The Great Santa Claus Caper

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Romance, Holiday, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - December 24-25, 2009
Spoilers:  None
Size:  31kb, short story
Written:  December 5,8-12,21, 2008
Summary:  Is that Santa Claus kissing Daddy underneath the mistletoe?
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) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my other fic(s), “The First Christmas”
4) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Sara, Claudia, Ali, Keri, Tammy, Irina!

The Great Santa Claus Caper
by Orrymain

“Dad, no eat cookies,” Jonny warned his older father, who was tucking him into bed.

“I just nibbled on one,” Jack groused, frustrated at having been caught sneaking a snack by the oldest Munchkin.

“For Santa!” Jonny insisted.

“My bad,” Jack apologized.  “Now close your eyes.  Santa won't come if you're awake.”

“Eyes closed,” Jonny responded, shutting his eyelids tightly.

Jack chuckled as he leaned over and spoke, “I love you,” just before placing a kiss on his namesake's forehead.

--

Nearby, Daniel was having a similar conversation with his namesake.

“Daddy, keep milk cold, 'kay?  Don't want Santa fall 'sleep,” Little Danny requested, believing that warm milk might make Santa Claus tired.

“I'll keep the milk cold,” Daniel promised, giving his son a kiss.  “Santa will be here soon.”

The archaeologist stood, smiling down at the three-year-old.  A moment later, he felt his lover by his side.

“They're so excited,” Jack said quietly.

Nodding, Daniel motioned towards the door. The parents both glanced over at Ricky, who was already fast asleep. They’d tucked him in earlier along with the rest of their children.  Stealthily, the two walked out, closing the door behind them.

Jack grinned mischievously, rubbing his hands excitedly as he proclaimed, “It's time for Operation Ho! Ho! Ho!”

~My husband: the oldest 'child' in the brood,~ Daniel mused, unable to stop himself from smiling, loving that he saw the same joy for life in Jack that their children had.  “Babe, don't you think we're going a little overboard?” he asked as they headed for the lower level of their newly-renovated home.

“Not a chance,” Jack responded, his eyes alight with joy at what he was certain was about to occur.  “Jonny's been asking questions for days; weeks!”

“Little Danny and Ash have, too,” Daniel acknowledged.

“They're curious, Daniel.  They want to see Santa Claus, and I guarantee you, Jonny has a plan.”

“Maybe, but we kept them up late.  You saw how tired they were.”

“Danny, we're talking the Munchkins here,” Jack refuted, actually stopping his Love to look at him and communicate his feelings with his eyes.

“You're right,” Daniel agreed as the lovers continued their walk towards the living room.  “All I'm saying is that we may be taking this too far.”

“Danny, as I recall, you were digging in the sands of Egypt during the month of December and seeing Santa Claus wasn't even something you thought about.”

“No, of course not,” Daniel acknowledged.

“Trust me.  When you're a little kid in America, all you want is a glimpse of the magic fellow, to see that red suit, and hear the hooves on the roof,” Jack declared, his eyes sparkling in delight for the plan.  “Are you in?”

“Of course, I am,” the younger man assured his husband.  “I just hope it doesn't backfire on us, that's all.”

“Not gonna happen,” Jack stated confidently.

“What if David wakes up?  Or Noa?” Daniel wondered.  “They could ruin the surprise.”

Jack looked back at his lover and stared for several seconds before answering, “Don't even think that.”

“I'll try not to,” Daniel replied, fully aware of how their plan to provide the Munchkins with a special experience could fall apart due to any number of unforeseen circumstances, such as one of the other children getting up.

“I'll flip you for it,” Jack said, pulling out a coin.

Daniel chuckled, “That's very nice of you, Babe, but you know you want to do this.”

“You do, too,” Jack spoke sincerely.

“I know, but this is your year.”

“You say that every year,” Jack replied softly.

“Jack, you want this.  Here,” Daniel picked up the red cap and slipped it on his lover's head, “be Santa.  I want you to.”

Smiling, Jack kissed his lover and then began to put on the Santa outfit that even included padding to beef up his slim abdomen.

“Danny, you better check and make sure everything is plugged in,” the older man suggested as he dressed.

With a nod, Daniel headed outside to ensure everything was in place and all hooked up.  Looking up towards the roof, he shook his head.  They'd spent a ridiculous amount of money in preparation for this night, all on the assumption that the Munchkins had a covert plan to see Santa at work.

Trying to get things set up without any of the children knowing, outside of Jennifer, who had helped them divert the younger children a few times, had been quite a task.  Even so, the archaeologist suspected that the triplets, if not the entire brood, would definitely have a plan to see Santa Claus; thus, none of their money and hard work would go to waste.

A few minutes later, Daniel returned and smiled at Santa, better known as Jack.

“Whatcha' think?”

“Santa Baby,” Daniel began to croon with a smirk on his face.

“Cute, Daniel,” Jack responded, a slight growl in his voice, prompting his lover to chuckle.  “Where's my bag?”

“Right where you left it this morning,” Daniel answered, going over to check the milk.

“What are you doing?”

“Little Danny wants to make sure Santa doesn't get tired by drinking warm milk,” Daniel answered.  With a seductive chuckle, he added, “I want to make sure of that myself.  I have plans for ... Santa later.”

Jack grinned in anticipation of those plans as he pulled out the large bag from its hiding place and then began retrieving the special gifts for the children that had been hidden throughout the house.

====

**Do you hear that?** Daniel asked via the couple's special non-verbal communication.

**Little feet are scampering,** Jack replied from the living room.  **Operation Ho! Ho! Ho! begins now.**

With the lights out, Jack moved into position.  Pressing a button, he began a soundtrack that had been especially prepared by Sam and Sergeant Siler.

--

“Shhh!” Jonny warned his siblings as they made their way down the stairs.

“Santa might be mad,” Aislinn pointed out.  “He knows when kids are bad.”

“Santa loves ev'one,” Jonny insisted.

Suddenly, a sound drew the Munchkins' attention.  They all looked up, hearing the scattered sounds of taps on the roof.

“It's Santa!” Little Danny exclaimed in a hushed voice.

As the three scurried to the top of the stairs, a plop-like noise came from the chimney.  They looked at one another with big eyes and then hurried down the steps, reaching the last stair just in time to see a plume of smoky mist emitting from the fireplace.

“Ho! ho! ho!” Jack as Santa called out in his best-disguised voice.  “Milk and cookies?” he observed, walking over to the table.

From the stairs, with wide eyes and gaping mouths, the children watched, mesmerized.

“Mmm, ho! ho! ho! nice and cold,” Jack declared, putting down the glass of milk.  He ate an entire cookie and half of another before drinking some more milk.  “Must be good kids here.  Let me check my list.”

“We've been good, huh, Lil' Danny?” Jonny asked urgently.

Nodding emphatically, the middle Munchkin replied, “Real good, most of the time.”

“We try hard,” Aislinn interjected quietly.

After making a fuss over the list, Jack as Santa unloaded his bag, putting presents down for all the Jackson-O'Neill children.

“Better take a cookie for *Rudolph*.  He loves these snickerdoodles,” Jack spoke in an exaggerated voice.

Right on cue, as if the reindeer had heard, the sound of prancing feet tapped from the rooftop.  The Munchkins all looked up, their mouths agape.

“I knew you'd be happy, Rudolph,” the man in the red suit chuckled, letting out a slew of 'ho! ho! hos!' as he patted his stuffed belly.  Suddenly, he jerked, as if surprised.  Twisting around very slowly, he called out, “Do I sense children up past midnight?  That would make them naughty.  I'd have to take *all* these presents back.”

Unintentionally gasping loudly, the triplets hurried upstairs and ran to get under the warm covers of their beds.

Jack laughed as he peeked around and confirmed the children were gone.  He chuckled as he walked into the kitchen, where Daniel was out of sight from the triplets.

“Danny, it worked like a charm,” Jack relayed proudly. “They'll never forget this as long as they live.”

“Neither will you,” Daniel laughed, knowing his husband had enjoyed the undercover job just as much as the Munchkins had, if not more.

“Love, I just remembered that I forgot one of the gifts.  Hid it so well I almost forgot about it,” Jack stated.  “I'll meet you in the living room.”

“Okay, Babe.”

====

Having retrieved the almost-forgotten gift, Jack thought he'd heard a sound.  He was in the long hallway at the front of the house, almost at the front door.  Slowly, he crept forward.  Seeing nothing, he told himself he was just paranoid.

~Too much Santa sleuthing tonight.~

Jack walked into the living room at the same time that Daniel entered from the kitchen.  They met halfway, right behind the sofa.

Unbeknownst to his parents, Little Danny's natural curiosity had gotten the better of him, and, even after Santa's warning about being naughty, the little genius had climbed out of bed a second time to go on his quest for Santa Claus.  He just hadn't been able to help himself, and while Jonny had quickly fallen asleep, he'd decided to return to the living room and was just now making his way down the stairs again.

“Babe,” Daniel said with a smile.

“What?”

Daniel pointed up at the mistletoe that was hanging securely on their ceiling.

A smiling Jack, still fully dressed in his Santa garb, kissed his husband passionately, their arms going around each other and a soft moan emanating from Daniel as he reacted to the romantic union of their bodies.

Having reached the bottom stair and peeking around the corner cautiously, Little Danny gasped at what he witnessed, immediately putting his hands over his mouth.  He couldn't believe it.  Was it okay?  It was Santa, after all.  Still, that thought didn't quite quash the sense that his daddy was cheating on his dad.  Quickly, he hurried back upstairs, not wanting to get into trouble for being out of bed.  

All of a sudden, another noise was heard, one that caused the lovers to stop kissing and look up.

“Jack?”

“Sounded like ... hooves,” Jack answered slowly, walking over to the patio door.  “Is Carter out there?”

“No, of course ...”

Before Daniel could finish his answer, a distant, “Ho! ho! ho!, Merry Christmas” was heard.

“... not,” Daniel stated, completing his answer.  “Okay, what was that?”

At that moment, Bijou and Katie came running downstairs, tails wagging and ears up in full listening mode.  They ran past the lovers and over to the patio door, where they began barking.  Fortunately, it was the girls' 'isn't this exciting' bark and not their 'danger' bark.

The couple stared at each other with tremendous curiosity before walking over to the door.  Opening the door, Jack and Daniel walked outside to the patio deck.  Once again, the beagles flew past them, going out towards the center of the yard, where they looked up at the sky with smiles on their faces.

“Jack, what's that?” Daniel asked, startled somewhat by what he thought he'd seen.

Jack looked up and just stared.  In fact, he continued to stare for at least a minute, as did his husband.

~Nope, that wasn't Santa's sleigh and a bunch of reindeer,~ the general told himself.  ~Power of suggestion: that's all.~

~I wish Sam had seen this.  Twinkling lights in the sky.  Of course, we know UFOs can be real.  Gawd, do we know that.  There must be some scientific explanation for that splash of lights I just saw.  Someone must have spiked the eggnog.  Yeah, that's it.  It's an illusion brought on by eggnog.  Just a delayed reaction, that's all,~ Daniel told himself, working hard to believe his silent solution to explain the sight he'd just seen.

“Carter must have rigged it,” Jack finally said as he headed back inside.  ~When in doubt, blame Carter.~

Daniel followed his lover inside and paused, waiting for the beagles to enter.  When they didn't appear, he called out for them.  Several seconds later, the calm but happy beagles pranced in, each holding a new big bone, wrapped with a red ribbon with a picture of Santa on it on one end.

“Danny, where'd they get those?”

“I have no idea,” Daniel answered dryly, watching as the dogs carried the surprise bones upstairs to their bed of choice for the evening.

“Odd,” Jack remarked.

“Very,” Daniel agreed.  Shaking off the unexplained site as he locked the patio door, he refuted his lover's claim that Sam was responsible for what they'd just seen.  “Jack, Sam did the smoke and the hooves, via remote.”  Motioning over to the counter that separated the living room from the kitchen, he pointed out, “The remote is on the counter.”

Jack focused on the remote, inwardly trying to solve the growing mystery.  There was only one solution, and it was there, outside of the couple's reach.  He looked around, confused.  He stared at his husband, who had suddenly become entranced by something.

“What?” Jack asked.

“I, uh, thought you were going to leave half a cookie?”

“I did,” Jack answered.  “I haven't even taken Rudy's snicker,” he paused as he reached his lover's side, right in front of the plate and glass that had been placed on the small table by the Christmas tree, “doodle yet.”  He stared at the plate, which was now completely empty and asked, “Daniel, where's Rudy's snickerdoodle?  For that matter, where's the leftover cookie?”

“No clue,” Daniel answered while searching desperately for a plausible explanation.  He turned with the intent of pacing the back of the living room, something that usually helped him to puzzle things out.  “Maybe,” he began as he faced the mantel, stopping when he saw a note card atop it.  It was placed so that it was 'standing up', easily noticeable.  “Jack, what's that?”

Seeing the card, Jack picked it up and read it.

“What does it say?”

In reply, Jack just handed his lover the card to read himself and returned to stare at the empty plate.

Daniel's eyes followed his husband for a moment and then focused on the card.  He read the words and felt completely at a loss as to how to explain them.

The cookies were enjoyable.  I'll see Rudolph gets his.  Merry Christmas to all, and may all operations be this successful.

Mister C

P.S.  Better come up with a good story by morning.  Little Danny saw what was happening beneath that mistletoe.  Ho! Ho! Ho!

“Okay, well, this is ... interesting,” Daniel opined weakly.  He started to walk towards his lover, the note in his hand.  “Maybe Sam is playing a joke on ... oh, gawd.”

In front of the couple's eyes, the note disappeared, vanishing with a mist of twinkling stars.

“That is *so* not normal,” Jack observed sarcastically.  “It's gotta be Thor.”

“How?” Daniel questioned, now self-hugging.  “That wasn't an Asgard beam.”

“How should I know?” Jack asked impatiently, feeling unnerved by the entire turn of events.  “Siler!  We know he's a little off.”

“While I admit having you in his will is ... strange, he hardly has the abilities to do this, whatever this is,” Daniel refuted, at a loss to come up with a reasonable answer for what they'd just experienced.

“Daniel,” Jack said, a bit of a hesitation in his tone.

“What?”

Jack nodded towards the tree.  There, right in front, was a big silver box.  It hadn't been there earlier, and it wasn't one of their 'Santa' gifts for the brood.

Cautiously, Daniel walked over and knelt down.  It was a beautifully wrapped box in festive green and white colors.  On it, was a card that said, 'Open me now'.

A moment later, the couple opened the box, spreading out the white, thin sheets of tissue that were protecting the unknown object inside.

“A box?” Jack asked about the tiny box wrapped in shiny gold paper and adorned with candy cane drawings at the center of all the tissue paper.

“A box and another note,” Daniel stated, handing the note to his lover to read.

I know how you like clichés, Jack, but, ho! ho! ho! it's Christmas!  This is for the couple who has everything, but don't open it until Christmas Day, 2024.  If you do, its magic will be lost, and that would be very, very sad.

Mister C

“Okay, this is way weird,” Jack remarked, shaking the box but hearing nothing.

“2024?” Daniel questioned.  “That's a ... a long time from now.”

“Yeah, well, okay then,” Jack stated, deciding he'd had about all the craziness he could endure for one evening.  “Let's ...”  He and his lover watched as the note faded from existence, just like the note on the mantel had.  “Maybe that wasn't aspirin I took earlier.”

“I'm thinking not,” Daniel responded.  “Keepsake box?” he asked about the small box he now held up in his hand.

“Yeah, sounds good,” Jack replied, agreeing that the still-wrapped gold box would be placed in the box that the couple kept some of their special memorabilia in.  He snorted, “In 2024, I'll be ...”  Seeing the big box disappear like the two notes had, he cried, “Oh, for crying out loud, stop that!”

“I'm going to bed,” Daniel announced, wanting to sleep off whatever substance he was certain he'd imbibed that night.  “Too much eggnog, Jack.  That's what this is.”

“Eggnog?” Jack questioned thoughtfully.  “Yeah, eggnog, and Ferretti did it,” he accused, though it was nothing more than a guess.  “You're right, Danny.  It's the eggnog.”

“Or something,” Daniel added.

“Or something,” Jack agreed, following his lover up the stairs to go to bed, neither in the mood to finish what they'd begun under the mistletoe.

====

The next day, with all evidence of Operation Ho! Ho! Ho! removed, the Christmas excitement continued.  There were big plans for the day, beginning with opening presents from Santa.  With their gifts unwrapped, the children were happily trying everything out.  With camcorders rolling, Jack and Daniel watched, enjoying the smiles and joyous play.

At one point, the family had gone outside to play with some of the outdoor toys.  Little Danny was the first to return to the living room with his fathers right behind him.  The others were still lingering in the backyard.

Holiday music was playing in the background.  Hearing a familiar tune, the middle Munchkin felt playful.  Putting to use his genius, he began to walk around the Christmas tree, tinkering with the ornaments as he sang his own special lyrics to the famous song, making him sound older than he chronologically was.

I saw Daddy kissing Santa Claus
Underneath the mistletoe last night
He didn't see me creep
Down the stairs to have a peep
He thought that I was tucked up
In my bedroom fast asleep.

Then I saw Daddy tickle Santa Claus
Underneath his beard so snowy white
Oh, what a laugh it would have been
If the brood had only seen
Daddy kissing Santa Claus last night.

**Jack!**

**You're the one who kissed Santa,** Jack retaliated.

**It took two, you know,** Daniel reminded with a slight scowl.

**This one's all yours, Love.  Think of something,** the general ordered, turning around and calling out for the brood to walk inside.

**Thank you, Jack,** Daniel replied, his mental tone curt.

**You're welcome, Babe,** Jack smirked, actually snickering out loud for a second.

Daniel stared at his namesake and just shook his head, while Little Danny giggled.

~That was funny,~ Little Danny told himself about the words he'd just made up.  Going over to check on the family's fish, he still wondered, though, if it was okay for parents to kiss Santa, especially his daddy.  ~I'd better talk to Daddy.~  He sighed, ~Bet I get in trouble.~

====

A bit later, Daniel began to bring out some breakfast foods that had been prepared previously and only needed to be heated.  Having an ulterior motive, Little Danny was helping his father while quietly asking him about what he'd witnessed from the stairs the night before.

Daniel hoped that his son's questions would all be ones which he could answer truthfully, if not completely honestly.

“Little Danny, I didn't kiss anyone last night but your dad.”

Hearing his younger father's denial, Little Danny insisted, “But I saw you kissing Santa Claus, Daddy.”

Daniel smiled and said, “Maybe you were dreaming.”

“But I saw you,” Little Danny insisted.

“I thought you were in bed,” Daniel interrupted.  “I remember tucking you in, nice and snug.”

“Yeah, but ... oops,” Little Danny responded.  He thought about Santa taking back all of his presents, and he didn't want that to happen, especially since he'd gotten so many.  He wondered if Santa would take back the presents to his siblings, too.  ~Maybe I was asleep.  Uh oh.  I sang that song.~

“Son, you know how much I love your dad.  I would never kiss anyone but him.  I love him with *all* my heart.”

Little Danny knew that was the truth.  He believed that with all of his heart.

~I must have been dreaming.  Wow!  That was so real,~ Little Danny thought silently.  He also surmised that maybe that's why he hadn't told his fellow Munchkins about what he'd seen.  Normally, the trio told each other everything.  ~Yeah, I was sleeping,~ he determined.  He smiled and asked, “Daddy, how do we tell Santa 'thank you' for all of our gifts?”

“By being good little boys and girls during the next year,” Daniel answered as the father and son put down the plates of food on the coffee table.  “He's always watching, remember?  So, he sees you and he knows by your behavior if you're grateful or not.”

“I'll be real good, Daddy,” Little Danny promised, smiling and then returning to his siblings to play some more.

**Did he buy it?** Jack asked from the other side of the room.

**I think so,** Daniel answered.  **Jack, I think I had a dream, too.**

**We both did, and I'm still blaming the eggnog.**

**Works for me,** Daniel agreed.  ~But I know I heard a 'ho! ho! ho!' and there was that note on the mantel, and Sam swears she had nothing to do with anything but what we asked her to do.~

**Daniel!** Jack chastised strongly, overhearing his lover's thoughts.

**Right.  Eggnog,** the archaeologist responded, smiling as he sat down on the floor to play with the children and their new toys.  ~And there's that wrapped box that's in our keepsake box now, too.~

**Eggnog, Daniel.**

**But it's there, Jack.  I checked this morning.**

**Daniel, do you want to spend the next decade-plus trying to figure this out, or ...**

**Eggnog.**

**Love you, Angel.**

**Love you, too, Babe,** Daniel replied, forcing himself to stop thinking about the holiday mystery.

====

That night, beneath the skies of Colorado Springs, the lovers stood on the Aerie, the upper roof deck.  They held hands, Daniel's right in Jack's left, as they leaned against the railing.

“Jack, I didn't buy that ant farm.”

“And I didn't buy that slinky,” the general responded.

“Remember the Santa we met that first Christmas with the Munchkins?”

“Yeah, I know.  He sounded like he really knew us,” Jack stated.

Both men were still looking up at the night sky and not at each other.

“It wasn't eggnog,” Daniel finally stated.  “Whatever it was, we both saw it.”

“Danny, does it matter?” Jack asked, twisting around to look at his Love.  “We have some crazy box in with our keepsakes, and we both know we aren't gonna open it until 2024.  I don't understand what went on, and I don't want to.  It's crazy, and it's insane, and there's no point in thinking about it.”

“Because we don't have a clue what it is.”

“It's St. Nick, Daniel.”

“Santa Claus?  A myth?” Daniel, ever the scientist, questioned pointedly.

“Did you buy that ant farm?” Jack challenged, daring his husband to confess to something that he hadn't done or admit that Santa Claus existed.

“No,” Daniel sighed.  “Jack, why do these things keep happening to us?  I mean, I'm a scientist.  I deal with facts and rational events.  I don't believe in this stuff, and you?  You're a skeptic.”

For a moment, Jack didn't answer, his mind pondering his life in its totality.

After two minutes had come and gone, the silver-haired man finally responded, saying, “I am a skeptic, Danny, about everything except for you.  I believe in you, so much that I do believe in magic.  Every moment we're together is magic.  Maybe that magic is responsible for whatever happened last night.”

“And with the slinky, the ant farm, and that mall Santa?”

“And with the Munchkins, the Mouseketeers, and the twins,” Jack added.  “It's all magic, Danny, and maybe we're not supposed to understand.”

“I guess not.”

The lovers smiled and then they kissed.  That was a magic of its own, and it reminded them that they'd been sidetracked the night before.

“Didn't you say you had plans for my body?” Jack questioned in a sexy growl.

“I do.  I definitely do,” Daniel affirmed before kissing his lover again.

Their passion growing, the soulmates let their own special kind of magic ring out with the fusion of their bodies, no longer worrying about the unusual events of this Christmas season.  Their children were happy, and so were they.  In the end, that was all that mattered.

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