Three weeks after the end of "More Trouble than I'm Worth":

Sam pulled up to the curb in front of her house, more than ready to go inside and take a long soak in a bubble bath. She had been dirty for longer than she cared to think about, and she ached in places that she hadn't known she had places. She hated those sandy planets. Especially when it rained.

She walked slowly up the stairs to her home, unlocking the door and letting herself inside. She closed the door behind her, and walked into the kitchen. She put her purse on a bar stool and walked over to one of the cabinets from which she pulled a glass. She took a few more steps to the freezer, and pulled out a tray of ice cubes, pausing momentarily as she saw the lasagna that she and Vala had put together just a few days ago. Maybe she would call the team and invite them for dinner.

Suddenly, she frowned. She'd forgotten that Cam and Teal'c had gone for Chinese, Daniel had been stuck in a book, and Vala had plans to interrupt Daniel all evening. She was on her own for eating the lasagna, at least for tonight. Still, she would bring some to the base so that Vala could try it.

Besides, since she'd told Daniel that she had "plans" a few weeks ago, the whole team had been bothering her with their various attempts to get her to inform them of her boyfriend's identity.

She probably should have just told them, she thought to herself. But she'd been the one who came up with the whole idea of secrecy in the first place. She'd made her bed, and now she had to lie in it.

She turned the oven on, and began filling the bathtub up with warm water. After the bathtub had been filled and the oven preheated, she put the lasagna into the oven and headed to the bathroom. As she slowly sank into the warm water, she felt the stress of the last couple days slowly melt away. She closed her eyes for a few moments as she took a few deep breaths.

"Bubble baths soothe the soul." She said with a satisfied smile.

Just then, the phone rang, and she sighed. She reached for a towel and wiped off her hands as she reached for the phone. "Hello?"

"Hey, Carter."

She felt a small smile spread over her lips. "Hi, Jack."

"I heard about your last mission. Are you okay?"

"I'm fine." She assured, thinking about the mission she'd just returned from. The Ori soldiers had found them trying to make contact with an underground rebellion group on the sandy, rainy planet that she'd already cursed. They'd been held captive, battered and bruised. Then, the Odyssey swept in and beamed them out.

Sam sighed soundlessly. She hated leaving a planet so conveniently as they met their demise at the hands of their enemies. It made her feel as though the other reality's President Landry had been right about her superiors using Merlin's weapon to conceal themselves from the whole galaxy.

"I have a few fresh bruises," she finally continued. "But as you know, I've seen worse."

"I heard Landry gave you some downtime. How much?"

"Only 24 hours."

"And I was going to see if you wanted to go fishing..." He said, disappointed.

She chuckled as she got out of the tub, and dried off. "Not this time, Jack."

"Damn. I guess I'll just have to come to you."

"Jack..." She said, shaking her head. "You've got responsibilities..."

"It's 2000 hours in DC. I think I can take a little time before reporting tomorrow morning at 0800."

She perched the phone in the crook of her neck as she pulled her pajama pants on. "Flying out here for a night is ridiculous."

"I don't think so." He said, seriously.

"Next time I have downtime - no matter how long - I'll come to you, okay?" She said, before she pulled her camisole over her head.

"Carter, open your door."

"What?" She asked, confused. "Why?"

"Just do it."

"Okay." She said, walking out to the living room. She opened the door, and dropped the phone in surprise. "Jack!"

He grinned as he closed his cell phone. "Hey."'

"What...I just..."

"I know." He chuckled. "But I was already driving up."

She threw her arms around his neck. "Oh, I'm glad you're here."

He hugged her tightly, and a few moments passed before they released one another. "Maybe we could close the door before your neighbors ask why the Air Force is at your door."

She nodded. "Of course. Come on in." She reached behind him and closed the door.

He smelled the air. "Sam, is there something in the oven?"

She looked at him confused before she paled. "The lasagna!" She cried, rushing to the oven.

He chuckled as he followed her more slowly. " cooked..."

She pulled the lasagna out of the oven as she shook her head. "Nope. Vala did the other night. She came over insisting that I teach her how to be a "domestic diva"."

Jack couldn't help but laugh loudly.

She put the lasagna on the stove top as she turned and revealed her own amused smile. "She said she'd been watching Rachael Ray lately."

"Hence the Italian food in your kitchen."

"Exactly." She grinned. "At least it was an easy dinner for tonight. I could just throw it in the oven, get in the tub, and have dinner."

"You were in the tub, and I missed it?" He asked, almost sorrowfully.

She chuckled as she shook her head. "Would you like some?"

"Love some."

"Great." She said, reaching for the plates.

"Can I help you with anything?"

"I have a bottle of wine in the wine cabinet."


"Well, I do have something to celebrate." She said with a tender smile.

He returned her smile as he pulled out one of the bottles. "Have any glasses?"

"Yeah. Right here." She said, reaching up to get the wine glasses.

He took the opportunity to come up behind her and kiss the back of her neck.

She paused for a moment as she closed her eyes and felt the tiny caresses. "That feels good." She whispered.

"Yeah?" He asked, wrapping his arms around her waist.

She placed her own hands on top of his as she nodded. "Um-hm."

"I'm glad." He whispered, his breath hot on her ear.

"You must have eaten on the plane." She whispered, turning around in his arms so that she could face him. As she did so, she wrapped her arms around his neck.

"Oh? What makes you say that?"

"Usually, the first thing you ask for is food." She teased as she gently nipped at his lips with her own.

"What can I say?" He asked, shrugging.

"That we'll eat later." She said with a grin.

"Ooh, now that's my kind of gal." He grinned, leaning in to kiss her again.