Disclaimer: This is me disclaiming. No own; no money; no infringment intended; accident if the same as other stories.

Rating: PG

Timeline: Sometime in the future (no real spoilers)

Summary: Someone has to walk away. (It's just a little angst drabble)


Walk Away

Elizabeth pulled back, freeing herself from John's embrace, the lingering warmth of his kiss still tingling on her lips.

"John," she breathed, as surprised as he was at her response.

"Lizabeth," John replied, his voice thick with emotion as he reached for her.

She stepped back in denial, raising her hands slightly. "John," she repeated. "I… we…" she stuttered, uncharacteristically at a loss for words as she looked into the wild mix of emotions in his green eyes. And even as she stumbled over her denial, she knew that her own eyes must have been reflecting the same chaotic mix of emotion.

"Lizabeth," he tried again, stepping forward.

"No, John, we can't do this," she replied breathlessly.

"Why, because the arbitrary rules of some oversight committee back on Earth say we shouldn't?"

"Yes…no…I mean yes, that's part of it," she replied. "The rules are there for a very good reason, and you know that, John," she continued.

"What I know is that I kissed you, and you kissed me back," he argued. "What I know is that there is something there between us, something that I don't want to deny anymore."

He reached for her once more and caught her up in his arms, his touch warm on her skin. Then, before she could protest, he kissed her again. Elizabeth deepened the kiss with a small moan, leaning into him, her fingers clutching tightly to John's black t-shirt. For his part, he responded to her desire by reaching for Elizabeth's hips and pulling her closer.

"Don't deny it, 'Lizabeth," he urged her as he bent to nuzzle her neck, his breath hot on her skin.

"John," she practically gasped. "I want…I can't…"

Suddenly, she pushed on his chest, prompting John to release her.

"We can't do this," she repeated as she forced herself to step away. "We can't do this because, yes, the rules of an oversight committee say we shouldn't. And because the regulations, your regulations, say we can't," she said clearly.

"You aren't military," John tried to reason.

"That doesn't matter, and you know it, Colonel," she replied pointedly. "And even if it did, common sense, reason, dictates that this is a very bad idea."

"Since when did love make sense?" John replied before he could stop himself.

"Love?" Elizabeth asked with surprise.

After a moment's hesitation, "Yes, love. And I know you feel it too, Elizabeth. Beyond sense, and reason, and rules, it's there, Elizabeth. It has been for some time."

"Yes," she practically whispered. Yes it has been, and that's where it has to stay. Even if we…" she hesitated and then took a single deep breath. "Sometimes love remains unrequited, John. Sometimes it has to be," she said, sorrow in her voice.

"You love me," she murmured, a sound like wonder and heartbreak together filling her voice.

"And you love me," he said urgently. "Don't walk away from this."

"One of has to, John," she replied, holding back her tears as she walked away, leaving John alone on the balcony.