Janet was a little puzzled when Daniel asked her to join SG-1 and Egeria for breakfast. Nevertheless, she agreed.
Once they'd all taken seats and were getting started on their meals, Daniel cleared his throat.
"Egeria and I have something to tell all of you. I know it's an odd place to make this kind of announcement, but . . . we're engaged."
Around three seconds of silence followed the announcement, everyone except Jack having been taken by surprise. And then both Sam and Janet began smiling brightly.
"Daniel, this is wonderful!" Sam cried. "Congratulations!"
"I second that," Janet said.
"I, too, am quite pleased by this news," Teal'c declared.
"I already knew this was coming," said Jack, "but I'll throw in my congratulations, too."
"So, have you decided on a date yet?" Sam asked.
"Not an exact date, but it'll be sometime in early October."
"Two months? That's not much time to plan a wedding."
"It'll be enough time for ours. Small and simple is what we want. We really don't have a lot of people we'd invite."
Jack smirked. "Ah, so you won't be inviting all of the Tok'ra after all, eh?"
"No, Jack. If we did that, we'd have to have it at the Tok'ra base, which is not exactly a romantic setting."
"Oh, I don't know about that. I bet candlelight would make those tunnels quite pretty. Hang up a few garlands here and there, set up a lattice arbor. I can see it. And on that subject, when are you going to spring the happy news on them?"
"I figured that they're going to have to be contacted and told about what happened, especially about all the Ancient stuff that came out of my head. You can bet they're going to want to take a look at it."
Sam gave a nod. "They might be able to help figure out some of it."
"That will be as good a time as any to tell them about the engagement."
The Tok'ra were contacted a little later that morning. They were dismayed by the news of the kidnapping and the reason for it, but were excited about the Ancient knowledge that Daniel had provided and said that they'd send someone through to take a look.
Jacob and two scientists arrived a couple of hours later. As the scientists went to Sam's lab, Jacob detoured to Egeria's.
"Selmak, Jacob," the former queen greeted with a pleased smile. She came forward and gave the Tok'ra a hug.
"We were told about the kidnapping," Selmak said. "Are you and Daniel all right?"
"Yes, we are now, but Daniel came very close to dying."
Selmak got the entire harrowing story from her, including how their kidnapping was brought to an end.
"I was so frightened," Egeria confessed. "I thought that I was going to lose him."
Jacob was the one who responded, shaking his head. "I don't think I've ever met anyone who has escaped death by the skin of his teeth as many times as Daniel has. He's got more lives than a cat. I assume that the telekinetic ability was lost when Thor removed the Ancient knowledge."
"Yes, it is gone," Egeria smiled, "a fact that did not displease Daniel. He said that having such an ability would make his life even more complicated than it already is."
"I can understand that."
Egeria smiled. "I do not wish to talk of that, not when I have such joyful news for you."
Jacob studied her beaming countenance. Selmak took over the conversation. "What joyful news is this?"
"My beloved Daniel has asked for my hand in marriage, and I have accepted."
Surprised, the Tok'ra did not respond for a moment, then he smiled. "I am very happy for you, Mother, especially knowing how long you have wanted to be with him. I have to say, though, that Daniel certainly appears to be a man who does not waste time when it comes to these things."
Egeria laughed. "Well, there is a story behind that, but it is not my place to tell it. If you ask him, Daniel may tell you."
Jacob resumed control. "So, when is the happy day? Or do you not have a date yet?"
"There is no precise date set yet, though it will be in two months."
"Two months? I hope you two have some clue about what you're getting into. Planning a wedding is no easy task."
"Perhaps not, but I will enjoy every moment of it. I have wanted this for over two thousand years, and, now that it is finally happening, I cannot wait for that day to arrive."
They talked for a while longer, then Jacob went down to Sam's lab, where the other two Tok'ra were busy looking at a pile of technical drawings.
"Dad. I didn't know you were here, too," Sam said, giving him a hug.
"Yeah, I just stopped by to see Egeria first. She gave me the good news."
Sam grinned. "Isn't it great? I can only imagine how happy she is."
Jacob smiled as well. "It's going to be quite some news to the Tok'ra. Selmak and I are going to tell Aranae personally. We want to be present to see her jumping around like a little kid who's been told that she's going to Disneyland." He turned his attention to the table, his eyes scanning the drawings. "Wow. Daniel did all of this in one day?"
"In just a few hours, actually, and he did a lot more than that. You should see the math equations and chemical formulas, not to mention the computer programs. I honestly don't know how it would be humanly possible for anyone to do so much in so short a time. Egeria said that he was working so fast that it was almost impossible to believe even while watching him do it."
The phone rang, and Sam went to answer it. It turned out to be a request for her to come to the briefing room. Telling her father that she'd be back in a while, the major went to see what this was all about. She found her three teammates already there.
"First of all, Doctor Jackson has told me about his and Egeria's engagement, and I want to express my congratulations," the general said. His expression sobered. "Unfortunately, I have some disturbing news. All of the men who were captured at the warehouse are dead."
The new shocked everyone.
"How?" Daniel asked.
"The four hospitalized men were poisoned, most likely by something injected in their IV's. As for Mister Braddock, he was found dead in his cell. The cause of his death has not yet been determined. Just this morning, the president gave a green light to the use of chemical interrogation on the five men, agreeing that the seriousness of the situation outweighed the ethical considerations."
"Whoever is behind all of this must have been afraid that one or more of those guys would talk," Jack guessed.
Hammond nodded. "This, of course, raises the question of who tipped them off."
"My money's on Kinsey."
"As chairman of the Intelligence Oversight Committee, Senator Kinsey would have been informed of the president's decision."
"So, this means that we're not going to find out who was behind everything," Daniel said.
"Not from those men," Hammond replied, "but we haven't given up yet. The president is more determined than ever to root out these people and make sure they are put behind bars."
A frown on her face, Sam returned to her lab. When she got there, she noticed that the Tok'ra appeared to be excited about something. Her father beckoned her over. She saw that he and the others were looking at the largest schematic that Daniel had drawn.
"What's up?" Sam asked.
Jacob tapped the schematic. "We think we know what this is, Sam, and, if we're right, it could be of enormous value both to the Stargate Program and the Tok'ra."
Daniel was right in the middle of a tricky translation job when Sam and Jacob came into his office.
"We figured out what one of the schematics you drew is for," the major announced.
"You did? That didn't take long."
"The Tok'ra scientists and I recognized the similarities it bore to a device with which we are all very familiar," Selmak told the archeologist, "a ring platform."
"It's a ring platform?"
Sam shook her head. "Even better. It's beaming technology probably much like what's in the Ancient city where we found the lab, except that it doesn't need a device at the reception end. It's like the Asgard's, Daniel. Do you have any idea how important this is? With one of them installed on the Prometheus, it could beam teams right down to planets, and it would give them the ability to pick teams up quickly in case of emergency."
"And, if the Tok'ra base was ever attacked, having one of them would enable us to beam Tok'ra straight to the Stargate," Selmak added. "That could save a great many lives."
"We asked the Asgard a while back if they would share their beaming technology with us, but they were hesitant to do so. Now, we'll have our own. And we have all the instructions we need to start building them. We took a look at the stuff you wrote on the computer, and one of the programs was for this." Sam smiled. "Just this one thing alone is a fantastic boon for us. Dad figures that the Tok'ra will want to get started right away on constructing a prototype. Considering that there may be other people at Area 51 who are involved with the ones behind your kidnapping, I think it would be safer for them to do it than us."
General Hammond agreed that it would be safer for the Tok'ra to handle the project, though he recommended that the work be done at the Alpha Site and that some scientists from Stargate Command be included on the team.
When Daniel returned to his office, he found that an email message had been left for him by Janet to come see her. Wondering what this was about, he headed over to the infirmary.
"I was wondering if you wanted to tell Cassie about the engagement or if it was okay of I told her," the doctor said. "I was going to tell her tonight."
"Sure, that would be fine. She still hasn't met Egeria, which I guess we're really going to have to see about now."
"Oh, you can say that again. Once she finds out about the engagement, she'll be demanding to meet the woman you plan on marrying."
A little while later, Daniel mentioned to Jack what Janet said.
"Hey, I have an idea," the colonel said. "How about if we all meet at my place tonight? We can have dinner, Cassie can meet and get to know Egeria, then you can spring the news on her."
"That sounds good."
Everyone liked the idea, so, that evening, SG-1, Egeria, Janet and Cassie all gathered at Jack's place. It was quite amusing watching Cassie's reaction when she was told that Daniel's girlfriend was the Egeria from Roman mythology and that she was the Goa'uld queen who became the progenitor of the Tok'ra race. Then the teen was told the rest of the story, how Daniel met Egeria, how he helped guide her to becoming a Tok'ra, and how he and SG-1 saved her.
"Wow. That is a totally awesome story," the teenager said. She looked at Egeria. "And you never stopped loving Daniel all that time?"
Egeria smiled softly. "Never. He won my heart the day I met him, and it will be his for as long as I live."
"That is just so romantic. I think it is so cool that you were reunited."
"Yes, and now they get to tell you the rest of it," Jack said with a little smile.
"The rest of it?"
"Egeria and I are getting married in October," Daniel announced.
"Oh, wow! That's so great!" Then Cassie frowned. "But I won't be able to come to the wedding. I'll be in school by then."
"Don't worry, Cassie. We'll get you there."
"Yep, even if I have to borrow a plane and come get you myself," Sam said with a grin.
Everyone had a great time during the rest of the evening. Cassie couldn't help but see the love that was shared by Daniel and Egeria, the way that the black-haired woman looked at the archeologist like he was the center of her universe.
"I wonder how it feels to love someone like that," she commented to Sam.
"It must be amazing, but it would also be scary. Something happened recently, and Daniel came very close to dying. I know that Egeria was scared to death. If she'd lost him, I really think it would have killed her inside. Several weeks ago, we were all off-world, and Egeria was killed in an attack. She was revived with a sarcophagus, but the look in Daniel's eyes when she died. . . ." Sam shook her head. "I don't ever want to see a look like that again."
As the evening drew to a close, Egeria was surprised by a hug from Cassie.
"Thank you for making Daniel happy," the teenager told her. "After his wife died, I hardly ever saw him really happy. I kept hoping that he'd find somebody to be with, and I'm so glad that he finally has."
The next day, Daniel and Egeria discovered that news of their engagement had gotten out at the base. They both received congratulations from quite a few people. After being asked the dozenth time when the date of the wedding would be, the couple decided that they'd better pick one. They chose Saturday, the fourth of October, which would be exactly two months from the day Daniel proposed.
Now having a set date, Daniel spent some time searching for a place that would work for the wedding and reception. He didn't think that it would be appropriate to have the wedding at a chapel, so it would have to be somewhere else. It was a shame that the rules about the captain of a ship being able to perform marriages didn't apply to generals. He couldn't think of anyone he'd rather have officiate the wedding than General Hammond. When he mentioned that to Egeria, she asked him to explain the whole process to her, knowing that marriages were likely performed quite differently than they had been in ancient Rome. When she learned that it was traditional for the bride to be given away, she wondered if it would be okay for Selmak to do that.
"Um, I don't know," Daniel said. "It's usually the parent who gives away his child, not the other way around. But then, nothing about this situation is exactly normal."
Daniel left work early that day, explaining to Egeria that he had to take care of some things. He told her that she could have a driver take her to his place once she was finished at work. She smiled and said that, someday, he would have to teach her how to drive so that she could get a license and a car, something that would be especially important after they were married and she was no longer living on base. That, in turn, made Daniel think about getting a new place, one that was bigger and more suitable for a married couple.
When Egeria walked into Daniel's house early that evening, she found a vase full of a dozen red roses on the dining room table. As she drew the scent of the flowers into her lungs, Daniel came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist.
"They are beautiful," she said. "Thank you."
Daniel placed a kiss on the side of her neck. "You're welcome. I have something else for you as well." He pulled a small black velvet box from his pocket. "This is another tradition we have when people get engaged." He opened the box to reveal a stunning diamond and emerald engagement ring that made Egeria gasp. "It's called an engagement ring. I had to guess at the size, so I hope it fits."
Daniel took her left hand in his and slipped on the ring, which proved to be a perfect fit. He kissed the knuckles of the hand. "Now it's official."
Smiling brightly, Egeria threw her arms around his neck, and they shared a long, deep kiss.
"I cannot express to you how happy I am," Egeria said. "You have brought to me so much joy, my Daniel. I think back on those days so long ago when I loved you and thought that we could never be together, and I can hardly believe that this is real."
"I understand how you feel, Egeria. For a long time, I thought that there would never be anyone else for me, that Sha're would be the last woman I loved. I can't say how happy I am that I was wrong."
After dinner, Daniel made a call to Catherine Langford. She was delighted to hear from him, and they chatted about a few things.
"I have some news for you," Daniel said at last. "Do you think that you'd be able to get away on October 4th for a trip over here?"
"Um, yes, I believe so. I don't have anything scheduled for then. What is happening on October 4th?"
Daniel grinned, anticipating the woman's reaction. "I'm getting married."
The archeologist heard a noise that sounded like something hitting the floor.
"Married! Oh, my word! This is wonderful news, but I am very put out with you that you didn't tell me you had a girlfriend the last time we talked."
"There's a good reason for that, Catherine. I didn't have a girlfriend the last time we talked. And, yes, I know what you're thinking now. That was only three months ago. The whole thing is a very long story, one I can't tell you over the phone because a lot of it is classified."
"Well, can you at least tell me the name of this mysterious woman who stole your heart so quickly?"
"Her name is Egeria, and we actually met years ago, when I was on a mission."
"Egeria? Interesting name. In Roman mythology, Egeria was a water nymph who became the lover and advisor of Numa Pompilius."
"Um . . . yeah."
There was a long pause. "Daniel, you aren't telling me that your Egeria is," Catherine lowered her voice, "is that Egeria, are you?"
"Like I said, there's a lot I can't say over the phone."
"Well, then I'm thinking that I will have to get there a day or two before the wedding so that you can explain it all to me. It sounds like it really is going to be quite a story."
After congratulating Daniel again, Catherine said that she was looking forward to seeing him and meeting his fiancee, then they said goodbye. As Daniel hung up the phone, he thought about the day he met the elderly woman and how much his life had changed since then. There had been many times during these years when he thought that the changes had not been for the better, when he'd wished that he could go back to the day that black limo pulled up to him in the pouring rain and change the course of history so that he turned down the woman's job offer. He didn't think that any longer. Yes, there had been a whole lot of grief and hardship during these years, but there had been a lot of amazing and wonderful things as well. He had found true love, not once but twice. He had lost his first love, but he had Egeria now, and, though there would surely be more grief and hardship in the years ahead, he would have her at his side to weather them with him.
Over the next few days, Daniel and Egeria split their time between work and making plans for the wedding. One of the toughest decisions to make was regarding the Tok'ra. A message had come through from the Tok'ra formally congratulating the couple on their engagement. The message had come from Jacob, who told Sam that he had been right about Aranae's reaction to the news. After the wormhole disengaged, Jack demanded to know what Jacob was talking about.
"Think little kid who has just been told that she is going to Disneyland for the first time in her life," Daniel had responded, Sam having told him about her conversation with Jacob.
Jack had started grinning. "Dang. I wish I'd seen that. It would have been a hoot seeing the queen of the Tok'ra dancing around like that."
Now, Daniel and Egeria were struggling with the decision about which Tok'ra to invite to the wedding. Obviously, they could not all be there. The couple decided that all of the members of the High Council should definitely be invited, though there was some question on whether or not all of them would attend, especially Fennol, who still didn't agree with Egeria's decision to remain human and live on Earth. Egeria also wanted Malek to be there, given his experience of having to watch her original body and consciousness die. And, of course, Aranae's mate, Nefer, must be there.
In the end, they decided that no more than a dozen Tok'ra should be at the wedding and that it should be left up to the High Council to decide who else could attend. There was one Tok'ra, however, that Daniel most definitely did not want to be there: Anise. When he mentioned this, Egeria, of course, had to know why, and Daniel reluctantly told her the history the SGC had with the Tok'ra scientist – and her feelings for him. Egeria thought it was quite amusing, but agreed that it would be best if Anise was not one of the wedding guests.
While all this was going on, some discoveries were also being made. With the help of the Tok'ra scientists and a chemist that was brought in, they were able to determine that one of the chemical formulas Daniel wrote was a way to increase the power generated by liquid Naquadah at least five times its normal strength. This was very exciting news to the brass since it meant that the weapon systems being designed for the 302's would be far more powerful than those found on Death Gliders and that the bigger weapons that would be put on the Prometheus once it was gotten back to Earth would really pack a punch, perhaps enough to do serious damage even to a mothership. Jack, of course, was tickled pink and gave Daniel a hearty pat on the back.
An even bigger discovery was that one of the computer programs Daniel wrote would enable them to open multiple Stargates at the same time, perhaps even the entire Stargate network. Though they didn't yet know how this could be used to their advantage, Sam recognized that it could prove to be of tremendous value.
It was a week after Daniel proposed to Egeria that she woke up one morning feeling ill. Having never been sick in her life, the former queen did not understand what she was feeling, only that she felt horrible. Then she recalled the memories she'd gained from her host, Arria, the terrible nausea and vomiting that the woman had suffered as a result of her terminal illness.
Not wishing to alarm Daniel, Egeria did not tell him how she was feeling. After explaining that she wasn't really very hungry and sending him off to the commissary for breakfast without her, she just barely made it to the bathroom before throwing up.
As the black-haired woman sat on the floor before the toilet, feeling weak and shaky, she wondered what she should do. It was possible that this was just something temporary. She knew that the human body was susceptible to many illnesses and ailments, quite a few of which were not serious and would go away on their own. It might even go away today, and there would be no reason to tell Daniel at all. But then she thought about the promise that she'd made him give to her, that if he was ever injured, he was not to attempt to hide it. Would she not be a hypocrite if she turned around and hid how she was feeling?
Once Egeria felt well enough to return to the bed, she decided that she could not hide this, but she also decided that it would be best to go to Doctor Fraiser first. The doctor could then perform some tests and determine what the illness was.
Janet was a little surprised to see the former Tok'ra queen when she came walking into the infirmary. The serious look on Egeria's face told her that something was wrong.
"Egeria? What's the matter?" Janet asked.
"I need to speak with you privately."
"Oh? Um, all right. Do you want to talk in my office or. . . ."
"In your office would be fine."
Once the door of the office was shut and Janet was sitting behind her desk, she really studied the face of the woman before her. The doctor's sharp eyes noticed that she looked a little pale.
"Egeria, are you sick?"
"I do not know. I awoke this morning feeling quite unwell."
"Did you vomit?"
Egeria nodded. "I have never before been ill. I only have the memories of my host from when she was sick with a terminal illness."
"Well, I'm sure it isn't anything that bad, Egeria. It may be as simple as a touch of food poisoning. I'm guessing that Daniel doesn't know you're sick. He'd be here with you, if he knew."
"I did not wish to alarm him. Please do not tell him until you know what is wrong with me."
"All right, but we're going to have to run some tests, and I need to examine you."
The examination consisted mostly of Janet palpating Egeria's stomach and asking if anything hurt or if there were any other symptoms. She then got some blood and urine samples and went off to the lab, telling Egeria that she could get dressed but to remain there.
By the time Janet returned, Egeria was feeling much better and began to think that she had "jumped the gun" and should have waited before going to the doctor. But then she got a look at the expression on Janet's face and started to get concerned again.
"I got the results back on some of the tests," the physician said. She then paused. "Um, Egeria, when did you have your last menstrual period, your last menses?"
Egeria frowned. "I have never had one."
Janet's eyebrows rose. "You haven't? Didn't it strike you as odd that you haven't had one in all this time?"
"When a Goa'uld takes a female host, they stop the menstrual cycle to prevent pregnancy, though what they do can easily be reversed. What a Goa'uld queen does is different. The changes made to the host's body are irreversible, being necessary for the spawning of her own young. Therefore, I have never personally experienced menses, so it did not occur to me."
Janet was curious to find out exactly what a Goa'uld queen did to the reproductive organs of her host's body. That, however, could wait for another time. She excused herself for a moment. When she came back, she was holding a pink plastic disk.
"You should have been given a couple of these on the day that your consciousness was put in that body. I put two of them in with some other things and told a nurse to give them to you and tell you how to use everything in the box."
"Yes, I received them. The nurse began to explain the things to me, but then she was called away on an emergency and never returned."
This time, it was Janet who frowned. It looked like she'd be having a little talk with a certain nurse.
"Is this thing important?" Egeria asked, quite clueless.
"You could say that," Janet responded. "How long have you and Daniel been sexually active with each other?"
Egeria counted the days. "Thirty-four days as of today."
Janet did a quick mental calculation and almost smiled, wondering if Daniel received an extra special birthday present this year.
"I see. Well, these things are birth control pills, Egeria. You take them to avoid pregnancy. Since you weren't taking them and, apparently, have been having unprotected sex, nature has, therefore, taken its course."
The black-haired woman blinked, staring at the pills.
"You're pregnant, Egeria," Janet told her to make sure she understood. "Now, based on what you said, your first period was apparently missed, probably due to the cloning process. The fact that you're experiencing morning sickness means that you're at least two weeks along, most likely longer."
Egeria finally found her voice. "I-I-I am with child?" she stammered. "A-a human child?"
"Well, I should certainly hope so."
Suddenly, tears flooded Egeria's eyes, a hand pressed to her mouth. She jumped off the exam bed and dashed out of the room.
"So, was that good news or bad news?" Janet murmured into the empty room.
Egeria ran. She paid no mind to the people who stared at her as she rushed by them. Taking the stairs, she traveled up to Level 18.
Daniel was more than a little startled when Egeria came bursting into his office.
"Egeria? What's wrong? Did something happen?"
Slowly, she walked up to him until their bodies were almost touching. She took his hands in hers and clasped them to her chest. Her eyes gazed into his.
"Two thousand years ago, I used your seed to help create my children, children who, from that day on, I always looked upon as your children as well." She lowered one of his hands and placed it low upon her belly. "Now, your seed has once again been used in the creation of life, to create a child, our child."
Daniel stared dumbly at the spot where his hand was resting on Egeria's body, his eyes widening.
"Y-y-your . . . your pregnant?"
That's when the brightest, happiest smile that had ever graced Egeria's lips beamed across her face. "Yes, my Daniel. You are the father to my child and will be so to many more in the years to come."
Daniel's eyes finally met hers, a stunned look in their depths. Then, all at once, he was laughing.
As Egeria pulled his lips down to hers, the thought in her mind was of all the great things she knew that this child created with her beloved Daniel during an act of mutual love and passion would accomplish in the future, a future that would be filled with hope and joy.
And so ends this fic. I promised you a happy ending, and I always deliver on my promises. :-)
If it seems as if there should be more to this story, the reason for that is that I was planning on writing a third fic, which would have tied up some loose ends and continued showing the ramifications of Egeria's presence and Daniel's experience with the Ancient repository. However, interest in the story has dropped so much that I've decided not to write the third fanfic at this time. I'm sure that I will be writing it someday in the future, but, for now, I think my time will be better spent on other stories, some of which are long overdue to be written or completed. Of course, my muse is the real boss, so if she decides suddenly that the third story needs to be written, I won't have much say in the matter. :-P
My thanks to all the readers who reviewed this story and stuck with it to the end.