Well, this is just going to be a short installation of the Time After Time series. I was listening to my Natalie Grant CDs today, and her song "Always be Your Baby" wouldn't leave me alone, so out came this short song-fic-like continuation of the series. It'll only be two or three chapters, and it's a tribute to the relationship between father and daughter, Daniel and Janet. I hope you enjoy this begining, and please let me know what you think and if ya want the rest. :) Thanks!
2035: I'll Always be Your Baby
Thanksgiving Day, 2035, 2:21 p.m.--Colorado Springs, Colorado--the Jackson home
"Mommy, where'd grandpa go?" Alyssa pouted, crawling up into the kitchen chair beside her mother.
"I think he and your dad left," Janet told the four year old, before turning her attention back to the baby she was bottle-feeding in her arms.
Vala answered from across the kitchen. "They went to the store for me. Though it only required one of them; I don't know why the men must always go everywhere together."
"Charlie's with them, too," Adrian added, coming in from the living room with a book. He dropped into one of the remaining chairs at the small kitchen table. At sixteen, he was Janet's youngest sibling.
"Do we gotta go home after dinner, Mommy?" Alyssa asked suddenly. "I wanna stay here longer…"
"Home's just across town, silly," Janet chuckled. "You'll see grandma and grandpa again soon."
Adrian smiled and leaned forward toward his oldest niece. "And Christmas is soon. It'll be here before you know it and you'll be back here. If it helps, I'll miss you."
"Aww." Alyssa smiled and hugged him. "I love you too, Uncle Adrian."
He soon went back into the living room to read, and Janet was left with her mother and two daughters. Two daughters…Things had changed so much in just a few years. She didn't even live here with Mom and Dad anymore, not for a long time. She and Travis and their family had their own home, and their own careers at the SGC.
"How much longer is it gonna take to feed Lindsey?"
"Not much longer….ah. Yep, she's done," Janet said, setting the bottle on the table and wiping around the baby's mouth. "You were a hungry little girl, weren't you?" She was only a month old, too. "But anyway…why don't you go play, Alyssa?"
"I don't want to. I wanna stay here. Tell me a story."
"Anything. About…grandpa. You always got cool stories about grandpa, and old places and stuff. Yeah. About grandpa when he wasn't old."
Janet resisted the urge to burst out laughing. She exchanged a look with her mother, who was smothering a wide grin and hysterical giggle along with her. "Sure. I've got plenty of those."
She searched her memory for a good story she hadn't told, and found plenty. But before she knew what she was doing, Janet found herself lost in memories and forgetting her daughter beside her waiting for a telling.
You were my first love
Always there for me
You taught me how to walk
And how to dream
Janet always followed Daniel around the entire day after returning from any extended mission. Occasionally it was Vala instead, but more often than not it was her father she clamped onto. It wasn't unexpected of a three year old, but it was still amusing. This time they'd had to be gone almost a week, and Janet would not let go of his leg.
Daniel chuckled and picked her up, which was the only alternative she would allow. "You're one string kid, you know that?"
"I misseded you," the girl pouted.
"What about Mommy?"
"Then why don't you go hang out with her?" he grinned. "I love you, but I'm never going to get ay of these translations done with you on my leg."
Janet blinked. "Tra-la-kun?"
"No, translation. But it's okay. You're only three."
She shook her head stubbornly, and her face twisted into a thinking look for a long moment. "Trans-la…tion."
Daniel's eyebrows went up. "That's good."
"Translation!" she exulted. "Daddy does translations!" Then Janet frowned again. "What that mean?"
He laughed again and turned her to look at the pictures of the artifacts on his desk in his office at home that he was working to translate. "See these symbols? They're in another language. That means it's from people who don't talk the same way we do. I have to know what these symbols mean, and put the message in English, our language, what we speak, so that we can understand it. Get it?"
"Ohhhhh." She nodded. "I think so…."
Daniel could see that he was never going to get her to leave now, so he stood with her, pulled over another chair, and sat her in it. "Okay. How about you stay here with me while I do it, and I'll tell you more."
Janet nodded enthusiastically. "I wanna know other langages! Daddy knows a lot of 'em, right?"
"Yep. I sure do. I can teach you sometime if you want," he told her honestly, happy that his only child was showing interest in what he did. Maybe it would fade as she got older but why not teach her while she liked it?
"Yay!" Janet clapped.
God gave me your eyes
But it was you who showed me how to see
Now I can stand on my own
But I know you'll never let go
"You've never let me on the roof before," Janet whispered as Daniel finished helping her up the ladder and on top of the house. In the dark, he pulled her farther on until they were sitting in a perfect spot to see the stars. They weren't deep in the city, so if one got up here it was still easy enough to see them relatively well.
"I know," he smiled. "But now that you know about the stargate, I thought it might be a good time to start letting you. But you're only seven, so you still have to bring me with you to come up here--for a while, anyway. Okay?"
She nodded and leaned back against him so she could see up better. Daniel wrapped his arms around her. They were silent for a long while, until she spoke again quietly.
"Daddy…am I ever going to have a brother or sister?"
That seemed to startle him a little. "Well…why do we need another kid if we've already got such a great one?" he joked.
She scowled. "Daddy, really. I wanna have a brother or sister."
"Maybe you will sometime."
She looked up at him. "Really?"
"I hope so, anyway."
Janet smiled and fell silent again, until she asked tentatively, "You'll still love me the same if you have another kid, right, Daddy?"
Daniel's eyebrows went up. "Of course. If I had a million kids I'd still love you just as much, silly."
She grinned. "Good." Then she turned around to look at the stars again. "So you really go out there all the time?"
"Yep. Maybe someday I can take you."
I'll always be your baby
No matter how the years fly by
The way you loved me made me
Who I am in this world
I'm a woman now, not a little girl
Janet flew into her father's arms as soon he answered the door. "I'm home!" she exclaimed, laughing.
"Whoa!" Daniel chuckled, hugging her hard and trying not to fall over. "Hey, sweetie. We could have picked you up at the airport, you know."
"I know, but I didn't want you to go to the trouble. At least you listened to me and waited at home this time," she giggled. Vala came in from the kitchen, and she was wrapped around her mother next.
"I can't believe I've already been through three whole years of college," she sighed as she let go of Vala. "You know, I like Chicago, but I'm glad to be home for the summer. I'm even more glad I already arranged to do my Masters and PhD from here. Doing a double major and being away from home most of the time can get stressful."
Daniel smiled fondly. "I bet. But you're doing a great job. We're so proud of you." He would have felt that way no matter what the double majors were in, but it made him even prouder that they were Egyptology and Linguistics.
Vala gave her daughter a peck on the cheek. "And it's hard to believe you're twenty already."
"Our baby's not a teenager anymore," Daniel added, smothering her with another embrace.
"Dad, dad! I get it! Can I please find my brothers now?"
"Janet!" Adrian and Charlie, her ten and eleven year old brothers, bounded out of the living room in typical fashion to meet her.
Some things never change, she thought to herself, as she laughed and hugged both of them.
Wherever this life takes me,
I'll always be your baby
Janet dropped into a chair in the living room. "Travis isn't here yet," she grumbled.
Vala looked over from her perch on the couch where she was watching the news. "How many times this summer have you gone out with that boy?" she asked, smirking a little in amusement.
"It doesn't matter, and we are not going out," she told her. "We're just really good friends. I've known him since I was seven, you know. And he's not a boy. He's in his twenties."
"If you say so, dear."
"Janet's got a boyfriend! Janet's got a boyfriend!"
"Cool it, Charlie!" Janet barked at her brother as he ran through the living room and out again. He hurried up the stair to his room to get away.
The doorbell rang a moment later, and she practically leaped from the armchair and grabbed her purse. "There he is! Bye!" Seconds later, she was out the door and gone, leaving the house feeling like tornado had come and gone.
Vala shook her head. "That girl is acting like she's sixteen again."
Daniel, who had seen the whole thing from the kitchen, came to the doorway and leaned against it. He watched out the living room windows, grinning to himself, as Janet and Travis drove off.
"What's wrong with that?"
You are my hero
And that will never change
You still can dry my tears
With just a smile
"That's my girl," Daniel sighed happily, holding onto his daughter tightly and trying to keep the tears at bay at the same time. "Our first college graduate, Vala!"
Vala embraced her from the other side, and Janet pulled back a moment later and looked at both of them. "I couldn't have done it without either of you. Dad...you're the one who got me started on all of this tough. And hey, these are only bachelor's degrees! I've still got a long way to go," she grinned through her own tears.
"But you're going to do it from Colorado, which makes me even happier," Daniel smiled, and hugged her again.
"Thank you so much," Janet whispered.
With the ceremonies over, and most of her goodbyes already done, it wasn't too much longer before they were headed for the airport. Daniel leaned over and whispered to her in amusement as the call for their gate was made.
"We'd better get going. There's someone waiting for you at home."
The one I've leaned on
From my first steps
To walking down the aisle
"I still don't believe this," Janet cried with joy as she looked at the ring on her finger. She was sitting at the kitchen table, her parents hovering over her.
"I knew it wouldn't be long," Vala grinned.
Daniel sat down beside her and kept a hand on her knee. "Travis is a great young man. I'm so glad the two of you are going to be together," he smiled.
"Me too!" She scrubbed at her face to dry it. "But wow, was I not ready for this."
"Do you want to do this now?" Daniel asked gently.
"Of course! I just wasn't looking for him to ask me now. I just graduated and all…wow…"
From behind her chair Vala put an arm around her shoulders. "Are you all right, dear?"
Janet laughed and leaned against Daniel. "I'm more than fine…"
Daniel wrapped his arms around her and kissed the top of her head. "I love you, sweetheart. And we're behind you one hundred percent."
Now there's another man in my life
But I know by the look in your eyes
I'll always be your baby
They heard the music begin to play, and Janet's arms tightened around one of Daniel's. This wasn't the rehearsal anymore.
"Dad…Dad..." she said anxiously.
Daniel turned her around to face him, extracting his arm to put his hands on her shoulders. "Janet, deep breath," he commanded. She obeyed, and he continued. "You love him, and you're happy, and you're going to be fine," he smiled. "You're ready for this."
She relaxed and smiled and smiled at him. "How many weddings have you been in?" she asked, quirking an eyebrow.
"Ooo, that's hard uhm…mine, Jack and Sam's, Cam and Carolyn's, Skaara and Cassie's, this one…which about…enough," he chuckled. "But I'm happy to be here."
"I know you are," she sighed. Then she hugged him tight. "Thank you so much…for everything…I love you, Daddy."
"I love you too," he whispered.
The line moved in front of them, and they let go of each other and turned.
"Time to go," Daniel told her.