Story Notes: CATEGORY: S/J UST, Jacks POV.

SUMMARY: Jacks thoughts during Message in a Bottle


SPOILERS: the only one I can think of is Message in a Bottle


ARCHIVE: SJA, Heliopolis.

DISCLAIMER: Yes these characters are all mine. I made them up, I'm keeping them. MGM, Gekko and all the rest of them can just fu...............Yeah ok so they're not mine, I don't own them, but I really, really wish I did!!!

AUTHORS NOTES: This is based on a Norman McCaig poem I read recently. I couldn't believe how fitting it was for Jacks working relationship with Sam and had to write something about it. A big thank you to Ann for doing her betaing duties on it and kicking it into shape :)

Hear my words carefully
Some are spoken
Not by me, but
By a man in my position

What right has he
to use my mouth? I hate him
when he touches you
the wrong way.

Yet he loves you also,
This appalling stranger
Who makes windows of my eyes.
You see him looking out.

Until he dies
of my love for you
hear my words carefully -
for who is talking now?


I was angry. I know that now. I knew it at the time. Angry at the crazy situation that was unfolding around me and angry at myself for recommending Henry Boyd for the mission. The lack of control made me furious and I lashed out at the person closest to me. That person happened to be Sam Carter. It happens every time. I snap and let go some harsh words and then I regret it.

But why should I regret it? I'm her C.O. I'm supposed to take the hardline. This is the United States Air Force, for God's sake. This is what's expected of me. A man in my position can't show any signs of weakness or partiality towards a team member. Why can't she understand that?

She does understand though. That's the problem. We both understand all too well. The military code. Abidance by the regulations. They are what govern our lives every day. It doesn't stop me regretting the things I say though. When I hear words uttered from my mouth I feel like it's someone else saying them. Another man who isn't me and doesn't feel the way I do. And that's the man I hate. I know it's not her fault. It's mine that I don't understand most of the things she says. She's only talking in terms that make sense to her. Half the time I laugh it off, only feigning stupidity to get a reaction from her. Like this morning when I asked her to explain a wormhole. That was just another part of the dance that the two of us are caught up in. Moments like that where we're drawn so close together only to back off again. Because a man in my position can't get too close to his subordinate officer.

I saw the look in her eyes when I yelled at her today.

"We are watching good men die in slow motion, Captain!"

I cringe when I think about it. She was hurt. I know she was. Hurt and humiliated that I should speak to her like that. But a man in my position has to. Maybe that's why I did it again.

"Will you stop that!?"

Yeah, show her you're hard side, Jack. Why would she ever want a man like that? Make sure that she never wants you the way you want….. The way I want what a man in my position can't have. That's why I speak to her like that, why I turn on the military hard-ass routine.

Sometimes though I want her to know that I don't mean what I say. Sometimes I hope that she can see through my eyes and experience things as I do. Maybe she'll realise that none of it runs deep. It's just words said in the heat of the moment, in reaction to the horrible situation we're faced with. And I don't just mean the black hole.

Instantly I want to revoke the words that are being hurled from my lips. I want to bite them back and tell her that I didn't mean it. However a man in my position has to stand by the things he says. Never admit weakness, Jack. Say it and mean it.

But I am weak. And Captain Sam Carter is the weakness in me.

That's why I try and lessen the sting of my words.

"Think of something," I say in a gentler tone. I want her to know that I do respect her and for a man in my position this is the only way I can show it.

"Think of something."

Maybe that's part of it. I don't want to hear her say that she doesn't have all the answers. I want her to be perfect, but this time she's as lost as I am. Perhaps that's what I can't handle.

So the world's being sucked to hell by a big ball of nothingness, but relax. Carter's on it. She'll think of something. But what if she can't? What if she's just as fallible as the rest of us? Yeah. I think that's definitely part of it. An irrational anger that she doesn't live up to the unrealistic, even delusional image that I have of her.

Yeah, it's part of it but it's not the whole. The 'whole' is so much more absurd that I would laugh if it didn't feel like a great, big kick in the guts every time I think about it. The 'whole' is that I'm in love with my second-in-command and it's eating me up so bad I think it might kill me. The 'whole' is that I can't do a goddamned thing about it because we've got duties and we've got responsibilities. And we've got a million and one people telling us that it's wrong.

So the 'whole' is that I'm going to spend the rest of my life wanting what I just can't have, because a man in my position has to accept that denial is a part of every day life.

But as a man in my position I know, that it's a rotten position for any man to be in.

The End

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