Till it Swallows Me Whole


“I'm in control,” I muttered as I walked from his office. I looked down at the folder he had handed as I left.

“Just have a look over it,” he had said, turning back to his computer screen. I had smiled quickly and then walked out of his office, pushing down the sudden urge to cross the gap and capture his lips.

“Get a grip,” I sighed as I leaned back into the elevator wall, gliding down to my office. It was happening more times then I cared to admit: a quick glance and I wanted the smoldering looks we usually shared; a brush of the shoulder and I wanted to lean into him and feel his strong arms around me; and the way he moved his lips slightly as he thought, I had to hold onto something solid in order not to bolt across the room and learn every little curve of his lips with my own.

“Gawd, I'm an addict,” I said, closing the door to my lab and leaning against the cold door. As I closed my eyes, I wondered who I could go to and start a DJA help group. As I thought back to the moment that my addiction started I chuckled. Why would anyone want to start a help group to get over Daniel Jackson?

~*~*~*~

It was one of those rare nights the team was on Earth, and the moon seemed so close I could reach out and caress it.

“Star gazing?” he had asked, coming beside me. He smiled and then turned skyward too. “You know with all the beautiful skies these different planets have, I am surprise there is not more moon and sun worship. In ancient Egypt, the religion revolved around the rise and setting of the sun. Their whole after life journey, they believed, paralleled the phases of the sun would take as it progressed across the sky everyday. And I am lecturing again.”

I grinned and placed a hand lightly on his arm. “Well you did start out as a lecturer, but I don’t mind at all. After all, I could always tell you about how the distance and mass of the moon causes the tides. Or maybe how the stars and their burning gases could fuel three universes’ Earth sized planets.”

“How about we draw and go get a movie and some take out?” Daniel had suggested.

“Perfect,” I said. “Your place or mine?”

“Hmm… anyone else and I would say Vala was rubbing off on you,” Daniel said, rounding his eyes slightly.

“Naw, you just have that kind off effect,” I said returning his smile. Agreeing that we would meet at the movie rental place first, we got into our separate cars and drove to our favorite place. After several debates and more stares then we normally received when we went looking for a movie, we decided to pick up some groceries and make dinner.

Holding a bag with one hand and fumbling for his keys with the other, he had refused to let me help carry the brown bag of groceries. Finally he opened the door and gestured for me to go in first. Without realizing it I had flipped on the lights, knowing exactly where they were in the darkness of his apartment. Daniel went into the kitchen, unloading the chicken and noodles. I came over and sat on a barstool.

“Common over here, I need help making this,” Daniel said as he opened the refrigerator.

“I am banned from the kitchen,” I said.

He had turned an inquisitive eye to me as he measured the water level for the noodles. “You were banned from your own kitchen?”

I smiled shyly and nodded. “Jack said it was best that I kept my skill for burning things to a minimum.”

Daniel did not return my laugh, rather bunched his eyebrows up and turned back to the measuring cup. Jack and I had started dating, well, more like romantically involved, a few weeks after he had come back to the SGC as a “consultant” “on loan” from Washington. He had used my spare bedroom and had found his way into my bedroom. I was not sure how much Daniel knew.

“I think that is wrong, Sam,” he had said quietly. “It is not his place; and even if it was I still think it is wrong.”

I smiled at his back, watching as he stirred the milk into the saucepan. I got off the stool and rounded the island. “I do make a mean Hawaiian chicken glaze.”

He turned his head and smiled. “Perfect. Let me know if you need help.”

His blue eyes and the smile that graced his lips momentarily caught me. “Thanks,” I said as he went back to his own cooking pan.

~*~*~*~

Debate time had come as we discussed the movie we had seen – “Forces of Nature” – and Daniel was shaking his head.

“I still don’t understand why that man was still going to marry that woman. I mean he had just gone through a preverbal hell to just make it to his own wedding. I would think that would have been a warning.”

“Spoken like a guy who was married with him knowing it,” I quipped. He had thrown a piece of the chocolate bar that was dessert in my direction. “Fine. There are a lot of things one does out of love. I think he genuinely loved his fiancé, but knew that being that uptight was not what he wanted anymore.”

“Hmm so it’s ok to leave your future-in-laws stranded in a rain storm while you chase what you really want?”

“I guess only if you know that you might not be able to go back to where you once were.” I twisted the silver wrapping into a ball. “I mean if I knew that I could love someone more than someone else –“

“Say his name Sam,” Daniel said with a note of sadness. “You are dating – no sharing your bed with him and you can’t say his name.”

I looked at him, my heart sinking because he knew. It seemed to become real in that moment that I was seeing Jack when the words fell from his lips. I could not look him in the eye knowing that he knew. “I’m so sorry.”

“For what, Sam?” he leaned closer and brushed a strand out of my face. “You of all people deserve happiness. All the things you have been through, all the loved ones you have lost. And yes, I fully realize that there are many that I have lost too. There isn’t a moment in a day when I wonder what it would be like to have some of them back.”

“Sha’re?”

“That is one wound that has closed up as much as it can. I still love her; how could I not? But now there is very little I can do to change what has happened. It’s like with my parents, I wish there was a way to turn back time and make sure that never happened, but where would I be? Certainly not sitting here with you, trekking across the universe,” he said with a soft chuckle.

“You would be safe.”

“I am just as safe here.”

“I think that is what the movie is about,” I said after a moment. “Ben Afflick had chosen a safe family to marry into, never allowing him self to experience the life that Sandra Bullock offered. He was scared to see what it was like.”

“I think you’re right.”

We had descended into silence once more, listening to the soft melody of the CD Daniel had turned on after the movie. I felt him shift beside me as he reached for more chocolate, handing me a piece. For a moment our fingers touched and I could feel him blush. I turned away quick as I unwrapped the piece and tried to keep my thoughts on the present. He was my best friend and a very good looking guy, but I never entertained the notion that there could be anything more longer then I needed to. Normally it would be broken as soon as another thought, a more rational though, would come to mind.

“What if we are settling for the ‘safe’ thing? I mean in our lives how often do we take real risks?” Daniel said softly.

“We risk our lives, isn’t that enough?” I whispered back.

“So there is no guarantee that we will be here tomorrow to experience, for the sake of the argument, a force of nature that propels two people together,” Daniel replied.

I nodded thoughtfully, wondering if Daniel knew what he was saying. He turned toward me and smiled a thoughtful, almost playful smile. “We are not dead yet.”

And I had kissed him. With all the passion and love, want and desire, hurt and fear and pure force. He had kissed me back with the same intensity, pulling me closer to himself as he took control of the kissing. Lifting me onto his lap, he did not hide his desire and started pulling my shirt up. I was already clawing at his shirt, desperate to touch his chest as he flung my shirt over to an empty chair.

“You have always made me feel so alive, Samantha,” Daniel whispered as he help shed his shirt and trailed kisses down my neck. I closed my eyes and savored the way he used my full name, somehow making me fell even more like a woman. “Why have I never told you?” He brought his blue eyes up to mine.

“Because I am like Ben Affleck and have refused to see what could be a wonderful life instead of a settled and safe life.”

“It has not only been you, Samantha. I have locked all the feelings away also. Like you said, we are not dead yet,” Daniel had said, slipping his fingers under my bra and slipping the straps off my shoulders. “I will not do anything -“

“I will not go another day not knowing,” I whispered, digging my fingers into his hair. “I’m tired of being safe.”

It was be best night I had ever spent in the arms of a man. As we drifted to sleep, Daniel pulled me close and whispered in every language he knew how much he loved me.

~*~*~*~

“Knock, knock.”

I looked up and accidentally spilled my coffee on the pages I was typing from. “Oh Gawd,” I muttered as I hopped up and grabbed the mug and papers. I looked up for a moment and saw Daniel grab a paper towel, Jack hovering in the doorway and Cam taking items off my desk.

“Maybe we should have called before we came over,” Cam said as he took a few used napkins and put them in the trash.

“Sorry, I was just thinking,” I stammered as I collected the damp papers and placed them individually on another desk across the room.

“’Bout what?” Jack asked as I crossed in front of him.

“My upcoming lecture,” I said easily. I could not say that I was thinking about the night Daniel and I had shared just two days earlier, and a day before that, or the whole weekend while Jack was back in Washington. Nor could I tell him about how it had started three weeks ago during one of Daniel and my standard ‘movie/dinner’ nights.

“You’ll do fine,” he said with a firm nod. “We came down to ask you about the doohookie.”

“Doohookie?” I asked.

“The triangulation chart of P2M-1654, MPX-6431 and P3X-9357,” Daniel supplied.

“And the star chart,” Cam said with a grin. Hooking a finger in Daniel’s direction, he added, “He always forgets the star chart.”

If I did not know Cam better, I would have wondered if he was trying to flirt with me. “Yes I have the triangulation and star chart,” I said, pulling a black folder from a binder under my workbench. Jack had come in to my lab once commenting on how he did not see how I could find anything in my office, but had also mentioned Daniel’s was the same way.

“Excellent,” Cam said, taking the folder and opening it. Jack moved from supporting the doorframe to the bench also and looked over Cam’s shoulder. “See how they match up?”

I saw Jack scrunch up his eyebrows and the deep wrinkles set into his forehead. I stole a glance in Daniel’s direction and saw he was looking at me smiling shyly. I still have yet to find out why, after all these years, he gives me shy smiles. But as he turned to watch Cam and Jack, I noticed it made his dimples stand out even more. I gripped the solid top once more, turning my knuckles white. Why did he always make me come unglued?

“Looks great,” Cam said. He headed out of the office, Jack trailing slightly behind.

“I have something I need you to sign, Carter. I’ll swing by on my way out,” Jack said as he left.

“Why does he not just say ‘I want to take you home and have monkey sex with you’?” Daniel asked as he turned back into my direction.

“Maybe because he doesn’t feel the situation is that desperate.” I avoided his eyes as I sorted the binders back into their holes. “Or maybe he his realizing that his needs need to be met some other place.”

“He’s back in the guestroom?”

“If we are going to discuss this, at least close the door,” I said, feeling a blush creep up my neck. In two strides I was at the door, closing it myself.

“Yes, let’s discuss this,” Daniel said sharply as he too came to the door, clicking the lock. “We are two adults here, Sam. I thought we had agreed that this would be … I don’t know what we decided it would be, but we would be comfortable with it.”

“My sex life with Jack has nothing to do with us,” I hissed.

“I think it has everything to do with it. He is not sleeping in your bed is he?”

I glared back at him.

“So what, you come over to my place, take a hit of me and then go on?” Daniel asked, leaning on the desk. “I can handle being the guy you need, but not at the expense of a friend.”

“So what, you would rather have Jack crawling over me and you get nothing?”

“We are not in some threesome, Sam.”

“It was his idea to move back to the guestroom, not mine. If you feel like I am using you, then just say so. You know it’s not only Jack who talks in code.”

“We agreed we could control this … relationship.”

“Is that the only reason you are seeing me still? Because we are in a controlled relationship? What happens when it goes out of control?” I asked. He hung his head and breathed deeply. “Daniel, this thing… the attraction, the need, the … “ I lowered my voice and touched his chin, “The love I have for you, it’s swallowing me whole. I keep loosing a bit more control every time.”

“Then we stop.”

I pulled my hand back as if a snake bit me. “That’s your answer? ‘Then we stop’? What am I, a cigarette that you can decide to stop having?”

“Sam…” Daniel said, a warning underneath. “You are not the only one who is losing control. We are not the only ones involved here.”

“What because I am – was – seeing Jack? He broke up with me last night. We had this big blow out because he is ok with just sleeping with me and not having anything more.” I felt my eyes sting and quickly moved away from his softening eyes.

~*~*~*~

“Sam, you knew there would be nothing more,” Jack had said. “I’m too old to do the whole marriage thing.”

“I had hoped that maybe you would change your mind.”

“Why? Because you finally came around?” Jack shook his head slightly as he sipped his beer.

“Because I came around?” I glared a death glare at him. “I was not the one who could have left his career to be with me. All that talk about how nice it would be to retire, have a pond and maybe have a family – was all that just talk?”

“I could not retire while you and Danny and Teal’c were out there fighting for your very survival half the time. I will not be the one who gets left behind after all these years,” Jack had spat.

“So it was ok for me to retire, move into the private sector, have kids –“

“No kids.” He said it with such conviction I had whipped around.

“No kids?”

“I can’t… not after Charlie. Besides, I am too old to have kids. Grandkids maybe, not kids.”

“So if you were killed, you would rather have me alone, not in the military and no kids? How is that fair, Jack?”

“You are young and damn sexy. You’d have no problems getting another man to go after you. I bet you would be married again within the year,” Jack said, throwing back his beer. “I’m sorry if this comes as a shock.”

I had stalked out of the living room, wishing I could call Daniel and talk to him, but knew he would be in the SGC working on translations. That would not stop him from driving out to meet me, share a cup of extra tall, triple shot espresso and some hugs, maybe some kisses. But as I slammed the door I felt the tears come faster. Jack and I was my problem. Daniel and I was also my problem. I heard Jack come by and apologize, shaking the doorknob and walk away to the guest bedroom.

~*~*~*~

“I can’t stand by and wonder what is going on, Sam. I can’t say I can easily walk away, because I can’t. I feel,” he brushed a stand of hair away from my face as he moved closer. “I feel like I have seen you for the first time in all these years.”

“I never told you to love me,” I whispered, feeling a calloused finger wipe a tear away.

“No, you didn’t. No one told you to love me either,” he said, pulling me close. His arms wrapped around me and I felt all the frustration melt into the warmth of his skin. “For so long I was alone, wondering if all I could hope for had gone.”

“We made our own choices; and I see that I chose wrong. I did not feel that I had to share that let down with anyone until you really told me to look around. We may be alone in some of our choices, but it impacts all of us.”

I felt him chuckle. I closed my eyes and wrapped my arms around him tighter. “We sound like recovering addicts,” he mused.

~*~*~*~

I hadn’t meant to come back the next night after our first time. I was just so tired of Jack watching hockey and drinking beer, that the last thing I wanted was to share a bed with him, who, after making love, would roll over and go soundly to sleep. I wanted to sit up and talk – about anything. And the only person I had ever been able to do that with was Daniel. The fact that we had slept together did not enter my mind until he opened his door.

He stood there in an old pair of jeans, bare feet and with a red t-shirt that proclaimed “I’m a star!”

“Ah, a Cassie gift,” he said after a moment. I smiled and nodded. I had a few odd shirts from her too. “Come in?”

“I brought dinner tonight,” I had said, holding up a bag. “Popcorn and caramel.”

“Mmm… nutritious,” he had said, moving behind me into the kitchen. “So how was the day with Jack?”

“Don’t ask me that,” I said. I had turned and looked up at him. “Jack is… Jack. Asked how the movie night went. Couldn’t say ‘oh it was great, I think the highlight was when Daniel and I finally figured out we need each other. How was your evening?’”

“No, I suppose not,” he had said, wrapping me in a hug. “I’m sorry.”

“I’m not,” I had whispered as I kissed his cheek. I felt him relaxing and breathed in his slightly cologne skin, trailing a hand down his back as I captured his lips. I think it took both of us by surprise how easily we could suddenly start kissing, since we stood in the kitchen for a moment just holding each other.

“Samantha,” Daniel had breathed, sending a shiver down to my toes. “When you do that I am unable to have a conversation.”

“No talking then,” I had breathed back, letting myself be carried into his bedroom as I enjoyed the sensation of being in his arms.

~*~*~*~

Jack had come by and really did have a paper to sign as I was pacing up.

“Going home?”

I looked up at him as my computer powered down. “Yes. I just need a night to relax before the lecture.”

“No late nights over at Daniel’s?” he asked as I grabbed a pen. “I mean you seem to spend a lot of time over there.”

“I have always spent a lot of time with Daniel. That is nothing new.”

“I just thought it may have become a bit more frequent over the past few weeks, that’s all.”

“Why are you asking, sir?”

“Jack.”

I looked at him for a moment. “What?”

“Just call me ‘Jack,’” he said signing the paper also. “I’m leaving tomorrow morning to go back to Washington. I would like to take you out if I could.”

“How about I make you dinner?”

“Sam… you and kitchens don’t have a good track record,” he chuckled, closing the folder.

“Then you go hungry,” I said flatly as I picked up my bag. “If you change your mind, I am making Hawaiian Chicken.”

I left Jack standing beside my desk. I smiled as the elevator glided up toward the top. If Jack was going to be such a jerk, it made things easier on me. I was already letting him go slowly, but the fight last night had cemented the decision: If there was no life with Jack but a safe feeling of some kind, then that was not a life. Daniel had proven that I had too long let life become safe and needed to realize that I was too alive to settle for something that was not going to move as fast as I did. I was going to pull out my pager and page Daniel when the elevator stopped and the doors slid open. In came Cam, Vala and Daniel.

“All we need is Teal’c and then we look like we are ready to take on the world!” Vala quipped. “So you actually leave this place too?”

I looked at her and raise an eyebrow. She pointed to Daniel beside her. “He is finally leaving the base for the first time this week,” Vala said as if in awe. “I don’t see how his brain can take it.”

“I have my distractions,” Daniel said, looking at her.

“Oh I know, darling, but I can’t be there all the time.”

“Thank goodness,” Cam muttered.

Vala pouted and went back to watching the elevator numbers go up, tapping her fingers against her jacket. “I’m sure you would be having so much fun otherwise, darling.”

Cam half smiled and nodded as she exited. “Oh what would I do? Gawd forbid I do work.”

Daniel and I shared a small laugh as we watched Cam and Vala leave the base. “Dinner?”

I looked over at him and shook my head. “Only if you don’t mind me cooking.”

“Jack letting you back in the kitchen?”

“No. But he is leaving tomorrow morning and I miss burning things.” I smiled as he laughed. “Come around 6 and bring something to drink. I have everything else.”

Daniel rounded my car and opened my car door. “Will we be alone?”

I watched as his blue eyes danced. “I think Jack will have a slight problem with us making out on the couch.”

He leaned closer and kissed my nose quickly. “Too bad. You just seem to need the company.”

“Is that an offer, Daniel Jackson?”

“I’m ready to indulge in my addiction, Samantha Carter,” he breathed.

“If we were not standing in the middle of the base parking lot, you could be indulging,” I breathed back. I was inches form taking him right there, and tightened my grip on the door. Daniel noticed and smiled coyly. “Stay the night with me?”

~*~*~*~

I had never seen Daniel and Jack engage in a drinking contest, but sure enough Daniel was holding his own as he and Jack chatted loudly. Jack would watch me with an open desire that I knew Daniel saw too. I stayed seated in the living room as Daniel and Jack were in the kitchen, rummaging for another bottle.

“Carter,” Jack said, a slight slur in his voice. “Where’s the bottle Danny brought?”

“In the trash,” I replied.

“Why?”

“Because you drank all of it, right after drinking the last of the beer case. And before you opened the last bottle of wine I had.”

He was silent for a moment. “Oh. Well I am off to bed,” Jack said, coming over to the couch. “Tuck me in?”

“I don’t think so, Jack. You have to get up early and so do I,” I said, evading his smoldering look.

“Oh. Well goodnight then. Danny,” he said as he clapped Daniel on the back, making both of them stagger a bit. “Ah sorry, a bit to powerful for my own good still.”

We watched as he walked down the hall and close the door to the guest room. “I guess that leaves us alone.”

“I guess it does,” I replied, looking at him. “You look tired too.”

“Like Vala said, a long day of translating,” he smiled as we clicked off the lights in the kitchen and living room.

“You need more distractions,” I teased as we crept up the stairs.

“Oh well, there was this lovely lady who came in the office for a short while. Long legs, beautiful eyes, and sexy mind. I could tell she wanted to jump me right there,” he said, trailing a hand down my neck.

“Really? Jump you right there? Well I went and saw this very good-looking college of mine - sparkling eyes and a really muscular physique. He was working on something since his lips kept moving, and his delicate fingers were brushing the paper.”

“Mmm… fascinating,” he said as he kissed me. “I still say she wanted to jump me right there.”

“How right you are,” I said, digging my fingers into his short hair.

~*~*~*~

Jack was sipping coffee with Daniel when I went down to the kitchen the next morning. He was wearing his dress pants, a plain white shirt and his unbuttoned dress shirt. I paused for a moment and looked at him.

He seemed to have a bit more gray hair since leaving the SGC, a bit more around his middle and his smile produced more wrinkles. His brown eyes still flashed with an innate sense of humor but were also framed by weariness. Standing opposite of Daniel, I wondered why I never went after Daniel first. Because he was married at the time of our meeting, I reminded myself. Being merely his best friend was the safe thing. Daniel glanced in my direction and I saw as he continued to talk to Jack, that I was swallowed whole in our addiction to each other – the small talks, late talks, the best coffee at 3a.m. and the best medication when we were sick. We had had slowly sunk into the ever growing need for one another and had moved beyond the safety net of friends.

“Is there more coffee, or did you two drink it all?” I asked as I came into the kitchen.

“I was going to drink your half of the pot, but it seems to be stronger then I remember it,” Jack said, setting his mug down.

“No stronger then it always has been,” Daniel said, pouring another spoonful of sugar into his.

“Sugar is bad for you,” Jack said, scrunching his nose.

“You should see Cam and iced tea,” I said, sipping my liquid fuel. “You’d think he ordered sugar with some iced tea in it.”

“Well that’s the south for ya,” he said as he buttoned his shirt. “Well kids, I am off. Back to listening to droning upper level management on how fiber optics would cut down on the over all upload/download speed of information.”

“I’m impressed you remember that much, Jack,” I said. I smiled as he shook his head.

“It’s what one gets when one must listen to the stuff for hours. I actually just read the pamphlet,” he said, producing a small paper from his breast pocket. “Handy little buggers.”

We saw him to the door as he collected his bags. “Well, we could have been good, Sam.”

I smiled wearily and nodded. “Maybe we would have been.”

“So what are you two going to do today?”

I glanced over to Daniel who was rinsing out the mugs back in the kitchen. “Going to rehab.”

“You two are so loonies,” Jack said as he stepped off my front porch and into his rented truck. “Have fun recovering!”

“Rehab?” Daniel asked as he wrapped his arms around me, watching the tail lights fade around the corner. “I thought we decided we rather liked our addiction.”

“Mmm, we do,” I said turning in his arms. “And I think that is a break through. You know the first step of the road to recovery is admitting you have an addiction.”

“I thought it was that you had a problem.”

“I never said I had a problem with my addiction,”

“Then why recover?”

“So we don’t have to sneak around like we are doing something illegal,” I said kissing his cheek. “I want everyone to know that I love you.”

“Ah, that is a good reason.” Daniel pushed the door closed and followed me into the living room. “So when is our first session?”

I pulled him close and kissed him deeply. “Right now. Daniel would you like to go on a date with me?”

“Hmm… I would absolutely like to date you, maybe take you home, introduce you to my sheets…”

I pulled away and swatted his arm. “I thought you were a gentleman, Daniel Jackson.”

“I am, when I am not staring my need in the face,” he said, pulling me closer still. “My name is Daniel Jackson and I am addicted to Samantha Carter!” He yelled, turning his face to the ceiling. I laughed as he brought his eyes to me. “What do you think? Am I recovering?”
“But that just leaves me,” I said, wrapping my arms around his neck. “My name is Samantha Carter and I am addicted to Daniel Jackson,” I whispered into his ear. “I feel recovered now.”

“A good kind of recovery I hope.”

“Oh yes, a very dangerous kind of recovered,” I said as I hopped into him arms and wrapped my legs around his waist.

“Good. I think I owe you a date,” Daniel said leaning against the counter for support. “We can talk about meeting the sheets later.”

“Why do you hide this exiting side beneath all the shyness?”

He kissed me as he let me slip off his body. “Not everyone makes me feel alive like you do, Samantha.”

“It always comes down to that we are not dead yet, doesn’t it?” I laughed.

“And sometimes even then,” he said joining in my laughter. “Shall we indulge one last time or date first?”

“I don’t know, follow me and we can find out,” I said, hooking one of his belt loops and leading him toward the stairs.

“You’re not the only shy one, I see,” Daniel said. He wrapped his arms around me and effortlessly picked me up. “I vote indulge one last time too.”