A/N - Story takes place immediately following the events of Metamorphosis. Rated T.

It started raining earlier that evening. That's what did it, most likely. He couldn't get the vision of the Russian colonel liquefying before his eyes out of his mind. Well, more specifically, he couldn't rid himself of the thought that the same thing had almost happened to her.

And the rain just kept coming, intent on reminding him of just how close he had come to losing her.

They'd had many close calls, but something about that situation chilled him to the core – that feeling of pure helplessness, that there was absolutely nothing he could do to save her, that he was completely dependent on someone else to do it for him. That he almost hadn't gotten to her in time.

So here he stood, on her front porch, with the rain coming down in sheets around him. He lifted his hand to knock on the door, hesitating just for a moment. He'd come all this way; there was no point turning back now.

She answered the door, dressed only in a tank top and sweat pants. They stood staring at each other for a moment. When he didn't say anything, she finally spoke, her tone indicating her uncertainty and surprise at his unannounced arrival. "Sir?"

"Can I can come in?" he asked.

She opened the door wider, and he moved past her into the entry. He noted immediately how dark it was in her house and gave her a questioning look.

"The power went out a few minutes ago," she said. She moved further into the house, and he followed her. "You want a beer?"

"Sure." She retrieved two from her dark fridge and handed him one. He twisted the cap off and just stopped himself from flinging it across the room. He set it carefully on the counter instead.

She took a swig of her beer, looking at him expectantly. He studied his bottle for a moment and started picking at the label.

"Sir?" she questioned him again.

He didn't take his eyes off the bottle. "That was a close one, Carter."

"Yes, sir," she said softly, her eyes seeking his in the darkness.

"Too close," he said quietly, still picking at the label. When she didn't respond, he looked up at her and saw her questioning him with her eyes. He set his beer down on the counter and moved a little closer.

"The thing is, I can't stop thinking about how close I came to losing you." She hadn't moved, so he stepped closer still, taking the beer from her hand and setting it down on the counter next to his. "I can't stop thinking about how much I would have regretted having never done this."

And with that he stepped right up to her and placed both hands on her face, lowering his lips to hers. He kissed her tenderly, and for a moment she didn't respond. But then he felt her hands on his chest, and she parted her lips, allowing him access. Their tongues danced for a moment, when he suddenly pulled back.

He still held her face, his thumbs stroking her cheeks. He searched her eyes for some sign that this was okay, that he hadn't gone too far. "Now would be a good time to tell me to go to hell," he whispered.

Her eyes were wide and completely dilated in the dim light of the dark house. "No, sir," she whispered back.

"Please tell me it's not because you don't want to be insubordinate." He gave her a half smile at a failed attempt at levity, but he was breathing heavily now and could feel her proximity starting to affect him.

"No, sir," she replied quietly, for the second time. And at the desperate look she saw in his eyes, she wrapped one arm around his back while the other made its way to the nape of his neck, guiding him back down to her mouth.

"Sam…" he whispered, before he claimed her lips once again. And then they were wrapped around one another for a moment, and he swept her up in his arms, much like he had on the planet. Except this time instead of carrying her to some machine, he carried her to her bedroom, the sound of a heavy rain beating down around them.