I'm a General, Not a Cook

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Humor, Drama, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - December 1, 2009
Spoilers:  None
Size:  16kb, ficlet
Written:  August 17-18,25, 2008  Revised: September 28, 2008  Revised Again: February 4, 2009
Summary:  Jack finds himself perplexed when Jenny demands something he's not sure he can deliver.
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:  
1) Thanks to Annette for pointing out a big oversight in the original timing of this story.
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:  Keri, Linda!

I'm a General, Not a Cook
by Orrymain

“Are you sure you can handle it?” Daniel asked as he put a file into his briefcase.

“Danny, it's a little party with her foofie group,” Jack responded, dismissing his lover's concern.

“Foofie group?” the younger man questioned as he paused to stare at the older man quizzically.

“What would you call them?”

“Uh, how about 'Kids Kare', since that's the name they've chosen for themselves?” the archaeologist suggested, somewhat exasperated by his husband.

“Daniel, they sit around and play with dolls.  They ...”

“Jack, don't say that in front of Jenny.”

“She's two!” Jack exclaimed.

“Yes, and it's her turn to bring the treats this afternoon, and it's very important to her that it's something special.”

“I can handle it,” Jack expressed with determination.

“You're sure?”

“Daniel, they're kids.  How hard can it be?” Jack asked with a shrug.

Not looking at his husband, Daniel just closed his eyes.  He had a feeling Jack was about to find out just how hard it could be to make the perfect treat for a little girl's club.  The twins had just turned two a couple of months ago, and their party had been a hit.  Of course, the couple had slaved over the perfect party foods, and they'd had some help from their neighbor, Mrs. Sophia Valissi.

“Okay, well, I have to go.  I probably won't be home until six or seven,” Daniel stated, checking his watch.

“I love you,” Jack spoke, walking over for a kiss.

“I love you, too,” Daniel replied.  “Babe, please take this seriously.  It's important to Jenny.”

“Angel, it's under control,” Jack assured.  “Go to the meeting, and leave the snack-festing to me.”

“Right,” Daniel responded dryly.  “Bye.”

“Good luck!” Jack exclaimed about his lover's Denver meeting with a potential new client for their company, J-O Enterprises.

“Thanks!” Daniel replied as he hurried down the stairs.

Jack rubbed his hands together as he smiled and said aloud, “How hard can it be to make a treat for a bunch of girls?  This'll be a piece of cake.”

====

“Dad, treats!”

“I'm working on it, Jenny,” Jack said as he walked into the kitchen.  “How about some cookies?”  He smiled while thinking, ~Pillsbury will do it.  Eight minutes, in and out.~

“Spec'l ones,” the little girl insisted.

“I'm thinkin' Snickerdoodles!”

“Cake.”

“I can decorate the Snickerdoodles,” Jack suggested.  “A few candies on top,” he added enticingly.

“No, Dad!  Spec'l.”

“Jenny, they'll be special.”

The young redhead stared intently at her older father until he finally sighed in resignation.

“Cake,” Jack droned.  He headed over to the cupboard to check and see what was on the shelf.  “German chocolate, angel food, or milk chocolate,” he offered.

“Choc'late,” Jenny declared.

“One chocolate cake coming right up,” Jack stated confidently and then broke out into a happy whistle.

Jenny watched her father pull out a square pan in preparation.

“Hasta be spec'l,” the redhead reminded, staring at her father with her hands on her hips.

“A cake's a cake.”

“Daddy promised!”

“Daddy's not here, but Dad is, and I'm going to make you a yummy chocolate cake with lots of frosting.  Everyone loves frosting.”

“How spec'l?” the girl challenged.

“Jenny, everyone loves cake.  A cake is a cake.  It's always special,” Jack insisted.

“Nooooo!”

“Jenny!”

“Sup'ose ta be spec'l,” Jenny demanded emotionally.

“Jenny, I'm a general, not a cook,” Jack groused in frustration.

Upset, the little girl ran out of the kitchen in tears, leaving her father feeling like a heel, though he didn't have a clue how to make a cake special.  After all, it wasn't a birthday cake.

Jack picked up the phone and waited for his call to be answered.

“Carter, how do you make a cake special for a bunch of foo foos?”

“Sir?”

“Jenny wants a cake, but it has to be special.  How do I do that?”

“With all due respect ... Sir, you're asking *me*?” Sam queried in surprise over the phone.

Jack frowned as he thought about the question and then responded, “Never mind.”  He made a few more calls, but to his dismay, no one was home, not even Carolyn Ferretti.  ~Crap.~

“Dad, why make Jenny cry?” Ricky demanded as he stormed into the kitchen after having spent a few minutes comforting his twin.

“I didn't mean to.  She wants a special cake.  A cake's a cake!”

“Make spec'l cake,” Ricky ordered, repeating his sister's words.

“Son, I'm trying, but I'm not sure ...”

Jack watched curiously as Ricky let out a big sigh, one that reminded Jack of his husband.

The youngster walked over to where the cookbooks were.  He plopped down on the floor and thumbed through the pages like they were a picture book until he found what he wanted.

“Dad, here.  Spec'l for Jenny,” Ricky said.  “You make.”  His order given, Ricky stood up and toddled away to see his sister, saying, “Ricky tell Jenny spec'l cake done.”

~Confident, isn't he?~ Jack thought as he headed over to where his son had been.  He bent down and picked up the cookbook, laughing at the impossible recipe on the page.  ~Right.~  He looked over at the mantel and centered in on a photo of Jenny, her bright eyes staring at him.  ~Okay, Jenny.  I'll try.~  Heading into the kitchen, he put the cookbook on the counter and said, “Snap to, General.  If you can made System Lords look like fools, you can follow a blasted recipe.~

====

“Carter ...”

“Sir, I don't know how to make a cake special,” the blonde colonel interrupted as she reviewed the schematics to the latest USAF classified spacecraft.

“I do,” Jack stated.  “I need licorice.”

“Sir?” Sam asked, looking up from her papers and feeling confused about the seemingly abrupt change of topic.

“Licorice, green food coloring, M & M's, and green icing; and I need it now,” Jack responded.

“You might try the store,” Sam replied.

“Carter, I still outrank you.  I need them *now*, or Jenny's not going to talk to me ever again and she'll be telling her foo foos about her mean and unskilled dad.  Now *move*!”

Sam hung up the phone, staring at it as she pondered the call.  Shrugging, she stood up and headed for General Hammond's office.

“Colonel?” Hammond called out when the blonde tapped on his door.

“Uh, General, about that report you wanted by 1200 hours,” Sam began.

“Yes,” the general responded expectantly.

“Would fourteen hundred be acceptable?”

“Why the delay?”

“General O'Neill, Sir.”

“Jack?”

“He needs licorice, green food coloring, M & M's, and green icing, or apparently Jenny won't talk to him again.”

Hammond stared at the female colonel thoughtfully.  The Pentagon was breathing down his neck for Sam's analysis of the new craft.  Still, everything was peaceful in the universe at the moment.  Two hours wouldn't affect Earth's survival in the least.  He picked up the phone and dialed.

“General,” Hammond spoke.

“General,” Jack responded, not totally surprised by the call.

“What's this about licorice?” Hammond asked, forgoing mentioning the other three items on the short shopping list.

As if he were responding to a question about SG-1's latest mission with the Goa'uld, Jack answered, “Jenny's supposed to bring the treat for one of her little girl groups, and she wants it to be special.”  Sensing he wasn't getting anywhere, he headed upstairs where Ricky was still consoling his sister.  “Jenny, tell Grandpa *all* about your special treat,” he instructed, giving her a nod with a bit of a wink that he hoped communicated the importance of Hammond understanding just how important this special cake was to the little girl.

Taking the phone, Jenny gasped between sobs, “Gran'pa, hasta be spec'l.  My turn.  Jenny want spec'l cake.”

~Turn it on, Jenny,~ Jack thought, fully aware that the call was brought about because of his order to his 2IC.  ~That's it,~ he urged silently as the girl sobbed her story.

“Promise?” Jenny asked.  Smiling, she hung up the phone.  “Aunt Sam make me spec'l cake.”

“Yah!” Ricky exclaimed.

“She's just shopping for ...” Jack began, stopping as he realized that he was being completely ignored by his children.

“Aunt Sam good,” Jenny praised happily as she and Ricky hugged.

Jack grumbled as he began to walk out.  Aunt Sam wasn't supposed to be his little girl's hero, but it looked like that was going to be the case, at least on this day.

====

“Here you go, Sir,” Sam stated after being let inside the Jackson-O'Neill home by the general.

“Thanks,” Jack said, handing over a twenty-dollar bill and heading quietly to the kitchen.

Sam paused, thinking the man's behavior was unusual for him.

Following Jack to the kitchen, Sam asked, “Is there anything else I can do to help, Sir?”

“You're already a miracle maker,” Jack responded sullenly as he moved forward with his preparations, his eyes reviewing the recipe for the tenth time.

“I am?”

Jack took a breath and apologized, “It's not you.  Carter, I know how to kill the enemy, not bake *special* cakes.”

“Oh, I see.”

“Danny's the expert at this stuff.  He's learned how to do it pretty darn good.  I make the burgers,” Jack explained, or rather rambled a bit uncharacteristically. “It's just her girlie friends.”

Sam smiled supportively as she replied, “Girlie friends are just as important to Jenny as, well, making sure the Goa'uld aren't a threat is to you.”  After a pause, she added, “You can do this, Sir.  Just think of it like a covert mission.  You're proceeding on your mission by reviewing the blueprints of a building where an operative is.  The cake is your ... weapon, and you have to assemble it just right to save the operative.”  Seeing Jack's glare, she smiled shyly and said, “I have to get back to the Mountain.”

“Yes, you do that,” Jack responded snarkily.  Alone now, the military strategist looked at the recipe.  ~A weapon?  Okay, O'Neill.  You've got two hours or the operative dies.  Go to it.~

====

“Jenny, it's time to get ready,” Jack instructed over two hours later.

“Cake spec'l?”

“I think you'll approve,” Jack responded as he helped his daughter into the outfit she wanted to wear to her club meeting.

“Aunt Sam do good?”

Jack sighed and then nodded, “Yes, she did.”

Five minutes later, Jack brought the twins into the kitchen to show them the finished product.

“Dad, cake best ever!” Jenny exclaimed happily.

“They cupcakes,” Ricky observed as he leaned in for a closer view, chuckling when his nose made contact briefly with the special treat.

“Aunt Sam not do?” Jenny asked.

“Nah, your old man did it,” Jack admitted casually.

Jenny's smile lit up as she ran to Jack and threw her arms around his legs.

“Dad make cake spec'l for Jenny.”

The silver-haired man kneeled down on his haunches and said, “Dad would do anything to make Jenny happy, even figure out how to make her a special cake for her friends.”

“I love you, Dad,” Jenny declared from the depth of her heart.   Looking again at the special cake and seeing the M's on the eyes, she added, “You 'member turtles in my story, Melvin and Mrytle.  That why you use M & M's for eyes?”

Jack smiled as he thought back.  Storytime was a big deal in the Jackson-O'Neill household, and all of the children not only loved to read, but to tell stories.  A couple of nights ago during his and Jenny's special one-on-one time together, the red-headed toddler recited a story she'd made up about two turtles named Melvin and Myrtle.

“That's right,” Jack affirmed.

The recipe hadn't specifically called for M & M's, but Jenny was right.  The turtles in the story she had told him had influenced his choice of which candy to use for the eyes.  He was happy that Jenny was picking up on that fact.

~Yup, Danny, our kids are way smarter than we are,~ Jack thought, copying something Daniel had said years ago on their first visit to Tollana.  ~The Tollans: wonder if they're out there somewhere, hiding behind some moon.~

“Jenny, save one?” Ricky asked hopefully, bringing Jack back to the present.

Jenny nodded, her tears long gone.

Hearing a knock on the door, Jack announced, “That should be your ride, Princess.”

A minute later, Selena Martinez walked in with her two-year-old daughter, Markie.  With greetings exchanged, Jack led her into the kitchen to give her the special cake, after which the woman left with the two girls, chattering a mile a minute about their plans for the afternoon.

====

“How'd it go?” Daniel asked when he got home that night.

“Thought you'd never get home,” Jack muttered just before sharing a third welcome home kiss with his husband.

“Sorry.  They had a lot questions and issues, and a few concerns,” Daniel explained.

“But?” Jack asked hopefully.

“But we got the job, largely because of Abayomi's recommendation.  I had to do a lot of talking to convince them J-O could get the job done, and on time.”

“Yes!” Jack exclaimed, pumping his fist at the new job.

“So, I'm forgiven for not being home for dinner?”

“Forgiven,” Jack responded, kissing his husband again.

“The children are asleep, though,” Daniel surmised, his head lowering in sadness at not being able to talk to the children before they went to bed.

“Sorry, Love,” Jack spoke.

“Well, I'll check in on them in a few minutes, but you didn't answer my question.”

“Question?”

“Jack, how did Jenny's little get together go?” Daniel inquired more sternly.

Jack let out a heavy sigh.  He walked away, raising his right hand to rub the back of his head.  His face was long and drawn.

“Jack?” the younger man asked in alarm.

Suddenly, Jack grinned as he answered, “Told ya, Danny.  It was a piece of cake.  It was a smashing success.”

“What did you do?”

“Turtle cupcake cake.  Jenny was raving about it.  I made cupcakes and put them together to make a turtle -- frosted the whole thing with chocolate and green frosting, used some licorice for a mouth, M & M's for the eyes ...”

“Where'd you see that?” Daniel interrupted curiously.

“Ricky found it in a cookbook.”

“*You* followed a recipe?”

“It can happen,” Jack responded defensively.  Seeing his Love's stare, he explained, “I looked at it like a mission.  Carter's idea.”

“Sam?” Daniel mused, wondering how she'd been brought into the situation.  He chuckled, “And it worked?”

“Hey, look.  Selena took a couple of photos and gave them to me when she brought Jenny home,” Jack said, heading over for the counter where he'd placed the photos earlier.

Wow, uh, that looks ... sharp.  Very sharp, Babe,” Daniel praised as he reviewed the images.  “I'm proud of you,” he added, leaning over for a kiss.

“Every kid had their own cupcake.  It wasn't messy, so I got kudos from the Evans',” Jack chuckled about the parents who had hosted today's event.  “Jenny even saved one for Ricky, which made the little guy very happy.”


“You look pretty happy about it yourself.”

“Angel, for a minute there, I thought I was done as a dad, but Ricky and Carter saved me, and now I'm Jenny's hero again.”

“Mine, too, Babe,” Daniel said, giving his lover a kiss that grew in passion with each second that ticked by on the clock.

“Danny, how about checking in on the brood in a half-hour, instead of now.”

“Quickie?”  Seeing his Silver Fox grin, Daniel agreed, “Yeah, oh, yeah.”

“Now I'm really cookin'!” Jack exclaimed as the soulmates kissed their way up the stairs and then fell down onto their large bed.

As her parents engaged in the connection of their physical bodies, Jenny dreamed about her green turtle cake and smiled, knowing her dad, and daddy, too, would do anything in the world to make her happy.

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