Disclaimer: Yadda, yadda, yadda. If you don't know by now what I'm going to say, you need to read more fanfiction.
A/N Part I of 'The Relationship Series.' What is it with me and bad series titles?
I don't know, Jack, Daniel hedged.
about something that really isn't my thing.
Space isn't your thing? Jack O'Neill incredulously
Daniel had to smile at that point, and he even paused in
playing with the artifact in his hands long enough to say,
It's true, we do go to other planets through the Stargate, but
we rarely see actual space, and even you've said how Earthlike
those planets that we visit are. I honestly often forget that
we've even traveled through space to get there. And once you've
done that 'visiting other planets' bit, real space seems sort
of... Daniel fished in his mind for the right term.
Unreal, he finally ended.
'Unreal?' Jack echoed, as if he didn't believe what
he was hearing.
You're a guy who's seen Star Wars
enough times to quote the whole damned movie, and you claim that
space is 'unreal?'
Daniel nodded after he'd thought about what Jack was saying.
Yeah, he said,
That about sums it up for me.
Uh-huh, Jack intoned, as if he didn't quite see where
his friend was coming from. What was the difference between
Star Wars, and a movie detailing the Challenger space
shuttle disaster? he asked himself. Shaking his head, he asked,
Is that a 'yes, I'll go with you,' or a 'no, I never want to
see something like that, so don't even ask me?'
Daniel blinked at Jack for a moment.
The second thing
you said, he told him, then looked at Jack in a quizzical
How do you say something like that, say so many
things, all run together in one sentence?
I practice, he said, then turned
around to walk out of the office.
Hey, Daniel said,
Where you going off to so fast?
I thought we were going down to lunch?
In fifteen minutes or so, Jack called back.
gives me enough time to ask if Teal'c wants to go to the movie
Five minutes later, Teal'c was also shaking his head.
Thank you for inviting me, O'Neill, but sometimes you forget
that I have very little knowledge of the history of your
planet... especially of recent events. I have no interest in
seeing a movie about an event that happened 'before my time,' so
You could learn about that part of history, Jack told
him in a cajoling tone.
Thank you, no, Teal'c stated.
There is very
little to connect me to this story about a ship I do not know,
manned by people I am unfamiliar with. I'd rather spend the day
with DanielJackson, watching Star Wars.
But you've seen that one already! Jack exclaimed.
And I know how it ends, Teal'c said, not unkindly.
With a medal ceremony celebrating life in the galaxy. You say
this movie pertains to the destruction of the individuals on
board the space craft?
Uh, Jack said, a bit unnerved at what Teal'c was
I see your point. Another time,
Have you asked DanielJackson to go with you? Teal'c
He'd rather roast in Hell than see that movie, Jack
I am not familiar with that phrase, Teal'c told him.
What is a 'hell?' he inquired.
Uh, Daniel said he'd rather watch Star Wars
again, Jack explained.
And we'd better get down to the
Commissary if we're going to meet the others for lunch.
Indeed, Teal'c agreed, pushing himself off his bed,
where he had taken a seat during the conversation with his team
leader, and joined Jack as they made their way into the
Lunch was the usual, with Jello to look forward to for dessert. Carter already had her glass of blue Jello on her tray, waiting for her to dig right into it, and savor the taste within. But, even though she was eyeing her dessert with interest, she was eating the main dish she had taken first.
You being a good girl again, Carter? Jack teased as
he set his tray down across the table from her.
that you don't want, just because it's good for you, when a
perfectly delectable bowl of blue Jello is calling out to
you? Jack went on.
This dish has vegetables in it, and it's not actually all
that bad, Sam remarked.
For chicken pot pie, she
added, and took another bite.
Daniel looked at her.
It's chicken soup, he
It is? Sam asked, staring now in great suspicion at
Then why is it so..?
Firm? Daniel asked, finishing her question for her.
I think they use too much corn starch to thicken it.
Like I know what corn starch is.
She cleaned off her spoon with her napkin, then pulled the glass
of Jello closer to her, and 'dug in.'
Hey, Jack, what did Teal'c say about
seeing that movie with you?
Teal'c responded before Jack could say anything.
rather 'roast in hell' with you, and see Star Wars again
this weekend, than see a movie about people I do not know, and an
event I know nothing about.
Sam spit a mouthful of Jello back in her glass when Teal'c talked about where he would rather go.
Jack narrowed his eyes, but whacked a choking Sam on her
It's a figure of speech, is all, he explained.
Glad to know, Sir, she said, then
It was the first thing she'd said to him for two days, ever since that damned Za'tarc testing day. Though thinking about that day always made him feel extremely uncomfortable, Jack was glad that she was speaking to him again, finally, at least.
Daniel laughed as well at Teal'c's comment.
Wars this weekend, huh?
My room, tenhundred hours, Teal'c told him.
can use the microwave oven in the lounge to make that popcorn I
Butter flavored movie popcorn? Daniel asked.
Jack dropped his spoon into his own Jello bowl.
that's what I don't get. You won't see a real movie with me, at
a real theater, where they serve real movie popcorn, but you love
to eat that microwave crap. I don't get it.
Before Teal'c could start on an explanation, Sam piped up,
What movie is Teal'c talking about?
Jack opened his mouth to reply, but Daniel said,
movie about the Challenger disaster. No disaster movie is my
kinda thing, he said.
Apparently not Teal'c's,
Oh, hey, I wanted to go see that! Sam told them. She
turned to Jack.
When were you planning to go?
Um, Jack said, a bit surprised that she showed so
much interest in something that involved cool, dark places, and
him, together, all at the same time.
I was planning on going
this weekend, Saturday afternoon, but I can't find anyone to go
I'll go, she instantly volunteered.
dying to see that movie, but Janet, who was going to go with me,
is always busy on the weekends, it seems, she added.
movie's been out for weeks, and if I wait for Janet to see it
with me, I think I'll be waiting forever.
Jack was surprised again at the way she was talking to him
as if nothing had recently happened. The whole thing made his
head spin a little, but it also made him glad at the same time.
It was confusing. But he smiled, and asked,
You wanna go on
Saturday? I could swing by, and pick you up at 1300... The
movie starts at 1330.
Sounds good, she said.
But if you drive, then I
buy the popcorn and drinks, she said very calmly, as if they
hadn't just agreed to spend two hours together in a dark theater
only three days after proclaiming to a roomful of people that
they were breaking Air Force regulations by harboring illicit
feelings for each other. Of course, they shared nothing but a
professional relationship, but according to those who interpreted
the regulations word for word, the fact that they even had
emotions for the other was enough to court-martial the both of
them. It was simply luck that they had such an understanding
Commanding Officer as General Hammond, or else the entire team
would be split up for sure just to get them apart.
As it was, SG-1 was still a team, with the same four individuals, who still went together on missions. Jack knew that Hammond had seen the tape of the Za'tarc episode, but still nothing had happened, and Jack wasn't going to push his luck by bringing it up. He'd far rather try to forget that test had ever happened in the first place.
Except for that moment when Carter admitted that she was in love with him, of course. He remembered that part with no problems whatsoever! Her words had been burned into his brain, in spite of his trying not to let them repeat over and over again every night since the day of the Za'tarc tests. He himself had gotten away with only claiming that he 'cared for her a lot more than he should.' But then, he was already sitting in the Za'tarc testing chair, and thus had agreed to be the first to be retested. He was the guinea pig for Carter's theory about why the machine thought they were lying in the first place, and she had to admit more than he did when the machine 'adapted' to their comments, like any good machine of Tok'ra design; it had been a fully irritating moment for the Major. But Jack supposed it was a fair trade for having to go first, when all was said and done.
And now, after two days of her avoiding him whenever she could, she had readily agreed to go to a movie with him. With only him, if Teal'c's and Daniel's reasons were found to be acceptable. And they were, Jack had to concede. The movie wasn't about fascinating things like rocks, and it wasn't a Star Wars remake. The reasons sounded more like reasons to him, and less like excuses to get him and Carter alone together in a movie theater. Jack decided he'd go along with them this time. But next time...
You guys don't know what you're missing, Jack said,
then continued eating his Jello.
Yes, we do, Teal'c immediately said.
No chance of ancient artifacts in this movie, Daniel
It has a limited appeal.
You'd just pick it apart if there were mention of history
of any kind in it, Sam told him.
And you'd get all riled
up at how history is being displayed in it if there were
any ancient devices in it.
Like those cheap ripoffs of the Indiana Jones movies that
we all saw, Jack said.
We watched all three that one week
of downtime we had when...
Sam finished for him,
When actually, Daniel, we were
watching you throw popcorn kernels at the TV screen every time
history was changed to suit the plot of the films.
Or The Government? Jack asked.
about that movie?
Okay, Okay, so you don't want me along to
pick apart the movie! I get it!
Sam turned to Jack then.
Saturday, 1300? she
I'll be there, Jack promised. And that was a promise
he intended to keep. Definitely!
* * *
By the time Saturday arrived, and Jack had pulled up in his
truck and parked it near the curb of her street, he was more than
willing to be emotionally open, an unusual thing for him to be,
as long as it soothed his rampant curiosity about why she had
agreed to accompany him. He had thought about little else than
her errant behavior for the last several days, and he was totally
puzzled by her tiny smiles and blushes after not even speaking to
him for two days straight. Swallowing his natural reluctance to
talk about his own feelings, and forging ahead anyway, he asked,
Carter, as she answered the door for him, then stepped
outside to join him on their way to his truck, and, hence, the
Mind if I ask you something that's a little on the
He expected her to balk at his bringing up their personal
anything, but she flatly predicted what he planned to ask about.
You're wondering what's up with me acting like you have the
plague for two days, then acting like that Za'tarc test, and
those two days, never happened.
Well, yeah, Jack said as he opened the truck door and
I mean, you won't even speak to me... and I
noticed, believe me... and then, out of the blue, you agree to
see a movie with me, alone. He shrugged.
Sam chuckled appreciatively as she climbed in next to him.
'Amused' was not at all how he had expected her to react. When
she had managed to collect herself, she said,
I can explain my
Some explanation would be nice, Jack honestly
I'm a bit confused, is all.
I didn't want to confuse you, Sam said.
confess that I wasn't exactly thinking about how you might feel
during this whole situation.
But wasn't I the point? Jack asked then. He turned
left onto a road that would put them on the interstate that
would, in turn, take them right next to the mall where the
theater was located.
Sam slouched in her seat as much as the seat-belt would
allow her, and rested her head against the headrest behind her.
I talked to Mark that night of the tests, and he gave me some
advice on the whole thing.
You told Mark? Jack asked, a bit astonished
that she had felt comfortable enough with the whole testing thing
to tell anybody about it.
I didn't tell him the exact details, Sam argued.
Only that I liked someone, but liking that someone was against
the rules of the Air Force. He understood better than most, as
he's the one who grew up with the same rules and regulations that
Jack let her comment sink in, then slowly said,
Okaaaaay... What was his advice in this particular
Well... Sam seemed to hesitate a moment.
I should just screw the rules.
That was so not what he expected to hear Sam Carter ever
You're kidding! Jack laughed.
My instinct was to play by those rules, instead, I admit.
So that's what I did... for two days, she said.
And what happened then? Jack asked.
I know what happened, but why
did it happen?
Sam stared out the side window so that she wouldn't have to
look at him. But she told him,
Those were the most miserable
two days of my life, she admitted.
And I didn't like
being so miserable. They reminded me of when my mom
You were that miserable?! Jack declared.
had no idea that you were so unhappy.
Yeah, Sam said with a small smile that showed no
amusement with the situation.
I hide it well, don't I?
Jack had to agree with her. She went on,
At least, I was
always taught to hide everything I was feeling, or
I don't always know what you're thinking, I admit, he
You know exactly what I'm really thinking
most of the time, she negated.
I just don't always do
what I'm thinking of doing, she corrected.
decided to screw the rules, just like Mark told me to do, and I
have to say that I'm much happier with that attitude.
Well, Jack eventually said.
That's good. That
you're happier, I mean, he hastily added.
I have to say
that I like you a lot better talking to me than avoiding the
living daylights out of me.
I bet you do!
They were silent for the next few minutes as Jack
concentrated on driving off the interstate at the correct exit,
and merging onto the road again. Sam opened her mouth to speak
once more as he drove.
But that's why I talked to you at
lunch the other day, she continued.
I had decided to stop
being the good little soldier that I always seem to be behaving
like, and behave more like what my heart was telling me to behave
like. Sam turned towards him, then.
You know what I'm
Jack could have claimed that her speech left him nothing but
confused, but he would have been lying to her if he had.
Instead, he slowly nodded his head, and said,
Yeah, I know
exactly what you mean. He, too, had behaved how he thought
the rules dictated that he should behave, and hadn't
always been so happy with the results.
He parked the truck in the mall parking lot, opened his
door, then joined her on the other side of his truck.
say that this situation has always thrilled me, either, he
said, referring to their shared affection for each other, and the
lengths it had led them to in their lives.
It is a bit complicated, Sam agreed with
'Complicated' about sums it up, Jack muttered.
mean... He stopped himself, looked around, and when he found
no one close enough to hear him, sighed, and continued in a
I can't exactly say that I was looking for this
to happen. I'm actually shocked as hell that it did, to be
'Shocked,' Sam repeated.
Jack kind of gave a noise that was between a grunt and a
laugh of incredulity.
Have you looked in a mirror lately?
he rhetorically asked her.
You're too... He was going to
say 'beautiful,' but knew instinctively that she wouldn't agree
with his assessment, so he said,
Too well put together to go
for a guy like me. And he gave a deprecating shrug.
Sam stared at him as he held the heavy mall door open for
her, since he got there first, and they entered together.
There are several things I can comment on in that...
comment... of yours, she said.
Jack invited, joking as he spoke.
Go ahead, comment
Okay. Sam thought for a moment, then went on.
First of all, what, exactly, did you mean by 'well put
together?' She watched him out of the corner of her eyes.
They walked side by side to the theater entrance. A little
closely side by side; they're arms kept hitting each
other... sort of on purpose.
Did you mean my mind or... or
the whole package? she asked.
Honestly? he ascertained. She nodded, so he took his
courage in hand, and blurted,
Honestly... the whole
package. Jack had the delight of watching Sam blush, even
though he'd known she would do that.
What else did you want
to comment on? he asked then in order to help distract her
from his opinion of her.
It worked. Distracted, she said,
What did you mean by 'a
guy like me?'
Jack sighed as they bought their movie tickets.
A guy who's... grumpy... I guess.
You think you're grumpy? she asked.
Well, don't you? he asked back.
Sam laughed a tiny laugh.
That surprised Jack.
Don't be so surprised, Sam stated.
No, I don't.
You have too good of a sense of humor for me to think you're
grumpy all the time.
I don't have a good sense of humor, Jack argued.
Sam didn't agree with him.
Sure you do. When he
didn't nod, or show any other sign of conforming with her
opinion, she argued,
You joke around on every mission we go
on. You're always cutting up the Control Room staff with your
But my comments are so sarcastic, Jack pointed out.
They have a limited appeal, as Daniel would say.
True, they do, and Daniel would say it that
way, Sam said, then she had to give in to the grin she felt
on her face.
But your humor is so like my own humor, she
I love good sarcasm.
Jack didn't say anything, as she wasn't telling him
something he didn't already know.
You always do laugh
at my jokes, he eventually said.
You're about the only
one who does.
The others are just too square to understand what you're
saying at the time, Sam stated.
That comment made Jack laugh.
Sorry! he gasped,
I was thinking of a square Walter
Sam rolled her eyes, then stopped, and asked,
I hate to
bring this fascinating conversation to a pause, but do you want
any popcorn, or something to drink?
Oh... Jack paused to peruse the displayed goods he
Twist my arm, why don't ya... That'll get my
Don't tempt me, or I will, Sam teased.
Um... Let's make T. jealous... small popcorn,
Order what you want... You don't get a girl to pay for
your food every day, she pointed out.
In that case... Large popcorn, and large
Sam pulled her wallet out of her back pocket.
so... Same for me, she said to the girl behind the
Butter? asked the girl.
You bet, both Jack and Sam said at the same time.
The girl started filling the orders, and conversationally
You can get a refill on popcorn, then, if you order a
Hey, Jack thoughtfully said.
Then I can give mine
And I can give mine to Daniel, Sam stated.
Sam paid the exorbitant amount the concession stand was charging, they grabbed their drinks, their popcorn containers, and, already munching, headed into the theater.
Sam told Jack,
You can buy the ice cream after the
Ice cream? Jack skeptically asked.
won't still be hungry after all this popcorn?
This is the first thing I've had to eat
all day... Actually, ice cream will probably be just the thing
after sitting for two hours, staring at a movie screen. They
entered the theater, and moved into seats near the back row, off
to the side.
They munched, they talked about work, they drank, they
laughed... and soon they were talking about the Za'tarc tests,
and Jack asked,
Did you really mean what you said during your
Um... Sam gave her best impression of a trapped
monkey, wanting to deny her own feelings for him, but knowing
that such a denial was useless, as he already knew everything.
Yeah, she finally said in a small voice.
had to confirm that I wasn't lying.
Jack had to admit to himself that he'd known as much. Suddenly, he grinned. And his grin was huge.
Somehow, they were next holding hands as the lights went down in the theater.
Sam squeezed Jack's fingers that were linked through hers.
I shouldn't like this, but I do, Sam whispered to him as
the previews filled the screen.
Whisper something else to me, Jack instructed with a
You have to lean close... I like
that, he mischievously said.
Sam laughed, and was hushed by some people sitting in the
next row over. A minute went by while Sam was being good as she
could be, but then she leaned in close to Jack, and whispered,
This movie's about the reason why we even met, you
It's about you? Jack whispered back.
better all the time!
Sam spluttered some more laughter.
No...! I mean, the
shuttle blowing up kind of ended my thoughts of getting into NASA
It blows up? Jack inquired.
How do you know how
the movie ends?
Sam laughed again, while trying to stifle her immediate
I had to go with my second most wanted
You mean..? Jack waved his hand in front of them to
make a circle in the air that indicated a Stargate.
If this hadn't happened, there would have
been no arm wrestling comment in the Briefing Room.
I would have missed that, Jack declared.
Sam laughed for a third time.
And you think that you
have no sense of humor! she told him with a giggle.
That did nothing but make Sam giggle harder.
Eat your popcorn and be quiet! Jack whispered with a
smile cast in her direction.
Don't make me make that an
So they sat, and watched the beginnings of a movie that
seemed to be a character stretch, but was acceptable if the
audience suspended their natural state of disbelief. Until about
half way through, though, when Sam's hand suddenly tightened
around Jack's fingers, and she slid down into her seat.
Crap! she whispered, an unnatural expletive for her to
Crap, crap, and double crap!
It was so unusual for her to say such a thing that it caught
Jack's instant attention.
What's wrong? he asked as he
leaned in close to her ear.
My dad's further up by the front!
The front? Carter, you're talking about the whole damned
theater, Jack said.
A bit more of a specific direction
would be a good thing.
Sam waved to the middle of the theater, several rows down, before Jack could even finish his request.
Jack found Jacob this time without any trouble, even in a
darkened movie theater.
Jacob's wearing his dress
uniform, Jack commented in a soft voice. He craned his neck
to peer through the dark.
That's probably the only clothes
your dad has at work, he said. Then he saw the Tok'ra,
sitting beside another man in a similar uniform. What was it
with all the uniforms? Jack wondered.
Yeah, that is
This is so bad, Sam said.
Why is it bad? Jack inquired.
Because when the movie is over, if we don't get out
first, Dad and his friend will turn, and he'll look straight at
us. When Jack didn't seem to comprehend the seriousness of
the situation, she added,
Being alone with you is not quite
what Dad would say that I should be doing. Mark mentioned that
he had said something the other night about the fact that he had
seen that test, too!
Good God, Jacob's seen it, I know that Hammond's seen it,
Janet was there, Teal'c was there... Is there anybody who
doesn't know about it, now?
Hammond saw the tape? Sam squeaked.
Oh, my career
is so over!
Sh! came to them from a row further up. Sam just
Come on, Jack said then.
I think I want some ice
They made their way out of the theater, the dark covering
their exit. Since Jacob was sitting in front of them, he never
saw them leave.
I think that was a fine escape, Jack
declared when the theater door had closed behind them, and they
were in the hallway, alone again. But their fingers were still
Sam looked down at their joined hands, then said,
It won't be so nice if anyone from work catches us like
No one from work ever comes to this mall, Sam then
I've never heard it mentioned before. They all go to
the mall that's closer to base.
Wonder why that is? Jack asked.
Sam answered anyway.
'Cause they're all familiar with
that mall, and the familiar is better than the unfamiliar,
she hazarded to guess.
Oh. Jack narrowed his eyes, still questioning.
Does that mean that I get to keep holding your hand,
Sam laughed again. She simply couldn't help it.
how do you do that? she asked.
Always make me laugh, she told him.
I don't think
I've laughed this much since high school.
Jack grinned at her statement.
I love the fact that I'm
the one making you laugh, I admit.
Sam then tugged on his hand.
Come on, she said.
Let's get these containers filled with popcorn again, then
head for the ice cream store.
How do you like your ice cream? he
In a bowl, or on a cone?
She looked at him as he looked at her. Then both of them
Bowl! They laughed as they returned to the
They stored the two tubs of popcorn on the floor of Jack's truck's back seat, then they returned to inside the mall, staying far away from the front entrance, and the movie theater, minimizing their chances of running into Jacob by happenstance. They ended up slowly walking together, and simply wandered around, until they found the inevitable ice cream store, which all malls seemed to come equipped with.
I pay this time, right? Jack asked.
Right. She paused, then added,
should order a triple scoop of ice cream, then, with as many
toppings as I can get, which will drive up the cost.
I like the way you think, Major.
Share with me, Colonel? she asked.
Make it big enough for two, Jack told the young man
behind the counter, taking orders.
Jack squeezed the fingers that he hadn't freed for going on an hour and a half, now. He mentioned this information to Sam.
Sam glanced at those people in the shop, those people walking up and down in the mall outside the shop, made sure they were all strangers to her and Jack, then leaned in and kissed his cheek.
What was that for? Jack asked.
The ice cream, Sam noted, and giggled.
You seem to be doing an awful lot of giggling today,
Jack noted, but had a pleased sound to his voice.
Can't help it, Sam replied as they each grabbed a
side of the biggest bowl of ice cream either of them had ever
I'm a born giggler.
Good thing I was born to be sarcastic, then, which makes
you giggle a lot, Jack said, as he let go of Carter's hand
for once, and grabbed two plastic spoons, and napkins from the
condiment counter for them.
Sam set the bowl of ice cream between them at a free table,
set off by itself, with no other customers sitting anywhere near
it. Then, pointing at the bowl of dessert, invited,
a medal goes to the person who eats the most.
Jack glanced at her, then.
I've never seen this side of
What side? inquired Sam as she ate her first scoop of
vanilla ice cream coated in chocolate fudge.
The side that says 'crap!' in front of
your CO, the side that kisses him on the cheek, the side that
says 'screw it' to rules and regulations... You've always seemed
more of a by-the-book kind of soldier to me.
Sam sighed, and looked squarely at him.
I know that I
seem to be the good little soldier so often...
Jack pointed his spoon at Sam.
That's the second time
you've used that phrase just today... Why do you think you're
'the good little soldier?'
Well, aren't I? she asked.
you see me that way?
Jack thought about that for a minute.
You are a good soldier, though, he pointed out.
You're never flippant when I'm giving an order, never mean
spirited to anybody... Hell, I've never even heard you claim
that someone's being dumb, most notably me, not even when you're
explaining something to me that's incredibly obvious to you. I
Boring, Sam interrupted.
All that techno talk...
I use it to hide the fact that I know whoever I'm talking to is
bored out of their skull, which I know they are, and so do they.
They wouldn't be so bored if I could just...
That's where I think you're wrong, Jack cut in.
And I'm never bored when you're explaining something technical
to me. Heck, half the time I ask you to explain those things to
me! He stared at her.
But, if you think the people
you're talking to are so bored... which they're not, by the
way... then say something else.
But spouting techno talk every other minute is what's
expected of me, of a scientist, Sam argued.
And how do
you know they're not bored? she suspiciously inquired.
Jack smiled a slow, guilty smile.
Take it from me,
they're just... not bored, he said.
How can you be so sure? Sam asked again.
Jack dropped his spoon into his empty half of the ice cream
Because we work for a military organization that's
mostly made up of men, and when those men ask you a question, I
know they're... He paused, then just plunged on.
checking out a beautiful lady.
Sam's eyebrows shot to her hairline.
And how do you know
that? she asked.
And I'm not beautiful, so you can forget
about convincing me of that.
Jack dropped his head into his hands, as if he were tired of
trying to convince her of something that was obvious to him.
Mirror? was all he repeated again.
You should talk, Sam stated.
That was enough to make him look at her once more.
What's that supposed to mean?
Exactly what it sounds like it means, Sam said.
I've sat in the Commissary a time or two, and listened to
other women talking before, like when I'm trying to get work
done. I think it's universally agreed that you're one good
I've never heard that! Jack forcefully negated.
And I've spent loads of time sitting in the
No one would say anything when you're around! Sam
said, sounding horrified, now.
You're the 2IC of the entire
So? Jack asked.
So?! Sam echoed, still in a half whisper.
wants to... um... piss you off, she explained.
How can I possibly get pissed at someone claiming I'm
rather nice looking? Jack asked her.
That's... um... not exactly what they say, Sam told
So what exactly do they say? Jack asked in
Um... Sam hesitated.
I've heard some say...
Spit it out Carter, and that's an order.
I wish you hadn't made that an order. I
don't want to get anyone in trouble, here...
'Hot,' 'good looking,' 'cute...' Those are just some of
the words that I've heard.., Sam then blurted. She ate some
ice cream, fast, in order to claim that her mouth was too full to
add any more words to the list that she was making.
Jack leaned in close to her.
I am not 'hot!' he
Mirror! she said, choking on her bite of ice
Jack had to sit back once she had made her point. He could
hardly argue with her, as he claimed the same thing about her.
Okay, I concede this argument, but only because I say the same
thing, not because I necessarily agree with you.
Sam stared at him.
You don't agree with me? she
What... Do you have an image complex, or
Do you? he shot back.
Touché, she said.
Jack gazed at her, still mystified.
I'm not certain I
understand, yet. Why are you so unsure of your looks?
Why are you so insecure about yours?
No fair... I asked you first.
Sam sat back, looking defeated for just a second before she
began to speak.
Well... When I was growing up... They say
that's the time that's important... Who was ever home who was
going to tell me how I looked? she rhetorically asked.
don't think you quite understand how often my father was gone
from home, and Mark certainly didn't step up to the plate on the
issue of how I looked. Sam sighed again, remembering.
guess once a way of thinking becomes a habit, those habits are
hard to break.
I do see your point, I suppose. Even
Sara and I became something of a habit over time.
You did? Sam asked, surprised that he was willing to
talk about his ex-wife so readily, but not wanting to discourage
that talk of his.
Well... Yeah. Jack shrugged again.
I mean, we
certainly had our moments, especially when we were talking about
something Charlie had done, like something he had accomplished at
school that day, but..
Was Charlie smart? Sam asked, cutting into his talk
about Sara. She wasn't exactly sure she wanted to hear about
Sara just yet. The idea that Jack had been with someone else for
part of his life made her shudder.
Was he smart? Jack echoed. Then, he grinned.
yeah. You would have loved that part of him. He was so smart
that half the time, I didn't know what he was talking about.
His reminiscences didn't end there, however.
He was so good at sports. Interested in just about
Sam grinned as well as she listened to him speak. It was
obvious by his soft tone of voice that he had loved Charlie a
I bet he got that from you.
Not really, Jack said.
My parents never let me
play sports in school... They were so worried that I would get
hurt. He snorted then in amusement.
That's rather ironic
when you think about it.
'Ironic' how? she inquired.
Jack peered at her over their shared bowl of ice cream.
Because my parents and younger brother were the ones who
eventually got hurt. They were killed in a car accident when I
Sam dropped her spoon into the empty bowl in shock.
You're kidding! I never knew you had an older
Yeah. Jack looked a bit guilty for not telling her
about this sooner.
The only reason I wasn't in that accident,
too, is because I was visiting my grandparents at the cabin in
Minnesota at the time. James was at summer basketball camp, so
my parents waited for it to end, and drive him up for the rest of
that visit, but they sent me on ahead so that I wouldn't have to
wait. They were all killed before they even made it two miles
from the airport after picking my brother up. Sideswiped by a
van going the other direction. It pushed the car into the ditch
to the side of the road, and then it rolled over into a
Sam furrowed her brows.
God, that's just hideous!
How can you be so calm about it?
It happened a long time ago, Jack dismissively said.
Two weeks later, I joined the Air Force, and here I
Wow. I'm sorry to hear about your family.
I haven't had a family for a long time, Jack told her
nonchalantly, covering up his emotion that was showing by
adopting a devil-may-care tone.
But I do have to admit that
it's made it harder for me to understand that relationship you
have with your own Dad. I mean, what was that leaving the
theater bit all about? So what if he saw two friends going to a
That was probably just my reaction to how
things used to be, not so much to how Dad and I have been since
Selmak, she explained.
Dad and I didn't have much of a
relationship at all until that cancer bit. You probably guessed
I had an idea, Jack admitted.
Dad likes to be in control, Sam explained then.
He was gone so much that he didn't realize that he was
losing control of the thing he should have controlled the
most. I blamed him for years for causing Mom's death, and only
just realized the truth a few years ago... He simply couldn't
get away from his work at the time... It wasn't because he
couldn't quit working, or anything.
Couldn't quit working? Jack repeated in a show of
Sort of reminds me of someone...
Now you know where I get it, Sam told him.
don't say that there's more of him in me than I think, because,
so help me... Her voice trailed off, then.
You threatening me? Jack mock asked.
A Major would never get away with threatening a
Colonel, Sam said.
Now you sound like you're reciting the AF instruction
guide, Jack reported.
Come on... Tell me what's on your
Sam sighed once more.
You really want to hear it
all? she entreated.
I asked, didn't I? Jack gently reminded her, then
leaned forward to hear her better.
Sam rolled her eyes.
And this is coming from a man who
had a son he didn't even tell me about for more than half a
Jack tried his best to swallow the inevitable pain that any
mention of Charlie's death, even one so parallel to the boy,
Don't feel bad, he advised her.
tell many people about him, not even Kawalsky, and he was
my second before you were.
He was? Sam blurted.
I didn't know that.
Jack sighed then, and sat back against the rear of his
Yeah, well, that seems like a lifetime ago, he
It's as if my life has come in stages, all
separated by something significant. There was childhood, then
joining the Air Force, then my best friend in the Force was
I didn't know that, either, Sam stated.
I'm learning a lot today... I had no idea I would learn so
He was the one who introduced me to Sara,
but that's really beside the point, I guess. I met Kowalsky when
he was promoted to be my 2IC... Before that, my second was
Fred... He got promoted when I was around thirty, or
Sam snorted, then.
And how old was I at the time?
she rhetorically asked herself.
I'd rather not do the math... It might
make me feel really old... Too old to be falling for someone as
young as you...
Will you stop that! she demanded.
You're not old!
I'm young, that's all!
Young, and nicely put together, Jack reminded her
with a flirtatious smile.
So you say, Sam said. She didn't sound like she
completely believed him.
I'll say that over and over again, Jack noted.
What I don't get is why you don't believe me when I say
Sam smiled, then.
Well, I'm starting to. Just keep on
Jack stared piercingly straight into her eyes, and
You're so beautiful, it puts the rest of the galaxy
to shame... Thor thinks so, too.
Sam spluttered her laughter.
What would we do without
Thor? she asked.
Go fishing? Jack hazarded a guess.
Sam thoughtfully studied him.
Is that an invitation?
Jack looked to the ceiling, as if he were thinking deep
It might be, he finally said.
Hmmm... 'might,' Sam repeated.
You could tell everyone that you're flying to California
to stay with your brother, then fly to Minnesota instead,
Jack suggested, still whispering.
Sam considered for a moment. At last, she said,
might do it... Mark would probably cover for me in case Dad
shows up at work....
Jack winced when she made that statement.
me,' he echoed.
That sounds like things my brother and I
used to do for each other when we were in school, at a time when
we needed someone to tell believable stories for us so that we
wouldn't get in trouble.
Something tells me that you don't like being in trouble
very much... Or, at least, getting caught at causing
trouble, Sam commented.
Or the idea of needing someone to
cover for you, she added with an insightful look at him.
Jack rolled his eyes.
Carter, I'm fifty-one years old...
A fine age for a Commanding Officer, but a bit too old to still
need to be sneaking around behind my superiors' backs.
Sam peered at him in consternation.
Then maybe you
should take me home, Sir, she suggested.
I think it's
passed my bedtime.
Jack chuckled gleefully.
Hold on, why don't ya? You're
sure easy to rile up.
'Rile up?' Sam was quickly moving from the irritated
zone to the completely ticked off zone.
If all I am to you is
someone to 'rile up,' like a toy, then...
Jack put his hand on her fingers next to the ice cream bowl.
Not so fast, Major, he said.
That's not what I meant,
and you know it.
Sam stared at him out of cloudy, blue eyes that surged with volatile emotions. Anger was clearly at war with something else inside her as she gauged his perceived intentions. Then, just as suddenly as it had appeared, her fury drained away like a curtain had been drawn aside.
The look in your eyes reminds me of when Doc pulls away
her curtains in the Infirmary, he said.
Except your eyes
are a lot prettier than her curtains.
Sam couldn't help but laugh at his comment.
Watch it, or
I'll tell Janet that you think her curtains are ugly.
I think you'll have to take a number on that one,
There's a whoooole lot of people in head of you
who want to discredit me in front of Doc Fraiser. Jack gave
a small wince as he considered the CMO, the base's own version of
What most don't know is that I can discredit
myself perfectly well without any help.
Then, I'll put you back together again, Sam said.
It's what I do for a living, after all.
I'm not some kind of robot, you know, Jack
Then Janet will fix you up, she promised.
sometimes think that she can do anything.
It's no more than you do on a regular basis, he said
in a delightfully offhand manner.
You trained me, Sam remarked.
Give credit where
credit is due.
Jack ate the rest of the ice cream before it melted into
Okay, let's back up a little, here. You never
really did say what your Dad might envision as being wrong for
two friends to see a movie together.
Sam dubiously eyed him.
Except that he would never think
that we were friends just seeing a movie together. And then, I'd
have to live with a thousand lectures on the subject of...
Sam stopped, swallowing her words at the last possible
Which made Jack even more curious to hear what she was going
Subject of what? he stubbornly asked.
Well... Sam crumbled her paper napkin, and tossed it
into the empty ice cream bowl between them. She scratched her
forehead... She scowled at her natural reluctance.
What? Jack prodded.
Sam sighed. Finally, she settled on asking him,
would your father say if he saw a video of those tests the
other day, then ran into both individuals at a movie, where they
had just been alone, in the dark...
You're making this sound baaaad, Jack stated.
Well? she reiterated.
Jack scratched his own forehead this time.
I see your
point. He firmly stared at her.
I guess we
I suppose so, Sam said, a note of sadness in her
voice. At last, she caved in to her inner torment, and asked,
We can't do this, can we?
Do what? he asked.
This.., Sam was forced to explain.
Jack balked when she said that.
Says who? We just...
better go about it... really carefully.
Sam eyed him, askance.
Are you suggesting what I think
Believe it or not, I guess I am.
Sam furrowed her brow.
But you just said that you didn't
like needing someone 'to cover' for you.
Jack winced a small wince.
I know what I said, it's
Jack leaned back.
Okay, Carter, here's the truth.
Hammond saw that video tape of the tests, as well, and he hasn't
said one word to me about any of it. Has he said anything to
you? Sam shook her head.
And I've certainly never
brought it up, and I'm not going to bring it up... He ran a
nervous hand through his hair, messing it up to lay in a
haphazard order. Sam loved the mess, and wanted to run her hand
through it to straighten it out, but she was too embarrassed to
say so aloud.
Carter, Jack finally went on,
he's giving his permission for us to go ahead... with whatever we
want to go ahead with, without saying a word, so that no one can
blame him if the time ever comes to blame anybody...
'Blame...' That sounds fairly ominous, Sam said,
thinking about blaming someone for something that had the
potential for being a lot of fun.
Jack shook his head.
Not ominous, never that.
Sam stared at Jack, and Jack stared back. Finally Sam said,
I guess that depends on what we want to do.
Jack was quick to inquire,
What do you want to
That's not fair, Sam immediately proclaimed.
Don't ask me... After all, I'm the one who brought the
We need to stop hiding, Jack bluntly said, and stared
into her eyes. He was lost in a sea of blue before he knew it.
Then, bolstered as he was by the resolve he saw in her eyes, he
was able to admit everything.
I want too try a relationship
with you, Jack instantly said.
A romantic one, to be
specific. We'll never know if one will work if we don't give it
But can we do that, and still work together? Sam
What do you think? Jack queried her.
alternative was obviously not working for either one of
How do you know that? Sam asked, then.
Let me ask you one thing, Jack said.
happy with the way things were?
Sam's eyes narrowed in question.
Was I happy?
Yeah... You know, always dancing around the topic,
always being ultra aware of everything the other did while
pretending not to notice anything...
Well... And Sam looked at him in doubt, but in
Um... no, not really, she finally admitted.
Jack cleared his throat.
Excuse me when I say 'hell,
'Hell no,' Sam echoed. She smiled.
So, Jack added a recap.
I wasn't happy, and you
'Hell no,' said Sam with a hint of a smile on her
'Miserable' was the word that I think you used...
Sam blushed when he said that, but sighed a sad exhalation
of air, as if she had internally thought long and hard about this
very decision, and was finally giving in as gracefully as she
coul, even though 'giving in' was not something she usually did.
I was miserable, I admit. Always having to say 'no'
when I really wanted to say 'yes.' She looked at him,
straight into his brown eyes, determination and resolve filling
Now I've decided to say 'yes,' and that 'no' is no
longer a part of my vocabulary, especially where you're
Careful, Major, he immediately cautioned.
play Devil's Advocate, and say that your idea can be a very
dangerous thing to do.
Sam sat back in her chair with a whomp, and grimaced.
Now, you sound like my dad... Is this how the age difference
between us is going to play out? If it is, I'm not sure I want
any part of it... You know, the whole childhood thing... been
there, done that...
Sam, Jack quietly said as he leaned forward again.
I am not, nor will I ever be, like your father.
Is that a good thing? Sam asked.
You tell me, Jack ordered.
Sam breathed, the loud sound washing over their tiny table.
I never confused you with my dad, she acknowledged.
And I would never want to do that, she said.
never could. You're as different as...
Night and day? he guessed.
Daniel and Teal'c? she guessed as well.
Her comparison made Jack laugh.
As Jack was laughing, Sam glanced up, and caught sight of a
friendly face in the crowd near the counter.
Oh, my God, it's
Janet! she said in a slightly horrified voice.
there's Cassie with her!
Jack turned, and caught sight of Janet just as the doctor
caught sight of him. She beckoned to Cassie, said something to
her, then pointed straight at him and Sam. Soon, the duo were
walking right up to the Colonel's and the Major's table.
Sam looked at Cassie, and rolled her eyes.
So this is
that hot date you were telling me about? How does this have to
pre-empt weekly Chess?
Cassie looked affronted in all her fourteen-year-old glory.
I did have a hot date! she objected.
I met one
of my girlfriends, then Mom said she'd get me ice cream before we
blow this joint... Hey, and her eyes narrowed suspiciously
at both Sam and Jack.
Do you have a hot date of your
Cassie! Janet immediately explained.
Cassie turned to the side to look at Janet.
minding my own business, Mom, Cassie protested.
our Chess date for this.
Sam had to chuckle at the undignified expression of pure
terror on Janet's face. She didn't think she'd ever seen the
doctor look so flustered before.
No, the Colonel and I went
to see that movie about the Challenger disaster...
Janet perked up when she heard that.
Did you finally get
to see that, Sam? You've been begging me to go with you for
weeks. Maybe I should be thanking the Colonel for getting me out
of it! she said with a smile.
Hey, would you two like to join us? Jack asked
instead of answering Janet.
No room, Cassie said, and licked a drip off the ice
cream cone in her hand.
Phooey! Sam declared.
We'll just scoot
Grab some chairs, said Jack. Then he looked straight
And don't make me make that an order.
I can't help it! she said.
always laugh when you say that!
I know, Jack said.
That's why I always say
it. Then, eyeing her ice cream, he turned to Sam and asked,
You up for another one? I could really go for some
Sam bit her bottom lip in thought, then she mischievously
There's one day a month when I eat nothing but
junk... This is obviously that day this month. Another one
sounds great, Colonel. Thanks.
Doc? Cassie? he inquired as he rose.
No, thanks, Janet said.
We're fixed for life, I
think. She took another sip from the malt she had in her
Jack nodded, grabbed his and Sam's trash from the table, and disappeared toward the counter.
Janet watched him go. The minute he was out of hearing, she
turned to Sam, and accusingly asked,
Okay... Is this a date,
Sam looked as surprised as she could pretend to look.
Janet, you know I can't say one way or the other if it is or
Yeah, but, a movie? Janet asked.
Ice cream? That
sounds like a date to me. She stared at Cassie.
you call that a date, Cass?
All I know, Cassie calmly stated to Sam,
this had better be a date, or you are one sick person to be going
out with, but not dating, someone so good looking!
Sam spluttered some laughter.
I just tell it how it is.
Janet slurped up more malt.
Then tell me where you went
last night when you crawled out your bedroom window.
Sam grinned, but tried to look wide-eyed at Cassie for
I didn't! Cassie protested at the same time that Sam
Then be quieter next time when you drop from the tree
limb onto the porch roof. You know, I heard every move that you
made, Janet nonchalantly said to her daughter.
Cassie shrugged again, and tried to look innocent even as
Well, I tried, she said.
The family dilemma made Sam laugh.
Oh, I can't wait till
I have teenagers of my own! she sardonically declared.
This time it was Janet's turn to roll her eyes.
have to do a CAT scan on you, or something, then, just to see if
you're really crazy or not.
A CAT scan? Jack asked as he returned to the table,
carrying two ice cream cups with straws. He handed one to Sam.
Here... This is something different, he said.
Something chocolate... I know how much you go for
Sam happily sighed, looking as if she were in Heaven.
Sounds perfect... She took the drink he offered, and
sipped hard on it as he sat beside her, purposefully rubbing his
thigh against hers. She tried to hide her blush behind her new
drink, but she was relatively certain that Cassie's quick gaze
caught at what she was doing.
So? Janet asked,
How was the movie?
Sam turned to peer at Jack, not knowing how to respond.
There was no way she could tell her girlfriend about how she and
Jack had left the theater early without having to tell Janet
why they had needed to leave early... Oh, this was
getting to be very complicated!
Well, she replied at
It wasn't bad.
That's encouraging, Janet told them.
A bit overly dramatic, Jack said, looking at Sam.
Did you think that?
Sam nodded, perhaps a little too enthusiastically. She
toned down her reaction.
It was a bit overly
dramatic, she agreed.
Think of Sam going with me instead of going with you as
saving Daniel from seeing it, Jack smirked turning to
It didn't quite sound like a movie that
he would like to see, she agreed.
Not unless we wanted to watch him throw things at the
screen, Sam predicted.
Janet sat back in the chair she'd dragged over to their
table for two.
He would never do such a thing! she
Sam and Jack looked at each other, then burst out laughing.
Apparently you need to come to one of our team nights,
Hey, not without me! Cassie exclaimed.
Never! Jack said to her.
Janet grinned at them, but said to her adopted daughter,
We need to go, Cass, so hurry up with that ice cream that you
Why? Cassie asked, suddenly growing sullen.
we have to do at home is make supper.
You're going to deprive me of the company of three
gorgeous women? Jack asked flirting a little for Cassie's
Shoot! Now I owe ten cents to the guy behind the
Ten cents! Janet hooted.
You're playing the big
time now, Colonel! she laughingly mocked.
You mean that I'm out of the big time, Jack
retorted with a mock look of hurt on his face.
Carter and I
should probably go, too. We've been here long enough,
Trees! Sam burst into the conversation.
always seems to be trees at the places we visit, she
Is that kind of like the way certain stoplights are
always red, no matter which direction you come from? Cassie
As the man who has a personal problem with
every tree in this galaxy, you're right.
Janet pushed back her chair, and rose from the table.
Finish up, Cass, or the Colonel will make you ride in the back
of his truck, and your hair will get all messed up.
Hair?! Sam exclaimed.
Cassie, you're getting more
and more girlie each time I see you. What am I going to do with
you? she rhetorically asked.
You'll never make it into
the military at this point.
I'm not going into the military, Cassie informed
You're not? This statement surprised Sam.
thought that you always said you were.
Cassie got a mischievous look in her eyes, then.
wouldn't want to follow in my mom's footsteps, or anything. I
might have to start practicing to be her in the Infirmary if
that's what I decided to do. Then, she tilted her head.
I guess I do have a clipboard I could carry around.., she
Jack choked, snorting at the thought of seeing Cassie
imitating Janet in her mom's Infirmary.
Cass! he said, still laughing.
Janet leaned forward in the moment of teasing, sarcastic
intimacy, and said to her daughter,
Then your old mom would
have to be so proud of you, Cass.
Cassie rolled her eyes.
Which is why I'm working at
McDonald's, she retorted.
Sam and Jack laughed even more.
You'll do a lot for
those uniforms, Jack predicted.
Don't encourage her, Janet said. Then she pulled
Come on, Cass.
Remember.., Sam said with a meaningful look on her
Truck, was all she had to say.
Cassie scowled, then joined Janet.
Bye, she said to
Jack and Sam, then looked at them, and smiled with twinkly eyes.
She smiled so sweetly at Sam that her expression had turned
Have a good rest of your date. She just
laughed as Janet whacked her on her arm. Then they were
Sam watched them go.
Well.., she said.
Yeah, Jack added.
We met someone from work while
we were together, and the planet didn't implode from the
Sam laughingly coughed until she choked.
Jack grinned in clear affection as she laughed. When she leaned her head weakly into his shoulder, he couldn't resist putting his arm around her to add his support. He, too, was softly laughing, but for a different reason than Sam was laughing.
Damn! Sam quietly, appreciatively exclaimed, still
Your tone was so dry!
Jack continued to chuckle with her.
If my tone being dry
is all I need to make you create such a nice sound, I'll be dry
all the time.
Sam slipped her own arm around his waist.
God, this feels good, Jack softly commented, and
smiled. He laid his head on the top of her head, grinned, sighed
in contentment, and smiled some more.
Yeah, Sam agreed, calmed, then wrapped her other arm
around the front of his waist in just as obvious affection. She
shut her eyes to savor the feeling.
This is probably the
closest we've ever been to each other, she told him.
would have remembered any other time if we had been this
close, she commented.
Jack's arm gave her a distinct squeeze.
Want to make out
in my truck? he whispered to her.
Sam laughed again.
You're not serious!? she
exclaimed in an answering, horrified sounding whisper.
Jack lifted his head so that he could stare at her.
not? he innocently inquired.
If no one that we know ever
But we just saw Janet and Cassie! Sam protested.
That kind of shoots that theory of mine about never seeing
anyone we know here all to Hell.
Jack smiled again.
I am such a bad influence on
you... saying 'Hell' and all...
We'll blame my bad language on Teal'c, she
Jack laughed this time.
Oh, Major, you play mean! he
Sam laughed with him. She lifted her head, and grinned. Then, without even thinking about it, she brushed her lips against his.
Jack didn't have time to react... this time. But next time
he vowed he would be more ready for her overtures.
that for? he whispered instead.
Sam smiled at him.
Because you're you, I'm me, and
you're right, this feels damned good!
Jack gave in to his urge to tuck a strand of her hair behind
her ear then.
Come on, Carter, he encouraged.
get out of here.
Sam silently agreed, and before they knew it, they were
standing, and grabbing their ice cream drinks. But their arms
stayed around each other's waists. She leaned in close to his
ear, and gently whispered,
Besides, we have that 'make out in
your truck' thing to look forward to.
Jack gave a tiny start of surprise even as he shivered a
little shiver of excitement from the feel of her hot breath in
his ear. But he had to admit to himself that Sam had been one
big surprise after another all day.
I already have my keys
out, he told her, and smiled.
Together, they made their way out of the ice cream shop, and into the mall crowded with strangers.
By then, the movie had to be ended, and there was no possibility of running into Jacob, so they were quite openly 'together' as they pushed through the mall doors, and into the parking lot.
I haven't felt this relaxed, or this excited about
anything since I found out that I was being reassigned to the
SGC, Sam confided.
Jack looked at her, and grinned as they made their way to
his parked truck.
Have I ever said that I have some trouble
with certain... He fished his mind for the right word that
would describe how he thought Carter was feeling at this moment,
without letting her know that he suspected a thing.
with... with expectation levels? he nonchalantly asked,
trying to turn the conversation, and hence her fear, onto being
about him instead of her. He hoped such a convoluted strategy
would put her at ease again.
But completely at ease already, Sam sputtered more laughter.
I've heard that the cure for unreasonable fears, like being
terrified of high expectation levels, is to just go with the flow
of those expectations, and let nature take its course.
Are we talking theoretically, here, or not? Jack
inquired of her, then.
Do you mean that I am the one having these
unreasonable fears of expectation levels? Sam asked.
Jack considered her question.
Well, you have to admit
that it's a reasonable prediction of the reaction that you might
have of such a situation as making out in my truck.
Sam sighed, and sorrowfully shook her head.
And you have
a reputation for never saying words longer than two
syllables. But he heard the mournful note in her voice.
Why so sad all of a sudden? Jack inquired.
Sam sighed one more time.
That is something that
anybody who knows me would predict that I would feel and do in
this situation, she said then.
And that's a bad thing? Jack asked.
Yes and no, Sam told him.
Now you're making it sound complicated, Jack said.
Don't make this so hard, he advised.
Just 'go with the
flow,' he quoted her words back to her.
So what you're saying is that I should
listen to myself, and not worry so much.
Jack thought about what she had said.
probably worry a little... enough so that we take plenty of
precautions not to get caught. But... And he pointed a
finger towards the sky.
But, worrying too much will get us
caught for certain, because you'll look so guilty all the
And you're more worried about me looking guilty than you
are about you looking guilty. Sam climbed into the passenger
side of his truck while Jack climbed up behind the steering
That makes sense.
That's been my biggest concern these last few days, I'll
admit, Jack said to her.
You have the tendency to let
your feelings show on your face, whatever you're thinking at any
given time. It's like a beacon to what you're thinking, he
That's my secret for predicting what's on your mind all
the time, by the way.
The secret is revealed, Sam mocked.
I'm not kidding, Jack said to her.
We can tell
Daniel and Teal'c all about this, and they'll be predicting your
thoughts on every mission we go on, he said.
Am I that easy to read? she asked.
Yes and no, Jack said with a pointed expression on
Sam regarded him.
Now I know how irritating it is when I
say the same thing, because you're not saying that I am, and
you're not saying that I'm not, both at the same time. She
That is totally irritating.
Jack laughed lightly at her, then, making sure that she knew
that he wasn't making fun of her, or that he was angry with her,
only that he was attempting to illustrate his point to her.
See? he asked.
Yes, I see exactly what you're not saying, Sam
And are we going to 'make out in your truck,' or
Getting antsy? he teased her, but being rather
surprised by her question at the same time. He expected more
that she would be nervous about any 'making out,' not asking for
it to happen. Again, she had taken him by surprise.
I admit to feeling a bit on the 'antsy' side, Sam
told him in the soft voice of confession.
But I also would be
lying if I didn't say that the entire concept has me feeling...
anticipatory... at the same time.
'Anticipatory?' Jack repeated.
I don't even know
if I can say that word, let alone use it correctly in a
What? Sam teasingly asked.
Has it got too many
syllables for you to say?
Oh, that is so not funny, Jack scowled. Then, he
leaned toward her across the seat as he went on,
And if you
don't get your butt over here closer to me, and on the double,
I'll put you on cook detail for the next month of
Sam grinned at his threat, also not a reaction he expected
You wouldn't want to eat my cooking for an entire
month, she riposted.
Just who are you punishing, me or
Good point, Jack said to her. He was still leaning
in close to her. When she didn't match his posture, he said,
Come on, Carter, my truck is surrounded by four SUVs and
another truck... all high vehicles, with supports and things that
will hide what we're doing from practically anybody who happens
to look. What are you afraid of? His tone was full of
But Sam took him by surprise yet again when she answered,
Who says that I'm afraid of anything? Who says that I haven't
wanted an excuse to do this very thing for four years? And
without any chance for more words from either of them, leaned
across the seat, perfectly matching him, and kissed him softly on
Jack didn't have time to react... again... since he was so
flummoxed by her move. But as she drew back, her beautiful face
curving into a contented smile, so that she looked like a cat who
had stolen all the cream, and was pleased as punch with her
cleverness, he reached out to wrap a hand around each of her
cheeks, stalling her.
Come 'ere, he growled.
Sam grinned again; he had called her on her very thin
attempt at 'making out' without doing anything. And while hiis
audacity frightened her, it also highly pleased her.
least I know now that you're not scared of anything, she
commented. Then, he was kissing her deeply, as if there was no
tomorrow because the Gao'uld were going to imminently invade
Earth. His hand on her cheeks were burning her skin like brands,
but in such a nice way, that she couldn't stop herself
from mirroring him, and placing her own caressing fingers on his
cheeks. With her hands splayed wide so that she could feel as
much skin as possible, she opened her mouth to invite him to
explore as much of her as he could.
Jack didn't pass up the invitation. Shivers shot down his spine, and erupted into goose bumps all over his skin as he did what he had only dreamed about doing up until this moment. Kissing Carter was waaaaay better than he had ever dreamed it being!
God, he was like velvet, all soft, warm, and soooo... good, she thought.
God, she was like velvet, all soft, warm, and soooo... good, he thought.
I have wanted to do this ever since I met you... almost
to the day, Jack whispered, when he and she had to take a
break, and change position in order to experience the largest
possible feel of her and him that they could.
You're sure this isn't just to settle your curiosity?
she absently asked.
Carter... Shut up, and just kiss
Is that an order?
Jack groaned again.
Yes, dammit, yes! Now, come here,
you little sprite. God, I love you so much that even I'm a bit
surprised by myself.
Sam giggled as she kept stealing more and more kisses.
I've never been called a sprite before.
You are, Jack affirmed.
My sprite, and I wouldn't
ever want that any other way.
I don't think you have to worry about that, Sam
whispered seductively into his ear. She kissed butterfly kisses
all around that ear.
I'm yours, in all my glory, for good and
This could never be bad, Jack proclaimed.
you taste good.
That's my lethal popcorn and ice cream mix, Sam told
him, and kissed him down his neck.
Gets them every
Jack's eyes opened... hazily, but they did open when she
imparted her last words.
Are you saying that you planned this
entire thing? he asked, stupefied.
You are a witch under that nice exterior that you have.
And it is a nice exterior, by the way. Jack kissed
her neck as well, grazing her skin in delicious swirls under her
jaw with his tongue.
God, where did you learn to do that? Sam asked.
Like that? he lazily inquired of her with a satisfied
smile on his face.
Like it?! Sam half asked, half exclaimed.
just a bundle of shivers, and you know it!
Good, 'cause I am, too. This 'making out
in my truck' is okay by me! he exclaimed right back to
Oh, shut up and kiss me, she said.
Is that an order? Jack inquired.
Uh-uh, Sam said then.
No ranks, or this is never
gonna work, and I definitely want it to work.
Jack's hands were doing amazing things to her shoulders now.
She didn't even know that shoulders could feel like that!
That's so good.., Sam whispered.
I wish I could tell
Janet about this whole relationship thing, so that I can gloat
about you, and she can get all jealous because you're mine and
Say nothing, Jack told her.
But you already know
that... He kissed her again in a glory of tangling tongues
and hot, demanding lips.
A relationship just isn't the same if you can't gloat
about it a little, Sam eventually replied.
Jack smiled a tiny amount, then kissed her again.
Carter, gloater extraordinaire... Who knew? he asked.
Oh, yeah... Keep rubbing my head...
I'll rub other things, too, Jack said.
Is that a promise? Sam asked.
Oh, yeah, Jack announced.
They had scooted as close to each other as the bucket seats would let them. Sam was practically sitting in Jack's lap. She had one hand splayed against the back of his head, and the other over his right cheek and ear, feeling his skin, caressing it when she did.
Carter, Jack said as his kisses grew even braver and
We've got to stop before we let this go out
of control. He paused.
And it could so go out of control
as far as I'm concerned!
So what you're saying is that 'making out in your truck'
is a real turn on? she asked.
Oh, yeah, Jack breathed in her ear. Sam gave a
delightful little shudder at the feel of his breath on her skin.
He went on,
As if you didn't know... and didn't feel the
I will never look at your truck again without getting
turned on, Sam told him.
Neither will I, Jack said to her, and kissed her one
more time for good measure.
And I'll have to use my truck
every day of my life. He intimated that he'd have to think
of her every time he drove anywhere.
I think I like the sound of that, Sam said. The idea
of him thinking about kissing her when he drove to the grocery
store kind of pleased her. Not that she wouldn't be thinking of
him at the same time, too, but she wouldn't have that extra
knowledge that they had made out in her vehicle to add to her
Jack pulled back.
Okay... We gotta stop, or I swear,
we're moving to the back seat where I have more room to have my
wicked way with you...
Then you gotta stop, too, Jack! Sam laughingly said.
And the back seat sounds promising...
We're too old for that, Jack informed her.
least, I am...
And I love you just the way you are, Sam made sure to
tell him as she kissed him in one last blaze of heated glory.
Don't ever change...
I'm too old to change, Jack told her.
is like trying to change Teal'c. Sam giggled.
rocks, Jack said. He kissed her again, then, panting,
wrapped his arms around her.
Carter... Pant, pant...
You're my Carter...
And you're my Jack... Sam said, and hugged him
Sequel: Phone Calls Late at Night Are Enough to Thrill Even Jack, the Most Jaded Person in the Universe
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