Set in S8, somewhere after Gemini and before Reckoning .
In my universe, Pete didn't make it past the first date.
They don't do this often. Only after a mission gone really bad, when they needed to know the other was still with them.
When they can't deny the need for another's touch.
When they needed to know there was still hope for "them" and that they were still loved and still need by the other.
This had been one of those times.
They're lying in bed, she's curled into his side, her head on his shoulder, both of them sated and relaxed.
But he knows it's coming. It happens every time.
She always waits until he's asleep. Sometimes she even sleeps a little, too. But she always gets up and leaves.
He always wakes in time to hear her walk out of his bedroom, though. Listens as she walks down the hall, past the bathroom, past the kitchen. She pauses at the door, he doesn't know why. Perhaps she's taking a moment to straighten her clothes, or maybe she's looking for her keys, it doesn't matter. After a few moments he hears the front door open and close. Listens as her car starts, the sound of tyres on pavement fades.
Tonight he doesn't sleep. He stays awake as she lies there with him.
They've been lying there for at least an hour, maybe two, he's not sure, when she gets up and sits on the edge of the bed.
As she moves to stand he sits up and grabs her hand. "I don't want you to go. Never do."
After a few seconds she turns to face him and he can see her beautiful face in the moonlight that shines in through the gap in the curtains, blue eyes wet with unshed tears.
"I never want to go." she whispers.
"Then why do you?" He searches her eyes for an answer until she finally speaks.
"If I stay, I wouldn't be able to do this again. I wouldn't be able to put it back in that room. It hurts enough to leave when I do, and it gets harder every time. If I stayed the night and then had to go on like nothing happened until the next time we take this out of the room for a few hours..." her voice breaks as she wills the tears not to fall. "It would break me."
"Then don't." he said, giving her hand a squeeze. "If you want this, us, now Sam, we'll do it. We won't go back to hiding."
She raised her face to the ceiling, taking deep breaths, eyes staring unseeing at some invisible spot above her head.
After what seemed like minutes passed and she didn't say anything, eyes still locked on the barely visible ceiling of his bedroom, he laid a gentle hand on the side of her face and tilted her head so he could look into her eyes, his thumb brushing gently over her soft cheek.
"Sam, I'll do anything." There was a hint of pleading in his voice, but he didn't care. He really would do anything to have her, and as she seemed to be searching his very soul through blue eyes locked on brown, he prayed to whoever would listen that she would see how much he means it.
Eventually she moved close, wrapping one arm around his waist, the other around his shoulder holding tight, nodding her head against his shoulder. He held her like that for a few minutes before pulling her onto his lap, her head moving to his other shoulder to tuck in against neck and chin, fingers content to play with the hair at the nape of his neck, while his arms held her gently.
"God, I love you." he whispered. The words felt inadequate for what he truly felt, but it was all he could say.
He buried his face in her hair breathing in the soft, intoxicating scent of lavender shampoo and Carter and placed a soft, lingering kiss on her head as they sat there in silence, both content in knowing that this was the beginning.