Under Alien Skies-Propagation
Author:Alec Star
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Rating: 15+
Chapter 12: How Do You Untangle A Tangled Web?
(Daniel's POV)

Chapter 12: How Do You Untangle A Tangled Web?
(Daniel's POV)

I'm staring at the door wondering what to do. It's not exactly late but still I suspect Sam is awake and has been for a while... she just doesn't want to come out, now the question is, should I wait her out or should I just knock and get it over with? I know how late she stayed up last night, she may have been quiet but the truth is that I could see the light under the door but in spite of that I know right now she is just trying to hide from me for that little bit longer.

The thing is that I have a couple of things I want to talk to her about but I'm not entirely sure how she's going to react to any of them. I know chances are what's coming won't be anywhere near as bad as our ‘friendly encounter' last night but at the same time I understand why she may be reluctant to face me. The good news is that at least we've made some progress in that beyond her obvious discomfort the reasons for her avoidance are likely to be more manageable, easier to overcome than the ones we were facing yesterday.

The truth is that I don't think waiting a couple of hours is going to make much difference one way or the other and the end result of putting this off any longer is just going to be to prolong her ‘agony’, now the question is how should I approach her. I know breakfast in bed would be too much but maybe bringing her a cup of coffee would be a good choice to break the ice here... besides, she really does need some breakfast, especially seeing how last night she was in too much of a hurry to get away from me to have dinner anyway.

Having made up my mind I head for the kitchen and I emerge a few minutes later with a freshly brewed cup of coffee... a sort of peace offering that I'm hoping will enable me to break the ice.

"So, how did you sleep?" I ask Sam after she follows me back to the kitchen while I make breakfast.

"Fine, better than I had in a while," she reluctantly admits.

"Glad to hear that. Listen, Sam, I've been thinking..."

"Should I be worried?" she asks, and even though she is trying to keep her tone light I can see that she's only half-joking... in fact, seeing how she insists on her numbers being as precise as humanly possible, maybe it would be more accurate for me to say that she is only quarter-joking.

"Not funny... actually I've been trying to figure out a way to make things a little easier for you," I tell her, mock-glaring at her.

"What do you have in mind?" she asks, sounding even more worried than before.

"Well, the way I see it we have a problem... or so it seems."

"No, we don't have a problem. I have a problem but I'm handling it," she says, growing increasingly defensive.

"I already told you, I'm here for you and..."

"But it is my problem!" she insists.

"Whatever, you are not going to get me to forget what I'm trying to say by getting into an argument over pronouns with me, you should know that by now. Besides, even if it was originally your problem I'm your friend and that makes it our problem. Now, as I was trying to say, the thing is that even though what we have here seems to be a problem the truth is that what we are dealing with are in fact two separate problems that are deeply intertwined. On the one hand we have the fact that you were raped, and the truth is that there's nothing anyone could possibly do to change that. That is problem number one but according to what you told me last night that's not the problem you are the most worried about, at least not right now. The problem you are the most worried about has to do with the fact that you have been keeping this whole thing a secret and that is making what was already a heavy burden even heavier. Would you say that that's a fair assessment of the situation?"

"Maybe, but that does nothing to change the facts," she points out.

"No, you are right but even though it doesn't change the facts, having a better understanding of those facts may enable us to approach them from a different perspective," I remind her.

"What are you getting at? What are you trying to say, Daniel?" she asks.

"That going by what you told me last night it seems to me that you are having more trouble with the thought that the truth might come out than with anything else... except perhaps the threat of what might have been. From what you've told me it sounds to me like what Turghan actually did to you is the least of your worries, and the thing is that even though we can't change what Turghan did to you we can do something about the current situation."

"I already told you, I have to keep it a secret, there's no way I can come clean, not now. It's been too long," she says, running a hand through her hair and sounding more than a little frustrated, not that that comes as much of a surprise.

"And if we could figure out a way for you to come clean without you getting in trouble and without jeopardizing your place in SG-1, would that help?" I ask, trying to move things along.

"I guess it probably would," she reluctantly admits but she still sounds far from convinced, in fact if anything she seems to be growing increasingly nervous.

"But you are not certain," I say, not even bothering to phrase that as a question.

"It's not that. I know it would probably help but at the same time I’m well aware of just how effective the rumor mill at the SGC is..." she trails off.

"I think it could be handled discreetly... besides, these are just ideas and I won't implement any of them unless you agree," I try to reassure her. "It's your call, if you prefer to go on like you have up until now I won't bring it up again, all I ask is that you don't shut me out."

"What are you thinking?" she finally asks after hesitating for a moment, giving in to her curiosity as I knew she would.

"Well, there are a number of things but I guess the most important one is that I was going over what you told me last night about why you chose to keep quiet in the first place and I think I may have found a loophole we can use to explain your silence without you getting in trouble for it."


"Well, you mentioned that there were two separate reasons why you didn't say anything about what had happened to you. The one you described as your primary concern had to do with the fact that since Simarka was one of the first planets we ever visited you were worried about the fact that General Hammond might have decided that having women assigned to off-world teams was just too dangerous. The thing is that even going by what you told me that is no longer such a major issue because, as you said, by now he's probably come to terms with the fact that whenever we walk through that gate we face unknown dangers, all of us. On the other hand, you said that coming forward now is not really an option because you would not just have to explain what happened but also on top of that you would have to explain your silence and that's where the real problem lies, right?"

"Yes, so?"

"So that brings us to reason number two. Your second reason had to do with the fact that all this happened before Janet joined the SGC and at the time you didn't feel all that comfortable having Dr. Warner examine you, right?"

"Yes, but I'd rather keep that second reason to myself. It sounds so damned stupid right now."

"I told you, it's not stupid... and I don't think keeping it to yourself is such a good idea," I tell her with a small smile.

"What do you mean?"

"Don't you see? You didn't say anything because you were uncomfortable with Dr. Warner."


"So that's your loophole and it's one no one is likely to contest. Tell me something, if Janet had been in the infirmary when we came back from Simarka, what would you have done?" I ask.

I keep an eye on her as she contemplates her answer for a few seconds and then she says, "I don't know. I had never even thought about it but to tell you the truth I get the feeling that if Janet had been there not saying anything wouldn't have been an option. Dr. Warner didn't really seem comfortable with the idea that I might have been raped and I think he was doing his best not to think about it even being a possibility, I suspect Janet would have pushed the issue and insisted on an exam and that would basically have been it, why?"

"Do you trust her?" I ask, already knowing the answer to that question.

"Yes, but she would have been forced to tell General Hammond and..."

"But if you could talk to her without worrying about Hammond, if it were just Janet, do you trust her?" I interrupt her, knowing how the rest of that argument goes and knowing that now is not the time for it.

"Yes, but she can't keep it to herself without getting in trouble and I don't want to put her in a position of having to choose. That's one of the reasons why I haven't told her anything."

"And what about doctor/patient confidentiality?" I ask.

"I signed a disclosure agreement. My CO has a right to access my medical records under certain circumstances. I know that for the most part Janet doesn't feel comfortable disclosing those records unless there's something about them that poses an immediate threat to the SGC and I know General Hammond usually tries to respect that privacy as much as possible... but what does that have to do with anything?"

"I was thinking that maybe we could turn that situation around and into a way to inform Hammond without getting you in trouble and hopefully without anyone else knowing about it... at least it should be possible if we were to play our cards right,” I explain. “First of all I would like to talk to Janet off base and off the record to try to gauge how she would react to any of this, that would be the first step, then with a little luck we should be able to figure out something with her help to work around your silence. I was thinking of something along the lines of blaming your non-disclosure on the absence of female personnel in the infirmary at the time..."

"No, I'm not letting Dr. Warner take the blame for this, it wouldn't be fair. It was my decision," she interrupts me and I know that is not something she is going to be changing her mind about any time soon.

"This is not about blame Sam," I try to reassure her, "but if it makes you feel better we can ask Janet to see if there's some way to explain the role Dr. Warner had to play in this whole thing without necessarily making it his fault... besides, pointing out the absence of female personnel at the time and saying that you were uncomfortable with the idea of a male doctor would be an accurate representation of the facts."

"It would be a partial representation of the facts and you know it," she corrects me.

"And how many times have we deliberately kept some information out of our reports by now?" I challenge her.

"But that's different!"


"Because..." she trails off.

"Because this time it would be intended to keep you safe rather than someone else? What would you do if our positions were reversed?" I push.

"Sure, throw logic at me," she growls.

"I'm not, I'm just pointing out that the absence of female personnel was relevant in your decision to keep quiet in the first place. It is an explanation that would be acceptable and also one that can be used to explain the fact that you didn't say anything for seven months. You say that you are worried about the fact that you could end up getting in trouble for keeping quiet in the first place and that is something I suspect General Hammond would probably be willing to accept as an explanation... and that means it is an explanation you can use to come forward now without getting in trouble."

"Janet would never buy that... and neither would General Hammond for that matter," she insists.

"I agree about Janet but I'm not so sure about General Hammond... and I'm fairly confident that you can tell Janet the whole truth. She would understand, as for Hammond I think that as long as he has a plausible excuse to let you off the hook he won't really push the issue."

"So you are saying that I tell Janet and she tells Hammond and that is going to solve everything? Somehow I don't think it's going to be quite that easy."

"No, it won't solve everything, you are right about that, but it would be an important first step. Besides it wouldn't be quite that straight forward either, in fact you are leaving out one step in the whole process. The way I see it, first I talk to Janet to try to get an idea of how she would react, then, if everything goes well in that conversation you come clean to her and let her deal with Hammond... and even if Hammond tries to pull you from SG-1 I'm fairly certain that I'd be able to talk him out of it."

"When did you figure all of this out?" she asks, looking at me with some suspicion.

"Last night," I admit.

"Did you get any sleep at all?"

"Not much but it doesn't really matter. This is more important."

"I'm scared," she admits, looking down and I know just how hard that admission had to be for her.

"Why? You don't think it will work?"

"No, it probably will... and that's part of the problem. If they know..."

"What will happen if ‘they’ know?" I encourage her.

"I don't know. I've worked so hard to get the general and the colonel to respect me, to see me for me and not just as 'The Girl' and I don't know how they are going to react... besides, if General Hammond knows I'll have to tell the colonel, there’s no way around that and I don't want them to treat me like I'm broken. I'm still me but..."

"Yes, they are going to be upset and its going to take them a while to process this. I won't lie to you and tell you that things won't get more than a little awkward for a while but they'll get over it eventually... we'll get over it."

"Telling the colonel is not going to be pleasant," she points out and I can't help but think that that's a good candidate for understatement of the year.

"Actually, you should probably take advantage of the chain of command to take care of that particular detail," I say.

"You mean that if General Hammond knows then he would be required to inform him himself, especially seeing how it happened during a mission under his command, right?"

"Yes. That way Jack would be told but you wouldn't have to be the one to tell him and maybe after that I could try to run some interference to get him to calm down a little before he confronts you."

"This whole thing feels like the coward's way out,” she says, shaking her head. “It's my mess and I should be the one to clean it up."

"No, it's not a coward's way out, it is our best shot at enabling you to get rid of some of the weight you've been carrying these past few months without getting in trouble for it and without making matters worse. As for letting the general tell Jack about this, if it makes you feel better, it is also the way in which I suspect it will be easier for him to deal with all of this. He is going to freak when he first hears about this, I can promise you that much, and I think he would much rather not have you as a witness to that particular reaction."

"I don't like it. I mean, as far as plans go this is probably the best thing I could possibly have hoped for and I know it but still..."

"Listen, Sam, it's going to be okay. I understand why you decided to keep quiet in the first place and I understand that in the end you are the one who has to decide whether or not the risks you take whenever you go off-world are worth taking. That is a decision we all have to make and I understand why you didn't want the military to make it for you but the way I see it you can't go on like this. You may have managed to come to terms with what Turghan did to you but right now keeping this a secret is killing you and I think you know it."

"But what if General Hammond still feels that it's too dangerous for me to be out there?"

"Then I bring out the really big guns and I tell him exactly why pulling you from the team would be a very bad idea," I tell her. "Do you remember what I said last night about how the fact that I'm not military means that I have a greater freedom to speak my mind? Well, if it comes to that I promise you that I will take full advantage of that freedom... besides, I can pretty much guarantee that if it comes down to it Jack will back you up, military protocol be damned. I won't lie to you though, even if it works it won't be easy... and as for it being the coward's way out, well, there remains one more thing you have to consider that won't be easy and it will be a decision you will have to make entirely on your own."

"What do you mean?"

"What do you want to do about Teal'c? The decision on whether he should be told or not is yours and yours alone... of course, there are pros and cons to both approaches and you may want to take those into account. The way I see it if you don't tell him that could cause some serious tension within the team, especially if he were ever to find out that everyone else knew and he didn't. In that regard telling him would probably be the ideal course of action... the only problem is that we just don't know enough about Chulak to even begin to speculate on how he is going to react to the news and that unpredictability means that telling him could also be disastrous for the team. It's your call."

"Thanks, Daniel," she mock-growls at me.

"Well, you were the one who said that letting your friends help you sort this one out was the coward's way out and I know you are no coward... you don't expect me to start coddling you now, do you?" I ask as I set her breakfast down in front of her.

"Thanks, Daniel," she says... and this time around I can see that she actually means it.

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Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, I don't own the concepts, I make no money, I make no sense and I get no sleep. This is done for fun and I promise to put the characters back where I found them once I'm done playing with them.