Title: Birthday Present
Spoilers: Current/Future Season
Summary: Janet gets what she really wants for her birthday!
Disclaimer: Not mine. Never will be!!
Notes: This is for all those who wanted Dan/Jan fluff... that's what this is and I make no apologies!
Janet Fraiser smiled at the cheerful voice on the other end of the phone. Trust Natalie to call before 7am, for some reason, her friend seemed to always be up at all hours of the night. It probably didn't help that her fiancée worked the nightshift. Not to mention the time difference between Colorado and Toronto.
Still, she didn't mind. She'd grown used to the early morning birthday call, considering it had been a regular occurrence for years.
"Thanks, Nat, I was just about ready to hit the shower when you called."
"Oh come on, you knew I'd be calling and you were awake, don't deny it. I know you better than you think." The fact that there was no remorse in her friend's tone only made her smile.
"Sadly, you're one of the only people that do know how restlessly I sleep, and that's only because you've had the bad luck to be kept awake by the bad dreams."
The resulting laughter was warm and filled with memories, although tinged with a sympathy that was unique to only the two friends. Natalie had been there when she was going through the hell of the end of her relationship with her former husband. She had been the one to awaken her from the nightmares and make sure things were okay. Janet was happy to have been able to return the favor a year or so ago when Natalie was having issues with her current fiancée. The shared experience had drawn the two women closer and along with Sam, Natalie was one of the best friends she'd ever had.
"True, but you know with Nick's schedule, I'm not much better at sleeping through the night." There was a muffled sound on the other end, and Janet smiled as she realized Nick was trying to grab the phone. His deep, rich voice made her smile as he succeeded.
"Don't listen to her, Jan. She's been up far too long and I'm trying to get her out of here and home to bed."
Janet laughed at the outburst that statement drew from her friend, smiling as she realized how happy the two of them were. After four years of dancing around the issue of their relationship, she was extremely glad they'd worked things out. Now if only the same could be said of her love life.
"So, birthday girl, what are you doing for the big day?"
Janet sighed, running a hand through her hair as she frowned at her alarm clock. "Working."
Groans greeted the reply and she knew they were both listening, so she continued quickly before either could begin talking. "But Cass said something about going out to dinner, so I'm guessing that's later tonight. So a nice, quiet day, thankfully."
"So, any chance a certain drop dead gorgeous archaeologist might be dropping off a present today as well? Something of a more personal nature?"
Janet tried not to feel the quickening of her heartbeat at the words, hoping her voice sounded normal. "I doubt it. Daniel and the others are out of town this weekend for work, so it'll probably be just me and Cassie." She didn't realize how much she'd wanted her other friends around until she heard the slight note of disappointment in her voice.
"Well, I bet he gets you a great present anyhow."
That was Nat, ever the optimist. Still, the reply made her smile.
"Right. I'm sure buying me a birthday present is a top priority on Daniel's list." She hated the fact that her voice sounded wistful. Covering quickly, she tried to sound happier, knowing, however, her friends would see through it. "I'll be fine, though. Nothing like a little mother/daughter bonding for the birthday."
"Well, you just have a happy one, and think of us. Your present should arrive sometime tonight."
Janet laughed as she stretched and yawned into the phone. "You know, you didn't have to send me anything-"
"Yes we did, although you might think twice when you get it."
The cryptic words intrigued her. "Care to tell me what that means? Especially since you've developed a pattern I'm comfortable with regarding my birthday presents?"
"You'll find out. Besides, change is good." The laughter in both voices was obvious and Janet resigned herself to be surprised. "On that note, Jan, we have to go, Nick's getting impatient. So we'll talk to you soon?"
"You'll be hearing from me when I get this so-called present from you." She smiled at her friend's laughter, wishing that Natalie lived closer. It had been far too long since their last visit.
"We'll be waiting."
Nick's reply had her smiling as she exchanged a few final words with her friends and hung up. Feeling as if she could now start her day, the routine morning birthday call over, she headed for the shower, trying not to dwell on how much she wished a certain blue eyed archaeologist would be around to help her celebrate.
Daniel was out of breath as he hurried into O'Malley's. Looking around, he was thankful to note that Janet hadn't arrived yet. Moving towards the spot where the rest of his team and various other people stood talking, he wasn't surprised to note the evil gleam in Jack's eyes.
"Running a little late, Danny? Must be some present you were picking up for the Doc."
Daniel simply ignored him, turning instead to accept the hug from the short brunette that had thrown herself into his arms.
"Natalie, it's good to see you. I know Jan's going to be really surprised." He smiled at the laughter this response drew, turning to offer a hand to the blonde man who had come up to Natalie's side.
"Considering what I had to promise my partner to get the time off, I hope so." The others laughed at Nick Knight's teasing as conversations sprang up around them. Daniel was half listening to Jack and Nick discussing something that sounded suspiciously Simpsons related when he became aware of the intense stares he was getting from Sam and Natalie.
"What, do I have something on my face?" He tried not to feel like prey as both women advanced on him.
"So, you did get Janet something nice, didn't you?"
He swallowed at Sam's words, wondering if Jack felt this way when Sam gave him "the look." It wasn't a pleasant sensation. Still, he knew her well enough to not show how disconcerted he felt.
"Yes, I did. But I'm not telling you what. You'll have to wait and find out along with Janet." There, that should put them off a bit. He was well aware that almost everyone knew about his feelings for the doctor, although he hadn't yet managed to get up the courage to tell Janet himself.
Hopefully though, that would all change tonight.
"Well, I know she'll be looking forward to it. Probably be her favorite present of the night." Natalie winked at Sam as she noted the blush rising on Daniel's cheeks. Leaning over to pat him on the back, she grabbed Sam and dragged her off before he could say anything in reply.
Daniel sighed, settling onto a stool at the bar and ordering a soda. He really didn't want to have any alcohol in his system when he saw Janet tonight. He was determined to tell her how he felt and ask her out to dinner, much to the relief of all those who had encouraged him to do just that for months.
Still, it didn't stop him from being nervous as hell. His nerves jumped up a notch more as Cassie suddenly bounded into the bar. The nervous smile he plastered on his face turned to a frown as he noted she was alone.
"Hey, Cass, where's your mom?" He managed to get the words out even as the teen gave him a hard hug before turning to accept one herself from Jack.
"She got hung up at work, apparently SG-" she stopped as she suddenly realized they had non-SGC people here. With a quick smile she amended her words.
"Apparently some last minute injuries came into the infirmary and she promised to meet me here within the hour."
Jack immediately looked at Sam before carefully phrasing his words. "Nothing serious, though, right?"
"Nope. Just a few Daniel type injuries to-um-eight, that's all." Cassie smiled as the others got her reference to SG-8, winking at the annoyed look the archaeologist shot her as she perched on the seat next to him. She smiled as Natalie reached over to give her a hug. Returning the gesture and offering one to Nick, she settled back on the stool.
"Nat, Nick, so glad you made it. Mom is going to be overjoyed to see you. She was telling me about your call this morning."
Natalie smiled as Nick chuckled in her ear. "Yes, I figured she'd be up, it's routine you know, every year without fail. She'll do the same for me."
Sam smiled as she watched Natalie and Cassie interact, looking around in contentment to notice most of the SGC as well as SG-1 and a few other O'Malley regulars were milling around the bar, waiting for the guest of honor to arrive.
"You look too smug, what's going on in that head of yours?"
She smiled at Jack's words, shivering at the tingle that ran down her spine at his closeness. "Nothing much, just realizing how surprised Janet is going to be to see us all here."
"Yep, the Doc is in for a birthday surprise, and if Danny Boy comes through, an even better one than she thinks."
Sam laughed. "Daniel will do it, he's finally ready to admit his feelings. Trust me on this one."
Jack simply nodded, figuring he'd never understand female intuition. At least he had Sam to help him navigate. He had to admit though, he felt for Daniel. Still, it would be good to see them both happy, the two certainly deserved it.
Daniel smiled to himself as he watched Sam and Jack banter with each other, looking perfectly comfortable standing next to each other, while trying not to look too comfortable. He sighed, hoping his friends found a way to work out their relationship, they deserved a little happiness.
But at the moment, he was more concerned about his own happiness. He was getting more anxious as the night went on and with no sign of Janet yet, his courage was disintegrating. Which was why he was extremely happy to hear Cassie suddenly call out "Mom's coming!"
A flurry of activity had everyone gathering around the bar, looking towards the door as they waited for the small brunette to enter. Daniel took a deep breath, stepping to the front of the pack, right along with Nick, Nat, Cassie and the rest of SG-1.
His heart did a little flip as he saw her enter, her cheeks flushed from the cold air, hair falling in waves around her face. She'd obviously changed, her form silhouetted in the light revealing a clingy blue dress that showcased her generous curves and ended slightly above her knees.
She was the most beautiful creature he'd ever seen, and the look of surprised delight on her face as everyone yelled 'surprise!" only made her more beautiful to him.
Now if he could only remember to breathe.
Janet smiled at the man who held the door open for her, although her mind was not on the knowing smile he gave in reply. She was wondering how long Cassie had been here ahead of her and feeling guilty for being late.
Not that all four members of SG-8 returning from PX7-A23 with what appeared to be 'paranoid delusions' wasn't a good excuse. All were happily now resting calmly, whatever agent had been affecting them dissipating on their return to earth, and she had blackmail material for months if she were to need it to coerce patient cooperation.
The memory put a smile on her face as she stepped into the restaurant and turned her gaze towards the bar.
Her jaw dropped in delighted surprise to see the mass of familiar faces beaming at her, the yelled 'surprise' registering vaguely at the back of her mind. Natalie and Nick looked amused, while Sam, Jack and Teal'c looked satisfied. But it was the expression in Daniel's eyes that had her breath catching in her throat. Her heart began thumping painfully as he smiled at her. A knowing smile, filled, it seemed to her, with unspoken promises for the night to come.
"Happy Birthday, Mom!"
She was jolted from her thoughts as Cassie threw herself into her arms and she hugged her daughter tightly, trying to ignore the intense blue eyes still focused on her.
"Cass, what in the world-"
"We wanted to surprise you, and we did, didn't we mom?" At Cassie's eager look, Janet could only smile and hug her harder.
"It's a wonderful surprise!" Turning, she found herself hugged tightly by Natalie and soon after Nick, who whirled her around a few times before placing her back on her feet.
"So I take it this is the 'surprise' you two told me about this morning?" At their nods, she laughed. "Well, I don't think I'll be sending it back, so consider yourself lucky this time."
"You know we do, it's good to see you, Jan." She smiled at Nick's words, only to be whirled around and into Jack's arms as he gave her a quick hug.
"So, aren't you glad to see us as well?"
"I bet your more glad that I don't come bearing needles," she shot back, smiling as he winced. Turning, she accepted a hug from Sam as well, barely managing to ask how this had all come about.
"Well, we knew we wanted to celebrate with you, so we arranged to come back last night, without telling you. General Hammond sends his best by the way, he had a recital for his granddaughter he couldn't miss tonight."
She knew that, having heard it from the man himself a few hours ago. Still, it had been nice of him to wish her a happy birthday before leaving.
"I join in wishing you a happy birthday DoctorFraiser. It is a mark of pride to turn a year older. With great age comes great wisdom." The Jaffa looked puzzled as half of the crowd laughed, while Janet tried to hide her amusement, knowing Teal'c had not just deliberately insinuated she was 'old.'
"Thank you, Teal'c." Smiling, she impulsively reached up to hug the man, smiling as what could almost be described as a hint of a smile crossed the Jaffa's face.
Now that that was over, there was only one person left to greet. Taking a deep breath, she tried for a neutral expression as she turned to meet Daniel's gaze. To her great surprise, and utter delight, the usually timid archaeologist pulled her into his arms and gave her a hard hug.
Her heart literally felt as if it might beat out of her chest as she returned the embrace, using the moment to breathe in the unique scent of his skin and the cologne he wore. He'd hugged her before, but never quite like this. Not to her surprise, she much preferred this type of hug.
"Happy Birthday, Janet." Daniel hoped he didn't sound like a stumbling fool, but the feel of her in his arms had pretty much eliminated all rational thought from his mind. He knew he held her a little closer, a little tighter than was strictly 'acceptable' for friends, but he had a feeling no one around them would complain.
Nor, it seemed, would Janet.
"Thanks, Daniel. I'm really glad you're all here." She pulled back, almost reluctantly leaving the haven she'd found in his arms, her breath catching at the look of loss in his eyes as he slowly let her go. Feeling a blush climb into her cheeks, ignoring the knowing looks from those around them, she turned and tried to gather her composure.
"Okay, let's eat! I'm starving after the day I had."
Thankfully, her voice sounded normal and she smiled as Natalie and Sam linked arms with her, drawing her over to the large table that had been set up for them.
"We're going to talk about that hug, later."
Janet blushed at Natalie's whisper, getting a laugh from Sam as well.
"Darn right we are, and who knows, it could even get juicier as the night goes on."
The blush darkened as Janet tried to ignore her friend's teasing. It was no secret that she had feelings for Daniel. Everyone, it seemed, but the man himself, could see it. Although, tonight's actions so far showed he might finally have gotten a clue.
Then again, it could just be wishful thinking on her part. After all, they were good friends, close ones at that after Cassie's near death experience and even closer after his return from ascension. But so far, that was all they had been. Friends.
Maybe her luck was about to change.
"So, Jan, everything all right with your patients?" At Jack's question, she raised an eyebrow, imperceptibly nodding to Nick and Natalie, who were laughing at something Cassie was saying. "Cassie told us that you had 'eight' of them before you left."
Ah. Janet smiled at her daughter's resourceful thinking. "Nothing serious. Some bumps, bruises, paranoid delusions about force lances and computer avatars from the CO, but that's about it."
At the looks of shock on the faces around her, she burst into laughter. "Trust me, it was something in the air."
Getting raised eyebrows in reply, she settled into her seat, feeling her heart accelerate again to note that Daniel had placed himself next to her, with Cassie on her other side. Unconsciously, she found herself shifting just a bit closer to Daniel, wondering if he'd notice.
Daniel wondered if it had been a smart move to take the seat next to Janet. His body was already reacting to that simple hug from earlier and being so close he could smell her perfume was certainly going to be torture, albeit a delightful one, on his already tense body.
As he settled into his chair, he noted that Janet had almost imperceptibly moved her chair closer to him. He had to work hard to hide his smile.
Then again, this close proximity could have some unforeseen benefits.
On to Part 2