Christmas Future

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Drama, Holiday, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - the future
Spoilers:  None
Size:  9kb, ficlet
Written:  December 21-22, 2011
Summary:  A small remembrance of Christmas past is the reality of the future present.
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:  
1) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my other fic(s):  “The Great Santa Claus Caper”
2) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Mama Bear!

Christmas Future
by Orrymain

“We want a story!” came the demanding chant.

“You might miss Santa,” the father warned, though he knew it would before Santa would make his appearance at the residence.

“No, we won't, Daddy,” one industrious child refuted with a coy smile.  “We put out sensors.”

“Why am I not surprised?” the man mused dryly, silently recalling the kids' use of sensors to detect the presence of the Tooth Fairy just a few weeks earlier.  “Okay, one story.”

“A Christmas story,” one of the children wished aloud.

“Okay, just one.”

The kids followed their father to the reading room that included a large, round bed of sorts.  It had pillow-like supports for leaning back and reading, or users could simply lie down and relax.  The youngsters settled in around their father as he leaned back against one of the pillows.  They all chuckled as three of their brand new puppies tried to jump up and join them.  The three were part of a litter found, along with their mother, abandoned in a field a few months ago.  As of this week, all were now part of this dog-loving household.

“You'll make it on your own soon,” one boy said as he helped the doggies up to snuggle up with the children.

“Story, Daddy,” a child demanded, tugging on her hero's red and green turtleneck.

Thoughtfully, the man centered in on a story to tell.  He smiled as he reflected back.

“Well, once upon a time, there was a very special family celebrating Christmas, like we are this year.”

//Flashback//
“Everyone happy now?” Jack asked, looking at the studious faces of his seven youngest children.

“They look great, Dad,” Chenoa praised, grinning at the various Christmas cookies that had just been decorated.

“I'm glad I passed muster.”

“Mustard?  Don't put mustard on cookies,” Ricky groaned in confusion.

“Not 'mustard', Son -- 'muster'.”

“Oh,” the Spitfire responded, shrugging and still feeling confused.

“Which one should we leave for Santa?” Aislinn questioned, her eyes shifting from cookie to cookie.

“That one,” Lulu suggested, pointing at what was actually the least decorated cookie.

“Why that one?” Jonny asked his sister.

“Because it has the star, and that's the most important part of Christmas,” the curly black-haired girl explained, earning smiles of approval from all in the room.

“The star it is,” Jack agreed, taking it from the others.  “Who wants to write the note?”

“Ash has the best handwriting,” Jenny opined.

“Yeah, you do it, Ash,” Jonny directed.

“What do I say?” the female Munchkin asked as she sat down at the table and prepared to write.

“Tell Santa we hope he likes all the cookies, but this is his special cookie from us,” Little Danny directed.

“And we love him,” Chenoa added brightly.

When the note was done, Jack placed it on the counter and announced, “We'll put these out before you go to bed.”

As the group began to walk out of the kitchen, some noticed the absence of one child.

“Little Danny, what's wrong?” Jonny inquired.

“We forgot the reindeer,” the middle Munchkin admitted.

Jack groaned, but kept it a silent reaction.

“Don't you remember?” Little Danny asked quietly.

“Secrets?” Jack questioned curiously.

Ignoring his father's words, Little Danny cupped his hands around Jonny's left ear and whispered so as to not be overheard, “Remember when we heard Santa taking a cookie for Rudolph and how happy he said Rudolph was?  We gotta leave something for them, too.”

“You're right.”  With a nod, Jonny turned and stared straight up at his tall military father.  “Dad, we need reindeer food for Rudy.”

The other kids hadn't heard Little Danny's remarks to Jonny, but they immediately moved to join them, physically and emotionally.

“And Donder,” Aislinn added.

“And Dasher,” Ricky stated.

“Prancer, too,” Jenny interjected.

It went on until the entire reindeer clan had been mentioned, including Rudolph's significant other, Clarice.  In fact, even Olive was included in the spontaneous roll call.

“Kids, I don't ...” Jack's face slowly revealed his fate.  Like it or not, Christmas tradition at the Jackson-O'Neill residence was about to include reindeer food.  “How about carrots?”

“Dad, they're reindeer, not bunnies,” Aislinn reprimanded.

“I knew that,” Jack defended half-heartedly before moving on as quickly as he could in hopes of solving the dilemma in short order.  “What do reindeer eat?”

“Don't know,” the middle Munchkin admitted.

Jack wanted to be a little sarcastic and question the fact that the tiny genius actually didn't know something like this, but instead he smiled and instructed, “Okay, kids, go play.  Dad's going to investigate reindeer food.”

“Promise?” several of the kids prompted.

“General's honor,” Jack pledged as he crossed his heart and transitioned into a brief salute.
//End of Flashback//

“What happened?” one of the boys asked.

“What do we have on the lawn?” the father prodded with raised eyebrows.

“Reindeer food!” was the unanimous exclamation.

Chuckling, the father affirmed, “Exactly.”

“It glitters and glows so that Santa and Rudolph can find us,” one of the children pointed out.

“That's right.  Santa will always know where we are, and his reindeer will always have plenty to snack on here, thanks to Granddad's magic reindeer food.”

“And we have brownies for Mrs. Claus and the elves 'cause of Granddaddy's special recipe,” one of the girls inserted with a grin.

“Quadruple chocolate mixed with triple fudge and double semi-sweets and a big chocolate kiss on top,” all of the children recited before breaking out into giggles.

“That was a great story, Daddy.”

“The truth always is,” the happy father replied.  “Pajama time,” he called out.  “We have a big night ahead.”

“I can't wait for Santa to come,” was the enthusiastic remark of one child.

“Hafta be good,” another reminded.

The father sighed contentedly as the children and puppies left the reading room.  He sank down and stared up at the ceiling, remembering happy days from his childhood like sugar plums dancing on the ceiling.

//Flashback//
Just when the reindeer food issue had been handled, the kids came up with a new issue.

Daniel heard the gasp from his namesake, and he just knew it wasn't a good sign.

“Daddy, the elves!” Little Danny called out in near anguish.  “They work hard on our presents.”

“My bike took a long time, I bet,” Jonny agreed, referring to one of his gifts from the year before.

The archaeologist smiled, glad Jack was involved with the older children in another part of the house at the moment, especially since it had actually been Jack who put the bicycle together, taking out some skin in the process.

“We need elf food,” Ricky concurred.

“Elf food,” Daniel echoed.  “Okay, well, uh, how about ... chocolate?”

“Lots of chocolate,” Little Danny agreed.

Amused and curious what he was about to come up with, Daniel opened the cupboards, spying several possibilities.

“Make sure Mrs. Claus likes it,” Lulu requested.

“She likes Santa,” Daniel teased, his statement causing him to focus on the bag of candy kisses.  “I have an idea.  It's chocolate, chocolate, and chocolate topped with a kiss.”

“Good idea, Daddy,” Little Danny praised, smiling now that the elves and Mrs. Claus would be taken care of in the goodie department, along with Santa and the reindeer.
//End of Flashback//

“Magic reindeer food and quadruple chocolate brownies,” the man chuckled.  “Merry Christmas, Dad and Daddy.  I love you.”

Just as he was about to become lost in a sense of melancholy, a sonic boom of cheers circulated, followed by a warm call.

“Danny, where are you?  They're here!”

With a grin, Daniel Michael Jackson-O'Neill stood up and mused, “That's *Little* Danny for the rest of the night.”

“Danny, hurry!”

“Presents!” a group of voices rang out enticingly.

Hopping up, Little Danny shouted eagerly, “Coming,” confident and thankful for another blessed Christmas Eve.

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