Disclaimer: Don't own them. Darn. I didn't even make any money off of this story.
'Friday night at the movies' in the Colonel's living room was drawing to an end. Sam could feel the close of the evening as the four members of SG-1 rose from the floor and began shuffling to the door. The three visitors each grabbed a coat from the coat rack on their way out.
Hey, Jack, thanks for letting us crash for awhile,
Daniel was saying as he and Teal'c headed to Daniel's car parked
in the drive behind Jack's pickup truck.
Yes, may I offer my thanks as well, Teal'c said as
they drifted away into the dark, cold night air.
No problem, Jack yelled after them.
and I mean that!
Sam Carter followed as her team mates passed Jack and into
the cold embrace of winter.
Thank you, Colonel, and good
night! she said as she went by.
Jack piped up,
Drive carefully, Carter; there's more snow
forecast for tonight or tomorrow. Won't do anyone any good if
you turn up buried in a snow bank.
Sam laughed at the image that rose to her mind of being
buried up to her neck in a fluffy, white drift.
That is not
high on my priority list!
Take care, and good night!
Good. He was keeping things light between them.
good night yourself, Sir, Carter was able to call as the
security lights flickered on for the second time in the last
minute, and lit a path for her to follow to her car. She noticed
that Jack didn't close his front door until they had all
successfully backed down his snowy driveway and pulled onto the
street. Then, he disappeared as the headlights dimmed and grew
faint in the snowy night.
Five minutes later, Sam was sitting at an intersection,
waiting for a car to drive by, when she gave a start.
forgot my purse, she muttered. It wasn't much of a surprise
that she had forgotten the purse, as she usually didn't carry
one. But, she'd thought that on this one night, she could be
frivolous and leave her more typical backpack at home, and take
one of the many purses she had received as Christmas and birthday
presents over the years. Now, she was in a quandary because she
had forgotten something she normally didn't even carry. She
considered just leaving it at the Colonel's house for the rest of
the weekend, then asking him to bring it to the SGC on Monday
morning. But then, she thought about the fact that she had
removed here wallet from her pack and stuck it in her purse
earlier that evening, and that wallet in turn held her credit
cards, all her cash, her picture I.D., her driver's license...
She couldn't go an entire weekend without her driver's
She turned right in order to go around the block and swing back in the other direction to return to Colonel O'Neill's house just as fat snowflakes drifted down from the sky to obscure her view.
A few moments later, Carter pulled back into the Colonel's driveway and parked her car behind his truck. She jumped out and would have jogged up the sidewalk to his front door, but didn't want to fall on any black ice that lay hidden under the snow that was quickly covering his walkway. So she picked her way forward, and climbed his front step just as she began to question the wisdom of returning to his house at all; the snow was coming down awfully fast to cover his sidewalk so neatly.
Sam knocked urgently on his front door. She hoped that he hadn't gone to bed for the night, and could hear her pounding. Maybe she should call out to him as well?
Just as Sam was taking a breath for the yell she intended to add to her gloved banging on his door, the door was yanked open and suddenly Jack appeared, a bit rumpled, and highlighted by the blue color coming from his television.
He seemed surprised to see her again, and so soon after she
Carter! he exclaimed.
What's up? he
asked as his greeting. Then, without her having to utter a word,
he knew what had brought her back to his house.
something, he stated.
Yeah, I forgot my purse, she told him, feeling
foolish even as she said it.
I know it's dumb thing to
forget, and so cliché, and I thought about having you just bring
it in on Monday, but it has... Well, it has my everything in it,
and with the snow you mentioned maybe falling tomorrow, I thought
that I might have trouble getting here again... Though it looks
like the snow is a bit on the early side in showing up. She
glanced once more at the skies in the areas of the security
Sorry - I think I left my bag on the floor by the
coats... I'll just grab it and run.
Jack bent to retrieve the purse she had so negligently
Here you go, he said, just as a peel of
thunder rumbled across the sky.
Geez! Sam jumped as she said it, then glanced up at
the darkened sky.
Jack peered cautiously over her shoulder.
It hasn't done
that in Colorado Springs in years. He stared at the fluffy,
white flakes falling onto the hood of her car, then slowly
You know, if I send you out again in this, I'll be
spending the next two hours worried that I had been a total fool
to send you anywhere in such a storm.
No, really, Sam instantly protested.
I'll make it to...
Jack interrupted her again, still peering over her shoulder
and looking more concerned by the second.
No, I'm not so
sure... I'm even a bit worried about Daniel and Teal'c,
Sam grinned disarmingly.
You wouldn't let a little snow
stop you, would you, Sir?
Normally, no, Jack answered, still thoughtfully
glancing at the sky.
This time, however...
The grin slid off Sam's face as he suddenly disappeared inside. She followed him into his front hall and closed the door. Jack stood in the middle of his living room, TV remote in hand, watching the Weather Channel with more interest than she had probably ever seen him display.
A moment later, Jack had flipped open his cell phone,
dialed, then listened to a second phone ringing in the night.
His face showed relief as someone at the other end of the line
answered after a few rings.
Daniel? he asked.
Teal'c all right? He paused, listened intently, then nodded.
Well, don't leave the base until this has a chance to blow
over... No, Carter's here... She's okay... Forgot something,
and by the time she got here again, her car was practically a
different color from all the snow that... Yeah, sure, I'll see
you on Monday... That is, if we can get out of here ag... Yeah,
take care, and be careful... See ya.
Jack shut his cell phone and turned to Sam still standing in
his hallway, making an ever larger puddle with her feet on the
hardwood floor of his entryway.
Daniel and Teal'c made it to
the base, and Daniel's just gonna stay there tonight. He doesn't
think he'll make it to his apartment. Another peel of
thunder rattled the windows behind him.
Wow! he said,
It must be one heck of a storm! He turned off
the TV and crossed over to the window in order to gaze at his
Look at it come down! He was silent for a
moment, then said,
You might as well take your coat off,
Carter. There's no way you're driving home in this... Wind's
already picked up... I think it's drifting.
But I can't spend the night! Sam exclaimed, suddenly
It's okay... I have a guest room...
No! Sir... You don't understand! Sam tried to
collect her scattered emotions so that she would stop making
insane outbursts. She smiled hesitantly, and, much more calmly,
tried to explain,
How would it look if my car's still in your
driveway tomorrow morning? It was a rhetorical question.
I can't stay here to...
And think how I'll look if I let you leave now, the
Nope, no matter what it may look like, I
think you need to stay here.
Sam protested again,
No buts, Jack instantly declared.
Staying here is
better than being dead and buried in a snowbank somewhere between
my house and yours, he direly announced.
Sam sighed, then removed her gloves, and shrugged out of her
I'm not so sure, she muttered, but hung the coat
obligingly on the coat tree near the door, then removed her shoes
so that she wouldn't track snow throughout his house. When she
was finally ready, she joined him in staring out the windows at
the rapidly falling snow.
You're right in that it really is
coming down, Sam conceded a moment later. She shivered in
spite of the sweater she was wearing.
Jack noticed. But, then, of course, Jack would
notice, as he was more attuned to her moods than she ever
admitted to herself.
You cold? he asked, his voice
A kind voice was a dangerous voice. Sam gulped.
fine, she assured, though a bit squeakily. She coughed.
It's just good to be warm again. I wasn't outside for very
long, but it's darned cold out there!
Do you want some coffee or something hot to drink?
It might be the last time we can make coffee if
the power goes out.
Sam smiled at his sense of generosity, but shook her head.
No, thanks, I'll leave the coffee drinking to Daniel. I'll be
fine in a minute, after I sit down and relax, I think. With
her statement, she crossed over to his sofa, and plopped down on
the end nearest the warm fire in the fireplace.
Jack walked over to the sofa, and pulled off the blanket
lying on its back, and handed it to her.
Here, bundle up if
you need to.
Sam caught the blanket he handed to her.
said, and curled her feet under her. Then, she threw the ends of
the blanket around her shoulders.
I am a bit colder
than I thought.
Another silent moment went by, then Jack said,
do you want to do? We could watch another movie if you want.
He pushed a button on his remote.
Or not. He rose from
where he was sitting on the other end of the couch and crossed to
a light switch on the wall to give it a flick. Nothing happened.
Power's already out, he said.
Must be a tree limb down
on the line somewhere. He returned to his side of the sofa
and settled onto the cushions with a groan.
Should have taken
me up on that coffee while you had the chance...
Sam giggled at his comment.
I didn't want to watch
another movie or drink coffee anyway. Talking is okay with me, I
Talking. Jack leaned forward to look at her. He
could just make out her face in the small amount of snow glare
that shone through his windows.
What do you want to talk
Sam stifled a second laugh.
I think there's not much new
going on with the Tok'ra.., she conversationally
Jack really let his groan slip out this time.
Tok'ra! he exclaimed.
No offense to your Dad, or
anything, Carter, but I can't say that I'm overly fond of them
after that armband incident of Anise's a few years ago, or that
whole Kanaan thing.
Sam sighed again at his nonchalant mention of his torture at
the hands of the System Lord Ba'al.
There aren't a whole lot
of good feelings between you and the Tok'ra, are there,
Jack had to shake his head at that comment.
aren't, he said.
And are you going to call me 'Sir' all
night long, Carter?
Are you going to call me 'Carter?' she asked back in
the same teasing tone that he had used.
Jack sank deeper into the cushions.
Good point, good
Okay, Sam announced.
I'll call you 'Jack' if you
call me 'Sam'
Oh, Major, you drive a hard bargain, Jack said, still
No 'Major,' either, she warned.
Then there's no 'Colonel' he warned back.
She hesitated at the stipulation, but finally agreed.
All right... Jack.
There, that wasn't so hard, was it... Sam? He
playfully stressed her name.
She laughed and flipped the edge of the blanket at him.
Will you be serious for one minute! she demanded, still
I'm plenty serious on off-world missions... Last I
checked, though, it was the weekend... Two whole days of nothing
but on-world relaxation.
All right, all right... God, you have such a wicked
sense of humor, you know!
Jack grinned, and she could see the flash of his teeth.
Thanks! I try, he said. She was all too familiar with
his sarcasm and commentary that passed for his brand of humor.
Still, she was surprised when he went on to say,
You can admit
it... You love my comments, or you wouldn't smile at them so
The surrounding darkness let her make her own comment,
They're not always made in the most appropriate of
But those kind are the best kind! Jack protested on a
laugh, and she joined him.
Their laughter died, and a silence settled over them. Sam
picked at a rough spot on the blanket thrown around her
shoulders, trying to draw together her courage, enough to say,
There is something that I've been wondering about, I
What's on your mind? Jack's voice rumbled out of the
Well... Sam stopped herself, and for a second all
they could hear was the scrape of snow against his windows.
Jack must have tilted his head in curiosity.
Sam wondered if she dared to broach this subject at all, but
the darkness and the surreal quality of the snowstorm encouraged
her to say,
Well... I was thinking the other day...
Yeah? When are you not thinking...
Again she hesitated. Slowly, she went on,
What do you
think... Then, she blurted,
Do we use the Air Force
Fraternization Regulation as an excuse, or do we follow it out of
a true sense of duty?
Silence again greeted her, and she internally berated herself for asking such a personal question in the first place. But they so rarely talked about their feelings for each other, and she so wanted to talk about them to someone... anyone...
Finally, he quietly said,
You don't hold anything back
once you decide to say something, do you?
Gently, she admitted,
I don't see the point...
He sighed, the sound filtering to her from the other end of
What do I think? he repeated.
Yeah, she said.
I'm just curious.
Jack sighed again.
I guess I'm not sure, he told
What do you think?
That's not fair... I asked you first.
Oh, and it's 'fair' that you've had days to think about
this while I get a few minutes? he sarcastically asked.
Good sarcasm in that answer, she appreciatively said.
Ten points for showing that sense of humor of yours
Sam, he said in irritation.
Don't change the
Was I changing the subject? she innocently
You do that all the time, the second anything gets
I do not.
Yes, you do, he told her.
Sam! Jack's harsher voice halted her. More gently,
he asked again,
What do you think?
Immediately, before she lost her nerve, she said,
both scared as hell. That's what I think.
Jack was quiet once more, then asked,
Scared? What do
Again, Sam hesitated.
This is only a theory...
Tell me anyway, he growled.
Okay. Sam tossed her hair out of her face.
never really talked about this...
You never seem to want to talk, Jack told her right
Sam couldn't disagree with his assessment of their
situation, but her heart rate doubled at hearing the idea put
I'll try to be...
It's not a criticism, Jack said, his voice still
It's just a... a comment, he said at last.
Sam rolled her eyes.
An accurate comment, she told
him, remembering her wish to just 'leave it in the room.'
It's so much easier not to say anything, but...
But you want to talk about it at the same time, Jack
guessed, finishing her statement.
Am I right?
Sam shrugged, then remembered that he probably couldn't see
the gesture in the darkness.
Well, yeah, I guess. Sometimes
it feels like I'm going crazy, that I need to finally say
something, but I always chicken out at the last minute.
She could hear his smile as he softly said,
I can't even
see you in the dark... Now would be as good a time to say
something as any other time...
You think the dark has... I don't know... Encouraging
factors? she asked at last.
Yeah, I suppose it does, Jack told her, the ound of a
shrug in his voice.
It's kind of like when we were stuck in
the 60s... Remember?
What do the 60s have to do with this?
Different clothes, Jack told her right away.
Different surroundings... Everything was just...
different, he ended.
We were on a mission, yes, but we
went about it in a more relaxed way... That was the most fun I'd
had in a long time...
Sam smiled at her own memory.
Yeah, that was a
The best, Jack announced.
But... Scared? Remember?
Ah, Jack said, as if her reminder brought back
So much for the relaxation of the
Sorry, she said, sounding contrite.
But there we
go again, getting sidetracked and changing the subject.
Avoiding, Jack announced.
The brass should give
medals in that category.
We would win every time, Sam said. She paused.
There we go again, changing the subject...
We can't even talk about this...
You can hardly blame us, Sam told him with a light
We don't exactly have much practice at this, do
Jack didn't disagree with her.
We spend a lot more time
trying to fool everybody around us.., he confessed.
at least, I do.
So do I, Sam told him.
There's no one to pretend for here... in the dark... in a
What do you think would happen if things changed? Sam
I mean, would there be a court-martial, or
Jack sighed once more.
I don't know. I guess that would
be contingent on anybody complaining about how... how we choose
to behave at work.
But we've already proven that we can be very professional
about this, Sam pointed out.
True, Jack conceded.
But there's always that one
person who isn't happy no matter what happens.
You're right... that's a risk, Sam said, and gave a
sad sigh. They were both silent again. Finally, her brow
wrinkled in thought, and she inquired,
Is it worth that risk,
do you think?
Jack quietly stated,
Yes, I've always thought so.
But a court-martial...
Would a court-martial be so bad? Jack asked, then
I mean, it would be bad, but... I know that your
Dad and you have all these expectations about your career and
all... And I certainly don't want to...
Sam couldn't stop the snort that exploded out of her mouth.
That's my Dad, mostly, who has my career mapped out like a
line on my hand.
But no one will argue that it seems like you love your
job, Jack noted.
No more than you love yours, she said.
Or are we
using our jobs just as more excuses?
Daniel would say 'yes' without even thinking... Jack
shifted on the cushions; she could hear his rustling movements.
What if we feel like things aren't working out in the
What if we feel like they are? she said right
My point is that we still have to work together on the
I could ask for reassignment, or you could retire, if
that's the case, she suggested.
Is that what you want to do? he queried.
I'm not sure I want to retire... There's too much left yet for
me to do.
And we work so well together...
Hey... not to change the subject, or anything... but
changing the subject... Have you ever gotten the feeling that we
can read each other's minds? Jack asked suddenly.
often, I don't have to even give an order before you're doing
exactly what I want you to do. That's never happened to me on a
team of mine before.
Have you had other teams under your command, then?
One or two, Jack told her, but didn't add any more
The roll of her eyes sounded in her voice.
I know, I
know... It's top secret.
Well, it is, he protested.
But at least I
know that you understand the concept of 'top secret.'
Maybe I understand it too well, she sardonically said
There we go... Another change of subject... God, we
have got to cut that out!
Sam ruffled her fingers through her hair in annoyance.
Maybe we can't help ourselves.
It's just a... What is the psycho mumbo jumbo phrase for
what we're doing? he asked himself. Then he said,
mechanism! That's what we're using! You know, to make ourselves
Well, it must work like a charm, Sam said.
what I automatically want to do.
That's just what we can't do, though, Jack
What should we do about it, then? Sam asked.
Jack didn't say anything, but a moment later, Sam felt his
fingers curl around hers lying on the back of the sofa, and she
gave a start of surprise at his actions at the same time as her
heart rate sped up inside her chest. He gently, softly,
I guess there's nothing we really can
do about it... except this. His fingers tightened around
Take a chance, a risk...
Fear started to worm its way through her mind, but Sam
consciously chose to squeeze his fingers back, refusing to let
go. The sensation of his hand on hers felt much better than it
I don't exactly have a good track record at this kind
of relationship stuff.
And mine's so much better?
At least you weren't engaged to a man with a God
complex, she said.
I hear that God complexes are highly overrated, Jack
commented, and she laughed. His hand now covered hers
That feels ridiculously good, she told him then.
Doesn't it? he asked in agreement with her.
I don't suppose it would feel so good if someone hadn't
told us that it wasn't such a great idea for us to even be around
You know what, Sam? Jack interrupted.
too much. It's not good for you.
You're not the first person to tell me that, she
said, even as he pulled on her hand until she had to either move
and lean into him or fall off the sofa.
That's better, he announced, his smile coming through
in the sound of his voice.
Sam heard him grin... But his heart beat...
I have my
hand right on your chest, and your heart must be racing.
Sam swallowed the fear building again in her throat.
Yeah, she admitted.
I'm trying to stay calm so that it
will slow down.
Not a bit. It was her turn to sigh this time, and
she let her head fall forward until the skin of her forehead
touched the plaid shirt she knew he was still wearing. She tried
to relax, but found it to be extremely difficult.
This is so
much harder than I always thought it would be.
Jack laughed, and Sam felt the gesture radiate through her
Sam, you're such a...
Such a... distraction? she asked.
Who on Earth have you been talking to lately? he
I was going to say 'wonder,' but you stopped
My Dad can tell you a few things about how
wonderful I'm not.
Well, excuse me, but I'm not your Dad, and I wouldn't
listen to anything he has to say about you, anyway.
Thank goodness you're not my Dad, Sam commented.
He thinks he knows everything about everybody, but I don't
think he does.
Sam, Jack softly said, so that it wouldn't sound like
I am not your Dad, and I never will be, just like
you will never be my Mom...
She shuddered just at that thought...
Jack, Sam cut
him off, screwing up her courage, taking a firm hold on her
Are you going to sit there and ramble all
night long about our parents, or are you going to kiss
His fingers moved to her cheek, where his thumbs rubbed in
circular patterns of affection.
Am I changing the subject
Yes, and please stop, she said, grinned, then leaned
up and forward even more until the scent that she had always
associated with Jack O'Neill filled her head as a buzz consumed
She was just able to hear Jack, smiling, say,
I think I
want to kiss you, then.
She ignored everything except the sound of his voice as he murmured that statement in her ear. In response, her breath washed once across his cheek, so that she could feel him, sense him. She leaned in even more until her lips finally found his in the dark and she languidly gave him their first kiss.
It was like they each received a jolt of power... Shock waves engulfed them. Jack's stomach suddenly twisted and shivered as he strained to move closer to Sam, in spite of her unexpected nearness that was already driving him insane...
Sam slowly drew back to stay within an inch of his cheeks...
he could feel the sweet warmth of her as she breathed air across
Wow, she whispered.
More? he asked.
Oh, yeah, definitely, she answered, grinned at him in
the dark, then kissed him again.
His fingers wove through her hair, then she felt his arms sliding around her waist in the lightest of embraces as he deepened the kiss, leaving now doubt whatsoever of the desire he felt for her, even as the same sensation built incredibly fast to bloom in a heat that engulfed her entire body.
Jack's lips left hers only to glide across her cheek, then
down to her neck. She craned her head back, and jumped as he
softly, gently, bit at her skin. By now, the passion deep inside
her had built to such a level that she was tingling, and panting,
and wanting, and needing...
Jack, she whispered as he
kissed her neck.
She interrupted him. Feeling that her eyes had glazed with
her desire, she whispered,
Suddenly, he pulled her up from her sitting position on the
couch and into his arms.
I have wanted to feel all of you
against me for years. He held her tight, pulling her into
him until not a wisp of the cool air inside the house seeped
between them... But... That bulge against her stomach..?
That's not your side arm, is it? Sam asked accusingly
on a giggle.
Jack couldn't contain his grin as he answered,
not, and I'm not ashamed to admit it this time, either.
Sam didn't say anything to his comment, but she did lift his shirt until she could kiss his breast as lightly as he was holding her.
Jack sucked in a breath.
Sam.., he groaned.
But Sam wasn't waiting for anything at this point. Her
mouth skimmed across his chest, igniting his skin until his heart
pounded and she could hear his own desire when he said,
I can't seem to get enough of your touch...
He kissed her again. Then, without another word, he led her purposefully towards his bedroom.
It took only moments to remove each other's clothes, and for Jack to gently lower her to the bed. Their desire for the other had built to such a fever pitch by then that it was only a few more moments before Jack slid into her, filling her up in a way that no one had ever filled her before...
Oh, God... Jack! Sam moaned as he moved, once, then
twice, gliding against every secret place she had in her soul.
Her whisper split the night,
God, how I love you!
Sam... I l... Jack began to say. Then he couldn't
make a sound as his world split in two. She shivered, stopped,
then was consumed by the same waves again, bringing him to a
shuddering completion of his own.
Sam..! he whispered,
and groaned into her shoulder as she threw her head back on to
his bed covering, clenching her teeth as her own moans sounded
closely under his.
The wild, pounding sensation inside them was gone. Jack
panted for breath against her warm skin, breathing in her scent
that still clung to her shoulder. He listened to her heaving for
air, and felt the sporadic pulse of her heart.
alright? he asked, thinking that so much emotion might have
caused some major damage to himself, so it only stood to reason
that he should be concerned about her as well.
I feel... wonderful, Sam whispered.
felt more relaxed... Though I think I'm getting a little cold
now, she commented in a casual, offhand manner.
Jack reached up to loosen the blankets under the pillows on
Here, crawl under the covers... I'll find some more
blankets, since the electric blanket on my bed will hardly be any
good without any power tonight...
Shivering, Sam dove under the blankets on his bed while he
walked to his closet and pulled down two more blankets from the
top shelf. In moments, he had spread them over the thin and
useless electric blanket already on his bed, and he had curled up
next to Sam as fast as he could.
My favorite part, he
told her, grinned, then fitted his head back alongside her head
and kissed her on her shoulder.
Snuggling, she finished for him, smiling, feeling the
warmth that was spreading from him into her, and she burrowed
closer to his naked skin.
Mmmm... I have to say that I like
this part, too. Then, she was asleep, curling into the
natural warmth of his touch.
The sunlight that tinted Jack's bedroom window a deep crimson gold woke them slowly from the best sleep either had known in years. Blinking against the light, Jack slowly made out the bulk of his familiar furnishings, then took in the feel of the woman in his arms. Just as slowly, Jack smiled a huge smile that displayed more satisfaction than he'd ever shown before.
Stil grinning bigger than the village idiot, Jack kissed her
on her shoulder.
Morning, he whispered, his voice gruff
with leftover sleepiness.
Mmmm. Sam stirred. He hugged her closer, and felt
Sam's arms tighten around his own waist.
declared in her soft voice.
Jack wondered if she thought that he was perfect, their situation was perfect, or the night they had just passed had been perfect.
All of it, Sam whispered on a sigh of pure
Jack kissed her lingeringly on her arm, and growled,
Things are about to get even more perfect. He rolled her
to face him, and he kissed her deeply, possessively, lovingly on
They made love for a second time in his bed, the morning softly gliding over them like another of Jack's caresses.
Sunlight, Sam noted when they lay again in its golden
glow, spent and catching their breath.
Last night's storm
must be over.
I wonder how much snow it dumped on my driveway, Jack
commented, but drew her closer to him instead of getting out of
the warm bed in order to find out.
I'll have to shovel all
that snow, he told her.
I can think of other ways that
I'd rather spend my Saturday morning, he suggestively said,
then grinned at her.
Sam couldn't stop the giggle that worked it's way up her
throat. When had she started giggling? she wondered to herself.
Aloud, she said to him,
I'll help... I'll do the sidewalk
while you start on the driveway.
Then let's have hot chocolate in my kitchen, Jack
announced decisively, just as decisively as he directed his team
on their off-world missions.
Fifteen minutes later, after a shower that they admittedly shared, they were in Jack's kitchen, eating Fruit Loops, the only cereal that Jack owned, to which Sam thought was extremely weird. Then they were outside, bundled up against a cold that was unseasonably wet, and Jack was busy with shoveling off the driveway behind Sam's car while Sam was kept occupied for most of an hour while she shoveled the snow off Jack's walkway and tossed it to the side in ever-increasing piles of white fluff. They shared a companionable silence, working in tandem, whether they knew it or not, until Sam realized that the sooner she and Jack finished clearing the snow, she would no longer have a viable excuse for staying. So she stood and watched him work for a few moments, enjoying the sight of him throwing the snow over his shoulder and into the yard, making it look like an effortless endeavor with arm muscles that didn't seem to tire. Thinking of those tireless muscles, Sam flexed her own arms under the warm coat she had borrowed from Jack, then her sights landed on the piles of snow that she had been earnestly creating. An instant later, she had scooped up a bundle of that snow, molded it into a perfect snowball, and thrown it in Jack's direction, where it splatted onto his jeans, making an indelible circle of white that reminded Sam of the Stargate.
Perfect, Sam whispered again, knowing that no one
else could possibly hear such a quiet murmur. So she yelled and
Got you on my first try! What great aim!
Jack looked at her the second the snowball exploded onto his
Oh, Major, you don't know what you've gotten into; this
is war! he yelled back, and a second later, they were tossing
snow at each other like kids much younger than their mature
years, laughing, panting, and dodging expertly thrown
Finally, Jack abandoned the snowballs, finding that he had a
greater advantage over her if he chased her around the yard, his
longer legs assisting him in the amount of terrain he could cover
compared to Sam. Soon, he had her cornered in the back yard,
away from the street, out of sight of prying neighbors or people
from the base possibly driving by, and he risked tackling her in
order to bring her down into the snow. He laughed as Sam tried
her best to rally by throwing unpacked snow into his face, but he
just pinned her arms beside her head and yelled,
yield?' quoting one of his favorite lines from one of his
favorite movies, grinning and thinking that he hadn't had so much
fun since SG-1 had been transported back in time to the 60s.
Then, her face turned serious, and she breathed, the look in her eyes clearly flirting with his own gaze that had gone darkly sensuous. Her sight skimmed suggestively across his heavy coat, and he freed one of her hands long enough for her gloved fingers to roam from his forehead to his cheek. The next second, snowball fights and chases around the yard had been completely cast aside in favor of his sudden and inexplicable urge to kiss her senseless, despite the unattractive stockinged hat she wore that was sticking up at odd angles from her head, despite the heavy winter weather gear they both had on, despite the risk of getting caught in an undeniably licentious act in his own back yard... He wanted to feel her, and the power of that emotion was utterly impossible to deny as he eagerly stretched out on top of her and had what could only be described as a 'roll in the snow,' one that had been several years in the making.
With passion building in both their gazes, heating them in a time honored way that neither could hide nor deny, they both stood up, still without a word, and brushed the other off of extra snow before entering Jack's warm kitchen, where they hardly took the time to remove their coats, gloves, and shoes before his hands were buried in the strands of her blonde hair, hers found the feel of his warm bottom enthralling, and his lips were locked onto hers in a dance that they had tried hard to avoid for years, only to find their feelings of desire too strong now to resist. Fire flicked in his blood as he unapologetically lifted Sam to his countertop, and proceeded to remind himself of why he'd bothered to remain alive the previously barren days spent at the SGC, where they had skirted around each other in order to hide the inner passion they always carried.
Frantically, he pulled her jeans free of their button, then yanked down the material that was ultimately in his way. She dug her nails into his shoulders, hitched her feet around his calves, then pulled him close as she panted for breath, giving in to the desperate pounding of her blood, showing the wild desire for him in her eyes, pulling her underwear aside, guiding his way into her, where he slid inside to grow even harder at the intense sensation of skin stroking skin. One hard thrust was all it took to split their world in two again, where they shattered all sight and sound to drown their emotions in the throes of frantic, seizing pleasure. Sam clutched his shoulders with her fingernails, not truly caring if she left holes in the material of his t-shirt, and fought against a nearly overwhelming urge to scream his name as she crested one emotional wave, then another that crashed into her.
Oh, God, Sam! Jack panted through his teeth clenched
against the feeling of lost control that swept over him. He
could barely remain standing as he supported both him and Sam in
the heat streaming into his kitchen.
When they had fallen back to normality, and stood, breathing
hard by his refrigerator, Jack shook his head back and forth in a
show of kind, yet firm, self-recrimination.
whispered through his gasp for air.
I love you so much...
That sounds so stupid, but I can't help being stupid right now...
I'm so sorry if I hurt you...
Jack... Sh, Sam mumbled into his ear.
This is so
wonderful... You are so wonderful... What I don't understand is
why we always seemed so afraid of this...
Sam, Jack desperately whispered then,
know I don't have the right to ask that, and don't want to cause
you trouble by asking, and that asking will cause nothing except
trouble, but... He pulled her to him for a sudden, tight
Sam, he still whispered into her ear.
sorry... I can't live without you anymore... My greatest fear
is that someday, something horrible will happen to you, and I
won't be able to fix it... It's not that I can't go on without
you, it's that I won't want to go on...
Sam kissed him tenderly through his silver hair.
we need to talk about this, then, like two rational
That just it, he said in a reluctant confession,
don't want to be rational about you, and that scares the hell out
But Sam's logical mind was already coming at their unique
situation from every conceivable angle.
Okay, you're a
Colonel in the Air Force, head of a team of a mix of people who
have somehow come together to form one of the most unbreakable
units in the SGC. And I'm your second in command. And the Air
Force that we both belong to has a rule against anyone in the
same chain of command entering into just such a relationship as
you and I have been fighting against for a long time, and have
finally given into. Only now we may find ourselves facing paying
the price of our careers in order to keep such a precious thing
as this relationship has admittedly become.
You're talking about a possible court-martial, aren't
you? he asked.
It's always a possibility for us. It always has been.
With that in mind, and a court-martial as a possible outcome, one
we're ready for and accept... Is what we're doing really so
It is according to the top brass of the Air Force, he
It will be according to your Dad.
Jack, Sam murmured.
We love each other. What's
so wrong about that?
We already know that you can order me into a possibly
life-threatening situation... Hell, you've even killed me
That was so horrible, Jack admitted.
But I had to
protect the base...
As you should have. It wasn't me, anyway, not any
longer... I was gone...
Don't say that, Jack begged her.
Never say that.
But what are we going to do if it comes to a
court-martial? Sam asked.
What if someone, quite
rightfully, according to Air Force Rules and Regulations,
complains about the regard we're suddenly showing for each
I can retire, Jack said firmly.
And I will, if I
And I can ask for reassignment, so that we're both giving
up something that we love.
I could never ask you to do something like that for
You didn't; I volunteered. And it's fair to...
But any decision we make will affect Daniel and Teal'c as
well as us.
Then we should...
... talk to them, he finished for her.
thoughts on the subject.
Warn them that court-martial..,
... and reassignment is always a possibility for
Then go on at work just like always...
No touching, no caressing...
God, this is going to be hard...
What else can we do, though? she asked.
choice do we have, unless we want General Hammond to split us up
as a team?
And I don't want to put Hammond in that position,
We can still socialize together, still work
But, so help me, if anyone makes a play for you or gives
you trouble of any kind, I'll knock their block off!
Sam grinned at him.
Only after I do it first, she
said just as firmly.
Jack ran his hands up her arms, feeling her solid, yet
amazingly warm muscles under her sweater.
We can go on as before when we're at work... But I
have to say that the possibility of going on a future mission,
and you being captured by Goa'ulds, and used as a host... it's
enough to give me nightmares for the rest of my life.
Then let's make an agreement, right here and now, that if
it comes to that, and nothing can be done for the other, that
we'll kill the other one rather then let a torture like that go
on for centuries...
Please don't make me agree to that, Sam, Jack begged
I've already killed you once, and that was the hardest
thing I've ever had to do... I don't think I can do it
It's either that, or we need to stop going
off-world on such dangerous missions, and admitting to... to
what's... what's been going on with us. She stared into his
We can't do that to Teal'c and Daniel. Or at
least, I can't. Can you?
You know that I can't. But do you
realize that this means sneaking around, playing it cool when
we're both so hot under the collar... He grimly peered at
And we'll get caught eventually. One of us is bound to
Maybe, maybe not, she said.
I'm willing to give
it a chance, give you... us... a chance.
Jack looked like he wanted to protest for a moment, then he
crushed her in his embrace again.
If it wasn't for
And you, Sam said.
Alright. We can do this.
It really won't be much different than what we've been
doing for years...
Jack grinned, if a bit sarcastically.
It's going to cost
both of us a hell of a lot in cab fares, though, always riding
secretly to the other's house, he predicted.
Sam laughed at his mention of something so mundane as cab fares, but could only hang on to him and hope it was enough for her, for them... forever.
* * *
Hey, Daniel, Jack said into his cell phone as he and
Sam sat in his living room a few moments later. Her hand was
supportively attached to his left knee, but he still felt
ungrounded as Daniel responded on the other end of the line.
Daniel said something, then Jack interrupted.
Sorry... Listen, Sam and I need to talk over something with you
Daniel interrupted to say something, and according to the
guilty look of exasperation on Jack's face, whatever he said had
hit pretty close to the truth.
Well, Jack hedged.
It's something like that... Look, can you come over here this
afternoon around fourteen hundred? We can order pizza or
something if we keep you till dinner... No, the driveway's
pretty much cleared already... Well, it's easier with two sets
of hands... Can you come?
Daniel spoke, and Jack was silent for a moment. Then, Jack
No, I'm not stressed... exactly. Just come and hear
what we have to suggest, Jack told him.
Then you can
decide if it's something that's worth getting stressed about...
Yeah, see you then.
Jack snapped his connection shut, and looked grimly at Sam.
Done, he said.
Sam heaved an unhappy, frightened sigh.
* * *
At exactly fourteen hundred hours, a knock sounded loudly on
Jack's front door. With a sense of jittery anticipation, Jack
left Sam in his living room as he ran to answer the door. He
didn't pretend not to know who it was, and therefore, when he
opened the door to see Teal'c and Daniel patiently waiting on his
doorstep, he ushered them into his house with the words,
on in and get comfortable... This may take awhile. His
voice was still grim, yet underlined with a steely determination
that wasn't normally detectable.
Daniel and Teal'c entered Jack's hallway, dripping snow onto
the warm, mellow, hardwood floor. Teal'c faintly smiled his
trademark enigmatic smile, and said,
If this proves to be
about what I have been expecting to hear from you, O'Neill, then
know that DanielJackson owes me more money than he can currently
afford to pay. He cast a sidelong look at Daniel.
Daniel balked at that comment, and looked in aggravation at
How do you know that? What are you doing now...
Going through my bank records?
You should not display the balance of your bank records
in your notes on your current translation project,
DanielJackson, Teal'c politely informed him.
It is not my
fault that I can read what is in plain view. Then he
But if this conversation goes as I expect it to
go, then you will owe me a greater sum than you currently
What? Jack barked.
Are you taking bets on what I
want to say, then?
Teal'c glanced at Jack.
Naturally, he intoned.
Betting is a respected Earth custom that proves to be very
entertaining as well as instructive on the vagaries of 'odds' and
'chance.' He smiled again.
DanielJackson instructed me
in the process not long after we first met.
Daniel glared at his companion.
Yeah, but that doesn't
mean that I want you to spout off that information all over the
Jack interrupted this heated exchange between his team
Okay, okay, guys, guys... Why don't you come on in
and find out what this is all about before you go flying off the
handle and handing over your first born children...
Part of our exchange was dinner, I believe, Teal'c
Not first born children.
Whatever, Jack said, then led the way into his living
room, where Sam sat nervously perched on the edge of his
Sam! Daniel immediately exclaimed upon seeing her.
What are you still doing here? Then his eyes narrowed,
and he regarded Teal'c.
This doesn't look good for me, does
Teal'c shook his head.
Will you take the money in installments? Daniel
inquired next of the Jaffa.
I will endeavor to make things as easy
on you as I can. But I wish to have our agreed upon amount by
the end of the year.
Jack held up his hands.
Alright! Guys! Knock it
Sam swept her hands across the legs of her jeans, as if she were apprehensive about this imminent exchange and had something to hide.
Daniel apparently noticed the gesture, for he commented,
This is looking worse and worse for me all the time.
That's it! We aren't having a
free-for-all symposium, here! Sam and I have something we want
to discuss with you, but if you two are so busy taking bets and
making predictions, why don't you just tell us what this
is all about? He stood, glowering, his hands propped up on
his hips in a display of irritation.
Teal'c was unimpressed by Jack's overtly male display of
Very well, he nicely agreed with a
bow of his head. Then he went on,
While on our way here,
DanielJackson and I discussed the possibility that you wish to
tell us that the state of your relationship with MajorCarter has
changed to one more romantic in nature... Am I correct,
Jack's own eyes were narrowed now.
What do you have...
No, Teal'c responded.
I was merely using the
simple deduction method that MajorCarer instructed me to use
several years ago. Sam gaped at him, her finger pointing to
her chest, as if to ask 'Me?' Teal'c continued.
As we both
knew that MajorCarter was stranded here due to the snowstorm last
night, and as I was present during your Tok'ra Zat'arc test many
years ago, I simply deduced that the state of your relationship
must be in question. That is all.
Daniel was far less polite than his Jaffa friend.
we right? he demanded.
Please say we're wrong, and I
don't have to tell Teal'c I owe him $2000.00.
$2000.00! Jack echoed.
For that kind of money,
you almost deserve to lose it all to Teal'c! He scowled
Who would have ever guessed that innocent boy, Daniel,
has a gambling problem?
Only on this one thing, Daniel objected.
waiting to hear if I owe him my life, or not.
Jack snuck a glance at Sam, then stuffed his hands in his
pants pockets in a show of guilt.
Well, he said, much
more quietly as he stared at the floor.
You might set up some
kind of payment system, I guess.
You're kidding! Daniel loudly declared.
going to have to learn to keep my mouth shut from now on!
Hey, Sam said.
We still need to talk to you both,
so if you can forget bets and money for a minute..? Daniel
and Teal'c turned their attention to her.
Now that we know you're listening...
Okay. Bets aside... We may have a problem here.
Problem? Daniel queried.
Well, yeah, she said. Then she threaded
her fingers through her hair as she propped her forehead onto her
This might sound kind of blunt.., she began.
Jack and I want more than anything to be together... But we
can't do that because of Air Force Regulations.
Short of changing the regs, Daniel said as he sat on
one of Jack's easy chairs,
I don't see what we can do about
There's quite a bit that you can do, actually, Sam
Daniel's brows rose, and he glanced questioningly at Jack,
then at Sam.
We're all ears, he said.
What are you
Jack sat down next to Sam and took her hand that was still
nervously rubbing against her pants.
If you don't stop doing
that, you'll dig a hole right through the material of your
jeans, he softly predicted.
And that would be cold at
this time of year, he added.
Sam paused for a moment, then seemed to agree with him, as her hand wove more firmly through his.
What can we do? Daniel continued, eyeing their
seemingly more united front, symbolized by their linked
Sam spoke up.
We might as well be completely honest with
You're practically our SGC family, after all, Jack
agreed with her.
We don't want you to lie about us, Sam started off by
If you're asked point blank by Hammond or another of
our superiors about us and what we're doing, we expect either of
you to tell the truth, and we'll deal with the consequences
Jack cut in.
But we don't expect you to be asked,
Daniel groaned through the fingers of his right hand that
was covering his mouth.
What does that mean, exactly? he
Jack heaved a sigh.
It means, he said,
way we plan to behave towards each other at work isn't going to
change very much.
It's our behavior off world that we're more concerned
about right now, Sam noted then.
Off world? Daniel asked.
Teal'c broke in, then.
It will be much easier on us,
DanielJackson, if you do not repeat everything you hear.
Daniel would have responded to Teal'c's comment, but Jack
Okay, let's be honest here. Off world means no
contact with the SGC, which means no worries about a
Sam cut him off.
But it was Teal'c who finished for her.
You wish for us
to 'cover' for you during overnight missions, he guessed.
'Cover' may be the wrong word,
Look, Jack said.
We need your help, or Sam and me
will be court-martialed for sure. It will split us up, probably
split up the team, and if that's what you want, by all means, run
to tell Hammond everything that we've told you so far. Then
he stared at them, a serious expression on his face.
not, just... He sighed, distressed.
All we're asking is
that you be quiet in regards to any seemingly questionable
behavior that you witness while off-world, he said.
Like holding hands, Daniel suggested, gesturing at
their linked fingers.
Yeah, Sam said.
Nothing gross, though.
Gross? both Jack and Daniel inquired.
Sam sighed in irritation, then explained,
Ah, Daniel said in understanding.
Daniel! Sam berated, but Teal'c intervened.
'Making out...' That is a phrase that I am unfamiliar
Um.., Sam stuttered.
Daniel rescued her.
It's behavior between a couple
that... Finally, he growled and said,
But Colonel O'Neill and MajorCarter have already declared
being fond of each other, Teal'c insisted.
Daniel groaned again.
Fondling, Teal'c... not
fond. I know that Jack and Sam said that they're fond of
each other... But fondling is definitely behavior that's over
the line! he said.
Wait a minute. O'Neill stopped them.
getting kind of heavy here.
What does weight have to do with this conversation?
Teal'c wanted to know.
Jack ran his free hand through his silver hair.
Teal'c. He thoughtfully paused.
Okay. This you oughta
understand... I love Sam. She loves me. According to the Air
Force Regulations, we shouldn't be together. Not being together
would make both of us so cranky that it will probably be a danger
to the team as a whole. He grimaced at that thought.
if we're not going to drag the entire team down with us, we have
to ... technically... break some rules... Unofficially, we plan
to bend them a little...
Teal'c interrupted with a small smile.
It is my
experience that rules are meant to be, if not broken, then bent a
little out of shape.
Jack looked hard at Teal'c.
Is that a bit of
encouragement, T? he asked.
Teal'c said nothing, but he did smile at O'Neill, a rare smile that covered almost all of his face.
Jack didn't quite know what to do with a gesture like
Teal'c's, and he looked to Sam for help. She obliged him by
rerouting the conversation back onto the issue of their
But we don't plan to change anything as to our
behavior at work, she repeated.
Nothing changes? Daniel ascertained.
Jack looked at Sam.
Nothing, he declared.
off world, away from the eyes of any superiors, all bets are off,
as long as whatever we choose to do is not objectionable or
dangerous to the group as a whole. The second either of you
feels uncomfortable in any way, we both expect you to say
Otherwise, Daniel interrupted, predicting,
be missing Sha're an awful lot over the next few months.
That's not our intentions...
I know, I know... Then he looked at
Jack and Sam and gave a small grin.
But can't a guy be a
little jealous every now and then? he grumbled good
naturedly. Then, he shyly admitted,
You two look pretty great
together, ya know?
Jack and Sam stared at each other. But it was Teal'c who
Yes, they know.
* * *
It had been years.
Daniel tried to wrap his mind around that concept, but he was having trouble visualizing just how much time had truly elapsed.
Teal'c lifted the bag of ice from O'Neill's cabin's
refrigerator, along with the case of beer, and dropped it all
into the cooler sitting on the floor in front of him.
DanielJackson, I require your assistance in helping me to
carry such an awkward piece of equipment as this 'cooler that
O'Neill wants. Please come away from the window and lift one
side of this 'cooler' while I lift the other.
In a minute, Teal'c, Daniel answered him, and
returned his gaze to watching Jack and Sam as they sat next to
each other on the dock belonging to Jack's Minnesota cabin.
Teal'c joined Daniel at the window.
What are you
watching with such interest, DanielJackson? he asked.
Sh! Daniel hissed.
Do you want them to hear
There is no possibility of them hearing our conversation
through a closed window, Teal'c reminded him.
Daniel had to concede that Teal'c had a point. But he didn't want to give the Jaffa anything more than he'd already given him. Over the course of the years, and through many installments, he had slowly handed over the $2000.00 winnings that he owed to Teal'c from the bet he'd originally made with the rebel Jaffa. It had hurt the balance of his bank account to lose so much money, but it had been worth it if losing it meant that Jack and Sam had finally found the love they held for each other.
And speaking of their two team mates...
Can you believe
them? Daniel inquired then, sounding incredulous.
What do you mean? Teal'c asked.
Daniel pointed through the window at Jack and Sam.
mean them, he replied.
It's been how long since that
conversation we had with them the weekend of the
It has been many years, Teal'c said.
That's my point exactly, Daniel responded.
been years since they got together, and no one is any the wiser
for all that time having gone by.
General O'Neill and ColonelCarter have worked hard at
fooling the entire SGC staff into thinking that they do not care
for the other.
And they've been married for almost a year. Daniel
shook his head back and forth to illustrate his amazement.
Just then, Jack grinned at Sam, Sam grinned back, and, after looking all around in search of the possibility of anyone spying on them, which was a minimal risk in the wilds of Minnesota ('but you can't be too careful,' Jack had told his team many times in the past), Jack leaned over towards Sam and very briefly, yet very gently, kissed her lips. Sam gave him an unusual fullblown grin. Then she very briefly, but very gently, stroked his cheek.
Daniel sighed and smiled goofily.
Sometimes they're so
happy that you want to be sick, he noted.
Indeed, Teal'c said. Then he turned back to the
cooler still resting on the floor.
Shall we interrupt their
'happiness?' he quietly asked.
But Daniel smiled, and looked at his watch.
What do you
say if we give them five more minutes of wedded bliss before our
Suddenly Teal'c smiled softly in response to his friend's
I'd say that would be a very agreeable thing to
Daniel smiled. Teal'c smiled.
And Jack and Sam were totally oblivious as to just how much that solid feeling of contentment that they had shared for so many years was due in part to the machinations of their team mates. And Daniel and Teal'c had promised each other to never tell a soul.
Some rules were, indeed, at their best when bent beyond all recognition.
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