Jack could hear the song long before he entered the recreation room. As usual, SG1 were the only ones in there. Daniel had pointed out one day that this was because everyone else on the base actually had a life outside of SGC. Jack had told him to shut up.
Sam was at a table, reading. Daniel was at another, also reading, but a lot more intently, sipping his hundredth cup of coffee that day. Teal'c was sitting at a table, listening to a cd player, which the offensive song was pouring out of.
Jack sat down opposite Sam.
"Sir." she said cheerfully.
The singer repeated, "Sweet like chocolate, boy." again.
"I hate this song." Jack grunted.
"Teal'c's exploring earth culture." Sam explained.
"Couldn't you have started him off on something... something else?" he said.
"We did." she replied. She leaned forward to peer at what Jack was holding. Gummi bears! She looked forward, pleadingly, into Jack's eyes. He gave in.
"Here." he said, handing her another packet. "I already picked out the green ones for you."
She grabbed the packet and grinned at him, a heart-stopping smile that almost had Jack's heart melting right there and then. Unfortunately, he was interrupted by Teal'c.
"Colonel O'Neill, I have been studying the history of musical culture on your world."
"I heard. Now switch it off."
"Now go-on, ask me."
"I wish to understand the humorous implications of the phrase 'I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts'."
Jack stared at him for a moment, trying to ignore Sam's hysterical giggles. Eventually, he said, "How bizarre." then he continued, "Sam, if you're going to spray green gummi bears everywhere, lets go somewhere else and do it. It's time we had a night out. Danny! We're going to town!"
Daniel's head jerked up. "Ok." he said.
"Sweet." Jack replied, slightly amazed at Daniel's easy compliance. "I'll give you all twenty minutes to get changed, then we're off. Oh, and Daniel?"
"Explain the coconuts thing to Teal'c."
Twenty minutes later Teal'c, Daniel and Jack were waiting at the exit for Sam. Daniel had finally finished explaining the coconuts thing to Teal'c. "How bizarre." Teal'c said.
"Well, what can you expect from the British." Jack replied. "Sam, are we going to have to wait all night?" he yelled.
"No." she said from behind him.
Jack turned. There she stood. It was only a simple chiffon blue dress. Jack had seen lots of girls wearing one. But on her, it clung, and waved softly, and highlighted a beauty he wasn't really aware of. He was dumbstruck, and he couldn't help the smile that suddenly drifted across his face.
"Wow." Daniel said.
"You look most attractive Captain Carter." Teal'c added.
Sam blushed, and looked up to Jack expectantly, but all he could say was, "We're not on duty Teal'c, call her Sam, for cryin' out loud." and he led the way out.
Daniel offered her his arm, and looked at her disappointed face. He hated it when Jack upset her. "Don't worry Sam. He's just a a... dag."
"What's a dag?" she asked, puzzled.
"Well, its a... some kind of... I have no idea. I just heard Cassie say it."
That made Sam laugh, so as when they emerged from the top, Jack was treated to the sight of his suddenly very attractive second in command, leaning on Daniel's arm, and laughing at him the way she normally laughed at HIS jokes. Suddenly this whole evening out seemed a very bad idea. It was made worse by the fact that Daniel and Sam insisted on squeezing in to the back seat so that Teal'c would be able to sit in the more spacious front seat. It took half an hour to drive to the bar. Half an hour of Teal'c sitting silently beside him. Half an hour of Daniel and Sam whispering and giggling in the back seat. By the time he arrived at the bar, he was in a VERY bad mood. So when, on getting out of the car, he bumped into a little girl holding a box with three puppies in it, he didn't say 'oh how sweet'. He swore. Loudly.
"Jack!" Sam said, in a tone of admonition. "Not in front of the child."
She bent down to the little girl, and started to have an earnest conversation with her about the puppies, picking them up, stroking them. Teal'c had never seen puppies before, and soon he was bent down beside her, asking questions. Daniel joined them.
Jack leaned against his car, and watched her, alternately smiling and frowning as she talked to the girl. How typical Sam, to make friends with this girl immediately. Knowing just enough about dogs to hold an intelligent conversation. Taking the opportunity to teach Teal'c something.
He watched her there, in the warm light of the setting sun, her dress waving gently in the breeze, her face animated and lovely. God, he loved her. He loved her so much it ached, deep in the most secret part of his soul. He wished he could tell her. He wished he could take her in his arms right now, and hold her, and tell her... he shook his head. Best to get rid of such foolish fantasies now, while he could.
Jack didn't see Daniel standing up, watching Jack, or the sudden look of understanding that crossed Daniel's face. 'Good God' Daniel thought. 'He is so much in love with her, yet he has no intention of telling her'. "How bizarre." he said out loud. Sam glanced up, puzzled, but Daniel just shrugged. "Tell you later." he said.
Jack suddenly strode over to the bar, but instead of going in, he stopped a guy outside who was selling long stemmed red roses. He bought one, then came back, and rather sheepishly handed it to Sam.
"You look... lovely." he stammered. "And I'm sorry for being bad-tempered. Not just tonight, but always." and he walked off, leaving Sam standing there, holding the rose, looking confused, but with a faint blush on her cheeks.
"Strange." said Teal'c. "I have never heard Colonel O'Neill apologise before."
"Neither have I." agreed Sam. "How bizarre."
The bar was dark, but friendly, the drinks cheap, the music good, and the atmosphere relaxed. The four of them soon began to unwind. Teal'c was even seen to smile (and later on, he took part in a rather strange burping competition, but that is another story.) Daniel laughed at Jack's jokes, Jack's sarcasm level dropped a few notches, and Sam even told a few funny stories which had Daniel blushing, Jack rolling about on the floor laughing, and Teal'c asking awkward questions about slang terms for anatomical features.
It got late, and the four of them were a little drunk, (well, Daniel was a LOT drunk) and standing by the bar, when Mambo No.5 started to play. Sam's hips began to move in time to the music, and she bumped slightly against Jack. He looked down at her, her flushed cheeks, sparkling eyes, and her soft smile, and he started to reach out to her.
"Sam, wanna dance?" Daniel asked, and before Sam could answer, Daniel had whirled her onto the dance floor.
"Daniel dancing Latin. Now I've seen everything." Jack muttered.
"He appears to be doing quite well. And Captain Carter... Sam, is an excellent dancer." Teal'c replied.
Jack said nothing. He just stared moodily at the woman he loved dancing a VERY hot dance with his best friend. Her skirt twirled high above her knees. She moved fast, gracefully, dancing in and out of Daniel's arms. She rubbed up against him, swaying in time to the thumping beat of the music, laughing, and flirting. And much as Jack tried to tell himself it was the music, that everyone danced like that to it, he couldn't stop the sharp pain of jealousy that suddenly stabbed through his stomach. He turned his back on them, and leaned against the bar, so he didn't see Daniel pull Sam towards him, and hold her there. He didn't see Daniel whisper something in her ear, or see the look of surprise and joy cross her face. Or the way she suddenly looked at him, love written clearly in her eyes. The music changed.
'Everything she does is magic.'
Jack did like this song. He turned round to see Daniel walking towards him.
"Your turn." Daniel panted.
"I'm not dancing." Jack replied.
"She is waiting for you." Teal'c replied.
Jack looked, through the crowds, and there she was. Standing there, still, smiling enigmatically, holding her hand out to him. He walked towards her, slowly, savouring every second. He reached her, and took her hand. His other hand fitted snugly around her waist. Her arm reached up, around his neck, and her fingers just touched the hair on the back of his neck. It sent shivers down his spine, and he trembled so much, he could barely look at her.
They began to move in time to the music. Their hips moved in time, and he was aware of her moving slowly, sensuously against him. He clenched his teeth. He was her commanding officer for God's sake. He had no right to feel this way. This wasn't just a sexual thing, caused by the way she moved against him, how soft and warm her skin felt. He could deal with that. What he felt was a burning, painful, desperate urge to have her belong to him, and him to her, and for the two of them to be together, always. Sex was only a small part.
"Sir?" she suddenly whispered in his ear. "I'm a little drunk, which is why I have the courage to say this. Daniel told me a secret. He told me how you feel."
Jack winced. He stepped away suddenly. "He shouldn't have said anything. I'm sorry Sam, but..."
"Don't you love me?" she said suddenly, and she looked so scared and lost.
Jack took a deep breath. "Yes." he whispered. "I love you so much... I haven't the words. I'm so sorry, I know its wrong but..."
"I love you too." she interrupted. He was silent. He could barely believe he was hearing it. "It's not the drink talking, or the influence of the music, or what Daniel said. They just made me choose now to say it. I love you. I fell in love with that intelligent, emotionally damaged man who wrote the report on Abydos, and I've loved you more every second I've known you. I should have said so before, but I didn't know before."
Jack listened to her. He couldn't believe it.
'Everything little thing she does is magic.'
"Sir?" she said tentatively, suddenly afraid Daniel and she had got it all very, very wrong.
Jack just grabbed her, pulled her to him, and kissed her, long and hard, and forever.