All kinds of delicious established Jack and Sam fluff abide herein. Fluffy, fluffy fluff-fluff.
If that's not your thing, you've been warned.
Written in honor of Gateworld's Ship Day, 2010.
At first he thought it was a high-tech toothbrush of some sort.
And then maybe road work—someone on the street outside the brownstone performing maintenance on a light pole, or a storm drain.
Reaching blindly to one side, he grabbed a pillow and plunked it directly over his face, but it didn't help. He could still hear it.
Through the pillow, Jack listened more intently, fighting past the haze of his usual early-morning bleariness.
Mechanical whirring—metallic clunks. The rubberized thud of a something making contact with something hard—marble? Porcelain?
No—a drill. Or perhaps an electric screwdriver.
Probably the cordless drill she'd been looking for the night before as he'd finished up the dishes. She'd escaped the kitchen as he'd been drying the last of the pots, heading into the spare room that he'd used to store all of her boxes of Very Important Stuff while she'd been off-world. He'd peeked in on her on his way to the bedroom, but she'd been so busy restacking the boxes so that she could line up their computer-printed labels that she hadn't seen him.
Just as well. He remembered he'd taken quite the gander at her well-rounded rear as she'd puttered around, lifting and bending. He grinned beneath the pillow—that particular pleasure would have been worth it even if she'd caught him leering at her. Boy howdy.
Slow and then faster, then slow again—and then the tell-tale kachinka chinka chink when the screw refused to budge any further.
He heard a clunk, and then another turn with the drill. And then, his wife muttered one of her famous G-rated curses. Walt Disney would have been proud.
Shoving the pillow to one side, Jack turned over in bed, cracking his eyes open the bare minimum possible. To be honest—it hadn't been the greatest night. It had started out well enough—there had been, as a matter of fact, parts that had been pretty darn near perfect. Two of them, he amended with a self-satisfied smirk.
But after that portion of the evening had been concluded, they'd tried to settle in to sleep. Only to find themselves constantly sliding towards each other on Jack's admittedly antiquated queen-sized mattress.
They'd tried the whole sleeping-while-cuddling thing—but abandoned that position when she'd sneezed whenever his chest hair had tickled her nose. So she'd turned over and they'd made a valiant attempt at spooning. But she slept cold and he preferred as few covers as possible, and trying to maintain the optimum sleeping temperature had proved impossible. Not to mention the fact that his arm had fallen asleep rather quickly under the weight of her head and that fabulous brain.
And so they'd each turned outward and found that they were quite comfortable—he on his side facing one wall and she on her side facing the other. That had been better.
Until the cavernous divot where Jack had spent the last fifteen years sleeping smack-dab in the middle of the bed had sucked them both towards it like the sand creature in that Star Wars movie. The Empire one—with the princess girl in the gold bikini and the Jaffa Butt guy.
Kachinka chinka chink.
He groaned and rolled onto his back, cracking his eyes just a tidge further. The ceiling of the brownstone seemed too bright, somehow, and he turned his head just enough to see why.
For some insane reason, she'd opened his drapes.
Their drapes. His corrections were coming more automatically, now. For all that they'd been married for a while, this was the first time they were going to actually live together. They'd spent a few weeks at his cabin after the wedding—before he'd been recalled to DC and she'd packed up and gone to Nevada. After that, it had been a few days and nights here and there—usually in hotels or at the cabin. Her leave opportunities had been sporadic at best.
But then the state of the universe had somehow equalized just enough, and she'd decided it was time for a good, long break. So she'd shown up at the Pentagon a few days ago and invited him fishing.
Which was great. Fantastic. Perfect, even. If they could just figure out the whole sleeping thing.
The mechanical whirring of the drill intruded again, and he kicked at the sheets that had somehow ended up tangled around his lower legs. Lifting his hands to his face, he scrubbed at his eyes with his palms. Interlacing his fingers, he lifted himself just enough to insert his linked hands between his head and his pillow. He squinted in the nearly-bearable morning sun, glaring in the direction of the bathroom, where light seeped out around the partially closed door.
But the only answer he received was a further spate of drilling.
More loudly. "Sam!"
Kachinka chinka chink.
He pulled out the big guns. "Carter!"
With an exaggerated groan, he rolled out of bed, scratching absently at his stomach above the waist band of his boxer shorts. Wincing at the cold wood floor, he rounded the end of the bed and padded over to the bathroom entrance. He leaned against the jamb, lifting a hand and giving the door a sharp rap with his knuckle.
Immediately, the drilling stopped. He heard some fumbling, and then a sharp exhalation, and then the door flew wide.
His wife peered out around the frame, and Jack, valuing his life, choked back a laugh.
She'd gone to sleep the night before without having unbraided her hair, and sometime during their more vigorous nocturnal activities, the neat coiffure had muddled itself into a nest of sorts. Which was now tamped down around the edges by the wide elastic band of the safety goggles she had donned.
Her head appeared to be a large blonde mushroom.
Plaster coated her hair and face, and rested in a layer of stark white on her bare shoulders and the straps of the silky slip-like thing she'd put on before hopping in bed, and which she had kept on—even while deciding to do her little construction project.
He assiduously avoided looking anywhere funny, which left him staring at the tip of her nose. "Sam?"
Those blue eyes widened further. "Yeah, Jack?"
"What are you doing?"
Her mouth folded inward for a minute before she exhaled again. Peeking at something inside the bathroom, she tilted her head to one side before looking back at her spouse. "Um—drilling."
"No. Just holes."
He felt that out for a moment before answering. "Holes."
She nodded slowly, the goggles lending her expression an air of owlishness that he would have found endearing if it weren't so stinking early.
"Why the holes?" She jiggled her shoulders for a minute, returning her attention to her work space. "Well, I'm mounting a mirror."
"There's already a mirror in there." O'Neill nodded towards the fixture he couldn't see, on the other side of the wall he currently leaned against. "I'm fairly certain it came with the house."
"Yes. I know. But this is a different kind of mirror." She moved backwards, deeper into the bathroom, the drill in one hand, the other hand lifting to pull the goggles off her face. "It's a lighted magnifying mirror."
He shuffled around the frame to step into the master bath. He'd liked the room when he'd first walked through the house. It was large—roomy. More hexagonal than square. Twin sinks shared a marble countertop directly to his right, and something that the frou-frou real estate lady had called a "garden tub" sat on a large elevated area just beyond. Behind him, a separate door led into the large walk-in closet, and a little further on was another door, behind which sat the john. In the far back corner, enclosed by large glass doors, was a ginormous shower. It had a marble bench along the back end, and Jack had looked at it with what he was sure was a suggestive leer on his face as he'd told Ms. Frou-frou that he'd take it.
He'd been moderately surprised that she hadn't slapped him.
But now the majority of that awesome facility was covered in plaster dust, and mounted on the wall just to the right of the large glass, underneath one of the elegant light scones?—no—sconces—was a round mirror. An unremarkable thing, except for the fact that it sat on an arm that—he reached out and tried—moved outward when he pulled on it.
"We already have a mirror."
She pursed her lips again. "I know. This is a different kind of mirror."
"What's so special about it?"
"It's magnified." She swiveled it around to show him. Indeed, there were two sides.
Jack leaned forward and tried it. His head looked like a mushroom, now. He smiled experimentally, and his teeth took over the reflection. He smiled for real, giving the doohickey a little flip.
Big. Normal. Big. Normal. "Cool."
Sam neared, extending a hand and flicking a tiny switch on the side of the gadget. "And it has lights."
"For those times when you really need to see each and every pore?"
She shrugged. "Kind of."
"But we already have a mirror."
Her head bobbed from side to side. "Well, this one is better for certain other things."
"Ah—careful, now. You're starting to sound just vague enough to be from Tollana."
She yanked at the goggles, pulling them the rest of the way off her head. "It's a girl thing, Jack."
"Oh. Girl stuff." Jack appraised the new entity again. "Make-up. Hair. Face wrangling."
A dimple flashed in her cheek. "Something like that."
He leaned one hip against the counter and stared at her. "Come on, Sam. You woke me up at O-dark-thirty drilling to install another mirror into a bathroom that already had a perfectly good mirror because this one can get—what—ten inches closer to your face?"
The tip of her tongue made its way across her bottom lip. "It's lighted."
With the back of one plaster-dust covered hand, she swiped at her plaster-dust coated cheek, her eyes never leaving his. Finally, a resigned frown made its way onto her lips, and she pointed at the thing with her drill with a muffled sigh. "It's so I can see while I'm plucking."
Jack's eyes flew wide. Heaving himself around, he turned to look through the door at the bed, measuring the distance between it and the little mirror. With one hand, he swung the articulated arm towards the door, and then extended the accordion-like support as far as it would go. It halted just short of the jamb.
Backing towards the door and then turning to face his wife, Jack shook his head. With a flattened hand, he indicated the mirror and where it had stopped—blatantly reflecting nothing at all interesting—at the door frame. "Not that I'm complaining about the idea—I'm as adventurous as the next guy—but I don't think it's going to work."
Her cheeks flared scarlet. "I so didn't say what you think I just said."
"You said that it was to see better during—"
She rolled her eyes. "No. I said 'plucking'." She gestured towards the still-rumpled bed. "Not—that."
Jack valiantly resisted the urge to pout. "Well, crap."
She sighed. Heavily. "Plucking. As in, plucking hairs."
"What kind of hairs?"
"Little ones—like eyebrows. You know?" She waved a hand at her face. "And the odd other ones."
His scowl asked the question he didn't dare actually verbalize.
And yet, she still managed to interpret it. "Yes, Jack, we women have weird little hairs that grow in weird little places. We use mirrors like this to see them so that we can pluck them out. With tweezers."
"You get used to it."
He pinched his thumb and forefinger together and flailed. Just a little. "You just yank them out."
"Hence the magnification."
"And the lighting."
Sam nodded, "It makes the process easier."
"Safe plucking. There's a thought."
She looked embarrassed to actually be amused. "So you don't accidentally pluck too much."
"Oh. Well. Good thing, then." He made something of a show of returning the new piece of decor back to its folded and un-lit position. Turning, he watched as she brushed some plaster off herself, and then stifled a yawn behind her hand. "Still tired?"
"I couldn't sleep." She laid the drill down on the counter between the twin sinks, and then reached behind her to find the elastic that had been securing her braid. "What with that awful bed of yours, and my internal clock being completely out of whack."
"So you decided to get up and drill?"
"Well, you can normally sleep through anything." She tugged the band out of her hair and she slipped it around her wrist, and then started separating the tangled strands. "I figured two, three holes tops. But then I had to wire the thing into the electrical system because I didn't want to use batteries or the AC adapter all the time—so—"
Jack pulled her towards him and then turned her handily around, taking inventory of the snarled mess at the back of her head. Choosing a logical point of entry, he started to deftly tug the ruined braid apart. "So the job took longer than you thought it would. But having started it, you wanted to finish it."
Making her stop talking had always been something of a talent of his. In the past, however, he hadn't been able to use this particular strategy. Not that he hadn't wanted to, of course.
"Mm-hmm." Her assent was accompanied by her body leaning slightly against his, the muscles in her neck relaxing as his fingers prodded and tugged, his ministrations liberally interspersed with other admittedly less helpful but definitely more interesting—touches. A low hum of pleasure escaped from her, followed by a soft sound that reminded him of a contented kitten. "Sorry I woke you up."
Her hair was longer than he'd remembered. It slid through his fingers like heavy silk as he worked with the knots. Lighter at her crown, darker at the bottom, it was cool on the top and warmer underneath, where it had been pressed close to her head as she slept. "It's okay."
"I didn't mean to."
The corner of his mouth jerked upwards. With a final shake, he finished, combing his fingers through the dusty strands. With both hands, he kneaded slightly at her scalp, and was rewarded with a low, breathy sigh that seemed to make its way through both of them. His smile widened. "Good?"
She moaned again in the back of her throat. "You have no idea."
He massaged the soft skin just behind her ears, and then shoved the heavy mass of hair forward over her shoulder and, with both thumbs, made methodical, gentle circles on the column of her neck for several long moments. And then, he lowered his face and replaced his thumbs with his lips.
She shivered and made a noise that sounded like a purr.
He grinned against her skin. Nipped ever so slightly with his teeth. "More?"
"Mm-hmm." She didn't nod—but rather pressed herself backwards, fitting herself more tightly against him. "Oh yeah."
"Then you'll have to go back to bed with me." He inhaled, gathering her scent, her essence before exhaling, blowing lightly on the fine hairs on the back of her neck, following the resulting shivers with tiny kisses.
She sighed again, melting against him as his hands flowed down her body. "At this point, Jack, I'd go anywhere with you."
And, always having been a woman of her word, she did.
"You know, we're really going to have to do something about this bed."
She lay half-sprawled on top of him, her fingers rustling through the sparse hair on his chest, making patterns in the plaster dust that now covered him, as well. They were buried in the deep indentation in the center of the mattress.
"I know." Eyes closed, he had been concentrating on memorizing the exact softness of the skin on her shoulder. "Although I'm not going to complain about the divot at the moment."
He felt, rather than heard her laugh against his chest.
"Well, right this minute it's kind of handy. I'll give you that." Her hand stilled, flattening on his sternum. "But I can't sleep like this."
"We'll go out today and find something else."
Her hand started its movement again. "And a new blender. Yours doesn't chop ice very well."
"And a new blender."
"And I need some things for my computer. And some shelving for the den so that I can unpack my books."
"We'll take the truck."
He moved his fingers up to her neck, to the ultra-sensitive skin in the hollow of her throat. It was even softer than her shoulder.
Unfortunately, she'd entered her planning mode, and no more delicious shivers seemed to be forthcoming. The list in her head had started to unfurl, and nothing could stop that list. Especially when she started enumerating the items out loud. "And more hangers."
Obediently, his fingers paused as he replied. "More hangers."
His whole body infused with an overwhelming satiation, he opened his eyes, gazing upward at the ceiling, really seeing it for the first time. Boring, painted white, it was a large expanse of nothing, framed around the edges with carved decorations of some sort. Ms. Frou-frou had exulted in the molding, but he hadn't cared much. He'd been more interested in the bathroom and its Shower of Wonder.
But that ceiling needed something—different.
"Feel like drilling more holes?"
She turned slightly and looked up at him. "Why?"
"Because I just thought of one more place we could use a mirror."
Her hair slid against his skin as she nodded. "The guest bathroom. I've got one for there, too."
"No—a big mirror."
He could practically feel her thinking.
Finally, she answered. "In the entry way? Above the narrow table?"
"Well, then, where?" She turned her head to look at him.
Catching her eye, he transferred it pointedly to the ceiling above them.
She glared at him and groaned. "You're kidding, right?"
"No, I really think it would be handy."
"Handy?" She levered herself up with a hand on his sternum. "Handy how?"
"Well just think." He motioned heavenward. "You wouldn't have to go to the bathroom to use the one in there."
"And then we could just stay in bed together and pluck."
"As much as you wanted."
"Jack. You really can shut up now."
He gleefully ignored her. "You could see everything. From all positions."
"Really." She groaned and attempted to burrow her way into his side. "Seriously."
"Plucking all day long. Just plucking and plucking to our hearts' content."
"Oh, good grief."
"Maybe we could find a new bed with a built-in tweezer nook." He grinned wide. "You know, for all that plucking we'll do with that big mirror up there."
With a less than gracious snort, she rolled over and pressed him more firmly into the divot. And when his wife did that, he'd learned that she meant business.
Turns out, she was pretty good at making him stop talking, too.
Which he didn't mind. Not one little bit.