A/N: Because I can. I save and answer all reviews left with respondable links. Thanks, as always, for taking the time to read and review. Go Packers! Er...go Vikings!...Crud. Go Saints.


Just Because I Can


Jack stomped the last of the snow from his boots and opened the front door, his fingers fumbling slightly from the cold. Once inside he nudged it closed with his hip, carefully balancing the bundles he carried. Glancing up the hallway, he toed off the boots and padded toward the living room, intent on setting things up before . . .


A gentle snore was his only response. Stretched out along the length of the couch, her sock-clad feet were crossed at the ankles and covered in woolly socks that disappeared into worn and faded blue sweatpants. Jack's eyes traveled the length of those blue-covered limbs, noting with interest that the shirt she'd tossed on this morning had risen to expose a pale sliver of tantalizing–and, he knew from experience, deceptively soft-looking–belly. She'd fallen asleep, one arm flung casually up and over her head, the other falling limply off of the edge of the couch. She looked, Jack thought, like the picture of relaxation.

And of beauty.

Very softly, careful not to wake her, Jack changed direction and carried his burdens into the kitchen. It was really rare for him to find Sam in any state other than motion and he didn't want to disturb her much-needed sleep. He quickly emptied one bag, efficiently putting the various items away. Turning toward the table he pondered for a moment, then, with a quick grin, spun and bent low to pull a battered jug from under the counter. Then he froze.

Warm, firm hands slid around his waist and an even warmer body folded itself over his, resting more weight upon his back. Jack grinned to himself. "Daniel, I've told you . . . not when Carter's in the house."

The hands stopped their delicious wandering of his chest and stomach. The one under his t-shirt slid upward to find a rather tender part of his chest and gave it a slight squeeze.

"Reeeaaaally . . ." Sam stretched out the word, the laughter in her voice rippling through both of them. She slipped sideways and pulled Jack upright with her in one smooth twist of motion. Then she eased herself between him and the counter, and Jack realized she was deliberately making as much full-body contact with him as she could. He closed his eyes and continued the game. "Oh yeah. You know how she gets."

Warm lips captured his and all thoughts of play fled. Jack lost himself, as he always did, in the sensation of Samantha-formerly-Carter O'Neill as she opened herself to him. He slid his arms around her and pulled her firmly to him, reveling in the simplicity and beauty of the moment. When, long moments later, they each pulled back, he tucked her head beneath his chin and just held her, enjoying the feel of her warmth.



"What's with the flowers?" Sam turned them both so that they could both see the bouquet that still lay on the table.

He shrugged against her, his hands still clasped loosely at her waist. "Just saw them when I ran to the store and thought . . . "

" . . . That Super Bowl Sunday qualified?"

Jack tilted his head and captured her brilliant blue eyed-gaze. He studied them, noticing for the first time the tiny lines that now extended from those eyes which had for so long been his only means of insight into her soul. He raised a hand and absently traced those lines, those outward indicators of the things they had survived against such odds. His fingers wandered to her forehead, following the path of those small lines as well. He swept his gaze down her face again, lingering for a moment on her lips before again meeting her eyes, now narrowed slightly in concern. "Yeah, it qualifies."

"Valentine's Day isn't until next Sunday, you know."

"I do."

She gestured toward the flowers with her chin. "So . . ."

Jack shrugged and tugged her forward, grabbing the battered jug as he did so. "So . . . they're pretty."

Sam buried her nose in them, obviously enjoying the scent. She lifted her gaze to his and grinned. "Is it a coincidence that these all seem to be black and gold?" She fingered the ribbon that bound the bouquet together and looked more closely at the roses contained within. "Where on Earth," she paused and raised an eyebrow at him, "did you find white roses tipped with gold and black?"

Taking the bundle from her, Jack efficiently snipped off the ends of the stems and deposited the bouquet in the jug. He shrugged. "At the store. I ran out for some snacks for the game and there they were. The lady in the flower section said she'd been working on them all day. She made me swear to root for the Saints."

Sam took his hand and led him toward the living room. "Really? Too bad. I kind of like that Manning guy."

"Reeeaaaally." Jack drew out the word as she had earlier.

Sam waited for him to seat himself on one end of the couch before settling in near him. She stretched out again, resting her head in his lap, reaching up to thread her fingers with his. "Yup. He's got that sort of goofy boy appeal."

"Hmmph." With his free hand, Jack brushed stray long locks of golden hair from her forehead,

then tugged her chin toward him until he could see her eyes. "Are you messin' with me?"

Sam smiled up at him, that open, warm, loving smile he loved so much. She bent her head quickly and kissed his fingers. "Yup."


"'Cause you messed with me." Kissing his fingers again, Sam gave him long, sincere look. "And, just 'cause I can."

"Hmmph." Keeping one hand firmly tangled in hers, Jack grabbed the remote and began flipping through the channels. He passed a channel showing a bowl-eye view of a puppy drinking water on a mini football field and surfed until he found the pre-game. "Funny."


"That's why I bought you the flowers."


"Just 'cause I can."

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