More Than Anyone Deserves
By Flotternz and Tarra O'Neal - flotternz@yahoo.co.nz and
IrishLas413@msn.com
RATING: PG/PG13

WARNINGS: None?

CATEGORY: Romance, Hurt/Comfort, Angst

PAIRINGS: Sam/Jack, Daniel/Janet

SPOILERS: Some for Cold Lazarus; Slight for Children of the Gods; Slight
for the original movie.

TIME FRAME: Part 2 in the Last Breath Series. Sequel to "Looking Through
Your Eyes"; Season 5 (After Desperate Measures - Before Meridian)

SUMMARY: The lives of Sam and Jack have been changed drastically...will
they make the right decisions?

STATUS: Complete, 2nd in a series

ARCHIVE: Dyiallias II - , S/J
archive, Jackfic ... anywhere else please ask.

DISCLAIMER: Sadly we don't own SG-1, or that lovely graying, brown eyed
Colonel...*sigh*! Oh woe are we!! Anyways... Stargate SG-1 and its
characters are the property of Stargate Productions, MGM/UA, Viacom,
Double Secret Productions, Gekko Productions and the Showtime and/or Sci
Fi networks. No infringement is intended to the above parties. This is
for entertainment purposes only and no money exchanged hands. The
original characters, situations, and story are the property of the
author. This story may not be posted elsewhere without the consent of the
author.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: Song credits – Inspired by the song "More Than Anyone
Deserves'" by LeAnn Rimes.

FEEDBACK: SWEET!!! We love feedback!! The more we get, the more we write,
and everyone's happy!! :)
*******************

Major Samantha Carter stood in her bathroom looking at the object in
front of her. //It couldn't be,// she thought. She ran a hand through her
disheveled hair, and looked at her reflection in the mirror. Her eyes had
rings under them, there were strain lines at the corners of her mouth,
and her hair....well, it had seen better days.

She glanced down at her watch and saw that if she didn't leave
immediately, she would be late. She snatched the paper bag that was off
to the side and left the confines of the bathroom. Grabbing her duffle
bag off the kitchen table, she stuffed the paper bag into it, and rushed
out the door.

A gust of wind nearly knocked her off her feet. It seemed like winter had
come early to Colorado Springs, skipping autumn all together. She was
glad she had put the top up on her car last night because a slight
dusting of snow had settled on the ground and her car.

Relieved to feel at least some warmth from the interior of the car, she
revved the engine, and cranked the heater up. She hoped the flurries
didn't hinder her drive and cause her to be any later than she thought
she would be. That wouldn't sit well with anyone, least of all the
Colonel.

She and Jack had been treading on thin ice for the past couple of months.
After her vision returned, everyone had assumed that she would just
continue with her duties at the SGC. It wasn't in her nature to
disappoint anyone. So being the dedicated soldier and doctor that she
was, she had gone back. She went against everything her heart was telling
her. Even a little voice in the corner of her mind told her to go with
her heart. Too bad she didn't listen to it.

Even at five o'clock in the morning traffic was at a standstill, thanks
to the snow. Crap. She was going to be in hot water when...if...she got
there. She pulled her cell phone out of her coat pocket. She dialed the
familiar number to Janet's office, hoping that she would be within
hearing distance. After the sixth ring she nearly hung up but it was
picked up.

"Dr. Fraiser." Janet sounded breathless.

"Janet? It's Sam. Looks like I might be a tad late. Can you pass along
the word?" Sam knew she didn't even have to ask. Janet was always willing
to do anything for her. She was so glad she had a friend like Janet.

"Of course. So did we get the snow that was forecasted?"

"Yeah ... that's what the holdup is. Not much right now, but enough to
cause traffic to slow to a crawl," Sam said.

"Are you alright Sam?"

"I'm fine Janet, just a little tired. Why do you ask?"

Janet sounded concerned, and a little worried. "You just sound a little
down today," she replied. "I know these last few weeks have been rough on
you, ever since you came to work, and this whole thing with you and Jack-
."

//Oh not again!// Sam rolled her eyes. Janet had been trying to get her
to open up ever since she had returned to the SGC. Her friend meant well,
but there was nothing that she could do to help, so what was the point of
talking? It wasn't going to make the situation any better.

"I'm fine Janet," she replied, her voice a little harsher than she meant
it to be. "I just had a bit of trouble sleeping last night."

//And every other night.// It was more difficult to sleep alone with the
knowledge that it was her decision that had made it be that way. It was
hard enough to sleep when the memories of those blissful few weeks they
had shared together kept surging up every time she closed her eyes.

She was beginning to regret her choice.

"Oh okay then," Janet's tone sounded friendly enough, but Sam could hear
the disappointment in her voice. "Well, you know where I am if you ever
need to talk."

"I know, thank you. I'll see you later on today for that check up, okay
Janet?"

"Sure. See you then."

Sam switched off her phone with a sigh. Why did things always have to go
from bad to worse?

Today was going to be a bad day.

*******************

"Daniel, would you just quit it?"

Jack's voice was laced with irritation and exasperation. He felt bad for
snapping at the younger man. Daniel was only trying to help him, but it
was help he didn't want. It's wasn't like Daniel could help him anyway;
there was nothing that anyone could do. It was hopeless.

He had his attention focused on the yo-yo in his hands, trying his
hardest not to look at Daniel, to show that he wasn't interested in this
line of conversation. Concentrating on something so simplistic also
helped in keeping his attention from other things ... things he would
rather not remember just yet.

But even focusing on the most menial of tasks didn't serve to help him
for long. Being in this place was a constant, heartbreaking, reminder of
what he'd had for such a short time and lost just as quickly.

"Fine, I'll leave you to it then," Daniel snapped angrily. He stalked out
of the office and slammed the door shut behind him.

Jack sighed, putting the yo-yo down on his desk. He thought things would
be easier than this. He had hoped that it wouldn't affect the friendships
that they had all fought so hard to build and nurture.

It was tough. He was pushing Daniel away. He and Sam were barely talking.
It was too difficult. It killed him to have to see her every day knowing
that she had chosen this place over him. That was the way it had to be.
They had both agreed it was the best thing to do. He regretted it more
and more with each passing moment.

Every day he stopped himself just before he printed his letter of
resignation. It was so tempting just to print it out and hand it to the
General, but he couldn't. He couldn't leave this job, not yet anyway. No
matter how much his heart ached to be with Sam, he knew that his role at
the SGC was too important to turn his back on. Besides, it's not like she
wanted to be with him anyway, things would be very different now if that
was the case.

There was a soft knock at his door and he sighed. Couldn't he get a
moment of peace? "Yeah?"

The door opened and Janet's head poked around it. "Are you free at the
moment, sir?"

Jack barely managed to stop the groan that threatened. //Great, first
Daniel now her!// "Actually no, I'm not."

Janet frowned at his brusque tone. "Okay ... Sam just called. She's going
to be a little bit late, she's caught in traffic."

//She couldn't call me and tell me that? I'm her CO for god sake! The CO
that used to be her lover.// It hurt more than it should have, like
thousands of tiny little needles piercing his heart. //Is this where we
were now, relegated to sending messages to each other with our friends,
because it was so unbearable being in the same room as each other?//

He glanced up at Janet to find her staring wide-eyed back at him. //Oh
crap, how much of that did I say aloud?// Her arms were now across her
chest, her lips clenched in a tight, angry line. "Do you have any idea
how hard this is on Sam? You aren't the only one suffering, Jack.
Remember that, and quit being such an ass!"

Jack tried to form a reply, but he was left completely speechless.
//What's the point of arguing when she is right?// He shrugged lamely.

Janet made a sound of disgust. Turning on her heel she left the office,
slamming the door behind her.

Jack rolled his eyes. Great, he had just managed to alienate another
friend. //Not bad for an hours work!// Sighing loudly he dropped his head
onto his arms. How was it possible for this day to get worse?

*******************

Whew! She made it.

Sam stomped the snow off her boots as soon as she entered the door to the
top level of the base. It seems that the closer she got to the mountain
the more snow she ran into. Looks like she will be staying on base for a
while, whether there is a mission or not.

She glanced at her watch for what seemed like the hundredth in an hour.
Good thing she always left her house early, today was no exception. She
had forty-five minutes to spare. She rushed through the clearance check
point, and proceeded down to the infirmary level. Before going on to her
eye checkup with Janet, she thought she would stop off at a restroom.

Making sure there was no one else in the facility, she made her way to
end stall and pulled the paper bag from the pharmacy she had stopped at
the night before. She pulled the cover off the second pregnancy test from
the opened box. Following the directions she finished and popped her head
out the door, still keeping tabs on the vacancy status of the bathroom.
The stall was too dark, so she moved over to one of the sinks where the
lighting was better. Her hands were shaking so hard she could barely hold
onto the test stick. She laid it on the sink and continued to watch for
the window on the stick to change...or not to change. Her gaze shifted
nervously between the door, her watch, and the test stick. Only one
minute had passed. It seemed like forever. It only took five minutes to
achieve the reading, though it seemed like time had slowed down.

Three minutes.

Two and a half.

Two.

One and three quarters.

One and a half.

One.

Thirty seconds.

Ten...nine...eight...seven...six...five...four...three...two...one...

Her watched beeped and seemed to echo off the walls. She reached her hand
out hesitantly and picked up the stick. Her hand was shaking erratically,
so she had to grip her wrist with her other hand so she could steady it
to read it. She closed her eyes briefly before looking at it. She wasn't
sure what she wanted it to say. Before she lost her nerve, her eyes slid
open. And there it was in plain sight. A blue...positive sign.

"Sam, you made it! I was beginning to get worried about you."

Sam swung around with a jolt, stick still in hand. She hadn't heard
anyone enter the restroom. Shock was written on her face and the color
drained from her face as she saw Janet's own reaction.

"Sam?" Janet's voice was laced with surprise...and something else.

"I...uh..." Sam couldn't manage to talk at the moment.

Janet closed the door behind her and stepped deeper into the room, her
eyes darting between the stick in Sam's hand and her face.

"Sam?" Her voice was quiet and full of surprise. "What's going on?"

"You're a doctor Janet, can't you tell," Sam snapped, flushing furiously
as her surprise was replaced by anger. It was completely irrational, and
she felt terrible the moment the words left her mouth.

Her voice dropped to a whisper. "Janet, I'm sorry...I didn't mean..."

"Sam, honey, it's okay." Janet moved closer to her and leaned over to
look at the stick that Sam held out. She looked up into Sam's eyes,
seeing the uncertainty there. "You know they aren't always accurate. If
you want I can run a test. It won't take long at all."

Sam nodded, not trusting herself to speak. Turning away from her friend
she quickly gathered her things back into her duffle bag and took the
time to calm herself down. Straightening up she slung the bag over her
shoulder, feeling slightly more in control of herself. "Can we do it now
Janet?"

The doctor's arm slid around her waist, squeezing gently, reassuringly.
"Don't worry Sam, everything will be okay."

*******************

Sam sat on the bed in one of the private rooms off from the infirmary.
Her hands were twisting in the single sheet covering the bed. She would
know in a few minutes. She had some idea from the two home tests, but she
wanted to know for certain. Her whole life could be changed in a split
second. As odd as it sounded, she wasn't horrified. She should have
realized that something like this could have happened. She hadn't been on
birth control in ages. It wasn't as if she was ever in any serious
relationships. Her relationship with Jack had come as some surprise.
Though it was one she didn't regret...would never regret.

Questions kept flying through her head. Was she ready to be a mother?
Could she handle it? She had always wanted to have children; she just
never pictured it to happen this way. It wasn't as if she couldn't
support a child. She could. But could she raise one on her own?

Sam's head flew up when she heard heels clicking down the hallway. That
could only be Janet. Janet with her test results. She would know now. She
would find out once and for all if she was going to have a baby.

Janet entered the room, clipboard in hand. She had a neutral look pasted
on her face, not wanting her emotions to take sides before she found out
how Sam felt about the results.

"Well?" Sam asked edging on impatience.

"The results were conclusive..." Janet started out professionally.

"Janet... please," Sam pleaded softly.

Janet glanced up from her clipboard and her expression softened. Feeling
the need to comfort her friend she went over and sat down beside Sam. She
put her arm around her and started again. "You're eleven weeks along. You
are going to have a baby."

Sam sat there for a moment, not able to speak, or barely comprehend.
Neutrality was written on her face. And then it clicked. //I'm going to
have a baby. Oh my God...I'm going to have *Jack's* baby.// A slow smile
formed on her lips as tears slipped down her face. She was actually
thrilled. She wanted this baby. She just didn't realize how much until
then.

As soon as Janet saw the tears she gathered Sam in a consoling embrace.
"Sam, I'm sorry," she said through tears of her own. She didn't see Sam's
smile.

"Don't be. I'm not," Sam managed through a constricted throat.

Janet leaned back to gauge Sam's reaction. Sam's face was wet with tears,
her eyes had bags under them, and her face muscles were pinched with
fatigue, but she looked genuinely happy. In fact, if Janet didn't know
any better, she was glowing. The though made her giggle.

"So this means I'm going to be an aunt?" Janet asked jokingly.

"Looks like." Sam's smile seemed to increase in wattage.

"So when are you going to tell Jack? Or are you going to tell him?"
Janet's voice returned to seriousness.

Sam bowed her head. "Yeah, I'm going to tell him. I just haven't decided
how yet."

"If you need any support when you do, just let me know," Janet offered.

"I will. But I think I need to do this on my own." Sam raised her head
again and gave a small smile.

*******************

Jack drummed his fingers impatiently on the table. Where the hell was
Sam? The briefing was supposed to start 5 minutes ago and she hadn't
shown up yet. He glanced at the General, expecting to see impatience on
his face. He was relieved to see that he wasn't.

He looked down at his watch again. He hated being kept waiting. He spared
a glance for Daniel opposite him, who was studiously avoiding looking in
his direction. A small sigh left his lips. He guessed he shouldn't be
surprised; he had been pretty hard on the guy lately.

He just wanted to get this briefing over with so they could get the
mission over with. At least then he would be able to go home. At least
then he wouldn't have the constant reminder of Sam. He was glad for that,
that they hadn't shared his bed. He knew it would have been so much
harder on him if they had.

//I wonder how Sam is dealing with this.// His thoughts drifted back to
his conversation with Janet. She had told him that this was hard on Sam
too. It didn't show, but then again she was just as good as he was at
hiding her feelings. Did she regret the decision as much as he did?

The sound of footsteps echoed up the stairwell. Jack squared his
shoulders, unable to prevent the impatience that had crept across his
face. He had a snappy remark about tardiness fresh on his tongue when her
head appeared around the doorway. The words fled him as he drank in her
appearance.

She had been crying. It wouldn't have been obvious to anyone else, but he
had been the one that consoled her whenever she was upset after her
accident, he could see it as clear as day. Her eyes were red and slightly
bloodshot.

She was radiant. Her cheeks had a healthy glow and she was smiling as she
walked up to the table. Her eyes were locked to his and he felt the
breath leave his chest. She was so beautiful, breathtakingly beautiful.
//Why had she been crying? What could have had her in tears one moment
and made her so delightedly happy now?//

Sam broke eye contact as she looked at the General. "Sorry I'm late sir,
my check up took a little longer than expected."

Then her eyes were back on his. He was taken back by the intensity of her
gaze. What was going on? It was like she was searching for something, but
he was damned if he knew what. He offered her a small smile and his mind
worked overtime to comprehend what was going on.

This was the most contact that they'd had in nearly two months. He
couldn't help but lose himself in her eyes. He could see the love there,
the regret and the happiness. Was she having a change of heart?

"Colonel?"

The voice was so abrupt that Jack jumped and broke eye contact. He looked
at the General. "Sorry, I drifted off for a moment there," he muttered
lamely. Had the General noticed what had been happening? Probably.

//D'oh!//

Hammond looked mildly amused, much to Jack's relief. "I was asking if you
thought your team was ready for this mission."

"Oh ... yeah we sure are. I bet Danny is dying to find some more rocks to
study."

The joke fell on deaf ears, as he had expected it would. He glanced at
Sam to find her grinning at him, at least she laughed at his jokes.

"Great," Hammond announced, standing up. "You will depart in two hours."

Jack pulled his attention from Sam long enough to nod his agreement to
the General. When he turned back to her she was gone.

//What the hell?//

*******************

Sam had been pacing across her lab for the last half hour. She was
delaying the inevitable. She had to go and talk to Jack. She had to tell
him before they went on the mission.

She had no idea how he was going to take it. She knew from what had
happened in the briefing that he had no idea. He was clueless as to why
she'd been so happy when she had arrived, but she could tell that he knew
that she had been crying too.

Jack had such a look of hope in his eyes as he watched her. It meant one
thing to Sam, he thought that the looks she was giving him, the smile
that split her face, meant something else. He had no clue that she was
going to tell him that she was going to have his baby.

//Jack's baby.//

Those two words had such a pleasant ring to them. She felt like she was
glowing. She never realized how happy the thought of having a child would
make her. She felt like doing a little dance. It only firmed her resolve.
She had to tell him ... *now*.

Butterflies fluttering crazily in her stomach as she left her lab and
headed in the direction of Jack's office. She arrived quicker than she
expected. Shuffling her feet nervously, she hesitated before knocking on
the door. How was he going to react?

Taking a deep breath, she knocked on the door.

"Yeah?"

It sounded like he was in a bad mood. Sam steeled herself and gathering
her courage she opened the door and stepped into his office. He was
seated at his desk, his face slightly flushed. He glanced up at her, his
eyes flashing with irritation.

"Carter?" His voice was gravelly. He wasn't just in a bad mood, he was
angry, furious.

"Sir, do you have a few moments, I have something I need to talk to you
about," she pressed on despite the second thoughts that were plaguing
her. She didn't expect him to be in this mood when she told him that he
was the father of her baby.

"Sure Carter, I have all the time in the world for you." His bitter
sarcasm was like a slap in the face to Sam.

"Sir ... Jack ... what's wrong?"

"What's wrong?" He exploded. Slamming his hands down on the desk, he
pushed himself up a little to glare at her. "Why don't we start with
what's right?"

Sam was lost. She was tempted to walk out of the room, to leave him to
it, but she couldn't. Something was wrong and she wanted to find out what
it was. "What?"

He fell back into his seat, his shoulders slumped. "General Hammond just
paid me a visit. He gave me a warning about my misconduct during the
briefing," he paused, scrubbing a hand across his face.

He looked tired, Sam realized, so tired and so unhappy. "He wanted to
know if we were involved in a relationship," he murmured miserably.

"Oh." Sam had no idea what to say. They weren't in a relationship, but
she wasn't about to ask Jack what he told the General.

"Oh?" It was almost a yell. "Is that all you can say? *Oh*? Do you have
any idea how difficult these last few weeks have been on me?"

Sam felt herself losing her temper. Putting her hands on the desk she
leaned her face in close to his. "About as difficult as it's been for me
Jack," she spat.

He sprang up out of his seat. "Is that why you've wanted nothing to do
with me? Why you've avoided me like the plague ... because this has been
difficult for you? If I had known that things would be so unbearable
between us that you couldn't stand being around me I might have fought
harder to convince you not to come back!"

Sam moved back from him, unable to handle the anger burning in his eyes,
unable to contain the guilt of knowledge that she had done this to him.
She couldn't think up a snappy reply.

"Or did you regret what happened between us and this is your way of
showing it, of showing me that you didn't really want me in the first
place?"

Jack's voice was cold. His words were like a knife plunged into her
chest. She was skirting close to the limitations of her self-control.
"You know that's not true Jack," she replied, her voice matching his for
closeness. "You know that I love you and that I valued that time we spent
together."

"You have a funny way of showing it!"

The words would have had less impact if he had reached over and slapped
her in the face. "I can't believe you Jack," she said, her voice barely
more than a whisper. "I can't believe that the father of my baby could be
such an ass not to see how much I truly love him."

The words would have had less impact if he had reached over and slapped
her in the face. "I can't believe you Jack," she said, her voice barely
more than a whisper. "I can't believe that the father of my baby could be
such an ass not to see how much I truly love him."

Sam couldn't stay in the room with him any longer. She had to get away;
she had to clear her head. Turning she left the room quickly, certain
that the last look she had seen on Jack's face was one of horror.

*******************

"I can't believe you Jack," he had to strain to hear the words; they were
cold and succinct. "I can't believe the father of my baby could be such
an ass that he can't see how much I truly love him!"

Jack slumped back in his seat hard enough to rattle his teeth, if his jaw
hadn't hit the floor first. Did he hear that right? Father of her baby?
No ... he had to be hearing things.

He looked up in time to see the door slam shut behind her. His every
instinct screamed to go after her, but he couldn't move. His brain fought
to absorb this new piece of information. He was shaken to the core, it
was completely unexpected. He was caught completely flat-footed, like
someone had punched him in the gut sending all the air out of his body in
one great rush.

Sam was pregnant ... with his child. It didn't seem possible. It was like
something out of a dream. Had he imagined it? No, definitely not. There
was steel in her voice, certainty, when she said it. Sam wouldn't lie
about something as important as that.

//Breathe, Jack.//

He groaned, dropping his head down onto his desk. He had been such an ass
to her. He hadn't had the right to treat her as appallingly as he had. He
shouldn't have taken his foul mood out on her. She must hate him now.

She must have come to tell him about the baby. Had he ruined his chances
with her? Was she going to jump to the conclusion that he didn't want the
baby and do something irrational, something she would regret?

It felt so weird to think about. He was going to be a father again. It
was wonderful, it was amazing. It was like all his dreams had come at
once. A beautiful woman who loved him and their baby on the way. What
more could a man want?

Jack stood up. He had to find Sam; he had to apologize to her and make
things right.

*******************

After Sam had stormed out of Jack's office, she went in search of Janet.
Her emotions were raging and threatening to overflow. Sam found Janet in
the corner of the infirmary talking softly to Daniel. Sam tried to remain
patient, as there were a couple other personnel present, however she
didn't know how long she could take it. A few minutes went by as the
personnel drifted out of the infirmary.

"Janet," Sam called out in a strangled voice.

Janet's head jerked up as she caught the upset pleading tone in Sam's
voice, and knowing only all too well what it might mean. She rushed over
to her friend and led her out of the infirmary and on to her office.
Daniel followed closely behind, concerned for Sam's current state.

As soon as the door to her office was closed, Janet gathered her into a
comforting embrace, as Sam broke down crying. "What happened, Sam?" Janet
asked soothingly, although she had some idea what had just occurred.

"I went to go and tell Jack about the baby," she replied between sobs.
"He... the General had just seen him... asked him if we were involved. He
was so angry and unreasonable Janet. He thought I didn't love him."

"That son of a..." Sam heard Daniel swear under his breath, which caused
her to cry even harder.

"Sam, calm down, honey. You need to calm down," Janet urged.

Sam was breathing hard and was clutching onto Janet like a lifeline. Why
was she breaking down like this, she was a Major in the United States Air
Force, for goodness sake. She was supposed to be tough and unbeatable.
Why couldn't she stop crying?

"Sam, you are going to have to calm down before you hyperventilate."
Janet's voice brought on a concerned tone.

"I didn't tell him Janet," she gasped, trying desperately to control her
breathing. "I just blurted it out and left the room." She gripped the
front of her friend's lab coat tightly. "I was just so angry ... I
couldn't help myself. He looked horrified Janet!"

Janet looked over Sam's shoulder and met Daniel's eyes. She could see the
anger radiating there. Anger towards Jack. She felt the same way. Jack
was breaking Sam's heart and he didn't even realize it.

Janet led Sam over to a set of chairs and eased her down into one. Sam
doubled over with another wave of sobs. Both Janet and Daniel gathered
around her; Janet putting her arm around her and Daniel offering a
consoling hand on her knee.

"Sam, I am sure Jack wasn't horrified. You probably shocked him as much
as yourself. You know how much he loves children. Which means he would
love your child even more," Janet assured her.

Sobs overtook her again, and she struggled to ride them out. She took the
time to try and sort everything out in her mind. She knew Jack loved her,
there was no way feelings that strong could change so soon. He did love
kids, and she was sure that he wanted another one. But that look of
horror that was on his face ... she couldn't forget it. Did it mean
anything?

Her sobs slowly subsided. Taking a deep breath she looked up at both of
her friends, straining to see them through the tears in her eyes. "Maybe
your right ... but if you're wrong I don't think I can do this on my own,
Janet. I don't want my baby growing up with a father that hates it."

Daniel's arm slid around her shoulder. "If that happens, Sam, it happens.
You'll still have us; we'll always be there to help you out."

Sam flushed, but her friend's reassuring words cheered her a little. What
had she done to deserve such great friends? "Thank you both," she
whispered, tears sliding down her cheeks once more. "I ... I think I want
to go up for some air."

"Do you want us to come with you Sam," Janet asked, worry still evident
in her voice.

Sam shook her head. Standing she wiped her eyes on her sleeve. "No. I
wanna be alone for a while. I've got a lot to think about."

Janet stood with her. "Would you like me to talk to General Hammond? Get
you taken off this mission?"

"No. I want to go," she replied, a touch of defiance in her voice.
Forcing a smile, she turned and left the room.

*******************

Jack hadn't seen Sam since she left his office after his...yes
his...blowup. He tried to find her all over the base, but either she
didn't want to be found or he just wasn't looking in the right places. He
felt absolutely terrible over what he did. He shouldn't have yelled at
her. No matter what position he had been in, he never should have done
that.

He had to talk to her. He had to find out if what he *thought* she said
was what she *really* said. They were all waiting in the Gate room to
depart, but Sam still hadn't shown up. He was really getting worried now.
Sam was never late for a mission departure.

Daniel was avoiding him, he was sure of it. And if looks could kill,
well...he would be way more than six feet under. Teal'c was his usual
impassive self, though he did detect a bit of tension from him.

Jack tapped his watch again, making sure it was working. And it was. He
straightened the strap on his P-90, again, trying to keep his hands busy
while waiting.

As the Gate began its rotation, General Hammond came over the intercom
from the Control Room. "Where is Major Carter?"

"I don't know, Sir..." Jack began, but was cut off abruptly by Daniel.

"She'll be here shortly."

Jack swung his head around and met Daniel's frigid stare. Surely he still
wasn't mad about the earlier incident in his office. Though Daniel did
hold grudges, so that was probably it.

Sam ran into the Gate Room apologizing to the General for her tardiness.
She flew past Jack in a flurry of movement, making him think he just
imagined her entry. She didn't acknowledge his presence other than a
brief nod, which kind of hurt him, though he did deserve it. She moved in
between him and Daniel.

He could hear Daniel talking to her, but could only make out a few words
under the drowning sound of the Gate engaging. He did hear him ask her if
she was alright. As to her response, he didn't hear that.

She looked drained, and her eyes were still puffy, thanks to him he was
sure. Man he was such a jerk. Maybe he should relieve her of this
mission. She was probably in no shape to carry out a mission, even if it
was just a routine "take-samples-and-go-home" job.

"Major, perhaps you should stand down from this mission," Jack said
wanting to sound impartial, but knew he failed. His suggestion came out
too gruff and harsh.

"I'm fine, Sir," Sam responded lifting her chin a notch.

"I mean it Major. Stay behind on this one. There will be more missions,"
Jack urged, digging himself in deeper.

"I'm going, *Sir*."

"You're staying."

"I'm going."

Jack turned to look at her and caught her hardened gaze. God, did he do
this to her? //Leave it to me to screw something else up,// he thought.

Sam was staring straight ahead waiting for the go. As soon as General
Hammond gave the okay, she shot up the ramp like the devil himself was
after her. And in a sense he was.

//Man, she must really despise me. Heck, I despise myself right now!//

He trailed up the ramp behind his team, a bad feeling lingering in the
pit of his stomach. He had the feeling that something else was going to
go wrong today. He just hoped that Sam would be okay.

*******************

Sam sighed and squinted up at the sky. Her back ached and she could feel
a headache creeping up on her. Spending the last few hours in the sun
hadn't helped; her eyes were achy and watering, despite her wearing
sunglasses.

Standing, she stretched out the kinks in her back and took the
opportunity to glance around the clearing. It was eerily quiet. Nobody
was talking. She missed the Colonel's smart-ass comments, his complaints
about being bored, and his jokes.

Her eyes instantly sought him out. He was sitting on a rock about twenty
meters away bouncing a stone absently on the palm of his hand. He didn't
seem to be angry anymore, but he was a lot more pensive and distant than
she had expected. She had felt his eyes on her often during the last few
hours, she was curious to know what he was thinking about.

Daniel stepped up to her, putting a hand gently on her shoulder. "You
okay, Sam?"

He had stuck by her side most of the day, making no attempt to hide his
concern for her. It was touching ... and a tad annoying at times. At
least she knew she could always rely on him.

"Yeah, I'm fine, Daniel."

She could feel Jack's eyes on her again. She glanced at him, surprised at
the array of emotions that flickered across his face. There was
definitely no anger there. Remorse, concern and maybe a little bit of
doubt.

Daniel's hand tightened on her shoulder as Jack stood and threw the stone
aside. He was still angry at Jack; the two of them had barely spoken
since they had stepped through the Stargate. In fact, Sam realized, no
one had spoken to the Colonel, not even Teal'c, except with the cursory
responses to his orders.

Jack glanced once more in her direction before turning and heading the
opposite way, his shoulders slumped. Sam watched until his back
disappeared into the woods.

Sam looked at Daniel and he shrugged as if to say 'he did it to himself'.
She couldn't help feeling a little guilty. Her anger at him had slowly
been fading since she had spoken to Janet and Daniel. While she was still
mildly annoyed about the way he had treated her, she knew that if the
situation had been reversed she probably would have done the same.

She had to talk to him ... now. She couldn't bear it any longer. "I'm
going to go talk to him," she muttered, brushing Daniel's hand off her
and taking a step in the direction Jack went.

"Sam?"

She glanced back at him. "Yeah?"

"Do you want me to come along?"

Sam smiled. He was so sweet. "I have to do this on my own, Daniel."

She crossed the clearing in no time, eyes searching left and right for
any signs of where the Colonel might have gone. She spotted his boot
print in the dry, dusty, soil and followed it deeper into the woods.

A low moan caught her attention and she automatically was put on guard.
"Colonel?"

She walked towards it uncertainly, stepping around the thick foliage,
gripping her P-90 in front of her. The moan grew a little louder.
"Colonel," she repeated more insistently.

A muttered curse caught her ear. Stepping up her pace, she stepped deeper
into the foliage in the direction she hoped the sound was coming.

Sam saw his booted foot first, sticking out from behind a tree. Without a
sound thought she rushed forward, assuming the worst. "Teal'c ... Daniel.
The Colonel's down, I might need back up."

Not stopping to wait for their affirmative response she stepped around
the trunk, trying to ignore the tiny knot of fear in her gut that her
baby's father could be seriously injured.

Her relief was immediate. Jack was sitting propped against the tree
trunk. His head was down, but she could see his eyes were squeezed
tightly shut and his jaw clenched. There were no visible signs of injury,
except that he was gripping his left knee tightly between both his hands.

Sam dropped to her knees next to him and touched his arm. "Jack, are you
okay?"

He raised his head to look at her. Sweat was streaming down his face.
"I've been better," he grated.

"What happened?"

He rested his head back against the tree trunk. "Wasn't paying attention
... tripped over the roots," he replied through clenched teeth.

"Your knee?"

Gritting his teeth he nodded. "Yup."

Sam grabbed her radio again. "Daniel, can you have Teal'c bring the first
aid kit? Stay behind and pack up our equipment, we're gonna have to go
back."

"Is he okay, Sam?" He actually sounded concerned.

"He's fine ... he's injured his knee."

One of his hands left his knee and grabbed hers. He looked up at her, his
eyes alert and piercing. He squeezed it tightly. "I'm sorry, Sam," he
mumbled, flinching through another wave of pain.

Sam placed her other hand gently on his shoulder. She could hear Teal'c
crunching through the foliage. "We'll talk when we get back okay?"

*******************

Jack couldn't believe his luck.

He gritted his teeth as his knee was jarred on the rocky terrain, biting
back the curse that was on his lips. He knew they weren't jostling him
intentionally, but it wasn't helping. He tried to keep his eyes focused
on Sam's back, but the pain was too intense.

//God, I am such an idiot!//

He hadn't been concentrating, pure and simple. He hadn't been able to
concentrate properly since his argument with Sam. He had so much to ask
her and so much to sort out in his mind. So he had wandered off to
relieve himself, his mind occupied with the events of the day.

So, instead of concentrating on the foliage in front of him, which was
getting thicker the deeper into the woods he got, he was walking along
with his head in the clouds. He didn't see the tree root, didn't notice
it until his boot got snagged in it and he tumbled, a sickening crack
echoing in his ears as his knee gave out.

He had been too embarrassed to call out for help, and in too much pain to
concentrate on anything other than his own stupidity. He had been injured
countless times on a mission, his parachute not opening, being shot, but
never something as foolish as tripping over a tree root!

Jack had tried to stand when he heard footsteps coming towards him, tried
to get up and pretend that everything was okay, but he couldn't. Whatever
he had done to his knee, it was bad. If he hadn't been in so much pain he
might have wondered why it was Sam that had found him, might have
wondered if she had been looking for him.

Teal'c stumbled over a rock, jarring Jack's knee again. "Christ!" He
hissed through his teeth.

Sam turned and looked at him, worry showing on her face. "Sir?"

"Nothing, Carter," he replied, his voice strained. "Can we just hurry and
get back so Janet can jab a needle in my ass to stop this pain?"

Sam giggled, looking slightly more relieved. Daniel even snorted
mirthfully. "You'll be lucky if that's all she'll do," he muttered under
his breath.

//Crap, does everyone have it in for me today?//

Jack tried to ignore Daniel's statement, again focusing his attention on
Sam's back. He had tried to talk to her, but she had brushed him off.
Later, she said. Does that mean she was willing to forgive him? He still
didn't know for certain that she was pregnant.

They were slowing down. He could see the Stargate in front of Sam.
//About time!// He breathed out a sigh of relief. Soon he would be back
on earth with a supply of painkillers. The thought was almost enough to
put a smile on his face, nearly.

Sam dialed up the address on the DHD and moments later the gate
activated. She turned, a comforting smile on her face. "Almost there
Jack."

//Jack, she said Jack, not sir and not Colonel. That has to be a good
thing, doesn't it?// Feeling somewhat cheered, he returned her smile and
prepared himself for what was going to be an agonizing journey through
the Stargate.

*******************

Sam waited impatiently outside the infirmary. She had heard Jack cry out
in pain a few moments ago, followed by cursing that had made her ears go
red. She guessed Janet wasn't being too gentle with him. She could
remember having to set his leg when they were trapped at the Antarctic
gate; he wasn't the best patient when he was in pain anyway. Couple that
with one angry Doctor and you didn't get a very nice mix.

She flinched as he yelped again. "Would you quit it, Janet?" His voice
reverberated through the infirmary.

Sam stood and was about to go and find out what was going on when the
curtain to the cubicle opened and Janet stepped out, a satisfied smirk on
her face. "He's all yours Sam."

Nervously Sam made her way over to the cubicle, wiping her suddenly
sweaty hands on her pants. She had promised him that they would talk. Now
was as good a time as any. She had no idea what she was going to say to
him. She had no idea what his mood was going to be like.

She stepped into the cubicle quickly, not giving herself the chance to
have second thoughts. Jack's head jerked up, a frown etched deep in his
forehead. He looked relieved to see it was Sam.

Sam stood there for a moment looking at him. His face was pale and
flushed, and held a nervousness that she hadn't anticipated. He was
wearing one of those charming green gowns, his knee strapped tightly in a
black brace that went from mid-calf to mid-thigh. She flushed as she
realized that her eyes were lingering on that bare thigh and pulled her
eyes away.

"So what's the diagnosis?"

Jack shifted on the bed. "Oh, I'll be out of commission for a while.
Managed to tear the ligaments in my knee. Doc has to wait for the
swelling to go down before she can tell how badly it's messed up."

He definitely wasn't angry anymore, much to her relief. His voice had
lost the gruffness of before the mission as well. She glanced up at him,
meeting his eyes. "We have a lot to talk about."

Jack's face looked grim for a moment. "Yeah we do," he replied quietly.
"First, I want to apologize for the way I treated you before. I had no
right to take it out on you."

Sam looked at him sharply, "No you didn't, but I know the last few weeks
have been pretty rough on the both of us. I ... ah ... I'm sorry for
blurting out what I did."

Jack moved over on the bed and patted the vacant space next to him. "So
it's true then," he asked uncertainly. "We're having a baby?"

She couldn't help grinning as she moved to the bed and perched herself
next to Jack. His question cleared up all her doubts in an instant. "Yeah
... we're having a baby."

His face broke out into the happiest grin she had ever seen. If she'd had
any lingering doubts they were truly gone now. He reached over and pulled
her into his chest. "I wasn't sure if I'd heard it right," he mumbled,
holding her as tightly as he could. "How far along are you?"

"Eleven weeks," Sam replied somberly, pulling out of his arms. "We have
so much to organize!"

She looked up as she heard Jack laugh lightly. He reached out and cupped
her cheek with his hand. "Sam, you still have seven months. We don't have
to have everything prepared straight away."

Sam smiled shyly, leaning her cheek a little more into his hand. She'd
missed his touch so much. "I have no idea what I'm doing," she replied
quietly. She was slowly beginning to realize the impact this was going to
have on her life.

She had a whole other life to worry about now. Her baby... growing inside
her. She was going to have to leave the Air Force, give up her position
in SG-1 and the job she loved so much. Her life had to be devoted to this
child.

Tears slowly trailed down cheeks. This was the happiest and most
frightening day of her life. It was so much to comprehend in such a short
period of time. To suddenly not only be responsible for herself, but for
her baby too. Her baby ... it was going to take her a while to get used
to that.

"Sam," Jack asked softly, worriedly, "What's wrong, honey?" He leaned
forward and began kissing the moisture from her cheeks gently.

Sam smiled at the loving gesture, her tears disappearing almost
immediately as her heart swelled at the affection he was displaying. She
had missed his tenderness, the feeling of his lips on her, his body
pressed gently against her own.

"It's just so much to take in ... I'm having a baby."

"No, Sam," Jack corrected. "We're having a baby."

It was such a simple statement, but it spoke volumes to Sam. Jack was
going to be by her side the whole way. He was never going to leave her or
their child.

She looked up at him feeling a sudden rush of emotions. "I love you,
Jack," she whispered, holding his gaze, seeing the love she felt
reflected in his eyes.

"I love you too, Sam."

He pulled her closer, capturing her lips with his own. Their embrace was
not fuelled by need or desire, but by the depth of the feelings they
needed to convey to each other. They both felt the need to convey how
they felt with their actions and not words.

Breathlessly, Sam broke away and relaxed herself completely in the warmth
and comfort of his arms. "We have one more problem," she pointed out,
burying her face in his chest.

She felt Jack sigh gently against her neck. "Let me guess, the General?"

"Yeah."

He drew out of the embrace enough to look at her. "When do you want to
tell him?"

"We have to tell him as soon as possible, Jack," she responded sadly. She
envisioned that it wasn't going to be the most pleasant conversation
ever.

"We'll go and see him as soon as I'm released from here okay?"

Sam nodded her agreement. Trying to keep her mind off the impending
meeting she moved, stretching herself out on the bed so she was lying on
her side with her arm over Jack's stomach. Before she knew it she had
drifted off to sleep.

*******************

Janet couldn't help herself, she knew she shouldn't be doing this, but
the temptation was too great. She was worried about her friend; she just
wanted to know that Sam would be okay.

She had her head nearly pressed against the curtain of the cubicle
adjoining Jack's. She couldn't help the smile that spread across her face
at the gentle words that wafted through the thin fabric. Her anger at the
Colonel was slowly dissipating as she listened to their conversation.

The love in his voice was obvious, without even seeing his face or
hearing him say the words. Sam was one lucky woman; the man was
completely devoted to her ... and their unborn child. She had always
known that the Colonel loved children, and she had known that he would be
over the moon when he found out that Sam was pregnant with his baby.

A shuffling sound behind her made her jump with surprise. Turning around
she found Daniel standing at the other side of the cubicle, watching her
with a mixture of curiosity and consternation. She quickly put her finger
up to her lips and motioned for him to come closer.

"What are you doing?" he whispered into her ear.

"Listen," she hissed, nodding her head towards the curtain.

Daniel scowled, but leaned his head closer to the curtain. A smile
quickly replaced the scowl. Reaching out he took Janet's hand in his and
pulled her closer to him, turning her so her back was pressed to him.
"How about we give them their privacy?"

Janet closed her eyes as his breath brushed across her neck. She could
definitely think of one thing she would rather be doing than
eavesdropping on her friends. She twisted in his arms. Pulling his head
down gently she pressed her lips to his. "Your office or mine?" she
whispered flirtatiously, her hand slowly traveling down to his belt.

"Yours," he groaned into her mouth, pulling her hand away and gripping it
tightly in his own. He stepped out of the cubicle quickly, pulling Janet
behind him.

They crossed the infirmary quickly, desperate to be alone and away from
prying eyes. They had been trying to keep their relationship as quiet as
possible; being caught in a passionate embrace in one of the infirmary
cubicles was not very good for decorum.

Daniel opened the door, led Janet in and released her hand long enough to
close and lock the door. A grin split Janet's face. This was so bad,
doing this sort of thing when she was supposed to be on duty, but it had
been a long time since she skirted with trouble and she was enjoying the
thrill it caused.

He turned, eyes gleaming with desire, a grin lighting up his boyish
features. He stepped up to her, pulling her tightly into his arms and
renewing his assault on her lips with glee, his hands resting lightly on
her hips. Janet melted, reacting to his kiss with equal fervor as her
hands drifted around his neck, pulling him closer still.

He was pushing her backwards as they kissed, slowly, step by step until
she bumped up against her desk. Cupping her backside he lifted her gently
so she was sitting on the desk. He pulled away slightly, enough to begin
slowly kissing his way down her chin to her neck.

Janet threw her head back, moaning as he nipped lightly at the sensitive
skin on her neck. Her hands slowly traveled down his torso, tickling and
scratching softly as she responded in kind to his assault on her neck.
Her hands found the hem of his shirt and she tugged it up. His lips left
her throat long enough for her to remove the shirt. She tossed it to the
ground. Reaching out she wrapped her hand around the back of his head and
pulled it closer until their lips met in another soul-shattering kiss.
Her free hand stroked down the length of his bare chest and torso, her
nails scraping lightly on his flesh. He moaned into her mouth, the sound
fueling her actions on.

Daniel pulled away, his eyes burning with passion. Janet took the
opportunity to look him up and down. She could never grow tired of
looking at him. Her eyes followed his collarbone, down to his well-toned
chest and abdomen. You would never think to look at him that he would be
as in shape as he was. She grinned, //and he is all mine!//

The look did not go unnoticed by Daniel. Eyes glinting feral he closed
the gap between them again, pushing Janet down against the desktop. He
leaned over her; his lips firmly against hers, tongue probing her mouth
hungrily as he slowly unfastened the buttons of her shirt.

Closing her eyes she managed to smile as she wondered if Daniel's office
had a good lock on the door.

*******************

Sam and Jack had decided after Jack was released from the infirmary, that
they should inform General Hammond immediately of their decisions. Sam
was going to resign her commission in the Air Force. After a long
discussion, Sam had convinced Jack that being a mother was a higher
priority than a Major in the USAF. He wasn't happy at first that she was
leaving the military, but he also didn't want the mother of his child to
be put into any danger. And that's exactly what would happen if she were
to remain in the military.

They walked down the hallway to the General's office. Or rather, Sam was
walking, and Jack was limping along with the help of crutches. They
stopped right outside of their commanding officer's closed door. Sam was
starting to get cold feet. She knew she needed to do this, but wasn't
sure if she could manage it.

"Hey..." Jack whispered and lifted Sam's chin with his free hand. "We'll
get through this, Sam, together."

Sam looked deep into his eyes and saw the love emanating from them. She
knew he was telling her the truth. She also knew that they would have
some rough times, but they would get through them together.

"Are you ready?" Jack's voice strengthened her resolve.

"As ready as I'll ever be," Sam said.

Jack knocked on the door and waited for the General to acknowledge them.
"Come."

Jack opened the door before gripping the handgrips on the crutches again.
He indicated for Sam to go before him. Just knowing that he was right
behind her, gave her the much needed support to remain composed.

"Colonel, good to see you up and about. Is there something I can help you
with?" General Hammond asked after briefly glancing up.

"Yes, Sir, there is," Sam said placing a plain white envelope on the desk
in front of him.

The General picked up the envelope and looked up at Sam, confusion
evident on his face. "What's this, Major?"

"It's my resignation, Sir," Sam said, drawing on her resolve.

"Resignation? What for? Why?" He asked, clearly not understanding what
this meant.

Sam held under the General's strong gaze, until realization struck him.
He sat back in his seat and studied both their faces intensely. He
frowned and pursed his lips, looking genuinely annoyed.

"Colonel. I thought you said there was nothing going on between yourself
and the Major." Hammond's voice got a steely tone to it.

"That's not entirely correct, Sir," Jack responded.

The General sat forward, fixing his sharp, angry glare, on Jack. His face
was starting to go red with the anger he was barely suppressing. "Are you
telling me that you purposely lied to your Commanding Officer, Colonel?"

Jack stared straight ahead at attention, or the best he could manage on
crutches. "Not exactly, Sir."

"Why don't you enlighten me as to *exactly* what you *do* mean, Colonel!"

"Well, Sir, we aren't...that is...we weren't involved at the time of our
discussion," Jack said trying not to break under the pressure.

Sam had to speak up; she couldn't allow Jack to take the brunt of the
General's anger. "Sir, we became involved two months ago, when I was in
that accident. When Ja...err..the Colonel was on leave of absence.
I...that is...we didn't think I would ever return to the military. In all
reality I *was* blind, Sir. It was confirmed by Janet. Nobody thought my
vision would return, most of all me. I had accepted that I would remain
blind." Sam's reply came out in a rush of words.

"So you're telling me that you have pursued this relationship even after
you regained your vision, Major?" He was seething with anger at this
point.

Jack spoke up again, fury radiating from him that Sam was being put
through this, especially in her condition. "No, *Sir*! We did *not*
continue our relationship. We respected the military's regulations, as
stupid as they may be, begging your pardon, *Sir*."

He was skirting close to the edge of insubordination, but was past the
point of caring. Like he had always thought, to hell with diplomacy. He
took a deep breath, trying to control his anger. "I think it's a moot
point now, General. Sam is resigning from her position in the Air Force.
If you want to bring me up on charges you are welcome to, as long as Sam
is left out of it."

The General was silent, his eyes shifted between Jack and Sam, searching
for something. The redness had gone from his face, but he still did not
seem entirely convinced of their claims. "There's something more isn't
there?"

Jack glanced at Sam, but he couldn't keep the smile off his face as he
thought of their wonderful news. Just the thought of their baby made his
anger disappear. Sam smiled at him, her face taking on that radiance it
had held earlier, during the briefing.

"I'm pregnant, General."

From the General's reaction they could tell that he had not expected
this. His mouth open with surprise, his eyes flickered between Sam and
Jack as their news slowly sunk in. "Pregnant?" A smile spread slowly
across his face, his anger slowly ebbing away. He stood up and extended
his arm to Jack. "Then I guess congratulations are in order."

Jack accepted the General's hand as laughter erupted from deep within
him. Hammond came around the edge of his desk and gathered Sam in a
fatherly hug, causing her to giggle.

"I hate to lose someone as valuable as you, Major. Or I guess it would be
just Doctor now, wouldn't it?" Hammond smiled as he stepped back. "You
will be staying on as a civilian advisor won't you, Sam?" he asked
uncertainly, though it almost sounded more like an order.

Sam looked stunned, but soon was overcome with happiness. "You still want
me here," she asked, skepticism lacing her voice.

"Of course. You're a wonderful asset. Not to mention with you around we
can keep Jack in line," he said, giving in to a joke for once.

At the mention of Jack, she turned to look at him and couldn't miss the
heated look in his eyes. This day had turned out good after all. Who
would have known that after so many weeks apart that everything would do
a 360 in one day.

The General emitted a soft cough, getting their attention once more. "Why
don't you two get out of here? I am putting SG-1 on stand down until
you're recovered. You need your rest Jack, after the day you've had. And
you too, Sam, for that matter."

"Thank you, Sir!" Jack and Sam said at the same time, causing the General
to chuckle.

Sam assisted Jack in turning around on his crutches. They didn't see the
General shake his head or the most foolish grin on his face, as they
retreated out of his office. He felt like he was going to be a grandpa
again. And in a sense he was.

*******************

Jack sat in a chair in Sam's lab waiting for her to gather her things.
His knee was killing him, but his pervading happiness had nearly numbed
the pain. He felt like he was flying, and it wasn't the pain killers
talking either.

He was able to be with the woman he loved after all these years. They had
been through so much that it almost seemed like a dream. But it wasn't.
He and Sam were finally together, and they were going to have a baby. He
couldn't be happier if someone told him he'd won the lottery. He had been
given a second chance at life. And he wasn't going to screw this one up.

He was going to be a father. He still couldn't quite believe it. It
seemed so unreal; yet looking at Sam across the room he knew it to be
true.

She turned when she felt his gaze on her, making him smile. She
definitely had the glow of a woman expecting, which only added to her
beauty.

"Are you ready to go?" he asked, his voice suddenly husky. He wanted to
get out of here, wanted to be alone with this woman. He wanted to show
her how much he had missed her in the last two months.

"Uh huh," Sam nodded her head but quickly bowed it, overcome with a wave
of shyness.

Jack stood up as she came toward him. He balanced himself on one crutch
so he could gather her to him with his other arm. Their lips came
together in a much needed release of emotions. He melted into her arms
instantly, immersing himself in all the sensations that were Sam, her
smell, her touch.

Minutes passed before he broke away grudgingly. He wanted to be home,
now, snuggled up next to this woman and making up for lost time. Her eyes
opened slowly and he could see she felt the same way. His head swooped
down and he quickly stole another kiss before turning and gathering his
other crutch.

Sam had gathered their bags, her face flushed. Jack couldn't help
smiling. He had to be the happiest man on the planet right now. How could
he not? He was finally able to be with the woman he loved, and she was
having his child. He was over the moon with joy.

As they reached the main door to the base, after check point, they saw
the ensuing blizzard outside.

"I don't think my car will make it in this, Jack," Sam said as she
glanced between him and the snow outside.

"Well crap! Well we're not staying here. My truck could make it but..."

"...But you can't drive," She finished for him looking crestfallen.

Jack smiled. What the hell, he was planning on spending the rest of his
life with her, what was his would be hers too soon enough. He reached
into his pocket and pulled out his keys. "You can drive it though," he
said, handing her the keys.

Sam fixed her wide, surprised eyes on him. She knew the truck was his
pride and joy; he never let anyone drive it. "Really, are you sure? You
don't like anyone driving your truck!" She exclaimed uncertainly,
glancing at the key ring dangling from his hand.

"You're not just anyone now, are you?" He replied, winking at her, his
voice belaying the depth of his feelings to her. Now that he had her he
was never going to let her go.

Sam's face broke into a loving grin. There were so many reasons why she
loved this man. His trust in her, being number one on the list. She
tentatively took the keys from his hand, a surge of adrenaline in her
veins at the thought of finally getting to drive Jack's prized Ford F-
250. Just the thought gave her a rush. Since Jack had gotten that truck
she had been dying to get her hands on it, since she had a thing for all
things mechanical.

"That isn't a gleam in your eye is it, Carter?" It was more of an
endearment now than anything.

"No, Sir, I don't know what you're talking about," she replied teasing
with him.

Jack chuckled as he reached out and zipped up the front of Sam's coat.
She eyed him speculatively with a smile.

His face held a look of innocence. "Wouldn't want the mother of my child
catching pneumonia."

Sam couldn't resist the look in his loving brown eyes, so she leaned in
for a quick, but passionate kiss. Of course the front door of the base
was no place to get intimate, so she broke it off and opened the door.

A burst of wind and snow assaulted them from all directions. Jack had to
of course park the furthest away from the base. They moved across the
parking lot as quickly as they could, considering Jack was on crutches.
Every now and then the rubber ends on the crutches would slip on the snow
covered ground, and every time Jack would catch himself before falling.
//That's all I need, is too hurt myself *again* before we even make it
home.// Finally, after much deliberation, they made it to his truck, Jack
grimacing in agony.

"Jack, sweetie, are you all right?" Sam asked, concern lacing her
breathless voice.

"Yeah, I'm fine," he managed a smile through clenched teeth.

She unlocked the door on the passenger's side for him. He braced himself
with the open door and the seat for stability, relying on his good leg
for strength. When he made it onto the edge of the seat, he handed her
the crutches. "Well, doesn't this seem kinda ironic!"

"Yeah it does, but I draw the line at carrying you," Sam responded in
mock seriousness.

Jack busted up with laughter making Sam join him. "Oh, I sooooooo love
you!"

"I know!" She said as she tossed his crutches into the bed of the truck.

Sam jogged around to the other side of the truck and opened the door when
Jack beat her to unlocking it. After throwing their bags into the back
seat, she slid into the cab, anxious for the welcoming heat. The
temperature had dropped rapidly. Jack had adjusted the heater thermostat
as she started up the engine and proceeded to pull out of the lot.

When she reached the edge of the lot, where the road connected to it, the
tires slid. Sam braked without thinking, going against all her learned
instincts. Jack's hand shot out instinctively to grab the steering wheel.
He quickly dropped it, settling it instead on Sam's thigh. The truck went
into a sideways skid. Sam finally got her mind to react to what was
happening and turned the steering wheel away from the skid. The truck
slid to a hard stop, nearly missing the entry gate by a hair. She pulled
the gear shift into park and leaned back breathing hard. Jack quickly
moved over to her gathering her into his arms.

"Are you okay, are you hurt? The baby..." Panic rose in his voice, as his
hand went to her still flat stomach.

Sam exhaled deeply, and put on a smile, albeit a shaky one. "Yeah I'm
fine...we're fine."

"Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all," Jack said, his chin
resting atop her head.

"It's okay. Really. I just hit a wet spot. I can manage it, Jack," Sam
replied earnestly.

Jack leaned back, searching her face. "Are ya sure? We could always bunk
up in my quarters for the night."

"It'll be all right, Jack. I have driven in snow before. Trust me."

Jack trusted her with his life, which is why he agreed. He repositioned
himself right next to her this time, making sure both their seatbelts
were fastened. He put his arm around her shoulders for moral support, as
that was the only thing he *could* do at the moment.

Sam took the truck out of park gear, and slowly inched out of the
position they had landed in. She eased it forward carefully. At the edge
of the road, she applied the brake lightly, not skidding this time,
thankfully. She looked both ways and checked her mirrors twice; when she
saw flashing orange lights off to the right in the distance.

She smiled up into Jack's face. "When in doubt follow the plow."

Jack laughed lightly as she pulled out behind the massive orange state
snow plow truck. The salt the plow was throwing down was helping with
traction, much to Jack's relief.

His arm tightened defensively around Sam's shoulders as they went around
a particularly nasty curve. He didn't say anything, not wanting to break
her concentration. The drive, which usually only took a half an hour, was
going on an hour.

Sam's hands were white, gripping the wheel. The snow plow had turned off
onto another highway about five miles back, leaving them to fend for
themselves. The snow was getting heavier, and it was harder to see
through. The wipers were going at the highest speed, which still didn't
do much to clear the windshield.

"Jack," Sam whispered urgently.

"It's okay sweetheart. Just take it slow. We're almost there," Jack
whispered back.

Sam decelerated down to a mere five miles an hour.

They could hear the snow crunching under the tires. The wind was whipping
around the vehicle, threatening to brush them off the road. Or what road
there was left. It didn't look like there had been any traffic through
here at all, or if there had been, the tracks had been long covered. The
road seemed to stretch on forever. They rounded another bend in the road,
and familiarity came into view. The end stretch was near.

Sam increased the speed just a tad, anxious for this to be done and over
with. Tiny beads of sweat had popped out over her brow. Her hands were
losing their grip on the wheel. She just had a bit more to go and then
they would be home free. Technically and literally.

One of her hands slipped off the wheel, causing the vehicle to veer.
Jack's hand grabbed for the wheel and held on, as Sam slowed the truck
down in front of his driveway. Between the two of them they managed to
get the vehicle turned into the driveway and parked. Sam's limp hand was
laying in her lap, though her other hand was still tightly gripping the
steering wheel. Her eyes were plastered straight ahead. //I cannot
believe we made it!//

"Sam. Sam, sweetheart!" Jack pleaded trying to get her attention.

"Huh...wha..?" She swung her head around to meet Jack's worried gaze.

"Sam, are you okay. Sam, talk to me."

"I'm fine, or I will be once I get out of here." She smiled reassuringly,
starting to feel claustrophobic.

"Sounds good," he said as he dropped a quick kiss on her lips.

Sam opened the door and jumped out. The snow was coming close to reaching
the tops of her boots. She looked upward at the dull gray sky. There was
no obvious break in the clouds, and she heard distant thunder. //Not
good. Looks like we are in for one heck of a snow storm.//

*******************

Sam settled against Jack with a contented sigh. This was not at all how
she had envisioned the day turning out this morning, far from it in fact.
His arms wrapped around her tightly and she settled her head on his
chest, basking in the warmth of the open fire.

She closed her eyes. She had finally managed to get over the shakes from
that horrible drive to Jack's. Once they had managed to get inside, Jack
had held her for what felt like hours, soothing her frayed nerves with
gentle words. Once she had sufficiently calmed down, she set about making
their dinner.

Jack had been busy while she had been preparing dinner. Walking back into
the living room with their plates Sam found it very difficult not to drop
the plates and throw herself into his arms. He had lit a fire, and turned
off the lights, scattering candles around the room instead. A woolen
blanket was stretched out in front of the fireplace; Jack was sitting on
it waiting for her, a smile lighting his face.

They ate their dinner in companionable silence, and Sam quickly tidied
the dishes and hurried back to snuggle with Jack. If there was a heaven
this was what she wanted it to be.

His lips brushed lovingly across her forehead, filling her with a warmth
that she hadn't felt for the two months they had been apart. Why had she
been so stupid to enforce their separation in the first place? They
should never been apart, they should have found some way to be together.
She was thankful that they had now.

She twisted in his arms enough to look up at him, the father of her baby.
He looked so happy and content as he met her eyes and smiled languidly.
She could tell by the look on his face that he felt like he was the
luckiest man on the planet. After the rotten luck he'd had in his
personal life, maybe he was.

Sam certainly felt like the luckiest woman on the planet. It was all so
unexpected, but it filled her with a happiness that she had never
experience before. This was what love felt like, the love of a man and
her unborn child. She felt like she must be glowing.

Jack's hand drifted down to rest gently on her belly. The baby was
nowhere near developed enough to feel yet, but the gesture was paternal
and immensely comforting.

"I want you to move in, Sam. As soon as the storm breaks I want us to
move your things here."

Sam's jaw dropped in surprise. It was the last thing she had expected to
him to say to her, and deep down it was something she had desired the
most since she had found out she was pregnant. She just hadn't expected
it to happen so quickly.

She was speechless, utterly and completely lost for words. It was the
perfect way to end the day, knowing that her baby, their baby, was going
to have a stable home and two parents that loved it.

"Is this moving too quickly for you, Sam? Do you want some time to think
about it?" He had obviously taken her silence as uncertainty.

"No," she replies breathlessly. "I don't need to think about it. Of
course I will, Jack!"

Jack's face lit up like the Fourth of July. Sam had made him the happiest
man on earth for the second time that day. His day was complete now that
she had agreed to move in. This was going to be a new chapter in their
lives. And it was only the beginning.

Jack swayed closer to her, leaning down to capture her lips with his own.
And he came home. It had taken them five years to get to this point. And
he fully intended to spend the rest of his life enjoying it. He leaned
forward, using his body to press her closer to the floor as his mouth
plundered hers.

Sam wrapped her arms around his neck as he gently placed his weight over
her. The heat of the fire placing a warm glow on her face. Her eyes
sparkled. She smiled up at the man that loved her, body and soul. His
lips descended again, making her world spiral out from under her.
Sensations were coursing through her body.

Her hands drifted from Jack's neck to his waist, pulling his shirt from
his pants. Her hands went under his shirt, making contact with the skin
of his back. She needed to feel more. But she didn't want him to stop
kissing her. She moaned as his lips kissed their way down her jaw and
onto her neck. His hand came up loosening the buttons on her shirt. When
he had her shirt gaping open, he lifted up and looked at her; desire and
love lighting his eyes.

"Do you know how much I love you?" he asked, his voice heavy with
emotion, as he pulled off his shirt.

Sam nodded as a tear slipped down her face. She did know. She reached her
arms up to him, wanting the feel of him near her again.

His eyes went to her flat stomach. His drew close and laid his head
against it, still not believing his baby was growing inside. He turned
his head and kissed her belly, cherishing her. Sam's hand came to cradle
his head closer to her, relishing in the feel of his tender
ministrations.

*******************

Sam awoke and turned over leisurely to face Jack's side of the bed. It
was empty and cold. She tried to remain calm and not jump to conclusions,
when she saw a slip of paper lying on his pillow. She read the note,
slowly coming out of the haziness of sleep.
Sam-

Went to run a few errands. Be back soon.

Love You

Jack xoxoxx
Sam smiled as she realized Jack must have let her sleep late. She had
been catching up on lost and much needed sleep this past week. //Among
other things,// she thought with a sated grin.

She stretched languorously, not wanting to get out of the nice warm bed.
She turned her head and looked at the clock on the nightstand. //Wow! It
would be lunch soon. I really did sleep late!//

She sat up in bed and looked at the note again. She was getting curious
now. What could possibly be so important that Jack would want to go out
in the dreadful weather? Especially when he was on medical leave? He was
still having problems with his knee, so it couldn't be easy for him to
drive. //I hope he doesn't hurt himself again.// Now she was a bit
worried.

Sam rose out of bed, having the need to keep busy until Jack got back
home.

Home.

That had a whole new meaning now. It just wasn't something physical
anymore. It meant so much more. Wherever Jack was, was home. They could
be in the middle of an ice covered desert and she would still be home, as
long as Jack was with her.

She quickly dressed and moved into the kitchen to find something to eat.
Her stomach was grumbling and she had to remind herself that she was
eating for two now. She rummaged through Jack's cabinets trying to find
something to fix for lunch. She would have a wonderful meal waiting for
Jack when he got home. That is if she could manage not to burn it like
she did last night. Jack ate all of it though. He didn't complain once.
He is such a sweetheart.

Putting a pan of water on to boil, she grabbed some crackers out of a tin
to munch on. She stared out the kitchen window, thinking. //Is this how
our life was going to be,// she thought smiling. //Because if it is, I
could get real used to it.//

She looked around at the kitchen, noticing that it needed to be
brightened up a bit. Jack had said that she could do whatever she wanted
in the house, as long as she left his hockey trophies and stuff alone.
She had laughingly agreed.

Sam found some pasta and sauce in a cabinet. She set the pasta to a slow
boil, and went about exploring Jack's house...their house. Wanting to
familiarize herself with the place, she went from room to room, intrigued
by nearly everything she found. She was seeing a whole new light of Jack.
She came to the living room, amazed at all of the hockey memorabilia
arranged around the room. She'd never noticed it all before now.

Sam came and stood in front of the fireplace and looked up at the mantle.
Mostly just trophies adorned it, but there were a couple of photos. One
was of Jack's Air Force Academy graduation picture. She smiled at how
young he looked in it. He had an air of confidence and cockiness...and
innocence.

The next photo looked to be just a few years later, of Jack and some Air
Force buddies in some tropical climate. Jack looked happy and carefree. A
wave of sadness overcame Sam as she thought about it. This must have been
before all the terrible things happened to him. Before all of his special
ops missions that hardened his heart. Before he was captured as a POW in
Iraq. Before his son died.

It hurt Sam to know how much Jack had been forced to endure in his life.
She knew at one point Jack had even lost the will to live. That was why
he had taken the "suicide mission" to Abydos in the first place.

Sam wanted to make him truly happy again. And in her heart she knew that
their baby was going to do that. She wanted to see Jack smile more. To
hear him laugh more.

She continued on through the house again, stopping occasionally in
various rooms when she saw something of interest. She found herself
standing in front of a closed door in the middle of the house. She turned
the knob but it was locked. //That's odd. I wonder why it's locked.//
Dismissing it as unimportant for the moment, she made her way into their
bedroom.

The décor of the room had a masculine feel to it, which she was coming to
like. She wasn't too frilly herself, so she thought to leave it just the
way it was. Her eyes wandered the room and rested on Jack's closet. She
didn't want him to think her a pilferer, but she was moving in after all.
She smiled as her curiosity got the best of her.

She walked over to the closet and slid open the door. She was shocked at
how many articles of clothing resided there. She had never figured Jack
O'Neill to be a clothes person, considering he spent half his time in
BDUs or uniform. Sam ran her hands through the clothing on the hangers,
when she came to a certain sweater.

It was the coal gray sweater she had gotten two years ago for Christmas.
It was looking quite threadbare, meaning he must wear it a lot. The
thought made her go heart pound. How many times had he thought of me when
wearing it? She grinned again.

Sam took the sweater off the hanger and held it against her. She inhaled
and the rich musky scent of Jack's cologne assailed her senses. Suddenly
feeling cold and the need to be near Jack, she slipped the sweater over
her head, cocooning herself in its warmth.

Worry overcame Sam again as she realized the lateness of the day. It was
getting dark outside, and Jack still wasn't home. She was really starting
to get worried, especially when she saw his crutches leaning against his
dresser. She just wanted to crash on the sofa or go back to bed until he
got home, though the need to keep busy won out.

She looked deeper into his closet and discovered a cardboard box pushed
to the back. She was anxious to learn more about Jack, so she pulled the
box out and carried it to the bed, settling it and herself in the center
of the bed. She opened the box and began filing through its contents.

There were a lot of old financial papers and some old school
certificates. She found an old yearbook and flipped through the pages
until she found Jack's picture. She laughed out loud at the expression on
his face. If she thought Jack was impatient now, he seemed even more
impatient at eighteen. He had the familiar I-don't-want-to-be-here-hurry-
up-and-get-this-over-with look. The one she knew and loved so well.

Her eyes slid to the text beside his picture, indicating the various
clubs and activities he was involved in. ROTC; that was no surprise.
Center Forward of the Hockey team was no shocker either. What did jump
out at her was the next entry that nearly made her fall off the bed.
Science Club.

She had always known he had a love for astronomy, but Science,
was...well....different. There were so many different aspects to Science.
One had to be extremely intellectual to get into the Science Club. Not
that she was doubting Jack's intelligence, he was really smart. He had to
be to get into Special Ops. But Science Club!? She was, to say the least,
shocked, but pleasantly so.

Laughing to herself, she continued on through the box. More paper and
souvenirs. Then she came to the bottom of the box and found a picture
frame wrapped in newspaper. She pulled the paper away carefully unsure
what she would find underneath.

She gasped when she saw the smiling face looking back at her.

Charlie.

Jack's son.

Why had he hidden it away? Had he forgotten about it? Surely not.

Suddenly a wonderful plan formed in Sam's head. Jack had done so much for
her; she wanted to do something for him, however small it may be.

Hopping off the bed she left the room, picture in hand, and purposely
went to the living room. She had to do a little adjusting, but she got it
right. She was sure Jack wouldn't mind. In fact she was hoping he would
be thrilled. She stood back and viewed her handy work.

There was Charlie's picture rightfully positioned between his father's
graduation picture and the group shot. She smiled; just imagining how
much Jack would love it.

*******************

Jack strode down the street with a sense of purpose to his step, pausing
occasionally to glance idly into the large windows as he passed them.
Generally, he loathed shopping; only doing it when it was absolutely
necessary. But today he walked with a spring in his step that was
normally absent; he felt twenty years younger, he felt like he was on top
of the world.

His knee was killing him with every step. He had left his crutches at
home, unwilling to use them when he was shopping. It felt better than it
did four days ago anyway. The brace remained on it, so he walked a little
stiff-leggedly, but anything was better than crutches.

Spotting the shop he was looking for a little way up the street he
quickened his pace, feeling a sense of nervous anticipation. He had been
to three other shops and none of them had what he was looking for. He
wanted to this to be perfect. It had to be perfect.

He stepped into the front entrance, kicking the snow off his boots before
he stepped on the carpet. A sales assistant looked up as the door chime
rang and smiled a warm greeting to him. Jack smiled in return, before he
headed up to the case that stored the items he was searching for.

The contents of the display glittered almost blindingly under the lights
of the shop. He cast his eyes over them hopefully, but nothing caught his
attention. They were all beautiful, but they weren't good enough, they
just weren't right.

He let out a small frustrated sigh and turned to leave. He thought he
would find it here.

"Is there something I can help you with sir?" The sales assistant had
appeared at the counter.

Jack glanced back at her. "No, I'm just looking thanks."

Silently, he left the shop, tugging his beanie down over his ears a
little more to cut out the chilly wind. Doubt began to fill him. He had
been so certain that he would find it today. Bleakly, he cast his gaze up
and down the street.

Then he saw it. A grin slowly slid across his face as he felt hope
blossom in his chest. This could be it. Across the street, a little way
further up the road was a tiny little Antique shop.

Feeling a renewed sense of purpose he limped across the road and made his
way over to the shop. Opening the door his senses were assaulted by the
smell of wood oil. He relaxed; this had to be it.

He glanced around the small, dimly lit, shop and his attention was
immediately drawn to the glass counter at the far end of the shop. He
quickly crossed the showroom; his attention focused solely on the
counter.

His eyes were immediately drawn to it, a slow smile spreading across his
face as relief filled him. He'd found it, the object of his quest. It was
perfect. It was exactly what he was searching for.

"Are you looking for something in particular?"

Jack pulled his eyes away from the counter to meet the eyes of the
elderly sales woman. "Can I look at that please?" Jack asked politely,
pointing down at the glass.

The lady smiled warmly as she unlocked the case and pulled it out,
placing it on Jack's palm. "It's quite magnificent isn't it?"

It glinted lightly in the soft light as Jack picked it up between his
thumb and forefinger and examined it closely. It was exactly what he was
looking for. He could imagine Sam's face when he gave it to her, the
sapphire in its center glittering the same cerulean blue as her eyes. The
small diamonds offsetting it only served to accentuate the sapphire. It
was small and delicate, but not overly feminine. It had Sam written all
over it.

He placed the ring back on the counter, a goofy grin on his face as he
looked as he met the old woman's eyes. "I'll take it."

The lady was smiling warmly as she found a box and put the ring in it.
"She must be very special," she said conversationally as Jack handed her
his credit card.

"Oh she is," Jack replied, his exuberance growing by the second. "She's
the love of my life."

*******************

Sam felt a little thrill of excitement as she heard Jack's truck pull
into the driveway. All her worry about his whereabouts faded away into
the background. She hurried into the kitchen to check on the food. No
doubt Jack would be famished.

The door opened, letting in a rush of ice cold air. She heard Jack
quickly shut it and the thumps as he removed his boots and dropped them
on the floor of the entranceway.

"Sam?"

"I'm in the kitchen, Jack," she called out in reply.

Hearing his footsteps behind her, she turned in time for him to slide her
into his arms and pull her tightly against him. Leaning down he brushed a
kiss across her lips. "Hey beautiful," he murmured into her neck. "Miss
me?"

She pulled out of his arms and stirred the pot. She did not want to burn
another meal! "No, I was actually hoping I'd get the house to myself
tonight," she joked. "Where've you been?"

Jack laughed softly, stepping up behind her and wrapping his arms around
her waist. "I just had a few little errands to run, nothing interesting,"
he plucked at the sweater she was wearing. "Raiding my wardrobe already,
Carter? Are you sure you didn't miss me?" he asked knowingly.

Sam smiled. "You know me too well, Jack."

Her curiosity was piqued. //What had he been up to all day? A few little
errands, what sort of errands?// She knew he would tell her eventually,
but she wanted to know. Did it have anything to do with the locked room?
She shrugged the thoughts off; there was no point worrying about it.

She could hear him inhaling deeply. "Hmm that smells good. What are we
having?"

"Pasta," she replied. "Why don't you go and sit down, Jack. Your leg must
be killing you." She had seen him grimacing when he took a step, even
though he tried to hide it.

Jack pressed another kiss to her neck. "That doesn't sound like a bad
idea," he said airily.

The arms disappeared from her waist and she turned to watch him limp into
the living room. His jovial mood was contagious. //What had gotten into
him?// She shifted her attention back to the pot as she waited for the
inevitable explosion.

"Sam?" his voice was quiet. Sam flinched as she rounded to face him. He
was holding the picture in his hand, a mournful expression on his face.
"What's this?"

"It's a photo of Charlie, Jack."

Instantly she realized that she shouldn't have responded with sarcasm,
but it was too late to take it back. She tensed herself, uncertain how he
would react. His expression hardened angrily. "I know that Sam. What's it
doing on the mantle?"

His voice was icily cold. Sam swallowed deeply; she would have preferred
it if he had yelled at her. "He's your son, Jack. Just because he's dead
doesn't mean you should forget about him. I want our baby growing up
knowing that it had a brother ... and that its brother will always be
watching over it!"

Jack stared at her, dumbfounded, for a long moment. Silently, he walked
out of the room, his shoulders drooping sadly. Sam placed the spoon she
hadn't realized that she was holding down on the countertop and followed
him into the living room.

He was standing at the hearth, the photo back up where she had put it. He
didn't turn as she stepped up behind him. He was just staring at the
photo.

"Jack?" she didn't touch him, wanting to give him some space. "If you
don't want it up it doesn't have to be. I just thought it would be nice."

He took a deep breath and dragged his eyes from the photo. He met her
eyes with his haunted ones. "It is nice, Sam. I just ... I wasn't
expecting it. You're right, our baby should know about Charlie."

Sam closed the gap between them and slid her arms around him, tears
welling in her eyes. She wasn't expecting him to hug her back, but what
she didn't expect was for him to step away from her, to turn his back on
her. "Jack?"

He avoided her eyes. She had never seen him look so pained and troubled
as he did right now. "I need to be alone for a while." Without looking at
her, he stepped around her and walked out of the room.

Sam hugged her arms around her body, tears slowly running down her
cheeks. She had only put it up out of the best intentions; she had never
expected him to react this way to it. Guiltily, she sat on in his
favorite armchairs as sobs wracked her.

How was she going to fix this?

*******************

Jack tugged his jacket tighter around him as he tried to keep himself
huddled from the icy night air. The clear winter nights were perfect for
stargazing, but his telescope was sitting forgotten next to him. He
wasn't out here to pursue his hobby tonight; he was out here trying to
drive his sudden melancholy away.

Seeing his son's smiling face was hard. That was why he'd stored all of
Charlie's things away. Seeing the picture only served to dredge up
memories that he had fought so long to bury. It was his lament to being a
failure as a father. He had failed Charlie ... and Sara.

He would have thought after nearly seven years that he would have been
able to deal with it better, that he could have gotten over it somewhat.
It was his refusal to deal with his death all those years ago that made
it so difficult to cope every time he thought about it. If he dealt with
it when Charlie had died it would have made it much easier. Instead he
had hidden himself away, drinking himself into a stupor every day to try
and make himself forget.

The small chance that he'd had to resolve it when Charlie had been
replicated by the crystal entities had helped in some small part to heal
the scar that Charlie's death had left on his heart. It gave him a small
sense of closure; it helped him accept his son's death. It did not help
him to forgive himself though.

Until last week he didn't think he would ever forgive himself, but this
second chance, it changed things. It gave him a chance to make things
right that he had screwed up in the past. Not to have those mistakes
dredged up; not to be forced to confront them.

He jammed his hands into his pockets in an attempt to warm them. His
fingers brushed across a small felt box in the corner of his pocket. He
pulled it out and opened it. Sam's ring. Suddenly he felt guilty, very
guilty.

He shouldn't have treated Sam like that. He saw the tears in her eyes, he
knew he'd upset her. She had put the picture up out of the kindness of
her heart and she had been right. Their baby did have the right to know
about Charlie. What had he done? Thrown it back in her face.

//Crap! I'm such an ass!// He had to apologize to her. He had to show her
that it wasn't her that he was angry with, that he wasn't angry.

Standing up, he hobbled down the ladder, grimacing at the pain that
putting his weight on the knee caused. Settling himself back on the
ground, he took a moment to wait for the pain to ease, wondering how he
had gotten up there in the first place.

He limped back into the house, not even bothering to try and pretend that
he wasn't. Walking into the living room, he was surprised when he noticed
that Sam wasn't in there. Assuming that she had probably disappeared into
the bedroom he made his way up the hallway.

There were unusual sounds coming from the bathroom. Stopping, he pressed
his ear against the door. His heart clenched as he realized what the
sound was. Sam was being sick. He wondered how she would react if he went
in and rubbed her back. It was the least he could do for her.

Opening the door, he found Sam kneeling at the toilet, her head almost
completely in the bowl. Stepping up to her, he squatted down behind,
rubbing the small of her back gently. She gave a little jerk of surprise,
before another wave of nausea overtook her and she was sick again.

"Ssh baby ... it's ok," he said soothingly as he continued to rub her
back. "I'm so sorry, Sam."

She straightened up, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, the bout
of nausea passed. Her back was still to him, but he could feel the
tenseness in the muscles of her back. He put his hands on her shoulders,
turning her around to face him.

Sam's eyes were red and puffy; he had managed to upset her again. "I
shouldn't have reacted the way I did Sam," he started, knowing that he
had to explain his reaction to her. "I just ... It's still hard for me to
look at a picture of Charlie and not be reminded of what happened to
him."

She was studying his face; her eyes told him that she was eager for him
to open up to her. That she was willing to listen if he wanted to talk to
her. It was strange; he had never had that before, someone to talk to,
someone who would just listen as he let it all out. After Sara, there
really hadn't been anyone left that he had felt comfortable enough around
to talk to about it.

Until now. Now he had Sam. She knew a little bit about his past. She knew
why he had taken the first Abydos mission, but he had never openly talked
about Charlie to anybody let alone Sam.

"You don't need to talk about it if you don't want to, Jack," Sam
whispered quietly.

"I do though, Sam," he said, reaching out and touching her arm. "You
deserve to know what happened ... why it's so difficult for me to deal
with seeing a picture of him."

She forced a smile and walked over to the sink, quickly brushing her
teeth. "Jack, you know that I'll be here for you whenever you want to
talk. You don't have to do it now."

Brushing past him, she walked out of the bathroom. He quickly followed
her, certain that she was angry and upset with him. He found her sitting
in his favorite armchair, looking at the photo of Charlie. "How old was
he when this photo was taken, Jack?" she asked without looking at him.

Jack glanced at the picture. It still hurt to look at it. "It was taken a
month before he died. School photos, he really didn't want to have his
picture taken. Guess he was just like me when it came to getting his
photo taken."

Sam's attention left the photo then, to meet his eyes, her eyes wide with
surprise. "So this photo was ..."

"Was the last one taken of Charlie before he died?" Jack finished for
her, his voice choked with emotion as he remembered back to when the
photo was taken. "Yeah, it was."

"Oh." Her eyes drifted back to the photo, looking pained. "I'm sorry,
Jack. I didn't know."

He crossed the room quickly and perched on the arm of the chair.
Tenderly, he tilted her face up to look at him. "Don't you dare
apologize, Sam," he said, his voice gruff. He quickly softened his tone.
"I was an ass. Of course you didn't know, because I never talk about
Charlie, but you were right Sam. Our child will know about Charlie ...
and his photo should have always been up there instead of tucked away
forgotten in some box."

She blinked, a tear sliding down her cheek. Her mouth opened and quickly
snapped shut again. He cupped her face, wiping the tears away with his
thumb. "I'm scared, Sam," he admitted. "I'm scared that something is
going to happen to this baby too and ... well ... it'll be the end of me
Sam, if I lose you and the baby like I did Charlie and Sara."

Sam's eyes met his, and he could see the love and devotion in them.
"You'll never lose me Jack, or our child," she replied vehemently, her
voice filled with a quiet passion that warmed Jack's heart.

Jack pulled her into his arms, relieved when she buried her face into his
chest as she cried silently. It was a battle for him to control his
emotions, to try and not let them out. He never cried when Charlie died,
he wasn't about to now either, he had to be strong for Sam.

A solitary, rebellious tear escaped his closed eyes as he sought to
forget the day that photo was taken. A month before his life had changed
forever, yet if that moment had never occurred he would never have ended
up where his was now, his arms entwined tightly around the woman that he
truly loved.

*******************

Sam was busy doing laundry when she heard the phone ring from the living
room. She turned back to her job at hand, certain that Jack would answer
it.

"Jack, can you get that? I'm busy," she called out to him after the fifth
ring.

The phone rang four more times, so she closed the lid to the washer and
rushed out of the utility room. The phone continued to ring, and there
was no sign of Jack. In fact she had seen little of him in the past
couple of days, especially after she had set out Charlie's picture. She
didn't think he was still mad at her about it, but she had been known to
be wrong before.

She snatched the phone up and hastily placed it to her ear.

"Hello?"

"Hello, Sam? Are you okay?" Janet's voice asked on the other end.

"Yeah I'm fine," Sam winced. //But am I really?//

"I was just calling to see if you wanted to go shopping with Cassie and
me. Cassie wants some new clothes for school, and I can always use a new
outfit," Janet suggested perkily.

"I don't know, Janet. I have some things to do and..." Sam drifted off as
Janet jumped in again.

"Come on, Sam. It'll be fun. And we can even do some baby shopping. I
know this cute little shop in the mall that you will just love." Sam
smiled at Janet's exuberance.

"I have been cooped up all week. I guess I could blame it on doctor's
orders."

"Exactly! I do order it! See it will make you feel better to get out and
get some fresh air."

"Okay. So when do you want to do this?" Sam asked glancing at the clock
on the mantle.

"Can you be ready in say...thirty minutes?" Janet asked.

"Sure, I just need to change clothes is all," Sam responded.

"Good we'll be there. See ya then."

"Okay. Bye."

Sam hung up the phone and went back to the laundry room and pulled the
dry clothes from the dryer. She carried them to the bedroom and sorted
through them, looking for something to wear. Her wardrobe was limited
since they hadn't gone to her house to get her things yet. She found a
pair of jeans in the bottom of the basket and one of Jack's pullovers.
//I like wearing his clothes,// she thought smiling.

She discarded of the clothes she was wearing and sat down on the bed in
her undergarments, feeling lightheaded and sick to her stomach. She
jumped up just as quickly and dashed to the bathroom. She lost the
contents of her stomach and then some. She hung her head over the toilet
until she could manage enough strength in her legs to stand up. When she
did, she shakily made her way to the sink and splashed water on her face.
She looked at her pale reflection in the mirror. //Morning sickness, too!
Great! Just what I need.//

After she was feeling less nauseous, she walked back into the bedroom and
set to dressing herself. She pulled her jeans up and over her hips, but
when she went to zip them up, they were quite tight. //Now my clothes
too!?// She lay back on the bed and finally succeeded in getting them
zipped up. //Well looks like I will have to do some shopping today after
all.//

*******************

Jack straightened up from the paint tray, his back aching. He had
forgotten how difficult decorating a room was. He was exhausted, but
finally it was nearly finished. They were down to the last coat, and most
of the new furniture was assembled.

He sighed, wiping the sweat from his forehead with his arms. It was
unbelievable how hot a room could get in the middle of winter. Of course,
the door was closed and there was three men working in the room. //Ack!//
He quickly tugged off his t-shirt and used it to mop the sweat off his
face. //That's much better.//

Dipping the roller he straightened and started rolling the fresh paint on
the wall. Little flecks of paint splattered off the wall, coating his
chest in little droplets of paint. //At least it's better than cooking to
death,// he thought.

He heard a short laugh behind him and whirled around. Daniel was standing
looking at him, sweat pouring down his face. "That's not a bad idea
Jack." He quickly removed his own shirt too, and then turned back to the
crib that he had half assembled.

Jack shot a look in Teal'c's direction. "Don't you dare, Teal'c. I don't
want junior poking his nose out!"

Teal'c was finishing the trim on the doorframe. After much deliberation,
Jack had finally drilled it into Teal'c's head as to the point of trim
painting. He still didn't fully comprehend why they were totally
renovating the room.

Jack turned his attention back to the nearly finished wall. He was so
jealous. Teal'c hadn't even broken a sweat, and here he was nearly
drowning in his own perspiration. Even being shirtless didn't help
cooling him down much.

Jack swore that if he heard Daniel drop that hammer one more time, he was
going to lay him out with his paint roller. And it was not going to be a
pretty sight. He knew Daniel wasn't mechanically inclined, but this was
ridiculous. How he had managed to get that much of the crib assembled was
a mystery.

Jack walked over to the window and opened it wider. Ventilation in the
room wasn't the best. The paint fumes combined with the racket Daniel was
making was giving him a pounding headache. He didn't want to open the
door to the rest of the house in case Sam came home early. This was one
surprise he didn't want ruined.

He hoped she was having a good time shopping. He had called Janet early
that morning to ask for her assistance in getting Sam out of the house
for a while. A long while he hoped, he wanted to have the room finished
and dinner ready for her when she got home. He had then acquired the help
of his friends to go pick up the baby furniture and the many paint cans
required to accomplish the job of totally refurbishing the spare bedroom.

He glanced down at his watch, and nervous little butterflies began to
flutter in his stomach. They only had two hours left before she was
expected back. It wasn't enough time. They still had one more wall to
finish and the rest of the furniture to put together. He wracked his
brain trying to think of some way he could get them to stay out just a
little bit longer.

"Hey Danny, I hope you're better at painting than at putting together
stuff, because you've just been reassigned."

Daniel breathed out an audible sigh of relief and took the roller from
Jack. Jack looked at the scattered nuts and bolts on the floor and
exhaled deeply. He shook his head as Daniel smiled sheepishly. He
definitely needed to buy them some more time.

He smiled as an idea struck him. Movies, they could go and see a movie.
That'd give them another couple of hours to finish up.

"Daniel, call Janet!" Jack tossed his cell phone to Daniel as he crashed
on the floor amid the mess of furniture pieces.

Daniel turned to look at him; he was already covered in paint. "Why?"

"Because I said so!"

"What am I your slave?" Daniel muttered under his breath, but it was
still loud enough to hear in the confines of the small room.

"Today you are," Jack snapped back, feigning irritation. "We need more
time to finish up, tell Janet to take Sam and Cassie to a movie."

"You know you could have asked nicely," Daniel muttered with a slight
pout to his tone.

"You don't get things done when you're nice. Just ask my drill sergeant."
Jack threw back at him. If he didn't know any better he would have swore
Daniel stuck his tongue out at him. //Oh that's just great! What am I a
baby sitter now?!!//

Snickering to himself he turned back to the crib. //Where the hell are
the instructions?// Behind him he could hear Daniel talking quietly to
Janet. He searched around the crib for the instructions but couldn't find
it anywhere. Finally, he spied a wad of paper screwed up in the far
corner of the room.

He picked it up and unraveled it. "Damn it Danny, you call yourself a
scientist?" he moaned, holding the mutilated instruction sheet up for
Daniel to see.

The younger man blushed and shrugged, quickly resuming his conversation.
Jack made his way back to the crib and sat down again, divesting the
contents of the instructions. After several minutes of turning the paper
this way and that, he returned it to its previously crumpled state. If he
didn't know any better those instructions were written in the language of
the Ancients or something. ACK!!!!

Instead he tried a new angle, using his common sense. //How difficult can
it be to build a crib?//

Half an hour later he had hardly made any progress. He threw the
screwdriver down with a curse and stalked out of the room. The sweat was
pouring off him now, from a combination of stress and the heat of the
small room. He could feel it running down his back, down his chest, the
little rivulets tickling as they rolled down his bare flesh.

Needing to clear his head he walked into the bathroom. He turned on the
cold water over the sink and stuck his head under it, enjoying the
breathless feeling that the cold water caused. He quickly rubbed his
hands over his face and head, wishing that he could jump in the shower.

He couldn't, he had to get the room done. Reluctantly he turned the tap
off and straightened up, shivering as the icy cold water ran down his
bare chest. It felt so good. He glanced at his reflection in the mirror
and was startled to see how much paint he had managed to get on himself.
All this trouble for a little life that won't even be born for another
seven months.

The thought made him smile. The thought made the effort worth it, more
than worth it. He could imagine the look on Sam's face when he showed her
the room tonight. //Oh, this was going to be so great!//

Taking a detour through the kitchen he snagged a couple of beers and a
bottle of water for Teal'c before going back into the room. Daniel and
Teal'c both looked up at him curiously when he walked in. He was
pleasantly surprised to see Teal'c working on the crib. He nearly had it
finished.

He grinned, handing Daniel a beer and Teal'c the bottle of water.
"Teal'c, I never would've thought you'd have carpentry in you."

Teal'c stood, taking the bottle from Jack's hand. "It is not carpentry,
O'Neill. I simply followed the instructions as they were set out."

//Killjoy.// He couldn't help smiling. "Of course you did," he muttered,
uncapping the bottle and taking a long draught of his beer.

"Okay boys, we have two hours left."

Daniel sighed tiredly. "Why does this have to be finished today Jack, the
baby's not due for another seven months!"

"It just has to." Jack said looking away.

"We could work on it tomorrow you know. Or even this weekend," Daniel
suggested.

"No," Jack said abruptly. "It has to be finished today."

"But why?" Daniel moaned, sounding every bit like an impertinent child.

Jack knew Daniel wasn't going to let up until he got a straight answer,
he could tell by the petulant look on the younger mans face. "Because..."

//Great! So much for my surprise!//

"Because I'm going to propose to Sam tonight and I want this to be done,"
Jack said in a rush of words.

"Propose? You mean ... to be married?" Daniel asked somewhat shocked.

"Well that's usually the way it goes, Danny-Boy," Jack answered with a
smirk. "What, you didn't think I would?"

"Well, yeah. I just ... not this soon." Daniel's voice trailed off before
he could stick his foot any further in his mouth.

"Why not? Not like there is anything stopping me now," Jack said as he
took a swig of his beer.

"I am pleased for you, O'Neill. I wish you and Major Carter all the best
with your forthcoming marriage and child." Teal'c bowed his head slightly
in a gesture of congratulations.

"Why thank you Teal'c. Glad to know *someone* is happy about this." Jack
feigned mock hurtfulness.

"That explains so much," Daniel murmured quietly before he practically
leapt across the room, an excited grin lighting his youthful face. He
pulled Jack into a bear hug. "That's so great Jack!"

Jack cleared his throat, pushing Daniel away. "Come on Danny, don't go
doing that when we're not wearing shirts, people might get the wrong
idea!"

"Oh ... uh ... sorry." Daniel managed to blush.

Jack laughed and clapped Daniel on the shoulder, leaving a red hand-print
on his bare shoulder. "How about we get this finished, boys?"

"Sure thing, Jack. Don't worry, we won't let you down," Daniel said with
a new wave of enthusiasm. "Why don't you go and wash up and start
preparing your dinner. We can handle everything else."

Jack looked at Daniel skeptically. He had faith in Daniel's capabilities
most of the time, but having seen his earlier fiasco with the crib, he
wasn't so sure this time. But Daniel was right, he had to get dinner on
soon, he had to have it ready before Sam got home or the surprise would
be ruined.

He nodded his agreement. "Okay, but if you need any help, call me?"

"Of course, Jack," Daniel replied, picking up the roller and resuming his
painting.

Smiling, Jack headed back to the bathroom, grabbing a clean towel on the
way through from the linen cupboard. He couldn't believe how much he was
looking forward to stepping into the shower and washing all the grime
away.

Jack turned on the knobs in the shower as he stripped the rest of the
way. He discarded his knee brace as well. Looking at himself in the
mirror, it looked like he got more paint than the wall did. He even had
it in his hair. He looked like one of those punk rockers on MTV, with
bright yellow hair. Laughing at himself, he stepped into the shower. The
warm spray soothed his screaming muscles. The water sluiced down his
body.

His knee nearly buckled as he turned his back to the water. He quickly
grabbed the towel bar, managing to steady himself. //Easy Jack. Don't go
hurting yourself. Again.// He pulled the bar of soap off the soap dish
and set to washing the paint and griminess off his body. He rubbed the
sporty smelling soap over his arms and chest, making suds and bubbles
roll off his skin.

The paint wasn't coming off. He scrubbed the long patch on his chest
again. Still no luck. //Ack!! I thought it was water-based!// He took the
back-scrubber off the shower wall and tried that. When that didn't work,
he threw it against the wall of the shower; however it ricocheted and hit
him in the stomach.

//So much for getting rid of the evidence,// he thought. //Well at least
I'll smell good.//

Jack knew he could hide the paint on his body fairly well. His hair
though would be a problem. He took the shampoo bottle off the ledge and
filled his hand overflowing with it. He applied it to his hair,
scrubbing, and hoping against hope that it came out. The shampoo stung
his eyes, but he didn't care. He had to get the paint out. When he felt
he had it sufficiently clean, he rinsed off. Just in time too, as the
warm water was quickly turning to cold.

He was able to get out of the shower without falling on his face. An
accomplishment in itself, as his was quivering with pain. Jack wrapped
the towel around his waist and picked his brace up off the floor. He left
the clothes where they lay, his mind on other things at the moment.

He limped into the bedroom, and collapsed on the bed. Just long enough
for him to gain control of his knee. He ran his plans through his mind,
playing out scenario after scenario until one seemed right. He still
wasn't exactly sure how he was going to ask Sam to marry him. Sure he was
going to; he just wanted it to be perfect.

After his conscience urged him off the bed and to get dressed. Wouldn't
do to have Sam come home to find him sprawled on the bed in nothing but a
towel. He smiled wickedly. //Not that that would be a bad thing either,
though.// Of course then she would find Daniel and Teal'c in the baby's
room. And the surprise would be ruined.

*******************

Sam was glad Janet had talked her into going shopping. She was having a
really good time. After encouragement from both Janet and Cassie she had
decided to get herself a new wardrobe, considering she was already having
problems with her clothes fitting.

Surprisingly Cassie had rushed through her own clothes shopping, so she
could help Sam pick out new outfits.

Cassie's face was beaming when Sam came out of the dressing room to show
off the third outfit that Cass had picked out so far. Sam wasn't too much
for cutesy stuff, but she really like this outfit. It was a light sage
green overalls with a small emblem of Winnie the Pooh on the bib pocket.
Matched up with a white t-shirt, it made for an adorable outfit.

"Oh Sam you look so cute! I love it. You should get it," Cassie exclaimed
excitedly.

"I like it too. I think I will get it," Sam grinned back.

Sam laughed as Janet rounded the corner of the dressing room, bearing
another armful of clothing.

"Look what I found," Janet said holding out the articles of clothing.

"Janet! I can't wear that! I'm pregnant!" Sam could barely stop laughing.

"Why not? Pregnant women can be sexy too, you know!" Janet held the
garment out, urging Sam to take it.

Sam's hand extended hesitantly and took hold of the skimpy, red lingerie.
She heard Cassie giggling beside her. She laughed herself as she saw the
mischievous gleam in Janet's eyes. Sam turned and went back into the
dressing room.

She blushed furiously once she had slipped into it. She wasn't one for
fancy lingerie, and it felt unusual to be wearing something so delicate
and lacy. Glancing in the mirror the first thought that popped into her
mind was how Jack would react to her wearing this. The thought was more
than enough motivation to purchase it.

Removing the sheer garment, she put on her original clothes and exited
the dressing room again. Janet was on her cell phone talking softly. She
assumed it was Daniel she was talking to, by the tone of her voice. When
she saw Sam watching she ended the conversation abruptly, albeit
lovingly.

"Hey, Sam, do you want to catch a movie?" Janet suggested.

"Oh I do! That new Brad Pitt movie is out now. He is so hot! Can we Mom?"
Cassie piped up.

"I'm game if Sam is," Janet told her daughter.

Cassie put on her best puppy-dog face, learned from none only but Jack
O'Neill, and proceeded to plead her case. "Please Sam can we? Please?"

Sam could never refuse Cassie anything. She always gave into whatever
Cassie's heart desired and today was no different. "Sure, Cass. Whatever
you want."

Cassie rushed to Sam and gave her a hug. She pulled back with a smile. "I
soooooooooo love you!"

Sam laughed. She's been hanging around Jack too long. They all gathered
the shopping bags and made their way to the cashier counter to pay for
their recent choices.

That one comment of Cassie's echoed through her head, causing her to
think. //Did Jack realize how much he has impacted people's lives?// Not
just hers, but everyone he met, he had an effect on. She then wondered
why it took them this long to get to where they were now. Why did they
have to wait so long? She was so happy now. Of course they would have
their disagreements, like all couples. But overall, this was a dream come
true for her. A dream she had never thought she would get the chance to
live. She realized then how lucky she truly was.

*******************

Sam eyed the house curiously as Janet pulled her car up outside. It was
dark, there didn't seem to be any lights on, yet Jack's car was parked in
the driveway.

"You have a key don't you, Sam?" Janet asked, her eyes flickering to the
seemingly empty house.

Sam was already searching her bag, looking for her elusive key ring.
Pulling it out, she found the correct key. "Sure do!" she replied with a
somewhat forced grin.

She couldn't help feeling a little disappointed. Where was he? She had
been dying to show him the things she had bought for the baby. She
guessed there would always be time for it later, but ... well ... she had
missed being around him today, and the last couple of days.

"Do you need help with your bags?"

Sam met Janet's eyes with a tired smile. "No, I think I can manage,
thanks Janet." Opening the door, she hastily leaned over and gave Janet a
quick hug. "Thanks for the shopping; it was just what I needed."

"Anytime Sam."

Gathering her coat around her she hopped out of the car and hastily took
her bags out of the trunk. Saying a quick farewell to Janet and Cassie,
she hurried up the footpath desperate to get inside and out of the cold
evening air.

The door was pulled open as she reached out to slide her key in the lock,
and she jumped back, startled. Jack's head peeked around the door. "Hey
you," he said with a grin.

"Hey yourself," she replied, stepping quickly into the house and letting
him close the door behind her. She could smell food cooking, which made
her stomach growl hungrily.

She felt him take the bags out of her hands and put them down next to the
door. She glanced around the darkened entranceway. //Are we having a
power outage?//

The words were on her tongue as Jack turned her to face him and pulled
her into his arms. He smelled good, like he was freshly washed. She
closed her eyes, wrapping her arms around his neck. It was then she
noticed the unusual glint in his hair.

Reaching up, she could feel something slightly matted in his hair. "Jack,
what's in your hair?"

He laughed lightly, drawing away from her but taking her hand in his. "No
questions, Sam," he murmured, pulling her after him into the dining room.

Her breath caught in her throat as she took in the room and the
immaculate table setting. Jack had gone to a lot of trouble, for her.
There were no lights on in the room, except for the candles that
surrounded the room and the flower and candle arrangement that sat in the
center of the table. A bottle of wine sat chilling next to the table,
which had been set with what she was sure was Jack's best silverware.

She looked up and caught the look in Jack's eyes, and her heart stopped.
She was about to ask him what the occasion was when she noticed what he
was wearing. All thought fled her. He looked good, good enough to eat
good. He was dressed in a pair of black slacks, not too tight, but tight
enough, and a dark blue shirt.

His eyes shone happily in the dim candlelight as he placed a hand on the
small of her back and guided her to the table. She sat down and he pushed
her seat in and set about filling her glass. She almost giggled when she
saw it was sparkling grape juice and not wine, the man thought of
everything.

Sam was still speechless, and at a complete loss to explain what was
going on, but she had a feeling this was going to be a night to remember
for some reason. She glanced around the room again in disbelief, her eyes
gradually drifting back to Jack. He was leaning over her.

"I hope you're hungry," he murmured, leaning closer to brush his lips
across hers.

"Famished," she croaked, finally finding her voice.

She felt like she was seeing him for the first time. Had Jack always been
this sweet and romantic? The evening felt like it had an almost surreal
quality to it, but she knew she wasn't dreaming. Her heart was thudding
dully in her chest; she was breathless with anticipation as she watched
him walk into the kitchen.

Jack reappeared moments later with a tray containing two steaming bowls
and a plate of bread rolls. Sam closed her eyes and inhaled deeply as he
placed the bowl in front of her. Minestrone soup, her favourite. Opening
her eyes she looked up at him to find he was beaming down at her, his
eyes portraying his feelings.

Right then and there she decided she wanted to spend the rest of her life
with this man. This was the man she wanted to marry. One problem was; she
didn't think that Jack ever wanted to get married again after what
happened with his first marriage. Sure he would be in a serious
relationship, but marriage? She had to figure out a way to get him to
consider marriage again. She knew he would never leave her, or their
child now, she just wanted to have that security, the knowledge that they
would be together forever.

She could feel his eyes on her as they ate, watching her intensely. He
seemed nervous tonight, though she could tell he was trying hard not to
let it show. //What does he have up his sleeve?// She knew he had
something planned. She just didn't know what at the moment. She met his
eyes, smiling sweetly at him, wondering how it was possible to love one
person so much.

Jack gathered their bowls after they had finished the soup, forcing her
to stay in her seat as he moved back into the kitchen. As she sat there,
listening to him banging and clattering about in the kitchen, she
searched her mind trying to work out the reason that Jack might be going
to so much trouble for her.

The only thing she kept on coming back to was the incident with Charlie's
picture. Did he still feel guilty about the way he had reacted? Did he
finally want to open up and tell her about Charlie and Sara?

She dismissed the thought quickly; Jack wouldn't go to this much trouble
and pretense to tell her. It had to be something else, something deeper
and closer to the heart. For the life of her, she couldn't think of what
it might be.

Jack reappeared in the dining room, the tray containing two dinner plates
this time. The smells of dinner wafted over to her. She had never thought
that Jack was such a wonder in the kitchen. The meal smelled amazing, and
when she took her first mouthful of the meal she wasn't disappointed.
Broiled chicken and linguine. How much more was Jack going to continue to
amaze her tonight?

It took her no time to clear her plate, she had been hungrier than she
thought and Jack's delicious cooking made it no chore to scoff down. Her
belly full, she suddenly felt exhausted. The shopping trip had taken a
lot out of her. She felt like curling up on the couch in front of the TV
and vegging out.

Jack appeared at her elbow, grinning down at her. Leaning down he took
her hand gently in his and helped pull her out of her seat. "I have
something to show you." He turned her around and wrapped a silky scarf
around her eyes.

"Jack? What's going on?"

"It's a surprise," he whispered softly into her ear, the sensation making
her go all tingly. Taking her hand again and pulling her after him.

She bit back the sudden apprehension she felt at being plunged into total
darkness again and allowed herself to be pulled behind him. Straining her
ears she tried to gain a sense of where he was leading her. Not to the
living room, the wooden floors would have been a dead giveaway. So he was
leading her down the hallway.

The rattle of keys was unmistakable, as was the sound of a key being slid
into a lock. //The spare room?// The anticipation was just about driving
her insane. She could hear the door creak open and she was pulled behind
him, the smell of fresh paint assaulting her nostrils.

She could feel his hands fumbling at the scarf, and suddenly it was
pulled away. She couldn't believe her eyes as she looked around the room,
trying to take everything in at once. It was too much to take in. Her
eyes found Jack and she looked at him to assure herself that she wasn't
dreaming. He smiled at her, his face glowing with happiness.

It was the baby's bedroom.

Sam looked around it with a sense of amazement. Jack had outdone himself.
The room had been freshly painted in a soft yellow, with a cute little
teddy bear border around the center of all four walls. There was a new
dresser and changing table, already loaded up with cloth diapers.
Everywhere she looked there seemed to be a stuffed animal. There was a
cedar crib in the center of the room, a cute little teddy bear mobile
hanging above it.

There was something metallic glinting in the mobile. Curious she took a
step closer to look at it, suddenly oblivious to everything else in the
room. She studied it for a long moment, not touching it, trying to work
out if she was seeing what she thought she was. //Is it ... could it be
... a ring?//

Jack stepped up behind her, reaching out to untie it from the mobile.
Sam's eyes were glued to it in disbelief; she couldn't form a coherent
thought in her head. //It was a ring. What was a ring doing in the
mobile?// Twisting herself slightly she glanced at Jack a question
lighting her eyes.

He was looking down at her nervously. She had never seen him nervous,
never in the five years she had known him had he ever been like this.
//Is he about to do what I think he is?//

Taking a step back he held the ring in front of her drawing her attention
back to it. It was beautiful; she felt her breath being taken away as she
looked down at it. //He was going to!//

Sam felt a thrill of excitement as Jack took her hand in his, the ring
hovering millimeters from the tip of her finger. His hands were shaking.
"Sam," his voice was husky, and as shaky as his hands. "Will you marry
me?"

//He is!//

She didn't need to think about it. "Yes!" she breathed without any
hesitation.

All his uneasiness was washed away by a wave of elation as he slid the
ring onto her finger quickly and pulled her into his arms, kissing her
lips. "I love you so much, Sam."

*******************

Jack had been awake since sunrise, unable to sleep any longer. He was too
excited and happy to sleep. Instead he had contented himself for the last
few hours by watching his future wife. That simple thought made his
stomach do little flip-flops. Future wife, one day soon he and Sam were
going to be married.

He was still having trouble coming to terms with it all. Two weeks ago he
had been alone and miserable, filled with anger and regret for having let
Sam go so easily when her eyesight had returned. A week later everything
changed, Sam was pregnant with his child, and she had resigned her
commission. They were free to be together.

Now they were engaged to be married.

It had all happened so fast. After so many years of being separated by
their duty to the military, of suppressing their feelings, to suddenly be
here in each others arms was a dream come true.

Jack had never thought that he would ever find happiness in the arms of
another woman again. He had always lived with the resolute belief that he
had blown his chance, that he would spend the rest of his life alone and
tortured by the regrets of his past.

Sam stirred next to him, rolling on to her side and snuggling herself
closer to him in her sleep. He smiled down at her, his heart pounding.
//What did I ever do to deserve her love?// She was so young, so
brilliant and beautiful. She could have any man she wanted and yet she
chose him.

Propping himself up on an elbow he looked down at her, brushing a finger
across her cheek lightly, so as not to wake her. He enjoyed watching her
sleep; she looked so peaceful and angelic. She let out a small sigh,
stretching her hand out on to his bare chest.

Pounding on the front door startled him out of his musings. Sam gave a
jerk and opened her eyes sleepily, quickly sliding them shut again. Jack
glanced at the clock as he slid out of bed. Who the hell would be banging
on their door at seven in the morning?

The person pounded on the door again, loudly and more insistent. Sam's
eyes opened again. "Wha?" she mumbled.

Pulling on his jeans, Jack quickly leaned over and brushed a kiss across
her forehead. "Stay there baby, I'll get rid of them."

He didn't bother with a shirt, intending on telling the person at the
door exactly where to go. The pounding resumed for the third time as he
stepped out of the bedroom, still doing up his fly. "Enough already, I'm
coming!" he snapped irritably.

Jack quickly unlocked and pulled the door open, an insult ready on his
tongue. It dropped away quickly when he discovered who was on the other
side. "Jacob ... Hi."

Jacob glanced at him, taking in his appearance before looking past him,
down the hallway. "Sam here?" he asked shortly, brushing past Jack and
walking inside.

Closing the door slowly, Jack turned his stunned attention to Jacob. The
older man did not look happy at all. //Oh great!/ "She's in bed," he
flinched as he saw Jacob's gaze harden. "I'll just go and get her."

"I'm coming, Jack," Sam called from the bedroom, obviously she had heard
them.

He tried to hide his disappointment that he couldn't escape from Jacob's
angry gaze. //I guess he knows then. I guess he's not too happy about it
either.// He sighed, trying to think of some way they could get out of
this situation. He hated to admit it, but an angry paternal Jacob kind of
scared him.

Jack watched warily as Jacob looked around the hallway, taking everything
in. "I'm gonna put coffee on. Do you want some?" he asked, trying to
guide Jacob out of the hall. He stepped past Jacob and headed into the
kitchen.

The footsteps behind him told him that Jacob was following. "Sure," he
replied shortly. "Black, no sugar."

Jack cringed at the tone in Jacob's voice. There was nothing he could do
about it. If Jacob wasn't happy about him and Sam he was just going to
have to live with it. He quickly added the coffee and water to the
percolator, thankful for the distraction as he prepared the coffees.

"Dad?"

Jack turned to see Sam nervously entering the kitchen. Luckily he caught
the 'Hey Baby' before it left his tongue. Jacob was sitting at the
breakfast bar. He twisted to fix his stern expression on his daughter.
Jack could see her swallowing, but she held her father's gaze. "Sam."

She settled herself down at the table, glancing quickly at Jack. He
forced a smile, knowing that it wasn't going to help her much. "When did
you get back?" she asked breathlessly.

"This morning ... at about five," Jacob replied, his tone still brusque.
He glanced over at Jack, his eyes penetrating. Jack suddenly remembered
his state of undress under the intensity of his gaze. He shifted
uncomfortably from foot to foot. "Only to find out that my daughter is
not currently working at the SGC. In fact, apparently she resigned her
commission as a Major in the Air Force. George wouldn't tell me anything
other than that, except to say that I would find you here."

Inwardly, Jack groaned. Jacob was not a happy camper today. Looking at
Sam, he noticed her skin had gone grey. "Sammie? Are you okay, baby?"
Jack asked stepping forward.

Sam shook her head and bolted up out of her chair, cupping a hand to her
mouth. She raced out of the kitchen and they heard the bathroom door slam
shut behind her. Jack started after her, but Jacob moved quickly,
catching Jack's arm. Jack was surprised to see a slight smile on his
face. "She'll be fine. I think it's time you did some explaining. Don't
you, Jack?"

"Yes, sir," Jack replied, sitting down in the chair Sam just vacated. He
met Jacob's eyes warily. "Where should I start?"

"At the beginning. How far along is she?"

Jack smiled. Jacob's tone had changed, Jack was wondering if he had been
trying to scare them, if he had it worked. "Eleven weeks."

Jacob frowned. "I came back a month ago, why didn't either of you say
anything then?"

Clearing his throat, Jack stood up and walked back to the coffee
percolator which had finally finished brewing the coffee. "We ... ah ...
we weren't together then, and Sam didn't know she was pregnant."

He quickly poured the coffee, and with both cups in his hand walked back
to his seat, placing Jacob's mug in front of him. He didn't see the
surprise and disappointment that spread across Jacob's face until he had
taken his seat. "So you're not the father?"

Jack grinned, unable to help himself any longer. "I am the father Jacob.
Sam is having my baby ... and we're engaged."

Jacob stared at him for a long moment in disbelief as Jack's words slowly
began to register. A smile stole across his face. "It's about time you
both got your act together!" he said, reaching over and patting Jack's
shoulder. "You just look after her okay, Jack?"

"Jacob, I am never gonna let her go."

"Let who go?" Sam's voice interrupted them.

Jack jumped up and was at her side in an instant, guiding her to his
seat. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, just morning sickness," she replied glancing at Jacob. "You know?"
she asked uncertainly.

Jacob stood, pulling his daughter into a hug before she had a chance to
sit down. "I do. Congratulations Sammie. I'm so happy for the both of
you." He pressed a kiss to his daughter's forehead, and hugged her
tighter to him. "So when did this all happen?"

Jack grinned, deciding that now was a good time to prepare some
breakfast. He listened happily to Sam as she recounted her accident, and
subsequently how they came to be involved the first time.

*******************

Two weeks later...

When Sam stepped out of the elevator and into the SGC she felt like she
was coming home, only now everything was different. Gone were the BDUs
that she had worn here every day during her tenure as 2IC of SG-1,
replaced instead with her new "uniform" of overalls and a shirt. She
glanced over at Jack, who shot her a grin in return. "Welcome back to the
SGC, *Doctor* Carter."

Sam flushed bright red as his hand slipped into hers. It was going to
take a while to get used to everything, to being called Doctor and not
Major, to being able to show Jack affection on base after repressing
themselves for so long.

Jack walked her to her lab, even though she insisted he didn't have to.
As she laid her things on her workbench, she turned back around to face
Jack. He gathered her into a loving hug and held her close. Sam was
content to just stand there in his embrace, her arms wrapped around his
waist. Her head rested against his chest, his own chin rested on the top
of her head. Sam could hear the beat of his heart through his shirt. They
would for once and for all be able to do this now. To touch, to hug, to
kiss. They didn't have to hide anymore, least of all from themselves.

"SG-1 please report to the briefing room."

Jack groaned and pulled out of the embrace. "Duty calls," he sighed,
pressing a kiss on her forehead. "Meet you back here for lunch at
twelve?"

"Sure," Sam replied, her heart thudding painfully in her chest. She
missed it already; she missed being part of the team. "Hey, no frowning.
I won't be long. I promise."

"It's not that ... it's just ... Oh I don't know. It's already hard," Sam
said, her eyes downcast.

"Well I know it is unbearable being separated from me, but I am sure you
can cope for a few hours," Jack said trying to make her smile.

"Jack!" Sam grinned. Jack smiled in turn, happy with the result his
little joke produced.

"What I mean is...this is the first time I haven't been part of the team.
I feel that if ... if..." Sam trailed off.

"What is it, Sam?" Jack lowered his voice looking at her intently.

"I feel that if I'm not there...not watching out for you...that something
will happen." Sam's eyes watered up then. She knew it had to be because
of her hormones. She wasn't normally a weepy person.

"Sam ... Sammie look at me. Nothing is going to happen. I'm going to be
okay. Heck I have Daniel and Teal'c to watch out for me. Okay ... well
... I have Teal'c to watch out for me, since I have to look out for
Daniel." Jack smiled even though he still saw tears in her eyes.

Sam's mouth lifted in a watery smile. She knew him to be telling her the
truth. He did have their friends to watch out for him. And this was
undoubtedly just another routine mission, but she couldn't help that
doubts that plagued her. The fact of the matter was that the father of
her baby was on the frontline and constantly in danger. It terrified her.
And the simple matter that she wasn't going to be there to watch over him
bothered her even more.

"That's my girl." Jack pulled her into an embrace again. Oh, how he loved
this woman, his soon to be wife and mother of his baby.

Still she pasted on a genuine smile for Jack's sake as well as her own.
She was going to have to get used to this. Being separated from him
professionally would have to be her sacrifice for being with him on a
personal level. No matter how hard it was for her, she was going to have
to deal with it eventually.

"You better get to the briefing, you don't want to keep the General
waiting," she pointed out, knowing that delaying him wasn't going to make
her feel any better.

"Your right, wouldn't look good to be late on my first day back." He
pulled her back into his arms, kissing her tenderly, before releasing her
again. "I'll drop in when the briefing is over okay?"

"Okay," she responded sadly to his back as he swept out of the room.

Hugging her arms about herself, she allowed her eyes to roam her lab,
trying to find something to distract herself. She was pleasantly
surprised to find that there was plenty to do. It looked like a couple of
teams had bought back new 'doohickeys' for her to play with.

With a smile of relief she settled herself down on her stool and began to
immerse herself in her work.

*******************

Jack stood in the doorway watching Sam, a smile playing across his lips.
He had been standing here for the last five minutes and she hadn't even
noticed. He loved that; she could get so immersed in her work that she
became totally oblivious to everything else around her. He had no idea
how she could get so caught up in her doohickeys.

It was fascinating watching the emotions play across her face. One minute
her face was radiating with happiness, the next it was pinched with
frustration. She was so beautiful when she was frustrated. But then again
she was always beautiful to him.

Glancing down at his watch, he realized that he couldn't spend all day
watching her. He had to be off world in less than two hours. He rapped
softly on the doorframe, loudly enough to catch her attention.

Sam jerked her head up and a bright smile lit her face. "Jack."

"Hey baby," he said quietly, stepping into the lab.

Sam got up off her stool, however her hand flew to her stomach and she
stood there weaving slightly. Jack rushed over to her. "Are you all
right? Sam?"

Jack held onto her as she steadied herself. She kept her eyes closed and
took deep cleansing breaths. "Sam? Please say something."

She opened her eyes slowly. "I'm okay. Just felt like I was going to be
sick. It's passed though."

"Are you sure. I mean ... Sam?" Jack got that look on his face every time
she got sick. He looked like he was being tortured. It was kind of
amusing in a way. But she suppressed her laughter, thinking he wouldn't
agree with her view.

"Jack, I'm fine. This is perfectly normal for this stage in a pregnancy.
Look at it this way; you won't have to put up with this part of it for a
while. What with your mission and all," Sam explained logically.

Jack looked at her sternly, though concerned. "That's exactly why I am
thinking I shouldn't go. I shouldn't leave you like this."

"Now you're being irrational. Of course you'll go. You're the Commanding
Officer. You have to go." Sam pulled away slightly and returned to her
stool, feeling the need to sit down again.

They stayed there in silence for a few moments; Jack looking all the
while indecisive; Sam trying to remain calm and collected, when she was
anything but. She knew she would have to accept the fact that Jack would
be going offworld eventually. Though she had hoped it wouldn't be this
soon, even though she knew deep the possibility was there.

"When are you leaving?" she asked quietly, uncertain if she wanted to
know what sort of mission he was going on.

Jack saw the flash of uncertainty in her eyes. He had to tell her that
the mission was dangerous, he had to warn her. "About two hours," he
moved closer to her and squatted down, laying his hand gently on her
thigh. "Sam, it's gonna be a dangerous mission, I don't know if I should
take it."

She took his hand, squeezing it in hers. Her eyes were pinched as she
thought out her reply. He could see her hesitation, she was torn between
telling him to stay and telling him to go. "You're the best man for the
job Jack, you know it. If the mission is going to succeed they need you."

He knew she was right, it didn't mean he liked it. He had his duty
though, and that was to the military, to the SGC. He had been ordered on
this mission, and although he was allowed a certain amount of lenience
they had chosen SG-1 for this mission for a reason, their expertise.
"You're right Sam, but it doesn't mean I like it."

There was no more need for words. Standing, Jack pulled Sam up out of the
seat and into his arms. He had an uneasy feeling in his belly, he felt
like something was going to happen. It was irrational, he knew that, he
also knew that the only reason he felt so uneasy was that this was the
first time they had been apart since they had found out Sam was pregnant.
This was SG-1's first mission without Sam as a member of the team.

Sam's arms slid around his neck pulling him closer to her. He leaned
down, brushing his lips across her neck, holding her as tightly as he
could in his arms. He didn't want to let her go.

"Oh ... ah ... am I interrupting?" Daniel's voice broke in from the
doorway.

Slowly, Jack pulled out of Sam's arms. "No, not at all."

"Hey, Sam."

Sam nodded her head, but didn't turn to look at Daniel. Jack glanced down
at her, startled to find her wiping tears from her cheeks. He was still
holding her loosely in his arms; he gave her a quick reassuring squeeze.

"Damn hormones," she whispered, turning to face Daniel.

"Are you okay, Sam?" Daniel asked with concern when he noticed her
appearance.

Sam laughed lightly, "Yeah, I'm fine, Daniel. My hormones are kinda out
of whack at the moment," she explained.

Daniel seemed convinced with her response; he turned his attention back
to Jack. "I don't think you should come, Jack," he stated, his eyes
flickering nervously between Sam and Jack.

Jack sighed loudly and wrapped his arms around Sam's waist. "We've
already discussed this Daniel. I'm going."

He was fighting back his lingering fears. He could feel Sam's tenseness
as he held her in his arms. They had known this was going to happen when
they returned to work, but no matter how much they expected it now that
the moment was here it was a lot more difficult to deal with.

Daniel looked doubtful, his eyes darting back to Sam. "Are you sure?"

"You need me there, I can't desert my duties," Jack replied matter-of-
factly.

"Oh."

Jack watched with mild amusement as Daniel flushed and shuffled his feet
awkwardly, but all he wanted at the moment was to be alone with his
fiancée for the short time they had left before the mission.

"Daniel, why don't you go and get something to eat?" Sam suggested.

His head jerked up and he looked at the two of them. Obviously getting
the hint, he nodded. "Good idea, Sam." Setting his shoulders, he pivoted
on his heel and left he lab, closing the door behind him.

Sam turned slowly in Jack's arms and looked up at him, those crystal blue
eyes shining with doubt. There was no point her trying to hide how she
felt anymore, Jack could see straight through it just as he was sure she
could do the same.

"Don't worry, Sam baby, I'll be back before you know it," he told her,
trying to reassure not only Sam but himself.

She smiled, but the smile didn't quite reach her eyes. "I know you will,
Jack."

Running a hand through her hair, Jack guided her face into his chest,
pulling her as close to his body as he could. He closed his eyes, losing
himself in the feeling of their two bodies entwined, of her heart
thudding in unison with his own.

*******************

Jacob flew out of the Stargate at a run, startling the armed SF's in the
Gateroom, and the personnel in the Control Room. He felt panic-stricken;
his heart was pounding painfully in his chest. His arm burned from the
staff wound that covered his upper arm, but he was almost completely
oblivious to it.

//How could things have gone so horribly wrong?//

He glanced quickly around the Embarkation room; the object of his search
was noticeably absent. He brushed passed General Hammond, barely even
noticing his presence as he raced out of the Embarkation room and out
into the corridor beyond. His mind did not even register his name being
called by the General.

He navigated the maze of corridors on instinct, nearly running down
several airmen in his haste to get to where he was going. He didn't want
her finding this out from anybody else. It was all his fault; he wanted
to be the one to take the blame for it.

//Oh my poor Sammie,// his mind screamed, //what is going to happen to
her and the baby now?//

The door to her office was open. Coming to a screaming halt outside it,
he took a moment to catch his breath and gather his thoughts. There was
no easy way to tell her.

Stepping into the room he was struck by how happy she looked. She was
completely immersed in her study of some piece of machinery that she
hadn't even noticed his arrival. She was humming quietly to herself as
she worked, a small smile on her face. She loved tinkering.

Jacob could see the engagement ring Jack had given her glinting on her
finger. He almost lost his nerve. He wanted to scream at the unfairness
of it all. She hadn't done anything to deserve this, why was she going to
be denied her chance to be happy?

"Sammie?" Jacob could not keep the alarm out of his voice

Sam's head snapped up to look at him, one of her beautiful smiles filling
her face. "Dad!" she responded happily. Then she saw the look on his face
and her smile faded. "Dad, what is it?"

Jacob stepped up to her, taking her hand gently in his own. He was
shaking, he couldn't help it. "Sammie ... it's Jack", he started, his
heart clenching as Sam's expression changed from one of fear to one of
absolute horror, her eyes glistening with tears. "He's been captured by
Bastet."

Fin