Love. A simple four-letter word, one syllable. Yet, it contained everything worth living for; it had the power to make or break a person, to cement relationships or destroy them. Love exists in its purest form all around us, the platonic love we have for parents, siblings, and friends. The love we have for our family is like no other emotion; it is fuelled by loyalty, caring and unquestionable faith and trust. But the greatest love of all exists between two people; a bond so deep it can never be dissolved. A love that can never be quenched, as the fires of passion burn strong and true.
Standing alone on Jack O’Neill’s roof, Sam Carter allowed herself some time to absorb the events of the past few days. Jack had come back, back to Earth, back to the SGC, and back to her. Smiling slightly as she remembered the slightly frostbitten form of O’Neill as he was spewed out from the tumultuous event horizon, landing in a muddled heap at the feet of the President of the USA. It was classic O’Neill timing, just when Sam had finally been granted the request to reopen the Stargate to seek out those lost on the ill-fated mission to P4S 919 a little over a year before, a mission that wasn’t approved, or indeed known of until the wormhole had snapped shut, sealing her fate.
He had left her then, deserted her, without words, or explanations. He hadn’t glanced back as she called after him as he was swallowed by the luminous spectacle. He hadn’t say goodbye.
But that was then and this was now. A year was a long time for self-introspection, for the grief and sorrow he had caused when he broke her heart, for the opportunity to move on. And she had. For the first month she had done nothing but wallow in misery and it’s companions of self-pity and heartache, the progression to hatred seemed natural. He had left her without a word and she despised him for it; for the hurt and rejection he had inflicted. So she learnt that she was better off without him, better off alone.
But she wasn’t.
"Hey? What are you doing up here? You’re gonna freeze to death!"
Startled out of her musings, Sam threw a haphazard glance at the man before her as he climbed the last few rungs to the roof.
"I hardly think I’m going to freeze in this sweater," she replied as she pulled at said sweater, "tell me, does this actually fit *you*? Because it sure as hell buries me!" Her voice was lighter than he had expected, unburdened and at ease.
"Well, it doesn’t actually *fit* per se…… but come on! It’s my favourite hockey sweatshirt!" His voice mirrored hers, learning to slip back into the roles they had before he had gone to P4S 919…but he didn’t want to become the Colonel and Major again, not after the night they had shared before he had left.
"So, what are we looking at?" Jack continued as he followed Sam’s eyeline up into the heavens.
"Huh? Oh, nothing, I was just thinking is all," she stated quietly
"Hey! What have I warned you about thinking? It isn’t good for you," Jack replied humorously, unnerved by Sam’s apparent and sudden withdrawal. "Okay, so what are we *thinking* about?"
"Oh, it doesn’t matter. So, how does it feel being back on Terra Firma?" Her obvious deflection of subject of discussion was not lost on Jack. And he looked curiously at her ‘innocent’ statement that held the potential to start a topic he *really* didn’t want to discuss, not yet, but if she needed to ‘hash it out’ he would have no option but to comply.
"What doesn't matter? Sam? Is there something you aren't telling me? Because I want you to know you can tell me anything."
Smiling ironically, Sam replied quietly, "There will always be something I *can't* tell you, Jack."
Grasping her delicate chin in his slender fingers, he raised her face so that her eyes had no recourse *but* to stare into his eyes. As his eyes locked with hers, she felt her resolve melt away, dissolving in the pools of liquid fire in his eyes.
"Tell me, Sam," he replied, an ethereal sound.
"I can't Jack, it *will* change everything, and I don't know if you want that, I don't know what you want me to say."
Stroking her cheek, he replied earnestly, "I want you to tell me what you want, what you're feeling, please don't hide from me Sam."
Meeting his intense gaze, she began, "You left me Jack, you left me and you didn’t say goodbye."
"I know Sam, and god I am sorry, I’m so sorry, but I had to go……"
"And even after all the hurt and pain you caused me, I can’t shut off the feelings, I can’t deny to myself what I’ve had to hide all these years; I love you, Jack."
Slightly stunned by her admission, Jack's hand fell from her face, as he stepped backwards. "You love me? Since when? I mean, wha...". Words failed to convey the inner turmoil he was feeling. Love. A simple word, four letters, one syllable, yet it contained everything worth living for; it had the power to make or break a person, to cement relationships or destroy them.
The question was, would it destroy the delicate balance that existed between Sam and Jack?
Feeling him pull away slightly, Sam turned, not allowing him to witness the pain it was causing her as the tears threatened to spill.
For once, Jack was at a loss for words, having never said the *word*, he suddenly realised that once he said it, he professed it and admitted it, there would be no turning back, and he wouldn't be able to lose Sam.
Seeing her pain, he quickly turned her into his arms, bringing them around her, surrounding her in the love he felt, yet dared not profess. And it hurt, it hurt them both that he could not say this simple, four letter word.
Instead he could only hope that his actions would declare what he knew in his heart; that he loved Sam Carter, no other.
But it wasn't enough, Sam needed more, something tangible. Whispered words of affection would only get her so far, and she deserved to know the truth, if he couldn't commit to the words, then what hope would they have to commit to each other?
The events of this past year had shaken her to the core; the bottom had fallen out of her world and she had lost all sense of grounding. When Jack had left, he had taken more than her heart, he had taken her reason for being and breathing. His ‘betrayal’ for lack of a better word had made her question herself and the relationship she had had with him. They had no real ties to the other, their relationship had been doomed from the get go, but she had still remained hopeful that they would find a way to overcome the nay sayers and those that would oppose them.
She needed security, a reason to breathe again, a reason to love again.
And Jack knew this; he knew Sam needed to hear the words and if he was honest, truly honest, he needed to hear it himself, to hear him tell the one he loved more than life itself that she was his one and only.
Retreating out his comforting embrace, she looked him straight in the eyes, waiting for him to say it, to tell her, to admit what he felt. But the words fell short on his lips. He wanted to tell her, oh god he wanted to, but he couldn't, and she knew it. This simple four letter word had the power to destroy them, and it was killing them, slowly and painfully.
Pulling fully out of his arms, she enveloped herself in her own comfort, acknowledging to Jack that she couldn't continue. She couldn't live with her feelings in limbo like this, the perpetual confusion and uncertainty she had resided in since she had known him.
Shame filled him. He couldn't do it, he couldn't tell her, and it was hurting her in ways he never thought he would be responsible for, not again.
"Listen, I better get back downstairs, see what the guys are up to, are you staying up here?" There it was, Sam had closed off, remaining aloof.
Nodding his answer and unable to meet her eyes, Jack stared wistfully into the clear night sky as he heard the soft footfalls of Sam as she walked down the stairs.
Now alone, he whispered, "I do love you Sam, but I'm afraid I'm never going to be strong enough to tell you."
The silent sky had never felt so alone and isolating to Jack, usually his time was spent travelling to these etheral places, fighting the unending war and fighting the unending war with his feelings but the fight was over. There were no goa'ulds to fight, his last stint to P4S 919 had taken care of that. Thanks to President Kinsey there was no more planets to explore, it was out of his hands, leaving him with the only thing he had held most dear and revered; Sam.
But he couldn't love her, he loved her god yes, but he couldn’t tell her…if he told her, he put himself in a position to loose everything he loved, by keeping it to himself, he could convince himself in years to come when Sam finally found a man worthy of her, that he could get over her. That he could stop loving her.
So what other choice did that leave him?
By not telling her, he was breaking her heart, and by telling her, he risked breaking his own heart.
He chose the lesser of two evils. By keeping it to himself, he could allow Sam to move on, find herself someone she deserved, not this hardassed soldier with too much emotional baggage.
She didn't need him, and she didn't deserve him, so he had to do this; to watch as he broke her heart in two, hoping that one day, someone would come along that could help her pick up the pieces and love again. Someone who she was allowed to love.
Climbing wearily down the stairs, Sam tried to remain together, to keep her emotions in check as she felt the pain rising in her chest he was protecting her; that she was sure of, but didn't he see how much she needed him? Needed his love?
Why couldn't he say it? The four words she longed to hear and he couldn't bring himself to say it. She knew he loved her, the small gestures he showed, the affections, the look in his eyes when they made love, but it wasn't enough. She needed more. He had left her confused and unsure, and she needed to know, she needed to be certain.
His heart, heavy with the knowledge that if he opened up, admitted to her what he felt she would be happy. But hadn’t he shown her? In the hundreds of times he had seen her reach that wave of ecstasy, her face contorted in pleasure, had he not shown her? The gentle caress of a lover as he held her tight, through the sadness and pain?
He wanted to tell her, he needed to tell her, and she needed to hear it.
But would his love ever be enough for Sam?
He was grateful for the unabashed love and caring she had for him and he reciprocated a thousand fold and there was only one solution. If he wanted to be in her life, to be with her, he had to tell her. And that's exactly what he was going to do.
Acting on impulse before his brain had the chance to register what he was about to do, he stealthily descended the stairs and was stopped short by the sight that greeted him.
He was here.
Joe was here, in *his* house and he was holding Sam's sobbing frame in his arms, whispering terms of assurance to her as she clutched to his shirt.
He was too late; his moment's hesitation he had denied himself what he wanted and now Joe, the man who had cared for Sam when he had been stuck on that goddamned PX2 279, branded ‘property’ of the local natives, was back, large as life, and seemed to have no qualms about slipping back into the role as a lover.
He had lost her.
The military training that had been instilled in her at a tender age was still just as sharp and keening as ever. Aware of someone's gaze on her back, she reluctantly pulled out of Joe's reassuring hugs and turned to face the only person she knew it would be. It broke her heart to see him stand there, the look of anguish on his face as he saw who she was with, but it wasn’t like that. The way they used to be; *they* had been over for a very long time, but Jack still couldn't shake the worry and fear that one day Joe would come and steal her away from him as he had done all those years ago when Jack had been imprisoned on PX2 279.
"Jack, please, it isn't what you think......." her voice was little more than a begging wail
"Oh please, that’s a cliche....." The defences were up, the stone-hard mask in place, and the sarcasm and bitterness permeated his very being threatening to destroy them once again.
"It's true Jack, I just came round because Daniel rang me before he left for Janets, and told me you had come back, we missed you Jack, sarcasm and all," Joe’s thin attempt at civility didn’t hold any water and Jack simply glared at him.
"And I'm supposed to believe you? That you came to see poor little old me? Because from where I’m standing, it looks like you’re more interested in Sam…."
"Come on Jack, let’s not drag up the past, let’s just be thankful you’re back, safe and sound. Sam and I will always be friends Jack,"
"Friends?" Jack’s tone equalled increduality and fury, "Because friends tell each other about *everything*, like jobs, family and relationships. I never found out about the two of you until *after* you had broken up, I was there to help Sam pick up the pieces of her heart"
"Yeah, which subsequently *you* broke when you left for P4S 919" Joe retorted, his voice becoming distorted with rage.
Jack flinched as if he had been hit physically; he was aware that he was the one responsible for the pain that Sam had endured this past year, and he had sworn to her the minute he had the chance that he wouldn’t do it again, but he was, by not saying the words. Sam said nothing during this exchange of words, she just hung her head in shame? Confusion? Admittance?
Sending the couple one last icy glare, he finished "Well, you’ve seen for yourself that I’m back.....now get out….both of you." And with that, he stormed back up onto the roof.
Pacing his roof, he didn’t know what to punch first, Joe's face or the concrete wall in front of him. Marring golden wonder boy's face down there would do him no favours with Sam, but he knew, in a spilt second, that he had lost her again, and it didn't make that much of a difference did it? Controlling the rage within him, he balled his fists, clenching them as he approached the wall...fist poised to strike.
But he didn't. He didn't hit the wall, he simply stood stock still and let the few minutes absorb into is consciousness. In as little as five minutes, he had gone from elation, to fear, to panic, to depression, to bitterness, to rage, and now to......what?
Setting his jaw firmly, he vowed he would never again leave himself open to this kind of misery. Sighing deeply with resolve, he turned and stopped, as brown eyes met blue.
For a fleeting second, he allowed himself to fall eagerly inside them, to witness the emotions on display. A smarting slap brought him out of his musing, and he followed, accepting it, making no attempt to block it.
"Don't you ever, *ever* speak to me like that again," she hissed, her blue eyes alive with venom and hatred.
Turning to face her, he awaited further blows but found none. Instead they simply stared at each other, refusing to relent.
"What the hell gives you the right to judge me? For twelve months I moved heaven, earth and everything in between for you, trying to get the SGC reinstated so you could get home. He was there for me Jack; there when I needed someone, and where we're you?"
The anger laced her voice, as she continued, forcing Jack to listen to the actions of coward and spineless bastard he had become
"*You* were the one that chose to go back Jack; we warned you that the SGC was being shut down, and there was every possibility that you wouldn't be able to get back, but you went anyway, regardless of me or my feelings.
And I waited, oh god Jack I waited an eternity for you. But you didn't come back Jack, you didn't come back to me. You deserted me; you left me alone in your bed, hours after we had made love. You swore that night you would never hurt me or leave me, but you did, and I *hate* you for it."
Jack stood still as he heard the heart wrenching tale all over again. Risking a chance, he told her "I didn't mean to hurt you Sam, I never have, but you can't expect me to be happy that *he* is back in your life"
Her face softened momentarily, anger forgotten and replaced with understanding
"He isn't *back* in my life Jack, not the way you're thinking. When you came back from PX2 279, I realised that it wasn’t Joe I wanted. I was so glad to have you back in my life, away from that goddamned planet, that I was wiling to let go of what I thought was making me happy. I was willing to make ‘us’ work. And I thought we had something Jack, I really did, that one year made me more happy then you could ever imagine. But then you left for P4S 919; to fight the final battle against the Goa’uld, and I was alone, miserable and afraid for a year, a year without you in my life. Joe was there for me Jack, as a friend. He helped me carry on, as a *friend*, nothing more. But even if he was, even if he did want me back, what makes you so certain I would go back to him?"
The question caught him off guard, the resolve he had installed fell at her feet at the implications of her question. "He want's you back?"
"I won't lie to you Jack, he told me he still has *feelings* for me...."
His back straightened as he awaited the final blow "What about you? do you have feelings for him?"
"Please Jack, don't make me answer that, it isn’t fair and you know it"
"Well, why don't you just go back downstairs to loverboy and let him take care of you, I'm sure you'll do just fine!" He snarled as he turned away, disgusted with himself as he heard himself say the words that were in diametric opposite to the hurt he was feeling.
"DAMMIT JACK! Why do you have to be this way? Why can’t you tell me what you really feel instead of hiding behind this bitter charade? Can't you please tell me? Tell me what you're feeling Jack, because I won't wait around for ever...."
'I won't wait around for ever, I won't wait around for ever, I won't'
The phrase rang clear in his mind that this was it; the time to face the fear and tell her.
"I...I..." He floundered, choking on his own words, "I.... I can't tell you Sam....."
"Why not?" The hurt was tangible even in the haze Jack was now blanketed in, the numbing of misery did little to soothe the anguish her voice brought forth.
"Because if I tell you Sam, I let myself open to hurt and the pain."
"Would that be so bad Jack? To take a risk?" Her voice was pleading now, and it was breaking his heart to deny her.
"No....but you have to understand Sam..... I 'm doing this for you"
"If I tell you what I feel, you can't move on."
"Jack; I don't want to move on, I want *you*, why can't you see that?"
"No Sam, you don't want me. You might do now, here at this moment in time, but what about a year from now? Two? Three years? You can’t guarantee me that you won't stop wanting me...and I need to let you go..."
"Please Jack, please don’t leave me like this! I need you Jack! It can't be over...not like this…please...."
"I’m sorry Sam....I can't... I have to let you go...."
"Jack? Please? I can't imagine my life without you in it for one second...if you walk away now...then you walk away with my heart and I can't go on without you.... and I don't want to go on."
Moving towards railing, he mumbled "I’m sorry Sam, oh god you don't know how sorry I am; but I can't do this to you, I can't stop you from finding the person you deserve...."
"Jack...the person I deserve is you...And I love you, more than you can ever imagine, and it is killing me that you're trying to end it,"
"But Sam I *have* to, for your sake,"
"Don’t do this for me Jack...just tell me...do you want me?"
His traitorous body moved to face her, her eyes were filled with the unspent tears of pain and desolation. Of it's own volition, his hand stroked her cheek, cupping it gently as he fought with himself.
She repeated her question "Do you want me Jack?"
"Sam? How could I not want you...but I can't have you..."
"Jack, don't break my heart like this, you broke it once before. I can't go through that again"
"I’m sorry, Sam, I never meant to hurt you...."
"Then don't Jack...tell me what you're feeling. Don’t try to protect me Jack... I need to know.... I deserve to know Jack..." Her eyes now let go of any restraint they had and the tears pooled freely down her frost bitten cheeks, washing over Jacks hands, washing away the worries and fears.
"Please Jack...tell me how you feel..."
"I…I love you Sam...."
"Then show me Jack. Show me how much you love me...."
"I can't Sam. Because I don’t think I could ever let you go again if I did...."
"Jack, please. I don't want you to let me go. Please Jack.... please, be with me..."
"I’ll be with you Sam. If you want me"
"I want you Jack, don't ever let me go,"
And with that, he surrendered. Surrendered to the feelings inside, the love he felt, and the inexplicable relief that she still wanted him. Swiftly and decisively, he lowered his lips to hers, as he breathed warmly over her silky skin
"I love you Sam...." Moving the last few millimetres, Sam forged the bond between their lips as she gave herself to him, in body, mind and soul. Her heart had belonged to no one but him, her mind had worked for no one but him, and her soul had searched for no one but him. The kiss, sweet and tender held nothing but reassurances, as he gave himself to the woman he loved, and the only woman he wanted to love
The only woman he could ever love.
~*~*~*~*~*~ FINI! ~*~*~*~*~*~
FEEDBACK ROCKS MY WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!! *whimpers and puppy dog eyes*
Sheesh! i wrote some fic *faints*
So tell me..does it stink royally? it is self confessed fluff, which hasn't got a plot really (i did search for one..but nope, nada, nein)
okay, i'll quite buggin ya now *hugs*
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