Careful What You Wish For
Category: Slash, Drama, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Season: Beyond the Series - November 22, 2011
Spoilers: Moebius Parts 1 & 2
Size: 23kb, short story
Written: November 16-20,24, 2005 Tweaked: September 23, 2007
Summary: After Aislinn and Jenny fight, Daniel shares a special story with them about the time when SG-1 went back in time and almost had their wishes come true.
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: Claudia, QuinGem, Heather, Linda!
Careful What You Wish For
“I saw him first!” Aislinn Jackson-O'Neill shouted furiously as she
stood by her bed.
“Did not!” Aislinn's high-spirited sister, Jenny Jackson-O'Neill shouted back.
“Did, too, Jenny!” Aislinn argued as she stamped her foot on the carpet.
“Na-huh. Bobby my boyfriend!” Jenny insisted, her eyes almost as red from anger as her hair was naturally in color.
“He too old for you. He's six!” Aislinn said firmly.
“You only five!” Jenny refuted, folding her arms in front of her as she took on a defiant stance.
“But you're four -- just a baby!” Aislinn spat.
“AM NOT A BABY! YOU TAKE BACK, ASH!” Jenny demanded as she jumped up and down twice in frustration.
“NO! YOU STAY 'WAY FROM BOBBY, JENNY!” Aislinn ordered angrily.
“I MAKE BOBBY LIKE ME!” Jenny yelled.
“NA-HUH. HE LIKES ME!” Aislinn's raised voice stated confidently as she tossed her head back in superiority, causing her long hair to whip around her face.
“I hate you, Ash,” Jenny shouted harshly, tears beginning to well up in her eyes.
“Hate you, too. You cry baby!” Aislinn exclaimed, lashing out at the other girl.
“Wish you go 'way; then Bobby like me,” Jenny sobbed.
“He never like you!” Aislinn argued, looking down on her shorter sister.
“He might!” Jenny cried. “Wish I older; then he like me. Go 'way, Ash!” the four-year-old said brusquely, shoving her sister towards the door.
Having heard the loud words as he walked down the long hallway of their home, Daniel jogged into the girls' room just in time to see the two girls engaged in a brawl, pushing and shoving each other to the best of their ability.
“Hold it!” Daniel ordered. “Hey! STOP!” he shouted, moving in between his two warring daughters when they had ignored his order. “Now what's this all about?” he asked, one hand on each of their shoulders, looking back and forth between them.
“Bobby's my boyfriend!” Aislinn said in a huff.
“Is not!” Jenny sniffled defiantly.
“Bobby?” ~Boyfriend? Good thing Jack isn't home right now,~ Daniel thought, realizing the girls were fighting over a boy. “Who's Bobby?”
“WHO'S BOBBY?” both little girls shouted in shock, each giving their father a look of disbelief.
“Bobby cute!” Jenny asserted with a sappy smile.
“And smart!” Aislinn praised with a sweet smile of her own.
Jenny continued, “He Mis'er Iverson's nepew's cousin's brother.”
“He played with us at Bonnie's this morning,” Aislinn explained.
“Oh,” Daniel responded, trying to curtail a smile at the responses, including Jenny's mispronunciation of 'nephew'.
“But he's *my* boyfriend!” Aislinn insisted, staring at her younger sister.
“Aislinn, that's enough,” Daniel warned sternly.
“Wish Ash no here; then he like me,” Jenny sniffled again.
“Wish you weren't here, then I have more space in *my* room,” Aislinn spat in reply.
~Uh, not good.~ Daniel sighed and moved over to Aislinn's bed, lying down on it. “Come here, you two,” he requested, pointing at the space in front of him. “Sit.”
The two girls stared at each other for a moment, but then did as Daniel requested. Jenny took a position near Daniel's head, sitting Indian-style, while Aislinn sat further away, her legs splayed out in front of her. The explorer leaned over on his right arm and gave his daughters a tiny smile.
“I'm going to tell you two a story about wishes and making things different. You see, it's important to be careful what you wish for, and it's even more important to try and be understanding and loving, even when you're angry with each other,” Daniel told his daughters. “Are you listening?” he asked, noticing how both girls had their heads down.
“Yes, Daddy,” Aislinn answered.
Jenny nodded, but didn't answer out loud.
“Now this story begins about six, maybe seven years ago, but remember, it's make believe. Who's SG-1?” Daniel asked.
Jenny answered, “You and Dad and Aunt Sam and T!”
“That's right. Well, a long time ago, we found out that there was this very powerful ... lamp that we needed on Earth. Uh, let's just call it a ... a zed for short,” the archaeologist spoke as he worked to simplify the not-so-simple zero point module, otherwise known as a ZPM.
“What's a zed?” Aislinn asked.
“A very powerful lamp that created an enormous amount of energy,” Daniel answered with a smile. “We could do a lot with a zed. The problem was that this particular zed wasn't here in our time. I mean, we knew where it was thousands of years ago, but a few years ago, we had no idea where it was, so, to get the zed, we knew we'd have to find a way to go back in time, back to when the Ancient Egyptians believed in gods. We've talked about that before. Remember?”
“People with magic who pretend to be gods,” Aislinn answered.
“But aren't *really* God,” Jenny added.
“That's right,” Daniel acknowledged. “So, because we really wanted the zed, we decided to use a ... a time machine to go back and get it.”
“Did you?” Aislinn asked with big eyes.
“Mmm-hmm. SG-1 went back, and we got the zed. The whole time Aunt Sam was worried because going back in time is a risky thing to do,” Daniel stated.
“Why?” Jenny questioned curiously as she played with the lace trim on her yellow dress, flapping it up and down indiscriminately.
“Because if we changed anything in the past, it might change our future. Uh, for example, if Dad had decided to become an actor instead of joining the Air Force, we might never have met. Going back in time, we might have inadvertently changed something that could change why Dad joins the military.”
“What's in...vertly?” Jenny asked.
“Inadvertently,” Daniel restated. “It means by accident, and Aunt Sam was very worried about that. So, we tried very hard not to change anything, but we messed it up. It was just a little thing.”
“What?” Jenny asked.
“Sandstorm. We had made our time machine invisible so that even if some of the people walked by it, they wouldn't know it was there; but there was a big sandstorm that made the machine visible to the Egyptians,” Daniel explained. Seeing the girls staring at each other in a bit of confusion, he added, “The sand covered up the time machine, revealing the outline of the ship. People walking by saw this big stack of sand in an odd shape. It, uh, drew a lot of attention.”
“What happened?” Aislinn inquired.
“We had the zed, but no way to get back to our own time,” Daniel answered.
Aislinn scooted up a bit and said assuredly, “Bet you and Dad figured it out.”
“Not really, Ash,” Daniel responded. “You see, we made a tape to let us know in the future if we made any mistakes. You know, things like no fish in Dad's pond and that Henry Hayes was president.” He reached out and tickled the palm of Jenny's hand, causing her to laugh. “SG-1 was stuck back in Egypt, and Aunt Sam felt very guilty.”
“How come?” Jenny asked.
“Because she was the expert, and she realized she had made a mistake in letting us go back to try and get the zed,” Daniel replied.
“Aunt Sam smart,” Aislinn commented.
“Very, but this time, she let our desire for the zed overrule her gut instincts. We shouldn't have gone back,” Daniel lamented, blinking a few times as he thought about all that had happened during that time.
“You mess up time?” Aislinn asked as she swayed backwards and forwards a few times.
“Big time,” Daniel admitted. “I, uh, was a real geek in the altered timeline. I taught ESL, uh, English as a Second Language.”
“What's that?” both girls asked.
“Teaching English as a second language to people living in the United States but who were born in other countries,” Daniel explained. “And Aunt Sam reviewed technical scientific papers for accuracy and never joined the Air Force; actually, she pretty much just sat in her office and read all day long. And Dad ... well, Dad was retired from the military and had a boat that he rented out for tours and fishing. He wasn't very happy. None of us were.”
“Where T?” Jenny queried.
Sadly, Daniel took Jenny's hand and squeezed it as he answered, “Teal'c was back on his home planet, living as a slave to the bad guys.”
“Teal'c not a slave,” Aislinn argued.
“He was once. We told you that, remember?” Daniel reminded.
“But SG-1 save him,” Jenny said, smiling.
Daniel smiled, too, and though his first inclination was to explain things better, that wasn't the point of the story at hand, so he let it go.
“So, in this new time, I wasn't very happy. I still studied archaeology and languages, but I didn't have Dad or Aunt Sam or Aunt Janet or Teal'c or ... or anyone. Aunt Sam was miserable, too. We all had busy lives, but we didn't know each other at all, and our work didn't make us happy. Dad was angry at the world,” Daniel noted, his eyes looking away.
“But you fix it!” Aislinn insisted, moving to sit on her knees as she moved up level with Daniel's waist, now just a foot or so from her sister.
While both girls still hadn't forgotten their argument, they were, at least, caught up in the story their father was telling them.
Daniel grimaced, saying, “Finally, the SG-1, uh, the new SG-1, I mean, the us who were altered by our going back into time, got together and decided to go back into time again and try to fix it. You see, they found that tape I mentioned before, that talked about no fish in Dad's pond and President Hayes. Watching that tape, they knew things had been changed.”
“Dad love you when you met again,” Aislinn stated confidently.
Daniel smiled and shook his head as he answered, “No, not really, Ash. He thought I was very nerdy and not his type at all. He, uh, liked Aunt Sam.”
“NO!” Aislinn and Jenny said in tandem, causing Daniel to chuckle slightly.
Reaching out to straighten Aislinn's pink blouse, Daniel continued, “In that timeline, Dad thought I was a little strange. He was wrong, by the way, but he was more interested in kissing Aunt Sam than me.” He had a twinkle in his eye as he watched his daughters both squirming at the thought. ~Yeah, I've done my share of squirming at that idea, too,~ he admitted silently.
“Ewww,” Jenny responded, hiding her eyes by placing her hands in front of her face.
Suddenly, Aislinn gasped, inched forward a tad, and asked, “Daddy, what happened to the real you?”
“You mean the first SG-1 when we went back to Ancient Egypt?” the girls' father clarified.
“Yeah. You found zed thing. Then what?” Aislinn inquired.
“Well, eventually, I buried the zed, the camera, and a ... a tablet at the dig site in Giza where the Stargate was found by Aunt Catherine's daddy,” Daniel explained.
Prior to this, all of the Jackson-O'Neill children had heard many stories about Catherine Langford Littlefield (their Aunt Catherine) and her father. The stories of their adventures and the big dig in Egypt that had eventually been the catalyst for Catherine and Daniel meeting had been told many times, so Daniel knew the two girls would understand his reference as used here.
“Dad help?” Jenny asked.
Daniel shook his head, answering, “No, uh ... you see, Dad and Aunt Sam and Teal'c, they, uh ...” Daniel paused, saying, “Remember, this is a story. It's pretend. You both understand that?”
“We know difference, Daddy,” Aislinn scolded as she now sat right next to Jenny.
“Yeah!” Jenny agreed.
“Okay, well, we all lived in this camp for a while, but Dad and Teal'c got tired of waiting around. Essentially, they tried to stir up a little rebellion. It, uh, didn't turn out very well,” Daniel said, still hesitating in saying the words.
“They diiiiie?” Aislinn gasped, her word drawn and mouth open as she waited for the response. The little girl's chest had risen as she gazed in horror at her father. “Daddy?”
Daniel nodded, “Yes, in the story, they died; except for me. As luck would have it, or not, I survived and tried to start a quiet uprising among the Egyptians.”
“You tell scary stories, Daddy,” Aislinn admonished, settling back down to sit on the backs of her legs.
“What next?” Jenny asked eagerly.
Chuckling slightly, Daniel said, “Well, the new SG-1 found me.”
“Bet you miss Dad,” Aislinn said.
“Very much,” Daniel confirmed, nodding. “Anyway, we compared notes, and we made a new plan that would hopefully fix things.”
“Make time right?” Aislinn inquired.
“We hoped so,” Daniel stated. “And we almost did. We got things almost back to normal.”
“Just almost?” Jenny asked curiously, making a frown.
Daniel sighed, “We thought it was normal, but then we realized that Dad's pond had fish in it, I was living in an apartment when I hadn't been living in one for two years, and I even had a beard.”
Jenny leaned over and ran her hands along Daniel's currently stubbly face.
“No like Daddy with beard. You need shave!” the girl announced.
“I agree,” Aislinn concurred.
“I'll shave before Dad gets home,” Daniel promised.
“Daddy, how does the story end?” Aislinn asked.
“Well, it's like this. None of it ever really happened,” Daniel informed.
“It didn't?” Aislinn asked in disbelief.
“Nope.” Daniel sat up and pulled his daughters to him so that each was under the protection of one of his arms. He smiled and said, “What really happened is that we realized there was a zed out there. We desperately needed one, but we weren't sure about the risks of going back in time. Having the zed wouldn't help us if we messed up the future, so Aunt Sam made a computer program. It was ... well, sort of a simulation, like a video game.”
“Aunt Sam smart,” Jenny observed, much as Aislinn had earlier.
“Very,” Daniel agreed for the second time. “And what she did was program all the possibilities into the computer. If we went back into time, what might the consequences be? That means ...”
“We know!” Aislinn interrupted. “It means what happens because you go back.”
“Exactly,” Daniel said, nodding at the same time. “She ran a whole bunch of simulations, and, in the end, even when we thought we hadn't affected time at all, there was always something, and no matter how small, that something made our world different. So, uh, in the end, we decided that getting the zed in that way just wasn't worth it.”
“No have zed?” Jenny asked sadly.
“Actually, a really amazing thing happened after that,” Daniel revealed. “We found another zed we hadn't realized existed.”
“Where?” both Aislinn and Jenny asked.
“It's pretty funny, actually, but a month or two after making the decision not to go back in time, I was researching some artifacts found in Egypt a very long time ago, and I found a reference to an item that sounded like a zed. It was in a museum's warehouse in Cairo. We had them send us a picture of it, and, sure enough, it was a zed. Our government arranged an exchange with the Egyptian government, and they gave us the zed. It was a good thing because it let us do a lot of neat things once we got it.”
“That is neat, Daddy,” Aislinn agreed.
“Daddy, why tell us story?” Jenny asked, looking up at her father.
“Because you need to be careful what you wish for, and you never want to forget how lucky we are to have each other,” Daniel replied. “You see, Aunt Sam wished for the zed, and so did I. I wanted it very badly, and I fought pretty hard for us to go back in time. Aunt Sam wanted it equally as bad, so much so that she almost let her wish keep her from using her better judgment. Dad ... well, he and Teal'c just went along with us because they're part of the team, and they wanted us to be happy.”
“Wishing bad?” a confused Aislinn asked.
“No, Sweetie, wishing is wonderful, but you should always wish for good things. Do you two really wish the other one wasn't there? Who would you play dollies with? Jenny, who would comb your hair those extra twenty times at night if Ash weren't here? Ash, who else but Jenny would give you their last bite of peach cobbler just ... just because?”
“Jenny always gives me her last piece,” Aislinn affirmed.
“I know she does,” Daniel stated.
“And Ash always brushes my hair,” Jenny commented.
“Without being asked to,” Daniel pointed out. “So, is Bobby worth you losing a sister?”
“NO!” the two girls exclaimed.
All of a sudden, Aislinn jumped up off the bed and exclaimed, “Jenny, it's time for 'Sesame Street'.”
“Oh!” Jenny gasped, moving off the bed as fast as she could.
The two started to run out of the bedroom when Daniel called out, “Hey, wait a minute.”
“Daddy, it on!” Aislinn argued.
“I know, but aren't you two forgetting something? Think hard. I know you can do it,” Daniel coaxed.
With bright eyes and a smile, Aislinn turned to her sister and said, “Jenny, I'm sorry. I say bad things that I don't mean. I love you.”
“I sorry, too, Ash. I love you lots. No want you go 'way,” Jenny said, after which the two girls hugged and ran downstairs.
~I wish it was that easy to solve conflicts with adults.~ Daniel sighed, smiling as he sat on the edge of Aislinn's bed. Then he rubbed his chin and grimaced as he mumbled, “Ewww, stubble.”
“Danny? Oh, Daniel!” Jack called out roughly ninety minutes later. He had just arrived home and was told by Jennifer and Jeff, who were watching the children downstairs, that Daniel was in his den. He walked into the room and glanced around, finding no sign of his husband. He retreated, heading back towards their bedroom. He walked in, saying, “Dannnnnmmmmph!” After a gigantic welcome home kiss, Jack smiled at his energetic husband and asked, “Uh, what's up, Doc?”
“Unfortunately, not that ... yet,” Daniel responded, his eyes shining with love for his soulmate. “Jack, I love you. I love you very much.”
“And I love you,” Jack replied tenderly. However, he could sense something had happened during his short absence and quickly asked, “Danny, what have I missed?”
“Ash and Jenny had a little argument,” the younger man answered.
“Oh, what about?” Jack queried as he caressed Daniel's cheek. ~Mmm, freshly shaved. Geez, I love that.~
“You don't want to know, Babe,” Daniel chuckled.
Jack stared intently into his lover's eyes and then gave a tiny nod as he replied, “I don't, do I?”
“No, you don't,” Daniel laughed. “It involved a boy.”
Jack groaned and leaned his forehead on Daniel's shoulder.
Still laughing, Daniel reassured his husband and then said, “It's okay now, but ... then I told them a story about wishes and how wishing for the wrong thing can sometimes be dangerous.”
“I'm not following you,” Jack admitted as he continued to hold his lover in his arms.
Daniel placed another kiss on Jack's lips and then focused on undoing the man's tie. His husband was dressed in a business suit, having had a meeting at J-O Enterprises with new clients. He was curious about the session, but he could tell it had gone well by his Love's demeanor and attitude.
“Jack, remember when Catherine sent me some of her things a few years ago, and I found the reference to the ZPM that Ra had?” Daniel inquired.
“Yeah, some god; didn't even know what he had,” Jack mused.
“Right, and you know how we almost went back in time to try and get it?” Daniel queried.
“Close call,” Jack admitted. “Carter's little simulations kept us from making one huge-honkin' mistake.”
Daniel chuckled, “I remember the briefing when we almost convinced you. We walked out afterwards, and Sam said something about wishing she could be sure there would be no altering of the timeline from what we were about to do. Teal'c said something about wishing he could start a rebellion while we were there, and I said I wished we could stay longer and study the Ancient Egyptians up close for a while.”
“Danny, what's your point?” Jack asked, enjoying the feel of Daniel's hands which were now caressing his neck and upper chest.
“Do you remember what you wished for?” Daniel challenged.
Jack thought, then replied, “Yeah. I wished you'd all stop wishing. You were making me nervous.”
Daniel chuckled, “And then you stopped. You looked at me, and then over at Sam, and you said ...” he prompted his lover.
“I said, 'Carter, I want to know for sure this won't mess up our lives. Use that technobabble of yours, test some doohickeys, and give me a guarantee that going back won't be the biggest mistake of our lives. That's not a wish; it's an order.' I think that's what I said.”
Daniel nodded and replied, “That order saved us, Babe. I'm sure of it. Thank you for knowing where to draw the line.”
“I came close, Danny, to letting us go,” Jack confided softly.
“Because I wanted it so much. Atlantis -- you knew how important that was to me, and the ZPM was a ticket to getting there. So ... because of me, you almost gave me what I wished for. If you'd done that, Jack, I might have lost the only thing that really matters -- you. Love you so much,” Daniel said tenderly, moving in for a passionate kiss.
“My Angel, I love you,” Jack spoke tenderly, noticing the fresh after-shave lotion that he had a special fondness for. He leaned back and noted, “Danny, you just shaved.”
Daniel chuckled, revealing, “Our children prefer me without a beard.”
“Me, too. Wait, you told them about the simulations?” Jack questioned in surprise as he processed everything Daniel had said thus far.
“Yes, I did. Come on, and I'll tell you what I told them,” Daniel said, taking Jack's hand and talking quickly as they walked out of their bedroom and downstairs where their eleven children were.
For the Jackson-O'Neills, all their good wishes were coming true as they focused on their love and happiness with each and every day.
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