A Little Yarn About Jack and Sam
Pairings: Sam/Jack, yarn/needles
Spoilers/Keywords: slight Threads, hints of season nine, fluff, romance
Notes: MGM/Gekko Productions still own Our Heroes and that big ring-thing they go through on a daily basis. I'm not making any money off this and I'm honestly not worth enough to sue. This is for Little Red and is really, really damn sappy, but I had lots of fun writing it. Enjoy and learn to knit! It's totally fun.
Sam stepped into the living room and stopped short, staring at the scene before her with some surprise and amusement. There sat hardass General Jack O'Neill, her former commanding officer and current occasional live-in lover (when he wasn't mired at his place in D.C. and she wasn't running for her life somewhere off-world), with a beer bottle on the coffee table in front of him, a hockey game that he was currently engrossed in on the television, and a pair of knitting needles in his hands that clacked away as he expertly turned yarn into fabric.
She stared for a few more moments before clearing her throat. Jack looked up and smiled, getting a hand free long enough to gesture at the empty sofa cushion beside him.
"C'mere. Game's just getting good."
Certainly not one to turn down a couch-snuggle with Jack, Sam walked over and curled up beside him, snagging his beer and stealing a quick sip. She leaned carefully against his side, smiling as he turned his head for a brief kiss.
"I didn't know you could do that," she commented mildly, waving a hand in the direction of his knitting needles.
"This?" He glanced up as he finished off another row. "Haven't had a lot of chance to lately, but I noticed your scarf's getting a little threadbare." He held the half-knitted fabric up to her face for a moment, then nodded, satisfied. "Yep. I thought it'd be a good color for you."
Sam blinked. "...you're making me a scarf?"
"Yup." Jack reached over and took a swallow of beer before resuming knitting. Sam watched him work for a few moments, oddly fascinated by the steady, soothing movements of the needles and yarn.
"Um...do you think you could teach me how?"
He looked at her for a moment, then grinned. "Sure. After blowing up a sun, this should be pretty easy."
"Well, I had a stargate to help there," she murmured, a tiny smile curving her lips.
Jack chuckled and carefully set his knitting down on the coffee table, then leaned over and kissed her again. "Wait here a moment, okay?"
He got up and returned a few moments later with another pair of needles and a ball of yarn and sat back down beside her. "Okay, first you need to learn how to make a slip-knot..."
"Okay." Sam nodded and watched his fingers intently as he demonstrated how to get the yarn onto the needles in the first place. She took the needles at his urging and tried the slip-knot a couple of times, reflecting that it really wasn't all that hard to get the hang of. Fifteen minutes later, following Jack's patient instructions, she'd managed to cast on a bumpy row of loops and had already decided that a scarf would be the simplest thing to start with. She held up the needle and eyed Jack.
"So…what do I do with this now?"
He picked his own knitting back up and scooted closer to her side, then held it up and slowly made a stitch. "See? Just four basic moves to it." He made another slow stitch and grinned. "Just keep doing that all the way to the end of the row."
Sam tried to slide the other needle into the loop the way he'd shown her, struggled with it for a moment, then watched in slight horror as part of her intricate construction slid off the end of the needle and unraveled. "Jack? What did I do wrong?"
He looked up from his row and eyed her needles. "I think you might've had it too tight. Just pull it out and try casting on to both needles. That might make it easier for you."
Sam scowled a bit at the yarn, but did as he suggested. Half an hour later, she'd managed a few somewhat-clumsy rows and was fighting down the urge to throw the whole thing across the room.
"It gets easier," Jack commented. She looked up to find him watching her and fought down a surge of envy as he knitted smoothly away.
"How long did it take you?" she asked.
"To pick up the basics? A week and a lot of dropped stitches." He finished his row, putting the whole thing down and leaning in to study her work. "You know, this really isn't bad for someone who's never knitted before."
Sam tried very hard to convince herself that he was being supportive, not condescending, and then remembered that this was Jack. He knew perfectly well that she'd kick his ass if he was ever patronizing to her. She managed a smile. "I'm hungry. Are you hungry?"
"Yup." He leaned in and kissed her. "Thai?"
"I've trained you well," she replied, putting the knitting aside and concentrating for the moment on kissing him until he hummed. That was something she knew she was good at.
Amazingly enough, things were at a lull project-wise and Sam was actually bored. She shot a quick glance at the surveillance camera, shrugged a bit self-consciously, and pulled the partially-finished scarf from her bag. Her stitches had actually become far less faltering over the past few days, but she still figured she'd want a lot more practice before she really felt proficient at this.
She knitted away, entering an oddly Zen-like state that was somehow different from the one she sometimes went into while working on alien technology or during long workouts. This time, her hands stayed busy while her mind drifted onto whatever it felt like and she wondered if this was a little bit like kelnorim.
Someone cleared their throat loudly and Sam started, turning to find Daniel standing in the doorway watching her.
"Daniel! I, um, didn't hear you."
"Noticed that," he replied, eyeing the knitting needles. "I didn't know you knew how to do that."
Dammit, now she could feel herself flushing. "Jack," she mumbled. "He's been teaching me."
"Yeah?" Daniel stepped over and took a closer look at the knitted fabric. "Didn't know Jack could knit either."
"He's, um, a lot better at it than I am," she replied, trying to will the flush to leave her face.
"That's usually what practice does with things like this," Daniel replied absently, reading the label on her yarn. He paused for a moment. "Did you know that the ancient Egyptians knew how to knit?"
Sam blinked. "Really?"
"Yep." Daniel straightened his glasses and smiled at her. "They've found evidence of it at various digs."
She smiled back, reflecting that it really was the sort of thing Daniel would know. "Cool."
"It is," he agreed. "You'll have to teach me how sometime."
"I'd like that." She put the needles down. "Er…was there something you needed?"
She chuckled. "Like that's news?"
He grinned. "Do you want to get some? And maybe go bug Teal'c for a bit?"
"Sounds like a plan." Sam stood up and put her arm around Daniel's shoulders, walking out with him.
Sam completed the scarf a week later and presented it to Jack on his next visit to Colorado Springs. He looked it over and grinned before pulling her into a hug.
"Thank you." He kissed her cheek. "Just the thing to wear for the winters here."
Sam managed a weak smile. "Well, you don't have to, if you-"
Jack interrupted her with another kiss. "Nope. Not getting another scarf. I like this one."
Sam allowed herself to be distracted rather effectively by him, assuming it was the last she would ever see of the scarf, but appreciating his show of enthusiasm all the same. Besides, she liked his chosen way of thanking her.
Jack wandered downstairs the next day, bundled against the chilly weather outside and peeked into the kitchen where she was seated at the table, notes and journals spread over every inch of available space.
"Forgot to pack dental floss," he said. "You want anything while I'm out?"
"Nah," she replied absently, nibbling on the end of her pen.
He stepped in and kissed her cheek. "Gotcha. Back soon."
Sam smiled and glanced up at him. Then she blinked and stared at him for a long moment.
"You're…you're wearing it?"
Jack blinked and looked down at the scarf. "Of course I'm wearing it. You stepped outside lately, Carter?"
"But….you're wearing it. In public. Outside."
"That's where you usually find the public, y'know." Jack studied her, still looking somewhat baffled. "Why wouldn't I wear it? It's a nice warm scarf and I like how it fits."
"But, I-" Sam took one end of the scarf in her hand, seeing all the dropped stitches and the place where the knit decided to go inexplicably wider on her. "It's, um, it's…"
Jack took her hand in his, his eyes warm. "It's fine, Carter. I like the scarf." He tickled her palm with his fingertips. "I can frame it or something if you want, but I'd really rather have it as a scarf."
"You aren't just trying to make me feel better, are you?" Sam asked, looking suspicious.
"Nuh-uh!" Jack held up his hands, an innocent expression on his face.
"I'm not five, you know," she muttered.
"And I'm profoundly grateful for that," Jack replied, leering a bit.
She glared faintly at him, trying to continue frowning when he reached out and clasped her hand again. He studied her calmly for a long moment, then pulled her into a sudden, enveloping hug.
"Eight years of watching you work with your gizmos and trying to figure out the secrets of the universe, Carter," he announced. "You know what I realized?"
"What?" she asked, happily noting that the scarf already smelled like him.
He pulled back slightly and smiled at her. "You are really damn hot when you're concentrating on something."
"Uh…" she replied eloquently, not quite seeing what this had to do with the scarf, but really hoping he didn't plan to stop hugging her anytime soon.
Jack rubbed her back. "When you were learning how to knit, you got exactly the same look on your face that you get when you're building something in your lab. It was really, really hot."
"…really?" she replied, trying not to flush.
He nodded, still smiling. "Yep. And this time, you were concentrating on me." Jack kissed the tip of her nose. "Every time I wear this thing, I'm going to think about that."
"Oh." She swallowed. "I, er, hadn't thought of it that way."
"Yeah." He grinned, bringing one hand up to cup her cheek. "It's a great scarf."