Disclaimer: You know that I don't own them... That's what writing fanfiction is all about... Doing a lot of work for nothing but entertainment purposes... and I love it! Maybe I have an alien virus? Or something?
A/N: Part III in the Marriage Series (still waiting for a better title.)
Exactly two weeks and two days after the big reunion between
the Carters, and when Jack's mood had flowed into perpetual
sappiness, Jack poked his head into Daniel's office.
break time! he ordered.
Let's head down to the
Commissary, pick up four cups of coffee, some chips, and come
back here to call my wife away from that lab of hers... Jack
grinned goofily, then.
Geez, why didn't you tell me how nice
it is to call someone that?
Daniel stopped his exploration of his current artifact in
order to glare at his team leader and his ecstatic mood.
Actually, seeing such enthusiasm as Jack's was getting...
wearing, Daniel admitted to himself. But he didn't intend to
tell that to Jack. So, he glared instead.
You were married
before now... You know exactly how nice it is!
Jack grinned even larger. He was only too aware of the
reason for his friend's somewhat sour mood.
Sorry, Daniel, I
know that you're missing Sha're again. But, damn, this is
Daniel dropped the artifact he was holding onto his desktop,
and moved to join Jack by the door.
Have you already
Called Teal'c... called Carter... Told them to give us
ten minutes to get back here... Carter said something about
having to see someone in her lab first... You know how she
All work and no play? Daniel guessed as they slipped
into the corridor among other SGC personnel.
I would never say that! Jack looked horrified at
just the thought.
I would, Daniel muttered.
Of course, Jack said then,
She does have the
tendency to lose track of time when she's working, doesn't
Daniel turned to regard his leader.
Ya think? he
asked, mimicking one of Jack's own favorite phrases.
Jack just laughed, causing the lines around his eyes to crinkle in a strangely endearing manner.
Daniel groaned: He didn't know how he was going to survive such blatant enthusiasm as Jack's... It was going to be a long break, he thought to himself.
* * *
The coffee and chips were duly gotten, Teal'c arrived at the office, and they were all waiting for Sam to appear... taking breaks in the Commissary had gotten... well... boring, Jack insisted, and Daniel's office made a nice substitute... when the phone suddenly rang. Jack answered it before Daniel had the opportunity to reach for it.
Without even asking who it was, Jack said,
are not gonna be late again. So get your cute butt down
to... He paused, finally listening to the person on the
other end of the line.
Yeah, Doc, but Carter.., he began
by saying. Then, he furrowed his brows together.
didn't! he said, paused again, then exclaimed,
what? She's where? He paused a third time,
Got it. He hung up the phone, and turned to a
questioning Daniel and Teal'c. They didn't even have to ask what
was going on before he was telling them.
McKay came in to
Carter's lab... He didn't know about the marriage... He was
looking at Carter's ring when... I think that was when he
dropped it down the sink. And that was when Carter hit him in
Well, that was probably what he, at least, half,
deserved, Daniel noted under his breath. Then, he said,
You didn't hear me say that.
But Jack was going on.
She broke his nose, he told
them, then sighed.
She's been charged with assault, and is in
the Holding Cells right now. He turned to head out of the
The three of them hurried out of the room, intent on seeing Sam in the Holding Cells, but they ran into Siler first, right outside Daniel's office.
Siler! Jack exclaimed, then skidded to a stop.
The technician also took a step back so he could scrutinize
them in excitement.
Colonel! he spluttered.
Jack gazed at him in confusion.
Siler stuffed his hand in his pocket, and pulled out the
It was in the 'U' bend of the pipes... I had
to take apart Major Carter's lab sink to...
Jack grabbed his hand.
You found it! He turned to
the other two men following him.
Teal'c! Daniel! He found
Indeed, intoned Teal'c, in a deadpan tone of
But Jack was too excited to take offense at his friend's
chosen tone of voice. He plucked the wedding ring from Siler's
grasp, then socked him familiarly on the shoulder.
Siler! Just let me know what I can do for you, and you've got
it! he enthused. He turned then to Daniel and Teal'c.
Come on... let's tell Carter..!
Tell her that she broke McKay's nose for
nothing? Then he answered his own question.
No thanks, I
don't plan to go anywhere near her with that
I'd never thought I'd say this, Jack grunted as they
ran down the corridor in one big group.
But, thank goodness
for Carter's fan club! They'd do anything for her, even take
apart a sink!
Yeah, agreed Daniel, scrunching up his face in
Think of what's gone down that drain! But he
still ran with them on their way down the hall, anyway.
Two men were guarding the only door leading to Holding Cell number Two. What do they think she'll do,' break their noses too? Jack wondered sardonically to himself as he gestured toward the door, indicating that they all wanted inside.
Wondered how long it would take for you to show up,
one of the guards commented.
Jack shot him a darker look than he'd worn on his face for a
Just open the door, he requested.
Teal'c finished his thoughts for him.
Or perhaps McKay
will not be the only one to suffer a broken nose on this
Daniel and Jack's eyebrows rose to their hair, but they both refrained from asking him point blank if he were serious with making such a threat to begin with. But, the door buzzed, and the three men were allowed to proceed into the room unmolested after Teal'c's rather naked threat.
Sam sat in one of the few chairs in the room. Though the Holding Cells were more comfortable than the base jail cells, they still only had one or two chairs for the comfort of the occupants. Sam sat in one, her head resting on her bent arms. She was currently grinding her face into her hands.
The second she heard the door open, and without even lifting
her head, she apologized,
I'm so sorry, Jack! I didn't mean
to lose it like that! I...
Jack interrupted her string of words.
Seeing if you can
break your own nose as well as McKay's? he asked of her
grinding her head into her arms.
Sam's head jerked off her arms, and Jack was instantly
struck with the sorrow he saw etched on her face. He couldn't
stand to see such evident unhappiness on her features. He
guessed that losing her ring was what was causing her current
anguish, and held out the ring that Siler had just given to him.
Looking for this? he asked.
Sam's jaw dropped open. Slowly, she extended her hand and
took the ring he was offering to her.
Where did you find
this? she inquired in an astonished voice.
We wish that we could say that we sweated buckets over
retrieving it for you.., Daniel began.
Teal'c finished for him.
But we would be telling you a
falsehood, MajorCarter, he said.
And Jack added,
Siler got it for you... He must be
another member for your fan club.
Siler! Sam exclaimed as she took the ring from Jack's
How'd he find it so quickly? she inquired.
He took your sink apart, and found this
in the pipe's 'U' bend, he said.
The point is, Daniel completed,
Since we found the
article in question, all we have to do now is convince McKay to
drop any charges against you, and...
Sam's face fell.
We have a better chance at beating the
Goa'uld, she morosely said.
Daniel, it's not that I'm not
Well, the least we can do is try, Daniel said, not
giving her time to finish her statement. He rose from his
position of kneeling beside Sam to stand next to Teal'c. Jack
rose too, and pulled her out of her chair, and toward the
They'll never agree to let me out of here, Sam
predicted of the guards, to which Jack just sighed, and grinned
Why don't you try batting your eyes at them, he
suggested. Then he shrugged at Daniel's and Teal'c's
Hey, it always works on TV, he
quipped. Then, he pounded on the door.
Open up! he
One guard opened the door, but they both shook their heads
when they saw the Sam planned to accompany them.
orders to keep her detained, and...
Sam really did grin, and batted her eyes at them.
It can't hurt if I go with them if you both come with us too,
will it? she asked in an overly innocent, sweet voice.
To Daniel's everlasting astonishment, the first guard looked
hesitantly at the second guard.
Weeeell, I guess she can't
exactly do anything.
Not while we have the only weapons, the second man
replied. He was more taken with looking into the grinning
features of the Major as she turned her fake smile onto him.
Daniel was even more surprised when both guards nodded, and
with the final admonition of,
No funny business! they
gestured down the corridor in the direction of the Infirmary.
Still stunned, the group moved off as the guards fell in
behind them, their weapons drawn and trained on them. Daniel
took the slight confusion of the moment to lean into Sam and say,
Your delivery needs a little work! before he was hushed by
one of the vigilant soldiers.
Thus, it was a rather solemn, and definitely a quiet, group
that trudged into the Infirmary five minutes later. They had no
trouble finding McKay stretched out on one of the Infirmary beds,
a white bandage across his entire face. The minute he got one
look at Sam, he jumped off the opposite side of the bed, and
Dod led 'er cob near me!
Jack scowled at the scientist.
She's not going to break
your arm next!
Sam held up her left hand.
I just wanted to come in
here, and show you this. The gold wedding ring sparkled on
her fourth finger.
McKay's expression hardly changed.
Where did you find
Good thing for you that Siler is one of her boys,
Jack told him.
Or we might have to set her loose on you
Dod led 'er near me! McKay yelled again, backing up
to the bed behind him.
Jack's scowl grew even heavier, but it was Daniel who
You have our word that she won't do
McKay turned to regard Daniel.
And I know just how gud
dat wowd or yours is... You all stick togeder like glue guns.
Giving me your wowd is as gud as giving me a kick in de
Don't give me any ideas, Jack suggested, his words
belied by a smile on his face... an evil smile.
McKay glared at him.
Don'd give me any more
Sam didn't give him a chance to finish.
threaten him! she told the scientist.
Not when I know you
dropped my ring down that sink on purpose!
And..? McKay began.
Daniel cut him off.
It's hardly fair to train the
country's soldiers to defend the land and themselves, then punish
them when they do decide to use that training, he
Teal'c regarded his friend.
That is a good point,
DanielJackson, he said.
McKay looked as though he were wavering, or at least
thinking about what Daniel had just said. But, then, he rallied
at the last moment.
Well, she shouldn'd have hid me ad
all! he yelled.
A lod of gud soldiers are do us if we
can'd drusd dem to know when deir draining is required.
Sam instantly said,
I apologize for hitting you, but I
only struck out when it was obvious that you were trying to
sabotage my wedding ring!
I prefer nod do offer an apology when I
don'd dink I'm in de wrong on dis!
Jack stepped back.
Then we'll turn our 'training' loose
on the guards, here, and let Carter finish you off while
Jack! he hollered.
This is hardly
helping, ya know?
McKay looked in irritation at Sam.
Sam looked back, equally as irritated.
apologizing to you is no easier for me then it is for you to say
you're sorry to me.
Maybe I'm nod sorry, McKay retorted.
Maybe I'm not either! Sam belligerently remarked, her
hands on her hips.
Teal'c just looked threatening as he took a single step foreword.
McKay held up his hands in a warding gesture.
okay! I'b sorry!
You don't sound very sorry, Jack accusingly said.
McKay's expression turned far more irritated.
you're such a gud one do dalk! he retorted.
Jack gave him a look of irritation as well.
just jealous! he said.
That's enough, I think! Daniel objected. He turned
to look at Sam.
Are you sorry? he asked.
Under her breath, she said,
No, but I'll say that I am if
it will get him out of my hair.
Good enough, Daniel said. He turned back to face
And you... Do you apologize for intentionally
dropping her ring down her sink?
Teal'c took another step forward, frowning at McKay, who was
wise enough to say,
If you insisd.
I do, Daniel said.
Now, shake hands, why don't
Sam grimaced, but she stuck her hand out across the bed separating her from McKay.
McKay frowned as well, but after a moment, he grabbed her hand with his, meeting hers in the middle of the sheets, and perfunctorily shook it.
Jack let the shake go on for a second longer than he thought
he needed to, then reached over, and pried Sam's fingers from
All right, that's enough!
McKay sneered at Jack.
Whad a spoils spord! he
Jack smiled, but there was no warmth in the gesture.
Look, I win, so get used to it!
Jack! Daniel sputtered.
Good thing my wife already broke his nose,
or.., Jack began to say.
Daniel interrupted him.
We'll be going now, as long as
all the charges against Sam are dropped? he asked McKay.
The scientist growled, but looked at Teal'c, and reluctantly
Yeah, fine, whadever.
Okay... Daniel led the other three out of the
Infirmary before any more blows could be delivered. He wasn't
sure that he could hold back Jack or Teal'c, and he couldn't
exactly be sure about Sam's good will, either.
Sam stuffed her hands in her pockets, and grumbled,
did that on purpose, she said.
But he dropped the charges against you, Daniel
Try to act a little more gracious, he
You look like Jack.
Hey! Jack protested.
I resent that!
Just be glad that McKay's not going ahead, and pressing
charges against Sam, why don't ya? Daniel retorted.
not every day that McKay actually says that he's sorry about
True, Jack conceded.
But he didn't act very
gracious himself if you ask me!
I wasn't asking you, Daniel stated right before he
This is too exciting for me, he said as his
Don't wait up for me...
Thanks, Daniel! Jack called after him down the
Have fun with your rocks!
Daniel waved at him over his shoulder as he walked down the corridor, and disappeared.
Ah... Silence! Jack appreciatively intoned.
Don't miss it until it's gone!
I don't believe that DanielJackson would agree that he is
just being noisy, O'Neill, Teal'c said.
He'd make a great lawyer, Jack told them all.
he knows it. Sam sputtered some laughter, and Jack added,
Don't tell him I said that.
He will not hear a word from me, Teal'c promised.
Hey, Teal'c, Jack said.
Now that I'm thinking
about it... Actually, now that the excitement is over... You
free to stand guard over my office door for a few
Teal'c looked at Major Carter in some consternation.
there a problem, O'Neill? he asked.
Sam and I have some things that we absolutely need
to talk about, and it sure would help if we knew that you were
standing just outside the door, and peeked in every ten minutes,
or so, just to make sure we stay on track.
Teal'c bowed his head,
As you wish, O'Neill.
What's up? Sam asked as Jack assured the two guards
that the team had things under control now, and they could both
go about their duties. Hesitantly, both guards complied, looking
askance at Major Carter for a second. But, since the Colonel
outranked them both by quite a few ranks, they left, going slowly
down the corridor to return to their duties.
Sam looked at Jack in some trepidation, but he just smiled,
took her hand, then said,
We're going to talk about this
marriage business now, and we're not going to stop until we're
Sam stumbled along behind him.
Can't we talk about that
once we get home? she inquired a bit desperately.
Nope! Jack said back to her.
We keep going off on
tangents whenever we try to talk about something important...
I'm not letting it happen again!
What a day this is turning out to be! Sam
complained, but followed Jack to his office.
Teal'c, was all Jack had to say for their Jaffa
friend to take up a stance outside the office door. Jack paused
long enough to remind him,
No more than ten minutes!
Then, he dragged Sam though the door, and closed it behind
Jack! Sam complained this time.
Jack did nothing but point to the security camera.
I'm not covering it up this time, so we have to be good.
Or you have to be good, she said,
then sat in one of the chairs fronting his desk.
Why do you think I left it uncovered? Jack
It pretty much guarantees that I'll keep
my hands to myself.
I really am sorry about the whole McKay thing, Jack.
That's the last time I take off my ring for
anybody! she added. She looked up after a moment of
silence to find Jack smiling at her from the sitting position
he'd adopted in the chair behind his desk.
What are you
Jack grinned some more.
I'm just picturing you smashing
your fist into his arrogant face.
Sam suddenly smiled.
That was rather fun, she
admitted. Then, she shook her head.
But I can't do it
again! she admonished herself.
Jack continued to grin.
Don't worry... You
I don't quite understand how you can be so sure of me,
but... She paused.
I guess, Sam admitted, then
squirmed into the back of her chair.
All right, what are we
really doing here?
Jack reached into his file cabinet, and pulled out two pages
that were stapled together.
The base chaplain doesn't preach
one religious sect over another, but he did have this all purpose
marriage questionnaire lying around, Jack explained.
copied it, so that we could discuss its questions whenever we
found the time.
Sam reached to examine it.
What is it again?
Jack handed it to her.
It's just some questions that
point out to a couple planning on getting married what issues
they might need to talk about. Jack looked at her with an
odd mix of pleading guilt on his face.
I thought it might
help us... 'talk.'
Sam grinned mischievously.
Well, we don't do much
talking when we... um... 'talk.' she admitted.
Jack smiled back just as appreciatively.
Well, now, we
have to, thanks to the security camera and Teal'c. That's why I
wanted to do this on base, he said.
So we can stay on
topic, and finally get a few things decided.
Like what things? Sam asked.
Jack responded by suggesting,
Why don't you read the
first question, and we'll 'talk' about it if we have to.
Okay... Sam still wasn't convinced that they needed
this kind of help, but she read from the sheet:
What kind of finances are you planning to have: bonds, joint checking, stocks, savings account, single checking accounts, etc.?"
Wow. Jack's forehead wrinkled.
I have to admit
that we haven't even come close to touching on that
Sam eyed him.
I vote for separate checking accounts, but
that's just my opinion.
Jack leaned towards her across his desk: he asked in abject
Why do you vote that way?
Sam was quick with her response.
Because I've heard too
many horror stories about frozen joint accounts during divorce
proceedings to want joint checking... I don't want my money
stuck in limbo, thank you very much!
Jack peered at her.
You planning to divorce me, or
something? he only half joked. Actually, the idea of a
second divorce brought on the most paralyzing thoughts of a life
full of failure that he didn't even want to think about such a
thing. And he hadn't even had time to consider what being
divorced from Sam in particular would mean to him personally! He
just preferred not to consider the entire possibility.
Sam rolled her eyes.
No, of course I'm not thinking of a
divorce! she exclaimed.
But it never hurts to be on the
safe side, just in case, she added, quoting a phrase he often
said himself while in the field.
Jack sat back, conscious of the way his heart beat suddenly
at a furious pace when she had mentioned that word 'divorce,' but
he didn't bother her with his negative thoughts just then.
Okay, since I really can't say that I have an opinion about
what kind of account we get, I don't see a problem with separate
checking accounts... Mischievously, he added,
Mind if I
play the stock market every now and then?
Only if you make tons of money at it, Sam deadpanned
back at him.
Maybe I'll have Daniel play the stock market for
me, then, Jack said, just as quickly.
He always seems to
know what's good, and what's not.
Sam didn't give herself any time to make any comments about
Daniel's ability with market trends.
Okay, question number
The comfort level you feel around your spouse is very important... How do you feel about dressing and undressing in front of your respective spouse?
Jack grew decidedly red in the face.
I don't think
that's a problem with us... He conspicuously cleared his
throat, and said,
Sam giggled, but complied by continuing to read off the sheet.
How do either of you feel about the female taking the man's last name, or keeping her maiden name?
Jack peered at Sam.
How do you feel about
Sam peered back at Jack.
How do you feel about
It's kinda cool, I admit, to think of you
sharing my name, but...
Sam grimaced slightly.
Two O'Neill's at the SGC might be
One too many? Jack thoughtfully added.
Well.., Sam hemmed and hawed. Then, she grinned.
It is a nice thought, though.
Jack grinned back at her.
You think it's nice... That's
all I need to hear.
So... I stay Major Carter for now, so we know who Walter
is paging over the PA system...
The grin on Jack's face evolved to a full-blown smile.
But Major O'Neill sounds mighty nice, too.
I bet hearing that brings back some memories of when you
were a Major, Sam commented.
And not always good memories, Jack admitted with a
pucker on his forehead.
I didn't much like my Commanding
Officer when I was a Major.
That's a shame, she said. Sam studied him in a
What? Jack asked of her questioning look.
tell by your expression that you're thinking again. You think
too much, ya know.
So you keep telling me.
Then listen for a change...
Sam sent a mischievous glance at the security camera in the
corner by the ceiling. She whispered,
I love you, ya
Jack grinned, blushed, but looked highly pleased with the
way things were working out between him and Sam. It was one of
the many reasons why he wanted to 'talk' about issues this time
around instead of letting his more well-known sense of bravado
take over, and make him silent again.
Did you think of that
just now? he asked.
Sam shook her head.
I didn't have to, she joked
along with him.
I've known about it forever.
Just then, there was a knock on the door, which opened when
Jack yelled for the person to
Teal'c stuck his head through the opening he had just
It has been ten minutes, O'Neill, he
We're talking about last names, honest! Jack
exclaimed in answer. Then, he added,
You can feel free to run
down to the Commissary for coffee if you want, Teal'c. In fact,
bring us some... We might be here awhile.
Do you feel safe enough for me to
leave? he asked.
We know you're coming back to check on us, Jack said.
We'll be good. He turned to Sam.
As good as gold.
Teal'c frowned again.
I am not familiar with that
phrase... He turned away from the door.
DanielJackson will explain it to me later.., he said of his
friend who frequently found himself explaining the odd phrases in
the English language.
As good as a precious metal, Teal'c, Jack said
The Jaffa just shot Jack an interrogatory look, then shut the door as he left.
Jack turned to Sam.
And speaking about Daniel again,
which reminds me of the team as a whole...
Yes? she asked.
You've got something on your
Well, before I forget again, let me take a
minute here to be the CO one more time... I was
Did it hurt? Sam wanted to know.
Jack sent her a sour look.
Very funny! he said.
Actually, steam rolled in great waves out of my
Sorry, Jack, sorry... She laughed.
I just couldn't help myself...
Try harder next time, Jack ordered, looking more
surly now than he had in several days. He attempted to go on,
and be heard over her giggling.
Anyway, Major, I was
thinking that it would probably be a good idea if we leave the
wedding rings behind in the SGC while we go on missions, and not
act... um... married... Unless the situation calls for it,
That way, no System Lord can ever use our
connection to each other against us if we're ever
'Connection to each other?' Sam asked a bit
Come on, Jack, we've slept together by now
more times than I can even relate... Don't you think you can
explain your feelings to yourself in a bit more of an emotional
way than saying that we're 'connected to each other?' Sam
was a little miffed at his reluctance to acknowledge his
'connection' to her.
I'm beginning to understand
Okay, okay! Jack loudly interjected.
didn't want to mix emotional relationships with the military
protocol we've always known at the SGC, that's all! I guess it
was a poor choice of words...
Sam's forehead crinkled in concern.
I guess mixing our
relationships is one aspect of being married to you that I've
never considered, she admitted in a softer voice.
sorry, she said at last.
You're right... You're just
thinking like a CO, which you have to do sometimes... She
shook her head, then.
This being married while in a direct
chain of command is more prone to problems than I ever gave it
Jack sat back in his chair, letting his anger at her anger
drain out of him.
Yeah, there's a lot of things to consider
that... um... normal couples don't have to think about, he
Sam glanced up at him, a contrite look now on her face.
It seems that you've been thinking about a lot of things that
hasn't even crossed my mind yet...
Don't let that bother you, Jack said to her in a
tired sounding voice.
You're not responsible for an entire
team of people, yet...
'Yet?' she asked.
Do you know something that I
No, it's just... He sighed again, and
leaned forward once more in his chair.
I have something to
confess, he said in a small voice.
Her forehead crinkled again in curiosity... Damn, she
looks gorgeous when she's curious! Jack thought to himself...
There's more to tell me? she asked.
Jack morosely nodded.
I was in the Control Room this
morning, he explained,
Probably at the same time that you
were breaking McKay's nose... and... He looked at her while
she stared at him in that encouragingly questioning way that she
had... (Man, he loved that expression on her!) At last, he
I was standing on the stairs, not quite in the room,
yet, and Feretti and his team...
Sg-2, she filled in.
Yeah... Anyway, they were facing the windows, grouped
around one of the computers, alone in the room, watching the
Stargate, looking away from me, so they didn't see me, and...
And what? she prompted.
Jack definitely looked uncomfortable now. He picked at the
corner of his giant desk calendar with his fingernail so that he
wouldn't have to look at her.
They... He sighed again.
I overheard them talking about you...
Sam's face took on a harder expression. At last, she
I've been in the military a long time... I can
imagine what a group of guys like that were saying... She
sounded resigned, as if she had encountered this kind of 'group'
talk before, the kind where a group of males, once in a group
mentality, says things they would never dream of saying when
Jack kept picking at his calendar.
Yeah... Well... I
kind of lost it there for a minute, he admitted at last.
She now looked curious.
You... lost it? she
Jack sighed once more, and leaned back again.
maybe... grabbed hold of Captain James's shirt, and... sort of...
slammed him up against the far computer terminal...
You slammed him against the computer
terminal? she repeated in a daze.
Yeah... face first, he told her.
Um... What did you say to him?
Um... Jack squirmed in his office chair.
been saying some rather... crass... things about you...
that I won't repeat right now... Jack glanced down, studied
his calendar like it was the most fascinating thing he'd ever
seen in his life, then shrugged again.
I... I said... that...
I better not hear things like that... ever again... or I might
really lose my temper next time...
Sam's face grew white.
You know, I might get the
reputation of having a... a protector... then?
I know, Jack sighed.
And that's not what I want
to happen at all...
Groups of guys will always egg each other on to say such
things... like that, Sam then told him.
You can't hear
every conversation on the entire base...
No, Jack admitted.
But... I stopped them right
then, he said.
I... He shrugged for a third time.
Embarrassed at being found out by fellow soldiers that he held
Sam firmly in his heart might cause more problems for them as a
couple in the future than he cared to admit. Those soldiers
would obviously gossip about them, as if he and Sam had been
reduced to nothing but base gossip... The thought curdled in
Well, I just... Then, he looked
straight at her.
I just didn't like what they were saying
I don't need that kind of protection... I
mean, I can take care of myself...
That was sort of my point at the time, Jack told her.
That you're the most capable person I've ever met...
But, Sam went on, her voice changing to become more
appreciative, then, and she suddenly grinned a wide curl of her
lips. She added,
Jack looked relieved that she was taking being the possible
focus of base stories so well, and smiled back at her.
Well... And Sam blushed.
Yeah, I guess
Huh, Jack grunted, surprised by her attitude. He
reminded himself that he should no longer be surprised by Sam at
all any longer, but admitted that the better he knew her, the
more he realized that she could shock the hell out of him at a
I've never been anyone's hero before, he
I'd rather have it known that you're my hero than
anyone else's, Sam admitted in a soft voice, her face red.
She glanced at her wedding ring circling her finger, then.
Jack sighed again. Then, after a silent moment between
them, he rose from his chair, pulled a black sock out of the top
drawer of his file cabinet, crossed to the security camera in the
corner of his office, and, while standing on a chair, covered it
completely with the sock so that nobody could see what transpired
next in his office. Then, he climbed down from the chair, leaned
back on his hands on the edge of the desk, and mutely regarded
You're the best damned second I've ever had. I know it.
The guys of SG-2 know that I know it, too. The thing is,
Kawalski was the leader of SG-2 while he was alive...
Sam asked through a tight throat,
And... Jack hesitated for a moment.
may have included Kawalski in the way I mentioned that you were
really good... And they still have some amount of loyalty to
Kawalski, since he was their leader for a short
Oh, Sam said in a dead voice, perhaps understanding
the complex interdepartmental relationships of the SGC better
Jack sighed again. He took her hand in his.
is that Feretti knows that Kawalski was my second at one time,
too. On that first Abydos mission... And I liked having
Kawalski as my second... Jack looked down at her.
the truth is, he's not you. He glanced up.
I'm not in
love with him like I'm in love with you... which is probably a
good thing, he added.
But those feelings I have for you
add a sort of... special... twist to the whole second in command
There was a knock on the door, again, interrupting Jack, and he had to cross the office to allow for the interruption.
Teal'c stood outside, in the corridor, holding two cups of
coffee out to Jack. Daniel stood behind him, also holding two
coffee cups, and it wasn't hard to figure out that Teal'c had run
into Daniel in the Commissary, they had picked up some coffee for
themselves as well as for Jack and Sam, then delivered the coffee
to their team leader in his office.
Thanks, Teal'c, we'll
probably need some caffeine real soon, Jack said. Then, he
placed the cups on the far corner of his desk.
Want us to stick around? Daniel inquired.
will, if that's what...
Naw, Jack told them.
I'm sure you have things to
do, and Carter and I have already decided on a lot...
Okay, Daniel said.
Whatever you say, he
added, then socked Teal'c on his arm with his elbow.
let's go visit with Janet... See if she's busy...
Tell her 'hi' from us, Jack said, waved, then shut
Sam looked up at him the second the door was shut on the
You know what? she said as she reached
for one of the steaming cups sitting on the edge of his desk.
She blew on the hot liquid inside.
What? Jack asked as he blew on the other.
Sam smiled a tender smile into her cup before she took a
cautious sip. When she had swallowed, she shyly looked up at
him, blushed, then said,
I think I'd like it very much if we
went fishing together.
Jack's brows rose in surprise.
What? Now? he
Sam ducked her head, but quietly said,
Another moment want by. Then Jack's grin was so big that it
lit up his entire face.
Sweet! he exclaimed.
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