TITLE: A New Beginning


SUMMARY: Sam receives an offer of dinner

SPOILERS: Chimera and beyond


DISCLAIMER: Characters are not mine, belonging instead to MGM et al. No money is made off this venture.

THANKS: To Jodi Marie, Allie and Ky for the beta.


She looks at him in complete surprise. Perhaps if they were on base this might not so completely unexpected, but they're not. Instead, She's at home and she's just opened her front door to find her commanding officer standing on her step.

She also feels incredibly underdressed in this situation. She's been having a rare day at home, sniffling in front of American Movie Classics. She thought she looked presentable, opening the door in jeans and a baggy sweatshirt, but now she thinks otherwise.

Colonel Jack O'Neill – the Colonel – is standing on her doorstep, wearing what looks suspiciously like a clean pair of khakis, a sports jacket and a tie. A tie?! What is this? A glance down furthers the initial thought that maybe she's fallen asleep on the couch and is dreaming. His shoes, while casual are clean and brushed up, and it's quite possible that – from what she can see – his socks actually match the rest of his outfit.

"Heard through the grapevine you might need cheering up."

Sam continues to stare at him. "But I only told Teal'c..." She'd had a lousy few hours at work, precipitating her decision to go home after she'd cleared it with General Hammond. She'd met her colleague as she was leaving, and had given him a condensed version of 'Life According to Carter.' He'd nodded in that quiet, understanding way of his and that had been that.

The colonel shrugs. "That's Teal'c," he replies casually, "base's biggest gossip." Then he pulls his arm back from behind him. "Flowers?" he offers.

"Sir?" She stares at the spray of mixed carnations, feeling completely overwhelmed and thoroughly confused. "What is this?"

"First, Sam, it's Jack, not Sir and not Colonel. It's not been that for quite a while now. Secondly, it's an offer of dinner." He peers behind her. "Any chance I can come in? It's getting a bit cold out here." His brow creases. "Unless," he seems hesitant, "you've got company."

She knows he means Pete. "No company," she replies, smiling, and backs away so he can step into her house.

"Ah good." He wipes his shoes on her doormat. "Didn't want to think I'd interrupted something."

"Not much chance of that," she tells him. Pete is gone – for good – and to be honest, she's not missing him. What she is missing is the life outside of the SGC that she had with him. But she'd known for a while that the relationship wouldn't last – not since a certain grey-haired colonel and commanding officer had announced his retirement plans. Besides, it really hadn't been fair to Pete for her to date him while being in love with someone else.

She takes the flowers from him, telling him to take a seat while she hunts for a vase. She's also going to have to change her clothes. He tells her to take her time. He's in no hurry. But then, he's the one who's been patiently waiting for her all this time.

That's the moment she vows never to make him wait for anything ever again.