Modulations

Author: Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Mini-Angst, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - November 24 - December 15, 2008
Spoilers:  Proving Ground, New Ground (minor)
Size:  31kb, short story
Written:  November 25-27, December 20, 2004  Revised for consistency: August 11, 2007
Summary:  Back to work at the SGC, Jack and Daniel discover they still have some adjustments to be made.
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) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my past fic(s), “Stargate”
4) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Linda, QuinGem, Claudia, Pepi, Sue B.!

Modulations
by Orrymain

“Hey, Daniel,” Jack said, entering Daniel's office on the eighteenth level of the SGC.  The two had been back to work, part-time, at Cheyenne Mountain for a couple of weeks now, and things had been going fairly well.  Key Earth allies such as the Nox and Hedronix were pleased with the progress made since the Jackson-O'Neills had returned to the Stargate Program.  Jack picked up a round, pink object and twirled it in his hand.  “I was wondering ...”

“Jack, put that down,” Daniel said just before he burst into laughter.  He saw his lover looking at him with an odd and confused expression.  “I'm sorry, Babe, but it's like we've gone back in time.”

“Fun, isn't it?” Jack asked, a huge smile on his face as he moved to lean against Daniel's worktable, the pink object still in his hands.

“Yeah, lots of fun.”

Daniel leaned forward and kissed his husband.  Then, out of the corner of his eye, he saw the security camera.  He was happy they didn't have to pretend anymore; still, it felt like an invasion of their privacy.  He sighed, staring at the security device.

Jack noticed his husband's distraction and turned his head to see what Daniel was staring at.

“Maybe we should do something about that.”

“What can we do?  At least we don't have to pretend anymore,” Daniel spoke.

Daniel smiled as he looked down at his wedding ring and then he looked at Jack.  He moved his hand to touch the small pin Jack had affixed to his green BDU jacket.  It was the pin his lover had had made for their second wedding and had their initials on it, woven together. Jack took Daniel's hand and raised it to his mouth to kiss it.

“Pretending is something Noa does when she has tea with Teal'c,” Jack replied.

“Yeah,” Daniel said with a grin, his voice like a cheerleader.  “Still ...”

“Daniel, we have power.”

“But we don't want to overdo it, Jack.  Besides, there has to be security within the base, and Sam put the remote system back in, so that helps.”

“True, but it's such a strain to reach for the thing,” Jack said, acting as if finding the electronic device was a hardship.

“Jack, I really need to finish this research.  We're going off-world tomorrow, and it's important that this be done first.”

“Okay.  I want to check out the new recruits anyway.”  The general placed the pink artifact back on the shelf.  “Daniel,” he called out before leaving.  “I was thinking Satterfield should go with us tomorrow.”

Daniel straightened up from his hunched position and asked, “Why?”

“I'd like to see how she handles herself with these new folks.”

“Are you thinking about recommending her to lead her own team?” Daniel questioned curiously.

Standing in the doorway with his hands in his pockets, Jack answered, “She's good, Danny.  I've caught up on all of Carter's reports for SG-1A.  Satterfield saved their behinds on a regular basis.  She may not have Carter's IQ, but she's street smart and balances that with heart, as you know.”

Daniel smiled as he remembered how, as a trainee undergoing intensive training scenarios, Grace Satterfield had risked her life to save Daniel's, even though he'd been playing a 'bad guy' at the time.  Since her acceptance into the Program, she'd been a productive member of any team she had been assigned to.

Grace had quickly been promoted to Lieutenant after having demonstrated both quick thinking and courage in the field, and, more recently, she had been promoted to captain.  Daniel knew if Jack was able to negotiate a team for her, that Satterfield would have to be promoted to major.

Though it was still rare for anyone below the rank of lieutenant colonel to lead an SG team, it wasn't unheard of.  Major Charles Kawalsky had been the first, albeit very briefly, and other majors had been in charge of various teams since then.

“I agree, on both counts, that she's proven herself and that we need to see how she does ourselves,” Daniel agreed.  Thoughtfully, he suggested, “Jack, let's put her out front, give her the lead.”

“Daniel, I don't know ...”

“It's the only way to really see if she can do it.  We're going to be right there.  Let's give her a shot,” the archaeologist requested, giving his lover an urging nod.

Jack mulled it over for a minute, then nodded as he smiled and said, “Okay.  I'll talk to you later.”

~Not bad, Grace,~ Daniel mused inwardly.  ~I think Jack liked that you saved my life during that scenario.  You were the only one who'd ever done that.  Years' worth of scenarios, hundreds of new recruits, but only you saw through the plan from the start and followed through.  Not bad at all.~

====

It was the following week, the first of December, and Jack and Daniel were preparing to go to the SGC.  The mission from the week before had gone smoothly, and both had been pleased with the way in which Satterfield greeted their potential new allies, a people called the Maynites.  Daniel believed they might have a connection to the Mayan culture on Earth.

The Maynites had an unidentified mineral on their planet that they called Mingna, and Sam thought it might have some powerful properties that would help with medical and scientific research.

Jack and Daniel had watched as Satterfield led the negotiations, coming to a tentative agreement that would later be solidified by SG-9.

SG-1, along with Satterfield, was scheduled to return to the planet in the afternoon.  The Maynites were still leery of the strange visitors that had come through the Chappa'ai and had requested to meet again with the people that had originally brokered the negotiations.

Breakfast had been handled with all the usual chaos it involved, and the Mouseketeers had already been picked up by the appropriate people who were taking them to school, or in Chenoa's case, to a toddler gymnastics class, after which she would be dropped off at Sara's house.

Sara was due to arrive at the home at any minute to pick up the remainder of the brood.  Jack had the Munchkin boys with him downstairs.  Daniel was upstairs with Aislinn and the twins when the phone rang.

“Phone.  Ash answer?” Aislinn asked eagerly.

“If Dad doesn't get it first.  Remember how?” Daniel questioned.

When the youngest Munchkin nodded, Daniel handed her the phone, smiling as the little girl spoke, “Jackson-O'Neill res...res ... home.”  She saw her father smiling at her as she listened to the caller.  “'Kay.  Bye.”

“Ash ...” Daniel walked forward to grab the phone.  “Hello?”  All he heard was a dial tone.  “Ash, who was on the phone?”

“Aunt Sara sick; not come.”

“What?”  Daniel quickly dialed Sara's number.  “Sara, it's Daniel.”

“Daniel, she's adorable, but I think she needs a little more practice on how to use the phone,” Sara chuckled.

Daniel laughed, nodding his head as he did so, and responded, “Yeah, I have to agree.  Ash said you were sick.”

“I'm so sorry, Daniel.  I know this puts you and Jack in a bind, but I have a little, uh, female problem, and the doctor wants me to rest for a few days.”

“Sara,” Daniel asked, his concern for his friend, who just happened to be his husband's ex-wife, vibrating down the phone line.

“It's nothing, really.  They're just doing some tests.”  Sara paused and then assured, “Daniel, I'm fine.  Please don't be concerned.”

“I can't help it; you're family, Sara.”

Sara was smiling, wishing she could reassure the archaeologist, and finally she decided the truth was the only way she could do that, so she confided, “Daniel, yesterday, I found a small cyst.  They want me to come in immediately so they can do a biopsy.  I'm sure it will be fine, but Mark doesn't want me to take chances.”  She heard nothing but silence.  “Daniel, I'm not worried; I know I'm fine.  I'm humoring my husband, and I know you know all about that.”

“Yeah, I do.  Sara ...”

“I'll call you as soon as they confirm that it's nothing.”

“Don't forget, okay?” Daniel asked, his entire body filled with concern for the blonde.

“I won't, and I'm sorry I've left you two in a lurch.”

“Don't worry about it.  Call us, Sara,” Daniel reminded.

“I will.  Bye.”

“Bye,” Daniel said softly, almost dropping the phone.

“Daddy?”

Daniel put the phone down and picked up his daughter, saying, “I love you, Ash.”

“Aunt Sara sick?”

“I hope not.”  The archaeologist looked over at the twins, happily playing in the extra-large crib.  Turning on the monitors, he carried Aislinn downstairs.  “Jack ...”

“Hey, thought you'd fallen down on the job or something.  Listen, Danny, the boys and ... what's wrong?”

Daniel shook his head, but Jack was worried by the look on his husband’s face.  The older man knew something was wrong.

“Um, Sara can't come today.  What are we going to do?  Janet's out of town, Sam has to come with us, the General's at the SGC, Lou and Carolyn are on vacation ...”

“We take them with us,” Jack replied.

“Through the Stargate?”

“No, of course not.  Look, Megan has that meeting this morning in Denver.  We're not going off-world until the afternoon, so let's take the babies to the Mountain for the morning.  She can meet us there, and we'll do the exchange.  We'll have her bring Karissa.  They love Karissa as much as they do Megan.”

“Rissa!” Little Danny cheered.  “Rissa cute; like Rissa.”

The two men were stunned, but they didn't argue.  They knew Little Danny was fond of her, but this was the first time he'd said it out loud.  Still, they were surprised at the nickname.

“Son, her name is Karissa.”

“Rissa my name,” the middle Munchkin said as he smiled shyly.  “Just me.”

“Oh, okay,” Daniel acknowledged.  **Gawd, Jack, first Noa and Teal'c, and now Little Danny and Karissa?**

**Rissa, Love.**

Daniel asked, “What about Noa?”

Jack thought, then shrugged and answered, “Maybe we can send ... Siler?  Let's check the schedule when we get to the Mountain.  If worse comes to worse, one of us will have to leave the base for awhile.”  After a pause, he communicated, **Danny ...**

**Not yet.**

Daniel wasn't intending to hold out on Jack.  He just didn't want to say anything in front of the children, and truth be told, he needed a few minutes to process the information.  He'd grown to love Sara, and not only that, he trusted her so much that should anything happen to him and Jack, she was part of their backup plan for the children.

“How are we going to do this?  I mean, at the SGC,” Daniel asked.

“I've got the perfect solution.”

====

“Isn't this great?” Jack asked boastfully.

“Oh, yeah, great.  I just hope I don't need anything from over there,” Daniel asked with is arms folded across his chest.

Jack had brought their ToddlerTown playpen to the SGC.  The problem was, to set it up, they had to rearrange Daniel's office, and it was a tight fit.

“Jack, you are planning on staying here?”

“I have reports to file,” Jack answered, indicating he would be going to his own office, leaving his husbands with the babies.

“Jack!”

“The information is in my office.  Where am I supposed to work, Daniel?”

“Fine.  Go,” Daniel said dryly as he walked away from his husband and stared intently at ToddlerTown, watching the five children playing.

As Jack watched Daniel's demeanor, he knew the harsh tone had nothing to do with where Jack was planning on working.

====

Concerned about whatever had upset his lover, Jack made a quick phone call, and two minutes later, Sam was in Daniel's office babysitting while Jack took his unresisting husband topside for a quick walk.

“Okay, Love, out with it,” Jack ordered.

With a nod, Daniel explained, “Sara found a cyst, Jack; they're doing a biopsy today.”

“What?”

“She's confident it's nothing, but ... gawd, Jack,” Daniel expressed, leaning into his lover's hold.

The two embraced, holding on tightly to each other.  Jack tried to process the news he'd just been told.  He kept telling himself it was nothing, but his heart was pounding loudly, and he had a lump in his throat.

“She'll be okay, Danny,” Jack said softly, trying to convince himself as much as his husband.

“I love her, Jack.”

“So do, I.  Okay,” Jack said, still choked up, but needing the distraction of work to overcome the worries he knew they were both feeling.  “We have a lot to do today.  You told her to call.”

“I made her promise.”

“Okay, well, let's get to work.  We can't put off going off-world, and even if we could, there isn't anything we can do for Sara at the moment, so let's just focus and tonight ... let's go.”

The lovers couldn't even fathom what they'd do without Sara.  She was family, and a good friend to both men.  Both silently prayed for the health of the woman they both cared for dearly.

====

“Sara, that's great news,” Jack replied enthusiastically a few days later.  “They're sure?”

“Positive, Jack.  Not a drop of cancer.  I'm sorry you two were so worried,” Sara replied.

“Yeah, we were, big time.”

“I tried not to tell him, Jack.  I remember how hard he took Kayla's death.”

Smiling, the happy generally spoke,  “He's going to be very happy; he loves you, you know.

“He's a special man.  Tell him I love him, too, and am very happy to have him in my corner.”

“I'll tell him,” Jack agreed, suddenly feeling lighter than he had just five minutes ago.

“Take care, Jack.  I'll see you next week.  Tuesday, right?”

“Yeah, Tuesday,” the man confirmed.

“Bye.”

“Sara?”

“Yes?”

“I ...” Jack paused, silence filling the air.  ~Words; hate words.~

“I know, Jack,” the blonde assured softly.

“Do you?  It's important, and I'm just not very good with words,” Jack sighed.

“I know.”

“I love you, Sara,” Jack spoke gently, needing to say the words.

“I love you, too, Jack.  See you on Tuesday.”

“Tuesday.  Bye now.”

Jack took a giant breath as he let the phone drop to his lap.  He was on the sofa in the study, completely alone and away from young eyes.  He leaned forward, putting his head in his hands.  Slowly, he raised his head until the tips of his fingers pressed only against chin.

“Thank you.  She's a good woman.”

“Jack?” Daniel called out a bit before reaching the study.  “Are you in here?”

“Hey, come here,” Jack said, extending his left hand out towards his husband.

“You talked to Sara?” the younger man asked as he sat down next to Jack.

Jack's arm went around Daniel's shoulder, and he tugged him close as he informed, “Yes, and she's fine.”

“Are you sure?” Daniel queried, wanting to believe but afraid to at the same time.

“Oh, yeah.  I checked her doctors.  They know their stuff,” Jack responded.

“She's fine?”

“Fine,” Jack answered softly.

Daniel sighed as he let the good news sink in and then admitted, “I've been thinking about Kayla all day.”

“Me, too,” Jack said in reference to Kayla Armentrout, the birth mother of the Munchkins and the twins who had died earlier in the year.

“Jack, we don't say thanks enough to Sara and Mark.  I mean, do you realize just how much our life impacts theirs?  We need to let them know that ... that ...”

“Danny, they know.  They're family.”  Jack kissed the top of Daniel's head as they huddled together.  He whispered, “They know.”

====

Due to J-O Enterprises business, Daniel hadn't been to the SGC in ten days.  On this particular day, Jack had an early meeting to attend and had taken care of all the various children drop-offs for the morning.  Daniel had been allowed to sleep in, something he seldom got to do anymore.

As he parked his Shelby-American in the SGC parking lot, the archaeologist was extremely curious.  When he had awoken, he'd found a teasing note from his husband pinned to his chest.

“I have surprises for you.  Meet you in your office at 1100 hours.”

That's what the note had said, and Daniel couldn't wait to find out what the surprises were.

At precisely 11 a.m., Daniel entered his office.  It looked the same, and then a grinding noise drew his attention.

“What the ...”

To Daniel's amazement, the rear wall of his office began to move, sliding up into the ceiling slowly.  His eyes were glued to the wall as it worked its way upward.

Essentially, what Jack had done was combine Daniel's corner office with the room behind it.  Instead of a regular wall, they had installed a sliding wall between the two rooms, similar to the doors that blocked the corridors during shutdowns, moving up and down to open or close.  The end result was that the couple now had twice the space available to them.

“Surprise!” Jack exclaimed with a huge grin on his face.

Hearing his lover's voice, Daniel asked, “Jack, what's going ... on?”

Daniel's words had begun while he was still looking upwards, but the last word had been spoken once he had lowered his head and spotted Jack and his children.  He was stunned to see the Munchkins in ToddlerTown.  Actually, it wasn't ToddlerTown, but a smaller version of it, one that fit better in the space afforded them.

“S'prise, Daddy,” Aislinn said, cheering after the wall finished moving up.

“Su'prise!” Jonny said, his voice full of laughter.

“Daddy like su'prise?  TT -- play here,” Little Danny said as he held his stuffed camel from Egypt in his hands.

**Did you get that?** Jack asked, wanting to make sure his lover understood the surprise.

**They play, and we work.**

**Exactly,** Jack acknowledged.  “And the best part,” he said, pointing to the room next to Daniel's office, “is that on the days when we have to bring the children here, this will become my office.  It has everything I need here to do my duties, and then we can both watch the kids.  If I need to do something officialish, I'll use my regular office.  If you need peace and quiet, we close the door.”

“Jack, it's perfect.”

“Daddy like, Dad,” Little Danny said.

“I do ... a lot,” the younger man concurred.

“Notice anything else?” Jack questioned, practically bobbing on his feet in eagerness for his husband to notice the rest of the surprise.

“What?”

“I thought you were observant,” Jack smirked.

Daniel looked all around Jack's new office and then back at his own, trying to figure out what his lover was talking about.  Then Jack walked over and kissed him, causing the toddlers to laugh.

“Dad and Daddy kissing in 'fice,” Aislinn sing-songed.

“Oh, gawd, what a thing to be on ...”  Daniel stopped and pulled back, looking upwards at the corners in all directions.  Stunned, he looked back at Jack who stood proud as a peacock.  “No cameras.”

“Not exactly.”  Jack moved to the corner of Daniel's office where some shelves were.

Daniel noticed something new there, a closed compartment at the top of the shelf.

“Watch this,” the older man instructed as he pulled out a remote control.  He pressed the button and the compartment opened.  With another press of the button, the camera positioned itself appropriately, moving outward slightly.  “There's one in the other office too, covered up like this one.  They're Carter's inventions.  Danny, these are always off unless we turn them on.”

“Privacy,” Daniel said with a smile.  “I'll bet General Armstrong wasn't happy.”

“Armstrong is never happy, but he doesn't run this place; Hammond does,” Jack responded.

“And he agreed?”

“With one proviso.”

“What's that?” the younger man asked curiously.

“Just if things ever get dicey, if the base reaches DEFCON 3, we turn them on, without question.  In fact, he asked Carter to rig them so that they'd turn on automatically if the DEFCON 3 went into effect.  I told him that was liveable.”

“I can ... live with that.  Thank you, Jack,” Daniel said, leaning in for a long, lingering kiss.  Then he moved to the miniature ToddlerTown.  “So, Munchkins, are you staying at work with Dad and me today?”

“Just vis'ing,” Little Danny answered.

“I'm going to take them to Sara's now.  I just thought you might like the visual aid.”

“I do.  Thank you, Love, and thank you, Munchkins.  Love you all so much!” Daniel spoke happily.

====

“Wow, what a day.  Jack, that was such a great idea about the offices.  It works for both of us,” Daniel expressed with contentment.

“I don't imagine there'll be a lot of days when we'll need to take any of the younger kids, but if we do, now we're prepared.  Oh, Danny, I devised a backup plan, too.  I didn't have a chance to show you today.  Hold on a second.”

The couple had been relaxing in front of the fireplace.  All the children were asleep, and Bijou and Katie were enjoying the warm fire with Jack and Daniel.  As Jack went after whatever it was he needed, Daniel scooted over to pet the girls, both of whom rolled over so he could pat their bellies.  He laughed as he lovingly obliged the two beagles.

“Here we go,” Jack said, returning to his previous position with several pieces of paper.  “I thought we needed to have some plans in place in case anything ever happens at the Mountain, and we have the kids with us, so I talked to Carter, and we put this together.”

Daniel scooted back over and studied the papers Jack handed him.  They outlined various scenarios that might take place and what they'd do if the children were with them at the SGC.

“Wow, it covers so many contingencies,” the impressed younger man noted.

“Can you think of others?”

“Yeah, a couple, but this ... this is really great, Babe,” Daniel praised.

“Have to protect the brood,” Jack responded.  “Danny, there is one more thing, just precautionary.”

“What?”

“You know how quickly things turn crazy, and sometimes we have to respond at a second's notice.”

“Right,” Daniel acknowledged.

“I think we need to find someone specific, and anytime we have the brood with us, that person is solely responsible for guarding the kids,” the older man suggested.

“Their own bodyguard: in our offices?”

“Outside the office.  I thought we could come up with something to keep them close, so they'd be right there if the alarm sounded or we were called.”

“So out of our hair, but ...” Daniel began.

“There in a flash,” Jack completed.

Nodding, Daniel responded, “I like that, but it has to be someone we trust, Jack.”

“We can talk about that.”

“Jack, I know,” Daniel said excitedly.  “What about Nyan?”

Nyan had been on Earth for several years now.  He'd helped SG-1 out of a dangerous situation when they'd visited his home world of Bedrosia.  He'd subsequently been given refugee status on Earth and had begun working as a research assistant for Daniel almost from the second he'd first arrived through the Stargate.  He was an easy going archaeologist who had proven himself to be courageous and open minded.

Daniel continued, “When we bring the kids, he can easily work in the general lab.  It's just across from my office and down a few yards.  He'd be close by, easily available.  Jack, the children would love Nyan.”

Jack nodded, considering it for a moment, and then agreeing, “Hammond would like that; wouldn't pull an SF off their regular routine, and I trust Nyan, too.  He's capable, reliable, and ...”

“You trust him.”

“I trust him,” Jack said with a smile.  “Little Danny will drive him crazy with questions.”

Daniel laughed and then commented, “And that's why Nyan would be perfect.  I think he'd be patient with the children, and we could talk to him about what kind of things they can or can't know.”

“Do you think he'd do it, without being ordered to?”

“Jack,” Daniel spoke almost as if the word had been a chastisement.

“Okay, let's talk to him.  Danny, Nyan shares workspace with some of the other civilians, right?”

“Yes.”

“Would it be inappropriate to just give him his own workspace; let him use that general lab full time?” Jack asked, thinking their lives would be even easier if they didn't have to go searching for the Bedrosian.

“He'd love that.”

“And what about the others?  Jealousy?”

“We move people around all the time, Jack,” Daniel spoke.  “Besides, Nyan's due for some recognition.  He's really been helpful over the years.  I was talking with Margorie last week, and she said they finally found the link between ...”

“Danny?”

“Hmm?”

“Let's not talk shop.”

Daniel smiled and said, “The point is, I feel comfortable making a request for Nyan to get that space; he's earned it.”

“Okay, then,” Jack agreed, kissing his husband.

“Thank you, Love, for doing all of this.”

The lovers kissed again.  Kissing was one of their very favorite things to do in the entire universe.

“Being back part-time at the SGC has been good, Danny, but we just didn't think of everything at first,” Jack said.  “Our needs have changed.”

“Everything good needs to be tweaked from time to time,” Daniel agreed.

“Yeah, just a few modifications,” Jack added.

“I love you, Jack.”

“I love you, too, Angel.”

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