One year later:
"Nick!" Grace cried from behind her blindfold. "Where are we going?"
Her boyfriend grinned as he drove. "Just trust me."
"I trust you." She laughed. "I'm just curious..."
"You're going to love it, Grace." He said, seriously. "That's all I'm going to say."
He looked over to see a small smile settling on her lips.
It had been a tough year for them. The colonies had been abandoned once the mystery of the sirens and Amazons had been disclosed to Stargate personnel from the Pentagon, IOA, Area 51, Stargate Command, Atlantis, the colonies, and the various ships across the galaxy.
Upon his recovery after his concussion, he had found himself somewhat ill-at-ease with his work as an Emergency Room physician. Not long afterward, he applied and was accepted to be a researcher at the University of Colorado – Denver, studying the brain and its functions. Especially in areas of memory, stroke, aneurysm, and migraine.
He'd taken over Grace's care when she'd continued to suffer paralyzing headaches as aftershocks of the siren's song even up to the present day. The other doctors had insisted she suffered nothing less common than acute migraines; he suspected differently. So far, he had only scratched the surface of her condition. He hoped that her symptoms (and the underlying cause) would finally end, and that he would be able to provide similar relief to migraine sufferers or others who suffered the effects of the siren's song.
His mother was another of his test subjects for similar reasons. Her symptoms did not align well with those of Alzheimer's or even the normal forgetfulness of old age. His research had led to some relief of her symptoms, for which he was grateful. He hoped that sometime soon, her symptoms of blackouts and memory lapses would entirely disappear.
Grace lived in her parents' old house, and had been asked to oversee the scientists at Cheyenne Mountain. She'd been more than a little intimidated to take over her mother's old job at the tender age of twenty-five, but she had accepted in her mother's memory. Nick was certain that she was in love with her job.
"You're awfully quiet." She said as her voice pierced his thoughts.
"Oh...uh...sorry..." He said, biting the inside of his cheek.
"No, you're not." She laughed.
He chuckled. "Okay, maybe not..."
"Nick, are we almost there?"
He bit his lip as he reached the specified coordinates. "Not...yet..."
An Asgard beam engulfed them, and she grasped his arm. "What's going on?"
"Just wait..." He assured, gently, as they were beamed up again.
"Now, you can take off that blindfold." He said as they reached solid ground again.
She took the blindfold off, and gasped as she looked around her. "Nick..." She breathed.
They were standing in the living room of an almost exact replica of the cabin her great-grandfather had built and enjoyed.
"Surprise!" Daniel, Vala, Teal'c, Mitchell, and Jen Hailey cried as they walked out into the living room.
"You guys!" She cried, tearing up. "I...I...I'm speechless."
Nick smiled softly as she turned to him. "How did you do this?"
"I asked for some help. And Dad with all of his videotapes had some footage of the cabin. I had a restoration crew come to the cabin and piece it back together."
It was clear that she was overcome with emotion. "Nick..."
He stepped closer to her before enveloping her in his arms as he kissed her gently. "You don't have to say anything." He whispered as he hugged her tightly.
Cam Mitchell coughed after a moment. "Well...it's not that I don't appreciate the obvious sentiment of young love, but to be honest, I hear that Minnesota has some EXCELLENT fishing!"
Teal'c merely raised an eyebrow. "I believe you will be sorely disappointed, General Mitchell."
Hailey chuckled. "Come on, General...I'll show you were the bait, tackle and poles are..."
"Might as well get started on that poker game..." Vala said with a grin as she looked at Teal'c and Daniel.
Daniel shook his head with a chuckle before he turned to Nick and Grace. "You two in?"
Grace nodded as she turned to follow them, but Nick caught her wrist gently. She turned back, somewhat confused. "What?"
"I just wanted to talk to you...just for a minute."
"Okay." She said, standing in front of him. "What?"
He inhaled somewhat slowly as a look of nervousness spread over his features.
"Nick, you look like you're going to pass out..." She teased, gently. "Are you okay?"
He nodded as he bent his knee to the ground. He looked up to see her shocked face. "I...have been trying to figure out how to ask this for weeks now. I wanted it to be as perfect as you deserve..."
"Nick..." She whispered, realizing that her breath was trapped in her chest as her heart skipped more than one beat in anticipation.
"Grace, you are the most outstanding woman I have ever met. You are beautiful, wonderful, and I don't know why you would ever choose me – except that I love you, and I would do anything for you." He said, earnestly. He pulled out a black velvet box with gold accents. He gently opened the box to reveal a tasteful solitaire diamond ring as he looked back up at her. "Grace, I would be honored if one day soon, I could call you my wife." He managed a slightly bolder smile. "Will you marry me?"
Tears moistened her eyes as she nodded slowly. "Yes, Nick...I will marry you." She whispered.
He grinned as he stood, wrapped his arms around her and kissed her.
Standing in the newly rebuilt cabin, Sam looked at her husband. "Okay...maybe you didn't screw up the time-continuum..."
He shot her a proud grin.
"Yet." She finished with a sassy chuckle.
"Ah...but now I have you by my side to keep me from really messing up."
She laughed. "Is that why you married me? So that I'd keep you out of trouble."
"Oh yeah...that 'love' stuff had nothing to do with it." He teased.
She looked back at her daughter who was kissing her new fiance. Her smile faded into a sober glance at what she was leaving behind.
"Don't start that, Sam." Jack said, gently. "You knew this day was going to come..."
"I never knew it would come so soon." She whispered. "You and I hardly had the chance to grow old together before I was on my own again, and she was off fighting the bad guys in my place."
"Hey...I was plenty old when I kicked the bucket, darlin'..." He said, seriously.
She managed a small half-smile before she inhaled and exhaled slowly. "I guess this is it..."
"She's going to be fine, Sam."
"She's half-you, after all." He said, affectionately.
"And half-you." Sam said with a smile.
"She'll be unstoppable if she got the good halves..." Jack teased.
Sam chuckled softly as she looked back at her daughter. With a wave of her hand, she sent a fluttering breeze through the window.
Grace pulled away from Nick. "Did you feel that?"
"Feel what?" He asked, surprised.
Grace looked back to where her parents (though invisible to her eye) stood. "N...nothing..." She said after a moment of looking around to find some clue that her parents were there. "I just...had a chill..."
"Ready to go, Mrs. O'Neill?" Jack asked, looking at his wife after a moment.
She sighed as she nodded. "Yes."
He reached for her hand as they walked through the walls of the cabin in their plane of existence. "Trust me...what you thought you knew about this world is NOTHING compared to what you WILL know."
"And you're going to teach me?" She asked, skeptically.
"Hey! I paid attention this time, Miss I'm-a-helluva-lot-smarter-than-you!" He laughed as they began another adventure together.