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Fanfiction: Flowers in Washington

Fandom: Stargate SG1
Summary: 
Jack tries to surprise Sam with some flowers but is his luck running out?
Rating: PG-13
Author's Notes: Sam/Jack. Spoilers for SG1 and SGU S1. Can be read stand alone or as a sequel to the rest of the Flowers series which can be found via the Stargate fanfiction index.
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended. Written for entertainment purposes only. 


Flowers in Washington

The light was on in the den.

Jack O'Neill's heart lifted a little knowing it signalled Samantha Carter was home. He walked swiftly up the path, the sound of his official car driving away dimly registering in his head. He unlocked the door and let himself in, closing the door softly behind him in case she was dozing.

His mind leaped ahead to how Sam would be. Two of her 302 pilots had died earlier that day, unable to get back to the Hammond before the planet below them had exploded; unable to prevent the Lucian Alliance from invading the Ancient ship, Destiny which was marooned far out in the universe with some of their people. Sam had waited for as long as she could before taking the decision to leave and her ship, the General Hammond had only just made it. It had returned home for repairs and to inform the pilots' families of their deaths.

For all leave no-one behind was a mantra for the Stargate programme and for him personally, Jack knew that Sam had made the right decision; the hard decision even though she would feel their loss just as he had felt the loss of every man and woman under his command She'd had an entire crew to protect; that had to be her priority over and above the lives of two individual men. He'd skimmed the report she had submitted and knew she had pushed it to the last possible second anyway. It was sobering to realise that he could easily have lost her if she had hesitated.

He threw his cover on the hall table, shrugged out of his jacket and tugged the tie at his neck loose. Homeworld Security was located in the depths of the Pentagon basement which usually meant that he could wear the more comfortable BDU but he'd had a meeting with the Joint Chiefs and the President to update them on the situation and that meant the suit. He kicked off his shoes and walked in his sock-clad feet to the doorway of the den.

Jack peeked in, unsurprised to find Sam curled up in sweats, her long blonde hair damp from a shower, and tapping away on a laptop. They both had too many years of combat and he had too much respect for her reactions for Jack to think about sneaking up behind her and surprising her.

He cleared his throat from the doorway and padded over. 'Hey.'

Sam's head snapped around to find him and her classically beautiful features softened as she registered his presence. She pushed the laptop onto the coffee table as he sat down on the sofa beside her.

She moved into his embrace and Jack slid a hand through her hair before he kissed her chastely. It was a loving kiss; tender with only a smidgeon of the passion that could flare up.

Sam held him tightly and he held on, knowing she needed the comfort. His head dipped into the curve of her neck and breathed in her scent; the hint of the shower gel they both used on her skin, the orange-scented shampoo that was hers on her hair.

Her hands fisted into his shirt and her breathing was ragged even though she didn't make a sound. He wished he could absorb her pain; take it away. But all he could do was hold her and hope it was enough. And he knew it wasn't just her who was being comforted. The feel of her, the press of her body against his reassured him she had made it home again. That he hadn't lost her.

Sam shifted eventually and he loosened his hold enough to brush away the tears that hovered in with his thumb. She leaned into his touch and he cupped her cheek, kissing her again. They resettled against the sofa cushions, one of his arms around her shoulder, her hand reaching up to hold his, her head on his shoulder.

Sam sighed. 'Michelson was only twenty-four; Leeds, twenty-six.'

Jack tightened his grip on her, a silent gesture of comfort.

'Leeds always reminded me a little of Hailey, you know. Just really intelligent and out to prove it.' Sam continued, a sad fondness colouring her words.

'And Michelson?' Jack prompted gently.

'He wanted to be like Cam.'

'Mitchell?' Jack inquired dryly, thinking of the SG1 leader. He guessed that the young pilot could have done worse for a role model but it didn't stop him from pretending to be horrified; it was expected. 'Really?'

Sam gave a weak chuckle and pressed a kiss against his hand.

They stared for a long while into the fire. Jack felt his own tension slipping away; it was unable to compete with the simple joy of holding the woman in his arms.

'I wasn't expecting you home.' Sam admitted quietly. Her thumb stroked over his knuckles.

He could understand why. No doubt she had expected him to remain at the Pentagon until an update arrived about the situation on Destiny but as much as Jack hated to admit it, Earth had limited options to help and he had to trust the CO, Young, would handle it. They hadn't heard anything for a while though which wasn't good. Jack pushed the thought away rather than dwell on it.

Jack dropped a kiss on the top of Sam's head. 'I hear there's this ship in orbit capable of beaming me places.'

Her lips twitched and she shifted to look at him fully, her blue eyes filled with so much love that Jack wondered at his luck.

'What if the commander objects to you using her ship?' Sam teased.

'Not a problem.' Jack ran a finger lightly over her lips. 'I happen to know the commander very well.'

'You do, huh?'

'Oh yeah.' Jack waggled his eyebrows. 'Some might say intimately even.'

She laughed then; a deep throaty laugh that was as sexy as hell. 'You're impossible.'

'Yep.' But she loved him anyway although God only knew how he'd gotten so lucky.

Sam ran a hand through his hair; her fingers stroking through the short strands that were turning from grey to white. His brown eyes darkened at the intent look in hers.

Sam kissed him.

It was slow and deliberate; her lips nibbling and teasing his, her tongue sliding over his, their hands sneaking under garments to touch skin.

Jack eased back. He left a hand under her sweater, his thumb stroking her skin as though asking a question.

Sam slipped off the sofa, dislodging his hand from her sweater but she held out her hand to him expectantly. His hand slipped into hers and he let her pull him to his feet. She switched the light off as they made their way out of the den and into the hall, navigating their way up the stairs to their bedroom.

The blinds were open, the orange hue of the street light bathing the bed in a puddle of colour. Sam let go of him as she went to close out the world and Jack lit the candles on the dresser and the small bedside tables. He blew out the taper, dropping it onto a metal tray. He turned and found Sam already behind him, waiting.

They kissed again; fierce and needy. Both of them knew some of it was affirmation and the need to feel alive in the face of death; some of it was just the overwhelming want that always swamped them in the presence of the other. It was the last coherent thought Jack had for a long while as he lost himself in his wife; as Sam lost herself in him.

They ended up in the centre of the bed, wrapped around each other in the aftermath, a sheet covering them and warding off the chill from the cooling air. Jack absently stroked Sam's shoulder. She was half-sprawled over his chest, her head resting on his shoulder, one arm flung around his waist. He took a certain pride in knowing that their love-making could short-circuit her brain but he could almost hear her mind beginning to reengage.

'I'm seeing the families tomorrow.'

She sounded like she would prefer to face an invading Goa'uld. He knew he would.

'Want me to come with?' He offered anyway.

Sam lifted her head to meet his eyes. 'I think you'll be busy.' She pointed out dryly.

Jack shrugged, awkwardly given his position. He wanted to say nothing was more important to him than her and supporting her when she needed him, because on many levels it was the absolute truth, and yet there was a duty both of them had vowed to honour that still clouded the matter even if they had worked out a way to be together and serve.

'Busy sitting on my ass,' he muttered instead.

Sam smiled understandingly. She knew he would rather be on Destiny shooting at the bad guys than sitting waiting for a report in the Pentagon. She understood some of his frustration was his inability to act but he knew also that she understood the rest had to do with the containment plan going FUBAR even though neither of them would criticise another officer openly to the other given their respective working positions.

Sam kissed him, a soft press that landed half-on, half-off his lips; a thank you for the offer, a comfort for his own worries. She sank back to her former position.

A few moments later, Jack heard her breathing alter as she slipped into sleep; her body lying more heavily against his as it lost the last remaining tension of consciousness. Jack didn't move; content to hold her.

His eyes wandered over the ceiling, at the dancing pattern of light and shadow from the flickering candles.

A couple of years before he would have arranged for some flowers to appear unexpectedly in her lab or her quarters to cheer Sam up, but he'd called a halt to the Flower Missions as they had infamously become known after her return from Atlantis.

In many ways, the missions had become too infamous, even if was just in the small group of friends and colleagues that Jack had involved over the years. Jack had figured it had been only a matter of time before someone with a political agenda pointed a finger and proclaimed favouritism (in his choice of who performed the mission), damage to unit cohesion (because he couldn't ask everyone to help him give his wife flowers), and abuse of power (because even if the flower missions were framed as a request to help, any junior officer would assume they were being ordered to participate because he was a high-ranking General - not to mention the small matter of breaking and entering).

Of course, Jack mused, he could still surprise Sam with flowers.

It would just require a strategy.

And some help from old friends.

He smiled.

Maybe he wouldn't just be sitting on his ass the next day after all.

o-O-o

'Daniel...oh Daniel...'

Daniel Jackson opened one eye, made out the blurry mass in front of him and closed it again. 'Go away, Jack.'

'I need help.'

'Yes,' Daniel agreed, turning over and not bothering to open his eyes again, 'you do. But I'm not sure they have enough doctors on Earth to cure you of being annoying.'

'Funny.' Jack replied.

There was a silence.

And heavy breathing.

Daniel's eyes snapped open and he glared at his old friend over his shoulder. 'What?'

'I need your help with a surprise for Sam.' Jack explained, shifting to stand sheepishly, his hands pushed deep into the pockets of his leather coat.

Daniel sighed and rubbed his eyes, giving into the inevitable. He pushed back the covers and waved Jack further back so he could get out of bed. He perched for a moment on the edge and picked up his glasses. 'Did it occur to you that I might not be alone?'

'Nope.' Jack said cheerfully. 'The day you get a girlfriend, Vala will announce it to the world.'

'It might not be Vala.' Daniel said exasperatedly. Why did everyone assume they'd get together?

'Your point?' Jack retorted.

Daniel opened his mouth and closed it again. The state of his love life with or without Vala was so not a discussion he wanted to have, especially at...he glanced at the clock and his eyes widened behind the panes of glass. 'Do you know what time it is?'

'Early.' Jack agreed as he made for the bedroom door. 'Come on. Hurry it up. Teal'c's waiting for us in the car.' He gestured at him. 'Don't forget your shoes.'

Daniel watched Jack's back disappear grumpily. The least Jack could do was provide coffee, Daniel grumbled to himself as he dragged on his clothes. He was half-way out of his apartment when he remembered his shoes.

Teal'c's car was idling in front of the apartment. Daniel nodded an absent greeting at the doorman to his apartment building and climbed into the back of the waiting vehicle. He was pleased that the interior was warm and cosy, and did he smell...

'Coffee.' He reached for the travel mug that Teal'c, sporting a snazzy bright yellow woolly hat, handed over to him solemnly.

The Jaffa turned back to the front momentarily before turning back again with a box of doughnuts. Half were gone but Daniel plucked his favourite from the stack and bit in hungrily, uncaring of the powdered sugar adorning his lips. A small kernel of suspicion entered his head. 'This seems remarkably well-prepared.'

'Indeed.' Teal'c confirmed as he turned his attention to driving. 'I made preparations for our sustenance following O'Neill's call last night.'

Daniel shot Jack a look. 'You couldn't have called me last night?'

'And what would have been the fun in that?' Jack countered. He pointed at the road beyond the windshield. 'Onward. We need to get to the flower market before the good stuff goes.'

Daniel froze in chewing the last of his doughnut. He swallowed hastily. 'Flower market?' He repeated. 'Uh, didn't you decide...'

'No more flower missions.' Jack nodded in agreement. 'But this isn't a flower mission.'

'It isn't?' Daniel asked dryly.

'This is just two old friends helping another old friend surprise his wife with flowers.' Jack said, his hands weaving in front of him as though they were eloquently underscoring his words.

'Right.' Daniel muttered. 'Doesn't sound like a flower mission at all.'

'You are incorrect, Daniel Jackson.' Teal'c stated briskly. 'Our current situation does indeed bear much resemblance to our original flower mission.' His dark eyes flickered to meet Daniel's in the rear view mirror and the archaeologist repressed the snort of laughter that bubbled up at the mischief in the Jaffa's gaze.

'Oh, for crying out loud!' Jack said. 'We're not leaving them anywhere, you know, military.'

Daniel blinked. 'We're not?'

'No.' Jack said defensively.

'We're not sneaking them aboard the Hammond?' Daniel checked.

'No.'

'Her lab?'

'No.'

'Then...'

'Just, the house.' Jack snapped.

Daniel took a sip of coffee before something else occurred to him. 'Your house, right?'

'No, the White House, Daniel! Of course, my house.'

Daniel shrugged, unperturbed at the bite in the tone. 'Just checking.' He leaned forward between the two front seats. 'So, what happened?'

'Carter lost two of her pilots yesterday. She had to leave them behind.' Jack explained.

Daniel winced. 'She OK?'

'She's dealing with it.' Jack said with a touch of pride. 'But she's seeing the families today and...'

'And you wanted to surprise her with flowers when she got home; cheer her up.' Daniel concluded. He hid his smile. Daniel had always known that Jack was caring and thoughtful with those he loved despite the brusque exterior, but the way Jack was with Sam always continued to surprise him.

Glancing at the flush on Jack's cheeks, Daniel figured a change of subject was in order. 'Speaking of the mission, any news?'

'No.'

'That's not good.' Daniel commented.

'No.' Jack replied shortly.

'Do you believe the Lucian Alliance have succeeded in their attempt to take control of Destiny, O'Neill?' Teal'c asked.

'Let's just say it doesn't look good.' Jack allowed. He gestured at a street sign and the next few minutes were taken up with directions.

They pulled up in front of the market and Daniel got out of the car, hunching his shoulders against the cold.

'So what are you looking for?' Daniel asked.

'Flowers. Lots of flowers.' Jack replied eagerly, rubbing his hands together. 'Lots and lots of flowers.'

Daniel exchanged a brief look of concern with Teal'c.

'Exactly how many flowers, O'Neill?'

'As many as we can fit into the car.' Jack called over his shoulder, already walking away. 'We need to fill the house!'

Teal'c clasped his hands behind his back. 'I do not believe we will dissuade O'Neill from his plan, Daniel Jackson.'

'It'll be fine.' Daniel said optimistically. 'I mean, how many flowers can we realistically fit into your car?'

Teal'c raised an eyebrow.

Daniel sighed. 'Yeah. Don't answer that.'

o-O-o

The car looked like a flower bomb had exploded all over it.

Jack climbed out of the vehicle with his arms filled with various blooms and looked back at the packed vehicle. He could just make out Daniel's face in the mountain of flowers they had stuffed into the back.

'We're going to need more vases.' He muttered. Now that he had thought of it, he wasn't sure how many vases they had to begin with.

He hovered, waiting for Teal'c to join him so he could hand him the keys to unlock the door. Jack had called ahead and confirmed Sam had already left.

His cell phone rang abruptly.

Teal'c had just reached his side and Jack unceremoniously dumped the flowers into the Jaffa's arms while he reached for his cell.

'O'Neill.' Jack barked.

'General,' Walter Harriman had worked with him too long to be flustered by the bark, 'we've just received some new intelligence about the Lucian Alliance from the field. General Landry is requesting an urgent briefing with you and for the Hammond be deployed to assist, sir.'

'Of course he is.' Jack looked at the car filled with flowers and he felt disappointment swamp him as he realised his plan to surprise Sam was pretty much dead in the water.

Daniel had somehow managed to extricate himself and was busily brushing petals out of his hair. He stilled as he caught sight of Jack's expression.

Jack smoothed it immediately, realising he was giving too much away. 'Get the Hammond to beam me in fifteen. Hank can brief us at the same time.' He shut the phone quickly and gestured at his old team-mates. 'Well, it looks like I need a plan B; the Hammond's about to head out.'

'You could beam up with the flowers.' Daniel offered.

Jack simply looked at him.

'Bad idea.' Daniel acknowledged. The couple were still very discreet about their relationship and Jack beaming to the Hammond with flowers for Sam would be the equivalent of taking out a front page advertisement in a newspaper.

'Perhaps we can attempt to duplicate our efforts when Colonel Carter returns from her mission.' Teal'c suggested.

Try again, Jack translated. He let out a huff of disappointment, knowing the Jaffa was right. He wondered what they did with the flowers in the meantime.

'We can drop these flowers at a local hospital.' Daniel offered, reading his mind just like he'd done in the field. 'Buy more before she comes back.'

Jack nodded briskly. He gestured at Daniel and Teal'c. 'I should get into the house.' Beaming from the middle of the road was not a good idea and he would need to change into military dress. He rocked back on his heels. 'And, uh, thanks.'

Teal'c bowed his head.

'Next time, call me.' Daniel said insistently.

'Sure.' Jack threw at him insincerely, knowing Daniel had just said it to lighten his mood. He made his way inside and hurriedly changed his clothes, barely making it into his BDU before his phone rang to confirm his readiness to beam.

He materialised in the boardroom on the Hammond.

Sam stood waiting for his arrival. He guessed that she had been beamed from wherever she had been - one of the deceased pilot's homes presumably - because she was still in her service blues, her blonde hair swept into a chignon instead of the more practical flight suit and braid she favoured when in command of the ship.

'Sir.'

'Carter.' Jack acknowledged her briskly before turning to glance around the rest of the room. Colonel Reynolds of SG3 stood at attention by the table. General Hank Landry, the commander of Stargate programme, was on the view screen. 'Hank.' Jack greeted him easily.

'Jack.'

Jack waved at Reynolds to sit and they all took seats. 'So, what's going on?'

'Sir, we've got a bead on a Lucian Alliance member called Masson.' Reynolds reported.

'The father of the woman leading the incursion on Destiny, sir.' Sam supplied before Jack could ask.

'We think he may have valuable intelligence about why the Alliance want Destiny so badly and their plans for the incursion.' Landry pitched in.

'The planet isn't accessible by 'gate, General.' Reynolds continued. 'We need transportation there and back, and we think he may only be there for a short time.'

Jack glanced over at Sam.

'It'll take the Hammond nine hours to reach the coordinates the Colonel has provided.' Sam confirmed.

Jack clasped his hands on the table. Yep. He was so sleeping alone for the next couple of nights. 'Hank?'

'I'd prefer the Hammond had a couple of days more to repair from the last skirmish but,' Landry shrugged, 'in the circumstances I don't think we can afford to wait.' He looked at Sam. 'How long before the Hammond is ready to deploy?'

'Another hour, sir,' Sam said firmly, swivelling in her chair to look at her CO down the monitor, 'we still have personnel on the planet and supplies to beam aboard plus the more vital repairs to our shields to complete.'

Jack repressed the urge to sigh again. He turned back to Reynolds and wagged a finger at him. 'Covert only. You and your team get made; get the hell out, no heroics. Understood?'

'Understood, General.' Reynolds agreed.

Jack looked around the table. 'Well, for what it's worth, Homeworld signs off. You have a go.'

'Thanks, Jack.' Landry said gruffly. The view screen went black indicating the connection had been cut.

Jack got to his feet, bringing Reynolds and Sam to theirs. He glanced at Reynolds. 'Would you mind giving us a moment, Colonel?'

Reynolds smiled understandingly. He was one of the few in the know about their marriage. 'Not at all, sir.' He gave Sam a respectful nod before he left.

'So, I guess you won't be home for dinner.' Jack began awkwardly.

Sam just closed the distance between them. They hugged briefly. Jack dipped his head to drop a kiss on her neck before pulling back to kiss her softly on the lips.

'You'll be around for the send-off?' Sam asked. She swiped her lip gloss off his lips as they moved to stand beside each other.

'Unless...' he waved a hand to encapsulate the half dozen things that could prevent him from wishing the Hammond happy travels before it left orbit; the President, a disaster, the President, some other disaster, someone from Destiny finally reporting back...

Sam nodded. She smoothed a hand down his arm until her fingers tangled with his and squeezed. 'Why don't you invite Daniel and Teal'c over? It's been a while since you guys caught up.'

For a second, Jack had a sinking suspicion that Sam knew exactly who he had been with and what they had been up to that morning. He gave a small smile to cover his sudden unease, squeezed her hand and let go. 'I'll be fine. Go. Save the galaxy. Think of me...sitting on my ass.'

Sam's lips twitched. She tapped her ear-piece to activate the internal radio. 'The General is ready to beam down.'

Jack grimaced but he gave her a small wave as the white transporter captured him in its wake. It deposited him in his office. The large desk was tidy; his laptop sitting neatly, his pens sorted into the containers he preferred and the ornaments and clutter arranged in the pattern he liked. He glanced at the old photo behind him on the dresser of Charlie, another of SG1, and sighed.

'Walter!' He yelled brusquely for the Chief Sergeant as he opened his laptop and reached for his reading glasses.

He tried to keep track of the time but as one more meeting slid into another, he could feel the minutes and seconds slipping by. The last straw came with the news from Walter that he'd been informed by an Airman that someone had used the communication stones on Destiny and was waiting for him in the stones room. Jack stormed over, half wondering why the hell they weren't double-timing it to his office, only for the Sergeant there not to know anything about it; nobody had assumed her place nor had she assumed the place of someone on Destiny.

Jack hurried back to the central communication room with half a mind to yell at whichever Airman had had sent him on a wild goose chase. Or, Jack thought furiously, the next time he went to Destiny he was going to shoot Doctor Rush for being an idiot and stranding people in the first place; then he was going to shoot Young simply for being an idiot, and then just for the hell of it, he might shoot them both again. It might not make a difference to getting the crew home but he would feel a whole heck of a lot better.

Jack's heartbeat slowed as he entered the room and caught sight of Sam's face on the screen. 'Sorry to keep you waiting, Carter.' He said briskly as he walked up to talk to her.

Sam smiled the smile; the one she reserved for him. 'We're ready to deploy and awaiting your order.'

'Try not to get stopped for speeding.' Jack ordered gruffly, ignoring the bemused looks on some of the Hammond's crew listening in behind Sam.

Her smile widened. 'We'll try not to, sir.' Sam sobered. Her gaze held his for a millisecond.

'Be safe.' He communicated silently. 'I love you.'

'I love you too.' Sam's eyes made her reply for her even as she spoke out loud. 'We'll report when we arrive at the planet.'

'I'll look forward to it, Carter.'

Sam nodded at someone beyond Jack's vision and Jack similarly signalled Walter behind him. The screen went blank.

'NASA confirms the Hammond has broken orbit, sir.' Walter informed him efficiently. The Sergeant approached him with a file. 'You have a meeting with General Harris scheduled for an hour, sir.'

Jack sighed and took the briefing folder from him, flipping through to the summary. He stepped towards his office. 'Send someone for some tea for me, would you, Walter? Oh, and whoever told you the communication stones were used needs to be transferred to Antarctica. Preferably yesterday.' He entered his office, glanced up from the folder and stopped abruptly.

A vase of flowers sat on his desk.

Bright yellow sunflowers that gazed back at him. He wandered over to touch them, to check that they were real. His dark eyes alighted on the slip of paper beside the vase. He picked it up.

'Just because I can. Love, Sam x. PS. Give you flowers obviously.'

Jack smiled, recognising his own words staring back at him. He bent his head and sniffed at a bloom. He sat down in his chair and let him himself grin inanely. Sam had apparently known exactly what he'd been up to that morning and arranged her own surprise. It had to be Walter who'd helped her, Jack deduced; the Chief Sergeant was sneakier than he looked and he had a soft spot for Carter.

But his wife was in for a shock because he was so going to make sure the house was completely and totally covered in flowers for her return. He'd call Daniel and Teal'c later and start planning. And maybe, Jack mused, as he gazed at the sunflowers, maybe he should consider hiring a truck...

fin.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
julimond1402
Aug. 5th, 2010 09:55 pm (UTC)
Sigh. Lovely :) I like their intimacy, very much how I would picture them together as a married couple. Very realistically written, thank you.
rachel500
Aug. 6th, 2010 08:40 am (UTC)
Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it. :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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