SG-1 stepped through the Stargate on a routine mission of "find alien technology that will help us defend against the Goa'uld." Led by Colonel Carter, the three person group made their way to the forest that surrounded the valley the 'Gate was in.
Upon reaching the forest, Teal'c noticed a flash of cloth coming from their left; he also felt the presence of a symbiote. When he told Samantha this, she just nodded and said that she had felt the symbiote also. The trio proceeded with caution.
When Teal'c saw the same flash of light blue cloth again, he shot at it with his staff weapon – only to miss by millimeters. After the shot was fired, a beautiful young woman appeared from behind the tree he just shot at. Her fiery red locks cascaded down her back. Her silver eyes briefly glowed gold, revealing to the group that she was a Goa'uld. She was clothed in a baby blue toga that clung to her curves, and revealed just enough peaches and cream skin to entice even the most steadfast man. Around her slender neck hung a silver chain that supported a deep blue stone – a sapphire of perfect quality. Her feet were clad in sandals that laced all the way up her calves.
The three raised their weapons to fire on this beauty when she held up both of her hands, showing them that there was no hand device on them. When she spoke, it was with the voice of a Goa'uld. "It would be very unwise for you to shoot me," she said. A smirk edged its way onto her face. "If you kill me, you won't know where you are, or what I know about your mission."
Sam's arm dropped as if her weapon was made of lead. "Who are you?"
The girl smiled again, "Do you ask the name of the symbiote or the host?"
Daniel, who had been captivated by the beauty of the Goa'uld, found his voice, "We would like to know both."
"The symbiote is named Aphrodite. The host, Gabrielle."
"Are you Tok'ra?" Teal'c asked as he lowered his weapon slightly.
Aphrodite/Gabrielle shook her head. "We are neither Goa'uld nor Tok'ra."
"Then what are you?" To Samantha Carter, this situation was altogether too strange.
Aphrodite looked at her, "We simply are, Colonel Carter. We cannot claim to be Tok'ra, for we were born of a Goa'uld. But neither are we Goa'uld. If you would trust us long enough to see the city, you would find this true."
Sam was dumbfounded. "How – How did you know my name?"
Aphrodite laughed, "We know many things about the famed SG-1." They bowed low to the ground, "Teal'c is viewed as a hero for heroes here. Daniel Jackson is the model for all scholars on this world. Samantha Carter is the reason for the scientific research done here." They looked up and frowned, "But we will say no more until General O'Neill is brought here from Earth. He is revered most of all."
Now it was Teal'c's turn to be dumbfounded. "Will you show us the city, then?"
Aphrodite smiled, "I will show the city to Colonel Carter only, the two of you must return to fetch the General."
Sam was even more confused, "What's so important that you can't tell the three of us and you need General O'Neill here?"
"We know how to stop the replicators."
"Now what's so damned important that the two of you came back two hours after you left?" General Jack O'Neill barked, "And where the hell is Carter?"
Teal'c and Daniel had just returned to Earth with the news of what Aphrodite had said. The three men were in the debriefing room. Daniel squinted at his friend and frowned, he didn't think that Jack was going to like everything he had to say.
"Well, um, Sam is with the um the leader of the planet, Aphrodite," he said slowly. "Aphrodite wants to meet you, Jack."
"And why the hell is that so important?"
"The leader that Daniel Jackson speaks of is a Goa'uld," Teal'c said in his mechanical-like way. "And she claims to have knowledge of how to stop the replicators." He added the last sentence quickly as Jack's eyes became wide with terror.
"So, you're telling me that Sam's in the hands of a damn snake?" He yelled, furious that his two best friends could let the woman he cared so deeply for get captured by a snakehead. Jack jumped up out of his chair and started pacing angrily.
Daniel tried to calm him down. "I don't think that Aphrodite is going to hurt Sam. She seemed to be more in awe of us than willing to kill us."
"Indeed," Teal'c said.
Jack shot a glare at Daniel. Why did that nerd always have to be so damned positive in the worst situations?
Teal'c, as calm as ever, took up the loosing battle. "I believe that Daniel Jackson is correct O'Neill. Aphrodite claims to be neither Goa'uld nor Tok'ra."
Jack sank into his chair again. "Then what the hell is she?"
"I don't know," said Daniel.
Jack looked at the big jaffa in the room as he nervously ran his hand through his hair. "Teal'c, do you know anything about this snake?"
The Jaffa nodded, "I do indeed General O'Neill. There is an old Jaffa legend about three Goa'uld sisters – Aphrodite, Athena and Artemis. They are three of the offspring of Nirrti."
At this proclamation, both Jack and Daniel jumped up from their seats and started for the door. "You have no need to be worried," Teal'c stated calmly. The two men returned to their seats slowly, knowing that if their Jaffa friend was not worried by this that they shouldn't be either.
"As I was saying," Teal'c continued, "There is no reason to fear them. Hundreds of years ago, even before Egeria, the three sisters opposed what their mother was doing to humans. Since all of their hosts had been taken by force, they offered them freedom – knowing that the point of view of the symbiotes had changed; none of the women took it.
"Aphrodite, Athena and Artemis took their leave of their mother and the race they now despised. They now occupy a planet where all are welcome. It is the dream of most Jaffa to find this planet because it is said that they have a way of extracting the symbiote from a person without death, and a way of healing the damage done."
"Don't they have their own Jaffa?" Jack asked, still a little confused.
The dark man nodded, "That they do. But there is a big difference between the Jaffa of Artemis and that of other Goa'uld. The Jaffa that carry their larva do so willingly. The sisters never force a human to be Jaffa, or to serve them. When they extracted themselves from the Goa'uld so many years ago, they traveled to many different worlds before finding one whose inhabitants welcomed them and their protection. It was a world that I believe found its ancestry from the Amazon tribes that I have read about."
The last part caught Daniel's attention in full, "Are you telling us that we found a world full of female warriors who just happen to be Jaffa?"
Jack chuckled, "What Daniel, are you afraid history will repeat itself with these woman as it did on another Amazon planet we visited?"
Daniel shuddered; he remembered all too well what happened when the team had gone to another Amazon populated world.
"Anything else we need to know about, Teal'c?" Daniel asked the question to get off the topic of him being seduced by Amazon-like women who all wanted to bear his children.
"There are a few more things I think you should know: Aphrodite, Athena and Artemis are the basis behind the Greek goddesses of the same names, and they are very powerful. Sometimes a Goa'uld, Asgard or others from different races go to their planet to get away from the wars and lies of everyday life. It is possible that one of our enemies will be in the city." Jack looked at Teal'c strangely. "If one of them is, we cannot fight them, if we do Aphrodite, Athena and Artemis will expel us from the city and planet by force."
It took Jack a while to process this information fully, but when he did, he realized that no matter what may happen – he just couldn't let Sam stay there forever. He was going.
"Here, try this sari, Colonel. I think that the colors in it bring out your eyes." The speaker was Gabrielle, of course talking to Colonel Samantha Carter as Aphrodite laughed at the face Sam made when forced to try on a toga. She looked as if someone had just told her that they were carrying her child – extremely uncomfortable.
The sari that Aphrodite's host held consisted of a full, rich sea blue skirt with no embroidery; a top made with the same color material but which sported silver embroidery and sapphires in the shape of elephants; and the traditional wrap of the same color with the same embroidery sewed into it.
Sam looked at it and winced, she knew it would be hell to get into that thing and get out of it again as soon as Aphrodite saw that she didn't like it. "Do I have to?" She asked the question in more of a whine than plead.
Gabrielle chuckled, "We have been watching SG-1 ever since it came into being, and I must say one thing: General O'Neill thinks you look a lot more feminine in a dress than in combat clothing."
The Tauri blushed, "What makes you think I wanted to change clothes for him?" she mumbled.
"Because of the way you just reacted to my statement." The host said in reply. "He loves you very much, and I know that you love him. Now, put the outfit on, I'll help you with the wrap."
This time as the men in SG-1 and their commanding officer stepped out of the wormhole, they found a small group of Amazon-like women sporting weapons made of trinium. They were dressed in the skins of what appeared to be deer and buffalo. One was wearing a headdress constructed of platinum and diamonds.
It was this one who spoke, "We are Artemis and Chara," she said in the voice of a Goa'uld. "Forgive us for the necessary precaution. Not all who come through the 'Gate are friendly." Her deep green eyes flashed gold and she spoke again in the voice of a human. "Please come this way, Colonel Carter is waiting for all of you with my sisters. They will be very pleasantly surprised that you were able to come so soon."
As the brown haired woman led them to the forest, the Amazons that had accompanied her fanned out to create a bubble around the men. Jack and Teal'c walked beside one another, both looking uneasily at the women. Daniel walked alongside Artemis (who had resurfaced) and was quickly asking questions about their culture and giving her barely enough time to answer.
"Hey, Artemis!" Jack hollered from a few yards away. The woman stopped and turned to face him. With their savior, the other women stopped as well.
"Yes, General O'Neill, the guard is necessary some of the animals in this forest attack even large groups of people. We are not that far from the city, and when we get there you will be able to see Colonel Carter directly. Your weapons will be taken from you at the gate of the city. Oh, yes, tonight there will be festivities and all business will have to wait until tomorrow to be discussed," the woman cocked her head to one side, "Anything else?"
Jack looked at her dumbly and shook his head before asking, "How did you know I was going to ask that?"
Chara smiled, "We have been watching the Tauri's greatest warriors ever since the demise of our uncle, Ra. That would include following your progress on all of your missions. Some of those that you have rescued from Goa'uld enslavement have come here for a time, they tell us everything we ask about the heroes of the Tri-Galaxies."
"Oh," the brig. General was a little shocked that they would take that much interest in them.
As Artemis/Chara had said, the city was not that far away, they were disarmed at the gate (Amazon weaponry included) and straight away they were led to a small building off of the main on in the center of the town.
(Side note to reader: The town is shaped like a circle, all of the buildings getting taller as one travels toward the center building which just so happens to be the home of the three sisters, a courthouse for Athena, a library for Artemis and a big room full of pillows, cloth curtains and sex toys for Aphrodite . The buildings get taller as they go inward because even though the city is suppose to be 'safe' they got a lot of attacks from numerous false gods who wanted to take the three beautiful sisters and their city captive.)
In the building Jack got one of the most wonderful surprises in his life (up to that moment), he saw Carter in a form fitting sari that accented all the right points on her body (not to mention left a good deal of her muscular stomach revealed). He stopped dead in his tracks and looked Sam up and down, awed at the radiant woman before him. His eyes could hardly believe what they saw.
Jack was in this trance like state until Daniel got so tired of being unable to see inside the room that he pushed Jack aside and walked in, followed by Teal'c. The latter two also were stopped dead in their tracks when they beheld Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter wearing something other than a uniform.
Sam, beginning to feel very self-conscience about her outfit, looked down with a bright red face. The four of them stood there for some time alone because Artemis had gone to help Athena and Aphrodite with the completion of their little "project." The sisters returned carrying three outfits that they thought would look best on the warriors of the Tauri.
Aphrodite smiled an impish smile before saying, "Now all of you must change your clothing so that we can go to the feast with an open mind." Her eyes fell on General O'Neill and she bowed low to the ground, "General, it is a great honor to finally meet the man behind the deaths of so many evil beings. I hope you will find our humble people worthy of a friendship with your great race."
Now was Jack's turn to be embarrassed. He quickly helped her to her feet and took a look at what she held in her arms – it was the traditional toga for a man of status in ancient Greece.
Jack took the robe in his arms looked it over, looked at what his 2IC was wearing and smiled stiffly, "I'm not wearing a dress."
Daniel couldn't help but snicker at how stupid Jack could be at times, "Jack that's a toga."
"I'm still not wearing it."
Artemis smiled, "It's not for you to wear, that toga is for Daniel Jackson to try on. Here," she said handing him the clothes in her hands as he gave the light green toga to Daniel, "I think you might find these a bit more comfortable for tonight."
Jack looked at what he now held in his hands and laughed, it seemed to him that they had done their research before picking out outfits for all of them to wear – he held a dark blue sherwani (East Indian male overcoat like thing), a pair of light cotton pants and a cotton shirt of a silver that accented the dark blue perfectly.
Knowing that there was no way he could refuse this outfit with Sam in a sari (at least that is what he thought it was called) he smiled again, "Where can I change?"
Aphrodite, knowing what drove him to his abrupt answer, giggled, "I will take you all there myself in one moment. But first we must introduce you to Athena, her host, and give Teal'c the outfit we chose for him."
Athena/Sophia stepped forward, handed Teal'c the bundle in her hands and smiled, when she spoke it was with the voice of a normal human. "We are very happy to finally meet you all. I am Sophia, host to Athena. I am sorry to have to inform you that your enemy, Ba'al is here. We are sure that Teal'c has told all of you the rules for the city." Her hazel eyes looked sincerely distraught. "Please do not go near him, he has snuck weapons into the compound on many occasions his Jaffa. Unlike most, he does not obey all of our laws here. Be careful."
Daniel was in awe. He thought he saw something with the way Artemis commanded the loyalty of her Amazons, but the way Athena/Sophia commanded the trust of all those around her was amazing. He looked the slight woman up and down. She was wearing a loose fitting royal purple colored toga that covered her feet, her olive skin was without blemish and her straight, raven black hair fell beautifully down to the middle of her back. There was a certain glow about her that Samantha had recognized instantly, but it took a bit longer for the others to pick up on it.
While the men were changing their clothes with the help of Aphrodite's consort, Dionysus, Samantha was being entertained by Sophia's tales of what life is like in the city – Artemis had grown tired of the setting and went off to help set up the feast with the others.
After about ten minutes of small talk, Sam decided to just come out and ask the woman the question that had been on her mind ever since they had met, "How far along are you?"
Sophia's face gained a pink tint and she looked down, embarrassed. "Athena says that I am one month along – no one else but my husband know yet," she said softly.
Sam nodded, "And why doesn't she come out like I know the symbiotes like to?"
"She did that before when I was pregnant five years ago – it caused a miscarriage. After that happened we looked into the matter and found out that the reason no Goa'uld gives birth is not because the host doesn't conceive, but that when the symbiote takes control of the mind and body, it causes a miscarriage."
Sam squeezed Sophia's gently, "And Athena wants you to have this baby? You want it?"
Sophia nodded, "Athena knows that has always been my greatest wish to have a child of my own. With her inside of me, I know that the child won't get sick, and my wish can come true."
Sam smiled, fully knowing that it was her wish to be able to have a certain man's child, and fully knowing that it was never going to happen.
Aphrodite, who had been the same place as Artemis, returned in time to hear the last thing her sister's host had said – and see Sam's depressing smile. They laughed at her glumness.
"Not all wishes are impossible to grant, Samantha. Before your time on this planet is over, you will know if that wish is possible to grant." Sam looked at Aphrodite/Gabrielle, knowing and not fully comprehending what she said.
The men chose this moment to come out and reveal their new looks to Sam's criticism. The 2IC of the SGC stood up and made little adjustments to all three men's clothing, noting all the while how sexy Jack looked in the tight fitting cotton shirt, loose pants and sherwani.
Daniel greatly resembled an Ancient Greek philosopher in his toga, while Teal'c looked more like a big doll in the kimono Artemis chose for him. It was light blue with gold latticework along the hems. Even in the clothing, no one would want to mess with the four Tauri warriors.
The feast was fit for a king. It took place in the public portion of Aphrodite's section of the palace. Table upon table was filled with food and drink, there were people there in robes from all ancient Earth styles. The four were shown to their own little table that was surrounded by pillows and small chairs to sit and relax on. The three sisters had reunited again and stepped onto a raised dais and the room became silent.
Sophia was the first to speak, "As most of you already know, we are here celebrating the visit of the four greatest Tauri warriors. Four names spat on by Goa'uld, blessed by the weak, revered by the Asgard. My people, we are all here to honor SG-1!"
Cheers went up throughout the room and Artemis signaled for the team to join them on the dais. Now it was Aphrodite's turn to speak.
"Too long, it's been too long that this universe has gone without warriors so dedicated to their cause and life as this team is. How many a world have they saved? How many times have they put the lives and happiness of others before their own?" The next thing she said in a whisper so only those on the dais could here, "How many Goa'uld have they brought down?"
Cheers broke forth again. Artemis now spoke to the crowd, "My people, eat, drink, remember those we honor here tonight." Chara/Artemis stopped and looked back at her sisters, a smile on her face. The other two women nodded eagerly and Chara turned back to the crowd. "We have heard tell of the talent Colonel Carter possesses regarding music." They turned to Sam; "We would be greatly honored if you sang for us now."
The Lt. Colonel's face turned crimson with embarrassment, the room had filled with more noise than it had before. "How did you know that I sing?" She whispered to Artemis, "I never told anyone that before."
Chara smiled, "As we have stated before, we have been watching you for a long time."
Sam snorted in a very unfeminine fashion. "I'll only do it if General O'Neill does also."
The entire dais broke out in uncontrollable laughter. Teal'c and Daniel laughed because they never thought they would ever be in a situation where they could witness Jack doing something so humiliating. The sisters laughed because they knew the real reason behind the request and they really knew how good Jack was at carrying on a tune.
Jack grabbed Sam's arm and whispered in her ear, "How did you know that I could sing? I don't remember singing in front of you before."
"Three years ago, karaoke night at O'Malley's," Jack's face got a shade redder with each word. "Daniel dared you to go up there and sing some song by Elvis, you said that the only way you were getting up there was if he went up first." Her male teammates started laughing at the memory. "He went up, made a fool of himself singing some song by John Denver. You went up and began singing 'Hound Dog' and ended up going home with first place in the contest that was being held that night."
Jack hung his head in defeat, "Fine, what song?"
The woman grinned, she was going to enjoy this very much, "I don't know, how about 'Perhaps Love' by John Denver?"
O'Neill's heart began to beat a little faster, that song was one that played over and over in his mind whenever he thought of his 2IC. It was a song that brought together most of his feelings for her.
Everyone but the two left the dais and the room hushed down so that not a sound was heard. It was so quiet that Sam and Jack were positive that all heard their loud heartbeats.
Slowly, very slowly, Samantha Carter began to sing the familiar song,
"Perhaps love is like a resting place
A shelter from the storm
It exists to give you comfort
It is there to keep you warm
And in those times of trouble
When you are most alone
The memory of love will bring you home…."
Jack took up the next verse in a trance. He was so awed by the beauty of Sam's voice that he almost forgot the words that came next in the famous duet,
"Perhaps love is like a window
Perhaps an open door
It invites you to come closer
It wants to show you more
And even if you lose yourself
And don't know what to do
The memory of love will see you through…."
Their voices melted together in a beauty and purity that left all who heard it stunned. Even Ba'al was transfixed by the words and the harmony of the two in singing it. Suddenly it hit him, the way they were looking at each other, and the way his voice melded with hers. His eyes grew wide with terror – they were in love.
"So Sam, when did you learn how to sing like that?" Daniel was the one who asked the question, but it had been on the minds of all three of her companions. She looked down modestly embarrassed and mumbled something about her mother teaching her.
Jack looked fondly at the woman who had stolen his heart so many years ago. He felt that this was somehow right - that is being there, on that planet. He felt that he could tell her anything in that world and it wouldn't matter – do anything. Jack forcefully shoved those thoughts from his mind, no matter what planet they were on, she was still his 2IC and he was still her CO. Their relationship was forbidden no matter where they were.
Sophia came up to the small group then, "It's getting late and I can see by your faces that you have been up and working for a long time. If you come with us, we will show you all to you chambers."
Artemis and Aphrodite were right behind her. They led the group away and to a set of ring transporters in an isolated room. "This will take us up to the level with sleeping quarters," Aphrodite said happily as Dionysus took her hand in his.
Sam felt the whirl that she always did when using the rings and the next thing she knew, she was standing in a dimly lit hallway with her team members and their guides. The group followed Sophia down the hall until she stopped beside a door that appeared to be made from oak.
"This will be where Teal'c will sleep, next door," she said indicating the door "is the room for Daniel Jackson. We all hope you find the rooms to your liking."
Daniel, sufficiently drunk on the mead and wine that was served went directly to his room to sleep it off. Teal'c bowed and left also. When Jack and Sam looked around, they found no trace of Aphrodite, Dionysus or Artemis.
"Aphrodite and Dionysus come and go as they please. And in Artemis was needed back at the party." Sophia looked at Colonel Carter in a knowing way, "I will not hinder you long. Your rooms are down here." The three of them started walking again until they came to a door that had a little bow carved into the frame. Jack wondered if it was suppose to be Cupid's.
The pregnant woman took off the thin necklace she was wearing (much to the surprise of the other two who hadn't even noticed she was wearing one) and unlocked the door with the small silver key that hung off it.
She handed the key to Jack and said, "I will make sure that none bother you until ten o'clock tomorrow morning." She smiled again at Sam, "Good night."
Jack looked through the open door into a room furnished with a single bed. A big bed, but still, only one bed. There was a big window that took up half the wall across from them and opened onto a balcony. It was a somewhat small room with wood floors, an area rug in one corner on which stood a small table and two chairs. There was a fireplace in one wall and Jack wondered why they would need one on a planet with such a warm climate. In front of the fireplace was a small couch just a little bigger than a loveseat. He also found a door that led off into a bathroom (literally, tub and all).
As he was exploring the room, Samantha had entered locked the door and began trying to take off the damn wrap that Aphrodite had secured in the back. Jack saw her futile efforts and went over to help her.
When his warm hands touched her skin she felt a small shiver run up and down her spine. As he undid the knots with his hands, his lips found something to do as well. With the cursed garment off of her body, the rest of their clothing was just a matter of speed without breaking the connection of their lips.
For the first night in years, Jack and Sam slept fitfully.
Sam sighed as she looked at the test results she held in her hands. It couldn't be right. She couldn't be pregnant, she just couldn't. She had broken things off with Pete just after getting back from P3X-249. It was to her great relief that the cop understood, she just couldn't marry him while she felt that way about Jack. But she hadn't slept with Pete for well over three months, and now she was pregnant. Suddenly her first night on that planet came back to her – she had slept with someone then.
Knowing that the existence of her child was against regulations and if her superiors found out, sooner or later Jack would get court marshaled, she chose to do something that shocked everyone at the SGC – she retired from the Air Force. The president tried everything to keep Samantha Carter in the military, he even enlisted the help of General Hammond, but her mind was made up. If she wasn't on active duty, Jack couldn't be court marshaled, and nether could she. Everyone was extremely happy that she chose to stay on as a civilian counterpart of the SGC like Dr. Jackson. The day after she retired from active duty, Jack proposed.
The way he went about it gave Sam no way out to refuse (even if she had wanted to). He had gone off world to ask permission from her father, Jacob Carter, first and when he came back it was holding one of his arms like it was broken. Sam came rushing into the Gate Room yelling for a medical team but since the others in the room saw the look in Jack's eye, they knew it wasn't necessary. He got down on one knee and revealed that in the hand that held his arm was her mother's engagement ring.
Despite the on looking throngs of people, Sam and Jack shared their first regulations-free kiss on that ramp that led up to the Stargate were a bottle of Champaign and a basket were held in the hands of a pregnant Sophia.
When the couple rose, they were greeted by hugs from their other two teammates, and numerous other personnel, some of whom they didn't even know. It was only after all the hugging was over that Jack finally was able to retreat with his fiancée, friends and the woman responsible for it all. The only place that Jack thought safe enough was out off base, so he granted himself permission to bring the alien to his house after the physical that all had to go though.
After Sophia's physical Jack asked the doctor if it was safe for her to go off base. The woman looked at him a little strangely. "It is alright, but make sure that she doesn't drink any alcoholic beverage or take part in any strenuous activity."
"Kay," sometimes Jack was so oblivious to the obvious.
When everyone was at the house and Daniel was helping Jack get everything ready in the kitchen, Sophia's eyes went wide and she looked a little nauseous. Sam, who knew full well what was happening (since it had happened to her that very morning), quickly ushered Sophia to the bathroom where she succeeded in throwing up whatever it was that had upset the baby. While she had her head over the toilet, Sam gently held her hair back for her.
As they reentered the living room, Sophia looked much better than she did upon leaving it. Jack, who had been engaged in a conversation about fishing with a distracted Teal'c, was the first to see them return. He got up from where he was sitting and offered the seat to Sam. The woman smiled mischievously and pushed him back into the chair at which time she did what she had wanted to do ever since they had met – she sat on his lap.
"So I take it that that was a 'yes' back at the base?" Daniel looked at the two of them with mirth in his eyes.
Sam looked at Jack and squeezed his hand, "Yes it was."
Talk went on about when the wedding would take place and how happy everyone was that the two were finally getting married. Sam got suddenly very thirsty and asked Jack if he had anything in the house that wasn't alcoholic. He answered in the affirmative and went with her so that he could show her were it was.
When they were in the kitchen Sam took Jack's hand and held onto it. "Jack, I have to tell you something."
He looked at her and saw a look of fear in her eyes that frightened him. She never acted this way. "What's up?"
"You better sit down." He took a seat on the counter and looked at her lifting a single eyebrow in a wordless question. She took a deep breath, unsure of how he was going to react to what she had to say.
"I – I'm pregnant."
Sam was right to be worried about how he was going to react – he fainted. At her cries of his name, everyone else came running into the room to find Jack passed out on the floor and Sam holding his head like one would a treasured and fragile possession.
"What has happened?" Teal'c asked the question in the formality that only he could produce.
"I told him – something - and he just fainted," Sam said, tears running down her face.
Daniel took out the vial of smelling salts he kept with him and passed them under Jack's nose. The brig. general revived instantly.
He sat up and shot a half-hearted glare at Sam who responded by looking down. Forgetting everyone else present, he got up and said with shock, "PREGNANT! You couldn't find the time to tell me this before? You're pregnant!"
Daniel and Teal'c's eyes went wide with shock and they would have passed out if they hadn't been in shock. Sam was pregnant? How the hell was that possible? Then they remembered their first night on the planet where they had met Sophia, Artemis and Aphrodite. The next morning the two had come out of the same room. Teal'c had been too polite to ask about it and Daniel had been too hung over to put two and two together.
Suddenly anger rose in Sam's chest and she got to her feet in a daze, "I found out three days ago!" She shouted back, "What did you expect me to do? I fucking retired yesterday so that you wouldn't get court marshaled for having a relationship with me. The very fact that I am pregnant is reason for both of us to get court marshaled! That's the reason I retired. What did you expect me to do, tell you the moment I found out? I'm sorry Jack, but do you know how hard it is to find the courage to go up to your commanding officer and tell him that you're going to have his baby!"
Silence filled the room after Sam's words. All thought about what was said, and all thought about what would happen if their superiors found out that Sam got pregnant while still in active duty. Sophia was the first to bring it up.
"If it would be against your regulations for Samantha to be in active duty and with child, doesn't the fact that she was impregnated while on active duty mean that the existence still could result in a court marshal?"
Jack's knees gave out, this was just too much. He sighed, "Yes, it could."
Sam looked at him and he looked at her. "We'll go to the courthouse in a few hours and elope," she looked at those assembled. "We have witnesses and it doesn't take long to get a marriage license if you know some people."
"And I take it you know people?" Jack asked.
She smiled stiffly, "Of course."
Three hours later the small group was at the local courthouse, waiting for Judge Thomas Jansen to arrive.
"So, how do you know this judge, Sam?" Jack inquired curiously.
"He uh he is my brother's friend from high school," she admitted slowly.
"Oh," was all Jack could say.
"Samantha Carter?" a male voice asked from the doorway a short time later. "Is it really you?"
At the sound of the voice Sam turned towards the door to see a middle-aged man in a judge's black robe standing there.
Sam forced a smile onto her face and said, "Tom, it's really great to see you."
Thomas Jansen gave Sam a big hug and took her hand in his. "How long has it been? Five, ten years?"
"Not nearly long enough," Sam murmured under her breath.
"What did you say?"
Tom let go of Sam's hand and sat behind the desk that occupied the room. "So, what can I do for you? Need a search warrant? Want to bust someone out of jail?"
"What?" Jack looked stupidly at the man in front of them.
Before anything could happen, Sam said in a slightly annoyed tone (as this always happened when she saw Tom), "No, I need you to perform a wedding ceremony."
Tom cocked his head to one side, "What, like at a wedding?"
"No, I mean I'm eloping."
"Me," Jack looked coyly at the man and smiled innocently. He could tell that although this man didn't have very strong feelings for his Sam anymore, Tom liked the idea that she was always there to pick up and toss away at need.
"Okay," Tom said slowly. He nodded towards Teal'c, Daniel and Sophia, "I take it that these are the witnesses?"
"Yep," said Jack in his usual tone.
"So, do you guys have your marriage license?"
"Not exactly, Tom," Samantha started, "You see, we need to get married quickly, like right now. That's one of the reasons we came to you, I knew that you could get rid of all the paper work in no time."
"Very well then." Tom said this in a very formal tone that seemed to signify that the conversation was over and it was now all business.
The wedding was brief and with no mishaps. Jack and Sam were finally married and their child could be "conceived" that night or in the near future. Everything was going to be okay.
After the official ceremony was over, the group went out to eat at Sam's favorite oriental restaurant, Dragonfly's Oriental Cuisine. When they entered the restaurant, however, Sam and Sophia both rushed to the rest room and threw up the little there was in their stomachs. Next, they tried the grill that was located next door to Dragonfly's - which worked.
"So, Jack, Sam, what are you going to tell Jacob?" Daniel's eyes laughed at the thought of what Jacob would do when he found out that the two had gotten married without him being there.
General O'Neill looked at the new Mrs. O'Neill and sighed, "I opt for telling him that we eloped but we're still having the big reception for friends and family."
Sam looked at her stomach and back at her husband, "Before or after I give birth?"
The meal was eaten in a loving, happy atmosphere of everyone talking about what to name the baby.
"Now, seriously Jack, 'Daniel' is a great name to have growing up. I mean do you know how great it is to be named after a Biblical hero?" Daniel had been pushing his name for about fifteen minutes.
"Yeah Daniel, and he'll get beat up every day of his life if he ends up wearing glasses," Jack responded. That shut Daniel up for all of ten minutes.
"Have you considered the name 'Thora' if the child were to be a girl? Thor has been one of Earth's strongest allies." Teal'c looked at the woman who had become like a sister to him, he thought he saw a tear forming in her eye.
"Thora would be a great name for a girl," she said.
"Yeah, and she would be made fun of the rest of her life for having a name like that," Jack shot back.
Sam looked at him, "And you would suggest, what, 'Samantha Junior'?" She asked sarcastically.
"And what's wrong with that?"
"I hated my name growing up! Do you know how much I wanted to be named something like 'Amelia' or 'Constance'?"
"What about 'Janet'?" Daniel asked as he took a drink of his mineral water.
Jack and Sam made eye contact again, "'Janet'," Jack said, "It would be very fitting considering she saved both our lives on multiple occasions."
"What about 'Thora Janet-Samantha'? It incorporates two very wonderful people and you get to have a daughter named after me." Sam looked at her husband sarcastically as she said this.
"I like it."
"But what if the child is male?" Sophia asked curiously.
"'Jonathan Jacob O'Neill.'" It was more of a declaration than a question, made by Jack.
Jack looked at her, and she saw the determination in his eyes with tears in hers, " I love it."
That night was the first in which Sam and Jack were able to share a bed on Earth. Sam cuddled up to her husband and whispered, "This is how every day should have ended since we met and should end in the future." Jack simply smiled, knowing that they were going to have a long first year of marriage.
Eight months later, Sam was lying in bed with a laptop on her stomach as she tried to do something useful for a change while her husband was off doing stuff for the "good of all mankind." She hated that her husband, father and friends ordered her to go home and not to work until the babies were born. They had found out she was carrying twins six months before, and ever since Jack spent all of his spare time baby-proofing the house.
Sophia, who had given birth a one month before, was staying at the house with Samantha so she wouldn't have to move other than what was necessary. Sophia had given birth to a healthy baby boy whom she named "George Galen" after General Hammond and Sophia's father.
Since Sam and Jack had refused to learn the gender of their children before they were born, Daniel and Teal'c both knew so they could direct any gifts that were being purchased by family and friends. This was a very difficult thing to do considering that everything sent was sent to Sam and Jack's house, and it should have been sent to Teal'c's apartment.
Suddenly Sam felt all wet, and being unable to see the lower half of her body, shouted for Sophia to come into the room. Athena/Sophia came running into the room holding a sleeping George Galen in her arms. She took one look at Sam's figure on the bed and set the baby down in his crib.
"Samantha," Athena said calmly, "Your water just broke, I'm going to call Jack now and get him over here. Then I'm going to call the hospital to get a medical team over here as quickly as possible." She smiled, "The babies are coming."
One hour later, Sam lay on a hospital bed, squeezing Jack's hand as hard as she could, screaming with all her might as she gave birth to the second of her two children. A few moments later, Thora Janet Samantha was born. Her twin, Jonathan Jacob, lay wrapped up in a light blue blanket in the arms of Jacob Carter, who had arrived with Jack.
Sam and Jack looked at each other with tears in their eyes. She smiled at him and whispered, "I love you so much."
"I love you, too."
Jacob came over with both babies in his arms. "Thanks Sam," he said in a choked up voice as he handed the babies to Jack.
"For what, Dad?"
"For making me a grandfather before Selmak dies."
Sam, who was holding Thora, got tense with fear, "What?"
"I didn't want to tell you like this, but Selmak says that he is dying. He's getting weaker and I'm not sure how much longer he can hold on."
"It's okay, kiddo, I'm not dead yet."
Jack squeezed Sam's hand again and looked at his son, hoping beyond hope that this child wouldn't find the gun he had hidden in the house.
Three months later, at the SGC, everyone was thrilled that Samantha O'Neill had finally come back to work. Granted that the twins were most often found in her lab or Jack's office, the scientist who had made the Stargate program possible was back at it.
Two months after coming back to work, Sam had a surprise visit from an old enemy. Ba'al just materialized out of nowhere in her lab when she was playing with Thora and Jonathan. He grabbed up Jonathan and was about to beam out when Jack came up from behind him and latched onto Ba'al's back.
The two proceeded to engage in a battle of will power.
"You dare interfere with my plan?" Ba'al said in his monotone evil voice.
"You dare try to kidnap our son?" Jack growled back.
Ba'al unusually nice in his actions handed the baby back to his father and beamed away.
Jack took the child and looked at his wife to find Sam's face full of horror. She met his gaze and he nodded slowly, knowing what she thought was the only thing that could stop their enemies from trying that again.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" Artemis asked when she heard the proposal that Jack and Sam offered the three sisters.
"It's not a matter of wanting to do this, it's a matter of needing to do this," Samantha responded.
Athena nodded, "Very well then. Will both of you be staying with the children while they undergo the procedure, or will only one of you stay?"
After a brief silence Jack said in a broken voice, "Only Sam will be staying with them. The fight is too important on Earth for both of us to be gone for so long."
Aphrodite frowned, "It's not healthy for a married couple to be apart for so long."
"We won't be apart that long. I'll be visiting every month to see the progress – and to see my wife."
Athena sighed, "Let's get on with it then. We will implant nanites in their brains that will speed up the physical and mental growth process by 800. It will take two full years for the process to be complete, leaving them at the age and maturity of a 16-year-old Earthling."
"Okay, let's do this," Sam whispered, looking down at the two sleeping forms in her arms. "See you in one month, Jack."
Three months later, Jack came back through the Stargate, leaving the SGC in the hands of Teal'c and Daniel as he had done whenever he had left to visit his family in the past. He entered the city to find his wife dressed in a white toga (signifying that she was off-limits) and playing with two little children who appeared to be one year old.
He looked fondly at his wife and children, thinking about how fast things had happened in the last year. His heart was filled with love for the three people he watched, and also a need to protect them. He looked at the look of love and joy on Sam's face as she played with Johnny and Thora.
He walked up behind her, to surprise her. "So, how are the kids?" He asked in a low tone that asked many other questions.
Sam looked up at her husband, got up and hugged him with all the strength in her body. Checking though touches if he had any injury. Their lips met and the two stood there like that for a good long while, letting everything else just fall away. Her heart beat faster just being so near her love. She thought of how much she loved Jack, and how stupid she felt at waiting so long to be in his arms. It wasn't until Thora started an insistent tugging on Sam's toga – nearly making it fall down – that the two were brought back to the real world. The couple looked down at their daughter and son to find them patiently waiting for their parents' attention.
Jack picked up Thora and Sam picked up Jonathan. "The kids are doing great. This drug that Athena gave them is not only causing rapid growth, but it also gave them some pretty amazing abilities. Already Thora and Johnny are showing signs of telekinesis."
"Wait a minute. Isn't telekinesis being able to move things with one's mind? They can do that?"
"Yes, it's not very strong yet, but they are growing and with physical and mental growth comes growth of supernatural powers as well. Athena said that it was normal for the abilities to appear in humans because of the other ways the nanites are used," she paused before continuing. "I saw some Nox the other day."
"Nufrayu, he is quite big now. He misses you."
"Yeah, I tend to have that effect on kids."
Sam smiled, "Come on, I want you to see what house the sisters gave us to use while the twins are growing."
She took his hand and took off down the street, passed into three more streets and finally came to a stop in front a small cottage-like house that they entered confidently. Inside, Jack saw a room with a fireplace on one wall, Persian rug on the floor, a peridot rocking chair, two cribs, a play area quartered off, and three doors leading off the room. Sam put Jonathan into the play area, took Thora from Jack and put her in there as well. She then poked her head into the kitchen and told the young woman who was there that the twins were in the living room and she was going to take a nap.
She led Jack through one of the doors and into the room that he immediately recognized as her bedroom.
Sam backed up suggestively to the bed, leading her husband with her. "Let's take a nap," she said in a seductive voice.
Three hours later, a slight knock was heard at the bedroom door. Jack hoped it would just go away, but the knock was persistent. Sam groaned as she sleepily untangled herself from her husband, put on her light blue pajamas (tube top and loose fitting pants) and answered the door.
"No way," she moaned as she looked at their visitor. She turned back to Jack and said with a pathetic smile, "Put some clothes on, we have company."
Now was Jack's turn to groan. He slowly got up and put on the pair of pajama pants that he had grown accustomed to using when he was visiting his small family. He met his wife at the door and after giving her a quick kiss, looked beyond her beauty to see who the asshole was that had woken them up.
The shock that overwhelmed Jack was very evident on his face. "Space monkey," he said slowly, "What are you doing here? I thought I left you and Teal'c at the SGC for a reason."
Daniel looked very nervous as he stood there, in the doorway to two of his best friends bedroom. Thoughts of what he had possibly interrupted couldn't help but squeeze their way into his mind.
"Umm, Jacob Carter came to Earth yesterday and was admitted into the infirmary about a half an hour after you left, Jack. He fainted in the control room."
Jack heard Sam's breath falter. "Is he alright?" she asked in a concerned tone that made the hair on the back of Jack's neck stand on end in fear for her father – his father.
Daniel shifted from foot to foot nervously, "He's stable, but he says that he doesn't have much time and he wants to see you and the twins before he dies."
Jack and Sam exchanged a horror stricken look. Sam nodded and ran to pick up the twins while her husband quickly packed all of their things. Daniel, unsure of what to do, helped Jack pack.