Whew, that chap was long. I loved writing it though. It was so much fun to do, and I hope you all enjoy it. Please let me know what you think when you're done, and thank you all so much for reading and reviewing! hugs
Hank Landry threw his jacket over his arm and turned toward his friends and family, who were gathered around the elevator doors on the control room level of Stargate Command, the newly minted General Samantha O'Neill at their head. The promotion/induction ceremony had been earlier that morning, and now she was out of her dress uniform and in plain green fatigues as usual--with the added star of a brigadier general on the collar. She was now the official commander of the SGC, though she hadn't gotten a chance to issue many orders yet.
SG-1, now a foursome again, as well as Carolyn, Cassie, Skaara, and Walter were also there. It had been a month now since SG-1's last mission as a five person team, the incident on 252, and today they were finally going out again. They were already geared up and ready to go. But it would be the new commander of the SGC sending them off. Hank was clocking out for the last time.
"We'll miss you, sir," Sam said.
"You will be missed, General Landry," Teal'c echoed.
"Good luck with retirement, dad," Cameron grinned.
Hank smirked. "Thanks. And Sam, stop calling me sir."
She smiled. "Sorry."
"Don't worry, I'll still be around. It's not like I'm moving; my family is here. You'll all see me enough; I just won't be your boss anymore," he smiled back.
"We'll still miss you," Carolyn complained.
"It won't be the same around here without you," Daniel added. He had his arm around Vala, and both looked a lot better than they had four weeks ago. They were lucky recovery had gone so well.
"Oh, I know—but General O'Neill here will do just fine," Hank answered, giving Sam an encouraging look.
She rolled her eyes. "Please, General O'Neill is my husband."
"Not anymore," Vala pointed out.
Hank said goodbye to the rest of them, getting hugs from most.
"Goodbye, sir," Walter said.
The 'gate technician blinked. "Uhm…yes sir—Hank." But he didn't seem comfortable with that, and Landry had to grin, and clapped him on the back.
"We'll work on that."
With that, Hank moved toward the elevator, and the doors opened. "See you all later."
There was another chorus of 'goodbyes', and then he stepped into the elevators. The doors closed a moment later, and General Landry was gone.
Sam took a deep breath as she turned away from the elevator, and saw that everyone was just standing there.
"Well, what are you waiting for? SG-1, to the 'gate room. Now. Everybody else, back to your stations, or offices, or infirmaries…"
"Yes sir," Carolyn smiled and mocked saluted, before turning to go back to the infirmary. "Good luck."
Daniel grinned. "Don't let it go to your head, Sam."
"I'll try," she smirked. "But believe me, I'm gonna miss going out with you guys."
Vala smiled. "We'll miss you too, but you've got to admit you're perfect for the job."
"If you say so."
"You must not doubt it, Samantha O'Neill, or you will not do as well as you can," Teal'c advised.
Cameron raised an eyebrow then. "Now who's standing around? Come on, general, get a move on." Sam threw him a look, but broke from the group to go into the control room. Walter was already there, and Cassie and Skaara followed her in. They were both part of SG-teams and didn't have anything else to do at the moment.
Sam watched SG-1 file into the control room, then ordered Walter to begin dialing. Down in the 'gate room, Cameron and Teal'c were commenting on something about the planet they were about to venture to, and Daniel and Vala were questioning each other--again--about whether they were okay or not, even though Carolyn had finally cleared them both for field duty. Those two just didn't know when to quit.
When the stargate burst open, none of them even noticed. She supposed after almost twenty-five years, that got kind of old. Sighing, she leaned forward and clicked the microphone.
"SG-1, you have a go," she called for the first time. The words felt almost strange coming out of her mouth, but it also came with a new kind of thrill.
Unfortunately, no-one in the 'gate room heard her.
She cleared her throat and tried again. "SG-1…you can go now." But they were still talking. She had no reason to believe they would ignore her, so apparently they just hadn't noticed. "Hello? Earth to SG-1."
Walter was smothering a chuckle, and her former teammates still weren't responding.
That got their attention, and all turn to face her with a start. "Oh…sorry Sam!" Cameron apologized. "Let's go guys."
"Bye, Sam!" Vala waved, and then jumped up onto the ramp with the other three. They walked to the event horizon, but all four stopped in a row just short of it, turned, and saluted her. It took a moment, but then she noticed that beside, Walter Harriman had stood and was saluting as well.
Blinking in surprise, Sam returned the salute, they all lowered their arms with grins, and SG-1 stepped through the 'gate. The wormhole shut down, and she smiled to herself as Walter sat down.
"They planned that," she observed to no-one in particular. "All of it. From the minute they came into the 'gate room."
"Yes ma'am," he agreed, attention on his console. She looked at him.
"You were in on it?"
Walter smiled again at that, and looked at her this time. "Yes ma'am."
Sam smirked and shook her head as he turned back to his computer again, and gazed out at the stargate. "Thanks guys," she said to herself quietly. "And good luck out there without me."
Six Months Later
Daniel came back into the living room from seeing the last of the guests out, and caught Vala trying to get paper plates off the floor that had been left there by a couple of the younger children. Charlie's first birthday party had just ended. There were streamers on the walls and windows, and the trash left by junk food. It hadn't been huge, but not tiny, either, and though there was more than a little cleaning up to do, it wasn't anything he and Janet couldn't do.
"Oh no you don't," he scolded. He swooped in a scooped up off the floor what she was trying to get low enough to get, and pulled her back up gently by the arm and he straightened. Doing it that quickly resulted in a slight twinge from that one knee that wasn't as healthy as it used to be, but Daniel ignored it.
"Vala, you're eight months pregnant and you've already been on your feet too much during the party; go sit down for cryin' out loud. Janet and I will clean up when she comes back down from putting Charlie to bed."
Vala quirked an amused smile at him and took the plates from his hands. "Thank you, dear, but I'm pregnant, not helpless."
"I've heard that one before."
"Well it's true," she said, crossing over into the kitchen and dropping the paper plates in the trash can.
"I know, but…" he trailed off, not sure how exactly to voice his concerns, but he was sure she knew what he meant. Once Vala had initially recovered from the stomach wound she'd sustained on 252, she had been fine at first, but later in the pregnancy it had begun to cause more problems--nothing serious, but complications nonetheless. Just recently it had gotten worse, and Doctor Brightman--who had been brought back to the SGC to fill in for Carolyn while she was on maternity leave--had threatened to sentence her to complete bed rest until the baby came if she didn't start taking it easier.
Vala turned to face him, and put both hands on his chest briefly. "Daniel, I'm fine," she assured him gently. "We're both fine," she said, hands moving to her ample belly then.
Daniel sighed and took her shoulders between his hands. "I know…but please just go sit down? Make me feel better?"
She looked at him for a moment, decided he really was just concered, and finally nodded. "All right."
He smiled and leaned in to kiss her. "Good," he said as he pulled back again. He followed her back into the living room, but in front of the couch she stopped short and bent forward with a squeak of alarm.
Daniel caught her arm. "Vala?"
She straightened again after a moment. "Hmm? Oh…nothing I'm fine…ow…"
He frowned. "Are you sure? That doesn't sound fine."
"It's just, uh…ow! Okay, that was worse than before."
Her arms were rubbing over her belly. "Well, all day, every now and then I've…well, you wouldn't believe me if I told you, because that can't be it."
"What can't be it?" Daniel questioned nervously. "What's wrong? What's been happening all day?"
Vala sighed and crossed her arms. "Well…contractions. Regularly. But it's a month early. I can't be going into labor."
"But you shouldn't be having contractions like that unless you are going into labor, either," Daniel observed, running a hand through his hair. "Look…do you want to go in to the SGC? It shouldn't be anything but a false alarm, if anything, but with everything else that's been going on, it can't hurt to let Brightman look at you."
She started to shake her head. 'No, it's all right. I'm fi-yow!" Abruptly she cried out and dropped to sit on the edge of the couch, eyes going a bit wide.
Daniel sank down beside her slowly, worried. "Vala…" Her hand found his and gripped it tightly for a moment as she grimaced.
"On second thought, maybe going is a good idea."
He gulped. "All right, I'll be right back." Hurriedly, he jumped to his feet and sprinted up the stairs and quickly as he could. He peeked into his and Vala's room, afraid Charlie would be asleep already, but when the door started to open, he saw the boy stand up in his crib against Janet's protests, and wave a stuffed animal at him.
Daniel grinned briefly. As of yet, Charlie usually only used one word at a time, and his vocabulary consisted only of Da-da, Mama, 'Net (what he could pronounce of Janet's name), no, and mine, but it was slowly growing.
Janet sighed. "I've been trying to get him to go to sleep, but he won't listen to me," she complained.
"That's okay; we're going to have to go now, anyway," Daniel replied, going over to the baby bed and picking up Charlie, who held onto his stuffed bear.
"To the SGC. Something's going on with mom."
"Going on? Nothing bad, right?"
Daniel swallowed. "I'm not sure, but she should be fine, now come on."
Janet sighed, then noticed that Charlie still had his bear, and tried to put it back in the bed. But the boy hung onto it.
"We've gotta go Charlie," she said, tugging on it harder.
Charlie pulled harder too, and frowned, though for some reason it seemed more contemplative than angry. Finally he let loose with another yell. "No 'Net mine!"
Daniel stepped in. "Janet, it's okay, he can bring the---wait, was that a complete sentence?" he looked at Charlie curiously, and Janet was staring too.
"Well, sort of," she answered.
"Close enough," Daniel grinned. "But hurry up, please. You get your mom's bag, and I'll get Charlie's diaper bag."
"Okay," Janet agreed, zipping off to the other side of the room. She pulled a small suitcase-like thing from the closet and came back to her dad, who already had picked up what he had said he would.
"Let's go. Oh wait, where are your shoes?"
"My slip-ons are by the door."
"Where are Charlie's?"
Janet glanced around, spotted the small things on top of the baby's chest of drawers, and grabbed them. "I'll put them on him in the car for you, dad, let's go."
Daniel nodded and headed out the door. "Good girl."
Once down the stairs, he noticed two things--one, that Vala was standing, probably wondering what had taken him so long, and two, that she was in more pain now.
"Vala?" he asked in concern. He went to her and she took hold of his arm. She had already slipped her own shoes back on, and he had never taken his off. They were ready to go now.
Vala grimaced. "Yep, definitely labor. But that doesn't make any sense…"
With Charlie in one arm, and diaper bag and Vala hanging from the other, Daniel ushered Janet out the front door and into the car.
"Babies are born prematurely all the time, Vala. If it does happen now, I'm sure he'll be fine." It was a boy. That much they'd known for a while now, and had already moved Daniel's study to the spare room downstairs and started outfitting the room it had previously occupied upstairs into a boy's room for Charlie to move into once the new baby came. Then, then 'that' child got older, the two boys would probably share for a while until they were too old to…
All of this, they had planned out, but they still hadn't decided what to name him. That was going to be a problem if the baby came in the next day or so.
"I know, but that doesn't mean I'm not worried."
Daniel swallowed as Janet took Charlie from them and strapped the boy into his seat in the back, then sat down in the seat beside him and buckled in before starting to get his shoes on his feet. "Me too," he said quietly. "But worrying won't help anything." Vala sighed and nodded, and he helped her into the passenger's seat.
Daniel drove quickly to Jack and Sam's house, which was nearby and not too far out of the way. It wasn't too late; they should still be awake. Once he'd pulled into the driveway, he went back to pull Charlie from his car seat, then hurried to the door with Janet and pressed the button for the doorbell. A moment later, an exhausted-looking Jack O'Neill in pajamas opened the door.
The retired general squinted. "Daniel? What are you doing here? We just left your house an hour ago."
"I know, I'm sorry, but something's come up with vala, and I have to take her to the SGC now. I know this is really short notice and again, I'm really sorry, but can we leave the kids here?"
Jack raised an eyebrow. "Why have Sam and I become the common drop spot recently all of a sudden?"
"Because both Cassie and Carolyn are eight months pregnant. So is Vala, and I think she's going into labor." That was the quickest explanation he could think of.
Now both of Jack's eyebrows went up. "What?"
Sam came up behind him then and looked out. "Daniel? What's wrong?"
"They think Vala's going into labor and he needs to leave the kids here."
"But it's too early," she frowned.
Daniel sighed. 'I know, that's what we thought, but it's happening. We don't know why. But really, we've got to get going…"
Sam nodded. "Right, right sure. Come on Janet…" Janet hugged Daniel quickly, then hesitantly went into the house and took her Aunt Sam's hand.
"You'll all when you know everything's okay, right dad?" she asked anxiously.
"Of course I will, sweetie," Daniel answered, smiling for her as he handed Charlie over to Jack.
"Yeah, make sure you do that," Jack nodded. "Now get going."
"So what's going on?" Daniel asked.
Doctor Brightman crossed her arms and glanced across the room to where Vala lay on an infirmary bed. "Oh, it's labor all right. There's no doubt about that."
"Then what do we do? Can't you, like, stop it or something? Isn't it too early?"
"Technically, yes, but I don't think she has much of a choice."
Brightman looked at him. "Again, technically, yes, I could stop it, and she could wait--though at this point I would only suggest waiting another two weeks or so, not the full month--but I think it would be safer to go ahead and deliver the baby now."
Daniel scrubbed a hand over his face. "And why is that?"
"It would put both her and the baby in danger to wait, when her body's trying to do it now. A lot of it has to do with that knife wound, and some with her age. She's almost fifty. Normal women are done by now."
"Vala is anything but normal," Daniel smiled tiredly.
"So I've noticed," Brightman nodded. "But do you see my point? If she delivers now, both of them should be fine. I can't guarantee that good a change if she waits."
He nodded. "Yeah, I understand…sort of."
"Are you going to explain this to her or would you like me to?"
"No, it's okay, I'll do it," he sighed. "She should understand too…just a minute." Nervousness fluttering in his stomach again, Daniel went back to Vala, who looked up at him the moment he was close.
He sat down on the edge of the bed. "She thinks you should do it now," he informed her gently.
She huffed. "Really? Why?"
"Uh…more than one reason, but the bottom line is that she's pretty sure it would be dangerous to stop it and wait."
Vala was about to answer, but closed her eyes and grimaced in pain for a moment. "More dangerous…then doing it now?"
Daniel took her hand and squeezed. "Yeah."
She gasped and slumped back against the pillows. "Fine. I don't know her nearly as well as Carolyn, but I trust she knows what she's doing." Vala looked at him and flashed a tired smile. "Tell her we're going for it."
Early the next morning, Daniel sat on the edge of Vala's bed next to her, grinning down at their new son who lay wrapped up in a blanket in her arms. He was small, but he was healthy--but he didn't have a name yet.
Vala sighed. "Well, before I found out it was a boy, I'd planned on asking you if it was all right to name it an earth name similar to Adria...It would have decided on you opinion, but now that idea is out the window."
Daniel looked at her. "That's what you were thinking? You really would have been okay with doing that?"
She nodded. "I couldn't think about it a lot…it still hurt too much, until last year or so…now I just want to remember her how I can."
"That's good--healthy. But I'm not so sure that plan is over just because he's not a girl," Daniel pointed out. They were speaking quietly, as the baby was asleep. As small as he was, being asleep just made him look that much cuter.
"What do you mean?"
"I might have a few ideas…"
Janet bounced on her toes as Uncle Jack and Aunt Sam talked to Doctor Brightman. She and Charlie had stayed with them last night and spent all day at their house, and now they could finally see her mom and dad. She knew she had a new brother or sister, too, but she didn't know which one yet. She was waiting for Doctor Brightman to let them in.
Finally the doctor stopped talking, and pushed open one of the double doors into the infirmary. Janet hurried through first, and ran into Daniel, who was near the door on the other side waiting for them, and hugged her tightly. Jack and Sam came in behind her with Charlie.
"Hey, dad. Is mom okay?"
"She's fine," he smiled. "Come on." He took her hand and led her over to a bed, where Vala sat holding her new brother or sister. But the baby was all wrapped up, so she couldn't tell. Janet grinned and hopped up to sit on the edge of the bed anyway, while Daniel took Charlie from Sam.
"So is it a boy or a girl, mom?" Janet asked eagerly.
Vala smiled. "You've got a new baby brother."
Daniel shrugged. "I know you told us you wanted a sister, but…."
Janet smiled. "That's okay. Brothers are cool too."
"So…what'd ya name him?" Jack questioned, hands stuffed in his pockets.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This may be the end of this story, but it's not the end of the series:) Sometime this weekend or early next week at the latest, look for the next story in this series. I know the title will begin with "2026", but I haven't figured out the subtitle yet. I will start posting it soon though, so you have more in the life of Daniel, Vala, and their kids to look forward to. :) I hope to see you all there. Good night.