The Name Game

Author: Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Humor, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  8 - July 8-10, 2004
Spoilers:  Emancipation (very small)
Size:  52kb
Written:  December 9-10, 2003, January 17-18,30, February 25-26, March 2,10, 2004  Revised for consistency:  March 6-7, 2007
Summary:  Jack and Daniel celebrate Daniel's birthday while pondering names for their future children.
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 other fic(s), “Kayla”
4) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Charlotte, Drdjlover, Claudia, Jackette, Kalimyre, Karen C.!

The Name Game
by Orrymain

“Jack, no!” Daniel argued as he looked out the window as the plane taxied to the runway.

The lovers were on their way Las Vegas, where they'd be celebrating Daniel's birthday.  The first part of their trek was to Salt Lake City, to meet with Kayla Armentrout, Janet's niece, to discuss the possibility of her becoming the surrogate mother to their children.  At the end of their visit, Kayla had innocently asked which of the two men would be the first to father a child.  It was a subject that was still being debated on the trip to the Nevada gambling mecca.

“Danny, listen to me, please.  I've had a son.  I know what it's like to watch him being born, to hold him, to change his diaper, to wipe away his tears.  I know what it feels like to watch him walk across the room to you for the first time, to hear him say 'Da Da', to see that smile that's only for you because you're his hero.  Danny, please, I want that for you.  I need you to know what that feels like.”

“I will, Love, but why does it matter so much to you that I'm first?  We're both going to have babies.”

“Because ...” Jack sighed, “I'm scared.  I'm ready to have children again.  You know that, but still, I think I need a little buffer.  Geez, Daniel, please don't misunderstand that.”

Daniel smiled and reached out to hold Jack's hand as they talked.  The flight attendants had just completed their pre-flight obligations for the short Salt Lake City to Las Vegas jaunt, and the plane was gaining speed as it zoomed down the runway.

“It would just make me feel more at ease if we began with you.  I really want to see you as you experience all those first time dad emotions.  Danny ... please?”

“Okay, Jack.”

“Okay?” Jack repeated in surprise, thinking the discussion would go on for months.  “That was easier than I thought it would be.”

Daniel chuckled, knowing he had surprised his spouse, “I guess the truth is I want to know, too.  Jack,” he said as the plane rose into the sky, the buildings looking more and more like Legos as it climbed into the air.  “For years, you've tried to tell me that it's okay to say what I want, and I want us to teach our children that, too ... that they should stand up for themselves.”

“Yeah.”

Squeezing Jack's hand slightly as he leaned his head against his shoulder, Daniel saw the plane ascending over the clouds and opined, “They need to know that compassion and kindness are important and their center, but they also need to know that there's nothing wrong in saying what they want or need, or in trying to do whatever they have to in order to obtain it ... as long as they aren't hurting others maliciously.  How can I teach them that, that's it okay to speak up for themselves, to express a desire, if I can't do it myself?”

Jack smiled and quietly asked, “What do you want, Danny?”

“I want to share that experience that you've already gone through.  I want to see our child being born, to know I helped make that happen.  Maybe it is selfish, but I want to know what it's like, too.”

“I love you, Angel.  You are going to be the best daddy in the universe.”

“You're exaggerating again,” Daniel replied.

“So, sue me!” Jack teased.

“But you are donating for the second baby, Jack.”

“Definitely.  Absolutely!” Jack agreed willingly.

Daniel added, “And we do it soon, like we talked about.  I mean, we want our babies close together, right?”

“Right.”

“No hedging, Jack.”

Jack shrugged as he asked, “Why would I hedge?  We want two babies.  We agreed.”

“It's just ... you know.”

Jack laughed, “Don't worry, Love.  I'm in full working order.  I have total confidence that my little airmen can do their job a year or two from now just as well as they could today.”

“Little airmen, Jack?”  Daniel shook his head with a small smile on his face as he thought about Jack's choice of words.  “Is that like the little colonel?”

Ignoring the latter question, the older man couldn't resist a little jab at his lover, saying, “At least they follow orders.”

“Right.  Like you can order them to ...” Daniel stopped, realizing their conversation was getting a tad too technical for a plane full of passengers.  “I think maybe we'd better not talk about this here.”

Jack nodded, but added, “I wish we could do more than we are to prepare.  I can't wait for our future to get here.”

“Me, too, but we can't do much more than we already are.”

Jack heard a bit of sadness in Daniel's tone and said, “It's just too risky, Love.  We can only do so much now if you want us to stay in for another year or so.”

“I know, but I still wish.”

The older man suggested, “We can still do the  research we've talked about.  Why don't we invite Syl over for dinner soon, and see if she has anything to offer that might help?”

“That's a good idea.”

For several minutes, the two held their hands tightly together.

Jack's head rested against the seat as he stared straight ahead, thinking, ~I love you, Danny.  Our future ... I can't wait until it's our present.~

Daniel had been watching the clouds, daydreaming about their future when he heard Jack's silent thoughts and replied via their special non-verbal communication.

**Me, too, Babe.  I wish I could hold you in my arms, Jack.  I hate hiding.**

**I could retire,** Jack responded as he turned to face Daniel and grinned.

**Don't start, Jack.**

**Spoil sport!  But I love you.  And when we get to Vegas, we can hold each other for the rest of the day.**

**Mmmm.  Sounds wonderful, just how I want to spend the rest of my birthday.**

====

Other than sharing their brief silent communication and desires, the two sat undisturbed until the flight attendant offered them something to drink.  Jack took a coke, and Daniel a cup of coffee.  Each enjoyed their beverage for a couple of minutes, and then Daniel broke their verbal silence.

“Jack?”

“Hmmm?”

“The last couple of months have been so tough on us, even with all the good stuff.  I know we're going to Las Vegas for my birthday; well, it was going to be our anniversary before ...”

“Our anniversary,” Jack interrupted.  “Can you believe it, Danny?  It's been six years since you made my wish come true and told me you loved me.”

“Six,” Daniel repeated softly, leaning his head back against the seat, a host of loving memories circulating through his mind.  “I love you, Jack,” he whispered.

“I love you, too, Angel.  I'm sorry.  I interrupted you.  What were you saying?”

“That I know our plans were to go to Vegas for the weekend, but you know where I'd really like to go?” Daniel questioned.

“Back to the cabin?” Jack surmised, knowing that their nation of two was all either man ever needed.

Daniel nodded, happy that his husband was seemingly on the same page.  More than anything, the young man wanted to return to their Minnesota retreat, a place that had become as much of a home to Daniel as their house in Colorado Springs.

“Even though we were just there, I ...”

“I know, Love,” Jack interjected, smiling lovingly at his husband.

“I'm not sure I want bright lights and loud noises right now.  I'd just like us to be together,” Daniel stated.  “You're more important to me than going to a place, and we can take the girls with us now that we know they love it there, too.  I just want us to be together, and maybe we can plan some more without interruptions.  I really want to start planning our future.”

“I like that idea.”

“Cabin,” Jack whispered.  “When we get in, we'll catch the first flight back to the Springs, get the girls, and then head to the cabin.  We can fly this time, unless you want to drive again.”

Hearing Jack laugh, Daniel asked, “What?”

“Just thinking about the girls.  They're so cute when they stick those floppy ears of theirs outside the windows,” Jack answered about their drive home last month.

“The only thing I don't like about flying is having them down in that hold,” Daniel admitted with concern.  “I've heard so many horror stories.”

“I could try and scrounge up an Air Force transport; see if these wings can hitch us a ride,” the colonel suggested.

Daniel chuckled as he visualized what Jack would do and teased, “You mean see if you could bully our way there?”

“I didn't get these babies by smiling, you know.”

Seductively, Daniel spoke in a low voice, “Wanna bet?”

“Danny, I was talking about ...” Jack stopped, realizing he was tapping on his own shoulder, a bald shoulder.  “Definitely doesn't say colonel on my uniform.”

“That's because you aren't wearing your uniform.”

“Thanks for pointing that out,” Jack spoke dryly.

“You're welcome,” Daniel chuckled, shaking his head in amusement.  “Let's decide how to get to the cabin after we get to COS.  And Jack?”

“Hmmm?”

“Just us ... I mean, I don't need anything ... I don't ... someone teach me how to talk.”

“I know what you mean, Love.  Just us, our children, nothing fancy,” Jack agreed.  “We'll celebrate your birthday quietly.”

“Just this year, Jack.  Okay?”

Jack nodded.  He knew what Daniel was talking about.  Jack always went over-the-top celebrating special days in their lives, and certainly his birthday was one of those.  This year, though, after so many ups and downs, he knew that what his lover wanted most of all was just quiet time to celebrate their love.  In the end, that had always meant more than anything they could buy or do for each other.

“How about we stop by the pet store and pick up a few supplies for the girls?  We don't really have much there for them, and if we're going to start taking them with us, we should make sure they have everything they want there, too.”

“Gawd, I love you.  Jack, you don't mind, do you?” the younger man questioned.

“What?  Bringing the girls with us?” Jack asked, seeing his lover nod.  “Geez, Danny, you should know better.  We're always going to have time just for us.”  He sighed, “Like you said, it's been a long year, and sometimes, My Love, family is really all we need to be happiest.”

“I love you.”

“You already said that.”

“But I do.  And not to sound like a broken record, but every time I think I couldn't possibly love you more, I do.”  Daniel's voice had cracked a little as he spoke, and then he cleared his throat, trying to regain control of his emotions.  “Sometimes I get so emotional,” he tried to laugh.

Jack released Daniel's hand to caress the young man's cheek for a moment.  They were on a commercial air flight, but Jack had his limits, and he could never resist comforting his lover when it was needed, and right now, it was needed.

“Wait until I get you home.  I'm going to fry every brain cell in your head.”

Daniel smiled at the promise, and, reaching up with his hand, took Jack's that was still rubbing against his face.  He leaned into it for a moment, and then turned his head to kiss the palm of Jack's hand.  He, too, knew they shouldn't be quite this brazen at that moment, but he had to admit it felt good, and he wanted the contact.

“Tough year, but also the best year.”

“The very best year ever,” Jack echoed.

For the rest of the flight, they made a checklist of things they needed to do before leaving for the cabin and what supplies to buy for Bijou and Katie, their cherished beagles slash children.

====

“Bijou, be careful!” Jack called out to the currently very hyper mama beagle who was chasing a squirrel around the front of the small cabin.

“Bij, get over here,” Daniel beckoned.

Bijou gave Daniel a look that seemed to say, 'but I'm having fun', but Daniel gave her a return glare and she trotted over to him and lay down as he directed.

Daniel was sitting upright, leaning against a tree.  He chewed on a dried piece of grass as he relaxed in the warm summer air.  Jack was lying down on his back against the grass, his body perpendicular to Daniel's seated position.  Jack's head was a few inches from Daniel's bare feet.  Bijou was lying down about a foot away from Daniel's right leg, and Katie was asleep on Jack's abdomen.

Daniel chuckled, getting Jack's attention away from his daydreaming and prompting him to inquire, “What's funny now?”

“I think Katie likes to listen to your heartbeat, too.”  Daniel saw his lover's smile and looked down as he explained shyly, “It makes me feel safe, Jack.  I love you.”

In response, Jack kissed the bottom of his husband's left foot.

“Hey, that tickles,” Daniel expressed as he pulled his foot away.

“Love you, too, Space Monkey.  Space Monkey Jackson-O'Neill.  Has a ring to it.”

“A far out ring,” Daniel replied as he shook his head in disbelief.

Jack rambled on, saying, “Works for me.  Space, Junior.  Can't you hear it, 'Hey, Monkey' just like in the Ray Stevens song.”

“Stop it, Jack,” Daniel laughed at his husband's lunacy.

“I'VE GOT IT!  Look!” Jack exclaimed as he pointed to a squirrel, a large grin on his face.

“No, Jack.”

“It would be a novelty,” the older man claimed.

“You're insane; too many times through the Stargate as Quack McKenzie would say.  You've lost it.”

“He'd be the talk of the town.”

“You mean the talk of the funny farm,” Daniel corrected about the proposed name.

“But, Danny, he'd be ... unique,” Jack argued laughingly.

“No, listen to me very carefully.  We are *not*, repeat *not* naming our son after a flying squirrel!”

“Aw, come on, Love.  Can't you see it?  Rocket J. Squirrel Jackson-O'Neill -- Squirrelly Jackson, for short.”

“Gawd, I'm married to a mad man, a delusional maniac even.”

Jack's laughing abdomen awoke the youngest beagle, who jumped off the older man and went to nestle against Bijou.  Jack turned to lay on his side, his head resting on the palm of his right hand, and his left hand massaging Daniel's feet, occasionally kissing his toes.

Daniel squirmed slightly with Jack's affectionate touches and kisses.  He was ticklish, and apparently, his toes were ticklish, too!  But he loved the attention.  He loved these simple times with Jack, talking about their future together with their children, even if Jack was a maniac.

“Please tell me you're joking, Jack.”

“Geez, you're beautiful,” Jack said as he kissed a trail all along the top of Daniel's feet, causing Daniel to giggle.  “Love it when you giggle.”

“I don't giggle,” Daniel refuted.

“Yes, you do.”

Looking at his husband over the rim of his glasses, Daniel put on his best 'I'm a scholar with multiple doctorates so couldn't possibly giggle' expression and said sternly, “Jack, archaeologists do not giggle.”

“Of course not,” Jack said as he licked the bottom of Daniel's feet causing Daniel to giggle again.  “And what was that, my little archaeologist?”

“It was ...”

Jack planted more kisses along Daniel's feet causing the younger man to make the same sound, even louder than before.

“You were saying?”  Jack smirked as he continued his actions, adding some finger-tickling motions to elicit even more giggles.

“Jaaaack!”

Ignoring the giggle conversation, Jack returned to the topic at hand, stating, “Yes, I was joking.  Please tell me you didn't really believe I'd name our son Squirrelly?”

“Well ...”

“Wet and deep, Daniel.”

Daniel ignored Jack, teasing, “With you, I can never be sure.”

“A squirrel?  Come on, Babe, I'm not that wacky.  Now Jay Jay the ...” Jack began.

“No, Jack!”

“I love you,” the older man intoned, having the time of his life yanking his lover's chain as they teased about naming their children.

Daniel replied, “Me, too, but we do need to talk about names ... seriously.  Have you picked any out?”

“Thought about it some.  You?”

“Yeah.  Actually, can't stop thinking about it.  I know we have a lot of time, but it's ... it's so exciting, Jack.  We're going to have babies.  It's going to be real, just like us.”

“You can bank on it,” Jack said, a promise in his voice.

“We could name them after people who matter to us.”

“People we respect,” Jack agreed.  “So ... people like ...?”

“General Hammond.”

“Georgy porgy?  I love Hammond, Daniel, but no way, unless it's absolutely positively a second name.”

“Teal'c?”

“There you go.  But how do we explain a Jaffa to a two year old?”

“He'd love it!  Gawd, can you see Teal'c at a christening?”

Jack laughed, “How do we explain the name?”

Daniel suddenly pulled his feet to his knees, sitting up straight, and shifting to an Indian-style position, as he gasped, “Jack ... our children will need clearance!”

Jack laughed, leaning up for a quick moment to kiss his husband, and then soothed, “Don't worry, Angel; I know a few people.”

Daniel chuckled, “So do I.  I guess we'll find a way.”

“Oh, yeah.  The big guy will fry us both if we don't,” Jack asserted.

“We should name one of our children after Sam,” Daniel suggested.  “She's been so helpful over the years.”

“Samantha Jo!”

“Jack, be serious.”

“Geez, Danny, remember that headdress get-up?” Jack laughed, recalling the dress and accessories Sam had been forced to wear on one of their earliest missions.

“She hated that,” Daniel replied.

“I don't blame her.”

“She looked beautiful, Babe,” the younger man pointed out.

“Whatever you say.”  Jack smiled, knowing it was best not to get into the Sam is a beautiful woman discussion because as good of a friend as Sam was, many times in their history, both men had been jealous of her relationship with the other.  Then there was Sam's admission earlier in the year that her one-time crush on Jack had been a bit more real than she'd ever let on before.  ~Nope, better not to get back into that discussion.  Then again,~ he thought, suddenly wearing a smile.  “Actually, Danny, as I recall, you couldn't keep your eyes off of Carter.  You stood there gaping at her like you were a guppy.”

Daniel frowned, stating, “First you accuse me of giggling, and now you call me a guppy?”

“If the shoe fits.  Come on, admit it.  You gaped.”

Sighing, the archaeologist opined, “She was beautiful.  Are you going to tell me you didn't notice that, Jack?”

~Ut oh,~ Jack said to himself.  He had tried to turn the tables on his Love, but now it was backfiring.  He decided to try ignoring the subject of his 2IC altogether.  He coughed lightly and then asked, “What about Janet or Cass?”

Daniel smiled at Jack.  He was well aware of his lover's maneuver, and he knew Jack knew that he knew too, and all that “knewing” was giving him a headache, so, like Jack, Daniel decided to forge on with the discussion about baby names.

“Both are possibilities,” Daniel responded.  “Cassandra Lynn or Cassandra Ann, or maybe Catherine?  Catherine Cassandra.  Too many C's?”

Jack groaned, “I don't think they go together.  Besides, we have Katie, and she's already named after Catherine.”

“You're right,” Daniel acknowledged.  “We'd need some other names to blend in.”

“Danny?”

“What?”

“Claire,” Jack said simply, letting the word settle for a few moments before adding, “I think if we have a girl, we should name her Claire.”

Daniel smiled sweetly at the comment and replied, “Maybe.  Or Elizabeth, after your mother.”

“Woof!  Woof!”

Jack and Daniel laughed as Bijou was nose to nose with a grasshopper that promptly jumped on her nose, making the moderately sized dog very nervous.  Daniel reached over and flicked it off, after which Bijou ran to his feet, getting herself away from the jumping insect and into the protective hold of both Jack and Daniel.

The protective colonel petted the beagle and pulled her into him, sensing she hadn't been fond of the grasshopper.

“Don't worry, Bij.  I'll protect you,” Jack promised with a calm and soothing voice.

Daniel watched Jack's strong hold and the little kiss he placed atop Bijou's head.  He grew serious.

When Jack looked up, he could see his lover was staring at him, so he asked, “Hey?  What?”

“It's silly,” Daniel said as he glanced down at the grass, running his hand across it briefly.  His avoidance of Jack's eyes was a sure sign that he was nervous or feeling shy.  “Very silly.”

“Tell me,” Jack requested quietly, loving Daniel's shyness, even after all their years together.

“Just ... like listening to your heartbeat, I love how you protect Bij, just like you do me.  She's never seen a big grasshopper like that before.  She didn't like it.  She was ... scared, and in a few seconds, look at her, she feels safe again.”

“It's my job, keeping my family safe.”

“Full time job,” Daniel sighed, the reality of their nightmares surfacing for a moment.

“Job security,” Jack teased.

“You need worker's compensation,” Daniel teased in return.

“I have it,” Jack responded.

“Oh, yeah?”

“Yep.  You!  The best compensation for anything that ails me.”

“I love you so much, Jack.”

“I love you, too,” Jack said, sharing a loving look with his soulmate.

====

“Who would think we'd come to a secluded getaway at our cabin and end up doing yard work?” Daniel asked, as he pulled some weeds from around the wood-built structure later that afternoon.

“A woman's work is never done,” Jack chuckled.

“Jack!”

The older man laughed, as he washed the outside of the windows, and began to sing in jest, “Whistle While You Work.”

Daniel rolled his eyes as he continued to work, silently lamenting, ~And this is my birthday weekend, too.~  After a few moments, he chuckled, ~And it's *exactly* how I wanted it to be.~

“Hey, Love, how about naming the kids after you?” Jack asked perkily.

“Excuse me?”

“I can see it now ... Adonis!  Here Adonis!” Jack joked.

“Get a grip, Jack.”

“Hercules?  For all that strength you have now from bulking up.”

“Funny ... not,” Daniel replied.

Jack offered, “Peaceful Explorer?  Pex, for short.”

“Jack, so help me,” Daniel spoke as he tossed a few weeds towards his lover.

“Missed me!” the older man called out.

“I won't next time.”

“How about something exotic like Chandra or Hal?”

Daniel shook his head, stating, “You are banned from watching '2001' and '2010' for at least a year.”

“Seriously, Love, how about something based on our feelings?  They used to do stuff like that.”

“Jack, we are not naming our kids Harmony or Sunshine or Rain or Comet or whatever.  They'll just grow up and change their names.”

The older man refuted, “They don't all do that.”

“Please don't start quoting Dweezil Zappa again,” Daniel begged.

“Okay.  Spoil sport,” Jack whined, inwardly laughing at the entire exchange.

====

“Thanks, Babe.  Soup tastes great!” Daniel exclaimed after taking a spoonful of the tasty substance.

“Welcome, Danny.”

“Jack ... love.”

“Love you, too.”

Shaking his head, Daniel said, “No, that's not what I meant.”

“It's not?” Jack asked with alarm.

“No, I mean, geez, Jack.  I adore you, and I love you.  Don't be silly, but what I meant was, how about a name that talks about or means love?  Not something crazy like those sixties names, but maybe something like Eilam, that means eternal, for our son, and maybe for our daughter, Amara.”

“Amara?  That's a pretty name.  Does it mean love?” Jack asked.

“Not exactly,” Daniel answered.  “It means everlasting, which our love is.”

“Yeah,” Jack spoke softly, gazing into Daniel's eyes.  “Is there a name that means love or heart?”

“Of course.  There's a wreath of names out there.  Cordelia means heart, and so does Lev.”

“Never heard of that,” Jack replied.  “That's a boy's name, I assume.”

“Yes, and for love, there's Amadeus or Cary or even Rastus, and for a girl, something like Aiko or maybe Amy.  Oh, and we shouldn't ignore the more classic names like Grace or Ruth,” Daniel stated.  He thought for a moment, then suggested, “Elizabeth Grace?  Doesn't that sound beautiful?”

“She'd like that,” Jack agreed, quietly thinking about his mother.  “Amara Claire has a nice ring to it, too,” he opined with a smile.

====

A while later, as he washed the dishes while Daniel dried them, Jack asked, “How about a nature name, such as Daisy, Rose, or even Petunia?”

“Petunia?” Daniel questioned, scrunching his nose a little.

“We could call her Pet,” Jack laughed at his idea.

“I wish you'd be serious about this for more than five minutes at a time,” Daniel sighed, realizing his lover hadn't been serious.  ~Though I'm glad he wasn't serious about that one.~

“Sorry, but, actually, sometimes you toss names out, never knowing where it might lead.”

“Like brainstorming?”

“Right,” Jack acknowledged.  “It may sound silly, but maybe it takes you somewhere you wouldn't have gone otherwise.”

“And you say I'm a genius,” Daniel teased, placing a peck on Jack's cheek.  “No flowers, Jack.”

Nodding, Jack intoned, “One thing is for sure -- Daniel is one of the names.”

“No.”

“Yes.”

“Jack!”

“It's a good name.  You told me yourself it means 'God is my judge'.  It's a strong name, and it's yours.  You said you want me to be serious.  Fine,” Jack said as he put down his washcloth and dried his hands, then turned to face his lover.  “It would really mean a lot to me if you'd let us name our son after you.  We don't have to call him Daniel, but I really want him to have the name, to carry that on, and I can't be more serious than that.”

Jack walked away and sat down on the sofa.  Bijou and Katie both jumped up to sit with him.

After a moment, Daniel spoke, “Jack, I feel the same way about Jonathan.”

“Okay, Daniel Jonathan.”

“Jonathan Daniel,” the younger man corrected, a smile on his face.

Jack shooed the beagles off the couch and reached his hand up.  Daniel responded, sliding down next to his husband and leaning his head against Jack's shoulder.

“This feels good, being here like this,” Daniel sighed happily.

“Sure does,” Jack agreed, sighing happily as well.

The two sat quietly, feeling like maybe they'd reached the choice for at least one name for their children.

“Oh, geez, Jack, we can't,” Daniel suddenly spoke.

“We can't what?”

“Both our names.  What if we have two boys?  We can't let one feel more special than the other.  It wouldn't be fair.”

“Sometimes I hate your brain,” Jack groaned, knowing his soulmate was right.

“Sometimes, so do I.”

====

Daniel climbed into bed and snuggled up to Jack.  They had finished off their evening with a game of chess which, as always, Daniel had won.

“Tomorrow night, we're playing gin,” Jack insisted.

Daniel smiled, laughing internally.  He had never, in all the years of their friendship and more, revealed the truth about his gin playing abilities.  And silently, Daniel reaffirmed that decision.  It's not that he lost on purpose, he just always found a way to be distracted by Jack's smile, or chest hair, or something.  It was his own private little secret, designed to keep Jack happy.

“Ah, 'tis good to feel you in me arms, darlin',” Jack teased in brogue.

“Jack, don't start,” Daniel warned.

“Just teasing.”

“Hey, what about Irish names?  Your family's heritage could be preserved that way,” the younger man suggested.

Thoughtfully, Jack agreed, “Maybe.  Something like Sean or Conor.”

“Or maybe Cian,” Daniel offered.  “That's unique, means ancient, just like you, Love.”

“You are so going to get it, Doctor Jackson.”

“Oh, I hope so, Colonel.”  Both chuckled as they caressed each other. “Colm is a nice name.”

“I've never known what that meant, Danny.”

“Dove.  It's a pretty sounding name,” Daniel opined.

“Dove Meaney,” Jack chuckled.  “Never thought of him as a dove before.”

“What?”

“The guy on Star Trek,” Jack explained.  “You know, the transporter guy that got popular, went from Next Gen to DS9.”

“Oh, yeah,” Daniel said, just going on with the discussion, having no clue what Jack was talking about.  “Darren?  Devon?  Rory?  Neal?” Daniel called out potential names.  “Hmmm .... Jonathan Devon?”

Jack ignored the suggestion and made one of his own -- “Daniel Neal.”

Daniel looked at Jack incredulously as he spoke, “You mean you want to name our son Daniel Neal Jackson-O'Neill?”

“Too many L's?”

Daniel nodded as he continued thinking, finally suggesting, “Jacob Jonathan.”

“I am *not* naming our child after a Tok'ra!” Jack exclaimed forcefully.  “No way, Danny.”

“He's human, too, and he's Sam's dad,” Daniel spoke in defense of his idea.

“Jacob is cool, but he's Tok'ra now.  No!”

“Stubborn,” Daniel mumbled.

“Backatcha,” Jack retorted lovingly.

====

“Darrell Xavier,” Jack called out from the lake to Daniel, who was reading a book while relaxing on the cool grass, Katie on his stomach.

Bijou was at the edge of the lake, keeping an eye on Jack.  Of course, Daniel was only half reading and half keeping an eye on Bijou.  Katie was mainly on Daniel's abdomen to watch over him, and Jack's fishing pole was in the water for image only, his attention fully on all three members of his family.

“Anteas Glenn,” Daniel shouted back.

“No way!”

“Narim Martouf,” Daniel shouted again, adding, “And just for you, Love, I'll make the nickname exception, and you can call him Marty!”

“Daniel, you are about to get yours!”

“Threats.  Nothing but threats,” Daniel called out.

“Yeah, well you just wait until I catch this fish, and then you'll see!”

Daniel burst into laughter, saying, “Anything you say, Love.”

Jack sought revenge from the safety of the lake as he responded, “I've got it!”

“A fish?”

“No, the perfect name.”

“What?”

With a grin, Jack answered, “Kinsey MacKenzie.”

“Goodbye, Jack.  Come on, Girls.  We're going home to Uncle George,” Daniel said, getting up and walking towards the cabin.

“Danny?  Where are you going?”

Daniel didn't respond, but walked silently into the cabin, Bijou and Katie following as requested.  Jack desperately paddled to shore, and ran to the cabin, flinging open the door, panting from his fast pace.

“Danny, I was only kidding.  I love you.  Please don't ...”

Jack stopped.  Daniel was simply standing by the sofa waiting, smiling.  He walked to Jack and threw his arms around the older man.

“I love you, Jack O'Neill.  Love you so darn much,” Daniel said, his voice soft and inviting.

Jack burrowed his head against his lover's neck, letting his temporary worry flee his body, and responded, “You just wanted me to stop fishing.”

“Oh, I want you fishing all right, but not for fish,” Daniel said, kissing his spouse.

“What about the girls?”

“That's what doors are for,” Daniel said, sliding his hands along Jack's stomach as he moved towards the bedroom, slipping off his shirt as he walked through the door.

Jack gulped as he watched his lover's tease.  He looked at the beagles, “You two get some sleep.  If I'm lucky, I won't be getting any at all.”

Jack entered the bedroom, closing the door.  Bijou and Katie looked at each other, and seemed to smile, seizing the chance to have the sofa all to themselves, jumping up and laying out flat along the cushions.

--

About thirty minutes later, Katie heard some loud noises from the bedroom.  She looked up, her floppy ears raised in question.  Bijou looked up, and, with her paw, moved one of the cushions to lean over atop Katie's head, pushing her ears down.  Bijou gave her pup a frowning look, and once she made sure her daughter had gone back to sleep, she gave the room a last look and then went back to sleep herself.

====

Several hours later, Jack walked out of the room, stretching his bare torso, and letting out a big yawn.

“Good afternoon, Girls,” the man chirped.

“Woof!” Bijou rebuked, her tone sharp.

“What?”

“Grrrr,” Bijou said, looking at her puppy.

Jack saw the pillow placed as if covering the young dog's ears.

“Oh, come on, Bij.  We weren't that loud.”

“Grrrr,” the mama beagle repeated.

“Okay, okay.  We'll tone it down next time.  Truce?” Jack asked with his Irish smile.

Bijou's black eyes pierced through Jack's chocolate brown eyes, causing him to step back.

“Geez, it's only se...” Jack paused as Bijou stood on all four legs.

“Okay, I give.  I apologize, but I have to tell you, I'm exhausted, and I say that as a very, repeat, *very* happy man.  Love that Danny.  He's an energizer bunny. No brain cells at the moment, though, so I thought I'd make him some dinner and serve it to him in bed.  Any objections?”

“Woof!” Bijou barked, lying back down and placing her head atop a cushion.

“Thanks for your approval,” Jack laughed as he went ahead with his plan.

====

The next afternoon, the lovers were taking a stroll after a morning of exercise, fishing as only Jack could do it, and playing with their beagles.  Once again, the topic returned to names.

“Daniel Harrison?” Jack put forth.

“No, Jack.  Reminds me of Harrison Ford.”

“What's wrong with Harrison Ford?” the colonel asked.

“Nothing, but I know you,” Daniel answered.

“Which means?”

“Which means you'd be calling our son 'Indy' and teaching him how to crack a whip or something.”

Jack chuckled, sad to admit he hadn't thought of that, and yet he knew he would have in time.

“Actually, Love,” Jack decided to retort, “I think I'd call him Han Solo.  Besides, you love Han Solo.  Who would ever figure you'd love the space explorer more than the archaeologist.  I mean, Han Solo over Indiana Jones?”

“I love you,” Daniel intoned softly, just because he wanted to.  The two said the words often, sometimes only minutes after having just spoken them.  It was a need, a want, and a desire that flowed within them.

Jack's soul warmed to the tender words and loving expression on his husband's face.  He was the universe's luckiest man and he knew it.

“I love you, Danny.”

A minute later Jack offered up another idea.  “How about Sam Daniel?”

“You want to name our son after Sam?”

“Well, it was just a thought.  She might like it better than Samantha Jo, and you said you'd like to name one of our children after her.”

“Fine, but you get to call Sam and tell her that instead of naming our daughter after her, *you* are naming our son after her.  Go ahead, Jack.  I'll make sure a medic is standing by.”

Jack replied, “Yeah, you're right, but I'm tough.  I can handle it.”

“Really?”

“Sure.  I'll just make sure she's on the other side of the Stargate when I tell her,” the colonel chuckled.

“Jack? Thank you.”

“For what?” the older man inquired.

“Persuading me to come here all those years ago.  I don't know why I resisted so much.  This place is so peaceful.  I love it almost as much as I love our home.”

“Me, too,” Jack said as he leaned over and kissed his Heart tenderly.

“Names are important, Jack.  We really do need to make sure we give our children names they can be proud of, that will last through time.  Nothing silly or ... you know, the fad of the day.”

“I agree.  We'll find the right ones.  If not before, then when they're born.”

“Don't you think we should know beforehand?” Daniel asked.

“My grandmother used to say that some things just happen.  She had planned to name her first born after her mother, Kimberly.  For nine months, she talked about her baby girl Kim.  She had things monogrammed, personalized.  She was positive.”

“But you're mother's name is Elizabeth.”

“Exactly.  She gave birth to Mom, took one look at her and said, 'My darling Elizabeth.'  She swore to her dying day that until that moment, that baby was a Kimberly.  Some things just happen, she said, and when it does, you go with it.  So that's we'll do -- plan the best we can and see what happens when our babies are born.”

“Actually, in a lot of societies children aren't named until their second birthday,” the cultural expert pointed out.

“You're kidding?”

“No.  Those cultures believe that in the first year of life, a baby will show signs of their personalties.  That way, their name will fit their essence.  If you think about it, it's very logical.”

“It may be logical, Daniel, but what do they call him or her for the first year -- 'hey baby?” Jack laughed at the thought.

Daniel let out a contented sigh and then repeated Jack's words of a minute before -- “Some things just happen.  Simple, but true.”

“That was my grandmother.  Not a pretentious bone in her body, but always full of some little saying to keep you on solid ground.”

“I wish our children could know our parents,” Daniel lamented.

“They will, because we'll tell them.  They're alive in us, and we'll make them alive for our kids.”

“Speaking of children, we'd better get back.  The girls will be hungry,” the younger man spoke.

Jack sighed, “I don't think they're speaking to me.”

“Why?  What did you do now?”

“Nothing.”

“Jack?”

“If you must know, I ...” Jack leaned over and whispered, as if conveying a highly classified secret, “made too much noise yesterday.  Bij didn't like it.”

“You're kidding?”

“Do I look like I'm joking?  You should have seen her when I came out of the bedroom.  That dog knows how to lecture.”

====

“Here it is,” Daniel spoke, a cute smile on his face.  “I knew I packed it.”

Jack shook his head, saying, “I can't believe you actually went out and bought a baby book.”

“It was great.  All the gals were fussing over me.  You would have shot every one of them.”  Daniel smiled one of his cutest boyish grins.

Jack laughed at the reality of the statement.  He was getting better, but he feared his Mr. Jealousy would always be present in their lives.

“Probably!” the older man acknowledged.

“Okay, let's just flip through and look at some possibilities.”

“Works for me,” Jack agreed.

Daniel randomly opened the book and read some names, ending with, “Paul?”

Jack growled, “Daniel, you do want to live to see our children, don't you?”

“Of course.  What kind of question is that?”

“What name did you just suggest?” Jack asked sternly, not a smile in his expression at all.

“Pau...Pa... oh ... nothing.  Didn't say a thing.”  Daniel quickly flipped the book to a page far away from anything beginning with the letter “P” and landed in the “B's” -- “Benjamin ... Bennett ... Brett  ... Brian?”

“Brett or Brian maybe,” Jack commented.  “Daniel Brett sounds good.  Check out some of the girl's names.”

Daniel again randomly flipped through the pages arriving at, “Dena ... Diana ... Donna ...”

“How about Dana Michele?” Jack suggested.

“Where'd that come from?” Daniel asked.

“No clue, Angel, just came out.”

Daniel shook his head and flipped back to the boys section, randomly landing on the “R” pages and mentioning, “There's always Robert.”

“Too many and too common,” Jack said, rejecting the name.

“How about Richard?”

“No,” Jack answered dryly.  “I knew a guy named Richard once, didn't like him - no sense of humor at all.”

“Dean?” Daniel asked after exiting the “R's” and landing on the “D” pages.

“Who would name their kid Dean?  Reminds me of Deano on The Flintstones,” Jack chuckled.

“That's Dino, Jack.  D-I-N-O.  I can't believe you didn't know that.”  Daniel flipped backwards through the pages and looked down at the list.  “This would be unique.  Like that guy from CNN.”

“What's the name?” Jack asked curiously.

“Anderson,” Daniel answered.

“You're joking, right?  Dumb names.  Let me look.”  Jack took the baby book and thumbed through it.  “How about Michael?  I like Michael.”

“I don't know, Jack.”

“Hey, Danny, it means 'resembling God', or 'who is like God.'  Now that's a perfect name for a Jackson-O'Neill.”

“Michael?  Yeah, that has possibilities,” Daniel responded, willing to consider that name.

“Mike ... Mike Jackson-O'Neill.”

“Michael, not Mike.  What is it with you and the nicknames?  Michael is graceful and classy.  It has style.  Mike is so ... so ... bland.”

“Mike -- it's strong, bold, a man's man,” Jack refuted.

“Michael!”

“Mike!”

“Michael!”

“Mikey?” the older man teased.

“Jaaaack!”

“Daniel.”
 
“I love you!”

“I love you, too.”

“Jack?”

“Yes, Angel?” Jack whispered, pulling Daniel closer, their lips brushing together.

“Bijou is looking at you with a scowl on her face,” Daniel smirked.

Jack looked sharply towards the beanbag where Bijou was supposed to be resting.  She was sound asleep.

“Funny, Daniel.”

“Thank you, My Love.”

Jack and Daniel celebrated the rest of their birthday trip by making love again.  They enjoyed yet another day by the lake, discussing potential names.  After all the teasing and jokes, they hadn't really decided on a thing, but they weren't worried.

“Some things just happen,” the soulmates had repeated as they packed to go home, and somehow, the simple thought comforted them.

In time, the couple knew they'd come up with the right names, and, until then, they'd try out all the names they could think of it, if for no other reason, than for the smiles, laughter, and good feeling it gave to each of them inside their hearts.

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