The Need for Chocolate

#4 of "Special Things" Series

Category: Romance/Angst

Spoilers: Beneath the Surface

Season: Four

Pairings: Sam and Jack

Rating: PG (Older Kids)

Warnings: None

Summary: Jack likes to share special moments with a special person in his life. This time is a "chocolate" moment.

Author's Note: Just a short piece of angsty sap.

Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are not my property. I have written this story for the enjoyment of Stargate SG-1 fans all over the world. No copyright infringement is intended and no monetary gain is expected.

Jack rubbed his hands gleefully at the sight before him. Sergeant Ed, the cook, had outdone himself this time. This scrumptious, luscious-looking piece of chocolate cake would probably be an award winner somewhere, but in very short order this fact would be a mute point.

He not only wanted this piece of cake. He NEEDED this piece of cake! He could think of nothing he'd rather taste — now that his increasing crankiness had started to annoy even himself, warning him that his blood sugar was probably at a rock-bottom low. Yes, indeed, nothing he'd rather taste…

Well, nothing except the lips of a particular major. Yeah. Those were even more delectable.

'Thinking about those lips is bad, Colonel, very bad,' he thought. No use dreaming about something you can't have. No use wanting to taste Thera's lips again, because Thera was no more. And Jonah didn't exist anymore, either.

The past few days had been hard enough with the persistent dreams that visited him each long, lonely night, making him relive those blissful moments on the frozen planet. Moments he couldn't have again, as he would immediately recall upon awakening.

He had gotten used to sleeping only a bed away from hers, where he could sometimes sneak in for a quick snuggle and a few rushed caresses. During the days she had frequently stopped by his workstation as she made her maintenance rounds, always making a point of lingering long enough to exchange whispered words and loving, tender looks.

Now he hardly saw her. And he missed her. He missed her terribly. And he hadn't talked with her since their return and subsequent debriefing with General Hammond. He'd last seen Thera during their brief stay in the infirmary, when their false personas still clung to their subconscious. They had exchanged their last tender, loving looks then. No words. Just looks, since they had remembered that those kinds of words were against the regulations in their "real" lives.

After a few days of downtime, he'd given up and returned to the base. He didn't know what to do with himself at home. And she, apparently, didn't know either, since she had also returned from leave early, burying herself in her lab and almost never coming out for air.

The few times they'd seen each other had been tense and awkward. Her eyes had evaded his and her smile had been a shadow of what Carter's real smile was like. Their working relationship had obviously suffered, and no amount of talking to MacKenzie was going to help that. They had to learn to talk to each other again. And they had to let Jonah and Thera go for good. They had to go back to being only Jack and Sam, CO and subordinate.

Looking down at the succulent and very large piece of chocolate confectionary, he made up his mind. He loved her and missed her. But he couldn't have her. Facts had to be accepted. But they could continue to have the little they'd been able to have so far. He just had to make it happen, and chocolate was the perfect tool to build a bridge back to Sam Carter.

Standing up and grabbing a second fork, he resolutely walked down to her lab, knowing he'd find her there.

Sam had been struggling with reading a simple report, attempting to catch up with the multitude of repairs Siler and his team had performed during her long absence. But the information was not very interesting, and her mind kept stubbornly returning to Jonah, the man with whom she had so briefly enjoyed a romantic relationship.

Their intimacy had not gone far enough to make it impossible for her and her CO to continue working together, but they had definitely shared enough to make it awkward. And being the little coward she was, she had been avoiding the colonel ever since she'd returned to the base. She'd come back to work early hoping to hide from the memories that plagued her while alone and idle at home. She hadn't been very successful.

A hesitant knock made her lift her gaze from the computer screen, and her heart did a little flip when she realized the object of her thoughts was standing there, holding a plate and two forks in his hands.

"I come in peace," he playfully announced, not moving from his spot by the door until she said or did something to allow him to take another step.

Sam momentarily froze, not knowing what to say. He was right, of course. She had been the one avoiding him, so he was justified in feeling like he'd offended her somehow, which couldn't be farther from the truth. On the contrary. He'd been so sweet and protective on that planet, making her feel treasured and wanted, that now she had a hard time seeing him as her superior officer and nothing else.

What had happened had been in no way his fault. And she couldn't allow him to continue to feel guilty. It wasn't fair to him.

"Is that chocolate cake on that plate?" she finally asked, a little smile finally reaching her eyes.

"This is no ordinary piece of chocolate cake. This is something special. That's why…" he was saying as he slowly walked toward her, holding up the humongous piece before him as an offering, "I thought I'd share it with you."

Her eyes flew from the plate to his eyes, distressed anguish fleetingly flashing in them, but she quickly lowered them again. "Thank you. I was getting hungry," she admitted, taking the plate and setting it on her workbench, pulling another stool next to her for him to sit on.

"Well, this will satisfy your hunger and… help heal your heart," he informed her with a crooked, poignant half-smile as he sat down and picked up a fork.

"You think?" she sadly asked, almost whispering and looking at the piece of cake so that she could avoid looking at him.

"I know. Chocolate," he paused dramatically, then continued, "heals hearts. It's a well-known fact! You mean you didn't know this?" he teased, cutting a piece with his fork.

"I had… suspected," she smiled at him despondently, giving him a quick glance.

"Here. You'll see," he offered, his fork dangling before her mouth. She finally dared to look at him, quaking inside with the unexpected intimate moment, but then she opened her mouth, allowing him to feed her. Her lashes involuntarily fluttered in appreciation as her lips closed over the forkful of delight, softly moaning deep in her throat and closing her eyes as she savored the scrumptious confection.

Jack swallowed hard, momentarily stunned by her sensuous reaction, but then smiled when she looked at him again, nodding at him. "You're right," she acknowledged.

"See? Chocolate is special, chocolate cake even more so. And I only share special delights with special people, so you should feel privileged."

He was outright flirting now, back to the old Jack O'Neill, making her previous tension quickly dissipate and her smile shine brightly.

"I do, Sir. I'm honored. And…" she timidly paused, but then valiantly admitted, "I think you're special, too."

She watched him finish swallowing the piece he'd been eating, his eyes returning to hers and holding her meaningful gaze. "Then we're lucky to be working together, Carter. Let's not lose that," he softly begged.

"We won't, Sir. We're going to be fine. Thanks to this delicious piece of chocolate cake," she flirted back, batting her eyes at him and picking up her own fork to cut a large piece.

"Thank goodness for chocolate," he toasted with a forkful.

"Absolutely," she toasted back, and they both proceeded to devour what remained of the cake, smiling fondly at each other.

Sometimes, chocolate stopped being an indulgence and became a need. Like when two friends need to reconnect after a trying, heart-wrenching experience. And when thwarted lovers need to keep hoping for "someday."

The End