A Man’s Gotta Do
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Category: Skirts the line between gen & UST
Spoilers: Set directly after the end of “Shades of Grey” but there are no spoilers for it.
Rating: E for Everybody
Content Warnings: none
Summary: Actions don’t always speak louder than words.
Disclaimer: I make no claim on anything related to Stargate. Just borrowing my favorite fictional people, thank you very much.
Author's Note: Almost-virgin writer warning. :) I was bitten by this rabid plot bunny at the posting of the Wednesday Short challenge on the GateShip group mailing list, but at over 900 words it's a ficlet. Thanks to Rowan and the gang for letting me play anyway.
Pausing at the top of the ramp, Jack felt Sam brush past him on her way to the bottom. By the time Daniel and Teal’c came through, she had already handed her pack and weapon to the tech and was standing at field rest in front of the general. With a deep sigh, Jack headed down to join her.
Eight days and two brief missions after his return, she still wasn’t speaking to him. Well, technically she was, but not really.
Eight days, a few hundred tight-lipped yes-sirs and dozens of sharply executed salutes; his patience had been folded, spindled and mutilated.
He’d known bringing them back from beyond the breaking point wasn’t going to be easy. He’d known it was going to take time. Hell, he’d forged into territory of asshole-ish behavior uncharted even in his bad old days. This was to be expected, he had thought.
Thing is, he had hoped he’d be wrong. He had hoped that she’d listen to his story and the light would dawn and she’d be all prickly at him for a day or two. Then they’d all have a beer together and it would all be over.
He’d hoped she’d be a man about it.
He was now fully aware what an idiot he’d been, a complete dumbass son of a bitch. The one time in all these years it would have been prudent to remember that by God, she’s a woman, and he’d blown it straight to hell.
The abysmal look on her face when he had finally pierced her armor that day in the corridor had been replaced by a look he liked even less. Now she wore a mask so rigid and vacant that she could have been a mannequin. A wounded, pissed-off mannequin.
When she bolted from the debriefing too fast to decline Daniel’s invitation to burgers, Jack snapped. The inevitability of what he had to do next was a heavy burden.
Jack had taken his time with the boys, burgers and beer, not wanting to arouse any suspicion or end up with witnesses. Checking his watch he decided he’d waited long enough. The late hour and the element of surprise would get his foot in the door; the rest was up to him.
Sam’s porch light nearly blinded him when he triggered the motion sensor. Three tries at the doorbell, and suddenly a figure in yellow flannel peered through the door glass.
Shock made her swing the door wide. “Sir?”
“Are you busy?”
A short huff and rolling eyes were his only answer as she allowed him passage and closed out the cold night air. In the dim glow of leftover porch light and the half moon of a nightlight she stood, tightly wound and beautiful.
“I thought about flowers.” He blurted.
Confused blue eyes met warm brown.
“I thought about chocolate,” he shrugged and took a step toward her, “and wine. But I knew you weren’t falling for that.”
She showed no sign of hearing him speak.
“Sam.” He ducked his head for a moment before meeting her eyes again. “I’m sorry.”
Her breath caught and her fingers flexed.
He held a hand out toward her and she eyed it warily before returning to his face. One more step brought him so close she stopped breathing. “I really am.”
Finally, he grasped her fingers and tugged her gently into his embrace. For a few heartbeats she remained unbending to his entreaty, her body resisting his chill with one of her own. A long moment later her resolve crashed so hard he could hear it. Her arms lifted, her head bowed to his shoulder and his world righted itself at last.
“I’m sorry, Sam.” Peppering her hair with tiny kisses, he breathed her in. “I’m so, so sorry.”
She clung to him silently, breath hitching, grasping at the back of his shirt.
Rocking together, hands swept over backs, cheeks brushed and heartache eased. He willed her to feel his regret, desperate to begin winning back her trust and replace that desolate look in her eyes with warmth again.
Leaning slightly away, he took her face in his hands and looked directly into her bright eyes. “I am sorry.” He whispered.
A solemn, wide-eyed nod told him all he needed to know.
Pressing his lips to her forehead, he rocked her in his arms a moment longer, and dared one more kiss on the corner of her mouth, stepping away before she could return in kind.
One hand squeezed her shoulder lightly, then trailed down her arm, brushing a thumb over her knuckles before letting go. Reluctant to break from her until the last possible moment, he stepped back to the door, eyes still locked on her face. Lifting a palm in silent farewell, he reached back to turn the knob and slipped out.
He was halfway back to his truck when he heard the deadbolt slide home. Hoping for one more glimpse of her, he turned back toward the door and was rewarded by her shy smile through the window.
Spirits soaring and grinning like a fool, he climbed back in the truck and set off into what had become a beautiful night.