Categories: Angst, Romance, Thoughts
Content Warning: Sexual Content
Author's Notes: I think it was the second or third time I heard Josh Groban's beautiful song "Awake" that this story came to me, and every time I've listened to it since then, I have pictured scenes from this story in my mind. I finally could wait no longer to write it. I have woven into the story variations of most of the lyrics. If you're familiar with the song, you'll probably spot them. If you have never heard the song, CLICK HERE to listen to a portion of it.
Just in case there is anyone out there who doesn't already know this, Sam took over command of Atlantis at the beginning of Season 4, leaving after the end of that season and coming home.
I really don't know how it happened, how things changed between us so suddenly and completely. She was home on leave, having traveled the millions of light-years with a single step through the Stargate. Her return trip would be longer, a three-week journey on the Daedalus back to that faraway galaxy that was now her home.
On the first day of her vacation, my teammates and I all got together with her at my place for dinner and conversation. Throughout the evening, I found my eyes going to her often, my ears listening to the soft cadence of her voice. I'd missed her terribly since she left to begin her new life, far more than I had believed that I would. Now that she was back with us, my heart felt lighter, though I knew that this was temporary, that, in only a week, she'd be gone again.
Finally, the others went home, leaving her and I alone. We talked some more, the conversation becoming more personal. I admitted to her that I'd missed her a lot, and she confessed that she felt the same. We came together in a hug. I could feel her breath on my face and neck, her body warm and soft in my arms, and it felt so good, though I didn't understand why.
And then it happened. The kiss took us both by surprise, and we sat staring at each other in stunned amazement for several seconds afterwards, shocked by how that kiss had made us feel. Unable to stop ourselves, we kissed again . . . and then again. Soon, the kissing became touching, hands caressing, seeking bare skin. Before I knew it, our clothes were scattered on the floor, and she was beneath me on the sofa, her beautiful body pressed so tightly against mine. I kissed and touched her everywhere, the taste of her skin already an addiction.
When I slid into the heated depths of her body for the first time, it nearly overwhelmed me. The look in her eyes told me that it was the same for her. Our lovemaking was like nothing I'd experienced before, as if our souls were coming together along with our bodies. After it was over, we clung to each other, weak and trembling yet feeling so gloriously alive.
When we finally separated, we did not speak. We didn't question why or how it had happened. There was no place for logic in what we'd just found together. I took her hand and led her to my bedroom, where we slipped into sleep, only to awaken a few hours later and make love again.
The next day, I requested some leave, and it was granted. We spent that day together, mostly in bed, learning about each other in the most intimate of ways, two lonely people finding joy and shelter in each other's arms.
And so the days passed. We went for long walks, shared meals out or at my apartment, talking about things that we had never spoken of with each other before. More than once, we ascended to the top of Pike's Peak, admiring the beauty laid out before us. I took her dancing one night, and the sensation of her moving with me in time to the music felt so perfect, like this was the way that it was always meant to be with us.
We did not speak about the day that she would have to leave, the fact that we could not stay like this forever. Each day I arose with the thought, 'I have today with her. She is here right now with me.'
As the day she would leave drew closer, we found ourselves keeping each other awake at night, not wanting to waste even one moment in sleep. I wanted her to keep me awake to memorize her, to give me more time to feel this way.
And when she at last could no longer deny Morpheus' call, I would continue to lie awake, just watching her sleep, wanting more than anything in my life to have more time to be this way with her. Each time I looked at her, when she was all I could see, all my fears would just fall away, all thoughts about the dangers and horrors out there in the universe feeling so distant, no longer a part of my existence.
A need had been born inside me, the need for her to stay here and shelter me from all the pain that life visits upon me. Yet I knew that such a thing was impossible, that I would have to learn how to live with this need remaining an ache in my heart that could not be banished.
Only time would tell us how we would carry on without each other. Time heals all wounds, they say, but could it fill the emptiness that would take over my life after she was gone? I would have no choice but to find out. If it was possible, I would leave the SGC and go to be with her on Atlantis, but I had responsibilities here that I could not walk away from, at least not yet. Maybe someday that would change.
Long before I was ready for it, our last day together arrived. The beautiful morning dawned brightly, blinding sun coming in through the windows, chasing away the shadows of night as the world outside began to breathe, awakening to another day. I laid there for an hour as she continued to sleep, watching clouds arrive suddenly, without warning, darkening the sky.
We did not go anywhere that day, not wanting anything to take away even one minute of these last hours together. That night, we did not sleep at all. I kept thinking that, if we kept our eyes wide open, if I could make these moments endless, stop the winds of change and halt time in its tracks, then everything would stay the same, and there would be no goodbyes. And so I begged her to keep me awake for every moment, to hold off tomorrow, make it wait. But tomorrow would not wait forever. We did not have the power to stop it from coming.
As I stood there in the gate room with her and my teammates, waiting for the wormhole that would take her to where the Daedalus awaited, there were so many things I wanted to tell her. I wanted to say, "I love you," words I had not spoken to her because I knew it would hurt to say them, to hear her say them back to me and know that all the "I love you's" in the world could not prevent what was now happening.
My heart shattered as we shared our last embrace. Though we had not talked to my teammates about our relationship, I knew that they were aware of what was going on. I also knew that it was no secret to General Landry. And so I kissed her, right there in the gate room with everyone watching, not caring about the gossip that would travel the halls of the SGC. She clung to me and kissed me back, a hint of desperation in the kiss, the taste of tears on her lips.
And then she was gone, and I felt sorrow come crashing down upon me. I escaped to my office and remained there, not setting foot outside even to eat. Members of my team came in one by one during the day, trying to bring me comfort, but no words could ease the crushing loneliness that was already taking hold.
I now stand at the summit of Pike's Peak again. It has taken me two months to find the courage return to this place that became special to us. I look at the vista before me, but its beauty is now muted in my eyes. The brightness is gone from my world because she is not here with me. Each day is like the next: go to work, go on missions, go home. Home is a place I don't want to be because the memories of being there with her are so strong that it almost feels like she's really there, and the knowledge that she's not makes me want to just sit down and cry.
I'm still waiting for time to tell me how I'm going to carry on without her, but time seems to move so slowly these days, each moment crawling into the next, as if I have become trapped in some cruel time dilation field bent upon lengthening my agony. I still lie awake at night, but now it is because of the emptiness of my arms and the knowledge that it will be many months before they are filled again, if they are ever filled at all. I cannot expect her to remain alone and wait for us to be together again for another few short days. She deserves to have someone in her life every day.
But, for me, there will be no one else. I will cling to the memories we made, remember every precious moment of all the love we shared, knowing that she will be the last woman I ever love.
The sun is setting now, and I know that I need to get home, home to that empty apartment that I am beginning to hate. Perhaps it's time to move again, go someplace that holds no memories of her.
I am just about to turn when I hear a sound, a voice that has become more precious to me than any other.
I turn, and there she is, standing before me. Am I dreaming? Have I finally gone over the edge of sanity?
"Sam?" I whisper, so afraid that she is not really there.
She walks toward me, a gentle smile on her face, tears bright in her eyes. "I'm home, Daniel. I'm home to stay."
And then she is in my arms, warm and real, and no joy I have ever felt before in my life can compare to this. I speak those three words that I could not say before and laugh with pure happiness when she repeats them back to me.
As our lips meet, I know that, now, I will have the rest of my life to memorize her. There is no longer any reason to remain awake. I can sleep and dream with her in my arms. I will have her here next to me today and every day until my life is at an end. She is home to stay, home right here in my heart.
by Josh Groban
A beautiful and blinding morning
The world outside begins to breathe
See clouds arriving without warning
I need you here to shelter me
And I know that only time will tell us how
To carry on without each other
So keep me awake to memorize you
Give me more time to feel this way
We can't stay like this forever
But I can have you next to me today
If I could make these moments endless
If I could stop the winds of change
If we just keep our eyes wide open
Then everything would stay the same
And I know that only time will tell me how
We'll carry on without each other
So keep me awake for every moment
Give us more time to be this way
We can't stay like this forever
But I can have you next to me today
We'll let tomorrow wait
You're here right now with me
And all my fears just fall away
When you are all I see
We can't stay like this forever
But I have you here today
I will remember
Oh, I will remember
Remember all the love we shared today