Jackfic Archive Story



by Aussie

Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author(s).


For lack of anything better to do, Sam strolled through the door into the guest quarters where Daniel's grandfather sat on the bed. "Mister Ballard; I know you can't hear me, but you need to talk to Daniel," she said.

"I wanted to take him," the older man murmured, "but my life back then ... It was no life for an eight year old."

Sam shook her head, sad for the gulf that had opened between the two archeologists. "Talk to him, sir," she said.

The old man's eyes wandered over to the door. "You're very sweet, young lady, but talking never did any good."

"What?" Sam jerked out. "You can see me?"

"Yes, my dear; I can see you," Nick said sadly.

"You have to tell the Colonel!"

"Tell him what? Just another hallucination."

Sam sighed. "Mister Ballard; I'm not an hallucination."

"Hallucinations always say that." He gave her a smile that reminded her of Daniel. "But at least you're a lovely one."

Sam sighed again. "When you encountered the giant aliens, you were thrown out of phase. I've been thrown out of phase too, but I can't get back. We need to go back to P7X 377."

Nick blinked. "Could your people not name these planets something easier to understand?" he complained.

"It's based on a binary code the computer uses for extrapolation," Sam said automatically.

Nick blinked again. "Not an hallucination?"


Sam stood next to Nick at the briefing table, where Daniel, General Hammond, Teal'c and her favorite smart ass Colonel sat - hair all on end as usual. She smiled fondly; he had no idea how endearing he looked like that.

"We have to go back to the planet," Nick said.

The General looked over at Colonel O'Neill. "I swear; not a word, sir!"

"What 'planet'?" Hammond asked.

"The planet where the giant aliens live," Nick said. "She is here. Samantha is here."

"What?" Daniel said.

"Say she's standing right beside me," Sam instructed.

"Standing right beside me," Nick said obediently.

The Colonel looked over the table. "She's lost a few pounds," he said.

Sam groaned. "God, Colonel; don't be such an ass," she muttered.

"God, Colonel; don't be such an ass," Nick echoed.

Now Sam knew for sure that she wasn't a ghost. Could a ghost want to kill itself?

Daniel snickered and the Colonel sat up from his slouch. "Carter?" he barked.


That night:

"Carter; I could swear I ordered your ass off this base," Jack O'Neill said, upon entering the commissary and seeing his favorite brainiac toying with a piece of pie.

"Sir," she said, going pink. "I only finished typing up the briefing on the skull an hour ago. It wasn't worth going home when we have to report back in six hours."

"Ah." He sat down opposite her and filched some of her pie, ignoring the warning tilt of a slender eyebrow. He'd forgotten that Sam could be pretty defensive over pie - not as bad as one Jack O'Neill, but she was possessive over the stuff.

"Sir ...," she began hesitantly, "I owe you an apology."

"For what?"

"Calling you an ass," she forged ahead. "I wasn't expecting Nick to repeat that."

Jack snickered. Although he hadn't been able to see her at the time, he'd been able to imagine the hot blush suffusing her lovely features. "Think nothing of it, Carter," he said. "I can be an ass at times."

She smiled at him. "Thank you, sir," she said.

A silence fell, but it wasn't uncomfortable. They'd known each other nearly three years - seen each other during some of the lowest and highest points of their lives. Despite the barrier created by their ranks, they'd become pretty good friends.

"Sir?" Carter's softly voiced inquiry brought him back to his surroundings.

"So ... Carter; what was it like being invisible?" Jack asked his 2IC curiously.

Sam ... No; Carter! ... dug her fork into the pie she was working through and appeared to mull over the question. She wrinkled her nose slightly, then a small smile appeared. "It was ... interesting, sir," she said.

"Ah, c'mon, Carter!" Jack complained. "You telling me you didn't get up to anything stupid while no-one could see you?" That was entirely possible, actually, he admitted to himself. Although fifteen years younger than him, Carter was a lot more mature.

"I didn't do much that would be considered stupid," Carter said. Then she gave him one of her Carter-patented gigawatt smiles that sent his heart rate into dangerous territory. "I ... ah ... gurned."

"Gurned?" He was so proud. "Who'd you gurn at?"

"At whom did I gurn." She smirked, then added, "Sir."

"Hey, it's your job to be the genius and mine to be the smart ass," Jack complained, enjoying this rarely-seen silly side of Carter.

She beamed at him again, absorbing a mouthful of her pie, snaking her tongue out to lick some of the cream off the corner of those full red lips. And Jack felt ... things stirring to life downstairs. He coughed slightly. "So, Carter; at whom did you gurn?"

She snickered. "Everyone," she admitted. "No-one escaped - not even General Hammond."

"Damn, Carter; I'm proud," he said fondly. "So ... anything stupid besides the gurning?"

Carter shook her head. "Nothing stupid," she said.

Jack looked at the young woman. Her face was straight, her big blue eyes wide and steady. She couldn't lie worth shit, but he didn't exactly trust her choice of words. "Okay," he said. He was probably better off not knowing, anyway.

"So ... what's next on the mission roster?" Carter asked, that pink tongue coming out once more to capture some crumbs.

Jack's attention span - never the greatest - diminished even further at the sight of that pink little tongue. Major Samantha Carter was a beautiful young woman with a giant brain, and she had no idea how hot she was. Which made her even hotter, of course. "Huh? What?" he croaked.

Carter snickered. "What's next on the mission roster?" she said in a slightly less than subordinate tone. Damn; he was proud! He'd taught her well.


After discussing their upcoming mission for several more minutes, Sam and the Colonel went their separate ways - he to wade through mission reports, she to hit the sack.

"Good night, sir," she said.

"Night, Carter," he replied, patting her shoulder.

Sam smirked as she watched the Colonel's retreating backside. Very, very nice. Then the smirk changed to a snicker as she recalled his stunned reaction to her play with the whipped cream. Good to know the lust wasn't all on her side.

Sam Carter couldn't lie worth a hill of beans. Never had been able to. And she hadn't been lying when she'd told the Colonel that she hadn't done anything else stupid. Checking out the handsome, sexy older man in all his naked glory - and boy, was it glorious! - wasn't stupid. Hot, lusty, crazy-making, maybe. But not stupid. Never stupid.

"Hey, Carter!" the man himself yelled.


"Sweet dreams," he offered.

Sam snickered again. Her dreams had been anything but sweet the last few days. They had, however, been 'sweeeeet'.


Several months later:

"Whatcha doin'?"

Sam smiled as the familiar untidy gray head appeared in her line of vision. "Nothing at the moment, sir," she admitted, pushing her laptop away. "I think I'm blocked."

"Excellent!" Jack O'Neill stuffed his hands in his pockets, then added, "Carter; there's something you ... all of you need to know. But I wanted to tell you first."


The Colonel breathed in deeply. "I'm leaving SG-1," he said.

"What?" To say Samantha Carter was stunned was an understatement. The Colonel thrived on the action of leading his team of misfits.

"Yeah." The Colonel bounced on the balls of his feet, enthusiasm making his beautiful brown eyes gleam. "The brass has given their consent for an off-world colony to be established. They want me to command it."

"Oh," Sam said in a small voice. "We'll miss you, Colonel," she said lamely, for want of something better to say. Hell, I'll miss you!, she really wanted to say.

The Colonel smirked. "Not for much longer, Carter," he said. "The birds are getting replaced."


Another smirk - this one a mile wide. God, he was so cute! "Yep. This time tomorrow, you'll be looking at Brigadier General Jack O'Neill."

"Sir ...," Sam said hesitantly, "maybe I shouldn't say this - and don't take this the wrong way - but ... I'm proud of you. You deserve this."

The smirk softened into a smile. "Thanks, Carter - that means a lot," he said. "So ... what say you, Daniel, T and I go to O'Malley's on my last night? Next Saturday, 1900 hours?"

Sam smiled at the man. "Sounds good to me, sir," she said. Considering how close they'd become over the last few years, they didn't spend much time together outside of work. But she'd enjoyed their few team nights and the Colonel's company especially. He was funny, sharp-witted and playful - she liked him very much. And the fact that he was unbelievably sexy had nothing to do with it. Uh-huh. Nothing at all.

For the last few weeks - ever since her experience with that crystal skull - she'd felt an undeniable lust for her commanding officer. She wriggled slightly, recalling the sight of long powerful thighs, neat firm butt, broad chest and ... mmmm ... She wriggled again and pressed her thighs together to relieve the throbbing that had begun.

"SG-1; report to the briefing room!" the PA blared out suddenly, yanking Sam's thoughts back from the gutter in which they'd begun to reside permanently around this man.


Major General George Hammond smiled slightly as his premier team - and favorite team of oddballs, if he were to be honest - walked into the briefing room, arguing amiably about the finer points of The Simpsons. Even Teal'c joined in the argument with enthusiasm, having been introduced to the show by one Colonel Jack O'Neill.

An astrophysicist, an archeologist and an alien ... and the smart ass ex-Special Forces Colonel that led them. By some means unknown to him, they had formed the best, strongest, most effective unit he'd ever had the privilege of commanding.

For a selfish moment, he allowed himself to regret the Colonel's upcoming promotion and transfer. Jack O'Neill was one of a kind - may the good Lord be thanked for that - and there was no denying how good the man was at what he did. It wouldn't be easy filling his shoes.

But the younger man deserved this opportunity. There'd been some grumblings from the Pentagon when Hammond had suggested Jack for the role - 48 was pretty young for Brigadier General - but Hammond had argued that no other high ranking officer had such extensive off world experience as the Colonel.

"Have a seat," he said to his team. He smiled over at Colonel O'Neill. "I presume the Colonel's told you already about his upcoming transfer."

"Yes, sir," the man himself replied, gracing his CO with the smirkiest smirk in his entire repertoire - smug SOB. He drooped his eyelid in a lazy wink, then added, "I think Carter believes the powers that be have lost their collective marbles."

A rosy glow suffused the young Major's features. "Sir! I would never say such a thing!" she protested. Then she ... smirked. Damn; she was becoming more like Jack O'Neill every day. "Maybe I would think it ... sir ... but I'd never say it."

Jack chuckled and Hammond started as he realized that this was actually the first time he'd ever heard the man laugh. He'd seen the Colonel triumphant, amused, scornful, angry, callous, defensive and tender, but he'd never seen that light in his eyes.

"Very good, Major," he said as Daniel and Teal'c shared amused grins. "I've taught you well."

Sam smiled, her eyes flickering over her CO's face. "Thank you, sir," she said in a similar light tone.

And with that simple exchange, many things fell into place for George Hammond. He'd seen the sparks between these two at their first meeting - sparks that could easily have been something more but for their unwavering loyalty to the Air Force and the SGC.

Many other CO's would have been worried that the undeniable bond between these two could have serious implications for their effectiveness, but not General Hammond. These people had lived through horrors no Earth-bound human could even imagine. They could not share what happened with anyone outside - they therefore only had each other.

But now ... Looking at their faces - unguarded for a few brief seconds - George could only feel compassion for them. Jack and Sam both had everything they could ever need in each other, but were not allowed to have.

Perhaps, with Jack's transfer out of Sam's chain of command, things would change for the better for both of them.


The next day:

Sam stood near the ramp up to the 'gate with Teal'c, Daniel and most of the base, waiting for the Colonel to enter the embarkation room. Lou Ferretti stood near them, having transferred back to the SGC recently to take command of SG-1. Sam had been happy to see Ferretti again and was pleased that he would take over from the Colonel. He'd served with Colonel O'Neill on the original Abydos mission and had absorbed a great deal of the Colonel's personal ethos.

Daniel had been surprised that Sam hadn't been offered command, but Sam knew she wasn't ready yet. She'd only made Major a year ago. In a couple more years, perhaps, but for now she was happy to be 2IC.

The side door opened, distracting Sam from her thoughts, and she looked up as the Colonel strode in.

Damn, he's so handsome! Sam was an Air Force brat - had seen hundreds of men in dress blues - but there was just something about Colonel O'Neill in his dress uniform that made her feel like a high schooler with a crush on the captain of the football team. The way the jacket set off his broad shoulders, the blue color working with the sexy mix of steel and silver of his hair, the starched white collar that gave emphasis to his angled features and tanned skin ... The only word that came to a stunned Samantha Carter's mind was 'edible'.

Jack O'Neill looked damn edible. She wanted to push him against a wall and lick, suck and nip every delicious bit of his skin.

Eyes front and center, Sam!, she reminded herself. You're in the embarkation room, for God's sake!

She forced herself to tune back into the ceremony, watching as General Hammond removed the Colonel's birds and replaced them with a single star. Newly minted Brigadier General O'Neill saluted his commanding officer, then turned and saluted everyone else in an unusual gesture of respect for the wise-ass Colonel ... General.

The official part of the ceremony over, General Hammond leaned into the microphone. "May I present to you ... Brigadier General Jack O'Neill," he said. Then he smiled slightly. "I've known Jack O'Neill for three years now. He can be cocky, stubborn, exasperating and is a frequent pain in my rear."

Sam snickered and many around her laughed also. The Colonel ... the General ... smirked.

"And a small part of me regrets his promotion. When he next does something to annoy me, barking 'General O'Neill!' is just not going to feel the same." Another round of laughter. "But he is also passionate, forthright, honest and one of the finest men I've ever had the privilege of commanding." He presented his hand to General O'Neill, who amazingly wore a light blush. Oh, God; he's adorable! "Congratulations, General O'Neill and well done."

"Ah ...". The General coughed slightly, then shook the other General's hand. "Thank you, sir."


O'Malley's - Saturday, 1900 hours:

Sam drew in a quick breath when she saw the familiar tall figure of her former CO enter the bar. God, he looked good. He was just wearing jeans and a black tee, but when it was topped with that leather jacket he'd bought in 1969 ... yum was the only word that came to mind.

"Hey, Sam," he greeted her cheerfully, leaning over the booth. "Can I get you a beer?"

"That'd be nice, thanks, sir," she replied.

"Sa-am!" he whined playfully. "I'm not your CO any more. Call me by my name. Jack." He took on the tone of a parent to a very young child. "Can you say that? I know you can."

She snickered at his foolishness - he really was an ass at times! - and stroked his cheek, enjoying the evening stubble. "I can do that ... Jack," she said in a deliberately breathy tone, pleased when his eyes dilated so that they were nearly black.

For the last couple days, after he'd officially relinquished command of SG-1, he and Sam had fallen into a flirtation that had Daniel rolling his eyes, Janet blushing and Ferretti snickering. At some point, they'd crossed over the line of innocent flirting and some of their conversations were so sexually charged, Sam was beginning to need a cigarette after each one.

The man leaned further over the booth so that his warm breath hit her ear. "Well done ... Major," he purred.

Damn, he smelled great! She fought the urge to kiss that smirk off his handsome face, determined that he was not going to win this game. "Beer, Jack?" she reminded him, leaning up to nuzzle into that lovely tanned neck. She felt him swallow hard - hah; gotcha General Wise-ass! - and gave him a smirk of her own.

"Uh ... guys?" Daniel said plaintively.

Daniel ..., Sam whined internally. She was having fun here!

"O'Neill, Major Carter," Teal'c said, "I believe the Tauri expression Daniel Jackson seeks is 'get a room'."

Sam snickered and sat back down. "Sorry, guys," she said.


Several hours later:

Jack pushed his hands into his pockets, making subtle adjustments to the too-tight jeans as he went to the bar to get another round. He didn't know what had happened to the usually straight-laced USAF Major over the last few days, but he was kinda enjoying it.

There were definite advantages to resigning from SG-1. True; he would miss the action but there was no denying that he was getting older. At 48, he wouldn't be able to keep up with the younger officers for much longer, and he despised the idea of flying a desk. But the idea of helping to set up the colony on P2Z 724 - building something permanent, helping humanity take their first steps out into the stars - appealed very much to him.

Despite - or perhaps because of - everything he'd seen and done, Jack O'Neill believed strongly in home, hearth and family. He'd had it once, and it had been good - the greatest in fact. And he wanted to have it again. Perhaps with a certain blonde Major who spouted incomprehensible techno-babble, loved blue Jell-O and whose smile sent his heart bouncing around like a pinball.

"Hey, sugah," Marie, his favorite barmaid, drawled in her thick Southern accent, smiling at him. "What can I get you?"

"Two Guinness, a Budweiser and an orange, please," he said, a little uncomfortable with the endearment. For cryin' out loud, she was in grad school - practically jailbait! God, O'Neill; don't be such an egomaniac! She's just flirting for a better tip!

Feeling better for that little pep talk, he accepted the tray of drinks, then handed over the money, plus a healthy tip. "Keep the change," he said.

Marie shook her head. "No tippin', darlin'," she said. "We're not that kind of place."

Jack blinked. "Ah. Sorry," he said. "Then ... uh ... why call me sugar?"

The buxom young woman chuckled and leaned over to take Jack's chin in her hand. "Because you're a hot silver wolf with a really nice ass," she said. She brushed a soft kiss over his lips. "And because the blonde you're with wants you, but doesn't seem to know how to go about it. Nothing spurs a girl on like some competition."

"Ah," was all Jack could say. Sam wanted him? Why, for God's sake? She was years younger than him, with a brain the size of Manhattan, and she was gorgeous as well! What on Earth could she see in him? "Thanks, Marie," he said and made his way back to the table.


Several hours later:

Sam watched as Jack and Daniel hugged briefly, then as Teal'c gripped Jack's forearm. "Tek matte, O'Neill," he said. "It has been an honor to serve with you."

"Back atcha, big guy," Jack said. "Don't be a stranger, any of you; you hear me?"

"We hear you, Jack," Daniel offered. "It's sure going to be quiet around the SGC." His blue eyes twinkled. "Bet Janet will be glad to get rid of you - one less whining bird Colonel taking up bed space in her Infirmary."

"Janet?" Jack shot back, wearing a giant smirk. "Is there something between you and the tiny Queen of Giant Needles?"

Daniel blushed. "I ... don't know," he mumbled. "She's nice, but ... Sha're ...".

It hadn't been very long since Sha're had died - and it was evident that Daniel was still grieving for her. Sam put a gentle hand on his shoulder and squeezed it comfortingly. Daniel's hand came up to cover hers and he smiled slightly. "Thanks, Sam," he said.

Jack sighed and shoved a hand through his hair. "God; sorry, Daniel," he said.

"It's okay," Daniel replied.

"Cool," Jack said. He then turned to Sam and opened his arms. "Get your ass over here, Sam!" he ordered.

That was one order Sam was happy to obey. Jack O'Neill was a great hugger - strong powerful arms that wrapped around you, head ducking into your neck. Made you feel safe, but not weak.

She felt his arms come around her and sighed, willing her lips not to quiver. "I'll miss you," she admitted. Seeing that young buxom waitress kiss the General had shored up Sam's courage. If Jack didn't kiss her, then she was going to kiss him! Then she sucked in a sharp breath when Jack's lips brushed her neck. Nice, surprisingly soft, lips.

"Hey, it's okay," Jack said. "724's only a walk away. Besides, I'm sure I'll need my favorite genius to stop by every now and then and pull my ass out of the fire!" he teased. "And can't forget Felger - he'll be jonesing pretty badly without you around."

Sam snickered. His ass was so worth saving! Not that she would have the courage to say that to him, much as she would have liked to see his reaction. "Thanks, Jack," she said, feeling better. "I'll be sure to stop by - wouldn't want Felger to feel deprived, after all."

"Yeah," Jack agreed, his voice suddenly sounding husky. He put a gentle finger under her chin, then tilted it up.

Those soft lips covered hers, in what was quite possibly the sweetest kiss she'd ever received. Not that her experience was that extensive. She sighed and slid her hands round his neck to toy with the short silver hair there, then opened her lips to the gentle but insistent probing of his tongue.

Damn, the man knows how to kiss, she thought hazily as his tongue stroked lazily against hers, coaxing it to tangle with his own. He tasted of beer and steak and something indefinable that she thought of as simply Jack.

His arms tightened around her body, one hand sliding downward to rest on her waist as the kiss became less sweet and more passionate. Tongues thrust, parried and fought for dominance and their mouths burned against each other. Sam moaned helplessly when his warm hands slid down to cup her rear - she lifted her leg and wrapped it around one of his, bringing his powerful frame into full contact with her own.

Hard muscled thighs pressed against her softer ones, and she felt the unmistakable evidence of his arousal pressing against her soft flesh. She moaned again and rubbed wantonly against that hard bulge, and Jack responded with a low groan that rumbled up from that very nice chest.

"Hellewwwww!" Daniel shone a tiny pocket flashlight in their faces and they backed off from each other reluctantly. "This is a respectable neighborhood, guys!" he teased.

Sam closed her eyes then ran her tongue over her swollen lips, tasting the man and reveling in the feel of his firm body against hers. Oh yes; one dead archeologist slash linguist. Shot by one crazed blonde Major.


Nine months later:

Jack O'Neill strolled across the compound to his command center, smiling at the sound of the children's shrieks of laughter. Once, being surrounded by so many kids would have brought back nothing but painful memories, but Charlie's loss was no longer such an open wound. True; he would always miss his boy, but serving on SG-1 had helped begin the healing process and leading this colony served to continue it.

This was a true colony - not like the Alpha Site, which was a purely military base. On this planet were civilians, scientists, medical personnel, children, even pets for cryin' out loud! Jack patted the shaggy head of one of the dog-like creatures native to this planet - he'd always loved dogs - and went into the command center.

"Morning, Mike," he said to the Naval Captain who was his second in command. There was a great deal of ocean on this planet, and the brass had agreed to his recommendation that they bring the squids in on this project. There were also Marine Corps and Army personnel as well as the expected contingent of Air Force officers. It was a true joint venture and seemed to be working well ... so far.

Frankly, he was waiting for the other shoe to drop.

"Morning, Jack," the other man said, getting to his feet with a yawn. "Time for me to hit the hay."

"Yeah," Jack agreed. "Say hi to Nicole for me."

"Will do," Mike said around another yawn, moving with the slow heavy footfalls of a big man - several inches taller than Jack; he looked like he could bench-press an eighteen-wheeler if he was so inclined.

After Mike left, Jack looked around before grabbing his pen and setting to work, donning the hated reading glasses. God ... getting older sucked. But considering how healthy he was in all other respects, a little squinting was nothing to complain about!


Stargate Command:

Walter Harriman appeared at the door. "Sir; we're receiving a transmission from P2Z 724," he said.

George Hammond frowned. It wasn't the usual time for Jack's monthly check-in. What now? He got up and headed down the stairs into the control room. "Haven; this is Hammond."

"Hey, George," Jack O'Neill said casually. "How's life on good old terra firma?"

"Oh, nothing new to report," he said. "I presume you're calling for something other than a weather report?" Good grief; he really had to stop talking to Jack O'Neill - the sarcasm was beginning to rub off.

Jack snickered. "Yes, sir," he said. "It's nearly time for our first harvest and I thought you'd like to pop out here and see what we've achieved."

It was unusual for George Hammond to go off world - in fact, the last time had been when SG-1 had been held captive by Hathor - but he still remembered fondly the rush of stepping through the wormhole into the unknown. "I'll have to speak to the President," he said. "Provided he gives the go-ahead, I'd be pleased to see the place."

"Cool." Static fizzed and Jack's voice faded out, then back in. "Oh, and extend the invitation to Ferretti and the kids, too, will ya?"

Kids. Jack seemed to forget that one of those 'kids' was more than twice his age. "I will, Jack," he said. "We'll talk again tomorrow."

"Great. See ya then, George," Jack replied. "Haven out."


Three days later:

"SG-1, and General Hammond, you have a go," Colonel Reynolds announced from the control room.

Sam sighed slightly as she tightened the straps on her backpack. Heigh-ho, another day, another planet. Then she blinked. When had going to another planet become routine?

"Major; you okay?" Colonel Ferretti asked.

She smiled at the other man. "Fine, sir; just thinking," she said, tugging her cap onto her blonde head.

"Big surprise," Ferretti teased. "You know General O'Neill specifically ordered that you weren't to think for the next two weeks, right?"

General O'Neill. Jack O'Neill. Sam felt a tingle of genuine pleasure that she hadn't felt since that Entity thing had hijacked her body. Jack. Tall, sexy, goofy, and one hell of a deadly kisser. They'd talked a few times since he'd moved off world, but this would be the first time they'd actually seen each other since that nearly obscene kiss outside O'Malley's.

Mmmmmmmmmmm. Sam flinched when Hammond nudged her forward, hoping she hadn't been purring. "Major," he said.

"Sorry, sir," she said, going up the ramp, then stepping into the event horizon.

She stepped out mere seconds later and ... gaped. It was not what she'd expected. It wasn't a complete hell-hole, it wasn't an unbelievable Paradise (with the inevitable serpent). It was ... nice.

A young woman carrying a small child on her hip came over to them. "Welcome to Haven, General Hammond," she said. Then she smiled at Sam and the rest of SG-1. "And you must be SG-1; General O'Neill's told me a lot about you."

"And you are ...?" Ferretti said.

"Oh, sorry." The woman presented her free hand to Hammond. "Lieutenant Marla Richards, Army Corps of Engineers."

"Nice to meet you," Hammond said. "This is Colonel Lou Ferretti, Major Samantha Carter, Doctor Daniel Jackson and Teal'c."

"Teal'c." The young woman smiled at the formidable Jaffa. "You know; you're practically a hero to the Jaffa on this planet."

Sam felt her eyebrow rise in tune with Teal'c's. "There are Jaffa on this planet?" she said. P2Z 724 was not on the Abydos cartouche - it had been one of the planets Jack had uploaded when his mind had been taken over by the Ancient repository. Beside her, Lou Ferretti flinched and gripped his P90 a little harder.

"Don't worry; it's fine," Lieutenant Richards reassured them. "They're part of the growing rebel movement, but were betrayed by another. We found them on Chulak just after the bombing."

"Bombing?" Sam squeaked. Oh God ... Rya'c and Master Bra'tac!

Teal'c evidently shared the same thought, his face losing its usual stoic look. "Did they mention the fate of a boy named Rya'c?" he asked.

Richards beamed at him then, and patted his meaty shoulder. "Rya'c and Master Bra'tac were both off the planet at the time," she said. "And so was Rya'c's mother. In fact, Rya'c and Bra'tac will be joining us for the harvest celebration."

Teal'c heaved a big sigh. "That's good to hear," he said and smiled at the young Lieutenant.

Sam blinked. She'd never seen the big warrior smile like that before and was amazed at how much it changed him.

"Right ... well ...". The Lieutenant cleared her throat and added, "I'll take you to General O'Neill's office. If you'll follow me."

The child in her arms bounced excitedly and curled her tiny fingers into Richards' hair. "Jack ... Jack," she said.

Sam smiled at the baby girl's evident excitement and Lieutenant Richards caught the smile. "This is Laura and she absolutely loves the General. He's ... amazing with the children."

"Always has been," Daniel said as they followed the young woman over to a small group of buildings that had evidently been designated the command center.

Lieutenant Richards knocked on the open door. "Come in!" Jack's voice said.

Sam walked in first and drew in a startled breath. Not that the man hadn't been gorgeous before - he damn well had - but ... how had he gotten so buff in less than a year? More of the sexy silver had crept into his hair, particularly at the temples, his skin was deeply tanned and he glowed with vitality.

And that body ... He was dressed in standard green BDUs and a black tee shirt that molded lovingly to the muscled chest and hard tanned arms. Not as lean as he'd been a year ago, but he was pure muscle. And his height meant he could carry a little extra weight easily.

"Jack!" The little girl launched herself out of her mother's arms and Jack scooped her instantly into his own, settling her against that very nice chest. For the first time in her life, Sam found herself envious of a baby.

"My best girl!" he said, his brown eyes soft with affection. He blew a raspberry onto the little girl's cheek, making her giggle, then strolled over to Hammond and SG-1. "It's good to see you again," he said. Then grinned. "Even you, Daniel."

Daniel rolled his eyes. "You're still an ass, Jack; nice to know some things will never change."

Sam smiled at Richards' shocked look. "Don't worry, Lieutenant; they always go on like this," she said.

"Indeed," Teal'c said, raising his voice slightly to overcome the noise generated by the Jack and Daniel vaudeville show.

"God, my manners!" Jack said suddenly. He brushed past Daniel and shook Hammond's hand. "Good to see you again, sir."

"Thank you, son," Hammond replied. He waved his hand around the command center. "You think someone could show me around? I'd like to have a look at what you've built."

"Ah. Be my guest," Jack said. He picked up a radio and toggled the switch. "Satterfield; report to the command center."

"Yes, sir," a girl replied.

Less than a minute later, an Asian girl of medium height appeared. "You sent for me, General?" she asked, then came to an abrupt halt.

"I did," Jack replied. "This is General Hammond and my old team. They'd like to have a look around, if you'd do the honors."

"Yes, sir; of course," the Lieutenant replied, smiling politely at the visitors, then blushing as she looked at Daniel.

Sam smiled to herself - it seemed Daniel had won himself another admirer. "Lieutenant; it's nice to meet you," she said.

"And you too, Major," the Lieutenant replied. "I've followed your work since I was posted here - it's fascinating. Your theories on molecular bonding in ...".

"A-ah!" Jack interrupted. "Lieutenant; what is the number one rule in this office of mine?"

Satterfield smiled slightly. "No techno-babble, sir," she said.

Jack beamed at them all, still hugging the baby girl who had fallen asleep, snuffling into his neck. "God, I love being in charge!" he said happily. "Now, shoo ... Go play. I've got important General type things to do."

As SG-1 and Hammond made to leave the tent, Jack's voice halted Sam. "Hold on a sec, Carter," he said.

"I'll catch up with you later," she told her team-mates. They exited the tent, closing the door, and Sam turned back to her former CO. "Yes, sir?" she said.

"Jack. It's Jack," he said, shifting the adorable little girl so that she rested more comfortably against him. "You're looking good, Sam," he added. He turned and deposited the little girl into a bassinet, stroking her pudgy cheek gently with his thumb. God, he'd make such a great dad!

"Thanks, Jack," Sam said, blushing slightly. "You do too." Understatement of the century. He was one hot, sexy, son of a bitch.

She squeaked in surprise when his hands shot out and wrapped around her waist, drawing her against his long powerful frame. "Looking really good, Sam," he confirmed huskily.

His soft lips covered hers and Sam sighed happily, opening her lips to the insistent sweep of his tongue. Just as good as she remembered! Something prodded her stomach and she snickered. So not his side-arm!


Jack groaned into Sam's sweet mouth. Kissing her was just as good as he remembered, and he could feel himself getting hard against her. "Sam ... wait," he gasped as her hands slid down to cup his ass.

"Jack?" she queried hoarsely, giving his butt a squeeze.

"Just ... a second," he said. He moved away from her reluctantly. "Much as I'd love to throw you on the nearest bed and have wild monkey sex, it's not one of my better ideas."

She blushed, which Jack found endearing considering her hands were still curved over his backside, flexing and stroking. "Yeah," she agreed. "We probably should take it slow."

Jack forced himself to step away from her, willing his erection down to less painful proportions. God, he was nearly 49, but his body didn't seem to know that. Sam gave a little mewl of discontent but let go of him. "So ... let me show you around. You'll like it," he said.

"Okay," she said, pushing her hands through her hair to try to smooth the disheveled blonde strands.

"And we'll get to know each other again. Not as 'Colonel' and 'Carter', but as 'Jack' and 'Sam'," Jack said.

Sam snickered. "Wow, Jack; who knew you were such a softy?"

He chuckled, then grabbed her hand and brought it to his crotch. "So not a softy ... Carter," he said.

Her hand curled around his penis almost as if it was made for her hand and he groaned again. Stupid, stupid guy!, he mourned. Make the extremely hot woman touch me just before going out on an inspection!

"Jack ...," she murmured, another light blush appearing on her beautiful face as she cupped and stroked the engorged flesh in a mesmerized fashion.

He snatched her hand off of him. "Not now, Sam," he said, grabbing his BDU jacket and pulling it on, glad that it was long enough to hide his arousal. "But soon," he promised.


Sam's fingers tingled. She'd seen him in all his naked glory. And now she'd felt him erect. He was ... magnificent. She wanted him badly, but a small part of her liked the idea of taking it slowly. It was sweet, it was romantic, and she did enjoy his company - even when they'd still been CO and 2IC. There was no reason that friendship should end simply because sex had entered the equation.

Besides, she knew that she wasn't ready yet. It had been a bad year, starting with her role in Martouf's death - God, poor Martouf - and culminating with that Entity. It would be good for her to spend time with good friends on a nice quiet colony.

Even Samantha Carter got tired and she now realized that she was close to exhaustion. She'd gotten accustomed to the low-level fatigue that dogged her every step, the slight blurring of her vision that she'd hidden from Janet, the crying jags that seemed to come out of nowhere. God, she was a mess!

She watched Jack scoop the baby girl back into his arms. The little girl whimpered in protest, then snuggled into Jack's chest as she went back to sleep. She followed Jack out of the command center and looked around at the almost pastoral scene - except for the evidence of advanced technology.

"Great, isn't it?" Jack beamed at her, the pride in this colony evident in his tone. "These people have worked so hard to make this place a home."

And you haven't?, Sam thought as she watched Jack interact with the various colonists. He knew each one by name, and it was obvious that he was well liked and highly respected. "It's wonderful," she said.

She smiled as the man caught a baseball and threw it back to one of Doctor Lee's children. Jack was a born leader and a born family man - and it looked like he'd finally made a family for himself. She was damn proud of him ... and she was happy for him. He deserved this.


Several days later:

Jack watched his former 2IC as she strolled down to the jetty, arms wrapped tightly around herself. She was wound up tighter than he'd ever seen her - and that was saying something. How had he not seen this earlier? He'd let his hormones do the thinking, was the answer that came immediately to him. "Is she okay?" he asked Ferretti, feeling horrible.

His old friend shrugged. "She says she is ... but you know what a crappy liar she is, Jack," he said. "She's had a bad year and I think it's finally taken its toll on her."

Jack nodded his head, feeling guilty that he hadn't been there for her. Having to kill Martouf, that whole weird memory stamp thing and then that damn Entity only a few weeks ago. "Yeah," he agreed. "This vacation will do her good."

Ferretti snickered. "You can't fool me, Jack," he said. "If you could've gotten away with it, you'd have happily left us on Earth and brought her here by force."

"What're you trying to say, Lou?" Jack barked in his best 'General' mode.

"Charlie and I saw the sparks at that first briefing," Lou said - he'd known Jack too long to be intimidated. "I don't know what happened after I transferred out, but I saw enough that week I came back. You've got it bad for her, man."

Crap; when had he become so transparent?

Then, in front of his appalled eyes, Sam sank down onto the jetty, brought her knees up to her chest, dropped her head and began weeping. Soft, ragged sobs that broke his heart.

"Ah man; you have to go to her," Lou muttered. "And don't let her know I was here. She'd die if she knew her CO had seen this."

"Yeah," Jack replied absently, his gaze fixed on the beautiful woman in the grips of despair. "Thanks, Lou."

Lou walked quickly away and Jack sighed, then crossed quietly over to the young woman. He folded down beside her and just sat. She'd come to him if she wanted - he wasn't going to push her.

She looked up, her eyes swimming with unshed tears, then she turned in to him, curling her fingers into his tee shirt and uttering those choked little sobs once again. Ah, crap. If anyone ever needed a hug at this moment, it was Samantha Carter. He slid one arm around her shoulders, waiting for her to flinch.

When she didn't do so, he slipped his other arm round her slender waist and drew her into him. Her fingers curled tighter into his tee shirt, then she sank into him as she began to cry in earnest.


Sam tightened her hold on Jack's tee shirt as she sobbed and mumbled away all her grief into the man's chest. "Sorry ... sorry," she told him, appalled at her breakdown. She moved reluctantly away from Jack's warm body as she remembered that she was a Major and he was an active duty General. "I'm sorry," she said more coherently. "That won't happen again."

Jack's hold on her tightened. "Look, Sam; I don't know the details of what you've gone through this year, but I know enough," he said. "And trust me; you needed to grieve."

"But ... you haven't," Sam bit out, surprised at his hypocrisy.

Jack's chest heaved as he sighed. "No; I never allowed myself to grieve properly. And Sara left me. I'm alone, Carter, because of my ways. I don't want the same thing to happen to you."

For some reason, his calling her 'Carter' made her feel better. No-one else called her that. It was either "Sam", "Major" or "Doctor". "Thanks," she muttered, dropping her head to his shoulder, and giving his neck a gentle kiss.

"For what?" he asked.

"For ... this." Sam waved her hand at the small lake overlooking the colony. "I'm glad you invited us - I think I need the break."

"Glad to do it, Sam," Jack said softly.

They remained curled together, Sam still sniffing now and then as the urge to cry came back. But the worst rawness of her grief had been dispelled by someone just allowing her to let go. With this man, she didn't have to be the perfect soldier, the brilliant scientist. She could just be Sam.

After some time, Sam shivered slightly as the breeze wafted over her. "I think I need to move, Jack," she said, yet was reluctant to leave his warm embrace.

"Yeah," Jack said. He looked at her, then tilted her chin up and gave the sweetest lightest kiss to her tear-swollen eyelids. He untangled his long frame from hers, then got up smoothly, offering his hand to pull her up. "Let me show you around - you still haven't had the fifty cent tour yet."

Sam allowed the man's fingers to remain linked with hers as they strolled away from the jetty. It felt nice. It felt right. She knew her feelings for the man weren't just lust. She wanted every bit of him; his warm heart, his magnificent soul and his beautiful body.

But she was afraid to tell him. He didn't seem to believe himself deserving of love and affection - always brushed it off when anyone tried to demonstrate it. So, she would satisfy herself with this deepening friendship and attraction - for now. Then when she was a little stronger, she would tell him. And she would make the stubborn son of a bitch believe her.


That night:

"She's looking better," Lou said, sitting down next to Jack. "I don't know what you did, but I haven't seen her look so good in months."

Jack looked over to where the Major sat, chatting with Teal'c and several young Jaffa. The young men had been taken aback at the idea of a female warrior, but Sam had won them over when she'd proceeded to neatly put each one on their backs in a display of her fighting prowess. Now, they were about ready to eat out of her hands. "Yeah; she's pretty gorgeous," he said.

He didn't kid himself that she was entirely over what had happened to her during the last year. You didn't get over things like that - you learned to live with them. But even he could see that the nervous tension had dissipated, as she flashed that gigawatt smile at something Teal'c said.

He remembered reading the edited reports from when they'd returned from that ice planet - P ... whatever. Some goons had tried to rob her - at knife point. She'd put up a good fight - even a memory stamp couldn't override years of military training - but had been left with several nasty scars on her stomach.

His fists clenched at the thought of sharp knives marking Sam's soft pale skin. They were damn lucky she hadn't killed them.

Speaking of whom ... Sam came over to them and sat down next to him, resting her head on his shoulder quite calmly. "Evening, Jack ... sir," she said to him and Ferretti.

"Evening, Sam," Ferretti said.

"Ah, yeah; evening," Jack echoed, startled when she slid an arm around his waist. In front of Ferretti? Huh; if the Major wanted to play, he could do that. He carefully slid a hand inside her tee shirt, pressing his cold hand to the soft skin of her back. She flinched and yelped.

"Sam; you okay?" Ferretti asked.

"Fine, sir," Sam said, sounding like she was gritting her teeth. Lou looked away for an instant to check out an admittedly beautiful young Marine, and Sam's hand suddenly landed on Jack's crotch, stroking it briefly. "Game on ... General," she muttered, then squeezed once and released him. She got up. "Well ... I think I'll go for a walk. Too nice a night to just ... lie around here."

"See you later," Lou said.

Jack sat there, breathing hard, his flesh throbbing. Round one to you, Sam, he acknowledged. The witch.


Later that same evening:

Sam's thighs twitched as she saw Jack come over to her. They'd been flirting like crazy all evening and she was just about ready to push him up against that tree and strip that gorgeous body. And the half-dozen beers she'd consumed had nothing to do with it. Well, okay ... maybe a little. She wasn't drunk, though - just ... relaxed.

"Hi, Jack," she said.

"Hey, Sam," he replied. He slipped an arm around her waist and the other round her shoulder, then drew her into a long, hard passionate kiss, ending with a deep dip. She slid her own arms around his neck to anchor herself and enjoyed the moment. Jack's lips, Jack's tongue, Jack's hands on her.

The kiss ended when they needed air, and they separated reluctantly with an audible pop. "Game over?" she said.

"Game over," he confirmed huskily, linking his fingers with hers. "Come with me."

She strolled along with him, giving greetings to the various colonists, who were now beginning to disperse as the night grew blacker. He stopped outside his quarters and drew her into a slightly less intense - but no less sweet - kiss. "I want you, Sam," he muttered.

She smiled, then kissed the pulse throbbing near his left ear. She'd never thought a man's neck particularly appealing before, but this man's neck was undeniably sexy. Lean and tanned, and it tasted delicious. She suckled softly on the hot flesh. "I want you too," she said.

She was tired of feeling tired - the crying jag she'd experienced in Jack's arms that morning had done a lot to heal the wounds, and the quiet friendly busy atmosphere of this colony was like a balm to the overworked Major. Here she wasn't expected to come up with solutions. Here she wasn't expected to be brilliant.

Not that she would change her life - it was amazing, and she felt a little ashamed when she allowed herself to get blase - but sometimes she yearned for a bit of normality. Huh; normality was over-rated.

Jack linked his fingers with hers once more and drew her into his quarters. As befitting the ranking military officer, he had an actual bed as opposed to the cots the lower ranks had, but the room itself was actually pretty Spartan. A picture of Charlie graced one side of the bookcase while the other side had a picture of SG-1 from their last night at O'Malley's.

They sat down together on the bed, kissing sweetly, his hands sliding up her body to reach her still-covered breasts. She pressed eagerly into him as his long elegant fingers stroked her breasts gently. "You sure?" he asked her.

"Yeah," she said less than articulately.


Jack groaned heavily, his breathing still coming harshly as he rested against Sam's breasts. Christ ... a virgin. How in the name of God did someone as beautiful and sexy as Sam Carter reach the age of 33 without ever having sex?

And why was the Neanderthal part of his brain pleased that she'd saved herself until him?

It was true - men were pigs.

He'd been wrong to have her so deep her first time, but she'd been so sweetly responsive, so welcoming. She'd been on fire. For him. Moaning his name and writhing underneath him.

But now she was suspiciously quiet. Her chest heaved under his head. Oh God, was she crying? He lifted his head, then placed his hands on the bed, withdrawing himself gently from her. He grimaced and got off the bed to dispose of the condom - there really was no glamorous way of ending a lovemaking session - then flinched when he saw the small spots of red on the condom.

Goddamn son of a bitch.

Condom disposed of, he headed into the bathroom and wet a washcloth, then grabbed a large warm towel. He yanked on a pair of sweats, then went back into the bedroom and looked at the beautiful woman lying on the bed, eyes closed and breathing deeply. And ... yes ... a tear made its way down one of her flushed cheeks.

Crap ... he was such a bastard.

He sat down on the bed and put a gentle hand on her thigh. She quivered. "Sam; honey," he said gently. "I'm sorry."

He pushed her thighs open, flinching at the blood spotting around her opening, then began to gently clean her up. She moaned. "Jack."

"It won't be long," he reassured her. Having cleaned her up, he raised her gently and wrapped the giant towel around that spectacular body, then kissed her softly on the forehead. "Go to sleep," he said.

Her eyes opened. "Go to sleep?" she echoed. "After the way you rubbed me down just now?"

Some of the tension in him eased at the sight of the mischief in her eyes. "That ... turned you on?"

"Uh-huh," she said, then sighed and stretched like a cat, arching her back. "God, Jack ... you're amazing!"

He'd always known he wasn't as smart as Sam Carter, but now he realized that he was an idiot. "Then those were happy tears?"

She smiled at him, then sat up fully, taking his face in her hands. She kissed him sweetly, her lips moving against his, suckling, nibbling and nipping. "Those were happy tears," she confirmed.

"But ... I hurt you," he said. "I should have been more gentle."

"Jack; you didn't know I was a virgin," Sam said matter of factly, crossing her arms over those awesome breasts. "And it only hurt for a little bit. Then it was mind-blowing."

"Mind-blowing?" He chewed hard on the inside of his cheek to prevent the shit-eating grin he felt trying to surface.

"Yeah," she said, uncrossing her arms and tugging the sheet downward. She turned and cuddled into him. "Mind-blowing," she uttered around a yawn.

"Go to sleep, Sam," Jack said. He kissed her gently on the forehead, then lay down with her, wrapping her in his arms and pulling the sheet over them both.

He yawned and smiled down at her. Sweet lips, red and swollen from his kisses, sheet hiding what he now knew was a phenomenal body, whisker marks on her pale skin. It was like he'd branded her. He closed his eyes, allowing himself to feel a happiness he hadn't felt in a long time. "G'night," he said. "I love you."

Then he tensed. Shit. Did he just say what he thought he'd said?

"Love you too," she mumbled with a smile. "Go to sleep, Jack," she added.

Fighting the panic that had gripped him for a second, he closed his eyes, took a long whiff of her hair, then fell asleep.


The next morning:

They lay together, hearts pounding, sweaty limbs entangled. "Holy shit!" Sam muttered. "That was ...". Doctor Samantha Carter - queen of the polysyllables - actually didn't have the words.

"Yeah," he said smugly between gasps. "Geez; what a way to say good morning!"

Sam chuckled and lifted herself off of him, then pressed a gentle kiss to his lips. "You know it's not just about the sex, right?" she said. "I meant what I said; I do love you."

"I know, Sam," he said, his eyes softening from the dark passion of minutes earlier. "And I love you too. But you're so damn good for an aging fly-boy."

Sam smiled and kissed his neck, tasting the salt of his perspiration. "So ... what's the plan for today?" she said.

"Well; I thought we might actually get out of bed at some point," he teased. "Maybe ... oh, I don't know ... eat. Turns out I've got a hot blonde fifteen years my junior and she's a wildcat." He grinned fiendishly at her. "Need to keep up my strength, you know."

A wildcat? Sam ... liked that. And truth be told, she kinda felt like a cat right now. An extremely lazy, sleepy, satisfied cat. She started when someone banged the door open. "Jack!" Daniel called. "I can't find Sam anywhere!"

"Shit!" Jack muttered, covering their bodies up hastily as one wild-eyed linguist skidded into the bedroom.

"Have you seen Sam?" Daniel called frantically, then came to a dead halt.

Sam raised her hand and waved languidly at him. "Hi, Daniel," she said.

"Ah. Okay." Daniel blinked, but recovered quickly. "Okay. Well, guess I'll call off the panic." He seemed determined not to look at Sam's bare shoulders. "Yeah. I'll be going now," he said.

He left quickly and Sam started to giggle. "Leave it to Daniel to ruin a moment," she said, recalling how he'd broken up their kiss outside O'Malley's.

Jack chuckled reluctantly. "The guy's timing always stunk," he agreed. He kissed her bare shoulder quickly, then got up, seemingly oblivious to his nudity. "Shower, dress, then some baseball."

"Baseball?" Sam objected - she'd never been a big fan.

"Yeah," Jack said. "We've got enough kids for two teams - I coach them in my spare time."

She just couldn't resist Jack O'Neill when he was so sweet. And she couldn't resist him when he was hot. Sexy. Loving.

Oh, face it, Sam, she scolded herself, you can't resist him, period!


Sam stretched out happily beside her favorite Brigadier General, stomach comfortably full after a gorgeous lunch, and enjoying the sunshine and gentle breeze. Whoever named this colony 'Haven' sure knew what they were doing!

"Sam ... I have to know something," Jack said uneasily, toying with her hair.

"Mmmmm," she said. She was full and sleepy, and not at all inclined toward some big heavy conversation.

"How on Earth were you still a virgin?"

Sam squinted at the man. "God, Jack; don't beat around the bush there," she said sarcastically. The man was really rubbing off on her ... and not in a fun, sexy way.

"I just ... I don't get it!" The man continued to play with her hair, stroking, combing and massaging. "I mean ... have you seen you?"

Sam shrugged her shoulders, then resigned herself to the fact that he wasn't going to let this go. He was even more stubborn than she was. "It just ... never happened," she said. "I was a complete geek in high school, two years younger than the rest of my class. And I was General Carter's little girl - no-one was going to mess with me."

"Yeah," he agreed. Jack and her father had gotten along pretty well since the blending, but their first couple of meetings had been pretty awkward. Her father had seen the chemistry between them almost immediately and had asked her if Jack was the reason she didn't want to get into NASA. That had been ... embarrassing.

"Yeah." Sam sighed, relaxing into the unexpectedly sensual head massage, resting her head on Jack's chest. "And I reached five nine when I was 15 - I towered over a lot of the guys. Then I went to college. I'd grown into my height by then, and the guys seemed to like me. Maybe I was a late developer or something ... but it still never happened. I liked the kissing and the touching, but ...". She shrugged her shoulders.

"Sam; you were engaged, for cryin' out loud!"

Sam huffed, trying to resist the urge to punch the man. She was sick to death of explaining herself. "Yes. I was engaged," she said. "For all of two weeks. I ended it when I found out he was more interested in my connections than me." She wriggled away from him and stood up. "And this is exactly why I didn't want to tell you I was a virgin - I didn't want all this post-mortem crap."

Her body unfortunately had had other ideas. She'd always thought that the pain was a myth, propagated to encourage chastity. She'd been wrong. It hadn't been agonizing - hell, she'd gone through worse pain in basic! - but she'd not been prepared for it. And Jack O'Neill was a highly observant man with hair-trigger reflexes. In retrospect, she wasn't surprised he'd noticed her discomfort.

She put her hands on her hips and glared at the man, who'd also gotten to his feet. "Are we done now?" she said.

"Sam," Jack said, his eyes darkening, "get off that damn high horse of yours. I was worried about you, for God's sake!"

"Well, don't be. I'm not a child," Sam shot back, unsure exactly where all this anger was coming from. She was mad at the Goa'uld for turning Martouf into an assassin. She was mad at Jolinar for hijacking her body and giving her conflicting feelings for him. She was mad at Brenna and Caulder for messing with her memories. She was mad at this man for coming into her life and turning it upside down. Why the hell couldn't he have been the jerk she'd thought he was at their first meeting?

"You're about an inch away from stamping your foot, Carter," Jack snarled. "Stop acting like a brat."

Sam wanted to scream. How had they gone from curling together under a tree to spitting and snarling in less than ten minutes? She breathed in deeply. "I'm going for a walk," she said. "We'll talk later."

"Count on it," Jack said sharply.


Jack watched the beautiful woman stride away. Even when he was mad at her - and he was damn angry - she looked magnificent to him. In an ironic twist, he'd wanted to talk and she hadn't. Maybe he shouldn't have pushed her, but he genuinely hadn't understood why she'd still been a virgin.

He did now ... somewhat. He'd not considered the fact that having a General as a father would be damn intimidating to youthful suitors. She was a brainiac. And she was tall. He liked that she was tall, she was a good height for him ... but he hadn't liked tall girls when he was 15. He hadn't gotten his growth spurt till a year later.

"General?" Lieutenant Richards appeared, daughter in her arms. "Are you all right, sir?"

Jack breathed in, not wanting to lash out at the young woman or her adorable daughter. "Fine, thanks, Lieutenant," he said.

Laura bounced against her mother and put her pudgy little hands out to Jack. "Jack ... Jack ... Jack," she chattered excitedly.

"May I?" he asked, his arms working - antsy to hold his favorite little girl once more. Jack had always been a sucker for kids - a complete pushover.

Marla Richards smiled and shook her head. "You don't even have to ask, sir," she said, depositing her daughter into Jack's arms.

Jack took the little girl and hugged her closely as she snuggled into him, playing happily with the collar of his BDU jacket. She smelled so sweet - baby powder, formula and her own little self. He felt some of his anger subside as the baby sagged trustingly into him - there was nothing like the unconditional love of a little child.


Lieutenant Marla Richards watched some of the stress lines disappear from the man's face as he cuddled her daughter. The man was simply made for fatherhood - he looked right holding a child. She couldn't understand why he was alone. Then she'd seen him interact with Major Carter the last few days, and had understood. He'd apparently been her CO when he'd led SG-1, but now they weren't in the same chain of command, and the chemistry was white-hot.

She sighed slightly; mourning not what had been, but what might have been. She'd been nursing a small harmless crush on the handsome older man for several months, and had known nothing would ever come of it. It wasn't just his good looks or that powerful toned body. He was passionate, playful, tender, determined - as well as sarcastic, mulish and self-deprecating. And he was so damn good with Laura.

Laura's father hadn't wanted to know when Marla had become pregnant, and had hightailed it from town two weeks after he'd found out. Good riddance to the rotten SOB. It had hurt at the time, but Marla and Laura were both better off without him. When Laura was four months old, Marla had been put on this project, and things had only gotten better for them since.

She looked at the older man as he murmured love nonsense to his favorite girl, who babbled happily back at him, and smiled. The man was such a soft-touch! "Sir," she said, "I ... need to ask you something."

The man smiled at her, whatever anger he'd been feeling seeming to have dissipated. "Feel free," he offered. He folded his long legs and sat down, then patted the ground. "Take a load off, Lieutenant."

"Ah ... thanks, sir." Marla sat down. "You know I haven't got any family. And Paul didn't want to know about Laura."

The General scowled. "The rat bastard," he opined.

"Yeah. Anyway ... I'm a single mom on active duty. If ... if something happens to me, I don't want Laura to end up in the system." She breathed in deeply. "I want to amend my will to make you her legal guardian. Sir."

The man looked stunned and Marla was worried that she'd overstepped the bounds. Although they were different branches of the military, he was still a superior officer. "Sir ... never mind. I shouldn't have asked," she added hurriedly, getting up once more.

He stopped her with an urgent hand to her arm. "Sit back down, Marla," he said gruffly. She did so. He cleared his throat, his eyes looking suspiciously soft. "I'd ... ah ... be honored. You know I love this little sweetheart. But I'm kinda getting up there in years. You might want to think about someone younger."

"Sir, you're not old," Marla protested. She'd seen him playing baseball earlier that day with the energy of a man half his age. "You could easily live another thirty years. Besides, I trust you with her and she loves you too. She deserves a father who loves her."

The man cleared his throat again. "Then ... I'll do it," he said. "Make the changes, get it notarized and I'll get her added to my will. A-ah!" His hand shot up to cut off the protest she was about to make. "If she's going to be my daughter, I'm going to provide for her - end of story. It's what a dad does."

And that was the difference between Paul Stevens and Jack O'Neill, Marla realized. Paul was Laura's father. Jack was becoming Laura's dad. "Thank you, sir," she said, smiling at him.

"Welcome," he said. "Now ... shoo. Get lost. Got an unexpected date with a cute little brunette - and three's a crowd."

Marla laughed. "I know when I'm not wanted, sir," she said. "I'll be in the 'geek' tent for the next few hours. Just bring her back when you need a break."

"Will do." The man clasped her shoulder, squeezing it gently. "All joking aside, I really am honored," he said.

Marla felt a tear spring to her eye. Did Major Carter have any idea how damn lucky she was to have this man in her life? He wasn't perfect by any means, but ... "Thanks, sir," she said.


Sam walked slowly along the shore of the pretty lake, still bewildered as to how they'd gone from snuggling to screaming in less than ten minutes. A small part of her could hear Doctor MacKenzie lecturing her about 'suppressed anger' - maybe he'd been onto something after all.

God ... she'd been a complete bitch. Maybe he had been a little tactless in his curiosity - but his directness had always been a part of his charm. Then he'd confessed to having been worried about her. That would have touched her just a couple of months ago. And it touched her now. But at the time ... she'd felt exposed enough without him acting like she was some kind of fragile Dresden doll.

Ugh. She really was a mess. She had to find a constructive way of letting go of this anger - she didn't want things between her and Jack to end when they'd barely begun.

"Major Carter!" One of the colonists came over to her. "Are you busy at the moment?"

"Not at the moment," Sam said, looking at the young man. "Lieutenant Michaels, isn't it? Navy JAG?" A growing colony with a large complement of military personnel needed lawyers.

"Yes, ma'am," the young man said earnestly. "As you know, we're having our first harvest celebration tomorrow. It's ... all hands on deck."

That's what she needed. Some good, hard, manual labor. No thinking, no worrying. Just hard work. "Count me in, Lieutenant," she said.


Several hours later:

Pleasantly tired from her hard work, Sam headed for her temporary quarters. She really wanted to spend the night in Jack's bed, but she wasn't sure whether she'd be welcome. God, she had to talk to him.

"And where d'you think you're going?" a familiar voice barked roughly from behind her.

She turned slowly to face the man. "Jack," she said, letting go of the door handle. "I ... uh ... thought ...". She indicated her quarters.

"You thought wrong," he said surprisingly gently. "I have a bad habit of holding grudges, and I don't want to go to bed mad. " He sighed. "I still don't know why you got so pissed with me, but we shouldn't have gone off like that on each other."

"No," Sam admitted. "It wasn't about you really - you just got caught in the backwash."

"Well, I'm here if you need to vent again," Jack said, taking her hand in a gentle clasp. "You can't sit on all that anger - you'll get ulcers."

Sam gave a small laugh. "I didn't exactly sit on it today," she pointed out. "I ... didn't mean to be such a witch," she added. "I'm sorry."

"It's okay," he said easily. "Come to bed? Just to sleep - we don't have to do anything else."

A small part of her wanted to spend the night with this man buried inside of her, riding them both to a wild climax. But most of her realized that she was actually very tired. Both physically and emotionally. And this man's hugs were heaven. "Okay," she said, allowing him to draw her into his warm body as they walked to his quarters.

In his bedroom, he dug out an old Academy tee shirt, flinging it carelessly at her head, making her giggle. "Wear this," he said. "It'll swamp you, but it's comfortable."

"Yes, sir!" she rapped out teasingly, saluting him crisply. Then spoiled the moment by yawning widely.

"Geez, Sam; you're dead on your feet," he said disapprovingly, yanking his tee shirt over his head and pulling off his BDU pants, leaving him only in Air Force issue shorts. "Get dressed and get into bed," he ordered.

Sam's stomach quivered at the sight of him standing there, uncaring of his near nudity. He was ... well, he was beautiful. And he'd cringe if he ever heard that word applied to him, she decided. She stripped quickly, pulling on the soft worn cotton tee shirt. It smelled of detergent and of ... of Jack.

She and Jack got into the bed, Jack settling himself behind her so that they spooned. Then he rested an arm over her waist and dropped a light kiss into her hair. "Rest now, Sam," he said gruffly.

She turned in his embrace and kissed his cheek. "I love you, you know," she told him. "And I am sorry."

He dipped his head and kissed her lips. Not passionately, not hungrily, but so gently - a soft feathering of his lips over hers. "I know ... and I love you too," he said. "Now, shut up and go to sleep."

"Yes, sir," she mumbled, snuggling into his warm firm chest and breathing in his comforting scent. This man ... this man with her ... was right. They were right.

Samantha Carter fell asleep, snuggled with the man she loved and who loved her, with a smile on her face.


Later that day:

"Son; could I have a word with you? In private?"

He wasn't all that much younger than Hammond - that form of address for him had always amused Jack. "Sure thing," he said, waving his hand toward the command center.

He followed his former CO into the tent ... and gaped. Cassie Fraiser and Rya'c. In a very heated lip-lock. "What the hell ...?" he barked.

The couple broke the lock and Cassie snickered. "Hey, Jack," she said casually. "You're looking well."

Teal'c's son was playing tonsil hockey with the little girl they'd rescued from Hanka.

Teal'c's son had his hand up Cassie's blouse.

Jack felt a red haze come over his eyes. Teal'c's son wasn't going to live much longer. "Get your hands off that girl!" he yelled in his best 'pissed General' tone.

Rya'c obeyed quickly - he'd always found the gray-haired warrior rather intimidating. Cassie wasn't intimidated in the least. "Geez, Jack; don't have a stroke," she complained, pulling her blouse straight. "Let's go, Ry," she added.

"Yeah ... get out," Jack said. "I'll be back out in five minutes. And I expect you to be out there too. Got that?"

Cassie shook her head with another small smirk. "Parents," she mumbled, with a typical teenage roll of the eyes. As the two teens walked out the door, Jack clearly heard the little smart ass add, "God Jack, you really need to get laid. Works wonders for the old blood pressure."

"Cassie Fraiser; don't make me give you one of those paddlings the Doc obviously never gave you," Jack warned, feeling the blush warm his cheeks.

"You wouldn't dare!" Cassie squeaked indignantly.

Jack just looked at her. Oh yes, I would, he returned silently.

Cassie pulled a face and she stormed out of the command tent, Rya'c following silently behind her. "Damn smart ass," Jack grumbled, stomping over to his seat.

"Jack," Hammond said calmly, "she's 15 and a normal healthy teenager. Are you really that shocked?"

"Christ." Jack groaned and scrubbed a hand through his hair. "I still see that terrified little kid we brought back from Hanka years ago. How would you feel if you walked in on Tessa or Kayla making out with some guy?"

Jack had never seen George S. Hammond go so white. He still had that particular joy to come with his grandchildren. The older man cleared his throat and took the seat opposite Jack's. "We need to talk. About Major Carter," he said.

Jack tensed. "Yes, sir?"

"As your friend, I'm happy for you, son. And I'm happy for the Major. Any idiot could see you two were made and meant for each other." He leaned across the desk to eyeball Jack. "But Jacob couldn't make it today, and I'm his oldest friend. I'm therefore obliged to lean on you - just a little. This isn't just a fling, is it?"

"No, sir," Jack said. "I ... ah ... love her. And for some reason she seems to love me too."

A smile bloomed over the man's face. "Good," he said simply. "I thought as much, but I had to know." He clapped Jack's shoulder. "Don't screw this up, son."

"I'll try not to," Jack said. He was one lucky stiff, and he knew it. He wondered briefly what might have happened if he hadn't left SG-1 - whether he and Sam would still be dancing around each other, or if they would've crashed and burned. That 'fork in the road' stuff. He liked this reality much better.


The woman giggled. "She said that?" she asked. "Really?"

Jack groaned and stretched his long legs out, then pulled a face. "Thanks for the moral support, oh light of my life!" he groused.

Sam patted his tensed forearm consolingly. "Sorry," she said. "But she's 15. Full of hormones and along comes Rya'c, who's becoming quite a handsome young man."

"Not helping!"

"Jack; don't you think you're over-reacting ... just a little?" the woman said. "I bet you did stuff like that when you were 15."

Jack smirked. And how! Hot, sweet make-out scenes with Lisa, the captain of the JV cheerleaders. Then he remembered just what else he and Lisa had done - that magical night up at Make-Out Point. The smirk died a quick and painful death. "Christ! You don't think they're ...? He's a 16 year old guy - 16 year old guys think only with their dicks."

"Nice turn of phrase." Sam rapped his knee with her pointy little fist. "Cassie can take care of herself. She's a pretty level-headed kid."

"A-ah ... this sucks," Jack complained. "She's growing up so damn fast - or I'm getting old so damn fast."

Sam patted his forearm once more. "A little bit of both, Jack," she said, a giant smirk on her beautiful face. "A little bit of both."

When had all the women in his life become such smart asses? He looked around, then quickly slid his hand up Sam's jeans-clad thigh to cup her sex. She rubbed her hot center into his hand almost on reflex. "You wait, Samantha Jean Carter; I'll show you I'm not old!" he said.

She breathed in quickly, sucking her top lip in between her teeth. "Promises, promises," she said huskily. She leaned in and nipped softly at the tender skin under his ear lobe - damn torturer. "You going to make me scream?" she whispered, her magical little pink tongue laving the wound.

Jack's eyes narrowed. Their neighbors were so going to need earplugs tonight. "Hell, yeah," he said.

And now she was attacking the tendons. The witch. "Oh, bring it on, sir," she purred.

His flesh stirred uncomfortably at that dirty little utterance. "God, how can you make the word 'sir' sound dirty?" he asked.

Sam snickered into his neck, pausing in her ministrations to nuzzle against his pulse. "It's a gift," she said. Then she sucked the skin of his neck into her mouth - crap, she was so going to give him a hickey. Pushing 50, a Brigadier General in the US Air Force, and he was gonna have a hickey.

Neighbors, hell. She was going to wake up the whole colony with her screams. Jack vowed that to himself.


In typical mercurial teenage fashion, Cassie Fraiser had forgotten she was offended with Jack and sat next to him and Sam. He really was looking good, she decided. Not in a sexy way - not to Cassie - but she could understand what women saw in him. For an old guy, he really was quite hot.

Over the last year or so before Jack's transfer, both she and her mom had noticed that he and Sam seemed to be getting closer. They'd discussed it seriously and Janet had cited the regulations against fraternization. Cassie was of the opinion that the 'frat regs' bit the big one. She firmly believed Sam and Jack should be together, even though the idea of someone as old as Jack having sex was just ... gross.

"This colony of yours rocks," she told the man, who was cuddling a small girl lovingly. Jack would've been a great dad, she decided. A bit over-protective, but he was pretty cool in most other ways.

It was a shame her mom couldn't have been here today, but SG-3 had taken some heavy casualties that needed all of Janet Fraiser's skills. A year ago, Cassie wouldn't have been able to go through the 'gate either, thanks to that bitch Nirrti. But after SG-1 had helped Thor against the Replicators, he'd been so grateful that he'd offered them practically anything they wanted.

At first, they'd protested the idea, then Sam had come up with the idea of the Asgard using their advanced medical technology to remove the naqahdah time-bomb from Cassie's body. And now Cassie could go off world and finally see Jack - nearly a year, for cryin' ... for goodness' sakes!

"Hear, hear!" Colonel Ferretti said. He grinned evilly. "In fact, sir, how about a speech?" He practically hollered that question over the noisy chatter of the amassed colonists.

"Speech!" a pretty young Army Lieutenant shouted from the next table, pounding the table with her fist.

"Speech!" some of the civilians echoed, joining in the pounding.

Jack went pink. "Ferretti; you will die painfully," he said, then got to his feet. "Fine, fine," he grumbled. "First harvest celebration; I suppose you expect me to say something profound about the wonder of nature ... yadda." He paused. "Uh ... nope; got nothin'." There was laughter from those gathered, and Cassie giggled. Only Jack. "So ... good friends, good meat. Good God, let's eat!"

"Ja-ack!" she whined. "That was lame!" She giggled again when he turned the death glare onto her as he sat back down.

"Yeah, sir," Sam agreed with a distinct lack of respect in her tone. "Lame's the word."

"Carter ...," he warned quietly. "Screaming."

Sam went pink and stared down at her hands. Adults were very, very weird, Cassie Fraiser decided.

Jack got back up. "Yeah ... fine." He looked around, then took a deep breath. Amazing how shy this strong, confident kick-ass soldier was when it came to speeches, Cassie thought. She'd heard about his 'speech' at Sam's promotion ceremony.

Jack cleared his throat. "I wanted to thank all of you for coming. All the colonists, scientists, kids. The Army, Air Force, the Navy. Hell, even the Marines! You've all helped make this colony what it is." Some of the pink went away.

"Then there are our visitors from other worlds. Old friends, new friends. We came here nearly a year ago and named this place 'Haven'. I hope it'll continue to be ... for our new allies amongst the Jaffa rebels and for anyone else too." He stretched his hand out to clasp the forearms of Teal'c, then Master Bra'tac. "Tek matte," he added.

"Tek ma'tek," Master Bra'tac returned, "O'Neill of Minnesota."

"Tek ma'tek, brother," Teal'c offered.

Cassie blinked as everyone broke into enthusiastic applause. "Since when does Jack speak Goa'uld?" she asked Daniel, who was sitting opposite her, next to a cadet who seemed to have the hots for him. As usual, though, he was oblivious.

Daniel chuckled. "I always knew the man wasn't as stupid as he made out," he said.

"Yeah," Cassie agreed. She didn't get why the man played dumb - no-one ever bought it. Except those snake-heads, the NID types and politicians. Ah. She realized she'd just answered her own question. Jack liked to be under-estimated by his enemy - it made his frequent victories that much sweeter.

She looked over at Jack, who was busy clasping hands with the various colonists, some of the women hugging him rather ... ahem, enthusiastically. They really seemed to love him - and why not? He was a really cool guy, with mad hair and a goofy sense of humor. I'm on to you, Jack, she thought. You're just a big softy.

"Nice," Sam muttered as Jack finally sat back down, still a little pink from his embarrassment.

"Ah, thanks," Jack replied. "You know me and speeches. I'm just glad it didn't suck."

"It so did not suck," Sam reassured the man.

Cassie could've sworn she saw Sam's hand squeeze Jack's, but then dismissed it. If Jack and Sam ever pulled their heads out of their asses and got their act together, she'd know it. She looked at the man closely. Was that a hickey on his neck? Nah ... couldn't be.

She looked again. Or could it?

She saw Jack's hand land on Sam's knee, rubbing it gently as they talked, and a stupid big-ass grin spread over her features. Ohh, Jack was so getting laid! And by Sam! This was turning into one awesome day - her mom would be so pissed she'd missed out on this development.


Later that night:

Jack reluctantly handed a sweetly-sleeping Laura over to her mother, pausing to brush a tender kiss on her plump little cheek. "Night, sweetheart," he murmured. "Night, Marla," he added.

"Night, sir," the Lieutenant said. "It was a great day - thank you so much for everything."

They'd been to the JAG office that morning, where both of them had had their wills altered to reflect the guardianship arrangements. "Ah, you're welcome," he told the young woman. "Now hit the sack."

Marla chuckled and snapped off a crisp salute. "Yes, sir!" she teased, then made a smart 180 and walked away.

"That girl is in love with you," Sam said thoughtfully.

Jack blinked. "Sam; I love you, but you're very, very odd at times," he told the woman.

"I'm serious," Sam said. "I've been in love with you long enough to know the signs."

Jack wriggled his shoulders. "Christ, Sam; you're nuts. She's young enough to be my daughter!" he protested.

Sam sighed. "You have no idea what a babe you are, do you?"

Jack groaned. "A babe?" he protested. Since when was a guy his age a babe? He'd been called 'hot stuff', 'silver wolf', even 'Grade A Prime' by various women throughout his life ... but babe? That was just ... weird.

"Your eyes, your skin, those shoulders, long, long, long, long ... legs." She cuddled into him as they walked back to his quarters. "The way your hair works with a black tee shirt." She rested her head on his shoulder. "A babe," she added.

A chuckle rumbled through Jack's chest as he opened the door to his quarters. "I shoulda kept you away from that stuff Dixon brought back from 729," he said. "I'd forgotten what you're like with the alien hooch." He waggled his eyebrows at her. "Remember 595?" he added.

Sam just snickered. "Huh," she mumbled, "if I knew then what I knew now, I would've jumped your bones right there, with Daniel watching." She snaked a hand round his body and squeezed one of his ass cheeks.

Jack jumped at the cheeky squeeze, then laughed. Oh, she wanted to play, did she? He could do that.


Several months later:

A prisoner within her own mind.


This is the third time in three years. Is there something fundamentally weak about her? Helpless? Vulnerable?

She watches helplessly as her small hands snap Colonel Simmons' neck. The man dies slowly and painfully in front of her.

She rages impotently as her hands take the man's gun.

She screams silently as her fingers press the trigger and the man she loves falls to the ground, bleeding.

She cries and fights the demon within as her mouth spits out words of hatred and death.

She murmurs "Thank you" when Teal'c shoots her.

She begs her dead lover's forgiveness as the life drains slowly out of her own body. "I ... love you ... Jack," she gasps.


"Sam; wake up, honey," Jack O'Neill said.

Samantha Carter lifted her head up, gazing blankly around her. Her beautiful eyes were red with tears, the skin underneath heavily shadowed. When was the last time she had a decent night's sleep?, he wondered. "God ... I dreamed I was ... back there!" she gasped. "And you ... I killed you!"

Jack wrapped his arms around his lover as she curled into his body like a child. "But you didn't," he reminded her. She'd only managed to inflict a flesh wound, as she'd been fighting the Goa'uld so hard for control.

"And I killed Colonel Simmons," she said in anguish, not seeming to hear Jack. "I hate him for what he did, to me and Adrian Conrad, but he didn't deserve to die."

Now that was where he disagreed with her. But Jack had a lifelong propensity for holding grudges and he'd always been an 'eye for an eye' kind of man. The NID snake had kidnapped her, had tried to dissect her for knowledge of how her brain had been altered by Jolinar. Then he'd killed Conrad when the man had tried to save Sam. Oh yes ... it couldn't have happened to a better guy as far as Jack O'Neill was concerned.

But he knew Sam wouldn't want to hear it.

He hugged her tightly, feathering a kiss over her tear-stained cheek. "That wasn't you, Sam," he said. "That was the Goa'uld."

Sam wasn't listening. Instead, she was looking around the Infirmary. "The Colonel! Daniel!" she said. "Where are they?"

Doctor Janet Fraiser hustled over to her. Five two, less than half a Teal'c, but damn did she make her presence felt. "I released them days ago, Sam," she said, doing ... something to the IV. "Don't you remember?"

"I think so," Sam said vaguely. "What happened?"

"That's a good question, Sam," Janet said. "The guys are being pretty tight-lipped about what happened on 923. I was hoping you would tell me more."

Sam cuddled deeper into Jack and his arms came around her again. While he loved holding Sam, he hated that she was in so much pain. Damn it; how much could one person be expected to go through? The destruction of the Tollan, having to leave that ambassador behind on the Volian homeworld, kidnapping and experimentation by the NID, and now ... whatever had happened last week on P7Y 923.

Jack was by no means as stupid as he acted, and he recalled many more planetary designations than he was willing to admit. 923 was reportedly a barren rock, but with a very high concentration of naqahdah deposits. He smiled slightly, picturing just how big Sam's eyes would have gotten at that prospect.

She and the rest of SG-1 had apparently gone there on a normal reconnaissance. Then some snake had shown up and all hell had broken loose. When he'd contacted George to give his monthly progress report, the other General had mentioned that Sam was being detained in the Infirmary as she'd gone into some kind of shock.

So Jack left his 2IC in charge and charged back through the SGC's Stargate, wanting to comfort the woman he loved. Only to be confronted by a white face, huge sad eyes and a thin frail body. Damn; he knew he should've hauled her out to Haven after that whole thing with the Aschen! But she'd insisted she would be fine - stubborn woman.

Sam sighed heavily and her thin little hands clutched onto Jack's tee shirt. "They're ... trying to protect me," she said. She sat up quickly, nearly dislodging her IV, and looked at Jack and Janet. "Sir; as a Brigadier General, I need you to hear this," she said.

Jack tensed. She was calling him 'sir'. That could not be good. "I'm listening," he said.

"The guys ... they're protecting me," she said. "It was my fault - what happened on 923. I froze ... under fire." She wiped a hand over her eyes. "I'm no longer fit for active duty. Therefore, I wish to resign my commission effective immediately."

"Sam; you've had a bad time recently - no-one can deny that," Janet protested. "But this is a drastic action."

"Amen to that," Jack said.

"You're not listening to me," Sam said. "I froze. Under fire! If Teal'c hadn't been there to shove Daniel and the Colonel to safety, they would've been killed." Her voice shook and her big blue eyes filled with tears. "I ... just ... I can't do it anymore. I've become a liability."

Jack sighed, realizing that she was right. If she was freezing under fire, she couldn't serve on a front-line unit. But that was no reason for her to resign her commission. She was one hell of a scientist - the best the SGC had, the best the world had. They couldn't lose that big honkin' brain.

"Don't do anything rash just yet, Sam," he said, stressing her forename so that she knew it was Jack speaking, not General O'Neill. Then just to emphasize the point, he brushed another tender kiss across her cheek. "I'll talk to General Hammond; we'll come up with something."

Sam lifted his hand up and kissed it. "Thank you, Jack," she murmured.


Janet Fraiser looked away, wanting to give the two lovers a little privacy, and brushed away a tear of her own. When SG-1 had come back from 923, she'd finally managed to examine Sam properly for the first time in the weeks since the kidnapping.

Her body chemistry was all over the place, she was suffering frequent bouts with insomnia, and was barely eating. Never a large woman, Sam had lost nearly a stone, but had tried to hide it by wearing extra clothing.

She knew she should have backed Jack up when he'd asked Sam to come to Haven after the busted mission with the Aschen. But Sam had been so insistent that she would be fine; that Jack was just being over-protective. Janet had given in to the pleading of her friend ... had forgotten her duty as a doctor.

She wouldn't allow that to happen again. Sam was literally living on her nerves; jumpy, pale and traumatized. If something didn't change, and soon, Janet was seriously considering medical discharge.

She turned back round to see the toughest (albeit goofiest) General she knew brush a tender kiss over Sam's lips, and felt a brief wave of envy. Not jealousy - she was happy that Sam and Jack had finally found each other - but envy. She'd been instantly attracted to the tall handsome then-Colonel when she'd first come to the SGC, and they'd worked together very effectively to overcome the effects of the Broca virus, despite his own affliction.

She'd never let her crush interfere with her work, and quickly enough it had become deep respect and mere friendship. But looking at them together just reminded her how lonely she'd felt the last couple of years. Now that Cassie was getting older and had assimilated fully into her new world, she didn't need Janet as much.

Maybe it was time she started getting out a bit more. She decided that the next time a certain blue-eyed linguist asked her out, she would say yes.


The next day:

Major General George S. Hammond sighed as he looked at his unofficial niece. He'd seen Sam get thinner and paler after her kidnapping, but hadn't wanted to admit defeat. She was a strong woman - she'd gone through other difficulties. Torture, horrors unknown to Earth-bound humans. He'd hoped she would get through this too. But ... it wasn't to be.

Sam's hand was linked with that of Jack O'Neill's and she struggled to keep her composure. "Please, sir," she said. "I don't want to have to beg." She gave him that wide-blue-eyed look he'd never been able to resist when she was a child. "If I can stay on in a civilian capacity, I will, but I can't ... I can't ...". She gulped and squeezed her eyes shut.

George didn't even have to look at Jack to know that the younger General was giving him an O'Neill patented death glare. He sighed again and took the form, putting his signature to it. "I've approved your resignation, Major," he said regretfully. "I wish it hadn't come to this, but I'm sure we can find plenty for you to do on base. And we could occasionally loan you out to SG teams for non-combat situations."

"Are you kidding me?" Jack quipped. "Those geeks'll be in heaven, having their queen egghead around 24-7!" Sam just looked at him with a tilted eyebrow and he gave her his best innocent look in return. "Well, you are an egghead!" he said. "A cool one, but still ...".

Sam gave a wobbly sigh. "Thank you, sir," she said, standing up to salute Hammond one last time. "It's been an honor serving under you."

"The honor was all mine, Major ... Sam," Hammond said.

"Ah ... General; about the whole keeping Sam here thing?" Jack said as Sam sat back down.

"Yes?" George knew exactly what Jack had in mind, but decided to have a little fun with the man. Consider it ... payback for years of smart ass remarks that fell just this side of insubordination.

Jack visibly wriggled - big surprise there; his nervous energy could power up the Stargate for the next year if they could just figure out how to harness it. "Well, Doctor Lee wants to come back to Earth; he's getting pretty homesick."

"So I've heard." George Hammond could do monosyllabic responses with the best of them.

"The R&D department's getting bigger every day now that we've got the squids, the grunts and the jarheads bringing their own science and engineering people onto the colony. And Lee's a great scientist, but he's no CO."

Damn, but this was fun. George almost hated to see this end, but he could see that Jack was about to apoplexy. "Jack; get to the point," he said gently.

Jack looked over at Sam, then at George. "Sam, George; if it's agreeable to both of you, I'd like Sam to take Lee's place. She's a freakin' genius, with years of military experience, and I think she'd make a great team leader."

Sam gasped - George couldn't believe she hadn't seen it coming - and a light came into her pretty blue eyes he hadn't seen for many weeks. "General?" she asked.

And now George had two sets of puppy-dog eyes pleading with him. For the oddest moment, he was reminded exactly of his grand-daughters when they particularly wanted to wheedle something from him.

He sighed and shook his head with a grin. "Well, I'll have to clear it with the Chief of Staff, but aside from that, I have no problem." He looked over at Sam, who had linked her fingers with Jack's once more. "You would be happy to transfer to 724, I take it."

"Yes, sir," the young woman replied. "But ... what about chain of command? I know I'm now a civilian, but I can't be responsible to Jack when we ..." - she blushed - "when we're involved."

"I know," George said. "But there are always ways. You'll report to Jack for the day to day things, but I'll be responsible for the personnel issues. That should satisfy the regulations."

Jack heaved a deep sigh. "George; you're a real man amongst men," he said. He gave a grin. "I should have said that a long time ago, but you know me."

Oh yes, George Hammond knew Jack O'Neill. Stubborn, facetious, sarcastic, willful. And that was on his good days. But his cocksure arrogance was tempered by bouts with insecurity and the tender love he displayed openly for his former 2IC.

Jack O'Neill and Samantha Carter deserved love and happiness. And he was happy that they'd finally found it with each other.


Several days later:

"Be well, Samantha Carter," Teal'c said, giving her a full Jaffa bow. He placed a hand over her heart. "Remember; a warrior's true strength comes from within, not without."

"Wow." Sam gulped and sucked her top lip in between her teeth. Teal'c never said much, but when he did it always had an impact. She hugged the big warrior on impulse, and was surprised when his large strong arms came around her. She'd never realized before just how good at hugging the big man was. "I'll miss you," she said.

Daniel was up next, pushing Teal'c away. Sam had to admire the man's courage. Nobody else would dare push Teal'c away. He enfolded her in his arms. "Take care, Sam; we're really going to miss you," he said.

"Thanks, Daniel," Sam said, kissing the man she'd often thought of as a brother on the cheek.

Daniel returned the kiss. "And if Jack doesn't make you happy, just come home, and we'll go and kick his ass!" he said cheerfully.

Oh, right; a really annoying brother.

"In your dreams, Daniel, " Jack said. "Only in your dreams. "

Sam hitched her backpack more firmly onto her shoulders, regarding Colonel Ferretti silently. She'd always liked the man, respected him, but now ... Now, she'd lost his respect. "For what it's worth, I'm sorry, sir," she said.

Ferretti opened his arms. "Get your ass over here, Carter! That's your last order!"

She went over to him, surprised when he gave her a quick kiss across the cheek. "I can say this now you're not my 2IC," he said. "You're a real babe and if Jack doesn't treat you right, look me up, okay?"

"So help me, Lou; you're not funny!" Jack said.

"Who's tryin' to be?" Lou said, waggling his eyebrows. "I still don't get what this gorgeous young brainiac sees in you." He turned back to Sam, who'd started giggling at the outraged look on Jack's face. "Seriously, Carter; he's way too old for you!"

"He's only a few years older than you, sir," Sam pointed out in Jack's defense. Not that Jack needed any defending in her eyes. He was pretty damn fine, and just seemed to get sexier as the years went by. "Besides, men are like a really fine wine - they only get better with age."

Now Jack blushed. "Ah, fer cryin' out loud ...," he grumbled. "Let's get goin'," he said. "The wormhole's only gonna stay open another ten minutes."

Sam looked at her watch. Sure enough, the wormhole had been open twenty eight minutes as more and more people had come along to wish her well. "Oh. Right," she said.

They went up the ramp toward the wormhole, Sam pausing to look at the fluctuations in the event horizon. She resisted lingering too long - she did not want a repeat of the first time she'd 'gone' through the wormhole. Gone, hah! One smart ass bird Colonel had literally shoved her through.

Said smart ass waved a hand dramatically at the event horizon, then slipped his other arm round her shoulders. "To Oz, Dorothy?" he asked.

She snickered. The rough, tough General was a huge Wizard of Oz fan. "To Oz, Scarecrow," she teased, sliding her arm around his lean waist.

Wrapped in the embrace of the man she loved, Samantha Carter took a deep breath and stepped through into her new life.


"Welcome back to Haven," Lieutenant Marla Richards said to Sam. She tickled her daughter under the chin. "Gonna say hello, sweetheart?" she asked.

The little girl snuggled her head into her mother's shoulder, peeping at Sam. "Hi," she said shyly. Then she saw her one true love. "Jack ... Jack ... gimme hug!" she said. The shy little girl had been replaced by a bouncing bundle of joy.

Jack grinned and held his arms out for the little girl to fall into. "Little hussy!" he teased, giving her a big affectionate kiss. Laura in his arms, he turned back to Sam. "Laura; this is Sam. The other girl I love," he said easily.

The little girl looked at Sam, then seemed to decide she was okay if Jack liked her. "Pretty," she decided, her finger going into her mouth.

Sam had never been particularly maternal - wasn't that good with kids - but this chubby bundle was sure cute. "Thanks," she said. "You're very pretty too."

The little girl giggled. "Jack says that too," she confided. She gave Jack an enthusiastic kiss. "Love him." She eyeballed Sam, and Sam had the weird feeling that she was being inspected. "You love Jack too?"

"Of course," Sam said.

"Nosy little bit today, aren't ya?" Jack teased, blowing a raspberry into the toddler's neck. She shrieked and giggled, then snuggled into him, kissing his cheek exuberantly. "Miss me much?" he asked.

"Uh-huh," she said, then gave a wide yawn, slumping into him. "Sleepy," she mumbled.

"Sorry, sir," the Lieutenant said apologetically. "She really has missed you the last few days. When she heard you were coming back, I couldn't get her to settle for her nap."

Jack's eyes went incredibly soft. "I missed you too, honey," he said, hugging the little girl, "but grown-ups sometimes have to go away."

"'Kay." The little girl nodded her head, her big eyes wise beyond her years. She eyeballed Sam again. "Sam need hug, too," she declared. "Give!"

Jack chuckled. "Yes, ma'am!" he teased, dropping his free arm round Sam's shoulder and drawing her into his warm body.


That night:

Sam yawned and got out of bed, wondering where Jack was. It was only 0230. He tended toward early rising, but that was pushing it even for him! She'd waited for him to come and join her, but had fallen asleep before he could do so.

Shaking off the last vestiges of her nightmare, she showered quickly and changed into a favorite pair of faded jeans and a new tee shirt Cassie had given her as a going-away present. Then she flinched.

It was a rather nice tee shirt; dark blue with small pale blue Hawaiian flowers on it. But it had the word "O'Neill" emblazoned right across the chest - a blatant invitation for the man's eyes to set up camp right there. Real subtle, Cassandra, she decided.

She chuckled to herself, knowing that she would've been mortified to wear this tee shirt just one year earlier. What moron thought the word O'Neill would make a good slogan?, she mused. Then she shrugged. She belonged to Jack - he belonged to her. Simple as that. So much for the modern liberated woman who'd strode into the SGC briefing room a few years earlier, all piss and vinegar and ready to take on the world. Oh well; Gloria Steinem she wasn't.

Stuffing her feet into her battered sneakers, she yanked a comb through her hair, then decided to go out in search of one errant Brigadier General.

Sam headed out into the compound and made her way to the command tent. She knocked softly on the door frame, then poked her head around the open door. "Jack?" she said.

His office - never the neatest place in the world - looked like it had been hit by a Mark Four. Papers were everywhere, toys littered the floor and a playpen stood near his desk.

And as for Jack ... He lay back in his leather chair, boots propped up on his desk, unabashedly sleeping. In fact, he was even snoring. One arm dangled while the other supported little Laura Richards on his chest. She giggled happily and wrapped her arms around Jack's neck. "Hi!" she greeted Sam.

"Hi," Sam replied. She grinned at the girl. "You looking after Jack?"

"Yeah," Laura said, sticking her finger in her mouth. "Jack tired."

Sam looked at the man and realized with a pang that the little girl spoke the truth. Out of the mouths of babes ... His face was a little drawn, the long eyelashes swept down onto deep shadows and the slump in his shoulders shouted his fatigue. Just how little sleep had he gotten while he'd been with her?, she wondered guiltily.

"He needs to go to bed," she decided.

"Yeah. Laura go sleep too," the little girl said with a giant yawn. "Jack ... Jack ...". She bounced against the man and he woke up with a start.

"Hey, baby," he croaked, his eyes cracking open. Then he grinned. "Hey, Sam!" he said. "Shouldn't you be in bed?"

"I could ask you the same thing," Sam teased. "Why don't you hit the hay and I'll take this one back to her mom." She held her arms out to Laura, and was surprised when the little girl went willingly into them.

"Okay," Jack said huskily. He got up and stretched his long frame, the tee shirt riding up to show his flat tanned abdomen. Mmmmmm ... Not dead yet, are you, Sam? The man was so damn sexy, and he had no idea. He ambled over to Sam and Laura. "Gimme a kiss, munchkin," he ordered.

"'Kay." Seemed the tiny brunette could take orders as well as any of the military personnel. She gave Jack an enthusiastic, if sloppy, kiss. "Night. Love you," she mumbled sleepily, dropping her head into Sam's shoulder.

Sam smiled at the picture - the tiny little bubble-curled girl and the big tough General. It was so damn sweet. He really was just a softy at heart.


After handing Laura back to her mother, Sam made her way back to Jack's quarters. Actually, her quarters as well, now. She walked in and he gave her a smug grin, wearing nothing but Air Force issue shorts. "Gee, Sam; I knew you loved me, but you didn't have to put it on your chest!" he teased.

She looked down at the tee shirt and snickered. "Ass!" she replied lightly, then yawned. "Hit the hay, Jack," she ordered. "Busy day tomorrow."

"Yeah," he muttered, getting in between the sheets and holding them open in invitation to her. "Geeks to terrify, jarheads to tease, sexy astrophysicist to snuggle with." He sighed dramatically. "Oh, woe is me!"

Sam snickered again, then stripped quickly and changed back into her nightgown. She got into bed and snuggled into Jack's embrace. She rested her head on his chest, just listening to the steady rhythm of his heart. It was very soothing actually and she yawned widely. "I love you, you know," she told him placidly.

"I know," he said. He tilted her chin up to his and gave her a sweet soft kiss. No tongue, but a gentle feathering of his lips over hers; a soft suckling of her bottom lip. "Now; to sleep, Doctor Carter!"

"Yes, sir!" she said, saluting him teasingly. Then she cuddled into him as his arms came around her in one of his patented hugs.

Her eyes fluttering closed, Sam fell asleep wrapped in Jack O'Neill's arms. Heaven.


The next day:

Sam followed Jack into one of the many large tents that housed the now huge R&D department of the Haven project. "Hey, kids!" Jack called out above the noise of various machinery and dozens of scientists talking.

The scientists quieted and turned to face Jack. He smirked. "Better," he commented. "Right, boys and girls; this is your new ringmaster. Doctor Samantha Carter, PhD in Theoretical Astrophysics and Level Three Advanced hand to hand. She can out-think you any day, and kick your asses at the same time. So ... play nice."

Sam found herself grinning at the introduction. So very Jack. "Thank you, General," she said. She looked around, noting that everyone was looking at her expectantly. She nudged the man next to her. "They're not expecting a speech, are they?" she said.

He smirked one of his biggest smirks to date - she would so get him later! "Yep," he said. "And make it good too, Carter!" he added. "Nothing ... uh ... lame."

And if that wasn't a hit at her critique of his speech at the harvest ...

She took a breath, wondering what the penalty was for a civilian beating up a General, then turned to face the scientists. "I'm glad to be here," she said, "and I hope we can work well together. I'll be setting up meetings over the next few weeks so I can meet you all and learn more about what you do. Until then, if you need anything, you'll find me in my office or I'll be around."

"Welded to her laptop," Jack said in a faux whisper.

She wasn't going to giggle. He was a smart ass - a sexy funny one - but a smart ass nonetheless. And a sober scientist did not giggle at smart ass fly-boys. "So ... get back to work and I'll come bother you later, okay?"

Sam groaned silently. It was official. She was even worse at making speeches than Jack O'Neill the monosyllabic wonder. She turned to the man as the scientists dispersed. "That sucked, right?"

His amazing dark eyes danced. "Yeah," he said, "but it was honest and not flowery. Very you, Sam."

Okay. So maybe she wouldn't beat him up ...

"Shame I didn't get it on video," the man added.

... Yet.


One month later:

Samantha Carter lifted her head up, gazing blearily around her. Something was different. Missing.

Oh, right.

She was missing one sexy Brigadier General.

Jack had had to go back to Earth for a briefing at the Pentagon with the Joint Chiefs and various senators. And so, for the first time in the last month, Sam woke up without soft lips against the back of her neck.

And, not for the first time in the last month, she wasn't woken up by something prodding insistently at the small of her back.

For the first couple of weeks, she'd been glad he hadn't pushed her on the subject of intimacy. But for the last two weeks, she'd been getting more and more ... horny. But he didn't seem to feel the same way.

She knew Jack still wanted her - the slow, passionate kisses, the darkness of his chocolate eyes told her that much. He would be 50 on his next birthday - maybe he'd gotten to the age where nature sometimes needed a little assistance.

She knew he would be pissed - supremely pissed - when he came back from Earth. He hated the Pentagon, hated having to deal with the bureaucrats. Maybe she could help lighten the load.

She snickered into her pillow. Pun intended.

Tonight, one Doctor Samantha Carter was seducing one Brigadier General Jack O'Neill.


Jack O'Neill was pissed. Horny and pissed. It was not a good combination for him.

He was pissed with Kinsey, he was pissed with that little toady Samuels, he was pissed with the Joint Chiefs.

And he'd been horny for about two weeks now. As Sam had begun to recover from the events of the last couple months, she'd started eating more, laughing genuinely, doing that Carter-patented grin. And her sexy curves were beginning to return.

But he hadn't wanted to push her. She would make love with him willingly, or not at all.

So he was horny.

He'd coped very well with several years of abstinence, not counting that thing he'd had with Kynthia. Hell, she'd drugged him with that stupid cake! It could've been counted as rape, but he so wasn't going to go there. Then he made love with Sam and now ... now he couldn't get enough of her.

Jack had had a lot of opportunities to get laid - before, during and after his marriage. He'd come close with Laira when he was on Edora, but something had held him back from making that commitment. Hope. The hope that Sam and his team would find a way to get him home. And sure enough, the next day he'd been rescued.

As General Jumper called a time out, Jack left his dress jacket on the chair and headed out to the balcony, desperately needing some air. He breathed in, then coughed. This might be Virginia, but the Pentagon was near enough DC that it got their smog.

He missed Haven. He missed his extended family, he missed the hell out of Sam. He even missed the jarheads. He coughed again as he smelled cigarette smoke, then the old but not forgotten twitch made itself known. He'd given up smoking six years ago after the first Abydos mission. But sometimes, especially on a really crappy day like this, he felt the old cravings.

"Oh, sorry," a woman said. "You want me to put it out?"

Jack waved a hand negligently. "Don't bother on my account," he said.

"Great," the woman said, taking in a deep drag. She proffered the packet. "Want one?"

"Ah." Jack considered it, but knew Sam wouldn't want to sleep with him if he stank of cigarette smoke. "No thanks," he decided a little regretfully.

"Okay," the woman said. "So ... who are you hiding from?"

"Not hiding." Jack took exception to that phrase. "Just ... needed a break."

"Yeah, me too," the woman said. "Lieutenant Claire Sheldon; aide to General Jumper."

"Jack O'Neill," Jack said, taking the proffered hand.

"So ... Jack; what brings you to our little office block? You don't strike me as a desk officer."

Jack smirked at that notion. "Classified," he said. As Jumper's aide, she would know all about the Haven project, but these walls had ears. Better paranoid than dead, Jack had always figured.

"Ah," she said, taking a long thoughtful drag on her cigarette. "Well ... if you ever pass this way again, look me up." She passed him a small embossed card. "We could go dancing, have a few drinks."

Jack looked at the woman. Tall, fairly slim with short brown hair and gray eyes, she was quite easy on the eyes. And two years ago - hell, a year ago! - he would have taken her up on her offer. But now ... "Sorry, Claire," he said. "I'm actually with someone."

"Figures," Claire said with a smile, taking the card back. "The sexy silver ones always get snapped up."

The door opened and Major Samuels poked his head through. "General O'Neill, sir; we're ready to resume," he said.

Jack just knew the irritating little ass-kisser was choking on the words General and O'Neill together. Meh-heh. There were definitely advantages to these stars.

Claire went pink and gulped audibly. "General O'Neill? Whoops," she muttered. "Sorry, sir," she added.

"Don't be," Jack said, giving her a grin as he went over to Samuels. "You weren't to know." He shot her another grin. "Stay out of trouble now."

"Yes, sir," she said.

As Jack went back into the bureaucratic hell that was the Pentagon, he could have sworn that Lieutenant Claire Sheldon smacked her lips and murmured "Nice butt."


Sam took a deep breath and eyed herself in the mirror, surprised to find herself nervous. She was by no means timid when it came to making love with Jack, but ... She recalled with a long sigh the make-up sex she'd initiated after their first argument.

Running her hands lightly down his sexy chest, lingering for a moment at the waistband of his shorts. With a maneuver worth of Jack "Black Ops" O'Neill himself, getting his favorite bowie knife and ... relieving him of his shorts.

Sam gave a low moan and her hand crept under her own waistband. No! Bad Sam! She wasn't going to need to bring herself off today. Tonight she would have the real deal.

Real Jack's lips kissing, licking, suckling, nipping.

Real Jack's fingers stroking, squeezing, rubbing, probing.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ...

No! Focus, Doctor Carter!

Sam fanned her warm face rapidly, then looked at herself in the mirror. Not great, but not hideous either. She'd put on a few pounds since her arrival, she wore a faint pink in her cheeks and her eyes were bright and lively. A far cry from the "eyeballs on legs" the base CMO had described her as during her medical shortly after her arrival.

The tall strapping Army Major could have made two of Janet Fraiser, but she was just as blunt as Janet could be. And she was probably the one person in the colony that Jack O'Neill actually feared.

She sucked in her stomach - she had a slight roundness to her belly that no amount of crunches seemed to eradicate - then let it out. Jack had once told her he loved her "sexy little tummy" - the big tough General had actually used the word 'tummy' - and he spent a lot of time there during their lovemaking. Besides, it balanced out the full swells of her breasts.

She eyed the deep red nightgown Marla Richards had loaned her - the two women had become good friends since Sam's arrival - and snickered. Jack wouldn't know what had hit him!


Later that day:

Jack finished briefing his 2IC, then decided to head back to his quarters. He hadn't seen Sam when he'd gotten home, and was a little surprised at the pang he'd felt upon not seeing her glorious smile at the 'gate. Christ; you sap!, he mocked himself.

He walked into his quarters and shucked off his BDU jacket, slinging it on the back of a chair. He didn't live like a pig - never had, even when he was single - but a bit of creative mess never hurt anyone. "Sam?" he called. "You in here?"

"Bedroom," she called back in a tone he hadn't heard for a while.

He went to the bedroom, then clutched hard to the door frame.

Sam lay propped up against the headboard, hair newly washed and curling damply against her forehead and the enticing curve of her neck. A gorgeous smell came from her - some sort of soft vanilla, he guessed - and she wore a nightgown.

But not just a nightgown.

Made of deep red satin and cream lace, the spaghetti straps emphasized her shoulders and lovely neck, while the front formed a deep V that ended just above her navel. Not an inch of cleavage showed, yet there was lots of soft Sam skin to explore.

And suddenly, Jack O'Neill understood the expression 'Less is more'.

"Hey," he said.

She looked up and smiled at him. "Welcome home," she said, getting off the bed and sauntering over to him. She slid her hands up his chest, then round to the back of his neck, drawing his head down to hers. Her tongue slipped between his lips and tangled slowly with his own, stroking, massaging, curling.

"Ahh ... whatcha doing?" he said, breaking away from the unbelievably erotic kiss.

She ducked her head and nipped softly at his earlobe, then beamed up at him. "Seducing you," she told him.

Ah. He groaned and his own hands slid round her slim frame, going downward to her rear. He pulled her flush against him, feeling the last vestiges of his Pentagon-induced irritation slip away. Nothing like being 'seduced' by a gorgeous woman to bring you out of a bad mood.

They moved back over to the bed and Sam tugged gently at the strap of the nightgown. "You like?" she inquired.

"I love," he confirmed. "The only thing sexier than you in that nightgown is you out of it."

She snickered. "Is that a hint, mon General?" she asked.

Christ ... how could this woman make his rank sound dirty? "Hell, yeah!" he told her.

She beamed at him once more, then said. "Take it off, then."

"Bossy wench," he muttered, but obeyed orders anyway. And now there was lots and lots of soft Sam skin to explore. She might have set out to seduce him - heh, like he needed seducing! - but it was going to be one big-blue-eyed theoretical astrophysicist who would be getting seduced today!

"Long, slow, passionate," he told her.

"Okay," she said as his lips landed on her neck. He loved her neck, slim pale and swan-like. And it tasted so good too. They had a mutual admiration society for each other's necks, and he'd found her sweet spots very quickly into the deepening of their relationship.


"Mmmm ...," the man mumbled, his hand sliding up Sam's body and stroking her breast gently, "remind me to go away more often if that's the welcome home I'm going to get."

Sam snuggled into him, blissfully tired after that lovemaking session. From the sweet slow tender experience the first time, they'd gone on to three noisy, exuberant, no-holds-barred ruttings.

To put it bluntly, they'd fucked each other like they'd never fucked before. And Sam didn't think she'd ever be able to go into the bathroom again without blushing. Who knew a bathroom counter could hold two tall well-developed people?

She snickered. So much for thinking Jack needed ... assistance. All was more than well in his downstairs department. Which begged the question ...

She turned and faced him, flinching slightly when his chest hair scrubbed across her now very sensitive nipples. He saw the flinch - the man didn't miss a thing - and gave her a small smile. "Sorry," he said.

She shoved him lightly on the shoulder. "No, you're not - you smug bastard!" she laughed.

He chuckled and placed a hand on her hip, stroking the skin gently. "Got me there," he admitted.

She shivered and forced herself to focus. "Jack ... has there been something ... going on the last couple of weeks?" she asked. He'd been tired, strained and short-tempered. Some of that was likely due to him dreading the Pentagon thing, but still ...

He looked startled. "No," he said. "Why?"

Shit, you're going to sound pathetic!, Sam chided herself. "No. Doesn't matter," she said. She knew he loved her, she now knew he still wanted her. And she didn't want to come across like some nymphomaniac.

"If it bothers you, Sam, it matters," the man told her, not stopping the stroking on her hip. But the move was more sensuous than sexual. Very, very soothing.

"It's just ... until today you hadn't done anything more than ... kiss me for weeks," she said. "That's why ...". She waved her hand to the red nightgown.

His eyes widened, then he smiled slightly. "Ah," he said. "I ... ah ... didn't want to push you," he confessed. "After everything that's happened lately ...". He shrugged his shoulders. "I don't want you to make love with me if you're not willing. So ... I waited." He gave her a cheeky grin, which was belied by the softness in his eyes. "And from that welcome home, I knew you were now willing."

"I've been ... uh ... willing for a couple of weeks," Sam said. His hand shifted to curl more possessively around her hip and she shivered in delight. God ... the man had skills! She couldn't believe she was ready for another round!

"Yeah?" The man's hand left her hip to slap his forehead. "So if we'd just talked sooner, we could have been fucking like monkeys two weeks ago?"

She tweaked the man's nipple in disapproval and he gasped. "Nice turn of phrase, Jack," she said. "But basically ... yes."

He snickered. "Round five?" he suggested.

"Round five," she confirmed, sliding her hand round to squeeze a taut buttock.

"Hussy." He prodded her thigh with his now fully-erect member.

"Old man." She grasped said member and squeezed.


"Smug bastard."

"Love you."

"Love you too."


That evening:

Sam knew she was limping slightly - her muscles ached so deliciously! - and she envied the man strolling easily alongside her. He was nearly 50 - how come he wasn't limping?

Then again, she'd been the one whose legs had been spread widely for his passionate thrusts, whose hips had twisted madly against him as she climaxed over and over, whose legs he'd slung over his shoulders as he'd ...

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm ...

"Carter; you're purring!" the man accused her.

Shit; had she done that out loud? She punched him - hard - in the shoulder. "Watch it, mister!" she said. "I can't be court-martialed any more."

It was pitch black now, but she just knew the man wore a shit-eating grin the size of a mothership. "Yes, ma'am," he said soberly enough.

"Smug bastard," she muttered.

She preceded him into the commissary and went over to Hank, the Sergeant who presided over the place. "Feed me, Hank," she said, widening her big blue eyes pathetically at him.

"I was wondering where you were," the portly man said, turning to his small stove. "You missed the evening meal, but I'm sure I can put something together."

"God." Sam fell onto the seat near the man while he worked his culinary miracles. "You're a treasure."

The man chuckled, then straightened as he saw Jack. "Sir; good evening," he said.

"At ease, Sergeant," Jack said easily.


Master Sergeant Hank Waters looked at Sam and General O'Neill as they sat closely together, chatting over their delayed meals. Such a nice pair they made ... and Sam smoothed off some of the General's rough edges. O'Neill could be one scary bastard at times, when he was in full-on military mode, but Hank had been observing people for a long time, and he could see the soft center to Jack O'Neill's hard-ass military persona.

"Is that General O'Neill with Sam?" Private York said.

"Yeah," Hank said fondly. "They've been together a while now."

"But ... she's so gorgeous!" the young man protested. Hank clamped down on his smirk. And another one bites the dust, he thought fondly. At least half the men he knew here had a crush on the beautiful young scientist. And if he were honest, he'd admit to a little crush himself. "O'Neill's nearly 50!"

"Yeah; maybe. But he could snap you in half without even breaking a sweat," Hank said. "He was Special Forces for over a decade."

The younger man blanched. "That's the Jack O'Neill?" he said. "Shit; and I've been hitting on his girlfriend." He grimaced. "My dad was Special Forces - Jack O'Neill's like a god to them ... still."

Hank could believe that. He'd been stationed in Iraq in the early 90's and had met O'Neill when he and his team had crashed there for a couple of nights prior to some big hush-hush operation. Then-Major O'Neill had been so different to the other Special Forces officers.

He held himself above the activities of some of the other soldiers. The female personnel, as well as the local women, were off-limits to him. And he treated the lower ranks and non-coms with respect and politeness. A far cry from his CO, Cromwell, who'd seemed to think that Hank was there to be his servant.

Then he'd heard that O'Neill had died when their op was busted, and he'd been sorry to hear that. Turned out, the man had been captured, and kept prisoner. For four months.

Hank's cousin had been held captive at the same time for less than a month. And he'd never been the same after that. He'd been discharged shortly after returning to the US, and had pretty much gone into seclusion for a long time.

O'Neill had been held captive four times as long, and had been a high ranking operative. For him to get through that and come out of it as well-balanced as he was ... He had to be one tough son of a bitch.

Yet the man was still human. Hadn't lost his love of life, the quiet respectful way he spoke to most people (except for politicians and the occasional Tok'ra), his tenderness with children and animals. The man had taken an eclectic group of civilians, scientists and soldiers and had helped weld them into the large family they were becoming.

And now he was in love. You could see it written all over his face. Hank Waters, 59 years old, badly overweight, married for 35 years with two grandchildren, knew when a man was in love.

Hank was a romantic at heart, and he smiled when O'Neill raised a hand to tuck some of Sam's hair behind her ear, lingering to stroke her cheek. "See that?" He nudged the young Private. "That's true love."


The next day:

Sam pulled a face as she dragged her body out of bed. She'd woken up several times due to the nightmares, and now she was exhausted. And the marathon lovemaking session had made her pretty tired anyway.

So now she ached and was exhausted. And in a pretty bad mood.

She went into the bathroom, feeling her skin go pink when she saw the counter. Memories ...

Her thighs clenched together to ease the throbbing. Hmmmm; not in such a bad mood are you now, Sam?

She stepped into the shower and began scrubbing down, trying not to replay her nightmares. But the images came to her mind anyway. Adrian Conrad's pale face, so desperate for a cure for his wasted body that he was willing to take a Goa'uld. Colonel Simmons gloating as Sam tried to break free of her restraints. That horrible crunch as the Goa'uld forced its way into her via the back of her neck ...

"Room for one more?"

Sam yelped and spun round on the man. "Christ; don't sneak up on me like that!" she barked, her heart pounding as she was pulled abruptly back to the present.

"Okay." Jack stepped backward a little. "I'll just wait till you're done."

Sam breathed in deeply. "Thanks," she said simply. The man had been a POW in Iraq for four months - he knew what she was feeling. Had felt what she was feeling. "Sorry."

"Forget it," he said casually, leaning back against the counter. Without a blush. The man was shameless. "I know neither of us are big on the talking, but if you need to ...". He shrugged those nice shoulders. "I'm always here for you."

Sam switched off the water and wrapped a towel around her body. Then she crossed over to him and put her hand to his hair-roughened cheek. "I'm not ready yet," she admitted. "But ... thank you."

"You're welcome," he said, brushing his lips against hers. "You have a good day with your fellow eggheads" - amazing how this man could make the word 'egghead' sound like an endearment - "and I'll see you tonight."

"Yeah," she said. "And you have a good day with your personnel reviews."

He groaned. "You're evil, Samantha Carter," he accused.

Then he grinned.

"I like that."

Sam snickered as she left the bathroom and went back into the bedroom. She gave a little skip of pure malice. The Carter breed was evil. And one day, he would find out just how evil his favorite 'egghead' truly was.

She groaned as her hips and thigh muscles protested that little skip. But not today.


"Morning, Jack," Mike greeted him as Jack strolled into the command tent, trying to hide the slight limp garnered from the hours of really hot sex he'd had with one sexy astrophysicist. He couldn't remember the last time he'd had a session like that!

And the adolescent in him wanted to scream to the world that he was having hot monkey sex with a gorgeous blonde. Thankfully, the adult in him prevented him doing that.

"Morning, Mike," he got out around a yawn.

"Sleep well?" the bigger man asked innocently.

Jack glared at the Naval officer, who'd become one of his closest friends over the last year. "Shut up, or I will tell Nicole about your bachelor party."

Mike looked at him, then blanched. "You would as well, wouldn't you?"

"Count on it."

Mike smiled at the memories - when Jack O'Neill threw a party, he threw a party - then gave in. "Fine," he said, likely recalling the dare he'd fulfilled where he'd been required to steal one of Nicole's bras and wear it over his dress uniform. Drunken men were stupid men.

He gathered up his jacket, then ambled out of the command tent. "Have a good day, Jack," he said. Then he gave a wide grin. "Y'know; Nicole's a licensed physiotherapist. If you want her to do something about that limp ...".

"Out!" Jack barked, trying to hide the grin.

"I'm gone," Mike said. "See ya."

After the bigger man departed, Jack allowed the grin to form as he opened the first file. He'd gotten this limp from hours of wild sex - hell, he wished all his injuries could have been received this way!



One month later - Stargate Command:

"Receiving Tok'ra IDC!" Sergeant Harriman said.

"Open the iris," Hammond ordered.

"Yes, sir." Harriman put his hand to the palm scanner, and the iris retracted.

Several seconds later, George Hammond smiled broadly.

Jacob Carter stood on the ramp, with a young good-looking Tok'ra male by his side. Jacob waved his hand at Hammond.

The portly General leaned into the mike. "All units, stand down!" he ordered. Then he went down the stairs and into the embarkation room with a speed that belied his size and years, and came over to grip Jacob's hand. "It's been too long, Jacob!" he said.

"Yeah; sorry about that," Jacob replied easily. "It's been one of those ... Holy Hannah - two of those years." He looked around. "Not that I'm not happy to see you George, but where's my daughter?"

Oh. That. George wondered quickly how Jacob was going to react when he learned that his only daughter had resigned from the Air Force and was now living happily on another planet. With her former CO, and a man fifteen years her senior.

"A lot's changed since your last visit," George said, then turned to look at the quiet young man next to Jacob. "Welcome to Earth," he said. "I'm General Hammond."

The young man bowed his head. "Thank you, General Hammond. I am Malek, and my host is Geran." He looked around. "You have no dial-home device?"

"No. We had to make our own," Hammond said.

The young man's eyebrows lifted. "Impressive," he said in the tones of a normal human male. George started - he was used to some kind of warning when the Tok'ra switched from host to symbiote - and Geran smiled. "Tok'ra do not have to bow their heads when they switch - Malek and I both feel that it's an unnecessary affectation." He visibly smirked at the older Tok'ra.

"Smart ass kid," Jacob muttered. "So ... where's my daughter?"

Oh yes - the man was like a pit bull terrier.

"Come to my office," Hammond said. "We need to talk."



"Sam." Jack raised his head from where it had been resting on her stomach to look seriously at her. "There's something we need to talk about."

Sam stiffened, her fingers halting their stroking motion through his hair. "Yes ...?" she inquired guardedly, hoping they weren't about to have another argument about her going to see the base shrink. The last argument had been a week ago, and she'd ended it when she declared that she'd go to a shrink about Conrad if he'd go to talk about Iraq.

The man had stared down at her, his eyes black, his jaw working furiously, and for a few seconds she'd actually wondered if he was about to haul off and belt her.

He hadn't. He wasn't that type of man - she knew that. Instead, he'd stormed out of their quarters, slamming the door loudly.

Several hours later, he came back, disheveled and sweating like a horse, with several bruises marring his body. He'd woken up several of the new recruits and challenged them to ambush him. He was Special Forces trained - he was good.

And when Sam saw the new recruits the next day, she gained a new insight into just how good the man was at what he did. Four new recruits, fresh out of the Academy - all in their early 20's, with the reflexes of ... well, young men - and Jack had run rings around all of them.

As she tended his wounds, his arms came round her waist to hold her gently. "Sorry," he mumbled, ducking his head into her neck.

And that had been the end of that argument. Jack was the king of grudge-holding, but judging from the slow, tender love-making they'd indulged in for several blissful hours the next day, he was beginning to get over that propensity.

The man snuggled back into her, now resting his head against her breasts. She relaxed and resumed the stroking of his spiky, silvery hair. "Ah ... well ... It may never be an issue, but ... uh ... Lieutenant Richards asked me to be Laura's guardian if anything happens to her. She doesn't have anyone else."

"Ah." Sam couldn't say she was surprised. The man was absolutely amazing with that little girl - in some ways, he already was her dad. "And you said yes."

That wasn't a question.

"Yeah." Jack put a hand on her thigh, stroking it gently. "I love that little girl, and I wouldn't want her to end up in the system. The system sucks."

Jack was a veteran of the system - he'd been abandoned by his parents when he was just a baby - and she knew he wouldn't let a baby end up in care if he could do anything to prevent it. "Yeah," she agreed, massaging his scalp. She slid one hand down to stroke his cheek, lingering over the bone. The man had great cheekbones. "I know how much you love kids," she said. "Did you honestly think I wouldn't want you to have a second chance at fatherhood?"

The man sat up and wriggled round to face her. "Oh, it's not that, Sam," he said. "I just ... I want to marry you, and I don't know if you'd want to take on someone else's kid."

Sam hadn't really processed anything after the words 'marry' and 'you'. "Jack; you want to marry me?" she said.

"Hell, yeah!" Jack agreed. He scrabbled in his pocket, then presented a small velvet box. "We yell, we fight, I leave the seat up, you squeeze the toothpaste from the middle, but we are damn great together. I love you, Sam, and I'd be honored if you'd marry an over-the-hill fly-boy."

"I refuse to marry an over-the-hill fly-boy," Sam said. "I will, however, marry a gorgeous, sexy, passionate one-star."

"Huh; can't say I know him," Jack teased. "Will I do instead?"

"Ass!" Sam snickered and punched him lightly on the arm. "You'll more than do," she said. "I love you, too."

The man beamed suddenly at her, a wide beautiful smile that showed teeth and dimples. He flicked open the box to reveal a lovely ring. The metal shone with a luster unlike that of silver or even platinum, and Sam just knew it was trinium. It was worked in a delicate filigree pattern, and it supported a square-cut sapphire flanked on each side by a smaller diamond.

Elegant, simple, and old-fashioned. She loved it. "God, Jack; that's gorgeous!" she breathed. The man was a closet esthete. She'd suspected it since shortly after they'd met and she'd learned he held season tickets for the New York Philharmonic.

He grinned. "Thanks," he said. "Gimme your hand then, Carter!" he barked suddenly, stomping all over the tender moment.

Whooping with a sudden laugh, Sam presented her hand to the man. He slid the ring onto her finger, then dipped his head to kiss her gently. "Thank you, Sam," he muttered.

"Welcome," she said. "And if the worst happens, I'll gladly become Laura's mom. For better, for worse, the whole bit."

The man's eyes twinkled at her. "You know; for an egghead, you're pretty cool," he proclaimed.

"For a smart ass fly-boy, you're pretty cool too," she shot back, leaning into him to kiss him fully. Those soft warm lips parted eagerly for her, then his hot tongue met hers, curling and stroking. Holy crap; the man was talented!

His hands slid inside her tee shirt to stroke the skin of her stomach and she sighed. Mmmm ... great hands. And he sure knew how to use them. They traveled upward and she moaned when they brushed over the lace covering her breasts.

"Nice bra," he said, stroking gently.

Her nipples tingled and she felt arousal beginning to pool in her stomach. "Yeah?" she said. "Wait till you see it," she promised. Jack's jaw would just drop when he saw that bra. Black lace with under-wiring that pushed the full swells of her breasts up and together.

"Intriguing," he said in a deep sexy purr, now pinching her nipples softly.

She was beginning to get damp. And horny. But ... they were outside. In a very public place. And there were some things Samantha Carter just wasn't prepared to do. "Jack ...," she said urgently.


The man's head lifted and he gave her his best innocent stare. She didn't buy it. "I'm not making love with you in public!" she said.

"Ah." Amazingly, he blushed lightly, then he pulled his hands out from under her shirt. Just in time, too, as his 2IC strolled past with his wife. "Sorry," he added. "You ... kinda make me forget anyone else is around," he told her.

Wow. For all he was so bad at making speeches, he had a way of saying just the right thing. So Samantha Carter did the only thing she could think of. She opened her arms, muttered "C'mere" and hugged the man closely to her.

Samantha Carter; you are such a chicken-shit.


Jacob and Geran stepped through the 'gate onto Haven and looked around. "This is lovely," Geran said, watching the busy colony. "I've missed seeing children since the blending."

Geran had only recently blended with Malek and was having difficulty adjusting to the Tok'ra lifestyle. He'd come from a planet very similar to that of the Tauri, so Garshaw had asked Jacob to mentor him for a while.

"Yeah; it's pretty nice," Jacob agreed absently, still chewing over the fact that Sam had resigned from the Air Force. #What on earth could have driven her to do that?#, he asked Selmak. #Her career means the world to her!#

#Jacob; your little girl's in love#, his best friend responded. #General Hammond told you that she and Jack were finally together.#

Jacob could deal with that ... sort of. But he still couldn't fathom the idea that Sam would give up a promising AF career for some man. There had to be something George wasn't telling him. The other General had alluded to events over the last year or so, but had refused to betray his favorite unofficial niece. "If she wants to tell you, Jake, she will," he'd said. "But don't push her."

A young woman came over to them. "Welcome to Haven," she said. "I'm Lieutenant Satterfield."

"I'm Jacob, and this is Geran. We're from the Tok'ra."

The Lieutenant smiled widely at both of them. "You're Major Carter's dad. It's an honor to meet you, sir," she said. She looked at Geran and went slightly pink.

Selmak snickered as Geran went pink in return - a weird sensation. #They make a nice pair, don't you think?#, she asked. The oldest and wisest of the Tok'ra was something of a yenta in her spare time.

"Thank you, Lieutenant," Jacob said, as the two young people continued to just look at each other. He hadn't seen that sappy look in a long time. Maybe in the 70's when Sam fell in love for the first time - with Shaun Cassidy. "Would you be willing to show Geran around while I find my daughter?"

"Yes, sir," the Lieutenant said eagerly.

"Thank you," Geran finally said.

The two young people walked off together, chatting at a mile a minute, and Jacob began to walk across the clearing, enjoying the trees, the blue of the small lake he could see in the distance. He'd missed this sort of thing during his years with the Tok'ra.

#It's beautiful#, Selmak commented as several children rushed past, shouting happily.

#Yeah#, Jacob agreed. #I can see why Jack agreed to take command.# The man was simply made for family, and it had always seemed wrong to Jacob that the younger man was alone.

He hadn't liked Jack that much the first time he'd met him. He'd been flippant, and more than a little flirty with Sam. And Jacob had been convinced that the two were having an illicit affair. And the man was fifteen years her senior. Closer to Jacob's age than Sam's!

But he'd gotten to know the man much better after blending with Selmak. Had come to realize that the flippant attitude masked a deep sorrow he would never overcome. That he was a good, decent man who would never leave anyone behind. Good grief; the man had literally followed Sam into Hell to rescue Jacob from Sokar's clutches.

Selmak had noticed Jack and Sam's chemistry also, but she had never been bothered about the regulations. She'd argued that you couldn't regulate the heart. Sappy old broad.

Selmak had always been a strong proponent for Jack and Sam being together. Ever since the blending, Jacob had had to listen to her making kissy-kissy noises around them and doing the Tok'ra equivalent of 'Jack and Samantha, sitting in a tree ...'. For the oldest and wisest of the Tok'ra, she could be pretty immature.

She thwacked him affectionately. #I heard that!#, she chided him.

Jacob snickered. #Sorry#, he apologized less than sincerely.

He looked around for his offspring and found her sprawled out under a tree, with a man lying between her jeans-clad legs and his head resting on her chest. Jack O'Neill had his head on Jacob's little girl's chest!

#Breathe deeply, Jacob, breathe deeply#, Selmak advised him. #You can't tell me you expected her not to be making love with the man!# She jiggled suddenly - a very weird sensation. #He's a very attractive human#, she added. #If you had been female, I would have gone after him myself.#

Jacob shuddered. He so did not need that image in his head. #Thanks, Sel!#, he complained.

Selmak jiggled again, then snickered. #Do you really think Garshaw kissed him just because he helped flush out Cordesh?#, she asked.

Jacob returned the snicker at that. He and Selmak hadn't been there when that had happened, but Doctor Jackson had been ... pretty eager to tell them about it. The young linguist slash archeologist was nowhere near as wide-eyed and innocent as he acted.

Jacob looked at Sam and Jack, then he noticed that both of their eyes were closed. They appeared to be sleeping deeply, which was odd. Sam had never needed a lot of sleep - even when she was a baby - and Jack's nervous energy combined with the years in Special Forces meant he tended to sleep on a hair trigger.

Sam's hand rested on Jack's head, and the man had one arm wrapped around her waist like she was a human-size teddy bear. Jacob snickered. Who knew the rough tough General (Good grief - General O'Neill!) was a cuddler?

He went over to them, pleased to see that neither of them cracked open an eye. #Oh, don't wake them!#, Selmak pleaded. #They look so cute together!#

Jacob didn't listen to her. The Carter breed had always been evil. He went over to them, then barked in his best General tone: "Up and at 'em, Airmen!"

Several people in the vicinity came to a startled attention at the bark. Selmak jiggled and laughed. #Still got the knack, I see!#, she teased.

Sam wriggled and mumbled, "Leave the Jell-O and no-one gets hurt."

Jacob had to laugh at that, wondering what the hell she could possibly be dreaming about. "At ease," he called to the onlookers. They relaxed and moved on. He turned back to the entwined lovers. "O'Neill!" he snapped.

Jack snuggled deeper into Sam's chest, screwing his eyes shut. "Fuck off; I'm sleeping," he muttered grouchily.

Jacob snickered again. The Carter breed had always been evil. He put his hands on his hips, then shouted: "TAKE YOUR HANDS OFF MY DAUGHTER, AIRMAN!!!!".


Jack O'Neill vaguely heard someone hollering at him just as his dream Samantha was about to impale herself on him. Noisy bastard. He groaned quietly and buried his head in Sam's spectacular breasts. Maybe - if he concentrated real hard - he could get the dream back.

Sam wiggled under him - setting off all sorts of really good feelings - and mumbled, "Leave the Jell-O and no-one gets hurt."

What the hell ...? He loved the woman, but she was so ... weird at times.


Jack snuggled deeper into Sam's chest, screwing his eyes shut. "Fuck off; I'm sleeping." Whoever that was shouting at him was about to die. Slowly and painfully.


Shit! Jack knew that voice. He'd just told retired Major General Jacob Carter to ... Shit!

Sam's eyes opened at the same time and they scrambled to get to their feet. Jack accidentally clipped her in the breast with his elbow - he received a very hard punch in the arm in response. "Ow! Sam!" he complained.

Sam didn't respond. "Hi, Dad!" she said brightly, doing her best big-blue-eyes innocent routine.

"Don't Hi, Dad me," Jacob Carter said, his eyes flashing - even without the snake taking control. He turned to Jack. "Is there a reason you're mauling my daughter?"

"Uh ... because she's really hot?" Jack offered helpfully.

He received another hard punch in the arm for that comment.

"Dad, I'm not a child anymore," Sam said a little more diplomatically. "I love Jack, he loves me, and we are sleeping together."

"And she's really hot," Jack said under his breath.

He got a double Carter glare. Damn, he'd forgotten how good their hearing was.

"I hope you can be happy for us, Dad," Sam continued, linking her hand with Jack's. "Because I need you to be here to give me away."

Jacob opened his mouth, then shut it. Then he smiled a big wide smile. He and Sam looked nothing alike, but Jack suddenly knew where Sam had gotten her grin from. "You're getting married?" he said. "To this old reprobate?"

"Amazing, huh," Jack said. "Apparently, I'm a gorgeous, sexy, passionate one-star."

Jacob got a look on his face - the sort of look Jack just knew he wore whenever he saw one of those Goa'uld snakes without a host. "Not something I needed to hear, Jack," he complained.

Sam flashed Jack a look. One he hadn't seen too often. One that said Shut up now or you will never see this body naked again.

He aimed a weak smile at his future father in law. "Sorry," he offered lamely. "I ... ah ... sorry for telling you to ... ah ... y'know."

Suddenly Jacob laughed. "That's all right, Jack," he said. No ... that was the snake. Ahem ... Selmak. "It could have been worse. You could have punched Jacob."

"Excuse me?" Sam blurted out.

"Yes." Selmak grinned. "When Jacob first met your mother's father, he punched him in the face."

Suddenly the head dropped and Jacob groaned loudly. "Thanks, old girl," he muttered.

Jack grinned at the man. "You punched your future father in law?"

Jacob groaned again. "I came along to pick Alison up for a date and saw them fighting in the back yard. I thought he was ... ah ... beating her up. So I stepped in. Turns out she was showing him a choke-hold she'd learned."

"So that's why Mom used to call you slugger!" Sam exclaimed.

Jack knew he was skating on thin ice where Sam was concerned, but he couldn't help himself. "And in the left corner, Jake the Slugger, former Major General and now host to a snake!" he proclaimed.

Sam's fingers tightened painfully around his, threatening to cut off the circulation. "Jack ...," she warned.

Shit. Jack couldn't help it - he'd always been creeped out by those Goa'ulds. But he didn't want to piss off Sam and Jacob. Maybe he should try ... getting to know Selmak as something other than a wriggly little interloper.

"Crap," he mumbled. "If you're listening in there, Selmak; I'm sorry," he offered.

Jacob's head dipped then lifted, and his eyes flashed. "If you mean that, Jack, then I accept," Selmak said. "You are far too intelligent to act the way you do. Don't add bigotry to your long list of faults."

Sam snickered. "You are so busted, mister!" she said. She let go of Jack's hand. "Well ... I think I'll leave you two to talk. I'll be in our quarters when you're done."

And she walked away.

Evil, evil woman.

Jack groaned and scrubbed his hands through his hair. Not unusually for him, he had no idea what to say.

Selmak broke the ice. "You love Samantha very much."


"That wasn't a question," Selmak scolded. "I saw the attraction between you long before Jacob was willing to admit it. Stubborn old fool." His eyes glazed over, then he focused on Jack. "Sorry about that; Jacob was calling me rude names."

Jack smirked at that. "Leave it to Jacob to argue with someone who lives inside of him!" he said.

"Actually, it's not uncommon," Selmak said. "In some senses, a blending is like a marriage. You argue with Samantha, don't you?"

Hell, yeah. Big, noisy, arguments that could have come out of some cheesy soap opera. She could make him madder than nearly anyone he knew. They seemed to know exactly which buttons to press to ensure the angriest response from the other.

"And you used to fight with Sara," Selmak continued. "Saroosh used to fight with her husband. Jacob fought with Alison. Saroosh fought with me. Jacob fights with me." He ... she? ... smiled suddenly. "One of your people once said there's a very thin line between love and hate. I like my arguments with Jacob ... and I've enjoyed his arguments with you as well."

Jack was amazed. He was actually starting to like the snake ... no; Selmak. He'd never thought he would like a Goa'uld ... shit, Tok'ra! "Cool," he said. "I kinda like arguing with Jake, too. There's no bullshit about him - not like most of the brass."

Suddenly the head dipped, and now Jacob was back. "Big-mouthed old broad," he muttered. He turned to Jack. "You know; I didn't like you when I first met you."

"I get that a lot," Jack said.

Jacob eyed him. "I had you pegged as a conniving, sweet-talking SOB who'd managed to coerce my daughter into an affair with someone significantly older than her."

Jack raised his eyebrows, but couldn't deny the 'significantly older' bit. Hell, he was closer to Jake's age than he was Sam's! "I thought I was quite charming," he offered.

"You were ... by your standards," Jacob said. "The flags went up when Sam refused to go for the space program. I thought that was ... because of you."

"Jacob; you have to know ... Sam and I never did anything when we were in the same chain of command," Jack said. "There were ... feelings, but we didn't know the other had 'em."

"Hell, I know that," Jacob said. "You're a good man, you love my little girl, and I've been proud to call you a friend." He gripped Jack's hand. "Make her happy, and we'll be fine," he added. "Now, let's go see my daughter before she thinks we've murdered each other."


Sam watched anxiously as Jack and her dad talked - just out of earshot. She didn't really think they'd come to blows, but both were hot-tempered men, and Jack's habit of shooting from the hip had gotten him into trouble more than once.

She sighed with relief when she saw them shake hands and her dad drew him into a brief manly hug. Not dead yet.

She held her ring up to admire it - the man had great taste - watching as the sunlight caught the facets of the stones and nearly ran headlong into someone. "Wow; sorry!" she blurted out, then detected the unmistakable presence of naqahdah. She looked at the young man, who wore the brown and beige typical for the Tok'ra. "You're Tok'ra," she said.

"Yes," the man said in the deep voice that indicated the symbiote was fore. "My name is Malek."

"Malek?" Sam's heart skipped a beat. She remembered Malek from Jolinar's memories, but ... the host was different. Yet familiar somehow. "What of Jared?"

Pain shot into her old friend's eyes. "You knew my previous host?"

"Not me, but ... through Jolinar of Malk-shur," Sam said.

"How did you know Jolinar?" Then his eyes narrowed. "You have been blended."

Sam closed her eyes as she recalled the last 'blending', then shook off the memory. For now. "A few years ago ... Jolinar jumped into me to hide from the Ashrak." She frowned as she remembered the agony of the Ashrak's assault. "What happened to Jared?"

"He was mortally wounded six months ago," Malek said. "This is Geran, his younger brother."

Sam nodded. That explained the familiarity. "Are you here with my dad?" she asked.

Malek smiled. A rather nice smile actually. "You're Samantha," he said. "Yes; I'm here with Jacob. A young woman was asked to show me around, but she had to go on duty." He snickered. "Geran was most disappointed - he was just working up the courage to ask her to accompany him on a late-night stroll when she was recalled."

Sam snickered. Through Jolinar, she knew that the Tok'ra were nowhere near as stiff as they seemed, with a few exceptions. They simply couldn't respond visibly to what their partners were saying, as they would appear mad. She firmly believed Selmak and her dad sat around for hours cracking each other up.

She looked up as Jack and her dad came over to them, arguing amiably about something. Jack and her dad had a strange relationship. One minute, they were butting heads like prime bulls, the next they were laughing and joking. "Not killed each other yet, then, huh?" she asked.

Jack grinned - that wide easy grin she'd once seen so rarely but that he now wore much of the time. The man was truly happy for the first time in a long time ... and she knew she had a lot to do with that. He would always feel sorrow about Charlie - you didn't get over something like that - but he'd finally learned he did deserve happiness.

"Nope," he said, slinging an arm around her shoulders. He leaned forward and presented his hand to Malek. "Hi; you must be Malek ... or is Geran fore?"

"I am Malek," the younger Tok'ra said. "You must be General O'Neill."

"Yes; I must," Jack said. "Well ... welcome to our little colony. Whatcha think? Bit different to Vorash, huh?"

Malek's head dipped. "Very," Geran said. "It reminds me a lot of my old home. You've built a beautiful colony here, General O'Neill."

"Uh ... call me Jack, will ya?" Jack said.

"Of course," the young man said. Then he frowned. "Uh ... do you know where I'll find Grace?"

Jack raised his eyebrows. "Grace?"

"Lieutenant Satterfield?" Sam's dad asked.

Geran blushed. "With your permission, General, I ... would like to get to know her better."

Jack waved a hand. "Don't need to ask my permission, kid," he said. "She's on duty at the moment, but she'll be free in a coupla hours."

Geran blushed again. "Thank you."

Jack snickered and nudged Sam as Geran and Jacob strolled off ahead of them, deep in conversation. "Young love, huh?"

"Yeah," Sam agreed. She tucked her hand into his and leaned her head on his shoulder. "But I'd rather talk about us," she added. "All joking aside, I do love you, Jack."

Jack looked like he was about to say something, but evidently changed tacks. "Love you too," he said. He dropped a kiss onto her forehead. "Now ... what say we start planning a wedding, huh?"


Two weeks later:

Brigadier General Jack O'Neill tugged nervously at his tie, wondering what the hell he'd let himself in for. He'd given Sam and Marla two weeks because he hadn't thought they'd be able to pull this off. And that was the longest Jacob was able to be away from Vorash for.

But they had pulled it off, and he was now standing in the commissary - in his dress blues - with nearly all of the colonists and lots of visitors watching him eagerly. "Hey, Jack, relax - you're not being shot at dawn," Daniel said, patting his shoulder. "Besides, I don't think Teal'c would let you make a run for it."

Jack shifted and looked at Teal'c, who tilted an eyebrow and gave an ironic smile - that smile that shouted Move and you will not live long enough to regret it. "Yeah," he said.

His former CO clapped him on the shoulder. "Son; if I know anything about women, she'll be just as nervous as you are."

The doors opened, and Cassie, Marla and the Doc stepped into the room in floating dresses of a pale blue color. Then Jacob appeared. "Look at Jacob - he looks so dignified," Jack said.

"That's because he's got a hangover that would kill a horse," Daniel said absently, staring quite blatantly at the tiny - but oh, so scary! - Doc.

"Ah." Say no more. Jacob had really tied one on last night and, for some reason, Selmak had not negated the effects. Maybe even a snake had no power against the rot-gut the older Carter had put away.

Then again, Jack had gotten to know Selmak a lot better over the last couple of weeks, and had learned that she loved to mess with Jacob. And the older General had made a few unwise comments about 'pushy old snakes' who should 'mind their own damn business'. Jack snickered - Selmak was evil, but she was his kind of evil.

Jacob turned and drew his daughter into the room. Jack forgot his amusement and just stared at her. An angel ... she looked like an angel. Dressed in a slim-fitting white sheath and carrying lilies, her big blue eyes shone and ... she actually glowed. Cliche, but true. "Wow," he muttered.

"Eyes front, Airman," Hammond teased him.

Sam appeared at his side and Jacob fell rather than sat on the father of the bride's seat. "Hey, fly-boy," she said, putting her hand into his.

"Hey, egghead," he replied, touching her cheek with his free hand.


"Congratulations," Daniel said, shaking Jack's hand, then kissing Sam lightly on the cheek.

"Indeed," Teal'c said. "I wish you many years of happiness, and strong healthy children. If they are even half as stubborn as you, they will do well."

Sam grinned. "Thanks. I think," she said.

She turned to her husband - wow, that so did not get old! - and grinned at him. "I love you, Jack," she said, sliding her arms around his neck and giving him a much more passionate kiss than the one that had marked the end of the ceremony.

He returned it with interest, neither of them caring of the whoops and hollers of the increasingly intoxicated Marines. Soft warm lips suckling on hers, hot skilled tongue exploring her teeth, stroking her own tongue ... mmmmmmmmm.

"I love you too," he told her as they unwound reluctantly from each other. Then he grabbed her left hand and held it up. "Nice rock, Sam," he added. "Whatcha doing throwing yourself away for some slob?"

"Well, Jack, I happen to love that slob," Sam said and slipped her free arm round his waist. She squeezed one of his butt cheeks and he jumped, then yelped.

"Playing with fire there, Carter!" he accused, his eyes dancing with mischief.

She loved that boyish gleam to his eyes - loved that she was the one who put it there. "Oh, I'm in the mood for a little ... heat," she drawled. "Sir," she added.

Jack gave a snort of laughter. "Oh, bring it on!" he taunted.

"Game on," Sam agreed, her eyes raking down his firm, well-toned body to linger on his dress pants. All sorts of ... really nice things were hidden under those pants. Things to touch, to stroke, to kiss ... Mmmmmm.

General Jack O'Neill was a giant piece of delicious man candy.

And Doctor Samantha O'Neill had a very sweet tooth.


This was quite possibly the biggest weirdest wedding he'd ever attended, Doctor Daniel Jackson decided. And his bride had been a gift. He smiled sadly as he thought of the beautiful woman who'd been his bride for such a short, but sweet, time, then shook off the melancholy.

Aside from the usual Air Force personnel, General Jumper and his retinue were in attendance. And a bunch of Marines, Naval and Army personnel. Scientists, children, rebel Jaffa, Tok'ra.

Things had been ... interesting between the Tok'ra and the Jaffa for a while. But Bra'tac and Jacob Carter seemed to have bonded over their mutual hatred of the Goa'uld - 'two old warriors' as Bra'tac had put it. And now some of the younger Jaffa and Tok'ra were beginning to talk.

Daniel knew it would take a long time for the two factions to have a true alliance, but it was a good beginning. He took a cautious sip of his champagne - he knew how much of a lightweight he was, and didn't want to get drunk - and looked around the other guests.

Lya and Anteaus of the Nox.

Thor and Freyr of the Asgard.

And the man and woman of the hour.

Samantha Carter and Jack O'Neill.

Good grief.

Yet Daniel couldn't say he was all that surprised. He hadn't been there for their first meeting, although Major Kawalsky had been more than happy to fill him in on the details. But he'd had the privilege of working closely with them for three years before Jack's promotion and subsequent relocation. The chemistry between them had burned for a long time - sometimes Daniel had thought they were merely inches from jumping each other; sometimes it was more like a gentle warmth, love rather than lust.

And now they were married.

"They look good together."

Daniel smiled at Janet Fraiser as the petite doctor wandered over to join him. "Yeah," he agreed.

"Some people are saying the same about us," she offered, sitting down.

Daniel choked on his champagne. "Pardon?" He looked at the glass. Maybe he'd drunk more than he thought. He put the glass on the table, resolving to switch to soda. "Did you just ...?"

"We've become pretty good friends, Daniel," Janet continued. "We laugh, we joke, we flirt. I've been wondering for a while ... is it just that, or is there more?"

Daniel stared at her, his lips pulling up into a half-smile. "Don't beat around the bush there, Janet - just say it like it is, why don't you?" He really had known one Jack O'Neill way too long.

Janet smiled. "I thought about saying yes the next time you asked me out, then you stopped asking," she said.

"Well, how many rejections can one man take?" Daniel asked her.

Janet laughed. "Well, I'm not rejecting you now," she said, then slid her hand round to the back of Daniel's neck, pulling his face toward hers.

Their lips met.

It was nice, but ...

The petite Doctor sat back. "Nothing, huh?"

Daniel coughed. "Uh ... no," he replied.

"Ah, well!" Janet took his glass from him and finished its contents. "At least we know now." She put her free hand out to his and gripped it. "Friends?" she asked.

"Always," he replied.


"Lya!" Jack said enthusiastically, as the tiny little Nox female came over to him. He just knew he had a goofy grin a mile wide on his face, but he didn't give a damn. They'd done it! He and Sam were now General and Doctor O'Neill.

"It is good to see you again, my friend," Lya said in her soft voice. "I am pleased you and Samantha have joined your souls together."

"Agreed," Anteaus said. "We were surprised that it did not happen sooner, but your Jaffa friend explained your people's rules to us." He frowned. "It seems heartless - does your ... government have the right to regulate your heart?"

"Anteaus" - Lya put her hand on his - "we know little of Jack's people. We should not presume to judge them."

Jack smiled at that. He'd always had a soft spot for the little Nox woman. She kinda reminded him of the fairy folk in the stories he'd had read to him in school. "Thanks, Lya," he said. "It's good to see you both again," he added. "How's Nefreyu?" He looked around, but couldn't see the young lad. "I kinda thought he'd be here today."

"He is well, thank you, O'Neill," Anteaus told him. "We did not leave him behind." He scribed his arm in a large ring and there stood the young Nox boy. "We needed to determine whether or not he would be safe. With so many unknowns, it was best to be certain first."

Jack nodded his head. The Nox liked everyone - were pacifist to a degree he would never understand - but they sure knew how to protect themselves. "Hey, kid!" he said.

"Hello, Jack," the boy replied. He came over and hugged Jack. "It's good to see you again," he said. He looked over to where some of the kids were playing a noisy game of baseball. "What are they doing?"

"Ah ... it's a game," Jack said. "See that kid in the middle? He pitches that ball to the other kid. That other kid attempts to hit the ball as far as he can, then he'll run around all those white markers ... we call them bases."

"Base ... ball," Nefreyu said. He gave a mischievous grin. "It looks ... fun," he offered.

"You wish to join in?" Lya asked. The little lad nodded his head. "Then you should," she said. As the boy darted off, she smiled up at Jack. "You look well - strong and happy," she offered.

"I am happy," Jack said. "What about you? How's ... uh ... Opher?"

A shadow fell over the Nox woman's face. "Opher passed on several of your months ago," she said.

"Ah, damn," Jack muttered. "I'm sorry to hear that. I know what it's like to lose someone you love."

"Yes," Lya agreed, her big eyes flickering over his face. "But Opher lived a long, happy, fulfilled life. Your Charlie did not have that chance."

"No," Jack agreed, his throat constricting. He cleared it quickly, knowing his kid wouldn't have wanted him to be sad today. Charlie had always wanted everyone to be happy. "Hey; would you like to meet my buddy, Thor?" he offered quickly.


"Congratulations, Sam!" Marla Richards said, drawing Sam into a hug.

"Thanks, Marla," Sam replied, returning the hug. She dropped a kiss onto young Laura's cheek. "And thank you, Laura; you were a beautiful little ring-bearer."

The little girl nodded importantly. "Was a ring bear," she said sleepily. "Unca Jack smiley."

Sam looked over at Jack and snickered at the goofy grin on his face. 'Smiley' was one word for it. "Well, he's happy," she said. "And so am I."

"That's good," Marla said. "He's a good, caring man - he needs to love and to be loved. I'm glad for him."

Sam looked at the younger woman. "Oh ... my ... God - you love him," she said. She'd noticed the signs before, but now ... now she was sure of it.

Marla went bright pink. "No!" she said. "No, I don't." Then she heaved a sigh. "I did have a bit of a crush on him for a while, but I knew nothing would ever happen. You're perfect for each other."

Sam could accept that. Jack was a handsome, sexy, occasionally charming man - she could understand why women liked him. She was secure enough in Jack's love for her that she didn't even entertain the idea of snatching Marla bald. "Okay," she said.

"Okay?" Marla peered at her.

"Yeah," Sam said. "I just ... it must have hurt a little all those girl talks we had."

"Not really," Marla said. "Like I said, it wasn't like I ever had a chance - or even wanted one. And it's been fun having a girl friend. Someone to dish with."

"Yeah," Sam said. She'd never really had girl friends growing up - being an Air Force brat had meant she switched schools a lot, and the fact that she was two years younger than her class mates had meant she also found it difficult to make friends. She looked around. "There are a lot of nice guys here today; I could introduce you."

"Ah ... no, thanks," Marla said hastily. "I'll admit I'm lonely - but I haven't gotten to the set-up stage yet." She settled Laura more comfortably in her arms as the little girl started rubbing her eyes. "Besides, I have my best girl to think about." She gave Sam a wicked grin. "I'll just live vicariously through you and Jack - I haven't needed a Harlequin novel since you and he got together."

Sam blushed. "Are we that obvious?" Are we that loud?

Marla laughed lightly, then squeezed Sam's shoulder. "Don't be embarrassed," she said. "Jack's a fit sexy man and being older ... he's probably got great technique as well. Why shouldn't you enjoy him?"

Technique ... mmmmmmm. Yes; the man was damn good. Sam closed her eyes and shivered as she recalled that wild passionate night after he'd come back from his Pentagon briefing. Even with her limited experience, she knew that had been one spectacular session ... five spectacular sessions. She hadn't known it was possible to climax so much in less than twenty four hours. She and Jack had both ached for several days afterward, but God, had it been worth it!

"Hey! Earth to Sam; come in, Sam!"

Sam blinked back out of her erotic memories and squeezed her thighs together to ease the throbbing that had begun. God; she couldn't seem to get enough of that man! "Hi," she said sheepishly. "Just ... ah ... thinking."

"Yeah; and one'll get you ten it was about Jack," Marla teased.

"Yeah." Sam laughed, then saw the object of her thoughts looking over at her. She'd never really got the expression 'bedroom eyes' before she met that man - had just thought it was a hackneyed phrase. But Jack O'Neill's soft brown eyes that went nearly black with passion ... Bedroom eyes, bathroom eyes, up-against-a-wall eyes. Mmmmmm.

"Wow." Marla flapped a hand over her face. "I think half the colony needs to lie back and have a cigarette!" she teased.

Sam could feel her skin heat up again. It was a nuisance being so fair. Then she giggled. Why did she care what people thought? She was the one who got to have wild passionate sex with a handsome General on a regular basis, not them - the hell with what they thought!


Jack looked over to where his wife - Sam was his wife - chatted with Marla Richards. God; she was so beautiful in that dress! But she would be even more beautiful out of it. They'd not shared a bed last night - both of them wanting to observe at least one tradition for this very untraditional wedding - and he'd missed her.

He wasn't an Alpha male who had to have 'his woman' every night, but he'd missed her. He'd missed the way she cuddled into him, missed the way she rubbed her permanently cold feet along his shins to warm up, missed the way her hair tickled his nose. Yeah; it was official - he was the galaxy's biggest sap.


"Hey, Jacob," Jack said. "How's the head?"

"Shut up," the older man groused. "Bad enough I've got Selmak nagging in here without you starting as well."

"Ah." Jack tried his best not to snicker at the idea of a snake nagging away inside Jacob's head. He didn't succeed. "Sorry," he added, "weird image." He looked at the older man. "God, Jacob; you look like crap," he said affectionately. "I thought symbiotes negated the effects of alcohol?" He was very proud of himself for not using the word 'snake' out loud.

"Yeah, usually," Jacob said. His eyes glazed over; evidently he was communicating with Selmak. "Seems she thought it'd be funny to see what I was like drunk. She hadn't counted on being a passenger for the hangover from hell."

"Ah. Serves her right, then," Jack offered. He'd gotten to know Selmak a little better over the last couple of weeks and had grown ... quite fond of her.

Now Jacob snickered. "Yeah," he agreed. He looked at Jack then, pulling his shoulders square and straight. "Sam's a grown woman, and anyone with half a brain can see how good you two are together. But ... I have to warn you. You hurt her, and there won't be anywhere in the galaxy you can hide."

"Jacob. You know I can't promise I'll never hurt her," Jack said. "I have a big mouth, I hold grudges, and I do stupid things. I'm bound to hurt her - I have hurt her, and I'm not proud of it." He looked steadily at his father in law. "All I can do is say I'll never deliberately hurt her."

Jacob grimaced. "Yeah," he said. He gripped Jack's hand. "That's good enough for me. So ... all that remains for me to say is welcome to the family." He sighed. "I'm just sorry we couldn't have done this on Earth - I think Mark would've liked to have been here."

Now Jack sighed. "I know," he said. "But we couldn't have got anywhere booked before you had to go back to Vorash. Maybe we can renew our vows next time you're in the neighborhood and Mark can come to that."

"Yeah," Jacob said. He looked around, his gaze alighting on the odd mix of Tauri, Jaffa, Tok'ra and other aliens. "Most of these guys wouldn't fit in too well on Earth, anyway," he said. He snickered. "Imagine trying to disguise Thor."

Jack had to smile at that image, then he sobered. "Seriously, though, Jacob. I love your daughter, and I'll do my best to make her happy. How could I not?"

"You're a good man, Jack." Jacob pulled the taller man into a brief manly hug, then let go of him. "Now, shove off and go get my daughter. Daniel's starting to get antsy for his speech."

Jack looked over at the linguist, who gave him a peculiar grin - along with a waggle of the eyebrows. He groaned. "Oh, God; I'm screwed, aren't I?" he mourned.

"Yeah," Jacob said. "And ... he might just have had some help too."

Jack shoved his hands in his pockets and let out a sigh. "I knew we should've eloped," he muttered. Then he softened as Sam came over to him, slipping her bare arm around his waist. He was a tough SOB - he could get through a best man speech.

"Hey," she said, squeezing his waist. "Perhaps we should sit down. Daniel's practically climbing the walls."

"There are no walls," Jack pointed out oh so helpfully, but allowed his wife - quite possibly the best word in the English language - to steer him over to one of the tables.

Sam snickered. "Smart ass," she said, sliding her hand quickly inside his shirt to stroke his abdomen. It tensed at her touch and she snickered again, her blue eyes darkening with desire.

"Oh, God," Jacob groaned, "I didn't need to see that, Sam!"

Sam blushed and pulled her hand out of Jack's shirt, the friction igniting a new wave of desire. "Sorry, Dad," she said, "but he's really hot."

"Ah! Too much information!" Jacob squawked.

"Hey, I called you that in front of him and I got a punch in the arm!" Jack complained into Sam's ear.

She shivered and leaned into him. "I'm a Daddy's girl - what can I say?" Jacob groaned and walked away - she took advantage of the Tok'ra's departure to cup Jack's crotch, stroking the flesh firmly.

"You witch," Jack breathed, his flesh now throbbing.

"Well, they don't call me Samantha for nothing," Sam breathed, nuzzling into his neck then nipping at his earlobe.

God ... the woman was a torturer! "You think they'd be offended if we went for our honeymoon now?" he asked.

"Yeah," Sam said, releasing his earlobe. "You can wait a few more hours, can't you?" she added. "After all, we've got the rest of our lives together."

The rest of our lives - he liked that. "I can do that," Jack agreed, willing his erection down to less painful proportions. "But ... just remember, Samantha O'Neill; I hold grudges." He leered comically at her. "I will get you back for this."

Sam giggled and picked up her glass of champagne. "Promises, promises," she teased.


"Ah, crap; here we go," Jack O'Neill groaned as Daniel Jackson stood up and clinked his fork gently against his empty glass.

"People; may I have your attention?" the linguist said.

The happy buzz stilled as Tauri, non-Earth humans and alien allies turned to view the man. He coughed and pushed his glasses up his nose.

Jack snickered. Why the man could never get a pair of glasses to stay up was beyond him.

"First of all - and I think I can speak for at least half the people here - it's about damn time!" Chuckles came from various personnel - many of those from the SGC. "Seriously, you guys; we've been waiting for something like this for ... what ... two years now?"

"Two years, one month and eleven days, Daniel Jackson," Teal'c offered.

Jack looked over at the big Jaffa. Was he serious? Teal'c looked back and offered his usual serene gaze ... but a small smile tilted the corner of his mouth. Contrary to what many people believed, T had developed a pretty wicked sense of humor - it was just more subtle than Jack's particular brand of sarcasm and lame jokes.

"Ah. Thank you." Oblivious to the fact that his good Jaffa buddy was gently yanking his chain, Daniel coughed and continued. "I wasn't there when Sam and Jack first met, but I've heard tell that there were sparks even then. But it certainly wasn't love at first sight. Jack has never liked scientists, and Sam doesn't like cocky loud-mouthed officers." He grinned here. "Quite why Jack doesn't like scientists when he has a degree in Cosmology is beyond me, but ... there you are!"

Jack cringed. How the hell had the guy found that out? Sam looked at him in astonishment. "Uh ... long story?" he offered weakly as Daniel's audience chuckled.

"And as for Sam not liking cocky loud-mouthed officers ... Seems she was a little loud herself during a lecture given by then Colonel Kerrigan at the Academy. She challenged one of the then-accepted theories about wormhole physics. And she wasn't shy about defending her own theories." He grinned.

And now Sam cringed. "Uh ... another long story?" she offered just as weakly. "Can we just kill him now?"

Maybe the guy was psychic, for he suddenly cleared his throat. "I could tell you more, but these are two highly trained people with Advanced hand to hand. They could snap me in half without breaking a sweat. So ... I'll get serious."

He coughed again and looked down at ... Yep; the guy actually had flash cards! For cryin' out loud ... "The old cliche about opposites attracting certainly holds true for these two. An egghead and a fly-boy - talk about a weird match." More laughter and Jack and Sam joined in. "Yet they make a great pair. In the field, in a briefing room, as friends and as lovers." He blushed suddenly when raucous laughter from the Marines greeted that statement. "I meant lovers in the romantic sense, you dirty-minded jarheads!" he scolded.

"You can dress 'em up, but you can't take 'em anywhere," Jacob offered in consolation.

"Anyway ... they're two of my best friends and they deserve happiness more than anyone I've ever known," Daniel said, scowling at the still-laughing Marines. "So ... everyone, raise your glasses and drink to Jack and Sam O'Neill!" He clinked his empty glass to Jacob's. "To the bride and groom!"

"The bride and groom!" everyone chorused.

"And now," Daniel said, "a word from the father of the bride." He sat down and Jacob stood up.

"As a father, no guy is ever going to be good enough for my little girl," he began conversationally, and a number of fathers in the gathering nodded their heads. "And God knows Jack has his faults. He's smart mouthed, plays dumb and is way too fond of sarcasm."

"Oh, glass houses, Dad!" Sam commented just loudly enough for everyone to hear.

Jacob just chuckled. "And he's kinda getting up there in years as well. Trust me on this; if Sam had brought him home ten years ago, I would've shot him on sight. And her too."

"Uh, Dad? I think Sara would've shot him before you even got the chance to find your gun," Sam pointed out.

"Right," Jacob acknowledged. Then he smiled. "But I'm not being fair. Jack is a good man, a fine officer and he makes my daughter happy. And in the end, that's what's most important. So, welcome to the family, Jack. I mean that."

Jack smirked as his father in law sat back down. "Thanks, Dad," he said.

Jacob closed his eyes briefly. "And if you want to stay a member of the family, you'll never call me Dad again. You're only ten years younger than me, for crying out loud!"

There was silence. Then someone snickered, setting off a fresh wave of laughter.

"What?" Jacob said. "It's not like he invented that phrase!"


That evening:

Marla Richards picked up her daughter, who'd been rubbing her eyes with her fists for several minutes now, indicating that she was getting tired. "Duty calls," she murmured to Sam.

Sam started as the General gave her a cheeky squeeze and giggled. "Oh, of course," she said. "Night, Laura," she added, giving her a quick kiss.

"Night, Sam," Laura mumbled, then held her arms out to the General. "Unca Jack! Kiss night night," she demanded.

"Yes, ma'am!" he said softly, then dropped a gentle kiss onto the plump little cheek. "Sleep tight."

"Mmmm," the little girl mumbled around a giant yawn. Oh yes; she was more than ready to hit the sack.

"Night, Sam, sir," Marla offered.

"Good night," Sam replied.

"Yes," the General emphasized with a very pointed look at Sam.

Marla blushed as she wondered - again - just what it would be like to be the recipient of a deep dark bedroom stare like that. She'd had a couple of relationships before Laura and the sex had been good. But it had never been the be-all and end-all.

However, she'd heard some of the impassioned groans and cries emanating from the General's quarters on a frequent basis - especially the last weekend - and they tended to make her feel like she was missing out by staying alone.

She'd only seen them once - on one of their infrequent food runs - but the looks on their faces had said it all.

God; the man must have some stamina.

Sam was quite reserved when talking about her sex life, but was beginning to loosen up. And some of the things she'd told Marla during their increasingly frequent girl talks had made Marla ... well, horny. Turned out the man also had great technique.

She shook her head to clear it. Get over it, Marla!, she chided herself. She was over her crush on the General - had been for a while - but that didn't mean she didn't have eyes. He was a very attractive man.

She was unable to stop herself peeking at the taut rounded swells that formed her commanding officer's ass as he walked away with his new wife.

Oh ... very, very nice. Like a ripe firm juicy peach.

Sam was one lucky woman.

And Marla Richards was one ... horny woman.

Maybe it was time to get 'out there' again.

She smiled at Doctor Jackson. "Hi," she said. He was a good looking man, too - in more of the scholarly boy next door way. Well ... a scholar who could shoot a P90.

"Hey, Marla," he replied. "This must be Laura," he added. "Hi there," he said softly to the little girl. "I'm Daniel."

"Me Laura," her daughter confirmed sleepily. "You Unca Jack's friend?"

"Yeah," Doctor Jackson said. He looked wistfully at the little girl - the sadness in his baby blues obvious - then smiled. "You're very beautiful," he told Laura. "You must take after your Mom."

Then he went pink.

And so did Marla. "Uh, thanks," she said, feeling her insides clench and coil. She pressed her thighs together to ease the sudden throbbing. Was she just horny, or did she want this man? "Well, I have to put this one to bed, but ... you want to come in for a bit? I'd like some more dirt on Sam and the General."

Daniel grinned. "Oh, I have plenty of that!" he told her, then waved his hand in front of her in a courtly gesture. "After you, milady."


Sam slid her hand into the back pocket of Jack's dress blues, feeling the tight muscles of his ass shift as they walked. God, the man had a great ass. "So ... what's this surprise?" she asked.

"Humor me, Carter," Jack shot back.

She nipped his butt and he started, giving a strangled yelp. "That's O'Neill to you, sir," she pointed out. "So ... what's the surprise?"

"Christ, Sam; you're worse than Charlie ever was on his birthday!" Jack chuckled.

Sam snickered, and didn't bother to deny it. She'd always been a big kid where presents and surprises were concerned.

She stepped into their quarters and giggled when he slid a large warm hand over her eyes. "No peeking now, Carter!" he ordered.

"Yes, sir!" she replied. Like a good little soldier.

He steered her through the living area ... she pricked up her ears (not literally, but that would've been cool) as she heard the unmistakable sound of a waterfall. Huh? Beside her, she could feel Jack bouncing on his toes - another big kid.

"Open 'em now!" the man ordered.

Sam opened her eyes.

And goggled.

The utilitarian bathroom - and site of some pretty wild sex - was gone. And had been replaced by a beautiful miniature woodland setting, complete with hot pool, waterfall and foliage. "What the ...?" she stammered.

"Lya and Anteaus," Jack said. She didn't even have to look at him to see the smirk. "I wanted to take you to that pool I found for our wedding night, but it's still too cold. So they created this replica for us ... as a wedding present."

"Oh." Sam sucked her top lip in between her teeth. "Wow."

"And just to make sure no-one interrupts us, as in spectacle wearing linguists with a death wish" - Jack waggled his eyebrows - "they've even put a forcefield on this door through which only you and I can pass. Cool, huh?"

"Very cool," Sam agreed. At any other time, she would've been dying to quiz the Nox on how they'd created the forcefield without a detectable energy source. But now ... now, she had other things on her mind.

Like stripping one delectable Brigadier General and doing obscene things to him.

She slid her arms around the man's neck. "I love it, and I love you, Jack," she told him.

A giant smirk lit up Jack's handsome features. "I know, but I like hearing it anyway," he said. "I love you too."

Then he dipped his unruly gray head and covered her lips with his. Warm lips, soft, hot, pink tongue.

She loved that tongue.

The way the tip of it would poke out just before he said something.

The way it stroked her own tongue.

The way it explored her mouth, her neck, her breasts, her whole body.

Jack O'Neill was certainly not shy about using that very, very talented tongue.

And Sam O'Neill was not shy about showing her appreciation for the man's talents.

"Mmmmm," she purred into his mouth as their tongues thrust and parried lazily. She could wait to do obscene things to him - they had the whole night. With no interruptions.


Samantha Carter-O'Neill decided that she really, really, loved the Nox.

She tugged Jack's shirt free of his pants and slid her hands under it, feeling the taut muscles of his abdomen jump with the caress. How many guys his age had a body like that? Flat stomach, firm broad chest, strong shoulders, tight little ass ... Sam; you are one lucky woman!, she gloated to herself.

"Hey; this is a bit one-sided!" Jack complained, but tilted his head to the side nevertheless to allow her access to his neck.

Sam could take a hint. And that neck was ... gorgeous. She ran her hands up the heated skin of his chest and tweaked his nipples gently. The man gasped, then groaned when she began suckling on the soft hollow at the base of his throat.

Sam just snickered, then shifted her attention to the throbbing pulse near his ear. Hmmm; maybe she'd been a vampire in a previous life - it couldn't be normal to find a man's neck so deliciously edible, could it?

Not that she cared.

Normal was way over-rated in her opinion.

Something poked demandingly at her stomach and she snickered. "Oh, is someone feeling neglected?" she taunted between nibbles on his earlobe.


And Sam suddenly found herself hanging over her husband's broad shoulders.


Jack O'Neill was a man of action, not of words. He swooped and swung the woman over his shoulders, slapping gently at her sweet little rounded ass when she giggled. She returned the swat with a slightly firmer one and he could feel her breathe heavily. He would never have figured Sam Carter for liking kinky stuff, but she really liked smacking his butt.

And kissing it better.

Jack was by no means lacking in confidence when it came to his looks - he knew that he was younger and fitter than most guys his age - yet he'd occasionally worried that all his battle scars would be repulsive. They'd upset Sara, but she'd never been openly repulsed by them. She just ... avoided them.

But Sam ... Sam loved them. Perhaps because she knew where so many had come from. Had witnessed many of them being inflicted. She loved them, kissed them, laved them ... even nibbled some of them.

She was very, very odd.

But he liked odd.

He carried his giggling bride over to the hot pool and set her down gently. Then he put his hands to the gorgeous pale skin of her back and began to undo the first of what seemed like millions of tiny buttons with suddenly clumsy fingers. "For cryin' out loud ...," he muttered as he fumbled.

"Uh ... Jack?"

Jack closed his eyes, took a deep breath and counted to ten in German, Russian and Arabic. C'mon, O'Neill; you can do this! They're buttons, for God's sake!


"Quiet, you," Jack ordered. "Busy round here."

Sam snickered. "Sorry, sir," she replied, then fell silent as he continued to struggle with the button.

Her giggles increased as he began swearing in various languages. "Wow, Jack; I never knew you were so multi-lingual," she taunted.

Then yelped when he slid his hand down the front of her gown and squeezed one of her breasts. A nipple poked cheekily at his palm and he resisted the urge to snicker.

"Payback's a bitch, Doctor," he warned her.

"Oh, have at it, General," she replied, beginning to giggle again.

Oy! What was it with this woman and giggling at him?


Ten minutes later:

"Okay; I give up!" Jack threw his hands up in the air and stared at the woman who was now literally crying with laughter. Tears streamed down her red cheeks and she was bent double, hugging her stomach. "And what's so damn funny?"

Sam swiped at the tears on her cheeks and took a deep breath. Then burst into fresh giggles. Was he really that comical? It appeared so. "Okay. Okay!" She took another deep breath and stood up.

Her hands went to the back of her gown.

And he heard the unmistakable sound of a zipper.

That little ... witch.

And she was giggling again.

"I did try to tell you," she offered demurely.

Then she stepped out of the gown.

And Jack O'Neill instantly forgave her.

Flesh-colored stockings.

White suspender ... thingy.

White lacy boy short things that hugged her rounded ass in a way that made him envious. Was it weird that he was jealous of a piece of lace?

Matching bra pushing up her fabulous breasts.

And white shoes with a long thin heel - no wonder she'd been so close to his own height that day. "Huh; how the hell d'you walk in those things?" he said, sliding his arms around her naked waist. Mmmmm ... soft Sam skin ...

She breathed in, her eyes still bright from the laughter, and her breasts pushed against his chest. "Lots of practice," she said. Then she stepped back slightly and unbuttoned his shirt, pushing it off his shoulders. "I don't tell you it often enough, but you are one hot silver fox."


Several hours later:

"Did you hear that?"

Daniel Jackson lifted his head and looked at the woman lying next to him. She gave a low moan and curled into him, soft breasts pressing against his arm. "What?" she grumbled.

It was official. He was losing it. "Oh, nothing," he temporized.

The woman hugged him. "Go to sleep, Jackson," she ordered, her eyelashes fluttering against his chest.

"Yes, ma'am," he replied. He closed his eyes and tried to go back to sleep.

But he could've sworn he'd just heard someone whoop 'Yee-hawwwww'.



It was a gorgeous day for the colony known as 'Haven' to its inhabitants. And as for the scenery ... It was the kind of thing Norman Rockwell would've painted and the kind of thing Jack O'Neill would once have outwardly mocked while inwardly yearned for.

But not anymore.

Jack was a happy man these days.

For two very good reasons.

Samantha Carter-O'Neill.

And Bubba O'Neill.

His wife and baby to be.

Samantha Carter. Blonde, brainy, beautiful. Was. His. Wife.

And she was pregnant. With. His. Baby.

She was now five months gone, but her height meant she carried the extra weight well. Her hips were rounder and her breasts had gotten fuller - not to mention that beautiful little bump under her waist - but to him that just made her all the more gorgeous.

He watched as she bent down to scoop little Laura Richards into a big hug and ... yeah ... he checked out her ass too. He loved her ass - round, firm and cheeky, with the softest skin ever.

"She looks so happy, Jack," Daniel said, slipping an arm around Jack's shoulders and pulling him into a brief manly hug. "And so do you."

Jack's smile broadened. "We are happy," he said, then yawned widely.

"Tired?" Daniel said with a smirk. "Getting a bit old, huh, Jack?"

"You'd be tired too if you'd spent the last forty-plus hours having wild fabulous sex with a gorgeous blonde fifteen years your junior!" Jack shot back.

But was unable to wipe off the smug-bastard grin that had set up camp on his face.

Daniel got a look on his face. The kind of look people got when someone mentioned their parents having sex. "Oh, bad image!" he complained, shaking his head rapidly.

"Grow up, Daniel," Jack grumbled, still watching Sam playing with Laura. Sam had always claimed she had no maternal instincts ... Bull. Jack had seen her with Cassie and now with Laura. Sure; she didn't coo and do the baby-talk thing, but she was natural and easy, talking to them, listening to them. She made his battered old heart ache.

And as for the dazzling smile she wore when Laura gave her some buttercup-like flowers ... Well, that made something else ache. He snickered to himself. So much for the old thing, huh, Daniel?, he gloated.

Whistling 'You Make Me Feel So Young', he strolled over to his two favorite girls, surprised when Sam blushed deeply. Was she embarrassed about how much the little girl liked her? "Hey," he said.

"Hey," Sam replied, clearing her throat. Then he saw her thighs clench together in her loose jeans. God; was she turned on?

Jack liked that idea. He didn't think he was ready for another marathon bout, but a bit of lazy sexy make-out fun wasn't beyond his capabilities. God bless second trimester horniness!


Sam watched her husband as he strolled over to her. Jesus, he turned her on! In spite of - or likely because of - that slight limp from the last forty-odd hours. She felt herself flush and cursed her fair skin. "Hey," he said.

Not exactly earth-shattering, but the slightly gravelly tone of his voice made her think very, very bad thoughts nonetheless. She cleared her throat. "Hey," she replied oh so eloquently, clenching her thighs together to ease the throbbing that appeared to have become a permanent part of her body.

She didn't understand how this man could turn her on so easily. And as for the things they'd done to each other ... She gave a soft appreciative sigh when he bent over to accept Laura's enthusiastic kiss before she bounced off to greet her mom. God; the man had one fine ass!

He slid his arms around her waist and pulled her in to him, to rest her against his long firm frame, his long hands lying on the swell of her abdomen. He slid his hands under her - or rather his tee shirt; hers were now too small - and stroked the soft skin of her stomach.

She sighed and leaned into him, feeling the now-customary tingles of arousal emanate from his actions. "You ... ah ... up for a bit of nookie?" he asked.

"Nookie?" She twisted in his embrace and speared him with a quizzical look. "You've been spending way too much time with that British unit!"

Jack shrugged his shoulders. "No such thing as too much time," he said. Then he waggled his eyebrows. "You telling me you don't like their cream teas?" he asked innocently.

Sam couldn't deny that charge. Somehow, the British Army unit now posted to Haven managed to get delicious scones, strawberry jelly and fresh clotted cream shipped to the colony on a regular basis. She could swear she'd put on ten extra pounds since their arrival two months ago.

The food was great. God bless the unit's love of British traditions!

The changes they'd brought to Jack's vocabulary and that he'd repaid in kind? Not so great.

Although it had been fun to hear their very proper CO utter "Oh, for cryin' out loud" in his plummy Eton accent.

"Never mind," she said, grabbing his hand and leading him to their quarters. "I didn't marry you for your eloquence, anyway."

Jack grinned and patted her ass none too gently, causing her to yelp and start.

"Oh, you'll pay for that one, General," she said.

"Bring it on, Carter," he shot back.


"Mmmmmmm." The woman snuggled into Jack's chest, breathing softly. "That was ... fantastic."

Jack stroked some hair off her sweat-dampened forehead, feeling his own rapid breathing calm down. He pulled the light sheet over them both and kissed the top of her head. "Yeah," he agreed.

It was official.

Jack O'Neill really, really loved Sam's evil fairies.

He didn't think he'd ever walk right again. But he loved 'em.

Thanks, girls, he thought. Then started when he felt teeth close gently around one of his nipples. Again? He knew he was one helluva lot fitter than most guys his age, but they'd already made love three times that day and ... God knows how many times over the preceding two days. He didn't think he could go again for a good while.

"Ah ... Sam?" he queried.

She let go of his nipple with a pop and looked at him. Then she groaned. "God, Jack," she said, closing her eyes, "why didn't you tell me you were tired?"

"Hey, it was a good tired," Jack told her. "Besides, I didn't want to ... hurt your feelings." He shrugged his shoulders. "I might not be able to be in you, but I can satisfy you in other ways."

It wasn't the first time he'd been incapable - there were times when he was simply too tired - but thankfully Sam realized that it was nothing to do with how attractive he found her. And he always took care of her.

"Yeah." Sam nuzzled into his neck then gave him a sweet kiss on the lips. "I'm just so ... horny at the moment."

"Yeah; noticed that." Jack snickered and flinched when she punched his arm.

"So much for chivalry!" she laughed. Then she sat up and maneuvered herself so that her head was level with Jack's. "So ... tell me about your day," she invited.


Sam watched her husband's face as he talked about his day, feeling her heart twinge as she finally noticed the heavy shadows under his brown eyes. The man was so active and vibrant she sometimes forgot the weighty responsibilities he carried.

The pauses between his sentences became longer, and his eyelids fell several times. Then he let out a prodigious yawn. "S'rrree, Sam," he slurred, his head snuggled into her chest.

"It's okay; sleep," she told him, smoothing back some stray hair as a light snore issued from him.

She smiled and settled back against the headboard, running her fingers through his hair. Even after all this time, it amazed her just how soft his hair was. When she'd allowed herself to think about his hair, she'd always assumed it would be coarse, but no. It was soft and silky, beckoning her fingers to touch.

She closed her own eyes and allowed her mind to drift off. They had a good life here on Haven. It wasn't perfect by any means - perfection didn't exist. They fought, they yelled, at one time or another both of them had wanted to call it quits. But they'd resolved to never let the sun go down on an argument.

Some of the other nations that knew about the Stargate had been invited to join the colony - including the British, the French, the Chinese and the Russians. And Jack was the man charged with the task of making these historically mistrustful groups work and live together.

Not to mention his own history with the Russians.

He was also involved with the rebel Jaffa movement as more and more of them sought out Haven as a base of operations. He'd even been called "Master O'Neill" by some of the younger Jaffa, who admired the Tauri very much.

Thor had taken to beaming him up on an increasingly regular basis so that he could save their flat little gray butts - usually against the Replicators.

Even the Nox had sought his help against a new aggressor. Jack had put together several units from the colony and from the SGC to help defeat the new menace, but had decided that he had to lead them personally. He'd been gone for three very long weeks, and had returned battered and bruised, but not broken.

But now the Ori - this was what the new enemy called themselves - had declared the Tauri to be their next target for conversion.

Several years older than most active duty officers; Jack was spending more and more time in battle - against the Goa'uld, the Replicators and the Ori - and was still trying to run a very large and diverse colony.

How much longer?

How much longer could this brave, stalwart, giving man go on fighting the galaxy's battles for them?

When did all these oh so advanced species decide that Jack O'Neill was the only man who could help them?

And why the hell could he never say 'no' to them?

Because that was who he was.

And she loved that about him.

While hating that about him.

Things had also gotten bad personally shortly after their marriage, when Sam had started experiencing flashbacks to what had happened with Conrad and Colonel Simmons. She'd not been able to tolerate Jack near her; kept hearing the Goa'uld taunting that she'd shot him, that she'd killed the man she loved.

She'd felt so damn guilty; she'd been too weak to resist the Goa'uld controlling her. She didn't deserve his forgiveness - actually, not forgiveness; according to him, there was nothing to forgive, she hadn't done anything wrong.

Jack had managed to piece together what had happened to her, and had asked her once again to speak to a psychiatrist. She'd refused - loudly and vehemently - and had even packed her bags to return to Earth.

She'd gotten halfway to the Stargate when she'd realized what she was doing. She turned back and ran to the man, hoping he could forgive her.

He held her so tightly that night as she finally told him exactly what she'd gone through. Not just with the Goa'uld, but with the destruction of the Tollan and the death of Ambassador Faxon on the Volian homeworld.

She'd cried for what felt like hours and had been exhausted the entire next day.

But it had been like a catharsis for her.

And things had started getting better from that point onward. Now when she looked at Jack, she saw her husband - not a victim of her weakness.

She pulled the sheet up over his shoulders - he frowned slightly and muttered something incoherent before snuggling back into her chest. Oh ... yuck. "Jack!" She shoved his shoulder.

"Whu ...?" The man cracked open one eye and looked up at her.

"I love you, but you are not drooling on me!" she complained, shoving his head onto the pillow next to her. She grabbed a Kleenex and wiped off the offending substance.

"S'rreee," he mumbled before going back to sleep.

God; look at that face! How could she be mad at that? 50 years old, cynical, sarcastic, a battle-hardened soldier, and he looked so sweetly innocent when he slept.

She yawned and realized that she was actually pretty tired herself. Fifty odd hours filled with alternatively wild and sweet love-making would do that to a body - even a permanently horny pregnant body. She brushed a gentle kiss over the man's sweet lower lip, puckered so cutely as he mumbled nonsense, then closed her eyes and snuggled up beside the man she loved, curling into his warm body.


Jack woke up suddenly, as he often did. He didn't sit up or jerk around - just a slight flinch in his body and a snapping open of his eyelids. What was that he smelled? Cake?

Oh, God; Sam wasn't trying to cook again, was she? He loved the woman to death; she was sweet and loving, giving, sexy as hell, could drop-kick most guys' asses from here to Alaris. But she could not cook.

"Sam?" he croaked. He cleared his throat and tried again. "Sam?" Better.

"Hey," Sam said, appearing within his field of vision. She leaned over and dropped a kiss onto his forehead. "Hank made us cake."

Thank God. "Ah," he said non-committally.

Sam frowned at him, her bottom lip pushing out slightly. God, she had no idea how cute she looked when she did that pout. "No; I wasn't involved in the cooking," she chided him.

He blinked. When had she become psychic? "Kay," he offered lamely, then yawned and stretched. He sat up, uncaring of his nudity - he'd never been particularly shy about his body - and looked over to the table where a large beautiful angel food cake awaited him.


Someone get him a bib before he started slobbering.

Then he noticed that a large chunk of it was already missing. "Sam; where's the rest of the cake?" he asked.

Her eyes widened innocently. He didn't buy it for one second. "Ah ... Bubba was hungry?" she offered.

"Right," he said skeptically.

"Really," she said. "It tastes good, too," she added, taking her hand out from behind her back and waving a chunk under his nose. As if hypnotized, his eyes followed her movements. "Want some?"

"Yep." Jack had always loved his cake - he was not ashamed of that.

"But didn't Major Caldwell advise you to start cutting back on the cake?" She waved the plump goodness in front of his face once more then ... stuffed it into her mouth.

"You. Little. Witch," he said heavily. He couldn't believe she'd done that!

"Yep," she said inelegantly around the cake, her eyes gleaming with mischief.

He grabbed her shoulders and brought her face to his, pushing his tongue between her lips, eager to taste the cake. She gasped and returned the aggressive kiss, her tongue tangling with his, touching, tasting, punishing and exploring.

"Mmmmm ... Jack," she moaned, her hand sliding downward to clasp his butt. She rubbed wantonly against him, then snickered. "Pleased to see me, are you, sir?" she teased.

"Oh yeah, Carter; I'm good to go now," he said, his flesh throbbing. Seemed that deep sleep had been all he'd needed.

He slid his arms around his wife and settled her gently against the headboard, then ... just looked at her. He took in the kiss-swollen lips, the wide eyes, the beautiful plump breasts, the rounded swell that sheltered their child. He had his very own damn Fountain of Youth sitting there watching him with passion-clouded eyes.

"Slow, sweet and loving," he said, nuzzling gently between those gorgeous breasts.

"Okay," she said, one hand sliding automatically into his hair.

"Hey, Bubba," he said into her stomach. "Block your ears for a while unless you want to be in therapy for the rest of your life."

Sam snickered, then gasped when he dipped his tongue into her navel, nipping gently at it. "Oh! God ...," she murmured appreciatively.


They lay together for several minutes, shuddering with the after-shocks. Then the man brushed a gentle kiss over her forehead and withdrew himself gently. She moaned at the loss, but knew that it was unhealthy for them to go to sleep still connected.

"I do love you, Jack," she said sleepily.

"I know," he said, drawing the sheet up over them both. "And I love you too; both of you."

"All three of us," she said.

"What?" He opened his eyes and squinted at her.

She took his hand and rested it on her stomach. "Three of us," she reiterated. "I'm having twins, Jack."

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