Disclaimer: Pretty much everything belongs to Gecko etc.

A/N: Once again, I bow and scrape at the feet of my Beta Reader Abby, without whom this would, quite frankly, have been crap.

Fame and Fortune Cookies

Part Three: The Journey

Sam was just polishing off her second plate of rice, dutifully trying to initiate some sort of conversation with her date (who suddenly seemed strangely terrified of her) when Colonel O'Neill came barging into the restaurant like a bull in a china shop and came to a sudden halt in front of her table.

"Carter, we gotta go," he said without preamble and Sam jumped quickly to her feet, grabbing her purse.

"What's happened?" she asked, utilising all her best facial expressions to find something akin to concern.

What happened? Crap. He hadn't thought that far ahead.

The pained look on his face told Sam all she needed to know. Luckily she was well prepared for such a situation. "Nothing you can discuss in public, right?" she prompted innocently.

Jack smiled in relief. "Right," he answered and glanced warily at her dinner date. Seeing the tie, he suddenly didn't feel so rushed. "And you are...?"

"Jeremy," the man jumped to his feet enthusiastically. "Doctor Jeremy Dawson. I work out of...The other place."

Jack blinked. "The other place?" A sharp elbow in the ribs answered this question and he glared at Sam accusingly. "That hurt!" he exclaimed. "And I'd have got it eventually." Turning his attention back to Jeremy, he made to introduce himself. "I'm Colonel..."

"Jack O'Neill, yes I know," came the excited reply. "I've heard all the stories about you. You're a bit of a legend where I work."

A bit of a legend huh? Jack risked a smug sidelong glance at his Major who just rolled her eyes and fiddled with her shoulder strap.

Ignoring her completely, he continued his conversation with Jeremy. "So what exactly have you heard?" he asked, while he mentally caressed his ego.

"Colonel," Sam interrupted impatiently, "the urgent problem?"

Jack furrowed his brow. The urgent...? Right! "Oh. Yeah. Sorry Johnny..."



"My name," Jeremy reiterated slowly. "It's Jeremy."

Jack nodded. "Right. Whatever. See you around Jeremy." He glanced at the table quickly. "Can we take those?" he asked, indicating to the fortune cookies. "I'm hungry."

Astounded at the Colonel's complete disregard for manners, Jeremy nodded dumbly and Jack grabbed the two cookies off the tea plate before ushering Sam in front of him. "Thanks Jimmy!" he said animatedly and with that they rushed out of the restaurant leaving a simmering and slightly embarrassed scientist to pay the bill, whilst muttering 'Jeremy' over and over again.


"Want a fortune cookie?" Jack asked as they settled themselves comfortably in the front seats of his jeep. Sam nodded and took the proffered item. "So was he really that bad?" he continued as he turned the key in the ignition and the engine began to make a satisfactory purring sound.

"Worse," Sam murmured miserably. "Did you see his tie?" she shook her head in disgust. "He actually greeted me with some Science Fiction quote." Jack snorted at that which made Sam smile a little. "The evening went downhill from there."

Jack pulled out of the restaurant parking lot and onto the street. Once they were cruising along towards Sam's house he began to talk again. "So why were you hiding in the bathroom?"

"Because I lost my temper with him at the table," she replied quietly. "Turns out the only reason he wanted to go on a date with me is so he could boast to his colleagues that he went to dinner with a member of the SGC."

"I can't believe that's true," Jack said looking at her.

"It is," Sam corrected. "He even tried to have a conversation with me about Area 51 at the dinner table. That's why I got mad. That's why I was hiding."

Jack took his eyes off the road for a moment to glance at his companion. "You really believe that he wasn't interested in you?" he asked, genuinely surprised. Sam nodded, almost happy to be wallowing in her own misery.

"Huh," Jack muttered. There was an uncomfortable pause for a moment, then he said "D'you want me to take you to Daniel's?"

"No," Sam replied. "Why?"

Jack shrugged. "So you can talk. You know I'm not good at stuff like this..."

Unable to suppress the grin that formed on her face, Sam leaned her head against the window and watched as the dark world moved past her. "I don't mind talking to you, sir," she murmured as she absently traced her finger along the inside of the window, following a pattern made by the evening dew.

Jack glanced at her again. "Okay," he said slowly, convinced that he was about to make the biggest mistake of his life. "Let's talk."

Sam turned her head against the seat rest and regarded her CO in confusion. "Now?"

"Sure!" Jack replied with an enthusiasm that even he could tell sounded as fake as it felt. "What d'you want to talk about?"

Sam sighed and closed her eyes for a moment. "I want to talk about us."

There was a screech of brakes and the jeep swerved dangerously close to the curb, but Jack managed to pull the wheels straight before crashing. Saying a quick prayer of thanks to the Gods of Power Steering, they were back on the road in no time.

Or not, Sam thought as she tried to ease the pressure of the seat belt from off of her ribcage by pushing with her stomach muscles. "Should I take that as a 'No', sir?" she asked sarcastically, peeling her fingers from their vice-like grip on the dashboard.

"Take it as a 'Not right at this moment'," Jack replied and immediately discovered an intense fascination with driving.

Sam groaned and closed her eyes, trying to block out the image of the Colonel's suddenly tense features. Of all the stupid things to say, she thought as she mentally gave herself the beating of her life. Everything was going along just fine and you had to ruin it.

A few minutes later the jeep swerved once more and Sam opened her eyes in surprise as Jack pulled neatly into a parking space outside a liquor store.

Sam's expression spoke volumes as Jack glanced at her before unclipping his seatbelt. "If we're going to have this discussion I need beer," he explained shortly and stepped out of the jeep.

"But I thought you didn't want to talk anymore, sir" Sam said before he had closed the door.

"Not while I was driving," he pointed out, "Besides, this has gone on long enough."

Sam blinked. "This?"

"You know," he replied, waving his hand frustratedly between the two of them. "This."

Before she could answer, he was slamming the door closed behind him and walking on lead-filled shoes towards the liquor store, thinking that maybe he should get whiskey instead.


The remainder of the short journey back to Jack's house was awkward to say the least. Sam never once questioned why he had chosen his place over hers, just as Jack didn't bother to ask if she even liked single malt whiskey.

It was a good thing she did, really, she thought to herself as she absently smoothed down the label on the bottle sitting comfortably on her lap, because if they were finally going to have this conversation then she was going to need all the intoxicating help she could get.

The distance between his house and the store was short but after two minutes of uncomfortable silence Jack reached over and turned on the radio. A ballad proclaiming some poor bastard's undying love for a woman he could never have filled the enclosed space and immediately he reached over to change stations.

The next song was no better and he tuned to another station.

Four more stations involving songs about unrequited love and one documenting Fred Flintstone's apparently obvious alliance with Satan and the radio was switched off, with Jack mentally vowing to never listen to another song for as long as he lived.

Which, depending on how this evening went, may not be too long.

Jack pulled up outside his house and switched off the engine. Despite noticing the distinct chill in the air as they sat there in the no longer heated jeep, neither made an effort to move.

"We're going to have sex aren't we?" Sam said eventually, suddenly absurdly pleased to be wearing a wrinkle-proof skirt.

Jack nodded sombrely. "Probably," he sighed and tried to remember what boxers he'd decided to wear that day. Unclipping his seatbelt he moved his hand over to rest on the door handle. Unfortunately, he couldn't seem to get any further.

There was a few moments pause, then suddenly Sam stamped her feet with a decisive "Shit!" and the bottle of whiskey threw itself to the floor in defeat.

Jack reached down and grabbed the precious liquid before the angry Major decided its life was expendable and stamped on it too. He cradled it protectively to his chest. "Well that was unnecessary," he said sulkily and opened the door.

Stepping out of the jeep he turned to look at the Major who was still stationary inside the car. "Carter?" he questioned quietly.

Sam sat for a moment longer then unclipped her seatbelt with determination. "Yeah," she said as she opened the passenger door and stepped out into the cold night. "I'm coming."

Jack locked up his vehicle and walked up the path towards his house, absently wondering what her last sentence would sound like under different circumstances.

By the time he reached his front door he couldn't contain the grin spreading across his face. After all, if luck was on his side tonight, he may finally get to find out.


Despite my plans for this story to be a three-parter, I've realised that I'll have to post in four chapters. The final chapter will be set inside Jack's house and will be posted just as soon as I get time to finish the draft and send it over to Abby for some much needed beta reading.

In the interim, I want you to know that I am a feedback whore.