"Hey, Sam," Daniel said absently as he entered the briefing room. Not surprisingly, his glasses had slipped unnoticed to the end of his nose. He had a mug in one hand and a pile of reports in the other.
"Daniel," Sam said, her voice a little too sharp, disconcerted by his sudden appearance. Daniel frowned slightly as he took a seat across the table from her.
"Are you okay?" he asked with concern.
"Fine," she said quickly, forcing herself to look Daniel in the eye although the act embarrassed her. Embarrassed her because of how she'd last seen his face. A sight she wasn't meant to see and definitely not something she could afford to be thinking about now.
Daniel turned to his files, but kept giving her quick sideways looks, his frown growing deeper.
"Do I, uh, do I have something stuck in my teeth?" Daniel finally asked.
"Well, you keep staring at me like I've grown another head or something."
"No! No, sorry, I'm just a little distracted," Sam said.
"Sure?" Daniel asked.
"Really," Sam said, pushing a bright smile to the surface.
Daniel didn't look completely convinced but he let it drop, returning to his reports. Sam took a deep, calming breath. She thought she had her reactions under control but barely managed to contain a startled jerk when her C.O. burst into the room a moment later.
"Hey, Jack," Daniel said without looking up.
"Where's the coffee?" O'Neill growled as he made straight for the pot.
"Good morning to you, too," Daniel said, his voice thick with amusement.
"Easy for you to say when you've already had your first cup of the morning," O'Neill said, pouring himself a steaming cup. He walked over to the table and took the seat next to Daniel's. "Or should I say third cup?"
"Second," Daniel shot back, eyeing Jack over the top of his glasses. "And the only reason I needed that is because I had to stay up late last night finishing that translation for SG-9."
"Yeah? Well, whose fault is that?" Jack taunted.
"Oh, I don't know," Daniel said dryly. "Could be the guy who sprawled all over my couch screaming himself silly over the Cubs."
"Oh!" Sam said involuntarily, blushing at the image of her C.O sprawling and screaming.
"Carter? You okay?" O'Neill asked, taking in his 2IC's high color. "You don't have a fever or anything?"
"No, sir," Sam said hurriedly. "I'm perfectly fine."
"Okay," O'Neill said slowly, obviously as skeptical as Daniel had been. He turned back to Daniel. "And you, Mr. Un-American--do you have any idea how rare it is for the Cubs to win a play-off series?"
"About as rare as you actually listening to anything I say," Daniel said good-naturedly, sorting his papers for the up coming briefing.
"Now that's just not true," O'Neill said with mock indignation. "I listen to everything you say. I just don't believe most of it."
Before Daniel could retort, General Hammond entered the room followed closely by Teal'c. Sam had never been so relieved to start a briefing in her life.
Sam rubbed wearily at her eyes as she pulled up the analysis of the object they'd brought back from P5Z. After a moment of staring in vain at the numbers she closed it, closed her eyes, and put her head down on her desk.
It was all her own fault, really, her lack of sleep. She'd gone by Daniel's apartment the previous evening in the hope of luring him out for dinner, just hang out for a while. There was nothing unusual about the evening or the idea. Daniel had become what she jokingly referred to as her dependable platonic date. Daniel never seemed to mind. Hell, he was in the same boat, overworked and really just not into the dating scene even when he had the time.
So Sam had walked boldly up to Daniel's door without a second thought. She hadn't given a second thought to the lack of response to her knock either. Daniel had a tendency to tune out the world when he was engrossed in something. He'd never cared before when she let herself in, so she had. A quick look had told her that Daniel wasn't in the kitchen, living room or study. Assuming he was in the bathroom, she'd been just about to make herself comfortable on the couch when she'd heard his voice coming from the bedroom.
Looking back, she should've left right then. Just walked out, locked the door behind her, and never mentioned it. Instead, what she'd done was start walking toward the bedroom. She had stopped, momentarily, when she'd heard Colonel O'Neill's voice growling, "Go for it!", but only because she'd been amused at what she thought was another of the colonel's continual attempts to turn Daniel into a raving sports nut.
Sam and Janet had even dubbed the colonel's ecstatic victory face his 'orgasm face', as in it was probably the way he looked when he...well.... And Daniel's was the look he got when he made some new discovery--eyes wide and mouth hanging open. Okay, so it was a little...rude. But it was harmless conjecture between Sam and Janet and what the guys didn't know wouldn't hurt them. Or her.
She'd continued toward Daniel's bedroom, thinking how fortunate it was that O'Neill was here because now she could invite both of them to join her. She liked the colonel; he was a decent guy. But she would never consider just stopping by his house and inviting him to hang out. Aside from the fact that it would be completely improper, given their ranks and relative positions within the chain of command, O'Neill just wasn't someone who seemed to invite socializing. He was very self-contained, almost aloof at times, and it intimidated Sam a bit.
But this...this had been perfect. The colonel had been already socializing with Daniel, and that made it easy for the three of them to have a chance to enjoy some time together.
Just as Sam had reached the bedroom door, hanging just slightly ajar, she'd heard a sound she'd never heard before. The colonel laughing. It had to be him. She'd heard Daniel laugh before. Not often, but she'd heard it. This definitely hadn't been Daniel. It had had to be O'Neill and Sam hadn't been able to remember a single time she'd ever heard the colonel laugh.
Sam had heard Daniel's voice, murmuring something in response the colonel's laugh. And then the colonel had moaned. That, at last, had penetrated her brain.
Colonel O'Neill. Daniel. Daniel's bedroom. Moaning.
Sam had frozen on the spot, trying to put those pieces together in any way that made sense. She couldn't; it just didn't compute. There had been more murmuring, more moaning, and she'd taken the last step to the bedroom door and she'd had no idea why she had.
Sam had craned her neck, peering through the small gap in the door into the bedroom. The colonel. Daniel. Bed. Naked. Entwined so closely Sam had had a hard time figuring out which arms and legs belonged to which man. Naked. Sweating. Moaning....
Dumbstruck, Sam had watched as O'Neill grasped Daniel's face between his hands, gently, watching Daniel's face twist in extreme pleasure. She'd been just barely able to make out the colonel's whispered, "Beautiful, so beautiful...," as he gazed, rapt, at Daniel's flushed face. The colonel's hands had caressed his cheeks as Daniel's body relaxed and his breath flowed more easily.
Daniel's tight grip into the muscles of O'Neill's back had eased and he'd begun making long strokes along his spine as O'Neill's ass clenched rhythmically, faster and harder. The colonel had thrown his head back, cried out, and then...then Sam had seen his true orgasm face. She'd backed away, unnoticed, as the colonel slumped, resting his forehead against Daniel's.
So. There she'd been. Home, finally, and unable to sleep. Sam simply hadn't been able to get the images and sounds to fade. She hadn't been able to stop the questions that besieged her stunned mind.
Aside from the whole 'guy-guy' thing.... Well, back that truck right up. She couldn't get past the 'guy-guy' thing. All the evidence pointed to Colonel O'Neill and Daniel as being straight. They'd both been married. They.... Okay, so Sam had known people who'd been married, for whatever reason, but were bi or gay. So...O'Neill and Daniel were...what?
Maybe it was just a sort of 'making do'. Sort of like her non-dates with Daniel...just with sex thrown in. But that didn't ring true to Sam. She knew Daniel well enough to guess that he might have some issues with 'using' someone, someone he cared about, for casual sex. Casual sex, itself...well, Daniel was a guy. Like the colonel. Sam didn't have a hard time imaging that either of them might have the occasional one night stand. But casual sex with each other? Casual sex with another man?
Despite the fact that Sam had never before seen two men making love, she would've bet a month's paycheck that this wasn't new to either of them. There had been no hesitancy, no tentativeness, no holding back. They'd been passionate...and gentle.
Sam couldn't imagine any man making himself that vulnerable, not just for sex. Certainly not her C.O. No way O'Neill would compromise his position just to satisfy his hormones. And no way that Daniel would risk his friendship with the colonel.
So they must be...in love? But they couldn't be--they were both straight, weren't they? Sam had groaned, her head aching as she tried to comprehend what, to her, had been incomprehensible before tonight. Because if Colonel O'Neill and Daniel were doing the deed, they had to be gay. Bi. Something other than totally straight anyway.
And that hadn't even been the end of the questions. Others came surging forward before she could even wrap her mind around O'Neill and Daniel doing it. Doing each other. Questions like how was this going to affect the team? How would it change their relationships with each other? How would it impact their ability to depend on each other in the field? Questions she couldn't even begin to answer because she didn't have enough information.
If this...relationship was new, then it was something that all four of them would have to learn to deal with. But if Daniel and the colonel had been together for months...or years? If they had, then the effect their relationship might have on the team was a non-issue. It was a done deal.
Of course, there was always the question of whether she'd ever be able to look at either of them without blushing again, too.
"Carter, time for lunch."
Sam jerked upright in her chair. She looked up to see Colonel O'Neill and Daniel standing in the door to her office.
"You might as well," Daniel advised with a shrug. "He's in a mood and he won't quit until you give in."
"I am not in a mood," O'Neill argued. "I'm just trying to look after my kids."
"Who are neither kids nor incapable of looking after themselves," Daniel shot back.
"That so? Then why did I find you passed out at your desk last week?" O'Neill asked.
"I wasn't passed out. I was resting."
"Fraiser said your blood sugar had dropped to fifty."
"Well...Janet has a bad habit of sticking her nose in where it doesn't belong," Daniel argued.
"Yeah, like into your health and well being?"
Sam couldn't help but smile at Daniel's vain attempt to escape O'Neill's mothering. After all, it was always preferable to have Daniel as the target rather then herself. She wasn't quick enough to hide her amusement when O'Neill suddenly turned back to her.
"Don't be so quick to laugh, Carter," O'Neill said, wagging a finger at her. "After all, who was it who tried to fuel her reactor with blue jello and eat naquada because she was too tired to see straight?"
"It was an honest mistake," Sam protested.
"Carter, even I know that reactors don't run on jello. Of any color." O'Neill jerked his thumb sharply at the door. "No more arguments. Let's go."
Sam stared for a minute as it hit her. All her confused and tumultuous thoughts, her disbelief, her questions.... It was much ado about nothing. Nothing that really mattered to her anyway. Colonel O'Neill was still the same grouchy, overprotective, slyly charming commanding officer he'd always been. And Daniel--Daniel was still the same obtuse, distractible, sweet friend he'd always been. Whatever these two had between them it didn't change who they were, the men she'd always known them to be. It didn't change their places in her life, or hers in theirs.
Sam decided that was a state of affairs she could live with.
"Yes, sir," Sam said, getting up and walking over to join them. As she passed Daniel on the way out the door, she said, "The colonel did say he was buying, right?"
"I believe he did, yes," Daniel agreed with a conspiratorial smile as he followed her out of the room. Sam's smile widened as she and Daniel left Jack to sputter in outrage at the speed in which the tables had been turned.
"No. Wait. I never said I was buying!"
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