The voice on the tape, scraped raw with honesty, whispered words of love.
Of course he loved her – she'd taken care of him through the ordeal.
But it wasn't her name that he'd screamed out with nightmares. It wasn't her that he'd sought out when he was losing himself.
She rewound the tape and listened to the words of love again, studying them analytically this time.
The look in his eyes when he said it wasn't romantic. It was comfort. His words of love were like those a child would whisper to a mother.
To make something more out of that --- that would be abuse of the cruelest kind. Especially since he had no memory of saying the words.
She separated that bit of tape from the rest and paused, her finger over a certain button.
One push, and the bit would be forever deleted.
One push, and he would never remember what he said.
He would never feel obligated to act on something he didn't truly feel.
She paused, hearing a kerfluffle from the main infirmary. She nearly stood to go in, until she heard John's fake-sounding bray of a real laugh and heard Rodney's manic giggle of a laugh rise to join it.
There was the enigma. Two people who were such opposites but were more alike than even they realised.
Two friends who were closer than most brothers.
Or most lovers.
And in that moment, she knew what she was going to do.
With her finger still poised over the delete button, she restarted the few seconds of tape.
"Jennifer? I have something to say to you. I...I love--"
Swiftly, her eyes full of tears, Jennifer pushed the button and forever deleted the clumsy admission.
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