Somewhere, a phone blared loudly.

"Carter?" he asked, still half asleep.

She stretched across his chest – which was sort of nice -- reaching over him to grab the cell-phone off the bedside table.

"Who could be calling now?"

She glanced down at the caller-ID. "It's the SGC, Jack."

He grabbed her, pulling her against his chest. He mumbled into her ear, "Can't you tell 'em to go to hell? I though you had a pass?"

She wiggled in protest, trying to get out of his grasp. The friction of skin against skin was not increasing the odds that he was actually going to let go of her anytime in the near future. "Jack! I told them to call only if there was a life-and-death emergency."

He released her, his head falling back onto the pillow in defeat. "Two days. That's all I asked for. Two freakin' days without the Universe falling apart without her. Too much to hope for, I ask you? Why yes, Jack. It is. Sorry."

Sam, in the meantime, had propped herself up against his chest and was chatting softly into the phone. She rolled her eyes and smiled at Jack as she spoke. "What? Really, that's great Daniel. Really… great." Jack, having gotten over his disgust by finding more interesting things to do with his mouth than complaining, smiled smugly at the catch in her voice. "Yeah, as soon as I -- can… Yeah, he's here. Why? … Daniel!" This time, Jack couldn't resist chuckling, his breath raising goose pimples on her smooth flesh. He was pleased to notice Sam's next words were a bit rushed. "Look, I'll be there as soon as I can, okay?... Okay. Bye, Daniel…" She closed the phone and set it back down on the table.

She looked down at Jack. One eyebrow arched dangerously. "Yes?"

He laughed again, though with her hovering so close it might have sounded a bit more like a groan than he'd planned. "Looks like you might be heading out before I do after all."

"Unfortunately, it sounds like your trip is also likely to be a good deal shorter. Daniel and Vala think they've figured out where Merlin hid the Sangraal. How long can it take you to go make nice with the Ancients on Atlantis? You'll probably still get back before me."

"Me? Make nice? Wanna bet?"

She knew him well enough to recognize the trap, and still she asked. "Seriously?"

"If you make it home first, you owe me…" He smiled wickedly. "We'll see…"

"And if I make it home first?"

"You decide."

She paused for a minute, clearly thinking. "Hot toddies in front of a roaring fire and then…" Her laughter was as wicked as his smile had been as she added, "We'll see…"

Her words and the image they evoked along with the movement her laughter caused so close above him derailed Jack's thoughts completely. Reaching up, he pulled her down to him, sealing their wager in the most satisfying way imaginable.

The rest of SG-1 were getting very impatient by the time Sam finally joined them at the SGC to discuss their search for the Holy Grail. Considering Jack's mood, Sam knew they should have been happy she'd managed to show up at all.