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[personal profile] misaffection
Fandom: Stargate SG1
Characters: Baal, Sam Carter
Pairing: Baal/Sam
Setting: The Quest, same AU as Sticks and Stones
Rating: FRC
Written for: [livejournal.com profile] 10_orders ("don't cry")
Word Count: 1,307

The dark is absolute. Rocks skitter down as the last of the shaking eases off. The air is thick with dust, making him cough. Everything hurts, even with his symbiote knitting skin and bone. He pushes up and gets his knees beneath him, then crawls across sharp rubble to where he can sense her.

“Samantha?” He finds something and shakes her. “Sam!

She gives a low moan that’s full of pain. He sits back on his ankles and reaches into a boot. They need light, though depending on how thorough the cave-in has been, burning oxygen might not be such a good idea.

Like this whole stupid mission.

“Baal?”

“I’m here.” He strikes the match and watches the faint light flicker over the cave wall. “Where else am I likely to be?”

Sam rolls onto her side and swears softly. Her eyes widened as she looks around. “Crap,” she mutters again. “Well, this sucks.”

“Are you injured?”

“Um.” She sits and goes white. Her gasp is a sharp answer and he reaches for her. “I think I broke a rib.”

“Anything else?”

She pushes his hand away. “I’ll survive,” she says and then looks at the pile of rock that blocks their escape route. “Maybe.”

Baal sniffs, not caring if she happened to reject his comfort, and then rises to his feet. Pulling on his unique strength, he manages a steady walk to the wall of rock. He dislodges one and then other. At the third the whole thing trembles and more dust rains from the ceiling.

“Okay, that’s not a good idea,” he announces. “Perhaps there is another way out of here.”

The match splutters and goes out.

“Hang on,” Sam says. He hears fabric rustle. The darkness is broken by the beam of a flashlight. “There.”

“That is considerably better.” He walks back over to her and holds out a hand. “Come on, Samantha; let’s see what we can find.”

She gazes up at him, her mouth a flat line. Her eyes are too bright and he recognises the emotion in them.

“I... I can’t.”

“What’s wrong?” He folds his arms. “You do have other injuries, don’t you?”

Her gaze drops, then she nods. “My left leg’s broken,” she admits heavily. “Rather badly, I’m afraid.”

Cold slides down his back. “How badly?”

Sam meets his eyes. “I... I’m losing blood.”

“And you’re just telling me this now? Foolish woman.” He drops to his knees and grabs her backpack, since he was only allowed the most basic of supplies. A couple of protein bars and a canteen aren’t going to fix this. Fortunately, Sam’s pack includes a field med kit. “I knew that you detested me, but I didn’t think it was so much that you would rather bleed to death than ask me for help.”

“It’s more that I didn’t think you would,” she notes.

He looks at her, one eyebrow arched. She hitches a shoulder and fiddles with a strap on her flak jacket.

“You were wrong,” he tells her, and rips the leg of her trouser. It is bad – a compound fracture of what he believes is her fibula had punched the skin and blood seeps from the wound. “There is nothing in the kit for the pain, I’m afraid. Just...” He shakes his head. “You would, wouldn’t you?”

“I didn’t exactly do it on purpose, Baal.”

Her face is pale, taut. Her eyes shimmer with tears of pain. He cups her cheek. “I’m sorry. I just... This is going to hurt.”

She nods. “I know.”

There’s nothing for it; he needs to resite the bone so that he can stop the bleeding. He settles her against the cave wall and then removes his coat, covers her with it. She gives him a patently terrified look, her hands tight on the leather.

“Don’t look,” is all he can suggest, and he waits for her to bury her face in his coat. Everything in him rebels at causing her pain, but he has to. Her scream is loud and makes him flinch.

Blood spurts from the open wound. He grabs a wad of gauze and presses down. Sam gives a fractured whimper and trembles under his hands.

“Hold on,” he says softly. “I know it hurts, but I need to bandage this up.” His symbiote makes a suggestion that he decides to leave as a last possible solution: she would never agree unless her life depended on it. And even then...

He ties the bandage tightly. His skills aren’t brilliant – after all he has no need – but they will suffice for the moment. At least she isn’t bleeding slowly to death now. He packs everything away and then sits beside her. That she lets him pull her into his embrace says a lot about her current state. He finds a hand and holds it. Her grip is tight and violent shudders wrack her.

“Sam,” he sighs and presses his lips to her clammy forehead. “I am sorry.”

She looks at him for a moment, then breaks, crumpling against his chest as she weeps. He pulls his hand free and wraps his arms around her, rocking and mumbling senseless words until her sobs ease.

The storm passes. She lies, twisted awkwardly to avoid putting any weight on her injured leg. Though her weeping has stopped, tears still track her cheeks. He strokes her hair.

“Th-there isn’t another exit,” she says finally, her voice roughened from crying so hard and long. “It was a dead end – I was about to turn us around when the earthquake struck.”

His fingers still. So her tears weren’t solely about pain but also because they’re trapped here. “Don’t cry,” he pleads, unable to handle seeing her so defeated. It’s just not her. “I will find a way out.”

“Without bringing the whole mountain down on us?” She shakes her head, then gives a harsh, humourless laugh. “This was a stupid idea.”

He smiles at her gently. “I did mention that, I believe.”

“Yeah.” She sniffs and wipes her eyes. “Sorry.”

“Oh, hush. Rescue will come along eventually. You, at least, are too important to them to risk losing.”

Sam brushes at the damp patch on his t-shirt. “Yeah? Well, they’ll have to suck up the fact I survived because of you.” Her glance is shy. “Thank you.”

“Well, if you’re going to thank me, then–”

He gets no further – her mouth is on his, one hand at the back of his neck. Her lips are parted and he slides his tongue in, tasting the sweetness of the protein bar mixing with the salt of her tears. The passion in her kiss startles him the most, because she is holding nothing back. It is hungry and desperate and when his hands creep under the hem of her skirt, her whole body reverbs with her moan.

No. He turns his head, breaking contact. “Wait,” he breathes.

“What? Why?” She stares at him, stunned. “You wanted this.”

“Not like this.”

“Baal, we’re sealed in a cave with limited oxygen and help who knows how long away. This might be the only chance that you get.”

It’s still not enough. He wants her, but... “I cannot be your last resort, Samantha,” he sighs. “You mean far too much to me for that.”

She blinks, then her face softens. Leaning in, she lingers a kiss on his cheek. “You’re kinda getting to me, as well,” she whispers. “If this is it... then I’m glad I’m with you.”

Baal holds her close, the desire ebbing painfully. It might have been the morally right decision, but that doesn’t make it easier. His symbiote is despairing of him and wondering if it missed a head injury, but he doesn’t care: Sam is nestled against his side, a willing companion for once, and that alone makes everything worthwhile.

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