Icarus Star

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Drama, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - April 16-17, 2013
Spoilers:  Stargate Universe - Air Part 1
Size:  21kb, ficlet
Written:  March 27, April 7, 2009, April 25-26,28-29, May 16-17, June 2, 2010
Summary:  The arrival of an unexpected Air Force contingent to the Jackson-O'Neill home means just one thing: the military wants Jack and Daniel back in the fold.
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:  Tammy, Navi, Claudia!

Icarus Star
by Orrymain

Sounds of laughter and children playing filled the peaceful neighborhood where Jack and Daniel Jackson-O'Neill lived with their brood of children and zoo of animals.  It was a warm day, the sun deflected just slightly by light clouds that painted the heavenly blue sky above.

In the front yard of the Jackson-O'Neill home, Brianna was keeping watch over some of her younger siblings and a couple of kids who lived down the street.  She was sitting comfortably on the front steps of their home with the book, “Marine Biology: Function, Biodiversity, Ecology” by Jeffrey S. Levinton dangling from her fingers.

All of a sudden, the sound of automobiles disrupted the children's play.

“Wow!” Calvin Miller expressed, seeing the caravan of three military vehicles pulling up to the residence he was playing in front of.  “Maybe it's the President!” the boy exclaimed, used to seeing images of the President of the United States on television in long lines of official looking vehicles like this.

“Nah-uh,” Jonny refuted.  “He doesn't like us as much as President Hayes did,” the boy stated, comparing the current President of the United States whose inauguration had occurred this past January to the outgoing President, Henry Hayes, who had become a friend of the family.

Brianna stopped reading her book and stood up.  She felt uneasy about the visitors.  Her parents were retired now, and while a few of her siblings still went through the Stargate from time to time, it had actually been a while since either Jack or Daniel had gone through.  In fact, they really hadn't even gone to Cheyenne Mountain more than a handful of times in the last several months.  She had to wonder why such an entourage would show up at the family home now.

~Whoa!  Those are generals,~ the teenager observed as two men exited the second car in the procession.  ~This isn't any small time visit.~

In an instant, Jonny leaped up in excitement, thinking, ~Oh, boy!  We're back in the Air Force!  Maybe we can go on another mission now!~

A few seconds later, a group of seven very serious looking Air Force personnel were walking towards the front door.  As they neared the midway point, Jonny straightened into a perfect stance and raised his hand, giving a salute.

Boldly and confidently, the oldest Munchkin called out, “Future Major General Jonny Jackson-O'Neill here, Sirs.”

One of the men actually chuckled and explained to the others, “That's one of General Jackson-O'Neill's sons.  He's known as the little general at the SGC.”

Jonny wanted to scowl slightly at being talked about, but he was still holding his salute with eyes front, as any good cadet would do.

“Shouldn't that be future airman?” one of the generals asked Jonny.

“No, Sir,” Jonny answered.  “I won't be an airman for very long, Sir.”

“At ease,” the same general ordered, finally saluting the boy to get him to relax.

“I'm gonna be a major general just like my dad,” Jonny explained as he lowered his hand and took the official at ease position, his hands clasped behind him.

“Jonny, relax,” Little Danny interjected.  “We're kids.”

“But he's a general, too,” Jonny responded, leaning over a bit towards his sibling as if whispering to him.

“Good luck.  We'd like to see your fathers,” the general requested.

“Are they expecting you?” Brianna inquired, having walked onto the grass to get closer to the conversation that was happening.

As the generals looked over at Colonel Paul Davis in expectation, Davis explained, “That's Brianna.”

“Excuse me!” the teenager complained.  “Look, if you want to know who I am, you can ask me.  I can speak for myself.”  She looked at Colonel Davis and greeted, “Hello, Paul,” smiling briefly when he acknowledged the words with a nod.

“My apologies,” the general who had spoken replied with a nod.  “Your fathers are not expecting us, but it is vital that we speak with them immediately.”

“Oh, boy!” Jonny exclaimed, turning back into the boy and leaving the military persona behind.  He darted to the front door and went scurrying inside.  ~This is gonna be great.~

Brianna smiled at her brother's enthusiasm and told the Air Force group, “Wait here, please.”  She looked at the neighborhood children and suggested, “Um, sorry, but I think you guys had better go home now.”

Sighs were heard, but Calvin led the non-brood children away from the house, waving and calling out their good-byes.

--

“Dad, Daddy!” Jonny shouted as he called out for his parents.  “We're in the Air Force again!” he shouted as he turned the corner into the library.

“Whoa!” Jack chuckled, his hands reaching out to stop the overly excited boy.  “What's going on?”

“Make 'em give you another star, Dad!” Jonny insisted, his eyes shining bright.

“Star?” Daniel questioned, curious about the boy's enthusiasm and comments.

“Come on, Dad, Daddy!” Jonny urged, backing out of the library.  “Come on!” he repeated.  “You can get our special office back, too, I bet,” he stated, thinking about Daniel's office at the SGC that had been expanded to include an office space for Jack.

**Jack, he's making me very nervous,** Daniel conveyed as the two men followed their eager son downstairs.

**Ditto,** the older man responded, wondering what the Air Force wanted now.

====

A minute later, Jack and Daniel found themselves looking at a slew of Air Force power.

“I haven't seen that many stars since I passed out on the roof deck several years ago,” Jack observed out of the side of his mouth to his husband.

“Starry, starry night,” Daniel quipped, earning him a surprised yet proud look from the general standing to his right.

“You're in the door,” Jack addressed the myriad of officers standing before him.  “What do you want?”

“It's about Icarus, General,” Colonel Paul Davis began as an introduction.

Leaning a bit towards his husband, Jack questioned, “Icarus?”

Speaking rapidly and in a low tone, the archaeologist summarized, “Uh, it's a planet in the Milky Way that has a radioactive core, but I suspect they're referring to the Icarus Project; uh, unlocking the ninth chevron on the Stargate.  Nicholas Rush is working on it.”

“Guy who lost his wife?” Jack queried quietly.  He remembered the man simply because the tragic love story had reminded him a bit of Daniel and Sha're.  ~Son, wife -- loss is hard, no matter who you are.~

“Yeah,” Daniel affirmed.  “Remember, I made all those videotapes.”

“The happy archaeologist and his fish present the Stargate?  Step on through and join the family?  Those tapes?” Jack couldn't resist asking with a waggle of his eyebrows.  There had been a ton of teasing between the two men when those tapes had been filmed.  ~It was just too infomercial-like for my tastes.  Next thing you know, we'll be selling SGC paraphernalia ~

“Okay, they were hokey and no one even knew if they'd ever be used, but President Hayes asked me personally to do them.  What was I going to do?  Say no?”

“Those tapes are about Icarus?” Jack asked, deflecting the question, rhetorical or not.

“No idea, but I always thought they were meant for something, I just didn't know what.”

“So, you're just hoping they'll come into play here and weren't a complete waste of time?”

“Yes.”

Amused but not responding, Jack again focused on the military assemblage before him and asked, “What do you want?”

General Ford McClure explained, “We need your help.  Doctor Rush has been attempting to find the correct balance of power to dial nine chevrons, but he's been unsuccessful.”

“And this affects us how?” Jack prodded in a leading manner.  ~Sounds more like a Carter gig, so why are they bothering us?~

“We want to bring in some new blood,” McClure explained.

“Okay,” Jack responded, shrugging.  ~As long as it's not us.~

“General O'Neill, we need someone overseeing Icarus who has expertise with the Stargate, and we need your presence to convince a civilian to join us in unlocking this mystery,” McClure put forth.

“What civilian?” Daniel inquired curiously.  ~I'd like to meet him.~

**I heard that!** Jack groused.

**I'm just saying I'm ... curious,** the archaeologist put forth mentally.

“His name isn't important right now,” McClure answered.  “Will you help us?”

“Why can't one of you do it?” Jack probed forcefully.

“We aren't Stargate experts.”

“Okay, I'm not the only general who knows the Stargate.”

“Uh, actually, Jack, you are,” Daniel corrected reluctantly.  “Well, except for General Hammond and General Landry.”

“Hank!” Jack exclaimed eagerly, not wanting to be the only option.  “Let Hank do it.”

“General Landry doesn't have your breadth of experience, and he has his hands full with the daily activities at Stargate Command,” McClure stated evenly.  “We'd also prefer to let General Hammond enjoy his retirement.”

“So you're picking on me?  And I'm not entitled to enjoy my retirement?”

“You can stay retired, General,” Davis chimed in.

Jack's face scrunched up a little as he inquired, “I can?”  Inwardly, he resolved, ~Dang right I can!~

“Sir, we only need you for a few days, if that,” Davis stated.  “There may be a meeting from time to time in which your attendance would be appreciated.”

~Appreciated?~ Jack questioned internally.  ~I have invisible fish to catch at the lake.~

“In fact, Jack, we may only need you to convince the man we have in mind to join the effort,” McClure advised.

“Doctor Jackson,” General Cale Featherstone interjected, “about those tapes you mentioned a minute ago.  We actually need a few more, to bring the ... student up to speed as to where the Stargate Program is today.  That shouldn't require more than a couple of days of your time.”

Just then, Jonny burst into the room.  He was so excited that he just couldn't wait anymore.

“Are you getting another star, Dad?” the boy asked enthusiastically.  “Do we get our old office back, Daddy?”

“Jonny ...” Jack began to scold.

“Both can be arranged,” McClure surprised the couple by saying.

“A three star?” Jack questioned in disbelief.  “For a few days work?  I may look it, General, but I'm not that dumb.  You want something else.  What?”

“Just a few days of your time,” Featherstone assured firmly.

“Pardon me,” Davis interjected, thinking he might be able explain it so as to reassure Jack.  “Icarus needs a strong name behind it, and you're the one with the name, General.”

“Political PR,” Jack finally surmised.

“A few days of your time,” Featherstone reiterated.

Daniel couldn't help but be drawn to Jonny's enormous grin, but he also felt the Munchkin shouldn't be a part of the ongoing discussion.

“Jonny, please go back outside.”

“But ...”  Seeing the stern expression on both of his fathers' faces, Jonny let out a sigh and headed for the door.  Still, he felt happy.  “Three stars, just like Grandpa!”

Jack and Daniel exchanged a look before continuing the discussion with the military men in their living room.

====

“What do you think?” Daniel questioned that night as the two sat outside on the roof deck, enjoying the stars above.

Jack was leaning against his favorite spot of the wall that connected to the bedroom.  Resting gently in front of him was Daniel, who was enjoying the feel of his soulmate's arms as they wrapped around him lovingly.  Their hands were interlaced, their fingers mingling and caressing one another.  The younger man's head was secure as it nestled against Jack's face and shoulder.  It was a familiar position, one they'd shared thousands of times over the last two decades.

“Didn't we retire?” Jack quizzed in a mixture of exasperation, hope, and even amusement.

Daniel laughed, “Yes.”

“There's a 'but' after that,” Jack noted.

“I don't regret any of our choices, but it's just a few days, Jack.  It's a ... a good reason to go back, just for a few days.”

“You miss it?”

“No.  Yes.  It's just ... there's something about the Stargate.  I don't want to go back and fight the bad guys anymore, but I miss watching the event horizon form. I miss seeing that and sensing the possibilities of what might be beyond it,”  Daniel admitted with a little yearning in his voice.

“It's not like we'd be going through.”

“I know.”

“But we'd be there, now and again.”

“We could watch it open and imagine what's on the other side,” Daniel suggested.

“A third star,” Jack stated thoughtfully.  “That'll help with JD's education,” he pondered, referring to the increase in pay and pension that he'd be receiving.

“That's a good way of looking at it.”

“Daniel, what do you really think of that Rush guy?”

“He's ... motivated.”

“My question is what he's motivated about,” Jack sighed.  “I got a strange vibe from that dude.”

“You only met him once,” Daniel reminded, not wanting to condemn Rush with virtually no data, even if he silently agreed with Jack.

“Are you saying I'm wrong?”

“I'm saying ... I don't know.  I know that after his wife died, he pretty much threw himself into the Icarus Project, not that he hadn't before, but I don't know what's really driving him.”

“Danny, you know they want something they aren't telling us about.  There's no way they'd give me a star just to recruit some MIT dropout.”

“I think they want backup,” Daniel concluded, shifting closer to his husband.

“Which means?”

“If they're right and Eli Wallace can help Doctor Rush to activate the ninth chevron, who knows what might happen after that.”

“Hammond said 'no'.”

Daniel laughed, “They didn't know you'd ask him?”

“Washington never knows the truth,” Jack opined.  “Hammond's done his time, Danny.  Except for the occasional black tie, he's done.”

“I thought we were, too.”

The conversation turned to other things for the next twenty minutes until the couple stood up and walked up to the aerie.  They stood side-by-side by the railing and looked out over their paradise.

“I don't want to un-retire,” Jack proclaimed strongly.

“I'm glad,” Daniel admitted.

“I thought you wanted to go back?”

“I like having the option, but then we've always had it,” Daniel replied with a smile as he turned to face the man who'd totally transformed his life.  “Jack, we both know that if we want to go through the Stargate, all we have to do is show up.  This Icarus Project isn't about that.”

“Should I take the star?”

Daniel shrugged and asked, “Do you want to?”

“A few days work and JD's education is secured,” Jack asserted.  “It's a nice raise for almost nothing.”

“What if there is another motive?”

“I'm retired.  Nothing is changing that,” Jack reiterated stoutly.

“Jack, that may be why they're offering the promotion,” Daniel suggested.  “They need something to get you to help.  They had to know we wouldn't go back.”

“They could have just asked.”

“They were increasing the odds of a 'yes'.”

“So, we do it?” the older man questioned as the lovers danced around finding their answer.

“You convince Eli Wallace to work with Doctor Rush, and I'll play school with the camera,” Daniel suggested as he referred to the civilian the Air Force was anxious to attach to Icarus and to the additional video tapes that he himself would be making in order to educate Eli about the Stargate Program.

“Such a handsome teacher,” Jack quipped lightly, leaning in for a kiss.

Their decision made, the lovers headed down towards the master bedroom, both content with what they'd decided.

“Video games.”

“What?” Daniel asked.

“The Pentagon hasn't had an original idea in years.  They had to copy it from Hollywood,” Jack laughed.

“I have no idea what that means.”

“Daniel, they found this kid from a video game; that's what they said,” the general reminded.

“Oh, yes, the, uh ... Dakara Weapons Puzzle.  Not a very good cover,” the younger man remarked.

“It's very The Last Starfighter-ish.”

“Is that a movie?” the younger man inquired, not recognizing the film title, but well aware of his husband's vast knowledge of film and TV lore.

“Alien recruits kid in a trailer park to fight their war.  Kid was a high scorer on a pinball machine.”

“Oh,” Daniel responded, amused by the idea.  “Well, recruit well,” he encouraged.

====

The next afternoon, a special ceremony was held at Cheyenne Mountain.  The gate room was sealed off, and the only guests in attendance were the Jackson-O'Neill family, General George Hammond, Colonel Samantha Carter-Shanahan, Teal'c, and Colonel Lou Ferretti.  It was short and sweet, but when the words were completed, Jack had officially become Lieutenant General Jack Jackson-O'Neill.

“Three stars!” Jonny exclaimed brightly as he stood at the center of the ramp and stared at his freshly-third-starred older father and the event horizon that was open behind the dignitaries.

====

Back at home, Daniel kissed his Love and complimented, “That was a nice thing you did, Babe.”

“What?” Jack asked from the edge of the entranceway and the living room.

“The ceremony, keeping it to just us and our extended family ... and with the Stargate open.”

“I didn't want any fanfare,” Jack replied with a groan.

“You did it for Jonny,” Daniel pointed out, smiling at the exuberant older Munchkin.

“Look at him,” Jack requested, looking over at the youngster as the boy held his father's Class-A uniform with the three stars adorning it.  “He wants the connection to the Air Force.”

“He's very proud of you.”

“I didn't do anything to earn this one.”

“That's where you're wrong,” Daniel refuted.  He saw his husband's doubting expression and explained, “Jack, you dedicated yourself to protecting our country and then our planet ... and our galaxy.  You've earned this, many times over.  I'm very proud of you, and I love you, so much.”

“I love you, too, Angel,” Jack responded softly as he took Daniel into his arms.

The last two days had been very surprising, but that's often how life was for Jack and Daniel.  Still officially retired, Jack had upped his rank for what appeared to be essentially nothing.

~It still feels like I'm cheating the system,~ Jack opined silently.

“No, you're not.”

“Eavesdropping again?” Jack chuckled.

“Jack, I know you.  You'll work hard to get Icarus what they need now.  They'll want you for more than recruiting Eli Wallace,” Daniel purported.  “We both know it.  We haven't wanted to say it out loud, but it's the truth. I meant what I said.  You've already earned the star, but it doesn't matter, because you'll always do what your country asks of you.  So will I.  It's who we are.”

“My genius,” Jack crooned, pulling his  husband into a loose embrace.

“I married you, didn't I?”

“Dad, Daddy, look at me!”

Jack and Daniel turned to see their oldest Munchkin wearing his dad's Air Force jacket.

“I'm promoted, too!” the boy claimed.

As the brood laughed, the celebration continued.  The few members of their extended family who had been at the Mountain for the ceremony would be arriving within minutes to visit and enjoy some goodies.  Jennifer had baked a cake earlier that day, and there would be ice cream for all.

Still retired and determined to stay that way, Jack and Daniel were willing to give their country a few days of their time, but for them, it was their children and their zoo who now received the bulk of their attention. They were the couple's true paradise, and nothing would ever change that.

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