"They just are not going for sexy when they design maternity clothes," Major Samantha Carter complained, yanking off yet another disappointing garment. "Come on, Sara," she urged her companion and clothes shopping taskmaster who was leaning up against the dressing room door, "let's just go get some ice cream."
"Maybe they don't design sexy clothes but they certainly design sexier clothes than your maternity uniform and the unimaginative things you've picked up to date," came the rebuttal.
Sam could see that Sara was not going to give an inch. They had set out to find something for Sam to wear in her campaign to win back Daniel and Sara wasn't going to let her quit until she succeeded. "Sam, you need to make him think about how it was when you were, you know, together."
Sam was stunned. "Together? As in you think I slept with Daniel? That probably means you think I slept with Jack too and that that's how I wound up pregnant with twins fathered by two different men!" Her voice got higher and higher, both in volume and in pitch. The conversation in the adjoining changing room abruptly ceased and Sam and Sara exchanged looks, communicating their mutual realization that their conversation was entertaining the general public.
Sara said, in a near whisper, "You guys were captives for five months in a very difficult situation. It would be understandable if you all gave in to temptation once or twice."
Sam looked at her as if she was a viper that had just bitten her. "How can you have become such a good friend of mine in the last few weeks believing that? You're in love with Jack. I think you guys are probably going to get remarried. I don't get you."
"Are you telling me that that cock and bull story," Sara paused to snigger, realizing the double entendre before resuming, "about Daniel and Jack both donating sperm so you could get artificially inseminated because your biological clock was going off is the truth? Sam, you can be honest with me. It was before Jack and I got back together. How could I hold it against either of you when you are clearly not interested in him that way now?" Sara's expression was mulish and screamed, "I wasn't born yesterday."
Sam took several deep breaths. "Okay, Sara, the story about my requesting that they donate sperm isn't true. But I didn't sleep with them either. What actually happened is completely classified and if you tell anyone even what I just said, the NID is going to come knocking on your door."
Sara's eyes were very big. "Really?" she breathed.
Sara looked at her sideways, still not totally convinced, but getting there. "It makes a little more sense then that Daniel has gotten so 'involved' with Janet. I mean, if you guys really weren't ever actually lovers." They looked at each for a while longer. The people in the next changing room had resumed their conversation, evidently concluding they weren't going to be able to hear anything else juicy. Sara decided they needed to move on as well and thrust out another top to Sam. "Try this one on. It's a beautiful shade of blue and it'll play to your eyes."
Sam took it but started to whine a little. "Sara, my feet are starting to swell."
"Don't play the pregnancy card with me, eh, Major," Sara said in a credible imitation of Jack's voice, if Jack had been a lot more of a martinet.
Sam slipped it on and Sara made an admiring sound. "Now we're talking," she said and pointed Sam to her reflection in the mirror. Sam now had the raw material for a lot of cleavage and this top was making the best of it. It stopped short of a working girl's uniform but just barely. The color did do wonders for her eyes and the full, peasant style sleeves and the cleverly cut front, flaring out under her breasts, deemphasized her stomach. "This is going to definitely get the attention of a certain archeologist," Sara approved.
Sam had already put a hand to her chest to cover up the revealed expansion of creamy, white skin and was actually blushing. "I can't wear this. What will people think?" she protested.
"People?" Sara asked. "The only people there when you wear this at the thing at your house will be Jack and I, Teal'c, and Daniel and Janet. Maybe Cassie, if she comes home from college that weekend. Let's work through that list. The way these girls dress now, Cassie will never notice. Britney Spears still makes you look modest. Teal'c and Jack have both urged you to consider Daniel and could only applaud your initiative. Jack will also feel a spurt of appreciation which he will then feel guilty enough about. That will leave him a bit turned on and anxious to be particularly nice to me. I can't complain about that. Now Janet will not like it. At all. This top is definitely the gauntlet being thrown. If she didn't know you had decided to go after Daniel, she'll figure it out the minute she sees you in this. The one I wonder about is Mr. Clueless. Daniel, from everything you and Jack tell me about the guy, walks around oblivious to women looking at him like he was a Peep in their Easter basket."
Sam sighed hugely. "I know." She took her hand down and looked at herself again. "Sara," she asked. "You don't talk about any of this with Jack, do you?"
"My friend, anything I told Jack would go straight to Daniel. The two of them are so close since they spent five months together in that cell that it's like Janiel or Dack." There was a slight edge of something in her tone that made Sam look at her questioningly. Sara made a face. "Okay, I'm a little jealous. I mean, Jack never had a friendship like this before. I've got to say, all the focus has been on whether you have some sort of post-traumatic shock, because of the pregnancy, right? But I think the two of them have some things that need treatment. Do you know Jack really isn't comfortable if he has no idea where Daniel is?" She shook her head, looking down, nudging a hanger lying on the floor with her foot. "And, Sam, it seems like one of them calls the other every night before Jack feels like he can go to bed." She looked back up at Sam. "You want to hear a weird theory? I think he's sort of turned Daniel into Charlie." They both contemplated that thought for a moment.
Sara visibly gave herself a little mental shake and said, briskly, "Anyway, we don't want Daniel warned as to your exact tactics although we do want him to wake up to the fact that there is a campaign going on. If he doesn't take the bait at all Saturday, I say we use Jack to wake him up a little."
Sam nodded slowly. "That makes sense."
As they exited the dressing room, Sara clutching their prize, she asked, keeping her voice low, "What I don't get is why you don't just tell Daniel that you've changed your mind. He did propose marriage when you first told him he was going to be a father, right?"
"I'm afraid that was a 'duty' proposal. If I just ask him baldly, he might agree because he thought he should. I WANT him to want me, really want me."
As they strolled on over to Baskin-Robbins to satisfy Sam's almost constant craving for ice cream, Sara devotedly hoped Sam was right. She had come to really like Sam. An even stronger motivation was that she thought her chances of a successful future with Jack would be improved if the mother of Jack's child was happily married to someone else instead of being a perpetual fifth wheel in her own relationship.
The next day, Sam stood outside Daniel's office door, clutching a pamphlet. A man and woman in uniform walked by and she was sure they were smirking at her. She hated the fact that so many people who knew about the team's captivity believed that she and her teammates had simply had sex regardless of the real story of which most of the base knew some version. There were definitely those who didn't believe that Sam's alien captors had artificially inseminated Sam for reasons of their own with sperm from the two men they also held captive. Of course, no one believed the official cover story any more than Sara had. "Never mind, Sam," she admonished herself. "You have a job to do for yourself and your babies." She was still short on courage so she took a quick trip to her dream house.
It is early evening and it has been an awful day at Cheyenne Mountain. There are problems she couldn't solve, problems she has been beating her head against for days without any apparent progress. She feels as if she has gotten to where she is by some lucky fluke and people are about to find out she isn't half as smart as everyone thinks she is. She is so grateful to see the old Victorian in front of her that spells comfort and welcome and people who thinks she is wonderful.
The front door with its oval of stained glass is unlocked. Daniel has already picked the twins up from daycare and is here ahead of her. She drops her briefcase next to the heavy oak dresser that sits in the front hall and looks at herself in the mirror that hangs above it. It seems to her that she looks the way she feels.
Suddenly two little people come barreling into the hall and grab her legs. "Mommy, mommy, mommy," they chorus. "Up, up," demands one and she scoops one up in each arm. One little boy frames her face in sticky hands and says, "Mommy pretty." She buries her face in his neck for a moment. The child on the other side gives her a big, gooey kiss then on the cheek and they both have their sturdy little arms around her neck.
It is at that moment that her husband appears. Daniel looks tired as well but he has nothing but a warm smile for her as he approaches with a damp washcloth and tries to save her from sharing in the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches upon which the boys have been snacking. "It's hopeless," she laughs and he nods ruefully and chucks the washcloth behind him to free his hands. He wraps his arms around all three of them and hugs. Then he says to little Jackie, the source of the "Mommy pretty" comment, "Pretty is a good word but beautiful is like double pretty. Your mommy is beautiful." He kisses her fully on the mouth. The two little boys are used to such behavior and don't pay much attention but Sam is rejuvenated and all the cares of the day fall away.