Blow The Man Down

This one is Gateworld's fault. They changed the format for April Fool's Day so that it's all about pirates. People started talking about Jack and Sam dressing like pirates, and—well—this is what my demented little mind thought up. Nothing but fluff, but then, sometimes that's just what's needed, right?

Enjoy, mateys!

"Are you ready, Sam?"

"Just a minute!"

Her muted voice came through the powder room door, heavily laced with something Jack hadn't heard for a while—something like—giggling?

"Well come on. The streetlights are on." Jack could see the glow through the thin glass window to the side of the front door. "All the good stuff's going to be gone."

"Daddy! Ba!"

Something whacked his thigh, and Jack looked down to see his son smiling up at him, a short, curving weapon gripped in his chubby fist. Bending, Jack lifted the diminutive buccaneer into his arms. The costume fit his son to a tee, wide-legged pants, soft, pliable boots, and full-sleeved white shirt. The General had no idea where his wife had acquired such an outfit for their son, but he had to admit that it looked pretty damned cute. Of course, Ben absolutely refused to wear the eyepatch and hat, but he'd taken to the plastic sword as if it had been his long lost friend. He'd already attacked a potted palm and their Jack-O-Lantern, tipping the planter over and spilling dirt all over the floor, and knocking the other off the stoop and reducing it to pumpkin bits. The kid had a helluva arm, and Jack wasn't sure if he was inordinately proud or a little disturbed by that fact.

"Whatcha doing, squirt?"

"Ba!"

The sword rose again, and Jack caught it deftly in his palm, gently removing it from his son's hand. "You've already said that."

"Ba-doo!" Ben squealed, leaning forward and reaching for the sword.

"You can have it back when you're in the stroller, kiddo." Jack hid the plastic saber behind his back and lowered his son to the floor. With another slightly peeved look down the hall, he took a step towards the entry closet, where the stroller lived. Yanking it from its place, he yelled again. "Sam!"

"What?"

"Come on, it's almost dark!"

An arc of light showed in the hall as the bathroom door opened inward. And then slithered out a—boot?

Lots of boot—black leather, stretched slightly at the knee as that long, long leg slipped out of the doorway. And a flurry of fabric—soft, flowing—deep sapphire blue with something that looked like lace edging it.

Holy crap.

"Well?"

He had to try twice before words came out. "What's with the—wow."

Sam casually reached behind her and flicked the light off in the bathroom before emerging completely. At first, her costume seemed to match her son's—white, full-sleeved blouse, piratical. She was wearing a skirt, though, which was slit to the thigh with knots fashioned in the corners of the hem—presumably to allow the Pirate Queen freedom of movement. And the shirt wasn't tied at the throat with a bow like Ben's was. No, the sleeves of her blouse had been pulled down to expose her shoulders, and throat, and the elegant, sensual line of her collarbones. Just lower, a wide band of black leather was fitted to her ribcage with an intricate series of laces, cinching inwards at the waist and hugging everything northwards to end just beneath her bourgeoning-wow-

Jack swallowed.

"Mommy!" Ben's sturdy little feet carried him down the hall towards Sam. "Doo-ba!"

"That's right, Ben. We're both pirates." She caught him and swung him up to rest on her shapely hip. "Aren't, we, daddy?"

Too bright. Jack knew his expression was too bright. His voice actually cracked, for heaven's sake, and he had the uneasy feeling that were he to peer into a mirror at that moment, he'd look like a freshman frat boy at his first party. "You're something, now, aren't you?"

Sam had the grace to look a little self-conscious. Glancing down at her costume, she offered a little shrug before peering back up at Jack. "I couldn't resist it. I haven't dressed up for Halloween for a really long time. And now that we have Ben, I figured that was as good an excuse as any."

"Mm-hmm." It was all Jack could muster. When she'd shrugged, certain of her more notable assets had—um—fidgeted as well. With the bustier, and the low curve of the blouse—well—Jack couldn't come up with a sophisticated response.

"Is the hair all right?" Sam turned slightly so that he could see it. She'd pulled the long mass up into a twist of some sort, and then pinned it with a clip that had a red rose attached to it. "I didn't want to wear the hat."

There were delicate, fine curls of hair at her nape that he wasn't used to seeing. He fought the urge to sigh. "It's fine."

"Just fine?" Lifting a brow, she dodged adeptly when Ben reached for the hoop she wore in her ear.

"Looks good."

"Good." Disappointed. She actually sounded a bit dejected. Offering another casual shrug, she moved past Jack to plunk Ben down into the stroller and buckle him in. "I was hoping for a little more enthusiasm, I guess."

"Like what?"

His wife straightened. "I don't know—I guess something more than 'fine'."

"Sam—you're—well—that outfit is—well, it's—" Lame. Lame. Lame! Jack waved a hand in her direction, trying to stop stuttering and express something more intelligible than the blather he was currently emitting. "It's—well, it's 'wow'."

A smile tickled at the dimple in her right cheek. "'Wow'? Really?"

"Well, yeah-look at you."

Finally, her smile broadened, and Sam moved away from the stroller to stand directly in front of her husband. "And?"

"And? What do you mean, 'and'?"

"You don't have something else to add?"

Well, there really was no use for it. Sometimes a guy just had to man up and tell the truth. Jack gestured towards her with an upturned palm. "And you're freakin' hot. That's what."

"Really?" Two dimples, now, and those perfect little white teeth that in turn fascinated him and tormented him. Somehow, her eyes seemed bluer, too. Must have been the mascara, or eye-liner, or whatever makeup she'd used around them.

She'd put on some spicy kind of new perfume, too, and he could see that the ties of her corset were tipped in tiny silver points. If he looked directly downward he could see skin, and more skin, and when she breathed deeply, all that creamy pale softness rose above the deep neckline of her blouse. Taunting him. Could skin taunt? Because hers sure the heck seemed to.

Damn. "Really."

"Well." Sam lifted a hand to toy with the collar of his shirt, twisting it slightly before smoothing it down again. "Tell you what."

"What?"

"When we get home from Trick-or-Treating, maybe we'll find something piratical for you to put on."

That sounded promising. Jack found himself smiling down at his wife. "Oh?"

"And then we'll find something piratical to do. Like—swabbing the decks."

"Walking the plank?"

"We could keelhaul something."

"Or go pillaging."

"Or something." With those boots on, she didn't have to lean up much to brush her lips over his. Her tongue traced the crease of his lips before she drew backwards towards where their son sat in his carriage.

Jack watched as she wheeled the stroller around towards the front door. The skirt swayed from side to side as she moved, allowing glimpses of those boots. He couldn't decide what was better—the boots or the black leather thing or that little freckle that sat just above her right shoulder blade. And this woman was his wife! He told himself that he'd only gotten into the spirit of the holiday when he breathed out a wondrous, "Well, shiver me timbers."

Pulling the door open, Sam turned to give him a jaunty look over her bare, bare shoulder. "If you're lucky, we'll do that, too."