Jack O’Neill took a deep breath. He could do this. It wasn’t like he was a teenager who’d never asked a woman out before. Gathering up his courage he entered his target’s lab, and watched with amusement as she bent down over one of her doohickeys.
“You know, now that you’re going to be in command of SG-1, you’ll have less time to play with your toys.” He tried to sound as casual as possible.
Sam’s head shot up. Yes, he was planning on calling her by her first name. “Sir.” She smiled as a matter of greeting.
“Carter.” Ah rats, he stuffed his hands in his pockets, and carefully approached the workbench. “Whacha doing?” He cocked his head.
Carter grinned. “Do you really want to know?” She smirked at him. She had only heard the news three hours ago, and she was already getting cocky - he liked it.
“Probably not.” He goofily grinned back at her, and scuffed his boot against the bench.
They lapsed into silence, and unconsciously Jack’s hand left the security of his pocket and picked up one of the items lying closer to him. Curiously, he studied it. What did you call that shape anyway? A spherical octahedron that had a run in with a globe? Talk about two shapes that didn’t belong together. When he looked up he found Sam carefully watching him.
“What?” He asked innocently, but quickly put down the deformed item.
“Sir, what are you doing here?” Car – Sam asked him.
“Keeping you company?” Ah, good one. Answer a question with a question. Proud of himself, he pulled a stool closer to the workbench and sat down.
Sam shrugged and bowed over her decapitated device. “Didn’t General Hammond give you some time off to get everything in order for your promotion?”
“Yep.” Jack grinned, deciding he wasn’t going to give his goals away that easily.
“So, shouldn’t you be doing that?” She looked up briefly, waiting for his reply.
“Already did.” She frowned, then returned her concentration to the doohickey again. Her fingers worked with certainty as they reattached wires somewhere inside the device.
“Are you going to the cabin?” She finally broke the silence when she was content the correct wires were securely attached.
“Nope,” Jack couldn’t help but grin.
“I see.” Sam sighed, as he clearly wasn’t going to explain any time soon what he was up to.
They once again fell silent, and Jack started fidgeting. He picked up her fountain pen and determinedly started unscrewing and dissecting it. His eyes fixed on the pen, as his mind tried frantically to find the right words.
They didn’t come.
Jack groaned as his fingers refused to put the pen back together.
“Er . . . Carter?”
“Yes, Sir?” Sam looked up at him questioningly.
“I found you another doohickey to play with.” He muttered, and thrust the different parts in her direction.
“That’s my pen!” She objected, and tried putting it back together.
Jack jumped from the stool and rocked from one foot unto the other. For crying out loud! He was 50 - surely this couldn’t be so hard.
Apparently it was. “I er... should go do... stuff.”
Sam looked up, her eyebrows raised. She looked disappointed. “Sure, Sir. I’ll catch you later.”
He nodded. “Sure, yah betcha.” He turned 180 degrees, and bolted out of the lab.
That was great - absolutely fabulous. He had actually fled the room. Groaning, he hit his head against the wall muttering “Stupid... stupid... stupid” Thus earning some strange looks from a passing SF.
“Ah come on, this is ridiculous!” He cried out, turned around, and entered Sam’s lab again with a determined tread.
Sam had just finished repairing her fountain pen. When she saw him enter, she quickly slipped the object into a drawer. “Sir?”
“Okay, here’s the deal.” Jack decided he wouldn’t let her innocent look throw him off again. “You, me, dinner, tonight, 20:30. I’ll pick you up.”
Carter blinked at him. Okay, so maybe he shouldn’t have made it sound like an order.
“Carter - Sam!” He chastised himself. “Would you please go out with me?” That sounded more like begging.
Sam grinned. “Out? Like on a date?”
He groaned, she was so gonna make him pay for stringing her along earlier. “Yeah, you know. Some people do that. They dress up, go out, have a nice time together, go back home for some coffee . . .” Great, now he was pushing her - and they weren’t even on the first date!
“Well, if you still have room after the huge dessert I’ll buy you.” There, nicely saved, even if he did say so himself.
“No commitment. If you find it boring, or . . ..” Oh help, he was rambling.
“Jack!” He’d never been happier about being interrupted.
“Yeah?” God, he was wearing that hopeful look again.
She grinned and nodded her head. “I’d love to.”
“Really?” Oh yeah, definitely grinning now. “I mean...” He cleared his throat. “Great!”
If he didn’t move now, he was gonna kiss her. Not that kissing her was a bad thing, it was just that the setting could be better.
“I’ll see you later then.” His hands were back in his pockets.
Sam smiled broadly and nodded. “Tonight.”
“20:30” He reminded her, and disappeared into the hall before he did something foolish.
Whistling, and with a certain spring in his step that wasn’t normally there, he went to look for a victim who he could bother until he could go get ready for his date... with Samantha Carter.
Life was good, he decided.