EPILOGUE

The bed was empty when he woke up, the warm evening light falling in gently through the window. Sitting up, he rested a hand on her side of the bed.

Cold.

---

This was how it should be.

She was wrong to try and fool herself.

She'd known it wouldn't work.

---

The only sign that she had been there was the crinkling in the pillowcase where she had slept, and a soft, lingering scent that he recognised too well.

She was gone.

Gazing around the room, it felt empty. Devoid of her presence. Missing the softness and warmth he was so used to.

---

The soft hiss of her tyres slapping down repeatedly on the wet road was almost hypnotic. She stared ahead hard. Maybe she should have said goodbye. Maybe she should have stayed, explained it to him, discussed it with him...

But he had no claim over her.

She wasn't his wife, and he wasn't her husband.

---

Her clothes were gone.

But the jewellery was all there, lying in the jewellery box, the way his wife had left it before-

The wedding rings were there as well, he realised with a shock.

The simple metal band and the delicate engagement ring, lying silently together on the rich oak dresser.

---

She ground her teeth as the rain splattered down heavily onto windscreen. It was better this way. Without her there to constantly remind him of who he'd lost, and without her having to constantly be around the SGC and remember who she had been, what she'd had... what she didn't have now.

At least Hammond understood. At least he had tried to help her.

---

Gone.

She'd left him.

He picked up the rings and held them in his palm. The metal was cold, their weight solid and dead on his skin. Jack held the rings tightly in his hand while he dressed. He glanced at them once more before slipping them into his pocket, and walking out of the empty house.

---

Sam sighed as she flicked on the indicator.

She should be happy.

She should be relieved that she was starting out on a new life, her own life. Her choices, her decisions. Her life.

But all she could see was his face, dirty, blood stained and pale.

---

There you go. First part done. The sequel HAS been started; a couple of chapters are already done but I'm not going to post them yet for continuity (I have a nasty habit of changing plot halfway through my fics, which is why I don't do WiPs very often!)

Thanks for all the reviews; they honestly keep me inspired to write because if my ego is happy my muse is usually pretty happy to co-operate!