Gifted

A short, sweet, simple, fluffy, little Christmas fic.

Inspired by a comment on (where else?) GW by leiasky about Helen Magnus' wardrobe in "Sanctuary". So, of course, we postulated that Sam might have similar tastes. . .

The box was long, and heavy. Jack laid it across her lap and then obligingly removed her coffee cup from her hand, standing back to look down at her.

She sat, legs akimbo, next to the Christmas tree. Tiny lights twinkling amongst the branches limned the strands of her hair purple, green, and red. Laying both hands on top of the red and gold package, she looked up at her husband. "What's this?"

"Merry Christmas, Sam."

Sam looked down at the gift with more than a little suspicion glinting in her eyes. "I thought we'd agreed not to do anything lavish."

"I didn't." Jack smiled. Sitting in the recliner next to the couch, he reached out and set her coffee on the table next to him. At her barbed look, he searched for, and found a coaster. Once the cup had been settled appropriately, he leaned back in his chair, expectation humming around him. "And you were the one that suggested that whole 'no gifts' crap. I don't recall agreeing to that particular stipulation to our Christmas morning festivities."

She snorted. "Morning."

"Well. It's kind of still morning."

"It's two in the afternoon." The clock on the mantel more than proved her point, so she gestured towards it. "See?"

Undaunted, her husband smirked at her—smug. Sated. "Yes. It took a while to fill your stocking just right, didn't it?"

Heaving an exasperated sigh, Sam slowly shook her head from side to side. "How old are you again?"

But her husband merely expanded his smile into a full-blown leer. "Apparently, not too old."

She waited for Jack to stop gloating before addressing the package on her lap again. "Well, now I feel bad, because I didn't get you anything like this."

"Like what? You haven't even opened it yet. How do you know it's anything worth anything?"

"I can tell, Jack." She waved a hand over the box, indicating the expertly tied ribbon and the elegant, gilded wrapping paper. "You even had it professionally wrapped. You're not going to go to that amount of trouble for-say-a box of Q-tips."

His eyes narrowed, a strange expression playing around his lips. "Q-tips?"

"You know what I mean. Something inconsequential."

"But, Q-tips? Who gives cotton swabs for Christmas?"

Laying both hands flat on the package on her lap, Sam rolled her eyes. "Not exactly Q-tips-but something like that. Something ordinary."

"Well, that's the point of Christmas, isn't it? To do something extraordinary?"

"Maybe." Sam shrugged, her gaze returning to the box on her lap. "But not lavish."

Jack sighed, extending a hand to yank abruptly at the lever that raised the foot of the recliner. "Are you going to open it or not?"

"What is it?"

"Sam." He'd used his "General" voice.

The irony wasn't lost on his wife. "And don't you dare order me to open it, either, buddy. Our vows take precedence over your stars."

"Watch it, Colonel."

Tilting her head in challenge, Sam narrowed one eye. "Or what?"

"I'll throw you in the brig."

"Would you throw yourself in there with me?"

Statues had nothing on his poker face. "Nope."

It took her a minute to answer. "You'd do that?"

Jack steepled his fingers under his chin. "Watch me."

"Okay then." Sam sighed again, looking back down at the gift balanced across her knees. She laid her fingers to the bow, running a nail along the outer edge of the ribbon. "Just so you know, I'd like the record to show that I'm opening this gift under duress."

Jack merely cocked a brow and waited.

Grasping the ribbons firmly between her fingertips, Sam carefully pulled the bow apart, then slid the ties off the box. She took her time-straightening the wire-edged ribbon and coiling it around her hand before setting it aside. Perching the end of the box on her leg, she slid a nail under the tape on the back, popping it free. She spread the paper apart, then lifted the box upwards, sliding the paper to the side.

"You can fold it later."

"What?" Sam looked up from her operation, a quizzical expression playing across her features. "What are you talking about?"

"You were going to fold it. Like you wrapped the ribbon up." He jerked his head towards the wrapping paper, which now rested halfway under the tree. "You can do that later."

"Who says-"

"How long have we known each other?"

"But-"

"Just open the box, Sam."

She watched him as her fingers found the small pieces of tape securing the lid on the box, slicing them open with her fingernail as her husband hid a smile behind his fingertips. Tissue paper. Multiple white folds of it, smoothed in even layers over something folded equally as perfectly. Sam spread the tissue apart, her movements excruciatingly precise.

Her blue eyes darted towards her husband, even as her fingers found the prize within the package. "A jacket?"

"Take it out."

She laid the gift on the coffee table, kneeling next to it as she lifted the garment out of the box. It was long-more a coat than a jacket. Matte black-perfectly tanned to a buttery smoothness. Stylish, it sported a narrow collar, jet buttons and was cut to fit snugly over her torso before flaring at the hip. The lining was blood red silk.

"Jack O'Neill." Sam shook her head, holding it up. "This is the very definition of 'lavish'."

"So what?" His eyebrow lifted, daring her to refuse it. "Do you like it?"

"It's too much. With you thinking about retiring-"

"Do you like it?"

"But-"

"Sam?" He sat up straighter in his chair, crossing his ankles. "Do you like it?"

Her smile broke free then, wide-her dimples making deep divots in the creamy smooth perfection of her cheeks. "Of course I like it."

"Well, then." He folded his arms across his chest. "What's your problem? You told me you needed a coat. I got you a coat."

"But this kind of coat-it's too much. " Momentarily lost for words, she gazed at it, teasing at her top lip with her teeth. "It's—gorgeous."

"Like its owner." Quietly spoken, the accolade carried much more than a mere compliment. It was a statement of immutable fact.

Sam closed her eyes and lifted the coat to her nose. "I love leather. It smells like freedom."

"It reminds you of your Indian."

Lifting one shoulder in a half-shrug, she ran a hand over the supple leather. "I miss it, sometimes."

"I know." Jack rested an elbow upright on the arm of his chair, cupping his chin in his hand. "When I saw the coat in the store, I thought of your bike. I figured you'd like it."

"I do." In a single, fluid motion, Sam rose, folding the coat over her arm and making her way around the recliner and towards the hall.

"Where are you going?"

She took a few steps backwards, bracing one hand on the other arm of his chair and giving him a quick, hard kiss. "To try it on."

It only took a few minutes for her to return. The expensive leather hugged her body as if had been tailored expressly for her shape, light catching on just the right curves. With a puckish smile, Sam stepped out in front of Jack's chair and struck a demure pose. "Well?"

He had to clear his throat to answer her. "Looks good."

"Really?" She swayed a little, toying with her collar, running her hands down her sides to rest at her waist.

Jack nodded slowly, raking her form with eyes that had grown more shadowed. "It looks really good."

"You think?" She lowered her hands to her belt, unfastening it and allowing the coat to gape open. He couldn't speak then, he could barely breathe, as she shimmied a bit, exposing a little—more.

"What do you really think, Jack O'Neill?"

For some reason, it sounded as if he'd just finished running a marathon. "I'm thinking you're an evil woman, Samantha O'Neill."

Her chuckle drifted over him, low, throaty, intimate. A single step landed her directly in front of his chair, and she only had to bend forward a tidge to have her husband completely at her mercy. As she leaned close, she sighed. "I know I said that we shouldn't do anything lavish, Jack, but thank you. This is perfect."

"It is." He lifted a hand to caress her cheek, to pass his thumb over her bottom lip, and then to drift downward. "And you wanna know something?"

"What?"

"You're about to be lavished again."