Yet another little one-shot inspired by PolRobin at Gateworld. She sent out a loud "wonder" about jealous Sam. This is what popped into my fron.
As usual, Fluffy and Shippy warnings do apply. Be ye therefore forewarned.
In the next aisle over, someone was giggling. A deep, rumbling laugh answered the giggle. A deep, familiar rumbling laugh.
Sam stopped, cocking her head towards the sound, angling to hear more clearly.
"Oh yeah—that's nice."
"I know—doesn't it feel great?"
"I didn't know it could feel like this."
"Well, it's all in the equipment, Jack."
Sam tried to place the sounds, but couldn't—fabric was brushing together, and what sounded like skin moving on skin. She set her jaw, frowning.
"Well, now, you just hold it here. And then this goes—like this."
"Wow. That's cool."
"And this is a machined aluminum fore-nut, and it locks the reel in place on this—and did I mention that the rod is titanium?"
"Gotta love those nuts. And—holy—feel the weight on that thing. It's beautifully balanced."
"Well, it's the best-rated rod we have."
"I can see why."
"It's on sale, today, too. So you can have this beauty for twenty percent off. Here—hold it again."
"Geez—this thing is sweet."
"Jack, you've got great technique with your rod." Again, the giggling, and the answering laugh.
Sam's eyebrow rose, in an eerie approximation of Teal'c's. She shifted the weight on her hip, rubbed at the spot on her abdomen where the corner of the box had dug in.
"Well, you know, guys are particular about their equipment."
There was a brief metallic sound, and then a whirring. The female of the two voices squealed, and then more giggling. "Dude, you're the bomb!"
Sam rolled her eyes and shook her head.
"So, did you need to talk with your wife about this?"
"Oh—she won't care. She's all involved right now in other crap."
"You mentioned that she's expecting?"
"Yeah—in a few more weeks."
Sam started walking again, soft-footing it down the aisle towards the endcap. She hefted the box again around the large swell of her belly, wiping some fine orange dust off with her free hand. The entire purpose of this shopping trip had been the box she carried—clay pigeons.
Some women craved chocolate or pickles in pregnancy. Vala had gone through a stage with the twins when she'd craved chalk.
Sam craved making things blow up. Instead of nesting, or eating, or decorating, she'd found immense amounts of pleasure in watching clay pigeons explode. It had made the pregnancy bearable. Nothing cured morning sickness—or in Sam's case, day-long sickness that had lasted all the way into her third trimester—like seating the butt of an AR-15 against her shoulder and taking aim on something. Way better than Saltines and Ginger Ale.
She'd already carried her box of ammo up to the register, and had come back into the Sportsman's section to find the targets and her husband.
She'd found them both, apparently.
"So is she big?"
There was a pause, and Sam could imagine her husband's face. Even more so when the female started laughing again.
"That bad, huh?"
"Well, I'd never say it out loud—"
Sam reached the end of the aisle in time to hear a snapping sound, and then the sales girl said, "So, try it with this reel, Jack."
"What's different about it?"
"Stronger, lighter. Bigger rotary action—look." There was a shuffle, and then a few odd sounds, and then the girl said, "Here—let me—"
And when Sam rounded the corner, she stopped short. Her husband stood in the middle of the aisle, his back to her, holding a fishing pole. Behind him, with her arms wrapped around him, a twenty-something red-head in hip-hugger jeans and a skin tight shirt stood, adjusting his hold on the rod.
"So, you just cast like this—and see? Smooth." The red head cooed over his shoulder into his ear.
"Holy crap. That's sweet."
"Isn't it? I just love this one." She trailed her hands down Jack's arms, squeezing slightly on his biceps. "Good thing you work out. This baby needs someone with control."
The girl let her hands slide the rest of the way down Jack's arms and then stopped at Jack's sides, keeping her pose behind him. He moved to emulate a cast, and she followed him with her own hands, sliding them back up his arms. "Good—great motion—and notice that you don't have the traditional fore-grip—who uses that, anyway?"
"I've never used it." He turned, gazing adoringly at the rod. "Well, Kelly, I've gotta have this."
"No need to talk with the old ball and chain, huh?" Finally, the girl stepped away, but only to sidle closer, looking up at Jack from beneath her eyelashes. "But then—you're a real man—an old school guy. A General, you said. No need to get permission to do what you want, huh?"
"Nope." Briefly, Jack's gaze rested on Kelly's impressive chest, which was thrust in his direction. He gulped, though, and then lifted his eyes, running them along the length of the pole. "She won't care. Like I said—baby."
"Poor Jack." She pouted winsomely, shifting her posture, making various things bounce. "But at least you can get out of the house and go fishing when it's all too much at home."
Sam knew the moment that his focus had readjusted and he saw her. It was the same moment that a too-bright smile plastered itself on his face.
"Well, lookee here!" His grinned widened, stupidly, and he motioned with the hand still holding the rod. "It's her!"
"Her?" Sam's mouth flattened. "Who's 'her'?" She stepped into the aisle, making a conscious effort not to waddle.
"You're her. I mean—you're you. My wife." He smiled even more broadly, and Sam was genuinely concerned that his face might crack. The closer she got to him, the more brittle he looked.
Kelly shot Sam's face a brief glance and then looked down at the roundness of her belly. The girl's face blanched, and she forced back a look of pity. Gathering herself, she breathed deeply, and reached behind herself to stick the tips of her fingers into her back pockets. She shifted her weight onto a single foot, jutting one perfect little hip forward. Her t-shirt was not only skin tight, it was also too short, and Sam caught a glimpse of a belly button ring and a tattoo just above her belt. She tossed her auburn curls back over her shoulder and blinked.
"I'm Kelly. I've just been showing Jack here some new equipment."
"I'm sure." Sam tried to sound light. It didn't work.
"Well, anyway, he's found one he likes." Again, those bright green eyes flickered to the Sam's protruding stomach, and Kelly's nostrils flared, her smile becoming even more forced.
"I'm sure about that, too." Dry? Sam's voice sounded like the dunes of Abydos.
"Well, uh. I'd better go?" She flickered a glance at the man beside her. "So—like, remember to tell them at the front that I helped you—and you enjoy that rod, General Jack." She turned, and Sam could see Kelly's eyes widen as they met Jack's, and she laid a condoling hand on his forearm before heading away.
To Jack's credit, he didn't watch her leave. Sam narrowed her eyes as that perfect little heart shaped rear wiggled its way down the aisle and around the corner, out of sight.
Briefly—ever so momentarily in Sam's mind's eye—Kelly's face was transposed onto a clay pigeon.
"She was showing me this rod." Jack held it out. "See?"
"Uh-huh." Sam nodded, her mouth a tight line. "She was showing you something."
"Well, it's a nice one, so I guess I'll take it."
"Really." It wasn't a question. It sort of sounded like an indictment.
"So." He gestured towards Sam's box. "Can I carry that for you?"
"Come on." He held his empty hand out.
Sam turned and walked back up the way she'd come, resettling, yet again, the heavy box on her hip.
She continued walking through the sporting goods store, through the exercise equipment and running shoes and towards the cash registers. Upon reaching a specific lane, she plunked the box down next to her ammunition with a decided thud. The cashier, who up until then had been reading a magazine of some sort, jumped at the noise. He laid it aside and logged into his terminal and started scanning her items.
She heard her husband come up behind her, felt him at her back. Saw the cashier react to the rod in his hand.
"Wow. Dude. You're getting the Daiwa Steez?"
"Yeah—she's a beauty, isn't she?" Sam could hear the adoration in her husband's voice.
"I've been saving up for one of those—but still can't get one—even with the employee discount. You're a lucky guy. Did Kelly help you pick it out?"
"Even luckier." The young man raised his eyebrows suggestively. "If you know what I mean."
Sam sighed heavily, then reached into the pocket of her maternity jeans and pulled out her bank card. She handed it to the kid, then jerked her head towards the man behind her. "I'm paying for his, too."
"Carter—what are you doing? I'll pay."
She watched as the total appeared on the screen—felt her eyes flare wide when she saw the amount—and then turned to her husband. "That much money for what's essentially a stick?"
"A titanium stick." Jack responded weakly, "With machined aluminum fore-nuts."
Sam muttered something under her breath and watched as the young man bagged her items and then pulled out a case from behind his register for the pole. He deftly broke the pole down and seated it in the case, then wrapped it gingerly in paper and bagged it with a near reverence that had Sam's jaw working overtime.
"You enjoy that, Sir." The cashier said earnestly, handing the bag to the General. "And good luck." Ever so briefly, his eyes flitted to Sam.
At the last minute, Sam intercepted the pole. Leaving the bagged ammo and pigeons for her husband to carry, she headed for the door.
"Carter! Wait up! You have my pole!"
She turned, awkwardly, carefully. After a pause she nodded, indicating the package with a deliberate move of her arm.
"Yes, I do." She pinned her husband with a steely look. "And for the near future, you're going to be fishing solo, dude."
And with that, she turned, flung open the door, and waddled her way out into the sun.