Title: Too Much is Not Enough

Author: Gail R. Delaney Definitely Romance – Episode Filler

Pairing: Jack/Sam

Rating: 2

Length: short

Spoilers: THREADS

Timeline: During 'Threads' – after Jacob passes, Sam gives Pete the boot, and Daniel shows up nekkid again.

Synopsis: Some would say what he gives her is too much, but Jack knows it's not nearly enough.

Archive: http:outoftheroom. , Sam and Jack, SJfic, Helio2, Gateworld. . . if you'd like to post it somewhere else, just let me know. I'm sure I'll say yes, just want to know where.

Feedback: YES!

Disclaimer: I make no money for this. Wish I did. . . but oh, well. No copyright infringement intended.

Special Thanks: As always to my amazing beta, Jen

Jack studied Sam from the corner of his eye, keeping a close watch on the precarious control she maintained. She may have said she was okay, and on many levels he didn't doubt her, but he also knew her better than most. No matter what spin she put on it, what rationalization she gave, she had just lost her father.

And his chest ached every time he looked into her eyes and saw the pain she hid.

Daniel was talking about something, rattling on in a voice just slightly too loud – probably from one too many beers – and dug a handful of stale pretzels and popcorn from the wooden bowl on the table between them. Teal'c raised an eyebrow as he looked to Daniel then to Jack across the table. Jack shrugged and took another sip of beer.

This was a new place, set on the shores of a lake with dimly lit docks and patios that stretched out from the main building with strings of Chinese lanterns and benches along the way. It was interesting, but a bar was a bar. The beer was cold, and the snacks were no fresher than anywhere else so he didn't really care. Inside the bar, the music was loud and the tables cramped. Which was okay, too. It just meant that he could stretch his legs and brush his knee against Sam and not feel bad about it.

Not that he ever really felt bad about it.

"So, now that the…" Daniel stumbled, muffled a burp and rolled his hand in the air enthusiastically. "Let's call them the Goodfella's because they are, after all, good and for the most part fellas – although I have seen a good share of Jaffffffff…of these particular folks that are of the female persuasion. Now that they are free to do as they please, has there been any mention of possibly striking up a conversation again with the – um – Goodfellas and the, uh…" He squinted his eyes and stared into the opening of his beer bottle, searching for an appropriate code word. "The other ones there that you don't like so much, Jack. Not that they were all bad. Jacob, of course, was—"

"Daniel!" Jack snapped.

Sam's hand came over his, gently squeezing to draw his attention. "It's okay, sir. No one should feel like they can't talk about my father."

"Yeah, Jack. I was just saying that Jacob was one of the good guys. Not a good fella… a good guy. I mean…" Daniel trailed off, confusing himself.

"Is it not better to speak of JacobCarter in a manner which honors his life than to deny his existence?"

Jack looked to Sam. The only opinion that really mattered to him was hers. She smiled softly and Jack tipped one corner of his lips in a returned grin. Daniel rambled on about the great potential of new talks between the 'goodfellas' and 'those who would not be named', alternating spurts of diatribe with mouthfuls of snacks.

He watched her for several moments, then she looked away and turned her attention to Daniel and Teal'c. A moment later, her hand slipped off his but her fingertips trailed along his skin before she folded her hands together beneath the table.

Daniel tipped to the side, and Teal'c unceremoniously shoved him back to an upright position. "Perhaps it would be wise to request some food for DanielJackson to consume with his alcohol," Teal'c suggested. "It may ease the inebriation effects."

"Good idea." Jack raised his hand to flag the waitress when Sam touched his thigh lightly beneath the table.

"I'm going to get some air."

Then she was gone. Slipping through the crowd towards the back door and the dark patio beyond. Old habits told Jack to hold his spot and let her go. It wasn't his place to follow. But hadn't he just told her he'd always be there for her? And hadn't he been? Whether she knew it or not, realized it or not?

He wouldn't fail now.

"T, order whatever you and Daniel want. On me."

Then he was on his feet, pushing through the horde of people towards the same door Sam headed for. He caught up to her just as they both slipped through the door to the dimly lit patio beyond. As the wood frame door slapped shut behind him, Jack caught her elbow and she turned back to face him.

"Sam…"

She looked up at him, and the thin veil of control was nearly gone. Sam kept so much in check so much of the time, it amazed him she didn't just crack under the pressure. She turned her face up to look at him, the soft glow of the Chinese lantern casting golden light over her features. Jack wished he could do something. Anything.

He didn't make the conscious effort to lean in, but as soon as his body shifted, there was no force on Earth or beyond that could stop him. Jack pressed his lips to hers, holding her there – still and simple – reveling in the feel of her mouth beneath his. She moved closer, her fingers curling into the front of his jacket, and Jack allowed the tip of his tongue to taste the crease of her mouth before he forced himself to pull away.

Even that restrained, simple, almost chaste kiss was too much.

And yet, it wasn't enough. Could never be enough to let her know.

Jack wrapped her in his embrace, her arms circling his shoulders, and he took them both deeper into the shadows of the patio. Far from the seeking eyes of strangers and friends. To ask her if she was okay would be asking her to lie, because she wouldn't tell him the truth. And speaking was more than they needed. More than he wanted. So, he leaned into the railing edge and drew her into the space between his thighs, shortening his height just enough to bring them closer to eye level and continued to hold her. Jack cupped her head with his hand, letting the other slide beneath her jacket to feel the warmth trapped beneath. Her cheek rubbed against his, as if it were the only caress she would allow herself, and hot moisture slicked the contact.

A small shudder moved through her and he pulled her tighter, closing his eyes.

This wasn't enough.

Yet, some would say it was too much already.

Screw you.

Her tension eased and the shaking stopped. Jack smoothed her hair and ran his hand along her spine until he knew she had once again reined in her control. As she pulled away, their lips brushed together in one final moment of intimate contact they knew they could allow.

Jack moved his hands to her cheeks, cupping her jaw in his palms, and smoothed away the remnants of tears with this thumbs. Sam wrapped her hands around his wrists and smiled at him, and he knew she would be okay. And if she wasn't, she knew he would be here.

Always.

Jack stood and pressed his lips to her forehead for a lingering kiss, then offered his hand. Their palms slid together as their fingers linked and he led them back inside through the herd of bar patrons.

When they reached the table again, Daniel was working on a plate of boneless buffalo wings and cheese fries and Teal'c had the same – only in much larger quantities. As they slipped into their seats, Jack motioned to the passing waitress for another beer.

"You wouldn't believe how hungry being nearly-dead and partially ascended can make you," Daniel mumbled as he dipped his wing into a small vat of blue cheese dressing and shoved it in his mouth, leaving a trail of buffalo juice and white dressing on his cheek. "The waffles were good, but not very satisfying."

Jack didn't even want to try and figure that out.

"Daniel!" Sam said on a groan. "Did they take your manners when they sent you back?"

Daniel stopped, another wing half way to his mouth with dressing and sauce dripping on his plate, and stared at her. "What?"

Sam shook her head and picked up her knife and fork to cut her own boneless wing into bite size pieces.

"So," Jack said, taking a melted processed cheese-food soaked fry from the basket in the middle of the table. "What do you guys say we all go fishing next weekend?"