Summary: Jack is beginning a new phase in his life, but Asgard meddling dredges up the past.
Spoilers: Stargate the movie, Cold Lazarus, Fragile Balance, Season 8 and 9
Paring: Jack/Sam established relationship; Jack/Sara former established relationship
Disclaimer: All standard disclaimers apply. Just for kicks, pallies. Graceland is by Paul Simon.
Author's Note: I was supposed to be taking a break over the holidays to catch up on my reading and allow myself to recharge. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending) I had an epiphany while stuck in traffic the other day about how I could make an idea that had been kicking around in my head for months work. A line from the song Graceland inspired the original idea, but it's not a song fic. I'm just stealing the title because I suck at coming up with titles and I'll use some lyrics as chapter headers just because I love Paul Simon lyrics. This shouldn't be a terribly long fic and I'm planning on having it done within the next couple of weeks. It's almost completely written anyway.
'There is a girl in New York City
Who calls herself the human trampoline
And sometimes when I'm falling, flying
Or tumbling in turmoil I say
Whoa, so this is what she means'
Graceland by Paul Simon
Jack blindly reached for the phone on the nightstand. Crap. It felt like he'd just closed his eyes. Middle of the night phone calls were never a good thing either. After fumbling for a few seconds he finally laid hands on the receiver and brought it to his ear. "What?" he demanded from the evil person on the other end of the line.
"Jack, it's Hank. We need you at the Mountain ASAP." Jack didn't respond other than mentally willing Hank to just hang up. "Jack, are asleep?"
"I was," Jack growled and then sighed heavily. "Is the world ending?"
"Then what the hell are you calling me at-" he glanced quickly over at the bedside clock. "0234 for?"
"Mr. Grey is here."
"So? Mr. Grey is always popping in all over the place. Or popping people away. Unless the fate of the world is at stake, Mr. Grey can wait until a decent hour." Jack took a deep breath. Hank was probably overreacting. Thor would have beamed Jack up if it was an emergency. He was still his favorite human after all. "Y'know, Hank, being able to sleep through the night is going to be a rarity for me in a couple of months."
"I know, Jack, but I really think you're going to want to see this as soon as possible."
On second thought Hank wasn't really prone to overreacting and he did sound kinda odd.
"Okay," he said resigned. "You win and it'd better be good."
"Well, it's certainly going to be a shock," Hank sounded relieved but still a little strange. "Um, uh, Jack, you might want to bring Colonel Carter with you."
"Hank, taking it easy doesn't include gallivanting across the country."
"Mr. Grey will pick you up. You know he and Colonel Carter have already determined it's perfectly safe for someone in her condition."
"I know, I know. Give us about twenty minutes okay?"
"Okay, Jack. See you soon."
He turned the phone off and it fell from his limp hand onto the floor. He groaned loudly and stretched some of the kinks out of his back before turning toward his bedmate. He didn't believe for a second that she had slept through the phone ringing and the entire conversation he'd has with Hank.
"Sam," he nudged her back. "I know you're playin' possum."
"I'm really asleep, Jack."
"Talking in your sleep then?"
"Yep." She snuggled deeper into her pillow.
Jack would have liked nothing better than to wrap himself around her and go back to sleep, but duty called. He settled for nuzzling her neck and pressing a kiss to the soft skin there. "C'mon, Carter. Thor's got a surprise for us," he tried to sound more enthused than he really was.
Sam rolled over and blinked blearily up at him. "Can't he bring it here?" she practically whined.
"You go. Tell me about it when you get home." She closed her eyes resolutely.
"All those years spent in the field in the rain, the mud, the heat, and whatever else, I never heard whine but now…"
"I was whining on the inside."
"I see. Okay, Sam. Time to get up unless you want to visit Thor in your jammies." He rubbed his hand over the purple silk covering her rounded belly.
Sam snickered, "Oh, no. It simply wouldn't do for the naked alien to see me in my pajamas." She slowly pushed herself off the bed and stood ambling over to the dresser.
Jack followed her and lightly swatted her butt. "Smart ass."
She grinned back at him and bumped him playfully with her hip, "Guess I've been around you too long, Jack."
Sam shed her baggy silk pajamas and put on what had become her uniform these days, low waisted maternity jeans, one of Jack's flannel shirts over one of his tee shirts. She claimed most maternity clothes looked too froufrou. Jack didn't care. Some primal, proprietary part of him really liked the evidence of his claim on her. He wondered if that Broca virus had been completely cured.
Jack quickly threw on the chinos and fleece pullover he'd had on earlier in the night. He walked to the entryway closet and pulled out two of his jackets. Sam's didn't fit her any longer and she didn't see the point of buying a new coat just for a couple of months wear, especially when he seemed to have so many. He dropped his black leather jacket over her shoulders and she slid her arms through the sleeves.
They stood side by side waiting for Thor to beam them up, only had to wait a couple of minutes. They briefly rematerialized on Thor's ship before appearing in General Landry's office. Jack's old office. General Hammond's office. It would always be Hammond's office.
Hank stood from behind the desk, "Jack, Sam." he greeted looking more than faintly nervous. "Have a seat."
Sam sat down and pulled the edges the leather jacket together, masking her distended belly. Jack had realized soon after she had begun to show that being in a military environment, particularly the SGC, made her very self-conscious of her pregnancy. She didn't like the idea people almost seemed to forget that she was Lt. Colonel Doctor Sam Carter, Intergalactic Ass Kicker and Blower-Uper of Suns, and not merely Mrs. O'Neill, General O'Neill's little knocked up wifey. Even his old friend Hank Landry fell into that trap occasionally and it made Jack just as mad as it did Sam. Just wait until they needed her to save their asses.
He forwent the offered seat and took up position behind Sam crossing his arms defensively across his chest. "We're here, Hank. Now what?"
"I'll let Thor explain it." He cleared his throat. "Coffee?"
"We've given up caffeine for the duration," Jack explained, really not liking the nervous energy coming off Hank.
"Oh. Makes sense."
They were saved from making anymore stilted conversation by Thor materializing. Jack approached Thor, casually thrusting his hands into his pockets. "Thor. Whatcha got for me, buddy? A new ship? Perhaps the O'Neill II? Want me to christen it?"
"I'm afraid that is not why I'm here, O'Neill," Thor told him and he looked as uncomfortable Jack had ever seen him. That made Jack exceptionally uncomfortable.
"Are you well, O'Neill?" Thor questioned. Jack opened his mouth to respond but not exactly to his inquiry, but Thor didn't give him a chance. "Colonel Carter, are you well? Is your offspring developing normally?"
Thor was stalling? This had to be bad.
"We're all doing great, Thor. Thanks for asking, but why are we here in the middle of the night?"
Jack allowed himself to feel a little smug. His bluntness seemed to have rubbed off on Sam.
"I am uncertain as to how to tell you this, O'Neill," he focused on Jack once more, blinking earnestly at him.
"Just spit it out."
"As you know we have been researching ways to solve our cloning problem. The situation is becoming quite dire. We have already lost some of our eldest. Many thought you were perhaps the key, O'Neill. After the incident with Loki, Heimdall began to study your DNA-"
"Heimdall cloned me again?"
"No, O'Neill. Heimdall theorized that your offspring might prove to be advanced enough to be of use-"
"He kidnapped Sam?" Jack broke in. Sam looked aghast and placed a protective hand over her belly.
"No. Colonel Carter's pregnancy is not known among the Asgard. As I said the situation is becoming increasingly dire, I was afraid some of the more… fanatical of our scientists might act hastily. I had hoped that you would allow us to analyze the child when it was of appropriate age."
"Okay, let me get this straight," Jack said holding up a silencing hand. "Heimdall didn't clone me, didn't kidnap Sam. What exactly did he do?"
"The clone was not harmed during Heimdall's study, O'Neill. He was not even consciously aware until I awakened him after we reached Earth orbit," Thor was rambling. He'd never heard Thor ramble.
"Who did he clone?" Jack demanded towering menacingly over Thor.
"Oh, God," Sam gasped, her hand covering her mouth. She got it.
Jack didn't want to get it. He had made his peace however uneasily. He couldn't stand the thought of reliving that loss. "Who did he clone?" he repeated quietly, not want to hear the answer.
"Charlie, Jack," Hank spoke up for the first time. "He cloned Charlie."