Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Stargate (II) Productions, Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author. This story may not be posted elsewhere without author's consent. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Copyright © 2006 Maggie Eaton

Note: July 29, 2006. Response to Challenge 46 'Fly me to the moon' and/or the word 'spiral' on Yahoo group ATST. As always, any and all mistakes are my own. Suitable for all audiences. Late season seven. I hope you enjoy the story.

Sometimes Lovers

She was lying still with her head thrown back against the pillow when his strong arm pulled her towards him. She felt his lips press against her forehead as she rolled against his chest and cuddled closer to his pounding heart. He was quiet. He always was in the afterglow of their love but he held her tight and close, still desiring the feel of her against him.

Stolen hours were all they had, all they'd ever had but they were thrilling, intimate hours and they ended all too soon. She would lie against him until his heart had slowed and his breathing calmed. Until he had squeezed her in his strong arms a dozen times or more, pressing soft, wet kisses against her flesh and her eyes were closing in sleep.

Then he would kiss her softly and rise from their nest, muscles rippling with each movement and perspiration casting a gentle sheen along the long, lean lines of his tanned body. She would watch him move away and smile. And sometimes, cry. She never knew when she would feel his embrace again and it saddened her even as her heart soared from the memory of his touch. She had never understood the word bittersweet until he left her that first time, his smell still permeating her body and the bed they had shared, his touch still a bright fire in her memory. But she understood now. She understood it all too well even though she wouldn't let it show.

They were good together. Instantly at ease, comfortable and unafraid, accepting each other without fault or criticism they formed an unbreakable bond. In their small, perfect world they were perfect, too. Every question was answered, every mystery solved and every occurrence made perfect sense. They belonged here, together. And they both knew but neither spoke of it. It was as if they were afraid of losing this special something, so wonderful, they dared not speak it aloud.

And she was happy, really happy but she had also resigned herself to the facts of the situation; always knowing that the night would end and happiness would fade to that familiar state of bittersweet. But always wanting him, needing him with all her heart and soul.

As sweet as the moment of arrival, so bitter was his leaving and knowing the moment was inevitable did nothing to stay it's pain. He would stand at the door and stare wordlessly into her eyes, searching for some great truth, some salvation deep in her soul. Something that would save him from the world outside, something that would fuel his strength until he could hold her again. His dark eyes would lock onto hers and seem to drain her strength as he stood there with one palm against her cheek and pulled her close until their lips met in a final embrace and her lungs screamed with the need for breath but she still refused to let go. He would wrap steel arms around her, swaying gently, showering her with kisses and pushing back the moment of retreat, the moment when he would leave her alone.

A screeching door hinge interrupted her thoughts and she smiled up at him with sparkling eyes. She hid her pain just beneath the surface, hoping to spare him that sadness and deny the gargantuan cavern that was an opening spiral inside her.

She had rolled to his side of the bed and was curled against his pillow wallowing in the delicious scent that still lingered there. She steadied her hand and reached out to him, clasping his massive, rough hand in her own and holding it as gently as a delicate butterfly.

"Hey." She smiled brighter and swung his arm in a short pendulum attempting to lighten the moment of his departure.

"Hey."

That was him all right, original to a fault. She couldn't help but chuckle; these were the things that drew her to him. The simplest of gestures, his warm smile, a frown when he thought no one was watching or the way his eyes melted into dark chocolate pools when his passion overflowed it's restraint.

It was so easy to be with him, easy to talk or to listen as his voice painted a vivid picture for her mind. He was a very private man but in those fleeting moments of perfection when their minds and bodies were perfectly blended into one, the barriers fell away and he let her in. His deep, velvet voice would echo against her ribs sending a slight tremor through her smaller body as he held her. It would tickle the air around her face and then soothe her into mindless satisfaction. She dared not move, afraid of losing that connection, afraid that any distraction would silence his voice and she would never find him again.

He'd snuggled against her, occasionally pressing his face into her neck and nuzzling softly as she tried to remain relaxed and still beside him. Then he'd pull her closer, turning her to face him and lie in the crook of his arm as he wrapped himself around her and pushed the world away.

And she'd listened to each and every word, his voice practically burning the words into her soul. Stories of good days and bad days, family and friends she'd never known. He brought them all out to meet her, sharing his memories of shame and of glory; he had opened his life to her, waiting, it seemed for her to send him away.

She could hear the slight hesitation in his voice but his touch never wavered as roughened fingers smoothed along her soft skin orchestrating his words, so focused on his memories that he didn't realize the passage of time. She cherished those moments but couldn't forget that it would end; there was no doubt and no other alternative. They couldn't stay like this forever; they could only hold on as long as it lasted. The quiet chimes would disrupt their comforting oblivion, knifing through the stillness to remind them of the approaching new day. Then without any warning he would suddenly hug her close and just as suddenly he was gone from her arms, leaving her empty and longing. He would move quietly around the room while she watched, memorizing every movement as their world slowly slipped away. Then he would sit beside her again, stroking her hair and staring into her eyes, telling her to sleep but she wouldn't. Instead, she would rise and follow him to the door, hand in hand until he wrapped her in his arms one last time.

She could feel the outside world creeping in again now and her heart felt heavy in her chest. His hand was still in hers and he still stood beside her, looking down into her sleepy eyes. She wanted him to stay, to sleep beside her and to wake in his arms but she wouldn't ask. She understood. When the sun rose above the horizon and kissed the landscape with its glowing light he would be just a memory; a fantasy that lived only in her mind. That was the way it had to be, for now, that was all it could be.

She stirred slightly as she stared up at him and realized that tonight something was different. He was smiling and there was no trace of sadness in his eyes. He was happy. She smiled back, mirroring his emotion completely and letting it surround her.

"Move over."

She heard him but confusion clouded her mind. "What?"

He leaned down and pressed a soft kiss against her lips, smiling at her confusion, as he moved to crawl in beside her.

"Move over."

"Oh! Ok."

She turned her back to him to make room for his massive frame, still confused as the chimes fell silent.

She felt the gentle shift of the bed as he slipped an arm around her, pulling himself against her, pressing his warm body into her comforting curves. And as he settled against her, the pleasing sensation of his lips against her skin forced her eyes to close.

"It's late." She whispered.

"I know." His voice was soft, spreading moist warmth against her neck as he spoke. "Just another minute."

Needing no other explanation, she nodded and pressed against him as his arms surrounded her and hugged her close, their bodies touching, legs entangling and fingers intertwining. Savoring the feel of him, she closed her eyes again and relaxed against him, smiling slightly as the world slipped away, leaving only the two of them wrapped in a lover's embrace.

A delicate peace crept over her as she listened to his easy breathing and the calming thump of his beating heart against her back. Silent darkness surrounded them broken only by an occasional shifting of bodies and their calm breathing. Her mind paged through all the scenario's she'd ever imagined as she lay there. Afraid to question his action, she confined her queries to her own mind and simply enjoyed the feel of his lips against her. He was skimming along her neck, dropping warm wet kisses onto her skin. She reached one hand up to cradle his head, holding it lightly against her as he continued to suck her skin into his warm mouth. His hand slid along her body tracing searing hot lines of arousal wherever he touched her and causing her to release a long sigh.

Amid the kisses that continued, he whispered a single word.

"Sleep."

She nodded and stilled her mind as he relaxed against her and allowed her eyes to remain closed, unconsciously seeking what her body needed.

"I'll be here when you wake up."

She didn't respond. Instead, she remained still against him, confident in his words even if unusual. He never stayed. It had been an unspoken agreement between them. A way of keeping that emotional connection to a minimum while enjoying the physical pleasures and allowing them to return to their normal working world in the light of day.

Relaxed and warm, comforted by his closeness sleep beckoned her and as she drifted away, his hand moved to her stomach and his lips ceased their movement against her. She held onto the sensations around her and tried to fend off sleep, still drifting impossibly closer with each passing moment.

She felt him pull slightly away, as if looking at her, waiting for some response. And then in the silence, his voice whispering so softly that she could barely hear.

"I love you."

She took a deep breath and her heart seemed to pause for a long moment as she absorbed his whispered declaration. Then she grasped his hand, squeezing it tightly and holding it against her bare flesh as she tried to accept the words, half afraid that she had imagined them in her near-dream state.

She pressed her body against his and felt his silent response. Then she closed her eyes, sighing contentedly as the dark cavern within her spiraled away and she welcomed sleep, knowing that she would wake in his arms.

The End.