Light and Dark
"Carter, the next time I listen to Daniel..."
Jack shoved his backpack against the cave wall, settled against it, and closed his eyes. But not before catching sight of his 2IC's grin.
"Yes, sir. Though it could be worse," she ventured.
Jack grunted, preoccupied. The patter of rain and the smell of the forest made it all too easy to imagine they were back on Earth, the doors and windows of his cabin thrown wide to the warm night air.
"Looking on the bright side?" he mumbled, masking his smile with a yawn.
Right now, it wasn't hard to do.
The tell-tale sound of a weapon cocking echoed through the cavern.
Mere feet away, Jack prayed the near complete darkness of their hiding place—as well as their mud splattered BDUs—would be enough to help them blend in with their surroundings.
He didn't move, barely dared to breathe, but wasn't sure if it was because a decidedly unfriendly native was so close or because Sam was.
She was pressed against his chest, practically wrapped in his arms, breath ghosting across his neck; it was wreaking havoc with every last one of his senses.
Cursing silently, he listened, and waited.
The ridiculously decorated room hurt his eyes. And his head. And he wanted his sunglasses more than anything.
Scratch that, he thought, when Carter finally joined them in the anteroom. Almost more than anything.
He swallowed hard, and called on every scrap of willpower he had not to stare.
Oblivious to his struggle, Daniel kept talking. "It is rather gaudy, but in the Middle Ages red was a colour of status and wealth, and..."
The archaeologist stopped short.
"If you try to give me a history lesson on colour symbolism while I'm dressed like... like... so help me God..."
The smell drew her towards the kitchen, where she found Jack preparing another late dinner.
"They're finished with me," she sighed, leaning against the doorframe, utterly exhausted. "Though I don't think I had the answers they wanted."
Jack looked up at the sound of her voice, and immediately abandoned his task.
She'd been back in her own reality for a while now, had even managed to spend some of that time with Jack, but both were still haunted by how close they'd come to losing each other.
"C'mere," he murmured.
When his arms wrapped around her, she held on tight.
The First Time
He didn't make a sound as he stepped up behind her, but she sensed him, as always.
Their days alone were coming to an end, and from the way he pulled her close, touched her, he was as aware of this as she was.
"Jack," she breathed.
His fingers tightened at the sound of his name. It was a word that—from her—held power, as she'd so recently discovered.
"Come back to bed, Sam."
She did, gladly, amazed that, as much as she'd imagined her first trip to his cabin, reality was turning out to be so much better.
The last time they'd gathered here, Jack's brain was being overwritten, and Hammond had revealed he'd been relieved of command.
But they'd survived and continued, and tonight, a year later, their get-together had been a celebration.
The Goa'uld had been defeated, the Replicators destroyed.
It was time.
"Any chance I could speak to you before the briefing tomorrow, sir?"
Jack stopped at his front door, Sam by his side.
"Thinking of taking a well-deserved vacation, son?"
"Not exactly, sir. Thinking of retiring."
Hammond's eyes flickered between them, and he smiled in understanding. "Oh, I think we can work something out."
Over the Edge
"I need that, sir."
"I do not believe that is wise, O'Neill."
"Come on, Jack. Jacob's waiting."
"And he's getting a little impatient." The voice directly behind Jack, and the hand that landed squarely on his shoulder, startled him.
He spun around, but lost the paper he held in the process. It disappeared over the edge of the cliff within seconds.
Silence descended on the group.
This time, the clap on his shoulder was one of blatant commiseration. "I'll just wait in the Tel'tak."
"As will I."
Jack grimaced. He was so going to pay.
"General O'Neill's here?"
"Hm? Oh, he's on vacation."
"Really? He didn't see enough of Colorado when he lived here?"
"Something wrong with spending leave with my wife, Mitchell?"
The newest member of SG-1 jumped to attention when the man in question appeared beside him.
"Of course not, sir. I didn't know you were... I mean... is she here?"
Mitchell glanced around curiously, but only noticed Daniel's startled cough, Teal'c's raised eyebrow, and the general's smirk.
"She lives here, Mitchell."
"But I thought Sam..."
"Pizza's on its way," Sam interrupted from the door, before she walked straight into Jack's arms.
"I'm telling you, Teal'c. You're wrong, dead wrong."
Inside her lab, Sam quickly shifted the equipment she'd been using far from the colonel's reach, and was waiting, curious, when they finally arrived.
"Tell him, Captain."
"Ice-cream, Carter. Best classic flavour?"
"It is vanilla, O'Neill."
"Chocolate, Teal'c, chocolate."
Four eyes settled on Sam.
"You're both wrong," she said confidently. "It's mint chocolate chip."
Teal'c's eyebrow rose, and after a hasty bow, he retreated from the room.
"Traitor," O'Neill grumbled.
"Best of both worlds, sir."
O'Neill considered. "Taste test, Captain?"
Both were smiling, inexplicably happy as they headed for the commissary.
"Just checking in on Colonel Carter."
Mitchell breezed past the on duty nurse in the infirmary, oblivious to her look of alarm and the way she raced after him.
"Uh, sir. Colonel. If you could hold on just a moment."
But Mitchell was already pulling back the cubicle curtain.
And yanking it shut again as quickly as possible.
"She's, uh, obviously feeling better. I'll come back later."
Carter was, in fact, feeling considerably better.
Pressed against Jack's body, face cradled in gentle hands, lost in kisses that were becoming deeper—more heated—by the second, she couldn't have been otherwise.
Bonus Prompt: Family
She sneaked out the back door, desperately in need of some fresh air.
Her family meant well, but she couldn't take the constant looks of sympathy—for the loss of her father or her fiancÚ.
Hands cupped around a steaming mug of coffee, she lowered herself to the top step, mindless of the driving rain and the strengthening wind.
The warmth of the throw draped across her shoulders was welcome, but it was the man himself, the one who dropped down next to her and pulled her close, who was very much more so.
"Thank you. For everything."