Noa and the Clowns
Category: Slash, Humor, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Season: Beyond the Series - May 2010
Size: 28kb, ficlet
Written: April 6-7, May 16, July 11,15, 2005 Tweaked: July 11, 2007
Summary: Chenoa gets sick and misses out on a fun event. Story over? Not if her loved ones have anything to say about it!
Disclaimer: Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't. A gal can dream though!
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) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better: QuinGem, Claudia, Allexandrya, Tove, Linda!
Noa and the Clowns
“Syl, what's the verdict?” Jack asked the family physician, Doctor
Sylvia Preston, as they stood in the hallway, near the stairs.
Sylvia had just finished examining Chenoa, Jack and Daniel's four-and-a-half year old daughter. The little girl hadn't been feeling well for the last couple of days, suffering from a spring-time cold, but when her fever shot up to one-hundred-two degrees and she vomited, the couple had called Sylvia.
“Pneumonia?” both parents exclaimed at the same time with horrified looks on their faces.
“Don't overreact, you two,” Sylvia said as she took out a prescription pad. “Get this filled. It's an antibiotic. She'll need to stay home for a week, maybe two depending on how quickly she recuperates. I noticed a slight wheezing. If that worsens, call me, but otherwise just make sure she rests. Uh, no cough medicine, not with what I'm giving her.”
“She hasn't been coughing much,” Daniel reported.
“This antibiotic really should do the trick,” Sylvia said, handing it to Daniel. “Take her temperature once in the morning and once at night and check her fingernails.”
“Her fingernails?” Jack questioned. “Should I get pink or red polish?”
“Jack!” Daniel said sharply.
Jack did a double-take with his husband, then focused again on the physician as he said, “Sorry, Syl. You know me,” Jack said. “I'm a lousy patient.”
Jack looked at his friend with questioning eyes.
“You didn't have to agree with me,” Jack challenged.
“If I didn't, Daniel would have,” Sylvia retorted. “Besides, you're not the patient, but I can make you one quick enough.”
“You and Little Napoleon,” Jack wisecracked as he looked away.
“I'll be sure to tell Janet you've been thinking of her.”
Jack looked around nervously, but said, “You do that.”
Daniel couldn't hide his snicker, earning him a glare from his husband. Sylvia ignored them both, choosing to focus on Chenoa and the pneumonia.
“About the fingernails, I'm completely serious. It's an easy way to monitor her breathing and make sure she's getting enough oxygen. They should be rosy and pink, but if they're bluish or gray, call me.”
“Is she contagious?” Jack asked.
“I wouldn't let her share her cup with anyone, but the other children should be okay. Just don't let Noa cough on anyone.”
Daniel asked, “Sylvia, are you sure you shouldn't do more tests? I mean, what if it's not pneumonia? There are so many odd diseases out there now, so how can you be sure without more tests?”
Sylvia put her hand on Daniel's arm and rubbed up and down gently as she teased, “So you've gotten a medical degree now?”
“No, I ... I ...”
Sylvia's smile was warm and understanding as she assured, “I know, Daniel. Noa hasn't been this sick since you've adopted her, but I promise you, this is a normal illness.”
“Syl, Danny's right, though. We've taken our brood all over the uni...city,” Jack stumbled, a weak smile slowly forming on his face.
“Listen, you two, if you want a second opinion, you could always call Janet.”
“No,” Daniel immediately responded. “I'm sorry, Sylvia. I overreacted.”
“It's okay, and Noa will be okay in a few days, too. Believe me, if I had the least bit of concern that she wouldn't, I'd tell you, and I'd have her in the hospital. Now, don't overindulge her, either. She's sick, not dying.”
Daniel nodded and smiled, burying his plans to dote and spoil his young daughter rotten, at least for a while; perhaps an hour, maybe two.
Sylvia laughed, knowing the two worried fathers would probably be 'slaves' for the little girl for at least two or three days.
“Thanks, Syl,” Jack said, feeling a bit better. “I'll walk you down.”
“I'm going to go sit with Noa for a while. Thank you for coming by, Sylvia,” Daniel said with a warm smile.
Daniel sat on the edge of Chenoa's bed. He brushed her curly blonde locks away from her face and asked tenderly, “How ya feeling, Sweetheart?”
Chenoa sniffled, “I ... fine.”
“You will be. Daddy promises.”
Daniel smiled. He lay down on his daughter's bed, and she snuggled in close. Wrapping his arms around her, Daniel felt like the luckiest man on Earth. He had never dreamed of having this kind of happiness, but even with his daughter sick, he couldn't deny that it felt good to be so loved and needed.
“I love you, Sweetie.”
“Lov...<yawn> ... too, Daaa...<yawn>...ddy,” Chenoa responded as her eyelids lost their struggle to stay open, finally closing as she began to drift off to sleep.
Thirty-five minutes later, Jack stood, smiling, at the doorway to Chenoa's room.
“Just beautiful,” Jack finally said, earning him a little smile from his husband. “I wondered what happened to you.”
“She wanted company,” Daniel responded quietly.
“Our little princess.” Jack walked over and sat on the side of the bed. He caressed Chenoa's cheek for a moment. “You gonna stay here?”
“For a little while longer. You mind?”
“Nah, I know what you're feeling, Danny.”
Daniel's eyes bore into Jack's soul as he asked, “Is it selfish, Jack?”
“Nope. You're keeping her safe and making her feel better. If that makes you feel good, too, what's wrong with that?”
Jack stood, leaned over to give Chenoa a kiss on the cheek, and then headed for the door.
“Hey, didn't you, uh, forget someone?” Daniel called out as quietly as he could.
“Oh, so sorry,” Jack chuckled, returning for a quick kiss. “I love you, Angel.”
“Love you, too, Babe.”
“But, Dad, clowns! Wanna see clowns,” Chenoa sniffled.
“We'll see clowns some other time, Noa. I'm sorry, but you're still too sick to go out,” Jack told his unhappy daughter.
“Ang'la needs me. We see clowns.”
Jack held his teary-eyed little girl in his arms. It was two days later, and Sylvia had said it was a 'no go' for allowing Chenoa to attend Angela Wilson's sixth birthday party on Saturday. Angela was Sara and Mark's daughter, and the two girls were best friends.
Angela was having a circus-themed party, the highlight of which was a clown Sara had hired to perform for the children. Chenoa had been looking forward to it for several weeks. She'd never seen a clown in person before, and, having just been told she couldn't go to the party, she was now very upset.
“You can see clowns some other time. Princess,” Jack said soothingly. “We'll go to the circus.”
“No want go to circus; want to go Ang'la's party; see clown.”
“I'm sorry, Honey.”
Jack rubbed her back and placed a kiss on her neck as she cried into his shoulder. Hearing a sound, Jack looked over at the doorway. He shook his head.
Daniel sighed. After a moment, he said, “Jack, Sam and Teal'c are here.”
“Hey, Noa, want to go see Aunt Sam and Teal'c?” The little girl shook her head and held on even tighter. “They'll be disappointed.” She sniffled, but didn't release her hold. “Come on, Noa.”
“Sweetie,” Daniel said as he moved to the bed. “They really want to see you. Teal'c will be so sad if you don't come downstairs with me.”
Chenoa took a giant sniffle and slowly released her hold on Jack. She raised her arms to Daniel who immediately took her into his arms.
“Shall we go downstairs now?”
“Ohh...ohhhkay,” Chenoa reluctantly agreed.
“ChenoaJacksonO'Neill, why are you crying?”
“No see clown,” the little girl answered as she wiped away her tears.
After Teal'c sat down on the sofa, Chenoa immediately climbed into his arms, telling him all about Angela's birthday party and the clown.
Over by the kitchen, sitting on a barstool, Sam watched, observing, “She sure is sad.”
“Well, she's been wanting to see this clown for ages,” Daniel explained. “It's all she's been talking about for the last couple of weeks.”
“Why is it so important?” Sam asked.
“I'm not sure, but you know how children are when they have their hearts set on something,” Daniel responded.
“How about taking her to a circus or something over the summer?”
“I tried that,” Jack answered. “No go.”
“Well, I wish there was something I could do, but I suspect Aunt Sam dressed up in a clown suit really wouldn't cut it. I think I'll go play with the kids awhile.”
“Okay,” Daniel said with a smile on his face as Sam stood and went outside where the other children were.
“Samantha, may I enter?”
Sam laughed, “Of course, you can, Teal'c. After all these years, you certainly don't need permission.”
Teal'c nodded and walked into her lab at the SGC. Sam was working on a complex calculation near a large chalkboard. She had several equations on the board and was standing next to it. The Jaffa stopped a few feet away and put his hands behind his back. Both teammates were in their green BDUs, though Teal'c wasn't wearing his jacket.
“I need your help, Samantha.”
“I'm all ears.”
“I wish to know more about clowns,” Teal'c stated.
“Clowns. Um, well, they, uh, make people laugh.”
“They tell Tau'ri jokes?”
“Hmmm.” Sam let out a small sound as she scrunched her face and moved about slightly. “Not exactly. With clowns, it's more of a visual thing.”
“Uh, well, they do silly things, like pratfalls or having pies thrown in their faces. They wear really outrageous outfits and have big, red noses.”
“Well, they're fake, of course.”
“I wish to see these clowns.”
“See the clowns. Uh, well, we could go to the video store. They probably have some Bozo or Clarabell. They have to have something with Emmett Kelly.” Teal'c stared blankly at the blonde military woman. “Tell you what. Let's meet after the shift is over, and I'll show you.”
“Thank you, Samantha,” Teal'c said, bowing his head.
~Now this is going to be a challenge.~
“Hap'y Bir'day, Ang'la,” Chenoa said over the telephone.
“Wish you were here, Noa,” Angela told her best friend.
“Me, too. Give clown kiss for me.”
“Mommy said we'll tape it for you.”
“Okay. We watch t'gether next week.”
“Mommy says I have to go now.”
“Bye,” Chenoa said sadly.
Chenoa let out a big sigh as Daniel took the phone and disconnected the call.
“I'm sorry, Sweetie.”
“Aunt Sara taping it for me.”
“That's nice of her,” Daniel commented.
Chenoa nodded and then lay down in her bed, digging in under the covers. Daniel rubbed her arm gently and placed a kiss on her cheek. Slowly, he got up and went downstairs, his heart aching over his inability to make things better for his daughter.
“Did talking to Angela help?” Jack asked.
“What do you think?” Daniel retorted a bit snarkily. “I'm sorry.”
Jack gave his lover an understanding nod and then said, “She's just not well enough.”
“I know, but that doesn't make it any easier.”
As Saturday progressed, it was the usual mix of sanity and craziness. They'd had another argument with Jennifer about dating. That had ended when her friend Sheila called and asked if she could go shopping at the mall for a while. Jack immediately agreed, if only so he wouldn't have to hear 'But, Dad' for a few hours.
David had conducted an experiment that had muddied up the patio outside, and Bijou and Katie; but once that was cleaned up, he had gone to a friend's house to play and eat dinner.
The Munchkins had joined together to bombard their parents with cries of “Mickey and ice 'ream” as their parents had promised them that they could go see the newest Disney film and then afterwards stop by Baskin Robbins for an ice cream treat. Of course, that was before Chenoa had become ill, and now plans had changed. With the ongoing pleas of the trio, and desperately wanting some peace in the house, Jack caved, calling in a favor.
“You owe me, General,” Janet teased as she picked up the triplets.
“Just send the bill.”
“I will ... just as soon as that designer piece arrives from France,” Janet said as she got into her car.
Jack laughed and walked back into the house, meeting Daniel just as he was walking down the stairs.
“The twins are sound asleep. How about the Munchkins?”
“Eager to drive the Doc insane. Oh, and be prepared. She said something about designer fashion from Europe.”
“Oh. How'd you do in the stock market last week?”
“Might just cover it,” Jack laughed. “Geez, what a day.”
It was only mid-afternoon, but it seemed like it had been Saturday for at least three days. Then, the phone rang. “I'll get it.”
“I'm going back upstairs to check on Noa,” Daniel informed his lover.
Nodding in acknowledgement, Jack picked up the phone and answered with one of his creative 'hellos' -- “Heaven or Madhouse, take your pick.”
There was a pause, and then, “O'Neill?”
“Ah, Big Guy, how's it going?” Jack said, relieved for a break from the weekend craziness currently going on in the house.
“It is going well, O'Neill.”
“That's good. Ah, what did you need?” Jack asked his friend.
“Is ChenoaJacksonO'Neill well?”
Jack sighed, “She's getting better, but she's still tied to the house, and she's not happy about that. But,” Jack perked, “I bet talking to you would make her day.”
“O'Neill, bring ChenoaJacksonO'Neill downstairs in ten minutes.”
“I request it.”
“Oh. You dropping by?”
“Oooookay,” a baffled Jack responded.
“Ten minutes. Goodbye, O'Neill.”
Jack heard the click of the disconnecting phone.
~Well, that was cryptic, even for Teal'c.~ “Danny!”
“Want go back to bed,” Chenoa said as Daniel held her on the sofa in the living room.
“In a minute, Sweetie.” Looking up at Jack, Daniel asked, “You have no clue?”
“None.” A knock at the door drew their attention. “But I guess we're about to find out.” Jack moved to the door, opened it, and stood, astonished at the sight he beheld. “Hello,” he said.
“Hello der, campers. It's show time!” a female voice said.
“Carter?” Jack mouthed. His eyes grew wide as next to the person he assumed was Samantha Carter was a very tall clown. He wore a clown suit with a white background and all kinds of green, blue, red, and yellow decorations running up and down the legs. The collar was ruffled and solid red. Adorning the face was a large, red nose, giant ears, and lots and lots of white makeup. He had rosy cheeks, thanks to lots of red makeup. The eyes were colorfully painted. His hands were extra-large, courtesy of large glove hands, and his feet were huge, thanks to flapper shoes. “T?” Jack mouthed.
“Heidy-ho, Pal,” a third clown said, grinning.
“Lou?” Jack asked. ~I've lost my mind, what was left of it, anyway.~
“Out of the way, Mac, we're having a party,” Lou said, pushing his way through Sam and Teal'c, into the house, and successfully shoving a speechless Jack out of the way.
~It's a nightmare.~ Jack looked outside, wondering if there were more. Then he shook his head. ~No, it was my imagination. I'm going to go into the living room and ...~
“CLOWNS! DADDY, THEY'RE CLOWNS!”
Jack's disbelief gave way to a happy heart. That was the most energetic and happy he'd heard his young daughter in days.
~Wonderful nightmares and beautiful imagination.~
Chenoa giggled at the three figures as they engaged in a battle for position, each wanting to be in the center and pushing the other two out of the way to get there. It was the winner who spoke seconds later.
“My name is Giggles, because I like to giggle,” Sam said, letting out a giggle to demonstrate her point. Her clown outfit was similar to Teal'c's, only with shorter feet. Her face was completely painted, too, with green, fuzzy hair, and she used a British accent to try and mask her real voice. “These are my friends, Wild Horses and Meatballs.”
Chenoa giggled, “Funny names.”
“They're funny clowns,” Giggles said.
“Hi!” Chenoa said, waving to them.
Wild Horses and Meatballs began to dance around. Wild Horses pressed his nose which let out a honking noise, and Meatballs scratched his sides, releasing a screeching sound.
“Wild Horses and Meatballs don't talk, not with their voices, but they can sure do a lot of fun things. Do you want to see?”
Chenoa nodded her head excitedly. She twisted her body around to sit firmly on Daniel's lap, facing the show.
Giggles looked at Jack and said, “Grizzly Bear, how about moving some of the furniture?”
“Grizzly Bear?” As he moved to push the coffee table and two big chairs out of the way, Jack looked at Giggles and mouthed, “Eskimoes.”
Giggles giggled and mouthed, “I'm thinking promotion. Look at the smile.”
Jack looked over at his daughter who was totally enthralled by the antics of Wild Horses and Meatballs. Jack nodded and mouthed back, “Full colonel, any day now.”
“Is that all?” Sam whispered teasingly.
“And now Wild Horses is going to juggle just for you.”
“Hey!” Jack objected.
**I taught him that.**
**And he's entertaining our daughter. Quiet.**
“Juggle away,” Jack said, though Wild Horses had already begun.
When Wild Horses was done, Meatballs knelt down in front of Chenoa, displaying a quarter. He displayed it every which way, and then, suddenly, it was gone. Meatballs had big eyes and looked all around for the coin. Chenoa tried to help him from her perch on Daniel's lap. Then Meatballs sprang back, his hands raised high and a look of 'there it is' on his face. He reached behind the young girl's ears and produced the quarter. Chenoa gasped, and Meatballs gave her the quarter.
Chenoa clapped, bouncing up and down on Daniel's lap.
Then Giggles reached into one of her giant pockets and pulled out a yellow balloon. As if using magic, but actually using a small pump in the palm of her hand, Giggles watched the balloon inflate, a startled expression on her face as it grew. Then, shaking her head as if getting over her disbelief at her accomplishment, she twisted the balloon to create an elephant and presented it to Chenoa.
“Wow!” Chenoa exclaimed.
The little girl's eyes grew wider as Giggles twisted another balloon into the shape of a dog and then used a pink balloon to make a bear, giving each of the newly-created creatures to Chenoa.
“Watch what Wild Horses does now!” Giggles told her.
Chenoa watched as Wild Horses did a series of comic pratfalls, falling over the chair Jack had moved, bumping into the walls, and tripping over his big feet.
When Meatballs reached out to help him up, Wild Horses pulled him over his head, and Meatballs did a somersault and then a back flip. He then proceeded to let out all kinds of musical sounds from his costume, everything from bells to honks to boinks.
Chenoa giggled and clapped her way through all the antics for forty-five minutes until suddenly Wild Horses pretended to wipe away giant tears. Meatballs did the same thing, and Wild Horses put his left arm on Meatballs' shoulder and leaned his head in, acting like he was sobbing.
“What's wrong?” Chenoa asked.
Giggles knelt down and said softly, “We have to go now, and that makes us all very sad.”
“You're a beautiful little girl, and we all love you very much.”
“I love you, too.”
Chenoa hugged Giggles the clown, and then Wild Horses and Meatballs fought to get to her so they could hug Chenoa, too. The little girl giggled as they pretended to box. Finally, they each hugged the happy child.
“Love Wild Horses and Meatballs, too,” Chenoa said.
“Say thank you,” Daniel whispered.
“Thank you,” the young girl said, grinning.
Jack walked the three clowns out, going outside and shutting the door.
“You guys are completely insane, and I have no idea where you learned this stuff so fast, but I love you.”
It was one of those rare emotional outbursts for Jack Jackson-O'Neill.
“Don't get all mushy on us, Jack,” Lou said. “That was a blast.”
“Indeed,” Teal'c agreed.
“I didn't know you had it in you, T,” Jack said, placing his hand on the Jaffa's back. “Thank you.”
“ChenoaJacksonO'Neill wanted to see a clown. I was a clown.”
Jack nodded thankfully and said, “You did good. You all did good.”
Jack found himself speechless and on the verge of breaking down in front of his very special friends.
“We'll see you later, Sir,” Sam said as the three headed for their respective cars.
Sam turned and waited for Jack who walked towards her.
“Was this your idea?”
“No, it was Teal'c's.”
“But you showed him how.”
“A week of Bozo the Clown and circus movies; uh, yes, Sir, I did.”
“Thank you, very much.”
Sam smiled and headed for her car.
Chenoa laughed as she held the phone, listening. “That funny,” she said to her friend, Angela, who was telling her all about her birthday party that day.
“I had clowns, too!”
Jack and Daniel snuggled together as they listened to their daughter tell Angela all about the three clowns who had entertained her. She clearly had no clue who they really were.
“Look at her, Jack. Look how bright her face is.”
“We have good friends, Danny.”
“We?” Daniel looked at Chenoa. “Our daughter has some awesome family who would do almost anything to keep her smiling.”
“... made me doggie. Dad says it hot dog.” Chenoa giggled. “He says gonna eat it. Dad silly.”
Daniel looked at Jack who just shrugged.
“... fell down, made noise ...”
“She's had a full afternoon. How long should we let her talk?” Jack asked.
“Until she hangs up,” Daniel quickly answered.
“That could be a while, unless Sara pulls the plug.”
“I'm not taking that smile off her face, Jack.”
“Yeah, our Princess has had a bad week.”
“That was last week. This is this week. Her temperature is almost normal,” Daniel said happily.
“A few more days.”
“Dad! Daddy! Had 'cream,” Aislinn said as she led the Munchkins inside the house, followed closely by Janet.
“Shh! Your sister's on the phone.”
“Hafta tell you 'bout movie,” Jonny said. “There was big ...”
“Hi, Everyone. Daddy, you should see Alan's leaf collection. It's huge, and ...” David said, entering the house and continuing to energetically talk about his afternoon.
“I don't believe it. She stole it right out from under my hands,” Jennifer said as she walked in the house. “It was *my* tank top. There will never be another one like it, that little ...”
Jack looked at Daniel, smiled, and said, “Heaven or madhouse, I wouldn't change it for all the world.”
“Me, either, Love,” Daniel acknowledged as the two deciphered eight ongoing, simultaneous conversations.
The Jackson-O'Neill home may be a madhouse when fully occupied, but it sure was heaven, too.
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