Summary: Did Jack mention sexy?
Warnings: Unfortunately the potty mouth got the better of me. Even worse – unbeta'd! (But a few spelling/style changes made - Dec.20/06). Great liberty taken with the power of Swiss Army knives.
Humility and Happiness
"Forget it O'Neill. You're not doing it."
"Yeah, you'd wipe the floor with us. You're just going to have to sit this one out."
Former General Jack O'Neill regarded the two younger men in front of him with amusement he was taking no pains to hide. He had a feeling that they were about to get another lesson in humility.
Life had certainly changed for Jack recently, all for the better. Except for the Ori problem, but that went without saying - especially to anyone without the right clearance. Jack had finally convinced the President that he could do his job quite well from his home in Colorado Springs, thank you very much. He was no longer surrounded by blowhard politicians and kiss-asses all the time. His favourite pizza place was five minutes from his house. Best of all, he actually got to spend time with his wife. How novel! His sexy, smart, sexy, funny (had he mentioned sexy?) wife who was currently standing beside him focusing her attention on the horizon in an effort to maintain a straight face. Jack nudged Sam in a half-hearted attempt to make her laugh, but failed. Sam had years of keeping her emotions under wraps after all.
Following his return to The Springs, Jack had joined a recreational hockey league in an effort to combat the extra pounds he had picked up while sitting behind a desk and eating too many donuts in Washington. When he'd shown up at the first practice of the season the rest of the team, all men younger by at least 10 or 15 years, had heckled Jack mercilessly. He'd quite enjoyed cleaning their clocks, kicking their asses up and down the ice.
Now that it was the off-season, the team captain had thought it would be fun to get everyone together with their families for a play day. Since the captain was also a military captain, he had arranged to use some recreational facilities on the base. Of course, boys being boys, the fun was soon turned into a competition. Everything from the kids' sack races and the baseball games to the impromptu eating contest had become the subject of bets and challenges. Right now, the challenge being faced was the obstacle course.
Jack turned his attention back to the two guys standing in front of him that now had a couple additional supporters adding their thoughts to the matter at hand.
"Why can't I do it?"
Kirk, the younger of the two and now apparent spokesman, retorted with, "C'mon O'Neill. You've trained for this kind of stuff. We haven't."
"I've been pushing a desk for more than a year and my knees were shot to shit even before that. It'll balance out."
"You're being unreasonable," Jack responded in his most reasonable tone.
'Just another little nudge,' he thought before adding aloud with a smirk, "What gives you guys the right to bar Team O'Neill from participating in an event, huh?"
Sam stepping on his toe was not unexpected.
Kirk snapped at the bait. "There are two of you on Team O'Neill. Sam can do the course."
"Nonononononono," Jack said, shaking his head vehemently. 'Hook, line and sinker.'
"C'mon, just because she sits around in a science lab all day doesn't mean she can't run an obstacle course. She did well during the ballgame. Sam, you can run the course, right?" Kirk turned his eyes to the woman in question, giving her a once over.
Kirk didn't really know a lot about Jack's wife. Just that she was hot (from his observation) and that she was a theoretical scientist of some kind and that the two of them had met at work (from Jack's comments). But she certainly looked fit enough (had he mentioned hot?). And besides,
"We'll give her a head start," he concluded.
At this Sam opened her mouth to protest, but Jack cut her off.
"I really don't think she should run against you guys at all," he interjected ignoring the ever increasing pressure on his foot. 'Where was that net…?'
At this, some of the wives nearby began to protest the fact that Jack seemed unwilling to let 'the little woman' compete against the guys. Sam saw herself be painted into a corner. If she did the course, she'd be colluding with Jack's plan to mess with his team mates. If she didn't, Jack would look like a chauvinistic boor. However, as tempting as that was there was still the fact that the other guys were also acting like chauvinistic boors.
As soon as she sighed, Jack knew that Sam had decided to go along with him and grinned at her. She responded with a roll of her eyes and a kick to his shin. Sam buttoned up her over shirt while wishing she was wearing BDUs. Jack was sooooo going to owe her a new pair of khakis.
"Five minutes you said, boys? Okay, on my mark. Mark!"
Sam quickly jogged down the hill towards the wooden wall that started the obstacle course. Jack called towards her retreating back, "Have fun, Carter!"
Sam's responding, "Yes, sir!" drifted back to the group at the top of the hill.
Kirk smirked and scoffed, "I don't know why she's hurrying. She'll probably just need our help to get over the wall anyway." He was rewarded with a sharp smack on the arm from one of the nearby ladies. Jack's grin just got bigger and, though hardly possible, even bigger when Sam finally reached the wall.
Sam barely hesitated on her approach to the wall. This really was going to be the hardest part of the course to do by herself but she'd had the run down the hill to review the problem and take a quick inventory. The solution lay in the Swiss Army knife that she had in her pocket. Fortunately she was quite tall, but not quite tall enough to easily scale an eight foot wall. Pulling the knife from her pocket, Sam opened the blade and, stretching as high as she could, firmly embedded it into the wall as a makeshift handhold. Then, praying that the knife would be able to withstand her weight, she used it to help hoist herself up, scrabbling her feet for purchase and finally grabbing the top of the wall with her left hand. She pulled herself onto the thin ledge on the top and then, balancing carefully, tried to wiggle the knife out of its position – refusing to leave a possible advantage in her wake. Unable to pull the knife out, she swung her legs back over the wall the way she'd come over and kicked sharply at the knife thankful that she had worn her Doc Martens, the next best thing to her combat boots. She felt the blade give and hoped that would be enough of a deterrent for the guys that would be following her shortly. Jack was sooooo going to owe her a new knife.
Up on the hill, there was a moment of stunned silence before a cheer went up from Sam's supporters. Kirk turned his stunned gaze towards the still grinning O'Neill, who had his hands in his pockets, gently rocking back and forth on the balls of his feet.
"Did she just…? What the hell, O'Neill?"
Jack was spared from providing an answer by the beep of his watch alarm. "That's your five minutes, guys."
Kirk and the other guys quickly dashed off down the hill, trying to make up for the lost time.
As she had predicted, Sam breezed through the rest of the course; dodging, jumping, crawling, scaling. So the only reason she could think of for holding back near the end and letting Kirk cut into her formidable lead was that she'd spent too much time with Jack.
Kirk drew level with Sam and huffed, "Sorry I underestimated you."
Sam breezily replied, "It happens." She was barely winded.
"You really are good," Kirk continued after taking a moment to gather his breath.
"Thanks. Just one thing though."
"I'm better than 'good.'"
With that, Sam kicked it back up a notch, running quickly, her long strides eating up the distance to the finish line. Laughing, she flew towards Jack who caught her and swung her around to break Sam's momentum. He kissed her deeply, to the whoops and cheers of the people around them. When they broke off the kiss Sam grinned hugely at Jack and said, "I'd forgotten how much fun it was to run full out and not get shot at."
Jack couldn't stop himself from kissing her again. Did he mention sexy?
Sam pulled away to walk around, shaking out her limbs to keep them from seizing up in protest to the abrupt stop to the exercise.
Kirk finally wheezed up to the finish line and collapsed to the ground. "O'Neill, you said your wife was a scientist! What the hell?"
Jack moved over to tower above the young man on the ground. With what could only be described as a 'shit eating grin' he said, "She is a scientist. But her mail comes addressed to Lieutenant Colonel Samantha O'Neill. I did mention I met my wife at work, right?"
"Yeah, but, you said that she couldn't run the course against us."
Sam took pity on Kirk and helped him to his feet as she replied on his behalf, "I believe he's referring to the 'nonononononono' comment you made earlier, Jack; if you'd care to explain."
"Oh, that! I was just going to suggest that you run the course geared. Give the guys a sporting chance."
Sam rolled her eyes, "Sure you were."
After everyone had congratulated and/or apologized to her, Jack standing proudly off to one side, Sam started to walk back in the direction of the eating area, suddenly realizing how hungry she was. She stopped short when she heard Jack call out to her.
"I hate to tell you this, but you're filthy."
Jack instantly bolted back towards the obstacle course, taking advantage of the brief seconds of stunned disbelief that statement gained him before Sam flew in his wake. She finally caught up with him on the platform above the climbing net. They kissed fiercely, hands pawing at each other like love starved teenagers.
Jack was sooooo going to owe her a new shirt.