Part Sixteen:

Lara departed early next morning. Unfortunately, Jack, Sam, Daniel and Teal'c couldn't stay long because they were due for a debrief on the new mission they were to leave on that afternoon.

"I'll miss you all." Lara said. "So take care of yourselves and I might come and visit again soon."

"Bye Lara." Sam said, giving her a hug. "And you take care too."

"I will." Lara said.

"Don't forget to call." Janet said, she too, hugging Lara.

Daniel smiled shyly, before also giving Lara a hug. "I'll miss you too." He said.

"Safe travels, Lara Croft." Teal'c said.

"You too, Teal'c." Lara said.

Then Lara turned to Jack. She smiled at him, but it was a smile tinged with sadness. She knew this was goodbye for a while to a man she had come to care deeply about. She had things to do back in London and Jack had a planet to protect. "I'll see you soon, Jack." She said.

"Yeah." Jack agreed. Then he cursed. "Ah, hell."

Leaning forward, Jack gave her a long and passionate kiss. He broke away after a minute and looked at Lara with a sad look in his eye. "Stay safe, Croft."

"You too, Jack." Lara replied softly. "You too."

A week later:

Lara sighed with frustration. It was a week after she had gotten back from the SGC and she was bored already. She was also missing Jack, but she wasn't about to tell anyone else that. Growling, Lara picked up the pace as she walked back to the beginning of her assault course.

The cool breeze raised goosebumps on her skin, as it was still wet from the small swim she had just taken – at the end of the course. Irrationally, Lara was tempted to just hop on a plane and fly back to Colorado. But she couldn't. Not yet.

Sighing once more, Lara tried to clear her mind and focused on the assault course in front of her. "Bryce?" she called. "Are you ready?"

"Course I am." Bryce replied from beside her. "Ready? Go!"

Lara sprang forward, jumping and twisting easily as she followed the path through the course. She had designed it herself and new every twist and obstacle. Plunging through some knee deep freezing water, Lara jumped up and pulled herself over a large wooden wall, before running along a thin wooden bridge and diving flawlessly into a cold pool.

She swam through an underwater tunnel, the water making her shiver. She broke the surface, grinning madly as she felt her muscles respond and the adrenaline pump through her blood. Now this is what she lived for!

Within seconds, she had scaled another wooden wall and quickly slid down the flying fox on the other side, before dropping and running through the final doorway.

"One minute and forty seconds." Bryce said. "Not bad."

Lara shook out her wet hair and clothes, calming her breath at the same time. "It could be better." She said.

At that moment, Hilary walked up, handing Lara a towel and bottle of water. "There you are Lara." He said.

Lara raised an eyebrow. "Hilary, you're practically grinning. What's happened?"

"You'll see." Hilary replied cryptically. "If you'll come with me, Lara, I'll show you."

Glancing to her left and seeing a smiling Bryce, Lara gave in and followed Hilary as they made there way back towards the kitchen door.

"Hello Lara." Jack said, from where he leant up against the wall.

"Jack!" Lara said, quickening her pace.

Grinning, she gave him a hug and felt him laugh when he felt how wet she was. "You're wet!" he accused.

"I am." Lara agreed. "I went swimming."

Chuckling, Jack gave him a brief kiss. "Well, it's just as well I brought several changes of clothes then, isn't it?"

"You're staying?" Lara asked delightedly.

"Yep." Jack agreed.

"How long?"

"Oh, we've got about a week before General Hammond wants us back."

"Us?" Lara asked as they walked into the kitchen.

Then Lara laughed in delight as she saw her other three guests standing in the middle of her kitchen. "Sam! Daniel! Teal'c!"

"Greetings Lara." Teal'c said.

"Hey Lara." Sam grinned. "Nice place."

Lara glanced at her friends and knew she wasn't going to be bored anymore. "Just wait til you see the rest of the house." Lara said.

Lara walked forward and slung her arms around Sam and Daniel's shoulders. "This is going to be fun."

"Sure is." Jack said, following behind them. "Don't you think so, T?"



Author's Note: Well, there. It's finished. Sorry it took so long guys! Don't forget to review!