FOUR YEARS LATER
Sam kicked the car door closed with her foot, carrying three bags of groceries in one hand and holding the wrist of her toddler with the other. Little Danny raised up his arms and grinned at her, pointing to the bags in her hand.
"I'll take somefing, Mommy," he offered sweetly, and she patted him on the head and handed him a loaf of bread as they crossed the front yard and climbed up on the porch. Sam rolled her eyes when she found the front door unlocked, and she shifted the groceries in her hands as she nudged Danny inside and hurried into the kitchen to set the bags down.
The cell phone in her pocket began to ring, and Sam shoved aside a stack of papers on the table to drop the groceries, keeping one eye on Danny as he emptied a tub of toys onto the living room floor.
"Hello?" she said into the phone, glancing around for evidence that her husband was home as she began putting groceries away.
"Hey Mom! It's me."
"Jade!" Sam smiled down at Danny as his head shot up at the name. "I'm so glad to hear from you, sweetie. Your father was really starting to worry. When did you get back?"
Sam smiled at the familiar sounds of the SGC in the background, squatting down on the floor and putting her phone on speaker so little Danny could hear his sister's voice.
"A couple of hours ago. Things were pretty tense there for a while."
Sam handed the phone to Danny as she finished emptying the bags on the table, listening to Jade tell about her mission and trying to read between the lines of what she was allowed to say over the phone. When she was finally free to sit down, she lifted Danny into her arms and carried him to the couch, settling into the cushions as his chubby fingers gently held the phone.
"How's Colonel Mitchell working out?"
"Oh, I like him a lot," Jade answered, and Sam squinted at the phone suspiciously. "He's really funny, but he knows what he's doing. We're supposed to go to dinner tonight, if I can ever get finished with the reports I've got stacked up."
Sam took the phone from Danny's hands and returned it to her ear. "Excuse me?"
"Oh, not just us," Jade corrected quickly. "Daniel's coming too, if we can drag him away from his Atlantis research. How are you guys liking D.C.?"
Frowning at the obvious change of subject, Sam helped Danny down from her lap and humored her daughter.
"It's fine. I think your Dad really misses Colorado, but we're getting used to it. I think-"
Sam turned to see Danny running towards the stairs, Jack reaching his arms out as he hopped down the last step, his shirt half unbuttoned and his damp hair dripping down his neck. He lifted Danny up and tossed him in the air, throwing him over his shoulder and carrying the giggling toddler over to the couch, where he plopped down next to Sam and kissed her forehead.
"Who's that?" he asked, pulling Danny into his lap and tickling his ribs.
Sam mouthed Jade's name, trying to hear her daughter's voice over the sound of Danny's squealing.
"Is that Dad? Can I talk to him?"
She traded the phone for Danny, letting him climb up on her shoulders as she watched a smile break out across Jack's face.
"Hey, baby. Where've you been?"
Watching as Jack chatted with their daughter, Sam's thoughts drifted to the past four years, and how things had turned out so differently from what she had expected. Who knew Jack would wind up as head of Homeworld Command, that she would be his wife, that they'd have little Danny in their lives after all. She now spent two weeks out of every month in Nevada, working at Area 51, and Jade had taken her place on SG-1. Daniel would be off to Atlantis soon, Teal'c would probably remain on Dakara…things were changing so fast, it was difficult to keep up.
"Oh, tell her we said hi too," Jack said into the phone, and he lowered it slightly to whisper to Sam. "Janet said to tell us hello."
Sam's eyes brightened and she nodded eagerly, wincing as Danny slid off her shoulders, pulling at her hair as he came down.
"Oh, okay. Well say hey to everybody from us, okay? Oh, and Danny's giving you a big wave…" Jack turned the speaker back on as Jade said her final goodbyes.
"Love you guys! Give little Danny a kiss for me! I'll be home in a couple of weeks. Bye!"
There was a click as she hung up, and Danny leaned over to yell one last goodbye, slipping off of the couch and returning to his toys strewn all over the floor. Jack stretched an arm out behind Sam's shoulders, and she leaned against him with a sigh.
"Things turned out pretty good, huh Sam?"
She watched her little boy pushing his wooden train across the carpet, holding his blonde hair out of his eyes as he made noisy train sounds and grinned up at her. She glanced up at the pictures on the walls…one of SG-1, of their wedding day, of Janet and Cassie…and one of Jade, her bright blue eyes shining as she shook hands with General Hammond and accepted her first position at Stargate Command. Sam leaned against Jack's shoulder and smiled, shaking her head slowly.
"You know, I can't imagine a happier ending."
Thank you so much for all of your reviews! I really mean it...it was so much fun to write this story and have all of you so into it with me. It was a blast! THANK YOU! :)