Hey, Susie Q

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Drama, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - October 20, 2018
Spoilers:  None
Size:  27kb, short story
Written:  August 1-3, 2017
Summary:  It's Jack's birthday and this year, all he wants is peace and quiet.  His family, of course, has other ideas.
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:  
1) 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):  “The Kernel's Rise”

Hey, Susie Q
by Orrymain

“I just don't understand it, Danny.  It's been eight months.”

“They've texted.”

“But they haven't called.”

“Yes, they have.”

“Yeah, months ago.  Did something go wrong?”

Somewhat solemnly, Daniel responded, “I don't know, Jack, and maybe if it did, they need time to process.  We can't butt in.”

“Daniel, we always butt in.”

“Not when Sam and Pete are in England.”  The archaeologist admitted, “I'm a little worried, too, but they have texted, and Cassie's seen them.”

“I grilled her when she called last month.  She didn't say squat,” Jack lamented as he put on his shirt.

“The burgundy one, Babe,” Daniel suggested, a hunger in his eyes.

With a grin, Jack put away the black shirt he'd begun to put on and happily dressed to please his lover.

Returning to the subject at hand, which was the minimal amount of contact between them and the Shanahans who were in Europe in the hopes that their daughter, Susie, would qualify for an operation that might return some, or perhaps even all, of her hearing, Daniel stated, “Sam's sent emails, too, and Kevin sent you a postcard for your birthday; so did Susie.”

“Danny, my gut isn't screaming Goa'uld or anything, but why haven't they given us a status on Susie?”

“I don't know, Jack, but they will, when they're ready.  We have to respect their need for space, and I think it's pretty obvious they need some space.”

“I wanna help.”

“Maybe there's nothing we can do to help.”

The reality was that with financial assistance from Jack and Daniel, the entire Shanahan clan, including their dog, traveled to Europe for what was hoped to be a miracle surgery.  Their stay was expected to be at least six months.  At this point, eight months had gone by.

At first, Sam called frequently, but contact tapered off.  Cassandra and Dom Luca, who now lived in London with their ever-growing family, visited with the Shanahans off and on and always gave Jack and Daniel updates, though they never got into specifics about Susie's surgery.  The result was that the couple was both concerned and clueless about the situation.

“I could ...”

“No, Jack, you can't.  Let them be.  As hard it is for us, this is Sam's family, and she'll reach out if and when she needs us.  We're just anxious.”

“Yeah, I know, but I still don't get the lack of contact.”

“But there has been contact, maybe not as much as we'd like, but think about Susie.  This has to be a really difficult time for her, and Kevin still requires a lot of time, too.  Sam and Pete have to spend their time with their children, not us.  We have done, and will do whenever necessary with our own children, the same thing.  This is just one of those times when the proverbial shoe is on the other foot.”

“You're right.”

Daniel walked forward, put his arms around his lover, and quietly declared, “I love you, Jack Jackson-O'Neill.  Now, let's go party.”

Setting aside the Shanahan silence, Jack and Daniel headed out of their master bedroom for a very special evening of celebration.

====

“This was great, Jen.  Thank you, Princess,” Jack stated a few hours later as he gave his eldest daughter a kiss and hugged her with all of his strength and love.

“I wanted it to be special, Dad, for you and for me.”  The young woman giggled, “This was my first big party in my new home.”

The newlywed realized from the start that having her father's sixty-sixth birthday in her small home located behind the large Jackson-O'Neill home would be a challenge, but her heart was set on it, so her parents agreed to have Jack's party there.

Jennifer maximized her space perfectly and her brothers and sisters all cooperated, sitting in small groups at separate places for dinner before having the bulk of the party in the living room and equally small backyard.  Fortunately, the weather held, allowing the partygoers to venture outside comfortably.  This was important because in addition to her core family, a few other guests attended, including General Hammond and his bride, the former Sophia Valissi, plus Janet and Teal'c.  Daniel's sister, Suzanna Simpson, was also in town, visiting and was at the birthday bash.

Just then Jennifer received a phone call and said, “I have to take this.  It'll just be a minute.”  She walked over to the stairs and went up the steps to ensure she wasn't overheard.  “You have the code, right? ... Yeah, they changed it yesterday so it's good.”  She laughed, “I told Bij and Katie to expect you and that it was a secret.”  A moment later, the call concluded with, “I can't wait to see all of you.  We've missed you.  See you in a bit.”

Jennifer returned to the party, but stayed in the background for a minute.  Everyone was having a good time, including the birthday dad.

~And to think you were all grouchy recently.~

Jennifer knew part of the story firsthand, but the rest she'd learned from her daddy and siblings.

~How could someone who treasures birthdays as much as you do, Dad, be such a party pooper?~

//Flashback//
“Babe, we need to discuss your birthday,” Daniel said as the couple prepared for bed one night.

“Let's skip it this year.”

“What?” the archaeologist responded, now standing agape at the reply.  “Jack, are you okay?”

“Why wouldn't I be?”

“Uh, maybe because you just said you wanted to skip your birthday this year.  What's wrong?”

“Why does something have to be wrong?  It's just a day.”

“Okay, take a step back here.”

“Daniel, if I step back, I'll have to smash the wall so there's room for my body.”

The younger man approached his husband and gave him a sweet kiss, after which he pronounced, “I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

“Good.  Now, tell me why the man who dragged me into birthday celebrations kicking and screaming suddenly wants to skip his?  I mean, our children think birthdays are holidays.”

“I'm tired.  I'm going to bed.”

“No, you're going to tell me what's wrong.”

“Nothing.  I just want to relax on my birthday.  There's enough noise around this place to warrant complaints to the cops.  I want peace and quiet, starting now.  Goodnight.”
//End of Flashback//

~Daddy said that was the closest thing to a fight you two have had in ages, but it wasn't a fight really.  You just weren't talking ... yet.  I guess I'll take a little credit for nudging you along.  After all, I'm your daughter and you'd never let me or the rest of the brood down.~

//Flashback//
A very pregnant Jennifer wobbled into the Jackson-O'Neill living room from the backyard accompanied by her husband, Peter Hamilton, who was practically glued to her hip, his hands assisting her every moment.

“Thank you, Peter, but I really can walk on my own,” the mother-to-be insisted.

“I know, Jen, but I just want to make sure.”

“Hey, Princess,” Jack called out, getting up from his chair to greet his daughter.  “Maybe you'd better sit down.”

“That's a good idea, but it'll take both of you to get me up,” Jennifer laughed, though she was absolutely serious.  “What's the old saying, Dad?  I can't wait for this baby to pop.”

“Yeah, it's an old saying.”  Jack sighed for a minute and then leaned in for a quick hug with the other man in the room.  “Hey, Peter.  How's business?”

“It's good, Dad.”

“*Daniel, Jen and Peter are here*,” Jack shouted.  “The brood's out.”

“Well, I'll see them later.”

“Woof, woof,” Bijou announced as she and Katie entered, as if saying they were there.

“Come up here with me,” Jennifer beckoned, after which she played with the beagles for a couple of minutes.

“Hi, Sweetie,” Daniel greeted, leaning over to kiss and hug his daughter.  “Peter.”

“Hi, Boban,” Peter responded with a smile, his name for Daniel a Scottish endearment the archaeologist approved of and was happy to have as a moniker of his son-in-law's affection.

After catching up for a few minutes, Jennifer announced the reason for the impromptu visit.

“Dad, I want to do something super special for your birthday this year.”

“You are.  You're having my grandchild,” Jack replied, glancing up at Peter with a intimidating glare that lasted only a couple of seconds before he let out a grin.

Peter took a few breaths of relief.  He actually still carried around the note from the doctor that certified Jennifer did not get pregnant until the night of the wedding.

“Besides that.”

Jennifer explained her desire to host a party for her dad in her own home.  Her parents were naturally concerned that it would be too much of a strain.  Jack's birthday was on the twentieth of October and the baby was due on the eleventh.

“It's too much, Jen,” Daniel asserted.

“No, it's not.  I'll have a lot of help from the brood, and Peter, of course.”

“Of course,” Jack echoed as he looked at the husband in question.  “Look, kids, I appreciate it, but this year, I think I'm passing on the birthday thing.”

“You're pulling my leg, Dad.”

“He's not,” Daniel sighed.  “He's been talking like this for a while now.”

“Well, it's crazy, and it's not you, Dad.  You're having a party.  It's ... tradition.”

“It's noisy and messy.  I just want to relax; spend some quality time on my hammock.”  Before his soulmate could correct him, Jack raised his hand and admitted, “Yes, Daniel, I know.  I don't have a hammock.”

“Okay.  I need to call to Grandpa and General Landry,” Jennifer remarked.  She stared at her dad and glanced over at her daddy.  “Who are you and where is my dad?”

Daniel let out a laugh and Jack tried, but he only let out a sound.

“Dad, what's wrong?  You love birthdays.”

Jack checked his watch and stood up, saying, “I'm sorry, Jen, but it's time to pick up the Munchkins from Aunt Sara's and Jenny's at ... what the heck, you know the routine.  Chauffeur service begins now.”  Looking at the young man, he urged, “Keep an eye on this one.”  He walked over to Daniel, gave him a kiss, and advised, “It'll probably be an hour, the way everyone is spread out.”

“I know.  I love you.”

“Love you, too.”

“Dad, wait a minute,” Jennifer pleaded.  “I want to do this, and I know I can.”

“Jen, what if the baby's late?” Daniel asked.

“Well, we'll figure it.  Please let me do this.  It really means a lot to me.”

“It does,” Peter interjected.  “I admit I wasn't crazy about the idea when Jen first mentioned it, but she has a lot of ideas and she really wants to do this, so I'm supporting her.  I'll do anything she needs to make the party a success.”
//End of Flashback//

~That's would sold you both,~ Jennifer thought about her parents.  ~But there was still something wrong.~

//Flashback//
The latest family meeting was coming to the end as Jack asked, “Anyone need time?”

“I do,” twelve-year-old Aislinn announced as she stood up.  “All in favor of Dad having a party, raise their hands and say 'aye'!”

“Wait a minute,” Jack objected, his response overshadowed by the voices of the brood as they made their unanimous vote.

“Kids ...”

“It's time for an intervention,” David put forth.

“Think of me as Aunt Janet's proxy,” Little Danny stated.  “Where does it hurt?”

“My ...”  Jack groaned.  He'd just been trapped.  ~Ah, crap.~

“Jack?” Daniel questioned.

“Dad, do you have a pain?” JD, who was just a couple of months away from turning seven, asked.

“Okay, kids, we'll have a party.”

“Good,” Daniel responded.  “Because we already told Jen we would.  Why have you been making noise about backing out of the party?  That's what the children, and I, want to know.”

“Peace and quiet.”

“Not buying it, Babe.”

“Look, I agreed to the party, so we'll party.  Meeting over.”

Jack walked away, going to his study and shutting the door.

“Daddy, is Dad sick?” Little Danny asked with sincere concern.  “I think he's sick.”

“I don't know,” Daniel responded truthfully.  “Everyone upstairs and get ready for bed.  Dad and I will be up soon to say goodnight.”
//End of Flashback//

~I had five texts that night,~ Jennifer mused.

What happened next wasn't exactly known to the young wife, but the way she understood it, her dad was having some aches and pains he'd never experienced before and suddenly felt very old.  He didn't want the party because of the aged feelings he had.

~Daddy blushed when he gave me just a hint of how he got you out of your funk, Dad, so I know we're talking sex here.  Still, it was scary to hear that you were feeling that way.  I'm glad you finally told Daddy the truth.  Between Daddy and a dose of Aunt Janet's medical wonders, you were cured of your 'old man symptoms' in a week.~  Jennifer shook her head.  ~The lesson is never diagnose yourself.  There's so much info on the Internet that I think sometimes we needlessly scare ourselves to death.~

“Jen, is my grandchild awake?”

“Sleeping.  Do you want to have a peek?”

“Does a grizzly bear grizzle?”

Laughing, Jennifer responded, “Go on up, Dad.”

====

The socializing was the best part of the party, which is why the gifts weren't opened until near the end of the evening.  It wasn't planned that way, but it's just the way the night flowed.

Jack received several presents from his family, all of which made him smile.  He was down to the last one and decided to open it with precision, taking each corner with care.

“Jack, open the blasted present,” Daniel demanded, causing everyone to laugh, including himself since he was once very methodical himself in unwrapping a gift.

“Okay, then,” Jack responded, tearing open the paper with a ferociousness that had the kids in hysterics.  He opened the top of the rectangular box and stared. He looked up at his husband, who was the gifter of the present.  As he pulled out the item, Jack grinned.  “Danny.”

“I thought it was about time you actually had a hammock.”

Happy and super pleased, Jack leaned over and gave his lover a solid and deep kiss.

Dad and Daddy kissing about the hammock,” Aislinn sang to more laughter.

“Thanks everyone.  I love my gifts.”

“Dad, do you like my present?” JD inquired.

Jack hung his head, trying not to laugh too much, and answered, “JD, it's awesome.”

“It fit?”

“Let's find out.”  Jack reached over to the box and pulled out the small baseball glove.  “Oh.”  He frowned and tried to get the glove on his hand.  “Gee, Son, it's too small for me.”

“I can't return it, Dad.”

“You can't?”  Seeing the shaking head, the silver-haired father suggested, “You know what?  I think in that case maybe ... *you* should use it for me.”

“Me?” the boy asked with big eyes.

“You,” Jack responded, handing the glove to the eager youngster.  “I have another idea, too.”

“What, Dad?”

“How about we practice catch for a few minutes everyday?  Would you like that?”

“Wow!  Yes!  I'll keep your glove really safe, Dad.”

“I know you will.”

JD's parents were smiling and the rest of the brood were giggling.  They'd all done similar things in the past, buying their parents or maybe one of their aunts and uncles something they knew were really for them.

“Who went shopping with JD?” Jack whispered to his Love after a while when the kids weren't focused on either of them.

“The new mom,” Daniel answered.

“Yeah?  I knew our daughter would make a great mother someday, even it's earlier than I anticipated.”

Feeling good, the parents continued to enjoy the festivities as they wound down, including saying goodnight to the Hammonds, as well as Janet and Teal'c.

====

Roughly thirty minutes later, the Jackson-O'Neills were preparing to head through the gate that separated their yard from the Hamiltons.  Jennifer leaned over and whispered something to Aislinn, whose eyes widened and mouth opened.  Quickly, the big sister put her hand over the little sister's mouth to stop her from reacting vocally.  Jennifer whispered something again and received a nod from the excited girl.

Like wildfire, the message given to Aislinn was passed on among the brood.  It was hard, but following the instruction given, each child managed to contain their excitement, though they did a lot of giggling as they trailed their parents on the grass towards the wood deck.

“Why is everyone dawdling?” Jack inquired as he glanced behind him.

“We're just enjoying the night air,” Brianna  returned on behalf of her siblings.

“Sugar overload,” the general speculated to his husband.  “It's making them act funny.”

When she thought the coast was clear, Jennifer gave her husband a quick kiss and whispered, “Thanks,” for his staying behind with the baby, and then took off to catch up with the brood.

“She really pulled it off,” Jack spoke proudly as he walked through the patio door.

Suddenly, Bijou and Katie ran into the living room and barked like crazy, but not in a fearful way.

“Girls, what's up?” Jack asked.

“This is strange, Jack.  They don't react like that,” Daniel suggested.

The couple watched as the dogs headed through the kitchen and then came back to them.

“They want us to follow them,” Daniel surmised.

“Maybe something happened to one of the zoo,” Jack theorized before he headed forward, following the dogs into the recreation room where he received a stunning surprise.

“Carter?  Ah, Shanahan?” Jack called out when he saw the blonde standing several feet away, facing him with a broad smile.  To her left by a couple of feet stood Pete, whose hands were on Kevin's shoulders as he stood in front of him. Kevin, in turn, was rubbing the ears of Gili, the family's Bermese Mountain Dog. The four-year-old twins, Petey and Sammy Jo, were giggling as they played with the beagles to Sam's right.  “You're back.”

“Yes, Sir,” Sam responded as she looked down at her daughter.

Susie was sitting on one of the floor pillows, her face towards her parents.  She didn't move at all at the sounds of the beagles or the Jackson-O'Neill family, including Suzanna, as they all now stood behind Jack at the edge of where the recreation room met the kitchen.

Sam motioned downward at her daughter with a subtle nod as her eyes looked forward at Jack.

Jack walked forward a couple of steps, staring at Sam, until he stopped walking and looked down at the ten-year-girl.  He felt the eyes of her parents on him.  He looked at Kevin, who was trying not to smile, but couldn't help himself.  The retired general swallowed and his mouth opened just a bit as he gazed downward at Susie again.  He started to say something, but found he couldn't.  He swallowed again and his tongue came out for a brief moment as processed the emotion of the moment.

With a low, trembling voice, Jack spoke, “Hey, Susie Q.”

All of a sudden, Susie's head turned and she smiled.  Then she moved around slightly and looked into the man's eyes.

“Hey, Uncle Jack!”

The brood erupted into cheers, even though some of them were crying at the same time.

Jack called out, “Now that's what I'm talkin' about,” and swooped down and picked up the youngster.  He spun her around joyfully, gave her kisses, and mussed her pretty hair.  “Susie, you hear me.”

Susie nodded and then concentrated very hard as she confirmed, “I hear you, Uncle Jack.  I hear Bijou and Katie barking, too.”

“Do you hear me, Susie?” Little Danny called out, automatically asking the question in sign language, too, as he ran over.

“I hear you, Little Danny.  I hear you.”

Jack put the girl down and remarked, “That's the best birthday present I've ever had.”

“I'm glad, Uncle Jack.  Happy birthday.”

“Carter,” Jack called out before walking over to her and giving her the biggest hug she'd ever received from her superior officer.  “I'm gonna kill you.”

Sam laughed and cried all at once and, as they parted, explained, “Susie worked so hard.  She wanted to surprise you on your birthday.  I know we haven't kept in touch like we should have, but she really wanted this moment to be just like this, a total surprise.”

“It was.”  Jack looked over at Pete and the two began to shake hands until Jack pulled him in for a mutual embrace as well.  “You look good, Pete.”

“Jack, we owe you and Daniel more than we can ever pay back.”

“Hey, Susie just paid me back, in full, including interest, remember?”

The Shanahan parents moved to stand together, both vividly recalling the moment when Jack and Daniel made it possible for them to go to Europe.  On that night, Jack told them that the only payback he wanted was to walk in one day and call out “Hey, Susie Q” and have her turn around because she heard him.  That moment just happened.

“Kevin, my man.  You've grown,” Jack pointed out as he picked up Kevin, who was also ten years of age.

“I'm going to be tall like you.”

“Just grow up talking and healthy,” Jack requested as he hugged the boy before setting him down.  He looked over at the children, all of them, Jackson-O'Neill and Shanahan, and felt such joy.  “I ... crap.”

“Jack is speechless,” Daniel observed as he finally approached Sam and Pete for hello greetings.  “This is amazing.”

As things settled down, Sam and Pete told Jack and Daniel about the surgery, the observation that the medical team did for months afterward, and Susie's deep desire to learn to speak well.  It was rough.  She'd never heard sound before, so she was having to learn sounds and how to process them so she could speak and be understood.  She wanted her speech to be clear.  Every new day brought improvement and the hope was that the more she was surrounded by verbal cues, the better her speech would become.

“You know the brood is gonna help with that,” Jack opined.

“Sir, we need to get home,” Sam announced after an hour.  “We had a long flight, but we absolutely had to get here first before going anywhere else.”

“Hey, how exactly did you break into our house?”

“They didn't, Dad,” Jennifer chimed in with a smile.  “Aunt Sam called me last month and told me their plans.”

“*That's* why you wanted to host the party,” Jack accused in a fun loving way.

“I didn't do the math,” Sam mused.

“She didn't know when the baby was due, and I didn't tell her.  This was too good of a surprise.”

“You gave her the security code?” Daniel asked.

“Mmm-hmm.  That's why I was sorta, kinda pestering you to change it when I was here the other day.”

“Because you knew it was time for the update,” Daniel surmised.

“Exactly, Daddy,” Jennifer singsonged in complete amusement.  “I needed to make sure I knew it and that you wouldn't be changing it again before they actually came home.”

“Janet and Teal'c are at our place waiting for us, and we want to catch up with them for a little bit before we collapse onto the bed,” Sam advised with some laughter.

“The rugrats are gonna be monsters tomorrow,” Pete remarked as he looked at his watch and noticed the lateness of the hour.

“Jen, tomorrow, I have to see your baby.”

“I'll be home, Aunt Sam.  Come over anytime,” Jennifer invited as she hugged the blonde.

“Peaches, I'll drive the car around,” Pete said before he gave Sam a kiss on the cheek.

“Okay, Pete.”  As the police detective headed for the front door, Sam stated, “We didn't want to risk you seeing us coming through the yard, so we drove over.”

“Great strategy,” Jack returned.

The families walked back outside and to the gate that separated their properties.  There were more hugs and smiles as the gate was opened and the Shanahans entered their yard.

“Hey, Susie Q!” Jack called out.

Susie turned around, a huge grin on her face.

“Just checking, Sweetheart,” Jack explained.  “Welcome home.”

“Night, Uncle Jack.  Goodnight, Uncle Daniel.”

“Goodnight, Susie,” both men called out one last time.

The brood headed for the house as the gate closed and locked.

“I love you both so much,” Jennifer declared as she hugged her parents.  “Happy birthday, Dad.”

“Thank you, Princess, for all of it.”

Jennifer quickly turned, crossing the yard to her own gate and then disappeared from view as that gate closed.

“So, Babe, feeling old?”

“Are you kidding, Angel?  The night is young, and so are we.  I love you.”

“I love you, too,” Daniel replied as the lovers kissed under the stars.  “Uh, by the way, you have one more present.”

“Oh, nothing can top Susie Q.”

“Well, maybe not, but you're the top, Babe.”

Jack saw the twinkle in his husband's eyes and the intentional raising of his eyebrows.  He now had a good idea of what the last present of the day was, and he was all for it.

“Let's go,” Jack suggested, sharing another kiss and then walking leisurely with his lover towards the house, their arms around each other's waist, and their minds full of anticipation of how the night would end.  First, though, they had their nightly rounds to make.  “Danny?”

“Hmmm?”

“Life's good.”

“Life's great.”

“Yeah, it sure is.  Best birthday ever,” Jack opined.  “Did you see how much Kevin's grown, and he's active and talking up a storm.”

“Gili did wonders for him.  Sam said he has his moments, but, overall, he's doing very well.”

“She's a good mom, Danny.”

“Yeah, she sure is.”

“Hey, I know we have plans, and we've sugared ourselves out, but there's always room for more.”

“Jack, the brood will be insane tomorrow.”

“It's my birthday.”

Daniel chuckled, “Okay,” just as the couple entered the house.  He watched as Jack went to the intercom.  ~The sugar high is going to be through the roof.~

“Hey, kids, it's the birthday boy, and I'm feelin' good.  Ice cream!”

The thunder roared; that is, the Jackson-O'Neill brood cheered and made lots of noise as they all hurried downstairs, some already in their pajamas.  It was their dad's birthday and while he once wanted to celebrate it in peace and quiet, he now wanted noise, and lots of it.  Susie could hear and she was working hard to master her speech.  It was a miracle, one that made Jack's birthday extra special.

On this celebration of his sixty-sixth year on Earth, Jack felt happy and young, and he was grateful for his children, their zoo, and especially for his Angel, his Daniel.  Life was more than good and more than great in Colorado Springs; it was blissful.

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

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