, wondering why he seemed so uneasy.

"What?" she replied, suddenly thinking it might be something to do with Jack. He might have got better and woken up, or he might have taken a turn for the worse and, she hated to think what could have happened.

"It's Jack" Daniel gasped for breath. Sam could almost feel her heart stop at the sound of those words and the tone in which they were spoken. "He was awake and he asked for you" he explained.

"What do you mean, *was* awake? He is awake or he isn't?" Sam questioned apprehensively.

"He was. He's sleeping now. Doc told him to." Daniel explained. Sam sighed.

"That's great. Can I see him?" she asked happily.

"Yeah. Doc says you can see him when he wakes up, but he needs rest" he replied. "Sam, you wanna tell me what's going on with you and Jack?"

"Nothing!" she snapped, "I'm just concerned. Weren't you?"

"Of course, just not quite as much as you" Daniel hoped for her understanding, but was left without.

"Well, maybe," Sam searched for an justification, but found one hard to find, "maybe you're not concerned enough!" she exclaimed, knowing it was a poor excuse. She quickly headed down the ramp, to find General Hammond in front of her.

"Sorry sir. I didn't,"

"We de-brief at 13:00 hours" he told her, and then left. She sighed again.

"Yes sir" she mumbled.

"Sam. Jack's in a private room, now that he's awake Dr. Fraiser thought he'd be better in his own room" Daniel told her as she left.

"Which room?" she called as she left the gate room.

"63!" Daniel called back.

Sam showered and changed then found private room 63. She opened the door and after entering, closed it behind her. She saw Jack sleeping quietly. Looking at the soft rise and fall of his chest, she saw the heart monitor and various other machines still connected to him. She pulled a chair closer to the bed. The dragging noise of the chair made Jack stir, but didn't wake him up. Sam sat in the chair, and looked at him sleeping. He turned in his sleep, facing her, and his hand landed on hers. She held it firmly.

Jack slowly woke and felt his hand warmed within someone else's. He looked up slightly and saw Sam. He briefly wondered if his hand had fallen there in his sleep, or if Sam had held it. He moved a little and she looked down to see his eyes open.

"Colonel" she accredited, letting go of his hand.

"Hey Carter. How'd your mission go?" Jack asked.

"Good, thank you, sir" she replied formally. Sam realised she should tell him how she felt now. While she still had the chance and he was awake to hear her. She was slowly building up the courage to do it.

"Colonel. Sir. There's something I've been needing to tell you for a while now," Sam began, hoping maybe he would interrupt her and tell her he felt the same, or, something.

"Yeah?" he asked, trying to speak louder than he could.

"Well, uh, it's kinda hard to explain" Sam struggled to find the words.

"Try me" Jack told her, now unsure if she was going to say what he'd first thought.

"I, uh. Sir, Jack. I'm just gonna say it ok? You don't have to speak to me again if you don't want. I'll understand" her courage was fading.

"Just say it Sam, I'll still talk to you" Jack told her; now fearing something bad.

"Jack, . ." something stopped her, now not knowing if she should tell him. Not knowing if he would understand. Not knowing if he should know. 'Come on Sam! You've got this far. Just say it. I love you Jack. That's all you have to say. It's easy. Don't give up now' her thoughts told her. Suddenly she realised they were right. That was all she had to say. Four simple words said it all.

"I guess what I'm trying to say is, I love you Jack" she said. Although she stared at her feet, she felt delighted she said it. Jack stared at her in surprise. 'She just told you she loves you! Tell her you love her too, stupid!' his thoughts told him.

"Sam," he put his finger under her chin and gently lifted her face to him. "I love you too." Sam smiled. She leaned down to hug him, but remembered the last time she did that and stopped half way.

"It's ok. This time I promise to stay conscious" Jack smiled, and before he knew it Sam's lips were on his, in a lustful kiss they had both wanted to share for so long. Sam didn't realise, but she felt herself deepening it and Jack kissing her back, just as lustfully. It was so soft. Gentle. Like when you hold something china, and you're scared you might break it. They kissed so softly, as though scared to go any further, but thoroughly enjoying it. All of a sudden, the door opened. They flew apart, but were still close.

"Sam, . . . I'll come back later, shall I?" Daniel said, seeing their intimacy.

"Wait, Daniel!" Sam called, starting after him.

"Sam, don't worry" Jack told her calmly. Her tension faded as she realised he was right. And in any case, he hadn't seen them doing anything. She returned to Jack's bedside. She leant over and kissed him unexpectedly. He winced at the abruptness.

"Sorry" she said, lifting her lips of his.

"It's alright, I'm ok" Jack told her, as another unexpected rush of pain swept through his body. Sam could see he wasn't ok.

"Jack if you're in pain,"

"No Sam" Jack cut of her off as forcefully as he could with his frail voice. "I," an intense jab of pain rushed through Jack. His face told the story well enough for her.

"Jack?!" she exclaimed, "Jack are you ok? Talk to me!" Sam realised as she spoke that he wasn't ok, and couldn't talk. He was obviously quite fragile, and small things triggered bigger things. The Heart Monitor started beeping faster and faster. She ran out into the corridor.

"Doctor! Janet! Somebody! Anybody! Help!" she screamed. Now that Jack was in a private room, it made it hard to find doctors, or anybody for that matter. An Airman was standing far down the corridor but he heard Sam's cries. He came down the corridor and saw her standing in it, frantically searching for someone.

"What's the problem?" he asked.

"The machines, they're, well, they're beeping. Get Dr. Fraiser!" she exclaimed. The Airman nodded and ran as fast as his body could take him, to the nearest Loud Speaker. Sam heard over the loud speaker.

"Dr. Fraiser to PR63! Dr. Fraiser!"

She quickly went back into Jack's room. The Heart Monitor's beep echoed through the room. She looked at Jack, he was awake and she saw the pain in his eyes. She sat in her chair again and held his hand tightly.

"Jack. You have to get through this. You have to be ok. Don't give up. Don't you die on me. I need you Jack" she told him, tears starting to fall down her face. He looked directly at her. Another rush of pain hit him.

"Don't, worry" he began, "I'll be, . ." his feeble voice trailed off from more pain.

"Jack!" Sam shouted. In his eyes, the room blurred and spun rapidly around him, until it slowly went black as he closed his eyes.

"Jack no! Stay with me Jack. Stay awake! Don't you die on me! You can't die" Sam could feel her voice quivering as she spoke. More tears rolled down her cheeks and fell onto Jack's face. She wiped them away from his cheeks. His eyes opened again.

"Sam" a whisper escaped his lips.

"I'm here Jack, I'm here" she told him, tightening the grip of her hands around his.

"Sam, pull the plug" Jack's voice trembled as it quietly spoke.

"What?" she queried.

"You heard me. Pull the plug!" he repeated resolutely.

"You mean,"

"Yes! Do it!" he ordered. Sam sat, shaken. Not being able to comprehend what he was telling her to do to him. Not asking her, but telling her.

"Sir, you're asking me to," she almost couldn't finish the sentence, "to kill you! And with all due respect, Sir, I won't do that to you" she told him decisively. The tears now streaming down her face, she turned away from him, resting his hand back on the bed. The Heart Monitor's beep turned to unbroken as Jack fell unconscious. She wiped the tears from her eyes and saw Dr. Fraiser and a small team of nurses rushing into the room.

"Janet" she accredited. "Don't let him die!" she ordered. Janet replied with a quick nod and ran to Jack's bedside with two other nurses.

"Gimme 100 mil epee!" she instructed, placing two large square devices, connected to a machine, on Jack's chest. "Clear!" There was a sudden jolt from the square devices and his body lifted slightly off the bed, but not enough to machine's constant ring.

"Go 300 this time" Dr. Fraiser commanded. "Clear!" As another blast sounded, the machine's beep returned to a steady heartbeat. Sam sighed briefly. She watched Dr. Fraiser inject some liquid into Jack's IV, write some things down in her file and begin to leave.

"Wait Janet!" San exclaimed.

"Sam, I really don't know. I do know he isn't getting any better at the moment. He's very weak. I really don't know if he's strong enough to pull through. It's too hard to tell" she explained, giving Sam no relief.

"Janet. I told him" she said.

"Really? That's great" Janet replied, *knowing* he would have told her he felt the same about her.

"How did you know he felt the same about me?" she asked curiously.

"I just knew. And I think, deep down, you knew too" Janet smiled. "I'm very happy you told him. At least now he knows, and you know too" she added, leaving the room, and Sam with her thoughts. She went back to the same chair next the bed hoping and praying that Jack would be strong enough to get through it. Sam felt so many thoughts rushing through her mind. They all confused her and made her incredibly drowsy. Before she knew it, fatigue took over and she fell asleep.

Sam woke in the same place, but found no Jack on the bed where he was the night before. As she woke, she stood went searching for the Doctor. She saw her ahead in a hallway just down from the Infirmary. Sam quickly sped up and put her hand on the Doctor's shoulder.

"Janet" she said, as Dr. Fraiser turned around, "where's Jack? Why isn't he in his room?" Sam asked, uneasily awaiting her reply.

"He had to go into emergency surgery last night. We found his heart palpitating" she explained.

"Where is he now?" Sam queried.

"He's in recovery. In fact he's going back into surgery now."


"While he was in surgery, I found a disease in his body and blood. I think it might have come from the Staff Weapon he was shot with. I'm going to see if I can remove it" Janet explained.

"What does it do?" Sam asked tentatively.

"I'm pretty sure it will kill him. That's why I'm going to try and remove it" she replied, as worry spread over Sam's features.

"And if you can't?" she questioned, just as cautiously.

"If I can't, it will slowly move around his body and eat away at his major organs until they can't function anymore, and he dies" Janet didn't go on, in fear of Sam breaking down and crying.

"Can you get it out?" she asked hopefully.

"I don't know. We're going to go in now and find out. I don't know how far it has progressed, how bad it is. But I'll find out now. Just stay positive Sam. He'll be all right. I Hope" she said under her breath as she left and entered another room. Sam stood in the middle of the corridor for a minute, contemplating all the things Dr. Fraiser had just told her. Just then, the room she had gone into, she came out of, wheeling a bed with several nurses trailing behind. It was Jack. Sam quickly ran to the side of the bed and saw him asleep, due to the anaesthetic. Suddenly she felt a hand on her shoulder and turned to see Teal'c and Daniel.

"Where are they taking Colonel O'Neill?" Teal'c asked.

"Yeah, what's going on with Jack?" Daniel added.

"Janet found he has some sort of disease. She thinks it's from the Staff Weapon he was shot with" Sam explained, not being able to look at either of them, in fear of crying.

"So what's this disease do?" Daniel inquired.

"It'll kill him Daniel! What do you think it would do?!" she yelled at him through her tears, and then ran down the corridor crying.

"Sam wait!" Daniel called, starting after her. Teal'c put out his hand and grabbed Daniel's arm before he got too far.

"I believe you should leave her Daniel Jackson" Teal'c told him. Daniel stopped, realising Teal'c was right.

"You're right Teal'c. She really should be left alone, huh?" he said. Teal'c bowed his head briefly, as he always did, and then brought it up again.

"We have a mission with SG12 now, do we not?" he asked.

"Yeah" Daniel replied.

"Shall we prepare?"

"Yeah. Let's go" he said as the two men left the corridor empty.

Sam reached her room and fumbled with her keys. Finally getting the right one in the keyhole and turning it, she burst into her room and quickly shut the door behind her. She didn't want to face the world anymore. She felt if Jack was going to die, then so should she. She looked across to the photo on her dresser of SG1. She sat on her bed, taking the photo off her dresser; she held it and stared at it. They all looked so happy. Standing together in uniform before their first mission as a team. Jack stood next to her smiling, feeling nothing for her, and her nothing for him. Sam looked in her mirror. But now, well now things were different. Now they both loved each other, and had finally admitted it. But Jack might die. The situation seemed hopeless. Sam looked back at the photo.

"You have to make it through this Jack" she said out loud, "you have to be ok. I need you, Jack. I need you so much" she lay down on the bed and cried herself to sleep.

Morning came, and Sam woke to the sound of banging at her door.

"Sam! Sam you in there?" the voice called through the door. For a moment, the voice sounded vaguely like Jack, whom she had dreamed about that night. She raced to the door and flung it open.

"Jack!" she said with a smile.

"No. It's, Daniel" he disappointed her, and knew it.

"Oh. Hi Daniel, come in" Sam mumbled, clearly disappointed, her smile was quickly gone. Putting the picture back where it was, she sat on her bed while Daniel closed the door behind him. "What's up?" she asked, as he walked closer and stood in front of her.

"Oh, nothin'" he replied, in the type of expression that really said, 'there is something, but I'll wait for you to ask me what it is'. Sam played along.

"Yes there is. Come on. You know you want to ask me. What?!" she asked wryly.

"Sam" Daniel began, serious tone, "you wanna tell me what's going on with you and Jack?" he asked, seriously changing her mood. "Cos I know there's something going on" he added, making the situation hard for Sam to get out of with an excuse of some kind.

"Daniel," she began, "I've told you this before, and I'll tell you again, there is nothing going on with me and the Colonel" she explained.

"Sam, yes, I know, you've told me that before. But guess what? I don't believe you! I know there's something you're not telling me. And I know, it's none of my business, but I won't tell anyone, if that's what you're worried about."

"Daniel! I'm not worried about anything, because there is nothing to worry about. There is nothing going on! Is that all?!" she exclaimed angrily.


"Then can you please, get out!?" she instructed.

"Sure" Daniel muttered, before turning and leaving. Sam sighed at her arrogance, then left to find Dr. Fraiser. On her way to find the Doctor, she wondered why Daniel seemed so insistent on finding out about her and Jack. He knew how they felt about each other better than they did. Suddenly those thoughts left her mind and those of Jack entered. 'God I hope he's ok' she silently prayed.

"Sam" she heard from a room adjoining the corridor she was in. She stopped and looked inside it. There she saw Dr. Fraiser in the doorway.

"Janet" Sam acknowledged. "How's Jack?" she asked instantly.

"He hasn't woken up yet. He was calling for you in his sleep last night though" she answered.

"Where is he? Can I see him?" Sam continued.

"He's back in the same room as before. You can see him."

"What about the disease?"

"It hasn't progressed much, as far as I can tell. But I have no idea how to remove it when it does. He should be able to go back to normal duties until it does though."

"How long do you give him before it does?"

"I don't know how long it takes. I took a sample of blood when he first got back. And I took another one this morning to see how rapidly it spreads. I'll get the results back soon. But even then, it's just a waiting game I'm afraid. Stay positive Sam. I'll do the best I can" Janet told her.

"Yeah, I know. Thanks Janet" Sam replied. The Doctor smiled her recognition and returned to the room she was in.

Sam went back to PR63. She stood in front of the door for a moment. Almost afraid of what she would see inside. Finally, she opened it and walked in, closing it behind her. She saw the same chair where she left it and she walked over to it and sat down. Watching the constant rise and fall of Jack's chest, made her feel more as though she was sitting with a living person. It made her feel a little better. She sat for an hour or so and was about to go and get a cup of coffee when Jack slowly started to wake up.

"Hey" he said delicately, unsure of the full strength of his voice.

"Jack" Sam sighed, "how do you feel?" she asked.

"Like I've been operated on," he replied. Sam smiled gently. "How are you?" Jack asked, moving slightly but realising it caused too much pain and stopping.

"I'm fine. Really worried about you" she replied.

"You knew I'd be fine though, right?" Jack asked, attempting a smile unsuccessfully.

"Not really. But you're ok now, that's all that matters" Sam smiled. Jack closed his eyes, to hide the sudden pain he felt.

"You ok?" she asked. Jack's eyes opened.

"Yeah" he answered, trying not to scream in agony. Sam knew he wasn't ok, and saw the torture in his eyes. She leant over and kissed him softly. They both thoroughly enjoyed its tranquillity, but felt it come to an abrupt stop as pain hit Jack hard, causing him to arch his back off the bed as he tried to control it. Sam was forced to part from his lips as he opened his mouth in an invisible cry.

"Jack? You sure you're ok?" Sam asked, knowing he wouldn't admit anything, but felt she needed to ask. He nodded weakly as a substitute of trying to speak through the discomfort. Sam stared at him with 'I *know* you're not ok' eyes, forcing him to reply.

"Really. I'm alright" he said, unconvincingly.

"No you're not Jack" Sam told him, putting those eyes on him again.

"So, uh, when's our next mission?" Change the subject, good call.

"Don't change the subject!" Damn. "Next mission?" Success.

"Yeah. That's what we do don't we? We go on missions, exploring different planets" he explained sarcastically, but light heartedly.

"Yeah. But I mean, I don't think you're in any shape to be going on missions, or even getting up" Sam told him.

"Oh, I think I'll manage alright" Jack offered.

"Colonel. Nice to have you back. Sam, I think you need to see this" Janet interfered in their conversation.

"I'll be right back," she said to Jack as she left the room with the Doctor. "What is it Janet?" she asked as they progressed down the corridor.

"Look at this," she began as they entered the Infirmary and quickly turned a corner to a computer screen, "this is the blood sample I took when you first got back, and this is the one I took today" Janet brought up two images on the computer screen. The image of Colonel O'Neill's blood when they first got back appeared to have tiny bugs swimming around in it, not very many at that stage. But as Sam looked at the one next to it, of the blood Dr. Fraiser had taken only a few hours before, the tiny bugs had increased in number, dramatically. She gasped at the sight. The bugs that there was first few of, had grown in number so much, it was now hard to see anything but them. Even magnified by nearly one hundred times they were so tiny it was amazing how many there were. "They have multiplied so many times, I don't even know *nearly* how many there are" Dr. Fraiser looked concerned.

"I'm guessing this is very bad?" Sam questioned.

"I don't know. I don't know how many there needs to be before they start to kill him, Sam."

"Well do we need to go back and find out?" Sam asked.

"If possible yes. I need to know how I can safely remove it. Or if it is removable at all" she explained.

"Is Jack well enough to come?" Sam queried.

"I think so. This disease is quite possibly causing the jabs of pain he's experiencing so I should check him over first. But I'd say he *should* be fine. His injuries are starting to heal very well so, yes, if he wants to. I can't really stop him" Dr. Fraiser replied. Sam nodded and left for the General's office. She knocked firmly on the door and waited until she heard him call,

"Come in!"

She opened the door and entered, closing it behind her. The General lifted his head from his desk and smiled.

"What can I do for you Major?" he asked.

"General, Dr. Fraiser thinks it would be a good idea if we go back to P8X 259 and find out more information about the disease Colonel O'Neill contracted while we were there last time, so she can hopefully remove it from his system" Sam explained, trying not to sound too concerned. He thought profoundly for a long moment.

"Alright Major. But remember that planet is classified as dangerous, therefore if anything happens, you are authorised to do whatever you can to protect the team" he instructed.

"Yes sir. Colonel O'Neill would like to come. Dr. Fraiser says she can't find any reason why he can't" Sam added. She could see the General was deep in thought and hoped, in a way, he wouldn't let Jack go.

"Ok. But watch him Major. He hasn't *fully* recovered yet" he told her finally.

"Yes sir."

"You leave at 11:00 hours Major."

"Yes sir" Sam left his office, closing the door behind her. She sighed emphatically. She had hoped he wouldn't let Jack go. She saw how much pain he was still in. He could barely move, little own walk or get up and go on a mission. But only she had seen that. She head off, slowly, back to his room. Upon entering, Sam found he had dozed. Although he tried to hide it, he was still sore and tired and needed more rest. She cleared her throat loudly and he woke up.

"Sir, General Hammond gave us permission to go back to P8X 259 and find out more about, ." Sam stopped, realising Jack didn't know about the disease, and probably shouldn't, "about stuff" she finished, realising it was a dismal comeback. Luckily, he was too eager to notice.

"When are we leaving?" he asked readily.

"11:00 hours sir" she replied, seeing his delight suddenly drain by a deplorable ache. "Sir, with all due respect, do you really think you're well enough to come?" she asked.

"Yeah. I'm fine" Jack told her, knowing he wasn't ok, and didn't feel ok, but was trying his best to show he was.

"Sorry sir" Sam apologised, still knowing he shouldn't be going, but respecting that he genuinely wanted to. "Do you need some help?" she asked, seeing his discomfort at trying to get up.

"Yes thanks Carter, after that I'll be fine" he told her. Surprised that he admitted to needing help Sam quickly turned to his aid. She slid her hand, gently under his back and slowly helped him sit. He cringed as his chest crunched to a sitting position. Their eyes locked as Jack looked up. Sam's concerned filled eyes stared into Jack's pain filled eyes. Blue locked with brown.

"Thanks. I, should, be," Jack paused between words as their faces slowly got closer and closer. Until suddenly their lips met, desire hungering in both of them. Longing to be closer, they both deepened the kiss willingly.

"Jack" Sam moaned on his lips as she joined him on the bed.

"Sam" he sighed. They both eagerly wanted to take the kiss further, and as earnest as they both were, they also knew they couldn't. Not where they were, not then, and especially not the condition Jack was in. Suddenly kissing each other more and more passionately, time passed quicker than either of them thought. But they continued. Lovingly, they kissed like there was no tomorrow. After every kiss, swiftly recapturing each other's lips so fast they scarcely had time to breathe.

"Jack," Sam groaned, "I, want, you"

"You, got, me" Jack replied as her right hand caressed his bare chest, and her left on his face.

"Oh Jack" she wined. More time passed, getting later and later. But neither of them *wanted* their time, or their passion, to end.

"Sam. Sam, we have, to go, soon" Jack managed, moments later, in one gasping breath.

"Just, a little, longer" she pleaded. His only reply was to kiss her more fervently. "I'm guessing, that's a, yes" she offered.

"We, have, to go" he repeated.

"I know. But, that doesn't, mean, mmm, I *want* to, go" she told him.

"I don't either. But, mmm, we have, to" Jack indulged in their lustful kisses, but was adamant they *did* have to go. Sam knew, but was trying to prolong the time until their departure from each other.

"Oh, Jack. Jack" she encouraged.

"Sam, we have, to go," he reminded.

"I, know," she said, regretfully parting from his lips, only to region them again. She down looked at her watch to find they only had fifteen minutes to get ready before they left. "Holy Hannah!" she exclaimed on his lips.

"What?" he questioned, still returning her kisses.

"Fifteen minutes, before we go" Sam paused slightly to return another passionate kiss.


"I'd better, go and, get ready."

"Yeah. I'll, be, alright."


"Yeah. Go. Or, we'll, both, be, late."

"See, you, in a little, while" Sam said. Jack nodded. Finally parting their lips, she started to leave. Jack sat up. Sam was almost at the door, when she went back and pushed him back onto the bed and lay on him. She kissed him so exuberantly; he couldn't stop her. Every time he tried to get up, she pushed him straight back down, taking advantage of his weakness. Sam was forgetting herself, completely. She indulged in the ravenous kisses she placed all over Jack; slowly kissing her way down his body, until she reached the rim of his pants.

"Jack" she moaned, longing to go further. She swiftly returned to his mouth before he had a chance to say anything. "Oh, mmm, Jack" she said, through her forced, but pleasurable, kisses.

"Sam. Sam!" Jack said through her lips as he struggled to gain control of his ravenous lover. "Sam, what's gotten into you?" he questioned before her lips were hastily back on his.

"I want you," she told him, pining him to the bed with her hands strongly holding his shoulders.

"I know. But we have to, oh God! Sam, stop!" Jack tried to get out of her clutches. Her roughness starting to hurt his fragile body. "Sam please! Stop! Oh God. Sam!!" Jack yelled as the pain worsened. Sam suddenly saw his pain stricken features. She stopped and looked at him. He winced. She suddenly realised how rough she was, and how inconsiderate of his condition she was.

"Jack. Oh God I'm sorry. Are you ok? I'm so sorry" she said fearfully.

"I'll be ok. What the hell was that all about?!" he asked.

"I don't know. I'm so sorry. I got carried away."

"Yeah I'll say you did! What the hell were you doing?"

"I don't know. I'm so sorry."

"Forget it. We're late."

"Jack, really, I'm sorry."

"I said forget about it! We have to get ready."


"Forget it! We've gotta go!"

"Jack please,"

"Just go. We're already late."

"I know. I'm sorry Jack" Sam apologised continually. Jack turned away to get up. She knew she had been extremely rough on him. 'Just go Sam. He's got every right to be angry. Leave him alone for a while. He'll calm down soon' her thoughts told her. She knew they were right.

"I know" she said aloud.

"What?" Jack snapped.

"Nothing. Sorry" Sam shook her head. She turned and left.

Jack struggled to get out of bed, his limbs protesting every movement. But he eventually managed get up and dressed.

Sam finally finished getting ready and ran down the corridors from her room to Jack's. The whole time she got ready, she felt completely awful about being so rough on him. As she ran around one corner, she ran straight into him, luckily, she grabbed his waist quickly to stop him from falling backwards.

"Whoa! Sorry sir. Are you alright?" she asked, surprised to see he made it out of bed.

"Yeah, thanks Carter. What's the big hurry?" he asked, continuing the formality, clearly not still angry with her for her prior behaviour.

"Sorry sir. Nothing" she lied. She was really going to see him. Looking down at her hands on his waist, she hungered to kiss him tenderly, in apology for before, but knew she couldn't in the middle of a hallway. But that didn't stop her from wanting to. Their position lingered for longer than it probably should have.

"Well we'd better get going then, or we'll be even later than we already are" Jack said, finally breaking the silence, not really wanting her to let go.

"Yes sir, we will" Sam replied, gradually taking her gripping hands off his waist. He gestured for her to take point, as he knew he would slow her down. Sam walked in front of Jack and tried not to stare back at him. His arm wrapped around his chest trying to provide as much relief as possible from the wound, and slightly hunched over, Jack walked as fast as he could to keep up with Sam.

"Sir, you're not well enough to come on this mission" she said, suddenly turning around. Jack straightened up and took his arm away from his chest. He stood too quickly and he folded over again as his injuries reminded him.

"I'll be fine Major. Please carry on" he said, returning to a standing position.

"Sir, with respect, you shouldn't be going. We can get a replacement" she reasoned.

"Major, I don't need to be told how I feel, thank you. If I say I'm fine, then I am fine. Now please, keep moving" he instructed. Hesitantly, Sam turned around and continued walking. Jack folded back over in pain, but tried to block it from his mind, ineffectively. Sam *knew* he wasn't ok, but dared not say anything more about it. They finally reached the Gate Room, after Sam had slowed slightly so Jack could keep up, without him noticing. Teal'c and Daniel stood at the end of the ramp awaiting Sam's arrival, unaware Jack was coming. They didn't see him hunched over further behind her until she moved and he came into view. Quickly standing straight, he smiled at his other teammates.

"Jack!" Daniel exclaimed, just as surprised as Sam and Teal'c were to see him coming on a mission.

"Daniel. Something wrong?" Jack asked.

"No. Not at all. Just a little surprised to see you coming on a mission. How are you?"

"I'm just fine" he said, wincing at a rush of pain. Daniel looked speculative as to how fine he really was. 'Probably not at all', he thought. He looked over at Sam, features questioning Jack's condition. Her expression confirmed his theory. Teal'c walked over and put a hand on Jack's shoulder.

"It is good to have you well again O'Neill. SG1 would not be the same without you" he told him. Jack smiled weakly.

"Thanks Teal'c."

The whole team listened as they announced,

"Chevrone six encoded!" over the loud speaker.

"Let's get ready to, . ." Jack began before an intense shot of pain hit him hard in his chest and he collapsed in agony. He quickly regained his composer and stood again. Looking around, he thought no one had noticed. Sam did. She wanted to run and help him up, but restrained herself.

"Chevrone seven, locked! Wormhole established."

"SG1, you have a go!" General Hammond called over the loud speaker as they left. He noticed Colonel O'Neill was the last to go through, and the way he walked, clutching his chest. Although he didn't say anything, it worried him. He also realised the rest of the team would watch him, but was still concerned.

As SG1 stepped through the gate on the other side they all looked for an army of natives to appear from nowhere, but nothing transpired.

"Which way is the village?" Jack asked, feeling some relief from the pain.

"Don't you remember?" Daniel asked. Sam glared at him.

"Well, uh, no I don't. You see, I think the last time we were here I sorta got shot by one of those things" Jack gestured at Teal'c's Staff Weapon, "and I *think* I was unconscious for most of the time we were here. So, I really don't remember a whole lot about this place at all. Good enough reason for ya?!" he exclaimed. Daniel said nothing.

"It's this way sir" Sam pointed to the sand path in the middle of the forest. They followed it again. The team stayed silent on the journey to the village. Daniel and Teal'c walked in front of Sam, and Jack, still not being able to walk very fast, brought up the rear. Sam heard rustling noises occasionally coming from either side of the path. She shot her eyes around and scanned through the forest's trees, but saw nothing and continued without telling anyone about it.

"There he is" whispered Mar'coes to another man, pointing at Jack through the trees.

"He is their leader you say?" questioned the man.

"Yes. O'Neill he is called. I injured him with your Staff Weapon. He would have the disease" Mar'coes explained.

"Why then, does he still live? If you did as you said, he should be dead!" the man exclaimed, still keeping his voice low.

"He is a strong one. But we shall be rid of him shortly. No fear" Mar'coes stated enthusiastically.

Sam suddenly heard more noises, and the rest of the team joined her in hearing them this time. They spun around, searching for the source of the noise, but it seemed to disappear. They continued quietly.

"Go now" Mar'coes commanded the other man accompanying him. He quickly and silently jumped out from the trees and onto Jack, pushing him into the ground face down. The rest of the team heard nothing and continued walking. Jack tried to call out to them, but the man on his back pushed his face roughly into the sand. He suddenly lifted Jack's head and quickly put his hand over his mouth.

"Wait!" he tried to yell through the man's hand. Teal'c heard a slight noise and turned around swiftly. He saw the man on the ground holding Jack's mouth with one hand and in the other, a long, sharp, dagger. Teal'c aimed his Staff weapon directly at the man, trying to be as accurate as he could with Jack in front of him. Daniel and Sam quickly turned around.

"Colonel!" she yelled. The man let go of his mouth and pushed him hard into the ground. Jack coughed as sand clouded into his mouth. Teal'c aimed his Staff more accurately at the man, now Jack wasn't in front of him. He looked up from the ground.

"No Teal'c! Don't shoot! He'll, . ." Jack didn't have a chance to continue before the man picked up a large rock and hit it hard on the back of his head. He fell back into the sand, unconscious.

"Jack!" Sam shouted, running toward him. The man held his dagger above his head.

"Place a finger on me and he shall die!" he exclaimed. She stopped dead in her tracks, and then slowly backward stepped to the rest of SG1.

"You bastard!" she barked, "what do you want with us? Why are you doing this to him? He didn't do anything to you!" she continued, fighting back tears. The man got off Jack and stood, leaving him on the ground. Sam wanted to see if he was ok, but thought she'd better not considering the dagger the man held. He clicked, and Mar'coes came out from the security of the forest.

"You!" Sam yelled.

"Yes. You remember me, do you not? This man has a disease. Is this true?" he asked.

"Yeah. That's why we came back" she said, noticing Jack was waking up but not saying anything.

"Then he should be dead! Why is he not dead? The disease was made to kill, but he still lives on! This is unfortunate for you and especially for him!" Jack lay still on the ground, wondering what the man was on about. A disease and he should be dead. He thought maybe he was delusional, but it seemed very real.

"What disease? What the hell are you on about?!" he yelled.

The man behind him hit the rock on the back of his head again, grabbed him, pulled him up and held the dagger tight under his throat.

"He does not know of the disease? But you say he has it!" Mar'coes yelled, almost angry at the fact he didn't now about it. Jack began to recover.

"What dis, . . ." he was cut off by the feeling of the dagger harder under his throat.

"When he shot you," Sam began.

"Be silent woman. I shall explain!" Mar'coes interrupted. "My Staff Weapon contains a disease. When I injured you with it, it also distributed the disease into your body. It will soon start to kill you" he explained, grinning evilly.

"And you didn't tell me I had this?!" Jack managed to shout, before the dagger was pulled tighter, cutting into his skin.

"I'm sorry! Dr. Fraiser thought it was better you didn't know. I'm so sorry" Sam explained. Jack slowly struggled to get a looser grip on his throat, now finding it hard to breath.

"This man will not stop moving!" the man holding him stated.

"If you will not keep still, then I shall make it so you cannot move at all!" Mar'coes exclaimed, moving closer to him, he produced a long sword from behind his back. He waved it around in front of Jack. He swallowed hard.

"Oh boy" he managed.

"Sir, don't move!" Sam shouted, knowing Jack couldn't reply. Mar'coes whispered something into the man's ear that Jack didn't hear. Suddenly the dagger was removed from under his throat. He sighed and gingerly rubbed where it had been held so tightly he could barely breath. As he looked at his hand, he saw the blood from the cut it left.

"Larius!" Mar'coes called. A young girl, of about twenty, dressed in similar clothing to the Tok'ra strode out from the forest. Her shoulder length, straight, auburn hair swayed as she walked to Mar'coes. He handed her the long sword. She smiled and progressed to Jack. He swallowed hard again. Raising the sword to the neck of his jacket, she pulled it swiftly down, cutting the jacket in half at the front. She pushed it off his shoulders and was dissatisfied to see he wore a T-shirt under it. She quickly devastated him of that and eyed his bandages and the blood stained on them. Sam winced in sympathy pain, as she saw the fear and pain in Jack's eyes. Larius took great pleasure in cutting through the front of the bandages and watching them fall to the ground. She played with the sword and brought it closer and closer to Jack's chest wound. She slowly pushed it into him. He could feel it ever so slowly breaking through his skin. He closed his eyes as it gradually deepened inside him. Sam turned around, unable to stomach the torture he was being put through. Mar'coes saw.

"You all will watch!" he exclaimed, "Or you shall be next" he finished, turning Sam around and instructing other men to hold her, and Daniel and Teal'c.

"Oh hell" she said under her breath, as the full view of Jack's open wound hit her head on. Blood poured from the injury, down his legs and staining the sand. Sam saw the face of her lover and how drained of colour it was. He looked white as a sheet. She had never seen him so terrified. Larius continued to push the sword further into him, as he bled violently. Jack opened his eyes and looked at her. She was quite enjoying herself. Or so it seemed. He discovered no one was holding him. He knew there would be no way he could run away, but he could do something to her. He raised his fist and hit her in the face. She didn't expect it, and fell back. The sword quickly exited his body and made him unsteady. Mar'coes caught Larius before she hit the ground and rapidly stood her up, keeping her arms in the same position. As she stood, the sword re-entered Jack carelessly. He cried out as the pain gripped him. She turned the sword around. The rest of SG1 looked on, horrified at what they could see. Larius quickly pulled the sword out of him. Jack lost his balance and swayed fleetingly, until he slowly fell forwards. Sam ran speedily over to him and grabbed him. Their eyes locked for a split second, before Mar'coes pulled her away and let her watch him fall and hit the ground with a small thud. He gasped as the sand clouded and entered his open wound, and then he lost consciousness. Larius looked at his back and noticed the injury. She smiled eagerly, thinking of doing the same to that one. She recruited herself to the job effortlessly. She sat on Jack's legs and examined his back. Slowly she stroked him. Blissfully she raised the sword as high as her arms could go. Sam saw the glint of amusement in her eyes at what she was about to do.

"No! Stop!" she yelled, not being able to deal with what she was going to do, and had already done to Jack. Larius ignored her pleas. She plunged the sword into Jack. It went completely through him, and hit the sand beneath where he lay.

"No!!" Sam screamed. She ran to him and pushed Larius off him, and she took the sword with her. Sam turned over his frail body and was shocked to see him still barley alive, and awake.

"Jack" she said, holding him in her arms.

"Sam" Jack managed to whisper in his quivering, weak voice.

"Jack, you're gonna be alright. We'll get you back home" Sam told him, still at a whisper, while crying.

"Sam. I, love, you" Jack whispered to her, before dying in her arms.

"Oh no. Jack. Jack wake up! Wake up! You can't die Jack! No!!" Sam cried. She dropped her head onto his body. She knew he was dead. Her clothes gathered blood as she lay over him, as though protecting him. She cried hard, and felt the tears were never going to end. She lifted her head, and examined his pale face. She brushed the dust and sand from him, making him look more pale than he already looked. She watched as some tears from her face fell onto his and then wiped them away. She kissed his cheek.

"Sam. Sam we'd, uh, we'd better go" Daniel said, as he fought his own tears. He walked to her and took her arm, beckoning her to stand.

"No" she said.

"Sam please, we,.."

"No! No, we can't leave! No! Let go!" she cried. Daniel and Teal'c pulled her to her feet as she struggled and screamed for them to let her go. One of the men with Mar'coes lifted Jack's dead body from the bloodstained sand he lay on. Daniel and Teal'c had to use unmitigated force to restrain Sam. She kicked and screamed for them to release her, but they couldn't let her go, in fear she would use violence. In knowing, she *would* use violence. The men, and Mar'coes slowly left, and Sam relented to crying as a replacement of struggling. They travelled back to the Stargate in silence, all in pure shock, clearly traumatized. Daniel and Teal'c held Sam's arms for some of the way, but she eventually calmed and they let her trail shortly behind them. She cried the whole way, but managed to make it to the Stargate. Daniel dazedly dialled it and sent the GDO signal through. They all slowly traipsed through the Gate. Sam stopped before walking through and turned back to the sand path.

"I'm so sorry Jack. I love you. Always" she whispered through her tears before stepping through the Gate. The inevitable question was presented to them, upon their arrival on Earth.

"Where's Colonel O'Neill?" General Hammond asked. Sam fell to her knees and wept. Daniel cried his own tears. Teal'c was the only one anywhere near capable of speaking, and did so.

"General. Colonel O'Neill was killed" he said, and watched as the General's face also appeared as though he were going to cry.

"Oh God" he said, also in shock that Jack wasn't going to come back.

The next day, a funeral was arranged. It was made sure, all SG teams were back from their missions an attended it. They all wore their uniforms, and looked presentable. Except Sam. She looked awful, and unfortunately, she knew it. Her face tired and clearly expressing she didn't want to be at a funeral for the man she loved, and hoped to marry. Her eyes red and bloodshot from crying the whole night before. Daniel and Teal'c stood next to her, also noticeably disbelieving that they were at a funeral for a man who had been given a clean bill of health only a couple of months before. They didn't have his body, and Sam was almost glad. She knew how white his face was, and how badly bruised and cut he was. And she knew all too well how badly the rest of his body was injured. Yes. She was glad they didn't have his body. And she was sure, if she was going to say anything, she would say something stupid, or she'd cry so much she wouldn't be able to talk, or be understood by anyone. Suddenly the sound of her name woke her from her thoughts.

"Major Carter"

"Sam. You going to say something?" Daniel whispered, fighting with his own tears. She said nothing but stepped up the ramp leading to the Stargate and faced the crowd of people.

"Umm" she sniffed and cleared her throat, "I, I really don't know what to say. Uh, I love him. Not rhetorically, or hypothetically. Literally. I love him. He didn't get a chance to ask me to marry him, but if he'd got the chance, I know he would have. And I would have said yes. But, uh, he's the most amazing person I've ever met. He, well, he knew I was a science buff, and whenever I switched into, 'scientific explanation' mode, he'd always make sure he got the details he needed and then leave me to do the lengthy explanation to someone else. Someone who cared, and understood what I was on about, anyway. I'm never going to forget him in my whole life. And I'll never, ever love someone as much as I love him. I still love him, and I always will love him. I'll probably love someone else, but it'd never the same as what we had" Sam said, and watched as all the faces of her friends smiled briefly, at knowing she loved him so much. She cried. "I just believe he's gone! This has to be a dream. It can't be real. I love him so much! He just can't be dead!" she said through her stream of tears. She collapsed on the ramp and cried into her arms. General Hammond walked up the ramp and stood next to her.

"Colonel O'Neill was like a son to me. He had a mind of his own, and he never really bothered much with regulations. He knew I knew that, and it didn't bother him either. I think that's what I liked most about him. He knew I knew so many things about him, and he didn't care. Even the fact that I was his Commanding Officer, and in charge, he didn't seem to mind that I knew how he felt about everything. He would always express his opinions openly, even if no one really needed or wanted to hear them" he said. Sam looked up from her arms briefly and looked at him. He smiled weakly down at her. She knew he had saved her from the anguish and pain she was having in speaking about him. So soon after he died too. He'd only been killed the previous day, and now they were having his funeral. It all seemed to happen to fast for her. She couldn't believe the fact he was dead, little own the fact she was at his funeral. She collected her emotions and stood up. The General looked at her and she nodded in reply, and he left the ramp.

"Sorry. I just can't believe he's gone, and that I'm standing here talking about him, when he was killed just yesterday" she explained. "But I am, and I can't change that. Even though I wish to God, I could. I wish I could go back in time and do something to stop this all from happening. But I can't, and I will never accept this. Never. It will always be in my mind. Until the day I die" Sam said resolutely and left the ramp. She went stood next to Daniel and Teal'c again. They looked at her, and knew she felt their eyes on her but chose to ignore them. The service continued, and then they all left the Gate Room and returned to normal duties, as though nothing happened. As though none of them had just been to the funeral of one of their accompanying officers. Sam was shocked at the normality of the events after that day. Everyone she knew, excluding herself, Daniel and Teal'c, acted as though nothing happened. General Hammond was pretending not to be disturbed by not having Jack around to come into his office and talk to him. Always being at meetings at least ten minutes early and making sure everyone arrived on time. And always being able to make everyone, including him, smile at a ridiculous comment, he made. Yes, he was definitely troubled by it all. Sam knew it, and so did everyone else.

More months past, and Sam's condition worsened. She slept in her bed, and refused to get up or face the world. It was like she was wasting away. She had hardly eaten in weeks, and she hadn't done anything she would normally have done, since Jack was killed.

"Sam! Sam, open up!" Daniel yelled through her door. He banged on it until he heard the key click open the lock. He opened the door and saw Sam traipsing back to her bed. She collapsed into it and obscured her head into her pillows.

"Sam. When are you going to come out of here and do something? When are you going to start living again?" Daniel questioned.

"What do you want Daniel?" she asked.

"When was the last time you ate Sam? Look at you! I've never seen you like this before. You've hardly eaten in about a month, and you haven't left this room. You haven't changed your clothes or had a shower" he explained to her. She wasn't interested. Daniel pulled her up from the pillows and looked at her sternly. He looked into her red and bloodshot eyes as she rubbed them vigorously. Her hair was tangled and mattered, and she didn't even look like the Sam he knew anymore.

"Sam, look at you! You're a mess! You're a wreck" Daniel told her. She knew, but didn't intend to do anything about it. "By the way, they're uh, they're clearing out Jack's room today" he added, before releasing her and leaving. Sam thought deeply for a moment. She didn't want to see his room. She didn't want to see all of his things left exactly where they were the last time he was there. But then on the other hand, she did. She wanted to see his stuff and how he'd left it before leaving. She wanted to touch things that belonged to him. She wanted to lie on his bed and feel his blankets on her, as though that would somehow make her feel as though he were still there. Suddenly she realised. She did want to see his room. She got off her bed and looked in her mirror. She did look awful. She had a shower and brushed her mattered hair so it sat neatly on her head.

She walked down the corridor to his room, and upon reaching it, she almost couldn't go in. 'Colonel O'Neill' the small plaque read on the door. Sam stared at it for a long moment. 'Go in' something told her. She wasn't sure if it was her or Jack telling her, but she obeyed. She knocked three solid knocks on the door, and almost surprised herself. The door swung open, and a young Airman stood before her.

"Can I help you?" he asked finally, after Sam stood silent for a while.

"Yeah. Can I come in?" she replied softly. The Airman stood to the side and gestured for her to enter. She nodded and went in.

"I'll come back later" the Airman stated, upon noticing Sam seemed captivated by her surroundings. She said nothing and he left. Sam moved around his room and took in every detail of the room she could, without actually touching anything. Finally, she sat on his bed and rested her hands next to her on the blankets. She moved them around on the soft material of the blanket. It was soft and warm. She lay down and rested her head deep in his pillows. They were soon absorbing her tears into their fabric. She buried her head deeply, taking in the smell of where her lovers' head once rested. She cried increasingly, and soon felt the wetness of where her tears had fallen on the pillow.

"I'm so sorry Jack. I shouldn't have let you go on the mission. If you hadn't, then none of this would have happened. It's all my fault! Why didn't I make you stay here?! I should have! I'm so sorry! I love you" Sam said aloud, feeling she was to blame, and was the cause of the whole affair.

More days past, Jack's room had now been completely cleaned out, and was empty apart from the bed and dresser. Sam had dreamed of him continually. Every night. She couldn't get him out of her mind. And in a way, didn't want to. Daniel and Teal'c were beginning to recover, but had been to several counselling sessions, and claimed them to have helped. Sam didn't believe them. She thought they didn't look or feel any better than they had before. She had refused the counselling. Even though she was the one that needed it the most out of them all, and she knew it. But she didn't want to go some shrink that was going to sit in a chair and listen to all her anguish and pretend they understood it all, when they didn't. No more than she did herself. The whole concept seemed pointless to her.

Sam traipsed around the SGC, and suddenly heard the Stargate alarm.

"Unauthorised incoming travelled!" She heard over the loud speaker. She normally wouldn't have cared, but something told her to go to the Control Room and see who it was this time. She quickened her walk, until she was almost at a run, and reached the Control Room, where Daniel, Teal'c and General Hammond already stood awaiting the Gate to finish dialling. She stood next to the General.

"Who is it Sir?" she asked.

"We don't know Major. No SG teams are due back for another, four hours" he replied. Sam looked and noticed the Iris was closed. She saw on the computer screen suddenly flashing,

'SG1 signal received'

She had a sudden thought and without thinking quickly typed into the computer for the Iris to open, and shortly after she finished, it did.


"General, I think I know who it is"

"Sam, I think I know where you're going, and I don't think there's any possibility it could be Jack" Daniel noted, knowing that would be what she was thinking.

"Well then who got an SG1 signal?! Huh?! No one else would have one!" Sam exclaimed. They all knew she was right. But Teal'c, Daniel and her had seen Jack die. They'd seen his injured body and his lifeless face after he died. They all stared at the Gate, and waited for someone or something to step through its watery centre. Finally, a body stumbled through and landed face down on the ramp, a trail of blood following close behind. Sam ran down to the Gate Room, closely followed by Daniel, Teal'c and General Hammond. She ran up the ramp to the body, and slowly turned it over. She was shocked and overcome with tears when she found it was Jack.

"Jack!" she exclaimed as she felt for his pulse. Finding it weak and uneven, but there, she found more tears streaming down her face. She touched his bruised, but colourless, face. His skin was cold, but she could feel the life in it, although weak. Slowly his eyes opened.

"Sam" he managed faintly.

"Get a medical team in here!" General Hammond yelled to the officers surrounding the Gate Room, who were expecting an alien hostile to have come through, and not one of the officers that was thought to be dead.

"It's ok. You're gonna be ok" Sam assured him, still completely ecstatic to even see him, little own see him *alive*. She held him tightly in her arms, and saw the blood dispensing from his chest and staining her fatigues, but didn't care. All she cared was that he was alive and in her arms again. She never thought she'd him again, little own hold him. Suddenly a gurney was wheeled in and they placed Jack on it. Dr. Fraiser ran down the hallway with the nurses surrounding the gurney and shouted various commands to them all.

General Hammond, Daniel and Teal'c got up from the ramp and started to leave. Before he completely left, Daniel turned back.

"Sam. I'm sorry for what I said. I shouldn't have. And you were right anyway. I was wrong. There is a possibility, because, well, you know. Still,"

"It's ok Daniel. Forget about it" Sam said softly. Daniel knew she hardly heard what he'd said. He knew everything she thought of was Jack. Nothing else was in her mind. He understood completely and left. Sam went to the Infirmary and waited for any news. Daniel and Teal'c, who were also eager to know if he was ok, how he got back and if he was going to live, shortly joined her. They all sat in chairs against a wall of the Infirmary, awaiting a doctor to tell them what was going on. They waited for hours and hours, until finally, night came and sleep claimed them all.

They all woke in the morning, and still no Doctors approached them. Sam was more worried than before now. She feared, perhaps they couldn't save him. Suddenly, as though summoned by her thoughts, Dr. Fraiser walked wearily over to them. Sam jumped to her feet, as did Daniel and Teal'c.

"Well?" they asked.

"He's going to be alright. I won't lie to you, it was touch and go for a while there, but we managed to stabilize his condition for now. He's non responsive. He's in a coma. You can see him" she explained, and gestured for them to follow her. She led the to the room he had been in before. PR63. They stopped in front of the door, and Dr. Fraiser left. Daniel opened the door, and they all went in. Sam stood back, while Daniel and Teal'c told him a few things.

"We'll go and leave you two alone now" Daniel said, before he and Teal'c left. Sam sat in the chair beside the bed and stared at her sleeping lover. 'He's alive' she thought, 'I never thought I'd see him again, and now he's here, and he's alive.'

"Jack" she whispered, as though he might hear her, "I really hope you can hear me, cos I just want to say, I love you so much, and, well, just, wake up soon ok. Real soon" she sighed. She hadn't seen him in so long, and now she still couldn't talk to him and hear his voice. As though summoned by her thoughts, Jack slowly woke up. He turned to her, and saw the tears that trailed down her face.

"Jack" she said, as she saw him looking at her. She instantly embraced him tightly. Slowly she released him, and stared into his eyes.

"Sam" he said weakly.

"Jack I missed you so much. What happened?" she asked.

"I really don't know. It all happened so fast"

"Fast. You've been gone for nearly three months. It felt like forever"

"It *seemed* like a couple minutes"

"Well, it wasn't. But you, well, you were dead. How come?"

"I don't know what happened. I don't remember anything. But I know I'm glad to be back." They smiled. Without hesitance, their lips were joined. They hadn't kissed in so long, and the kiss lasted for what seemed like forever. Slowly they separated and smiled again.

"You rest now. We can talk more in the morning, ok?"

"Yeah. Ok"

"I'm gonna get a drink, then I'll come back. Don't go anywhere"

"Yeah." With that, Sam got up and left. She smiled the whole time she was gone. She got a cup of tea, and then returned to Jack, and found him asleep. She was glad and sat down again. After finishing her tea, she also fell into the arms of sleep.

Sam woke early in the morning, and was shocked to find she was in the bed of her room. She shot up and instantly thought of Jack. She dressed quickly and went to see him. She went to his room, and found it empty. The bed and dresser were the only things in the room, but no Jack. She raced to the Infirmary and found Dr. Fraiser at her desk, writing out her paperwork.

"Janet! Where's Jack?" Sam asked.

"What do you mean?" she replied.

"What?! Where is he? He was in PR63, and now it's empty! Where's he gone?!"

"Sam, are you ok? He was in PR63 three months ago. Not yesterday. Are you alright?" Janet said calmly, standing up and touching Sam's shoulder. She brushed her off quickly.

"No! He was there yesterday! I saw him! I talked to him. I slept in there last night, and then I woke up in my bed this morning. I checked the room and he's not there! Where is he?!"

"Sam. What's going on? He's gone. He hasn't been here for three months. He's dead Sam. Don't you remember? We had his funeral the day after you got back. You told everyone about you two loving each other. I think you're sick Sam"

"No! I saw him! He's not dead! Yesterday, you told us he would be ok. You did! I swear! Daniel and Teal'c were there. They heard you. Daniel! He'll know where he is!" Sam exclaimed as she ran out of the Infirmary. She found Daniel studying something in his quarters.

"Daniel!" she yelled as she ran in. He dropped the specimen he was looking at, and cursed.

"Sam. Hi. What's," Sam cut him off.

"Where's Jack?" she asked hurriedly, as she caught her breath.

"What? Jack?"

"Yeah. Where is he?"

"Sam. Are you ok?"

"Yes! I'm fine! Where's Jack. I have to find him"

"Sam, Jack's gone. He's been gone for three months. Are you sure you're ok?"

"Yes. He's not gone. He came back yesterday. He's here! He's ok. You saw him! You, me and Teal'c saw him yesterday. Janet told us he'd be ok. You talked to him! Come on Daniel! He's here! Where?!"

"Sam. Jack's, dead. You saw him die, on P8X 259. Larius killed him. We had his funeral. General Hammond knows you love him. You told everyone. He died Sam. You know that. Are you ok?"

"Yes! He's not dead Daniel! He was here yesterday! He was! I swear he was! You saw him! I kissed him. He was ok. He was awake! Oh God no!" Sam cried as she collapsed to the ground in tears. Daniel knelt beside her. 'Obviously she dreamed about him, and it seemed very real' he thought.

"Sam" Daniel began soothingly, "you must have dreamt it. He is dead. He didn't come here yesterday. It's true Sam. Jack's died" he explained. Sam cried harder, and fell into his arms. He held her firmly and tried to understand how hard it must be for her. To deal with the loss of, not only a friend, and a Commanding Officer, but her lover. Someone she loved. 'It must be incredibly hard for her' Daniel thought. She slowly sat back and lent on the wall. Daniel looked at her.

"I'm so sorry Sam" he said.

"It's ok Daniel. It seemed so real. It was real. It was so, so, amazing. The Stargate alarm went off and we were all in the Gate Room. I opened the Iris, and then, then," she almost couldn't make his name escape her lips, "then Jack came through. And he was still really badly injured, but he was alive. Then Janet operated and stuff, and she came and told us he'd be ok. We went to his room and you and Teal'c talked to him, then I went in and he woke up. As though he knew I was there or something. Then I kissed him. It seemed to last for ever. We haven't kissed in so long. Then I went to got a drink and came back, and he was asleep. Then I went to sleep, and I woke up in my bed this morning. I thought maybe someone moved me or something, but then I looked in his room, and he wasn't there. So, I went and asked Janet, and she thought I was crazy. So I thought you could tell me. But then, well, oh God! I miss him so much Daniel! I can't live without him. I'm gonna go nuts! I dream about him every night! Every night Daniel! And there're not always nice dreams either! I have to find him! We have to go back there and see if he's alive. I have to find out, I have to know!" Sam exclaimed. She stood up quickly and rubbed the tears from her eyes.

"Sam. We saw him die. He can't be alive" Daniel stated, as he stood up.

"Well then why did they insist on keeping him there? Why wouldn't they let us bring him back here? Huh? I'm going to talk to General Hammond" she said, and with that she turned on her heel and left. Daniel sighed, and followed her. They reached the General's office and went in.

"Major Carter. Dr. Jackson. What can I do for you both?" he asked with a smile.

"Sir, request permission to go back to P8X 259 and find out if Jack is really, dead?" Sam asked.

"Major. You said you saw him get killed. I'd say he is dead"

"Yes sir, but what if they have some kind of technology like the Asguard, that can, 'bring people back to life' so to speak" she replied.

"I see. Alright Major. You, Dr. Jackson and Teal'c can go back to P8X 259. I'll give you four hours to find out what you can. If you find nothing within that time, then you are ordered to return to Earth. Is that clear?"

"Yes sir" they replied in harmony. Sam smiled.

"You leave at 11:00 hours"

"Yes sir" they said again and left.

At 11:00 hours, they were all ready in the Gate Room and waiting for the Gate to be dialed.

"Chevrone seven locked! Wormhole established"

"Good luck SG1" the General called through the microphone. They nodded and headed through the Gate.

On arrival at the other side, they were expecting to be accosted by an army of people, but were thankful they weren't. They walked to the village through heavy rain on the same path they had travelled on the last time they were there. As they continued, they came to the point where Jack had died. The still bloodstained sand he had been killed on marked it. Sam cringed then continued. They finally reached the village and saw all the people working on various wooden machines. They looked rather primitive while they worked on their wood and brought water up from the well that stood in the middle of the huts. They all eyed SG1 as they proceeded through their village, but said nothing and continued working. One of them ran into Mar'coes' hut and obviously told him of their return. He sauntered out of the hut and over to them.

"Greetings. Why have you returned?" he asked politely.

"We have returned to find something that belongs to us" Sam said resolutely.

"What might this something be?"

"It's actually a someone. And it's Jack. He came with us last time we were here, and that young lady killed him" Daniel explained, thinking it best for Sam not to say anything further.

"Ah, yes. I do remember him. He is, as you say, dying. And yet you still wish to have him"

"We would like to see him" Teal'c said.

"You may. Please come" Mar'coes gestured for them to follow him. They came to a body kneeling on the ground, in a stock, holding its thin arms and neck in place. From behind, Sam expected it to be some other poor prisoner they had accumulated. Looking at its legs and back, it looked like the person would surely be close to death, it was so thin. Obviously not given food, they all thought. They were even more shocked, when they reached its front and discovered it to be Jack. His body thin and malnourished. And yet, he was alive.

"Jack!" Sam exclaimed, falling to her knees in front of him. "Daniel. Please tell me I'm dreaming" she said.

"No. This is real. I actually wish it wasn't. What did you do to him?!" he asked angrily, scanning Jack's, now, thin body.

"We have done nothing" Mar'coes answered.

"I'll say you haven't! That's why he's so thin!" Daniel exclaimed, anger burning inside him. He had seen starving children on TV and been horrified, but never a real person, and further more, his friend, starving to death.

"Jack. Jack, can you hear me?" Sam asked softly. Slowly Jack's eyes opened and he lifted his head as high as he could, with the little strength he had and with the restriction of the wood stock around his neck. The rain poured onto them, and as it soaked through their clothes, and made them cling to their bodies. They looked at Jack's clothes; dirt, bloodstained and heavy with water, hanging loosely on his thin frame of skin and bones. With the rain drenching his clothes, it made him look even thinner.

"Sam" he whispered hoarsely, managing a brave smile.

"Oh Jack. What have they done to you?" she replied, noticing his hands hanging through the holes of the block she took one within her own. She felt the bones of his emaciated fingers and the cold, wet skin covering them.

"Nothing" he murmured.

"Yes! That's exactly what they've done to you. Nothing!" she stood and released his hand, "how can you do this to someone?!" she asked angrily.

"He is not from this world. We revived him, and then it is the law, we put him in the stock, and he is to remain there" Mar'coes explained.

"No! No he isn't. He's coming back to Earth with us!" Sam exclaimed. As she looked at his frail arms, she was surprised they hadn't fallen through the holes of the wooden stock.

"I am sorry, but you cannot. Even I do not have the keys to open the stock. Once a person is placed in it, they are never to leave. There is no key. When the prisoner dies, then we are to throw the stock, and them, into the river. Then we make a new stock. It is law. I cannot disobey it" Mar'coes explained legitimately.

"What?! You have to be kidding! He's starving to death!" Daniel yelled.

"I am aware of this. But the law states the prisoner must remain in the stock until death. I am sorry"

"No you're not! You think this is good fun. Well we don't! And you are going to let him go, or we will take him and the stock, back with us!" Daniel exclaimed angrily.

"Stop it" Jack managed. They all looked at him; surprised he managed to speak. "Sam." She knelt in front of him. He raised his head as far as he could.

"Yeah" she said gently.

"Go home. Leave me here. It's obviously, an important law," Sam cut him off.

"And a stupid one! You are not going to die because of some stupid law Jack! I won't leave you here again. I've missed you so much in these past few months. I thought you were dead. When you've really been here the whole time, in this thing, starving to death! It's not fair Jack. And I'm not leaving you here! Not again. That's an order."

"I give the orders around here" he whispered.

"No you don't. You're not well enough to give orders anyway. And besides, I can't kiss you in this thing. You can't tell me you were seriously thinking of trying?" she smiled gently.

"I guess not. Thanks Sam. I love you" Jack replied softly.

"I know. I love you" she said, kissing his forehead lightly. She stood up. "Well, what's it gonna be? We take this thing back with us, or you let us open it?" she asked.

"You cannot break the laws! They will send a curse upon us!" Mar'coes said worriedly.

"Oh well. You'll have to deal with it!" Daniel exclaimed. "Teal'c" he gestured for Teal'c to use his Staff on the stock.

"I will assist Daniel Jackson" he said, "shield his eyes." Sam enveloped herself over Jack's face. Teal'c fired his Staff Weapon at the stock. It shook violently, but the bolt remained secure.

"Again" Sam said, wrapping herself around Jack for a second time. Teal'c fired the weapon again, and it had no effect on the bolt.

"It will not break the lock. Nothing will. It is unbreakable. There is a curse on every lock. Nothing can open it, except the key. But no one has ever been given a key" Mar'coes explained.

"Well make one!" Sam exclaimed.

"We cannot. It is the law! They will send a curse upon us all. Even you. They will disable your metal circle. I speak the truth! A generation before this one had a curse sent upon them. They were all killed. The full population. It was horrific. You ought to believe me! I do not lie to you. You must leave him in the stock" he explained.

"It's only wood. We can go back and bring a saw with us and cut through it. Easy. Sam? We can cut through it with a saw. Do you want us to go back and get one?" Daniel said.

"Yeah. Go back and tell General Hammond what's going on here and get a saw. Oh, and bring a couple of jackets" Sam added, looking at Jack's skinny arms. He wore his Fatigue pants, and they had obviously provided him with the torn T-shirt he wore, but he had no jacket, and looked freezing cold as well as starving. Daniel and Teal'c left for the Stargate through the torrential rain and howling wind. Sam sat on the muddy ground in front of Jack. She took off her backpack and rummaged through it to find some food. She found some bread, and pulled it out.

"Jack. You want to eat something?" she asked. He shook his head weakly. He had been hungry and yelling for food so long, he didn't want it anymore.

"Jack. You have to eat something, you're gonna starve if you don't" Sam offered.

"No thanks" he whispered.

"Jack please. Eat something. Look at you. You're skin and bones. You can't tell me you're not hungry at all."

"Sam. I've been in this thing for months, yelling for them to give me food or water, or something. And all I got was a slap in the face. Literally. And whipped. That's all I got, for three months! And now, I don't really think I want food anymore" Jack explained weakly, after raising his head and looking at Sam. Her eyes full of concern, she went around to his back and lifted the torn T-shirt he wore. She saw the huge gashes and cuts still bleeding from where they had whipped him violently. She went to her backpack again and found a small medical kit. She wiped some medicated cotton over the cuts and heard Jack wince from the sting they caused, and from the rain that fell heavily onto his back, like needles stabbing into him. Sam was finally satisfied with her treatment and packed the kit away again. She sat on the backpack in front of Jack. She knew that the harsh rain was hurting him, and the fact that he was so thin didn't help. To Jack, the rain felt as though it were boulders pounding heavily all over him and Sam could see the anguish in his eyes, although he tried to hide it. She remembered the thermal blanket in her backpack and quickly got it out. She draped it over his back and legs. He sighed as it provided relief from the agonizing rain, but found it almost hard to hold up on his weak and frail body. Sam lent on the stock, next to his head. She found him hard to look at. He was so thin. She had never seen him so sick and frail. She knew he was weak and hungry, but was trying not to see him as starving. The more she thought of him as starving, the more she thought he was going to die, and she didn't even want to contemplate that possibility.

"Jack." He jumped slightly.


"Nothing." He knew she wanted to say something, but was obviously worried it would upset him, or something to that effect.

"Sam. What?" he said softly.

"Oh, it's nothing. Don't worry about it" Sam dodged the question, or even the thought being spoken of any further.

"Sam. Please tell me. I don't want to die in this thing, wondering what you were going to ask me" Jack said.

"You're not going die!" she exclaimed, turning and facing him. "I was going to ask, what you have been thinking about while you've been stuck in this thing?" she said, staring at the ground, unable to look him in the eye.

"I've been thinking about you Sam. What did you think I'd be thinking about? I didn't think of anything else but you. Alright I admit, food entered my mind a couple of times, but you were there all the rest. Sam. I love you. I don't think of anything else but you, even when I'm stuck in wooden stocks and haven't eaten in months I think of you. You couldn't possibly have thought I would think of Daniel, or Teal'c. Please! I thought of you. That's it." There was a long pause. "So. Is my room still mine, or has someone else already inhabited it?"

"Oh. Well, yes as a matter of fact. It's empty. But no one's in it yet, so I'd say it's still yours"

"Oh. That's nice, not even dead yet, and they're emptying my room. Well I guess you had a funeral and stuff, did you?"

"Yeah. You have to understand Jack, I saw you die. I saw you get killed. It's not something your inclined to forget. We said you were dead, and so General Hammond arranged a funeral for you. It was really sad. And I had this dream you came back, and I thought it was real. I woke up in my own bed one morning though, and I thought someone moved me from your room, so I went and asked Janet if she knew where you were, and she thought I was crazy. Then I asked Daniel and he made me realise I dreamed it. Then it made me think, why did Mar'coes make you stay here? Why didn't he let us take you back? So, I thought I'd ask if we could come back and see if you were really dead. And, well, you're not, and I'm so glad, because I'll tell you, I missed you so much" Sam explained. She watched as Jack looked up as high as he could and smiled bravely. Without thinking, Sam kissed him tenderly. Softly at first, then slowly deeper. Jack felt himself kissing her back willingly. They hadn't kissed in so long. Then was probably not the best time, considering how weak and fragile Jack was, but they didn't seem to notice or care. Suddenly kissing each other more, they gasped for breath between each one. Sam rested her hand on the small part of Jack's thin neck she could find, the rest covered by wood. Jack longed to touch her, to wrap his arms around her, hold her firmly, and feel warm. He longed to have her arms around him and feel her warmth around his body. He felt so cold and wet. He wanted to feel warm and dry and held by the woman he loved. Sam longed for him to touch her. She longed for his arms around her. She knew how cold and wet he felt, and she wanted to warm his cold, thin body. She wanted to touch him everywhere she could. She wanted to feel his body against hers. She craved to have him nearer to her; she hungered to feel the man she loved touching her. Still they kissed. Passion streaming within them both. For what seemed like only a couple of minutes, turned into nearly half an hour.

"Jack, Sam, we're back, oh. Would you like us to go and come back in a little while?" Daniel asked, upon finding them kissing together. They almost felt like saying yes, but Jack wanted to get out of the stock and get warm, and Sam knew he did. Slowly they separated.

"Sorry" Daniel said.

"It's alright. You going to get him out of there?" Sam asked.

"We are" Teal'c replied.

"Here" Daniel said, handing Sam the extra jackets they brought for her and Jack. She smiled and pulled hers on. She swathed the other on Jack's legs. He shivered, but was grateful. Sam could see he was struggling to support the blanket on himself. The rain was still heavy, and they starting to see and feel hailstones. The sleet got heavier, and Sam was forced to seek refuge in one of the huts further away. She saw Jack's arms and face gathering bruises and cuts from the hail. Daniel and Teal'c worked hard on the wood and Sam saw their determination. She watched as Jack slowly lost consciousness. She wanted to run over to him, but knew it would be of no help. She also knew, he probably didn't have very long in that condition. Slowly but surely, Daniel and Teal'c sawed through the wood. Sam watched as they got closer and closer to being completely through one side of it. Finally they got through and lifted Jack's frail arm out of the hole. Quickly, they started on the other one. Sam looked on as the rain and sleet worsened and became harder to see through. She could only just see Daniel and Teal'c, and even that was blurred. They could feel the hailstones hitting them and slowing them down, and they were already tired. The rain and sleet was also cutting and slightly bruising them, even though they had thick coats and gloves on. Jack's body and face bled continuously from the hard hail that hit his face and the rest of his body. Daniel and Teal'c couldn't go on. The hailstones were falling more, and heavier. It was impossible to work. They dropped the saw and ran toward the hut Sam was sheltered in. She didn't see them until they were in it with her. The sound of the hail was enough to deafen anyone, little own the force and injuries it brought.

"You can't stop! Jack can't survive out there like that! I mean look at you two! You've cuts and bruises from her til next Tuesday, and you're wearing thick jackets and gloves! Imagine Jack. He's only got a T-shirt on, and a blanket over him! He'll die out there like that!" Sam exclaimed. They knew she was right, but also that they couldn't work in those conditions, or they would die as well. Sam knew that too. Mar'coes walked over to them.

"He shall survive. He has been in the equivalent weather at least, four times before, and survived" he said.

"What?! He's been out there in weather like this four times before!?" Sam yelled, because she wanted to, and because of the loudness of the storm.

"Yes. On several occasions this month, we have had equally as bad weather, possibly worse, than now, and he has survived. I believe he shall be fine. The storm will have past by tomorrow and we will be able to resume work. For now, you must stay here. You will surely die in this weather if you attempt to work any further" Mar'coes explained.

"We will, but he won't. Now how does that work?!" Daniel shouted, over the increasing sleet.

"He has built a great deal of strength over these past months of hard weather and chastisement. Although his body does not show this, it shows, in fact, the supreme opposite, but he is and will remain strong. He will not relent easily. I assure you. He will recover. And the injuries you see on him, are severe, but will also convalesce. They are to prove to you how physically powerful he is, or has grown to be. I realise how he looks, but I do pledge to you he will recuperate" he explained.

"I don't believe you! Do you have any idea what you are talking about?! He is, one, starving to death. Two, very weak, and three, out there in horrific weather, obtaining horrifying cuts and bruises to his thin body that is only just there. Now, to me, that's a recipe for disaster, and not to mention, death" Sam said. Daniel and Teal'c telekinetically agreed with her, and beat Mar'coes until he couldn't stand up anymore. He smiled evilly and then left their company. Sam looked out into the conditions Jack was having to endure. She couldn't see him and was almost glad. She didn't want to see his unconscious body having to have to suffer through such a horrible situation. But she was glad he was unconscious, because that way he wouldn't have to feel the rain pricking into his skin like needles. And the sleet barrelling into his thin body like boulders falling onto him. She turned away, and slowly they waited for the night to come. It finally did and they all fell asleep quickly.

In the morning, they woke and they still heard the sleet barricading outside the hut. Sam stood up and looked out into the harsh climate. She could just see the distorted outline of Jack and the wood stock. She wrapped her coat tightly around herself and put the hood on. She pulled on some gloves and ran out into the weather to see Jack. She reached him and saw all the cuts and bruises he gained over night. He looked unfortunately horrible. His skinny body covered in deep cuts and dark bruises.

"Jack. Jack are you awake?" Sam shouted over the roar of the rain and hail. He slowly looked up at her. "Are you ok?" she asked.

"Go back into the hut. You'll die out here!" Jack managed to tell her decisively. Although his voice was weak, he still managed to sound determine.

"Jack. If I'll die out here. Then so will you" Sam exclaimed.

"No I won't. I'll be fine. Go!" he shouted, as loud as he could.

"Jack, how will you be fine? Look at you! You've got too many cuts and bruises to count! And Daniel and Teal'c can't work in this weather!" Sam yelled.

"The rain will stop in a few of hours. And the hail a couple more. Then we'll be out of here. Trust me Sam. I've been here long enough to know how the weather works. I've been out in it. I know what to expect. Trust me. I'll be ok. Now go!" Jack explained. Sam sighed and ran back into the dryness of the hut they resided in. Jack gritted his teeth and clenched his fists to stop from screaming in pain from the sleet and rain, ripping at his fragile body like Vultures at their last meal.

"How's Jack?" Daniel asked as Sam returned.

"Terrible. He says he's going to be fine, but he isn't. I don't know what he means. He says I or you, or anyone would die out there, but he won't. I don't understand. We have to get him out of there soon. I don't really think he has long out there like that" she explained. They all shared in her puzzlement from the situation. They all stared out into the rain and sleet of the dark and dreary day, and watched as it slowly lessened came to a steady downpour, but was noticeably less than before. Daniel and Teal'c returned to work on the block, and slowly cut through it. Sam watched from the hut, still not sure if the rain was as strong as before. She watched the determined faces of her friends working on the wood stock and both of them slowly tiring. Even though they continued, and the weather gradually worsened, she could see that they would soon have to stop. She wanted to go out and help them, but knew she wouldn't be able to do that much for them in the grand scheme of things. After a couple of tiring hours of work, they returned to the hut and both collapsed onto the ground, tired and drained of strength. Even Teal'c looked tired, which made Sam think it must be even harder to saw through the thick wood of the stock than she'd first thought.

"Are you both ok?" she asked. Daniel nodded weakly and Teal'c didn't bother to reply.

"Are you sure? Cos if you're not, then you shouldn't go back to work for a while. Rest for a while. The weather seems to be getting a bit better. So I'd say it shouldn't get worse again for a while. I'm serious. You don't have to go back to work for a while. Sorry to say it, but you two both look terrible. And I really think you should have a rest. Ok?" she explained.

"Nah. We'll be ok. We'll rest for a few minutes, and then we'll go back out again. We're ok. And we really do have to get Jack out of there soon. Don't worry about us Sam" Daniel told her confidently. He smiled and caught his breath. They sat for a while and said nothing. Slowly the weather began to worsen, and they began wandering if they should go back out at all. They watched the sleet grow thicker, and it was harder to see through. Soon it was impossible see through the huge hailstones, and they could only see about a meter in front of them.

"How the hell are we gonna even get out there?! I can't even see a meter in front of me! So how are we going to get to the Gate?!" Sam stated. They all looked out of the hut, and saw the sleet falling heavy in front of them. It seemed like a hopeless situation. They could see the darkness growing also. The thick layer of clouds that gathered above them was so black, they were sure thunder and lighting would soon follow the rain and sleet. And unfortunately, they were right. They heard a huge clap of thunder, followed closely by a bolt of lightning.

"Jack!" Sam yelled. Worry now stronger than ever inside her. "I have to see if he's ok," she added as she ran out into the storm. She stumbled through the huge hailstones and rain and finally found Jack. "Jack!" she yelled as another clap of thunder sounded above. She knelt on the muddy ground and saw no response from Jack. "Jack!!" she repeated, lifting his head. He was unconscious. She worried more now. She knew he was suffering from Hypothermia. And being as malnourished as he was, Sam knew that he wouldn't have a lot of strength. She felt around his neck for a pulse, and found a weak, uneven beat. She couldn't stay out in the storm, so she raced back to the safety of the hut. She reached it and collapsed onto the ground once inside.

"Sam? How is he?" Daniel asked instantly.

"Not good. He's unconscious again. I think if this weather gets any worse, he won't make it" she said sorrowfully.

"Sam. We can go back out there and work. We can probably get him out in about an hour. Let's go Teal'c" Daniel said willingly.

"No Daniel. General Hammond said to do what we can, and then if we can't do anymore, to come home. We can't do anymore here. You'll die out in that weather. We'll wait for the weather to pass, and then see what we can do" she told them solemnly. Daniel and Teal'c stood, dumbfounded.

"Sam. He's probably got pneumonia. People die from that. You've already been through him dying once, do you really want to do it again?" Daniel asked softly.

"Daniel. I know what I've been through! Do you think I don't know!? Well I do! And I don't want to do this anymore than you do. But, I don't want to see him die again. It was hard enough seeing him die in my arms once. I don't think I could do that again without bordering on complete psychosis. I'd loose my mind Daniel. This situation is hard enough hard to deal with."

"Sam. Won't it be harder to deal with knowing he is on some other planet, and you left him," Sam cut him off.

"No! What do you think!? Of course, it will be hard! It's damn hard! I'm going to hate myself forever! Do you think I want to do this?! I don't! But I don't see any other way, do you?!" Sam exclaimed. She suddenly remembered, while Daniel spoke, of when Jack had said to her, 'the rain will stop in a few hours, and the hail a couple more'.

"Wait! Jack told me that the rain will stop in a few hours, and the hail a couple more. Wait for another hour or so, and then if it still hasn't stopped, you can go back and work some more. Ok?" she said.

"Yeah. Ok" Daniel agreed. They sat on the ground and listened to the teaming rain and sleet falling on the roof of the rock hut. They heard the howling winds gusting around them and the clapping thunder and flashing bolts of lightning. They saw trees being uprooted by the gale force winds and some of the small machines falling over and being blown about. All the people of the small village were hidden inside their small homes, with all their things piled up against their leaf-covered doorways. Daniel looked over at Sam and saw her deep concern growing. He too was worried, but feared she would be devastated if she found Jack dead when they were finally able to leave their enclosure and see him. He hoped he would be fine, and knew Sam prayed for a miracle also. They waited for longer than they had first intended, but they just couldn't go out into the weather. It was too dangerous. With the sleet falling so heavily, and the rain, they would surely obtain injuries they couldn't afford to. So, they waited longer. More and more time passed, and still they waited patiently. Finally, the sleet slowed, the rain came to a steady, but minor, downpour, and the thunder, lightning and winds slowly died, until they too were gone. The two men went back out into the now, minor weather conditions, and resumed their work. Sam waited in the quiet of the hut, for a cry of success to sound. She waited for a few hours, until finally her wishes were granted. She looked out into the slowing rain, and found the stock of wood had been successfully sawed through. She ran out to congratulate them.

"Finally" she sighed.

"It's not as easy as it looks. Believe me" Daniel commented.

"I know. You did a good job though. Now lets get out of here" she told them. Teal'c picked up Jack off the ground, and they headed for the Gate. Finally reaching it, Daniel dialled it up, and sent the GDO signal through. They all stepped through and once on the other side, watched as a medical team scattered into the Gate Room and devastated them of Jack. He was rushed to the Infirmary, and they all headed off to get dry and warm. When they were all ready, they commenced the de-briefing. It took longer than they had wanted, and when finally finished, they all walked together, to the Infirmary. All sitting in separate chairs, they waited anxiously to find out how Jack was. Teal'c went and got them all a drink.

"Has there been any reports on O'Neill's condition?" he asked as he handed Daniel and Sam each their own cup. They both shook their heads solemnly and sighed.

"I see" Teal'c said as he resumed his position on the chair he previously occupied. Sam lifted her cup to her lips and took a gulp of its contents. She found it way too hot and coughed it out onto the floor. She stood up quickly, and dropped the cup holding the rest of the drink. It spilt onto the floor. She collapsed onto the ground with it and cried into her arms. Daniel nodded for Teal'c to go and get someone or something to clean it up. He understood and left. Daniel sat on the floor with Sam, and avoided making contact with the hot liquid. He put his arm around her shoulder, and she lent on him.

"He'll be ok Sam. I'm sure of it. Dr. Fraiser will come out in a minute, and tell you how fine he'll be. I bet" he told her confidently. She sniffed and nodded uncertainly. She knew he was right, but just couldn't believe him one hundred percent. She sat up and looked at the mess she'd made. As she stood, she faced Dr. Fraiser.

"Janet" she sighed, startled by her presence. "How's Jack?"

"He's going to be alright. I won't lie to you, it was touch and go for a while there, but we managed to stabilize his condition for now. You can see him. He's suffering from Dehydration, Pneumonia, and slight Hypothermia, but,"

"Whoa! Déjà vu!" Sam exclaimed, shacking her head in amazement.

"What?" Janet questioned.

"I'm not dreaming now am I? This is real isn't it?" she asked.

"Course it is. What's up Sam?" Daniel asked, forgetting the dream she told him about.

"In the dream I had, the exact same thing happened. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't dreaming again. Anyway, who cares about that now, I can see him? Which room? Wait! Don't tell me. PR63?" she asked with a small grin.

"Yeah. How'd you know?" Janet queried.

"Psychic. Come on Daniel!" she grabbed his arm and they ran off to the room. Upon reaching it, they slowly entered. The two chairs that were always there, still sat in the same place they were always in. Daniel and Sam occupied one each. She looked at Jack's white face and arms, with ghastly cuts and bruises covering them. She listened intently as Daniel spoke to his unconscious body. Suddenly she woke from her thoughts and noticed Daniel had left. She was finally alone with her lover. She sat silently and stared at him, wondering how hard it must have been for him to live through such terrain as the one of the planet they had just returned from. It was really a horrible planet. She disliked it immensely. She knew they all did. Especially Jack. He had the most reason to vastly abhor it. And no one would blame him for that. Considering the events that occurred on the planet, all involving him, and serious injury or near death. He was actually killed there. But they somehow brought him back to life. Sam was glad about that much, but that was the extent of it. She detested everything else about the planet, including the people that resided on it. But they would never have to go back to it again, and that made her happy. Also knowing she had her lover back, definitely lightened the situation. She stared at him continually, until night came closer, and she let sleep claim her.

Sam woke up late in the morning, yawned and rubbed her eyes before she stretched her arms over her head. She stood up and walked around the room, to stretch her taut legs. After feeling content that she had the full feeling back in her body, she sat down again. She held Jack's hand firmly within her own. Slowly he woke up and turned to her.

"Jack" Sam sighed. She instantly embraced him, and felt the immediate return of it from him. He felt good to be warm again. To be dry. To have someone, and above all, Sam, holding him in her arms, felt good. Slowly she released him and looked him over. She still found it disturbing to see him so thin, but they were giving him food through some sort of tube inserted into the small hole they'd cut into his neck, so she was glad he was getting some nourishment.

"Oh God I missed you" she said softly.

"I know. I missed you too" Jack whispered.

"I love you so much" Sam told him.

"I love you too" he replied. "Sam,"


"I have to ask you something. It might sound pretty stupid, but I'm just curious. What did you say at my funeral?" She sat silent for a moment. What was she going to tell him? 'I said I thought you would ask me to marry you if you'd had the chance?' That would look like a bit of a insinuation, now wouldn't it? She thought about it carefully, and wondered if she should make something up.

"Don't worry about it. It's ok. It was a silly question anyway" Jack told her after a long moment of silence.

"No. I mean. Well, it's going to sound like something it's not meant to sound like. And I don't want to look as though I'm pushing things, or you to do something you don't necessarily, *not* want to do, but something you've never really considered seriously. Or at least not yet anyway. You know what I mean?" Sam explained.

"Yeah. I think. Well just say it anyway, and I'll remember all that, and not take it too seriously. Is that sorta what you want me to do?" he asked.

"Well. It's not that I don't want you to take it seriously; I just don't want you to think of it as an insinuation. Or like I'm pushing you. Cos I'm not. It was just sort of, well, you know? 'Heat of the moment' sort of stuff. Ya know?"

"Yeah. I know what you mean. Just tell me. I won't be, offended or anything. If that's what you're worried about. You don't have to tell me if you really don't want to though. I'm ok with that to. Up to you."

"No. I'm not worried or anything. Well. Oh hell! It doesn't matter anyway. I said stuff like, how much I love you, and I couldn't believe it was true, something like that anyway, and, well, I said I thought you would have asked me to marry you if you'd got the chance" Sam told him. She suddenly found the floor more interesting than she ever had before. Jack was stunned for a moment. That certainly wasn't what he'd expected. Actually, he didn't know what he expected. He didn't know what she was going to say. She was right though, although he didn't think so now he knew, it did appear like she was trying to hint something. But he thought he would have worked out that she was just really sad and probably hoped for that later down the track when she said it. He wanted to ask her. He really did. He wanted to know if she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. But he didn't know if he could say it. If he could ask her. It wasn't like any normal question. It wasn't like he could go up to her and say, 'Hey Sam. Have a nice day? Oh by the way, will you marry me?' It was definitely not that easy. He wished it were in a way. Suddenly waking from his thoughts, he saw Sam still staring at the floor. He thought he'd better answer her.

"Well, I've got the chance now, haven't I?" he said, smirking. Sam looked up at him and mirrored his smile

"Is that what I think it is?" she asked.

"It that what you want it to be?" he replied.

"If it is what I think it is, then yes, it is. And, of course I will" she smiled. "You are asking what I think you were asking, weren't you?"

"What do you think I was asking?"

"You know."

"No I don't. Tell me."

"Well, were you asking me to marry you?"

"Mmm hmm." They smiled.

"Good. Cos I thought you'd never ask. And of course I will" she sighed with relief and joined their lips. It was the first real kiss they'd gotten to share since before the mission to P8X 259. Sam was so glad she could kiss him again, and feel him in her arms. Although his skinny frame felt decisively different than the one she had previously held, it was still him. It was still his body she held. And she was glad. She didn't want the kiss to end. She didn't ever want to let him go again, in fear of loosing him. It was a feeling she detested incredibly. She never wanted to loose him again. He was hers now, and she felt it should stay that way forever. And if anyone ever tried to hurt him again, she was of the opinion she had every right to kill the person who tried. Or at least punch them a bit. Still they kissed. The passion they shared, too high on a scale to even calculate. They both wanted to be touched by one another. To feel as though they belonged to each other. No one could separate them in the serenity of their moment. And it was. It was their time. The whole time they were kissing, it belonged to them. It was theirs. And no way known, could anyone separate them now. They had been apart so long, and now it was time to make up for lost time. It was their time to do and say everything they had wanted to say, before they were separated. Now they had all the time they wanted, and they weren't going to waste it. They weren't going misuse a second. Their lips still joined in loving kisses; Sam moaned her lovers' name.

"Oh Jack" she said on his lips. She desperately wanted to make love to him. She wanted to feel him everywhere she could. But he was still weak, and fragile. It wouldn't be the same, as when she could run her hands over the muscles on his chest, and feel him in his natural frame. The figure he bared now was of someone thin and starving for nourishment. She hated to see him like he was now. She wanted to feel him as she hadn't even felt him before at all. She hadn't yet explored his body in detail, but it was something she longed to do. So she waited. She waited while Jack recovered. She sat with him everyday and they submitted to kissing while they waited until they could do more. And when they didn't kiss, they talked and laughed together, thoroughly enjoying the time they shared. Daniel and Teal'c visited often, when they weren't on missions with other teams. They saw how happy the pair were. They both had never seen such happiness, in two people who had lost each other, and yet, still managed to find each other and, in a manner of speaking, 'live happily ever after'. They knew of their plans to marry, but were sworn to secrecy.

After two months of recovery time, Jack was restored to health, and reinstated his accustomed figure once again. Sam was both glad and ecstatic. She looked at him more now. In fact, she stared at him. Like when she had first wondered if he had feelings for her. She looked at him now, as she had looked at him then. Then, she had looked at him as though he was distant, out of her reach, something she could, and never would, have. But he was hers now. She had all she wanted. And he had what he wanted. They both gained possessions they had always thought of as 'impossible' things. But now, they had each other, and that was all they both wanted. Amazingly, General Hammond was happy for them also.

Two weeks after Jack left the Infirmary and was classified as, 'better', they were married. Sam got her Dad to come, and he was so happy for them, he cried. Along with Daniel, who just couldn't contain his emotions. Jack remembered the 'Alternate Reality' Sam that had come through the, 'Quantum Mirror' a number of months before, and the wedding photo she had of her and her Jack. When she had told him about that, and he had seen the photo, he instantly thought, and wondered, if he and the Sam of his reality would or could ever do that. And when Kawalsky had told him, how good they looked together; it made him think even more. Now they had their own wedding photos to stare at. One looked just like the one 'AR' Sam had. Sam stood in front of Jack laughing, and Jack smiled happily behind her. When he'd first saw it, after they had them developed, he instantly thought of the photo 'AR' Sam had. He remembered how sad she was, and how she knew him so well. Their wedding was just what they had hoped it to be. Everyone was so happy, and they laughed and smiled the whole time. That was what they wanted. They wanted it to be happy. They wanted everyone there to be happy too. And they were. Everyone had fun, and some, a little too much to drink. But it all worked out how they wanted it to. That night they made love for the first time. They were both certain they had died and gone to heaven. The whole night was unadulterated pleasure.

Sam woke in the morning, and found herself entangled around Jack. She thought it best to let him sleep, and left her arms coiled around him. Soon after, he woke up and looked down at her. He smiled. She kissed him in recognition.

"Good morning" she said after parting from his lips.

"Sleep well? Did we sleep at all?" Jack asked.

"Some. But I don't mind" she smiled. "We can do that again any time you like."

"Well. I'll make sure I remember that."

"Vivacious thing you are."

"Fancy language. You know I hate that."

"Sorry. It won't happen again" she giggled cheekily.

"Ah ha! No giggling either" he smiled and kissed her to block the sound of her giggles.

"Slipped my mind. I'll try and remember" she smiled after their lips parted.

"You will. You will,. . " His voice trailed off, as Sam brought his lips down to hers. They smiled and Sam managed to unravel one of her arms and bring it to Jack's hair. She ran her fingers through the soft strands of his hair, and then relocated to his back. Slowly she moved her hand around in patterns on his skin. Reluctantly, they parted their lips. Sam buried her head in Jack's chest.

"This is nice, isn't it?" she asked, as she allowed her eyes to travel his body over, even from the comfort of her resting point on his chest. She looked over to the floor, and saw their clothes strewn over it. Her white wedding dress, crumpled in one corner. All their other clothes scattered in various locations of the room.

"Mmm" Jack mumbled in reply.

"You know, I'm going to get *very* used to this *very* easily? To waking up with you every morning" Sam told him.

"It's not hard from this end either" he whispered. They held each other in their arms for a long time, until they realised, they hadn't been given any time off, and that technically meant, they had to go to work.


"I know. I was just thinking the same thing" he said. "What were you thinking?" he asked, just to be sure she wasn't going to say something else.

"That we weren't,"

"Given any time off, and,"

"We still have to go to work."

"Yeah. That's what I was thinking. Did you telepathically tell me that or something, cos that was pretty weird, you know? That whole, 'finishing sentences for each other' thing. But I kind of liked it. Sam?" he asked, noticing she seemed to be staring at him very distantly.

"What? Sorry. I just like hearing you say my name. I've been so used to, Carter, or Major. But never Sam. It's nice. Don't you think?"

"Yeah. I suppose we should get ready to go to work don't you think?"

"I guess so. We'll have to sort through all our stuff when we get back"

"Yeah. Let's go" he said. They both got up and found what they needed from the mess of scattered clothes and each had a shower. Twenty minutes later, they were both dressed and ready to head off to work, like any normal day. Not even taking into recognition that just the day before, they were married.

Finally reaching Cheyenne Mountain, they walked through the corridors leading to General Hammond's office and they saw hardly anyone. None of the people, who would usually be there to greet them, even noticed them. As though the whole base had contracted a very serious form of Amnesia. They reached the General's office and Jack knocked solidly on the door.

"Come in" they heard him say. They walked in and he looked up at them. "Colonel. Major. What can I do for you both?" he asked. Jack and Sam shared bemused glances. They had both thought he, of all people, would have had something to say about the previous day.

"Sir. Is everyone alright around here today?" Jack asked.

"Yes. Why? Something bothering you Colonel?" the General queried, obviously either kidding with them both, or not having an inkling of an idea what they were talking, or thinking about.

"No. Not at all Sir" Jack replied in puzzlement.

"Sir. We were wondering if we could have some time off?" Sam asked, noticing Jack was having problems with the whole situation, as was she.

"What for Major?" General Hammond questioned. Sam, now too, was completely baffled. As if he didn't know why. They both knew he did. Or at least he should.

"Excuse me? What for? Do you want us to spell it out?" Jack asked, almost irritably. Sam shared in feeling his impatience, but was trying to keep it contained.

"Jack" she looked at him sternly, but soft in her instruction.

"Sorry" he mumbled.

"Sir. We would like some time off for our honeymoon" Sam said, almost anticipating his reply.

"Really? Well I'd have to say, no then" he smiled, almost evilly, and Jack and Sam both detested his tone.

"Sir. Are you alright?" Sam asked, feeling Jack should stay quiet.

"Fine thankyou Major. I'll see you both in the Conference Room in ten minutes" he said.

"Yes Sir" they replied in harmony, and then left, closing the door behind them.

"Well. That was certainly very odd" Jack commented. Sam nodded.

"Sure was. I think something fishy is going on here" she noted. "We'll find out when we get to the Conference Room I guess" she added as they left in the direction of it. As they reached it, they noticed the lights were off, and it was pitch black. They couldn't see a thing, and had no idea where the light switch was, funnily enough. Both stumbling around the room, crashing into chairs, they tried fruitlessly to find a light. Finally, and inevitably, they crashed into each other. Falling backwards, Sam landed on Jack.

"Sorry" she said. "Do you have any idea where the lights are?"

"No. We come in here nearly every day, and yet we have no idea where a light switch is. Don't you find that incredible?" he queried, smiling.

"Yeah, well most of the time we were in here, I didn't look at anything else but you" she smiled deviously; even in knowing he couldn't see her face through the darkness.

"Yeah, well briefings were never easy for me either. I couldn't stop looking at you. I used to have to pretend you were General Hammond, so I would look at him instead of you. And that was not easy. To pretend you were General Hammond I mean. But I never really heard what he said. I couldn't stop thinking about you either" he told her. Suddenly, he felt her lips on his.

"Imagine how hard it was for me. I couldn't even do that. I had to stare at you. Didn't you ever, notice?" she asked, her lips still pressed on his.

"Can't say as I did. I was too busy trying not to look at you" he replied.

"Well I did. And I still, do now" she said, their lips still joined. Suddenly the lights flickered on, and all the people the had expected to see earlier, sprung into the room. Daniel, Teal'c and the General were also among them. They all smiled, and whistled when they saw them on the floor, Sam on top of Jack, kissing. They quickly separated their lips and smiled sheepishly.

"Of course we know why you want time off, and of course you can have it! All you want!" They all yelled happily. Jack and Sam finally got up, and quickly had a photo snapped before they had time to say anything.

"You mean?" they began.

"Yes! This was all set up for you two! We are all so happy for you both. Have a good holiday!" Daniel roared with excitement, and watched as smiles spread over both their faces. They said nothing, but kissed again. Everyone watched and whistled again. Jack and Sam smiled, but ignored their chants. General Hammond walked over to them and placed a hand on each of their shoulders. Reluctantly they separated their lips.

"You can have as much time as you like off" the General told them. They both smiled.

"Thanks General" they said in unison.

"Your welcome" he replied. "Come on people. Let's leave these two lovebirds alone" he told everyone. There was an enormous emphatic sigh, obviously due to the fact they wanted to have some sort of celebration, and not have to work. Slowly, the people all traipsed out of the Conference Room, until eventually it was empty, and they were alone again. They held each other in their arms and smiled.

"Well Mr. O'Neill. What are we going to do with ourselves on our well earned time off?" Sam asked.

"I don't know Mrs. O'Neill. But I'm sure we'll manage something. If not. We can always stay home."

"True. Well, we'd better go home then huh? No time to loose" she said, looking up at him and joining their lips. "I love you" she whispered on his mouth.

"I love you too" Jack replied.


Well, what'd ya think? Hope you liked it. Any suggestions, comments or constructive criticism, e-mail me, Thanks a bunch! *Nutty1*

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