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After leaving Carter's house, Jack had hightailed it to the base. The general had reluctantly granted him leave and now he was on his way out of town. Thoughts of Sam and an impossible future drove him faster. He needed to get away, get some perspective, get over her. He wasn't sure where he was going or how long it would take, it didn't matter. His leave was indefinite at this stage. The general had given him two weeks, but said that he could call and ask for an extension if need be.

After a few hours on the road he realised where he was taking himself.

Chicago. His parents' house.

He hadn't been there for a long time. Not since Charlie had died. He hadn't wanted to see the look of pity on their faces. Now it was a different matter. He was reaching point in his life where he wanted to get everything settled, mend broken fences. He'd already talked to Sara, cleared the air between them. They'd discussed a lot, mainly Charlie. Relationships were the second favorite topic. She was in a serious long term relationship with a guy named Bruce Wayne. He'd laughed so hard when he'd heard that and made many jokes about bat-caves and bat-cars. She'd taken it with a roll of her eyes and a shake of the head. She knew how childish his sense of humor could be. In turn, he'd vaguely explained about Sam.

Now it was time to face his parents, to apologize for loosing touch with them, as well as his brothers and sister. It had been almost eight years since he'd seen them and wasn't quite sure what kind of reception he'd be greeted with when he arrived.

When Sam woke up, sometime later, she felt much refreshed. Siting up and straightening her clothes, she squared her shoulders in determination. Standing and making her way to the living room, in search of her father, she thought about exactly what she was going to say to him. He had a lot of nerve interfering in her relationship. She was married, for crying out loud! She grinned at both the fact and the oft used phrase. She really wasn't quite used to thinking of herself as a married woman. It felt good. She only hoped that Jack wasn't too perturbed by her father's harsh words. She'd have to go over to his place later and make it up to him. Her grin became sly as she thought up all the ways she could repay him now that regulations no longer stood in their way.

Finally locating her father out on the back porch, she steadied herself for the conversation ahead.

"What the hell did you say to Jack?"

"Look, Sam, I really didn't mean most of what I said."

Sam's eyes widened angrily. "You didn't mean it?" she practically yelled. "You insulted him over and over again, and you didn't even mean it?"

Jacob had the good grace to look ashamed. "I only wanted to see his reaction. I would have thought that he'd tell me to take a hike. I guess not."

"He would never do that." Sam stated as if it was something everyone should know. Placing her hands on her hip, she continued her expression pleading with him to understand. "Jack respects you, both as a former General in the United States Air Force, and as my father. Your opinion means a lot to him. And if you tell him that you don't think he's good enough for me and you want him to break up with me, then he'll respect your wishes."

"Sam, I'm sorry, I didn't realise that."

"Yeah, well he's good at hiding it." She sighed, tiredly. "I'm going to call him, and then you're going to go over and apologize to my husband, understand?"

"Yeah, I got it Sammie." She eyed him sharply. "Sorry, 'Sam'. You know, every time I visit, you're acting more and more like him."

"What's wrong with that?" She asked rhetorically, "He's a good man." With that she turned around and walked back in to the house to call Jack.

"That, he is." Jacob admitted quietly as he followed her inside.

More to come...