Basic Essential

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - April 30, 2009
Spoilers:  None
Size:  12kb, ficlet
Written:  May 13,20-22, June 5, 2009
Summary:  Jack and Daniel share a tender moment while pondering mankind.
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
1) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Tammy, Navi, Jo!

Basic Essential
by Orrymain

Jack walked out onto the roof deck and immediately felt the slight, chilling breeze.  He looked up at the late night sky, noting the overcast conditions. Just a couple of hours ago, it had been clear out.  Stealthily, he approached his lover, who was self-hugging as he stood, contemplative, at the railing which overlooked the couple's backyard.

Wearing his black turtleneck sweater, the archaeologist was plenty warm, but he smiled when he felt his soulmate's arms surround him.  That was a warmth that was like no other.  He felt his Love's lips search for a spot of skin at the back of his neck and finally make contact, a tender kiss causing him to shiver at the connection.  He wasn't cold; he was just in love, deeply in love.

Jack slipped his hands under the thick material of the woolen top and caressed his husband's smooth skin.  Resting his chin on Daniel's shoulder, he soaked in the presence of his Heart.  These were priceless moments, when it was just the two of them under the night sky with nothing but a hair's breath between them.

“Talk to me,” Jack requested quietly just as a tiny whiff of wind touched his somewhat stubbly cheek.

Not surprised by the quiet plea, Daniel leaned his head back against his strength, which had long been Jack.  Looking up at the shadowed stars, he thought for a moment, trying to decide just where to start his story.  It was all so senseless.

“You know this afternoon when I took Jonny with me over to Mitzi's to give  her the detergent I'd picked up for her at the store today?” Daniel questioned.

Jack nodded.  Mitzi Miller and her family were long-time neighborhood friends. The Millers had been supportive of the same-sex couple from the beginning, and their children played together regularly.  Oftentimes, the couples helped one another out with errands, as Daniel had on this day.

“Well, she had a phone call right when we got there, and the TV was on -- one of those court shows.”

“High class drama,” Jack jested, squeezing the younger man to him a little closer for a second.

“There was a woman, the, uh, plaintiff, who was suing a man.  I'm not really sure why, but they were married, or divorced, or ... or I don't know what they were,” Daniel began to explain, blinking a couple of times and taking a prolonged, deep breath as he thought about it.  “She told the judge that she didn't actually care about the lawsuit.”

“No?” Jack questioned curiously.

“She just wanted this man to see his son; her son needed him.”

“He didn't have visitation?”

“No, that's the thing, Jack, he did, but he just ... apparently, he never bothered to visit his son,” Daniel responded, disbelief and confusion in his soft, almost cracking voice.  He turned his head just a tad to the side.  “I missed what happened next because Jonny began playing with my shirt, and I got ...”

“... distracted,” both men said at the same time.

“Yeah.  When I looked at the TV again, the bailiff walked in with the little boy.  He'd been sleeping.  He let out a whine when his mother reached for him, until he realized it was her.”

“Delayed reaction,” Jack surmised.

“And then,” Daniel paused, swallowing hard as he pictured what he'd seen on the television in the Miller home, “the little boy saw his father, and, Jack, he woke up.  He called out, 'Dad', and reached for him instantly.  The man went over to him and took him into his arms, and then he went back over to his side of the courtroom.”

The archaeologist sighed, his head dropping forward.  He found his husband's hands and put his hands on top of the strong digits that were warming his abdomen.

“What happened?” Jack prodded gently.

“That little boy had his arms wrapped around his dad, and while the judge was talking to him, the man, the little boy began to kiss him.”  Daniel's voice was soft and now definitely cracking from the emotion of the memory.  “He gave his dad a bunch of kisses, on both sides of his cheeks, and the thing is, Jack, Jonny was doing the same thing to me.  He was so playful with these little kisses, and in between he kept saying, 'I love you, Daddy'.  I ended up squeezing him so tight; I just ... I didn't want to let go.”  After a short pause, he sighed with sadness, “At the end of the show, they put an update on the screen.”

“Not good?”

“I don't understand people, Jack.  I just ... I don't understand.”

“Danny?” Jack asked softly, not yet knowing all that was going on within the soul of his Love.

The younger man turned around so that he was facing his husband.  His eyes, moist from his sentimentality, bore into Jack's.

“The father hadn't seen his son since that time in court.  How can a man hold his son, a little boy, and be kissed, and held on to, and just ... loved so innocently and completely and then walk away like he was leaving behind an old car?  That love he was given was such a, a basic essential to, to everything.  How can he do that?” Daniel asked passionately, imploring his lover to come up with an answer when there wasn't one.  “All that boy wanted was his father's love, and all he got was a show for the judge.  How could that man walk away?  I felt that, that ... that bond, Jack.  Our son, reaching for me, holding me, kissing me. I was his world, his whole world in that instant.”

Daniel's breathing was labored.  He was physically upset by the father's neglect of the youngster.

“There was a time, I couldn't imagine myself as a father.  I couldn't picture me taking take care of a child.  It was all I could do to take care of myself in this ... world.  Now, I can't imagine myself without those little lives that we've been so miraculously blessed with.  How could he walk away from all that love?  How?”

Jack's and Daniel's hands were locked onto the other's, their fingers intertwined.  They were standing close, very close.

The older man took a breath, looking down for a moment as he tried to think of an answer, only he couldn't.  How could he try and explain what he couldn't comprehend himself?

“He's not a father, Danny.  He's a spineless twit,” Jack finally responded with attitude.

“That little boy will never have a real dad, Jack.”

“No, but he has a mother who loves him, right?” Jack asked, though it wasn't really a question.  “She loves him so much she took that deadbeat to court, just to try and get his attention.”  With a nod, he smiled with all the reassurance he could muster.  “She'll do what it takes.”

“I know,” Daniel acknowledged with a tiny bob of his head.  “It's just ...”

The younger father stopped his words, realizing he had no words, just sadness and regret for a little boy who, through no fault of his own, was probably going to grow up without ever knowing his dad or having that unconditional love he had given returned.  He felt empty, until he heard his lover's voice.

“Danny, he has love, his mother's love.  He'll never be alone, not with her in his corner.”

“Yes, I know that,” Daniel agreed.  “I guess it hit me so hard because of Jonny.  He wasn't facing the television, Jack.  He was just ... loving ... me.”

Jack leaned forward and kissed his husband.  He unmingled his fingers from Daniel's, placing them on the small of Daniel's back.  No longer separated at all, the couple kissed, their physical expression of their love passionate and powerful.

One kiss led to another, and it quickly became obvious where the 'conversation' was going, until Daniel stopped without any warning.  He leaned back and smiled at the man who had brought him more happiness than he'd ever imagined.

“Jack ...”

“Let's go watch them sleep for a while,” Jack suggested, totally understanding how his soulmate was feeling.  He needed to see their children, to just enjoy the fact that they were there.  “We'll pick this up in a little while.”

“That's a promise,” Daniel replied with eyes that shone with love.

The lovers kissed one more time and then smiled, both feeling the warmth of their nation of two.  Arm in arm, they headed away from the deck's railing.  Their immediate plan was to spend some time in the nursery, watching their sleeping children and just appreciating that they were a family united in a mountain of love.

Suddenly, Jack chuckled and said to his husband, “Angel, you do realize that it was Jonny that spilled the chocolate milk all over your notes this afternoon, totally destroying them?”

“He ... he did?”

“Yeah, right before you came home with the groceries.  You know, right before he jumped into your arms and insisted on going with you to Mitzi's.”

Daniel stopped, starring at his husband.  Suddenly, he broke out in laughter, as did Jack.

“Gawd, we're lucky.”

“Amen to that, Danny.  Amen to that.”

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