She really had no idea how long she sat, half on the ramp, half on the cold concrete floor of the gate room, holding Martouf close as he died in her arms. She was vaguely aware of people trying to take him from her and the other members of SG-1 stepping in to give her more time with him, to let her decide when she was ready to let him go.

"Carter," O'Neill finally said, breaking through to her. She looked up at him and he could see the tears that were threatening to fall. "Let them take him," he said, crouching down to her level. Hesitantly, she nodded and a stretcher seemed to appear out of no where to take the body away as she glanced around to realize that the gate room had emptied out while she'd been lost in her thoughts.

"Sam," Daniel offered.

"I'm fine," she said, brushing him off as she stood. SG-1 stood silently in the gate room for a long moment before Sam excused herself and slipped out of the room. The men stood for a moment longer before Daniel was called to the treaty signing and Teal'c took his leave.

Jack hesitated for a long moment. He wanted to go to Carter and make sure that she really was ok, to maybe pick up the conversation they had so abruptly left in the observation room when the others had crowded into tell them how happy they were about the fact that they weren't really zatarcs but he couldn't. After the confessions they'd both made in that small room, he was going to have to be her CO and nothing more for a while.

"Fuck it," he muttered after a long moment, turning on his heel and leaving the gate room. He had never really been one for keeping up appearances. She needed a friend right now and if he was sure of anything, he was sure he was still her friend.


She distantly heard the knock and him calling her but she made no real effort to respond. She was too emotionally exhausted to deal with anything else today, let alone him.

"Come on Major, I know you're in there."

Thinking they were zatarcs, proving that they weren't and then Martouf's death had left her feeling ready to break into pieces.

"Sam? Please?" he asked quietly and that was what finally made her get up and open the door. They both stood staring at each other from opposite sides of the door frame for a long moment before she finally stepped to the side and he slid into the room, closing the door softly behind him. He watched as she wandered back over to the bed in the room and sat down, absent-mindedly playing with her dog tags. After a moment he reached into his shirt and grabbed his tags, pulling them over his head and tossing them onto the table in the room. He reached for hers after a moment and she let him pull them off and toss them onto the table as well. "No ranks," he told her.

"Sir," she started.

"Just. . . . no ranks. No military." The pair stared at each other for a long moment before he finally moved to sit beside her on the bed. A heavy silence fell over the pair as they sat, a respectable distance between them that they were slowly, unconsciously, closing.

"I've never really appreciated plausible deniability until today," she said, finally breaking the silence once they were touching from thigh to shoulder.

"Me too," was all he could think of to say, his eyes locked firmly on his boots. "I'm sorry about Martouf," he said after a moment. The dead Tok'ra was something he could deal with. Sam nodded, but didn't answer him.

"If we had a choice . . ." she started and they finally looked up at each other. "Would you leave it in the room?"

"No," he said after a long moment. "You?" She swallowed hard as his hand strayed and found hers. They hung on to each other as she gathered her thoughts.

"No," she eventually said. Silence hung heavy in the room again as they tried to figure out what to do next.


"Jack?" she asked and he hesitated not ready to hear his name come from her. He opened his mouth to say something but closed his mouth again before letting go of her hand and taking hold of her face. "Don't," she said softly as he leaned in close to kiss her. He hesitated and pulled back slightly to look at her. "I can't have 2 rooms," she told him. "I don't know if I can deal with one," she admitted.

"Ok," he said, dropping his hands to his lap. They sat in silence for a long moment, each of them getting themselves under control again before he stood and grabbed their tags off the table. He ran his fingers over the raised lettering as he made sure they each got their own. "I should go," he finally said.

"Yes sir," she said, slipping the tags on over her head.

"I really am sorry about Martouf. He wasn't half bad as far as Tok'ra's go." She nodded and offered him a small smile as he slipped out of her room. She stared at the door for a long moment before she lifted herself from the bed and headed towards to door, intent on seeking refuge in her lab for a while.

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