The sound of files hitting the commissary table reverberated through the empty room. Sam started when they landed opposite her, and Jack promptly hid a grin.
"Sir. I thought you'd gone home."
"Oh, you know me and paperwork, Carter. I can't sleep until all those i's are dotted and t's are crossed."
"Sounds just like you, sir."
A forkful of pumpkin pie Jack had brought with him stopped halfway to his mouth. "Sarcasm, Carter?"
He almost missed her reply. Her settling more comfortably into her chair was just what he'd hoped for.
His planned chance encounter had worked.
He found her slumped over her laptop, asleep, surrounded by stacks of files.
He'd known he would.
Since word of the attack had reached them, she'd devoted every minute to finding a solution.
Even from where he stood he could see her exhaustion, and when he stepped inside the dimly lit lab, crossed to her, the signs were even more pronounced.
He itched to reach out to her.
She was going to have one hell of a crick in her neck come morning, but he resisted the urge to nudge her awake.
At least this way he'd know she'd slept.
"Are you sure about this, Jack?"
"Of course I am. You know how busy she's been lately."
"Yeah, I know, but... well you can strategize with the best of them, but..."
"Come on, Daniel. Rocket science may be a little out my league, but this I can manage."
He made one last adjustment and then proudly stood back.
One lone metal bolt lay forgotten on the floor.
"Oh, God." Two sets of eyes turned to where a horrified Sam stood by the garage door. "Jack, what have you done to my bike?"
Wisely, Daniel retreated from dangerous territory.
Jack was enjoying his fruit loops in the commissary when Sam and Daniel joined him.
It wasn't a word he heard from her often now, but here, on base, it was necessary.
"Jack," Daniel acknowledged as he sat down. "Anyway, that's just how I feel about it. What do you think?"
Jack's gaze snapped to his friend. An instant later, a slow, wicked smile spread across his face.
"I'll explain later," he murmured to his wife, when he caught the puzzled looks aimed at him.
"Yeah, you do that," Daniel said. "I really don't think I want to know."
Sam waited at the base of the ramp, Landry by her side, as SGC personnel went about their duty around them.
Jack and SG-5 were two hours overdue, but their brief—and cryptic—message moments before had proved reassuring.
Relief quickly turned to shock, however, when they finally stepped through the wormhole.
Abruptly the room fell silent.
Shaking with silent laughter, Sam absently wondered if she'd ever seen a group of marines blush so much.
Or Jack. But with head held high, his glare dared anyone to say a word.
Eventually, the only person who could, spoke. "Nice legs, guys."
"It's password protected," Jack yelled from the couch.
But there was no reply.
In fact the sudden silence from the cabin's small kitchen was almost deafening.
Finally she appeared in the doorway. A flush of pink stained her cheeks, and he was exceedingly curious as to why.
"It's um... fishing."
Without another word, he stood, made his way towards her, and didn't stop until she was in his arms. Lips moving, hands roaming, he guided her towards their bedroom.
"I take it you approve?" she laughed, the last coherent words either strung together for a while.
Jack flopped onto the couch in his new D.C. home, and sighed happily when Sam curled up beside him.
"If I ever see another box again it'll be too soon."
"Yeah? What about this?"
Wary but curious, he looked down, and found her holding out a neatly wrapped package.
"Think of it as a house-warming gift."
Lips twitching, he took it, and made a show of shaking and prodding it before finally ripping it open.
When the colourful Simpson's fridge magnets came into view, he grinned widely.
"Aw, Sam." He inched closer, intent on thanking her properly. "You shouldn't have."
Lust, Longing and Loneliness
He'd started pacing 43 minutes ago, when she'd called from the base to say she'd arrived from Atlantis.
Months of longing and loneliness were almost over.
For now at least.
He stopped pacing when he heard her car, felt his pulse pick up when its door slammed.
But he purposefully waited; their front garden was not an appropriate place for the greeting he had in mind.
Time seemed to slow, but then, finally, she was there.
The longing and loneliness disappeared in an instant, and though he hadn't thought it possible, he found he wanted her—needed her—even more.
Over the Edge
He was teetering on the edge.
But with his wife standing on the other side of his desk, wearing her service dress, spouting scientific theories and hypotheses about their latest findings, who could blame him?
It was... hot.
His unexpected outburst brought her up short. "Sir?"
"You're killing me."
And she darn well knew it.
Though she didn't utter another word, the look she sent him was just as bad.
He desperately hoped they'd make it through the corridors of the Pentagon without any interruptions, because if she kept it up, he'd be over that edge in no time.
She was being watched.
The tell-tale tingle she felt was one she'd become extremely familiar with over the last eight years.
Curious, she scanned Jack's back yard, and almost immediately found two sets of eyes on her: her brother's and Jack's.
Mark appeared to be doing most of the talking, and she winced when she imagined how that conversation was going.
Quietly excusing herself, she headed in their direction. When she arrived, Jack was alone.
"What was that about?"
"Oh, you know." Jack wrapped an arm around her and pulled her closer. "He was just welcoming me to the family."