(Tag to Sam's Christmas Dream…)

It was familiar.

This sensation, it was familiar. Being caught somewhere between sleep and wakefulness was nothing new to the leader of Stargate Command. Since he'd fallen in love with her, his usual nightmares had been replaced with far more pleasant dreams. Many a morning when he was in his own home, he'd awaken slowly, hesitant to throw off the last vestiges of peaceful slumber.

So this was familiar. Trying to hang onto the last threads of the dream, the last touch, the last words of love, this was something very familiar to Jack. For now, with regulations and all, dreams were all he had. Or so he thought.

Sam Carter wasn't his. Probably never would be, except in his dreams. And this had been a good one. It had been so real. He could have sworn she was here with him. In his arms, whispering words he'd longed to hear, he could have sworn it had happened. He fervently wished for the magic to live that particular dream.

He'd been down this road before. There was work to be done. Everyday life would intrude momentarily. Even now, he could feel himself begin to stir. He breathed more deeply; he began to shift his position. Ouch! That hurt. Must not be in my bed, he thought. Had he had too much to drink? Spent another night on the couch?

There was one way to find out, but it was exactly what he'd been avoiding. Waking up, opening his eyes would end the mystery. After all, it was only a matter of time. Might as well get it over with, he thought. So he fidgeted a bit more. As he did, Jack tightened his arms and found he wasn't alone after all.

Kerry, Jack thought, wincing inwardly. She must have stayed over last night. Stalling as long as he could, the normally honest, forthright soldier brooded over how poorly he'd treated this woman. She cared for him. He knew that beyond a shadow of a doubt. Kerry wanted parts of him he was no longer free to give. They belonged to Sam. He knew that and still he let Kerry believe the situation might change. Worse yet, he'd never told her about Sam. She deserved better. They both deserved better, even if it meant he'd be alone.

What a fine mess this is, Jack mused as he continued his ascent to full wakefulness. Opening his eyes no more than a crack, he saw a head nestled on his chest. But instead of Kerry's rich auburn locks, he glimpsed short golden tresses that smelled faintly of honeysuckle. For a moment he was dumbfounded. Carter?

Then he remembered. It hadn't been a dream, not this time.

Yesterday, she'd come into his office bold and sure of herself as on that first day in the briefing room. She'd managed to get his attention, something about, "we need to talk". Daniel had taken the hint and given them privacy. Then, without warning, the usually professional, by the book, Samantha Carter had walked around his desk and proceeded to kiss him. Not just any kiss, mind you. An honest to goodness, take-no-hostages kiss …

Oh yeah, way better than a dream, Jack thought. He remembered the rest of that magical day, Christmas Day. Suddenly, the Colonel and the General couldn't think of a single good reason to spend the holiday cooped up in the mountain when they were on down time. They'd gone off to "talk". And talk they did. All through breakfast, lunch and dinner they talked about Sam, about Jack, about Jack and Sam, about Jack and Sam and the rest of the world. By the end of the evening, they'd been sure Jack and Sam were meant to be. All that was left was to make it happen.

In the magic of that day, they'd agreed to find a way. On Christmas Day, anything was possible. He'd felt like an innocent kid again, believing in love, in himself and in Sam. Now, well now, he wasn't so sure. Looks like they'd fallen asleep on the couch, wrapped in each other's arms. All fairly PG stuff as far as Jack could tell. Still, he wondered how Sam would feel about it today.

He didn't have to wait long to find out. In his arms, Sam was stirring, moaning gently as she began to open her eyes and realize where she was. In the wink of an eye, she'd focused on his face. She was blushing furiously, but smiling as well. Maybe she was as uncertain as he was. He could hope.

"Morning," Jack ventured softly, his eyes locked with hers.

"Morning, yourself," Sam replied, looking for any signs of regret in his eyes.

"Sam …"


"Please don't tell me you're sorry," Jack pleaded.


"You know, for … yesterday," he clarified.

"You mean for saying 'I love you' or falling asleep in your arms?"

Jack shrugged. But his meaning was clear.

"Nope, no regrets," Sam affirmed. "You?"

"Only that I didn't tell you first," he admitted.


"Yep," he said, sitting up slightly and bringing Sam with him. "But I'm not complaining."

With that, he kissed her. Jack O'Neill knew nothing would ever be the same. His Christmas dream was coming true.

A/N: Just a little tag on the day after Christmas.

Hoping the holiday was great!!