“Daniel, you look like crap,” Jack said surprised when he saw his friend on his doorstep.
“Nice to see you too, Jack,” he said as his friend let him in. Daniel was glad to see that there was no one else in the room.
“Shouldn’t you be over at Sara’s?”
“Yeah, but she ended it.”
“Why? I thought you guys were doing okay?” Jack asked.
“I would have said the same thing yesterday.”
“Does this have anything to do with what happened in the gym?” Jack said as he handed Daniel a beer.
“She kicked my butt in there.”
“Yeah, I saw. It was like a scene from a movie or something. I didn’t even know that was possible to do before I saw her flip over like that. I mean I knew she was flexible, but not to that extent,” he said, trying to not think about some of the positions she had gotten into when they were together as he flopped down on the couch.
“She surprised me too, believe me. So she broke up with you over that?”
“No, she’s afraid she’ll get me killed.”
“What?” Jack said surprised.
“Sara said that every man that she has loved has died and she blames herself for the death of her teammates.”
“How much did she tell you?”
“Enough, not enough,” he said as he ran his fingers through his hair and let out a breath in frustration. “She said that her team came in to rescue her from being assaulted and they all died during the attack. Did I tell you she still has nightmares from it?”
“No, but I believe it. It happens.”
“Yeah, she said you knew. Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Would you have believed me? ‘Hey Daniel, you know your girlfriend is a trained killer?’ It wasn’t my place to tell you any way.”
“I guess your right,” Daniel said, feeling very tired. “What am I going to do?”
“You’re asking the wrong man.” Jack took a drink from his beer. “Do you feel differently for Sara, knowing what you know now?”
“I don’t know.”
Sara sat in her lab, working on the newest samples, getting them ready for another set of tests. Her chest hurt, but she was able to turn off most of her feelings so that she was just a shell, not much more than a computer.
“Sara,” Sam said, as she entered the room. “How’s the testing?”
“Fine, no major findings yet, ma’am,” she replied.
“What’s the matter? Did you get in a fight with Daniel?”
“Then why do you look like you broke up with him?”
“Because I did,” Sara said without any feeling.
“I broke up with him after I told him everything last night.”
“Because I saw how he looked at me when he saw me sparing with Colonel O’Neill in the gym yesterday. He saw me kick boxing and knock him to the ground.” Sara could feel the tears welling up inside of her, regardless of her training on how to shut off her emotions.
“Was he afraid of you?”
“If he wasn’t then, he is now. I’m a dangerous person, I have a tendency to get the men in my life killed.”
“What? I saw you yesterday when we were coming back through the gate. You probably saved Colonel O’Neill and Teal’c’s lives providing cover the way you did. We all got back without even a scratch on us.”
“This time. Anyway, I knew it was too good to be true. I don’t deserve what I had with Daniel. Not with what I did in the name of our country.”
“Sara, do you love him?”
“Yes, and that’s more of a reason to distance myself from him,” Sara replied, trying to convince herself that she had made the right choice.
Daniel had been moping around the SGC for two weeks since Sara had broken things off with him. Going home at night was hard; there he was all alone. At least at the SGC others were always around and he still had his work. Sara had left a few things at his place and she hadn’t asked for them back. He tried to talk to her in her lab, but she would basically kick him out before he could say anything.
Jack had almost as much of this as he could take from his friend and basically had to kidnap Daniel to get him out of his apartment. The two men went to O’Malley’s for dinner to try to cheer his friend up.
Just after they sat down at the table, Daniel could see Sam enter the restaurant. Sam was with Sara, who looked as if she didn’t want to be there at all but looked as beautiful as she was on their first date, wearing the same blue dress. Sam was talking to her as they crossed the room, walking towards their table.
“Jack, Daniel, what a surprise to see you here,” Sam said when she saw the men sitting there.
“Sam, join us,” Jack said. “You too, Riley.”
Sara sat, following orders and not looking at Daniel who sat across the table from her. She was trying to hide the fact that she was mad. Mad at both Sam and Colonel O’Neill for obviously setting this little “run in” up.
“How’s the work on that blue gunk we found going?” Jack asked, trying to jump start the conversation.
“As scheduled, sir,” she replied, trying to hide any emotions from showing as Sara picked up a menu and studied it with too much interest.
“Good, good,” he said, realizing that the conversation just stalled.
Daniel couldn’t keep his eyes off of Sara; no matter how much it hurt him to do so. She was just so beautiful. It felt as if he was looking into the sun. Sara on the other hand, was looking at everywhere but in Daniel’s direction.
After ordering their drinks, Sam excused herself to go to the ladies’ room. About a minute later, Jack did the same, leaving Sara and Daniel alone.
“It’s good to see you, Sara,” Daniel said after a few silent moments.
“I hope you’re not behind this,” she replied sharply.
“No, I think this is Sam and Jack’s doing. I had no idea you were going to be here. How have things been going for you?”
“Fine I guess.”
“You look beautiful, Sara. I’ve missed you,” Daniel said as he reached out for her hand.
Sara pulled her arm away from him only after a split second of contact. As hard as she wanted to deny it, she could still feel the electricity between them. “I…I can’t do this,” she said standing up from the table. “Tell Sam I’m going home.”
“Sara, wait,” he said as he followed her. “Why are you running from me?”
“It’s for the best for you Daniel,” she replied and left the restaurant.
Outside, Sara waited for a taxi to pull up to the curb. All she wanted to do was make a fast get a way.
“Sara, stop,” Daniel shouted as he ran from the entrance as she opened the taxi’s door. “Sara, we need to talk.”
“What is there to talk about?”
“Everything. I don’t want you to go.”
“You don’t need me Daniel, you deserve someone better than me. It’s safer if you just stay away from me. You’ll live longer,” she said as she entered the taxi.
“I don’t want to live longer if I’m not with you,” he pleaded.
It took all of her strength to close the taxi door and tell the driver to go. She could not stay there one more second; it hurt too much to see him again.
Daniel watched her taxi drive away and noticed that she didn’t look back. When the car was out of site, he returned to his friends inside.
“Sara said that she had to go,” he said despondently as Daniel returned to the table and saw his two friends sitting there with hopeful expressions on their face. He sat down with a ‘thunk’ in his chair and began to consume his first of many drinks that night.
A week later, Sara was walking down the hallway at the SGC when she ran into Col. O’Neill who was running and was very dirty.
“Sara, good thing I ran into you,” Col. O’Neill said.
“What’s going on? I thought you weren’t due back for a few days, sir,” Sara replied.
“We were ambushed. Teal’c and I were able to get away, but…”
“Where’s Daniel?” Sara asked very concerned.
“I don’t really know. Both Major Carter and Daniel were captured.”
“Is there a rescue mission for them?”
“Yes, I was on my way to the armory…” Col. O’Neill said but Sara cut her off.
“I’m coming with you,” Sara said firmly.
“Sara, you can’t.”
“You know that I have special training for situations like this. With all due respect Colonel, I am going. I can’t let him die.”
“Okay. We could use all the help. Come on,” Jack said and led her off to the armory before going off to the gate room for a quick briefing.
Sara arrived on P3-X39 with the rest of the rescue team. It took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the dark. Night had fallen and she was glad she had brought night vision goggles. She could hear the mechanical noises just over the hill, the sounds of Jaffa marching in full uniform and of Death Gliders warming up. There was no fear in Sara; she was ready for the job. All emotions were shut off so that she could get the job done, to rescue Daniel and Sam.
Colonel O’Neill led the group of five across the field and into the nearby woods, getting them close to where they had been ambushed. Teal’c was an expert tracker and once he picked up the trail, the rest of the team followed quickly and quietly behind him.
Sara was in the front half of the team, hoping that her ‘spidey senses’ would help them find the missing men faster. Her eyes were constantly moving, scanning the forest, her ears alert for anything. Teal’c led them to the edge of the forest and stopped.
“O’Neill, it appears that MajorCarter and DanielJackson have been lead to the mother ship by several Jaffa,” Teal’c told her. Up ahead was a massive Gaoul’d mother ship that had landed on the surface of the planet. Sara was amazed at the sheer size of the ship. It was the first one she had seen with her own eyes and if it wasn’t for the danger of being caught or the danger Daniel was in, she would have taken the time to admire it as she had done with the Egyptian pyramids the last time she was there. There was no time for study, it was time to formulate a plan and execute it.
The plan was simple. Colonel O’Neill instructed both Lieutenants Murphy and Strawbridge to find snipping spots to take out the guards by the entrance. Once the Jaffa had been taken care of, Teal’c, Jack and Sara would get inside the ship to try to find Sam and Daniel. Murphy and Strawbridge were to hold their positions to protect their path back to the Stargate.
Once inside the ship, the three of them set off trying to find where their friends were being held and, if possible, sabotage or destroy the mother ship as an added bonus. Sara followed Jack and Teal’c since they had been on the Goul’d ships before and had a good idea where Sam and Daniel could be.
Surprisingly, the rescue team had found the detention room with no run in’s with any guards. Before they began opening doors, Sara stopped both of them.
“Sir, something’s not right,” she told her. Sara’s ‘spidey senses’ were going off as if there was fire alarm going off. “It could be a trap.”
“Knowing the Goul’d, anything could be a trap,” Jack told her. “We’ll deal with a trap if and when we find it.”
Teal’c stood guard, his large staff weapon ready to fire, while Jack got the door opened.
Inside the room, behind the energy field were Sam and Daniel. Both didn’t look too bad for being captured.
“Colonel, wait,” Sam shouted when she saw him in the doorway. He halted in his steps just as a large Jaffa stepped into view. Sara, who covered Jack as the door opened, fired off two rounds, both head shots. The guard fell to the ground with a loud “thud”.
They ran inside the room as Teal’c pulled in behind them, making sure that no one had seen them go in.
“Carter, it’s good to see you. Are you alright?” Jack asked as she went over to the control panel to lower the force field.
“If you call being captured by that Jaffa alright, then we’re just peachy,” she replied sarcastically.
“Sara…” Daniel began, but she didn’t hear him.
“Wait, Colonel. Don’t lower the shied yet,” Sara called out.
“Why the hell not,” Jack replied.
“Look at this. It looks like some sort of bomb. If you lower the force field, it could blow us all up.”
Jack looked over to see what she had found. Sara had discovered a small metallic box that was attached to far side of the control panel.
“I think you’re right,” he said, confirming Sara’s observations. “It’s going to take us a few minutes to disarm it, guys.”
Sara carefully pried the lid off of the box. “It looks like a small naquida bomb. Not big enough to damage the ship, but it would have destroyed everything in the room.”
“It looks like a simple design,” Sara continued, pointing out its design.
“Yes, do you think you can disarm it?”
“Yes, sir. But everyone should get as far away from this thing, just in case,” Sara replied as she pulled out a small tool kit.
It took a few minutes to deactivate the bomb, but Sara was successful. A minute after that, the shield was lowered and Sam and Daniel were free. Jack gave Sam the extra P-50 he was carrying and Teal’c gave one to Daniel as well before they began their escape. Sara was the second to last in the group to leave the room, followed up by Teal’c. Daniel was right in front of her, but at that moment all she cared about was getting everyone back to the gate.
They quickly made their way to the forest where they collected up Murphy and Strawbridge before heading back to the gate. Sara had the feeling that they were being perused.
“Colonel, does anything seem odd to you?” she asked as they moved quickly through the forest.
“Don’t worry about it, Riley. Let’s just get everyone home,” he told her.
Suddenly the entire team could hear staff weapons firing in their direction. Everyone dove for cover, behind trees or rocks. Daniel ended up behind a large rock with Sara. He could see that she was focused on the events that were going on and was impressed with what he saw.
“Riley, can you see how many there are?” Colonel O’Neill asked over the radio.
“One minute, sir,” she said into her radio. Sara lay down on her stomach and slowly crawled with her P-90 in front of her to see what they were up against. Returning back to her cover, she said through her radio, “I see three Jaffa on my eight and four on my two. It looks like they all have staff weapons, sir.”
“Any more, Riley?”
“Not that I can tell, sir. What do you want me to do?”
Jack thought for a second before getting back on the radio. “Teal’c, we’ll go for the four on the right. Murphy, Strawbridge make sure there aren’t any of their friends ahead of us. Riley, can you and Daniel handle the other three?”
“That is affirmative,” Teal’c said.
“Three should be no problem, sir. Just say the word,” Sara said looking over at Daniel who nodded that he was ready.
“Okay… now,” he called out. As soon as Sara heard the ‘go-word’ she quickly popped up over the rock with Daniel at her side. She fired before Daniel was set but he quickly got ready. They both fired in small controlled bursts, many hitting the trees. The Jaffa fought back with their staff weapons, energy busting around them. Some of the hits were fairly close to the two of them, but that didn’t seem to affect Sara. She kept up with the volley of firing.
“Two down over here,” Teal’c called out on the radio.
“One over here,” Sara called out.
The firefight continued, each of the Jaffa being picked off one by one.
“All clear over here,” Jack said on the radio. “How about over there, Riley?”
“I count three down over here. I think we’re clear, sir.”
“Okay, let’s to the gate and quickly just in case those Jaffa have friends out there.”
“Yes, sir,” she said as she secured her weapon and made sure she had a fresh clip, just in case. “You ready, Daniel?”
“Yeah,” he replied as they began jog towards the gate. After a few seconds of deciding what to say to her, he said, “You were good back there. I should never have doubted you.”
“Um, thanks,” she said unsure how she wanted to proceed with the conversation. Her first priority was to get everyone home safe. Even with adrenalin pumping through her veins, her heart felt like it was breaking all over again just being next to him.
“Thanks for getting me out of there,” he told her as they were within site of the gate.
“It’s my job, Daniel. That’s what I had been trying to tell you before,” she said as a bit of her emotional shielding fell.
“But you didn’t have to. You could have stayed in your lab.”
“Knowing that you and Major Carter’s fate rested in the Gou’ld’s hands. No, thank you.”
“I’ve missed you,” he said. Before she could reply, Colonel O’Neill ordered Daniel to dial home saving her from replying.
Daniel began dialing home on the DHD. On the sixth symbol, he could hear a staff weapon discharging.
“Get us the hell out of here, Daniel!” Jack shouted and the rest of the team began to return fire. This had happened so many times, but it still scared him. Some of his anxiety was relieved as the last symbol was locked and the familiar Ka-Woosh of the wormhole establishing itself. Jack sent the code home for SGC to open the titanium iris and the team ran for the gate. First through were Major Carter followed by Lieutenants Murphy and Strawbridge. Sara stayed back to provide cover fire.
“Riley, get your butt through the gate. Now!” Colonel O’Neill yelled at her. That was all she needed to hear. Daniel was on the platform, about to step through when a massive explosion went off right in front of Sara, throwing her body up in the air. He saw her land as a pile of bones and flesh. Either the explosion or the impact had knocked her unconscious.
“Sara!” he yelled out as he ran to her side, seeing blood run from her head and ears. He was slightly relieved to feel that she was breathing and did have a pulse, but a weak one at that.
“Daniel, get her out of here. We’re right behind you,” Jack called to him as he and Teal’c moved backwards towards the gate.
Without another though, he picked up Sara’s motionless body and ran for the gate with everything he had.
Arriving on the other side of the gate, back at the SGC he immediately called for a medical team.
“Don’t leave me, Sara. You’re going to be okay. You have to be okay,” he told her, almost in tears as he looked at her beautiful face now smeared with dirt mixed with her blood.
The first of the medics arrived just as Jack and Teal’c emerged from the gate, followed by the closing of the iris and the gate disengaging. Jack could see Daniel as he gently laid Sara down on the stretcher. He placed his hand on his friend’s shoulder just as they carried her off to the infirmary. Daniel was frozen in place with shock.
“Go with her. We’ll debrief later,” Jack told him as he gently nudged his friend towards the door. Daniel was out the door before General Hammond could get down to the gate room to talk to the team.
“What happened Colonel,” the General asked, not happy that one of his people was whisked out of the room on a stretcher.
“We got Carter and Daniel out and caught fire returning to the gate. Riley was on her way to the gate when she was thrown from a staff weapon blast right in front of her, sir.”
“Very well, I want a full report on my desk by tomorrow and we will debrief as soon as medical clears your team.”
“Yes, sir,” Jack replied as the rest of the team left the gate room.
“Daniel, there’s nothing you can do right now, so just stay out of our way and let us help her,” Doctor Fraiser told him briskly. A nurse came over to him and led him to an examination table across the infirmary to get his post-mission physical. He could hear Doctor Fraiser ordering tests and medications for Sara.
He didn’t even really notice what the nurse was doing, just the normal things like blood pressure and looking in his ears. The injection of antibiotics and the blood sample were harder to zone out, but the routine of it was helpful.
The nurse left him just as the other members of SG-1 entered the infirmary, cleaned up from their mission.
“Any word, Danny?” Jack asked, as he stood next to the exam bed that Daniel was sitting on. He still wore the olive drab shirt that had Sara’s blood on it. His hands were speckled with mud made from the dirt and blood.
“Nothing yet. Janet chased me over here as soon as I got here,” he said with his attention focused on what was going on across the room.
“She’s tough. I know she’ll pull through,” Sam said trying to reassure him.
“MajorCarter is right. CaptainRiley is a strong warrior,” Teal’c said. All Daniel could do is nod; he never took his eyes off Sara.
Three medical techs came over to the other members who still needed their post-mission physicals. Daniel sort of heard his teammates tell him that she was going to be fine and that they would come back to wait with him.
“Come on Sara, you have to pull through,” he thought to himself, hoping Sara could hear him.
Almost an hour later, Doctor Fraiser came over to Daniel who had refused to budge.
“Janet, how is she?” he asked almost afraid to hear the answer.
“For now she’s stable. Captain Riley has a broken collar bone and leg and has not regained consciousness yet. I want to run some more tests.”
“Can I see her?” he asked timidly.
“Only for a minute, Daniel,” she said as she walked over to Sara with him and then left him alone.
“Sara, I’m here. It’s me, Daniel,” he said in almost a whisper as he took her limp hand in his. IV’s ran from their hooks down to her arms and there was a tube that ran extra oxygen to her nose. He could hear the steady beep-beep from the heart monitor and found a small amount of comfort in that. “I want you to get better, if only to tell me to get lost. Please, wake up Sara,” he pleaded as a tear fell from his eye, afraid for her. “I love you Sara. Please wake up.”
Daniel ran a finger down her cheek, remembering the last time they were together as a couple. She had stayed over his apartment the night before she had broken up with him. They were thinking of going on a small vacation and it felt so good to make plans with her for the future. He could remember that she had another one of her nightmares sometime in the dark of night and he comforted her as she cried, but she still would not tell him about it.
Sara’s body twitched and for a second Daniel thought that she was coming around, but those thoughts were dashed when he heard the heart monitor beeping erratically.
“Janet!” he screamed out in alarm, but Doctor Fraiser was already running across the room. She pushed Daniel away to work on her patient as she called for various drugs and the crash cart. He backed away slowly, scared for Sara, but knew he had to be strong for her. It was the least he could do for the woman he loved.