Yes, I know this first chapter is short...but they will get longer, I promise. I just wanted to get something up so you people wouldn't think I ignored you when you said you'd like a sequal to "How Long is Forever?" Don't worry though. I do know where I'm going with this, have thought it up and all...just didn't have alot of time today to write a long first chapter. So I stopped here for today, more to follow very soon. So anyway, hope you like this beginning of a sequal, and please review so I know if you do and I should continue...
The early October winds swirled through the trees around her, blowing the colored leaves to the emerald green grass at her feet. Her white tennis shoes were covered in red and yellow Maple leaves, and the sharp breeze cut through her jeans, white t-shirt and a v-necked, cream-colored sweater that was twice her size. Her wavy, sleek black hair hung in a simple ponytail at her back, though every few moments a strong wind would pick it up and slap it into her face. Loose, fluffy strands hung into her dark brown eyes, bouncing off her high cheekbones. She shivered occasionally in the shade where she stood, but the simple beauty of her surroundings was lost on her.
She skirted the edge of a small community cemetery on the outskirts of Colorado Springs, avoiding catching her clothing on the sharp black point of the old iron fence. Her only attention was for the plain, light gray tombstone that sat silently in front of her, and had stood where it was for more than six years. The occupant of the grave would not have wanted it any other way; nothing more than a humble burial. The short inscription, blurred every so often by unbidden tears, read only "Loving Husband", and gave the birth and death dates of the deceased: July 8th, 1965 - August 24, 1999. The name on the stone was Daniel Jackson.
Sha're Jackson hugged herself tightly, gathering the sweater around her and taking comfort in the fact that it had once belonged to him. Even though it hung limply on her, much too big, she wore it sometimes just to feel closer to him. She had not been here in weeks, since returning to her own timeline after SG-1's accidental jaunt into an alternate one--one where Daniel still lived, but she was dead. Under normal circumstances she would not have returned again so soon, but Sha're's life no longer fell under 'normal circumstances'.
The memories of that alternate future, though weeks old, were still vivid. She missed Daniel so much…both hers and the one she had recently left there. It had not been easy to leave. All Sha're had wanted was to stay, or bring him with her, but she knew her duty, and he knew his. Neither could abandon their own reality. At first she had been all right, knowing she would probably never see that Daniel again, but now, with the news Doctor Carolyn Lam had presented to her earlier that day, suddenly she wanted nothing more than for him to be there with her. The happiness of the morning had been all but forgotten, overshadowed by sorrow that Daniel wasn't here to share it with her.
Silently Sha're stood at her Daniel's grave, not knowing where else to go or what else to do with herself. Lost in thought, she didn't hear when a vehicle pulled into the parking lot behind her, and the gate squeaked as someone slipped past the slightly ajar entrance into the cemetery. She didn't notice when the newcomer stopped beside her and gazed at the same stone with her. Only when the figure spoke several moments later did she even realize they were there.
"So…I heard the news," a familiar voice said.
Sha're gave a quick glance to her left to see that it was General Jack O'Neill standing beside her, then shifted her gaze back to where it had been and shrugged.
O'Neill sighed. "Well…I think it's great, even though the idea is a little hard to get my head around…Why do you look so down and out? Aren't you happy about it?"
She nodded. "I am, but…"
"But what?" Jack asked gently.
Sha're blinked back tears again. "He'll never know, Jack. I am happy about it--it's what we always wanted, but…he'll never know." She nodded toward the tombstone in front of them. "He won't know, and the other him won't know…" Her hands moved to her stomach. "I want him to know," she said softly.
"Is that why you're here?"
"Sort of," she shrugged. "And…I suppose that maybe I…feel a bit guilty that it wasn't him, exactly…"
She trailed off, not quite able to finish yet, and O'Neill waited patiently as the young woman battled her emotions. Finally she sighed.
"Just because he is alive in an alternate reality without me, doesn't change the fact that Daniel is still dead in my own reality. Before he was…was killed, we wanted a child…and I suppose I can still have that this way, but what about him?" She gestured vaguely in front of them again. "What would he think?"
Jack pulled his hands out of his pockets and put one arm around her shoulders. "I think he would like the idea. Daniel loved you, Sha're. I know he would have wanted you to be happy, and if it ends up being with a different version of him, even, then…okay. I'm all for it, I guess." He gave her shoulders a squeeze. "Come on, cheer up, Re. If my team is happy, I'm happy." He gave her a smile when she looked up at him. "Besides, if you don't stop this sulking over a good thing bit, you're gonna make me cry."
Sha're couldn't resist the urge to smile back at that. "Maybe you're right," she admitted.
"Thank you," O'Neill said, letting go of her shoulders. "So, you want a ride home? I don't see your car…"
She shook her head. "No, it's all right. I walked here again. You know my apartment's not far. I'll be fine."
"Okay. You want me to go? Are you leaving or staying?"
"I think I'm going to go now," she said after a moment.
The general nodded. "Be careful on the way home then."
"I will." She turned to go, casting one last long look at Daniel's grave, but before she had gone more than a few steps O'Neill called after her.
"You know, there may be a way to tell him."
Sha're spun, blinking in surprise. "What?"
"Yeah, that device you guys brought back from P5R-322 a few weeks ago…Carter thinks she might be able to fix it."
"Fix it?" she asked in disbelief. "How? She hasn't said anything to me…"
"Well, she didn't want to mention it to anyone else until she was sure she had a good chance of doing it. It was just a possibility she mention to me a couple of weeks ago, but after she heard the news today she seemed even more positive that she should try, you know?"
"Does she really think it's possible? That we could fix it--be able to control it?"
Jack shrugged. "She seemed to."
Sha're smiled, snatching the small piece of hope and holding onto it as hard as she could. "Thank you for telling me."
"What are friends for?" O'Neill smiled back.
She smiled in thanks again, and then turned and passed through the rusty gate into the parking lot. Soon she had disappeared down the sidewalk at the side of the road, leaving Jack alone in the cemetery, standing at his best friend's grave.
The general heaved a sigh, turning with heavy eyes back to the stone.
"Well, Danny," he sighed. "The others got to see you again--sort of. Sorry I couldn't have been there too…" Sorry I couldn't have been there soon enough to save you back then.
He didn't blame Sha're, and to some extent he didn't even blame the Goa'uld for Daniel's death. O'Neill blamed himself. He knew it was a bit selfish maybe, but he hope that just maybe having Daniel's kid around (sort of--after all the father was from an alternate reality) would help to assuage his guilt some. He really was genuinely happy for Sha're, but there was that other hope in the background. He really did hope they could fix the device so that Sha're could see that Daniel again, and could tell him of their child to come, but Jack also wanted it to happen so he could see Daniel again himself.
Sha're gasped before she could stop herself. "How long do you think it will take?" She'd hoped to be able to get back to Daniel's reality before the baby was born, but now…
Samantha Carter shrugged. "It could take a good year, give or take a few months." She sighed at the disappointed look on her friend's face. "Look, I want to be able to use it just as much as you do. I miss Daniel too, but I can't do it any faster than it's possible to. Don't worry. We can do this, Sha're--I just can't guarantee how much time it will take to figure everything out and do it."
Sha're gulped and nodded. "I know…and of course this is not our main project. The fact that we are a field unit has not changed…"
Carter nodded in return. "Right. We still have our jobs to do…though I assume I'm not the only one who wishes we could stop everything and make this thing work for us…" she said, gesturing across her lab to where the device sat, ready for more extensive study and modification for use.
Sha're smiled at that. "No, you are not the only one."
Sam smiled back and patted her friend's shoulder. "We'll do the best we can, okay? In the meantime, you just take care of yourself and that baby. Now, if you don't mind, we both probably have a lot of work to do."
Jackson's eyes rolled. "Yes, there is still much paperwork to do from our last mission, artifacts to be logged."
"And I have to figure out what this thing does," Sam said, pointing to the small, squarish green device on her desk that had been brought back by SG-2 a few days before.
"I will see you later then, I suppose," Sha're answered, turning to the door to go.
"Later," Carter called. Seconds later the Abydonian woman was gone, leaving Sam with her work and her thoughts.
The idea of Sha're being pregnant with Daniel's child….It still boggled her mind. Of course it was obvious how it had happened, what with their recent trip to a future where he was alive split off from where he had died in this reality and what had happened while they were trapped there…but it didn't leave her any less surprised. It made her wonder how two people from two completely alternate universes had been able to conceive…though it might make no real difference, the ramifications of understanding how it had been able to happen could lead to a massive leap forward in understanding quantum mechanics…
But no. Of course Sam would never even think of asking her friend to submit to any tests over that matter, and neither would Doctor Lam. Thus the tantalizing subject of curiosity would have to remain closed. That was fine with carter. She was simple happy for Sha're--and for Daniel too. He'd told them that he'd lost Sha're in his future, and they all hoped that they would be able to fix what the Goa'uld hadn't been able to in the device and bring him the good news.
Sha're settled back against her pillows, smiling down at the warm bundle in her arms. They had all wanted Daniel to be here for this, but alas, the modifications to the device had not been finished in time. Daniel still had no knowledge of what was happening in this reality. Sha're was disappointed, but Carter and her team were well on their way to being able to control the device's actions, and now she knew that it was only a matter of time before it worked. Soon she would able to tell Daniel, too bring him here and show him their child. For now, though, Sha're was happy just to hold in her arms what she had never thought she would--their son.