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Whispers in the Dark
When the team walked back through the ‘gate to Gamma, everyone there could see how relaxed they were. The smiles were wide as well. All of them were sporting tans and carried shopping bags as well as their luggage.
"I take it that you had a good time?" Duncan asked, a grin on his face.
"It was absolutely fantastic," Casey said with a sigh. "It was beautiful and warm and had room service."
Duncan laughed. "Yeah, you’ve always been very fond of room service."
She shrugged, then grinned. "What can I say? I like the finer things in life."
Once home Casey caught up on laundry while Daniel sorted through all their messages. He was heading back to the base for at least a couple of hours to go through film footage that had been shot by two teams while they had been gone. Casey fixed a quick meal, then saw him off before she gave Emily her bath and put her down for a nap. She managed to get a few things done around the house before the baby was awake again.
She dropped down onto the sofa, watching the Emily play happily on the blanket on the floor in front of her. The vacation had been wonderful, she and Daniel had made love every morning and every night. They had taken tours of the islands, and she had even gone parasailing…she'd been the only one out of the entire group willing to try it. It had been the incredible.
Emily had rolled from her back to her tummy, and was trying to get up on her hands and knees.
Casey got down on the floor with her. "What are you doing, Baby? Are you trying to get mobile? Going to take off crawling?"
The baby responded with smiles and began cooing. She jabbered a bit as well. It wouldn’t be long until she was putting her first words together. Casey had absolutely no doubt that the first word out of her daughter’s mouth would be ‘Da-da’. Emily absolutely adored her daddy.
She laid on the floor playing with Emily until it was time for her bottle. She and Daniel had found that if they kept her awake during the evening, she would sleep through the night. Which worked out great, they got to spend time with their daughter after work, and were able to make love uninterrupted, and get a full night’s sleep as well. Casey smiled. Her world couldn’t get any better.
A A A A A A
Casey was fixing dinner when Daniel came home. "Hey, handsome, get everything done that you wanted to?"
Daniel pulled her into his arms and kissed her. "Hey, gorgeous. Yep, for the most part." He went to Emily, who was sitting in her highchair, and picked her up. "Hey, Princess, how’s Daddy’s girl?"
"I think she’s getting ready to crawl," Casey informed him. "She spent a lot of time on her hands and knees this afternoon."
Emily began to jabber at her father, her eyes on his face.
Daniel looked at Emily and grinned. "Think so, huh?"
She jabbered more, then threw her head against his shoulder.
Casey watched them, her heart full of love and happiness. "Dinner is almost ready. Coffee, wine, or iced tea?"
"Coffee’s fine, babe," he replied. He was tossing Emily into the air and catching her, the baby laughing and squealing with delight. He pulled the highchair to the table and sat it between the chairs where he and Casey always sat. Once he had her in the chair, he started mixing a bowl of baby cereal for her. Feeding her cereal at dinnertime was something that they had just started. She had awakened during the night twice while they were on vacation, and Carlotta had suggested that she might need more than just formula now. The cereal seemed to do the trick.
Casey had dinner on the table, and poured coffee while Daniel started feeding Emily. They took turns giving her bites, so that they could eat their meal as well.
After dinner, the routine was to put Emily in her swing where she could watch her parents clean up the kitchen. Tonight she jabbered nonstop at them.
Daniel was laying on the floor beside her, watching as she again rose up on her hands and knees. "She’ll probably be crawling by the time we get back," he said softly.
Casey started, looked down at him from where she was laying on the sofa watching them. "Back from where?"
"SG-6 found a planet with some extensive ruins. Duncan is sending us and 6 and two other teams to investigate. As big as this place is, we’re looking at a couple of weeks at least."
"Well, at least we know she’s starting. It won’t be like when she started rolling over." They had missed the first time Emily had rolled over.
"Babe, if you want to stay home with her, you can, you know that," Daniel said softly. He remembered the tears over the rolling over thing.
Casey shook her head. "I’d go stir crazy. I love Emily so very much, but I just couldn’t stay home every day. Guess that makes me a lousy mother, huh?"
Daniel shook his head. "You’re an amazing mother, Case. You’re just too much a child of the Ancients to be able to stay out of the action. I love you just the way you are, and so does Emmie. No guilt over this, hear me?"
She smiled. "I hear you. I’ll try. When do we leave?"
"Day after tomorrow. We have to get the gear together, and 6 is going to take it all through first."
"Down day tomorrow then?"
"Cool." She slid down to the floor. Once again Emily was on her hands and knees. Now she was beginning to rock back and forth. "At this rate, we might see her crawl tomorrow," she said with a smile.
A A A A A A
It was almost one a.m. when Casey heard Emily crying over the baby monitor. She crawled out of bed and went to check on her daughter.
Emily had thrown up, and was in need of a bath. She had just started the water running in the tub in what they called Emily’s bathroom when Daniel came in.
"What’s wrong, babe?"
Casey lowered the baby into the tub. "She threw up, and she’s awfully fussy."
"Crib sheets need changed?"
"Yeah, but I’ll have to rinse them out first. Just bring them in here, and I’ll take care of them as soon as I’ve got her cleaned up."
He nodded and disappeared into the nursery.
When the baby was clean and in a clean sleeper, Casey held her to her cheek. Emily’s forehead seemed warm. "Daniel, does she feel warm to you?"
He kissed the baby’s head. "Yeah, she does. Want me to take her temperature?"
Casey nodded. "I’ll take care of the sheets while you do."
A few minutes later they had determined that the baby’s temp was 100.1. Emily was fussing, not really crying, but she was definitely not feeling well. She crammed her fist into her mouth, chewing vigorously while Daniel rocked with her, trying to calm her down.
"She’s cutting a tooth," Casey said, watching her. She had the bottle of liquid baby aspirin in her hand. She pulled Emily’s hand from her mouth and ran a finger over her gums. Yep, right there on the bottom was a swollen spot. Emily bit down on her finger. "That’s it, Baby, bite hard. I know it hurts, Emily."
"Let me feel," Daniel said. He put his finger on the baby’s gum. "Yep, that’s a tooth trying to come through." He grinned when Emily bit down.
Once she had been given a dose of aspirin, Casey coated her gum with some brandy that they had. Eventually Emily went back to sleep.
The second time Emily awoke, Casey managed to keep her quiet so Daniel could sleep. She let the baby chew on her finger, waiting for the second dose of aspirin to take affect. By the time she got back to bed it was nearly dawn. At least she was home for this, she thought sleepily. She smiled when Daniel pulled her closer, then began to snore softly again. Her life was perfect. Absolutely perfect. And that scared the hell out of her.
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