A cool breeze stirred the trees. Colonel Jack O'Neill sat in silence on his roof, nursing a beer and occasionally taking a look through his telescope at the stars above. Stargazing had been a hobby of his for years, he enjoyed the solitude it brought, the peace and tranquillity, the natural beauty and the breathless feeling of wonder you got from just looking at something that had been created long before you were born and would be there long after you had died..
It had taken on a new level of interest in recent years, as the thought crossed his mind that he had been out there, travelling amongst the stars from planet to planet, and he would no doubt be doing the same thing tomorrow and the day after that and, hopefully, the day after that. Thinking of his job brought his team mates to the front of his mind. His friends, his family.. The people he fought with and fought for on a daily basis.
Daniel was the first he had had the pleasure of meeting. A young, na´ve archaeologist who discovered something that would change the world forever but one which few would ever know about. Daniel was one of his best friends, no matter how much distrust and dislike there had been between them in the beginning. Daniel was the first person to show Jack not all scientists were that bad. The first, but not the last. As unlikely as it had seemed at the start of that first ever mission to Abydos, Daniel was now like a brother to the cynical Colonel, earning a place in Jack's heart, a hear that Jack had once thought closed off to everyone and everything.
Daniel had changed over the year, becoming more like Jack himself, using more and more trademark O'Neill sarcasm and losing his naivety. Jack took a swig of his beer and made a wish on one of the many stars above. ' Whoever or whatever is up there, don't let Danny change anymore and become too much like me. He doesn't deserve it. And don't take anyone else from him, please. At least don't turn them into snakeheads, I don't know if he could handle that.'
Teal'c was the next team member to come into his mind, simply because he was trying to have at least ten minutes without his thoughts turning to *her*, to the other team member. He thought about her a lot as it was. Too much for someone who was just a friend and CO, or someone who was trying to be just a friend and CO..
Back to Teal'c. The Jaffa who was once an enemy, who had served Earth's greatest threat but who had chosen to take the dangerous path and stand beside Jack and the Tau'ri, who had chosen to stand side-by-side with them. Jack looked through the telescope, wondering which planet was Chulak. He admired and respected Teal'c, not only for the choices he made but also for having the courage to stand up against the man he had once worshipped as a god, and for leaving all that was familiar to him behind. If the circumstances were reversed, Jack wasn't sure he would have been able to do the same thing.
As well as being a soldier and team mate, Teal'c was a trusted friend and member of the family that was SG-1. His role wasn't as defined as everyone else's, Jack was never sure whether Teal'c was a brother or an uncle or, sometimes he thought with a cheeky grin, sometimes he was the team's guard dog.. Whether his bark was actually worse that his bite, Jack didn't know and didn't have any desire to personally find out.. Maybe Maybourne could be used as a test subject thought.. Jack's grin widened a little at that thought but it disappeared quickly as he took another, slightly longer drink from the mouth of the bottle and thought about the last member of SG-1..
Now Carter.. Sam, he corrected himself with a sigh. He couldn't be court-martialled for his thoughts - thankfully - otherwise he'd have been brought up on charges the first time he'd met her and she challenged him to an arm wrestle. She was the one he thought about day in and day out. She was the one who had a starring role in his dreams, even those he had when he was awake, which was making it more and more dangerous to day-dream in briefings now.. The last thing he wanted to do was say or mumble something that would embarrass her, something that would embarrass them both. It was bad enough that she kept catching him staring at her when he thought she was too wrapped up in something else to notice.
Ever since they had returned from being 'Therra' and 'Jonah', ever since they'd started being the Major and the Colonel again, he had been secretly hoping for another chance to forget, hoping to be just Sam and Jack.
Soft music flittered over to him from inside, although he'd been oblivious to it before. The words struck a cord with him, though. Most songs did these days, especially when his mind was on Sam. Hell, who was he kidding. Even if it wasn't, after listening to a love song or a song that was remotely romantic, he'd soon find himself lost in the memory of her smile, of her sparkling blue eyes that shone even more as she giggled or tried not to giggle at one of his jokes..
*Love makes no promises. If you only knew What I've been going through Waiting and wanting you Could this be love How, tell me how will I know Will my heart make believe it's so Or can I trust the way I feel If you could read my mind You see how hard I've tried Still I can't decide*
He leaned back in his chair, letting the music wash over him, the lyrics seemingly summing up his dilemma concerning the one and the only Major Samantha Carter. His eyes closed. It had been a long time since he'd felt the way he did. He wasn't even sure if he'd ever felt the way he did about Sam about anyone else. Sure, he'd loved Sara and still did, in a way. She'd given him Charlie. But had he ever been truly *in* love with her? Sam understood him on so many more levels than Sara ever had.. But was he *in love* with Sam? Had he ever been in love with Sara?
*If you only knew, what I've been going through Waiting and wanting you Could this be love Oh, tell me could this be love
El amor no hace promesas (translated: Love makes no promises)*
Oh, he understood that. He had been waiting and hoping for something to chance since meeting Sam, since their kiss induced by the virus that they'd brought back from the Land of Darkness and Light. It had disturbed him at the time, to be forced to acknowledge how attracted he was to her, and how much he wanted her after knowing her for a relatively short amount of time.
And he was still waiting, waiting for the chance to be with her, to be able to tell her all the things he wanted to tell her. He'd had the opportunity during the time loops recently but had been unable to do anything but kiss her, unwilling to put her in that situation, unable and unwilling to take advantage of her when she wouldn't remember. He couldn't do that, probably not to anyone, but especially not to Sam.
*Do you know if it's true That real love lasts a lifetime Does it shine like the stars up in the sky And do you know if you can fall for just a moment Is a moment for all time*
He believed that. He had been brought up to hope that there was such a thing as true love. He'd seen it, with Daniel and Sha're. He stared up at the stars once again, sending up a silent prayer for Daniel and his lost love, hoping Sha're was at peace and that, someday, Daniel would find enough peace of mind to be able to move on. Life was short, yes, but it was too long to spend alone. Jack knew that, better than anyone.
*Why, why am I so unsure Is that love knocking at my door Or the sound of my beating heart*
Well, that was an easy question to answer, he thought to himself with a smile devoid of all humour. He was scared, scared to believe and trust how he felt. Afraid to let Sam know more than she already did. Sure, she knew he cared about her, a lot, and she knew he'd rather die than lose her and although that was a pretty dramatic statement to make that spoke volumes of how he felt, it somehow didn't seem enough.
Jack hadn't told her that he loved her. He was struggling to believe it himself. He was trying to hide it, ignore it, pretend it wasn't there. As hard as it was, he was still trying to deny it.. But how long was too long? How long could he wait? How long could Sam wait?
*If you could read my mind You know i just can't hide What I feel inside If you only knew, what I've been going through Waiting and wanting you Could this be love Oh, tell me could this be love
Could this be love Could this be love I wanna know*
He finished his beer and sat unmoving as the song finished. *You know I just can't hide, what I feel inside.* " I'm sorry, Sam," he whispered to the air beside him. " I can't keep hiding and waiting. I can't risk losing you. I can't do it anymore."
Nervousness gripped his heart as he stood but his features were set in a determined expression. Jack went into his house and turned off the music, grabbing his car keys on his way out. There was some place he had to be, something he had to do, words that he had to say.
Could this be love?
Continued in 'Thinking of You II - Talk About Us'