This is completely, hopelessly, and unapologetically both Fluffy and Shippy.

You have been warned. ;)

Reviews are welcomed and appreciated.

Bicycles after Dinner

"So?"

"So what, sir?"

"So you gonna call me that forever?"

"I might." Sam smiled over the dimly lit table—and not just a normal smile, either—it was her million mega watt smile—Jack's personal favorite. The one that she only pulled out on special occasions. Occasions just such as this evening—their first official date.

They'd waited until her reassignment was final, and his new position at Home World Security had been announced and ratified before allowing this dinner to happen. It had been the longest two weeks of his life. Yet somehow, dinner over, and the remains of a shared piece of pie on the plate between them, they'd lingered. Nerves? Jitters? Reluctance? He didn't know. He just knew it was nice to be able to sit and watch her without worrying about anyone noticing him do it. And nobody cared if he were to look too lingeringly, for too long.

Still, he had to know. "Why would you want to?"

"What, call you 'sir'?"

"Yeah—don't you think it's kind of impersonal?"

Her smile changed to one that he'd never seen before. Darker, and a little naughty. He decided then and there that he had a new favorite.

"I don't know, Sir. If you only knew some of the things that I was imagining while I was calling you 'sir' over the years. You might decide that the honorific was all right.'

He grinned. "So, it is kinda like 'Carter'."

She ducked her head, peering up at him again from under her bangs. Intimate. "You too, huh?"

"Oh yeah." He leaned back in his seat. The restaurant was quiet, and they'd gotten a booth in a back corner. Private, personal, the only other people they'd seen were the waiter and the guy who'd kept refilling Carter's diet soda.

"Like what kind of stuff?"

"What was I imagining?" He smiled, a slow, sideways kind of smile. "Well, now, that would be classified."

Sam laughed quietly, picked up the wadded up wrapper of her straw, and chucked it at him.

"Coward."

"Me?"

"You." She paused, straightening a fork on the dessert plate. "Once in a while I called you 'Jack'."

"In times of great distress."

"When we put you in stasis." She offered the example, her smile dimming.

"I don't remember that one." And he didn't—he had been too far gone in Antarctica to have even known it was happening.

"And when you agreed to Kanan."

He scowled. "Yes, well. Let's not go down that road tonight."

"It's part of our history. Part of what has made us—us."

She was right, but he still didn't want to talk about it. So he played his trump card. "Like Pete."

Who knew she had one of her own? And that she'd be mean enough to play it. "Or Kerry Johnson."

He rebutted. "Martouf, Nareem, Orlin, the snake of Martouf—"

She rolled her eyes, shook her head. "Okay—so some roads less traveled are okay."

He reached across the table and held out his hand, palm up, expectantly. She studied it, measuring, considering. After an eternity, she laid her own hand in his. His fingers curled around hers, finding the contours in her wrist, the divot of skin beside her thumb.

"Well, that took too long."

"I was savoring the moment." She traced his palm with her thumb. "You can't rush these things."

"Note to self—no rushing."

"After all, it's only been eight years."

"Eight long years."

"Eight long long years."

"Too long."

"Two thousand, nine hundred and twenty days."

His mouth opened, but nothing came out.

"Seventy thousand, eighty hours."

"Carter."

"Four million, two hundred four thousand, eight hundred minutes."

'Sam."

"Yes, sir?"

"Nervous?"

"Yes, sir." She bit her lip and scrunched her nose up. "I do math in my head when I'm anxious."

"Holy crap, you're such a geek. A beautiful geek, but still a geek."

"Two hundred fifty two million, two hundred twenty eight thousand seconds." Her answer was immediate.

"Why are you so nervous?"

"Because it's here. You're here—we're here—and it's time. And I just hope that we don't come away disappointed, or unsatisfied—"

He snorted. His fingers stilled the random tracing movements of her fingers on his palm. That, coupled with her mathematical reminders of how long he'd been waiting for this night, was pushing his hero status right to the edge.

"What?"

"Did you really just mean to say, 'unsatisfied'?"

They both grinned.

"Let's hope it doesn't come to that."

He snorted again.

"Sir, get your mind out of the gutter."

Jack stared at her in mock confusion. "But that's where it lives."

The waiter chose that moment to return with the bill and Jack's credit card. He added the tip, signed the receipt, and pocketed his card. Then he raised his eyebrows at Sam. "Ready?"

"Yes." She nodded and took his hand again as he helped her from the booth. "I'm ready."

He followed close behind her as they exited the restaurant, his hand on the small of her back. That in and of itself was an act of intimacy for him. Touching her—being allowed to touch her—in public. And without one of them even being injured. That was arousing, somehow. Some people were turned on by the forbidden. Jack found permission to be the sweetest aphrodisiac ever.

Cool air met them outside, crisp and clean as it only was in the mountains. They walked in silence to his truck.

It wasn't until they had climbed the steps to his house that she spoke next. She'd moved close to him, not touching him, but closer than would have been allowed a few days before. He could see her pulse beat in the soft skin between her collarbones, see the fine veins in her throat. Her dress wasn't overtly revealing—a simple thing of dark blue with some sort of little sweater. But all he could think about was finding out what else there was to discover about this person standing near him—in his space, his life.

"I guess I'm nervous because this is new. It's been a while for me."

"But what about that road—the one we decided not to talk about?"

"With Pete it was—not this. Not intense emotionally."

"So—it's been a while for what?"

"Since I've been in love with someone—since it's been for keeps."

He savored that for a while before a slight nod. "Me too."

"And you're not anxious? Not afraid you're going to mess it up?" She raised her face to him, the heavy fringes of her eye lashes slightly lowered over the brilliance of her eyes.

"Not really. It's like riding a bike, isn't it?"

"A bike." Ever the scientist, she had to question everything.

"You know—once you learn—" His voice trailed off.

Without a word, she leaned in and pressed her mouth to his. His hands moved to frame her face, hers moved to his shoulders, and then down his biceps, kneading, learning. He broke away only to tempt her mouth open, and then claimed her again, softly at first, then more insistent. His hands mussed the soft hair at her nape, then fell lower, learning the fine line of her throat, even as he discovered her taste, her feel. One of her hands crept over his shoulder and her fingers threaded up the back of his head.

Finally, slowly, they broke the kiss. O'Neill gathered her close, bringing her fully against him even as he nuzzled the junction of throat and shoulder, loving the miniscule shivers he felt run through her. It felt as if they'd melded into one person. They even breathed in cadence, their inhalations forcing them even closer together.

"Like that." Raising his head, the General brushed her bottom lip with his thumb. "See, you don't forget how to ride a bike."

"Ride a bike." She repeated, bemused.

"Yeah—once you learn how to ride a bike, you never forget."

"Well, and it's good exercise."

"That, it is."

"And fun." She stepped away, but still remained close enough for her to run a hand along his shoulder, his chest.

"Yes."

"I love riding bikes."

"I'm glad." He had no idea where this was going.

Sam grinned up at him, one hand trailing down his arm to clasp his hand. "Well, at the very least, I've found something else to call you."

"What's that?"

She shrugged and tilted a brow mischievously.

"Schwinn."