A/N: Long story short, my first year of grad school ate my soul. I found some time to write during the school year, but all I have to show for it is a half-written post-ep epic set after "Abyss" and a standalone fic that's already 70 pages long, even though I'm still not sure where the story is going. I plan on finishing both this summer (ambitious, I know), but I felt like I needed to ease back into fanfic, so I present, for your reading pleasure, some shameless SJ fluff! : ) Anywho, this little plot bunny sprang up when I was writing "Kids These Days" way back when, and I finally got around to writing it out. You don't have to read "Kids" first, but you can if you want to... And now, on with the show! Enjoy! : )
The Naming Game
"Are we ready for this?" Sam asked uncertainly. Her voice seemed unnaturally loud in the quiet room; she just hoped she hadn't woken the boys up with her question.
Groping blindly through the dark for her hand, Jack replied quietly. "It's a little late for second thoughts… Unless you've suddenly changed your mind about time travel," he teased affectionately and squeezed her fingers.
"I'm serious, Jack," she pressed. Even so, he could hear the smile in her voice. "We've already got Jake and Jackson… Can we handle a four year old, a two year old and a newborn?"
"Jackson will be three by the time this one's ready to make her grand entrance, and Jake could be five, if baby number three is as late as he was," Jack assured.
Rolling on to his side, he pulled her snug against him. It was the right thing to do; she relaxed into him right away. "Look, Sam, I know we were only planning on having two, but…"
"Don't get me wrong, I'm happy about this – ecstatic even – but there's so much to worry about." Sam sighed. Bringing his hand up to her lips, she brushed a kiss across the backs of his knuckles before continuing. "There's maternity leave, balancing all the kids' needs and schedules, figuring out how we'll send three kids to college…"
"Could we wait until you're at least showing a little before we start worrying about sending this one to college?" Jack smirked.
He'd known her brain had been racing, filling her head with fears and doubts, but he hadn't thought she'd have fast-forwarded eighteen or so years into the future already.
"Besides, our kids take after you in the brains department. Schools will be throwing money at her and her brothers."
"You think this one's going to be a girl?" she asked.
Just like he'd hoped, the smile was back in her voice.
"Yep," he said as he dropped a gentle kiss on her shoulder. "This time I'm gonna get my little girl."
"No," Sam said firmly, jumping in before he could continue.
"I've said it before, I'll say it again: if you name my daughter 'Carter', I'm putting her up for adoption and divorcing you," Sam said. She couldn't help but roll her eyes in exasperation. They'd had this same discussion many times before both of the boys were born, and she had no desire to spend the next nine months rehashing it.
"C'mon, Sam," he wheedled.
"Good night, Jack."
"Go to sleep."
Jack had been married long enough to know when conceding defeat was the safest thing to do. He could let it go for now, but they'd be revisiting this topic again in the future. "I love you."
"I love you, too," she breathed, snuggling back into his warmth,
Lapsing into silence, Jack slid their joined hands around to rest on her still flat stomach. He smiled to himself, excited for the days when he'd be able to rest his hand in this same spot and feel his daughter – he knew it would be a girl this time, even if Sam was skeptical – moving restlessly.