I'm on school holidays so I came up with this. I nearly went a whole different direction, but I like this one better. Enjoy!
Btw, please, please, please review.
Putting up the tree
Janet watched Daniel carry the tree into the lounge room, and set it down on the floor.
With Christmas just 1 and ½ weeks away, and 2 until Janet gave birth, Cassie couldn't get any happier. She had been bounding around the house for weeks, squealing about having a little brother. At the 3rd ultrasound, it had been revealed that Janet was having a boy.
Cassie strode out with a plate of chocolate and Cherry cupcakes and a bowl with mint-choc ice cream topped with mango slices.
"Do you want a bucket too, mum?" She asked, poking her tongue out in disgust, as she handed the bowl to her mother.
Janet smiled, and rested it on her swollen stomach, before taking a spoonful and eating it slowly.
Daniel laughed at Cassie's face, and then made his way over to his wife, where she was lazily rubbing circles on her stomach.
He picked the decorations up of the couch and took them back over to the tree. Cassie joined him and started putting the gold and white ball-balls on the branches.
Janet cried out briefly, and the half-empty bowl shattered onto the floor.
Daniel and Cassie were at her side in seconds, Janet panting and clutching her stomach.
"Honey? Are you okay?" Daniel asked; worry etched into his voice and face.
Janet laughed breathlessly.
"The little bugger is getting harder with her kicking. That's all." She looked down to the mess on the carpet, "Oops."
"Mom, are you sure you're okay?"
10 minutes later, the tree was fully covered with colourful decorations and it was Janet's job to put the star on the top.
Daniel helped her to her feet, and waddle her over to the tree, where Cassie handed her the gold glass star, while munching on a cupcake.
Janet reached up, and not for the first time in the past 9 months cursed silently at being so pregnant and so short. Daniel took the star from her and placed it on the top branch.
She started back to the couch, but stopped dead in her tracks when a sharp pain tore through her stomach, and she collapsed onto the floor.
Like a repeat of this morning, Daniel and Cassie raced to her side, but unlike this morning, Cassie noticed blood on the floor underneath her mother.
"Mom, is this...?" She already knew the answer, but needed to hear Janet say it. Janet nodded weakly, slowly recovering until suddenly, another contraction shot through her body.
Daniel cradled his wife, as she started crying.
"Cass, call an ambulance." he ordered Cassie. She reached for her cell, but Janet grabbed her hand weakly.
"There's no time. I..." She sucked in a sharp breath; "I'm already in Labour."
It was then that the doorbell rang, and Cassie remembered that Sam was coming over.
She raced down the hall and yanked the door open, tiny white snowflakes drifting in to the warmth of the house, and melting as they hit Cassie's skin.
Sam stood there, a black scarf wrapped firmly around her neck, and a blue parka zipped as far as it would go.
She seemed startled at how quickly the 17 year-old got to the door, but brushed it off as enthusiasm.
"Hey Cass..." She started saying, but Cassie had other ideas. She grabbed Sam by the wrist and pulled her down the hall to lounge room without a word, where Daniel was propping Janet's head on a cushion.
Seeing them, Sam raced to her best friends side, fearing the worst had already come.
"What the hell happened?"
"She's in labour already. Cassie, I need some blankets and– "
Daniels requests were cut off by Janet's screams.
Her breathing was becoming more and more laboured, and Sam knew Janet was nearly ready.
Sam squeezed her friend's hand.
"Oh god..." Janet cried, "It's time. She's coming!"
Daniel looked at Sam. He seemed frozen, as if he hadn't done this before. When he had helped Sha're deliver, he knew there was urgency, but a wanting to put it off. Sha're had know that when the child was born, Amonet would awaken and take her body back as a host.
"Daniel, you can do this. I know you can." Sam encouraged him. He looked so scared, but as he looked back down at his wife, a sense of determination crossed his face.
Cassie returned to the room carrying some old towels, scissors and the bag they had prepared for the trip to hospital. It had everything. A few small baby blankets, some clothes both for mother and child.
Daniel made his way around to Janet's legs and started removing the unnecessary clothing.
Janet looked at her friend, as she tried to hold back more tears.
"I've decided what I want for Christmas." She said weakly.
Sam laughed, knowing that Janet was trying to get her mind off the labour.
"A ten foot pole, so that if Daniel ever comes near me again, I can beat him over the head with it."
Daniel's head snapped up as he wrapped her bloody panties in a towel.
"Okay, Janet, sweetie. You can start pushing anytime." He said, and almost immediately, she did.
"But Janet, wouldn't a zat gun or a staff weapon work better. Just a thought." Sam laughed and if Janet hadn't been pushing, she might have to, at seeing the look on Daniel's face.
"One more, Janet. That's it."
Both mother and father/midwife were overwhelmed when it was all over. Their little boy was screaming for his first breaths, and Janet cried, as did Cassie when they saw the newest member of the family.
Cradling the baby in her arms, Janet closed her eyes and she could feel herself slipping away from the world. She knew why, and she also knew why she had held on for this long. But she couldn't hold on any longer.
They all knew she would die, but they didn't know when. But as her baby cried, and Daniel, Cassie and Sam rejoiced, Janet knew it was time. Her inoperable tumour was pulling her away slowly, to the light.
"Daniel…" she managed to get out.
The laughing stopped, as everyone in the room looked her over, and struggled for their breaths simultaneously. Janet was pale white, her brown eyes severely dilated, and they all suddenly knew.
Cassie didn't want it to accept it, neither did Daniel, but Sam…she knew it would happen and had tried to brace herself for it. It didn't quite work.
They raced to her side, and Daniel took his son in one arm, and his wife's hand in his.
"Please, god no." He sobbed.
"Daniel, I want you to promise me something."
He shook his head, unable—unwilling to accept it.
"No, Janet. You're not going to die. Please?"
"I am. I want you to look after them. Look after Cassie and our baby. Promise me you'll do that for me."
He searched her face, and his jaw muscles tensed as he nodded.
"Promise, me." She whispered.
"I promise, Janet."
"Choose a name."
It had settled into Daniels head now, that it was now. There was no way to save her. That didn't mean he wouldn't try, but he finally had his head around it. But if she got to ask him one last request, then he got to ask one too.
"Choose a name for our baby. Please?"
Janet didn't need to think about it. She had had the name in her head since she became pregnant.
"Fine. It's the least I could do." She looked at her new baby, and sighed as tears rolled down her cheeks, "Melbourne."
She looked up at her husband and found him in tears too. She had chosen that name, his father's name because she knew it meant a lot to him. He had never grown up with his parents, and she wanted to keep it in the family. She hadn't had the pleasure to meet either of his parents—not yet any way.
Daniel kissed Janet's forehead softly.
"Daniel, I love you so much. I'll always love you."
"I love you too Janet."
"And Cassie," Her daughter looked at her, and Janet placed a hand on her cheek, "My god you've grown."
"Mom, don't do this. I need you. We need you."
"I love you, Cass, but you're the woman of the house, now. They need you, not me."
Cassie shook head.
"No. You're wrong."
She stormed over to the couch and cried into the pillows. Daniel followed.
"Janet, before you say anything, tell me this. Would you let the Tokra save you like they did my dad? If you had the chance?" Sam asked softly.
Janet nodded slowly, and Sam hugged her friend lightly.
"You're the best friend in the world, you know that?" She asked Janet.
"Right back at you." Janet whispered. "One more thing, Sam."
"What's that, Janet?"
"Tell the general how you feel."
"For a dying woman?"
As Cassie and Daniel got back to where Sam and Janet were hugging, Cassie spoke up.
"I love you, mom. You can go now."
Sam pulled away, and let Daniel and Cassie have their space, but Daniel shook his head.
"You're apart of the family as well, Sam."
Daniel took Janet's hand again and kissed it, his tears falling onto her skin.
She squeezed it briefly, and then it went limp. She went limp, and her eyes fluttered closed.
As her heart beat for the last time, Janet whispered faintly.
"I love you too."
Snowflakes fell onto the silent road, the cold harsh wind gaoling while inside the Jackson house it went unnoticed. The warmth of the fire burning in the lounge room melted any snow that remained on the five sets of shoes in the hallway.
Jack cradled Mel as he sat in front of the Christmas tree, examining each present with either of their names on it. It was his godson after all. Sam watched with a smile, and from time to time, her eyes caught Jack's and she looked away quickly each time.
Daniel and Teal'c carried plates of food out to the table, and then joined the group. Cassie skipped down the stairs, freshly showered, and in a Christmas shirt and tracksuit pants. She had a red ribbon holding her hair in a loose ponytail.
On seeing each other, Daniel and Cassie smiled slightly. The Christmas shirt she was wearing had been Janet's while she was alive, but Janet had given it to Cassie her stomach had started to swell.
After a dinner of chicken, ham and roast veggies, and a bottle of milk for Mel, Cassie headed up stairs to set her baby brother to bed; Teal'c and Daniel cleared the table. That left Jack and Sam alone in the lounge room.
"So…when do you think we can open the presents?"
"I'm not sure sir." Sam said with a smile.
"Carter, we're not at work. I'm Jack. And you are?"
"Sorry, Jack." God, that sounded good, she thought.
"Not a problem, Sam."
Jack walked from his spot at the window, over to where Sam was sitting on the couch. He sat down; a safe distance away, wishing there was mistletoe above them.
Sam suddenly felt as if something was missing, then she remembered. Janet wasn't here. But Sam also remembered the promise she made to Janet minutes before she died.
"One more thing, Sam."
"What's that, Janet?"
"Tell the general how you feel."
"For a dying woman?"
Jack shot her a look.
"Okay…Jack. I…I made a promise to Janet. And you know, I'm not one to break a promise, so here goes." She took a deep breath, "I…I know we said we left everything in that room, but I realised life is too short to not tell someone how you feel. Clichéd, I know, but true."
Jack took a sip of his eggnog, trying to calm his nerves. He did what he always did when he got stressed. He cracked a joke.
"Is this how you told Pete that you loved him?"
Sam looked at him in astonishment and anger, and with a scoff got up, and stormed over to the other side of the room, to where Daniel and Teal'c were walking out of the kitchen.
"Are you okay, Sam?" Daniel asked, seeing her flushed face.
"I'm fine. The General wanted to know when we were opening the presents."
"Oh, uh, as soon as Cassie gets down stairs."
Seconds later, Cassie bounded down the stairs, but not for the first time since Janet died, Daniel noticed a difference in her. She acted happy, but he could see that the spark in her eye was gone. They all could.
"Presents?" Cassie asked excitedly.
1 hour, and lots of rubbish later, Sam stood at the door, a bag of presents in one hand, and her car keys in the other. She had her blue scarf wrapped firmly around her neck, and her black bomber jacket zipped up its full length, preparing her for the snow falling outside.
She said her goodbye's, got in her snow covered VW, and pulled onto the silent roads. She was so caught up in her thoughts about Jack, that she didn't notice him tailing her.
As she drove, she realised just why she had gotten so annoyed at Jack when he mentioned Pete. She had been pondering it all night. She realised that even though she had had feelings for Pete, she hadn't, as Jack said, loved him. She only then realised that she had used Pete as a replacement for the man she couldn't have.
And she had done something that she had sworn never to do. She broke a promise. To Janet. Her dead friend of all people. That made her angry.
Hot tears started to stream down her face, and she slammed her hands onto the steering wheel.
Before she knew it, she was parking the car in the car park of the cemetery. She climbed out, shoving her gloved hands into her pocket. She wove her way through the graves, towards Janet's. A small angel crouched at the grave, wings expanded fully, and Sam remembered those last moments of her best friends life.
She sat down on the snow in front of Janet's grave and sighed.
"I'm so sorry, Janet." She sobbed.
"I let you down. I tried to tell him. I really did, but…I couldn't do it. I love Jack Janet. So much it hurts. I wish he knew, because even if he didn't feel the same way, at least I had it off my chest."
Jack followed the path he knew Sam took through the cemetery, and he found her crouched at her friend's head stone, sobbing quietly, and mumbling.
"…I love Jack, Janet. So much it hurts. I wish he knew, because even if he didn't feel the same way, at least I had it off my chest." He caught the last of it, until she broke down crying.
He moved to her side, and placed a hand on her shoulder.
"He does know. And he does feel the same."
Sam jumped to her feet, but lost her footing on the snow, and tumbled into Jack's arms. She found herself loving the warmth that they provided, but made herself pull away.
"Jack? I…I didn't know you—"
Jack held Sam's body to him, and his lips found hers. There was a urgency in the kiss, that neither could deny.
They found their breaths and pulled away slowly.
"Say it Jack."
"I. Love. You. I love you Carter." Jack pulled away more and spread his hands to the sky.
"I love Sam Carter!! I will always love Sam Carter!!!"
Sam giggled for a couple of seconds, then pulled him in for a hug.
"I love you too, Jack."
Somewhere, above them, Janet watched with a broad smile.
"You didn't let me down Sam." She said softly.
"You didn't let me down."
She cast one last glance down to her friends, then turned back to the table. At the end, sat Melbourne and Claire Jackson.
"So what embarrassing story of Daniel's were we up to?"