Category: Slash, Drama, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Season: Beyond the Series - January 13, 2008
Size: 20kb, ficlet
Written: January 13-15,26, 2008, August 5-6, 2009 Revised for consistency: September 11, 2010
Summary: Jack and Daniel get an emotional surprise on a busy and hectic day.
Disclaimer: Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't. A gal can dream though!
1) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
2) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better: Irina, Caro, Ali, Keri, Claudia, Tammy, Linda!
“This is the thirteenth, all right,” Jack grumbled as he picked up the bowl of chips that he'd just dropped on the floor in the kitchen. “I'm surprised it's not Friday. Betcha' there's a friggin' black cat around here to bring me more bad luck, too.”
Hearing the ruckus that was coming from the living room, the general sighed and rubbed his forehead, certain that the number thirteen was definitely unlucky, at least this month.
“Munchkins!” Jack called out as he walked into the living room and looked over at the crib in which the three fifteen-month-old babies were wrestling with one another. “Tone it down. That means quiet. Your old man has a headache.”
The oldest Munchkin, Jonny, let out a giggle, drawing his older father's stare. Jonny simply looked back at his older father with equal force.
“Hey, watch the stare.”
Undaunted, Jonny continued to stare back in his own display of rebellion.
Jack sighed, “Yeah, right, okay.” He shook his head, trying to shake off the day which was bound to be bad. “I'll be in the kitchen. Cry, if you need me.”
It had been one of those days for the retired Air Force brigadier general. He'd barely gotten any sleep, thanks to the twins, just four months old, being completely out of sync in their screams for bottles and dry diapers. Normally, he and Daniel would have taken turns, but the archaeologist had an important meeting to go to this morning. As a result, the couple had decided that it was important for Daniel to be well rested so that he'd be alert, especially since after the meeting he was providing taxi service for their three eldest children, as well as taking the twins to the base because Teal'c had insisted the babies needed to learn about meditation right away.
~Twins: meditation. They sleep all the time when they're not causing a ruckus. Why on Earth do they need to learn how to meditate? Besides, it's impossible to teach infants meditation, anyway,~ Jack groused while he picked up the chips. ~And who has a meeting on Sunday morning? We should have been sleeping in, not worrying about rocks.~
The weary father's current mood was a result of more than just a lack of sleep. First, thanks to a nearby auto versus pole incident in which the auto lost, there was a power outage right in the middle of the family preparing their breakfast, something that hadn't gone over so well with eight hungry children. The only good thing about the outage was that it hadn't lasted too long. Still, the electricity had been off long enough for Jack to develop a headache that had made him consider running for the Stargate as an escape.
Then there was the toilet that had overflowed, which was never pleasant to deal with.
Finally, adding to Jack's frustration, there was the crossword puzzle, completed except for one answer that he was determined to get entirely on his own. This was especially annoying for Jack because before leaving the house, Daniel had taken one look at the clue and instantly claimed to know the answer.
~Darn genius. Always knows everything. I'll figure it out myself,~ the general griped as he continued his cleanup from lunchtime. ~But he is a lovable genius,~ he sighed contentedly, smiling and taking a moment out of his hectic day to think about his Heart.
The final straw for Jack's 'day gone wrong' was that the Munchkins were in a very rambunctious mood, all three of them going from whiny to crying to screaming to fighting to just about every other mood that toddlers could go through. At the end of his rope, Jack was about to hang himself; at least, in his mind.
Hearing the ringing phone, the silver-haired man stomped to the counter and picked up the phone, letting out a growling-type “What?” He looked over at the triplets and shouted, “Jonny, don't pull your sister's hair.” Back into the phone, he barked, “This better be good; you've picked a bad time to call.”
“Perhaps I should call at a later time,” General Hammond responded, an amused quality to his tone.
“Sorry, General. It's been one heck of a day so far,” Jack sighed.
Hammond called to seek out his fellow general's advice regarding some difficulty with an alien race that SG-2, commanded by Lou Ferretti, was dealing with. Jack had gotten along fairly well with the rather curt race, which is why Hammond had decided to see if he had anything to bring to the table that might help the current conflict. Of course, the bulk of the conversation was cryptic, considering they were discussing classified issues.
About fifteen minutes into the conversation, Jack realized the triplets had become extremely quiet, too quiet in fact. He needed to bring the phone conversation to a conclusion.
“Sir, tell Lou to think about the mayor like he would Carolyn's rigatoni.”
“Explain,” the confused SGC leader requested.
“Carolyn's an ace cook, especially with anything Italian *except* for her mother's meaty stuffed shell pasta dish. No matter what she does to it, it's tough on the outside, like those shells were from the sea instead of being edible. Lou's learned over the years to praise that meaty stuffed shell dish as if it were Carolyn's best recipe. That's what he needs to do here. Tell the mayor he's a peach, and keep doing it. Eventually, the shell will be gone, and he'll be down to the meat. That's easier to eat, or live with.”
“Understood. Now go take care of those kids,” Hammond ordered, almost as if Jack had been neglecting them.
“Yes, Sir,” Jack responded even as his facial expression grimaced at the reprimand. He hung up the phone, teasing to himself in a low voice, “The man still needs me.” That was okay, to be needed. He was just grateful that his stint as the commander of Star Gate Command had been relatively short. ~Thank the big hockey puck in the sky that I'm not him anymore.~
A bit cautiously, Jack entered the living room, stunned when he saw Aislinn standing up in the crib, her hands on the bars as she focused on the television set, which her father had forgotten to turn off. Behind her, Jonny and Little Danny sat quietly. Though Jonny was scowling, the middle Munchkin was playing contentedly with a stuffed bear.
Curious, Jack walked closer to the crib and looked to see what was on TV, eventually seeing that it was a program called 'Skate for the Heart' that featured several well known ice skaters, performing to the music of Celtic Woman, a group of five Irish singers and one fiddler.
All of a sudden, Aislinn plopped down and her brothers began to make noise and play again. Jack wasn't sure what to make of what he'd witnessed, but he decided to remain in the living room and observe. He noticed that the fiddler had been playing a solo when his youngest daughter had lost interest.
A few commercials and a couple of dance numbers later, Aislinn suddenly pulled herself up again.
When her oldest brother began to babble noisily, the youngest Munchkin turned, slapped the top of his hand slightly, and ordered, “Jonny, no talk.”
Jack's eyes widened when he saw the boy stare defiantly, but then retreat back to the corner of the crib and plop down to a seated position, scowling once again.
~Females always rule the roost, regardless of what we males think,~ Jack mused inwardly.
Aislinn's focus was intense, and she began to hum along with her singer of choice. Though she didn't know the words, she was singing along with the tune, her small soprano voice remarkably in tune for her age.
~I wish Danny were here to see this,~ Jack thought as he watched, not interfering with the babies at all.
The little girl toddler applauded here and there as she focused on the singer she liked, and while she seemed to enjoy all of the Celtic Woman performances, there was only one who totally captured her attention. Much to Jack's amazement and amusement, whenever that singer was featured, her brothers weren't allowed to talk.
When other members did solos, Jonny and Little Danny were allowed to make all the noise they wanted; in fact, Aislinn herself would sometimes start to play or focus on something else for a while. Even when she did, she was still humming or trying to sing with 'la la's' used instead of the words.
Then Jack's day took another bad turn when the program ended and Aislinn began to cry.
“Ash, it's okay.”
“Want mu'c,” Aislinn sobbed.
In his mind, the anxious father finally realized that 'mu'c' was music. In spite of his attempts to get his daughter to calm down, she continued to cry.
“Ash like,” Little Danny commented, referring to the lovely music.
“No hit 'more,” Jonny noted, shaking his hand slightly.
~You sure learned fast enough, My Boy,~ Jack chuckled before realizing his daughter was crying louder now. ~Got it!~
Leaving the children in the living room, Jack headed upstairs to his lover's den, where he grabbed the laptop and hurried back downstairs. He thanked the cybergods for wireless technology and quickly did a search for Celtic Woman.
“Ash, look; um, listen!” Jack requested as he played a sample of a song he'd found. The little girl stopped sobbing, but this clearly wasn't the singer who had captured her musical heart. “Okay, not Orla. How about this one?” One by one, he went through selections for the members who had their own albums. Naturally, it was the last one that worked magic. “Okay, this one's name is Chloe.”
Aislinn smiled and began to applaud. She attempted to sing along with the music again. All too soon, though, the sample song ended.
“No, no, Ash, don't cry. Dad's on the job. Credit card. Where's the dang credit card?”
“Wall,” Jonny answered.
“What?” Jack asked, looking over at the now quiet oldest Munchkin. The boy said nothing in reply and simply waited patiently for his father to understand his meaning. As he processed the information, Jack mumbled, “Wall...et! Yes!”
Pulling out his wallet while continuing to try and soothe Aislinn, Jack praised the download gods at Amazon.com as he proceeded to purchase every mp3 tune they offered by songstress Chloe Agnew. He also purchased all the available mp3 downloads by Celtic Woman and then ordered the CDs and DVDs. It turned out to be an expensive afternoon, but Aislinn wasn't crying anymore. Instead, she was singing with a smile on her beautiful baby face.
The father looked over at his sons and asked, “Okay, Boys, what would you like? A new fire truck or maybe an audio book?” He saw the two confused stares and clarified, “Dad just bought Aislinn some special music. Is there something you two would like today?”
“Fire truck,” Jonny answered, content with his father's suggestion.
“K'tie toy,” Little Danny answered, wanting to buy a new toy for the youngest beagle. “Bij toy,” he added quickly, not wanting to forget the mama beagle.
Grinning, Jack suggested, “Okay, here's the plan. One day this week, Jonny, you and me will take a run to the toy store for that fire truck, and as for you, Little Danny, we can take the girls to the pet store and see what they'd like.”
“Yah!” the two boys cheered.
“Shhh! No talk!” Aislinn chastised since Chloe's voice had just become the featured soloist during the 'Silent Night' song.
With all three Munchkins satisfied, Jack smiled, pleased with his solution. Though as he headed back towards the kitchen, he realized he and Daniel would have to buy something for all of their children this week. After all, he'd just plunked down a lot of change to indulge Aislinn in something that might be an infatuation.
~No, it's not. There was something in those little blue eyes, and it was in her small voice. I admit I might be going out of my mind, but my gut is telling me that Ash is in this for the long haul, like the next ninety or hundred years,~ Jack mused as he glanced back at the children before returning to his kitchen chores.
Thirty minutes later, Daniel returned home and was instantly greeted by three happy Munchkins, all chirping away gleefully; that is, until 'Ave Maria' came on and Jonny and Little Danny suddenly stopped talking.
“Hey, what's go...”
“Daddy, no talk,” Aislinn ordered sternly.
“Angel,” Jack called out quietly from the kitchen, motioning for his lover to join him.
“What's going on?” Daniel asked just before sharing a 'hello' kiss with his husband.
“I'll tell ya in a minute,” Jack responded. “Where are the kids?”
“Oh, uh, I left the twins with Janet.”
“She saw them at the SGC and was going off-duty. She really wanted to spend some time with them, so I took them over to her house for dinner. The taxi service has an hour's break before the first pickup, so I thought I'd come home,” Daniel explained. “Jack, why are the girls outside?”
“They wanted to be out. I think it was all the crying,” the older man answered.
“Crying?” Daniel looked over at the Munchkins and asked, “What happened? What's going on?”
“Daniel, listen to Ash. Really listen,” Jack urged.
Daniel turned around and, firmly ensconced in his husband's arms, focused on their daughter for the next several minutes.
“She's trying to sing. I mean, uh, we sing, but this is ... different.” Daniel shook his head, not sure what he was trying to say. “Jack, am I out of my mind, or did you sense ... I ... there was just something in her voice, a ... a ... geez, I don't know.”
“Something special, and it was in her eyes, too,” Jack put forth as his hands caressed his lover's abdomen while they watched together.
“Yes. My heart just ... no, it didn't jump, or pound harder, but it ... Jack, she pulled me in. She wasn't even singing words, but I felt it, like she was ... she ...”
“... was singing from her heart. Little 'la la's' that mean nothing on the surface, but mean everything in the soul of our daughter,” Jack interjected.
“Yeah, that's what I felt, too.” Jack paused, listening for a few seconds more before telling his husband, “She loves this singer, Chloe, from Celtic Woman.”
“I remember seeing them; saw their Christmas program on PBS last month,” Daniel replied.
“Yeah, Ash *loves* Chloe. You wouldn't believe what's gone on over the last few hours,” Jack remarked as he began to fill his lover in on all of the details.
“Looks like we have a little singer on our hands,” Daniel mused with a smile.
“I like this Chloe, Danny. She's just eighteen, but she's been singing since she was a little girl, and it sounds like she has a good head on her shoulders.”
“Maybe we should invest in a CD.”
“Ah, yeah, well ...”
“We're now the proud owners of all CDs and DVDs Celtic Woman and Chloe Agnes.”
“All?” the younger man asked with raised eyebrows.
“I ordered everything I could find,” Jack affirmed. “By the way, there's no question who is the leader of the Munchkins.”
“That would be Ash,” Daniel chuckled.
“Roger that,” Jack acknowledged.
“Chloe has a beautiful voice, Jack -- very light and airy.”
“Angelic,” Jack opined. “Our Ash does, too.”
“Well, to be precise, Ash is Angelic perfection,” the proud daddy expressed.
Jack looked at his lover and chuckled. It was true Aislinn was perfection, but then so were the rest of the children. Better yet, so was his husband who was in Jack's opinion beyond perfection.
That night, Daniel awoke to the sound of a crying Munchkin. With a kiss to his still sleeping lover's chest, he got up and headed for the nursery.
“Ash, it's okay.”
“Chloe sing,” Aislinn sniffled.
Heading towards his den with the young girl in his arms, Daniel advised, “Ash, this isn't going to be a habit, but since I know you're all excited about Chloe and Celtic Woman, we'll do this tonight. Just remember, it's special, *just* for tonight.”
Having closed the sliding pocket doors of the den, Daniel sat down in front of his laptop and smiled as he found his selection.
“This is the perfect song.”
As soon as the lyrics began and Chloe's voice sang, “Roses whisper goodnight, need save your light,” Aislinn smiled in recognition. She yawned as her head settled happily against her younger father's chest. By the time the last lyric, “And to bear you above, to the dream landof love,” was sung, the toddler was sound asleep again.
Daniel let the short lullaby play one more time, thinking how serene the singer's voice was. Then he looked down at Aislinn's peaceful face, and he realized that the angelic look on her features mirrored the mood of the song perfectly.
“You were a surprise when you born, Ash, just like your beautiful voice has been a surprise, but they're the best kind of surprises. If you want to sing, Dad and I will encourage and help you all we can. We love you, Ash, our little angelic surprise.”
Content to sit there, listening to Chloe's voice while holding the precious life in his arms, Daniel gently rocked Aislinn and thanked the heavenly stars for all the blessings in his life.
“The thirteenth wasn't such a bad day after all,” Jack spoke quietly as he entered the den.
“How can any day be that bad when we have eight beautiful blessings?” Daniel countered.
“You're right, Love, as usual,” Jack conceded happily. “But you forgot one.” He walked over and crouched down to look into the sleeping face of their daughter, all the while relishing the view of his husband holding her in his arms. “You're my first beautiful blessing.”
Daniel smiled sweetly, and the two gazed lovingly into each other's eyes for a moment before returning to their conversation.
“Let's buy her a poster of Chloe. There has to be one out there somewhere,” Jack suggested.
“We can print her picture off the website if we can't find one,” Daniel agreed.
“Is she too young to be trying to sing like this?”
Shaking his head, Daniel answered, “I don't think so. I wish I had seen her when she first heard Chloe.”
“I wish you had, too,” Jack replied. “She doesn't know the words, Angel, but she really tried to sing with her. It was amazing how quickly she picked up the tune,” he commented while running his hand along the little girl's arm. “You coming back to bed?”
“Our little miracle, walking, talking, and now singing,” Daniel voiced emotionally.
“She's not ready to leave the roost yet,” Jack quipped.
“Gawd, no,” Daniel chuckled, nestling his head gently against his daughter's. “I don't even know why I'm feeling so ... I don't even know what I'm feeling.”
Jack nodded, leaned forward to place a kiss on Aislinn's cheek, and then stood slightly as he kissed Daniel on the lips.
“I'll be waiting for you when you're ready to come back to bed.”
“I love you, Jack, and I ... I love our family so much.”
“Me, too, Angel.”
With a smile, Jack returned to bed, leaving his husband to sit a bit longer with their youngest Munchkin. It was an emotional night for the couple, though why was a bit of a mystery. There was simply something special in Aislinn's tiny voice that had touched their hearts deeply. Neither was sure what it was, but just as they treasured the toddler, they knew the gift of song would be a part of their lives from now on; and both were glad of that.
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