Jack headed home after an exhausting day at the office. Opening the door quietly, he let himself in and shut it behind him. Despite his attempts to the contrary, the sound of a child's cry broke the stillness of the apartment. Sam came around the corner, holding her son possessively in her arms, desperately trying to get him to sleep. The kiss they shared was brief, before she wandered off, trying to get him back to sleep. Jack sank tiredly onto the couch and rolled his shoulders to loosen them; he took his tie off and undid the top two buttons on his crisp white shirt. Closing his eyes, he spent a few minutes, removing himself from the horror of his work, and the pain of the family.
He felt a presence behind him and looked up to see Sam leaning on the back of the couch.
"Hey," he said quietly, determined not to wake the baby. She smiled and gave a little wave, before going around the couch and then sinking onto it next to him.
"How was work?" she asked,
"Fine, Viv had us running around all day, I think I'm getting too old for this." Vivian had been promoted to the head of the Missing Person's Unit in place of Jack. Sam had been on Maternity leave; she hadn't been back to work. The team had come to visit her a couple of times, to celebrate her child and also to congratulate her and Jack on finally seeing sense.
"Have you eaten tonight?" Sam shook her head,
"Was waiting for you. Figured pasta would do, and then maybe we could watch a movie on the couch," Jack nodded with a smile.
"Sounds good," he stood up to make the pasta, while she set the table. Recently, they hadn't had much of a chance to spend quality alone time together, so they took advantage of their rare chances. Before long they'd sat down to eat the Gnocchi Bolognese, a specialty of Jack's. Then again, since pasta was the extent of his cooking ability, it wasn't very surprising. The meal passed in comfortable silence.
After a while they moved to the couch, and Sam put on a DVD. Jack didn't know what the movie was called, but it didn't really matter. All that mattered was the feel of Sam arms around his waist, and her head leaning on his shoulder. They made small talk about their day carefully sidestepping any mention of the more gory aspects of Jack's recent case.
It was odd to feel such peace after a hard day's work. With Maria, there had been the constant battle, the sniping, and the careful jabs that had only increased his loneliness. But, that night at the hospital had changed his life in ways he'd never imagined. He'd told Sam she wouldn't have to do things alone anymore, and he'd meant it. Despite hoping, a part of him had warned that she had every right to not forgive him. She had every right to tell him where to go. But she didn't. And there was nothing more he wanted right now than this. It had become a privilege to simply be at a place he felt was home.
There was no doubt that Jack still bore scars from his effort to save Jen Long, both physically and emotionally but Sam's ready acceptance of his offer had gone a long way to healing a bruised an broken heart. One again the cry of a child broke the silence and also Jack's reminiscence. Sam hurried off with an apologetic smile. When almost an hour had passed, and Sam still hadn't returned, he switched off the television and went down the hallway to where he knew Sam would be.
Jack rested his head lightly on the doorframe of the nursery. She had fallen asleep in the chair rocking her baby boy in his cradle. It was unbelievable, that he should be as lucky as to have this second chance, not only with Samantha, the woman of his dreams, but of a normal life with a family he could love. He moved quietly into the room, and shook Sam's shoulder gently.
"Sweetheart, come to bed." Sam opened her eyes groggily. She smiled at the sight of Jack leaning over her and wrapped her arms around his neck contentedly. Since his demotion two months prior and her son's birth, Jack and Sam were giving their relationship another go. He held her close and relished in the fact that they were now able to be an open couple, free of the worries and dangers that had hindered their previous affair.
He lifted her gently from the chair, holding her tightly to him and carried her to their bed. The lines of stress and exhaustion that had appeared on her face were smoothed away by the comfort of sleep. Jack slid into bed beside the woman of his dreams, wrapping a possessive arm around her waist. She was his.