Disclaimer: Though not named, they are definitely not mine. No money being made, etc.

Spoilers/Notes: Everything up to In the Line of Duty. Sort of. Well, not really. This is... Just, at the end of that, Sam was so BROKEN. And of course she represses mightily. None of this was helped by having Kittie's "Safe" playing whilst writing it. (And Cake's Short Skirt, Long Jacket). I swear, I can't get anything on my playlist without it influencing what I write.

Further note: More so than any other story I've written, this is one of those that will make little sense if you haven't seen the show.

In This Moment

by Ana Lyssie Cotton

There are pieces of her scattered in the moonlight that dapples the floor. She doesn't remember how they got there. Only that they are. And that they're hers. In grade school, they used to tease her and say she'd lost her marbles. These aren't marbles.

She almost wishes they were.

Getting out of the bed isn't as hard as it should be. It's easier the further away from it she gets. Even though she's naked, even though the moonlight is so bright in here.

The pieces of her are clothes, she decides, leaning over and picking up a sock. It's black, but the moonlight has turned it grey. And her bra is silver, the lace looking strangely poetic. Her blue jeans look acid-washed, and she wants to laugh at the idea. That fad went out with legwarmers and the New Kids on the Block (and she remembers having a crush on Joe, he seemed to have a brain).

Dressing becomes something she does by rote. Underwear, socks, jeans, bra, shirt. And she half-turns to eye the bed again, sure she's forgotten something.

Jolinar.

Jolinar would tell her. Could have told her. Would have known what she was forgetting.

And the unreality of this place crystalizes into half-tones as she steps into her boots. Laces tangle around her fingers and she curses before starting again.

Then they're tied, and she looks at the bed again. She has to go, to leave. Because she's not supposed to be here. Wouldn't be here, except for Jolinar--and that's half of a lie, but more than the truth. Because it was simply a catalyst. But she can't let herself think of that, so she doesn't.

He's asleep, still. Half-sprawled, and one hand had been draped on her waist. She likes that. Misses it immensely.

But, again. Regulations. Rules. Things not meant to be.

She steps closer and leans over to kiss his forehead.

He doesn't wake.

Doesn't see her as she stops at the door and turns to go back.

But this is the abyss, that moment where she has to decide which is more important. What counts. Him. Her. Jolinar. In the end, it's all the same, and so she merely whispers into the moonlight room a soft "thank you" before leaving.

He hears that.

-finis-