Heaven And Earth. Companion to:
Shame And Tears & Secrets And Lies. ‘Verse:
Shame and Tears ‘verseAuthor:
I own nothing. Buffy people belong to Joss and Mutant Enemy. I’m just playing. Don’t sue. The Stargate people belong to Gekko Productions, Double Secret Productions, MGM/UA, Showtime/Viacom. Rating:
R for Adult content/Same sex relationships. Authors Note:
This takes place prior to Family And Friends. While no actual sex is involved, the act itself is implied (but not detailed). So if the thought of two women having an intimate and loving relationship offends you, please don’t read any further. This is in Sam’s POV. I'm writing this in the hopes that I can get back into the series
~ Sam ~
She’s still recovering from our lovemaking, her breathing is laboured, her body covered in a fine sheen of sweat, but her mind is already trying to understand what’s going on. Trying to work out why I wouldn’t let her reciprocate, why I made love to her time and time again.
Willow’s trying to hide it but, when she’s confused and scared, her emotions shine through. I guess I can’t really blame her for her confusion.
I mean, it’s the first time I’ve actually seduced Willow like this.
We’ve made love before, but I’ve never gone to such an extent to seduce her. No, seduce isn’t the right word. I don’t need to seduce Willow. She’s never held herself back from me. I guess you can say that this is the first time that I’ve worshiped her.
We’re lying on a blanket in the living room, in front of the fire. Empty wine glasses sit on the floor not far from us and behind us are almost fifty candles. I spent hours making everything as romantic as humanly possible, just like I’ve spent hours worshiping her…
And Willow’s mystified. She’s looking at me now with something akin to fear in her eyes.
Waiting for the other shoe to drop?
I don’t know how I could have missed this, why it took me so long to see what loving me did to Willow. I’ve built generators, particle beams, I’ve helped backward engineer Deathgliders… but I couldn’t see what I was doing to the woman I love. Maybe I didn’t want to see it, maybe I was just too caught up in keeping my lover a secret to see the truth.
I never realised how much loving me hurts Willow.
It hurts her in a million different ways.
Even now I can see the impact I’ve had on her. What does it say about me, when the woman I love is confused when I make love to her? What does it say about our relationship?
God, I never knew.
I never realised.
Not until Dawn told me.
I don’t think I’m ever going to forgive myself for hurting Willow, for allowing my fear to stop me from giving myself over to her completely.
Willow opened herself to me; body, mind, and soul.
And I didn’t.
For whatever reason, I couldn’t give her everything. I’m not talking about the secrets my job forces me to keep – they were exposed long ago.
No… I’m talking about myself.
When Willow committed herself to me, she held nothing back. She gave everything she could to this relationship, more than she should have, and I gave her only a fraction of that in return.
My career, my country, my command came first.
I dropped her the instant the General or the Colonel called. I cancelled dinners, romantic weekends, vacations, outings. I’ve stood her up, shut her out, pretended she didn’t exist… I’ve done it all.
And, to me, the reasons for doing so were justified.
If my relationship with Willow was ever discovered, it would be all over for me. My career, my freedom, would be gone. What I did at the SGC was more important than anything, than any ONE person. I couldn’t sacrifice that… regardless of how much I loved Willow. At least, that’s what I’ve spent the last few years telling myself.
But now, for the first time, it’s not reason enough.
None of this is enough.
Not for me, or for Willow… though, she would never admit that.
She never complained when I put my job first and, at the time, I thought it was because she understood how important my job was. That wasn’t why she never complained.
Willow never complained because she believed she didn’t deserve anything more.
My heart still aches whenever I think of that and of what I put her through.
I was – am – a monster.
God, I left her hanging for months, so many times, whenever I was on an extended mission for the SGC. MONTHS when Willow had no way for her to know if I was alive or dead. I never once asked her if she worried about me or what she did when I didn’t come home for a month.
I know I worry about her. Every day she is in my thoughts. Willow still fights evil, she is one of the protectors of the Hellmouth, but at any given moment I know where she is. Willow always tells me what she is doing, how she is doing it, who she is doing it with, and why. She tells me everything. From the latest evil, to her getting a paper cut.
I know Willow right down to her soul, the good and the horrifying parts, but Willow doesn’t know me.
And that terrifies me.
Why? Because I realise she loves a lie, a stranger. Willow loves me, but she doesn’t know me. She knows about the SGC and aliens, but that’s as far as it goes. I never tell her about our missions, what I do, or how close we’ve sometimes come to losing against the Goa’uld. She never hears about the close calls, the fire-fights, and the reasons behind my nightmares. She promises me she’ll never tell a soul, that she understands, that I can trust her, but I never let her in.
I’ve always held a part of myself back from her.
And, right up until Dawn showed up on my doorstep five days ago, I thought it was the right thing to do.
Marriages in the SGC don’t last. I’ve seen the statistics, I’ve witnessed men, women, heartbroken and shattered because the pressure of the SGC had driven their spouses away. It’s a lot to ask a person to put up with, and I think in the back of my mind, I was waiting for Willow to crumble under that pressure.
I guess a part of me was afraid to give myself to Willow because I feared one day she would walk away, that I’m not enough.
I never realised how much I was hurting her by protecting myself.
I thought if I kept that part of myself safe, that I would survive if I lost her. I would still have my career, so it would be fine but…
When Dawn asked me to let Willow go, I realized that it would never be fine.
I love her.
It isn’t a phase, like I sometimes feared.
What we have is real and I can’t give that up; not for my career, my country, my command or even this planet.
I don’t know why it took me so long to realize it, but now that I have, I’m not letting her go. I guess that’s why I did what I did today. By now, it’s all over the base: Major Samantha Carter, resigns from Stargate Command.
From the Air Force.
God, just thinking it… it fills me with relief I never thought I’d feel. I honestly never thought I’d ever leave the Air Force. It used to be my everything, now it isn’t enough… and I’m terrified I’m too late, that I’ve waited too long to realise that the woman in my arms is everything.
Willow is enough for me.
She’s everything I want and need, but she doesn’t realise that yet, and I’m scared to tell her, to take that last step and admit, that yes, I do love her more than anything on Heaven and Earth.
Love her enough for her to put first.
To give her my heart, my body…my soul.
“Sammie?” The fear in her voice causes my heart to constrict. “Sammie, what’s wrong?”
I smile and reach up to touch the side of her face. “Nothing.”
Willow doesn’t smile back, instead she moves her hand slowly across my breast. This isn’t seduction, but a test. She wants to see if I’m going to let her reciprocate. Her fingers brush lightly over my nipple, but I stop her before she becomes too much of a distraction.
Even though I want nothing more than to have those fingers touch me, inside me, I can’t. Not yet.
She pulls her hand back, alarmed now. “Sam, why won’t you let me touch you? Is it the end of the world?”
I shake my head.
“Are you… Are you breaking up with me?” There’s terror in her eyes.
It makes me sick to my stomach that a romantic night like this would lead her to that conclusion. “No. I’m not breaking up with you…” I hesitate. Now it’s my turn to feel fear, terror. I know, deep down, that what I am going to say next will make Willow happy. I know that. But there’s a part of me that’s scared it won’t… That Willow will suddenly realize that she can do far better than me.
“Then what’s wrong?”
“I’m not breaking up with you… The exact opposite, actually.”
Confusion clouds her expression. “The opposite?”
“I’m asking you to marry me.” That wasn’t exactly how I planned to do this, but she’s so scared… I can’t drag this out any longer.
Confusion turns to shock. “You’re… You’re asking me to marry you?”
My heart pounds in my chest as I nod and I pull a small box from behind one of the candles. I hold it out to her.
When she takes it, I realize that I’ve never felt so naked in my life.
THIS is why I’ve never given myself to Willow fully. Not because I was scared I would lose my career…
I was scared I would lose myself.
People would move Heaven and Earth to feel this kind of love and, as Willow screams and throws her arms around me, I realize that I would too.