Agony of Spirit

A/N: This story takes place shortly after the action of Continuum.

Chapter 1: The Moon-Base

The sun shone high in a clear cerulean blue sky. And in this small, isolated corner of the world, two overly responsible Air Force officers were taking some much deserved downtime, together.

It's so beautiful, the younger of the two thought. Dressed in nothing more than a baby blue bikini, stretched out on an oversized beach towel spread over warm white sand, the lovely middle-aged woman smiled to herself as she considered her life. A high decorated officer and now, a married woman, she had it all, good health, a challenging career and a man who loved her with all his heart. What more could anyone want?

What more, indeed. Dad would be so happy for me, she thought. And she was right. Jacob Carter, a retired Air Force General and host to the Tok'ra, Selmak, had died with one wish in his heart. He fervently hoped his only daughter would find love and happiness with the man who was right for her. Not so long ago, that had happened. Sam only wished her father had lived to see the day. I am happy, Dad, truly happy.

She'd finally risked her heart, gone after the life she wanted. For so many years, Sam Carter had let regulations stand in her way, or at least offer her a good excuse to deny what her replicated self had called her "deepest desires". Well, she'd left those days behind and on a fateful morning a little over a year ago, she'd made her desires known to the one who needed to know. And the rest was history.

"If you ask me, this is an excellent 'moon base'," Sam said to her companion. Normally an intense workaholic, she was more relaxed today than she had been in a long time. And she had good reason to be.

At her side, a deep chuckle rose from the man who'd been her commanding officer not so very long ago. Now he was her only human companion on this tiny tropical island.

"Told you," was the man's only response.

Jack O'Neill was thoroughly enjoying the sun, sand and surf of this small private island somewhere in the Caribbean. Better yet, he was enjoying some well deserved time off from his high pressured Washington post. And, best of all, his wife of four months, was with him. Yep, this was their 'moon-base', their get away. No pagers allowed. No pesky airmen, messengers, secretaries, no bad guys, in short, just Jack and Sam, alone, hidden from the world for an all too brief respite.

They'd been together all of six months now. After the first two, Jack was beside himself with frustration over how little time they had together what with the above mentioned distractions. Voila, the moon-base. A high placed Washington insider who'd taken a shine to the irascible General had offered the use of this well placed paradise whenever Jack saw fit to use it. Needless to say, he planned to use it often.

This afternoon was the second day of an all too short weekend away. The O'Neills were due back in the real world first thing Monday morning. Soon this glorious day would be no more than a memory. But for the moment, they were alone, with each other. And they were making the most of it.

To that end, Jack abruptly decided sun bathing and nap time were over. It was nearly two in the afternoon. At the very least it was time for some serious sunscreen re-application and probably a swim. Pushing himself up to a sitting position, he looked down at Sam, still lying peacefully on her back, her hands casually at her sides.

"Hey," she said, sensing his change of position despite her semi-alert, half-awake state. Taking off her shades she looked at him from her recumbent position and smiled a slow, lazy smile. It was so special to have this time, only with him. They'd waited so long.

"What do you say we take a swim," Jack suggested once he felt he had her attention.

"Sounds good to me," Sam said. "We are at risk for being overcooked out here, aren't we?"

"Race you!" Jack yelled, jumping up and running full tilt into the waves.

"No fair," Sam screamed after him. Only a step behind, she jumped the incoming wave, right behind Jack. For the next fifteen minutes they took turns dunking each other, swimming, and enjoying each other in the warm sun-kissed waters. And laughing, they did a lot of that when they were on their 'moon-base'. By the time they doggie paddled ashore, they were pleasantly exhausted, collapsing side by side just out of reach of the cresting waters.

Once she'd regained her equilibrium, Sam rolled over to straddle her husband. Looking down at his rugged features, she smiled to see the adolescent twinkle in his eye.

"I can't believe us," she said. "We're acting like a couple of kids."

"Your point?" With that rhetorical comment, Jack deftly flipped her and reversed their positions, unleashing yet another high pitched squeal from Sam.

"Mrs. O'Neill," he said, "I'm convinced you didn't do nearly enough of this kid stuff when you were a kid. It's up to me to help you make up for that missing part of your childhood."

"Oh, is that what this is all about?"

"Well, not all of it," he admitted. "The kissing and other stuff, that's not so much about your childhood. That's about the project we're working on."

Sam looked at him quizzically.

"You do remember the project?"

Realization came quickly. So that's what he'd decided to call it.

"I remember," Sam said. "You mean our secret mission." When they'd first decided on code name 'moon-base' for their little hide away, they'd also taken on a 'special mission' they weren't quite ready to share with their friends.

"Yeah," Jack said. "Operation Baby O'Neill".

Sam giggled. Some days she swore her incredible husband, the Major General, was fifty-five going on fifteen.

"That's the one," she quipped. "And I think it was my idea."

"Only because you said it first," he teased, kissing her soundly. "Remember, I came up with the 'moon-base'."

"I know, I know," she admitted, kissing him back. "This is the only place we see each other long enough to do anything about baby O'Neill."

"Speaking of which," he said. "What do you say we retire to someplace a bit cooler and do some more work on that project?"

With that, Jack gently pulled Sam up to face him. Still sitting side by side on the pristine white beach, Jack couldn't help notice Sam's sudden change of mood. The playfulness had seeped away. Serious Sam was back.

"How are we going to take care of a baby? As it is, aside from these getaways we hardly see each other," she observed sadly.

"I was hoping maybe we'd try living in the same house," Jack suggested. His comment was rewarded with a wry smile from his wife.

"At least we're on the same planet now," she observed.

"There's that," Jack agreed, reaching out to smooth hair from Sam's eyes. "Still me in Washington, you in Nevada …"

"I know," she said. "It's better than one of us being off world, but if we're going to be parents …"

"It's time we settled down like grown-ups," he said.

Sam smiled softly and leaned in to rest her head on his shoulder.

"I wouldn't have it any other way," she said. "It's time."

"Really?" Jack asked. "You're not just saying that to agree with me?"

"Me?"

"There's that," Jack said. "I don't want you to regret anything, Sam." Regardless of the joys they'd shared the past few months, Jack worried the time would come when Sam would wake up and wonder why she'd settled for him when she could have had so much more. The last thing he wanted to do was take away her freedom, diminish her in any way.

"I love you," she said. Taking his face in her hands, she looked him straight in the eye, letting him know she meant every word. "I'll never regret anything about 'us'. I'm ready to be part of a family, Jack. If that means actually living with my husband, I say it's an idea whose time has come."

OoOoOo

Much later, as the sun was slowly drifting toward the horizon, the island's two guests sat side by side on the veranda of their bungalow. It was the only structure on the island and for now, their home away from home. They were enjoyed every last minute of this precious time together.

"The seaplane comes at 0700," Jack observed. His voice was soft and tentative. "We should probably get some sleep tonight."

"I know," Sam said sadly. She turned to face Jack and held his hand a little tighter. "I think I could stay here with you forever."

"At least we're going on this next little assignment together," he said. Sam's sentiment, unrealistic as it was, caused his heart to beat a little faster. "We should be at the SGC for our briefing by noon," Jack continued. "Then we're off to see the Enkarans for that diplomatic shindig with Daniel and Teal'c. Should be fun: no risk, safety assured, only friendly aliens, yadda, yadda …"

"There's that," Sam replied. "Guess I should be grateful for small favors."

"Yep, me too …" Once more Jack reached over to intertwine his fingers with Sam's.

And they sat back to enjoy the remaining hours of their private time together.

They had no idea what was waiting for them.

TBC


A/N: Welcome to a new Sam and Jack story. Hope you like it. As always I'd love to hear from you. Comments, suggestions, constructive criticism welcome.