#7 : Speak low if you speak love. - William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, 2.1

Sam Knocked twice, tentatively, on the door and waited for an answer. Jennifer Hailey's voice came clear through the door and she smiled when she walked in. Five foot nothing but if you heard her, or came up against the end of her fist or foot, you'd never tell.

"Major," Jennifer said, not jumping to her feet, only smiling up at the blonde as she sat crossed legged on the bed in the corner of the room. "Sam," she added as the other woman took the chair from the desk and sat down..

"Jennifer," Sam said, with a grin, "not a great day."

"No shit," the younger woman said. Sam frowned, she'd never liked the younger woman's choice of language, but it was part of her attitude, and her defence mechanism Sam had come to realise Jennifer Hailey was a little more vulnerable than anyone would ever realise.

"He was a bit hard on them,'' Sam said, relaxing back in the leather desk chair, wondering for a moment where exactly Jennifer had gotten it from.

"He has to be," she replied, "as they're not going to other counties, where they'll face old versions of our own weapons, or stolen guns or whatever," she said, "they're going to other planets with superior technology they've never seen before."

"I know that better than anybody Lt,'' Sam said, unable to curb the annoyance in her tone, making Jennifer frown.

"Sorry," she said, "they, we, really screwed to up today."

"I know."

"Does Dr. Jackson always play the bad guy?'' Jennifer asked after a quiet moment.

"Usually. The Colonel says because of the four of us, he's the easier target.''

"What does Dr Jackson say about that?"

"He agrees, but I think he likes being the bad guy."

"He's very convincing sometimes, it's scary."

"Terrifying."

They laughed and Sam stood up and went to sit on the bed next to her. Jennifer shifted over a little and smiled again, a slight blush creeping up her cheeks. Sam had only seen it a few times, when they got close like this and it intrigued her that anything could make Hailey nervous or embarrassed, let alone Sam herself.

And it was cute.

"Are you ever going to get an apartment?" she asked.

Jennifer shrugged.

"I've been looking,' 'she said.

"When? You spend almost as much time on base as I do."

"Exactly, so I don't really need an apartment do I?"

"Everyone needs some space of their own, and you need a place to go when your commanding officer orders you off base to have a break."

"I could go to your place."

Sam gave her a quick look, raising an eyebrow and Jennifer grinned.

"Your own space," Sam said sternly, despite the smile on her face.

"Maybe you could help me look?"

She sounded hopeful and there was that vulnerability again that Sam found to be so cute on her.

"Sure," she said. "I'd be happy to come look at apartments with you."

"Really?"

Sam smiled.

"Of course."

Jennifer smiled and shuffled a little closer to the older woman. Sam knew the girl had no hero worship, the attitude told her that but she couldn't quite figure out what was going on in her head. Not when she looked at Sam like that, like she was going to kiss her.

Which was a really bad idea but not one Sam was completely against.

"We can talk about it later, after the training exercise," Sam said, getting up. "You have to be irradiated tomorrow."

Jennifer laughed.

"I'm thinking of joining the Air force dramatic society," she said, "I'm a really good actor it turns out."

"There is no such society."

"I might start one then, my acting skulls are astounding."

"According to who?"

"Me," she said, "who else?"

Sam laughed.

"I'll see you later Lt."

"Major."

zzzzz

"Can't afford it," Jennifer said, pushing the piece of paper to one side.

"I Know how much you get paid Jennifer." Sam said.

"You don't know how much debt I have," she told her.

"Debt?"

"Family's debt," she explained, "My mom owes thousands in health care bills."

"What for?" Sam asked.

Jennifer looked at her for a moment, then turned her attention back to the pile of apartment information on the table between them.

"This one's okay," she said, pushing a bit of paper across the surface towards Sam. They were sitting in the Sam's quarters, the room as bare as Jennifer, but then she had a house of her own. It wasn't much bigger either and Sam had no interest in the room other than for sleep when she was too exhausted to drive home.

Sam took the sheet and read it over. It was reasonably priced, but small, but then she didn't really know what Jennifer wanted from an apartment and had to wonder about the size of the debt the young woman was helping pay off. She had not been entirely clear and Sam was starting to realise why.

"What was wrong with your mom?"

"Cancer," Jennifer said, in the quietest voice Sam had ever heard her use. "She came through it okay, so far at least."

"She didn't have insurance?"

Jennifer shook her head.

"She does now, I'm paying for it. And for part of the debt, along with my brother."

"Your dad?"

Jennifer shrugged.

"Sorry Jennifer, I didn't mean to pry?"

"That's okay Major."

She frowned at the use of her rank when they had come to a tentative agreement over the past few months to use their first names in private.

"Jen," she said, reaching out and taking her hand. The young woman nodded, squeezing Sam's fingers in hers before pulling them away abruptly.

This was Jennifer's vulnerability, her mother, her missing father, Her family.

Sam could understand.

"Do you want to leave all this for now?'' Sam asked her, "go get something to eat?"

"Sure."

"I'll buy you dinner.''

"Really?"

"Why don't you believe anything I say?''

"No reason," Jennifer said with a smile. A false smile Sam knew, knew the younger woman well enough to tell that at least.

Sam stood up and Jennifer followed, gathering up the bits of paper on the table desk.

"Fuck it," the younger woman mumbled.

"Jen-"

She was cut off when Jennifer raised up on her tip toes and kissed Sam on the lips. She kissed back for a moment, then pulled away, staring down at Jennifer.

"I am fed up of tip toeing around," she said.

"You don't tip toe around anything," Sam said, with a frown and her hands still on Jeniffer's hips.

"Only you."

"Oh."

Sam didn't quite know what to say to that or to Jennifer.

"I don't just want to have dinner."

"You want a date?" Jennifer nodded. "We can't date," Sam said

"I know, I know!" she said, throwing her hands up in the air.

She fell back into the chair, kicking the leg of the table. Sam frowned but joined her at the table.

"Jennifer, calm down," she said.

"I hate the air force."

Sam laughed.

"Me too," she told her.

"I know that's a lie," the younger woman replied with a laugh. "You fucking love the air force."

It was certainly true but it didn't make the situation any easier between the two of them as they sat in Sam's quarters.

"So no dinner," Sam said, "let's take these down to the mess."

"That's it?"

"That's the best I can do I." Sam said, "That's all we can do now."

"All we can do..." Jennifer muttered. "It's not going to be enough."

"It has been so far."

"No it hasn't."

"It has to be."

"And you're okay with that? You can live with that?" Jennifer said, her tone demanding an answer.

"I'm not okay with it but I can Live with it, work with it. I have before and I will again."

"Before?" Jennifer asked.

"You can't help who you fall for."

"Do you feel anything for me?"

"I kissed back."

"Doesn't answer my question."

"Yes," Sam said with a sigh.

"I'm good at keeping secrets Sam, and I know you are," Jennifer said. "Working in deep space telemetry like you do."

Sam smiled at that.

"It's a bad idea."

"I never have bad ideas."

Sam tried not to smile again, which was hard when she had been smiling anyway, and got up.

"We can't do anything, we shouldn't, we should, see how it goes, just working together as always."

"As always."

"You know I'm right Lt."

"Fine, I'll behave. Major," Jennifer muttered, before pushing past her and leaving the room.

Sam didn't believe it for one second.

zzzzz

Jennifer Hailey had never come across as subtle. Sam had known her for over a year now, and not once had she ever been subtle. She spoke up, spoke out, got herself in trouble with senior officers, commanding officers, showed herself up in front of Sam and other scientists on the base. Had gotten shot and even stabbed once. She was not subtle, she'd gotten better, but still got herself into trouble faster than Sam could get her out of it.

This was different.

She was being subtle with Sam. Quick smiles and winks, brief touches that could've been completely accidental but Sam knew they were anything but. If only by the way Jennifer would look at Sam after her hand brushed over her ass, her legs, her breasts.

Sam's reaction made her bolder, the quick sucked in breath, the bright blush, it made Jennifer push her harder. resting her hand on her leg under the table when they had meetings together, leaning against her in labs and brushing her lips against her, whatever part of her she could reach without the cameras really seeing what was going.

God, the whole thing was frustrating Sam. The subtlety of it, the slow build up over the days, turning into weeks and no satisfaction, no release.

She knew the younger woman's game though, knew she was doing it so Sam would crack, and then break the rules. Doing it so Sam would be sure of what she felt, even if it was only more desire.

Even if it was only frustration, Sam had wondered, because there was certainly a lot of that, but she was sure she could outlast Jeniffer. She was older, more experience in a lot of ways, and definitely when it came to restraining herself. She would outlast Jennifer, mourn another lost relationship, and move on with her life.

That was the plan, that was an old plan in fact, but this time it didn't quite work out as she expected.

She outlasted Jennifer, the younger woman gave up on the touching, and glancing and general subtle seduction she had been trying to hard with and Sam was both disappointed and relieved. She wanted her, wanted to be with her, and the glancing and touching and so on was all she was going to get and then it was gone. It was a shame.

And then Jennifer came to her quarters after a mission, and kissed her.

With more fervor than the last time, her hands brushing up Sam's sides and her small body pushing her back into the room and towards the bed. After the weeks of steady build up, the disappointment of it coming to an end, Sam didn't stop, didn't fight, she just pulled Jennifer down onto the bed when the bunk hit the back of her thighs.

She groaned, and Jennifer smiled, pulling back to look at her face.

"I was getting bored," she said, her grin widening. Sam laughed, shaking her head in disbelief, before kissing her again.

"Bored?"

"Messing around with you, waiting for you to jump me."

"Jump you?" Sam said with a raised eyebrow. "I'm an air force Major, I do not jump anyone."

"If you say so Sam."

"I do, and as your superior officer you should listen to me."

"If I were your girlfriend I could ignore you."

"Not if you want to keep kissing me."

Jennifer laughed and kissed her again, threading one hand into her blonde hair and slipping the other under her black t-shirt.

"So, affair?"

"Don't call it an affair, we're not cheating on anyone."

"Just the Air Force."

"You're not winning me over Jennifer."

"What if I told you I loved you."

"I wouldn't believe you," Sam said, not entirely believing her own words.

"You will eventually," she said, kissing her again.