Summary: When all is done, what is left to be said?
It's still raining outside. Insistent drops tap against your bedroom window, sometimes gently and sometimes, when the wind catches them, in a noisy clatter of jumbled drips. Once in a while a car passes in the street below; we're too high to see its lights, but the muffled swoosh of tyres through puddles is strangely comforting in a dark world where suddenly nothing is as clear as it seemed.
Maybe it's the falling rain that keeps me from resting.
I don't recognise the sounds of your apartment at night-time. The building settles with unfamiliar creaks and whispers, your clock ticks too loud and somewhere a gutter is leaking with a regular, 'pit, pit, pit' sound.
I let my eyes slide over the room where you sleep. From cramped shelves full of books, over the pictures on the wall, to the mirror that reflects only shadows. I look for the clues that will tell me what tomorrow holds, but there are none. Like you, this room keeps its secrets well.
Perhaps it's the strange surroundings that have me still awake at this hour.
I twist slightly to relieve a sore muscle and to maintain your warm spot on my chest, you move too. Your stubble scratches and your head is heavy against my ribs. I can feel your breath, gusting across my skin, warm and moist, giving the measure of your mood in its rhythm. I stroke a finger hypnotically in the short, downy hair at the nape of your neck, the texture too agreeable to stop.
It could be the sensation of you in my arms that keeps sleep so far from me tonight. If I fall asleep, I'll miss some of it and it's too precious to waste.
I've been watching you for months, noticing the little gestures that charted the direction of your thoughts about me; your amused curiosity, your dawning realisation and the interest that flared into need last year. If I hadn't been through the same thing a couple of years back, I would never have seen it; you cover it well. But if you know what you are looking for, the longing is there in your eyes, driving you, compelling you, consuming you.
I had to be strong enough for both of us. I knew that you wouldn't know what to do with this thing between us once you had it. I could see you needed time to get to where I was, no matter how ready you thought you were.
But, God! I wanted it too. I wanted you so badly I could taste you on my lips when I woke each morning. I could smell you on my skin when I went to bed each night. I ached for you.
But I had to wait to see in your eyes what I knew in my soul. I had to see more than what we have just done, I had to see what came after. You weren't quite there yet.
It is a matter of a single step from caring and wanting, to being in love.
A step I took long before you had an inkling about me.
A step that changed me forever.
Then, yesterday I almost died. I know, nothing new there, but this time you weren't with me. Just me and Teal'c and cold and stars. Even the sound of your voice was no comfort; it had lost its warmth by the time it reached us.
And my only regret, my only do-over wish, was to have helped you along the path that lead to me a little quicker, so we could have been together, so you would have known how I loved you when I had to go.
I could have been more obvious. I could have given you more encouragement. I only let you see tiny glimpses of the state of my heart. I wanted you to get there on your own - I had to be sure.
I've seen desire in your eyes; I've seen passion and need. I yearned to be able to fulfil them. But desire is fleeting, passion turns cold and need wasn't enough.
I was waiting to see forever.
So when we were ringed aboard the ship and you gave Teal'c that most cursory look so you could get to my side and tell me with your gaze how glad you were that I was alive, I had to ask you. I saw your fear of losing me; it wasn't exactly what I'd been waiting for, but I couldn't wait any longer. I had to trust that you were close enough.
So I asked, although I knew the answer even before I spoke the words.
I came to your apartment, so you would feel comfortable and in control and you took me in your arms and hugged me so tight for the longest time. Then you looked me directly in the eye, totally unafraid and without breaking contact, you towed me to your bed, shushing my attempts to ask if you were sure with the sweetest kisses I have ever known.
You were eager, willing and knowledgeable, in a book-learned kind of way. You sighed when I touched you, you moaned when I licked you and you shook when the intensity of our actions robbed you of your voice. You'd wanted this for so long and you didn't want to wait any longer.
You demanded and I complied.
And we were glorious, as I knew we would be. What we lacked in experience and finesse we made up for in passion and enthusiasm. We read each other and we flowed together. We moved in time, without faltering; effortless. You were everything I had imagined and a million times more.
You were perfect, Daniel.
So, now it's done.
What you wanted, what I'd dreamed of.
We lie here, in twisted sheets, tired, sated and silent, listening to the rain.
It's your move. You have everything you need to know to make your choice. But will that brilliant, complex mind of yours make the connection between what we have just done and love? I mean the kind of love I've been waiting to see in your smile, the kind that you just can't help showing in your eyes.
I don't have the words, Daniel. You, of all people, should know that. Everything I have been waiting to tell you was in my touch tonight, in my lips and in my hands, in my eyes and in my silence.
You were so close, Daniel. If I have ruined this, pushed you too far, too fast, then I will have lost everything. Not just a lover or the man I saw the rest of my life with, but my best friend and the other half of my soul.
I don't think I could live with that.
I know you're awake, your muscles tensed when you realised where you were and your breathing changed, became shallower. I felt the silk of your eyelashes brush against me when you blinked into the darkness. I keep on stroking your hair, hoping you will settle back into dreams, but I know that something is keeping you as sleepless as I am myself.
I hope it's the rain.