After the wake and bidding farewell to Hammond's daughter and granddaughters, the guests began to make preparations to go home. As Daniel helped Sam into the back seat of their car, draping a blanket over her heavily pregnant form as Jake slept next to her in his car seat, Jack approached the Archaeologist and asked, leaning on the car as Mark exchanged a few words with Susan,
"Which way are you going?"
Daniel gently kissed Sam on the cheek and replied as he got up, the car door still open, "Uh..." he closed his eyes in thought and then continued, "Following route 27 up to Amarillo and then across to Albuquerque. Joining route 25 and heading north through Sante Fe, and eventually through Pueblo. You want to follow again?"
Jack shook his head. "Nah, it's alright... we got Cassie as navigator. If I so much as move an inch from the route, she'll have my head on a pike... just like her Mom."
Cam joined them and asked, "You guys going straight home?"
Jack nodded as Daniel replied, "Yeah... we would have gone over to Cali to see my in-laws but it's already too risky coming out here in Sam's condition. Where are you going?"
"Oh... got a couple more days of leave left so I'm gonna see my parents."
Daniel asked as Jack smirked, "You taking Vala?"
Cam shrugged. "Last time that happened, we had a couple of bounty hunters on our tails... so..."
Daniel smiled slightly as he remembered events of previous years. "Take her. She doesn't get to leave the base much."
"Well, Mom could do with some like-minded company." He crouched down next to the open car door, next to Sam's seat as Vala joined them too, and he remarked, holding the Astrophysicist's hand, "You better not split on the Interstate." He leaned in to kiss her on the cheek and got up so Vala could talk to Sam.
Vala asked as she held Sam's hand, "How are you feeling, Samantha?"
Sam replied, her head against the seat rest as she looked drained, "I've been better." She smiled. "Have fun in Kansas."
Vala remarked with a grin, "I intend to without the pesky inconvenience of bounty hunters. Did you know that Cameron has a rather, shall we say, amicable associate called Darrell?"
Sam couldn't help but chuckle at the thought of Vala trying to seduce one of Cam's friends, and she sighed. "Good luck... try to be a little more subtle though."
"I'm all about subtlety, my dear Colonel."
Sam, amused, struggled to lean forward just enough to hug Vala before the dark-haired woman got up and waved at her. Daniel leaned over the car door to ask his wife if she was all right, and Sam replied, resting her head back again,
"I will be when we get home."
Daniel, concerned, checked that his son was ok, and Jack remarked as Cam and Vala walked away to Cam's car, "Mitchell's right... no splitting, Carter."
Sam looked about ready to utter an expletive but Daniel stepped in, closing the door before she got ideas in her head to get up and hit the General. Jack patted the Archaeologist on the shoulder and then called to Cassie who had been waving at him frantically from his own car,
"Hey! I'm not blind! And you took way longer than even Murray saying bye to Daniel and Carter! Napoleonic power monger..."
When Mark had finished talking to Susan, Daniel hugged the red-haired woman, saying with a smile, "It was great to see you again."
Susan replied when he had let her go, "Likewise, Daniel. And thank you... for everything. You didn't have to..."
He shrugged. "He's your Dad not mine... and I'm honoured that he made me Executor... but there are men and women who got more time with him than you did in the past few years... and he talked about you a lot over the years, you and the girls. It's only right."
She smiled and hugged him again before asking, "Is Sam going to be ok?" She waved at Sam, who waved back with a tired smile.
"I think she will be... it's not too far to get home."
"Hey, make sure you take plenty of breaks. It worries me that she's going to be on the road that long."
He smiled gently. "Thanks, Susan. Don't worry about it."
They bade each other farewell and then watched as the President's limousine drove away with a Police escort while some of the military personnel saluted, and Daniel got into his car while Mark got into the passenger seat. Before starting the engine, Daniel turned in his seat to look back at his wife and he said, worried,
"Sam... if you feel anything at all... even if you think it's gas, say something."
When she looked ready to argue, he raised his eyebrows. "No arguments, Colonel. It's important."
She began to look petulant before closing her eyes, and Mark chuckled, remarking as Daniel started up the engine, "We should have had you around when Sam was growing up."
They all waved as Jack's car pulled past them with Cassie, Teal'c and Walter waving at them, and then Daniel pulled out, smiling at Susan as she waved them off. As they left the street, Sam gazed out of the window at the setting sun, and she whispered, tears glistening in her eyes,
"Goodnight, Uncle George. God bless."
Daniel too murmured as he sighed, focussing on the long journey ahead of them, "Bye, Uncle George." Sentiments and words which were mirrored by Mark as well as they unintentionally led a convoy of SGC personnel back to Colorado.
As they drove through the Rocky Mountains as they approached the New Mexico-Colorado border, Sam's eyes suddenly opened and she grimaced. Not wanting to worry Daniel, she hid her mouth under the blanket as she tried hard to regulate her breathing, not wanting either to accept fact at that present moment in time. Eventually, she couldn't hold back and she whimpered, mentally kicking herself as she began to feel contractions.
Mark turned around to look at her, startled as Daniel, scared too and quietly exclaiming, immediately pulled over to the side of the road. Almost flying out of the car, he had Sam's door open within seconds as Landry's car pulled up behind them with Carolyn jumping out before it had even rolled to a stop. Sam, clenching her teeth as the pain grew almost unbearable, whispered,
"Dammit, keep driving... we're almost home."
Daniel said as he ran his fingers through his hair, upset on realising that she had been in pain for some time, "Why didn't you say anything!? You're going into labour! What if I hadn't heard you?!" Mark took a now crying Jake out of the other back door as Carolyn carefully got Sam to lie down across the back seat. Daniel, closing his eyes for a moment, said as Mark got his mobile out,
Mark frowned at him as though he had said that the sky was purple, and he remarked, looking annoyed, "She's in labour, genius."
Daniel shook his head and said as he pulled his own phone out, nodding at Carolyn, "She... she has a radioactive isotope in her blood which could raise eyebrows... it was a lab accident a few years ago. I'll call the base. We can't take her to a civilian hospital."
Landry approached them. "Already done. The nearest facility is an Army hospital at Fort Carson. It's off route 25, 160 kilometres north-north-west of Pueblo. After that it's the Academy hospital in Colorado Springs. Doctor Brightman has got a team flying into Fort Carson who should be there within minutes."
Daniel kneeled on the asphalt next to Carolyn, trying not to panic as the doctor said, shaking her head as she opened her medical bag, "She's not going to last that long, Dad. We've got to do it here."
A good few hours later of screaming, whimpering, and expletives from the Colonel, Carolyn managed to safely deliver the baby as a couple of State Troopers looked on, having joined the scene earlier to enquire as to why two cars had been illegally parked on the highway. As she did so with Daniel in the driving seat as he leaned between the seats to hold his wife's hand, a military Jeep pulled up with Brightman and some nurses jumping out and lending a helping hand.
Eventually, Daniel sat on the asphalt, gazing down at a squirming newborn in his arms with a huge grin, tears of joy in his eyes. He kissed the baby's forehead, whispering,
"Welcome to the world, little one."
He looked at Carolyn who kneeled next to him, thanking her, and he asked, surprised earlier that she had been prepared for such an eventuality, "How did you know?"
Carolyn shrugged with a smirk, "I've treated you and Sam for years... it's only right that your daughter would take after the both of you in being unexpected. So... what are you going to name her?"
He got up, watching Sam sleep on the back seat of his car, and he said quietly as Carolyn stood too, "Oh... we're in agreement with one name. Georgia. Just not sure whether Sam will agree with my choice of middle name."
She asked, "And what would that be?"
He smiled at her. "Carolyn."
Having been flown from Fort Carson back to the SGC, Sam slept periodically in an isolation room while Daniel and Mark sat with the latest addition to their collective family. Mark had been allowed on base on the condition that he wasn't allowed anywhere near the gate or control rooms and that the incoming wormhole activation sirens had to be switched off.
Mark asked, glancing worriedly at his brother-in-law, "So... my sister can't go to a normal hospital any more? What about her kids?"
Daniel replied with a shrug, crossing his fingers secretly, "They're fine."
"Is Sam fine?"
Daniel nodded, looking serious. "She is. I wouldn't let anything bad happen to her."
Mark patted him on the shoulder. "I know." He smiled as he looked at his niece. "You're going to have trouble with this one. Carter women can be scary."
Daniel chuckled. "Tell me about it." Jack, Teal'c and Cassie entered the Infirmary and gathered around the men. Daniel smiled at Cassie as the younger woman gazed down at the baby. "Hey, do you want to hold her?"
She looked surprised, and Daniel carefully placed Georgia into Cassie's arms. Jack remarked with a smirk,
"Jackson timing, huh?"
Daniel looked down and Teal'c said with a gentle smile, "I believe GeneralHammond would be greatly honoured to know that you have named your daughter after him."
Daniel nodded. "It's only right for someone who's reached us all."
Jack nodded too as did Mark. "Damn straight." The General looked at Cassie and asked, his eyebrows going up, "Can I at least hold my new niece, Napoleonic power monger?"
Cassie looked at Jack sceptically, retorting, "I'm sure Georgia is older than you, mentally, so that's a no."
"Oh fer cryin' out loud..."
Later, while Georgia slept in a cot near to Sam's bed, Daniel sat in a chair near his wife, holding her hand as he talked softly to her as she drifted between sleep and wearied wakefulness. "So anyway... I know you've always wanted to name our first daughter after Janet, but Carolyn brought her into the world... so..."
Sam smiled weakly. "We'll just use both names." She sighed. "God... I can't believe we've got a girl... after wanting one for so long. Now Jake's got someone to beat him up."
Daniel laughed, and she asked, "How is everyone?"
"Well, Mark's going to be staying over... he and Jack have gone to O'Malley's with Teal'c, Cassie and Carolyn. You know... General Landry gave him clearance to be on base... but so long as he's not taken anywhere near the gateroom."
She nodded. "Cassie told me earlier before he came to see me. It's much safer now what with the Replicators, the Ori and Baal out of the picture. There's less likely to be one of those convenient emergencies when you least expect."
He sighed as they both remembered the overwhelming odds that they and their friends had overcome to be able to be in a position now to live their lives. "You know what I'm going to miss most about Uncle George?"
She gazed up at him, and he continued as he weaved his fingers with hers, kissing her hand, "Sundays. They'll never be the same without him." He sighed again. "I've been thinking... maybe we should put Sunday brunch on hiatus for a while..."
She closed her eyes and remembered so long ago Hammond's words to her when she had been grieving over losing Daniel to radiation poisoning. He had told her a story that he had never mentioned since, of his best friend who had been shot down in Vietnam but who he had believed somehow to have survived despite the Vietnamese authorities not admitting to taking him prisoner or a body never being recovered.
'I learned to live with it.'
She shook her head, tears in her eyes once again, and she whispered, "Don't, Daniel. He wouldn't have wanted that." She sniffed and he gently kissed her.
"Ok. Maybe the pain will go in time, and we'll be able to laugh."
"How's Jack and Teal'c?"
He exhaled. "They're dealing with it. Jack's putting up a jolly uncle front, but sometimes I catch him looking off into the distance every once in a while. Teal'c... well, he's philosophical about it all... and believes that he'll live on."
"He will though... through his family... the SGC... and our memories."
He nodded, and she looked up at him, touching his cheek. "It's ok to cry, Daniel."
Daniel pressed his lips together before saying with a sigh, "When we get home. I don't want to be too sad right now." He smiled shakily. "I'm a Dad again." He kissed her forehead. "You have this habit of making me the happiest and the luckiest man in the universe."
She smiled as she closed her eyes again. "Good." He smoothed her hair back and whispered,
"Go to sleep, Sam. I'm not going anywhere."
Thanks for reading, reviewing, favouriting and story alerting! Very, very appreciated. It's helped shape this story and kept the muse alive between pokings. Thank you very much. I would have liked to have continued but it would have been yet another story that would have ballooned to about thirty chapters in a week from a single story idea. Lol. Glad though that you appear to have enjoyed this, my small tribute to a great man who was something to each of us. Thanks.