This story was written strictly for the purpose of entertainment. No attempt has been made to copyright any characters which may not have been originally created by the author, and no profit is made from this work of fiction. Any original characters and the stories themselves are the property of the author.
Thanks my wonderful betas, Jess and Monica.
Major Samantha Carter looked hopelessly in the mirror. Her hair was barely an inch long. The improvement it represented over the shaved head of her recent captivity offered scant comfort. On the plus side her skin had progressed from dead white to a healthy glow. Back in free America, she could go outside and walk around under the sun. Maybe the rosiness of her complexion was also partly due to that glow pregnant women were supposed to get. The glow sounded like a consolation price you handed to someone who was feeling like a whale but she was willing to buy into it. So, with the glow or the tan or whatever, she looked like a recovering chemo patient. Just great! It certainly didn't compensate for the numero uno, BIG problem with her appearance.
She walked away from the bathroom sink to stand in front of the full length mirror on the back of her closet door. No matter how erect she stood and how much she sucked it in, her tummy was definitely sticking out. The bulge was modest enough that if she had been a little pudgy, it wouldn't have been noticeable. It was screamingly out of place on the magnificently toned body that five months of exercising in her cell had left her. She was reaching the point when even the most casual observer would have to conclude that she either had an aggressive tumor or she was pregnant.
Sam sank onto her bed. Today had to be the day. She couldn't count any longer on no one noticing, no one gossiping. Very soon, Dr. Janet Fraiser and General Hammond wouldn't be the only ones who knew that her alien captors had through some method, artificial insemination or embryo implantation, what did it matter, left her carrying twins. Amniocentesis and DNA testing had confirmed that her two teammates, held captive at the same time, together in another cell, had been the involuntary donors of the male half of the equation. She had to be the one to tell Daniel and Jack that they were fathers before rumors told them something else.
She wished she could get a pep talk from Janet. Was it only two weeks ago that she had considered Janet her closest female friend? Since the night she had seen Janet with Daniel, they had had exactly one private conversation. She had found Janet in her office, leafing through a chart. Janet had looked up and given her a warm smile, concern in her eyes. "Hi, Sam. I tried to talk to you yesterday after I left you in your office with Jack and Daniel but you weren't answering the phone. I was worried as to how it went."
"So false," Sam had thought, revolted, while the grown up part of her brain had tried to tell her that she had no claim on Daniel. He wasn't her baby's father because they had been lovers. She had actually told Janet that she didn't mind if she dated Daniel even if the babies were his. The grown up part of her brain was having trouble holding its own lately and so she kept her firm hold on resentment.
"Janet, I just wanted to ask you to not discuss my pregnancy with Daniel or Jack no matter what. I mean eventually everyone will know but I don't want my friends sitting around talking about me when I'm not there. Okay?" Janet bit her lip. "You already did?" Sam asked, her voice rising.
"Only sort of. I mean Daniel came in here pretty upset after you told him." Janet looked reluctant to go on but squared her shoulders and said, "Sam, he asked me out and I wanted to be sure that it was okay under the circumstances even though you told me it was. That was one reason I was trying to reach you. To confirm that it was okay. I guess I should have waited but you were always very clear with me that you weren't at all interested in him that way. NOW if it had been Jack in here asking me out, I would never have accepted." Janet seemed to have switched to talking more to herself than to Sam when she said, "I've wanted to get together with Daniel for such a long time. You know that I just have to look at those gorgeous blue eyes and that handsome face and buff bod and I just want to jump him right here."
"Janet!" Sam said shocked.
Janet didn't seem to notice. "I have to tell you, Sam, he sure does know how to kiss based on the one goodnight kiss I got out of him last night. If the rest of his, uh, bedroom technique lives up to his kissing, he must be utterly unbelievable."
Sam knew if she stood there much longer she was going to, quite irrationally, punch Janet out. Rather than stay around and correct Janet's impression that she had told Daniel about his baby, she simply muttered something she couldn't even remember later, turned on her heel, and left.
As she drove to work, she talked to herself, for want of another confidant, about how to approach the great announcement. As miserable about it as she was, she couldn't help but chuckle at herself as she imagined setting up a meeting in one of the conference rooms complete with blue briefing folders containing, oh, maybe the ultrasound, and a copy of the quote she had already received from her obstetrician for expenses not covered by her insurance. She could call it "Mission Babies" although that was too straightforward for a mission title. She kept her mind off really considering what she needed to do by searching for a title. Maybe "Mission Reproduction" but that sounded more like a new copy machine for her office, or "Mission Twin Set" which had a sort of fifties ring to it.
She admonished herself sternly to get back on task. Lately she seemed to veer between being weepy and finding inappropriate humor in things that really weren't that funny. Briefings were becoming almost impossible for her. General Hammond had gotten into the habit of watching her out of the corner of his eye the whole time like he thought she was going to explode.
Back to where to tell them. It just didn't seem like explaining everything at work was going to be anything but awkward. But discussing it in a restaurant or other public place had too many unknowns she didn't control. What if her ex-boyfriend Pete, who had given up on her while she was missing for five months, wandered in at a strategic moment? Not to mention the risk that some highly classified information might be breeched by two really shocked people. She could just imagine something like "Aliens made you pregnant?" coming out of Daniel's mouth.
Okay, it would have to be at her place or one of theirs. She sure as hell wasn't going to feed them unless she slipped laxative powder into their food or something. It was unseemly the enthusiasm with which the two of them were forging new romantic relationships since their return. Jack's reunion with his ex-wife and the amount of time Janet and Daniel were spending together were the two hottest pieces of gossip at the Mountain at the moment. Of course, she was about to fix THAT when word of her pregnancy got out. And she had to wonder how many people would say, "Sure, aliens got her pregnant. I think the three of them were just doing the nasty. Have you seen the way she and O'Neill look at each other sometimes?" They'd be hard pressed to explain how Daniel got added in since there had never been any rumors about Sam and Daniel. A truly awful thought then occurred to her. She had heard a limited amount of comment, stopping short of actually saying anything, that Jack and Daniel were AWFULLY close. Come to think of it, this had actually become rather common since they had all returned from captivity. To be fair, the five months the two of them had spent in confinement with only each other for company had to make them close if it didn't make them kill each other. What if people thought Daniel got pulled in because… She wouldn't finish THAT thought even to herself.
She had now narrowed it down to getting them all at Jack's or Daniel's. Daniel's place was such a god-awful mess. She didn't really want to announce her condition next to a coffee table covered with stacks of papers slipping on the floor, discarded clothes draped over the back of the sofa, and a row of empty soft drink cans. Why was he so sloppy and yet always lined up the soft drink cans as if they were on parade? That was a thought for later. Of course if he knew they were coming, he would probably make some feeble attempt at cleaning up. Straighten up the piles, put the cans in recycling, and stuff the clothes under the couch cushion. She shook her head. Okay. She would just ask Jack if she and Daniel could come over there so the three of them could talk. Of course, they probably already had hot dates for tonight but they would just damn well have to cancel them.
She paused for a moment to hope fervently that it was hormones or something else temporary due to the pregnancy's effect on her physiology that was making her this bitchy, even in her own head. To be honest, it made sense she'd be jealous about Jack and Sara, right? Hadn't she thought she was in love with him for years? But why the hell was she so upset with Daniel and Janet?
Daniel was leaning back in the chair in Jack's office, eyes half closed, and a dopey expression on his face. Jack was watching him, highly amused, as he related the "for publication" parts of his date with Janet the night before. "I think you should name your first child after me," Jack suggested.
Daniel's eyes snapped open and he sat up suddenly. "Whoa. You're way ahead of yourself." He lowered his voice and made sure there was no one right outside the door. "I think I'm in love with Janet. I'm sure in, in..."
"Lust for her," Jack supplied. They tried to avoid finishing each other's sentences around other people but it was just the two of them in the office.
"But," Daniel continued, "I'm still, God help me, in love with Sam."
"Maybe. Maybe not. But, if you and Janet have little miniature archeologists or doctors, you know you wouldn't have gotten together with her if I hadn't made you see how you were wasting your time on Sam and then egged you on to follow through on your plan to test the waters with Janet when we were freed."
Daniel rolled his eyes. "Then I claim credit for the Sara thing. You and Sara have to..." It was clear he was having trouble coming up with a tit for tat idea.
"Certainly not name a kid after you. We are too old to have them and, at this point, I'm glad. It hurt too much to lose Charlie and then Skaara. There are seasons for these things and I'm not in the parenting season any more. Sara and I are having a ball doing whatever we want when we want, you know? And you're rushing the fences a little there." He threw an eraser at Daniel. "How the hell do you get me talking about crap like this? You are a bad influence, Daniel."
Daniel managed to reach up and catch the eraser and throw it back at Jack. Jack snagged it and rifled it back this time. Unfortunately, it was a little wide because it hit Sam right in the middle of the forehead as she came in the open door. Jack did a perfect imitation of a little boy caught breaking his neighbor's window with a baseball. Only it wasn't an imitation. It was where he was coming from now and had been coming from repeatedly in his youth. Daniel looked instantly sympathetic and got up to stand next to her and try to look at her forehead.
"Sam, I'm truly sorry. Daniel was just being irritating." Jack attempted to apologize.
"It's my fault?" Daniel asked, sounding more amused than annoyed with Jack.
By now it was apparent that Sam hadn't been hurt. "Whatever," said Sam with an intonation that sounded so valley girl that when Jack and Daniel made eye contact they began to laugh. "Have I blundered into the boys' locker room at Clueless Junior High?" Sam snapped. They only laughed harder. Sam stalked over to Jack's desk, picked up a heavy book and slammed it forcefully on the floor.
They stopped laughing and Jack said, very warily, "Sam, did one of us do something? I mean before the eraser? You seem upset." This was not the way Sam usually handled awkward conversations. Where was the sputtering it out almost diffidently? Something had turned her into a different woman and he actually rather liked it. Sara's spitfire side had been a big part of her attraction for him.
Sam quite obviously struggled to compose herself and managed to say in an almost normal tone of voice, "I really need to talk to both of you about something important, REALLY important and I can't do it here."
"It's personal," Jack stated more than asked.
"Oooh, yeaaah," Sam confirmed.
Daniel instantly got very concerned. "Sam, please just go ahead and tell us. You know we'd do anything you needed." All of his attention was focused on her now and Jack thought to himself, "Oh Sam, if only you could have noticed the way that boy looks at you and responded before you damn near broke his spirit."
"Not… here," Sam said with emphasis, and Jack could quite clearly imagine "stupid" tacked on the end of it. "Jack, could we come over to your place tonight to talk, say around 1900?"
Daniel said, "Well actually, I." He cut himself off and said, "Of course." Then he really took the prize for Mr. Insensitivity, possibly the first win in his career, by adding, "How long do you think this will take?" Jack could tell he was thinking, "How far do I need to move getting together with Janet back?" and he was sure Sam could figure that out as well.
Sam looked at Daniel with an expression Jack had honestly never seen on her face before. Jack was surprised that Daniel didn't incinerate on the spot and burn down to a grease spot. "I… guess… Daniel… that… it… will… take… as… long… as… it… takes."
Jack hastily interjected, "Of course you can both come over. How about I order pizza?"
"Thank you, Jack," Sam said quite sweetly. "See you later," she said to both of them and walked out.
Daniel dropped back down in the chair and he and Jack just stared at each other for quite a while. Finally Daniel asked, "Do you think she's become bipolar?"
"I'm not sure what the symptoms of that are but I tell you, Daniel, captivity seems to have been a lot harder on her than either of us. She hasn't been close to normal ever since we were rescued."
"We weren't in a cell alone. We had each other," Daniel observed, stating the obvious. "And what's up with avoiding us like the plague and then all of a sudden wanting to talk to us alone?"
"Beats me, but you can bet this is going to be far more interesting than anything on TV tonight," Jack opined as Daniel nodded, looking resigned.
"And less fun than even," Daniel searched about for the dregs of TV from his point of view, "WWW Smackdown."
"Aw, I kind of like that," Jack disagreed. Daniel just gave him a disgusted look and shook his head.