This fic was written especially for JasminaGo at Gateworld, for the 2008 Sam/Jack Shipmas Secret Santa. Happy Christmas JasminaGo. Hope you enjoyed it! If you didn't, please don't set Jann onto me!
Jack took a moment to just enjoy the view. He was lying on his back, half under a curtain of pine needles and branches and he was supposed to be checking bulbs to find out which one of them was responsible for the lights not working. She was stretching; reaching to place the star on the topmost point of the tree which, given the width of the tree at its base and its height, was barely in reach. In reaching up she'd exposed a couple of inches of creamy flesh, just above the top of the band of her pants. If he hadn't been lying almost directly underneath her he would never have had that secret little show but he was and he did and he felt a thrill run through him at the sight. He'd never see her in those before; tight legging like things she'd only just started wearing and which hugged every single inch of her long legs and disappeared into knee high boots with a heel that, when they stood together, put her about head to head with him in his bare feet. Her top - a fairly chunky knitted sweater - would have been a disappointing addition to an otherwise surprisingly sexy outfit if it had not been for what lay underneath. That little flash of skin beneath that made him hot and tingly all over. She shouldn't be doing this to him… not now, not when… "There!" She exclaimed, clearly pleased with herself as she managed to affix the star on top of the tree, only to have the smile wiped from her face a moment later when it betrayed her efforts and toppled, crashing through the branches and bouncing off Jack's chest to land next to him.
She frowned. "I'm gonna get the ladder."
"Leave it, I'll do it when I've done these." He replied trying to remember how far up the string of lights he'd got checking bulbs before fleshy goodness had distracted him.
She sighed deeply and deliberately, making sure he saw how irritated she was. "I really want to top the tree off. You know how important this is for me." He heard the faintest hint of pleading in her voice.
"OK, let me finish this." He conceded. "At least I can hold the ladder for you."
Sam sighed and nodded. "OK. I'll just…drape tinsel for now and…try not to feel too useless."
Jack half turned his attention back to the light string and pulled out the next bulb, replacing it with a new one. "Useless is definitely not a term that I'd apply to…" . The lights flickered to life, glowing soft and golden and he smiled and then his face fell as the room was almost immediately plunged into darkness. "…you." The dancing amber glow of the crackling fire cast enough light that he could see the question on her face. He sighed. "Did I just do that?" He asked uncertainly.
"What did you do, exactly?" She asked.
"Well I…just, twiddled…" He shrugged; a feat not particularly easy to do when you're on your back, half under a tree and surrounded by what appeared to be an explosion in a Christmas factory. Baubles, trinkets and tinsel was strewn all around him and he feared to move for crushing any of their new purchases. Not for the first time he cursed the giddy impulse of two hours previously, when they'd come laughing in the door and opened absolutely every new purchase at once, scattering all over the room in preparation for the tree trimming.
"I'll check the circuit breaker. " She said and stepped delicately over him avoiding crunching anything underfoot; he got a good look at those fantasy inspiring boots as she did so. She stopped short as the power came back again as quickly as it had gone. Various electrical appliances beeped, whined and flashed back into life at the sudden surge back into their circuits. "Or not." She added one leg either side of his torso.
"Must be a local area…" The power went off again. "…problem." He finished lamely and she rolled her eyes.
She stood for several moments, her legs still straddling him while they waited for the power to come back.
"I'll check the breaker anyway." Sam supplied after a long pause of darkness when nothing had happened and it became obvious nothing was about to happen either. She took a cautious step over him, feeling her way through the scattered decorations, light strings and tinsel and made her way to the kitchen where she knew there was a flashlight.
"Be careful!" Jack called and kicked himself as she waved a dismissive hand at him. Jack sighed; he was going to have to get used to this…her.
"Not our end." She called out. "Unless you really blew something big; the neighbours are off too." He heard muffled by the walls between them. "I'll get candles." She was gone for what seemed like ages as he lay there in the firelight with just the occasional pop and crackle to keep him company. He might have thought she'd gone out and gone to fix the damn power grid herself but for the fact he could hear her fumbling around, then making her way out to the garage, then sounds of banging and then, at last, she returned with flashlight gripped between her teeth and hands full of boxes and bits.
"What's all that?" He asked.
She pulled a face indicating it was hard for her to answer with a mouth full of flashlight. He reached up a hand to take something from her as soon as she was in range as she stepped one leg over him once more but she surprised the hell out of him by dropping down and kneeling, straddled across his waist and lowering her head towards his. She nodded indicating he should take the flashlight, which he did.
"Well, because I'm feeling all Christmassy and I really want these lights on tonight, power outage or not so I got a power source for them." She popped the bits she had brought back with her down on a piece of clutter free floor beside him and bent forwards so her…dear God if she'd only take her top off, Jack thought as her sweater brushed his cheek. Then they could both forget about the damn lights and the power cut and…
"Here, hold this." She handed him a screwdriver and pulled a pair of cutters out from nowhere, cutting the plug off the light string. That's it; both hands full of things so he couldn't… oh boy she knew how to play this game. "Can you just aim that light over a bit?" She asked, all business and seemingly oblivious to what she was doing to him at that point but he suspected she knew very well. When didn't she?
"Where did you get that from?" He asked to distract himself from his own thoughts; his voice coming out slightly higher pitched than usual. He cleared his throat.
"Hmm? Oh the power pack? I made it." She smiled with pride.
"Of course you did." He rolled his eyes and then after a beat, added, "Are you done yet?"
"Nearly…Am now!" She flicked a switch on the box and once again they were bathed in the golden glow of the tree lights. "Ta-da!" She grinned big and wide.
Golden tree light shone behind her head and all around them. For a crazy moment, he imagined her an ethereal angel and he felt a wave of emotion so powerful it scared him.
"God, you're incredible!" He exclaimed, voicing his thoughts randomly and without censorship; a concept he'd only just learnt to embrace. And then after a beat he added, "I love you!"
Her mouth dropped open and her eyes lit up and then she beamed at him. "What did you say?"
He frowned happily, "I love you." He repeated. It was definitely worth saying it again just to see that look.
Her eyes glistened and for a moment he worried he'd make her cry but she didn't lose the grin. "You realise, that's the first time you have ever said that to me?"
Jack frowned. "Is it?"
"No, I'm sure I must have…"
She shook her head. "No, I'd remember if you had. You've said you that you want me and that you need me and, that you cherish me and, well, lots of variations on a the theme and, well, you even promised to love me always, among other things but that's not quite the same… you never actually said that before."
"I haven't?" He frowned in thought. "No, I guess… I haven't." After all this time. And the fact she knew that was important somehow. He thought back to if and when she ever said it to him and realised, somewhat with embarrassment, that she said it a lot, and that she was completely comfortable telling him without ever being needy about wanting him to say it back. He never acknowledged how much that meant until this moment. He felt a curious mixture of guilt and pleasure wash over him.
She sighed, and gave him *that look* The one that usually meant he should stop doubting himself. "Not that you needed to. I always knew."
"You do, huh?"
She shook her head smiled and got an evil glint in her eye that normally spelled trouble, Shifting her weight, she pressed herself down against him and wriggled, leaving him in no doubt as to what she meant.
He made a sound somewhere between a groan and a sigh and his eyes rolled up to the back of his head. "Well, uh, those two emotions can be mutually exclusive, y'know."
"Not the way we do it." She whispered with a new huskiness to her voice. She pushed the loose strands of her hair behind her ears and leaned forward to press her lips to his. He felt deliriously happy and strangely turned on by the helpless way she'd got him pinned down and was so…wanton. He liked this new side of her and half hoped it wasn't just temporary. He twined his fingers through her hair and pulled her in, deepening the kiss and enjoying both her surprise and the flare of heat he felt from her as he did so. Eventually the kiss ended and she pulled back with a slight gasp of breathlessness.
He opened his eyes lazily to see her chest heaving, her eyes dark with passion and a triumphant expression on her face. He was sure he was just as smug. "Anyway. I probably owe you…several."
"Hmm, I intend make a claim now." She bent down and nibbled his bottom lip but wasn't satisfied with just that and soon deepened the kiss again, letting her hands roam all over his neck, hair and face and she sent him slowly insane.
This time he pulled away; gently lessening the intensity of their kiss until he was pressing his lips softly against hers and the hands that had roughly gripped her hair moved to caress her neck. She sighed and sat up putting her weight across his lap again. Her eyes sparkled with undisguised passion and love. He made that half sigh half groan sound again and resisted the temptation to roll her over and show her just what she did to him, crushed decorations be damned. "You're gonna have to stop doing that if you ever want to get this tree finished." He drawled, trying to bring their focus back to the job in hand.
"Screw the tree." She said and pressed a quick, hard kiss to his lips.
"That wasn't quite what I had in mind." He replied.
She laughed; her eyes crinkling at the corners and then she sighed and moved down his body so she sat straddling his knees allowing him more movement. He pushed himself up onto one elbow and reached forward with his other hand to caress her face, letting his thumb rub against her bottom lip.
"Thank you." She said tenderly, her soft blue gaze full of love and pressing a whisper soft kiss to his lingering thumb.
"For what?" He asked.
"For…" She shrugged. "Making this about as perfect as it could be." She smiled.
He tilted his head to one side. "My pleasure." He frowned in humour and feigned confusion. "Sometimes quite literally." He added intending to make her laugh again, which she duly did and he sighed contentedly.
"This is great." She said with a sleepy smile.
"This?" He gestured to the room in general. "The disaster zone that was the living room until recently or our first Christmas together?"
"Well, technically It's not our first Christmas together." She frowned.
"Well, no, but it is our first Christmas together when we've actually been…together. "He thought for a moment. "Of course we've been together at Christmas before but that was before we were…together…" He shook his head and the confusion. "And I don't really count video feed as being together before you say it."
She nodded, "No, it's not quite the same as the real thing." She leaned in and dropped a kiss against his forehead, letting her fingers ruffle his hair.
It was going to be very different from the previous years, he thought. There was the year when the cursed weather meant a cancelled flight and all they'd shared was one very long and wistful phone call. Or the year when she'd been off saving the world again while he pushed paper around and pretended not to be scared stupid for her. Or the year when she'd not even been in the same goddamn galaxy! And that was just the last few; not counting all those years before… he cut his train of thought off. It didn't matter now.
"And of course, the best thing about this is it's our first Christmas together together together. "He frowned again, confusing himself, "That is just us…together. As in, just you and me. Alone." He mused and grinned at the thought of how they would spend the few days they had.
"Well we best make the most of that because it's a one time only deal, I'm afraid." Her eyes held a slight apology, which he thought was daft considering the circumstances and then she glanced down coyly, her gaze skimming over her waist and then over the new curves of her belly that harboured the precious life they had unexpectedly made together.
"Yeah," he smiled, lifting her sweater so he could place his hand skin to skin and he remembered the thrill seeing her newly developing swell had given him earlier and how…strangely erotic it was knowing she was carrying his child. "Next year will be…hectic." He grimaced and smiled and remembered and surprised himself that remembering wasn't tinged with sadness anymore. That was the gift Sam had already given him.
He prodded her belly lightly and the tiny life inside kicked out in protest; just the reaction he'd been hoping for. "That's just never gonna get old."
She rolled her eyes. "Oh I suspect it might for me, in a few months."
"Hmm, yeah." He laughed, and in a moment of impulsiveness he leaned forward and pressed another kiss to her lips. She kissed back, pulling him towards her without hesitation and pressed herself as close as she could to him but he held back and she pulled back with a sigh. "As much as it pains me to break this up, we really need to finish this." He gestured towards the tree.
She tilted her head to one side with a look of regret, then sighed and nodded in agreement. She stood up and offered him a hand up himself. They looked at the half finished tree and Jack bent to retrieve the star that had fallen earlier.
She put her arms around his neck and kissed the spot below his ear tenderly. "Sorry. I just…for some reason, just lately I feel incredibly…" She searched for the words.
"Libidinous?" He supplied, wrapping an arm about her.
She nodded, "Yeah I was going to say loving but yours is probably a more accurate word under the circumstances. Anyway, I think it's all his…or her fault." She rubbed a hand over her belly. "Damn hormones."
"Well I'm not complaining about that." He waggled his eyebrows and she laughed again. He tilted his head. "So, shall we top this tree then?"
She smiled and nodded and he handed the star to her. "I'll get the ladder."
"Actually." She said with a thoughtful look on her face, "If you can just lean the tree and tilt the stem slightly I can probably reach better."
Jack nodded, "Team effort Carter?" He asked, barely registering the slip using her last name; he'd tried so hard not to fall back into that habit since she'd let it slip that she found it hard to disengage the professional from the personal when he used it "OK plan B then." He pulled the tree and tilted it, reaching for the middle stem and angling it so she could fasten the tie that held the star in place properly. At her signal he let the tree go. It wobbled, twinkling as it did so and caught the reflection of the tree lights and the fire. When it settled it was decidedly lopsided but it remained firmly in place. Jack tilted his head. "It's not quite straight but I think it'll do just fine. "
Sam smiled, "It's just the way I like it." She sent him a knowing look. "Who needs perfection anyway."
He opened his mouth to speak; to tell her that despite the power cut and the wonky star, the complete mess strewn around them, this moment could not be any more perfect.
But one glance at her and the look in her eyes and he knew she had already read his thoughts. So he did the only decent thing he could and pulled her in for a kiss instead.
The tree trimming could wait, after all.