Daniel sat in the main office of the Atlantis base staring at the wall.
It was over.
Somehow, not in a blaze of glory, a shoot-out, a moment of self-sacrifice or anything else nearly as dramatic, Daniel Jackson had defeated his greatest enemy with a simple blast of a staff weapon.
There was still activity buzzing all around him, the doctors and medics tending to the wounded, Adrienne helping organize as she was good at doing, Daniel tapping the keys on the computer listlessly.
Jack was in a coma, medically induced, but stable, yet neither Carolyn nor Carson had any idea as to the extent of damage he would suffer when he awoke.
Teal’c had managed to the fire on Ry’ac’s ship, sending in into the Potomac, which fortunately had lessened the impact, but the young Jaffa still managed to break his collarbone, now in a bed not too far from Jack.
Of the Jaffa fleet originally holding the defense of Earth, four of the eight cadets had perished, along with five from Ishta’s group.
The Ktaenam had lost some as well, but Medan refused to discuss it, wishing Daniel the best of luck before disappearing as though they never came. Laja as well had gated home, no words of wisdom this time; she was so very tired from maintaining the illusion, limping through the event horizon.
The two starships had managed to suffer only minimal damage according to Cam, who was staying aboard with Vala and Ronon to repair was much as they could before returning to base.
Daniel himself had called the president, a call he had never made before but Sam was in no shape to do so, assuring him that it was over, that Anubis’ body, what was left of it, was floating lifelessly in space.
And now he sat, staring at the wall.
“Nicholas is asleep; I put our stuff in the first set of rooms if that’s ok,” Adrienne’s voice broke the trance, Daniel glancing up at her nodding.
“Yeah, that’s fine,” his voice was a whisper, Adrienne walking over to the corner of the room to pull over a chair, pulling a tissue from her pocket.
“Look at me sha,” she whispered, spitting into the thin mass of cheap paper, reaching out to wipe the blood from his face. He looked over at her slowly; his eyes so sad, his wife folding her hands in her lap, gazing sweetly at him.
“Is it considered winning if so much is lost?” he asked her and she shrugged, extending her arms again to clean his face, wiping away the blood gently.
“Can Anubis hurt anyone else?”
Daniel shook his head. No, he thought, he/she, whatever the hell body it had chosen, it couldn’t.
He had seen her head erupt into a million pieces from the close blast of Adrienne’s staff weapon, he himself kicking the leftover mass of flesh through the event horizon. It was something like he never had done before, killing, like this, so gruesome, so brutal.
There had been that one time....
“Sha, stop, get up. Let’s get you in the shower, get you cleaned up,” she urged, setting the tissue aside to pull him to his feet, but he refused to stand. His eyes gazing up at her again, he pushed his glasses up his face, turning his body to pull her into his lap.
“It’s over,” he whispered into her shoulder, holding on for dear life.
Samantha Carter O’Neill was thankful for the call to report to her office to meet with Dr. Rush because otherwise she would have sat in the infirmary all day. Jack still hadn’t awoken, but she just couldn’t will herself to leave, despite Carolyn Lam’s urging. It was a mild stroke, the doctor had assured her, but a stroke nonetheless, Sam’s brain running the entire diagnosis through her mind over and over, obsessing. It would have taken something major to get her to move, make her leave his side, and Dr. Rush reporting on the status of the Destiny was just that something.
It wasn’t that the general wanted to talk to the man per se, more like his contact was an indicator that Anubis’ control only extended so far, that this precious piece of Ancient technology and its minuscule crew was intact and not threatened, at least not by the likes of him. It also meant, however, that some changes needed to be made, and soon.
They needed to find a way to get the ship home before someone else could find it.
As she walked back to her office, slowly, planning, she ran through her head the victories and losses in this final engagement. The Daedalus was badly damaged, the Odyssey fortunately only suffering a few hits, Cameron already taking control of the reconstruction. There had been some damage to the Pentagon as well, crews from the National Guard being called in to assist with clean up. The Jaffa, despite their losses, were aiding in the recovery of ships, using cloaked vessels and confiscated motherships to literally pick up the pieces, but there was much more to be done. The news had reported military testing, staging on both coasts against possible foes, the Middle East, North Korea and the conspiracy theorists were tipped off to enough of the truth that they were making the reality of everything just seem too insane to believe.
Things, however, were far from over.
There was the matter of the prisoners; who was truly loyal to Anubis and who was being forced into service.
There was the matter of Galar, that planet mostly loyal to Anubis, buying his story and his speeches.
There was the matter of Langara, according to Homer still in a state of hibernation.
There was the matter of helping to repair and rebuild the Jaffa council.
And then there was the matter of Atlantis.
That had always been on her mind, when she would send it back, when they would re-establish a gate bridge but that had all been put on the back burner while they dealt with Anubis. Then the Destiny had awakened and they were lost on the other side of the universe, desperate to get home.
Pegasus, however, they could get to in less time, especially at full power, and keep it out of the paws of any bureaucrats here.
Re-establishing the Atlantis base on Atlantica could be even more of a benefit, allowing them to regain access to the resources of the Pegasus galaxy, both in goods and people. Sam remembered keenly a program that was flourishing, expanding and forever learning and more than anything she wanted that to be a reality again.
There were just a few details to take care of first.
Slipping in through the back door, Sam peered through the rear of her office, trying to see what Rush was doing while he waited, but he was simply sitting there, in a cadet’s body, silent and unmoving.
“Dr. Rush,” she greeted, walking straight to the man and extending her hand, feigning both energy and ease.
“Eli, Dr. Rush asked that I come, but when I arrived, well, it’s looked a little crazy around here, I thought if I said I was him I wouldn’t be ignored,” he answered, standing and shaking her hand. Clever, she thought, unable to help but smile, gesturing for him to take a seat.
“Can I ask what happened?” he inquired, Sam letting out a rather long sigh.
“Anubis, but he’s gone. We’re still picking up the pieces, but it seems that’s behind us now,” she replied honestly, Eli nodding his head. He remembered the Lucian attack on Cheyenne, the one that had forced operations here and he understood. He just hoped that the causalities were low.
“How fares everything on your end?” she asked, wondering why Dr. Rush himself hadn’t come and Eli shrugged, grimacing just a touch.
“Not too bad. Everyone is still coping with the losses. Scott had the bodies moved to one of the uninhabitable wings, took out the life support with the thought that the bodies can be stored until we make it home...” he trailed, his voice indicating that he didn’t believe that himself.
“And Rush? Young?”
The young man nodded.
“Alright. There wasn’t enough man power before and there is even less now. They managed to get us to a planet with some plant life and fresh water and so far the arguments have been relatively minimal, for them at least,” he answered calmly. Sam was confused; if everything was alright then why was he here?
“Eli, I have to ask then, why are you here?”
This time, the young man looked at his booted feet, shifting uncomfortably in his borrowed body.
“Chloe woke up. She doesn’t know who she is.”
“Oh,” Sam whispered, yet another tragedy to deal with, “medically, however, is everything else...”
“Yes, TJ says she’s fine, she just doesn’t know who she is or where she is. She’s had to be somewhat sedated; waking up in a dirty infirmary on a spaceship was a bit more than she can handle,” he explained as Sam remained calm and strong for him.
What if Jack doesn’t remember who he is?
What if he doesn’t know where we are?
What if he doesn’t know me?
“General?” Eli asked, Sam shaking her head, dispelling the worry as she refocused on her guest.
“What do you need from us?”
“We were hoping to see if there was an expert on memory among the doctors, someone who can come and take a better look?” he requested, pleading, his care and concern for his friend apparent. That she could do; it would give her an excuse to hang in the infirmary for a bit while Carolyn looked into the condition.
“Yes, I will need to speak with Dr. Lam, but give me a few hours at least and we’ll send someone over to check her out,” the general offering, Eli smiling in relief.
“Thank you,” he uttered as he stood making a promise to himself that he would keep the stones on hand.
Sam sat at her desk for a moment, staring at the phone and the computer debating. She couldn’t just sit around and wait for things to go into motion themselves, she needed to call a briefing, call her team in, the head of the various labs and Atlantis, to lay out a plan for reconstruction.
“Addy?” she heard her aunt whisper from around the corner, peeping her head into the room. Nicholas was stirring slightly so it was alright; she wasn’t disturbing him with her entrance like Adrienne knew she would be worried.
“Come in, he’ll tell me when he wants to get up. He’s like me, likes his sleep,” she joked with a smile, Barbara taking a seat beside her on the bed.
“How long he be talkin’ ?” she asked, Adrienne reaching out to take her hand, feeling bad that this was something she had to hide from her.
“About three months,” Adrienne answered honestly, Barbara chuckling.
“He be a smart one dat one,” was all she said, Adrienne pulling her legs up nervously to cross them yoga style.
“Ya not be an archaeologist,” her aunt continued as she squeezed her niece’s hand, Adrienne sighing out, preparing to have a conversation that she never expected to have.
“I am, just not in the way you might think,” she replied softly.
“And dis be a space ship,” Barbara was still talking, Adrienne embarrassed not for the truth about her life finally coming out but about the fact that she had assumed for so long that her aunt was an idiot, a hillbilly who would never figure it out or was too uneducated to know what she was seeing.
“It’s a city actually, a city that can travel through space,” Adrienne answered, her hand squeezed yet again.
“Like da Death Sta...” the older Cajun teased, Adrienne laying her head on his shoulder as she giggled.
“Something like that.”
“Are ya ‘appy? Really ‘appy ‘ere, doin’ dis?”
Adrienne turned to face her and smile. Of course her aunt, the woman she never gave credit for being as clever as she was, would accept all of this insanity unconditionally, Adrienne's happiness being her only real concern.
“Very, so very happy. Not just Daniel though or Nicholas, but everything. It’s my dreams come true,” she was able to say with a smile on her face, lifting her head from the safety of her aunt so that she could see her eyes and know it was true.
“Der be anything else I need ta know?” Barbara asked, Adrienne shrugging and shaking her head.
“Nope, that’s about it,” Adrienne replied, just as a tall blue Aetlan passed by the door, Barbara Verdin’s mouth dropping.
“Oh yeah, aliens are real too. That’s about it,” Adrienne amended with a shrug, “I think...”
“Do you know what this is about?” Adrienne asked, pulling Daniel back by the arm to a doorway, just like they used to do so long ago.
“No idea,” he shrugged, speaking truthfully as he had no clue what Sam was calling a briefing for. He had checked on Jack once they had arrived back home, wanting more than anything to be in the comfort of their home, but before they could even make it to their quarters to grab some things they were called down here. Fortunately for them however Aunt Barbara was here, Daniel surprised at how well the woman was taking the whole ‘Science Fiction come to life’ experience, since everyone he called was also attending this meeting. It wasn’t that he thought Nicholas would be a problem, he wouldn’t, now that he spoke he was very well behaved, but if Daniel had no idea what was going to be said he didn’t want his overly mature son to be listening in on the conversation.
“Jack?” she continued, Daniel shaking his head in the negative.
“No, I spoke with Carolyn. He’s fine, they still don’t know how he’ll be affected once he wakes up, but it’s not life threatening in the least,” he assured, squeezing her arm. It was nice to see her care about Jack, not that she didn’t before but things had been different since his stint carrying the baby.
“Ok,” she replied softly, Daniel stepping away before there was a pull at his arm, Adrienne summoning him back and into her embrace, pressing her lips to his, kissing him slowly right in the corridor. He could never say no to her, meeting or not, letting himself fall into the moment before she was pulling away.
“What brought that on?” he asked, reaching for her, pulling her back to him.
“I needed that. I needed you. That’s all,” she whispered, leaning to do it again.
“Stop making out in the damn hallway, Sam’s waiting,” Vala voice echoed as she passed by, not even taking the time to stop.
Blushing, the pair followed, fingers linked lightly.
“Thank you all for coming,” Sam began, Daniel scanning the room at the rather large assembly of people. Sam was seated at the head of the table, Walter to her right and John Sheppard to her left. The rest of the team and top SGC officials were seated around the table, from John there was Teyla, Rodney, Radek, Carson, Jennifer, Ronon, and Vala. From Walter was Teal’c, Cameron, Jonas, Adrienne, himself, Carolyn Lam and Ann Mardsen as well as a few men in suits, men Daniel assumed were the new IOA officials.
“How’s Jack?” Cam asked, Carolyn answering immediately.
“Stable, well. If his vitals stay the way they are for the rest of the day I’m going to slow the drip and start bringing him out of the coma,” she replied, the colonel nodding as Sam cleared her throat preparing to speak.
“I’d like to begin by thanking each of you for not only your efforts in all of this but for taking the time to worry yourselves with Jack. It,” she stammered a bit, Daniel wishing he was closer to comfort her, but she composed herself quickly, continuing, “means the world.”
There was a silence at the table, Daniel feeling movement beside him, a hand squeezing his thigh that he slipped his own underneath to meet it.
It was good to have Adrienne by his side again.
“This morning I met with Eli and it’s only brought to light the reality of the situation that we’re in. We’ve suffered losses in this, some greater losses than others, but we cannot afford to let our guard down nor can we use this as a further excuse to stunt the continuation of the program. The Destiny has survived; we need to bring them home. Our allies need us and it is our duty to assist them, all of them, in getting back on their feet. And we have ZPMs, we have a master power source, and we can fly Atlantis. It’s time she’s returned to her home galaxy.”
Strong words, Daniel thought, coming from someone who almost lost the person that meant the most to her as he himself had just days earlier. True, there was a large part of him that just wanted to go home, curl up in the floor with his family and just be together but she was right. This needed to be done, action needed to be taken to bring the program to what it was before, to the program that he knew his wife had only read about in files.
“Teal’c, if the Jaffa are willing, once the clean-up is finished I would like them to go to Galar, with Cameron, to at the very least assess that situation. It may be a case of Anubis terrifying them into compliance, but we need to know either way,” she dove right in, the men in question nodding.
“Carson, I would like you and Jennifer to assemble a medical team, gate to Langara and begin the process of waking them from their hibernation. Jonas, I will need you there as well, determine who would be next in the line of succession. They are going to need our help, possibly for a while.”
Daniel took a quick look around Adrienne at Jonas now, gauging his reaction. He seemed very pleased to be returning home, and Daniel could understand, happy for his friend that had been through so much.
“Carolyn,” Sam continued as she could see the doctor already questioning why she was not accompanying the medical party to their allied planet, “I need you to head to the Destiny, I would like a switch with Camille Wray if at all possible, as I could use her expertise here getting the base reorganized. It seems that Chloe Armstrong is conscious, but she’s suffering from amnesia. Given her alterations, I don’t think this is something we can overlook.”
Understanding Daniel could tell, Carolyn nodded.
“Vala, I’d like you to sort through the Lucian mess. See how much of Endrae’s story is true, who we can trust and who we need to find other options for. You may assemble a team as needed, but give me the names of those persons before you depart.”
She smiled, and Daniel was happy for her. Vala deserved this and he knew exactly who would be the first choice for her team.
“As for the crew of Atlantis, I would like to return to Pegasus as soon as possible, set up a supply train, assess the situation with the Wraith and begin reconstruction of the gate bridge,” she concluded, Rodney shaking his head.
“Samantha, it’s gonna take weeks to get ready. We need to recharge, make sure you have a supply of Zed-P-M’s here, fix some of the minor damage, test dialing outside of Earth’s orbit -” he began to argue right away, Sam raising her hand to cut him off.
“How long?” she spoke slowly.
“At least four weeks, but more like six, yes, six weeks,” he sputtered, his eyes already at his tablet making calculations.
“Fine, get to work. I want a daily report of the progress,” she said, standing, moving over to the SmartBoard when Rodney stood as well.
“I need a full complement Samantha, and I’m sure that John will agree. I need every scientist here that you can spare, some engineers, I want to make sure, as I know John does, that our people are the safest they can be for the return journey,” he said, looking to John for support, “don’t you agree?”
“Oh course,” the colonel answered, his face in a frown, “what do you mean our people?”
“Our people John, you and me, I’m assuming that both the IOA and SGC have learned the error of assigning leadership to solely the military or civilians. A joint leadership of the city between yourself and I would be the most logical decision,” Rodney explained with a smile, John shaking his head.
“Nuh uh, you can bury me in a puddle jumper; I want no parts of that,” he answered quickly, Rodney beaming.
“Of course, I’m more than happy to lead the station alone, provided I’m given the support needed to continue my research,” the scientist declared, Daniel trying not to publicly facepalm.
Rodney McKay in charge of Atlantis?
Could there be a worse nightmare?
“Actually Rodney, we’ve already made a decision concerning the command of Atlantis, but I prefer not to disclose anything until I have had the opportunity to discuss it in private with the individual in question,” Sam replied, much to Daniel’s relief. He should have had faith in her; she would never give that much power or control to someone, while well intentioned, so abrasive.
“All due respect Samantha, but I believe a decision regarding the person who is to take command of our home,” he stressed ‘home’ with a sneer, pausing for effect, “should be one that all Atlantis crew members are involved with.”
“Again, Rodney, it was a group decision, between myself, the leadership at Area 51, Jack, the Joint Chiefs and the IOA. We have taken many factors into account and I can assure you that as soon as I can I will let each of you know who will be serving as your new commander,” she was calm, Daniel’s mind racing. Who in the world could it be? Someone from Area 51? She had mentioned quite a few departments; one of them must have had someone in mind before she started this process for a decision to have already been made.
“Dammit Samantha, I thought we ended this bullshit when Robert died! Why in the hell is everything such a god damn secret! Who is it?” he raged, Daniel letting his head fall this time into his hands, of course Rodney was turning this into a fiasco, Adrienne squeezing his leg again.
“Daniel,” Sam answered plainly, the archaeologist looking up to see what she wanted to say to him, “the committee has chosen Daniel to head Atlantis.”
I must have fallen asleep...
“Oh my gawd,” Adrienne’s words tumbled from her mouth, confirming that he was indeed awake, her hand slipping away from his leg.
“And we were hoping that Adrienne would step in to take over Anthropology, freeing you up Rodney for your own research, now that we have someone we can spare to assist in that department.”
The room was silent, every last eye on him as Daniel tried to collect his thoughts.
“What about the Archaeology lab here?” Cam asked, confused, the first to break the silence.
“That has yet to be determined, provided that Daniel accepts the position,” Sam answered now joining in the eyes.
“Sha?” Adrienne asked, leaning around, Daniel’s mouth agape in utter shock.
“I, uh, I need some time,” he stammered out, finally looking at his wife, trying to read her, dammit Ad, why can’t I read you right now????
“Of course, which is why I wanted to discuss this in private,” Sam shot a glare at Rodney as she said the last word, turning back to the SmartBoard, continuing with the meeting.
Daniel wasn’t sure of anything that was said after that, only slightly aware of the word ‘CALM’ being spelled onto his thigh.
“Indy, you have to take it!” Adrienne hissed as she closed the door behind them, locking them together in the supply closet.
“Ad, there’s a lot to consider. You do realize that this job is in an entirely different galaxy,” Daniel argued, reaching for the light so he could see her face. The fluorescents flickered to life, his wife standing in front of him, arms crossed across her chest.
“Let’s be rational ja-wer,” he began, Adrienne not moving a muscle.
“Let’s,” she replied.
“Anthropology is not archaeology. You know nothing about these people; you would be starting from scratch.”
“I like learning, next.”
“No more TV, Movies, Sookie Stackhouse books.”
“Gives me time to write my novel.”
“There are no marathons or other races on Atlantica.”
“I can start some, I’m sure the locals have great runners.”
“Nicky wouldn’t be able to go to school.”
“You really thought that he was going to school here? Our Nicholas?”
“We’d be leaving the database.”
“Since when? You married a computer geek who has three years’ experience in Asgard technology, I can get a copy.”
“You’d be light years away from your family.”
“Three week flight on the Odyssey until the bridge is reconstructed. Kinda like being on a dig in college.”
“Who would take over here?”
“I can think of a few people, but we have weeks to decide that.”
“The house, the cars, our lives here on Earth,” he continued, Adrienne stepping forward lightly placing her hand on his mouth.
“Daniel, do you want this?” she asked and he sighed, kissing her palm and pulling it away slowly.
“More than anything,” he whispered, “I just...” he trailed, Adrienne reaching out for him.
“What? You just what?” she questioned, holding him close, running her fingers down his cheek.
“I’m just not sure I can do it,” he admitted what he could only say to Adrienne, the one person he trusted most in this world.
“Indy, you already have. Just stop and think, you have, you just didn’t realize it,” she said with a smile, Daniel leaning in to kiss her when he paused, considering her words. He had, in reality since Anubis had become a threat he had stepped up and had taken over, in his mind doing what was necessary to protect the woman he loved. When it came time to fight, when it was finally time to face his greatest fears, Daniel had appointed himself the commander of the city already without even realizing it.
“Adrienne, I want you to be sure,” he whispered as she smiled, her dark Cajun eyes sparkling under the lights.
“I’m sure. I’ve got this problem, see, I kinda fell in love with my boss and he’s gonna need me, I think, to keep him in line,” she teased, Daniel taking her into his arms, hugging her tightly.
“We’re going to Pegasus,” he whispered excitedly, Adrienne burying herself into his chest.
“It’s about time you woke up,” Daniel joked as he watched Jack open his eyes, slowly, turning his head to peer at Cassie so she could call Sam. Samantha had been here all morning, Carolyn unsure as to how long it would take before he woke up, before the joint chiefs were calling, demanding a report of the week’s progress.
A week, Daniel thought, it’s been a week since I accepted the job.
I’m the commander of Atlantis.
“What in the hell Daniel, why are you in my god damn bedroom,” he swore, of course, Daniel letting out a sigh of relief. Both amnesia and speech had been everyone’s first concern, but if he was calling him by name and swearing at Daniel like normal, that seemed to be in order.
“Wipe the crap out of your eyes and look around. For once it’s not me,” the archaeologist retorted, Jack grumbling a touch before rubbing his face, taking a glance around the room once he was finished.
“Dammit, why am I here?” he spat, Daniel glaring down at him.
“That’s what we’re hoping you can tell us,” his old friend replied. Grumbling some more, Jack tried to sit up, reaching out his right arm to support him only to have it spasm, the general dropping onto the bed.
Motor skills, Daniel noted, that’s gonna be an issue.
“Don’t try to sit up just yet, alright? Take a deep breath and think about what happened,” he urged, hoping it was best to have Jack remember the entire incident rather than just tell him what had occurred.
“Right, ok, how long have I been out?” Jack turned his head back to Daniel who was desperately trying to not scan the rest of his body for any other part that might not be functioning, his legs being the number one concern. If Jack needed a walker or something close he just might explode.
“Little over a week. Carolyn kept you under for the first few days, ran some tests and started to bring you out slowly about three days ago. It took longer than she thought; you had us worried,” Daniel explained, hoping his friend caught the last part as a joke.
Of course, that’s his first worry, Daniel shaking his head.
“In a meeting, where is she always? Now what happened?” Daniel pushed a little further, Jack letting his head flop back onto the bed.
“You were playing Han Solo with Atlantis and I had the Joints Chiefs up my ass wanting to know if we’d made the decision and that’s why you’d taken the damn thing into orbit...” he started, stopping, realizing his words.
“Scratch that last part,” he amended, Daniel laughing as he continued, noting Jack’s slip but not saying a word just yet, “The Lucians were attacking the base, so I went down to monitor the situation with Walter while Sam was trying to help Carolyn since you TOOK Cassie when one of your girlfriends tried to kill me.”
“Anubis,” Daniel corrected, Jack rolling his eyes.
“They didn’t make me a general because I’m good lookin’ Daniel,” he spat, frowning, “of course I knew it was Anubis.” Daniel, nodded.
“Carry on,” the archaeologist indicated, Jack shrugging but pausing his words, watching his hand twitch again, involuntarily. Make a note, Daniel thought, he’s not gonna be willing this information to Carolyn.
“Nothing else to say. He was dressed in our gear as a hot chic and because I’m stuck in a damn office all damn day I have no clue who in the hell anybody is anymore. I went over to ask her who she was and what she was doing here when she stuck me. Knocked me out I guess,” Jack remembered, Daniel quickly tossing aside the remainder of his line of questioning since Jack’s memory seemed to be completely intact.
“It was a nanobyte, updated version of the Galaran memory device. Carolyn thinks it made you believe that Anubis was in charge and you followed his orders. Made you deactivate the gate,” Daniel explained finally, standing from the chair to get his friend a glass of water.
“Me, deactivate the gate? Why me? I barely know how to check my damn email,” he argued, trying to sit up again, falling back down in frustration, “Why in the hell can’t I sit up!?!?!”
Sighing, Daniel looked around the infirmary for Carolyn, hoping she would be near, and she was, on the phone in her office. He debated for a moment, getting her, but decided against it. Jack was like his brother, they’d been through too much together and he deserved to hear it from him.
“You had a stroke Jack. Anubis inserted the memory device into you, presumably to have an agent with power in his control. You were dismantling the dialer in the gateroom when Sam found you,” he began, Jack rubbing his face. Daniel kept talking, not wanting his friend to start worrying about his wife again, “The device, according to Rodney, isn’t very well constructed, some of the safety protocols that would allow it to remain imbedded without causing a blood clot were not put into place. It’s what killed Woolsey.”
The general was silent.
“So I died?”
“Not this time, you did go into cardiac arrest, but everything’s fine,” Daniel was assuring now, Jack trying to sit up again, his arm shaking, unable to hold himself.
“No Daniel, it’s not...” he spat, glaring at his arm.
“Jack, listen to me, it was a stroke. You could have died, you could have woken up here not knowing what your name was. You’ve been unconscious for over a week, some diminished motor skills are to be expected,” Daniel was trying to ease the panic when there was a form at the door, a happy glowing face peeking around the corner.
Saved by the six month old.
Peeking up, Daniel saw Nicholas standing, awkwardly, Adrienne holding him upright by his small hands as he toddled forward.
“Look at you big guy!” Jack was trying to sit again, struggling, Daniel reaching forward without a word, helping him upright. The general didn’t say a thing, allowing his friend to assist, instead focusing on the small child entering the room, “You’re walking.”
“Walking uncle Jack would imply that I didn’t need Mom to help me, but I guess it’s close enough. Tried the crawling thing, dirty knees, not a fan,” the baby answered, Daniel shaking his head.
He’s so Adrienne’s son.
“I don’t blame you Nicky, I don’t,” Jack was reaching out now, Adrienne grabbing the boy from the floor to take him to Jack.
“Mom,” he protested, “put me down.”
“Nicholas let’s play a game, one in which ya act like a six month old,” Adrienne started, Daniel holding back a laugh.
“Seven Mom, I will be seven months old next week,” he corrected as Adrienne set him on Jack’s lap, the general looking scared, admitting with his eyes what Daniel knew was going to be hard to admit with words.
“He can balance himself, just wrap your arms around him,” Daniel muttered quietly, Adrienne peeking at him with a look as she read his lips and his face.
“So, Uncle Jack, you’ve slept through everything,” Nicholas started right in as Jack cautiously held the boy in place, Adrienne walking over behind Daniel who was already reaching out for her, wanting contact, “Dad kicked Anubis’ ass.”
“Nicholas Francis!” Adrienne scolded, the boy rolling his eyes.
“Butt, Dad kicked Anubis’ butt. He blasted him into bits and threw him into space. It was cool, Dad was covered with blood!”
“You need to start locking up your zombie books ja-wer,” Daniel whispered, as Adrienne stifled a laugh herself.
“And the Furlings, they were switching pilots, and they kept dropping Jaffa and Lucians in the dungeon and there are so many of them, Aunt Vala took me down there to -”
“She did what!?!?” Adrienne interrupted, again, Daniel pulling her into his lap and resting his head on her back.
“Just let him finish, we’ll parent later,” he muttered from his new position, his arms wrapped tightly around her waist.
“Anyway, after Anubis was dead, Ishta and the Jaffa and the Furlings finished off the rest and a few of the Lucian ships just surrendered. The clones knew instantly that he was dead, so the Lucians that had been forced into service turned on them and KILLED them!!” Nicky was excited, as a little boy normally would be, just not a six month old and not about things that happened.
“So we won?” Jack asked, smiling, leading the child on.
“Of course we won Uncle Jack! Anubis was no match for my dad!” he declared proudly, Daniel smiling from his wife’s back.
“I feel that, don’t let it go to your head,” she whispered, Daniel chuckling.
“And, because my Dad is so awesome, guess what they did?!” Nicky now asked, beating his small hands on Jack’s chest.
“What did they do?” he asked, holding the baby tightly still for fear of dropping him.
“They gave Dad Atlantis. He’s THE commander of Atlantis!!!”
So much for telling Jack myself...
“You took it?” Jack leaned around to ask.
“Yeah,” Daniel responded, still from Adrienne’s back, not wanting his old friend to see him slightly embarrassed, a small part of him still thinking this was a job that he didn’t deserve.
“When do you guys leave?” Jack now asked, Daniel realizing at that moment that Sam wasn’t stretching the truth in their conversation when he accepted the job; they really had thought this through and for a while.
“Rodney says we’ll be ready in four weeks,” Nicky answered for his dad, rambling on, like his father as well, “and Mom is completely freaking out trying to pack up and figure out what to take, Dad says we have to sell the house, which makes no sense because it’s paid for and Mom’s been staying up really late trying to download the database to the Atlantis mainframe because the IOA told Dad that they are going to need to approve of a copy because they don’t want so many floating around space but Mom says they are morons and Dad still hasn’t assembled a crew because every time he goes over there to start working he comes back pissed off at Rodney and sneaks away to the office with Mom’s moonshine.”
“That’s where that’s been going?” Adrienne whipped her head around, throwing Daniel upright.
“I said I was gonna get the supplies so I can make you some on Atlantis Ad, you won’t go without,” he replied, pushing her to stand.
“I hate to leave but speaking of my new job,” Daniel said as he stood himself, adjusting his uniform, “I have more bullshit to deal with.” He started to walk away and paused, looking back over his shoulder.
“It’s good to have you back,” he said quietly to Jack.
“Hear that Nicky,” Jack replied to the boy instead, smiling, “your dad was worried about me, so whatever bad shit he’s told you is all a lie. He loves me.”
Smiling Daniel left the infirmary, heading out to meet with John concerning his staff.
Jonas stood at his desk, the desk, he really hadn’t worked at it in the past three weeks much, gating between here and Langara. It was convenient that Anubis had repaired the Langaran DHD before he decided to gate himself to Atlantis, that had saved a lot of time and effort, and the air canisters that Carolyn had created to disseminate the cure worked like a charm; people all over the capital waking up, confused, but seemingly unharmed. The doctor said it would take weeks to wake the rest of the planet, using jumpers to travel to major cities and then allow medical professionals to disseminate the antidote to remainder of the smaller towns.
All of that went well, all of it, except for who was in charge, and, once again, we were back to them versus us.
Jonas didn’t even know the names of all of the officials; most of the higher-ups had been either killed by the clones in the initial attack or executed later. With Tulra not having been sworn in, there was no plan for who would be the next in line without going to the past administration, which seemed to be siding with Forces United, causing a whole new headache. Jonas felt that he needed to help, but this was just more than he could handle and Sam had agreed, sending over some high level SG and Pentagon officials in his place.
So he was back here, in the lab, as Daniel and Adrienne Jackson prepared to leave.
He understood why his friend was taking the job, he did, but it was just a tad upsetting. Daniel and Adrienne had been so much more than coworkers to him, they had taken him in when he had nothing else, they had been his friends and his family and now they were leaving.
Once the capital had been awoken, Jonas went home to his house, miraculously unscathed by the battle that had pushed him through the gate in the first place. It used to be a sanctuary for him, the design of the entire place a combination of the things he loved about Langara and his time spent on Earth, but now it just didn’t have the same meaning for him. In fact, the only place now that felt like home was Daniel & Addy’s and they were leaving.
Trying not to think about it, Jonas looked back at the screen, just not feeling like working on anything today.
It was Daniel’s voice at the doorway, as if he was asking permission to enter, odd, since it was his lab. He’d been like that since he took the command position, no longer as sure of his role on this base. It was respectable, he could have been walking around like he owned the place, but he hadn’t, instead carrying himself professionally and humbly.
“Morning,” the Langaran greeted, happy to have an excuse to shut the laptop with the latest information on his home world staring back at him.
“You gotta minute? I’d like to talk,” Daniel started right in, walking to the center table, pulling out a chair and indicating that Jonas join him. He paused for a moment, unsure as to what Daniel needed to talk to him about before joining him at the table, stepping over a plethora of boxes that Adrienne had packed along the way.
“What’s up? Everything going all right with the set-up?”
Sighing, Daniel shook his head.
“If Rodney came with a mute button, things would be going a lot better,” he joked, Jonas laughing. Yeah, that was something he wished on no one, having to deal with Rodney McKay, “and that’s kinda why I’m here.”
Jonas stopped laughing, confused yet again.
“I’m not good with electronics, or mind control,” he tried to joke, Daniel thankfully chucking in return.
“Well that answers my first question,” Daniel played right back, folding his hands, unfolding them and starting to pick his fingernails just like Adrienne did, “but there’s something else I wanted to ask you.”
“Go on,” Jonas replied, curious, watching Daniel frown and bite his lip.
“What are your plans? I mean, when did you plan on heading back to Langara?” he asked, Jonas shrugging. When WAS he planning on going? He kept gating back and forth, looking for excuses to go from one place to another, with no idea what he was going to do.
“Not sure. Sam’s people are working with what is left of our government to try to get some sort of temporary leadership, followed by elections. They are re-electing the entire congressional body, including my position, but she thinks that given everything I’d be re-elected easily,” Jonas answered, Daniel looking down at his hands, picking again.
“Right, of course,” he muttered, nervously, again odd, Jonas not sure what in the world was going on.
“Daniel is something the matter?” he asked, figuring they were close enough friends to ask, it wouldn’t be intruding, too much.
“No, nothing’s the matter. I wanted to know what you were doing because we needed to find my replacement and your name came up, well, I brought it up. The committee voted and they asked me to come down and offer you the position,” was his reply.
For a moment Jonas Quinn didn’t know what to say. In that instant he knew how Daniel had felt when they offered him the base, although this wasn’t being done in a public forum. Here no one was staring at him, expecting an answer; there was no feud to be had like he knew Daniel was living with Rodney right now.
Should he? Should he abandon his people to their fate? Leave the life behind that he had created back on Langara? On the other hand, could he really leave this life, this horrible second chance he was given to be back in a place that accepted him for who he was?
“Jonas, it’s a big decision, I understand, and I don’t want to rush you, you can take a few days to -”
That was his answer. Here he could do the most for his people, not as some bureaucrat with his hands tied in committee after committee, but as the head of this department he could do the good that Daniel had done and remain here on Earth.
“Really?” Daniel seemed surprised at his sudden answer but all Jonas could feel was relief, he had a place and a purpose.
Yes. I’ll take it, I’ll take the job.”
Daniel was smiling, a huge grin across this face, him looking relieved as well.
“In that case, there is a second part to the offer, well, more of a favor to me,” he continued, slipping his hand into his pocket, pulling out a set of keys, “We had a buyer but Adrienne just can’t, we can’t, bring ourselves to sell it.”
This time, Jonas couldn’t even produce a one syllable word. Their house, their home, a place that had been his home for so long, a place that sitting late nights with Adrienne watching TV she told him she loved so much.
“You already know the layout, and then you don’t have to cramp your belongings into a concrete room or Cam’s apartment. We’re taking some of the furniture, Adrienne has it color coded and alphabetically labeled to be beamed aboard the ship, but you could bring anything from Langara you like, make it your own,” Daniel added with a smile, extended his hand with the keys.
“Daniel, I can’t take your house...”
“Well, technically, you’re not taking it. It’s paid for sure, but there will be taxes, homeowner’s association fees but it’s more like holding it. There’s a chance this will all be for not Jonas, we could arrive at the Pegasus to a disaster that even we can’t contain. So, it’s just holding it, watching over it for us, for a while...”
There really wasn’t any more to say. Daniel reached his hand out a third time, Jonas taking the set of keys from his palm.
Finally, Jonas Quinn felt he was somewhere where he belonged.
“Leave that lamp for Jonas Vala, actually, leave all of the lamps, I don’t think light’s gonna be a problem on board,” Adrienne changed her mind, yet again, Vala tossing the post-it notes aside.
“Alright, so we have decided that everything in the kitchen stays here...”
“Except the coffee maker and grinder, leave him the Keurig...”
“Fine, except for the coffee maker, whatever, and all of the lamps, bookcases, desks and the dining set,” Vala clarified, knowing that this wouldn’t be the end.
“Yes. We’re taking everything in Nicholas’ room, the books, Daniel’s junk collection, the bed, dresser, everything in the bathrooms, the living room set and the Grecian Couch,” Adrienne listed back, hoping that really was everything.
“You’re taking that ugly thing?” Vala now asked, Adrienne shrugging her shoulders.
“It’s not ugly, Daniel gave it to me,” she replied as Vala laughed.
“You gave him that damn poof and that’s in Teal’c’s house now,” she retorted, Adrienne rolling her eyes.
“Because I married a man with no taste.”
That last word was a struggle, Vala could tell, Adrienne getting ready to cry again.
“Stop,” she urged, approaching the Cajun, shaking her arm, “it’s gonna be exciting.”
“I know, but it’s just scary. I finally get a normal life and now I’m gonna go play Princess Leia,” Adrienne began to sob but Vala just laughed.
“No, you are not Princess Leia, at all. Because Glasses is not Han Solo, and you’re both dorks,” Vala replied, Adrienne pushing her away.
“Cooyon,” the Cajun spat.
“You can tell him not to take the job,” Vala now offered, Adrienne powering down the hall to resume packing in her bathroom.
“No, he took the job already mon ami,” Adrienne yelled over her shoulder, Vala following, grabbing the post-it notes on her way.
“Yeah, but he’d give it up for you. He’d give up everything for you. I was right Addy, you know I was, you’re it...”
“Stop,” Adrienne halted her stride, turning around, “I know Vala. I know. And you know what, he’s mine. This is his dream, and to be honest it’s mine too. Vala, I never thought I’d ever be anything, do anything, I thought that every dream I’d ever had was just that, a dream. But it’s not, and while this is hard, while I’ll miss my family, I’ll miss you guys, a part of me always knew this would be how it was in the end, just me and Indy.”
“And the rugrat,” Vala added quickly with a smile.
“And the rugrat,” Adrienne agreed, her face brightening again, “Come on, back to the bathrooms!” she declared, turning to head back down the hall.
“I liked lamp sorting better,” Vala whined as she followed.
He lied about the time the meeting started just to give Jack the opportunity to make it here before everyone else, but he hadn’t and for a moment Daniel thought he wasn’t coming until he heard the click of metal against tile in the hall.
Swallowing, Sam stood from her place beside the archaeologist, rushing to the door to help, Daniel catching bits and pieces of fussing from Jack as he turned down her assistance.
“Samantha, dammit, I’ve got this, look, I’ve gotten all the way up here without one damn bit of help!”
The SGC head nodded, backing away, letting Jack enter, with the walker, covered in stickers of various hockey teams, Daniel knowing they were stickers that his son ordered from the internet.
Note to self, Daniel thought, figure out Nicky-proof passwords as soon as possible just in case he decides to order himself something insane before they leave.
“What in the hell are you all staring at?? I’m an old man and it’s a god damn walker!!” Jack shouted as Daniel peeked around the room at their friends, each hiding their gawks, embarrassed. No one said a word as Sam moved down a seat to let Jack take her place, which he did slowly, the room still in silence, silence that Daniel knew was killing Jack.
“Bout damn time you got here...” Daniel joked right away, Jack glaring at him.
“Look smartass, just because someone gave you a damn city, doesn’t make you god,” he shot back, sitting down, the room instantly at ease.
“Are we ready?” Sam asked, taking Daniel’s cue and the collective all looked at her, hearts racing around the room Daniel knew.
This was the meeting everyone had been waiting for.
“Daniel, the floor is yours,” Sam said with a smile, her old friend taking a breath.
Gotta start giving orders sometime, he thought, opening the folder to begin.
“As you know Sam and I have been in more meetings these past few weeks than I care to count, but I guess it goes with the territory now. We’ve spoken with many of you individually and we thank you for your input and patience in this process. That being said, we think we’ve finally finished staffing the city,” Daniel began, his eyes darting over to Adrienne as she smiled softly, pride clear in her face.
This is for you too ja-wer, he thought, looking down to the folder on the desk to continue.
“There are some things that we’re keeping the same, namely that John Sheppard remain the head of all fields teams and serve as second in command to myself. That’s not much of a change really, and I need someone to have my back in case I manage to get myself hurt...”
“And there is a significant chance of that,” Carolyn piped up, Daniel seeing his wife’s hand race to her mouth to control her laughter.
“Rodney, you will be in charge of all scientific departments in addition to working your own lab. That means that each area will need to report to you weekly and those items that need to will be brought to my attention,” Daniel added with a careful glance at Rodney, who was beaming. Poor Radek, Daniel thought, I think I’m gonna need to make that up to him.
“In addition to worrying about scientific and military operations, I think we all know that we are unsure as to what we are walking into, so security will be made its own department. Ronon, I’d like for you to serve as my chief of security...”
“Sorry, I can’t,” the Sateadan spoke up, Daniel, along with the every other member of personnel in the room staring at him.
“Um, is there something that we need to know Ronon?” Daniel now asked, completely baffled, glancing at Adrienne whose mouth was open, her eyes wide.
Did SHE know something?
“Sorry Daniel, but I’m staying here,” he explained, if you could call that an explanation.
“Why?” this time it was Vala that spoke, leaning over from her seat beside him in total confusion.
“I can’t leave you,” he answered simply, in front of everyone, Daniel finally understanding his wife’s expression from earlier.
“What do you mean leave me? You’re not leaving me,” Vala replied, with a shrug, Ronon shaking his head.
“Val, you’re the head of Intelligence here, you had that job first, and I’m not leaving you,” he argued, as if no one else was in the room, Daniel feeling both touched to see the two of them acting like this along with incredibly awkward.
“What, that?” Vala said, leaning across the table further, her gaze directed at Sam, “Sam, I love you, I do, but, I quit. I’m going with Dex to the Pegasus.”
“Vala, I can’t ask you...” Ronon was in shock now, no one else at the table knowing what to say. Vala, on the other hand just looked at everyone, leaning back in the chair and crossing her arms across her chest.
“You didn’t ask me to do anything,” she started, shrugging her shoulders again, “and anyway, Daniel and Addy can’t take care of that baby, they’ll screw him up completely without me.”
“I’m never getting rid of her...” Daniel muttered before he could control himself, Sam suppressing a giggle.
“Anyone else need to mess up my staff?” Sam coughed out, still chuckling slightly as Daniel made a note in the file, adding Vala Mal Doran to his staff.
“Indy, just got the amended cargo list from Walter!” Adrienne shouted from his desk as he was forcing himself to call it, even though it still felt weird to be working from the main office of Atlantis. He hadn’t sat there, instead insisting that she set up there while she helped him get ready for their departure in less than three weeks’ time.
“Can you read it aloud?” he requested as he sat on the sofa facing her, his wife peeking up making a face.
“You are gonna have to sit here though, at some point,” she noted, doing as he asked and cueing up the list, watching him fidget from across the room.
“I have, but it’s impolite not to give up my chair to a beautiful woman,” he teased, Adrienne rolling her eyes.
“Ok cooyon, give me a sec to scan this, it looks identical to the last one,” she said frowning, running her finger down the list, “more provisions, some of the artifacts you requested, some ‘Q’ and hand weapons thank you Jennifer and The Daniel Jackson?” she paused in confusion, looking up at him, “What's that? Is Walter trying to be funny? Of course we have a Daniel Jackson. I would kinda throw a fit if we didn’t.”
“It’s not a typo, and it’s not me. It’s a ship,” he answered quickly, looking back down at the housing assignments for his staff.
"There's a SHIP named The Daniel Jackson?"
He didn’t like that tone, she seemed to be in shock, Daniel looking up from his tablet to answer and see what in the hell she was talking about.
"Yes," he clarified, Adrienne shaking her head.
"Why?" she asked, her husband shrugging.
"Why not?" he retorted.
"No reason..." she trailed, flicking around on her own machine once more. Daniel stopped what he was doing, not liking that response in the least nor the expression on her face.
"What's that look for?"
"Nuthin' sha, pass me that flashdrive..." Adrienne pointed to her bag on the floor, contents spilling out of side pockets.
"Not until you answer me," Daniel replied as he set his own computer aside, scooping the requested drive from the floor but not moving a muscle.
"Indy give me the gah damn flash drive," she said, holding out her hand in request, but her husband didn’t budge.
"That was a smirk; I saw your face. THAT was a smirk."
"It was not a smirk, I'm just surprised, that's all. It’s not every day you find out there is a ship named after your husband,” she was covering, he knew, there was a smart ass reply just waiting in the wings.
"Liar," Daniel said as he stood carefully, walking over to the desk to sit on the edge as Adrienne did, the love of his life giggling and reaching out for the drive, which he pulled away playfully.
"Did everyone get one?" she tried now, Daniel nodding in reply.
"Jack got one," he responded, and it was true. Adrienne however didn’t say a word just looked at the list again, momentarily forgetting the flashdrive.
"I said Jack got one," Daniel repeated as Adrienne but her lower lip, gazing up at him and reaching her hand out again.
"I heard you, can you hand me the flashdrive please?” she answered, the expression on her face different this time.
"That was a different look."
Adrienne rolled her eyes.
"Can you stop analyzing my facial expressions and let me get something accomplished."
"That wasn't a smirk Ad, THAT was acceptance. The Daniel Jackson gets a smirk, the Jack O'Neill gets a respectful silence," he pointed out, Adrienne peering up at him again, smirking.
"You did it again."
"Fine Indy, yes, it's funny ok. Ships are named after generals and presidents not..." she paused, Daniel frowning.
"Not what?" he clarified, setting the table aside to hear her final answer.
"Dorks? Look who's calling who a dork!" he defended, standing quickly to peer down at his wife, who was on the verge of hysterical laughter.
"I'm not waltzing around with a gah damn star destroyer named the Adrienne Rowan."
"The Adrienne Jackson."
Adrienne JACKSON rolled her eyes.
“Look, my point is -" she started to explain, Daniel shaking his head.
"And it's not a star destroyers Princess Leia, it's a science vessel," he explained, a snicker now escaping her lips as a hand was quickly brought to her mouth.
"So you have something to say about that now?"
She wasn’t just smirking now, she was full blown laughing, standing and covering her face with her hand, "No, I'm fine. Forget the flash drive, I'm gonna get a coffee, it wasn't even a -"
And then his wife lost it completely.
"It can't even blow shit up...”
And he was done. Standing from the edge of the desk, Daniel tossed her flashdrive onto the surface, his tablet computer after it, walking for the door to take him to the bridge.
"Where are you going?" Adrienne managed to choke out just as he got into the door.
"To work mingle with my crew, since they seem to take me seriously," and he left, Adrienne tossing everything aside to dash after him.
"Indy, come back, I'm sorry," she followed, still laughing, visions of the ultimate nerd vessel, emblazoned with her husband’s name, floating through her head, “Daniel dammit wait." But he was gone, around the corner, walking across the upper platform down to the bridge when Adrienne caught his wrist, spinning him around to face her.
"You finished?" he asked, trying not to grin as she waved her hand in front of her face, trying to control her laughter.
"Probably not for at least thirty years," she admitted, giggling, “Sha there’s just too many jokes to be had.” She interrupted herself, seeing the expression on his face, pulling him into a slow kiss right in front of his entire bridge staff.
"You're so awful to me,” he said as he broke away, to the sound of Davidson getting his crew back to order.
Goodbye was harder than Adrienne had originally thought.
Three days before their departure they took the Odyssey to the Bayou so Adrienne could say goodbye to her family and friends. Granted, this wasn’t like those first original missions in which the participants never knew if they would see their friends and family again. It would be a while if she wanted to, but really, as Aunt Barbara kept telling her, it was no different than going on digs in college and graduate school, all of which she had done before her father had fallen ill.
In fact, that was exactly what Aunt Barbara was telling the family.
Using Daniel’s expertise in Ancient Egypt as an excuse as to why they would have very little contact, Aunt Barbara carefully spun a tale that satisfied both the Verdin and Rowan sides of the family, told to everyone except Rae, who Adrienne had told the truth.
It felt good to be honest about that too.
Tears were shed, as expected, but it was no more than the tears shed for leaving behind Sam, Jack, Jonas, Teal’c and Cameron. It as Cam that tore Adrienne up the most; he was the closest thing to a brother that she had ever had.
She thought Daniel would be jealous, he had always had this thing with Cameron, thinking that somehow, in Adrienne’s eyes, that he was the one that got away, even though that was nonsense. Cam had been the first person Adrienne told about she and Daniel, the first person she let see her family and saying good-bye was tearing her up inside. If Vala was the sister that she never had, Cameron Mitchell had certainly filled the role of brother, threatening Daniel and all.
“I don’t want to either,” she heard as she stood at his door, breathing in deeply before knocking. Of course he’d have to sneak up on her, but she didn’t say a word, just turned around throwing her arms onto his shoulders, tears streaming down her face.
“I’m gonna miss you so bad,” Adrienne sobbed, Cam holding onto her like he never wanted to let go.
“I’m gonna miss you too Addy,” he replied, and she could tell that he was choking up as he said it.
“You have to come and visit,” she ordered, pulling away, the colonel bringing his hand to her cheek.
“I’m gonna be running supplies until you guys get settled, so give me a month or two and I’ll be right there,” he answered, sniffing in, still holding onto her hand.
“I never thanked you, for accepting me, from the first day. I could have never done this without you,” she was losing it again, Cam pulling her back into his arms.
“Yes you could have, but it makes me feel all mushy inside to hear you say that,” he joked, squeezing her tightly, “now go. Go to Pegasus, kick some ass, and keep Jackson in line.”
And then he pulled away, and he was gone.
And it was time to leave...
Daniel stood on the balcony overlooking the crystalline blue ocean.
Crystalline blue waters....
It reminded him of the poem that Adrienne had written so long ago, the one she had read to him in a U-haul on a long, cramped drive from San Francisco. He smiled holding onto the railing, remembering the rest of the poem and the man, the man she would follow to the ends of the universe.
It hadn’t occurred to him and it probably never occurred to her, but it had been him all along.
He just had to stop and see what was in front of him.
After everything he had gone through over all of these years, this woman, this completely unexpected woman had appeared and turned his world, his universe and his life upside down.
And he couldn’t be happier.
“Dad!” he heard behind him and turned to see Nicky, Nicholas as he was asking to be called, running towards him. Such a strange feeling, not only being a parent, but being a parent to a child that was mobile. It had taken four weeks to arrive safely, and in those four weeks Nicholas’ motor skills had exploded.
He really needed to sit down with Teyla and get some pointers for outfitting their quarters.
As the boy approached him Daniel took him up into his arms, hugging him tightly looking over the child’s shoulder at his wife, smiling, her face flushed, something clearly on her mind. Curious, he kissed his son and set him down, reaching out his hands for Adrienne.
“What’s that smile for?” he asked, Adrienne shaking her head, walking herself to lean onto the railing.
“Nicholas wanted to go down to the jumper bay and I saw something,” she was beaming, Daniel elated that his surprise had lasted until they landed on Atlantica to be found.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he played, reaching around her to pull her to him, holding her in his arms.
I’m the commander of Atlantis, and I live here on Atlantica now with my beautiful wife...
And my ridiculously smart son, who’s walking, at eight months...
“Can I go play with Torrin?” he asked sweetly.
“Dinner’s at seven, and don’t act like you can’t tell time,” Daniel responded, Nicky making a face before dashing, well, as fast as a child his size could dash, headed to on-base quarters.
“I told you we could sell the car,” Adrienne was leaning back into him now, Daniel bending to kiss her neck lightly, working his way up to her cheek.
“That didn’t make it the truth,” he replied softly, “besides, Apollo doesn’t take up that much space.”
“Thank you,” he could tell by her voice that she was tearing up, so he just held her tighter, but she pulled away, turning around to face him.
“That’s not why I came down here though, I know you wanted some quiet before the ‘Welcome Home’ speech, but I wanted to talk to you about something else,” she said, her face deadly serious, making Daniel worry.
“About what Ad? Is everything ok?” he asked, trying to read her face, their failsafe communication, but there was something so different about it right now, that smile, coupled with sadness that he just couldn’t figure out.
“Everything’s fine Indy, but I’ve been talking to Jennifer, and well,” she was stammering, Daniel’s heart racing in worry, she had been talking to the doctor, what was wrong, what was happening...
“Daniel,” she whispered softly, pulling his face so close to her own, “I want another baby...”
I’d like to thank each and every one of you for coming with me on this journey and for accepting Addy like she was just supposed to be here. You support and kindness meant the world.
So, this is supposed to be the end, right? Daniel Jackson got his happy ending, the one he really deserved. The one that should have been written for him. :)
Nah....they’ve been too much fun for me and been too good to me.
Please continue to follow me on Twitter, Blogger and FanFic for Daniel & Adrienne’s saga on Atlantis:
Crystalline Blue Waters