His voice was stern. He’d reached his limit and he didn’t mean to hurt her feelings or belittle those very same feelings but this had to stop.
Enough was enough.
“Nicky kicked a lot last night Indy, please let me sleep,” she pleaded, rolling onto her left side, away from him, crawling both figuratively and literally into the hole she had created for herself.
She was lying.
He knew she was lying.
She had laid peacefully in one position all night clinging to him, tightly, as she had done every night since Sam had lost her job, since Vala and Ronon had stolen a puddle jumper disappearing into space, since Jonas had lost all hope for his people, since their lab had been shut down. So tight was her grasp some nights that he couldn’t sleep himself, but he didn’t dare pry her away; he knew it was her subconscious making her hold on to him for fear of losing him too.
“No, get up,” he repeated, standing his ground. It had been four weeks since their life had changed, four very long weeks full of tears and sorrow. He knew she was trying to be strong, she tried not to cry around Jonas, but he’d catch her in the shower or folding laundry, weeping. He did the best he could to assure her, telling her that Jack would find a way to fix everything but he wasn’t sure if it was helping. She had been talking to her aunt more, which was new as well, not about work but about the baby, the name and the preparations. That had been what she absorbed herself in, the nursery, having given up her own office at home to make Nicky his.
So, if that was what was keeping her going, that was what he was going to use.
“Just another ‘alf ahn ‘our,” she whined from the pillow, Daniel marching to the end of the bed.
He’d tried nice.
Taking the comforter in his hands, he ripped the blanket from her body, her legs curling up the best they could to her belly at the rush of cold air as she jerked the pillow from behind her head, launching it at him.
“Ya gah damn tchew, leave me da ‘ell alone. I donna wanna get up!!” she screamed, standing clumsily to retrieve the blanket which he brought behind his back, frowning at her.
“You are going to get up. You are going to shower. You are going to eat breakfast. No more sleeping to ten, no more moping around the house. It’s over Adrienne, I’m putting my foot down,” he declared, glaring at her over his glasses, daring her to question.
“What’s da point Daniel, what’s da fuckin’ point!?! What else do I ‘ave ta do!?!? I can’t run, I can’t fight, I can’t do anyting ta contribute anyting meaningful to setting up da nursery ahn I sure as hell can’t work. I might as well sit da fuck here and grow ya beb becuz dat’s all I’m good fo!!” she screamed, throwing her hands up, fighting tears.
“Are you finished?” he inquired, holding his ground, resisting the urge to take a step forward and hold her in his arms. Glaring at him, her eyes threatening, Adrienne sucked in tears, adjusting her t-shirt over her enormous belly.
Thirty weeks, Daniel calculated in his head, she was thirty weeks along and in no more than ten weeks his son would be here, here for him to hold, teach and raise, whether or not the SGC existed again.
All the more reason to get Adrienne out of this funk.
“Yea,” she grumbled.
“Good, you’re up. Get in the shower. I’ve started breakfast. Jonas is getting dressed. We are going out. All three of us. No moping, no complaining, no nothing. We are leaving this house,” he continued calmly, hoping that Jonas was doing as he asked, getting ready.
“Fine,” she pouted, turning to head for the bathroom.
“On to child number two,” Daniel said out loud, walking back to check on Jonas.
Jonas was sitting at the dining room table, listlessly eyeing the stack of waffles on his plate. He’d lost weight, Daniel had noticed, and he knew it was from a lack of taking care of himself and eating as he should which was so strange considering that all Jonas Quinn had done in the past month was watch cooking shows and live in the kitchen. He started to say something, point out the fact that he could make something else, that he hoped he hadn’t offended Jonas by cooking himself for once, but decided against it, waiting until for his wife to join them.
Silent, he made his way back into the kitchen to make a few waffles for Adrienne and maybe cook some bacon.
“So here’s the plan,” Daniel started the moment his wife took a seat, her eyes already rolling but he ignored her attitude. Jonas had finally eaten one of the waffles and was gazing up at him, waiting for him to speak.
“We’re going to the outlet mall. Jonas, you’re gonna purchase a bed, mattress and a dresser that we’re gonna put in my office. It’s been a month and if you’re gonna stay here, which you are more than welcome to, you need a better place to sleep than alternating between the couch and an air mattress,” Daniel began, Jonas already opening his mouth to protest when Daniel shot his hand in front of his face, shaking his head.
“This doesn’t mean we’re giving up. What is means is that you’re not assuming another identity, you’re staying close to base, but you need to be in a more suitable living environment for when Sam and Jack figure all of this out,” he added, directing his attention to the confused pregnant brunette at the head of the table.
“We, ja-wer, are going to the baby store. We’re gonna purchase a crib, a changing table and any other furniture that we need to get this nursery beyond a bare room stenciled with Ewoks and Jar Jar Binks!” he was almost shouting at the end, somewhat annoyed that he had allowed Adrienne to make the entire theme to the room Star Wars yet all she did, day in and day out was talk on the phone and stencil fuzzy characters.
“There’s no Jar Jar in that room; now you’re just trying to piss me off!” she started to yell right back when she saw him smile, realizing that he had said it on purpose. Blushing, she looked down to her plate, stacked high with waffles that Nicky was excitedly indicating from the inside that she eat sooner rather than later.
“Settled. Eat and get dressed. We’re leaving in an hour,” Daniel declared, taking a seat himself, feeling better even though they hadn’t even left.
Can you swing by today? I think I’ve found something.
Daniel glanced down at his phone, reading the message a second time, his eyes cutting up to check the time. It was nearly ten despite how fast Adrienne and Jonas had gotten moving; the traffic to the shopping center hampering his plans further. He wanted to get over there but today all he could deal with was two lost people in his life, not a borderline third.
I’ll try my best. Baby shopping.
The response simple, he knew that she would accept that answer, giving her something else to think about. Hopefully it would give her something else to think about, but right now he just needed to hang on to that hope and keep everything together.
Packed was the best way to describe the parking lot, Daniel instantly regretting that he decided to do this on a Sunday. There had been no choice though, he had been busy all week, buried in books at the dining room table. Adrienne really hadn’t asked him what he’d been doing and he wasn’t about to share, and Jonas? He wasn’t ready to discuss this yet with Jonas. Their was just nothing tangible to discuss.
Have fun. Please give Addy a hug for me. I hope she’s doing better.
“You and me both,” he said aloud, noting his wife’s staring at him funny, catching him on the phone.
“Who’s that?” she asked, curious as to the frown on his face. Times like this he really wished she couldn’t read him so well.
“Sam, just checking on everyone,” guilt washed over him as the half-truth crossed his lips but Adrienne smiled softly, appreciating the gesture. He knew her, she was gonna ask, so he quickly shoved the phone into his pocket, turning to address Jonas.
“Ok, I think the Ikea is down that way,” he pointed, the familiar logo clearly visible in the distance, “Take this,” he added, his wallet in hand, sliding out a sliver of plastic to pass over.
“Your check card? Daniel, I can’t spend your money,” the refusal was fast, Jonas Quinn actually stepping back, stuffing his own hands into his pocket. Daniel tried to be patient, tried not to ask who exactly Jonas thought had purchased gourmet cooking wines and new pots for his entertainment the past month, taking a breath before extending his hand to insist a second time.
“Jonas you don’t have a job and you don’t have an identity for a checking account anymore,” he said instead.
“It has your name on it,” the Langaran was quick to point out.
Come on Jonas, he thought, are you trying to be difficult? You’re smart enough to know better; stop arguing.
“That doesn’t matter if you use debit,” Daniel stated the obvious. Caught, Daniel could tell by the look on his friend’s face, he could see blue eyes working, formulating an alternative in that brilliant mind of his.
Daniel understood, he really did, he wouldn’t want to take charity any more than the next person, but this wasn’t charity.
He was trying to hold it together.
Take the damn card Jonas.
“I don’t have your what’s it called,” Jonas continued to play stupid as Daniel continued to control his temper.
“Pin number, it’s called a pin number and yes you do. What’s Adrienne’s birthday?” he replied, the annoyance creeping up in his tone. Answer that one; you can’t get out of that one.
“There you go, four digits, have at it,” his tone wasn’t as friendly as before, but he couldn’t help it. Like Adrienne this morning, Jonas didn’t seem to want to make a change, continuing to be satisfied with slothing around their house, cooking and moping.
Taking out his own wallet, Daniel was at least glad he had brought that, Jonas slid the card inside, breathing out slowly before turning to walk away. Daniel didn’t say a word, waiting for Adrienne’s response, preparing himself for another episode of moping when he felt lips at his ear, familiar lips, making him smile.
“That’s your pin? Indy, you’re just asking to be hacked,” she joked, relief washing over him.
“What do you mean? It’s not my birthday,” he asked as he spun around to grab her hands in his own, watching her shake her head a him, her stunning brown eyes rolling.
“You’re impossible, I’ll fix that later,” she said with a smile.
“Whatever, stop stalling,” he answered, excited now. This was normal, a couple going to look at baby things was normal, “There’s a baby store that way.”
“How do you know that?” she questioned, pulling away from his grasp confused. Daniel hated shopping, he only like shopping when he could pick on her, so his knowledge of the mall was very limited.
“The internet, your favorite tool, and even better I searched for it on my phone. Be amazed, be very amazed. Now ja-wer, waddle that way,” he joked, pointing in the opposite direction of the Ikea.
“Waddle? You’re cruising for a serious ass whupping Indy, serious.”
It was the soft touch of Daniel’s hand at her lower back that was the only indicator to Adrienne she wasn’t standing in a living nightmare.
The store front itself was pastel, a disgusting mixture of pale colors in the formation of a rainbow, the store name “Happy Little Bluebirds” adding to her disgust.
“That is just awful,” she spat out before she could control her words, Daniel shaking his head as he pulled away.
“You’re giving birth to an adorable tiny person, not a grown adult. Cute is what humans do,” he corrected, reaching to open the door for her.
“Not this human,” she replied.
“Stop being difficult,” he retorted sharply, pushing her through the door.
Inside was worse, the tinkling of trendy baby classical music permeating her very soul making her look at her husband and shudder.
“No, no, no, no, no - “ she started, seeing his smile, knowing that he would recognize the composer immediately when her protest was interrupted, the young woman smiling brightly at her new customers.
“Welcome, how may I assist you today?”
“We’re looking for some nursery items, crib, dresser,” Daniel spoke up, not allowing Adrienne the time to give a smart reply.
“Cutting it a little close aren’t we,” the sales lady joked with a smile, Daniel glaring at his wife, daring her to speak, “right this way; our furnishings are in the back.”
“She seems nice,” he countered her thoughts, a dirty look in return, sweeping his hand dramatically in front for her to follow, the woman still talking as she led them through racks and racks of tiny clothing.
“We offer a variety of color and wood options, is there something in particular you’re looking for? What’s your theme? We have complete room sets in a number of themes, some of the more popular ones available now are the alphabet theme as well as a multicultural set...”
“Endor,” Adrienne answered before Daniel could stop her, not in a rude way but excited, she must have seen something she liked as her deep brown eyes were darting all over the store.
“I’m sorry?” the woman questioned, coming to a stop, trying to determine what exactly her guest was looking at as was Daniel, not seeing any crude huts or evergreen trees anywhere nearby.
“Endor, the theme is the forest moon of Endor,” a smile spread across her face as she said it. Daniel had to bite the inside of his lip to keep from chuckling, or choking up even; she was happy, she looked so happy standing there, explaining her theme. She seemed so delighted, excited even to talk about their baby and their life together.
This was going to work.
“A forest theme, I’m sure we have some things like that, but I’m unsure as to what is Endor, is that in Europe?” their helper continued, smiling, reading the excitement in Adrienne’s face as well.
“No, it’s Star Wars, Episode Six, Return of the Jedi,” she piped up as only a true geek would, Daniel shaking his head, waiting for her to start quoting movie lines.
“As in the movie?” the saleswoman questioned, her tone changing. Uh oh, Daniel thought, this is not good. Luckily, it seemed that trapped in her own fantasies, fantasies in which Daniel was certain included selecting a crib that looked like it was carved right into a tree, Adrienne was still smiling.
“Yes,” the cajun answered excitedly, “I’ve been painting the walls already, the detail work and the background just as in the film, so I’d like to find furniture to compliment..”
“Oh,” the saleslady said, playing no attention to Adrienne’s description of her careful artwork.
Game over, Daniel thought, seeing the confusion in the saleswoman’s face, Meghan, her name was Meghan, as her happy helpful smile turned into a frown.
Why had he let Adrienne pick the theme; he should have know this would happen.
It was time for damage control.
“But a general forest would work, what items do you have that match that theme?” he spoke quickly, trying to head this off at the pass.
“Yes, we do have forest items that are much more appropriate for a newborn, less, well, violent...”
“It’s not violent, it’s the Ewoks. Dey were a peaceful tribe...” Adrienne started to argue, Daniel noting the cajun slip, bracing himself for explosion.
“Well our forest theme is a bit, more, cuddly, I think you’ll like it, the textures and colors are proven to capture the attention and enhance the development of newborns..”
It wasn’t that she said anything particularly offensive, well, other than the ‘Ewoks are violent’ part, but it was enough, Daniel knew from the moment her face dropped and the tears flooded her eyes, Adrienne turning her head before anyone could see, dashing from the store.
“Excuse me,” he apologized quickly, racing after the crying pregnant mess in front of him, “Ad! Adrienne, wait!” The bell tinkled, the door was opened and she was back in the bustling of the crowds, her wrist barely within reach as he grabbed frantically, pulling her to a stop in front of him.
“Ja-wer, she didn’t mean anything by it, you know how...” he started, stopping, reminding her that she was not like most mothers-to-be not the best idea right now.
“Daniel it’s not that, it’s just,” she sobbed out, leaning forward to bury her face in his chest, but he wasn’t gonna let her fall apart here; she would be upset with herself later, hormones or not.
“It’s just what? Come on, let’s walk, go get a drink,” he offered, taking her hand to walk to the food court area, hoping to get a snack, a soda, something to let her ease her nerves and temperament.
“Sha, I’m sorry, I just can’t do this today. I just can’t...” she was pulling away, her face still red, her breath heavy.
“Do what? Fine, if you’re not up to it we can shop online. He’ll be here soon you know...” Daniel offered, clasping her hand a second time, guiding her to the side, to a center garden area away from the throes of people.
“I know...” she replied, sitting down on a bench, cutting off their eye contact, her attention at her nails, picking and pulling at the skin.
“There’s something else, isn’t there?” he asked as he joined her, his hand on her thigh as she gazed up at him in tears.
“Daniel, I don’t have the will to get up anymore. I only eat when I absolutely have to. I have no will to do anything. I’m just... You deserve better... so much better...”
“What are you talking about?” he questioned her rambling, her trails, the fresh rush of moisture cascading down her face.
“Look, we were friends, best friends, for a long time before I ever realized how much I loved you, and what did I say? What did I always say? You deserved better. You deserve so much more than this. More than being trapped at home, away from your work. More than being cut off from your friends. More than a child trapped in a woman’s body, than a nobody from nowhere who did nothing. I’m an emotional mess, hidden behind a mask of metal and ink, why me, why on Earth would you want me...”
“Adrienne you’re not making any sense,” he tried to calm her, cease her crazy thoughts but she wouldn’t have it, shaking her head as she grabbed his chin forcefully, locking her eyes on his.
“Look at me Daniel, look at me! Do I look like I should be someone’s mother? Do I look like I should be a high ranking government whatever I am? Or I was? Do I look like I should be with someone like you? No, you know that answer’s no and at the end of everything I’m what you have left...”
He didn’t know what to say. What a crazy thing to think? She was everything to him, she was the one thing in his life that he treasured more than anything, the person that had made him not give up on the only thing in his life he had ever given up on.
He’d be damned if he was going to let her do this but he wasn’t quite sure what to do to show her that she wasn’t getting out of this, he wasn’t getting out of this, this was forever.
Adrienne was his soulmate, something he hadn’t really believed was real until her.
There had to be a way to show her when the idea hit him. Adrienne was his soulmate...
Without a word he grabbed her arm, pulling her to her feet, dragging her along in the opposite direction from the baby stores, from the main stores in general to a shop that was not attached to the main complex.
“Indy, where are we going?” Adrienne asked, her face no longer red, but the worry still there, confused but following.
“To finish something I should have finished before,” he shouted over his shoulder, soldiering on.
She hadn’t really paid attention to their surroundings but she did now as he came to a stop in front of a store front, a particular store front that she was quite familiar with, one she had visited to add some flowers to her foot shortly before discovering that she was pregnant.
Her tattoo parlor.
“Do they have a restroom, or somewhere private? I’m gonna need to take a picture of your hip first, to make sure they can get the match correct.”
“Daniel, listen, you don’t have to do this,” Adrienne pleaded, watching the artist stand at the copier, adjusting the image he was somehow xeroxing from Daniel’s phone.
“No, I don’t have to,” he answered, pulling up his shirt over his head and passing it over, leaning forward onto the adjusted seat.
“Then why? It’s stupid, I’m hormonal, just, ugh,” she questioned, lost, confused, still so very upset. He could tell, he could read her face as well as she could read his and he sat up again, reaching for her hand.
“Because I never give up on anything, why would I give up on you?”
“But you don’t want to do this,” she started to argue, but he was shaking his head, leaning forward again.
“Not the point. I do, for you, because it means something to you. Our world may have fallen apart but we’re still standing right? Sometimes you have to do things that you never expected to do and you do them and carry on,” he answered, the artist approaching him with a the piece of paper, the one with the outline, the outline of the other half of the Behsert tattoo, the Hebrew symbol for soulmate. She’d hoped and she had found him. He owed her this.
“Like act like a child? Or better yet, marry one?”
“You’re not a child. Stop saying that. We’re more alike than either of us care to admit, and you know that. Now we’re gonna be even more alike,” he answered, adjusting back down onto the chair so they could get this started.
“So you’re getting a tattoo?” she prodded as she took a breath, the man who would carve this symbol permanently onto her husband’s shoulder blade misting him down with water to lay the image where it needed to be placed.
“Yes, a tattoo, one that completes to yours, the rest of the tree.”
“A really permanent tattoo that completes mine...” she said between her teeth as the picture was peeled away from his back, leaving the purple outline.
“Can you stop reminding me of that; I’m trying to be sweet here,” he answered nervously, Adrienne could tell, nearly bringing her to tears.
“Daniel, I don’t know what I would do if I hadn’t found you,” the tears were flowing now, real tears not hormonal ones, but actual tears.
No one had ever done anything for her like this man had, no one, but here he was, doing something she had never expected him to do. She had never asked, never even entertained the thought to ask, but he had remembered. After all of this time he remembered a seedy motel in the middle of nowhere where again she had told him a secret that she had never told anyone else before.
He had remembered, not only when he had asked her to marry him, but even now, and that meant more than anything else.
“You’d have married a crabber, been the mother of what, five or six by now, and spent your days in the kitchen baking King Cake. Now you owe me even more, so stand there for when I start screaming,” he joked, his eyes sparkling in the bright light of the shop as he gave her that smile, her smile.
“Ya ready?” the man asked, pulling up a stool behind Daniel’s back, positioning a table beside him lined with vial and vials of black ink set along with a needle.
“Yeah,” Daniel choked out, taking a breath and feeling a quick squeeze at his hand.
“Alright, we’re gonna start with the trunk,” their artist declared, the buzzing starting instantly.
Pushing away his final doubts, Daniel stared forward, holding fast to her fingers. As he’d told Adrienne dozens of times before, he’d seen people getting tattoos numerous times in far less sanitary ways, but the recognition still didn’t ease the pounding in his chest.
The buzzing was closer and closer, a light touch at his skin, an odd sensation, new and indescribable. The needle was cool at first, scratching, the buzzing almost soothing, the vibration at his right shoulder blade lulling him to sleep. This isn’t so bad, he thought, closing his eyes and taking a breath, starting to loosen his grip on Adrienne’s fingers...
And then he felt it.
He felt the pain, the sensation of his skin being torn from his body, something digging into him, deeply.
“Wait!” he shouted out, letting go of Adrienne’s hand, “I can’t.” He was breathing heavily, glancing over at Adrienne shaking his head.
“Sha, I hate ta break this to ya but, ya can’t stop,” she replied, leaning over to peer at his back.
“Oh I can. I’m done now,” he said over his other shoulder, the unscathed one, at the man responsible for inflicting this pain on him who was pausing, needle mid-air, more at Daniel’s movement than words.
“Daniel, ya can’t stop. There’s a black line right on ya, a line. Ya gotta finish.”
“Fantastic, and now every time you see it proves how much I love you. Can we go back and buy a crib from those awful people!?!” he shot back. Frowning, Adrienne walked behind, eyeballing his back again.
“It kinda looks like a worm, a long diseased worm that’s trying to bore its way into ya brain stem...” she teased, smiling, her gently fingers caressing him lightly where it hurt, a small sense of pleasure before the pain.
“Not funny,” he replied, refusing to make eye contact.
“Either that or it looks like you fell asleep with your journal again, rolled over on the pen and wrote on yourself.” Ok, that got him to laugh. He’d done that, a lot, and she’d rolled over onto the pen, a lot, writing on herself.
“Ad, you’ve lost your touch,” he joked, the pain subsiding slightly.
“Your son is sucking out all of my humor, damn mini Jackson. It looks like you started a tattoo and chickened out,” she taunted, removing her fingers and walking back over to face him.
“I didn’t chicken out,” he grumbled, eyes darting in the direction of the artist who was clearly looking at him as if to say, uh, yeah, you chickened out. Big time.
“I thought you didn’t give up on anything.”
Oh, she played that, did she?
“This doesn’t count.”
“It’s not that bad, I have six tattoos.”
“We’ve already determined that you’re a sucker for punishment. You did marry me.”
“Do I need to remind you of how many times you have, d-i-e-d?”
“Uh, Ad, I’m pretty sure he can spell...”
“Are we gonna do this or what?” the man asked, staring at the both of them clearly annoyed.
“Yes,” Adrienne answered quickly, the exact instant that Daniel shouted “No!” loud enough to be heard outside. Frowning, nope not my frown, Daniel thought, that’s a glare, the cajun death stare, Adrienne took a breath in and out slowly.
“Ok sha, look, I said you didn’t have to do it, but I have to look at your naked ass every day and right now one of my favorite parts looks ridiculous,” she said, sweetly almost, slipping back to his side to run those fingers of hers against the unscathed skin on the other side.
“My shoulders are your favorite part?”
“One of Indy, one of. Don’t make me get graphic. I’m pregnant, I have no filter,” she answered with a smile, biting her lip coyly.
“Look, we’ve still done a decent amount of work here, I’ve got the outline nearly finished, a few leaves and the fill is all that we have left,” the artist offered, Daniel peering at him in confusion. The outline was done? The beshert tree wasn’t that big, it wasn’t really complicated, and if it was already outlined...
“Really?” he asked for clarification from the man before glaring at Adrienne, “you said it was a line.”
“I was trying to give you a happy surprise when you realized there wasn’t as much to go,” she offered, blushing.
“So it looks like a tree?” he clarified, making certain he had heard correctly.
“No, it looks like a what is left of the tree after a bayou hurricane,” she answered quickly, trying not to laugh. The outline was mostly done, but without the rest of the detail work the partial tattoo on her husband’s right shoulder did appear to be more of an ‘aftermath of the storm” kinda thing than a Cyprus tree.
Breathing out slowly, Daniel rested his chin on the chair.
What a stupid, immature impulsive idea.
Adrienne didn’t need this to prove his love for her it was so idiotic, so childish, so unlike him.
Why was he doing this?
Why was he sitting here?
Because this was his reality.
For over a decade his life had been so simple, or as simple as it could be considering the amazing device that had changed his life. He’d loved and lost, had his fair share of personal and professional insanity, but all within the safe confines of the mountain, the safety of his friends and the knowledge that there would be someone else to step in if needed. That, however, wasn’t the case anymore. The mountain was gone, now more than ever, his heart mended by this perfectly unique person standing beside him, his dreams of becoming a father coming true, and the security of someone there to step in and save the day gone. It was him now, he was the glue holding everything together, his marriage, his friends, their precious hidden research. While he would have never given up, years ago Daniel Jackson might have doubted, worried, over analyzed but in this past month he hadn’t even so much as stammered over his words.
I’ve held it together, now I need to make it work again, and that starts with finishing this small symbol for the woman I love.
“Hand, ja-wer, now.”
“Hey guys! Ok, I did what you said, got a bed ordered, mattress, dresser and they even threw in a night stand for free!” Jonas shouted excitedly in their direction reading the look on Adrienne’s face at least, her eyes so bright and happy. Daniel looked a little worse for the wear, he could only imagine how exhausting shopping for a baby might be. Buying a simple bedroom set had been nightmare enough. Approaching his friends he reached out, to grab Daniel’s shoulder, turn him around to give him his card back when the archaeologist flinched, hissing in pain.
“OW!!!” Daniel yelled, pulling away, his face screwing up.
“Sorry, what’s wrong?” Jonas asked, presenting the card, “here, I just wanted to give this back.”
“Thanks, it’s nothing, I just, watch the shoulder,” he stammered out, Adrienne smiling brightly as she playfully bit her lip, reaching for his hand.
Breathing in as the pain in his shoulder subsided, Daniel glanced down at Adrienne, forcing a smile.
“Back to the baby store?” he asked, cocking his head in that direction, thinking that not only after his break in sanity and with the presence of Jonas she could face the horrors of prenatal shopping again.
“Nope, I’m gonna do it online just like you suggested. Computer geeks don’t belong in in stores anyway,” she answered, pulling him along.
“Are you sure?” he urged hoping this didn’t mean that while his back was being inked she had found something on her phone in the shape of some space cruiser or R2-D2.
“Yep, I’m sure,” she whispered softly, herself again, that sparkle in her eyes beginning to glimmer once more.
“Jonas?” she redirected, turning to face their friend.
“How do you feel about Mexican tonight? YOUR Mexican,” she stressed with a smile, Jonas’ own blue eyes brightening in return.
“Traditional or Tex Mex?” he offered, Daniel at once knowing that his brain was racing through a mental catalogue of recipes in order to prepare his wife’s comfort food, their comfort food, for all of them.
“You pick,” she replied, his excitement growing as Daniel’s stomach rumbled, knowing that this would be good.
“Ok, can we stop by the store, there a few things we are gonna need that I know I’m out of...” he walked off, heading to the car, rambling his mental list as he walked. Not ideal, Daniel thought, but this could work, holds us together a little longer when he felt fingers interlocking with his own, his wife looking up at his, gazing into his eyes.
“Daniel, back there, I just don’t know what to say,” she started again, those tears she had shed at the shop reappearing in her dark eyes.
“Adrienne, stop. There’s nothing to say. Just means I’m stuck with you a little more than I was a few hours ago. I mean, my next girlfriend might not like me having another woman’s tattoo,” he teased, somewhat glad at how huge and pregnant she was since normally that comment would result in her kicking his ass.
“It is, well, incredibly sexy,” she answered instead, running her finger along his chest.
“Yeah, it’s got that advantage too,” he whispered as he took her into his arms, kissing her in the middle of the shopping center like no one else was there. She pulled away slightly, nuzzling his cheek, her lips quickly at his ear.
“Damn baby,” she swore, her first acknowledgment of that lack of intimate contact in nearly a month. He’d missed that, a lot more than he had realized...
“Not much longer now ja-wer. Let’s go home. I’m supposed to soak this thing, so I was hoping you’d be willing to help...” he led, hoping she’s read his expression.
“Oh?” she seemed surprised, smiling brightly, “oh yeah, I’d be happy to help ...”
He wasn’t completely asleep but comfortable, her naked velvet skin pressed again his own as she curled into him, out cold herself of course. She smelled so good, like myrrh, the scent from her body wash still radiating off of her. Smiling before he closed his eyes, he leaned forward, kissing her bare shoulder softly.
“You haven’t had that kid yet?”
I’ve got to be dreaming, he thought, my first good night of sleep, my first night with Adrienne in a while, romantically with Adrienne and my mind is concocting all sorts of strange fantasies...
“It’s better to pop out the first one before you start working on the second.”
Not a dream.
Daniel sat up, frowning, reaching for his glasses with one hand and trying to cover himself and Adrienne with the other. Stupid idea to stupidly hop into bed without stupid clothes because of course if Jonas isn’t going to be the one barging in it just had to be Vala.
“Get up. I’ve got a ship, I’ve got guns, I’ve got a hottie, what the fuck is on your shoulder?”
“A tattoo,” Daniel answered, rolling his eyes already as Adrienne began to stir in his arms, “what do you mean you have a ship? Here?”
“Indy? Who’s there?” Adrienne mumbled, still partially asleep, turning in such a way that he was frantically covering her with the blanket.
“Your pitbull,” he answered as Vala got even closer, crawling onto the bed, their bed, her face approaching his now completely bare back.
“You got a tattoo?” she was touching him now where the skin was tender, Daniel flinching and spinning to glare at her.
“Yes, Vala, can we go back to the ship? Where is the ship?”
“Like a real one? This isn’t some marker that Addy drew on you during some odd cajun fucking ritual?” there was that touch again, Adrienne of course laughing, he never got support in that department.
“VALA, SHIP,” he snapped, the other woman in his bed pulling back her curious fingers in a scowl.
“Right, ok, well, we’re back. It’s time to hunt jackal headed assholes right?” she asked, not leaving the bed but sitting there like she belonged.
“Vala, mon ami, we haven’t been doing anything to look for ZPMs or -” Adrienne started to answer for him, finally coming to, but Daniel shook his head slowly, his eyes darting from one woman to the other.
“Well, ja-wer, that isn’t entirely true...” he responded, Vala looking as confused as his wife did.
“What are you talking about?” Adrienne questioned, glancing at Vala to see if she had any answers either, which she apparently did not.
“Sam and I have still been working. The firing, she did it on purpose, she knew they’d take her research away. The moment they closed her lab she made sure to send SG3 to Langara, not covertly either. Carolyn determined the sleeping virus is safe, they are just hibernating, so we really didn’t need to go there, but it went exactly as she planned. Bennett fired her on the spot and when I went over there that night I took her all of our research and Rodney had managed to get some things out too. We’ve been working, when you’re on the phone, or writing, or reading or painting or watching TV. That’s where I’ve been going, but I don’t think you’ve noticed...” he trailed at the end, watching her face, her eyes, her reaction. He’d essentially been lying to her, for a month, about his own activities and whereabouts.
“Uh, I think I should go, Ronon had to bring us into a low orbit. Here,” Vala said quickly, eager to remove herself from a possible marital dispute, tossing a communicator into Daniel’s lap, “call me once you’ve got your shit straight.” Stepping back from the foot of the bed, she tapped her ear, taking a peek upward.
“I’m comin’ alone sexy, Daniel and Addy need to finish something first...”
In a beam of light she was gone.
Alone, finally, Daniel gazed over at Adrienne, no longer worrying about covering himself in the blanket, extending his arms toward her.
“I hope you’re not angry, I wasn’t trying to hide it from you, I just didn’t know with everything if you could handle that on your plate as well and -” but she was on him, her lips locked with his, crawling the best she could into his lap. She kissed him slowly, like she had earlier today, pulling away and resting her hand on his cheek.
“Daniel Anthony Jackson this is why I love you so much, you really never give up, do you?” she whispered, pecking his lips again, making him smile, that she wasn’t angry at all, “Ok, sha, what’s the plan?” Sighing, he pulled away, shaking his head.
“No plan, I just kinda hoped, Sam and I, we kinda hoped. The whole never giving up thing, see, it works. Sam and I were just going on hoping that once we had found something we were gonna try to have Jack pull some strings, but it seems that Vala’s plan fits in nicely,” he admitted, genuinely and pleasantly surprised to see Vala again, that she had lived up to be the person he always knew she was.
“So what are we gonna do?” she asked, sitting back, her hands resting on her belly.
“How are you and Nicky feeling?” he countered, reaching for her stomach as well, trying to judge if their son was experiencing any of the excitement he could see on his mother’s face.
“Great, well, get up. I’ll wake Jonas,” Daniel declared, smiling, standing from the bed to rush to the bathroom and grab a robe.
“Where are we going?” Adrienne inquired, now confused, noting it was just past midnight.
“Sam and Jack’s. It’s time to get our life back and stop Anubis from ruining anyone else’s.”