holdouttrout: not your ordinary fish (Sam_Jack_stillthere)
[personal profile] holdouttrout
Title: Close to Perfect
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Rating: PG
Category: Fluff
Pairing: Sam/Jack
Summary: If something was going to happen, it would happen soon. AU post-Moebius.
Notes: I've been feeling nostalgic lately, and reading a lot of Sam/Jack fic. I thought, "Hey, if I'm feeling nostalgic, maybe someone else is, too." So I dove into my WIP folder and found this nicely indulgent little thing, waiting for a decent ending.
Read on AO3




Her father had died, the Goa'uld were limping away from the fight, and the replicators had vanished, turning into a silvery dust that was hell on electrical equipment but had no other homicidal tendencies. SG-1 went fishing, partly in celebration, and partly to help Sam mourn her father. It was a break, a chance to get away, and it was also a test for Sam and Jack. They had both known that if something was going to happen, it would happen soon.

After all, it had been eight years.

Either by chance or by well-crafted design on the part of Teal'c and Daniel, Sam and Jack ended up alone on the dock on a beautiful moonlit night. It wasn't, Sam thought, too close to the funeral. Jack was standing close. Sam's heart was racing, but her palms were dry. Jack reached out and drew her to him, and the absurdity of it all swept over her all at once.

She laughed. It was unforgivable, but she couldn't stop herself.

Jack's expression reflected his utter confusion for a split second, and then he laughed, too.

It was almost silly, Sam thought, this... thing. It couldn't possibly last, not in the metaphorical light of day. She tried to imagine them together, doing normal, couple-things, and failed.

She knew that Jack must be thinking the same thing, knowing he was laughing at the vision of them grocery shopping, or fighting over the best way to load the dishwasher, and it just wasn't possible.

When they finally stopped laughing, Jack held out a hand.

"Friends?"

Sam nodded, not feeling any pang of regret. "Friends," she agreed.

And they were. It was as simple as that one word, as simple as letting themselves stop keeping count of rank, of duty, of what they had always thought lay just beyond it. Instead of a broken trust, they ended up with friendship.

Sam finally--finally--convinced Jack she wasn't joking when she said his clothes were like something out of an 80s horror movie--although he didn't get rid of them--and Jack beat her soundly at chess a few hundred times.

Ironically, they did go grocery shopping, but it wasn't absurd, or if it was, that was okay. The thing was gone, they were over it, and life could move on.

Several months after the dock, they had dinner with the team, and then drinks with members of a few other teams who wanted to reminisce. More and more people were leaving the SGC and moving on. Afterward, Sam came back to Jack's to stargaze. It would have been a cliché except they really did stargaze. Jack had an excellent telescope, and despite the alleged shows the neighbors put on, it was focused into the black more often than not.

Sam gave up jostling for position at the telescope and commandeered one of the chairs on the deck. She lounged back in a boneless sprawl, content for now to look at the sky with her own eyes while Jack made a few minute adjustments and peered into the scope now and then.

Jack glanced over his shoulder, apparently noticing she'd left the telescope. "Penny for your thoughts?"

Sam smiled. "I was thinking about how this evening was almost perfect."

Jack raised an eyebrow. "Only almost?"

Sam shrugged, "Good friends, good food, and..." she looked up, "a peaceful glance at the unknown."

"Not all of it unknown," Jack pointed out.

"Not all of it," Sam agreed.

She sat up. Jack sat down next to her, his body not quite touching hers, and Sam had a truly unreasonable stab of irritation. She didn't move, though, and stamped it down.

"So," Jack nudged her shoulder, "Why was it only almost perfect?"

His tone was light and teasing, but there was something else there, too, and Sam wasn't sure what it was.

"I--" she frowned. "I don't know. Maybe I was just hedging my bets."

Jack gave her an appraising glance. "Okay," he said, apparently not wanting to push it.

Sam looked at her watch and started. It was pretty late."I better go," she said. Before she could move Jack was on his feet, helping her up. She overbalanced a bit and Jack steadied her, but they ended up too close together.

Sam's palms were immediately damp, and her heart--

But that was impossible. This thing had been put to rest months ago. It was crazy that tonight she'd react this way. She started to back away, but happened to catch Jack's eye, and stopped dead.

"Hedging my bets," Sam muttered.

Jack apparently didn't catch her words, because he licked his mouth and said, "Huh?"

Sam said, "I..." She couldn't possibly say it. It couldn't be fair to him, of course. They'd put it behind them.

She had every intention of backing away. She did, but instead she found herself stepping closer.

"Carter," Jack said, finally catching on that there was a problem. They didn't do this sort of thing. They were friends. Hard won friends.

Sam blurted out, "I want to try again." Now her whole body was in a cold sweat, instead of just her hands.

"What?" Jack said."But--I thought--friends?" he said, sounding a little panicky.

"We are," Sam said, and kissed him.

She wanted to take everything in, how his lips felt, how his hands tightened on her arms, how she felt about this, how his body leaned into hers for a split second before he pulled back.

There was a breath apart from him, but she didn't even think of opening her eyes, and then his lips met hers again, and she gasped because it was suddenly clear that this was happening, that he was with her.

Sam wound her arms over his shoulders to draw him closer, and Jack's arms slid around her waist, which was nice because she was dizzy but she didn't want to let go, either.

She wasn't keeping track of the minutes they spent like that, just kissing, finally kissing, but eventually she had to breathe. They broke apart just far enough to let air in.

Sam had one more moment of panic right then, as she met Jack's eyes, but his arms tightened around her and he was looking at her with a goofy smile she'd only seen once or twice. A rush of warmth took her by surprise as she realized that this look was for her--had always been for her. The last of her nerves left her, and she knew that this... thing was right, right now, in a way it couldn't have been any sooner.

She felt like laughing, not out of a sense of the absurd, but out of relief, rightness. "We're never going to live this down," she said.

Jack's hands tightened on her waist. "So don't care." He kissed her again, slowly this time, in a way that left no uncertainty about where tonight was going.

Sam had a thought and pulled back. "Your neighbors don't have telescopes, do they?"

Jack let out a short huff of laughter. "Doubt it," he said, "but we can go inside just in case."

Sam briefly considered saying they should stay outside, but as wonderful as the night air felt, she really wasn't an exhibitionist.

"Let's," she said, thinking this was as close to perfect as they'd get.

Date: 2012-07-15 03:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ayiana.livejournal.com
Aww, now see that? You've gone and made me all sappy and nostalgic, too. Darn you. :P

Lovely little story, and so very them. I'm glad you pulled it out, dusted it off, and shared it with the class. Thank you.

Date: 2012-07-15 11:47 pm (UTC)
ext_2131: picture of a fish with lots of green (sam_jack)
From: [identity profile] holdouttrout.livejournal.com
Thank you! Making people sappy and nostalgic was absolutely part of my plan. :-)

Date: 2012-07-15 03:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jemster.livejournal.com
Okay, don't make me stalk you for a sequel. Just sayin..

Date: 2012-07-15 11:47 pm (UTC)
ext_2131: picture of a fish with lots of green (sam_jack)
From: [identity profile] holdouttrout.livejournal.com
Hee! Glad you enjoyed it.

Date: 2012-07-15 04:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lizbet0.livejournal.com
I almost got mad at you in the beginning there at the dock. {grin} I loved the rest, though!

Nope, they're never going to live it down!

Date: 2012-07-15 11:48 pm (UTC)
ext_2131: picture of a fish with lots of green (oops)
From: [identity profile] holdouttrout.livejournal.com
They really won't. You just know they both had conversations with Daniel where they had to work really hard to convince him they were truly, honestly serious. Really.

:-)

Date: 2012-07-15 05:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] supplyship.livejournal.com
Aw! Very cute. I will never stop loving the S/J!

Date: 2012-07-15 11:49 pm (UTC)
ext_2131: picture of a fish with lots of green (OTPsmartass)
From: [identity profile] holdouttrout.livejournal.com
It's just so stupid-cute!

Date: 2012-07-15 07:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jafacakes.livejournal.com
Aww, that was so them, thanks for sharing.
I don't think I'll ever get completely over them, I m too rereading some of my favorites :-)

Date: 2012-07-15 11:49 pm (UTC)
ext_2131: picture of a fish with lots of green (blame)
From: [identity profile] holdouttrout.livejournal.com
Glad you liked it! I just can't stop reading them. They're too cute.

Date: 2012-07-16 04:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jafacakes.livejournal.com
Yes,I probably spend more time than is healthy reading SJ fic, it's my guilty pleasure :-) What is your favorite fic?

Date: 2012-07-16 09:41 pm (UTC)
ext_2131: picture of a fish with lots of green (sam_jack)
From: [identity profile] holdouttrout.livejournal.com
That is an impossible question! However, I did a recs post (http://holdouttrout.livejournal.com/239683.html) for them some time ago.

Date: 2012-07-15 09:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mrspollifax.livejournal.com
*draws sparkly hearts* ILU and your fic! So glad you pulled it out and shared it. I have definitely been feeling nostalgic lately - not done with this fandom, so I am glad other people aren't completely done either.

Date: 2012-07-15 11:50 pm (UTC)
ext_2131: picture of a fish with lots of green (Default)
From: [identity profile] holdouttrout.livejournal.com
Yes... I'm definitely not completely done. Out of the initial flush of feeling (feeeeeeeling) perhaps, but I still love them! I'd happily read/watch new SG-1 adventures for many, many years to come.

Date: 2012-07-15 10:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] annerbhp.livejournal.com
Hahaha. Yay! The stupid cute are back and they are DELUDED. Lol. I could so see them being like this. Silly stupid cute. The sex always wins in the end. ;)

So glad your words are cooperating!

Date: 2012-07-15 11:52 pm (UTC)
ext_2131: picture of a fish with lots of green (OTPsmartass)
From: [identity profile] holdouttrout.livejournal.com
They are totally deluded. I do think that maybe they'd need some time as friends. You know, if they didn't just go ahead and jump each other right away. *g*

And the words... well, they are trying to cooperate. It's something!

Date: 2012-07-15 10:51 pm (UTC)
ext_69267: (Fireworks)
From: [identity profile] lolmac.livejournal.com
Oh! Lovely and sweet and just what I needed today! Thank you!

Date: 2012-07-15 11:52 pm (UTC)
ext_2131: picture of a fish with lots of green (happily_ever_after)
From: [identity profile] holdouttrout.livejournal.com
Yay! I'm glad you liked it.

Date: 2012-07-16 09:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jeanniewal.livejournal.com
Beautiful delusions and realisations :)

Date: 2012-07-16 09:43 pm (UTC)
ext_2131: picture of a fish with lots of green (Default)
From: [identity profile] holdouttrout.livejournal.com
Delusions are only good when they lead to the right result!

Date: 2012-07-17 06:51 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-07-16 03:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-loquita.livejournal.com
OK, I just love this idea that it doesn't happen when it's *supposed* to happen, but then it does anyway. Because, yes, just right. Yay you!

Date: 2012-07-16 09:43 pm (UTC)
ext_2131: picture of a fish with lots of green (Default)
From: [identity profile] holdouttrout.livejournal.com
Having sometime it's supposed to happen is a lot of stress!

Date: 2012-07-20 06:05 am (UTC)
ivorygates: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ivorygates
<3

Date: 2012-07-21 03:41 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-07-21 07:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vash26.livejournal.com
Nervous Sam is just so lovely *happy sigh*

Date: 2012-07-21 08:09 pm (UTC)

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