Title: I Love It When A Plan Comes Together
Summary: Dear Airline, I was marooned on an alien planet…
Categorization: Sheer silliness. Sam/Jack
Warnings: PG, very slight language.
A/N: Ha! This hasn't happened in a while. Jack and Sam decided to have a silly conversation during my drive to work. I wrote it down on the back of a memo I probably should have read instead. Oh well.
I Love It When A Plan Comes Together
They've been stuck on the damn planet for two weeks.
Two weeks of Carter with her head buried in the DHD saying, "Almost got it fixed!" and then, you know, not fixing it. Two weeks of Mitchell and his wide-eyed hero worship of doom. Two weeks of Daniel saying that this must all be Jack's fault for tagging along for no good reason other than he was twitchy as hell and was tired of DC. Two weeks of Teal'c not saying it, but silently (and pointedly) agreeing with Daniel.
Even though the planet has proven to be completely benign, Jack sticks to doing daily perimeter checks, mainly to keep himself from killing someone, but also to avoid feeling like a completely useless fifth wheel. Today, their fourteenth day on planet Boring As Hell, Jack heads for the woods as usual, Teal'c automatically pushing to his feet to follow, when Carter miraculously pulls her head out of the DHD and says, "I'll come with you, sir."
Teal'c and Jack share a look of amazement, because they have all tried and failed to get her to do anything else since the day they got here. So even though Carter is their only hope of getting home and probably shouldn't be wasted on a useless perimeter check, he's glad enough to get her to do anything else for five minutes that he easily acquiesces.
Plus, he may miss jaunting around with her on alien planets. It may have had some tiny thing to do with why he bullied his way onto this mission in the first place.
It's not until an hour into their uneventful and quiet walk that Jack thinks to consider that Carter may have ulterior motives, that Carter always has reasons for what she does. Or maybe her silence is just making him paranoid. They haven't really seen each other in a long time, after all. A really long time. But that doesn't seem to have occurred to her.
Mostly she hasn't done much at all except glance at her watch like she's bored as hell or wishing she was anywhere else in the universe. She'd been the one to ask to come along, for crying out loud!
"You got somewhere to be, Colonel?" Jack complains at one point when he just can't stand it anymore.
She either doesn't care, or doesn't notice that it's annoying him, just smiles at him and says, "Nope."
Jack decides silence just may be better for his sanity in the long run.
After another thirty minutes the trees thin out into a wide meadow full of purple flowers that Jack may have been deliberately aiming for, just to see Carter's reaction.
She glances at her watch.
Jack rolls his eyes to cover his disappointment and starts out across the meadow at a clip slightly faster than is probably necessary. Carter catches up, falling into step next to him.
"I bought plane tickets," she says, her first words since they started that were not in direct reaction to a question. "The day before we ended up here."
He isn't sure what the hell this has to do with anything, but she sounds disgruntled enough that he assumes she somehow feels the need to discuss it. Hell, maybe he's just pathetic enough to be happy having her talking about anything.
"Yeah?" he grunts, still a little put out.
"Yeah," she says. "I mention it because my flight was supposed to be today."
Jack thinks back over her increasingly frantic attempts to get the gate working over the last few days. She must have really been excited about that trip. "Worried about getting a refund?"
She laughs, and Jack tries to feel annoyed at the little thrill of pleasure the sound gives him. "Dear Airline, I was marooned on an alien planet…"
Despite himself, he smiles. "It could work."
She shakes her head, falling back into silence, but she's got a smile on her face now, her eyes for once not glued to her watch, but taking in the landscape around them with appreciation. The silence between them is more companionable now, easy. Like it used to be.
"So," Jack asks after a while. "Where were you going?"
She stoops down, plucking a flower from amidst the tall grass, her absorption in the task complete. "DC," she says.
"DC?" Jack repeats stupidly. But it still sounded better than the alternative of, 'Hey, that's where I live!' in an excited, childish voice.
Carter twists the flower around in her fingers like she's trying to subdue it with dizziness, and he thinks maybe she's using it as a deliberate excuse not to look at him. "Yeah."
"Oh," he says, trying to sound as nonchalant as she does. "Did you have big plans?"
"Yeah," she says, nodding solemnly. "Really, really big plans. Ambitious, even."
"I see," Jack says, even though he doesn't really.
"It really sucks," Carter continues, finally tucking the flower into her vest so that it bobs and sways with her step, its little head nodding along as if in understanding. "All that planning out the airlock."
She seems genuinely put out. "I'm sorry," he says.
She shrugs. "It happens."
They pass out of the meadow and into the trees again, Carter slowing her step to fall back behind him in single file. It makes his neck itch, not being able to look at her, particularly because he has the strong feeling that this conversation is nowhere near done.
They've only walked another 500 feet before he gives in.
"Why DC?" he asks.
She's quiet for a bit, but he absolutely refuses to turn back to look at her.
"It's been six months," she eventually says. She doesn't have to say since what. Her father. Her almost wedding. Earth not dying. His transfer. He hears her take a deliberate breath. "I finally decided you'd given me enough space."
Jack concentrates on not letting his steps falter, even as his mind is reeling. "You think I should give you…less space?"
"That was the idea," she says.
Jack swallows carefully, his mouth suddenly deciding to impersonate the Sahara Desert. "Hence the plane tickets," he manages to say.
He's not sure when, but at some point he's stopped walking because Carter steps right on past him, her gait easy and even as if they are not having one of the most insane conversations of their entire acquaintance. He scrambles to keep up when she threatens to disappear over then next hill without him.
"And you're telling me this now because…," he says, praying she will give him some small clue here.
She finally stops, turning back to look at him with a gleam in her eye not unlike the one she gives to alien technology that she thinks is being overly stubborn for no good reason. "Because I don't want you to get the wrong idea."
Jack blinks. All he's got right now are wrong ideas. Each idea more gloriously wrong than the last.
She tilts her head to one side. "I don't want you to think I'm doing this because I've given up on going home."
"You're not?" he asks, still having no idea what the hell is going on.
"No," she confirms.
"Because this is really about…plane tickets," he says, trying to keep up with her logic.
She smiles brightly, obviously pleased that he's getting it. "Yes. Exactly." She glances at her watch again, giving it a happy little nod, but he's too focused on how ridiculously close she's standing to him now to care. "And my plane just landed ten minutes ago."
"Ten minutes ago?" Jack asks.
She glances at her watch, confirming the time. "Yup."
She stares back at him and it finally all begins to make a wonderful sort of sense. Carter was never one to let a perfectly good plan go to waste.
"Do you think I'm there to pick you up?" he asks.
She looks down, her fingers toying with the flower tucked in her vest. All he can make out of her face now is her bottom lip, the way she bites down on it as if fighting off a giant smile. "Probably. You are a nice guy like that."
"I am," he agrees. "I'll probably even wait with you for your luggage."
She shakes her head. "I only brought a carry-on," she says, her hand lifting as if hefting an imaginary bag. His lips twitch. Just another reason he loves this woman (yes, he's admitting it, because she's on an alien planet pretending she's flown out to visit him, and she's probably been planning this conversation since the moment she took her head out of the DHD, for God's sake)—she's the only person he knows with an even quirkier sense of humor than his own.
He takes a step towards her. "I'd probably try to be gentlemanly and carry it for you," he says, reaching for her hand with the imaginary bag.
Her fingers brush his. "I'd probably let you."
"That's nice of you."
She smiles, her fingers threading through his.
"And then what happens?" he asks.
"The plan, of course," she says, somehow managing to step even closer to him, even as she is still just annoyingly not touching.
"Ah. Of course," he says, trying to ignore the hoarseness of his voice. "Does your plan have a codename?"
She pulls off his sunglasses, letting them hang down against his chest. "I think you would probably call it…"—she pauses, her tongue darting out to wet her bottom lip— "Geronimo."
"That's my favori—." He doesn't get to finish, but he doesn't really care because she's kissing him.
Sam Carter is kissing him.
And it's amazing.
He doesn't miss that she's still just a tiny bit cautious though, just an edge of hesitance like she isn't quite sure what his reaction will be to her well-executed plan (like he might somehow not want this—is she insane?), and so he tightens his hand around hers, his other knocking her cover off and tangling in her hair. That seems to be the small signal she's looking for because she lifts up on her toes, her mouth opening under his.
He tries to press closer, to pull her against him, but layers of tactical vests and P-90s are making it clumsy and impossible, and doing a nice job of reminding them why this plan was not meant for this specific location. (He never thought in a million years that he would get to kiss her in alien sunlight.)
She pulls back, staring up at him with more dazed confusion than he's ever seen on her face before. She doesn't go far, probably because her free hand is twisted in his vest. Or because he refuses to stop touching her hair. Whatever.
She licks her lips. "And that," she says, slightly breathless, "is Plan Geronimo."
He likes it. A lot.
"How do you think it went?" he asks, his thumb sliding down her cheek.
She nods a couple of times like the muscles in her neck aren't quite working at peak efficiency. "Very, very well. What do you think?"
"I think…" He has to clear his throat. "I think I'm really sorry you missed your flight, Carter."
She smiles, something intimate and conspiratorial and completely his alone. "It's okay. I'll just reschedule as soon as I get home."
Oh yes. They are so getting off this damn planet. And soon. "And then Plan Geronimo will be back up for business?" he asks, probably sounding a little more eager than a guy as cool as him is supposed to sound.
She nods, not seeming to mind his lapse in cool even a little bit. "Only…I fear that in my haste, I may forget to book a place to stay."
Jack grins. "Now that sounds like a plan."
She's still laughing when he kisses her.