Disclaimer: Not mine. Rating: R/NC17. Sex. Violence. Set/Spoilers: post-Death Knell, season 7.
Pairing: Sam/Jack, Sam/Pete Notes: The title is from Metric's "The People". I've been trying to do something, anything, and finish it. This was the result.

No Quenchless Autumn Breezes
by ALC Punk!

This wasn't supposed to happen.

Sam tries to keep that thought firmly in mind until his lips and tongue shatter it, and she wonders if she is ever able to keep the right thoughts in her head. But it doesn't matter because Jack is firmly kissing his way up her body, careful of her injuries.

No words are needed. They've almost never been needed.

He shifts to the side slightly, and thrusts into her, catching her soft cry with his mouth. He's been gentle, so far, careful of the wound in her leg, the scratches across her face.

Sam doesn't want gentle. It's why this is him and not Pete. Pete wouldn't get this, he'd be too worried about her delicate state, too concerned. She doesn't want concern. She wants to feel. Her hand fists in his hair and she writhes against him, shifting her hips and stifling a cry of pain as her leg objects. The movements work, and he's not gentle, though she can tell he's still trying.

They cleaned her up in the infirmary, wiped the blood and dirt away, but she can still smell the trees and the moss and feel the grit under her fingernails.

Jack smells like sweat and dust and she tries to bury herself in that as he buries himself in her. His mouth closes on one breast, tongue flicking the nipple and she gives voice, finally, to the sounds ripping through her.

Another thrust, and he changes nipples, content to go back and forth as she loses the last of her coherency and shatters again.

This time, she wonders if he can see the pieces of her scattered in the moonlight.

Done making her scream, he takes his own pleasure, quickly and efficiently, and she thinks dimly of condoms and pills, and is glad Janet has insisted on shots and implants.

Sweat-slick skin under her hands, and she can feel something thicker.

Blood. She can smell the sharpness, and wonders if this is a smell she's always known, or it's only in the last few years that it became ingrained upon her senses.

"Sorry."

He shifts, flopping a bit sideways and taking some of the pressure off of her. She wishes he hadn't, but doesn't say it. "'S all right."

It's not all right, but she doesn't say that. Even now she's uncertain whether it will ever be right again, though she thinks it might. With his hand on her hip, and her mind drifting away, she figures this might be about as good as it gets, for her. Either that or she's just hyped on endorphins.

-

She can't move.

It took everything she had to evade the drone until now, and the rocket didn't work. With horror, she watches the hand raise from the dirt. There is no reserve left, all she can do is stare as it sits up and sights down its arm at her.

She can't move. She wants to, but she can't.

Terror threads through her, adrenaline pumping through over-taxed veins, and she isn't aware that she's woken up screaming until Jack's mouth closes on hers.

"Carter." The word penetrates, the lips soothing across hers.

Skin to skin contact, and she knows why she can't move. "Off," she manages, panting.

He slides to the side, and she can feel his chagrin in the darkness, "I'm sorry, Carter, I didn't think-"

"It's all right." Her hand wraps around his. "You sprawl naturally when you sleep, Jack." The adrenaline hurts, but it's something to feel. Her thumb rubs a circle on his palm. "You and Teal'c saved me."

"Yes." His hand runs down her flesh like she's something precious.

She shivers.

"Go to sleep."

It's an order, and she wants to object, but she needs to sleep. But she wants to know he'll be there when she wakes. Her leg protests the movement, but she shifts enough to her side to slide it over him, settling her head on his shoulder and putting her arm over his chest.

"I'm not goin' anywhere."

"That's good."

-

It isn't a nightmare, this time.

Cold air brushes across her skin, and she knows he was awake before she was. The tell-tale shuffle of sound as her bedroom door scrapes across the carpet makes her tense, and her leg objects to the ill-treatment.

She muffles the whimper in his shoulder before looking up at the man standing, mouth open in her doorway.

"I... You know, I think," Pete Shanahan gestures feebly, obviously unable to grasp the situation yet. "I think that I will... go. Yes, go. Erm. Sam, I'll call you. Or. Something."

"Pete - wait." She tries to scramble from the bed and every muscle protests. Those that weren't bruised badly in the initial destruction of the Alpha Site have now been stretched and mauled by good sex.

There are fingermarks on her hips.

She has a moment to stare at them before grabbing up her robe and belting it as she staggers out of the room, leg still protesting this movement.

"Pete."

He's by the front door, back to her.

"Pete." She repeats, feeling feeble and suddenly having no idea what she's going to say.

"Were you ever going to tell me?"

There are a thousand things she could say to him. He's been good for her, but not as good as she's needed. And it hurts to give up on her dream of normalcy. "I'm sorry."

"Yeah." He turns and looks at her, tries to smile but it doesn't reach his eyes. "I hope he makes you happy."

"He..." Won't. He can't. She closes her eyes, listens as Pete Shanahan leaves, the door closing without any sort of dramatic flair. Maybe she didn't hurt him as much as she'd thought.

"Hey."

She sags against him, brain unable to calculate anything. At all. "Where did we go wrong?"

The silence is filled with words left unspoken, phrases and meanings twisted with the passage of time and the weight of loyalty, duty and law. His hands take her into the kitchen and he makes her sit, bustling around and starting the coffee before coming to carefully look at the wound in her thigh.

Her father hadn't even offered to heal it.

Too busy worrying about diplomatic ties and his relationships with a people who were arrogant and short-sighted. She wonders now, if this is another example of why she can't keep a steady boyfriend.

"I'm tired of leaving it in the room."

The sound of the coffee maker burbling away is loud in the stillness.

Gathering courage she thought only useful against enemies who wanted her dead, she looks up at him. His eyes are blank, his face slack. "I don't know how to make this work, but I can't do this anymore."

The continuing silence makes her nervous, and she stands again, ignoring the pain. "I need to..." She moves towards her bedroom, thinking of adding 'get dressed', 'die', 'cry', or simply 'sleep' to her statement. But can't decide which it is.

He catches her as she stops in the middle of the room, staring at the bed, rumpled and filled with memories. "Carter."

"Don't."

His hands catch at her, and spin her into him. She goes willingly, mind numb. When he kisses her, she wants to cry or run. Fight or flight, and her body betrays her, his hands deftly sliding beneath the robe and stroking her skin. A moan is wrung from her lungs, and she bites it back as his lips trail down her neck. "Jack -"

"Ssshhh."

She's so very tired of commands. "No." Her hands stop his, and she shakes, scared at how easy she is for him to manipulate. He could slide into her now, and she'd already be ready for him. Memories of the night before drift across her nerve endings and she whimpers. "This can't just be about sex."

The stillness in the room makes her flinch.

"It has inever/i been about just sex."

"Oh."

"Not that you aren't incredibly hot."

She shivers. "Jack?"

"Hrm?"

"Shut up."

"Yes, Major."

-

He wakes first, this time. Their legs are still tangled together, her hand tightly gripping his. For a very long time, he watches her sleep, sprawled across him, the sunlight slowly picking out the gold in her hair and the dusky bruises that cross her body. He marvels that she survived. That he got there in time.

Jack O'Neill likes to think of himself as a simple man. It's easier, when you're dumb. No one expects anything from you.

When she stirs, he lets her lead, watches her eyes widen as she remembers the preceding hours. "Jack."

"Hey." So very careful. Because even now he can't be sure that she won't turn around and run.

"Don't." She moves, hand reaching out to touch his cheek. "Don't lock yourself away and hide, Jack. Please."

"Carter-"

Her lips touch his cheek, and she curls into him. "I need you."

It's not love. Neither of them have ever said it. He really isn't sure that's what it is, anyway. But need. Yeah. He can deal with need. "Me too."

A slight smile and then she sighs. "Janet told me to get light excercise."

He smirks, "Covered that."

A flush slides up her cheeks, and he watches it cover more skin than he'd expected it to. "And to eat. Think we can handle eating, Jack?"

"For you, Carter? Anything."

She stops smiling, and meets his eyes. "Me too."

-f-