Disclaimer: Nope. Got nothin.

Links in the Chain

by Linda Bindner

A/N: Tag to fourth season episode 'Chain Reaction'

Jack had time to walk in the door and throw his barn coat into the coat closet in his entryway hall when the doorbell suddenly rang in his ear. He reared back, a finger digging dramatically into his ear, supposedly to clear his ringing eardrum. He called, Comin! Keep your shirt on! Then he yanked open the door. Yeah? he asked in a deadpan tone.

Jack? came the quiet, nervous greeting.

Jack blinked. There were three women standing at his door. Three pretty good looking women. One definitely good looking woman! And a baby, sleeping in its detached carrier/carseat combination, something that Jack hadn't seen in over ten years.

One of the three women he instantly recognized. Carter? But surely he wasn't seeing right. She looked too good to be this nervous woman standing on his steps. He blinked again. Yep... still Carter. He blinked a third time and took in the women standing behind his second in command. Then he recalled the recent disbanding of SG-1, and remanded that mental comment: Well, his former second in command, anyway. 'Former' since... about... 1030 hours that morning.


And Carter had called him... something that she had never called him before...

Jack tried hard to wrap his brain around those concepts while simultaneously being polite to the guests he had standing on his front step. Unfortunately, the two separate issues taxed his brain too much. All he could do was stammer an inelegant, Uhhhh...

But Carter was, as usual, ten times more collected than he was. Can we come in, Jack?

There it was again... her use of his first name. It was deliberate enough to immediately catch his attention. Gone was his wrapping attempt. Now he quickly settled all his attention on Carter. Sam, he said, stressing his use of her first name. It was strange to feel those coveted sounds come out of his mouth. Mind telling me what's going on?

Carter blinked and shook her head in bafflement. How did you know that something is..? She blinked again. But then, of course you know that something's up. You're you.

Jack instantly grinned. Actually, he said, A big hint was the fact that you're standing on my front step with two strange women and a baby, and thirdly, you called me 'Jack.' You never call me 'Jack.' So it stands to reason that, what with all that's going on at work, something's up. Then he glanced more fully at her, recognizing her anxiety for what it was, overshadowing a... something... else that was still just a gleam in her eyes. Though I have to admit that I like the 'you're you' comment.

Carter smiled a tense grin. She woodenly gestured at him. Jack, this is Sergeant Reverend Joan McCostick and her sister, Jessica, and Jessica's sixth month old baby, Tabitha. Sergeant, Jessica, this is the man I've told you about, Colonel Jack O'Neill, my CO. Then she gave an abashed grin, and slowly added, My... onetime... CO.

Jack reared back a second time in spite of the obvious pride he heard coloring her tone. Carter, you trying to get me a girl or somethin? Two girls? Then he critically eyed the menagerie on his steps. Two girls and a baby? Then he grinned. I appreciate the gesture and all, but...

No, Sir, Carter immediately said with something more like a true smile now on her face. Not that I don't think a girl... or two... might improve your mood...

Hey! Jack instantly mock hollered in a gruff sounding voice. My mood was more than fine until about fifteen minutes ago!

Your mood? You saw the General, I take it? Carter asked without needing more information.

Jack studied both her, the Sergeant Reverend Joan McCostick and her sister Jessica standing silently behind the woman he'd known for five years. He could predict most things about Carter in seconds. The Reverend... the Sergeant... the Sergeant Reverend... whatever she was... and her relative were more of unknown commodities. Could be, he answered slowly, his gaze still on the women.

Carter gestured again at her accompanying guests. You can trust her... them... Jack, she insisted. The Reverend is here on vacation, visiting Jessica... my neighbor... but she's usually the Chaplain at Army base Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. So the Reverend at least knows what we're... um... usually... facing... with the... the... um... regs. Carter blushed to be mentioning this... their... their situation... so openly... even if she wasn't really being open at all... but she stuck to the course she had chosen and didn't look apologetically at him, or guiltily, as he expected her to.

Which could only mean one thing: she was as aware of her 'former' capacity as he was.

Okaaaay, Jack slowly spoke.

Please, Carter said. Can we come in? I'll explain everything. Just...

Jack suddenly stepped aside, holding his door wide for the three women. Where are my manners? he asked himself. Come on in. Make yourselves at home. Mi casa, su casa. And Carter... He stopped the blond Air Force Major as she passed him with a hand on her arm, doing the forbidden 'touching' thing to throw her off balance a little, just as she had previously used his first name to do the same to him. You owe me, he whispered in her ear, silently referring to the fact that he was actually inviting a person of a religious background into his home. He was about as religious as... Well, the Goa'uld had played havoc with all parts of his life, both personal as well as professional.

Carter gave him another tight smile as she passed into his home, but didn't comment.

Want a beer? he asked the three women, then answered his own question. No, stupid question. Of course you don't drink... he said to Reverend Joan.

Actually, she said, commenting for the first time that day. One beer won't hurt, as long as it's no trouble.

That surprised Jack. Huh! A religious dude who imbibes! he thought. And it's not even 1300 yet!

Okay, beer coming up, Jack promised, and turned towards his kitchen. Sam? he asked, purposely using her given name.

Carter grinned her tight grin again. Thank you, Jack.

Jack grimaced. Carter, take some advice... lose the grin, he quietly commented as he went by her. You look like you're trying to pass a really painful object out your...

It was McCostick who overrode his inelegant statement. So, you're in the Air Force?

Jack smiled disarmingly, and faked a cheerful reply that he was pretty sure didn't fool anyone. Yes, he jovially stated. And you're in the Army... go figure!

McCostick simply eyed her sister in a meaningful way, and gazed at him out of green eyes that seemed to immediately peer straight into his soul. Just hear out your friend, Colonel, before you decide to boil us in oil, she bluntly stated, calling him on his attempts at pretending that nothing was weird about this situation.

Jack spurted a laugh at her forthright attitude. Yeah? he asked.

Yeah, Sergeant Reverend Joan replied in a confident 'Don't push me around' tone. Listen, Colonel, I've handled men who are ten times more macho than you are... Here, the biological sister snorted a laugh. Joan continued, ... with beer for brains, so don't bother trying anything with me... I've seen it all.

Jack did his best to ignore that sister and her sleeping baby, to stare, slightly astounded, at this Army chaplain. I bet you have seen everything, he guessed, contemplating her straightforward manner.

About ten times over, Joan remarked. Now, the beer you promised?

Oh, yeah, right. Jack disappeared into his kitchen and grabbed four bottles of beer from his fridge. In the meantime, he heard Carter's, the Reverend's, and her sister's frantic whispers coming from his front room. Finally, he looked up from his fridge, and his eyes met Carter's blue gaze as she joined him in the kitchen. At the same time it surprised the Hell out of him that he saw her so quickly. But the sight of Carter in his kitchen didn't seem out of place or weird at all.

Jack... Carter seemed to still hesitantly stumble over the use of his first name, but steadfastly refused to call him anything else.

Carter, Jack said picking up on the heightened state of her nerves. He had worked too closely with her for too long not to know when Carter was anxious about something. And she was so anxious right now that it was a wonder that she wasn't shaking yet.

Can I talk to you for a minute... or... longer? she asked.

A minute or longer. Um... Sure. Just let me... He handed one of the four bottles of beer in his hands to her, set one on the counter for himself, then strode down to his den. Here ya go, he said, handing the beer over to Joan and Jessica.

Thank you, Joan said, and Jessica nodded her thanks as well.

Jack was beginning to wonder if Jessica ever said anything on her own when he suddenly saw her smile. She pointed at the sleeping baby in the carrier that she had set down on his coffee table, then put one finger over her lips to indicate silence. Jack immediately understood. It may have been almost fifteen or twenty years since he'd constantly been around an infant, but even he knew the maxim 'Never wake a sleeping baby.'

I don't know about you, Joan quietly said after Jessica's reminder to keep their voices down. All this talking has made me rather dry. She swigged an appreciative sip of her beer and grinned.

Huh again. A down-to-earth religious girl, plus a sister/mother with brains to rival Carter's. Whodathunk? He automatically lowered his voice when he answered the Reverend's comment. Talk... Actually, that's what Carter... Jack pointed over his shoulder towards where he'd left his... former... 2IC. Um... Excuse me. Then he wheeled around and returned the way he had come. Carter, he greeted as he again faced her in his kitchen. Here I am. So... talk.

How was General Hammond? Carter instantly asked.

Jack suspiciously eyed her. She'd come all the way over to his house... with guests, to boot... just to discuss the health of General Hammond? He's fine, thinks there's something afoot, but I can deal with that later, and you didn't come all the way over here to ask me about Hammond.

Carter looked down at the floor of his kitchen. No, she softly admitted.

So. Jack took a swig of his own beer. Mind telling me why I've got a reverend, her sister, and a sixth month old baby waiting in my den?

Carter looked like she really wanted to leave... or get sick right there on his kitchen floor the second he mentioned his house guests. Which didn't make any sense, since she had brought them to him. Yet she gamely tried to form a reply to his question. Because... She visibly shuddered as she made what was an equally obvious attempt to put off whatever was eating at her.

But Jack was unmercifully not put off at all. He just prompted, Because..? He waved his arm in a circular motion, trying to hurry her along. Then he took another mouthful of beer.

Carter shook her head. I don't believe I'm doing this, she murmured to herself, her hand rubbing nervously at her forehead.

Carter, Jack warned. He hated to see her so... agitated... but didn't know how to soothe her when he still didn't know what was bothering her. So he tried to act casual. What? he demanded around his beer bottle before taking a third mouthful.

Carter screwed her eyes shut and just blurted, Jack, let's get married right now.

Jack unceremoniously spit his mouthful of beer all over the wall of his kitchen. He stared at her with a gaping mouth and wide, frozen eyes. When he had... sort of... recovered his speech, he rasped, Did I hear you right? You want to..?

Carter nodded, but wouldn't meet his gaze. Yeah, you heard me right. I want to get married. Then she added, To you, as if he needed that particular clarification.

Jack didn't know what to say. Jack didn't know what he could say! Uuuuhhhh...

Carter smiled at his attempt at talking. I know this is sudden and...

Sudden? Ya think? he blurted in a dumbfounded tone of voice. He forgot that he had a sleeping child in his den, and raised his voice in disbelief so that it carried throughout his house.

Carter's face grew ten shades redder. Well... you're not my CO anymore.. right now. And who knows how long that will last?

Jack placed his beer bottle on his countertop lest he drop it to his kitchen floor in dumbfounded astonishment. Carter...

Call me 'Sam,' she said, then quietly added, I can't discuss this with you when you're calling me 'Carter' every other minute.

Sam, he instantly said, agreeing to her stipulation. We aren't 'discussing' this. Hell, we aren't even mentioning this! You know the...

She interrupted him. The regs, yeah, I know. She looked up at him. You know I know!

And???? Jack prompted her to continue, all the while staring at her like she'd lost her mind.

And.., she dutifully began. Then she sighed. You're not my CO anymore, she repeated. I've been reassigned.

Jack looked taken aback, but said, Yeah I know. Bauer. It was as if that was the only explanation that he had to give.

Carter... Sam... nodded. And you...

I've been... given... indefinite leave, Jack filled in for her, finally getting an inkling of what she was driving at. So... You think that now...

She wouldn't let him finish. This may be our one chance... ever... And if we waste it...

Yet Jack wasn't convinced. But doesn't Bauer want you on base, building his... doohickey... Nequedah... something.... or other?

Sam snuck a glance at him, still playing with her fingers so much in front of her that she was practically screaming 'I'm up to something!' Bauer told me that I was reassigned to build his bomb. She paused, then added, But he didn't say when he needed that bomb.

So... Jack did another double take. She was off base without her commander knowing about it. She was absent without leave... Basically AWOL.

No wonder she's nervous, was his first thought.

His second thought came immediately after his first: she had chosen to go AWOL... for him.

Oh boy... He was in so much trouble!

Still, Jack protested, But don't we need... I don't know!... lots of... stuff... in order to get married? He doubted that she had thoroughly thought this hairbrained scheme of hers through well enough beforehand in order for him to be seriously worried about it actually happening now.

But it was Jack who was surprised. She said, I have everything that we need with me under the baby's blanket so that I would be sure that it wouldn't blow away, or that no one would ever see it, or... Sam's voice trailed off.

Everything? That must mean a license, a certificate, a... So, she'd been prepared for this for... how long? He was in more trouble than he'd thought! You mean that you have... Don't we need to see a County Clerk, though?

Sam gave him a sickened sort of grin. That's why Jessica is here. She's the county clerk.

So... A 'no go' on the County Clerk angle. License information, then? Jack blurted, growing desperate, and sounding it.

The license person is Jessica's best friend. She couldn't be here because she was on her way to the hospital... she's just broken her foot and needs it x-rayed, Sam anxiously explained. Her behavior simply screamed 'guilty.' We just caught her, and she told Jessica where she keeps her extra forms, in case she ever needs them... and she signed the one form we needed... then the ambulance arrived at her house to... And the Reverend is here to officiate... Then she dropped her head in her hands, her fingers threaded through her hair. I know this sounds nuts, Jack! I don't blame you if you tell Bauer that I've gone crazy! But... She peered beseechingly at him through her fingers. We might not ever get a chance like this again, and I know that things are nuts right now, and that something's going on... I don't know about you, but I can't live with myself if I don't at least try this... let you know that the opportunity is here... I know this is sudden... and fast... and...

Jack cut her off by taking hold of her forearms in a grip so tight that he left bruises. His heart was suddenly in his throat. The idea of being married to Carter... It was his dream come true! Don't mess this up, O'Neill! he thought, then swallowed, and took a deep, shuddering breath. WheredoIsign? he blurted, his words so fast that they all blurred together.

Sam stood stock still for another minute, trying to internalize what he had said. She breathed on him as he breathed on her. The fog was slowly clearing from her eyes when she softly inquired, You mean... you'll do it?

But Jack was already moving towards the back of his house, where he kept a copy of all his personal documents in his bedroom safe. Don't we need proof of my earlier divorce?

Sam recovered enough from her shock to inform him, You don't need more than to inform us of the date of your first marriage, and the date of your divorce, and you need to swear that the second date is the right date.

Jack stopped in his tracks, gave a snort, then said, That divorce date was burned on my brain for years... July 10, 1994.

Suddenly Sam looked at him as if she wanted to stop him for a moment. Jack? she called, her voice quiet but insistent.

Jack paused, arrested by the note of pure panic in her solemn voice. He had heard many things come from Carter over the years, but he'd never heard her panic. Yeah?

Carter swallowed... sort of. You... She took a deep gulp of air. You... You don't... have... to do this... ya know. I'm just... giving you the opportunity.

Jack crossed back to her side in a second. He gripped her arms again. Do you not want to? he asked, suddenly afraid, but forced himself to go on. But you came here, saying... bringing... He was at a loss for words, and could only stare at her, beseeching, out of brown eyes.

Sam was silent for a heartstopping minute when she suddenly closed her eyes and whispered, I want to... so much... it scares me.

Jack kissed her on her forehead, he was so relieved. It was a previously forbidden gesture... not even to be considered... but one that he couldn't deny himself any longer. In fact, he didn't even think about it before he had made the action. So do I! he forcefully blurted. Then, he changed his comment to one that made more sense. It scares me, too. He stared at her in sudden possessiveness. But I say 'Let's do it, anyway!'

Then he was pulling a stumbling Sam into his den. He wasted no time on ceremony. Where do we stand? he demanded of the Reverend. Let's get this show on the road! Before she changes her mind!

Joan's smile split her features. Now that's enthusiasm! she exclaimed. And you were worried, Samantha! she chided next.

Sam shrugged. Uh...

But Joan noticed that Sam was a bit too flummoxed to think straight, and she simply pointed in front of Jack's coffee table. Jack... Colonel... stand here. Samantha... stand here. Jessica... out of the way, but you play the witness. And I'll stand... She took her place before Jack and Sam, who were both wide eyed and amazed that once things had gotten going, they were moving at the speed of your typical Goa'uld space ship plummeting through a planet's atmosphere. Religious preferences? she gently inquired of Sam and Jack. I'm an ordained minister, but I know how some people prefer...

Jack cut her off. What's the fastest ceremony you've got? Do that one.

Joan blinked. You don't wish to discuss it first?

Jack glanced at Sam. Carter? he asked. Is that important to you?

Still bemused, in spite of the fact that she had been the one to set this whole event into motion, Sam had the collected strength to mutely shake her head. She wasn't aware that he had called her 'Carter' again, even though she had specifically asked him not to.

Jack turned back to Joan. Nope, he said. No preference.

Joan seemed a bit surprised at this turn of events. But she was able to keep up with the conversation enough to say, Okay... Then... Jack, do you promise to l...

Again Jack interrupted her. Yeah, you bet I do!

Joan blinked. There's that enthusiasm again, she muttered to herself. Then louder, she began again, Sam...

Sam didn't even let her finish what she was asking. Yeah... It's a go.

Um... Joan gazed at her, lost, obviously flummoxed for a moment by the odd sounding phrase that she had just heard. I was going to ask if you were sure about such an... over... enthusiastic guy, but...

Sam blushed. Oh, she answered. Um...

Joan gave a slightly wry expression. But I can see that you do, too?

Sam looked relieved that Joan seemed to have read her mind. Um... She snuck a glance at Jack. Then she smiled, the gesture blazing across her face. Yeah. Yes. Absolutely.

Joan nodded. Okay, she said with determination. Now... the rings... Do you have rings?

Sam seemed to grow more flustered by the second. Crap. I remembered everything else...

Will this do? asked Jessica, holding up a discarded potato chip twist tie from the coffee table.

Yeah, Jack said, taking the offering.

Quiet... for the baby, Jessica reminded with a smile.

Oh, yeah, Jack whispered. Then he glanced frantically around the room, looking for something else sort of round... Oh... here. He reached for a string hanging off the edge of his couch, and cut it off with his pocket knife. Here. He handed the string to Joan.

She grimaced a bit, but took it, and added it to the discarded twist tie already in her hand. I consecrate this... twist tie... and this... piece of string...

It's only temporary... right? Sam queried of Jack, with a sneaking look at the objects in the Reverend's hands. I mean, we can... She blushed a bright scarlet, but forged on, The... strange... rings... I mean.

We can't do rings, Carter, Jack began to negate as an explanation to the Reverend and her sister, and as a reminder to Sam. Someone will surely notice.

I know, Sam agreed quickly. I was actually thinking about... bracelets... or... something, she lamely ended in a helpless tone.

Maybe, Jack agreed, his voice skeptical now. Actually, I kinda like the idea of a string...

Joan hurried them along. Okay... string for you, Jack, she said, giving the string to Sam to give to Jack. And the tie for Sam... She gave the twist tie to Jack to give to Sam. He more firmly held the string on his finger of his left hand when he'd wrapped the tie around Sam's 'ring' finger.

Reverend Joan went on. By the power invested in me by the United States, and by it's Armed Forces... I now pronounce you... um... how do you want me to say this?

Colonel O'Neill and Major Carter, Jack and Sam, both Jack and Sam announced as one.

Okay, Joan went on in an agreeable tone. Colonel O'Neill and Major Carter...

Jack and Sam, Jessica happily interjected, then gave a sappy sigh. This is so romantic! she gushed.

Personally, Jack didn't see anything particularly romantic about a string, but he just gave a mental shrug, and without letting himself think about the action too much, worried that he might talk himself out of it if he hesitated now, leaned in and kissed Major Carter square on her lips.

His enthusiasm transferred immediately to Sam, who threw herself into his kiss with no hesitation whatsoever.

The Sergeant Reverend Joan McCostick ignored them in leu of pulling a large yellow envelope out from under the sleeping baby, who only stirred, as if a dream had suddenly taken hold of it's tiny mind. She pulled out the marriage license. Here, Jess, sign on this dotted witness line... She pointed. Jessica signed. And now me... Reverend Joan signed her name, followed by the tiny comment of 'Army rules!' beside her name, decided that the addition wasn't too childish to include, then stuffed the form back in the envelope that Sam had provided.

Then Reverend Joan turned to the two who she had just married. She gave an aggravated sigh. Stop kissing, you two, and sign the license in order to make this marriage legal.

Jack and Sam both smiled at the Sergeant Reverend's apparent lack of patience, but stopped hanging on each other long enough to sign their names on the correct lines.

Joan then handed the license application to Jessica. This still needs to be validated, she noted.

Jessica glared at her sister. I know how to do my job! she insisted in a loud whisper.

The baby murmured again in her sleep at the louder voices, but still didn't wake up. She sighed, but just continued sleeping.

Joan looked at Jack, then she looked at Sam... They're kissing again. She waited for another moment, and when neither Jack now Sam stopped to acknowledge their guests, noted, They're oblivious. We could burn down this house and I doubt they'd notice.

The kiss ended, but Jack didn't even glance at Joan or Jessica, though he spoke to Joan. Oh, we'd notice, he said, still staring into Sam's eyes. Think I'd let her go up in flames just when I finally got her? he rhetorically asked.

Joan gave an interrogative raise of her brows. 'Finally?' How long have you two been waiting for a break like this, anyway?

Jessica steered her sister towards the door before either Jack or Sam could answer. On the way out, she grabbed up the sleeping baby in the car seat/carrier, and the license application, leaving a copy of the actual marriage license with Jack and Sam. She stuffed the piece of paper into the carrier, then led Joan to the front door. I'll explain everything on the way home, she said. Then she brightened. Hey, Joan, want to help me pack for my move to California in two days? This is your last day in the Springs, after all. She gave a wicked smile. I only have a day to put those Army muscles of yours to good use!

Joan shrugged. Keep complimenting my muscles like that, and I'm all yours! Just...

We can do pizza for lunch, Jessica suggested as she pulled open the front door.

No anchovies! Sergeant Reverend Joan stated as she followed her sister through the front door. Then they were gone.

Jack grinned at an equally grinning Sam. Remind me to send her... them... really great Christmas presents, Jack said.

Sam just kept grinning as widely, or wider, than he was. Okay, she agreeably said, ready to agree with anything he suggested at the moment.

Now where were we? Jack asked, being rhetorical again.

But Sam responded to his question anyway. You were kissing me, and I was just about to rip off your clothes, that's where.

Jack's grin grew even wider yet. This day is definitely looking up!

Sam gave a sudden grimace. Then I don't want to be a downer, but I really should be getting back to base, no matter what I say that want to do... I don't yet know what General Bauer will do if he discovers that I'm gone. I uh... She hesitated, and grimaced again. I don't exactly have his permission to be off base.

Jack gave a tolerant, tiny smile. I kind of figured as much. He sighed. Well, I can't say that I'm not disappointed, but I do understand - kind of wish I didn't, he added as an afterthought.

Sam leaned in to give him a hug, but stopped, pointing then to his white t-shirt. You have beer smudged on your shirt, she announced. While still staring at his still clothed chest, she smiled. And a formula stain from the baby - how on earth did you get that? Then her eyes narrowed and she mocked, Are you two-timing me already?

Oh yeah, Jack mocked back. Those six-month-old babies really have it in the stamina department!

Sam giggled.

Jack hugged her in spite of the formula and beer stains still on his shirt. What have I told you... and told you and told you... about giggling, Major?

You've told me not to, Colonel, Sam sassed him back. But I suddenly have a really good reason to giggle, and I don't want to squander the opportunity!

Jack's smile grew. I may just have to join you! was all he said before kissing her like he didn't plan to stop.

But he eventually had to stop for lack of air. Sam languidly grinned again, looking sleepy and satisfied with life. So, old married man, what do you have planned for the rest of the day? she lazily inquired.

Jack considered. You mean before I plan to attack my wife at the first available opportunity? Sam nodded. I don't believe that I'm saying this, but I think I should get help considering the new information that General Hammond gave me, and if I want to get him reinstated, and this whole set up goes all the way to near the top, if not to the very tippy top...

You mean, up to the President? Sam asked, sounding slightly horrified now. But Jack nodded. I have a hard time believing that, Sir! Sam acknowledged.

Ah! Jack remonstrated. None of that 'Sir' business! Only at work!

Sam agreed readily enough. Okay, Jack... What do you have planned?

First, as I don't think that beer and formula stains will do more than attract women, and I'm perfectly happy with the one I've already got... Sam smirked at him in satisfaction as Jack continued, ... I need to change my shirt. Then... I don't believe I'm saying this... but I think the kind of help I need can only come from someone who knows what it's like inside the rogue NID. I gonna go talk to Maybourne.

Sam gaped. As in Colonel Maybourne?

Jack frowned. I hope there's only one... He contemplated the idea that there might be two Harry Maybournes out there, and shuddered at just the thought. But he collected himself enough to ask, And how 'bout you?

Sam sighed a sad breath of agitation. I guess it's back to work on... Bauer's doohickey, she said, and grinned at the end of her statement due to what she had in effect dubbed a Naquedah bomb.

Well, you are the expert person on Naquedah, Jack pointed out. At least he's got the best scientist working on his... doohickey.

And you're off to see Maybourne, Sam reminded him.

Jack groaned. I never thought I'd be spending my honeymoon with Harry Maybourne...

Sam giggled at the expression of woe on his face, but soothed him a bit when she said, There's always afterwards to look forward to.

Jack sent a definitely lecherous gleam in Carter's direction. If all goes well, and we get to that afterwards that you're talking about, Hammond will be back in command of the SGC, and SG-1 will be reinstated.

Sam gave a grimace. And that means that you'll be my CO once again, she morosely said.

And that's all it means, Jack firmly said. It might not be a good idea to let anybody know about what went on here today, but it sure doesn't undo anything. He gazed at her out of determined, clear brown eyes. Now that you're mine, I don't plan on giving you up for anything.

However, Sam grew more anxious the more he spoke. But if anyone does find out about us being... She had to gulp before she could go on, ... married... they'll split us up for sure.

Then we'll just have to see that nobody will... ever... find out, Jack argued. I don't know about you, but the idea of you anywhere but on SG-1 makes me want to retire again.

So it's 'Sir' and 'Carter' at work, Sam said to make sure. Jack and Sam stay home all day making wild love on the sly.

Niiiice image! Jack appreciatively intoned. Then the smile he'd worn faded. I guess I'm off to see Maybourne.

Off to change your shirt, then to go see Maybourne, Sam corrected him. And I'm off back to base.

Where you hopefully won't blow up the state of Colorado without me looking out for you.

Without you moping in my lab, you mean, Sam said with narrowed eyes that laughed at him in spite of the things she predicted.

I do not mope! Jack protested.

Sam groaned. The only way to shut you up is by kissing you.

Jack grinned again. I sure don't... mphf.

The End

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