Through the Years



Once inside the apartment, the three cuddled together on the couch and chatted animatedly with each other. Grace told her dad all about the things she and her mom liked to do together. Jack told Grace the whole tale of how he fell in love with her mommy. Grace was a six year old girl and had heard all the fairy tales like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White. Knowing her mom and dad had their own fairy tale absolutely thrilled the little girl.

Once Grace was finally put to bed and fast asleep, Jack took Sam to bed. Their love-making was completely different from the first time they made love. It was completely different from the last time they made love and all the times in between. The passion and love for each other was the same, it was the hidden promise to each other that made it different. The promise that no matter what life throws at them, no matter what was yet to come, they would never be separated again. They were finally reunited, and absolutely nothing was going to pull them apart ever.

The next morning, Sam woke up in an empty bed. She could smell coffee and hear Jack and Grace chatting in the kitchen. Smiling, Sam pulled herself out of bed and, throwing on her robe, headed out to the kitchen.

Jack was standing in front of the stove, flipping pancakes while Grace was sitting on the counter, stirring the mix. "Mornin'," Sam announced, walking into the kitchen and heading straight to the coffee pot.

"Good morning, beautiful," Jack said, leaning over and kissing Sam on her cheek.

Grace giggled. "That's what he said to me, too," she laughed.

Sam smiled and tickled Grace on her side. "Well, you are beautiful," she told her, smiling happily.

Grace giggled again.

After taking a sip of her coffee, Sam set the cup down on the table and turned back around, wrapping her arms around Jack from behind. "Hmm, I've missed your cooking," she hummed into his back.

Jack wrapped his free hand around Sam's on his chest. "Good, 'cause I've missed cooking for you."

Sam smiled and kissed the back of his neck before pulling away.

The three enjoyed breakfast and sat at the table talking even after they were done eating.

"Oh, I almost forgot," Grace said, reaching down and pulling her chain off her neck. "Here, I took good care of this for you."

"Grace, sweetie," Jack said, taking the chain Grace handed him. "I gave this to you to keep, you don't have to give it back."

"I know," Grace said, looking at her dad with innocent eyes. "But, rings aren't for chains, they're for fingers, and that ring is too big for me."

"Oh! Okay," Jack said, fingering the ring on the chain. Then, glancing over at Sam for a brief second, looked back at his daughter. "You know, there is one person this ring fits perfectly."

"Mommy?" Grace asked.

"Yup. It was made just for her. Do you think we should give it back to the original owner."

"Mommy?" Grace asked, looking at her mom.

Sam smiled.

"Yeah, we should," Grace finished, smiling at her dad.

Jack grinned and unlatched the chain, allowing the ring to come off. He walked over to Sam and reached for her left hand. "There is only one place this ring belongs," he said softly, holding out her ring finger and sliding on the ring. He looked Sam in the eyes as he slid the ring down her finger. "For life," he said, love radiating from his eyes.

"For life," Sam confirmed, not taking her eyes off Jack. As soon as the ring was in place, Sam wrapped her arms around Jack's neck and kissed him passionately.

Jack pulled her as close as he could, not letting her pull away from the kiss.

"Are you guys going to be kissing a lot now?" Grace asked, sounding slightly annoyed.

Jack pulled back only a millimeter. "Yup, squirt. You're just gonna have to get used to it," he told her and then devoured Sam's lips again.

Grace rolled her eyes and walked to the living room. Grown ups were so weird!

Sam told Jack that she was being reassigned back to Cheyenne Mountain. Something Jack was thrilled about since he already had a house in Colorado Springs. They made arrangements to move all Sam and Grace's things to Jack's house by the end of the week.

Sam still had to work the remainder of the week at the Pentagon, and as much as Jack was willing to stay with her until Friday, after finding out his family knew about Grace, Jack wanted to seek revenge.

At first, Jack was angry that his family knew about Grace and didn't tell him. But, when Sam explained the situation with Maggie, Liz and Kelly coming to her house shortly after Christmas two years ago, Jack started to understand their side.

He, however, still wanted to get revenge.

When Sam told him she needed to call his mom and explain her abrupt phone conversation with her the day before the Abydos Mission, Jack told her he would take care of it. He made sure Sam's apartment was all packed up and on Thursday afternoon, he and Grace headed to Ohio.

Sam informed Jack that she didn't agree with his tormenting of his family, but she couldn't talk him out of it, and so agreed to meet them there on Saturday.

Jack and Grace arrived at his family's house shortly after 1600. He knocked on the front door and swung it open only seconds later.

"Hey, anyone here?" he yelled out.

A moment later, Maggie and Charles came walking towards the door, with little Sean next to them.

"Jack! What a great surprise!" Maggie squealed.

Jack smiled and hugged his parents. "Well, I was in DC for a meeting and thought I would stop in for the weekend. Sorry I didn't call."

"Oh, son, you know you don't have to call. This will always be home, whenever you need it," Maggie told her son, kissing him on his cheek.

"Hey, Seany, what are you doing here?" Jack asked, acknowledging his young nephew.

"Oh, we're babysitting. Rob should be here in an hour to pick him up. He'll be thrilled to see you."

"Oh! Before I forget, I brought you a surprise," Jack told his parents, slapping his hands together. "Close your eyes," he ordered.

"Jack?" his dad questioned.

"It's right outside the door, just close them already."

Jack grinned as his parents, and Sean, closed their eyes.

Jack opened the screen door and motioned for Grace to come in. She quickly walked inside, grinning up at her dad with his 'great' plan.

Putting Grace in front of him, he set his hands on her shoulders and then told his parents, "you can open them now."

Maggie and Charles opened their eyes and dropped their jaws.

"Grace!" Maggie was the first one to find her voice.

"Hi, Grandma," she said in a sing-song voice.

Maggie rushed over and picked her granddaughter up in a hug. "Oh, sweetheart, it's so good to see you again," she cried, clinging to the young girl.

Grace had yet to meet her grandpa, but she was well-aware that the man standing next to her grandma with those big, kind eyes, was indeed her grandpa. "Hi, Grandpa," she greeted Charles.

Charles O'Neill is an old-fashioned man who rarely ever cries, but the sound of his granddaughter's sweet voice acknowledging him was enough to allow a single tear to escape the man's eye and slide down his aging face. "Hey, there, Sunshine," he whispered and reached for the little girl.

Grace went willingly into her grandpa's embrace and hugged him tightly, pulling back only to place a kiss on his weathered cheek.

Maggie finally looked back at her son, who was smiling widely. "You found them," she exclaimed.

"Yup," he said, still grinning. "Sam will be here Saturday. She wanted to call and tell you, but I insisted it would be much more fun to surprise you."

Maggie smiled brightly.

"You were right, Grandma," Grace announced in her grandpa's arms. "Grandma's do always keep their promises."

Maggie smiled even brighter as her eyes misted over. This was a promise she was glad to see kept.


One year later…..

Jack was sitting on his roof with his telescope. Grace was sound asleep in her bed. After four months of trying to reactivate the stargate with no luck, Sam was transferred back to the Pentagon. Jack, being retired, had no problem moving back to DC. He kept his house in the Springs, something told him he would be moving back to the area eventually.

That was where he and Grace were at the moment. It was the anniversary of Charlie's death, and Jack and Grace flew out to visit Charlie's grave. Sam was stuck working and planned on coming out on Friday. Since Grace wasn't due to start school for another two weeks, Sam was planning on taking the whole next week off and the three were going to spend a week at the cabin in Minnesota before the end of the summer.

He heard voices coming from the ground and seconds later, a head appeared at the top of his ladder.

"Col. O'Neill?" the man asked.

"Retired," Jack replied, nonchalantly.

"I'm here from General Hammond's office."

"Never heard of him," Jack replied, still looking through his telescope. Couldn't these guys take a hint? He was retired, for crying out loud!

"He replaced General West. It's about the Stargate."

This got Jack's attention and he turned around to face the man, thoughts of Daniel and the people of Abydos flooding his mind.

He went inside and called his next door neighbor, Susan, to come over and sit with Grace while he headed back to the mountain with Major Samuels.

After several hours inside the mountain, it was finally agreed that Jack and his team would be taking another trip to Abydos; and Jack was immediately reinstated in the Air Force. He had no idea how he was going to break the news to Sam and Grace that he was, once again, going through the Stargate.

Jack only had a few hours before he had to report back to the mountain. He went home, arranged for Susan to keep Grace until Sam got there, and tried to call Sam. He called her at home and only got the answering machine. He tried her at work and only got a message that she was in an important meeting. He left a message at home for her to call as soon as she got in and then headed back to the mountain.

Being back in his blues was welcoming to Jack. He had always felt proud when wearing his uniform. He stood in the briefing room, talking with Kawalsky and Ferretti. General Hammond walked in and Jack assumed the briefing was to begin. He walked to his spot at the other end of the table.

"Is Captain Carter here yet?" General Hammond asked Samuels.

"She just arrived, sir," Samuels replied.

"Carter?" Jack asked, knowing exactly who Hammond was referring to.

"Yes, I've assigned Sam Carter to this mission."

"There might be a problem with that, sir," Jack replied, gaining the attention of everyone in the room.

"A problem? What kind of problem, colonel?"

"A leadership problem, sir."

General Hammond was not amused with Colonel O'Neill's stalling tactics at all. "Why would there be a problem with leadership?"

"Well, sir, I may be the higher ranking officer, but Carter is.."

Sam's voice from the door cut him off. "His wife, sir."

Jack turned around and grinned at his beautiful wife in her dress blues.

Yup, so maybe they wouldn't be allowed on the same team, but that was perfectly okay with him. He, Sam and Grace were already the best team in the universe. And no matter what was yet to come, they would get through it together. Always.

They promised.



a/n: I hope the ending was okay. I tried to leave the ending open for interpretation. Maybe things will continue just like on the show, maybe things will be different. Who knows? Not me, because this is the end of my story. I just want to thank everyone one more time for the outstanding responses to this story. It's been fun, but I'm glad it's finally over. I think I'll take a break from long fics for awhile. They're quite time-consuming! But, who knows, I have a bunch of stories waiting around to be written, I guess it just depends which one is on my mind the next time I sit down to write. So, anyways, I hope you will all still be around with whatever I choose to write next!

Until then…..Good bye!