New Hands

So many, there had been so many hands over the years. Sitting in this silent room, moonlight streaming through its softly curtained windows, Jack called to mind some of the hands he'd seen, touched and been touched by over the years.

He remembered so many different textures, so many different intentions and so many different actions wrought by those hands. He'd never given it much thought before. But it was amazing really. You could tell so much about a person by their hands.

His mother's hands had been soft, always gentle with him. He remembered the sweet scent of perfumed lotion always hovering about her hands. Then of course there was his father, a strong, no nonsense man with hands to match. Huge, unforgiving, those hands had delivered more than one well deserved spanking or worse during Jack's teenaged years.

To his great regret, he'd never seen Charlie's hands when he was a baby. He'd been overseas and missed so much. But he remembered clearly how his son's hands clutched the bat as he pitched balls to him in the back yard. Those small hands were so determined, so eager to please, to succeed, to hit that long ball and make him proud.

And Sam, her hands were truly incredible. Not as soft as his mother's, they'd seen action that had roughened them and made them stronger than they looked. He closed his eyes for a split second recalling the pleasure those hands had given him on countless nights, the gentleness and the passion they never failed to arouse.

But even Sam's beautiful, much loved hands faded in comparison to the hand now resting contentedly in his own, far larger one. This hand was dwarfed by his, filling less than half of his own calloused palm. It was tiny, soft, pale, and genuinely fragile. So far, it had done nothing of which to be proud or ashamed. Its history was still to be written. Innocent beyond belief, this hand was perfection incarnate. Simply studying it now, in the middle of the night, made his heart beat faster. Joy, awe, amazement, all of those emotions cascaded through his soul as he held the tiny hand in his. Five fingers, he'd counted them over and over while Sam slept this past hour.

In this first evening of the rest of his life, Jack O'Neill knew this hand, this pair of hands and the tiny life that belonged to them would be the center of his world from this day forward. Without a doubt, he'd be wrapped around these fingers more times than he could count. And he'd love every minute of it.

"Beautiful, isn't she?"

Jack looked up to meet the sleepy blue eyes watching him from the bed next to his chair.

"Almost as beautiful as her mother," he answered. He knew his eyes were teary and he could have cared less. As Sam would say, they were happy tears.

In the soft light of the birthing suite, Sam began to push back the covers and sit up. Jack moved to stop her.

"No you don't," he said. "I'd say you've earned a little rest. I'll bring our little angel to you."

And so he did. Though he regretted letting his new daughter go for even a second, Jack gently laid Grace Janet O'Neill in her mother's arm. Sam's eyes gleamed. Jack was certain he had the same dreamy look in his own eyes. Knowing beyond a doubt he'd met his match in this tiny bundle of joy, he sat down on the side of his wife's bed. They'd done this together, created this new life and she was beyond their wildest dreams.

The newly born infant quickly found Sam's breast and began to suckle. Though Sam winced at the still new sensation, she was soon smiling, finding Jack's eyes with her own as the baby fed.

"I can't believe we're here," Sam said. As she spoke, she reached out with her free hand to Jack. He reached back and took her hand in his own. Together, with Grace, these hands would build a family's future. With great care they would protect their precious daughter and her tiny hands until she could protect herself. And they would love her forever.

The End

A/N: Just a tiny piece I thought of after finishing Love Is Not Enough. Hope you liked it.