Whimsy: If Only - Conclusion

Hang on for this one; Jack finally gets it! Reviews are always appreciated!

Fusion

They sank until clover and soil rose over them to become crystal blue water. Sam turned in that slow-motion underwater way to face him. When the cool water made him gasp, Sam quickly covered his mouth with hers to prevent the natural result. Jack nodded to her that he was OK and she released his lips. After a sneak kiss, that is.

Which was fine with him. Mermaid Sam was just fine. She ate bubbles from his lips and burst them back into his mouth. Jack grinned under water and grinned at the thought of doing that.

"You swim like a fish, too!" Sam said as she cut through the water with him beside her. Her body swayed and undulated at a brisk pace but he kept up with her easily.

"Second nature!" he said or maybe thought; or they were talking underwater!

And this being Whimsy, it was more than just a swim.

"Trust me?"

"Always!"

They raced into depths deeper than any lake, their speed and antics scurrying schools of silver fish as big as his hand. They dived into canyons with no light and played hide and seek. Jack couldn't stop laughing as his mermaid companion kept pace and often out-swam him, her exotic tail a natural propeller.

Ah, but she never left him so far that they couldn't reach out to touch. They tangled around each other; a clandestine touch; a bold one; a seductive one. Jack enjoyed it all, especially the sneaked in kisses as they rolled over one another in tit-for-tat tag. She was helping him breath. Right.

He dived behind her as she zipped down into a deep crevasse. Seconds later she jetted up, caught him under the arms and propelled them both up to the surface and way into the air. Jack wrapped his arms around her and held on as they ascended. She grinned down at him, one hand smoothing his wet hair. He pressed his head close and blew raspberries in her bare tummy, causing a giggle that made him smile from inside out.

"Hope you're ready for this, fly-boy!" Sam said with a twinkle in her eyes. She pushed free and grabbed his hand as they started to fall. Sam's legs were back; she kicked the air and winked at him.

"Right beside you!" Jack called back. Their hands linked, they plummeted. But instead of the lake, Jack saw a sensational waterfall below. Sam's eyebrow raised in dare; he matched her look. They hit the foaming water and slid over the edge of a giant water slide with crazy twists and scary climbs and drops. "Whoo-hoo!" Jack turned to see her face aglow, fully engaged in the thrill with him.

Sam unleashed. Whimsy should be shot for waving his secrets out like this. Except he was loath to let this dream-Sam go yet. His spirit dimmed.

Sam that wasn't Sam. Jack saw her eyes go soft with understanding. His Sam was adventurous, maybe even a bit overly daring-do at times; he knew this. Always wished he'd met her when he was younger. In a blink her gaze was back to mischievous.

Springy grass met their feet as he and Sam slid out; the water slide disappeared into the ground. She turned to him.

"You're in the zone, Jack. Only very good friends get this close," Sam murmured. "Do you want to be?" She eased away, half in shadow. Jack noticed the sudden change in their surroundings. In the semi-gloom, her eyes glinted.

"Sam has to know I wanna be close, right?" Jack asked. Her eyebrow arched. "For cryin' out loud…" OK, then; he was close; Sam – this Sam – showed him that. Time to reveal whether he wanted to be in or out.

His attention was drawn away by sounds, sounds of people in the darkness that now surrounded them. Only he and Sam had light on them from somewhere above and she was standing in and out of the light.

"What do you want?" Sam's voice floated out to him. The low lighting showed her smile encouraging and provoking. She sauntered over to him, now in killer black leather climbing her so long legs and a biker-fashioned halter top that challenged containment. Hands on her hips, Sam came nose to nose or was when he looked down at her.

Jack matched the smile lurking in her demand. That's when the heavy rhythm and down-beat erupted. Stage lights radiated from behind him with smoky search beams that illuminated the stage edge and an audience teeming with yelling crowds. And in his hands…a guitar.

Automatically he was playing the classic rock song like a pro. Which he wasn't but Jack felt right with it. In tune, on beat, damn right! About then he noted his clothing was changed to black rocker jeans, a white tee ripped low down his chest, its sleeves stripped off, a rebel cap and sunglasses. He laughed at the glasses in this gloom since they gave him clear vision anyway. The spotlight was on Sam who was dancing enticingly in a circle of younger, brawnier suitors.

"Hey, not!" Jack growled. He plucked his guitar savagely with the music. Sam looked up and slowed her movements. Her suitors danced around her but her eyes stayed on him. Waiting.

You need coolin', baby I'm not foolin'

Amazing. Am I? Her raised eyebrow seemed to suggest. Yeah, you are. He knew others noticed her and it always made him feel lucky that he had her attention by merely being her CO. Now she aimed that Sam grin at him. He stalked over, keeping his admiring gaze on her as the music pounded and the crowds grew louder.

Gonna send you back to schoolin'

It was a naughty song and Jack could see she knew it and the lyrics; her eyes sparkled with mirth and surprise. He moved closer; a few of the suitors were gone and Sam was still locked onto him. Moving with the music, matching his moves.

"Show and tell, Jack," she said. Her soft demand reached him over the hammering instruments. One of the dancers snatched her hand and twirled her before she eased free and faced Jack again, dancing with him from afar.

Way down inside, honey you need it, Gonna give you my –

The crowd was suddenly illuminated and what he saw almost froze him. A sea of stern faced generals in dress blues, shaking their fists angrily, shouts of "Regs! Regs! Regs!" to the song's chorus. Jack grimaced.

"I. Don't. Like. Your. Negative. Attitudes!" Jack roared. He pointed his guitar like a P90 and out sprayed tendrils of clover leaves. They enveloped the shocked detractors in their vines, completely obliterating them from sight. Jack turned back to Sam who winked her approval.

Two suitors crowded her now. He was just ready to blast them, too when Sam spread her arms and shoved them off the stage. She smiled as Jack stepped into her spotlight. Her zone, alone with her. He smiled back.

You've been coolin', baby, I've been droolin'

"Have you? What do you want to do, Jack?" Sam asked as she circled behind him. Her arms slipped under his jacket to hold his bare chest while he kept playing the driving music. He closed his eyes as her body pressed into his; he channeled the surge of longing into his hands on the strings.

Jack stared out at the chanting crowd. The generals were now sporting rainbow Mohawks, pierced ears and dress blue jackets with sleeves torn off to show thumbs' up tattoos on bare arms. A sea of raised fists bounced to the heavy beat. He felt Sam laughing into his back and joined her.

"You feeling it yet?" She whispered. She tightened her arms around him. And because his guitar now vanished, he held her arms there, free to enjoy the feel of her. "What do you want, Jack?" Sam asked softly as she moved away. He caught and held her hand. Another shift took place.

Gradually a star speckled velvet blackness of sky was above them with a full moon's magical light. Jack felt the previous hyper awareness settling like fine, precious dust inside him. He was floating again, feeling easy, almost replete. Jack chuckled. Something tickled his foot. He came alert; tickled his bare foot.

Sam slouched gracefully in the canoe, watching him. In the soft linen pants and tank top, the moonlight painted her with its soft radiance, gave her eyes an odd gleam. He faced her from the other end of the cozy boat, its oars parked in place. They were drifting on the lake alone in the world, at peace.

Jack let the happy smile out; it was a long time coming and he couldn't deny it anyway. As dreams went, this one was perfect. His ideal: Sam on the lake, in the moonlight, with him. She smiled lazily as if she, too, was resting from their adventures.

She stroked his foot lightly as her foot flexed on his thigh. He began to massage it gently; her sigh of content rekindled the bittersweet longing in him.

"I didn't know I was so sharp," he said softly, his hands caressing her foot. Her secretive smile teased him. Would Sam be affectionate and so touchy-feely? For him?

"I'm only what you know I am, Jack. Whimsy molded my body from itself and my DNA, but my nature from you," Sam whispered back. She leaned down to blow softly on his toes and smiled when he wiggled them. "Seems you know her quite well."

He looked down, embarrassed. This Sam knew he'd studied her; that meant the other, the real Sam did, too. Bother.

"You must continue."

OK, that was in his head. He glanced at Sam but she was unusually still, not even reacting to his foot massage now. Just laying there, her eyes shut, breathing very, very lightly. He held onto the warm appendage as if it was a lifeline. Maybe it was. It wasn't over, was it? The thought of leaving now kind of hurt.

"Um, continue what?" Jack asked. "'Cause if you mean this, sure."

"You will stay and continue. This will serve."

"No, wait, didn't say that! Can't stay, sorry," Jack replied hastily.

"Your Sam is here. I will provide. My destiny will begin now."

"Oh, 'my Sam,' is she? Well, sorry but that's not gonna happen. This is peachy but, well…" He sighed. He gazed at the woman he'd known for a decade. And wow, his mind recreated her in amazing detail. Not from wishful thinking. The moonlight cast them in an bubble of magic, potent with possibilities.

Jack felt her foot flex and he automatically resumed the massage. She opened dreamy eyes and then she replaced one foot with the other. He shook his head while smiling and started on the new foot.

"You're afraid she'll accept you or that she won't?" She asked softly, suddenly.

"Either, both. I don't know," he answered glumly. Abruptly her foot changed. Jack was holding a wispy tail fin. "Whoa!" He jerked and looked back at her. Sam raised an eyebrow in chastisement, then her the foot was back. He chuckled. Quickly he raised her foot and planted a quick kiss on the sole; she hummed. "I never pressed her. I never would." Jack added sincerely.

"She's never doubted your respect," Sam smiled. "She could count on it, always." Little shamrocks poked out of her foot, twirled and melted back. Her expression of sincerity and sympathy was tinged with purpose. "You're in the zone," she reminded him softly.

Jack stared at the spot where the little green leaves disappeared into her skin. He tentatively touched there, feeling the same warmth as before.

In the zone. He mulled the term over. Her eyes were on him, willful, soft like Sam. Huh; she'd already let him in. Just enough to keep the lines open between them and yet maintain their working detachment. Sam winked at his dawning conclusion.

"Sam's open to something more. Between us." Jack murmured almost in wonder. Could he be sure? The foot in his hand struck him in the chest. "Hey!"

"D'oh! Don't make a fish out of her!"

"That was half a fish," Jack protested lamely. Yeah, their professional bond was just that: professional. In their team history, they had nothing to regret, nothing to hide. With a couple of exceptions but then, they weren't themselves, really. So. "Not so untouchable, then?" His hand slid up to caress her calf suggestively while he wiggled his eyebrows.

"Hmm, not that touchable, either!" Sam warned, but wagged her brows, too. "Yet." She sat up and scooted closer. Jack was compelled to return the mischievous look. The canoe rocked a little at the movement. Her hands trailed over his arms, his chest and then up to his shoulders. Nice. "But we hang out well, right?"

He folded his hands around her hips and leaned forward until their noses touched.

"Oh, yeah," Jack murmured close to her lips. "But not like now, my dear," he said as stood up and lifted her with him. Although the boat rocked crazily at their sudden motion, they didn't capsize.

"Ooh: Jack, starting something," Sam cooed, her expression lit with expectation.

"Yeah, something," he replied mysteriously. He took her hand, warmed that she gave it so willingly. Then they stepped out of the boat.

"What I want," he said with a smile at her. The night sky, the magic moonlight all faded. They were back; Jack saw the golden flecked mountain range in the distance, across the expanse of green clover. Sam's hand was holding his as they walked. I want you, he wanted to say. And just like that, her eyes gave him his fondest wish. Try me.

Oi! Their more-than-friends moments may have been like rare but they were cumulative in effect. Jack realized he'd stopped and was staring at her, their hands clasped. The air around them sparkled, charged with otherworldly static that enveloped them, secluded them, bringing them together as surely as magnets.

Sam's expressive wonderful eyes stared back at him with anticipation and a little hungrily, he thought as he folded her into his arms. He executed a full out kiss, unveiling the profound feelings he'd kept in check for her. Sam eagerly returned his ardor, her arms curling around his neck in wholehearted participation.

Jack gathered her closer, losing himself in the awesome return of his feelings from Sam. She met his passion and escalated to volcanic! He thought they'd torch Whimsy yet it was way too difficult to stop. Amid madly swirling clover and their heated exchange, Jack was sure at last.

They were finally compelled to breath. The super-charged air cooled, and Jack preened as Sam let go with a dazed smile and a purr of satisfaction. Of course he sported his own dazed look. In her filmy linens, she'd left her body's warm imprint on him. And hey, he wore a white athletic tee and Simpson shorts - with hearts! He really wanted to get that story one day! Her hand ruffled his hair gently before she stepped back. He liked that she wanted to do that.

Jack felt the finality and instinctively tried to fight it. But her tender, regretful gaze told him this idyllic interval was ending. For a fraction of a moment he considered not leaving. That faded when his normal good sense reasserted itself. And then he saw Sam looking at...Sam? He turned and turned again.

There was a whoosh and a curtain of clover swirled up and blocked his Sam from view. Jack gawked at the figure now standing just beside him in the linen outfit with a smug look. He realized he'd just kissed…He'd just made out like a randy, just-back-from-the-range cowboy with…Just to prove her point, his current companion sprouted clover from her fingertips and stroked his jaw.

"Holy…I –" Jack sputtered but the intensity of that encounter made him aware of Sam as he'd never permitted before. He touched his lips where his 2IC had just ravaged. There was a tingling spot on his throat where she'd latched onto, just as he found a spot under her ear… Joy and doubt bloomed in him; did she know? "Real, but…" Jack looked at Whimsy Sam as she waited for him to recover. She winked.

"Could be a preview," she said mysteriously, kindly. Then she jumped straight up and clapped her hands. The rock song boomed again and he felt hope, like the beat, pumping through him. "What do you want, Jack?" she called.

"I wanna give you my love," he sang softly. Her laughter of victory and delight made him smile. He'd said it, he would say it to Sam. "I wanna give you my love."

"Then give it!" Sam ordered as she spread her arms and executed a reverse swan dive before she flew out of sight. Flew. Shamrocks leaped about him somersaulting, bursting into rainbows and flowers and fireworks before they trailed after her like a crazy cape.

Jack let the laugh double him over until he almost fell on his knees. And it felt so good to do it; heck it made him happier than he'd felt in dog's years. He made his way across the undulating clover with a springy step. They sure seemed as happy as he was! He'd kissed his Sam. His Sam kissed him back; huh, more like returned fire!

"Sweet!"

Hope; he'd read his Sams right; she was interested in deepening their friendship. Now his mission was to put their 'thing' in motion and see where it lead.

Jack scanned the air, the mountain, the grass, smiling. The clover shivered around him and then he was surrounded by a dense steam cloud. "Hey, now! No more of …uh, oh," he protested at the enveloping fragrance. It wasn't the Cloud-9 steam but it sure smelled great. And familiar. Carter had this scent on her when she came back from Whimsy.

Oh, Sam; you held out on me. And I don't blame you. No report could tell this story; his certainly won't. Then he was at the rocks, now considerably less mountainous. His BDUs were there, pressed to pass inspection. Gotta love that.

He chuckled, yet his mind grappled with what this destiny thing was, why it involved him and apparently Sam. Whimsy had some idea it wouldn't or couldn't disclose. He wondered if his colonel had figured it out. Jack paused while dressing. And grinned: His colonel; oh yeah. The rock face split apart and began to slide silently into the clover. The gate came into view and so did Sam. His Sam.

She watched him approach. Behind her, the chevrons lit up and a smoky event horizon opened in the gate. Her cap didn't quite hide the hint of anxiety in her blue eyes but her perfect parade rest showed it. Drawing nearer, he noted how nice she smelled, and her steam pressed uniform. Her gaze swept him quickly as if to be sure he was unharmed.

"Great valet service here," Jack said in greeting. Her lips twitched but she was still in defensive mode. Probably in denial, too. "OK, Carter, what's next?"

"Whimsy will send us back to the planet. Apparently it has the pirates secured, and we'll just need to contact the SGC for back up, sir," Sam replied. He surprised her by stepping next to her, close enough for their elbows to touch. "Uh, bonus for us – the Alkesh."

"Cool. Let's go," Jack said. Apparently Whimsy shared some intel with her while he was occupied. He glanced down at her and smiled a little. She returned the expression slightly and blushed adorably. "What say we talk after the debrief?"

If her eyes opened any wider they'd knock her hat off, he thought as he waited. Her eyes locked onto his throat where she'd had her lips; right above the tee shirt. Her lips moved a few times without sound. His heart raced at her silence. OK then; had she connected the spot, realize they'd kissed – really kissed - each other senseless? She studied him a little apprehensively before looking away. But she was thinking.

"Sure, sir. A talk after the debrief would be fine," Sam murmured. Her eyes met his again. Relieved, he couldn't help bumping her shoulder with his. Surprised at first, she bumped him back. "We should go." Her voice was a shade uncertain but she finessed it, like always.

Yes! Jack cheered inside. Before returning to duty, he reached over to adjust her collar, letting his finger stray to the little red mark under that ear. Sam almost gasped. Her eyes sought that spot on his throat and then looked up at him. He grinned and turned for the wormhole. Well, if she wasn't sure before, she was now!

And that happened. After the jubilant science team and the SGC welcomed them back. After the spoils in the form of the Alkesh and other tech-loot were recovered and exclaimed over. After Whimsy's near magical properties were exalted again. And after Daniel's sharp eyes scowled in envy that Jack had the pristine look and scent that Sam had last year when he hadn't felt clean for days.

Then it was after the debrief.

--

Jack prided himself on cutting the meeting short, and dousing the easily flaring scientific curiosity about their rescue by the planet. The mission report would explain enough. But Sam was nervous. So was he.

They sat opposite each other in the coffee shop booth in town. Not too private; they weren't sneaking around after all. But not overly traveled by the base personnel; they could reasonably talk here.

"I, uh, had time to think on the spa planet," Jack said after they had been served. Sam looked up. He gulped his coffee when her shrewd eyes met his. Steady, fella; remember it's all good.

"About what, sir?" Sam asked. Her hand curled around her cup of tea while she waited for his response. Her other hand tapped the table lightly, her eyes on him.

"About the 'sir' thing, Samantha," Jack retorted. She sat back at his tone. "I'd like to be able to call you that, you're my friend, for cryin' out loud. Can it hurt anything when we're off duty?" Sloppy, he moaned inwardly.

Sam watched him. Then she casually picked up her cup and brought it to her lips, all the while keeping eye contact with him. Jack suddenly realized she had that playful glint he'd seen at times and his heart righted itself.

"Sure, Jack," she said over the cup rim. The teasing tone in her voice put his fears aside. "Is that all you thought about on Whimsy?"

"Oh, I think you know that's not all," Jack replied. He made a point to angle his head to focus on her neck. One elegant eyebrow arched and there was that telltale blush even as she kept her cool. Yeah, testing, teasing; the Sam on Whimsy had always been with him.

"He tricked me, you know," Sam murmured down at her plate of fruit salad. Her face was endearingly pink as she spoke, then deepened. "He popped up and uh…I thought..."

"He was your 'me' in the boxer shorts, with hearts, you mean?" Jack replied calmly. Sam choked. "Yeah, I'm guessing some type of boy-toy, slave thing…" Jack paused. "What with you in, you know..."

"Sir!" Sam sputtered, mortified. She scowled at his chuckle. "It wasn't…that."

"I just want to know, someday, about the chocolate," Jack crooned. She looked down again hiding a guilty smile. That chocolate licking thing she did in the briefing room back then – he couldn't cool down for hours yet couldn't believe she'd done that on purpose. Oh, he believed it now. Sam leaned her elbows on the table and nibbled a piece of fruit. Uh-oh.

"Although the 'me' in those beach pants and tank..." Sam said slowly. Jack groaned. She'd seen her? "Yeah, I saw me. Funny thing; my top wasn't that short." She kept watching him and Jack felt his ears glow hot. Oh crap. "Just curious about my CO seeing his 2IC as a Barbie doll..."

"Uh, no!" Jack protested. That blows; they each saw the other's 'other'! "At least your outfit exists, sought of."

"Oh, and you don't have a tank tee shirt, white?"

"No hearts on my boxers!"

"Just Homer Simpson?"

Jack and Sam stopped and burst into laughter at the absurd conversation. The waitress and the few patrons shook their heads and smiled knowing smiles. Sam and Jack settled down, feeling closer. The knowledge of their Whimsy 'others' was put on ice till time permitted.

Thing was, he knew she knew the deal with that Whimsy kiss. Poor good soldier-Sam was still working out whether she broke any rules then or now. He'd let her realize her ethics were still intact.

"That's it, then? We're done talking, Jack?" Sam asked. Definitely devilment in her voice. She bit her lip lightly as she looked at his. Well, she worked that in Carter-speed! He leaned toward her.

"Why, we've only just begun, Samantha," Jack cooed. He silently cheered at the awe on her face. Score! Except she wasn't going to take it for granted. Her eyes focused deliberately on his throat - there - and her smile clearly said, 'bring it.' Jack was confident there would be two winners this time.

Talk they did, but not about Whimsy's visions of themselves. Sam wanted to stay in touch with him when he moved to DC. Jack was glad because he wanted to keep in contact with the team, and her, as well. They drank coffee and tea, ate pastries (no cake) and talked easily for a couple of hours on their new jobs, the new threats, their new phone numbers and email addresses.

They separated and went home, both pleased at their first steps toward post-team friendship, and maybe more. Perhaps it took the actions on Whimsy for them to realize it wasn't so hard after all, they thought.

They'd only just begun to make their own destiny. At last.

The End.Yes, an epilogue is in the final works, hopefully posted after some necessary RL issues get done. Phooey.

Really hope everyone enjoyed the story. I'd like to know what you think, kindly review please. Thanks for reading, too.