Jack was pacing the corridor, waiting for Caroline Lam to emerge through the double doors around the corner. As soon as the EMTs had driven them to the hospital – Mark and Jacob had followed in his SUV and his own driver had gone home – he had called her, knowing there was a ship in orbit, ready to beam her over to Washington DC. He'd been hesitant at first, because if they called in a military doctor it would go on her file and the brass would have to be notified of her pregnancy. With Sam getting pregnant one of the first times they'd had sex, it diminished their credibility when denying they had been having an affair while she'd been under his command – not that it would be very easy to impregnate her with her being in another galaxy. However, he knew that with Sam's blood – the naquadah in particular – he couldn't let the hospital do extensive blood tests and Lam knew her medical background as well. At least she used to; when Sam had gotten back from R&D at Area 51 and been assigned shared command of SG-1 with Mitchell at the SGC. Jennifer Keller had been Sam's doctor at Atlantis, but as far as he knew – being her CO at the time meant he knew – there hadn't been any serious injuries or illnesses so nothing much should have changed. Well, nothing much with the exception of her baby and the car accident she'd been in.
As soon as Lam had arrived and he'd updated her, she'd gone through those doors to check on Sam's status and take over as much as she could. They were still waiting on an update, but he knew this was no walk in the park; they had taken his wife to the operating room in a rush and he had overheard the medics talking over the radio to the operator at the hospital back in the ambulance. Though he was mostly focused on Sam, trying to be strong for her even with her being unconscious, he had processed some of the medical babble around him and it didn't reassure him. Neither had the sight of his wife being extricated from the crushed car, or all the blood and her pale color. He was hoping that most of the blood had come from the cab driver who'd almost died instantly according to the officers on scene.
He was a soldier and had seen and done some horrible things in his career, but seeing a member of his team getting injured was always the worst. Now, Sam wasn't just a team member but she was his wife now, carrying their unborn child. He hadn't been this scared since Charlie shot himself with his gun. And his son had died. A few hours earlier he had found himself sending a prayer to whatever god was out there and, though he'd been raised Catholic, he hadn't stepped foot in church in decades. Being helpless was one of the most frustrating and scary things that could happen to him and he usually didn't handle it very well. It wouldn't be fair to lose the baby that hadn't even been born yet, a tiny human inside of Sam that still needed her nurturing and protection inside her womb, one that they had made with love. So much love… the child he'd always been secretly yearning for when he thought of his feelings for her all those years ago. It was true that he hadn't expected to have another child at his age and he was more than happy with his three kids. But when Sam turned out to be pregnant he'd been overjoyed, even if a little bit scared for the future. He wasn't sure how he would deal with losing another child… but losing Sam, that was unimaginable!
"Here," Daniel stepped in front of him, effectively stopping his movements and pushed a cup of coffee into his hands. "You look like you need it."
"Thanks," he mumbled, bringing it to his lips.
Jacob hadn't said much since the accident and Jack could only assume it was because he was slightly in shock and probably reliving memories from when his own wife died under similar circumstances. Fortunately for them, Selmak had taken over and had called Daniel on his cell phone to inform him of what had happened. Teal'c had volunteered to stay with all the children, while Daniel had taken Ilse, Laura and Cassie with him to the hospital. Mark still seemed in shock and his wife was hovering over him, neither seemed to realize that Jacob was either very quiet or speaking in hushed – Goa'uld-like – tones. Cassie had been very upset, once again confronted with a serious situation with someone she saw as her third mother and had cried herself to sleep, now lying with her head in Ilse's lap.
Daniel merely nodded before plopping back down in his chair, taking off his glasses to rub his tired eyes. It had been hours since they had gotten here and although that had to be a good sign – if Sam had died they would know by now – the tension and suspense was exhausting. This wasn't how he had imagined two of his best friends spending the day after their wedding. Or his own day, for that matter! They should have all been at Jack's house in DC, enjoying a drink and chatting before heading off to bed. Hell, everyone probably should have been in bed already! No way he was going back to Colorado Springs tomorrow with Teal'c, not when Sam was in the hospital! He hadn't been there and thus didn't know what happened on the road, but from what he had heard from Jack and the officers that dropped by earlier Sam was lucky to be alive. And apparently pregnant!
On one hand he couldn't believe they hadn't told him and Teal'c about the baby, but on the other hand he could somewhat understand and this was definitely not the time to think about it. He would have been glad not to know yet if that meant Sam would be okay! Hearing a deep sigh, Daniel turned his head towards the origin. Poor Jack! He couldn't begin to imagine what his friend was going through, he himself felt horrible contemplating what could happen to Sam and Jack had been waiting for her for over a decade! What would losing the baby or even Sam do to him? From his own point of view, there were only so many things a person could go through and Jack had pretty much reached the limit! He knew better than to ask how he was doing, though. Instead, he exchanged reassuring smiles with Ilse before glancing at the sleeping form of Cassie. God, when would they be able to leave all the bad stuff behind? How much more could they all take?
Sam had told them about her family very early on, probably in the first few months of the program. They had all heard stories about her parents and he had to admit that he hadn't looked forward to working with the Jacob Carter from her memories, but apparently Selmak had changed him for the better. Losing his wife had a huge impact on his life and Daniel knew what had happened to her, even though the details were vague, it was very similar to Sam's accident. Only this time it were Jacob's own children – his son being late to pick up Sam – instead of himself and his wife. A very ironic turn of events, one they could all gladly live without.
Ilse glanced at Jack, worried about him. She knew that he'd done a whole hell of a lot in the name of his country, but this was too close to home, too close to his past – to Charlie. That had nearly destroyed him and she was well aware of his feelings for Sam, as far as she knew he had never loved any woman – not even Sara, the mother of his child – this much. Getting confirmation about Sam's pregnancy should have been a wonderful occasion, joyful, a memory filled with happiness. Instead, it was bittersweet news knowing how severe the accident was and how many things could go wrong during a pregnancy, especially at Sam's age. Taking a deep breath, Ilse closed her eyes before she got overly emotional again. It wouldn't do, not now. Jack and Sam needed them to be strong, Cassie needed comfort as well. Slowly glancing down, she stroked back the young woman's hair as her head rested in her lap. It was strange; they were close in age and yet she felt more like a mother comforting a child than two friends. It was probably because of Cassandra's reaction to the news, which was understandable after everything the alien woman had gone through.
Rummaging through her purse, Laura found the pills the doctor in the ER had given to her, for Mark. He had refused to take a sedative, but he still hadn't snapped out of it. Her husband kept mumbling that it was all his fault and blaming himself wasn't making things any easier for any of them. "Here," she handed him a sleeping pill and a cup of water, hoping that he would fall into a restful sleep and would wake much calmer. When he didn't respond and simply kept staring right ahead, at where his father was sitting in a chair across the waiting room – looking like he was meditating – she grabbed his hand and opened his fist. "Honey, take this," she urged him, waiting for him to slowly turn his head towards her.
"What?" Mark asked, slightly confused when his wife's voice sounded. Looking down, he noticed a pill in his hand and the cup of water in hers. Sighing, he obediently swallowed the pill with some of the water, before handing the cup back to her. "I'm fine."
"Of course you are," she replied softly, not meaning to be condescending but she knew better than to argue right now. "Just lie down, it's been a long day," Laura added, patting the pillowed bench they were sitting on. It wasn't much, but for a hospital waiting room it was pretty much the best you could get. At least this way he could try to get some sleep. Maybe she could too and would be able to stop thinking about what had happened to her sister-in-law.
Pulling off her scrubs and gloves, Carolyn took a moment steeling herself before going to see General O'Neill and his friends and family. She scrubbed a hand over her face as she padded through the corridors. This was not what she had expected from her weekend, of the one of few days she had off. To say she'd been surprised to hear from the general was an understatement and she still couldn't grasp the idea of him and Colonel Carter having gotten married the day before, while she'd been cleaning her house! The two-hour time difference wasn't helping either but at least she'd been beamed over, instead of having to take the plane. But arriving here in the dark city of Washington DC after leaving her cozy home in Colorado Springs where she'd been reading a medical journal in the last hours of daylight on her couch, was strange. Not to mention the reason why! Of course, she had heard the rumors at work, she had been working at the SGC for a couple of years now but she had never expected for the general and colonel to get married as she usually didn't pay too much attention to rumors, knowing what could be said about a strong, powerful, good-looking and influential woman like Colonel Carter. It was hard to believe that was the same woman she had just left in the OR, looking pale and lifeless.
She took a deep breath, straightened her clothes and opened the double doors, ready to face one of the most powerful men in the country if not the world. Well, as ready as she would ever be, that is. "General O'Neill?"
Jack's head snapped up at her soft voice and he immediately jumped to his feet, noticing Daniel opening his eyes too and Jacob getting up as well. "Yeah Doc?"
"Sir," Carolyn jerked her head to the side, guiding him to a more private spot so that the others wouldn't wake up.
He nodded and followed, Daniel and Jacob right behind him. "Just spit it out, Doc. Is she…?"
She slowly shook her head, reining in her own emotions. This was just a case, just another patient… She had done this plenty of times before starting at the SGC, this was not the time to get emotionally involved! "They're still working on her-"
"Thank God!" Jacob exclaimed, although he hardly made a sound with his emotions in turmoil. At least he had calmed enough to take back control without breaking down. The time spent resting and talking with Selmak had helped.
"I knew it!" Daniel punched his fist in the air, silently chastising himself for underestimating the fighter Sam really was.
Jack didn't say anything, just let out a quivering breath slowly. "And…?" He prompted her, pursing his lips as he stuffed his shaking hands in his pockets.
"I won't lie to you, Sir," Carolyn replied calmly. "She's a fighter, I think we all know that. But her injuries are severe; there's a lot of trauma. Judging by what I heard from the EMTs she's lucky to still be alive; the cab driver and the guy that rear-ended them died on the scene. I mean, that cab swirled and a tree impacted Colonel Carter's side. No wonder the firemen needed the jaws of life to get her out of there."
"The baby?" He asked in a whisper.
Carolyn gnawed her lip and shifted on her feet nervously; she knew about his history, having access to his medical file – including psych evals. "In extreme distress, but still alive for now."
"What does that mean?" Daniel asked, furrowing his brow. He had an idea, but he wasn't going to rely on assumptions.
"That it doesn't look good," she tried in a calming tone. "There's a lot of internal bleeding and though the airbag and seatbelt are there to prevent further injuries, they can also cause quite some damage – particularly for pregnant women."
Rubbing his balding scalp, Jacob peered at her. "But my daughter is going to be all right, right?"
"I'm sorry, Sir, I really can't say at the moment," Carolyn apologized. "She hasn't been stabilized yet and right now they're looking for the cause of the bleed and will do a laparoscopy or a laparotomy, depending on the severity of the bleed."
"But you've been working on her for hours," Daniel argued, throwing up his hands in frustration.
Nodding, she acknowledged that, knowing the hospital staff had already started before she got there. "I know, Doctor Jackson, but there was a lot of trauma. Due to the side impact or maybe Colonel Carter was looking out the window during the rear-end collision… Either way," Carolyn frowned, feeling the need to explain. "Either way, the quick acceleration and then deceleration caused her head to violently thrust forward and then backward, which led – next to the whiplash – to injury of her brain on the point of impact and its opposite point, or contre coup, you may have heard of it. Bruising and swelling were the results of this traumatic brain injury and since the skull is an enclosed space, the brain had nowhere to go while expanding. Luckily for Colonel Carter, the staff here is very experienced and after getting her an MRI scan they immediately notified the neurosurgeon. He had to drill a hole in her skull to relieve the pressure of her brain; he was quick and methodical but we can't be sure of the damage until she wakes up."
"They drilled a hole in my daughter's head?" Jacob reiterated, horrified at the thought. "But she'll be fine, right?" he asked again, needing her to confirm that. His Sammie had such a brilliant brain!
"Again, I can't tell at this moment," Carolyn said apologetically.
Rubbing the back of his neck, Jack grimaced as he regarded her. "That's not all, is it?"
"I'm afraid not, Sir."
"Tell me, Doc," he insisted.
Grabbing his arm, Daniel turned his friend slightly towards him. "Jack, maybe it's better to just wait until Sam's is out of surgery and stabilized; we don't need to-"
"I need to know," Jack barked, shrugging his hand off his arm. He had gone through something similar years ago and he needed to be realistic, although he wasn't sure what he would do if his worst nightmare came true.
"The airbag caused some bruising to her face and there's a possibility of a hairline fracture in her skull, but we couldn't say for sure from the scan," she hastened herself to say.
"Can't you x-ray it?" Jacob asked, silently cursing protocol that forced him to leave his Tok'ra technology on the base. He always carried a healing device with him, dammit! Now, one of the few times his daughter needed him and he was actually here for her, he couldn't help her!
Pushing his glasses back, Daniel raised his brows expectantly. "Or do a CT scan?"
"No," Carolyn shook her head slowly. "The x-rays are dangerous for the baby's health and the cat scan uses even more radiation. Normally, the doctor would weigh the risks to the benefits, but at this point the hairline fracture isn't our main concern."
"The internal bleeding," Jack stated calmly, even though there was a storm raging inside of him.
"Yes. The baby is already in distress from the trauma and the extra radiation is unnecessary at this point. The MRI doesn't use that kind of radiation, although the contrast agent isn't entirely safe for a fetus either, but at this point it was worth the risk."
Daniel frowned as he processed this information, his eyes cast to the floor. "But the baby is only in distress? It's not hurt?"
"The perinatologist has done an ultrasound and is still monitoring the baby's condition but so far it looks like the baby is only in distress. Not that distress isn't serious, it is, especially with the Colonel's raised blood pressure. At the moment it's too high, even now that she is bleeding internally. We're assuming it's because of the accident and her pregnancy but she hasn't seen a doctor-"
"Thor and Heimdall gave her a checkup," Jack revealed, realizing it was in Sam and their baby's best interest. "She was fine, they even healed scar tissue and everything in her womb."
"That explains that," Carolyn mumbled to herself, recalling the comment of the perinatologist when she'd done an exam. For someone with Colonel Carter's age and career her body was in good shape, medically speaking. "The doctor confirmed she was about eleven to twelve weeks pregnant and in this case, that's a good thing; the female body provides protection to the baby and it's the best in the first trimester, before the body has to accommodate a much larger child. Still, even if they both pull through there's still a chance for further complications."
Jack winced at her choice of words, but looking at her he knew she hadn't realized it. "What else?"
She took a deep breath and rubbed her forehead before answering. "Well, a serious concussion from the TBI… Bruising to one kidney, a fractured rib, dislocated shoulder and her right ulna is broken, probably due to the impact with the tree. Her spinal cord appears to be fine and there doesn't seem to be any damage to her back."
"Thank you," Daniel gave her a wan smile. "Do you have to go back?"
"Yes, unless you have more questions?" Carolyn replied. Seeing the three men shake their head, she nodded curtly before going back to the OR, praying that Colonel Carter would be all right.
As soon as he heard footsteps, Jack's eyes snapped open even before his brain truly engaged. "Doc?" He squinted at the gray-haired man, recognizing him from one of the updates he'd given some time during the night. Crap! He glanced at the clock, realizing it was late morning already. Teal'c would be here soon with the kids, as Ilse had told him a few hours ago. She had called Matt to update him on the situation before checking in with Teal'c.
"General O'Neill," Alex Logan nodded, impressed with the man's keening ability to hear him approach. Obviously, this general hadn't lost his touch. They met five hours ago, when had given the man an update on his wife's condition.
"How is she?"
Alex allowed a small smile to grace his handsome features as he bobbed his head. "Your wife pulled through and she's resting now."
Jack let out a sigh of relief and dragged a hand through his hair. "And the baby?"
"Doctor Perry, the perinatologist has done an obstetric exam and another ultra sound. So far, so good," he nodded pensively. "However, there are still risks and the doctor has hooked them up on a fetal heart rate monitor. The baby is still in distress and its heartbeat is too fast at the moment; it has to slow down to a range of 120 to 160 bpm. We will continue to monitor your wife's condition closely, especially after the bleed in her spleen."
Jack silently relayed his understanding and sat back in his chair. "When can we see her?"
"It will be another hour before we'll allow any visitors and it will only be family, because she needs rest. There are still a lot of things to do and if the colonel remains stable we'll make another MRI scan, her arm has to be cast and there will be a few more exams."
"Okay," Jack replied, for once not ignoring the doctor's orders as he would have done in the past with ol' Doc Fraiser. He wouldn't do anything to endanger Sam's health now. When he looked up he saw Teal'c and the children round the corner.
"I will be back in an hour with an update and then I'll see if you can visit," Alex added as he noticed the man's attention wander to a large dark man with three youngsters and two teenagers.
"O'Neill, how is Colonel Carter faring?" Teal'c's voice boomed through the room, waking everyone who had been slumbering as he approached.
"Stable for now, Mr…?"
"Murray Teal'c," Teal'c replied with disdain, never having 'warmed' to the name as O'Neill once suggested. "You are Colonel Carter's physician?"
Alex nodded, holding out his hand and watching in fascination as his own was engulfed by the man's large hand. "Doctor Alex Logan, a pleasure Mr. Teal'c."
"Indeed," he replied solemnly.
"C'mon kids," Jack waved his children closer, waiting for them to settle down with him on the couch. Mark's children went over to their parents and Teal'c sat down next to Daniel. Luckily, Milou and the twins had calmed down since first hearing the news. Somehow, they had already known something had happened, or so Teal'c told him. They'd been quite upset, knowing their Mommy and the baby were in pain. Must be that ATA gene, he thought to himself.
"Where's Mommy?" Milou asked sleepily, not having slept much last night as she kept thinking of her mother and the baby.
"Asleep for now, we can visit later," Jack replied softly, brushing her locks back. Looking around, he noticed the doctor had left and shrugged to himself.
Raising a brow, Teal'c regarded the appearances of the Tau'ri, the Tok'ra and Hankan woman. "O'Neill, what has transpired with Colonel Carter since the last update?"
"One of her fractured ribs punctured her lung but they were able to fix it. They had to remove a small part of her liver but the bleeding to her spleen was fixed, almost resolved itself otherwise they had to remove it. So, that's good," he shrugged, exhaustion haunting him. All the worries and concern plus the lack of sleep were finally catching up with him. He definitely wasn't twenty anymore.
"Indeed it is," he acknowledged with a bow of his head.
"I'm sorry, family only," Alex said friendly, yet sternly.
Jack shrugged. "I'm her husband, these are our kids."
"I'm her brother, these are my wife and children," Mark remarked, finally feeling better now that Sam was still stable. It had been over two hours since Doctor Logan had been by, but at least Sam was all right now.
"She's my daughter," Jacob huffed.
"Sam and Jack are my legal guardians, she's like a mother to me," Cassie objected affronted.
Alex rolled his eyes and then nodded. "All right, but not all at once. You will have to stay here," he looked at the other people.
"But she's like my sister," Daniel cried out.
"Colonel Carter is indeed my sister," Teal'c affirmed stonily.
"Somehow, I find that hard to belief," Alex replied, looking at the dark-skinned man.
Raising a brow, Teal'c glared at the man. "A sister-in-arms."
"She's my sister-in-law," Ilse shrugged, giving the doctor a charming smile.
He automatically smiled back, before realizing something. "I thought he was the brother and that she's his wife?"
"I'm his sister," she replied, gesturing towards Jack, after glancing at Mark and Laura. "His Dad remarried."
"Fine, but only two people at the same time and no longer than five minutes," he finally relented, showing them the way to the Colonel's room.
"Sister huh?" Jack whispered, smirking at Ilse.
She shrugged innocently. "Well, kind of. She's my step-sister-in-law, I guess."
"Creative," he admitted as they rounded the corner. He had to hold the girls back by squeezing their hands. Luckily, Teal'c was looking after Nathan so he wouldn't have to worry about him running off. Finally, they reached the room and he immediately stepped inside, leaving the girls with Ilse.
"Are you sure you're okay?" Jack asked again, stuffing another pillow under her head.
Sam chuckled softly, slowly nodding her head. "Yes Jack, I'm fine. Being home is better than anything they gave me at the hospital," she admitted.
"Definitely," he agreed, sitting down on the bed and leaning in to kiss her. Even after her week stay in the hospital he had to be careful with her concussion, the healing ribs, the broken ulna and all the internal organs they had fixed up with some sutures. Smiling down at her, he gently pulled her shirt up a bit to place his hand on the small bump. The doctors had agreed to let her go home, if she maintained bed rest because of the baby. They – as well as Sam and Jack himself – were all concerned something could go wrong, but they couldn't keep her in the hospital for the full nine months, hooked up to the fetal monitor. The baby's heart rate was finally within range, but only barely.
Placing her hand on his, Sam squeezed it and smiled at him. "I love you," she mumbled.
"Right back at'cha," he grinned as he felt her skin heat up under his touch and the familiar white trails showed again. "Look."
"I see," she replied happily. "I hope this means everything is okay with the baby." It hadn't happened when they'd been in the hospital and it still seemed a bit faint compared with two weeks ago. She groaned as she felt a contraction and tightened her grip on his hand.
"Are you okay?" Jack asked, concern etched on his face. "Is it the baby? Or are you in pain?"
"Contraction," she grimaced, having experienced them a handful of times in the hospital, but not since two days ago. "I've probably moved too much as it is."
"Want me to call the doctor?"
She shook her head, lying back in the pillows. "No, it's gone now. I'm fine. You should go."
"I'm not going anywhere," Jack denied, glaring at her.
"You're supposed to take Nathan to his swimming lessons and do groceries for dinner," Sam whined. "He's already missed three lessons, Jack."
He knew that was right, but he didn't feel comfortable leaving her alone already. "What about the girls? You have to stay in bed."
"We'll stay with Mommy," Milou spoke up from the doorway.
Madison nodded too, holding up her favorite story. "We can read a story."
"Come here you two," Sam smirked, beckoning them over and padding the two spaces next to her as she was lying in the middle of the bed. "Jack," she turned to her husband. "The swimming is good for him and you'll have to leave me alone when you go to work too."
"I know," he admitted. "But I've taken the rest of the week off."
He shrugged. "Well, Hayes already knows you were in the hospital and you're on medical leave now, so he understood."
"At least it got me out of the Spanish inquisition for last Monday," she giggled, mindful of her ribs though as the girls climbed on bed with her.
Jack smiled at the three girls in his life and nodded slowly. "All right, I'll take Nate swimming, then I'll do some groceries and I'll be back… within three hours," he promised. Nathan and Madison had been born prematurely, their lungs hadn't fully developed yet but Maddy had recovered quite well and she'd also been the bigger, stronger baby. Nate, though, still had problems with his breathing whenever he played too much and the swimming was good for training his lungs. Plus, he liked it. "I shouldn't have let Daniel leave already," he mumbled to himself.
Sam simply rolled her eyes. "He had work to do, no matter how much he wanted to be here and help me. Teal'c had to go back to the Jaffa, Cassie had to return to her internship, Ilse has her own family and business to run and my Dad had to leave too."
"Mark," he suggested, even though he knew that wasn't an option.
"Please," she groaned. Her brother had come around a bit after the accident but he was still wary of Jack, which wore her out. It was exhausting and she was glad he and his family had to go back to San Diego. Nothing had been resolved between the two of them, he just felt guilty because of the accident. But he still didn't support her decision to marry Jack and he had even had the nerve to ask about Charlie when she was still in the hospital. Teal'c had succinctly informed him after which her brother had stammered an apology. She was just happy Jack hadn't been there. He had already mentioned how he was afraid of losing another child, he didn't need her stubborn brother to remind him of his firstborn.
"Call me if you need anything," Jack made her promise, before giving her a deep kiss.
"Eww, Daddy!" Milou protested, covering her eyes.
He simply smirked and pressed a kiss on both girls' crowns, before straightening. "See you soon."
Sam settled in to read the story as Maddy held up the book.
Watching the girls slide off the bed, Sam waited for them to leave the room before slowly sitting up. They were going to place the book back and get a cup of juice, before returning. She had to pee. Slowly but surely she got up and padded over to the bathroom. Dropping her sweatpants and panties, she sat down, rubbing her lower back. Ever since the accident it acted up every now and then, but apparently that was normal because of the rear-end collision of the cars. Peering at her panties, she thought she noticed a drop of blood and immediately the hairs on the back of her neck rose. Her eyes widened in realization and she quickly stood and cleaned up before flushing the toilet. "Maddy, Milou?" She padded over to the sink to wash her hands, waiting for the girls to return. Her phone was on the nightstand but she wasn't sure if she should go back, now that her back was acting up and she felt another painful contraction. "Maddy, Milou!" Sam cried out again, lowering herself to the ground as the pain worsened.
"What is it, Mommy?" Milou replied, shouting from the corridor before rushing in and opening the door to the bathroom. "What's wrong?"
"Get me the phone, sweetie," she replied as calmly as possible.
Doing as she was told, she ran into the bedroom, grabbed the cell phone and brought it back. "Here you go."
Sam quickly called the hospital, asking for Doctor Perry saying it was an emergency. While on hold, she told Milou to go back downstairs and take Maddy to the bedroom and wait there. The girl immediately ran off, probably wondering what was wrong as Sam felt another sharp contraction, making her clutch her belly.
"Doctor Perry," Sam replied through gritted teeth. "Something is wrong; I think I had a contraction when I lay down on the bed," she took a deep breath to steel herself for the next one, "and when I went to the bathroom I saw a spot of blood in my underwear. My lower back is hurting and now I've had three heavy contractions of my abdomen."
"I will send an ambulance right away!"
Sam groaned as the next contraction ripped through her body, making her curl in the fetal position on the floor. "Oh God," she mumbled, feeling a gush of… something, between her legs. Reaching down, she pushed her sweats and panties off and saw the blood on her fingers. "I'm bleeding," she whispered into the phone, realizing that the ambulance would probably be too late. "It's my placenta, right?"
"There's no use in speculating, Colonel. Just hang on until the ambulance gets there."
Doctor Perry had warned her about this; although a placental abruption was rare in the first trimester and usually occurred in the third, it was more often triggered by a car accident or something similar. She had told her all the signs and bleeding, cramps and contractions were part of those. The baby was only thirteen weeks old, it was far too young! "It's too late," she stated, more confidently.
"We don't know that yet, just try to stay calm and-"
"Oh no," Sam gasped as she tried to sit up. "Blood clots," she whispered into her phone as she wiped her hand clean. "And I think… that I saw, ah… some gray-ish tissue," she almost sobbed, trying to control her emotions.
"Colonel, please don't over-"
"For crying out loud," she yelled interrupting the woman. "I've read about this, I know what this means!"
"Daddy!" Nathan cried out as he climbed out of the water and ran towards him on the slippery tiles. "Something is wrong with Mommy!"
"Whoa," Jack easily caught him and lifted him, despite his wet body. "What are you talking about?"
He shrugged with big eyes and placed his hand on his chest. "I can feel it, here."
Jack looked at the hand covering his son's heart, feeling a fist close around his own. Shifting him in his arms, he reached into his pocket with his left hand and called Sam's cell with his own phone. When he got a busy signal he called the house. After a few rings, Milou picked it up. "Sweetie, it's me, can I talk to Sam?"
"Daddy, something is wrong with Mommy and the baby," she cried.
"Put her on the phone, Milou," Jack ordered, unconsciously tightening his arm around his son. "Sam?"
"Jack," he could hear her hiss, which wasn't a good sign. "I think I'm having a miscarriage," she whispered.
He closed his eyes in defeat and took a deep breath. "Have you called the hospital?"
"The ambulance is on its way, but it's too late…"
"I'm on my way, Sam," he replied, before hanging up. "We have to go, something is wrong with my wife," he told the instructor before running off with Nathan in his arms.
"Sam?" Jack called in panic as he ran up the stairs, Nathan still downstairs.
"Bedroom," she called back, exhausted.
When he ran in, his heart almost stopped. She was lying on the sheets, as pale as he had ever seen her with both girls on either side, an arm wrapped around her as Milou's head rested on her chest and Maddy's on her belly. "Sam?"
"I lost the baby, Jack," Sam said in a broken voice, silent tears running down her cheeks. The EMTs and Doctor Perry had been by already but it was already too late, the fetus' tissue was expelled from her body and after doing a painful and thorough exam, the doctor had given her the news. 'Luckily', there was no blood trapped behind the uterine wall and just-barely finished placenta. Sam had declined going to the hospital right now, promising she would call later today for a follow up to make sure everything was gone and that there wouldn't be any further complications since the doctor wasn't sure if it was caused by a placental abruption following the car accident or a natural miscarriage. Right now, Sam just wanted to mourn her baby.
Feeling his heart break, Jack walked towards the bed and, after kicking off his shoes and throwing his coat to the floor, he joined her on the bed. He lifted Maddy, allowing her to lie on him as he slid his arm under his wife's head and snuggled closer. "I'm so sorry," he whispered into her hair, before pressing a kiss to her sleep.
"Me too," she sobbed, burrowing her face into his sweater.
"Mommy, Daddy?" Nate asked, unsure of the situation as he walked into the room. Silently, he crawled onto the bed, lying next to Milou and placed his hand on his mother's tummy. "Baby gone?"
Jack brushed away some of Sam's tears, before looking into Nate's brown eyes over the top of her head. "Yeah son," he whispered, also placing his hand on Sam's stomach.
She frowned, turning away from Jack's chest to glance down at her abdomen. "That feels really strange," she mumbled, rising slightly – careful not to dislodge Milou's head on her chest and Maddy's cheek from her abs – to pull up her sweater.
"It glows," Jack remarked as there was a slight red glow over her skin. As sudden as it showed, it disappeared. "What happened?"
"I don't know," Sam replied, frowning. "But it doesn't hurt anymore."
"Oh," he frowned too, confused. "Well, that's good, right?"
She snorted, giving him a small smile. "I think you guys healed me," she commented as she ran her left hand over her abdomen. The painful after contractions were gone and her lower back wasn't hurting anymore.
"A little too late," Jack mumbled under his breath, scowling at the ceiling. When Sam ended up in the hospital last week, he'd told Milou to use that Asgard stone Thor had given her a few years ago to contact him, tell him to come right away. She had, as she had done many times when they needed him. Still, one week and the loss of another child later, they hadn't shown up yet. "I'm so sorry, Sam," he whispered again, resting his cheek against her crown.
He caressed her cheek with one hand, locking his gaze on her blue orbs. "I know how much you wanted this baby."
"I have you guys," she gave a wan smile, even though she meant every word of it. "I love you and you're enough."
"We love you too," Milou mumbled, her voice muffled by Mommy's shirt. "Maybe you can have another baby?"
Closing her eyes briefly, Sam bit her lip. Opening them again, she found Jack's warm brown ones shining at her with more love than she ever thought possible. "Maybe."
"Whatever you want," Jack whispered into her ear. "Always."
A/N: Well, that was it… Another emotional rollercoaster. Just remember to always put your seatbelt on… Hmm. Okay, so this was the first sequel, more might follow in the future but for now I am focusing on other fics. Suggestions are, as always, very welcome.