A/N: Thanks again, everyone, for the fantastic feedback! :) It helps to fuel this writing addiction, when I honestly should be working on my thesis. Oh well!
A brief note about this chapter: it is part of the reason I rated this story "T". Sensuality ensues. Nothing explicit, but the "T" label is appropriate.
Day hundred carried over into day one hundred and one.
She didn't remember noticing the light fade away to nothing, nor did she notice the temperature dropping until he pulled his lips away from hers and rubbed her arms gently. "You're cold, Sam," he remarked softly, and only then did she regain enough awareness to notice that the night had finally enveloped them.
"You too," she replied, noting the goosebumps on his forearms.
He gently helped her to her feet, and they both took a moment to stretch out their limbs, having been stationary in their sitting positions on the rocks for way too long. They made their way back to the camp slowly, silently – somehow, they both knew that each other needed a few moments to think things through.
"Si-Jack," she started, catching her faux pas in time. "I want this. I want you. But what do we do if we go home?"
He stopped his movement then, only a few paces from the opening of their tent, and looked back at her, his eyes gleaming in the moonlight. "First of all, it's not "if" we go home, but when. And secondly, we'll just cross that bridge when we come to it."
She nodded, and then realized belatedly that he most likely couldn't see her in the dark. "Yes, sir," she answered, cringing as she noted what she'd called him.
He chuckled. "C'mon."
They made their way into the tent and got ready for the night. As she took off her daytime clothes and put on her sleeping attire, she couldn't help but laugh out loud.
"What's up, Carter?" he asked, even his habits sticking hard.
She grinned as she made her way to her sleeping bag. "It's just- whenever I thought about this, about-" she stated, gesturing between the two of them, "I always imagined it would be, y'know, a lot more... fast-paced."
He grinned and laughed along with her. "Whenever you thought about this?"
She blushed, instantly embarrassed. "Oh, god, sir I meant only that- I mean, what I'm trying to say is-"
He finished changing his clothes, and joined her in their sleeping space. "Relax, Sam, I know what you mean. If we're being honest, I think about that time when you pinned me against that bench in the locker room way more than I'm supposed to. Now, I realize you're not wearing that nice little cut-off shirt again, but I think we can make do..."
She could feel her face redden even more, and she mentally chided herself for feeling like a fourteen year-old girl. "You – you've thought about this? I mean, us?"
He looked at her, his eyes more hooded and darker than she seemed to remember. "Of course," he said, his voice a little deeper than usual.
"Oh, good," was all she could think to say before his lips were on hers again, his arms wrapping around her as he lay beside her on the floor. They stayed like that for several minutes, harkening back to their moments on the cliffs, lost in each other's touch.
"Sam," he said, and with a shiver she realized it was more like a growl. "Do you want this?"
"Yes..." she breathed, and he needed no other instructions.
Suddenly she was moving, and with an instinctual "oomph" she found herself with her back to the floor, pinned down by her commanding officer. No, she told herself, it's Jack. Only Jack.
His hands moved all over her body, and in one of her last clear moments she reached out and turned out the flashlight. No need to waste the batteries, and she knew well enough that this type of exploration could be accomplished very well in the dark.
She'd always thought that if she'd ever found herself in this position, enveloped in his arms, that it would have moved a lot faster, been a lot more frenzied. After years of pent up emotion and longing and frustration, she'd thought that all she'd wanted was to feel him near her and with her and in her, but that was simply not the case. Maybe it was the fact that they'd waited so long. Maybe it was because they both knew what was at stake.
Maybe it was because they both wanted to remember everything, in case this was the only time.
As he helped her take off the shirt she'd just put on, she returned the favour, removing his t-shirt with a smile. She could see the look in his eyes, even in the dim light, as his gaze raked over her body, and she rejoiced to see such unrestrained desire in his eyes.
"Sam..." he growled again, and she felt it reverberate all the way down her spine.
His hands on her body felt like everything she'd ever wanted, and she honestly couldn't remember ever feeling like this before. She moved her palms across his chest and onto his back, and through the fog of her current state of mind she could still feel the scars on his skin, reminders of a difficult life.
His lips were all over her body, and she groaned to feel his mouth on her skin, but yet she still reached down and pulled his chin up to hers.
"I want you," she whispered, looking him dead in the eyes.
He answered by engulfing her mouth with his, all his passion, all his desire, all his love there in his kiss.
Suddenly all her clothes were gone, and it was just skin between them now, skin and the cool night air bringing respite to their fevered skin. He stopped once more and wordlessly met her eyes; she met his question by wrapping her legs around his waist. He groaned to feel her so close.
And as her hips finally met his, Sam Carter ceased to remember anything, living only in this moment between them, beyond time and space and thought.
Day one hundred and two was the day she'd realized that everything had gone wrong.
The previous day had been one of the happiest in her life. She'd woken in the morning next to the man she'd loved for so long, her head against her chest and his arm across her belly. They'd roused themselves slowly, smiling to each other in that comfortable, safe way – she didn't feel any of that anxiety she often felt with new lovers, the type where she was concerned about the state of her hair, her breath, her body when they awoke to the bright light and clarity of the morning. He'd already seen all of these things – he'd seen her at her absolute worst, he'd seen her in sickness and in injury and in the strangest states possible. And she'd seen the same of him.
They ate breakfast slowly, their languid pace taking over control of their day. They sat outside with their tea and their fruit, leaning against each other in the already warm morning air.
"So?" he said slyly, turning to her with a raised eyebrow.
"What?" she answered innocently, though she fought against the grin that tugged at the corner of her lips.
"Was it everything you hoped for? The love-making of your dreams? The time of your life?" he called out grandly, embellishing every word a little more than the last.
She laughed at him, and he laughed with her. She leaned against him, putting her head on his shoulder. Wrapping an arm around her, he pulled her close.
"Yeah," she answered softly, "it was."
He smiled at her then, and kissed her softly on the forehead. "Yeah. I get that a lot."
She punched him lightly in the shoulder, and he smirked at her, and before she knew it, they were rolling in the morning air, playfully wrestling under the light of the sun. It was like being a teenager again, lost in that first love that takes you over, making it seem like the only thing that matters is you and him, alone in the world. It was a feeling that she loved, and one that she never wanted to forget.
Day one hundred and two, though, took that all away from her.
In the morning she'd gone out to sit by the gate, and she hadn't gone back. Minutes or hours later, he had come running over, kneeling down beside her and taking her hand in his.
"Sam?" he asked, his voice full of concern. "What's wrong?"
She looked towards him, but her eyes didn't focus fully, and he could see where the tears had dried on her cheeks, her eyes red and puffy.
"Sam?" he asked again. He checked her quickly, looking for injuries.
"It's not fair," she whispered, and he looked at her again.
"What's not, Sam?" he said softly, taking a seat beside her once he was satisfied she had no pressing physical injuries.
"We're all alone here," she said softly, taking his hand and holding it against her leg. "We're all alone, and we can't go home, but I finally, finally get to have you."
He waited for her to continue, honestly confused. Wasn't the best thing about this far-flung rock the fact that they finally were together? Wasn't the only upside to being away from everything they'd ever known that they were at least here with each other?
"When I was walking here today, all I could think about was how happy I was. For the first time in almost four months, I was happy again. Because of you," she said, and her eyes finally met his.
"Me too," he answered, squeezing her hand a little tighter.
But that seemed to have the opposite effect of what he'd intended, for her eyes filled with tears once more and her face scrunched up in visible agony.
"When was the last time we went for medical check-ups, Jack?" she inquired, switching tracks abruptly.
He looked at her quizzically. "God, I don't know. Four months ago? Five? Sam, what does this have –"
"Mine was six months ago," she said, interrupting him. "I was supposed to go a week after we got here."
Realization dawned on him, abruptly and harshly. "Oh, god Sam... I didn't think – "
She met his eyes again. "I didn't either Jack, it's not your fault. But now all I can think about is what if I was pregnant. How could I dare bring a child into this world? Sure, we'd all be happy at first. But when we start getting old and he has to take care of us, what then? What about when we leave him here alone on this rock, doomed to solitude for the rest of his life? Jack, I can't-" She was sobbing now, the tears streaming down her face, and he couldn't think of anything else but to pull her tight against him, enveloping her in his arms.
"It's not fair," she whispered into his chest, once her tears had abated. "All I want is to be with you, Jack. Maybe that does mean a family someday, I don't know. But now all I can think about is a child – our child – alone on this rock forever, and I ca- can't stop feeling so guilty."
"I know," he said softly into her hair, and he could feel the fear pulling at his heart just like hers, and all he could see in his head was Charlie, alone on this planet until the end of time.
They stayed like that for hours, wrapped in each other's arms, silent and sombre under the tantalizing shadow of the stargate.