Spoilers: Set somewhere in Season 7, anything is fair game
Disclaimer: I don't own them; I'm just taking them out for some fun. I'll put them back when I'm done. Promise.
Sam/Jack, as always.
AN: This is actually a mix of comedy and romance, with a smidge of angst. With that said, I have to warn you: Character Death… but so not in a depressing, sad ending kind of way. Think of it not so much as an ending, but simply as another obstacle, like rank or age difference.
AN2: (from Webster's Comprehensive Dictionary): incubus - 1. anything that tends to weigh down or discourage; 2. a nightmare; 3. a demon supposed to descend upon the sleeping persons with who it sought to have sexual intercourse
AN3: There is some irreverence in here concerning religion and it's not intended to upset anyone. If you're going to get upset over it, don't read. Thanks!
The trip to the cabin was supposed to be relaxing. It was supposed to be fun. It was supposed to just be the two of them, kicking back for four days, seeing if they could really stand to be alone together in a social setting. And Jack, in his infinite wisdom that rarely intersected with reality, thought that with the help of beer, they might get lucky too.
The trip, however, did not turn out like it was supposed to. Sam had problems getting off the base and would have been much happier if she'd been allowed to attend to those problems rather than having to worry about leaving them in someone else's hands for fear Jack would actually leave without her. Running late and preoccupied, Sam was in a horrible mood when Jack picked her up.
Jack's mood wasn't any better since that afternoon's mail delivery had brought with it the estimate to repair the hole in his bumper where someone had been kind enough to hit him and disappear. The estimate totaled exactly $2.49 less than his deductible, rendering his insurance policy useless and making him particularly angry that he'd been paying the premium since his eighteenth birthday.
The ride seemed to take forever and the cabin was cold and Sam didn't like the food Jack brought and Jack didn't like that Sam had brought her laptop and they passed the rest of the night without speaking since neither of them really wanted to be there by then. Saturday morning started out a little more promising, but after spending the entire day sitting in a folding plastic chair by an empty lake and staring into space, Sam was getting stir crazy. Her laptop amused her for a few hours until the battery died. Jack hadn't realized anything was wrong at all until it had gotten too dark to pretend to fish and he'd gone inside to find Carter near tears over the low battery warning on her computer.
Her bitching started in earnest a few minutes later and Jack finally comprehended that Sam was completely unable to survive without electronic equipment for more than ten minutes and Sam fully understood that Jack actually enjoyed absolutely nothing to do for hours on end besides sit in a near-catatonic stare with a beer in his hand.
By eleven on Sunday, Jack had had it and he demanded Sam go home, going so far as to load her luggage in the truck before he even told her he'd paid for her chartered flight home. She appeared particularly unhappy about being uninvited, telling him that, as host, his job was to entertain her. Jack replied that she'd be entertained for years with the stories she could tell of how boring he was. They didn't bother speaking on the drive to East Gull Lake Airport, where Sam truly realized exactly what rural meant.
Jack felt a twinge of guilt as he watched Sam board the tiny little plane. She glanced at him as she stepped inside, her lips quirking the tiniest bit in the way of a smile. Jack lifted his hand to wave, knowing she also wished it had been different.
Jack spent Sunday afternoon seriously questioning what they'd been arguing about because he only knew that he missed her and couldn't quite figure out why he hadn't let her stay in the suddenly lonely little cabin. Jack spent Sunday evening realizing it had simply been too much pressure for their first date to be a four day trip. Jack spent Sunday night having nightmares that he would always be alone and woke up more than once utterly convinced that something was very, very wrong, something other than the fact that he was a jerk. Jack spent Monday driving home, reciting the apology he'd prepared over and over to be sure he'd get it right when he actually delivered it.
He was irritated when she didn't answer her phone, but he decided she was either still mad or she was working. On Tuesday morning, he returned to work, expecting to find her eating her breakfast with Daniel, as he did nearly everyday, and talking about what a jerk he was. Instead, he found Daniel alone at the table, pouring over the newspaper. Jack had really been hoping to spare himself the humiliation of admitting what happened by apologizing to Sam before she got the chance to tell anyone, particularly Daniel.
"Daniel, have you talked to Carter?"
Daniel didn't even look up. "Huh?"
Still grumpy, Jack yanked the paper out of his friend's hands. "What's so fascinating?" He barely got the words out before he saw the picture on the front page. He recognized the numbers on the mangled section of the plane. All the air rushed out of his lungs, leaving him unable to speak.
"I was just looking at that plane that crashed. It was only a few miles out of town." He glanced at Jack and somehow missed the dazed expression. "It's been two days and they still haven't managed to identify the people. The pilot never filed a flight plan." He took the paper back, studying the picture with a curiosity only detachment could bring. "I think that's the worst way to go. Knowing you're falling and not being able to save yourself." He took a sip of his orange juice, flipping to the weather page before laying aside the paper and finally noticing all the color had drained from Jack's face. "Jack?"
Thankfully, the shock kept Jack completely numb. "Carter was on that plane."
The meaning of the words simply didn't register in Daniel's mind. "I thought you guys were driving."
Jack had slipped into disbelieving numbness quicker than one might have anticipated. "We had a fight so I chartered her a flight and sent her home."
Daniel's mind didn't give him the benefit of being numb. "On that plane?" His voice was already choked with tears without hearing a response; he knew Jack wouldn't joke about that. "Sam was on that plane? She's dead?" His voice was loud and his tears obvious, drawing the concerned attention of everyone in the room.
Jack only sat and stared straight ahead, hearing nothing, seeing nothing, doing nothing.
Long after Daniel had left to verify the information, long after a hundred people tried to get him to respond, Jack just sat and stared.
Only one thing rolled through his head, endlessly repeating: he'd killed her.
He wanted to die.