That night Sam was really glad she had insisted on a king size bed for their new house because her and Jack were currently sharing their bed with Charlie and Jenn. It wasn't often they let the kids sleep with them, but tonight Sam wanted nothing more than to have everyone that she loved close to her, and that included her children, who were currently snuggled between her and Jack.
Sam studied each of them, taking in how much they had grown while she had been gone. Jenn looked more and more like her every day, and if her teachers were right, had inherited her intelligence as well. Charlie looked so much like Jack it was scary. His hair stuck up in the same manner as Jack, and like Jenn, he had started using some of Jack's favorite sayings, especially "For cryin' out loud."
She caught Jack starring at her.
"I love you," he said with his eyes.
Sam just hoped that her eyes reflected the same thing back.
The next several months, Jack continued to search for a new science officer for SG-1, but more times then not, drew missions which required Sam's expertise or had an Earth side component. They took down Goa'uld on Earth named Seth, even taking Jacob and the Tok'ra representative Selmak with them on that particular mission.
Thor proceeded to send a message to the Goa'uld that Earth now fell under the protected planets treaty and anyone that wanted to mess with his new 'friends' would have to go through the Asgard to do it.
Jack had never been so scared of something that was that small and naked before in his life. But he was glad that Thor was on their side.
Next, they were all convinced that Daniel had gone insane when really it was just another one of Machello's anti-Goa'uld devices.
The knowledge that Merrin brought to the SGC allowed Sam to build a naquadah reactor, even if Jack was worried about the fact the girl didn't have an idea about what 'fun' was. An hour with him, Cassie, and some paint quickly changed that, and SG-1's return to her planet proved that one small experience had changed her life and the way the people of her planet cared for their children.
When an alternate Samantha Carter came limping through the quantum mirror accompanied by none other than Charlie Kawalsky, it didn't take much for Jack to agree to help her and Kawalsky save their world from Goa'uld control. He made his teammates promise not to tell Sam or anyone for that matter, about the two year old twins they rescued on the other side, each of them an obvious combination of Sam and Jack. Jack knew in that instant that he was being given a glimpse of his future; he only had to be patient and wait for it to happen.
The next three missions weren't picnics either as they almost lost Teal'c on some ultra-religious medieval planet, the whole team to some over zealous teenage soldiers, and Daniel at the hand of his own wife.
Jack could see Sam struggling with the news that Martouf had been captured by Sokar and the request by the Tok'ra that she use Jolinar's memories to rescue him. It wasn't until a month later, after the foothold situation, that he understood her concern.
Janet had called her back for some extra blood tests and Jack thought it was just because she wanted to check that the sedative used by the aliens had successfully left her system.
Sam let Janet escort her into Janet's office, affording them some privacy that they wouldn't have elsewhere in the infirmary. Janet's eyes sparkled as she waited for her friend to sit down.
Without any preface Janet blurted out the words, "You're pregnant."
Sam gasped and then held her breath, almost as though she was waiting for the other shoe to fall.
"Are you sure?" she asked, grabbing Janet's arm.
"I ran the test three times Sam. I'd say that's pretty conclusive," Janet assured her.
Sam smiled and got up, heading for the door, a plan forming in her mind as to how she was going to deliver this news to Jack. "Don't tell anyone please. I want to tell Jack first," she explained.
"I'll hold the report until after the weekend," Janet promised. "Just promise me you won't do any gate travel in the meantime," she requested.
"I promise," Sam assured her.
Valentines weekend had snuck up on the O'Neill household. Christmas had come and gone almost two months before, with both the kids receiving more presents than Sam and Jack figured they could actually play with in an entire week, let alone a day!
But despite the fact it was a weekend when most couples tried to get away, Sam and Jack made plans just to be with their family. The mission schedule the past few months had been so busy that it seemed like they hadn't had time to see either Charlie or Jenn.
Sam was already contemplating requesting that General Hammond give her a permanent reassignment to the labs so that she could be home more. There was more than enough work to keep her busy and she hadn't gone out with any team other than SG-1 in months, mostly because Jack still hadn't found a suitable replacement for her on his team yet or her expertise was specifically required.
They were getting ready for bed when Jack said, "I'm asked Hammond to assign you back to SG-1 on a permanent basis. He said-"
"No," Sam interrupted him.
"What? Why not? It's not like you don't go out with us all the time anyway," Jack explained.
"I know and-"
"If you're worried about the whole chain of command issue, Hammond was already thinking about ways around it," Jack offered.
Sam shook her head. "It's not that Jack-"
"Then what is it Sam?" Jack demanded.
Sam looked at him and sighed. "I was waiting until tomorrow to tell you," she paused dramatically, "I'm pregnant."
Jack gaped. "Are you… are you sure?" he asked, his eyes lighting up.
Jack smiled and pulled his wife to him. "I will be there for every second of this," he promised.
Sam looked at him in doubt.
"Well not every second, but as much as I can be," Jack corrected. "You are okay with this right?"
Sam smiled and rested her head against Jack's chest. "Very happy," she responded, and she truly was.
Everything was going great until SG-1 went on a mission to Edora.
And Jack didn't come back.
Sam told herself over and over again that he was okay, that he had somehow survived the "fire rain" and would be home when their baby arrived in five months.
"I'm fine," Sam insisted, not even looking up from her computer when someone walked into her lab this time.
"No you're not," Jacob Carter said as he came to stand next to his daughter. "You're four months pregnant, your husband is stranded on another planet, and the only way to get him home in less then a year is for you to build some device that physics says isn't possible. I know how much you want Jack home, but as your father, I can't let you keep doing this. It's not good for you or for your and Jack's baby," Jacob reminded her.
Sam's head dropped to her chest and her hand went to her stomach, the spot where her baby resided. When she finally looked up at Jacob, there were tears in her eyes. "This time was supposed to be different, you know? With Jenn, it was just the two of us. Jack's supposed to be here for this, he promised to be here for this! And the only reason he's not is because I can't figure out how to make this stupid machine work!" Sam exclaimed, tossing down the tool she had been using.
Jacob wrapped his arms around his daughter, holding her close to him. "It's not your fault," he repeated over and over again. When Sam finally stopped, Jacob pulled back and looked her in the eye. "I have no doubt in my mind that Jack wants nothing more then to be home with you and the kids right now, but he would never forgive himself if something happened to you or the baby because you pushed yourself too hard to get him home. Come home tonight," he suggested.
Sam nodded in agreement. She ended up going home every night from there on out.
And though she would never admit it, having Jenn and Charlie around helped ease the hold that had tightened around her heart, the fear that all of this would be for nothing, because Jack wasn't alive on Edora.
Jack spent the first two weeks trying to find the Stargate before he gave up, putting all his efforts into helping the Edorans prepare for the winter. He spent two more weeks camped in a tent until Laira and Paynan invited him to live in their home, along with their son Garan, whom Jack later learned was the product of Laira's first marriage.
Every moment Jack could spare was spent watching the sky, looking for a sign that someone was coming for him. His only hope was that Sam and their baby were doing okay, that she wasn't overly worried about him. As horrible as it sounded, he almost hoped that she thought he was dead rather then making herself sick trying to get him home.
When the expected day of arrival for their child came and went, Jack took the day off from what had become his routine to journey to the Stargate.
Or at least where he thought the Stargate was.
He was surprised to hear a constant tapping sound, as though someone was trying to break through the ground and reach the surface. Jack ran and pulled the shovel out of his tent, where it he had stored it months before. With a newfound need, he began to dig, desperately hoping that he wouldn't be too late.
And that whoever was on the other side was a friend.
Jack figured that they broke through just in time. Teal'c said nothing of his wife or children other then "They are well O'Neill." Jack took that to mean Teal'c wasn't going to tell him anything and that there was nothing overly right or wrong that couldn't wait until he got home.
The villagers helped them dig out the gate and the DHD, but it still took three days for them to get everything setup so they could contact the SGC.
"Come on through Colonel, we've got the door open," Hammond ordered via radio.
Surprisingly, he wasn't met by anyone other then Doctor Fraiser, who rushed him off to the infirmary for lots of tests with big needles. "Where's Sam?" Jack asked the first chance he got.
"She's fine sir," Janet informed him before sticking a tongue depressor in his mouth.
"Can I see her?"
"Not until I clear you," Janet answered.
"And the baby?"
"They didn't tell you?" Janet asked in disbelief.
"Oh. Mother and baby are doing just fine," Janet assured him. "Give me thirty minutes to get your preliminary test results back, during which time you can get a shower and something to eat and if everything is clear, you can see the two of them."
Jack skipped out the door on the way to his first shower in months.
Twenty-nine minutes and fifty-nine seconds later, Jack O'Neill stepped through the door of the infirmary. Janet Fraiser beckoned him with a wave of her hand to follow her. She led him down the hallway to a private room. She stood on her tiptoes to look through the window.
"It looks like they're both still asleep," she whispered before swiping her security card to give Jack access to the room.
Jack used his stealth training to move silently into the room, making sure that the only sound the door made as it shut was a soft 'click'. He took a couple of seconds to do a quick recon of the room. In one corner of the room was the bed that Sam was currently passed out on, looking exhausted, but otherwise none the worse for the wear. What captured his interest was the crib setup next to the bed. He noted that it was the crib he had ordered seven months ago from his woodworking friend. The exact same crib that Sam had admired when they had went furniture shopping. Quietly, he tiptoed towards the crib, expecting to find a sleeping child.
Instead, he found a little boy with Sam's blue eyes and a small tuff of dark hair, looking back at him, happily drooling all over a tiny fist. Jack reached down to pick the boy up, and discovered that he was wearing a gray infant onesie that said 'My Daddy's in the Air Force'. Chuckling quietly, Jack cradled the infant to his chest and began doing all the things that parents do the first time they see their children.
He counted fingers and toes, noting that there were ten of each, examined the face of the boy and realized that he had mostly his features, except for the eyes and nose, which, without a doubt came from Sam.
As the boy started to fuss a little bit, Jack surveyed the room and realized that is was perfectly setup for a baby. He pulled a bottle from the fridge and heated it up before feeding the little boy. Only after burping him and changing his diaper, did Jack look at Sam once more. She was still fast asleep on the bed, having slept through all the noise the two of them had made, reinforcing Jack's belief that she was exhausted.
Jack was tired too, but didn't want to give up his hold on his son. So he settled himself on top of the second bed in the room, cradling his son on his chest. Only then did he realize that the infant had a small bracelet on his wrist. 'Baby O'Neill' Jack read, causing him to smile. He had never seen Charlie at this age.
Jack drifted off to sleep, watching his nameless son sleep on his chest.
The first thing Sam realized when she woke up was how late it was.
The second was that Conner should have woken her up a long time ago because he was hungry.
The third was the realization that Conner wasn't in his crib, making her wonder who had him now.
The fourth was that given the time, and the fact that no one had come to get her, she had probably sent Teal'c on a suicide mission, one that he wasn't coming back from.
The fifth was that someone else was in the room with her, and whoever it was, was talking to her.
"Hey there little man, it looks like your mommy finally woke up," the voice said.
A very familiar voice.
Sam turned around slowly.
And what she saw was the best thing she had seen in months.
There, sitting on the other bed in the room, feeding their son was her husband.
Sam tried biting her lip in an attempt to keep the tears away, but the attempt failed miserably as she rushed to be at Jack's side.
Careful of Conner, who was happily chugging down a bottle, Sam threw her arms around her husband.
Jack somehow managed to shift the baby so he could get one arm around Sam and still have a good hold on the boy.
Sam rested her head against Jack's shoulder. "So I see you've met Conner," she finally said.
"So that's his name," Jack joked. "I'm glad that you took my advice and didn't name him Jonathan."
"Conner Jacob, actually," Sam admitted, "But don't think that it didn't cross my mind."
They were both silent as they watched their son for a few minutes.
"Can I call him C.J.?" Jack finally asked.
"I suppose," Sam agreed with an exaggerated sigh.
Still more silence filled the room until after C.J. finished eating, had been burped, and put in his crib to sleep.
"You did real good Sam," Jack finally said, wrapping his arms around Sam, "Real good."
"You know," Sam reminded him, "He is half yours."
"Yeah, but once again, I missed the biggest part of things, just getting to be here for the fun stuff."
Sam snorted. "If you think 3 am feedings are fun, then you are more then welcome to them."
Jack didn't hesitate. "I'll take every single one," he vowed.
With that promise, Jack put things in motion to make sure that he would not miss anything else. The addition of more teams to the SGC had left Jacob with more work then he could possibly keep up with.
So with Sam's approval, Jack filed his request for a change of position. Hammond reluctantly accepted, with the agreement that Sam would return to SG-1 at the end of her maternity leave. Jack thought that meant she would be the team leader, but to his surprise, a Marine Colonel was given the position as team leader.
Two weeks later, General Hammond revealed that he had suspected Makepeace was a traitor, and had placed him on team he trusted the most to find out if his suspicions were correct.
So along with a promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, Sam was given command of SG-1. Of course, it would be another at least another month before she would return to active duty and that was only if she pushed it, which Sam definitely wasn't. She was enjoying the opportunity she had to spend time with her entire family.
Like the night that Sam, Jack, Charlie, Jenn, and Conner watched, or in Conner's case, slept through two movies, one each of Jenn and Charlie's choosing.
"I love you," Jack whispered as he watched Charlie put his arm around Jenn during one of the more scary parts.
"What a coincidence, 'cause I love you too," Sam whispered back.
"Shh!" Two voices said, not taking their eyes of the screen.
Conner somehow slept through Sam and Jack's muffled laughter. After the couple tucked all three kids in for the night, Sam snuggled up to Jack.
"Did you ever think that you weren't going to make it home?" Sam asked.
"No," Jack assured her. "After the first couple of months though, I resigned myself to the fact it was just going to take a while."
"I'm sorry it took so long."
Jack latched on to Sam's hand, giving it a squeeze. "Sam you were four months pregnant at the time. The fact you built something that everyone said would be impossible to build in a little over five months amazes me. Sure, I missed out on things, but it worked out in the end. And I won't miss out on that stuff the next time."
Sam raised her eyebrows. "Does that mean you're expecting me to go through 'that stuff' again?"
Jack studied his wife. This was a trick question, one that he knew there was no right answer to. Hi only objective was to come up with the least wrong answer so that he could avoid spending the night on the couch.
"I have to admit that I would nothing more then to have a dozen kids with you, but given how your last two pregnancies have gone in the way of support from the father of the child, I wouldn't blame you if you didn't want to have any more kids. Right now though, I'm going to enjoy the kids that we have, do my best to spoil them rotten, and maybe we'll talk about adding another boy to the family somewhere down the line. What do you think?"
"If we're having more kids, we're having a girl. Your son kicked way worse then Jenn ever did," Sam complained.
Jack smiled, "A girl wouldn't be bad either you know. Jenn's turned out to be pretty good at sports, for a girl."
Sam huffed and elbowed her husband in the side. "Just for that, I hope that the next two or three are girls!"
Jack smiled triumphantly. "I think I win either way," he declared as his lips descended to meet Sam's.
Sam broke off the kiss to look her husband in the eye. "Maybe we should just get a dog instead," she suggested.
The change of expression on Jack's face made Sam laugh, and she smiled, letting Jack know that both things were still possibilities.
AN: Thank you for all your wonderfull reviews throughout this story, I really appreciated them!