Considerations

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Drama, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  7 - May 6, 2004
Spoilers:  None
Size:  31kb, short story
Written:  November 2, 2003  Revised:  May 11, September 7-11,15, 2006  Revised for consistency:  March 7, 2007
Summary:  The lovers have a lot to think about.  What choices will they make, and how will those choices impact their future family?
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:
1) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
2) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my other fic(s), “Surprising Jack” and “Something to Think About”
3) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Suzanna, Linda, Claudia, QuinGem!

Considerations
by Orrymain

“Jack, what are you doing?” Daniel asked as he entered the study, a bit concerned about his lover, who had disappeared from their bed without waking him.

Even though it wasn't the actual day of Jack's birth, the day before Daniel had thrown him a surprise party with their closest family and friends present.  It had been a rousing success.  Afterwards, the two had made love and fallen asleep in each other's arms.  When Daniel awoke at 4 a.m., he'd realized his husband was AWOL and went looking for him, finding the older man sitting on the comfortable sofa in the study.

“I love that sketch, Danny.  Did I say thank you?” Jack asked softly.

Daniel blushed as he shuffled into the study and sat down next to his husband.  Jack put his arm around the younger man and placed a kiss on his temple.  For a moment, both men looked at the item in question, each feeling the love emanating from it.

The archaeologist had gifted his husband with a charcoal etching he had done of himself and their two beagles, Bijou and Katie.  It had overwhelmed Jack, and he insisted on hanging it in the study.

“Yes, several times actually,” a pleased Daniel responded.

“Well, thank you again,” the older man said graciously.  ~I *am* the luckiest man in the universe.~

“Jack, I know you, and you didn't come in here just to look at the sketch,” Daniel intuitively intoned.

“I wanted to see it, but, no, not exactly,” Jack admitted.

“Okay, Colonel Jackson-O'Neill, what's going on in that brain of yours?” Daniel asked a bit jovially.

“We have decisions to make, Danny, lots of 'em,” Jack announced.

“About what?” Daniel asked, wondering if he should be concerned.

“You, me, and the kids ... the human ones.”

~Oh, everything's okay.~  Daniel shrugged and replied, “We have time.  We can't do anything until you retire, and that's at least a year from now, maybe two.”

“I know,” Jack regretfully sighed.  ~Wish it was sooner.~

Daniel was fighting to keep his eyelids open and stated, “I'm tired, Love.  Yesterday was a long day.  Can we go back to ... <yawn> ... bed?”

Jack considered sending Daniel back upstairs alone, but then he realized his Love wouldn't go without him.  His husband had worked so hard on the surprise party, and it occurred to the older man that perhaps Daniel hadn't been sleeping much the past week from the anxiety of it, especially considering their latest battle with Anubis and the subsequent meeting with Senator Kinsey.

“Yeah, come on.  You need your beauty sleep,” Jack mused as he stood and tugged on Daniel's hand, gently pulling him up.

“Me?  You're older.  Don't forget that,” Daniel teased lovingly as he happily fell into Jack's embrace.

“As if I could with you by my side,” Jack spoke, admiring his handsome lover and wondering if he could convince Daniel to forego sleep in favor of making love.

“Jack,” Daniel responded bashfully.

“Love you, Angel,” Jack crooned.  “Come on.  Bed; I might even let you sleep.”

“Isn't there an 'or'?” Daniel asked hopefully, sleep no longer of interest to him.

~Score one for the colonel,~ Jack inwardly cheered.  “Always, Love.  There's always an 'or' for you,” he added just before he kissed Daniel passionately.  ~Not even gonna let you make it out of the study.~

~Who needs sleep?~ Daniel thought.  ~It's highly over ... over ... oh, gawd, Jack!~

====

A few minutes after ten in the morning, Daniel awoke, once again discovering his lover was missing.  He wasn't all that surprised that he had slept in.  He'd been exhausted, and their early morning interlude had gone on longer than expected.  He smiled, remembering their lovemaking and how tender it had been.  Jack had made him feel especially cherished and treasured.

~Only you, Jack,~ Daniel silently crooned, a sappy smile on his face as he stretched while his lower half was still under the covers.  Smiling, he rose, took a shower, and began to dress, opting to put on a blue shirt.  ~It's the least I can do for my blue-loving husband,~ he thought.

Daniel started to put on his blue jeans, but a wicked grin crossed his face before he even had one leg inside the denim apparel.  Instead, he opened the drawer and pulled out his denim cut offs.  Jack was planning on watching some sporting event on TV that afternoon, as well as all the pre-event coverage in the morning.  With ESPN and other sports channels providing twenty-four coverage of the athletic world nowadays, there was always something on television.

Since this particular event didn't involve Jack's precious hockey, Daniel had other plans for his husband, especially since Jack would be leaving town that evening to go to Washington D.C. for a few days.

~Sorry, Love, but, uh, I have a different sport in mind for you while you're here.~

====

A few minutes later, Daniel made his way downstairs, surprised to see that his lover wasn't planted in front of the television, surrounded by a hoard of snacks and beverages.  Looking around briefly, he went outside and greeted their beagles, exchanging loving kisses and licks as they began a new day.

“Hmm,” Daniel said softly, still not sure where Jack was.

“Woof,” Bijou called out, running to her right a few feet.

“Oh, yeah?” Daniel asked.  After the mama beagle wagged her tail and smiled, he replied, “Thanks,” and then climbed the ladder that went to the roof deck.

Sure enough, seated on one of the deck chairs, was Jack, leaning forward with his hands clasped together.  He was clearly lost in thought, a fact that was evident simply because he had yet to respond to Daniel's presence.

Slowly, the archaeologist walked over and crouched down in front of Jack, taking the older man's hands in his and kissing them.

“Talk to me,” Daniel requested, caressing his Love's hands as he continued to hold them tenderly.

~Geez, I love him.~  Jack smiled, leaned forward for a quick kiss, and said softly, “It's those decisions, Danny.”

“I'm listening,” the younger man replied cautiously.

“We want to be prepared, right?”

“Right,” Daniel affirmed.

“And that means we need to think about things,” Jack stated.  “If we don't, then instead of moving forward when we have the chance, we'll delay everything.”

“I know what you mean.  We have time to think everything out now, and then when you do retire, we can move ahead with our lives without wasting time.”

“That's my genius,” Jack replied, looking down at their joined hands for a moment.

“So,” Daniel prodded.  “Which decisions have you so ... deep in thought?”

“Not used to this Fly Boy thinking, are you?” Jack teased, a light chuckle in his voice.

“Jack!” Daniel admonished, a warning in his eyes not to start playing the role Daniel hated so much.

“Just teasing, Love,” Jack chuckled, well aware his lover didn't like his 'dumb colonel' act, even though he understood the need for it.

~He's fighting himself on something,~ Daniel thought, not reacting to how hard Jack was now gripping his hands.  It was strong enough, though, to tell the younger man that his lover was struggling internally over something.  ~It'll be okay.~

~Let's get right to it, ~Jack sighed as he prepared to discuss their options.  “Danny, first thing -- do we want babies, or do we want to rescue someone no one else will love?”

“Wow,” Daniel responded as he looked down, pondering the very important question.

Not waiting for an answer, Jack continued, “See, part of me wants the diapers and the inconvenience of getting up in the middle of the night, and the crying and the burping, and the first words, the first steps, the cooing -- part of me, Angel, wants all of that.”  He smiled, gazing into his soulmate's soulful blue eyes and added, “And then part of me looks at you and remembers that lonely little boy that no one ever believed in.  I find myself wondering if that isn't the way to go.”

“We could save one,” Daniel gratefully replied, smiling softly at his lover.  “We can choose the one hiding in the corner, scared, holding on to himself because no one else ever does.”

“Yeah, I thought you might like that.”

“It's a nice thought, Babe, but ...”  He paused, biting his lip for a moment.  “I don't know, Jack.  I kinda like the baby idea, too.”

Jack smiled and asked, “You sure?”

Daniel leaned up to capture Jack's lips, needing and wanting to connect with his lover, and then he asked, “Do you know how much I love you just for thinking about that?”

“I have a little idea,” the silver-haired man admitted.  ~I hope he goes for it; it's the perfect solution.~

“Jack, didn't we ... sort of already agree on babies?  I mean, I know we haven't verbalized it exactly, but whenever we've talked about it, we've always mentioned ... well ... babies,” Daniel chuckled.

“Yeah, I guess we did.  I just thought ...” Jack began.

“Well, maybe ...” Daniel began, a twinkle in his eyes as he looked at his husband. ~I may be crazy, but, wow ...~

“Daniel?  You aren't serious?” the older man asked incredulously.  ~Not that it's a bad idea.~

“Would it be so bad?” Daniel queried.

“We'd have to adopt two,” Jack remarked.  “I'd never want to adopt just one and have them think even remotely they were adopted to be a babysitter.  They need someone to play and bond with and ...”

Daniel was grinning, a big, gigantic, full face grin as a new decision was in the process of being formed.  It was wild and crazy, but for some reason, neither man was fighting it too hard.

“Four, Danny?”  Jack watched his soulmate carefully, his heart doing flip flops as Daniel's grin grew.  “We're crazy, absolutely friggin' crazy,” he laughed in amazement at the determination that was close to being finalized.

“Would they let us?” Daniel wondered, his tone more serious than before.

“Daniel, look at us.  When I retire, all those medals are finally going to come in darn handy.  We have the finances, the house, and, heck, we're more stable than those so-called normal couples.  Besides, we'll have recommendations out of our wazoos, including the President of the United States.  Who's going to turn us down?” Jack questioned in all seriousness.

A bit more subdued, Daniel responded, “I hope no one.”

“No one, Angel,” Jack assured.  He let out a tiny snort and shook his head as he repeated, “Four.”

“Well, not all at once, Jack.  Maybe the babies first, because they take so much time, and, like you said, we don't want anyone to feel ignored or ... I mean, the older ones, they need a lot of love and time, too,” Daniel spoke eagerly.

“We have a lot of love to give, Danny.  We can do it,” Jack said confidently.  A moment later, he laughed again and pulled Daniel into him for a huge kiss.

Jack's move was a bit too forceful, though, and suddenly, he let out with a loud, “WHOA!” as the chair fell backwards, taking the two lovers with it.  Once he regained his senses, he laughed even louder.  “Hey there.”

“Hey,” Daniel chuckled as he looked down at his husband.  “Uh, this isn't very comfortable,” he said as he looked around at his feet that were dangling in the air.

“Ya think?” Jack mused.

Carefully, Daniel got up and then helped his husband up.  Jack righted the chair, putting it back in its place and then turned to gaze into his soulmate's eyes.  The two picked up where they left off, kissing passionately as their hands roamed each other's body's.  It was a fulfilling exchange that lasted several minutes.

“Let's go over here,” Jack suggested, taking Daniel's hand and going to the wall.  He scooted down, gently pulling Daniel with him, though, due to the nature of their discussion, the younger man settled in front of his lover so they could see each other's eyes as they talked.  The two held hands and shared one more kiss before continuing their discussion.  “Danny ... the babies.”

“One boy and one girl ... right?” Daniel asked, wanting to make sure the lovers were on the same page.

“Yes,” Jack agreed softly with just a tad of uncertainty in his voice.

Daniel blinked a couple of times, then cocked his head slightly as he observed, “Jack, you don't sound so sure all of a sudden.”

“Ah, Angel,” the older man quickly responded.  “Our children will be so darned loved, but ... we need to decide, and I don't mean this second, but I ...  Danny, I want you to think about something, and before we get into it, I don't know ...” Jack grunted.  Making a face, he commented, “Geez, I sound like you.”

In response, Daniel swatted his Love, giving him a death stare at the same time.

“Ouch!” Jack laughed.  Then he lovingly cajoled, “Come on, Angel, you know how you get.”

“Yes, and I know how you are when I get like that, so spill it, Jack,” the younger man instructed.

With a nod, Jack explained, “I only meant I don't have a preference.  I haven't decided that this would be right or that, but what I do know is that we should look at all of the options and go from there.”

Jack couldn't resist another kiss with his husband, his hands taking advantage of the opportunity to roam under Daniel's shirt to caress the smooth skin underneath.  It was a move that had always given him great pleasure.  As they kissed again, he followed up that move by slipping his hands down to rub against Daniel's thighs.

“Jack, you are so not watching whatever that game is today,” Daniel spoke insistently.

“I figured that out, Love,” Jack responded.

“You did?”

“I did,” the older man affirmed.

“And when did you come to that awareness?”

“The moment I saw you in those cut offs,” Jack answered slyly, his eyes looking down at his lover's lower half.  He was more than content to forego watching the game in order to participate in the loving sport of their two hearts and bodies.  ~Oh, yeah.  I'll make that change in plans anytime,~ he silently smirked.

“But ... you need to tell me what you're thinking before we ... go there,” Daniel commented as he removed Jack's hands from his thighs.

“Spoil sport.”

“I love you,” Daniel stated, adding, “Soon, you can put them back, and, uh ... more!”

“I love the way you think, Doctor Jackson,” Jack chuckled.

“That's Jackson-O'Neill,” Daniel corrected, earning him a huge grin from his lover.

“I stand corrected,” Jack replied.  He focused for a minute on Daniel's hand, his fingers gently touching the gold wedding band that rested there.  “Danny, there are a lot of ways to adopt babies.  The conventional way is a bit slow, but we could do that.”

“Or?” Daniel asked, sensing there was an alternative circulating in his husband's often-unpredictable brain.

“Or,” Jack continued.  “We could hire a lawyer and set up a couple of private adoptions, which might be easier since we want two babies at the same time.”

“Or?” the younger man prompted again, still perceiving that Jack had something else in mind.

Jack coughed, then answered, “Or there's the surrogate route.”

“Surrogate?” Daniel questioned with curiosity.

“Yeah, and that way, they'd really ...”  Jack grimaced, feeling frustrated.  For some reason, he was having a difficult time getting out what he was thinking.  A bit agitatedly, he continued, “I hate this.  Geez, Daniel, I'm so bad at words. I don't know how to say this without making it sound wrong.  I will love our kids, all of them ... equally, but I ... CRAP!” he concluded loudly.

The exclamation was so loud and unexpected that Daniel actually jumped upon hearing it.  After his heart calmed from the start, he smiled, rubbing Jack's hands in his soothingly.

“Jack, just say what's in your heart.  Tell me what you're thinking,” Daniel requested.

Jack sighed, “It sounds wrong.  I love our kids, even though we don't have any yet, but I love them, Danny -- just the thought of them makes me ... Daniel ...”

“Jack, I can't believe I'm saying this, but, uh, breathe!” Daniel encouraged with just a tad of amusement in his voice.  Normally, it was Jack calming the younger man and not the other way around.  ~There's always a first time.~

Jack took a calming breath and nodded as he expounded, “There isn't a 'but' to what I want, and, yet I don't know the words.  I just don't have the words.”

Daniel inched forward, cupping Jack's face and looking him straight in the eye as he replied, “Jack, like you tell me, don't over think.  I know how you feel, okay?  I understand your heart and soul because they are a part of me, too, so, just say it, and we'll go from there.  Trust me.”

“I do, Danny.  Gawd, I trust you so much,” Jack replied earnestly.

The two joined hands again, their fingers entwined, gently caressing each other.

“Charlie,” Jack finally spoke.  “Daniel, I know what that feels like to look at your child and know they are a part of you, that your genes are in them, that it's your blood flowing through them.  It's a bond that doesn't have words.  There's a feeling of immortality when you look at your child and know that ...”  He paused, a brief look of horror encompassing his face.  ~Oh, crap.~

~Oh, My Love.~  Jack's look stopped Daniel's heart, it was so full of sadness.  He knew, though, that he had to get them beyond this.  Softly, he completed his lover's thought, saying, “... and know that you live on in them when you're gone.”

Jack looked at Daniel with love and gratitude and only nodded in affirmation.  He took a breath and continued.  The sadness was that Jack wasn't living on in Charlie; rather, Charlie was living on in Jack.  It wasn't supposed to be like that.

“Charlie,” Jack laughed.  “He was something.  When we first started talking about this, and before, when I was mulling it over, I had to think about him, to decide if I could go through that again.  It didn't take me long to know that with you, I ... I wanted to take the chance again ...”

“But ...” Daniel said firmly, urging his lover on just as Jack had done so many times for Daniel when things had been difficult for him to express.

“But I wasn't sure because,” Jack began, pausing as a small smile formed on his face.  “Danny, you look like him.  Those pictures of you as a boy -- it's Charlie. You know?”

Daniel acknowledged the similarity, saying, “I know; it's the hair.”

“And the eyes, the smile, your hands, how you look at the world, and ...” the older man paused again.  “Ah, Angel, the little boy in you was a lot like Charlie, and ...”

“... and part of you is afraid that our little boy would look like Charlie and maybe that might be difficult to handle?” Daniel surmised understandingly.

“Yeah, something like that, but ...”

“... but you've been thinking about this surrogate thing from the beginning, but were afraid to tell me, right?” Daniel again surmised.

“Something like that.”

“And that's what has you mixed up, because you're afraid that since I looked like Charlie as a little boy that if I ... we ... had a little boy using a surrogate, than odds are increased that he'd look like Charlie,” Daniel spoke.

“Yeah, that would be it,” Jack confirmed, glad it was finally out in the open.  ~Learn to talk, O'Neill.~

Daniel kissed his lover's hands and rubbed his right cheek against them for a moment before replying, “We don't have to do the surrogate thing.  That's the easy solution.”

“Except for one thing,” Jack quietly responded.

“And that would be ...?” Daniel prodded.

Jack moved his right hand to run through Daniel's hair for a moment, and then to caress his cheek before answering, “Danny, you're so amazing.  I don't want to lose that gift.”

“I don't understand,” a perplexed Daniel admitted.

“You,” Jack stated passionately.  He continued, “Passing on who you are, that genius, the compassion, the uniqueness of everything that is you.  We can pass that on and keep it going.  Danny, haven't you ever wanted that, to perpetuate yourself with your children?”

Daniel hesitated a second or two and then confided, “I never really thought about it.  I mean, Jack, I read books, and I studied.  My love life before you wasn't exactly stellar, and that includes Sha're.  So ... no, I never have because before you, I never thought I was anything special.  I never thought I'd have that kind of relationship with anyone, and ... and then, after you, it ... well, it wasn't going to be humanly possible, so why think about it?” he asked with a shy smile.  

“But if we go the surrogate route, it would be possible,” Jack reminded.

“Yes, I guess so.”

“But ...” Jack prompted, anxious to understand exactly how his husband felt on the topic.

“It brings mothers into it,” Daniel thoughtfully pointed out.  “Jack, I couldn't agree to an arrangement where the birth mother, if we go the surrogate route, or the birth parents and the adoptive parents don't know each other, where everything is kept hidden in a computer database.  It's the uncertainty.  I'd worry all the time that the birth parents would change their mind and suddenly pop up wanting *their* child back.  I couldn't do that, Jack.  I couldn't fall in love with our child, only to lose him or her.”

“So, you don't want to try it,” Jack assumed.

“I didn't say that,” Daniel replied.  “If we opted to go that route, it would have to be an open arrangement.  That's not uncommon anymore.  And ... well, Jack, I have to be honest with you, and I don't know how you'd feel about it, but, if we did have an open arrangement with the surrogate or the birth parents, then they'd ... I mean, Jack, I just can't ... I couldn't exclude them.  I'd want them to be a part of our child's life and that means part of our life.”

“Big decision,” Jack sighed.  “Sharing our lives isn't an easy thing to ask someone to do.”

“We'd be out of the Program,” Daniel reminded.

“There's that,” Jack conceded.  He nodded and said, “I'd like us to consider it, though.”

Daniel's eyes bore into the older man's as he firmly declared, “Jack, if I do it, you do it, too.  This isn't a one-way street, and it's non-negotiable.  I hope you know that.”

“I knew you'd say that,” Jack acknowledged with a grin.  “We're a team.”

Daniel chuckled, but then noted, “And ... that might get a little difficult, too.”

“Timing,” Jack acknowledged, letting out a breath of air as he pondered the unique problem associated with going the surrogate route.  Still, he was sure they could solve the timing issue, so he replied, “I doubt it would be too much of a problem.  We can figure it out.”

“Woof!  Woof!”

“Uh oh,” Daniel responded to the beagle's interruption.  “I think they're feeling ignored, Jack.”

“Children - so demanding.  How about we exhaust the little things and then go exhaust ourselves?”

“I like the way you think, Colonel Jackson-O'Neill,” Daniel smirked happily.

The two stood up, and Daniel stretched, suddenly noticing that Jack seemed to be feasting on him with his eyes.

“What?” the younger man asked.

“You're so beautiful.”  Seeing his soulmate's blush, Jack smiled.  “Geez, Danny, I love that.  Six years, and you still blush at the simplest thing.”

Daniel walked to Jack and kissed him tenderly before responding, “There's nothing simple about how you love me or how you make me feel.  Jack, you make me feel so special, like I'm ...” Daniel smiled, “a treasured artifact, and I can't help but react to it because it comes from here, in your heart,” he said, bringing his right hand to Jack's chest.

“I love you, Daniel Patrick Jackson-O'Neill, and you are special and precious.  I can't wait to have kids with you, however we decide to do it.  Genes or not, our little brood will be part of you.”

“There's more to parenting than genes,” the archaeologist stated.  “I do understand what you said, Jack, and ... the passing on a piece of ourselves ... that makes sense, too, and I also know that both of us will love and cherish our children, no matter where they come from or how they get to be ours.  What matters is that, in the end, they'll be ours.  We'll be the ones teaching them about life ... just us.”

After another kiss, Jack mentioned, “There is another option, too, for babies, besides the slow traditional system or the glorified lawyers, or the surrogate method.”

“What's that?”

Jack adjusted his lover's glasses slightly, having just realized they were off-kilter just a tad, and then asked, “Ever watch those paid programming commercials at night?”

Daniel sighed, his reaction an expression of sadness at the plight of homeless, needy, and hungry children around the world.  How many times had he seen or heard about babies in Ethiopia or some other African or South American country in need of a home?  The answer was many.  He again looked deeply into Jack's eyes.

“Jack, would it matter to you?  I mean, nationality or ...”

“... or color?” Jack completed for his spouse.  He saw the affirmation of the question in his lover's eyes and quickly shook his head, stating, “No, it wouldn't matter, Danny.  When it comes right down to it, I don't care what sex our child is, or what color they are, or what their heritage is.  All I care about is that they're healthy and ours.  How about you?”

“Me, too,” Daniel agreed.  “So ... I guess that's another option we should at least consider.  We could save a life or two that way.”

“We have a lot of options, Love,” Jack spoke.  “There's a lot to think about.”

“So many considerations,” Daniel sighed, but then he smiled.  “We have time, but you were right, Jack.  We need to think about what we want now.  We have to look closely at the choices, research them completely.  We need to be comfortable with whatever choice we make, and then, when you retire ...”

“... the Jackson-O'Neills hit the road and bring home their kids, from wherever,” Jack cheerfully intoned.

“Woof!”

“Speaking of kids,” Daniel chuckled at the more aggressive bark they'd just heard.

Two more kisses and a tender embrace later, Jack and Daniel found themselves on the grass in their backyard being over run by two healthy, happy beagles.  Somewhere in the middle of the romp, the married couple exchanged a look, one that said no matter what they decided, the Jackson-O'Neills were going to be a very loving and happy family.

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