Disclaimer: All publicly recognized characters are the property of MGM, World Gekko Corporation, and Double Secret Productions. This is a work of fanfiction for the express enjoyment of other fans, and no money was made from this work. Any previously unrecognized characters or mistakes that occur in this story are the fault of the author, and do not intend to infringe on the copyrights belonging to anyone...
Eh! BOOOORING! Let's spice this up a bit...
Own them I don't,
Change them I won't... (at least, not permanently)
Made no money
But that would be funny
If I did, 'cause then I would have to kill
You where you stand' (or sit). Until
such time as this story you enjoy
Please look on it not as a toy
But as a diversion, or as amusement.
If not that, then certainly in bemusement
Of words like 'UST,' and 'cannon,' and 'plot'
Fic vocab words seem to be my lot!
So praise it if you feel like it's due
But just send feedback, please don't sue!
It was always the same; Daniel Jackson, brown leather bag slung over his shoulder, paper and mail tucked under his left arm, commissary coffee cup grasped firmly in right hand as his left fumbled for his I.D. card... Yes, it was a typical morning at the SGC, just like hundreds of mornings before this and what will be hundreds after. Daniel stood outside his office, irritated when he didn't find the card in his coat pocket, where he left it every morning... Ah, there it was...
He swiped the card through the identification module, the door clicked open, and Daniel pushed with his foot until the opening was wide enough for him and all his things. He crossed to his desk, dropped the paper, mail, and bag onto the cluttered top, carefully placed his coffee cup where he could reach it but not spill its liquid contents, then took off his civilian coat and slung it over that back of his desk chair. Only then did he sit down on that same chair, sliding it closer to his desk so that he could pull the newspaper up to him for a quick perusal of the headlines.
Daniel took a sip of his bitter, hot coffee while he read. Nothing on the front page, he noted to himself. He turned the page. Nothing caught his eye on the second page of the newspaper, either. Nor the third. He turned the page again, then smoothed out the wrinkled paper. Daniel read two more boring headlines, one about the unseasonably warm weather Colorado Springs was experiencing lately, one about some politician in Ohio. When he'd read the third article headline on the page, however, he jumped up, pushing his office chair back in haste.
Holy..! Daniel said, and just barely stopped the
swear word that instantly wanted to pop out of his mouth.
Instead, he managed to exclaim,
Holy buckets! He stared
at the article in question for a few silent seconds, too stunned
to do much more than blink. Then he reached for the phone.
But Daniel had forgotten about the carefully placed coffee cup in his haste. He knocked it off balance, spilling coffee all over his desk and the floor. He ignored the mess, which was unlike him, as he hated liquid spills, especially sugary spills: they had the tendency to make his desk all sticky, and ruin the artifacts he was intent on studying that he had set aside for safe keeping on top of his paperwork. But this time he took not even a second to wipe up the mess. He dialed the phone as if he were possessed with a demon... a demon in one hell of a hurry.
A person on the other end answered.
the distorted voice over the handset.
Jack! Daniel fairly yelled into the receiver.
Stay there! Stay in your office! he ordered, not even
thinking that he had never given the leader of SG-1 instructions
of any kind before. He usually showed plenty of respect to the
hierarchy of the military too much to give orders himself, even
if he wasn't a part of its ranks. But today, he was on a mission
of his own, one too important for him to be concerned about the
niceties of the level of command.
Don't move! I'm coming
down, and I have something I've got to show you! he
hollered into the phone.
Jack hesitated for only a few seconds.
said, but the connection was already dead by then.
Two minutes later, Daniel burst into Jack's office at a run,
carrying a folded newspaper in his hand. He hadn't even knocked
politely on the open door first.
Jack! Look! Daniel
yelled. He thrust the newspaper into his leader's hand, and
Jack took the paper in a spiral of confusion at Daniel's odd behavior. The article that showed on the folded paper wasn't long, but the headline caught Jack's eye immediately; COURT CASE REVERSES MILITARY NON-FRATERNIZATION RULE.
Holy Crap! Jack yelled, jumping up from his own desk
chair in one smooth move.
Daniel was already on Jack's phone, too busy dialing the SGC switchboard number to pretend that he didn't realize what this overturn order would personally mean to Jack.
Private Hollander, the noncom manning the
switchbard answered Daniel's phone call.
Page Major Samantha Carter and have her call Colonel Jack
O'Neill's office, now! Daniel shouted.
Uh... ASAP! He hung up so fast that he made the receiver
clang in its cradle.
A second later, they heard the page for Major Samantha
Carter, and a second after that, Jack's phone rang. Daniel
grabbed it up and hollered,
Daniel? Shouldn't it be the Colonel who she was
talking to on the phone?
What's going on? Sam Carter
asked, puzzled by the page, and who had answered her subsequent
phone call. As far as she knew, there was nothing scheduled that
day that would indicate a need to have her call Daniel, who was
mysteriously in Colonel O'Neill's office.
Do we have a
briefing this morning that I don't know about?
No, no briefing. Where are you? Daniel queried then
without taking a breath.
Control Room, Sam responded.
Why? If there's no
Don't move! Daniel commanded. Then he dropped the
receiver down a little from his mouth, said
to Jack, then lifted the receiver back up.
Jack's on his
Jack sprinted out of the office the second the words 'Control Room' left Daniel's mouth, taking the copy of the morning paper with him. He hadn't even bothered to ask Daniel if he could borrow it first. He just ran.
Jack dodged morning personnel in a mad scramble down the
'Scuse me! Commin' through! he called. Then,
the hallway ahead was clear of people. He picked up speed as he
Right. Left. Right again. Jack hurtled up the stairs leading to the Control Room, taking the steps three at a time. His right knee twinged a bit at the uncustomary athleticism of the move, but he didn't slow until he had reached the top.
The Control Room was full of personnel, as it always was,
but Jack didn't even see the other officers. He was focused
solely on the woman sitting at a computer console, her short,
blonde hair tousled as if she had slid an aggravated hand through
it as she wrestled with an annoying technological problem.
Carter! he yelled the second he was at the top of the
Colonel O'Neill? came her questioning reply.
What's going on?
Jack swung around more personnel, then tossed the paper onto
Sam's computer keyboard, stilling her hands so she would have to
read the article, or at least look at it, in order to get the
paper out of her way so that she could type on the keyboard.
Read! he tersely ordered.
Sam read. Then she jumped back and sent her chair rolling
out from under her across the room.
Yes, that was my reaction, too, Jack admitted while
he caught his breath.
Well, more or less.
Oh, my God... This.., Sam said in a lower tone of
This could be what we've been waiting for.
Sam. Jack stated, and looked straight into her
luminescent, wide, blue... He shook his head to clear it of her
eyes's mesmerizing effect, not wanting to waste any time even on
getting lost in her eyes, as he had always wanted to do.
Instead, he blinked, and, heart pounding, blurted,
Today. Now. His pulse may be racing away, he was so
terrified, but he knew what he wanted.
Col... Sam shook her head, and tried again,
Sir... Nope. Too formal.
Jack! she exclaimed,
blinking her confusion away. Had she just heard a proposal of
marriage? The only thought she had in her head was that she had
always imagined something a little different... something softer
somehow... when someone proposed marriage to her.
Let me at
least read the article first! There was no irritation in her
tone, no condescension, only a small amount of chastisement at
his sense of urgency, but mostly wonder at the sudden
She read, fast, her eyes lighting up more and more... Until
she came to the last line of the article.
Oh, she said,
sounding slightly deflated.
What is it? Jack asked, alarmed at the look of
consternation on her face. He mentally admitted that he hadn't
taken the time to read the article himself, and didn't know what
could have caused her to look so perplexed.
repeated, unconsciously laying a hand on her back, not realizing
that this was the first time he had ever touched her in
Sam brought the crumpled paper closer to her eyes. There,
It says here that married military personnel
can't serve together. We would have to split up the
Jack grabbed the paper from her hand.
Where? Where does
it say that?
Sam pointed to the last line of the article.
Jack read the line, too, then settled more firmly onto the
heels of his combat boots.
It should be me; I'll go, he
You're too valuable of a team member.
Sam smiled in spite of the dire situation that had
I knew you would say something like that!
You are such a martyr under that tough exterior that we all know
and love. Her voice was slightly sarcastic. She paused, the
paper still in her hand. Now, sarcasm gone, she said,
should be me... I'll change to another team... The Science
No! Jack hissed.
I would never let you do that
for me! He took a deep breath, then softly, insistently,
This is the job you waited years for, worked hard
Sam's face melted into a smile again.
Jack, don't you
get it? she asked gently, not expecting an answer to such an
unanswerable question. She went on in a low, quiet voice,
would never give up my position on SG-1 for anybody else.
Jack just stood, rooted to the floor for a full minute. He didn't say anything, didn't do anything, but he did stare straight at her, his eyes searching her face.
It was clear that Jack was deep in thought. Ideas grew into
expressions that chased themselves across his features with
alarming speed. Then, he widened his eyes to take in Sam's form;
ever so slowly, a smile crawled up his cheeks.
I knew there
was a reason why I loved you... You're the most unselfish person
on the entire planet.
Then Jack hugged her... right in front of the entire 'Gate Room staff and anybody who happened to be present in the Embarkation Room down below the 'Gait Room... He hugged her in front of everybody, the windows to the 'Gate Room highlighting his actions as he pulled Sam into his arms and just held tightly to her.
I love you so much, Sam whispered, fighting the sound
of tears in her voice. Then she laughed, unable to express the
happy bubble she was feeling in her chest in any other way.
Yes, I'll marry you.
There was a yell in the 'Gate Room, and all the people gathered around started to applaud and yell and stomp their feet... They had watched Major Carter and Colonel O'Neill dance around each other for years. It was good to see that... Well, it was just good.
In a blink, Sam was kissing Jack on his cheek, then his lips as she shared the first kiss with him in a highly public setting...
Then General Hammond arrived, and the party atmosphere all but disappeared.
The high ranking officer stared at two of his best
personnel, kissing in the 'Gate Room, and a furrow of concern and
confusion settled on his brow.
What's the meaning of
this? the General inquired. The pucker above his eyes grew
Someone pointed to the article in the newspaper lying on the floor where Sam had dropped it. Hammond bent and picked up the paper. He read rapidly.
Why didn't I know about this? Hammond asked no one in
particular. Then the words 'The Military Court of Appeals'
caught his attention, and that explained the judicial action. He
didn't know anything about the court of appeals... Didn't even
know who was on the panel of judges...
Jack wrapped his arms around Carter once again and lifted
her from the floor in his enthusiasm. But he couldn't maintain
even her light weight for long, and set her back on her feet. It
was then that he noticed a puzzled General Hammond standing
behind Carter, folded newspaper in hand.
Permission to leave
the base, Sir, for both Carter and myself, he formally
On a day when you plan to travel off-world at 1600?
Hammond asked in incredulity. He whipped his head around so he
could look at the other personnel.
Why? What's so important
that it can't wait a few hours?
Sam spoke up for the first time since the General had
We plan to get married. Sir, she added. At her
words, Hammond went so pale that he looked as if he might lose
With your permission, she added again in
an attempt to mollify the General and get that green look out of
Hammond continued to gape at them for several seconds.
You what? he asked for clarification.
Married, Jack said.
I want to marry Carter... er,
Sam. He corrected the result of years worth of careful
And she wants to marry me... You do, don't you?
Jack asked Sam, just to make sure.
Yes, she answered without hesitation.
Jack turned his appealing eyes onto his general.
be back by 1600, I promise. I can 'Gate off-world, Sam can stay
behind, but the minute the mission is complete... Jack swung
his eyes back to Sam; a thrill twisted straight up his spine,
then settled in his stomach. He didn't have to finish his
sentence. All the personnel gathered in the 'Gate Room knew what
he was talking about.
Why would Major Carter stay behind? General Hammond
asked, confused again. But Jack was talking once more, and
Hammond heard him say:
Me and Daniel and Teal'c will communicate with you after
eight hours if we're not back by then... Permission? he
ended by asking.
Go, go, Hammond absently said. He was reading the
article in the paper as he spoke.
You have my blessings, and
Thank you, Sir! He tugged on Carter's
hand, and together they ran out of the room, heading for the
elevators and the surface.
* * *
The parking area appeared to be as it had always seemed,
though Sam thought it should show that this was a momentous
occasion or something. Mundanely, she asked,
My car or your
Truck? O'Neill queried, as if asking if she thought
that taking his vehicle would be acceptable in the given
Truck, she echoed, her voice much more decisive than
his had been. They started walking towards his truck parked on
the outdoor level of the parking deck.
When the door had been pulled shut behind both Sam and Jack,
the seat-belts had been duly buckled, Sam leaned over and put her
hand on top of Jack's as he was about to insert the key into the
ignition to cause the engine to turn over. Sam felt the
delightful knob of his knuckles under her palm, and when he gave
her a curious look, she squeezed his hand and smiled.
sure that this is what you want to do? she asked softly.
For a moment, fear shot out of Jack's eyes before he could
Why? he asked, his voice deceptively
You changing your mind?
Sam could see the naked fear along with a defenseless sense
of utter longing exposed in the expression on his face, in spite
of his imitation at not caring about any of this. He seemed more
vulnerable than he had ever been before, and she loved that part
of him; it was so honest, so refreshingly guile-free.
she firmly answered.
I'm just making sure. Because this all
is happening very fast.
Sam, Jack said then, and placed his hand over hers.
What I want... what I've wanted since the day I met you in the
General's briefing room, is to marry you and make you blissfully
happy and utterly content for the rest of your days.
Since that first day in the General's briefing? Sam
inquired, to make certain.
Since the first time we met, he told her, confirming
his own claim. Then he conceded,
Well, I want to marry you
more than anything... I also want to make love to you until the
sun comes up tomorrow morning, but one thing at a time.
Sam couldn't help it; she giggled like a lovesick school
girl, thrilled to have been told by a guy that she was, indeed,
I think that's the nicest thing you've ever
said, she whispered around her smile. She did the nicest
thing in return that she could think of at the moment: she
removed her hand from his, no longer blocking the ignition.
He grinned at her, then leaned over the partition separating
the seats and touched his hand to her cheek.
marry you if I have to take out a million Gao'uld Jaffa in order
to do it, he promised. Then he kissed her, slow, sure, and
light as golden summer sunlight.
Sam felt like she was sliding into a puddle on the floor of his truck. His fingertips skimmed over the surface of her skin, falling agonizingly short of her breasts hidden beneath the black t-shirt she had been wearing in the 'Gate Room. In spite of the heat seeping into her shoulders through the truck windows, and the warmth of Jack's touch, there was an even brighter flame eating away at her insides every time his skin came in contact with hers. She was going to burst into flames at any moment, she was sure. Jack slipped his fingers into her hair, rubbing lovingly across her head and onto her cheeks, her neck, her ears...
Jack slowly released her and stared intently into her eyes.
Still asking yourself if this is what you want? he
whispered to her.
I know this is what I want, she responded
Sam leaned forward and kissed him again, pressing her lips
lightly to his forehead, then his cheeks, then his nose, then...
I would never want anything else, she said.
Jack sat back. Sam sat back. But their fingers stayed linked together as Jack drove one-handed out of the parking space.
* * *
Ten minutes later, Jack pulled the truck into his driveway and shoved the gear shift into 'park.'
Why are we stopping here? Sam inquired.
Jack appeared to falter as he reached for the handle that
would release the truck door.
Come on in, he invited
This will only take a minute, and you might as well
be comfortable while we're here.
I thought we were going to buy rings, Sam accused, a
hint of teasing in her voice. Yet, she willingly groped for the
door release on her side of the truck.
Oh, we'll be off to buy rings before you know it,
There's just this one thing I forgot to
Jack, Sam chastised.
Why can't you just tell me
what it is? She exited the truck, crossed his driveway, and
stepped blithely onto his porch.
Jack shook out his keys until the house key fell towards the
Okay, he imparted in aggravation,
I need to call
my grandmother and tell her about all this, that I'm getting
married today. I promised once to call her on my wedding
day. He shrugged, totally disarming her.
Sam knew that he knew what kind of an effect he was having
on her. But that didn't stop her from following him into his
house once he got the front door unlocked.
I thought that you
didn't have a grandmother... or anyone, for that fact.
Jack shrugged again.
She's in a nursing home in
California... I'm her only living relative. It's just easier to
say that I have no relatives than to explain the whole sordid
mess about her being in California while I'm in Colorado Springs
without bringing up why I'm in Colorado Springs... He
paused and shut the door behind Sam.
Of course, Sam replied.
You could never... Jack,
what are you doing? Sam asked on a chuckle when Jack leaned
her against the wall beside the front door, but out of sight of
anyone who happened to be peering in through the window.
Jack gently skimmed a finger across her forehead and into
I don't have a Grandma in California, he said.
His other hand joined his first in an exploration of the rounded
tips of her ears.
You don't? Sam breathed. His touch was becoming far
too enticing for her own good.
Jack shook his head.
No, but it made a very nice excuse
to get you to come in here for a minute. His hands were
everywhere, now, lightly touching all those forbidden places as
if he knew every inch of her in intimate detail.
Then why didn't you just tell me what you had in
mind? Sam asked. God, his fingers were really making her
crazy as they slid across her skin, promising illicit pleasures,
but never delivering on them. If he didn't do something soon
about making the first move towards his bedroom that she knew lay
at the top of the stairs, she would. Or she would go insane. It
was as simple as that.
I didn't tell you out loud what was going on in case
anyone was listening, he explained, and shrugged again.
Old habits die hard.
Then his lips were on hers in a dance of demand and need
that was as old as the mountains and as new for them as touching
in broad daylight. Still being gentle, but insistent, Jack
pushed against her, and Sam suddenly realized why he had backed
her into the wall; he rubbed at her skin under her clothes,
pulling moans of longing from her throat. Hot waves of desire
shot up into her belly, and her groin region felt as if someone
had set a fire under it. But, she whispered,
Don't do this
unless you mean it.
Jack looked at her, his eyes mere millimeters away, boring
into hers like missiles set to a target.
Oh, I mean it,
he whispered with an intensity and longing in his voice that she
had never heard before.
Bedroom? he asked against her
lips, and at her nod, slipped his arms under her legs without
taking his lips from hers. Before Sam knew what was happening,
she was being carried down the carpeted hall and deposited on the
bed in Jack's room with tender but assured movements. The world
was starting to become nothing but a spinning maelstrom of light
and sound and sensation to Sam as Jack touched her and blazed new
trails across her thighs and on up to her nether regions. He
touched her there without any sense of trepidation, and in
response, she pushed into his hand as the warm feeling inside her
exploded into something hot and pounding.
Oh, God, Jack, I think I'm gonna
Panting met her ears when he paused long enough to say,
Not if I explode first.
Sam was just registering the double meaning in his words when she heard the four thunks as Jack removed their combat boots and pulled off her socks. Instead of tickling the skin between her toes, Jack resisted their allure and lightly stroked each foot as he nibbled seductively on all of her toes, one after the other. It was the most erotic thing Sam had ever experienced, especially when he gently bit into her arch with his teeth, letting his lips trail kisses of fire after his initial touch.
God, Jack, please... begged Sam in a whisper as her
head dragged against the blue striped coverlet on his bed.
Please what? Jack whispered back, bending over her
now, working his way up her legs and kissing her stomach through
the material of the t-shirt.
Sam didn't bother to give him a verbal answer. She yanked her t-shirt off and grabbed him to her. Somehow, he had removed his own BDUs and shirt, and the sensation of skin touching skin was almost too much for her to take. Her hands roamed across the expanse of his chest and into his short hair, then fell again to his waist, avidly releasing his pants so that she could feel his legs on hers.
But Jack had beat her to that, too. He was undoing her pants at the same time, planting kisses that were as good as promises down the middle of her chest until he came to one ripe breast, and he kissed it and breathed on it to make it cold before he took it straight into his mouth, wrapping his tongue around its sleek end as one hand gingerly kneaded the other. Sam nearly detonated right there.
She pushed down her pants in an inelegant invitation.
know this is probably too fast... But if I don't have you right
That was as far as she got before the unmistakable sensation of a penis pushing gently into her wove through the fog that was quickly descending on her mind and covering her eyes in hazy, smoking curls of desire. She tried to draw him in closer, urging him deeper, when she realized that, like a sex-craved teenager, her pants were not much farther than her knees, severely limiting what she could do with her legs or feet.
So, she used her hands and mouth, kissing him on every conceivable point that she could reach as she groped for his waist to pull him in deeper, more securely, until he couldn't withdraw as she scraped against his center of pleasure. Back and forth, a raking sensation that drew him in and left him trembling and groaning and wiggling against her...
Then Jack arched back and gasped once,
Oh, God, Sam!
as he erupted inside her, plunging in one last time that drew her
down with him as she pushed her hips into his and followed him
with a blast of her own that left her moaning into his neck,
trembling and twisting and yearning for more.
Sam grunted against the side of his neck, warm, firm, and supple at the same time, and she gently bit into him once again, bringing a last bout of wiggling and groaning from him as a second burst shot through her in a cloud of moist warmth and gripping hands.
Then, all was still as the only sound in the air was their
collective panting. Suddenly, Sam laughed.
This is gonna be
one hell of a marriage, she said.
Above her, she felt Jack smile against the top of her head.
* * *
Sam paused as she looked more closely at the rings showcased in the display panel. They all winked and sparkled under the fluorescent lighting like they were supposed to, looking far more enthralling than they would have in regular sunlight in order to encourage a sale. Sam knew that, and she tried to force herself to glance at the other wedding sets in the jeweler's case, but she kept coming back to a pair of his and hers silver ring bands with intricate designs carved into their respective surfaces. The designs reminded her instantly of the chevrons on the outside of the Stargate.
Hey, Colonel, come look at this, Sam called as she
stared at the rings.
Jack glanced up from the simple gold bands that he was
Carter, how many times do I have to tell you not
to call me 'Colonel?'
About as many times as I have to remind you not to call
me 'Carter,' Sam said, and Jack laughed, sound that came
straight from the bowels of his stomach. He wandered over to her
side, still laughing. An employee of the jewelry store
accompanied him, sensing a sale.
The man, dressed in a pinstriped suit and shoes that cost
well over $100.00, followed his glance into the case.
those are based on an ancient design of the Celtic people that
are proving to be far more popular then we expected.
Jack leaned in close and looked to where Sam pointed,
indicating the rings.
Look rather fluffy to me, he
Sam glanced at him, and in puzzlement echoed,
Jack shrugged disarmingly again.
Yeah, fluffy, he
Sam smiled and asked the salesman who was hovering over them
so closely that she knew he thought for sure he was going to sell
them those rings.
Can I take a closer look at them?
Certainly, he said, and removed the rings from the
case with a flourish of his hands.
Sam took the rings and peered at the designs. Closer now,
the etchings appeared to more and more resemble the carvings
around the Stargate.
Here, she said, and handed the
bigger of the two rings to Jack.
Try this on.
When did you get so commanding? Jack asked as he
slipped the ring onto his finger. Even he was surprised by how
well it fit him.
I thought you'd left command to me, he
Only at work, Sam announced with a self-satisfied
little smile on her face. The female's ring also fit her to
We have to buy these, she said firmly.
It's fate. Look, they even fit right.
Jack made a disapproving face.
What about those plain
golden bands back there? he asked, gesturing.
wrong with those?
Not a thing, Sam announced.
But they cost
They did not.
They did too, Sam answered him, still smiling that
same tiny smile of hers.
How do you know? Jack challenged.
I looked at them while you were off peeking at the
watches, Sam told him and shrugged, herself.
Jack bunched up his eyes until his forehead had wrinkles
embedded in it.
You did that without telling me? He
looked at the man in the suit.
Can you believe that?
The man also shrugged, but didn't say anything.
Smart man, Sam commented of the salesman's silence
without even bothering to glance up.
Jack, she suggested,
Why don't you take a closer look at those gold bands that you
want to encase around my finger? Then, she said,
you'll find out that I'm right.
Ha, we'll see about that, Jack said. He took off the
silver band, handed it to Carter, then to the man in the suit, he
Let me see those plain bands.
These? the man asked as he pointed at a pair.
No, these. Jack pointed out the two rings he
The salesman unlocked the back of the cabinet and lifted the entire tray out to lay on the counter, then lifted the very rings Jack had pointed to.
Jack tried the bigger of the two rings on. It slid down to
his second knuckle, then stopped; it was a size too small.
will have to be sized for you, the man told him.
Jack looked up, irritated.
I can see that, he said
with a grimace as he tried to force the ring the rest of the way
onto his finger. He made it, but the blood instantly was cut off
from his finger and it started to fall asleep. He pried the ring
from his hand. The price tag fell down to swing innocently
against his palm.
Hey Sam, how much do yours cost?
$190.00, she told him.
Jack looked at the number on the price tag. $210.00.
Well, you're wrong in saying that these are more
expensive, he lied.
You're lying, she stated without raising her head
from her perusal of the rings before her on the counter.
They're $210.00. Mine are only $190.00.
Doh, Jack announced, quoting his favorite show.
You really have to stop watching that TV show of
yours, she told him.
It's beginning to affect your
speech; you're devolving.
Jack pretended to laugh at her.
Oh, ha, ha, he said.
Then he held out his hand.
Let me look at your rings
again, he said.
Without a word, she handed them to him. He looked at the rings, then put the male's ring on his own finger and stuck his hand out to examine it. The silver ring sparkled at him in the light of the store.
Well? Sam asked.
Jack pretended to grumble.
You really like them?
The salesman knew he had them, then, and slowly, he smiled.
Sam whipped her head around to glare at him as he stood
serenely behind the counter.
You haven't sold them yet,
Don't start gloating.
I would never do that, the man intoned
And don't play the innocent with me. I've seen a lot of
guys like you, all smooth and cool. But I know your
I would never presume to... the man started to
Oh, yes, you would, she said.
You're a jewelry salesman; it's what you do.
Slowly, Jack grinned at what Sam had said.
Well, I can see who will be in charge in your
relationship, groused the man behind the counter. Suddenly,
he didn't look so tall.
He is, Sam said, pointing at Jack.
He has the higher rank.
And bigger... truck, Jack said.
Sam smiled at him, then turned back to the salesman and
dropped the rings into his waiting palm.
Now you have your
sale, she said.
It's about time, the salesman said under his breath.
That will be $210.00 with tax, he said.
Jack glared at Sam as he pulled out his credit card.
knew, he accused.
I guessed, Sam corrected.
The salesman rang up the purchase, then turned towards the
back of the store.
I'll just put these in boxes for you,
Hey, Jack called after him.
Can you make them
those blue velvet ones? he asked. He turned to Sam when the
man didn't say anything in return.
I just want to do this
right, he said and shrugged.
A minute later, the salesman returned with two blue velvet
boxes that he dropped into a sack.
Thank you, and come
Sam took the bag from him.
We will, she said.
Is that a threat? the man asked.
Sam only grinned.
You bet it is, she said.
Before they left, Jack winked at the man in the suit.
It's been fun, he said, then followed Sam from the
'It's been fun?' Sam repeated a bit mockingly.
Yeah, Jack said;
It was fun. And take a
closer look at those rings, he told her.
Mystified, Sam lifted the bag and took out one of the ring
All right. Then she lifted the lid, and looked at
the ring in the box.
Look at the symbols, Jack told her.
Sam looked. And then her mouth fell open. Right in the
middle was the Stargate chevron that symbolized Earth.
I know, Jack said.
Just keep walking like
But he said they were from a Celtic design, Sam
protested as they meandered down the street, attempting not to
call the attention of the other people passing by.
Jack fingered the ring.
I bet Daniel could confirm for
us that's it's based on Egyptian hieroglyphics, he said.
As Sam pointed at the triangle with a circle above it, she
But how do you explain this? She gaped again.
This isn't Celtic.
Says who? Jack argued. Then he shrugged and grinned.
Well, the Celts had to learn their written language from
somebody, he said.
Sam just grinned as she saw the truth in what he was saying.
* * *
The marriage license was applied for, and signed in an hour. All that time, the clerk of the license bureau scowled at them suspiciously, as if no one had ever applied for a marriage license before. An hour later, Sam and Jack were standing outside the first floor appellate courtroom, waiting for their turn with the judge who had agreed to marry them... as soon as she had enjoyed her morning coffee. Several other obvious military personnel stood beside them; the news of the overturn order had traveled quickly, so it would seem.
That was when Daniel and Teal'c entered the Courthouse through a side door and looked around.
Daniel! What the hell are you guys
Are you kidding? We wouldn't miss this
event for all the weapons in the entire world.
The galaxy, Teal'c added, and smiled serenely.
Sam was flooded with unexpected gratitude.
This means a lot to us.
Jack handed Daniel the ring that was in his hand and waiting
to be used in his and Sam's wedding ceremony.
you're here, what do you make of that?
Daniel took the ring and flipped it over in his hand.
Ah, Celtic, he said appreciatively. Then he paused.
That's not Celtic!
So we thought, Jack said with a mysterious rise of
But what is this? Daniel asked, and turned the ring
Sam piped up with the desired information,
Daniel glanced up, sharp as ever.
Slowly Jack took the ring back and whispered,
was. Sam just slugged him on the arm, then turned when an
underling opened the courtroom door for the business of the day.
Jack and Sam crossed to the front of the room, while Daniel and
Teal'c sat in the provided seats, watching.
And so, they were married. Ten minutes later, the ceremony was over, the rings were traded, and Jack and Sam had committed themselves to the other for posterity in front of the judge, the bailiff, and Daniel and Teal'c. As weddings went, the ceremony didn't waste any time on niceties and got right down to business... Jack liked that.
One thing he had not expected to feel, though, was the emotion welling in his heart for Sam as the wedding progressed. He tried his best to hide it from her and Daniel and Teal'c, knowing that emotion was construed as a weakness, and how could he possibly lead his team if they thought of him as weak? But some of what he was feeling leaked out through his eyes, anyway. It didn't seem to matter with Daniel and Teal'c... maybe they were sitting too far away to see it, Jack surmised.
Best wedding ceremony I've seen in decades! Daniel
declared when they were once again in the hallway, replaced by
another couple eager to take advantage of the military's new
I have to admit that I never anticipated being
dressed for my wedding in BDUs, though.
Ah, come on, Jack said with enough robustness to be
They've always been underrated, and at least you
can breathe in them. His words paid homage to the wedding
dresses of the day that outlawed the art of breathing to most
True, Teal'c commented, and the others looked to him.
Then, he explained,
MajorCarter is thin, but not that
thin, he reported with a bow of his head.
Thanks, I think, Sam said with a pucker of confusion
on her forehead.
Hey, Daniel said then in order to smooth things over
after Teal'c's bald comment.
You guys headed back to work now
Sam glanced at Jack and Jack looked at Sam. Finally, Jack
Uh... why don't you two go on ahead? Sam and I
should at least go out to eat lunch to sort of commemorate the
day or something.
Right, Daniel said. He turned to Teal'c.
on, we're being dismissed. Then he turned back to Jack and
See you when you get there.
1600, Jack said with a sense of determination.
I'll be there.
Daniel just pointed a reminding finger at him as he and Teal'c left the building, but he sent a look over his shoulder at Jack before they reached the door and walked out of sight.
Why do I think he meant to say something else? Sam
asked in an undertone.
Jack just shrugged and said,
I have no idea.
But as he guided Sam out of the building and to his truck in the parking lot, Jack knew that Daniel, for all his nerdiness, was still a guy, and knew precisely what Jack had planned to do next with Sam. And it had nothing to do with eating.
* * *
The second the door of Jack's house closed behind them, there was little doubt left in Sam's mind, either, about what Jack had on his brain... and on the rest of his physiognomy, as well.
They didn't even make it as far as the bedroom this time. The livingroom carpet was plenty soft enough, even if it did cause rug burn on Jack's elbows. The fact that they were married now played a huge part in their emotions, heightening what would have been the normal cadences of regular desire. But now, their passion for each other roared to life so hard and so fast that they barely had time to push their clothes aside before Sam once again felt Jack shivering on top of her. She arched into him, thrilling at the feeling of him deep inside her, right where she always wanted him to be.
Sam chuckled when the great flood of emotion had started to
subside and she realized that she was hungry after all. But
first, she laughed and said,
This is going to be a very
Jack laughed with her as a huge smile split through his features.
* * *
At 1600 that same day, General Hammond and the new Major O'Neill stood at the bottom of the ramp leading up to the Stargate as Jack, Teal'c, and Daniel headed out.
Don't do anything I wouldn't do! Sam called after
them, humor evident in her voice, despite the fact that she now
had to remain behind. But even while she stood in place, she had
to admit to herself that she could understand the point of the
new regulation; someone who was married to another member of the
same team would undoubtedly show undue favoritism to that second
team member... This way, that would never happen.
Sam smiled at the departing back of her new husband, thinking of the time when the three men would return from the mission and she would disappear with Jack. No one had said what she and Jack would be doing, but everyone knew anyway...
* * *
Except the eight hour communication time limit crept towards nine hours. Then ten. It was 0200 of the next morning and Major Sam O'Neill was beginning to get worried... Very worried.
It's not like the Colonel to miss a communication like
this unless there's a good reason, Sam muttered to no one and
everyone in the 'Gate Room. She hadn't moved out of the room
except to eat supper in the Commissary for the entire ten hours.
She went on,
And the only reason I can think of that's good
enough for a missed communication is that they were captured by
Let's not jump to conclusions, Major, Hammond said
under his breath as he punched more orders into the computer he
was leaning over.
Sorry, Sir, Sam intoned. Silently, though, she went
on with But I didn't even get to sleep with him... as much as
I want to. However, it would not be professional of her to
point that out. She wanted instead to show the General that she
could be just as she had always been, even though she was
Ten hours, Hammond said, his voice low, as he looked
at his watch. Then he glanced up as he came to some sort of a
decision, according to the granite expression on his face.
Dial the 'Gate, he ordered the techie sitting under his
elbow at the computer.
Yes, Sir! the techie responded, then promptly, the
Stargate began to spin and locking onto the previous coordinates
as the woman... a Private Elson... called out the number of
Sam sat very still in her chair, her eye trained to the 'Gate, but her stomach all tied up in knots.
The minute the wormhole was established in a shimmer of blue
lights reflecting on the wall behind it, an image coalesced on
the computer screen.
It's about damned time! Colonel
O'Neill's voice echoed out of the speakers of the computer.
Oh, thank God! Sam thought the second she could make
out his irritated face. But she bit her tongue to keep any
response she might have made to Jack's comment as General Hammond
leaned down toward the communication computer's microphone and
SG-1, what happened?
Jack was quick to answer.
Daniel and Teal'c are fine,
but... There's no DHD here! he said.
The thing is
blasted totally in half... the two chunks are lying on the ground
not ten feet from me.
Goa'uld? Hammond inquired.
Think so, but Daniel expects it happened
hundreds of years ago... No one's on this rock, and hasn't been
for a long time. But we can't dial home and just leave, either!
We've been stuck at the camp by the 'Gate for hours!
You've been sitting by the MALP for hours, just waiting
for us to give in and call you ourselves? Hammond asked.
Well, Jack said,
I knew that Carter... er... Major
O'Neill... would get worried eventually... You there, Sam? he
Eventually? Sam screamed sardonically in her mind,
but leaned down to the microphone.
Yes, I'm here, she
answered, then couldn't help adding,
You were never very good at that, were
you, Carter... er...
Colonel, Hammond interrupted.
You need to dial the
'Gate manually, or else you'll never get home.
Already realized that, Jack noted over the staticy
Why didn't you take out the power pack from the MALP and
use that in order to dial home? Sam broke in.
Already thought of that, too, Jack informed them, as
if to push home the fact that the three men weren't helpless
without her amazing brain power to add to their talents.
we don't have any cables or anything to hook the power pack to
the 'Gate. And besides, he added,
if we took the pack out
of the MALP, then we wouldn't get to see your beautiful
There was an unsure moment while General Hammond and the staff in the 'Gate Room tried to decide if the Colonel was talking about Hammond's face, or Major O'Neill's.
Uh... Hammond responded.
Look, Jack continued.
We need someone here who
knows what the heck they're doing... We need... Major
O'Neill, he said, using the right rank and name this
Sam fingered the wedding ring on her left hand as she listened to Jack over the line. She was still getting used to feeling the ring and hearing the name.
But Hammond was shaking his head to Jack's request to send
Sam through the 'Gate.
If I send her through, she'll be
trapped there, too, just as you are.
Better here than there, millions of miles away, Jack
General, he continued on, while his last
comment had the necessary time to sink in.
General, you can
send all the supplies we need in order to dial the 'Gate and get
home with Sam when you send her... Then he narrowed his eyes
until he appeared to be looking shrewdly through the MALP's
camera at General Hammond.
... And you are sending
her... I'm not being stuck on another planet for three months
without her... Then he went on,
And Sam is our best bet
to get home. You know it and I know it. She's not known as the
Whiz Kid for nothin'
Sam piped up,
I'm known as the Whiz Kid? Since when?
She wasn't entirely sure she liked that monicker. It sounded
Send her and the supplies... she'll know what to bring.
And Sam, Jack said with his eyes narrowed again.
know what we need. Signing off. His attention was diverted
off the range of the camera for a moment.
Wait for a minute
about signing off... Daniel wants to say something.
Sam! Daniel said, sounding desperate, and stuffy.
Bring a box of tissues with you! Then, he had to take a
break from talking while he sneezed. He finished by declaring,
Bring two boxes! Then the connection went dead as the
MALP camera went dark, cutting off the contact.
Major, Hammond said.
Get ready whatever you're
going to take. Meet back her in one hour.
But Sam wasn't quite listening, as she had already started making a list of things to bring, and the first thing she wrote down was, 'cables,' followed by, 'tissues.'
* * *
Sam appeared walking through the 'Gate, dragging a cart on
wheels behind her. In an exaggerated voice, she quoted,
Luke Skywalker, I'm here to rescue you, Then, in her normal
I've always looked for the right time to say
Hey, Sam! Jack waved from his place beside the MALP.
Nice of you to drop by!
Ah heeeee! She pointed her index finger at him,
clearly enjoying their quoting game.
I didn't know you'd even seen Star Wars, much less
that you could quote it, Jack noted in curiosity.
Well, she excused herself,
you mentioned it once,
saying that it was your favorite movie while you were growing up.
I watched it to see what all the fuss was about. She paused
with a thoughtful expression on her face.
I'm still wondering
what all the fuss is about.
To Star Wars? Jack asked in disbelief.
That movie's a classic! he firmly declared.
I liked the robots, Sam said with a shrug.
this the best way you can think of to say 'Hi' to me on the day
after our wedding?
Yeah, that's Sam. She's no Gao'uld if
she's saying that - they wouldn't know what happened only
yesterday. He bounded up the steps leading to the 'Gate as
fast as his stiffened knee would let him.
As rescues go,
he announced, smiling down at her.
This rescue has never
looked so good. he sincerely noted. Then he snaked his arms
around her waist. Then her back. And he he just held her.
Jack hugged Sam so roughly that she couldn't resist saying
Did you miss me?
Teal'c grunted from his place at the bottom of the steps,
You have no idea.
Anyway, said Jack, shooting a look of death straight
back to our discussion of Star
That's the only line I know from the whole movie, Sam
I've been just waiting for the right time to say
Jack stayed on the steps with Sam and helped her unload the
small, four-wheeled cart she had brought with her. The first
thing he pulled from the handles of the cart were ropes of
Glad too see that you remembered, Jack
said with a soft sigh of relief.
Daniel and Teal'c stood beside the tent they had erected near where the MALP had rolled to a stop at the bottom of the steps leading down from the Stargate. Quietly, they watched the O'Neills and the technology Sam had brought with her.
Should we not offer assistance, DanielJackson? Teal'c
In a moment, Daniel told him, thoughtfully staring at
Sam and Jack.
Will you look at them? he requested of
Teal'c answered after a moment of companionable silence.
I am watching, but I do not know what you seek,
DanielJackson, he intoned in puzzlement.
Them, Daniel stated. At Teal'c's continued
expression of cofusion, he explained.
And he gestured helplessly at Sam and Jack.
He sighed and studied them. Finally, he despondently noted,
They're quoting movies to each other!
I fail to see how that is such a crime, Teal'c
It's not a crime! Daniel said. Then he turned around
once, a hand to his forehead. When he could look again at the
couple on the steps of the Stargate, he announced.
Teal'c. This is the end of SG-1.
Teal'c stared at him out of puzzled eyes.
Again, I fail
They're married! Daniel stated, as if what he
inherently meant with his statement was obvious.
Jack and Sam are together... and so happy... Not that I begrudge
that happiness! Daniel was quick to point out.
only knows that they've spent a long enough time apart! Then
he bent down to retrieve a rock from the dusty ground and tossed
it back forth between his hands as he watched.
It's just that
we're idiots if we think that Jack is going to let Sam just join
another team and go off on her own after this. I mean, the
chance of this type of situation happening again... a time when
one or the other of them can't get home, for whatever reason...
is too possible for them to allow the other access to 'Gate
travel. Jack's too much of a worrier, even if he tries to hide
it, and Sam is the world's biggest control freak. He gripped
the rock hard in his hand and pensively added,
break up the team before they let the possibility of losing one
another happen again.
Teal'c closely watched the Colonel and the Major.
mean that they will retire from the Air Force?
I don't see how they can stay in, Daniel admitted.
A civialian post would be okay for Sam, but can you see Jack
enjoying a job where he has to stay behind when there's a crisis
of some kind off-planet? He shook his head.
No, this is
the end, my friend. They'll retire, and... Daniel turned to
What will you do?
Teal'c raised his eyebrow.
I had not previously thought
of that possibility, he answered, then went on to say,
perhaps I will go to the Alpha Site and offer my services there.
They are always in need of Jaffa loyal to the concept of a
symbiotic free universe. He turned to Daniel as well.
I don't know, Daniel answered on a sigh.
General Hammond gives us some time to think about our
options. He squinted into the sunlight that still bathed the
I might continue working for the SGC, in an advisory
capacity... You know, offer my expertise on translations and
things... Or I could take a much safer job in the private
sector. He whirled and clapped Teal'c on his shoulder with a
I don't know, yet. But let's worry about that
later, he suggested.
First, we have to get home. Come
on. And he gestured at Sam and Jack from their places beside
Let's go help.
Together, Daniel and Teal'c started up the steps and reached out arms to accept the ropes of cables. And Daniel reached for the boxes of tissues that Sam had not forgotten.
* * *
By the time they had hooked all the electical paraphernalia that Sam had brought with her to the 'Gate and was walking down the ramp under Cheyenne Mountain to a relieved look on General Hammond's face, the sun had been up for several hours on Earth, and the entire team was exhausted.
Infirmary, briefing, and then rest, Hammond tersely
ordered before any if them could say anything to him.
But Jack could see the shadows under the older man's eyes,
and he felt sympathy for his commanding officer.
goes for you, too, I think, Sir.
Breaking out of command mode for just a second, Hammond
A bed has never sounded so good as it does about
now, I admit, Colonel.
Jack grinned, but refrained from comment as he followed his team members out of the 'Gate Room and headed for the infirmary.
Good job, SG-1, Hammond called after them in a tired
voice before the door to the 'Gate Room slid shut behind
Jack grabbed Sam's hand as she walked by him down the
Yeah, good job, he whispered, echoing the
Gratefully, Sam smiled her thanks.
* * *
Six hours later, after the fastest de-briefing he had ever been part of, Jack exited Sam's SGC quarters quietly, letting her continue sleeping after the struggle they had undergone to get back to Earth. He smiled, recalling how young and innocent she had looked all curled up in the grip of sleep, and decided that marriage wasn't bad at all. As long as he and Sam were together, they could handle anything that the universe chose to throw at them.
Which reminded him of what he had been pondering for the past hour. It had been on his mind so much that he had been unable to sleep, even after all the excitement he and Sam had shared the day before... Again, O'Neill grinned, a smile decidedly more wicked than his previous expression, but one that was equally as content as before. But his thoughts also told him that he needed to see General Hammond while the man was still on base.
Hammond was seated behind his desk, filling out papework
when Jack knocked lightly on the man's open office door.
Don't you ever go home? Jack asked as he entered and took
a seat in front of Hammond's wide desk.
Hammond glanced up at Jack and smiled.
answered with his smile intact, letting Jack know that he was
joking with his response.
What can I do for you,
The grin of friendly complacency immediately disappeared
from Jack's face.
I wondered if I could talk to you for a
This looks serious, Hammond announced, pushing aside
his papers and giving all his attention to Jack.
Jack grabbed a pen from the General's desk and nervously
played with it in his hands as he said,
Sir, I won't beat
around the bush, here...
That's what I like about you, Hammond interrupted in
a perfectly serious tone of voice.
You always get to the
point of any matter.
Thank you, Sir... At least someone
appreciates one of my best qualities.
I'd say the Major appreciates more than that, Hammond
Jack actually blushed in front of his superior's assessment.
Yes, well, that's kind of what I want to talk about,
This surprised Hammond, and he started in his chair.
want to talk about the Major?
No... Yes... I mean, General, let's be honest here...
Being married to her puts a whole new spin on everything we do
here at the SGC, O'Neill admitted.
Frankly, I'm not sure
how much longer Sam and I can work here, General.
Hammond perked up at that comment.
Do you mean
retire? he sadly asked.
Jack shrugged, then propped his left ankle over his right
knee in nervousness.
Sam and I talked things over while we
set up the manual dialing device... Then Jack met Hammond's
The thing is, things are different now, Sir.
It was acceptable when we were both part of SG-1... That
fraternization rule from before didn't exactly thrill me, but I
was willing to go along with it as long as Sam was part of what I
was part of... I could know that we weren't going to be split up
unless one of us was killed...
Was it really that hard on you? Hammond softly
Jack sighed, and ran a hand over his face.
truth? he inquired. Hammond nodded, and Jack continued,
followed that fraternization policy because it was part of Air
Force regulations, but I was never able to completely respect it,
Sir. I always thought it had its reasons for existing, but that
it caused more harm than good.
Something that works well in theory, but not in
practice? Hammond ascertained.
It made me miserable on more than one
occasion, he divulged.
But that's the point. Before,
things were pretty close to intollerable, but bearable,
Now, they've crossed the line I drew for
myself all those years ago when I came out of retirement the
first time. He hesitated, trying his best to sound coherent
in what he wanted to say next.
General, both Sam and I love
what we do, and we want to defeat the Goa'uld more than anything,
but we want to do it together. As part of two different teams,
we realized that things just weren't going to work out this
You're sure retirement is your only option in this
case? Hammond asked.
I hate to put you in this position, Sir,
but I don't see that we have much of a choice. There's no way in
Hell I'm going to give her the opportunity to get stuck on some
alien world like I was until she rescued our butts... again. The
risk is just too great. And I couldn't stay on SG-1 while she
takes a civilian research post, or vice versa, because the threat
to us is the same. O'Neill looked down morosely, but went on
I don't see that we have any other choice
but to retire from the Air Force.
Hammond closed the file he'd opened a few moments before,
completely hiding the papers he'd been working on from view.
That's one option you can take, he agreed.
Jack looked up in surprise.
You know of another?
Hammond remained silent for a moment, staring at the files
before him. Finally, he told him,
I've been reassigned,
It took a moment for the news to sink into his mind, but finally Jack gaped at him from across the desk.
I just got the news this morning, Hammond went on to
They were quiet while Jack tried to compose his astounded
features. He was only partly successful.
astonishing news, General! But, um, what does that have to do
with me and Sam, if I might ask? he eventually inquired.
The President 'requested' that I choose my own
replacement, Hammond told O'Neill.
And I've been thinking
about it ever since the report came in. Then he amended,
Well, when I've been awake.
And? Jack asked.
What does this have to do with
me, especially if I'm planning to retire?
Think about this plan to retire before you actually do
it, Hammond cautioned.
Make sure you're making the right
choice before you sign anything.
Jack appeared confused by the General's words.
What..? Then, he paused and stared at Hammond with a
glint in his eye.
You want me to take over, he said in a
deadpan tone of voice.
The thought had crossed my mind a time or two,
Me? Jack asked, stunned.
I could never fill your
Hammond grinned a tiny smile.
I'll take that as a
But before the General could say anything more, the reddish
lights of an unscheduled arrival began to turn the white walls a
haze of pink.
Unscheduled 'Gate activation! came the
warning that blared over the loudspeakers.
Hammond glanced once at Jack. Then he rose and started to
straighten his desk prior to departing for the 'Gate Room.
Think about it, but don't think too long. I have to have an
answer today, so I have time to mention this to other candidates
in case you remain determined that retirement is your only
option. He walked to the door, then shrugged.
over with your wife, with Daniel and Teal'c... Then let me
know. With that, he was gone.
Jack watched him leave with his mouth slightly open and breathing in the cool air of the SGC, so astonished that it didn't register with him that Hammond had referred to Sam as Jack's wife for the first time.
* * *
Jack first sought out Sam in the quarters that he had shared with her, but after not finding her there, he went to her lab on level twenty-eight. There he found her sitting at her computer, staring off into space towards the other side of the room.
Jack stood in the doorway and crossed his arms.
that daydream is about me, he said as he leaned against the
Sam turned her head at the sound of his voice and focused
her eyes. Then she smiled.
Hey! she exclaimed before she
answered his comment with one of her own.
I could say 'yes'
and admit that I as thinking about you, but actually I was
wondering about reverse turolent electrical activation on the
Jack interrupted her with a wave of his arms.
me! he shouted.
I might actually understand that
That would be a new thing, Sam wryly said,
then slid off her stool and started toward him in the door.
Did you talk to General Hammond? she asked.
Jack's smile disappeared.
That's what I want to talk to
you about, he said.
You didn't talk to Hammond? she asked.
Jack shook his head, then nodded.
No, I mean that I did
talk to him, but the outcome wasn't quite what you or I might
Sam stared at him, looking perplexed, then crossed her arms.
I don't think I follow, she admitted.
He offered me his job.
Sam's arms slowly fell to her sides.
Oh, she said at
last, though even that one word radiated her astonishment.
Yeah, Jack said. With a mighty shove, he pushed off
the door jamb and into her lab.
Well, whaddya think? I have
to give him an answer by the end of the day, and... He
glanced at the watch attached to his wrist.
There's not much
of today left, he noted with a dispassionate air.
Maybe we should ask what Teal'c and Daniel think about
all this, she suggested.
I know what Teal'c and Daniel think already, Jack
said, stopping her progress towards her lab phone on the wall
from which she had planned to contact them.
You do? Did you talk to them about it already?
Suddenly, Jack looked a bit uncomfortable.
he admitted, and stuffed his hands in his pockets. Secretly, Sam
loved that pose he'd adopted... it made him appear so young and
vulnerable... but she would never tell him that. Finally, Jack
went on to explain,
Remember, on the planet...
The one I rescued you from? Yeah?
Well, when you and I weren't talking, and while we were
unloading all those gadgets you brought with you...
From the cart, she interrupted.
Yeah, well, Daniel forgot to turn his radio off
'transmit' when we last used them for a quick reconnaissance of
the planet before you guys at the SGC called... And Daniel had
quite a conversation with Teal'c and I heard every word over the
radios... I couldn't hear anything at any normal time, but
because we were so quiet, I heard these little voices in the
background. I didn't mean to listen, but I couldn't exactly help
That's what you get for hearing little
voices, she said in warning.
So, did you learn
Jack took a fast tour of her lab, trying to look interested
when in actuality, he was stalling for extra time.
didn't have much to say except that Daniel assumes that this is
the end of SG-1, and that neither one of us will cotton to the
idea that the other one will be off-world alone... He expects us
to resign, and we did talk about that possibility, if you
Jack, Sam said in a wheedling, warning tone of voice.
What's going on in that mind of yours?
In a sense of relief to be allowed to finally say what was
on his mind rather than have to hide it away in the recesses of
his brain, Jack took his hands out of his pockets.
here's what I think, he said. Sam crossed her arms, waiting
to hear him out. He could almost hear her say 'Oh, this should
be good.' He ignores what she didn't say aloud, and continued,
Neither one of us wants the other to go off world again, not
after today when I got stuck on a planet with no way to get home,
while you were here with no way of knowing that I couldn't get
home... Did I tell you that my mood improved about ninety
percent when you walked through that 'Gate? he asked.
I gathered that, after Teal'c's comment, Sam wryly
Jack grinned, then, a bit sheepishly.
I know I requested
that Hammond send you, but for all I knew, it could have been
Siler coming out of that wormhole.
Carrying his huge wrench that he hits things with all the
time? Sam asked, just to make sure they were talking about
Lieutenant Siler, the technician, and not Private Siler, who
stayed as far away from anything scientific as possible...
Yeah, Jack said.
I can't say that I mind being
stuck on a planet with no way home as long as you're there with
me, but I mind it a hell of a lot if I'm there, and you're
waiting for me in the SGC.
Sam let her crossed arms drop.
I'm sure that you think
of that comment as a compliment of sorts.
Not that Daniel and Teal'c aren't grat company,
but... He paused, and his face reddened a little as he
uncharacteristically blushed. Sam thought the expression on his
face, half mortification and half irriation, was totally
adorable, but she planned to save his ego from climbing too high
and wouldn't tell him that, either. Then, he glanced away
But they're not as much fun to curl up with
under a blanket at night.
The truth comes out, she said.
knew that the famous Colonel O'Neill just want a good teddy bear
to curl up with at night?
You tell anyone, and I'll tickle you in the shower...
every day. for a year, O'Neill threatened.
Do you promise? Sam asked flirtatiously.
O'Neill gave her a look that was couched in the expression
that she didn't want to find out.
So, if Daniel and Teal'c
are already making plans to move on from SG-1... and they are...
then it leaves just us, and the plan was that we were goin to
resign or I was going to resign from the Air Force, and you were
going to be asked to be reassigned to the Science department...
where you know they'll love having you as an addition to their
ranks.., but now, with this job offer, things aren't so cut and
dried as they were.
Do you want that job? Sam asked, being serious for
the first time since the conversation began.
It would keep me from going off world...
and if you agree to it, then I could offer to promote you if you
get reassigned to sciences...
Sam stuck out her hands.
Whoa, isn't that
favoritism? she asked in an even more serious tone of
Jack shrugged again.
Not if Hammond is already planing
it... I saw your file open on his desk with 'promotion' written
in ink, dated tomorrow, along with several others... Hey, is it
my fault that I can read upside down? Jack asked defensively
when she put disapproving hands on her hips and stared at him in
It's from all those crossword puzzles
I've done over the years while I was trying to distract myself
into not thinking about you! he went on.
Sam had to lower her hands from her hips at that comment.
She'd never known Jack to be so honest before. It was
And SG-1? she asked.
Jack gave a sharp grimace.
Come on, Sam, let's face it,
I only have about ten years in me anyway... I would have to give
it up eventually, just because of my... well, just
It's the age thing, she said in a tired sounding
voice, as if they had already discussed this very thing.
Jack gestured to himself.
Hey, I'm feeling up to snuff,
no matter what my age is, but the government may not think so...
they'll just look at the number of my age next to my name in my
personnel file, and claim that I'm too old to be an effective
leader any more... You know it will happen, next year if not
Sam was shaking her head.
You're right, it will happen,
but I just don't see how anyone can think of you as not
No one's asked you, yet, O'Neill gently teased
She had to think about that for only a second.
So, whaddya think? Jack asked again.
of the SGC will certainly keep me from going off-world
But you hate paperwork, and there's nothing like the
military for requiring paperwork for every little thing, Sam
That's true, Jack conceded.
But it will give us a
more normal life... he pointed out.
Maternity leave won't
be so hard for you to take.
Sam started at his comment.
Maternity leave? Good
grief, we just got married, let's not start planning a family
already! Sam entreated.
Suddenly, Jack smiled.
I bet you'll look cute in
Jack held up a hand.
All I'm saying is that with me
taking this job, we'll still know what's going on in the war with
the Goa'uld, but we won't have the worry of actually having to
fight it anymore. He waited for her to say something, and
when she continued thinking quietly, he shrugged.
than we were expecting, what with us planning to resign and all.
Sam's hands were again propped on her hips.
I can tell
by your tone of voice that you really want this job.
I'll be promoted to general, Jack said, as if
the word had only the noblest connotations connected to it.
Sam dropped her ams, again, and sighed in exasperation.
If you want it so baddly, then why are you asking me about
Hammond suggested that I talk it over with my
Sam slowly smiled.
He called me your wife?
Jack nodded, then grinned disarmingly at her.
Sam wasn't buying his expression of a puppy dog in trouble.
What do I think..? she asked herself rhetorically. She
sighed, then said,
I think that you should take Hammond up on
his offer, since you're going to take the job anyway... I can
tell... and you should also take me out to dinner... we never
commemorated our wedding, you know.
Yes, we did, said Jack as he grinned naughtily at
That's not exactly what I mean...
I know what you mean... I can almost read your mind, you
know, Jack said, reminding her.
So... you in the mood for
What? Now? Sam asked in surprise.
There's no time like the present, Jack told her.
Oh, well, okay, Sam hesitantly said, her attention
now off Jack and on her computer.
I'll just shut this stuff
Jack stopped her with a hand on her arm. He hated to feel
like he was in competition for her attention with an inianimate
Things won't come to a crashing halt if you don't
shut your computer off for one night of your life. Come on, Sam,
live dangerously for just a little while...
Sam had an immediate comeback ready at his statement.
life is already dangerous enough - I'm married to you, after
Life can get a whole lot more dangerous, if you take my
meaning, Jack said.
Sam stopped at grabbing her coat from the back of her chair.
Are you flirting with me? she asked.
I don't have much
practice at that yet.
I've been flirting with you in my head for
years. He didn't let her respond to his comment.
let's go... We can see Hammond on our way out.
So, where are you taking me? Sam asked as she shoved
her arms into her coat sleeves.
Someplace comfortable... familiar...
Oh, God, it's not he commisary, is it? Because they have
really bad burgers.
No, not the commisary. But I think you'll
like this place. I've always wanted to take you there, he
They spent until late into the night talking over shared fries at a table in the closest MacDonald's. It was the epitome of Jack's dream come true.
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