A/N: First thing I want you to do is look in your vast store of music and select 'I Found a Reason' from Cat Power's The Cover Record and put in on a continuous loop.


And speaking so softly she barely heard him, he said "I thought you knew."
Chapter 3

It was part of the changes in their lives, her engagement and his promotion as commander of the entire base - he had to let go. He had to let go of so much but this...this hurt more although he had tried not to acknowledge this even to himself. And they hurt each other when they both did what they had to in order to survive the personal loneliness.

He had spent so much effort getting her out of his conscious thoughts that he thought that he had succeeded in getting her out of his heart. He was wrong. His heart - it had been lacerated and healed into a nexus of scar tissue that made it as tough as an old boot. At least that's what the silly man thought. His love for Sam sat in a cold shriveled part that let in no light of day; it survived but just barely, starved and ignored for the most part, occasionally tossed a crumb. It would survive until the day he died whether he knew it or not.

It was late at night he was listening to music, some Indie stuff that Cassie said he might like. He was in a bit of a melancholy mood. Oh that was rich; in fact, he was trying not to hate himself for screaming at a woman, who supposedly was a friend, while her father lay dying. They had forgiven one another for the shouting match but he still felt like such a bastard. So he was sitting in his living room in the dark with a little sipping whiskey. The song playing was elegant in its simplicity, the piano accompaniment was minimalist and the vocal hurt his heart. He though himself an indulgent fool when he put the song on a repeating loop.

"Oh I do believe
In all the things you say"

One woman had left him today because of his love of another – she knew when the two of them were alone, there were three present. She sure didn't believe and shouldn't have had.

And the other woman, he saw her and her ailing father before he left the base. She had spent the last eight years trusted him with her life and he believed every word from her lips.

"What comes is better than what came before."

Could things change? Could things get better? It seemed that disaster and tragedy multiplied and he was buried under the avalanche. Was there actually a simple solution?

"And you'd better come, come, come, come, come to me.
Better come, come, come, come, come to me.
Better run, run, run, run, run to me.
Better come"

But he was immobile. Even when he heard the car pull into the driveway. Even when the soft knock came, even when the door opened and she stepped into the room. She stopped as if absorbing the words and music and somehow understanding they spoke from the depths of both their hearts better than anything either of them could say.

"Oh I do believe
In all the things you say"

Sam walked in the room to Jack. He stood slowly and walked to her.

"What comes is better than what came before"

She took his hands in hers.

He looked into her clear blue eyes; she wasn't upset so her father couldn't have died. He opened his arms and enfolded her.

"And you'd better run, run, run, run, run to me.
Better run, run, run, run, run to me.
Better come, come, come, come, come to me.
Better run."

"I ran" she said with the music washing over them. She held on to him as if to a lifeline and they forgave each other wordlessly.

"Before…I ran away and I don't think I can survive that way. I know I don't want to.
Dad said I could have everything I want." She spoke softly and slowly but not at all hesitant.
"I want you; I want this. We can make this work."

Hope, once forbidden to inhabit his soul, kept fear at bay and he believed Sam's words; he always believed her.

"Oh I do believe
In all the things you say."

They sat and talked for a good part of the night, assured by the dawn that what was to come would be better than what came before.

The End