He had had it, it was 0100 and if Jack O'Neill looked at another mission report he was going to scream. He needed to do something constructive, he was feeling antsy from being behind his desk all day and he needed to release some pent up energy.

Jack went to his quarters and grabbed his swim suit and a towel. Laps always made him feel better. He could clear his head and not think about the mountain of paperwork waiting for him.

He went to the locker room and changed. As he approached the door to the pool (who'd of thought there would be an Olympic size pool 25 levels below Cheyenne Mountain) he heard something.

"Who else in their right mind (besides him) would be swimming at 0100?" he thought out loud.

Out of curiosity he peeked around the corner.

There she was, Lt. Colonial Samantha Carter, head down silently swimming laps in the pool. She was so graceful, barely disturbed the water with each stroke. This same amazing woman could shoot a P-90 with dead accuracy and kick the ass of many of the men on base, yet she was a picture of pure beauty.

She had been through so much, Jolinar, Daniel dying, ascending, coming back, dying ascending etc., the brake up with Pete (which he really didn't mind) and now the loss of her father. She was so strong, compassionate and beautiful in both body and mind.

He wanted to look away, turn around and find something else to do, but he couldn't. He was mesmerized, couldn't tear his eyes away. It was sad how this scene was indicative of their relationship, always from afar, always kept secret, always out of reach.

Things were now going to be different. He knew what he had to do. "Take care of her" and "I would be proud to have called you son" were the last words Jacob had said to him before he peacefully passed away. Jacob had known of their feelings for each other all along. Jack had wondered if Jacob had said anything to Sam about him. He knew it was a selfish thought, but he could always hope.

Jack thought about the transfer papers on his desk. General Hammond was now officially retired and President Hayes had personally asked Jack to take over as head of Home World Security. It had seemed as if all of the signs were pointing him in that direction. The Replicators and the Go'auld were all but gone and most importantly was the new development with Carter.

She had come to his house to discuss something. Rotten timing made sure that Kerry was there to make sure that got screwed up. At that point Kerry knew that there was something happening she did not want to get involved in. Her goodbye was short and sweet with a promise of a continued pleasant working relationship. Not surprisingly, it didn't bother him all that much. Then Carter told him about her brake up with Pete. Something had been standing in the way of her desire to marry him. Pete had even admitted to realizing it, the house was now back on the market and Pete had the ring back. They had gone their separate ways.

In the past he had intentionally avoided swimming the same time she did. He just knew it wouldn't be safe to see her in a bathing suit, especially if he was also wearing one. His bathing suit was not very…let's just say, concealing, and that would definitely be way to difficult to explain.

Unbelievably, he was not feeling that way right now. He was just happy to watch her swim her laps. "She needs this peace more than I do right now" he thought to himself as he was about to turn away.

Then the scene changed. She went over to the ladder and climbed out of the pool, grabbed her towel and started drying herself off.

Now Jack started to get real uncomfortable, started to feel a bit… voyeuristic. He couldn't help it she was leaning over and drying off her legs. This was becoming down right erotic!

It was like she was moving in slow motion, wringing the water out of her hair and patting herself dry with the towel. What he wouldn't give to be that towel right now.

Suddenly images appeared in his head. He was with her helping her dry off, seductively kissing the moisture from her sweet skin as both their suits slipped to the floor…

"Whoa buddy, let's not go there" Jack thought to himself "nope, too late, DAMN!" He was starting to get very uncomfortable. Man, he was not looking forward to the cold shower he knew he would be taking.

Then the unthinkable…

No, no, no, he thought to himself, this couldn't be happening, this only goes on in one of those dreams he had much too often.

Cautiously she looked around, smiled slyly, unhooked her bathing suit, slid it off, tip-toed over to the pool and dove in.

"Holy Hannah" he heard himself mutter under his breath.

He had to grab the wall for support because he was suddenly feeling a bit light-headed.
No wonder, he thought to himself, all of the blood has drained from my head and was now traveling south.

Carter was a closet skinny dipper. Sweet! His mind started to wander again, this time to the lake at his cabin in Minnesota...