DISCLAIMER: The story, and characters and anything and everything else concerning SG: SG1 belong to MGM, Gekko, Secret Productions etc, they are so not mine and no money is being made from this and no copyright infringement is intended.
SPOILERS: Set after the season 9 episode "Ripple Effect"
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
In the Here and Now
Dr Janet Fraiser came home. Her armed escort saw her to the door and then took up station at the bottom of the drive. Since the true nature of the pandemic had been leaked and the existence of the Ori and the Stargate programme all personnel involved in the programme had been put on high alert. The quasi-religious nature of the Ori had appealed to certain elements of the human psyche and the lives of many SGC members identified in the media had been threatened. Including her own and that of her wife Lt. Col. Samantha Carter. And whilst under the best of circumstances Samantha Carter was more than capable of looking after herself, her condition eight and a half months into a difficult pregnancy gave Janet Fraiser enough leverage to insist on the armed guard at their house at all times. Some things were just far too precious to leave to chance.
There was no sign of her wife when she entered the house but her daughter Cassie jumped up from the couch as she came into the room and gave her a fierce hug. "She's upstairs taking a nap," she said before Janet could ask. "To be honest I think it's the first time she's truly slept since we got word that you were missing. It's been hard on her – hard on both of you."
"I missed her so much," Janet sighed. "It's been a very weird week… I'm sorry, Cass I can't tell you much about what happened – not yet at any rate. But we did find a cure for the plague. We brought back enough vaccine to deal with all the cases here and more is being synthesised and flown out to the other affected areas." Her fatigue gripped her suddenly and Cassie eased her into a chair. General O'Neill's statistics on the numbers who had died or been infected whilst they were on the mission were particularly grim. "So many have died."
"But so many more have been saved, Mom," Cassie said. "You have to focus on that now. You did it. You brought back the cure."
"Yes…" So it seemed. The worst cases at the SGC had already been given their first dose of the vaccine on the basis that they had nothing to lose and most had been showing improvement before she had been ordered home by General O'Neill. "I'd better go up to her," Janet said. "She's been eating, taking her supplements?"
"Everything that the doctor ordered," Cassie smiled, knowing that her mother would not be convinced until she had seen the evidence for herself.
Sam was still sleeping when she crept into their bedroom, lying propped up with pillows, more or less on her side facing the door, one arm curved protectively over the mound of her belly. Janet quietly undressed and shrugged into a nightshirt before climbing onto the bed and lying beside her lover, reaching over to stroke her cheek, quietly relishing the new softness. Sam had finally begun to put on a little weight over and above that of the baby and Janet thought that she suited the softer angles to her face, the new roundness to her body. Beneath her gentle touch Sam frowned, tried to bat her hand away for a moment before she realised what was happening. Her eyes flew open. "Janet!"
"Hey sweetheart," Janet leaned in and soundly kissed her wife. "Miss me?"
"Terribly… this is what you went through, every time I went on a mission isn't it?" Sam asked quietly. Janet noticed how shadowed her eyes were. Cassie was right, Sam hadn't been sleeping.
"I worried, yes," she admitted. "Every time. But I had faith in your abilities – and in General O'Neill's fear of me breaking out the really big needles should anything happen to you."
"I thought I'd lost you," Sam Carter confessed, curling as best she could around her slender wife, her gravid belly a comforting weight between them. "I thought we'd… I… I didn't know what to do."
Janet Fraiser knew what that admission must have cost her wife. Lt. Col. Samantha Carter did not do helplessness well. It was not in her nature, her upbringing.
"So…" Sam sniffed. "What happened to you?"
Janet gave her the condensed version knowing that Sam would have many many questions particularly of the `but the wormhole's not supposed to do that' variety. She was not disappointed.
After the thirteenth "But how…" she temporarily silenced her lover with a kiss.
"Luckily all of your counterparts were as remarkable as you," she chuckled, trailing her fingers through short blonde hair. "Lord, you have no idea what it felt like to walk into that lab and have fifteen versions of you staring back at me. I felt like the `dish of the day'." She fanned herself, blushing again at the memory. Sam giggled.
"Just when I thought I was unique – I mean in the other two alternate realities we countered I was either engaged or married to Jack O'Neill… but then I didn't know you in either of those realities. Even then it took me long enough…" She remained good friends with Martouf and her former lover was never anything less than supportive of her relationship with Janet. Lantash claimed to have known all along where Sam's true affections lay.
"Well, of all the `Sam's' I got the chance to talk to, we were a couple in five realities, married in another two. Another Sam… actually, she was one of the civilian scientist Sam's, admitted that she had always thought I was `really cute' before she got too flustered to say anything else to me," Janet smiled. "I don't know if you realise this but you do look very cute in glasses. She was very different to you, kind of a… geek."
"I'm a geek," Sam reminded her. "Or so you tell me every time I can't just pass by Radioshack."
"Well this version of you was more the stereotype with the glasses and the shyness and the lack of social skills – very endearing though. One of the others – she was at the other end of the spectrum. Very butch, much more `built' than you are with very short hair, almost a crewcut and she was, well… quite intimidating." That Sam had made her attraction very plain. Hers was another reality where the two women had never met though she got the feeling that that particular Sam was going to do some tracking down of Janet's counterpart when she got home.
"So how did they fix the breech?" Sam asked.
"Your counterpart who was native to that reality handed me a disk with all the research on it just before we left. So you can study it to your hearts content, love. That should tell you everything you need to know. She knew you'd be interested. She… she also told me to wish you luck with the birth and if it was a girl, asked if we'd considered `Grace' as a name."
"Grace…" Sam frowned. "I wonder where she got that from?"
"She held me so tightly," Janet smiled mistily. "They all did… Daniel, Teal'c - their Janet Fraiser was killed on P3X-666 three years ago. I think… if it hadn't been possible to send us all back… I think they'd have welcomed me staying."
P3X-666. Sam still had nightmares about that place. Luckily the new body armour plates Siler had designed had come into general use at just the right time. Janet had been shot at point blank range in the chest with a staff weapon and had survived though with serious injuries. "I'm just glad that they had the resources to send you home again. What you told them about our needs… how they could not just ignore what was happening because it wasn't `their' people affected… that must have been some speech. I remember when we went through to Dr O'Neill's reality and Teal'c just killed his counterpart without a moment's thought or remorse. He said that ours was the only reality of consequence. If this General Landry had come to the same conclusion…"
"He didn't. The different teams got the chance to pool a lot of knowledge and intel. We're all in a much better position to fight the Ori now. At least I hope we are. I just…"
Sam cuddled into her. "That's for another time and place," she said. "For once all I care about is here and now." She moved Janet's hand until it was curved over her belly. "Grace…" she tried the name. "I like it. I can almost imagine what she will look like."
"Your hair and my eyes we decided, didn't we?" Janet smiled. "Loki promised that was the only `fixing' he would do."
"Just a couple of weeks and she'll be with us," Sam smiled, sleepily. She laid her head in the crook of Janet's arm and a couple of seconds later the sound of her even breathing told Janet that she was asleep again.
Grace… Janet stroked her hand across the taut skin of her wife's belly. They had saved the world again it seemed, but the Ori were far from vanquished. A small hand pushed against hers. Their daughter was anxious to be born. Knowing all that she did and with all that she had seen and done Janet could not hope that the universe would ever be a safe enough place for her daughter to grow up in but at least they would go into it with eyes open.
And the knowledge that someone somewhere somewhen had nothing but good thoughts for their little girl.
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