A Day at the Races

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Humor, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - May 17, 2012
Spoilers:  None
Size:  15kb, ficlet
Written:  June 27-28, 2006  Revised:  September 17,19, 2007
Summary:  The Munchkins go racing.  Who will be the victor?
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
1) Sometimes, Jack and Daniel speak almost telepathically.  Their “silent” words to each other are indicated by asterisks instead of quotes, such as **Jack, we can't.**
2) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
3) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Linda, Claudia, QuinGem!

A Day at the Races
by Orrymain

“Helmets on,” Jack advised.

“Daddy, where's my helmet?” Aislinn asked, looking all around.

“Right here, Princess.  You put it down while you were waiting for your brothers to finish their treats,” Daniel spoke with a smile, leaning over and retrieving the pink helmet with its white and yellow flower decoration on it from its spot next to the bench he was sitting on.

“Thanks, Daddy,” the five-and-a-half-year-old girl said, a big smile on her face as she took the helmet.  A light breeze blew, and Aislinn shook her head, her long, brunette hair flowing about like a classic shampoo commercial.  “They took so long I forgot where I left it.”

Daniel chuckled as the youngest of the Munchkins hurried back to her black go-kart, labeled with the number one on its engine top.  Prior to entering the kiddies go-kart track, they had purchased slushies for everyone.  The two boys had begun lighthearted bickering over whose slushy had the most juice in it.  The debate resulted in them taking an extra-long amount of time to consume the treat.

“Danny, do you have the camcorder?” Jack asked as he stood near the boys' go-karts.

“Here,” Daniel replied, holding up the camera.

Jack walked to him, took the item, and spoke appreciatively, “Thanks, Love.”

“Anytime, Dear,” Daniel teased, chuckling slightly.  He walked over to do a check of the Munchkins, saying, “Make sure your seatbelts are on tight.”

“Daddy, where's my lucky penny?” Jonny asked.

“Here you go, Son,” Daniel responded, leaning over to give the child the penny.  “You gave it to me earlier to make sure you didn't spend it, remember?”

“Oh, yeah.  I forgot,” Jonny admitted as he slipped the penny into his pocket and secured it.

~What am I today -- everyone's keeper?~ the archaeologist silently mused.  ~The only who hasn't ...~

“Daddy, do you have my sunglasses?” Little Danny asked, deciding that he needed them since it was a bright and sunny day at the track.

Daniel smiled, thinking, ~Thought too soon.~  He retrieved the sunglasses from his shirt pocket and gave them to his namesake.  “Have a good race.”

“Okay, Munchkins, listen up,” Jack called out when all three were in their vehicles, helmets on and seatbelts properly fastened.  “There are just a few others out on the track, so it looks like you'll have plenty of room to race.  Just remember to race fair and be courteous, to each other and to the others using the track.”

“Everyone ready?” Daniel called out, stopwatch in hand since he was going to time the three as they raced.

Jonny called out, “Ready,” his face taking on a very intense expression, his hands gripping the wheel of his green and white number eighty-eight go-kart.

“I'm ready, too,” Little Danny shouted as his red and blue number twenty-four go-kart inched forward just slightly.  ~Oops.~

“Ready, Daddy,” Aislinn stated from her number one racing machine.  ~I'm gonna win today.  I feel it.~

“Jack?” Daniel asked, looking over at his husband.

"Camcorder on.  Whenever you're ready, Sweetheart,” the older man responded with a mischievous twinkle in his eye.

The Munchkins giggled at Jack's chosen term of endearment, knowing it wasn't normal for their parents to use that word.

**Paybacks, Jack.**

**I love you, Angel,** Jack replied, smiling.

**I love you, too, but that's not going to save you,** Daniel responded, his look communicating more than his silent words.

~It'll be fun,~ Jack thought in anticipation of the threatened payback.

Daniel moved out front slightly, smiling at the triplets and thinking how cute they were.  The three had been racing since they were babies, and it was always an adventure.

“MUNCHKINS --- START YOUR ENGINES!” Daniel called out enthusiastically.

“Daddy, our engines are already on,” Jonny sighed.

Daniel chuckled, saying, “I know, but I always wanted to say that.”  He raised his eyebrows and tilted his head slightly when he realized he was the only one laughing.  ~Okay.  Lonnnnely out here.  Better start the race before they run over me.~  He smiled as he shouted, “ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

Quickly moving out of the way, the archaeologist watched as the three go-karts took off for six laps of their personal racing challenge.

As Jack filmed the Munchkins tearing their way around the track, Daniel shouted out encouragement, rooting equally for all three children.

“C'mon, Ash, step on it!”
“Thatta boy, Jonny.  You can pass him!”
“Way to go, Sproglet.  Faster!”

Jack laughed at his husband's enthusiasm.  The younger man was hopping up and down, waving his arms animatedly, and shouting at the top of his lungs.

~Maybe I'll just ...~  The older man stopped himself just in time from turning the camera onto his lover.  While it would be cute to have recorded, he didn't think his Love would appreciate it.  ~But I think he's having just as much fun, if not more, as the kids are.~

Daniel was oblivious to his husband's thoughts, his attention focused totally on the little racers that were competing against each other for a win.

“Focus, Jonny!” Jack called out when they came around to complete the first lap.  ~Stop watching your brother and sister; concentrate on your own vehicle,~ he mentally coached, having noticed his namesake frequently looking back behind him.  “Ouch!”

“Jack?” a concerned Daniel asked quietly.

“He's okay.  See, there he goes,” Jack reassured his lover after they witnessed Jonny looking back to check on the others, but then crashing lightly into another go-kart in front of him.

“Sorry!” Jonny shouted as he waved at the go-kart in front of him before resuming his private race.

“How fast do you think they're going?” Daniel asked, sensing the kids were moving at their fastest pace yet.

“Thirty-five,” Jack answered.

Daniel jerked his head, exclaiming in question, “Thirty-five miles per hour?”

“Another year, Love, and they'll be hitting fifty,” Jack noted.

“Over my dead body,” Daniel responded without thinking.

**Danny, please don't remind me of ...**

**Sorry, Babe,** the archaeologist responded, cocking his head to the side for a second and smiling sympathetically.

~Don't need those memories,~ Jack thought as he walked over to his husband and rubbed his back soothingly, while making sure to keep the camcorder on the track.  ~Don't want to miss anything.~

“I'm being a crazy parent, aren't I?” the younger man asked.

“They've been racing since they could crawl.  They're fine,” Jack assured and then refocused on the track.  “Wow, look how Ash maneuvered around that slower car.  GREAT JOB, PUMPKIN!” he shouted out.

Jack's comment was accurate.  The Munchkins had taken to racing big time during the period when their house was undergoing renovation back in 2009.  They'd always liked watching NASCAR races on television and had run several small races with their bicycles and such.  When they'd been given little cars, the racing had elevated to another level.  So, as soon as the triplets were all tall enough, Jack and Daniel had begun taking them to go-kart tracks.

Racing was fun for the three children, something different and competitive for them, and they enjoyed learning the sport.  They'd attended various safety classes and now, as time and schedules permitted, their parents let them participate in private races.  They kept track of the results, including their track times so they could see how their performances were improving.

The Munchkins also had a small bet going between them.  The winner of the season, which essentially ran the same as a NASCAR season, February through November, weather and schedules permitting, would get two weeks off from doing their chores at home.  They'd still get their allowance for doing the chores, but the other two children would actually do them, one on one week and the other during the next week.  Their parents had approved the simple wager.

After three laps of the current racing contest, Jonny was still in the lead, but Little Danny was right on his bumper.  Aislinn had gotten stuck behind slower moving traffic and was now about six seconds behind her brothers.

After rounding the third turn, Little Danny made a move to the right, but Jonny successfully blocked his move.

“Not gonna pass me,” the oldest Munchkin smirked.

~Patience,~ Little Danny told himself.  ~Daddy says always watch and wait.  Jonny is too confident.~

The boys flew over the white line, beginning the fourth lap.  Twice more, Jonny blocked his brother's attempts to pass to the right.  Meanwhile, Aislinn had closed the gap to four seconds, having gotten past two cars not in their race.

As the last lap began, Jonny was sure he would cross the finish line first.  Intensely focused on winning, he passed one of the non-racing cars, with Little Danny still on his tail.  On the second to the last turn, the sandy-haired boy glanced back and knew his brother was about to attempt another pass.  He moved to the right, stunned when Little Danny went to the left instead, successfully passing him.

Little Danny waved for a moment with his right hand, smiling as he thought, ~Daddy says patience, but Dad says do the opposite of what everyone thinks you're going to do.~  He chuckled, ~I was patient, and I did what Jonny wasn't expecting.~

Jonny's adrenalin tripled the instant his younger brother blew by him.  He raced with more intensity than ever before in his young life.  He had only one chance remaining to get the win -- to cut low to the inside on the final turn.

Little Danny knew his brother was coming.  He held his line, staying close to the edge of the track.  Jonny stuck the nose of his car in as close as he could.

“JONNY, YOU DON'T HAVE ROOM!” Little Danny shouted, refusing to give ground.

Jonny pushed forward, intent on being the victor, only he ran out of concrete.  His go-kart hit his brother's, and the two cars spun around slightly.

“Don't panic, Danny,” Jack urged as he continued filming.  “They're okay.”

“I have eyes, Jack,” Daniel snapped.  Then he sighed, “Sorry.  I guess I was a little worried.”

“It's okay, Angel,” Jack soothed with a smile.

The two parents could clearly see that their children and their cars were all fine.  They could also just make out the conversation that was happening.

“Jonny, why did you do that?” Little Danny asked, his irritation at his brother's actions evident in his tone as he restarted his vehicle.

“I wanted to win!”

“You're supposed to stay on the track,” the child prodigy spoke.

“You passed me!” Jonny complained, not having restarted his vehicle yet.

“So?” Little Danny asked.

“So!” Jonny responded.

Just then Aislinn paused, smiling at her brothers, and taunted, “Hi, Boys!  Bye, Boys!”

The little girl smiled coyly and then sped off.

“Hey!” Jonny shouted.

Just then, Little Danny took off, trailing after his sister.  As they approached the checkered flag, Jonny finally restarted his go-kart, crossing the finish line a distant third to his siblings.

“Way to go, Ash!” Little Danny cheered as he slowly passed his sister who was taking her victory lap.

“Thanks, Little Danny,” Aislinn replied cheerfully.

As Jonny drove by a few moments later, he sighed, “You won, Ash, fair and square.”

For Jonny, that was a big admission, and Aislinn knew it.

“Thanks, Jonny.  You almost won,” Aislinn said.

As the triplets finally parked their go-karts, Jack and Daniel went up to Aislinn and gave her victory cheers.  She climbed out and removed her helmet, sporting a big smile on her face.

“That's four wins for me,” Aislinn spoke happily.

“I shoulda won,” Jonny bemoaned as he removed his helmet with the photo of a lizard on it.

“Jonathan,” Jack chastised.  Jack and Daniel had had numerous chats with Jonny over the years about winning and good sportsmanship.  “Do we need to have another little chat?”

“No, Dad,” Jonny stated.  “But I shoulda won.  I made a bad move.  I'm sorry, Little Danny,” he surprised everyone by saying.

Little Danny had just removed his helmet, which had a photo of Bijou and Katie laminated on it, and responded, “It's okay, Jonny.  I should have moved over.”

“No, Son,” Daniel interjected.  “Dad and I were watching, and you were right on your marks.  Jonny's right.  He tried to cut in where he didn't have room.  He was the one who should have backed off.”

“Daddy's right, Little Danny.  I was right,” Jonny chuckled, thinking it sounded better to be wrong by saying he was right than to say he was wrong.  ~That gives me a headache.~

“Okay,” Jack said, taking out the official log book.  “For the season, that gives Jonny seven wins, Little Danny five wins, and Ash now has four.  It's gonna be a good year, Munchkins.”

“Ice cream?” Jonny asked with big, bright eyes.

“Ice cream!” Daniel acknowledged with a chuckle.

The family began to get their things together and log out of the facility, all of them laughing and thoroughly enjoying themselves as they recalled the short race.

“We went real fast today,” Aislinn noted.

“Next time, we'll go faster,” Jonny promised.

**Jack?** Daniel asked, closing his eyes for a moment.

**They'll be a-okay, Danny,** Jack assured.

**I know they will.  It's *me* I'm worried about.  I think I age a year during every race,** Daniel responded anxiously.

Jack took his lover's hand and squeezed it, causing Daniel to smile.

“Someday we'll race on the big track,” Little Danny commented eagerly.

~Oh, gawd,~ Daniel lamented, hoping he'd survive it all.

Having overheard the mental expression, Jack responded, **It could be worse, Love.**

**How's that?**

**The Spitfires could want to be racers, too.**

**Bite your tongue, Jack,** Daniel chastised.

**I'd rather you bite me,** Jack smirked seductively.

It had been another fun day for Jack, Daniel, and their three precious Munchkins on the race track.  All, including Daniel, hoped there would be many more to come as well.

~~Finis - Finished - Done - The End - But is it ever Really?~~
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