Belief

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Humor, Drama, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - November 26, 2016
Spoilers:  None
Size:  45kb
Written:  November 24-26,28,30, December 1,17,25, 2008
Summary:  Brianna is presented a choice, one that could make for a tragic end to her fun evening out.
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:  
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:  Robert, Tammy, Claudia, Irina, Keri, Carol!

Belief
by Orrymain

Sixteen-year-old Brianna Jackson-O'Neill grinned as she read the information about the dolphin excursion she'd been asked to participate in.  It was in the Bahamas with the same two marine biologists who had originally noticed her deep bond with the mammals, back when she'd been on vacation with Megan Awad, then Megan Williams.

~I can't believe they're asking for me, for me *especially*!~

Jack and Daniel had already given her permission to go, even though it meant she'd be gone during their New Year's celebration.  It was simply too wonderful of an opportunity for the teenager to pass up.  The excursion would allow her to be involved in two weeks of detailed research.  Since Brianna was actively pursuing her studies with the intent of becoming a marine biologist herself, she couldn't be more excited about this opportunity.

~Conway and Reese will be so excited,~ Brianna thought, thinking about her long-distance boyfriend and one of her best friends, respectively, both of whom actively supported her interest in the mammals and her participation in various dolphin activities.

“Bri, I found this in my closet,” Jennifer stated, surprising the teen when she walked in her room unexpectedly.  Seeing her sister jump, she chuckled, “Sorry.  Didn't mean to startle you.”

“Jen, this is so cool.  I'm so excited.”

“Those doctors must have a lot of faith in you.”

“I guess so,” Brianna replied shyly.  Then she focused on the sparkly blouse and sighed, “It's beautiful, Jen, but ...”

“Bri, you're sixteen.  I know you have no intention of giving up being a tomboy, but you're going to a Christmas party tonight.  You're going to stand out, the wrong way, I might add, if you go wearing that baseball tee.”

Brianna smiled and conceded, “I guess you're right, but I don't think that's gonna fit.  We have a little, uh ... difference in size.”

Seeing her younger sister pointing to her chest, Jennifer giggled, “I've already taken it in a little.  It'll be perfect.  Go ahead; try it on.”

“Okay,” Brianna agreed, secretly becoming excited about wearing the beautiful blouse.  ~I will *never* stop being a tomboy, though.~

====

“Ten,” Jack reminded.

“Jack!” Daniel admonished.

“What?” the older man questioned nonchalantly, getting an intense glare as a response.  “Eleven,” he sighed, knowing from the start that he wouldn't win this round.

Brianna smiled and hugged her parents, saying, “Thanks, Dad, Daddy.”

“You have your cell?” Daniel questioned.

“Right here,” Brianna answered, holding up a small purse.  “A purse?  Look what Jen did to me!”

“Smile!” the young woman requested, snapping a picture of the teenager.  “You don't look like a tomboy now.  Con is going to *love* this photo when you send it to him.”

“Jen!” Brianna exclaimed, blushing slightly.

“Have fun, Sweetheart,” Daniel wished.

“I washed Jeff's truck this afternoon, so it's nice and shiny for you,” Jack added.

“Thanks, Dad.  Bye,” Brianna stated, waving as she opened the front door and walked outside, heading for Jeff's truck.

Since Jeff was away at college and Brianna now had her driver's license, the college student had given her permission to drive his truck.  She was using it regularly, for family errands and special occasions like the party she was going to now.

“I almost thought she was gonna wear that old whale T-shirt,” Jack commented as he shut the door.

“Or her ratty jeans,” a smiling Daniel added.

“She almost did,” Jennifer informed her parents.  “I had to convince her that it was time to dress up a little.”

“You did a great job,” Daniel praised.

“I don't want her to change, Daddy, but a girl needs to have her moments,” Jennifer replied coyly, smiling as she turned and headed back towards the recreation room.

“Moments are fine,” Jack began, “as long as she's home by eleven.”

“Gawd, you're impossible,” Daniel responded.

At the same time, Jennifer turned back and quipped, “Eleven?”  Laughing, she pointed out, “That party probably won't end until one or later.”

“Which is too late for sixteen-year-olds,” Jack called out, though he lowered his voice and began to address only his husband, “especially Bri.”

“Don't you trust her?” the younger man asked.

“With my life,” Jack answered.  “It's the boys I don't trust.”

“Why not?” Daniel questioned.

With a smirk, Jack answered, “Because *I* used to be one of those boys,” and then walked away, trailing after his oldest daughter.

====

“Bri, drink up,” a male teenager called out encouragingly as he handed her a drink.

“What is it?”

“Vodka and coke,” came the answer.

“Oh, well, thanks, Kyle, but no thanks,” Brianna stated, putting the drink down.  “There's Lindy.  I'll see you later.”

--

“Bri, don't be a wet blanket.  Everyone else is having some,” Betina Smith stated, pushing a beer can into the teenager's hand.

“That's okay,” Brianna stated, shaking her head.  She was beginning to feel like a freak for not drinking and that annoyed her.  Why was everyone so bothered about what she was drinking?  She wasn't trying to shove cans of soda down their throats.  She hated the feeling of being increasingly pressured by her peers.  “Excuse me,” she said, walking over to join another group of friends at the loud and growing-in-size party.

--

“It's just punch,” Kyle insisted at Brianna's questioning look as he handed her a glass.

“Thanks, Kyle,” Brianna responded, cautiously taking a drink of the pink-colored liquid.  “Hey, it's great,” she said, taking another sip and smiling, thankful that it seemed her friends had finally realized she didn't want to drink any alcohol.

“I knew you'd like it,” Kyle said, smirking and exchanging a hand slap with another male teen, something Brianna didn't see as she drank the rest of the beverage.

“I'd like another.”

“Coming right up.”

====

“Sweet dreams,” Daniel said quietly, leaning over to give JD a kiss.  “I love you.”

The youngster was already well on his way to dreamland and rolled over onto his side, a smile on his face.

Daniel looked up at his husband, who put his arm around the archaeologist.

“It never gets old, seeing them smile,” Daniel commented.

“Never,” Jack agreed, placing a gentle kiss on Daniel's temple and then leading him out of the bedroom.  “You know, Angel, we have a rare opportunity.”

“And what would that be?” Daniel asked as they walked down the stairs to the living room.

“Jeff's at college, Jen's spending the night with Trina, and David is so exhausted from playing with rocks ...”

“He wasn't playing with rocks, Jack.  He went with Donald on an expedition and ...”

“You're spoiling my fun,” Jack interrupted with a smile.

“Sorry,” Daniel chuckled, sitting down on the sofa.  “You were saying?”

“I was talking too much.”

“I thought that was my bit?” Daniel asked with a glint in his eye.

“Daniel, you're not helping,” Jack whined, sitting down next to his husband and putting his arm around him.

Leaning into the loving hold, Daniel responded, “Lips are sealed.  What's this great opportunity you mentioned?”

“I'll get right to the point.  We're alone.  Silence.  The kids are all accounted for and out of the way.  That gives us two hours until Bri walks in.”

“What are you suggesting?”

“Let's make out!”

Daniel laughed.

“That wasn't intended to be funny,” the older man complained with a mock expression of hurt on his face.

“It's just how it sounds, that's all,” Daniel chuckled, his hand wiping away the pretend frown on his Love's face.  “I'd love to ... make out with you.”

Though both were still laughing, their eyes began to grow more serious.  Their hands joined, and soon, the married couple was engaged in some intense lip lock and light fondling, reuniting in their nation of two.

====

“But we're just getting started,” the hostess of the party called out.  “Bri, come back!”

“I haf... no,” Brianna stammered, reaching for her jacket and trying to put it on.

As inebriated as she was, some part of Brianna still understood the importance of her curfew, and she wanted to get home before she broke it and disappointed her parents.

Brianna struggled with the clothing for over a minute before finally getting it on, inside out.  She weaved her way to Jeff's truck, opening it and fumbling with the keys.  She could still hear the music and the laughter from inside the house.  Finally, she put the right key into the ignition.  Blinking and giggling, she touched the keys and was just about to turn the ignition on when a flash occurred.

“What?”

The deeply intoxicated teenager leaned back and tried to focus on the bright light.

“Bunchkins!” Brianna exclaimed, her words now slurred and confused.

The light in front of Brianna was hazy, and she shook her head as she started to hear what sounded like the voices of her younger siblings.

“Mommy died,” Little Danny said.

“We miss her,” Aislinn added, wiping away a tear.

“He was a bad man,” Jonny scowled.

“Drunk!” Aislinn clarified angrily.

Brianna couldn't really make out the image clearly, but she vaguely recalled a conversation shortly after becoming a Jackson-O'Neill.  During it, the Munchkins had told her all about their birth mother, Kayla Armentrout, and how she'd been the victim of a drunk driver.

Blinking and feeling overwhelmed by the strange flash she'd just observed, the teenager found herself thinking about a conversation her parents had had with her on the day of her sixteenth birthday.

//Flashback//
“Bri, Dad and I wanted to talk to you for a few minutes, just to be clear about a couple of things,” Daniel began as he sat down at the foot of the girl's bed, watching as Jack took a seat next to him.

“Okay,” the birthday girl replied from her seat at her desk, having twisted around to face her two fathers.

“You know that Daddy and I can be overprotective,” Jack stated, giving his daughter a slight glare for the chuckle she let out at the comment.  “The point is, you're sixteen now.”

“Good, Jack,” Daniel praised mockingly.  As Jack turned his glare on his husband, the younger man continued, “Bri, look, we can't be with you all the time.  You've got more freedom, including one you don't even know about yet.”

**She's gonna be surprised Jeff's letting her use his truck while he's gone,** Jack communicated.

**As long as she passes her driver's test,** Daniel reminded.

**You have doubts?**

**No,** Daniel replied.  With Brianna smiling in anticipation of the surprise that she would no doubt receive during her party that night, her younger father elaborated, “You might find yourself in situations you don't anticipate: drugs, alcohol, sex ...”

“Daniel, do we *have* to include sex?” Jack asked.  **And how come you didn't blush when you said that?**

Daniel promptly blushed at his husband's silent communication and sent him a glare while answering, **Because until just now I wasn't thinking about you and you know!**

“Dad!” Brianna exclaimed, blushing furiously at the thought of having this conversation with her fathers.  “I really don't see that as a problem.  Con doesn't even live in the same state as me.”

“You never know,” Jack responded.

“Dad's right.  Bri, life ... is unsuspecting.  Things happen, unanticipated things, and feelings -- you just don't know when or how your emotions will grab hold of your common sense,”Daniel stated seriously.

“What Daddy and I want you to know is this,” Jack interjected.  “If you ever find yourself in one of those situations, and you need help ...”

“A ride, an ear ...” Daniel added, his list incomplete due to his husband's half-teasing comment that interrupted him.

“Someone to knock his or her block off,” Jack interjected.

While Daniel shook his head and stared straight ahead blankly, Brianna let out a chuckle.  She loved her parents, especially during these types of always-funny-yet-tender parent and daughter conversations.

“The point is, we want you to know that you can call us,” Daniel told his daughter.

“Daddy's right, Princess.”

“Dad,” Brianna sighed, never having been a big fan of the 'princess' moniker.  “I'm a tomboy.”

“Sorry,” Jack apologized.  “Sorry, Sport,” he teased with a smile.  “Wherever you are, Bri, you call, and we'll be there as fast as we can.”

“No questions, no guilt trips, no repercussions,” Daniel pointed out seriously.  “We want you to believe in us, Bri, the way we believe in you.”

“So, pick up the phone.  We don't want you worried about being punished,” Jack spoke emphatically as he leaned forward, looking straight into the birthday girl's onyx-colored eyes.  “*You* are very important us, and we need you to stay safe.”

“Life happens, Sweetie,” Daniel added.  “When it does, just know that you can come to us, okay?”

“Okay, Daddy, Dad.  Thanks.”

After a hug to seal the deal, Jack and Daniel left the room, and Brianna returned to her biology studies.
//End of Flashback//

Taking a breath that almost caused her to black out, Brianna fumbled around in her purse, pulling out her cell phone.  She didn't want to get in trouble, and rather than trying to figure out a way of hiding her predicament from her parents, she was choosing to believe in what they had told her.

--

“You're good, O'Neill,” Daniel gasped.

“Danny,” Jack gasped in reply, his voice a bit husky from enjoying the closeness of their spontaneous make out session.

“Phone,” the younger man spoke, though he kept kissing his lover.

“Crap,” Jack replied, knowing he needed to answer it with the three oldest members of the brood out of the house.  Regretfully, he reached across to the coffee table and picked up the cordless phone that had been resting there all night.  “O'Neill,” he answered from long time habit.

“Zad, will you cet gome me?”

“Bri?” Jack asked, immediately starting to sit up, his expression telling Daniel that the phone call was a serious one.

“Need yous now?” the girl spoke in what sounded like a question and not a statement.

“Where are you, Bri?” Jack asked.

“I'm at ... you know,” Brianna laughed, unable to remember her friend's name who was hosting the party.

“Julianna's?”

“Yeah, her!  You're good, Zad!”

“Don't move, Bri.  I'm on my way,” Jack promised, getting up and handing Daniel the phone.  “She's drunk, Daniel.”

“Jack ...”

“It's okay.  You might want to keep her on the phone,” Jack suggested as he quickly put on his jacket before leaving the family home.

Daniel nodded and spoke into the phone, but there was no response.  The teenager had disconnected the call and didn't answer when a worried Daniel attempted to contact her again.

====

“Bri, are you okay?” Jack asked having run to the truck.  His own truck was now head on with Jeff's truck, its lights beating brightly into the older vehicle.  “Bri.”

“Hey, Zad.  What you are here doing?” Brianna asked.  “That wasn't right,” she giggled wildly.

“Taking you home,” Jack answered calmly, opening the door and helping his daughter out, making sure to get her purse and secure the truck.  “How do you feel?”

“Great!” Brianna answered cheerfully, nearly slipping as her father walked her over to his Ford vehicle.  “You have a nice truck, Dad.”

“Thank you, Honey,” Jack replied as he opened the door.

“Oh!”

Suddenly, the teenager gasped and bent over, her stomach emptying out a lot of its vile contents.

“That'll help,” Jack said a minute later, helping his daughter into his fairly new 2016 truck and handing her a bottle of water he'd brought along.  “Okay?”

“I guess.”

Locking the door after he closed it, Jack hurried over to the driver's side and hopped in quickly.

“Seatbelt on?” Jack questioned.

“Huh?” the bleary-eyed girl responded.

“I'll help you,” Jack declared, making sure the girl's seatbelt was secured before heading for home.

====

“Bri, are you okay?” Jennifer called out, having gotten the call from Daniel that her younger sister might need her help.

“Hey, Jen!  Howz Jeter?  No, that's wrong.”

“Peter's doing great,” Jennifer stated as she shook her head at her sister.  “Let's go upstairs.  You need a nice, cold shower.”

Jack and Daniel watched as Jennifer led Brianna upstairs.

“Did she say anything?” Daniel questioned.

“Nothing I could make out,” Jack responded.  “That party was loud, Daniel, and I'd bet money a lot of those kids were way over eighteen.”

“What do you think we should do?”

“Cops,” Jack answered, heading over for the phone to call Pete Shanahan.  Then he paused, stopping and turning back to face his husband, his mind plotting another solution to the situation.  “Danny, aren't those Jaffa still at the SGC?”

“I think so,” Daniel answered, not really sure since the lovers weren't always 'in the know' about the specifics at the Mountain now that they were retired, again, from working at the SGC.

“That'll work.”  Jack grinned wickedly as an idea formed in his Special Ops mind.  Waiting for the phone to be answered, he nodded at himself for having thought of such an unusual solution.  “Teal'c, I need a favor,” he requested, smiling at his lover, who looked torn between both approval and disapproval at Jack's words.

====

“She'll be okay,” Jennifer confidently told her parents.  “I'm going back to Trina's now.  See you in the morning.”

“Thanks for coming home to help out,” Daniel spoke as he hugged the young woman.

“I'd stay if I thought she needed me, but it's not me she needs,” Jennifer opined, looking at her parents.

With Jennifer gone, Jack and Daniel started for the stairs when the phone rang. Checking the caller ID, the younger man noted that it was Cassandra.  Since she was the mother of three now and her husband was out of town on business, he felt he should take the call.

“Jack, it's Cassie.  Go on and talk to Bri.”

“We should both go,” Jack rebutted.

“I'll be up in a minute after I make sure Cassie is okay.  Just remember what we promised,” Daniel stated calmly, sharing a quick kiss with his husband before Jack turned and headed for Brianna's bedroom.

As he began to take Cassandra's phone call, Daniel felt exceptionally proud of his teenage daughter for calling home when she knew she was in trouble.  He knew it meant that he and Jack were doing a good job raising their children, and he was proud of their relationships with each member of the brood.  However, he couldn't help but wonder what the parents of the other children at the party knew about what was going on at that house and whether any of those kids would call their parents if they were in the same situation.

====

As he approached the teenager's room, Jack noticed the door was ajar.  He slowed for a moment, getting his thoughts together.  Calmly, he stood in the doorway and smiled gently at the tomboy, who was slowly becoming a woman, whether she wanted to or not.

Her pajamas on, Brianna was sitting Indian style in the middle of her bed.  Her head was bowed, and she was obviously crying, although her wet hair was creating a curtain around her face that made it hard for Jack to really be sure.

“Bri,” Jack called out gently as he walked forward and sat down next to his daughter.  “It's okay,” he said softly as he put his arm around the teen.

“Oh, Dad, I feel awful,” Brianna sniffled as she leaned into her father's embrace.

“Wait until the morning,” Jack half-teased.  “Wanna tell me what happened?”

“I'm not sure.  Everyone was drinking.  I kept saying 'no', but then ...”

“I know you, Bri.  You didn't give in to peer pressure,” Jack stated confidently, his hand rubbing up and down the girl's arm.

“No, I didn't.  Kyle gave me some punch; at least, he said it was punch,” Brianna stated.  “It tasted good.  Odd, but good.  Well, it did for a minute.  Then, I don't know, I just ... I kept drinking it.”

“They spiked it, Bri.  Kids who think they're all grown up do it all the time,” Jack stated.

“I didn't know, Dad.  I swear ...” Brianna stated as she looked up slightly to stare into his eyes, desperate for him to believe in her.

“I believe you,” Jack responded without a split-second's hesitation.

“Dad, it was horrible.  I felt miserable.  The room was spinning, and everyone sounded so ugly.  I just wanted to get out of there, so I did.  That *punch* may have tasted good for a minute, but it didn't after that.  I just couldn't stop.”

“It's okay,” Jack reassured.

“When I got to the truck, I just wanted to get home as fast as I could.”

“What stopped you from driving?”

“A flash of light,” Brianna answered.  “I'm not sure what it was, but I saw the Munchkins, talking about their mother.”

Jack nodded, sighing at the recollection of the young, adventurous woman whose life had been snuffed out in a second by an unthinking idiot who had chosen to drive while intoxicated.

“I called you right away.”

“I'm very proud of you, Bri.”

“You aren't ... angry?”

Jack smiled and responded, “Why would I be angry?  Someone spiked your drink.  That's not your fault.”

“But I kept drinking it.”

“Bri, that's the first time you've had some of that gunk in your system.  It took you a while to process it, but when you figured it out, you left, and then you did exactly what Daddy and I asked you to do if you ever got into that situation -- you called us.”

“It was that flash.”

“Kayla,” Jack stated softly.  “She was looking out for you.  She may have given birth just to the Munchkins and the Spitfires, but I think she's a mom to the entire brood.”

“I wish I'd known her.”

“I wish you had, too,” Jack stated, placing a kiss on his daughter's forehead.  “Get some sleep.  In the morning, you're gonna wish you'd never woken up.”

“Gee.  I can't wait,” Brianna sighed dryly as she allowed her father to slide the covers over her and tuck her in.

“I love you, Princess,” Jack said softly.

“You know something, Dad?  Normally, I don't like all that princessy stuff, but, tonight, it's okay.  You know?”

“You *are* one of our princesses, Bri.  You don't have to dress up in sequins and high heels to qualify; a hockey stick and scuba gear works, too.”

With a happy smile, Brianna replied, “I love you, Dad.”

“Get some rest,” Jack instructed, leaning over to place another kiss on the teen's forehead.  “If you need us, you know where we are.”

“Night.”

“Night,” Jack said, straightening, turning off the light and then walking to the doorway.  Slowly closing the door, he whispered, “You're beautiful, Princess, and Daddy and I couldn't be prouder of you.”

A few seconds later, Daniel appeared, meeting his spouse halfway down the hallway.

“Cass okay?” Jack inquired.

“Yeah, she's fine.  How about Bri?”

“Headache and a ton of guilt,” Jack sighed.  “She'll be okay.”

“I'll meet you downstairs.  I just want to check in on her,” Daniel stated, smiling as he walked by his husband.  Peeking in, he saw the girl, presumably sleeping.  He entered and quietly walked over to Brianna's bedside.  Leaning down, he gave her a kiss on the cheek and whispered, “I love you, Bri.”

“Daddy?” the girl called out, turning over to look at him.  “Are you disappointed in me?”

“No way,” Daniel answered with a smile, pleased his daughter had called home when she'd been in trouble.  “The truth is that I'm very proud of you. You did the right thing, Bri.  You called us.”

“I feel horrible,” the teenager groaned.

“Yeah, that comes with ... drinking.”

“Daddy, I didn't do it on purpose,” Brianna responded, wanting her younger father to know that she wasn't drunk by choice.  “I was drinking soda and then one of the boys gave me some punch.  It tasted so good at first.  I think,” Brianna stated after a moment, grimacing as she tried to remember.  “No, I didn't like it, but I couldn't stop drinking it.  I didn't like it, but it was good.  That doesn't make sense,” she sighed, fidgeting from her anxiety at trying to figure out what she'd felt.

“Alcohol is like a drug, Bri,” Daniel explained.  “Whether or not it tastes good, your body can tell you it wants more, or needs more.  It's a liquid lie.”

“Why did it matter so much to them?” Brianna inquired.  “They're supposed to be my friends.  Why did it bother them that I was happy drinking soda and punch?”

Daniel sat down on the edge of the bed, his right arm gently rubbing his daughter's left cheek and arm before settling against her side.

“People are uncomfortable when surrounded by something that's different,” Daniel answered.  “They know it's wrong, but they've convinced themselves that's it not.  To help with their convictions, they have to be surrounded by others who have the same ... beliefs.”

“That's crazy, Daddy.  I was goofing around and enjoying the party just like they were.  It was fun, until they spiked my drink.”

“I know.  Bri, they wanted you to drink because if you did, it made what they were doing okay.  If you drink, they don't have to look at their own behavior or consider that maybe they have a problem.  If they can convince you to join them, to do what they do, then they don't have to deal with the consequences.  It becomes a shared experience, and everyone is at fault, or you're at fault and not them.”

“They're supposed to my friends,” Brianna replied sadly.  “I could never do that to someone.”

“Bri, what happened to Julianna's parents?”

“They were there when I got there.  Honestly, Daddy, I don't know.  The party grew, too.  Julianna said she was inviting about fifteen of us.  When I left, there had to be at least double that, and I didn't know all of them.”  Brianna sighed, “I should have left when I first noticed the crashers.”

“Probably,” the sympathetic father concurred.  “It's okay, Bri,” he assured, caressing her cheek again.  “Get some rest.  If you want, we can talk some more tomorrow.”

“I'm sorry I got drunk, Daddy.”

“It wasn't your fault, Bri,” the father assured tenderly.

Daniel hated to see his daughter feeling so bad.  He knew his lover felt the same way.  Sometimes, being a parent wasn't easy.  They had a choice to make: to give in to their hearts and give Brianna something to make her feel better or to let her suffer through the effects of being drunk and the subsequent hangover.  He was torn on what the correct action was.

“Bri, I want to give you an option,” Daniel began hesitantly.

“What option, Daddy?”

“I can give you some aspirin, and it might make you feel a little better.”

Though still under the effect of the alcoholic she'd been given, the teenager was bright enough that she understood Daniel's words, both those he'd spoken and those he hadn't.

“That's okay, Daddy.  I don't ever want to forget how this feels because I don't ever want to be tempted to go against what I believe, and I don't believe in alcohol.  I'm not crazy about aspirin, anyway.”

“You sure?”

Brianna nodded and then out a groan, shifting under the covers from the misery she felt.

“Besides, if David and Noa and Lu... you know, all of them,” Brianna mumbled, licking her lips one time and scrunching her nose to remember all the names of her younger siblings but then realizing it was just too much work right now, “if they see me and how I'm feeling, maybe it'll help them when they're confronted with ... you know, um ...”

With a sympathetic smile, realizing his daughter was running out of steam, Daniel suggested proudly, “They'll remember, Sweetie.  Go to sleep now.”  He leaned over to give Brianna a supportive kiss before standing up.  “It's all about choices, and you made the best one you could make tonight.  Thank you for believing in us the same way that we believe in you.”

With a smile on her face, Brianna suddenly groaned and then pulled the covers up over her head.  It was obvious she was dealing with the internal results of drinking too much.

Daniel sighed, wanting to help, but knowing it was better for Brianna to experience the full effects.  Quietly, he backed away and went downstairs to join his husband.

====

“She did everything right,” Daniel commented as he rejoined his lover in the living room.

“She thought I'd be mad,” Jack stated.

“Jack ...”

“I'm not, Angel.  We're lucky she wasn't exposed to this sooner,” Jack opined, taking Daniel's hand in his.  “Danny, it was so hard for me not to give her one of those preventive hangover remedies we keep on hand just in case we 'overdo', along with a couple of aspirin, but since this is her first time, and because we want it to be her last, at least until she's of age, I decided to let her feel the full effect.”

“I thought about the same thing when I was talking to her,” Daniel responded.  He sighed, “Actually, Jack, I ... did offer her some aspirin.”

Jack nodded.  He'd been so tempted to do the same thing.  Still, he'd used his military training to resist his heart.  It had been difficult, but he'd felt it was the best thing for Brianna.

“She refused,” the younger man added, seeing a surprised look on his husband's face.  “She wants to be an example, Babe.  She doesn't want us to hide this from the brood.  She wants them to see the ugly effects of drinking.  Gawd, I'm so proud of her.”

“This world is a crazy place, Love, and it's getting crazier every day.  Geez, we're so lucky to have our kids making smart choices.”

“It *is* a crazy place, and the brood is growing up,” Daniel pointed out.  “The older they get, the harder it is to protect them.  Bri learned that tonight.  I think she's more worried about David right now.”

“Yeah,” Jack acknowledged, knowing the boy was at the age when many of his peers were no doubt sneaking into their parents' liquor cabinets, or faking IDs so they could purchase beverages like beer, or maybe even get other older kids to do it for them.  “I want to know where those blasted parents were.”

“I don't know,” Daniel responded sharply, his internal ire spiking when he thought about the lack of adults at the party.  “We talked to the Claytons, and they assured us they'd be there.  Obviously, they changed their minds, or they just totally zoned out the party.”

“Or they lied and just don't care,” Jack countered.  “We'll have to talk to them about that tomorrow, but if we've done our jobs right, the brood will be okay.  Bri was smart tonight.”  He paused, grimacing silently from the thought that was lurking in his brain.  “Danny, do you ever wonder if maybe we shouldn't expose the brood to a little alcohol once they hit an age where they may be exposed to it from someone else?  I'm not saying we should get them drunk, but maybe it wouldn't hurt to let them try a little wine or something with dinner.”

“I don't think so, Jack.  We could rationalize it, but that would make us just as bad as the Claytons, if they did just choose to ignore what was happening in their own home.  I mean, uh, not only is it illegal, but morally, no matter what our justifications might be, it would be wrong,” Daniel answered.  Before his husband could continue, the cultural expert suddenly entered lecture mode, saying, “Interestingly, though, there are plenty of cultures where there is no legal drinking age.  On the one hand, it takes away the thrill of doing something forbidden; on the other hand, it can foster alcoholism because it's so available and accepted to drink several times a day.  Actually, in ancient ...”

“You're right, Angel,” Jack interrupted, cutting off the history lesson.  “The brood will see Bri; they'll learn from that.”

“Bri will do more than show them, she'll talk about it.  They'll listen to what she learned, and they'll learn from what she experienced,” Daniel offered.

Just then, there was a knock on the door, prompting Jack to stand up and say, “That'll be T.”

With a nod, Daniel stood and followed his Love to the front door.

“T, how'd it go?” Jack asked.  “Did you bring Jeff's truck back?”

“Indeed,” Teal'c acknowledged about the truck.  “I do not believe those at the party will endanger BriannaJacksonO'Neill again,” he informed the parents with confidence, “or anyone else,” the Jaffa finished with a smirk upon entering the house.  “With Thor's assistance, we were able to convince them that drinking at their age was unadvisable.”

“Thor?” Daniel asked, not sure he wanted to know.

“The Asgard are in the middle of negotiations with the Ringet.”

“Those monster types from 724?” Jack asked.

“They aren't monsters, Jack,” Daniel sighed, rolling his eyes at the remark.

“They look like overweight lizards on steroids,” Jack countered.  “What'd you do?” he asked eagerly, turning towards Teal'c.

“The negotiation party agreed to assist.  We made a visit to the friend of BriannaJacksonO'Neill.  There was much loudness and lack of respect, for one another and for us.”

“No, really?” Jack interjected with a happy, suspecting smirk.

“Uh, Teal'c,” Daniel began hesitantly.  “How exactly did you ... get there?”

“Thor transported us to the home, DanielJackson.  We were not observed by anyone other than the loud Tau'ri friends of BriannaJacksonO'Neill,” the Jaffa assured.  “I am afraid that some of them experienced momentary loss of their eliminatory functions while suspended at the end of a forelimb of our visiting delegates.”

With a satisfied smirk, Jack grinned for a moment before inquiring, “If the Ringet were the muscle, what did the Jaffa do in this scenario?”  Seeing his friend's smug smile, the general's grin grew even wider.  ~This *must* be good.~

“We stood on either side of a Ringet delegate, looking fierce and crackling our staff weapons,” Teal'c answered with a smirk.

“Uh ...” Daniel interjected hesitantly.  “It's not that I'm not ... grateful, but ... what are their parents going to say when they tell them about what happened?”

“I do not believe they will do that, DanielJackson,” Teal'c opined authoritatively. “Thor used the MIB device to plant the suggestion that the spiked punch had resulted in a shared hallucination and that their friends would laugh at their visions of giant talking lizards and huge jungle men with lightning spears.  They will not speak of this evening anytime soon.”

“No, I suspect not,” an amused Jack commented.  ~Way to go, Thor.~

“They may, however, have difficulty closing their eyes for a few days without seeing the Jaffa and the Ringet,” Teal'c continued.  “I would not be surprised if their parents comment on how their children are spending more time at home, studying.”

“Studying?” Daniel queried curiously.

With a pleased smirk, the Jaffa explained, “Thor also implanted the suggestion that studying and doing their homework will eliminate all memories of the hallucination.  He also added that being polite and obedient towards their parents and siblings will also make the memory go away.”

Ever proud of his teammate, Jack cocked his head and said, “So you left them a nightmarish memory, made them believe one of them spiked the punch ...”

“... which they actually did,” Daniel pointed out.

“... made them afraid to mention it,” Jack continued, without missing a beat, “and made them study and be nice to Mom, Pop, and their brothers and sisters in order to make the monsters go away.  Teal'c, that is sheer genius.”

“It was sufficient to get the message across,” the alien stated.  With even more confidence, he added, “They will not spike drinks again.”

“And you had a little fun doing it,” Jack surmised.

Not responding to the remark, Teal'c inquired, “Is BriannaJacksonO'Neill well?”

“She's asleep,” Daniel answered.

“She'll have a whopper of a hangover in the morning, but she'll be okay afterwards,” Jack stated.

“Um, Teal'c, one thing,” Daniel began cautiously.  “Just to be clear, uh, the suggestion about the punch being spiked and the ... monsters, that's going to go away, right?”

“Indeed,” Teal'c confirmed.  “Thor's suggestions will last for a few days before losing their punch.”

“Hey, that's a good one,” Jack chuckled, nodding knowingly to the alien.

“It's just, those children need to be able to function without having ... monsters running around their heads all of the time,” Daniel pointed out.

“Thanks, Buddy,” Jack spoke appreciatively, not really caring if the suggestions wore off or not.

Teal'c bowed his head and then left the home.

“You know, Babe, we could have just called the parents,” Daniel stated, still a little concerned about the unique suggestions that had been given to the party goers.

“And then what?” Jack asked.  “No parties for a month?  Danny, they'd do it all over again.  People could have been killed tonight.  Which reminds me.”  He walked over to the mantle that was loaded with family photographs.  Pausing at one of Kayla with the infant Munchkins, he spoke an emotional, “Thanks.”

“Jack?” Daniel asked, walking over and putting his arm around his husband's waist.

“She saved Bri, Danny.  I know she did.”

Daniel stared at the photograph, a load of memories rising to the surface.

Though he had yet to hear the full story, the archaeologist whispered his own emotional, “Thanks.”

“Maybe having our alien friends help out wasn't the thing to do, but this way, at least some of those kids might never drink again, and maybe they'll affect what their friends do.”

“You're right,” Daniel agreed.  “The important issue is that they stop drinking, or at least respect one another enough to not spike someone else's drink.”

After nodding his agreement, Jack spoke an enchanting sounding, “Angel?”

“Mmm?”

“The kids are all accounted for.”

“I know,” Daniel acknowledged.

“We could take that make out session upstairs.”

“Last one up bottoms,” Daniel called out as he sprinted for the stairs.

“Hey!” Jack called out, running after his lover.  “You do realize that isn't an effective threat, don't you?  Danny?”

Thankful for their heavenly angels that had protected their daughter from harm, Jack and Daniel returned to making their own kind of music.

“Sweet!” Jack called out, bouncing onto the bed.  “I believe in you, Danny.”

“That's good, Babe, and, for the record, I believe in you, too, My Silver Fox,” Daniel replied as he came down atop his Love and joined in a passionate kiss that would precede the couple's nation of two uniting in the most physical way possible.

As Jack and Daniel showed their belief in each other by making love, life was definitely good in Colorado Springs.

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