The Grocery Store

Rated: G

Season: Just before the first episode.

Spoilers: Um, not really, except I mentioned Jonas the ex-fiance in a non-spoiler kind of way...

Summary: Pre-season 1. Before they officially meet at Stargate Command, Jack and Sam run into each other at the grocery store! Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Well, I'm sure the deed to Stargate is on everybody's Christmas list, but until the 25th…

A/N: Hey everyone! By some miraculous twist of fate, I have very little to do during exam time, so you get a story! I hope you like it. Thanks so much for reading! Enjoy!

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"So I finally get to my new apartment at 2:00 in the morning only to find out the key doesn't… hold on, Mark, I'm trying to find a good parking space," Sam Carter set her cell phone on the passenger seat of her car and attempted to grab a newly deserted spot by the doors.

"Looks like my lucky- hey buddy! I can't believe he just took my spot."

She glared at the gleaming truck and continued farther down until she found another vacancy.

"Sorry about that, Mark," she apologized as she left her car. "Some guy just grabbed my spot. That's what I get for grocery shopping on a Saturday morning I guess."

She made her way to the carts just inside the door.

"There he is again," she muttered more to herself than to her brother. "If he thinks he's getting my cart too…"

She quickened her pace and made a beeline for the few remaining carts.

Both their hands reached out. Both grips were firm. Sam gave him a glare that could scare a colonel.

He glared back. Neither grip budged. She was so not in the mood for this.

"Mark, I'll call you back," Sam hung up her phone while holding the brown eyes of the man before her. "I was here first."

"Were not," he countered.

"Was too."

"Not."

"Was."

"Not."

This could go on for a while.

"Look, I've just had four hours of sleep on the hardwood floor of my new apartment after spending the last 17 hours on what was supposed to be a 5-hour flight. The moving truck will be arriving in two hours, and I haven't eaten since breakfast yesterday. I need this cart!"

"Geesh, you could have just said please," he released his hold of the cart and stalked off for another.

Sam stared after him in shock as heat filled her cheeks. She shouldn't have snapped at him like that. The poor guy. It wasn't his fault she was in such a bad mood.

Great way to start off in a new town. Berate the locals on your first morning here.

With a heavy sigh, she followed after him to the produce aisle.

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Potatoes. I wonder how many Kawalski will want? Jack put a few more in the thin plastic bag that didn't look like it would make it in one piece to the checkout line. He was looking around for a twisty-tie, when the clearing of a throat sounded behind him.

For cryin' out loud. If she tries to tell me these are her potatoes… He slowly turned around.

"Can I help you?" he asked, giving her his most endearing smile.

Sam squirmed under his disarming smile as her cheeks warmed even more. Did he have to make it so difficult?

"Um, look, I'm really sorry for being so…"

"Annoying, snappy, impatient, cranky, uppity…"

Uppity?

"Uppity?"

"Just trying to help."

"Yeah, well I guess you're right." Sam began putting together her own bag of potatoes. She could microwave those… "It's just that I'm under a lot of stress right now. I know that's not an excuse, but…"

"Twisty-tie?" he held one out to her before starting on a new bag of onions.

"Thank you."

"Your welcome. I'm Jack, by the way."

"Sam."

"So judging from our earlier conversation, you just moved here?"

"Yeah. New job. I start tomorrow." She decided to omit the part about being transferred with the Air Force. Some men found her military standing intimidating.

"Well, good luck, Sam," he offered as he headed away.

"Thanks," she called after him.

"Yeahsureyabetcha."

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Poor kid. She really did look tired, Jack decided as he headed to the meat aisle. She's lucky she doesn't know all that goes on out there in the galaxy. She'd really be stressed out then, he thought, his own career beginning again at tomorrow's briefing. He examined the steaks closely before making his choice. He could almost taste them now.

"You know, you really shouldn't eat such fatty stuff. Your arteries start clogging at an early age even though you may not feel the effects till later in life."

"I'm having a barbecue with seven other guys," he turned around to face her. "Clogging arteries is what we do."

Sam conceded him on that point with a nod as she looked over the different cuts of chicken. Jonas had barbecued a lot. She'd tried to get him to change to lean, but he was adamant. Briefly she let herself wonder what he would be doing right now. Probably just coming in from a night out with the guys, she thought bitterly. Come on, Sam, get him out of your head. You're moving on, starting fresh. You don't need him. Things are going to be better now.

"So what kind of work do you do?"

"Huh?" she startled out of her thoughts.

"You're starting a job tomorrow. What do you do?"

"Oh, I'm an astrophysicist."

"That's… interesting."

"It's okay. I know it sounds boring, but I actually get to study some pretty amazing things." If he knew about the Stargate, he'd be drooling.

"Oh I don't doubt that for a second." Astrophysics?! No wonder she looks dead on her feet. "Dairy?" he motioned for her to precede him.

Sam couldn't help but giggle as she led the way. At least he seemed to know what it meant. That's more than I can say for most people.

She opened a carton of eggs to check for cracks, placing it in her cart when she found none.

"Messy divorce?"

"What?" she looked at him in confusion.

He pointed to her ring finger where the tan line was still evident.

"Oh, no. Just a messy engagement break-up." Why was he trying to check her marital status? He was very good looking…

"Sorry," he offered as he placed a gallon of milk in his own cart. "I didn't mean to meddle. It's just that I recently got divorced myself."

"Oh, I'm sorry," it was her turn to apologize. Drat! Next I suppose he'll want to have a heart-to-heart in the guise of a date.

"Can I get you a cup of coffee?"

I can't believe he just said that.

"You look like you could really use one. You're a mess."

What?! Okay, so I haven't showered in a while, but…

"There's a food court here. Not the greatest coffee in the world, but…" She's looking at me funny. Why is she looking at me funny? All I said was… oh. She is so going to throw that yogurt at me. "Tell you what," he added hurriedly. "I'll just go get us some while you watch the carts."

"Oh, okay," she said, relieved on one hand but a little disappointed on the other.

She browsed the different brands of coke while she waited. She reached for a bottle of regular.

"I can't believe you got that diet junk again," he spat the drink back into the glass.

"I'm sorry, Jonas. I forgot you liked the regular," she hastily took the glass away from him and went to get him some water.

She'd always promised herself that she would never get in those stupid arguments that couples always seemed to find themselves in. What brand of toothpaste to use. Who took out the garbage last.

"I hate diet."

"I said I was sorry," she muttered as she rolled her eyes and turned on the tap, drowning out his voice in the process.

She put back the regular and reached for the diet.

"I hate diet."

Sam jumped. "Excuse me?"

"Sorry. I didn't mean to startle you," he handed her a styrofoam cup. Okay, so now she's glaring at me. What is it with this woman?

"It's okay. I was just lost in thought. Thanks for the coffee." He must think I'm completely insane. Sorry, Jack, but despite what I'd like to believe, a cup of coffee can't fix everything. "You know, Jack,I never did ask you what you do."

"Well, until just recently I was retired."

"You look too young to be retired. Is that why you decided to go back to work?"

"Yeah, just couldn't stay away."

Why is he evading the question?

What was that stupid cover story?

"Well, I'm ready to head to the checkout. How about you?" he asked.

"Yeah, I'm ready."

"You can go first," he offered when they reached an empty register.

Sam paid the clerk and loaded her bags back into her cart as Jack's order was being rung through. He handed the cashier a bonus card that so many of the grocery stores were using those days.

"All right, Colonel O'Neill, that will be $35.97."

"Here you go," he handed her a fifty.

Sam froze as his full name, painfully familiar, sounded loudly through her brain.

This can't be happening to me. This can so not be happening to me.

"You okay?" he asked as he pushed his cart away and gathered his bags in his hands.

I'm going to throw up. Right here, right now, on his shoes.

"Oh yeah, just the caffeine kicking in."

She looks like she's going to barf on me.

"You sure?" he asked, taking a step back.

"I'm fine."

"Okay, well, I guess I'll see you around, Sam. Perhaps the canned goods section next time, eh?"

"Yeah," she gave a half-hearted laugh as he strolled away. Or tomorrow's briefing!

"Good luck with your new job," he threw over his shoulder.

"Thanks," she yelled back. See you tomorrow. It'll be a pleasure working with you. I'm sorry I yelled at you. I thought we hit it off pretty well considering. Please don't fire me!

Some days it just didn't pay to get out of bed.

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There we go! I hope you enjoyed that. It was fun getting to write Sam and Jack with no military barriers. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Best wishes and lots of love!

macisgate