Story Notes: BIG FAT HAIRY MORAL DISCLAIMER - This story has a graphic description of violence and rape. Not for anyone underage, of gentle disposition, or has gone through a similar experience. I really, really, really do not want to dredge up painful memories for anyone! And it doesn't end well either.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER - All of the characters and some of the situations contain within are the property of TPTB (Gekko, Anderson/Greenburg, MGM/Showtime et al.) I'm just borrowing them for a flight of fancy and will return them with their memories cleansed

RATING - R (See BFHMD above) Rape, Angst

DISTRIBUTION - Exclusive to Ness' site (SJA)

SPOILERS - Broca Divide, Enemy Within, very tiny one for 1969

SUMMARY- What happens when the parasite from "Broca Divide" affects Jack first.

EMAIL- For that Feedback stuff I keep hearing about.

Personal Note: For Raptor, for all the right reasons.

He waited in the shadows, some part of his rational mind knowing she had to be alone before he could claim her, although the animal within him screamed for him to take her before the entire tribe, displaying his dominance and her possession for all to know and acknowledge. The other women filed past him slowly, in ones and twos, their scents tantalising him as they departed, but none had the power of hers, none drew him as hers did. He was hers as much as she would soon be his.

The part of him that was still Jack fought back, fought

And lost


Feeling a presence behind her Sam turned, expecting to see one of her female compatriots she was a little surprised to find Colonel O'Neill, clad only in a black T-shirt and hip-hugging jeans gazing intently at her. Unnerved by the depth of his scrutiny it took her a moment to find her voice

"Colonel, this became the women's locker room almost 20 minutes ago."

He tilted his head to one side at her words, a look of momentary confusion passing over his features as if she had spoken in Swahili, then his nostrils flared and he inhaled deeply seeming to fill himself with the scents pervading the room. Sam could only watch transfixed as the predatory look returned to his eyes and he stepped over the low bench separating them. Moving until the distance between them was no more than a few inches he stopped, his eyes roaming her face, looking for something she knew not what, but she recognised some of the emotion displayed, hunger and need and pain, she reached up instinctively trying to comfort. As her hand touched his cheek, the reaction from him was instantaneous; he dipped his head, burying it in the junction between her neck and shoulder he inhaled deeply, breathing in her scent. Her hand no longer brushing his cheek fell to his shoulder as he sniffed his way up her neck.

"Smell good." He purred.

"Colonel, if you like my perfume you just had to say so." She said shakily as she tightened her grip on his shoulder and attempted to push him away. A low growl reverberated from his chest at her actions and his hands idle until now reached up and grabbed her shoulders, forcefully pressing her back the last few inches into the locker behind her. Frightened for the first time since he appeared she struggled against him, but his body countered each move she made seemingly without effort as his mouth opened against her neck and he began to bite in a way she would have found erotic if she was not so terrified.

Realising his Special Ops training would have prepared him for every offensive move she could devise she did the only thing she could think of, tilting her head to give him better access she slid her knee along his inner thigh and moaned low in her throat. Encouraged his hand slipped from it's bruising grip on her shoulder down to her breast and squeezed hard, the thumb flicking across her nipple. At her painful gasp he raised his head, the beast reflected in his eyes dimming for a moment, seizing the opportunity she brought her knee up forcefully between his braced legs, connecting with an almost audible crunch.

Taking advantage of his momentary weakness she side-stepped his groaning body and grabbing him by the back of the neck slammed his head into the locker behind her. After a quick glance and a touch at his pulse point told her he was still breathing and mostly conscious she made her way into the shower room and the emergency comm. unit there. Reasoning, correctly, that whatever had afflicted Johnson and the others was now working its will on Jack she knew she needed to contact Janet. Taking a moment to straighten her clothing and calm her emotions she reached for the intercom, and never made it. Sensing rather than hearing movement behind her she began to pivot when Jack's weight slammed into her sending them both careening into the wall. Sam screamed as the force of the blow dislocated her shoulder, leaving her with only one hand to fight off his enraged attack.

His hands no longer content to hold her tore at her clothes, shredding the slight top she wore in seconds, she gasped in pain as her bra was torn from her the elastic holding out just long enough to wrench at her shoulder before snapping under his onslaught. Opening her mouth to beg him to stop her pleas were silenced by his mouth. The kiss was powerful, claiming, it forced her lips apart to take a thick exploratory tongue that darted in and out, filling her in a way that spoke of lustful hunger. A need to feed. Teeth bit, and gorged upon her mouth, only to stop and take up that feeding about her face and neck. The bites this time were not sensual but savage, tearing at her neck and shoulders as he worked his way down her body. Taking a sensitive nipple into his mouth he tore at the fragile skin, lapping up the blood as it flowed in a perverse parody of breast-feeding. Using one hand to hold her undamaged shoulder he slid the other down her body and grabbed the waistband of her sweats, realising his intent she renewed her struggle, throwing her weight against him in an attempt to force him away and kicking out trying desperately to connect. He pulled away from her for a moment and she caught a glimpse of her own blood darkening his lips before a hard authoritative slap connected with her cheek bone, shunting her head sideways and sending her body crashing to the floor.

She hit the tiled surface hard, splitting the skin above her eye and sending another agonising jolt of pain through her injured shoulder. Behind her she heard the sound of tearing cloth and the jingle of a belt being undone as he shed himself of his restrictive clothing. Knowing she only had moments Sam tried to slither away but her body slowed by her injuries and her mind's refusal to deal with the unfathomable trauma caused by his actions, refused to respond it time. One hand grabbed her short hair and pulled her back against him, even through the layers of clothing between them she could feel his arousal as his body slammed her down on to the hard tiles. Frustrated by her still-clothed form he snaked his free hand between their bodies and tore her sweats and panties from her in one brutal motion, exposing her to the cold air and his heated flesh. Wrapping his arm around her hips he hoisted her to a better angle whilst forcing her legs further apart with his knees. She felt the tattered remains of her pants pooling around her knees, combined with his weight and her injuries they bound her to a crouching position, with no chance to kick out and free herself. The realisation she was truly helpless hit her moments before he tore into her, wrenching at her insides. Her body jerked and convulsed with the hostility of his thrust, crying out an endless howl, she pleaded for him to stop. She was no virgin, but he was big and his previous ministrations had left her dry with fear. It was so painful, so unbearably painful. Her screams echoing off the tiled surface only goaded him further, more and more was she pushed, wider and wider was she stretched until eventually he had forced the length of him inside her. A high pitched squeal of triumph erupted from him as he buried himself to the hilt in her warm body. Still for a moment he moved his hand from her hair to cover her mouth, silencing her cries as he began to plunge into her again. Leaning over her, his breath hot in her ear he pounded into her, grunting with pleasure at each thrust, licking the blood and tears from her face as he violated her again and again. When her screams had died to no more than convulsive sobs he removed his hand from her mouth and moved it down her body to her injured breast squeezing it brutally and re-opening the barely closed wound at her nipple. She screamed again then, and he made a guttural noise of approval as he increased the ferocity of his thrusts. Slowly dragging both hands to her hips he dug his nails into her soft flesh, slamming her back towards him as he slammed forward increasing the pace as his body neared it's climax. Barely conscious she hardly felt the increase in speed, until his nails pierced her skin. The renewed pain brought her back to awareness, so that when he finally came she felt every inch of him shudder with his release and the searing agony as he clamped his teeth on to the nape of her neck and tore through the skin.

Sighing he collapsed, his body lying half-on half-off her battered form, allowing her more movement than when he had actively been keeping her in place. Struggling she managed to free herself from his weight and the remains of her clothes before she heard him growl and felt his hand grasp her ankle, fired by fear of a second round and fuelled by adrenaline she kicked out and felt the satisfying connection of flesh on flesh. Painfully turning herself on to her back she saw him doubled over a few feet from her, her shot must have caught him in the solar plexus, momentarily winding him. Pulling herself to her feet she stumbled to him and with a few well placed kicks to the head assured herself of his unconsciousness. Looking down at his naked sweat and blood-stained body she knew she could not allow the medical team to see either of them like this, so loathe though she was to go near him, she gently pulled his jeans back from around his ankles and refastened them. His T-shirt was a ripped mess, nothing to be done about that and her own clothes were scattered in shreds around the room, dumping them all in a nearby tub she grabbed a bathrobe and reached for the intercom.

"Medic team, shower room stat. Colonel O'Neill is down."

Pulling herself into a corner away from his fallen body she wrapped her arms around herself and waited for help to arrive. It didn't take long.


Following the emergency team into the showers, the first thing Janet saw was Colonel O'Neill slumped against a wall like a broken doll, his T-shirt in tatters and his body speckled with blood. Ordering the team to get him to the infirmary at once she turned to view the room's other occupant and recoiled at the sight of Sam's beaten form, blood flowed from the gash above her eye and her cheek was already darkening with a massive bruise. The way she held her arms wrapped around her body spoke of intense pain and the odd angle of her shoulder indicated a dislocation at best. But it was her eyes that frightened Janet most; the dark haunted look associated with all violent abuse victims, the look of betrayal and loss. Reaching out she cradled Sam's shuddering body in her own, trying desperately to impart some of her own strength into the broken form.

"I have to get you to the infirmary Sam, now."

She felt Sam's affirmative nod against her chest and started to head her towards the door when she heard a murmured question. Stopping to listen she asked,


"It wasn't him, I mean it was, but"

"It wasn't him Sam. It's the disease, virus, whatever it is, I haven't pinned it down yet, but whatever it is he's definitely got it. You're lucky Sam, in his state it could have been so much worse."

"Lucky?" the disbelief in Sam's voice was evident.

"He could quite easily have killed you, or..." Janet's voice trailed off as the realisation hit,

"Oh, God, Sam did he...did he?" she found she could not voice the question,

Sam's silence was all the answer Janet needed, drawing her friend as close as the injuries would allow she stroked her hair and whispered meaningless words of comfort as Sam's grip on her tightened to an almost painful embrace.

"We have to take samples, report this...."

Sam's reaction was immediate and explosive


"Samantha, " Janet began

"No, Janet, you said it yourself, it wasn't him. It's the disease, the Colonel would never do this, not to anyone, not to me." Sam's voice broke with the effort of holding back more tears.

Shaking her head Janet looked into the battered tear stained face of her friend, "We'll discuss this later"

"No, we won't. It wasn't him Janet; I have to believe that. I won't press charges or back you in anyway if you do. Please promise me, you won't report what really happened. He may not even remember when all this is over."

'When all this is over' reverberated around Janet's mind, reminding her once again of her failure to find a cure, or even any answers to this plague. Smiling sadly at her friend she nodded in affirmation and pulled her towards the door and the waiting infirmary.

Two hours later Janet watched helplessly as Sam slid into the same animalistic state that had claimed nearly half of the SGC and prayed the blood sample Teal'c and Daniel were collecting from P3X797 contained the answers she needed.


Jack yawned and ran his hand over his face, wincing as it came in contact with the still-tender bruises from where Carter had kicked him into unconsciousness, not that he didn't deserve it and worse. Carter, Gods, what he'd done to her. Janet had questioned him, subtly, after the histamine shots had begun to take effect and he'd feigned ignorance. Claiming no knowledge of the time when he was infected, but inside he was screaming his guilt. Every time he closed his eyes he could see her, her face tear-streaked and bloodied by his hand, pleading with him, fighting him, being broken and beaten by him. His team-mate, his companion, his friend? He remembered sitting for hours staring at nothing after Kawalsky, and she'd sat there with him, saying nothing just sharing the silence and the pain. Understanding in a way only career military ever could, and when he'd finally ordered her go, the feather-light kiss she had placed on his brow, full of understanding and acceptance, like a mothers embrace. Yet in return he'd treated her like a piece of meat, something to be possessed, to be owned and claimed, something to be....


His mind shied away from the word, but there was no other word for his actions. He deserved to be taken out and shot, or maybe given to the damn Goa'uld so they could make a host out of him, anything so he could get away from the constant surround-sound replay in his own mind. I need more coffee, he thought, I can't afford to fall asleep. In sleep he couldn't escape what he had done, not that he had that right. Reaching for the cup his shaking hand knocked it from the table.


"Colonel O'Neill?"

Only one person could make his rank and name sound like one word, without looking up from the tabletop, he sighed,

"Yeah Teal'c?"

"Are you impaired?"

Yeah, he thought, mentally, sure as hell morally.

"Nah, just dropped the cup."

"You appear to be drinking a great deal of that beverage. I do not understand the fascination."

"Let's just say it's an acquired taste."

"Ah, I see."

"I know that 'ah', that's the 'I have no idea what you are talking about but I'm going to humour you anyway' 'ah' isn't it?"

"I do not understand."

Jack sighed and rubbed his face again,

"Yeah, sorry. Put it down to too much paperwork and not enough action. This week's been kinda tough."

A look of misplaced understanding passed over Teal'c face,

"I too regret the absence of Captain Carter, but she will be returning to active duty within the hour and we may once again resume our duties."

At the mention of Sam's name O'Neill's head shot up, pain momentarily crossing his features before he could suppress it.

"O'Neill, are you certain you are not impaired?"

"I'm fine Teal'c. Go on I'll see you in the briefing in a couple of hours, k?"

"As you wish"

Jack watched Teal'c as he strode away, confident, self-assured as always. A good man to have at your back, a loyal friend. Like I'm any judge of that, he thought derisively. Shaking his head he moved around his desk to retrieve the shattered cup, collecting the pieces he threw them in the trash, a shard of ceramic slicing a deep groove through the centre of his palm in the process. Watching in fascination as the blood welled up and ran over his fingers he was thrown back into bitter recollection, Sam's blood in his mouth, running over his hands from the gashes made by his nails and teeth. With a visible effort he pulled himself out of the memory and leaned back across the desk, breathing hard. Closing his eyes he immediately snapped them open as her face loomed in his mind's eye.

He had to see her, find out if she hated him, if she could stand to be near him, if they had any future. He had been dreading her return to active duty the entire week she was on stand-down, but now the need to have this resolved one way or the other was eating away at him. He'd have to talk to her before the briefing. Finding her wouldn't be hard, he knew where she'd go to stow her gear and change on returning to base, but his mind shied away from that place and all that it contained. It was the best place to track her down but the worst in which to confront her. Clenching his fist in frustration he became aware of the searing pain the fragment had caused in his hand, and the damage it had inflicted.

"Probably gonna need stitches," he muttered as he headed to the infirmary and Janet's professional, but probing care.


Lost in severe recrimination Colonel O'Neill barely registered the occasional salutes from junior offices as he wandered the almost empty corridors of the base. His mind was filled with the sound of her voice, but he knew that as long as he didn't close his eyes the images couldn't get to him, not that her voice wasn't torture enough, as clear to him as if she were by his side. He stopped and shook his head in confusion, she was, or at least nearby, absorbed in reverie he had rounded the corner into the infirmary and almost walked headlong into an intense conversation between Janet and Sam. Luckily they were so engrossed in their discussion they failed to notice his approach, carefully avoiding drawing attention to himself he retreated into the corridor and sagged back against the wall, his breath ragged and loud to his straining ears. Their hushed tones didn't penetrate far beyond the confines of the room, and the words were too faint for him to decipher. Locked in an internal struggle between his need to see her and his fear of the outcome he almost missed the increased volume of her voice as she bade Janet good-bye and walked towards him. Reacting instinctively he ducked into one of the ISO-rooms that lined the corridor and waited with bated breath until she had passed. Resting his head against his forearm he leaned against the cool concrete of the cell wall for a moment and allowed his heartbeat to slow. Then chiding himself for the coward he was he pulled open the door and followed her retreating form.

It didn't take long to catch up with her, but once he had he found all he could do was follow as she moved through the complex. Great, now I can add stalking her to my list of crimes he though contemptuously. Shaking his head at his own inability he reached out a tentative hand and touched her shoulder, her name dying millimetres from his lips as she spun violently at the contact. The fading bruise was still livid against her too-pale skin as she backed away from his outstretched hand her eyes wide in remembered terror. Visibly gathering herself as his hand dropped uselessly to his side she spoke,

"Colonel, you startled me" the strength in her tone belied by the dread still showing in her eyes at his presence, and something within him shattered and died with the knowledge that whatever they had built was now lost.

Needing desperately to be away from her pain-filled eyes but aware of the lengthening silence he swallowed convulsively past the lump in his throat.

"Yeah, sorry." Sorry? As if he could ever say that enough to make up for what he had done. "I just wanted to see if you were ok."

"Fighting fit, Sir"

"Right" he absently ran his fingers through his hair as he sought a way out, stopping at her gasp,

"Sir, your hand."

"What? Oh," he pulled his hand down staring at the freshly opened wound unmindfully, and suddenly she was at his side taking his injured hand in her own.

"We have to get you to the Infirmary" she said softly, concern vibrating through her voice and suddenly it was too much for him. He had to get away, away from her careful touch, from the undeserved concern in her voice, the sympathy shining from her eyes, masking but not eradicating the fear still resident there.

Extricating his bloodied hand from hers and taking a quick stride backwards he indicated the corridor behind him with a tilt of his head,

"I was just on my way there, you go on and get changed, the mission briefing's at 16:30."

Without waiting for her reply he spun on his heel and headed back in the direction of the infirmary barely resisting the urge to break into a run.

Sam watched his rapidly retreating back as her heartbeat returned to normal. The tight coils of fear loosening slightly as she watched him go. He's running from me, she thought, confused. Almost as if he's afraid to be near me, or afraid of me. Knowing she didn't have the luxury to examine his perplexing behaviour at the moment and confident in Janet's assurance that he had no memory of his actions she turned her back and steeling herself headed towards the locker room and the painful memories contained within.


Walking into the infirmary Jack was relieved to note Janet's absence, he knew he would not be able to deal with her probing eyes and unspoken questions so soon after seeing Sam. Absorbed as he was in the realisation that the life he had come to love in so short a time was now over he never noticed the arrival or subsequent work of the young intern who bandaged his hand. Only coming back to awareness when she tapped him repeatedly on shoulder and indicated that he could go.

Rising from the gurney he walked quickly out of the infirmary intent on speaking to General Hammond and getting himself out of the SGC as fast as possible.

"Colonel, I didn't expect to see you for another hour."

"Yes Sir, but this couldn't wait until the briefing."

"What's on your mind, Colonel?"

Coming to attention, Jack took a deep breath and steeled himself for words he'd never thought to say, "General, I respectfully submit my resignation as a member of SG-1 and the SGC as a whole, effective immediately, I will have my possessions off base within the hour."

"What?" Hammond could not have been more surprised had Jack leapt on the table and done the Hula.

"I believe I made my intention clear, Sir."

"Care to tell me why?"

"My recent behaviour towards a junior office under my command was unconscionable, I feel it would be prudent to remove myself from a position where we will be required to interact in the future. As such my continued presence at the SGC must be terminated."

Taking in Jack's ramrod straight stance and the formality of his statement, General Hammond bit back his first derisive response, and adopted a gentler tone, "Son, you were under the influence of an alien parasite when you lashed out at Captain Carter, none of us are proud of our actions but there is no reason to remove yourself from the programme. I am certain she does not hold you responsible, I know for a fact that she has already forgiven Sgt. Clark for the knifing incident. She has given no indication that she wishes to either press charges or request to be transferred."

"I don't want her to have to Sir, that's one of the reasons I am removing myself from SG-1."

"And the others?"

"They are of a personal nature, Sir. I would prefer not to discuss them."

"I don't think that's good enough Colonel, when one of my best officers tenders his resignation I feel I need to know why."

"I've already explained Sir, I don't think it is wise for me to remain."

"Colonel.." Hammond began, but was cut short by O'Neill's upraised hand,

"General, you dragged me out of retirement to retrieve Dr. Jackson from Abydos and to assess the potential threat from that planet. I've done that, Daniel is back on Earth and the Abydos 'gate is buried again. My mission is complete, and I respectfully request to be removed from the active roster and allowed to resume my retirement."

"Request Denied." This time it was the General's hand that forestalled O'Neill's protest.

"What I will do however is grant you extended leave. Think this over Colonel, I don't want to lose you."

"It won't make any difference what you call it Sir, this isn't the place for me anymore. Hell, I'm a military man, not a scientist. I wouldn't know how to evaluate the cultural and scientific significance of a tree, let alone a thousand-year-old temple. To me a Mayan sun disk is just a carved rock. I leave that sort of stuff up to Carter and Jackson."

"This facility is run by the United States Air Force, there will always be a place for an officer of your calibre on the team, and you know it. And just how long do out think Dr. Jackson would last out there without you to guard his back?"

"He survived on Abydos for a year without our help, anyway he'll have Teal'c and Carter and whoever you get to replace me watching his tail while he digs up the secrets of the universe. Nobody's indispensable."

"You're belittling your importance to the team, Colonel."

"No Sir, just defining my weaknesses."

"Have it your way, son."

"My way means you would accept my resignation Sir, I won't be coming back and I'm not looking forward to the Marines carting me off to prison for dereliction of duty."

"That wouldn't happen Colonel"

"I'm happy to hear it"

"With what you know Jack, if you went AWL, we'd have to shoot you."

"Thank you Sir, that makes me feel so much better."

"Take some time and really think about this Colonel, if you still feel you cannot continue in say, two weeks, then we'll talk."

Recognising that this was the best he could expect in the short term, O'Neill nodded his head and then turned and left a thoughtful Hammond behind pondering what he was going to say to rest of SG-1.


Walking into the briefing room just over an hour later, he reviewed once again the words he would use to tell them of O'Neill's decision. Choosing the most straightforward of his options he settled himself at the end of the conference table before beginning,

"I'll keep this short people, as you have no doubt noticed Colonel O'Neill is not here for this briefing, he is currently on an extended leave of absence due to a concern of a personal nature and will not be returning for some time, if at all. I will be reassigning command of SG-1 to a new officer forthwith, however until such time as that happens you are all on stand-down."

Expecting a barrage of questions, General Hammond was shocked by the stunned glances traded by the remainder of SG-1. Deciding to leave them to discuss his announcement he rose,

"That will be all, dismissed." He barely got two feet before he was halted

"General Hammond."

"Yes, Teal'c"

"Is Colonel O'Neill injured?"

"No Teal'c, he just has some issues to resolve."

"Then I will await his return."

Amused despite himself at Teal'c unwavering certainty General Hammond couldn't keep the fondness from his tone as he exited the room,

"You do that, son."


"Sam?" Daniel's voice wavered as he met her stunned eyes over the conference table

"What's going on? He can't just leave, can he?"

"I don't know Daniel, but I'm going to find out." Glancing up through the glass partition that separated General Hammond's office from the conference room she noted him enter via the corridor door. Rising she glanced back at the still-stunned Daniel.

"Why don't you get some rest, Daniel? I tell you what I find."

Nodding mutely he rose and silently collected Teal'c as he left the room.


General Hammond barely had time to be seated before the inevitable knock sounded on his office door,


"General Hammond."

"Please sit, Captain."

"Thank you Sir,"

"What can I do for you Carter?"

"You can tell me why Colonel O'Neill really left, Sir."

"Straight to the point, I can live with that, but I'm sure you realise I'm not at liberty to discuss his reasons."

"Can you at least tell me if it has anything to do with me, Sir?"

At his obvious reluctance to answer suspicion ran through her like a frigid wind, chilling her flesh. Flashes of brutal memory rose unbidden, momentarily distracting her, in desperation she latched onto her only hope, Janet said he didn't remember.

"Carter, are you alright?"

Pulling herself back to the present she answered,

"Yes Sir. I just need to know if it was last weeks incident that prompted this."

"Telling you would be unethical, Captain."

"Of course, Sir, I realise that, but..." she searched her mind desperately trying to find an argument that would sway him. Knowing there wasn't one she latched on to the first that came to mind.

".... Daniel and Teal'c aren't Air Force, they need me to find an explanation for them."

"Daniel and Teal'c?"

"Yes, Sir."

"And you don't believe that 'a problem of a personal nature' is enough to satisfy them?"

"No Sir, I think I will need more details than that."

Taking a deep breath, he steepled his fingers

"Carter, I'm a by-the-book kind of soldier, I always have been, I pride myself on it."

"I know that Sir, it's just.." He held up his hand to forestall her,

"Let me finish, Captain. As I said, by-the-book, taking that into account however there are still unusual circumstances in which the book just doesn't cut it." A slight smile passed over his features as a thirty-year-old memory rose unbidden into his mind, her face with the same disbelieving look, then and now as he continued.

"I'd have to say that the Stargate qualifies as an unusual circumstance in anyone's book."

"Yes Sir." She replied tentatively, not quite comprehending where the conversation was headed.

"It has been noted that because of the extraordinary situations in which the SG teams find themselves a strong and supportive bond tends to manifest itself early. Due to this closeness in the team it is not beyond the realms of possibility that another team member would be in my office questioning Colonel O'Neill decision immediately after being briefed. So soon in fact that they would be present at same time that I was dictating my report to Washington outlining the circumstances in which one of my top officers felt it necessary to leave the programme."

The light in her eyes would have shamed the sun,

"Not beyond the realms of possibility at all, Sir."

"I'm glad you agree Captain." And with that he continued to 'dictate' his report to Washington. Including his attempts to convince Jack to stay and his failure to sway the Colonel from his decision.

"He doesn't believe you could ever forgive him Captain."

"I wouldn't be here if I couldn't, Sir"

"I know Sam. Perhaps it's time you told Colonel O'Neill that."

"I think you may be right about that Sir. Request permission to be dismissed."

"Granted, oh and Carter?"

"Yes Sir?"

Leaning across the desk he handed her a slip of paper,

"He's off base already."

Flashing one of her rare 1000-watt smiles she nodded her head in appreciation at the hastily scribbled address and left the room.


Arriving at Jack's place sometime later she found she was unable to get out of the car, whatever determination had driven her to this point had deserted her. Leaning forward onto the steering wheel she rested her head in her hands. What am I doing here? Am I completely crazy? He'd surely ask that question, he'd probably ask a lot of questions and she knew she'd better have answers to them all or they would never get him back. And we need him, all of us. Daniel to find Sha'ure, Teal'c for Chu'lak and freedom for his people, and her, what did she need him for? Why was he so important, and more importantly what argument could she use to convince him that no matter what had happened, she still needed him to be there. A look of shock passed over her features as she realised that was exactly why she needed him; to be there. It was the comfort of his presence, the warmth she felt at that cheeky grin he threw around with such abandon. Knowing that whenever she stepped through that 'gate he was already two steps ahead of her, calm, confident making an alien world a little less daunting just by sharing it. It all came down to needing him to be there, all she had to do now was convince him of that. Smiling grimly she began to marshal her arguments. He didn't stand a chance.


Half an hour later she tentatively knocked on his front door, her opening argument alternating in her mind with the thought, why am I here, as she waited those infinite few seconds between her knock and the click of the released deadbolt. His harried, but trademark "For crying out loud," as he violently wrenched open the door made her step back in alarm, but it was his appearance that shocked her into momentary silence. He was clad in only a rumpled T-shirt and slacks with his hair in disarray, a half-empty bottle of beer clutched in one hand and the evidence of previous bottles written clearly in his stance.

A look of confusion passed over his features as he stared at her, as if she was the last person he ever expected to see, then he stepped fully into the doorway and rested one hand against the doorframe, barring her entrance.

"Carter, what do you want?" the hostility in his tone barely masked the despair.

"I talked to General Hammond."

"Yeah, so? What's that to me?"

"No Colonel, I don't think you understand, I *really* talked to General Hammond."

"You don't get it Carter, I don't care, and it still doesn't explain why you're here."

"Because now, we need to talk."

"Wrong. I've made my decision. You weren't on the advisory committee."

Realising by his behaviour she would need to shock her way in, she played her trump card. Hoping that she was wrong, but knowing that she wasn't

"You lied to Janet, didn't you."

Realisation and resignation chased each other across his face and with a sigh he dropped his hand and padded barefoot back into the house, leaving her to follow if she chose, she did.


Taking a moment to close the door behind her she found him wedged in the far corner of the kitchen. As far from the open doorway as possible, with his arms crossed protectively over his chest. Indicating the fridge by her side with the neck of the bottle in his hand he silently suggested she should help herself.

"I don't think that's a good idea, Sir. For either of us"

"Oh, I don't know Captain. I think it's the best idea I've had in ages, certainly beats anything I did in the last week, wouldn't you say?"

She winced visibly at his choice of words and he immediately went on the defensive,

"You wanted to talk, Carter, so talk. Why are you here?"

"So we can resolve this and move on."

"In case you haven't noticed," he said indicating his civvy attire "I have moved on, and out." Lifting the bottle to his lips, he drained the contents

"I won't accept that, Sir"

"Won't accept? You don't get a say in this, Carter."

"When it affects me, I do, and this affects me Sir. It's my team you're destroying. You may not be willing to fight for us, but I am."

Her indignation was infectious, and he found himself rising to the bait,

"There is nothing to save, Captain. It's over."

If she was taken aback by the hostility in his voice she covered it well,

"With all due respect, that's crap, Colonel. I expect better of you than lies."

She watched his knuckles whiten around the empty bottle clenched in his hand, until she was certain it would shatter from the pressure. The next time he spoke his voice held a clipped quality that only comes at the outer limits of control.

"Captain, we can't work together after what I've done, every time I look at you I see the fear hidden in your eyes. We need to be able to rely on each other out there, and you can never trust me again. You'll be wondering every time we walk through that 'gate if this is the one where I lose it again, I'm not going to put your life in danger on every mission because you have to second guess my actions to see if I'm still in control."

"Let me clear something up for you, Sir. I have never thought you would do anything that would endanger me in the field, I didn't before and I don't now. I don't understand why you feel a momentary artificially induced aberration in behaviour is going to affect all your future actions, because I don't."

"I can't trust my own reflexes anymore. Two weeks ago if anyone suggested I could do to you what I did they'd be waking up in hospital, now I don't know what I am capable of, what kind of damage I could cause. If I can't control myself I have no place in SG-1"

"Sir, we all knew the risks when we signed on, and I for one don't regret that decision for a moment. Of course there are going to be situations beyond our control and understanding, that's the whole point of going. If we wanted a safe and controlled existence we'd stay locked in our homes. But we don't, because we can't. We're adventurers, and neither of us would be happy leaving this fight in someone else's hands. You have to go, I have to go, and I need to know that you are going to be out there to watch my back."

"You can't trust me to do that. I'm no good to anybody out there."

"Really? What about Skaara?"

Jack's eyes snapped to hers at the boy's name

"What about him?"

"Are you going to let somebody else find him? Are you going to leave that task to someone who doesn't know him, who doesn't care? Someone who will see the glowing eyes of a Goa'uld before he notices the frightened boy trapped inside. Is that the freedom you promised yourself you'd give him, at the end of a MP5 burst from an overly eager Marine?" She'd heard his words to Daniel at the beginning of their last ill-fated mission, and used them mercilessly against him now.

"We don't even know if we can save him, look at Kawalsky." The strain in his voice was heartbreaking, but she continued.

"So you're just going to give up, on him, on us, on SG-1? I'm not the only member of the team, Sir. What about Daniel, do you think your replacement is going to understand his obsession with Sha'ure and getting her back? About going back to his life on Abydos, about the family he has there, you saw the way those people adored him, you saw how much at home he was, so much more than he could ever be here. He needs to go back, and he can't do that without her, and he can't find her without you. No matter how much he knows, in the end he's still a civilian and Command doesn't listen to him, but you do, and they listen to you. He needs you."

"Carter you know they value Daniel's knowledge."

"Yes Sir, as an advisor, without you there is no way they would let him out in the field, and what about Teal'c? His loyalty is to you first and the SGC second; we all know that, including General Hammond. He fights for this world not just because we are the best hope to free his people, but because of the faith you have shown in him, you never walked away, even when he expected you to. Are you really going to walk away now?"

"I already have, Carter. After what I did..." his voice trailed off, unable to express in words the disgust he felt.

"You didn't have any choice, Sir. I know that." The acceptance in her voice broke him,

"Dammit Sam why do you think I chose you, why I was drawn to you? There are a hundred women in that mountain, more in the immediate vicinity of the base. Why you, why search you out among all of them? I may not have been in control of what I did, but I knew who I was choosing. That's what I can't forgive myself for, I waited in the darkness until you were alone, with no-one to help you, waited until you were helpless, and then used the trust our friendship had created to get close enough to hurt you."

She stood stock still through his tirade, tears rising unbidden at the bitterness in his tone as he condemned himself. Breathing hard past a dam of emotions she willed her voice to be steady as she spoke,

"Janet has a theory about that, Sir."

"You discussed this with Janet?" the horror in his tone was unmistakable

"She's the CMO, it's not as if she didn't know what happened, and I couldn't exactly discuss I with you, could I?" she responded indignantly

He had the grace to look abashed


"Anyway she believes, and I think she's right, in the state you were in you identified SG1 as your 'tribe'. We work closely together and we are a team, and as I am the only female on that team and you are the leader it's logical for you to assume you had mating rights."

"Mating rights? Who the hell mates by beating on their partner?"

"Actually Sir, rough or aggressive mating is relatively common in a lot of species."

He watched fascinated as she automatically slipped into what he'd always called 'scientist mode'. Her still-lingering fear of him fading into the background as she sought to clarify,

"It's all about dominance. You were simply marking your territory. If I hadn't managed to knock you out you would have probably hunted down more women to claim. Or alternatively you could have gone after Daniel and Teal'c, as the other male members of the tribe you would need to beat them into submission to ensure your own dominance and your unchallenged right to the females. Now I could see Daniel going down easy enough, but I believe you may have had a problem with Teal'c. I'll have to check..."

"Carter," his agonised whisper interrupted her lecture,


"Are you telling me I could have done this...that to other women?" his eyes pleaded with her to refute it but she could not.

"Yes, Sir. It's a possibility."

"Hell." He ran his hands over his face, as if trying to scrub away her words.

"Well, thanks for the information Carter. It's nice to know I can add 'defiler of women' to my resume." the sarcasm in his voice was painful to hear.

"What I'm trying to say Sir, is that you were working on instinct. You had no control over your actions. You cannot be held responsible for what you did."

"I hold myself responsible. Hell, Carter I'm Special Ops trained. I can hold out against torture, drugs, sleep deprivation you name it, for weeks, months if I have to. I gave up to this thing in a matter of hours, and you paid the price for my failure, I should have been able to fight it."

"Colonel, there is no defence against a parasitical virus like that. You can't fight something that takes away your ability to remember how to fight."


"Truth," she asserted, "you could be Special Ops, SAS, Spetsnaz, Sayaret Matkal and the Dalai Lama all rolled into one and you still couldn't have fought this. You're a man Sir, not a God."

By the end of her impassioned statement she was less than two feet from him. Breathing hard, her face flushed in his defence he thought she had never looked more beautiful. Seconds later the remorse kicked in and he berated himself for the fool he was.

"Not Sir," he whispered

"I'm sorry?" She moved forward to catch his words

"Not Sir, I'm not your superior anymore Carter. I retired, remember?"

"I remember, Colonel" the stress she placed on his rank made his heart ache.

"Carter, I quit." He hung his head and uncrossing his arms reached along the bench for another bottle. She stepped into the breach created; so close he could feel the heat radiating from her. Realising she was never going to be able to convince him with her words, as he had in all likelihood already played her every argument over and over in his head, she did the only thing she knew he would never expect of her. Placing a hand under his chin she forced his head up to meet her piercing eyes.

"Then this is no longer against regs, is it?" she whispered before capturing his lips with her own, hard in pressure, soft in texture, demanding in everything.

His hand instinctively went to the small of her back, cradling her even as he exerted pressure to bring them closer. She melded her body to his fitting together like two broken pieces made whole. Opening her mouth she gently traced the outline of his lips with her tongue. His body stilled at the contact, his entire being focusing down to the feel of her tongue, the steady ascent of her hands as they moved up his chest to tangle in his hair, her body pressing him back against the bench, trapping him in her embrace. His mind screamed at him to withdraw, even as his body sought to respond, caught between the two he did nothing but let her continue. Until her tongue slipped between his lips. With a groan he opened to her, and pulling her closer responded hungrily, devouring her mouth with his own. Her hands slid down his back as his own rose to cup her face, but even lost in his bliss he felt her wince as his hand brushed her bruised cheek. The realisation of what he was doing hit him like a cold shower and he pushed her away from him with a gasp.

Bewildered by the sudden break in contact she reached for him again, but his words stilled her hands,

"Carter, why?"

She trembled slightly, her hands curling into fists in an attempt to subdue the turmoil within her. Breathing deeply to calm her ragged nerves, she tried to explain,

"I need my memories of you...of us, to be gentle. Whenever I close my eyes I remember, it plays over and over in my mind, every move, every sound, like I'm living it again, and the nightmares..." she faltered, pain etched in her features as brutal memories assault her.

Pulling her back tightly into his embrace he whispered into her hair,

"I'm sorry, so sorry Sam, sorry, forgive me, I'm never going to be able to say this enough..."

Leaning back, she looked up into his red-rimmed eyes,

"So make it better, make us better. I feel so numb, so empty." She was like a child in the middle of a bad dream; she desperately needed him to turn on the lights and tell her that the monster was only in her head.

Knowing that he couldn't, that it was all too real, and needing to atone in anyway she would allow him, he reached up and tentatively cupped her face, his thumb sliding gently over her undamaged cheek. She leant into the touch with feline grace, her eyes closing in complete trust, a soft sigh escaping her lips as she gave herself over to the feel of his hands on her skin. Amazed at her reaction he could only stare at her mesmerised by the complete acceptance implicit in her actions.

"Sam how can you trust me after what I did to you?" He didn't realise he had spoken aloud until she opened her eyes and responded,

"You didn't." She silenced his immediate protest with her fingertips,

"Your body yes, these hands." matching actions to words she took his hand in hers,

"This mouth," traced the outline of his lips with her fingers,

"But not the mind, not the very thing that makes you who you are. It was the disease, the possession that hurt me, not you."

"Sam..." he whispered against her fingertips, but she cut him off,

"Would you hurt me, Colonel? Would you take me as it did?"

"God, no." His denial was immediate and fervent

"I know," she whispered, "perhaps it's time you did too."

She leaned forward again, slowly, giving him time to stop her, to tell her it was wrong, but he didn't. This time when her lips hesitantly brushed along his he opened his mouth immediately, inviting her in. When her tongue slid into his mouth it was very gentle. They took their time to taste each other, learn each other's shape, careful not to miss anything. He groaned low in his throat, his hand coming up to cup her head as the kiss deepened, she in turn leaned more fully into his embrace, trying to meld into him through all the layers separating them. It was as if the universe existed only so that two people could feel as they felt, submerged within one another. The need for oxygen eventually forced them apart, and the light shining from Sam's eyes told Jack all he needed to know.


"Got that right"



She leaned in again but his next words stopped her

"Not here."


In response he picked her up, cradling her trusting body in his arms he whispered,


As he began to move she reached up and captured his mouth in another soul-searing kiss, bringing him to a halt,

"Sam," he spoke against her hungry mouth


"If you keep that up, we're not going to make it two feet. Let alone to the bedroom."

"Right," she moved her mouth along his jaw-line, trailing kisses to his ear he shuddered as her teeth grazed along the lobe. Tightening his grip around her, and praying his knees would hold he carried her to his room.

Placing her on her feet he smiled into her sapphire eyes, his hand floating hesitantly inches from her face. With an exasperated sigh she reached up and completed it journey, leaning into his hand she whispered,

"I'm not going to break if you touch me."

His hand skimmed gently over her features, hesitating when he reached the still-visible bruise he had inflicted and his eyes darkened with sorrow.

"Sam, I..." he began


Talking his hand away from the offending mark she drew it to the buttons of her shirt and with his hand encased within her own undid the first one. Needing no further encouragement than the desire burning in her eyes he continued, the shirt falling to the floor moments later. Her eyes still locked with his she reached behind her and undid the clasps on her bra, the silky material soon joining her shirt on the carpet. Realising he was frightened of making the wrong move she moved forward and grabbing the hem of his T-shirt pulled it over his head and added it to the growing pile on the floor. She ran her hands alone the planes of his chest, fingertips brushing along the light dusting of chest hair, fascinated. All of her previous lovers had been smooth, whether through artifice or genetics she never knew. Jack's chest was like a map of his life, the hair slightly grey, the scars from battles won and lost making smooth trails. She traced one lightly with her fingertips, eliciting a shudder from him. Raising her eyes from her investigations she inquired,


"Anything but." He voice rasped out, desire still held barely in check

"Good" dipping her head she replaced her wandering fingers with her tongue, following the line of a scar that ended an inch below his left nipple, raising her mouth slightly she whispered against the pebbling flesh,

"How did you get it?"

He knew what she meant, evaporation had made the scar the only cool part of his over-heated body, struggling to answer he concentrated on the wall in front of him, anything to take his mind from the feel of her hot breath against him

"Ah, knife fight in Libya."

"Big knife."

"Big guy, he.." the rest of his response was cut off as she captured his nipple in her warm mouth running her teeth along the sensitive flesh

"Carter" her name was a benediction, his hands came up of their own accord seeking her flesh, skimming lightly over her back one moved to her torso, cupping her breast gently, the other slid up her back to the nape of her neck. Running over the scar he felt forming there he stilled, but she would have none of it, snaking an arm around him she ran her fingernails down his back causing him to arch in pleasure as she transferred her mouth to the other nipple. Needing to taste her he guided her head back up and captured her mouth with hungry urgency, no doubt now as all caution was thrown to the winds. She tasted of strawberries and fresh coffee and something uniquely Sam, and he couldn't get enough of her.

She responded to his urgency with matching desire running her nails down his back with increased pressure, she noted with pleasure the shudders that passed through him each time her nails bit deep. She was surprised at her own reaction when he reciprocated, breaking the kiss within an in-drawn breath. Deprived of the sweet succulence of her lips, his mouth travelled down the sensitive line of her throat. He felt her pulse beating rapidly under her skin, and applied his teeth gently to her pulse point, drawing the skin into his mouth. She gasped at the sensation, astounded at the explosions taking place over her nerve endings, and tilted her head to allow him better access. He traced down her throat with his teeth, carefully skimming over the still visible bruises left by his previous attack, kissing them gently as if he was trying to heal them with his touch. Smiling at his tenderness she bent backward into his cradling hands, giving his mouth free-range over her exposed flesh.

Taking full advantage he dipped his head and continuing his tender caresses worked his way down to her taut breasts, capturing first one then the other nipple in his mouth, his breath leaving trails of fire along her skin. Meanwhile her hands travelled to the waistband of his slacks and expertly released them, she followed the falling garment part-way, her fingertips running lightly over the outside of his thighs, feeling the skin rising into goose-bumps at her touch. Leaving one of his hands to support her the other mimicked hers, and in moments her remaining clothes joined his on the floor.

The heat of his body burned through her as his hands moved over her flesh, touching, stroking, caressing every inch of her, setting her sensitive skin alight. Needing to respond she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled his head up for an intense, satisfying kiss. One bare leg rose and hooked over his hip as she pulled him into her embrace. Sliding one hand along her raised thigh her cupped her buttocks and without breaking the kiss lifted her into his arms. She wrapped her other leg around his waist, balancing herself as he carried her to the bed.

Reaching it he gently pushed her back, reluctantly disengaging her legs from his hips. She mewled in protest at his actions and reached for him, her need rising like a spring tide. Desire was a hunger within her, gnawing her bones, eating at her very soul and shocking her with it's depth. Smiling he captured her outstretched hands in his own, placing feather-light kisses on her fingertips.

Her eyes closed by their last kiss opened languidly at his tentative caress and she locked her gaze on his,

"Sam, are you sure?" She knew from his eyes that a whispered 'no' would stop him in his tracks, that she could take him to the point of release and still stop him with that word. Smiling at his chivalry she slid her hands to the back of his neck and brought his lips to hers in an intoxicating kiss,

Releasing him an endless moment later she whispered "what do you think?

"Finding it hard to"

Tilting her head back she giggled at his response and he took advantage of the opening, leaning in he breathed huskily into her ear before capturing the lobe in his teeth and nipped delicately. She moaned as with exquisite, agonising slowness he started to lick down her throat, stopping to nibble at the skin on her shoulder, carefully avoiding previous damage. Taking his time he worked down to her erect nipples laving them with his tongue leaving them wet and sensitive to his touch, tantalising every single nerve ending on the way. The knot of tension within her tightened as her breathing quickened her nails dug into his forearms as he continued to work his way down her body

He could feel the heat of her groin pressing against his hip, more than just tempting him to plunge into its warm depths. But he was enjoying himself way too much to end it so soon. Instead, disengaging her claws he slipped one hand down her side following the smooth curve of her hip and stroked along her raised thigh. He broke away from her flesh, looking deep into her stormy eyes as his hand slipped between their bodies and into the heat and wetness waiting for him.

She gasped as his hand brushed along her, soft enough to tantalise but not to satisfy, her hips lifted instinctively seeking his touch but with a chuckle he raised his hand beyond her reach, only to replace it as her hips settled back onto the bed. Lowering his head once more he continued his breathy caresses along her stomach, pausing over the freshly healed knife wound he covered it in kisses before advancing on to her hips. His hand roamed along her inner thighs and mound, light teasing caresses that left her aching. Her free hand clenched the sheet into knots, her short nails threatening to tear them in her frustration, as the other moved up his supporting arm and into his hair trying to guide his head lower, where she needed it to be. Removing his teasing hand he replaced it with his mouth, skimming lightly along one thigh he paused above the moist heart of her long enough to exhale a deep warm breath before continuing his kisses down the other as he slid his body between her parted legs.

Growling in frustration she reached out and entwining her fingers in his drew them up her body to her waiting mouth. The feel of her tongue lightly caressing his fingers went straight to his groin, the burgeoning lust threatening to overcome him with every lick and suckle of her fever-hot mouth. Drawing his index and middle finger deep into her mouth she swirled her tongue along their length, sliding her teeth lightly along them as she slid them in and out of her. Shuddering deeply as his mind conjured images of what that fiery mouth could do he dipped his head and parted her moist folds with his tongue, and suckling lightly drew the erect nubbin to his lips. Her body poised on the brink for so long exploded against him, tangling her fingers in his hair she arched her hips as the tremors of ecstasy shook her body. He felt each spasm as acutely as if she were connected to him. Barely allowing her a moment to regain her shuddering breath he began to stroke his tongue lazily along her,

"Gods, Jack." the cry was torn from her throat

The sound of his name on her lips caused him to smile as he raised his head slightly and murmured,

"Relax, don't fight it." Before lowering his head once more,

"Oh God... please... I can't... Jack.." At her entreaty he increased the tempo. Reaching down he slid first one and then another finger into her molten core. He could feel her inner muscles contracting around his fingers and he crooked them forwards and found her G-spot. Slowly he started to stroke the sensitive tissue, softly at first and then with more pressure. Placing his hand lightly on her hips he held her in place as harsh cries started to escape her, her body tensing up against him. She needed to scream, to tear into him, anything to keep her from going insane as his mouth and hands sent wave after wave of rapture flowing through her.

He held her then, sliding up her body to cradle her in his arms, feeling the aftershocks run through her exhausted flesh long after she came. His own body was throbbing unmercifully after feeling her explosive climaxes, every fibre straining to thrust into her with all the power he had. He forced the image from his mind. This time there would be no giving in to his desires.

Concentrating as he was on calming her he was astounded when she swiftly twisted out from under his body, threw a leg across him and propped herself over him, her face alight with triumph. She caught his wrists and dragged them over his head, holding them down against the mattress. Slowly, she stretched out over him, her breasts poised above him, erect nipples hovering tantalisingly out of reach.

"Jesus.. woman.."

"You like?" she purred.

An involuntary shudder was his only response as he fought the urge to plunge deep within her,

She moved closer, her body almost touching his. She could see his muscles tremble and cord, wanting to touch her. But she maintained her pressure on his wrists, holding him in place. She leant over him, her eyes dark with a dangerous sexuality yet a mischievous smile played over her swollen lips, seductive and innocent all at once.

He arched against her, his rigid flesh seeking her warmth, but she rose graceful above him, the smile widening on her face at his efforts. Lowering herself slightly she started to slide up and down his length, her outer lips parting enough to coat him with her juices but not to enfold him within her, the sweetly curved mounds of her breasts skimming torturously against his chest.

"My turn," she growled,

"No" freeing his wrists from her hands he flipped her beneath him, in one motion pinned her down easily "My turn can come later." came a low, deliciously husky voice in her ear

Shifting he let her feel his obvious arousal against her thigh. She groaned in response, arching against him reaching for him.

"I want to touch you"

He moved slightly to grant her access, and her hands slipped around him, adoring him with her touch. She caressed him slowly, sensing his reticence. Even in the midst of his need she felt the tenderness in his restraint, and it brought tears to her eyes. But the sensation of his fullness rubbing in her hands was like a hot wire against her nerve ends.

"Jack, please."

He raised his head,

"Please what?"

An in-drawn breath was his only answer as he slid one hand along her sweat-slick body to cup her breast, his fingertips teasing the nipple to an aching peak.

"Tell me, Sam."

Her eyes flew open at his words, and locking her gaze with him she whispered,

"Inside me, I want you inside me, deep, oh, gods so deep."

Her words and her touch combined to drive him to abandon his plan to drive her to the edge and beyond, reaching down he removed her talented hands from him and inch by inch slid inside her welcoming warmth.

She gave a sharp gasp and clutched his shoulders as he drove his length into her and he stilled instantly,

"Sam?" the fear and concern radiated in his tone

"No," she shook her head, "Good."

He chuckled at her words, the movement sending shivers screaming through her and with a droll voice he inquired,

"Should I continue?"

"If you move, I'm going to die."

"And if I don't?"

"I'm going to kill you"

Leaning down he nuzzled along her neck as he whispered,

"You're doing that already."

She sighed, as the vibration of his voice sent tiny muscle spasms running down her body and he began to move within her. Slowly, agonisingly so at first, but then with increased vigour as her nails scored down his back to cup his buttocks and impel him deeper inside even as she bucked up to meet his thrusts.

She was more alive now than he had ever seen her. He was overwhelmed. His own body was on fire as he watched the ecstasy in her eyes, felt her muscles start to contract involuntarily. Her eyes were aglow with passion as she threw back her head, stretched her arms out and screamed his name.

Slowing his thrusts he tried desperately to maintain control, but she had had enough of his restraint, still riding the last waves of her orgasm she lifted her legs and wrapping them around his hips buried him in as deep as he could go. Reaching up she threaded her fingers through his hair and dragged his face down to hers, bypassing his mouth she ran her tongue along the shell of his ear before whispering,

"Come inside me, Jack. I want to feel you"

Groaning his hand slid to the small of her back and lifting her to meet his thrusts he let loose all the wildness he mastered with everyone but her.

As their bodies moved together he was rocked to his very soul at the intensity of the feelings that swept through him. Feelings he thought long buried rose as her body worked it's magic. With the last shreds of his self-control, he held on until he felt more tremors shake her body. Then he plunged deep and buried his face in her neck. Her name slipping from his lips as he emptied himself within her.

Hours later when they returned to Earth, he made to move off her, but her arms held him in place,

"Stay, I like your weight."

Smiling he levered himself up slightly on one elbow and looked down on her flushed face, her eyes shining like sapphire stars. His fingers ran lightly through her hair and across her cheeks, tentative, wondering at the beauty in his arms. She smiled at the reverence in his face, and then turning her head she captured his wandering digits in her mouth and nipped the tips, running her tongue lightly over them. He twitched inside her, hardening in response as she teased him with her mouth,

"So soon?" she breathed against his sensitive fingers

His only response was to begin to move within her slowly, as his hand left her mouth and travelled down to cup a delicate breast flicking his thumb over the swollen sensitised flesh. She arched at his touch and he leant down and captured her willing mouth with his own.

For the next few hours the silence of his room was broken only by he sounds of lovers engaged in the most ancient dance of all. Until exhaustion claimed them and they slept, bodies entwined as if to part was an agony unthinkable.


He awoke to silence the still warm space beside him achingly empty. A brief moment of panic seized him at the thought she might have already gone,


At his call he heard the sound of movement, and moments late she appeared in the doorway, fully clothed, her hair still damp from the shower, with a steaming mug of coffee in her hands.

"Good Morning,"

"Hey, beautiful."

She smiled at the endearment and moved into the room, placing the coffee on the bed-side table she perched on the edge of the bed,

"I thought you might like a cup."

Reaching up he cupped her face in his hand and she leaned into the caress, unconsciously graceful. Closing her eyes briefly she revelled in his touch, before a look of pain rather than contentment passed over her features and she opened her eyes to refocus on him.

"You're coming back, right?

He smiled at the determination in her tone,


"I'm glad, Sir"

"Sir? Aren't we a little beyond that, Sam?"

Smiling sadly she removed his hand from her cheek, and gently pressed it to her lips before releasing it and rising from the bed,

"Beyond and back, Colonel" she stated as she turned to leave, but his voice stopped her as she reached the doorway,


"You're my commanding officer again, Sir. In order to conform to the regulations of the USAF any relationship between us must be purely professional."

He felt his heart stop as her coldly clinical words cut through him.

"I'm not giving you up, Sam"

"I'm not yours to give up, Sir"

"You were last night"

He watched her knuckles whiten as she tightened her grip on the doorframe,

"Please don't make this any harder than it has to be"

"Harder than it has to be?" The incredulity in his tone overwhelming the burgeoning grief, "why does it have to be hard at all?"

Only silence met his question, anguish was written in the tense interplay of muscles along her back and shoulders as she fought for emotional balance. Centring herself she turned to confront him, her face drawn but determined. Her eyes fixed on a point above his head, unable or unwilling to meet his own.

"You know we can't be together Sir, not like this. I can't contemplate going out there without you by my side, especially now. If I cannot have you the way I want to, at least let me have that."

"It's not enough"

"It has to be."

He made to rise, to convince her with his arms if his words could not. To kiss away the tears he could see brimming in her eyes in spite of her efforts to control them. At his movement she put out her hand to halt him, knowing with his touch her resolve would crumble,

"You know I'm right Jack, no matter how much I may want you in here, it's out there I need you."

She gestured widely the motion encompassing the world, the Stargate and all the uncharted territories beyond it.

"Is that all last night was to you, a way to get me back?" he couldn't keep the bitterness from his voice.

"Last night was something I've wanted to do ever since you declined my invitation to arm wrestle" she smiled hopelessly at the remembrance at their first confrontational meeting,

"And last night I could afford to give in to my desire, today I can't, we can't."

"Sam, please don't do this." He made to reach for her again and she backed away

"It's already done. Just let me go Sir, there's nothing left to say."

With that she backed out of the room, her determined eyes dropping briefly to meet his anguished ones before she turned and fled the house. And as the door closed quietly behind her sealing him in the silence of his empty home he found words welling up from inside -- words he didn't know had been lying in wait.

"One thing left to say, Sam...I love you."

Words she would never hear.


Jayne Gleed 10/1/2000


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