Daniel picked up his mail as he entered his house and dropped his rucksack on the couch; he was still having a hard time believing he owned a house. It had been a strange three months since they’d found him on a planet with no memory of who he was. Suddenly given a name and an identity that didn’t feel right before being thrust into an inter-galactic war he’d apparently helped start with very little memory. Now here he was – he owned a house because Jack insisted on it, in fact his words were since he was going to be a permanent part of their lives again he needed permanency.
He was still remembering parts of his life; his most recent experiences were forefront in his mind while his youth was still fuzzy but Daniel felt more like himself than he had in ages. Sorting through his mail he was surprised to find a handwritten envelope in amongst it, taking a seat on his couch Daniel carefully opened it and slid out the folded piece of paper.
Dear Doctor Jackson, it read
I know this letter shall contain several shocks for you and for that I apologise, however I made a promise to a friend that I would find you.
My name is Sha’re Dennison and I am the adoptive mother of your nephew.
“My what?” Daniel asked aloud.
Nicky is four years old and the only child of your older brother David.
“Okay, I may not remember much but I know I don’t have a brother,” Daniel muttered before continuing to read.
I know you are probably saying to yourself that you do not have a brother but you did. Unfortunately he died approximately four years ago in a car accident along with his wife the same day Nicky was born. I only know what he told me and that is how he was given up for adoption when he was a baby. There is more but I do not wish to explain in a letter to you.
The reason I am contacting you, as well as my promise to David is so you can meet your nephew. If you are not interested then I will understand but if you wish to meet him then my number is at the bottom.
I hope you will contact us.
Daniel read the letter several more times before he blindly reached out and grabbed the phone, dialling it from memory, “Jack,” he said the instant it was answered, “I’ve something I need you to see.”
Jack read the letter before rereading it. He looked up at his friend who was sitting waiting with an expression of bemusement.
“Well?” Daniel asked.
“I don’t know,” Jack replied, handing him back the letter, “There’s nothing in your background check about a brother.”
“What do you think?”
Jack shrugged, “Go meet your nephew and let me check this out.”
Daniel took a deep breath, “I don’t know.”
“Daniel,” Jack sighed, “Ever since I’ve known you the one thing you’ve wanted was a family and here it is. You have a nephew, Danny. Get to know the kid, I promise you won’t regret it.”
Daniel chewed on his thumbnail for several moments; he grabbed the phone before looking at the letter again and dialling the number.
Sha’re held her son’s hand as they walked up the path to Debbie’s house. She was meeting David’s brother today and didn’t want Nicky to be there. Debbie appeared at the door and smiled hello to them, fondly ruffling Nicky’s hair as he ran over to his two friends, Debbie and Mike’s twin sons Robbie and Ray.
“So, todays the big day,” Debbie noted with a grin, “Are you looking forward to the meeting?”
Sha’re sighed, “Not really. I know I promised David I would find his brother but I honestly never expected to.”
“You can call it off,” Debbie reminded her, “Just don’t show up.”
Sha’re shook her head, “He sounded nice and genuinely interested in meeting Nicky. I can’t miss this meeting, it wouldn’t be fair. Besides I am curious about what he’ll be like.”
Debbie gently squeezed her friend’s hand, “Well have dinner with us after and you can tell me all about it.”
“Thanks,” Sha’re smiled before she turned and headed to her car.
Daniel stood outside the small cafe wondering why he wasn’t going in. Jack had done a background check on the woman who had written to him and found nothing out of the ordinary so two weeks after receiving the letter Daniel was in LA to meet his nephew.
Finally walking in Daniel glanced around and smiled as a woman, an extremely beautiful woman waved him over to a table in the corner.
“Dr Jackson,” she smiled at him, “I would recognise you anywhere. You’re your brother’s double.”
“I’ll have to take your word for that, Miss Dennison,” Daniel replied, “And it’s Daniel.”
“Sha’re,” she told him, motioning him to take a seat, “I’m glad you decided to come. David spent many years trying to find you.”
Daniel sat down across from her and glanced around, “Did you bring Nicky?”
“No,” Sha’re replied, seeing Daniel’s disappointment, “He knows I have been trying to find his uncle and I didn’t want him to get his hopes up then be let down if you decided never to return.”
“Good plan,” Daniel told her, he sighed and grabbed the menu, “So, what’s good here?”
Daniel nodded as the waitress brought them their lunch; he sipped his coffee watching Sha’re as she drank her tea.
“So, what can you tell me about my brother?” he asked.
Sha’re smiled slightly as she thought back, “He was fun, annoying but I never doubted his friendship.”
“How did you meet?”
“About ten years ago I moved into the apartment next door to him,” Sha’re explained, she sipped her tea again, “We became friends quickly. He was an accountant and he had an incredible head for numbers, David worked for one of the larger movie studios, which is where he met Therese.”
“Nicky’s mother?” Daniel asked, caught up both by her story and her voice.
“Yes,” Sha’re smiled, “Therese was the personal assistant to the studio head. She was beautiful with long blonde hair, a stunning figure but she was also incredibly intelligent. Her boss used to have her sit in on meetings all the time to pick up anything he missed because they didn’t believe she was as smart as she was. We used to gang up on David,” Sha’re smiled wistfully, “I was so happy when they married.”
Daniel tilted his head, “What happened?”
“Therese was in labour,” Sha’re explained, “They called me so I would be at the hospital and I was waiting when their car was hit by a drunk driver. David was killed instantly and Therese delivered Nicky in the ambulance before dying an hour later.”
“I’m sorry,” was all Daniel could think of to say.
“Neither David nor Therese had any family,” Sha’re explained, “Other than you. David had been trying to find you since I’d known him with no luck. Anyway, their will asked that I take in Nicky which meant adopting him became easier. I’m the only mother he has ever known and as much as I want you to be a part of his life, I will not let you breeze in before disappearing and breaking that child’s heart.”
“Sha’re,” Daniel licked his lips nervously, “I have no family and finding out I have a nephew is something I treasure. Trust me I intend to be a part of his life.”
Sha’re smiled at him, “Then we can all go out for dinner tomorrow night?”
“Okay,” Debbie said as Sha’re entered the house, “How did it go? What’s he like?”
Sha’re rolled her eyes at her friend, “Where’s Nicky?” she ignored the other woman for the moment.
“Out the back playing with the kids,” Debbie told her, “Don’t worry, Mike’s watching the three of them. Now what happened?”
“He appears to be very nice,” Sha’re told her friend, taking a seat.
“He wants to be a part of Nicky’s life, which I want but,” Sha’re sighed, “I don’t know.”
“Is he anything like Nicky’s father?” Debbie handed Sha’re a glass of iced tea, she hadn’t known Nicky’s real parents and met Sha’re when their children were a few months old.
“They look very alike,” Sha’re laughed, “But from what I can tell their personalities’ are completely different.”
Debbie curled up in the seat across from her friend, “Really?”
“David was so much of an extrovert,” Sha’re laughed, “He used to smile so much that everyone around him smiled as well, Daniel appears to be quite reserved and much more intense.”
“Mommy!!!” the call interrupted their talk as Sha’re’s son came bursting into the room. He ran over and jumped onto the couch beside her for a hug.
Sha’re happily obliged, kissing her son’s shaggy blond hair before hugging him tightly.
“Did you meet him?” Nicky asked, he was aware that Sha’re met his uncle today but still hadn’t grasped the concept completely of why it was important.
“Yes, I did,” Sha’re hugged him to her, “And we’re going to have dinner with him tomorrow night. Okay?”
Nicky nodded, eating out was a very big treat. After a few minutes of being hugged Nicky squirmed out of his mother’s arms and ran back to his playmates. Sha’re watched him fondly before turning back to Debbie.
“If he tries to take my son from me,” Sha’re whispered vehemently, “I will fight him with every part of me.”
Debbie reached out and squeezed her friend’s hand, “I don’t doubt it.”
Daniel sat in the restaurant waiting for Sha’re to arrive with Nicky. He was extremely nervous about meeting his nephew; he’d never been good with kids unlike Jack and Teal’c and was almost dreading this meeting.
He saw Sha’re enter the restaurant and felt his heart leap slightly as he saw her smile down at the little boy standing with her, Sha’re saw him and smiled at Daniel as they walked over to the table.
“Hi,” Daniel stood up as they reached him before he turned to the child, “Hi.”
Nicky pressed against his mother’s leg shyly, “Hello.”
Daniel held out a seat for Sha’re after she deposited Nicky on the final one. She gave him another smile as he took his seat again.
“Are you really my uncle?” Nick asked, breaking the uncomfortable silence that had fallen over the table.
“That’s what I’m told,” Daniel replied, looking down at the boy amazed at how much of himself he saw there.
Nicky shrugged and turned to his mother, “Can I get fries?”
Dinner went quite smoothly, Sha’re told Daniel more about how she’d adopted Nicky as well as her work as language tutor while he told her about himself, well as much as he could. It was actually an enjoyable evening to Sha’re’s surprise especially as Daniel spoke to Nicky like he was an intelligent person not a thing that couldn’t understand anything. Sha’re smiled as she realised how enamoured her son already was with his new uncle but this started her worrying again both about Daniel wanting to take Nicky full time or disappearing from their lives and breaking the child’s heart.
Daniel surprised Sha’re by suggesting they go for a walk after dinner. Once they’d paid their bill and started out he’d scooped the little boy up carrying Nicky as the child talked, Sha’re walked at their side watching them. Daniel laughed as Nicky told him about his friends and their games.
“Can I get ice cream?” Nicky asked when he saw the stand in the park, “Please Mommy.”
“Please,” Daniel grinned at Sha’re with almost identical innocence making her roll her eyes.
“Just this once,” Sha’re told them with resignation.
Daniel placed Nicky next to his mother, “What flavour?”
“Chocolate,” Nicky cried instantly.
Daniel glanced up at Sha’re, “What about you?”
“Nothing for me,” she told him, “I’ll share Nicky’s. It’ll be too much for him.”
“Okay,” Daniel grinned and headed over to get them their dessert.
Nicky was fast asleep on Daniel’s shoulder as they walked towards Sha’re’s home, a lovely beach side property that Daniel was very impressed by.
“This was David and Therese’s house,” Sha’re explained as she led him inside, “It was also left to me and I decided that this would be the best place to raise Nicky. It has a large garden out the back where he can play and it overlooks the sea which I love.”
Daniel smiled, he gently shifted Nicky to a slightly more comfortable position on his shoulder, “Where’s his room?”
Sha’re guided him through the house to Nicky’s bedroom. Daniel carried Nicky into the large cheery, toy-filled space and placed him gently on the bed.
At that moment his phone rang and he grimaced as he grabbed it, “Hold on,” Daniel said when he answered before turning to Sha’re, “I have to take this.”
“Just go back to the lounge,” she told him, “I want to put him into his pyjamas.
Daniel nodded and left them placing his phone at his ear again, “What?”
“Daniel,” Sam said, “We’ve got problems.”
Sha’re slid her compliant son under his covers and slid his favourite bear in beside him before placing the quilt over the sleeping boy. Gently she pressed a kiss to his forehead, smiling as he cuddled down and sighed in his sleep. As much as she missed her friends, as much as she wished they were still alive, she couldn’t imagine her life without this little boy in it. She just hoped that Daniel wouldn’t try to take him from her but she was beginning to hope he’d stay in their lives.
“He’s settled for the night,” Sha’re said as she entered the lounge where he was standing, “Do you want some coffee?”
“I have to go,” Daniel told her, “I know I was meant to take Nicky to the park tomorrow but...”
Anger filled Sha’re’s eyes, “Why?”
“It’s my work,” Daniel told her, “And it’s important.”
She folded her hands across her chest, “You told me you wanted to be a part of your nephew’s life and two minutes later you’re already breaking promises to him?”
“Yes, it is,” Sha’re snapped, anger flaring in her dark brown eyes, “Get out.”
“Get out,” she told him again, “You’re not welcome here. You’ve met Nicky, you’ve spent time with him so leave and don’t come back.”
Daniel opened his mouth to say something else but couldn’t find the words against her anger.
“I’ll call as soon as I can,” he managed to say before the door slammed in his face.
Daniel left the infirmary annoyed that his arm was now in a sling after a disastrous mission, a disastrous mission that had pulled him away from getting to know his only family and headed to his office. He was avoiding Sam and Teal’c for the moment blaming them for completely ruining his time with his nephew – even if it wasn’t their fault since he was the only person on Earth who could understand the language to release the trap. He wanted to head back to LA and apologise to Sha’re, to explain to her but he was sure that she’d probably slam the door in his face once more.
“Hello,” Daniel said with a sigh when he answered the phone.
“Daniel, it’s me,” his friend replied.
“Jack, you have great timing.”
“Well you weren’t at home and you weren’t answering your cell so I called here,” Jack said, sarcasm in his voice, “I didn’t think your flight got in so soon.”
“Problem offworld meant I had to leave after two days,” Daniel replied, dropping into a seat, “I was meant to take Nicky to the park and I had to break that promise.”
“I wanted to be part of his life and now,” he slammed his good hand on the desk, “Jack, I think I just lost the only family I had left.”
“Call her,” Jack told him.
“Call her and apologise,” Jack told him, “Danny, she’s had a while to calm down. Explain how important leaving was.”
Daniel sighed, “Do you think that’ll work?”
Jack laughed, “You can always try.”
Daniel had tried to talk to Sha’re several times but she hung up on him every time so here he was at their house waiting for her to open the door and hoping she wouldn’t slam it in his face - again.
Sha’re opened the door, she wore a plain green sundress with her long hair hanging loose around her shoulders, “What are you doing here?”
“I thought this way you couldn’t hang up on me,” Daniel told her, he shrugged slightly, “You can slam the door in my face but I will sit here until you decide to talk to me. I want to see Nicky and I won’t leave until I do.”
Sha’re smiled slightly before frowning as she saw his injury, “What happened to your arm?”
Daniel glanced down at the sling holding his left arm to his chest, “Slight accident, I tripped over a friend.”
Sha’re giggled at his wry reply, “Come in, Nicky is playing in the garden.”
Relieved, Daniel followed her inside.
“Uncle Daniel,” Nicky cried as he ran through the room, jumping at Daniel who caught him with his good arm, “You came back.”
“Yeah,” Daniel sighed, hugging his nephew tightly, “I’m sorry I had to leave.”
Nicky wriggled out of the hug and was about to grab Daniel’s hand when he saw the bandage and sling, “Are you hurt?”
“Just a little,” Daniel told him.
“When I’m hurt, mommy kisses it better,” Nicky told him as he gently patted Daniel’s injured hand, “Maybe that would help.”
Daniel caught sight of Sha’re and bit his lip to stop himself grinning, “I don’t think that would work for me.”
“Nicky, why don’t you take Daniel into the garden,” Sha’re told her son, “Everyone else will be here soon.”
This caught Daniel’s attention, “Everyone?”
Sha’re smiled, “Friends of ours are coming for lunch, it’s our turn. Don’t worry, there is at least one man coming as well.”
Sha’re stepped out onto the deck and smiled as she saw Daniel and Nicky running around kicking a soccer ball, Daniel being careful of his hurt arm. Relief filled her that Daniel had fought to see Nicky again, she’d been so angry that, within a few hours, he’d broken his first promise to Nicky but the fact he’d come to LA so that she had to talk to him meant that he was determined to be a part of his nephew’s life and that was a good thing.
When the doorbell rang Sha’re headed to answer it smiling as Debbie, Mike and their two boys stood there, “Come on in,” she told them before smiling at the two boys, “Nicky is in the garden, on you go.”
The two boys ran off to find their playmate leaving their parents with Sha’re, the three adults headed slowly to the back garden and Debbie grabbed her friend’s arm.
“Who is that?” she asked.
“That is Daniel Jackson,” Sha’re replied, smiling as she watched him include the two new boys into the game, “Nicky’s uncle.”
“Wow,” Debbie murmured, receiving a slight shove from her husband, “I love you, honey but wow.”
“I suppose so,” Sha’re replied as she handed them both their usual drinks.
“You suppose?” Debbie cried, she turned to her husband, “Honey, go away.”
Mike rolled his eyes and headed out the back to introduce himself to the other man leaving the two women to gossip.
“Sha’re, I know you haven’t dated much since you became Nicky’s mother,” Debbie said, “But even you have to be able to see how gorgeous that man is.” Sha’re blushed slightly and Debbie laughed, “Oh, you have. And?”
“And nothing,” Sha’re replied sharply, “Daniel is Nicky’s uncle, he’s David’s brother and nothing more to me.”
Debbie patted her friend on the shoulder, “You’re lying to yourself. A long distance relationship isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”
Thankfully before Sha’re could reply the doorbell went, indicating more of the group had arrived so Sha’re left her friend who was grinning at her.
Daniel staggered over to the deck exhausted after running around with the kids; he smiled at the women sitting there, “Hi.”
“Daniel,” Sha’re said, “This is Debbie, Marissa and Alice. You’ve already met Mike.”
“Nice to meet you,” Daniel smiled at the women, very aware of how outnumbered he suddenly was.
“So,” Debbie, the ringleader of the group said, “Where do you live?”
Taking his seat Daniel sighed, “Colorado Springs, but I travel a lot for my work.”
“And what do you do?”
Sha’re smacked her friend’s shoulder slightly as she walked past.
“I’m an archaeologist and a linguist,” he replied, “I’ve been working as a translator for Air Force for the past eight years.”
“That’s sounds interesting,” Debbie continued, “How many languages do you speak?”
Daniel hesitated; he always did when someone asked that question, “About twenty.”
Mike choked on his drink, “What?”
“Most are dead languages,” Daniel assured them, “But at last count it was about twenty.”
They continued to talk not noticing as Alice slipped away to help Sha’re.
“If you don’t want Daniel,” Alice said when she caught the other woman in the kitchen, “Can I have him?”
Sha’re was relieved when her friends finally left, as much as she enjoyed their company they did take a lot of energy. She saw Daniel come back down the stairs and smiled, she did like him but it was complicated.
“He’s asleep,” Daniel told her, “I almost joined him, who knew kids could exhaust you so much.”
Sha’re laughed, “You should have been here when he woke up every few hours to feed. That was exhausting.”
Daniel dropped onto the couch, “I can imagine.”
Sha’re took the seat across from him, “How long are you here for this time?”
Daniel sensed the sharp edge behind the soft question and winced, “Three days. I have to get back to work after that.”
Before Sha’re could say anything else Daniel’s phone rang making him groan, pulling it out of his pocket and seeing who was calling Daniel sighed.
“What is it, Jack?”
Daniel was beginning to think his friends were doing this to him purposely as his phone rang just at the most inopportune moment.
“What is it, Jack?” he demanded.
“Hello to you too,” Jack retorted before launching in to his question, “Where the hell in your office is the file on P34 R2F?”
Daniel could see Sha’re looking annoyed as he turned away from her slightly “Why?”
“I need it,” Jack told him, “And your filing method is insane.”
“What are you doing in my office anyway?” Daniel asked him, “Never mind, go to the computer and you’ll see a shelf in front of you.”
“I’m there,” Jack reported.
“Okay,” Daniel sighed, “Third shelf, under F.”
“Dare I even ask why F?” Jack muttered, “Got it. Thanks, Danny. By the way have you got any food in here?”
“Don’t you have an office of your own?” Daniel demanded before cutting off his friend before he could answer, “Never mind, just don’t break anything this time.”
Jack laughed, “Before you hang up on me, since your birthday is in a few weeks I thought barbecue.”
“And you can invite your nephew and his mother along,” Jack continued, “Let us meet the kid.”
“I’ll think about it,” Daniel said, “Bye, Jack.”
Hanging up he turned to find Sha’re watching him intently.
“So,” she said sharply, “Are you leaving again?”
“Not yet,” he smiled slightly, “Just a friend trashing my office for some reason of his own. I’m not breaking another promise to Nicky.”
Sha’re nodded allowing a smile to touch her lips, “Good.”
Sha’re invited Daniel to remain for dinner which pleased Nicky who was looking to play some more now he was awake. Thankfully this time it was a board game that Daniel, to his disgust, was losing.
“I won,” Nicky cheered as Daniel groaned, “Mommy, I won.”
“I see,” Sha’re smiled at them before turning to Daniel, “Beaten by a four year old.”
“Thanks for the humiliation,” Daniel told her before turning to the still bouncing little boy, “How about we watch a movie now?”
Nicky nodded and climbed into his uncle’s lap, “Nemo,” he said imperiously.
“What do we say?” Sha’re said sternly.
“Please,” the blue eyes batted innocently at them.
“Alright,” Sha’re told her son, “but you have to go to bed as soon as it is finished with no arguments.”
“Okay,” Nicky said with a long suffering air making Daniel smother a laugh.
Sha’re put on the DVD and put the lights down before taking a seat on the couch, Nicky pouted and tugged his mother’s arm until she moved next to Daniel allowing the boy to sit with both of them. A little embarrassed Sha’re sat stiffly until Nicky moved to sit on both of them meaning she had to relax.
“That wasn’t bad,” Daniel noted when it finished realising Nicky was asleep across their laps, “Has he ever seen the end?”
Sha’re laughed, “Once or twice. Would you mind taking him to his room?”
“Before I do,” Daniel said, “I have two things to ask.”
Sha’re looked at him intrigued, “What?”
“I want to take Nicky for the day tomorrow,” Daniel told her, “Just so I can get to know him some more and it’ll give you the day to yourself.”
“Okay,” she agreed, although a little reluctantly before asking, “What’s number two?”
Daniel shifted uncomfortably, “In a few weeks it’s my birthday and my friends, against my wishes, hold a birthday party every year. I thought, actually Jack thought you guys might like to come,” he glanced at her surprised face and grimaced, “Only if you want.”
Sha’re smiled, “That would be nice.”
Daniel dropped relieved onto the bench just across from the swings exhausted.
“If four year olds could be used to power the city,” a voice made him look up to see Debbie coming over to the bench, “It would stop any energy crisis.”
“Hi,” Daniel smiled as he saw her two sons run over to join Nicky in the sandpit, “Pull up a bench, exhausted people are more than welcome.”
Debbie laughed and took him up on his offer, “Here,” she reached into her bag and pulled out a bottle of water, “You look like you need this.”
Daniel gratefully took the offered liquid, “How do you do it?” he glanced over to where the three boys were running around in circles, “How do you manage not to collapse exhausted in a heap.”
“Oh I do,” Debbie told him, “Just at the end of the day. They are exhausting but I wouldn’t give them up for anything.”
Daniel followed her eyes to his nephew, “Yeah.” He leaned back and drank some of the water sensing Debbie at his side shifting slightly; “Is something wrong?”
“The first day I met Sha’re was at a mother and baby group,” Debbie explained, “It was a group of new mothers and almost all of us already knew one another. She was hanging back uncertainly because she hadn’t been through everything we all had. I didn’t let her hide.”
“I bet,” Daniel laughed.
“Sha’re’s so enamoured by that little boy,” Debbie continued, “I know she barely leaves him, she doesn’t date and suddenly you’re here.”
Confusion covered Daniel’s face, “What?”
Debbie folded her hands on her lap, “I’m going to ask you something that she never would, mostly because she’s afraid of the answer.”
“Ask me what?”
“Are you going to try and take Nicky away from Sha’re?” Debbie asked bluntly.
Daniel stared at her in complete astonishment, “What?”
“You are a blood relative,” Debbie noted, “And you would have a strong case.”
“Hold on,” Daniel stopped her, “Why would she think that?”
“You’ve never said that you won’t,” Debbie reminded him with a shrug.
Daniel sighed, “My work is something that means I couldn’t care for a child but even if I could I would never do that. Sha’re is Nicky’s mother, nothing will change that. I lost my parents when I was a child, Debbie and I would never take that boy away from his mother.”
Debbie smiled and nodded, “That’s good to know, Daniel but you need to tell her that.”
Daniel wanted to tell Sha’re that he didn’t want to take Nicky away from her that night but he didn’t get the chance. When he brought Nicky back from dinner fast asleep on his shoulder, the house was invaded by several of Sha’re’s friends. Daniel quickly deposited the sleeping child in his room, stopping for a few minutes to watch the boy. The thing was he did want to be Nicky’s father, he would love it but he knew that he’d never be able to do it with his work at the SGC. Daniel leaned against the wall and smiled as Nicky cuddled the teddy-bear sighing softly in his deep sleep, if he was being truly honest with himself Daniel knew that he wanted Nicky as his son but he also wanted Sha’re. Quickly leaving the room, he wished Sha’re good night and they agreed to meet for breakfast before his flight home. As he headed back to his hotel that night, Daniel decided that it was best to keep things the way they were because if it went wrong then it would possibly destroy the amicable relationship they had just now - even if he was falling in love with her.
The sun was shining brightly in the almost completely cloudless sky, Jack stood in Daniel’s yard fixing the barbecue while his friend set up the bar in the kitchen. Daniel fought him every year over celebrating his birthday but Jack always won. This year however the argument from Daniel was practically non-existent once Jack mentioned bringing the kid along. It was obvious to anyone who talked to Daniel how much he adored his nephew but the person Jack was looking forward to meeting was the kid’s mother. Jack had known Daniel for years and when he spoke of Sha’re, Jack detected behind the carefully chosen words the feelings developing in his friend. He just hoped he approved of the woman, he hadn’t approved of the last few of Daniel’s girlfriends – all of which hadn’t lasted very long.
“Jack, I’m going to pick up Nicky and Sha’re,” Daniel called to him, “Everyone should be here pretty soon.”
“I’ll look after them while you pick up your guests,” Jack grinned, waving him away with the barbecue fork
Daniel grinned back and left quickly, not seeing the amused look on his friend’s face.
Daniel stood waiting in the arrivals lounge and grinned when he heard Nicky yell his name before he even saw either of them. Daniel crouched down and scooped his nephew up in his arms hugging him tightly.
“I missed you,” Nicky told him.
Daniel kissed the little boy’s head, “I missed you too, kiddo.”
“Hello, Daniel,” Sha’re said as she joined them at a more sedate pace.
He gave her a wide smile and after shifting Nicky slightly took a bag from Sha’re before motioning her to follow him.
“How was your flight?” he asked as he led her to the car.
Sha’re smiled, “It was fine, this was Nicky’s first trip on an airplane.”
“Really?” Daniel asked, as he carried his nephew to the car, “Did you enjoy it?”
Nicky nodded enthusiastically, “It was really loud and then the whole plane leaned back as we left the ground. I want to fly again.”
“You’ll get your chance in a few days,” Daniel reminded him as they reached the car, quickly he placed Nicky into the booster seat he’d bought specifically the day before then took Sha’re’s other bag from her and dropped it in the trunk.
Starting the car Daniel glanced over at Sha’re, “We’ll get you guys checked in to the hotel first then head to the party.”
Sha’re nodded, “Of course.”
Daniel kept Nicky occupied as Sha’re checked into the hotel, before following her up to their room.
Nicky gasped excitedly as he saw he was getting to sleep in the same room as his mother before he scrambled onto the bed closest to the window and looked out at the world below. Sha’re smiled as she set the bag on her bed, “Nicky, come here.”
The boy turned and frowned, knowing he was going to be washed but Sha’re didn’t take any nonsense from her son.
“If you do not come here now then we are not going to your Uncle Daniel’s party,” she reminded him sternly, “Now come here.”
Nicky walked towards his mother with a slight pout on his face, but didn’t make a fuss as Sha’re took him to the bathroom. Daniel sat flicking through the channels on the TV waiting for his guests to be ready. Nicky ran out, dressed in navy shorts with a light blue t-shirt he bounced onto Daniel’s lap and hugged him.
“Daniel,” Sha’re said, “I’m just going to get freshened up and changed. Could you pack Nicky’s bag with a change of clothes for him just in case?”
“Sure,” Daniel smiled at her; he picked Nicky up and dropped him on the bed making him giggle.
Daniel pulled out the small rucksack with a bright cartoon character he didn’t recognise, he found some extra clothes and underwear for Nicky and placed it into the small bag. He looked up as Nicky handed him a bear.
“You want to take him with you?” Daniel asked.
Nicky nodded with a grin making Daniel smile too, he positioned the bear in the bag and zipped it up so the bear’s head was sitting out, “Means he gets to see everything,” Daniel explained to the boy.
“Are we ready?” Sha’re asked, stepping out of the bathroom in a red top and denim cut offs.
Daniel smiled at her, “Completely.”
Jack looked up for a minute when he heard someone enter the garden; he was disappointed to find it was only Lieutenant Marks and his girlfriend Kate, a nurse in the infirmary.
He was looking forward to meeting both Nicky and Sha’re, the background check he’d done on them had only given him cold hard facts, Daniel spoke of them occasionally but as usual he kept his emotions to himself as much as possible.
“Sir,” Sam appeared at his side, “Are the burgers ready yet? You may have a mutiny on your hands if they’re not.”
Jack rolled his eyes, “First lot are just about ready. Tell the hordes they can descend.”
She grinned at him before glancing around, “Aren’t they here yet?”
“Nope,” Jack replied, “I hope he isn’t chickening out of bringing them.”
Sam laughed, “He knows better than to do that. Daniel will be here soon and you can tease him as much as you like.”
“I’m not going to embarrass him in front of the kid and his mother,” Jack looked affronted before grinning at her disbelieving look, “But that doesn’t mean I won’t once they’re gone.”
Sam shook her head but didn’t get a chance to say anything else as several people descended all looking for food. As she glanced up Sam spotted the birthday boy arriving with a beautiful woman and a small boy, the show was about to start.
“Daniel?” Sha’re noticed his reluctance to enter the garden, “Is something wrong?”
“Okay, my friends are good people but...”
“They like to tease me,” Daniel explained, “Just don’t take everything they say seriously.”
Sha’re laughed, “I promise. Are we going in now?”
“Sure,” Daniel sighed, he looked down at where Nicky was walking, “Come on.”
Sha’re laughed to herself following Daniel into the party, several people cheered when he arrived and raised their glasses making him blush before they turned back to their conversations.
“Did you get lost?” a tall man with silver hair demanded as he walked over to them.
“Funny,” Daniel replied wryly, “Jack, this is Sha’re and this is Nicky.”
Jack grinned at them both shaking Sha’re’s hand quickly before he turned to Nicky, “Hi, I’ve heard a lot about you.”
Nicky curled into Daniel’s leg; unsure about this new man especially as there were so many people here he didn’t know.
“It’s okay,” Daniel assured the little boy, “Jack’s my best friend. And he knows lots of cool stuff.”
“Really?” the blue eyes looked up at his uncle, “Like what?”
“Nicky,” Sha’re started to scold but Daniel shook his head asking her to let him talk and she stopped herself.
“Remember how much you liked to fly?” Daniel asked his nephew.
Nicky nodded enthusiastically.
“Jack can fly planes,” Daniel told him, grinning at the look of awe filling the boy’s eyes.
“Really?” Nicky asked staring at Jack no longer shy.
Jack nodded, “Come on and get something to eat then you can meet everyone. There are other people who can fly too.”
“Wow,” Nicky let go of Daniel and followed Jack through the garden like an eager puppy.
“Looks like we’ve been abandoned,” Daniel laughed as Sha’re shook her head fondly at her son, “Want a drink?”
“Yes,” Sha’re nodded and smiled when he rested his hand on her back to guide her into the garden.
The party had wound down and the only ones left were Jack, Daniel, Sha’re, Nicky, Teal’c, Sam, Janet and Cassie. Nicky had loved playing with Cassie and her dog, as well as listening to Jack tell him about planes. Daniel grabbed another drink for him and Sha’re before sitting beside her on the couch as she watched her son with his new friends.
“He had a good time today,” Daniel noted, seeing Nicky continue to pet the dog as he watched a movie cuddling his bear.
“We both did,” Sha’re replied softly, “You have a lot of friends, some are quite strange but they all seem to care a great deal for you.” She smiled amused as a slight blush touched his cheeks, “Nicky loved meeting them.”
“What about you?” Daniel asked quietly.
Sha’re smiled again, “I have been told some wonderful stories about you today.”
“Remember I told you not to believe everything they told you,” Daniel winced as she laughed at him.
“Don’t worry, there was nothing bad,” Sha’re assured him, she yawned slightly, “I should get Nicky back to the hotel. It’s past his bedtime.”
“Call a cab for us,” Sha’re told him, “You should enjoy the rest of your night with your friends.”
“It’s no trouble,” Daniel assured her.
Sha’re laughed, “But if you take us back Nicky will want you to stay and he will not go to bed. How about we meet tomorrow for breakfast before you take Nicky out?”
“Sure,” Daniel told her, “I’ll come by about nine thirty.”
Daniel called a cab for Sha’re and Nicky, while Sha’re tried get her son ready to leave. The boy pouted not wanting to go, he wriggled away from his mother and crawled onto Daniel’s lap clinging onto his uncle’s neck.
“Nicky,” Daniel said, “It’s time to go. You need your sleep and so does your Mom.”
“We can stay here,” Nicky told him earnestly, “I can sleep on the couch and Mommy can sleep in your bed.”
Jack started to choke on his drink at this announcement; Daniel turned and silenced him with a glare.
“Nicky,” Daniel said to his nephew, “Remember how nice your room was back at the hotel? Well you want to get to sleep there and tell me all about it tomorrow, okay?”
“Okay,” Nicky replied in a small voice.
Daniel smiled and gave the boy a hug, “Good boy. Now go get your bag packed so you don’t lose your teddy.”
As Nicky hurried around getting his things together Sha’re turned to Daniel and gave him a warm smile,
“Thank you,” she said softly, “You seem to always appeal to logic and he listens to you.”
Daniel shrugged, “So did I at his age.”
Sha’re gently kissed his cheek as the cab arrived, she gathered up her son and headed back to the hotel.
“So,” Jack joined Daniel on the patio after everyone else had left, “That was Sha’re.”
“Leave it, Jack,” Daniel sighed.
Jack gave him an innocent look, “Leave what?”
“Whatever remark you’ve had cooking in that brain of yours all night,” Daniel told him, “I don’t want to hear it.”
Jack chuckled, “I was just going to say I like her, and Nicky is just the cutest kid I’ve seen in ages.”
Daniel smiled slightly, “He is, isn’t he?”
“How long are they staying for?” Jack asked.
“They’re heading home in two days,” Daniel replied, “She’s letting me take Nicky for the day tomorrow; it means she can do what she wants.”
Jack laughed, “Sounds good. Though you should take them both to the zoo, Charlie loved it.”
Jack smiled at his friend, “Nicky will love it.”
Sha’re sighed as Daniel kissed her, his arms locked around her waist as she wrapped her arms around his neck holding onto him. Their embrace deepened and Sha’re felt the wall against her back as Daniel pressed against her his body moulding to hers.
“Don’t stop,” Sha’re whispered as their lips parted, “Please don’t stop.”
Daniel suddenly stepped back from her.
“Daniel?” she asked confused as he backed away from her, “Where are you going? What did I do?”
He shook his head again, “Why would I want to be with you?”
“Daniel,” she called reaching for him but he was walking away and she suddenly realised he was taking Nicky with him, “Nicky!!” she cried trying to run after them but she was stuck to the spot, “No!!!”
Sha’re gasped as she woke up to find her confused little boy standing at her side looking worried.
“Mommy, did you have a bad dream?” he asked her clinging to his teddy bear fearfully.
Sha’re reached out and lifted him onto the bed with her, Nicky wriggled until he was under the covers with her his head on the pillow beside her.
“I’ll protect you from your bad dreams, Mommy,” he promised.
Sha’re gently kissed her son’s forehead, “I know, baby and thank you.”
They lay snuggled together until it was time to get up, as Sha’re took a quick shower Nicky sat and watched some cartoons while telling his bear about how much he was looking forward to spending the day with his uncle Daniel.
When Sha’re was finished she stood listening to her little boy, she knew how much he loved Daniel but considering her dream the night before Sha’re was beginning to realise her own feelings for the man were more than friendship. Unfortunately they lived in California and he lived in Colorado, long distance relationships didn’t work. She knew this. But she couldn’t suddenly refuse to let him see Nicky again.
Checking the clock she started getting her son ready for the day.
Nicky ran to hug Daniel when they saw him in the lobby, Daniel lifted the boy into his arms and gave Sha’re a quick smile. Sha’re couldn’t stop herself from smiling back at him. Her dream came to mind again and for a few seconds she wondered what it would be like to kiss him.
“Mommy,” Nicky cried, “Uncle Daniel says he’s taking me to the zoo.”
“That sounds wonderful,” Sha’re told him.
Daniel smiled at her, “Why don’t you come too? It’ll be fun.”
Sha’re hesitated, they’d talked about Daniel having this day alone with Nicky but she had wondered what she would do all day alone.
“Please, Mommy,” Nicky called, “It’ll be lots of fun.”
At her son’s plea Sha’re nodded, “Of course. That sounds like lots of fun.”
Daniel beamed, “Fantastic, after breakfast we’ll get going.”
Daniel carried a sleeping Nicky back into the hotel. They’d had a wonderful day; Nicky dragged them both to see all the animals reading about them then making sure both knew everything. Sha’re was walking at their side carrying the bag filled with the t-shirt, books and several stuffed animals Daniel had bought him during their trip as well as his trainers that he’d lost in the car on the way back.
They headed up to the room in silence, once there Daniel gently rested the little boy on his bed and covered him. He turned back to where Sha’re was packing the things he’d bought today.
“You shouldn’t have bought him so much,” Sha’re said.
“I wanted to,” Daniel reminded her.
Sha’re laughed, “I know. It has been a wonderful few days, Daniel. It’s a shame we have to leave tomorrow.”
Daniel shrugged, “You could always stick around for a few more days.”
“I wish we could but I have to get back to work,” Sha’re sighed, “I know Nicky would love to spend more time with you.”
“Well I could bring him back to LA in a few days,” Daniel suggested.
“Oh, Daniel,” Sha’re whispered, she gently bit her lip, “I can’t...I can’t leave him here. I’m sorry.”
Daniel shrugged trying not to show his disappointment, “Maybe some other time then.”
“Perhaps,” Sha’re replied non-committal.
“Well I’ll get going and let you get some rest,” Daniel said, “I’ll come pick you up tomorrow and we can have lunch in the airport before you leave.”
Sha’re was about to protest he didn’t have to, stopping herself as she knew he wanted to spend some more time with Nicky, “Of course. We’ll see you about ten?”
Daniel nodded, he leaned in and kissed her cheek, they both paused before Sha’re quickly moved away.
Daniel stared at the phone on his desk; he reached out and picked it up before putting it down again.
“Just call,” he muttered to himself before picking the phone up once more and dialling.
“Hello?” the woman he’d been hoping to speak to answered.
“Sha’re, it’s Daniel,” he managed to keep his voice steady; “I hope I’m not bothering you.”
Sha’re laughed slightly, “Your calls are never a bother. Do you want to speak to Nicky?”
“Yeah but first I wanted to ask you about Christmas,” Daniel said quickly, “I was hoping I could come and spend it with you and Nicky or you guys could come here.”
“Oh,” Sha’re breathed making Daniel wince, “I’m sorry, Daniel but Debbie has already invited us to spend it with her and her family.”
“I’m really sorry, I didn’t realise you would want to...”
“It’s okay,” Daniel cut her off, “I have to go, I’ll call in a few days to see when’s best for me to come and give Nicky his presents.”
“Daniel...” Sha’re started but Daniel cut her off.
“Bye,” he said before dropping the phone back into its cradle and sighing, it looked like he would be spending Christmas working again.
Sha’re felt guilt spiral through her as she heard the dial tone, Daniel was obviously upset about not getting to spend Christmas with his nephew. He’d not even hung on to talk to Nicky.
“Debbie,” Sha’re said the moment her friend answered, “I need to talk to you.”
“Sure thing,” Debbie replied, “You sound worried.”
“I’m not worried,” Sha’re explained, “More exceedingly guilty.”
“What did you do?” Debbie demanded, before calling to her boys to be quiet.
Sha’re sighed, “Daniel asked to spend Christmas with us.”
“That’s great!!” Debbie exclaimed before Sha’re’s tone hit her, “What did you do?”
“We’re coming to you,” Sha’re reminded her, “You invited us remember?”
“Sha’re,” Debbie said slowly and deliberately, “Daniel is more than welcome. In fact I insist.”
“Are you sure?” Sha’re asked worriedly, “It’s your family and I felt we were imposing to begin with.”
“Oh please,” Debbie laughed, “I want you here, not to mention if Daniel comes then Mike will have another guy to talk to who isn’t under five or my father.”
Sha’re smiled to herself, she wanted to see Daniel at Christmas, wanted Nicky to be able to spend Christmas with his adoring uncle and wanted to give him the presents she had for him, “Thanks, Debbie. I’ll call him back and let him know.”
With a smile Sha’re hung up on her friend and started dialling again.
Daniel smiled as Sha’re opened the door before grimacing as she frowned at him.
“What did you do?” she cried as she saw him laden down with presents, “Buy a mall?”
Daniel shrugged, “I’ve got to make up for the years I missed.”
Sha’re shook her head and motioned him to get inside, laughing as he almost got stuck in the door before taking pity on him and taking a few of the bags.
“You know where the guest room is,” Sha’re told him, “I’m just making a snack for when Nicky gets back from the park. Do you want something?”
“Please,” Daniel said, “The food on the plane...” he trailed off as he saw the living room decorated for the season.
“What do you think?” Sha’re asked, as he stared at the tree and the decorations.
“It looks fantastic,” he breathed, smiling as he saw the decorations made by Nicky. With a smile he headed into the guest room and dropped his bags.
He was looking forward to the next week; it would make a change for him to spend Christmas doing something other than takeout with Jack, several beers and some really bad movies.
“Uncle Daniel!!!” Nicky cried happily, running into Daniel’s arms and hugging him tightly, “Are you here for Christmas?”
“Yes, I am,” Daniel replied, “And we’re going to have lots of fun.”
Nicky beamed, hugging his uncle once more before wriggling out of his embrace and running over to hug his mother.
“What was that for?” Sha’re asked him.
“Uncle Daniel is my best present,” Nicky told her.
Sha’re laughed, especially at the stunned look on Daniel’s face, “Go and wash your hands for dinner. Then you can teach Daniel the Christmas songs you learned with Debbie.”
Nicky jumped up and ran out of the room, Sha’re smiled before she turned to Daniel.
“I’m glad you came,” she told him, “Nicky is really excited to have you here.”
Daniel moved to help her with the drinks, “Thanks for letting me.”
Sha’re smiled at him, their eyes locked and for several moments neither moved. Only when Nicky came running back in did Sha’re move away trying to act normally. Dinner was quiet with the exception of Nicky who would tell them something before he sang a little to his vegetables. Daniel watched this with delight, loving spending time with this adorable little boy.
Daniel tucked Nicky into his bed after reading him a third story, “Now, you have to go to sleep or Santa won’t come.”
“I know,” Nicky rolled his eyes, “This is your first Christmas with us, Uncle Daniel. Has Mommy told you what we do?”
Daniel laughed, “I know everything. So you go to sleep and I’ll see you in the morning.”
“Okay,” Nicky yawned cuddling his bear, “Goodnight, Uncle Daniel.”
“Goodnight, Nicky,” Daniel murmured, kissing his nephew’s forehead as the boy fell asleep.
He stood watching the boy for a few minutes so grateful that Sha’re had found him and allowed him into their lives.
Daniel headed back downstairs and gratefully took the mug of coffee Sha’re offered him, “He’s sleeping. It took a while; he’s so excited about tomorrow.”
Sha’re smiled, “He’s been excited for the past week. Trying to get him to sit still has not been easy.”
Daniel chuckled, he leaned back comfortably against the couch to watch the movie Sha’re had found. They sat together and watched the film, Daniel yawned as it finished.
“Help me set out the presents from ‘Santa’,” Sha’re told him, “Then we can go to bed.” She blushed suddenly, “I...”
“I know,” he smiled at her, “Let’s do this quickly so I can get some sleep.”
Daniel was warm and comfortable under his quilt as he slept early the next morning, he woke with a gasp as it was yanked unceremoniously off him.
“Merry Christmas, Uncle Daniel,” Nicky cried as he bounced on top of Daniel.
Daniel grabbed the little boy and pulled him onto the bed, making his giggle as Daniel tickled him.
“Well, I see you’re both awake,” Sha’re laughed as she stood in the doorway, “Do you want breakfast first or shall we see what Santa has left?”
“Santa,” Nicky cried, trying to scramble off the bed but Daniel pulled him back, “Uncle Daniel, I want to see what Santa left for us.”
“Are you sure?” Daniel teased, “I thought I’d go back to sleep.”
“Uncle Daniel!!!!” Nicky cried making the adults laugh.
Sha’re moved over to them, “Well, Nicky we could always go see what Santa left without Uncle Daniel.”
Daniel reached out and grabbed her by the arm pulling her to join them on the bed, Sha’re let out a cry as she fell on top of Daniel. Sha’re laughed as Nicky tried to tickle her but as she turned she found she was lying on top of Daniel. She froze as she looked down into his incredible blue eyes, the strength in his arms and chest made her heart flutter in a way she hadn’t felt in a long time.
“We should go and open presents,” Daniel said quickly, looking away from her.
Sha’re nodded and self consciously slid off the bed, she took her son’s hand, “Why don’t we go make some coffee and let your uncle Daniel get dressed then we can see what Santa brought you.”
Daniel sighed in relief as Sha’re took Nicky out of the room, he lay and forced his mind onto the most boring things he could think of until he felt able to face Sha’re and Nicky again. Dressing quickly he headed down the stairs to the kitchen smiling as he found Sha’re sipping some tea and a mug of coffee waiting for him. Daniel headed to retrieve his coffee only to find Nicky frowning at him.
“You took too long,” the little boy scolded.
“I’m sorry,” Daniel smiled, “I couldn’t find one of my shoes. How about we go see what Santa left for you.”
Sha’re laughed as Daniel followed Nicky with the video camera capturing his first Christmas with them. Nicky had been awed by how many presents were for him but loved to watch his mother and his uncle open their presents too.
Sha’re rested her hand at her neck where the gold necklace Daniel had given her sat. It had a small diamond set in a gold star and she loved it. Nicky had oohed and aahed when she’d opened it insisting that she wear it so Auntie Debbie could see how pretty it was. He’d also bought her a beautiful carved wooden jewellery box, which played what she was sure was Tchaikovsky every time it opened.
Daniel had opened every present they’d given him almost reverently, despite Nicky trying to hurry him up and he’d seemed extremely grateful for the gifts they’d given him.
“Okay, Nicky,” Sha’re called an end to their fun, “Put your new toys in your room then come down and we’ll have some lunch before we go to Auntie Debbie and Uncle Mike’s house. Daniel, you put your things away too.”
Daniel bounced up and gave her grin as he shut off the camera, “Yes, Ma’am.” As he gathered up the jumper, aftershave and calendar, Daniel smiled at her, “Thank you.”
“For what?” Sha’re asked confused.
“For letting me come and spend Christmas with you both,” Daniel said softly, “It means so much to me.”
Sha’re squeezed his arm, “I’m glad you came too. Nicky has been having a lot of fun with you here and I’ve enjoyed having you here also,” she took a quick breath, “Now, finish tidying up and I’ll make us some lunch.”
“How’re things going?” Jack asked after they’d exchanged the obligatory seasonal greetings.
“Good,” Daniel beamed as he looked over the gifts he’d been given, his favourite being a framed photo of him and Nicky from his birthday earlier that year, “You?”
“The usual,” Jack replied but before Daniel could feel guilty he continued, “I’m just about to head to Hammond’s house for the day. He invited me and T for Christmas dinner.”
“Are Sam and Jacob at Mark’s?” Daniel asked, feeling a slight guilty that he couldn’t remember his friend’s plans since he’d been so excited to be coming here.
“Carter is looking forward to getting the two kids hyped on sugar and then leaving her brother to deal with them,” Jack laughed, “Look I have to go. Have fun today, Danny and I’ll see you next week.”
Daniel smiled as Jack hung up; he was thrown out of his thoughts as Nicky came to get him for lunch. Daniel picked his nephew up and headed downstairs to join Sha’re.
“Merry Christmas,” Debbie greeted them as she opened the door, “Come on in, it’s...well it’s warm and sunny out there.”
Sha’re laughed, hugging her friend as they entered the house. Nicky bounced over to his two friends and was instantly shown their new toys.
“Hi again, Daniel,” Debbie smiled at him, “Glad you could make it.”
“Thanks for having me,” he replied with a grin.
Debbie chuckled, “See if you’re still thanking me after dinner.”
Daniel laughed back moving inside to join the rest of the group, he took the free seat beside Sha’re after Debbie had introduced him to her parents, Toby and Emma both who greeted him as one of the family – Debbie had obviously let them know who he was before they’d arrived. The boys were all hyper and bounced as more presents were passed out, Daniel watched feeling lucky that Sha’re had tracked him down and let him into their lives. As everyone settled down after the presents Daniel headed into the kitchen where Debbie was checking on dinner.
“Can I help?” he asked.
“Can you cook?” Debbie threw back at him making him grin.
“I was a poor student for a long time,” Daniel told her, “I can make almost anything edible.”
Debbie laughed, “That’s good to know but we’re fine. Besides it’s Mike who’s in charge of making dinner.”
“Uncle Daniel,” Nicky appeared, “Come and see Grampa Toby’s new camera.”
“I’m coming,” Daniel promised before shrugging at Debbie as his nephew dragged him out of the kitchen.
Debbie smiled as Sha’re joined her in the kitchen a few minutes later, “You’re on the wine this year I see.”
“Daniel is driving,” Sha’re smiled as she took a seat at the breakfast bar.
Debbie filled her own glass and took the seat beside her friend; she tilted her head as she spotted the new piece of jewellery sitting at her friend’s neck, “Now where did you get that. It’s gorgeous.”
Sha’re’s hand went to her throat and gently fingered the pendant, “Daniel gave it to me for Christmas.”
“Stop it,” Sha’re frowned, “It was a Christmas gift from a friend, there’s nothing more to read into it.”
Debbie rolled her eyes motioning her mother to join them, “Honey, that is not a gift from a friend. It’s a gift from a very interested party.”
“Debbie,” Sha’re started.
“She’s right,” Emma said as she joined them, “He likes you.”
Sha’re blushed, “There’s nothing between us. No matter what you keep trying to imply.”
“I’m not saying there’s anything between you just now,” Debbie chuckled, sharing an amused smile with her mother, “Just that mistletoe is useful for some things.”
Sha’re grimaced at her friend before sighing, “Debbie, Daniel is a wonderful man and the fact he loves Nicky is fantastic but he lives in Colorado and I’ve tried the long distance thing once before.”
“I take it that didn’t work,” Emma noted.
“Unmitigated disaster,” Sha’re replied, she sipped her wine before sighing, “Debbie, I know you seem to think I don’t want to get involved with anyone, I do. I want to fall in love and find a father for my son but...”
“You’re trying to protect Nicky; you don’t want him to get hurt,” Debbie said, she’d heard this so many times before but at her friend’s pleading look she smiled, “Okay, I’ll stop.”
“Thank you,” Sha’re smiled, “I should check that Nicky is not gorging himself before dinner.”
As she left the kitchen Emma turned to her daughter, “You’re pushing pretty hard.”
“Have you ever seen her so happy and relaxed?” Debbie asked, “Since Daniel came into her life she’s just seemed brighter, I know she looks forward to his visits almost as much as Nicky does. I’d like to see her happy.”
“Me too,” Emma laughed before winking conspiratorially, “We’ll work on them together.”
Dinner had been a success and afterwards the adults sat chatting while the three boys played with their new toys. It was several hours later when Nicky wandered into the room and climbed onto the couch squeezing into the space between Daniel and Sha’re, he closed his eyes and fell asleep almost instantly. Sha’re smiled as she hugged her son closer to her before announcing it was time to leave, Daniel helped get all Nicky’s things together before he lifted the little boy gently onto his shoulder. Nicky opened his eyes sleepily and wrapped his arms and legs around his uncle.
“Hey,” Debbie grinned as they were about to head out the door, “You two are under the mistletoe, you know what that means.”
Sha’re threw her friend a dirty look before sighing and stretched up to kiss Daniel’s cheek, “Satisfied.”
“That’s not a mistletoe kiss,” Emma scolded them, “Has to be the lips – that’s the rule,” she winked at Daniel.
Sha’re rolled her eyes at them, “We’re leaving.”
“Come on you two,” Toby called, “It’s Christmas and you need to have a proper kiss under the mistletoe.”
Daniel gave a slight laugh and leaned forward catching Sha’re’s lips with his in a brief kiss. When they parted they stared at one another for a moment before Nicky shifted in his sleep reminding them where they were.
“Goodnight,” Sha’re said pointedly to her friend before they headed to the car.
“Night,” Debbie called back cheekily.
“I’m sorry about that,” Sha’re said as they took the fast asleep Nicky to his room after they’d spent the ride home in silence.
Daniel shrugged giving a chuckle, “I’m actually very used to it. Sam and Janet seem to have this urge to set me up on blind dates a lot.”
Sha’re frowned as Daniel rested the little boy on his bed before he started to change him, she knew she had no right to feel jealous but she did.
“So, do they still set you up?” she forced her voice to remain light.
Daniel chuckled again, “I’m managing to avoid it since I started coming here. It’s amazing how they stopped when I mention I have to finish things so I can come and see Nicky.”
Sha’re smiled back at him feeling better knowing this. When Daniel finished fixing Nicky he slid the boy under the covers, Sha’re placed her son’s favourite bear in beside him before kissing his forehead.
“Do you want some tea or coffee?” Sha’re asked as they left the bedroom.
Daniel shook his head, “I’m just going to get some sleep. I’ll see you in the morning.”
Sha’re nodded, “Goodnight.”
Neither moved and Daniel looked up amused as he saw the mistletoe hanging above Nicky’s door.
“Did Debbie get in here too?” Daniel asked with a smile.
Sha’re rolled her eyes, “Nicky likes it.”
Daniel shrugged, “Well rules and all.”
To her surprise Daniel gently brushed his lips to hers in a soft lingering kiss, Sha’re let out a sigh and sank into him deepening the kiss. Sha’re’s arms wrapped around his neck as they kissed feeling Daniel’s arms around her waist as he pulled her closer. They parted both breathing heavily and Sha’re pulled away.
“Goodnight, Daniel,” she whispered as she disappeared into her room.
Daniel stared at the closed door for several minutes as he tried to get his brain working again. Finally the oxygen returned to his brain and Daniel went into his own room to try to get some sleep.
Sha’re lay staring at the ceiling wishing she could sleep, she’d been shocked by the kiss Daniel gave her though even more shocked that she responded the way she had. Sha’re knew that a relationship with Daniel was not a good idea. Long distance relationships never worked, not to mention what would happen if they did become a couple then broke up. How it would affect Nicky.
Thinking of her son Sha’re slipped out of bed and went to check on him. As she stepped into the little boy’s room she shook her head to find he’d kicked his covers off and had curled up into a small ball in the middle of the bed.
Gently she touched his arm and moved him so he was lying on the pillow before she threw the quilt over him. Sha’re looked down at her son barely able to remember a time without him.
“Mommy?” Nicky’s confused murmur made her look down.
“Go back to sleep,” Sha’re whispered stroking his hair.
Nicky sat up, “Do you want a hug?”
Sha’re smiled and lay beside her son, smiling as he wrapped his arms around her.
“I love you, Mommy,” Nicky told his mother as he fell asleep in her embrace.
Sha’re kissed her son’s head, her decision made for her. Nicky was the most important part of her life and she didn’t want to do anything that would take away the uncle he loved. She didn’t need anything other than her son.
Daniel winced as he could hear the phone ringing; reaching his hand out from under the covers he snagged it and pulled it over trying not to scream in pain as he aggravated his injuries.
“Hello?” he mumbled without bothering to open his eyes.
“Daniel, did I wake you?” Sha’re’s voice came.
“Just a little,” Daniel murmured, he poked his head out from under the quilt and found his glasses sliding them he winced as he saw it was almost one in the afternoon, “I worked late last night so I just got to sleep a few hours ago,” he lied before yawning, “Sorry, you’re calling for a reason.”
“About your visit this weekend,” Sha’re started.
Daniel grimaced as he sensed where she was going with this hoping he was wrong, the one thing that had kept him going during his nightmare stay in Honduras was the thought of a visit to LA, “What about it?”
“A friend of my father’s died and the funeral is this Saturday in New York,” Sha’re told him.
“You’re taking Nicky to a funeral?” Daniel asked as he sat up, gritting his teeth as he remembered why he hadn’t before now.
Sha’re let out an annoyed sigh, “Of course I’m not. Debbie’s agreed to watch him.”
“I’m coming anyway,” Daniel reminded her, “I can watch him for the weekend.” The pause at the other end of the phone made him grimace, “What?”
“You’ve never...” she trailed off and Daniel knew she was trying to be diplomatic, “Daniel, Nicky can be a handful.”
“Look, I have to do it sometime,” Daniel told her, “And Debbie will be nearby in case I need some help.”
“I have a horrible feeling I’ll regret this,” Sha’re said with a slight laugh, “But alright. Can you get here by Friday morning?”
“No problem,” Daniel smiled in relief that his trip wasn’t cancelled, “I’ll call you when I know the time of my flight.”
“That’s great, Daniel,” Sha’re told him, “We’ll see you then.”
As she hung up Daniel groaned wanting to go back to sleep, he’d spent several days trapped with a sadistic bastard trying to extract information from him then two days after that in the infirmary before Janet had allowed him home. Jacob was coming tomorrow and Janet was going to talk to him about using the healing device on Daniel’s injuries. Otherwise it was going to be a painful weekend.
Daniel smiled as his nephew sped over to him; Daniel caught the boy in a hug relieved Jacob had healed him otherwise the hug wouldn’t be possible.
“Where’s your Mom?” Daniel asked the boy.
“In her room,” Nicky pointed to the stairs, “She’s sad.”
Daniel dropped a kiss onto his nephew’s shaggy blond hair before he put him down again, “Go back to your book while I go talk to her.”
Nicky looked up at Daniel, “Are you staying while Mommy goes on her trip?”
“Yep,” Daniel grinned at him, “It’s just going to be you and me for the weekend. You okay with that?”
Nicky nodded enthusiastically before he ran back to the couch and picked up his book again. Daniel smiled as he watched Nicky for a few seconds before he before he headed upstairs to dump his bag and talk to Sha’re.
He found her leaning against the wall flipping through a journal; Daniel took a deep breath before letting her know he was there. After the kiss at Christmas she’d made it very clear that they were nothing more than friends which after kissing her Daniel was finding hard.
“Thank you for this,” Sha’re said when she saw him, “Are you sure you can handle it?”
Daniel shrugged, “We’re about to find out. Are you okay?”
“Robert Markson was a good friend of my father,” Sha’re told him as she closed the diary and returned it to its place, “When I was first adopted he and his wife helped my parents out so much.”
“You were adopted?” Daniel said astonished.
Sha’re nodded, “I don’t talk about it because I was Nicky’s age and I barely remember my real family.”
“Sorry,” Daniel knew the pain of losing family.
“It’s alright,” Sha’re smiled softly, “My parents loved me and I know that.”
She wiped away the tears that were filling her eyes, “I’ve left all the numbers you need on the fridge, including Debbie’s home and cell number.”
Daniel chuckled, he’d never been in Sha’re’s room before and the books lining the shelf on the wall caught his eye. The name on the books made him frown, Adam Dennison.
“Adam Dennison,” Daniel murmured as he made the connection, “Your father was Adam Dennison?”
Sha’re nodded, “Did you know him?”
“No,” Daniel replied still awestruck, “But I referenced his work in just about every essay I ever wrote when I was studying.”
“He was a brilliant man,” Sha’re whispered as she thought back, “He would have loved to be a grandfather.”
Daniel rested his hand on her shoulder, “When’s your flight?”
“I have to leave in about an hour,” she smiled gratefully at him for changing the subject, “Nicky is excited that you’re staying with him while I’m away. But no wild parties.”
“Damn,” Daniel sighed theatrically, “I’d better call the others, they’ll need to know it’s cancelled.”
“Thank you,” Sha’re whispered to him before she turned to finish her packing.
Nicky hugged his mother looking as though he wasn’t going to let her go, Sha’re gently detangled herself from his arms.
“Now you have to be good for your Uncle Daniel,” Sha’re reminded her son, “And I will call you as soon as I get to my hotel.”
“Okay,” Nicky told her.
Sha’re gently kissed him before turning to Daniel, “Are you sure about this because Debbie will take him in a minute.”
“We will be perfectly fine,” Daniel assured her, as the taxi sounded the horn Daniel smiled, “Go, your cab’s waiting.”
Sha’re took a deep breath, grabbed her bag before giving her son one more quick kiss and left them alone. Daniel looked down at his nephew whose lip was trembling slightly.
“Come here, buddy,” Daniel lifted the boy into his arms, “Your Mom will be back in a few days, Nicky. And we’ll have lots of fun, right?”
Nicky turned to Daniel disbelief covering his face.
“Come on,” Daniel laughed at the look on his nephew’s face, “Let’s have some lunch.”
Sha’re sat in the bar of her hotel waiting for the phone to be answered. The funeral was tomorrow morning and she was meeting some of her father’s old colleagues for dinner but first she wanted to check up on her son and his uncle.
It wasn’t that she didn’t think Daniel could look after Nicky; it was more the fact that Daniel had never had to be on alert for more than a few hours.
“Hello,” Daniel answered the phone.
“Daniel, it’s me,” Sha’re smiled at the sound of his voice, “Is my house still there?”
Daniel let out a laugh which completely destroyed his attempt to sound offended, “For the moment. How’re things?”
“As good as they can be,” she sighed sadly, “It is a funeral, Daniel. They’re never pleasant. Is Nicky there?”
“I’ll tell him to get out of the drinks cabinet,” Daniel chuckled, “Though I was thinking that we could go bungee jumping later.”
“Daniel Jackson, stop it,” Sha’re scolded trying not to laugh, not noticing the old man sitting nearby who suddenly became very interested in her conversation.
Sha’re didn’t see as he murmured instructions to the man at his side, she was too busy talking to her son who was telling her how much he was enjoying being looked after by his Uncle Daniel.
“I will call you tomorrow night,” Sha’re told Daniel when he came back on the phone, “Make sure Nicky goes to bed at a reasonable time.”
“I will,” Daniel promised, “Talk to you tomorrow. Bye.”
“Bye,” Sha’re sighed, she put her phone away and sat back in the chair lost in thought.
Daniel cursed the Tok’ra for asking them to help out on another mission that was practically suicide a few days before Daniel was due to head for LA meaning instead of being here yesterday afternoon so he could take Nicky for dinner and give Sha’re some time alone, it was eight in the morning as Daniel’s taxi drew up in front of the house.
He hoped that he wasn’t going to be waking Sha’re, despite the fact she assured him that she would be awake anyway. Taking out the key he’d been given, Daniel opened the front door and stopped, something was wrong.
“Sha’re?” Daniel called as he moved slowly into the house, wishing he had a gun and wondering when that had become the norm, “Sha’re?”
“Uncle Daniel?” a small voice called before Nicky poked his head over the arm of the couch, “Uncle Daniel!!!” the pyjama clad boy scrambled off the couch and over to Daniel.
Daniel scooped up the boy finding Nicky crying the moment the child was in his arms.
“Mommy’s gone,” Nicky sobbed, “She left me. Was I bad?”
“Sh,” Daniel soothed, rubbing Nicky’s back as he rocked the boy slightly, “No, Nicky you’re not bad. I need you tell me what happened.”
“I woke up,” Nicky hiccupped slightly, “And went to wake Mommy. She wasn’t there,” he started to cry again and Daniel hushed him once more.
“It’s okay, Nicky,” Daniel whispered, “I’m here and we’ll find your Mommy.”
“Uncle Daniel,” Nicky pulled back, sniffing back tears that were falling from his red-rimmed eyes, “I’m hungry.”
Daniel held Nicky, still wearing pyjamas and clutching his teddy bear as the police swarmed over the house.
“Mr Jackson,” the lead detective, Emerson, said, “I’d like to ask you a few questions.”
“Dr Jackson,” Daniel corrected, shifting Nicky who was trying to burrow into his shoulder, “Hey, kiddo,” he murmured to the boy, “It’s okay; the detective is going to try and find your Mommy so I need to talk to him.”
Feeling Nicky nod against his shoulder and loosen his grip slightly, Daniel turned back to the police man, “Sorry, he’s a little shaken.”
Emerson nodded, “How long have you known Miss Dennison, Dr Jackson?”
“Just under a year,” Daniel replied.
“And you have a key?”
Daniel heard the unasked question and frowned, “I’m Nicky’s uncle. Sha’re contacted me to tell me about him and I’ve been visiting whenever I can to get to know him.”
“Where do you live?” Emerson scribbled notes as they spoke.
“Colorado Springs,” Daniel told him, “I got off a plane less than two hours ago.”
Emerson nodded, “When did you last speak with Miss Dennison?”
“Yesterday,” Daniel could feel Nicky getting restless and tried to move him again, thankful when he saw a familiar face walk into the house, “Mike?”
Mike walked over to Daniel and Emerson, concern on his face.
“You two are acquainted, Officer?” Emerson asked Mike.
Mike nodded, “Debbie is friends with Sha’re. We met Daniel not long after he first came to LA.”
“Can you take Nicky for a few minutes?” Daniel asked the other man, “So I can talk to the detective?”
Mike nodded and reached to take the little boy but wasn’t able to as Nicky clung to Daniel, his arms and legs wrapping around his uncle.
“Nicky,” Daniel murmured, gently stroking the child’s back, “I need to talk to the detective, Mike is just going to sit with you on the couch where you will be able to see me the whole time. Okay?”
After a few seconds Nicky’s death grip loosened and he turned. Mike took him, Nicky’s blue eyes stayed on Daniel as Mike sat them on the couch.
“Sorry,” Daniel apologised to the detective, “I called Sha’re yesterday morning when I realised I wouldn’t be able to make my flight.”
“Why do you have a key to the house?”
“I’ve been visiting my nephew for almost a year,” Daniel explained, “I don’t live in LA so when I visited I used to stay at a hotel. After a while Sha’re offered me the guest room when I came so I didn’t have to spend money on the hotel and gave me a key so that if I took Nicky out while she was out herself then we wouldn’t be stuck waiting for her.”
Emerson nodded; he gently tapped his pencil on the notebook for a second, “What is your relationship to Miss Dennison?”
“We’re friends,” Daniel told the other man.
“You stay here when you’re in town and you’re obviously very close to the little boy,” Emerson pushed.
“Nicky’s my nephew,” Daniel stated firmly, “I am extremely grateful that Sha’re tracked me down to tell me about him and that she agrees to my visiting so often. We’re friends.”
Emerson pursed his lips before nodding, “That’s all I need for now, Dr Jackson. Will you be staying here?”
Daniel glanced over to where Nicky was clutching his teddy bear before turning back to the man in front of him, “No. I’m going to take Nicky with me to Colorado. You can reach me here,” Daniel scribbled his home, cell and work number on the pad.
Emerson nodded, “Thank you, Dr Jackson; I’ll call if we need anything else or if we find something.”
Daniel headed back to Nicky and let the boy climb back into his arms, he sat beside Mike and sighed grateful that the other man didn’t say or do anything other than place a comforting hand on his shoulder.
“How’s Nicky?” Jack asked the moment Daniel finished explaining what had happened.
“Shaken,” Daniel replied as he looked down on the child, “Thankfully he’s sleeping just now. I’m going to bring him back to Colorado just now until Sha’re’s found,” he refused to even think never mind say the word ‘if’, “Can you make sure I’ve got food for him in and em...I don’t know.”
“I’ll get everything sorted,” Jack promised.
“Good,” Daniel sighed, “I’ll call soon and tell you when I’ll be home.”
“Danny, we’ll be here for whatever you two need,” Jack told him, “Just call and I’ll pick you up from the airport.”
“Thanks, Jack,” Daniel sighed, he hung up on his friend.
Daniel quickly checked Nicky was still sleeping; he was exhausted from the stressful morning and had fallen asleep just after Daniel had given him some lunch. Now he had to pack some clothes and toys for the little boy before getting seats on a flight back to Colorado. Daniel entered Sha’re’s room to see if there was a picture of the two of them Daniel could put in Nicky’s room until they found her again. Seeing a book sitting open on the bed, Daniel’s curiosity got the better of him and he picked it up. Sha’re had been reading her father’s journals and as he browsed a few pages shock filled him. On the page in front of him was a Stargate address, the Stargate address for Earth but it was the symbol of origin that made him stare in amazement – Abydos.
Daniel smiled in relief as he saw Jack standing waiting for them. Nicky was walking at his side, clutching Daniel’s jacket as he held his bear tightly to his chest.
“Hi,” Jack said softly, he crouched down to look at Nicky, “Hey, Nicky it’s good to see you again.”
Nicky pressed closer to Daniel without saying anything, Jack took one of Daniel’s bags so he could pick the boy up. Nicky turned and wrapped his arms around his uncle’s neck, clinging onto him.
“He’s a little upset,” Daniel told his friend, “Car nearby?”
Jack nodded and motioned his friend to follow him. They walked silently to Jack’s car, Daniel gently setting his nephew in the booster seat hearing only a whimper of protest as Nicky let go of him.
Daniel climbed into the front seat and closed his eyes as Jack started driving them home.
“You’re kidding me?” Jack cried, wincing as he saw Nicky jump slightly.
Daniel rolled his eyes at his friend, waiting until the boy returned to watching his movie – Finding Nemo, that Daniel had specifically brought with him, before returning to the conversation.
“It was the Stargate address for Earth from Abydos,” Daniel told him, “I didn’t read much else as Nicky woke up but I’ve brought them with me.” He looked over to where Nicky was curled up with his teddy bear, “I’m worried, Jack. What if this was all a set up? What if Nicky isn’t my nephew and....”
“Danny,” Jack soothed, “That kid is definitely related to you, you only have to look at him to see the resemblance, no matter what else is happening just hold onto that.”
Daniel nodded, “Thanks, Jack. We just need to find her.”
Jack debated whether or not to say to his friend about his feelings for the woman but decided against it. Daniel was either denying or smothering those at the moment. Jack watched as Daniel headed over to his nephew and let the boy crawl into his lap to watch the film.
Sha’re glared as she was marched into a room where an old man sat, he looked up at her and smiled coldly.
“Look at you,” he said, “All grown up.”
“Who are you?” Sha’re demanded angrily, “Why have you abducted me and where is my son?”
“Son?” the old man frowned confused; he glanced at the men who had brought her in, “Did you find a boy?”
The leader shrugged, “You didn’t say anything about a kid, our orders were for her only.”
“He’s four,” Sha’re cried horrified. The young woman closed her eyes hoping Daniel had made it to her house and found Nicky before anything happened to him, “If he is hurt...”
“You have no power here,” the old man cut her off, “You never did, Sha’re. In fact the only reason you didn’t end up dead is because I was feeling generous.”
Sha’re stared at him recognition finally dawning, “I know you. You were at Dr Markson’s funeral.”
“Is that the only place you know me from?” he asked darkly, “Think child.”
Sha’re shook her head, “I don’t...”
She was cut off as he slammed his hand against the arms of his chair, “I know you remember. I know you’re working for them. They want to know everything I discovered about it.”
“About what?” Sha’re snapped, she pushed her hand through her hair in aggravation, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
The old man moved with speed that shocked her and he grabbed her arm, “I’m not stupid, child. I heard you talking to him, he opened it for them and you’re helping them come after me.”
“Please,” Sha’re whispered, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Please let me go home to my son.”
The man shoved her away, “I know he made sure you never forget your home, your language. Your father was a smart man.”
Realisation flooded Sha’re and she gasped, “Chappa-aii, you’re talking about the Chappa-aii. You were here when I came through.”
“Do you remember me now, Miss Dennison?” he asked.
Sha’re nodded, “Derek Tomlinson. My father said you wanted nothing to do with us after that.”
Tomlinson grimaced, “I didn’t and then at the funeral I heard you talking to him.”
“Who?” she cried frustrated.
“Jackson,” Tomlinson growled, “The insolent bastard who cracked the damn code to open it. He called it the Stargate you know.”
Sha’re froze, “Daniel? You’re talking about Daniel?”
“Who else,” Tomlinson snapped, “I know you’re in contact with him. What did you tell them? When will they try to come after me?”
Sha’re shook her head, “Daniel is my son’s uncle, that’s the only reason I know him. He told me he’s a consultant working for the military, that he translates things for them. He’s never said anything about the Chappa-aii.”
Tomlinson frowned before motioning to one of the guards nearby who took Sha’re’s arm and moved her out of the room.
“I’m trying to ensure she doesn’t forget her heritage,” Daniel read from the journal to those sitting around the table, “But she’s just four years old and it’s very likely she’ll only have vague memories of her home. I’m teaching her English as she teaches me her language; it’s similar to Arabic in some ways but in others completely different. She doesn’t understand writing and drawing, in fact she’s actually afraid of them but finally I managed to get her to show me what she touched to let her come here.”
Daniel stopped reading and closed the journal before looking up at the people sitting around the table, “They’re the symbols for Earth from Abydos.”
“Hold on,” Jack said to his friend, “You’re telling me that Sha’re, the woman who is the adoptive mother of your nephew, the woman you’re crazy about is actually from your adopted home planet?”
“Didn’t I just say that?” Daniel demanded.
“Gentlemen,” Hammond interrupted the argument before it began properly, “Our first concern here is where Miss Dennison is. Dr Jackson, does the journal yield any clues to who could have taken her?”
Daniel shook his head, “Sir, we don’t even know if this has anything to do with what’s happened to her. It could be the Trust, NID, any other organisation on this planet trying to get to us through her.”
“I know,” Hammond agreed softly, “However this is the only lead we have just now, Dr Jackson.”
Daniel nodded; he glanced over to Hammond’s office where Nicky was sitting drawing while Walter watched over him before turning back to the General, “There’s nothing specific in the journal. Sha’re’s father only mentions ‘him’ but I have no idea who he is.”
“Is it possible that following the path of Dr Dennison’s career may lead to some information,” Teal’c suggested.
“I’m pretty sure I can do that,” Sam mused, “It might give us a place to start.”
“Do it,” Hammond ordered, he turned to Daniel again, “Dr Jackson, the only thing I want you to do is look after that boy.”
“Sir,” Daniel started only to be cut off.
“He’s your top priority, Daniel,” Hammond reminded him, “I will keep you updated on everything.”
“Uncle Daniel,” Nicky smiled as Daniel walked into the office, “I drew you a picture.”
Daniel pushed a smile onto his face, “That’s great,” he started, grimacing as he saw the picture was of Daniel and Nicky but off to one side was Sha’re who seemed to be an angel.
“Nicky,” Daniel took his nephew’s hand, “It’s time to go ho...back to my house. Say goodbye to Walter.”
“Bye,” Nicky waved as Daniel lifted him into his arms and started out of the room.
As they walked through the corridors of the SGC Nicky turned to him, “Am I going to live with you now?”
“Only until we find your Mommy,” Daniel told him.
“I miss her,” Nicky sighed resting his head on Daniel’s shoulder, “Do you think she misses me?”
“Of course she does,” Daniel soothed the boy, “I miss her too. Come on, we’ll get some take-out food and we can watch the new film Walter gave me.”
Nicky nodded and Daniel continued on worrying about the boy’s mother.
Daniel fed Nicky dinner wondering how much longer he would be doing this. As much as he loved Nicky Daniel didn’t want to try to be full time parent.
“Yeah?” Daniel looked down to his nephew.
“Will I live here if you can’t find Mommy?”
The stark question froze Daniel; he’d not considered anything because he was determined not to until it was necessary. He knew that he wouldn’t let anyone take Nicky away from him, if they didn’t find Sha’re.
Daniel crouched down so he was looking into his nephew’s eyes, “We’re going to find your Mommy. Okay?”
Nicky nodded before he wandered away leaving Daniel trying desperately to keep himself focused on making dinner. He was terrified something had happened to Sha’re, terrified that he’d never see her again and terrified he was going to have to tell that sweet little boy that Daniel had lied.
“Anything?” Jack asked Sam.
She shook her head annoyed, “Nothing yet. Sha’re’s father was extremely well known in the archaeological community. I’m about to look into the adoption records for Sha’re to see if there is anything there.”
“Good,” Jack mused, he leaned against the wall, “You’ve got to find something, I don’t think Daniel has any idea what he’ll do if something happens to her.”
Sam nodded in agreement, “I don’t think he’ll be able to raise Nicky and stay in the SGC.”
“Carter, he’s in love with her,” Jack reminded his friend.
Sam didn’t reply as she started tapping at her computer a little more urgently.
“I think I have something,” Sam told him, motioning him over, “Look at this. There’s no mention of Sha’re in the system before she was adopted and Dennison disappeared for a week before he suddenly appeared with his new adopted daughter.”
“Interesting,” Jack mused, “Any idea where he went?”
“Give me a few minutes,” Sam told him, “I have money deposited into Dennison’s account for several years. I’m tracing the funds,” she paused for several moments before turning to Jack, “I think I might know where she is.”
“Do you want me to tell you what your friend does?” Tomlinson asked Sha’re as she was sat at the table across from him.
“I want you to return me to my son,” Sha’re snapped at him.
Tomlinson shook his head, “I sent someone to check on him. The police were there so he’s fine.”
“But you don’t know that,” Sha’re challenged, tears filling her eyes, “Please, please let me go home to him.”
“Dr Daniel Jackson, archaeologist, anthropologist and linguist,” Tomlinson ignored her pleas, “Ruined his career and disappeared from the academic community. What he was really doing was opening my prize and letting the military out into the universe. He’s not the mild-mannered scientist he pretends to be you know, do you know how many people he’s killed?”
“Stop it,” Sha’re whispered.
Tomlinson coughed, deep racking and painful as he stared at Sha’re, “The moment Jackson finds out you weren’t born on this planet then he’ll hand you over to them.”
Sha’re pushed her chair back and stood up, “Not everyone is you. I may not know Daniel as well as I think but I know that he loves my son and will do everything to protect him and I am not going to listen to anymore of your idiotic, self-indulgent nonsense.”
“Are you sure?” Daniel demanded staring at Sam intently, Teal’c had volunteered to watch Nicky and they were holed up in Teal’c’s room watching films.
“Completely,” she told him, “Derek Tomlinson, he’s a collector of rare antiques. Several years ago he somehow got a hold of the Stargate for a few weeks in the hopes he could activate it.”
“From what we’ve pieced together,” Janet took over, “He hired Dr Dennison to try to do just this. A week after this he arrived home with a daughter.”
“Sha’re really is from Abydos,” Daniel mused, “Kasuf once mentioned a daughter he’d lost when she was just a child. Disappeared one day with no trace. I wonder...”
“Do we have a location?” Jack cut in.
“I think so,” Sam let out a deep breath, “I’m almost sure I have it.”
Sam, Jack and Daniel all turned to Hammond who nodded, “Go.”
Sha’re paced the small cell the psychopath had demanded she be placed in. She wrapped her arms around her stomach in the vain hope that she wouldn’t feel sick from worry any more. Sha’re desperately prayed that Daniel had arrived at the house before anything could possibly happen to Nicky; her imagination was working overtime ever since Tomlinson had told her the police had been at her house.
Sha’re spun as she heard gunfire nearby, “Oh God,” she breathed terrified that she was never going to see her son again.
The door burst open and a man dressed all in black ran in, Sha’re pulled back seeing the gun he was carrying. As he turned she gasped.
He let out a sigh of relief and wrapped an arm around her in a quick embrace, “Come on.”
“I’ll explain later,” he cut her off, “Right now we have to get out of here.”
As more gunfire sounded Sha’re nodded and as he held her hand they ran through the corridors. Daniel rounded a corner and caught her around her waist pulling her to him.
“I’ve got her,” he said over a radio.
Before Sha’re could ask a bright white light surrounded them.
Daniel breathed a sigh of relief as they were transported into the infirmary of the SGC, Sha’re was holding onto him completely confused. She broke away from him suddenly looking around in bewilderment.
“Where are we?” she asked before shaking her head, “Never mind that, where’s Nicky? Is he okay?”
“Hey,” Daniel rested his hands on her shoulders, “He’s fine, I promise. He’s with Teal’c, I think they’re watching Star Wars.”
Sha’re covered her eyes with her hands and let out a shuddering breath, “I was so worried.”
Daniel stepped forward and slid his arms around her pulling her to him, Sha’re wrapped her arms around his waist burying her face against his chest as he rocked her gently. They stood like that for several minutes until Daniel realised Janet was waiting for Sha’re and he gently detangled himself.
“Our doctor wants to make sure you’re okay,” Daniel told her, “Then you can go see Nicky.”
“Are you keeping him from me?” Sha’re snapped angrily.
“Look at me;” Daniel told her touching her chin so that her eyes locked with his, “They just want to make sure you’ve not been hurt or anything. I don’t want you to faint or something in front of your son and scare him.”
Sha’re sighed, “That’s not fair.”
Daniel rested his hand on her cheek and gently stroked it with his thumb, “I know. Can you trust me?”
Sha’re sighed tiredly, “I don’t really know you, Daniel. Do I?”
“Of course you do,” Daniel frowned at her, “I just didn’t tell you everything about my job.”
Janet walked in at that moment interrupting them, “Daniel, go so I can start work,” as he opened his mouth to protest she cut him off with a quick movement of her hand, “When do you think I asked if you wanted to leave?”
With a sigh Daniel quickly squeezed Sha’re’s hand and left the infirmary. Janet smiled amused before turning to her patient.
“It’s good to see you again,” Janet said, “It’s just a shame it’s like this. Okay, I’m just going to do some blood tests and make sure you’ve not been hurt but I need you to tell me if anything happened to you.”
Sha’re shook her head as tears filled her eyes, “They only took me from my son.”
“Hey,” Janet soothed, “Nicky is fine. Daniel has taken wonderful care of him. He’s been watching movies with Teal’c all day today and been spoiled by us.”
Sha’re smiled slightly, “I just want to see him.”
“You will,” Janet assured her, “Once I’ve finished.”
Daniel smiled as he entered Teal’c’s room to find the large man sitting with Nicky on his knee agreeing that Yoda talked funny.
“Hey,” Daniel let them know he was there, “Nicky, are you behaving?”
Nicky nodded, “I am. Aren’t I, T?”
At the use of the nickname Jack used for the Jaffa Daniel laughed, he motioned Nicky to him and picked the boy up when he hugged him. Daniel gently kissed the top of the boy’s head.
“You will have to watch the rest of the movie later,” Daniel told his nephew, “Your Mom wants to see you.”
“Mommy?” Nicky cried happily, “She came back.”
Daniel sighed, “Your Mom didn’t leave you, she would never leave you. A man who was very mixed up took her because he thought she could help him but he will never take her away again. I promise.”
Nicky laid his head on Daniel’s shoulder, “Can I see Mommy now?”
“Of course you can,” Daniel whispered, he nodded his thanks to Teal’c and started towards the briefing room with his nephew in his arms.
Jack and Hammond looked up as Daniel entered the room, they gave Nicky a smile and wave as Daniel took a seat to wait for Janet to bring Sha’re here. Nicky sat on Daniel’s lap watching the other men shyly as he huddled back against his uncle.
“Mommy,” he cried suddenly as Sha’re walked in with Janet.
Sha’re sat impatiently through all of Janet’s tests relieved when the doctor announced that they were done. She walked through the corridors of wherever she was aware of the military people all around her. She was so confused by everything that had happened especially at the things she’d been told about Daniel, she cared a great deal for him but what she’d discovered worried her.
“Mommy,” Nicky cried as she entered the room.
Sha’re smiled in relief to see him opening her arms as Daniel let him slide out of his lap and he ran to her.
“Oh, baby,” Sha’re whispered as she held her son close to her.
After several minutes she remembered where she was and looked up to find Daniel smiling down at her while the others were acting completely oblivious. Slightly embarrassed Sha’re took the seat beside Daniel pulling Nicky onto her lap and looking at the others sitting there.
“Sorry,” she apologised.
“There’s no need,” Hammond told her, “I completely understand. However, I believe this may be a discussion best had without your son here.”
Sha’re nodded but before she could say anything Daniel had Nicky’s attention.
“Do you want to go see the end of the movie with Teal’c?” Daniel asked the boy.
Nicky turned to look at his mother, not too sure about leaving her lap in case she left him again.
“I will come and get you as soon as I have finished talking with General Hammond,” Sha’re assured her little boy, “And then...”
“Then you’ll come and stay at my house again,” Daniel finished for her.
“Kay,” Nicky shrugged, he wriggled off Sha’re’s knee and ran over to Teal’c who was standing waiting for the boy. The boy stopped halfway there and turned back to Sha’re, he ran back to her and hugged her legs, “Love you, Mommy,” he cried before he scampered away again.
“Miss Dennison,” Hammond said bringing everyone’s attention to him, “I understand that this has been a trying few days for you and I know you want to be with your son but we need to straighten a few things out first.”
Sha’re nodded softly, “Of course.”
Hammond nodded to Daniel who took a deep breath, “You’re from Abydos, right?”
Sha’re hesitated for a moment before she nodded, “I sometimes think of my father and brother but I’ve known since I was a child I would never go home.”
“How’d you get here?” Daniel asked softly.
Sha’re shrugged, “I was playing in the room with the Chappa-aii while my father prepared the tribute for Ra, the God my people worshipped. I remember pushing buttons on the pedestal; I’d seen them in a cave my mother would take me to. When it became a big blue shimmering puddle I was fascinated so I moved closer and when I touched it I felt like it pulled me forward.”
She paused looking up at Daniel with a grateful smile as he handed her a glass of water, “Dad...Dr Dennison was a good man who took in a frightened four year old child who could not speak the language,” Sha’re told them, “He helped me remember as much of my heritage as possible, even my native language and raised me as his daughter.”
“Did you have any contact with Mr Tomlinson?” Hammond asked.
Sha’re shook her head, “He told my father that once he’d sorted the adoption then we’d never hear from him again.”
Hammond nodded, “Thank you, Miss Dennison. Please excuse us for a few moments and then Dr Jackson will take you and your son home.”
Sha’re sat at the conference room table alone watching as Daniel spoke with the commander of the base. She just wanted to go home, just go back to her normal life but she wasn’t sure if that was possible. Standing she walked to the large window and looked down upon the thing that had brought her to this world. Sha’re hugged herself as she wondered what had become of her family.
Finally Daniel appeared, “Are you ready?”
Sha’re nodded, “Yes. Thank you for...”
Daniel took her arm as she trailed off, “Come on, let’s go get Nicky and we can call for food. Then you can get some rest, you look tired.”
Relieved at having him nearby Sha’re allowed him to lead her out of the room to get her son.
Sha’re stood watching her son as he slept in Daniel’s spare room. She was so tired but she didn’t want to stop watching her son.
“Hey,” Daniel breathed coming to her side, he smiled as he looked down on Nicky, “Do you want some tea?”
Sha’re let out a long sigh, “That would be nice.”
Daniel rested his hand on her arm moving her away from the doorway, “Come on.”
Sha’re let him move her to the lounge and she sat on the couch. Daniel disappeared for a few moments returning with two mugs, he handed her the tea and took the seat beside her.
“You need to get some sleep,” he told her, concern in his eyes and voice.
“I will,” Sha’re promised, “It’s just not easy after today.”
Daniel dropped his head, “I’m sorry I had to give you the news about Abydos. I wish I...”
“It’s not your fault, Daniel,” Sha’re whispered, “And to be honest I don’t know if I would have been able to talk to them if I could see them again. I was four when I left.”
They sat in silence as they drank, neither could think of anything to talk about that didn’t involve the events of the day so they didn’t talk. Daniel kept watching her; worried that she wasn’t as fine as she declared she was. Once she finished her tea Sha’re placed the mug on the table and stood.
“I should get some rest,” Sha’re said, she hesitated, “Where am I sleeping?”
Daniel stood and motioned her, “Come on, you’re sleeping in my room. I’ll take the couch.”
Sha’re sat on the bed watching as Daniel retrieved a pillow and quilt for the couch, she was so tired but she didn’t want to sleep. She wasn’t sure what she would dream about and it scared her.
“What’s wrong?” Daniel sat at her side.
She sighed, “Will I be able to take Nicky home?”
“Of course,” Daniel frowned at her confused, “Why would you think you couldn’t?”
“Because of everything that happened,” she whispered, “Because I’m not from Earth and what I’ve learned today.”
“Look at me,” Daniel turned her to look at him, resting his hand on her cheek, “Nicky is your son. And no matter what has happened he will be with you, I promise.”
Sha’re stared at him, “What about you?”
“I’m always here,” Daniel breathed captured by her eyes, “I’ll always be here for you both.”
Very gently Daniel kissed her forehead letting his lips linger; he moved back and looked down into her brown eyes hoping she was comforted by him shocked when Sha’re kissed him. The kiss was passionate, like the one they’d shared at Christmas but this time Sha’re wrapped her arms around his neck climbing into his lap as Daniel pulled her close.
Sha’re broke away from him so she could pull his t-shirt off him and returned her lips to his as she ran her hands across his warm skin. She moaned as his lips left hers and slid along her neck, his nimble fingers undoing the buttons on her top. Daniel lifted Sha’re off his lap and laid her back on the bed resting his body on hers.
Daniel broke away and looked down on her, his blue eyes dark with passion as he gazed into her brown ones. He was breathing heavily as was she but he forced himself to hold back, giving her the option to stop what they were doing before it became more intimate. Before he could ask her if this was what she wanted Sha’re wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him back down to her finding his lips with hers once more as all rational thought disappeared.
Sha’re sighed as she opened her eyes, turning to her side she saw Daniel’s sleeping form. He looked so peaceful and Sha’re gently stroked his cheek smiling as he murmured her name in his slumber. She knew in the morning they’d have to talk about what had happened between them but until then she was going to enjoy the feeling of being wrapped in his arms. Although she knew it had been a stupid thing to do Sha’re had enjoyed being a lover for a while, enjoyed being touched in a way she hadn’t been for a long time. Daniel treated her as a woman and not just a mother. Her last relationship had ended a few months before Nicky was born, they’d been together for over three years and Sha’re had thought for a time that he was going to propose until she arrived at his apartment unexpectedly to find him in bed with another woman.
She looked at Daniel again, she was almost completely sure he’d never do anything like that to her. With a soft sigh Sha’re cuddled against him again and went back to sleep.
Daniel opened his eyes confused to find his vision filled with black curls. He’d been so sure the night had been a dream that finding Sha’re still in his arms sleeping peacefully was a shock. Slowly Daniel drew his hand along her leg, to her waist continuing to her breast before sliding his hand up to her face.
“I am trying to sleep,” Sha’re’s amused voice surprised him; “You do know that don’t you?”
“I guess I didn’t think you were real,” Daniel replied, smiling as she moved closer to him.
Sha’re let out a contented sigh as she snuggled against him, “What do you think now?”
“That we have a few things to talk about,” Daniel said, trying not to lose sight of what this could mean.
Sha’re glanced at the clock just over Daniel’s shoulder, “I know but it is barely 5 am. Perhaps we can just enjoy the rest of our night and talk about it later?”
Before he could answer Sha’re kissed him again, she gave him a mischievous look as she slid her lips down along his chest before disappearing under the quilt. Daniel suddenly realised he had no chance whatsoever.
A few hours later they lay kissing, holding one another and not thinking about the consequences for the moment until they heard Nicky letting everyone know he was up. Sha’re kissed Daniel once more before she left him in bed and slid on the robe she found hanging on the back of the door turning she gave Daniel a coy smile before she went to make her son some breakfast. Daniel lay back on the pillows exhausted, ecstatic and confused. He’d wanted to be with Sha’re since the moment he’d met her but now he wasn’t sure if what had happened had been a good thing. They had to think of Nicky; Daniel didn’t want anything to stop him seeing his nephew and if things between them didn’t work out...
Daniel finally got out of bed and pulled on some clothes before he went to see what Sha’re was making her son for breakfast. He stood in the doorway watching as Sha’re fixed Nicky toast and juice, she was wearing only his robe and looked absolutely incredible in it. Daniel let out a long slow breath to calm down as Sha’re turned and gave him a quick smile.
“Do you want some toast, Daniel?” Sha’re asked as she set Nicky’s breakfast in front of him.
“Thanks,” he replied before he leaned over Nicky, “Morning, kiddo.”
“Good morning, Uncle Daniel,” Nicky beamed up at him.
“Nicky, eat your breakfast like a good boy while I speak with your uncle Daniel,” Sha’re told her son before she took Daniel’s hand and pulled him into his room again.
Sha’re looked at Daniel as they stood in his bedroom once more, she could see the confusion in his eyes which she knew she felt. They had to know the others feelings before they could move on from what had happened between them.
“We need to talk,” Daniel said first.
Sha’re smiled slightly, “I know. But before we do let me say thank you for everything you did over the past few days. Caring for Nicky, rounding up people to find me, being there when I needed someone.”
“Is that all last night was?” Daniel asked sadly looking away from her, “You needing comfort.”
“I don’t know,” Sha’re whispered managing to catch his eyes, “Was it?”
“What do you want me to say?” Daniel demanded, pushing his hand through his hair, “That I’m crazy about you? That I come to LA so often not just to see Nicky but because I get to spend time with you too?”
“Of course I do,” Daniel cried, “I thought you knew that after...” he trailed off and looked at her, “I come to see both of you. And as much as I love Nicky, the end of the day when we sit and have coffee then talk for a while is something I look forward to every time I come to LA.”
Sha’re hugged him, “I look forward to seeing you too.”
“So what do we do now?” Daniel asked as she let him go.
“I don’t know,” Sha’re replied, “Long distance relationships can be hard, Daniel.”
Daniel wrapped his arms around her pulling her close, “I know but I’d like to try.”
Sha’re looked up at him,” So would I.”
Daniel leaned down and brushed his lips to hers, “Then we’ll try it.”
|Genres:||Alternate Universe, Angst, Friendship, Hurt/Comfort, Pre-Relationship (het), Romance, Smarm|
|Summary:||Still getting his life together after descending Daniel gets a letter that gives him something he wants more than anything - a family.|
Author's Chapter Notes:
Thanks to Stonedtoad for betaing.
This is an AU based on the cover story I used in my story Precious Gift but it’s not necessary to have read it.
This is an AU based on the cover story I used in my story Precious Gift but it’s not necessary to have read it.