Categories: Ship, Het, Romance, Fluff
Characters: Sam Carter (primary), Jack O'Neill (primary), Daniel Jackson, Teal'c.
Spoilers: Mild spoilers through season eight. Set during Threads.
A/N: A short episode addition for Threads because I couldn't resist. What can I say? I'm weak. Dedicated to Threads-fic junkies everywhere.
Credits: Beta by Anne Rose and Lizzoid.
Disclaimer: MGM doesn't mind, I hope. I mean, they just left that scene laying around just waiting for the fans to fill in the not-so-blanks.
Sam went home first. Made a cup of coffee that she didn't drink. Did some cleaning. Opened a book and stared at the words a bit. She tried to feel some sense of loss; she had after all just ended things with her fiancé, but all she really felt about it was relief. That, and maybe some lingering guilt at having accepted his proposal in the first place.
Truth be told, her concern for Daniel made dwelling on her broken engagement nearly impossible. With everything else happening, it seemed downright trivial. She'd just lost her father, Earth was at risk -- as per usual -- and Daniel was missing. They didn't even know where to begin looking, and he was certainly in danger if not dead already. Theoretically, he was probably still somewhere in the galaxy, but even that was a guess. The situation gave needle in a haystack a whole new meaning.
By comparison, Pete just didn't rate.
Finally she gave up, put the book back on the shelf, poured the coffee down the sink, and headed out the door.
Jack sat looking at the stars. Or, more accurately, he sat waiting for the stars, because night was a while off yet. He heard a car door, but couldn't quite be bothered to worry about it. Wouldn't be Kerry, so that was good. Probably just another crazy with a gun, no big deal.
Carter crossed the porch and sat down beside him. Close. She laid her head against his shoulder without speaking. This was new. But then it had been a heck of a week.
He wrapped his arm around her shoulder and pulled her closer.
"I broke it off with Pete."
"I hope you're not."
"Nope. Not even a little bit."
They didn't need to say more. Everything important had been said years ago. Maybe not in so many words, but they both knew, and besides, this wasn't the time. Not while she was still mourning Jacob. Certainly not with Daniel still missing. He wanted those words, when finally spoken, to be said with joy. He wanted special. Perfect, even.
This was pretty sweet, though. Carter. On his porch. Her head on his shoulder. And no gou'ald in sight. A guy could get used to this.
Technically, nothing really changed in the next few days, but Sam felt the difference just the same. That unbalanced sense of loss that had haunted her for the past year had disappeared, and although she still didn't have a clue how they'd do it, she knew that she and Jack had a future. They were them again, and that made all the difference.
Then the whole galaxy changed so fast it made her head spin. Anubis lost. The Jaffa overthrew the remaining goa'uld. Daniel returned from the dead, again. And Jack suggested that they all go fishing.
So the team gathered in the parking lot to fill the back of Jack's truck with junk food, cold beer, and a liberal amount of insect repellent. They all needed to get away, and despite previous warnings from Teal'c, Jack's cabin in Minnesota seemed like the perfect place.
Sam slid into the front seat next to Jack, and her stomach gave a little flip when he smiled at her. The look in his eyes sent her butterflies into a flurry of activity. This weekend, everything would change. All the years of waiting, of longing, of trying like heck to keep this thing between them from defining her, consuming her -- it ended now.
"Sam." That was all he said, just her name, but he rarely used her given name, and it sent a shiver down her spine. His hand slid across the seat, his fingers clasping hers, and the simple touch sent electricity sparking through her.
Daniel chuckled softly from the back seat, but she found it hard to mind. Everything was just that much simpler if Daniel and Teal'c knew. Of course they already did know, they had for almost as long as she'd known herself, but now they -- or at least Daniel -- knew that things were finally changing. She and Jack wouldn't have to sneak off to have that talk, the others would allow them privacy without comment.
She bit her lip and considered sliding over next to Jack, but that would mean unbuckling her seatbelt, and she knew better. Later, when Daniel took his turn at the wheel, then maybe she'd explore that little fantasy, but in the meantime, this was nice.
Carter, fishing, and beer. Jack couldn't imagine a more perfect vacation. Better yet, the gou'ald were toast. Finito. Mission accomplished. And the best part -- the very best part -- was the fact that before the night was out, he was so gonna kiss Carter.
She smiled at him. She kept doing that -- treating him to the most amazing smiles, as if she knew exactly what that did to his insides. She probably did know. Not much got by Carter.
"Okay, campers," Jack said. "Here's the thing. There's this little place in Nebraska with the best steaks on this whole planet, but if we're gonna make it there in time for dinner, we need to hustle. That means -- "
Carter and Daniel both snickered.
"Teal'c already warned us, sir."
Jack glared at Teal'c in the rear view mirror. "What do you mean warned?"
"I felt an obligation -- "
"And what do you mean 'sir' -- this is vacation, Carter. Vacation!"
"Old habits die hard, O'Neill."
He started to respond to that and caught her smirking at him.
Jack knew his steak. Sam closed her eyes as she savored another bite. It practically melted in her mouth. "You were right," she said. "This is great."
His eyes met hers. "Told you."
Her smile grew. God, she loved this man, and she planned to tell him exactly that very, very soon.
His lips turned up and she felt sure that he could read her thoughts. They were both savoring this. Her heart raced with every glance, every touch.
And he was touching her, his hand resting lightly over hers on the table, the warmth of it spreading all the way to her toes as her insides melted into an extremely pleasant goo. She let her hand turn slightly so his fingers could wrap around hers, shivering as his thumb stroked the back of her hand.
Every cell in her body felt alive.
Her consciousness narrowed to include only Jack's eyes on her face, and Jack's hand covering hers. When the waiter offered to wrap up her leftovers, Daniel answered for her, because her voice failed her for a moment, and letting go of Jack's hand to leave the restaurant seemed a daunting task.
The evening had started to take on that surreal feeling, like one of the many dreams she'd had over the years, but then Jack touched her again, his hand finding the small of her back as they crossed the parking lot, and she knew that this time, her happiness would not dissolve with the buzzing of her alarm.
At long last, she and Jack could finally get a life.
An all-night drive still stretched before them, and Jack was grateful when Daniel offered to take the wheel for a while. He opened the back door for Carter, and she rolled her eyes at him, but she also grinned. When he got in the other side, she grinned again, and slid over beside him.
The heat of her thigh against his set his blood at a slow boil and the smell of her shampoo brought a smile to his lips. Usually he only got to hold her when they were about to die, or had just almost died, and he missed out on little details like the fresh scent of her shampoo. He wrapped an arm around her. "This is nice."
She smiled up at him, her gaze shifting for a moment to his lips before her blue eyes locked with his.
Jack wanted to kiss her, but he'd promised himself that after all the waiting they'd endured, they'd have that one perfect moment, and the back seat of his truck didn't figure into perfect.
Or maybe it did, because he felt pretty content at the moment.
He caught her hand, stroking the backs of her fingers with his thumb, and leaned in, bypassing her lips to place a whisper of a kiss just below her ear. Her gasp reached all the way to his toes, and he moved back to watch the flush rise in her cheeks. He liked being the cause of that, and he really liked the look in her eyes.
Her hand slid from his grasp, and she reached up to stroke his cheek. Each fingertip affected his skin in a most pleasant way, and when her thumb teased his lips he pretty much counted his battle with temptation as lost. She stretched up to kiss him, but he caught her face in both hands and drank in the moment.
He was about to kiss Carter.
Then he leaned close again, letting his fingers trail down her throat. He swallowed, his eyes flicking to her slightly parted lips as her eyes drifted shut.
"We are now entering Iowa," Daniel said. "Home of Effigy Mounds National Monument, the House of Clocks, and Star Trek's Captain Kirk."
"That's terrific Daniel," Jack said. "I'm so glad you mentioned that." He turned back to Carter, the moment broken.
She laughed, and he realized they were both grinning like idiots as he fell in love with her all over again.
The thrill of having almost kissed Jack kept sending delicious shivers through Sam. She'd forgive Daniel the interruption -- this time -- because truth be told, she'd rather their first kiss happen somewhere other than the back seat of Jack's truck anyway.
This was, after all, the love of her life.
He had his arm around her, the heat of his body warming her very soul. This felt so natural. So right. The years spent walking the tightrope of Air Force regs had ended, because they'd defeated the goa'uld, and that meant they could arrange their careers around their lives now, instead of the other way around.
The possibilities spun through her mind. Sharing meals with Jack. Painting a kitchen with Jack. Doing the Sunday crossword with Jack. Sharing a bed with Jack. Doing the Sunday crossword, in bed, with Jack.
Over the years, she'd devoted a great deal of effort to not thinking about those particular possibilities.
Jack squeezed her shoulder, and when she looked up at him, what she read in his face took her breath away. She'd known, in theory at least, that he cared deeply for her. Loved her even. She'd seen it often enough in his eyes, in those moments when danger or emotional pain stripped away their ability to hide from those feelings.
To see the evidence now, accompanied only by joy, moved her almost to tears. Shaky, happy tears that threatened to spill down cheeks that ached from smiling, and she buried her face against his shoulder.
His lips pressed softly against her hair, making her hum with contentment. She knew that in her entire life, she'd never felt this happy, and yet at the same time she had to suppress an urge to ask just how much longer they'd be on the road. As great as this was, it was just an appetizer, and she was definitely growing hungry for the main course.
The sun had yet to peek over the horizon when Teal'c pulled onto the dirt road that led to the cabin. Jack smiled as Carter stirred in his arms. Even his truck didn't have shocks enough to let anyone sleep through that.
They'd arrive just in time to watch the sunrise. He loved watching the dawn spread across the still water of his pond, and that was just one of many things that he'd finally get to share with Carter.
She smiled up at him. "Are we almost there?"
"Yep." He let his fingers smooth her sleep mussed hair. "Good morning, Sam." He could call her Sam now. He really liked calling her Sam.
That she liked hearing it showed in her smile. "Good morning, Jack."
They grinned foolishly at each other.
"We have arrived." Teal'c shut off the engine and looked back at them.
"Oh," Jack said. "Right. That means we can get out."
They hauled bags up onto the dark porch and Jack opened the door. "Need to freshen up?"
"Meet me out here in a few," he said, his heart suddenly acting like it belonged to some kid asking the hottest girl in school to the prom. "We'll watch the sunrise."
"Sounds great." She smiled again.
It had been a while, but he didn't remember any girls that hot in high school.
When she joined him again, they walked down to the pond. He took her hand, guiding her gently through the fading darkness to the dock. Sam Carter, standing on his dock.
He stepped behind her, wrapped both arms around her waist, and rested his chin on her shoulder. Her sigh made his pulse race, and so did the way she stroked his arms as she leaned back into his chest.
Insects chirped. A gentle breeze blew across the water. The stars twinkled, their light dimming as the sky grew less black. He drank in the moment. Their moment. The one that beat out all the others as his new absolute favorite moment.
He wanted to say so much to her, but right now none of it mattered more than holding her. Besides, they'd said the part that really mattered years ago, although not in so many words.
The sky colored itself in warmer tones, the gray giving way to soft pinks and golden shades of orange as the new day came upon them. A day that started with Samantha Carter in his arms.
"It's beautiful," Sam whispered.
"Yep." He closed his eyes briefly, pressing his lips to her cheek and rocking her gently. "Beautiful."
"I'm glad I'm finally here," she said. "It seems right. Like it's all led us here."
"In my fantasy, we never leave here again. We live here. Watching sunrises. Making love. Fishing. Watching the Simpsons. Raising babies that have your eyes. No outside contact except for visits from Daniel and Teal'c . . . and it's okay, because Earth is never ever in danger again."
"Yeah, but you'd have to give up your career." He frowned. "And eventually we'd run out of beer. Hey! Maybe Daniel and Teal'c would bring us beer?"
She laughed. "They just might."
"The future is wide open," he said, suddenly serious. "You don't have to give up a thing. I just want you to be happy. That's all that's ever mattered to me."
She turned in his arms, her eyes meeting his. "You make me happy. Anything less would have been a lie."
"Well here's to honesty." He pulled her close and studied her face for another long moment before lowering his lips to hers.
Sam's lips. Sweet.
Sam let herself melt into Jack as he kissed her with such intensity that she really did see stars. Every cell in her body responded to this kiss, which somehow managed the impossible by not only living up to every fantasy she'd ever had, but actually outdoing every last one of them.
Her knees didn't seem to be supporting her weight any more, and Jack's strong arms literally swept her off her feet to dip her like in some romantic old movie. She let her fingers slide into his hair, holding him to her as he deepened the kiss. When he pulled her upright against his chest again and drew back to let her catch her breath, she had to cling to his shoulders for support.
He smiled back at her. "Yeah."
She stroked his cheek and marveled at the way he looked at her.
"I love you," he said softly. "I probably should have said that before."
"You did, years ago."
"No, I distinctly remember very specifically not saying it."
"You didn't say the words, but you said it in every way that matters." She took his face in both hands and smiled up at him through tears of happiness. "You mean so much to me that I'm not even sure the words are enough, but I don't know how else to say it. I love you too."
He smiled, and kissed her again, stealing her breath away and proving the first kiss wasn't a fluke. "So, wanna see the rest of the place? I could give you the grand tour."
She grinned. "Sounds great. Is the bedroom a part of this tour?"
"It could be, if -- "
"No ifs," she said. "I think we've shown remarkable restraint over the years, but I also think that it's high time that ended."
She nodded. "Yeah."
He grinned. "Excellent."
The fish ignored every line he cast, which suited Jack just fine. With Carter -- Sam, he'd really better call her Sam now -- sitting beside him, he had everything he wanted in the world. Actually catching a fish would be an inconvenience that he'd rather avoid.
She smiled at him again.
Life was good.
Want an S/J fic with more heft? Try Badfic!Pete and the Temple of Doom, Xanadu, or Jaunt to Paradise.
This transformative work constitutes a fair use of any copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. Stargate™©, Stargate SG-1™©, and related properties are Registered Trademarks of MGM Studios. No copyright infringement intended. No profits made here. © Spiletta42, August 2006.