Title: Seven Days- The Return home
Season: Season 4
Spoilers: Only my story so far, Mis-Adventures of Jack and Sam
Rating: PG-13
Category: Hurt/Comfort, Angst, General SG-1 Story

Chapter 1

"Colonel, how are you feeling this morning?" Janet Fraiser asked with a smile as she walked into the infirmary. All of SG-1 were now officially out of danger and while secondary infections were always a possibility, Janet felt confident she could treat those with a strong course of antibiotics. Her favorite team was back and that was always half the battle.

All three of her patients held a healthy temperature of at least 98 degrees, were breathing on his/her own, and were blissfully sleeping in peace. Well almost all of them.

"A tad bit Antarctic if you really must know." Jack said with a sigh. The drugs he had been given had helped ease the pain in his ribs and head, but he couldn't stop the involuntary shivers that coursed through his body every couple of hours. He knew it was probably some phantom, PTS symptom, but he didn't particularly like it.

Janet nodded compassionately. "It'll go away in time Colonel. You feel up to a little company? I sent Teal'c back to his quarters late last night but promised him a visit in the morning. He sat with all three of you for most of the last 24 hours."

"I'm sure he did." Jack said quietly. His face broadened into a wide smile as a nurse showed Teal'c inside SG-1's "suite".


"Colonel O'Neil it is good to see you awake."

"It's great to BE awake Teal'c! I hear you stayed behind with Daniel on the planet. You probably saved his life getting him back to the Stargate." Jack said with complete sincerity.

"I'm glad at least one member of SG-1 managed to steer clear of this place! Don't get me wrong Doc, you're the best, it's just the less I see of this place the better."

"No offense taken Colonel." Janet said jotting down notes in his chart.

"I am sorry I was unable to stop DanielJackson from giving so much of his blood." Teal'c remarked in a somber voice.

"Not your fault Teal'c." Teal'c's sense of honor was just about as high as Jack's himself. Jack knew he'd be beating himself up.

"I know this. And yet I am still troubled. How are Major Carter and DanielJackson?"

Jack looked warily at Janet for an answer.

"They'll be fine Teal'c. I expect them to wake up later this morning." Teal'c nodded his head slightly as he sat down. "I will wait if that is not a problem."

"Never is Teal'c. I'm sure they'd appreciate that."

"Colonel, you up for a short debriefing? The General, and quite a few others would like to know what happened to you and Sam on that planet."

Jack sigh deeply and instantly regretted the act as his ribs flared in pain. Might as well get it over with. It wasn't so much the debriefing that troubled Jack, as how he would react the retelling of the story. He knew his emotions were still pretty raw.

Jack shrugged. "Might as well. It's not like I'm going anyplace."

Janet gave Jack a small smile and patted his leg. "It will be fine Colonel."

"All right folks, time for everyone to take a break." Janet said in a normal conversational voice. Although nothing militarily sensitive happened on this mission, she knew the Colonel and General would appreciate the privacy.


"Yes, O'Neill?"

"You should stay." Teal'c nodded somberly. "Heck, " Jack continued you might know more of this story than I do!"

"I doubt that Colonel." A voice said from the doorway.

"Good to see you General." Jack said with a nod.

"I can say the same to you Colonel. You had a bit of a rough time on that one."

"Carter, more than me Sir." Jack said with a frown.

"Dr. Fraisier, I'd appreciate if you stayed as well."

"Certainly General." Janet said putting down Jack's chart and taking a seat.

Holding his water cup like a talisman, Jack began the debriefing. In a steady voice Jack explained how he and Carter had headed south and how everything had been normal until they had both fallen down the hole. At first, Jack was able to keep his emotions in check, but as his story progressed his calm demeanor crumbled and Janet became worried this was becoming too much for him. It just wasn't possible to hide one's emotions when you're attached to a heart monitor.

Janet bit her lip as she listened to the Colonel's description of Sam's injuries while her eyes remained focused on the heart rate monitor. 95, 100, 115. Jack tried to keep his eyes on the General but found he kept glancing furtively again and again at Sam. How could she still be alive? He was one damn lucky son of a bitch that's for sure. And yes, he thanked whatever snake-less gods there were that they had made it. He paused in his narration to take another breath.

The General and Janet exchanged glances. Jack really wasn't in any condition to continue. But just as Janet opened her mouth to say so, Jack began to speak again. This time his voice was calm and collected and very matter-of-fact as he retold how he had used both morphine and Tylenol with codeine to control the pain. He didn't give out all the details, but he mentioned how Sam had passed out several times due to pain and how he had used up the last of the antibiotics 2 days ago.

He glanced again at Sam, and Janet was glad to see his heart rate had settled back down to somewhere in the 70s.

"She's fine you know Colonel." Janet assured him after she caught him glancing Sam's way again.

"I know." Jack said with a strained sigh. "It's just hard to believe." He took another breath and continued. After 15 minutes his version of events was nearly at completion.

"The last thing I remember is letting go of the ledge and hitting my head. The next thing I know, I'm here." Jack let out a small "whoosh" of air as finished his tale and tried to find a more comfortable position.

"Sure would like to know how I busted my ribs though." He said a bit crossly as Janet helped him with his pillow.

"That would be my fault Sir." A faint voice said from the bed next door.


All three voices said simultaneously as Teal'c released one of his rare smiles.

Janet quickly walked over to where Sam lay and checked her vitals.

"Everything looks normal Sam." Janet said with enthusiasm. "Welcome back!"

"It is good to see you awake Samantha Carter."

"Thanks Teal'c! It's good to BE awake." Sam said with a little more enthusiasm than she felt. She had heard most of the Colonel's story and didn't like that version any better than living it the first time. She glanced over at the Colonel and found her eyes locking on his. Jack stared right back at her.

Janet helped Sam with some water and after a little rearranging, allowed Sam to sit up slightly. Janet really wanted to pull the drape close and examine Sam more carefully, but grudgingly admitted it could wait until after the General left.

"Major, I know you just woke up, but if you're up to it, I would like to hear your version of events after the Colonel fell into the water."

"General, I really don't think that's such a good idea. I'd really like to wait..."

"No, Janet. I'm fine." Sam said gingerly touching the bandages across her chest as she sat up a little straighter. The room gave a brief spin, but quickly stopped. Sam could feel the effects of morphine and perhaps something else in her system. She frowned slightly. "I could use another blanket though." Maybe a couple. She still felt cold.

Janet didn't like the idea much, but like Jack, Sam could be quite stubborn if she wanted too. Best to let Sam talk a little now and then shoo everyone away.

"No more than 10 minutes General." Janet said with a sigh tucking another heated blanket around Sam's thin body.

Jack just continued stared at Sam in silence. She was alive and talking and rosy pink. He had never seen anything more beautiful in his life.

Sam greedily drank a second glass of water and took a moment to get her bearings. Jack I mean the Colonel was on her right looking at her as if she were a priceless work of art. She gave him a brilliant smile, which he immediately returned. She then spied what could only be Daniel lying in the bed next to the Colonel. Sam creased her eyebrows in confusion and concern.

Jack instantly knew what was worrying her. "He's fine Sam. Lost a little too much blood but he's going to be just fine. Right doc?" He worded it in a way he hoped would convey to Janet that Sam shouldn't worry herself as to how Daniel had come to be so grossly anemic.

"Right Colonel." Janet said understanding completely.

"Major?" The General prompted. He wanted to finish the debriefing as soon as possible and allow his people some rest.

Sam never was much of an actress and her version of events held much more emotion than O'Neill's. Sam had to stop several times in her narration to make eye contact with Jack. It helped calm her own rapidly escalating heart rate as well.

"So let me get this straight Major." The General said as she finished her 5-minute version of events.

"Hypothermic and wounded, you managed to haul yourself at least 50 feet to where the Colonel had fallen into a very cold body of water. You then dragged a man twice your weight out of said water, performed CPR, hauled over gear, and then managed to cut the wet clothes off the Colonel before wrapping the two of you in blankets?!"

Sam looked down at her fingertips and nodded.

General Hammond shook his head in disbelief, marveling once again at the tenacity of this team. One uses fishing line and a sewing needle to save the other's life and then the second goes ahead and does something equally impossible.

"Well done Major!" What more could he say?

With that, Janet shooed everyone out of the infirmary and ordered Jack and Sam to both try and get some sleep.

They were now left alone and found themselves staring openly at one another as machines whirled and wheezed around them.

"Nice to see you Major!" Jack said with a grin.

"Nice to be warm Sir!" Sam said snuggling further into her blankets.

"So...." Jack started.

"Sorry again about the ribs Sir. I knew I had heard a crack, but I was just trying to get you breathing again."

"Ah for crying out loud Carter! You saved my life!! What the heck you apologizing for?"

"Sorry Sir"

"There you go again."



Sam let out a small laugh. God it was good to be home.

"So how long have we been here?"

"About 36 hours I think. They found us on our 6th day in that cave and I came to for the first time early this morning.

"Wow." Sam said amazed.

"What part are you wowing?" Jack asked.

"They found us yesterday morning?"

"More like afternoon I think. Around 12 or so? Something like that. Why?"

"That means we survived another night in that cave. I really didn't think we would Sir. "

"You did good Carter." Jack said with a big yawn.

"You too Sir. We wouldn't have been found at all if it wasn't for you setting up the antennas."

"I don't know about that. Seems Danny had found some sort of device that would have located us eventually."

"Maybe. But I don't know if they would have found us in time if it hadn't been for you." Sam let out a yawn herself.

"Sleep Carter, we'll compare notes more when you wake up. Maybe by then Danny will join in our slumber party."

"Night Sir." Sam said closing her eyes. She wasn't quite sure why she still felt cold and she really needed to stop thinking about asking the Colonel to cuddle with her. She felt strangely out of sorts. Like the Colonel belonged spooned against her back. 'Stop it Carter!' They were back on Earth. Totally inappropriate. Sam shivered again. She was very tired. And if she really thought about it, she didn't feel so great either.

"Sam?" Jack asked sleepily from his bed.

"Hmmm?" Sam asked already half asleep.

"Just how much of my clothes did you cut away?"

Sam didn't answer his question right away. "Sir, why weren't you wearing any shoes?"


"When I ...found you. You were shoeless. And sockless as well."

"I couldn't get a grip on the rocks with hiking boots." Jack said his voice falling away. His feet! He hadn't even asked Janet about his feet. Without a semblance of grace Jack kicked away his blankets and tried to take a look at his toes without bending his torso.


"Sir! Stop that! You'll hurt yourself" Sam didn't know whether to laugh or be serious. The Colonel looked ridiculous in his short hospital gown attempting to examine his toes."

"Help me out here Carter!" Jack beseeched. "What do you see?" He stuck his left leg out and wiggled his toes in Carter's direction.

"Definitely gangrene." Sam said seriously trying to keep her eyes focused solely on the foot.


Sam laughed. "From what I can see Sir, your foot looks pretty battered but all the digits are accounted for." That and Jack still has nice looking legs. Focus, Carter. Focus.

Jack tucked his leg back under the cover. "Glad to hear it." He said gruffly attempting to reposition his pillow without success. He yawned loudly, the brief surge of adrenaline was gone and Jack could feel his eyelids closing against his will.

"I guess you were thinking ahead by not putting on your extra pair of socks earlier."

"What?" Jack said once again totally confused.

"After I ... revived you." Sam said softly. "I had to go back for the sleeping bag and blankets. I also discovered a pair of discarded wool socks. They had been in your bag the entire time. After I got you out of the wet clothes, I put on the dry socks."

"I'd forgotten about those." Jack said to himself.

"Glad you did Sir." Jack smiled and then yawned again. Useless battle. His eyes had already won.



"You didn't answer my question."

"You sure you want to know Sir?" Sam said with a touch of flirtiness.

Jack swallowed. Nope. Don't want to know.


"Enough to know you prefer boxers to briefs." Sam said was a small smile.

"Did ya see my appendix scar?"



"Good night Sir."

1300 Hours

Daniel's POV

Voices. OK. Voices are good. Especially when they belong to people I know. OK. Guess that means I'm alive. Alive and apparently surrounded by people I know. This is also a good thing. Death by blood loss was NOT how I had planned to exit this world. Or any other worlds come to think of it.

"I need some more warm blankets over here!"

Janet. That's Janet's voice! Which means I am most likely in the infirmary. Which would also explain why I don't actually feel so bad. Drugs. I like Janet's drugs. Well, truth be told, I like Janet. The very same Janet who is going to be really pissed at me. Uh huh. Big time. Maybe I should just go back to sleep? Wait. Am I awake? Yes? Well, verify this Dr. Jackson. Opening eyes...now.

Nope. That didn't work. So apparently I am NOT actually conscious. Does this mean I am talking with my unconscious self? Or maybe I'm becoming schizophrenic? I'll have to think a bit on that one. Can I do that asleep? Let's give it a shot! After all, I'll be awake and listening to one of Janet's safety lectures soon enough.

Jack's POV

Of COURSE it would be one of Doc Fraiser's goons that wake me out of a hell of a nice dream. Human pin cushion my ass! Wonder if Sam actually owns a red bikini? Hmmm. Don't think I should think about that in a public hospital bed. Or at all. Stupid regulations....

"I think Dr. Jackson is waking up Ma'am."

Good. It's about time Space Monkey woke up. Have to admit I was a bit surprised to see him hanging out with Carter and me in the infirmary. I have a hard enough time dealing with one injured teammate- I don't want to worry about two. Especially when one of them is like a brother to me and the other is... well, definitely NOT a sibling, but someone pretty damn important.

S'pose I should open my eyes and join the land of the living. Wish I didn't feel so warm.... Huh? Aren't I supposed to be cold? Uh oh. I think I'll try the sleep thing again and hope that I wake up feeling nice and... normal. Be gone oh evil bikini thoughts!

Sam's POV

Cold. I shouldn't still be cold should I? I just want to go back to sleep and wake up warm. I hope Daniel is ok. He nearly died because of me. As did Jack. Stupid drugs. Can't think clearly. Have to tell Janet to lower the dose.

Wish I wasn't so cold.

Sleep. Sleep is good.

"Daniel!" Janet said enthusiastically as Daniel successfully opened his eyes. He blinked in the harsh light and tried to bring the fuzzy room into focus. Janet efficiently helped him put on his glasses and stared at him in good spirits. By the look on Daniel's face, he knew exactly where he was and what had happened. He also knew WHY he was there. He had the look of a puppy that had had a little accident and was hoping he wouldn't get yelled at. Janet just laughed.

"Daniel, if we weren't so damn happy to see you alive and looking sheepish there would indeed be hell to pay." Daniel raised his eyes hopefully. No lecture?

"Don't you ever, EVER do anything that stupid again." Janet said with genuine anger. "Yes, you probably saved Sam's life, but you nearly lost your own and that would not have been acceptable. Do I make myself clear Dr. Jackson?"

"Yes ma'am." Daniel said with complete sincerity. "Are Sam and Jack ok?"

"Alive and kicking Danny-boy." Jack said in a gravelly voice. "Well, kicking in the proverbial sense that is. Apparently my feet aren't too pretty at the moment. "

"Jack!" Daniel said beaming from ear to ear as he turned to face the older man. He felt the tug of an IV and was dismayed to discover just how many needles and machines were attached to him.

"Yep, they got you pretty well hooked up there Dr. Jackson." Jack said noticing Daniel's apprehension.

"You're not exactly needle free yourself." Daniel said a little crossly.

"True. But I just spent a week in a cold cave. I'm SUPPOSED to be in need of a little IV happiness. Wonder if I can streamline beer? That would make me loads happier!" Daniel laughed. Teal'c just raised an eyebrow.

"Colonel! Please tell me I did not just hear that." Janet said from across the room.

"Dr. Fraiser, you did not just hear that." Jack parroted back to her.

Janet rolled her eyes and turned back towards Sam. Once again Sam had turned over onto her side and had curled herself into a tight ball. Janet was worried about her friend and wondered if she was going to have to call Dr. McKenzie at some point. A belly wound was always quite painful, but Sam had made no mention of the pain. Janet frowned and made another note in Sam's chart.

"DanielJackson, I am glad to see you awake." Teal'c said joining in the conversation.

"I'm pretty certain I have you to thank for that Teal'c." The Jaffa nodded his head slightly in acknowledgement. "You saved my life Teal'c. I'm sorry I didn't tell you how sick I was really feeling."

"You did what you thought was necessary to help a teammate and friend. I understand this."

"He might understand it, but you were still wrong Daniel." Jack said angrily trying to find a comfortable position. "So the next time one of us is bleeding to death, just slap a bandage on and haul our asses out of there, ok?"

"Come on Jack!" Daniel said a little angry himself. "You would have done the damn same thing as me and you know it." He paused, shooting Jack a look of vexation. "Especially considering it was S.." Daniel stopped realizing he had nearly stepped over the Line That Was Not To Be Crossed. Daniel just looked in the direction of the sleeping Samantha Carter. Jack wanted to say more, defend himself against an action that he hadn't even taken, but decided to just let it drop. Public hospitals were rarely the best places for talks like that.

"You would have done the same." Daniel ended petulantly. Jack said nothing. After all, what could he say? The kid was right.

"How's Sam doing, Jack?"

Jack sighed. "Doc says she's going to be alright, but it's going to be a long road Daniel."

"I know." Daniel said quietly. "I found you both Jack. Lying there all bloody and barely breathing." Daniel closed his eyes to block out the unbidden images. "I thought we were too late."

"But you weren't Daniel." Jack said firmly. "You did good and saved our asses yet again."

"Just returning the favor Jack." Daniel said smiling slightly. "Has Sam woken up yet?"

"Yeah, she was up for a bit a couple of hours ago. Seems ok, considering." Jack glanced at Carter's bed. "But I'm still worried. She was in a bad way for a long time Danny."

"She's safe now Jack. You both are." Leave it to Daniel to know exactly what to say. Jack yawned. Sheesh! At this rate he'd be able to stay awake longer than 30 minutes by next Tuesday.


"Hmmm?" Jack said once again succumbing to the pull of sleep.

"You feeling ok?"

"Just peachy Daniel."

"'Cause you look like hell."

"Gee, thanks Dr. Jackson."

"Seriously Jack. You look feverish. Have you talked to Janet?"

"Dan-iel!" Jack grumbled from his bed. "I just have too many heated blankets on me. I'm fine."

"Whatever you say Jack." Daniel said not convinced. Jack grunted and closed his eyes. He knew Daniel was right but really, really didn't want more nurses poking and prodding him. Maybe he'd ask Teal'c to slip him a few more Tylenols. Yeah, right. As if THAT would hold back infection. Jack sighed. Within moments he was fast asleep.

1500 Hours

Daniel blinked and realized with a start that he had been asleep. Someone had removed his glasses so once again the Infirmary was awash in blurred images. Carefully reaching to his left he located his lenses and put them on just in time to see a Corpsman arriving with a tray of food. Daniel was famished and sat up straighter in anticipation to a good meal. Well at least a warm meal anyhow.

Jack was still sleeping, and not too peacefully it appeared. He was mumbling into his pillow and didn't seem comfortable at all. And then there was Sam. She was still lying curled up on her side burrowed under several thick blankets. She too didn't look like she was having pleasant dreams. Daniel wished they had been able to rescue them quicker, wished they hadn't had to live 5 days in cold and pain but was very, very grateful that they were here now.

"Join me for lunch Teal'c?" Daniel asked as the tray was set down next to him.

"I have already eaten my mid-day meal DanielJackson."

"Grab a tray anyhow Teal'c." Daniel said in a stage whisper. "I'm hungry."

Teal'c raised one of his highly communicative eyebrows and accepted a tray of food from the orderly. He set it down on the stand next to Daniel's bed.

Daniel greedily ate his bland chicken and rice and gulped down both helpings of jello and fruit cup. He was pretty certain he hadn't had a decent meal in a couple of days. And judging from his headache was in desperate need of some coffee as well. He knew Teal'c would get it for him, IF he hadn't already been told not too. Most likely Janet had already enlisted Teal'c help in keeping Daniel from said coffee. Nope, in cases like this it was best to tempt fate and hope for the best.

He pushed the button next to his bed and was ecstatic to see another nurse appear and not Janet. Daniel DID need to talk to Janet, but Nurse P.Y.T. would work just fine.

"Are you feeling alright Dr. Jackson?"

"Actually, I feel pretty good. I'm sorry to bother you, but I was wondering if Dr. Frasier was around." The nurse nodded and was about to say something when Daniel interrupted her. "Oh! And if it wouldn't be too much trouble, could I possibly get a cup of coffee?" The nurse was a young woman and relatively new to the SGC. She melted like butter under Daniel's doe-eyed gaze.

"I'll let Dr. Frasier know you wanted to see her and see if I can rustle you up a cup of coffee."

"Thanks Gina." Daniel said reading her nametag. "French roast if possible."

Daniel was blissfully sipping his coffee when Janet walked in.

"Daniel Jackson, that had better not be coffee in your hands!"

"Ah, come on Janet, one cup won't kill me."

"Daniel, coffee is a diuretic. And you nearly died from blood loss. Diuretics are NOT what this doctor ordered."

Daniel hung his head in defeat and after one last gulp of the scalding liquid, handed the offensive cup over to Janet. Janet shook her head in disgust.

"You've been hanging around Jack too long Daniel. That was positively sneaky asking a young nurse to circumvent my standing orders." Janet sighed. Daniel used to be the model patient but after a few years under the guidance of Colonel Jack O'Neill he had become adept at having food smuggled in and sweet-talking the nurses. Although UNLIKE Colonel O'Neill, the nurses all found Daniel absolutely adorable. The Colonel could be scary if he chose to be. Ever seen a wounded lion? Jack O'Neill doesn't take infirmaries well. Speaking of whom...

"Janet, I wanted to talk to you about Jack."

"I was just about to go check on him Daniel. Why? Is there something wrong?"

"I think so. He'll be pissed if he hears this came from me, but I think he's sick Janet." Seeing Janet's look of 'Duh, of course he's sick!' look Daniel quickly explained further. "I think he has a fever."

Janet quickly walked over to Jack's bed and expertly placed the end of an electronic thermometer in his ear. It took three seconds to beep and during that time Janet had already assessed that Jack O'Neill most definitely had a secondary infection. He looked like hell.

"You're right Daniel. Unfortunately. Temp is 102 - way too warm."

Janet was about to order a new round of tests and stronger antibiotics for Jack when Samantha Carter let loose a piercing scream.

Jack's eyes instantly flew open and before he was even aware of it, he was out of bed and on his way towards Sam. Unfortunately he was still tethered by several plastic tubes and wires.

"Carter!" He shouted. In Jack's fevered head he was back in the cave and Sam had just tripped over the stove again. He had failed her the first time but he wasn't going to fail her this time. Pushing Janet roughly aside, Jack brutally ripped out all offensive medical restraints and headed in the direction of Sam's bed. He had only taken a few steps before gravity and his injuries took over and Jack fell gracelessly to the ground.

"Colonel!" Janet shouted as she tried to steady Jack on her own. Less than 20 feet away, another nurse was assisting Sam. Daniel flung his covers off to help, but it only took one scathing look from Janet to convince him that he should stay put.

Teal'c quickly joined Janet and took the limp but conscious Jack O'Neill off her.

"Sam!" Jack yelled again as firm hands gripped him on both sides.

"She's fine Colonel." Janet assured him as she tried to lead him back to his bed. "It was just a bad dream." From the corner of her eye, Janet could see that Sam had indeed fallen back into a troubled sleep.

"Have to help Sam." Jack said again as he fought against Janet and Teal'c. Jack O'Neill on a good day might have been able to push Teal'c aside, but in his weakened condition he was no match for the Jaffa and the diminutive doctor.

"I need a hypodermic over here!" Janet yelled as she and Teal'c led Jack back to his bed. He might not have the strength to leave on his own, but he was fighting them with everything he had.

"Carter!" Jack yelled in anguish. He hadn't heard anything from her since the original scream and feared the worst.

"Colonel, she's fine." Janet said soothingly. Unfortunately it had little effect.

"I'm trying Sam!" Jack cried, struggling in vain to be free of Teal'c strong arms. "Hang on Sam! I'm coming."

"I need that god-damn hypodermic NOW people!" Janet yelled angrily.

"O'Neill, you must cease your fighting."

Jack froze. "Teal'c?" He whispered.

"It is I O'Neill."

"Sam's hurt Teal'c. We haveta help her."

"Major Carter is safe O'Neill."

"She's ok?" Jack said as Janet pricked him with a sedative.

"She is."

"She was so badly hurt Teal'c." Jack said in a tearful voice as he began to slip back into sleep.

"She's better now Colonel. You just need to concentrate on getting well yourself."

"Doc?" Jack asked staring incomprehensively at Janet. "How'd you get here?"

"Sleep Colonel. We'll watch Sam for you."

"k." Jack gave up the struggle to stay awake and allowed his eyelids to close. Within seconds he was deep in sleep.

From the next bed over Daniel lay stunned and swiped his eyes furiously as he cursed whatever gods there were that his friends had to go through this. At least they would not be alone.

"Janet?" Daniel said in a gravelly voice only vaguely reminiscent of his own.

"He'll be o.k. Daniel. They both will." Janet said meeting Daniel's worried glaze. "Try and get some rest, all right? I need to see to the Colonel here."

Daniel nodded. Rest? Right. As if that would happen anytime soon. What the hell had just happened? He had never, ever heard Jack sound so desperate. And that scream. Daniel knew that tormented scream would be haunting his nightmares for the next several weeks.

Janet held back her own emotions as she switched into her "Dr" mode and efficiently cleaned and bandaged the Colonel's arms. She could feel the heat radiating from his body and softly explained to the nurse at her side what tests needed to be done and what drugs should be administered. Janet was pretty certain the Colonel had pneumonia. A pretty common secondary infection but one she was hoping not to see. She ordered a chest x-ray after listening once again to his lungs.

Yep. Just like she thought. His lungs sounded congested and the sudden spiked fever and chills were all classic symptoms of bacterial pneumonia. Most likely caused by something in the water he swallowed. The tricky part would be to keep the Colonel from coughing. With broken ribs that could be deadly. Janet sighed and lightly touched Jack's face. "We'll fix you up Sir." She said softly.

Samantha Carter was in hell. Or at least a close facsimile there of. Every time she closed her eyes, Sam relived the agonizing moments she went through on the planet. She felt not only her physical pain, but also the psychological as her psyche told her again and again how she wouldn't be able to save Jack from freezing to death. How she wouldn't be able to resuscitate him. How she had actually made him worse by performing CPR.

Sam knew this to be a lie but she couldn't escape the nightmare that it might not have been. She might have killed him. She herself might have died. And the pain was still very, very real.

Intellectually Sam knew she should ask Janet to give her something more for the pain, but she wouldn't do that. Wouldn't tell Janet how good she had felt after using that entire ampoule of morphine on the planet. How much she had hurt after the effects faded and how much she craved more relief. More morphine. Anything to stop the horrific pain.

Sam shut her eyes tightly and held herself very, very still. If she didn't breathe too hard she could almost imagine she wasn't hurt. Almost. She heard Janet approach her but remained still. Eventually she fell back into a troubled sleep, her eyes moving rapidly in REM sleep.

"Dammit!" Janet Frasier said as she observed the spike in Sam's heart rate for the third time that hour. 'She needs to calm down!' Janet slapped a hand on her thigh as she stood up. "That's it, Samantha Carter. You may not want it, but I have to give you something to help you rest."

'And if you get some rest,' Janet thought. 'Then I think I might be able to as well.'

"Gina," Janet said motioning to the younger woman. "Give Major Carter 5 cc's of Valium and notify me if there is any change in Colonel O'Neill's condition. I'll be sacked out in my office."

"Yes Ma'am."

"Oh, and Gina?"


"Don't let Daniel talk you into any more coffee, ok?" With one final look at her injured charges, Janet walked out of the infirmary door and down the hall to her office. Within 30 seconds she was sound asleep.

1800 Hours

"Dr. Fraiser! Wake up!"

Janet bolted straight off the couch. "I'm up!" She declared blinking her eyes rapidly. "What happened?"

"It's Colonel O'Neill Ma'am. We're having problems stabilizing his temperature and his stats don't look good at all. We thought you'd want to know."

"Damn right I would." Janet said grabbing her stethoscope and heading out the door.

She arrived just in time to see a pale and unconscious Jack O'Neill start to convulse. From the corner of her eye Janet could see a Daniel looking very worried and Sam continuing to sleep.

"Temp!?" Janet yelled as she expertly pushed Jack's head back and placed some cotton gauze between his lips.

"105 F"

"Way too hot." Janet said to herself. "We need to get his temperature down ASAP." Janet said to the two nurses and one orderly in the room. "I need a portable tub and some ice. NOW people!"

Daniel watched once again helpless as Jack was stripped of his clothes and placed in a stainless steel tub. He never said a word as he was then covered with bag after bag of crushed ice, the only sign that he was even alive the slight movement of his chest and the way his neck lolled from side to side. As soon as his body was completely covered with ice, Janet took his temperature. 104 F.

Janet let out a breath she didn't know she was holding. This was going to work. It might be extreme and old fashioned but it was going to work.

After several tense minutes Jack began to stir. Slowly he opened his eyes and stared incomprehensively at Janet's worried face. He felt wet and very cold. He looked down and frowned. Were those ice cubes?

"Colonel, you have a very high fever. You are currently in an ice bath to help bring your temperature down."

Jack looked back up and opened his mouth to talk. A small cough escaped his lips and Jack froze in pain as his broken ribs contracted around his lungs. The small cough gave way to deeper coughs that racked his body excruciatingly. Jack writhed in pain, still submerged in the ice bath.

Firm hands gripped him under the ice and he heard Janet's voice telling him to breathe slowly and concentrate on the sound of her voice. He felt a small pinprick against his arm and instantly a great weight was released from his chest. Jack softly sighed as he carefully opened his eyes. Janet was easily able to read the question left unspoken in his eyes.

"Pneumonia Sir." Janet said as she once again took a temperature reading from the Colonel's ear. (103) "Your fever spiked and we needed to get you cooled down as quickly as possible. The pneumonia will be especially painful and dangerous to you Sir because of your broken ribs. It would be best if you refrained from speaking for the next 48 hours. That should be enough time for the antibiotic cocktail I'm giving you to start to work."

Jack nodded slightly. "Cold." He mouthed looking down at the ice cubes.

"We won't keep you in any longer than necessary Sir." Janet said sympathetically as she observed the Colonel begin to shiver from the cold.

"Just a few more minutes Sir." Janet said as she started to turn and walk away. Jack's arm shot up out of the ice quicker than anyone would have thought possible as he grabbed Janet's arm to stop her. She turned back around.

"Sam?" Jack mouthed looking frantically back and forth between Janet and Sam's bed.

"She's fine Sir." Janet said amazed at the depth of emotion the Colonel held for her best friend. "She's sleeping." Jack closed his eyes and sighed softly. Several minutes later he was taken out of the tub and dried off before being put into a fresh hospital gown. It was truly a sign of how sick he had become, that he offered no resistance to the assisting hands. He still had a slight fever but the initial danger had passed.

Janet looked around the ward. Daniel sat stiffly in his bed staring at Jack while Sam STILL remained asleep. Janet frowned again, she needed Sam to wake up and talk to her. She was pretty certain Sam wasn't really sleeping but rather passing out from intense periods of pain and that was not an acceptable. Sam needed to be on a careful regiment of pain medication right now and Janet didn't want to do that without Sam's help.

She walked over to Daniel's bed and picked up his chart.

"Jack will be fine this time Daniel." Janet said honestly. "We got his temperature down and the antibiotics should alleviate the worst of the symptoms very soon."

Daniel nodded, still not taking his eyes off of Jack's still form.

"He's sleeping Daniel. Something I would like you to do as well. You are getting better quickly Janet said with a smile. "I imagine we'll have you out of here in another day or two." Daniel nodded again, still not smiling.

"He will be fine Daniel." Janet assured him as she placed a warm hand on his arm. "I promise. Try and get some rest." Daniel inhaled deeply and nodded still not trusting his voice. Moments later he too was fast asleep.

2300 Hours

The Infirmary was deathly quiet when Daniel awoke for the third time that day. He could hear the synchronized beeps of the heart monitors from Jack and Sam's bed as well as various whirls and beeps from other machines but otherwise the Infirmary was still. Not a single nurse in sight.

Daniel put on his glasses and was quite happy to see his IV had been disconnected sometime while he slept. He lifted up his blankets, and looked under his gown- catheter was gone as well. Daniel smiled.

"Thank you Janet." He whispered into the silent room. He had long since stopped fighting against the nurses and their desire to stick tubes into various orifices, but that didn't mean he liked it. And he was ALWAYS glad when they were gone.

This meant Daniel was mobile! Carefully he sat up and took stock of his situation. Weak, still tired, incredibly hungry and thirsty but otherwise doing pretty darn good. Could use a cup of coffee, but wasn't even going to attempt that one. At least not while still in the infirmary.

Suddenly Daniel remembered Jack and what had happened earlier that day. Whipping his head sharply to the left Daniel was glad to see his friend resting much more comfortably in dry clothes and not an ice cube in sight. He could hear a faint wheezing coming from Jack every time he exhaled, but it didn't seem to be causing him much discomfort. Daniel could only see the top of Sam's head across the infirmary and decided he wanted to see how she was doing personally. No sign of Teal'c- Janet must have kicked him out earlier.

Carefully he eased his legs out from under the covers and onto the cold infirmary floor. He scowled as he tried to tighten the flimsy gown behind his back. Using the bed as leverage, Daniel gingerly stood up and after only a slight wobble headed in the direction of Sam's bed.

Sam lay curled on her side, her brow covered in a fine sheen of sweat as her eyes moved rapidly in her private dream world. She had begun to make soft mewing noises and Daniel was afraid that she'd wake up screaming again and wanted to stop that particular nightmare from happening again.

"Sam?" Daniel said softly touching Sam's arm. Sam's rapid eye movement ceased as she opened her eyes a fraction with a light moan.


"I'm here Sam." Daniel said continuing to touch her arm as he eased himself into a seat next to her bed.

"I hurt Daniel." Sam said struggling hard not to cry in front of her friend. She hadn't met to say that, but it was the first thought that had jumped into her head and Sam had been unable to not articulate it.

"Let me get a nurse." Daniel said starting to stand.

"No!" Sam cried grabbing a hold of his arm. "No, drugs." There was a look of utter fear in her eyes.

"Sam, you're in pain. That's what drugs are for- to help take away the pain."

"I can't Daniel." Sam said tightly closing her eyes to keep the pain at bay.

"Why can't you Sam?" Daniel asked simply giving Sam's hand a gentle squeeze.

"The nightmares are back Daniel."

"What nightmares?"

"From before. From Becky."

"I don't understand Sam. Who is Becky?"

Sam swallowed the dry lump in her throat and glanced at the water pitcher to her left. Daniel poured her some of the water and carefully helped her to drink a bit of the liquid. Sam closed her eyes again and Daniel thought she might have fallen back asleep. Several long moments later she began to speak.

"Becky was a friend of mine in high school. Although my dad moved around a lot when I was a kid, he did manage to stay 2 years in San Diego when I was a teenager. I met Becky shortly after we moved there and by the spring of our Junior year we were best of friends.

Becky was everything I wasn't Daniel. She was strong and daring and constantly driving her parent's crazy with her actions. She got into UCLA on a Volleyball scholarship.

During spring break, Becky and I were bored out of our minds one day and decided to play a game of Truth or Dare. The Dares kept getting crazier and crazier and before long I had dared Becky to climb to the top of the old Elm tree next to her house. The tree was ancient Daniel and at least 20 feet high.

A branch near the top gave way and Becky fell to the ground. She had broken her collarbone in two places and crushed one of the vertebrae in her back. Surprisingly, this didn't paralyze her, but her volleyball playing days were over."

Sam closed her eyes again as tears began to involuntarily trickle down her cheeks. Without saying a word, Daniel grabbed a tissue and gently blotted the tears away. Sam gave him a small smile.

"I was with her all the time Daniel. I helped her with her homework and spent hours watching movies with her. I would notice her taking the pills but assumed it was prescribed and what she was supposed to do. It WAS prescribed, but it shouldn't have been. By the end of the summer my friend was addicted to pain medication and no one seemed to be able to get her to cut back.

She grew bitter and violent Daniel. She would scream at me, 'What do you know of pain Samantha Carter?' And she was right! I knew nothing of pain, and occasionally I would be the one who helped get her a vial of morphine or pick up her latest illegal prescription of percocet. Right after Becky took one of those pills, she would be almost normal again- joking and laughing and telling me how she was bouncing back. She told me the drugs kept her sane.

We tried to get her into rehab Daniel, but she didn't want to go. She broke off all contact with her family and friends and a few weeks before my high school graduation they found her dead from an overdose in an alley behind the school."

Sam had begun to softly cry now and Daniel carefully pulled Sam into his arms as sobs racked her thin body. The physical act of crying hurt, but the emotional catharsis was necessary.

"Sam," Daniel began gently stoking her back. "It wasn't your fault. You know that don't you." Daniel felt Sam nod slightly against his chest. "So what is it Sam?"

"Daniel, Becky needed the drugs to function. And when we were in that cave, and I fell that first time..." Sam had begun to shake in pain and terror of the memory. "I fell Daniel, and I hurt like nothing I had ever experienced before. Nothing mattered but making the pain stop. Nothing. Daniel, I injected myself with an entire vial of morphine!"

"Sam, you were in pain. That's what morphine is there for- to take away the pain."

"You don't understand!" Sam sobbed hiccupping against his chest. "I needed the morphine and felt the most wonderful sense of relief after taking it."

"Sam," Daniel said gently pulling the battered woman away from his chest. "I know a little something about addiction, remember? And needing morphine when you are in serious pain is NOT the same thing as craving morphine when you are not."

"But I did crave it Daniel! Jack apparently had to use the last vial on me in order to repair some stitches and afterwards I wished he hadn't. I wished he had saved it because I knew I would hurt so much more later. And I did Daniel! I hurt!" Sam had begun to cry again and Daniel was unsure if she was hurting in the past tense or the present.

"Sam, you WERE hurt. You ARE hurt. You DO need medication to alleviate that pain. You need it Sam. Not psychologically, but physically. And it's perfectly ok to need it."


"No. Sam, listen to me." Daniel said shifting his weight away to create more distance. "I will not allow you to become addicted to pain medication, all right? I won't Sam. And neither will Jack. We will be there for you."

"Promise?" Sam asked in a small voice as tears streaked down the sides of her face.

"I promise Sam." Daniel said with total conviction. "You need that medication right now Sam- let Janet give it to you."

"I hurt Daniel." Sam said closing her eyes and leaning back into the bed. "I hurt a lot."

"Let us help you Sam."

"o.k." She whispered as her eyes closed and Samantha Carter once again fell back to sleep. Only this time it seemed a little restful.

Daniel tenderly tucked the covers around her and using a cloth by the side of the bed, cleansed her face with cool water. Sam sighed in her sleep. Daniel felt utterly drained as he slowly made his way back to his bed. He thought back to all the times Sam had been in the infirmary (not even half as many as he himself) and realized that she had almost never been there longer than a few days, and had never really had to deal with long term pain management before. Daniel rubbed the bridge of his nose as he pressed the "help" button by the side of his bed.

"What can I get you Dr. Jackson?" Dr. Williams asked.

"Is Dr. Frasier still on base?"

"She's sleeping, but yes, she's still here. Is there something I can help you with?"

Daniel knew Dr. Williams to be a competent doctor but for this, he needed Janet. "Could you get her for me please? It's important."

The doctor needed only to look into Daniel's eyes to realize the futility of denying him this request. "I'll get her right now Doctor Jackson."

"Thank you." Daniel said sincerely, leaning back onto the soft pillows. He suddenly felt very, very tired. He'd rest soon, but first he needed to have a little conversation with Janet.

Jack couldn't help grinning as he helped himself to another beer from the fridge. It might have taken two weeks, but he was home. Four little letters and yet it meant more to him than anyone could possible imagine. Except maybe Daniel. Speaking of whom..

The tentative knock could be heard before Jack had even finished his thought.

Right on time Dr. Jackson! Jack thought with a smile. He plopped himself into his favorite chair, turned on the TV using the remote and sighed audibly as ESPN came on. Hockey!

"It's open Daniel!" Jack yelled over his shoulder twisting off the cap of his beer.

"Hey Jack."

"Daniel." Jack said tipping his beer slightly in Daniel's direction. "Help yourself to the beverage of your choice. I might not have done any serious grocery shopping yet, but I am well stocked on three different types of beer, fresh coffee and plenty of frozen pizzas."

"Happy to be out of Janet's clutches, are we?" Daniel said dryly heading to the kitchen.

"Hey, I'm allowed to be a little giddy! You've been out for nearly a week now and I had to wait nearly that long before they'd let me shower by myself!"

"I'm sure the nurses were ecstatic." Daniel said in mock seriousness.

"Daniel..." Jack growled holding up a hand in an effort to stop Daniel from continuing.

"Sorry Jack."

They sat in comfortable silence for several minutes.

Daniel thought Jack should be happy Janet had let him leave at all! Jack's pneumonia had been bad. The fever had spiked twice more after the ice bath and Jack had remained in a "deep sleep" for nearly 48 hours. Janet had assured everyone it was not a coma, but it was too damn similar to one for Daniel's liking. After Jack had woken up, it had taken him another 24 hours before he felt like talking more than half a dozen words. That was a bit unnerving. The unflappable Jack O'Neill had been silent. No wisecracks or pleading with the nurses for smuggled in contraband. No complaining about being laid up and no whining about when would he be allowed to leave.

He'd wake up, ask about Sam and then go back to sleep. Janet had to badger him constantly to get Jack to start eating solid food again. It was only two days ago that he'd finally snapped out of whatever state he had been in and started enjoying the act of eating again. Daniel was pretty certain there was a whole underlying psychological phenomenon at work here, but was confident Jack would work it out. With a little help from his friends that is.

"So how are you feeling Jack?" Daniel asked lightly.

"Like I want to punch the next person who asks me that question." Jack responded back in a singsong voice. "You've been out for over a week Daniel, you've forgotten how utterly glorious it is to not have someone taking your temperature every four hours, or how liberating it is to wear clothing that DOESN'T come to your knees."

Daniel laughed. The one size fits all gowns were a bit embarrassing for him and he was a good two inches shorter than Jack.

"Hey, I brought your jammies as soon as they released me." Daniel said indignantly.

"And for that Danny-boy, I am quite thankful." Jack said tipping his now empty beer bottle in his friend's direction.

"Any word from Teal'c?" Jack asked.

"Yeah, he's still on Chulak and enjoying some time with his family. He was happy to learn that you had been released from the infirmary and is looking forward to more SG-1 missions as soon as you and Sam are cleared for duty again."

Jack frowned slightly at the mention of Sam's name. Carter. She was still at the SGC. Still hurt. Although thanks to Daniel, Sam was doing much better. No thanks to himself though. Jack knew he was being ridiculous as there wasn't too much he could do, what being encased in ice cubes for hours on end and all. He honestly didn't remember much of his first week in the infirmary, just being worried about Sam and hurting. Jack didn't even remember over-reacting at one of Sam's nightmares but had heard several different versions of the event from various nurses.

Jack was awfully glad Daniel had been there for Sam. A shadow crossed his face as he rubbed his eyes thinking again about how much pain Sam must have been in those first few days. Her fear of addiction had been unknown to everyone at the SGC. Jack wondered if Jacob knew. Luckily Daniel had been there. Once again it had been Daniel who had saved the day, the guy might be the most accident-prone member of SG-1, but he was also the one who saved their asses on more than one occasion.

"I miss her." Jack said spontaneously without even thinking about how it might sound to his friend.

"Me too."

Daniel knew that something had happened between Jack and Sam on the planet. Considering the extent of their injuries, it wasn't anything sexual (yet) but whatever limbo he and Sam had been in for the last year or so was definitely gone. Rules and regulations still existed, but Daniel wasn't all too sure that either one of them cared so much about them anymore. Or maybe they just cared about one another more.

"Hey Jack!" Daniel said enthusiastically grasping onto an idea.


"Want to be sneaky?"

"To quote my much beloved grandfather Daniel- 'Is a bluebird blue'?"

"I have an idea on how we can pay Sam a visit tomorrow AND get her away from the clutches of the medical staff."

Jack's face broke into a grin that was quickly replaced by a worried frown. "Is Carter up for that yet?" Although Jack had seen Sam the day before, it hadn't been for that long. After his little "bout" with pneumonia, they had moved him into a special room with "richer O2 levels" (whatever THAT meant) and he had been isolated from Sam for the remainder of his stay in the infirmary.

He knew Sam was getting better physically but he also knew she still had nightmares. At least she was allowing Janet to treat her for the pain. Sam had received nearly 100 stitches across her torso and Jack still cringed thinking about how horrific her wound had been. How horrific her wound is. Knowing he saved her life with the little fishing line and sewing needle farce had helped alleviate any guilt he might have at marring her *creamy silk * skin.

"She's still pretty beat up Jack, but unlike some people I know, she has been lucid and conscious for nearly two weeks and has reached the stir-crazy stage in her convalescence. I betcha I can convince Janet of the psychological advantages to allowing her to spend an afternoon off-base with her teammates."

"Really?" Jack said unconvinced.


"Well then Dr. Jackson, I say you give the good doctor a call and work some of your multiple phd magic on the lady."

"Can I wait until half time?" Daniel asked with a grin.

"It's hockey Daniel. They're called periods." Jack said rolling his eyes.

"Whatever." Daniel said with a smile.

Jack smiled as well. It was good to be home.

Samantha Carter awoke at 0500 determined to get herself into a shower. She had been badgering Janet all week about allowing her a real, honest-to-god shower and Janet had promised she could take one soon. Well soon was going to be today! Janet had left around 1900 last night and Sam knew she wouldn't be back until after she had gotten Cassie off to school. Due to a minor emergency off world, most of the SGC medical staff was otherwise occupied which left Major Sam Carter free to break a couple rules.

*knock knock knock*

Daniel Jackson cursed in three different languages as he hauled his sleep-deprived body towards the door. Couldn't Jack wait until a more decent hour?! Stupid military...

*knock knock knock*

"Coming Jack." Daniel mumbled putting on his glasses. He opened the door to find an uncharacteristically nervous Jack O'Neill smiling sheepishly back at him.

"Hey Daniel. Brought you some of the Blue Mountain stuff you like." Jack said passing over a steaming 20 oz cup emitting a most wonderful aroma.

"You sure know the way to an archaeologists' heart Jack." Daniel said taking the cup and stepping aside so Jack could enter. It was damn cold out.

"I know it's early Danny, but if our plan is going to work, we need to catch everyone before they're wide awake."

"But shouldn't I be awake Jack?"

"Come on, go get dressed. We're leaving in 15."

"Aye, aye Colonel." Daniel said giving Jack a sloppy salute.

Sam felt a little guilty pulling out her IV, but Janet had said she was going to take it out later today anyhow... Seeing as the IV was on her right arm, it was a little harder than she had expected. Damn. I'm going to have a nasty bruise later.

Carefully, using the bed rails for assistance, Sam pulled herself upright and over to the edge of the bed. Her stomach muscles screamed painfully at her but Sam was determined to get clean. Perhaps if Harrison Ford (circa Empire Strikes Back) had been her nurse it would have been different, but being sponged down by female friends was rather awkward and a tad bit humiliating. The first week or so Sam hadn't been in much of a state to complain, but now she was aware of everything that was going on and was determined to have a solo bathing experience.

Once upright Sam walked over to the footlocker across the room and pulled out the bag with a set of spare clothes and toiletries. Cassie had actually been the one to bring them over to her last week. Sam knew better than to attempt to dress in button fly jeans and a pull over shirt, but thought a change of sweats and a button down flannel shirt should be easy to do. Smiling she headed out the door towards the locker room.

Daniel was awfully glad Jack was driving, he was pretty certain he'd have driven them into a ditch by now. A storm from was moving into the region and the forecasters were predicting 6 inches of snow by this afternoon. The roads were slick with black ice. Jack drove with skill and ease as if the conditions were nothing. Must be all the time spent in Minnesota during his formative years.

Sam couldn't help but grin as she turned on the water and stepped under the luke warm spray. As much as she would have loved a hot shower, Sam had decided to follow the majority of Janet's instructions and kept the water a little warmer than tepid. This of course made the shower a little cooler than she would have liked, but ah! A shower! As Sam tipped her head back to get her hair wet she realized that she had forgotten to take her pain meds prior to leaving the infirmary. This wasn't going to be the most comfortable of showers.

"Jack! Where are you going?!" Daniel whispered as Jack veered to right. "The infirmary is this way."

"Danny, why are you whispering?" Jack asked in a normal voice.

"Because we're being sneaky! And sneaky people always whisper." Jack rolled his eyes.

"Tell Sam I'll be there in a few minutes, I just gotta get something from my locker."

"Shit!" Sam cursed as the soap ran into her eyes. Washing her lower body had been a piece of cake. It was much slower going than usual, but she had successfully washed and rinsed both legs and most of her body up to her hips. She wasn't going to touch her abdomen. Some of the stitches had dissolved while others glared up at her in glistening black rows. She shuddered every time she ran her fingers lightly across the wound. The arms had been a little more difficult and her back damn near impossible but Sam had successfully been able to pour the shampoo onto her head. It was the washing of the hair part that was proving problematic. As Sam reached up to lather her hair, she pulled the stitches on her torso taut and her stomach muscles screamed at her to stop. Sam had doubled over to catch her breath and totally forgotten the glob of shampoo slowly moving across her head. That is until it had begun to drip down her forehead and into her eyes.

"God dammit!"

Jack froze in front of his locker. Shit! That was a woman's voice! He knew three teams were off world and no one was scheduled for a de-briefing this morning. He never even looked to see if the sign had been flipped over to indicate a woman was present. Time for him to leave.

"Dammit." This time the voice was soft and sounded close to crying.

"Um, you ok in there?" Jack yelled from behind the security of the wall of lockers.


"I forgot to check the sign. Sorry about that. I'll be leaving now."


Ah man! That was Carter!

"Carter?" Jack yelled taking a step forward but stopping well before the shower stalls began.

"Fancy meeting you here Sir." Sam said in an attempt at humor. Jack could hear she was in pain.

"Carter, what are you doing here?"

"If I have to explain showering to you Sir then I think I understand why you don't go out much."


"Sorry." Sam was silent for a few moments as she attempted once again to lather her hair. "Dammit!" Sam felt like crying. Not only did it hurt but she just couldn't seem to reach the top of her head.

"Carter, are you all right?"

"No." Sam said angrily sinking to her knees under the luke warm spray. The water efficiently rinsed the shampoo from her head without really washing her hair.

"No?" Now Jack was worried.

"Sir, do you still have one of Daniel's handkerchiefs?

"Yeah." Ok, it was official. Jack was confused.

"I need your help Sir and there is no way in hell you are rounding that corner without your eyes covered."

"I could close my eyes." Jack offered.

Sam scoffed and then grimaced in pain. "Right. I'm certain you wouldn't look at all."

"I wouldn't!" Jack said haughtily. "I'm an officer and a gentleman."

"Sir, I trust that you would honestly try to keep your eyes shut, but all the same, I think it would be better for both our sakes if you had them covered."

Jack went to his locker and pulled out the dark blue cloth. What could he say? She was right. He walked towards the showers and turned around as he stepped into the stall area. With his back facing Sam he tied the handkerchief securely around his eyes and slowly turned back around. He took a step forward and could feel small droplets of water around him.

"What'cha need help with Carter?" *Oh god, please don't be with washing your body. I'm just a guy Sam.*

Sam wanted to laugh. A blindfolded Colonel was going to help wash her hair. A blindfolded Colonel who had already seen her naked several times in the last month and one she wouldn't mind seeing naked herself... Stop it Samantha!

"Sir, I need help washing my hair."

Even blindfolded, Sam could see the way the Colonel raised his eyebrows in question. "Sam, don't the nurses help you with that? I do remember a few sponge baths during my ever so lovely stay here last week."

"Yes Sir, they do. But I wanted to take a real shower. I haven't felt clean since we got back and really, really.." Sam couldn't help it; she began to cry.

"Ah Sam, don't cry." Jack said awkwardly trying to pat her shoulder and only touching air. "I'll help you, just tell me what you want me to do."

"Sorry for the waterworks Sir." Sam said sniffling as she carefully reached down and grabbed the shampoo bottle.

"No apology necessary Carter. I know how tough this has been on you. On both of us actually." Silence filled the steamy bathroom for several long seconds as both pondered Jack's words. Sam smiled as she gently shook her head at their situation. What a pair they made!

"I need for you to follow my instructions perfectly, ok Sir?"

"OK, but nothing kinky, all right?"

Sam laughed. "Oh, all right. Sir, I need you to take two small steps forward and hold out your hand."

Jack did so and soon felt a small puddle of shampoo being poured into his hand. He could also feel water all around him and cursed silently at not removing his shoes.

"Now Sir I need you to raise your arm so it's level with the top of your head."

Once Jack's hand was raised Sam took a step forward and positioned herself under Jack's hand. As Jack stood there patiently, Sam questioned whether this was a wise move. Probably not. She really should turn around, but it would be easier to direct him if she could see him.

Jack nearly jumped at the closeness of Sam's voice as she instructed him to lower his hand towards her head. He knew she was facing him and his eyelids actually itched knowing she was a bare and wet and only inches away from him. Breathing deeply he lowered his hand until it touched Sam's head and carefully added his second hand to assist.

Silently he lathered her hair and tried not to think about how incredibly erotic this whole thing was.

Silently she stood there as her hair was gently lathered and tried not to think how incredibly erotic this whole thing was. God, it felt good to have a man wash her hair again. How long had it been? Sighing contentedly Sam closed her eyes. (To keep the soap out of course) Minutes passed as Jack thoroughly, gently and intimately massaged her scalp and lathered even the small hairs on the back of her neck. His fingers tenderly brushed suds away from her ears and Jack resisted the temptation to play with her lobes. Suddenly he laughed breaking the erotic atmosphere.

"Sir?" Sam asked opening her eyes.

"Sorry Carter." Jack said with a smile still massaging her head. "I was thinking about Ferengis and their ear lobe fetish." Sam couldn't help but laugh as well. She reached up and stilled Jack's hands.

"I'm going to rinse Sir." Jack took a step back. "Ok."

Sam stood under the water and carefully moved her head back and forth until she felt all the suds were gone. She couldn't quite reach her hands up to check but felt confident that most of it was out. Time for conditioner.

"Same idea Sir, only this time it's conditioner."

"I'm a pro at this now!" Jack joked.

Jack efficiently smoothed the conditioner into Sam's hair and tried not to breathe in too deeply. Damn if that stuff didn't smell good.

"That should be it Sir. I can rinse it out on my own in a few minutes."

Jack nodded. He knew he should take a step back and turn around but it was hard to do so. He knew what he wanted to ask but also knew how inappropriate it would be. No. Sam might not be able to reach the top of her back, but there was no way in hell he could convince ANYONE (including himself) that he was just being helpful. Nope. It was time to go.

"Sure Sam. See you in the infirmary when you're done?"

"Sounds good. Then you can tell me what you're doing here. Not only is it quite early, but I'm pretty certain you're still on medical leave."

"Actually Danny and I have come to spring you outta here for the day. We'll tell you all about it after you.. uh, finish up." Yep, it was official. Jack felt like an ass.

"Sir if you could see me now, you'd witness a gigantic smile. I would love to leave the SGC, even if it would only be for the day."

"Sam, if I could see you now, I'm pretty certain I'd be the one with the big-ass smile."

"I'm going to rinse now Sir." Sam said smiling as she turned around and put her head under the shower.

"I'm outta here." Jack said turning around himself and taking a few steps forward. He cursed as he walked into the wall and took a smaller step to his right. Resisting the urge to look behind him, Jack took off the blindfold and rounded the corner towards the lockers. He grabbed the book he wanted and bounded out the door towards the infirmary.

"Geesh Jack, what took you so long?" Daniel asked as Jack walked through the infirmary doors.

"Sorry." Jack said offering no reason why he was delayed.

"Jack? " Daniel asked looking down at Jack's feet.

"Yeah?" Jack said slightly distracted as he wandered around the infirmary picking up medical instruments and setting them back down.

"Why are your shoes wet?"

"Hmmm?" Jack asked nonchalantly looking up as he stuck his hands in his pockets.

"Your shoes Jack," Daniel said pointing. "Why are they wet?"

"Must have stepped in some water while in the locker-room." Jack said staring straight at Daniel, nearly daring him to ask for details.

Daniel just stared back. Something was up with Jack but he wasn't in the mood for guessing games so he decided to just let this one lie. Maybe he'd recruit Sam for a little assistance in the Mystery of the Wet Shoes later on.

Dropping his defiant gaze Jack took a closer look around the room.

"Daniel? Where the heck IS everyone?"

"Well, while you were busy getting your feet wet I took a little tour of the base. Tuesday mornings at 6:30 am are not usually a super busy time but today the base seems to be only lightly manned."

Jack frowned at the news. The military part of him wanted to know what the hell was going on and where the hell everyone was. But the on-leave part of him just wanted to grab Carter and go.

"I guess I should try and find out what happened." Jack said grudgingly.

Daniel nodded. A USAF Colonel could ask a lot more questions than a civilian.

"While you're at it Jack, see if you can find out what happened to Sam. It looks like she slept in the bed here in the infirmary but outside of some nasty looking IV needles- I can't find her."

"I'm sure Carter is fine Daniel. I'll be right back."

Daniel stared quixotically at his departing friend. It was very unlike Jack not to be worried about a team-member. Especially Sam. Daniel sighed and sat down in a chair to wait.

Jack headed to the control room and breathed a sigh of relief when he found Sgt. Siler manning the Stargate.

"Good morning Sergeant!" Jack said cheerfully.

Siler nearly fell out of his chair as Jack entered the room. He had just sent the last of the technicians needed off world and wasn't expecting to see anyone for a while.

"Colonel O'Neill! It's a surprise to see you Sir. "

"I can see that." Jack said wryly as the Sergeant hastily rearranged some papers he had knocked to the floor. "So where is everyone?"

"P3X-909. And it isn't everyone Sir, it just appears like that right now. At 0300 this morning we got a distress call from a research team on the planet. It seems that one of their members had come down with a sickness and it was rapidly spreading to the native peoples. We sent nearly all of the on-staff medical personnel soon thereafter. About an hour ago I heard back from them and was told to send some more people through this time with quarantine materials. It seems we need to quarantine our people from the Lathoians."

"The folks who like to wear all the feathers?"

"That's them Sir."

"How serious?" Jack asked concerned. And where was General Hammond??

"We seem to have everything under control Sir. According to Dr. Wallace, basic antibiotics seem to help the locals tremendously. Now we just need to cure our own boys and bring everyone home safe and sound. "

"And the General?"

"He should be in within the hour. Seems his daughter decided to have another baby last night." Siler said with a grin.

"I thought she was getting pretty close!" Jack said with a smile. Satisfied that everything was under control he headed back to the infirmary.

Jack nearly collided with Sam as he rounded the corner of the infirmary. She had successfully rinsed her hair and was now dressed in loose grey sweatpants and a long sleeve button down shirt. Her feet were still bare and her hair damp.

"Hey Carter." Jack said with a small smile.

"Sir." Sam acknowledged with a small head nod. "Daniel was just telling me that you guys are here to spring me for the day."

"Yup. Grab your boots and mittens 'cause it's a little nippy out."

"What about Janet?" Sam asked a little worried.

"She's not invited."


"Don't worry Carter, I'll leave a note."

Sam was pretty certain one of them would be in serious trouble by the time the day was over but she was itching to leave base and knew she wasn't strong enough to do so alone. Sighing she sat down on a chair and reached for her boots, only to gasp audibly at the motion.

"Sam, are you ok?" Daniel asked concerned. Both he and Jack quickly moved to Sam's side.

Sam released a shaky breath. "I'm fine guys, I just moved too fast."

"Uh huh." Jack said unconvinced. "Pain meds?"

"No really Sir, I'm all right." Neither one of them looked like they believed her.

"Tough crowd." Sam muttered under her breath. "Fine! If you must know, I can't really bend down right now and that means lacing up my boots is a bit out of my league at the moment." Sam was noticeably blushing, embarrassed at having to rely on her friends for something as insanely simple as tying her shoes!

"You got the right one Daniel?"

"Yep." Daniel said holding up aforementioned boot. "Geesh Sam, your boots are nearly as large as mine!"

"Well you DO only have a couple inches on me Daniel." Sam said matter-of-factly.

"Worry not Carter, your feet are nowhere near as large as mine." Now it was Jack's turn to blush. He SO did not mean to imply anything except foot size here.

Jack was done before Daniel had barely gotten Sam's foot in the boot. Daniel shot Jack an incredulous look.

"Lots of practice helping Charlie put on his shoes." Noticing his teammates' discomfort Jack added, "Plus I've been in the military since I was 17 and have had lots of practice lacing up boots."

"Done!" Daniel said giving Sam's knee a playful slap and helping her to her feet.

"Did you really leave Janet a note Sir?" Sam asked going to one of the lockers and taking out a small bag.

"Of course! Well, I haven't actually written it yet- but I will do so right now."


Needed Carter for some team building exercises. Will return her safe and sound this evening. My idea so try to keep the lectures solely on me, ok?

Have a great day!

Colonel Jack O'Neill

The trio successfully made it up the elevators and through the checkpoints without any complications. Daniel eyed the sky warily.

"You sure the weather is going to be ok Jack?"

"Define ok?" Jack said with a grin admiring the ominous dark gray clouds.

"Extreme cold, wind, white out conditions.. all of which most definitely belong in the "not o.k. column."

"Wimp." Jack said under his breath.

"Hey!" Daniel said indignantly. "I resent that. Just because I spent my formidable years in sunny warm climates doesn't mean I have necessarily acclimated completely to Colorado's."

"Daniel, you've lived here nearly 5 years." Sam added stuffing her hands in her pockets. It was pretty cold out.

"Sam!" Daniel whined. "I thought you'd be on my side."

Sam grinned. God, it was good to be back with her team.

"We might get a little snow Daniel, but it won't be a big thing." Jack said with a shrug. "Promise."

Daniel hmmphed and walked behind Jack's jeep to the back door. He wanted Sam to have the "privilege" of riding in the front seat with Jack O'Neill.

After making sure that his charges were securely belted in (there WAS black ice out) Jack turned to face Sam.

"Carter, are you sure you're up to this?" Colonel Jack O'Neill asked for the second time since "springing" her from Janet's infirmary.

"Absolutely Sir!" Sam said with a little more enthusiasm than necessary. Truth be told, she DID still hurt, but after 2 weeks under the care of the SGC Medical team, Sam was desperate to get away. She actually hoped that a change of scenery would help alleviate the nightmares.

"Ok then. I won't ask anything more but..."

Sam groaned audibly.

"What would you like for breakfast?" From the backseat Daniel grinned. God, it was good to have Sam back.

Jack's everything omelets beat out Denny's Grand Slam breakfast, --barely.

First stop was at a local market to get ingredients and other assorted previsions. Jack did indeed notice that a lot of other people were buying up staple products like toilet paper and spam. Maybe there was something lurking in that approaching storm front....

Next was the video store.

"Pick out any movie you want Carter." Jack said as he opened the front door for Sam.

"Any movie Sir?" Sam said with a sly grin.

"Sheesh Carter, we're off base and in civies, could ya please try and not use the rank thing so much?" Jack tried to sound light-hearted but both knew that every time Sam used 'Sir' or 'Colonel' it reminded both of them of their places in the grand scheme of things.

"I'll try S..Jack." Jack tried to ignore the bolt of pleasure that shot through him as she said his name. He was so whipped. Not a legitimate kiss between them and already he was whipped. Pathetic!

"Oh and Carter? No alien movies please."

"No alien movies. Gotcha." Sam said gravitating towards the drama section.

"And no mushy chick flicks." Sam rolled her eyes and headed towards the latest release of NOVA films.

"Uh, Sam?" Daniel said from the neighboring row of films. "Could you steer clear of scientific films as we well? I know quantum physics is fascinating and all but..."

"Relax Daniel!" Sam said laughing slightly. "I'm just checking the credits to see if a friend of mine was mentioned in the latest Stephen Hawkings film.

"Sam," Jack said from over her shoulder as she picked up a film about colonization of Mars. "Try and keep the film on terra firma would ya?"

Sam rolled her eyes.

"And no snake films! " Jack insisted as he allowed her to shoo him off to the far side of the store.

"That includes worms Carter!" Jack yelled from across the rows.

Sam shook her head as she ticked off all the films she wasn't allowed to watch. She spent a moment thinking and then picked out two films she was certain they wouldn't object too.

Once in the car the questions began.

"Come on Sam, just tell us what you got!" Daniel asked giving her his best puppy dog eye look. That might have worked on the nurses of the SGC but Sam was made of stronger stuff than that. Not to mention that she viewed Daniel like a brother and little brothers could seldom coerce their strong-willed sisters into giving in.

"Patience Daniel. I'll tell you this though; this film has no snake, worms or aliens and takes place on the planet Earth. Plus it is definitely NOT a chick flick and hasn't an iota of science within it."

"Hey! What'd I tell you about using science Carter?" Jack said without turning his head from the road. "This is a science-free day."

Yes Jack." Sam said smugly.

Yep Jack thought to himself. This would be a very good day indeed.

Once back at his house, Jack was quick to put everyone to work. Sam was in charge of cutting up the fresh fruit while Daniel busied himself with washing the vegetables. Once clean, Daniel began opening drawers in search of a nice paring knife when Jack surprised him by pointing to the closet. Inside housed a beautiful, state of the art food processor. Daniel was absolutely shocked to discover that Jack had a high end Cuisinart.

"Jack?!" Daniel said aloud staring incomprehensively at the food processor.

"You'll need to plug it in Danny to get it to work." Jack said with a smile.



"You're a soldier!"

"Figured that out huh?" Jack said holding back a grin.

"And you have a Cuisinart!"

"That I do. And it's mine too. Not an unwanted wedding gift or something." Seeing the incredulous looks on both Carter and Daniel's faces Jack decided to come clean.

"Yes, I cook!" He said with an air of resignation. "And I like it!" He growled expertly cracking an egg with one hand while whisking it into a bowl with the other. "Anyone got a problem with that?"

"No Sir."
"Not me!"

"I thought not." And with that Jack went back to his omelet making.

"God Jack that was delicious." Daniel said pushing away his plate and pouring himself another cup of coffee. The trio had been sitting around the table for nearly two hours talking and eating.

"I'm certain I gained at least a pound after all that good food Si.. Jack." Sam said with a little awkwardness.

"Hey, I'm just following the doctor's orders." Jack said holding up his hands.

"Sir?" Sam asked forgetting the no ranks rule. Jack just smiled. He couldn't expect her to lose 5 years of habit in one afternoon.

"I'm sure she gave you the same lecture Carter."

"Ah, the loss talk." Sam said with a knowing nod.


"Would someone care to fill in the poor clueless person here?" A confused Daniel Jackson asked.

"Sorry Danny. I forgot that you didn't need to have "The Lecture" like Carter and me. Hey Sam what was your final number?"

"Eight. And you?" Sam might have problems saying 'Jack' but she could lose the ubiquitous Sir without too much difficulty.

"Ten. How the hell that happened is beyond me. We were only gone five days.."

"Well you at least were running around! How'd I lose so much sitting on my ass and bleeding all over the place?" Luckily Sam said this in such a way as to not cause either one of them to dwell on the seriousness of her injuries.

"Hey!" Daniel interrupted waving his hands in front of him. "Confused person over here? Wants details?"

"Sorry Daniel." A smiling Samantha Carter said. "The Colonel and I lost a significant amount of weight on P3X-711 and Janet told both of us she wouldn't clear us for duty until we gained most of it back."

"Yeah- and it didn't help matters that we were still a little on the thin side after that lovely thank you feast given to us by the natives of that swampy planet." Jack said fixing Daniel with a dirty look.

"Hey! How was I to know they liked to cook with a lot of raw eggs?" Daniel asked indignantly.

"Oh we know that Daniel." Sam said pleasantly. "But we still find it a little..offputting that you had to head back to the Stargate before eating the meal and thus missed out on some of the worst food poisoning the SGC had seen in quite a while.

"The doc made me haul around an IV bag for over three days!" Jack grumbled.

"It wasn't my fault the Tok'ra needed my immediate help with a translation." Daniel wined.

"We know Daniel. We know." Sam said with a grin. It was SO good to be out.

"So basically Janet told both of you to eat a lot of foods high in fat and cholesterol?" Daniel asked cocking his head to one side.

"Uh-huh." Jack and Sam shared a smile.

"You'll make some woman quite happy Sir." Sam said contentedly leaning back in her chair and patting her stomach gently. Instantly she realized what she had said and mentally kicked herself. The carefree mood was shattered and Jack stared at her intensely before abruptly standing up and collecting dishes.

**Shit! Why'd I say that?! Good going Carter.

Daniel watched the silent interaction between his two best friends and shook his head sadly. Would they ever get a break?

"Jack, I'll do the dishes, you try and get Sam to pony up the movies!" Daniel said with a little too much enthusiasm.

Sam bit the inside of her cheek as she stood up. **Gotta find a way to take some meds soon. After weeks of basically lying down, sitting for a few hours wasn't going over too well. Sam knew she should just take some pain pills but really didn't want to do so in front of the guys. She knew this was silly but she couldn't help it.

"I'll show you the movies choices AFTER a visit to the bathroom." Sam said with a slightly forced smile. Her teammates were not fooled in the slightest as she grabbed her bag and slowly walked to the bathroom.

"Daniel, Sam gets the couch o.k?" Jack asked as he finished clearing the table.

"Absolutely Jack. She's been up for a good 6 hours now and I betcha anything she is hurting and in need of a little nap."

"I just hope she's playing it smart and taking her meds." Jack turned to face his friend. "Should we ask her?"

"I'm sure she's in there right now taking something Jack. Let's trust her on this one."

"So do you two have any guesses as to this morning's movie selections?" Sam asked lightly as she grabbed her orange juice glass and headed into the living room.

"No worms, snakes, aliens or girly mush and it takes place on the planet Earth?" Jack recapped as he popped open a beer and plopped down in his favorite armchair.

Daniel gave a very good Teal'c impression as he raised an eyebrow at Jack's beer. It WAS only 11 o'clock in the morning.

"Good source of carbohydrates Danny." Jack said raising his beer in a toast.

"None of that." Sam confirmed as she gingerly lowered herself onto the couch.

"Please tell me you didn't pick out a Disney film." Daniel asked with a slight shudder.

"Ooo, 'Lassie Comes Home' was always one of my favorites." Jack said sarcastically.

"Really Jack?" Daniel asked missing the tone of Jack's voice completely.

"No Daniel." Jack said patiently taking another swig of his beer.

"Most definitely not a Disney film." Sam confirmed laughing.

"Modern or Classic?" Jack asked.


"Would I have heard of it?" This was a Daniel question.

"Daniel, most of the inhabitants of North America have heard of this film but I cannot categorically confirm that you have." Jack snickered causing Daniel to shoot him a dirty look.

"Hey!" Jack said holding up his hands in protest. "I'm not the one who spends weeks at a time hunkered down in my office playing with rocks." Daniel decided not to play Jack's game and withheld his automatic response of "artifacts."

"You guys can argue over the title of the next film." Sam said pulling out one of the DVD boxes. "I've been wanting to see this for over a year so I say we just watch it!" She wanted to just throw the video to Jack but knew her aim would be horrid so she just slid it across the end table towards Jack.

"Sweet!" Jack declared as he read the title. "I haven't seen this one either. Great soundtrack though."

"I never pegged you for a blue-grass fan S.. Jack."

"There's a lot you might not know about me Carter." Jack said with a slightly leering grin.

"Would you two cut it out and just tell me what we're watching?!" An exasperated Daniel Jackson asked sitting down in the other recliner. He had barely resisted the urge to shout, "Get a room and get it over with!"

"O Brother Where Art Thou." Sam said with a smug grin. Daniel had to nod to himself. Yep, it did indeed fit all the restrictions. AND he HAD heard of it.

At first Sam was a little irked that no one would sit next to her on the couch. The guys were SO transparent! But soon after the crazy driver hit the poor cow she allowed herself to stretch out. The music was calming and hypnotic and Sam found herself drifting off to sleep between verses of "Down to the River to Pray."

While Daniel watched the crazy going ons of the film, Jack found himself watching Sam. He didn't mean to or want to, but he found himself constantly glancing her way. Still breathing? Check. Not bleeding? Check. Jack knew this was ridiculous as Sam was fine and mending on schedule but he couldn't help himself.

Daniel did indeed watch the film, but he was quite aware of Jack's glances at the slumbering Samantha Carter. How much longer were those two going to pretend?!


Sam awoke to complete silence. The film had ended and the DVD was sitting on top of its case with a post-it attached that said 'You conked around Chapter 3'. Sam smiled as she recognized the Colonel's precise handwriting. The drapes were still shut but the clock on the wall showed it was only a little after 1 in the afternoon. Sam still had time to play before heading back to the Infirmary. She frowned at the thought.

Carefully she eased herself into a sitting position and then using the arm of the couch as leverage maneuvered herself into a vertical one. Little spots danced in front of her eyes for a few moments but soon Sam felt confident that she could walk without falling over. Janet would KILL the Colonel and Daniel if she were to fall. Even if it was her own fault.

Sam walked into the kitchen and smiled as she spied her two favorite guys playing chess. The Colonel seemed to be holding his own against the multi-doctoraled Daniel Jackson. Sam always knew the Colonel was smarter than he led on.

"Sam!" Daniel said putting down the chess piece he was playing with and giving Sam a big smile.

"Hey Carter." Jack said still concentrating on his move. With a flourish Jack moved his queen several spaces to the right and took Daniel's rook. "Check!" He said smugly.

Daniel shook his head slowly as he re-examined the board. "That was a trap Jack... Checkmate."

"Damn!" Jack said standing up and stretching. "I nearly got you that time. Can I blame Carter for this?"


"Ah well, it was worth a try." Jack said with a shrug.

"You guys up for a different kind of game?" Sam asked pulling up a chair.

"What do you have in mind Carter?" Jack said with feigned innocence. Daniel just rolled his eyes.

"Remember that game we played while quarantined on P4X-347?"

"The planet with the addictive light?" Jack asked.

"That's the one." Sam said nodding.

"You want to play Password?!" Jack asked incredulously.

"I liked it." Daniel chimed in.

"It was fun Sir." Sam said reaching for some sheets of scratch paper.

Jack had to admit it actually HAD been fun. Actually it had been his idea and he hadn't been certain either Sam or Daniel would remember the game. Basically each team member had to think up a word- usually a noun and then use adjectives or other nouns to describe this word. The idea is to guess the main word with as few clues as possible. Stargate Password was a huge hit back at the SGC.

"But there's only three of us." Jack groused as he opened the refrigerator and took out a pitcher of iced tea. It might be 20 degrees outside but all three team members loved iced tea tea.

"We'll play off each other Jack." Daniel explained. "You and Sam try and guess my word and Sam and I will try and guess yours."

Jack nodded and then smiled. He knew the perfect word.

"Planet" Daniel said. His hints might bring up some interesting memories, but he was curious as to the responses from both Jack and Sam.

"Earth." Jack said helping himself to some corn chips. Daniel gave him a funny look. Jack never ate this much! **Guess his weight really did drop.

"Abydos." Sam was fairly certain this wouldn't be correct but it was Daniel's word after all.

"Nope." Daniel said with a flourish as he moved on to the next clue.

"Simple people."

"Hey! That's more than one word." Jack grumbled.

"Deal with it Jack."

"Guess I can't say the Tok'ra homeworld can I?" Jack answered.

"Uh uh."

"What about the Nox?" Sam asked. They looked simple although their technology was quite advanced.

"Nope- still wrong. Ready for the next hint?" Sam and Jack both nodded.

"I don't actually have to guess the planet's numbers do I?" Jack asked.

"However you can describe it Jack."

"The next clue is 'trapped'." Daniel said failing to hold back a smile.

"Edora." Sam said quietly swirling the ice cubes around in her glass.

"Not Edora Sam." Daniel said just as quietly.

"Hey!" Jack said a little taken back. "I HAVE apologized for my behavior on that one. I admit to behaving like a total cretin and Carter, I sincerely regret hurting you." His voice softened considerably. "I really am sorry Sam." Jack then looked at Daniel with a sparkle in his eye.

"Thor's Planet." He said firmly.

"Jack's right." Daniel said a little disappointed. He didn't get a chance to share the remaining clues! Thor's planet served as a refuge for the native inhabitants who lived simple lives like their Viking ancestors. Both Jack and Teal'c became trapped in a labyrinth after being mistaken for G'ould.

"My turn!" Jack said with an evil grin.

"And the first clue of the hour is.." Jack paused for dramatic flair waiting to see if anyone would guess. "Alien"

"Geesh Jack, could you BE more vague?" Daniel sighed as he guessed "Unas." Daniel knew that the name applied more to the general species than a single alien but he just might get lucky.

"I think the Colonel is trying to be tricky. How about Cassandra?"

"Wrong on both counts. Next clue is..." He paused again.

"Jack!" Daniel shouted throwing a used lemon wedge at the older man.

"Male. And the proprietor requests that the unruly guests refrain from throwing food." Daniel just rolled his eyes.

"Male alien. Well that narrows it down loads."

"Daniel, quit griping and guess. Geesh, you don't give Carter this much flack!"

"That's because Sam isn't obnoxious like you. Apophis."

Sam couldn't help but grin. She had forgotten how much fun it could be to hang out with her team outside of work. "Martin?" The geeky UFO nut who turned out to really be from another planet just might be what the Colonel had in mind.

"Nope!" Ha! Jack thought. I'm good.


The shrill sound of the telephone broke the easygoing flow of the game.

"Betcha it's the Doc." Jack said putting down his clue cards and heading towards the phone. He was halfway there before he sprinted back to the table and grabbed his cards back. "Not that I wouldn't trust either of you with my life or anything." Jack said with a cocky grin holding the cards close to his chest. "Next clue is 'bad guy'"

Jack picked up the phone on the fourth ring. "She's fine Janet." He said as he caught Carter's small smile.

"Colonel!" Janet replied over the phone. "I'd ask how you knew it was me, but I probably don't want to know. What the hell were you thinking taking the Major off base without my permission?!"

**Ooo, she does sound pissed. Jack thought.

"Jack, is it Alar, the creep from Euronda?" Daniel yelled across the room. Jack shook his head.

"Colonel, are you listening to me?" Janet's tinny voice came through on the telephone.

"I'm here Doc. Daniel, Carter and I are playing a rousing game of SGC Password at the moment." Jack paused as he shook his head again at Sam's guess of Heru-ur.

Janet couldn't help but smile, that was indeed a fun game. "Colonel," she said softening her voice. "I really was going to allow Sam to leave the infirmary later this week- why'd you have to be so damn sneaky and take her without asking me?"

"Another clue Jack!" Daniel yelled.

"Worm." Jack shouted back covering up the phone's mouth piece.

"Colonel! I head that!" Janet warned.

"You wanna guess too?" 35 miles away Janet rolled her eyes. The colonel could be incorrigible sometimes!

"Can I talk to Sam please?"

"Sure Doc, hold on." Jack set the phone gently down and returned to the table. "Ms. Carter, it's for you. Something about wanting to sell you encyclopedias..." Sam playfully slapped Jack on the shoulder as she slowly walked over to the phone.

"Hi Janet."

"Sam, how are you doing?"

"I'm fine Janet. Really. And before you ask, yes I have taken my medication."

"You had PT today Sam."

"Jan, I've been slowly walking around all day--I think that beats 45 minutes on a tread mill don't you." Sam replied in a calm voice.

"Uh, Jack? You might want to come over here and take a look at this." Daniel said from across the room. After spending most of the afternoon inside, Daniel had thought it might be nice to take a walk outside before they needed to bring Sam back to the SGC. He was a little surprised when he parted the drapes and looked outside.

Sam looked up from her phone conversation with Janet and raised an eyebrow in question. Jack shrugged and stepped around the table to where Daniel was staring out the partially open windows.

Jack casually walked over to the window and breathed out noisily through his teeth as he spied a vast sea of whiteness. "Yep- that's a blizzard." He declared turning back around and heading towards the kitchen.

"Jack! You promised me there'd be no serious weather today!" Daniel whined.

"Danny," Jack sighed running his fingers through his short silver hair. "now you know why I chose to be a Colonel in the USAF and NOT a weather person." He turned to where Sam was waiting patiently on the telephone. "Carter, we have a bit of a problem here."

After consulting the television news programs, it was confirmed that Colorado Springs was indeed in the midst of a strong weather system and the local populace was urged to stay inside. Already nearly a foot of snow had fallen in the metro area and the forecast called for 2-3 more feet later in the evening. Jack couldn't help but mutter a quiet "sweet!" He liked snow.

Janet did NOT like snow. This was one of the problems of working underground, little things like natural weather disasters tended to sneak up on you. Janet wasn't looking forward to spending the night at the SGC but was thankful that Cassie already had plans that evening as she was attending a slumber party. And she was NOT happy to learn that Sam would be unable to make it back to the infirmary.

After a short conversation with the Colonel it was decided that Sam (and Daniel) would be better off weathering the storm at the Colonel's house. Not only did he have several spare rooms, but he was also the most skilled at driving in severe winter conditions. Janet might not like the idea of her patient spending the night out of the infirmary but if it had to be done, she was glad the Colonel was with her. For purely medical reasons of course. Janet sighed and accepted the inevitable.

"If you could put Sam back on Sir."

"Absolutely Doc. I'll take good care of her." Jack said meeting Sam's eyes. "Promise." With that he handed the phone back to Sam and headed back to the kitchen.

"So it looks like you're going to spend the night at the Colonel's place." Janet said with a tease in her voice.

Sam blushed. "Yes Janet. Daniel and I will be spending the night at the Colonel's." Sam had turned around, but not before he caught the faint color in her cheeks. He raised an eyebrow, curious as to what the doctor was saying.

"Seriously Sam, you do need to apply antibiotic cream to your remaining stitches and the bandages need to be changed."

"I know that Jan." Sam said crossly idly fiddling with her hair. It had been nearly two months now since she had seen a stylist. While short hair was definitely more practical, Sam had to admit she liked the way the slightly longer hair framed her face. She might be military but she was still a woman with a few vanities.

"Do I have your word that you'll get one of the guys to assist you?" Janet asked.

"I promise." Sam said sounding like a petulant child.

"So, "Janet continued in a lighter voice, "who are you going to have help you?"

"Goodbye Janet." Sam said firmly hanging up the phone and heading back into the kitchen. It was now a little past 3 and Dr. Samantha Carter was hungry.

"So Colonel, what's for lunch?"

After a light meal of cold cuts and cheese it was decided that a short walk through the rapidly accumulating snow was in order. The snow seemed to be falling slower now, although the weather folks insisted it would increase in tempo after the sun set.

Jack made sure everyone was outfitted with mittens and hats and already had spare socks and sweat pants set aside for when they returned. He filled a thermos with hot cocoa and serendipitously packed an emergency blanket and a first aid kit into his backpack as they headed out the door. It might only be a simple walk through the woods, but Jack O'Neill knew how THAT could go. Even on Earth, SG-1 could get in all sorts of mishaps.

Jack lived at the very edge of a "developed" neighborhood and only a mile from open fields and forest. They walked mostly in silence, taking in the sights and sounds of the falling snow. It didn't take long for Jack to get bored and start a snowball fight with Daniel. Daniel was not amused but put on a good showing. He was quite proud of himself when he was able to hit Jack squarely in the forehead with a rather large snowball. Jack responded by using his military acumen to construct barricades and snow shields. Daniel kept shouting, "Not fair Jack! Not fair!" Jack would of course respond, "Love and war Danny, love and war." Sam was made referee as Jack and Daniel's snow fight grew to epic proportions. Jack was having a blast and Daniel was getting very, very wet. Sam tried hard to be neutral and not laugh too hard.

"You win Jack! I surrender!" Daniel declared as yet another snowball hit him smack between the eyes. He was awfully glad he had chosen to wear his contacts today. After over an hour of trying to better Jack, Daniel finally admitted it was impossible. Even with something as simple as a snowball fight. Jack wasn't a Colonel in the USAF for nothing.

The snow had begun to fall faster now and by the time they made it back to Jack's the sun had set, the temperature had dropped and all three were in need of a nice hot shower.

"Daniel, you can use the shower upstairs, I'll get Carter set up in the guest room down here." Jack said shaking out his parka and helping Sam off with hers. "You know where everything is, just try and leave me some hot water, ok?"

"Sure Jack." Daniel said heading up the stairs. Both Jack's room and one of the spare bedrooms were up there. Daniel had stayed at Jack's enough to know where he kept the soap, towels and even spare clothing. In fact, Daniel didn't even have to borrow any of Jack's things--he still had a pair of sweats and a t-shirt in a drawer from the last time he spent the night.

Taking his time, Daniel found his clothes and a towel and chose to go through Jack's room rather than the hallway to reach the bathroom. As he passed the bed, he spied the extra socks and sweats Jack had laid out earlier. He grabbed the sweatpants with a drawstring and a pair of socks and headed back down the stairs. The pair below didn't even hear him approach.

Jack had convinced Sam to sit down in one of the easy chairs in the living room and had started a fire in an attempt to warm her up. While he and Daniel had been busy running around, Sam had stood virtually in one place for nearly two hours. She honestly hadn't noticed how cold she had gotten until they had come inside. Now that her coat was off, Sam was visibly shaking.

"Really, Sir- I'm fine." Sam said trying to still her chattering teeth. She was embarrassed by all the attention.

"You're shaking Carter- that's not fine." Jack said in a clipped voice moving the chair closer towards the fire. A cold Samantha Carter brought back way too many bad memories. He helped her out of her drenched boots and socks and grabbed a towel to dry off her feet. He pulled up the second armchair and moved one of Sam's feet into his lap.

Sam wanted to say something more but the look on her CO's face stopped her cold. He looked scared. He was scared because she was cold. Long moments passed in silence as Jack vigorously dried her feet.

"Jack, I'm really o.k." Sam said stilling Jack's constantly moving hands. The use of his first name stopped Jack in his tracks and forced him to look up at his 2IC. Compassion, understanding and something else all mingled in her fathomless blue eyes.

"Sam, I brought you.." Daniel stopped in mid sentence at the sight before him. Jack and Sam sitting in front of a roaring fire?! His eyes danced between his two best friends and he had the good sense to NOT say a single damning word about what he was witnessing.

"Brought you some dry clothes Sam. Chose the sweatpants with the drawstring." He set them down on one of the end tables and wished he had the power to teleport back up the stairs.

"Thanks Daniel, that'll work just great." Sam said gently pulling her foot out of the Colonel's lap.

"I'll be upstairs taking my shower now." Daniel said feeling like an ass. Before anyone could say another word he bounded up the stairs and closed the bathroom door with a loud slam.

"Poor Daniel." Sam said smiling. Jack couldn't help it- he smiled too. Things might be strange for him and Carter, but at least they both knew what was going on. Well, sort of. Daniel just caught snippets.

"Shower or bath Carter?" Jack asked grabbing the sweats and socks and heading towards the downstairs bathroom.

"Bath actually sounds a little more appealing at the moment." Sam said honestly. Lying down in a tub of hot water sounded heavenly.

"Bath it is!" Jack said as he quickly left the living room and headed to the relative sanctuary of the bathroom. UST. That's what it was. Unresolved sexual tension and it was going to drive him utterly insane.

As the bath was running, Jack searched through the dresser drawers in the guest bedroom and was happy to find an Air Force Academy sweatshirt and a Hanes Size L t-shirt. Either one of them should suit Carter just fine.

After checking to make sure the temperature was just right, Jack headed back towards the living room. He was greeted by the sight of a slumbering Samantha Carter softly snoring in his favorite armchair. As tempted as he was to let her sleep, he knew she'd want to take that bath. Plus, he was certain that sleeping in a partially upright position would ultimately hurt her more in the morning. And he definitely didn't need another lecture from Dr. Frasier.

Jack resisted the urge to brush back a lock of hair that had fallen in her face and allowed himself a moment to gaze at his Major. He sighed deeply. Military regulations sucked.

"Bath's ready Carter." Jack said softly tapping her on her good shoulder.

"Wha?" Sam said sitting up a bit too quickly and letting out a small gasp. Sam noticed the instant look of concern on her CO's face and quickly assured him she was ok. "Sorry to conk out like that on you!"

"You sure you don't want to skip the bath and head straight to bed Carter?" Jack said looking once again worried. Neither one of them caught the double entendre.

"I'm fine Jack." Sam said purposefully using the Colonel's first name. "After spending nearly three weeks lying on my back, I think it's pretty normal to be tired after a day spent frolicking in the snow and being entertained by my teammates." She gave Jack one of her rare 100-watt smiles as she gingerly raised herself out of the chair. On her own, Sam walked into the bathroom and gently closed the door.

"Holler if you need any help Carter!" Jack yelled in a very normal Jack sounding voice.

"I'll be fine Sir." Sam yelled back dipping her hand in the water. Perfect temperature! "Besides, " Sam said loudly unable to resist the temptation. "I already had my hair washed earlier today." Through the closed door she heard he CO chuckle.

Daniel took an extra long time in the shower hoping whatever was going on between Sam and Jack would be finished (or behind closed doors) by the time he went downstairs. Breathing a sigh of relief he found Jack grating cheese in the kitchen while humming to himself. Humming?!

"Hey Jack."

"Daniel." Jack said nodding his head as he continued humming random bars of music.

"Shower is all yours." Daniel paused and looked around. "Sam still in the bathroom?"

"Yep." Jack said wiping his hands on his jeans. "Carter??" Jack yelled turning his head towards the spare room. "You still awake in there?"

Daniel heard a very annoyed Samantha Carter reply. "Yes SIR. I am still awake and your shouting every 5 minutes is not helping the whole tranquil bath moment. Sir." Oh yeah, Sam Carter was pissed.

Jack grinned at Daniel. "She's all your Danny. Despite what you might have heard, Carter IS tired and I'd appreciate it if you make sure she doesn't fall asleep in there."

"Absolutely Jack." Daniel said nodding his head.

"Right. I'll just head on upstairs then. The cheese is all grated and you'll find pizza ingredients chopped up in the fridge and pasta sauce and crusts in the freezer. Just defrost the frozen stuff in the microwave and knock yourself out creating the pizza of your dreams."

"You manage to still surprise me Jack."

"At Midas we try harder." * Jack said bounding up the stairs. Daniel shook his head. His friend was incorrigible.

"Sam?" Daniel called knocking on the bathroom door. "You good?"

**Depends on how you define 'good' Daniel. Sam thought to herself.

"I'm awake if that's what you mean." Sam said in a deflated voice.


"Having a little problem getting out of the tub Daniel." Sam sighed.

"Oh." There had been very few times in Daniel's life when he didn't know exactly what to say. Unfortunately this was one of them.

"Daniel, I think I am going to need your help." Sam said in a resigned voice. All attempts at getting herself out of the bathtub had failed and she was only making matters worse. She needed leverage of some sort and Daniel would just have to do.

"You sure you don't want to wait for Jack?" Daniel asked timidly.

"No Daniel, I'm sure I don't want to wait for Jack." Sam sighed yet again. She should have known they couldn't keep anything from Daniel. But then again, nothing had really happened so it wasn't like there was anything to keep...

"Daniel, I need for you to grab my bag near the couch and then come on inside. Eyes closed!"

"Sure Sam."

Daniel had just grabbed the bag and was about to open the bathroom door when he heard Jack's voice from the kitchen. "Where the heck IS everyone?"

"Hey Jack." Daniel said casually sticking his head through the doorway. "I'm about to help Sam with something in the bathroom, but the pizzas are all ready to be put in the oven." All was said in a rush of words as he quickly turned around and headed back towards the bathroom. He didn't get very far before Jack caught up with him and wheeled the poor linguist/archaeologist/anthropologist around to face him.

"Is Sam ok?" Jack asked worriedly. Daniel had begun to notice a definite pattern to Jack's use of Sam's first name. He had never switched so often back and forth between 'Sam' and 'Carter' before.

"She's fine Jack. Just needs a little help getting out of the bath."

"Oh." Now it was Jack's turn to be monosyllabic. Daniel paused for another moment to see if Jack had anything more to say before turning around and heading towards the bathroom. He was nearly there when he heard Jack ask "You going in like that?"

"Like what Jack?" Daniel asked turning back around completely confused.

"No blindfold?"

Daniel blushed. "No blindfold. Sam just asked that I keep my eyes closed as I open the door.

"Oh." Jack seemed to consider saying something else but decided against it. He turned around and headed back into the kitchen. "Pizza should be ready in 15."

Daniel shook his head to clear the confusion that was Colonel Jack O'Neill and knocked softly on the bathroom door.

"Sam? You ready for me to come in?"

This time Sam HAD actually dozed off. She awoke with a start and chastised herself for falling asleep. That could have been dangerous. "All set Daniel. Eyes closed now."

"Eyes are closed Sam." Daniel said with a smile opening the door. Sam was like a sister to him. A very smart, attractive sister- but a sister nonetheless. No one wants to see his sister naked. Wel, no normal guy that is.

"Just another two steps forward and then a little step to your left."

"Ow!" Daniel said hitting the edge of the bathtub with his shin.

"I did say little Daniel." Sam said smiling. "You can just set the bag down on the floor to your left and then if you could turn a little to your right that would be great." Daniel did as asked.

"Hold out you right hand Daniel and brace yourself, ok? I don't want you falling in on top of me." Sam said with a small laugh.

Daniel turned bright red at the thought. He didn't want that either.

Very carefully Sam got to her knees and then used first the edge of the tub and then Daniel's hand to pull herself straight up. Daniel could hear her ragged breathing and knew she must be in a lot of pain.

"You ok Sam?"

"Peachy." Sam said through clenched teeth. "I need for you to take a small step backwards ok?" Silently Daniel did so and Sam carefully lifted first one leg and then the other out of the tub. Shit! Sam swore silently. Before she could get dressed she needed to take some medication. But her meds were in the bag and the bag was on the floor and Sam did NOT want to bend down. She sighed audibly.

"Daniel, I need a towel and some pain pills from you. In that order." Daniel nodded and reached out blindly behind him hoping to find towels.

Sam let out a painful laugh. "You can turn around and open your eyes Daniel!" Daniel let out an awkward laugh as he turned around and found the towels. He grabbed one and then before turning back around, kicked Sam's bag in front of him and grabbed that as well.

"Sam, you want me to grab the medication for you or would you rather have the whole bag?" Daniel asked handing her the towel from behind his back.

"Just the meds would be great Daniel." Sam said carefully patting herself dry. She refused to look at her stomach but could feel the constant pull of the stitches as she moved the towel across her body. "Three of the white pills and two of the blue please." She felt no embarrassment in asking for this and was thankful Daniel had helped her through her fear of narcotics.

Daniel was able to get her medication and handed it back to Sam along with a water bottle she kept in her bag.

Sam accepted the drugs gratefully and after handing back the water bottle, proceeded to carefully pull on the sweats and the thick cotton t-shirt. Bra be damned- Sam knew she'd be asleep within the next few hours anyway.

"All safe Daniel." Sam said tapping her nervous friend on the shoulder. "But I need you to help me with one last thing."

"Is this what Janet was harping you about?" Daniel asked once again at ease now that Sam was dressed.

"You heard that huh?"

"Oh yeah. And believe me I know how it feels to be on the receiving end of Dr. Janet Frasier."

"Oh really?" Sam said with a large smile and a raised eyebrow.

"Sam!" Daniel said with wide eyes turning once again the color of a tomato.

"Sorry Daniel but I couldn't resist." Sam reached over and took her bag out of Daniel's hands. "This is actually asking a lot Daniel, and I can get the Colonel to do it if you are uncomfortable..."

"Would you rather have Jack do it?" Daniel asked. "Whatever 'it' is?"

"I think I would rather have you actually." Sam admitted uncomfortably. "The 'IT' involves applying antibiotic cream to my injury and I think it would cause Jack to feel guilt he shouldn't and go back to treating me like I'm a fragile glass sculpture. That said, it IS nasty Daniel and if you would rather not.."

"Sam, I can't remember how many times you've cleaned and bandaged me after I have been injured. I'm not going to say it would be a pleasure but I will say you shouldn't feel uncomfortable about asking me." Daniel paused. "Although I MAY close my eyes as I apply the stuff northwards."

Sam laughed. "I should hope so!"

Jack tried not to listen to the quiet laughter coming from the bathroom. He knew that absolutely nothing had or would ever happen between Sam and Daniel but it still made him feel jealous. Sam had asked for Daniel's help and not his. Why?

The sound of the buzzer interrupted his thoughts and Jack opened the oven to take out two beautiful looking pizza pies. His stomach growled in anticipation.

Daniel entered the kitchen just as Jack was setting the pizzas down on the table.

"God Jack, that smells fantastic!" Daniel said reaching for the plates. He set the table and was just filling the water glasses when Sam emerged from the bathroom. She looked very pink and was feeling pretty damn good now that the pills had kicked in.

Despite Jack's discomfort at Sam's bath helper choice, dinner went quite well and the team's easy going camaraderie soon reappeared. Jack made them continue to guess Alien-Male-Bad Guys until they figured out what his word was. Sam finally guessed the answer- Tanith. Goa'uld spy within the Tok'ra. At least the Tok'ra knew he was there and planned to feed him disinformation.

After dinner the trio headed back to the living room where Sam dramatically revealed the remaining film- Lord of the Rings.

"Hey! That has aliens in it." Jack groused. Although he adored the film and was looking forward to seeing it again, he didn't think it quite fit the criteria he had laid out.

"No it doesn't Jack." Daniel said as he eagerly took the DVD from Sam's hands and inserted it into the player. "It all takes place on Earth. Maybe not OUR Earth, but Earth none the less. All the characters are native earth peop..err.. inhabitants.

"Oh alright!" Jack said plopping himself on the other end of the couch. "You're just lucky I happen to like this film Carter." Jack said feigning anger. Sam just smiled and tried not to yawn. She gave herself 60 minutes max before she fell asleep. Knowing it probably wasn't the best idea she ever had, Sam sat down right next to the Colonel and began to help herself to the popcorn bowl on his left.

"My popcorn Carter!" Jack said playfully taking the bowl from his side and placing it in his lap protectively. Sam just moved closer, and continued to reach into the bowl while watching the film. Daniel rolled his eyes and turned up the volume.

Jack was conflicted. How the heck he could feel both incredibly comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time was confusing. Sam had fallen asleep with her head resting on his shoulder (the popcorn long since consumed) and that had been just fine. Friends, co-workers- heck even strangers on the plane occasionally did that. But now her head was resting on his jean-clad thighs and he could feel her warm breath every time she exhaled. He was enjoying this a little too much and was afraid his 'comfort' would begin to show if he didn't move her soon. But how could he? For the first time in over three weeks, Samantha Carter looked at peace. Her feet were curled up under the back cushions of the couch and one hand rested under her face while the other was tucked protectively against her side. She might still be sleeping in a semi-fetal position, but it was a relaxed one.

Jack sighed as Daniel walked in. He grinned toothfully at seeing Jack's predicament.

"Goodnight Jack." Daniel said giving Jack a small wave as he started up the stairs.

"Daniel!" Jack hissed. "Get over here and help me get Carter onto a comfortable bed."

"She looks comfortable to me Jack." Daniel quipped with a twinkle in his eye.


Daniel held up his hands. "All right! I'll help. But I still think Sam would prefer to stay where she is." Jack shot him a dirty look and carefully lifted Carter's head so he could slip out from under her weight.

"I'll pick her up, you get the bed." Jack whispered trying not to notice the small frown that had formed on Carter's face after he had moved.

"Whatever you say Jack." Daniel said still sporting the ever-present grin.

Damn that man! Jack thought. *He KNOWS Carter and I can't be anything more than teammates and friends and yet he still needles us. This is all Anise's fault! She and her damn zarloft testing.. Right Jack. Like you are doing such a great job at maintaining your distance these days.. *

Sighing, he carefully picked Carter up and began walking with her towards the back bedroom. Intense dj vu struck him as he walked through a cool draft. Shivering slightly he reminded himself that they were most definitely NOT in an un-named caved on a numbered planet with grievous injuries. Jack sighed. Would he ever get a chance to feel Sam in his arms when she wasn't injured? He shook his head to expel the image. *Don't go there O'Neill! *

Recognizing that he would be pushing his luck if he stayed, Daniel had pulled the bedding down on Sam's bed and quickly headed up the stairs to his own bedroom. If this strange dtente that was Jack and Sam's relationship was to go any further, it was up to them.

Jack carefully laid Sam down on the bed and felt his heart clench at the small moan that escaped her lips as she turned over on her side. Sam was nowhere near healed and still had a fair ways to go with her PT and recovery. He covered her with the blankets and gently tucked them around her body. Jack couldn't resist brushing a stray piece of hair away from Sam's eyes and marveled once again at how thoroughly this Air Force Major, his 2IC had unknowingly wormed her way into his heart.

"Sweet dreams Sam." Jack whispered placing a chaste kiss on her forehead. He allowed himself to linger for just a few more moments before silently leaving the room and heading to his own bed.

Jack awoke the moment he heard her cry out. Rushing into her room, he wasn't surprised to find that Sam had kicked off all her covers and lay curled in a tight ball on the corner of the bed. She was shaking and crying softly, obviously trapped in the throes of a horrible nightmare. One Jack knew all too well.

Without giving it more than a moment's thought, Jack lay down next to her and wrapped his own sleep-warmed body around her chilled one and stroked her head as he attempted to ease her out of her dreams. Janet had told him that her nightmares had yet to ease up and both were starting to become worried.

"You're safe Sam." Jack whispered tenderly into her ear. "You're home and safe."

"I'm so cold." He heard her whisper shaking against him.

"Sleep Sam." Jack whispered holding her frightened form closer to him. He gently stroked her hair. "You're safe. Just sleep." Jack felt her body slowly relax against his and within moments she had drifted back to sleep. If only he could be so lucky.

Jack tried not to think about how really, really good it felt to hold her. Cuddling in life threatening situations held a certain physical and psychological comfort, but it was NOTHING compared to holding the woman you really, really cared about when she wasn't half dead. His arm draped naturally around the curb of her hips and it took a bit of self-control on his part not to move his hand up another few inches to the gap between her sweat bottoms and t-shirt. A part of Jack recognized that Sam had gained a little of the weight she had lost and he was glad. He resisted the urge to pull her closer than she already was. Jack sighed and tried not to breathe in the unique scent that was Samantha Carter. This whole comforting thing was probably a really bad idea. But damn if it didn't feel good.

For the first time in nearly three weeks, Sam didn't wake up cold and scared. It took her a moment to pinpoint the exact reason why the feeling of terror and pain that always accompanied her awakening every morning wasn't there. She felt a soft exhale against her neck and instantly guessed what it meant. Who it meant. Jack was behind her. Actually to be more accurate, Jack was all around her. His arm was wrapped protectively around her waist and was resting against her bare stomach. He had pulled her tightly against his body and one of his knees had wedged themselves between her legs. Sam could feel, quite intimately, how very masculine Colonel Jack O'Neill really was. No sidearms jokes would cover this one. The guy was still deep in sleep, so it might not have anything to do with her; guys would be guys, right? Sam didn't really believe that, but had she needed to defend her actions at this exact moment, that would be her defense.

God, it felt nice. She knew she should shift her body, but for the first time in ages she felt safe and warm and wouldn't give that up even if General Hammond himself walked into the room in the next 30 seconds. Smiling contentedly she drifted back to sleep.

Daniel awoke to the sound of a telephone ringing. Jack, get the damn phone! He pulled the pillow tightly over his head to block out the unwanted noise.

The phone continued to ring. Dammit Jack! Against his will Daniel reached over and grabbed the phone off the cradle.


"Colonel O'Neill?" a woman's voice asked.

"Oh, hey Janet." Daniel said allowing his eyes to close again as he pulled the phone closer to the mattress.


"That's me." Daniel paused glancing at the bedside clock. "Janet, do you have any idea what time it is?"

"0800. Come on Daniel, it's not THAT early."

"Hey, I'm still recovering remember? And my doctor told me to get plenty of rest."

Janet laughed. "Sorry to disturb your beauty-sleep Dr. Jackson. How'd Sam do last night?"

"I think getting away from the SGC was good for her Janet. No offense, but spending weeks on end in the infirmary isn't all that much fun."

"No offense taken. If you and the Colonel hadn't attempted to break Sam out, I was about to bring her home with me. She still needs medical care but I think we can do most of it off-base really soon."

"That's great Janet!"

"BUT, I do need to see her back here as soon as the roads clear." Janet paused. "How'd she sleep Daniel? Any nightmares?"

"I think I heard one, but judging from the sounds I heard down the hall, Jack handled it."

"Jack handled it, huh?"

"Janet..." Daniel could think and wish all he wanted for Jack and Sam, but Janet was a military doctor and the less she guessed about Jack and Sam's relationship, the better.

"Daniel, I'm not blind." Janet said exasperated. "I know that something is going on with Sam and the Colonel and while the military part of me thinks it's a very bad idea, the human part of me can't be more pleased. They care deeply about one another- any fool could see that. And something happened on that planet that intensified their feelings. So far they haven't let it affect their judgment in the field and as long as they continue to do that, I couldn't give a damn if they make hot monkey love on the briefing room table!"

Daniel burst out laughing. "Hot monkey love?!"

"You know what I mean." Janet said peevishly.

"Hot monkey love?!"

"Good-bye Daniel. Have Jack or Sam call me when they get up."

"Will do." Daniel said continuing to chuckle as he hung up. *Wait a second! When they get up? Does Janet know something I don't?*

Groaning slightly Daniel eased himself out of bed and padded down the hall towards the master bedroom. "Jack?" Daniel said softly knocking on the door. It was partially open and Daniel felt no guilt at all as he stuck his head into the room. The bed had indeed been slept in, but no Jack O'Neill.

Next he headed down the stairs to the kitchen. No sign of Jack on the couch or in the kitchen. The coffee had most definitely NOT been started. Daniel frowned at that unpleasant image. He took another look around and after ascertaining that Jack was most definitely not in any of the other rooms, quietly headed towards the only room unexplored; the guest bedroom. Hearing no noise from inside, he silently opened her door and was pleasantly surprised at the sight before him. Jack and Sam were in bed together. Fully clothed, but spooned tightly against one another. Damn if they didn't look content. Daniel whistled softly under his breath and couldn't resist breaking out into a huge grin.

Jack opened one eye and glared at his friend lingering in the doorway. "Quit staring Danny and go make some coffee." Jack whispered closing his eye again and cuddling back up to his 2IC. Colonel Jack O'Neill and Major Samantha Carter (and the rest of SG-1) had saved the planet on several occasions- Earth owed them. Regulations would still be there in the morning- as for the moment? Jack O'Neill and Samantha Carter were sleeping in.

Finished July 2002

All Feedback gets answered (and is much appreciated)

I still very much plan on writing an immediate sequel to this story, but I seem to have been distracted along the way. I promise there will be a tale to explain just what happens after Daniel spies Sam and Jack in bed together, but in the meantime, you'll just have to use your imagination. (Hey! Stop that! You're making me blush with those thoughts!) If you're still interested in this little Seven Days universe of mine, step right up to Xanadu. Warning though: Not for the faint of heart.

Home | 4 Months later...Xanadu

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