Licks of Approval

Author:  Orrymain and special guest co-author, Mama Bear!
Category:  Slash, Humor, Drama, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - September 1 - October 29, 2012
Spoilers:  None
Size:  25kb, ficlet
Written:  November 3, 2007, September 5, 2008, April 17-18,21-22,27-28, 2010
Summary:  Beagles, boxers, and humans, oh my!
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?~
2) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Claudia, Tammy, Navi, Irina!

Licks of Approval
by Orrymain and Mama Bear

“Just take her off my hands, will you?  If you don't, I'll have to take her to the pound or just let her go.”

“Ma'am ...”

“Look, I'm not a bad person, but this was my husband's dog, and that no good, cheating, lying, pathetic excuse of a man left her behind, just like he left me for that skinny blonde who's more plastic than flesh.  I don't want any reminders, and she's a reminder.”

“Ma'am ...”

“Her name is Daisy, and you'll just have to trust me that she's up to date on all of her shots.  That cheapskate spent hundreds of dollars on keeping this dog living in style, but ask him to give me just five dollars for lunch and ... well, he's gone, and I want her gone, too.  If you don't want her, *you* put her out on the street or put her down; I don't care one way or the other,” the woman said in a huff, turning and walking away, leaving behind the dog she'd brought in to Pam Lawrence's veterinarian office.

Pam had just been about to close the door to the first examination room and had overheard the woman's diatribe.  With concern, she looked across at her veterinarian assistant and then over at Jack, who was the last of her patients for the day.

“Excuse me, Jack,” Pam requested, walking out the door and accessing the scene in front of her.  “Leah, what's going on?”

“Pam, that woman just dropped off this dog,” Leah Freeport responded, patting the distressed looking tan-colored animal.  The assistant was still a little stunned at the event that occurred moments ago.  ~I've never had that happen to me before.~

Curious, Jack walked to the doorway of the examination room to see what was going on.  In his arms were both Bijou and Katie.  He'd just been picking them up to put them on the examination table when Pam had excused herself.  The girls were there for a precautionary checkup.  The Jackson-O'Neills had spent the last couple of months RV'ing across the country and now Jack and Daniel just wanted to make sure they hadn't picked up any bugs or anything.  They'd made a last minute appointment and were the last clients of what had been a very busy first Saturday of September for the highly successful veterinarian hospital.

“Leah, this dog is pregnant, *very* pregnant,” Pam noted as she gently examined the boxer.  She smiled as she soothed, “You'll be okay, Daisy.  Life is full of changes.”

“If I didn't already have three dogs ...” Leah began.

“She's frightened,” Pam observed.  Gently caressing the dog's body, the caring vet smiled and decreed softly, “You can come home with me.”  Looking up, she instructed, “Leah, would you make sure room four is clean and prepped for a birth.  I don't think it's going to be too long.”

“Stay,” Jack ordered as he put the beagles down and walked over to the front counter.  “Want some help?”

“Yes, Jack, please,” Pam responded, looking up for a moment as she finished her impromptu examination.  “When Leah returns, would you carry Daisy here into room four for me.  Be very careful.  I need to check on one of the rabbits in back for a minute.  Uh ...”

“Don't worry about us,” Jack assured, looking over at the beagles standing obediently at the spot where he'd left them.

“Woof!” Bijou piped up as if adding that she and her daughter were fine and would make another appointment.

“Thanks,” Pam returned, smiling over at the beagles as she hurried into another part of the office.

====

“Pam, we're ready,” Leah announced, looking around when she realized Pam wasn't out front.

“I'm on transport duty,” Jack teased.  Stopping the soothing movements of his hands, Jack gently lifted and cradled the pregnant boxer as he rose to his feet.  “Lead the way.”

“Right in here,” Leah advised, entering the assigned room which was often used for animal births.  “Just put her down here.”

“Children are a joy, Daisy.  You'll be a great mom,” Jack asserted calmly as he lowered the dog down as carefully as possible.  “Ahhhh ... I think it's bombs away,” he remarked, looking up at Leah.

“Excuse me,” Leah acknowledged while hurrying to the doorway that led to the inner care area of the animal hospital.  “Pam, she's starting,” she called out, quickly grabbing the vet's attention as she walked into the examination room.

“That was quick,” Pam opined, having just finished up the rabbit care.

Jack backed up to the corner of the room.  He knew he should leave, but he was drawn to the birth.  Quietly, Bijou and Katie entered the birthing room and sat down calmly to watch.

“You're doing great, Daisy.  Your pups are going to be beautiful little things, just like you,” Pam soothed.  Letting out a sigh, she observed, “She's really frightened.”

“I can't believe that woman just left her like that,” Leah remarked with displeasure.

“She did the best she could, Leah,” Pam advocated.  “Divorces can be messy.”

The boxer whimpered.  When she did, Bijou ran over to a chair that was on the opposite side of the room.  She jumped up on it and barked softly.  With her tail wagging, Katie followed.

Daisy looked at the two beagles curiously.

“Woof!” Bijou called encouraged confidently.

“If I didn't know better, I'd say Bijou and Katie were urging Daisy on,” Pam mused.

“They are,” Jack asserted.  “Daniel and I learned a long time ago that they're very intuitive.”

Pam smiled knowingly while thinking, ~You girls never cease to amaze me. ~  She didn't understand it herself, but she had no doubts there was something special about the Jackson-O'Neill beagles.  ~One of these days, I'll figure it out, though.~

====

“Walter, how can you resist?” Jack wheedled, his cell phone held out in front of them so that both could see the cuddly photograph.

“Cats, Sir,” Chief Master Sergeant Walter Davis replied flatly.

“I have cats,” the general responded in a tone that suggested it shouldn't matter.

“Mine don't like dogs, Sir.  They think they're mice,” the sergeant explained, turning around and walking away before Jack could talk him into something his cats would hate him for.

Jack shrugged and walked into the conference room where SG-1 and SG-9 were meeting to review events that had occurred on various planets during the time that the Jackson-O'Neills had been away during the summer.

“Any luck?” Daniel asked just as Paul Davis entered the room.

“Nah.  He's got cats with identity issues,” Jack answered as he sat down.

Settling into his seat, Paul glanced over and saw the photo on Jack's cell phone.  The photo showed Daisy and her five newborns, taken right after their birth the evening before.

“Boxer?” Davis inquired.

“How could you tell?” Jack quipped, considering that Daisy's very distinctive boxer face was visible in the photograph.

“They're good dogs,” Paul responded.  “Are ...”

“Gentlemen, let's begin,” General George Hammond called out as he entered the conference room, raising his hand to stop the two teams from standing up.

====

It was the first day of fall, and the Jackson-O'Neills had dinner guests, Paul Davis and Marc Reynolds.  2012 had been a big year for the two.  After years as a major, Davis had finally reached the rank of lieutenant colonel, while Reynolds had been made a full colonel.  The bigger news for them personally was that they'd been married, though very few people were aware of the nuptials.

Naturally, Jack, Daniel, and their brood all knew the truth of Paul and Marc's relationship.  In fact, they'd attended the wedding.  The invitation had been a bit of a surprise, but Jack hadn't been able to pass up the chance to ensure that one of his past rivals, though a rival in his mind only, was officially taken off the market.

At the moment, Marc was in the game room with some of the children, while Paul was visiting with Bagel, the bunny he'd given to Aislinn and the other children two years ago.  He was just coming downstairs and was about to follow Aislinn into the game room when he overheard Daniel on the phone.

“We've talked with a lot of people who keep hoping Bijou and Katie will have pups,” Daniel spoke.  “Uh, that's not gonna happen,” he chuckled.  “I guess our neighbors aren't boxer people.”

The archaeologist was in the hospitality room, the cordless phone to his ear as he checked on the side dishes that were being served with the steaks that his husband was barbecuing outside.

“You're definitely keeping Daisy?” Daniel inquired.  “Okay.  We'll keep looking.  Bye.”

“Daniel ...”

“Bunny review over?” the archaeologist questioned with a smile as he placed the phone down on the counter.

“Yes.  I didn't mean to listen in on your conversation,” Paul stated.  Seeing Daniel's curious look, he asked, “Were you talking about the boxer that the general had on his cell phone a while back?”

“Daisy?  Yes.  A woman abandoned her at Pam's.  Uh, she's our vet.  Anyway, Daisy had five pups right after being left there.”

“Do they have homes?”

“Pam is going to keep Daisy, and she's found good homes for two of the puppies so far.  She still has one of the females and both males left, though.”  Daniel walked over to the refrigerator to retrieve some relish.  As he opened the door, he looked over at the other man and inquired, “Why do you ask?”

“I was just ...”

“Daddy!” Jonny exclaimed, hurrying in from the backyard.  “Dad says he needs more barbecue sauce.”  Looking at Paul, he asked, “Paul, wanna play catch with David and me?”

“Sure,” Paul responded enthusiastically as the get-together continued and the puppy discussion was left uncompleted.

 ====

“Thanks for doing this,” Pam stated as she dropped off Daisy and her two eight-week-old male puppies that still didn't have a home.

“No problem,” Daniel replied as he held one of the boxer puppies and made silly faces at him.

“Daisy just hates being at the clinic, even if I'm there,” Pam explained.  “I'm hoping she'll lose that fear with time.”

“Trust,” Daniel put forth as he helped to get the three dogs settled in the living room where Little Danny and Aislinn had set up a dog crate just for the visiting canines.

Bijou and Katie slowly walked forward, getting to know the puppies and reacquainting themselves with Daisy.

“Daniel, did I ever tell you about Muriel?”

“Muriel?”

“Muriel de la Fuentes,” Pam clarified, amused at the perplexed look that crossed Daniel's face.  “Actually, she's going back to her maiden name -- Baker.”

“Oh,” Daniel mused, silently thinking Baker went more naturally with the first name.

“She's the one who brought Daisy in that night when Jack was there with Bijou and Katie.  Her husband had just walked out on her, cleaned out their bank accounts, and admitted to multiple affairs over the course of their marriage.  He doted over Daisy, but left her behind when he decided to relocate to Mexico with his latest senorita.”

“So Daisy was a ... a painful reminder, like she said that night.”

“I'm afraid so.  She called the next day to make sure we hadn't put her down; she didn't really want that.  That had been said in anger at her husband.  Then she came back a couple of weeks later when she'd regrouped a little.  She brought all of Daisy's records, her toys and things, and even some photos of her as a puppy.”  Pam sighed and added, “She's really not a bad person.”

“Any chance she'll want Daisy back?”

“Not a chance.  Actually, she's moving back to Connecticut.  She says the only animal she plans to own ever again is a stuffed bird.”

Daniel chuckled and watched as Pam leaned down to say another goodbye to Daisy and the puppies.

Picking up her purse, Pam concluded, “Please tell Jack about Muriel.  I've been wanting to, but I keep forgetting.”

“I'll let him know.”

“Thanks.  I'll be back tomorrow afternoon, by four, I hope,” the vet advised.  She was headed to Boulder to make a presentation at a veterinarian conference the next morning.  “If you have any problems, call me.”

“We'll be fine,” Daniel assured.  “Have a safe trip.”

“Thanks again,” Pam replied.  Looking past Daniel's shoulder she smiled at the interaction between the group of dogs.  “I'll be back, Daisy.  Take care of the little ones.  Bij, Katie, I appreciate you two looking after Daisy and her babies while I'm gone.”

“Woof,” Katie acknowledged softly, not wanting to startle the puppies.

“Bye,” Pam called out with a wave.  “I'll let myself out.”

Daniel watched as the beagles continued to get to know the boxers.  They were already acting like caregivers.  He could see it in their eyes and demeanor.

“We're adopting these puppies, aren't we?” Daniel quietly questioned the canines, though he was totally ignored in favor of the playful little ones.

Nodding, Daniel walked away to get a cup of coffee.  Things were about to pick up, just as soon as his husband returned with their brood from a shopping trip.

====

“Daniel ...”

“Jack, they need a home, and you know we're going to end up with them,” Daniel asserted that night as the lovers relaxed in the living room, the dog crate with the three sleeping guests in their sight.

“Great!” Jack groused sarcastically.

Suddenly, Bijou rolled over, glaring at the couple.

“What?” Jack asked.

“Woof!”

“Girls, don't you like the puppies?” Daniel questioned, surprised by the response.

Katie walked over and licked the two puppies to answer the question.

“So, what are you saying?” Daniel queried.

Bijou ran to the stairs, jumping up and down the first three steps several times. Katie ran to Jack's and Daniel's feet, nudging them with her nose.

“Okay, we'll bite,” Jack responded.

The lovers followed the two dogs to the boys' room, watching curiously as she barked up at the rabbit hutch.

“Bagel?” Jack questioned.

Confused, Daniel asked, “What about Bagel?”

“Woof!” Bijou attempted to communicate.

Frustrated, Jack complained, “Danny, I love them.  Crap, I love them more than life.  You know that.”

“Your point?”

“Sometimes I want to muzzle 'em.”

“Grrrr!” Bijou objected.

“I'm just kidding!” Jack exclaimed, throwing his hands up in surrender.  “I know you're trying to tell us something, but you know my head's been messed with so often that I'm lucky I still know my name.”

Katie walked over to Jack and stood up on her hind legs.  Her head was extended out as far as it could go.

With a smile, the general bent over, accepting the loving licks that were dog kisses as he reached down to rub the beagle's belly.

“I love you, too.  I'm just mad at myself.  I don't know what you're trying to say.”

“Now that we've established the ... love, let's get back to our problem,” Daniel suggested.

“What problem?  We're standing here, staring at a rabbit as if she's the answer to some mystery,” the older man snarked after having straightened up again.

“Well, Bij and Katie are trying to tell us something.”

“That I know,” Jack sighed.  “Daniel?”

“Hmmm?”

“How come you don't speak dog?  After all, you speak a gadzillion languages, and it's not like ...”

“I only speak ...”

Seeing his husband grow silent and thoughtful, the older man prodded, “Danny?”

“We were talking about the boxers and finding them homes,” Daniel stated aloud, not really replying to his husband, but rather, simply thinking out loud. “They wanted us to see Bagel.  The question is ... why?  I mean, uh, what's different about Bagel?”

“She's a rabbit.”

Daniel's head turned, and he just stared at his lover.  Jack smiled and shrugged.

“Besides that,” the younger man responded.

“Daniel, the only thing odd about that rabbit is how we got her.”

There was a pause, during which both beagles looked up at their humans in anticipation.  Were they finally understanding?

“Paul!”

“Davis!” Jack exclaimed at the same time his soulmate had spoken Davis' given name.

“Woof!  Woof!  Woof!  Woof!  Woof!  Woof!  Woof!  Woof!  Woof!” Bijou acknowledged excitedly, doing a little dance with her baby around the room.

The couple and their dogs headed downstairs, where Daniel picked up the cordless phone.

“Danny, why Davis?”

As he dialed the number, Daniel explained, “Think back to when the boxers were first born, Babe.  At the briefing, Paul noticed the picture on your cell phone.  We even talked about them when he and Marc were here for dinner a few weeks later, and he's asked me about the puppies several times over the last couple of months.  I think maybe ... Paul, it's Daniel.”

“Hi, Daniel,” the voice came over the phone line.

“Paul, remember Daisy and her puppies?”

“Yes, I do.  How are they doing?” Paul asked, genuinely concerned about the little family.

“Uh, good ... very good; growing.  Um, Paul, how do you feel about ... boxers?”

“They're great dogs.  Friends of mine had a couple when I was growing up.  I love them,” Paul answered.

“That's what I thought,” Daniel replied.  “Paul, by any chance, are you interested in owning a couple of boxers?”  He smiled as Bijou and Katie let out what sounded like happy sighs and then trotted over to Daisy and the puppies, who had roused from all the activity.  ~Very smart dogs,~ he thought about the girls.

“Are they still available?”

“Yes.  If you'd like to see them, they're at the house tonight.  Pam has a seminar in the morning, so we're dog-sitting.”

“I'll be right over,” Paul returned eagerly, disconnecting the call.

“He's coming over,” Daniel relayed to Jack as the girls continued playing with their guests.

“Daniel, we really have to teach these dogs to talk.  Things would be a lot easier around here,” Jack only half-teased.

“I'll schedule lessons for the morning,” Daniel replied dryly.

====

After a half-hour of frolicking with the two puppies and their mother, Paul stated brightly, “I'll take them, and Daisy can come visit anytime she wants.”

“What about Reynolds?” Jack questioned.

“He loves boxers, too,” Paul replied with a smile.  “Are you sure it'll be okay with Pam?”

Daniel looked over at Bijou and Katie and chuckled, “Yes, I think so, once we tell her it was the girls' idea.”

Having heard the story about how the beagles had influenced Daniel to make the phone call, the colonel happily replied, “Great.  I have some shopping to do.”

====

The next evening, Pam had picked up Daisy from the Jackson-O'Neill home.  She had been thrilled to hear of Paul's interest in the boxers and quickly agreed to allowing him to raise the boxer pups.  It had gone a long way with her that it had been Bijou's and Katie's idea.

A few minutes ago, Paul had arrived at the home and was readying to take the puppies home.

“Grufffffff,” Bijou complained as she stood at the front door.

“I thought they approved,” Paul spoke, a little surprised at Bijou’s reaction.  “They don't seem to want us to go.”

“Woof!” Katie called out, suddenly reappearing with her harness.

“How does she do that?” Jack asked in amazement.

Daniel shrugged, answering, “I guess she opens the drawer and pulls it out.”  He looked at Paul and opined, “I think they want to check out where the puppies will be living.”

“Woof!” two excited replies came.

“If you'd like to come over ...”

More woofs were the answer.  Since one of the parents needed to be home with the brood, Daniel was elected to take the beagles to approve the new living quarters for the boxers.

====

At Paul's townhouse, Bijou and Katie looked all around, examining the doghouse, dog beds, dog bowls, and dog toys which Paul had purchased earlier that day.  Nothing was left out of their scrutiny.  Then they walked over to the two puppies and licked them.

Bijou looked up at Daniel, proclaimed, “Woof!” and promptly headed for the front door.  Katie looked up at Paul and let out a woof of her own.  When he knelt down and started patting her, she gave him lots of kisses before following her mother.

“I think you've just been given licks of approval,” Daniel teased.  “Good luck.”

“Thanks!”

====

“It's totally insane, Love,” Jack remarked.

“I think somehow they felt responsible for Diego and Logan.”

“Who?”

“Oh, that's what Paul and Marc are naming the boxers.  Diego's the black one,” Daniel explained as he nestled into his lover's shoulder as they relaxed late at night on their bed.  “I'm just happy they have a loving home.”  He looked at the foot of the bed where Bijou and Katie were lying down, rear to rear across the width of the bed.  “If Paul and Marc get even one-eighth of the love and happiness that Bijou and Katie have given us, they'll be two very lucky men.”

Jack squeezed his Heart to him while looking at the beagles and responding, “Amen to that, Danny.”


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