by Suz

Disclaimer – MGM/Gekko/Double secret own them.

Sap/PWP/vignette...whatever you wanna call it, that’s what it is ;)

For Anna. This was written in the notebook you gave me, and was written during the thirty-minute journey on the way home.


Sighing, smiling, with his chin resting on his hand and his elbow leaning against the table, Jack O’Neill sat watching Sam Carter.

It wasn’t as if he hadn’t done it before. Sometimes surreptitiously, sometimes not so surreptitiously and getting completely caught out in the process – usually by someone who’d use the information to maximise his embarrassment; not that he was staring at her, but that it was so obvious that an archaeologist who usually has his head stuck so far into a book that he wouldn’t notice if a Goa’uld invaded, would torture him mercilessly as he tried to eat his fruit loops.

So no – it wasn’t as if he hadn’t done it before. It was just that, now, he missed it.

Though her job had changed (and he was *well* aware of the responsibility and extra work that came with that change) she always was, and was always going to be, a scientist.

So he watched her.

Frowning with concentration as she manipulated something he couldn’t see; the continued furrow of her brow when she received results or an explanation that initially made no sense. Her smile of delight and utter satisfaction when she figured it out; her able, confident hands working tirelessly, almost seeming to take on a life of their own in the quest for answers.

God, he missed that.

His official reason for being on base was to cart home a few personal things that he hadn’t gotten around to taking with him yet.

Hey – it *had* only been three months.

And even if anyone did know the real reason for the visit (and judging by the grin on the face of the guard at the sign-in point, they definitely did), Jack still had enough pull and respect left around here to make sure no one said anything.

Not that he wouldn’t have loved it if they had said something. This time, he wouldn’t have to deny it.

She’d been self-conscious the first couple of times he’d done this, which was *completely* weird. She’d never been self-conscious about *anything*.

But that very first time, she’d pulled a hair behind her ear, lifted her head from whatever she was working on, and mock-glared at him.

“What are you doing?”

He’d shrugged. Wasn’t it obvious? “Watching you work.”

“Why?” Apparently, it wasn’t obvious.

He’d struggled for an answer. He wasn’t good at putting stuff like that into words; just the simple pleasure and satisfaction he took from watching her do what she loved.

Away from her personal life of course, he couldn’t help but think with some small level of smugness.

So he’d said what he was capable of. “I like to.”

She still wasn’t satisfied. “*Why*?”

It’d been time for the big guns. Or as big as his guns got, anyway:

“Because you’re you.”

Her cheeks had flushed, flooding with a colour he’d tried many times and in many different ways to bring back.

Saying nothing in response, she’d grinned, embarrassed yet delighted, and turned back to her work. Her movements had been awkward and rough at first – she’d been far too aware that he was watching – but eventually the investigation had consumed her and she forgot he was even there.

Just like now, and just how he wanted it.

Three months ago he would have argued that this was when she was at her most beautiful; when she was completely unaware of anyone or anything outside of her four feet of table.

He knew better now, of course, but this still rated a damn close second.

“Jack, there you are.”

General. The General’s voice. He probably should have turned around to greet him – the man deserved that much, at the very least – but his elbow was stuck to the desk and wouldn’t move.

Ah, well.

Maybe next time.


He’d moved further into her lab, until he was standing next to Jack – which was probably just as well. It was the only way Jack was going to see him at all at the moment. Even if it was just out of the corner of his eye.

She, at least, had the presence of mind to greet Hammond properly, however brief. “General,” She said, lifting her head just as long as was necessary to say the word, before lowering it again. Apparently, this thing was *really* interesting.

All Jack knew was that it had some blinky lights.

Returning her greeting, Hammond turned his attention back to Jack. “Heard you’d arrived back on the base thirty minutes ago.”

Sure. Whatever. Oh, did she really have to bend over *that* far? “Uh huh.”

“We really do need that extra space cleared up. Those four file folders sure take up a lot of room.”

“Sure. No problem.” Oh, oh – she’d just discovered something, scribbling furiously into her notepad.

“Well,” Hammond continued, obviously amused. “It’s good to see retirement is treating you so well.”

This time, the General’s words finally made their way into his consciousness. He hadn’t meant to keep ignoring him, but damn – he was just so glad he could do this *and* get away with it.

“General,” Jack announced, sparing Hammond the sparest of spare glances as he grinned, “Retirement is thoroughly spoiling me.”


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