"Chevron 4 encoded," he announced, as he had nearly everyday for the last 6 years. "Chevron 5 encoded," he said, with a slight grin as the numbers and readings swirled all over the screen. "Chevron 6 encoded," he said with anticipation, knowing that anything could go wrong at this point. "Chevron 7 locked, wormhole engaged," he said, and breathed a sigh of relief knowing they had a steady connection and SG-1 would be able to make a safe and quick journey. He watched as Colonel O'Neill and Major Carter stepped through the wormhole together. He thought it a bit odd how they always seemed to step through together, but never seemed to come back through together. Next went Teal'c and a cautious, but excited, Jonas.
"Nice job Sergeant," he heard the deep voice of General Hammond from behind him.
"Thank you Sir, and if I might inquire, what's SG-1's mission today?" he asked curiously. He was always fascinated by that particular SG team. From the time the SG program had begun, Walter could tell that SG-1 was bound for great things.
"SG-1 is just going back to P3R-258 to finalize the date of the treaty signing, and Major Carter wanted another chance to observe their unique livestock."
"Oh," he said, looking down at his rapidly cooling cup of coffee. "Well that sounds pretty routine."
"It should be," Hammond retorted. "Unless something goes horribly wrong," he laughed and patted Walter on the back.
Walter got up from his station and walked down to the commissary to warm up his coffee and grab some breakfast. He was never able to eat right before SG-1 embarked on a mission. He got a bowl of corn flakes, grabbed his coffee out of the microwave, and settled himself at a table. He began eating his bland flakes of corn and grabbed three packs of sugar to lighten the harsh flavor.
"Watch it there, you'll kill yourself with all that sugar," a voice said, sitting down next to him. He looked up from mixing the sugar and saw that it was Lieutenant Graham Simmons.
"Oh hi," he said, "I didn't see you there."
Simmons smirked, "Yes, I can see how distracting corn flakes can be."
"Sorry, I was just thinking."
"About what?" Simmons inquired, grabbing a pack of sugar to sweeten his chosen breakfast cereal.
"What General Hammond was saying about Major Carter wanting another chance to analyze the unique livestock on P3R-258."
"What's so thought provoking about that?"
"Well, it just sounded weird, I mean I saw pictures of them and they looked pretty normal. I think Major Carter suspects something she's not telling us."
"Yeah Walter," Simmons mocked him, "Maybe they glow in the dark."
"Yeah, well I just... that does seem silly."
Walter finished his coffee and corn flakes and ventured back up to gate-control room. When he reached the control room he saw a very worried General Hammond running toward him.
"Davis! Where have you been? We've been paging you."
"Sorry Sir, I didn't hear them," he said.
"SG-3 had to make an immediate departure and we needed your gate code to get them to their destination. Luckily, SG-1 came back and we used Major Carter's code instead. You're in the clear son, but next time try to listen."
'Well gosh sir,' he thought, 'have you forgotten you have your own code?' Walter considered Hammonds age and reassured himself that he was just too old to remember such a long code. He ignored the reprimand except for the part about SG-1, which held his otherwise slipping attention.
"SG-1?" he asked "But Sir, they weren't supposed to come back until 1400 hours."
"Major Carter found a problem with the livestock. She said it was an emergency."
"Hello General," a soft voice jumped out from behind the two of them.
"Hello Major," Hammond said. "I was just telling Sergeant Davis about your latest mission."
"Yes," Walter spoke for himself. "What was the urgency?"
"The uh, cows started... glowing."
"In the dark," she nodded skeptically, despite having seen it for herself. "Colonel O'Neill decided we should come back for some more supplies."
"Sounds like a wise move."
"We would also like to request some more personnel, Sir, to help with the observation."
"Granted," he turned to Sergeant Davis. "You and Lieutenant Simmons will accompany SG-1 back to P3R-528 to assist in the observation of their cattle."
"But Sir, I've never even been off world on a mission before. Shouldn't someone else who's more qualified go?"
"Son, I think it's time for you to go. You embark at 0900." Walter checked his watch. He had just an hour and a half to try and locate some BDUs, a weapon, and everything else he'd need to go to another planet.
"Yes Sir," he said, pulling his headset off as he made his way down to the gear-up room.
Walter met Simmons on the way. The young man hadn't been off world very much, but at least Simmons knew what he was getting into. Usually, Walter just shipped them off and didn't have to worry about how they came out on the other side.
"Hey Walt, didn't expect to see you again so soon," the younger man said, as they continued their journey together.
"I didn't expect to be going off world today, honestly."
"Neither did I, especially with SG-1. I help Major Carter in her lab occasionally, but other than that I like to keep my distance. They may have the best luck in the universe, but the other people they work closely with don't usually last very long." Walter's nervous countenance became even more grim at the thought of the countless teams he'd sent through the Stargate with SG-1 who had never returned. "But it's just some glowing cows. We can handle that, right?"
"As long as it's not their eyes that are glowing," Walter added, as they reached the gear-up room to find Colonel O'Neill there, ready and willing to give them any kind of pep talk they may need.
Major Carter was *thankfully* not present for Walter and Graham's struggle into their BDUs. They were really thankful that it was only Colonel O'Neill and the Jaffa, Teal'c, who witnessed their complete inability to find pants in their appropriate sizes. Once they'd managed to shove their respective bodies into two pairs of green pants, O'Neill outfitted them both with all the weapons fresh from the armory they could ever need while observing a simple, if somewhat extraordinary, herd of cattle.
"You guys ready to go see what Carter's got for us to lug back through the 'gate?" O'Neill asked, and without waiting for a yay or nay response he left the room with Teal'c at his side.
"Welcome to SG-1, Buddy," Simmons muttered under his breath as the pair quickly tried to catch up with their temporary CO.
Walter shook with excitement as he walked down the hall to the 'gateroom.
"Hey Davis, calm down," Simmons said, placing a hand on his shoulder.
"Sorry," he laughed, "I just don't do this a lot, ya know, going off world." As he reached the door to the 'gateroom his heart began pounding. Colonel O'Neill swiped his access card and the door opened. They stepped in. Walter's eyes darted all over the room, watching all the people scurrying about making preparations, checking levels, and tightening screws. Jonas walked up and stood next to him crossing his arms, "Busy huh?"
"Yeah," Walter smiled. "So what exactly am I doing here? I mean Major Carter is much more educated and experienced than I am. What knowledge could I offer about glowing cows?"
Jonas chuckled and grinned, "Guess we'll find out."
"Initiating dialing sequence," Walter looked up to see who had taken his job, only to see that it was some brunette in a black tee shirt, a stranger to the SGC.
"Chevron one encoded." Wait a minute, he'd heard that voice somewhere before.
"Chevron two encoded." It definitely sounded familiar.
"Chevron three encoded." He knew that voice, but who was it?
"Chevron four encoded." Oh, how could he forget?
"Chevron five encoded." It was her, Cynthia. They started off in the military together. He even went as far as asking her to marry him. She turned him down. She wasn't ready for that kind of commitment. She broke his heart. Why was she here?
"Chevron six encoded." Had she come back looking for him? Why was she involved with SGC?
"Chevron seven locked on. Hey, Walter." What? Did she just tell me hello while in the middle of a chevron count? He raised an eyebrow at the window and waved.
"Come on Davis, you're holding up the whole operation!" Colonel O'Neill yelled and waved him to the wormhole. He shrugged his shoulders and stepped through.
When they reached P3R-258 they found a large portion of the town had come to meet them. A sharply dressed and obviously irritated man walked up to SG-1.
"Colonel O'Neill, what is the meaning of this? You said we'd be signing a treaty by this time. I demand an explanation for your lies."
"Jadek, buddy, chill out. We're still gonna sign. Carter just wanted to run a few more tests on your cows," he said, looking to Carter who had, by that time, rolled her eyes twice and given him the look of death for blaming it on her. O'Neill smiled, knowing he could get away with anything. She was wrapped around his little finger, he thought smugly. He shook his head back to reality and looked to the new, temporary members of SG-1. "Davis, Simmons, we need your expertise over here."
They nearly stood at attention awaiting the Colonel's next command.
"I need you two to help Carter take blood samples."
"From the cows, Sir?"
"Uh sure, that's why you're here. There are about five hundred cows and only one Carter."
"Yes sir," Walter spoke up.
They saluted and turned around to Major Carter.
"Come on Jadek," O'Neill put his arm around him. "Let's go get a cup of jo."
Carter led them into an oddly shaped hut with smoke coming out of the top.
"What should we do first Major Carter?" Davis questioned. "I imagine this will take quite a while."
"Indeed," she mumbled under her breath. "All right boys, sit down here and roll up your sleeves."
"What?" Simmons protested. "Our blood? But I thought we were helping you with the cows."
"No..." she looked confused, "...weren't you briefed on your mission here?"
They looked at each other.
"The reason you're here is your blood. Oddly enough, you are the only two people in Cheyenne Mountain with A-negative blood."
"And the cows?"
"They have A-negative as well. All of the people here have some alien sub-unit of O-positive, so we couldn't test them."
"But we're not glowing."
"I'm sorry guys, I thought you knew. I mean, you signed the agreement forms. For the next 72 hours, you're my lab rats."
"What makes them, or us, glow?"
"Well you won't actually glow as long as you don't drink the water or eat anything grown here. I've narrowed it down to a chemical in the water. I'm calling it 'Chemical X' until I can get a better idea of what it is."
"Ok, well as long as we're not gonna be put in small cages and fed tiny food pellets," Walter laughed nervously, and rolled up his sleeve.
"Come on Simmons you're next," Carter motioned him towards the chair.
"Oh no, I'm not gonna be some lab rat and plus, I hate needles."
"Come on," she pleaded. "Sergeant Davis can't possibly supply us with enough blood to run all the tests I need."
Simmons tried exiting, only to find two large airmen in his way.
"I don't want to force you, but you did sign the release."
Graham groaned, but quickly turned around, offering up his arm as if it were a sacrifice. Walter knew he was doing it because of Major Carter. While Graham may have matured in the last six years, he was still a little bit obsessed with her, and she had him wrapped around her little finger even more so than she did Colonel O'Neill, but only by a little.
"Thank you Graham. I don't need you quite yet. I'm going to try my needle work on Walter here first."
As Major Carter was coming towards his arm with a needle much too big to be placed in the arm of a human being, Walter began to wonder about Major Carter's qualifications to be sticking sharp objects in innocent people like him. It wasn't a matter of trust. No, it was just a matter of him knowing she was a doctor of astrophysics and not a doctor of... doctoring.
"What's wrong Sergeant?" Major Carter came to a halt just above his now quickly pulsing vein.
"Oh, it's nothing," Walter tried to play it cool to keep from running to hide behind the SFs blocking both his and Simmons' exit. "I was just wondering if you've done this before."
"What? Drawn blood? Of course I've done it. I've done it to myself before," she didn't mention the circumstances under which she'd drawn her own blood, but Walter didn't have to know everything. He just had to trust her enough to get this over with.
As the needle went into his arm and gave Major Carter free reign over the blood pulsing through that particular vein, Walter realized that she was actually much better at drawing blood than the nurses for his annual SGC physical. All more information stored into Walter's "SG-1" file.
Soon, despite some dizziness from the amount of blood that had been evacuated from his body and was now resting in a bag on the table, Walter gave his seat up for his friend.
"Okay Graham, see, Walter's fine. He didn't even flinch." Walter had to restrain himself from asking his young friend if he would like him to hold his hand, but decided his male ego had already taken enough of a beating for Walter to embarrass Simmons that way in front of Major Carter.
"Here Sergeant, why don't' you drink this and take a walk outside," Major Carter handed him a juice box and nodded toward the door. "Just don't eat or drink anything you find out there," she warned, as he pushed his way past the airmen who no longer seemed interested in keeping him there, just in annoying him a bit.
Taking one last look at his friend, who looked scared out of his wits, Walter took off, sipping at his overly sugared juice as he went.
The village was only somewhat primitive. There were no naked children running wildly about, and everyone seemed to be wearing shoes, or sandals at the least. There were people all over the place, many pulling one of the many primitive cows Walter had heard so much about. Upon closer examination, Walter began to wonder about these cows ability to glow. He really wanted to know how he and this cow could have so much in common. It seemed like a normal cow, and he saw himself as a normal guy.
"Hey Sergeant, I think you're about to lose your shirt to that cow."
"Wha?" Walter realized he'd been standing so closely to the cow he hadn't realized it had begun sucking in part of his BDU shirt. The animal's owner began laughing as Walter wiped cow spit onto his pants. "Thank you Colonel."
"No problem Walt, nearly happened to Jonas too yesterday. He was assisting with a stool sample when another cow demanded his attention." Walter couldn't believe that *the* Colonel O'Neill was talking to him, and on a mission, and on another planet with him. Walter just couldn't believe that he was talking to Colonel O'Neill while on a mission to another planet... all of his dreams seemed to be coming true. "Carter finish her vampire impression on you?"
"Yes Sir, not a single drop left."
"Good, that's what you're here for. Unless you'd like to help Jonas with the stool samples."
"Really, Sir, I think I'm just fine."
"Sure? Really, we're just making him do it because if he doesn't have something to do he'll eat something he's not supposed to or annoy the natives with his incessant questioning and energy that they'll want to call off the treaty." They were continuing their walk around the village.
"Colonel, I've noticed something about this place."
"What's that, Sergeant?"
"There aren't any kids. Sure, there are little ones, but the ones that you'd expect to see around playing aren't."
"Oh, that, I noticed it too. They're in school. I was just there. Seems their educational system is pretty advanced." Walter quickly congratulated himself on noticing something that Colonel O'Neill had noticed too, before noticing something else that had to be voiced.
"Weren't you supposed to be in a meeting with that Jadek fellow, Sir?"
"I was. We finished. Not much we had to talk about really. Where's Carter?" he asked out of the blue.
"She was just getting started with her vampire impression on Lieutenant Simmons when I left." The mental image of Major Carter with her lips to Simmons neck was just too much for O'Neill. He was nearly across the village before Walter managed to catch up to him, "Colonel O'Neill! What's wrong?"
"Wrong?" O'Neill tried to hide his urgency to get back to the hut that had been sequestered as Major Carter's lab. "Nothing's wrong. I just wanted to tell Major Carter about my meeting with Jadek, very important stuff." Walter didn't mention the fact that O'Neill himself had just mentioned the lack of things to be met upon as they opened the door to the hut and, thanks to O'Neill's presence, didn't have to push past the SFs. "See Walter, nothing wrong at all," Colonel O'Neill smiled at him quickly before lazily walking over to where Major Carter was leaning over a piece of very expensive lab equipment.
"How'd it go?" Walter asked Simmons, who was sipping his juice box and watching Major Carter lean over the very expensive piece of lab equipment.
"Fine," he said. "I feel a little dizzy though."
"Well, that's to be expected. They did just drain you."
"Major Carter told me that we can return home. She said our mission here is done," Simmons said, sitting on a large, conveniently placed rock.
"Doesn't that seem a little odd to you?"
"No," Simmons laughed. "They brought us here to use us. I'd just like to get the hell home."
"Well, you need to rest. I'm gonna go talk to Colonel O'Neill," Walter stepped back into the hut and found it seemingly empty.
"Hello?" He heard a stirring from behind the counter. Colonel O'Neill stood up and then Major Carter.
"Yes Sergeant Davis?" the Colonel asked, straightening his shirt.
"Oh," he said, watching Carter run her hands through her messy hair. "Oh yes, well I was just wondering why Lieutenant Simmons and I are being sent home now. Surely, we can be of more assistance."
"I'm sorry Sergeant," he said becoming frustrated, "but your mission here is done. Good job, you depart in fifteen minutes." Walter saluted and headed for the door/flap, turning back to grin at Major Carter. He'd suddenly realized why they always walk through the Stargate together.
"So what'd he say?"
"Well once I was able to pry Carter off of him," he thought. "He said we're going home," there was a moment of silence between them. "Say Graham, you didn't happen to notice that brunette doing the chevron count did you?"
"Oh yeah, she's a new intern, but don't worry, she won't be taking your job. I think her name is Davis. Hey, any relation?"
"Oh no," he laughed. "Not for a long time," he mumbled under his breath.
'Davis?' he wondered, 'Why my name? Was she looking for me? Had she changed her mind?' He smiled as memories ran through his head.
"Well I guess we better head for the gate," Simmons said, pulling Davis back into reality.
When they got home, Walter was anxious to get to his house and find out why Cynthia had suddenly popped back into his life. When he got home, Walter found a rental car sitting in his driveway. He walked up to the door and found his lights on. He stepped in and found Cynthia sitting quite comfortably on his couch.
"How did you get in here?"
"Key under the mat, Walt. You're still predictable as ever."
He resented that, "Well, what are you doing here?"
Just as he said that, he heard a small person walk into the room, "Mommy is that him?"
The young girl walked over and sat next to Cynthia. "Yes honey," she smiled and put her arm around the girl.
"Walter," she took a deep breath, "this is Jessica, your, well our, daughter."
He felt his knees grow weak. He sat across from them.
"How?" he asked. She only winked at him.
"I.I mean why? Why didn't you tell me?"
"Go watch TV honey," she told Jessica, sending her into the next room.
"She's beautiful," he said, watching her long auburn hair sway back and forth as she walked out of the room.
"Yeah, she has your eyes," she looked out the window. "We were in different places in our lives. I didn't want to ruin things for you," she took a deep breath. "I found out only after I broke your heart. How could you have taken me back?"
"You shouldn't have to raise her alone," he frowned. "I would've supported you. We could've been a happy family."
"You're right. You would've stayed and then you would've never become all that you are."
"Family's more important," he said, walking over and sitting next to her.
"I'm glad to hear you say that," she said. "That's one of the reasons why I'm here."
"What do you mean?" His heart started pounding out of his chest.
"I'm sick, Walt. I've got cancer and chemo's not an option. You're the only family that Jessica has. Please, promise me you'll think about it."
A tear ran down his face as he leaned in and kissed her, "There's nothing to think about Cindy."
"There is one option, Walt, but it would mean leaving Jessica with you... forever."
"Death is not an option."
"No, not death. Since working at the SGC I've heard that the Tok'ra are in dire need of hosts right now, and I'm a perfect candidate," she sighed, taking Walter's hand. "It would be as if I died, though. I'd be off world permanently like Jacob Carter, only I wouldn't want to come back here and confuse Jessica every year or so. It would be too much."
"You've already spoken to General Hammond?" Walter realised.
"Yes, he wanted me to make sure my daughter was taken care of before I made any rash decisions. I think this is for the best, but I don't want to dump Jessica on you."
"Do what you have to do. We'll be okay."
Arrangements progressed quickly. The Tok'ra really were in dire need of hosts and the sooner they could get one into Cynthia the better it would be for both symbiote and host. Walter had decided to join her for the blending. Thankfully, Dr. Janet Fraiser had volunteered her daughter, Cassandra's, services as baby sitter to keep Jessica with them for a few days. There was nothing extraordinary that happened leading up to their trip; Jessica and her mother had a teary goodbye, leaving Walter to not know what to do- comfort Cynthia, Jessica, or both- so he just stood on the outskirts of their supposed "family." To him it seemed more like he and Cynthia had once been a family, Cynthia and Jessica were family, and Jessica and he would be a family, but the three of them would never be able to be a family. There just wasn't enough time.
Finally, the day to go to the Tok'ra came. Walter came in early to find Colonel O'Neill talking to Cynthia. He seemed to be attempting to talk her out of it, but Walter couldn't be sure as they stopped speaking the second he entered the room. Walter sat in the chair that Colonel O'Neill quickly vacated. The chairs had been pulled from the briefing room table to where they now sat across the room looking down at the mammoth Stargate below.
"What time did you come in this morning?" Walter asked, not knowing what else to say in this situation.
"Come in? I never left. I've been sitting here since about eleven last night," she sighed, leaving an unintentional dramatic pause. "You know, I came here looking for you, but then I found out about that 'gate and the entire time they were training me to operate it I just kept thinking, this is the greatest thing I've ever been involved in and in a few months I'm going to die and it's not going to matter. When I heard about the Tok'ra, all of that changed. Now I'm losing you and Jessica but gaining almost constant use of the Stargate. Somehow it doesn't seem like a fair trade."
"You're not losing us. You're just moving on and doing what you have to in order to survive. If you'd like, I'll ask Jacob Carter if he'd take some pictures of Jessica through occasionally," he offered.
She hesitated before replying, "Thank you, Walt, I'd appreciate it." She glanced down at her watch. It was almost time for the most important trip of her life.
"Hey Simmons," Walter walked into the control room to find his friend in the seat that usually belonged to him. "Everything still all right for us to go through today?"
"Yup, no incoming emergencies expected." This was their code for SG-1 being on Earth. "You're clear to go at 0900."
"That is incredibly soon, isn't it?"
"Yes, it is, but things are going to go well," Simmons encouraged. "How's your kid doing?"
"She seemed fine when I dropped her off at the Fraiser's this morning, but in her mind her mother died day before yesterday. It's going to take her a while to get over it, and to get used to me."
"You're going to be a great father, Walter. Now, you'd better go get ready or she's going to go through without you."
As they stood ready to depart through the wormhole, Walter was pleased to see that SG-1 had come to see them off. He could hardly believe that only a few days before, his life had revolved almost completely around them and the other SG teams. Now, he was taking the love of his life through to the Tok'ra, and he would return to raise the daughter he didn't even know he had... alone.
"Walt," Cynthia jerked him out of his thoughts, "you ready?"
"Yes," and then they stepped through onto an alien planet, a very sandy alien planet; it was a landscape he'd seen a few times since the Tok'ra's most recent move, but he'd never once imagined he would end up here.
The Tok'ra popped up out of the sand like small flowers as they were expected to. Cynthia seemed alarmed so Walter put a hand on her shoulder and told the men surrounding them that they were expected.
"Selmak wishes to see you immediately," one of the Tok'ra explained, once they were in the tunnels below the surface. "Marilma's host died during the night. The symbiote is extremely weak now."
"What does that mean?" Cynthia asked nervously.
"It means the symbiote may not be able to help you," the Tok'ra responded as they came to stand at the threshold of a vast room where Jacob Carter/Selmak stood checking some sort of display.
"There you are. Where have you been?" Selmak accused, before blinking and seeming to change all together.
"Sorry, I'd apologize for Selmak, but we're all a little stressed out around here. Glad you're here, though. We should probably get started." They started walking through the tunnels again. "Sergeant Davis, I'll admit I was worried when I was told Sergeant Davis had agreed to become a host... and then slightly concerned when I heard to expect a female," he spared them both a small smile.
"General Carter Sir, I'm Sergeant Cynthia Davis. I'm the one who'd like to become a host."
"You might as well call me Jacob. We're going to be working together a lot and it's doesn't pay to be known in Goa'uld town by Tau'ri ranks." The tunnels seemed to go on forever, a theory, which no one seemed to be disproving right then. "So, how's Earth doing these days?"
"Holding her own, Sir," Walter responded. He liked being able to actually look at the man when he spoke, as opposed to him constantly speaking to Walter's back in the control room when he was on Earth.
"Great planet, my favorite. Selmak, of course, has her own opinion on the subject, but then Selmak has her own opinion on just about everything."
Walter wasn't allowed to go in for the blending. Considering the special circumstances with the Tok'ra not going from host-to-host, they thought it best to have Cynthia in a sealed environment until they knew whether or not Marilma would have the strength to survive the initial stages of the blending. It wasn't too long though before Jacob Carter came out and told him that the blending was complete and he could go and sit with Cynthia while Marilma tried to heal her body.
When Walter walked into the cold crystal room, he couldn't help but notice how pale Cynthia, who was laying on a cold crystal slab in the middle of the room, looked... she looked almost dead, which was a very disturbing thought for Walter's already frazzled mind. Someone had kindly placed a chair next to Cynthia's head, probably Jacob Carter, so Walter took a seat and waited for her to wake up. A while later, Cynthia opened her eyes and just stared up at Walter for a couple seconds before sighing and closing her eyes again. For a moment, Walter almost felt insulted, but the realized it may not have even been Cynthia who opened her eyes at all. Another while later, Cynthia's eyes opened again, but this time she spoke.
"Walter? You stayed?"
"Yes, I didn't want to leave without knowing if you would be okay."
"We're going to be fine," she assured. "Marilma's trying to give me a crash course in the Tok'ra as we speak."
"I'm glad you're all right. I hope you guys are happy together."
"Seems I'm host to the youngest of all the Tok'ra... of course that's relative and in thousands of years," she rolled over and sat up. "Take care of Jessica for me, and please be patient with her. Remember, she's only six."
"Be patient with her? Please, *I'm* the one getting on *her* nerves... and we've only been living in the same house for two days."
"I love you Walter," she leaned forward to give him a lingering kiss.
"I know, and Jess and I both love you."
"You do know she hates to be called Jess, right?"
"I told you I was getting on her nerves. Man, kids should come with an owner's manual," Walter kissed her this time. "Good bye Cynthia, I really should be getting back to Earth." With that he turned and walked out of the room, down the corridor, and to where he had seen the rings centered earlier. One of the Tok'ra on guard escorted him from the rings to the Stargate, watching nervously as he typed his code into the GDO he'd been given. Walter just hoped he didn't go "thump" on the iris as many of the people he hadn't allowed through in the past had.
He didn't go "thump" or "splat" Walter realized, as he was welcomed home by Major Cater and Colonel O'Neill from the control room. Seemed Major Carter had taken one of his shifts babysitting the Stargate and Colonel O'Neill, as usual, had come to keep her company. Normally, he would have gone and relieved them, but his life wasn't what passed for normal to him anymore, now that he had a family to get home to.
Dr. Fraiser had gone home before he came through the 'gate, Walter was informed by the Doctor who did his exam. It only slightly impeded his plans as he had intended to grill Dr. Fraiser on how his daughter was doing. Seemed he'd just have to go to the Fraiser's on his own to find out. Hopefully, she understood that she lived with him. Although, he reconciled, he probably wasn't giving the child enough credit considering she hadn't even spent the night at the Fraiser's house.
Walter was pleased to find that he hadn't picked up some horrible alien virus after his five-hour stay on an alien planet before they released him to go. He did stop by the locker room to shower and change clothes quickly before getting into his car. He had the overwhelming urge to get to Jessica and make sure she was the most well taken care of little girl on the planet.
When he arrived at Dr. Fraiser's house, Cassandra, her daughter, answered the door.
"Jessica, your father's here!" she yelled into the house.
"Daddy!" Jessica came running and launched herself into Walter's arms. It was unexpected, but certainly not unwelcome. This show of affection was actually more than he hoped for. "I missed you."
"I missed you too," he responded wholeheartedly, and he knew they'd be okay.