Sequel: To Getting a New Philosophy Notes: ...sigh. unbeta'd.
Dedication: Jara. Liz. You both suck.
Stuck in the Moment by ALC Punk!
There was a hand holding hers. Sam Carter was fairly certain that there shouldn't be. In fact, she was so certain she was tempted to ascribe the hand to a figment of her imagination.
Or a stalker.
Not that a stalker would stop at simple hand-holding. Most likely.
Narim, for instance, had synthesized her voice (which still gave her vaguely creepy feelings). Orlin, well, he'd synthesized an emerald.
But getting back to the hand, Sam decided that it had to be a benign hand.
Don't bite the hand that feeds you, she thought fuzzily. Not that the hand around hers was feeding her. But it probably wouldn't due to bite it.
Not like last time.
Her subconscious, she decided as the headache that she knew would appear caught up with her, was trying to kill her. Or mock her. There should have been no way to be certain that the hand holding hers belonged to Jack O'Neill.
Except that there was memory trickling back. Memory that hurt.
Drinking to excess never used to be part of her style, she thought grimly. Her stomach took that cue and began roiling, as if being awake made it aware that it was to put her through all the fun of hell. Tequila. And scotch. And... dear, god, had there been vodka, too?
A vague recollection told her she'd also made him drink the same amount, in combination. Or maybe larger portions.
Sam wondered if she could be court-martialed for getting her commanding officer drunk off his ass. And then dragging him into bed. Oh, she was sure that they wouldn't forget the last bit. Right before hauling her off in chains to await execution.
Before she could continue constructing huge mountains, the hand in hers tightened.
Reluctantly, she opened her eyes to find him watching. His eyes were unreadable. "You're thinking too much."
She didn't ask how he could tell, just stared at him. It was strange to think that some strange woman on another planet was allowed to do this, and she wasn't. That his 'wife' would (if he had stayed) have been able to have his waking moments and his sleeping moments and the cranky "I need to pee" moments. She was, she decided, getting not a little bit maudlin.
Maybe she should surrender to the inevitable and go puke her guts out.
"Hey." The hand in hers tugged slightly.
Sam briefly considered closing her eyes and pretending to be asleep. But he knew she was awake, and it seemed cowardly, not to mention childish, to pretend otherwise. She still didn't want to talk to him.
"I need to puke," she informed him, then scrambled up and out of the bed.
She had to leave behind the hand holding hers.
"You know," she should have shut the door, but the toilet had called. She was sure he had his hands in his pockets. "You're a very difficult woman, Carter."
Having her commanding officer mock her while she was losing her dinner and subsequant alcoholic binge was not one of her top ten ways to spend the morning, Sam decided. She ignored him in favor of making sure that once the contents of her stomach was gone that she still had a stomach lining.
A glass of water hovered into her field of vision.
She took it and rinsed her mouth out, spitting and grimacing. Then she flushed the toilet and leaned back on her heels.
"You're going to have a headache soon."
He sounded smug.
"I hate you." It was the first thing she'd said since informing him of the impending gastronomical event. And normally, she'd never allow herself to think such a sentiment, much less say it.
"Hate you, too. Darling."
Her head snapped up and she stared at him. "Don't call me that."
"Why not?" Yep. His hands were in his pockets.
Telling him it was irritating would merely give him more ammunition for irritating her. "Get out."
She closed her eyes. "Out. Of. The. Bathroom. Sir." She added the last as a courtesy and a goad.
It worked. "Oh. Right."
The door clicked shut behind him, and she huddled on the floor, wondering why she should suddenly feel so miserable.
His fault, she decided uncharitably as she stood and wobbled to the sink. Toothpaste and a vigorous brushing restored some of her faith in humanity. Though not in him, she thought darkly.
A brisk face-washing, and she felt somewhat closer to being human. Unfortunately, a long hot shower was out of the question at the moment. Unless she wanted to put her dusty and sweaty nightclothes back on. A grimace in the mirror agreed that it would be a bad (and icky) idea.
She was rearranging the soap dish and the toothbrush holder when she realized what she was doing.
Major Samantha Carter was stalling, hoping that her commanding officer would leave the building (like Elvis), and then she wouldn't have to face him again. At least, not until her mental and emotional armor was fully back in place, and she was bound by the constraints of regulations, duty, and the SGC.
A knock interrupted her. "Carter, I'm not leaving anytime soon."
Why? She thought resentfully. He could have left and never had to deal with her again. And she wouldn't have had to deal with him, her nerves raw and abraided from a night spent sleeping in the same bed with his hand in hers.
She was getting appallingly sentimental in her old age.
Not that she was old.
Sighing at the inevitable, Sam moved and opened the door. "Sir."
He held up a cup of coffee. "Thought you might want this."
Staring at the cup, she wondered if you were allowed to loathe and despise your commanding officer while at the same time wanting to jump his bones and cry on him. And all because he brought your hungover ass coffee.
Probably not. She took the mug with a soft sigh and held it between both hands.
Jack disappeared again in the direction of her kitchen. Under normal circumstances, she might have been worried about that.
Still... She wandered after him and perched on one of the island stools.
"I'm not going to bite, Carter."
"What do you want me to say, sir, 'It was great, let's do it again sometime when we're sober'?" The caustic tone in her voice made her wince.
He stilled, hands which had been busy mixing and stirring halting their movements. The silence in her kitchen was deep and oppressive, and Sam suddenly wanted to take the words back. Or change their meaning.
"No." The hands began moving again. "No, I suppose that would be a lie, wouldn't it."
"I'm sorry." Her breath caught and she stared down at the mug. "I just..."
"I shouldn't have lost it last night," she whispered.
"Carter..." He stopped and she wondered if he would actually say something of substance. Given their track record, probably not.
"I just... I just get tired, sometimes."
There didn't seem to be anything more to say. Not and retain her dignity.
Not that she had any, after drinking him under the table, sleeping with his hand in hers, and puking her stomach dry while he patted her on the back. "Jack."
The name made him stop, his back stiffening.
"I didn't mean..."
"Yes you did."
"Don't put words in my mouth."
"Never." He was being sarcastic, but she supposed he could be allowed a little sarcasm.
"You're a very difficult man. Did anyone ever tell you that?"
She couldn't go through with this. She set the mug down and stood. "I'm going to go grab a shower. You can... just lock the door on your way out."
"Need someone to wash your back?"
If Sam was surprised that he offered, she was even more surprised to hear her own voice responding. "Yes, please."
They both stood there, like deer caught in headlights. Sam knew her eyes were wide, she wasn't sure what his looked like. Vaguely, she wondered if her shower was big enough for two people to stand in. Maybe if they were really close. A shiver went up her spine. The idea of being really close to a naked, wet, Jack O'Neill was a nice one.
"I'll make sure there are enough towels." She swallowed against the dryness in her throat and went to do as she'd said she would.
He followed her, catching her against the wall and turning her. "Are you sure?"
"Yeah. I just washed a whole bunch."
The hands that she sometimes caught herself watching with fascination came up to cradle her jaw and neck. "Carter."
"Yes." The breath left her, because he was so. very. close. All she would need to do was move slightly forward, and they would be touching. Touching was bad, she thought hazily. Touching was supposed to be very bad. "Shower."
"Water." He murmured against her lips.
Lips? When had there been lips involved? But she was too caught up in the movement of his lips against hers, and the taste of coffee and Jack O'Neill. Caught between the firm body of an Air Force Colonel and the wall of her hallway, Sam wondered (a little wildly) if this were in any training manual.
Probably not, she decided, winding her arms around his neck and kissing him back just as thoroughly.
Eventually, he pulled away. She gave a protesting mewl. A soft chuckle escaped him, and she dragged her mind back from the edge of nothingness. "Do that again."
"We were taking a shower."
Right. Where she could see him, and wash his back. And get court-martialed, but that was a hazy thing that might never happen. "I'll get those towels."
The shower was on by the time she got to the bathroom. Anticipation made her shaky, and she knew without checking that her eyes were dilated. He'd pulled off his t-shirt, but the boxers were still there. "Towels."
Amused eyes looked at her, "So I see."
Confusion suddenly stopped her forward movements. "Are you sure this is --"
"I'm a married man, Carter, what're they gonna do, throw the book at me?"
"No. No, I guess not." Married. She'd forgotten that.
"Besides," He reached out for her hand, tugged her against him, "I'd much rather it were you."
Her shower wasn't really big enough for two people, but they made do. Sam took time to admire the way Jack O'Neill looked inside her shower. There were extra ounces of flesh, here and there. But for the most part, he was lean and muscular, and she fought the urge to run her hands all over him. At least until he started to use the soap on her. And then, god, but she couldn't help but touch him.
Sam's hands skimmed over wet skin, and she memorized the texture. Without feeling any remorse (yet) she wondered if she would be able to feel this again, once the day was over.
Then he was kissing her, and she was kissing him like there was no tomorrow (or no time to think of tomorrow, because thinking of tomorrow could bring reality back, and she really didn't want that). Fingers slid around her skin, and she arched into him, enjoying the way he felt against her.
A strangled moan escaped her when his hands slid slowly down her back, stroking so slowly, as if he were savoring every inch of her skin.
Not that she minded.
Soap, she thought absently, there was supposed to be soap. She pulled away slightly, and met his eyes. "Soap."
A slight tilt of his lips told her he understood the fogginess in her mind, possibly shared it, and still thought it was amusing. "You're cute when you're befuddled."
"That's a big word for you."
"Mmm." He dipped his head and kissed the left side of her jaw. "Learned it from this really irritating scientist."
"Did you." she tilted her head so he had easier access to her throat, and sighed as he complied, kissing and nibbling his way down to her shoulder. "This scientist..."
A leg slid between hers, and she gasped.
"Houston, we have lift-off."
She stared at him. "That was really --"
His hand slid between them, gliding across her sensitized flesh, and she moaned. "Crude?" He suggested, finger sliding into her.
"Yes." Her hands gripped his shoulders.
Then she didn't have the mental capacity to think anymore. No catalogue of numbers, wave forms, co-sines and periodic weights. All she could do was hang onto him and hope she didn't collapse too easily.
She wondered, as his fingers caressed her, driving her insane, if he would be amused or enlightened if she told him she sometimes masturbated, pretending it was him doing it, those long slim fingers doing exactly what they're doing now. But there wasn't any breath in her lungs to tell him, because she has to breathe, after all. And moan, really has to moan. Because he is really much better than any fantasy.
Then she is undone, and he is kissing her, and those moans are growls and whimpers.
His hand has to be cramping, she thought as he slowly pulled it away. His leg is still between hers, helping to keep her jellified muscles from sliding her into the bottom of the tub. "I..." She swallowed, then looked up at him. "Do that again."
"I had," He shifted her, hands at her waist as he turned them both. Sam discovered that that useful little shelf at the back of her shower (which she normally used for shaving her legs) was absolutely perfect for being set upon. The correct height, too. She looked down at him and smirked. "A much." He slid back between her legs and she reached down and helped him get correctly centered. "Better." With a groan she echoed, he thrust into her. "Idea."
"Jack?" She whispered against his skin while trying to taste it and greedily sucking the moisture off of it.
"Good." She paused to whimper as he thrust particularly nicely. "Idea."
"Best ever." He murmured before capturing her lips again.
He didn't last long, but then, she figured he'd kind of earned it. And besides she was still in that half-relaxed state anyway. Afterwards, he leaned against her, supporting his weight with his arms behind her against the wall. She wrapped her arms around him (her legs were already tight around his waist), and held him.
Sam didn't pay attention to how long they were wrapped around each other, but her thighs were beginning to cramp when he finally pulled away. "Your knees."
"They'll live," he replied, kissing her neck.
"Good." Carefully they untangled themselves and he helped her stand. They finished the shower in silence, passing the soap back and forth and only giving in to the occasional urge to grope (he more than she, not that she minded, he really DID have talented hands). And they washed each others' backs.
Once out of the shower, she wrapped in a fluffy robe and watched him pull his boxers back on with a slight grimace. "Sorry. You've never left any clothes over here." He'd never had a reason to.
"I didn't..." She trailed off, trying to decide what she was going to say.
He reached out and brushed his fingers over her lips. "This..."
"I know." Sam wanted to close her eyes so he couldn't see the hurt that was pointless and illogical and ridiculous. "It can't happen again. Can it."
No question. No regrets.
"I wouldn't say that." He moved and pulled her against him, hands sliding under the robe and trailing down her sides. "After all, it's not like this changes..."
"But it does." A whimper escaped her as he cradled a breast in one hand, kneading it carefully. "Doesn't it?"
"You -- there's the whole..." Her hand closed on his shoulder. "Don't stop."
"Ever. Wait. Isn't this going to make it hard to order me to my death?" Almost sarcasm. Hrm. She needed to work on that.
The hands stilled. "Three years."
"It's been hard for three years. Knowing this," his hands began moving again, "doesn't change anything, Carter."
"Are you sure?"
He bent his head and kissed her. "As I am about anything else."
That didn't sound good. But she wasn't going to complain. Not when he was showing definite signs of wanting her again.
Maybe there wouldn't be consequences.