Puppy Love

Author: Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  7 - September 2, 2003
Spoilers:  None
Size:  14kb, ficlet
Written:  December 25-27,30, 2006
Summary:  As Jack and Daniel enjoy their first day with Bijou and Katie, Jack remembers another puppy love that warmed his heart.
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
1) This ficlet is dedicated to my beloved Tina Puppy, a beautiful golden retriever who died at age thirteen on December 23, 2005.  I love you, Tina!
2) Read about Rainbow Bridge at http://rainbowsbridge.com/Poem.htm
3) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
4) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my other fics, “Home at Last”
5) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Claudia, QuinGem, Linda!

Puppy Love
by Orrymain

It had been a perfect day for Daniel Jackson.  In fact, he couldn't remember having a better day in his life.  Behind him was the man he loved, Jack O'Neill.  Jack's arms encircled him as they nestled together on the sofa, Jack twisted sideways with Daniel leaning backwards into him.

On Daniel's lap was a tiny beagle, a little runt they'd named Katie just hours earlier.  At his feet, already keeping watch over her new family, was Bijou, the not-quite two-year-old mama beagle.  The two dogs were a belated birthday present from Jack to Daniel, and for the first time in his life -- that is, since his parents had died -- Daniel truly felt happy and at peace.  He had a home, lots of love, and now two precious puppies that were his own, though he had already let Jack 'adopt' the two dogs.  Jack and Daniel were now the proud parents of Bijou and Katie, and it warmed both of their hearts.

“Jack,” Daniel said softly as his fingers gently caressed Katie's tiny ears.

“What, Love?”

“Did I, uh, mention that I love you?” Daniel asked, smiling.

Jack chuckled and kissed the side of his lover's neck, answering, “You might have mentioned it earlier.”

“Did I say I love you a whole lot?” the younger man quizzed.

Jack pressed his lips together as he thought and then finally answered, “You might have said that, or words to that effect.”

“Well, did I say that I'll love you forever and always, and that I'm ... gawd, I'm really happy?” Daniel asked, hunching downward to place a kiss on Katie's nose, receiving several licks on his own nose in response, which, of course, made Daniel laugh.

That laugh caused Jack's soul to tingle with happiness.  He'd been waiting for this moment for years.  It had actually happened for the first time earlier that day, when the two lovers were sitting on the lawn, watching their new family members becoming acquainted with their new home.  Daniel had given Jack a look of such pure happiness that Jack had almost melted from its power.  The abandoned little boy was gone, and in his place, was a man who finally knew that he had a place to call home and, in Jack, someone who would always love him.

“Yeah, you said that,” Jack confirmed a bit emotionally as his right hand reached out to play with Katie for a second.

Obviously interpreting this as an invitation, Bijou leaped by Daniel and Katie, landing on Jack's lap and causing the older man to shift slightly so that he could hold both her and Daniel.  It was, however, proving to be quite a challenge.

“Uh, Danny ...”

Daniel chuckled, moving to sit up straighter and repositioning himself to sit next to Jack, each man now holding and petting one of the beagles.

“They're going to change our lives,” Daniel noted quietly but with a hint of laughter in his voice.

“Being a parent is never easy,” Jack teased in reply, leaning in to kiss Daniel briefly while still giving Bijou a rubdown.

“Jack, when you were a child, you always had a dog, didn't you?” Daniel asked.

“Most of the time we had at least one,” Jack answered.

“Beagles?” Daniel asked.

“I've had a couple,” Jack answered.  “We had all kinds of dogs.  Mom even had a Chihuahua once.”

“Tiny,” Daniel responded.

“Mom used to put her in her purse; was pretty funny,” Jack revealed.  “I called her Senorita ChiChi.”

“Oh,” the younger man replied.

Jack spoke thoughtfully, “I wasn't that fond of ChiChi.”

“Why not?” Daniel questioned, a bit surprised.

“I was always afraid that I'd break her,” the older man admitted.  “I always medium or larger size animals the best.”

“Ones could wrestle with,” Daniel surmised.

“Sometimes,” Jack agreed.  “One of my favorite dogs was a golden retriever, purebred, but she wasn't much of a wrestler.”

“A hunting dog?” Daniel asked.

“Not this one.  Her name was Tina,” Jack stated informatively.

“Tina?” Daniel asked.  “Not Scout or Rover or ...”

“Never had a dog with a normal dog name,” Jack responded.  “Tina was named after a teacher I had a crush on in the third grade.”

“Really?” Daniel inquired.

“No, Daniel, I'm making it all up as I go along,” Jack quipped dryly, causing Daniel to chuckle for a moment.

“Wouldn't be the first time,” Daniel said in jest.

“Daniel!”  Jack sighed, “Actually, I did make it up.”

“Jack!” Daniel lightly chastised.

“The odd thing was that there wasn't a reason for naming her Tina.  The day we chose her, all these little puppies were running around.  After playing with them for a while, they all ran off, except for Tina.  She stuck to me like glue,” Jack lovingly explained.

“She knew she could trust you,” Daniel replied matter-of-factly, not even a hint of laughter in his tone.

“All I know is that I picked her up again and had to have her.  She had this little white spot right at the top of her head.  It was so cute.  Would you believe it?  Because she was purebred, that mark actually devalued her worth,” Jack stated informatively.

“Her worth?” Daniel questioned.  “I doubt that.”

“I wanted to use those kennel papers to potty train her,” Jack replied dryly.

“Did you?”

“Mom wouldn't let me.  She said it didn't matter about the mark; it made the puppy unique, and she was worth more than money to us,” Jack answered proudly.

“So how *did* you name her?” Daniel asked, still wanting the answer to the question.

Jack chuckled, “I sat down and said, “Puppy, what's your name?  I couldn't tell ya why, but 'Tina' popped into my head, and the next thing I know, she's answering to it.”

“So -- no teacher named Tina?” Daniel challenged.

“One, years later in high school,” Jack confessed.  “Some of the guys used to tease me about having a dog named Tina.  I told 'em all to go jump in the lake,” the older man stated, his hands still warming Bijou's body.

Laughing, the archaeologist said, “Tell me about her, Jack.  Why was she special?”

“Maybe it was the fun we had.  She loved the cabin in Minnesota.  Ah, let me correct that,” Jack said.  “She loved the pond.  That dog would go swimming in the dead of winter, even at night -- unless, the water was frozen over.”

“Of course,” Daniel replied, rolling his eyes slightly at the obvious qualification.

“She loved to fetch -- sticks, balls, Frisbees,” Jack recalled.  “I could throw it in the pond, and she'd jump in and chase it.  Sometimes in the summer, I'd go swimming and just keep throwing things for her to fetch.  She never got tired of it,” he noted, a smile on his face.

“That could be, uh, exhausting,” Daniel observed.

Jack laughed, “Well, if she ever got too tired, she'd swim to me, and I'd hold her in my arms.  I guess we looked pretty funny.  There I was, treading water, holding this fully-grown retriever with some foot-long stick hanging out of her mouth.  Then she'd swim away, leaving the stick.”

“Your cue to throw it again?” Daniel surmised.

“Ya think?” Jack chuckled.  “It never got old.”  He raised Bijou up and gave her a kiss on the nose.  “What do you think, Bijou?  Want a Frisbee?”

“Woof!” Bijou responded.

“Let's assume that's a 'yes' since we know you're going to buy one anyway,” Daniel teased his soulmate.

“Very funny.  We'll get two,” Jack said determinedly.

“At least,” Daniel laughed as Katie rolled over to give him fuller access to her tummy.

Jack grinned as he added, “Tina was an expert in body language.  She'd never bark at you, just sit and watch you with those big expressive eyes, waiting for you to pay attention to her.  She'd sit next to you, rest her head on your thigh, and give you these little nudges.  It was so cute.  She was the personification of persistence -- wouldn't take 'no' for an answer -- and trying to ignore her was impossible.”  Jack paused, glancing covertly at his lover as he added, “Remind you of anyone we know?”

“Not unless you want to sleep alone on the sofa tonight,” Daniel replied without missing a beat.

“Anyway,” Jack continued, having no desire to sleep anywhere without his very warm and loving 'Danny Blanket'.  “Tina slept with me every night, cuddled up as close as she could get,” Jack said longingly.  Suddenly, he laughed.  “Geez, Danny, I'd forgotten.  I called her 'my posable puppy'.”

“Posable isn't a word, Babe,” Daniel responded, adding, “at least not in most dictionaries.”

“Daniel, that's not the point,” Jack snapped lightly.

“I know, Love, but you're so easy to tease when it comes to words that aren't ... words,” Daniel quipped, leaning over to steal a kiss.

“Yeah, well, word or no word, that's what I called Tina -- my posable puppy.  I could put her in any position, and she'd stay there,” Jack mused, lost in his memories.  “She was always there.”

“It sounds like you loved her,” Daniel noted softly.

“Very much.  I loved all my dogs, but each one has their own special place in my heart,” Jack observed.

“It, uh, must be ... I mean when they ... I ...” Daniel stuttered, not wanting to think about losing the wonderful love he had just found.  ~Don't go away,~ he silently told the small pup he held.

Jack put his left arm around his soulmate and squeezed him close.  Leaning his head against Daniel's, he noted, “Loss is a part of life, Danny, but no matter what, the love is what we remember.  Besides, there are a lot of years, years of good times and laughter, that give us memories for a lifetime.”

“How did Tina die?” Daniel asked inquisitively.

“She had a stroke when she was thirteen, way too young,” Jack commented sadly.  “But she went peacefully and was lying in my arms when she closed her eyes for the last time.”

“How sad,” Daniel whispered.

“Danny, it was sad for us because we were left behind.  I swear to you, she's up there with the rest of the O'Neill animal kingdom, having a swell time, running and swimming and forever free from the injuries and limitations the stroke placed upon her,” Jack reassured.

“Do ... do you really believe that?” Daniel asked.

“I do.  Look, in a lot of ways, I don't know what I believe in when it comes to us wicked human beings, but the animal kingdom is pure and strong, and I'm convinced they're up there, laughing down at us for being so silly,” Jack stated.  He paused and added, “We just need to remember how great their unconditional love made us feel.”

“I guess so.”

“Danny, look at these two adorable creatures,” Jack remarked, motioning to Bijou and Katie.  “They are totally content.  All they ask from us is that we love them.”

“And we do,” Daniel stated solemnly.

“Yes, we do,” Jack affirmed.  “And just like I'll always remember Tina for her love of the water and being posable ...”  He paused, waiting for the certain glance from his lover.  Smiling, he said, “All of the O'Neill animal kingdom are remembered, too, for what made them unique, and you and I are about to learn the magical qualities that make Bijou and Katie individuals, too.”

“Tell me more about Tina,” Daniel requested, sliding down into yet another spot on the sofa.

With Katie still lying comfortably on his chest, Daniel lay down, his head on Jack's left thigh.  At the top of his head, Bijou lay across Jack's lap, enjoying the warmth of both men.

“Let's see.  Tina was toy crazy.  Give her a toy, and she was happy forever.  She'd toss it into the air and catch it.  Sometimes, she'd throw it across the yard,” Jack intoned.

“Could be dangerous, if you were standing in the wrong place,” Daniel teased.

“Yeah, we had our moments, but she was one happy pup.  Not a big eater, by the way,” Jack added.  “She didn't even like people food that much.”

“Give her one of your steaks, did you?” the younger man jested.

“Daniel, I'm deeply hurt,” Jack said mockingly.

“Right.  Tell me more,” Daniel requested.

“Tina liked to stay close to home.  Crazy as it sounds, she wasn't big on walks.  She just wanted to be with me,” Jack lovingly recalled.

“I don't think that's crazy at all,” Daniel replied, looking up at Jack with a smile on his face.

Jack smiled in return and continued his trip down memory lane, remembering the sweet love and devotion of his beloved Tina, now watching his every move from Rainbow Bridge.

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