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Rated a STRONG T . Heads up for one curse word. It adds to it, don't worry


Thank you to Agrainne24 for her encouragement and Beta, Shoequeen for her really great ideas when I felt stuck and Jack and Sam, and the fabulously complicated relationship they share, that we get to play around with!

For Aoibhi...The Barbara to my Celine ...


The gate room materialises in front of her and she instantly spins on her heel, watching, as he walks slowly, and unnaturally calm, onto the ramp.

"Close the IRIS" , O'Neill calls out to the control room above Sam's head.

The impenetrable barrier glides closed behind him and his eyes fall from the control room to hers. He stares at her, hardly blinking, his face uncharacteristically emotionless. She's under no illusions, she knows why he's waiting.

A light 'Thud' sounds from behind him and she recognises it immediately as something, or rather, someone, coming into contact with the now closed barrier, their life ending in a nanosecond. To anyone else, it could well be a piece of debris, thrown forward into the open event horizon on Euronda, but Sam knows the truth, as does Jack because he closes his eyes for a millisecond longer than is normal.

She feels sick, her stomach heaves but, yet, she can't seem to take her eyes off his. Of course, she knows why he's done what he's just done, but it's as though she can't quite believe that it's happened. They stand motionless for what seems like minutes, but in reality is only seconds.

"I take it, Colonel, that you were unable to procure any of the Eurondan technologies?" General Hammond asks from behind her.

"That's correct Sir." He replies slowly, monotonically, his eyes never leaving hers.

"I'm sorry to hear that." The General replies.

"Don't be," he says, his eyes flicking in the Generals direction, and then, instantly back to hers again.

"We'll debrief in one hour."

"Yes sir."

Sam is aware of the General leaving behind her but she has yet to move. Jack is still staring at her, searching her eyes for her understanding, and perhaps, her forgiveness. Her head tilts infinitesimally, and he blinks slowly, a silent conversation happening between them.

The room is deathly silent but she knows that Daniel, Teal'c and a number of personnel are still there. She can smell Daniel's cologne, hear Teal'c's breathing quietly.

She turns and walks down the ramp and he calls her name.


"If you don't mind sir," she says without turning back around, "I need to shower before the debrief. Permission to leave?"

She knows that her tone is dismissive, angry even, but when he responds quietly with "permission granted", she hands off her weapon to the waiting airman. She shakes her head at Daniel who looks as though he's just about to say something, and walks directly to the women's locker room without looking back.

She stays mostly quiet during the briefing with General Hammond save for an "uh huh" when she feels like she's been silent long enough and a "yes sir" when the General tells them to 'take the weekend' because a Tok'ra representative is coming on Monday to discuss something they've come across that might prove useful.

She lets the elevator doors close even though she's heard him call her name, asking to her hold the elevator for him and leaves the base without speaking to anyone. She's afraid that she might look at him differently, afraid that his decision to end a life so cruelly might sour her long hidden feelings for him.


She takes solace in a warm bath and a bottle of red and is on her second glass before she feels the tension in her shoulders start to dissipate. She isn't expecting her doorbell to ring at 9pm, and she is certainly not prepared when she opens the door to his worry worn face. 'What the hell is he doing here?' He must read her mind because he simply says "look, just hear me out Sam". She's momentarily taken aback by the use of her first name but she steps back, pushes the door closed behind him and follows him back to her living room.

His face doesn't soften when she speaks. "Sir. I don't.."

"Carter..." ,he shakes his head, almost as if he's physically shaking the chain of command from the conversation, "Sam, he was dangerous. We couldn't allow him to come back with us." He says it quietly and while he's trying to sound calm, there's a slight hint of uncertainty to his words.

She closes her eyes and instantly sees Alar, his terrified face as she stepped into the event horizon.

"Permission to speak freely, Sir?" She asks, placing her glass on the end table and running her hands down over her tank top and yoga pants. She stands to attention, as she has for him so many times before.

"I'm not here as your CO, Sam." He replies.

"Permission to speak freely...Sir?", she asks again, laying heavy emphasis on the 'sir', her voice noticeably more tense this time.

"Sam, this is your house. There's no need..."

Sam remains standing to attention and doesn't utter a word, in fact, he can hardly hear her breathing.

He stares and waits for her to show some sign of relaxing but none comes.

"Ok fine, Major. If that's how you want to play this, then permission granted." he snaps back.

"I know there are decisions you have to make sometimes on the front line but how could you do that? And not care?"

"Who says I don't care?" He asks defensively, his voice angrier than before. "You? You think I don't care? Do you think I'm completely devoid of any fucking emotions?" He's pissed and getting more and more agitated by the second. "This is the job Carter. MY job." The sharp tone to his voice causes anger to rise in her. She can normally tamp it down, but not this time, it bubbles over like a pot simmering on a stove.

"Do you?", she says, her voice suddenly louder than she is used to hearing it in her living room, "because you sure as hell aren't acting like you've just played God and knowingly killed a man."

"Carter", he says, a warning tone in his voice, "you've just witnessed the cold hard truth of decision making in the line of duty! Sometimes people die. You don't have to like it! I don't have to like it. But I have to make those kinds of decisions, YOU DON'T."

She takes an unconscious step towards him, looks him straight in the eyes and makes sure there is no misunderstanding when she says "Do. NOT. Raise. Your. Voice. To. Me. In. My. Own. Home. This is not a joke. You can't just decide who lives and who dies purely because you think they don't deserve to live! Because that's what you just did! Where's the justice in that?!"

"Justice?!" He snarls, taking a step towards her. "You think he thought of justice when he exterminated a whole people?! He got what was coming to him, Carter. You know it, I know it, and somewhere out there, that sick son of a bitch knows it too."

"You know what you did isn't right! You know that!"

She's not sure how and when it happened, but she suddenly realises that they're standing toe to toe and they're staring at each other. Her mouth instantly goes dry and her heart races in her chest. She slowly licks her dry lips and the mask he's been trying to keep on his face slips completely. His gaze flicks from her eyes to her lips, lingers there for a brief moment and then returns back up again, but instead of the soft gentle brown, they're inky black and full of fire. He reaches out, touches her bottom lip and his fingertips graze hers when his hand falls back by his side. The room goes oddly quiet, like that moment of silence between a flash of lightning and a thunder bolt.

Time slows down, One, Two, Three, Four, Five...


Lightning strikes between them and suddenly he's holding her face in one hand, her hip in the other, she's grabbing at his shirt and his lips are crashing down on hers. The wrongfulness of it stabs at her, but her need to be kissed by him is stronger, it's primal, and Sam knows, now that she's had a taste, she will never, ever have enough of him.

The grip on her hip tightens and she's pushed backwards, at speed and roughly, towards the wall. She hears the sound of the wine glass falling from the end table and seconds later, the table itself crashing against the walnut floor. Their lips are still connected and her back hits the wall with a loud thud she knows will hurt tomorrow. He presses himself flush against her, her hands tangle into his hair and she moans into his mouth. His tongue duels with hers, both taking what they need from each other, what they've wanted to take from day one. He's everywhere. Up her back, over her arms, into her hair, and suddenly he's kissing her harder, deeper, with a fervent urgent need Sam has never known before. It's a kiss that breaks open the sky, the kind that causes torrential rain to fall in an otherwise calm night, and shows Sam that every other kiss she's ever had in her life has been leading up to this.

He tugs on her bottom lip with his teeth, laces both hands into her hair and pulls her head back. His lips move to her neck, to each brown freckle on her collar bone, to the swell of each breast and she hears an unfamiliar sound, then realises that it's come from her. He kisses back up her neck and when his lips reach the shell of her ear, she hears his ragged breathing. Strangely, this pours more fuel on the fire burning inside her and she tugs sharply on his hair. He moans into her ear, she pulls his lips back to hers and he kisses her long and slowly, until they both need to come up for air.

She pushes at his chest, desperately trying to catch her breath.

Jack whispers her name. "Sam."

"I think if we don't stop, the world is going to explode." She says quietly, her eyes still closed, her pulse racing.

"Seems like it," he whispers, through ragged breathing, his head leaning on her forehead.

She looks over his shoulder towards the hallway and then back to his face. He doesn't need to look to know she's looking at the hallway leading to her bedroom.


"We can't..." she says quietly.

He takes a step backwards, scrubs his face with his hands, blows out a long breath and answers; "No... we can't. Definitely someday, but not now. I need to leave before I forget that. Before both of us do."

"Yeah, I need to um, clean that up." She says, motioning towards the claret red pool and shards of broken glass.

"I'll let myself out." He says softly, walking towards the front door.

"Goodnight, Carter... Sam."

"Goodnight...Jack." She replies, as the door clicks behind him.