By Andie O'Neill
Summary: Sam and Jack never were good at talking about their feelings, but it had to happen sooner or later.
A/N: After watching Sam and Jack's interaction over the years this story seemed pretty in line with who they were. Hopefully you guys will like it! :D
A lot had happened. Daniel had died... again, Anubis almost destroyed the galaxy, she'd broken up with Pete weeks before her wedding, and Jacob Carter had passed away. Sam Carter's life had never been simple… not since the Stargate Program. On SG-1 she'd been tortured, endured death, and much worse. She'd been through hell… literally. She'd lost good friends like Janet Fraiser. She'd also seen things no one else could ever imagine. She'd saved the world seven or eight times… only Teal'c seemed to know the exact number. She'd fought for her life, and fallen in love. For almost nine years she'd fought off the Goa'uld, and now they'd finally won. The Replicators were gone. Anubis was gone. And she now found herself facing a whole new world… but she wasn't alone. Sam had finally agreed to come to General O'Neill's cabin, and she couldn't believe it had taken her so long. They'd fished all day, and laughed all night. Her team… her boys. Her family.
They'd gone through so much together. Sam couldn't imagine doing her job without their support and friendship. They'd all suffered to protect their world. Daniel had lost his wife all those years ago. Teal'c too had lost a wife, and barely saw his son. Sam had lost her innocence long ago, and now had lost her father. General O'Neill had lost a son to death, which had ruined his relationship with his wife. He'd been tortured in ways Sam didn't even want to think about… including being killed over and over again by Ba'al. Yet despite everything, he'd never given up. General Jack O'Neill had been her rock during the hard times. And if that wasn't enough, for years he'd been forced to ignore his feelings for her… putting his duties ahead of his own wants and needs. They'd both chosen to put their life on hold. Sam hadn't been able to last, and had moved on to another, though obviously it hadn't been enough. Was it worth it? The Goa'uld were on their knees… maybe it had been worth it. But she was tired. She was tired of waiting. She was tired of putting her life on hold, and she was tired of watching General O'Neill do the same. She loved him.
She loved his smile. She loved his jokes. She loved his sarcasm. She loved his courage. She loved his honor. She loved his loyalty. She loved his strength. She loved his heart. And she just plain loved him. She loved his good side, and his bad side. She loved the darkness he kept inside, and the determination that kept it at bay. She knew him better than anyone in the universe, and he knew her just as well. He'd seen her covered in mud, upset, confused, and depressed. All he'd ever had to do was pull her in his arms and suddenly everything felt better, was better. He wasn't a man of too many words, but he never had to be. They'd never needed words… until now. Sam wanted to tell him all the things she'd kept inside for all those years, and hear him say the same words in return. They'd kept it all in the room for so long… they didn't know how to be anything else than Commanding officer and Subordinate. Sam wanted things to change, craved the change. O'Neill had announced last night that he would be taking the post as Chief of Homeworld Security… Hammond was finally retiring. Their new commander would be a man named General Hank Landry. They'd all been saddened to hear the news. It felt like an era was ending… the era of SG-1.
"It's beautiful… isn't it," came a voice from behind her. She'd been sitting on the dock of his lake, admiring the view for hours. She knew it was getting late, but she was rather surprised that it was the General that had come looking for her rather than Daniel, or Teal'c. She could be close to Daniel and Teal'c… tell them all her secrets and all her fears. It had always been dangerous to be that close to O'Neill. They'd always known it was for the best… safer. He walked over next to her, taking a seat in his own fold out chair. Yesterday they'd gone fishing in the same chairs.
"Yeah… I should have been here years ago."
"Not my fault, Carter. I offered… even tried to sell it with blue skies and bass that grow this big," he told her, gesturing the fish's sizes. It was an exaggeration of course, and she almost laughed when he shrugged and moved his hands closer together.
"Well sir, I'm here now."
She was staring out at the lake, but she knew the General wasn't. He was staring at her with a hint of a smile on his lips. "Yes you are."
Sam turned to look at him, their eyes locking. They usually did. "My Dad was right."
Jack cocked his head ever so slightly, a sure sign of confusion. "Don't ya hate it when that happens?"
Sam smiled. "He told me I could still have everything I want… he was right." She knew deep conversations weren't O'Neill's thing. He expressed feelings through action, not words. For years he'd told her he cared with hugs of support, smiles meant only for her, and intensity in his eyes when they were directed right at her. For years she'd ignored the tells he'd given her, but now she craved them.
Jack stared at her for a moment, as if he was trying to understand, then turned and looked out at the lake. "And what is it that you want, Carter?" he asked, almost whispering the words.
Sam followed his gaze. "To not be afraid," she admitted.
"You? Carter, I've watched you face odds that'd make a grown man cry. I've watched you blow up a sun, for cryin' out loud! You could probably kick my ass if you wanted to while reciting the number for pie. So what the hell do you have to be afraid of?" he asked, disbelief in his voice.
She wasn't sure she was ready to have their little talk just yet, but that didn't matter. She'd started it, and now she was going to end it. "I've spent most of my life following the rules, putting my career ahead of everything else. I always told myself we had an enemy to fight… that it was all for a good cause. I pretended to move on with my life, and the fact is all I was doing was making another sacrifice. I've always been too afraid… to put myself first for once, to finally do something for myself. I put it off and told myself I'd have time when it was all over, when we'd done our job…."
"Looks like a job well done to me," he told her quietly. She knew he understood now. It was the in between that said it all.
Sam nodded. "There were so many times when I thought I'd waited too long. I'd be sure I was going to die, and I'd realize I almost missed my chance, but even after every one of those experiences I never stopped waiting. Maybe this close call was just the straw that broke the camels back."
"You have just lost your father, Carter," he reminded her.
Sam shook her head. "On his death bed… he told me I could have everything I want. I told him I already did, but it was a lie. I don't have everything I want. Pete was willing to give me this fairy tale life… the house, the kids, a dog, but I wasn't happy, sir. I thought it was what I wanted, but none of it felt right. He didn't understand me… couldn't understand what I've gone through."
"Is that why you called off the wedding?" he asked gently. He always knew how to talk to her.
Sam turned to look at him once more. "My father knew Pete wasn't what I wanted. He knew it would never be enough. I tried to assure him that I'd be fine, but he knew better. He told me not to let rules and regulations stand in my way," she finally admitted.
"Cryptic," he said, his voice dripping with the usual sarcasm. She knew he used it as a defense mechanism.
He turned to look at her. "Didn't know Jacob liked me so much."
Sam stared into his eyes, seeing the emotions hidden beneath the surface… always controlled, always buried. "He wanted me to be happy."
O'Neill raised an eyebrow at her words. "Fathers usually do."
Sam swallowed the lump that'd begun to form in her throat. "No ones ever going to be enough, sir-"
She wasn't going to back down, no matter how badly he wanted her to. "If you don't feel the same just say it."
The General sighed at her words, looking away once more. "I'm moving to Washington."
"We waited this long..."
"You deserve more," he shot back, his voice rough.
Sam found the words extremely ironic, though she knew he'd never understand why. "This isn't about what I deserve. It's about what we want."
"Let's face it, I'm not that complex." O'Neill smiled briefly before becoming more serious than Sam had ever seen him. "You know what I want, Carter." His gaze was filled with a passion she'd rarely seen so up close. The last time she'd seen it so fiercely had been years ago when they'd been fooled into believing they were Thera and Jonah. Even with their minds erased they never forgot those feelings they'd refused to name.
"And now I know what I want."
"I know," he assured her.
Sam was tired of him knowing. She'd tried before to tell him, tried many times and he'd always stopped her from saying the words. It was taboo, and she knew it, but she wasn't about to let it go. They'd walked around the issue for years, too afraid of admitting the truth they both knew lay just beneath the surface. Sam would take her father's advice. Rules and regulations be damned. She wasn't afraid anymore. "I want you… sir."
The line had been crossed and she didn't regret it. It was like a weight being lifted from her chest, and she wondered why she hadn't done it years ago… probably for the same reason she'd never gone to the General's cabin. She could see the uncertainty in O'Neill's eyes. Finally he stood up, looking at the lake. Sam stood up next to him. When he finally turned to face her she could see some of his control coming back. "Carter-"
She wouldn't let him sweep things under the rug this time. Before he could say another word she'd leaned up and brushed her lips against his. It was a gentle caress. A second passed before she kissed him once more, harder the second time. Her hand was on his cheek. Hesitantly he moved his hands to rest against her cheeks, kissing her back before pulling away.
"No Carter. We waited this long. I won't let you undo that." Sam wasn't sure what to say, confused by his words. "I leave for Washington in one month, Carter. One month."
Finally Sam smiled, understanding. They'd waiting years… what was another month? "One month," she agreed.
One Month Later
It was official. General Jack O'Neill was Chief of Homeworld Security. Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter was out of his direct line of command. The General would be leaving tomorrow, so the team had decided on one last night. O'Neill had invited them over to his house for dinner, and of course lots of beer. Daniel brought the pizza. Teal'c brought the dessert. Sam brought the movies. And Jack already had the beer. It had been the perfect night, filled with memories and laughter. The movies she'd decided to bring were all the three Star Wars videos, the original of course. They'd finally gotten O'Neill to agree to watch the movie and Sam had never seen Teal'c so excited. Once it was over, they couldn't help but talk about it.
"You know… that movie fits our life pretty well actually," O'Neill admitted, taking a swig of his beer. "Is it just me or does anyone else think Teal'c could totally have been Chewbacca?"
Daniel smiled at that, while Teal'c raised his usual eyebrow. "If he's Chewie, I must be Luke Skywalker."
Sam grabbed another beer from the refrigerator. "Well, we already know I'm Leia."
O'Neill paused for a second. "That would make me, Han Solo. Well, at least I get my own ship."
Sam felt the secret smile just before she took a drink of her beer. "What about R2 D2 and C-Threepio?" she asked.
O'Neill shrugged. "That's easy… Walter and Siler."
The group laughed at that, each seeing the truth to his statement. "On that note… I think we better get going. I have a few mission reports that I need to catch up on," Daniel said, getting up from the couch.
Teal'c stood beside the Archeologist. "O'Neill, your presence at Stargate Command will be missed. I only hope it will not be long before we see each other again," he spoke.
Jack stood, smiling at the Jaffa as he pulled his friend into a bear hug. "I'm gonna miss you too, buddy."
Teal'c walked over to the door, while Daniel was next in line to say goodbye. "Take care of yourself in Washington, Jack. You've been a good friend," he told Jack, sentimental as always.
Jack pulled Daniel into a hug, messing up the Doctor's hair for old times sake. "Gonna miss you too Danny-boy. And do me a favor."
"Keep the dying to a minimum. As much as I enjoy seein' your naked ass every year, it get's a little old after a while."
Daniel rolled his eyes. "I'll do what I can."
Sam said good night to both Jackson and Teal'c, watching them pull out of Jack's driveway before walking back into the house. O'Neill was cleaning up. Sam picked up a few bottles, helping him clean without a word. She could feel the General's uneasiness, probably matched by her own. They hadn't spoken about the night at his cabin ever again, though she knew it hadn't left either of their minds. Now their chance had come, and neither were sure what to do. They were so used to their relationship being forbidden that they didn't know how else to be.
Once they had finished cleaning up, the General turned to look at her. "You've been uncharacteristically quiet, Carter."
Sam smiled. "I guess it's just kinda hard to say goodbye. We've been together for so long… I guess it's just hard when things change."
"Everything changes," he told her, turning to face her as they stood in his kitchen.
Sam could see it in his eyes, that passion so rare. It wasn't taboo anymore. "And yet… some things stay the same," she told him, taking a step closer, invading his space. Her lips were on his before he could say another more, and he didn't seem at all to mind. Talk was cheap… at least to them. They'd never needed words. Her arms wrapped around his neck, while his rested on her hips, pulling her closer to him. When the kiss ended, they were eat trying to catch their breath.
"You wouldn't happen to still have that… little tank top number would you?"
Sam laughed. Some things most definitely stayed the same. "I don't know, sir. Why don't we move this to a more appropriate location and find out."
Jack kissed her once more, a brief kiss, but it promised more than words ever could. "Ya see Carter, that's exactly why you were always the brains of this operation."
Sam grinned, taking his hand in hers as she led him to his bedroom. "Yeah sure, you betcha," she whispered, closing the door behind them.