Title: Retiring For a Reason
Author: Dragonland
Email: PG-13 for profanity and anger
Summary: Jack is ready to retire, and Sam's a little pissed, to say the least.
Classifications: none
Spoilers: 100 days, any Simpsons episode and anywhere season 7 or below
Archive: SJD, yes, and heliopolis

Disclaimer: This is my first piece of fic. Please be gentle, but firm.

These characters don't belong to me and either does the show, which is okay because I couldn't afford it anyway. But I get to play with them for free.

Retiring for a Reason

By Dragonland

Jack sat in his office, holding his letter of resignation. It was a simple letter. Direct and right to the point. The SGC was quiet, especially for a Monday morning. He had been thinking about this day for a very long time. This was the day Sam would finally be his. A sharp knock snapped him out of his daze.

"Sir?" Major Carter asked. "Can I ask you a question about the upcoming mission…?"

"Carter, although I would love to answer your questions, I really have to do this right now. Can it wait a while?" he drawled.

"Actually, sir…"

"Great," he interrupted. "I'll meet you at the gate in half an hour."

"Yes, sir."

Carter walked out of the room, slightly flustered. It wasn't like Colonel O'Neill to blow her off like that. Shaking her head, she took her report and went back to her office.

Walking down the hall, Jack met up with Daniel.

"Hey Daniel, what would you say if I told you that I wouldn't be coming back to the SGC tomorrow?" asked Jack.

"Well, I know you're not one to skip out ever, even with a good reason," said Daniel. "I'd say an alien influence made you do it.

"Go get Teal'c and meet me in the gate room in 30 minutes."

"Uh, sure Jack."

"Excellent," he said emulating Mr. Burns' voice. "Meet you there."

Jack passed a puzzled Daniel and went to find the General.

"General Hammond. I am having a very important meeting with my team in the gate room in 30 minutes. I want to know if you could be present," asked Jack.

"Sure, son. I have a few minutes," replied Hammond.

"Thank you Sir," Jack said as he saluted the General and made his way to the gate room.

As he arrived, he looked at his team. This was the team that he had gone on hundreds of missions, been near death and shared most of his most memorable moments with. With all of that in the back of his head he started.

"Well, you all may want to know why I've called this meeting of the minds. Kinda of an interesting place for a meetin…," he cut himself off. "Ah, well, before I say this, I just wanted to let you guys know how much I appreciate you. It has been a wonderful six years. I have so much respect and admiration for you. But with time, all good things must come to an end. General, effective immediately, I would like to resign from the USAF and the SGC," Jack said.

You could cut the tension in the room with a knife.

"Permission granted O'Neill. I know that you have been thinking about this for a while," said the General.

"Sir?" Carter said as she choked back tears. "I… we, the team won't be the same without you," she said, forcing a smile.

"Thanks, Carter," said Jack, offering a small smile.

"What pushed you over the edge, Jack?" asked Daniel.

"Well, I'm not as young as I used to be. I've always wondered what aging civilians do. Plus, I have tons of fishing to catch up on," said Jack.

"Don't you think you'll get bored?"

"Well… no. I'll be quite busy… fishing, you know."

"You will be greatly missed O'Neill," said Teal'c.

"We will meet again. Don't speak as if I was dead. I'll still be around, just not as often," Jack said, smiling.

"Well, we do have a mission to prepare for Sir," said Carter.

"Sam, the mission has been aborted," Jack said.

"General, permission to leave? I have experiments running that need to be looked after," Carter said shortly.

"Go ahead," replied the General.

Carter walked gracefully out of the gate room. As she reached the hall, she ran to the elevator, clutching her stomach. She pressed the button and took a few shallow breaths. The elevator came and dropped her off at her office. She shut the door behind her. Leaning back against the door, she let out a cry of anger. She slid down to the floor sobbing. "Why did he have to leave here?" She thought that they had a good friendship, maybe something... "No! He's my commanding officer. Why would he look at me any different than his 2IC?"

"Carter, can we talk?" Jack asked quietly.

Sam stood up quickly. She wiped her eyes, rubbed her face and stood up.

"Sam, what's the matter?" Jack asked.

He had that look of concern, that look on his face that made her want to cry again. She slipped back into major mode. She couldn't let him see her like this. She shuddered briefly at the use of her name.

"Oh, it's nothing Sir," Carter said, placing a smile on her face. "I was just thinking about my father this morning. Finding out that one of my best friends is leaving the SG-1 just sort of pushed me over the edge, I guess. I am sorry that I lost my composure in the gate room. It was highly unprofessional."

"Sam, c'mere," Jack said soothingly.

She looked up at him and just fell into his arms. He wrapped his arms around her and stroked her hair. He held her in silence as he slowly rocked her back and forth.

"Sam, I haven't died or anything. You can always come and visit me at the old folks home," said Jack, turning to sarcasm to loosen the tension in the room.

She looked at him and smiled. "Of course Sir," Sam replied.

Jack brushed his thumbs across Sam's tear-streaked face. She held her breath.

"You are a wonderful person, Samantha Carter. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise," Jack said with a soft look in his eyes.

He left her standing there, hugging her arms close to her body.

The unofficial retirement party was held in his home in Colorado Springs. Many stories were shared. Sam enjoyed herself and spent as much time around Jack as possible, knowing that it would be a long time before she would see him again.

"So Jack, when do you plan on seeing Laira?" asked Daniel, who looked a little sloshed.

"Uhh, yeah. In a few weeks. I have to wrap up a few loose ends around here," replied Jack, who looked around for Carter.

Sam backed around a corner and held her drink close to her. In a flash of fury, she turned around. In her haste, she bumped into Teal'c, spilling the drink down her front.

"Sorry, Teal'c," said Carter.

"MajorCarter, are you alright?" asked Teal'c

"No, I just… I should go home and change. It was nice seeing you here," Carter said as she walked out the door.

She ran out to her car. She slammed the door, ripped the car into drive and roared off.

"What the hell was that?" Jack said as he began to look out the window.

"Major Carter spilled her drink on herself and planned to go change," replied Teal'c.

"Okay…" was the only reply out of Jack.

Sam slammed the car into park. She slammed the door, fumbled with the keys and shut the door behind her. She had never forgotten about Laira. Laria was one woman she knew Jack had fallen in love with. They were seriously involved, until SG-1 pulled him back to earth. Sam nearly killing herself in the process. During a personal conversation, he confided that he had only been truly in love with a few women. Laira was one of them. Of course, it made perfect sense now why he was retiring. He wanted to be with Laira. Sam knew that Jack hadn't forgotten about her either. Once during a debriefing, Sam saw Jack daydreaming. Later when it was over, she asked what he was thinking about, he tilted his head, smiled and said one word that broke her heart. Laira. She closed her eyes and shook her head.

She had to get this stuff out of her mind. Sam went into the bathroom and stripped down. Turning on the shower, she tilted her head back and let the water envelop her tense body. Finishing the shower left her feeling fresh and relaxed. She picked out a book, grabbed her tortoise hell rimmed glasses and curled up into a ball on her couch. Twenty minutes of reading into her book, she heard a pounding on the door. "Who would be here at this time of night?" She looked out the window at a slightly irritated Jack O'Neill standing on her porch. He looked so handsome in his Khakis and leather jacket. She shook her head and opened the door.

"To what do I owe the pleasure, Sir?" Carter said asked sweetly.

"May I come in?" said Jack, obviously disgruntled.

"Yes.. Of course, Sir," she said, stepping back to let him come in.

Sam led them into her living room. She wondered what was going on.

"Carter, can I be frank with you?" Jack said.

"Okay…"

"What the hell is going on with you?"

"I'm not sure if I know what you mean."

"You know damn well what I mean. Every time I am around, you seem to disappear."

"Sir, tonight I spilled…"

"Sam."

"I'm preparing myself to lose you."

"Lose me?"

"Sir, it really has been a long night. I know that you have a long drive home. Maybe you should just go."

"Sam, I know you are lying to me. Something is eating away at you. Tell me, Please."

"Sir… I'm okay, really," she said, smiling half-heartedly.

"Damn it Carter! Tell me!" he yelled.

"Do you really want to know?" she yelled back.

"Yes!"

She looked into his eyes. She didn't know if she had the strength to tell him. But she had to. He had driven to see her. She owed it to him. She waited six years to tell him. Here she was, finally with the chance of a lifetime to let him know how much she really loved him.

"Sir,"

"I'm not your commanding officer anymore."

"Jack."

The name was foreign on her lips. It had only brushed her lips once. But it was used in her more personal thoughts about him.

"Why couldn't you have told us individually about you leaving? Why did you have to do it in front of everyone else? I thought our friendship meant more than that."

"This is about me leaving?"

She shot daggers into him through her eyes.

"How could it not be? I've worked with you for six years and you don't even have the decency to tell me in person? I thought I deserved better than that."

"Sam, it just happened. I couldn't wait any longer. If I would have known it was that important to you, I would have told you."

"How could this not be important to me? We've worked together for 7 years!" she growled.

"I didn't know that I had to screen everything through you, Sam."

She shut her eyes. This wasn't going to plan. She clenched her fists, and then let them go.

"Six years of friendship, is it all going to waste?" he asked.

"I don't know what you want from me."

"I want everything on the table. Is there anything else you want to tell me?"

She turned away from him. She couldn't trust herself to keep her composure again. She felt his eyes on her, pleading her to continue, even if it was breaking his heart. She held her head down. She turned around and raised her head. A single tear ran down her flushed cheeks.

"It's hard to know that my best friend won't be there to make me laugh every morning. He won't be there when we step through the worm hole, protecting us. He won't be there to comfort me when I hurt…" she trailed off. I know it's time for us all to move on. I overheard you and Daniel talking about going back to Edora. I'm really happy that you will be able to be finally with the woman that you love," she squeezed her eyes shut, to stop the tears from flowing.

He looked at her and sighed. "Sam…"

"I know how much you love her. I know that I couldn't ever compete with her..."

"Sam…"

"No, and I knew that you wouldn't wait around forever. Jack, if I've inflicted any pain, I am really sorry.

"Sam, you are right, no one can compete with you. Anyone who has the privilege to be with you should know that. You are incredible. I can't live without you Sam. I've wanted to be with you for the past six years. Being this close and having it fall apart almost kills me. It's you I want. I think about you constantly. You mean everything to me."

She looked at him in disbelief. He pulled gently into his strong arms. He began to sway back and forth with her to the unheard music of them. He started to hum a romantic tune in her ears.

"Humming?" she asked.

He smiled as they continued to dance. Sam kept her eyes closed as they danced, afraid she'd awaken if she opened them. Jack stroked Sam's hair lovingly. She opened her eyes and looked at Jack.

"Jack?" she asked.

"Yeah?"

"Do you love me?"

"Mmm hmm," he said as he nuzzled the crook of her exposed neck.

"Good."

"Sam,"

"Yes?"

"Can I stay?... I mean sleep on the couch, I don't want to impose, but as you mentioned it's late and…" he fumbled over the words, blushing with embarrassment.

"Jack. Of course you can stay. Come with me. I'll show you where you can sleep."

She led him to her bedroom. He looked at the bed. Then he looked at her.

"I'll grab an extra blanket," she said grinning.

As she left, he took his pants off, and then his shirt. Sam walked in quietly and watched him undress. She walked up behind him and outlined the battle scars with her fingertips that seemed to cover his muscular body. Shocked at the touch of her hands, he whipped around, looking directly into her eyes.

"Jack,"

"What do you want to know?"

She stood watching her in reverent silence.

He looked at her, puzzled.

"Never mind."

"Let's get some sleep."

Sam flipped light switch off and went into bed. Jack didn't get into bed as easily.

"Sam, where is the bed?"

"Follow my voice…" she said in a scary ghost voice.

He wobbled around, finally tripping over some clothes and landed half way into bed. She pulled him on top of her. His eyes slowly adjusted to the small amount of light that peered through her bedroom window. Silent gratitude washed over him, glad he would be able to see her wondrous beauty in the moonlight. He laid silently on top of her, gazing into her eyes. She caressed his stubbly cheek lovingly. She drew circles on his chest. Then she bent down to lay a kiss on his chest where his heart was. He took in a deep breath and looked into her bright blue eyes.

"You know, I don't really deserve you. But I love you with all my heart."

"That wasn't too painful, was it?" she said as she kissed his cheek.

Jack pulled her even closer to him. He softly rubbed her arms and nibbled her neck. As they lie next to each other, he sighed contently. He could really get used to sleeping next to her. He fell asleep soundly with a stupid grin on his face.

TBC