Title: Accident Waiting To Happen
Author: nostalgia
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: I own some cheese and some twigs, but none of these people.
Notes: This is not a happy fic. The title is, err, the Billy Bragg song that was on Winamp.
For Qwirky.
She remembers that they never really spoke much outside of work and maybe – maybe – it's not just because they were repressing something. Maybe she should have paid more attention to that fact. There's only so many maybes you can fit in before a theory becomes fantasy, but current evidence would suggest this one holds water.

Then again, maybe – and there's that word, that awful word – she shouldn't be using science for stuff like this.

No one believes it, but they honestly didn't have sex until after he'd retired. Or kiss (really kiss, with both of them there and compos mentis). It might only have been thirty-six hours (she counted), but it's good. No rules were broken in the making of this marriage.

This last part is especially important, and she'll never admit to anyone that she counted out those thirty-six hours because she'd feel like she let herself down if she jumped him before that.

She'd also never admit that her original plan was for seventy-two.

It takes her almost forty years of pretending not to be a little girl to realise that little girls are routinely lied to. Painted toenails in combat boots were her little feminine rebellion, and now she wonders if (knows that) it meant nothing.

Secretly, Sam was always happy to be the girl. And however much she says otherwise, it pisses her off that Jack is better with cooking and cleaning and changing diapers.

She knows, of course, that she needs to get over the gender thing and accept that people are people. She also knows that it wouldn't be a problem if she actually liked Jack.

One morning over coffee she says, "Are you happy?"

"Yes."

She has absolutely no idea if he's lying.

Everyone knows that highly emotional states result from combat, and that the practice of war depends on this. Another popular cliché is that the forbidden fruit is the most tempting. Eve's sin was finding out that the thing you can't have is usually over-rated.

And really, she should have learned from Pete that there's a lot to be said for long engagements.

Above everything else, what Sam has never learned is this - how to deal with failure. So she refuses to be the one to blink first here, and lies on a daily basis about how incredibly happy she is.

Her list of excuses and explanations never quite convince her, but they work sometimes. They waited too long, or they didn't wait long enough, or he's just fucked up and drags her down with him.

She's ashamed to feel pleased that she never blames the kid.

"You're not that complex," she says, quiet because she kind of hopes he won't hear her.

"Huh?"

She smirks at that, and repeats back the words that were never really his. "You'll always be here for me, right Jack? No matter what."

"Well…. If you turned out to be evil I might-"

"Why does it always have to be a fucking joke for you?"

(He really should have noticed that she never really laughed. This entire thing is his fault.)

So she waits for him to admit defeat, for that perfect excuse to get away. Any day now, any day now…

That's the thing that annoys her most about Jack. He really, honestly, loves her.

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