Family Life Series IV: The Meeting
By. Kelly Mullins
Jack loved his father-in-law; he wondered if that was wrong, perhaps he should hate the man with a passion. But he couldn't, not after turning to look at the woman next to him who was smiling and chatting to the aforementioned father-in-law about the birthday plans they'd made for their daughter's upcoming first birthday. The almost-one-year-old was in her car seat dozing in the back next to her grandfather.
This little cross country family trip had been Jacob's maneuvering, hence the son-in-law that was about to hop in the back seat and kiss the man. The Tok'ra operative had come barreling through the Stargate that morning (at least, that's how his wife had told it) demanding to get to Washington so that he could debrief the President on some issues that were of vital importance to Earth/Tok'ra relations. Selmak had refused an airplane claiming she was fighting off a cold for Jacob and airplanes made her efforts too difficult.
Reluctantly, General Andrews had let them go, he didn't want to keep the Tok'ra from passing on something vital and inadvertently get the planet blown up. If Jack didn't already detest the man, he'd probably be loving Andrews right now too.
Their little drive was going pretty well, 10 hours into it and Jack was about to let Jacob take over. He could tell the only reason Sam was still awake was to make sure he was too, besides, he really was starting to get tired.
The next time Jack was aware of the world around him was his wife waking him up.
"Can you get Carey out? I'm going to go get us checked in." He looked around to discover they were in downtown DC, in front of a hotel.
"Sure honey, where's dad?"
"Getting a cart for our luggage, he's got to take the car and go straight to the Whitehouse."
Jack's daughter, the light of his life, woke up and started screaming the second he picked her up. His father-in-law chose that moment to show back up and, using all of his Tok'ra strength and engineering ability managed to get all of their belongings onto one rickety looking cart. With a kiss on his granddaughter's forehead and a sympathetic look directed at Jack, he sped off into the light of the rising sun. Between the two of them, he and Sam managed to coax Carey back to sleep. But, when he reawakened, both his wife and daughter were gone, the clock told him it was noon, and his nose told him a shower would probably be advised before joining fellow people with noses to search for his family.
Twenty minutes later, showered, shaved, and freshly clothed, Jack ventured downstairs into the hotel's restaurant, here he found his two missing family members sitting down to lunch with Jacob.
"Hey Jake, how's the Prez?"
"He's good, *very* excited about the minor changes to the Tok'ra host selection criteria. He feels, as I do, that it was indeed a matter of grave urgency and is requesting our continued presence for the next three or four days." Jack loved not only Jacob, but the President as well. He was actually starting to get worried, as a tough military-man, was he allowed to love so many men?
"That's great news; the President should be as informed as possible." Jack replied a massive grin on his face as he took his wife's hand under the table.
The next day found them on a private tour of the Whitehouse. Their 'guide' the Chief of Staff or something, was taking them everywhere. They'd seen the East Wing, the West Wing, and even the kitchens. This all culminated in the Oval Office, where the President finally got to see Carey, as he had requested several months before.
Following a cozy get-together with the President, Jacob and Carey stayed behind for an informal dinner with the President and First Lady while Jack and Sam left to play tourists.
"Think they're upset we didn't stay for dinner?"
"No, I'm sure both of them more than understand our situation; we almost never get time to go out to dinner on our own. We're a family, but it is nice to take the time out once in a while to consider giving Carey a little brother or sister." Jack smiled suggestively at his wife before pulling her into a sideways embrace as they walked through the darkening city.
"You're crazy, Carey's got us on our heads when we're left alone with her and you want to add another? Just wait until she discovers sugar and caffeine make a good combination... I swear she's definitely got your energy." Their beloved daughter had only started to 'walk' a couple of weeks earlier, and unlike with crawling, she seemed to be off to a running start, managing to get lost within seconds when one of her parents turned their backs.
"Ah, as much as I'd like to debate my sanity with you further darling, we're here." Jack directed her into what looked like a little hole in the wall, but once they were inside and the door was closed behind them, it started to look more and more like something straight out of the Godfather.
Once they'd placed their orders and the wine had been delivered, Sam was mighty suspicious. "You've been here before?"
"A few times, no one ever comes here if someone else didn't show them to it first."
"I thought you got lost every time you come to DC?" She was smiling, though after being married to her for a couple of years, Jack had decided that didn't always mean she was happy.
"Some things are worth not losing." He took her hand across the table, and in a grand gesture managed to pull it to his mouth for a kiss without knocking over any of their glasses.
The food really turned out to be to die for, as was the wine, which perfectly accented everything they were brought, all the way through dessert. By the time they had walked back to the hotel it was after midnight, and they were very glad they hadn't had to go all the way back to the Whitehouse and explain to Jacob where they had been out so late. As it was, when they arrived in their room they found that all of Carey's things had walked off and a note encouraging them to sleep in in the morning had been left by Jacob and Selmak. So they took their time getting to sleep, enjoying their precious time before they went back to being Carey's parents, a job they loved, but one which could occasionally be trying on their Mommy/Daddy time.
The next morning Jack awoke to Jacob standing over him, a very uncomfortable situation given that he was stark naked, and only covered by a sheet that felt paper thin.
"Jake?" He asked warily, he wasn't sure this could be a good thing, if it had been nothing the man could have called and waited for him to be decent before barging in on him.
"Sorry Jack, I had to take the opportunity of Sam taking Carey around the corner to grab us all some breakfast."
"Use the opportunity for what?" Jack asked, sitting up and trying to wrap the sheet as much around his waist as possible while Jacob sat down next to him in the space Sam had vacated on the bed earlier.
"To tell you why we're really here, why we've come to see the President on some big *emergency*."
"Jake, we all know there's no emergency, you're a horrible actor."
"That's not what I've been hiding Jack, if you'd just let me get this out before your wife walks in on us." Jack nodded his head to show Jacob he could be silent. "Over the last couple of days, there has been a coup at SGC, General Andrew Andrews has been formally charged with several offences and is now facing court martial. I had to keep Sam away while all of this was going on because I didn't want anything else affecting her reputation in the Air Force."
"So Andrews is no more? How the hell did you manage that one?"
"Careful planning, what do you think the President and I were really talking about the day we arrived? That was when the plan was put into action and the General was forcibly removed from Cheyenne Mountain. They are currently looking for a new Commander, if you're in the market for a job."
"Sorry Jake, I'm too busy to run SGC, have you seen the amount of incident reports Siler files in a week? The man should be put in a box so he can't be a danger to himself." He sighed deeply, leaning back against the headboard of the bed. "Besides, I'd done ordering Sam around; she's gotten too fond of giving me orders at home."
"That is true, she's kind of adopted that way of thinking with me too. When your children have their own children, they gain a bit more leverage over you." He smiled ruefully. "I'd like to see Sam take the job, with us using more and more ships, Stargate traffic has decreased exponentially, she's going to be due for a promotion in two months, she'll be a full bird Colonel... it wouldn't be a bad command position for her."
"Sammy a Colonel? Phew, time has just flown past. Wasn't she just a Captain a couple years ago?"
"I'm not even going to ask about your memory, Selmak's helped with mine, so I guess you've just *forgotten* Sam was already a *Lieutenant* *Colonel* before you married her."
"She'd never take it, Sam loves the lab work, and all that administration would make her crazy."
At that moment they heard the key card in the door, Jacob had nearly vaulted the bed, and been through his door, closing it behind him before Sam actually managed to get it to successfully read her card and let her in. Jack, noticing that it would look kind of weird for him to be tightly wrapped in the sheet, tried to smooth things out and act like he was just getting up.
"Care, go get Daddy." Sam said to the baby toddling across the hotel room, as she went and placed their bags of food on the table. Finding his boxers on the floor where, embarrassingly enough, his father-in-laws feet had been not minutes before, Jack quickly pulled them on under the sheets before grabbing his daughter up in a bear hug.
After making Carey feel sufficiently welcome, Jack left to shower quickly before seeing his father-in-law for the second time that day. It was much easier to face the man with pants on; their acting skills around Sam were getting better, though Jack was already regretting that he couldn't be at SGC to see her face when she discovered the news, maybe he could talk Rya'c into taking a Handy-Cam to work with him... nah the kid was too straight laced.
"Sorry, Sam," Jacob said while they were eating.
"We have get back to Colorado, the Tok'ra recalled me a couple hours ago... some big Council emergency."
"It's all right Dad, this has been a wonderful vacation, even if we can't stay." She smiled, showing she completely understood her duties and that of her father, there were just some things that had to be sacrificed for Earth, and one of those things was occasionally her happiness.
The drive home was actually fun, Jack and Jacob were both noticeably in good moods, which kept Carey awake for most of the trip, continuously 'singing-along' to her favorite kiddie songs her family had brought. The three adults rotated driving over the 25 hour trip, allowing each other to sleep when they needed. Once back in Colorado Springs, Jack carried Carey in to her crib, where she instantly fell asleep, and then went back out to help Jacob and Sam put the luggage in the living room before the two of them headed off to the base. As Sam was kissing her sleeping baby goodbye and making sure her Protected Persons Medallion was firmly in place on her little chest, Jack and Jacob shared a manly hug.
"Thanks for this, all of this." Jack said as Sam came back into the room, clearly ready to leave so that she could find out what on earth (or elsewhere) was so important it couldn't be fixed without her. "Love you." Jack whispered, taking her into his arms and giving her a lingering kiss.
Five hours later, after Jack had taken a nap, done six loads of laundry, and put dinner in the oven, Sam came home. Without saying a word, she jumped him, pressing her lips frantically to his, thankfully, they were in the kitchen and he was able to quickly turn around and rest her against the counter; his knees were not what they once were and could barely support his own weight, let alone both of theirs. "Good day at work, honey?" Jack asked, a cocky grin on his face as Sam started unbuttoning his shirt.
"You have no idea. He's gone, he's really gone." He didn't need an explanation, so he just renewed the contact of their mouths.
As they continued to express their joy at the demise of General Andrews, Jack realized that this could be the beginning of a trend, probably not this magnitude every evening, but Sam coming home happy after work again. He had never even gotten to see it while they were married, but he'd seen her leave SGC while they had been working together, and unless there had been a horrible tragedy, she always looked happy when she left.
A happy Carter was a wonderful Carter, and he hoped to be getting to know her a lot better in their lives still yet to come.
End (29 July 2003)