Our Little Miracle

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - March 20, 2007
Spoilers:  None
Size:  9kb, ficlet
Written:  October 18, 20-21,29, 2005  Tweaked:  September 22, 2007
Summary:  A special time is shared by Daniel and Aislinn.
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
1) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my other fic, “Ten Months”
2) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Claudia, QuinGem, Linda!

Our Little Miracle
by Orrymain

Daniel took a deep breath.  It's not that he hadn't done this before, but there was something inside of him saying that this time would be different from the others; he just didn't know how or why.

The father of three placed a diaper and dry clothes on the changing table and then gathered up all the necessary materials, including a couple of dry towels, as he prepared things in the bathroom.  He filled up a plastic tub with roughly five-and-one-half inches of water, checking its temperature to make sure it was about ninety-degrees Fahrenheit.

Taking a final look around to make sure everything was in position, Daniel took a deep breath and then walked to where his little princess was.

“Okay, Sweetie, it's time for a swim ... sort of,” Daniel said as he picked up Aislinn from her crib.  She cooed gaily as he smiled and carried her to the changing table, where he took off her clothes.  “These have to go,” he chuckled about the lacy white top and the pink pants.  “Hot pants,” he laughed.

The young father carried his daughter into the bathroom and said, “Here we go, Ash.”  Gently, he lowered her feet into the water, having a big smile on his face as he did so.  “Remember, we love the water.”  He kept one hand on his baby's back, prepared to support her, and that's when Daniel realized the magic of this moment.  “Ash, you're sitting up ... on your own.  Way to go, Princess!”

The little girl had never sat up on her own until now, though she had briefly sat up with Jack supporting her back the week before.  Daniel wanted to call out to his husband, but the older man was downstairs with Jonny and Little Danny.

“We'll have to tell him later.  Ash, you're perfect, absolutely perfect!”

The not-quite six-month-old baby giggled as her hands splashed down in the water, causing her to giggle some more as she felt the unusual sensation of the water on her body.

Daniel used a measuring cup to scoop up the warm water and pour it over Aislinn, who waved her arms as if trying to catch the clear liquid.  Taking a washcloth with a dab of mild soap, the archaeologist ran it smoothly along her chest.  When she giggled some more, so did he.

“You like to laugh.  You know something, Ash,” Daniel said as he ran the cloth along her right arm.  “I never knew there was this kind of joy in the world.  I didn't.  Look at us now, Sweetie.  You're our little miracle.”

Aislinn stuck her hands in the air and dropped them against the water, creating a little splash.  She laughed out loud and did it again, the water splashing up against her daddy's glasses.

Daniel chuckled, removing his glasses and putting them safely off to the side.

“We didn't know about you, Aislinn.  We didn't know about Little Danny, either.  The only little bundle we expected was Jonny,” Daniel said as he took a moistened cotton ball and cleaned his daughter's eyes and face.  She made a funny face, scrunching her nose.  “Don't like that?”

The baby let out a sound of displeasure, so Daniel stopped.  She wasn't really dirty, anyway.  He took another cup of the warm water and let it drip down her back and front.

“Kayla -- she's your mommy -- she brought Dad and I three precious lives, and you, Ash, you were so tiny.  It ... well, uh, it scared me,” Daniel confided while he ran the slightly soapy washcloth along her left leg.  He paused.  “To be honest, I was petrified.  The first month we had you home, I drove Dad crazy.  I was afraid I'd do something wrong.  I'm still scared, Ash,” he confessed softly, gazing into her beautiful eyes.

The little girl brought her right hand up, reaching for the man's lips.  She giggled as Daniel blew on her fingers and then kissed the knuckles of her hand.

“But we're going to be just fine, you and me and Dad and your brothers and ... and your mommy, too.  I want you to know her, Ash.  It's important.  I ... I lost my mother when I was a little boy.  Mothers are special, and the thing is, Kayla is determined to be independent and let Dad and I raise you.  Well, you *are* ours, but your mommy is a special lady, too, and I think you could learn a lot from her.  You watch, little Aislinn.  She won't be able to stay away.”

Daniel took a small toy and bounced it in front of the baby.  She stared at it, laughing when her hand accidentally hit it, making it move to the end of the small tub.

“Our little miracle, and you're beautiful.  Ash, you can be anything and do anything.  You may not have been expected or planned for, and you may have come into this world smaller than a lot of babies, but you are a princess, capable of accomplishing all your dreams, and while you're making that happen, Dad and I will be right here to help you, one tiny step at a time.  We love you, so much.”

Daniel suddenly realized a tear was falling from his right eye.  He sniffled as he stood up straight, one hand still gently supporting his daughter, just in case.

“You're really sitting up all by yourself.  Gawd, you're growing up,” Daniel said with a bit of lamentation.  Taking a breath, he looked down at the cherished life he was responsible for.  “Uh, Daddy is a bit of an emotional sap sometimes.  You might as well get used to that now.  It's just ... Aislinn, I had nothing for a long, long time, and your dad, he ... he gave me life, and, together, somehow, we've found this synergy that makes us even better than a dream.  After all, it was that connection, that bond that gave us you and your brothers.”

The young man rinsed the little life in his arms carefully, using several cupfuls of water, wiping her down with a fresh washcloth.

“You know what really blows my mind?” Daniel asked as he lifted Aislinn out of the tub, carefully supporting her neck, head, and bottom with his hands.  He put her down, wrapping her in a hooded towel, patting her dry.  “I don't remember, Ash.  I swear, I don't.  What was it like to go through a day without you?  It was just six months ago, but ...”  He let out a small snort, disbelieving what he was saying and yet knowing it was the truth.  “What was it like not to have to give you baths and feed you?” He laughed as he asked, “What was it like to sleep through the night on a regular basis?”

Drying done, the father of triplets wrapped another towel around his youngest child to keep her from getting a chill.  He walked back to the nursery where he gently lay his daughter down on the changing table, putting a clean diaper and pink pajamas on her.

“Dad and I, we have this thing.  We call it a nation of two.  After we found each other, we realized we didn't need anyone or anything else -- just us.  We kept each other alive.  Now, though, Dad and I, we're still a nation of two, but we're also a continent of five.”

Aislinn let out another cooing sound her hands flailing about as she looked up at her father.

“I'll say it again.  You're perfect, Ash.  Your little toes and fingers, your eyes and that little nose: every part of you is perfection.  What was it like without you?  I don't remember.  I love you, our little miracle.  I love you,” Daniel declared joyfully, giving Aislinn a kiss on her head and then walking with her over to the rocker where he sat down and gently lulled his tiny daughter into a peaceful slumber.

“Thank you,” Daniel spoke softly to anyone who wanted to hear as he stared down at the miracle he held in his arms, a miracle who had forever changed his life.

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