Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are not my property. No copyright infringement is intended.
Jack followed his Mom into the kitchen.
"You want me to do what?" sixteen year old Jack asked as he stood with his hands on his hips.
"Just for a few hours. You've baby sat a few kids before and you baby sat your cousin last month for a little while and it went okay, didn't it?"
"Yeah, I guess" Jack said as he sat down at the kitchen table. "Why can't you watch her, Mom?"
"Because I have too much to do. I have laundry and ironing to get done. I need to bake a cake for your dad's birthday and clean up the house, and sometime I need to run to the grocery store. Besides, you're always complaining about never having any money and Mrs. Carter will pay you $5.00 an hour to watch her daughter. That's a lot to pay a babysitter, Jack."
"What does her husband do for a living?"
"He's in the Air Force. That's all I know."
"How old is this kid?"
"She'll be a year old in two weeks. And just wait until you see her, she's just the cutest little thing."
"Mom, you say that about all babies" Jack said as he rolled his eyes. Then he mumbled to himself "she's probably the ugliest kid that's ever been born."
"What did you say?"
Mrs. O'Neill looked at Jack and frowned.
"You'll still be here in the house most of the time, right?" he asked hopefully.
"Yes" she answered with a sigh.
"Good. Okay, I'll do it as long as I don't get stuck with diaper duty."
"If she needs changing, I'll change her" Mrs. O'Neill said as she set up the ironing board.
"Who are these people anyway" Jack asked as he grabbed an apple out of the bowl of fruit that was sitting on the table, and bit into it.
"They're visiting the Petersons next door. Catherine Carter is Cecile Peterson's younger sister. The Carters also have a four year old son but he stayed at home with Mr. Carter's mother."
"Why didn't they leave the baby there too?" Jack asked as he stretched out his long legs in the chair across from him.
"Because Mrs. Carter didn't want to be away from her since she's still so young, so they brought her with them."
"And just why is it they need me to baby sit?"
"The Carters are here to attend Julie's high school graduation, Mrs. Carter has always been very close to her niece. They didn't want to take the baby with them to the graduation ceremony this afternoon. They knew she would get restless, so Cecile asked if you would mind watching her."
"Oh, okay" Jack said as he finished the apple and stood up to put the core in the trash. "But if she starts bawling her eyes out because she doesn't like strangers, don't blame me."
Just after lunch, the doorbell rang.
"Jack, would you get that please? It's probably Mrs. Carter dropping off the baby" Mrs. O'Neill said from the kitchen.
Jack answered the door to find a very pretty woman standing there holding a baby.
"You must be Mrs. Carter" Jack said with a grin.
"Yes, and you must be Jack" she answered with a smile.
"I'm sorry we waited until the last minute to ask you to baby sit. I really do appreciate you doing this for us" she said as she gave the baby to Jack. "We were going to take her with us to the graduation, and then Cecile mentioned that you might be willing to watch her for a little while. She said you're really good with kids."
"She did, did she?" Jack said with a lopsided grin.
"Yes, she did" Catherine answered.
"What's her name?" Jack asked as the baby leaned back and stared at him.
"Her name's Samantha."
"Mom told me she was cute and I have to agree" Jack said as he tickled Samantha under her chin.
"Here's her diaper bag" Catherine said as she set it on the sofa. "There are diapers, some extra clothes, Samantha's favorite stuffed rabbit, and this needs to be put in the refrigerator" she said as she handed Jack a bottle of milk. "We shouldn't be too long and I promise I'll come get her the minute we get back."
"No rush" Jack said as Catherine opened the door and walked out.
Jack went into the kitchen and put the bottle into the refrigerator as Mrs. O'Neill turned around from her ironing to look at them.
"Hi, Samantha" she said as she softly pinched the baby's cheek. "Told you she was cute, Jack" she said as she went back to her ironing.
Jack took Samantha back in the living room and sat down on the sofa and set her on his lap, facing him. She was dressed in a little white shirt and yellow pants with tiny white flowers on them.
Samantha stared at him, hardly blinking. Just as he thought she was about to cry, she slowly started to grin at him.
"Well, look at that, you've got dimples" he said as Samantha gave him a big smile.
"And little teeth. You're as cute as a button" Jack said as he gently brushed his finger against her cheek and she started kicking her feet. Jack noticed she was wearing little sandals with tiny toes peeking through.
Samantha began to squirm and Jack opened the diaper bag, grabbed the rabbit and handed it to her. She wrapped her little arms around it and hugged it.
Mrs. O'Neill came walking through carrying a shirt that she had just ironed.
"Mom, is she old enough to walk?"
"Not yet, but I did see her crawling" she answered as she went into the bedroom.
Jack stood up and held Samantha in one arm, pulled the afghan off the back of the sofa and spread it out on the floor, then set Samantha on it as he sat down across from her. She stared at him as she hugged her rabbit.
"So, what you want to do, kid? Want to talk politics or sports or something? Hey, how 'bout those Cubs last night? Wasn't that a great grand slam to win the game?"
Samantha stared at him for a few seconds, dropped the rabbit, then got on her hands and knees and crawled over to Jack and put her hand on his knee. She smiled at him and reached up to him with her other hand.
"You want me to pick you up?"
"I'm sorry. Didn't quite understand that."
Samantha groaned and Jack could see the tears coming.
"Okay, okay. I'll pick you up, just don't go cryin' all over me." Then he lowered his voice. "You know you'll get your way if you cry, don't you?" he said with a grin.
As soon as he picked her up, she laid her head on his shoulder, let out a sigh, and scrunched up his shirt in her tiny fists, as if she would never let go. A big smile came to Jack's face as he rubbed her back.
Jack looked down at Samantha.
"You know, you're gonna to be a beauty and a heart breaker when you grow up, with that blonde hair, big blue eyes and those dimples. Yep, you're gonna have boys lined up at your door to date you. I bet your dad will have to beat the boys off with a stick. I know if I had a daughter like you, I'd never let guys near you, not until you're at least 21."
Mrs. O'Neill came walking back through the living room, looked at them and started to grin.
"She likes you, Jack."
"What can I say, I'm a chick magnet."
Mrs. O'Neill rolled her eyes. "Oh, brother."
She went back into the kitchen and Jack continued to rub Samantha's back. In a few minutes, she had fallen asleep. He slowly pulled her away from him and let her head fall into the crook of his arm as he rocked her back and forth for a few minutes.
Trying not to wake her, he slowly stood up and laid her down on the sofa. He grabbed one of the throw pillows and put it beside her so she wouldn't roll off.
He went into the kitchen as his Mom turned around and looked at him.
"She's asleep. Just wanted to get something to drink" he said as he opened the refrigerator door and grabbed a soda.
"Jack, while you're waiting for her to wake up, there are clean towels in the dryer that need to be folded and put away please."
Jack went into the laundry room and carried the towels back into the living room and sat down with the towels in his lap as he folded them. He turned on the television to watch the Cubs game and turned down the volume so Samantha wouldn't be disturbed. He finished folding the towels and put them in the linen closet, came back and sat down.
Samantha turned over on her side, stuck her thumb in her mouth and continued sleeping.
He stared at her, thinking about what it would be like to have kids, especially a beautiful little girl like the one sleeping next to him. First, he would have to finish his education. He had thought about going into the Air Force and becoming a pilot. He had always loved airplanes and loved to fly. Maybe if he got to meet Samantha's father, he could talk to him about a career in the Air Force. Then he would have to find the right woman, then get married and have a family.
He had always liked kids. He volunteered to teach them to play hockey, helped coach a Little League baseball team, and had taught kids how to swim.
He was brought out of his daydreaming when he realized that one of the Cubs players had hit a home run.
"Yes!" he said, then realized that he had said that louder than he should have.
Samantha awoke, scrunched up her face and began to whimper.
"Oh for cryin' out loud" Jack said as he picked her up and sat her on his lap.
"Uh, oh, I think you're wet."
Jack stood up and went into the kitchen.
"Mom, I think she needs changing."
Mrs. O'Neill was just putting away the ironing board, and she took Samantha from his arms.
"Come on, little lady, let's get you dry. Jack, while I'm changing her, warm her bottle please. She's probably hungry."
Jack opened the refrigerator and grabbed the bottle. He got a small pan and put water in it, set the bottle in the water and turned on the stove. He opened the refrigerator again and saw there was half an apple pie left. He cut himself a slice and put the rest back in the refrigerator, got a glass of milk and sat down at the table to eat. Just as he finished, Mrs. O'Neill came back in with Samantha and gave her to him.
"You know, maybe your dad and I should have had another baby, Jack."
"What? You mean having me didn't discourage you from having another one?" he asked with a grin.
She smiled at him. "No, honey, not at all. Sometimes I wish we had given you a little sister . . . or a little brother."
"Well, you know what to do to have another one, Mom."
"I'm too old to have another baby, Jack. I didn't have you until I was 29. But when I hold a little girl like Samantha, I wish we had two kids" she said as tears came to her eyes. "I guess I'll just have to depend on you to give me grandchildren. You do want to have children some day, right?"
"Sure, Mom, if I ever meet the right woman. "Hey" he said to Samantha "how about me marrying you when we get old enough? What do you say?"
Samantha let out a squeal, started bouncing up and down and smiled at Jack.
"See Mom, here's your daughter-in-law right here. Samantha and I will get married and give you a whole hockey team of grandchildren."
"Well, maybe not that many" she said with a laugh as she walked over to the stove and turned it off. She tested the temperature of the milk.
"I think this is just warm enough" she said as she handed Jack the bottle.
Jack took Samantha into the living room and sat down on the sofa. Samantha leaned back like she knew what was coming and reached out with both hands to grab the bottle.
Jack grinned at her. "Well, you certainly don't need any help holding it, do you?"
Samantha stuck the bottle in her mouth and began to make little smacking noises. Jack looked up to watch the game and in a minute he looked back down at her. She had stopped drinking but still had the bottle in her mouth and she was staring at him.
"Are you finished?" he said as he tried to take the bottle from her, but she held on tight and started drinking again. Soon, there was nothing left and Jack took the empty bottle and put it on the coffee table. He threw a diaper over his shoulder and put Samantha on his shoulder and softly patted her back.
In a minute, she let out a burp and Jack wiped off her mouth and sat her on his lap. He handed her the rabbit and for a few minutes, she seemed content just to sit and stare at the television. Then she dropped the rabbit and turned around and looked up at Jack.
"Do you miss your Mom? She isn't here right now, but she'll be back soon. Until then, you're stuck with me, kid."
Mrs. O'Neill walked in the room and handed Jack a clean baseball cap.
Jack took the cap and put it on Samantha and it covered her whole head. Samantha got really still. Jack couldn't see her face so he leaned over to look at her. She was wearing a big grin. Jack lifted up the bill of the cap and Samantha started to giggle. He let it back down and she got really quiet. He peeked at her and she started to giggle again.
"Hey, no giggling" Jack said as he started laughing and his Mom walked back in the room and she stopped to watch. Soon, they were all laughing as Jack played with Samantha.
"Isn't she just the sweetest thing, Jack?" Mrs. O'Neill said as she left the room.
"Yeah, she is" he said as he gently tapped Samantha on the nose and she blinked twice.
Jack took the cap off her head and put it on his. Samantha looked at him as her lower lip started to tremble and tears came to her eyes.
"Okay, okay, you can wear it. But let's see if I can make it a little smaller." Jack unhooked the clasp in the back of the cap and pulled it as tight as it would go, then set it back on her head.
"There you go, slugger" he said as she reached up to touch the cap.
"You gonna play sports when you get bigger?" he asked her. "You know, we should shorten your name to Sam. I kinda like that, don't you? That sounds like a sports name."
Samantha reached out and grabbed Jack's shirt as she turned herself around and laid her head against his chest, knocking the cap off her head. He put the cap down beside him as she snuggled against him and he held her with one arm and gently ran his hand over her back.
Mrs. O'Neill came into the room, sat down in a chair and started to make out her grocery list. She looked up at Jack and smiled.
"Samantha, I think your Mom is going to have a hard time getting you to leave Jack. You really like him."
Samantha lifted her head and stared at Mrs. O'Neill for a few seconds, then laid her head back down on Jack's chest.
"You want to stay here with me?" Jack asked as he looked down at her.
Samantha tilted her head and stared into his eyes for a few seconds. She seemed to be content just to rest her head on Jack's chest, and he would glance down at her once in awhile as he watched the baseball game.
Time passed quickly and soon the doorbell rang. Mrs. O'Neill went to answer it.
Catherine came in, followed by Cecile.
"Well, look at that" Cecile said with a grin. "Jack, I think she likes you."
"Yes, she does. I've decided I'm gonna keep her." Samantha turned her head and looked up at her mom, but didn't give any indication that she wanted her to pick her up.
Catherine laughed. "You'd probably be very good with her, Jack, but I'm afraid I'm not quite ready to give her up just yet. Besides, her dad would miss her too much and she really loves her daddy."
Catherine held out her arms to see if Sam would come to her, but she held on to Jack's shirt and wouldn't let go.
"Come on, honey, we need to go and give Jack a break" Catherine said as she tried to take Sam from Jack.
Sam clung to him. He gently pulled her hands away from his shirt and he gave Sam to her mother. Sam started to wail as she reached out and started opening and closing her little hands, holding out her arms to Jack. Tears ran down her cheeks as she tried to wiggle away from Catherine and back to him.
Jack suddenly felt very sad at having to say goodbye to baby Sam. He stepped up to her and kissed her on the forehead and Sam stared at him.
"The next time you're here visiting, you can come back and stay with me again. Okay?" he said as he ran his finger up and down Sam's wet cheek.
Sam stopped crying but her little lip was still trembling.
"I owe you some money" Catherine said as she handed it to him.
"You know, Samantha usually takes awhile to warm up to people, but she really took a shine to you, Jack" Catherine said with a smile.
Jack grinned. "She's a beautiful little girl." He stuck his hands in his pockets and rocked back and forth on his heels.
"We need to be going. Wave bye to Jack, Samantha" Catherine said as she picked up Sam's hand and moved it up and down for her.
Catherine held Sam against her chest and Sam stared at Jack over her Mother's shoulder as they turned to leave. Jack and his Mom followed them and stood at the door as they waved bye to them.
Mrs. O'Neill turned to look at her son.
"You really are good with kids. I hope you meet the right woman some day and you have the chance to be a father, because you'll be a terrific one."
"Thanks, Mom." He watched Catherine go down the steps and he got one last glimpse of Sam's cute face as she stared back at him.
29 Years Later
General Hammond "I'm assigning Sam Carter to this mission."
Jack "I'd prefer to put together my own team, sir."
General Hammond "Not on this mission, sorry. Carter's our expert on the Stargate."
Jack "Where's he transferring from?"
Sam "She is transferring from the Pentagon. I take it you're Colonel O'Neill. Captain Samantha Carter reporting, sir."
Jack looked at the beautiful woman standing across from him.
'Samantha Carter, Samantha Carter. Oh no, no, it can't be . . . can it?' Jack thought as memories suddenly flashed through his mind as he realized they had met a long time ago, a time that Sam was too young to remember. 'Some day I'll tell her where and when we first met' he thought as he grinned to himself. 'Wonder what she'll say when I ask her if she would like to have children.' In his mind, he could picture a baby girl, one that would be just as beautiful as her mother had been when she was a baby.