Author: Ted Sadler
Archive: SJD Yes
Summary: Just when you least expect it..
Spoilers: Season 7 "Heroes"
Author's notes: short and sweet. Inspired by a Pam Ayres poem.
All publicly recognisable characters and places are the property of MGM, World Gekko Corp and Double Secret productions. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment not monetary purposes and no infringement on copyrights or trademarks was intended. Previously unrecognised characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead is coincidental and not intended by the author.
Copyright © 2003 Ted Sadler
He was surprised to find Carter sitting on the edge of his bed when he woke in the night. She had carefully positioned herself so as to avoid touching his badly burned body and legs, but to his amazement was holding his hand in both of hers. He had no idea how long she'd been there, but the lights from various items of medical equipment reflected so brightly in her eyes that he knew she'd been crying.
Confusion was the uppermost emotion in his mind, a welcome change from the despair and gloom that his wounds and condition had brought on... Medical retirement a certainty, his dear friend and lover of twenty years ago Janet gone, and Carter - *his* Carter of the last few years - finding a relationship with someone else just weeks before.
They stared at each other for minutes, scarcely blinking, until he gently squeezed her hand and felt her immediate response. She let go with one hand and brushed away the moistness from her cheeks, and smiled.
"Carter." he said gently. "Don't think that this isn't nice, but shouldn't you be someplace else?"
She smiled back at him, and surprised him by the firm, almost businesslike tone of her reply.
"Sir,... Jack." She glanced down and then assumed what he had called her 'command stare' when she was leading SG-1. "I've come to lay down the ground rules."
"First, my motor bike is my pride and joy, and has equal status to your fishing gear. Second, you get up night-times if the baby's crying. Third, you do the decorating and house repairs on everything except mechanical items. Four, if the dog does anything unsociable, you get to square away the neighbours."
"Whoa, hang on there, Carter!"
"Shut up, I haven't finished yet. I can cook damned good souffles and other stuff you'd be surprised about, but contrary to what Jerry Hall said, I'm no angel in the kitchen. You get to clear up and keep it nice."
"Don't mention it. Next, you're older than me, but if anyone comments on it or starts hitting on me, you get the first swing at them, and I'll back you up."
"Up to what age?"
"Last, you never, ever forget that I've never loved anyone in my whole life like I love you."
"So before you change your mind, *I will*."