A/N – Well, here's the last chapter! I had a hard time finishing this, and I still feel like there might be some questions. So if it's still unclear, mebby you can talk me into doing an epilogue or something….

Chapter 7: So Now I've Found Lucidity

The morning sun fell through leaves and then the curtains to cast a flickering golden pattern on the wall of the guest room. That was the first thing Sam noticed as she opened her eyes; that pattern on the wall, flickering and changing as the trees were blown about by the slight wind. Sam heard quiet laughter from the kitchen, the sounds of pots and pans being moved and the unmistakable deep rumble of Teal'c's voice.

Looking down at herself Sam realized with some embarrassment that she was still fully dressed except for her shoes, and lay sprawled on top of the blankets. She had a vague memory of Jack helping her back in and then dumping her on the bed.

The door opened. "You awake?" Jack asked, grinning.

"Mhmm." Sam sat up and stretched, then winced as pain shot through her head. "You got any aspirin?"

Jack chuckled. "Yeah sure ya betcha. But I'm sure one of my world famous omelets will do you just as much good."

The smell of food wafted in and Sam heard her stomach rumbling. Jack leaned on the doorway, watching as she slowly got to her feet. Daniel and Teal'c were already sitting at the kitchen table with plates of food before them. Daniel looked even worse off then Sam felt. A bottle of aspirin sat in the middle of the table. Sam grabbed it and swallowed two of the small white pills.

Jack set a plate down in front of her then sat down himself. He raised a glass of orange juice. "Here's to things going back to normal. Or at least as normal as they ever get."

Sam was absorbed completely in her work, tracing a maze of colored wires around a circuit board, figuring out what each did, what part of the code on her computer screen it was connected to, and slowly figuring out what the strange probe from P6Y-903 was for. It certainly wasn't goa'uld technology, they'd figured that much out.

A pair of hands settled on her shoulders and she jumped.

"Easy, Sam," Jack said quietly, giving her shoulders a squeeze. "It's just me." He peered down at the mess of electronics. "Whatcha doin'?"

Sam sighed and sat back, setting her tools aside. "I was trying to figure out what this thing was for." She turned around and saw that Jack had changed out of his uniform. At the confused look on her face, Jack began laughing.

"I'm starting to see why geeks have trouble going on dates," he said. "They get so wrapped up in their work they forget about them." Jack sighed, shaking his head. "I'm supposed to take you out for dinner tonight, remember?"

"Oh, right!" Sam grinned and got to her feet. "Give me five minutes to change." She hurried out of the room.

Jack watched over the table as Sam pulled a small orange pill bottle out of her purse, shaking one of the pills into her hand. She caught him watching her and blushed slightly. "I have to take them with food."

"They helping at all?"

Sam shrugged. "I don't know if it's me or the pills."

"So who was she?" Jack rested his elbows on the table, leaning forward to look at Sam.

Sam frowned. "Who was who?"

"Whoever you kept throwing things at."

"Oh," Sam looked down, fidgeting nervously with her napkin. She made a face. "According to McKenzie she was 'a projection of my inner turmoil' or some bull crap like that. "

"Ah, doctors," Jack mocked. "Who needs em?"

Sam cracked a grin. "Daniel does. Well, just a certain doctor by the name of Janet Fraiser."

"Oooh yes," Jack leaned back in his chair. "See, those two I understand. Their minds work the same way; fast. Now, that Colonel O'Neill and Samantha Carter, those two I just don't get. How can someone as smart and beautiful as her like someone as gosh-darn stupid as him?"

Sam rolled her eyes. "Jack, you're not stupid."

"No, just mentally challenged."

Sam reached over to slap him on the arm.

"Ow! What was that for?"

"For dragging yourself down all the time!" Sam took a sip of soda from the glass in front of her. "You think they'd let you be the head of SG-1 if you were stupid?"

"Yes." Jack replied, and was only saved from another playful slap as the waiter brought their check over.

Later that night they pulled up in front of Sam's house, and Jack got out to walk her up to the front door. On the steps of the porch he stopped, awkwardly digging his hands into his pockets.

"It being our third date and all, aren't you supposed to invite me in for coffee or something?"

"Hmmm," Sam unlocked the door, then turned around to face Jack. "I don't know about coffee, but the 'or something' sounds rather appealing to me."

Jack's hands were on her shoulders the second the door shut behind them, he slipped her jacket off and then began kissing her slender neck. Sam turned, their lips connecting, their arms tangling around each other as she began to back up towards the living room.

Her foot caught on something and she tripped. They both crashed to the floor.

"Oh, shit, Sam, you ok?" Jack had managed to land on his side, not putting any weight on her.

Sam blinked up and him and laughed. "I'm fine. C'mere." She pulled Jack over her, kissing him hard. One of his hands shot out to brace against the floor and his fingers touched a spot where the carpeting was slightly rougher. He pulled his lips away from Sam's with a quiet smacking noise.



It came flooding back to him, that night he'd opened the door to find her laying there, bleeding and bruised. Cold shot through his body. "Fuck," he muttered.

Sam tried to turn her head to see what he was looking at. "What's wrong?"

"I can't do this, not here."

Sam sat up and looked around. "Let's move then."

Jack was absorbed completely in his work; tracing a maze of complex patterns with the tips of his fingers on Sam's lower back. Every bit of her fascinated him, the arch of her spine, the smoothness of her skin, the soft curves of her breasts. She was so beautiful and amazing to him on a whole new level now.

Sam, her arms folded under her chin, turned and looked up at him, catching the misty eyed expression in his dark eyes. She smiled lightly. "What?"

Jack's hand slid down to her side, pulling her body closer to his. "I feel like I'm dreaming," he murmured.

"Really?" Sam reached up to brush her fiingers over his cheek. "I feel like I just finally woke up."