Tongue Tied

Prompt: #013 Tongue-Tied

Notes: Written for fanfic50


"What was that, Carter?" Colonel Jack O'Neill asked his second-in-command as they headed through the last of the woods on their way back to the Stargate. He glanced over his shoulder at her questioningly; sure that he had heard her wrong.

Sam shook her head, her face flushing bright red. "Uh…it was nothing, sir," she replied hurriedly. "Not a thing." She reached out with one hand to push a few tangled branches out of her way, holding her side arm with the other and biting anxiously on her bottom lip.

"Not a thing, huh?" Jack pushed curiously, noting her obvious tenseness. "Right," he added on after a moment, clearly not believing her. He stared at her a little longer, his eyebrow raised, then shrugged and turned to the 'Gate.

"Dial us home, Major," he ordered, sending a wry smile in her direction. He watched as she nodded – grateful for the distraction, he guessed – and began the dialling process. As she worked, he studied her.

Several twigs were stuck in her tousled blonde hair, her eyes were the dazzling blue that he had grown to love and her jaw was set in concentration. Moving towards her without a thought, Jack leaned in close to her and gently pulled the twigs from her hair.

Dropping them on the dirt patch that covered the surrounding area of the Stargate, he stepped back as Sam spun around at the brief contact and looked at him in surprise. "Sir?" she enquired, startled.

"Twigs," Jack explained, his eyes settling on her and realisation of what he had just done settling in. He had barely touched her and in no way had intended anything by it, yet it still felt wrong and against the regulations somehow. He hated those damn regulations!

He felt his breath catch as Sam stared up at him and tried to expand on his explanation, however, he couldn't stop the thought that Sam was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen from flooding his mind and a wave of nervousness overcame him.

"In…you…your hair," he stuttered out hopelessly. His gaze dropped to the ground in embarrassment and he gestured toward the 'Gate. "We should get…go." He pulled his lower lip into his mouth and bit on it, silently cursing his stupidity.

"Getting a bit tongue-tied there, Colonel?" Sam teased hesitantly. She smiled at him, catching his eye for a moment.

"Uh…yeah." Jack nodded. "Seems that…Maybe it was that drink the natives…the one they gave us." He grinned sheepishly back at her. "Well, anyway…we should…uh…for crying out loud!"

Sam smirked and rolled her eyes. "Yeah. We'd better go," she agreed. "Much more of this and I'll need Daniel to help translate everything you say." She began walking towards the Stargate, stopping only when Jack grabbed her arm. She raised an eyebrow at him and signalled with a quick nod for him to go on.

"One thing first," Jack told her, still holding her arm. "Tell me what you said."

Sam's eyes widened slightly and she shook her head. "Really, sir. It was nothing," she replied evasively. "Can we just go now?"

Jack eyed her sceptically and shook his head. "We're not going anywhere until you tell me." He released his grip on her and took on a stubborn stance, his arms crossed defiantly over his chest and a glint of determination springing into his deep brown eyes.

Sam remained quiet for several moments, her gaze flickering back and forth between her Commanding Officer and the Stargate, before she finally responded. "Fine, okay!" she gave in with a sigh. "I said, 'The Simpsons' was good last night, all right?" She turned away from him, feeling the familiar rush of embarrassment go through her as her face went red.

An amused expression found its way onto Jack's face and he let his arms drop from their previous position, draping one over Sam's shoulder and the other by his sidearm. Smirking, he began to lead her to the Stargate. "Ha! I knew it!"