Rational

a Stargate SG-1 story

by dirty diana

dirtydiana78@hotmail.com

For Amy. Beta by sf fan. Set in and around the Season 4 episode "Upgrades".


They came to a sudden stop in front of the wire fence, emerging like ghosts out of streaks of light.

"Wait here," the colonel told them.

Daniel frowned. "Where are you going?"

"Oh, just down the road." Jack jerked his head vaguely in the direction that they had just come from. "If we're going to be stuck in there," he pointed at Cheyenne Mountain, "all night, we might as well get some snacks. To tide us over."

"Oh." Sam nodded. "I am getting kinda hungry again. Good idea, sir."

Colonel O'Neill disappeared, in a dark blur of motion.

When he was gone they sat down, on the cool autumn grass. Suddenly Sam couldn't stop laughing.

"That was fun," she said.

"Yeah," Daniel agreed.

"The look on those guys' faces, it was..."

"Priceless."

Sam watched him in fascination, as he smiled at her. With all her senses amplified, looking at Daniel was like looking at something that she had never seen before, bright and new.

Daniel's expression changed slightly, watching her in return. "What are you looking at?"

"Your eyes are blue," Sam said.

"Well, yes," Daniel agreed, tongue sliding across his lower lip in mild amusement. "So are yours."

"No, I mean..." Sam paused, searching for words. "They're really blue."

He smiled again. "So are yours."

She couldn't stop watching him. She felt like she could hear everything, see everything, Daniel's blood rushing underneath translucent skin, the sound of it as loud as the sound of the blood pounding inside her own head.

She raised a hand up to touch his neck, and his skin was hot there, pulse throbbing. Her fingers traced the outline of his throat.

"I've never felt this good," she told him.

"No. Me neither."

Without thinking she moved in closer to him, and rested her head on his chest.

"Sam," he said softly.

"Yeah."

"What are you doing?"

She could hear the smile still in his voice. "I'm listening to your heartbeat," she answered.

"Oh." His hand slid around her shoulder, and his skin was hot there as well, a warm breathing blanket. "And?"

Sam was silent for a moment, listening. Thud, thud thud, underneath her fingers. "It's very fast."

Sam watched the moon float across the clear Colorado sky. She was thinking about something else now, Daniel's face inside O'Malley's, eyes dark. "You used to get called names a lot," she said.

"Still do," Daniel answered absently, a puff of breath on her forehead.

"The colonel doesn't count," she told him. "I mean when you were younger. You got in fights a lot."

"If by fights you mean I got beat up all the time, then yes." She thought she could actually hear his heartbeat slowing down, changing into something sad. "I switched foster homes a lot. A different school almost every year. I was always the new kid."

Sam frowned at him, trying to see that in his face, a scared adolescent boy. "Why did you have to move so much?"

Daniel shrugged, a slight motion that rippled though Sam's own body . "Not everyone was prepared to handle a kid with special needs."

"Special needs?" Sam repeated. "But you're really smart."

"Yes."

"I never knew any of this," Sam said, almost apologetically. "You never talk about it. "

"No," Daniel agreed softly, as he leaned in to kiss her. He kissed her gently at first, just a press of soft lips that grew more insistent.

His hands slid down the length of her body, coming to rest on the curve of her hip. Her body curled in to meet his. A smile spread across Sam's face, matching Daniel's own, as their mouths met again. Gently, sweetly, his tongue pressed against hers, in a slow easy rhythm.

"Hey, kids. Miss me?"

It took Sam a second too long to pull away. "Sir."

"Hey, Jack." Daniel glanced up at Jack's looming shadow. "Did you get any nachos?"


They got two days in the infirmary, and then two days off. On the fifth day Sam woke up with a dull low headache, sleepy eyes that didn't want to open. Her clock radio beeped insistently, until she reached over and tapped the off button harshly. 

She glanced at the red glowing numbers, and sighed as her bare feet hit the floor. 


"Writing your report, sir?"

The colonel looked up, wearing the permanent scowl that he always wore when he was writing reports. "Well, it's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it."

"Yes, sir." Sam shifted uncomfortably, just inside in the doorway. "Permission to..."

"Spit it out, Major."

"I was just wondering if you were going to be putting...everything...in your report."

Colonel O'Neill moved away from his keyboard, squinting at her. "I don't make a habit of just leaving stuff out of reports," he said. "No matter what you might have heard."

"Of course not, sir. I just meant..."

"What are you referring to, Major? Specifically."

"Specifically, sir?" Sam took a deep breath. "The incident...outside. Between me and Dr. Jackson."

"I see."

"I mean, I wouldn't want to you think that I've done anything to compromise the team. Because I haven't. Sir."

Colonel O'Neill nodded. He resumed typing for a moment, a full paragraph slowly appearing on the screen.

"Sir?" she asked finally.

He turned to look at her again. "I'd say we were all making some serious errors in judgement that night, wouldn't you? That damn Tok'ra virus had us all so hopped up, we could barely tell which way was up."

"Well actually, the virus wasn't of Tok'ra design..." Sam stopped. "Yes, sir."

"I know it got me pretty good." The colonel scratched his head, frowning. "I wouldn't be surprised if I've even forgotten stuff. A whole bunch of...stuff." The colonel frowned. "Okay, Major?"

"Yes, sir. Fine, sir. Thank you, sir."

"Okay." Colonel O'Neill turned back to his computer, turning his glare onto the uncooperative keyboard. "Dismissed."


"How are you feeling?"

Daniel was, as usual, performing two tasks at the same time. He reached a hand out and shut off his recorder, playing back notes from their last mission. But busy fingers still ran across the spines of thick books, creating order on his desk. "Fine. Bit of a headache, but Janet says that's normal." He looked up briefly then. "You?"

Sam shrugged. "Embarrassed."

"Oh." Abruptly, Daniel stopped shelving. "Well, I don't think that's...we were kind of..."

"Out of it," Sam said.

"Exactly," Daniel agreed. "Still," he smiled, "I haven't been that out of it in a really long time."

"I don't think I've ever been that out of it."

He frowned at her curiously. "Really? You've never been...you know? Not even a little bit?"

Sam shook her head.

"Drunk?"

"Nope."

Daniel paused. "But you're in the military."

Sam shrugged. "I don't know. I just never liked the idea of losing control."

"Well, I'll have to buy you a drink one of these days."

"Might take more than one drink, Dr. Jackson," she answered with a grin.

Daniel glanced at her, through bright perceptive eyes, and then back at his bookshelves.

She fought back a blush. "What about you?" she asked him. "Wouldn't have thought you were the hard-partying type."

He continued to look slightly amused, his mouth stretching a thin, tight smile. "Well. I was in college for a really long time."

"Not too busy studying?"

Daniel shrugged.

Sam battled another blush. That wasn't a surprise, because that was Daniel. All Sam's knowledge came from things that she had seen before, slow mnemonics and well-learned equations. She didn't have Daniel's ability to turn something that he had never seen before into something that he knew intimately.

She wondered what Daniel saw when he looked at her, if she was simply a collection of patterns and allusions, barely taking shape.


She almost knocked Daniel over, outside the entrance to the mountain.

"The colonel's going to kill you if he catches you," she told him.

Daniel shrugged, exhaling one long puff of his cigarette. "Yes. Jack fancies himself my personal trainer. Are you going to tell on me?"

Sam laughed. "I can't promise anything. The colonel has ways of making you talk."

He smiled at that, taking one more pull. He began to walk with her, the both of them strolling towards the parking lot at the same leisurely pace.

Sam realised that he had been waiting for her. 

"Hard day?" she asked him.

"Yes." Daniel made a face. "I have no idea how you've put up with these people for your entire career."

Sam giggled. "Patience. Lots of patience."

"You must qualify for sainthood."

"I doubt it."

They stopped beside Daniel's car. Sam watched as he stubbed out his cigarette.

"You're leaving kind of early, aren't you?" she asked him. "For you?"

"Contrary to the rumours that Jack likes to spread," Daniel answered patiently, "I do not actually work all the time. I do other things."

"Like?" she asked him, without thinking.

Daniel looked at her for a moment, like he was working out a pattern.

His eyes really were blue.

"Are you hungry?" he asked her.

~fin.

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