Chapter 3

This was not what Jack O'Neill had thought when his wife promised him a surprise. Not at all.

"You think you know a person," he mumbles to himself. His wife heard him however.

"Not living up to your expectations, Jack?" Sam loves calling him by his name. Her eyes sparkle and she grins at him.

"When you promised me a surprise date for my weekend home, this wasn't even in the running, Carter." He winces as the 'surprise' digs in.

She laughs. She loves being able to share one of her passions with him. Finally.

"I hope you know I'm not into pain," He glares at the source of the pain on his legs. Sam rolls her eyes and pulls the kitten off his leg.

"Thanks," he mutters. He looks around the animal shelter cat room. Long haired cats, short haired cats, half bald cats. Kittens tumbling over each other. He shoots a longing look at the dog room down the hall.

"So, do you want to empty the litter boxes or put the collars I bought on the cats?" Sam asks.

"Is there a third choice?" All those years of formulating plans A-Z and today's the day she has only 2 options. He looks around. "I could build something, change lightbulbs?" he asks hopefully.

She just looks at him. He knows that look. "Fine. I'll empty litter boxes. You aren't supposed to be using that leg too much anyway." He reminds her.

He puts on gloves and the front office person hands him a surgical mask along with a little scooper. "Oy." He mutters.

He comes back into the cat room nearly two hours later. Every litter box has been emptied, washed, refilled and all the litter has been bagged up for disposal. After lugging all the boxes into the room and setting them up, he smiles behind his mask, which doesn't block smell as well as the medical gear he used to pack in his kit.

Carter is sitting on the floor being crawled on by kittens. She's giggling as she pulls a cat off her shirt. It's worth the 2 hours of poop duty to see her happy. He likes that they can do things together. Although he might want to hang with the dogs rather than the cats.

"I can't believe I married a cat person," he says to her. Sam grins up at him. "I had a cat when we first worked together," she reminds him. "You knew that when you proposed."

He shakes his head. "Can't take it back, huh?"

Sam laughs. "No chance." She holds out her hands. "Help me up, Jack."

He pulls her up and supports her on the bad side. She wraps her arm around his waist as she hops to regain her balance. She leans into him and says good bye to the kittens in the playpen.

"Hungry, Carter? How about a burger?"

"Let's go to O'Malley's." She agrees. His mood improves. Steak, potatoes, beer. Some of his favorite things.

Jack happily sips his beer while Sam has to settle for a diet soda. "Did you not like the cats, Jack?" she asks.

"You know I'm more a dog guy." He reminds her. "Maybe next time I could walk some of the dogs."

Sam brightens up at the thought of next time. It's hard on the both of them, being apart so often. But that they have things to look forward to makes their life easier.