"Carter, Come on. Daniel's already dialled us up."
"Just a few more seconds Sir" came the disembodied reply."
Jack shook his head and smiled. She'd been like a kid at Christmas ever since they gated here, something about the soil and some new mineral thingy. She'd been so completely engrossed in her surveys that they'd left her to it, but now it was time to go.
"Jack, we're gonna have to go soon. I've just sent the GDO code."
"Yeah Daniel, I know. Listen, you guys go through. I'll get Carter and follow in a few minutes. She has a GDO so it'll be OK."
Both Daniel and Teal'c nodded their assent and stepped through the gate. After watching the wormhole disengage Jack went to find his errant Major. He found her easily; she was crouched over a box of tubes and science "stuff" looking like she had just been given the best gift ever. He chuckled to himself.
"Major Carter. It is time to go NOW" he put on his best Colonels voice but both knew that there was no real threat behind the words.
"Yes Sir" she smiled up at him "Just packing away now Colonel"
As he stood watching her put her do-hickeys away, he couldn't control the thoughts running through his brain. //Wow, it didn't matter what she was doing or what she was wearing just as long as she gave him that smile//.
"So what did you find that kept you so engrossed then Major?"
She began to tell him in *great* scientific detail about the importance of the dirt she had been fawning over, but Jack had tuned out to the content and was just listening to the sound of her voice. As normal she was trying to explain things simply to him, but the excitement in her voice was doing terrible things to his insides. As they made their way slowly back towards the gate, Jack smirked. Sam hadn't a clue that he had a pretty good idea about what she was talking about with or without the techno-babble; he just liked the undivided attention he got from her when he played dumb.
"Dial us up Major"
As the event horizon swooshed into life, he waited the requisite time for the GDO signal and then walked through side by side with his 2IC as they had done so many times before. What greeted them on the other side however, was far less than normal.
"What the Hell?" Jack couldn't control his outburst. The gateroom itself was no different, but it was the people who greeted them that had elicited the reaction.
Stood in front of them was not General Hammond, but a *General* Jack O'Neill (with quite a few more grey hairs) and a *Colonel* Samantha Carter, who looked the same save for a few new lines around her eyes. Sam and Jack looked at each other, the confusion evident in their eyes. Before either could phrase a question, Colonel Carter began.
"Hi Colonel, Major. I know this must be confusing to you"
"Ya think" came the deadpan reply from a certain Colonel. To which both Carter's smiled.
"If you would let me explain, Colonel. I think you will understand" The eyebrows that raised reiterated his previous sentiment, but he remained silent, mainly due to the "shut up and listen" look from a general who was uncannily familiar.
"When you both gated off P2X 109 there was a surge in the Stargate's power supply. Don't worry Daniel and Teal'c are both safe in the correct time" Colonel Carter said pre-empting Jack's concerns //does she *always* read my mind? //
The slight soothing of Colonel O'Neill, was not enough to quell Major Carter's line of questioning.
"What do you mean the correct time?"
"Major" It was the Generals turn "Do you remember how you got sent back to 1969 cause of those Solar Flare type things?" //he still does that adorable confused look// "Well sort of the same thing has happened here, but instead of going back you have jumped forward ten years. The date is 2010"
General O'Neill and Colonel Carter, exchanged smiling glances at the myriad of questions they saw tumble across their counterpart's faces. And when both began to speak, neither could hold back the laugh. They spoke at exactly the same time. Sam asking pertinent scientific questions while Jack's where more along the lines of € '¶ " So I get to be a general huh? Cool!"
Colonel Carter interrupted them both. "Sam, as you know because of the fear of time paradox, and the integrity of this time path we cannot explain or answer your questions. This is actually both of your futures and if we alter this path in anyway an alternate future will develop and we may not end up existing at all. The most we are able to say is that we can send you home right now and in about ten years you will understand. Oh yeah, just a word of advice, video tape your counterparts reaction. It's a classic"
"OK, just one question"
The looks he received should have shut him up, but being Jack he continued anyway.
"Do the Blackhawks *ever* win the Stanley cup?"
General O'Neill laughingly gave the order to send them back through the gate. Sam knew that there was no point in arguing. They were right; they didn't want to risk damaging what was essentially going to be their own future. She was trying to explain this to Jack as they stood at the base of the ramp waiting for the gate to activate. He seemed to understand, although he did get confused about maintaining the integrity of the time path bit. She smiled to herself at the adorable expression on his face and wondered if he had noticed the thing that had just set her own mind racing.
He watched her face as she tried to explain this to him, he understood the gist of what she was telling him and as she finished the science stuff, he knew she had noticed *it* too.
"So Carter, notice our futureselve's wedding rings? Congratulations in advance by the way. Do you know who the lucky guy is yet?"
Stunned for a split second, she smiled back into his face. "Yes I noticed that too. No I don't know who he is yet, //strictly true, but you know who you want it to be// Congratulations to you too Sir, I like the idea of knowing I'm going to love someone and get married. Can't wait to find out who it is"
Just as the gate activated, the pair turned to wave goodbye to what in essence was themselves. Just as they where about to step through the wormhole a small girl of about 6 came hurtling into the Gateroom jumping straight into the arms of Colonel Carter while General O'Neill immediately moved to the little girl's side, cupping her head.
"Mommy, Daddy. Jake's just smashed Uncle Danny's Mayan statue!"
"Where is your brother Jenny? I think Daddy needs to explain to him again about not playing with Uncle Danny's stuff" Colonel Carter looked at General Carter with a message "Your turn!"
Both Sam and Jack had witnessed the scene just before gravity pulled them into the event horizon. As they rode the wormhole, the thoughts in their minds turned to the implications of what they had just seen. Sam as usual thought scientifically "Oh my god, we shouldn't have seen that. What if our seeing that changes it? Our time paths will change" Jack however dealt in facts "Me and Sam, married with kids? Sweet"
This time as they stepped out of the wormhole they where greeted with a much more familiar sight.
"Colonel you where supposed to be right behind Dr. Jackson and Teal'c what happened?"
"Well General, I think we should save it for de-briefing. Lets just say it was interesting"
At the general's obvious confusion, Jack looked at Sam, both silently acknowledging that the whole "wedding ring and kids" thing wasn't going to be part of this de-briefing.
Having just put their two adorable six-year old twins to bed, General Jack O'Neill joined his wife in the sofa.
"Out like a light, the relief of me not having Jake hung by his laces from the top of the gate must have drained the energy right out of them both. I don't know *where* they get their ideas from" The boyish innocence would have fooled all but the most practised eyes.
He pulled his wife closer to him as she admonished "You shouldn't tell them stuff like that Jack, one day they might just believe you"
"They never believe me. Thanks to you. Do you know how little respect I command in this family?" Her smile did what it always did, set his pulse racing and caused his breath to falter.
"I can't believe they finally came, it was weird to see how we looked back then. We really didn€ '˛t have a clue did we Jack?" Sam snuggled further into her husband's chest
"No, I mean. I knew how I felt, but I didn't know you felt the same too. If I had, do you really think I would have wasted three years and put myself through all those cold showers if I had have known that all I had to do was kiss you and that you would fall for my undeniable sex appeal and charm?
"Excuse me? If I remember correctly, you weren't at your most cocky when you came to see me that night. As I recall you where terrified!"
"I wouldn't go as far as, ok, yes I was terrified. I always get nervous when faced with diplomacy, much prefer actions. Besides, you were nervous too"
"What do you expect, there you where looking undeniably sexy, asking me what I thought about the significance of the wedding rings we saw. You put the ball in my court without even hinting at how you felt"
"I know, but it didn't take me long to realise that I had to take the initiative."
"No it didn't, but then you have never been very patient have you?"
"No, and you still think to much"
"I wonder what they're doing now?"
He raised his eyebrows in the "I told you so" manner that she loved to see. He really was smarter than a lot of people realised.
"Well sweetheart, if I remember it right, in a couple of hours they will be doing this for the very first time"
With that, Jack rolled his wife on her back and covered her body with his. "I love you, Sam. Always"
The answer he got was more along the "action" vein that he was *so* fond of. She always was a good student.
^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^* ^*^* PRESENT:
"Jack, you need to go and talk to her"
"I know that Daniel, but what am I supposed to say? What about the regulations?"
"Jack, with your very own eyes you saw that you marry Sam and have kids with her. To me that kinda screams that she might just feel the same way. Look why don't you just go and see her and ask her what she thought about the rings? As to the reg's, seeing as how you are both still military in ten years I don't think there's going to be a problem."
"Yeah, that's right. Thanks Space Monkey"
With that he left, leaving Daniel to smile smugly. He'd known it from the start they were so well suited and the sparks they caused, ouch! It was obvious to everyone but themselves!"
"God Janet, what am I supposed to do now?" Sam put her head in her hands and Janet smiled.
"Sam, if you to are going to end up together anyway, what's the point of waiting any longer?"
"The point is Janet, I understood the implication, but I'm not sure Jack did. I know he saw the same thing, but he never said anything. I'm just not sure he understood, he's not the best when it comes to abstract concepts. Plus he might not feel the same way yet"
"Sam, I think he understands more than he lets on. Put it this way, have you ever seen him make Daniel explain something more than once? No. That's because it's not Daniel's attention he wants. If Daniel and I are right (which we nearly always are) the only thing you have to do is to go home tonight. Jack and his gung-ho "what have I got to loose" tendency will come to you and show you exactly what he does or does not feel. Now go home and get ready for a visitor"
Sam's Apartment: later.
//I can't believe I'm doing this! I've cleaned up, washed up, dressed up and I don't even know for sure that he'll come// But she carried on putting on her make up anyway. Better safe than sorry, right?
//I can't believe I'm doing this! I'm stood outside her door wearing my best trousers and jumper, about to talk to Sam about us getting married! // But he knocked anyway.
She jumped a little at the sound of the door //oh my God he's here, ok stay calm, neutral. You always look like this when you're off base//
The sight that greeted each of them as the door opened momentarily robbed them both of speech. He stood, rooted to the spot as he saw her. She looked fantastic. A soft blue summer dress that matched her eyes and swayed gently as she moved tripled his pulse. Wow! Her hair, her makeup, she looked divine. //Lungs; you have to breathe out as well as in//
//Ok, there should be a law against any man looking so good. Especially if that man is Jack O'Neill// She openly stared at him, he was wearing black trousers that showed his sinfully long legs perfectly and a black cashmere jumper that clung to every angle of his strong shoulders and chest. The clincher though was the look in his now almost black eyes. //Stomach, you haven't just been on a roller coaster, quit the somersaults//
"Hi major, I mean Carter, dammit. I mean Sam. Hi Sam"
She chuckled at the confusion in his tone. As she moved aside to let him in she was hit by a sudden stab of pure lust caused not only by his clothes and how he looked in them, but also by the realisation that he was nervous: Jack O'Neill nervous? She had to admit she kinda liked the idea of him being flustered. It added yet another dimension to his already gorgeously addictive personality.
"Hi, erm... Jack" His name slid off her lips. They both knew it felt strange, but both knew that it sounded right.
"Sam, I just came by to get your opinion about something."
She nodded, not quite confidant enough to look him in the eyes. //Ok, is that a good sign or a bad one? She *always* looks into my eyes. She's nervous, OK, I *think* that's good!//
He cleared his suddenly dry throat and continued.
"As you know, I'm not that big on science type stuff, so I wondered what your take was on the whole jumping forward in time thing and the wedding ring stuff" //There it was out, no going back now. I wonder if she knows just how much power that she has over me at this moment? //
"Well from a scientific point of view" //that's good, keep it professional// "I think that yes it is entirely possible that we did go to *a* future, but the fact that we witnessed what we did may already have changed the outcome of our time path. It could be that the very thing that we are 'concerned' about may be the very reason that it doesn't happen to us, that our path changes"
She was babbling and she knew it. The defining event in was their feelings, hers she was sure of. His she wasn't. If that future was indeed theirs, he had to feel the same.
"Carter" He quite forcibly interrupted "In case you missed it I wasn't asking for a scientific answer, I was asking for your thoughts. You know the ones you have which aren't based in science"
She didn't answer. She couldn't answer. What did he want her to say? "Yes Colonel, I want you. Right here, right now" What would happen then? Apart form the court martial and the complete destruction of her pride.
He saw the uncertainty in her eyes. //This isn't how your supposed to do it Jack, she isn't built the same way you are//. It was ok for him to act without thinking, but that was a lot to ask of Sam in a situation like this. She was more logical, analytical, Dammit, she was too scientific sometimes and she thought too much. But he, well, how often had it been commented that he could be suicidally action orientated? He was the one who normally took the stupid risks to get the outcome he wanted. //So what are you waiting for then? Do it//
"Sam, listen to me. I came here tonight because after what we saw I couldn't deny or make excuses for the way I feel anymore. I don't care about paradoxes or "time paths". I know how I feel and I know that if we do get together it will be amazing. I have felt something other than just friendship for you for a long time, //that sweet little tank top has a lot to answer for//. I never said anything because I didn't think it was possible for oh so many reasons. The main one being that I couldn't understand how a beautiful, intelligent and damn sexy woman like you could love me like I love you."
She looked into his eyes; he had just given her the greatest gift she had ever received. His love and his trust. He was trusting her not to break his heart. With that realisation, her own heart reached out to the only man she would ever need again.
"Jack, I never realised you felt that way..."
She looked at his face, he was balanced precariously on the edge of hell, openly dreading her next words, but the soldier he was and strength of his personality wouldn't let him run away from anything, not even pain. She didn't think it was possible, but she fell in love with him just a little more.
"...If I had, do you think I would have waited for so long to tell you that I love you too? You're the only one for me, and you have been for such a long time now. The stuff I said about seeing our future possibly altering it was true, but it wasn't what I felt. I know that we should be together, I can't imagine not being. I just didn't think that it was possible until this morning. But when I saw the rings and our child, I knew that by some perk of fate we had seen something that was meant to kick start us. In alternate universes we have loved each other, but I could accept that as unrelated to *my* reality, but when I saw us together in *our* reality, in *our* future, I knew that the reason I couldn't stop myself loving you was that we are *supposed* to love each other."
He loved to listen to her talk so fast that her mouth was only just keeping up with the words she wanted to say, but for now there was something else he needed to use her mouth for.
He crossed the remaining distance between them quickly and pulled her into his arms, crushing her to him so tightly that neither knew where they finished and the other started. He looked deeply into her eyes and saw the answering need.
He took her mouth in an explosive, powerful kiss that merged their souls and shut down all logical thought about time paths and paradoxes. She only felt the heat of love spread through her and he didn't want to feel anything other than this ever again.
In silent agreement they adjourned to the bedroom, once more reading each other's minds. Both knowing that for them there would be a fairy tale ending. Regardless of the obstacles and arguments they my face, they knew that they would be facing them together, and that they would survive them together. Of course seeing your own future may give's you certain securities!
Feedback? Pretty please.