Having Everything

For those that believe Jack and Sam got together after Season 8, which finished airing February 22, 2005 (even though it clearly wasn't February during that episode). So I'm playing fast and loose with the timeline. This was originally written for Valenship, but it turned out as more of a tribute to Sam/Jack and Stargate in general.

It couldn't have been ten years.

Really it wasn't, if you considered that they'd spent most of that time apart. Between her fighting the Ori, running Atlantis, and commanding the Hammond, they were lucky if they had spent a third of those nights in the same bed.

But it had, indeed, been ten years. Ten years since they'd defeated Anubis and the Replicators. Ten years since her father's death. Ten years since she'd finally gone fishing with him.

And fished. And fished.

And now they were here. It was appropriate that they were back at the cabin. He never would have thought that the place he came for solitude would be so crowded.

Minnesota was more or less halfway between Colorado Springs and D.C., so it was a good place for everyone to meet. Then again, considering the Hammond had Asgard beaming technology, it didn't really matter where on Earth they wanted to get together. He could always call in a favor. After all, he knew the commander pretty well.

Well, former commander. Sam had officially resigned the week before. She wasn't retired entirely; she'd still act as a consultant for the SGC and keep an eye on R&D at Area 51, but for the first substantial time in their relationship, they could look forward to coming home to each other every night. She had said that she was ready for that. And he was so ready for that.

Sam's semi-resignation was the reason why this ungodly number of people was gathered in Jack O'Neill's private sanctum. A more official (and boring) party had been arranged at the SGC, but Sam had said that she wanted a private get-together for family and friends.

From his position on the deck, Jack could see Daniel grilling in the backyard. Vala was tucked under his arm, and she held one hand on her very large stomach. Between flipping burgers – Daniel had said that he wasn't going to let Jack burn them again – he leaned over to capture Vala's lips in a gentle kiss.

A car pulled up in the driveway, and Cam and Teal'c got out, carrying bags of hot dog buns and extra beer. Four-year-old Timothy – big brother to Daniel and Vala's unborn baby girl – ran from the back yard toward them to help bring in the food. Cam smirked good-naturedly at Teal'c before setting the 12-pack into Timothy's waiting arms. The little boy tottered and made a valiant attempt to follow his uncles into the cabin, but he only got a few steps out before he all but dropped the case on the dirt driveway. His pudgy hands grabbed the box's handle and strained, trying to lift it again before Teal'c scooped the boy onto his shoulder and grabbing the beer with his free hand. The Jaffa had to duck to get through the door, but Timothy held himself secure by encircling Teal'c's head and burying his face in his hair.

Inside, Cassie grabbed the bags in Teal'c's hands and brought them into the cabin's tiny kitchen. Her own firstborn, Nathan Carter, puttered after his mother, who quickly dismissed him with a pat on the backside to go play with Timothy and Uncle Teal'c while she finished the cake that she'd promised for Jack.

Cassie's husband was seated at the kitchen table, preparing a bottle for Baby #2. Jack liked Brian. He was a good guy with a steady head on his shoulders, and he made Cassie happy. Sure, it had thrown him for a loop when he'd found out about the existence of aliens – his wife being one of them – but he'd taken it in stride. And he seemed to realize that he gained a lot more than a wife when he married Cassandra Fraiser; he'd gained a whole clan.

And then there was Sam, holed up on the couch. She was leaning against the armrest with her legs crossed in front of her. In her arms, she cradled baby Janet Elise. Jack's eyes roamed over her face, her smile – it was enough to render him breathless, even now.

She certainly wasn't that young, bright-eyed captain who had walked in on his briefing and challenged him to arm-wrestle nearly twenty years ago. She wasn't even the brilliant savior of the galaxy who had showed up on his porch to confess her lingering feelings in the wake of her own wedding. She'd seen so much, done so much since then.

Leadership had changed her. She was more calm, cool, confident in herself and her abilities.

But Jack knew that that change also had to do with them. They'd always cared for each other, but over the last ten years, they drew support from one another in a way that they never were able to in the first eight years of their relationship. They strengthened each other, complimented and completed each other. By now, Samantha Carter was uniquely his.

Janet cooed, and Sam chuckled at her baby antics. Her long blonde locks fell forward as she leaned over to kiss the baby's forehead. He refused to check his smile at the way his heart soared as he looked over his family.

Without a word, he moved to the couch, picked up Sam's legs and sat down with a tiny groan. He replaced her legs over his lap. Sam smiled at him softly, but Jack could see unshed tears in her eyes.

"She looks like Janet," she whispered.

Genetically, off course, that was impossible. But even Jack thought that at times he could see the ghost of Doctor Fraiser in the little girl's tiny features.

"That she does."

Jack knew that Sam had been struggling with losing Janet for a while now. They'd hit the ten-year anniversary of her death last year. Not all anniversaries are fond occasions, Jack knew, and those kinds of milestones brought all kinds of emotions back to the surface. Sam had found a friend in Vala, but it didn't lessen how much she missed her best friend.

It made Jack even more grateful that Cassandra and Brian lived close enough to their home in D.C. that he and Sam could be present in their lives and their children's lives on a semi-regular basis. He'd already been enjoying babysitting duty more than he thought he would.

Janet yawned, and Sam smiled softly again, cuddling the baby in the crook of her arm before bringing her legs to the floor. She pressed up against Jack's side, and when she spoke, her voice was questioning and very gentle.

"Do you wish that we'd had one of our own? You know, before?"

They had talked about children when they'd first gotten together. Ten years ago. They'd even decided to try for one when it looked like Sam was going to be stationed earthside as the head of R&D. Jack had only just gotten used to the idea of being a father again before the Ori threat had pulled her back to the SGC. And once they had dealt with that, Atlantis had needed a new commander. And after that, there had been no one more capable to command the Hammond.

She was just too important to the fate of the galaxy (both of them) to sit back on Earth with him and a dog and their 2.5 children. There was always something that needed to come before their own desires.

By now, they knew that they'd missed their chance to have kids of their own. And as much as Jack would have loved to hold their children – who hopefully would have looked more like their mother than him – he couldn't say that he was disappointed.

They had fought for the survival of Earth and led their planet into the galaxy. They'd broken the hold of the Goa'uld, the Ori, the Wraith, and other cliché bad guys. In spite of an incalculable number of close calls, they were alive (though it had always been close with Daniel), and their strange little family was growing.

He caressed baby Janet's tiny head. His voice soft and honest, he said, "I already have everything. What more could I possibly want?"

He'd lost so much in his life. They all had. There were losses he would never recover from. But he'd also gained everything.

Sam scooted closer to him so that Janet could rest in between their laps. Sighing contentedly, she rested her head on his shoulder, and Jack kissed her on his wife's forehead. When she spoke next, her voice held a note of humor.

"Maybe we should get a dog."

Jack smiled, and Sam laughed into his shoulder.

"I like the way you think," he said.

Ten years.

In spite of everything, they'd lived and loved every moment of it together.