Munchkin Racers

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Drama, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - March 1 - April 11, 2014
Spoilers:  None
Size:  28kb, ficlet
Written:  June 13-15, August 1-4,13, 2009
Summary:  The Munchkins are off to the races, taking their entire family along for the ride.
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:  Navi!

Munchkin Racers
by Orrymain

“Ash, we need more speed,” Jenny called out frantically to her sister.  “Go faster!”

“She'll never beat me,” Jonny boasted as he adjusted his helmet, ready to race.

Ricky couldn't help but laugh, causing his older brother to glare at him.  The Spitfire just shrugged, holding his hands out to indicate his innocence.

Wanting to encourage his fellow male triplet, Little Danny interjected, “Don't worry, Jonny.  You might beat Ash today ... maybe.  I mean, it's possible.”

“Thanks,” Jonny sighed, wondering just whose side Little Danny was on when it came to their racing.

It was true that the youngest Munchkin had the best racing record of the triplets.  Jonny tried hard, but somehow, his little sister by minutes managed to outrace just about everyone on the track.

~And she's a girl,~ the sandy-haired boy bemoaned silently, although a smile broke out that was full of pride.  He remembered two weeks ago when Aislinn powered her way past their racing arch-rival, Billy Carpenter.  He was two years older than they were, and he had an smug and arrogant attitude.  Aislinn's surprising win had been cause for a huge celebration.  Pridefully, he thought, ~She's a Munchkin!~

The race was about to begin, and the entire family was on hand to watch the triplets race.

====

A few days later, Jack and Daniel were at George Hammond's home, having been requested to drop by for a serious conversation. From his favorite chair in the brightly lit sunroom, the retired lieutenant general just chuckled at the two men sitting across from him, slack jawed.  What they'd just heard had come as a total surprise, and if they went along, it would effectively dictate much of how the next few months would go.

“Sir, are you sure about this?” Jack questioned.

“We, uh, appreciate what you want to do, but it's ... it's really too much,” Daniel added.

“Jack, Daniel, these are my grandchildren we're talking about.  A few years ago, the Munchkins were a part of giving me this entire room,” Hammond reminded, waving his hand around their surroundings.  “I want to give them something special,” he explained.  “They love to race, and I've heard them talking about these cars.  They're not having as much fun in those go-karts.”

“It's a big commitment, Jack, for us and for them,” Daniel pointed out.

“It would have to be the priority, if they decided they wanted to race the schedule,” Jack acknowledged.

“You know they will,” Daniel asserted.

“Now I understand if this is too much, but I can't think of anything more exciting than to sponsor Team Munchkin,” Hammond added.  “You two think about it, and let me know.  I have the order on hold.”

“We'll get back to you, General,” Jack replied.

====

“Bandoleros,” Daniel mused as he sat up in bed that evening.  “Whoever thought of that as a name for race cars?”

“Mister Bandolero?” Jack quipped.

“Right,” the younger man responded dryly.  “Jack, I don't think we could commit to a full season, not with our schedules.”

“Racing in these buggers is year-round.  The little leagues all have summer and winter seasons, and then there's just racing.”

“The little leagues?” Daniel questioned about the use of the baseball term.  “Buggers?”

“You know what I mean.”

“We still can't make a full season commitment, summer or winter,” the younger man sighed.

“So, they don't win the big trophy,” Jack stated.  “Is that what this is about?” he asked with eyes full of wisdom.

Daniel chuckled and leaned his head back against his king-size pillow.

“What'd I say?” the older man queried, placing a shirt in its proper drawer.

“The absolutely perfect thing to say, Babe,” Daniel acknowledged with a sigh.  “For a minute there that's what I was thinking about, that they'd have to race the full season and ...”

“Win?”

“No, I don't care if they win, but I was thinking about them trying to win,” Daniel admitted with a smile.

From his spot near the dresser, Jack grinned and jumped onto the bed.  He settled in on his left side, leaning his head against the palm of his hand as he braced himself up on his elbow.  Looking up at his husband, he wiggled his eyebrows expectantly.

“What?” Daniel couldn't help but ask as he gazed back into his lover's eyes.

“I love it when you sound like me,” Jack practically cackled.

“Oh, gawd, don't say that,” Daniel mused mockingly.  “We reversed roles again.”

“Love you, Angel,” Jack declared, leaning up for a kiss.

“I love you, too, Jack, so freakin' much,” Daniel responded as his hands loosely gripped his husband's neck.

A few more kisses later, the couple returned to the conversation of the night.

“Hammond Racing,” Jack tossed out with a smile.

“Jack, do you have any idea how much those cars cost?”  Seeing his Love's puzzled expression, Daniel answered his own question.  “They're about $7,500.”

“A piece?”

“A piece,” Daniel confirmed, having done some research that evening on the internet.  “Used ones are half that, but I think the general is thinking new.”

“They are his grandkids,” Jack reminded proudly.  “Danny, if our own parents were alive, they couldn't have been any more supportive of our children than Hammond is.”

“He's amazing,” Daniel concurred.  “I think that's why we should go ahead and do this, even with the yearly costs that we'll incur.  Besides, it'll be a family venture.  Jen will love to keep the cars in shape.”

“Jenny, too,” Jack added.  “They can be car chiefs.”

“One thing, though.”

“What one?” Jack teased, knowing he'd phrased his query in a goofy manner.

“How do we get all three cars to the tracks?  Most families have one car with one trailer or hauler.  We'd have three.”

“We'll buy one of Gordon's old haulers,” Jack laughed about the legendary Jeff Gordon.  “If they can get two full size Chevys in there, we can get three Bandoleros.”

“Right,” Daniel laughed, shaking his head at his husband's statement.  “*Where* do we park a semi-truck?”

Jack rolled over onto his back and stared up at the ceiling, trying to figure out the solution.

“Those little things aren't very big, Danny.”  Still in thought, Jack put forth, “I'll bet Carter and Siler could modify a trailer to hold three.”

“I'll bet they could,” Daniel agreed.  “I'm also guessing that we're nitpicking.”

Jack looked up at his Heart and responded, “You mean the real question is just whether or not we want to enter the racing game and everything else is just ...”

“... a technicality,” Daniel completed for his spouse.

“There's that.”

“They'd have fun.”

“*We'd* have fun,” Jack corrected.

“And they can drive the Bandoleros for years, Babe,” Daniel pointed out.

“They've proven they want to race,” Jack noted. “All three of them enjoy their competitions.”

“Against others or with themselves?” the archaeologist chuckled.

“Both.”

There was a pause, the lovers just gazing into each other's eyes.

Finally, Daniel nodded and queried, almost rhetorically, “We're going to do it, aren't we?”

“Yeahsureyoubetcha,” Jack sing-songed happily.

====

Two weeks later, General Hammond and the Munchkins arrived at the local racetrack.  As far as the triplets knew, this was just another outing with their much-loved grandfather.  Their parents were supposed to be at home with their siblings.

“Grandpa, the go-karts are over there,” Jonny pointed out as he stretched out his free hand, the other being held by the bald-headed gentleman who had a happy expression on his face.

“We're going over there,” Hammond advised, nodding with his head to a spot at the other side of the track.

“We aren't racing today?” Aislinn asked curiously, her face showing her disappointment.

“Not exactly.”

“Hey, it's Dad and Daddy!” Little Danny exclaimed, surprised at seeing his parents in the distance.

Jack and Daniel were standing in front of the three surprises.  Their arms were folded across their chests and they were standing with their legs slightly apart. They looked fierce.

“Jonny, Ash -- Bandoleros!” the middle Munchkin called out.

Breaking away from Hammond's hold, Jonny took off running, as did Little Danny and Aislinn, all three coming to a dead halt when they saw their parents' stern looks.

“Your grandfather has something to tell you,” Jack stated, acting as if he were addressing raw recruits.  “Eyes to Grandpa.”

Obediently, the excited triplets did an about face, waiting for their grandfather to approach.  They'd left him quite a bit behind in their sprint to the cars.

“At ease,” Hammond chuckled, seeing how straight and attentive the children's demeanors were.  “One of my joys in my retirement has been watching you three race.  I'm darn proud of how well you represent your family on the track.  You race with respect and with daring.  I like that.”

The Munchkins were all grins.  They'd been racing as long as they could remember, first in little toy cars and now in go-karts.  They loved it.  The three always tried to out-do each other, but in the end, they were a team, and as long as they did their best, they'd had a good race.

“I'm starting a racing team: Team Munchkin,” Hammond announced.  “You're my stars.”  He was surprised to see even broader smiles on the triplets' faces. “Your parents are my partners.  We're looking for three Munchkins to drive these Bandoleros over there.  Any vol...”  He laughed happily seeing all three kids not just step forward, but leap forward, all the way into his arms.  “I thought so.”

“Are they really for us, Grandpa?” Aislinn asked as she looked up at Hammond with bright, hopeful eyes.

“Go take a look.”

“Go on,” Jack urged when the Munchkins looked over at their parents for permission.

Eagerly, the three ran past Jack and Daniel, going directly to the three cars.

“Ahhh!” Aislinn gasped in amazement, bringing her hands to her face.

On one of the cars, there was a lightning bolt and the moniker, 'Ash the Flash', which was her driving nickname.

“I love it!” the little girl exclaimed as she began to examine her new racing car.

“Little Danny, look at mine,” Jonny called out.

Little Danny chuckled at the name that adorned his brother's Bandolero. 'General Jonny' was written on the top frame of the door, just as if he were a professional NASCAR racer.

“You made general, Jonny.”

“What's yours say?” Jonny asked inquisitively, running over to the other vehicle to get a look.  “Dirt Digger,” he giggled.

“That's me!” Little Danny replied brightly.

====

“Dad, out!” Jennifer ordered, looking more like a grease monkey than a girl as she waved a wrench dangerously to the general.

Jack chuckled at the sight, especially when he looked over at Brianna and Jenny, who also resembled a well-oiled gas station attendant.  Of course, much of that was part of the Team Munchkin work suits that Jennifer and Chenoa had made for the official helpers.

It was the end of the month and since Team Munchkin had been born, everyone had been studying all the Bandolero regulations while learning more about how to drive them.  Paint schemes had been decided while the needed extras were also being purchased.  Sam, Siler, and Lou Ferretti were working on the travel trailer, modifying a U-haul vehicle to fit all three cars.

“Can't I watch?” the general responded, mocking being hurt by his oldest daughter's rebuke.

“Jack!”

The general looked over at his ex-wife, Sara Wilson.  He knew that stare, and it said 'move your butt or bare the consequences', ~and she does mean 'bare'.~

With an accepting grunt, Jack turned around and went back inside the Wilson home.  The Wilson's garage was large and didn't have much in it, so the initial Bandolero review was being done here.

“How are they doing?” Daniel asked while wrestling with Ricky on the floor of the living room.

“You wouldn't know they were cars,” Jack answered, scratching the right side of his cheek as he frowned slightly.  “Danny, I swear, they've taken them all apart.”

Mark Wilson laughed while braiding Madeline's, his youngest daughter, hair.

“What's so funny?”

“Sara,” Mark answered.  “She loves to take things apart.”

“So does Jonny,” Daniel interjected.

“And Jenny,” Ricky added as he tried to push his wresting father's arm down.

“What's the point?” Jack questioned about the happening in the garage.  “Those cars are brand new.”

“They want to understand them, Jack,” Daniel put forth.  “What better way of learning about a Bandolero than to take it apart and put it back together, piece by piece?”

“Crazy,” Jack sighed as he sat down and gently pulled one of Madeline's just-braided pigtails.

“What about you?” the archaeologist teased his opponent, getting a scowl in response, which only made him laugh.

“Say 'uncle',” Ricky ordered as he pinned the willing archaeologist to the carpet.

“Ich gebe auf,” Daniel responded.

“I said say 'uncle', Daddy, not that you give up,” Ricky complained in exasperation, fully understanding his linguist father's German words.

“Mi arrendo,” the linguist replied.

“Daddy, that's just Italian for giving up. I want you to say 'uncle'!” the Spitfire insisted.

Daniel laughed and conceded, “Okay, uncle.”

Ricky cheered and put his hands together in a victory clutch, waving them in the air, first on the right side and then on the left side.

Offhandedly, Jack offered, “I would have said 'kroykah'.”

“What language is that, Jack?” Mark inquired with curiosity.

“Vulcan.”

Mark laughed, while Daniel rolled his eyes and then began to tickle his victorious wrestling Spitfire.

====

“They're gonna win,” Jack proclaimed with all the confidence of a proud father.  He looked at his husband, who was just staring at the three Bandoleros in the distance.  “Danny, you okay?”

“Wha...huh?” Daniel muttered, glancing at his lover in confusion.  He sighed, “Sorry, Babe.  I can't believe they all made the feature race.”

“They're the Munchkins,” Jack chuckled.

“Team Munchkin is one heck of a team,” Hammond boasted, his face smiling brightly.

“That they are, Sir,” Daniel agreed.

Jack, Daniel, and General Hammond were standing together, waiting for the Munchkins to return to their pit area.  The triplets had all just placed high enough in one of the two six-lap heats to qualify for the big race.  In just a few minutes, they'd be running another fifteen laps against other Bandolero drivers from all across the country.

As Jonny, Little Danny, and Aislinn approached their family, their siblings began to clap and cheer from their nearby spot.  Since this was the Munchkins first race in their Bandoleros, Jack and Daniel had flown the entire family to Houston for the race.  Sara had come as well, though Mark and their girls couldn't make it.  Teal'c and Janet were on the scene, as were Lou and Carolyn Ferretti.

“Hey, Munchkins, stand still for a second!” Jeff requested as he quickly turned his camera to his siblings to take a picture.

Turning back to the cheerleading squad, the budding photographer laughed and continued to capture their family moments on film.

The group, consisting of Jennifer, Lulu, Chenoa, and JD, was waving around pom-poms in the colors of the Munchkins' Bandoleros, while the others were shouting their encouragement.

“Jonny, don't gun it around turn 2,” Car Chief Jenny called out supportively.  “You're overdriving.”

Jack looked over at his favorite redhead and asked his husband, “Danny, when did Jenny learn about overdriving?”

“Kyle Busch?” the younger man returned in question.

The older man's focus switched to Daniel, his face going from confusion to a scour expression as he responded, “Please, Daniel.  I just ate.”

Daniel chuckled and then the family's attention turned to the pre-feature race preparations.

====

On his haunches, Daniel looked into the faces of his three first-born children and encouraged, “Do your best.  That's all Dad and I want from you.  What's the important thing?”

“Having fun!” Little Danny answered.

“Exactly,” the archaeologist affirmed.

“And if someone cuts you off?” the younger father asked.

“We ge...” Jonny began, stopping before he got himself into big trouble.  “We take a big breath and keep on racing.”

Daniel ignored Jack's laugh.  The general was standing behind him, listening to the pre-race pep talk of sorts.

“What counts?” Daniel challenged the elder Munchkin.

Jonny sighed, “Having good sportsmanship.”

“Thank you,” Daniel acknowledged with a tiny smile.  “Listen, only one person can win this race, but you're all winners as long as you do your best.  First or last, it doesn't matter.  I mean, uh, look at you.  Your very first Bandolero race, and you're all three in the feature.  You've already made us proud.”  He paused and then enthusiastically urged, “Go get 'em!”

Jack and Daniel hugged their children and were about to supervise the triplets getting into their cars, when the trio moved away a few feet and got into one of their now-famous huddles.  The parents couldn't hear what the Munchkins were saying.  They never could.  It was only the last part of the huddle that could ever be heard.

Sure enough, all of a sudden, the three children put their hands together and called out loudly, “Munchkin Power!”

Off to the side, Jack cocked his head and asked quietly, “Daniel, do you think we'll ever know what they say in those huddles of theirs?”

“Probably not,” Daniel replied with his own curious but resigned sigh.

“I didn't think so.”

“Team Munchkin, status,” General Hammond called out as he walked over to wish his racing team good luck.

Standing at attention, Jonny smiled and reported, “Team Munchkin ready to race and win, Sir!”

Aislinn swatted her brother and offered in a bit more of a relaxed tone, “We're ready to have fun, Grandpa.  Thank you!”

“Good luck, Munchkins,” Hammond offered, smiling when the three ran over for hugs.

“Kids, it's time,” Jack called out.  “Be good sports,” he heard himself say, grimacing slightly.  “And ...”

“Jack!” Daniel interrupted, having a strong hunch that his lover was about to advise the children to win.

“And ... do your best,” Jack urged, getting an approving look from his husband.

“We will!” all three Munchkins exclaimed as they headed for their cars.

Daniel walked over to his lover, standing right beside him as he opined, “You know, Jack.  I'm not worried about them at all.”

“Neither am I,” Jack responded confidently.

“We're another story.”

“We are?” Jack questioned in surprise.

“Good sportsmanship aside, I want them to win,” Daniel admitted.  “Gawd, I hate that.”

Jack laughed, “There's all kinds of winning, Danny.”

Daniel stared at his lover for a second before responding, “I think I'm gonna be sick.” Seeing Jack's confused stare, the archaeologist sighed, “Sometimes this reversal of roles thing is hard to take.”

“Because you want them to win,” Jack surmised.

“No.  Yes.  No.  Gawd.”

Once again, Jack laughed.  He'd put his arm around his soulmate, but this was a family place, and even after all these years, they still respected the choices of other families and never flaunted their relationship in these types of situations.

“Don't worry, Daniel,” Jack replied once he stopped laughing.  “Your secret is safe with me.”

“I really just want to do well,” Daniel stated sincerely.

“But if one of them wins ...”

“That would be okay, too,” the younger man chuckled.

====

The cheers were loud, deafening even.  The Jackson-O'Neill cheerleaders weren't shy about rooting on the Munchkins.  Jack had been shouting encouraging words the entire way, and with the final lap on the horizon, Daniel's yells were now louder than anyones.  He had no idea when he'd suddenly become competitive, but he figured it had to be a side effect of being married to Jack O'Neill.  That was as good of an excuse as anything else he could think of at the moment.

It was a cacophony of loud voices, rooting on the triplets as they fought for position.  They were on the final lap, racing their hearts out.

When the checkered flag waved, the cheers escalated.  Jack pumped his fists, and Daniel did an excited version of his patented Danny Dance.  There was joy in the Jackson-O'Neill camp.

Over the public address system, the announcer reiterated the results and noting how unusual it was.  It had been quite the race.

~Team Munchkin,~ General Hammond mused.  ~They're almost as good as SG-1.~

====

Back at home the next evening with most of the children already in bed and sound asleep, Jack and Daniel stood arm in arm as they stared at the 8x10 photograph on the mantle that commemorated the first venture of the Hammond's racing team.  They hadn't yet decided where the photo would ultimately be hung, but for now, the family wanted to see the photograph placed prominently to help relive the thrill of their trip to Houston.

“Who'd ever believe it?” Daniel laughed, shaking his head as he looked at the picture.

“The Munchkins?” Jack put forth.

“And their Munchkin power.  It, uh ... works, apparently.”

The photograph included the entire brood and their family of friends who had gone with them to Houston, but in the center was General Hammond, looking as proud as a peacock.  Standing in front of him with big grins were the second and third place finishers, and on his shoulders was the race winner -- the Dirt Digger, Little Danny Jackson-O'Neill. His smile was the biggest of all.  It had been a Munchkin 1-2-3 finish, an incredible fete, with Aislinn finishing second and Jonny third.

Daniel continued, “Jonny and Ash were great with Little Danny.”

“They were great with each other,” Jack pointed out.  “They all want to win, but they want one another to win just as much.”

The younger man nodded and turned so that the lovers were now facing each other.

“I worry too much.”

“Are you just now figuring that out?” Jack teased.

“No,” Daniel replied, his hands now warming his lover's back as they grew closer together.

“Danny, it's okay to want them to win.”

“I know,” Daniel acknowledged.  “Jack?”

“That's my name,” the older man joked.  Jack saw the stern look and added, “I love you.”

“Sure you do.”

“You *know* I do,” Jack insisted.

“And I know that *how*?” Daniel asked pointedly.

Jack looked around and decided it was just too risky to do anything here in the living room, so he suggested, “Let's go upstairs, and I'll show you.”

“Show me what?”

Talking in a low, husky voice, Jack answered, “We'll let down the walls, and I'll ...”

By the time Jack was finished with his seductive overtones, Daniel was at the stairs.  He paused, looking back at his lover.

“Are you *coming*?”

“Oh, yeah.  Any time now.  It's gonna be a *long,* *hard* night,” Jack chimed as he headed for the stairs.

“Right,” Daniel agreed anxiously as he began up the stairs.  “We'll be up and down all night.”

“In and out,” Jack added.

“It'll be a ...”

The lovers disappeared up the stairs and into the privacy of their bedroom for their own race, one of the heart and soul and one in which they were both winners of the best and most loving kind.

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