Title: I Love You

Author: Dragonland

E-mail: PG for the small spouts of profanity.

Summary: Someone says I love you, and the other is afraid.

Classifications: 500 word Drabble

Spoilers: Anytime after season 8

Archive: SJD, heliopolis

Disclaimer: These characters don't belong to me and either does the show, which is okay because I couldn't afford it anyway. But I get to play with them for free.

I Love You By Dragonland

"How can you say that?" he asked soberly.

"Say what?" she replied smiling.

"Saying something like that to an old jackass like me? What are you trying to do? Give me a heart attack? I'm washed up Carter."

"No you aren't 'washed up'. Why would you say something like that?"

"I'm not as chipper as I used to be."

"I don't care."

"I can't."

"Why not?"

"If we'd done this 5 or 6 years ago, it may have worked out. If we did this now, it would be too hard on the both of us."

"Your age has nothing to do with what I just said."

"Carter, it can't be just about physical attraction. I still look okay now, I guess. But what about in another eight years?" he shuddered playfully, using his usual sarcasm to protect his feelings. You're stillā€¦ young. You have a life to live and I'd just bring you down. I'm not good for anyone."

She gave him a look of sheer fury that made him take a step back. Raising her hand she slapped his face. Hard. His face stung briefly. But the look of surprise radiating on his face was the reaction she was looking for.

"Who gave you the right to determine what's good for me or not? You're not my damn father! How dare you accuse me of being so vain as to only care about your physical appearance?" she said raising her voice slightly. "Eight years of friendship and working side by side not enough for you?" she said, shoving him away. "My loyalty to you hasn't been enough? I almost got married, because I never knew when you were going to pull your head out of your ass! But I didn't, because I knew if I did, I would never be as happy with him as I am when I'm with you. Damn you, Jack," she said beginning to cry angrily, brushing her tears away.

"I'm sorry," he said helping her brush away the tears streaming rebelliously down her cheeks.

Clearing his throat, he started to speak.

"I am afraid of is losing you to someone else. Someone who could outperform me. Someone better looking than me, who could probably love you better. I'm not young anymore. Maybe in attitude and behavior, but not in appearanceā€¦"

Small tears began to form in his eyes. She listened silently and encouraged him to continue.

"I know whatever we'd have together would be great. But my old heart can't be broken again. I've already lost everything once. I would die before letting myself go through that again."

"I won't let that happen. I promise Jack."

"I don't deserve you."

"You deserve to have something good in your life. Whether that's the two of us together or whatever you need. I love you Jack."

"I love you Sam."

She kissed him softly on the cheek. "Now, let's go back to the party. They'll be sending out the hounds to look for us."

"Yes Ma'am.

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