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Out of the Blue
She had a death grip on his hand as Dr. Montigue moved the probe carefully. 'Relax, babe. Everything is going to be all right.'
'Even if it's not our baby?'
He smiled. 'If you're carrying it, I think that gives us the right to call it ours, don't you?' His smile widened at the rush of love that washed over him. He gently returned his, letting her feel just how deeply he loved her.
"Well, this baby is at forty-seven days gestation. And everything looks normal," the doctor announced. "Set up a tray for an amniocentesis and a embryonic blood draw," he instructed the nurse.
The team was waiting anxiously in the hallway. Sam had alerted them to the newest possibility of the situation. While each heart secretly hoped for the best, wanting to see Daniel and Casey happy, each admitted that with what they understood was possible, there was a very real threat involved. Especially if Beings from one of the higher planes of existence had broken a few rules and had become involved. If this baby wasn't theirs…then who were the parents…and why had Casey been selected to bear it? And would that child be a threat to them…to the SGC…to Hope?
Daniel cringed at the sight of the needles. Her already tight grip grew tighter, until he was afraid she was cutting of circulation in her own fingers. He smoothed her hair back, smiled reassuringly at her. "I'm right here, Angel," he whispered.
"Casey, when I tell you, I want you to take a deep breath. Then you'll hold it until I tell you to blow it out, slowly, steadily," Dr. Montigue instructed.
She nodded her understanding. Took a few deep breaths, trying to calm her nerves. She'd been through this procedure once before. It had been painful then, she had no doubt it would be just as painful this time.
"This will take several minutes," the doctor continued. "I'll draw off a bit of fluid, just to make sure that my observations are correct. Then, I'll insert another needle and catheter into the catheter that will be in you, to take just a few drops of blood from the embryo. I'll have to watch the monitor carefully, which is why it will take so long."
"I understand," she said.
The nurse swabbed a spot of her flat belly with a local anesthetic. The liquid was cold, and she jumped slightly.
"Ready?" Dr. Montigue asked.
"As I'll ever be," she replied.
Daniel adjusted his grip on her hand, allowed those fingers to continue to squeeze. Felt her trembling slightly. 'I love you, Angel. You're so beautiful…so amazing…I need you so much.'
She smiled. "Talk to me," she begged softly.
"Take a deep breath, Casey," the doctor said.
She filled her lungs.
"Nice and steady," Dr. Montigue said softly. "Blow out slowly."
"You're doing great, Angel," Daniel said. "We'll take the kids to the lake this afternoon, and then to Dairy Queen. We'll tell them about their new brother or sister then. I know Emily will be excited. I don't know if Nicholas will understand." Her eyes were shining, the love reflecting in them so deep that it took his breath away. "You're so amazing," he whispered.
Her breath was gone, she had to take another breath, and still the doctor wasn't finished. She gasped as he moved the needle slightly. Closed her eyes against the sharp, intrusive pain.
Slowly the catheters were withdrawn, and the long needle taken out of her belly. "I'll have the results tomorrow, by two at the latest," Dr. Montigue said.
Daniel nodded. It was amazing how quickly things could be accomplished with the aid of Goa'uld and Tollan technology. Of course, the next twenty-four hours would be agonizing. He was absolutely certain that the baby his wife was carrying was hers. What he wasn't so certain of was that he was the father. And that bothered him. Sha're had been taken from him. Her pregnancy with Apophis' child hadn't been her choice. Like this pregnancy was Casey's choice? his brain poked. Maybe not consciously, he argued. But she has wanted another baby for over a year. He sighed mentally. Yep. It was going to be a long twenty-four hours.
A A A A A A
When she was dressed, they headed out of the infirmary to find their friends…their family, waiting for them. "Well?" Duncan asked.
"She's forty-seven days pregnant," Daniel said quietly, his arm going around her shoulders. "We'll have the DNA results tomorrow afternoon."
Sam hugged her best friend. "Are you okay?"
Casey looked at Daniel, then smiled at her friend. "I think so. It's just such a shock."
"I'll say," Jack agreed.
"What will you do if Daniel isn't the father?" Duncan asked quietly.
"As long as Casey is carrying this baby, it's hers. And as long as she's my Wife, it's mine," Daniel replied firmly.
'You're welcome. I mean it, Angel.'
'I know.' She wrapped her arm around his waist, put her head on his shoulder.
"If it's all right, we're going to take the rest of the day off."
Duncan and Jack both nodded. "Take tomorrow, too," Duncan told them.
With a nod, Daniel led her toward the elevator.
A A A A A A
There weren't many people at the lake. Being February, the temperatures weren't quite as high as they were during the summer. But it was still warm enough that playing in the water was enjoyable.
"Dunk me, Daddy!" Emily squealed, her arms locked around his neck.
With a grin, Daniel rolled to his back, then righted himself and began treading water once again, his daughter sputtering and squealing and laughing behind him.
Nicholas was clinging to Casey. This was the first time he'd been in the water without his plastic ring. He had arm floats on, just as Emily did. He watched the fun his sister was having. "Me dunk!"
Daniel grinned. "C'mere, Little Man," he said, taking the tot from his mother's arms. "Hang on. Take a deep breath and hold it, like this," he said, demonstrating for his son, cheeks puffed out. Nicholas obeyed. "Ready, Princess?"
His arms around his son, his daughter's arms tight around his neck, he winked at his wife, took a deep breath, and dove under the water. A few seconds later he surfaced. Both children were gasping for air, then screaming with delight.
Casey smiled at the look of absolute joy on his face. His family. His children. Her hand went to her flat belly. Daniel was a good man. He would love this baby every bit as much as he loved his daughter and his son.
"Mommy, you go under too," Emily panted. "You hold Daddy. He won't let you fall."
"Come on, Angel," he grinned.
She swam closer, wrapper her arm around his shoulders.
"Everybody take a deep breath!" he called out. And dove down again. His heart pounded with love. With joy. The thought of an another child hanging on to him, squealing with delight, made him grin mentally. Suddenly it didn't matter if he was the biological father of the child in Casey's womb. That baby was his. He burst onto the surface, the happy squeals of his children ringing in his ears. "Mine, Angel."
She knew in an instant what he was talking about. She kissed him gently. "Ours," she whispered.
"Ours," he whispered in reply. "Is anybody hungry?"
"'Ungry!" Nicholas shouted.
"Gee, what a surprise," Casey giggled. "Ready to go to Dairy Queen?"
"Yes!" Emily said excitedly.
"Gotta help me swim, Princess," Daniel said.
"Me help!" Nicholas insisted. With his mother's assistance, he was soon beside his sister, laying against the strong, broad back of his father, his little arms locked over his sister's, around the strong neck he had clung to all of his life.
"Can you breathe?" Casey asked.
Daniel grinned. "Barely." And it was the most wonderful feeling in the world. He kept one hand on those little arms as he swam. It wasn't easy, but oh so worth it!
She giggled. Kept a careful watch on her children as they moved their legs, splashing their feet in the water as they 'swam' back to shore.
When the water was shallow enough, Daniel put the kids on their feet, and let them wade the rest of the way to shore. He dropped down onto the blanket, winded from the exertion of playing in the water.
"Eat, Daddy!" Nicholas demanded, tugging at Daniel's hand.
Casey smiled. "You mentioned food, Stud Muffin."
He grinned. "Yeah, well, you haven't had lunch yet. You need to eat, too."
"I suppose you're going to be just as annoying this time," she teased.
"Yep." He leaned over and kissed her. "Get your toys, so we can leave," Daniel instructed his children. He helped Nicholas rinse off his bucket and shovel. Took the arm floats off of the kids, let the air out and flattened them while Casey shook out and folded the blanket and towels. He watched her as she held Emily's hand, the two of them swinging their arms back and forth as they walked, singing about Henry the Eighth. Nicholas was clinging to his hand jabbering away about digging in the mud by the water. God, please let this baby be ours…a part of both of us!
A A A A A A
Daniel carried the tray laden with hamburgers and hot dogs and French fries and sodas to a quiet table in the corner. Watched as Casey picked at her food, her eyes on her children. Wondered what she was thinking…what she was worrying about. "You need to eat, babe," he said softly.
"I know," she replied. Took a bite of a French fry.
"What's 'matter, Mommy?" Emily asked, dipping a fry into ketchup before stuffing it into her mouth.
Green eyes sought blue ones. "Well, Emmie, I…we…Daddy and I need to talk to you and Nicholas about something very important," Casey replied softly.
"Very important," Casey confirmed.
"What's 'portant, Mommy?" Emily asked.
"What 'po'tant?" Nicholas echoed.
She took a deep breath. "Mommy has a baby growing in her tummy."
Emily looked from her mother to her father and back again. Remembered the books that her parents had read with her, explained to her. "Daddy putted it there?"
Before Casey could answer, Daniel smiled, smoothed the child's hair with one hand. "Yes, I did, Princess."
'We don't know that for sure,' Casey objected silently.
'We know that there's a baby in your womb. That makes it ours. Yours, and mine.' The love that filled her eyes washed over him. The fears, the doubts he had struggled with earlier were gone. No matter whose genetic material that baby had, it was their child. And he dared anyone to say differently.
"Will the baby come out like Nicholas did?"
She smiled. Emily hadn't actually seen Nicholas' birth, although she'd been in the room. The child had witnessed her mother's struggles, and then suddenly a baby had been lifted onto Mommy's belly. "Just like that," she replied.
"Will it be a girl baby or a boy baby?"
Daniel chuckled. "It's going to be awhile before we know that for sure."
"It should be a girl baby. We already had a boy baby," Emily decided, nodding.
Daniel couldn't help but grin at that remark.
"I just want a healthy baby," Casey said softly.
"It will be, Angel," Daniel said, reaching for her hand. In spite of the problems that she suffered…the morning sickness, the discomfort her slender frame endured as the baby grew large in her belly, the difficulty she had during delivery, both of their babies had been exceptionally healthy. He had no reason to believe that this time would be any different.
Casey took a small bite of her burger. "I think I'd like to go back to your office for awhile," she said quietly.
He looked at her. "Any particular reason?"
"I want to go over our mission reports," she said softly.
He nodded his understanding. "I'll go with you."
A A A A A A
Casey had pulled files from back into the middle of December. If they found nothing…unusual…in them, she'd search farther back. She dropped down at the desk, one foot tucked beneath her.
"I'm sorry, Case," he said softly.
She looked up at him. He was standing beside the worktable, toying with the keyboard in front of the computer. "About what?"
"Sam told me I was an ass…she was right." He glanced at her. "You were afraid to tell me, weren't you? That's why you were so late getting home last night."
She lowered her eyes. "I knew you weren't going to be happy…we'd already discussed having another baby, and decided not to."
"We decided not to worry about it right now, if memory serves," he corrected with a small smile.
"I know it was a shock for you," she said softly.
"No more than it was for you." He walked toward the desk. Perched on the edge of it. "I didn't have the added stress that you did. I never should have questioned the parentage of this baby."
"Under the circumstances, I think it's understandable," she replied.
He shook his head. "Angel, the only man you've been with is me."
"If there haven't been any…visits." She shivered at the thought.
"Have you ever once been unaware of any other 'visits' you've had? Even when they seemed to be nothing more than dreams?"
She pulled her lip between her teeth. Anytime she had a premonition, or had been…contacted…by those who existed on a different plane, even in her dreams, she had awakened immediately after the…visit…and had known…understood what had happened. She shook her head slowly. "But if I wasn't meant to remember…"
Daniel reached out, took her hand. "Unless we find out that we're facing a situation like Wade's parents, that baby is ours. And even if we are facing that type of situation, that baby is ours…Period."
She smiled, stood to her feet, wrapped her arms around his neck. "I love you," she sighed, just before kissing him senseless.
Pull away now, his brain warned him, or clear off the damned desk and take her. He moved slowly, unwillingly away from those sweet lips. "Keep that up and we might not even make it to the supply closet," he whispered. Grinned at the giggle she gave against his neck.
"Problem, Doctor Jackson?"
She giggled again. "Very big."
He grinned. "Let's look and see what we can find. Something happened that altered your Quickening."
Her heart lighter than it had been for days, she sat back down, opened the first of the folders.
A A A A A A
Stephanie Miller was chewing on the end of her pen, her journal lying open in front of her. She'd talked to Dr. Jackson one afternoon, last summer, admitting to him that she was following his example in keeping the diary. That even though they weren't notes about missions, often writing her thoughts down helped her to find the answer to whatever problem was plaguing her, whether it was a translation that she was struggling with, or something in her personal life. He had smiled at her, and told her that his best ideas, the 'leaps of logic' that he was often able to make, came from writing down his own thoughts and questions, and he'd encouraged her to continue to do so. He had also commented, quite favorably, about her having taken the initiative to learn to read Ancient. She couldn't speak it as proficiently as Dr. Jackson, but she was getting there. Learning had always been important to her…her thirst for knowledge unquenchable.
She stared at the memo that President MacLeod had sent out earlier in the day. Describing the need for Tok'ra hosts. Her fascination of the Tok'ra had begun long before she had reached Gamma. She'd devoured every bit of information she could find on the SGC, the SG teams, the Goa'uld, the Tok'ra, and the dozen or so other allies that the exposure of the Stargate had brought to light. The Tok'ra had caught her attention and held it. To know that they were the same as the Goa'uld physiologically if not philosophically, only made them all the more…interesting. Why had they decided that taking unwilling hosts was a bad thing, an evil thing? When had they realized that using the sarcophagus would make them cruel, heartless, and literally drive them mad? She had actually met Selmak and Anise, but she hadn't been able to speak to them, not really, and never to ask the multitude of questions that bounced around in her brain.
Todd stuck his head into the workroom. "I'm calling it a day. Want to go grab some dinner?"
Stephanie shook her dark head. "No thanks."
The bearded young man heaved a sigh. Things had been so good before Dr. Jackson and his wife had walked in on them in the supply room. It had taken him the better part of a week to convince the lovely young woman that no one would care if they fooled around; hell, Dr. and Mrs. Jackson did it at least twice a week either in one of the supply closets or in the conference room. The first time they'd been together in that storage closet…he shook his head mentally. Now…he was lucky if she was willing to let him stop by her place once or twice a month!
She could see the frustration in his eyes. Knew the cause. But she also knew that he didn't understand the reason she had backed away from their relationship. When she had met Todd and Ramir, it had been at the SGC in Cheyenne Mountain. They had received information packets on Gamma, and the SGC, and Dr. Jackson, and the Gamma Archaeological Research Center; where they would be working. And where they would be the only Mortals. The three of them had become friends quickly, thrown into the fire together as it were. The Three Musketeers, they had called themselves. Working the hours that they did in the Center, all of them eager to impress the famous Dr. Daniel Jackson, left little time for socializing outside of the Center. Which drew the three even closer.
Until Todd had managed to charm her. They had made love the first time in his room. Ramir had noticed that their friendship had changed, and that the two seemed to be slipping off alone together quite often. And Stephanie had never been able to shake the feelings of guilt for what amounted to breaking up the Three Musketeers. When Ramir had collapsed, his appendix on the verge of rupturing, she and Todd had been making love in the supply closet. And Dr. Jackson had walked in on them. She knew that Mrs. Jackson had been there as well…but it was his reaction that she remembered the most. He hadn't been upset…but still…she'd felt as if she had let him down.
Not willing to give up easily, Todd walked into the room, dropped down onto the chair beside her. "We could call for a pizza. I'll help you with whatever it is you're working on," he offered.
"I don't think so," she said softly.
He leaned forward, looked at the screen. "Can you believe that? I don't know anyone who would be stupid enough to willingly let a snake crawl inside them!"
"These are Tok'ra. There's a big difference!" she protested. Almost too fervently.
"Yeah, prove that to Mrs. Jackson. Or Doctor Jackson! You know what those snakes did to them! Hell, that leader of theirs threatened their kid, Stef! Then there was the Tok'ra that took General O'Neill, got him caught by Ba'al and just deserted him! A snake is a snake, baby."
She shook her head. "That is not true! The Tok'ra seek to co-exist with their host in a truly symbiotic relationship! The host is free to do what he or she wants…I mean, there has to be some compromising, I'm sure, but still…to have your life span extended by a hundred years or more, and the knowledge! Can you even imagine the knowledge that the Tok'ra have?"
He was staring at her as if she had lost her mind. "Just tell me you aren't thinking about this," he said, pointing at the monitor.
"It's none of your business if I am," she replied calmly.
"I thought we had something, Stef," he said softly.
She shook her head. "It was wrong, Todd. We broke up the Three Musketeers. And we'll never get that friendship back, not like it was."
"Would you be having this discussion with Ramir?" he asked, jealousy flashing in his eyes.
"Probably not. I didn't have sex with Ramir," she retorted.
Todd stood to his feet. "I'm not going to wait forever, you know," he said.
"I don't expect you to wait at all." She returned her attention to her journal. Knew that he stood there for several minutes before finally leaving. She sat back in the chair and sighed. What she wouldn't give for a relationship like the one Dr. and Mrs. J enjoyed! To have someone to share the excitement of a find, or the frustration of not being able to find the meaning of a tablet…just to sit and work beside each other…She shook her head. Relationships hadn't often been a part of her life. She'd always been too shy, her nose always stuck in a book. A lot like Dr. Jackson had been, she knew. But she held out no hope that she would ever find a 'soul mate'. That happened only once in a lifetime. She read the memo again. So much knowledge! And…never alone…never, ever alone…
A A A A A A
Casey closed the last folder, stretched her arms over her head. "Maybe we should go over these with Sam, and Jack and Teal'c," she said.
"They might remember something…maybe it seemed insignificant at the time," she replied.
He frowned. "That might not be a bad idea. I know that Duncan gave us-" he broke off when Casey turned pale, leapt from the chair and raced for the bathroom. He sighed, and followed her. Held her hair while she heaved, his hand moving gently over her back. He hated, absolutely hated this part of pregnancy! Because it made him feel so damned helpless, and that wasn't something he was comfortable feeling when it came to her!
She sat down on the floor, the nausea not quite over yet. "I hate this part," she mumbled.
"That makes two of us." He went back into the other room, grabbed her mug of coffee.
"Oh, god, get it away," she moaned as the aroma of the rich brew reached her. She began to heave again.
He dumped the coffee into the sink, rinsed the cup, offered her the plain tap water. Watched her rinse her mouth thoroughly. "Let's go home, babe," he said softly. "It's late, and you need your rest."
She snorted softly. "Do you really think I'm going to be able to sleep tonight?"
"I know a way to wear you out," he whispered.
She smiled up at him. "Do tell."
"Lots of physical exercise. Which is good for you," he said, putting his arms around her, pulling her close. "I could describe it, but it's better if I show you."
"I'm all for hands on instruction," she whispered.
"Good." He scooped her into his arms, grinned as she giggled. He lowered her enough that she could grab her purse. Held her close enough to turn off the computer, and then the lamp on the desk. Carried her to the elevator.
"I thought exercise was good for me," she teased.
"Don't want you worn out before I get you home," he replied calmly.
"Very considerate of you."
"Selfish really, but I like your interpretation much better," he grinned.
She giggled again. "Let's go home, Daniel. I have an itch that needs to be scratched."
"I’m good at scratching itches."
"The best," she said, nuzzling his neck as he carried her past the guards who manned the first check point. She winked at the men as they went by.
"Quit flirting with the Marines," Daniel growled.
"I wasn't flirting," she protested, then giggled. She pressed her face against his throat, licked his Adam's apple, felt him swallow from the slight pressure.
"Keep it up, little girl, and you'll have more than you can handle," he warned playfully.
"I've always been able to handle that anaconda of yours. And tonight won't be any different," she responded in kind.
Three hours later, totally satiated, Daniel grinned into the darkness at the ceiling. Yep, she could more than handle the anaconda. He tightened his arms around her as she snuggled closer in her sleep. Closed his eyes. And refused to think about what the day might bring.
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