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It Starts With A Dance

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Dancing, Comfort, Cabins, and Such". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: "...and this whole thing with Willow seems to be predicated on the ability to not talk about things."

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Willow-Centered > Pairing: Jack O'NeillsmolderFR1533,4328276,24827 Apr 1127 Apr 11Yes

a pond with no fish

Title: It Starts With A Dance - Part 3
Author: smolder
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Stargate belongs to Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner. The Buffyverse belongs to Joss Whedon.
A/N: Reviews are Good. This has been a subtle hint from the author - Please return to your regularly scheduled reading.

Their jobs made meeting up nearly impossible. She seemed to actually have less scheduled down time than he did. And when they actually did seem to match up, a lot of the times he would come home to find a tired sounding apologetic message on his machine or he would have to try to remember to give her a hurried call amidst the chaos of the latest disaster.

Normal work weeks, hours, and holidays usually simply failed to apply when you had to deal with kidnappings, attempted alien invasions, being held captive by natives on planets you thought were friendly, time loops, snarking while getting tortured by beings who had seriously annoying gods complexes, paperwork.

It seemed the same applied for Willow.

It became easier to just give her the keys to the cabin so she could just show up whenever she did have off. If he could come by too, great. If not, well, he had seen how exhausted she got – how world weary (her eyes so old). Like him, she gave all she had to her job (and it seemed, like him, she considered it to be much more than a job), she deserved a safe place to crash and get away from the pressure of it all for a while.

Sometimes they just laid around in bed watching movies and TV shows. Large box sets of things they always wanted to see, but had never gotten around to because of their jobs.

Serenity and Firefly seemed to hit a bit too close to home for both of them. He knew why it did for him. A group of tarnished ex-soldiers and their crew who are so close that they become family trying to survive and make their way through space? No parallels there. Yeah, sure. You betcha.

But, the way she shook against him when the crazy young girl, River, fought the Reavers. And he could have swore she whispered “Dana”, before she turned away from the screen and pressed her face into his arm. It was just another mystery.

They seem to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

She makes cookies and he makes Jell-O. And they know neither are even remotely healthy, but they both get an overblown amount of enjoyment from doing these normal things. Laughing and joking while the room is filled with the smell of sugar and baking things.

Normal. Because really, would either of them have been in that ballroom if their jobs were normal?

If he had ever worried that being with her was somehow ruining her – that her life was untouched and innocent before him, her body tells another tale.

There are scars all over her. Some he recognizes with a military trained eye as knife wounds of different blades (some on her hands and arms – thin, from a sharp blade - possibly self-inflicted). But others, others look like bite marks and burns.

He will run his fingers over them and he knows his face must show his questions, but her eyes are solemn and she doesn’t answer. Jack doesn’t push.

And when her hands gently touch bullet wounds, burns, old knife wounds or that area that was still red from the ribbon device one time when she was here - Willow meets his eyes in understanding and returns the favor.

They’ll sit out on his little pier by the lake at night and he’ll identify star constellations for her. It might seem like he spends more time studying alien skies these days, but Jack still remembers the things he memorized for his masters.

She follows the length of his arm and stares, soaking up the information he is telling her. He knows if he asked later, Willow would be able to spit this all back out to him. It makes him laugh sometimes, how absolutely surrounded he is by blindingly smart women.

But Willow likes being outside during the day, too. She will lean against a tree, barefoot and eyes closed, with the sun against her face while he “fishes”.

They are both perfectly content with the stillness.

Their back and forth e-mail chain is way in the 100’s by now. The thing is, they don’t talk about anything. They can’t talk about the work that they both know the other is taking a break from to write the response - they wouldn’t even want to try (Jack knows, on his side at least, there are programs to pick up if you’re leaking information anyway).

All the e-mails consist of are quotes. Quotes from the movies and tv shows they have watched together – like this long running inside joke. It always makes him smile to read it (he sometimes finds himself scrolling back through past exchanges instead of doing paperwork. Then again, he also sometimes finds himself throwing a rubber ball at the wall instead of doing paperwork).

All Jack’s team knows is that he pesters them to go fishing (by a pond with no fish) less. The times he meets up with Willow are sporadic and his team still spends plenty of time bonding off hours, so they have no reason to ask.

He’s not entirely sure why he hasn’t told them, SG-1 is practically his family after all. Maybe because it would be really weird to try and explain (and they might have never actually been together, and probably never could have, but he doesn’t want to hurt Sam either). And this whole thing with Willow seems to be predicated on the ability to not talk about things.

Plus, what Willow and he have isn’t quite a relationship of the sort you can solidly define. It’s easy comfort, physical human contact, and just being with someone else for a while with no expectations. He had forgotten how nice that was.

The End

You have reached the end of "It Starts With A Dance". This story is complete.

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