Red Alert 3 - The Brood Versus the White House

Author: Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Humor, Drama, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - February 7, 2012
Spoilers:  None
Size:  85kb
Written:  June 3, 2006, November 6, 2010, January 2,6,12, February 13,16,18, March 31, April 1-2,6,10-11,13,16-19, 2011
Summary:  The Jackson-O'Neills visit President Hayes at the White House.  Will the Oval Office ever be the same again?
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:  
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:  Alverine, Navi, Mama Bear!

Red Alert 3 - The Brood Versus the White House
by Orrymain

“Mmmmm ... sweet, very, very sweet,” Daniel crooned, his arms around Jack's neck, his fingers gently caressing the back of his husband's neck.  The two men were close, very close, their lips separated by a mere fraction of an inch.  “Gawd, I miss this.”

After a passionate kiss, Jack teased, “Maybe I should put this thing on even when I don't need to wear it.”

Daniel smiled as he backed away slightly, making sure his soulmate's Air Force Class A uniform was neatly in place.  As the two were winding down their careers with Stargate Command, the need for Jack to wear the blues had lessened.

It wasn't the formality and crispness of the suit the men loved; rather, it was how it drove Daniel completely bonkers with lust and desire.  Seeing Jack dressed to the nines in the uniform was something that made Daniel buckle at the knees.

“Sexy, so sexy,” the younger man opined as his right hand ran down the uniform seductively.

“Danny, we don't have time ...”

“I know,” Daniel sighed reluctantly.  “We'd better get the brood.”

Jack nodded, but surprised his Heart by pulling him close and saying, “You're not so bad yourself in that funeral suit.  It's just the right shade of blue.”

Daniel rolled his eyes, but it was a playful reaction.  Jack's blue fetish hadn't diminished one iota since the day they'd met, and inside, no matter how frustrating it sometimes was, the archaeologist smiled.

“Thank you, Babe,” Daniel responded.

“You're beautiful, Angel,” Jack crooned, sharing one more kiss before the two headed to the suite living room to gather their children together.

The Jackson-O'Neills had been invited to the White House in Washington D.C. for a visit.  It was essentially a command performance since President Henry Hayes was eager to meet the newest member of the family, five-week-old JD, the 'miracle baby' who was the biological child of both of his parents, thanks to the help of an alien device.  During the visit, Hayes would be hand-delivering the baby's birth certificate which had been especially prepared under a secret and highly classified Presidential order.

Of course, Hayes could have had the hospital deliver it, as had occurred with the Munchkins and the Spitfires, but he wanted to meet the newborn.  With his busy schedule at the moment, it was easier to get the family to him than the other way around.

Jack, Daniel, and their brood had arrived the previous afternoon and would be departing very early the next day.  The D.C. adventure was solely a one day White House event with no other sightseeing on the schedule.

The children were thrilled about the short trip, eager to spend some time with their personal friend, the President of the United States.  They weren't all that thrilled at having to dress up for the occasion, though.

“I can't breathe, Daddy,” four-year-old Ricky whined as he tugged at the tie.

Walking over and kneeling down, Daniel checked the tie and responded, “You can breathe just fine.”

“Ten-hut!” Jack called out suddenly, causing everyone to look around in amazement, except for Jonny, who immediately stood at attention.  “Oh, sorry,” the general mused.  “I thought another general had walked in.”  Hearing laughter, he smiled at his namesake, who was still completely focused on the wall in front of him.  “At ease, Son.”

“Wow, Jonny.  You look as handsome as Dad and Daddy,” Chenoa commented about the boy's appearance.

The youngster was dressed in a specially-made uniform that matched Jack's exactly, except for the medals and decorations.  Instead of Jack's set, Jonny had his own, ones for cleaning his room, doing his chores, completing his studies, and being a good brother to his siblings.  Sam had made them to go along with the uniform that Jennifer had sewn for her brother as a Christmas present.  She couldn't make the cap, though; it had come as a gift from Lou Ferretti.

“You look very official, Jonny,” Daniel praised, making the boy smile.  “Okay, line up.”

Jack and Daniel ran a quick inspection of their children to make sure everyone was appropriately dressed.  It was the little things they were concerned about, like wearing matching socks.  Both Jeff and Jennifer had helped their younger siblings during the dressing process, but the parents had learned long ago that quick inspections avoided last minute surprises.

“Sharp, very sharp,” Daniel exclaimed at the end of the dress check, giving the brood a thumbs up.  “Wouldn't you agree, Babe?”

“Affirmative,” Jack concurred.  “Okay, Brood, best behavior.  We're going to the White House, not a grocery store.  Do as you're told, when you're told, and no side trips.  Got it?”

“Got it!” a group of scattered voices rang out enthusiastically.

**What do you think, Danny?** Jack asked via the couple's special non-verbal communication.

**I think I hope the Secret Service knows what they're in for,** Daniel replied, hoping for the best but definitely not counting on it.

Hearing a knock at the hotel door, Jack walked over and opened it to see a group of four men in business suits.  All flashed their IDs.

“Sir, the limousine is downstairs, and President Hayes is expecting you,” one of the men stated.

Nodding, Jack turned and bade his family to join him.  It was time to head for the White House.

====

“Oh my goodness!” six-year-old Chenoa exclaimed, her eyes huge and her voice sounding just like Shirley Temple when she entered the 2011 superstretch Chrysler limousine and saw the inside for the first time.

“It might be small, but I know a lot of people who could chill out in here for life,” Brianna remarked, the eleven-year-old pre-teen thinking about those at the shelter where she'd lived before being adopted.  “Actually, this might seem big to some of them.”

“Noa, check out the colors,” Lulu encouraged excitedly, kneeling down in front of the neon-colored bar.

“Lulu,” Jennifer cautioned, patting her hand on the leather seat.

“Daddy, they have a fish tank!” Little Danny whooped in surprise.  “Homer would love this one.”

“A fish tank in a limo?” David questioned, being the next one to enter the long vehicle.  “Wow, they really do have a fish tank in here.”

“Interesting bar,” Jack commented, looking back at the driver.

“The President ordered it stocked especially for your family, Sir.  Please enjoy.”

The normal alcoholic bar had been altered to include soft drinks, various juices, milk, coffee, and water.  There were snacks, too, including peanuts, trail mix, M&Ms, and Cheerios.

“Cheerios?” Jonny called out, a frown on his face.  “Dad, no Loops!”

“He's the President, Jonny, not a mind reader,” Jack retorted in reply to the limo's snack section containing Cheerios instead of Froot Loops.

Daniel was the last to enter.  He glanced over at the fish tank that his namesake had called out to him about and simply stared.  He had to agree with Brianna that there were people who would be content to live inside this automobile.

“Ritzy,” the archaeologist rendered in a lighthearted tone.

“Full service,” Jack agreed.

“Hey, Dad, that must be for you,” Jeff observed, seeing a container at the bar that was covered with a bag labeled, 'For Generals Only'.

“Beer!” Brianna chuckled.  Seeing her parents staring at her, she shrugged and explained, “I'm just guessing.”

After a few seconds of further pointed and prolonged looks, Daniel took a deep breath and surmised, “She's probably right.”

“Gotta love that Hayes,” Jack commented, grinning in anticipation of what could be his lone beer of the week.

====

A few minutes later, David, a genius at age ten-and-a-half, looked out the window of the limousine, frowned, and then noted, “I've seen that street name before, but it wasn't around here.”

“That's how it was designed,” came the response from Jeff, who had a great interest in architecture.

“The floor's yours, Son,” Jack advised with a nod, indicating for him to give a history lesson during the ride.

“Well, President Washington hired a Frenchmen named Pierre L'Enfant to build the city.  He wanted it to be different, like Paris.  Essentially, L'Enfant built D.C. in quads.”

“Four quadrants,” Daniel clarified, seeing a bit of confusion on Chenoa's face.

“It's really not difficult once you know how it's done,” Jeff continued.  “All of the streets that run north and south are numbered, like 3rd Street, and all of the ones that go east and west are lettered, like D Street.  There can be two of the numbered streets and two of the lettered ones, and that's why you have to know which quadrant it's in.  If you say you want to go to 3rd and D Streets, you might end up in the wrong place if you don't know which quad it's in, like the Northeast sector.”

“It's the politicians,” Jack interjected dryly.  “They just want to confuse everyone before they get to the Capitol.”

Daniel chuckled, as did Jennifer and Jeff, but the younger ones simply stared, not knowing what to make of the remark.  JD simply gurgled happily in his car seat while trying to get his thumb in his mouth.

====

“North portico,” Daniel muttered, not aware he'd said it out loud.

“What's that?” Ricky asked.

“It's the entrance for, uh, more honored guests.”

“That's us!” Jonny proclaimed proudly.

The Chrysler pulled carefully into the drive at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  The car in front of it stopped briefly at the gate and then moved forward.  The family's vehicle never paused, but kept on driving as did the car that was on its tail.  The excited youngsters had their noses pressed against the windows.

“Wow, Mister President Hayes sure does live in a big house,” Jonny observed.

“That's the White House, Jonny.  Every President lives here,” Little Danny stated.

“At the same time?”

“Jonny!” the middle Munchkin chastised.  “You're just fooling around.”

“Ya think?” Jonny returned with a straight face; that is, until Aislinn laughed, causing him to break into a big smile.

“Best behavior, kids,” Jack reminded sternly.

“Yeahsureyabetcha, Dad,” Jonny chuckled.

“Of course, Dad,” Lulu agreed.  ~Maybe I can dance on the stage that I saw on TV.~

“We are at the White House,” Brianna pointed out.  ~Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined visiting the White House, but then again, never thought I would have a family, either.~

“Right, Dad,” Jenny acknowledged.  ~Wonder if there are other kids here.~

“We'll be good,” Ricky assured seriously, waiting all of two seconds before he broke out into laughter.

Jack looked at his husband and asked quietly, “Why do I have a feeling I should never have made the statement about being on their best behavior.”

Daniel blinked a couple of times and finally answered, “Force of nature?”

Contemplatively, the older man responded, “That's a good way to describe the brood.”

Having overheard the conversation, even though it had been a quiet one, Jennifer called out, “Have some confidence, Dad and Daddy.”

**Yeah, I'm confident.  I'm confident that the brood is going to make the Secret Service earn their paychecks today,** Jack silently communicated to Daniel.

**I second that nightmare,** Daniel replied.

At that point, the long limousine came to a halt and the door opened.

As he started to move to exit, Daniel verbally expressed, “I'm confident.”

“Me, too,” Jack agreed, helping JD out and into Daniel's arms.  “I'm just not sure of what,” he mused while looking into his Love's eyes.
 
====

“Wow!” Aislinn stated in awe, her head leaning back as she looked up at the huge ceiling.

“Wow!” Chenoa echoed, her body position the same as her sister's.

“Wow!” Ricky exclaimed, leaning back so far that he actually fell down, prompting four different White House staff members to hurry over and assist the young boy in getting back on his feet.  “I just went boom,” he explained.

“He's a kid,” Jack noted, confident his son hadn't been hurt.

With Hayes in the middle of a phone call, the family had been led into the Diplomatic Room to wait.

Seeing Jennifer admiring a section of the wall, one of the staff aides remarked, “These scenic landscapes were added by Jacqueline Kennedy in 1962.”

“They're beautiful,” Jennifer replied.  “From the pictures I've seen of her, she had such great taste.”

With the family looking curious about the room they were in, the aide spoke in a louder, more formal voice, “This is the room where President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his fireside chats when he was in office.”

“What's a fireside chat?” Chenoa questioned curiously.

“It's when the President blows out a big bag of hot wind to the public,” Hayes quipped upon entering the room.  “Jack, Daniel, it’s good to see you again,” he greeted as he extended his hand out.

“Likewise,” Jack replied while shaking the man's hand.

“Thank you for inviting us,” Daniel stated sincerely when it was his turn to shake Hayes' hand.

“Mister President, Sir, do you like my uniform?” Jonny greeted happily with a salute.

“Spit and polish,” Hayes responded.  “That must be the little man,” he observed, seeing JD being held by Brianna.

“One of our pride and joys,” the general boasted.

“We're the rest,” Jonny noted, a big smile on his face.

“Ya got that right,” Jack agreed, reaching out and mussing the boy's hair a bit.

As Hayes took hold of JD, he questioned, “How's the suite?”

Hayes had arranged for the family to stay in the enlarged Presidential Suite at the Hotel Palomar.  The setup there allowed for two other guest rooms to join with the suite, making it even bigger and ultimately allowing his guests to have plenty of room.

“Fabulous,” Jack answered.

“We really should pay for it,” Daniel interjected, backing slightly at the glare his lover shot in his direction.

“Nonsense,” Hayes replied.  “I ordered you here; I'll pay for it.”

“He means we're paying for it,” Brianna whispered to David.

“The check says 'Hayes',” the man informed with his most serious expression.  “I don't charge the taxpayers for my personal pleasures,” he insisted.

“I'm sorry,” Brianna replied nervously.

“Keep the skepticism, young lady.  It's healthy.”

Seeing the President's smile, the tomboy took a big breath of calm.  She looked over at Jennifer, the relief showing on her face.  From now on, Brianna decided she'd just be quiet.

====

President Hayes, the family, two presidential aides, and members of the Secret Service were approaching the Oval Office located on the first floor of the West Wing of the White House.  The children were frequently spinning around, turning, and twisting to get a glimpse of everything that they could.

“Jonny, look,” Aislinn whispered, tugging on her brother's arm.

“Wow!” the oldest Munchkin exclaimed.

Several seconds later, Daniel realized something was amiss and called out firmly, “Jack ...”

“What?”

“We're missing part of our brood,” Daniel advised plainly and then watched his husband quickly scan the area.

Hearing the conversation, Hayes also turned back and noted the absence of some of the children.  Glancing at one of his men, he noticed a nod, indicating their location.

“Back here,” Hayes told the couple, walking past them and leading the way back to a spot the group had passed a minute earlier.

“Mister President Hayes, you're a bust,” Jonny called out, pointing to what the children were looking at.

With a laugh, Hayes responded, “No, Jonny, that's President John F. Kennedy.”

The Munchkins and the other children who had been studying the sculpture stared at it some more.

“It looks like you,” Aislinn insisted.

“You could play him in a movie, I'll bet,” Chenoa added with a nod.

“Amusing idea,” Hayes responded.

Jonny stood regally and declared, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”  He smiled and explained, “I was President Kennedy when we did our play on the Presidents.”

“Stellar,” Hayes praised with a smile of his own.

“Kids, let's go,” Jack ordered in a tone that meant business.

====

“Jen, look at that marble,” Jeff urged as he got his first look at the mantle he'd only seen in photographs until now.

“It's beautiful,” Jennifer opined.  She laughed, “I've been saying that about everything we've seen in the last half hour.”

“This was part of the original 1909 Oval Office when President Taft was in office,” Jeff noted as he studied the fireplace's border.

“How do you know that?”

“Alex mentioned it when I told him we were coming here,” Jeff admitted with a smile, referring to Alex Dennison, who had done the remodel of the Jackson-O'Neill home.

Brianna quietly observed the paintings that were hung on various walls in the room.  She took in the raging clipper that was above the mantle and paused to ponder President Abraham Lincoln's image that was to the right of the mantle.  She made her way around the entire Oval office, not stopping until she'd reached the last two paintings that were hung above one of the large computer screens on the table that was to the left of the mantle.

Jenny and Ricky were staring at the big eagle sculpture, occasionally glancing back at the Munchkins.

With Hayes fawning over JD while Jack and Daniel watched, Jonny spied an open door.  He tugged on Little Danny's arm and motioned for Aislinn to hurry over.

“Mission!” the oldest triplet advised and then raised his fingers to his lips in a request for silence.

As if prearranged, Jonny sought out the Spitfires and gave them a covert nod.  Less than fifteen seconds later, the Secret Service men were busy trying to keep the twins from climbing up onto one of the bookshelves.  The short distraction was all that the Munchkins needed.

====

As Hayes was imparting words of wisdom on the raising of children, Daniel casually glanced around the Oval Office.

“Oh, no.”

“Daniel?” Jack asked.

“The Munchkins,” Daniel stated.  “Jen, where are the Munchkins?”

“I ...” Jennifer had been talking about the White House decor with Jeff and one of the aides and hadn't been paying attention to any of her other siblings.

“Kids?” Jack called out.  “All right, I ...”

“Jack, it's okay.  There's more security in this place than the rest of the country combined,” Hayes interrupted.  Looking over at the doorway, he called out for the head of the Secret Services' White House staff.  When the man entered, Hayes advised, “Tom, we've lost a set of triplets.  See what you can find out.”

“Yes, Sir,” the man acknowledged, disappearing out of view.

“Where were we?” Hayes queried, smiling at JD.  “Yes, the terrible two's.”

Jack and Daniel exchanged a worried look.  With the Munchkins on the loose in the White House, anything could, and probably would happen.

====

“Jonny, we might get into trouble,” Aislinn whispered from under the President's desk in his study.

“Yeah,” the oldest Munchkin acknowledged, almost gleeful in his response.

“Ash, we could go back,” Little Danny offered, peeking out from under the desk to see if anyone was coming.

“Can't leave Jonny,” came the girl's reply.  ~We always stick together!~

“Shhh!  We're on a mission,” Jonny reminded, his mind solely focused on the unstated mission.  With a motion of his hand, he led the way out from under the desk.  “Stay low,” he instructed, not quite crawling, but his body crouched over significantly.

With Little Danny on the flank, the triplets made their way to an open door and cautiously walked out.  Almost immediately, voices from around the corner were heard.

“In here,” Jonny called out in a hushed whisper as he ducked into another room.

Little Danny shut the door behind him and then turned to see where they were.

“Wow!” Aislinn exclaimed.  “This must be their hospitality room,” she surmised since the room had a long, rectangular table in it that reminded her of the family's room back home.

“No kitchen,” Jonny pointed out.

“But there's a sofa,” the middle Munchkin noted, looking around.  “And chairs, too.”

“He looks mean,” Aislinn noted about the face in the portrait.

“That's President Roosevelt,” Little Danny told his sister as he walked over to stand next to her.  “This must be ...”

Just then, heads turned at the sound of the door opening.

“Let's go!” Jonny ordered, running out another door, followed closely by his siblings.

A man entered just in time to see Aislinn rounding the corner out the door.  He clicked on his radio and reported before giving chase.

====

Inside the Oval Office, the visit was going nicely, other than the missing triplets.  JD loved Hayes, a bond having developed quickly, as evidenced by JD's coos and the President's smiles.

At the moment, several conversations were going on inside the room, including one that made Jack grimace.

“Pres'dent Hayes, are you a good horse?” Ricky asked out of the blue.  “My dad's good horsey.”

Daniel's eyes closed, while Jack tried to think of something to say, only he couldn't.

Hayes glanced at Jack and smirked, “Well, now, let's just see how this old President does.”

Surprising the nervous parents, Hayes passed JD back to Daniel and then got down on all fours.  Soon, he had a back full of male Spitfire.  He trotted around the office, issuing nasal nays and tossing his head about, until he heard a gasp.

Looking up, Hayes noticed the shocked expressions on the faces of his Vice President and Chief of Staff.

“What's wrong with you two?  Haven't you ever seen a President as a horse before?”

Slowly, Jack's and Daniel's eyes sought each other out.

**Danny, let me answer.**

**No!**

**But ...**

**Shut up, Jack.**

“No, Mister President,” the Vice President replied.

“Now you have,” Hayes responded with a nay affect, trotting another several yards.  “You need me?” he asked the American officials.

“For a few minutes, unless we're too late to place our bets,” the brave Vice President remarked.

“Do you remember that I *fired* the last man to hold your position?” Hayes questioned, referring to Robert Kinsey.

Weakly, the Vice President nodded, while Jack and Daniel both tried not to laugh.

“Sorry, Cowboy, this horsey has to save the nation.”

“That's 'cause you're a hero,” Ricky replied as he climbed off Hayes' back.

“Wanna be Vice President?” Hayes asked the young boy, causing Ricky to giggle and the real office holder to gulp.

====

The Munchkins made a successful escape from the Roosevelt Room, having run through the hallways until realizing they'd entered a high traffic area not far from the Oval Office.

“Just walk like we belong,” Jonny suggested, jerking to a halt from his sprint while calming his breath.

“This isn't going to work,” Little Danny argued as he looked around.  “There aren't any other kids here.”

“Don't be negative,” the sandy-haired boy refuted.

“We're gonna lose chocolate privileges for a whole year,” the little genius bemoaned.  Then he saw a familiar face and smiled politely.  “Hi, Holly.”

“Now what are you three doing out here?” the woman asked in surprise as a file hung limply in her hands.

“We're late for a meeting,” Jonny told the President's secretary, not wanting to be deterred.  “Come on,” he beckoned to his siblings as he began to walk away.

“Bye!” a smiling Aislinn told the woman as she immediately followed her big brother.

“You have a nice house,” the middle Munchkin complimented, trying to be polite.

“Thank you, but it's not mine, you know.  It's yours.”

“Mine?”

“The White House belongs to the people, to every citizen in the United States,” Holly advised the curious youngster.

“Little Danny, come on!” Jonny ordered his overly considerate brother from the twisting corridor.

The sought after boy shrugged, spoke a kind farewell, and then joined Jonny and Aislinn, leaving Holly looking a bit confused and still wondering why they were walking around the west wing unattended.  However, since Hayes had informed her prior to the visit that the Jackson-O'Neills were special guests and were to be given essentially free reign while visiting, Holly just shrugged and went about her business.

====

A few corridors later, the Munchkins peered around a corner where they were stunned to see an unfamiliar presence.

“She's a kid,” Aislinn whispered.

“Ya think?” Jonny responded, mimicking his dad.

“I didn't think they had other kids here,” Aislinn clarified.

“She's bored,” Little Danny observed about the girls forlorn expression and fidgeting.

The young girl was seated on a bench, her legs swinging back and forth.  Adults were walking back and forth in passing, seemingly ignoring the child.

~Side mission: make unidentified side girl smile.~  With a bob of his head, Jonny ordered, “Let's go.”

The triplets walked casually over to the bench, their auras emanating 'we belong here' to anyone who was around.

“Ni hao,” Little Danny greeted, saying 'hello' in Mandarin Chinese.

In response, the little girl's eyes brightened.  The triplets were the first children she'd seen in weeks who knew her language.

“Ni hao,” the girl replied politely.

“Wo jiào Dan ní,” Little Danny said as he introduced himself.  He pointed at his brother and stated, “Qiáng ní,” and then reached over to touch his sister while saying, “Aislinn.”  He smiled as he explained in English, “Her name doesn't translate into Chinese.”

“It's Irish,” Aislinn advised proudly.

The Munchkins found out that the girl's name was Ming.  Her father was a powerful businessman from China and he was in the United States as part of a delegation which was discussing foreign trade.  At the moment, he was engaged in a meeting, while her mother, and other delegates' wives, were chatting with Mrs. Hayes.  Unfortunately, Ming was the only child on the trip and had been frequently left to sit patiently as she waited for her parents.

“Come with us,” Jonny invited in the girl's native language.

The girl began to stand, but then sank back down, dejectedly.  She explained it would not be appropriate.  Her parents would be very angry.

“Jonny, that's them,” Aislinn stated anxiously as she caught a glimpse of two Secret Service agents.

“Bye, Ming,” Jonny told the girl.  “Run!” he ordered his siblings.  ~Temporary side mission failure.  Not good.~

“Zai jian,” Aislinn said with a wave as she offered a goodbye to the girl.

====

The White House staff in the hallway outside of the President's office couldn't believe all the laughter coming from inside.  This was definitely not the normal workday.  Hayes was having a grand time with his visitors, even when JD let out with a big 'dump' of sorts right when Hayes was telling him a story.  That was, in fact, the reason for the latest round of guffaws.

As Jack did the honors of attending to JD's diaper change, Daniel and the children continued to chat in various groups.

Chenoa and Lulu were near the door when they started to talk about their dancing.  The Mouseketeer loved to tap, while Lulu was very much into ballet.  One of their most favorite things to do was to combine the two different types of dance into one fluid performance.  Soon, their conversation turned into a choreography session.

“We could do this,” Chenoa put forth, doing a Maxie Ford step.

“I like that, Noa, and then we could do this,” Lulu suggested, adding a second position ballet leap transition to the end of the tap step.

All of a sudden, the two curly-haired girls danced their way out to the reception area by Holly's desk.  They were totally oblivious of the others around them; that's how engrossed they were.  With each idea, their routine grew.  Finally, they were so excited that they performed the entire segment they'd created until their unfamiliarity with their surroundings led to disaster.

Performing side-by-side, the sisters did their combination routine, ending with the leap, only when they came down, they landed right in front of an aide, turning into her.  Startled, the young woman jumped back, right into the arms of one of Hayes' speech writers.  The force of the impact caused him to fall backwards, taking the aide with him.  Landing on the floor, the two rolled over, ending up in a compromising position.

A clicking noise surprised everyone as a visiting photographer, who was a friend of the speech writer's, couldn't resist snapping a picture.

“I want that photo!” the speech writer exclaimed.  “Mae, would you mind?” he asked the buxomly aide as she stared down at him.

On top of the pure embarrassment of the situation, Mae's files had flown into the air, the contents strewn all over the carpet.  Worse, the speech writer's smartphone had gone flying through the air, slapping against the wall, and then landing inside a staff worker's large, full, and very foamy latte macchiato.  The shock of the landing caused that worker to drop the cup, the drink splashing against her woollen white dress.

“Whoops!” Lulu giggled.

As soon as everyone stood up and looked to be okay, Chenoa added a, “We're sorry.”  Taking hold of Lulu's hand, she headed back to the Oval Office, calling out a friendly, “Bye,” as she walked.

“Where did you two go?” Brianna asked when her sisters walked in.

“Just dancing,” Lulu answered, laughing as she and Chenoa walked nonchalantly over to the President's desk to check it out more closely.

====

The Munchkins were sneaking their way through the west wing, an area which contained of small offices for the large presidential staff.  This actually allowed the triplets to hide quite often.  Though there were plenty of staff members walking around, they were all talking a lot, quite focused and involved in whatever their momentary crisis was.  As long as the kids kept moving and ducking inside the empty offices, they managed to evade detection.

“We're not in the right part of the White House,” Aislinn pointed out.

“Maybe it's upstairs,” Little Danny offered about their recently decided upon destination.

“That way,” Jonny commanded in a whisper, pointing the way for his siblings.

The children backtracked a bit and then ran into a stumbling block, that being a corridor where four workers, three men and one woman, were engaged in a discussion.

“Ash, ask them where the bathroom is,” Jonny suggested.

“Jonny!”

“What?  Everyone has to go to the bathroom,” the boy stated.  “You lead them that way.  After Little Danny and I go through, then you follow.  You can do it.  Just smile and be pretty.”

“'Cause you are pretty,” Little Danny complimented sweetly.

“Okay.”

Aislinn took a breath and then walked forward confidently.  It only took a few seconds for her to be noticed.  After all, children were rarely, if ever, seen in any part of the west wing.

“Who are you?” a man questioned.  ~She's so cute, she could be a kid model.~

“Hi!” Aislinn greeted, using her sweetest voice and best smile.  In fact, her smile was an alluring brightness that put the grownups at ease.  “I love your White House.  It's so interesting and exciting.”

Just as Jonny predicted, the three men were quite enamored with his sister.  Two had kneeled down and the third was standing behind them.  The woman was smiling and had just asked Aislinn about her beautiful hair.  Appropriately, the youngest Munchkin walked a bit to her left, which gave her brothers a better chance to sneak through unseen.

Still smiling, Aislinn pointed down to her shiny black shoes and asked, “Do you think these are pretty?”  She sighed, “I'm not sure they go with my dress.”  The dress was white, the bottom featuring a couple of butterflies in flight.  Twirling around, her hands holding her dress to show it off in full expanse as she turned, the young girl inquired enticingly, “What do you think?”

The two boys took advantage of the situation and were able to quietly walk around the corner without being seen by anyone except for their sister.

Knowing her brothers were now in the clear, the little girl thanked the four workers for their compliments about her shoes and dress and queried, “Could you tell me where the bathroom is?”

“It's around the corner, Sweetheart,” the woman responded.

“Thank you.  It was nice meeting you.”

Before the adults could say anything further, Aislinn skipped away, her demeanor confident and self-assured.

“Hey, who was that girl?” one of the men asked as he awoke from Aislinns spell.

“I wish I knew,” the woman responded with a shrug.

“Should we report seeing her?”

“Maybe.  The meeting starts in five minutes, and I still need to finalize the flight plan,” a second man replied, completely putting the encounter out of his mind.

“I still say we go through Detroit,” the woman interjected.

Not considering Aislinn a threat, the workers went on with their assigned tasks.

====

“This is a big one,” Jonny noted about the latest room the Munchkins were exploring as they headed for their goal.

“I think it's the cabinet room,” Little Danny put forth.

“Where are the cabinets?” Aislinn queried while looking around the room that had a long table in it.

“It's ...” Little Danny chuckled when he saw his sister grin.  ~I knew she knew this was where they have the big meetings.  Ha ha, she's pulling a Dad.~

“Where does Mister President Hayes sit?” Jonny questioned.

“That one, I think,” Little Danny answered, pointing to a chair.

“This room's boring,” Jonny sighed.  “Let's go see what's over there.”

====

Meanwhile, Jack and Daniel, along with the children who weren't on the secret mission, were visiting with Hayes and his wife, who had just joined them since her duties with the delegates' wives had concluded for the moment.  The visiting parents were trying not to think about their roaming Munchkins, but it was hard not to worry about what trouble the three could be getting into while on the loose in the White House interior.

“Tom, any news?” Hayes inquired of the head of the White House Secret Service staff.

“They were seen in the deputy commissioner's office a few minutes ago, and part of the press team actually talked to the little girl.”

“Ash?” Daniel inquired.  “What did she say?”

“She asked for directions to the bathroom,” Tom replied, causing Daniel to look over at his lover and for Hayes to let out a chuckle.

“Maybe we should go look for them,” the archaeologist suggested, standing up.

“Sit down, Daniel,” Hayes ordered.  “They're just taking an extended tour.”

“Without a guide,” Daniel muttered as he reluctantly retook his place in the chair he'd been seated in.

“Relax,” the President urged calmly.  “What harm could they do?”

At the moment, Tom's radio went off.

“Pro 1, this is Dog 2.  We have a problem.”

“Go Dog 2,” Tom replied.

“We just lost access to the mainframe.”

“Use the backdoor.”

“Tried.  We're blocked.”

“All units, this is Pro 1.  Situation Red Dawn.  I say again, Red Dawn until further notice.”  Looking at the commander in chief, Tom spoke, “Sir, I'd like you and Mrs. Hayes to move to ...”

“Tom, settle down.  It's the Munchkins, not a Communist attack.”

“We don't know that, Mister President,” the agent insisted.

“I do,” Hayes declared strongly.  “Do your job, but don't overreact,” he ordered sternly.

Unhappily, Tom left the Oval Office, although he stationed three of his men on the door.

====

“Bet Aunt Sam couldn't do that,” Jonny opined with delight.

“You just have to think like the person making the code,” Little Danny put forth.

“How'd you know he'd pick that word?” Aislinn queried.

With a shrug, Little Danny answered, “He acts stuffy, so I figured he'd use stuffy.”

The Munchkins shared a laugh and then Aislinn suggested, “You'd better put it back now.”

“Yeah,” Little Danny agreed, going back to the high tech system and restoring the original password.  “Do you think they noticed?” he asked as he walked away from the keyboard.

“Nah,” Jonny dismissed.  “We didn't turn out the lights or anything.”

“Maybe ...”

“Ash,” Little Danny chastised.

Giggling, the youngest Munchkin followed her brothers out of the office and continued onward in their quest.

====

“I know this room,” Jonny announced cheerfully.  “I'm gonna give a speech.”

Little Danny and Aislinn played along, the two taking seats in the audience portion of the moderately sized room.

Pushing over a chair to stand on, Jonny got into position, his hands gripping the sides of the lectern.

“As your general, I command that everyone everywhere gets free ice cream every night for a year.  Questions?”

Aislinn stood up and questioned, “Does that mean we can have a bowl of pecan ice cream *and* a bowl of strawberry ice cream if we want?”

“As your general, I make it so.  Next?”

Standing, Little Danny asked, “What about the animals?”

“Don't they like ice cream?”

“I want to know if you're going to protect the animals against the bad people,” the middle Munchkin questioned.

“Generals love animals: yes!  Bad people will be sent to Elm'dorf,” Jonny stated, having heard his older father mention the name many times.  ~It must be a really bad place.~

“Good!” Little Danny exclaimed.  “But it's Elm*en*dorf, Jonny.”

“Whatever,” the boy responded with a shrug as he got off the chair.  “Let's finish the mission.”

“Yeah, Dad and Daddy are probably way mad by now,” Aislinn pointed out.

In agreement, the children looked in all directions.  They were now committed to going straight through to their desired location, something they were certain they could do since they had just looked up the plans to the White House.  Playtime was over.

====

Twenty-five minutes later, with hot muffins in their hands, the Munchkins were spotted on the ground floor near the east wing.

“Pro 1, I've got them in sight,” one of the agents reported over his radio.

“Move in, gently.  Take them to the President's study,” Tom ordered since that was the present location of the first family and the Jackson-O'Neills.

The agent casually approached the children.

“Oops!” Little Danny exclaimed.

“We've been made!” Jonny warned.  “Follow me,” he ordered, stuffing the muffin inside his shirt.

The children ran in the opposite direction, leading the Secret Service men on a merry chase.  Amazingly, they continued evading their chasers, especially when they ducked into a White House tour.  Once the coast was clear, they broke away and leisurely began the return trek to the Oval Office.

====

“Children, where have you been?” Holly called out as she was exiting the Oval Office having just placed a requested file on the President's desk.

“We were on a mission,” Jonny answered truthfully.

“Did you complete it?” the good-natured secretary questioned.

“Uh-huh,” Aislinn answered as she bit into her somewhat crumbled muffin.

“Complete success,” Jonny affirmed proudly as attested to by his grin.

“Cook makes great muffins,” Little Danny added, his mouth full as he chewed.

“Well, everyone is in the study now,” the woman stated, beckoning the youngsters to follow her.

====

“Hi, Dad,” Jonny greeted casually, being the first of the triplets to enter the study.  “Thank you,” he told Holly, looking up at her before joining his other siblings inside.

“Where have you three been?” Jack interrogated sternly.

“Now, Jack, they were probably just exploring,” Hayes joked, finding the entire event rather funny.

“We were on a mission,” Jonny acknowledged eagerly.

“See that, boys?  They were on a mission, and you know full well, General, that missions are important,” Hayes asserted.  With Jonny now standing right in front of him, the leader of the United States asked, “Any problems in achieving success on your mission?”

“One casualty, Mister President,” Jonny answered seriously.  With a depressed sigh, he reported, “My muffin was crushed when the bad aliens were chasing us.”

“There's one!” Aislinn gasped, seeing Tom enter the room.

“That girl is perceptive, gentlemen,” Hayes mused to the parents.  Facing the agent, he asked, “You speak English?”

“Sir?”

“Loosen up, Tom,” Hayes griped.  “Get the kids some more muffins.”

“Muffins?”

“Muffins,” Hayes reiterated, his tone indicating that further questioning of his orders would not go down well.

====

A short time later, Hayes was giving the entire Jackson-O'Neill family a personal tour of the west wing, something that just did not happen every day.  Of course, he had help from the Munchkins, who had a great time waving at some of the people they'd run into on their mission.

Halfway through, as the group was walking down the corridor where many of the press offices were, Jenny was trailing her parents and siblings.  She was enjoying the hustle and bustle of the busy west wing and thought it was very intriguing.  When she paused to pick up a penny she'd spotted by the wall, she tuned into a conversation going on inside the closest office.  She didn't mean to eavesdrop; it just happened.

“We have to do damage control,” one man stated.

“We can't waste any time doing it, either,” a second man agreed.

“How are we going to do it?”

“Lie, what else?”

“Hayes won't like that,” the first man sighed.

“Who's going to tell him?”  A sigh and a tap on the desk later, the second man continued, “All we have to do is put the blame elsewhere: leave a nibble in the right place.”

Jenny's face tightened as she continued to listen.  She heard the men talking about a bad decision, something that could come back to haunt them and the administration.  Apparently, they'd done something that hadn't gone as planned, and the workers needed to cover their tracks and fast.  It was even suggested that they try to put the blame on a staffer in the Pentagon, on someone totally unconnected to their positions in the White House.

While Jenny didn't totally understand everything being discussed, she did comprehend the cover up that was in the making.  Then she heard her parents call her.  She started to rejoin her family, but she just couldn't.  She turned around and barged into the office.

“You should tell the truth!  Lying is a bad thing,” the girl declared sternly as she stood with her hands on her hips.

“Who's the kid?” the first man questioned the others in the room.

“Get lost,” the second man ordered Jenny.

“Mmmph!” the brave redhead snarked, giving the men an evil eye.  “President Hayes isn't gonna be happy!”

“Right,” the first man sneered.  ~What's with this little pipsqueak?~

“I'm gonna tell him.”

“Sure, you will,” the second man responded, shaking his head.  “We work for him, you know.”

“I bet he didn't hire you, but he'll fire you,” Jenny sing-songed confidently.

“Listen you brat ...”

The second man's threat included a move forward.  Reacting from her defense training, the Spitfire kicked the man in the groin.  His cry of pain attracted the Jackson-O'Neills and the President to the small inner office.

“Jenny!” Jack called out.  “Are you okay?”

Ignoring her father, the spunky redhead addressed Hayes, informing him that, “These men are liars!”

“Are they now?” Hayes responded, watching one employee as he was still doubled over in pain.  ~She may be small, but I guess she has a powerful kick.~

“That kid attacked me,” the pained man accused, pointing at Jenny.

“You were gonna hit me.”

“No, I wasn't.”

“You put your hands out.  Dad and Daddy said that's a 'no no'.”

“And they're right,” Hayes interjected forcibly.

“And they want to get someone in the Pen'gon in trouble.  I told them they should tell the truth,” Jenny replied, moving forward from the man's inappropriate lunge and telling the President everything she'd heard.

“Mister President,” the first man began.

“We don't lie, Vic,” Hayes asserted.  “And we don't put our hands on little girls, either.”  He looked over at the press secretary, who had also come running at the cry of pain, and ordered, “Take care of this, and I want a full report on what this is about before the day is over.”

With a smirk, Jenny faced the men and boasted, “Told you so.”

“Jennifer Samantha!” Jack exclaimed.  He kneeled down and advised, “We're guests in the White House and no matter whose house we're in, we don't smirk and boast with 'I told you so's'.  Understood?”

“Yes, Dad,” Jenny acknowledged.  ~But I told them so!~

====

On the spur of the moment, Hayes took the family outside where the swimming pool was.

“What's that?” Jonny asked, pointing to an area just to the west of the pool.

“That's where we play horseshoes,” the President answered.

The long strip ran parallel to the pool, located just beyond the pool's cement patio deck, though it didn't take up the full length.  Rather, the strip was roughly forty feet.  Each side had a pitching box with a single stake planted firmly in its center.  On the end closest to the west wing building, a lone tree was behind the pitching box.  On the opposite end's box were a cluster of trees and bushes.

“Who's up for a game?” Hayes asked commandingly.

Both Jack and Daniel took on their high-powered friend, each losing handily.  Jonny gave it a try, too, but he didn't quite have the form and power to pitch the shoes properly.  Then Jeff was encouraged, or more aptly, coerced by Hayes to give it a shot.

“I've never done this before,” Jeff warned as he stood in his pitching box.

“Just hold the horseshoe firmly,” Hayes advised as he displayed the proper grip for the teenager.  “Extend your arm like so,” he said as his arm extended to full length.  “Bring the shoe up to eye level, and as you eye the stake, bend slightly.”

“He's a good teacher,” David whispered to Brianna.

“Yeah, I could do this,” the tomboy replied with confidence.

Hayes continued, “Take your step forward and release the horseshoe thusly.”  Hayes watched his horseshoe fly through the air.  He heard the familiar clang of the shoe connecting with the stake.  “That's a ringer.”  Smiling he faced Jeff and stated, “It's all in the alignment.”

Jeff gave it a try, but his throw fell short.

“Son, you have put your full strength into the toss.”  Whispering he goaded, “Little Red over there has more wallop to her punch than what I just saw from you.”  With vocal strength and vigor, he fisted his hand and thrust his arm forward while urging, “Come on!  Give it some power.”  Backing away, he added, “Think about the release.  Don't force it, just make sure you follow through.”

“Like in bowling,” Little Danny piped up, totally understanding the concept the President was explaining to his brother.

“Okay,” Jeff sighed, still not thinking this was his game.  His mind tried to repeat all of the advice he'd just heard.  The two words that kept coming to him were 'force' and 'power'.  He took a huge breath.  “Force and power,” he mumbled to himself.

Jeff released the horseshoe and as he did, Hayes walked forward, a funny expression on his face.  At the same time, the children began to giggle.

“Too much power there, Bro,” David teased, having been close enough to hear his brother's mumbling.

“Wow, Jeff.  I didn't know you could throw that far,” Chenoa remarked, leaning over to see if she could tell where the horseshoe landed.

One of the Secret Service agents ran over to retrieve the horseshoe, which had powered way past the stake and disappeared into the bushes.  It took him a minute to find it, in fact.

“Let's try that again, Son.  Focus your release,” Hayes encouraged.

--

**Danny, ...**

**Jack, don't even think it.**

**I can't help it.  The President said to focus your release,** Jack communicated, his eyes straight ahead in fear of what would happen if he looked at his sexy lover at the moment.

**On *horseshoes*, Jack.  Geez, we're at the White House.**

**They have bedrooms.  I heard the Lincoln Bedroom gets lots of action,** the general replied.

~Gawd!~

--

“Try it again,” Hayes told Jeff.

“Yes, Sir,” Jeff responded respectfully.

The teen took another deep breath and then released his toss.  He cringed as he saw the horseshoe flying up in the air, and up, and up, and up.  He dropped down to his knees, shaking his head and then hiding it in his hands.

“Flying high there, Son?” Hayes questioned, amazed when the horseshoe actually landed in a branch.  “That's a point for creativity,” he added with a chuckle.

Standing, Jeff replied, “Mister President, I don't think horseshoes is my game.”

“You may be right,” Hayes returned, patting the sixteen-year-old on the back.  “Spitfires, let me see your stuff.”

Eager to impress, the twins took their turn in the pitching box.  As he watched his siblings, Jeff felt embarrassed at his failure, especially since Ricky and Jenny were both able to get their horseshoes closer to the stake than he'd come.

Then Jeff felt Jack's arm around his shoulders.

“You were nervous.”

“Big time, Dad, and I don't know why.”

“We're in D.C., with the President of the United States,” Jack rationalized.

“But I haven't been nervous about being here all day.”

“I get that, but you also haven't been asked to play a game against the President in front of your family, a gaggle of SS guys, and several White House staffers.  Next time, you'll get him.”

“We're coming back?”

“Sure.  When the triplets are elected to office,” Jack joked.  ~Heaven help the world if that really ever happens.  Not that it would be a bad thing, but I'm not sure the country is ready for ... Munchkin Power.~

Feeling better after his father's supportive chat, Jeff rejoined his siblings to cheer on Chenoa as she took her turn with the horseshoes.

====

Back inside the west wing, the group was spread out a bit as they walked down the corridor that led to the Oval Office.  As they reached Holly's desk, Daniel's namesake drew his younger father's attention.

“Daddy,” Little Danny whispered, tugging on his younger father's leg and using his finger to request that Daniel come down to his level.

“What is it, Son?” the archaeologist inquired as he sat down on his haunches.

“We met a little girl named Ming.”

“And?” Daniel listened to his son's story about the little Chinese girl and then he smiled at his namesake's request.  He gave Little Danny a nod and requested, “No more ... secret missions at the White House, okay?”

“Okay, Daddy, I promise,” the boy avouched.

Standing up, Daniel walked several feet forward to tap his soulmate on the shoulder and pulled him aside for a quick private discussion.  Coming to a decision, they waited until Holly had finished a conversation with Hayes and then they approached her.

“Holly, we need a favor,” Jack requested, speaking in an enticing and alluring Irish brogue, which naturally had the secretary smiling and feeling all gooey inside.

====

Even though they'd stuffed themselves with muffins, the Munchkins enjoyed a wonderful lunch with their family and the Hayes' in the dining room of the west wing.  It was much more casual than other such meals, but the President knew that Jack and Daniel didn't really care about pomp and circumstance.  This visit was personal, and his goal was to keep it that way as much as possible while still making it fun for the kids.

Afterward, Hayes needed to attend to some urgent business, so one of his assistants took the family outside for an extended tour of the grounds, showing them the South Lawn, including the Kitchen Garden.

While the assistant was speaking about the origin of the Kitchen Garden, David became curious about something he saw standing a bit to the west of where he was standing.  He casually worked his way over to the structure.  The closer he came to it, the more hesitant he was to continue, and yet he did keep on walking.

~Ut oh.~  David heard the buzzing of bees.  ~It's a beehive.  I read about this.  It's the First Beehive,~ he mused.  ~They're not making honey yet.  It's way too early for that.  I thought they hibernated or something.~

The boy walked around the beehive from a safe distance, observing the wooden stand on which the hive stood.  It wasn't an authentic hive made by bees, but rather was a manmade structure.  Above the stand was the multi-layer wooden hive.  The bottom base was where David heard some humming.  He figured it was the guard bees he'd heard about.

~I think all bees are guard bees.  They keep me away, that's for sure.~

To David, the hive looked like a bunch of drawers that could be pulled out.

~I'll bet the bees are in those drawers.~  Still, David was curious because he knew the honey harvesting happened in late Spring as a rule.  ~Maybe they mate with the Queen bee in the winter,~ he pondered, realizing he hadn't been too thorough in his past reading about bees, their life cycle, and how they actually make honey.  ~I'll look them up at home.  Maybe Dad and Daddy will give me extra credit for schoolwork.~

The longer he was near the beehive, the braver David became.  In fact, he was standing within inches of the hive.  He hunched over, wanting to see what he could as he heard the natural noises of the bees inside.  Spurred on by a natural inquisitiveness, David daydreamed about what it was like to be a bee, buzzing about, stinging people and making honey.  He was very absorbed in his secret visioning when all of a sudden, he was stung, not by a bee, but by a voice.

“David, Daddy wants ...”

So into his fantasy was David that the steady voice of Brianna sent his heart racing, his pulse throbbing, and his body jumping.  It was this last part that stirred up trouble as the boy jumped and lurched forward, going right into the beehive, which fell back and crashed onto the grass.

“Run!” Brianna yelled, seeing bees beginning to bustle all about.  She literally pulled on her brother's belt and yanked him away from the hive.  “I said, 'run'!”

Hearing the disturbance and immediately getting a sense of what was happening, the assistant pulled out a radio and communicated, “We need Charlie by the beehive, now!”

Holding JD, Daniel couldn't do much but make sure the baby was protected.  He headed for shelter while calling out to the children.  Jack called out as well and motioned for the kids to go inside with their daddy, but it was useless.  All of them were already running towards Brianna and David, while Brianna and David were heading towards the family.  It wasn't until they met up that they all started to run towards the west wing.

“It's okay,” the assistant assured, trying to bring calm to the excitement that had drawn the attention of some of the kitchen staff who were heeding her recent call.

“They aren't following us,” Chenoa stated as she stopped running.

“David, did you get stung?  Bri?” Jack asked as he finally gathered the family into one spot.

“Only my heart,” the boy gasped, bending over slightly with his hands on his knees.  “Bri, you scared me half to death.”

“I'm sorry.  I was sure you heard me coming.”

“Nope,” David groaned, still trying to regain his wits.  He straightened as he saw some workers checking out the beehive.  “I think I woke them up,” he commented about the bees that were now much louder than when he was observing their hive.

“Ya think?” Jack asked, shaking his head.  ~Nothing could have slept through that.~

As luck would have it, the beehive wasn't seriously damaged and was quickly righted and restored to its normal position.  In protective gear, a couple of men removed sections of the hives, checking the bees and ensuring they weren't harmed in the fall.

The family watched it all from a safe distance and then David apologized to the beekeeper, who was quite understanding, all things considered.  The keeper actually answered a lot of the children's question about bees and beehives.

When the assistant resumed the tour of the grounds and the family began to leave the area, David sighed to Brianna, “There goes my allowance for this month.”

“They said it wasn't damaged ... much.”  Brianna then teased, “Just half your allowance.”

“You're a big help,” the boy sighed.

“Sorry, Bro.  What were you thinking about anyway?”

“What it would feel like to be a bee and sting people,” David answered with an intense playfulness, going after his sister while making a buzzing noise.

“Daaaad!” Brianna called out as she ran ahead.

The children laughed while the parents groaned.

**Didn't they promise to be on their best behavior?** Daniel mentally asked his soulmate.

**For our brood, this is their best,** Jack answered, looking over at his husband with a bit of a smirk.

**Right.**

====

The tour included a stroll by the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden along with a quick lesson on some of the herbs such as rosemary that were grown there and used regularly by the White House chef and his staff.

As the family moved forward, Jennifer lagged behind, enjoying the beautiful chrysanthemums and flowering kale that were still lining the brick pathway of the garden.  She felt amazingly tranquil.  In fact, she had a very ethereal feeling all about her.  Any minute now, she was sure she would just float away.

“It's almost winter, and it's still so lovely,” Jennifer sighed softly, talking to Mother Nature.

“You should see it in the spring,” a handsome man offered, causing Jennifer to jump slightly and raise her right hand to her chest.  “I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to startle you.”

“I didn't know anyone else was around.”

“Don't mind Nate; he's always goofing off,” another equally handsome man interjected.

For the next few minutes, Jennifer was the center of these two well-dressed men's attention, both eager to make an impression on her.  Both were highly flirtatious, their words of flattery making her smile, inside and out.

--

Suddenly, Jack's 'dad' radar went into alert mode.  He turned around and saw that his oldest daughter was nowhere in sight.

“Danny, I'll be right back.”

Daniel turned and also realized that Jennifer wasn't with her siblings.  He surmised that she was still on the east colonnade  of the grounds where the Kennedy Garden was whereas he and the other children were halfway across the executive residence in route to the Rose Garden.

--

Jack made quick time to the garden and began looking around.  As he eyed the pergola, he saw his daughter sitting with two very attractive but clearly older men.  He figured they were in their mid- to late twenties.  While he was figuring that, he also wished he had his P-90, especially since one of them had his arm around Jennifer's shoulders and the other was tapping her arm playfully.

“The music is ...” the first man began, stopping when he saw the stern look of a man in his direction.

“Hi, Dad,” Jennifer greeted nervously, suddenly realizing she wasn't where she should be.

“Would you mind getting your arm off my daughter?” Jack commanded, the response to his query not optional, but rather required.

“I think I'll get back to work,” the second man stated, standing and starting to walk away.

“Stay right there,” Jack ordered in full 'don't mess with me' tone.  “Jennifer, move.  That way,” he directed, motioning with his head.

“Dad, we were just ...”

“I have eyes.  Go -- now!”

“Yes, Dad,” Jennifer sighed.  “Bye fellas,” she said lightly before following the pathway that would take her to the rest of her family.

With the two men facing him, Jack stated in a disturbingly calm voice, “She's beautiful, isn't she?”

“Very,” the first man agreed.

“Hot stuff,” the second man opined, immediately wishing he'd kept his mouth shut.

“Names?” Jack snapped.  ~I miss this: instant terror in the eyes of the adversaries.~

“Nathaniel Holt,” came the reply from the first man.

“William Defrees,” was the response of the second man.

“Well, *Nat* and *Will*, like your jobs?”  Seeing the nods, Jack continued, “Want to keep them?”  There were more nods.  Walking into the personal space of the two men and looking at one and then the other, Jack whispered in what sounded like a shout, “Then I suggest you not make advances towards *minors*.”

“Mi...minor?” the first man questioned, his palms suddenly very sweaty.

“*M-i-n-o-r: minor,” Jack repeated, having spelled out the name for complete clarity.  “My friend, President Hayes, you've heard of him?”  The look on the men's faces delighted Jack.  They were clearly scared to death at this point.  “He's the reason I'm here today.  I'll be sure to mention your chat with my daughter to him.”

“General, we were just ...”

“I know *exactly* what you were just.”

Jack then used some choice language to let the gentlemen know what he thought of their activities, while also mentioning that his hobby was military weapons.  He then graphically relayed to them just how he could use a P-90 to alter their gender capabilities.  By the time Jack warned, “Get out of my sight,” the men were sweating and wishing they hadn't come to work today.

Quickly, the two men turned and headed for the safety of the White House interior.

“Careful of the ...” Jack called out, an insincere smile on his face when both men tripped over the leg of a bench and ended up face down, one on top of the other, “... bench.”

Standing, the men looked back and then down at their dirt-clad white shirts.  They were angry, but there was nothing they could say without incriminating themselves for both not working, as they were supposed to be doing, and for hitting on a teenager.  Just as they started to turn to run back inside, someone came screaming over at them.

~Such language,~ Jack thought, a verbal “Tsk tsk” escaping from his lips.  ~It doesn't pay to make the landscaper mad.~  Satisfied, he turned and began walking to the other side of the White House grounds, whistling as he did so.  ~Jen's a looker and a free agent, but I still think Peter Hamilton has the inside track.~

====

By the time the tour was halfway through the Rose Garden, Holly had news.  Standing at the door that led to the Rose Garden from the west wing, she called out to Daniel and energetically waved him over.

“I'll stay with the kids,” Jack told his lover while motioning for the brood to tune back into the discussion about how this part of the grounds was quite often used as a press reception area.  He watched his better half with curiosity until Daniel walked back inside the building with Holly.  ~Hope she has good news for us.~

====

“Doctor Daniel Jackson-O'Neill, this is Mister Zhang,” Holly introduced in the lobby area of the west wing.

The two bowed respectfully in tradition and then Daniel spoke in the man's language, telling him about the Munchkin's encounter with Ming.  Their conversation had to be brief because of the Chinese man's schedule, but he nodded and called Ming over.  He picked up his daughter and spoke with her quietly for a couple of minutes.  When he asked her a specific question, he saw her face light up.

“Doctor Jackson-O'Neill,” the man acknowledged in English.  “It would please me greatly to see my daughter having fun, as you say.”

“Thank you.”

Ming was wearing one big grin as she spoke, “Thank you, thank you, thank you” repeatedly.

Daniel made the final arrangements with Holly and was about to return to the Rose Garden when he saw his family returning.

“President Hayes would like all of you to return to the Oval Office,” a smiling Holly requested.

As the family walked, the children ahead of their parents, Jack maneuvered his way to his husband and asked, “Well?”

“Ming will be joining us for playtime this afternoon.”

“All right!

====

Jack and Daniel were still bringing up the rear of the family line as they walked towards the Oval Office.

Covertly, Jack mapped out where White House staff were so that when he made his move, no one could interfere.  Selecting his area of attack, he veered off to the left, reaching out and pulling his husband with him.  He closed the door behind them and began an intensive round of lips on lips and tongue in mouth with his soulmate.

Caught off-guard, Daniel could only moan with content, his arms going around his lover's neck as the kisses became even deeper.  He had no resistance, especially with Jack in his Class-A uniform.

“Gawd, I love you,” Daniel gasped a few minutes later when the kisses subsided.

“I love you, too.  Shall we rejoin the kids and the President now?”

“Pres...President?” the archaeologist called out, practically jumping.  “What were you thinking?” he criticized as he worked on getting his suit lined up again.

“I wasn't,” Jack responded.  “I was focusing.”

Daniel just stared at his husband, rolling his eyes afterward, and then turning to open the door.

“I don't believe you,” Daniel sighed.  “I just don't believe you.”

Proud of himself, Jack also did a quick suit check, after which he looked up at the security camera and grinned.

“Mine, all mine,” the general told the camera before following his Love out of the room.

--

“There you are,” Hayes called out.  “I thought we'd lost you.”

“Sorry, Sir,” Daniel spoke.

“We were just focusing,” Jack smirked.

**You are *so* gonna get it tonight.**

**Counting on it, Angel,** a very happy Jack returned, now feeling like the trip to the White House was complete.  **I always wanted to make out here.**

**You are incorrigible, Jack.  Gawd, the freakin' White House.**

Jack was about ready to burst out in satisfaction when JD suddenly needed another diaper change.

“I'll do it, Daddy,” Jennifer volunteered since she was holding the baby.

“That's okay, Jen.  Dad wants to do it again, don't you, Jack?” the archaeologist asked in what was a commanding tone of voice.  Looking at the President, he elaborated, “Jack just loves poopy situations.”

“Poopy?” Jack echoed amid the laughter of the brood.

“Takes a poop to know one,” Daniel explained as the laughter grew.

“What'd I miss?” Hayes asked Jeff.

“I'm not sure, Mister President, but something is off,” Jeff responded, recognizing that something had definitely occurred between his parents.

“Dad and Daddy kissing in the White House,” Aislinn giggled as she guessed the cause of the antagonism.

“Dad's in trouble,” Jonny laughed with a hint of joy at the thought.

“Oh, I see,” Hayes stated.  “That's where you were.”

“Pardon me while I take care of the poop,” Jack replied with a smug expression now that Daniel's face had turned beet red.  Walking by, he couldn't resist and surprised Daniel with another quick kiss.  “Love you, Danny.”

With a sigh, Daniel closed his eyes and then gave an insincere smile as he acknowledged, “Love you, too, Poopy Bear.”

Hayes' laughter overshadowed the children, especially when he added, “I wish we were recording this.  Tom, are we recording this?”  Seeing Daniel squirm even more, the President assured, “Relax, Daniel.  It's off.”

“Thank heaven,” Daniel replied with a deep breath.  ~When is this going to be over?  Someone change the subject.~

Fortunately, it was over quickly as Little Danny decided to ask Hayes about one of the paintings on the wall.

~Thank you, Sproglet,~ Daniel thought as conversation normalized.  ~But I am going to kill your dad later.  Okay, I won't kill him, but I'll think of something.~

====

“Here it is, Mister President,” Holly announced, handing her boss a file.

“Thank you, Holly,” Hayes acknowledged while nodding, watching her leave his study where only he and his wife were visiting with the Jackson-O'Neills.  He glanced at the file's contents and smiled.  “Well, JD, this makes you official.  Your fathers are Jack and Daniel Jackson-O'Neill and your mother is Kayla Armentrout.”

“We have the same mommy,” Jenny stated authoritatively.

“Welcome to the world, little guy,” the President stated, his finger tickling the baby's chin and earning him a happy giggle.

“Thank you, Mister President,” Daniel offered sincerely after reviewing the birth certificate that would make his son's life much easier.

“It's official.  There's no one in the universe that can prove otherwise,” Hayes added.  “He's as much a citizen of the United States as I am.”

“We didn't need a piece of paper to know that,” Lulu put forth.

“That's because we're real.  It's those sneaks underground that want to cause trouble.”

“The bad guys,” Jonny noted with a nod.

“Time for a toast,” Mrs. Hayes suggested, passing out glasses of milk for the entire assemblage.  “To a beautiful baby boy.”

“And a family this nation will be forever grateful to,” Hayes added.

With smiles and good feelings, the First Family and their guests enjoyed their milk.

“Are their cookies?” Ricky added.

“Can't have milk without cookies,” Jonny agreed.

“Boys,” Daniel chastised.

“Right here,” Mrs. Hayes revealed, unveiling a tray of various cookie treats.

“Oh, boy!” Ricky cheered, causing more laughter.

====

“It's been a pleasure,” President Hayes put forth an hour later, smiling at the Jackson-O'Neill clan on the steps of the north portico.

“Mister President, would you like to baby-sit us one day?” Ricky asked.

“That would be a long trip,” Hayes responded.

“But you'd never even see us,” the Spitfire explained.

“Yeah.  We could play on the tennis court,” Lulu offered.

“Or the putting green,” Chenoa added.  “I need to learn how to putt better first, though.”

The chuckles broke out, bolstered onward by Jonny's remark: “We can play basketball.”

“I want to see the solarium,” Brianna mentioned with a coy smile, knowing about the third floor area that the family hadn't had time to see.

“And we could go swimming,” Jenny pointed out.

“More horseshoes?” a somewhat meek-sounding Jeff offered with an embarrassed grin.

“Kids, get in the limo,” Jack instructed, cutting off the listing of recreational opportunities in and outside of the White House.

“I wanna watch a movie in your movie theater,” David added.  “Like Armageddon or maybe even Track of the Moon Beast.”

“David!” Daniel chastised, jerking his head toward the limousine.

“Goodbye, Sir,” David completed as he hurried towards the superstretch vehicle.

“All of you -- now!” the archaeologist ordered, getting an immediate response from the brood.

“You can come to our house for dinner soon, okay?” Little Danny invited as he waved farewell.

“Yeah.  Dad will burn the steaks for you,” Aislinn added, a teasing gleam in her eyes as she followed the others to the car.

“I do *not* burn the steaks,” Jack refuted, nodding for his daughter to get into the long stretch limousine.

“It'll be my pleasure,” the President called out to the children.

“Mrs. Hayes can come, too,” Lulu interjected before climbing inside the vehicle.

“We'll play with Muffin,” Jenny put forth eagerly.

“Muffin?” Hayes asked in confusion.  ~Those kids ate about four each today.~

“That's the, uh, big green dinosaur ... in the game room,” Daniel quietly reminded.

“Oh, yes, Dino!” Hayes chuckled, remembering the children's chatter about the creature that resided in their game room.  ~That's better.~

~Always knew I liked him,~ Jack thought about Hayes.

The married couple shook hands with the nation's leader, sharing words of appreciation and thanks for a good day and a continued friendship.  Then Jack and Daniel walked to the car and began to settle their brood inside the limousine.

Meanwhile, Hayes stood smiling, happy with the visit and having met the young JD.  He glanced over at Tom, who had walked forward to stand beside him on the steps.

“Good job, Tom.”

The man wearing the blue suit and sunglasses next to him nodded as he replied, “Thank you, Sir.  I believe they had fun.”

“Make sure everyone knows we're back to normal operations,” the leader of the nation ordered.

“Yes, Mister President,” Tom replied.  He added, “To be frank, Sir, as much as we let them get away with their activities, we actually learned a lot.”

With the limo pulling away, Hayes turned to face the man while responding, “I'm not surprised.  I knew the Munchkins would find any flaws that may exist in our security.”

“They were a challenge.  The oldest triplet ... uh ...”

“Jonny,” Hayes completed.

“He's very smart about sneaking around,” Tom reported.  “We genuinely lost them three or four times.  We'll have to review the surveillance tapes to find out exactly where they went.”

Hayes chuckled, “His father is one of the best we ever had in Special Ops.  I'm not surprised that his children have similar abilities.”

“The other boy?”

“Little Danny,” Hayes stated.

“He was the cause of the system failure.  Apparently, he figured out the password to one of our security programs: shut the whole thing down,” the agent admitted, shaking his head.  He sighed, “We anticipated he'd be able to break in, but we underestimated his ability to penetrate the backdoor.”

“I told you,” Hayes chuckled.  “What about Aislinn, the little girl?”

“Distracting,” Tom answered.  “She made an excellent decoy.  My guess is she'll grow up to win the hearts of many agents.”

“I think she already did,” Hayes mused.

“They did something peculiar, though,” Tom reported.  “Chef reported that when he went to get the muffins from the cooling tray, there was a quarter in place of the missing muffins.”

“A quarter?” Hayes mused.  “If only.”  He paused for a moment, feeling surprisingly joyful about the visit with his Colorado friends.  “What was the total damage?”

“Not bad, Mister President,” Tom answered, pulling out a notebook to consult.  “One smartphone, one white wool dress, three muffins ...”

“Less a quarter,” the commander-in-chief reminded.

“Correct,” Tom acknowledged, making a note.  “One wooden frame and the inner cover of the beehive, and an undetermined length of time to reprogram the security system.”  With an admiring tone, he elaborated, “We're still analyzing what we learned about Little Danny's break-in of the computer system and the chase of the triplets through the White House, but I'm confident they didn't breach the private residence or the upper levels.”

“Send the bill to the Jackson-O'Neills with my thanks for an enjoyable visit,” Hayes instructed with a pleased expression on his face.  ~I'd love to see Jack's face when he gets it.~

Lowering his notebook, Tom advised, “We took a big hit in the press department: four firings.”

Unhappy about that, Hayes responded, “We don't need predators going after teenagers or people we can't trust in this administration, Tom.”  After a beat, he ordered, “Forget the bill.  *We* owe them.”

“Sir, Ambassador Nakamura is on the line,” Holly advised as she appeared in the doorway.

Nodding his acknowledgement to the secretary, Hayes told the head of his security team, “Back to work, Tom.  Cancel the red alert.”

“Yes, Mister President,” Tom responded as the President walked back inside.  At that moment, he looked out towards Pennsylvania Avenue and saw the limousine just clearing the gate.  ~I'm just glad they're on our side.~

====

“They were mischievous,” the President's wife spoke as she and her husband entered the bedroom of their private residence in the White House.

It was an hour before dinnertime, and the two had to prepare for a state dinner.  No one had been in their room since early that morning.  For several minutes, the couple discussed the visit and the unique abilities of the Munchkins in running around the government home for quite some time.

Then Mrs. Hayes noticed something odd and called out, “Hank.”

About to enter the bathroom, Hayes replied, “Hmm?”

“What's this?”

Hayes walked over to the couple's bed and picked up the paper that was on the pillow.  He laughed.  First, it was a sedated, somewhat internal laugh, but then it grew into chuckles and then developed into full blown, riotous laughter.

“Dear?”

“The Munchkins were here,” Hayes laughed, handing his wife the note which was signed by all three kids.  “Tom's gonna be so disappointed.  He was positive they'd never make it up here.”

Hayes' wife looked at the note and laughed.  Still amused herself, she started to toss the note away until she heard her husband call out to her as he headed for the bathroom.

“Save it.  Those kids might be famous one day, and I want the proof that we were their first victims.”

The couple grinned, the note was secured, and life went on, full of unknowns and uncertainties, except for one fact: wherever Jack, Daniel, and their brood went, adventure would always follow.

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