Title: Next Generation
Chapter 13- For the Next Generation

Rating: PG

Spoilers: None

Season: After season 6 (contains Daniel) but no spoilers

Summary: After the events of the day before it's time to make some choices

Pairings: Sam/Jack

Disclaimer: None of these people belong to me (sadly)

Author's Note: Wow, can't quite believe I've managed to stick with it this far – and I REALLY can't believe you guys have stuck with this fic for so long. Thank you all so much for your lovely reviews, especially those of you who've been consistently reviewing since the beginning. Thank you!

Sam's eyelids flickered repeatedly as she tried to get them to adjust to the bright sunshine that was pouring in through the window. She was still half asleep but she felt so good, so refreshed and relieved. Something was different, something was missing, that heavy ache that had been a constant in the pit of her stomach for longer than she could remember...that ache was gone. Finally she opened her eyes fully and saw him.

He was lying on his side watching her, a faint smile played across his lips and his eyes reflected her face back at her. "Hey." He whispered gently. For a moment they just lay staring at each other, the memories of the night racing around their minds.

Sam gave a mock frown and smiled, "Now what?"

Jack appeared to ponder on the question for a moment before grinning, "Breakfast?"

She smiled sleepily, "Sounds good."

"I'll be right back."

"Okay." She lay staring at the ceiling, this was crazy. What were they supposed to do now? She didn't think there could be any going back now, but she was afraid to ask, afraid that it had all been some wonderful dream...

"Toast?" Jack appeared at the door with a couple of plates, "Sorry it's not exciting," He said, placing the tray next to her and slipping back into the bed. She sat up to investigate the plates but changed her mind. Tugging gently at his shirt she pulled him to her for a kiss.

"What was that for?" He raised an eyebrow, "Not that I mind." He added with a typical Jack O'Neill smirk.

"Just checking." She reached out for a slice of toast.

"Checking what?" He teased.

She smiled, putting the toast back on the plate, "Stop it Jack."

"What?" He feigned innocence.

"You know what I mean, checking this is all real."

He grinned again, that slow, cheeky smile that sent shivers all over her. Suddenly she found herself pinned between him and the mattress as he moved onto her and pulled her into his arms. "It's real." He promised as he set a gentle kiss on her lips, raising an eyebrow he fixed his eyes on her, "What's the matter Major? More than you can handle?"

"Jack," She started.

"Ah..." He raised a finger, "No more talking, we have..." He pretended to look at the clock behind him, "An hour before we have to be at Daniel's." He bent his head to her neck pressing his cold lips against it.

"Jack..." She suppressed a giggle as he buried his head in her neck, "Jack!" She made a pathetic attempt to pushing him off but her laughter got the better of her.

"What?" He looked up with a serious and confused expression on his face

"It's 9'oclock, we don't have an hour, we're an hour late" she pointed out.

He waved a hand dismissively, "Daniel will be fine, we're already an hour late, what's another?"

She laughed and he gave up the serious pretense and broke into a smile, a beautiful shining smile that she so rarely saw from him, "You're right." He gave in eventually, "We should go."

Slipping her hand around the back of his neck she pulled his head back down towards her, "Half an hour..." She told him, "Another half an hour won't hurt." She pulled him right to her and he let her kiss him before gathering her properly in him arms and giving her a long kiss.

Daniel dialed Jack's number with one hand as he fed Carmen with the other; she was sitting in her chair gurgling randomly as he attempted to get her to drink from the bottle. As the phone rang Daniel mentally counted the number of rings, when it got to 15 he gave a sigh and moved his finger to cancel the call.

"Hello?" He heard the voice ask and hurriedly he put the receiver back to his ear.


"Daniel!" Jack's voice was triumphant as he recognized his voice.

"I thought you were going to be over at eight? It's now 10:30."

"Get out, that late?" Jack's voice sounded surprised, but Daniel knew he was faking.

"Uh yeah, I've actually been trying to ring for a few hours now but the phone was engaged."

"Really...erm yeah that was Sam, you know she doesn't like the ringing, I didn't want it to wake her, so I left it off the hook."

Daniel swore he heard Sam laughing in the background.

"Is Sam there?"

"Uh...she's in the shower right now."

"That's funny, I thought I heard there."

"No, it's just me."

"Jack..." Daniel started accusingly.



"Yes Daniel?"

Daniel sighed, "When are you going to be over, I need to go out."

"Calm yourself Danny, we'll be right over."

"Good, are you sure Sam's not there?"

"Bye Daniel." Jack called as the receiver left his ear.

Hammond sat at his desk and quietly chuckled to himself. It had been a long and interesting day – though not altogether unexpected. Part of him was quite sad, the SGC was his life, and he knew things were never going to be the same.

Major Carter had been the first at his office, she'd gone straight to the point, not like Jack who'd procrastinated and made small talk for as long as possible. Sam, she'd clearly made her case, laying out reasons why she could still be a valuable asset to the SGC working in a more civilian, scientific role. She'd given reasons, Carmen being the main one. She was unwilling to continuously be off world and leave her daughter home. The other reason was more complicated; Jack – she didn't imply that anything had happened between them, more suggesting that their current 'situation' that she felt she couldn't reliably work under his command anymore.

Jack, when he'd finally finished commenting on all the furniture in Hammond's office, inquired after his grandchildren for the third time and asked Hammond if he'd seen that documentary on slugs last night. "Me neither." He added when Hammond replied in the negative. When he'd finally finished he began to blabber something about things changing and how he needed to sort out his priorities.

"Colonel, what do you want?" Hammond finally asked – exasperated.

"I'm asking to retire." Jack admitted, "I can't continue to work with...SG-1, it's just too..." He paused, "I need to do what I want for once, I don't want to be the kind of father I was ten years ago." Jack pleaded.

"Is this because of Major Carter?" Hammond cut straight to the point, wondering if Jack knew about her previous visit to him.

"Err..." Jack stuttered, "Among other things," He admitted.

"She's already been to see me."

"She has?"

"And on her request she's to be reassigned to a civilian role at the SGC."

"What?" Jack was shocked, "Why?"

"She wants the same as you Jack, and she wants to be with you and Carmen." Hammond gave a moment for this to sink in, "So I guess you'll be staying with SG-1?" He ventured,

Jack swallowed, it didn't make any difference, as much as he wanted to be here, her being reassigned didn't change some things, "No Sir."


"I meant what I said General, I don't want to be continuously off world, working with a high risk of never coming back, I don't want to risk my daughter growing up never having known me."

"We need you here Colonel." Hammond tried.

"I'm sorry George," Jack stood up and turned to the door, "If you can't give me retirement I'll resign." He reached for the door handle.



"Three months."


"Give it three months and I promise we can work this out."


"You're not the only one considering retirement Jack."

Three Months Later

Three months isn't a long time, but a lot can happen in just a short time. SG-1 went on a few off world missions but nothing more than checkups on friendly worlds and colonies, and for that Jack was thankful to Hammond.

Sam's new role had been implemented almost immediately and there was never any doubt in her mind that it was the right choice. When he had free time Jack loved stopping by the labs and watching her reel off some scientific mumbo jumbo while all the other scientists stared in awe and confusion.

Few people knew about Sam and Jack's current 'living situation' as Sam liked to call it, telling Daniel and Teal'c had been the highlight of the three months for Jack. The look on Daniel's face was priceless and while he claimed he'd expected it all along Jack knew it had come as a surprise.

"Tell me, what did I do to deserve her?" Jack mused one day at Daniel's house as they glance over at Sam asleep on the armchair.

"Funny," Daniel had replied, "I was just wondering the same thing...I never thought it would actually happen, you know, you and her – I just didn't think you'd get your act together."

"Indeed." Teal'c had agreed, and that was pretty much all Jack heard from Teal'c on the subject.

As for Sam, Janet had recommended her to a physiatrist in an attempt to help her recover mentally from those months spent in Anzar's cells. She'd gone and taken all his advice, but secretly she thought that the disappearance of the nightmares was due to all the other changes in her life. The way everything just slotted together put her at ease and within a month the nightmares had vanished.

Not being off world meant Jack didn't have a lot to do in those few months except look after Sam and Carmen – do a bit of fishing and write a speech...

"At ease." Jack said as he took his place on the podium, "I didn't plan to be here," He started staring out at the rows of officers in front of him, "I was going to retire...and before that I was going to retire...and really I meant to retire years ago, but here I am...again...not retiring."

He smiled and continued with the speech, "I can't stay away, as much as I want to turn life into one big fishing trip I don't think I'm ready to give it all up just yet." He glanced over at Teal'c and Daniel, "We still have a big fight to fight, and hey..." He shrugged "I want to save the world too."

There was a ripple of polite laughter, but for once Jack was serious, "Save the world," He repeated himself, "Not just for us, but so that it'll be safer for the next generation." He grinned, and took on a lighter tone, "Because lets face it, that's why we're doing this."

As he stepped down off the platform applause broke out and gradually the airmen drifted into groups, many heading for the small buffet at the side of the room. Jack made his way through the crowds, hurriedly trying to avoid the people who were making a beeline for him, especially...

"Jack." Jacob stepped out in front of him, "I was hoping to get a chance to talk to you..."

"Ah...yes, anytime Jacob."

"Now Jack..."

Jacob led him toward the side of the Gate room, Jack shot a desperate look toward Sam but she just smiled and laughed at his look of despair.

"Sam's spoken to me." Jacob said, crossing his arms in front of him and fixing Jack with a stare.

"Yeah..." Jack mumbled, "She said." He wasn't sure but he suspected this was about to get very awkward.

"Do you love her?" And he was right.

"Yes." He stated.

"Good." Jacob interrupted him, "I'll admit an Air Force officer was never going to be my first choice for her, I thought she deserves better than that, better than someone who is always going to be away, working, risking their life...but somehow you've managed to change my mind." He unlinked his hands and reached out a hand giving Jack a small pat on the shoulder, "I like you Jack and she loves you but..."

Jack cut in, predicting what was coming, "Is this where you give me the 'hurt her and I'll kill you' speech?" He grinned.

Jacob grinned back, "You got it."

It was Jack's turn to give Jacob a reassuring pat, "Don't worry Jake."

"I won't" Jacob raised his eyebrows in a sign of approval, shocking Jack for a second and for one awful moment he thought that Jacob might actually hug him, but a voice rang out, "Jacob" and he left with no more than a knowing smile at Jack.

Relived Jack set back on his original course towards Sam, "What did Dad want?" She asked, curious.

"Just guy stuff." Jack shrugged it off jokingly.

She laughed, "I think I'm better off not knowing, great speech by the way." She added as he slid his arm around her waist.

"You know me, not much for speeches."

"It was inspirational." She mocked, "So..." She shot him a flirty smile, "We're saving the world for the next generation are we?"

Jack smiled, leading her out of the Gate room and away from the crowd, he bent and kissed her ear, "And for us," He whispered, "I think we deserve it."

She put on a mock serious face and gave a sharp nod, "I think so General." Smiling to herself she allowed him to pull her closer. Giving her a gentle squeeze he steered them in the direction of the infirmary where Cassie was looking after their daughter.

With his free hand Jack played with the ring box in his pocket and smiled, 'Yup things were definitely looking up' he thought and for the first time in a long time he felt like there was something worth saving.

-- "For the first time my life is real. It doesn't matter who ends up with who, because in some unearthly way it's always going to be me and you" --

The End

A/N: That's all folks! You see I managed to fit the title in the ending, so those of you still waiting for the Star Trek crossover –I'm sorry; it's not going to happen. Thank you so much for reading and for all your brilliant reviews. It's been a long journey for me writing my first long serious fic (past 4 chapters) but it seems to have gone down well. Keep an eye out for more fics from me! And remember this is your last chance to review this fic – so click that button!

Thanks to Cathain for her patient correcting of speech marks in the early stages, and to Amy for her non aggressive colour schemes 