Jack leaned over her and gazed into her face, combing his fingers through her tousled hair. "You are so beautiful, Sam, so beautiful."

His mind was wandering a little. "You're Snow White, you know. Skin as white as snow and lips as red as blood. No, that's not right. Skin as white as snow. Blood, blood... blood as red as ...blood!

Lips as white as snow. Oh, God. Oh, Sam. "

How could this have happened? They were almost home free. He could see now that shrapnel must have severed her femoral artery. It was too late before he had even known what had happened. There was too much blood. So much blood. So much red, red blood.

If he ran full out, he could probably make it back to the Stargate before the C4 blew. But honestly, why would he want to?

"I'll stay here with you, Sam. I'm not going to leave you all alone. I'll never leave you. No matter what. God, why haven't I ever told you that? You're the most important thing in my life, and I haven't told you."

Jack struggled to pull himself into consciousness. He felt like he was swimming through jello wearing fishing waders, and was that infirmary disinfectant he was smelling? As he came to full awareness, memories came crashing down. "Crap! My he...What the hell happened? Doc, Doc!"

"Take it easy sir. You're in the infirmary, Janet said soothingly as she reached for his wrist. Sam said something zapped you pretty good. You lost consciousness. Are you with me sir? Sir?"

"Yeah, Doc. I'm with you. Getting electrocuted just gets better every time. "Uh, Carter's here?"

"Yes, sir. She's right here. You can talk to her for a minute if you promise to lie back and get some rest." Janet beckoned to Sam and drew the curtains to give them the illusion of privacy.

"Carter, what happened?"

"I'm not sure, sir. You sat down at that console and touched the switch. The air started crackling, there was a bright light and you slumped over. That's it. We got you back as quickly as we could, sir."

Jack looked away, "Something happened back there. I'm not sure... it seemed so real. His voice dropped to a whisper. "It's just... I thought you were dead, Sam. I thought we were both dead, and I never even told you what you mean to me." He looked down as she clasped his hand in hers, then into her eyes, so warm and loving and full of understanding and promise.

"Sir... Jack... I know. You know you don't have to-" She flushed under his gaze.

"Sam, that's just it. I do have to. I love you. It doesn't change anything. It's just... You and me, side by side, against the universe. It's what makes my life worth living, and it's important for you to know."

"Jack." She brought his hand to her lips. "I know. I've always known. Haven't you?"