Here is the next installment in my Holiday Series. It follows A Place Called Home and will have a oneshot companion called Family Matters. I hope you enjoy them both.
A/N: I was asked where Cassie was during my Valentine's Day story and, I hate to admit this, but I completely forgot about her. I promised to put her in a story but I couldn't figure out how to fit her in realistically until now. I hope this is satisfactory.
Disclaimer: One of these days, I am going to buy the rights to this show but, alas, today is not that day.
Spoiler Warnings: None
Sam was restless. Due to the fact she was carrying twins and the risk her age presented, Carolyn had placed her on maternity leave early. She hated sitting around, doing nothing. And she'd been doing it for over a month! How was she going to deal with three more weeks of this forced inactivity? She felt like she was going stir crazy. She couldn't even help with the preparation for Thanksgiving. Jack had actually threatened to lock her in their room if she so much as opened a can of corn. She felt so useless.
But Jack was out of the house at the moment, picking up some last minute things for dinner tomorrow so she'd decided to tidy up a bit before their guests arrived. And they were due in just a little while. Daniel and Vala were flying in from Area 51. She hadn't seen them since the 4th of July party and was excited for them to arrive. She'd definitely missed them. And Teal'c was to meet them at the SGC then drive to the house. He'd been off-world for a few months, having left SG-1 to aid the Jaffa council. He seemed happy. Well, happy for Teal'c. She missed having him on Earth but was glad he seemed to finally be content with his role as a leader of the Free Jaffa. She knew he was also enjoying the time he was able to spend with Rya'c, and his family. He'd fought long and hard for the chance to see his family grow up happy, safe and free and Sam would not begrudge him that. She knew better than most how important family was.
Thinking about family got her worrying over Cassie. She'd invited the girl home for Thanksgiving but she'd declined saying she was on-call at the hospital. Sam was so proud of Cass, following in Janet's footsteps to become a doctor. Sam and Jack had both tried to convince her to take a job at the SGC, but she'd been adamant about doing it on her own, by her own merits. Sam couldn't fault her for that. In fact,, it made her even more proud of the wonderful woman Cassie had grown up to be. She just wished she got to see her more often. Sam had been disappointed when Cassie had chosen to stay on the east coast after university but she understood that, too. It would be easier to make it on her own without the rest of them hovering over her. Well, at least she'd promised to get time off to visit at Christmas.
Sam pushed thought of Christmas away for the time being. First she had to get through Thanksgiving. So, with that thought in mind, she got busy tidying up the house for their guests.
Less than an hour later, Jack walked in the door. He scanned the living room for his wife and his eyes narrowed when he didn't see her. She'd promised to take it easy. If she was up and about, he'd...
"Sam!" he called loudly.
"I'm in the kitchen, Jack." she called and Jack hurried to the kitchen, bags in hand.
"You had better not be over-exerting yourself." he said before he even reached the kitchen. He stopped dead in his tracks when he took in the scene. She was sitting on the floor in front of an open cabinet, looking extremely uncomfortable. "What the hell?"
"Not a word, Jack O'Neill." Sam glared at him from her position on the floor. "Just help me up."
"I don't know if I should." He crossed his arms over his chest and cocked a brow, Teal'c-style. "You did go against direct orders form the doc. I wonder what she would say if I told her-"
"Fine." he said with a grin as he moved to help his very pregnant wife up. "But I'll have you know I reserve the right to say I told you so for at least the next few hours."
Sam only rolled her eyes then went back to glaring as they made their way into the living room. He helped her to sit on the sofa then followed suit and pulled her to him, kissing the top of her head.
"What were you doing, any way?"
"I was trying to pull out the roasting pan. I hate having to put all of the cooking duties on Vala. She's supposed to be our guest."
"Need I remind you that she's the one who suggested she do all the cooking?"
"I know, but-"
"No buts." he interrupted and looked her square in the eye. "I know how difficult it is for you to be so limited in what you can and cannot do, but it really is for your own good. Yours and the twin bundles of joy you're carrying. If you're not careful, you could end up on bed rest until you give birth. If you think you're having a tough time adjusting now, just think of that. You have to take care of yourself so you can take care of them."
"I know, Jack. You're right." she said on a sigh.
"I love hearing that." he said with a grin that didn't go away when she punched his arm.
"You're a jerk but I love you any way." she told him.
"I love you, too, Sam." he said and pulled her in for a kiss.
They settled comfortably on the sofa, content just to be with the other and enjoying the solitude. Until the doorbell rang. Sam attempted to untangle herself from Jack's arms so she could stand up only to feel his hands push her back down, trying to keep her in place.
"Jack, I-" She stopped when she saw the determined scowl on her husband's face and rolled her eyes. She tried to cross her arms over her chest but realised her huge belly wouldn't allow for such a manoeuvre so she settled for glaring. She saw the mirth in his eyes but chose to remain silent, instead sending a glare to the back of his head.
"T, what's up?" Jack greeted the Jaffa as he opened the door. "What's all this stuff?"
Sam stood in time to see Teal'c enter carrying a tower of containers. Daniel was right behind him, suffering a similar fate and Sam tried not to laugh as she took in their equally disgruntled looks.
"Vala has been baking for the last two days." Daniel grumbled, sending a mock glare to the raven-haired alien standing behind him.
"Oh, stow it, Daniel." Vala said good-naturedly with a roll of her eyes. She was carrying a single container and grinned at Sam then back to Daniel. "You're just angry because I wouldn't give you a treat."
"It was just one cookie." the archaeologist mumbled as he started heading toward the kitchen.
"What was that, darling?" Vala inquired.
"I thought so." Vala grinned again then turned toward Jack. "Now Jack, I want you to take this to the kitchen and I don't want you to peek inside."
"Yes, ma'am." Jack eagerly took the proffered receptacle and sniffed at it greedily, grinning wickedly.
"Don't even think about it, Jack O'Neill." Vala warned. "I know a cosy little planet where I could drop you off and no one would ever hear from you again."
Sam giggled as she watched the two stare each other down then snorted as Jack gulped and turned toward the kitchen, muttering something about crazy space pirates. Teal'c smiled and, with a slight bow, followed Jack out.
"Oh, I've missed you!" Vala squealed pulling her into a hug.
"Oh, I forgot." Vala gasped and pulled back. "I have one more thing to retrieve from the car. Be back in a flash, Samantha." This was thrown over her shoulder and Sam could only blink and shake her head. Nothing ever seemed to slow that woman down. Sam decided to join the others in the kitchen, more than a little curious to know what was in all those containers. She walked in to see Jack staring at the round one he'd carried in, obviously wondering if it was worth suffering Vala's wrath. Sam cleared her throat and laughed when he jumped back a step, eyes darting about nervously.
"Relax, Jack. It's just me."
"I knew that." he scoffed.
"Sure ya did, Jack." Daniel smirked then came around the counter to hug Sam. "It's good to see you, Sam. I've missed you."
"Same here. It's strange not having you around." They hugged for another moment before pulling back. Sam felt tears in her eyes but brushed them away as she turned her attention on Teal'c and enveloped him in a similar embrace. "I've missed you, too, Teal'c."
"As have I, Samantha O'Neill."
"How are Rya'c, Kar'yn and Ishta?"
"They are well. Kar'yn is expecting another child soon."
"That's great." Sam was going to say more when something caught her eye. She turned just in time to see her husband trying to pry open the container. "Jack!"
He jumped and grinned at her sheepishly. Before he could make some kind of excuse, though, a familiar voice sounded from the doorway.
"Didn't any one ever tell you that curiosity killed the cat?"
"Cassie!" Sam and Jack exclaimed at the same time. Sam waddled over to the girl and nearly crushed her in her enthusiasm. Pulling back, she eyed her with a creased brow. "I thought you said you couldn't get the time off. What are you doing here?"
"It was kind of last minute. I wasn't even sure I was going to be able to make it until last night. I was planning on driving over myself until I ran into Vala at the SGC. She insisted that we not tell you."
Sam looked up and playfully glared at her best friend and received a bright grin in response. Once again Sam found herself rolling her eyes as she pulled Cassie in for another hug. "How ever you got here, I'm glad you could make it. I've missed you."
"I've missed you, too. All of you." Cass said as she pulled back and smiled at the everyone.
Sam couldn't help the grin that lit her face as she took in the group around her. She had so much to be thankful for this year and now she could add one more thing to her list.