A.N.: Takes place between Grace and Chimera. The conversation that lead to Sam saying okay to her brother to meet Pete. Warning, this isn't my typical Sam/Jack fic. This isn't a happy ending. If I get enough requests for it, I might continue the story on to after Threads, and then it might turn into my normal Sam/Jack fic. As it stands, this was only meant to be a one-shot, but I already have ideas on how to continue it on. We'll see.
She was sitting alone in her lab. Good. That's what he was hoping for. He could feel the beads of sweet starting to form on his palms. He had come in to work this morning to find a note on his computer. It had completely taken him by surprise, and although it was anonymous, he knew immediately who it was from. If the handwriting didn't give it away, the words definitely would have.
Was leaving it in the room the right thing to do?
So now he was going to go talk to her about it. He knew he had to; there was no question in his mind. He just didn't know what to say. There was no knock on the door, no formal entry, as he just walked right in and sat down on a bench across from her.
"Did you need something?"
"Oh, I don't know. An explanation, perhaps."
"The note, Carter."
She looked like the cat that ate the canary. Her cheeks got pink as she swallowed hard the guilt that was starting to form in the back on her throat.
He knew that getting information out of her wasn't going to be easy. They were friends, good friends to be exact, but neither were really forthcoming about their emotions. He knew that he would probably have to start even though he really didn't want to.
"Look, Carter. I appreciate the thought. I really do. You know that I care about you a lot more than these stupid regulations would probably like to see, but taking it out of the room? I don't know if that's such a good idea."
She didn't say anything. It was obvious that she was waiting for him to continue as she carefully weighed each word. She was always so analytical about everything.
"I know you. You've worked hard to get here, Carter. We both know how much pride you hold in your accomplishments. You're career means everything to you. Heck, there's not one vacation that we've had that I haven't had to tell you to 'get a life' as I left to go fishing and you prepared to spend the week in your lab. What do you think is going to happen if we try to have a relationship? Hmm? You'll be on the first bus outta here for having had a relationship with your CO. I can't let you do that to yourself."
She just stood there. She was always so serious, so business-like when she was on base. It always made him wonder what she was like in the privacy of her own home. Finally, she spoke, but he could tell that she was being careful to not let her emotions show through.
"I did a lot of thinking aboard the Prometheus. I had plenty of times to weigh my options. I know the consequences. The question is, what do want, sir?"
"I want you to be happy, and I just don't think that I am the answer to that. For one, I'm older than you, and although a couple rounds in the sarcophagus have done me well, I'm no spring chicken. Plus, what do we really have in common? I mean, really? I guess the real question is, do we have what it takes to bring this past friendship into a worthwhile relationship? Without being 100 sure, I don't think we can even remotely consider taking that risk. We could be uprooting our entire lives for something that might not even work out, and we both know that it would be more likely to effect your career than mine. Not my choice, but that's the way the cookie tends to crumble. If I've learned at least one thing in life it's that life isn't fair. The good don't always win, and sometimes it just plain hurts. Nothing we can do about that, Carter."
She swallowed hard again as she processed the information before her. His heart was aching. It wasn't that he didn't want a relationship with her. In fact, he had thought many nights about it, trying to figure it out in his head. He just didn't see how it was plausible.
"Fine, sir. That's what I wanted to know. I hope we can still be friends."
"Always, Carter. Always."
He gave her a tap on the shoulder before walking out. Once again, it was all left in the room.