Title: Little Moments

Author: Andraste

Category: Romance/Humor

Disclaimer: I wish they were mine, but they're not. 'Cause if they were, Jack would be a very, very tired man…

Spoilers: Early Season 9, if anything.

Author's Notes: Special thanks to Ayiana for the beta read (and numerous entertaining comments).


Ring.

Ring.

Ring.

After seven rings, Daniel Jackson was about to call it quits and hang up, when a slightly breathless voice came on the line.

"Colonel Carter!"

Daniel's eyebrows rose. "Hi, Sam. Am I, um, interrupting something?"

He could almost feel the glare through the line. "No, Daniel. Just a slight crisis in the kitchen. What's up?"

"Just called to tell you Landry moved our briefing back to 1300. Said to tell you to take the morning off, if you want."

On the other end of the line, there was a crash and a muttered curse from Sam. "Just a sec, Daniel." Her next words were muffled, but loud enough for him to make out. "For crying out loud! I told you, the pantry, bottom shelf!" Then there was a pause. "Yes, I just bought them two days ago!" Another pause and what sounded like an exasperated sigh. Then a distant crash and another curse. "You're damn right you're buying me another one! What are you doing in there?" Pause. "I'm not the one who considers it a vital cooking ingredient! I'm perfectly happy with my toast and tea!"

Daniel sat motionless, enjoying the unexpected morning entertainment and now wildly curious as to whom Sam was entertaining in her house at 8:00 on a Wednesday morning. As far as he knew, she wasn't seeing anyone. Apparently, he was wrong.

Sam came back on the line. "Sorry, Daniel. Um… Oh! The briefing. Right. I don't have to be in until 1300?"

The fact that Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter, card-carrying member of Workaholics Anonymous, sounded downright cheerful about having the morning off sent alarm bells jangling through Daniel's brain. "Right. Um… Sam? I don't mean to pry, but…"

A very un-Carter-like squeal caused Daniel to almost drop the phone in surprise. "Sam? Are you all right?"

"You are so dead!" she screamed. "Daniel, I have to go kill a man. Thanks for calling about the briefing. I'll see you later."

Before he could reply, there was a thud, and he thought maybe she'd hung up on him. It seemed she had put the phone down, but forgotten to disconnect the call in her haste to commit homicide. Daniel wondered if, perhaps, he should be concerned. Her next words, echoing in the background, shocked him into unmoving silence.

"Jack O'Neill, where the hell did you find a water balloon? I don't have water balloons! I am so going to kick your… Oh, my God… Is that what I think it is? That's not what those are for, you pervert! Hey! Put me down! You… Well, yes, it's a new box… Oh… Well… Yes. I guess I can kill you later…"

Male laughter rumbled in the distance, and Daniel finally unfroze long enough to gently hang the phone up.

He sat there, staring into space, processing this new information. Sam and Jack. Together.

A smile slowly spread across his face, smug and satisfied. His entire world seemed to tilt on its axis, but he found it hard to mind.

"Hey! Jackson!"

Daniel jumped and nearly fell off his chair. Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell stood in the doorway, nearly vibrating with restrained energy. "What?"

"Did you call Sam yet? T and I thought maybe we could all go out for breakfast together."

Daniel's eyes went wide. "Um… Yeah. I already called her. She said she'd just take the morning off and come in later."

Mitchell gave him a suspicious look. "Sam Carter. Taking the morning off. No way."

It took only a split second for Daniel to decide to keep his newly-gleaned information to himself. It was up to Sam and Jack to choose when to go public with their relationship, not him. He cleared his throat. "She said she, um, had some things around the house that needed to be done. And some errands to run that she'd been putting off."

Cam eyed him for a moment, and then shrugged. "Okay. So, you wanna go?"

Daniel grabbed his glasses off the desk and climbed to his feet. "Sure." On his way out of the office, he glanced back at his phone and smiled. Sam so owed him for this…


Paperwork.

God, he hated paperwork.

General Hank Landry knew that with rank and position, paperwork increased exponentially. If he was really curious, he was certain Colonel Carter could come up with an equation to explain it.

He wasn't that curious.

Speaking of Colonel Carter…

He thumbed through the most recent stack of papers on his desk, suddenly reminded that he hadn't filed her updated contact information with her personnel file yet. After a moment, he located it and skimmed the sheet, absently verifying that all pertinent information was filled out. He'd almost reached the bottom of the paper when something a few lines above demanded attention. That address…

He'd swear he knew that address.

He stared at it, when suddenly it came to him.

Samantha Carter's home address was Jack O'Neill's house, but Landry would have sworn Jack had sold it after moving to D.C.

He grabbed the phone. "Walter, page Colonel Carter. Tell her I need to see her right away." He slammed the phone back down before Walter could reply. There was something fishy going on here, and he was determined to find out what it was.

Five minutes later, Samantha Carter appeared in his doorway, slightly out of breath. "You wanted to see me, Sir?"

"Come in. Close the door."

To her credit, she didn't so much as blink. She did as she was told and sat down in the chair he waved her into. "Colonel, I was just reviewing your updated contact sheet. Something odd jumped out at me. You're now living in Jack O'Neill's house?"

Landry had a sudden thought. Never play poker with this woman. Her facial expression never wavered in the slightest. "Yes, Sir. I bought General O'Neill's house when he put it up for sale."

"Why?"

She smiled slightly. "I always liked his house. Comfortable setting, quiet, good neighborhood. When he put it on the market, I talked to him about it, and we came to an agreement. I sold my house and bought his for the same amount. Since his home in D.C. is provided, he didn't care very much about money."

That sounded suspiciously logical. O'Neill and Carter were, after all, friends. Teammates for seven years. So why was Hank's "bullshit alarm" ringing like a five alarm fire?

Before he could respond, Sam grinned. "Sir, if you're worried about propriety, we had a JAG officer go over the entire deal, and it was handled by a well-known real estate agent in town. We were assured that everything was within the regs."

Oh, she was good. Landry had to give her that. Still, despite the fact that he knew he was having a fast one pulled on him, he had no proof. He shook his head. "Very well, Colonel. Thank you for satisfying my curiosity. Dismissed."

She stood, snapped to attention, and departed his office with military efficiency. He almost smiled, and then picked up a pen to sign off on the sheet, when something else caught his eye.

"Next of Kin (1st Contact): Major General Jonathan J. O'Neill, Washington, D.C.

"Next of Kin (2nd Contact): Mark Carter, San Diego, CA."

A vein in Hank Landry's forehead began to throb. If he yelled loud enough, Colonel Carter would probably hear him. And, no doubt, would have a perfectly logical explanation as to why her former CO, a man living on the opposite side of the country, was her primary contact ahead of her own brother, who lived a lot closer. She'd probably had that checked out by the JAG, too.

To hell with it. He didn't want to know.

He turned to his laptop and opened a new e-mail.

"To: Maj. Gen. George Hammond (Retired)

From: Maj. Gen. Hank Landry

Subject: A Question…

George,

About SG-1.

How do you deal with these people! I'm not sure, but I think they're trying to drive me insane. Any advice?

Thanks,

Hank"


George Hammond chuckled as he read his backlog of e-mail. The Curse of Stargate Command, otherwise known as SG-1, claimed yet another victim. Jack O'Neill had only lasted as base CO for a year before getting the hell out of Dodge, but George had his suspicions about that. He figured Landry would have more staying power, but would just need a little reassurance that it wasn't personal. SG-1 drove everyone nuts at some point.

He doubted Mitchell was the current source of trouble. He was too new, too eager to fit in and get SG-1 back to the "good ol' days." Teal'c was, well, Teal'c. He didn't inspire insanity. He just wore a person down with unwavering patience. The team hadn't been back together long enough for that to be much of an issue. That left Daniel Jackson and Sam Carter. Daniel had, over the last couple years, mellowed considerably.

This brought Hammond to Sam Carter. The wild card in the equation. Only recently reunited with SG-1 after taking a position in R&D at Area 51, ostensibly to step in as surrogate mother to Cassandra Frasier. However, as Cassie was a full-time college student, her needs couldn't have required such a drastic move on Sam's part.

Well, what the hell. George figured he might as well go to the potential source of the problem. After all, if they drove Hank Landry over the edge, they might come after him to fill in. And, as much as he loved those people, seven years was enough.

As it was a Sunday, Hammond figured he'd try calling Carter at home first, despite the likelihood that she had resumed her base-dwelling ways. A call to the home number he had revealed a disconnected number. Unperturbed, he called the base, asking for Sergeant Harriman. Walter (who, by all accounts, was on duty 24/7) was delighted to hear from Hammond, and happily gave him the information he needed.

George stared at the number he'd just written down. Something was oddly familiar about it. He flipped through his address book and found it. It was Jack O'Neill's home number.

That couldn't be right.

With a sigh of trepidation, he dialed the number.

"Hello!"

The cheerful male voice that answered wasn't Sam, but was distressingly familiar. George groaned inwardly. "Jack? This is George."

"Hey! How's it goin'?"

"Fine, Jack. Um… Actually, I was trying to reach Colonel Carter. Imagine my surprise at finding out her home number is the same as your house."

"Oh! That. Well… This is her house. My house. I mean… She bought my house. Sir."

They were the same rank. That Jack just "sirred" him told George that he was rattled. "I see. And why are you there? Aren't you supposed to be in Washington?"

There was a long pause. "Oh. Yeah. I took a week off. Not much going on in the realm of Homeworld Security lately. Sam… Uh… Carter… offered to let me stay here. Since it's my… Uh… Was my house and all. Sir."

George was nearly red with the effort at reigning in laughter. He cleared his throat. "Jack."

"Yes, Sir?"

"Can I talk to Sam, please?"

"Oh. Right. Sure. SAM!"

George winced at the bellow. So. Jack called her "Sam" now. Interesting.

Just then, a familiar feminine voice was heard in the background. "Jack, you don't have to bellow. And in the future, when you're ripping my clothes off, could you watch where you throw them? I just found my panties on top of the halogen lamp, and I don't think either of us wants to burn down our house… What? Oh. Crap. Sorry."

There was muffled whispering, and this time George was red for an entirely different reason.

"General Hammond, Sir? What can I do for you?"

He made an attempt at sounding normal. "Sam! Hello. I was just calling to see how you're settling back in at the SGC."

They chatted amiably for a few minutes, before George gracefully extracted himself from the call. When it was over, he sat there, staring at the phone as though it were a Goa'uld sizing him up as a potential host.

He'd call Landry in the morning and assure him that he was imagining things.

After all, the man was the CO of Stargate Command. He had to figure some things out on his own.

And God, George hoped he was around when Landry figured this particular doozy out.


The unexpected roar of a motorcycle behind them in the parking lot made Daniel and Teal'c turn around. To their surprise, the bike cruised to a stop in Sam Carter's parking spot, and a figure climbed off. The rider pulled their helmet off, and a mass of short blonde hair emerged.

"Daniel Jackson. Colonel Carter does not usually ride her motorcycle to work."

Daniel shrugged. "Maybe something's wrong with her car."

A leather-clad Sam jogged up to them. "Hey, guys. Teal'c, did you stay with Daniel last night?"

An eyebrow arched. "Indeed. It was Movie Night."

Sam blinked. "Oh, God, I forgot! Sorry, guys. I got… caught up in something."

Daniel was biting his tongue in an effort not to blow Sam's cover. "It's okay, Sam. We know you've been busy, catching up and all."

"Where is your car, Colonel Carter?"

Her eyes widened for a moment before a mask of calm settled over her features. "I'm letting a friend borrow it for a few days. The weather's nice, so I don't mind bringing the bike to work."

Going through the security checkpoints halted the conversation, and by the time they got to the elevator for the long ride down, Daniel and Sam both hoped Teal'c's curiosity had been distracted.

A few blissful moments of silence passed before Teal'c, standing behind Sam, inhaled deeply. "Colonel Carter. Why are you wearing O'Neill's cologne?"

Her calm expression transformed into one of alarm. "What?"

Daniel jumped in. "I don't smell anything."

Again, the knowing eyebrow. "Your allergies affect your sense of smell, Daniel Jackson. I have no such affliction." He studied Sam carefully. "It is faint, but there."

She tried, and failed, not to squirm under his gaze. "Teal'c…"

"And you are wearing one of O'Neill's shirts. I have seen him wear this many times. I recognize the frayed collar."

Sam glanced down at the flannel shirt peeking out of her leather jacket. Deciding silence was golden, she merely stared her friend down, daring him to go further.

Daniel watched the silent staring match with a fascination usually reserved for train wrecks. The collision was imminent.

"You and O'Neill are involved."

Crash.

The elevator glided to a stop and the doors opened, but its occupants didn't move.

Sam turned and glanced at Daniel, who was doing his best to look innocent.

And was failing miserably.

"Daniel Jackson. You knew about this."

Daniel now had both Sam and Teal'c staring at him. This couldn't be good. "Um… Only since last week. When I called your house Wednesday morning to tell you about the later briefing, Sam. I kinda… heard things."

The Goa'uld didn't need painsticks. They just needed Sam Carter's glare and Teal'c's eyebrow. The combination would cause anyone to spill any information. "I didn't say anything because I figured that was between you and Jack, Sam! If you wanted to keep things quiet, I sure as hell wasn't going to say anything. Sorry, Teal'c."

To their surprise, a small smile crossed Teal'c's face, and he bowed his head. "You are a good friend, Daniel Jackson. No apology is necessary." He turned to Sam. "I wish you and O'Neill the best, Colonel Carter."

Sam blinked. "Um… Thanks. Both of you. We're just… We're still getting used to there being an 'us' without having to deal with the inevitable finger pointing and tongue wagging."

"Hey! You guys standing here in the elevator for a reason?"

All three turned to find Cameron Mitchell in the doorway. A silent conversation passed between the three original team members in the blink of an eye.

"Just a little debate," Daniel offered.

"Cars versus motorcycles," Sam chimed in.

"Indeed," Teal'c responded.

Mitchell shrugged. It was a new day, and a new adventure. So what if his teammates were weird? He grinned. "Well, come on. Breakfast, then briefing. Cool riding duds, Sam."

The four of them trooped down the corridor companionably. As they turned a corner, Teal'c gently grasped Sam's arm and pulled her aside. "Would you pass along a message to O'Neill for me?" he asked quietly.

Sam shrugged and smiled. "Sure, Teal'c."

He smiled, but there was a dangerous glint in his eyes. "Please inform O'Neill that should he ever make you unhappy, I would be… displeased."

Well.

Wow.

Sam nodded. "I'll be happy to tell him, Teal'c."

They continued on their way, Sam trying to conceal her glee.

That was one message she was really going to enjoy delivering.


Cameron Mitchell smelled trouble.

At first, he'd just thought his teammates were weird. Eccentric, even. But hey, he was the new guy in town. He knew he'd have to earn their trust and respect, and that was cool.

But something was up.

It had all started with Sam Carter's abrupt return to the SGC. Her return was a happy occasion. The missing piece was found. The band was on a reunion tour. Life was sweet.

But this wasn't the Sam Carter he'd heard about. The woman he'd been expecting had been notorious for her workaholic tendencies, bordering on obsessive devotion. By all accounts, the original members of SG-1 had had no lives outside of the SGC, and they were, by and large, content with their lot in life. Sam's broken engagement had been testament to that. Even when someone on the team made a concerted effort at having a life, it failed. And they were welcomed back into the fold.

But this Sam Carter was different. She'd returned, almost reluctantly. She rarely stayed longer than her shift. On the rare occasion she'd needed to, and the team had been together, she'd excused herself to make a phone call, usually returning with a smile on her face. He knew she'd been looking after an old friend's daughter, but a smile like that only came from a woman in love.

After the "elevator incident" the other day, the encounter had nagged at Cam enough to seek Daniel out. He'd asked if Sam was seeing someone, and the look of alarm on the man's face had been priceless.

"Why? Were you going to ask her out?"

"What? No! I mean, she's a beautiful woman and all. Smart, sexy. But no. I was just curious."

"Oh." There was a long pause as Daniel pondered his response. "Sam's personal life is her business, Cam. It's not my place to say anything."

Mitchell rolled his eyes. "Daniel, from everything I've heard, the only life you guys ever had was with each other. What's with the cloak and dagger routine?"

Daniel turned to the engraving in front of him and shrugged. "Cam, if you want to know, ask her. Now, if you don't mind, I need to get this translated for SG-6 as soon as possible."

He'd been rather neatly dismissed by the good doctor. If he couldn't get anything out of easygoing Daniel, he knew better than to even try Teal'c. The big guy seemed to have a soft spot for the lovely Colonel, and it didn't take Mitchell long to figure out the man had a protective streak a galaxy wide.

Landry was definitely out. He'd been eyeing the lot of them lately with a vaguely wary air, as if he wasn't sure if SG-1 was friend or foe. Mitchell had no idea what they'd done to warrant that, but he suspected it had something to do with the current root of his own disconcertment.

Something was up with Sam Carter, and he was determined to find out what.

He strode determinedly through the corridors of the SGC, making a beeline for Carter's lab. He could hear her voice inside as he approached, and he was relieved he wasn't going to have to hunt for her.

He was about to enter the open doorway when the tone of her voice pulled him up short, just out of sight of the door. She sounded almost playful. Flirtatious, even. He'd heard her sound amused, exasperated, pissed off, and friendly. Playful and flirtatious were new.

"As much as I would love to help you with your boredom problem, I'm not really in a position to assist you at the moment."

"I thought we had a talk about calling me at work when you were bored."

"Wow. Well, sure, you can call me and tell me that whenever you want."

"Jack, I'm in my lab! Anyone could walk in."

"Jack…"

"Okay! I love you, too. Happy now?"

"If I promise to pick up a new video game for you on the way home, can I get back to work?"

"Grand Theft Auto? I always knew you had a criminal streak in you… Fine."

"I don't know. Surprise me."

"Yes, I enjoyed last night's dinner. But I think something a little more substantial than whipped cream and strawberries would be nice. With the calories we're burning, we're going to need steak three meals a day."

Mitchell, not a shy man by any means, was now blushing red from head to toe. God, he hoped she got off the phone soon.

"Jack, I really need to go. I have a briefing in ten minutes. I'll see you tonight."

A peal of laughter.

"You too, Jack."

Finally, blessed silence. Mitchell fled down the corridor to the water fountain, where he splashed the cold liquid on his face. After a minute or two, his face was no longer burning.

Well, that certainly answered all his questions. And more.

Of course, the "more" part was going to make it really hard to look her in the eye for the next, oh, ten years…

With manly determination, he took a deep breath and headed back down the corridor. Before he could talk himself out of it, he rapped on the doorway to Carter's lab. "Hey, Sam. On my way to the briefing. Thought I'd stop by and walk with you."

Despite his abrupt entrance, she looked relaxed. She smiled the smile he now privately dubbed her "Jack smile," now that he knew who the lucky man was. "Sure, Cam."

She grabbed her notebook and they walked side by side.

All was once again okay in Cameron Mitchell's world.


Hank Landry was not a man given to fits of paranoia.

But as he sat at the head of the briefing table, eyeing SG-1, he definitely felt paranoid.

They knew something.

He wasn't sure what, but they knew something. They had settled into a comfort level with each other that teams usually reached after months or even years, not just a few weeks.

He wasn't sure how it was possible, but the men had practically surrounded Colonel Carter. Daniel and Teal'c sat on either side of her, while Mitchell was directly across from her. It was almost as though a bubble surrounded them, and Landry was the odd man out.

He cleared his throat and began the briefing, and all seemed normal until he suggested that Jackson and Carter stay that night to assist Dr. Lee with a particularly stubborn device brought back by SG-7 the week before. If anything, the entire team had a look of shared alarm.

"Sir, that's not really necessary…"

"General, Dr. Lee assured me just this afternoon that the device wasn't urgent. He was going to work on it in his spare time, as it doesn't seem to be anything of particular strategic importance…"

"Sir, we have a mission tomorrow, and I don't want half my team dead on their feet…"

And a silent, raised eyebrow.

Sam, Daniel, and Teal'c all stared at Mitchell, who merely shrugged and grinned at them. As one, they turned to Landry, looking slightly abashed. "Sorry, Sir," they all murmured apologetically.

Before Hank could start knocking heads together, Walter slipped quietly into the room and was at Landry's side before he could even blink. "Sir, I'm sorry to interrupt, but I have an urgent message for Colonel Carter."

"Oh, for God's sake… What is it, Walter?"

Walter hesitated. "Sir, it's a private message."

Out of the corner of his eye, he could see the Colonel squirming ever so much in her seat. Enough was enough. "If it was important enough to interrupt this briefing, it can be shared with everyone." Landry held up a hand to forestall the inevitable protest from Carter's contingent of bodyguards. "What is it, Walter?"

The sergeant shifted uncomfortably, but turned to face Sam. "Colonel, General O'Neill called. He's been recalled to Washington, and said he'll call you in the morning. And, um…" He glanced down at his notepad. "Your dinner's in the fridge. All you have to do is put it in the oven. Your car is gassed up and washed. And you can pick up the amended deed to the house at the real estate office in the morning. The General said he was stopping on the way to the airport to sign what he needed to."

Silence weighed on the room like a heavy fog. With a sudden realization, Landry knew he had let his frustrations get the better of him. This whole scene had not been necessary, but something odd suddenly struck him.

The male contingent of SG-1 looked angry, and rightly so. They did not look surprised, however.

That was it.

Colonel Carter and General O'Neill were, apparently, involved. Most likely only recently, because, from what he knew of both officers, Sam Carter in particular, they wouldn't have started something while they were serving together. And SG-1 knew about it. Their odd behavior around him and the Colonel was probably their way of showing support for their teammate and their attempt at helping her keep her secret.

O'Neill and Carter had been teammates for seven years. He'd been the base CO for another year, and had promoted her in that time. No doubt, they were trying to be discreet because the rumor mill would go crazy, and not in the most flattering way.

Landry cleared his throat. "Thank you, Walter. Dismissed."

He waited until the sergeant left before turning to his premiere team. "Colonel Carter, I apologize to you and your teammates. My behavior was uncalled for. You've all been acting, well, odd, lately, and it's been bothering me. I guess now I know why. However, that was no excuse for me taking my frustration out on you."

He watched, fascinated, as Sam Carter pulled herself out of her embarrassed slouch and into an upright, almost regal bearing. "General, I just want to assure you that my relationship with the General is very recent and did not begin while we were still serving together. We're still getting used to our change in status, and we've, well, been making this up as we go. I apologize if my behavior has been, at any time, less than professional."

Her teammates looked as though they were, once again, going to jump into the fray, and Landry had to head them off. "Colonel, you have nothing to apologize for. As I said, it's me who was in the wrong."

He shuffled the papers in front of him and met their gazes evenly. "I think we've covered all we need to today. And you're right. Dr. Lee's work on the device is not important enough to merit depriving half of SG-1 of sleep the night before a mission. Any time Dr. Jackson or Colonel Carter can contribute when not off-world will be appreciated, but it is not required. SG-1, you're dismissed."

They stood, and the men turned to go, but stopped when they noticed Carter wasn't with them. She waved them off and smiled reassuringly. They looked at her, shared a glance with each other, then nodded and left.

Carter leaned against the back of her chair. "General, I know you expressed some concern about my buying Jack's… General O'Neill's house."

Landry shook his head. "I was just surprised. It's fine, Colonel."

She smiled. "No, Sir. Jack…" She sighed. "General O'Neill and I revised the terms of purchase recently. He refunded half the money, and assumed co-ownership. We were supposed to sign the paperwork together tonight, but since he got called away…" She smiled ruefully. "It's our house, together."

Landry fought back a grin. God, he was going to have fun with Jack next time he talked to him. "Is this in anticipation of a future change of relationship status?"

Sam shook her head, a grin teasing her lips. "Not right now, Sir. We're still… Well, working on some things. If and when there is a more… official… change, you'll be… Well, one of the first to know."

Landry heard the unspoken message. Her team came first. And that was fine. That was the way it should be. He nodded. "Thank you, Colonel. If that's everything…"

She snapped to. "Yes, Sir. Thank you, General."

Landry sat in the empty briefing room following Carter's departure, a smile lighting his eyes. Yes, he was really going to have fun with Jack. But, in the meantime, he had a sergeant to hunt down and have a chat with. No point in having yet another potential supplier to the rumor mill.

Walter felt his presence before he heard him.

"Sergeant Harriman, a word, if you please…"

One of these days, Walter thought, he was going to have to get a life off-base. This place was going to drive him nuts.


"They're on to us."

Jack, caught in that netherworld between sleep and wakefulness, cracked one bleary eye open and regarded the woman currently curled up against him. "Huh?"

Sam brushed an affectionate kiss over his bare shoulder. "SG-1. Landry. Hammond. They're on to us."

Jack sighed inwardly. The woman regularly kept him awake half the night when they were together doing everything but talking (not that he minded in the least…). Now, after having her way with him, she wanted to chat? Their cell phone and long distance bills were testament to how much they talked when they weren't together.

She was looking at him expectantly, so he figured a response was in order.

He grunted.

She tugged at his chest hair, eliciting an abused groan. "Jack. I'm serious."

He absently laced his fingers through hers, hoping to avoid any further abuse, and shrugged. "Okay. So they know."

She was oddly silent, and that set off alarm bells. God, she actually expected him to think. This was so wrong…

It took a little while, but understanding dawned. "How did they find out? We've been careful. No sex in public places, stuff like that."

She looked just as confused as he felt. "I don't know!" She sat up next to him, the sheet pooling around her waist. "Well, no, that's not true. Daniel figured it out the morning he called to tell me about a delayed briefing." At his blank look, she rolled her eyes. "The, um, water balloon incident. I might have, um, accidentally not hung the phone up all the way. He heard."

Must not grin. Must not grin. Grinning would mean a decided lack of sex in his immediate future. Though he'd managed to distract her immediately following the "water balloon incident," she was still nursing a bit of a grudge. "Oh." His eyes were drawn upwards. Sam Carter naked was a beautiful thing. He smiled warmly.

She cleared her throat. "Jack. I'm up here."

Rats. "Yeah. Sorry. Daniel. Water balloon. Gotcha."

The gears were once again turning in her head. He enjoyed watching that almost as much as he enjoyed seeing her naked. "Teal'c figured it out last week, the last morning you were there and had my car. He smelled your cologne on me and noticed I was wearing one of your flannel shirts under my leathers."

Ah. So that's where that shirt had gone. Under her leathers. Hmm.

"How Mitchell figured it out, I have no idea. Landry… Well, let's just say he knows about the house. That it's, um, our house. Together. And Hammond, well, you were on the phone with him when I might have, um, loudly suggested you watch where you toss my unmentionables…"

Oh. She wasn't still talking about the leathers. Darn. Probably expected another reply, too. "Uh huh." His hand found her upper thigh under the sheet and he idly doodled patterns on the soft skin.

"Jack. You're not listening."

His hand slid higher, fingers tracing lightly over her ribs. "Not really." He sat up and kissed her. "Relax. They're our friends. When we agreed to be discreet, they weren't the people we were worried about. Heard any gossip in the corridors of the SGC?"

She thought for a moment, and then shook her head. "No. Heard anything here in D.C.?"

"Nope."

Jack grinned. "So, it's not a problem." He slid back down, pulling her with him until she was sprawled atop him. With her mouth hovering just a hairsbreadth above his, he murmured hopefully, "So… We done talking now?"

He felt, as well as saw, her answering smile before her lips met his.

Before his brain completely shut down, he made a mental note to ask Sam to wear the leathers next time they were home in Colorado. Just the leathers. Or maybe just his flannel shirt. Hmm.

He just wouldn't ask her on the phone. Phones seemed to be causing them nothing but problems…