Peanuts aka: Bowling for Peanuts
(Slice of Covidity - June 2020)

Author: Orrymain
Category: Slash, Drama, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating: PG-13
Season: Beyond the Series - June 16, 2020
Spoilers: None
Written: March 19,26, April 3,15, 2021
Summary: COVID-19 is still an issue, and the Jackson-O'Neills are bored, suffering from sheltering-in-place fever; that is, until Daniel makes a suggestion.
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) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my other fic(s): "Because You're Mine"

Slice of Covidity - Peanuts aka: Bowling for Peanuts
by Orrymain

The last few months were challenging for most families in America. As a deadly virus ran rampant through the world, people were ordered to, or urged to, stay in their homes and only leave to conduct essential business, like grocery shopping, getting prescriptions, filling up the gas tank, and attending doctor's visits. The result was that many simply ran out of things to do, having already conducted spring cleaning multiple times, donated dozens of items to charity, and spent more time with their families than they ever thought would be possible. Even the extremely close and active Jackson-O'Neill family felt some stress over the current situation.

On this warm summer evening, the entire family, sans Jennifer and Jeff who were inside their own homes with their immediate families, was sitting around the recreation room, looking more like slugs than human beings. Some leaned back on the sofa, while others hung over the ottomans and floor pillows like blankets. The room was quiet except for the occasional sound of movement or a squawk from Ptolemy, the hyacinth macaw given to them years earlier by Catherine and Ernest Littlefield. Occasionally, a yawn was heard or the sound of Jack fidgeting with anything he could get his hands on.

Daniel was seated on the floor with his legs splayed off to his right as he stroked Bijou's fur now and then, but even the beagles seemed to lack the mood for anything more exciting as they simply rolled onto their sides and rested with their humans.

~This is ridiculous,~ the archaeologist realized. As he stood up, he energetically suggested, "Let's bowl."

The unusual proposal had everyone sitting up or leaning forward.

"Bowling?" Lulu queried. "We aren't supposed to go out."

"Are bowling alleys open?" David wondered, shrugging in cluelessness at his own question.

"I don't think they're essential," Brianna replied.

"And Dad and Daddy can't go out anyway," Jenny reminded.

The brood was very determined to keep their fathers safe during the pandemic that made senior citizens more vulnerable to COVID-19 than those in other age groups. While there was mild concern for Daniel, the archaeologist was only fifty-four so his risk was less than his husband's. Jack, now sixty-seven, was closer to the danger range. The good news was that neither parent suffered from any of the underlying conditions that made people more susceptible to virus complications and succumbing to it. There was no history of hypertension, Diabetes, heart issues, or kidney failures. Both men were strong and healthy. That said, out of an abundance of caution, the brood maintained strong personal protocols and limited their excursions away from home to only necessary trips, and when they did, masks were worn and socially distancing maintained. Hand sanitizer was all over their home now as well. It was a very different life than any of them were used to living.

"We are going out," Daniel teased, "to the backyard. Jonny, get your soccer ball. David, find two stakes or boards; anything that can stand up in place as markers."

Still a little confused, Jack and the children went outside where the skies were clear and the weather a pleasant eighty degrees. It was still daylight out, but the outdoor lights were all switched on as well.

"Will these work?" David asked.

"Perfect. Go over there and hammer the stakes in. They should be at least three feet apart. It doesn't need to be precise." Daniel looked around and realized more items were needed. "Lulu, Noa, get two cases of water from the pantry."

"How's this, Daddy?" David called out.

"Looks good." Daniel looked at the brood. "Jenny, get the long hose and wrap it from here where I'm standing to the first marker. Go beyond the marker, maybe two feet more, and then bring it back this way, going around the opposite marker."

"The alley," Little Danny surmised as he caught on to his daddy's plan.

"Exactly."

"I have the soccer ball," Jonny announced brightly.

"Great."

"Here's the water, Daddy. Is this for us to drink?" Chenoa asked. "I am thirsty."

"They're the bowling pins," Aislinn presumed.

"Right, so how about you set 'em up," Daniel requested with a smile. "Oh, Jack, we need something to keep score or some kind of tally. Get something."

"For them, you're specific, but for me, it's 'get something'."

"Well, you are Special Ops. This should be a piece of cake for you, Babe," Daniel replied, giving his lover a quick peck on the lips.

~I'm such a pushover.~ Jack chuckled and went inside the home to see what he could find. A couple of minutes later, he shouted out, "Ricky, a little help, please."

When the father and son rejoined their family, Jack was carrying three large jars of Planter's Peanuts while Ricky toted a bag full of Tupperware bowls with lids.

"Listen up," the general called out. "Every pin dropped gets you one peanut. You are in charge of your peanuts. At the end of the bowling challenge ..."

"What's the challenge?" Jenny questioned.

"Don't ask me. This is Daddy's gig," Jack responded. He continued, "When we're done doing whatever we're doing, prizes will be awarded based on the number of peanuts you've earned."

"That means don't eat your peanuts, JD," Jonny advised his littlest brother.

"Daddy, the water bottles won't line up right," Aislinn called out. She laughed, "Some of them are falling over on their own."

"Who cares? This is about having fun, not being precise," Daniel rationalized. "Do your best."

"Will do," the teenager replied.

"Little Danny, before we start, get us some snacks, sodas, and juices out here. Grab the cooler. Bri, give him a hand," Jack instructed as he truly got into the fun about to happen.

====

At last, the stage was set. A rather unique bowling alley was in place with ten bottled water pins waiting to be bowled over with the soccer ball. Everyone had their bowl to place their peanut pin rewards in. Drinks of choice were dispersed, and several snack options were on the picnic tables.

"JD, you're up first," Daniel announced.

"I'm bad at bowling."

"Not you're not. Watch," the younger father told the youth as he took JD by the hands and let him kick the soccer ball down the lane.

"Wow, four pins!"

"Way to go, Sport," Jack praised. "Come get your peanuts."

The brood chuckled at JD's unusual kick move, but no one complained or claimed foul.

"Jonny, you're up," Daniel spoke enthusiastically.

"Watch this," the teenager encouraged. He stood at the line, turned his back on the pins, and then tossed the soccer ball over his head and down the lane. "Seven pins. Not bad for me."

"Better claim your peanuts while you can," Jack chuckled as he tossed another of the nuts into his mouth.

"David, go for it," Daniel instructed.

"I'm taking you on, Daddy," David advised, bowling as he would normally, or at least as much as possible on lumpy grass. "Cool!" he exclaimed at the fallen nine pins.

"I assume we aren't playing for spares," Brianna remarked.

"You assume right," Jack responded, though he had no clue himself. "Danny?"

"One ball ... strike 'em or get your best count," the archaeologist explained.

Daniel took his turn next, preparing for his roll with a twinkle toes approach, a ridiculous looking stance that had him walking on his toes, jumping up at the line, and then releasing the soccer ball with a slow, delicate roll. The result was a mere four pins down for the archaeologist.

With the pins lined up again, Jenny grabbed her twins arm and motioned for him to go with her.

"Our turn, Daddy," the redhead giggled.

"Two for one? Why not!"

The Spitfires took hold of the soccer ball and rolled it gently down the lane.

"Striiiiiiike!" Jenny laughed.

"Hey!" Brianna objected. "You cheated," she accused lightly.

"No, we didn't. This is silly bowling, isn't it, Daddy?"

"Yeahsureyabetcha!" the archaeologist affirmed.

"Phrase thief!" Jack spat, getting lots of giggles from the children.

Little Danny went next, gliding the ball down the lane by leaning forward, putting the ball between his legs as far back as it would go, and then releasing it. The result was eight downed water bottles.

The middle Munchkin was followed by Jack who thought he was playing basketball. He stood right at the front line and tossed the soccer ball well up into the air. It landed behind the pins.

"Better luck next time, Babe."

"Thank you, Love," Jack replied, going back to his wait spot and munching on a peanut.

"Hey, foul!" Jonny exclaimed. "Dad's eating the peanuts and he didn't even get one pin down."

"Foul?" the silver-haired man cried out in despair. "I fouled? Woe is me, who bought the peanuts in the first place."

Jonny chuckled, and bowling continued.

Chenoa and Lulu bowled straight, the white dove knocking down seven pins, and the black-haired dancing taking out six pins. They were followed by Brianna, who took the soccer ball, held it tight to her chest, and did a run of three somersaults before releasing the ball with a power roll that resulted in seven water bottles going down.

"Wow, that was awesome!" Jenny exclaimed.

Aislinn concluded the round by hopping up four steps to the line and then drop kicking the ball as if going for a field goal in football. Everyone laughed when one pin actually dropped.

The family decided to bowl another round, changing up the order. Jack began by taking hold of JD as if he was flying, the boy hanging horizontally below his dad's waist.

"Get that ball down there," Jack instructed. As JD rolled the ball, his dad simply carried him further down the lane. With Jack as the transporter and JD lightly tapping on the ball, a total of five pins fell to the grass. "Well done, lad."

The retired general then took his turn, playing it straight, and earning himself seven peanuts. Little Danny followed, taking down eight pins. Jonny also played it straight and defeated seven pins. Aislinn took out nine, Jenny made a strike, and Ricky successfully felled six more pins. Next up, David bowled a strike and Brianna took out eight pins.

Chenoa tap danced her way to the line and bowled her second ball, felling six pins. Lulu followed with ballet moves and a soft toss of the soccer ball, receiving applause when eight bottles said hello to the grass once again.

That left Daniel, who started to make a wacky attempt until Brianna interrupted him. That left Daniel, who started to make a wacky attempt until Brianna interrupted him.

"Daddy, for as long as I can remember, you've always bowled silly. You're always helping the younger kids, letting them have fun or giving them your turn as an extra. Bowl straight, like we all did this round."

"I'm really not very good."

"Foul!" Jack cried out. "Your daddy is an excellent bowler. What was that average, Danny?"

"Um ..."

"I'll help your daddy out since he's lost his memory," Jack stated. "Two-hundred-thirty-five."

"That's your bowling average, Daddy?" David asked. "That's pretty good."

"Come on, Love. Show our kids your stuff."

Daniel drew in a nervous breath, but then he took hold of the soccer ball, stared down the pins, slowly approached the front line, and released the ball with perfect follow through of arm and hand extension.

"Strike!" several of the kids called out excitedly.

"Lucky shot," Daniel claimed with some embarrassment.

"I don't think so," Jack refuted. "Do it again!"

Daniel did, again and again, giving him a lawn strike best of five in a row.

"Daddy, how come you know how to bowl so well?" Ricky inquired.

"A long time ago, a colleague, a friend, and I used to go bowling. His name was Robert Rothman. He was an archaeologist."

"Was?" Brianna asked ominously.

"He's dead, Bri," Daniel admitted. "He, uh, died in the line of duty."

"He worked for SGC," Little Danny surmised.

"Yes. Uh, Robert was much better than me. He had a two-eighty average, but for us, it was never about who was better. Bowling was something to do," Daniel confided.

"How did he die?" Jonny questioned.

"That's a long story, and I'm not sure you're ready to learn about the Unas."

"Sure, we are. Tell us," Aislinn pleaded. ~He's going to tell us or he wouldn't have mentioned the Unas, whatever that is.~

"Okay, kids, let's get this yard back into shape, do a peanut count, and go inside for story time," Jack instructed.

"Me, too?" JD queried, all too aware that oftentimes he was deemed too young to hear his parents' stories about the Stargate Program.

"Daniel, what do you think?"

"I think he's old enough, or we can leave out some of the nastier elements," Daniel answered.

"You get to sit in," JD told his son playfully, messing JD's hair as emphasis.

Soon, the backyard was returned to its normal state. The hose was rolled backed up, the water bottles were washed and returned to the pantry, and the stakes removed from the lawn. The drinks and snacks were taken to the rec room for story time, and the peanut totals summed up. By agreement, Daniel was excluded for being what Jonny joked was a ringer.

"I'm going to start by saying this," Daniel began. "Way, way, way far away in another galaxy are these human-like, grunt-sounding creatures called the Unas."

The children were laughing, thinking the story would be humorous.

"Listen," Daniel sighed. "At first, we didn't know the Unas, and they didn't know us. Robert was killed early on, before a real peace was made. I was Unas-napped, as Dad likes to call it, but before we get into the details, I'm obviously fine, alive and well, and, in fact, I have a good friend, a friend who is an Unas. His name is Chaka."

The kids were hooked. It was not going to be a funny story, but it would be an interesting one.

A dull evening for the Jackson-O'Neills became one of fun and silliness for the family, thanks to a lot of imagination and the willingness of all to put fun in front of competition. The story time element was an added treat. Whenever Jack or Daniel shared a mission with them, the brood felt privileged to be included on a piece of their parents' past. All in all, a boring night turned into a festive one, which only showed how good life was for the Jackson-O'Neills of Colorado Springs.

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

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