Author's Notes:

The last chapter contains explicit sexual content. Originally, I planned to add a link here to the last chapter posted on my tripod website, but apparentlythere is no way tosave links. Oops.

So, those of you who are interested in the last chapter, the whole story is posted at Heliopolis 2. (google brings it up in the first two links if you don't know where it is) Just do a search for sgcbearcub under quicksearch--authors. The last two chapters are relatively short-only a couple thousand words, so if you scroll almost to the end, you should find iteasy enough.

If you aren't interested in the sexual content, I've posted the last chapter with the explicit details deleted. The chapter has not been rewritten however, so just use your imagination.

Again, sorry about the confusion. I would not have posted the story at all except most of it is pretty tame and Part Three was originally part of Part Two and they were meant to be read together. Part Four, Hellbringers (not finished yet) is ready. it'll be posted at Helio2 as well.

Jon yawned and stretched as he ambled toward the shop. The barn walls gleamed silver in the moonlight, casting eerie shadows on the ground. He frowned at the hint of winter he could just smell on the edges of the light breeze blowing against him. It was early, for snow. Even for Colorado. The garden was taken care of, thanks to the Garden Patch Crew. Root cellar, basement and freezer were all packed to bursting, but they still needed a few more cords of wood or their electric bill was going to be a nightmare.

Things were finally settling down, he thought with some regret.

The BBQ had gone well, and Will had even gotten a few more students as a result of the demonstrations. They had given up their flyer routes, and although he missed working as a team, he had to admit it was time. He and Daniel had moved the best of the remaining parts cars into Alex's basement, packing them in like sardines. He doubted they would get the remainder in the field finished before the snow fell, but better to get as many under cover as possible while they could.

Now that the cash needs created by the training facility had ended, they could relax a bit. Work on new hobbies. Will was working on decorating the library. Daniel was writing a book of some kind. Jon was toying with the idea of a set of french-style patio doors inset with a stained glass mural for his entrance onto the rooftop deck from his bedroom. Alex...

...Alex was getting there.

She had been quiet and withdrawn during September. He put it down to the higher level of competition now that she was a senior. During the past year most of her teammates had put on height and muscle. She was still kicking ass, but when she got hit these days, it was like being tackled by a Jaffa.

He should know, he had seen the bruises.

He could not help the involuntary flinch as he thought about the reason he saw them in such detail. Three weeks ago she had tentatively asked if he would be willing to help with a therapeutic massage program Harper had prescribed. His mouth twisted at his own folly. Fool that he was, he had said yes. He supposed he had had some thought in the back of his mind about getting her to trust him again. he knew.

He only looked sixteen. He knew when a woman was responding to his touch and Alex most definitely was not. At first he had put it down to tension. At the unfamiliar feel of his hands on her body. Then he had tried to blame it on the bruises. But she had been bruised before and still looked at Jack with a subtle heat in her eyes. She had learned to relax as he gently kneaded the knots and tension from her abused muscles, but not once had he ever gotten the impression his touch had sparked even the smallest desire for anything more. he knew.

He supposed the only thing left was to decide what he was going to do about it. A hard knot of something that felt like panic twisted nauseatingly in his stomach. If it was just his face, he could wait. Another year, two at the most, and maybe she would be able to see Jack again, when she looked at him. Maybe...

Maybe it would be a good idea to start dating.

That was, as soon as dating women his own age did not make him feel like a pedeophile. On the other hand, once he was eighteen, he could legitimately start dating women in their thirties. Take the edge off. Maybe if he was not so desperate around her, she would feel safer. Less pressured. Maybe...

He contemplated the idea without any real enthusiasm. His body thought he was brilliant. Then again, his teenage body was not very picky. Never had been. And he missed sleeping with someone. He missed all the things Sara had never known he had valued, because telling her would reveal too much about why he had valued them. Sara had loved him. But he had known without a doubt that he sometimes scared her. And not in a good way. Not in a 'I-will-miss-you-if-you-die' way.

Sara had loved him.

But she had never really known what he was.

Was it wrong to want more?

He pulled open the shop door and stepped inside. Surprised to find the shop entirely in darkness, he felt for the switch and flicked it. Nothing.

"Don't bother. The light's broken," came a low voice off to his left.

He jumped reflexively."Jeez, Carter. Give a guy some warning next time."

He took a couple steps forward, stopping when he felt his toe strike something solid,and heard glass crunch under his foot. Bending carefully, he reached for the solid something. He had just wrapped his fingers around the object when he heard a slight sniffle. He snapped his head up and stared blindly in her direction.


Another sniffle, more of a quickly indrawn breath. The kind someone made when they were trying to hide the fact they were crying. He was about to demand she tell him what was wrong when he recognized the feel of the object in his hand. He lifted it and sniffed to confirm his suspicion. It was the container of muscle cream she had given him to use on her bruises. From the feel of the glass underfoot, and the location, it had also been the reason the light bulb was now in a hundred pieces on the floor.

His eyes had adjusted enough that the moonlight seeping in through the upper windows let him pick out her huddled form. She was sitting on the floor, back leaning against a tarp covered car, one of the sports cars from the Graveyard that she was rebuilding. He could not see her expression, but the moonlight turned her tears silver, leaving lines on her face that were impossible to miss.

His fingers clenched involuntarily, squeezing the container in his hand. For a moment, he tried to remember how to breath past the pain and regret. Then he looked down sightlessly at his damn hands. She knew he knew. Ah damn. He fumbled for some way to tell her that it was okay. That she did not have to hurt for him so badly. It was not her fault. He would survive. That's what he did, and it was not so bad being alive these days.

"It's nobody's fault, Carter," he said finally. "Actually, it's Loki's fault, but it sure as hell isn't yours. I just...I shouldn't have pushed for more than you could give. I'm sorry. I won't..."

She climbed slowly to her feet and stood silently. When she did not say anything, he tried a smile. It wobbled a bit, but it might pass in the dark. " you think the college girls will go for the skinny but cute look? At least the acne has cleared up. I..."

He grunted involuntarily when she tackled him. Got her shoulder right under his ribcage and lifted him clear off his feet. He hoped like hell it was the hood of the Corvette he had just landed on, because he was damn sure he had left dents. He was shaking his head and trying to catch his breath when she scrambled up on top of him and planted her knees on either side of his hips, pinning him to the car beneath. She threaded her fingers into his hair and clenched hard enough to hurt.

"Don't you dare," she ordered fiercely.

...Explicit content deleted. Full story can be found at Heliopolis 2...

She was tired of hurting him.

She was tired of being afraid, too, but she would have to learn to live with that.

There was a momentary silence, then he kissed her softly on the shoulder. He did not say anything and she knew if she looked at him, his eyes would give nothing away. It was the tentative way he was holding her that gave her the only clue to his thoughts. The nervous way he kept running his hand down her arm. Soothing. Petting. Betraying a need for contact, yet light enough to let her escape if that was what she needed.

Offering her the freedom to walk away.

He belonged to her. One way or another that had always been true. There was no other choice. Jon or Jonathan, he was still Jack. If he wanted her for the wrong be it. She did not expect the words. Not yet. Maybe not ever. He was still Jack and all that implied. She was still Samantha Carter and terrified of losing him.

But when had they ever done easy?

"You're over the limit," she told him seriously. "I think I'll keep you."

He froze against her back, then she heard him snort softly and he relaxed as he accepted that much of her claim. Maybe someday she could say the rest of it. That she loved him, every annoying, frustrating, exhilarating, military-begotten piece of him. Even the parts she sometimes hated.

It was not perfect.

It was going to be painful, and terrifying, and annoying as hell. But she was determined that someday, she would look back and be satisfied that it had been perfect for her.

Whatever it took.

He was worth it.