DISCLAIMER & NOTES: See Part One
By Elizabeth Carter
Somewhere in the distant foreground, voices of the Malakim choir softly offered up their voices in a hymn to the morning. It was as gentle as the first kiss of the sun as it struck the earth, warming it from its night's rest. Their music was unobtrusive but it was meant to waken the unconscious mind, and therefore acted well as a pleasant alarm call.
Samantha Carter leaned, with her arms folded, over the banister on the balcony. Last night, after making love in the botanical guarders, Janet had taken her wife back to their chalet. It was upon this same balcony, dressed only in silken ropes, as she was now, that the two lovers simply held one another, cuddling in warmth and comfort. Sam had never felt more safe then when she was in Janet's arms, or holding her wife close to her own body. When she was within Janet's embrace Sam didn't have to be the strong one. She didn't have to be ice or the wall of detachment and professionalism. She didn't have to be the soldier, or the Liege Commander. She could just be Sam the lover. Sam the wife. Sam the mother.
Sam the lover Casting a look over her shoulder to the small form in the bed, she found her lips curling into a smile. Janet was curled tightly against Sam's pillow, burying her nose into it as if to draw the scent of her lover out of it. Sam didn't know why but she flashed upon a memory of when she and Janet were first together, before Cassandra had come into their lives so abruptly. Sam the lover floated into a small memory that had become one of the more treasured ones she shared with her baby-girl from before she became Sam the wife.
Sam was sitting upon the sofa in Janet's house with her feet propped upon the coffee table, a note book on her lap and a pen in hand. She seemed to be paying very close attention to the program that was being broadcasted on the TV.
Janet walked down the stairs stretching and going into the kitchen for freshly brewed coffee that Sam had already made as it was still early in the morning. "Hey Hon what are you watching?" The pretty red-head called out from the other room.
"The Two Fat Ladies." Came the answer.
"You're watching the food network? You? Sam? You're not watching the Discovery channel?"
"Hey, I am a scientist it's in my nature to explore things." A bright smile was flashed to her redheaded lover. "Chemistry and cooking recipes and equations little difference."
Janet set the coffee down before she leaned into Sam's body, resting her head upon the other's lap. Sam automatically stroked her fingers through the auburn tresses. They watched as the two plump chefs buzzed about some kitchen in a hunt club's house.
"You know with their recipes it's no wonder they are...um...rather fluffy." Sam said.
Janet giggled. "Fluffy? Is that PR?"
The blonde shrugged causing the smaller woman to giggle, "Well who would trust a cook as bean poll thin as you Sammy?"
"Lover. Notice I don't cook? True I can make a mean soufflé, which is very complicated. But cooking isn't something you learn in boarding school."
"I got an idea." Janet said, taking her beloved's hand into her own, entangling their fingers. "You make a chocolate soufflé and we'll make homemade ice cream and waffle cones to go with it."
"Homemade ice cream?"
"Up for it?" Doe eyes shown playfully at her lover, Janet knew exactly how to manipulate Sam. The tall blonde was a sucker for her large brown eyes, and her flirtatious smile. True to form Sam melted as she did every time.
"Sure sounds like fun."
Sam looked at the shiny metal contraption on the table with some skepticism. Janet smiled at her lover's expression. She padded up behind her beloved heart and wrapped her arms around the thin waist. "What wrong?"
"Isn't this a little I don't know Amish?"
"What's wrong with modern technology?" Sam turned in the arms that held her and placed a soft butterfly kiss between Janet's dark brows.
"Well if you can't do it "
"I didn't say that." Sam said. "But they do make modern ice cream makers."
"Not like that one." Janet lifted her chin pointing to the metal contraption on the table. "It belonged to my grandparents. Kept it for the same reason you kept your first leather jacket. Nostalgia."
That cut any protests about using an old contraption versus the merits of a modern ice cream maker.
"Look my lovely astrophysicist it's easy. You just put the ice in this part, and the salt in this section." Janet pointed to the separated sections. "The cream, fruit and sugar go in to the main chamber."
Sam had yet to lift her eyes from the silver apparatus. She sighed heavily, but was cut short by Janet kissing her lips. "I have faith in you."
"Baby-girl why is it I have to make both the chocolate soufflé and the ice cream?"
"You make a better soufflé than I do. And you are only helping me with the ice cream maker. I'll take over in a while. Besides I have to make waffle cones."
Sam narrowed her golden eyebrows as she did when she didn't believe something someone said. Most of the time the expression was reserved for Jack O'Neill, though occasionally Daniel Jackson received the frown. "You know it's a left handed churner."
"Well of course. You need your right hand to bite your fingernails."
"Hey! I only do that when I am very concerned about something."
Janet smiled and watched her lover start the process of churning the ice cream. She hated to admit that the first part of churning was a bit hard on the shoulders however she justified using her lover, with the prospect of giving her a full rub down with the massage oil she had made for her on Valentines Day.
About ten minutes into churning Sam turned to her beloved. "Janet?"
"This is pure masochism you do of course realize this?"
Janet raked her nails across Sam's long back making her tall lover shudder. "I'll make it up to you babe, I promise."
Sam pulled away from the memory with a warm smile. Janet had indeed "made it up" to her. In fact Janet had made it up to her for the entire afternoon.
Drawing the silk robe across her gaunt frame, the tall blonde thought of the last title she had given herself. Sam the mother. It wasn't something she was looking for for a long time. She was loath to be anything like her father as a parent, too busy for his family, and the SGC unfortunately demanded much of her. And Sam demanded more of herself. There was a deeper fear that she would fail as a parent, for her model was her mother.
Rebecca Marie Carter was the icon of all mothers for Samantha. Indeed, as most children thought, mother was the name of God on her heart as well as her lips. When Rebecca died, God had died. There was only science, semantics, and the stars. Then there was Janet. Her love. And then there was Cassandra, a lost child, who like Samantha before her placed her mother symbol upon a pedestal, until Sam gently nudged that image towards Janet.
Then, a handful of years later, Rebecca Marjorie Fraiser-Carter came into existence. That child became the bright center of Samantha's world. Cassandra had smiled almost sadly when she thought she saw un-meant favoritism. Seeing Cassandra's look, Sam had tried so hard not to let herself fall into that trap, so much so she had over compensated on Cassandra's behalf. Until her eldest child took her hero-mother aside and told her, she knew always that Sam loved her. And now that she was an adult the baby of the family needed attention.
Cassandra never begrudged her sister the attention she was given. After all, at the time Cassie was twenty and living on her own. Well she had a roommate, Jennifer Hailey, also a member of SGC and a close friend, but still she was on her own. The eldest Carter-Fraiser child however was a frequent visitor and sometimes weekend tenent at home.
Another reason Sam knew that Cassandra held no ill will towards the natural child was that "Sassy" had become little Rebecca's idol. Of course Cassie or rather "Sassy" spoiled the child terribly. Not with gifts necessarily but with lavish attention. Always doing something fun, always playing, and eating special treats. Always telling bedtime stories and tickle time "Sassy" had become far more important then Father Christmas, the Easter Bunny and the elusive Great Pumpkin (who came into existence after watching the Charlie Brown Halloween special) combined. "Sassy" basked in the glow of her baby sister's worship. Yep it was good to be the elder sister when you had such an age difference between you.
Sam kept thinking of home. She loved Hy-Basil despite the hero worship that still unnerved her. But she suspected that saving a world's most renowned potentate well a world's only potentate, and a favored one at that, in a millennia, tended to make one a figure of notoriety. At the time she had saved Novalis' life she had no idea who she was, nor the profound effect it would have upon an entire culture. Or herself.
Unlike Daniel, who seemed to have a deeply hidden darkness, for the man could not handle power without it corrupting him. Sam, being perhaps the sprit she was, handled the enormous amount of power she was given by the queen (after Novalis, Sam Carter was the most powerful woman upon the planet of Hy-Basil), as she would handle her SG team.
Sam could not have cared less for the title and power of her position with the angelics. She longed to insure her family was safe, protected and held the knowledge they were deeply loved by her. The one thing Sam was terrified of as a parent and wife, was the thought that her family would come second to her work, as it had with her father. Jacob Carter provided much for his family, except his attention. A workaholic, Sam worried she might fall into that same trap. When leave came up, she now took it to be with her beloved family rather then locked in her lab working on some new invention with the Naquaada ore.
Looking over mountain ranges Sam allowed her thoughts to drift to the youngest member of the family. Rebecca was a miracle in more ways then one. Yes her conception had been miraculous. The fact she had survived her first few months had been yet another. Rebecca was born two months premature in a national park no less.
Sam the mother, allowed her mind to drift back to the point of time just after Rebecca's birth.
The neonatal intensive care unit was set up in the infirmary of the SGC, as Rebecca was only two pounds, four ounces. The tests proved that she had the DNA protean marker that Sam now had since Jolinar. There was also Naquaada in her blood as it was with her blonde mother. Rebecca therefore could not go to the Air Force Academy Hospital.
Exhausted, Janet was laying in a bed completely sound asleep. Cassandra sat near by watching over her baby sister and mother. Sam stood looking at her beloved wife and youngest daughter who was hooked up to wires, and tubes. The tall blond bit the nail on her right hand, her azure eyes never leaving her daughter.
"The redness is because her skin is very thin and transparent, which allows her blood vessels to show through." Sam said to Jack as he looked at the tiny body. "These electrodes monitor Rebecca's heart rate and breathing. Dr. Warner said it is typical for a premature infant to have this many wires and tubes attached to their body. The wires and tubes help to monitor how healthy Rebecca is and to help determine if any medications are needed. The I.V. site on Rebecca's left foot is normal to provide multiple sites for administering I.V. medications, fluids, and blood products. The soft plastic prongs at her nose are a way of providing supplemental oxygen. Warner said it is not unusual for premature infants to have these nasal cannulas providing oxygen for many months. The tube in her mouth is the feeding tube which she ingests milk from Janet." Her voice was detached; clinical, as if explaining the equations in a very complicated formula. O'Neill knew it was a defiance mechanism.
Jack looked at the tiny baby. Her arm was about the same size as his ring finger. He thought that the little thing could be completely covered by a washcloth and it would be as if she was laying upon a beach towel. He didn't know how such an itty-bitty being could exist.
He looked to his friend and knew she was terrified. This should be a happy time for the two mothers, not one fraught with fear, worry and tears. He was amazed at Sam's strength. She was barely holding it together. Her arms were pulled tightly about her body, her breathing deep drawn breaths as if to steady herself.
"Carter Sam " He touched her back... "Hey...um "
"Oh God Jack." Sam turned to him and wrapped her arms around him as she was over come with sobs of pent up pain, and dread.
O'Neill just held her and let her cry. The only other time he had seen her fall apart was when Daniel died (both times). He had never known that she had similarly wept when she and SG1 had lost him a long time ago when Maybourne had pulled him into the portal of what O'Neill dubbed Paradise Lost.
Sam Carter the forever-strong woman shuddered as her tears took her violently. "I can't. I can't lose her she is so tiny so little It's the Naquaada in my blood I know it I should never have begged Jan to go to the park I can't lose her Its my fault my fault She's so tiny . God its so hard to look at her all connected to tubs and wires just to keep her alive "
"Hey Carter, it isn't your fault. These things happen." Jack winced hoping his words didn't seem as hollow as he thought they did. "And besides she has Carter-Fraiser blood in her. She's a fighter like her mothers. She'll pull through this."
Sam pulled away swallowing hard, she wiped the tears from her puffy eyes, and looked down to her boots before she looked back up to the small form in the neonatal unit. "Yes Sir."
Jack smiled. It was back to Sir almost always it was Sir. "Hey just think in oh say in eighteen years she'll be calling me Sir, and running around saving the world like her rocket scientist mother or curing impossible diseases like her Napoleonic mother. Or both." He rocked on the balls of his feet shoving his hands into his pockets. "Probably both. With your combined IQ's yep...it will be both. I got a memo on it the other day."
Sam forced a weak smile. "Yes sir." She sighed heavily. "Thank you Sir."
"I'm thinking it's going to be useless to get you to go to the Commissary to get something to eat."
Sam looked at him blankly.
"Thought so." Jack looked at Cassandra. "How about you kiddo?"
The younger woman nodded. "Yeah." She shuddered, unable to look at her baby sister hooked up to all those wires and tubes anymore. "Mum?" She addressed Sam. "I'll bring you something even some blue jello."
"Thanks." Sam said slowly. She moved closer to her beloved wife and daughter. She feathered the dark reddish locks away from the tender face, and whispered into Janet's sleeping ear. "I love you." She then moved to her daughter who like Janet was sleeping soundly. Sam placed her hand through the barrier that would permit her to touch the little life. She smiled as she felt the warm skin against her long fingered hand. It always stunned her to think that her hand was as large as her baby. "I love you too Sweet pea. Both your mommies love you." She continued to gingerly stroke Rebecca's tiny torso. Telling her baby over and over of the love the two mothers had for her.
Jack watched for a moment, before wiping his own dark eyes. He couldn't watch Sam Carter fall apart. He couldn't just stand there and be useless. Many times he had been helpless over the years. When Jolinar had taken Sam he was helpless to do anything to save her. Again he was useless when the Entity had stolen her mind and body. He could still see those blue eyes looking at him with complete hate and contempt when the thing held her hostage. He recalled her typing with one hand, while watching those blue eyes stare out at him. He would never forget the expression upon her face when he had shot her the first time with the zat gun, and then the second time he thought he was going to lose it. He had watched her lifeless body being kept alive by wires and tubes knowing that she was brain dead. He was in love with her but he couldn't imagine what it had been like for Janet, to know it was she who had to turn off the life support of the woman she was, in all essence of the words, married to. Then again, Jack had felt his heart crush when he thought Sam was going to die trapped behind the force field when those accursed armbands stopped working. He would have rather died himself than lose Carter. But, this time, Jack was truly helpless in doing anything to help her. He couldn't help Janet nor the tiny itty-bitty baby or Sam. All he could do was be there.
"I'll be back soon." Cassandra said, touching her mother's back. "Becky she's going to be okay you know? Like you said when I was sick. You and Mom working together, nothing will stop you. Rebecca will pull thru just fine." Cassandra forced herself to believe it.
For a month Rebecca fought for her little life. Jack gave both mothers maternity leave. Besides, SG1 had a lot of leave coming up so it was within regulations that the flagship team wasn't going off world. Of course most of them wouldn't leave the base. Daniel and Teal'c were frequent visitors in the infirmary. Cassandra hadn't left. In fact the Fraiser -Carter family remained on base. Their quarters became home. Cassie would take care of the household expenses because Sam and Janet wouldn't be budged from the infirmary.
Retired General Hammond had even stopped by to see the newest edition to the Fraiser-Carter family. When he saw the tiny being hooked up to all the wires and tubes he felt his heart swell in his throat. But he had been a warrior for a long time and he knew how to squash down the emotions and put on the stalwart face his subordinates needed to see in order to carry on. It was this face he now sported for the benefit of Janet and Sam.
"Ladies I think she is adorable." He smiled as he hugged both of his former officers.
"Thank you sir." Both women chorused.
He saw that neither one of them had rested well, both sported dark circles under their eyes. Sam faired the worst. Hammond knew that Samantha Carter would always put herself last. Janet's needs were seen to, as were Rebecca's. They only seemed to smile and glow when they held the small infant. He had to smile when he spotted both making cute baby noises, and singing softly to their daughter. He uttered a silent prayer that Rebecca Marjorie Fraiser-Carter would live and grow strong, he knew if they lost her, neither would recover.
Sam was sitting upon one of the beds cradling her child close to her body allowing for skin-to-skin contact in what was called 'Kangaroo therapy.' Janet watched and turned to Hammond. The doctor tried to smile, but failed miserably. "I can cure alien viruses, put people back together but I can't there is nothing I can do to make this better." She admitted.
"No. No body can do anymore then what we are already doing. She's on meds that help her with digestion of enzymes." She swallowed hard. "Sam and Becky share the same protean marker and blood type so she can at least take Sam's blood She's um getting stronger " Janet tried her best to sound professional, but her voice betrayed her.
Hammond nodded and, like the father he felt he was to this special bunch, he stepped up to the CMO, the soul and heart of the SGC and hugged her tight into his plump body. "Of that I have no doubt. Her mothers are very special people. How could she not recover? Wait and see, in time you'll be chasing her around the house trying to get her to take her bath. I bet you she is going to be a hyper little tyke." He just let the very strong and courageous Janet Fraiser cry. Knowing deep down she needed it. She needed someone close but who was not directly involved.
"Do you think I can be a great uncle or something? I was kinda of an uncle to Sam when she was growing up you know?"
"Of course sir." Janet mumbled. "We would both like that."
George Hammond was indeed family and he was now there as the wall, the anchor they needed him to be. Janet straightened herself up becoming more like the stalwart CMO that the Base knew.
Jack watched from the side and hit his fist against the threshold of the infirmary. Teal'c who was rounding the corner rose a dark eyebrow at the sudden flash of anger he saw in the General.
"No more." He grumbled. "I am not going to stand by and watch my friends my family hurt. Not when I can do something."
"What can you do?" The Jaffa intoned his disbelief that O'Neill could remedy the medical problems Rebecca Fraiser-Carter fought with all of her tiny soul. "O'Neill there is nothing you can do."
"No?" The silver haired man turned. "Watch me." Then with a purposeful stride he marched towards the Gateroom.
The giant man followed in his wake. "What do you plan to do O'Neill?"
Daniel carrying a stack of papers nearly collided with the briskly walking General. "Doing something? Who's doing something? Jack " the archeologist went into babble mode. He turned around and started to follow the others. "Teal'c?"
"General O'Neill believes he can aid in the restoration of the infant."
O'Neill spun on his heels and stabbed Teal'c in the chest with two fingers. "Look Tee the infant...she has a name. Rebecca Fraiser-Carter. You always call them kids child or whatever, unless it's your own son we're talking about. Cassie was the child, the girl. Charlie was the boy if you're going to talk about Carter and the Doc's baby you call her Rebecca."
"I did not mean to insult." The former Jaffa blinked in confusion.
Daniel's own bushy eyebrows shot up at Jack's hostility.
"I've stood by unable to do anything for those two in there too many times. Not this time." Jack snarled. "I am drawing the line right here. I am not going to let that little angel suffer anymore."
They entered the Gateroom and Jack belted out an order. "Siler!"
"Sir?" The Tech-Sergeant leaned over and spoke into the mic.
"Dial up the Nox homeworld."
"Sir?" Siler frowned. Unless directly invited the Nox-world was strictly off limits.
"You have a hearing problem Sergeant?"
"Then dial the damn address. That's a direct order Sergeant."
"Yes sir. Embarkation room standby outgoing wormhole." Siler's voice came over the loudspeaker.
"Jack " Daniel frowned. "The Nox?"
"Those little guys are the ones that made it possible for the Doc to become pregnant by Carter . they can fix what ever is wrong with Rebecca. I don't give a damn about the rules concerning their planet. I have more important things on the burner then making sure we don't insult them."
They waited for a moment as the deep metallic clangs of the chevrons locked into place. It was quickly followed by the gigantic whoosh of the blue even horizon and the puddle appeared.
"I am going, if the rest of SG1 wants to go then it's by volunteer basis." Jack said crisply and started up the ramp.
The Gate Room's massive door opened as Cassie ran in. "I heard the argument in the hall sir." She said a little out of breath from having run all the way from the lower levels to the Embarkation Room. "I am volunteering!" With that she dodged past Teal'c and Daniel up to O'Neil.
He smiled and gestured for her to make the jump. Teal'c and Daniel quickly tailed her.
The wormhole zipped them to the Nox homeworld, where they emerged in a field as they had several years before.
Jack moved to the DHD and threw back his head to shout at the top of his lungs. "Hey! Lya! Lya! We need your help! Its important Nafrayu! Anteaus! Hey Lya! Carter and Fraiser's baby is in trouble. She needs your help she could be dying. Come on show yourselves! That little girl needs you!"
After an hour there was nothing. Jack was hoarse from the shouting. The others tried as well branching out from the Stargate, calling out to the faery like beings.
Cassie shrilled. "Nafrayu! You got my mothers' pregnant and now my baby sister is dying! Get out here and make her better. I am not going unless you show up you little twit!"
The men turned to her.
"What? I'm not sucking up to him. He's gotta take responsibility."
"I was unaware that it was Nafrayu was the one that impregnated Doctor Fraiser." Teal'c commented. "I would not think that cross-species breeding was possible."
Cassie rolled her hazel-gray eyes. "He didn't get her pregnant. He and the other Nox did some ritual and mixed up my mothers' DNA when they were um...in a private moment. Somehow there essence bonded and the Nox made sure that Mom was pregnant by Mum. Genetic manipulation and the fusion of their DNA "
Jack shook his head dazed, not wanting to hear where the conversation was headed. "Hey Lya please! There's a tiny little bit of a girl back on Earth that needs your help."
Lya appeared out of nothingness. Her small hands folded in front of her pixie like body.
"General O'Neill, Teal'c Daniel and Cassandra. Your pleas have been heard."
"About time." Jack said a little more curtly then he intended. "I "
"I understand your anxiety. You have much love for your friend's baby." The forever-young woman nodded. "Nafrayu was indeed reasonable for insuring that Doctor Fraiser was impregnated by Samantha. What he did is a very common practice for Nox who have life-bonded with the same gender as themselves. I am sorrowed to hear their child is in danger. Go back General O'Neill and prepare the mothers, we will arrive to offer what aid we can."
Jack was overjoyed and gave an exuberant embrace to Lya. She was shocked but hugged him back.
An hour later.
The claxons rang out as a warning of an incoming wormhole was announced.
Siler looked at the monitor before him then back to the General. "Transmission coming through sir. It's the Nox."
"Open the iris." Jack O'Neill smiled, then left the observation hub and ran into the large chamber below.
Nafrayu: his betrothed Enderi and Loa his close friend, Rana another young female, and her twin Finarfin accompanied by Lya, as well as their leader Anteaus, appeared in the Gate room.
"Glad you could make it." Jack beamed. "Come on, I'll show you the way."
Lya and her oath mate Anteaus took the lead of the pack of Nox. The youths looked about them a little apprehensively at the underground complex, they wanted to go back to the Green but there was an obligation to be had. Because of their interference a tiny life was in danger, now they had to save her. All seven of them had willingly agreed to do so.
In the infirmary Janet was holding her tiny daughter to her chest, humming a lullaby and at the same time cooing soft words of love, while Sending to the child. Sam sat behind her on the bed as her hand gently touched the girl's tiny hand with a single finger. She too Sent her love to Rebecca's heart, establishing their connection. They were so intent on Rebecca that neither mother acknowledged the presence of the eight individuals.
"She's amazing." Sam said to her wife.
"A part of us both." Janet responded warmly.
At that moment Rebecca decided to yawn, gaining a few 'awws' out of her entranced mothers.
"Carter, Doc." Jack whispered, remembering to keep his voice down as he saw the tiny buddle nuzzling into Janet's hold. "There are a few people who wanted to see the little tyke and say hi."
Sam smiled warmly and moved quietly and swiftly from behind her wife to greet the Nox. She came first to Nafrayu and hugged the lad.
"Nafrayu!" She whispered her excitement. "We can't thank you enough .I .she is a wonderful gift. One we would never have if it hadn't been for you."
"Come and see her." Janet urged the boy, pulling his attention with her breath stealing smiles.
With trepidation Nafrayu stepped up to the red-haired mother, and peeked at the small form. She was tiny, even compared to a Nox infant. He looked back to his parents and companions and winced. He wanted to touch her but he was afraid.
"Its alright." Janet smiled. "You know in a way you're her faery-godfather "
He tilted his foliage-covered head and frowned not understanding the reference. But he gathered it was a complement.
"Faeries on Earth are benevolent beings who live in the forest and protect." Sam supplied the simplest of explanations. She had heard tales where the fay were not so benevolent, but no need to get into that now. "And a godparent is someone who looks out for a child sometimes in a particular religion a godparent will take custody of the child if both parents are...um dead "
"Godfathers also make offers you can't refuse." Jack said in his best Marlon Brando accent.
All heads turned to him. He shrugged embarrassingly and tried to focus attention back to the baby. "Um Ladies the Nox are here to "
"To insure her continued health." Lya said.
"Yes. Nafrayu preformed the ritual that aided in the creation of your daughter. And we have come by the request of SG1 to heal her. Because it was a Nox that had intervened before in her creation we are her now to insure she continues to live." Anteaus said gently.
Both mothers looked at the seven Nox. Sam who had been resurrected by the Nox was just as surprised as Janet, who asked the question. "You can do that?"
"Yes." Lya tilted her head slightly. "May I hold her?"
Janet and Sam looked at one another then back to the Nox. Both nodded.
"Please remove the tubes and wires." Anteaus commanded. "When we are finished she will not need them to continue her survival."
Janet's medical mind screamed an emphatic NO. Lya, a mother herself, recognized the expression and gently laid a hand upon the doctor's shoulder.
"Trust us. She will not be harmed. I promise you all will be well."
Janet didn't move, she didn't hand her baby over to Lya and she certainly didn't comply with the request to remove the life giving system from her daughter. Not even Sam made a move to do so. She too was reluctant.
"Please." Nafrayu asked looking to Sam. "That is why we are here, to help her. We " He looked over his shoulder to his young companions before speaking again: "We preformed the Ceremony of Birth that merged the essence of you and your Oath-mate together. The fabric of life from each of you fused together to create a third. Now we will perform the Ceremony of Life to make her stronger. We have preformed this rite upon you Samantha to restore your life. This rite will also heal a life that has not been lost. Your child will be made whole."
"Though she will still be as small as she is now, once we are finished but her life will no longer be in danger." Lya said.
Janet sighed heavily and nodded. "Take her Sam."
Sam complied eagerly. Her long fingered hands took her fragile child into her ever-capable embrace and watched as Janet began to remove with ginger care all of the wires and tubes, causing Rebecca to fuss as the tape was removed. When Janet removed the needle in the right ankle Rebecca whimpered, but was soon soothed by Sam's attentions. Lya moved eagerly, waiting to take custody of the infant.
Almost reluctantly Sam relinquished her hold on the tiny life but was confident that Lya would take excellent care of her. Standing in the background, Jack O'Neill, Daniel and Teal'c (the latter two finding out the Nox had arrived wanted to be present for this event.), felt a twinge of jealousy. Cassandra had been the only other person to hold Rebecca other then her mothers. Both Sam and Janet were reluctant to have too many hands fondling Rebecca until she was stronger. The men reluctantly agreed, waiting impatiently for the day they might be honored to hold the precious being.
The seven Nox gathered with crossed hands, summoned their inner quintessence and poured the chi like energy directly into Rebecca. Both mothers stood protectively nearby waiting in baited breath until the ceremony was finished. They didn't know what to expect, if Rebecca would start to glow, or if she would fuss or gurgle in glee, or remain mute.
They weren't the only nervous ones. Three "uncles" no make that that four "uncles", as Hammond had snuck into the room, watched with held breaths. One sister also paused expectantly waiting for the Nox to finish.
When at long last the Nox had completed the Ceremony of Life Lya handed the small sleeping child to her mother's waiting arms.
"It is finished. Your baby will prosper and will be in good health." Anteaus smiled. Both Sam and Janet flashed smiles of gratitude to the gathered faery-like beings, comma tears welling in their eyes.
"What you have done we can never " Janet started but stopped for she had not the words to express all that she was feeling.
"Thank you " Sam swallowed hard for words had escaped her too.
Cassie's solution to becoming mute was to embrace each and every Nox, as did Daniel. Jack clapped each one on the back though gave a large bare hug to Lya, Nafrayu and Anteaus; Teal'c smiled one of his very, very rare smiles and tilted his baldhead. Hammond was simply beaming and used one hand to wipe away the tears that had somehow appeared in the hardened military man's eyes.
"There is another Ceremony the Nox celebrate when a new life comes into being." Lya said. "We wish to perform this as well."
Neither woman said a word; their entire attention was devoted solely to their youngest daughter. The gentle folk did not take offence in this apparent lack of protocol, as each could understand the women's fixation upon the new health of their baby.
"What Ceremony?" Daniel asked.
"It is called the naming Ceremony." Nafrayu said. "It is the way of the Nox to welcome new life into the Green."
"We wish to perform this Ceremony to welcome this very young one." Anteaus smiled.
"What does it entail?" The archeologist questioned.
"Words and gifts. We have brought both." This came from Enderi the oath mate of Nafrayu. "It is an important part of the Nox way. If Nafrayu is the child's "godfather" then she must be welcomed in the ways of the Nox."
This gained the attention of the mothers.
"Please allow us to do this." Lya said.
For all that they had done, neither woman wanted to deny the benevolent beings the opportunity to welcome Rebecca. Words and gift it didn't sound too complicated.
"Go " Sam started
" .ahead." Janet finished her wife's sentence.
Everyone from the nurses, Siler, and of course all four uncles, Cassandra, Jennifer Hailey, Dr. Warner, Satterfield, and even Paul Davis gathered in the VIP quarters with the Nox once the preparations for the Naming Ceremony were complete. Even Jacob Carter had been able to make it in time. For the past month he had been out of contact range, but Jack had been able to reach him, and now Jacob stood proud and tall by his daughter and daughter-in-law both of who held Rebecca. Well it was Janet who held the girl and Sam who had her hand over the child's body.
Lya looked at the mothers and smiled. "It had been said that the child is the meaning of life. The truth of that has never been more apparent to us then on this day, when we are to celebrate this child. This new life that has been brought into our world. We welcome the child with love, so that she may learn love and benevolence. We welcome the child with gifts, so that she may learn generosity. And finally, we welcome the child with a name so all may know her." She looked expectantly at Samantha and Janet.
Sam looked to her father and grinned. "We have named our daughter Rebecca Marjorie."
Jacob blinked back his tears as his grandchild's name echoed warmly in his ears. Rebecca the name of his departed and much loved wife, knowing the gentle woman would have loved it.
Marjorie was for Janet's mother, who would have been likewise honored. Marjorie of course would be coming out within a few days to see her granddaughter from her only daughter, as would Janet's father, Jamison Fraiser. Besides Rebecca Cassandra was their only granddaughter. Both mothers suspected that the older Fraisers would spoil their grand-daughter rotten. Though Jacob would give them stiff competition.
Janet saw her beloved leaning over the balustrade of the balcony; her impossible eyes had that far away look of being lost in thought. Pulling her own silk rope around the slight frame, Janet padded up behind Sam and encircled her arms around the slim waist. She pressed her cheek against the long back.
"What's the going rate for thoughts these days due to inflation?"
"For you free." Sam turned in the arms that held her. She tried to smile but failed miserably. And closed her eyes allowing for that moment for Janet just to hold her.
"Don't leave me alone Janet."
"Of course I won't." The redhead's response was to pull her wife into a tighter embrace. "Don't you know Sam, what did I tell you all those years ago when you came into my office after suffering from the Broca Syndrome.
Sam having an eidetic memory took only a moment to recall such a pivotal moment in her life. "You told me: 'let the grief, the guilt pass from me. And let go of the fear that I scared you off, because I didn't. You told me that you love me. And that you were not going anywhere.'"
"That's right I'm not going anywhere. Not then and now."
Sam found that she was smiling. "I remember thinking that beyond words, beyond the silence, I knew that this beautiful woman had changed my life forever."
"Samantha " Janet reached up and touched the angelic face of her heart's joy.
"That's why I can't do this any more " Sam pulled back from her wife. "I can't anymore. It's crushing me Janet. When I entered the Air Force I accepted military action I mean I could handle it. I flew combat in Desert Storm. The Air Force was a way for me to reach the stars NASA and all. Then Stargate happened." Sam swallowed. "Even with all the wonders of going through that big puddle I can't do it not any more."
"Sam you're scaring me." Janet stepped closer to her beloved.
"I've been shot at, hit by zat guns, staff weapons, and Ribbon Devices. I've been imprisoned, tortured and beaten down by Goa'uld and Jaffa. And even forced to become a Host to one. Nearly raped. Used for my mental abilities by our own people, to turn devices of peace into weapons of mass destruction and all for the wrong reasons. I've been displaced by a technological terror as I floated around in a matrix, and been replaced by a droid. I was brain washed into thinking I was some sort of engineer in a mines named Thaya. Even thought insane because some Ascended male thought he fell in love with me. And I was harassed by a fluffy invisible though harmless AI, and dumped into a virtual reality game. I've died more times than I can count. And the frigging Powers That Be have turned me into some black-widow cosmic joke that all single male aliens, and a few home based ones, comma must fall in love with Sam Carter, then die.
"Janet this last time " Sam shuddered. "I can't do it anymore Janet...I can take a lab job at SGC but going through that gate I can't. I lead SG1 for eight years been a member of it for fourteen I did my part for queen and country. I saved the world a dozen times over, the galaxy more then once and kicked Replicater-prepubescent-Borg-wannabe-asses. And I am a fucking champion on a plant full of Guardian Angels. I've done enough. I gave everything of myself and more. Baby-girl I just can't anymore."
Janet took her wife into her arms and allowed the tall blonde champion to lower her defenses. A small long fingered hand stroked the blonde unruly tresses of her wife. Janet was worried. More then worried, for her wife. Sam had, over her time in the SGC program, suffered so much. Each time, by the skin of her teeth, she had pulled out of both physical and mental suffering. Being trapped in the Antarctic thinking she had failed, Jolinar, The Entity, her father nearly dieing from cancer and then subsequently taken by the Tok'ra', the Zatarrc testing that lead to her killing of Martouf, and so much more. All of this Samantha had suffered and survived.
This last trauma, comma the doctor didn't think Sam would pull through it. They had broken Samantha Carter.
Janet Fraiser would somehow, someway put her back together. And maybe, taking several months of Trauma Leave would be the time Sam needed to heal. After that, Janet could have her beloved reassess her desire to leave SG1 for a lab job at Stargate Command.
"You will not leave me?"
"Never my wife. You have me for always." Janet kissed Sam's forehead. "I'm afraid you're stuck with me until I am a stooped old woman with thinning white hair."
Janet heard then the soft dove set tones of Samantha's laughter. Her voice was muffled when she spoke as she was pressed firmly against Janet's shoulder. "I want to go home. I want to hold Rebecca. I miss her so much."
"So do I." Janet admitted.
"I was thinking when you came up behind me of her first month with us. How frightened we were we would lose her. How the Nox came because of the General what he did for us. I miss her sweet little face. I miss those eyes of heaven and earth. Her sweet voice as she asks me a dozen questions. I miss playing pilot with her. Can't I just go home and be her Mum?"
"Of course you can Sammy." Janet kissed her tenderly. "Let's pack up our gear, go home and have blue jello with Becky."
Sam's face lit up brightly at that, knowing there was nothing in all the worlds better then sharing blue jello with her little daughter.
Janet, home, blue jello, and Rebecca and Cassie there was nothing at all that was better.
Book two 'Champions Gate' soon to follow
I want to thank my precious and wonderful beta readers Debbie and Kristy for helping me so much with this "book". And thanks to my readers for sticking it in there for the long haul. Elizabeth Carter
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