Title: Nineteen Times

Author: ziparumpazoo

Summary: By the nineteenth time they'd exhausted all other distractions.

Category: Sam/Jack, fluff

A/N: Written in response to annerbhp 's icon comment fic challenge: stranded off-world.

The first time they were stranded, he'd let her curse and swear at the DHD all she wanted for the first six hours. Then he finally dragged her back to the shelter because it was raining. She'd spent all night going over test results by the light of the fire until the batteries gave out on spectrum analyser. Three days later they were picked up by their friendly neighbourhood Tok'ra and Sam still hadn't been able to fix the DHD. They locked P5X-225 out of the dialing computer. Jack made sarcastic remarks about how rescues only came on Tok'ra time.

The second time they were stranded, the main crystal in the DHD was smashed on arrival. A tree had fallen since the first MALP visit. Jack didn't think that time really counted as stranded though, since the whole team was there. They sat around and enjoyed the sunshine until they missed the scheduled check in and the SGC called up to find out if they needed a ride home. A second MALP with the right gear and laptop loaded with Carter's GateDialer Lite was all they needed to get home.

The eight time they were stranded, Jack had his yo-yo and tried to stay out of Carter's way, except to hand her tools while she was crouched halfway inside the DHD pedestal. He spent three hours standing behind her and enjoying the scenery before she found the shorted relay and they were able to go home. Jack was almost disappointed to be leaving so soon.

The twelfth time, there was no DHD. They spent a week holed up in a cave, freezing their asses off during the day while they explored around to find some way to send an SOS message. At night they played Crazy Eights and Snap with the deck of cards Carter had tucked into a vest pocket. She told him she'd stuck them in because this stranded thing was getting boring and it was better to be prepared. Jack asked her one night if she was tired of Solitaire, did she want to play Strip Poker? He was surprised when she hesitated before changing the subject. Less than an hour later, Jacob swung by and offered them a ride. Jack cursed his timing.

The thirteenth time they were stranded, it was nearly a month before they made it home. A month in the same uniform was pushing it when it was nearly ninety degrees by mid-morning and the humidity high enough to short out most of Carter's electrical doohickies. Swimming was the only way to cool off. Jack was going to have to have a word about beam-out protocol with Emerson once the Prometheus was homeward bound again, but in the mean time he really hoped nobody on the bridge had noticed his arms around Carter's waist when they'd re-materialized. Or if they did, he hoped they'd been too distracted by his naked ass to remember for their reports.

He'd been joking during the Safety Standards and Training meeting when he'd suggested that rubbers be part of the new standard field kit, you know, for the next time aliens made them do it. He'd been about to follow up with an example just to watch the guys with the white coats and the clipboards squirm when Carter gave him that 'you promised you wouldn't bring that up. Ever' look and jumped in with a suggestion about more efficient locator beacons.

So, on the nineteenth time they were stranded, he really should have seen it coming. The climate was mild. The planet was apparently abandoned. There was no DHD to repair, no Stargate to use even if they could fix it. The planet's EM field effectively killed their radios. There was shelter to be found in the empty houses of the abandoned village. It only took them an hour to confirm they were well and truly screwed. When Carter asked him what their next step was, Jack shrugged. "Find something to do to kill the time?"

Carter snorted and rummaged through vest pockets. The deck of cards, she tossed on the ground. It was missing the queen of spades and the four of hearts and really wasn't much fun any more. The yo-yo had cracked when Jack had taken the butt-end of a staff weapon to the chest some three missions ago and he'd forgotten to buy a new one. Why Carter still had the string, he wasn't sure. The laptop didn't work because of the EM field and there were only so many games of hangman you could play. Besides, the pages of her small notebook were already mostly full. Finally, from the recesses of one of the larger pockets, Carter pulled out the packages from the 'new and improved standard field kit' and held them up triumphantly.

"Sex, Carter?" he asked, surprised.

"Well," she grinned back. "That, or wait for Thor. Take your pick."

Thor didn't show up for another three days. Jack loved his timing.