Title: Desperate Measures
Summary: Set immediately after Desperate Measures.
Rating: 15 (for mild sex scene)
Disclaimer: Quite clearly not mine.
Jack O’Neill was enjoying a rare moment of peace in his life. He was slumped in a big wooden comfy chair, eyes closed to the warmth of the sun, almost asleep. One might say snoozing. A half finished bottle of beer sat on the floor by the chair and left open across his chest was a copy of “1984” by George Orwell. All was peaceful. All was quiet.
All was shattered by the sound of an engine coming closer. He lay there, startled out of his snooze and tried to identify the vehicle with his eyes shut. Not heavy enough to be a car or a truck. He gave in to his curiosity and opened his eyes and hauled himself to his feet. The sun dazzled him for a moment and O’Neill blinked a few times to adjust to the bright afternoon sunlight, before leaving the deck of his house and heading off towards where the noise was coming from.
Whatever he had expected, he had not expected the sight before him. The motorbike was instantly recognisable as Major Carter’s. The rider was clad in blue jeans and zipped up black leather jacket and a black helmet. The bike came to a stop at his feet, throwing up a little dust, the helmet came off and O’Neill was half expecting a sheen of hair to tumble down and be shaken in a photogenic and groin stirring way. What happened instead was far more groin stirring than he could have imagined. The face of Samantha Carter appeared, her blonde hair a little longer than usual but certainly not the tumbling locks of his imagination. She grinned at him.
“Hi Sir,” she said.
Of all the things he could have said to her, all the things he had ever wanted to say to her, what actually came out was not what he wanted.
“What are you doing here?” D’oh, he mentally cursed.
Carter stayed astride the bike, her expression now uncertain at his less than effusive welcome.
“Well, Dad dragged me off after I got out the infirmary. We went and saw Mark but there’s only so much of happy family life I can take. So I headed back and picked up my bike and thought I’d come and see the famous cabin.”
“You came to fish?” O’Neill was incredulous.
“I don’t think I said that, but fishing is entirely possible.” She was trying to gauge whether she was welcome but O’Neill was still floundering in a sea of uncertainty. “Of course, I can always head off into the sunset” she finished.
“No” he almost shouted. “You drove all this way. The least I can do is give you a beer.”
“Wow,” Carter swung her leg over the bike and picked up the bag that was tied on the back. She gave the bike a loving pat before following O’Neill up to the house.
His thoughts were flying. He couldn’t believe it. Perhaps he was dreaming, too much beer, too much sun, too many painkillers? Who knew? The very real sound of her footsteps on the wooden deck behind him told him that he wasn’t dreaming any of this. O’Neill resisted the temptation to pinch himself and instead held the door open for her.
Whatever had possessed her to head for Minnesota was now rapidly disappearing and Sam Carter found to her surprise and horror that her hands were shaking. She dropped her bag and unzipped her jacket, stretching her limbs. The cabin was decorated in a similar fashion to his house, simple, a few books, a stereo, nothing modern at all really. The open fire was laid ready to be lit but for the moment the warm sunshine poured in and bathed the room in gold.
What she had said had been correct. As soon as Jacob Carter had heard about her abduction and traumatic retrieval, he had whisked her off to the bosom of her family, allowing her to be pampered by her brother and his family. This wasn’t to say she hadn’t enjoyed it - she had. But all the time she had been away she had longed to be somewhere else. The one thing that her Dad had said to her every night was “you’re safe now.” But it wasn’t true. She didn’t feel safe. At the moment there was only one person she felt safe with and as soon as she could politely get away she had packed a few things, grabbed her bike and headed in the direction of safety.
Safety was now observing her with a slightly bemused expression. He handed her a bottle of beer and beckoned her back outside saying that the day was too good to waste. O’Neill settled himself back in his chair and Carter took a seat in the other chair.
“So, Carter, much as I’d like to believe that you’re here for the fishing, somehow I can’t quite get my mind round that.”
She gave him a slightly embarrassed look. She had hoped that this wouldn’t even come up, that he would just accept that she had come and she could enjoy feeling safe.
“A change is as good as a rest, so they say” she hedged. “Mark’s family are pretty tiring.”
“You look OK,” he said but taking a closer look he noted her shadowed eyes and slumped shoulders. So perhaps not OK.
The abduction had been pretty hard on her, he guessed. She felt things deeply, his Major, and for all the things and eventualities they planned for, her getting kidnapped was not one of them. From the second he had known that she was missing, he had felt as though he couldn’t breathe. His Major, his Sam, all the things that they might never get to do had filled his mind and from that second he had used every tactic he could to get her back. He had got shot. But it was worth it just to have her sitting here beside him now.
She shrugged. “I just feel a bit...jittery, I guess.”
Silence fell and they both sipped on their beer, staring out across the lake that O’Neill’s cabin overlooked. Carter was questioning her usual good sense in even coming her and O’Neill? He was trying to figure out how he could keep hold of his self control. Because it was obvious that she was going to have to stay, at least for one night. Could he trust himself for one night? Of course they’d shared a tent off world and used each other as hot water bottles countless times but those times they had been on duty and the regulations had kept them same and sound and their feelings under control. He caught himself out on that thought. Not all those times. There had been that one time, they had gone by different names but the feelings had been the same. Jonah and Thera had shared a night together, not of grand love and high passion but just holding each other knowing that each moment brought new memories and those memories might prevent them doing what they were doing. They had not kissed or even touched each other, just held on very tight, listening to the other breathe. When the memories had returned the horror of their situation had crept over him like ice water and he had seen in her face the same horror.
He glanced across at her and saw that she had leaned back in the chair, closing her eyes against the bright light. Her beer was on the deck now and her breathing had evened out.
”Carter?” he said quietly, but there was no reaction. “Sam?” Still nothing.
He smiled to himself and leaned back in his chair, listening to her breathe, listening to the sound of the world around them and watching the sun slowly slide down the sky.
Sam Carter awoke to her name being called in a voice she didn’t quite recognise. Her dreams had been peaceful, reassuring, she had dreamed of her mother. A contrast to the nightmares that had plagued her, since her kidnap she had awoken sweating and crying, but this gentle awakening was new for her.
She opened her eyes as a voice called “Sam? Dinner,” and saw Jack O’Neill standing over her.
“Well hello, sleeping beauty. Thought I’d have to lay one on you to wake you up” he grinned, taking any innuendo out of the comment and she smiled in response.
“Perhaps I should have stayed asleep then,” she answered back cheekily.
He held his hand out to help her up and she allowed him to pull her out of the chair and looked around, realising that the sun was sinking below the horizon.
“How long did I sleep for?” she asked.
“Couple of hours. You looked like you needed it.”
She followed him into the house and stared at the table which was set for two. A bowl of salad sat next to a plate of crusty bread, with two places set for them. A bottle of white wine was ready to be poured and as he gestured her to her seat, he disappeared off into the kitchen and came out with two plates with steaming fish.
“You caught them today?” she asked in surprise.
“I could say yes and therefore enhance your opinion of me as a manly man,”
“I caught them yesterday,” he put her plate in front of her and took his place opposite her. She helped herself to salad and found that her appetite had come back with a vengeance.
Jack watched in satisfaction as she heaped her plate high with salad and took bread, buttering it before taking a bite of the fish.
“Good?” he asked as he poured the wine. She closed her eyes, savouring the taste, and nodded.
“Delicious” she mumbled round the food.
They ate in silence, Jack slightly astounded at the amount of food Sam was putting away but keeping her glass filled. He on the other hand was going easy on the wine, or at least trying to but Sam caught on to what he was going and filled his glass up the brim.
“I take it you were hungry?” he teased as she mopped up the plate with the last of the bread.
“I guess so” she said, munching away. “I didn’t know you were such a good cook. Except for the whole BBQ thing – this is a bit more....”
“Sophisticated? Sarah used to like me cooking for her. It’s just a knack. Plus I like to eat well when given the chance.”
Jack gathered the plates up and Sam picked up the glasses and followed him through and mentally amended her opinion of Jack O’Neill. The main part of the cabin might look rustic but his kitchen was smack bang up to date. He opened a dishwasher and began to load it, taking the empty glasses from her.
“Coffee?” he asked and she nodded. “Irish coffee?” and she raised an eyebrow. “It’s something Daniel got me into. You do the coffee, put in however much whiskey you want and then carefully float cream on the top. You need to do it in one of these,” he took out two tall glasses with a little handle on the side, “so you can see the handiwork.”
“I’m ready to be impressed” Sam said, smiling. “This I have to see.”
The first two didn’t go well. The cream sank straight to the bottom of the coffee and Sam could barely drink for laughing at his hurt expression. Then she suggested that perhaps more alcohol might help so they tried that. A little more whiskey in the second two coffees and this time, it simply mixed in with the coffee. Jack sighed and threw his spoon in the sink in disgust.
”I was going to be all impressive” he said. Sam smothered a giggle at the pout which was creeping across his face. She jumped down from the counter she was sitting on and rinsed out their glasses before taking the coffee jug from the machine and half filling the glasses.
“OK, let the scientist have a go” she said and he groaned.
“Aw, now you’re going to be all brilliant and do it first time.”
She shrugged, “Maybe. Maybe not. It’s not the usual type of thing that I apply my scientific principles to.”
She then poured a little alcohol into each and then holding the jug of cream in one hand, began to stir the coffee gently with a teaspoon. She then flipped the spoon over and began to pour the cream over the back of the spoon slowly and steadily. To Jack’s amazement, the cream floated on the top of the drink. She rinsed the spoon and did exactly the same with the other glass before handing it to him.
“Cheers” she said, clinking her glass against his.
“Here’s to your scientific principles” he said, dunking the spoon into his coffee and mixing the cream in. Sam rolled her eyes.
“Hey! I just did those!”
Jack sipped his drink appreciatively. “It’s very nice. But it would be nicer if I was slightly more comfortable. I’m thinking sofa.”
Sam followed him back through the living area and realised she was more than a little drunk. In fact she was a lot drunk. Somehow they had managed to get through two bottles of wine at dinner and then god knew how much whiskey in the coffees. She sank down on to the sofa in relief, Jack sitting at the other end. He grabbed the remote control and pressed a few buttons.
”What are we watching?” she asked.
“The only DVD that I have at the moment.”
He turned his body slightly and lifted an arm up in an invitation that she could not refuse. Sam crawled along the sofa, until she was leaning against him, her head comfortably resting in the crook of his shoulder.
The titles came up for Wizard Of Oz and Sam snorted.
“Wizard of Oz?”
“It’s a classic” he said defensively.
“Sure, whatever”, she said, as he dropped his arm to pull her closer.
At some point during the black and white part of the film, Sam drifted off and later, during the Munchkins’ ecstatic singing at the witch being dead, Jack’s eyes closed.
Neither of them awoke until later that night, instead moving into comfortable positions, Jack sliding down until he was lying on the sofa with Sam on her side, her leg sprawled between his, her arm flung across him. When Jack did awake he was immediately aware of the weight across him and he shifted slightly so he could see what it was that was holding him down. Sam Carter was sprawled across him and as he moved, she lifted her head. Even in the half light he could see her bright eyes.
“You’re awake?” he whispered.
“Yeah” she whispered back.
“This is uncomfortable” he whispered and she nodded.
“You’re not wrong” she whispered and then giggled. “Why are we whispering?”
“I don’t know.”
He was rewarded with a smile and then Sam sat up, stretching her limbs painfully. Jack moved off the sofa and stood up.
“OK, well I think its time for bed” and she nodded her agreement, covering a yawn.
He held out a hand to her and she accepted it, following him out of the room, snagging her bag on the way, up the stairs.
“Guest bedroom” he said, stopping in front of a door and she looked at him and then down at their still linked hands. He met her gaze and all the common sense, and the heaviness of knowing that they were still Colonel and Major and still not in a position to be doing this fell away. A gentle tug pulled her close to him and the thud signalled that her bag had hit the floor. He took two further steps, pulling her with him, and swung the door open.
“My room” he said softly, turning to face her.
She was standing very close, so close that their breath was intermingling and all his good intentions packed up and headed off leaving him with all the thoughts he should not be thinking.
He didn’t even realise he was kissing her until her hands went up about his neck. He hesitated just long enough to manage a sentence.
He didn’t need anything more than this, letting go of his control and kissing her deeply as he had always wanted to.
Lips on hot skin, hands urgent on clothes, her momentary gasp as he brushed his fingers over a sensitive point, his groan as she scratched her nails across him, losing themselves in each other, the creak of the bed as they fell on it gratefully, her quiet cry as he entered her and her name escaping him as he found a final release.
“Hey,” she said when he finally opened his eyes and looked down at her. Her eyes were shadowed as she lay beneath him, a smile gracing her face.
“Hey to you too,” he answered, dipping his head to claim a gentle kiss.
“That was unexpected,” she said as he moved off her, tugging the covers of the bed over them. Despite the day being warm, the nights could be cool.
He lay down and offered his arm again as he had earlier. She snuggled against him, her head resting on his chest, but this time much closer, her breath stirring the hair on his chest, her ear pressed against his ribs, hearing the slow thud of his heart.
“Unexpected is bad?” he asked and felt rather than saw her shake her head against him.
“All good,” she said and then, “Jack?”
“What happens now?” she pulled away, sitting up to look at him seriously.
“Well, now I usually go to sleep but....” he groaned as she dug him in the ribs. “I don’t know what happens now.”
She lay down again, his arms coming round to embrace her.
“We’ll talk about it in the morning.”
Morning came and Jack O’Neill found himself alone in his bed. He half expected to hear the sound of the shower and hoped that any minute she would step out but there was no sign of her. He rolled over but there was no tacky note on the pillow either.
The door swung open and Sam Carter came in, barefoot and dressed in what were obviously his t-shirt and a pair of his shorts. She had never looked lovelier and his good intentions were all for another vacation while he had his way with her. But in the bright sober morning sunlight, it wasn’t quite so easy. She was carrying two mugs of what smelt like coffee. She handed one to him as he sat up.
Sam tried to curb the urge to throw the coffee aside and jump him there and then as he leaned back against the bedhead, brown and bare chested. Instead, she handed him a mug and then sat down on the bed, curling her legs up under her.
“Sleep well?” he asked.
“Better than I had for ages” she answered truthfully.
“This wasn’t what I was looking for” Sam said suddenly. “I didn’t come here and expect you to comfort me.”
“That wasn’t what last night was,” Jack said, confused. Admittedly he wasn’t very sure about what last night was, apart from one of his fantasies coming true in a very real way.
“I just.... I’m not even sure why I did come. It’s just that I feel safe with you. All the time I was there, tied to that bed, I had hope. I knew you were coming. I knew that you wouldn’t stop at anything to find me. It kept me going.”
“I found you,” Jack lifted a hand to touch her cheek.
“You did. Thank you.” Sam sipped her tea. “But last night, it changes things. It’s not going to get any easier you know.”
“I know” he said. “But we can do it.”
“You think? This can’t happen again. We’ll get thrown out. No matter how much the President thinks of us or how hard Hammond tries, they won’t let us get away with this.”
She was right, he knew she was right but it didn’t sound any better out loud than it had done in his head.
“So what happens now?” Jack asked and Sam lifted her head and fixed him with a bright blue gaze.
“I believe someone promised me fishing. And after that? We’ll see.”