Three Months Later…
Aboard the Asgard Vessel
Frey, Vor, and Hoor, as well as Ullr, who had recently begun to trail the older boys, were busily working around a computer console.
Heimdall watched the toddlers, wondering at how much they had changed, even in the short time he and his crew had known them.
Their desire to learn was obvious and they had excitedly taken to the regimen and curriculum Colonel Carter, Dr. Jackson and Floke had devised. Hopefully it would keep the children on track in the Asgard's absence.
Armed with a list of planets and a ship full of supplies, the Asgard would be heading out to begin the building of a new home world.
Again, Heimdall wondered at all the planning and organizing it had taken to properly prepare for the children's futures. Such a gentle balance existed between the children's growing mental capacity and their developing emotions.
Which was why Heimdall had asked permission to come explain to the children that he and the crew would be taking their ship and leaving, but they would return as often as possible to see them and that once their parents felt they were ready each child could decide to move to the Asgard home world, returning to visit their parents at their own discretion.
After laying Frigg down for her nap, Sam went to stand behind Jack, who was sitting at the table with folders of blue prints spread before him. "How was Earth? God, that is just weird to say."
Looking over his shoulder, she leaned in and wrapped her arms around him. "So, they okayed all these plans? We are going to be able to move to the moon permanently?"
"Yeah, once most of the construction is done. We were careful, picking things we pretty much knew they would go for." Jack shuffled through the folders till he found the one with the single family homes. "I'm just glad Daniel was in on it. He was right about everything they wouldn't allow. Plus he did most of the talking. Although, we do have to go back to earth again this week. So, what do you think about this one?"
Coming around the side of his chair, Sam sat on the arm and studied the floor plan Jack held. Turning to look her husband in the eye Sam leaned in and kissed him quickly on the lips. "Thank you."
"For fighting for us when I had given up."
"Sam, what the hell's going on?" Jack had had just about enough of the cold shoulder from his wife.
Standing with her arms folded across her middle, Sam stared mutinously at his chin, refusing to meet his eyes.
"Alright fine. I'll answer that." Jack yanked a chair out from the table and threw himself into it. "You, for all your brilliance, have gotten the stupid idea that I won't want to remain married to you if we lose the kids. Somehow you have convinced yourself that this has been some kind of game to me and I won't want to play anymore when our excuse is gone and there's a chance we'll get in trouble, right?"
Taking the slight tremble in her lips and the suspicious shine in her eyes as his answer, Jack let a few choice words escape to ping off the walls. "That's just great, Sam. For cryin' out loud, how can you even think something like that? How can you think I would…"
Suddenly standing, Jack strode over to where Sam stood with her head down, fat tears slowly rolling down to splat on the floor. Tipping her chin up to look in her eyes, he had to clear his throat of the thickness that tried to block his words. "I wonder, Sam, what kind of man you think I am. Aside from the fact that I love you so much it would kill me to know I had caused you any amount of pain, wasn't it me who just last week suggested we stop using birth control? I…"
"Damn it, Jack." Sam snatched her face from Jack's grasp. "I never thought of it that way. I guess I really didn't think…it wasn't about you. It's just that after waiting for so long I was just expecting the world to end or something."
Jack waited silently as Sam shook her head and turned to lean on the back of a chair.
"I guess I spent so many years making excuses for why we couldn't be together, somewhere along the line I started to doubt it for real. I'm sorry, Jack…"
"You don't have to apologize for having doubts, Sam. You're only human." Jack wrapped his arms around her waist. "I just wish you had talked to me about it. You know how in the field you never hesitated to trust me? Its second nature and you just need to learn to bring that little piece of work home with you."
Smirking, Sam turned in Jack's arms to look at him. "You really think I NEVER hesitated?"
'What are you doing?' Daniel thought to himself still fingering the pack of sugar pills.
Setting the pills down next to Vala's real birth control pack, Daniel eyed himself in the mirror.
This is wrong; I can't believe I'm even considering this. Staring at the two packs, Daniel came to the decision that getting Vala pregnant without her consent might not be the best way to handle his recent fear that he might lose her.
At Vala's insistence that she be allowed into the bathroom, pronto, Daniel turned to lock the door before she burst in and found him with the two identical pill cases on the counter. In his rush, he accidentally knocked both cases on the floor, one skittering away behind the toilet and the other landing right at Vala's feet as she stood in the now open doorway.
"What are you doing, darling?" Vala leaned down and picked the pack up. "Where did these come from?"
Not knowing which pack it was or whether Vala was asking because she knew they weren't hers or because her pills were on the floor instead of in the cabinet where they belonged, Daniel simply plastered an innocent smile on his face. "Sorry, I was looking for something in the cabinet and accidentally knocked them down."
"Oh, well. What are we doing for supper? Going out or to the commissary?" Walking fully into the bathroom Vala placed the pack back in the cabinet and began primping in the mirror.
"Uh, let's go out."
Vala stared unseeing at the small plastic device in her hands.
She was so sure she had been wrong.
How was this possible? What was she going to do?
One thing was sure; Daniel was going to be pissed.
Standing sideways to study her figure in the full length mirror, Ishta had to admit that her new Tau'ri clothes were more comfortable, not only because of her growing belly, but they also made it easier for her to move about more freely at the SGC.
Wearing a simple black tank top and black BDU pants, she examined her visibly rounding stomach. Without looking away from her reflection, Ishta spoke to Teal'c. "The President and the IOA accepted the proposal?"
Smiling at the beauty of the woman in front of him, Teal'c told her of the new plans for the moon of the Alpha base's planet. "With a Stargate of its own, the moon has been approved as a retirement and vacation base for Stargate personnel. Many building plans were approved and SG-1 was given first choice of plots for the building of their homes."
"And you? Have you decided on a plot?" Ishta caught Teal'c's eye in the mirror.
"There is indeed a plot I would like to show you…should we decide to make our home here, though it does not have to be our permanent or only home."
Going back to the perusal of her 'baby bump', Ishta considered this a moment. "I have asked Ry'ac and Kar'yn to join me here as soon as they can. If you agree, I will tell them of my intentions to step down as leader of the Hak'tyl."
Coming to stand directly behind Ishta, Teal'c placed his hands over hers on the swell of child. "You wish to leave the Hak'tyl?"
"Not entirely. In this time of peace I feel justified in taking a less active roll in their day to day life, to build one with you, here." Letting her head drop back, Ishta let it rest on Teal'c's strong shoulders.
Coming out of Victoria Secret, swinging the bright pink striped bag and whistling the Simpson's, Jack spied Hank Landry heading his way. Unsure if the man had spotted him or not, Jack considered slipping back into the store to avoid having to stop and chat but froze when he saw a familiar head pop out of the side exit of one of the malls two jewelry stores, the jewelry store right across from him, the one Landry was headed right for.
As Jack watched, Cam popped his head back in for a moment, then pressed himself against the wall a'la mission impossible before suddenly darting across the walkway to the other jewelry store next door to the Victoria Secret.
Unbeknown to Cam as he had darted across, Jack watched Hank spy the young Colonel and duck behind a column. Peeking out of the second jewelry store Cam could no longer see the General and thinking he had gotten away without being seen went merrily back to browsing the jewelry counter.
Just when Jack thought the show was over, Landry popped back out from behind the column and thinking Cam was gone, continued his march into the first jewelry store.
Chuckling to himself, Jack waltzed out of the mall and put on his sunglasses. Scanning the parking lot once before heading to his car, Jack's military training stopped him as he noticed another interesting character lurking in the shadows of a column outside the drugstore catty cornered in the mall lot.
Watching in amazement, Jack couldn't believe his luck as Vala, clad in a long tan trench coat, dark sunglasses, and a scarf, darted out of the shadows. Clutching a small brown bag, she climbed into the back of a black SUV that soon drove out of the lot and headed down the highway towards base.
Standing in the parking lot, mouth hanging open, Jack blinked a few times before shaking his head and going to his car thinking; Sam is never going to believe this.
Leaving the two nurses to finish their cleanup, Carolyn walked into her office and picking up the base phone, dialed the extension by heart.
Getting the voice mail, she put the receiver back on its base and chewing her lip fingered her cell phone.
Before she could decide whether or not to make the call, the object of her thoughts sauntered through the door to her office.
"Well, hello darlin'." Cam leaned casually in the doorway.
Blushing furiously for no reason at all, Carolyn smiled up at Cam. "What are you doing here?"
"Just came by to see if I could walk my girl to class." Stepping closer and into Carolyn's personal space, Cam brushed a finger over her flushed cheek.
Before Carolyn could answer, they were distracted by the soft giggling of the two nurses. Looking over his shoulder, Cam saw the nurses turning quickly back to their work, with a cocky grin and a wink he pulled the blinds shut, leaving the door open but impeding any further spying.
Out in the main room of the infirmary the two nurses where still chuckling to themselves when a commanding voice from behind nearly had them dropping the equipment they were straightening.
"Excuse me ladies, is Dr. Lam in her office?" Landry wondered at the duo's jumpiness but before he could question them further a sound from Carolyn's office had him turning and narrowing his eyes.
Having heard the General's voice, Cam and Carolyn quickly exited her office.
Cough. "Uh, thanks again Doc. See you later…at the meeting." With a nod to Landry, Cam made his escape. "General."
"Colonel." Hank returned Cam's nod before turning back to his daughter. As Hank watched, Carolyn smiled dreamily at the colonel's retreating back until he reached the doors and turned back to rake her from top to bottom with a hungry gaze that caused Carolyn to blush.
Looking from the now empty doorway to her father, Carolyn met the surprised raising of both his brows with a challenging raise of both of her own, ignoring the fact that her face was still flushed.
Clearing his throat, Landry decided to store that away for later consideration. "Carolyn, I need to speak to you in private for just a moment."
"Sure thing. Let's go to my office." Following her father back across the infirmary towards her private office Carolyn was stopped short when Vala burst through the main doors of the infirmary.
Nott on one hip and waving two objects with her free hand, Vala didn't wait a moment before venting her frustrations at the doctor. "Carolyn, we need to talk."
Looking apologetically back at her father, Carolyn replied. "About what, Vala?"
"About your faulty medicines. They don't work." Approaching the pair, Vala turned to the general. "Grandpa Hank, would you mind watching Nott for a moment? I desperately need to see Carolyn."
Opening his mouth to let Vala have it for her interruption and assuming he would just take the child for her, Hank stopped as he noticed the real worry and fear in Vala's eyes. "I suppose I could take her to see Kim for a bit."
"Thank you, General. I owe you one." Handing the child to Landry, Vala didn't miss a beat in grabbing Carolyn's arm and dragging her towards the office.
Vala stood in the hallway just outside the infirmary with her hands hanging limply at her sides, face blank.
Unlike her outward appearance, Vala's mind was swirling with enough thoughts and feelings that she felt sick. Or maybe that was the morning sickness.
Shaking her head dizzily, she slowly started to move, making her way forward, no destination in mind.
Someone had switched her pills?
Oh Gods, a baby.
Suddenly anger swelled up overwhelming everything else. How dare he? What was he thinking?
Now moving with purpose, a destination firmly in her mind, Vala mashed the elevator button with enough force to break her fingernail.
Standing alone in the cold elevator she wrapped her arms around herself and trembling slightly, felt her eyes widen as the fear crept stealthily up and overwhelmed her.
Exiting the elevator, Vala stopped a few steps away and turned back, heading away from 'their office'. Did he do it because he thought she would run and a baby would make her stay?
But that means he wants you to stay. Slowly turning, Vala cautiously approached the office doors.
He had no right! Hands fisting at her sides, she turned away only to turn back at the sound of Daniel's voice.
All she could do was stare wide eyed at Daniel as he moved out of the office doorway and into the corridor, unsure of his motives, unsure of how to proceed.
Watching Vala watching him, Daniel suddenly realized what was wrong. She knew.
Taking a step forward he cringed as she took one back. "Where's Nott?"
"With Kim and Landry." Unable to look at him and still keep her composure any longer, Vala looked down at her feet just long enough for Daniel to move close enough to grasp her hand.
"I just…I just need to know why." Not ready to see his face yet, Vala studied their intertwined hands.
Knowing his life hung in the balance, Daniel answered the only way he knew how. Honestly. "I panicked. I'm so sorry, Vala. I meant to switch them back, I know it was stupid to try and trap you, to make you stay."
Her worst fears confirmed Vala felt her insides shatter and tried to pry her hand from Daniel's.
"Vala…listen." Daniel reached out with his other hand to pull Vala closer.
Shaking her head violently, Vala was too overwhelmed by pain to put up more than a token effort to get away.
Tipping her chin up to look into her eyes, Daniel's insides flinched at the pain shimmering in the silver.
She could only stare wide eyed at the wet shine pooling in Daniels own eyes.
Smiling sadly at her, Daniel wrapped a hand in her hair and drew her up against his body and wrapped the other arm around her so tight Vala could do nothing but return the embrace by wrapping her own arms around his waist and burying her face in his chest.
Nearly overwhelmed with feelings, Daniel tried to explain. "Me, Vala. Not you, I was scared of me. You see, I have this habit of losing the people I love."
Shaking her head no, Vala shifted to speak but Daniel stopped her. "You know you can't promise me that."
Burying his face in her hair, Daniel suddenly realized what all this meant. "Vala?"
"Are you…are we having a baby?"
Vala could only nod her head and smile into Daniel's chest.
Pulling away enough to look into each others faces, Vala laughed as she wiped the tears from Daniel's face. "I love you."
"I love you too." Leaning in to kiss her, Daniel was stopped short by Jack's loud voice coming from down the hall.
"Oh come on, this is a military base you know." Smiling cheekily at Daniel, Jack had an arm slung over Sam's shoulders as they approached the other couple.
"Sam." Vala grinned impishly.
"Vala." Sam laughingly replied.
Shaking his head and looking away from the two women, Jack frowned quizzically at Daniel. "You been crying spacemonkey?"
Daniel was saved having to reply by Sam.
Sniffing softly and crinkling her nose, Sam eyed Daniel. "Is that coffee I smell?"
"Well, yes. I have been known to drink it occasionally." Daniel looked at Sam questioningly.
Slapping her hand over her mouth a very green Samantha Carter darted into Daniel's office and made use of his small trash can.
Hands in his pocket, Jack considered going to help his wife, but remembering doing so the previous day and the following dressing down, he turned back to Daniel and Vala. "So, did you hear the meeting was canceled?"
Heimdall commed and asked if he could take the kids out on the ship for the day to spend some quality time before they leave. Speaking of kids where are yours?" Jack looked around as if expecting them to appear.
"Oh, Nott is with Kim and Landry. I should probably go by and pick her up." Turning her face up to Daniel, Vala smiled and pressed a quick kiss to his lips. "How about lunch when I get back?"
"Sure. Darg is taking a nap in the office, so as soon as he wakes up we'll go."
"Was taking a nap." A sheepish looking Sam came out of the office carrying a wide eyed Darg. "Sorry, I woke him up and I think you're going to need a new trash can."
Daniel took Darg from Sam and propped the boy on his hip.
Vala looked at Sam with concern. "Are you alright, Samantha?"
"Yeah. I just…" Sam cut her eyes up at Jack and getting a positive nod from him smiled happily at her friends. "It's…I mean I…uh…"
"What the genius is trying to say is that I knocked her up." Jack rocked back on his heals and smiled cockily as he watched Daniel and Vala's faces transform with shock.
Vala was the first to recover and reaching out to hug her friend, suddenly stopped and instead reached for Sam's hand. "Samantha, when did you get married?!"
"Married?!" Daniel looked shocked for a moment more, and then burst out laughing as he grabbed Jack and gave him a fierce hug. "Congratulations!"
After a round of hugs and congratulations died down, Vala turned to Daniel and Darg. "Well, I guess I had better go round up sissy. Meet you in the commissary?"
"Actually I'll come with you and we can all go together." Looking to Sam and Jack, Daniel asked if they wanted to join them for lunch to celebrate.
"Sure. That is if Sam's up for it." He looked questioningly at his wife.
"Sounds good to me."
"So, you are telling me two members of my team are on medical stand-down. But you can't tell me why?" Leaning back to rest his six on Carolyn's desk, Cam looked down on the doctor's impassive face.
"Cam, I will give you the full report when I deem it necessary. Right now all you need to know is that these two team members are not cleared for active duty at this time." Carolyn struggled to keep her face blank, knowing how easily Cam could wheedle information from her.
"Uh-huh. And these two members just happen to be female by coincidence, right?" He cocked a brow in disbelief.
"Cameron Mitchell! Was that a sexist remark?!" Carolyn rose to stand face to face, well face to chest with Cam.
Smiling warmly down at her, Cam brushed a finger across her brow. "Heck no, darlin'. I was just puttin' two and two together and comin' up with six."
"Hmph. Well, wonder all you want, flyboy." Clearing away files off her desk, Carolyn knocked a stack of pill cases on the floor.
After bending down to retrieve the cases, Cam handed them back to Carolyn with a questioning look.
"Oh, I was explaining to Vala the difference between her birth control pills and these placebo pills. She came in here blaming the pills…." Carolyn slapped a hand over her mouth and glared at Cam.
"So, the princess is in a family way, huh?" Cam couldn't help laughing at how cute Carolyn looked when she was flustered. He liked knowing he was the only one who could get her like this.
"It's not my place to tell you, Cam. They both have a grace period before they have to disclose the details of their…conditions."
Pulling her to stand between his legs, Cam placed both of his hands on either side of Carolyn's face. "You know how much I love you, right?"
Carolyn draped her forearms over Cam's shoulders and leaned into him. "Only about as much as I love you."
"Now, that's good to hear." Sliding his hands from Carolyn's face to her shoulders, he moved her back and down till she was back in her chair. "You know I was trying to plan a romantic evening for us, but as I was working out the logistics; baby sitter with the right clearance, picking up our oldest from his trip on a space ship and then Gating to earth and back again later…well, I realized that none of the ordinary shoes were gonna fit us, you know?"
Smiling fondly up at Cam, Carolyn had no idea what he was talking about. But he sure was adorable to watch.
"So here it is." Cam dropped down on one knee by Carolyn's chair and looking at her beautiful face, smiled when said face told him exactly when she figured out what he was doing. Popping open the little black box, he cleared his throat and tried to blink away the prickling in his eyes.
"Carolyn, will you marry me?"
Navigating his wife over to the table where Daniel, Vala, Sam and Jack sat with their kids, Teal'c nodded his hello.
Smiling her thanks as Jack pulled up a chair for her; Ishta sat with a grateful sigh. "Thank you…Jack. I hope you do not mind us joining you?"
"'Course not. Just having a late lunch, more like a snack actually." Jack waved a hand over the conglomeration of food piled on plates lining the table.
"I am glad to have found you all together. General Landry asked that I let you know that he has planned for all of us to dine together this evening." Pulling another chair around, Teal'c sat near his wife.
"Really? I wonder where we will all fit." Vala crunched on a carrot. "What time is this shin-dig?"
"Hey, that's my line." A smiling Cam came up to stand at the end of the table.
"1900 hours." Teal'c looked to Cam. "Do you perhaps know where Dr. Lam is?"
"Sure do. Just left her finishing up a few things in the infirmary, why?"
"GeneralLandry wishes for us to meet in the briefing room." Ishta replied to Vala's first question.
"I'll make sure she's there. Well, I gotta run. See ya'll tonight." Everyone watched Cam leave wondering at his silly grin and bouncy exit.
The chaos was indescribable.
Landry had ordered take-out Gated over from earth and Heimdall had beamed the older children back shortly after the others had arrived.
Looking around the room, there were children running and crawling and in-between. Laughter and chatter and conversation were interrupted only by the occasional shout or scream.
In the hours that followed, food was eaten, announcements were made, congratulations were given and futures were discussed.
Walking Kim back to their quarters that night, Hank was deep in thought.
Reaching the door, Kim stepped inside and once the door was closed, leaned back against it. "Penny for your thoughts."
Sitting on the edge of the bed, Hank patted the spot next to him indicating he wanted Kim to join him.
"You know, watching everyone tonight made me think of how much I missed when Carolyn was growing up." Staring off into space, Hank had to blink and bring himself back to the moment. "I missed a lot of things in our marriage too. And I'm sorry for that Kim. I realize now, I could have tried harder. Found ways to be there for you and Carolyn."
"I think we both could have tried a little harder. I know I didn't make it easy for you and I certainly could have been more understanding, and patient."
Smiling at her, Hank decided to forego waiting till he could plan a romantic evening. Now was the perfect moment for what he had to ask.
"Wait here." Getting up, he crossed the room pull something from a drawer of his dresser, before coming back to sit next to Kim.
"I know we wasted a lot of time, both during our marriage and in the years after. But, if you're willing to give us both another chance," he heard Kim gasp as he popped open the small black box containing her original engagement ring reset and with two smaller side diamonds, "I'd be honored if you'd agree to be my wife, again."
As the Alpha base switched from dayshift to night, lights were turned off, personnel were sparse, and the halls were quiet. Parents tucked in their children, turning on night lights and leaving them to dreams of space ships and intergalactic adventures.
The nightshift nurse walked through the quiet infirmary carrying a small stack of files. Placing them on the doctor's desk she turned to leave, accidentally knocking a small stack of pill cases to the floor along with the doctor's purse.
Turning back, she bent and picked up the purse and three cases. Opening one and finding it partially empty; she placed it and the matching full case in the purse before carrying the last case out with her.
And the universe smiled.