Hallmark Moments
by B. Cavis

Category: Adult, Holiday, Humor, PWP, Romance
Episode(s): 606 Abyss
Holiday: Christmas
Season: Season 6 < BR>Pairing(s): Jack/Sam
Rating: NC-17
Content: adult themes/mature scenes, graphic sex, language, sex, sexual situations

Hallmark Moments
by B. Cavis

Jack O'Neill had come to the conclusion that he was very, very bad at cards.

Not the fun, strip poker playing, I'll-show-you-mine-you-show-me-yours type of cards. Or even the ones that you could get at CVS; he always picked out appropriate, pretty, sparkly pieces of cardboard to dazzle the mind. The cards Jack would get for people would catch the light and make them go "Ooh, sparkleeeeeeeee." He was good at those kinds of cards. Super good. He even put them in those non-threatening pastel envelopes they came with.

He was a CVS card god. They were starting construction on his temple in about a week.

But Sam had made it very clear she didn't want a piece of cardboard, even if it had Snoopy on it. "Just write what's in your heart," she told him with a smirk. "And keep it PG-13 rated, would ya? Janet will fully intend on gushing over it with me, and I'd rather she didn't know the location of my mole or G-Spot." She'd made him promise, too, because she knew he was very, very bad at breaking promises, and that if he did get her a prepackaged piece of fluff, he'd feel worse about it than she would.

Damn that woman. Nothing but trouble, and great sex.

So he'd sat down, cracked his knuckles, and prepared himself for the writing of a Tolstoy worthy Christmas card to accompany his present.

And the aneurysm began.

"Dearest Sam,
"You're everything I could ever ask for in a friend and a lover. You've brightened up my life and my heart, and helped me feel things I thought were gone forever. You're the best thing in this man's life-"

And that was about as far as he could go before turning bright red, crumpling up his fifth attempt at some Christmas joy, and throwing it as far away from him as he could.

They lay in a pile now, his failed attempts at expressing the inner Jack O'Neill, mocking him with their crossed out words and folded down corners. Any minute now, they were going to grab that handy dandy letter opener off the desk and stab him. Break into a spirited version of "Rag Time Gal" and dance around so only he could see them.

You failed, they called to him. Hahahahahahahahaha-

And it was around this time that Jack decided he needed a little air.

It was cold outside, colder than it had been earlier, and he examined the slick ice covering the road with a pang of worry in his stomach. Not the best conditions for driving. This whether was fit for crashing into trees and guard rails and other cars, and not much else. And it was exactly the kind of weather Sam loved.

True to form, this Christmas had been gray, not white. It was cold, but not cold enough high enough for snow to form on this gloriously gloomy December 24th. Instead, rain came down to pelt against the roads and his head, and then freeze in a thick sheet of clear death trap fun. He could just see his insurance rates going up.

Sam adored the rain. It was one of those things she'd told him about over coffee in a post-orgasmic haze. It reminded her of her mother and how she used to smell like the world did after a good scrub down from the skies. He'd nodded accordingly, and told her that since it didn't remind him of Charlie, Baal, or Iraq, it was okay in his book.

He felt comfortable talking to her about all three, now, though in varying degrees. She'd come with him to Charlie's grave last time, held his hand while he put flowers down, and said a prayer in some language that he didn't understand. He wondered if Daniel had taught it to her before he did his glowing and whooshy thing and become a neutrally annoying all powerful energy being.

Baal came with a rule. Baal was only to be discussed when he woke up from a Baal related nightmare, and never at any other point in time.

And Iraq, well, Iraq had become small potatoes compared to some of the other stuff they'd been through these last few years. He could talk to her about it with little more than a wince at certain points in the narrative, but she'd cuddle closer to him whenever he did it anyhow. He wasn't complaining; any excuse to get Sam in his lap was a good one.

He could and had talked to her about the majority of demons in his past, and still she claimed in true Oprah brainwashed form that he didn't communicate enough. Which was why she had asked him to write this card for her, knowing he'd do just about anything to make her happy.

Damn the woman. Damn her from her blue painted toe nails to the tip of her sunflower coated head. Evil, conniving creature of sin.

God he loved her.

They'd been seeing each other for about three months now, ever since a heated exchange over a date she'd gone out on had resulted in a fast, hard screw in her quarters. That's right, let it be known: he had eaten his 2IC out just five floors beneath his commanding officer's head. She'd screamed out his name just a few doors away from the base cafeteria, narrowly avoiding alerting a large number of marines and airmen to the fact that he had bottomed out against her cervix. With his boots and BDUs lying in the corner as witnesses, he'd made Samantha Carter his significant other.

She was his girlfriend.


They'd had quite an argument over that too, what to call their little thing. The way she had acted, you'd have thought they were naming their first child. She'd refused to go around introducing him as her lover, and he'd felt too teenage when he told people she was his girlfriend. It had been the first real knock down drag out fight between them since god knows how long, complete with name calling, and the requisite angry, but still lustful fuck against her living room wall, while they angrily called each the most hateful things they could pull out of their heads.

They'd finally realized that since this was technically a secret relationship, they probably should be going around informing others about their current sleeping together status, and let the matter rest. She's tongued his balls in expiation that night, and he'd rimmed her till the death grip she had on his hair threatened to lead to premature baldness.

Despite his warm and fuzzy sex thoughts, Jack's hands were starting to go numb from hanging outside for so long. He rubbed them together to cling to the last bits of warmth before giving up and going back inside. The pile was still making fun of him; the ring leader was walking around going "Duh, I'm Jack, and I'm a dummy. Duh."


He picked them up, briefly contemplating throwing them in the fire, only to remember he didn't have a fire going. Next best thing. He walked into the kitchen, turned the disposal on, and threw all fire members of the Peanut Gallery into the swirling abyss, laughing at their cries for mercy and periodically turning on the faucet to drown them in their own carnage.

"Who's the bitch now?" He mocked as the last of the little pieces were swept into the septic system. "Yeah," he threw his shoulders back, "I thought not."

Jack O'Neill, he thought to himself, Destroyer of Paper. Bow. Bow NOW!

Having lost his only distraction, he let himself sigh in frustration, and walked back into the living room. Sam would be here in under an hour. He best get cracking.

The chair welcomed him back, and he took up the pad of paper and the pen once more, determined not to create anymore little Frankenletters to mock him and dance the Macarena in defiance.

"Dear Sam." He looked at the words for a long moment, tapping the pen against his teeth in uncertainty. "'Dear Sam.'" They sounded innocent enough. He let them stand.

The next part was the hard part. Diplomacy was vital, as was courage. He could do this. He could so do this!

Jack drew a little sun in the left hand corner of his paper.

"Yeah," he grumbled to himself, "this letter is golden. Perfect. More than perfect. Pure emotional genius."

He was in such big trouble.

Cards sucked.

Jack snapped himself back to the task at hand, took a deep breath, and tried to picture Sam reading this thing. What would she want to feel? He was sure he could write down enough of himself to make her feel emotionally fulfilled without him feeling like a complete and utter idiot. He had to be able to do this; he'd killed off more goa'ulds than anyone else in history, in a six year span. He'd made alliances with some of the most powerful people in the universe, convinced everyone that mattered that they were going to some day be the fifth race. Hell, he'd had a freakin' intergalactic Ferrari named after him! He could write a little card to the woman he'd spent the past four years mooning after in silence.

Then again, they had blown up the Ferrari...


"I'm sitting here," he wrote, "trying to figure out what I'm supposed to write in one of these things. I'm really not good at cards, Sam. I'm hoping the gift I got you makes up for it in some small way, but if you're expecting to find some Fabio plastered novel, Lifetime movie crap in this, you're going to be disappointed." He looked over the words, finding them strangely adequate, and himself still in full possession of his stomach and pride. He wondered if it was a bad thing that he'd just spent a paragraph berating himself and mocking her, but it was the best thing he'd written so far, and he still felt like a semi-intelligent human being, so he kept going.

"I'm doing this because I love you and you asked for it, not for my own benefit. We both know I'm not exactly the most mushy, fluffiest person in the world, so cut me some slack when reading this." Okay, he thought, enough making light of his own short comings. Time to get into the serious stuff. He chewed on his bottom lip and put the pen back down on the page.

"I want to be with you, Sam." There, that sounded nice and clean cut, didn't it? "And I am going to spend the rest of my life being with you if I have anything to say about it." Bordering on the mush again. "Ignore the cliche, but you are quite possibly the best part of my life. The brightest, most definitely. We both know I'm a pain in the mikta a lot of the time, and thank you for putting up with me. You've made this middle-aged (not old) man very happy."

That looked nice, he decided. It was short, and sweet, not overly sugared or cliched. He checked and found his manly bits still intact and fully functioning. All in all, a pretty painless experience. Now he just needed a way to finish it.


Somehow he didn't think writing "The End" would tickle her fancy.

A car door slammed in the driveway. She was here. He looked desperately down towards him pen and pad and willed something else to come out. He was not ready for her to see this, he wasn't even sure if he was ready to have written this. Had to finish, had to finish...

"I love you."

He blinked.

And the Jack looked at the words and saw that the words were good. And the Jack said to himself, these are good.

He stared down at it for a long moment, before capping his pen and throwing the pad into the wooden chest next to his chair. The door unlocked and slowly opened, and his heart beat increased hopefully.

Sam poked her head into the house, pink cheeked from the cold. "Jack?"

"Here." Her face brightened as she saw him, and she pushed the door open all the way, revealing the duffel bag over her left shoulder and the dry cleaned plastic wrapped outfit over her right. "You're looking happy." He jumped forward to take the duffel from her, wincing under the weight. "Is there a riffle in here?"

"Of course not, silly. That's in the violin case." She pressed a quick kiss to his mouth, cool flesh on warm skin, and kicked the door closed. "Clothes and the like. And a few sex toys." He shook the bag again, his interest peaked.

"The handcuffs?"

"Heck no. I'm talking whips and my leather suit." Jack grinned. He loved it when she played with him. "Handcuffs," she snorted, "amateur."

"My apologies Mistress." She grinned at him, coming up on her toes to bite at his lower lip. His hands came up, one arm wrapping around her back and the other tangling in her hair to pull her mouth close to his. Instinct drove his hips forward to rub against the apex of her thighs, and the hand cupping her shoulders went down to cup her ass to further the contact. He'd become so addicted to her in such a short amount of time. It was almost pathetic, if one didn't take into account the fact that she was moaning into his mouth and pulling him against her with one of her legs, just as desperate for contact.

The clock on his mantle let out a low ding, signaling that it was now approximately 2200. She pulled away, her lips leaving his with a little pop and sigh.

"Now that's more like it." She rubbed herself against Jack Jr. with a sigh. "Later. You have to show me how this Christmas thing works before I try and explain good will and love towards all men to your smaller head." She pushed past him into his house, throwing her dry cleaning onto the chair he'd been sitting on earlier. He watched as she disappeared into his kitchen, but didn't complain. He had to admit, he found the idea of Sam in his house endearing, cute even.

She had him so whipped.

Her words sunk into his admittedly hard head. "Explain Christmas? What are you, Charlie Brown?"

Sam poked her head back out, a little milk moustache on her upper lip. "Not that I know of. I'm Jewish, Jack. I've never done this before. The closest thing we had was the Hanukkah bush, and that was so pathetic we stopped doing it when I turned five."

His eyebrows were going up. They seemed to do that a lot around her. "Jewish? Carter's not a Jewish name."

"It was Cartovoski," she explained. "They had my grandfather change it at immigration. We're not practicing or anything, me and my dad and brother, but we're not Catholic." She looked him over, her lips turning up. "Have I proven myself unworthy, Mr. Gentile? I mean, all we did was kill one little savior two thousand years ago. You'd think you people would have gotten over it by now."

He chuckled and came over to pull her in for a quick kiss. "Nope. Just... have you really never done this before?"

"Nope. I'm a Christmas virgin." She pressed against him, cooing and twirling a strand of hair around her finger. "Educate me, Jack? Pretty please?"


"Witch," he hissed, pinching her right ass cheek and smirking as she yelped and pushed against him.

"You know you like it," she breathed to him, her eyelashes fluttering against his cheek. "So, when do we get to the presents?" He laughed outright, and she grinned up at him, enjoying the role switch. He was always the one making her laugh. It felt good to be able to return the favor for once.

"Not until later. You want to do this the traditional way or the O'Neill Family Christmas way?" The traditional way required that all presents be left untouched until Christmas morn, when the angels were singing praises of Tonka trucks and itchy sweaters. The O'Neill Family method would have to be altered slightly, seeing as his sister wasn't there to flirt with all the guests and his older brother hadn't shown up to play grab ass with his five interchangeable fiances, but Jack supposed they'd manage. One good point of the O'Neill Family Christmas was that one present was allowed to be opened the night before Christmas, as long as the curtains were closed to make sure Santa and God couldn't see and smote down anyone in the middle of holding up their new Barbie doll or surprisingly hideous tie.

Sam tapped her finger against his chin and cocked her head to the side. "Which one involves us getting naked and having sex underneath the tree?" she asked, her eyes big and blue and inquisitive. Sugary sweet and innocent of all sin.


He'd never had a chance.

"Well," he began, trying to take the question seriously and not start staring at her in hope and lust while drooling out of the corner of his mouth, "I'm not sure either one of them does. Nope, it's not listed in the play book." Her mouth was looking very tasty all of a sudden. He swooped down to catch her fat candied bottom lip between his teeth. "I suppose," he murmured to her, feeling her hips press insistently against his, "that we need to make our own Christmas tradition."

"Mm." The lights from the carefully decorated tree painted her face with cheerful colors. "Are you sure you're ready for that kind of commitment?" Jack stopped, pulling away slightly.

Sam had a habit of giving her words double meanings; of asking two questions at once. He had spent five years learning to distinguish between the two. He'd heard the underlying question, known what she was really asking, and while it irritated him slightly that she'd have to ask, he had to feel that pang of adoration inside his chest swell even more.

Samantha Carter: Are you sure you're ready for that kind of commitment?

Samantha Carter Translation into Jack and the King's English: Are you sure you want me to be part of your tradition?

"Yes," he told her, firm, leaving no room for debate. Her eyes filled with a faint sheen of liquid, and he kissed her to drive it away. He hated it when she cried-- hated it when anyone cried. It always made him feel useless and pointless; unable to do anything to protect the ones he loved. It was another one of those stigmas left over from his first marriage and its subsequent end. "I'm absolutely sure," he murmured against her mouth.

Sam's arms came up to tangle around his neck, the tears running silently down her cheeks to salt their kiss. The relief ran through her, loosening her muscles and releasing the tension in her stomach. She'd been terrified that he'd say no, that he'd ask her to leave or declare her unable to understand what was going on. It wouldn't have been the first time she'd gotten close to someone, only to be told that she had to leave, that she couldn't possibly help or understand the needs of her partner.

Jonas had been like that; withdrawing into himself instead of lashing out at her. She'd left him, not because he'd become overly possessive or abusive, but because he had become unresponsive, and she refused to be with someone who looked at her with the same passion and recognition one expressed when looking at a rug.

At the time she hadn't been sure if it would have been better for him to just hit her or yell at her or do something besides kill their relationship by ignoring her help and wallowing in his own pain. Right now, she couldn't care, didn't care, except to make sure it never happened with this incredible man who'd taken her to see the wonders of the universe, saved her from herself and others, and proven himself to be the person she wanted to spend the rest of her time alive with.

And made her watch the Simpsons. She wouldn't forget that part either.

A calloused thumb came up to wipe her tears away as she keened against his mouth and pushed herself as far into his embrace as possible. They broke off the kiss and Sam buried her face in his collar, breathing him in softly to soothe away the bad memories and the fears regarding this relationship that filled her mind whenever she allowed them to.

"Thank you," she whispered to him, her lips brushing up against his earlobe. Sometime during this they had moved enough for his knees to be pressing against the couch, and when her words hit hit ear, he fell back into it, bringing her with him. She giggled at his muttered "oy," and forced herself to look into his face to see what she would find.

And all she could see was Jack, the man who had single handed saved the world, defeated false gods, and made her orgasm until she was scared she'd pass out from lack of oxygen. The man she loved.

Grinning mentally at the cliche, she leaned forward to place a chaste kiss on his mouth. "I love you, Jack." A pleased smile broke out onto his face.

"I love you, Sam. Never doubt that. Ever." One of his hands came up to the front of her shirt, playing idly with the rounded pearl buttons. "Are we done being all Hallmark moment-y?"

She smirked, feeling the familiar heat coil in her belly and extend to warm her fingertips. "Yes, I think so."

Success. "Good." And the shirt started coming off. She busied herself with unbuckling his belt and pants, and was working on the zipper when he shoved her arms together and pulled her top from her arms, throwing it haphazardly away from them. She watched it land and begin to wrinkle.

"You'll be getting the dry cleaning for that," she reminded him.

"Yeah, sure, whatever." Right now he so did not care about her clothes. He did, however, have a very keen interest in what was underneath them.

By the time he'd gotten her bra off, she'd managed to push his pants and boxers down to his knees. Her lips had latched onto his collar bone and were showing no signs of loosening. He ran a hand through her hair to try and recapture her mouth, only to be rewarded with a sharp nip of her teeth as she release the suction.

"I gave you a hickey," she murmured to his tonsils. "Consider yourself branded."

He pushed her up into a bent position in order to work her out of the cloth keeping her apart from him. Jack Jr. was arching up insistently, demanding contact and the warm wetness that lurked in her folds, waiting for him. She laughed as he became frustrated with trying to undo her boots, and settled for pushing her jeans and panties to a large bunch around her ankles, before pulling her back on top of him with a determined growl-like sound.

Hands fumbling for the proper positions and mouths locked together despite the burning developing low in both sets of lungs, Jack and Sam went for a quick access approach and ground their hips into each other. Two hands belonging to two different people went down to grab a hold on his cock, guiding him to her entrance and forcefully initiating contact.

A deep groan came, echoed by a higher gasp as the two of them tried desperately to adjust to the feeling of being locked together at the waist. Sam pushed her knees as far apart as her hands could make them go without threatening her joints. Their lips burst apart furiously, lips wet and voices hitching.

Sam decided that this was her favorite part-- the initial thrust. When there was nothing in the world except the feeling of him pressing against her walls. Impaling her.

And then he started to move, and she realized that this beat the other thing hands down.

Jack had his eyes locked with hers, holding her in place by sheer will alone, moving against her with every ounce of strength in his body. Her knees came up to rest beside his thighs, bracing herself as she started to move herself up and down on him, the muscles in her strong legs twitching and flexing underneath cream skin. He took advantage of the distraction, running his hands up her thighs and trying hard to focus in on that instead of the relentless pressure of her around him and the push of his balls as they prepared for the eventual release.

The Christmas tree in the corner was the only light in the room besides the pale lamp he'd been writing by. The blinking seasonal lights caught her hair and backed her outline in blue and red tints. Blonde strands were caught out of place, illuminating up like a fiery halo around her head as she bounced on his lap. His hands came up to cup her breasts and squeeze gently, pinching her nipples between his thumbs and forefingers. She gave a little panting sigh, and he was content.

This, Sam declared to whomever was listening, was so her favorite part.

She'd always been attracted to lunatic fringe (i.e. dangerous and dark) men. From Jonas to the plethora of boys who her father had insisted were no good for her, would end up hurting her, dirtying her, she'd been drawn to those who had the freedom to be openly bad, something years of being Daddy's Little Air Force Lady had robbed her of.

She'd been thrilled to find it in Jack. And even more thrilled to know that for once, no mater what her father might say, Jack was good for her. Very good for her.

And it made the darkness in him that much more fun.

"God you're tight, Sammiegal. Tight and wet and all for me." He thrust his hips up sharply to underscore the point, and she would have laughed with glee if she could have found the breath. She loved it when he talked dirty. It silenced all those insecurities that nagged her almost all the time in her relationships. He'd been able to make them quiet, recently. Been able to hush them.

She was going to have to reward him for that.

"Jaaaaaaack, oh Jesus, Jaaaaaack." He groaned. He loved it when she said his name like that, and she knew it.

Manipulative witch.

Correction: manipulative witch who was going to come before him even if he had to order her to.

"Fuck me, Jaaaaaack. Pleaaaaase." She felt completely evil, wicked. She wondered if this meant Santa was giving her coal for her first Christmas. Probably not the best way to start out her track record, she realized, but ground down on him anyhow.

Oh yeah. So worth it.

One of his hands came down from her waist to caress her rear, digging into the softness he found and plucking at her nerve centers with experienced digits. She arched further against his body, praying the pleasuring hand would follow her movements.

Jack brought his hand down on her ass. Not hard, just strong enough to reaffirm who was in charge (for appearances sake anyhow) and who was going to be following orders around here.

Sam decided this had just become her new favorite part.

"Faster," he hissed to her, slapping her again with splayed fingers, digging his hands into her soft flesh and pulling her further onto him. She complied with his demands, moving her hips at a quicker pace, until her legs started protesting and her boot clad feet started to knock against the back of her thighs. She worried momentarily for his knees, but he didn't seem to be complaining, so neither was she.

One hand still clutching at her ass, threatening her silently, he pushed the other one down to the wet and fuzzy pocket their bodies were making, digging his fingers into her folds. Sam gave a gasp for air, but it wasn't quite the sound he was looking for, so he moved his fingers around.

There? No.

There? Nothing.

How about there?

Sam gave a sob, her back arched, breasts pressed out, eyes closed.

Bingo. He grinned and swooshed his thumb into place on top of her clit, rubbing and pressing and pinching her with nimble fingers. Sam was grinding against him mindlessly, begging with silent lips and a openly awed face.

He had her now.

Bringing his other hand down one last time on her rear, Jack simultaneously shoved up into her with his full lower body, and caught her clit between his middle and pointer finger, dragging his thumbnail over her.

Oh, Sam thought, so that's what heaven looks like.

Jack watched her scream and arch with a deep sense of satisfaction, pulling his hands away to grab at her waist. His balls were coiling up, tightening in anticipation as he thrust against her still shaking body. It's okay now, he told himself, she's come. I can too. It's my tu...

His hips came off the couch and locked him into her as the end came after a few more quick jabs. He felt his insides churn and boil as he came inside her, adding to the sloppy wetness already coating their joined bodies. His head came back to lash on the couch cushions, bitting into the fabric by his mouth desperately.

...By the time he came back to himself, the clock was chiming again. Sam had collapsed bonelessly across his lap, her head nestled against his chest and her inner muscles shaking around him with little fluttering remnants of her orgasm. For his part, he was pretty sure he'd just ejaculated our his intestines. He hoped they didn't show up missing on his next x-ray; Janet would probably end up pulling out the big needles.

Someone was purring. He hoped it wasn't him.

"I liiiiiiiiiike this tradition," Sam moaned into his chest. "I really, really do." She put her hands on his shoulders and raised herself off him as he watched intently. "Christmas has just become one of my favorite holidays."

She walked across to the kitchen, moving as well as she could with her pants pulled down around her thighs, and offering him a death glare over her shoulder to prohibit laughing. He closed his eyes and let his mind wander for the briefest of moment, coming to rest on the card/letter still shoved inside the pine chest.

He still liked how it sounded, so he guessed he was okay.

Sam wandered in, a wet cloth in hand and her pants pulled back up. D'oh. He took it from her and cleaned himself as best he could, before mimicking her actions and reclothing the lower part of his body.

"We have really got to stop this whole impetuous sex thing." He blinked at her.


"First on base, then in the bathroom at the movies, and now on your couch." She smiled and waved a finger disapprovingly. "It's quite depraved, when you think about it."

"On the plus side, we are getting closer to the bed."

"Yes, there is that." He rose, looming a good five inches above her. "I think we're advanced enough for the bed, now. Don't you think?"

Sam laughed, and it occurred to him that she had been doing it a lot more these days. "I guess we'll just have to check it out, don't you think?" And she grabbed his hand, leading him firmly up the stairs.


"Wake-up...Wake-uuuuuuuuuup" Jack swatted irritably at the voice looming to his right. "Hit me and I'll hit you back, Jack. Hey, I rhymed."

Cheerful, morning people Samantha Carters were much more evil than regular Samantha Carters. He had to put a stop to this right away, before someone lost an eye.

"Okay," he opened both eyes and glared at her. "I'm awake. And since we're not off-world, having nightmares, and you're not performing fellatio, I'm feeling more than a little disgruntled about it." Sam laughed and he bit down his grin. It was nice to have someone who understood that he was officially asleep until noon on his days off.

"It's Christmas morning," she reminded him. "And as the Christmas virgin, I am desperately in need of guidance." She fluttered her eyelashes and pouted.

Jack pushed himself up to get a further look at the situation he was in. The sheets were cool against his bare flesh, unlike his lover's body, resting against his back with splayed limbs. If he shifted just so, his mind informed him, he'd hit her sweet spot with his hip.

Good to know.

"And as your older and more experienced Christmas non-virgin, I will do all I can to offer assistance. What's the problem? Sun on the fritz? Your nanite containing cake come out a little flat from the oven? Have the plastic Apophis reindeer fallen off the roof again?" She grinned at him and reached over to pull a pair of gift wrapped boxes off the floor.

"No. I'm just a little confused as to when we proceed with the gift giving part." She played with a colorful bow. "Very pretty, don't you think?" He held up a finger and pushed himself out of bed, not bothering to put on any clothes, as he took a few quick leaps down to the living room, retrieving his letter from the chest and folding it up, grabbing the two wrapped presents from inside the chest and bolting back upstairs.

Sam hadn't moved, and he slid back into bed beside her, presenting his prizes for her approval. She grinned and took both in hand, while he did the same to her offerings. They exchanged a quick look of appreciation. This, he realized, was what it was like to have a normal relationship with a woman who could shoot a fly off a Jaffa's forehead a mile away.

Yep. He was totally getting used to this.

Pausing for the requisite shake of the opaque boxes, each of them reached for their cards, unwrapped them, and read in silence.

Jack ran his fingers over each of the words presented on the pale eggshell stationary, suddenly wishing that he'd used nicer paper, and started to read.


"I love you. That's all I have to say.

"Yours forever if you'll have me, Sam."

Was it manly to get tears in your eyes? He didn't think it was.

Sam had tears freely flowing down her cheeks, which were spread apart in a soft grin. He stole a glance at her to catch her response, and felt his stomach unclench for the first time since he'd put the words on the paper yesterday.

She looked over at him, her face relaxing into an expression of what Jack could only identify as contentment, before reaching over and pulling open his nightstand drawer and placing the paper inside it. "Janet," she told him, "will not be seeing that one." He put his along side it and closed the compartment firmly.

"No one will be seeing that. Open the big one first." She laughed and picked up the bright pink package.

"If there is anything distasteful even remotely relating to my crotch inside this box, I'll make you use it." Her nimble fingers undid the tape and the cover. He counted down the seconds in his head, hearing his own heartbeat pound in his ears.

Please like it, please like it, I'm so going to kill him if she doesn't like it-

"Oh wow..."


Slender fingers removed the piece of crystal from the box, holding it up to the light for inspection. The pale blue stone, the exact shade of her eyes (they'd been overjoyed to find it) caught the light and refracted hundreds of tiny rainbows all around the room, coating them both in spectrums of three major colors. Sam's face broke into a grin.

"It's gorgeous, Jack."

He shifted. "It's sort of a combination gift," he explained, feeling uncomfortable as her eyes turned towards him. "After you were taken by Conrad, Daniel and I went out to try and-- don't you dare laugh-- find something to make you feel better. It made sense at the time, honest. So Daniel took me into this old antiquities store he gave some of his pieces from Abydos to, and we found this." He wished she didn't have that all penetrating gaze of hers. It was really disconcerting. "And then you made one of those miraculous recoveries that SG-1 is so famous for, and we decided to give it to you for your birthday. Which Daniel was sort of absent for and I was sort of being tortured by a goa'uld for, so it got put down as a Christmas gift." He took a breath. "Glad you like it."

She could have gushed and made him more uncomfortable, but she seemed to sense he was nervous enough as it was, and put the crystal down to go on to the next box.

Smaller and velvet, there was no real surprise about what was going to be inside. She popped the top open.


"Jack, I've said it before and I'll say it again: you just became my favorite." He'd gotten her sapphires. A sapphire, set in a white gold setting. She'd always thought rings were sort of cliched, but she was definitely enjoying this one. The box was discarded as she slid it onto her right ring finger. Jack sat back in relief, a happy grin on his face.

"So, I did good?" She offered a kiss in reward.

"You did very good. My turn. Their not as serious as your, I'm afraid." He picked up the first wrapped box, the one that had sounded like nothing when he'd shaken it, but had the weight of a good present. He used his thumbnail to open up a seam (Sam always used too much tape with these things) and pulled and twisted his fingers until the paper fell away.

"Hey! All right!" You had to love a woman who gave you Simpsons, and he told her so, while she blushed.

"Yeah, well, next present."

The next box looked suspiciously like clothes, but thumped when he shook it. He looked at her. "Did you get me an itchy sweater?"

"Not unless you put your sweaters in different places than the rest of us." Ooh, catchy come back. She was getting much better at those.

This time he grabbed a pen off the nightstand and dug into the box, tearing away tape with ease and skill. When he was done, he twirled the Bic with pleased fingers. "Who's the man?"

"Oh for crying out loud, just open the damn thing." Suspense made Sam nervous. She just didn't have the patience for it. And since she was the source of much of his happiness these days, he obliged her and pulled the top off.

Lying on the plain white tissue paper, were two long piece of black material, with velcro at one end. He picked one of them up and peered at it. It was like a long, wide tube of fabric, thick and hard. He tested the material in his hands, looked over at her, and felt reality dawn.

This was the best Christmas ever. So much better than getting a Tonka truck.

Sam hadn't gotten him a t-shirt, she hadn't gotten him a book, and she'd refrained from giving him a CD. No, because if there was one thing his lover was, it was creative. And this gift was nothing short of a flash of brilliance.

Sam had gotten him sleeves for his bullet proof vest.

This was so worth the card.


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