Title: Love From Afar

Author: Black Hawk

Archive: Please ask first.

Spoilers: None

Season: Season 6

Rating: PG-13. References to sexual incidences and a few swear words here and there.

Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author(s).

Love from Afar

Sam closed her eyes and took a deep breath, steeling herself for what she was about to do. She uncharacteristically ran a nervous hand through her hair as she exhaled none too graciously. Just don't think. Don't let yourself think about it or you won't be able to do it. On that impulse she flung open the infirmary door and put on a mask of confidence as she strode up to Janet Fraiser who was surprised to see such an early morning visitor.

She looked up from her list of inventory, slightly startled. She hadn't even had her first cup of coffee yet and already somebody needed her expertise? "Sam-" The look in her fellow woman's eyes was enough to make her suspicious.

"Janet, we need to talk."

Dr. Fraiser slightly furrowed her brow. "Is something wrong?"

Sam shifted her weight uneasily. "Yeah, sort of. I think so."

Janet put down the clipboard she held. "Well then what is it?"

Major Carter winced slightly. "Can we do this in private?"

"Of course," Fraiser gave a curt nod then led the other woman into a private exam room and closed the door gently behind her. She turned her questioning gaze towards Sam who stood in the middle of the room, slightly wringing her hands. Finally the Air Force Major broke the tense silence.

"I need a pill."

Janet shrugged and shifted her weight. "What kind of pill?"

Sam bit her lower lip and glanced away then back again. "THE pill."

Janet blinked for a few moments before clearing her throat in an attempt to speak. "Sure, I… I think we may have some. I'll be right back."

Sam nodded her appreciation. As soon as the door clicked shut behind Dr. Fraiser she rubbed her face. This was so weird, embarrassing and nerve-racking.

When the short doctor returned she matter-of-factly handed Sam a small glass of water and a plastic cup with a pill in it. Sam took them thankfully as she sat down on the examination bed. After she'd swallowed she looked across to Janet who leaned against the cabinets, her arms crossed smugly. "Well?"

Sam played dumb. "'Well?' what?"

Janet gave a short laugh of incredulity. "Well, you can't just walk in here and ask for 'The Pill' and escape without telling me anything."

Sam grinned at her friend's statement. "Let's just say that I haven't been myself lately."

"You could say that again. So who was it?"

Sam smiled bashfully. "Janet…"

"You know you don't have to tell if you don't want to-"

"I just can't believe I did it…"

There. She'd gotten her talking. Now she'd get the full scoop. Janet grinned mischievously. "Was it him?"

Sam looked up, pulled out of her train of thought. "Who?"

"You know who I mean. The tall, swaggering, sarcastic Air Force Colonel."

"Janet, you know what would happen if that were true!"

Not Colonel O'Neill? This changed things- Janet was insatiably curious now. She pulled up a chair next to where Sam was seated. "So it wasn't him?"

"No," Sam held a hand to her cheek. She was never good at explaining anything that had to do with the heart. Especially her heart when it came to men. "I mean… In a way I wish it was him, but… I still greatly care for him, you know."

Janet nodded, understanding. Not wanting to push her friend she attempted to lighten the mood. "Well, it must have been pretty good if you feel so guilty."

Sam's reaction was the opposite of what she would have expected. Instead of smiling bashfully and looking away while shaking her head in mock-horror at her friend's statement, she gave a confirming, incredulous 'yeah' of agreement while shaking her head, gaze lost in memory.

Janet's eyes grew wide. "It was?? Who was it? Does he have any brothers?"

Sam laughed. "…Actually… he's someone you know…" she looked up sheepishly at Janet's puzzled expression.

~*~

Jonas awoke by himself, not really knowing what to expect. After the events of the previous night his world felt as if it had been turned upside-down. Not much made sense anymore, except for one thing, and he was going to hold on to that one thing with all his might.

He had always admired her: her intelligence, her wit, her independence and her beauty. When he'd caught himself falling in love from afar he'd quickly felt a wave of shock, then loneliness. He'd though her heart belonged to another man, and he was content to just bask in her friendship, closely guarding his heart. But last night she had changed all of that. She had shown him that love knows no bounds…either that or she had just confused him greatly. She had taught him that he was wanted, loved… needed. He could be there for her. He would be there for her. All that mattered was her.

~*~

Janet produced a lopsided grin. "So, Major Sam of the one-night stand."

Carter raised her eyebrows. "Looks like it. I still don't know why I did it… it just… felt so right at the time. In a way it was a substitute for something that I couldn't have, but in another way it was something so erotic that I think I've wanted it for a long time."

"So… you love Colonel O'Neill but had amazing sex with Jonas?"

Sam didn't look too proud. "Pretty much, yeah…"

"…And, he's okay with this?"

"Jonas? I dunno, I guess I never really asked him."

At Janet's prompting gaze Sam continued.

"Well, what am I supposed to say? 'Sorry Jonas, I don't love you but you're hot and a damned good lover so it's going to be hard for me to leave, even though I can't stay?'"

Fraiser scrunched up her face. "Not in those words exactly… but Sam, I'm warning you. Now, I'm no psychologist but the way that boy attaches himself to people I'd say you have a situation on your hands. He's probably thinking he's in this for the long run and the sooner you set him straight the better."

Sam knew she was right, but it didn't make her reality any easier to face.

~*~

After casually looking around the base for Sam and finding no sign of her, Jonas resigned to attempting some translation work in his office. He left the door open, hoping that if she didn't want to be found she'd hopefully find him.

He stared at the photograph of some writings on some ruins yet could not concentrate. She filled his every thought, invaded every corner of his soul. He could not imagine life without her, yet sadly not with her. Not like this, at least. Yet he was technically not military, so maybe they could work it out…

"Jonas? Can I come in?"

He rose and grinned from ear to ear to see Sam standing in the doorway. "Of course."

She nervously walked in.

"I was beginning to think that you were hiding from me," receiving no comforting laugh or shake of head Jonas's smile faded. She wasn't looking at him. "…You don't regret last night, do you?"

She made eye contact then. "No…no, not at all…" His smile was back. God, why did he have to look so sweet and hopeful? Janet was right. She was screwed.

"Neither do I," he took a step forward. "Sam," he caught her hand gently in his. "I care about you more than I've cared about anyone before. More than I ever even imagined I could."

Sam could feel her heart wrenching. She gave him an almost pitying smile. "Actually… that's what we need to talk about." She took a seat, causing Jonas to do so following her lead. "Jonas… last night… I…I wasn't myself."

He didn't like the sound of this.

"It was just something that I needed… a sort of release…" his green eyes betrayed his confusion. Oh how she loved those green eyes. "What I'm trying to say is… there's nothing between us."

He had the most expressive eyes of anyone she'd ever met… and right now they were tearing her to pieces.

"I don't understand. What do you mean by 'nothing'?" Nothing? Nothing?! A hot wave of panic swept over him, taking his breath with it. He couldn't think properly… couldn't…nothing?

Sam squeezed their still-linked hands for support. "I mean, nothing will come of our relationship. I'm in love with someone else."

Just breathe. Don't focus on the pain, just remember to breathe. He knew what she was saying. All of his insecurities crept up from behind, rearing their ugly heads in a chant of 'I told you so.' It would have hurt less if she had ripped his heart out with her bare hands.

Sam could see the pain in his eyes and it was driving her insane. She fought back the tears that she could feel were coming. "Look, I'm sorry I waited so long to tell you, I just couldn't…"

"I don't understand," Jonas moaned as he rose from his seat, their hands separating. He turned his back to her and ran his fingers through his hair. When he turned back a moment later he had tears in his eyes. Upon seeing them Sam could no longer control her own. "You came to me. We spent… an incredible night together. I don't know about here, but where I come from that means something," his hurt was showing as anger in his voice as it took on a rising tone.

Sam blinked hard, tears running down her cheeks. "It does, Jonas. I care for you… I just don't…care for you in that way."

He couldn't believe this was happening. So last night had meant nothing. Her coming to him had meant nothing. The now tender sides of his ribcage from her meant nothing. His feelings, his life, his existence meant nothing, all because to her, he meant nothing. He could feel tears beginning to run down his cheeks, now, too. He looked at her pleadingly, his voice betraying innocence shattered. "Sam, I gave everything to you. I'd give anything for you. I'd do anything for you-"

She couldn't stand the wounded look on his face, the raw truthfulness of his voice. So she looked away, muttering, "Don't, please."

Without even realizing what he was doing he stepped towards her once more, into the space between their two chairs. He knelt on one knee, taking up her hand in his once more. "Sam, please don't do this-"

She let out a soft sob before she gathered up the courage to look down at his face. They locked eyes and for a long moment, she allowed herself to be lost in their beauty, feeling his pain and confusion along with her own… and something else. Hope. He still had hope.

She looked away suddenly then pulled her hand from his, quickly rising to leave the room. She couldn't take this anymore. "I'm sorry," was all she managed before all-but-running out the door and down the hallway to the nearest available closet to sink to the floor and cry in.

Jonas leaned back against the desk from his position on the floor and buried his head in his knees.

~*~

Jack climbed off the weight bench, wiping a towel across his forehead and taking a swig from his water bottle. He stood, panting for a moment, before acknowledging the other presence in the gym. "Hey Jonas, what's up?"

Jonas gave a curt nod and delivered a very business-like "Colonel O'Neill" as a greeting, yet Jack could tell from the uncertainty in the younger man's eyes that something was amiss. Instead of bluntly asking he diverted his attention to the envelope the Kelownan held. He jerked his head up slightly. "What you got there?"

Jonas timidly came forward and handed Jack the envelope. As the older man opened it, Jonas attempted to explain. "It's, uh, it's a letter asking that I be placed on another SG team."

Jack merely glanced at the letter before looking back to the alien. "May I ask… why?"

Jonas suddenly found a nearby weight bench very interesting. "I…uh…I've had a falling out with one of the other team members."

Jack raised his eyebrows. "A falling out?"

Jonas glanced back up as he meekly nodded.

Jack moved his hands to his hips. "What? Teal'C stealing food off your plate again?"

He didn't even get a full smile in return, much less eye contact.

"No, nothing to do with Teal'C."

Jack smirked. "Well then. Carter teasing you or something? You know that when she does that you're supposed to tease back."

Not even a smile.

Jack furrowed his brow. Carter certainly had seemed… odd today. Maybe even upset, but he'd just blamed it on what he guessed was that time of the month. "Hey," he got Jonas to look at him. "You and Carter having a problem?"

Jonas glanced away and to the nearby weight bench once more. Something was definitely wrong.

"…I can't work with Sam anymore."

That was all Jack needed to hear after seeing the brief 'please figure-it-out-yourself' glance from the younger man. Jack stared at the Kelownan, incredulously sizing him up. The kid had to mean something else. "What do you mean you can't work with her?"

Jonas gave him a pained look. "I mean something has occurred between us that's going to negatively effect our work relationship."

No… he did, didn't he? He was talking about… The anger that boiled up inside of Jack was primal and protective, "You slept with her?!"

Jonas' whole body flinched yet he did not look up. That was all the confirmation the Colonel needed. "You did, didn't you?"

He looked up now. "Colonel, trust me, it wasn't something either of us had planned on happening."

Jack couldn't believe what he was hearing. He shifted his weight slightly threateningly. "No, it wouldn't be, would it?"

Jonas didn't know how to respond so instead followed Jack's lead. "Don't worry, Colonel. She's realized her mistake." Jack's glare wasn't very encouraging but the young man continued anyway. "With me gone there'll be no problem-"

"Love 'em and leave 'em, ay Jonas?"

"Colonel," Jonas' voice rose at Jack's antagonizing. "Believe me, it's not like that."

"Then please, Jonas, enlighten me."

Jonas let his shoulder slightly sag. "Colonel, you're not making this any easier."

"Oh, so it's my fault now, is it?" Jack took a few warning steps towards Jonas but the younger man held his ground.

Jonas felt that he had nothing to lose, so he held nothing back. "In a way, yes."

Jack took another step as he barked "yes?!"

Jonas stood a bit taller. "If you weren't so pigheaded you'd see what a beautiful dream you could be living yet instead you'd rather wallow in self-pity-"

Jack's fist connecting with Jonas' face was enough to send the younger man to the floor in agony.

"Don't you ever speak to your commanding officer like that," he growled to the man below him before roughly kicking over the form onto his back. He grabbed the younger man by the collar of his shirt and lifted him a few inches above the hard floor. His voice was venom. "If you ever hurt her again, I swear to God, you'll get much worse than this." With a rough push he shoved the young Kelownan back onto the floor and stepped over his body, heading for the door.

Jonas struggled to raise himself as he shouted after the Colonel. "She chose you."

Jack only paused for a moment at Jonas's words, then continued on his way; the door swinging shut behind him.

~*~

Sam felt awful. She'd never been more disgusted with herself in her life. She'd thought she could pretend, make her situation more sympathetic, but the truth was plain and simple. She had used him. He had been a substitute for something that she couldn't have. You can't fool your own heart, not really. She'd learned that the hard way. At least now she knew what she wanted. She could fully recognize her love for one man, and the terrible hurt she'd caused another. She couldn't let another moment pass with that knowledge. She had to find him. She had to set things right again.

After checking his quarters and office, the commissary and just about everywhere else she could think of, she asked the guard at the southern checkpoint if he'd seen him. He had. He was on the surface. He had 20 minutes before they would send someone out to find him.

Sam winced inwardly. As if his life weren't hard enough being an alien refugee on a new planet, only able to see the surface of his new home world for brief, guarded periods of time, here she was to make it even more difficult.

Snow crunched under her combat boots as she stepped out into the outside world. Guards were posted outside of this rarely used exit, however Sam didn't see Jonas anywhere. The last rays of the sun were barely visible this overcast day. Ironic. She shivered slightly as a cold wind blew and she wrapped her arms around her chest. So much could happen in a day. Her uniform wasn't very warm, then again she hadn't been to the surface in a few days now and didn't even know it'd be snowing.

Noticing some tracks on the ground she followed them into a nearby grove of pines. She had to look twice to see him. It was amazing how small you could make yourself when you didn't want to be seen or found.

He was leaning against a pine, his knees tucked in for warmth as he sat in the snow. He never looked up as she approached.

She glanced at his odd choice of clothing: he was armed against the cold with nothing more than issued green trousers, combat boots and a black T-shirt. "You'll freeze to death out here."

The young man was quiet for a moment. "That's the idea."

Sam crouched down beside him, leaning against another pine. He was obviously not very happy that she was there. She attempted to change the subject. "Is this where you come to think?"

He shrugged slightly, still not looking at her. "When I was a child… the only place I really ever felt safe was when I would run off into the woods. I'd crawl through some bushes until I was in my own little world. No one could find me there. No one could hurt me."

Sam felt a lump in her throat. She had caused this. "Jonas, I promise, I'll never hurt you again."

He glanced down at his clasped hands in-between his chest and his knees. "You did what you had to do, and I understand that. But it doesn't make it any easier."

Sam was relieved to hear the words, and gave a small, warm smile.

Sensing the face that she was making and not wanting to miss a smile, Jonas timidly turned to look at her. When he did her smile instantly vanished. "Oh my God. What happened?" She reached out to gently touch his bruised cheek but he pulled away, a small reminder that the familiarity she once had with his body was now gone.

"Colonel O'Neill knows," he said plainly as he looked away once more.

Sam felt anger boil up inside of her. That son of a… "Jack did this to you?"

"He loves you very much, Sam." He turned to look at her again.

She looked away. How could she be so in love with such a… a walking contradiction of a man.

"He… just has trouble expressing himself," Jonas offered with a small smile, surprising the Major next to him.

She raised her eyebrows in disappointment. "You could say that again."

The two sat in silence for a long moment, watching as tufts of snow fell off of distant trees.

"I still love you, Sam. I always will."

She turned to the young man next to her and held his gaze for a moment before giving him a warm smile. She reached out her hand and snaked it into his own. He let her touch him this time. "And I will always deeply care for you."

She actually got a small, if not bittersweet smile in return. Holding his hand she felt how cold it was. "Now, come on. Let's go back inside."

Jonas looked away. "Nothing will be the same again."

San took a cautious breath. "No, it won't. But that's beyond us now. All we can do is live our lives."

They locked eyes again. "I'll always be there for you, Sam."

The truth and intensity in this green gaze made her heart swell. She really did love him, just… not like that…. She couldn't help the sad smile that crept over her features. When she spoke she heard her voice crack slightly. "Thank you, Jonas Quinn. You're one of the kindest human beings I have ever met, and I'll never forget what you've taught me."

They sat in companionable silence for a few more minutes before leaving the darkening glade behind them.

~*~

The End

~*~

Author's Note: Oh my gosh, I was SO tired when I posted this last night. Hopefully it's more presentable now! Thank you, readers!

So, I really don't know where the heck this story came from! I'm not a Sam/Jack shipper and not a Sam/Jonas shipper, either. I believe that Sam and Jack's relationship should remain as it is- I agree with Richard Dean Anderson on this one- consummating their relationship is far too easy a solution to a complicated problem and one that is not necessarily realistic. And Sam and Jonas? I could see them as a couple under certain circumstances, however, the show has developed their relationship along the lines of sibling-like friendship, so it would just be gross! And we like Jonas, so why would we want him to be Sam's boyfriend? All her boyfriends die! ;o) But it was just a story that begged to be written, so I wrote it. I just hope I won't regret it ;o)

Okay, now that I've had my spiel, let me know what you think! :0D! I love ya guys! :o)