Starting Over

AU- Season 8-ish, Sam and Jack are married with two kids, Goa'uld are still a threat, etc.

The SGC was relatively quiet with no Gate activity, no threat of impending doom or even any explosions from Felger's lab. And Major General Jack O'Neill had NO idea of what he should do to fill the ever expanding void. He tried to play with his yoyo and his game boy. He tried to bug Carter and Daniel in their labs. He tried to spar with Teal'c. He tried to play ping-pong with Walter. He had even read all of the reports he had been procrastinating for so long. But after all this was done, the fact remained that Jack O'Neill was BORED OUT OF HIS MIND!

Currently, he was considering calling up his old pal, General George Hammond and telling him that the SGC had burned down, but he didn't think that would be believable enough to cause a good reaction. But before he got the chance to think of something better, the Stargate activated.

"YES!" He yelled, jumping out of his chair, practically running down the stairs to the control room.

Colonel Samantha Carter watched her husband in amusement as he flew down the stairs.

"Excited?" She asked as she began looking at the monitor in front of her.

Jack coughed as he slowed down and tried to regain his composure. "Are we getting an IDC?"

"Yes, sir." Walter replied. "It's the Tok'ra."

"Dad's not due for a visit, is he?" Jack asked as he nodded for the iris to be opened.

"I don't think so," Sam said, honestly searching her mind. "Then again, you are talking to the woman who forgot her daughter's preschool graduation last week."

Jack smiled. "It's a good thing we were both on the base, huh?"

"Grace would never have forgiven me." Sam agreed.

"Oh, sure she would have!' Jack said, escorting Sam into the Gate room. "Because she's just like her mother!"

Sam turned a raised eyebrow to her husband. "What'd you do?"

Jacob walked down the ramp.

"Jacob!" Jack said, effectively side-stepping his wife's question.

"Jack. Sam." He gave his daughter a hug.

"Hi Dad."

"Now…what does Jack need forgiving for?"

"I don't know." Sam said, returning her gaze to her husband.

"It's nothing!" He protested.

"What was it?"

He took a deep breath. "Well, I…mighthaveblownupyourdoohickey."

She stared at him while Jacob's eyebrows were raised. "Uh, Jack, Selmak is a gifted translator, but…we didn't catch that."

"He managed to blow up the Goa'uld scanner that I was studying. You know, the one we got from Anubis's ship. We were about ready to make a breakthrough."

Jack smiled almost sheepishly as Jacob took a step away from his son-in-law. "Oh, this is all you, Jack."

"I know." He said, gulping. "You think there's still space on Netu?"

His attempt at humor backfired when Sam unexpectedly left the Gate Room silently.

"So…not funny.'

Jacob shook his head. "Not really."

Jack grimaced for a second. "She's been under a lot of pressure to study that from the Pentagon. It was originally of Asgard design which makes it that much worse. What she didn't let me explain was that Thor already offered us another one and it will be here tomorrow."

"How're you gonna get that message to her?"

"I'm gonna e-mail her."

"E-mail?"

"Yeah…unfortunately, I have to debrief you, then I have a briefing with SG-4, and the list goes on and on. So, what's the scoop?"

"No scoop." Jacob said as they walked up to the Briefing Room.

"What? Just a visit? My, this IS an occasion!"

Jacob rolled his eyes. "I heard my granddaughter graduated from preschool last week."

"Yes, she did."

"Good for her!"

"And she's been missing her grandpa Jacob."

"And Jack, Jr.?"

"Running around as usual. Driving all of us crazy with boundless energy while Grace contents herself with asking an endless stream of questions."

Jacob chuckled. "Sounds like her mother."

"Yep."

"Well, are you and Sam heading home anytime soon?"

"Not me, but Sam should be on her way in the next hour or so."

"Do I have permission to leave the base, oh great one?" Jacob asked before walking toward Sam's lab.

Jack thought for a moment, his arms across his chest with one finger stroking his chin. "I suppose you might be able to…after Dr. Fraiser issues you a clean bill of health."

Jacob raised an eyebrow. "You know that I don't have a physician. Selmak does all that I need."

"Ah, but you forget. If I have to endure the Napoleonic power-monger's needles, all personnel who come to the base must endure the Napoleonic power-monger's needles."

Jacob smiled. "You're impossible."

"Why, thank you."

Jacob shook his head as they parted, Jacob turning to go to the Infirmary and Jack to go to his office.

--

Sam wiped the tears from her eyes. It was so unreasonable for her to get so upset at her husband over one of her 'doohickeys.'

But it was one of the things that she had been studying for months, and it was just about to yield some results. The angry part of her ranted that he should have known better than to touch it, but the hurt part of her sobbed over the fact that he seemingly would have chosen Netu- the very real hell- to her minor tantrum.

Maybe it's not so minor a tantrum, she thought angrily to herself.

"Sam?"

She turned. "Dad."

"Are you okay?"

She nodded. "Just a little upset. I mean…I've been studying this for a long time and in a matter of minutes, he destroyed it."

"Have you tried giving him the benefit of the doubt?" Jacobasked, simply.

Shelooked at her father sheepishly. It gave him all the answers he needed to know. "I'm sure he didn't mean to do it."

She nodded. "The kids will be anxious to see you. Are you ready to go home?"

"Yeah." He said, following her out of her lab.

As they got into the elevator, she turned to her dad. "Hey, has Jack cleared you to go home?"

"Yes, Sam." He said, as if he was a teenager reporting to his mom.

She smiled and laughed. "Sorry…I have a tendency to mother everyone around me."

"That's okay."

"You should have been around the other day when I told Daniel not to forget to say 'please' and 'thank you' when he said he was going to Janet's house."

Jacob laughed. "Well, you sound like a mom to me."

--

Jack walked into the house a few hours later, a bouquet of yellow roses in one hand. The house was quiet- a good sign, he hoped. It could mean that the kids were in bed. He took a deep breath and opened the door.

"Hi, Jack."

Jack looked up not to find his wife, but his father-in-law. "Oh, hi, Jacob. You know where Sam is?"

"She's soaking in the tub."

"She's mad at me."

"Not really. She's hurt by the Netu comment."

"Yeah, I probably shouldn't have said that."

Jacob shrugged. "We all do stuff like that. Just tell her that you're a stupid man, and you'll be good."

Jack nodded. "So…before I go and grovel, are the kids in bed?"

"Yes."

"Okay. Then, I'll go and kiss them good night before I go and apologize for being such a simple man."

He walked into his daughter's bedroom and leaned over the edge of the toddler bed. He brushed her brown hair from her face and kissed her cheek. "I love you." He whispered.

She stirred. "Daddy?"

"Go back to sleep."

She settled back into her pillow. Then, he walked into his son's room. The two-year-old lay in the crib, his blond curls framing his face the way many cherubim had been painted. "Goodnight, Slugger."

JJ took a deep breath, settling a little more fully into his restful sleep.

Jack rubbed his son's tummy. "Love you, Bud."

Then, he took a deep breath as he walked out of his room. And now, to his wife. He sighed. He'd really screwed up this time. But she usually found his sardonic moments endearing.

A thought popped into his head, but he shook it off. Nope, there was no way they could be having another baby. Or was there?

He walked into the master bedroom. The overhead lights were off, and the soft glow of candlelight was the only illumination in the room. He walked over to the large Whirlpool tub in the corner of the Master bathroom. Sam lay in the tub, her eyes shut as the bubbles relaxed deep into her tight muscles.

Jack sat on the edge of the tub. "Hey, sweetheart."

She looked up. "Jack."

He produced the roses. The same type of flower that she had carried in her bridal bouquet. "Forgive me?"

She smiled. "Always."

Jack was somewhat suspicious of her quick approval of his forgiveness.

"Is something wrong?"

"Oh, no…I just…I kind of expected to have to do a lot more groveling."

She smiled. "I got your e-mail. I'm sorry I didn't give you the chance to explain the situation."

"And…I wasn't really the one who blew it up."

She nodded. "I know. Dr. Lee also e-mailed me. Apparently, he and Felger got excited. And we all know what happens when they get excited."

"Things tend to blow up around those two." Jack agreed.

"Chloe tried to stop them..."

"Yes, well, they don't exactly listen to anybody, much less Chloe."

She bit her lip. "Can we stop talking about Felger, Lee and Chloe?"

He grinned. "I think we can manage."

She gave him a seductive smile and ran her fingers through his hair. "Wanna join me...General?"

He was now thoroughly confused. Sam rarely initiated their physical intimacies. Usually, she liked it when he romanced her.

"Actually, Sam, I can't believe I'm saying this, but..."

She sat up, concerned. "What?"

"I...Can we talk?"

She nodded, motioning for her terry-cloth robe. Jack reached for it and helped her into it. "What's going on?"

"I'm worried about your dad."

"My dad?" She asked, sitting on the bed.

"Yeah. I…I don't think he's telling us everything."

"Are you suggesting the my dad has a mission in mind for the SGC like Anise?"

"No. I am, however, suggesting that you dad is trying to protect us from something."

She looked at him, confused. "What?"

He let his tongue slide across his bottom lip. "I got nothin'."

She shook her head in amusement, and placed her hand on his cheek. "I love you."

"D'ya think your dad's lonely?"

"What?" She asked, her haze clearing.

"Do you think you dad is lonely?"

"How could he be? He's go us and Mark's family. And that's not counting Selmak and the rest of the Tok'ra."

"Not that kind of lonely." He clarified.

She looked at him, eyebrows knit together in confusion. "Jack?"

"Well, every time your dad comes by, he complains about the 'Anises' of the Tok'ra. He wants to date, but he can't find anybody…"

"Whoa! His complaining about the Tok'ra who have roving hands and eyes doesn't mean he wants to date."

"Sam." He said, soothingly.

"Jack." She returned.

She was mad at him again. Great, the one night this year she hit on him, he went and blew it. Typical. Well, as long as he was already in the doghouse, he might as well spill everything Teal'c had told him.

Jack had to smile. The stoic Jaffa was well-acquainted with the inner workings of the SGC Rumor Mill. Though intimidating at first, he was fairly easy to talk to, making him an easy target for the nurses. And, as was the case with most Jaffa, he adhered to the philosophy that one must be seen and not heard.

"Why are you smiling?" Sam asked, grumpily.

"Oh, it's just something Teal'c told me that Lt. Kinsington told him that Lt. Martin told her."

Sam blinked a couple of times, blankly, "And that would be?"

"That your dad and Janet have a 'thing.'"

Sam's face drained of color, and she sat, motionless on the bed.

"Sam…" Jack said, waving a hand in front of her face. "Wake up. It's not true. You know as well as I do that Janet's dating Daniel."

She looked up at him, despondently. "They had a big fight." She returned her gaze to the flor. "How could she do that to me? She's like a sister to me. And Cassie…" She shuddered. "That just turns my stomach."

"Sam, your dad shares your feelings."

"Huh?"

"I made your dad get a physical before he could leave the base. Janet had just had that big fight with Daniel, and was practically throwing daggers with her eyes to anyone of the male gender."

"Is this supposed to make me feel better?"

"Be patient, darling."

She clenched her teeth as she ran her fingers through her wet hair. She hated to be called 'darling.'

"Sorry." He apologized. "Your dad apparently caught her on her lunch hour. She was crying and0 brave soul that he is- he approached her."

Sam couldn't take it anymore. The rolling in the pit of her stomach turned to a bit of a bubbling. She dashed to the bathroom, throwing up her dinner.

"Sam, are you okay?" Jack asked as she walked out of the bathroom.

She simply wiped her mouth, her eyes spitting venom as she did so. Jack gulped. Maybe dog-house was too kind. Perhaps dog-meat was more accurate.

"Well, he asked what was wrong, so she of course tried to act as if nothing was wrong."

Sam closed her eyes and got into bed.

"Anyway, he told her that he didn't believe her. He sat next to her and put his arm around her."

Sam began to look a little green again.

"No, Sam, please…wait for me to finish. He told her to pretend that he was her father. Needless to say, she spilled."

There was a moment in which Jack wasn't sure what would happen, but all of a sudden, she burst into tears. "That's so cute." She said, grabbing a tissue and dabbing at her nose and eyes.

Jack eyed Sam wearily. She tended to have major mood swings when she was pregnant. And, come to think of it, she initiated intimacy when she was pregnant. Suddenly, all of the puzzle pieces connected, making a very beautiful, and somewhat intimidating, picture.

"Sam, honey…" He said, gently.

"What?"

"Is there…any possiblity that you're, um…"

"What, Jack?"

Time to put everything as delicately as possible and prepare to flee if it wasn't delicate enough. "Pregnant?"

She looked visibly startled. This could go either way at this point, he thought.

"Uh, well…I guess there's…always a chance." She stammered.

He gave a sigh of relief. "'Cuz you're…a little…" Delicately, Jack. He reminded himself.

"A little what?"

"Hormonal." He said, rather bluntly. Way to go, Jack! He said, sarcastically in his mind.

"One can be hormonal for more reasons than being pregnant." She pointed out, smiling.

"Yeah."

"Are you just trying to get out of my plans for the evening?" She asked, suggestively, allowing the collar of her robe to slip down her shoulder, teasing him with sensuality.

"Your wish is my command." He said, before succumbing to her suggestions. After all...he was just a man.