Summary: Sam has a birthday
Category: Humor, Romance
Spoilers: None, Chimera maybe
Feedback: Yes please! To
The party in Sam's backyard was in full swing. The yard had been decorated with Chinese lanterns, several tables had been covered with colorful paper and the music from the boom box on the food table was nearly drowned out by the talking and laughter of the guests. Everyone was having a great time. Everyone, that is, but one particular person.
Daniel wandered over to where Jack was holding up a wall to Sam's house, a beer bottle hanging from one hand.
"What?" His tone hardly invited further comment, but Daniel forged ahead anyway.
"Shut up Daniel." This without taking his eyes off the table where Sam sat with Pete, his arm around her.
Daniel, unoffended, smiled a little and sank down on a nearby bench.
"Ah, Jack O'Neill, life of the party."
"I'm not a party person, Daniel, you know that."
"Mmm." After a moment Daniel ventured, "Pete seems nice, doesn't he?"
"Yeah, nice." The words were belied by the way they were bit out.
"So, what did you get Sam?"
"For a present?" When Jack didn't respond, Daniel prompted, "It is Sam's birthday, you know…"
"Her invitation said no presents necessary."
Daniel turned and looked at him in disbelief. "And you didn't get her anything? Jack!"
Jack looked a little uncomfortable. "So, what did you get her?"
"An amulet found at a dig in Giza. I've had it a while and thought she might like it."
"What did Teal'c get her?" Jack looked over to see Teal'c currently smiling gently while listening to something Cassie was telling him.
"He said he saw her admiring a kind of silk scarf at that market place on P5X-285 about a month ago, and bought it for her while she wasn't looking."
"Oh." Jack had seen her admiring the scarf as well.
"What did the albatross get her?" Sam was now mingling with Pete firmly attached to her side.
Daniel grinned. "Don't know. He said he was going to give it to her later."
"Yeah, I bet. Listen, I'm out of here." He put the beer bottle down on a nearby table.
"You're leaving? Jack, you can't."
When it became clear he could and would Daniel made one more attempt. "At least go say good-bye to her."
"You say my good byes for me, okay? Later." With that he disappeared around the side of the house.
As he made his way to his truck he could hear laughter behind him. Sam was having a good time, that's all that mattered. She had looked lovely in a yellow sundress, and she had taken more time with her hair and makeup. She took his breath away. Her eyes had sparkled, and she seemed so much more relaxed, freer somehow. This was a Sam he normally didn't see, and he couldn't help thinking it was due to Pete's presence. That rankled a bit, but he was glad she was happy. He just didn't care to be around witnessing that happiness with someone else.
"Sir?" Her voice came from behind him.
He turned to see her hurrying after him. Well, at least the leach was nowhere in sight.
"You're leaving?" She sounded a little bewildered.
"Yeah, you know me and parties."
"Oh." She looked a little lost for words. "You'll miss the cake."
"Save me a piece, okay?"
"Oh…okay. Well…thanks for coming."
He nodded, then something in her eyes made him pause. "Listen, Sam, happy birthday."
"Thanks." Then she walked right up to him and gave him a hug. A little surprised, it took a second before he hugged her back. Then he hugged her a little harder, turning his head into the side of her neck, breathing in her scent. She sighed and grasped his shirt a little tighter. He kept telling himself this hug was going on a lot longer than necessary, but neither one made a move to break free.
In the backyard Daniel firmly grasped Pete's arm and turned him around so he couldn't see what was going on. Thank goodness Pete had been busy at the food table and wasn't watching Sam talk to Jack. Practically dragging him away, he said: "Pete, have I ever shown you…this tree!" He gave Teal'c a pointed look, and Teal'c moved in to block Pete's view, should he look back.
"Uh, no…" Pete looked a little confused, but went willingly enough. What he was going to actually SAY about the tree Daniel had no idea, but a diversion was definitely called for.
Sam finally slid her arms from around Jack and stepped back. "Well…" she murmured.
"Yeah." He held her gaze with his own.
Gesturing behind her she said, "I…I should get back to the party."
"I wish you'd stay."
"You'll never miss me."
"Yes, I will." Her eyes seemed a little brighter.
He reached out and squeezed her hand. "Happy birthday, Sam." Then he turned and walked away.
Sam rubbed her eyes wearily. It was the wee hours of the morning and the party was over. Daniel and Teal'c had stayed to help clean up, but had left a few minutes ago.
"Hey, hon, I like your friends." Pete was gathering up the last of the paper table cloths, crumpling them into a ball and jamming them into the nearly full trash bin.
"Yeah? I'm glad." Sam smiled.
"Daniel has a thing for your elm tree, though, did you know?"
"Beats me, but he made a point of showing me the tree and telling me all about it."
Sam frowned. "That's… strange."
"I thought so, too. Seems like a nice enough guy, though."
"He is, believe me. Daniel doesn't hold his liquor very well, maybe that was it."
"Maybe." Pete started to say something else, but stopped when he saw her put a tired hand to her back and stretch.
"Go in, sit down and put your feet up, babe. Let me finish this, it's your birthday."
"You wouldn't mind?"
"Go!" She smiled gratefully at him and wandered into the house.
She headed straight for the couch, and then noticed a package sitting on the coffee table, still wrapped. She had opened all her presents at the party, so what was this?
She picked it up and noticed there was no card. The paper looked like an antique map, complete with legend. She pulled off the gold ribbon, and carefully peeled the paper back. Pete hated that. He was of the opinion wrapping paper should be ripped to shreds, but she always tried to be careful with it. She opened the box to find two vintage-looking books, another small wrapped package—and a letter. She opened the envelope to see Jack's neat handwriting.
Happy birthday. I've had these for you for quite awhile now, I hope you like them. The books are "Sisters of the Wind: Voices of Early Women Aviators" and "Winning My Wings" by Marion Stegeman Hodgson, one of the first women in the Air Force. Please forgive me for reading them before giving them to you. They reminded me of you, and I want you to have them. If you've opened the package,
Sam quickly ripped the paper off the smaller package. Inside was a pair of what looked like antique flyer's wings, the once shiny surface burnished with time.
you'll find something I ran across recently at an air show. They are the kind of wings the women in the books would have earned, so I figured another amazing woman should have them. These women were truly remarkable, but in my humble opinion, they don't hold a candle to you.
Sam felt a tear run down her cheek and quickly wiped it away. A pair of arms came around her from behind, startling her a little. "Hey, honey, whatcha got?" Pete murmured, kissing the side of her neck
She showed him the books and the wings. "From Colonel O'Neill."
"Wow. Cool present."
Sniffling she just nodded. He held her a little tighter. "Good birthday?"
Sam put the books down on the coffee table and smiled as she wrapped her arms around his "Very good birthday."
Pete smiled into her neck. "That's what I want to hear." He released her to yawn and stretch loudly. "I'm beat. Ready for bed?"
"You go. I'll be there in a minute, all right?"
"Okay," he kissed her briefly. "Don't be long."
As he went into the bedroom, she sank down on the couch and opened the first book.