Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Humor, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - November 24, 2012
Spoilers:  None
Size:  30kb, short story
Written:  November 24-25,30, December 1,4,6, 2007
Summary:  It's just not Jack's day.
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
1) This story was inspired by Lil Bear, who actually did half of this story, and by Mama Bear, who had about as much success fighting off Lil Bear as Jack did with the brood.
2) 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.**
3) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
4) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my other fic(s), “The Bet”
5) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Melissa, Tonya, Linda, Claudia!

by Orrymain

On this first Saturday after Thanksgiving, Jack and Daniel had decided to have a cleanup day involving all their children.  Some of the brood were doing chores in the front of the home, some were inside, and a few were in the backyard.  The kids were all lobbying for an increase in their allowances, all of them arguing that they could do more chores, or 'higher grade' chores if given the chance.  This was their day to prove it.

At the moment, Jack was in the backyard, repairing the border to Katie's play yard, which had somehow become skewed.  One side had been shoved back, so the sand on the inside was spilling out a bit.  Meanwhile, Jonny was tackling leaf raking, having insisted on using a big rake.  The boy's argument had been that he was a big boy doing a big boy's job and, thus, would use a big boy's rake.

Jack shook his head in amusement as he watched the determined boy, though he had to give his son credit.  The six-year-old youngster had successfully filled two garbage bags full of leaves.

“Put some elbow grease into it, Jonny,” Jack called out seriously, though he really was just teasing.

Jonny scowled, seeing his father's smirk.  Suddenly, the boy smirked himself.

Holding JD, Daniel walked outside just in time to see his son's expression.  From his position on the porch, he observed the sandy-haired boy run to the back of the house, pick up a small box, and return to the pile of leaves he'd accumulated, loading it full of brown foliage.

~Oops,~ Daniel expressed with a chuckle.  “JD, I think ... no, I know, this is going to be ... dangerous.”

The eleven-month-old, whose vocabulary was growing daily, laughed, “Jonny funny.”

Daniel looked back over at the exact same moment Jack looked up from his work.  Both knew what was about to happen.

“Jonny, I wouldn't advise that,” Jack warned in his best parental voice.

“Why?” Jonny asked.

“Because I said so,” Jack answered.

“Why?” the giggling boy questioned again, the box of leaves looming out in front of him.

“Listen, Mister, I'm serious.  Do not ... don't ... I mean ... no ...just don't do that,” Jack stammered, losing all control of his parental admonishment and ending up by laughing himself.  “Jonny, don't.”

“I want to.”

“Why?” Jack questioned.

“Because,” Jonny answered.

“Because?  Because why?” Jack asked.

“Becaaaaaause ... I'm a kid!” Jonny laughed as he successfully emptied out the entire box of leaves all over his older father's head.

Jack sighed, “That wasn't funny.”

“Actually, Babe, it was hysterical,” Daniel mused.  “Jonny, great answer!”


Laughing, the archaeologist retorted, “It's the best answer I've heard for doing mischief in a long time.  'Because I'm a kid'.  It works, Jack!  It should win the best answer of all time award.  It is the ...”

“Daniel, we get it,” Jack growled, cutting off his husband's nomination speech.  He looked back at Jonny just in time to see another box of leaves tossed at him.  “Jonny!” he exclaimed exasperatingly, pushing the leaves off of him.  “I'll get you ...” he said, getting up and chasing the boy across the lawn, grabbing him when he knew the child would land on the security of the two leaf-filled bags.  “Jonathan Charles!” he began in an attempt to chastise the boy.

“Jack, give it up,” Daniel advised, seeing Jonny just giggling harder at Jack’s attempt to be authoritative.  “You lost him when you blew it on the parental toughness.”

“Yeah, I did,” Jack admitted.  “But the Tickle Monster wants revenge,” he said, tickling the boy, who was laughing loudly and boisterously as he grasped his abdomen in a futile attempt to protect it from the attack of the tickling creature.


After the Tickle Monster finished his attack on the oldest triplet, Jack went back to work on the border of Katie's play yard.  He was bent down, moving it into place, when Katie came trotting over with a stick that she had found on the other side of the yard.

“Hi, Kat...”

Jack's greeting was cut off by a cascade of sand being thrown into his face as Katie dug a hole to bury her treasure.

“Oh, for crying out loud.  Katie!”

“Woof!” the beagle responded.

“Yeah, right.  I'll bet your mother would show more respe... BIJOU!”

The man's words had been interrupted by a mouth full of grass, courtesy of Bijou, who had just relieved herself and then kicked up a storm of grass with her back paws, though, fortunately, she'd backed up a foot or so first so that the patch of grass she'd kicked up wasn't the spot where she'd just done her business.  He sat back on his legs, shaking his head as he spit out the wad of grass and dirt that had become an unexpected dessert.

Snickers broke out from some of the children who had witnessed the episode, much to the chagrin of their father.

“Woof!” the oldest beagle spoke, having run up to the general and then begun kissing his face.

Jack began to laugh as he patted the mama beagle.

“Yeah, yeah, all right.  I love you, too.”

“Woof!” Katie called out, running over and tackling Jack, applying layers of licks on the opposite side of her mother.

Laughing brightly, Jack responded, “Okay, I love you, too.”


A bit later, Brianna and David were in the garage, folding the clothes that had just finished drying.  Normally, several of the children would be involved in this process, but it was their contention that they could handle all of the family's laundry by themselves.  They'd already taken care of their parent's clothing, and had done most of the older children's as well.  Right now, they were down to the under garments and accessories belonging to their younger siblings, and they were getting a little laundry-looney.

“When I go on my next scuba dive, I'm going to ...” Brianna began, talking about her hopeful plans for another look at her favorite marine creatures.  “Hey!” she exclaimed, just managing to catch the rolled up purple socks.

David laughed and then lobbied another sock-ball at his sister.

“You little ...” Brianna responded, reaching down and throwing a pair of quickly folded socks that belonged to Chenoa at the laughing boy.

“Wait!  Let's have a real sock war,” the boy proposed.

“You're on,” Brianna said.

A time out was called for five minutes while under clothing was folded, rolled, or otherwise mangled into volleys of childhood warfare.

The two children then stood with a plastic cart full of laundry at their disposal.  They were standing a few feet opposite each other as they prepared their attack.

“Ready?” Brianna called out.

“Bring it on, Tommie,” David jested, using a nickname for 'tomboy' that made Brianna screech.

“You're doomed, Half-Pint Geek,” Brianna retorted back.

“One ... two ... three ... go!” David called out.

Right then, Jack walked into the garage and straight into opening volley of the great clothing war.

“Hey!  Hey!  Hey!” the father called out as his hands raised to block the attack.

At first the kids were shocked.  They paused; then both exchanged evil grins.  They knew if they were in trouble, they might as well get in trouble big time.

“Now!” Brianna yelled.

With precision any military father would be proud off, the two children bombarded the general with an onslaught of clothing hits, slams, and touches that would bring any normal man to his knees, and even decorated generals as well.

“It just isn't my day,” Jack lamented from his position on his knees, surrounded by family clothing.  He picked up a pair of Aislinn's underpants and said, “I don't think it's my size.”

As Brianna and David laughed, Jack shook his head until he, too, was laughing.


So far, the day had been a long and busy one, and Jack, who had been the first one up and had actually started working, doing repairs to his truck, at six in the morning, was tired.  He decided that he'd earned a nap.  He wanted an hour, but figured he'd be lucky, and happy, to get just thirty minutes.  Taking advantage of everyone else being busy and in other parts of the house, the general settled in on the old, comfy sofa in the study.  Before long, he was sound asleep.

A few minutes later, Chenoa walked in to dust the study.  Normally, she was just responsible for the upstairs library, but she wanted to take on more cleaning in her quest for an increased paycheck from her parents.  Trying to be quiet so that she didn't disturb her sleeping father, she proceeded to dust his desk.

Then the little girl heard her father smack his lips and mumble something that sounded like 'loopy for loops'.

Putting her hand over her mouth, Chenoa giggled.  She thought back to this morning when Jack had ranted over his Froot Loops.  Actually, it had started out with a terse reminder to never ever run out of the cereal.  It was something that had happened the weekend before, thanks to the holiday madness that had overtaken their household.  To make sure it didn't happen again, Jack had gone a bit crazy when shopping.  The family now had a cabinet full of nothing but Froot Loops.

“Oh, funny,” Chenoa giggled as she hurried out of the room and headed for the kitchen.  There, she saw Lulu and Aislinn.  “I have an idea,” the girl told her sisters, explaining about their older father being asleep and reminding them about all the boxes of cereal they had at their disposal.  “Dad always says eating Froot Loops is an art.  I think we should make some art.”

The three sisters giggled as their conspiracy grew.  Caught up in the moment and giddily thinking about how fun it would be, they didn't think about the repercussions of the idea.

“Ut-oh,” Aislinn gasped when Jack began to toss a bit.  To silence him, she put a piece of the cereal into the man's mouth.  Promptly, Jack began to eat it, a smile appearing on his face.  Magically, he didn't wake up.  “Hafta remember that.”

For several minutes, the girls labored, creating an artwork they were proud of.  When they were done, they stood back, giggling at their sleeping father, covered by a mound of colorful cereal pieces.

Walking down the hallway, Daniel heard some hushed chuckles from the study.  Curious, he went to investigate.

“Girls, what are ... oh,” the archaeologist said, seeing his husband and grinning.  ~I could maybe grow to love Froot Loops, if I ... stop it, Jackson: your children are present.~

“Dad makes a great rainbow!” Lulu commented, referring to their colorful and somewhat detailed design.

Just then, Jack began to mumble, waking up.

“What the ...” the father called out, jerking up to a sitting position.  As the did, the cereal went all over the floor.  “Oh, for crying out loud.”

“Daaaad!  You ruined it,” Chenoa called out seriously.

“Yeah!” Lulu echoed, before all three girls began to laugh.

“Got it!” Daniel announced, showing the girls the photo he'd captured on his cell phone.

“Thanks, Daddy,” Aislinn expressed happily.

“This just isn't my day,” Jack sighed, reaching down and scooping up a handful of his favorite cereal and eating it.


About an hour later Jack was changing JD's diaper.  The infant was lying on the changing table in the nursery, which was also still Lulu and Chenoa's room.  Mittens was sitting next to JD, supervising Jack.

“Patches,” JD said, having just dropped his beloved black and white stuffed dog on the floor.

“Don't worry, Son.  I'll get the little rascal,” Jack said as he squatted down to retrieve the stuffed animal.  “Okay, this is getting ridiculous,” he complained a moment later when a cascade of baby powder showered down on him.


Mittens had chosen that moment to walk around JD and had knocked the bottle over, causing the white material to fall all over Jack's head and shoulders.

“Good Mi'ens,” JD praised as Jack stood up and handed Patches back to the him.

“Bad Mittens,” Jack scolded.

“No bad,” JD sniffled as tears began to form in his eyes.

It was too much for Jack to see so as he patted the feline causing her to purr, he spoke, “Did I say bad Mittens?  My bad.  I meant good Mittens.”

Bringing a smile to the child's face, Jack finished redressing JD and then went to his room to change his shirt and shake the powder out of his hair.


“I'm telling you, it's a child/pet conspiracy, Danny,” Jack accused a little while later.

The older man had just told his husband what had happened while he'd been changing JD.  The infant was now in his playpen in the living room so Daniel could keep an eye on him as he finished his cleaning chores.

“Jack, you're being paranoid.  It's just a case of kids being kids and pets being pets.  There's no conspiracy,” Daniel refuted, trying to soothe his lover and suppress his laughter at his disgruntled husband.

“Yes, there is.  First Jonny, then Katie and Bijou, then Brianna and David, then Ash, Lulu, and Noa, and now JD and Mittens.  It *is* a conspiracy, and JD's in on it.  He dropped Patches on purpose so that Mittens could powder me,” Jack ranted irrationally.

“Jack, he's a baby.  It was just an accident.  Let it go,” Daniel urged, giving his soulmate a loving kiss.  “I have to finish dusting the bookshelves, and you have other things to clean as well.”


Back doing household chores that afternoon, Jack was cleaning the barbecue grill at the side of the house.  He sat down on the lawn and was putting his own elbow grease into mightily cleaning the object of his 'burned steak' affections mightily.

Daniel, meanwhile, was working on the lawnmower that didn't seem to want to start.

Nearby, Ricky, who had heard about all the other kids' stunts that day, was engaged in his quest for a higher allowance by cleaning the garbage cans, something no one else wanted to do because of the odors that were near impossible to get rid of.  As he worked, he thought about his siblings' various adventures.  He really didn't want to miss out on the fun, but he wasn't sure what to do.  That is, not until he heard both of his parents talking.

“It's a puzzle to me, Daniel,” Jack stated.  “I clean this thing all the time.  Where do these char marks come from?”

“Burnt steaks,” the younger man quipped, earning him a glare from his husband.

“That's not funny,” Jack insisted.

“I thought it was,” the archaeologist mused.  “This sure is a mystery,” he said about the lawnmower.  “Maybe ... hmmm ...”

“You're a mystery,” Jack said, his eyes seductively alluring as he spoke.

Daniel coughed and quickly looked away.  That was twice so far that he had to remind himself that children were nearby.  He glanced over at Ricky and realized the boy had disappeared.

~Where'd he go?~ Daniel wondered.  ~Probably gave up on the trash can cleaning; I would, if I were him.~

A few minutes later, Ricky walked up behind Jack and asked, “Dad, you like mysteries, huh?”

“Sure do,” Jack affirmed without looking up as he attempted to finish cleaning the grill.

“You like puzzles, too, right?”

“Puzzles are the best,” Jack agreed, still not looking up.

Daniel looked over, curious about the questions.  His eyes widened and he extended out his hand and began to stutter a warning, but it was too late.

Ricky opened his hand and a flurry of puzzle pieces rained down on Jack.

“You're a puzzle, Dad,” the young boy said with a laugh.  “I made you a real puzzle now.  You're one of the pieces,” he said, laughing at his dad who was now covered in puzzle pieces.

Jack flicked away a piece of the jigsaw puzzle with his tongue and looked down at his lap full of pieces.

“Don't you love your old dad?” Jack asked.

“Like a puzzle,” Ricky chuckled.

“Funny,” Jack responded dryly, groaning when he saw his lover shaking his head and laughing.


A couple of hours later, the family had finished most of their chores.  Several of the brood were now in the recreation room, seated around the game table, putting together the puzzle that Ricky had dropped over their older father.

“We're missing a couple of pieces,” Jennifer spoke.  “Jeff ...”

“I don't see them, Jen,” the boy said, looking around.

“Maybe they're still outside,” Ricky suggested.  “I'll go look.”

A few minutes later, the boy returned, saying, “I looked everywhere.  They aren't there, and I watched Dad real close when he picked them all up, too.”

“*Watched* Dad?” Jennifer chuckled.

Ricky grinned and relayed what had happened.

“Okay, young man, you pick all of these up,” Jack had instructed once he'd gotten over the shock of being a human puzzle.

“Na-huh.  You're the puzzle; you have to do it.”


“'Cause,” Ricky stated.

“Pick them up,” Jack ordered.

“I'm gonna find another puzzle for you,” Ricky replied, ignoring the order.

**They're making up for being so good during that bet; it's their revenge,** Jack communicated to his husband, referring to a two-month-long bet he'd made with his children from last fall, that the children had won by behaving perfectly over that span of time.

**I'm sure it is,** Daniel mused.

“Richard Patrick, pick up those pieces, or else,” Jack threatened.

“Else what?”

“Or else you'll ... you'll ... crap, I don't know,” Jack sighed.  **What's happened to my ability to discipline my children.**

**You lost it this morning, during that great big build up with Jonny when nothing came out but ... hot air,** Daniel replied, suddenly chortling and drawing attention to himself.

“Richard ...”

“That's my name, Dad; don't wear it out while you're working,” the five-year-old teased with a huge grin.

Jack grumbled, but gave up the attempt to get Ricky to pick up the pieces.  He grabbed and tossed the pieces back into their box.

“Missed one, Dad; it's by the spray bottle,” Ricky said proudly.

“Kids: what's the matter with kids today?” Jack sang mockingly, the song from the well-known movie and play, 'Bye, Bye, Birdie'.

Ricky just laughed, happy he'd found a way to participate in the fun.  Once Jack handed him the box, the boy hurried inside to inform his brothers and sisters about what had happened.
//End of Flashback//

“I'm so hungry I could eat ...” Jack paused.  He'd just walked in, his hands on his abdomen, rubbing, when he saw his children burst out into chuckles.  “What's so funny?”

“Ricky told us you were a puzzle, Dad, but I didn't think you'd want to take it that far,” Jennifer spoke.

“What are you talking about?”

“It's in your cowlick,” Ricky laughed gleefully.

Jack grimaced and reached up to the back of his head.  Sure enough, there was a puzzle piece.

Tossing it back, Jack groaned, “I get no respect.”

“Uh, Dad,” Jeff called out hesitantly.

With a nervous smile, the teen pointed toward his father's crotch.  Seeing the point, the other children all looked.  Their laughter was instant, loud, and unstoppable.

“Oh, for crying out loud,” Jack complained, grabbing the piece that had somehow gotten stuck in his zipper and was pointed outward.  He looked at the piece that had a letter 'P' on it and grumbled, “'P'.  Figures,” as he tossed it over to the children and then made a hasty retreat.

“Poor Dad,” Jennifer laughed.


The final extra 'chore' of the day was being done by Little Danny and Jenny, both of whom were positive they could serve dinner all on their own.  They'd done a superb job so far and, now, as the family relaxed in the recreation room, it was time for dessert, and the youngster's final challenge.

The two children had successfully delivered ice cream pies to their younger father and siblings.  There was just one to go.

“Dad, tie,” JD requested suddenly, looking down on his shoes, one of which had its shoelace dangling off to the side.

“Dad to the ressssss ... oh, crap,” Jack groaned as he became, yet again, the unwitting target of flying objects.

Jenny gasped, her now empty hands still held out in front of her and then going slowly to her face, covering her mouth.

“Dad, we're sorry,” Little Danny spoke with widened eyes.

“What the heck is this -- DTODD?”

“What was that, Love?” a laughing Daniel asked.

“Dump Things on Dad Day!” Jack whined.  “I've been doused with leaves, sand, grass that I prefer not to think about what might have been on it, socks, Froot Loops, puzzle pieces, in places I'd prefer not to think about, and now ... pie ... mmmm ... tastes good, Babe,” he said, praising the dessert.

“I bought it.”

“Still good,” Jack said, his lips running all over his mouth as the children laughed.

Setting their desserts carefully aside, Jonny led the way as, one by one, the children sacrificed their clean clothing to hug their older father.

“Love you, Dad,” Jonny expressed as he hugged his father tightly.

“You're funny, Dad; that's why we love you,” Ricky chuckled.

“That's it?  Because I'm funny?” the dessert-covered man questioned.

“Because you're funny and you still love us,” David said, taking his turn to get a hug.

“What a day,” Jack said.  “Now, about those allowances.”

“We know,” Aislinn sighed.

“Danny?” Jack asked.  Seeing his lover's nod, he continued, “Two percent.”

“Two?  For all that hard work?” Brianna whined.

“Yeah, we're gonna have wash all of the younger kids' socks and things ... again,” David pointed out.

“And whose idea was it to have a laundry war?” Jack questioned, effectively muting any further comments from David and Brianna.

“I cleaned the smelly trash buckets, Dad, and I'm only five,” Ricky reminded with a slight pout.

“Two and a quarter,” Jack offered.

“Thirty,” Jennifer chimed.

“Danny, call Janet.  Jen needs her head examined,” Jack teased.

“Twenty,” Jeff countered.

“Three,” Jack stated.

“Dad, you're not arguing high enough,” Jenny said with her hands on her hips.

“Three and a quarter,” Jack smirked.

“Fifteen,” Lulu requested.  “Please,” she added shyly.

“You're beautiful, Little Bit,” Jack crooned, causing the children to think they'd made a super deal.  “Five.”

“Twelve,” Chenoa put forth.  “It's a good number,” she explained when her siblings looked at her for the odd choice.

“Six percent.  Take it or leave it,” Jack countered.

“Ten,” Aislinn said.

“Didn't I say 'take it or leave it' at six percent?” the general asked, making a funny face.

“Ten percent it is,” Daniel agreed.


“Ten,” Daniel restated with authority.  “Eat your ice cream pie before the ice cream melts entirely,” he urged the children.

“I need another piece.”

“Sorry, Dad.  We only had enough for one piece for everyone,” Jenny stated as she sat down and took a bite of her pie, smiling at the evil-faced man staring at her.

“Dad, it's good, isn't it?” Little Danny said, walking over to his older father and offering him his own piece of the delicious looking delight.

“Now that's a child to be proud of it,” Jack said, giving a look of rebuke towards the other children as he reached forward to take it.

Suddenly, the child prodigy jerked the pie back, saying with a sly grin, “Eleven percent, and it's all yours.”

“Thief!” Jack called out.  “Daniel, *your* son is trying to bribe me.”

Giggling, Little Danny said, “I learn from both my fathers.  I learn archaeology from Daddy and special ops from you.”

As the children broke out into laughter, Jack groaned, “Eleven, but we'll split the pie.”

“I love you, Dad.”

“I love you, too, Sproglet,” Jack said, getting up.

“Dad, shoe no tie,” JD complained.

Jack laughed, remembering how just a few minutes earlier, he'd bent down at just the wrong time to tie the shoelace.  Just as he had leaned down, Jenny had appeared and started to hold up the pie.  The result of Jack leaning down and the pie moving upward was one ice cream pie-in-the-faced general.

“Brood,” Jack called out gruffly, his look more serious than ever that day, causing the children to wonder if maybe they had gone to far and the grizzly bear was coming out.  “I live for this.  I love you all very much.  Now eat.”

With smiles all around, especially a very tender one accompanied by shining cerulean blue eyes meeting his brown ones, the family finally ate their dessert, Jack and Little Danny sharing the middle Munchkin's piece.  Cleanup would come soon enough.  Right now, it was time for the Jackson-O'Neills to just enjoy being together.  For Jack, he felt younger and more alive than ever.  He had a wonderful family, and he knew he couldn't live without them.

~Even if they do keep dumping things all over me,~ Jack mused.  ~Oh, well.  Jonny was right.  He's just a kid.  Great answer, Son.  Great answer.

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