Legal Smeagle

Author:  Orrymain
Author Email:  marciastudley1@comcast.net  (Feedback welcome)
Author Website:  http://orrymain.com
Category:  Slash, Drama, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - June 26, 2015
Spoilers:  None
Size:  28kb, ficlet
Written:  June 26-28, 2015
Summary:  Finally, the Jackson-O'Neills are the Jackson-O'Neills throughout the land.
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?~

Legal Smeagle
by Orrymain

It was early Friday morning at the Jackson-O'Neill homestead.  It was cool outside, the mid-sixties temperature much lower than average for this time of year.  Breakfast was over and the family was already spread out throughout the house, everyone involved in varied activities.

Jack was in the garage with three-and-a-year-old JD.  The father was teaching the youngster about tools, demonstrating what each tool could do while also instructing JD on equipment safety.  With Daniel's agreement, Jack was letting JD hold and even use some of the power tools, albeit gently and secretly in Jack's total control.

David was on the little balcony outside his room where he was cleaning his telescope. He had spent part of Thursday evening gazing at the stars while spending some quality time with his Mouseketeer sister, Chenoa.  With no one around to see him, he was telling Squiggy, his stuffed frog that was an emotional and sentimental reminder of his youth with his birth parents, how much he had enjoyed spending the special time with Chenoa.  They'd chatted a bit about their parents, something Jack and Daniel frequently encouraged, and David told his sister a story he'd remembered recently after another disastrous family shopping trip.

“You were just a baby, Noa,” David had said.  “You were crying and Mommy was holding you.  We walked by the potatoes.  Mommy heard something and turned around and when she did, your little hand bumped against a big stack of oranges and they went all over the floor.”

Chenoa had laughed in response and said, “Maybe Mommy and Daddy are related to Dad and Daddy.”

David had looked questioningly at his little sister, not understanding her comment.

“Well, when we all go to the store together, stuff like that happens all the time.”

Both siblings had laughed hard at the truthfulness of the statement.

“Maybe you're right, Noa,” David had mused.

As the teenager relayed the story to Squiggy, he sighed, “It's a funny thing, Squiggy.  Our birth parents and our adoptive parents are the greatest.  I don't like that our birth parents died, but I sure do like being a Jackson-O'Neill.  I hope Mommy and Daddy aren't mad at me for that.”

While her brother was reflecting on their parents, Chenoa, who would be ten in just a few months, was in the projects room, working on a birthday surprise for her younger father, whose birthday was about to roll around in a couple of weeks.

Jennifer and Jeff were huddled together in her room, located over the garage.  They weren't doing anything serious, but rather, were just chatting.  The maturing college students missed being able to talk whenever they wanted due to their busy schedules so when a casual conversation about birds ended up being just the two of them, they naturally gravitated to Jennifer's room for a gab fest.

Jonny, Jenny, and Lulu were in the game room.  Jenny was using Muffin, the giant stuffed dinosaur, as her audience as she practiced orating an essay on justice and equality in the United States.  Lulu and Jonny both listened in, but said nothing, as they played a game of Foosball.

“Justice means what is right for you is right for me, and if it is right for me, it is right for you,” Jenny told Muffin.  “It does not mean that you can choose for me or I can choose for you.  We are all different.  What it does mean is that we all have a right to be treated the same way and without discrimination.  Discrimination is an ugly word that plagues the world.”

Jenny paused and looked up at Muffin as she asked, “That sounds dorky, Muffin.  It's too casual.  I wrote stuff like that when I was a little kid.”  She turned toward her giggling brother and sister and asked, “What do you guys think?”

“Me?  I wasn't listening,” Jonny responded as he tried not to laugh even more about her little kid comment.

“You were so,” Lulu charged.

“Jenny, it's good.  Everything you do is good,” the boy sighed, speaking his true opinion.

“But shouldn't it be more formal?”

“I don't know,” Jonny answered with a shrug.  “Who are you writing for?” he asked nonchalantly.

The innocent question was not so innocent.  He remembered fully the assignment had given the Spitfire last week.

Jenny thought for a moment, her daddy's words echoing in her mind, and then smiled brightly while saying, “Thanks, Jonny.”

“Anytime,” the oldest Munchkin replied, his eyes having never left the Foosball playing field.

Jenny took her notebook and sat down beneath the towering reptile and began to reshape her essay, feeling more confident about her words and the direction her paper was taking.

Aislinn was in her room, cleaning.  Her doll collection was steadily growing and it took her longer to keep the dust away from their bodies and clothing than it used to take.  At age eight, the triplet already recognized the value of keeping her dolls in pristine condition.

Hockey-loving Brianna was outside on the driveway in front of the garage.  Now fourteen, the tomboy had a bit more leeway than the younger kids when it came to being unwatched outside.  Even so, the blonde grimaced when she heard the sound of the garage door opening.

“Dad!”

“Stuffy,” Jack rationalized as he paused his drill demonstration for JD.

“It's not even seventy, Dad.  It is *not* stuffy in the garage.”

“You might need my help,” Jack responded.

“I know how to jump over a stick,” the girl negated.

Brianna was practicing some hockey drills, the latest one being jumping side-to-side over a stick while controlling a puck with her stick.

With a bit of a groan, Jack hit the switch, closing the garage door and giving his daughter her desired privacy.  As soon as the door closed, he heard a tap on the door.  Confused, he hit the switch one more time.  What he saw was a smiling hockey player.

“Thanks, Dad, for trusting me.  It's okay if you want to leave it open.”

“Yeah?” the hopeful father questioned.

“Yeah.  I wouldn't want you to flip out, not being able to see me.”

“Flip the drill?” JD asked the general.

“No, definitely not,” Jack replied, re-focusing on his son while also closing the garage door again.  ~This trust thing and freedom of independence isn't easy,~ he thought to himself as he heard Brianna chuckle when the door hit bottom one more time.

Jenny's twin, Ricky, was on the sofa in the living room.  He was sprawled out, his head comforted by a large accent pillow and his body warmed by both Bijou and Katie as they kept the lightly sleeping Spitfire company.

Daniel was in his den, going over performance reviews for several of the original members of the J-O Enterprises staff.  The company officially began in 2007 and was now eight years strong.  Three years ago, Jack and Daniel surprised their star staffers, Megan and Karissa, with new cars.  He wondered if it wasn't time to do something special for two more of their original employees, Bibreanay Appleton and Ty Harper.  Bibi, as she was called, was their skeletal excavation expert while Ty had become the firm's machinery and equipment expert.  Bibi was the right hand for Megan and Karissa, frequently performing duties that were not part of her primary job description, while Ty was full of ideas and often giving the owners suggestions, especially in regards to the efficiency and mechanics of their inventory.

~I'm not sure we can justify a car, but there should be something special we can do for Bibi and Ty.~  Of course, the archaeologist also realized that their three other original problems were hard workers as well and had set great examples for the growing company as their staffing levels increased every year.  ~I'm proud of all of them and we wouldn't be as successful as we are without Kelly, James, and Jeff, too,~ he sighed inwardly.  ~But,~ he began internally, pausing for a second, ~Bibi and Ty have set a high bar.  This is their year.~

Daniel's mind made up, he made a notation in the files of the three other staff members to do something special for them in 2016 or 2017.  Now he needed to meet with Jack to discuss what to do for Bibi and Ty.  The reason for giving Megan and Karissa cars was that both women did a lot of chauffeuring and errand running for J-O Enterprises, not to mention for the J-O brood.  Both often babysat the children, both on and off the company grounds.  Bibi and Ty had done their share of kid watching as well, especially Bibi, but it was nowhere near the time that Megan and Karissa had invested in keeping the youngsters safe and entertained.

As Daniel leaned back in his chair to think, Mittens jumped up onto his chest and settled in for warmth.  Automatically, Daniel began to stroke the family pet, smiling as she purred.

“I love you, too,” Daniel declared, realizing that the purr really didn't necessarily mean anything affectionate.  ~It's a theory that works for me even if it is not a proven fact.~

In a flash, Mittens sprang up, her paws making contact with the computer keyboard before she landed on the carpet and went running out of the den.

Daniel laughed as he re-opened his document and mused aloud, “Sorry, Mittens.  I learned to save my work minute-after-minute, years ago.”  He glanced over his shoulder, at the path the cat had taken, and smiled.  ~Perfect.~

The archaeologist prepared an email to his husband, offering the suggestions of how to reward Bibi and Ty.  Bibi was part of a large family.  One of her siblings worked in Japan and had just had a baby.  With her work schedule, Bibi didn't feel like she could get away.  Daniel also knew, though, that Bibi had just refinanced her house.  Her husband had been laid off during the assumed recovery of the economy.  The archaeologist had a hunch that finances were a factor at the moment in Bibi not taking her vacation.

~We can rearrange her workload and pay for the trip,~ Daniel thought as he wrote out his plan for Jack to consider.  It was something he felt Bibi needed and would appreciate.

As for Ty, Daniel put forth the idea of hiring good friend Alex Dennison to build a designer workroom in Ty's backyard.  Ty loved to build things and yet, for some odd reason, he had never set up a shed or work area in his home.  His equipment was scattered all over the place.  ~He needs a central place for everything.~  Daniel knew Ty had talked about building a work shed of some type, but never had.  ~Jack will go for this, especially if Alex gives us a good rate, which he usually does.~

As Daniel concluded his email, his namesake was in his bedroom, working on his computer.  In his mind, Little Danny was playing with increasing his knowledge.  He wasn't doing homework or research for some specific reason.  Instead, he was satisfying his curiosity, learning because he liked to learn.

Though the computer freedom was growing for all of the children, there were still many restrictions, some of which were handled via the honor system.  For the eight-year-old, though, it was hard to resist his need to explore.  He often felt conflicted between his desire to be good and trustworthy and his desire to learn everything he could.  He knew his parents were protecting him and his siblings from much of the pain of the world, but he was growing up, if only in his own eyes, and he just had to know.

Looking at the open door and briefly thinking about shutting it in case someone happened by, knowing that the few extra seconds of knocking and opening the door could mean the difference between being caught and being able to hide his disobedience, the Munchkin opted not to get up.  He would take the fallout if he were caught.

Little Danny aimed the mouse for the address bar.  He typed in his favorite news site, the one his parents had no idea he frequented without their permission.  His deep blue eyes focused on the words as he took in the morning news.  Then he saw it.  He gasped and his eyes seemingly grew large.

“It's ... it ... wow!  *Daddy!*” the boy shouted excitedly.  He stood up so fast that his chair flew backwards.  He ran back and picked it up.  “*Dad!  Daddy!  Everybody!” he yelled as he ran out of the room, ignoring the no running rule.  He sprinted through the house, looking for his family, though even when he saw one all he could do is shout for them to gather together.  As he entered the recreation room, he saw the family's beautiful hyacinth macaw.  “Polly, you won't believe it!” the boy called out, covering his mouth as he realized his slip.  “I'm sorry, Ptolemy, but this is big.  It's ... it's really really ... *big*!”

“Little Danny, why are you shouting?” Jenny asked as she hurried after her brother with Jonny and Lulu keeping pace.

“They did it!”

“What's going on?” Daniel asked as he bounded down the stairs.

“It's ... Dad?  Where's Dad?” the child queried, running to the patio door and looking outside.

“I'm right here,” Jack answered with an armload of JD.  “Why are you screaming?”

“Because they did it!” Little Danny answered loudly.

“Who?” Daniel questioned.

“And what did they do?” Jack asked.

“Jen!  Jeff!  Where are you?” Little Danny yelled as he ran past his parents to look down the long hallway for the oldest members of the brood.

“Daniel, did you give him coffee?”

“Wha...what?” Daniel responded incredulously.  “No, of course not.”

“Little Danny, come here!” Jonny demanded in full command tone.

“Jennnnn!” the middle Munchkin voiced with alarming strength.

“Hey, don't sprain your vocal chords,” the young woman called out as she and Jeff joined the rest of the family, all of whom were now standing or sitting in the living room.

“You woke me up,” Ricky complained with a yawn.

“You can't sleep now.  It's ... it's ...” the Munchkin began.

“It's *what*?” Jack spat in frustration at the boy.

“Son,” Daniel began, walking forward and putting his hands on Little Danny's shoulders.  “You're excited about something.  That's great, but take a breath, calm yourself, and then tell us why you're so excited.”

The boy did exactly what his father requested.  He took a big breath and felt the air flowing through him.  He closed his eyes for a few moments in an attempt to clear his mind.  Just as he was about to quietly speak the news, his heart took over and he was overcome with joy.

“You won't believe it!” Little Danny said with great enthusiasm.  “They ... they really ... I mean ... it's ...”

“He's just like you,” Jack heard himself say.  Seeing his lover's stare, the general shrugged and said, “I didn't say it was bad.”

Daniel rolled his eyes and pleaded, “Little Danny, please, what has you on hyperdrive?”

“We're legal!”

Jack and Daniel exchanged a confused look while the children all looked at one another with huge question marks in their eyes.

“Son, we know that,” Jack acknowledged.

“No, Dad, I mean we're really and truly legal.”  The middle Munchkin gulped and clarified, “You and Daddy, you're married, everywhere.”

“What?” Daniel queried.

“The Supreme Court issued their decision.  Same-sex couples are as married as traditional couples.  We're legal!” the boy declared with a huge grin.

The brood began to cheer and dance around while Jack and Daniel stood, stunned by the news, or more exactly, how they had heard about it.

“Look!” Little Danny beckoned, turning on the television to the news channel.  It was the top of the hour and he was certain it would be the lead story.  “See!”

Sure enough, the news anchor was talking about the historic day as news coverage of reactions from around America were shown.

“Five to four,” Daniel whispered about the Supreme Court vote.

“But it's five on the right side,” Jack pointed out as the entire family listened as attentively as they ever had to something on the TV.

“Justice Kennedy is a liberal,” Jenny stated.  “He had the deciding vote.”

Jack and Daniel both stared over with surprise at the redhead, who was focused on the news.

“Equal dignity,” Jennifer echoed with a nod as part of the Chief Justice's opinion was read.

“He's right,” Jack stated.  “It was always about equality.”

“Like in my essay,” Jenny interjected.  “People just want to be equal with everyone else.”

“Hogwash!” Jack spat at a line written by one of the Court's conservative judges.  Justice Antonin Scalia was quoted as calling the ruling a “threat to American democracy.”

“We wouldn't even have America to have a democracy if it weren't for our parents,” Jeff stated proudly in response to Scalia's remark.

“There's going to be some scrambling,” Jack opined as the news report commented on the political arena and some ultra-conservative candidates.  “They have to say something.”

“With two-thirds of the country cheering this decision, they have to watch what they say,” Jennifer opined.

“This is going to be discussed for a long time,” Daniel stated.

“Yep.”  Jack looked over at his husband and gave a little nod as he continued the thought.  “... including our next class on Monday.”  Turning a bit to look at the brood, he announced, “You all have new homework.  Your regular assignments are postponed.”

Picking up where his soulmate left off, Daniel instructed, “Your new homework is to write about this decision.  You can write your own opinion, for or against ...”

“Daaadddddy!” several of the kids chastised.

The archaeologist chuckled, “I just want you to write what you feel.  It can be about our country, our family, Dad and me, or just you.  What does this mean for you?”

“Think about that,” Jack challenged.  “For Daddy and me, this decision means we can go anywhere in the United States and be recognized as husband and husband. It makes it easier for us in many other ways, too.”

“We need to call Mark,” Daniel noted in reference to the family attorney, Mark Kingston.

Jack nodded and continued, “But how does it touch you?”

“Or does it?” Daniel asked.  “You tell us.  This is an open-ended assignment.  Make it anything you want.”

“Um ...” Jennifer expressed with uncertainty about the directive.

“This goes for everyone.  If you're a Jackson-O'Neill, you have homework,” Jack advised in response to the unasked question.

Jennifer smiled.  She wanted to participate, as did Jeff.  This was a major event and no one wanted to be left out.

“Wooooof!” Bijou whined.

“We'll help you,” Little Danny giggled.

Wagging tails from the beagles were the response.

“Dad and Daddy?” Jonny prompted as he licked his lips.

Jack looked at Daniel who raised his shoulders and cocked his head with a smile.

“It's a special day,” Jack permitted.

“Ice cream!” Jonny exclaimed.

“And before lunch,” Aislinn cheered.

“We just finished breakfast,” Chenoa whispered to her dancing sister.

“Shhh, Noa!  They might change their minds,” Lulu warned and then laughed.

As the children happily headed for the hospitality room, Jack turned off the TV.  When he turned back, he found himself with a body next to his and warm lips on his.

“Wow, you do that well,” Jack praised his lover's kiss.

“So do you,” Daniel responded before kissing his husband again.

“Legal smeagle,” Jack teased.  “We don't need the law to be a couple or a family,” he insisted.

“No, we don't, but it is nice to have, to know wherever we go, we have to be recognized as a married couple.”

“It's our right.”

“One we've been denied for a long time.  This changes so much, and it changes nothing,” Daniel mused.  “We do need to call Mark.”

“We're already set, but ...”

“... but now it will be even easier.  Our children will be protected if ...”

“Daniel, no talking about that.  Leave that if word alone.”

“It's a good day.”

“Yeahsureyabetcha!” Jack agreed as he leaned in for another kiss.  “Danny, I love you.”

“And I love you, Babe, so very much.”

The lovers embraced, both feeling a strong emotion.  As they stood in the quiet of the room, their foreheads touching while their minds reflected on the news of the day, their eyes watered from the gift of the Supreme Court decision and what it meant, not just for themselves, but for friends they knew and others in same-sex relationships.

“I'm glad this is Friday,” Daniel spoke as he gazed into the brown eyes that had such an impact on his life.

“Date night, and it's gonna be one hot date!” Jack promised and then kissed his Love again.  “Angel, we have something to address, unless we're going to let it go.”

“Me, huh?” Little Danny surprised his parents by saying.

The lovers shifted their position.  They now stood side-by-side with their arms around each other's waist.

The triplet walked slowly forward, his hands clasped behind his back and his head hung low.  When he was three feet from his parents, he stopped and looked up at them with the youthful eyes of honesty.

“Sometimes, I go to this website to read the news on my computer.  I know I'm not supposed to, but there's so much to learn.  I'm sorry.”

Daniel sighed and walked forward.  He sat on his haunches as he looked up into Little Danny's eyes.

“I understand.  I know what it feels like to want and need to know everything, but you need to trust us and know that the rules we make are to protect you and your brothers and sisters.”

“I know.”

“Maybe we can make a few changes to the rules,” Daniel told his namesake.

The boy's smile lit up the room.  He hugged Daniel and looked up at Jack, hoping to see the same supportive response.

Jack stood tall and unwavering at first.  Then he broke into a smile.

“Daddy and I will discuss it.”

“I guess I shouldn't have any ice cream, though,” Little Danny stated.  “I broke the rules.”

“I have, too, many times,” Daniel admitted.

“Heck, I'm the biggest rule breaker in Air Force history,” Jack added.  “Get in there,” he ordered.

Little Danny ran to his dad and shared a hug before running into the hospitality room to join his siblings.

“Running?” Daniel queried questioningly.

“It was a hurried walk,” Jack fibbed.

“Brisk.”

“Fast-paced,” Jack added.

Chuckling, the parents again put their arms around each other's waists and walked slowly to the other room.

“Angel?” Jack asked quietly.

“Hmmm?”

“Will you marry me?”

“Again?”

“Yeah, why not?”

“We've done it three times already.”

“You have something against the number four?”

“Nope, not a thing.”  Daniel chuckled and said, “I guess for equality, it is something we should do.”

“Equality?”

“Yeah,” Daniel affirmed.  With a smile, he reminded, “JD's never been to one of our weddings.”

“There you go!” Jack exclaimed happily.  “Marry me?”

“Anytime, Babe.”

With a grin, Jack continued to walk with his husband to be with their children as they enjoyed morning ice cream on what would always be a very special day.  The couple had fought many battles in their quest for universal justice.  Now, not just for them in their Colorado Springs home, but for the entire nation, justice for the heart had finally been achieved.  It was long overdue in their minds, but it was here, and for Jack, Daniel, and their brood, the day of this justice would always be remembered.

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

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