A/N: Okay, so this last little bit is very fluffy, but I can indulge every once in awhile, right? Thank you all for reading this little story. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.


The Ties That Bind
Epilogue

The plane landed on the tarmac, jolting Sam from her thoughts of a joyful reunion with Jack. They had only been legally married for six months, and she hated that they spent the majority of that time apart. But they had their careers to think about, and Sam would rather see him on these sporadic meetings than to have him resent her intrusions on his work.

She smiled again as she thought about the reunion. He said he would meet her at the airport, but Sam knew that things sometimes come up at the most inopportune times. She would see him at the airport, or at their house. Either way, she looked forward to seeing him again.

People were getting up from their seats and Sam followed their lead, ignoring the niggling feelings of dread that crept up inside her. He was not going to like hearing her news, but she had made the decision, and she had a well-thought out argument ready to employ when the time came. She just needed to plan her strategy carefully in order to soften the blow.

She walked out of the plane, scanning the sea of faces, looking for the only one that meant the world to her. He may not be here, she reminded herself sternly, but she still looked about anxiously. She really hoped nothing had come up.

There was no sign of her husband anywhere. Sam kept walking, feeling a little disappointed. She was almost to the stairs that would take her down to the luggage area when she heard a low voice behind her.

"Colonel Carter?"

She grinned at her first thought. She had almost responded with a "Sir." Her smile grew when she turned around, threw her arms around Jack and kissed him with an enthusiasm that almost knocked him over. He held her tightly and they stood there in the middle of the airport acting like teenagers. He pulled back from the kiss and grinned at her.

"I've missed you," he said.

"It's been too long," she told him, as she gave him the once over. He seemed tired, which worried her. "You're working too hard again, aren't you?"

"Not like I have a choice," he said with a shrug, just before he pulled her into a hug. "Occupational hazard."

She smiled, but was still worried. "I know what you mean," she whispered. He pulled back and gave her a mock frown, but she turned away and led him toward the stairs. "Let's go get my bags so we can go home and relax."

"Relax?" he said as he leaned close to her. "Who said anything about relaxing?"

Same old Jack, she thought as she laughed. They talked of inane things as they waited for her luggage and on the way to the car. She told him about her brother's car accident and Daniel's goodbye note that he wrote before he found out he wasn't going to the Pegasus Galaxy. He told her about the renovations going on in the house and Teal'c's cross-country road trip when he came to visit Jack. Sam had already heard Teal'c's version of the trip, even going so far as telling her that, "O'Neill was happy to see that he had arrived in one piece." But Jack's version of the reactions of Washington politicians who had the privilege of meeting with Teal'c were far more interesting and extremely entertaining. How she wished she had been there to witness that scene.

Jack's phone rang as they were en route to their home, and Sam sat back to enjoy the scenery while he was otherwise occupied. Washington had been her home for so many years, and she loved the city, even with the tourists gawking at the staff car as it passed. She shook her head, then turned to see if Jack was showing signs of getting off the phone. He was so damn gorgeous, she thought as he sat there in his dress blues, holding the phone up to his ear and staring out the window. So lost, she thought sadly. He nodded at whatever was being said to him, then turned to look at her, a bright smile emerging from the sadness she witnessed a few seconds ago.

"Let me get back to you on that," he said into the phone. Sam turned to look out the window then, realizing that she had been staring at him. "I know, but it can wait," Jack said. "I'll call you tomorrow." He ended the call and looked up at her with his trademark sexy smile. "Now, where were we?"

"On our way to the house," she told him with what she hoped was an innocent look.

"Oh yeah," he said with a nod and a knowing smile.

She loved times like this, when he was playful and happy, and she was relaxed and so full of love for her husband, she sometimes thought her heart would burst. She never wanted it to end, but life rarely gave her everything she wanted. And with her news of rejoining SG-1, Sam was pretty sure a fight was looming in the very near future.

That can wait, she decided as the car turned down their street. She and Jack would spend some quality time together, then tackle the sticky issues tomorrow. She sighed happily when the car turned into the driveway of their house. No matter what, they would work through their differences and be much better for it. They had suffered through worse times and survived them. They would survive this.

She stepped out of the car and followed Jack up to the door, barely making it inside before he grabbed her and began kissing her passionately. She kissed him back and reached for the buttons on his jacket as he frantically tried to undo hers. There would be time to tell him her decision. All the time in the world.

The End