Disclaimer: I don't own anything, I'm just borrowing things for a while and I promise I'll put everything back exactly how I found it when I've finished. Well, almost exactly how I found it. ;)
"Carter!" Jack called, sticking his head into her lab. Frowning when he didn't see her, he shouted again. "Oh, Car-ter!"
He could hear the voice but couldn't see her, not that it was a surprise. For someone so neat, Sam's lab was a mess at times. No doubt she would call it organised chaos; Jack just thought it was chaos.
"You know I'm not one to bother about these sorts of things usually," he began, trying to sound serious and only succeeded in sounding bored.
"What sorts of things, sir?" Sam asked.
Jack still couldn't locate her and he inched carefully into the lab to try and spot his 2IC. No luck, and the situation was starting to become not funny.
"Reports, Carter," he replied, frowning.
Nothing about Sam's behaviour lately had been normal. She was late for meetings, late for missions, late with handing reports in. It was like someone had kidnapped the real Sam Carter and….
"Hey, Carter," Jack suddenly.
*How to phrase this?* "Are you the real you?"
A section of blonde head and one blue eye appeared from the corner of the room. Jack knew in that general vicinity there was a cupboard, but he was having a hard time seeing it.
"The real me, sir?" Sam asked, eyeing him with a look halfway between amusement and confusion. "Well, if I wasn't I'd say I was anyone, wouldn't I?"
"Yeah, I guess you would," Jack replied.
"If you're after that report, Colonel…."
"That would be why I'm here, Major."
Sam ignored him. "I haven't gotten round to printing it yet, but it's finished on my computer."
"Tell you what, Carter," Jack said, heading towards the table that acted as a desk, his eyes permanently downcast to make sure he didn't stand on anything. "If you tell me your password, that proves you're the real you *and* I get that damned report. How's that sound?"
Now Jack was suspicious. There was something in Sam's voice…like victory? Jack wasn't aware they had been playing a game or having a competition. He shook his head. Somehow he doubted he'd ever figure out what was going on.
"Alright, Carter. What's the password?"
Jack typed it in, repeating it slowly. "Okay, got it." He shook his head. What kind of password was that?
Now let it be said that Jack O'Neill was not a stupid man. Slow at times, yes, but with the fate of the galaxy resting on his and his team's shoulders, he was allowed to have slow moments. So as it was, while he was waiting for Sam's computer to come back to life, he pondered the password.
And while pondering, he scanned the desk for a piece of paper and a pen. Finding close approximations of both, he scribbled the password down again.
Eyes widening, Jack wondered if it was a code, then wondered if it was just his imagination. It was entirely possible he *wanted* it to be a code when it was simply just random. But this was Sam Carter. She didn't do random.
*'Alright, Jack, let's see what you've got,'* he thought. *'0 is 'o'. Yeah, obvious. What's that give us?'*
*'Jack on? Okay, so 4 is 'a'. Lame, Carter. And the 3...oh, tell me that's not supposed to be an 'e'…oh for cryin' out loud. Seriously, Doctor-Major super brainy Carter.'*
*'And using 1 for both 'i' and 'l' is cheatin' too, Carter,'* Jack thought, shaking his head a little. But soon all thought left his head as he looked at what was left.
"Smart ass," he muttered, grinning like a lunatic.
"Problem, sir?" Sam called, and Jack almost jumped out of his skin, having forgotten (how that was possible, he didn't know) that she was there.
"Nope. What's the file called, Carter? Or where is it?"
She gave him lengthy instructions, which he followed carefully, and soon the printer kicked into life. Jack stared at the computer screen, his over active mind going into super-overdrive. It was telling him that Sam had planned it all, that she had wanted him to know her password. Still grinning, he grabbed another piece of paper and started writing.
"Alright, Carter, I want you to bring that report to me when it's done printing," Jack called.
"You don't want to wait for it, sir?" Sam asked, barely managing to contain her disappointment.
"Nah, I'm good. Just bring it by my quarters when it's done, Carter!"
As soon as she was certain she was alone, Sam emerged from the cupboard where she had been not-too-obviously hiding. She couldn't believe her carefully thought out and brilliantly executed plan had failed. Damn. Sam didn't think even Jack would be oblivious to that password.
She looked at the computer, idly wondering how long it would take for the report to finish printing, and that was when she saw the note.
Sam suddenly grinned broadly. She stared at the printing and drummed her fingers impatiently on the table top, waiting for it to finish. Once done, Sam grabbed it, along with the note, and hurried to Jack's quarters.
"What's the rush, Sam?" Daniel asked, flattening himself against the wall of the corridor as she strode passed.
"Late report!" she called back, waving the sheaf of papers at him. When she reached Jack's door, Sam took a deep breath before knocking.
Sam smiled. "It's me, sir." *'As if it'd be anyone else.'*
"Password please, Carter," Jack replied, sounding as if he was just at the other side of the door.
Folding the note he'd wrote her, Sam pushed it under the bottom of the door. "I want it back, though, sir," she said quietly.
A minute later, the door opened and Jack stood there with a lopsided grin on his face. "Hey."
"You'd better come in."
"So, now what?" Sam asked once the door was shut, tossing the report on the desk out of the way.
Jack shrugged. "It's not like we're telling each other anything new."
"Actually, sir, I think we are."
"Just saying, sir."
"Well don't." He ran a hand through his hair. "Look, why don't we just move things? Instead of keeping it in that room, we keep whatever happens in this room."
Sam looked shocked, and amused. "Lie, sir? Keep secrets from everyone?"
"No different to normal, is it?" Jack asked.
"Not really, sir," Sam replied. "I just wanted to make sure we were talking the same language."
Jack stared at her. "Carter, we *never* talk the same language."
Sam grinned at him, then took the note out of his hand. "Did you mean this…Jack?"
He nodded slowly. "As much as you meant this, Sam." He held up the paper that contained the translation of her password.
Jack raised an eyebrow. "Sweet? *Sweet,* Carter?"
"Why not?" Sam replied.
Jack opened his mouth to reply, but no sound came out. Instead, he stepped up to her and cupped her cheek gently. For a moment they just stared at each other as if trying to capture the other's face for eternity. Finally, Jack bent his head to Sam's, but before he could press his lips to hers, she smirked.
Jack waved the note in the small space between their faces. "And please as well. Howzat?"
Sam replied by kissing him.