Title: Before the Return

Author: Vicky Ocean

Pairing: Sam and Jack- established

Season: SG-1- 9 and Atlantis 3

Spoilers: Atlantis- The Return

Summary: Sam and Jack share a moment during the beginning of The Return.

A/N- Inspired by Jack's crazy hair at the beginning of The Return and how he looked a little uncomfortable. It was supposed to be total fluff, but came out on the angsty side.


"It's not fair."

Sam didn't even bother to look up as Jack paced back and forth in front of her work bench. This was the fifth time since he'd entered her lab that he'd uttered the words "It's not fair". Each time his tone came closer and closer to a whine.

"Of course it isn't," she agreed just as she had agreed the last four times. Any second now he'd start waving his hands around and list all the air and space craft he'd flown.

"I've flown virtually every type of aircraft on earth and more alien spacecraft than anyone else in the SGC. I've flown death gliders, teltacs, that evil hybrid gliders, the F-302, hell even the Prometheus."

"I know, Jack. I was there."

"Of course you were." He spun around on his heel to face her and pointed in her direction to emphasize his words. "It should be you and me together. Your brains and my gene. Just like always."

"Yes, dear," she said trying to keep the bored tone out of her voice. She loved the man, but there was only so much whining she could take from anyone. Besides there were so many more pleasant things he could be doing with his mouth than yakking about unfair it was that John Sheppard was taking the maiden voyage through the gate bridge.

His pacing stopped, a vague pout forming on his lips. "You weren't this patronizing before I married you."

"Wasn't I?"

"No."

"The 'sirs' must have made it sound better," Sam smirked at him. "You want me to call you 'sir'? 'Yes, sir, it's a gross oversight that that an over the hill general complete with gimpy knee and back who hasn't seen action in nearly three years should fly the maiden voyage through the gate bridge, sir.' Is that better?"

"Yeah, sure. Just like the good old days." He turned away from her and began pacing again.

Sam had been teasing him, but she now realized that it probably been the wrong thing say. The bitterness in his voice and the hurt she'd caught in his eye before he'd turned his back had told her that. He'd spent most of his life on the front lines. He'd been the man that they'd called when the impossible needed doing. He didn't like being sidelined and the years since he'd made General had done little to heal the perceived slight of being kicked up the ladder.

Sam got off her stool and walked over to her husband. He stopped his brooding pacing when she grasped his hand, but he didn't meet her eye. "Jack, I'd just as soon not have you risk your neck if you didn't have to. If McKay's macros don't work the way they're supposed to I'd much rather Colonel Sheppard die than you."

Jack snorted, "Well, I guess there is that." He squeezed her hand before releasing it to look at his watch. "It's almost time. You ready?"

"Let me shut everything down and I'll meet you in the briefing room."

He nodded and began to walk out the door.

"Jack?"

"Yeah?"

He turned back and Sam pressed him back against the wall. His mouth quickly opened beneath hers allowing her to express how glad she was that he was here and not risking himself unnecessarily.

Eventually, she pulled away, though her fingers still combed through his hair and her nails scratched his scalp the way he liked. "I'm really glad you're here with me, Jack. I've missed you so much."

He gave her that soft smile she adored. "Me too. I somehow managed to wrangle the whole weekend free for this trip."

A whole weekend didn't seem like much to most couples, but it meant the world to them. During the course of their marriage there had been spans of several months when they hadn't seen each other in the flesh, so every moment was precious.

"Good," she returned his smile and gave him another quick kiss before allowing him to leave.

End