Disclaimer: I don't own them, as you know. Instead of making any money off this fic, I would rather be a poor, unpublished author, who only knows how to write for entertainment purposes. No copyright infringement is intended. (What is infringement, anyway? Legalese? Don't you wonder about things like this?)
A/N: Part 4 in the Marriage Series.
Jack sat on the cabin's dock, in a lawn chair that he'd placed specifically so that he would be within touching distance of Sam, a fishing pole in his hand, a hat on his head, the warmth of an early Spring sun on his neck, and he sighed in contentment. Yeah, this is the life, he thought in utter delight. He couldn't restrain the smile that appeared on his face as he drew in his line to cast it one more time into his pond that held no fish.
Sam's voice came softly from his left.
What are you
Jack continued to smile.
Oh, he eventually answered
in a studied drawl.
I'm thinking about so many things, I
don't know where to begin.
Sam grinned, just because he was grinning.
what? she asked.
Tell me, and if you do, we can at least
say that we did some talking on this trip, and not just
what everybody else thinks we're doing.
Jack turned his grin on her.
What if I say that is
exactly what I'm thinking about, though?
Sam's grin continued to grow, adding to the blush that now
stained her cheeks to a light red.
I'd say... She paused
her speech so that she could sigh as well, then look at him head
on. Even though her voice and expression were shy, she put words
to her thoughts, anyway.
I'd say 'all right to that!'
Her comment caused Jack to do nothing but smile even wider.
There's nothing wrong with that, you know, he pointed
No, she agreed.
But I have to wonder if even
General Hammond was thinking that very thing himself when we
asked for another week of leave to come to Minnesota. We
do need to talk about being married and all,
Jack couldn't stop his smile from splitting his face in two.
But what a thing to include in that marriage talk! he
You're impossible, she announced, a bit
of fond irritation coloring her tone now.
But you love me anyway, Jack commented.
Sam looked at him for a second out of the corners of her
I do, she gently told him.
I know that you
wonder why I do, though you've never said anything about it.
She turned her head, then, to stare at him.
I could ask the
same thing about you, you know. She turned back to study the
sun glinting off the water in the pond as she quickly went on,
I don't have to question myself for a second, though. It's
kind of like falling off a log... or breathing... It's as simple
How did we get onto this subject? Jack wondered, but
he was more than willing to discuss such a pleasant topic. He
sighed, the sound turning sad at the last minute.
looking for this, you know, he told her, conversationally
adding his thoughts to hers.
Neither was I, Sam divulged in a quiet voice.
wanted anything but another entanglement with a guy, she
We met right after that Jonas thing, didn't we? Jack
Sam nodded, then grinned.
I was so determined not
to be bowled over by any of you in that meeting where we met that
I might have turned on the toughness a little bit too
Oh, I don't know about that, Jack calmly told her.
I thought you were cute right from the start.
Yeah, cute for someone acting like a
spoiled, irritating teenager. She heard Jack give a little
laugh at the memory of that boardroom conversation between them,
and stared at him incredulously.
I can't believe that
armwrestling comment I made! she groaned.
I have to
wonder why you didn't throw me out on my butt for insubordination
You have a cute butt, Jack argued.
Sam rolled her eyes.
Cute butt or not, I was totally
astonished when you requested that I be assigned to SG-1. The
last thing I anticipated was being made part of your team,
especially considering I was a scientist... which you hated, and
you made no bones about letting all of us know that.
Well, what can I say? he rhetorically
I was an idiot at the time, he went on.
could hardly help myself... You were in the room, after
Sam looked as though she was having trouble believing his
No big deal, there, she said.
I came, I shot
off my mouth, we went, we kicked butt, we came back, end of
story. Then, she grinned when she looked at him.
of, she added with an impishness to her smile.
Jack had to grin back at her.
But that wasn't the
end, he said.
Not by a long shot, and I thank goodness
for that, he added. They were silent, then, remembering,
staring at the pond, feeling the sun on tired limbs, basking in
the glow of acceptance, and genuine affection. Suddenly, Jack
stared at her as she sat in her own lawn chair beside his.
When was the exact moment you knew about me? he asked in a
gentle, quiet tone.
When I knew that I was in love with you? Sam
inquired, and Jack nodded. Sam blew out a gusty breath of a
Promise not to laugh? she asked.
Jack would have promised her the moon if she just asked for
You know I do, he said as added encouragement.
Sam blushed again, then.
Okay, she reluctantly said.
Just remember, you asked for it. She regarded him in
speculation, then, and eventually told him.
I knew about you
before that meeting in the Briefing Room, she proclaimed.
I had been reading reports about that first mission to Abydos
for at least a year, and I had been working in the Stargate
Program for years before that. She looked at him, her
firmness in what she was saying growing by leaps and bounds.
Part of me thought you were a macho idiot with a big bomb to
And that part of you would have been right, Jack
Sam still studied him out of her wide blue eyes.
another part of me was fascinated by a guy who could claim in one
sentence that he hated scientists, then in another show his
regret at Daniel's supposed death on an alien planet thousands of
Jack gazed at her in some astonishment as he finally
comprehended what she was telling him.
You mean that you
loved me before you even met me?
Not loved, Sam corrected, and tossed her line into
the lake one more time.
But you definitely caught my
attention. Enough to take my mind off the Jonas thing for
awhile, at least, and there was very little that could do
that, she admitted.
By the time I finally got to meet
you... I requested that assignment, by the way, and General
Hammond moved my job from the Pentagon to Colorado Springs...
Anyway, by then, I was already half way gone
for a guy who pretended to hate scientists, but didn't, no matter
what he said to the contrary at the time. When I found out that
you had lied in your report, and Daniel was really alive and
kicking... well, that pretty much clinched the deal, as far as I
was concerned. She continued to gaze out over the water, as
if she was embarrassed at what she was saying, but determined to
say it, anyway.
Anybody who could do that... I was totally
gone by the time we got back from Abydos. The big problem for me
was keeping it from everybody else, including you. She
looked at him again.
Apparently, I suck at that, she
said, which made him laugh out loud in a short bark of surprise.
Maybe you got a really rotten deal, she added.
good is a scientist who can't even keep the most basic of
Jack laughed again. Then he pulled his fishing line out of
the water, set his pole aside on the dock beside his chair, and
reached across the tiny amount of space separating them to link
his fingers with hers as if he treasured what he was holding
I was glad about Daniel, you know, he said.
I knew about Daniel being alive before General Hammond
told me that he was, by the way, Sam told him, surprising him
Or, at least, I suspected it.
Jack gaped at her.
You knew, he blurted
How did you know? he asked.
There wasn't any one thing, she said.
But I'd read your report so many times, I could quote it when
I wanted to. It wasn't much of a stretch for me to start
wondering what you hadn't included in your report. So, I
just wondered how I would have reacted in the same situation,
wondered what had really happened on that planet. When I
read about the girl named Sha're somehow connected to Daniel, I
took it one step further, and wham, it hit me one night while I
was lying in bed, thinking about it. But I never anticipated
that he had married her, she said,
Only that he and
you had met her.
Wow, Jack commented, sounding blown over, now.
amazes me that your brain actually works that way, he
What? So analytically? she asked.
really be so surprised, she went on.
scientists are, after all. Then, she wriggled around in her
chair so that she ended up leaning her head comfortably on his
But what I didn't get is why you went to Abydos in
the first place. Why go, taking that bomb with you? And why did
you come back?
Jack sighed. He rested his head on top of her blonde hair,
and sighed again.
What the hell do you see in me? he
inquired then, totally out of the blue.
What do you see in me? she echoed.
Are you kidding? he asked.
You are one hot scientist! Sam
giggled. Jack went on,
I'm the envy of every man in the
Sam snorted a second time.
'The envy' my foot!
No, it's true, Jack tried to convince her.
do you think the guys on SG-2 were talking about a few days ago
when I found them in the Control Room, then? he inquired. He
Well, it's not actually important to know exactly
what they were saying... only that I'm one lucky guy, and
why me when it could have been any one of them?
I hate to tell them that it was a lost cause before I
even met any of them, Sam added. She reeled her line back
in, then set her fishing pole to the left, beside her chair in a
mirror action of what he had just done. Her voice indicated that
she was simply reporting the boring facts of the situation, as
unemotionally as could possibly be imagined. She shrugged again,
and Jack felt the movement slide across his shoulder.
I let them know, Jack said.
After I beat the crap
out of one of them for even looking at you in the first
Sam laughed, aware at just his tone that he was teasing her.
She took a breath, sighed, then changed the subject by asking,
When did you know about me?
Jack squeezed his hand around her fingers.
That's the question of the century, he stated with a sigh.
It wasn't any one moment for me, either, he confessed at
But I have to admit to an attraction right from the
start. An attraction, he emphasized,
But nothing I
Lucky you, Sam blurted.
Yeah, I had the luck of being the world's
biggest liar, he said.
I told myself that it was only a
natural reaction to those big blue eyes of yours. The
deprecation in his tone was unmistakable.
I could tell myself
whatever I wanted, though, he eventually admitted.
managed to believe the lies myself for awhile, concentrated on
feeling like I was being unfaithful to Sara. He squeezed her
hand again when he mentioned his ex-wife's name so that she
wouldn't automatically doubt what he was saying, and develop an
unreasonable complex concerning Sara.
But I knew, a few
months after we met... Or I mean, I was forced to admit it to
myself... He sighed again.
Remember those Mongol people?
The ones who kidnapped you right out of your tent?
Sam rolled her eyes.
How can I forget? she asked
That beating I got for trying to escape made me sore for
It's a good thing you didn't say anything about that
until we got back, Jack conversationally went on.
would have acted first, and not cared for international
relations, or that chief's pride, or anything... I'd have shot
him in the head in a heartbeat, he related.
I know, she quietly said.
Which is why I didn't
say a word. Though, I convinced myself that it was Teal'c's
reaction that worried me more than yours.
Jack smiled a bit grimly.
Well, I was so worried about
you that it made me forget about Charlie for the first time in a
whole year. I felt guilty about that when I first realized what
I had done, but I had to wonder about what could have made me act
that way to begin with. That was when I first knew that I was in
major trouble. I started calling you 'Carter' not long after
that, trying to hide what I suspected I was feeling. The rest,
as Daniel would say, is history.
Again, Sam was silent as she internalized his words, staring
out over the water. Finally, she tried to blurt out the question
that was on her mind.
You do that too much, Jack cautioned her.
wouldn't know what to do with you if you stopped.
Sam smiled against his sleeve.
Yeah, you'd know that I
was sick the minute I stop thinking about something,
she said, sounding as unpolished to him as she ever had before,
letting him know how little she had contemplated what she was
saying to him.
Jack grinned, but only prodded,
Sam sighed then.
Okay... I was thinking... Wondering,
Do you ever want to have kids again? she asked in a
rush, not giving herself time to ponder what effect she was
asking would have on him.
Jack stilled beside her. Finally, he carefully asked,
Well, Sam said, in a hurry to get passed her original
I know that you don't exactly associate pleasant
memories with this...
'Pleasant memories!' Jack sardonically laughed.
You say it so politely, Samantha!
Sam lifted her head, and looked at him in faint
Hey, you called me by my name!
Jack gently took hold of her chin in his hand, and cupped
his fingers around it as he looked into her eyes. He wrinkled
So I did, he softly agreed, as if it wasn't a
particularly momentous occasion.
But, you know what? he
asked, changing the subject again.
No, what? Sam encouraged.
Jack sighed thoughtfully, and ran his index finger across
her chin. It was obvious by the expression on his face that he
was still thinking about what he was going to say. One more
exhaled breath of air, and he began,
I've been thinking about
kids ever since that night we spent on... whatever the hell that
damned planet was called... Tolera.
Yeah? she asked,
Aaaaanddddd... Yeah, I'm thinking about it, I
Just thinking about it? she questioned.
Thinking... about seeing you too big to
look at your feet... taking care of another newborn kid who
screams half the night, and won't go to sleep until you agree to
read boring math equations to it... I shouldn't want to
experience that, but I can't help it... I do.
Sam watched his eyes for several minutes, trying to gauge if
he was telling her the truth, or only repeating what he thought
she wanted to hear. Finally, she said,
Might never happen,
anyway, and we could be getting all worked up about
Maybe.., Jack admitted. Then, surprising her with
the abruptness of his ability to change the theme of the
conversation, asked his own question.
Why did you break
McKay's nose like you did?
Sam purse her lips, wrinkled her brow, and tried not to
stare at him, but she couldn't help but look into his gaze when
he held her head so gently, but firmly, in his grip.
she started to say.
The truth, Jack sang to her.
Sam peered at him, looking annoyed that he knew her so well
that he would know she would attempt some fabrication right at
first. She thought for a minute, then started to say,
couldn't quite help myself... It happened before I knew it,
almost like I reacted on instinct...
What did he do that made you so mad in the first
place? Jack asked.
Sam heaved a sigh.
He didn't believe me when I told him
about the... rather unusual... marriage that we had,
seemed so disdainful... It seemed to me like what he said made
the whole marriage thing sound so unreal... cheap... Sam
shrugged her shoulders again.
I didn't like that, and it
certainly looked to me like he'd dropped my ring down the sink on
purpose, and hitting him just... sort of... happened... after
It was clear by her tone that she was feeling contrite about
the whole incident, wishing it hadn't happened in the first
place. But she was going on,
I didn't mean it, of course.
But he was teasing me about asking me out for dinner, and I said
I couldn't, he asked why, and that's when I showed him my ring,
Samantha, Jack interrupted her with an expression of
astute gravity on his face,
Is that ring really all that
important to you, or something? 'Cause I can always get another
if I have to. I mean, accidents happen, and...
Yeah, but that's my ring, Sam said, struggling
to put words to a feeling that she didn't entirely understand,
I don't want anyone to not take this marriage bit as
the real thing, because that's not how it is even though it may
have started out that way, and...
You're rambling again, Jack stopped her.
Sam stopped, but shrugged her shoulders once more.
don't see it as anything but real, and I don't want anyone else
to see it that way, either. I guess that's what I was thinking,
and the way he was talking frustrated the hell out of me, and
before I knew it, I...
Jack's forehead wrinkled.
Has this happened to you
before that time with McKay in your lab? he asked with sudden
Have you been getting attitude where you weren't
Sam looked like a kid caught with her hand in the cookie
Some, she answered.
I didn't think it
bothered me any until I got the same spiel from McKay. I guess I
just flipped out after that.
Ahhh. Jack nodded his head in understanding.
I get it... And he looked like he really did 'get it'
for the first time in a long time. Still staring at her, his
gaze burning in intensity, he whispered,
And what do
That question surprised Sam; it seemed like such a
simultaneously innocuous and personal thing for him to ask. She
was only able to splutter at first,
Well, I... um...
Jack was so close to her face now that she could smell his
particular scent; coffee, after-shave, and masculinity, all
rolled up into one enticing package.
'Cause you know what
I think? he inquired. With a sharp flick, his gaze
leapt from her eyes to her mouth, then back up again.
What? Sam asked, also in a whisper.
Do you want
me to punch him in the eye next time?
Jack grinned at her.
That's a good idea, he
But you better wait 'till I have the chance
to... His next words were cut off when she took the
initiative, and kissed him too deeply to give the effect that she
was just pretending. Sam deepened the kiss, and there was no
doubt left in Jack's mind as to exactly the way she felt about
His lips felt arm, and soft, and delectable.
Jack smiled when she released him just a fraction so that
she could catch a breath of air. He said,
Oh, yeah, this is
soooo worth a broken nose or two...
Or three.., Sam said before kissing him again,
leaning over the arms of the lawn chairs so that she could haul
him as close as possible. Her hand wrapped around the back of
his neck was equally as encouraging to keep him close.
Oh, yeah, he thought. This marriage stuff is so
way underrated! But, he took a moment to rear back and look
straight at her once what she had said had infiltrated his
You mean there are other people's noses
that you've broken? he asked in incredulity.
Sam looked a bit guilty.
Well, have you ever heard of
the fan club that I seem to have..?
* * *
A week later, when Jack and Sam had returned to the SGC, they walked into the 'Gate Room, fully prepared for their first mission as two single team members, and one married couple. General Hammond was momentarily engaged as he spoke to Sergeant Harriman as they stood beside the dialing computer in the Control Room. Daniel and Teal'c were quietly discussing the objective of their coming mission when Jack and Sam, a very noticeably married couple, entered through the blast door leading to the corridor and the elevators, holding hands, teasing each other, and huge smiles on their faces. They simply exuded 'taken' to the others in the room. Sam leaned up towards Jack for just a second, and whispered something to him that made him laugh hard enough to wipe tears out of the corners of his eyes. Sam giggled at the effect she was having on the Colonel, and swung their arms for a few swings that unintentionally captured everybody's attention.
Teal'c glanced over at his two team mates, and commented,
It appears as if Colonel O'Neill and Major Carter were able to
come to some sort of an agreement with each other during their
time spent in Minnesota.
Daniel glanced at the married couple who were oblivious to
everybody else in the 'Gate Room. He grimaced, and said,
Makes me think of Sha're.
And it causes me to ponder all that has
happened between Dre'yac and I over the last few years. They
were silent as Jack and Sam approached, then dropped their hands
in order to lift their weapons into a position of battle
readiness in preparation for their scheduled trip through the
'Gate. However, they continued their conversation as if nothing
had interrupted it. The sight made even Teal'c sigh, and say,
It is quite enough to make one ill... Do you concur,
Daniel had to cover his grimace at the last minute so that
neither Jack nor Sam could see it.
I concur, Teal'c... Definitely concur.
Sequel: Reality Bites
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