Category: Slash, Humor, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Season: Beyond the Series - early October 2012
Size: 28kb, ficlet
Written: June 26-27,29-30, July 1,14, 2006
Summary: In preparation for their parents' anniversary party, the brood take dancing lessons.
Disclaimer: Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't. A gal can dream though!
1) Sometimes, Jack and Daniel speak almost telepathically. Their “silent” words to each other are indicated by asterisks instead of quotes, such as **Jack, we can't.**
2) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
3) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better: Linda, Jodi, Claudia, QuinGem!
“Jennnnnnnnnn, I don't wanna dance,” Jonny whined.
“Jonny, this is going to be a big, big party, and one of the conditions Dad and Daddy gave us for having it, is that we all have to learn how to dance,” the teenage girl responded.
“I like to dance,” Lulu stated unnecessarily, giggly afterwards.
“Me, too,” Chenoa added, smiling and then high-fiving her fellow dancing sibling.
“D'oh!” Jonny exclaimed, slamming his hand against his forehead in mock shock at the very obvious comments since both Chenoa and Lulu had taken dance lessons for years.
“Jonny, that's not nice,” Aislinn admonished, slapping her brother in the arm. “You apologize.”
“Ash!” the six-year-old boy whined, but then he sighed after seeing his sister's stern look. She meant business, so Jonny looked at Chenoa and Lulu and said, “I'm sorry.”
The two girls giggled, knowing Aislinn was the Munchkin with the real power.
“Aunt Janet and Cassie will be here soon,” Jennifer commented, pleased she was going to have some help in the instruction department.
“Is Cassie bringing the baby?” David asked hopefully.
“I don't know,” Jennifer answered with a shrug. “Let's move the sofas out of the way,” she suggested.
The dance studio that Chenoa and Lulu regularly used wasn't big enough to accommodate the entire brood, so the large recreation room was being used for the instruction. The children worked dutifully to push back the furniture, leaving them a large section of floor to practice on. At their behest, Jack and Daniel had gone to the offices of J-O Enterprises, giving the brood privacy for their lesson.
“Dancin' -- yuckie!” JD exclaimed, contorting his face into a grimace of sorts.
“Jonny!” Jennifer chastised, going over to pick up the ten-month-old baby. She glared at the oldest Munchkin, who had whispered the words into JD's impressionable ears. “Geez, JD, you just spoke your first word the other day, and now, listen to you.”
JD giggled, his hands toying with the teenager's long brunette hair.
“Little Danny was like that,” David pointed out.
“Only it took longer,” Chenoa added.
“I was like what?” Little Danny asked, his hands in his jeans' pockets.
“You didn't talk for a long time, but when you did, we couldn't shut you up,” David spoke honestly. He saw his young brother change position, folding his arms across his chest and his face taking on a bit of a pouty expression. “I only meant that you ... never mind.”
Jeff chuckled, saying, “Come on, Guys, we all love to talk. I'm sure Little Danny had a lot to say that he'd been keeping inside. JD is probably the same way.”
The oldest boy's words seemed to soothe all the ruffled feathers, and the brood went on with more peaceful conversations. Jennifer still held JD, silently wondering if he was going to end up being the smartest Jackson-O'Neill of them all, and given Little Danny's level of intelligence, that was quite a scary thought.
“We already know how to dance,” Chenoa said, pointing to herself and Lulu when Janet told them it was time to begin their dance lesson.
The curly-haired girl began to tap, while Lulu started to do some ballet moves.
“Girls, that's wonderful, but that's not the kind of dancing people do at a wedding or an anniversary party,” Janet explained. She smiled at the brood standing before her, saying, “Your parents said that all of you have to learn a few dances, including ballroom.”
“What's that?” five-year-old Ricky asked as he continued to hold his beloved Etch-A-Sketch.
“In ballroom dancing, you dance with a partner. You're usually very close together, and you both have to know all the steps,” Cassandra explained.
“Why didn't you bring the baby?” Jonny asked, trying to distract the two women.
Cassandra chuckled, “So that you wouldn't be distracted. Remember, Uncle Jack and Uncle Daniel only agreed to have their big party if you met all of their conditions. Learning to dance is one of them.”
“Aw, shucks,” Jonny responded, kicking the wooden floor with his shoe.
“It'll be fun, Jonny,” Aislinn stated confidently.
Cassandra continued, “Like I said, with ballroom dancing, you have to stand close together. By tradition, the male partner guides the female as they dance across the room.”
“We call this the male lead. He leads the female,” Janet said, reinforcing the concept.
“But Dad and Daddy aren't female,” Jenny points out. “Who leads?”
Janet and Cassandra looked at each other and shrugged.
“I'm not sure,” Janet finally answered. “You'll have to ask them.”
“Maybe they take turns,” David suggested.
“That's possible,” Cassandra responded. “I think at their first wedding, Uncle Jack led. Uncle Daniel kinda likes to ...”
Cassandra suddenly blushed, causing the children to become curious.
“I know,” Brianna intoned. “Daddy likes to snuggle. It's because of how he was raised. I mean, not having anyone. He likes ... I ...”
“Daddy likes Dad to hold him, and Dad likes to hold Daddy,” Jennifer interjected, her expression very serious. “I think Daddy does lead sometimes, but mostly, he likes the security Dad gives him by leading.”
There was a moment of quiet. All of the children knew of Daniel's history, and while the younger ones didn't really understand the scope of the loneliness and abandonment their younger father had felt, they did know that he depended on their older father a lot. On the other hand, they'd also witnessed Daniel tending and nurturing Jack's needs. It was a mutual exchange, one full of love and understanding.
“Enough about your fathers,” Janet spoke, wanting to get back on course. “There are several different dances we could learn -- the fox trot, the waltz, the tango, the rumba, the cha-cha, the samba, and the swing.”
“Are we going to learn *all* of those, Aunt Janet?” Jonny asked in a whiny tone.
Janet laughed, “No, Jonny, but we are going to learn a couple of them. You need to be able to dance to slow music and to fast music.”
“Think of it as exercise,” Cassandra offered.
Jonny perked a little at that idea and began to listen a bit more intently.
Cassandra spoke, “Dancing is both an art form and a form of recreation. As art, it can tell a story, set a mood, or express an emotion.”
“We do that in ballet,” Lulu interrupted.
“Ballet is very expressive,” Janet agreed.
“It sure is,” Cassandra concurred. “As recreation, it's just fun. We do it because we like it. We go to parties and just let ourselves go. It's a way to socialize and get to know each other. Uh, Grandpa George loves to square dance, right?”
“He does it all the time,” Chenoa stated.
“He gets to visit with friends, meet new people, have some fun, and he keeps himself in better shape because of the exercise,” Cassandra commented.
“Everyone line up,” Janet instructed. “Cass.”
Cassandra nodded and walked over to the CD player, putting on the instructional music selection. It would play the same sections repetitively to foster the learning process.
“Ballroom dance has three rhythms -- slow, quicks, and triples,” Janet began. “We're going to start with slow.”
“I need it to be slow, real slow,” Brianna lamented, uncertain about her talents. “I'm sure I have two left feet.”
As the brood laughed, Janet assured, “No, you don't, Bri. Okay, a slow is equivalent to two beats. You dance on the first beat and wait for the second beat. When dancing, you count it as 'slow, slow', or 'one-two, one-two'.”
Janet instructed the kids to practice a slow step, moving side to side.
“That's it,” Cassandra encouraged. “Side - touch, side - touch.” She moved down the line, watching the children, chuckling at JD who was basically just wiggling his body. ~He's so cute.~
Over the last month, the youngster had begun standing and toddling forward for a few steps, showing once again that he was progressing more rapidly than the average baby. Even the 'advanced' part of published baby milestone charts had babies standing alone for just a couple of seconds at ten months. JD, however, was beyond that. He was wobbly, and he could only toddle a few steps at a time, but he was doing it.
“Ricky, let's try it again. Which foot is your left?” Cassandra asked.
“I'm not dumb, Aunt Cassie,” the little boy complained.
“My bad,” Cassandra joked. “Start with your left foot. When I say 'touch', take your right leg and bring it next to your left. It's just a movement. Don't switch your body weight, just move your feet calmly.”
“Left - touch - right - touch - left - touch - right - touch,” Janet intoned rhythmically as the training continued.
“No wonder they call her Little Napoleon at the SGC,” Brianna whispered to Jeff, who chuckled.
“Left - touch - right - touch - left - touch - right - touch, and I heard that, Bri. Left - touch,” Janet continued as Brianna gasped and rolled her eyes. ~Gotta get up real early in the morning to get one over on me, especially after dealing with Jack and Daniel for all these years.~
“Use your music knowledge, and apply it to your dancing,” Janet urged, well aware that the Jackson-O'Neill children all played various musical instruments. “The Waltz is one of the easiest dances to identify because everything is in three-quarter time. That means that as you listen to it carefully, you'll be able to make out a very distinct 'one, two, three ... one, two, three.”
“That's hard,” Ricky responded.
“Not really,” Cassandra stated. She put on a piece of music, and everyone listened. Then she started sing-songing, “Can-ta-loupe ... can-ta-loupe ... can-ta-loupe.” When the children chuckled, the red-headed young woman teased, “Food relates to everything. If you can say 'cantaloupe' in your head so that it fits to the music, then you're listening to a waltz.”
“I'd rather say 'ice cr-eam',” Ricky opined.
“Nice try,” Janet said, patting the young boy on his shoulder. “Let's stick with cantaloupe.”
“Art-i-choke works,” Little Danny chimed.
“Choc-o-late,” Aislinn added.
Soon, all the children were trying to use different foods to identify the waltz.
“When did we lose control?” Janet asked quietly as she stood by her daughter.
“When I brought up food,” Cassandra laughed. ~I should have known better.~
Janet and Cassandra paired off the children according to height, which pretty much meant by age. The two teenagers were a couple, then Brianna and David, Jonny and Lulu, Little Danny and Chenoa, and finally, Ricky and Jenny.
“What about me?” Aislinn asked.
“You can help JD for a while, Ash, and then we'll switch you and Lulu, okay?” Janet answered.
“Okay. Come on, JD. I'll lead,” the little girl chuckled as she held her little brother carefully in her arms.
Janet and Cassandra assisted the children in getting into the proper position, the pairs facing each other with their shoulders parallel. They told the boys that their right arm would be their partner's main support.
“Boys, place your right hand just below your sister's shoulder blade, like this,” Cassandra demonstrated with Jeff's help. “Keep your fingers together and your hand slightly cupped. That will let you lead with your fingers and the heel of your hand. Put your right arm away from your body with your elbow pointing slightly to the side.”
Jonny snorted, “This is hard.”
“Like this, Squirt,” Jeff spoke, helping his little brother to stand properly with Lulu.
Janet continued, “Girls, let your left arm rest gently on your brother's upper arm. Your thumb should be along the inside of his arm, and your fingers draped over his shoulder.”
“This *is* hard,” Aislinn agreed, chuckling as she mock-danced with JD.
After more instruction, they did some practice steps, but after just a minute, Chenoa laughed, saying, “You have spaghetti arms, Little Danny.”
“There's no spaghetti on my arms,” Little Danny responded, looking at his two arms.
The older children chuckled, and it was Jennifer who commented, “We watched 'Dirty Dancing' again last night.”
“Yeah, and Johnny told Baby not to have spaghetti arms,” Chenoa stated firmly.
“I don't understand,” Little Danny replied, feeling totally confused.
Cassandra explained, “Spaghetti arms means you were too limp; your arms dangled a little. In ballroom dancing, your arms have to be tight so you can sense what direction to move in. Technically, it's referred to as resistance.”
“Show me, Cassie,” Little Danny requested, holding out his arms. “I don't want to have spaghetti arms when I dance with 'Rissa.”
The young woman smiled at the boy's sincerity. His crush on Karissa Lewis, one of the chief employees of J-O Enterprises, wasn't a secret to anyone. In their family, it took backseat only to Chenoa's apparent eternal love for Teal'c.
“Okay, well, resistance is created by keeping your shoulder, wrist, and elbow firm, like this,” Cassandra instructed, placing the boy's body in the appropriate position. “The only exception is when you move up or down, but otherwise, you want to remain firm when you dance.”
Little Danny practiced for a minute, then returned to his partner's side, saying, “I won't have spaghetti arms anymore. I'll have ruler arms.”
After the chuckles subsided, the lesson continued.
“Boys, here are some tips on leading,” Janet began after they had practiced dancing using the closed position. “Listen. Listen. Listen.”
“Huh?” David inquired.
Smiling, Janet expounded, “Think about your music lessons. You want to follow the soul of the music. Listen to the music. Is it slow or fast? Once you figure that out, use some of the steps we're learning, and remember that old saying -- variety is the spice of life.”
“Stand upright. Good posture is a plus here,” Cassandra added. “Start each pattern with your left foot, just like we've practiced. Boys, you're leading, so remember, your partner is a partner, not a tote bag.”
More laughter ensued and then Janet added, “Girls, you're the follower. This isn't the time for 'girl power'; it's the time to be a good team. Pay attention to what the boy is doing. Take straight steps, backward or forward, depending upon where you are led.”
“What if they lead me where I don't want to go?” Aislinn asked.
Cassandra smiled and answered, “As long as it's not into a closet, go where they lead out.”
“Why would I lead Ash to a closet?” Jonny asked.
Coughing slightly, Janet responded, “Uh, that's a discussion for another day *and* for your fathers.” After the older children chuckled, she asked, “You've studied women's rights?”
“Of course,” Jennifer answered quickly, still chuckling from the closet discussion.
“Ballroom dancing is a great women's lib style,” Janet noted.
“Why? I mean, how?” Aislinn asked.
“Because on the dance floor, women are always right,” Janet mused. She explained, “The first foot that a woman steps with will always be her right.”
Aislinn, who had temporarily been teamed with her eldest Munchkin brother, chuckled, pushing against Jonny slightly as she teased, “I'm right!”
“Only on the dance floor, Ash,” Jonny immediately reminded.
“So, Girls, when you start a move, you will always go back with your right foot, while Boys, you will lead forward with your left,” the petite physician and now dance teacher instructed.
“Does this count for our homeschooling?” Brianna asked. “It's harder than our geography lesson.”
“Yeah!” Jonny chimed. “We demand credit.”
Jennifer scolded, “Do you guys want to see Dad and Daddy all dressed up or not? If we don't do this, we won't get to have the party.”
Reluctant sighs were the teenager's answer. After a brief 'pity party' for having to learn to dance, the brood was ready to continue.
“Let's practice some of what we've just discussed,” Cassandra suggested. She explained the current exercise for learning one of the basic positions used in dancing the waltz, put on some music, and began to count for the young students. “One-two-three, down-up-up,” she repeated over and over again.
“Maybe we should really do this in front of the laundry,” Lulu suggested about their practice steps. “We could really hang things up to dry and save time.”
“Yeah, kill two birds with one stone,” Jeff joked. “Oops, sorry, Little Danny,” the teen said when he saw the young boy's scowl at the common, but poorly worded phrase.
“David, let's try this again,” Janet said, seeing the boy wasn't quite mastering the solo move. “Stand straight and put your feet together, with your toes pointing forward. Imagine the clothesline is right in front of you. What's your goal?” she quizzed.
David answered, “To go under it without ducking or bending at the waist.”
“How do you do that?” Janet asked.
“Aunt Janet, if I knew how, you wouldn't be showing me how to do it again,” the boy said as he adjusted his glasses.
Janet chuckled, then explained, “Don't lean over, but instead, bend at the knees to clear the clothesline. When you're beyond it, you can straighten your knees and step with your right foot to the side ...”
“On the beat of 'two',” Cassandra interjected.
“... And draw your feet together,” Janet completed.
“That's on the count of 'three',” Cassandra reminded. “Jonny, stop doing the twist. We're learning the waltz.”
“The twist is easier. See?” Jonny said, twisting his body and squatting down to his knees before twisting back up.
“That's good, but it's not the right dance step. Back in line,” Cassandra ordered as the children continued the individual exercise.
“Jonny, that's too fast,” Lulu complained, having once again been teamed with the boy, leaving Aislinn 'dancing' with JD.
“But Aunt Janet said turns are pizza,” Jonny argued.
“Pizza,” JD enthusiastically echoed, causing a new round of chuckles.
“He's just like Dad,” David commented.
Brianna answered, “Right now, he's a sounding board. Tell him what to say, and he'll say it.” Facing the baby, Brianna said, “JD, beagles!”
“Beeeeeeagles,” the littlest one spoke, laughing and clapping as he looked around the room, looking for Bijou and Katie. “No beeeeeeeagles,” he sighed, looking sad and forlorn.
“They're outside,” Little Danny stated.
As the latest round of laughter subsided, Jeff corrected, “The word is pizzazz, Jonny.”
Janet reiterated, “Turns give character and pizzazz to dancing. It makes it more fun, but, Jonny, that's your sister you're turning, not a toy top. Let's be a little more careful.”
“How's it going?” Jack asked as he entered the recreation room.
“Dad! Look, we're dancing,” Jenny spoke excitedly, showing off some of the moves they'd learned during the afternoon.
“Where's Daddy?” Jonny asked.
“Right here,” Daniel answered. “I was just letting the girls in.”
“Woof!” Bijou barked in appreciation as she and Katie stood next to Jack and Daniel.
“They're ready for the fox trot,” Janet spoke.
“Good!” Jack exclaimed. “Aunt Sam and Uncle Pete will be giving that lesson tomorrow.” He glanced at his watch, saying, “You have time to practice for another half-hour before dinner. Have fun!”
“Aw, shucks!” Jonny exclaimed, wanting the lessons to come to an end.
Laughing, and after all the good-byes were spoken, Jack and Daniel walked Janet and Cassandra to the door.
“They'll never make it,” Jack asserted hopefully. It's not that he wanted his children to fail, but neither did he want to dress up like a penguin for half of Colorado Springs. ~I *hope* they'll never make it.~
“Jack, they got through the first lesson,” Daniel warned.
“They'll rebel,” Jack maintained.
“Don't be too sure, Jack,” Janet advised. “They endured a lot today, and even though they whined from time to time, they did learn. Jonny's a mean little waltzer now.”
“I'm confident,” Jack insisted. “They'll never make it.”
“I'm confident, too,” Daniel replied. “We need to buy tuxedos.”
“Keep us posted,” Janet spoke, laughter in her eyes.
“I'm glad I could help. I miss hanging out with the brood,” Cassandra spoke.
“How's the baby?” Jack asked.
“Growing,” Cassandra answered. “You'll be by for dinner tomorrow night?”
“Wouldn't miss it,” Jack responded.
The lovers watched Janet and Cassandra leave, then Daniel said, “You're going to lose the bet, Babe.”
“Am not,” Jack insisted.
“Are, too,” Daniel maintained.
“Laughter?” Jack asked, hearing a lot of chuckling and giggling from the rec room.
As the lovers walked through their kitchen, the jocularity increased. Once they reached the rec room, they understood why. The practice session for the waltz had become a retro dance.
Jonny and Lulu were doing the bump, as were Jennifer and Jeff. Little Danny and Brianna were doing the hammer, bobbing around and moving their fisted hands up and down. Chenoa and David were laughing as they did the funky chicken, jutting their heads out as they moved a bit robotically across the floor. Aislinn was doing the twist as she once again held JD, while Ricky and Jenny were doing the swim, each holding their noses as they pretended to go under the water.
“Yep, Dannyboy, we're safe. Our brood-a-go-go will never make it,” Jack chuckled.
“Dad, Daddy, come on!” David encouraged, beckoning his parents to join in the hilarity.
“You game?” Jack asked his soulmate.
“Bring it on, Fly Boy,” the younger man challenged as he began to sway his body to the music.
Within a minute, Jack and Daniel were doing the same dance. They put their right arms out, then did the same with their left arms. Then they put their right palms up, repeating the move with the left palms. By crossing their arms downward, they made an 'X' across their abdomens, still swaying to the beat. On the next count of four, the dancing lovers smacked their right hands on their right hips, then did the same with the left. Next, they hopped a quarter-turn to the right.
When they turned, Daniel was on the right, his back to his lover. He could feel Jack's smirk without even seeing the man's face.
**Babe, what are you staring at?** the archaeologist inquired, sensing Jack's continued stare.
**Your sweet, swaying six, Love,** Jack answered happily while they continued to move to the music.
“Oh my goodness,” Jennifer laughed. “They're doing the Macarena!”
Dancing in unison and humming the addictive Macarena song, Jack and Daniel were a sight to behold.
“I wouldn't be caught dead doing that,” Jeff teased. “I've heard stories about that dance from my friends' parents.”
“It just takes style, my boy -- style, I say,” Jack intoned, a twinkle in his eye and laughter on his lips.
One by one, the brood did a fair imitation of the silly dance with even Jeff deciding to give it a try. Much giggling and laughter filled the house, and it was a fun time for all the Jackson-O'Neills.
Would Jack and Daniel celebrate their anniversary privately as they normally had, or would this year be the exception? No one knew for sure just yet, but with the big day just a month a way, the bet was about to be both won and lost.
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