Jack pressed down on the gas, edging up the speedometer. The further they got, the less chance of turning back. He glanced over to the seat next to him.
Sam was pecking at the ever-shifting laptop. The strain of the balancing act didn't seem to have an effect on her tunnel-vision of the monitor, though. Sam stopped typing. She absently played with an earlobe, sniffed, then started typing like a madwoman again.
Normally he'd be laughing at her. After all, it had almost been three hours. Get her in front of a computer and she'd drift off to Sam-land.
She was still absorbed in her notes from the lecture he fortunately didn't have to suffer through during one of her many conferences. It seemed like they spent half their lives at them nowadays. And since he officially had nothing to do anymore, he was unofficially her traveling companion/sometimes driver -- not that he minded spending every waking moment with his wife.
Conference number five thousand twenty-seven (okay, so maybe he was exaggerating slightly) had been in Denver, which meant driving instead of flying.
Which meant he was in control.
Which meant a devious plan.
Unfortunately, the plan didn't involve passing a ranch. Realizing what was about to happen, he quickly flipped over the air to re- circulating, but it was too late.
Sam looked up from her laptop and blinked at the landscape. "Jack, where are we?"
Damn. Done in by cow smell.
"Hmm?" That's right. He'd act dumb. It'd buy him a few more miles.
"What?" Jack quickly shifted his attention to his mirrors, trying to show her he was too focused on driving for any kind of discussion. As if that would stop her from asking him questions.
"Uh..." She switched off her notebook. "Where the hell are we?"
"On the highway?" Jack pushed down on the pedal, pushing the speed towards eighty-five.
He grinned and an eyebrow went up. "Yes, I am."
"Cute, as in the 'I'm going to withhold sex' kind of way."
The eyebrow went down. "Okay, that's just not funny."
"*I* thought it was." With the sound of ripping Velcro and zipping zippers filling the truck, Sam wrestled her laptop into its case.
"Two can play at that game, you know," he bluffed.
Laptop away, she was now working on a pretty good glare that he could feel burning into the side of his face. "And one of us can play a *lot* longer at that particular game," Sam said. He could tell the glare had just turned into a smirk.
"Good." Jack started whistling as he continued to put more miles between them and their Colorado home. It was some random tune he didn't know the name of. Whistling was better than talking because if they were talking then she would remember --
He stopped whistling.
"We're still in the middle of nowhere."
"Okay. Fine." He honestly didn't think he would have gotten this far. He gave her his most charming grin. "You're being kidnapped."
She was starting to get Annoyed Look # 4, but he wasn't going to back down. Nope. Not this time.
"Yep. Five wonderful days up at the cabin."
"You really don't have a choice."
"Joke's over. Turn back. I have to be at work tomorrow."
"No, you don't. A little birdie told me about your schedule..."
Sam let out what sounded suspiciously like a growl. "I'm gonna kill Daniel."
"...and how you don't have a mission for two weeks."
"Unbelievable. He is so dead."
"I don't know. He can run pretty fast." Jack looked in his side mirror as he changed lanes.
"Okay, you've had your fun. Time to turn around. Now!"
"Jack, you can be a real pain in the ass sometimes."
"This surprises you?"
"No." She put her feet up on the dashboard. "Ass."
"Okay, fine. I'm a big huge ass for wanting to be around my wife more."
Sam groaned, putting her head in her hands. "This is a dream. I'm really back in my lab in the middle of a power nap."
"Yes. All a dream. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." Jack looked over at Sam who had propped her head up with a hand and was staring back at him. "What?" he asked.
"Just wondering if I could take you down."
"Not a chance."
Sam sighed. "Okay, maybe, just *maybe* I need a break. Maybe."
"See? Who's your daddy?" Seeing a long straight-away before them, Jack started the cruise control.
"Oh God. Did you just say that? I swear, if you ever say that again I'll leave you." Sam dropped her feet down from the dash and then started fishing around in a bag on the floor.
"Check. Any other phrases that equal instant divorce?"
"I'll let you know." She pulled out a pair of sunglasses - her favorite black ones - and put them on.
Sunlight flickered through leaves as they passed by a grove of trees. A sign by the side of the road told him it was twenty miles to the next town. Good place to hit a gas station and get some food. Jack looked over at Sam who was watching the landscape race by.
"Whatcha thinking about?" he asked.
"A suitable punishment for this alpha-male kidnapping crap."
"Funny." Jack switched off the cruise control as they started hitting more traffic.
"Maybe I need breakfast in bed for a month," she mused.
"Damn. How about having to go to one of Daniel's lectures at the university?"
"Done. After years of listening to the guy, I've built up an immunity. The secret's to picture him with a clown nose."
"Okay, well I could always start working in the lab on weekends."
That one got him. "No way. Not gonna happen. Don't make me invest in padlocks."
"You know, I'm pretty good with a lock. But you're right about not working weekends." Sam paused. "Especially since I've been thinking about asking for reduced hours."
"Wait. What?" Jack tapped the brake. With the small clusters of trees along the highway now, he could practically smell a speed trap.
"I'd pretty much decided to ask for reduced hours but...it's a big decision. And I needed to talk to you first."
"What's there to talk about? Reduce those hours!" Jack waved a finger in the air.
"Well...that's not the only thing. We haven't talked about it in a while...but..."
It clicked. Jack gripped the steering wheel a little tighter. "Really?"
"Really. I think I'm ready now."
"You're not just messing with me, right?"
"No." She gave him a lopsided grin - a habit she seemed to have picked up in the last couple of years although who knew where she got it from.
He grinned back. "So."
"We're gonna have a baby."
"Well, try. I'm not exactly 20."
He pushed down the fear of not getting pregnant. They'd set fire to that bridge if they came to it.
She shifted in her seat, turning more towards him. "You're still willing to do this?"
"Oh, you betcha."
"You're the one who'd be at home all the time."
"Lugging around a car seat. Being a chauffeur...soccer practice, and all that."
"I've never changed my mind."
"Okay. I just wanted to be certain. It's one thing to say it but another to do it."
"I'm absolutely certain." Okay, so he was *mostly* certain. But anything less than a hundred percent from him and he was afraid Sam would back out.
Another sign by the road said they were now only ten miles from the town. Jack let his attention wander back out to the road and the surrounding fields.
It looked just like that one planet...one which he'd forgotten the name of years ago. That mission had been a walk in the park until the locals had decided they didn't like the looks of Teal'c. It had gotten ugly. Real ugly.
That old, nasty feeling came bubbling up to the surface. He never wanted that feeling around, but yet it came. It was a fear that had been around for years.
If only he could get her to... "You gonna keep going offworld?" he tried to ask casually.
She sighed. "When I'm pregnant, no. But in general, yes."
He shifted in his seat. "Do you think that's wise?"
"Please, let's not start this again," Sam groaned. "We're not a front- line unit anymore and you know it."
"Sure." Like that mattered. Jack braked, getting caught behind a slow- moving truck.
"Jack, I don't need guilt from you."
"Just trying to be realistic." Jack hit the horn at the thirty-miles- an-hour semi.
"Since when has my job and 'realistic' ever gone together?"
"And there's the point."
"I said I'm reducing my hours but I am *not* giving up the SGC. If you can't get over that, then we have a problem."
He looked over at her. "Okay, then we have a problem because I'm never going to stop wanting to keep you locked up in a room where you can't get hurt."
Sam sighed heavily.
This vacation had gotten off to a fantastic start. It was so wonderful to be having this conversation while driving through the wastelands of Nebraska. Of course, what else was there to do in Nebraska but fight?
"I'm hungry. Let's get something to eat." He pulled the truck off the highway and pointed towards a cafe surrounded by semis.
An hour had gone by. They had eaten their burgers in silence as they continued down the highway. Jack grabbed for his drink and shook it. Crap. Only ice left.
Sam was playing around with the radio and stopped on some ABBA tune. He hated ABBA. At least it was bugging him in the mood he was in. It must have been annoying Sam too - she turned it off.
"Do we really have a problem?"
Jack's stomach did a little flop. He glanced over at Sam. Even with her shades on, he could still tell she was concerned.
"No." He took her hand, raised it up to his lips and kissed it, hanging on to it as he put his arm back down on the seat rest.
"Are you just saying that?"
"I really don't want you to give up your career. But I'm always going to be worried. I can't change that, Sam."
He felt her try and pull her hand away, but he refused to let go. "I'm sorry to make you worry," she finally said.
"Part of the job," he said as he sped up to pass a car.
"I know there are risks even if I'm not on a front-line team."
"Look, I don't wanna think about it."
"But you have to..."
"No, I don't, okay?" He looked over at her, giving her hand a quick squeeze. "Everybody could die at any time. No certainties in life. Live each day to the fullest...yada yada. Can we be done with this subject?"
The scenery blurred by as the truck sped down the road.
"Want me to drive?"
"Maybe in a bit."
Sam leaned back in her seat, turning to stare out the window as the mile markers raced by.
Aside from the...what would you call it? Argument? Not really - more of a discussion. Aside from the "discussion" this was...good. The laptop was away and it was just the two of them, finally alone. Finally going to be alone for almost a week. They hadn't done that since their honeymoon.
Hitting another open stretch of road, Jack switched on the cruise control and then wound his fingers through Sam's again. He rubbed her hand with his thumb.
Suddenly she sat straight up, turning towards him. "Jack, I just thought of something! We don't have enough clothes!"
"Clothes?" Jack smirked. "We don't need no stinkin' clothes!"
She pulled her hand away from his and lightly slugged him on the shoulder.
"Yes. We do."
"We can pick some up at Nate's Market when we get there," Jack suggested, glancing in the rear-view mirror.
"Nate's Market? Oh goodie. Flannel."
"What's wrong with flannel?"
"I had no idea so many things were made out of flannel."
"Come on. It's warm," he offered.
"Okay, now that ain't right."
"Maybe I'll get all new clothes. Everything flannel. Flannel robe...or better yet, flannel housecoat. Rollers. Fuzzy slippers."
"Ooo, quit turning me on!"
She laughed. "Are we going to stop somewhere for the night?"
"Nah. Let's drive through and then sleep in."
Sam sighed. "Five days of doing nothing."
"Well, not *nothing*." Jack grinned.
She chuckled as she leaned over and kissed him on the neck.
"I'm still gonna kill Daniel."