"But Janet!" Daniel whined as Dr. Janet Fraiser studied the contents of her tray in the commissary intently.
"No, Daniel. I already told you, Cassie is having a good bye to high school party tonight. I can't go out with you."
"But Janet! I had this night arranged for the past six months! Please come?"
"Ever since we started dating? Man Daniel, you're sure of yourself aren't you?"
Daniel grew bright red. "Maybe. But please?"
Janet thought about it for a minute before responding. This had gone on for about half an hour – Daniel was trying to get her to go out to dinner with him that night, but she had already told Cassie they would spend the night together.
"If you can get me back to the house by eight PM you have yourself a date."
Daniel grinned from ear to ear, she had no idea what he had planned for that night, "You got it babe!"
Janet grinned, he looked so worried, "From anyone else, yes; from you, never."
"I'm glad. I love you so much."
"I love you too Danny-boy."
"Sooo, Mom, what does Daniel want to talk to you about?" Cassie Fraiser asked her adopted mother impatiently. She was sitting on her mother's bed while Janet tried to find a suitable outfit for dinner tonight with her boyfriend the archeologist.
"He wouldn't say, only that we were going out to eat and to dress semi-formal." She stopped what she was doing and turned to look at her daughter. "I think he's going to propose," she whispered.
Cassie squealed in delight. She had always known that Daniel had feelings for her mother – and she had always wanted him as a father.
"Are you going to say 'yes?'"
"Is your name Cassandra Fraiser? Is the sky blue? Are you from another planet? Dumb question! Of course I'm going to say 'yes!'"
Cassie squealed again and jumped up, "I am so waiting up for you and I so get to see the ring first!"
Janet laughed; only her daughter would say something like that before the man even proposed. "Alright, but right now I need your help in finding something to wear. I only have two hours before he is suppose to pick me up."
Cassie looked at her mother seriously, "Go take a nice long bubble bath. I'll help you fix your hair afterwards and I'll find something for you to wear in the meantime."
Janet was a little wary of any outfit her daughter might pick out, but relented nonetheless.
When she came back out after a twenty-minute soak in her big tub, Janet found a lovely crimson and sliver dress lying on her bed with silver Cinderella shoes set beside it. She smiled; knowing full well that Cassie had gotten her that dress for her upcoming birthday and would now feel obligated to get her another gift.
The dress was a halter top with a very modest neckline. It came down to just above her knees, with a light silver sheer cover over the dress. It accented Janet's natural curves wonderfully and hid the flaws that Cassie knew she was so self-conscious about.
Janet looked around and found a necklace, earrings and bracelet set that Daniel had given her for Christmas the previous year lying on her vanity table. She put them on and wasn't surprised when the Celtic knot pendent went perfectly with the dress. There was a small ruby in the center of the knot made of Trinium. Daniel had gotten it when they had visited a Celtic world many years ago. The earrings had the same knot and matching smaller rubies and dangled down, contrasting her hair beautifully when it was down.
Cassie chose this moment to walk in. She stopped in her tracks when she saw her mother sitting at the vanity, wearing the dress and accessories she had picked out. Janet smiled warmly and got up to hug her daughter.
"It's a beautiful dress Cassie. Thank you so much," she said into the younger woman's shoulder.
Cassie wrapped her arms around her mother and whispered, "No, Mom, it's only as beautiful as you make it. You look so lovely."
The two stood there in silence for a long time, neither daring to move. Finally, Cassie remembered why she had come and stepped back, brushing away a tear from her eye as she did so.
"Now Mom, sit down so I can do your hair."
Janet obediently sat down muttering something that sounded extremely like, "Napoleonic power monger," to her daughter's trained ears.
"Isn't that my line, Mom?"
"No, it's Jack's line."
The two laughed and fell into a compatible silence as Cassie fixed her mother's blow-dried hair. When she was done about forty-five minutes later, half of Janet's long brown locks were up in a bun that was held in place by a set of combs she had received from Sam Carter-O'Neill two years previous. The rest of the kind doctor's hair was loosely curled and fell beautifully down to the edge of the low back of her dress.
Janet did her make-up and was almost done when the doorbell rang. "Cass, can you go and show Daniel into the living room? I'll be down in a minute."
"Okay Mom. Don't forget to get your jacket." She was almost out the door before she suddenly stopped and turned around, "Give me ten minutes before coming down, okay?"
Janet, who knew that glint in her daughter's eyes, nodded silently – Daniel was in for one hell of an interrogation.