The Darndest Things

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Humor, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - February 19, 2011
Spoilers:  None
Size:  30kb, short story
Written:  March 1-5,7,9-10,13-14, 2008  Revised: December 8-9, 2017
Summary:  Kids say the darndest things, as Jack and Daniel can attest to as they listen in on their younger children and some of their friends playing in the game room.
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:  Tammy, Claudia, Ali, Lissa, Linda, Melissa, Keri!

The Darndest Things
by Orrymain

The Jackson-O'Neill home was full of chatter as several of the children were playing hosts to friends.  Some might think it was a party, but it wasn't.  It was just another day in the life of this large family.  Little Danny invited Carrie Lapierre over to play, and Jenny asked one of the neighborhood girls, Lindy Miller, to join them after seeing the youngster playing by herself outside.  After having lunch at a friend's house, Jonny invited that friend, Jerry Portman, to come to his house and play.  Jerry was the same age as the Munchkins and his dad was retired from the Navy so both boys had a love of the military and often talked about planes, ships, weapons, and tactical maneuvers.

Much to Chenoa's delight, Chloe Payne, one of her good friends, was also at the house, which was especially nice since Chenoa's very best friend, Angela Wilson, was there, too.  Angela and her baby sister, Madeline, were staying with the family for a week or so while their parents, Sara and Mark, were on vacation.

Lindy's mother, Mitzi Miller, was enjoying a day off work but a sudden toothache resulted in her asking the Jackson-O'Neills if eight-year-old Calvin could also come over so she could head to the dentist's office.  Naturally, she was told it was no problem.  Within minutes, Calvin bounded inside the home and immediately started teasing his little sister about her hair looking like Frankenstein's wife's.  He quickly apologized while silently plotting more teases for later.

Just as the group settled in, the Zapatas dropped off their young son, Jose, and their daughter, Selena.  The fraternal twins were just a few days shy of enjoying their seventh birthday.

As he saw the Zapatas off, Daniel noticed Shelly McClain walking with her two kids.  She looked tired, so he called out to her.  After talking for a few minutes, he offered to have her children join the others for the afternoon.  She handed over her daughter Melinda, but responded that her son had a doctor's appointment soon.

The end result of the various invitations and requests meant that the Jackson-O'Neill house was full of young children, all under eight years of age.

Fortunately, Jack and Daniel's home was well equipped to act as a large playground for all of the children.  The backyard was huge and full of equipment for the children to enjoy, the recreation room was large with plenty of room in which to spread out and talk or relax, and the game room had a ton of activities and games for the children to utilize.

Teenagers Jeff and Jennifer were pulled away from their homework to discreetly hang out with the youngsters and help their parents keep an eye on the circus currently going on in the house.  Both brought books with them and were sitting on opposite sides of the game room to watch the group.  Jack and Daniel were walking in and out as well, and Bijou and Katie were both not only enjoying being patted almost nonstop, but were also on guard for any mischief or accidents caused by the young children.

At the moment, some of the kids were in the game room, sitting on the floor by Muffin, the giant dinosaur, building creations with Legos and Lincoln logs while talking and trading stories as only young children can do.

“Donald Duck,” Jonny stated.

“Uncle Scrooge McDuck's funny,” Jerry added.

“I like Goofy,” Aislinn interjected.

Jonny became thoughtful as he worked on the corner of the log house he was building.

“Jonny, what you thinking 'bout?” Little Danny asked.

“Little Danny,” Jonny began, still working on his toy house, “Goofy's a dog just like Pluto, right?”

“Uh-huh.”

“How come Goofy walks like us, but Pluto walks like Bij 'n' Katie?” the oldest Munchkin inquired, looking over at his brother dubiously.

Little Danny scrunched his nose, then scratched his ear, and finally shrugged as he answered, “No know why.”

“And Goofy can talk, but Pluto can't; not fair to Pluto,” Angela opined.

“Maybe he does it 'cause Mickey tells him to,” Aislinn suggested.

Jonny nodded, thinking that was a great explanation.

“Are dogs smarter than cats?” Jerry questioned, laughing at Katie who just butted her nose into his hand, wanting to be petted.

“They're all smart,” Little Danny insisted.

“Clarice's cat had kittens,” Lindy Miller interjected about another child who lived nearby.

“Wow,” several kids exclaimed.

“Boy kitties or girl kitties?” Jenny questioned from the beanbag she was sitting on while playing with one of her dolls.

“Two boys and two girls,” Lindy answered.

“How do you know?” Calvin asked his younger sister.

Exasperated, Lindy stared at her brother and sighed, “Daddy picked them up and looked at them underneath.”  After a pause, she opined, “I think it's printed on their bottoms.”

Jennifer giggled from the corner of the room, actually bringing her book to cover up her face, while Jeff also let out a chuckle.  Both of the teens were enjoying the conversations around them.

Having overheard the kitten conversation as she played air hockey with Angela, Chenoa commented, “Babies are funny.”

“They just sleep a lot,” Angela replied, thinking about her little sister.

“Mommy says Dad sleeps like a baby,” Calvin called out.

“He wakes up a lot,” Chloe assumed.

“Na-huh,” Calvin disagreed.

“But my baby sister wakes Mommy and Daddy up every two hours.  Mommy says so,” Chloe refuted.

“Mommy says it's good to sleep like a baby,” Calvin reported.  “She gets mad if Daddy doesn't sleep 'nuff and is grumpy.”

“That no make sense,” Jonny said, looking at his fellow Munchkins. “If grown ups like us to sleep like babies, but babies wake up all time, why they want that?”

“Grown ups funny,” Ricky answered as he tried to shoot a basketball through the hoop, though it missed.  “Darn.”

--

“Dad 'n' Daddy kiss lots,” Aislinn giggled.

“My Mommy and Daddy do, too,” Jose returned, scrunching his face as if disgusted.  “Yuck.”

“I think love is good,” Aislinn responded to the boy's negative response.

“I'm in favor of love as long as it doesn't happen when 'The Simpsons' is on TV,” Chloe opined with a nod.

From the doorway, Jack grinned, thinking, ~Gotta love the Paynes.  They're raising their children right.~

“Why fall when in love?” Jenny asked sincerely.

Lindy responded, “I think it hap'ns when ya get shot with an arrow or somethin', so it hurts lots, but the rest of it isn't supposed to hurt much, 'cept when mommies have babies.”

Shaking her head, Angela answered, “No one knows why, but I think it has to do with how you smell.  That's why Mommy wears perfume and Daddy afta-shave.”

“I gonna smell bad,” Jonny declared emphatically.

“It's food,” Jose refuted.  “At rest'rants, people in love stare at each other.  Their food gets cold.”

“So if people eat food fast, when it's hot, they aren't in love?” Ricky asked, seeing some nods in the room.  “Gotta watch Dad 'n' Daddy 'n' see if they eat fast.”

**Make a note, Babe.  The next time we eat, we eat slow,** Daniel chuckled from the doorway.

**We starve,** Jack teased.

“Boys need ta get married,” Aislinn all of a sudden opined.

“Do not,” Jonny argued.

“Do so,” Aislinn insisted.

“Why?” Calvin questioned

“'Cause boys need girls to clean up after them!” Aislinn explained.

“Girls can be single and just have fun,” Angela asserted, nodding.

“I'm not gonna rush into being in love,” Selena said as she and Lulu played cards over near where Jeff was sitting.  “I think first grade is hard enough.”

Hearing the little girl's remark, Jeff almost spit out the water he was drinking and ended up with a coughing fit, trying hard not to laugh.

“I wanna be a mommy,” Melinda suddenly said.

“How come God made mothers?” Calvin pondered aloud.

“Dumb question, Cal,” a critical Lindy sighed.  ~My hair is pretty; not like Mrs. Frankenstein's,~ she thought while still reeling from her brother's earlier taunt.

“Why?”

“God made mommies because she's the one who knows where the Scotch tape is,” the boy's sister replied.

“And to clean the house,” Chloe acknowledged, nodding.

“To help us out of there when we were getting born,” Carrie stated with a chuckle.

“Out of where?” Ricky asked.

“Her belly.”

“Oh,” Ricky responded, deciding he didn't want to think about being in anyone's belly.  ~How did we breathe inside Mommy's belly?~

“Mommies are smart,” Angela put forth, certain her mother was the smartest mother in the world.

“What would you change about your mommy?” Jerry queried.

“Hmmm,” Angela thought.  “Mommy has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean.  I'd change that.”

Calvin responded, “I'd make my mom smarter.  Then she'd know it was my sister who did it and not me.”

“I did not,” Lindy whined.

**I wonder what 'it' is, or was,** Daniel pondered curiously.

**I'm sure it was something Calvin did and not Lindy,** Jack responded.

**Maybe, and maybe not,** Daniel laughed inwardly as the lovers continued to listen in on the conversation.  **You know how Ash and Jonny are.**

The older man stared thoughtfully at his husband while replaying several incidents in his mind and finally acknowledged, **You've got me there.**

“Jonny, what you change?” Carrie questioned.

“I'd get rid of the invis'ble eyes Dad 'n' Daddy have in backs of their heads,” the sandy-haired boy answered.

All of the young Jackson-O'Neill children nodded, causing the two teenagers to chuckle as both glanced at their amused parents.

“Dad 'n' Daddy hear, too,” Ricky sighed.

“What that mean?” Carrie sought to clarify.

“They hear, but not in same room,” Jonny explained.

“Me think they in wall,” Ricky spoke with a nod, though Little Danny quietly shook his head in response.

“It parent marker,” Jonny told the others, though he failed to say anything else to explain his comment despite the questioning looks from the other kids in the room.
 
“Who's boss at your house?” Jose asked as he played basketball with Ricky.

“Dad,” Ricky answered.  “He finds stuff under the bed.”

Jack grinned superiorly at his husband, approving of the young boy's answer.

“But Daddy gets Dad ta do wha'ver he wants, so Daddy boss,” Jenny corrected.

Jack's grin faded, while Daniel bowed his head, trying not to erupt in laughter.  He was smiling broadly though, his dimples clearly showing, even as he looked down at the floor.

With a tiny groan, Jack turned and walked away, his lover following him into the kitchen to get a drink.

“Mommy is boss at our house,” Calvin noted.  “She has more to do than Daddy.”

“Yeah, Daddy goes away in the car to play.  Mommy does all the work,” Lindy agreed.

--

A couple of minutes later, Jack and Daniel both returned to their spot, just outside the doorway.  They were having too much fun listening to the kids talk to do their work.  Upon returning, they realized the children were still talking about their parents.

“How come your mom is your mom?” Chloe asked, looking over at Melinda.

“'Cause we're related,” Melinda answered succinctly.

“My mommy is my mommy because God knows she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me,” Jose spoke with complete seriousness, causing Jack to chortle and turn away so he wouldn't be heard.

--

“Jack!” Daniel chastised as he walked towards his lover, the two of them making sure they were far enough away from the game room that the children wouldn't hear them.

“Jose's a good kid, but he does get into a lot of trouble,” Jack replied, still chuckling lightly.

“All children do,” Daniel responded.

“At least he knows it,” Jack smirked, deciding to go back and listen in some more on the children.  ~I should be working, but this is too much fun.~

Daniel started to follow, but then he heard Madeline crying over the intercom, so he headed upstairs to check on her.

--

“That's not right,” Jenny spoke sternly.

“Uh-huh,” Calvin insisted.  “He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.”

“It was magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring,” Jose put forth.

Carrie giggled, “God made my mom just the same like He made me.  He just used bigger parts.”

~Bigger parts,~ Jack mused.  ~I could listen to this all day.~  Hearing a contrary voice in his head that was admonishing him for eavesdropping so much on the children, he sighed, ~Okay, okay, I'll work,~ and then reluctantly headed for the study.  As he was walking down the hall, he wondered idly whether that voice he'd heard was his own or if Daniel was 'mind-dropping' again.  ~He's so snoopy sometimes.~

**Babe, did you say something?** Daniel suddenly communicated.

**Just that I love you,** Jack replied, unable to stop his grin as he entered his study.

~Right,~ Daniel thought.  ~Why don't I believe him?~

====

The children were assembled at the table in the hospitality room, enjoying sandwiches, snacks, and a beverage.

“My drink has vitamins in it, and yours doesn't,” Selena said to her brother.

“How do you know?” the boy asked in response.  “Who told you that?”

“No one did.  I just have a special kind of brain.”

“Yeah, a flaky one,” Jose snarked.

“Jack, put vegetable oil on the shopping list, please,” Daniel requested as he closed the cupboard.

“We need some olive oil, too,” the older man responded, adding the items to a list that was on the refrigerator door.

“Daddy, what's vegetable oil made of?” Jenny asked from her seat at the table.

“Uh, well, plant sources, such as vegetables, nuts, and seeds.  Most vegetable oils are made from soybeans,” Daniel answered.

“What's olive oil made of?” Ricky questioned as he fidgeted with his seat at the table.

“Olives,” the archaeologist answered.

“Daddy, what about corn oil?” Jenny queried curiously.

“It's made from the germ of maize, which is ... corn,” Daniel answered.

“From germs?” Aislinn squealed.

“The germ is the center, or heart of the corn kernel,” Daniel explained.

“Good, because I don't wanna eat germs,” the youngest Munchkin stated strongly at the same time that Jose leaned over and whispered something in Chloe's ear.

“Ewww,” Chloe groaned, grimacing and squirming.  “I don't think so, Jose.”

“Yuck!” Jenny exclaimed after Chloe whispered it to her.

Jack watched as the children secretly passed some horrible secret from child to child, ending with Carrie gasping and putting her hands to face.

“Okay, what's the big secret?” Jack asked.

“I think they not right, Dad,” Little Danny piped up.

“Not right about what?”  Jack watched the shocked expressions on the children's faces, none wanting to share their thought.  “Out with it.”

“If veg'ble oil is made from veg'bles,” Lindy began.

“'N' olive oil's made outta olives,” Jose continued.

“And corn oil is made from corn kernels,” Angela added, gulping afterwards.

“What?” Jack asked, his voice showing a bit of strain from his curious frustration at the children's hesitation to speak their minds.

“Jack, be calm,” Daniel ordered, walking over to stand by his lover.

“Babyoilmadeouttababies,” Little Danny spoke super fast.

“What?” Jack asked incredulously.

“He say baby oil made from babies,” Jonny translated.

Jack stared at the youngsters for a few seconds before he looked at his husband and said evasively, “Daniel, I know you can handle this.”

Seeing his husband turn around to continue his task in the hospitality room, Daniel called out, **Coward.**  Giving the worried children a closed and somewhat nervous smile, he took a short breath and then corrected, “Uh, no.  Baby oil is *not* made from babies.  It's called that because it's used on babies, but it's definitely not made from babies.  Okay?”

“Whew!” Jonny exclaimed, swiping his brow in relief.

Daniel smiled nervously and then turned around, needing a moment to regroup. He stared at his husband, who was whistling happily at having escaped the exchange.

--

The kids were still enjoying their food break when the subject of snow came up. Some of the children liked the snow, and others wished it didn't snow so much.

“I like sunshine better.  It's my favorite season,” Lindy stated.

“Sunshine not a season,” Calvin corrected, laughing at his sister.

“She probably means summer,” Angela interjected.

“What your favorite season, Jonny?” Melinda questioned.

Not having paid too much attention to the conversation at the moment since he was busy stuffing his turkey and ham sandwich into his mouth, the oldest Munchkin swallowed his bite, gulped, and answered, “Um, salt, pepper, mustard 'n' catsup.”

Jack and Daniel both stared at each other, wondering why their son had answered so strangely.  They were relieved when the boy's siblings interceded.

“Jonny, you no listen,” Little Danny chastised.

Chenoa giggled, “Those are food seasons, Jonny.”

“Huh?”

“Melinda asked what your favorite season was,” Lulu explained.  “The weather, Jonny.”

“Oh!” Jonny exclaimed, taking another bite.  When he finished chewing it, he answered, “I like winter.  Snow's fun.”

====

Jonny, Little Danny, and Jose were in the enlarged restroom upstairs, having all just gone to the bathroom.  They were at the sink, washing their hands, when the two Munchkins began to sing the Alphabet song.

“Why are you singing?” Jose questioned as he began to dry his hands on the towel.

“No, Jose, you not wash your hands 'nuff,” Jonny chastised.

“You hafta sing the song and then you know when you've washed enough,” Little Danny explained, motioning for the boy to return.  “Like this,” he said, beginning to sing.

Jonny joined in as a confused Jose tossed his hands under the water again.

“Now we dry,” Jonny stated when their song was done.  “Hafta kill germs.”

“Oh,” Jose replied with a shrug, deciding to just go along with what the younger boys were doing.

--

Just outside the doorway, Jack chuckled, wondering just how strange Jose thought it was to sing after you 'go'.  Still, he and Daniel discovered the helpful hint on how to teach the children how long to wash their hands in one of the parenting magazines the younger man had purchased when the Munchkins were babies.  It proved to be a successful hint and one their brood easily learned and adapted to very early on in their young lives.

====

The children were outside, playing and carrying on with their own special kind of banter.

“I no wanna go to school,” Serena whined.

“We have school at home,” Jenny stated.

“Yeah, we learn all kinds stuff,” Jonny added.  “Like 'bout George Wash'ton 'n' how to spell 'n' what syntax mean.”

“I know what syntax is,” Calvin spoke up.

“What is it?” Jose asked.

“Syntax is all the money the mins'ter gets from the sinners at church,” Calvin answered.

Several of the children laughed, but then Jonny informed the others that syntax was part of grammar, claiming, “But I wasn't payin' 'tention to it.”

“It not for us, Jonny,” Aislinn corrected.  “Bri was learning it.”

“Good 'cause I no know what it is.”

====

“Crazy afternoon,” Jack chuckled as the visiting children were leaving.

“Crazy,” Daniel affirmed with a nod before heading back into the game room.  “Jonny,” he called out.

“Aw, shucks,” the boy sighed, knowing what was coming.

“Okay, we gave you the afternoon so you could play with everyone, but you know you broke the rules the other night, so the game room is off limits for you now,” Daniel advised.  “You can play in your room or watch TV quietly in the living room until dinnertime, but that's it.”

“And no Wii,” Jack reminded with a forceful stare.

“I like to Wii,” Jonny whined, shuffling with his feet as he stared down at the carpet.  Seeing the expectant stare from his younger parent, he sighed, “Yes, Daddy.”

====

A bit later, Jonny put his G.I. Joe away and walked downstairs.  In the living room, he saw David playing with the Nintendo game.

~I wanna play.~  Jonny sat down and watched for a few minutes, pondering his options.  ~No dinner tonight.  No get go flying in Jo.~  Several minutes later, after David decided to go upstairs and work on his homework, the oldest Munchkin walked over and stared at the game setup.  ~It worth it.~

The youngster sat down, but as he picked up the game control, ready to break the rules, he found he just couldn't do it.

~I know!~ Jonny exclaimed with a smile.

--

“Hey, Son,” Jack called out from his spot on the sofa in his study, where he was reading Madeline a story.

With a grin approaching that of his father's infamous Irish smile, Jonny held up the controller and said, “I'm gonna go get in more trouble, okay?”

Jack stared at the boy and couldn't help but chuckle, which Jonny took for a 'yes' response.  Quickly, the inventive child headed back to the living room before his father could utter a refuting word.

“Well, Maddy, how can you say 'no' to a grin like that?” the general chuckled as he returned to the story.

====

“Penny for your thoughts,” Jack said, sitting down next to Angela as she stared at her sleeping sister in the crib.

All of the other children were downstairs, and the general had gotten curious as to where the oldest Wilson girl was.

“Uncle Jack, do you think Maddy likes me?”

“I think she loves you.  In fact, I know she does.”

“She can't do much,” Angela sighed.

“She's still a baby, Angie,” Jack reminded, using his nickname for the young girl.  “Give her a few more months to pick up some toddler steam,” he teased.  “What are you thinking about?”

“Noa says she learns lots from Jen,” Angela answered.

Smiling, Jack rubbed the little girl's back and said, “Angie, you are gonna be one terrific big sister.  Maddy there is gonna look up to you and learn from you, and she already loves you.”

“I don't have a big sister to learn from, Uncle Jack.  What if I don't do good?”

“Angie, you have the best mom in the world,” Jack spoke about his ex-wife, Sara.  “You learn from her, right?”

Angela smiled and responded, “Mom teaches 'Mom' stuff.”

“She teaches you everything stuff,” Jack corrected.  “You're gonna do just fine with Maddy.”

“Mommy says I worry too much 'bout being good for Maddy,” Angela admitted.

“You're too young to be worrying, Angie,” Jack pointed out.  “If you want my two cents worth, I think you should just be yourself.  That's the best thing you can teach your sister -- to be herself.”

Grinning, Angela hugged the silver-haired man gratefully, asking him as she wrapped her arms around his neck, “Uncle Jack, where does the extra penny go to?”

“What?”

“You gave me a penny for my thoughts and then two cents to tell me to be myself.  Where's the other penny?”

Jack laughed, reached into his pocket, and pulled out two cents, saying, “Right here.”

Angela chuckled as Jack leaned over to give her a kiss on the cheek, and then the two went downstairs to join Daniel and the other children.

====

“I can't believe you let Jonny play with the Wii,” Daniel remarked as he buttoned his pajama top.

“Danny, you had to be there,” Jack returned, only a bit apologetically.

“Babe, if we let our children off the hook every time they did something cute, they'd never learn anything.”

“So sue me,” Jack responded lightly, giving his lover a seductive leer along with one of his best smiles.  “Geez, Danny, he was grinning and telling on himself.  How could I say 'no'?”

Daniel sighed and, when Jack raised his eyebrows, whined, “No fair.  Okay, I give up.”

Climbing into bed and settling in next to each other to snuggle, the parents both sighed happily at being together.

“Some of those things the kids said -- baby oil from babies,” Jack mused, laughing too much to finish his sentence.

“I guess it's true what they say,” Daniel replied, resting his head on Jack's chest.

“What's that?”

“Kids say the darndest things,” the younger man answered, smiling brightly.

“And husbands do the darndest things,” Jack replied, turning over on top of his husband and disappearing under the sheets.

“Oh, gawd, yes!”

Happy and growing even happier, Jack and Daniel enjoyed a fiery, passionate night before waking to yet another wonderful day with their family and whatever the future would bring their way.

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

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