Yet another fic brought about by a prompt from a conversation on Gateworld. Someone brought up musicals and this one in particular, so—naturally!—my mind wouldn't just let it be. This one isn't long and fluffy—so we'll just call it short and sweet.
"Hey, whatchya watching?"
Sam jumped—obviously surprised—then quickly changed channels with a frantic movement of the remote. The program that came up was an infomercial--someone was selling a fork that tested the temperature of grilled meats. Handy. But Jack would not be deterred. He'd seen something distinctly NOT an infomercial on the screen as he'd entered the living room. And Sam had been sniffling. Still was, truth be told, and sitting huddled into the couch with her legs tucked under her.
Jack pursed his lips and looked pointedly at the television screen. "So—what was that?"
"It was nothing. A stupid movie." Sam laid the remote on the couch next to her and then swiped at her face with both hands.
"It doesn't matter, Jack."
"Something exciting?" His leer told her he'd gone directly into the gutter with that thought.
"No." She glared at him with moist eyes. "It was nothing."
Jack moved around the end of the couch and insinuated himself between Sam and the coffee table. He snagged the remote with quick, expert hands, and found the recall button with his thumb. Aiming it at the television, he cast a pointedly skeptical look at Sam while he depressed the button.
She watched grumpily, resting her chin on one hand, her elbow balanced on the arm of the couch.
The screen changed from some guy with an accent selling the uber-fork to a darkened rainy night, and a gazebo, and that lady who had been in that one movie with the kids and the old guy with the cannon—Mary something. Dick van Dyke had been in it, too, and there had been some kind of funky bottomless carpet bag. And dancing penguins at one point. And singing. That movie had been a singing movie.
But there were no dancing penguins in this movie—just rain, and a tall dude in a suit, and this dark gazebo.
And more singing. This was a singing movie, too.
"A musical?" He didn't like musicals. Refused to watch them, as a matter of fact. The only reason why he'd known about the penguin movie is that Sara had watched it with Charlie on their brand new Beta-max while he'd been rebuilding the engine to his 1967 Mustang in the kitchen. The dancing penguins were bizarre enough that they'd drawn his attention away from a tricky transmission.
His dislike of musicals had started when he was young. He'd dated a well-built college freshman when he'd been a senior in high school, and she'd insisted that he accompany her to a production that was happening at some local art theater—something about hair. He'd fallen asleep around halfway through, and all he remembered from before he'd dozed off was that people had spontaneously burst into song with absolutely no provocation whatsoever. And they'd inflicted all that singing on the audience. Needless to say, Kathy—Who? Jack tried to remember her last name, but only came up with a vague picture of a dark-haired girl with a great—um, figure. Whatever, she hadn't even let him get to the dug-out with her, let alone first base.
But he wasn't going to say all that to his currently pouting wife. He wasn't a complete idiot. So, he settled for repeating himself. "I don't like musicals."
"Well, you weren't supposed to be here."
"Rain." He jerked his head toward the large picture window in the living room. But a glance told him that the picture window was currently completely obscured by drapes. He frowned at her less-than-patient look. "Well, anyway, it's raining, and apparently Daniel has something against sitting in the boat in the rain. I tried to explain that the fish bite better when it's raining, but the man has the fortitude of a Kleenex." Jack shrugged and sighed.
"Maybe it's not the rain that's the problem."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Jack's eyes narrowed. "After all, I'm not the one sitting alone in the dark watching a musical on a rainy day."
Sam cast him a threatening look.
"Unless, you're into musicals."
"See, here, that's not really an answer." Jack pointed at her with the remote. "That's like the 'I'm fine' answer."
"'I'm fine' is a perfectly good answer. So is 'not really'."
Jack waited, but Sam refused to say anything else. Finally, he sighed and indicated the TV again with a nod of his head. "So, you're into musicals."
Jack let out an exasperated snort, and his hand tightened on the remote. "You're watching a musical, therefore, you're into musicals."
"No. I'm not into musicals."
"You're crying over a musical that you're not into?"
"The wet eyes, the red nose." Jack raised an eyebrow. "Either it's crying or you're Rudolph with allergies."
Sam considered, worrying at her bottom lip with her white, perfect little teeth. "Okay—fine. I'll tell you. But you have to promise that you won't laugh at me."
"C'mon, Sam, musicals are laugh-worthy. Random people bursting out into song—it's ridiculous."
She took a deep breath and then peeked at him again. Her eyes matched her nose. "It's 'The Sound of Music'."
"Well, that's obvious. I hear music—I think I can recognize the sound of it."
"It's just this particular musical. I saw it when I was a kid. My dad used to sing 'Edelweiss' to me when I went to bed and he was at home."
Her chin trembled slightly, and he found his own expression easing slightly. His silence urged her to continue.
"And it's the last movie I watched with my mom before she—" Sam faltered, unable to finish the sentence. She looked up at the ceiling, blinking rapidly, biting her bottom lip.
So Jack sat down, watching her steadily. Holding out his arm, he waggled his fingers at her with a soft, "Scooch over."
She scooched, pressing herself into his side, her cheek flush against his chest. Jack toed off his soggy shoes and extended his long legs to rest on the coffee table. Reaching an arm to wrap around her, he rubbed lingeringly at the curve of her shoulder. "Well, then. There's a reason to like this musical."
And he laid the remote on the couch beside him and settled in.