"Mmm, I missed this," Pete sighed, pulling Sam a little closer as they lay sated in each others arms. "Denver is much too far away."
"You're telling me," Sam smiled, snuggling against his warm body.
"So how was your week?" Pete asked, reaching the pleasant conversation that their desire had cut short the night before.
"Pretty quiet," Sam yawned. "We tend to alternate between crazy and boring."
"How's Colonel O'Neill?" he carried on casually.
"Fine," Sam shrugged, turning her face to look up at him. "Why do you ask?"
"Just being polite," Pete told her.
"No one's that polite," Sam laughed into his chest.
"Curious then," he relented.
"About what?" she pushed, pulling herself up the bed so that her head was on his shoulder.
"Did you two ever have a thing?" he broached.
"A thing?" Sam asked.
"Yeah you know, like a relationship thing."
"No," she answered. "Not in this life at least."
"As in you think you did in a past life?" Pete marveled.
"What?" Sam tried to bend her sleepy brain around the conversation. "No, never mind."
"He has feelings for you," Pete told her.
"Don't be ridiculous," Sam disagreed.
"You must see it Sam," he insisted. "You're either lying or you're blind."
"Does it matter?" Sam pouted, trying to distract him.
She began tracing circles on his chest with her index finger and kissing a path along his collarbone.
"You have feelings for him too don't you?" Pete sighed, causing Sam to stop her caresses.
She sat up slowly so that she was propped up on her left arm.
"I just need to know Sam." he looked at her sadly.
"There's nothing to know," she promised. "We have seven years of history fighting for each other's lives. You can't help but care."
"So if you have feelings for him," Pete interpreted her answer. "Where does that leave me?"
"Can't you care for one person whilst falling for another?" Sam asked wearily.
"I never thought so," he explained. "It's all or nothing isn't it?"
"What are you worried about really?" Sam questioned him, looking into his eyes for the truth.
"I'm falling in love with you Sam," he admitted. "And I don't want to end up head over heals only to have you decide that it's him you want really."
"I'm here with you now aren't I?" she pointed out.
"It's tomorrow I'm worried about."
"Well then I guess there's something you should know," Sam decided, averting her gaze from his. "Seeing as we're being honest."
"Right," Pete prompted, unable to tear his eyes away from her even though he knew what she was about to say.
"The truth is," Sam sighed. "I'm falling in love with you too."
She looked back down at him with a soft smile.
Pete pulled her down for a tender kiss before she rested her head back on his chest.
"Wow," he breathed, running his fingers up and down the silky skin of her arm.
"Wow indeed," Sam smiled.
"I must have been really good in a past life to deserve this," he told her.
"From what I've heard you've been really good in this life." Sam kissed his chest where she was laying.
The sound of Sam's cell phone ringing by the bed broke them out of the moment and Sam moved to answer it.
"Can't you leave it?" Pete pouted playfully.
"It might be important," Sam apologized.
"Carter," she answered.
"Sam it's me."
"Daniel? What's up?" she yawned.
"Sorry did I wake you?"
"No," she assured him.
"Jack got shot."
"What? Where? Is he ok?"
"He went on SG3's mission. They're just bringing him back."
"What's their ETA?"
"They'll be here in an hour."
"Is he ok?"
"Yeah it doesn't sound too serious, I just thought you should know,"
"Thank you Daniel. I'll be right there."
"Oh Sam you don't have to come."
Sam hung up the phone and started getting dressed.
"Is Colonel O'Neill ok?" Pete asked, knowing what was wrong from Sam's reaction.
"He's been shot but hopefully he'll be fine," Sam replied.
"But you have to go up to the mountain," Pete concluded.
Sam stopped what she was doing and looked at him before sitting back on the bed.
"I have to make sure he's ok," Sam told him.
"Yeah I know you do," Pete nodded sadly.
"Will you still be here when I get back?" Sam asked, already knowing the answer.
Pete didn't reply so Sam moved closer to where he now sat.
Leaning into a hug Sam buried her face in his neck.
"I guess this means you're going to keep your feet firmly on the ground," she observed.
"I think that's probably best for both of us," Pete whispered.
Tears touched Sam's eyes but she refused to let them fall.
"I really could have fallen in love with you," she promised him so quietly that he almost didn't hear her.
"I know," he agreed just as quietly.
Sam sighed into his neck, half of her already on her way to Jack's side but the other half not wanting to leave behind the love that she was actually allowed to enjoy.
"I hope that one day you two get where you want to be," Pete offered.
"No you don't," Sam laughed softly, appreciating the effort.
"You're right," he shrugged. "I hope one day you turn up in Denver having realized it's me you want really."
Despite her efforts a single tear fell from Sam's eyes at his words and ran down his neck.
Pete pulled Sam closer, kissing her shoulder.
"I should go," Sam whispered, worrying that if she didn't go soon she'd change her mind.
"Ok." Pete released her sadly, avoiding any agreement like 'yes you should' because his heart was screaming 'no, please don't'.
Sam reached the door, pausing for a moment to pull herself together.
Confused by the internal battle being fought by each half of her heart Sam turned back, kissing Pete firmly on the lips before leaving again, forcing herself not to look back.
Jack began to stir at around midday.
"Hey," Sam greeted him from her seat on the next bed. "How you feeling?"
"Numb," Jack muttered.
"I guess Janet's got you dosed up on morphine to stop you being a pain in the ass," Sam smiled, but Jack didn't seem to hear her.
"I thought you had the weekend off," he reminded her, wincing as he coughed.
"I do," Sam agreed.
"Weren't you gonna spend it with Pete?" The other man's name came out sounding bitter.
"I was," she shrugged. Jack looked over at her. "I don't think he'll still be there when I get home."
"I'm sorry," Jack offered, and deep down he really wanted to be sorry.
"Don't be," Sam brushed off. "I made my choice."
"What did you choose?" Jack asked, his foggy brain missing the point.
"I don't know," she admitted. After all she had just given up the perfect relationship for a situation that remained impossible.
"Always a good plan," Jack chuckled.
"Yeah," Sam smiled. "I thought so."
Jack shifted in bed, trying to find a more comfortable position that didn't involve laying on his stitches.
"So what are you dong here on your day off?" he inquired sleepily.
"How much morphine did she give you?" Sam marveled. "You aren't even going to remember we had this conversation are you?"
"Probably.not," Jack agreed. "So why aren't you off having a life?"
"I just came to check you hadn't done any permanent damage," Sam winked. "One day we might actually need you to be in full working order."
As soon as she said it the innuendos smacked her in the face and she wished she could rephrase.
"Oh," Jack suddenly realized what she had meant before. "That choice."
"I should get going," Sam quickly decided. "Take care of yourself."
"You too Carter," Jack nodded.
Sam hesitated by the bed.
"One more thing," she spoke out, mentally kicking herself for not just leaving.
"Never mind," Sam shook her head, she really needed to get a grip on herself. "I'll catch you later."
Sam walked slowly into her silent house. Pete's car was gone but something made her walk into the bedroom anyway.
The bed was perfectly made as if he'd never been there, but when Sam closed her eyes she could still smell him in the air.
Wandering into the kitchen to smell the roses he had given her Sam noticed her answering machine flashing "1".
"I knew you were too good to be true," Pete's voice filled the room. "Obviously you would have been if you hadn't been serious about not looking at the bookcase."
The message ended there, leaving Sam thoroughly confused.
Walking slowly over to the wall the held her bookcase Sam couldn't help but laugh.
Somehow in the time since she had left early that morning the entire case had been alphabetized, not only by author but also by title.
For Sam it just confirmed that she'd made the right decision, however regretfully.
She'd just effectively dumped the guy and he was thoughtful enough to spend hours doing something like that, something to remember him by.
She didn't deserve him, not even close.
Wasn't that just typical of her life. She'd actually found *the* perfect guy and she'd had to let him go because of *her* perfect guy.