Title: Slate
By: A.j.
Rating: PGish. PG-13 at the outside.
Spoilers: Season 6, because there's Jonas and thusly Daniel's glowjob.
Disclaimer: So. Incredibly. Not. Mine.
Warning!: Believe it or not, this story is slash. J/J but with S/J undertones. You have been warned.
Notes: Huge Thank You to Suz who read this over and Kossie? Here's that thing I promised you... but without Teal'c. Sowwy...

by A.j.

You wake sweating for him.

It's become a disturbingly regular occurrence for you of late. Heart racing, your eyes slamming open to nothing but blackness. It's taken awhile to get used to the pitch of it. Living so far underground, there aren't windows. Nothing to offset the pressing blackness. Just a luminescent green circle outlining the bathroom door, and your heavy breathing.

It's been years since something like this has happened to you. Not since school.

This is different. Not like school at all. No, this is something completely new and about seven steps to the left from the other. Because you know Colonel O'Neill like you never knew Mathias.

Mat – god it's been years. So much to do and learn after him. And you're lying to yourself again, because you know that the work, and the pushing and nearly everything that's happened to you stems from that place, that time. Those decisions.

He had that much control over you. That much power. And it scares you so much, because you didn't notice it until it was over. Until you were standing here on an alien world, holding something that branded you a traitor from everything you held dear.

You don't want that to happen again. No, not ever.

But you're waking up sweating again. Reaching for something just out of the line of your sight.

You know what it is – who it is - even though you don't want it.

And it's worse.

You know what he smells like. Know how he reacts, and what he looks like when hurt or sad or angry. You've touched this man. You know his face and that he likes pizza and beer, and that hockey games and cartoons make him happy. You don't understand exactly why, but it doesn't matter. Not to whatever is causing this.

All you knew about Mat was that he was good at science, and he made you feel. Everything that the others could not. And that when you smiled at him, he didn't smile back. Not once.

The Colonel smiles at you. Sometimes. But not in the way you want him to. Never like that.

You can't leave this.

Because unlike before, you know this is something real. Not imagined or confused or fuzzy. This thing that makes you dream and sweat and pant is true, sharp edges and all.

Just because it's not two-sided, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

You know that now. Six years, billions of miles, and one deportation later, you can look at yourself in the mirror and know that this is you. This is right.

But it hurts, doesn't it?

Knowing that it is one-sided. Again.

He's learned to trust you a little. Just a bit. He can joke with you and mock you in that way that isn't biting or pointed, just him. He won't leave you behind. Not ever.

But he won't be this for you. He can't. Because deep down, you know that isn't who he is, and if he were to suddenly change? He wouldn't be what makes you dream and hope and fantasize.

There's no way that this man can love you in this way. There's too much against it, obstacles that alone would sink this, but together make it impossible. And as much as you do the impossible everyday, there's a glass wall past which even the improbable is impossible.

Because there's Daniel. And the military. And, if you really want to admit it, Sam. So big and so wide and so everything that you can't be or become or touch. There's been too much before, and despite the reality – your reality - you'd be stupid not to let this go.

You're not stupid. No, that has never been one of your curses, has it?

No. It hasn't.

You have to shake your head at that. Because despite everything - the distance, the separate evolutionary tracks, the trillions of miles, the genetics - there are some similarities that do follow. That are there. Two worlds, one big scary belief system. One big wrong, that to you, isn't wrong.

Just like there are some things...

The tilt of his head when he smiles at her, oh god why you? Why not you?

...that never ever change.

Because it won't be a triangle. It isn't a triangle between you three. Never anywhere but in your head. And even there, past all the optimism and maybe one day's, you know what you are in that twisted knot they don't call a relationship. A ghostly third point in something that should be a line. Is a line. Is a dotted 'non-existent' line, but still. A single. Line.

You want it though.

Your mind and body and - oh, lord - your libido. Don't ask, don't tell.

And it scares you so badly. You can feel your self changing to fit this thing, this life. Adjusting just so, and becoming someone else.

Lying there, your heart and breath racing, it's almost funny. Because just like Mat, this won't happen. It can't. Because even if... It wouldn't. There are rules, and lines in the sand that are just too deep, and too wide to cross. You see it, and know it, mourning the possibilities that just never were.

He makes you sweat, and maybe even love. But you'll never do the same for him. One day, that will sink in, and the vicariousity of your world won't be enough anymore.

One day you'll leave, just like before. Because it will be too much and the edges you're so carefully balancing will slip and slide across your skin, leaving you to bleed. Again. Big red splotches that can't be hidden, and if you can't hide it, you just know you'll be the one broken and left all alone.

But you don't have to think of that today. No, not today.

Today, you just take a deep breath before, carefully, throwing your legs over the side of your bunk and standing. Clear your mind, and lock this away somewhere. Behind a bathroom door, or in this room, in the dark. Here and now, you can balance the cracks and shards because you'll see him today.

And maybe he'll smile at you.