When she was with Pete, the answer was definitely "yes". When she was in his arms, when his mouth was on hers or travelling along a course pre-plotted by his mind along her jaw and down her neck. The answer was definitely "Yes."

When he looked at her with such tenderness, with such love in his eyes. When he cracked a joke and made her laugh, when he was lying beside her in bed at night, when she could hear his breathing in her ear and feel his heart beat against her back.

The answer then was "Yes".

When she was with Teal'c or Daniel, or sometimes them both if they chose to confront her together, the answer changed to a "maybe" or a "possibly" - depending on the question, depending on her mood. Depending on how long it had been since she'd last seen Pete.

"Can he make you happy?"


"Is there a chance you're making a mistake?"


She wasn't so certain when she was around them. They had their doubts and their doubts fed her doubts and she usually ended up feeling confused and unsure and then her answer was a solid "Maybe" or sometimes a "Possibly".

"I don't know" was the answer she gave her father when he heard the news. They'd sat in her lab all night discussing the situation, burning the midnight oil - and the 1am, 2am, 3am oil - and still by morning her answer was "I don't know."

"I know you love him, Sam, but are you in love with him?"

"I don't know."

"Will you be happy with the decision you've made in ten years time?"

"I don't know, Dad. I just don't know."

And then there was the General. Jack. General O'Neill.

When he bumped into her in the corridor and that strained smile appeared on his face. When he stared at her with that 'I want you to be happy and I'll always be there for you' look in his eyes that she was never quite sure was really there or just a figment of her imagination.

When he joined the team in her lab or the commissary and Pete's name cropped up in the course of the conversation and he grimaced slightly and changed the subject, excusing himself a few minutes later as though he'd let enough time pass to fool them into thinking he genuinely had to go.

When he stood on her doorstep in the pouring rain and asked if she was alone.

When his hands tangled in her hair and she could feel his heart pounding in time with hers as his lips burnt her skin.

When he pulled back and gazed into her eyes and asked if he should leave.

When the lay together entwined in her bed, his arms around her, anchoring her to him as though he was afraid someone would try to take her away.

When he kissed her neck and asked if she could have been happy with Pete.

When he woke her up a year to the day later, his expression serious, his eyes displaying the raw emotion he felt, the doubt and the fear and the hope.

"Do you regret choosing me?"

And the answer with him was always the same, always the one she could utter with absolute certainty and absolute truth.


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