Lil Bear

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Humor, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - May 6 and July 2, 2012
Spoilers:  None
Size:  20kb, ficlet
Written:  August 3,5,12, 2006  Revised for consistency:  October 2, 2007
Summary:  Jack has another secret; as always, Daniel finds out.
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) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my past fic(s), “Strange Things Happen”
3) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Linda, Lil Bear, Claudia, QuinGem!

Lil Bear
by Orrymain

Daniel wiped his brow and blew out a hot breath of air.  It was late in the afternoon, and he'd been cleaning most of the day.

~Spring cleaning,~ the archaeologist sighed.  ~I liked it better when we did it in the fall, or winter.~

The hardworking man chuckled at his thoughts.  The truth was that Jack and Daniel used to be very tardy in their spring cleaning, but now, with twelve children, they made sure the entire household had a thorough cleaning every spring.

This year, Daniel decided to do something that had been overlooked for a long time -- cleaning through the rafters in the garage.  Most of the things out there were from their past, so he was careful when he opened boxes not to destroy anything inside or drop the box for fear that it might ruin a valued treasure.

The archaeologist was wearing a sleeveless T-shirt with a V-neck.  His sweat was highly visible on the cotton top.  He also had on jeans, though he wished he'd chosen to wear a pair of shorts instead.  For a few brief seconds as well, he wished he still had his super short hair and not the moderately longer hair he now had.

~I must be getting old if I don't like the heat anymore.  It's Jack; he's corrupted me with the cabin,~ Daniel surmised about their Minnesota paradise.  ~Okay, that's enough cleaning for this year.  Who knew I still had so much ... NO, I will *not* call it ...~  he sighed, looking around at some of the things he'd chosen to keep.  Then he looked over at some of the things he'd chosen to get rid of.  “Gawd, it is junk.”

“Not all of it, Babe,” Jack chuckled when he walked into the garage, holding their five-month-old son, JD, in his arms.

“Jack, there's a lot of interesting history here, but, uh, I've also collected a lot of ...”

“Junk?” Jack laughed.  “I never *ever* thought I'd hear you say those words.”

“Neither did I,” Daniel admitted as he reviewed the 'junk pile'.  “How's our son?” he asked, sitting on the edge of one of the rafters and looking down.

“Beginning to wonder what you look like,” Jack mused.  “You've been out here all afternoon.”

“Yeah, well, it's the first time in years that I've gone through most of these things.  I'm almost done, though.  It's hot,” the younger man complained.

“Danny, you're getting ...”

“Yes, Jack, I know -- old,” Daniel completed dryly.

Laughing, Jack took JD's arm and waved it at Daniel, and then asked, “Do you want me to hold dinner?”

“Yeah, let's have a late one tonight.  It's too hot to eat anyway,” Daniel opined.

Jack chuckled as he returned to the comfort of the house, leaving Daniel to finish his task.

====

Twenty minutes later, Daniel decided to call it a 'Spring', at least as far as sorting through his rafter items.  He had put back half of the items he'd previously decided to toss out, shrugging at his inability to discard his admitted 'junk'.

~Well, almost,~ the archaeologist mused.  Then he looked for a box that he could put a few things in that he had decided to discard.  That's when he saw the box from Build-a-Bear.  He laughed.  Certain the box was empty, he reached for it.  As he did, he thought about the six-inch-high Boonie Bear that currently resided in his den.  He was positive that whatever had been inside the Build-a-Bear box was now on the brown bear, though at the same time, he couldn't figure out what had been added.  ~Okay, Jack has a way of talking me into things, like keeping that ridiculous stuffed animal.~

The bear had actually been purchased by Teal'c several years ago.  At the time, the Jaffa had believed his friend to be cursed.  Using an ancient Jaffa rite of cleansing, he had purchased the bear to serve as a representation of Daniel.  The bear wore a boonie hat and had wire-rimmed glasses, just like Daniel's.

When Jack had discovered the bear, he'd immediately bonded with the stuffed animal.  Daniel, however, wasn't the least bit fond of the creature.  As a compromise, Jack had kept the bear locked up in his bottom desk drawer in his office at the SGC; that is, until he surprised his lover a few months later by converting the spare room and some additional space of the upper level into a den.

At that point, Jack had taken the bear and placed it on one of the shelves, and, to his delight, his lover had smiled upon seeing it.  Nothing was spoken, but the bear still sat in that same place in Daniel's den.

Suddenly, the archaeologist remembered something he'd forgotten.  Not long before the remodeling, Jack had received a package from Build-a-Bear.  He'd been out of town at the time, and Daniel had mused that it had better not be another bear.  Somehow, though, he'd forgotten to follow through and ask his soulmate what he'd purchased.

~The bear looks the same today as it did when Teal'c got it, except for the scorch marks,~ Daniel thought as he stared at the box.  The scorch marks were a result of Teal'c's attempt to purge Daniel of the supposed curse by burning it in the oven.  Fortunately, Jack had smelled something burning and had retrieved the item from the oven before much damage had been done.  ~I'm positive there hasn't been any new accessories added.  Oh, well, I'll have to ...~

Daniel pulled the box towards him, realizing it wasn't empty.  He thought maybe Jack had put other items in it, using the box for storage.  He opened the box and smiled, seeing some old model planes and such that Jack had kept.

Realizing he couldn't use the box, Daniel put it back and then just carried the miscellaneous items not in a box down with him.  He figured he'd get a bag or something from the bag bin they had in the corner of the garage.  As he walked there, something else caught his eye.  It was another storage box, and it, too, was from Build-a-Bear.

“Okay, what's going on?” the now very suspicious man wondered aloud.

====

Late that night, after the family had gone to bed, Daniel stirred, covertly disentangling himself from his lover's embrace.  After putting on his glasses, he tippy-toed downstairs and entered the study, turning on the light as he walked in.

Daniel was suspicious of his Love.  There was only one place where the older man could have successfully hidden anything from him for years -- the study.  Carefully, the archaeologist reviewed the room, letting his eyes slowly scan every inch of the area.  He was sure he'd overlooked something obvious.

~It has to be here -- somewhere,~ Daniel told himself.

====

Jack let out a little grumble as he began to wake.  He smacked his lips and, by accident, his abdomen.  He had expected to caress his lover's back, only his lover wasn't being his usual 'blanket' self.

“Danny?” Jack asked, his head leaning upwards and looking down the bed.

Jack blinked a couple of times as he let out another sound; this time, it was more of a grunt.  He coughed, realizing his secret had been discovered.

Daniel was sitting, Indian-style, at the foot of the bed.  His arms were folded, and he had a scowl on his face.  Lined up in front of him were several stuffed bears, of various sizes and colors, each adorned with different clothing and accessories.

“Hey, Love,” Jack greeted weakly.  “It is a good morning, isn't it?” he asked, sitting up and smiling, trying to pretend he wasn't about to fess up about the bears.

“Don't waste time, Jack.  Start talking, and let's hope it's good,” Daniel demanded sternly.

“Ah, eggs?  I know, let's have waffles -- Belgian,” Jack suggested, knowing Daniel's favorite breakfast food was waffles.

Daniel randomly picked up one of the smaller bears with his left hand.  He waved it back and forth, keeping his eyes focused on his husband.

“We're not talking food, Jack.  I want to know about this ... *now*,” Daniel demanded.

“Hey, careful,” Jack admonished, suddenly moving forward and grabbing the critter out of his lover's hand.  “That's Lil Bear; he's fragile.”

The younger man stared at his now-empty hand.  He blinked once before staring, mouth open, at Jack, who was cradling the small bear protectively.

“Jack, last chance,” the archaeologist warned.  “I want to know about ... these,” he said, looking at the line up of bears and waving his hand over them.

“Okay,” Jack agreed.  “This is Lil Bear.  He needs lots of love.”

The major general proceeded to identify each of the bears, all with their own name and special look or designation.

There was Book Bear.  He wore a turtleneck sweater, held a pen in his paw, and, according to Jack, had a little desk where he could sit and study all the books he had in his collection.

“A mini-library?” Daniel asked.

“Bookie likes to read,” Jack answered.

“What about this one?” Daniel questioned, holding up a John Travolta-looking bear.

Jack smiled at the black bear that was wearing a shiny silver shirt and had a couple of gold chains around his neck.  He leaned forward and gave Disco Duck Bear a fond pat.

“That's Ducky.  He has his own disco ball and dance floor.  He does a great disco style Danny Dance to the Disco Duck song,” Jack explained.

Then Daniel pointed to one of the other bears that was holding a newspaper and a miniature cup of coffee which was placed right by his lips, as if he were sipping the hot liquid.  He was wearing a pair of maroon pajamas with a matching robe and slippers.

“That's Starbuck; he loves his coffee,” Jack stated, grinning at the coffee-drinking bear.

Another one was Desert Bear.  He had a full-body robe, like Daniel used to wear on Abydos, and its hood was pulled over his head.  He also had on sunglasses.

“Sandals?” Daniel inquired, staring at the rear paws of the bear.

“Aren't they great?” Jack asked.  He saw his lover's stare and shrugged, asking, “What?  You want Desi to walk around the hot desert wearing combat boots?”

“Desi?”

“That's his name,” Jack answered.

In the middle of the group was Pool Bear.  He had on swim trunks, sunglasses, and held a glass in his paw.

“He has a chaise lounge?” Daniel asked.

“I've been trying to find a mini-pool for him.  Daniel, do you have any idea how hard it is to find a pool for a five-inch bear?” Jack asked seriously.

“No,” Daniel answered, shaking his head.  “What about this one, as if I don't know?”

Jack smiled as he talked about the bear that was actually dressed in an SGC-like uniform, complete with vest, combat boots, and mini-camcorder.  This bear had a backpack attached to it, too.

“I have to keep an eye on this one,” Jack spoke.  “He gets in trouble a lot.”

“He does?” Daniel asked skeptically.

“Has trouble listening to orders.”

“Oh, I see,” Daniel responded, rolling his eyes.

There were twelve bears in all, and Jack had a name for all of them.  Not only that, but each had a nickname.

“Jack ... *why*?” Daniel asked.

“I like bears,” Jack answered.  He sighed, “After I put Boonie Bear in your den, I missed having him around, so I got the little explorer bear.  He seemed lonely, so I got him another one.”

Daniel couldn't believe what he was hearing, but his curiosity was overwhelming.

“Jack, what was in that first box?  The one you got before you had the den built?” Daniel inquired.

Jack thought back; then answered, “Spare accessories.”

“What kind of accessories?”

“Glasses,” Jack admitted.  “Boonie looked so much like you that I was afraid he'd break his.”

“It's a stuffed animal!” Daniel exclaimed.

Jack shrugged meekly, not saying anything in response.

“I don't believe this,” the archaeologist said, picking up Blue Bear, the bear that was not only blue in color, but absolutely everything on it was blue, including its eyes and blue-tinted eyeglasses.

“How'd you find out?” Jack inquired, holding up Lil Bear slightly.

“I found a second box from Build-a-Bear.  I knew if you had more, they had to be in the study,” Daniel answered.  “I found your secret panel.”

Jack smiled in pride at his lover's detective skills, even though it meant his secret had been discovered.  He had built a secret hideaway behind the bottom shelf of one of the bookshelves in his study.  The panel pushed in and then slid out, revealing the Bear Den where the bears normally resided.

“You're incorrigible,” Daniel stated, moving forward to kiss his Love.

“You aren't going to make me get rid of them, are you?” Jack questioned.

Daniel finished the crawl forward, twisting around to sit next to Jack.  He stared at the edge of the bed where some of the stuffed animals were still sitting, though a couple had fallen over from his movement to the head of the bed.

“No, Babe, I'm not,” the younger man sighed.  He looked at Lil Bear and added, “You'd just get new ones.”

Jack chuckled, “You know me so well.”

“The Bear Den,” Daniel mused.

“I could build them one in the study, where the kids could see them,” Jack suggested hopefully.

“Okay,” Daniel agreed, knowing it was a lost cause.

“Okay?”

“Okay,” Daniel nodded, leaning his head against Jack's shoulder.  “Lil Bear is safe now, and it's all because someone cared and took a big risk a long, long time ago.  Lil Bear is a happy bear.”

“So am I, Angel; so am I,” Jack said, placing a kiss atop Daniel's head.

====

By the time July rolled around, Jack had built a new, highly visible Bear Den in his study.  Each bear, plus its accessories, was prominently displayed, and each had their own habitat that fit with their character.  The children loved it.

In fact, hearing about Jack's problem in finding a pool for Pool Bear, Jonny, with help from Little Danny, had even made a pool for the small bear.  They'd found a square box with a lid and then cut around the edges of one side.  They'd then folded the resulting flap down to make the fourth side for the pool. Water had been created by using small strips of blue cellophane.  They had even created decking for the pool by gluing wooden ice cream sticks onto the side of the box that was uncut.

While Jack had been delighted with the boys' effort, Daniel had praised their efforts while inwardly shaking his head.  Jokes were abundant, and when he heard Little Danny ask Jack where 'Mickey Bear from Disneyland' was, he seriously began to question his decision.

Today was Monday, and Jack was working on his truck when the mail arrived.

“You have a package, General,” the mail person spoke, handing Jack a large package.

“Thanks, Gia,” Jack spoke as he took the package and the rest of the mail.  He walked inside the house and placed the mail on the counter.  Then he noticed the address on the box.  It was for Daniel.  “From Build-a-Bear?  *Daniel!*”

“Yes, Love,” Daniel replied as he surprised his lover, having just come downstairs.

“What is this?”

“Looks like a box,” the archaeologist observed.  He moved closer and smiled. “Wow, that was fast.”

“Daniel?”

“Be right back,” Daniel stated excitedly, taking the box from his husband.  He disappeared upstairs, returning a few minutes later, holding a bear in each hand.  He laughed, seeing the expression on his Silver Fox's face.  “Meet Colonel Jack Bear and Lake Bear.  They're the first of the Jack Bear series.”

Jack's eyes grew wide, and he was about to argue until he saw Daniel's combination smirk and warning smile.

“I have a place for them in my den,” Daniel announced about the two bears, turning back to take them upstairs.

Colonel Jack Bear wore a baseball cap, camouflage uniform with combat boots, sunglasses, and military ID tags.  He also had a little radio attached to the camos.  Lake Bear had a multi-color swimming cap, Hawaiian-style shirt, black shorts, and he carried a fishing pole.  A tiny worm was sneaking out of his shirt pocket.

Jack followed his lover upstairs, watching as Daniel placed the bears on the shelf, one on each side of the original Boonie Bear.

“See, Boonie now has the best of both worlds.  Colonel Jack Bear is there to protect him, and Lake Bear is there to show him how to have fun.”  Daniel smiled at his soulmate and then added, “It's a good life.”

“It sure is, Danny.  It sure is,” Jack agreed.

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