misaffection: (Default)
[personal profile] misaffection
Fandom: Stargate SG1
Characters: Baal
Pairing: Baal/Sam
Rating: FRC
Written for: [livejournal.com profile] 10_orders ("give me another chance")
Word Count: 1,486

Series so far: Sticks and Stones, A Rock and a Hard Place, Recovery and Recalcitrance, The End of All This & Beings a New Age


Time had covered the altar in dust and cobwebs. Motes rose to dance in the air as Daniel blew the worst out of the crevices etched into the striated stone. Sam watches from her position at the temple’s entrance, trying to ignore the similarity to this place and another that still haunts her nightmares. She isn’t succeeding.

It’s her third off-world mission since... well, since. While Landry and the IOA have mostly brushed Baal’s sacrifice and her heartbreak aside, making her reluctant to speak to anyone about it. Daniel has tried, as has Vala, but she just doesn’t want to admit that he’s gone.

Here, in this place that looks far too familiar, it’s harder to ignore the hole. She paces, actually hoping for an attack because that would stop her thinking. Teal’c turns his head and regards her steadily. His silent support has been invaluable and largely unexpected: of all the people to have accepted a System Lord, she never thought the Jaffa capable. She’s glad to be wrong, though.

“Samantha Carter, should we not investigate further into the temple?” he suggests and she smiles, because he’s trying to keep her occupied.

“That sounds like a good idea.”

They leave Cam to guard the entrance and wander through the stony corridors. The walls slope in slightly, the stones tinted a pale gold. It’s disturbingly like being inside a Goa’uld mothership. Sam takes up a rapid pace and lets the light on her rifle show them the way.

Deep within the temple, a curious itch dances across her skin. She rolls her shoulders and dismisses the sensation, only for it to return a moment later, stronger. Slowing, she glances at Teal’c. A small frown creases the Jaffa’s forehead and he carries his staff weapon in both hands.

“You get that, too?”

“Indeed.”

Sam scans the room. It’s littered with crates and boxes, and looks like an ancient warehouse. She can’t see anything – or rather anyone – that would cause the sensation currently reverberated through her veins. Her stomach turns over.

“Teal’c, can you check down there while I take this section?”

They separate, both on their guard. Sam’s mouth is dry and her heart pounds. There’s a hope, small and impossible, that she can’t shake. The sensation grows, strengthening as she closes in on the source. Rounding the last corner, she finds herself staring at a blank wall. Her heart drops into her boots.

Then a shiver runs the length of her spine. She spins. The rifle clatters from her hands as shock jolts through her.

He looks... older. Tired. There’s new grey in his hair and fresh lines around his eyes. The clothing is somewhere between Goa’uld opulence and human practicality; an outfit she thinks would look ridiculous on anyone else, but of course Baal wears it with aplomb.

Sam realises that she is just stood there, mouth gaping and no words coming out. He doesn’t say anything either, just takes a slow, deep breath in and then lets it out on a muted sigh. His eyes hold a certain amount of pain as he gazes at her.

She thinks that she ought to be angry – it’s been weeks without a word and she thought he was dead – but it’s not happening. Tears prick at her eyes. She tilts her head and manages to close her mouth, her lips twisting into a semblance of a smile.

“I’m sorry.” His voice is low and hoarse. He lifts a hand, then drops it again; an oddly helpless gesture that wrings her heart. “But I wasn’t sure that I would survive and then... then it was too dangerous to try to contact you.”

The wake of devastation through the Ori forces suddenly makes a hell of a lot of sense. Sam sags. “I should have known,” she says, as much to herself as to him. A rueful laugh works its way loose. “You are ridiculous.”

A small smile pulls one corner of his mouth up. “Yes, so I’ve been led to believe.” The smile fades. “Can you forgive me? Can you give me another chance?”

It’s a ridiculous question, but the confirmation lodges in her throat. She shifts her weight and that loosens something within her. Baal gives a gasping laugh as she flings her arms around his neck, but his arms curve around her, gripping so tight she can hardly breathe but she doesn’t care. He’s trembling at least as much as she is and that and the iron grasp loosens the grief she’s carried over the past few weeks.

“Sam,” he says and she chokes a sob. “Oh, Sam, I’m sorry.”

She should be angry or at least hurt at what he’s put her through, but she knows that if it had been down to her, she’d have done exactly the same thing. What he did was done to protect her, and she can’t be furious at that.

“It’s doesn’t matter,” she whispers, letting it go even as she speaks. “You’re alive.”

There’s the slightest of noises. Sam opens her eyes and sees Teal’c. His eyes widen at the sight of Baal, but then he tilts his head and disappears. She smiles at the nod at discretion, then buries her face in the crook of Baal’s neck and breathes in the scent of him.

“I’ve missed you.” That admission is the closest she can get to the truth. She’s not quite ready to put her heart on the line, even now. “Really rather badly.”

He doesn’t reply immediately, which surprises her given his usual arrogance. Instead his grip tightens and her hair shifts on a sigh that’s closer to a groan. It’s as if he wants to press her into him, absorb her into himself, and the vulnerability makes her hold him tighter as well.

“And I you,” he says then and she smiles. “It killed me to know how much I hurt you.”

Sam startles and pulls back. It’s there in his eyes and he scans her face, needing an answer to a question he either won’t or can’t put into words. She knows what it is anyway. She cups his cheek, feeling the rough burr of stubble. Everything she has questioned, everything that hasn’t made sense, suddenly does and she can’t fight this any more. She can’t lose him again.

“Shut up,” she tells him and puts his mouth to better use. Her fingers slid into his hair as he urges her lips apart. It’s on a level with what happened in the cave and this time she has no plan to stop it. His reaction presses hard against her thigh. She drops a hand and squeezes him.

“Sam,” he gasps. The heated look in his eyes makes her skin burn. “I... That’s not a good idea.”

“The hell it isn’t.” She has a second chance and is going to damn well use it. “Why else did you come back?”

Baal hesitates. “I... You thought that I was dead. I couldn’t let that continue when there was no need.” To her disbelief, he pulls back. “I didn’t expect anything more than... than perhaps your forgiveness.”

“And you have that. So what’s with the coyness? I didn’t think Goa’uld did coy.”

He glares at her. “I don’t. I’m not. However, I am aware that neither the SGC nor the IOA will be thrilled by my... resurrection. Or your taking up with me once more.”

Oh. A chill runs through her. “So that’s it? You’re just going to back off because of what the IOA might say? That’s never stopped you before.”

“I haven’t been concerned about someone else before,” he snaps back.

Sam opens her mouth, then catches herself. She looks at him, allowing his words to sink in fully. It occurs to her that he’s still protecting her, but not from the Ori now. She doesn’t need it, doesn’t want it. Not when the cost is him keeping his distance.

“I don’t care,” she says softly. “Really, I don’t. I can’t... I lost you once. I can’t go through that again, Baal. When the temple collapsed...” It’s something she remembers vividly, comes screaming awake from. Even now with him here, her stomach turns over. She gives him a pleading look. “Please don’t.”

He hesitates again, clearly torn between dividing her loyalty and hurting her further. The latter wins out and he grabs her arm. The pull is unnecessary – she moves back into his embrace eagerly, not caring about anything other than filling the soul-searing need for him.

She stops him before he kisses her. He frowns. “What?”

“You were never my last resort,” she tells him. “I just thought you ought to know that.”

His eyes widen, then flood with warmth. It’s only slightly spoilt by the familiar cocky smirk that twists his mouth. “Was I not? Well, then...”

Her laughter echoes through the chamber even as she feels the pull of an Asgard beam.

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