Opie

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Drama, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - August 29, 2013
Spoilers:  None
Size:  17kb, ficlet
Written:  July 4-6,8-10, 2008 Revised: February 4, 2009
Summary:  Ricky gets a case of the terrible two's, only he's not two.
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:  
1) This story was suggested by Deb, a loyal reader.  Thanks!
2) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Tammy, Keri, Linda, Melissa!

Opie
by Orrymain

“Ricky, I already said 'no'.  Put your socks and shoes on before I put you on KP,” Jack barked.

“This isn't the Army, Dad,” Ricky replied snarkily, imitating his older brother, Jonny, by putting his hands on his hips as he attempted to stare down the retired general.

“It should be.  Now!” Jack ordered, turning around and heading towards his lover's den.  Walking into the peaceful room, he vented verbally at his husband.  “I thought we were done with the terrible two's.”

Daniel looked up from a J-O project status report, twisted his desk chair around, and replied, “Uh, we are, for a few more months, anyway.  Then it'll be JD's turn to try and drive us insane.”

“Tell that to Ricky.  He's in a mood,” Jack reported as he sat down on the comfortable recliner which was near the desk.  “Attitude about everything today.”

“Just one of those days,” Daniel opined.  “Maybe he's sick.”

“Daniel, he's got 'tude, not indigestion,” the older man insisted.

“It might be the new mattress.  It's firmer than the old one.  Maybe he didn't sleep very well,” the archaeologist theorized as he sought to explain the unusual behavior.

Recognizing his husband's momentary distress, Daniel got up from his desk chair and joined the silver-haired man in their recliner, hoping to relax him slightly.

“Danny, he's being a brat.”

Daniel sighed and nodded in acquiescence.

“It happens,” Jack added a moment later, trying to let go of his frustration.  “But it better not last long.  With our brood, it'll turn into a game of follow the leader, and before we know it ...”

“Chaos.”

“Mutiny,” Jack corrected.

“Are you going to give in?” Daniel asked with a smile, very much aware that his husband wasn't half the parental tyrant that he made himself out to be when the brood acted up.

“Never,” Jack vowed.  “You'll meet us at the drugstore?”

“Yeah.  I should be done about three-ish.  I'll meet you and Ricky there and then we can figure out a game plan for picking up the rest of the brood in time for the movie.”

“Great,” Jack agreed.  Both men stood up, shared a sweet kiss, and then Jack headed for the door.  “Besides, the zoo will be closed by the time the errands are done.”  Seeing the younger man's curious expression, he explained, “That's where he wanted to go this afternoon.”  Disappearing from his Love's sight, he called out, “Three-ish.”

“My husband, the tough guy.  Right,” Daniel chuckled, sitting back down at his desk to continue his work.

====

“Hey!”

“Right on time,” Jack praised, smiling as his lover approached.

“Hi, Daddy!” the soon-to-be six-year-old chimed happily.

Daniel nodded, smiling sweetly at the youngster, and asked, “What's that?”

“It's my new rocket.”

“No, it's the store's rocket.  Put it back,” Jack ordered with a scowl, receiving a scowl in reply, and then scowling even harder until the young boy let out a small growl and did as he was told.

“Two?”

“Big time,” Jack confirmed, referring back to the discussion in the den about the boy's display of the terrible two's.

As the lovers chatted, Ricky was standing at the end of the aisle.  He watched with fascination as another young boy stomped around, while pleading, practically crying without pausing for air, all in a quest to get his favorite chips that were on display.  Oddly enough in Ricky's eyes, the adult gave in, leaning over and saying something to the child, who just grinned as the woman put not one, but two packages of the chips into the shopping cart.

From that moment on, until his parents were ready to pay for their items, Ricky pondered what he'd observed.  He also saw other, less demonstrative examples.  Each time, the adult gave in, and the child got his or her way.

“Sounds like a good plan,” Daniel said at the checkout stand, nodding politely at the woman who was in front of him.  Looking back at his husband, he added, “Someday, maybe we won't have to split up to see a movie.”

Jack chuckled, “When we're sixty-four.”  Seeing Daniel's smirk, he groaned, “Don't say it.  No age jokes.”

“I wasn't saying a thing, Babe.”

Since Jack was the parent in charge of the current shopping expedition, Ricky looked up at him and asked, “Dad, can we get a chocolate bar?”

“Not today, Son.”

“But I really want one.”

“We're going to the movies; there'll be plenty of junk food there,” Daniel interjected.

“But I really want *that* one,” Ricky stated adamantly, twisting around to point at an extra large Hershey bar.  “It has almonds in it, too.”

“Maybe next time,” the retired general spoke.

“But ...”

“Ricky!” Jack warned, using his strongest parental voice that was just a smidgen short of the one that normally accompanied his so-called 'general eyes'.

Ricky was not a happy camper as he glowered at his older father.  He wanted that chocolate bar.  He loved chocolate.  How come his younger father got chocolate whenever he wanted, but he didn't?  Just because he was a little boy, he shouldn't be discriminated against.

“I like chocolate!” the boy proclaimed with attitude, his eyes locked onto Jack's while remembering all the scenes of a child ranting which had resulted in the other kids getting what they'd want.

“So do I,” Daniel responded, trying to ease the tension and hoping nothing was going to interfere with the family's plans for the evening, but sensing Ricky was headed in a downward spiral.

All of a sudden, Ricky's voice grew louder.  In fact, he began to scream, demanding his chocolate bar.  As shoppers began to look his way, including a couple of the child ranters and their caregivers, the boy started to stomp around, jumping up and down and even pretending to cry, imitating what he had observed earlier.

“Ric...”

“Daniel, let him be,” Jack advised calmly, reaching out and touching his lover's arm.

“But ...”

“Opie-itis.”

“Excuse me?” Daniel queried with wide eyes, not having a clue what his husband was talking about.

“Watch and learn, Dannyboy,” Jack said confidently.

Ricky's arms were flailing all about as his shoes banged against the hard floor of the store.  He jumped around in circles, looking up as he hollered about wanting the candy treat.

“Ricky ... Richard!”

Stopping his shouting, stomping, and crying, the Spitfire asked, “What?”

The shoppers were stunned by the boy's sudden and complete cessation of his demonstration.  A couple of the kids were actually staring at the youngster with frowns on their faces, as if Ricky's sudden obedience was a violation of some silent children's trust.

“What are you doing?” Jack asked calmly.

“Trying to get my candy bar,” Ricky answered truthfully.

“You asked for it, and I said 'no',” the older man reminded his stubborn son.

“That's why I'm doing this,” the little boy stated confidently as he started up his task again, this time adding to his efforts by pushing against the shopping cart, causing the metal object to clang annoyingly against the shelves.

“Ricky!” Jack exclaimed.  “Hey!” he barked out forcefully in an effort to regain his son's attention.

“What?” the youngster asked, once again coming to a complete and calm stop.

“What *exactly* are you doing?” Jack questioned.

“Having a tantrum like he did!” Ricky said, pointing to the boy who had thrown the chips fit.  “She even gave him *two* bags of chips.”

The embarrassed woman turned away, while Jack and Daniel shared their own momentarily uncomfortable look.

“Having fun?” Jack asked.

“No, not really,” Ricky sighed.  “Playing tag is funner, and I'm hot now.”

Ignoring the incorrect word usage for now, Jack urged sternly, “Remember that the next time you decide to put on a show.”

“No chocolate?”

“Not today,” Jack replied firmly.

After a moment, Ricky asked, “Dad?”

“What?”

“Can I have a ...” the boy began.

Jack began to give him a look of disapproval when he heard the last word.

“... hug?”

The general smiled and picked up his son, hugging him close and giving him a kiss on the cheek.

“I'm sorry, Dad.  I've been a pain in the mikta today, huh?”

Daniel snickered as he lowered his head for a moment, completely amused by the query.

“Well, Son, yes, but I've had my share of 'pain in the mikta' days, too.”

“That's for sure,” Daniel chimed in with a nod.

“No comments from the peanut gallery,” Jack growled teasingly.

“Dad?”

“Yes?”

“What's Opie-itis?” the inquisitive child inquired.

“You know Opie?  We've watched him on TV,” Jack answered.

“Andy in Mayberry's Opie?”

“That's the one,” Jack affirmed.

“Does he have a disease?” Ricky asked in concern.

“He had a case of the terrible two's when he was about five, just like you did today.”

“He wanted a chocolate bar?”

“He wanted a raise for doing his chores,” Jack answered.

“Did he get it?” the child asked curiously.

“Did you get the chocolate bar?”

“Oh,” the boy sighed.  “It's a big bar, Dad.”

“I noticed.”

“Can I get it maybe for my birthday?” Ricky asked hopefully.

Giving the boy a loving pat on his behind as he put him down, Jack answered, “Maybe.”

“If I'm not a pain in the mikta anymore,” Ricky assumed, bobbing his head up and down a couple of times.

“That's a good way to start,” Jack agreed.

“Am I gonna be punished, Dad?” Ricky asked with concern, not wanting to miss out on the family's movie night.

“Are you going to have another tantrum again?” the older man questioned.

Shaking his head rapidly, the little boy promised, “Na-huh.  I promise.”

“Did Opie learn his lesson, Jack?” the archaeologist questioned.

“Yep.”

“Did Andy punish him?” Daniel asked.

“Nope.”

Ricky grinned, his expression growing even more when both of his parents smiled at him.  There wouldn't be any punishment this time, and the boy knew that they meant 'this time'.  If he ever acted up like this again, he knew the answer would be much different.  He resolved to always be a good boy; well, as much as he could anyway.

====

Several minutes later, with the purchased items in the truck and Ricky listening to music and secured in the SUV, Jack said, “See you at the theater.”

Daniel smiled and watched his husband take a few steps away.

“Jack?”

“Huh?”

Daniel looked back, making sure Ricky wasn't paying attention, and then spoke softly, “Get me one, too.”

“Get you what?”  When Daniel grinned, Jack sighed, “I'll buy the place out.  We'll have a giant chocolate bar night over the weekend.”

“Wimp,” Daniel teased as he dangled his keys in his hands.

“General Wimp, that's me,” Jack chuckled.

“Uh ...” the younger man began more seriously, a hint of concern on his face.

“We won't 'candy out' if he acts up again, but I have a hunch he might actually try to make up for his little spectacle over the next couple of days,” Jack stated with a slight nod.

“So we'll be prepared,” Daniel affirmed with a relieved smile.

“Yeah.  He won't get the wrong idea,” Jack assured.

“Of course, he won't,” the younger man agreed, his facial expression not quite as certain as his vocal tone had been.

“I'm gonna get in the truck and ...”

“Wouldn't want him to think that Opie-itis wasn't actually a deterrent,” Daniel mused, shaking his head as he approached the driver's door.  “Babe,” he called out.

“What now?”

Again, Daniel looked around.  He didn't want to say it silently, but he and his husband were still cautious, even after all these years.

“I love you,” Daniel called out.  He added, “*especially* because of ... you know.”

Jack grinned and called out, “Love you, too.”  Sitting in his truck, he watched Daniel drive away to make his first 'brood pickup'.  He chuckled about their son, believing that the boy would forget that he'd even had the tantrum by the time the big candy bar surprise was brought out.  “I hope.”  He got out of the truck and headed back for the drugstore, shaking off the realization that hit him like a gust of wind.  “Face it, General,” he muttered to himself under his breath.  “For Danny and the brood, you're a wimp.”

The general chuckled again.  He was happy.  Ricky had had a bad day, but so had he from time to time, and his son had figured out all on his own that tantrums didn't do him any good.  What kid didn't experiment in this way?  After all, it started as babies, where a small cry would bring a parent running.  This was just a more sophisticated attempt to get his way.

“Yep,” the contemplative father assured himself as he entered the store, hoping he was right and that Ricky wouldn't believe that he was getting the candy bar because of the scene he'd caused in the drug store.

Jack was certain Ricky wouldn't do it again.  It just wasn't the brood's way to act up in public, thanks to their fathers good parenting skills.  Besides, if the boy did make another scene, the general eyes would come out, and that would take care of that.

Or so hoped one supposedly-tough, hard-as-nails retired general, who to his children, and his lover, was really just a teddy bear.  All things considered, the silver-haired man was happy to be just that.

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