Note: This is the sequel to the story 'Say You Know What You Want,' by DustDevil. That story does not have a sequel that I can find, and it didn't end even remotely how I wanted it to, so I decided to write my own version of 'what happens next,' just because I was bothered by it and thinking about it to no end. So, here's my version of the sequel to her original story.

Further note: Found the sequel on SJD. Found the sequel to that story. Have read them both. Still can't get this story out of my head, though. So here it is.

Disclaimer: Don't own them. Don't even really own this story. Just borrowing everything... I will give them both back when I'm done. Promise.

by Linda Bindner

The phone call came at 1300 in the afternoon on a Thursday during what was almost an entire week of downtime for SG-1. Daniel was sitting on his couch in his apartment, puzzling over a rubbing of a stone tablet that SG-12 had brought back from some mission, and the clanging of the phone interrupted his concentration. Somewhat annoyed at the break to his string of thoughts, he rose to answer the phone and get back to his translation as quickly as possible

Hello? he answered the phone.

*Daniel?* came the immediate question in the deadened tones of Jack O'Neill.

Yes, of course, Daniel answered, responding to that dead tone of Jack's instead of sticking to his original intentions. What was wrong to cause such a sad voice in a person who was, typically, the lively leader of SG-1? What can I do for you? Is something wrong?

A snort carried over the connection. *Wrong? Things couldn't be any more wrong,* Jack stated unequivocally. But he went on before Daniel could respond to his blunt statement. *Daniel, listen, I've never asked you for anything before, but I'm askin' now.*

Daniel was instantly more attuned to the conversation. What do you need?

*I need to ask one favor,* Jack responded in a businesslike tone. *Can you go over to Carter's house and pound on her door for me? I need you to tell her, to her face, that she needs to look at what's inside the envelope I plan to tape to her front door. I know that she won't listen to me if I try to leave a message on her answering machine, won't take my email if she sees it's from me, and would never speak to me if I go over to her house myself. And, Daniel, if she's out, or won't respond to your voice when you yell at her and tell her to open her door because it's just you, I need you to sit on her porch until she does come out, or come home. But above all, I need you to make sure she reads what's in that envelope today, this afternoon. Can you do that for me?*

Daniel furrowed his brows in bemusement. Uh, sure, I can handle all that. But... You okay?

*No,* came the swift reply. *But there's nothing you can do about it, except to do as I've asked you.*

Something had happened between Jack and Sam, of that Daniel was certain. Still, he asked anyway. Did something happen between you and Sam that I can help with?

Jack sighed over the line. His voice, when next he spoke, was the controlled tones of a man fighting to retain his hold on his emotions. *No, you can only do what I've already asked you to do. If you do that much, you've done more for me than you know. Please, Danny?*

That name made Daniel feel like such a little boy, he thought, but a loved little boy. So he said, You want me to leave right now?

*Give me fifteen minutes, then go over to her house and tell her about the envelope. Thanks, Daniel, I owe you one,* Jack replied.

Sure, Daniel said, trying to ignore the obvious sound of the break in Jack's voice. I'll leave here to go there in fifteen. Bye.

*Bye.*

* * *

Exactly fifteen minutes later, Daniel left, heading for Sam's, puzzling over the need for the rather strange set of instructions he'd been given, but finding no answer to those questions of his as the streets slipped by under the tires of his car.

Then, he steered his vehicle up to the curb outside Sam's house. Then he was staring at her front door as he banged on the outside of it after pulling down the taped envelope that he found flapping in the wind there, the envelope that Jack had obviously left. Sam, open up... It's just me, Daniel, he called to the wooden door.

A few seconds went by, then Daniel was staring at Sam as she flung the door open. Daniel was a bit shocked to see the wan expression on her face and the tear stains running down her cheeks, but he didn't say anything... only thought Good God, what happened? as he handed her the envelope. I won't lie to you, he said then. This is from Jack, and he just called me to tell me to tell you to read this letter today, this afternoon, but he didn't tell me why, only that I was to instruct you to read it, then to make sure that you do read the letter. I guess it tells you what's gonna happen next, or something. Then, he drifted back down her front steps. So, I guess I'll see you around? he asked, and when she nodded, he turned away after making sure she had pulled the letter from the inside of the envelope and was reading it before she thoughtfully closed the door behind her. Then he headed back to his car.

Daniel had already pulled away as Sam more fully shut her front door, but was barely aware of the sound of the car on the street in front of her house. She was already sucked into the letter that Jack had written and wanted her to read.

Sam,

No entreaties, no emotions, no guilt, I promise. Only facts. You should like facts.

Fact: It's interesting to note that of all the choices you could have made at this point, you have chosen the one way that will definitely force me to go away, rather than the other option that depends on the maybes of unsureness; maybe a relationship would have eventually been discovered, maybe General Hammond would have found out, and maybe he would have been disappointed in us, but I don't think so. He's a pretty damn understanding guy. But that's banking on a lot of maybes, there. Anyway, you've already made your decision. Damn, I didn't know you could be so selfish, and I'm pretty impressed that you can be. A person has to be selfish to a certain degree to have the kind of jobs that we do, though.

Fact: I love you, and always will, no matter what you do. That's my problem, though, not yours.

Fact: Unless you do something before 0830 tomorrow morning, I'm resigning from the Air Force. I already have my letter written and signed, and will leave for the SGC at 0830, and will hand my resignation letter to Hammond sometime between 0900 and 0930. I can't pretend not to see you as anything other than a colleague, now, and can't lead SG-1 if we're both on it, but wouldn't want either of us on another team, either. I don't want to break up the team, so it's adios for me instead of the rest of you guys. I will be at my house from the time when you read this letter until tomorrow morning, so you will know where to find me if you want to. If not, you know what will happen.

Fact: After I resign, I'm leaving Colorado Springs, so there will be no chance that you'll ever have to see me again. And no, don't call my house, and don't look for me in my cabin in Minnesota... I'll be selling both, so just don't bother.

Jack

The cold tone of his written words chilled Sam as she finished his letter and let the piece of paper fall to the floor by the couch in her livingroom. She stared at where it fell, and slowly, the words blurred as her tears started up again.

Damn, this was such a mess. The fact that it was all her fault didn't make her feel as if the situation were any less messy, either. In fact, it seemed more messy because of it.

Sam sank down to her couch, and cried, and thought, and despaired.

* * *

Jack sighed as he cleaned up the wrinkles that sitting and eating breakfast had caused in his military dress uniform the following morning. He glanced at the clock one last time, and saw that it was 0825. It was time for him to leave. He couldn't dally any longer.

In the end, Sam hadn't shown up at his door, which really didn't surprise him much. She had made her feelings clear enough a few nights before when she had arrived at his house, but stayed at the end of his driveway, and rejected him, so now nothing she chose to do would ultimately surprise him.

Therefore, he already had the envelope bearing his resignation letter in the inside pocket of his uniform jacket, ready to hand over to General Hammond the first thing after he reached the SGC. It probably wasn't the way the General wanted to begin his Friday, but Jack didn't want to wait any longer. If Sam was going to stop him, she would have shown up by now. He trusted Daniel enough to know that she had at least read his letter, so she knew what was what. No, her reasoning was her own, and his was his, and never the two shall meet, he grimly thought as he stared at the empty cereal bowl in front of him.

But, at least, now the waiting was over. He knew what would happen next, and he was as ready as he ever would be to face the lonely drive into the SGC, and to confront Hammond. He didn't particularly want to do either, but it no longer mattered what he wanted to do. So, he stood up, carried the bowl to the sink, loaded it into his dishwasher, then headed to his front door. The jangle of the keys to his truck rang from his hand as he remembered to grab his hat from the table on his way out.

Thus, he was completely stunned to find Sam, sitting on one of the Adirondack chairs on his front step, sound asleep under a blanket that she had brought along with her. When he looked at his truck, he saw that she had pulled her car up behind his Dodge, and parked across his driveway directly behind his vehicle, effectively blocking him in so that he couldn't sneak away by just letting out the clutch on his truck and rolling into the street, where he could start the engine with ease. She had pulled up so close to his back bumper, that it was impossible to even open her driver's door and climb out of the car. She must have crawled out the passenger door sometime last night, when he'd been miraculously asleep himself.

She was curled up, one leg thrust through the arm of the chair, breathing deeply of the cool outside air. The days were still plenty warm, but the nights warranted a blanket or two, especially outside, as she must have been. Her head was pillowed on an arm of the chair, protected from the wood of the chair arm's hard surface by a few folds of the blanket shoved under her ear. Other than that, and her deep breathing, there was no sound other than the birds in the trees surrounding his house. Even the traffic on his street was oddly muted this morning.

Jack soundlessly closed his front door, and took this undisturbed opportunity to study her in one of her most unguarded moments. Her blonde hair lay straggled across her forehead, and the obvious remains of tear stains traveled down her cheeks. He wondered when she had been crying, if it had been before reading his letter, after reading it, both, or only when she had come to his house to camp out on the front step in the dark of night. Jack didn't know, and he didn't wake her to ask. She looked... Well, besides the fact that just staring at her caused the irritating, though no less familiar, swirl of desire in his heart, she appeared decidedly uncomfortable, half sitting, and half reclining in his chair. He moved forward on slow, silent feet, intent on waking her.

Jack knelt down beside her chair, so that he would be on the same level as she was, then gently shook her shoulder. Sam, wake up, it's morning. Time to wake up.

Sam slowly stirred, lifted her head, made a disparaging face, groaned, reached up to rub dispiritedly at her neck before she had even opened her eyes. She sighed, breathed, let her head fall back as she stretched her muscles on her neck's other side. What..? she moaned, then slitted her eyes to stare straight at him.

Jack reached up to run one index finger down her cheek. He couldn't help himself. Just that much contact sent a shiver down his spine, but he ignored it. Sam, he whispered again. Wake up. Come on, Major.

Her eyes opened a bit further.

God, Jack thought. How he would like to soothe her out of sleep like this every morning, he thought. But he didn't let himself linger on that idea or its hidden dangers of derision and pain. Instead, he met her gaze with his, then blinked as he saw awareness enter into her blue eyes. I think we need to talk, he stated bluntly, coming to the point with unusual clarity for him.

Sam slowly uncurled her legs in her chair. Jack! She shot up to sit straighter. Don't..! she said. Don't go any... Her voice broke in the dry morning air, and she coughed.

Jack took the chance to speak himself. Sam, come in to the house. We can talk there while you eat something. He gently tossed her blanket aside, then helped her to stand. She stumbled into him, as the blood drained back into her sleeping legs. She stamped both feet, the tennis shoes she was wearing making dull thuds on his porch flooring. Then, carefully, he led her to the door, unlocked the portal with the keys still in his left hand, and led her into his front hallway.

This way, through here. Don't trip over the rug...

I know, Sam said, then tripped anyway over the rag rug he had laid down between his dining room and kitchen. She always tripped on that same rug, so often that he and the others on SG-1 had dubbed it 'Sam's rug,' simply because she spent so much time tangled up in it. The trip made her lurch into him again, but wasn't enough to make her fall completely off balance.

Jack stopped what he had been saying about having boxes of Rice Krispies or Fruit Loops to offer her for breakfast, and caught her as if he'd been secretly prepared for her to trip on his rug the entire time. They stood where he tangled with her feet in the rug, in the middle of the large archway leading into his kitchen, and just stared at each other. Sam at last reached up to very gently run her fingers down the sides of his face. Gods... false ones notwithstanding... you look really good.

Is that a compliment, or an observation? Jack inquired, not sure if she meant that he was a sight for her sore eyes, or that he looked relatively good for a man who had just been about to hand in his own resignation letter.

A compliment, Sam assured. An observation, she went on. Both.

Jack pulled her hand down with his, as loath as he was to do it. Sam, he said. What are you doing here? What do you want?

She fervently told him, I have to stop you, I need to...

Sam, he interrupted. Need... There's a lot to need...

Without a bit of hesitation or uncertainty in her voice, Sam went on, I need you, she stated.

But the other night..? Jack started to bring up to negate her words.

Sam cut him off. The other night... I'm so sorry for the other night... I had convinced myself of the wrong thing, the wrong wants...

Sam, Jack went on in his low, controlled tones. What you did hurt me as much if not more than Charlie dying...

Sam looked like she was in anguish. I'm so sorry... she whispered. Jack, I can never fix that... I was so horrible to you... I don't know how you can ever forgive me for that...

Who says that I have?

Sam smiled just slightly when he asked that question, more like a lift of the corners of her lips than a genuine smile. I know, because you're you, and there isn't a more forgiving individual on the planet.

I can't go through it again, though, Jack warned, heedless of what she was saying. There's too much pain if we go that way. I won't live through that a second time. He took a breath, and sighed. I want you so much, love you so much, that I can't go through it again. So I'm telling you, warning you, that... His brown eyes delved into her blue ones. Sam... he whispered again, and clutched at her hand in his. Please, don't pretend anymore...

I'm hardly pretending, Sam told him. Again went up the hand to caress his cheek. Jack, please don't leave, don't go, don't...

Don't what?

Sam threw herself against him, and wrapped her arms around his back, not caring if he returned the gesture of affection. Please don't leave me, Jack! she wailed then, loud, her normal tones ringing in the empty kitchen. You're my other half... Please, stay here, don't resign, don't sell you house, your cabin... Please don't leave me here all alone! Please! She was crying again, sobbing onto the material encasing his shoulder, leaning her forehead into the skin of his neck that lay between his collar and his gray hair.

Sam hung on him, shaking. Jack balked, as he had never seen here cry before, and he didn't quite know what to do.

Then, Jack's own hands stole around her back and returned her embrace almost as if they had a will of their own. He was far more forgiving than he should be, he thought. But it was ultimately better for him to forgive her a moment of insanity than to have to live the rest of his life with nothing to warm him but his stubbornness and pride and... God, Sam, you feel so good! He wanted to cry and to thank... someone... at the same time that the lead weight that had engulfed his heart for the past day seemed to lift like the cloud it had been. He clung to her, too, smelling her hair, feeling her skin, sensing her softness and her strength... Lord, how he wanted her again... The feelings swamped him in a rush of sensation that he had an extremely difficult time controlling. As it was, he kissed her when she pulled her head back to gaze at him. She threw herself into the gesture of pure affection, quickly making it about more than simple emotion as she deepened her attachment to him and wove her fingers through the hair on his head.

Jack eventually had to draw away to breathe. His lips still tingled with the feel of her pressed against him...

Sam, he said as he stared into the blue depths of her eyes. You have to know how much I love you... and I'm not just saying that in order to convince you to change your mind about the other night...

Jack, she whispered, interrupting him. Maybe we can forget about the other night, start over... I know I'm asking a lot of you, but... I love you to much to let you resign, to let you lose SG-1, to let...

Say it again, he commanded in a soft voice.

What?

That bit about loving me.

Her smile lit up the room and made the sun shine again, even though it had momentarily drifted behind a cloud. Jack O'Neill, you have no idea how much I love you...

Oh, Jack said, rolling his eyes upward as he pretended to think. I have a pretty good idea... At least, if it's even close to how much I love you, then...

It is, Sam instantly declared. It's more. Then, before he could respond and say that he loved her right back, which was an argument that he had never intended on having this morning, she was kissing him on his neck, his cheek, his forehead, his lips, and he didn't have time to think of anything other than showing her the depths of his emotions rather than arguing with her about them.

Sam kissed Jack languidly, with only a hint now of the desperation she had obviously been feeling for the past day.

Jack kissed Sam, feeling her curves against him, feeling how well she fit into him, symbolizing exactly how well she also fit into the rest of his life. In one swift move, he scooped her up into his arms, his muscles honed by his many years in the military barely quivering at the extra weight he was carrying. He grinned down at her, and said, Then I think it's time for me to get out of this damned uniform, and for us to get a bit more comfortable.

I can't wait, Sam told him, and smoothed one finger down the side of one of his cheeks.

In a move both urgent and gentle, Jack carried her straight through his front hallway, and down the corridor to his bedroom. Once they were in the room, he quietly closed the door.

THE END


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