Pairings: Sam/Daniel, Cam/Vala.
Subjects: Fluff, Humor, PWP, Future Story
Summary: A surprise welcomes Sam and Daniel back to the SGC
Spoilers: Crystal Skull, Off the Grid. Takes place in the future, about 6 years after Season 10.
Disclaimer: Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters do not belong to me; they belong to MGM/Showtime/SciFi Channel, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Film Corporation. This story is copyrighted 2007 and may not be used or altered without the express permission of the author.
As Daniel's SUV made the all-too-familiar trip down the suburban roads, Sam's gaze dropped to the baby girl in her arms. Peeling back the folds of the small, white blanket, she gazed tenderly at the dozing infant and smiled. The result of a difficult pregnancy, especially considering Sam's age, little Evelyn Claire Jackson was truly a blessing.
Sam shifted her gaze to the man at the wheel, her loving, devoted husband. They'd married six years earlier after coming to terms with some pretty deep feelings for one another they'd held for years. Daniel had taken a leave of absence from SG-1 to help Sam through the pregnancy, reiterating that she was the most important thing in his life. Had it really been eight months? Daniel's longer, shaggier hair seemed testament to that stretch of time. He'd become so absorbed in spending time with Sam that he'd just forgone any serious trips to the barber's. She was actually glad he didn't seem intent on cutting it; it gave her more to play with during their 'quiet times,' which, admittedly, had been fairly limited throughout this difficult time. Giving her own shoulder a cursory glance, she realized she'd need more than a trim herself if she returned to active duty. She still hadn't decided exactly what she wanted to do.
A small, impatient voice abruptly whisked her away from her thoughts ...
“Will we be there soon, Daddy?”
“Yes, it's not much further, Nicholas,” Daniel answered their five-year-old son, named after Daniel's grandfather Nicholas Ballard. Sam knew Daniel still thought about his grandfather and missed him. He'd even mused to Sam that, if Nick hadn't remained with Quetzalcoatl on P7X-377, he would have been delighted by his bright, blue-eyed, blond-haired great-grandson.
Within ten more minutes they arrived at Cheyenne Mountain. Parking the truck, Daniel turned to gaze at Sam fondly. “Ready to face the mountain?”
Sam gazed ahead to the imposing edifice beneath which resided a place she'd called 'home' for so many years. Not having been gone for even a year, she had begun to miss it. A bright smile appeared on her face. “Ready as I'll ever be,” she replied lightly.
Daniel's smile brightened, warming her heart as she exited via the door he held open for her, holding her precious bundle. She watched as Daniel scooped Nicholas up off the backseat, grabbed the baby carrier, and secured the truck before joining Sam on their journey to the sub-levels of the mountain.
Disembarking the elevator, the first person to meet was a sergeant from SG-7 whose name escaped her; a sergeant in his civvies, munching on pineapple and thoroughly seeming to enjoy it. Sharing a curious glance with Daniel, they waited until the man noticed their presence, clearing his throat and wiping his hands on his pants. “Colonel; Dr. Jackson ... Welcome back to the SGC,” he greeted them.
“Thank you, Sergeant,” Sam replied with an awkward smile. Receiving an inviting gesture from him, she stepped forward, showing off her newborn daughter. “This is Evelyn Claire Jackson,” she told him proudly.
“Adorable baby ... congratulations,” he smiled.
“Thank you,” the couple replied almost in unison. Sam turned an eye down toward Nicholas, chuckling inwardly as the boy was giving the airman a slightly indignant stare.
“Oh! Welcome back, Dr. Nicholas Jackson,” the Sgt. replied playfully, tousling the boy's hair and achieving an ear-to-ear grin. Stepping back, he produced what appeared to be a small Tupperware container, filled with pineapple. “Want some? There's plenty to go around.”
Sam shared another odd glance with Daniel and he spoke up, “Oh, no, thanks. We're fine.”
They barely caught the airman shrugging as they continued down the corridor. Many office and lab doors were kept slightly open, and the inquisitive Nicholas had to peek behind each of them. As Sam and Daniel pushed him away, they were able to catch a glimpse of pineapples inside each room.
“Don't tell me the Lucian Alliance have branched out into 'space pineapples' now,” Daniel remarked dryly.
Despite her general confusion, Sam grinned. “I guess we'll find out. I'm going to drop in on Teal'c, Cam, and Vala, okay?”
“Okay,” Daniel replied, giving her a soft kiss on the cheek that never failed to make her face light up after all this time. “I want to pick up my mail and yours. I'll meet you back here in a few minutes.”
Smiling, Sam gazed briefly at his retreating form before seeking out her friends.
Entering the dimly lit mail room, Daniel headed for his mailbox and removed a surprisingly light stack from it. Sam's held an even smaller pile. He shrugged, glad that they hadn't missed all that much.
Turning on his heel, he was about to head out of the room when a blur rushed inside, nearly knocking into him.
“Daniel!” The blur turned out to be Dr. Lee. “Oh, I'm glad I caught you,” he stated, catching his breath.
“Nice to see you too, Bill,” Daniel replied, offering a sarcastic grin.
The other scientist grinned back. “I didn't know how long you and Sam were going to be here. I wanted to catch you before you'd left so I could offer my congratulations.”
Daniel nodded. “Thanks. Sam has Evelyn now, but we'll make sure to stop by your lab before we leave.” He briefly regarded the empty carrier of which he still took charge.
“Sure, or you could just stop by the commissary ...”
Offering Bill a raised eyebrow, Daniel regarded him suspiciously.
“Or ... no, my lab is fine.”
Still casting a wary eye upon him, Daniel nodded. “Well, I'd better get back to Sam. I just wanted to grab our mail.” He held up the very small stack consisting of both his and Sam's mail.
“Oh, that reminds me,” Bill started, bending to pick an irregular-shaped package up from behind a cardboard box. “This is for you guys.”
Eying the package curiously, Daniel's eyebrow rose even higher: A pineapple, wrapped in cellophane with a big, red bow on top. “Ah, thanks, Bill. We really appreciate it.”
“Congratulations again,” Bill smiled, offering Daniel a hearty handshake.
Forcing a smile, Daniel nodded as Dr. Lee exited the room. He gazed down at the tastefully dressed pineapple in his arms and offered it an 'are you kidding?' look. In the end he shrugged; it was the thought that counted.
Having been notified of her teammates' location, Sam headed to a VIP room on level 18, Nicholas scampering along in her wake as she patted Evelyn's back to keep the infant happy . She was glowing with anticipation of seeing her friends again and introducing her new arrival. They'd told her and Daniel they would be there when the baby was born, but SG-1 had been off world when Sam went into labor. By the time she was physically able to get out and show her daughter off, they had been back for several days.
“I can't wait to see Uncle Cam, Aunt Vala and Uncle Teal'c again,” Nicholas enthused. “Do you think they have any pineapples in here, Mom?” He gestured to the door.
“I don't know, Nicky,” Sam replied with a small grin.
The boy was silent for a moment. “I hope so. All the other rooms have them. It wouldn't be nice for them to be left out.”
With a shake of her head, Sam chuckled and slowly began to open the door. Upon entering the room, she found Cam and Vala sitting at a small, round table, holding a familiar toddler: their daughter, Vanessa. Teal'c sat in another chair, bending and talking softly to the child. Upon Sam's entrance, all four turned in her direction.
Suddenly feeling a bit overwhelmed at the sudden attention, Sam forced a smile. “Hey, guys.”
“Sam!” Cam exclaimed, rising from his seat and beginning to make his way over to her. Sam saved him the trouble by meeting him halfway as Nicholas made a beeline for the table, evidently inspecting some artwork of Vanessa's.
“It's great to see you back,” he said enthusiastically, being mindful of the baby in her arms and giving her a one-armed hug. Once they separated, little Evelyn swiftly drew his attention away from her mother. “Oh, what a precious little thing,” Cam almost cooed, tracing a finger over her tiny hands. The baby gurgled in amusement.
Sam smiled brightly. Even though his and Vala's daughter was three years old, she could tell Cam never tired of this. He was a natural with babies. “Her name is Evelyn Claire, after my mother and Daniel's,” she told him proudly.
Feeling a strong hand on her shoulder, Sam turned to find Teal'c behind her, watching in almost silent admiration. “Colonel Jackson,” he greeted her.
“Hey, Teal'c,” Sam returned softly, offering him a smile. “Meet Evelyn Claire Jackson.”
Sam watched fondly as Teal'c lowered his gaze, giving the infant a faint smile. “I am pleased to meet you, Evelyn Claire Jackson,” his baritone voice declared. Sam met his eyes as he returned his gaze back to her. “She is a beautiful child. You and Daniel Jackson are indeed blessed.”
Swallowing to rid her throat of a small lump of emotion, Sam nodded. “Thanks,” was all she could utter as the Jaffa inclined his head slightly.
“Can I see?” Vala asked, Sam hardly aware the other woman had joined them. Giving Vala an apologetic smile, she nodded, handing the baby to her. “Hello, Darling,” she whispered to Evelyn, who cooed in return. “She is gorgeous,” Vala grinned back at Sam, “And she has your eyes.”
“Well, you know what my grandma would say about that,” Cam started, coming up alongside Vala.
“Oh, hush. Don't ruin the moment,” Vala teased, covering his lips with an index finger.
“All right, all right,” Cam conceded, giving a self-deprecating grin and holding his hands up in surrender as Vala returned her attention to the baby.
Sam almost felt sorry for him until she noted him directing his attention to the neglected young boy. “Hey, there, Nicky,” he greeted the child enthusiastically, tousling his hair and tickling him on the stomach. “I got something for ya.”
Sam groaned inwardly as she witnessed Cam turning to pick something up and hide it behind his back. After several seconds of making the boy guess the identity of the present, he revealed it to be a paint set. “You're spoiling him,” Sam warned.
Cam gave her an innocent shrug. “What's spoiling? We got the same set of paints for Cousin Vanessa,” he said, gesturing to the little raven-haired, blue-eyed girl busily working on a splotchy masterpiece. Sam gave him a half smile, wearily shaking her head as Nicholas gave his 'Uncle Cam' a polite “thank you.”
Daniel chose that exact moment to rejoin his wife and children. “Hey,” he greeted everyone.
Cam, Teal'c and Vala all welcomed him back, congratulating him on the new addition to his family. Turning to smile at Sam, he handed the small stack of mail to her. “Believe it not, there wasn't much, mostly junk ... except for this,” he said, holding up the cellophane-wrapped pineapple from Dr. Lee.
Sam offered the gift a quirked eyebrow. Apparently, she and Daniel were hard to shop for.
“Oh! That reminds me,” Vala suddenly blurted out, handing the baby to Teal'c and heading for the table where a small container with a fork was waiting. “Nearly forgot we had this here,” she muttered, picking it up and munching on something.
Cam momentarily joined her, seeming at first amused at how Vala was savoring the sweet fruit. Sneaking in some sultry looks in his direction, she brought up the hunk of pineapple stabbed on the end of the fork, dangling it in front of him. Inching closer and closer, she lifted the fork to his mouth, attempting to feed it to him.
Sam shared a look with Daniel and Teal'c, thinking perhaps these two should get their own room. Cam apparently caught it and broke the moment by clearing his throat. “There are kids in the room,” he reminded Vala. Slipping the fork out of her now relaxed grip, he ate the pineapple himself. “You guys want any of this?” he asked them in mid-chew.
Sharing yet another bemused glance, Sam and Daniel declined the offer. Shrugging and swallowing the last bite of fruit, Cam continued, “It's okay. It's almost lunchtime anyway. Why don't we all pay a visit to the commissary? I'm sure you guys are hungry. I'll even treat.”
Sam looked to Daniel. “Okay,” they both agreed. She was handed the baby by Teal'c and the group left the room, heading together for the commissary.
“I hope they have brownies with chocolate sauce for dessert,” Nicholas piped up.
“You and me both,” Cam told the boy.
Sam didn't think the place could change all that much in the time she and Daniel were gone. After all, it was mess hall in a military facility, dimly lit most of the time with walls painted in a drab color. She was actually looking forward to seeing it as the one thing that could never change.
She was proved wrong as soon as the doors were opened. Things were certainly different in here.
If 'different' meant wall-to-wall pineapple decorations. The cone-like fruit filled the buffet trays on the lunch counter as well as the freezers, covered each of the tables and their chairs, and pineapple “wreathes” adorned the walls. Turning slightly, Sam noticed Daniel's expression matched her own, surprised slack-jawed gaze. Congregated inside the room was practically everyone they knew on base, most trying hard to keep straight faces.
“What the...” Daniel managed to utter.
“Something wrong, Dr. Jackson?” Gen. Landry asked, barely trying to hide a smile.
“Ah, look, I'm touched that you all are being so welcoming,” Daniel began, still nonplussed, “but don't you think this is a little ...” He trailed off with a sweeping gesture of his hands.
“Yeah, a funny thing happened not long before you got here,” a familiar voice suddenly cut in from the back of the crowd.
Sam and Daniel shared a curious look as the owner of the voice stepped forward: Jack O'Neill, dressed in olive drab BDU's. “Hank and I told the decorating committee to make it look 'festive,' and what happens? A Dole truck, making a delivery to the commissary – noticed we're quite low on fruit salad, by the way – hits a guard rail on their way in, overturns, then gets hit by a Chiquita truck, and both spill their loads, which ... quite coincidentally ... end up here.”
Sam, who was left as speechless as Daniel by Jack's preposterous explanation, merely stared at her former CO.
“Did I mention they were very big trucks?” Jack continued.
“This was your idea,” Daniel replied almost knowingly after a beat.
Jack merely shrugged. “What can I say,” he started, a smile growing on his face as he turned to Landry. “I was headed out this way when I was informed of the happy event. I just couldn't stay away.”
Feeling touched despite the awkwardness of the situation, Sam smiled fondly at the general.
“Congratulations, Carter,” Jack told her warmly, enveloping her in a hug. He then hugged Daniel, patting him on the back and mussing up his hair playfully before directing his attention to the newborn Sam placed in the carrier she'd reclaimed from Daniel on a rare, pineapple-free space on the nearest table. Sam watched as he interacted with the infant as only an experienced father could. It made her feel a twinge of sadness for Charlie all over again until she caught sight of Daniel still smoothing down his hair, causing her to chuckle.
“Hey, kiddo,” Jack finally addressed Nicholas, picking the boy up and tousling his hair. “How's life treating ya? Are you taking good care of your mom and dad?”
After a pause, the boy nodded, to which Jack grinned and mussed up his hair some more before setting him back down.
Sam took in the scene happily, glad this blessing bestowed upon her and Daniel had managed to bring everyone together. She felt Daniel come up next to her, leaning into his embrace as he wrapped an arm around her.“What are we going to do with all these pineapples?” he asked, amused. Sam shook her head, grinning.
Having caught Jack's attention, the older man stood, thinking for a moment. “Once this little party is over, and everyone's sick of fruit salad, I thought I could use them as visuals to teach Nicky some of the military history of pineapples,” he said lightly.
“Military history?” Vala broke in curiously.
Nodding, Jack turned to her. “Hand grenades used to be referred to as 'pineapples' back in the old days ... World War II, Vietnam...” He trailed off, regarding Nicholas with an impish grin. “You know, your mom here always loved a good explosion.”
In return, Sam blushed and both parents gave Jack a warning look, as if afraid he'd give the budding child genius ideas for a new experiment. Seeming to understand, Jack shut his mouth and shrugged innocently.
“Silly Uncle Jack, pineapples are a symbol of hospitality!” the boy giggled.
“Well, yeah, there's that,” Jack conceded, his expression revealing he was more than a little worried the boy would go off one of the long-winded explanations for which both his parents were so well-known.
“Carvings and other art from Colonial America tell ...” Nicholas started and suddenly trailed off, probably to Jack's relief. He seemed to be pondering something thoughtfully. “Hmm,” he started again, “a pineapple explosion would be cool, maybe linking them together to create a battery and overload the battery.” He turned to Sam, his eyes lit up in excitement and wonder. “Could I try that, Mom?”
Sam shut her eyes wearily, shaking her head. Oh, boy.
“Like mother, like son,” Jack declared teasingly.
“I hope our daughter takes after me,” Daniel added.
Jack turned to him. “Like that's going to help you. How many times have you died now?”
Sam chuckled as Daniel appeared to actually be pondering the question. Right at that moment, little Evelyn apparently decided to come to his rescue as a small cry informed Sam she was hungry.
“I have to feed her. I'll be back in a few minutes.”
On her way out, she passed Daniel, who grabbed her arm and bestowed a tender kiss on her lips. Bending, he kissed his tiny daughter on the forehead and muttered something that Sam barely managed to hear ...
"Thanks for distracting Jack for me. Now if we can only find a way to distract your brother so he forgets about the pineapple bomb...."
Laughing, Sam took Evelyn away, calling over her shoulder, "Tell Jack he gets to come over to clean up the mess!"
She wasn't sure, but she thought she'd heard a faint 'Oh for cryin' out loud' emanating from somewhere inside the room.
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