A/N: This is in response to this posting on the GW Thread (?p=9900565&postcount=175641) the ficathon from prompts (I chose "Vacation Time" and "Marriage") and Sally's question of how Sam and Jack get married. As always, feedback is encouraged, saved and always answered. The title of this piece comes from a quote by Germaine Greer: "The essence of pleasure is spontaneity."
As always, all feedback is appreciated, saved, and answered.
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Essence of Pleasure
Jack walked along the beach, simply content to be where he was right now. Content to be here with whom he was right now. He felt a tug and his hand and stopped, noting that Sam had stopped again to dig her bare toe into the sand. Though her attention was on the critter currently scurrying for cover in the wake of the receding tide, she made sure to keep her hand in his, their arms stretched between them.
Jack was mesmerized. He didn't think he could love anyone more than he did this woman. The setting sun brought out the color in her sun-kissed skin, giving it a burnished–almost bronzelike effect–and when she looked up at him her eyes were a startling blue in contrast, matching the deepening sky behind her. For a moment he was speechless.
Sam cocked her head to one side, a small smile playing across her lips. She stepped closer, tangling her fingers with his, the calluses on his hands as familiar to her as her own. "What?" She asked finally, when it didn't look like he was going to say anything. Still Jack stood silently, his eyes burning a path along her skin, taking in every detail as if to memorize them. He blinked once, suddenly, then looked away. He brushed a hand across his eyes, and Sam reached up, cradling his cheek, concerned now. "Jack?"
Jack turned to her, his fathomless brown eyes intense, bright. "Sam...let's do it. Let's get married. Here. Now."
Her jaw dropping open, Sam simply stared at him. "Now?" She grimaced at the squeak and tried again. "Ah, now?"
Bringing both hands up, Jack captured her face in his, an unfamiliar expression of unrestrained joy on his face. "Yes. Here. Now. Tonight. Tomorrow. Soon." He punctuated each word with a searing kiss that left her even more breathless.
They had, of course, talked about marriage, but in that nebulous 'when we...' kind of way, with no real plan. Doing it like this seemed so sudden...so...right. Sam sighed when Jack released her cheeks and wrapped his arms around her, enveloping her in the loving warmth she knew so well and needed so very much. He was hugging her so tightly she could barely draw breath, so with a short laugh, she wiggled free of his grasp. Not too free, however. She trailed her hands down his arms until she reached his hands. Then, leaning back so she could see his face, she nodded.
"Yes." Sam released one hand and raised a finger. "But...one condition." She watched as his eyes narrowed, but was relieved to see that he didn't retreat. Didn't pull away from her with that awful 'hurt puppy' look she expected. She'd seen that enough from...Pete... Sam shuddered slightly, then banished that memory. This was Jack. Jack O'Neill. The man who loved her, and whom she'd loved for more than ten years. Jack O'Neill didn't retreat from anything. He merely raised an eyebrow worthy of Teal'c and waited patiently. Sam stepped forward again, back into his space. She felt the heat of his body through the thin cover she'd thrown over her swimsuit when they'd started their walk. Felt it through his shirt.
"Hmm?" Sam was lost for a moment in her own musings of heat and...friction.
"You mentioned a condition?"
She tilted her head back and raised her hands, sliding her fingers up and through the hair at the nape of his neck. It was long enough now that the silvery threads blew in the warm Hawaiian breeze and she simply loved running her fingers through his hair. When he ducked his head and stole a kiss, Sam realized she'd kept him waiting long enough, even though she hadn't intended to make him wait at all. "We need our family here, Jack. Cassie, Daniel...and Teal'c if he can make it in time."
Jack nodded, then pressed a kiss to her forehead, his own hands coming up to play with the long silken strands of her hair. He captured those that had escaped their bonds, gathering up the long, curling ends and bunching it at the nape of her neck. Shifting her slightly, he bent down, pulling her closer, and buried his face in her neck, inhaling deeply and reveling in the mixture of sun, sand, sea, and...Sam. "Deal. But, if they can't make it in two days, then they'll have to enjoy the pictures."
"Oh...kay." Sam's voice was hesitant.
Jack's sigh moved through both of them, they were entwined so tightly. He continued to hold and rock her, speaking softly. "Nearly twelve years, Sam. Twelve. That's long enough."
"And if we have to wait two days, I get cake."
Sam sealed their deal with a gentle, loving kiss. Then she took his hand and led him up the beach toward their bungalow. They had calls to make.
SJ• SJ• SJ• SJ• SJ• SJ• SJ• SJ• SJ• SJ• SJ• SJ• SJ• SJ
Once again Jack found himself standing on the edge of the surf, watching the last rays of the setting sun caress Sam's face. He didn't think it was possible, but she was even more beautiful now, dressed in a simple white linen skirt and camisole, than she'd been two days before when he'd asked her to marry him here. He glanced down as a small wave washed over their bare feet, glad she had convinced him to roll up the legs of his trousers. Dressed to match her in linen trousers and a camp shirt, Jack was struck by how very different this day was from the last time he'd done this. Gone was the shaking young lieutenant in service dress, the somber church, the sonorous preacher. Gone too was the equally nervous young woman who would love him, bear him a son, and lose her way–as he had–following the loss of that beautiful boy. In their place was his family of today. Sam...his Sam. His. Tall, brilliant, beautiful beyond words. Truly his partner, his equal in so many ways and still a challenge for him. His eyes sparkled as they caught her equally bright gaze. God, he loved challenges.
Behind Sam stood Cass. Jack couldn't be more proud of Cassandra Fraiser if she'd been born to him. In every way that counted she was his daughter. From the moment Sam had emerged from that missile silo with the little girl in her arms he'd been lost. To both of them. He had them now, both of them, and his little girl had grown up. Wearing a simple shift, her long auburn hair unbound and blowing in the rising evening breeze, she stood holding Sam's small bouquet, her eyes shining with unshed tears. Jack knew that at this moment she was missing her adopted mother and his heart ached for her loss. Their loss. He understood it and he hurt for her. Tilting his head slightly, he caught her gaze and gave her a slight wink. He was rewarded with a smile that warmed his heart.
He could feel Daniel's quiet presence behind him and he watched as Sam glanced over his shoulder, presumably to meet Daniel's eyes. Whatever she saw there brought a soft smile to her face, and her own eyes filled. She blinked the tears away, returning her gaze to Jack's. Somewhere beyond them was Teal'c, quietly observing, the silent strength of his love and support surrounding them, protecting them.
Jack's attention was pulled back as the minister finished her final prayer. He squeezed the hand held so gently within his own, his fingers automatically tracing the simple gold band he'd placed there such a short time before. He could feel the unfamiliar impression of Sam's ring on his finger...a sensation he would feel for the rest of his life.
"...now pronounce you husband and wife. You may show some sign of your affection." The minister chuckled with their family as Jack gently tugged Sam into his arms. He caught the challenge in her eyes as he leaned forward and decided to give her a kiss to remember. This time they would both remember. Sliding one arm around her neck to support her, he stepped forward and with a swing and a dip, bent her low over his leg, his lips pressed lovingly to hers. It was a move from memory, from years past. This time, however, there was no letter of resignation, no control room, and sadly, no General Hammond. There was, for a brief time, only Jack and only Sam. And this time, to Jack's great satisfaction, there would be no 'reset,' no going back.
This time it was for real.
And it was perfect.