Final chapter for this part.
Hayden sat happily in Daniel's lap, listening to the soft conversation he was sharing with Teal'c. She leaned against him lethargically, worn out from the evening, but not yet ready to fall asleep. Sucking on her thumb, she kept her eyes on Teal'c as he talked to her daddy.
"He is quite excited by the prospect." Teal'c said in a quiet tone, something most people wouldn't expect from him with his towering size and presence.
Daniel grinned, absently stroking his fingers through Hayden's hair. "Oh, I'm sure." He replied softly, keeping with the quiet mood the evening had shifted to. The girls, sans Hayden, had migrated to the kitchen to clean up and share in their own 'gossip.' Jack had fallen asleep in the recliner not long after Hayden had put the star on the tree, and Cam had managed to hang on a little longer. He was currently spread out on his back on the floor just to Daniel's left, arms crossed behind his head as he snored softly. "It is something to be very excited over."
Inclining his head, Teal'c smiled. "Indeed it is."
"What about you?" The younger man asked with a curious smirk. "How do you feel about being a grandpa?"
Teal'c shifted slightly, and looked to the ceiling a moment. "How would you put it?" He looked back down at Daniel after a moment, a playful grin crossing his features. "I am beginning to feel old."
Laughing quietly, Daniel nodded. "Yeah, I can imagine." He blinked dramatically. "Hell, finding out Ry'ac is having a son makes me feel old. I remember when he was that little boy who worshipped the ground his father walked on."
A knowing grin came to his older friend's face. "Much like your daughter does your own."
Daniel looked down at Hayden. She looked up to him and smiled sleepily. He smiled back as he brushed her bangs aside.
"Yeah, I guess she does." He agreed affectionately, looking up at Teal'c again as Hayden settled back against him comfortably.
Pride coloring his voice, Teal'c nodded toward his friend. "Daniel Jackson, you are the example of a father any man would envy."
Daniel blushed, shaking his head at the praise. "Don't give me any medals yet..." He gave Teal'c a self-deprecating look. "She's only two."
"And yet when she looks at you, there is a love in her eyes that will forever remain." Teal'c stated with conviction. "The same can be said about Hayden Lynn's love towards Vala Malduran."
Blue eyes lit up with undying love. "Vala is a perfect mother." Daniel looked down at Hayden once more, seeing every bit of the woman he loved in her young features. "The best mother... The way she loves Hayden is...unexplainable."
Teal'c smiled softly at the love he heard in the quiet voice. "As is the way she loves you, Daniel Jackson."
Daniel looked up at Teal'c with a rueful smile. "Took me a long time to figure that out."
Agreeing, Teal'c inclined his head again. "Indeed."
"Oh, so no convincing me of my greatness there?" Daniel chuckled, raising his eyebrows.
Teal'c grinned. "I believe the word 'obtuse' is better suited in that regard, my friend."
Daniel laughed a little louder at that, nodding in agreement. As his laughing died down, he jumped back to the topic they'd been discussing before it had turned on him. "So, how is Ry'ac? It's been a few years since I've seen him..." Daniel looked up in the direction of the kitchen as soft giggling drifted out their way. "Actually, I don't think he's even met Vala."
Tilting his head in consideration, Teal'c found he couldn't refute his young friend's statement. "I believe you are correct, Daniel Jackson. It has been quite a few years." He smiled, getting to Daniel's actual question. "My son is well...growing into a fine warrior any Jaffa father would be proud of. I was speaking to him about the Tau'ri holiday season, and he was quite intrigued."
"Oh?" Daniel questioned curiously.
Teal'c nodded. "Indeed. He spoke of possibly joining us within the next week or so. Ry'ac is eager to learn about the Tau'ri tradition surrounding Christmas."
"Really?" Daniel asked rhetorically. "That's great, Teal'c. It would be cool to have him here."
Smiling in almost a smug fashion, Teal'c continued on. "He is also eager to meet the latest edition to SG-1." His brown eyes looked significantly at Hayden before finding Daniel's. "As well as the lovely woman who helped you bring her into existence."
As if on cue, Vala quietly tip-toed her way into the room. Daniel smiled up at her as she made her way over to him. "Hey you."
She smiled in return, taking a seat beside him. "Hey."
"We were just talking about you." Daniel announced, leaning over to kiss her cheek.
Vala grinned. "Oh yeah? Nothing too horrible, I hope?"
Teal'c answered for Daniel. "Quite the opposite."
"So what's up?" Daniel said to her after she smiled cheekily. "I thought you girls were having some alone time."
Vala nodded. "Oh we were, but it's getting late. They went off to get the rooms ready for their..." She swept her arm out across the room to indicate the slumbering pair. "Significant others." Leaning in close to Daniel, Vala let her lips hover close to his. "Luckily my significant other was the responsible one tonight."
Kissing her, Daniel shrugged. "It happens." He inhaled deeply and looked at his sleeping friends. "So I take it you want our help getting them to bed?"
"If you'd be so kind..." Vala smiled, reaching out her arms. "Let me take this little one."
Hayden looked up at the endearment, yawning as her mother lifted her into her arms. She turned her sleepy gaze on Teal'c as he helped her father to his feet.
"I will assist O'Neill." The Jaffa announced, stepping over to the recliner the General was occupying.
Daniel glared at his back. "Gee, thanks." Leaning over Cameron, he gently tapped his friend on the shoulder. "Hey." Cam moaned, opening one eye a little.
"Wha-?" He slurred in response.
Kneeling down, Daniel cocked his head toward the part of the house where the bedrooms were. "Come on, time for bed."
Cam blinked slowly. "-kay." He finally said, struggling to push himself to a sitting position. Daniel helped him along the way, then draped his arm across his shoulders and hauled him to his feet.
"You need any help?" Vala asked as Cam swayed dangerously as he got upright, only staying up with Daniel's assistance.
Shaking his head, Daniel waited until his friend had gotten some sense of balance. "You good?"
It took a moment, but Cameron finally nodded. "Let's go." He mumbled, closing his eyes.
"Okay," Daniel gently started to usher the Colonel forward, tightening his hold as Mitchell stumbled and moaned. "Take it easy."
Cam shook his head. "I drank too much."
"You did." Daniel agreed with a nod, once more urging his friend forward. Cameron finally started taking slow, unsteady steps, leaning heavily into Daniel.
"Sorry, man." He slurred, hanging his head as they weaved their way up the steps out of the living room.
Daniel shook his head. "Don't worry about it. It happens" He pulled Cam back up as the man started to slide out of his grasp with a groan. "No, don't stop."
The drunken man burped sickeningly. "Not gonna make it."
Vala followed closely behind the stumbling two, Hayden watching the scene with curiosity. She blinked when her mother stopped abruptly as her uncle Cameron fell to his knees, bringing her daddy down with him.
"Gonna be sick." He moaned.
Daniel carefully hauled Cam back to his feet. "No, not yet."
"Jackson..." Mitchell whined dejectedly, barely able to put one foot in front of the other.
Turning the Colonel into the guest bedroom, Daniel bypassed the bed and headed straight for the adjoining bathroom. "We're almost there, buddy."
Breathing speeding up, Cam squeezed his eyes shut. "It's coming."
Daniel eased his friend down just in time for him to get sick. Unfortunately his aim was off by a drunken long shot. "Dammit." Daniel muttered as portions of it got into the toilet, while the rest splattered on the sides and down Mitchell's shirt.
"Sorry." Cam whispered guiltily.
Sighing, Daniel rubbed his back. "It's okay, Cam." He looked over his shoulder at the soft calling of his name. He found a sleepy Jack leaning in the doorway, running his hand through his hair.
"You need a hand?" The older man asked gruffly, eyeing the scene with understanding. He'd been there plenty of times himself, and just as much with Daniel. When Daniel nodded, Jack moved into the bathroom and jerked his head toward the door. "Go on, we've got this."
Daniel looked at him warily. "I should help."
Brown eyes met blue. "Hayden is out there asking what's going on. I know you don't want her to see her uncle Cameron like this..." He paused a moment as Cam pulled himself up to the toilet again to get sick once more. "Please, go."
Nodding, Daniel slowly pushed himself up. He stepped out of bathroom and made his way out to the hall, where Vala, Hayden, and Sam were waiting.
"Nuckle Cam?" The toddler questioned with uncertainty. Daniel reached out and took her into his arms as Vala and Sam looked at him in concern.
He smiled at the little girl reassuringly, carrying her down the hall and away from the sounds coming from the guest bedroom. "Uncle Cam is sick right now, but he'll be okay."
Hayden frowned. "Sick?"
Daniel nodded. "He had the yucky drink."
"Oh." She said quietly, understanding. "Ucky bad?" She asked as her daddy brought her into his and her mommy's room, closed the door, and laid her down on the bed.
Starting to take off her shoes, Daniel looked at her seriously. "Yes, Hayden. Very bad yucky."
Blinking, Hayden went to ask another question but it turned into a big yawn instead.
Daniel smiled. "It's definitely time for bed." He walked over to the closet, pulled one of Vala's vintage t-shirts off its hanger, and carried it back to the bed. Gently, he changed Hayden into her makeshift nightshirt for the evening.
"Mama and daddy?" Hayden yawned again, snuggling back into the pillows as Daniel settled her back down.
He undid her pigtails and combed his fingers through her hair. "Yep, you're sleeping with daddy and mommy tonight." Daniel looked up as Vala finally came into the room. She immediately started undressing, snatching up one of his t-shirts from the floor to pull on. Both knew Hayden wouldn't fall asleep until they were both in bed and the lights were out.
As she crawled into bed next to Hayden, Daniel quickly stripped down to his boxers. Walking over to his dresser, he took pajama pants out and pulled them on. He then walked back to his side of the bed and laid down, pulling the covers up so they covered Hayden up to her chin.
Daniel looked at Vala, mouthing 'Cam?' to her.
She shook her head, propped up on her hand. 'Not good.' She mouthed right back.
"Daddy?" Hayden mumbled, drawing his attention to her.
He smiled. "Yeah, pooh?"
She yawned. "Ickmas tree morrow?"
Vala smiled and leaned down to kiss the girl. "Yes, munchkin. The Christmas tree will be there tomorrow."
"Now go to sleep." Daniel commanded gently, giving her his own kiss.
"-Kay." Hayden smiled, turning on her side towards her mother. "Like Ickmas tree."
As she drifted off, Daniel and Vala shared a relieved look. Hayden would remember the day for the Christmas tree and not...other things. Reaching up to flick the switch, Daniel settled into the bed, pulling Hayden in close to his chest. Vala shifted closer to them, and he entwined his fingers with her own.
It was one small comfort they'd happily accept.
A/N: So how was the first part?? Does it make you wanna read more?? I hope it does 'cause I'm seriously (like SERIOUSLY) enjoying writing toddler!Hayden... it's fun to have her get into all the trouble and still try and incorporate her older self into it as well... And I'm quite proud of myself with this chapter - I actually wrote a lot of Teal'c, which some of you might remember I find difficult... Anywho, I've obviously set up future 'experiences' for the lovely family in this part. So reviews are definitely welcome (and LVOED!) so I can get those next parts out faster.
And of course, being me, I'm always open to suggestions for holiday experiences you'd like Hayden to have!
Really, really hope you enjoyed this part!