Title: Being A Parent
Summary: Sam and Daniel save the lives of two children, by adopting them.
Spoilers: Nothing specific but you should be familiar up to Arthur's Mantle at least.
Pairing: S/D, S/J
Archive: LJ. If
anyone else wants it go for it, just tell me so I can
Disclaimer: The standard - they don't belong to me, not even in my wildest dreams so please don't sue me…
Authors Notes: S/D so don't act like you haven't been forwarned. Also Jack is a bit of a Neanderthal so if you like him, steer clear or don't complain.
Sam tried to hide her smile. The children, ranging from the barely walking to those still too young to work all day in the fields, surrounded SG-1 and clamored for attention. She could tell Daniel was in heaven; he couldn't stop grinning like the Cheshire cat.
"So what is it this time?" Sam nudged Daniel from behind as he was trying to get away from the mob.
"What? Oh, everything Sam, just everything. The children, the place, the people... you name it. Yu had this planet as part of his territories but there is no naquada mine here, it is pure agriculture. He established it to help feed those on Petholos which, though rich in minerals, would have left the Pethosians mining and farming on land that is basically infertile. This arrangement that Yu created allowed this planet to create a bountiful crop without worry and the Pethosians mined enough naquada so both planets could pay tribute. Then to top it all off, when Yu fell and naquada tributes were no longer required, they opened up their world for the Pethosians to relocate. They could have let them die and use the excess land and food to trade but instead they ask for nothing," Daniel turned to see Sam shaking her head and grinning. "What?"
"Nothing. It is just good to see you so happy again Daniel. What with the Ori, Priors, and the coming battle, we seldom have a chance to get back to these worlds and help. It is good to see that they are doing well without our intervening. We didn't have to try and convince them to do it, nor help with the exodus of one planet to the other."
"Yeah makes my job easier," Daniel smiled. "Actually we should probably have the SGC send a few medical teams to help out a little bit. There are a few Pethosians who are sick and dying.
Sam spotted a little girl and boy, neither no more than three, sitting in the mud. The little blond, blue-eyed girl was quite dirty and the dark-haired boy barely had anything on at all. Sam leaned down to hand them some food and they cringed, much as dogs cower away from their abusive master.
One of the children that had been clamoring for attention grabbed at the food in Sam's hand and said something to Daniel.
"What did he say?"
"He says that they are outcasts. The little boy's father died this morning and has no mother, the girl's father is also dead and her mother is getting rejoined tonight. Tomorrow morning they will both go through the rite to cleans the people."
"What is the rite?"
"Sam I think we should ask an adult. He doesn't seam to know any more."
They signaled to Teal'c and Mitchell, who were leaving to see the fields, that they were going towards the huts and walked to find the adults placed in charge of the children. One very pregnant woman nodded towards them as they approached.
"Ma'am, would you mind answering a few questions for us about those children?" Daniel started.
"Ah those two. It is nice that my Parana has someone to go through the rite with. Alagoas, the little boy, will keep her company," she looked longingly at the little girl.
"So she is her daughter?" Sam questioned Daniel to ask.
"Yes, she was fathered by Rolec, he died a year ago. The boy, on the other hand, was motherless before he was one. Alagoas' mother died birthing another, his father raised him but died this morning."
"And this ritual, this cleansing, why is it done?"
"So that anyone else won't share the same fate as their parents. He has now lost both parents so is meant to be parentless. She has lost her father so is meant to be fatherless. Since I'm getting joined again and my namorada isn't childless, as you can see, it would be bad luck for him to raise Parana."
"So this rite is a sort of adoption ceremony?" Sam asked.
"We have no childless couples at this time and as they are too young to take care of themselves they will go to the care of the gods via the gods' hand," she pointed to the gate as it activated. Sam stared in shock as the kawoosh almost hit some children who were near the gate.
"THAT is the gods' hand?!" Daniel almost shrieked.
"The gods are always eager to take away anyone they can. The children like to tease them."
"Will no one take the children into their homes?" Daniel could barely hide his shock.
"No couple that can bear their own would risk it." Only the childless would be safe from any curses that would be upon them," the woman rubbed her belly.
"Daniel, tell her I am," Sam pushed Daniel towards the woman.
"Just do it," Sam begged with her eyes.
"Uh, Sam here is childless," Daniel translated.
"You would be willing to take the children?" the woman glanced between Sam and Daniel and clutched her belly with hope shining in her eyes.
"Yes," Sam nodded emphatically.
"Yes," Daniel eagerly agreed.
"Thank the lords. Alagoas, Parana," She shouted to the two children and they ran towards her at neck breaking speed. "Meet Samantha and Daniel, they are to be your new parents." The children glanced at the pair, their eyes glistening with tears. "Get inside and lets wash up," she lead the children into her hut and called over her shoulder, "You would be most welcome to have your joining ceremony with ours tonight. It is the least I can do for saving my child."
Darkness fell as Mitchell and Teal'c made there way back to the village with all the workers. When they arrived, Daniel and Sam were both dressed in more formal attire.
"Did you get roped into something Jackson?" Mitchell asked amused.
"Sam here wanted to adopt a pair of children and apparently she has to go through a joining ceremony, I'm just along for the ride."
"Sir, they were going to kill the children in the morning if I didn't do anything. Orphans here are only taken in by those without children."
"I'm glad I wasn't raised on this world. I may have disliked some of my foster families but at least I wasn't killed for being cursed or a burden to society," Daniel pointed out. "If Sam didn't come forward I probably would have, orphans should stick together after all."
Sam stood next to Dolana, the pregnant woman, and listened to the foreign words. Mitchell and Teal'c stood with the rest of the audience and Daniel stood behind her, translating.
"These people before me are about to embark on a journey. They no longer will walk on the path of life alone. They have chosen to bond and create a family. One pair, Dolana and her namorada Shalek, the gods have already started them down their path by granting them a child who will be welcome into this world soon. The other, childless, will take Alagoas and Parana. Their curses being transformed into blessings," the priest orated. "Shalek, do you promise to provide for your new family, however large it may become?"
"Yes." Shalek stepped beside Dolana.
"Then show the world your devotion," the priest nodded and Shalek kissed Dolana. When they parted they both took a bracelet from the priest's hand and stepped back.
"Daniel, do you promise..."
"Me?!" Daniel stepped forward and interrupted the priest.
"Do you both not intend to become a family and raise the children?" the priest lowered his voice so only Sam and Daniel could here.
"Yes, Sam is," The priest looked at Daniel questionably.
"Are you abandoning her because she can't bear your young? Abandoning the children to the rite tomorrow after getting their hopes up?"
"What?!" Daniel sputtered in shock, having forgotten to translate for Sam.
"Haven't you tried for your own children and failed?"
"Sam is single."
"If she has no true mate then who is to say which is the one that is cursed? If she later becomes a mother when she finds another man? Would you condemn the children again without the benefit of two parents to dampen their curse? If their curse proves to be too strong, without a second to shoulder the burden, they would be without parents again if she dies?"
"Daniel, what is he saying?" Sam looked at Daniel exasperated.
Daniel wasn't sure which vision those questions conjured in his mind caused him to do it, whether it was imagining the children dying the next day, Sam dying in his arms, or her pregnant by another man, but without thinking he grabbed Sam and kissed her.
The crowd cheered and Sam stood there too stunned to do anything. "Just go with me here," he whispered in her ear when he broke the kiss.
Daniel took the bracelets and Sam's hand and walked back to the crowd. The children were all dressed up and barely waited for them to reach them and bend over before jumping into their arms. Alagoas hugged Sam and Parana buried her head in Daniel chest.
"Did you just get hitched?" Mitchell joked.
"Actually, yeah, sort of," Daniel grinned sheepishly at Mitchell and Sam, who stared back at him in shock.
"Married?" Sam looked at Daniel in astonishment.
"Sam, they wouldn't let you have the children alone, not as a single parent. They think that the children are cursed plus if you die they will be alone again," Daniel tried to explain.
"It's okay Daniel. It isn't like it has to be permanent or anything. We will get it annulled when we get back," Sam said. "Besides, you have to be around for the children until they learn English, might as well be their legal father."
"Won't that make it worse?" Mitchell chimed in. "I mean you will be stuck together at least until the children can learn that we do things differently. You won't be able to marry other people anytime soon without affecting the children. Hell, we currently have that problem without having to add their cultural background into the mix."
A few of the younger children that had been bugging them that afternoon interrupted and asked if the children could play before bed. They still looked sad at losing their friends but were relieved that the pair wouldn't die after all.
Sam watched as the two scampered away happily to play one last time with the friends of their world. She would fight this time to keep them.
"Do the bracelets not lock?" Dolana asked a bit panicked.
"Oh, we just haven't placed them on yet," Daniel sheepishly grinned at Sam as he reached for Sam's hand. The bracelet clasped on to her wrist and glowed brightly for a few seconds. Daniel then placed his on and felt a wave wash over him as the bracelet let off its glow.
Dolana let out the breath she had been holding.
"Do we have to wear them at all times? I mean can we remove them without any adverse side effects?" The flash of light and the tingle made Sam realize that they weren't just jewelry but some sort of technology. "Like the kor mak?"
"Oh those, don't I just have all the luck?" Daniel held his head in his palms. "Are we physically bonded to each other via these bracelets?" He questioned Dolana.
"Bonded? You have already been bonded; those bracelets only show that the bond exists, they do not create them. Most people don't even attempt to have children unless compatibility is determined. It would be unfair to the children if the parents don't stay together. Lust wanes and some loves don't last. You may take them off if you wish."
"I guess that's one way to prevent divorce," Mitchell quipped.
"What would have happened if we weren't compatible?"
"Then the joining would have been null and void. For two people to walk the same path together they have to be able to stay together, they have to be capable of staying in love forever."
"Yes, your light was bright and white, the perfect color for joining. It combines every aspect of love. Here, let me place a bracelet on one of the others in your group," Dolana held the two bracelets and grabbed Mitchell's arm. She placed one bracelet on him while holding the other in her hand but it wouldn't glow.
"See, since we don't know each other the bracelets can't determine if there is a possible relationship between him and I. Now, let me see your hand Daniel," Dolana removed the bracelet from Mitchell and placed it on Daniel's wrist, it glowed a faint yellow. Dolana smiled. "We have already started down the path to be good friends."
"So if I wanted to I could find out who I should marry before falling in love? Sweet, no more heartbreak," Mitchell took the bracelet in Dolana's hand. The bracelets flared a bright blue, then yellow. Daniel and Mitchell glanced at each other's bracelet nervously. "So I guess blue is..."
"Loyalty. You would die for each other and enjoy being in each other's company. Are you brothers?"
"Um, no but we might as well be," Mitchell said as he handed the bracelet back.
"As far as heartbreak, the bracelets can't predict anything that hasn't already started. You still have to meet and get to know one another. Only after a relationship is established can the bracelets determine if it is genuine.
"So I take it white is?"
"It combines the three traits of friendship, loyalty and lust and demonstrates that you share all three and your love is not fleeting. White has no lower intensity but the others do. The brighter the color the longer the individual trait will last. For instance the blue was very bright and that was how I knew you would die for each other. The yellow was intense but not as, so there will be times that you will have rifts, but though your friendship may falter from time to time it will always heal."
"Better than marriage counseling," Sam joked, trying to hide her discomfort, as she took both from the men and stashed them in her pocket
"Actually we still have those since we do on occasion join those that are intensely compatible on all three traits but not perfectly white, the odds of finding the perfect mate is actually quite rare only one out of five couples are true pairs. Usually then the help is needed if the perfect mate of one is later found and a relationship is established. It takes effort to stay in a relationship if there is something better out there for one of you. If children are involved we keep the original pair together until the children are old enough to take care of themselves and then let the couple decide if they wish to part ways. If the pair are both compatible to the newcomer then a tri-bonded joining is conducted, in which case help is needed for the pairing that isn't as compatible as the other."
The Stargate activated. "Woops, there goes the honeymoon," Mitchell snickered as he grabbed his radio. "SG-1 here, Sir. Sorry for not checking in, we sort of got side-tracked."
"What sort of problem is it this time Colonel?" General Landry's voice wasn't pleased but held a trace of relief that everyone was fine.
"Looks like we will be bringing home a few extra," Mitchell glanced over at the kids playing. "Pair of three year olds, Sir, Jackson and Carter adopted them."
"I'm sure there is a reasonable explanation for it. Permission to bring them back granted."
"Yes, Sir. Thank you, Sir. SG-1 out," Mitchell turned to the newlyweds and grinned. "Figured I want to be there when he finds out you two are married."
"Do the children have anything they want to bring back with them?" Daniel asked.
"Their clothing and toys have already been given away. I think Alagoas has a ball in his pocket," Dolana answered.
"Thank you for your hospitality. We will return so the children can see their friends, and you," Daniel gave his farewells for the team. Dolana smiled but couldn't hide the tears at her lose.
"Daniel, lets get the kids and get out of here," Sam returned with their clothing in their packs and squeezed his hand for reassurance before handing him his.
"It's time to go," Daniel shouted and walked towards the children. Alagoas and Parana ran into the awaiting arms.
"Well, I guess you won't be sleeping on base any more," Mitchell quipped as SG-1, with two new additions in tow, stepped through the gate and back to Earth.
General Landry watched as SG-1 came back home. Lieutenant Colonel Carter had a little boy in her arms and Daniel Jackson had a girl in his and they both were out of uniform. They walked their new charges to the infirmary without looking up.
"Debrief in an hour," Landry told Colonel Mitchell.
"Yes Sir," Mitchell did his best to hide a grin. "This is going to be fun," he nodded to Teal'c.
Sam and Daniel lead their sleepy charges to the medical bed and sat them down. Dr. Carmichael started to check them out as Dr. Lam gave SG-1 their once over. Alagoas looked scared and wouldn't keep his eyes off of Sam but he behaved. Parana, on the other hand, was still unsure that this wasn't one big cruel joke and wouldn't let go of Daniel's arm until he reassured them that this was indeed real and they wouldn't disappear forever.
"I think she is just tired. She should be less clingy after sleeping," Sam pointed out.
"We will let them sleep while we debrief, I'm sure the nurses won't mind," Daniel said and smiled at one.
Alagoas however saw the flirtation and grew agitated. "Do you not want us?"
"Why would you say that?" Daniel questioned.
Instead of answering Alagoas grabbed Sam's hand and placed it in Daniel's. "I think he wants to remind me I'm not single anymore," Daniel smiled at Sam.
The children were tucked into the beds Sam and Daniel watched over them until they fell asleep.
"Time to bite the bullet. Let's go see the General," Sam rose from her chair and grinned.
"So you see Sir, if we did nothing the kids would have been killed in the morning. I know I shouldn't have let my feeling get in the way and I apologize." Sam ended her statement.
"If she hadn't of said something I would have and we would still be in the same situation. It doesn't matter who started this, she shouldn't be punished for not sticking to military protocol and following her heart." Daniel added.
Landry sat there stunned. He had just heard that the pair had not only adopted but had apparently gotten married as well. Not only that but they would have to keep up the facade for a while until the children were able to understand that single parenting isn't a curse. His strict military mind fought with his humanitarian side. He was proud that his team had done such an admirable deed to save the children's lives but he also saw the dangers of such a change in their relationship. He also wasn't sure what to make of the bracelets and their implications. Raising children together and faking a marital relationship for their benefit already has its dangers of affecting the team, either by becoming real or destroying their current platonic one. If the bracelets were right however not only do they already have strong emotional bonds and have proven that it won't cause friction within the team but that the relationship won't go belly up later down the line and cause problems. His head swam with the pros and cons but he took a deep breath and went with levity. "So, who needs help moving?"
Sam hovered over the beds and watched them sleep. She heard Daniel get off the phone and made room for him as he approached. "I think my landlord is happy to see me gone. Ever since Osiris blew up the van the neighborhood has been hoping I wouldn't stay long."
"Like mine is happy to have me since the swat team? Besides we both only have two bedrooms," Sam whispered.
"Well you own your place and I don't have an office so yours is the logical choice anyways. I don't have that much stuff since my ascension and can crash on the couch. You also have that nice daycare near, what's not to like. We'll hunt for something bigger later if we have to. Right now I don't think it matters if they share a bedroom at their age, besides remember they use to live in huts. At this point I don't think they would mind camping out in the living room if we had only one bedroom."
"You don't have to give your place up Daniel. I'm sure they will learn English quickly and I know you sort of got pressured into adopting them with me. I doubt it will take them that long to realize that we aren't married and it is still okay."
"Shouldn't I be the one saying you're the one off the hook? I figured you did this only to save their lives but didn't really want to raise children. Not after..." Daniel looked at the floor, all the sudden uncomfortable.
"It's okay Daniel, I know most people would assume that. The miscarriage just took the decision away from me. When I made the appointment it never was about not wanting children, it was about losing not just the gate travel but the RnD position."
"You know Jack assumed you could do RnD and be happy."
"That's just it though, RnD is dangerous. I knew a miscarriage was a possibility because of all the alien radiation and elements. I mean the naquada reactors alone have repercussions. Did you know he wanted to try again and when I told him about RnD he said I should get another job altogether? He wanted me to give up everything. I think that was when I started to question everything and I came back to the SGC to get the message across to him that I wasn't ready to be pregnant. Our relationship was rocky after that. I first though it was because he wanted a family and since having our own children wasn't an option for me, I mean it wasn't just about my happiness, it was also about the child, given that I still have Jolinar's marker in my blood and he has the ancient gene. I think that was when I started to think about adoption. When Orlin stabilized after losing all his memories I thought that it would be perfect, we would finally be able to be the family he wanted, especially since one of the Sam's did it in her universe. But when I told him it was like I slapped him in the face or something. He was adamantly against adoption, not just of Orlin but also of any orphan or foster child. To him it was his or nothing," Daniel reached over and wiped the tears away from her cheek.
"It's okay Sam, it isn't your fault. Some men see adoption as something that puts their masculinity and virility in question. He could be afraid to appear impotent, especially at his age, or he thinks you think he is unworthy to father your children. He could also be thinking you are denying him another chance and that you are afraid that Charlie's fate will be repeated in all his children."
"You know our last fight, we were discussing adoption again, I said that adoption was a beautiful thing and would spare someone the life you had, at least the part that had you moving from foster parent to parent and thinking you weren't good enough for a real family. He got angry and asked me what was I waiting for, he sarcastically said we weren't meant to be together and that I should run off with you and adopt. He slammed the door on the way out and that was the last time I saw him."
"So do you want to call him or should I?"
"I'll call, I'll take the blame, that way your friendship can stay intact."
"Sam, maybe he will change his mind and adopt them with you. I'll step aside and he can take over. I'll do whatever it takes to make you happy, you know that." Daniel reached over to hug her and she broke into tears.
Sam and Daniel were in the bathroom getting splashed; they had finally finished moving into her house after three days and were currently giving Alagoas and Parana baths so they could go to bed. Daniel, having learned his lesson, was shirtless and took the brunt of the water logging. They were bright children and already were starting to learn to communicate with Sam but they were still shy in daycare. Daniel and Sam both had been busy in the past three days and had been unable to get a hold of Jack, who was due in Colorado Springs for a briefing tomorrow morning
"WHAT THE...!?" Jack stood in the doorway.
Daniel was shirtless and wet, the children had various shampoo-spiked hair, and Sam sat on the closed toilet holding the towels and laughing.
"Jack!" Daniel stood up and almost wound up sliding on the puddle.
"Daniel. What are you doing here?" Jack glanced between Daniel's naked torso and Sam.
The pair of kids leapt out of the tub, breaking the tension.
"Get back here you two," Sam grabbed at the naked 3 year olds. "Jack stop them," Daniel begged Jack to intercede.
"Oh no you don't," Jack grabbed the pair and handed them to Sam.
"You have to rinse the soap off first," Sam placed the children back in the water and turned the showerhead on and commenced to clean them up.
"Jack," Daniel stated in his usual tone.
"Daniel," Jack questioned back and pointed at Daniel who was still a bit damp.
"Let's get out of the war zone," Daniel grabbed a towel and walked Jack out of the bathroom.
"Kids?" Jack squeaked when out of earshot of the bathroom.
"Yeah..., we can explain. It was either death or adoption so," Daniel stopped when he saw the pained look in Jack's eyes.
"You adopted together?"
"Yeah, but we didn't realize at the time that adoption required two parties or that we would wind up married in the process."
"MARRIED?!" Jack almost choked.
"It just sort of happened."
"You decided you would take advantage of the situation and get Sam in bed," Jack's tone dripped with venom.
"Face it, you always wanted her. You did everything you could to keep her from me," Jack was blinded by anger.
"You're right. I love her and have for a while now. But I never did anything to hurt you or ruin your relationship. All I ever wanted was for Sam to be happy. If that is with you then I'll gladly step aside. She loves you, Jack. Why can't you see that? Help her raise these children and be a family," Daniel pleaded.
"Then why did you help her schedule an appointment to abort my child Daniel?" Jack glared.
"She never had an abortion Jack," Daniel defended.
"But you knew she wanted one. You knew she was willing to do it. If she hadn't miscarried you would have driven her to the clinic and helped her," Jack spat.
"I wasn't going to try and change her mind if that is what you mean. I was going to be there for her afterwards and help her recover if she needed it. That is what a true friend does. That is what anyone who wants her to be happy should do. It doesn't matter what I wanted. It was her decision and I respected it. That's what you do when you love someone," Daniel shook his head. "Damn it Jack, why can't you see what is right in front of you," he removed the bracelet from his wrist, and with it his hope of being with Sam, and placed it on Jack. It locked into place and flared bright red, then blue, then a faint yellow. In the hall, having finished tucking the children in bed, Sam stood listening. Her bracelet flared a bright blue, to a dim red, and finally a faint yellow.
"Maybe he's right," Sam stepped out into the room.
"Sam," Daniel turned startled.
"Maybe we aren't meant to be together. We have nothing in common, we don't even make the best of friends," Sam stared at Jack. "I will always admire and trust you. I will always be loyal, but I don't think I truly love you Jack, at least not enough to marry and have a family with you. I've been so preoccupied about us that I failed to see what was in front of me the whole time," Sam reached over and removed the bracelet. "I'm sorry Jack," she apologized as she placed the bracelet back on Daniel. Both bracelets flared a bright white again and she smiled.