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Trio of Blessings
Chapter 8: Fifth Month
"Daniel?" She traced her fingers over his bare chest, her head in its customary place on his shoulder.
"Do you suppose you could watch Emily tomorrow? Mom and Tessa and Sam and I were going to go to Langara. Tess has absolutely nothing for the baby yet, and I wanted to pick up a few things, and Emmie needs a couple of new pairs of shoes, she’s outgrowing the ones she has."
"Sure, babe. Not a problem."
She snuggled against him. "Thanks. Love you,"
"Love you, too, Angel." He smiled. It had been awhile since he had taken care of his daughter for the day. Maybe he’d take her to the park. She loved the swings. He pulled Casey closer, felt her body relax completely, knew she was asleep. His hand moved over her belly, slightly more rounded out now. He could feel the slight flutter of life beneath his palm. Once again happiness to the degree he had never before experienced wrapped around his heart. He closed his eyes. Life was perfect. Almost too perfect.
A A A A A A
Casey made sure that Emily had her breakfast and was dressed before she left. She hurried into the den, still fastening one of the straps on her overalls. "Daniel, I’m leaving now. Emmie just went potty, so she should be okay for a little while. I don’t know how late I’ll be, so I left a casserole in the fridge. All you have to do is put it in a 350-degree oven for about forty-five minutes. Emmie takes a nap at around two, don’t let her have too much to drink before nap time. Her favorite lunch is peanut butter and jelly, and she can have a cookie with her milk. If she goes outside make sure the gate is locked, she made it all the way to Sam’s the other day," she said.
He turned to look at her. "Uh, babe, I’ve been here during the day. I know all of that," he said softly.
She smiled. "Uh huh. Did you know she can climb out of the play pen now?"
"She can?" He frowned. That could make getting any work done a bit more difficult.
"Yep. Started that about three days ago. So you can’t depend on it to keep her in one place. She can climb out of her bed now, too, so when you put her down for her nap, be sure you turn the monitor on. Let’s see…oh, yeah…I love you," she said with a smile, bending over and wrapping her arms around his shoulders.
He smiled. "Love you, too, babe. Have fun. No pickles or olives, hear me?"
"No problem. I’m not craving them this time."
"Uh huh. So what are you craving?"
"Cashews and chocolate sauce," she giggled.
"Leave the cashews alone, Case. You have to watch your salt intake. Don’t make me talk to your mom," he said in a warning tone.
She sighed. "Okay. But only because I love you so much." She kissed his ear, his neck, then his lips. "Love you so much it hurts, Daniel."
He turned around, pulled her onto his lap. "Love you so much it hurts, Case," he whispered. "Be careful, please?"
"Always. Jonas is even going to meet us at the ‘gate," she replied.
"Okay. Go. Have fun."
She kissed him again. "I’m gone. Keep an eye on your daughter, she can move like greased lightening," she warned.
"She’s two years old. How much trouble can she be?" he asked. By the end of the day, Dr. Daniel Jackson would know just exactly how much trouble a two-year old could be.
He watched her walk down the sidewalk to Sam and Jack’s house, watched their Bronco pull out of the driveway. He waved as they drove by, then closed the front door. Okay, where was Emily? He looked around, found her in the living room with her toys.
"Emmie, Daddy needs to get some work done. Wanna help?" he asked.
"Help you, Daddee!" she said, running toward him.
He picked her up, took the crayons and coloring books from the top of the filing cabinet in the den, and sat her at the little plastic desk they had purchased for her. He found an old, chipped tablet and put it in front of her.
"Runes, Daddee!" she said, pointing at the tablet.
He grinned at his daughter, proud that she had learned so quickly what he had taught her. "That’s right, Princess. Now, you figure that one out, and I’ll work on this one," he said, motioning to the tablet and the photos on his desk.
"‘Kay, Daddee," she said, nodding her blonde head.
An hour later he looked up. Emily was not at her little desk. Shit! He glanced around. She wasn’t in the den. Not in the living room. He found her in her bedroom, coloring happily on her dresser.
"Oh, Emily, what are you doing?" he moaned. Casey was going to kill him. She had bought that dresser unfinished; sanded, primed and stained it herself.
"Pweddy, Daddee!" Emily said proudly.
"Emily, didn’t Daddy tell you that you could only color in your coloring book?"
The tot nodded. "Colow in my book. I colow pweddy," she said, pointing to the blue and red streaked drawers.
"Give me the crayons," he said, holding out his hand.
"No! Mine!" she said, pulling away from him.
"Emily, give Daddy the crayons," he repeated, reaching for them.
"No!" she squealed, running to the corner of her room, holding the colored wax sticks tightly. "Mine!"
"Emily Rose, give me those crayons!" He pulled them from her little hands. Watched as she threw herself to the floor and began to scream. Oh, hell, this is not happening! He picked her up, held her as she thrashed against him. "Calm down, Princess," he said, trying to remain calm himself.
"Mine!" she screamed again, reaching for the crayons his hand.
"Not right now, they’re not. We have to get your dresser cleaned off." He carried her through the house to the den, put her down long enough to collect all of the crayons and put them back in the container on the filing cabinet, only to turn and find her ripping her coloring book apart. "Emily Rose! That is not the way to treat your books!" He took the book and the loose pages and set them on the top of the filing cabinet beside the crayons.
She looked up at him, her little eyes red-rimmed, her lower lip trembling. "Bad Daddee!" she said, pointing at him. "Bad Daddee!"
He bit his lip to keep from laughing. "Come on, Princess. Let’s get your dresser cleaned off."
Her anger over being deprived of the crayons instantly forgotten, Emily happily followed him to the hall closet where Casey kept all of the cleaning supplies.
He read the labels on each one, determined which one should do the job, and searched for a sponge.
"Mommee says no play with dose," Emily warned.
"It’s okay, Princess. Daddy knows what he’s doing," Daniel replied confidently. Thirty minutes, and one still crayon-colored dresser later, he was back at the closet, searching through the supplies again.
"Mommee says no," Emily repeated, watching him looking from can to can, bottle to bottle.
This is not brain surgery, he told himself. I can do this! All I need is something strong enough…there…bleach! A pan of soapy water with bleach in it should do the job! It didn’t. He sat down on the floor in front of the dresser and stared at it. Short of painting it, which was sounding like a better idea all the time, he was stumped. Casey was going to kill him! When the phone rang, he grabbed it up, barked a hello.
"Hey, Danny, rough day?" Mike asked.
"Oh, hey, Mike. Yeah, sort of. You wouldn’t know a way to get crayon marks off of furniture would you?"
Mike laughed. "You’re asking the wrong man, brother! Hey, we need you to check out some stuff that just came in. None of us recognize the writing at all, it’s not like anything we’ve seen before. Just need you to determine whether or not it is totally new, or just new to us less educated folks here."
"Mike, Casey isn’t here. Erin’s gone too. Tara is in school, I don’t have anybody to leave Emily with," Daniel said referring to the teenage Terran girl who babysat for them on occasion.
"Bring her along, boss! It shouldn’t take you long to get this figured out. Besides, Susan would love to get to see her."
Daniel grinned. His heart was already pounding with excitement at the possibility of the discovery of a new race or civilization. "Okay, I’ll be there in ten minutes."
"Great. See ya in ten, boss," Mike replied.
He looked down at his daughter. "Okay, Princess, do you need to go potty?"
She shook her head.
"Let’s go, then. Daddy has some work to do." The dresser temporarily forgotten, he pulled on his sneakers, put Emily’s shoes on her, then headed to the base.
A A A A A A
Susan wasn’t at the Center when Daniel arrived. Terry was doing janitorial work, everybody who worked in the Center took a turn at those unpleasant but necessary duties. Mike was standing by a crate of artifacts, placing them on the worktable, frowning at the strange writing on each of them.
Daniel carried Emily to the table, then put her down on the floor. "Stay right here, Princess. This won’t take Daddy long," he said.
Mike looked down at the child. "Hi, there, Emily! How are you?"
Emily put her finger in her mouth, smiled shyly, and grabbed onto Daniel’s pant leg. She hid her face against him, then peeked at the man who was still smiling down at her.
"She looks just like Casey, except for the eyes. Definitely your eyes, boss," Mike said.
He looked down at his daughter. "She’s certainly her mother’s daughter," he sighed.
"And it’s not even lunch time yet," Daniel admitted. "So, what have we got?"
Mike showed him the tablets that had been recovered.
Daniel studied them, carefully. "It almost looks like Asgard. But see, these marks are totally inconsistent with that dialect. Could be Ancient…but it would have to be very old Ancient." He pulled a nearby stool over and sat down. "How many more are there?"
Mike put all of the tablets on the table in front of the young archaeologist. "This one almost looks like an ancient form of Goa’uld, to me," he said.
"Yeah, it does. What order were these recovered in?"
Mike grabbed the paperwork, and the two men bent over the report.
Emily watched her father for a few moments. Terry emerged from the men’s restroom, having just cleaned it, carrying the bucket of cleaning supplies in one hand, mop in the other. She looked at the open door, then up at her father. He was totally absorbed in his work. She tried to see what he was doing, raising up on her toes. A shiny yellow stone caught her eye. It was just close enough to the edge of the table for her tiny fingers to grasp. She looked at it for a few minutes, then toddled to that enticing open door.
Her little eyes widened at the site of the sparkling clean urinal. Climbing had just become a favorite past time, and she grabbed the front of the porcelain bowl and began to pull herself up. When she was sitting in the wide bowl, she reached over to pull at the shiny chrome handle. Water flowed from the edges of the bowl, soaking her pants and shoes. She giggled, and dropped the yellow stone into the small hole at the back of the urinal. She pulled the shiny handle again, watched as the water flowed around the stone, moving it deeper into the narrow pipe.
Fifteen minutes later, Daniel looked down. "Emily?" He looked under the table. Gave the room a quick glance. "Mike, where did Emily go?"
The older Immortal shrugged. "She was right here a minute ago," he said.
Daniel began to walk around the room, looking behind boxes and crates. "Emily? Come on, Princess, where are you? Daddy isn’t in the mood for Hide-n-Seek."
He went into the conference room. She wasn’t there either. He panicked when he saw the open entrance doors. He raced to the front of the building. "Emily!"
Mike joined him. "I checked the back of the gallery, she’s not there either,"
"Emily Rose!" Daniel called. He looked around the parked vehicles. No sign of her. Okay, need to calm down. She’s here somewhere. She’s only two, she can’t have gotten far. He ran back into the building, his heart pounding, his pulse racing.
The two men searched behind, under and in every box and crate in the gallery. It wasn’t until they were heading back toward the front of the building that they noticed water flowing down the hallway from the direction of the restrooms.
"Oh, shit!" Daniel exclaimed. He ran down the narrow passageway, following the water. He slid to a halt in the men’s restroom, Mike right on his heels.
Mike burst into laughter.
"Fwush, Daddee!" Emily said, smiling proudly.
Sitting in the middle of the urinal, soaked to the skin, was his daughter. "Oh, god. Casey is gonna kill me," he whispered. "Emily Rose, what did you flush?"
She pointed at the narrow drain. "Pweddy wock. See?"
"How many times have I told you not to flush anything?" he asked, exasperated.
Emily held up three little fingers. "Dis many," she replied.
Mike was in hysterics, wiping tears from his eyes as he leaned against the wall laughing.
Daniel turned to glare at him. "Shut the damn water off, and then get some mops, we have to get this cleaned up."
"Sure boss, anything you say," Mike said between gasps.
"Emily Rose! You are not to flush anything, anywhere, do you understand me?"
She nodded her little head. "‘Stand. Potty, Daddee." She held her arms up.
Daniel rolled his eyes, picked up his wet daughter and took her into one of the nearby stalls. He pulled her sodden pants from her, held her on the seat while she went, then cleaned her up. He opted not to put the wet pants back on her, but had no choice but to leave the wet panties on her until he got her home.
"Boss, why don’t you take the little Princess home. We’ll get this cleaned up. And we’ll figure those tablets out tomorrow," Mike said, having recovered somewhat.
With a weary sigh, Daniel nodded. "Okay. Don’t forget to dig that stone out of the pipe. For all we know, it will have the freakin’ key to the entire collection of tablets on it."
Mike laughed again. "Okay, boss. Have a good day."
Daniel glared at him again, and took Emily outside. "Princess, why are you doing this to Daddy?"
She threw her arms around his neck. "Wuv you, Daddee," she said.
"Hate to see what would happen if you were pissed at me," he muttered under his breath.
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