Title: The Lack Of
Author’s Notes: For the timestamp meme. Triciabyrne1978 request a week after Ecstatic Apathy, and though the angst nearly killed me dead, I complied. Strangely, though it’s been years, I still like that fic. That almost never happens to me.
He should have expected this. Really, maybe on some level he did. Still, seeing Carter sitting on his front stoop as he pulls in the drive leaves him feeling…nothing.
You’d think he’d be getting used to that by now. But as he parks the truck and walks up to the door, all the while feeling her eyes locked on him, Jack is still a little surprised at how much he doesn’t care.
He doesn’t care so much that he leaves the door open behind him – it doesn’t really matter if she invites herself in.
By the time she does, he’s already camped on the couch, flipping through TV channels and sipping at a beer. She’s just standing there, waiting – for what, Jack doesn’t know. He has no apologies, excuses, or answers for her. All he has is the offer of a repeat performance, and although he’s enjoying his new and improved philosophy of resignation, he’s still got enough common sense not to extend the invitation.
All puns aside, he really is attached to his dick. He’d like it to stay where it is.
So they’re stuck – Carter waiting, wanting something that Jack just doesn’t have anymore. It got lost somewhere between a million “sirs” and one very shiny engagement ring. Despite the rumors, when it came to it, Jack O’Neill is just a man -- he has his limits and the woman currently looming in his corner has surpassed them all.
The fact is that he won’t apologize because he isn’t sorry. It was wrong and he knows that – he always had. But somehow they’ve come to the point where those fifteen minutes on a cot are all he’s ever going to get of her, and if he had to do it all over again, he’d do it exactly the same. When it comes to her, something wrong has somehow become better than nothing at all.
Finally, she seems to accept that he’s not going to say anything – that really, there’s not much to say, anyway. He’s not sure who is finished with whom anymore, but the breath she lets out is long and sounds like the end.
“I hate you for this,” she whispers into the dark room as she turns to leave.
Jack just takes another sip of his beer, using it to wash down the first tinge of bitterness he’s felt in over a week. “I’ll take it,” he replies.