32/32

Jack woke up early the next morning and watched Sam sleep for a while. She was the most beautiful woman he'd ever laid eyes on, and he'd seen a lot of pretty women. When he couldn't see, nobody else's image was as vivid as hers was. Even Daniel and Teal'c's image had started to fade in his mind during the later part of his blindness. But Sam's was etched into perfect clarity, and whenever he thought of her, he could picture her clearly.

That year of not seeing had been torture. He had to suffer through her first marriage to Pete, congratulate her on her pregnancy, and then console her on the death of Pete. But, through some twisted events he was able to show Sam that he loved her, and Sam was able to finally admit it back to him. Sure, it took his dog to help, and the poor thing had a scar for it, but he held no grudges and actually seemed quite pleased with himself.

Jack, under warning of possibly losing his eyesight again, went to his monthly check-ups as ordered. Jack's vision had started to blur occasionally, and upon questioning Dr. Ivert, they discovered that the blurring was a foreshadowing of the blindness returning.

Jack had driven home that day in a sour mood. When Sam had greeted him she immediately knew he'd received bad news. Later that night after they'd put the then two month old Shannon to bed, Jack had clung to Sam in their bed, trying desperately to hold back emotions that wanted to surface. He'd admitted to Sam that he was scared of losing his sight and never seeing Shannon grow up. He'd never get to see her smile again, never be able to read a book to her. Sam consoled him as much as possible, but deep down; she was scared for him too. Of course he'd be able to function, Rooster was still a Seeing Eye dog after all, and they could adjust the house again.

So when he'd gotten the call a month later that Dr. Ivert's scientists had made a more advanced cure, Sam rushed Jack, who had days of complete blindness and days of sight, over to the SGC. Dr. Ivert declared that the new salve had brought back his patients sight, the one who had lost it after the first salve. Dr. Ivert put the salve on Jack himself, and when Jack woke up he had crystal clear vision again. Still ordered to monthly check-ups for a while, Jack almost cried again when he saw Shannon crawl to him with a smile on her face.

That was ten months ago, and he hadn't had a problem since. Except, of course, moments like this where he watched his wife sleeping next to him. Moments when his eyes misted up slightly.

He watched Sam's belly rise and fall underneath the thin sheet she covered up with. She wasn't showing yet, but Jack smiled at the knowledge that inside her belly was a tiny baby, growing and forming. He wondered if the baby was a boy or girl? Sam hadn't wanted to find out with Shannon, but Jack was certain he'd be able to talk her into finding out with this baby. He wondered if the baby would look like him or Sam? If they had a boy, would he have some of Charlie's features? That smile Charlie had that he put on when he knew his dad was mad at him? Or would the child have Sam's bright, everything-is-ok smile?

Sam stirred and Jack waited for her to wake up. These were the moments, the early morning moments when the day was new, that Jack never took for granted anymore. When the sun began to rise over the horizon, bringing out the natural highlights in Sam's hair. When her eyes fluttered open and a sleepy smile spread across her face. "Good morning."

Jack smiled back at her, his arm reaching out and pulling her closer to him. He kissed her gently. "Good morning."

"Have you been watching me again?" Sam asked, nuzzling his neck.

"I do it every chance I get." He grinned at her. He kissed her again and she melted into his embrace.

"Jack?"

"Mmm?" His face was buried in her hair.

"I love you."

"I love you too Sam."

They heard a giggle from the doorway and looked up to see a grinning Shannon watching them. She ran towards the bed and after some struggle, climbed on top of it. She stood, walking a little wobbly to her parents, plopping down in the middle of them. As Jack got the Claw after her, Rooster barked and jumped on the bed to join the fun. Jack's contented sigh was barely audible over Shannon's giggles, but Sam heard it and flashed him a wide smile.

THE END