Email Education

Author: Orrymain
Category: Slash, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing: Jack/Daniel  .... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:   8 - throughout (and very end of Season 7)
Spoilers:  None
Size:  42kb
Written:  December 11, 2003, January 29, February 1,12-13, April 24-26, July 19,22,24, 2004
Summary:  Jack and Daniel communicate with Kayla via email as they strive to get to know each other as they all ponder their potential future together!
Disclaimer: Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:  
1) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Claudia, Drdjlover, QuinGem!

Email Education
by Orrymain

To: AdventureGal@hottravel.com
From:  SpaceMonkey@earth.com
Subject:  Getting to know you

Dear Kayla,

Thank you for sending us your new email address.  It should help us get to know each other better as you travel.

Your safari plans sound magnificent. I almost wish I were going, but I'd miss J too much.  I'm very spoiled where J is concerned!

Um, by the way, you understand why we use just initials, right?

Or you can call me Homer, and D can be Budge.
 
That was J, Kayla.  You call me Budge, and you die.  Budge, the so called expert on Ancient Egypt, wouldn't know one end of a pyramid from another.

Ask your questions, and we'll answer everything we can.  Some things might be best for the phone.  Keep that in mind.

When you're in Kenya, make sure you take in as much of the bamboo art as you can.  There are some very impressive works there.

Forget that, Kayla, and find some good fishing spots!
 
That was J again, Kayla, just ignore him, I do.  Oh oh, bad move, now he's making sure I can't ignore him.  Gotta go before I lose all my brain cells.

Travel safe!

D.

====

“Lose all your brain cells.” Jack chuckled.  “By the time I'm done with you, Love, you won't know what a brain cell is.”

“Gawd, I hope not,” Daniel said lightheartedly as he and his husband headed upstairs for a passionate round of lovemaking.

As they relaxed in each other's tender hold afterwards, Daniel began a conversation about their potential surrogate mother.

“I'm really impressed with her.  She's smart, Jack.”

“And independent.  I see the resemblance to Janet.”

“I never even knew Janet had a sister until we talked to her about Kayla.”

“Yeah, but for all the time we spend with our friends from the SGC, Danny, when you think about it, we really don't know very much about their personal lives.  I wonder why that is.” Jack pondered.

“I think it's because we deal with life and death situations so often.  Nothing is ever routine.  Every day could be the last day so when we get together what we concentrate on is living.  Somehow, the details, our histories, tend to get lost in living in the moment.”

“Besides, it might be different if Janet's sister were alive.”

“Kayla was lucky,” Daniel said softly.

“Lucky?”

Daniel nodded.

“She had a lot of family, including Janet, to support her and her siblings when her parents died.  I think that helped.”

Jack rubbed Daniel's back and kissed his still sweat-soaked hair.  He didn't say anything, but both men were transported back for a moment to the reality of Daniel's abandonment.

“Jack?  Let's not think about that anymore.  Gawd, that's my past.  I'm so happy now.  I just ... I don't want to waste time back there.”

“I love you, Angel,” Jack said with a smile.

“Show me.”

... and Jack did, again!

====

To:  SpaceMonkey@earth.com
From:  AdventureGal@hottravel.com
Subject:  Getting to know you

Hi Ya D!

Okay, I have to ask.  Space Monkey?  Please, do tell!

Janet used to call me Bobo.  I think that was some famous chimp or something.  I'm really not sure, but it has nothing to do with my nickname.  Hmmm, not sure why I brought that up then.  Anyway, when I was little, I had a stuffed monkey.  Crazy coincidence, right?  Well, it was named Bobette, the name of a monkey at our local zoo.  They sold the stuffed monkeys there.

I was probably just three or four-years-old at the time, and apparently, I couldn't quite say Bobette.  Instead, all I could get out was “Bo” so Janet teased me that I was Bobo with her Bobette.  Yes, I agree, Janet was nuts! ... and you can tell her I said that!  The name caught on, and it wasn't until I was a teenager that I finally managed to get my family to stop calling me Bobo.

Do you have any idea how embarrassing it was to bring home a date, and have my mom calling me “Bobo?”  It was HORRIBLE!  Oh well.

Thanks for the tip on the bamboo art.  I've read about it -- fascinating!

I've been thinking.  I don't know that it's the questions as much as it's the answers.  Questions get so formal, and we oftentimes get lost in the detail.  I'd much rather write about our thoughts and feelings, and learn that way.  What do you think?  

Oh my - I asked a question after saying I wasn't going to ask one!  That's a woman for you, always contradicting herself.  Then again, it's intentional, just to throw you guys off!

Speaking of guys, and contradicting myself further, how'd you and J meet?  I know J is AF like Janet, and you do consulting, but what brought you together?

My best to J!  

Kayla!

====

To: AdventureGal@hottravel.com
From:  SpaceMonkey@earth.com
Subject:  Nicknames that haunt you!

Evening Kayla,

You should be in Africa by the time you read this.  I hope the flight was pleasant.  As often as I travel now, I've learned to hate planes.  Well, not really the planes, but the idea of flying commercial for business trips -- baggage, check-ins, flights that get delayed or postponed -- all the rituals that go with booking a flight and taking a trip.

What I do like to do, though, is flying with Jack.  That's totally different.  Unfortunately, we don't get to do it very often.  We've rented a plane a few times, and what a thrill that's been, and of course, when we go on vacation, every second is a delight, even at the airport.

That's because I'm so entertaining.  'Coffee, tea, or me, D?'

Did I mention he's incorrigible?  He knows the truth.  Nothing gets between me and my coffee, er, Jack.

Fine, I'll take my ... toy ... and find somewhere else to play.

Oh, no you won't, Fly Boy.  Jack?

Ah, hi again.  You guessed it.  It's about two hours later.  I had to go make sure that no one else plays with Jack's ... never mind.  What were we discussing?

Oh yes, planes.  Flying in a Cessna with Jack is terrific, but commercial flights are a bit tedious for me now.  It's nothing personal, but after years of going from place to place, it's nice to have a home, and that's what I have now, thanks to J.

I'm just wonderful, Kayla.  What would he do without me?

That was J.  He's not exactly humble is he?
 
He loves me this way.

Okay, well.  He's right about that, and you should see the smug look on his face now.  Anyway, getting back to the matter at hand.

My parents died when I was eight, and I ended up being one of those foster kids you hear about that moves from home to home, only they were never a home, more of a nightmare.

That's an understatement, Kayla.  D didn't have a childhood; that ended when his parents died.
 
J is right.
 
I'm always right.
 
Or so he'd like to think!  He knows the truth.

Okay, okay.  Geez.  I was just trying to contribute.

Jack, don't pout.

I'm not.  That's your specialty.

We are not getting into that.  Anyway, it's not something I talk much about, to be honest.  J has made me talk about it a lot, though.  J always makes me talk about things I don't want to, but I guess that's a good thing, or I'd still be living in that dingy past.

When J added my name to the deed on the house for our anniversary last year, I finally felt like I was part of something ... endless.  For the first time in my life, I owned a piece of the Earth.  Then, J brought home the girls.  Growing up, I never had a pet, still don't really, because the girls are our children.

Oh, you don't really know about them.  Bijou and Katie, our beagles.  I'll attach a photo for you.  Katie was the runt.  J loves to tell the story about how we got them so email J and J can give you the details.

The point was that J had told me that every child should have a dog because a dog meant being part of a family, and a family meant having a home.  The funny thing was that I realized a long time ago that J was my home.  Wherever J is, I'm home, but the day Bijou and Katie became part of us, that was the day I realized I truly had a home, in every sense of the word.  It really was the start of our eternity.

I'm talking, or should I say writing, too much.  J always says I talk too much.  Oddly enough, J is sometimes right, and this is one of those times.

See, told you I'm always right.
 
Just pointed out the word 'sometimes' and now he's looking miffed.

J is also crazy, as the dreaded nickname attests to.  It's a complicated story, but J thought I was dead, and when he saw me still alive, that's what he called me.  It makes no sense, but J refuses to let it go.  I hate it.  No, I don't.  Don't tell J, but even though it makes no sense in the world, those two words are the words that made me realize that we had a future.  I love them, and I would hate it if J suddenly stopped using them, but like I said, don't mention that.  It's one of our little games that we play.  J is sort of a nickname nut!

Forget I'm looking over your shoulder, Love?

Gawd, I did.  Oh well.  I have other secrets.

Secrets?  What secrets?

You should see J now, Kayla.  He's pouting again!  Anyway, what was it you wanted to know?  Oh, yes!

How did we meet?  Oh gawd.  I was consulting on a project J was a part of.  J hated me.  Yes, I'm serious, but I won J over.  Here's one for the little fishes of the world!   Maybe I'll explain that some day.

I did not hate him!

Yeah, Kayla, he did.  My J has very selective memory at times.

I do not.

Do, too.

Not!

Write your own email, J.  Whoops, didn't mean to type that.  Now he's gone off in a huff.  Better go and soothe some ruffled feathers.

Okay, back.  Gave him some Froot Loops and a kiss.  He's all better now.  Amazing what that cereal can do for the man!

Where was I?  Oh yes, how we met.  I just realized J and I are a cliche -- opposites attract.  The military might versus the sneezing geek, and yes, it was that bad.  I tripped over everything back then, and sneezed all the time until Janet finally found a medication for my allergies that actually worked.

We worked together on the project, and then we were separated for a year.  J was married, sort of.  They split while I was gone.  And I got married.  She was beautiful.  Her one mistake in life was trusting me to keep her safe.  I couldn't do it.

As you can see, Kayla, I still have work to do.  D was not at fault in any way.  There was nothing he could have done.

And obviously, J is back.  Went through those Froot Loops pretty quick.

Come on, you missed me.

Oh, okay, I admit it.  I missed him.  Anyway, I feel responsible.  She was abducted and forced to live what amounted to a slave's life for about 2 1/2 years before we found her.  But she died.

After she had been taken, J and I worked together again, trying to find her.  It's complicated.  We became best friends and then it became more than that.

Well, that's the short version.  We don't really talk about that much either.

So, tell us about the safari, and keep in touch!

D.

P.S.  Bye, Bobo!

Jack!  Sorry, Kayla, he's incorrigible.  I'm going to send this before he has a chance tooooooooooooo...

Bobo, write soon!  Hey, do you still have that stuffed monkey?

I'm going to kill him, after I send this.  Ignore him, Kayla!

====

“Space Monkey, for crying out Loud.  Jack, tell me the truth,” Daniel said as he got up from his chair after powering down the computer and stretched, “you don't have a clue what Space Monkey means, do you?”

Jack had moved and was now relaxing in Daniel's recliner, laughing at his Space Monkey and Bobo.  Bijou and Katie were in their beanbag by the desk.  They didn't always get to go into Daniel's den, so it was a treat for the girls.  They were both lying on their bellies, calmly watching the action, or lack of it as the case may be.

“You'll never know, Danny.”

Jack laughed, and then his laughter grew louder.

“What?”

“Military might!  Sneezing geek!  You make us sound like ... like ... David and Goliath.”

“And you know who won that battle, don't you?”

“Oh, yeah.”

Jack suddenly reached out and literally pulled Daniel down on top of him and the recliner.

“Whoa!  Jaaaack!  Geez, you could have just asked,” Daniel said with a smile as he went nose to nose with his lover.

“I'm asking,” Jack spoke softly.

“Hmmmmmmmmmph ... Jack, the girls are here.”

“We can ... make out in front of them.”

“Yeah, but I want to ...”

“Oh ... let's go.”  Jack pushed Daniel up, and then looked down at the beagles.  “Sorry, girls.  You have a choice ... downstairs beanbag or your house outside.”

Bijou just rolled over in the beanbag, and Katie didn't budge.

“I think that's a no, Jack.”

“Hey, who's running this show?”  Daniel looked at his husband and tried not to laugh.  Jack groaned, “How about hot chocolate and a cozy fire then?”

“I'd like that, and then we'll ... you know ... later!”

“Deal!”

====

To:  SpaceMonkey@earth.com
From:  AdventureGal@hottravel.com
Subject:  No fair making me cry!

Sniffles D,

I had no idea a simple question about a nickname and how you two met could make me cry, but it did.  I bet the whole story is a real tear jerker, but the important thing is that you're together now.

The safari is great!  You wouldn't believe these magnificent creatures!  I feel so tiny, so totally in awe of the majesty they bring when we see them running about in herds or relaxing near the water.  Saw hippos the other day lying on their backs in the water, their feet in the air.  They are so cute.

But the real story, D, are the people of this country.  I'm ... overwhelmed by the need here, and also by the joy they bring.  India was much like this.  That's an experience I should tell you about some day because I live with what I saw and learned there every day.  The simple act of turning on a light switch makes me remember my Indian friends, and I sense, I will feel the same way about my new friends here.

I don't know if you've been to India, but if not, you should ... and take the children.  I'm serious, D.  When they get a little older, when they start to whine about not having something, take them to India and show them what it really means to not have anything, and yet, still be happy.  That's what amazed me the most.   I lived in a couple of really bad areas, D, bustees in Calcutta.  Then again, a lot of India is really bad, but these places were, well, cesspools.  It was the worst I've ever seen.

Yet, I saw people with nothing sharing their crumbs, and somehow, they all still had this wonderful sense of themselves and their family.  They celebrated weddings and life.  Their joy was in living, and they found honor in helping their neighbors and earning the pittance they call a daily wage.  It really brings home the importance of love.  If there is love between people, they can handle anything.

D, take the kids to India.  Make sure they understand that what we have here is luxury.  A few weeks in India will do wonders for their outlook.

I don't really have a right to ask that, but I hope you'll remember it.  It's the only place I've seen real joy at simply living.

A question, D ... why do you want children?  This may be painful, and I apologize in advance if you think it's inappropriate, but why didn't you and your wife have children, and the same for J since J was married before?

Trust me to stick my finger in my keyboard, but I find myself needing the answer to that question as I ponder the question that you and J have put to me!

Must run.  My best to J.  I considered not talking to him anymore, but since he's just a kid himself, I can't expect the behavior of an adult, right?  <big grin>  Oh, and yes, I still have Bobette.  She goes with me everywhere.  I guess a part of me is still a little kid, too.

P.S.  I was in Zanzibar this week, the Spice Island (and yes, I can imagine what J is saying about that).  Saw a monkey.  Sorry, D, but he reminded me of you (blame J.  I'm sure it's because of the nickname.).  He was kind of shy, peeking out from behind a leaf.  Sending a photo of him for J.


====

“Big kid?  Daniel, you have to protect my honor,” Jack pleaded.  Daniel laughed, shaking his head adamantly.  “Danny!”

“Sorry, Love, but truth is truth, and you are a big kid.”

“You like me ... big.”

Jack had a gleam in his eye, and that was all it took to set Daniel off, the two retreating quickly to their bedroom for some “big” action that had nothing to do with being a kid or monkeys.

====

To: AdventureGal@hottravel.com
From:  SpaceMonkey@earth.com
Subject:  Family

Dear Kayla,

Sorry it took so long to respond.   We've been ... out of town a lot recently.  It's been exhausting, but we're okay and getting back into the swing of things.  Good news, too, J has been promoted.  I'm so proud of him.  He's a general now and in charge of the place where we work.  It's a really big deal.

It just means I sign a lot of memos.  I HATE memos.

This is true.  He does, but he's doing a great job.

Thank you, D.

On to other things -- J is clearly a bad influence if monkeys start reminding you of me.  J promises to email you himself, eventually.  He's not a big computer person where email is concerned; actually he's not a big computer person for anything, but I keep telling him he needs to bite the bullet and write.  He says we're not in a western.  That's my J ... mule-headed to the end!

Am not mule-headed!

He is Kayla, very mule-headed.

D loves me that way!

Okay, well, he's got me there I suppose.  He's happy now.  He's gone off to make me some coffee.  Isn't he sweet?  Anyway, back to what we were talking about.

Big question you asked there.  Why?  Why bring children into a situation where there's bound to be pain?  Why bring innocent lives into a home that will be different from their friends, that would open them up to ridicule and abuse?  Why bring sweet babies up in an environment where we know that they'll be tested from the moment they understand that Dad and Daddy are definitely not Mom and Dad.

Why?  Because we love them.  J and I never planned this.  We never talked about it, and honestly, Kayla, I don't think we ever even dared to dream it.  It just happened one day.  I should have J answer this because he started it.

But one thing J has taught me is that we have a right to have what everyone else has, I mean, as a family.  Our love isn't wrong.  It's not.  We didn't look for this.  Neither J or I ever, before.  I mean.  Oh crap, I'm as bad of a linguist on paper as I am in person.

What I'm trying to say is that J and I had never been with another, uh, well, not until each other.  But when we realized how we felt, it's like this new world was created, just for us.   We have what we call our own nation of two, because the truth is, that you could take everything we have away from us -- everything, but we'd be fine.  We'd survive, just as long as we had each other.  J is all I need.

I started these diaries.  I wish I could share them with you, but I can't, at least not yet.  There's a part of me, Kayla, that is so private that the idea of sharing any part of my personal life is repugnant to me, but there's this other part that gets angry at all the abuse that J and I have had to endure.  It's not right.

People have done ... said things.  Gawd, it's horrible.  And why?  Because we love each other?  I don't understand what is so wrong about loving, and so I started to write these reflections about some of our experiences, and how society doesn't understand us.  Someday, I hope I can share them.  It'll be too late to affect how the world is for J and I, but maybe it'll help others.

Sorry, I'm not answering your question, am I?  J says we are entitled to have it all, and Kayla, I want it all.  I love J with all my heart, and I want to share that love with our children.  I want to show them how the world should be.  I want them to see their Dad and know what a wonderful, brave, caring person he is.  And I want to see J holding a baby, our baby.  Just the thought ...

I guess it's not such an easy question to answer.  Kayla, if it were biologically possible to have J's child, I would.  Sounds weird, doesn't it?  It's a bit freaky to think about, but our nation of two is so strong. I want that love to go on.

Our children.  Life won't be easy, but one thing they will never be short on is love, and as you said in your last email, nothing else in the world really matters except for that.  People, and children especially, can be happy with nothing but love, and I'm speaking from experience here.

I'm sorry -- again.  I'm not answering your question very well.  As for our past histories, that's probably better left to a phone call.

Hey Kayla, it's J.   What did you do to my D?  He's all teary-eyed.  Oh, I see.  D just made me reread your last email and what he's written so far, and now D wants me to respond.  D is so demanding, but beautiful  and sexy.

Hi Kayla, it's me again -- D.  It's later!  We, well, we, never mind.  Gawd, you can't see me blushing, can you?

He's so cute when he blushes, Kayla.

J promised to send you an email.

But I like adding to D's emails, Kayla.  It's much more fun.

He will send you an email, Kayla, I have ways of making him.  Talk to you soon!

====

“Jack, you are going to write that email tonight!”

“But the game is on!”

“There's always a game on.”

Daniel stood in front of the TV, rigid, arms folded tightly across his chest.

“Daniel, I said I'd email her, and I will.”

“Now, Jack!”

“After the game!”

“Now!”

“After!”

“Now!”

“No!”

“Yes, Jack!”

“Make me!”

“I will!”

“When!”

“After you write the email,” Daniel proclaimed seductively.

“Promise?”

“Maybe!”

“Maybe?  MAYBE?  You get me all worked up, and then you just say maybe?”

“Hmm-mmm.”

“Daniel?”

“Yes, Love,” Daniel said, purposely stretching as he spoke.

“You're such a slut.”

Jack laughed as he moved off the couch.

“And you're so easy,” Daniel crooned.

“Silly putty for you, Love.”

Jack quickly gave his lover a kiss on the lips, and then went off to email Kayla, the game long forgotten.

====

To:  AdventureGal@hottravel.com
From:  Flyboy@upupandaway.com
Subject:  Family

Hello Kayla,

I've gotten all your emails, but writing is D's thing.  He's the expert, but I do have to respond to the big “why” question (especially since he just threatened me, the big brute!).

It's actually really simple.  I love D.  D is the essence of perfection to me, and I want him to pass that on.  His brain, his genius -- it can't be lost, and maybe even more importantly, his compassion, his depth of feeling and emotion.  It has to be shared.

D is amazing.  You have no idea how deep his well of forgiveness is; how much he loves and cares about strangers; how much he'd give to make someone else whole, even at his own expense.  He wouldn't hurt anyone for any reason if he could help it; he doesn't even like to swat a fly.

I've worked hard to get D to realize that he is as important as that fly he tries to save.  I think maybe I've made some progress.

D told you about our nation of two.  D is all I've wanted for so long.  What we have is beyond words, but some time back, we were at a party, and I looked up, and there he was, holding a baby.   My heart stopped beating in that moment.  It was a like a bad “B” movie because time stopped for me.

He looked up at me, and in that one moment, I knew that as complete as we were, we were missing something very important.  I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life as D holding that baby.  A while later, at the same party, I looked over at my love again, and he was playing with a bunch of the kids.  I can't tell you what that image was like.  My love for D grew so much in those minutes as I watched him with those kids.

I'll be honest.  It scared me.  I didn't know how to bring it up.  I thought he'd; I don't know what I thought, but it was something I had to do, that is, when I finally got my nerve up.

Our nation of two is real, but to be complete, we need our family.  I have old Special Forces buddies who would bet their houses that I would never even joke about this stuff, but if there were some Wizard out there who could make it happen, I would have D's child in a heartbeat.  Not real macho, is it?  Except I think it is, and if I could make it happen, you better believe I would.

But that Wizard exists only in Oz so we have to do the next best thing, and that's what we are hoping to do.

I hope this answers your question.  And now I have one for you.  How do you feel about the idea of having a child for two people like D and I who aren't the traditional model of parenthood?  Any qualms about that?  Any doubts about who D and I are in terms of our lifestyle together?

I ask because D mentioned that diary of his.  I was shocked when he started it.  We're both private way beyond the normal, but D is insistent that we have to do what we can to make the world a better place, to try and get people to become aware that simply because we love who we love, we aren't some strange abnormality of human life.  We never asked you what you really think, and I think it's time we did that.

Work calls.  Someday I swear I'm going to disconnect our phones, but then they'd figure out some other way of tracking us down.

Watch out for those elephants!  Those trunks of theirs can get personal!  :}

J.

====

To:  Flyboy@upupandaway.com
From:  AdventureGal@hottravel.com
Subject:  Family

Thank you, J, for finally emailing me!  I was beginning to think I had imagined you!  Just kidding (not)!

I know it's taken me a while to respond, but I've been taking advantage of the locals showing me some of the sites that visitors don't often see.  It's the best way to travel, talking to natives, on their level, accepting, and sharing what you can.

Speaking of sharing, I appreciate your sharing your thoughts with me, especially since I realize that's not an easy thing for you to do, but it does help me to understand more.

You asked me what is actually an interesting question.  At first, I thought, “Oh, this is easy,” but then the more I thought it out, I became aware that it's more complex than was first obvious.

I've traveled the world and have met a lot of people who live their lives in various ways.  It's funny, though, because deep inside, I've always believed those “traditional” things, the morals and values of our society.  Yet, something my father taught me was never to judge another, that we only walk in our own shoes, and be it the proverbial right or wrong, the judging isn't to be done by us.

In recent years, as I've gone to more remote places, as I've seen more things, as I've dared to challenge myself to reach out to those I wouldn't have before, I've realized that I've been in a kind of bubble.  True to my upbringing, I've never judged, but I haven't done anything else either to say “yea” or “nay” to a thing.

The truth, J, is that growing up and even in college, I would say that I was as open as anyone else to alternative lifestyles, but I would never vote to legalize them.  I would think “that's not for me” while still enjoying my friendships, but if I had to choose, if I had take a stand, I would have gone with the moral right.

Now?  Well, obviously, I think I've changed or am changing, and I can't define exactly when or where that began to happen, but it has.  I've begun to realize that the 'moral right' doesn't exist.  What gives anybody the right to cast aspersions on others?  If there's one thing I've learned from all my traveling, it's that everything is relative.

What is normal and accepted in one society is frowned on in others, often for no good reason.  Meeting you and D has just reinforced this.  D always says you're in love, and he asks the question, “Why is that wrong” and the problem, J, is that I can't think of a reason why it should be wrong, not anymore.

If God is truly loving, then He loves all of us, based on how we live our lives, not who we love.  Maybe we don't know everything we think we do down here on Earth.  I just don't feel as comfortable as I used to about making that decision.

Janet says the two of you are priceless, real gems, and the little I've seen thus far seems to confirm that.

I can't really say more now because I don't know.  I'm learning.  Every day is a new experience that adds to what has come before, and I'm hoping by the time it comes to making a decision about what you've asked, that the decision will be based on what's right for all of us and not about a lifestyle, because a baby is about love, not legalities.  Isn't it?  And with all the love you and D seem to have for each other, why shouldn't you get to share all you are and all you've learned with the precious gift of life that you want?  And why shouldn't that little baby get to experience all of the love that you and D have to share and give to him (or her)?

Oh my, look at the time!  The sun is setting, and I want to snap some photographs.  I hope I've answered your question.

Take Care, J!

Kayla

====

Daniel was sitting on the steps of the patio tossing balls for Bijou and Katie when Jack joined him, sitting next to Daniel, brushing his shoulder against his husband's as was their custom.  Daniel heard the sniffle and turned to look at Jack.

“Jack, what's wrong?” Daniel asked as he placed his left hand on Jack's arm, gently rubbing up and down.

“Nothing's wrong, Danny.  Go read Kayla's email.  Nothing bad.  It's just what she wrote.”

“Okay,” Daniel said, placing a peck on Jack's cheek before handing him the ball he had been holding in his right hand.

A few minutes later, Daniel returned to his spot on the steps next to Jack.

“She understands,” the younger man said, leaning his head against Jack's shoulder.

Jack put his arm around Daniel.

“She's still figuring out her personal beliefs, but yeah, she understands us.  I feel good about her.”

“Me, too.”

The two sat for a while, discussing their dream of a family, and then Daniel decided he'd send Kayla an email so he left Jack again to go to the study.  Jack followed a minute later, wanting to be near Daniel.

====

To: AdventureGal@hottravel.com
From:  SpaceMonkey@earth.com
Subject:  You Made Him Weepy!

Dear Kayla,

You turned my marshmallow into a weeping willow.  Thank you for sharing so much of your thoughts.  We agree, of course, that it is about the love, and I promise you, we have so much of that.  It grows on a daily basis, and that never ceases to amaze me.  Actually, it overwhelms me sometimes because just when I think I couldn't love J more, he does something, says something, that makes my heart double or even triple in size from all that I feel for him.

That's because I'm naturally loveable, Kayla!

J, go play with your G.I. Joe or something.

I'd rather play with you.

JJJJJJJJJJJJ!

D will email you later, Kayla.  At the moment, he's seeing stars.  I just came, no pun intended, downstairs to let the dogs inside (it's a bit chilly outside tonight), and realized we had left the lights on in the study, and that's when I saw the email sitting here.  Gonna go snuggle up with D.  Bye!

====

To:  SpaceMonkey@earth.com
From:  AdventureGal@hottravel.com
Subject:  Stars

Well, I knew J was into astronomy, but I didn't know you were, too!

I've had a change in plans.  When I leave here next week, I'll be headed for Germany for three weeks, and then back to the States for a month or two (not sure yet).  I can't wait to meet Bijou and Katie.  They sound perfectly adorable!

Anyway, I met a new friend who wants to show me around his country. Yes, it's sudden, but that's how I am.  Sometimes, the best decisions we make are the spontaneous ones.  You have to seize the moment, within reason, but I'm a real believer in taking advantage of opportunities that present themselves.  Too often, we get bogged down in obligations and trying to be logical.

Please don't get me wrong.  I'm also a believer in common sense and safety.  There's a nice fine line between the two, and that's where I try to live as much as possible where my travel is concerned.  It's like just getting in the car and going.  Have you ever done that?

It's one of my favorite things to do, wherever I am in the world.  Schedules can tie us down and make us miss some really special places and sites.  I like to get in the car and drive, and when something grabs my attention, I can stop and enjoy it, or take a detour.

I can't always do that.  There are times when responsibilities do take a front seat, or I have other obligations to fulfill, but it's so fun to be able to say 'this is a week to be spontaneous' so that's why I'm headed for Germany.  No reason not to.

Oh oh, my friend is calling.

Later!

====

To: AdventureGal@hottravel.com
From:  Flyboy@upupandaway.com
Subject:  Name and Details - NOW!

What's his name?
What does he do for a living?

IS HE SINGLE?

WHERE IS HE TAKING YOU?

====

To:  AdventureGal@hottravel.com
From:  SpaceMonkey@earth.com
Subject:  Sorry

Hi Kayla!

Please excuse J's last email.  J gets a little overprotective.

I DO NOT ... AND I WANT AN ANSWER TO MY EMAIL!

J -- back off.

I swear, sometimes J needs to be hog-tied.

Only if you do the hogtying, Love.

If I count to ten, maybe J will go away.

There we are.  He's gone.  As I was saying, he gets a bit overprotective, but it's only because he cares.  Just remember he's nothing but a big grizzly bear.

We had a ... the door?  J, I didn't mean it literally.   Grrrr, have to go.  J is taking the leave thing a bit too far!

Have a safe trip!

====

To:  SpaceMonkey@earth.com
From:  AdventureGal@hottravel.com
Subject:  Overprotectiveness

Don't worry.  Janet already warned me, and no, J, I'm NOT answering your email!

I'm sending you some photos from the safari.  The awesome lions are so precious lying in the shade of the safari trucks.  I'm also sending some questions for us to discuss the next time we talk on the phone or see each other, which I hope will be soon!  I thought by sending them it would give you two a chance to discuss everything.

You know, my biggest concern is that you two are going to want me to be around more and. D, I know what you've said about me being involved, and I want to be, to a point; that is, if we do this, but I also admit, I'm worried you might think less of me because I don't want to be a mother 24/7.  I hope you understand that.  I worry about that a lot.

Time for dinner.  I'll be in touch when I get to Germany.   It's a good thing I speak the language!

====

To:  AdventureGal@hottravel.com
From:  SpaceMonkey@earth.com
Subject:  Germany

Hallo Kayla,

Ich hoffe, Du hattest einen ruhigen Flug. Gab's Verspaetungen?

Ich muss mich entschuldigen, aber ich habe gerade nicht viel Zeit zum Schreiben. J und ich sind gerade in einer schwierigen Situation auf der Arbeit und es kostet all unsere Zeit. Wir hoffen, es bald geloest zu haben.

Schoene Gruesse von J. Es hat ihm Spass gemacht vor ein paar Abenden mit Dir zu reden. Tut mir leid dass ich nicht auch da war um auch mit Dir zu sprechen ... vielleicht naechstes mal.

Muss jetzt Schluss machen

D.

//Translation//
Hello Kayla,

I hope your plane flight was smooth.  Any delays?

I have to apologize because I don't have much time to write right now.  J and I are in the middle of a nasty situation at work, and it's taking all of our time.  We hope to have it resolved soon.

J says hello, too, and that he enjoyed talking with you the other night.  I'm sorry I wasn't around to talk with you, too.  Maybe next time!

Have to go!

D.
//End of Translation//

====

To: AdventureGal@hottravel.com
From:  SpaceMonkey@earth.com
Subject:  Parenting

Hi Kayla,

Hope after our conversation the other night you're feeling more reassured that I wouldn't think less of you because you don't want to be a mother 24/7.  In fact, that makes you even more ideal for J and I because even though we'd want the kids to know you, we want them to be ours.  I hope that doesn't sound ... possessive or anything.

So, how's Germany?  Where have you been?  How's your friend?

I'm still waiting for that information, Kayla.  Just a name, pleeeease.

Sorry, Kayla, I think he was a mother hen in a previous life.  Oops, gotta go.  He's making sure I know there's nothing fowl about him now!

D.

====
--A FEW MONTHS LATER
====

“Jack, what do you think about Kayla?”

The two lovers were snuggled together in front of the lake at their cabin, their two beagles beside them.  They had some downtime and had decided to enjoy the lake for a couple of days.  Much of their time had been spent discussing their future, and that included Kayla.  After almost a year's worth of emails, phone calls, and letters, plus several in-person visits, the time was close at hand to make a decision.

“She's great.  Or do you mean more?”

“We've been corresponding with her since her safari to Africa.  We've learned so much about her during her little romantic escapade to Germany, and her trips to Fiji and Panama, now she's off to Argentina for two months.  We've talked to her often, asked questions, answered a lot.  I just ... wanted to know what you were thinking.”

“I'm thinking she'd make a great birth mother for our children, if all goes well in the next few months.  She's shown us that she really is who we thought she was.  She's such a genuine person, I can definitely see the resemblance to Janet, and, I haven't sensed any wavering in her.  I think we can trust her, and I ... geez, I think she's great.”

“You mean you love her, like family?”

“I mean she's a nice young woman, and I'm ... open.  What about you?”

“Me, too.  She's everything we thought she was from the start - intelligent, level-headed, giving.”

“And we have learned she can go with flow, be spontaneous but still using that level head of hers.  I liked it when I found out that she had checked out that guy in Germany before changing her plans.  For a minute, I thought she was being swayed by good looks and charm.” Jack mumbled, “I just wish she would have told me instead of making me worry.  She could have told me.”

“She did.”

“She could have told me sooner!”

Daniel laughed at Jack's chagrin.  As it turned out, Kayla had a friend who was a private detective.  She never accepted invitations such as the one that had been offered to her without her friend running a check on the host.  She had finally told Jack about the private investigator after his fifteenth email demanding information about the man in Germany.

“So don't worry, J, he's on the up and up.  You can rest easy now,” Kayla had written in an email.

As his laughter calmed, Daniel got back to the real subject at hand.

“She said she likes to be spontaneous as long as safety isn't a concern.  I like that.  Jack, remember what she said about India?  I think we should remember that.”

“Danny, have you ever been to India?”

“Once, but it was a quick trip, only a week.  I think some day we should take our kids there, and let them see how another part of the world lives.  I know people who have gone there and said similar things to what Kayla said.  It's a lot like the poorer areas in Egypt.  A light switch is such an easy thing to take for granted.”

“She's a good person, Danny.  I honestly haven't found anything I don't like in her.”

“Jack, maybe this is our destiny.  Maybe we're meant to get out now.”

“I thought you wanted to wait another year?”

“You know what I think?”  Daniel turned to face his lover and saw the question in his eyes.   “I think that when Kayla comes back from Argentina, we should talk to her more, about the ... specifics.  I mean, let's be ready ... just in case.”

“Okay, if you're sure.”

Daniel had to smile knowingly.

“I know.  I'm the one always insisting we stay a little longer, even after we found Atlantis.  She just seems so perfect, and I have to wonder if maybe we'd be committing a horrible mistake by not taking advantage of the gift given to us.”

“I love you, Danny.  No matter what we decide about Kayla, or when we finally quit, I know that having a family is the right thing for us.”

“Me, too.  Sometimes, I think we try to think it out too much, or at least I do, but I don't want to miss out on the right time.  Maybe that will be when Kayla comes back, or maybe not.  Maybe it will be her or someone else, but I think we need to be ready to move.  I just feel like we have to be prepared, and I guess in the end, to follow our hearts.”

“That might mean we need to stop talking about tomorrow as being some distant time on the calendar.  Maybe tomorrow is ... next month.”

“Or today.  Gawd, we do do that, always think of tomorrow as around the corner, and yet, we keep pushing it away.  You're right, Jack, but we can't continue to think that way, not if want our family.”

“I want our family, Danny.”

“So do I.  So ... we start moving forward, for real.”

“Yeah, for real.”

“Oh, and by the way, I love you, too,” Daniel said, his words flowing through the air and resulting in a tender kiss.

As so often happened, Jack and Daniel hadn't set out to make a decision, and yet they had.  Retirement was on the horizon now.  They didn't know the date, not yet, but they had just made a commitment that within one or two months, they'd change their worlds forever.

They still had a little time to prepare and think out that future, but for Jack and Daniel, the day was soon approaching when they would make their life-altering decision to leave behind the world of space exploration and concentrate instead on babies and explorations of another kind -- of family.

Was Kayla the one?  Soon, they'd know.
~~Finis - Finished - Done - The End - But is it ever Really?~~
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