Halloween Madness

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Drama, Holiday, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - October 27-31, 2012
Spoilers:  None
Size:  33kb, short story
Written:  October 9-10,12,14-16, 2011
Summary:  It's Halloween and that means time for some crazy fun for Jack, Daniel and their brood.
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:  
1) Sometimes, Jack and Daniel speak almost telepathically.  Their “silent” words to each other are indicated by asterisks instead of quotes, such as **Jack, we can't.**
2) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
3) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Ali, Alverine, Candice, Navi!

Halloween Madness
by Orrymain

Amid the insanity of daily life at the Jackson-O'Neill residence during this October was the constant buzz over Halloween.  It kicked into high gear during the weekend, right after Jack had lost a huge bet with his children regarding his and Daniel's upcoming wedding anniversary.  With the issue of the big anniversary bash settled, the first major spook event involved costumes.  With twelve children to outfit, this was always a huge undertaking.

It was Saturday afternoon and Jack was in the hospitality room preparing lunch for the family.  Assisting him were Aislinn and her older sister, Lulu, who was within a couple of months of turning eight.

Out of the corner of his eye, Jack caught the humorous sight of Aislinn tossing Lulu slices of bread to be used for sandwiches.

“Oops,” Lulu giggled as a piece hit the floor.

“Toss it,” Jack advised, not chastising his playful helpers nor even looking over from his own task at hand.  “No five second rule around here.”

Both girls huddled together, wondering how their father had seen the bread without even looking over in their direction.

“It's called being a parent,” Jack stated, answering the whispered question.  ~No sirree, nothing slips by me.~

Amazed, the youngsters took a safer approach to the making of the sandwiches and ceased the tossing of the bread method.

Just then, Jennifer walked in and snatched an apple to snack on.

“We are making lunch here,” Jack reminded his oldest daughter.

“I can't wait,” the hungry gal retorted, a sly expression on her face as she bit into her prize.

“Have your morning gabfest with Sheila?” the father asked about Jennifer and her best friend.

“It's not a gabfest,” Jennifer refuted about her lengthy telephone chat with Sheila.

“What do you call it?”

Thoughtfully, the teenager reflected before answering, “A merging of ideas and opinions on issues and challenges crucial to our wellbeing.”

~What the ...?~  Jack stopped his chopping of vegetables and stared at the teen for a moment.  “Princess, you've been hanging around Daddy too much lately.”

With a chuckle, Jennifer corrected, “Wrong genius.”

Aislinn giggled, having heard the exchange, and interjected about her fellow triplet, “Little Danny was reading the encyclopedia again.”

“Something about political debates,” Jennifer noted.

“What else is new?” Jack laughed.

“Honestly, Dad, sometimes I forget I'm talking to a six-year-old.”

“Me, too,” Lulu chuckled.  “I just nod my head a lot when he talks,” she mused.

As the conversation progressed, the subject switched to the upcoming ghostly festivities.

“Any problems with the costumes?  If we need to buy ...” Jack began, wanting to ensure that all of the children had their desired outfits.

“Everything's on schedule, but I'm still working on the design of Jenny's costume,” Jennifer interrupted, her redheaded sister's costume being one of four she was sewing for her family this year.  “I'm trying to make Dora look a little more sophisticated than she does in the cartoon.”

Jack smirked, not sure how Dora the Explorer could possibly be upgraded in that regard.

“Don't smirk, Dad.  You'd be surprised what the right stitch can do.”

“Anything you say, Jen,” Jack conceded, his head down as he focused on chopping up a head of cabbage.  “How's your costume coming?”

“Mine?” the seventeen-year-old questioned, glancing uncertainly over at her sisters.  ~Ut oh.~

Putting down his knife, the father confirmed, “Yeah, yours.”

“Well, don't you think I'm a little old to go trick or treating?”

Jack stopped his hand mixing of the cabbage that he'd only just begun and glanced over at the maturing girl. The comment surprised him, since all holidays were big deals with the family.

“Are you?”

“Well, I could go with you, but ... dressing up like a kid?”

Jack nodded, replying calmly, “It's your choice, Jen.”  He waited a beat before continuing, “Daddy's still keeping his outfit a secret; can't get him to give me a hint even.”

Jennifer's breath hitched.  She caught the calm but not-so-subtle hint.

“That reminds me,” Jack continued.  “I have to call the shop to check on my costume.”  With twinkling eyes, he added, “Special order, you know.”  Wiping his hands on a towel, he said, “Be right back.  Finish tossing the salad, okay?”

“Sure thing, Dad,” Jennifer agreed.  She sighed softly and mumbled to the food, “How can I say I'm too old when I have parents who are kids?”

Aislinn looked over and asked, “What did you say, Jen?  I didn't hear you.”

“I was just wondering what kind of costume to make for myself,” Jennifer answered.

“You could be a dancer,” Lulu put forth.

“I think you'd be a beautiful Juliet,” Aislinn suggested, having recently heard the story of “Romeo and Juliet” for the first time.  “She's so romantic.”

“Thanks,” a smiling Jennifer acknowledged.  “I'll think of something.”

====

With the costumes shaping up, focus shifted the next day to pumpkin carving.  However, thanks to a couple of visiting boxer puppies, the children's attention was a bit divided.  Even so, when it came time to make their special pumpkins, the kids were eager and totally involved.

The process began with both Jack and Daniel preparing their own pumpkins.  The demonstration was a reminder of sorts, since carving pumpkins was an annual activity for the clan.  Daniel's finished product was a very meticulous two-faced pumpkin.  On one side was a smiling expression that gave off a friendly aura, while the opposite side featured a more grim and grouchy look.

Sliding up to his husband as he examined the grouchy side of the pumpkin, Jack questioned quietly, “Anyone I know?”

“Choose your pumpkins!” Daniel directed the kids, moving forward a few steps and ignoring his Love's inquiry.

As Jack grumbled, Daniel just smiled mischievously.

Having heard the command from their younger father, the children ran excitedly to the table where their parents had placed numerous pumpkins of different sizes.  All were ripe and had long stems, but their shapes varied, from perfectly round to more oblong pumpkins.

Seeing Jonny take hold of the biggest pumpkin, Aislinn rebuked, “Jonny, why do you need the biggest one?  You should let Jen or Jeff have it.”

“It's not for me, Ash, it's for JD!”

Glancing over at the ten-month-old baby, Daniel smiled and interjected, “Son, I think a smaller one would be better for JD.”

“Okay, Daddy,” the disappointed Munchkin groaned, putting down the big one and selecting a smaller one for both himself and his tiniest brother.

“We're going to work together on this, like we have in the past.  Jen, Jeff, and Brianna will help the rest of you cut away the stems,” Jack advised while pointing over at the pumpkin saws.

The family worked as one, coming up with ideas for the looks of their creations.  They created tracings to use for the actual cutting of the pumpkins.

“Mine's gonna be scary,” Jonny insisted as he continued to outline his pumpkin's design.

“Mine, too,” Jenny agreed.

After the drawings were done, the stems were cut and then the children began to prepare their orange objects.  There were lots of laughs from the squishiness of removing the innards of the pumpkins.

“Ricky, you squirted me,” Jenny complained, wiping off some pulp that had gotten onto her face.

“Na huh.”

“Yes, you did.”

“This would be a squirt,” Ricky stated, grabbing some pulp and seeds and throwing them lightly at his sister.

“Pulp wars!” Jonny exclaimed, happily taking some of his innards and taking aim at David.

“What do you think?” Jack asked his lover.

“It'll tire them out.”

“I love the way you think.”

Daniel grinned wickedly in anticipation of some private time with his Silver Fox that evening.  The more tired their brood became, the better the odds that the private time would happen without interruption.

So, for a few minutes, the parents calmly watched the pulp war, making sure it remained fun and didn't get out of hand.  They had nothing to worry about as the brood tossed, chased, laughed, and then returned to their work without being told to, even though they weren't as clean as before.

As the minutes passed, the children grew more serious as each took aim at making the perfect pumpkin, at least in their minds.

“Noa, that's great,” David praised as he examined his sister's handiwork.

“Do you think it looks like Teal'c?” the little girl, who had quite the crush on the Jaffa, queried.

Peeking over at it and noting the circle eight that was supposed to be his teammate's emblem on his forehead, Jack mused, “Exact image.”

When the kids were done, Jeff took individual photographs to go along with the video that he'd been taking of the entire event.  Then the carved pumpkins were placed throughout the home, inside and out, alongside other Halloween decorations that had already been put into place.

“I think JD did great,” Jonny opined at the smiling baby.

“He sure did,” Jack agreed.

“And he couldn't have done it without you,” Daniel added, well aware that the Munchkin had done most of the work.  In fact, he'd spent more time on his baby brother's pumpkin than his own.  “Nice job.”

Feeling good, Jonny walked away.

From there, the family moved on to individual activities and obligations for the rest of the day.

====

Monday was occupied with matters beyond the Halloween realm, especially with the boxer puppies still at the residence.  However, some of the children did go to a special Halloween party during the day that was held at home of one of their homeschooling family's.

On Tuesday evening, the entire family went to a local pumpkin patch farm which featured all kinds of fun, including hayrides.

“Don't get lost!” Daniel called out as the children headed into a tall maze that had been created with big bales of hay stacked one over the other.

“Come on, JD,” Lulu spoke as she picked up her tiny brother.  “We'll go together.”

Jack and Daniel shared a look and then both nodded as they agreed to let the curly-haired girl take JD with her, especially since they knew that Chenoa would be sticking with the duo.

“Last one out does the dishes!” Jennifer pronounced over her shoulder as autumn leaves crunched beneath her shoes, eager to lose her obligation for the evening.

Seeing her sister dodge around the first corner, Aislinn called out, “Not fair!  Daaaaaddy!”

“Better hurry,” Daniel urged, going along with Jennifer's dare for the moment.

It wasn't long before the kids were separated into groups, each seeking the correct way out.  Jack and Daniel had separated, Daniel remaining at the entrance with Jack going directly to the exit.  Both trusted their oldest children would keep an eye on the younger ones.  In fact, Jeff hung back, giving his parents a nod.  He would be the last to emerge, dishes threat and all.

====

“We got lost,” Lulu admitted, still having a firm grip on JD.

“But you made it,” Jack praised as he gently took JD from the little girl.

“It was fun,” Chenoa admitted, getting a giggle of agreement from her sister.

“Man, that was tough,” Jeff feigned as he emerged from the maze.

“I thought you'd be first, like Jen,” Jenny observed suspiciously.

“Mazes are tough, Red.  I kept taking wrong turns.”

As the children began to follow Daniel to another area, Jack patted Jeff on the shoulder.  No words were exchanged, just the silent “thank you” for making Halloween even more fun for the younger children.

====

Jonny climbed up onto the straw bale and stood erect as he declared, “I am General Jonny!”

“Good for you!” Aislinn responded, rolling her eyes much as her younger father often did.

“I get no respect,” Jonny groaned as he sat down on the bale, arms crossed in front of his chest.

Daniel glanced over at his husband, both men trying desperately not to laugh.

--

Jumping up and down, Ricky chuckled, “I can see you,” to Jenny, who was on the other side of the straw stack.

Looking over, Jenny saw the head and shoulders of her sibling going up and down.

“Ricky bobbin',” the redhead joked.  “Let's go down the slide.”

“Okay.”

The Spitfires and several of their brothers and sisters ran over to one of two not-so-tall, but rather long slides which had been built amid the straw.  It was just one of many fun moments for the children at the farm.

====

The excitement of playing at the pumpkin patch farm was second only to the feeling the kids now had as they prepared to go trick or treating.  Full of anticipation, the kids assembled in the living room for the official photographs, something else that was an annual happening.

Aislinn grinned, seeing Jennifer dressed up like Juliet.  She thought her older sister was beautiful, and it made her smile that Jennifer took her costume suggestion.

“Daniel, let's go!” Jack, who was now dressed in his Homer Simpson outfit, barked, the loudness of his shout almost causing his fake baldhead to fall off.

“Never fear, UnderDaniel is here!” Daniel called out as he bounded down the stairs, cape whipping behind him.

“He's Underdog!” David laughed.

“Great one, Daddy,” Brianna praised.

**I like the UnderDaniel concept better,** Jack told his lover.

**Tonight, Love.  I have plans for us.**

**Oh, how you taunt me.**

**That's the idea,** Daniel replied, though his smile spoke of innocence as he faced the children.  “Ricky, great outfit.  You look ... sharp, really sharp.”

The Spitfire was dressed like Linus of “Charlie Brown” fame.  His favorite blue blanket definitely came in handy and was the impetus for the chosen character this year.

“Anyone seen Mickey?” Chenoa asked in a squeaky voice, straightening her Minnie Mouse ears.

“He's out playing with Donald,” Lulu groaned as she played along with the game, especially since she was all dolled up as Daisy Duck.

“Jen, it's perfect,” Jenny spoke with appreciation for her modified Dora the Explorer outfit.  “I like my red hair.”

“You're welcome,” Jennifer replied, pleased that she had decided to make a Dora wig with red hair instead of black.

“Don't bite my blanket,” Ricky warned, yanking his precious belonging away from the ferocious alligator, better known as Jonny.

“I have big teeth,” Jonny responded, trying to snap the long snout of his costume together.

“Good thing they are just cloth,” Aislinn stated as she looked behind her and then did a backflip.  “Was that a ten?”

“Sure was,” Brianna laughed, shaking her head at Aislinn's choice of costume.

The youngest Munchkin was wearing a race outfit in the design of NASCAR driver, Carl Edwards.  The professional stock car driver was noted for doing backflips whenever he won a race.

Brianna was costumed in one of the outfits made by Jennifer.  The getup was in the image of the 1960 uniform of Chicago Cubs' shortstop, Ernie Banks.

“Good choice, Fourteen,” Jack called out in approval, referring to Banks' baseball number that was visible on the back of the jersey.

“Get in position, guys,” Jeff instructed as he situated the camera and its tripod appropriately.  “David, you and I need to be on opposite sides.”

“Matching bookends,” Jennifer teased about the brothers who were donned in black suits.

**Men in Black, remember?** Daniel questioned his husband.

**Thanks for the memories,** Jack whined about an unpleasant past experience in which Thor had helped to save the day, thanks in part to some Men in Black technology.  **Love the movie, though.**

After the picture was taken, the family headed out the front door.

“Daddy, do you think we left enough candy?” Little Danny asked earnestly.

Daniel stared down at his brain surgeon namesake and assured, “More than enough.”

Since the Jackson-O'Neills would be out for quite a while, they left a trick-or-treat dispenser for kids who visited.  Sam had rigged it up for them.  All the children had to do was call out, “Trick or Treat,” and they would be rewarded with three candies.

“I'd just keep saying it,” Aislinn giggled.

“Aunt Sam took care of that,” Jack responded, referring to a voice recognition program that prevented the dispenser from working more than once per voice. “Okay, Pumpkin, let's go,” he told JD, who was dressed up like a pumpkin.

“Bri, do you have the treats for the shelter?” Daniel called out as he reached the SUV.

“Right here, Daddy,” the tomboy replied about the goodies the kids would be dropping off at one of the shelters they frequented.

“Let's get howling,” Jack urged, letting out a gurgling howl as he reached for his keys.

**You'll definitely be howling tonight, Babe,** Daniel communicated privately.

**You'll be my best treat,** Jack agreed, salivating in anticipation.

**You may have to perform a few tricks first.**

**Danny?**

**Yes, Love?**

**Keep this up, and I'll be up, and that's not a good thing right now.**

Daniel couldn't help but smile and add a tender, **I love you.**

**Love you, too, Angel,** Jack replied from the depths of his heart and soul.

Eagerly, a fun-filled evening of tricks and treats was beginning for the family, including the lovers who were also contemplating their own special celebration afterward.

====

“Thank you again for your generosity,” the shelter worker spoke as the Jackson-O'Neills concluded their visit.

“We had fun,” Chenoa stated on the family's behalf.

“Bye, kids!” Jeff called out, his words of departure echoed in various ways from the rest of the family.

It was time to get back to familiar ground so the children could go trick or treating in their neighborhood.

====

After scurrying through several blocks near their home, the children were driven to another area, that of their grandfather's, General George S. Hammond.  After haunting a few of the closest blocks to Hammond's house, they enjoyed glasses of ghostly green foaming soda, courtesy of some dry ice, with the man before moving on.

“Next stop: Cheyenne Hollow,” Jack announced as eerily as possible.

“Are you sure it's safe, Jack?” Daniel asked, trying to build up the mystery.

“I don't know, Danny.  Maybe we should skip it.”

A round of objections responses followed, causing the parents to smile.  As they all walked to the SUV, anticipation consumed the children.

The trip to the Mountain was traditionally the last stop of Halloween for Jack and Daniel's brood.  Along with the fun of getting more candy for the kids, the parents took the opportunity to have all of the goodies gathered by their children checked with the various high-tech X-ray machines and whatnot available there.  Though most of the places visited were people they knew, some were not, and the cautious parents insisted on being as careful as possible.

====

“They're on their way,” General Hank Landry advised the special team he'd assigned to the task at hand.  He had just received a discreet text from Daniel that gave the family's estimated time of arrival.  “Make it good.”

====

“You have invaded Halloween Mountain,” Teal'c stated over the intercom.  This was actually one of numerous recordings the Jaffa had made for this special visit by the Jackson-O'Neills which would be used during the night.  His voice was disguised and distorted to make it sound more ghostly and frightening.  “You dare to visit my hall.  Enter, if you dare.  Survival is *not* guaranteed.”

Jonny gulped, but he was prepared to lead the way.

“*No!*” the recorded Teal'c shouted as the kids started down the hall.  “No sweet treats allowed in my hall of horrors.”

“We'll take them,” Jennifer announced, glancing over at her helper, Jeff.  She smiled, too, as the assigned personnel who would assist in carrying all of the very large goodie containers to the infirmary approached.  ~It would take a lot of trips without them.~

“We need another helper,” Jeff suggested, taking JD into his arms.

The two teenagers knew the plan.  While the younger kids went through the haunted hall that had been fixed up for them, Jennifer and Jeff, along with their baby brother, would go to the medical bay for the examination of the treats.  This would let Jack and Daniel be present with the rest of the kids and also shield the younger ones from having to witness their candies being X-rayed and such.

With the goodie bags removed, Jonny led the way into the darkened room that was lit only by torched-filled pumpkins and dim lanterns.  Partitions covered with cotton candy webs and bright white ghost illuminations were everywhere.  Part of him wished his siblings were with him.

To make the experience as spooky as possible, the kids were not allowed to go through as a mass unit; rather, they could only go individually or in pairs.  That would ensure a true haunted feeling for all of them.

As Jonny rounded the first corner, he gasped at the site of the skeleton jumping out at him.

“It's just a fake,” the oldest Munchkin assured himself in a low voice.

“*Fake?*  You think I'm fake?” the skeleton seemed to reply, thanks to a tiny speaker placed in the skull.  The setup was complete with jaw and arm movements, making the skeleton move more realistically.  “I'll show you what I do to non-believers.”

Jonny's latest gasp was more audible, and when he saw the right arm reach out towards him, he ran forward.

--

“Retract the hand,” Landry ordered from his spot in the observation area.

An orange film had been placed over the window, with transparent spiders crawling over it.  If the kids did look up, with the dark and the coverings, the odds were extremely slim that they would see the observation area at all.

“Walter, let's see if we can get a scare out of Jenny.”

“Yes, Sir,” the chief master sergeant replied.

--

Jenny and Aislinn were holding hands as they walked through one of the haunted corridors.

As eerie music played over the speakers to enhance the mood, a whish was heard.

“What was that?” Aislinn asked anxiously, reaching up to feel her hair.  “Something touched me.”

“Look!” Jenny exclaimed, seeing a colony of bats, wings flapping, heading towards them.

At the same time, a pop-up screaming corpse appeared with hollow black-eye sockets and blood streaming down its face.

In a curdling voice, the corpse called out, “There is no escape!”

“*Run!*” Jenny ordered, taking off as fast as she could and hearing her sister behind her.  When they reached the next corridor, they paused, both taking deep breaths.  “Dang it!”

“Jenny!”

“That scared me; I don't like being scared.”  Jenny frowned and vowed, “Never again!”

“Boo!” an airman dressed up as a living ghost whispered, having successfully sneaked up behind the girls.

Jenny screamed and took off down the partitioned section, with Aislinn just two seconds behind her.

--

“Nice job,” Landry praised.  “Get ready on the skulls.”

“Colonel Carter went full out on this one,” Walter advised.

“Too bad she's not here to see the fun,” Landry replied.  “Here comes the target.”

--

The target in this case was Little Danny, the young genius whose intelligence was feared to prevent him from feeling the chill of this special haunted house.  That is why Sam had used alien technology to make this part of the area genius-proof.  Her goal was for the youth to not have time to think about what was happening.  If he didn't have time to process the events and figure out how things were happening, then maybe he could be frightened like the rest of the kids.  Like it had been with Jonny, it was also important for Little Danny to be on his own; otherwise, protecting siblings would kick in, altering their true reactions.

The twisting corridor was full of talking skulls, darting ghosts that zoomed in on the child before retracting, and men dressed up as zombies.

Little Danny noticed the skulls and began to think about how they worked when the first ghost lunged for him.  He ducked, his hands touching the floor just where Sam had predicted.  When the boy raised his hands, his eyes widened.  His hands were covered in red, blood-like goop.

That's when the first zombie appeared and pushed at Little Danny's back.  The boy ran forward, running straight into a giant spider web made of string candy.  Before his mind could make that realization, though, a hologram of a giant spider that looked true to life began towards him from the top of the web.

Little Danny screamed and quickly hurried around the web and into the next corridor.

--

“I think Colonel Carter will be happy with that result,” Landry remarked with a smile.

====

“That Haunted Mountain was scary, Daddy,” Jenny admitted, clinging to her father as he held her.

“I didn't know there was a haunted hall here,” Little Danny admitted, turning around to make sure no one was chasing him.

“I wasn't scared,” Jonny proclaimed.  Seeing the looks of disbelief, he added, “Well, not too much.”

Brianna snickered while thinking, ~They were all scared at some point.  Geez, those dead bodies were pretty convincing.  Great makeup.~  She frowned as she thought about what she'd seen on her trip through the hall.  ~They couldn't have been real, could they?~

**General Landry outdid himself, Babe,** Daniel communicated to his lover.

**Yeah,** came the somewhat dejected response.

With a mental grin, Daniel teased, **You shouldn't have made that bet with him.**

**Three friggin' weekends.**

Jack had bet his military friend that he could not rig a haunted hall that would scare all of the children and especially not Jonny, Little Danny, and Jenny.  With three weekends of freedom on the line, though, Landry had dedicated a special team to come up with as much scary content as possible and that included having Sam utilize alien technology and Doctor Carolyn Lam rigging up some very convincing cadavers.  With the brood properly frightened, Jack would have to work in Landry's place on three weekends in the future.

**Jack, you might want to give up on making bets.  You don't really have a great track record with them these days.**

**Ya think?** a disheartened Jack snarked, rumbling at JD, who giggled.  ~Geez, I love my brood.~  He heard a mental complaint.  ~And my eavesdropping husband.~

====

The last stop of the night had been made, this one to allow Little Danny to see Carrie Lapierre dressed up as Cinderella, a request made by the young girl earlier in the day, and now the children were weary from their hours of Halloween fun.  After a few minutes of playing with the zoo, the children stowed their goodies, took baths, and then put on their sleepwear.  With prayers said, it didn't take long for them to fall to sleep and start dreaming about next year's adventures.

As for Jack and Daniel, they were headed for the master bedroom and where UnderDaniel would kick into full gear.  For these two passionate lovers, it was the best way to end another ghoulish Halloween season.

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