He always thought that, of the two of them, she'd be the first to go. So this is a surprise.
"Shit. Ow. Hurts, goddamn it."
She has tears in her eyes, on her lashes. He thinks maybe it's a surprise to her, too.
"Hold on, sir."
Maybe he's just so familiar with being the one who survives that he can't picture it any other way. Not that he wouldn't have willingly given his life for, oh, many good causes over the years. Not that he hasn't come so close to death, on occasion, that he could practically smell the wood of his coffin. But somehow, against some pretty damn impossible odds, he's always survived. Maybe that's led him to delude himself about his own invulnerability. Maybe, though, deep down he expects to lose that which he can't live without.
"Ow, ow, ow, cut it out! Leave it be, for god's sake!"
She keeps messing about with haemostatic bandages, elevation, pressure points, when all he wants is to lie still. Her field medic skills were never much to write home about. He's not really ungrateful - they've saved his life, and his limbs, in the past. He'd just rather not experience them when he knows they're useless.
"I'm sorry, sir - please, just hang on. Teal'c will be back soon."
Her voice keeps cracking. No way Teal'c can make it back in time with medical supplies, doctors, rescue... It's too far to the Stargate and back. He recognizes this wound, knows that he's bleeding out too fast. She knows it, too. He's going to die on another world, a billion light-years from home.
"Could be worse," he says, apropos of his thoughts and not their conversation. She understands, though. She could always read him.
"Don't you damn well die on me now!" she says, angrily.
She'll be okay, though. There's no one left alive here to hurt her. He shivers. Not long, not long... He grabs for her free hand, the one not applying pressure to the artery that, oh so efficiently, is pumping the blood from his body. Her hand is warm - or he's cold - and slick with his blood. It's getting harder to see her, harder to focus. He knows what this is. And he knows what he wants to say - what he should say, maybe. But if he does say it, she won't hear just the words - what she'll hear is him giving up hope. He doesn't want those words to be sullied. He focuses on her face, trying to convey everything through his eyes, instead.
She could always read him. The tears in her eyes overspill. "I know, Jack, I know," she whispers, brokenly, and tugs her hand from his, putting it to his face. He presses into the warmth. God, he's cold.
"Always," he whispers, instead. "Always, Sam."
She muffles a sob, and leans forwards, kissing him desperately. Their first proper kiss. He wants to put a hand up to the back of her neck, into her warm, golden hair, to pull her closer, but he can't seem to summon the energy. He's so tired - and cold. He lets her kiss him, revelling in her warmth, her softness, her taste, her smell.
His eyelids are heavy. He can't crack them open, when she lifts her head. He feels her breath on his face. "Jack? Jack, please..."
"Sam," he murmurs. He wants to pull her closer, but his arms are too heavy. He's sleepy. She smells nice. How did they get here? Are they in bed? He lets go of the momentary puzzlement. Lets it all go. It feels like he's floating. Drifting...
"Jack," she says, and he tries to focus his mind, open his eyes, but it's all so much effort. She's saying his name, over and over, and something about... holding on? He feels something touch his face - wet. Damn, but his leg aches. "I love you, Jack."
His heart stutters with the power of hearing that, and with the force of his love for her in return. A smile tugs at his lips. She loves him. And he... he's so tired. He'll take a rest, and then he'll say it back. Watch her eyes when he says it. Wide blue eyes. Maybe she'll smile at him. That'd be sweet. After he's had a nap. A brief nap... and then... Man, she smells good...