Rockin' Robin

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - January 16, 2007
Spoilers:  None
Size:  11kb, ficlet
Written:  May 24-26,28, 2008
Summary:  Sara drops by, bringing with her a very special remembrance of yesterday.
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:  
1) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Ali, Linda, Melissa!

Rockin' Robin
by Orrymain

“Daniel, diapers!”

“I've got my hands full,” Daniel responded.

“Hey, I've got two here.”

“I've got one, thinking he's three, and he's named after you,” the younger man retaliated about the not-quite four-month-old Munchkin.

As Jack and Daniel ran around in a frenzy, trying to clean up and change their triplets' diapers, a knock was heard on the door.

“Now that's timing for ya,” Jack snapped.  “Must be Carter.”

“Let me know when you answer the door,” Daniel spoke, urgency in his voice as he tended to the oldest triplet, Jonny.

“Me?”

“You're the one who thought they were ready for beans,” Daniel accused.

“Who knew?” Jack responded innocently, shrugging as he spoke.

Finally, Jack made it down the stairs, opening the door just as the visitor was approaching her car, having decided the couple didn't want any company at the moment.

“Whoa, Sara!”

Sara O'Neill Wilson turned around and smiled.  She walked back to the porch and up the steps, a package in her hands.

“I thought maybe you were ... busy.”

“I wish,” Jack responded.  “Diapers,” he explained, motioning for his ex-wife to come inside.

“All under con... Sara, hi,” Daniel greeted as he walked down the stairs, the middle Munchkin, Michael, in his arms.

“Hello.  I'm sorry I didn't call first,” Sara spoke.

“Where's Angie?” Jack asked about Sara's two-and-a-half-year-old daughter.

“Father and daughter day at the office,” Sara chuckled.  “I'm sure he'll have his hands full.”

“We just did, and speaking of ...”  Jack smiled, said, “Be right back,” and headed upstairs to get the other two Munchkins, Jonny and Aislinn.

“Please, sit down,” Daniel invited.

“Thank you,” Sara responded.

The two chitchatted for a couple of minutes until Jack returned and the parents settled down with the trio.

“Uh, the reason I came by is that I was doing some cleaning over the weekend, and I found this,” Sara said, reaching inside the package and pulling out a small cassette cartridge.

Jack stared at the small tape.  It was from a mini-camcorder that he and Sara had used frequently to take videos of their family life, particularly of their now-deceased son, Charlie.

“I wasn't sure if you had a converter cartridge, so I brought one,” Sara added, slipping the tape into the converter which allowed the mini-video to play on a regular VCR.  “You have your hands full,” she said, smiling as she stood and walked to the video unit, sliding in the tape, which activated the unit, and then sitting back down.  Using the remote control, she turned on the television and then hit play.  “Do you remember, Jack?”

Jack focused on the rough family footage, watching intently, even as the babies fidgeted slightly in his arms.

“Hurry, Dad,” a young, eager voice called out.

“Charlie, hush,” Sara warned on the tape.  “You don't want to scare them.”

“A hunting we will go,” Jack singsonged on the tape, reaching out in front of him and patting his wife's derriere.

“Jack O'Neill, stop that ... until later,” Sara replied.

The couple's love was obvious.  They were a happy family, and had Charlie not shot himself with Jack's gun the following year, they still would have been.

“Son, be careful,” Jack warned as the boy began to climb the ladder to the second floor of their home.  “Sara ...”

“I've got his six, Jack.  You just get the birds.”

“I remember that,” Jack stated.  “Munchkins, that's your brother, Charlie.  That's his room, and don't criticize the videographer.  I was covering their sixes and trying to get this on tape.”  He sighed and explained to his lover, “Charlie had been hearing noises for days.”

“At first, we thought he was playing some make believe game,” Sara interjected.

“But he insisted that he wasn't playing or pretending, so we decided to check it out, and we ended up ...”

“Buying him a triple scoop ice cream treat as an apology that night,” Sara laughed.

“See, Munchkins, there's the hole,” Jack advised, motioning towards the TV with his head.

In the overhang at the rear of the home, right by Charlie's room, there was a hole.  Inside was a bird's nest.  More excitingly, the nest was full of baby birds.  What Charlie had been hearing was the babies peeping while being fed.

“That was a fun day,” Jack recalled.

“Yes, it was.  Uh, there's something ...”

“You can turn it off now,” Jack groaned.

“No, no, let's ... see,” Daniel objected, a smile on his face as the scene shifted to later in that same day at the O'Neill home.

With their stereo playing loudly in the background, the O'Neills were laughing as they tried to film their musical interlude.

“Dad, stop bumping into me,” Charlie said, slapping his father lightly on the hip.

“It's 'the bump',” Jack teased.

“We're not doing that dance,” Charlie reminded.

“Good point,” Jack replied, mussing up the boy's hair.

“Dad!” the youngster whined.

“Jack, the song's going to start,” Sara warned.

“Okay, okay ... you ready ... on three ... one ... two ... three.”

The family began to sing, “Twiddley dee, twiddley diddley dee,” several times before doing the first verse of the song.

“He rocks in the treetops all the day long,” Jack sang in a playful manner, twisting his six as he turned around in a circle.

“Hoppin and a-boppin and a-singing this song,” Sara sang, moving her hips alluringly and then turning around in a circle.

“Every little bird, every little bee,” Charlie sang, rapidly rolling his arms over each other repeatedly several times.

“Loves to hear the robin go tweet-tweet-tweet,” the threesome sang.

“We were insane,” Jack critiqued.

“That's what it was all about,” Sara replied, watching as her family sang the second verse, their movements nowhere near in sync, but full of fun and merriment.

“You're right,” the general agreed.  “That was definitely a good day.”

As the home movie continued to play, Aislinn wiggled her arms and shoulders a little from side to side in sync with the beat of the music.

“Daniel, look.  Ash is dancing,” Jack informed.

“Looks like she's going to be a music lover, Jack,” Sara commented.

Jonny seemed to be uninterested in the movie and was watching his sister.

“Look at Jonny, keeping a close eye on Ash,” Daniel remarked.

“When it comes to Ash dating, I bet he is going to be worse than ...” Sara began, though she chose not to finish her sentence verbally, motioning towards Jack instead.

Daniel and Sara shared a knowing smile while Jack tried to intimidate them with general eyes, causing both of them just to laugh.

“Jack, look at Michael,” Daniel requested.

“He's so focused,” the older man observed.

“He's an observer, always studying his environment,” Sara opined.  “Jack, would you like this tape?”

“I ...”

“I have others.  I know how much fun we had with this, and I remember how you and Charlie made sure those birds stayed safe.”

“It wasn't easy.  That tiny one fell out once,” Jack said, getting lost in the memory.

Sara looked at Daniel and explained, “They couldn't get the bird back into the nest, so Jack and Charlie took care of it, raised it, and nurtured it, until it was ready to fly out on its own.”

“A stray,” Daniel said softly, smiling at his soulmate.

“I have to go,” Sara said, standing.  “I wanted to bring this by.”  She put out her hand, saying, “Don't get up.  You both have your hands full, and there's more to see.”

“Sara, thank you,” Jack spoke lovingly.

“You're welcome.  How about dinner next weekend?  Angela wants to play with the babies,” Sara laughed.

“You're on,” Jack agreed.

“Call us.”

“I will.  Happy viewing,” the blonde said.  She waved at the babies and then nodded at the happy parents before heading for the door and calling out a final, “Bye.”

“Michael, there are the birds again,” Daniel pointed out.

The middle Munchkins' eyes were glued to the television while listening intently to the chirping sound on the videotape.

“There's the stray,” Jack said when the tiny baby came into view.

====

“Sleeping peacefully,” Daniel reported that night when he joined his lover in the living room again.  He sat down on the sofa next to his husband, who was glued to the tape.  “How many times?”

“Ten, maybe eleven,” Jack said about the number of times he'd watched the tape thus far.

“You okay?”

Nodding, Jack answered, “Yeah, I'm okay.  It was a little ... odd at first.  I haven't heard his voice in a long time.”

“That's why I was a little worried.”

The older man shook his head, a smile of reassurance on his face as he admitted, “That's why it was hard.  You've helped me to focus on the good and to remember Charlie for his life and not his death, but there was a minute or two there when Sara was here ...”  He paused, sighing.  “He felt a little closer.”

“That makes perfect sense, Jack,” Daniel spoke softly.

“Right now, Angel, all I see and hear is our son.  Look at him; he's beautiful.”

“Very,” Daniel agreed, his right hand running soothing circles to warm his husband's back.  As the birds appeared on the screen again, he commented, “I wasn't your first stray.”

Jack turned, chuckling at his lover as he answered, “Charlie found a few here and there, like any normal kid.  He wasn't a big stray-finder, though, but he took to those birds.”

“He heard them, peeping away innocently as their mother nurtured them.  Hearing something like that touches your soul,” Daniel suggested.

“I think you're right.”

“Tell me more about this day,” Daniel urged.

Jack smiled and then brought back to life memory after memory of his firstborn son.  There had been a time when he wouldn't have been able to do this, but now he could, thanks to his biggest cheerleader, his Daniel.  With memories of Charlie filling the air, and the music of their sleeping babies over the intercom, life was better than good for the Jackson-O'Neills of Colorado Springs.

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