(Slice of Covidity - June 2020)
Author Website: http://orrymain.com
Category: Slash, Drama, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Season: Beyond the Series - June 13, 2020
Written: March 18-19,25-26,30, April 2, 2021
Summary: COVID-19 is still an issue, but when things need to get done, not even the virus can stand in Daniel's way.
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) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my other fic(s): "Calamity"
Slice of Covidity - Dynamo
In a time when cases of the COVID-19 virus was on the rise, this particular Saturday was going to be one of relaxation for Daniel Jackson-O'Neill. He decided he would not watch the news, listen to the radio, read the newspapers, or speak with others about the current state of affairs. He would kick back and enjoy a leisurely day, starting by sleeping in an extra hour or two; at least that was the plan.
"Danny, I don't feel so hot," Jack whined before his husband even got out of their king-size bed.
Instantly worried, the younger man quickly awoke and asked, "Do you have a fever?"
"I think so. I don't even want to get up," Jack answered amid a coughing bout.
"I'm calling Janet."
"Jack, we're not messing with this virus."
The petite physician dropped by the house and examined the retired general, but in her best opinion, all Jack had was a case of the summer flu. Nothing in her internal radar triggered a COVID-19 warning, and she'd been dealing with victims of the Coronavirus since the pandemic was declared in the first half of March.
"Watch him. If you notice anything else -- shortness of breath, lack of taste or smell -- call me," Janet told Daniel. "Don't worry, Daniel."
"That's easy for you to say."
Since their social distancing was shot to pieces the moment she entered the house, Janet smiled and gave her friend a kiss on the cheek before leaving.
"You're not to move. Do you understand?" Daniel told his lover.
"You sound like a general."
"Today, I am. Rest. I'll be taking your temperature every hour and if you have any signs of this virus, you better tell me right away."
"Geez, Danny, when'd you get so tough?"
"Since you whined at me at seven in the morning. Rest!"
Since Jack was scheduled as the chef for breakfast with Little Danny as his sous chef, Daniel stepped in and took over. As he wasn't on the cooking schedule until the end of the week, he first needed to do an inventory to see what was in the kitchen. Two minutes in, Daniel sighed.
~That's right. We were supposed to go shopping yesterday, but changed our minds. Too many people at the store. The parking lot was almost full. Doesn't anyone understand the need for social distancing?~
Ultimately, Daniel opted to prepare one of the most unusual breakfast meals the brood ever had. He didn't even need his namesake to help him, except with putting the food on the table.
As the children sat down, they all did double takes at the plates put before them. They had two strips of bacon each and a scoop of vanilla ice cream laced with a few Froot Loops on top. That was the last of the cereal in the house. To drink, the kids were given grapefruit juice. Most turned it in for water. Still, they ate and didn't go hungry.
"Very creative, Daddy," Chenoa praised.
"Thank you, Sweetie," Daniel sighed. "David, you and the Munchkins go shopping. Put a list together before you leave, but do it fast, so you're back in time for lunch, or we'll have the same kind of meal again."
"Here's some cash."
Daniel did a check on his husband, whose temperature was one-hundred-one degrees, and he was still coughing. Other than that, he was barking out comments per normal and demanding to eat Froot Loops, of which there were none left.
As the archaeologist began down the stairs, Ricky shouted out from end of the hallway, "Daddy, I need help."
"What do you need?"
"My racer won't run. It just putts."
"Did you change the batteries?"
"Okay." Daniel walked back up the stairs and walked with his son to the boys' room. He sat down on Ricky's bed. "Show me your racing car."
With the car in his hands, the first thing the archaeologist did was check the batteries to ensure they were in properly. He turned the car on and could hear its engine going, but like the Spitfire said, it wasn't the normal racing sound of the engine. He put the car down on the floor to see how it moved, if at all. It crawled along slowly, puttering at an unacceptable level.
Daniel didn't see any signs of corrosion and he knew Ricky played with the car regularly. The boy was known for taking meticulous care of the toy as well.
"No chance any water made contact with your car?"
"Okay. Where's the transmitter?"
Ricky looked around and said, "Here it is."
"I think this is your problem," Daniel said.
"Ricky, you have to maintain the transmitter just like you do the car. The transmitter needs to be straight. See how this is leaning over."
"Well, we might be able to straighten it ourselves without having to buy a new one." Carefully, Daniel worked on raising the antenna upward and was happy when it didn't break. "Give it a try."
"It works! Thank you, Daddy."
"You're welcome. Just remember from now on to keep the transmitter safe."
"I will. I promise."
Daniel gave his son a believing smile and headed downstairs.
As he tended to a few chores, Daniel retrieved the mail and was skimming through it when he heard JD shouting and waving from the backyard.
"JD, stop screaming," Daniel ordered.
"Sorry, Daddy. I was trying to get your attention."
"I can see that, but next time, open the door, walk calmly into the house, and quietly call me."
"Now, why were calling me?"
JD ran backwards a bit and pointed upward as he said, "Patch needs help."
Daniel went outside and stood by his son as he looked up and saw the stuffed animal given to his son years ago by Thor. It was much beloved, and, in JD's view, was vital to his existence.
"JD, how did Patch get up on the roof?"
"I think he wanted to visit Squiggy in David's room and took the shortcut," the imaginative child spoke as he referenced his brother's stuffed frog.
"Right." Daniel retrieved the ladder from the storage shed in a corner of the yard and put it in place, letting the ladder's long extension go to the roof. He climbed up and when he neared the top, he paused. "I forgot. I still hate heights."
"You're scared of heights, Daddy?"
"Always," Daniel admitted. He finished the climb, retrieved Patch successfully, and carried it back down the ladder with him. "Patch, no more shortcuts. I hope you understand you could be punished if you do this again."
Taking hold of the stuffed item after the admonishment, JD pretended to listen for a moment and said, "Patch promises he'll take the stairs from now on."
Before checking on his husband again, Daniel sat down at his desk in the den and made a phone call.
"Hi, Grandma," Daniel spoke when Mrs. Sophia Valissi Hammond answered the phone.
"Daniel, hello. How are you, and Jack, and the kids, and the pets?" the woman asked, laughing as she did so.
"Jack's a little under the weather today, but the rest of us are fine. I'm calling to see how you and Grandpa are."
"We're doing well. George has made a full recovery from his heart attack." Sophia sighed. "I feel so grateful you and Jack came along when you did."
"I really don't understand that. It's a little bit of a wonder, isn't it?"
"Yes, I guess it is. We've never understood it ourselves, but we've learned not to question it. When JD says his heart is in his knees or feet, we listen."
"Bless him, and you," Sophia spoke.
"How's your hip?"
"The bruising is completely gone. Oh, Daniel, I had such a good time at your home when I was recovering. You did such a great job that I was able to take care of George on my own when he was released from the hospital. That meant a lot to me."
"You're family, Grandma. We love you."
"And I love you all, too."
"Well, I just wanted to check in. Do you need anything?"
"No, thank you, Dear."
"Call if you do need anything."
"Okay. Talk to you soon, and tell Grandpa we love him."
"I will. Tell Jack I hope he's feeling better soon. Bye for now."
The archaeologist smiled. It was a close call a month ago when JD's unusual ability to sense physical harm to loved ones prompted an urgent visit to the Hammond lakeside residence where the general was found to have suffered a heart attack and his wife, full of worry, had fallen, apparently after she tried to hurry to husband's side. Had Jack and Daniel not broken into the home and found the couple, Janet believed General Hammond would have died. Now, the elderly couple was mending and still living happily at their home. The only change was that they had many more check-ins from members of the Jackson-O'Neill family than before.
After another check on his husband, Daniel selected a book from the shelves in the living room and sat down on the sofa to read the first chapter. Two pages in, Jenny entered from outside and anxiously advised of a harmful situation.
"Daddy, there are two boards loose in the tree house."
"I'll fix it later, Sweetie."
"But, Daddy, today is our doll club meeting and we promised to have it in the tree house. Because of COVID, there's only six of us, and we thought having it in the tree house would make it special."
Daniel put his book down. He recalled the discussion a couple of weeks ago with other parents of children in the club. Their numbers were small now, since many were choosing not to interact with others. Children were not at risk as much and those participating were ones in small households with no one of the more vulnerable categories, such as grandparents, present. The plan was for the adults to stand back, out of harm's way, and let the kids run their club meeting. He also remembered the conversation about the meeting being in the tree house. That was exciting for the other members. He couldn't let them down.
"Okay, Jenny. I'm on it."
The father went to the garage, grabbed a hammer and some nails, and made his way to the tree house. He climbed up and found the problem. Jenny was correct. Two boards were loose and could present a danger to anyone walking around in the tree house. He studied the boards and determined they were still in good condition. He wasn't sure what caused them to lose their grip, but he made a mental note to discuss it with Jack later. He secured the boards and climbed down to the lawn.
"All fixed, Jenny. Uh, you might want to move that table to the middle of the room. Remember, social distancing is required."
"I know, Daddy. That's why I went up there in the first place. I wanted to make sure we could be six-foot apart."
Daniel returned to the living room and his book. He forgot about his coffee that was on the table and decided to get a hot cup before continuing with the chapter. He walked back to the sofa, settled in, and began reading. He sipped his coffee regularly as he took in Chapter One. He was halfway through when Lulu appeared.
"Daddy, this guitar sounds funny."
"It's probably just out of tune, Lulu," the father replied as he reached out to take the guitar into his hands. "Were you practicing?"
"Truthfully, I was dusting the music room."
"Uh, right. It's one of your chores this week."
"Yeah, but I saw the guitar and started messing with it."
"Do you want to take lessons?"
"Me? I'm not very good with instruments," the curly-haired girl claimed.
"Lulu, most of this family has self-taught themselves how to play, using YouTube and advice from friends. Little Danny taught himself how to play the guitar, Jonny was banging on the drums until he learned rhythm. Ash learned the piano on her own initially."
"Then you taught her."
"Well, I'm not the greatest pianist, but I hold my own with amateurs."
"Ash says you're a great piano teacher."
"Lulu, do you want me to teach you how to play the piano?"
Shaking her head, Lulu said, "I want you to teach me how to play the guitar."
"Well, I'm not as good on the guitar as I am with the piano, but if you want us to start working together, we'll make time, okay?"
"Here you go. It's in tune now."
"I have to finish my chores."
As Lulu hurried away, Daniel chuckled. He had a hunch the girl knew the guitar was out of tune and bringing it to him was her way of asking for lessons. That was fine with him.
Daniel managed to read a few more pages, but a glance at his watch showed it was time for another check of his soulmate.
"Your temperature is down to a hundred," Daniel announced.
"I knew it," Jack said as he started to get up.
"No, you don't, Fly Boy." Daniel put his hands on his lover's shoulders and pushed him back down to a lying position. "Stay put."
Daniel stared at his Love and then went to the open door where he called out, "Bijou!"
Thirty seconds later, the mama beagle approached and sat down in front of the archaeologist.
Kneeling down and petting the dog briefly, Daniel advised, "Bij, Jack's not feeling well, but he's getting better, which means he wants to ignore the rules. Please get up on the bed and watch him with those eagle eyes of yours. If he starts to move to go anywhere but the bathroom, do your thing. Okay?"
"Woof!" the beagle acknowledged and then jumped up on the bed, settling down by Jack's left leg.
"I'll be back in an hour."
Daniel left the room and almost immediately, Jack pulled back the covers and started to get up.
Bijou stood and growled, a very loud, snarly sound.
"Come on, Bij. We're pals."
"Grrrrrr," Jack repeated as he sat back down. He chuckled when he felt the dog's head upon his chest. "Yeah, I love you, too."
David and the Munchkins returned, allowing Jenny with sous chef JD to fix lunch, which went smoothly. The doll club members arrived shortly thereafter, so Aislinn and Jenny led them to the tree house for their meeting. Following the agreed upon rules, Daniel sat at one of the picnic tables and checked his messages from J-O Enterprises, which was operating on an extremely limited basis which meant only for emergency projects that had some kind of potential harm for humans.
One such case popped up from the company's best client, Abayomi Sharif. He was building an office building in Cairo, but it collapsed. He needed J-O to come on the spot and determine if the ground was safe to build on. There was talk of the site being haunted by dead Egyptians.
Daniel didn't buy it, but Abayomi was someone he couldn't refuse. He called the wealthy man and obtained his promise that all safety protocols would be followed. With that in mind, Daniel contacted five employees to see if they were wiling to take on the project. They would have to volunteer; he wouldn't force anyone to leave the safety of their home.
In actuality, finding five willing staff members to go wasn't difficult. They were eager to go back to work, even on this odd assignment.
"No shortcuts in the protocols, Ty," Daniel reminded. "We expect everyone to follow the guidelines as we've laid out. Abayomi has promised not to interfere and to do anything we ask in that regard."
"I understand, Daniel," Ty, who would be in charge of the team, assured.
Once the doll club members were picked up by their parents, Daniel returned to the mail he glimpsed earlier in the day. He remembered seeing a few bills in the pile and figured he would pay them now and get it over with. He decided to use Jack's computer and was headed for the study when Chenoa stopped him.
"I'm ready to put my shelves up now."
"Oh, yes, okay." Daniel actually forgot about the project. Chenoa, though, was eager to put up the two small shelves in her room. She didn't want to buy anything fancy and instead used two boards found in the garage. She sanded them down herself and then painted them as she wanted. Now she needed assistance attaching them to the wall. "Let me get a couple of things and I'll meet you upstairs."
Daniel went to garage and sorted through Jack's tool chest, locating the stud finder and leveler. He again took hold of the hammer, as well as the metal shelf supports purchased previously.
In Chenoa's room, Daniel went to work, making sure they shelves would be placed where they would hold up without damaging the walls. He used a pencil to help mark the spots where screws would be drilled to keep the shelf holders in place.
"Oops." Daniel shouted, "Boys? Anyone?"
"Hey, Daddy," Jonny responded. "Do you need me?"
"Would you please get Dad's drill from the garage and some screws that will work with this?" Daniel asked as he tossed one of the holders to the teenager.
"I know which ones. Be right back."
Within a few minutes, Daniel had the shelves up.
"Look good?" the archaeologist asked as he put his arm around the Curly Top.
"Perfect, Daddy. Thanks."
Daniel returned to the backyard for a breath of fresh air. The air was crisper and the skies darker.
~Forecast must be right,~ the scientist thought as he glanced at his watch. He estimated the expected thunderstorms would hit the suburbs in two to three hours, which shouldn't interfere with his outdoor time now at all. Daniel looked around and noticed Aislinn pulling some weeds in the garden, which was one of her assigned chores for the week. "Having fun?"
"That's a good one, Daddy," Aislinn returned with a smile. "I wanted to plant these new seeds, too, but I don't think I have time."
"I need to study. That science assignment Dad gave us grads is super tough."
"Uh, well, technically ..."
"I know. Aunt Sam is doing this one," the Munchkin asserted. "Dad doesn't have a clue about this stuff, either."
Daniel laughed and said, "Well, you said when you graduated high school, you wanted to be challenged in homeschooling."
"I know, and I do, but it's taking a lot more brain power than before."
Amused, the father suggested, "Why don't you go study and I'll take care of planting."
"Are you sure?"
Daniel kneeled down, opting to finish pulling out the remaining weeds before he started the planting.
"Good! Daddy, I'm so glad you're out here. Peter's car broke down and he has a super important meeting on Zoom in an hour. I need to pick him up. Can you watch Sophie for me?" Jennifer placed her daughter on the lawn next to her father. "Thanks. Bye."
The archaeologist blinked and slowly responded, "Hi, Jen. Well, sure. Put her right here." He heard Sophie, not quite two-years-old yet, laughing at him. "That's me, a joke a minute." Daniel smiled and hugged his granddaughter. "Want to help? Take a weed and pull it. Do not eat it, Sophie."
"No eat," the little girl promised.
Daniel focused on his task while keeping an eye on Sophie, too. Still, sometimes seconds elapsed in between his checks on the child.
"Sophie!" Daniel exclaimed, taking a deep breath and lowering his head. He laughed, aware the toddler discovered the package of seeds and was throwing them up into the air.
"Raining," Sophie giggled as the seeds fell down into the dirt of the garden.
"You know what? That's an awesome idea. Just throw all of the seeds in the garden. Yeah, like that. We'll just see what happens."
A variety of calls for Daniel continued through the afternoon. After Jennifer returned and took Sophie home, Daniel took Katie for a walk. When he got back, David was working on his Jeep in the driveway.
"Daddy, you're pretty good with oil lines. Take a look at this and tell me what you think?"
The father reviewed the situation and advised, "Check the oil house casings. I don't know much about that, but I've read there have been a lot of issues with cracks."
"I've never done that."
"Get Jenny," Daniel teased.
"She's on the phone."
"Wave a twenty-dollar bill in front of her," the father mused.
~Good idea,~ David thought, wiping his hands and heading for his room where his wallet was located. ~I hope she'll stop gossiping for twenty.~
By dinnertime, Daniel released his husband from the watchful eyes of Bijou and let him have an enjoyable evening downstairs with the brood. The general looked and acted normal, and his fever was completely gone. As Janet stated, it turned out just to be an everyday bug, one that didn't even last a full day.
"I heard the thunder," Jack remarked as he stared out the kitchen window, waiting on his lover, who was putting away the freshly cleaned dishes from the dishwasher.
"It rained pretty hard."
"Ah, just a light rain now. It's supposed to stop in a bit."
"Three cheers for a correct forecast," Daniel teased.
After the goodnight rounds, an exhausted Daniel headed for bed. Jack decided to join him. The older man settled into the bed and was pleased when his lover settled back against him, leaning his head on his shoulder.
"You must have had a busy day, Angel."
"Hmm. Let's see. In no particular order, I was a dog walker, babysitter, farmer, mechanic, fix-it guy, stuffed animal retriever, teacher, construction guy, guitar tuner, and I don't remember what else. Oh, I was even an archaeologist, for about ten or fifteen minutes."
"You left out caregiver," Jack teased. Not hearing a response, he turned his head slightly and realized Daniel was already asleep. He chuckled lighted. "You were quite the dynamo today, weren't you?" He laughed a bit more and whispered, "Dynamo Danny: my life and my hero. I love you."
Jack used one hand to pull the covers up, but he didn't move his position. He was content with resting in a sitting up position, if it meant he could hold his soulmate and be a comforting pillow, something Daniel treasured. That's how they usually slept, with Daniel the blanket atop his Love, and Jack the pillow.
For Jack and Dynamo Danny, life in Colorado Springs was sometimes hectic with chores and crisis of all types, but it was often serene and full of pleasure, as it was on this night. Neither man would change a thing, not even in the midst of a pandemic.
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