Okay, so I know I'm not done with "How Long is Forever" yet, and I promise it will get done, and this futur-fic plot bunny just wouldn't leave me alone. Not sure how long this will be, whether I'm going solely with the fluff part of the idea, or the more sinister, SG-1-getting-into-trouble-even-in-the-future story, but hopefully either will be good, and no matter which way I go, I know how it starts, so here's chapter one. Please review or I won't continue at all! Thanks!
January 23rd, 2018, 10:35 a.m.--Colorado Springs, Colorado--Parking lot of Pizza Hut
Daniel Jackson gently nudged the woman in the passenger seat of his car, who had fallen asleep on the short journey to the restaurant. When he got no response he nudged a little harder, and this time she shifted and mumbled something in her sleep. He tried once more to no further avail. She'd always been stubborn.
Daniel glanced at the digital time display on the dash board and sighed in frustration; they should have been inside ten minutes ago to help get read for the party at eleven. They of all people should be helping prepare; it was for their kid, for goodness sakes. Well, no more of this. He put a hand on her shoulder and shook
"Come on, honey, wake up. We're here," he said, a bit of urgency in his voice. She stirred again, and made an annoyed sound, but at least it sounded like she was starting to wake up. He shook again and one eye cracked open.
"Leave me alone," Vala stated in tired annoyance.
"Vala! It's ten thirty in the morning! You should be awake! How could you fall asleep at a time like this?"
Groggily she pushed herself up and away from the car door, the imprint of which was outlined on the right side of her face, though it was slowly fading. "Well, excuse me, Daniel, but you didn't spend half the morning in the bathroom."
"Well, uh…" Daniel stammered, having no response to that. After a moment he just sighed. "Sorry. I should remember; we've done this before."
"Yes, but that was eight years ago today, so I suppose it's all right that you forgot a few of the minor details," Vala replied, an amused smile slowly creeping onto her face. "Besides, you've plenty of time to rediscover them; we've still got six and a half months."
Daniel laughed softly. "Right," he said, leaning to kiss her. She returned the gesture, and a moment later he pulled back and opened the car door. "All right, come on. We have a birthday party to get to." He started to walk around the front of the vehicle to open the door for his wife, but she had already gotten out by the time he turned. She came around the car and leaned back against it beside him, crossing her arms over her chest.
"Now, why did Janet want to have her party here, again?" she asked, eyeing the building curiously.
Daniel shrugged. "Different reasons. It is one of the most popular pizza chains in the country-"
"I know that, Daniel. I've lived on this planet for twelve years, you know…"
"- not to mention that kids love it and most of them conveniently have private party rooms that can be rented. We brought her to a friend's party here once a year or so ago; don't you remember?"
Another moment, and then her face lit up in recognition. "Oh! That's right. Well, the, we'd better get a move on inside then," she said, straightening and walking past him toward the restaurant. "Come on, Daniel, don't just stand there," she said as she passed, acting for all the world as if she had not been the cause of the original delay. Jackson shook his head and smiled as he stuffed his hands in the pockets of his khakis and followed her. Nine years of marriage and that woman was still unpredictable. Granted, not nearly as much so as the first time they had met, but still….
Once inside, a waitress directed the couple to the correct room, where Jack and Sam O'Neill, Teal'c, and Cameron and Carolyn Mitchell were already waiting. All looked up when the door opened and the two slipped in.
"Ah!" Jack said, grinning. "Finally the parents of the birthday girl choose to show themselves! Where ya been, Danny-boy?"
Daniel shrugged and smiled. "Unforeseen delay. But we're here, aren't we? Oh, and Jack, please don't call me 'Danny-boy'. Geez, I'm getting a little old for it, dontcha think?" he said, pointing up to his brown hair that was now sprinkled with gray--more gray than he really wanted just yet.
O'Neill grinned and approached his friend, swinging an arm around the younger man shoulder and ruffling his hair with the other hand. "Aww, that's nothing," he as Daniel ducked. "By the time I was your age I was completely gray. Besides, look at me now!"
Daniel pulled away from Jack and smiled at his friend's almost completely white hair. Samantha O'Neill grinned from several feet away. Off all those gathered, she was only one whose hair color made gray harder to see. If she did have any gray hairs, nobody had noticed them yet, and she wasn't telling.
Then Daniel noticed that Jack was staring at him. "What?"
"You still have that sweater?" he said incredulously.
"What, this?" Jackson said, looking down at the cream-colored sweater he wore. "What about it?"
"Nothing, Daniel, but you wore that thing when you were ascended for cryin' out loud! You must have had it for at least twenty years by now. How old are you. Fifty-two? Fifty-three…?"
Daniel winced. "Yeah, okay, so it's old. Sorry. It still fits me, it's not too worn out, and I like it? You have a problem with that?"
"Not really, just had to say something."
Jackson sighed. "Of course you did, Jack."
"Did you and Vala have a safe trip, Daniel Jackson?" Teal'c asked then, rescuing him from anymore of Jack's teasing.
Vala sat down in a chair at one of the tables near the door. "In the fifteen minutes it took us to get here, yes," she replied snarkily.
Daniel rolled his eyes. "You wouldn't know. You were asleep."
"So? I woke up, didn't I? That means we got here safely, doesn't it?" she said, blinking.
"Well, yeah, I guess so…"
Cameron stepped away from the wall where he'd been hanging streamers. "So, where's the birthday girl?"
"Cassie's babysitting," Vala piped up.
"We let her spend the night at Cassie's last night. They'll be here at eleven," Daniel explained.
Mitchell shook his head. "She still baby sits? That girl needs to get a life."
"Cam! She works at the SGC; how much more life do you want her to get?" Carolyn reprimanded her husband.
"She makes a wonderful addition to SG-13, and she's brilliant at astrophysics--sometimes I can't even keep up with her," Sam added proudly of her and Jack's adopted daughter.
"Well, of course she is; the first human from earth she met was you," Cameron replied. "And that's great, but she's almost thirty and she doesn't even have a boyfriend yet."
"I do not believe that is a fair assessment Cameron Mitchell," Teal'c spoke up. "None of the couples in this room were married or involved in a serious relationship before the age of forty."
Cameron shrugged. "I know, but I just think she deserves one. She is a great kid."
Jack raised a finger. "Ah, but our Cassie's not a kid anymore," commented.
"Speaking of kids…" Daniel said. "Where are the twins, Cam? There supposed to be here, right?"
"What?" Mitchell said, looking around. "They were right…here…ooopps," he said, as he and Carolyn realized that their children were nowhere to be seen and began to frantically search the room for them. Not that there was must searching to be done. There was nowhere in the room for them to hide.
"Wait-" Vala said thoughtfully. "Daniel, didn't we see a couple of three-foot blurs go by on the way in here?"
Daniel eyebrows went up, and he smiled when he remembered what she was talking about. "Come to think of, I believe we did," he laughed. "Don't worry, guys, I'm sure they're around here somewhe-" Before he could finish his sentence husband and wife had bolted for the door, but stopped short of it when it opened and the same waitress who had directed them all to the room as they arrived came in holding the hands of two small children--a boy and girl.
"I think these belong to you," the woman smiled, handing over the five year olds to their parents. Carolyn scooped up the girl, thanking the employee, and Cameron picked up the boy.
"There you are, ya little knuckle-head," he said, mussing his son's hair.
"You had mommy and daddy worried," Carolyn scolded. "We told you not to leave this room without us, didn't we?"
"Sorry," the two children chorused sheepishly together.
"Hey Tiffany! Hey Zach!" Daniel smiled, crouching as the parents set the kids on their feet again.
"Uncle Daniel!" the little girl laughed and gave him a hug, but Zach turned and climbed right into his Aunt Vala's lap. An arm still around Tiffany, Daniel looked at the boy. "Well, be that way then," he laughed as Tiffany pulled away to wrap her arms around Jack's legs next.
He shook his head as he stood, watching as, after he got a hug from Vala, Zach made a bee-line for Sam and reached up at her until she bent and picked him up.
"I've already hugged you, Zach. What do you want now, you spoiled little kid?" Sam giggled.
Jack, in turn, picked up Tiffany. "Yeah, Cam; you're gonna have to watch that," he said, but was grinning along with everyone else at the same time.
Cameron started to say something, but was interrupted by Carolyn's startled screech.
"What?" Vala protested at the sharp noise.
"People, we have less than ten minutes to finish whatever we're going to do, unless Cassie's late getting here with Janet."
"Cassie's never late," Jack offered.
Daniel sighed. "I knew we should have allowed for more time…" he said as Vala stood.
"Twenty-twenty hindsight, Daniel. Enough, let's get moving," his wife smiled.
"You of all people to be talking about twenty-twenty hindsight…" Daniel muttered, rolling his eyes.
"What was that?"