Warning - Overt Shippyness and complete lack of plot.
Set in season eight - you've been warned!!
PS: There is a different chapter one to this. I may post it, time permitting.
Jack peered at the front cover of his National Geographic marinelife special. He was trying in vain to focus on reading the last paragraph of an article entitled 'catching the loon', but was failing miserably.
He turned to his bedside cabinet, and took a look at the photo of Charlie sitting there. For fleeting second, a dull pain throbbed in his heart. It was swiftly replaced by pride. He was proud of his son.
Jack sat up and swung his long legs round to the side of his bed. He opened the cabinet drawer and took out a dusty leather photo album.
The first lot of pages were photos of his past. Pictures of his grandparents and his father. Pictures of his brothers, sisters and cousins. He looked at the picture of his dad.
Callum O'Neill was even taller than Jack was. He had dark skin and near-black eyes. His features were very angular, a tell tale sign of a small amount of Native American blood.
Jack realised he was his father's double.
Why had he pushed his father away?
Why had he run off to join the military?
Next, he looked at a picture of his brothers and sisters. He still kept in contact with them all. There was Jim, his brother at SETI; Bob the psychiatrist; Angus the private investigator; Caitlin and Alexa the fashion designers and Siobhan the family genius.
His siblings had all turned out to be high flyers, Jack included.
He looked carefully through the pages of pictures. From some old black and whites to the sepia of the seventies. He laughed at the daft haircuts and silly shirts.
It was while he was sitting giggling, that he discovered a picture. One he'd tried to destroy years earlier.
The red-haired woman smiled up at him, and Jack felt physically sick. The laughter that had surrounded him moments earlier ebbed away, and some of the most disturbing events of Jack's life came back to haunt him.
Jack blinked back the tears and put the picture of his mother at the back of the book. Away from the rest of his memories.
Jack steeled himself to look through the rest of the album. He'd started so he'd finished.
Images of Sara, Charlie and his former in-laws looked back up at him. A few years ago, it would have been hard to look at these pictures. But now it was easier.
In that moment, he realised he'd moved on. He thought he never would. Smiling, he flicked through the pages, before he got to his military pictures.
He looked at pictures of his black ops friends. Kawalsky, Ferretti and the others, but it didn't feel right. Looking at them. He was still military, but he wasn't Black Ops anymore. He brushed past those pages, ignoring the chill and the distasteful memories Black Ops gave him.
Finally, he came to pictures of SG1. A warm glow filled his heart as he took a good look at a picture of his team.
He had a page of photos for each of them. First there was Daniel's page.
Jack's emotions and feelings with Daniel were mixed, not that he'd ever admit it. Daniel was so much more than a friend yet that was all he could ever be. Jack thought of Daniel as the grown up son he never had. Of course, he could never tell him the depth of his feelings. That'd be too awkward.
Next there was Teal'c - the one man who knew Jack better than he knew himself. Teal'c and Jack had been through similar experiences. Both had committed terrible crimes, neither of who would ever speak of them. Jack, as a matter of protocol. Teal'c as a matter of honour. Both were fathers and both knew exactly where the other stood.
He flipped the page, and his heart skipped a - well, several beats. His heart soared, and for a moment, all was well with the world. Sam stared up at him. Her large blue eyes full of life. He sighed at the image. Swiftly though, another image, another time filled his soul.
"Pete gave me this"
His mind's eye rested on the ring. The ring that Pete Shanahan had given her. The ring that bind her to him.
He snapped the book shut. Snapped off the light and attempted to get some sleep.
Maybe it was a bad idea to go to Minnesota so close to her wedding.
He shut his eyes, and drifted into a fitful sleep.
Sometime later, he awoke to the feeling of another person in the cabin. Normally Jack would listen to his instincts, but right now, he was too tired to care.
The next thing he knew was a very slim, very feminine arm snaking around his waist.
"Shhhhh." Said a voice.
Jack's face burned red as he realised who was climbing into his bed. It then burned crimson when he remembered that he was...sans clothing.
"Carter?! What are you"
Sam brought a finger up to his mouth, silencing him. "I was a bit...lonely...Thought I'd come see your cabin."
"Who told you how to"
Sam was running her hands up and down his chest.
"So am I."
Jack stared at her.
"I needed to feel close to someone... to you...tonight."
"I left Pete."
Jack's heart stopped.
"I-i...I mean ehm...Wasn't everything with you...going good?"
"No. I'm going to be honest... I've been in denial for far too long."
Jack was now confused. He looked away from Sam momentarily, trying to ignore her bare shoulders. He looked up again to see Sam gazing at him, with a look he'd rarely seen.
"I love you, Jack."
"I said I love you! I'm sick of running from my feelings! I'm sick if having to bottle them up. I..."
"I love you too Sam."
Jack could feel tears forming in his eyes. His heart skipped another beat as he reached up to dry his eyes. It was strange, crying. He hadn't cried since before Charlie had died. He'd never allowed himself the luxury.
The tears began to roll freely down his face, as his hands began to tremble.
"Thank you so much for coming here."
Sam didn't say a word, but began hugging him fiercely as his tears consumed him. After a while, the tears subsided, and Jack backed off, embarrassed.
"I-I'm sorry. You came here for comfort and all I've done is"
"Shh." Sam said, taking his hand. "There's something wrong isn't there?"
Jack glanced up.
"It's me...Isn't it." Sam sighed.
"No. No...It's me...I..."
"I looked through my photo album earlier. I normally try to avoid looking through it."
"Charlie?" Sam asked.
"No. The pictures of him and Sara are the ones I look at more frequently."
Jack sat up on the bed, hugging a section of cover round his waist. Sam also rose, keeping the cover round her chest.
"I'll show you."
Jack reached over to the book he'd discarded a few hours earlier.
"This is my past."
Sam took the book, and slowly opened the first page.
A familiar looking man stared up at her.
"My father...I've not seen him since Charlie was born."
"Oh...He's your double."
Jack was silent at that comment. Sam turned the page again, where she saw a gaggle of teenagers, many of whom looked suspiciously like Jack. Jack reached over and began pointing at people in the photograph.
"That's Bob, Jim, Mac, Caitlin, Alexa and Siobhan...My brothers and sisters."
"I know her." Sam said, tapping a finger at Siobhan's image.
"She works for SETI along with Jim. She's a cosmologist. You've probably read some of her papers."
"I think I have actually!"
Sam turned another page, where she saw some rather disturbing images.
"Never thought you liked all that flower power stuff sir!"
"Sorry...Force of habit."
She playfully punched him, before returning to her inspection of 'hippie Jack'.
"I was kinda like Michael and that."
Sam giggled, before turning a page.
Sara O'Neill and Charlie stared back up at her, and Sam audibly gulped.
"I ehm...I'm going to be honest...I feel uncomfortable with this bit of your past."
"I guess I'm a little jealous that you know what it's like to be that committed to a relationship...to love someone unconditionally and...to share you heart, your soul, your very being with them...I wonder if I'll know that."
"You will Samantha." Jack said, touching her shoulder.
She paused for a second to look at Charlie. Jack knew why she was looking at him so intently. It had been evident to him for a few years now that Sam was wanting to settle down and have a family.
"He was a beautiful child."
"He certainly was."
The Black Ops photos came next. Sam ignored them, almost as if she did not want to face that part of Jack's life.
She then came across a variety of pictures of Daniel. Her heart jumped a little. She wasn't expecting this.
"I never expected you to keep photos of us in your album."
"Why not? I've known you all for eight years."
Sam turned back to the book. "You have a lot of pictures of Daniel."
"You two are a lot closer than you'll ever admit."
Jack looked at her. "...Yeah."
Sam smiled knowingly.
"He...he reminds me of Charlie sometimes...I think that's what Charlie would have been like if he hadn't..."
Sam took a hold of him. "I guessed that was what it was...That and the fact that Daniel's an orphan."
She quickly turned a page to see pictures of Teal'c.
"You two are awful close as well." Sam chuckled.
Sam raised an eyebrow at this.
"Apophis...Special Ops...You know...same difference."
Sam hesitated to turn the page, simultaneously afraid that there would be a page for her, or none at all.
The next page was crammed with pictures. They were mostly of Sam and Jack together and...
"Where's this from?" Sam said looking at a picture of her and Jack kissing.
"Uhm...When you had that Broca virus...thing...Well Ferretti had a camera and well...y'know."
"Caught me at my least flattering."
"And at your most complimenting."
"You said you wanted me!"
"What's so different about that!"
The pair sat silent.
"This has been a interesting evening." Jack said, looking at the red faced Colonel sat next to him.
"And we're moving on!" Sam said.
She flicked forward to see a blank page.
"That can't be it!"
"I've kept what's important."
"So...What are all these blank pages for?"
Sam's heart soared. He wanted the 'forever' deal.
"Together...I like the sound of that!"
The pair sat staring into each other's eyes for several moments, before Jack broke the contact and looked at the cover of the album.
"It's time to move on."
Five words, spoken with so much reverence. He was finally ready to move on from Sara and Charlie, from Black Ops, and all the other tragedies and hurts in his past.
"I'll be there with you."
Sam edged closer to Jack, cuddling into him. Their earlier unease forgotten.
"It's a pity we don't have a camera handy to capture the first moments of our future together." Sam said, breaking the easy silence.
"That's where my new toy comes in handy!" Jack responded, picking up a flip phone from his bedside cabinet.
Sam leaned closer to Jack, resting her head on his toned shoulder, while he took a picture.
"I'll print it off first thing in the morning."
"In the morning..."
Jack turned to look at her. "Not tonight...It's been a while."
"Not a problem...This is a cliché, but I'm happy just to cuddle."
"Good...Just tonight though." He added, smiling playfully.
Jack turned round, and switched off his bedside lamp, before he pulled the cover over himself and Sam.
"I love you Jack."
"I love you Sam...Here's to our future."
Sam giggled, then the happy couple fell into a deep and peaceful sleep.
AN: This has to be the saddest sappiest thing I've written - EVER! I apologise.