Repurposing Today

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Drama, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - April 15, 2014
Spoilers:  None
Size:  33kb, short story
Written:  October 8-11,13, 2009
Summary:  It's tax day, and Jack and Daniel are too tired for school, which leads Daniel to come up with a different type of learning activity for the brood.
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:  Ali, Tammy, Irina, Navi!

Repurposing Today
by Orrymain

“We made it,” Jack sighed, sitting down on the aging but oh-so-comfortable sofa in his study.

“And with fifteen hours to spare,” Daniel mused, removing his glasses and hanging them on his shirt, just under his chin, as he so often did when needing a break from the lens on his face.

“Taxes should be illegal.”

“Let's not think about it anymore,” the younger man replied wearily, leaning back in the deluxe chair he'd gifted his lover with many years before.  “I think we just gave away half of J-O.”

The lovers shared a glance and then both chuckled, feeling lucky they were in this financial position in the first place.  Materialistically, they had more than they could ever need.  Their company was doing well and they were able to reward their employees handsomely as a result.  They had no reason to complain.

“Danny, it's almost time for school,” Jack reminded as he glanced at his watch.

“School,” Daniel echoed, letting out a long sigh afterwards.

The couple was worn out from their tax venture.  Normally, they were more prepared but for some reason this year, they just hadn't gotten themselves together with respect to their taxes.  Thus, they'd burned the midnight oil to ensure they finished their tax preparation on time.  While they had a professional accountant do the taxes for J-O Enterprises, they handled their personal taxes themselves.  The point at hand was that they were really too tired to focus on a regular lesson plan.

“We need to get rid of that junk in the garage, too,” Jack pointed out.  “Are we late or early for spring cleaning?”

“We're ...”  Suddenly, Daniel sat up straight, an idea forming.  “Spring cleaning,” he echoed.

“Daniel, what's going on in that beautiful mind of yours?” Jack asked, reflexively leaning forward as he continued to sit on the sofa.  ~I can just hear the gears turning.~

“The junk in the garage,” Daniel answered, still in the process of finalizing his idea.  He stood up and paced up and down the length of study just one time.  Then he paused and looked at his husband.  A smile formed slowly on his face. “Jack?”

“I'm all ears,” Jack responded eagerly, certain he was going to like the idea, even though he had no idea what it was.

“Jack, most of the things we have to go through and get rid of are, well ...”

“Junk,” both men said together.

“What's your idea?”

“We're both too tired to teach, right?”

“That goes without saying,” Jack answered wearily, thinking a nap would be good at this point.

“But it's Tuesday, and we really need to have school today,” Daniel stated.

“Especially since they had most of last week off,” Jack noted.

“And because Easter weekend is coming up and we probably won't do much Thursday or Friday, either,” Daniel added.

“So?” Jack prodded.

“So,” Daniel responded somewhat smugly.  “Let's teach by letting them play.”

“Sure.  Of course.  Yeahsureyoubetcha,” Jack agreed.  Then he stood up and walked over to his husband.  “What's your idea?”

Daniel laughed, realizing he hadn't yet been clear on this thought.

“Recycling; actually, repurposing.”

“Taking something that's lost its use and turning it into something else that is useful now,” Jack defined.

“Let's take all of that ... junk out of the garage, put it in the backyard, and see what the brood can do it with.”

“I like it,” Jack replied.  Grinning, he kissed his Love and praised, “I love your ideas.”

“I'll remember you said that.”

====

An hour later, Jack and Daniel faced their children, who were on the patio deck, some standing and some seated on the steps.  The exceptions were Jennifer, who was working full time this week at J-O Enterprises, Jeff, who was at school, and Brianna, who was visiting her boyfriend, Conway, in McBee.

“Today's challenge is one of creativity and science,” Daniel began.

“It's innovation and ... science,” Jack noted, realizing he hadn't added as much to the introduction as he'd wanted to do.  ~D'oh!  Need sleep.~

**Indeed,** Daniel replied, thinking along the same lines as his husband.

**Ha!  Thought I was talking to Teal'c for a moment.**

Daniel let the Jaffa comparison slide by and asked the brood, “How many of you have heard the term, 'repurposing'?”  He watched as some of the older children raised their hands, as did Little Danny, the acknowledged child prodigy of the brood.  “Good.  Repurposing is a term that began in the early 2000's when society began to think more about ways to be green.”

“Like Kermie?” JD asked innocent about Kermit the Frog.

Daniel smiled and clarified, “No, uh, Kermit is green by birth.  Being green means living in a way that is good and healthy for the environment, for our world.”

Little Danny leaned over and whispered, “I'll tell you later,” which caused Jack to let out a laugh.

“Okay, well, anyway, as you can see, Dad and I have placed several items on the tables in the backyard.  These are all items that we were going to discard.  What your challenge is today is to give them a new purpose in our world, in our home. You can mix and match the materials, deconstruct them, and basically do whatever you want, as long as you end up with a product that is usable.”

“Making an old thing a new thing is repurposing?” Lulu questioned.

“Pretty much,” Daniel affirmed.  “Any time you've converted a product into another format to serve as something different than what it was originally created as, you've repurposed it.”

“You can work alone, or you can pair up with your siblings.  Remember, working alone may be faster and let you be more independent, but if you team up, your partner or partners may have skills that will help you to succeed in the challenge,” Jack pointed out.

“How long do we have?” David inquired.

Jack and Daniel looked each other.  That was the question they were waiting for, and they knew the answer would amaze their brood.

“Until dinnertime,” Daniel answered, unable to completely hold in his smile.

“All day?” a delighted Chenoa queried.  “Cool!”

“What about lunch?” Ricky inquired.

“Sandwiches, whenever you want,” Jack told the children.  “Daddy and I will have sandwiches ready and waiting after 1100 hours.”

“Or you can have power bars.  They'll be on the kitchen table, and you don't need to ask permission before taking them,” Daniel advised.

“Can we ask you for help?” Aislinn queried.

“We'll have to play that one by ear, Princess,” Jack responded a bit conservatively.  “The goal here is for you to do the creating.  However, if you're asking us to drill a hole or screw something in tightly, I think it's fair for us to help you out.”

“Any more questions?” Daniel asked as he looked over the children.

“One, two, three -- go!” Jack called out, waving the kids onto the grass and towards the table.

As Daniel moved towards the patio, joining up with his soulmate, they both had the same question lingering in their minds.  Their youngest, JD, was only two-and-a-half, and not quite that, but he was toddling around, wanting to be involved.  Their concern was that none of his siblings would take the hint and potentially sacrifice their project in order to include the toddler.

“What do you think?” Daniel whispered.

“Let's go get him,” Jack sighed, beginning to walk towards the boy.

“No, Jack, wait,” Daniel urged, reaching out with his hand to stop his husband's momentum.  “Wait.”

Sure enough, Daniel's faith in the children paid off.  Just a few seconds later, Jonny looked over and saw JD looking up.  The oldest Munchkin looked at the material he'd just selected one last time, but then quickly put it down and hurried over to his little brother.

“JD, you wanna be on my team and help me?”

“Yah!” JD cheered, clapping his hands and trying to jump up but landing on his butt instead.

As the two boys laughed, Jonny helped JD up and, to his parents' delight, went over to another box to get something a little less complicated than what Jonny had originally chosen.

“They're off,” Jack declared.

“And so are we,” Daniel chuckled happily, turning, yawning, and disappearing inside the house.

“Wait for me!”

====

From time to time, Jack and Daniel checked on the brood, all of whom were huddled over their projects.

“How's it going?” Jack asked Ricky as he knelt down to observe.

“Dad, I know what I want to do, but it needs something else to make it complete,” the Spitfire answered.

“Tell me what you're missing.”

The boy whispered his concept to his older father, who pursed his lips and nodded, feeling totally impressed at the idea.

“Let me talk to Daddy,” Jack responded.  “I think I have something in the garage that we can use for demonstration, but I want to make sure we're being fair to your siblings.”

“Okay,” Ricky acknowledged as he returned to his work.

--

Across the yard, Daniel sat down on the grass and watched as his namesake and Aislinn worked together on their project.

“I think I see where you're going,” Daniel stated.

“We need more of these, Daddy.  Do you think Aunt Sam might have some?” Aislinn questioned.

The archaeologist understood the need for more materials and replied, “Dad and I will talk it over and let you know.  Just keep going.  You're doing great.”

Daniel stood and headed over to where Chenoa was hard at work.  He wasn't quite sure what she was up to, but she also had a request, which was to be able to work inside the house, in the sewing room, for a little while.

--

Meeting up at the patio deck, the parents compared notes.  Their children were highly engaged in the project, and it seemed like all of them had a special request.

“Kids, listen up,” Jack called out.  “All of you have made a request about your projects, so Daddy and I have agreed to help out with all of them.  We'll come and get each of you individually and make sure you have what you need.”

The children smiled, calling out their thanks, though they quickly returned to their work.

“They're loving this,” Daniel observed, glad he had come up with the idea for the day, even if it originally been more self-serving at the time.

“Creative education,” Jack mused happily.

====

“Time for the big reveal,” Jack announced late that afternoon, rubbing his hands together as he looked at the brood.

The children were sitting in a semi-circle on the grass, facing the patio deck which would be used for their exhibitions.  They all felt very happy and proud of what they'd achieved during the day.  Several had finished early and spent at least part of the afternoon playing, but a couple had taken almost the full time to complete their repurposing projects.

As for lunch, the sandwiches had been ignored by most in favor of the more on-the-go power bars, and even they weren't eaten in their entirety. The brood had simply been too excited about their projects to pause to eat.

“Are we ready?” Daniel queried as he joined his family.

“Ready for the big show,” Jack returned jovially, leaning over for a quick kiss.  “We're drawing names from the bag,” he informed the children, something they often did just to keep everything totally random.  He and Daniel walked onto the lawn and sat down behind the brood.  Pulling out the first name, he called out, “Jenny, you're up.”

“Need help?” Ricky called out when he saw his twin reaching for a big bag.

Immediately, without waiting for a response, the boy ran over and helped his sister.  It wasn't a heavy bag, but it was big because of everything she had inside.

“Thanks, Ricky,” Jenny said appreciatively as she began to reach for her project. She placed them on the display table that Jack had put on the deck earlier.  “These are holder tubes; uh, maybe tube holders sounds better,” she giggled.  “They're Pringles cans, and Daddy helped me cut them into different sizes.  See, this one is big for things like rulers and hammers and paint brushes and knitting needles, but this one is shorter for pens and things.  This one you could use in the kitchen for knives and this one for spoons.”

“How'd you make it, Red?” Jack questioned purposefully.

“Well, I cleaned the cans really, really good and then I got some shelf paper and glue and scissors.  I cut the paper really slow so it would be straight and then I glued the paper onto the cans.”

“Good job, Sis,” Ricky praised.

“Jenny, I love those,” Jeff complimented, joining in on the big reveal after getting home from school and his extracurricular activities.  “Hey, if you don't have plans for those, I would really love to have them to help organize my room.”

Jenny lit up like a Christmas tree, so happy her big brother was so pleased with her tube holders that he'd actually want to use them in his room.

“I hope you really like them, Jeff,” Jenny responded, giving her a brother a hug after which he took possession of the tube holders.  “You can stand them up or put them on top of each other, like tunnels.”

“Neat, Sis.  Thanks.”

“Ash, you're next,” Jack called out after drawing the next name.

“That's me, too,” Little Danny stated as he stood up and went with his sister to get their project, which they had in a big garbage bag.

“Jeff,” Daniel called out, a request for the oldest sibling in attendance to help the young children.

“Here, I'll carry it,” Jeff told the two Munchkins.

“We can do it,” Little Danny insisted, his tone firm but polite.

“Oh,” Jack whispered quietly, his head bowed.  **Someone is getting to be just like their daddy.**

**Don't go there,** Daniel warned.

The two project doers managed to get their hidden object to the deck.  Then Little Danny sighed and nodded to Jeff, who quietly took hold of the item and placed it on the table.  It was easily the largest of the projects completed on this day.

Hesitantly, not wanting to step on any Munchkin toes, Jeff asked, “Do you want me to ...”

Little Danny let out a huge sigh, but then brightened and whispered something into Aislinn's ear.  She burst into a smile and watched happily as Little Danny moved over a chair and stood on it.

“Thanks anyway, Jeff.”

Jeff hid his chuckle and rejoined the others to observe the unveiling.

“This was all Ash's idea,” Little Danny announced gallantly before pulling up the garbage bag to show off their key chain lamp.

The lamp was a standard table top lamp, a large one that had a tri-leg base.  The normal lampshade had been replaced with one made with nothing but old, gold keys.

“Wow!” Lulu exclaimed.

“We used that old lamp that was in Jen's room for a while,” Aislinn explained.  “We took off the shade 'cause it was dirty and yucky.”

“Then we took some wire fabric cloth that Dad and Daddy were throwing away,” Little Danny continued.

“And all those keys that no one knows what they belong to,” Aislinn interjected, interrupting her brother.

“Dad found some more for us, because we needed more to make it really good,” the middle Munchkin admitted.

**So much for relaxing while the brood was learning,** Daniel teased.

**Yeah, and it wasn't just running around collecting keys from everyone we knew, either,** Jack groaned, though he'd actually had fun and wasn't complaining at all.

“How'd you get the keys to stay on the wire?” David questioned inquisitively.

“We used paper clips.  That was my idea,” Little Danny answered, smiling at his contribution to the concept.  “We connected each key to a paper clip and then attached the paper clip to the wire,” he expounded.

“After we wrapped the wire fabric cloth into the shape of a shade, Dad helped us to bend some smaller pieces of wire to keep our key chain shade closed,” Aislinn advised her audience.

“Like twine, holding the two ends together so it won't open,” Little Danny added.

“I like it,” Jenny opined, applauding.

“We do, too,” Aislinn said with a grin.  “It doesn't really fit with the house, though,” she sighed.

“It's good for the tree house,” Jack suggested, seeing the two Munchkins beam at that idea.  “We can rig it to work off a battery charge.”

“Thanks Dad,” the two Munchkins happily replied in unison.

“Okay, next is,” Daniel began, reaching for the bag and pulling out the next name, “Chenoa.”

The tap dancer eagerly stood up and ran over to get her completed project, which was smaller and lighter in weight than the first two.  She took her position and looked out at her family.

“I found this real pretty piece of fabric and thought it would make a nice curtain for the bathroom, or maybe for the pool shower, or maybe for one of our plays,” Chenoa began.  “My problem was that I needed to make holes in the fabric so we could hang up the curtain.  That's when I thought of the soda cans.”

“I was wondering what you were doing with those,” Jonny interjected.

“I took off the tabby things, and that's when Dad and Daddy let me go in the house and use the sewing machine to sew the tabs onto the fabric with a zigzag stitch.  Now they'll hook onto drapery rings or curtain hooks.”

“Way to go, Noa,” Daniel extolled.

“Noa, I have an idea,” David called out.  He twisted around so he could see their parents.  “Dad, Daddy, how about the door in the garage that goes outside?  The curtain we have now is pretty decrepit,” he pointed out, wincing at the mere thought of the faded and tattered piece of cloth in the garage.  ~All the remodeling we've done and we've never replaced that.  Weird.~

“It came with the house,” Jack acknowledged.

Chenoa gasped as an idea formed and she suggested, “I could cut my curtain to fit the window.”

“You're hired!” Jack voiced excitedly.  He looked at David and added, “Thank you, Son.  That was a great idea.”

“JD, your turn,” Jack told the littlest of the children.

“Our turn,” JD reiterated, getting up and grabbing Jonny's hand so they could get their project.

Jonny let his brother carry the bag over to the patio deck.  In fact, he carefully helped his brother stand on the chair so he could be center stage.  He had a protective stance, so Jack and Daniel didn't interfere, though Jeff did casually stand and nonchalantly take a closer position to the deck, just in case.

“Jonny 'n' me found Daddy's old jeans,” JD stated, totally understanding what he was supposed to say, at least to that point.

Jonny leaned in and whispered into JD's ear, causing the boy to giggle.  The more his brother said, the longer JD laughed.  Finally, the oldest Munchkin decided he'd better take over the presentation.

“Daddy's old jeans didn't have any real holes in them, but they almost did, so we taped them.”

“Like 'Gyver,” JD explained.

“With duct tape,” Jonny clarified with a cheeky grin, lifting the jeans high in the air so everyone could see.

The entire family laughed.  Jonny swore by duct tape, claiming there wasn't anything that couldn't be fixed with the sturdy, multi-functional tape.

“Excellent,” Jack sanctioned, starting the applause to further support the project.

“We're proud of you, JD, and you, too, Jonny,” Daniel spoke enthusiastically.

The children all knew the extra words of encouragement were to bolster their littlest brother's confidence.  In reality, each child was full of confidence, in large part because of all the motivating words they'd received from Jack and Daniel, and from one another, over the years.

“Ricky, you're up,” Jack announced upon pulling out the next name.

“Jeff, help me, okay?” the Spitfire called out eagerly, wanting his item to be protected.

When the item was revealed, the children stared at it curiously, not sure what it was.

“Better clue in your brothers and sisters, Ricky,” Daniel suggested.

“It's a light!”

“A light?” Jenny asked, cocking her head to the side as she stared at the project.

“It's that big silver cooking bowl, the one we used for Little Danny's squirrel when it was hurt,” Ricky told his family.

“We couldn't use it to cook in anymore,” Lulu acknowledged, remembering the incident at hand.

“But it was still all shiny and everything,” Ricky pointed out.  “Daddy drilled a hole in the bottom. See, here's the cord.  It's what the light hangs from, and then Daddy helped me to paint it, too.  I did most of it, but he made sure I didn't spray in the wrong spot.  Dad went to the store and helped me to put in the light.”

“What a great idea, Little Man,” Jeff voiced approvingly.

“We need a better light in the shed,” Daniel stated.

“There you go!” Jack exclaimed enthusiastically, jutting out his arm in support of the idea.

“Now it's our turn,” Lulu stated, knowing that everyone but her team had shared their projects.

“My part of this idea was really the framing, but it was Lulu who gave it beauty,” David stated even as he was walking over to get the lone remaining project out in the yard.

“I never would have thought of it on my own, David,” Lulu rebutted.

“It was a team effort,” David agreed as he headed for the patio deck.  “I was staring at the slide carousels that were being given away, and I kept thinking there had to be a use for them.”

“I said that if you stand back, you don't know what they are,” Lulu elaborated.  “Then David stacked them.  They looked like a cake,” she chuckled.

“Then I spread them apart.  I was thinking they might make some kind of functional shelf or something.”

“But I said they were pretty and maybe they could hold something pretty,” Lulu explained.

“So, we did this,” David stated, finally unveiling the project.  “It's a hanging carousel plant holder.”

Several of the children awed in delight at the surprisingly beautiful planter, some of them clapping just from the sight of the object.

“Is that wire?” Ricky inquired, wondering how the two carousels were being connected.

“Yes, it is,” David affirmed.  “We carefully measured the wire and placed the wire in the same slide slots on each tray.”

“So the bottoms of the trays are opposite each other,” Jeff surmised.

“Correct,” the teenager stated.  “We had to secure the wire and did that in part by using these jar lids.”

“I just did what he told me,” Lulu confessed, not wanting to take credit for something she didn't do.

“She helped me measure and took notes as we decided on how to do it,” David corrected.  “And she picked out the plant, which Dad and Daddy said we could take from the plants out front.”

“I'm impressed, Bro,” Jeff applauded.

“I wanted to add a light at the top, one of those fluorescent grow lights, but I wasn't totally sure how to do it,” David commented, his eyes focused on the new plant holder as he thought about how the light could be done.

“Actually, it wouldn't be that difficult.  I could help you do that later, if you want,” Jeff offered.

“That'd be great.”

“Then we could put it in the computer room, or maybe the library,” Lulu put forth.

“Yeah,” David responded, patting his sister on the back for the great idea.

Jack and Daniel stood up, ambled over to the deck, and then turned to face their progeny.

“Kids, you did great,” Jack stated.

“Super great,” Daniel added.  “We're very proud of *all* of you.”

“You made this a great repurposing day, and the best part about it is that everything you made is something that we really can use,” the older man told the brood.

“Can we make stuff out of our junk again for school?” Jonny asked.

The kids began to tease Jonny, all of them aware that his project with JD had only lasted a few minutes and the two brothers had spent the majority of the day playing.

“Seriously, I liked working on this,” David informed his parents.

“Me, too,” Chenoa seconded, after which all of the children chimed in their approval of the school day.

“We'll see,” Daniel responded.

“Now it's time for dinner,” Jack announced.  **Did you cook?**

**No.  Did you?**

**Not a drop.**

**Snoozing in the study?** Daniel challenged, still smiling at the brood.

**Guilty.  Your excuse?** Jack asked, also smiling out at the kids.

**Dozing in the den,** Daniel admitted, not letting on to his audience that there was no dinner to be had.

“How about Mickey D's?” Jack suggested, thereby solving the problem.

Cheers went up and the kids quickly headed inside to put away their projects and then go out for dinner.

Jack and Daniel were about to follow when they heard two woofs that seemed to be begging for their attention.

“Ah, Jeff, would you call Jen and let her know our plans in case she wants to join us?” Daniel asked, though he was still looking over at the dogs.

“Sure, Daddy,” Jeff responded as he headed inside the house.

“I think they have something they want to discuss,” Jack observed from the dogs' behavior.

“I think maybe you're right.”

Intrigued, the couple headed over to the doghouse and knelt down to talk with the beagles.

“Woof!” Bijou barked forcefully, running into the roomy doghouse.

“Woooof!” Katie added, jumping up at the window.

Jack and Daniel stared at each other and then back at their beloved canines.

“So, if I'm understanding you correctly,” Daniel began, “you think it's time we spruced up your house?”

Two enthusiastic woofs were the response.

“A little paint, new bedding, a little shoring up in the corner?” Jack suggested, noting that there was a little gapping here and there between the boards that might cause some cold air to seep inside the deluxe house he'd built himself years ago.

Once again, eager, excited woofs were the response.

“You want to see what the brood can come up with to give you some extra luxuries in your doghouse, is that it?” Daniel queried, sensing there was more on the beagles' minds.

Bijou and Katie were beside themselves, barking, jumping up and down, and just in general making their merriment known.

Jack looked at his husband who smiled, and then the general faced Bijou and Katie and agreed, “Done!  We'll have a Project Doghouse Day by the end of summer.  Is that agreeable?”

Katie sniffed her mother's ear and then Bijou let out with a definitive, “Woof.”

“Okay, it's a deal,” Jack acknowledged while reaching out to shake the mama beagle's paw.  He laughed as he let go of the paw and began to pat her.  “It'll be fun.”

“I guess everyone likes to have their place remodeled every now and then,” Daniel surmised as he picked up Katie and exchanged kisses with her.

“We'll talk colors later,” Jack advised as he stood.

“And fabrics,” the archaeologist mused while putting Katie back down on the grass.

“In or out?” the general asked the girls, who immediately sprinted for the patio door.

“There's your answer,” Daniel laughed, placing his arm around Jack's waist as they headed for the house.

“Crazy day, Love,” Jack remarked lightheartedly.

“A good type of crazy.”

“The best kind,” the older man agreed.

“Except for one thing,” Daniel intoned, purposely sounding disengaged from the conversation.

“Which would be?” Jack prompted.

“You haven't said those special words in, gee, three, maybe four hours now.”

With a grin, Jack turned his lover to face him, gazed into his cerulean blue eyes, and declared, “I love you, Angel, forever and always.”

Daniel grinned, kissing his husband passionately and then declaring, “Forever and always, My Silver Fox, I love you, so freakin' much.”

Then Jack and Daniel heard the all-too-familiar giggle and knew they were being observed.

“Dad and Daddy kissing in the backyard,” Aislinn sing-songed.  Then her stomach growled and she called out, “I'm hungry.  My stomach is going to jump out of my body if we don't go now.”

“Jump out of her body?” the silver-haired man echoed in surprise.

Daniel just shrugged at the comment, shared one more quick kiss with his Heart, and then continued towards the house.  Love was in the air at the Jackson-O'Neill home; then again, so was the rumbling of twelve very hungry stomachs.

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