"I took a snake in the head for you."
He said it so calmly, so normally that anyone not close enough to hear what was being said could have easily assumed they were still running over the events of the day.
They would have been wrong. It seemed, today, tonight, it would be anything but business.
Sam pulled her eyes away from the fire to look at him. For once, he didn't look away when she caught him staring. And he really was staring this time - his dark eyes flicking with the warm reflection from the fire but otherwise fixed on her own eyes, his expression unmoving, body still.
She tried to think of something to say, something appropriate. Something that told him just how guilty she felt knowing it was she who had been the one who'd asked him to take the symbiote. And, therefore, she who had inadvertently sent him into Ba'al's torturous hands.
Something which wouldn't reveal that deep, deep down, in a very dark corner of her heart, she was glad.
And it was that guilty thought that chased her every day.
In the end, she settled for all she could offer him. The only two words she could manage. Cliché. Ineffective. Just not enough. "I'm sorry."
"Don't be. I just wanted you to know," he said, lightly considering the topic.
Part of her had already known it, known he would do it only for her. The same part of her that had stood over his fevered body and all but begged him to take Kanan. Because she'd known nothing else in the world would make him do it. Just as she'd known that, selfishly, she couldn't do without him.
"I knew." This time, it was she who dropped the eye contact. It was rare that they talked like this - honestly - and it was unnerving. "I knew you would."
Though he wasn't moving, he seemed to freeze. His chest even stopped rising and falling, gaze still focussed so intently upon her face. The quiet around them became almost overwhelming. Had it been Earth, no doubt night insects would be singing, animals roaming the bushes and undergrowth surrounding the clearing where they had pitched their tents. But the stillness was as alien as the pattern of stars above their heads.
"You knew." He said it in a dull tone. A mimic of her own, quiet, intent voice. He leaned his head forward ever so slightly, the corner of his mouth twitching in bitter acceptance. His hands, never still, began to move, flitting over the shadowed creases on his pants, down onto the ground where they picked up twigs, leaves, throwing them into the fire. His eyes followed their path, watched the debris burn in the fire, no longer looking at her. "You're *that* sure of me?"
She nodded, unable to speak.
"I'm not nearly as sure of you as you are of me."
She smiled grimly down at her lap, watched shadows play over her hands. Overhead, a moon burned coldly in the sky, nearly full. Earlier he had pointed out the deep craters in the face of this particular moon, deeper, darker than the moon that orbited Earth. His low voice had tickled something low inside of her and it had seemed, though both Jonas and Teal'c had been with them at the time, that he was just speaking to her. That it was just them, together, alone.
She tried several times to voice her question, once she'd finally found one. Her mouth opened and closed slightly, her breath catching as the words came and went from the tip of her tongue. They never spoke of this, this thing, this emotion they shared, and years of *not* speaking of it seemed to have rendered Sam's vocabulary inactive.
Finally, "How sure of me are you?"
Her CO shrugged carelessly, trying to shrug off the importance of this moment, as if he was afraid of her answer. "I know you *care* about me," he said, drawing out 'care' sarcastically. Caring had long since stopped being enough for them.
That was reasonable, she supposed. She had, after all, rejected every offer from him she'd ever had. Every offer of furthering their friendship, even the offers that had been based solely on maintaining what limited friendship they had. From fishing trips to days out with the rest of SG-1. She never stayed over at his house, and he never stayed over at hers. She left early, arrived late, all the while wishing she could be the one to stay the longest.
She supposed she'd thought he'd understood. That her unspoken words and feelings were obvious. It certainly felt like she was revealing herself to the world on a daily basis, but there was a distinct possibility that she was being oversensitive.
Sam tried to think of something to tell him to prove how she felt - she couldn't say she'd take a snake for him as well. He knew how she felt about the Tok'ra - that her feelings were far more positive towards the experience. Now.
Now that it had saved two of the most important men in her life.
The two *most* important men in her life, her father and the man she was in love with.
Perhaps she just ought to tell him the truth. That truth. The honest to goodness truth.
He closed his eyes wearily and the moment blew away, like so many other moments in their lives. "Jonas?"
Sam winced and looked away. Perhaps. One day.