Four Times the Charm
Category: Slash, Drama, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Season: Beyond the Series - May 27 - June 26, 2016
Written: December 21,23, 2017, February 1-4,6,8-10, March 1-2, 2018 Tweaked: March 8, 2018
Summary: Believe it or not, Jack and Daniel get married again.
Disclaimer: Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't. A gal can dream though!
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) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my other fic(s): “Legal Smeagle,” The Twizzling Series, and “Yesterday Once More”
Four Times the Charm
The Jackson-O'Neills were in Minnesota. They'd left their Colorado Springs home the night before, timing the drive in their RV so they arrived in the morning, giving them the bulk of the day at the cabin. They were eager to celebrate the four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend. Unfortunately, Jeff wasn't with the family as yet as he was attending college in Ohio and could only fly in for the actual weekend.
Jack walked out of the cabin after doing some unpacking. His gaze went straight to his children. Normally, the kids would have been playing and having a great time near the lake, but as Jack watched them seated in a cozy circle on the grass near the dock, the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. He approached his lover, who was sweeping the wooden porch at the front of the cabin.
“Babe, I know Franklin is a friend of yours and he's really done a great job keeping the property maintained ...”
“Yeah, I know. He likes helping us.”
Franklin DeMilo lived in the nearby town of Ashby. He'd spent most of his life in the small town and, for decades, kept the O'Neill cabin in shape. As a young man, he was good friends with Jack's grandfather who initially hired him to do maintenance at the cabin year-round. Franklin did the same for Jack's parents and now he took great pride in tending to the O'Neill cabin for its third generation. That said, age was catching up with him and it clearly was more difficult for him to do the job.
“Maybe we can get a helper for him?” the archaeologist suggested with a tilt of his head and a crunched up face.
“It'll cost us, but every time I talk with Franklin, he really sounds happy. I've given him outs, Danny, but he keeps saying how much he enjoys working on the place.” Jack lamented, “He's alone now.”
Daniel nodded, aware the man's wife was no longer living. Even sadder, Franklin's two children had also passed. His family now were friends, but they were dropping like flies.
“I know and I don't want to hurt him, Jack. You know, maybe you shouldn't say anything. So, we spend a couple of hours getting the place in shape when we get here.”
“I love you.”
Daniel chuckled, “You're so easy, O'Neill.” He noticed Jack looking back and asked, “What is it?”
“Our brood is up to something.”
“Yeah, I see.”
“We've been here for three hours and they've spent most of it in the same spot. They have something in mind.”
“Well, they'll tell us when they're ready.”
“We're in Minnesota. How bad could it be?”
“Here,” Daniel said, holding out the broom.
“My reward for my good point,” Daniel put forth. “Your turn,” he smirked as he shoved the broom into Jack's hands and walked away.
“Sneaky geek,” the general teased. ~What is the brood up to?~
After dinner, Jack and Daniel sat down on the sofa. They sat close with Jack's arm keeping his Love snuggled to him. Daniel had a mystery novel in his hands while Jack read a past issue of National Geographic. All around them, the children were playing, though they kept looking at one another. Even the beagles, Bijou and Katie, watched the brood with curiosity.
Finally, the brood made their move and assembled in front of their parents.
**Here we go,** Jack communicated as both he and Daniel sat aside their reading material. He smiled at the kids and instructed, “Out with it.”
“When are you getting married?” Jonny asked.
“We are married,” Jack responded.
“You asked Daddy to marry you again when we were legal,” Ricky pointed out, referring back to the day last June when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing same-sex marriages.
“Yes, you did,” Daniel reminded with a smile. “Backing out?” he mused.
“We've done this, three times,” the silver-haired man reminded.
“But you promised,” Aislinn argued.
“JD wants to see you get married,” Jonny added.
“You, uh, did propose, Babe,” Daniel pointed out again.
“Hey, that was almost a year ago. Why all the rah-rah now?”
“We love weddings,” Chenoa answered.
“You do?” Daniel responded. “Uh, did you happen to watch TV while you were at Aunt Janet's over the weekend?”
The outbreak of smiles and grins was all the answer Daniel needed.
“We saw 'The Sound of Music' and 'Father of the Bride' and ...” Aislinn began.
“... and 'One Hundred and One Dalmatians',” Jenny noted.
“Don't forget 'The Princess and the Frog',” Lulu chimed happily.
“Never and especially not 'The Little Mermaid.' We watched that one twice,” Brianna told her parents. Seeing their widened eyes, she admitted, “Okay, it doesn't fit my image, but I liked them. Sue me.”
Jack and Daniel laughed as some of the brood teased the tomboy lightly about enjoying the animated Disney films.
**Nice to see the Doc was keeping the brood busy.**
**She told us she'd been planning this movie marathon for a while, Jack, and we told her not to change her plans.**
**Yep. We approved the playlist. I just didn't realize they were wedding heavy.**
**Jack, if you don't want to do this ...**
**Hey, I proposed. I want to do this.**
**Are you sure?**
**Why wouldn't I be?**
**Well, maybe because we've already had three ceremonies,** Daniel responded. **Four would be excessive. Actually, three was excessive.**
**What's three, but a number, just like four.** Jack smiled as he added privately, **You know what they say, Love, four times the charm.**
“Dad? Daddy? Yoo-hoo,” Jennifer called out. “You two are doing that silent thing again.”
“They zone out,” Ricky concurred with a bob of his head.
“Kids, give your man a break. Why all the excitement over a fourth?”
“We're romantics,” Jennifer answered.
“Yeah, weddings are dreamy,” Aislinn added.
“They're so much fun. The dresses are beautiful,” Lulu noted.
“Li'l Bit, I guarantee you that neither Daddy nor me is wearing a dress,” Jack responded firmly, prompting laughter from the children.
“Boys, any of you care to express your opinions?” Daniel inquired.
“Well, the truth is ... ow!” Jonny exclaimed as he grimaced at the not-so-subtle hit on his knee.
“What Jonny is trying to say,” David began. “Hey, watch it!”
“David means,” Ricky began. “Yikes!” The Spitfire grinned in submission. “They want to keep it a secret.”
“Girls, let's not bruise and batter your brothers. They need their limbs,” Jack lightly chastised the culprits behind the “ow,” “watch it,” and “yikes” exclamations.
“It's my turn,” four-and-a-half-year-old JD finally stated. “I never got to see you get married. I don't wanna be 'cluded.”
“Excluded,” Jonny whispered into his littlest brother's ear.
“It's pretty much the real reason, Dad and Daddy,” Jennifer asserted. ~Kinda; well, close anyway ... sort of.~ She smiled to hide her interior thoughts and then suggested, “JD feels a little left out. Besides, the Munchkins and the Spitfires were pretty young at the second two weddings, right? They're old enough now to really remember this wedding for the rest of their lives.”
“Yeah, and it's a good reason to eat lots of ice cream,” Jonny added with a sloppy grin.
“I'd say that's a good reason, Jack,” Daniel opined. “Uh, JD, not the ice cream.”
“Shucks, Daddy,” Jonny whined.
“Gotta agree with you there. Daniel?”
“That's a great word. Just for the record, will you marry me ... again?”
“Yes,” the happy archaeologist replied before he shared a loving kiss with his husband.
“Okay, kids, wedding number four is on,” Jack announced.
“Cool,” David remarked as the others smiled, clapped, cheered, and shared several high-fives.
~There has to be more to this, but ...~ Jack's thoughts were interrupted by the happy brood as they began to chatter about the upcoming nuptials.
-- June 4
“Dad!” Aislinn, age nine, exclaimed with full force.
“We can't plan if you don't pick a date,” Jenny spoke in exasperation.
“Pick a date!” JD ordered.
“I'll speak with Daddy,” Jack agreed. When the kids didn't move from their spots and all six eyes maintained contact with his, he sighed in resignation. ~So much for my opera hour.~ Standing, he quipped, “Dictators,” and headed outside where Daniel was reading in the gazebo.
“Hey,” Daniel greeted when he saw his lover approaching.
“Hey. How's the book?”
“I don't seem to be able to finish it.”
“Still on the first chapter?”
“Third, but I can't get off this one page.”
The lovers shared a chuckle and then Jack asked, “When do we do it?”
“Do what?” Daniel asked as his voice suddenly became a little huskier.
“Oh, Angel, we'll be doing that tonight, I hope.”
“I think we can arrange a time for that.”
“How about a day for the big day?”
“Oh, the wedding.”
“The big four.” Jack continued, “The brood is on the verge of harassment. We need to pick a date.”
Jack began to run through various possibilities between now and the end of the year. He had reasons for all of them, but then he saw the light bulb go off in his soulmate's mind.
“Danny, you have that look.”
“The one that says you have a brilliant idea.”
“Oh, well, uh, that would be ... accurate, I think.”
“Tell me,” Jack requested.
“You have a fever.”
~Huh?~ Jack stared at his Heart for a few seconds until the understanding became clear to him. “The twenty-sixth of June, a night I'll never forget for as long as I live.”
“Me, too,” Daniel spoke about the very first night he and Jack declared their love and became a couple in every way possible. “We were so naive.”
“Hadn't a clue what we were doing.”
“But we did it.”
“It was perfectly imperfect,” Jack quipped.
“We've tried to celebrate that night every year since then, so what better way of honoring that special time in our lives than saying our vows on that date?”
“I love your light bulb moments,” Jack mused and then kissed Daniel, not just once, but several times. “Do we check the calendar?”
“No, we don't calendar our wedding. We make it happen.”
“I'm all in.”
As they snuggled closer together, the couple agreed on a few more wedding details before they rounded up the children to bring them up to date. The kids were doing the bulk of the arrangements, based on their parents' wishes. While Jack and Daniel were slightly apprehensive about giving up control, they knew their brood was quite capable of putting a small wedding together. Thus, at this moment, they cuddled in peace and enjoyed more of their morning. Eventually, they'd gather the kids and share their feelings with them. For now, though, they were a quiet and loving nation of two.
-- June 7
“Jennifer, that was one fine meal,” General George S. Hammond complimented as dinner concluded at the Jackson-O'Neill home on this Tuesday night.
“Thank you, Grandpa. Bri and Ash were my sous chefs this evening.”
“Well done, Bri and Ash,” the man praised with a nod and a smile. “Steak and potatoes: my kind of meal.”
The family adjourned to the recreation room to visit a bit more. Eventually, the conversation turned to the wedding.
“Nothing fancy, Sir,” Jack advised. “And this time you can come and not risk your career,” he added while thinking back to the second wedding the couple had and how Hammond actually gave Jack and Daniel to each other during the ceremony.
“That meant a lot to us, General,” Daniel interjected.
“It was my pleasure,” the bald-headed man responded. “How big is this shindig going to be?”
“Dad and Daddy want to keep it small,” Brianna answered. “We're thinking maybe thirty to forty people tops.”
“That's the right ballpark,” Jack agreed. “A few family folks, a few from J-O, some from the Mountain ...”
“And the list goes on,” Daniel interrupted. “We don't want it to get out of hand.”
“We're still working on a place, though,” David stated. “Dad, Daddy, what about Garden of the Gods?”
“Been there, done that, and it was awesome,” Jack answered.
“No repeats,” Aislinn sighed. “We need to find another park.”
“I'll call around,” Jennifer told the others.
“No need,” Hammond spoke, silencing the conversation.
“Do you have an idea, Grandpa?” Jenny asked.
“I do,” Hammond affirmed. “It's a nice spot, lots of green grass, trees, quiet, out of the way, and near a lake.”
“That, uh, sounds good. Where is it?”
“Yes!” Aislinn exclaimed.
“Sir, we can't let you do that.”
“You can, Jack, and you will. Consider it my wedding gift to you and Daniel.”
“It's perfect!” Lulu called out, biting her lip slightly and grinning like wildfire.
~Listen to them go; so many plans for the big day.~ Hammond grinned, too, loving the enthusiasm expressed by the brood. He glanced over at the happy couple and nodded. ~I love this family; they keep me young.~
-- June 11
“We could mail these,” Daniel put forth to Brianna.
“And trust the United States Postal Service?” Brianna gave her father a challenging look and added, “Come on, Daddy. We need to get these out, fast!”
Daniel nodded and waited for the rest of the family to gather.
“Kids, do *not* force anyone to attend this wedding and remember, no gifts. I want you to make that perfectly clear to everyone invited. If they show up, that's present enough,” Jack instructed.
“Okay,” Jennifer acknowledged on behalf of the brood. “Everyone have their assigned invitations?”
“Mine!” Little Danny exclaimed joyfully.
“Gottem invites,” Ricky snickered.
“I have mine,” Aislinn announced as she held up the invitations assigned to her.
Once the roll call was completed, the family entered their designated vehicles and headed for their first stops. For Jack, that was Cheyenne Mountain. With him were Jonny and Chenoa. Though retired from the Stargate Program, the three-star general's family still retained clearance to the top-secret facility.
“Siler,” Jack greeted. “My kids have something for you.”
“Here you go, Sergeant,” Jonny stated as he handed the man an envelope.
Curious, the longtime SGC worker began to open the item given to him.
“Dad and Daddy are getting married again,” Jonny blurted out impatiently. “Can you come?”
“I'll trade a shift,” Siler responded as he realized he was scheduled to work the day of the wedding.
“There's Grace,” Jonny called out.
As her brother scurried down the corridor to speak with the woman, Chenoa questioned, “Sergeant Siler, you build things, right?”
~Okay, where's this going?~ a clueless Jack wondered.
“Some say I do,” the man acknowledged.
“We need an archway, or a gazebo,” the curly-haired girl advised. “Can you help us build one?”
“Not a problem.”
“Thank you,” Chenoa replied before she hurried after her brother.
“Siler, my kids will put you in their wills for this one day.”
“They're already in mine, Sir. Excuse me,” Siler stated as he headed for the gate room.
~Okay, that's just creepy.~
“How'd it go?” Daniel inquired of his husband when they were reunited in the late afternoon.
“The kids are in Siler's will.”
“Maybe they took my place.”
“I doubt it.” Daniel sighed. “That's just ...”
“... creepy,” both men spoke together.
“Yeah, I know, but he's coming to the wedding,” Jack told his soulmate. “How'd it go with you?”
“Little Danny secured Karissa's attendance in about two seconds,” the archaeologist mused.
“No surprise there.”
“No,” Daniel agreed with a smile. “Jack, you should have seen him work the office. I was worried. I mean, we love our staff. How do we tell them we want to keep it small and please, if you don't mind, we're only inviting a few of you to the wedding.”
“They understand. Right? They do understand, Danny, don't they?”
“Thanks to our son and Ash, who was equally amazing. They promised video and cake to everyone.”
“Daniel, I'm sensing something more.”
Daniel smiled with an awkward stance.
“Daniel, what did *your* kids do?”
The archaeologist laughed and answered, “They gave everyone one day off during the week following the wedding, the day off to be coordinated by Karissa.”
“You let them do that?”
“I found out the same time the staff did.” With a pointed stare, Daniel asked, “What would you have done, Jack?”
“Grin and bare it.”
“That's what I did.”
After a moment, the lovers chuckled and shook their heads. It was humorous to them that the Munchkins felt they had the power to give the crew at J-O Enterprises a day off. However, it also saved the day. Most workers would much prefer the joy of a personal day over having to attend a wedding, even though the staff felt like a family of their own.
“Hi, Dad and Daddy,” Jennifer greeted.
“Everyone in our group is coming,” Lulu reported.
“That's good,” Daniel responded supportively.
“Well, except maybe not for Mrs. Valissi,” the Curly Top sighed. “She might be in Italy visiting her son.”
“Might?” Daniel inquired.
With an apprehensive sigh, Jennifer admitted, “Um, well, you see, JD sort of put on the charm.”
“Give a gal a break,” Jennifer requested with a sly grin. “You know how cute JD is when he wants something.”
**A bit of Jonny and Little Danny combined,** Daniel put forth to his husband.
**And the larceny of a certain pouting archaeologist.**
**Jack, I do not pout, and I certainly wouldn't pout to get Mrs. Valissi to not visit her son just so she can attend one of our weddings.**
**You might not, but JD would.**
“I'm going to check in with Jeff,” Jennifer announced.
“Jeff?” Jack asked about the college student.
“He hates not being here to help out, so he offered to make phone calls to some of the out-of-city guests: Megan and Yazid, Aunt Catherine and Uncle Ernest, Danny and the Jenkins.”
“I hope you kids remember that it costs folks money to come here.”
“That's why I told Jeff he'd be perfect for the call. If Little Danny or JD ...”
Jack held up his hand and warned, “Don't go on. We get it.”
Jennifer laughed and walked away.
“Who's the chef tonight?” Lulu questioned.
“That would be me,” Daniel returned.
“Can we cook now? I'm hungry,” the eleven-year-old advised.
Glancing at his watch, Daniel suggested, “Have some fruit. We need to wait for everyone to get back.”
Still out delivering invitations were David and Ricky, who were with Lou Ferretti, and Brianna and David, who were with Sam. Both of these groups were reaching out to a variety of friends and associates all across Colorado Springs.
“Okay, Daddy,” Lulu responded even as her stomach growled.
“Did you eat lunch, Princess?” Jack queried.
“Fruit,” Lulu sighed. “I wasn't that hungry then and I was excited about the invitations.”
Daniel smiled and urged, “Come with me, Li'l Bit. We'll get started.”
**You're a softie, Love,** Jack accused jovially.
**You'd do the same thing.**
“How about stew?” Daniel asked his daughter as the two headed for the hospitality room to start the dinner preparations.
-- June 18-19
It was Saturday and amid the day's activities, Jack, David, and sometimes Chenoa were having an astronomy day. Both Jack's and David's telescopes were in position on the Aerie, the extension that was above the hospitality room that gave the amateur astronomers the best viewing they could achieve on their property. The goal was to discover how many of the planets they could see throughout an eighteen-hour period.
The first attempt was made bright and early in the morning. Chenoa was sitting out both this and the second attempt, preferring to be asleep under the covers in her warm bed. Father and son, however, were wrapped in warm clothing as they tried to find their first target, Neptune.
“See anything, Dad?” the fifteen-year-old queried.
“Son, I've got nothing,” Jack sighed. “Neptune's hard to see on a good day, but we have clouds.”
“We tried,” the boy lamented with a hint of disappointment.
The best attempt to view Neptune was at 6:05 a.m. and it was now fifteen after.
“We have a good two hours before we have a shot at Uranus.”
“Mickey D's?” the father questioned.
“Krispy Kremes?” David countered.
With a grin, Jack responded, “We've got the time. Let's do both.”
David was happy with the idea and eagerly covered his telescope before following his dad downstairs and out of the house.
“I think it's still too cloudy, Dad,” David opined as he looked up at the sky from his position on the Aerie. With the temperature now approaching seventy degrees, he was no longer wearing his jacket. “What do you think?”
“I think we're here and we're going to give it a good try.”
With a nod, David positioned his telescope appropriately and started his quest to find the next planet.
“Remember, Son, these first two planets are usually difficult to see. Don't get down a...” Jack paused as he stared through his telescope. “Hey, I got something.”
Seeing his father motion to him, David left his telescope to gaze through his dad's more powerful scope.
“Just barely,” David answered. “Wow, this is cool, but I wish we could see more of it.”
“Stop wishing about more and enjoy what's there,” Jack taught the youngster.
“You're right, Dad. I can't get any real definition, but I see a semi-outline. That's really Uranus?”
“You bet your ... ah, that's affirm,” Jack responded. “Quick: three facts about Uranus.”
Ready for the challenge, David rattled off, “Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun. It's the only planet in our solar system named for Greek and not Roman mythology; and a season on Uranus is forty-two years long.”
“Well done, my son,” Jack praised.
With three hours to go until the next planetary view, Jack and David went on to other things.
Around 11:30 a.m., Jack, David, and Chenoa returned to the Aerie. The temperature was in the mid-seventies now, but it wasn't the warmth that was on the astronomers' minds.
“Dad, the clouds are going to block our view,” Chenoa sighed unhappily.
“What's with all the negativity today?” the father responded. “Kids, the cup is always half full, not half empty.”
“I'm sorry,” the Curly Top replied. “Are we going to be able to see Mercury?”
“It's not that bad,” Jack pointed out. “I think we have a good shot at it.”
“I see it!” David exclaimed.
“Me, too,” Jack stated and then moved back to allow his daughter to take a look.
“There it is,” Chenoa spoke excitedly. “Dad, tell me a story about Mercury.”
Jack and Daniel weren't sure if Chenoa's love for astronomy was truly about stargazing or listening to her dad's stories.
“Well, I'll tell ya. Mercury there was named for the Roman god of commerce. He's one greedy son-of-a-gun. Mercury was such a thief that one day, his followers rebelled. They chased that god wannabe all the way into space. That's why the planet was formed. Mercury ran so fast trying to escape that he left a planet in his wake.”
“Dad!” a disbelieving Chenoa exclaimed.
Jack chuckled, “Okay, that's just a ridiculous tall tale, but Mercury was the god of trade, commerce and thievery. The planet shows up for a few days and then disappears until it appears somewhere else. That's a fast planet.”
“Bet it wears Nike's,” Chenoa joked, loving it when both her dad and brother broke out into chuckles.
“Good one!” Jack praised. “Get ready. Saturn is up next in about five minutes.”
The three were easily able to view Saturn, something they did for nearly a half hour before Jack stated, “Okay, kids, two more minutes and then I have some business to do.”
“How long until the next planet?” David inquired.
Checking his notes, Jack answered, “One hour.”
“Which planet?” Chenoa asked.
“I love Venus,” the girl returned with a gleam in her eye.
“Then you'll want to be here on time,” the father advised.
With that, the three went on with their day.
Daniel pulled into the driveway, returning from a fill-in shopping trip. This was due to a miscalculation of their milk supply and the apparent theft of some Twinkies and Godiva chocolates.
“Babe, why are you mowing the lawn? Isn't that Lulu's chore this week?”
Quieting the lawnmower, the general explained, “Your conniving daughter cheated.”
“*My* conniving daughter ... cheated?” Daniel chuckled. “Uh, how?”
“She tricked me.”
“She lured me in with those innocent eyes, the little charmer.”
“Jack, why are you mowing the lawn?”
“She bet me the chore that she could make an egg stand up.”
“Jack, that's so easy.”
“Yeah, I know, but she showed me her hands. There was no salt on that egg and nothing in her hands.”
“Then how did she get the egg to stand up?”
“She smashed it onto the table so that the bottom of the egg was flat.”
Daniel laughed, “You mean she got you because you made assumptions.”
“All she said was that she'd make the egg stand up on the table. As she so smartly pointed out, she never said the egg would be whole or undamaged. Danny, she got me. Where'd our sweet little Lulu learn that?”
“Probably from Jonny, who pulled the same thing on Ricky last week.”
“What? And you didn't tell me?”
“Right.” Jack checked his watch. “Get your replacement munchies?”
“Yes. Any ideas on who the thief is?”
“Mercury, of course.”
“Nothing. Maybe you just lost track. Our kids don't take things like that.”
“That's true,” Daniel responded. “It was probably Thor.”
“Did he sneak in again?”
“JD mumbled something about it,” Daniel sighed. “In fact, now that I think about it ...” The archaeologist paused and shook his head. “No, I think I'll choose not to think about it.”
“Sounds like a plan.” Jack pointed at the starter and began, “I need to ...”
“Have fun, Love,” Daniel returned as he headed inside with the bag of groceries.
After Jack and the two children successfully viewed Venus, though they only saw a piece of it, they had a few hours before it would be Jupiter's turn shortly after dinnertime. Chenoa was allowed to stay up late with Jack and David to view Mars at 10:30 p.m., but then she went to bed. It would be just Jack and David on the Aerie to take in the final planet, Saturn, at 11:50 p.m.
Once again, it was cloudy, a condition that existed most of the day. It was also still very warm. In fact, it was seventy degrees out, making it very comfortable up on the high deck.
“Hey, why so quiet?” Jack asked while waiting for the best moment to take in Saturn's presence.
“Dad, you want to know why we want this wedding so much?”
~Interesting.~ Jack looked at the growing youngster and was surprised by his query. “I thought it was because you're all romantics.”
David chuckled and nodded, “We are, and everything we said to you and Daddy was true, but there is another reason.”
“I'm all ears.”
“It's not really complicated, Dad, but after watching all those wedding movies at Aunt Janet's, we started thinking. I don't remember who first said it, but one of us brought up how lucky we are to have loving parents, but then someone mentioned how we almost lost you and Daddy.”
Jack knew exactly what David was referring to in his comments. First, he'd been in a horrific vehicle accident the year before. He was indeed lucky to be alive and he was fortunate to recover from being paralyzed for quite awhile. Then, mere weeks ago, his husband was near death due to a brain tumor. Their brood went through a lot in both circumstances. Just one of those events was enough to emotionally damage a child, but having both situations occur was devastating.
“Somehow or another, we decided we wanted to celebrate our family. I think it was Ash who brought the wedding up and one thing led to another ...”
“Brood synergy,” Jack acknowledged.
“Yeah. It snowballed.”
With a smile, Jack responded, “Daddy and I feel very blessed that we survived both of our brushes with death and we agree we're even more blessed to have you and your siblings.”
“We just like it when we can share and I guess this wedding is another way for us to do that. Is that weird?”
“No,” Jack answered definitively. “Thank you for telling me.”
“It's not really a secret, Dad. The brood didn't want you and Daddy to think we were worried or anything. We want the wedding to be a positive thing.”
“It is. I'm over the moon that Daddy wants to marry me again. The truth is that I'd marry Daddy every day, if I could.”
“Is it time?”
“It sure is.”
Jack and David peered into their telescopes and both immediately found their target, the easily seen Saturn. They talked for a while about the planet as their eyes focused on the planet. Midnight passed and so, too, did the conversation on the planet.
The father pulled out a couple of thermoses filled with hot chocolate and suggested, “How about we just go over here and sit and chat for a while?”
“Cool,” David replied.
The two settled down and looked up at the darkened skies. They talked about the stars for a bit and then about more personal things.
“Dad, how do know when you're really afraid of something or if it's just being insecure about yourself?”
“You have to look inside yourself, David. In the end, regardless of the cause, it's fear and how you respond to it. I don't care if it's fighting the bad guys or getting the nerve up to ask a girl out on a date, it's fear you're battling, fear of being hurt or fear of rejection.” Jack smiled. “What's her name?”
“Aw, Dad,” David sighed before confiding about a girl he'd met recently.
Jack let the conversation go to completion before ending the full day of planetary viewing.
“Thanks, Dad. I really enjoyed watching the planets with you and Noa.”
“Me, too. Goodnight.”
“Night, Dad. I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
~Geez, I love days like this,~ the happy general acknowledged. ~And I love my archaeologist. I wonder if he's asleep, or ...~
With a goal in mind, Jack eagerly headed for the master bedroom. Awake or not, Daniel was certain to respond to Jack's plans.
~I could always make him an egg bet. Yeah and that will be *egg*cellent.~
-- June 26
“The food looks wonderful,” Jennifer opined as she looked at the food displays on the various tables.
“Are you sure there's enough cake?” Jonny asked.
“Jonny, there's plenty. One piece per person.”
“One? Just one? Jen, I'm a growing boy.”
With a smile, the young woman urged, “Grow, definitely grow, Jonny, but if you eat more than one piece of that cake, Teal'c will be speaking with you.”
Jonny gulped and walked away, leaving his oldest sister laughing.
“Ash, is everything here?”
“Everything except for the finger foods. The caterers are keeping them in the truck for a while. They'll bring them out a few minutes before the ceremony starts.”
“I love this draping,” the young woman opined.
“I wish it was clearer so we could see the lake better.”
“Yeah, I know what you mean, Ash, but this will protect the food. People can get what they want and then go out and sit by the lake, if they want.”
“As long as Jonny doesn't sneak in and eat everything.”
“Ash, don't even think that, but if you see him, remind him that Teal'c is doling out the punishments for food thieves.”
The sisters giggled as they continued to check out the food area that was between the pergola and the lake.
“Sergeant, you did a fine job with the pergola,” General Hammond complimented.
“Thank you, General.”
“Why is there a big wrench on top of that last vine?”
“That's my signature.”
“Every artist has a signature, General. A big wrench is mine,” Siler explained. “Excuse me, Sir.”
Hammond shook his head in amazement and then returned to the interior of his house.
Inside the living room of the house, a pleasing sight was seen.
“Jeff!” Lulu exclaimed as she advanced quickly to the young man's location. “I miss you.”
“I miss you, too, Lulu!”
“Bro, we were worried,” Jennifer called out as she moved in and shared a hug. “It's almost eleven.”
“My plane was delayed; engine trouble or something, but here I am.”
“Did you bring your camera?”
“Of course!” Jeff patted the case he was carrying around his shoulder. “Are we on time?”
One by one, the brood noticed Jeff's arrival and eagerly greeted him. There were lots of hugs and smiles.
“Where are Dad and Daddy?” Jeff inquired.
“The guest room,” Chenoa answered.
“You look so beautiful, Noa,” Jeff praised. “You all look great.”
Brianna interjected, “Has anyone seen the flowers?”
“They're in place outside,” David answered.
“Not those: the pink roses,” the tomboy clarified.
“They weren't with the others?” Jennifer questioned.
“I'll go look,” Little Danny stated.
“I'll help,” Aislinn added as she walked swiftly to catch up with the child prodigy.
In short order, the siblings returned with the roses, relieved to find them on a chair.
“Take them up to Dad and Daddy,” Jennifer instructed.
“Hey, let me take them up, okay?” Jeff requested.
Outside, Sam and Pete arrived and were mingling with some of the other guests.
“They picked a good time for the wedding,” Tracey O'Connor opined as she looked up at the sky.
“You're right, Tracey,” Grace Satterfield replied. “Thunderstorms are forecast for this afternoon.”
“It's beautiful out right now, though. Just a few clouds in the distance,” Megan Awad noted.
“Anyone know if they're going on a honeymoon?” Grace inquired. “The honeymoon is the best part of the wedding,” she laughed.
“It had better be,” an amused Tracey agreed.
“I've heard the brood arranged it, so who knows where they will end up,” Megan informed jovially.
“Megan, it's so good to see you. What's new with you?” Tracey inquired.
“I'm having ...” That's when Sam walked over. “Sam!”
Megan and Sam hugged, after which a pleasant conversation between the four ladies began.
“Are you ready for this?” Jack asked his lover in the privacy of the guest room in the Hammond home.
“It's not like we haven't done this before ... and before ... and before.”
The two shared a chuckle as they checked each other's tuxedos to ensure everything was as it should be.
“You are the sexiest geek on the planet,” Jack complimented while taking his Love into his arms.
“Just the planet?”
“Oh, no, that's wrong,” Jack admitted. “In the galaxy, in all the galaxies of the universe.”
“You're the most charming and sexiest of all the militaries anywhere in existence,” Daniel returned.
Jack and Daniel kissed until they heard a knock on the door. Reluctantly, they pulled apart.
“Come in,” Jack called out. Seeing his son, he exclaimed, “Jeff!” and quickly walked forward to embrace his son. “I wasn't sure you'd be here.”
“I wouldn't miss it, Dad,” Jeff replied. He pulled back and walked two steps to hug his other father. “Hi, Daddy.”
“Thanks for coming,” Daniel sighed as the embrace ended.
“This will sound sappy, but I miss you guys,” Jeff confessed.
“We miss you more,” the archaeologist returned with a grin.
“You two look sharp,” Jeff complimented as he held up the box with the transparent top. “But pink roses? Not red?”
“Son, before you can be forever soulmates, you have to be friends. Danny and I were friends long before we could contemplate being something more.”
“It wasn't really that long, though, right?” the college student asked.
“Time is relative,” Daniel responded. “If we weren't friends and had that caring first, we never would have survived what came after. Besides, pink roses aren't just a symbol of friendship, they also speak to admiration, affection, and appreciation.”
“I didn't know that.”
“Perhaps, my boy, you should,” Jack suggested somewhat pointedly, his not-so-subtle expression a reference to Jeff's girlfriend, Chely. “Son, love is grand, but the real success stories involve far more than love.”
“Dad's right,” Daniel responded. “The divorce rate in this country is so high. You have to like the person you're with and respect them.”
“Jeff, admiration is too often linked with obsession or some fluffy fantasy, but,” Jack faced his lover, “you have to admire your significant other. I don't admire or respect many people, but I do you, more than anyone else.” He laughed as he thought about their beginnings. “Danny, in the beginning, you were such a pain in the mikta, but with each new day, I grew to understand what you were trying to do. I couldn't ignore that. You fought so hard for whatever you believed in and felt was right.” He paused for a second. “You've come so far, Angel. All the nightmares, all the tragedies, and all the challenges that threatened your true function couldn't defeat you. You've pulled yourself through, and me, too. I wouldn't even be alive today without you. I feel privileged to be your husband. Geez, I love you.”
“I love you, too, Jack. The truth is that everything you've said about me, I say about you. When you reached your bottom, you battled back. I know you credit me for that, but it wasn't me, it was you. You made the choice, Jack, to live and save the people of Abydos. You believed the innocent were worth saving and in saving them, you saved yourself, and then you saved me in more ways than I can say. Gawd, look at me. You freed me. You ... you found Danny when I thought he was gone forever. When I look at you, I feel wonder and joy and astonishment that you love me.” Daniel chuckled, “Look at us. We have a family, a real, very loving, very caring family. I'm happy, Babe, so happy, and it's because you never gave up on me, not ever, even when I was a ... pain in the mikta.”
As the soulmates kissed, Jeff spoke, “I now pronounce you husband and husband and dad and daddy to the brood and the zoo.”
Jack and Daniel chuckled as their hands embraced the other's and they remained as close as they could to each other.
“Um, I didn't mean to eavesdrop, but ... Abydos ... um ...”
“Jeff, one day we'll tell you, but not today,” Jack returned, realizing what was said about the first mission to the planet. “But believe me, it's the truth, however you look at it.”
At that point, there was another knock on the door. It was Aislinn who announced, “It's time, Dad and Daddy.”
Jack walked over to the window that overlooked the back of Hammond's home. With the pergola and food tent, the lake wasn't as visible as it was normally was.
“We have ourselves a little crowd, Danny.”
Daniel joined his husband and looked out seeing the accumulation of people present.
“We're lucky, Babe. I mean, uh, four times can be a little much.”
“Nah,” Jack negated as he shook his head. As his hands caressed Daniel's face, he corrected, “Four times the charm, Angel, and you're my charm, my lucky charm. I love you.”
“I love you, too, so much.”
Jack and Daniel kissed and then heard their giggling daughter, doing her usual “Dad and Daddy kissing ...” wherever song.
“Okay, Ash, lead on ... out there ... to the altar ... one more time. Go!” the silver-haired man mused.
The lovers went around the back, successfully hiding from the guests, which included members from their extended family, people like the Wilsons, Daniel's sisters, Suzanna and Nelle, the Lucas, Danny Hopkins Jenkins, and the Littlefields.
Several friends and neighbors were present, too, such as the Rancolinis, Sylvia Preston, Mrs. Valissi, the Millers, and the Lapierres.
Representing J-O Enterprises were Megan Awad with her husband, Yazid, Karissa Lewis, Bibreanay Appleton and her husband, Ty Harper, and Dora King.
“Jen, did we invite all those people from the Mountain,” Brianna asked her sister.
“Not all of them,” Jennifer observed as she looked out at the large contingent from the Stargate Program.
The invited military personnel began with the host of the wedding, General Hammond. His successor at the SGC, General Hank Landry, was also in attendance, as were trusted Sergeants Davis and Siler, who also brought his wife. Grace Satterfield and her husband, Steve Watkins, who left the Program and the Air Force a few years ago, were among those already seated. Teal'c was there, of course, as were Tracey O'Connor, Bruce Pittman, Paul Davis, and Marc Reynolds.
“I don't recognize those people in the corner,” Jennifer admitted. “How'd they get in?”
Having overhead the discussion, David piped up, “It's the food. I heard that sergeant talking about it at the Mountain last week.” He nodded toward the sergeant he recognized from working with the Teen Gaters. “But I didn't hear him saying he was coming.”
“They've crashed the wedding,” Brianna sighed. “What do we do?”
“We flunked Security 101. Dad and Daddy won't be happy about that,” Jennifer groaned. “But now that I look at them, a couple look familiar.”
“What do we do?” Brianna inquired.
“We get a little help,” Jennifer answered with a smile.
“Teal'c?” David asked.
The two sisters laughed as they contemplated the proposed solution for the wedding crashers.
“I know a good solution, too,” Jenny interjected, having heard the entire exchange from the side.
“I didn't know you were there, Jenny,” Jennifer responded.
“Jonny's not the only one who's learned how to do covert,” Jenny quipped to her grinning siblings.
“Okay, Miss Covert, what's your suggestion?”
“General Landry,” the Spitfire replied with a firm bob of her head.
“Oh, yeah!” all three of the other brood members said within a second of one another.
“Way to go, brood!” Jennifer praised, exchanging fist bumps with all three of her siblings involved in the conversation.
Jennifer and the others turned around to see their parents, who covertly entered behind the white tent-like covering.
“Dad, Daddy, you look perfect,” Jennifer praised.
“Thank you,” Daniel responded. He sneaked a peek out of the food tent and commented, “That walk looks great.”
“We can't take credit for it, Daddy,” Brianna responded. “We, well, Jen actually, called Mister Stone at Archonics and he had one of his contractors put it in.”
“They'll be back later to remove it,” Jennifer noted.
“Uh, you have made arrangements to restore Grandpa's house to its original condition?” Daniel inquired.
“Daddy!” Jenny exclaimed in exasperation.
“We have it covered,” Jennifer laughed.
“We have great confidence in all of you,” Jack interjected. Rubbing his hands together energetically, he urged, “Let's get the show on the road. I can't wait to marry this man again.”
Jack scooped Daniel into his arms and kissed him with great passion.
“Wow,” Daniel responded to the kiss. “I can't wait for the honeymoon.”
“Daniel, the kids!”
“Oh, yeah, well, anyway,” Daniel stammered.
“I'll get things started,” Jennifer advised with a smile. “Come on, you guys. It's wedding time.” As the brood walked out of the food tent, she quietly suggested, “Jenny, why don't you tell General Landry about our uninvited guests.”
“Red, quietly,” Jennifer called out to the fleeing girl.
“Okay,” Jenny repeated.
Having determined they were ready to begin, Jennifer nodded at Little Danny, who was seated on a stool near Hammond's sunroom. He picked up his guitar and began to play “Wedding March.”
The music was the lovers' cue. With their guests beginning to stand as was the norm, Jack and Daniel walked together from the food tent to the front. They smiled and nodded at some of the guests before grinning at their children, especially the middle Munchkin, whose guitar playing was quite good.
Once the soulmates reached their designated spots, Little Danny stopped playing and joined his brothers and sisters in standing behind their parents. The brood stood in an arc with Jeff standing closest to Jack and Jennifer closest to Daniel.
“Aren't we missing something?” Jack whispered to his soulmate.
“They wouldn't forget something like that ... would they?” the archaeologist replied softly.
At that moment, Aislinn, who was right in the middle of the arc which made her central to the two sections of seats behind the altar, turned around to face the guests.
“Hello,” came the bright and upbeat greeting from the Munchkin. She smiled and chuckled when almost everyone called out a greeting of their own. After her giggles subsided, she spoke calmly, having practiced her speech several times over the last few weeks. “When my parents first got married at a beautiful spot overlooking Juan de Fuca, a friend of our Aunt Sara's officiated. She came all the way from Canada when they got married again here in America. She wasn't at the third wedding because that was spontaneous. I guess we, the brood, married them that time.” With a big grin, the Munchkin concluded, “But this wasn't spontaneous.” She pointed towards the back and announced, “From Canada, we, the brood, welcome Lisa Anderson Cassidy to officiate Dad and Daddy's recommitment of their vows, something we, the brood, asked them to do.”
“What?” both Jack and Daniel called out as they looked towards the food tent. Sure enough, walking towards them was the woman who graciously married the lovers in 2003 and in 2006. She was escorted by Bijou and Katie, who had yet to miss any of their humans' weddings. “Wow,” came two stunned responses from the couple.
There were a few hugs and hellos before Lisa took over and began the official wedding lingo.
“I've been advised by the brood that Jack and Daniel want to keep this short. I believe the way Jeff termed it was, 'They've been there, done that, and are humoring us by having this fourth ceremony.'”
There were musings heard from the guests and lots of smiles on their faces. At that point, the person seated next to Teal'c gave a nod when a familiar face approached. He stood and quickly maneuvered to an empty chair at the far end of the row.
“They should have this memorized by now,” Janet chuckled to her husband as she sat down next to him. Her words were a little loud and drew attention her way, which was easy since she only just arrived. “Sorry, patient.”
“Glad you made it, Doc,” Jack acknowledged with a smile.
The redhead looked at the lovers and smiled. She was relieved to arrive in time for the big event. Earlier, with a patient in crisis, she told Teal'c to go on without her, so he asked Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Mitchell for a ride. Though Mitchell wasn't invited to the wedding, he sat next to Teal'c to hold a spot for Janet. With the physician now present, Mitchell gave up his front row seat and took another until he could exit without being a distraction.
**Danny, was that Mitchell?**
**Haven't seen him in a while.**
With a suppressed laugh, Daniel returned, **Babe, except for Jonas, Cameron is number one on your 'must avoid' list. You always kept him on a different rotation from SG-1 after what happened in the other realities.**
**Yes, one of my smarter decisions.**
**Jack, you barely know him here.**
**Ah, but I know him in those other realities and that's enough.** Jack paused, **Why are we talking about him during our wedding?**
**You brought him up.**
The lovers tuned back into Lisa's words as she spoke, “... and they always know what they want, so with that in mind, we'll go straight to the vows.”
Lisa gave Jack and Daniel their cues and the soulmates took turns declaring their love while acknowledging past trials and tribulations that were overcome by their devotion to each other. Both ended with the same phrase, proclaiming that their love was “always and forever,” the same three words that followed their given names on the inside of their golden wedding rings.
“And now on behalf of the good vibes in the universe, which always seems to be on your side, I pronounce you married, married, married, and married again.”
To the laughter of the crowd, the happy couple kissed with passion and broke out into blissful grins afterward.
“It never gets old,” Jack put forward as he gazed into his Love's eyes.
“No, it doesn't. It only gets better,” Daniel agreed as he returned the gaze with great emotion.
“Sergeant, are you okay?” Landry asked when he looked at Walter Davis, who was seated next to him.
“It's weddings, General. I always cry at them.”
“Take it easy, Walter,” Landry replied as he watched the man dry his moistened eyes with his handkerchief.
“Lisa, thank you so much for coming,” Daniel spoke.
“I was so surprised when Jeff called to tell me about it. I just couldn't say no.”
“We weren't really intending on another ceremony.”
“The kids wanted it.”
“Jeff explained that to me.” Lisa sighed, “I had no idea you both have had such a traumatic year.”
“We're both pretty lucky to, uh, still be here.”
“The kids wanted to celebrate our survival,” Jack told the officiate. “And I did propose again.”
“I think it's very romantic.”
“Listen, about your expenses ...”
“Daniel, it's not necessary. It gives me a chance to visit with Sara. We don't see each other very often.”
Jack nodded at the reply, well aware that his ex-wife and Lisa were sorority sisters and remained good friends even after their college years.
“Still, we feel like we should reimburse your travel expenses,” Jack returned.
“How about a compromise?” Lisa asked. “You keep your money this time and you can pay for your next wedding.”
“Next wedding?” the lovers responded in unison.
Laughing, Lisa excused herself to find Sara.
Jonny, who listened the entire conversation, approached his parents and said, “She's part of the budget. Jen said since Mrs. Cassidy won't take money from us that we'll make a donation to her favorite charity.”
“That sounds nice,” Daniel replied. “Does Mrs. Cassidy know that?”
“Not yet,” Jonny answered. “Jen said she was going to try to pay her one more time, but then she'd make the donation.”
“How does she know what charity to use?”
“It's on the Internet, Dad,” Jonny responded, shaking his head that he had to even say it.
Watching his namesake walk away, Jack remarked, “Danny, am I bad that I don't pay more attention to this Internet thing?”
“Bad, no. Behind the times, well, maybe a little, but, uh, don't change, Babe.”
“Someone has to hold on to the past?”
“Something like that,” Daniel affirmed as he leaned in for a kiss. “We need to greet our guests.”
“Siler brought his wife,” Jack pointed out.
“It'll be nice to say hello to her again.”
“When's the last time we saw her?”
“Our anniversary party?”
“I don't think she was there.” With a more solemn tone, Jack opined, “He keeps work and home separated almost totally. I get that.”
“He doesn't go ... out of state,” Daniel returned.
“No, but crazy things happen. He doesn't need to be out of state to be at risk.” After a pause, he added, “He's keeping her safe and under the illusion that he's not in danger; at least, not any more than any other sergeant in the Air Force.”
“Dad, Daddy, come on,” Aislinn called out, encouraging her parents to start mingling with the guests.
“We've been paged,” Jack mused.
“Well, the sooner we finish here, the sooner we ... you know.”
“Daniel, time to greet so we can go,” Jack prompted. “By the way, where are we going?”
“You'll find out when we get there,” Daniel replied.
“You don't know?”
“Jen said we'd know when we get to the airport,” the archaeologist responded while he and his lover headed over to visit with those present.
“Everyone!” Jennifer called out. She sighed, “Jonny, help.”
Jonny waved over his siblings and counted, “One ... Two ... Three!”
As directed, three shrilling whistles did their tasks.
“Listen up!” Jonny called out loudly. “My sister has something to say.”
“Thank you, Jonny,” Jennifer said and then let out a big breath. ~I'm sure there was a better way of getting people's attention.~ She did, however, have all eyes on her now. “Um, Dad and Daddy need to leave within the half-hour, so please allow them to go inside for a few minutes and then they'll say one more goodbye to everyone. You're all welcome to stay and celebrate their love with the brood once they leave.”
“We're glad you came!” Chenoa called out with bright eyes and a vibrant voice.
Jennifer and the kids led their parents inside Hammond's house and waited for them to get their luggage.
“You only have time for a quick wave and shout out,” Jennifer told her parents.
“Got it,” Jack replied.
“Thank you for getting married again,” Jennifer spoke as she hugged her parents. “It really meant a lot to us.”
“I'm not left out anymore,” JD remarked happily.
“You're welcome,” Daniel replied. “Okay, everyone behave for your caregivers.”
“Daddy!” Little Danny exclaimed with a scowl.
“You're right,” the archaeologist returned. “This was really wonderful and very special for Dad and I. Thank you so much.”
“What Daddy said,” Jack piped in as they exchanged hugs and kisses.
“You guys have to go or you'll be late,” Jennifer advised.
“I have to go, too,” Jeff sighed. “I'm sorry I can't stay longer, but my flight leaves in seventy minutes.”
“We understand, Jeff,” Chenoa responded as she smiled at her brother before hugging him.
“Can we share a cab?” Jack asked.
“Uncle Pete is going to make sure Jeff makes his plane,” Jennifer advised. “But your cab awaits.”
Final goodbyes were handed out and within minutes, the parents were en route to the airport without knowing their destination as yet. All the information was in a packet prepared for them by their children with the instruction not to open it until arriving at the airport.
The guests enjoyed visiting with the children and then slowly began to leave and return to whatever was waiting for them as the day continued. There were a few exceptions.
As the military wedding crashers tried to enter the food area, they were stopped by a menacing Teal'c who strongly advised, “I would not leave until GeneralLandry permits it.”
The crashers spied General Landry, who they had no idea was in attendance. The base commander was giving them a strong stare from inside the food tent where he was enjoying a piece of the wedding cake. His expression spoke of a grim future for the group, all of whom were male and most of whom were new to the base. The message was received, as was the threat, so none of them left the grounds.
As the reception portion of the event came to a close, General Jonny, under the direction of General Landry, called out the wedding crashers, who realized they were about to pay the piper.
With great pleasure, Jonny advised the crashers, “You're all on clean up detail. You've been assigned the following tasks. One, break down the pergola and put the pieces in Sergeant Siler's truck. Two, disassemble the food tent and help the caterers as requested. Three, pick up any trash and take out the trash containers to the big receptacle. Four, gather up the chairs and prep them for return to the rental company.” Sounding very much like his father, he commanded, “Move out!”
The wedding crashers grumbled, but they quickly and efficiently did as ordered, even if that order came from the mouth of General Jonny.
As for the brood, they joined General Landry for their pieces of the cake, all the while smiling and laughing since they didn't have to do any of the exterior cleanup themselves.
With the clean up finished, the brood headed to the homes of their caregivers, though the twins didn't have to go far since they were staying with General Hammond. That was exciting because it meant over the course of the next week, they would be spending a lot of time at the Mountain.
The Munchkins were heading home with the Wilsons, while the Curly Tops were desirous to spend time in Carolyn Ferretti's kitchen. They were hoping she'd share her special lasagna recipe with them.
Brianna was super excited to spend a week in Denver where she was going to work for a diving club. Specifically, she was going to assist with training kids under the age of fourteen how to scuba dive. The tomboy began her own lessons in 2012 as part of her quest to work with dolphins as a career. Having turned fifteen, her junior certification was quickly upgraded and she was eager to investigate how she might like teaching as she moved forward towards her ultimate goal. While in Denver, she would be staying with Dale and Nancy Rancolini.
David was spending the week with his best friend, Calvin Miller, which meant he was close to the J-O residence and would be available to help Jennifer with the zoo or JD, if necessary. He knew he was welcome to stay at the family home, but he was also aware of his sister's deep desire. Besides, he liked the entire Miller family and relished the chance for a tiny adventure of his own.
Jennifer, at age twenty-one, was staying at the family residence and taking care of the youngest sibling, JD. She dearly loved her little brother and because of the separation in ages, she was eager for this one-on-one time. She had a lot of things planned for the two, made possible since she wasn't taking any summer college courses.
“JD, it's just us this week,” Jennifer said we a smile when the two, along with the beagles, entered their house.
JD's response was to hug his big sister.
“I hope Dad and Daddy have a good time.”
“Where they go, Jen?”
“To a warm place. Come on, let's check on the zoo.”
“Driver, pull over,” Jack ordered the Air Force airman who was playing chauffeur for he and Daniel. ~Gotta love the kids for getting Landry to do this, or maybe it was Hammond. It beats that cab she told us we were taking.~
Daniel opened the packet and pulled out the destination information.
“Where are we going?” Jack asked.
After reviewing the details, Jack told the driver where their drop off point was at the airport.
“We're spending the night in Fort Lauderdale and tomorrow, we have a chartered flight to Staniel Cay.”
“It's gonna be grand.”
“It already is, Jack.”
The lovers shared a smile and would share so much more once they settled into their hotel. They would spend the next several days on their honeymoon, celebrating their happiness in their own special way. As they left Colorado Springs and their brood plus zoo behind for the short term, they knew the long term was full of family and more love than either could imagine.
For Jack and Daniel, love was always and forever, an eternal truth that made all their weddings special and their lives fulfilled.
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