Cassie and Teyla go back to earth for specialist appointments and to give Teyla a touch of New York City... when they return, things have gone wrong...
The remainder of the visit passed without incident and a dinner had been planned to honour their guests. Cassie had been put on bedrest for the reminder of the afternoon and it was a happier smiling woman whom he left in their room that afternoon, compared to the moody sullen one that he had awoken to this morning. He pondered this woman who had made such a huge impact on his life and his heart. She was a myriad of emotion and energy and he knew that as long as he was with her, there would be few dull moments to look forward to. She snuggled into the blankets now, content to throw on an old tshirt of John's, insecurities of earlier gone, smiling up at him as he left to continue his chaperone duties.
“So, you promise you'll stay there and rest until dinner... Carson's gonna chew my ear again if he finds you wandering around the city.” Cassie smiled and held out her arms and John, as always, unable to resist her, sat down on the bed beside her and took her into his arms. “I love you babe” he whispered into her ear. His ear piece crackled. “Duty calls, I think I've been AWOL long enough... stay here... rest. Dinner is going to be served around 7pm – ok?” He got up, pausing briefly to look back at her before he left. He received no answer and his smile was soft. She was sound asleep.
Cassie, feeling much more rested, joined everyone for dinner, sitting next to Jack so that they could have a proper catch up before he returned to earth in the morning.
“Cassie love, I almost don't recognise you. It's a different person who came back to earth with me last time. Good to see that Sheppard's taking care of you.” She leaned comfortably into him. He had been a one constant in her life since her brother died, and before and they shared a closeness that would be there always, no matter where she lived or which direction her life followed.
“I've had a little chat with Sheppard before you joined us and he agrees with me. I think you should come back to earth for a couple of days, get checked out by an obstetrician...” he put his hand up to silence her immediate protest. “...Carson agrees with me too, he would feel better if a specialist took a good look at you considering what you have put yourself through these last few months. Look, it would just be a couple of days, I can line appointments up for tomorrow afternoon in New York, maybe you could bring Teyla with you for company, take her shopping, show her some of the sights of the big city. You probably need some new clothes, stuff for the baby?”
Teyla's ears had picked up her name and she joined in the conversation. “I think that is a wonderful idea Cassie, it seems to be an important part of earth tradition for a woman about to give birth and I would be honoured to share this time with you.”
“John...?” Cassie sought his attention and John, who sat on the other side of the table, talking with one of the IOA men, immediately left his chair to come around and squat down in front of her. “I think you should go babe, you need a break and you need to do some girl's stuff! We'll get along fine without you for a couple of days as long as no wraith decide to pay us a visit.” At the immediate worry in her eyes, he smiled. “Just joking Cass, go with Teyla... it'll be a treat to have the whole bed to myself without you hogging all the blankets and not to mention the space...” but he was smiling as he said it which of course did not stop her from thumping him reasonably hard and muttering something about a certain person sleeping on the floor tonight.
Cassie and Teyla joined the delegates and Jack O'neill in the gate room the next morning. Suitable clothing had been found for Teyla as her Athosian style of clothing would not be appropriate for her time on earth. Teyla was excited having heard so many stories about New York and could not imagine a city of such size and noise. John, his hand wrapped loosely around the back of Cassie's neck, talked with Jack while the technician dialled the gate. When the event horizon settled, he pulled Cassie close for a fierce kiss and gently pushed her toward the stargate, feeling a certain emptiness settle inside him. Damn, that bed would feel empty without her soft little body.
Cassie and Teyla flew by helicopter from the SGC to New York. Staring out the bubble window of the helicopter, Teyla was spellbound by the size and endless line of tiny cars that threaded incessantly along the many ribboned roadways into and out of the city. The helicopter landed on top of the medical building where she would have her appointments and it would pick them up from the rooftop of Cassie's apartment building the next evening.
“The buildings are so high. One would not want to have a fear of heights if they lived here. Why are the buildings so tall?” Teyla stood at the top of the building after the helicopter had left, looking out over the sea of spires. Cassie laughed in reply. “They built upward to fit the huge amount of people here in the city. This is a true city of greed Teyla, the excesses of human nature. Here in this city, you will see the very best and the very worst of human nature.”
“Sounds... wonderful!” Teyla stepped back from her viewpoint and followed Cassie to make her way inside the building.
The appointment with the obstetrician went well apart from having to put off some rather leading questions from the doctor himself. He knew who Cassie was, but not where she had been for the past few months, especially when he had asked about her recent medical checkups. The best she could do was imply that she had been involved in the military and all recent checkups had been through military channels. This of course brought a little curiousity from the doctor, but in light of doctor patient confidentiality, she knew that it would not go any further without repercussions. Jack O'Neill would have chosen carefully. Cassie did not allow the doctor to take any samples from the baby or amniotic fluid concerned that some of the unsual genetic material that was manifesting itself faster and faster, may show up.
Appointments done, which included a scan, something Teyla viewed with fascination being able to see the baby moving inside Cassie's stomach. She was the one who insisted in getting a copy of the picture to take back to Atlantis to show John and Ronan, then it was time for shopping and Cassie had their driver drop them on Fifth Avenue to give Teyla a true New York shopping experience. Teyla, a simple person from a simple culture was overwhelmed by the colours, noise, textures and people that dominated the streets and shops and when they finally arrived at a large baby store, she could not understand the need for humans to own so many items for one small being. Clutching bags and boxes, laughing they left the store and went down the steps to find the street lined with reporters with cameras. As soon as they saw Cassie's laughing face they started clicking and thrusting microphones in her face, yelling questions. Immediately concerned and on the the defensive, Teyla reached for her weapon that was not there and in consternation, crowded close to Cassie's side.
“Who are these people and what do they want. Do they wish to hurt you? We have no weapons Cassie?” In spite of herself, Cassie grinned and leaned in towards Teyla to say quietly “reporters Teyla, remember I told you about them, human vultures who prey upon the misery of human beings...”
“Cassie! Over here! Whose the father? Where have you been hiding? Do you have a new CD coming out? Cassie!”
Over and over the questions came until Teyla wanted to grab Cassie's arm and run to hide somewhere. She admired her friend's calm as she smiled and posed for pictures, trying to answer the questions as calmly as she could until finally, the reporters were sated and they left to find other scraps of meat to pick over.
“Cassie, I did not enjoy that at all? Is that normal for earth life? I think I would be happy when we go back to Atlantis...”
Laughing, Cassie told her a little about her life and what being in the limelight meant. The service car took them and their bags and shopping back to Cassie's apartment and exhausted, she collapsed on the couch and lifted her feet up to prop on the coffee table. “Teyla, I have to admit – that was more exhausting that a full scale offworld mission on Atlantis, I feel more emotionally and physically washed out that if we had fought the wraith! Strange...”
“I couldn't agree more Cassie. I don't think it was a pleasant experience. I don't know that I would like to place that much importance on shopping. Small pleasures, yes, but the traits that some of those women in the shops showed were almost evil. I think it would take a long time to understand such desires...” Cassie's reply was to laugh long and loud, feeling wonderfully blessed that those activities were not longer so important in her life and extremely happy to have a grounded friend such as Teyla. She leaned in close to Teyla and rested her head on her shoulder.
“Thank you for being my friend Teyla, since I have met you I have learned many valuable life lessons – such as what is necessary and what isn't. They should package you up and give a condensed version of you to all earth children at an early age. However, I have not finished with your earth lesson yet... tonight we have a special dinner planned at a very fancy restaurant then Jack has managed to get tickets to a broadway show I have been wanting to see... and tomorrow... spa treatment...”
Teyla looked a little alarmed, but managed to smile reassuringly at her friend. “I shall try to be a worthy student!”
After a small rest, Cassie took Teyla into her large walk in closet to get Teyla to choose something to wear for the evening. Cassie laughed at the look on Teyla's face when she saw the amount of clothes hanging. “Have you worn all of these items Cassie?”
“No Teyla, but shopping was something I did, in my old life. You see, I was expected to always look perfectly groomed, it was just something that I had to do.” She paused to pull aside a stunning jumpsuit in glittery silver. “This would look stunning on you Teyla, it has some stretch in it so you should be able to fit it, come on – try it on.” Clapping her hands in glee, Cassie waited while Teyla changed in the room and stepped up cautiously to the huge mirror that dominated one wall of her bedroom. “Cass? I feel very strange in this garment. It is extremely bright and attention calling – are you sure I should be wearing this?”
“Teyla, you look absolutely stunning! These earth men will be falling all over you...”
“I don't know that I would like to have men falling all over me... but perhaps a little attention would be nice.” Teyla turned sideways in the mirror to view her profile. “Will you wear the new outfit you bought today Cassie?” Cassie had already slipped into the floor length electric blue silk dress that gathered under her bust and fell invitingly over her stomach, with lot slits up the side leaving her gorgeous legs bare. “Oh Cassie, it is lucky that John is not here, I think he may disapprove of you going out like that without him.”
They enjoyed a wonderful meal at an upmarket restaurant, and Teyla's eyes were round with surprise and amazement at the presentation of the food on the plates and the glamorous people who dined in the restaurant. The two women attracted a large amount of attention, many of them recognising Cassie and whispering about her obvious pregnancy. They were driven to the theatre after they had eaten with tickets to see the show 'Wicked' and it was this that truly made Teyla's experience of earth entertainment complete. At the end she clasped her hands together. “Cassie, that was perhaps, one of the most amazing experiences I have had in my life. The voices and the music, the story, I felt as though I was a part of it. I could imagine you singing in a show such as that. Have you ever?”
“Yes Teyla, I did a lot of musicals early on in my career, because I can dance as well as sing, I was able to perform a good variety of roles. I enjoyed that immensely, but I began writing music and wanting to perform on my own with a band, and the rest is, shall we say.. history – at least here on earth, anyway!” Cassie yawned loudly. “I wonder what John is doing now...The bed will be a little lonely without him... speaking of bed, I am exhausted.” In the living room,she put her arms around Teyla and gave her a big hug. “Thank you my friend. Sleep well and I will see you in the morning.
While Cassie enjoyed the spa treatment with Teyla, she was anxious to return to Atlantis and phoned Jack to have the helicopter pick them up earlier than planned. “I keep getting a funny feeling Teyla, that something is not right... I want to get back, do you mind?”
“Not at all Cassie, we have done so many wonderful things in the time we have been here, however I too, am ready to return to our reality!” The apartment doorman gave Cassie a copy of the morning newspaper to take with them, and they used the elevator to get to the top of the building where the helicopter waited on the helipad.
Sighing as the helicopter took off, she leaned back and opened the newspaper to the front page, where her and Teyla, dressed in their finery from the previous night, were photographed in full colour with the large headline. “Where in the World is Cassandra Devon?” She smiled and thought... ah, not in THIS world!