The Major General had to admit he had little idea where to start, but operation Sam's Garden was underway.


PICKING FLOWERS

Less than one hour after turning the first shovel of dirt, Jack was breathing heavily and perspiring more than he had in a long time. All those hours behind a desk had obviously taken their toll. Though he worked out four days a week, fairly vigorously as far as he was concerned, nothing had prepared him for what was quickly morphing into back breaking labor.

Thank God Sam didn't get it into her head to try this, he thought, realizing it was the sort of hair-brained move he would have made defying doctor's orders. Sam was smarter than that. Still, he wondered how she'd intended to clear out this patch on her own; there were enough old tree roots, tangled brambles and otherwise undesirable items in this patch of heretofore untried and untilled land to make even the most experienced gardener quake in his garden shoes.

As Jack paused for a moment, considering his next move and looking at the already grimy, muddy condition of his clothing, he heard the door open behind him. The lady of the house, undoubtedly, he thought. Well, I certainly look like Prince Charming right about now. No sooner had he taken a deep breath and resigned himself to his current appearance, than he turned around to greet his wife.

"Damn it," Jack hollered, as he promptly fell over the as yet unused garden tools he'd carelessly deposited behind him. When did I get to be such a klutz? He asked himself. He had to admit, at his age, he was lucky he hadn't broken anything with his clumsy move. All he wanted to do was turn around and see Sam. Now as he looked up, he saw his favorite vision of loveliness, trying oh so hard to stifle her laughter.

"All right, I wouldn't want you to suffocate trying to hold it in or anything," he said, trying not to smile at the mirth playing around Sam's eyes.

"What are you trying to do?" Sam asked, as innocently as she could.

"I'm trying to dig up a Stargate," he quipped, "what does it look like I'm doing?"

Sam looked at Jack intently, genuinely glad he'd come, but still a bit bewildered at the sight of him now sitting unceremoniously on her front lawn.

"Funny…," she said, finally giving in to a wide grin and a little giggle. Then seeing Jack wince, she thought better of it and came over to him.

"Are you alright?" Sam asked, standing over her husband, now on the verge of laughter himself. "Here, let me help you up."

Okay, this was worth it, Jack thought. Sam, beautiful as ever, standing over him on a fresh spring day with a brilliant sun still rising in the clear cerulean blue sky; he could look up at her forever. Silky blond hair, blue eyes glistening, her megawatt smile and spectacular body entranced him as always. As she reached down to give him a hand up from his awkward position, he momentarily considered pulling her down to join him. Quickly he remembered her wounds were still not completely healed; that level of playfulness would have to wait a bit longer.

Once back on his feet, Jack stood directly in front of his wife, a smile tugging on his lips.

"I'm glad to see you" he said, taking in her sleep tousled hair and somewhat crumbled nightwear. Sam slept in a tank top and pair of pajama bottoms; it was clear there was a pretty sizeable bandage under the tight fitting top. Jack winced to realize she was still fighting the effects of her injury.

"How are you?" he asked, as she reached for him. "Hey, I'm dirty," he protested, pulling back a bit. He felt disgusting, what with his dirty hands and muddy clothes.

"And you think I care?" Sam said, going right ahead and pulling him snugly into her embrace. "I've wanted you here for the past seven days. I'm not about to wait a minute longer."

Jack gave in easily, enjoying the warmth of her arms around him. "I've missed you too, Sam. I couldn't wait any longer to see you."

Sam gave her husband a quick kiss and pulled back just enough to see him clearly. "I thought you had a meeting with the Joint Chiefs and the President this morning."

"I did," Jack admitted sheepishly. "I told them something came up."

"Something came up? You told the President you had something better to do?"

"Yep," he said. "It's not like the world needed saving or anything. Then again, this 'garden' of yours, now that," he said, with a bit of disdain, gesturing at the half cleared plot in front of him, "I'd say that needs saving."

"Told you it would be a challenge," she said. "Hey, is that why you're here, to start my garden?"

"Yeah, thought it would be nice, spring and all, you know."

Jack was rewarded with Sam's glorious smile. "You're wonderful," she said after a moment that found Jack basking in her glow. "What did I do to deserve all of this attention?" Sam asked as she took in the wide variety of flowers and foliage her husband had brought with him. "Wow," she said. "There's a lot of plant material here, Jack. Who's helping you put this all in?"

"Too much?" he asked sheepishly.

Sam was overwhelmed with the variety of beautiful rose bushes Jack had selected. Different colors and varieties, they were truly beautiful specimens. As if that weren't enough, directly behind the rose collection were selected perennials and two flats of impatiens.

"They're beautiful Jack. But it is a lot for this one area you're clearing."

"That's what Brad said," Jack admitted, referring to his friend who owned the garden center. But I couldn't decide. You know, different color roses mean different things, friendship, love, respect, appreciation, beauty, joy, desire… did I mention love? I couldn't decide, so I got them all," he said with an innocent shoulder shrug.

"I love you, Jack O'Neill," Sam said, captivated as always by the way her husband found new and different ways to her heart. Holding his hand and walking over to the remaining flowers, she asked, "That explains the roses; what about everything else?"

"Well the roses won't be in full bloom for awhile and I told Marty and Peter, the assistants at the center, you'd need something for color in the meantime. I had everything delivered after you'd gone to sleep last night."

"Who'd you get to deliver all this stuff in the middle of the night?" Sam asked, wondering how it had all miraculously materialized.

"Rob brought it over; says you must be pretty special," Jack admitted, remembering the look of envy of his buddy's face. "In case you haven't noticed, I think he's right."

By now, Jack and Sam were standing toe to toe, gazing lovingly at each other. Whether or not the garden was planted today, they were together and for now, the world was a wonderful place to be.

After a few moments of simply appreciating each other's presence, Sam broke the silence.

"I saw gourmet coffee ready to be brewed and breakfast sandwiches in the kitchen. Did Rob bring those too?"

"No, I stopped for those," Jack said indignantly. "I was waiting for Sleeping Beauty to make her appearance before I started."

"Okay then, General," she said. "Sleeping Beauty could use some coffee and I think you can use some breakfast. Then we'll tackle the roses."

"Yes, Ma'am," Jack answered, knowing he was home, exactly where he was supposed to be.

THE END


A/N: Hope you liked. Love reviews. And happy gardening!