He wished she was able to tell him exactly where all her scars had come from. He spent so much time tracing the faint lines on her skin, so many late nights and early mornings touching whatever part of her body he could as she slept, feeling the dints and imperfections there.

There was one or two she talked about, a childhood game gone wrong, a motorbike accident but the rest she couldn't, and wouldn't, talk about.

It was very frustrating.

Most of the time he could keep a lid on it, keep control of it, channel the curiosity and frustration into his work. Sam herself was a good distraction.

It was when he found new scars, or newly forming scars, that he was usually pushed over the edge. Something had happened and despite his inclusion on the Stargate programme, his own limited knowledge of a national secret, she still couldn't, and wouldn't, tell him how she had been injured.

Or even that she had been injured.

They were apart a lot and the scars were usually the only indication that anything had been wrong and he hated that. She had been hurt and he was never there to help out, make her feel better, help her heal. She had been hurt and the very idea of it made him feel sick. He was way in over his head with this woman and every scar pulled him in deeper.

He lashed out sometimes, with his tongue, they argued about her job, the dangers and his for the same reasons and he always ended up apologizing and she always forgave him. He always crawled back and he hated to do it but he was irrational sometimes and it was only because he loved her.

Really, really loved her.

She was beautiful. She considered her scars ugly on days when she felt a little low, or a little self conscious and it wasn't often but it was there, just sometimes she was too busy to care.

He was never too busy to notice.

He could spend forever running his fingertips over her skin, her scars. Lying in her bed in the early hours of the day, before he had to leave her again, the covers pulled away from her body, tracing a finger down her neck and around her breasts, following the few scars she had on her chest and down to a longer one that went across her stomach. Running his hand down the entire length of her body picking up on new scars and cuts and bruises that fascinated him and sickened him at the same time.

Her skin was so soft and he knew she would think he was insane if he ever told her that he thought the scars were pretty on her.

That sounded pretty messed up in his own head though.

He had caught her, just once, frowning at a new scar on her thigh, in the mirror. He had no idea where it had come from and the look of almost disgust on her face told him that actually knowing where the scars came from really didn't matter.

He should be helping her deal with them, because, most weren't fading, most were staying for the rest of her life and he knew he really should be supporting her more. And he tried, was trying, adding them to his inventory of her, tracing them with his fingers, lips and tongue so he knew every part of her body, so she felt good about them maybe, just a little.

He just wished, still, that she could talk to him about it, would talk to him about it because every time she got a new scar he felt like he was being pushed out of her life just a little bit more.