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"Well I just heard the news today
It seems my life is going to change
I closed my eyes, begin to pray
Then tears of joy stream down my face
With arms wide open
Under the sunlight
Welcome to this place
I'll show you everything
With arms wide open
Well I don't know if I'm ready
To be the man I have to be
I'll take a breath, take her by my side
We stand in awe, we've created life…"
"With Arms Wide Open"
Chapter 1: The News
"Congratulations, Casey. You’re pregnant."
She stared at him. "I’m what?"
Dr. Williams was grinning broadly. "You’re pregnant."
She was stunned. She knew it was possible, Oma had altered her Quickening. She and Daniel had even talked about it a couple of times…hoping, wishing…waiting for the ‘right time’. She took a deep breath. She knew exactly when it had happened. In that hotel room in Denver. The first time they had made love that day it had been…different…special…so very special! A baby. She was finally going to give Daniel a baby. She smiled. A baby! A child of their own! They were going to have a family, be parents. Her smile faded to a small frown. A baby! What the hell did she know about babies? Or having kids? Let alone raising them?
"Casey? Are you all right?"
"I don’t know the first thing about babies," she whispered.
Dr. Williams laughed. "You have about eight and a half months to read up on them. And there’s this thing called ‘motherly instinct’. You’ll do fine."
His words reassured her, brought the smile back to her face. "Eight and a half months, huh?"
"As near as I can tell. I’m not sure if the gestation cycle will be longer or shorter due to the Ancient genes in you. Guess we’ll find out together. Later this week I’d like to collect more blood from you, see if we can’t figure out what has changed in your Quickening. If we can, we may be able to help other Immortal women become pregnant."
Casey nodded. "That would be great. Okay, so now what? Can I still go off-world?"
"That’s where I’m concerned. I know that there are other human cultures who allow their women to continue to go through the ‘gate when pregnant, with no obvious side effects, that we’re aware of. I thought I would contact your parents and seek their advice."
She groaned. "I doubt they’ll be the most objective people to talk to."
"Maybe if I pose it as a hypothetical question?"
She shook her head. "I don’t know that it would work."
"Casey, I’m not willing to risk you or your unborn child. I know that Daniel won’t either. Until I’m sure, I’m pulling you off the duty roster."
She nodded. "Okay, I guess. I have a debrief in about an hour."
"I know. I’m going to be there."
Another nod. The smile had returned once again, lighting her delicate features, her eyes were dancing with joy. "Doctor Williams, would you do something for me?"
"If I can."
"When you tell them you’re pulling me from the active duty roster, let me tell them why, okay?"
The doctor grinned. "I’ll do that. It will be interesting to see the look on Daniel’s face."
"What about my work in the gym?"
"Exercise is good for you, as long as it’s not too strenuous. I would suggest that you cut back the number of workouts you do a day. As you get farther along, you’ll find that there will be a number of things you won’t be able to do. We’ll deal with that as it comes. I’m going to give you prenatal vitamins. You’ll take one every morning, and one every night. If you begin to have morning sickness, and it becomes severe, I have something I can give you for that."
"Okay. Um…what about…um…making love?" Her cheeks turned crimson.
Dr. Williams smiled. "Won’t be affected in any way."
She smiled. "Okay. I’ll see you in an hour or so."
"Yes, you will." He smiled, watched her slide off the bed and walk to the corridor. The look on her face told him that she was off in another world, one full of babies and all the things involved with them. This was a good day. Days like this made the whole job worthwhile. He shoved his hands into the pockets of his white lab coat, a grin on his own face, and went back to his office. He had a report to write up, to be ready to hand General O’Neill at the upcoming meeting.
A A A A A A
Casey walked through the corridors in a daze.
"Hey, Casey, how’s it going?" Tony Sabotti asked as they passed near the elevator.
"I’m fine," she replied, her smile widening. She swiped her ID card, stood there for just a few seconds after the doors slid open.
Tony watched her for a minute. She had a dreamy look in her eyes. "Uh, Casey?"
"You gonna get into that elevator?"
She started, looked at the doors, then smiled at him. "Yep." She waved, got in the elevator, and pressed the button for 27. She was going to the briefing room now. She needed more time to absorb this news. This incredible, unbelievable news. She hugged herself tightly, bouncing on the balls of her feet. Pregnant! She was pregnant! She let out a squeal of excitement that had the airmen in the monitoring room watching her carefully.
She went into the empty room, sat down in the chair she always sat in, still hugging herself.
Jack saw her come in, watched for a few minutes, a frown on his face. It wasn’t unusual for her to be early to a meeting. Not this early. There was a look on her face, as if she wasn’t quite…there. She was smiling, he could see her eyes sparkling from here. Something was up. Something big. He could feel it. He watched her for a few more minutes, then finished up the report he had been reading.
"Hey, Casey. How are things in the gym these days?" the general asked her as he entered the room a little while later.
"I’m fine," she replied.
He started. That hadn’t been the answer he expected. Not the right answer at all. What was going on?
Sam came in next, sipping coffee and looking over her notes. Teal'c was right behind her.
"Casey Jackson, was your meeting with Doctor Williams satisfactory?" The Jaffa asked as he sat down.
Jack looked over at the large man. She had been to the infirmary this morning?
"I’m fine," she replied, her eyes not focused on anything in the room, that smile still on her face.
Teal'c raised an eyebrow, exchanged a glance with Jack. Even Sam was looking at her oddly now.
Dr. Williams came into the room, took one look at her, and fought to hide his own smile. She was still in baby-land.
Daniel was the last to arrive, his hands full of notes. "Hi, babe," he said softly as he slid into the chair beside her.
"I’m fine," she replied yet again.
Jack looked at the doctor. "Okay, what the hell is wrong with her? Did she get some alien virus or something?"
Daniel jerked, turned to look at his wife. She was staring off into space, a small smile on her lips. She had a…dreamy…look on her face. He looked at the doctor.
"I’m pulling Casey off the duty roster, for now. I have to do some research into her…uh …condition." Dr. Williams said.
"Which is?" Jack asked.
"Casey?" Dr. Williams said.
Casey continued to stare.
"Casey?" Dr. Williams said again, a bit louder.
"Babe?" Daniel said, taking her hand and wrapping his around it.
She jerked, looked around. "I’m fine," she said.
Jack grimaced. "So you keep saying. In fact, that’s all you’ve been saying. Doc here says that he’s pulling you from the duty roster. I’m waiting for a reason why."
Casey grinned broadly. She stood up, pulled at Daniel’s chair until he scooted back and was angled so that everyone could see him, then settled herself on his lap, straddling his legs with hers. She wrapped her arms around his neck. The others exchanged worried glances. Dr. Williams was about to lose the battle to keep from grinning. "Daniel, remember how we’ve talked about wanting a family, and how we wondered when the time would be right?" she asked.
Daniel glanced at the others, then looked at her. "Case, this isn’t exactly-"
"Let her finish, Doctor Jackson," Dr. Williams broke in.
Casey smiled over her shoulder at the doctor, then looked back down at her husband. "Remember Denver? When it was so…special?"
Daniel's cheeks reddened; he nodded slightly.
"Well, my heart, the time was right. Is right. I’m pregnant."
The silence that filled the room was deafening.
"You’re what?" Daniel finally managed to say.
Casey looked at him, her eyes dancing. "I’m pregnant. Knocked up. With child. Have a bun in the oven. Expecting. I’m…we…are going to have a baby," she finished softly.
Everyone in the room could see her words fill his head, knew the instant that they impacted upon his brain. His eyes went wide. His arms went around her, pulled her tightly against him. "A baby?"
She nodded. "A baby," she whispered.
She giggled. "To say the least." She settled back, her ass resting on his knees.
Jack was grinning from ear to ear. "Sweet! Now this is the kind of news I can handle."
"Congratulations, you two," Sam said, her smile as wide as her husband’s.
"Indeed, this is good news," Teal'c smiled.
Dr. Williams was grinning. "Until I’ve spoken to her parents, I’d rather not have Casey go through the ‘gate. I don’t think there would be any adverse affects, but until I’m sure-"
"She’s not going on any missions," Daniel interrupted, his voice firm, his eyes locked on hers. "Not in her condition. I won’t risk her or our…baby." The last word was barely whispered.
"Daniel," Casey objected, "I’m pregnant. Not dying. Women have babies all the time. A lot of pregnant women from other cultures go through the gate. It’s no big deal."
"It is when it’s my Wife and my baby," Daniel argued.
"I agree with the Doc," Jack said, ready to avert any domestic disagreement. "Until we know for sure, Casey stays here."
Casey heaved a sigh. "Boring."
"Tough," Daniel replied. He ran one hand up and down her back. "You’ll just have to get used to taking it easy." He turned to look at the doctor. "What about her work in the gym?"
"I’ve already told Casey that as long as she doesn’t overdo it, she can continue. Exercise will be good for her."
Satisfied, he nodded. He looked at her, her eyes so full of love and excitement. He hugged her, then kissed her sweet lips, just a soft, gentle kiss. Screw the meeting. He slanted his mouth over hers, slid his tongue into her mouth, telling her with his touch how much he loved her.
Jack had other ideas, however. "Come up for air you two," he said.
Daniel reluctantly let her pull her lips away from his.
"Okay, now that we know that Casey isn’t whacked out or suffering from an alien virus, let’s get this briefing started, shall we?" Jack grinned.
Dr. Williams stood up. "I’d like to contact Casey’s parents right away."
"Go to it, Doc," Jack said, nodding. He looked over at Casey. "Until Doc says otherwise, you’re off the roster. You can sit in on the briefings, and the debriefs. Okay?"
She nodded. She planted another swift kiss on Daniel’s lips, then moved back to her own chair.
He reached out and took her hand, held it tightly in his own. His mind was spinning. A baby. The woman he loved more than life, the woman he burned for, the woman who gave him her fire, was carrying his child. He glanced at her flat belly. Right there. Right now. His baby…their baby...was growing. Safe and snug in her beautiful body.
"Uh, Daniel?" Jack was saying.
He looked around, saw they were all looking at him. "Sorry. What?"
Jack bit back a grin. "Sam said you had some ideas about what this place might be."
What place? Daniel looked down at his notes. Oh, yeah. PX5 291. He shook himself mentally, focused his mind on his job. He took a breath. "Yeah. Right. According to the MALP and UAV images, the ruins there are extensive. It might not be the Lost City, but some of the glyphs I’ve been able to see make reference to it. This might be one of the keys to finding it…"
Casey was only half listening. Her hand had slipped down, was pressing against her abdomen. Her baby was there. Just behind her fingers. She shivered, the knowledge both exciting and frightening at the same time. So long. They had waited for so long. For years they had thought it impossible. Now…now…she was going to have a baby!
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