SG1 had just returned from the planet that ate O'Neill's favorite cap. An irksome branch had taken it right off his head as they were hiking through the thick verdant forest. It was as if the tree had reached down and snatched it right off his grizzled locks.
The green fatigue cap had been over two years old and the Colonel had it shaped to where it just fit his attitude, his image and the crown of his head. It had taken him a long time to get the perfect pitch, curve and snugness that he required for the title of perfect hat.
The tree had raked it off his head, then the wind had picked it up and lobbed it across the little river that burbled along side the path. Once it was on the other side of the watercourse, it lay there in the sunshine, beckoning while Jack not wanting to get his perfectly fitting pair of jungle boots wet crashed around in the undergrowth trying to find some helpful rocks that bridged the stream to cross on. But before this perfect passage was found, an indigenous creature, sort of a cross between a raccoon and a monkey took an interest in the headgear. The little animal had come down to waterline, grasped the cap and absconded up into the treetops.
Jack had tried various ways to entice the little creature into returning his chapeau. All manner of verbalization from asking to begging to cursing to bombastic threats had not resulted in the return of the hat. Daniel, ever the communicator, had tried trading fruit and energy bars for it and as a last resort, tried tricking the creature by sleight of hand but to no avail. Finally even Teal'c had attempted to force the little annoyance to drop the cap by throwing rocks at him.
O'Neill had threatened to shoot the little irritant but finally desisted when the other three convinced him that a life, even that of an indigenous irritant, is indeed worth more than even a properly trained inanimate object. So the Colonel had given up and impressed his team members with his largess.
But in due course they found the samples they required, performed the proper tests on the atmosphere and finally returned through the Stargate, lacking one fatigue cap, O'Neill wearing Daniel's boonie much to his vexation. After returning through the wormhole and in due course, they had reported to the General, turned in their samples and filed down to Medical to be cleared to go home on forty-eight hours down time.
The men had all been cleared and were standing by in the waiting room killing time until Sam Carter was released by Janet Napoleon Fraiser. She had given up all the required bodily fluids, submitted to the mandatory MRI and was sitting impatiently on the exam table to be released anxious for the promised steak dinner that O'Neill had promised his team members.
Janet came back into the room, closed the door behind herself, stood in front of the woman major and looked at her with an unidentifiable expression on her face.
Sam looked at her with trepidation. "What?"
"Well, it looks as if you've done it this time." Janet flipped open the metal binder and looked down at it. "Congratulations." She said carefully. "You're pregnant!"
Carter looked at Janet, then took a deep breath. "You're sure?"
The Doctor nodded. "It looks like about three weeks." Janet eyed her seriously. "Sam, now you have to ask yourself the question...Is this really what I want? Because right now it's all in your hands, sweetie."
Sam looked at her friend in confusion. "What are you talking about?"
"Are you sure you want this baby?"
"Janet, of course I do! I'm the one who's been trying to get pregnant, remember?" She looked at her friend in surprise. "What are you talking about?"
"It's still early enough to do something about it."
"Janet Fraiser, if I didn't know how much you cared about me I'd be hurt." She looked at her friend seriously. "But I know you're just saying that to give me an out." Sam shook her head. "No, I want this baby." She smiled, maybe a little tentatively. "And, now I've got to tell the Colonel and the General and get put on restricted duty so that the baby won't be endangered by my exposure to the wormhole effect."
Janet put the clipboard down on the gurney next to her best friend. "Sam, I'm really happy for you." Janet hugged her. "I just wanted you to be sure. I'm sorry if what I said..."
"No, Jan. I understand. But now you have to understand me." She released her friend from the hug but kept her hands on the doctor's shoulders. "I've missed out on a lot because of my career. These last few years have gone by so fast that they've all been a blur. But if I don't have a child now, I never will." She sighed and shook her head. "This isn't the perfect way...hell, it may be the wrong way, but it is the only way that I have now. And you've got to admit; since it's Daniel's, it's going to be a sweetie. I just hope his genes are strong enough to make up for the Carter ones."
"No honey. Because of the Carter ones, it'll be sweet and beautiful." Janet smiled at her. "You just remember whom to call when things get tough. Okay?"
"Okay, Aunt Janet."
Janet pulled her back into her arms for another firm hug. "I like the sound of that, Mommy."
"Oh, God!" Sam started giggling, a silly thought running around in her head.
"Did you say Mummy?"
Major Samantha Carter returned to the waiting room shaking in her boots. It was the only way she knew how to say it but she knew she'd get three different reactions from her three different men. Colonel O'Neill glanced up from the magazine he'd been looking at, then when he saw the expression on her face, he put it down. Daniel was working on some notes, lost in thought when Jack reached over and tapped him on the shoulder. Teal'c had immediately stood up.
"Carter, what's up?" O'Neill asked, concerned by her tentative demeanor, stood and crossed over to her. Daniel immediately put down his steno pad, and followed. Teal'c maintained a respectful distance, but stepped in when she caught his eye.
"I uh, I'm three weeks pregnant." She stated calmly.
She was not disappointed. Three totally different reactions followed. O'Neill broke into a grin, swept her into a big hug and kissed her on the cheek. Then he realized what he had done, turned very red and put her down gently. "Congratulations, Carter. It's gonna be beautiful!"
Teal'c approached closer and spoke in a low, strong voice. "Indeed, Majorcarter. The child will be...extraordinary. It cannot fail to be so."
Daniel, well Daniel stood back for a moment. She could see the thoughts and emotions flying across his expressive face. Disbelief, shock, realization, wonder and awe. The other two men stood back as he approached her. "A baby?" She nodded, smiling at his amazed expression.
"That was the point of this, right?" She teased him gently.
"Well, uh yea." He blushed. The Colonel laughed softly. Teal'c put his big hand on Daniel's shoulder. Daniel looked at her and smiled that smile. "A baby." He gently reached out and touched her abdomen. "The baby."
Sam laid her hand over his and nodded. "Our baby, Daniel. Yours, mine and ours." She looked around at the other two men. "Complete with Uncles."
The sound of a throat clearing came from the door. The four turned back and looked to see Janet Fraiser leaning against the doorframe. "You four are downright dangerous you know that?"
"Five, Janet." Daniel announced with a shy smile. "Five."
It was an animated group that filed into General Hammond's conference room for the debriefing. Jack was already considering which of the candidates he'd requested for Carter's replacement was both available and ready for the temporary assignment. First Lieutenant Simmons was on the list, as was a new female civilian consultant and of course MSgt Seiler had been suggested. Then of course there was the brand new crop of recently graduated butter bars. O'Neill only knew most of them by their training reports, though a few he'd directly instructed and certified. All of the suggested personnel were ostensibly intelligent, well trained and qualified. Only the actual selection remained.
As the four of them found their normal places at the briefing table, General Hammond entered the room. As soon as he caught O'Neill's eye he indicated that they take their seats without the normal military customs being observed.
"Very well, Colonel. Proceed. Anything to report of interest on the planet....uh, P34679." Hammond glanced at the file folder in front of him to ensure he got the numbers correct for the planetary designation.
"Well, Sir. As usual, we came we saw we sampled. My hat was stolen by some sort of native wombat, Daniel tried talking to it, Teal'c threatened it and Carter's pregnant."
General Hammond looked up startled. When he saw Sam's expression folded his hands in front of himself and on top of the file folder. "Major Carter?"
"Uh, yes. Yes Sir." She shot a glare at O'Neill. He grinned back at her. "It's true. I'm three weeks pregnant."
"Yes, Sir. Doctor Fraiser confirmed it today." She couldn't believe that the Colonel had done that to her.
"Well, after our conversation the other day, I can only say congratulations." He glanced over at Daniel. "To you and the father, whoever he is." Daniel promptly blushed a deep fuchsia. O'Neill had to cover his face to not laugh. This was not going to be an easy eight months and one week.
After that little preamble, the briefing continued as normal with O'Neill handing in a list of possible candidates to fill the vacancy on SG1. Thirty minutes later the three teamies filed out; the Colonel remained behind at the General's request.
"Sir, can I help you with something?" Jack started out, when Hammond waived him off.
"Jack, lets just talk here a moment." The older man took a deep breath. "I know Doctor Jackson is the father of Carter's baby."
"George, if we had heat-sensing equipment in this room all of Cheyenne Mountain, The Pentagon, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the fire department would know." O'Neill groused. "I guess it comes with him being so fair skinned."
Hammond laughed. "No, I mean Carter told me. I just didn't want to put the boy on the spot. But he is going to have to practice before Jacob shows up." The General smiled at his second in command. "It ought to be quite a little one...with those two as parents."
"Yea, it'll be so smart they'll have to require their baby sitters have at least a Bachelors degree before they hire one."
"Well, I'm glad I'll qualify." Hammond commented fondly. "I used to baby-sit Sam and Mark once in a while when Jacob and Gayle went out. She's younger than he is, but you could tell even then who the smart one was."
"I'll bet she was a cute kid, all right."
"Oh, yea. She was that." George stood up and crossed over to his desk. "Jack, I'm hearing a rumor that you're thinking of retiring here pretty soon. Is it true?"
"Well, George, I'm pretty close to the mandatory age as it is. That doesn't leave me much choice."
"I understand. I've tried to pull a few strings, but..."
"I know." Jack sighed. "With my history, well it's hard to overlook all the problems I was having six, seven years ago. That's why I was called in on the Stargate Program to begin with. I wanted to have an accident; you know that from my files." He shook his head. "I really don't mind though, this way I can be that babysitter and help with the little one."
The General nodded in understanding. "I just wanted us both to be clear. Well, I won't keep you any longer. I know your team is looking forward to their down time and so are you."
"Yep, I'm taking them to that new steak house in town. To celebrate everything...except my missing hat, of course."
"Jack, I told Sam that I'd try to protect her from Jacob, but it's your job to keep him away from Doctor Jackson."
Jack grinned at his boss. "Thanks a lot George, give me something easy next time, okay? I owe you for this one." O'Neill picked up his notes and folder, heading for the door.
"And, Colonel." Hammond called to him and O'Neill turned around. "Sometimes you do have good ideas."
This time O'Neill blushed to the roots of his hair. "I swear, I'm gonna get me a little Doctor with a big mouth. Oh, excuse me, I've all ready got one."
"No, Jack. What's you've got is a smart ole General." Hammond laughed.