Disclaimer: 'Stargate SG1' and all the characters associated with the show belong to someone who isn't me. As I doubt that the owners would be willing to trade their rights for some magic beans that aren't in any way magical, this is not going to change at any point in the foreseeable future.
Author's Note I: Thanks for all the reviews, everybody. Sorry about the delay.
Author's Note II: Sam and Jack, one year later. This story takes place shortly after the events of "Divide and Conquer".
Author's Note III: To all those on the Sam/Jack ship thread at Gateworld, Happy Ship Day.
Jack's cabin, Minnesota
"Do you guys ever wonder how the other versions of yourselves are doing?"
"Sometimes." Sam kept her gaze trained on her fishing pole as she answered Daniel's query. "At least we know that they all made it back to their realities safely. Except General O'Neill." She amended.
"I'm sure that he's fine where he is." Jack said briskly. He gave the fishing pole in his hand a pat, tracing the small screen of the monitor. "I'll always have a soft spot for whichever Carter designed this."
"Dr Carter." Sam filled in.
"Right, her." Jack made a face. "I can't believe that the me from her reality was a geek."
"Jonathan was a lot of help when we were working on the mirror." Sam reminded him. "There might be eight of us here now instead of two if he hadn't found the address for P7L-886."
"Good point." Jack acknowledged. "I like being the only one of me in my reality." He returned his attention to the pond and to the newly upgraded motion sensor on his fishing pole. "Y'know, Carter, if you marketed these things, you'd make a fortune."
"Of what use is a device designed to sense the motion of fish when there are no fish present?" Teal'c queried, scowling as yet another mosquito bit him.
"It's not about catching fish." Jack explained patiently. "It's about fishing."
"What is the difference between the two?"
"It's not really important if we actually catch anything." Sam said, seeing that Jack was temporarily rendered speechless by this blasphemy. "It's nice to just hang out together."
"See?" Jack pointed at her, his expression triumphant. "Carter gets it."
"It's fun, Teal'c." Sam smiled up at the Jaffa, offering him a fishing pole. "Try it."
"I do not believe that this activity is one that I will find enjoyable." Teal'c stated, unmoved by Sam's coaxing. He frowned when yet another mosquito bit him. "And these insects are irritating."
"There must be something about Jaffa blood that they like." Jack suggested.
"I am going to further explore the area." Teal'c decided. "Would you join me, Daniel Jackson?" He asked the other man pointedly.
"Sure." Daniel agreed. "I've got to side with Teal'c here, guys – I don't think that fishing is my thing."
"Your loss." Jack told them, watching as the two men departed. "Just you and me now, Carter." He said after a few moments of silence.
She smiled in return, albeit a little nervously.
The past week had been tough on the whole team, but on both of them in particular. Jack had insisted on dragging his friends up to the cabin for some much needed time off.
"Because I care about her. A lot more than I'm supposed to."
His reluctant confession replayed over and over in his head, the words that had saved him from having to choose between getting his brain fried by Anise's machine or being put to sleep indefinitely but that had revealed a secret that he had tried to keep hidden, especially following their encounter with the other O'Neills and Carters a year earlier.
He chuckled dryly. He clearly hadn't been very successful in hiding his feelings, if Hammond's words of advice when he had approved SG-1's vacation time were any indication.
"Sir?" Sam looked up at his laugh.
"Jack." He corrected. "The 'S' word is not to be used at this cabin, remember."
"Sorry, s… Jack." She amended, fixing her gaze on the still surface of the pond. A gentle hand touched her shoulder, drawing her attention back from the water.
"We need to talk, Sam." Jack said quietly.
"About the whole zarc thing, what I said…"
"I meant every word." He said quietly. The silence stretched between them for a couple of minutes before Jack spoke again. "I wanted you to know that. We don't have to say anything else, we can leave it in the room if you want to, if you don't feel the same way."
"I don't." Seeing the brief flash of disappointment cross his face at her first words, she elaborated. "I don't want to leave it in the room."
Jack's cabin was set amid a large plot of protected land, partially shielded from the outside world by clumps of forest, which Daniel and Teal'c were hiking through, wanting to give their friends some privacy.
"Do you think that they'll go for it?" Daniel asked, stifling a sneeze. Although he knew perfectly well that Major O'Neill would not be able to follow through with his threat to come back to make sure that he and Teal'c had done their duty as matchmakers, he wanted his friends to be happy.
"I hope that they will." Teal'c said soberly. "It is true that life is short – and that this is especially true of warriors like O'Neill and Major Carter. They should not allow any chance for happiness to pass them by.
"They'd better not, not after all the time it took me to persuade the President to agree to an exemption to the frat regs." Daniel grumbled, sneezing again. Pollen did not agree with him.
Teal'c raised a surprised eyebrow. "I had little difficulty convincing him that, in this case, a suspension of the regulations would not prove detrimental. Nor did General Hammond."
"You both talked to him?" Daniel asked incredulously. "He didn't say."
"I believe he considered it amusing for so many people to raise the issue, while those most concerned did not."
"Who else waylaid the poor man? Walter?" Daniel asked as the two men made their way back to the cabin.
"Dr Fraiser, I believe, and Anise."
"I thought that Anise had a crush on Jack."
"It is Freya who is interested in O'Neill. Anise is not."
The two men walked in silence for a few more minutes until the cabin came into view.
Daniel stopped in his tracks when he caught sight of his friends. "Ah… Maybe we should give them a little more time." He suggested, unwilling to intrude.
"Indeed." Teal'c agreed. "Shall we continue our exploration, Daniel Jackson?"
"I think that'd be a good idea."
They turned away, moving back towards the forest to continue their walk. Daniel glanced back at the small pier and his friends, neither of whom had noticed his and Teal'c's approach, and grinned.
It was about time.
Author's Note: This piece took longer than I thought to get done, so sorry about the update delay. Thank you for reading. Reviews are, as always, very welcome.