Email: When everything else is stripped away, all you are left with is faith. You might find it is not placed where you thought.
Spoilers: General spoilers for everything up to, and including, season 8.
Content Warnings: None
Archive: My Site: Yes
Anywhere else: Yes
Disclaimer: Not mine… you know the drill.
Author's Note: Finally! It's the final chapter! Just want to say a massive thanks to everybody who's stuck with the story thus far and put up with the haphazard updating schedule.
They drove back to Jack's house in silence.
Jack kept glancing over at Sam, but she stared steadfastly out of the window. She was obviously very deep in thought.
Knowing she would talk to him, or probably yell at him, eventually, Jack said nothing. He didn't know how he got the impression that she was going to yell, maybe it had something to do with the way her jaw was clenching and unclenching rhythmically.
He pulled the truck into his driveway and switched off the ignition.
When she made no move to get out of the truck he turned to look at her. "Sam?"
"Why did you drive here?" She asked. "Did it occur to you that I might not have wanted to come here?"
He raised his eyebrows as he assimilated her words. Then he said, "It did. I drove here for two reasons. One: Your car is here; and two: my house still looks like someone broke in, you said you'd help clean it up."
"That's it?" She asked, her words dangerously crisp.
"That and the fact that we should probably talk."
Jack sighed. "I'm going inside." He said, climbing out of the truck.
His words hung in the air of the cab. Sam watched him open the front door and walk in as his unspoken inference played though her head. I'm going inside. You can either follow me, or you can go home. It's up to you.
Sam slid out of the truck and walked into the house, closing the door behind her.
Jack was in the living room, cleaning up the broken glass.
"Don't come in here," He said without looking up, "There's still broken glass on the floor."
She walked into the kitchen and grabbed herself a beer from the fridge.
When Jack entered the kitchen carrying the dustpan filled with broken glass. "I think I got it all." He said, tipping the pan into the garbage.
She was leaning against the kitchen side, sipping her beer, she didn't bother to reply.
He turned to face her. "All right. I can't take anymore. What's goin' on?"
"Is that it?" She asked.
Her question obviously confused him. "What?"
"Is that it?" She repeated. "You leave the Air Force but keep your job, and we… what? Settle down into domestic bliss?"
Jack smiled wryly. "I thought we talked about this this morning?"
"That was this morning." She said.
"And things're different now?" His voice carried only the slightest hint of a question.
"Yes!" She snapped, upset that he couldn't see it.
"How?" He asked.
The simple question threw Sam off balance. "What do you mean 'how'?" She asked.
"Last night I wasn't Air Force, today I'm not Air Force, what's the difference?"
Sam stared at him incredulously. "It's really that simple for you, isn't it?"
"You know me, Sam, I'm not that complex." Jack walked across the room to the refrigerator and got himself a beer.
"Bullshit." She said vehemently.
"I'm sorry?" He asked, sounding slightly amused.
His amusement irritated her. She was serious. "That's bullshit and you know it! You are way more complex than you'd like to admit."
"Maybe, but I don't see what it has to do with this." He said calmly. "What is your problem?"
"What are we supposed to do now?" She asked, her anger subsiding.
He regarded her for a long moment. "We do what ever we want to do, Sam."
"And what about last night?" She asked.
"I thought we dealt with last night this morning?"
"No, Jack. We did what we always do: brushed it under the rug to deal with later." She sounded tired.
"What is it youre afraid of, exactly?" He asked.
"Yes, Carter, afraid." He snapped. "It means 'to fear'."
"I don't want to become just 'Jack's girl'." She said, her voice suddenly small.
He laughed, making her stare at him. "That's it?" He asked. She nodded. "You're nuts, you know that, right?"
She stared at him again. "But-"
"No buts, Sam. Its ridiculous. No one has ever been 'just my girl'," he pulled a face, "and I doubt that you ever could be." He was obviously struggling to stop himself laughing again. He sobered slightly, his eyes searching her face. "Sam, you need to sleep," he said gently, "you've had a rough coupla days and you shouldn't have to deal with this now."
"I slept last night." She protested.
He snorted derisively. "You passed out last night. You need real sleep. In your own bed." He added.
She glared at him, her tiredness of a moment ago forgotten. "You want me to leave?"
"No!" He said hastily. "It's just… what do you want, Sam?"
"I'm just not sure we can do this, and you don't seem to care one way or the other!"
Jack spoke with quiet assurance. "I'm sure."
His mouth quirked upwards slightly "Faith."
"That's not funny."
"It wasn't meant to be."
"You really think it'll be okay?" She asked tiredly.
"We survived last night, didn't we? And we've survived worse." He pointed out. "Go to bed."
"Living room." She said, her words slurring.
"Tomorrow." He assured her.
"C'mon then." She said, pulling on his hand.
"I was gonna have another beer…" He said.
"Come to bed, Jack." She ordered.
"Well, when you put it like that…" He said, letting her lead him from the room.