Surrogate Father Pt. 2: A Father's Day Gift
Categories: Alternate Universe, Humor, Romance, Drama
Content Warning: Mild Profanity
Author's Notes: This is the sequel to "Surrogate Father." Though it's not necessary to read that story before this one, I'd recommend that you do so since there is a reference in this fanfic to the events in that one. In this reality, the events of Meridian never happened, and Daniel did not ascend.
With some difficulty, Samantha Carter walked down the corridors of At eight and a half months pregnant, almost everything was difficult these days. Though Janet kept insisting that Sam had gained a healthy amount of weight for a woman "in her condition," the major felt like a hippopotamus and was certain that she was waddling like one.
Sam had heard from other women about the trials and tribulations of pregnancy, but that had only partially prepared her for the experience. Even Jack's tales of horror about Sara's pregnancy with Charlie hadn't fully prepared her.
Yet, despite all the aches, nausea, swelling appendages, mood swings and bladder issues, Sam wouldn't trade this for all the money in the galaxy, especially since there had been times in her life when she doubted that she'd ever experience the joy of having a baby of her own.
That thought led to ones of the man who was her baby's father. It had been a year since Sam became Mrs. Daniel Jackson, two years since the event that almost cost Daniel his life and led to him asking her out on a date. Sam knew, however, that she had more than that crisis to thank for the two of them becoming a couple. Most of the thanks belonged to her father. After those harrowing hours in which Daniel's life hung in the balance and the only tether holding him to life was Jacob Carter acting as his surrogate father, the former general had a talk with the archeologist and gave him the hope and encouragement he needed to ask Sam out. She would always be grateful to her father not only for Daniel's life but also for helping to make her dream of being with the man she loved come true.
Speaking of her father. . . .
"Sam, what are you doing here again?" Jacob asked, walking up to her with an expression of disapproval. "You seem to keep forgetting that you're on maternity leave."
"Trust me, Dad. The hours of sheer boredom that I spend at home every day would make it impossible for me to forget that."
Jacob smiled at the comment. "Don't worry, Sam. I can guarantee that, pretty soon, you won't be bored anymore. I think that your mother would have killed for the opportunity to be bored after you were born."
"What about after Mark was born?"
"Then, too, but, considering that she had him to care for as well when you came into the world, it was worse with you. Speaking of that, is Daniel still planning on taking a two-month leave to help you with the baby?"
"Yes, and the month after that, he's only going to work part-time. It will mean that he'll have a big workload to deal with, but he insisted that he wasn't going to leave me to take care of the baby all by myself."
Jacob's lips curved in a smile. "Would you expect anything less from him?"
Sam smiled as well. "No."
The Tok'ra let out a little chuckle, thinking fondly of the man who was his son-in-law. In the two years since they became a couple, Jacob had witnessed the joy the archeologist brought to Sam's life. He had always wanted his daughter to find a man who would give her everything she could want or need in a husband, and Daniel fulfilled that desire better than anyone else Jacob could imagine. He was the perfect companion for Sam.
Since the wedding, Jacob had made every effort to visit as often as possible, but it still hadn't been nearly often enough. Because of the upcoming birth of his grandchild, he had insisted that he be allowed to spend a few weeks with his daughter, and the Tok'ra High Council reluctantly agreed. He had arrived day before yesterday and would be leaving in three weeks. He just hoped that the baby didn't come more than a few days late.
"Now, back to my original question," he said. "What are you doing here? You should be at home, resting."
Sam sighed in irritation. "I swear you're as bad as Daniel is. If I listened to you two, I'd be in bed twenty-four hours a day. I'm here because I was going stark raving mad at home and because Bill Lee has something I want to take a look at. I promise I'll only stay for a couple of hours."
Jacob stared at her doubtfully. "A couple of hours?"
Sam paused. "Well . . . okay, three or four at the most," she admitted.
"Uh huh. That's what I thought." Sam had come to the SGC yesterday as well and would have stayed half the day if Jacob and Daniel hadn't insisted that she go home.
They resumed the trip to Daniel's office. The archeologist's gaze when straight to Sam when they entered.
"Hey, what are you doing here again?" he asked.
Sam came up to him and wrapped an arm about his waist. "To visit you, of course, and I wanted to take a look at that device found on P6F-881 yesterday."
Daniel smiled and shook his head. "I just knew you wouldn't be able to stay away from that thing." He pulled Sam close and kissed her lips. "Happy Anniversary," he murmured.
The blonde smiled. Though their wedding anniversary wasn't until tomorrow, Daniel had been greeting her like this for the past two days. At least she wouldn't have to worry about him forgetting their anniversary.
Daniel turned to Jacob. "Happy Father's Day, Dad."
"That's right, it is Father's Day, isn't it," Jacob said. "I just keep losing track of those holidays."
"Fortunately, we don't," Sam responded. "Daniel and I are taking you out to dinner tonight, our treat."
"You won't get an argument from me."
Sam turned back to her husband. "So, is there going to be a problem with you taking tomorrow off for our anniversary?"
"No. In fact, General Hammond pretty much insisted on it. He knows how important anniversaries are," Daniel kissed her again, "especially the first one."
Sam smiled and stroked his cheek. "I'm going to go on down to Bill's lab. I'll see you later. We can have lunch together."
Daniel nodded. "Please try to stay off your feet as much as possible, okay?"
Sam left the office and headed down to the next level. She found Doctor Lee in his lab.
"Major Jackson, how are you doing?" he asked.
"Oh, the usual complaints of a very pregnant woman." Sam walked up to the object on one of the tables. "Is this it?"
Bill got up from his desk and joined her. "Yes. The energy readings we're getting from it are really quite fascinating."
"But you haven't figured out yet what it does."
"Um . . . no." Bill's expression brightened. "But I think we're getting close. We do know it's not a bomb or some kind of weapon." He motioned her over to his computer. "Come take a look at this."
Sam and Bill immersed themselves in studying the device, going over the data that had been gathered and running some new tests. The fascination of the technological puzzle made Sam completely forget about the tiredness she'd been experiencing on a regular basis for the past month or so. Even so, she stayed off her feet as much as possible. Unfortunately, the chairs in Bill's lab weren't designed for a pregnant woman, so she had brought in the special chair from her lab that Daniel bought a couple of months ago, as well as several cushions for her back and feet.
"Just can't stay away from this place, can you, Carter."
Sam looked up to see Jack standing in the doorway, along with Daniel, Teal'c and Jacob.
"Good morning, sir," Sam greeted the colonel. Even though she had changed her name to Carter-Jackson when she got married, Jack still called her "Carter," explaining that it would be too weird to call her "Jackson."
"Morning? I'd suggest that you look at the clock, Major. It's after noon."
Surprised, Sam looked at her watch and saw that he was right. Where had the time gone?
"We've come to fetch you for lunch," Daniel told her, not surprised that she'd lost track of time. He knew that these weeks she'd been on maternity leave had been tough on her and that she missed her work.
Jack and the others came into the room.
"So, where's this mysterious doohickey that's got everyone scratching their heads?" the colonel asked.
"It's over there, sir," Bill replied pointing at the device.
Jack walked over to it. He started tapping it with his finger. He noticed a raised area. "Did you try pushing the button?"
"Yes, sir, once we determined that it wasn't some kind of weapon, but nothing hap—"
A blinding flash of light filled the room. Several people cried out, and Sam felt someone grab her and pull her to the floor.
The light faded away, and everyone blinked their eyes furiously, trying to focus. Sam discovered that it was Daniel who had pulled her down, his body shielding hers.
He gazed down at her in concern. "You okay?"
"Yes. Yes, I'm fine."
The couple got up, as did everyone else who dove to the floor.
"Jack, what did you do?" Daniel asked the colonel.
"Nothing! I just pressed the button!"
They all approached the device.
"It's humming," Bill said. "It wasn't humming before. And, uh, it wasn't doing that glowing thing either."
"I think it might be a really good idea if we got out of here," Daniel stated.
Though Sam wanted to find out what happened, why the device had suddenly activated, she agreed that, for the sake of safety, they should put some distance between them and the thing, at least for right now.
Bill headed for the door. He was about two feet from it when he suddenly collided with something, bouncing back and almost falling. Holding his bruised nose, he cautiously reached out. His hand came in contact with some kind of force field.
"Um, I think we might have a little problem."
Jack strode up and touched the invisible force field. He ran his hands up, down and sideways, trying to find an edge. Teal'c and Jacob did likewise. They soon learned that the force field completely encircled the room.
"Yep, you're right, Billy Boy," Jack said. "We have a little problem."
Sam went over to the device. "Maybe it's some kind of defense, and something triggered it," she suggested.
"Right now, I just want to know how to untrigger it," Jack said.
At that moment, two Marines came hurrying up. Before anyone could warn them, they went running through the doorway and smashed up against the force field. They bounced off it and tumbled to the floor.
Jack went toward the phone to call Hammond but realized that the force field was between him and it.
The two Marines had regained their feet and were attempting to talk to them, but their voices were extremely muffled, barely audible. Daniel grabbed a pencil and a piece of paper and scribbled, "Trapped. Can't hear you. Get Hammond," showing the note to the men. One of them nodded and disappeared from view. The other one began giving military hand signals, which Jack translated.
"I guess somebody saw that flash of light and sent those guys to check it out. He wants to know if we're all okay." Jack signaled back that they were all fine.
"Sir, this could be a really big problem," Sam said, getting worried. "That force field could be preventing air from getting in here."
"Which would mean that we'll run out in a few hours," Bill added.
"How many hours?" Daniel asked.
Bill looked around the room. "I'd have to do some calculations, determine how large the force field dome is, how much air the average person consumes in an hour, multiply it by the six of us, then divide—"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, we got it," Jack interrupted. "The point is that we probably don't have a lot of time." He looked at the device. "So, we need to figure out how to turn that damn thing off."
"I don't even know how it turned on, sir," Sam said. "Up till now, nothing we tried worked."
"Maybe it was on some kind of timer," Bill mused. "It could be that, if we push the button again, it will turn off." He pressed the button. Nothing happened.
"Well, so much for that," Jack said. "Hey, here's an idea. How about if we smash the thing to smithereens?"
"If the force field is a defensive measure, any attempt to destroy it could cause it to respond with some other kind of defense," Sam told him.
"Which could be a really, really bad thing," Daniel reasoned.
"So, what now, then?" Jack wanted to know.
General Hammond arrived at that moment. Daniel wrote a more detailed note, explaining the concern about running out of air. The general had apparently been told about the inability to communicate verbally and had a notepad. He wrote back, "We can attempt to break through the force field. Would there be any danger if we tried?"
"There's no way to know for sure," Bill replied. "There's no reaction when we touch it, so it could be okay to try."
Daniel wrote down Bill's reply and showed it to Hammond. The general nodded and turned to the men with him, apparently giving them some orders. Two of them left. A while later, they returned, one of them carrying a small satchel. The other had a staff weapon.
Hammond motioned for everyone in the room to move behind the right wall, which they did immediately. A few seconds later, there was a bright flash as the blast from the staff weapon hit the force field. It failed to penetrate.
Teal'c walked over and examined the place where the blast hit, finding the surface smooth and undamaged. Someone on the other side did the same. They shook their head at the Jaffa.
"It did not succeed in damaging the force field," Teal'c told the others.
Next, a small amount of C-4 was attached to the force field. Everybody in the room took shelter behind a metal worktable, which they tilted on its side to act as a shield.
A moment later, they heard a muffled blast and peaked over the table. A quick examination showed that there wasn't the slightest dent in the force field.
Hammond met their eyes grimly.
"Any other ideas?" Jack asked his fellow captives.
"Well, I suppose we could try the laser," Bill responded.
"Laser? What laser?"
"I've been experimenting with a hybrid laser technology," the scientist explained, "using a combination of alien and Earth technology."
Jack stared at him. "You've been making a ray gun?"
"Well, no, not exactly. But, in time, we might be able to make it small enough to carry on missions."
"Well, go get it, Flash Gordon, and let's give it a try."
With the help of Teal'c, Bill set the laser up a few feet away from the force field. Daniel had explained to Hammond what they were going to do, and everyone on the other side of the field had moved away from the doorway.
Daniel insisted that Sam take shelter behind the table again, just in case the laser beam reflected off the force field.
Taking as many precautions as they could themselves, the men gathered around the laser. Bill turned it on. A pencil-thin beam of light emitted from the laser and struck the force field. They watched closely for any sign that the beam was cutting through the field.
"I don't think it's working," Daniel said after about half a minute.
Bill turned the laser off, and they all moved closer to the force field. The scientist cautiously touched it, finding it cool to the touch.
"There's no heat at all," he said. "The force field seems to have negated the effects of the laser."
"Which is another way of saying it didn't work," Jack said.
Sam stood and walked around the table. "Perhaps we should have General Hammond see if he can contact the Asgard. They might be able to beam us out of here."
"Right. Good idea."
Daniel wrote the note. Upon reading it, Hammond nodded and spoke to one of the others, who left a moment later.
A sudden sharp gasp made Jacob, Bill and the three male members of SG-1 turned back around. Sam was standing absolutely still, an expression of shocked dismay on her face. On the floor between her feet was a pool of clear liquid.
"Uh oh," Jack, Daniel and Jacob said simultaneously.
"Does that mean what I think it means?" Bill asked nervously.
"Dammit, Carter!" Jack cursed. "You've got the world's worst timing!"
"I'm not the one with the bad timing, sir!" Sam exclaimed.
"Fine! Then Jackson Junior's got the lousy timing! Crap. I just lost ten bucks. I bet that he'd be a week late."
"She, sir," Sam corrected. "The ultrasound showed that it's a girl."
The colonel gave her a little smile. "I wouldn't count on that, Carter. Sara and I thought that Charlie was going to be a girl, too. Sometimes, they just don't see the willy."
Daniel hurried up to Sam and led her to her chair. He looked at Jack over his shoulder. "Tell Hammond to get Janet."
Jack quickly scribbled down two words. "Get Fraiser." As soon as Hammond read the note, his concerned expression deepened.
"How are you feeling?" Daniel asked Sam anxiously. "Are you having contractions yet?"
"No, not ye—" Her voice broke off as she grabbed his arm. "Uh . . . make that a yes."
Trying to remain calm, Daniel said, "All right. We, uh, we need to time them."
As they were waiting for the next contraction to begin, Janet arrived. Jack wrote, "We're about to increase our population in here." The doctor's eyes widened, and Jack could have sworn by the movement of her lips that she said, "Shit." She turned to Hammond, and they talked for a few seconds. Janet then hurriedly wrote, "Details."
Jack responded, "Water broke, just started contractions."
Janet scribbled, "Okay, hopefully, we've got several hours."
"That's all fine and dandy, but I don't know if the air in here is going to last that long," Jack wrote back.
Hammond held up a note. "We're attempting to contact the Asgard."
His attention focused solely on Sam, Daniel waited with her for the next contraction. When it hit, he counted the seconds with his watch. Thirty-five seconds later, it stopped. He made note of the time the contraction stopped and looked up at Sam, who met his eyes with an expression of worry.
"Daniel. . . ."
"No, don't think about that," the archeologist quickly said. "It's all going to be fine."
Sam smiled a little weakly. "She really does have rotten timing, doesn't she."
Daniel also smiled. "Is that any surprise, considering our lives?"
"No, I guess not."
A while later, another contraction hit. Daniel looked at his watch, seeing that fifteen minutes had passed.
"Okay, fifteen minutes. That's good," he said after timing the contraction, which had been the same length as the last one. The length of time between the contractions meant that they could have quite a few hours before the baby came. A little voice inside told him that wasn't a guarantee.
Jacob came up to his daughter. "How are you doing, kid?"
Sam took his hand. "I'm a little scared," she admitted.
He tightened his grip on her hand and smiled at her encouragingly. "You know, when I told you two last year at the wedding that another grandchild would be an even better Father's Day gift than you getting married, I wasn't expecting you to fulfill my request."
Both Sam and Daniel laughed a little.
"We aim to please," the archeologist responded.
The next contraction came fourteen minutes, forty-seven seconds after the last one. Daniel tried not to be concerned about the reduction in time.
After the contraction ended, Sam shifted in the chair uncomfortably. Though it had proved to be pretty comfortable for the frame of a pregnant woman, being in labor was a different story.
Seeing her discomfort, Daniel asked if she wanted another cushion behind her back, getting one from the floor when she said yes.
"Better?" he asked.
When Sam's next contraction came a little over fourteen and a half minutes after the previous one and lasted several seconds longer, Daniel couldn't hide his concern. Things were moving too fast. When Jack told Janet what was going on, she visibly got worried as well.
Over the next forty minutes, Sam's contractions got progressively longer, closer together and more intense. When it got too uncomfortable for her to sit in the chair, Daniel fashioned a makeshift bed on the floor with all the cushions.
The archeologist settled on the floor with his back against the wall and had Sam sit between his legs, using his chest as a backrest.
It hardly seemed like any time had passed when the next contraction came.
"Five minutes," Daniel muttered after it was over.
"How long?" Sam panted. It had felt like it was forever.
"Almost a minute."
"Crap," Jack cursed. "That kid sure is getting impatient."
The latest update had Janet cursing as well, although silently. At the rate that Sam's contractions were progressing, the baby would be arriving soon. And here she was, unable to do a damn thing but watch. Thank God Daniel had experience in delivering babies.
The object of that last thought was holding Sam close, his left hand rubbing her tummy in an effort to make her feel better and also in an attempt to calm his own nerves. He couldn't help but remember the last time he was in this position. The woman in his arms that time had been Sha're, the baby she was getting ready to have the son of Apophis.
"It'll be okay, Sam," he whispered in her ear. "We're all going to get through this."
"I know we will," she murmured. "This is your baby, after all, and who's a better survivor than you?"
Daniel smiled and kissed her temple. "Exactly."
"Hmm. That's interesting," Bill murmured. Everyone looked over at him. He was staring at a device in his hand.
"What?" Jack asked.
"Well, according to this, the carbon dioxide levels in here haven't risen at all."
"Then that means we're getting fresh air," Daniel said.
Bill nodded. "The force field must be designed to allow air molecules to pass through it. This is very good news."
"Oh, yes. Great news," Jack responded sarcastically. "Instead of suffocating, we'll just starve to death. Much better."
"Actually, we'll die from dehydration long before. . . ." The glare of death that Jack was giving him shut Bill up.
A cry of pain from Sam drew everybody's attention back to her. She was in the midst of another contraction, this one the worst yet. Daniel held onto her tightly, Jacob having taken over timing the contractions.
"Four minutes, fifty-five seconds," the Tok'ra announced after it was over. "It lasted sixty-one seconds."
"Sam? I need to see how dilated you are," Daniel said. He was starting to get scared. He had no doubt in his mind now that this baby was going to come before they escaped from the lab. If there were any complications. . . . No. That wasn't going to happen. Everything would be fine.
With Jacob's help, they laid Sam down on the floor. Daniel draped a lab coat over her legs to give her at least a little privacy. He slipped off her panties and checked to see how dilated she was. He was surprised and dismayed to see that it was already about seven centimeters.
"Daniel?" Sam inquired, seeing the look on his face.
"Uh, it's . . . it's about seven centimeters."
"Is that good or bad?" Bill asked, totally clueless.
"Well, that all depends, Bill, on whether or not you're ready to see a baby born in the next couple of hours," Jack replied. He watched the scientist's face pale.
Jack turned around and wrote, "Seven centimeters," on a piece of paper and showed it to Janet. She looked up at Hammond.
"Sir, there's no way to get through that force field? Turn it off somehow?"
"I wish there was, Doctor," he replied. "We've tried everything we can, short of a larger amount of C-4, which would be too dangerous. I wish as much as you do that you were in there with them."
Sam cried out as yet another contraction struck. She'd dealt with her fair share of pain before, but this was like nothing she'd ever experienced.
"Four minutes, fifty seconds," Jacob announced after it was over.
"This is happening too fast," Daniel said, an edge of fear in his voice. He was not prepared for this. They were supposed to be safe in a hospital, with doctors and nurses all around to help if anything went wrong.
'Calm down, Daniel,' he told himself. 'You've done this before, and you can do it again. Sam's counting on you.'
"Oh, God. I need to push," Sam groaned.
"No, Sam, it's not time yet," Daniel told her. "Just hang on, sweetheart."
Sam's words had made Bill's face turn even whiter, his eyes widening.
"Uh-uh-uh . . . I'm just, uhhh, g-going to go over there," he stammered, waving at the opposite wall, "because this sort of thing makes me. . . ."
Jack looked at him. "Toss your cookies?"
The scientist quickly moved as far away from Sam as possible.
Another contraction hit the major, worse than ever. Daniel was talking to her softly, holding onto her legs. The sound of his voice helped calm her, but she was beginning to wonder if she could do this.
An hour and a half later, Sam's contractions were barely more than two minutes apart and lasting seventy seconds. She was almost fully dilated. As a particularly brutal contraction hit, she heaved up and grabbed hold of Daniel's collar with both hands, yanking him forward so violently that he almost fell on top of her. She yelled her way through the contraction, eyes clamped shut.
"Carter!" called a familiar voice. "Chill out!"
"Why?!" she snarled.
"Because you're about to make yourself a widow, that's why," Jack told her.
Sam opened her eyes to see that she had the collar of Daniel's shirt twisted tightly about his throat. He was making little choking sounds and trying frantically to release her grip.
"Oh. Sorry." She let him go and fell back onto the floor. Daniel gasped for air, coughing.
Trying really hard not to grin, Jack said, "I think one of us needs to volunteer to hold her hand so that she doesn't make her kid fatherless before it's even born." He looked at Jacob, who held up his hands with a shake of his head.
"Don't look at me," said the former general. "Selmak may be able to heal broken bones quickly, but I'd prefer not to have them in the first place. What about you?"
"No way. I'm not that stupid. I was with Sara when she had Charlie, and I thought my hand was going to be crippled for life."
Jack and Jacob looked at Teal'c.
"Hey, how about you?" the colonel asked. "You're a big, strong Jaffa."
"Who is aware of the strength of a woman in labor," Teal'c responded. "When Drey'auc gave birth to Rya'c, she crushed a metal bar the thickness of two of my fingers."
All three men turned as one toward Bill, who was pacing over in the far corner.
Grinning evilly, Jack walked over to him. "Hey there, Bill. We need your help."
"Help? For what? You want me to try the laser again?"
"Nope, you're going to help Carter."
"W-w-what? Uh . . . uh, no, I think I should just stay here."
"Aw, come on, Billy. It'll be good for you, put hair on your chest."
"But I don't want more hair on my chest," the scientist whined as Jack fairly dragged him over to where Sam and Daniel were.
"Sit," Jack ordered, pushing Bill down beside Sam.
The scientist sat, keeping his eyes averted from where Daniel was knelt between Sam's legs.
"Now, take her hand," Jack instructed.
"Uhhh, okay." He did as he was told, feeling a little self-conscious. "Why am I— Iyeeee!" he screeched as Sam, hit by another contraction, crushed his hand in hers. By the time it was over, he was whining like an injured puppy.
Jack patted his shoulder. "You'll do just fine."
Sam was now fully dilated, and Daniel knew that the time had come.
"Sam, when the next contraction comes, I want you to push, okay?" he said.
She nodded, panting. As another contraction struck, she rose up on her elbows and began to push with all her might, unaware that her hand was still holding poor Bill's, who was whimpering piteously. She felt someone settle behind her as she screamed out the pain.
The contraction finally passed, and she sunk back against the person behind her. A paper towel was wiped across her brow, and she looked up into her father's eyes.
"You're doing great, Sammie," he said, smiling down at her.
She took hold of his sleeve. "Daddy."
The sound of his daughter calling him that made tears come to Jacob's eyes.
"Oh, God. It's coming again," she then cried.
"Push, Sam!" Daniel exclaimed.
Sam pushed, and pushed, and pushed, feeling like she was being split in half. As the pain began to fade, she grabbed onto the front of Bill's shirt and yanked his face down to hers.
"I want an epidural! Now!" she growled viciously.
Staring at her with the fear of death in his eyes, Bill stuttered out an attempt at words.
"We don't have one, Sam," Daniel told her. "I'm sorry."
His wife focused a glare on him that would have killed a lesser man. "Next time, you're having the baby!" she yelled.
Daniel opened his mouth to say that he would if he could, but Jack interrupted.
"Daniel, if you value your life, or, at the very least, your ability to father more children, I'd advise you not to say it.."
Realizing the wisdom of the older man's words, Daniel remained silent.
For the next half-hour, the labor continued as Sam fought to give birth to her baby. Bill Lee had managed to escape her grasp and hurried away into the corner to nurse his scrunched hand. Jack decided that he'd suffered enough and didn't fetch him back.
Yelling encouragement to his wife as she pushed with all her might, Daniel watched as the baby's head at last began to crown.
"It's coming, Sam! That's it! You can do it!"
Sam screamed loudly, pushing even harder. The pain was excruciating, the burning feeling almost unbearable. Every time she felt like giving up, like it was too much for her, Daniel and her father gave her the strength to continue.
Exhausted, Sam fell back against her dad, chest heaving. He held onto her tightly.
"I'm so proud of you, Sam," he murmured, wiping her face dry of tears and sweat. "You're going to be a mama soon."
"We're almost there, Sam," Daniel told her. "The head is almost out, and then it'll be all downhill from there."
"I want to feel her," Sam whispered. "Can I feel her?"
Daniel took hold of Sam's hand and guided it down underneath the lab coat. A moment later, she felt it, the baby that she and Daniel had created together. That's when Sam began crying in earnest. But these were tears of joy, not pain. Smiling, Daniel met her eyes, and she noticed for the first time that he was crying, too.
He grasped her hand. "I love you, Sam."
Sam smiled back, forgetting the anger and pain of a moment ago. "I love you, too."
With those words, Sam dredged up more strength from somewhere and pushed again.
With a heady mixture of joy, excitement and wonder, Daniel gently took hold of his baby's head as it was freed from its mother's body. He kept telling Sam to push, helping the infant out of the birth canal.
And then, all at once, his hands were full of a wonderful new life.
Collapsing, Sam heard the sound of her baby crying. And then she heard another sound: laughter. Daniel was laughing almost hysterically.
"What? What is it?" Sam asked breathlessly.
Daniel's eyes, dancing with laughter and tears, met Sam's. "It's a boy."
"Hah! I was right!" Jack crowed.
Jack stripped off his BDU shirt and handed it to Daniel, who wrapped the baby in it after cutting the cord and cleaning him as well as possible with paper towels. The archeologist gently placed their son in Sam's arms, who gazed down at the newborn in wonder.
"I guess you're going to have to repaint the nursery," Jack remarked, his smile softening.
Daniel moved over beside Sam, gathering her against his chest as Jacob moved out from behind her. They all heard a muffled sound and turned to see that a crowd had gathered on the other side of the doorway and was applauding. Janet was wearing an ear-to-ear grin, and Hammond looked like he was laughing.
Sam turned her attention back to the baby in her arms. Tears of joy filled her eyes and spilled over as she stroked a finger across his tiny cheek. "We didn't even pick out any boys' names."
"Personally, I've always been partial to 'Jack'," the colonel responded with a smile.
"My daughter is not naming her son after you, Jack," Jacob stated firmly.
"Why the hell not?" the colonel demanded to know.
Jack thought about it. "I think it has a nice ring to it."
Daniel rolled his eyes, seeing where this was going. "Before you two start arguing about what Sam and I are going to name our son, don't you think we should turn our attention back to how we're going to get out of here? What exactly did you do before, Jack?"
The colonel went over to the device. "All I did was push the button," he swore as he reached for the button, "like this." There was another flash of light, and the force field collapsed. Realizing this, Janet immediately hurried into the room and went to the new parents and their baby.
Everybody else stared at Jack questioningly.
"Hey, I have no clue, so don't even ask," he said. He then grinned. "I guess it just takes a special touch."
"Too bad we didn't know about the 'special touch' two hours ago," Janet responded.
Jack looked over at Bill Lee. "Great job, Bill. How's the hand?"
"Oh, I'm sure it will be fine after a few hours of reconstructive surgery."
The colonel grinned. "You bet. And you get to take home that warm, fuzzy feeling that you played a part in bringing a new life into the world."
A few hours later, Sam was asleep in the infirmary. Daniel was in a chair beside her bed, holding his son. Jacob watched him, seeing the blissful look of joy on the younger man's face as he gazed, enraptured, at the new life in his arms.
The Tok'ra got another chair and placed it in front of his son-in-law.
"You did good, Daniel. Both of you did. I couldn't be prouder."
Daniel smiled at him. "Thanks." He laughed softly. "It didn't quite happen the way we'd planned, but, considering how rarely things go as planned in our lives, I'm not all that surprised." He returned his eyes to the baby. "Janet was suspicious about the sudden labor and how short it lasted, particularly since this is Sam's first. She learned some things about that device and suspects that it was responsible for this. Among other things, it was emitting both very high and very low frequency sound waves, and she thinks that might have triggered the labor and sped it up."
"But the baby's all right?"
"Yes, he's fine. Perfect."
"Well, the eggheads are trying to figure out why Jack's the only one who can turn on that thing," Jacob said.
"Actually, I have a theory about that. I think that maybe it's Ancient technology. As you know, Jack had the entire knowledge of the Ancients downloaded into his brain a few years ago. Maybe that changed him somehow, or maybe there was always some difference in him." Daniel grinned. "Either way, Jack thinks it's cool. He's been strutting around like a peacock."
Jacob chuckled. "And how are you feeling?"
Daniel smiled beatifically. "I can't remember being happier in my entire life." His smile dimmed. "At the same time, I'm a little sad."
Daniel looked back down at his son. "Looking at him, I can't help but think about Sha're. She wanted a baby so badly. We tried for that entire year, but it just didn't happen. And then when I saw her pregnant with Apophis' child. . . ." He lifted his eyes to meet Jacob's. "Is it possible that there was something wrong with Sha're and Amaunet fixed it so that she could conceive?"
"Yes, that's very possible."
"I felt so horrible not being able to give Sha're a baby. I began to wonder if maybe . . . maybe I couldn't father children. And then when I saw her pregnant from another man. . . ."
"You thought the possibility was even greater that it was you who was sterile."
Daniel nodded. "I never told Sam this. I didn't want her to lose hope. She was already worried that she wouldn't conceive because of her age. I suppose I could have gotten tested, but I was afraid of what the results would be." He smiled again. "When we found out that she was already pregnant after we'd been married only three months, I can't tell you how relieved I was."
"I bet. I have to admit that you surprised me. I wasn't expecting to be made a grandfather again so soon."
Daniel grinned. "I won't tell you what Jack said when he found out. Let's just say that his crassness reached an all-time high."
Jacob smiled as well. He then became serious, laying a hand on his son-in-law's shoulder. "Daniel, I want you to know that, even if you had been right and you couldn't father a child, there is no man in the galaxy I'd rather have married to my little girl. You have made her life happy and complete, and, for that, I will never be able to repay you." He smiled again. "Happy Father's Day, Son."
Daniel grinned brightly. "Happy Father's Day, Dad."