Category: Slash, Mini-Angst, Drama, Humor, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Season: 7 - January 10, 2004
Size: 32kb, short story
Written: November 7-8,10, 2003 Tweaked: July 31, 2005 Revised: May 27-29,31, June 2,4, 2006 Revised for consistency: March 5,7, 2007
Summary: Jack and Daniel have a huge fight. Can Bijou and Katie end their bickering before it's too late?
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: Suzanna, Linda, Jodi, QuinGem, Claudia!
Jack slammed the door behind him, angrily tossed his keys onto the
table that sat in the entranceway, and groused, “It wasn't that big of
a deal, Daniel.”
Not missing a beat, Daniel argued, “Maybe not to you, but then that's just the thing, isn't it, Jack? We weren't in front of *your* peers, we were in front of mine, so gee, why should you be considerate?”
Daniel flung his coat to the back of the sofa and went to the kitchen. Sighing, he remembered he had forgotten to take out the trash that morning, so he tied up the white garbage bag and took it outside, tossing it into the garbage can at the side of the yard.
~Gawd, he can be infuriating sometimes,~ Daniel thought as slammed the lid back down on the garbage can. He gazed up at the stars, took a deep breath, and let it out slowly. He sighed again, knowing he was only putting off the inevitable, and turned to go in. ~I won't let him embarrass me like that again.~
Inside the house, Jack was thinking, ~Geez, sometimes he's so unreasonable. What's the big deal, anyway?~ He stalked into the kitchen, wondering how to set things right, and glanced out the window at the evening twilight. He sighed, knowing this was fixable; they just had to talk it through. ~Talking; geez, I hate that. There are so many other things we could do besides talk!~
As he re-entered the home, the archaeologist didn't notice that their two beagles, Bijou and Katie, had slipped inside, anxious to say hello to their human family. The two dogs were confused as to why they had been ignored, something that had never happened before.
“I was just being myself,” Jack stubbornly rationalized as he stood by the counter, having retrieved a beer from the refrigerator and preparing to take a drink from the bottle.
“Don't tempt me, Jack,” Daniel quipped sarcastically, moving to the end of the sofa before turning around and folding his arms across his chest.
“What's that supposed to mean?” Jack asked angrily.
Daniel challenged, “You're being so clever today, why don't you figure it out.”
“I swear, Daniel, sometimes I think you do this on purpose,” the older man replied, taking a swig of his favorite brew.
“Do what?” Daniel innocently asked, looking over at the fish tank and deciding he should check the feeder to make sure there was plenty of fish food available for the tiny swimmers.
“Be so ... so ...”
“Spit it out, Jack, before you choke,” the younger man spat, his back to his husband as he attended to his task.
Irritated, Jack responded, “What I'd like to do at the moment is choke you.”
Turning around, Daniel retorted, “Oh, that's very adult, Jack. Way to get back in my good graces.” His face a bit contorted, he snorted, “Will that be before or after you finish your beer?” and then refocused on the fish.
“If you'd just stop talking in Daniel-speak for a moment, and tell me in plain English what you're talking about, maybe we could make some progress here,” the colonel intoned harshly. He started to take another drink, then groaned and placed the bottle on the counter. ~A man's entitled to a beer when he wants one. Crap!~
“Cute, Jack, very cute. Excuse me while I don't laugh,” Daniel sarcastically responded, almost putting too much food into the feeder. In fact, he swore for a moment in Abydonian when he realized he had gone over the mark. Quickly, he worked to retract the excess amount while it was still dry. ~It's his fault. He doesn't even understand. Daniel speak? Gawd, he's infuriating sometimes.~
“Bet I can make you laugh,” Jack said, a playful tone in his voice, wanting to end their current argument. ~A diversion could work wonders.~
~No way, Colonel,~ Daniel thought, being in no mood for any of his soulmate's lighthearted antics. As he put the box of fish food away, he turned around to face the older man and replied, “No, Jack, you can't, nor can you evade the issue.”
~A challenge!~ Jack walked across the room, not stopping until he was in the younger man's personal space. With a smirk on his face, he whispered in Daniel's ear, “Are you sure about that, Danny?”
“Jaaaack!” Daniel chastised, feeling his lover's fingers tickling him.
Slyly, Jack had pulled up his lover's shirt and was now concentrating his efforts on the area just above Daniel's belly button. This precise spot had always been highly susceptible to Jack's fingers.
“Yes, Daniel?” the older man snickered.
Daniel was trying his hardest not to laugh, but he was so ticklish in that spot that keeping a straight face just wasn't possible. He finally managed to squirm out of Jack's reach, taking a step back. When he did, the laughter faded, replaced by anger at Jack's attempt to derail the argument and avoid dealing with the reason for it.
“Stop it, Jack. You can't get out of this that easily. I would *never* have done to you what you did to me today,” the younger man opined as he tucked his shirt back inside his pants.
“What did I do?” Jack asked, his arms extended out to his side, his eyebrows raised, and his voice rising in an expression and tone of innocence.
“You *know* what you did, but, okay, fine, you need a list? How about we start with your falling asleep in the middle of the lecture ... and SNORING. You SNORED, Jack ... right at the key moment of Professor Middleton's presentation,” Daniel sternly pointed out.
“Hey, I was tired. People laughed. No big deal,” the older man stated, shrugging nonchalantly as he spoke. ~Besides, he was boring.~
“And if that wasn't enough,” Daniel continued, his ire mounting at Jack's utter disregard for his feelings as well as his attempt to completely rationalize his actions, “you played with the artifacts. That wasn't my office, Jack, it was a museum, and it was during an exhibit and lecture. You took the Mayan sculpture in your hands and bounced it up and down like it was a yo-yo. What the heck did you think you were doing?”
“You act like I broke it or something. It's fine ... nothing broke,” the colonel responded, still wondering what the big deal was.
“And, boy are you lucky. Do you have any idea how much that little trinket is valued at?” the archaeologist challenged.
Jack shrugged and nonchalantly asked, “Okay, so it's worth ... what, a few hundred?” Seeing Daniel's incredulous look, he increased his guess. “A few thousand?”
“Try two-hundred sixteen-thousand five-hundred, Jack,” Daniel revealed, raising his eyebrows and nodding his head to emphasize that he wasn't exaggerating.
“Dollars?” The older man gulped, but decided to press onward, insisting, “Nothing broke.”
“You just don't get it,” Daniel sighed, shaking his head. ~Why can't he see it from my point of view?~ He moved around Jack and walked towards the counter, just wanting some more space between them. Finally, he faced his soulmate again and asked, “How could you do that - embarrass me like that?”
“Oh, Daniel, stop. It was only a ...” Jack began, wishing he had kept the beer in his hand instead of leaving it on the counter. ~That sure looks good, and I think I'm gonna need it before this argument is over.~
“Only what?” Daniel asked, feeling hurt as well as anger. He crossed his arms again, a way of protecting himself. Of course, it wasn't the same self-hug he had done when the lovers had first met, but it was a position of habit whenever things were tough, like now. “Only something that mattered to me? Is *that* the difference? You know, I remember when you begged to go with me to events like this one. At least you acted interested then. Now ... geez, Jack, now it's a bother for you.”
“C'mon, Danny, those things are boring and you darn well know it,” the older man refuted.
“What's the difference, Jack? We're married now, so you don't need to fake it anymore. Is that it?” Daniel accused, not noticing the watching beagles who were becoming more uncomfortable as they witnessed this battle.
Both dogs were wearing frowns on their faces as they watched, and then Katie plastered herself against Bijou, whimpering softly.
“I've never faked it in my life, Danny, and certainly never with you. Besides, you'd be able to tell,” Jack spoke, winking at his lover. His glance was wickedly seductive, making it evident that his response had little to do with the actual topic being discussed. ~You love me more than those dang lectures. Why are we arguing about some boring, stale, yawn-invoking ...~
“That's not what I meant, and you know it,” the archaeologist challenged, his words interrupting Jack's silent bemoaning of the event that had caused the current war of words to take place.
“So what exactly do you mean, Daniel?” Jack inquired intently.
Daniel answered, “I mean pretending to enjoy going to places or to events important to me, claiming that because it's something I like, then you do, too; but you don't, Jack ... not at all. Whatever happened to, 'As long as I'm with you, I'm happy?'”
“OH, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, DANIEL, DON'T GO THERE!” Jack shouted in frustration. ~I love being with him, even at those geeky, boring, stale ... never mind,~ he told himself. Lowering his voice, he added, “That's nonsense.”
“Right, Jack,” the younger man dryly responded. “You're getting awful defensive. Struck a nerve, did I?”
~Okay, let's get to it. If that is what this is about, two can play at that game,~ Jack inwardly decided, his own anger now matching his husband's. “Two can play at that game, Pal. Who's the one who is always late now whenever there's a big game? Who is the one who always has research to do whenever there's some space or air program going on that I want to see? You used to make time for that. Now I practically have to carry you out, so you tell me, *Mister Moral Right*, who's not faking it anymore?”
Unfolding his arms, Daniel pointed his right hand at the older man as he accused, “You're full of yourself, Jack, and since we're talking about your *fool* self, stop fondling me in public.”
“Fondling?” Jack inquired unhappily.
With multiple nods, Daniel affirmed, “Yes, and you know exactly what I'm talking about.”
“We're *married*, Daniel. I have fondling rights,” the older man argued.
“NOT IN PUBLIC,” the younger man retaliated in a raised voice.
“We decided to live our lives ... that's WHAT WE SAID!” Jack shouted, wishing he'd retired a long time ago like he had wanted to instead of giving in to Daniel's wish to stay with the SGC for a while longer.
“I know what we said ... AT HOME ... in our *house* and our yard ... EVEN IN THE BLASTED FRONT YARD ... BUT *NOT* IN PUBLIC,” Daniel refuted, his blood pressure rising faster than he could breathe.
“You're being technical,” Jack charged.
“I am not.”
“ARE, TOO!” Jack shouted, tired of the entire conflict.
“AM NOT!” Daniel shouted in anger.
“YOU ARE *SO* BEING TECHNICAL. IF I WANT TO FONDLE, I'LL FONDLE,” Jack yelled, the veins bulging from his neck, all the lightheartedness gone for the moment.
“Oh, I don't think so, Jack,” Daniel responded in a controlled rage. “I control *who* I let fondle me, and I am *seriously* reconsidering letting you fondle anything of mine.”
“Oh, good, Daniel. Threats,” Jack said. “Now that's being a grown-up.”
“No threats, Jack, only promises,” Daniel stated in reply.
“I know a good attorney. I'll take you to court, and you'll be forced to give me back my fondling rights,” Jack intoned in that totally aloof tone that always drove Daniel crazy since it was a combination of Irish charm, seductiveness, and complete arrogance.
Daniel bit down on his lip to stop himself from laughing. He so did not want to laugh. In fact, it made him angrier that Jack could be so darn disarming in the middle of a good fight. All in all, his husband's comment only fueled his anger and desire to keep Jack safe from himself and home with him.
“You are *so* frustrating sometimes. You may not care if you end up in jail for the next five or ten years, but for some *insane* reason, I CARE. I do *not* want my husband IN THE FREAKIN' JAIL HOUSE!”
“STOP ACTING SO JUVENILE, DANIEL. You *know* perfectly well they won't put me in jail,” the colonel loudly stated.
“Maybe not,” Daniel replied, “but they'll court-martial you or make you retire before we want. I don't want that to happen to you.”
“Daniel, sometimes ... SOMETIMES I WANT TO SCREAM!” Jack responded, looking up towards the ceiling with both arms extended slightly above his head.
“GO AHEAD ... SCREAM. See where that ...” Daniel began, about ready to let go of a really good scream himself, considering Jack's attitude.
Jack and Daniel had each felt something scratching on their legs for the last couple of minutes, and both had automatically shaken it away. Neither had thought much about it, too engrossed in their argument to even look down but now, but then, out of the blue, they heard the saddest little “woof” they'd ever heard. It was followed by an even sadder “woof.”
The couple finally looked down and saw the saddened face of Bijou, the mama beagle. She looked back and forth at both of them and then over towards the sofa where Jack and Daniel could see Bijou's littlest puppy trying to hide between one of the cushions and the back of the sofa.
“Oh, gawd,” Daniel bewailed, his heart sinking, and his breath hitching.
“Oh, for ... geez,” Jack spoke at the same time.
For a second, both men froze. Daniel started to move, but Jack reached out and grabbed his left arm, prompting the younger man to turn his head back towards his lover.
“Danny,” Jack spoke quietly as he closed the small distance that had separated their bodies. He took Daniel's hands in his at the same time that he took a deep breath. Then, for several seconds, he simply gazed into the eyes of his heart. He brought the younger man's hands up to his mouth, kissed them, and placed another kiss on Daniel's ring finger. Finally, softly, he vowed, “Forever and always, Danny, I love you.”
Daniel smiled slightly as he leaned in to kiss his husband, and right after the kiss ended, with their hands still entwined, he repeated their vow of devotion, promising, “Forever and always, Jack, I love you.” Feeling a peacefulness settling within him, he commented, “We need to talk ... later, but first ...”
“I know,” the older man acknowledged. Letting go of each other, Jack and Daniel tended to their 'children'. Jack picked up Bijou while Daniel went to the sofa to retrieve the trembling puppy. “Sorry, Bij,” he said as he gently patted her neck.
“I'm so sorry, Katie,” Daniel sighed as he held the nine-month-old puppy.
The couple sat side by side on the sofa, each reaching over to pet the canine that the other was holding.
“Gawd, Jack, we did this once before. We can't do this again. We just can't,” Daniel stated with an aching heart.
“We need to remember that it's not just us here anymore,” Jack expounded. “For so long, it was just you and me, but we have a family now, Danny. The girls need us as much as we need each other.”
“And I swear, Jack, when we adopt, we are so not going to fight in front of them,” Daniel spoke about their future human children.
Jack put his arm around Daniel's shoulders, and Daniel automatically scooted closer.
Noticing that Bijou was watching the two lovers very carefully, Jack astutely commented, “You do realize we're being judged.”
“She's protecting her baby,” Daniel pointed out, leaning forward to kiss Katie's nose.
“Hey, Bij,” Jack said with smile. “Watch this, and trust me, it comes from the heart,” Jack spoke. He leaned over a placed a long, lingering kiss on his soulmate that caused the younger man to sigh in contentment. “See, Bij. He loves me, and I love him. We just fight sometimes, always have, always will, but it'll never divide us, not ever,” he promised.
Bijou seemed to consider the words carefully as she studied their faces for at least a minute.
“Woof! Woof!” the oldest beagle barked with a brightness in her voice.
At the happy sound, Little Katie's tail began wagging, the shine returned to her eyes. She stood up and licked Daniel's cheek, causing him to laugh, and then jumped into Jack's arms, repeating her action to him.
“I think we've just been forgiven,” Daniel laughed.
“Yeah, but I think they're going to make us suffer,” Jack responded.
As if on cue, Bijou and Katie both jumped down and went to the cabinet where their harnesses were kept, both sitting expectantly, their tails wagging a mile-a-minute.
“Oh,” Daniel said.
“It's the least we can do,” Jack chuckled.
“That and at least three biscuits tonight,” Daniel mused, glad their argument was over though he knew they definitely did have some issues to resolve later.
“And, I guess they get to sleep with us, too, the little rugrats,” Jack teased, laughing at the beagles as he watched their eager faces.
“Oh,” Daniel replied a bit dejectedly, though he knew it was the right thing to do.
Jack laughed, “I can tough it out if you can, Love, but I think the make up sex is going to have to wait until tomorrow.”
“Don't forget the fondling. Fondling is good, encouraged even ... at home,” Daniel said as he grinned.
“I think we can fit in a little fondling later, when the girls are looking the other way,” Jack happily replied.
“Promise?” Daniel asked, with shining eyes of his own.
“Yeahsureyoubetcha!” Jack happily replied. “Love fondling!”
“Okay, time for a family trip to the park,” Daniel said as he rose from his seat.
“Geez, I love how that sounds,” Jack stated as he stood up and followed his life partner. ~Gotta love that six. Boy, I could fondle it right now.~
“Me, too,” Daniel agreed, pulling out the harnesses and turning to face Jack.
“Danny, I'm sorry. Like you said, we need to discuss some things later, but for now, I want you to know that I love you, and I *am* sorry,” Jack tenderly intoned, not being able to apologize enough for his part of their argument.
“Ditto, and I love you, Jack, so very much.”
Sharing a smile, the two stood just gazing into each other's eyes for a moment. Then they focused on their beagles.
Putting the harnesses on, Jack and Daniel took Bijou and Katie for what all knew would be a very long walk and play time in the local park.
An hour later, Jack and Daniel were sitting on a park bench, their arms around each other's waists. Daniel knew it was risky, that they knew better, but, sometimes Jack was right; sometimes, it just didn't matter where they were; their need to touch each other was simply too great to ignore. This was definitely one of those times.
Bijou and Katie were only a few feet away, happily romping and playing with some twigs and who knows what else in the grass. They barked gently at the occasional passerby and had spent some time with a couple of the kids they knew from previous visits to the park. All was right in their world once again.
“Danny, you're right, and I was wrong -- about the museum. Gawd, when did that happen?” Jack asked.
“What exactly?” Daniel replied, turning his face towards his husband.
“I don't know what to call it,” Jack answered. “It's not taking you for granted, because I don't, but ... crap,” he said, pausing as he leaned forward, clasping his hands together and then rubbing them briefly against his forehead.
“Maybe ... maybe we've done it ... whatever you call it. I didn't realize, Jack, about the games and everything. I just ... stopped thinking about it,” Daniel sadly admitted.
Jack looked to Daniel and solemnly spoke, “You're the most important part of my life, Danny. You *are* my life, and everything about you, I love. I meant it; all those years ago when I said I wanted to go to the museums and exhibits, to be part of ... well, of every part of your life. I still want to. I don't know why lately I've been such a ... a ...”
“Bear,” both said at the same time, causing the two men to smile.
“Me, either, Jack,” Daniel agreed, adding, “I mean about me with the sports and Air Force stuff.”
“I know sports isn't your thing, but I like having you there, just ... being there, with me,” the silver-gray haired man confided. He sighed, “No one would believe it, but it's not fun without you anymore, not even hockey.”
~He's so sweet.~ Daniel smiled at the words, knowing exactly how Jack felt. “Don't you realize, Love, that it's the same for me? Gawd, Jack, I lived my life listening to those ... boring lectures and ... playing,” he said with a smile, “with those artifacts and relics, but ... when you're by my side, it's so much more now, especially because I know it's not your thing, either and that you're there because ... because ...”
“Because I love you, and I want to be with you,” Jack completed for his Love. He looked around the park, seeing a few people scattered about, some he knew, and some he didn't. He sighed, but then he shook his head. Not looking at Daniel, but staring straight ahead, he stated, “I want to hold your hand.”
Daniel scanned the area as Jack had done, and then closed his eyes for a moment. It was still one of those times, so he reached forward, slipping his hand in between Jack's. It felt so incredibly free, even though he knew they weren't. Silently, he prayed no one would recognize them.
Jack closed his eyes, thankful for the man he loved so much. He needed this contact desperately. It was such a simple act, and yet, for the married couple in hiding, it was one relegated to hidden or private moments. He sighed, caressing his lover's hand gently.
“I'm sorry about that fondling thing,” Jack apologized. “It's just you know how I feel, and, yes, I know what we've decided. I just love you so dang much, Danny, that I honestly don't care.”
Daniel nodded, then replied, “Jack, I need you. I know realistically the Air Force would probably let you retire, but what if ... what if some ... wacko like Kinsey or Simmons or Maybourne had the responsibility of making that decision? Babe, I couldn't stand it, being separated from you.” With a smile on his face and a hint of playfulness in his voice, he added, “I need my Jack pillow to be comfy.”
Jack chuckled, “Gotta keep you comfy.” He leaned over and kissed Daniel's hand quickly before straightening and leaning back against the bench. “Okay, so this was a ...”
“Test,” both agreed simultaneously.
Daniel remarked, “I don't think we're taking each other for granted, Jack, but I think maybe we forgot that being in love, being married, still takes work, that we have to remember that as strong as we are together, all those little things that we do, that we've done over the years, they are still important, maybe even more important now.”
“I *do* want to go to the museums, Danny. You're right. We just forgot, and we need to make sure we remember not to fight in front of the girls,” the older man intoned. “Look at them now, happy as clams!”
“I wish we didn't ever fight,” the younger man sighed. He saw his lover's 'that'll be the day expression' and couldn't help but chuckle. “I know, I know,” he conceded.
“You know, Danny, fighting, not the nasty stuff, but the bickering, the philosophies, it's part of us,” the older man opined. “It was our beginning, and there's nothing wrong with us both still being individuals. It's just ...”
“We're not ... I mean we are ... but we aren't,” Daniel interjected.
“Amen to that,” Jack mused, knowing their nation of two was pretty unique for the day and age in which they lived.
“We need to make a pact, not just a promise, but we need to start really focusing on ... being parents,” Daniel stated firmly, laughing as Bijou lay with her tummy up, all four legs waving in the air as she vigorously scratched her back on the grass.
“We'll have to stop, and we've never had to do that before, not really. That's gonna be a challenge, Love,” Jack admitted. “So, we use a code word,” he suggested.
“A code word?” Daniel asked.
“Yeah, a code word,” Jack affirmed. He smiled, watching the beagles, and stated, “WOOF! If we're fighting, and one of us says that, we'll know we've gone too far, that the children are around, and we stop. No questions, no accusations, and we don't misuse the word. We have to trust each other, Danny, and ourselves, to let it go, at least for the moment, for the sake of our family.”
“Woof,” Daniel laughed, watching Bijou and Katie rolling over on the grass, perfectly happy and peaceful.
“If you have a better code word ...” Jack prodded.
“No, it's perfect. Gawd, Jack, Bijou's little sad woof. I don't think I'll forget it or ...”
“Or our little baby hiding from us?” Jack recalled regretfully.
“Because of us, Jack,” Daniel pointed out sadly.
“Woof,” both said in unison, their pact solidified by a very brief kiss.
“I love you, Danny.”
“I love you, too, Jack.”
“Feel better?” the older man asked after they shared another kiss.
“A ton. Scaring Katie was not my idea of fun,” Jack said as he looked away, a pained look having appeared on his face.
“Jack, she wasn't afraid of us,” Daniel stated with certainty. “She just didn't like that her family was fighting. She loves us. We're her security, and if we're fighting, she just wonders what might happen to her if ...”
“Oh, no, never. Never letting you go ... or the girls,” Jack promised, interrupting his lover's comment.
“You, either,” the younger man responded. “You're mine, Jack Jackson-O'Neill, and I have the license to prove it.”
“Geez, what you do to me. Make up sex -- big time,” Jack spoke, sexual mischief in his eyes.
“As soon as they get tired of not having the bed to themselves,” Jack chuckled, adding, “Come on. Part two of the beagle apology.”
“PetSmart?” Daniel guessed, standing.
“Yeah, might as well spoil them with some new toys,” Jack suggested, stretching for a moment.
“We're such toughies, Jack.”
“Oh, yeah, stern to the core,” the older man mused, rolling his eyes.
“No flexibility at all,” Daniel laughed.
“Geez, I love you.”
After Jack and Daniel reclaimed their beagles from the sandbox they had started to play in, the family headed for the local strip mall where the humans prepared to spend a few, or perhaps more-than-a-few bucks, in doggie redemption.
Hours later, Jack and Daniel were snug together in their bed, their arms wrapped around each other securely. Both had fallen asleep after much kissing and covert fondling under the sheets. Their smiles were visible, the contentment on their faces obvious.
As usual, the older man was Daniel's pillow, Daniel always happiest falling asleep atop Jack's hairy chest, listening joyfully to the beating of his soulmate's heart.
On this night, Bijou was nuzzled deep into the outside of Jack's right thigh, curled into a ball, her nose against his skin. She had pushed her way under the sheets and was completely covered. She loved being so warm and knowing she wasn't needed to be 'on watch' for any family crises.
Young Katie was happily asleep on Jack's abdomen, her nose almost brushing against Daniel's, her tiny body warmed by the inside of Jack's right arm that surrounded her while also touching the younger man.
On this night, little Katie Jackson-O'Neill also felt the joy of falling asleep to the strong, secure sound of Jack's heartbeat.
More importantly, on this night, all of the Jackson-O'Neills had happy, pleasant dreams.
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