A/N: Thank you to Shadows-of Realm for the beta and a happy belated birthday to you too. Also thanks to Crye4Me for the brainstorm. Lastly thanks to all you readers out there.
Chapter 8- Time Passing
The next nine weeks went surprisingly quick for Rodney, mostly because he threw himself head first into his work and barely took time to come up for air. The only one who dared to even attempt to try to coax him out of his work on a daily was the ever bubbly Cadman whose multiple attempts to draw the closed off man out always ended in abysmal failure. Even Sam tried to convince Rodney to relax a little and take a meal in with her when the Hammond made its weekly supply drop to the base. It always ended with a promise of next time.
It was the day of weekly drop and when Rodney was on his way back to quarters with his laptop and a huge stack of papers. The distracted man was not watching where he was going and ran full force into someone, sending his papers and laptop scattering in every direction. A perfect way to start the day. "Can't you watch where you are going do you have any idea how long it's going to take me to put those back in order?" It was like the old Rodney was back and that everyone should stay at least at arm's length.
"Take it easy, McKay." Sam did not see the blur until it was too late. She had seen the decline in Rodney's attitude and was becoming concerned about him and was afraid the changes in him over the years was quickly becoming undone. He had been through a lot in the last six months and she thought being isolated here away from everyone he cared about was the final straw and he could completely snap at anytime.
The frustrated scientist threw up his hands and kicked his computer, sending it further down the hallway. "You know what? Just screw it. Someone else can clean it up." Maybe he just needed a break from work for a while. "I think I will take you up on your offer this week."
Sam winced, "Sorry, I have plans. Maybe next time." She immediately felt guilty, as Rodney looked dejected. "I'll see if I have some free time later. Maybe we can go for a walk." There was obviously something he needed to get off his chest or he just needed a friendly face.
"It's okay. Just forget about it," Rodney waved his hand dismissively and was about to walk away when Jack came up behind Sam. Their stance was more than friendly. "I see how it is," he quietly sulked away.
"Rodney, don't be like that," she called after him.
Jack watched the interaction with an amused smirk at the scientist's tantrum. "With a display like that I think he still has a thing for you."
Sam rolled her eyes, "He doesn't. The last six months have been hard for him. McKay's not adjusting to being forced to come here."
"Are you sure you don't have a thing for him?"
"Really, Jack?" Sam shook her head in disbelief. "Did you read the whole report why he was sent here?"
"Something about pissing off the IOA. Atlantis being sent back to Antarctica and them tightening the collar on Woolsey." The general tried to recall as much as he could when he glanced over the report.
"And fired Dr. Keller." Carter shook her head at the typical O'Neill behavior.
"Quiet little woman with a wicked temper when you get her mad?"
Sam nodded, "That's her. She's also McKay's fiancée. They were..." she was interrupted before she could explain more.
"Wait! McKay is getting married? Since when?" Jack thought he should really have read the report. Here he thought the Canadian still had it bad the girlfriend he recently reconciled with.
"They've been engaged for six months. I thought you knew that. It wasn't a secret."
Jack shook his head, amused by the news, "Not all the gossip reaches Washington. So he is sulking because of some broad?"
"There is a lot more to it than just that. The IOA has really been messing with Atlantis since its return to Earth." Sam shook her head, having heard the complaints from many people.
"Isn't he a little old for her?" Jack raised an eyebrow. "I mean it's good McKay has found someone so he stays away from you, but I mean come on."
"You are one to talk," she started to laugh. Jack would always be Jack and that's what she loved about him.
"What is so funny?" the general acted confused. "Isn't he old enough to be like her father or something?"
"Not quite. They have the same age difference that we do. And if you see a problem with that..."
"No problem. No problem what so ever," the couple headed off toward the quarters Jack kept on the base. It was one of the rare moments that they could spend together and they were going to make the most of it.
Laura had seen Rodney sulk off and a quick glance around the corner told the story. Rodney had changed the subject when she tried to get him to talk about the woman he was going to marry. All she knew was that it was someone he met on Atlantis, but she figured Sam knew the details and that the crankiest scientist in the galaxy would only talk to her about it. Cadman made a beeline for the mess and picked up as much comfort food as she could carry and made plans to have a girl's night in, hoping she could the diamond shield Rodney put up around himself.
The days passed achingly slow for Jennifer as she began to slip further into a depression with each passing day. Some days she refused to get out of bed and she would hide under the covers crying. It disturbed the physician, knowing this behavior was out of character for her. There was nothing Jennifer could do to bring herself out of the oppressive funk. The more she thought on it, the more depressed it made her.
It was the third day of Jennifer throwing up everything that went into her mouth when Will and Scott had to step in. They had waited; hoping the depression would get better that Jennifer would begin to act like herself again. The concerned relatives knew she needed help before there would be lasting physical and emotional consequences.
"You got to do something. How much more of this can she take?" Will urged his son. This woman was not the normally vibrant woman that was his granddaughter and he did not know what he could do to help her short of finding Rodney. And it was not like he didn't try. Will used some of his old FBI contacts to see if they could find anything out and they were shut out so fast their heads spun. It meant whatever Jennifer was previously involved in and Rodney still involved in was ultra top secret and its details known to a select few outside of those directly involved.
"She's stubborn. I don't know what I can do for her. You've tried to locate Rodney, right? I tried is sister and she hadn't heard from her brother since right after Christmas," Scott wished he really knew what they were involved in and hoped there was a way they could get Rodney where he belongs. He hated seeing his only child in so much pain and knew there was nothing he could do to help.
"I have. You know the military and their super top-secret stuff. I've never seen so many figurative doors slam when questions were asked about those friends of Reindeer Boy. On the list of names you gave me the only one I was able to find anything on was a Samantha Carter owns a house in Colorado Springs, but the neighbors said they haven't seen her in six months."
"There is part of me that thinks Rodney walked out on Jen and she just doesn't want to tell us. Though Rodney doesn't seem the type to do that. I saw the way they looked at each other six months ago. I like the guy. It's just weird that he hasn't written Jen or me. I know before the emails were spotty..." Scott was interrupted by a loud crash upstairs.
The last thing Jennifer remembered before everything went black was a sprint toward the bathroom. Now the harsh lights of the ER made everything spin and her eyes quickly closed. "What happened?" She had seen a nurse checking her vitals in the brief moment her eyes were open.
"You passed out and your father and grandfather bought you here. I'll let Dr. Tuvok know you are awake."
"Thank you," her mouth was dry and talking was difficult. The IV lines in her arm were slightly painful; signaling that whoever started the line was a novice and there would be a sizable bruise soon.
Almost instantaneously an older gentleman with a stiff and serious face walked in. "It's good to see you awake, Ms. Keller."
"How long was I unconscious?" Jennifer did not bother to correct the title.
"About two hours," Dr. Tuvok looked at the chart. "Your father informed me that you've been very depressed lately. Was your not eating recently your way of forcing a miscarriage?" The serious man was blunt and held nothing back. He definitely would not be winning a Doctor of the Year award and his actions bordered on the inappropriate, but he had no patience for those with an obvious disregard for life.
"A what?" She wondered if what she heard was correct. This had to be a cruel joke someone was playing.
"You did not know you were pregnant?"
"Were? I had no idea. I lost the baby?" Jennifer feared the answer. It would break her heart if she had. She felt the world was truly against her, that a misery filled life was her destiny. She wanted to hurt the pompous man before her for suggesting she wanted to miscarry. The ER physician had no clue it was the exact opposite; that she wanted nothing more to be pregnant. A long winded rant would have to wait until she knew if her baby was fine.
"I was about to perform an ultrasound to check. There hasn't been any bleeding which is a good sign."
The words did little to comfort her. Rodney was supposed to be here when she received this kind of news. This was the moment they had been waiting for. "Get on with it." It was time to channel her fiancé's behavior. The nervous blonde clenched her fists to keep them from shaking, saying a silent prayer everything was okay.
Jennifer squirmed as the cold gel was applied to her stomach and her heart raced like a humming bird. Her eyes stayed tightly closed until she heard the unmistakable sound of a heartbeat. If she had not been a doctor, she would not have known what she heard. "Thank goodness." The first smile in almost two months finally found its way to the surface. It did not last long when the treating doctor's face changed. "What is it?" Jennifer attempted to sit up to see the screen. "What's wrong?"
"Have you been using fertility drugs recently?"
"No! My fiancé and I have been trying to get pregnant, but we haven't been trying long enough to try drugs. It was unprofessional for you ask if I was purposely trying to miscarry. You had no right to ask that with not knowing the whole story." The question could only mean one thing and it was time to address it. "Is there more than one baby?"
"Three to be exact." Dr. Tuvok turned the screen around and pointed to the three tiny sacs and their heartbeats.
Jennifer stated in disbelief at the screen. Natural triplets were very rare and fate was being a cruel entity to allow this to happen while she was alone. There was no greater time that she needed her other half by her side. "We have to get your daddy home," she put her hand over her stomach.
To be continued…