Five (After season ten, before Sam goes to Atlantis)
It was 1500 on Friday afternoon and Jack O'Neill was feeling good.
In three hours he'd be done for the day and could leave his stuffy office for his apartment. It wasn't the apartment he was looking forward to though; no, it was the blonde Air Force colonel who would be flying in that evening to spend the entire weekend with him. He couldn't wait.
They balanced their relationship between Colorado Springs and D.C.; whenever either of them had a couple days of downtime, they would fly over and spend it together. It wasn't perfect, or even ideal, but it was all they had and after eight years of barely being able to touch, it had to be enough.
Jack pulled another SGC report in front of him and began to scan the contents, his mind only half on the details, the other half was planning where to take Carter, or better yet, how to convince her to spend the entire weekend in their bed, naked. He didn't think he'd have much trouble convincing her, she was just as eager as he was to make up for lost time…
The ringing of his cell phone halted that rather pleasant thought; he recognized the SGC number and answered immediately, "O'Neill?"
"Jack, hi," It was Carter, her warm voicesounding tired.
"Carter," Jack felt his stomach fall, "Shouldn't you be fifteen thousand feet above me right now?"
"I'm sorry," her voice was apologetic, "I had a bit of an accident on the mission today."
"You okay?" Jack's heart sped up, accident meant many a different things in Carter-speak, it could mean she'd done anything from sprain her ankle to lose a limb.
"Yeah, knock to the head and I broke my arm," she said and he could hear the pain in her voice, "Carolyn's letting me go home but hasn't cleared me to fly, I'm so sorry."
"Ah hell Carter," Jack hated that she kept apologising, "Stop saying sorry, I'm just glad you've got all your bits attached."
He heard her giggle tiredly, before she sobered, "I was really looking forward to this weekend, Jack."
"Me too." Jack said simply, matching her sombre tone.
They stayed on the line in silence for a while, just listening to each other breath. It had been six long weeks since he'd last seen her, touched her, kissed her lips and made her moan. It wasn't just the physical contact that he longed for; the sound of her laugh, her excited babble and the warm contentment he felt whenever she was near had left a cold spot in his life. He missed her, so god damned much.
He heard her yawn and knew it was time to let her go, "You got someone to drive you home?"
"Mmm, yeah Daniel," she said sleepily.
"Go home Carter," Jack said, a plan formulating in his mind, "Get some sleep."
"Okay," he could hear the smile in her voice, "Love you."
"Love you too." They never seemed to say them in person but they always ended their phone conversations with those words. Their relationship was permanent, Jack had no doubt about that, he didn't need a ring on her finger to know that, but he supposed they both had too many failed relationships in which the words 'love' had been said perhaps a little too much. He supposed they rationed their 'I love yous' in person, it meant so much more than if he said it everyday. Well, at least that was how he felt, he wasn't sure about Sam. In person, he only had to look into her eyes to see how much she loved him, she didn't need to say the words. He only hoped she got the same knowledge from him, not from his eyes, but from his hands, with which he tried to brand the love he felt for her into her skin. He said 'I love you' over the phone simply because he couldn't give the message with his hands. She never complained, or said otherwise, and Jack was confident in his Carter-reading skills that he thought she understood.
He didn't need a ring, and he knew Sam didn't want one. She had two failed engagements, and in a late night conversation, she had simply said that whatever was between them was deeper than any other relationship she'd ever had. She didn't need marriage, she'd gone down that path before and failed to make it to the alter twice, she didn't want to tempt fate a third time. Jack had wanted to tell her that 'third time's the charm', but he agreed; they had been together in some way or another for ten years and the bond between them would be no different with a marriage license. He didn't have the desire to become Mr Carter so badly that he was going to scare away the person he loved most, as deep down he suspected Sam's worries over marriage boiled down to fear more than anything else. No, he was quite happy with the way things were, distance excluded of course.
As soon as they disconnected, Jack was on the phone again. Before long he was booked on a flight to Colorado Springs that night, he'd be with Sam by 0600, providing the planes ran on time and he made it out of the office before someone could dump another stack of reports on his desk.
Jack turned out to be quite accurate in his assessment of his schedule, at a little before six the cab dropped him off in front of Sam's small home and he made his way up the walk and stopped at the door. He used his key and stealthily let himself inside, sliding his shoes off and padding around the floor in his socks so as not to wake the sleeping woman down the hall. He dropped his bag on the couch and immediately started pulling off his clothes as he made his way down the corridor. By the time he slipped inside her room he was clothed in just his boxers and socks.
He stopped at the sight of her asleep on the bed. She was dressed simply in panties and a large oversized Air Force sweat shirt which he knew to be his. She'd kicked the covers off and her bare legs were long, pale and smooth. Heached to run his hands down her lean limbs but stopped himself before his traitorous right hand threatened to wake her up. Her left arm was encased in a white cast, he could see bruising on her left cheek and a few scrapes marred her perfect skin, but other than that she was exactly how he remembered. Her long blonde hair was sprawled messily on the pillow and her eyes were closed tightly.
He slipped into the bed, rearranging the covers over them both and giving into the temptation to press his lips lightly onto the top of her head. She stirred at his touch and Jack tried to soothe her back to sleep, but she smiled sleepily, her eyes still closed.
"Are you going to give me a proper kiss hello?" her voice was warm and sleepy and struck a chord in his gut. It was so good to hear her voice in person; not tinny and distorted over a phone line.
He leant down and pressed his lips to hers, teasing her lips with his tongue before pulling away, mindful of her injuries. Her eyes opened and Jack lost himself for a moment as they stared at each other.
"Is that how you greet all strangers that slip into your bed in the night?" Jack asked teasingly.
"Calling yourself a stranger?" Sam asked lightly. She shifted onto her right side, letting her broken arm rest comfortably but allowing him to spoon behind her and wrap his arms around her waist. He pushed his face into her hair and breathed in her familiar scent.
"I may as well be a stranger given how little we see each other these days," Jack said softly, immediately regretting his words as Sam stiffened in his arms.
"I'm sorry for ruining the weekend," she sighed, "Damn temple floor fell out from under my feet."
Jack pressed another kiss into her head and tightened his arms around her, "Stop saying sorry, I didn't say that to blame you."
Sam stayed silent and Jack knew that as much as they had settled into their long distance relationship, it was still a struggle to find a balance sometimes. Especially when they spent so many weeks apart. Jack just kept reminding himself of the alternative, Carter every few weeks, or no Carter at all. No prizes for guessing which one he picked.
"I came here to be with you Carter," Jack said gently, "Doesn't matter where, so long as its wherever you are, broken arm and all."
He felt her relax slightly in his arms, "I guess I'm just cranky, I might have missed you a little bit…" She said sheepishly.
"Just a little bit?" Jack asked lightly, "Cos I missed you more than just a little bit, Carter."
She relaxed completely and Jack pulled her even closer, "Me too."
"What do you want to do this weekend?" Jack slid a warm hand under her shirt and stroked the soft skin of her belly.
"Umm, well I was planning to stay in bed…" Sam said, turning her head to kiss him deeply before pulling away slightly breathless, "You have a problem with that?"
"Nah," Jack's hand wandered a little higher under her shirt and he grinned as Sam hummed happily in response, "Your arm gonna be okay with that though?"
He felt the rumble of her laugh through her back, "We'll just have to be creative."
Jack's hand ventured over the smooth swell of her breast and he cupped it in his hand, caressing her skin and teasing her nipple with his fingertips, "I can be creative."
Much later, they lay curled together naked on the bed, the sheet tossed to the floorandJack's hand had returned to stroking the now slightly damp skin of her belly. He pressed a kiss into her shoulder and smiled.
"Yeah?" She was relaxed and her right hand rested lightly over his on her belly.
"Are we allowed to leave the bed for food and stuff?" Jack's stomach growled and Sam giggled.
"Yep," Sam rolled onto her back and poked him, "I'd like blueberry pancakes and a cup a coffee please."
Jack raised his eyes jokingly, "What am I? Your man slave?"
"Yep," Sam poked him again, this time a bit harder as her own stomach grumbled, "I'm hungry, go cook me food."
Jack smiled at her indulgently, knowing he was totally whipped, "Guess being a man slave is kinda kinky."
He got up off the bed and Sam swatted his bum lightly. He mock jumped in surprise, "Oh we haven't gotten to kinky yet," Sam giggled at him saucily, "We're being creative this weekend, remember?"
Jack swallowed, trying to ignore the messages his groin was sending to his brain: to get back into the damn bed and kiss her till that grin was wiped from her face.
"Ja-ack?" Sam's sing song voice called to him back to the present, "Pancakes. Coffee. Now."
Jack saluted her, "Yes ma'am."
He paused before he fully left the room, bending over her relaxed form on the bed. He pressed his lips to hers and stroked his fingers through her hair, "I love you Carter."
Sam smiled, and he thought maybe her eyes watered just a tad, "I love you too."
He pressed another kiss to her lips then got up and made his way into the kitchen, a grin on his face and a lightness to his step. He had blueberry pancakes to make and an entire weekend with Carter. What more could he want?
Thanks to everyone for sticking around and reading, and to all those who left a review - thank you :)