A/N: So, it's finally here. I know I promised this a ridiculously long time ago, then I said it wasn't going to happen… but here it is. The main problem with getting an epilogue to this done was that I had two separate takes on it, and was too disappointed with Season 9 to be sufficiently interested in finishing either. To put it simply, I've been 'off' Stargate in general for a while… not to mention I've been busier than I could possibly have imagined just trying to keep up with very mobile baby boys. But my Stargate buddy's excitement about the upcoming season has proven contagious enough for me to want to get this done, and I finally decided to take my sister's suggestion and just use BOTH of my plans. So if it bothers you that the epilogue sort of has an epilogue of its own… that would be her doing, not mine. Thank you all so much for your patience with this story and its conclusion - I was completely overwhelmed by the responses this has generated.
Also, since I'd snuck Quarks into an earlier chapter of this story, I had to let Maggie make a brief appearance somewhere too, so I guess I've now done a 'crossover' with one of my own other stories.
(Sometime in the not-too-post-Season-10 future…)
"Whatever happened to the trunk?"
"Cassie's still got it, she's painting it."
"What?" Hearing how absolutely confused she sounded - which was beyond abnormal for her, because generally speaking he was the one who was confused, Jack set the screwdriver in his hand down and looked up from where he was seated on the floor. "What, what?" he repeated.
Sam stared back at him from her chair, forgotten instructions in hand, clearly just as puzzled by his response as he was with her question.
"Cassie has it," she stated, repeating his answer.
"Yeah. You were here when she came and got it, remember? Teal'c and I loaded it into the truck for her and I got a splinter for my trouble. You put a Simpson's Band-Aid on it after you pulled it out, then we…"
Turning slightly pink (although that could very well have been partially due to the fact that it was the middle of an August of record-breaking temperatures and she was now nine days past her due date - the longest nine days of her life, as she was quick to point out at least three times a day), Sam nodded and held up a hand. "I remember that. But I wasn't talking about the toy chest. So in case you've also given Cassie the alien trunk that turned Daniel into a toddler several years ago and told her to paint stars on that one as well…"
"Oh," he laughed. "That trunk. I don't know, I guess it's still at Area 51. Why on Earth were you thinking about that?"
"I was just wondering if somehow we could use that to speed up this process and get this baby born already," Sam said. She said it lightly, but she was obviously sort of serious at the same time.
Not that he blamed her, Jack thought as he got up off the floor and came over to the large chair, making room for himself where there wasn't much left. "Jack, I'm hot," Sam objected as she made room for him anyway.
"Can't argue with that."
"That's not what I meant," she muttered, trying not to laugh.
"Either way," he said with a shrug, propping his feet up on the ottoman next to hers and getting more comfortably settled. "You've said at least twice today that you can't get any hotter… which I've been saying for years by the way…" the remark earned him a light dig to the ribs. "So what difference does it make?" He kissed her, playing with the damp bits of hair at the base of her neck that had fallen out of her short ponytail and were starting to curl in the heat.
She let the instruction manual she'd been holding fall into her lap and kissed him back, but he only had all of her attention for a few seconds as she inhaled sharply in what he recognized as pain rather than any sort of reaction to his kiss. He pulled away quickly, his hand going to her stomach automatically.
She shook her head, biting her lip. "Leg cramp," she explained, scrunching her face up in pain and trying to reach her calf. Between being past ready to give birth and the way she was wedged into the chair, there was just no way.
Jack swung both her legs up into his lap instead and said, "Which one?"
"That one…" He rubbed the bunched muscles of her calf for a few moments before feeling them start to loosen. "Thank you, that's better."
He nodded and rested a hand on Sam's tummy. "I think we'll just leave the rest of this project to your wonderful uncles."
"If you'd let me hold it in place…" Sam started.
"Not this time, I'm afraid. You're the supervisor. Make us do the manual labor while you've got the symbiote there as an excuse."
She let the 'symbiote' remark pass this time - partly out of gratitude for the impromptu leg massage, partly just because it was too hot for all that at the moment. Speaking of which… "Can you still smell the paint in here?" Jack asked, clearly hoping for a negative response.
"Actually, no, I can't," Sam realized.
"Good. I'll shut the window and let the air conditioning in."
"Wait just a minute," Sam requested, snuggling closer into his side and pressing her cheek into his shoulder. "I'm so comfortable right now."
Since being comfortable was something that was hard to come by these days, he was happy to sit, for the time being, although he thought he might be in danger of melting at any moment.
The reason it was so hot outside was because it was the middle of August in Colorado. But it was still usually nice and cool inside, as it currently was in the rest of the house. But although Jack couldn't smell the paint in the nursery anymore, Sam could. He suspected it was partly heightened senses from the pregnancy, and partly just a little healthy paranoia at what lingering paint fumes might do to the baby. So, the baby's room had the windows open, and the door and air vent firmly shut while it aired out. Which meant that while the rest of the house was an icebox these days, this room was hotter than hell.
It was hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk outside - literally. Jack had caught Teal'c testing that theory when he'd heard Jack use the expression the other day. Anyway, it was hot, and to say that Sam was uncomfortable would have been a massive understatement.
In addition to the regular assortment of discomforts that went along with being pregnant, Sam was, for some reason, experiencing everything in extremes, from morning sickness to cramps to insomnia and fatigue… and if there was one thing the two of them had in common it was that neither of them was in danger of winning any sort of 'most patient person of the year' award. So going nine days and counting past her supposed 'due date' had them both acting more like there was an overloading naquada generator in her belly rather than a baby.
They'd had so many false labor scares that the last three times, Jack had to remind himself that asking 'if she was sure this time' as they hurried out to the truck probably wouldn't be a very smart thing to do. The fact that Sam hated to be wrong more than anything in the world just made it that much more frustrating for her. And the last two times, Jack had definitely seen money exchanging hands between Airmen as they'd sheepishly left the infirmary after Dr. Lam assured them that Sam was only experiencing Braxton-Hicks contractions that most women didn't even feel… or simply indigestion.
"What really made you think about the trunk?" Jack asked curiously.
"Oh. When Daniel came over yesterday to keep an eye on me in case I went into labor in the two hours you were in that meeting…"
"Keep you company," Jack corrected. "But go on."
"Potay-to, potah-to. Anyway, he asked me if I still had his outfit, the little SGC uniform he gave to me when he 'grew up' again. It just got me thinking about that whole experience, I guess."
"Speaking of which, remind me to get the baby a baseball cap," Jack said, nodding at the closet, which already held a surprising number of clothes that couldn't be worn for some time, including the little SG-1 uniform in question. "We don't need to be sending any subliminal geek-messages with the floppy boonie hat."
"That hat's adorable. He looked so precious in it," Sam said, smiling fondly at the mental picture.
"I sincerely hope you're talking about the toddler version," he said in a mock-CO voice. "It would have been highly unprofessional for you to be thinking such things about a teammate in the field all those years, Carter."
She laughed and hugged him tighter. "Daniel's always been adorable. And I'm sure you had the occasional unprofessional thought for a teammate in the field yourself."
"Oh yeah, Teal'c's always been irresistible," Jack agreed, making both of them laugh.
After a moment, Sam reluctantly said, "We've still got a lot to do before Teal'c and Daniel get here. And even with your help it'll probably take me ten minutes just to get out of this chair."
The ringing of the doorbell that evening was immediately overshadowed by the loud barking that always followed it. Jack went to answer the front door, trying to shush their Golden Retriever in the process as he nudged her out of the way in order to open the door and let Daniel in.
Daniel, as Jack greeted him, responded somewhat distractedly, his attention on the video camera in his hands as he narrated to an imaginary, or future, audience. "And this, as I'm sure you know, is your father… or at least that's what Sam tells us anyway, although the rest of us prefer to pretend he's never so much as touched her…"
Groaning, Jack pulled Daniel inside with a 'friendly' hand on the scruff of his neck. "What the hell are you doing, Spacemonkey?"
"You might want to watch the swearing, Jack. I'm making a video for the baby! Good idea, huh?"
"Splendid. You could have told me."
"How was I supposed to know you'd answer the door without a shirt on and your hair all wet? You did invite us over for dinner, remember?"
"Yeah, yeah. Where's Teal'c?"
"He's coming over on his own. He said something about needing to make sure his DVR was set for a 'Bewitched' marathon on TV Land."
"Ah. Why am I not surprised?"
"Here, Daniel," Sam interrupted cheerfully, joining them. Daniel hugged her hello as best he could, then held the camera up at her. "What are you doing?" Sam squealed, dodging behind Jack. "I just got out of the shower!"
"He's making a video for the baby," Jack explained.
Softening, Sam said, "That's sweet, Daniel, really, but… you could have given me a little warning! I know I wanted you all here for dinner tonight but I wasn't going to bother with makeup… or shoes."
"You look fantastic, Sam, you're glowing," Daniel assured her, holding the camera up once more.
"Yeah, you try being almost two weeks past your due date during a heat wave; you'll be 'glowing' too," she grumbled.
"I'm going to go order dinner," Jack announced, hurrying off to order the Chinese food they were planning on, and find a shirt to wear.
After ordering tons of Chinese food - the doctor's suggestion that spicy foods might help induce labor had so far proven completely ineffective, yet they were still desperate enough to keep trying it, just in case - Jack quickly found Daniel again and insisted that he come help him put together the crib.
"We already did that," Daniel whined.
"Yes, but we put it together wrong. You have to put it up higher till the baby's like four months old. See, bassinet configuration." Jack held up the massive diagrams that showed the various ways the crib could be assembled, and pointed for emphasis.
"Why?" Daniel asked.
"I don't know. Apparently the smaller ones are supposed to be up higher. I have no idea, Daniel, but you're still helping me."
"All right, give me that screwdriver."
As the two of them worked, Daniel kept looking at Jack, who finally couldn't take it anymore. "What?" he demanded.
"You're going to be an amazing father, Jack. I'm really happy for you."
"Thanks," Jack said gruffly, doubling his attention to the assembly job. After a few moments, he added, "Since you're being all… you know. I guess I should… look, we finally agreed on a name, okay?"
Fully aware of how lengthy the name debate had been - everyone had wanted to contribute their own suggestions, and Sam and Jack had both campaigned for support for their favorite names - Daniel was especially eager to hear their final choice. "What?"
"Well we talked about it a lot. Naming him after somebody was… a good idea but it was proving tricky because there are so many men that we'd like to honor, you know? Jacob, George, you, Teal'c… plus Teal'c was tricky because it's not really a normal Earth name… anyway. We kept talking about the pros and cons of naming him after men we knew… then we decided to name him after a boy instead. Well, sort of. Both, actually, but… well, when you shrunk yourself by climbing into that trunk a few years ago, you sort of… made a lot of things seem potentially possible that neither of us had really let ourselves think about too much before. But since you're around all the time now we figured having two Daniels would be really confusing, so we decided on using your middle name, if you don't mind."
"You're going to name your son after me? Jack, I'm… I'm honored. Truly."
"All right, all right," Jack grumbled as Daniel hugged him, clapping him on the shoulder.
After finishing the crib assembly project, Jack and Daniel headed back into the den in time to see a sight that, several years ago, would have seemed rather strange to Jack. Teal'c - mighty Jaffa warrior, former First Prime of Apophis - toughest, baddest-ass-in-the-universe Teal'c, was in front of Sam, hunkered down on his knees with his ear, and one massive hand, pressed to 'the bump,' as Jack liked to call the baby when he wasn't calling him 'the symbiote.' It was just one of those sights that should have been very wrong and was instead strangely right.
Daniel turned the video camera back on and pointed it at them discreetly, so that it was several moments before they noticed, and when they did, Sam smiled over at Jack hugely. "Teal'c says the baby's getting ready. Could be real soon."
"What an amazing prediction," Jack said sarcastically as Teal'c got to his feet and came over to greet him. "Predicting that a woman nine days past her due date's going to go into labor soon. You should be a weather man with those skills, T." Jack grinned as he shook the man's hand. "Didn't hear you come in."
"Colonel Carter saw me approaching and answered the door, so I did not need to ring the bell."
"Ah. Well, Danny boy's making home movies already, I'm sure the baby will be amazed by Uncle Teal'c's masterful skills of prognostication."
"Perhaps I could see your camera for a moment, Daniel Jackson," Teal'c said.
"Uh, actually, I think I'd better just hang onto this…" Daniel started.
Soon the two were jokingly dodging round the house, Daniel still shooting everything he could with the camera as Teal'c pursued him and Maggie chased after them both, barking occasionally. As Sam came and stood next to Jack, laughing at the antics of Daniel and Teal'c, his arm went around her automatically.
It occurred to him that while on paper they actually seemed quite normal now - married, house, dog, cat, baby on the way… they still weren't exactly ordinary. Hell, one of their child's godfathers - and godmother too, for that matter, was an alien. And that was really just for starters.
Jack smiled as he remembered how they'd found out Sam was pregnant. His wife had spent two days trying to figure out what was wrong with one of the Atlantean Life Signs Detectors before she finally realized she was the reason it was going all wonky - it was merely picking up more than one "life sign" in her, apparently.
Then, while he supposed many men came home to find their pregnant wives decorating the nursery or knitting or whatever, he'd come home not two days after learning she was pregnant to find her on a ladder in the spare bedroom installing some kind of fiber optic star field ceiling thing. It was pretty cool, though, he had to admit… although Sam had refused to install one in their bedroom too.
"Jack? You okay?" Sam asked, interrupting his thoughts.
"Yeah." He smiled and rubbed her back. "Just thinking how lucky I am to have such a weird life."
"Gee, thanks," she said sarcastically as the doorbell rang again.
Knowing it was the dinner and he'd need extra hands to bring it all inside, Jack called a truce between Teal'c and Daniel and enlisted Teal'c's help.
After an 'old-fashioned SG-1 dinner,' with the one and only, original SG-1, Sam was feeling much more relaxed than she had been in the last few days. Knowing that Teal'c and Daniel both had to leave early, as they were going off-world just after midnight to accommodate an arrival on a planet that was only tolerable temperature-wise for a very small portion of that planet's 'day,' as soon as dinner's remains were cleared away, Sam returned the video camera to Daniel, having confiscated it shortly after she caught him having way too much fun videotaping her trying to pick up a dropped pair of chopsticks in the kitchen, rather than rushing to her aid immediately.
"Thanks," he said, flipping the screen out and switching it on. "I want everybody to say something to the baby alone, and… you know, Sam, I really think you'll wish later on that you'd let me video tape the birth - the baby's going to want to see it one day…"
"Daniel, for the last time, no! I'm glad you're so gung-ho about the baby, but I really don't think I'm going to want a camera in my face - or in my anything else, for that matter - while I'm in labor! Besides, I don't actually know anyone who wants to see themselves being born… it would probably terrify him."
"Okay," Daniel grumbled. "But if you change your mind…"
Sam rolled her eyes. "I'll let you know."
"Good. Er… maybe I should go start with Teal'c."
She had to smile as she watched Daniel and Teal'c heading off to the baby's room. She truly was getting tired of Daniel's repeated offers to 'document the birth,' but she always appreciated his enthusiasm.
Everyone recorded their messages for the baby - each unknowingly ending theirs with variations of the same basic request.
For Daniel, it was a polite, "We're all getting really anxious to finally meet you, your mom most of all, so it would be great if you could try to be born within the next day or so…"
Teal'c was predictably more succinct: "Young O'Neill, you have tested your parents' patience long enough."
Sam's was an impatient, "Come ooooooooon, get out of me already," followed by some hasty, less-objectionable sentiments, ending with a request that Daniel edit that first bit out.
As uncharacteristic as her complaint was, Jack's message was even more uncharacteristic. Normally a man of few words, particularly 'on record,' he talked for quite a while before finally concluding with, "I hope you already know how much we all want you. Your mom and I have waited for you for a long time… a lot longer than nine months. So a few more days really isn't a big deal - despite what you may have heard. You just take your time; we'll wait. But when you are ready, just… be safe, okay? No scary emergencies or anything, just… try to take it easy on your mom, okay?" He stopped talking, trying to think of something else to say before saying goodbye. Then he shrugged. "Um, I guess that's it, just… see you soon. Right?" He got up, moving half out of frame, then sat back down. "Oh! One more thing! The 'take it easy' thing - don't ever actually say that to your mom, okay? She ah… doesn't like that. Okay. That's all. See you soon. You'll be the one naked, screaming, covered in goo; I'll probably be the one trying not to pass out."
After reconvening in the living room for some more family/team bonding, Teal'c and Daniel finally had to return to the base after hugs and prolonged goodbyes were exchanged. Sam had always worried about them going off-world without her, but decided to blame all the extra 'be careful' and 'stay safes' on hormones. Or something. Whatever it was that had suddenly decided both the cat and the dog needed to be thoroughly groomed yesterday.
That night, Jack woke up to a familiar tapping on his shoulder.
"Jack, I'm in labor."
His eyes snapped open and he was instantly wide awake. The script was basically the same as all the false labors they'd had, but the tone was completely different. Unlike all their previous mad dashes to the SGC infirmary, she was so calm and still and matter-of-fact about it that he instinctively knew that she knew this one wasn't a rehearsal.
But no matter how many times they'd 'rehearsed,' when he knew this was the real deal, he proved to be the one who needed help. As he frantically tried to get them both semi-dressed, get their things, and call the base to have Dr. Lam paged all at once, he ended up spending a frustrating thirty seconds trying to call Dr. Lam on what turned out to be the television remote, and nearly packed Quarks cat into the suitcase, over the cat's loud and spirited objections.
Sam's first real contraction hit amidst the chaos, her surprised scream of pain making something click over in his brain so that he finally got all of his actions choreographed and his mind somewhat focused, and he got them to the car with everything they needed. Except his shoes.
Daniel and Teal'c were with Colonel Mitchell and SG-3, sitting under protective solar panels that would keep them cool in the harsh afternoon suns of P73G31. While the career military men were getting impatient, Daniel was barely noticing the heat at the moment, as he was busy translating some fascinating ancient tablets they'd unearthed earlier. He did notice, however, when their radios crackled to life and the MALP relayed an unscheduled contact from the SGC.
"Dr. Jackson, Teal'c, this is General Landry."
"Is it Sam? Is she in labor?" Daniel asked quickly, dropping the heavy stone tablet on his foot without even noticing.
"Actually, she was in labor," Landry said. "Carolyn tells me she is now resting peacefully in the infirmary with one big, beautiful, healthy baby boy."
Everyone let out a collective cheer, and some of the Marines started settling up bets. "That's great, General! But… we missed the whole thing?" Daniel couldn't help but ask.
"It all happened very quickly," Landry relayed. "I don't have all the details - they haven't let anybody in to see them yet, but Jack ran up to the control room five minutes ago with the biggest grin I've ever seen on his face, and a message he wanted me to send to you and Teal'c. Is there anybody at the gate?"
"No… it's a hundred and fifty-six degrees…"
"I will retrieve it," Teal'c said, hurrying off towards the gate before anybody could object.
Twenty minutes later, he and Daniel were crowded over his camera to view the message through the LCD display. He pressed Play and Jack's face from the nose down immediately filled the screen. "Okay, I know I'm not the designated A/V boy but I'll give it a shot here," he muttered into the camera, holding it out away from himself so that more of his face was visible. "Hi kids. Sorry you missed the big event, but we still wanted you to be the first ones to see your godson."
After some jerky camera movements, where Jack was clearly moving around, the camera settled on a very tired but happy looking Sam in a bed in the infirmary, with a bundle in a blanket in her arms. "Okay, I think I got it this time," Jack said, prompting Sam to look up and smile at the camera.
"Hi Uncle Teal'c, hi Uncle Daniel!"
Jack and the camera moved closer - Daniel made a mental note to point out the 'zoom' feature to Jack the next time he got the chance - and they could finally see the baby in the blanket, or at least what was visible of him between the blanket and the little blue hat he was wearing. He was still slightly red and scrunched, but both Daniel and Teal'c instantly thought he was the most precious thing they'd ever seen - although Teal'c would never verbalize the word 'precious,' not even now.
"Aww, he's sleeping," Jack said quietly. "You can't see… well, he's got big blue eyes, all his fingers and toes…"
"He's perfect," Sam contributed. "And huge."
"Yeah," Jack agreed. "Eight and a half pounds." Sam tried to stifle a yawn, but didn't pull it off. "We better go," Jack said. "But Nick here just wanted to say hi."
"Come home soon and meet him in person," Sam added.
The camera focused on the baby for another few moments, then Sam and Jack said goodbye to them and the tape ended.
After a few minutes to themselves, the proud godfathers hurried to show off their godson to everyone else. "I'd say that is one lucky baby," Cameron remarked after seeing the tape and seeing how happy Daniel and Teal'c were. Everyone agreed and started talking amongst themselves.
As Daniel safely stored the camera, he couldn't help but think about the fact that, as someone who had once been turned into a toddler for a week and cared for by Sam and Jack, with Teal'c's help, he knew better than anybody else in the universe just how lucky Nicholas O'Neill was.
Two years later…
"Absolutely not, Jack."
"What are you even doing here? Is Sam here too?"
"Yeah, Dr. Lee had something he needed help on and your General wanted to go over something with me so…"
"So you 'dropped in,' to harass me," Daniel finished, referring to Jack's little personal Asgard transporter, which didn't get nearly as much use these days as it had done during that bad period when Jack had been in Washington and Sam had still been on SG-1.
"Added bonus," Jack shrugged. "Come on Daniel. You owe me."
"I owe you? For what?"
"I saved your life," Jack pointed out. "A lot."
Daniel crossed his arms and shook his head.
"I… I… I changed your diapers that one time you got turned into a kid!"
"You use that all the time, Jack," Daniel whined.
"I… I named my son after you!"
Daniel sighed. "Jack, why does it have to be tonight? This weekend Teal'c will be back and we can double team him - the last time I babysat by myself he nearly gave me a heart attack climbing on the bookshelves…"
"He doesn't do that anymore," Jack said dismissively. "And it has to be tonight. Come on, Daniel, it's important."
"Anniv… Jack, you got married in September; it's June."
"Yeah, well, it's not that kind of anniversary."
"What other kind… ew, Jack, I really didn't need to hear that," Daniel complained wearily, resting his head in his hand, elbow propped up on his desk.
"You're the one who asked," Jack said with an unconcerned shrug. "So, is that a yes then?"
"No, it's not a yes! I'm not babysitting without any backup so you can celebrate the anniversary of the first time you and Sam…" he shuddered. "She's like a sister to me, Jack!"
A third voice interrupted their familiar back-and-forth from the hallway. "NICHOLAS CARTER O'NEILL! Get back here; that is NOT a Gameboy, it's a Life Signs Detector and it's very…" Daniel and Jack had moved to the doorway of his lab to watch the scene in the corridor. "…fragile," Sam concluded her statement futilely as the little boy in question tripped over his own feet - or some unseen force lurking beneath the smooth concrete floor - and the detector crashed loudly to the floor, skittering off into a wall and almost certainly breaking.
That wasn't what concerned Sam at the moment however, as her son went tumbling after and immediately started crying. All three adults rushed to him, but Sam reached him first, and had him scooped up, cuddled close, and already calmed down to a sniffle and a little whimper just as Jack and Daniel reached them.
"Is he okay?"
"Yeah, he's just fine, aren't you honey? I think he was mostly just s-c-a-r-e-d."
As Jack rubbed the little boy's back and scanned him for injuries himself, just to reassure himself, Daniel scooped up the Life Signs Detector, which was still in one piece but had a large crack down the display and was now rattling ominously when shook. "I bet you can fix it," he offered, handing it to Sam after Nick let out a pitiful, "Daaaddddy," and was passed to Jack. "And hi, by the way."
"Hi Daniel," she said, hugging him with one arm and pecking his cheek absently as she quickly examined the device before pocketing it for later study. "Sorry about the dramatic entrance."
"No problem," he assured her, turning his attention to his godson. "Hey, Nicky!"
"Falled-down owie Uncle-Danny," Nick informed him.
"I know, I saw that. You're being very brave about it though."
Nick nodded solemnly and rested his cheek on Jack's shoulder with a sleepy yawn. Daniel nodded his head back towards his office and they all filed back inside.
Jack sat down in the chair he always went for in Daniel's office, settling his son sideways in his lap, and reached for the diaper bag he'd shoved under Daniel's desk shortly after arriving. He pulled out Nick's beloved 'bankie,' the blanket that had once-upon-a-time belonged to Daniel, and Nick hugged it to himself eagerly and quickly started falling asleep. "He was up really early this morning and he's late for a nap," Sam explained to Daniel, standing next to the chair they were in and stroking the little boy's hair.
Daniel watched them for a moment, always taken aback at the resemblance between them. He was continually surprised that Jack hadn't insisted on cutting his son's hair yet. Most people, out in public, still thought he was a girl, and Daniel had to admit that the head of wispy platinum curls was probably a major contributing factor to that assumption. But he was just such a beautiful little boy, and Sam was convinced that once the curls were cut off they wouldn't grow back… besides, he might have been mostly Sam on the outside, but it was the general consensus that on the inside he was at least seventy-five percent Jack. Which meant that if the sweet curls, big baby blues, and rosy cheeks threw off some people, the fact that he spent a good portion of his days zooming around making airplane noises should have been plenty indication that he was, in fact, a boy.
As Daniel watched his godson, the normally sparkling, big inquisitive blue eyes were starting to droop closed. They did, however, come to rest on an object on the shelf next to Daniel's desk - an object that was an endless source of contention between Daniel and Nicholas, whenever the little boy was at the SGC. Toppy.
At nine months, Nick had discovered it, and spent the better part of an afternoon with Daniel's stuffed triceratops, the archaeologist's favorite 'souvenir' of his time as a toddler several years ago. Daniel knew it was silly to be so attached to a toy, and if Nick had really, really wanted it he probably would have let him have it… but Sam had luckily intervened and saved Toppy from being adopted.
Jack thought they were being silly, which admittedly Daniel had not helped disprove in whining that he'd already given Nick his old SG uniform AND his blanket, but Sam had stayed on his side, and Toppy had stayed in his office - to be much admired and sought after by Nicholas for years to come. It was probably mostly the novelty of the thing - Nicky was most likely just intrigued that a grown-up, at a grown-up place, had a stuffed animal squirreled away in his office… it was probably like a hidden treasure of sorts to the little guy.
Today though, Nick must have been especially tired, because while his eyes rested on it for a few seconds, they moved right back to Sam and stayed there for the remaining few seconds it took him to fall asleep. After leaning over and kissing the back of her son's head gently, Sam turned to Daniel and asked hopefully,
"So, Daniel, can you baby-sit?"
Before Daniel could answer, Jack said, "He's being stubborn. You've peed on me, Daniel, you owe me."
"So? Your kid's peed on me too, and I'm still not convinced you didn't tell him to do that on purpose!"
"He was four months old, how could I possibly have…"
"Guys," Sam interrupted, putting a hand on Jack's shoulder, trying to keep them from getting loud enough to disturb Nick. "It's all right, Daniel, you don't have to baby-sit if you don't want to. I'm sure I can find somebody else."
"Nicky will be disappointed though. He asked for his Uncle Daniel specifically, but I'm sure he'll get over it." She smiled sweetly and glanced at her watch. "Jack, aren't you late for your meeting with the General?"
"Yup. Let's go."
"Can we have lunch with you in a little bit, Daniel?" Sam asked hopefully as Jack got to his feet and passed their sleeping son to her carefully.
"Yeah," Daniel sighed. "Fiiiiiiiine, I'll baby-sit. You guys suck," he muttered as Sam grinned and landed a grateful kiss to his cheek. They were an absolutely lethal tag-team. Or maybe Daniel was just an easy target.
"Yeah, thanks Spacemonkey," Jack called as they left his office.
They grinned at each other as they got onto the elevator. "That was too easy," Jack remarked.
That night, one very weary Daniel Jackson flopped down on the sofa in the O'Neill living room after finally getting his godson to go to sleep - only about three hours past his bedtime. Daniel surveyed the wreck that was the living room - and the majority of the rest of the house, for that matter - and had only a moment's guilt about not gathering up the energy to do something about it.
He looked around for the remote, but it was out of reach. With a Herculean effort, he sat up enough to open the drawers of the coffee table, looking for a magazine, journal, or even a partially-finished crossword. He skimmed through the selection for a few moments before finding a photo album at the bottom of the drawer - an album he recognized instantly, because he had one almost exactly like it.
Teal'c had made them shortly after Daniel's adventure as a toddler. Although he had his own, it had been some time since he'd looked through it. He settled back into the couch and started perusing the familiar images. While he had never been able to remember specific details of that chapter of his life, he still remembered how safe, happy, and loved he had felt every time he looked at these pictures.
He made it halfway through the album before Nick started crying through the baby monitor on the end table, and the crying sent the dog, Maggie, running into the living room barking loudly at Daniel, just to make sure he wasn't considering leaving her boy alone and crying in his room.
Daniel sighed and closed the book, setting it down on the coffee table and heading back up the stairs once more to take care of the baby. Ah well, he thought. Turnabout was fair play, after all.
The very, very end.