Scenes of the Season - Scene 5

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Drama, Romance, Holiday, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - December 12, 2013
Spoilers:  None
Size:  22kb, ficlet
Written:  December 3,5, 2017
Summary:  Today's holiday scene is Uh, Santa?  Can it really be that simple?
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:  
1) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
2) Though part of a series, each scene stands completely on its own, though this one does reference my other fic(s): “The First Christmas” and “A Munchkin Christmas”

Scenes of the Season - Scene 5
by Orrymain

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--Uh, Santa?
====

At the head of the line to see Santa Claus on this Thursday afternoon were the Jackson-O'Neill children.  Jack and Daniel made sure they were the first ones in line for the after lunch session.  They didn't want to run into a situation where not all of their kids had time to sit on Santa's lap.

The brood all had lots of gifts to ask for, not just for themselves, but for the kids in shelters and orphanages and those who were homeless.  The Jackson-O'Neill kids rarely lost sight of the fact that they were fortunate to have lots of things and they'd been taught to be mindful and grateful of that and to share.  Making sure Santa knew about the other children was very important to them.

“Ho!  Ho!  Ho!  Merry Christmas, children,” the robust Santa greeted as he entered and sat down on his throne.  “Are you first, little girl?”

“Great.  Jen, he's a dirty old man,” Jeff groaned privately to his sister.

“No, thank you, Santa.  Jenny's ready, though.”

“Don't you believe in Santa?”

“Sure, I do, but I'm a little too old for Santa's lap.”

Jack and Daniel were studying the Santa very closely.  Jack didn't like what he was hearing, but Daniel felt odd, not because of the conversation with Jennifer, but for a reason he couldn't quite put his finger on as yet.

“It's Santa, Jen!” Jenny exclaimed enthusiastically.

“Sure, okay,” the eighteen-year-old sighed.  As she sat on the lap of the man wearing the red velvet outfit, she opined, “You know, I bet the parents of those little kids out there are wondering why I'm on your lap.”

“It's the holiday season, Jennifer.”

“I didn't tell you my name.”

“Ah, but your little sister did.  Now tell Santa what you want for Christmas.”

“World peace.”

“Snarky one,” Santa laughed jovially.

“Look, you've had your jollies, so let's let the kids have their time.”

“I know what you want, Jennifer,” Santa claimed.  “First, tell me why you agreed to sit on my lap.”

“Look at their faces, all of them.  They believe in Christmas and Santa.  They think you're Santa.  I'm not going to take that away from them, not any of them.”

“Thinking of others: that's a holiday joy.”

“Okay, Santa.  Their turn now.”

“Jennifer, your gift is coming.  Be patient.”

“Huh?”

Not wanting others to overhear, Santa whispered something to Jennifer that made her eyes widen and her heart beat a bit faster.  When she pulled back, she stared at the man in the suit and could swear his eyes twinkled.

“Ho!  Ho!  Ho!  Merry Christmas!  Merry Christmas, Jennifer!”  When Jennifer stood and walked away slowly, Santa encouraged, “Now who's next?”

“Me, Santa!  Me!” Jenny exclaimed, jumping up and down excitedly.

As Jenny gave Santa her list, Jack approached his oldest daughter and asked, “Jen, did he say or do anything he shouldn't have?”

“Huh?  What?”  Jennifer shook her head and assured, “No, Dad, he didn't.  He just has a wacky sense of humor.  It's fine.  I wouldn't let Jenny go up there if he'd acted like a pervert in any way.”

“Okay, thanks.”

Eventually, it was Jonny's turn to sit on Santa's lap, which he did with glee.  He pulled out a paper with a long list of toys.  In fact, his wants took up both sides of the paper.

“Are you sure all that can fit inside your house, Jonny?”

“Sure.  We have a big house,” Jonny answered.  He spoke more about all the toys he wanted, but all of a sudden, he used his finger to motion Santa closer to his face so he could whisper his next words.  “Santa, I only really want the first two things I said.  The rest you can send to the kids at the shelter.  Here, I wrote down the name and address so you'd know which one.  It helps the homeless, including kids and pets.  Santa, did you know not all shelters allow kids and pets?  I think that's bad, very bad not to allow kids and pets.  Please send my toys to the shelter, Santa.”  Jonny sighed, pursing his lips as he debated.  “You can even give them my gifts.  I have lots of toys at home.”  With bright eyes, he added, “Maybe you could send us more ice cream.  We love ice cream.”

Santa laughed merrily, his large belly shaking with joy at the boy's comment.

“Merry Christmas, Jonny.”

Jack and Daniel exchanged looks.  They hadn't heard the conversation, but Jonny looked happy.

Aislinn ran up to visit Santa next, but she lost her footing and fell down.  She began to cry.

As Daniel hurried to the Munchkin's side and Jack ensured the rest of the brood stayed back, Santa spoke, “Aislinn, it's Christmas.  You're fine.  Come sit on my lap.”

His voice was calm and assuring, so much so that Aislinn stopped crying immediately and looked up at Santa with a huge smile that was full of love and joy.

Daniel stopped short of picking up the little girl when he saw her get up and climb atop the bearded man's knee.  He saw Santa look at him and nod.

“Hello, Danny,” Santa acknowledged.

“That's my daddy,” Aislinn told the man.

“Has he been good this year?”

“Uh, Santa?” the archaeologist questioned with great uncertainty in his quiet voice as he raised a hand with his finger extended outward.

Aislinn's voice rose over her daddy's, though, as she answered, “Mmm-mmm, and my dad, too.  See, there's Dad.”

“I see,” Santa laughed and nodded.  “And have you been a good girl this year, Ash?”

“I've been a very good girl.  Haven't I, Daddy?”

“Uh, um, uh ...”

“Daddy!”

Daniel let out a whiff and finally answered, “Yes, of course.  All our children have been very good this year.”

“Ash, Santa didn't really have to ask that, but it's an obligation.  It goes with the job.  What would kids think if I didn't ask if they were good or not?”

“You already know, huh, Santa?”

“Yeahsureyabetcha!” Santa laughed.

“That's what my dad says.”

Santa smiled and then asked Aislinn what she wanted for Christmas.  As she answered him, a stunned Daniel returned to his husband's side.

“Jack?”

“Yeah?”

“He knows their names before they're telling him.”

“It's probably from the photo we took earlier.  They probably have a cheat sheet up there somewhere.”

“He called me Danny.”

“Huh?”

“Santa called me Danny.”

“You didn't punch him out?” Jack teased, well aware that he was still the only one allowed to call his husband by the nickname.

“He's so familiar.”

Another loud burst of laughter drew the attention of the parents to Chenoa, who surprised Santa with a gift of her own, a special tap number she created just for him.

On it went until Jeff was the only member of the brood left who hadn't sat on Santa's lap.

“Go on, Bro.  If I can do it, so can you,” Jennifer cajoled.

Reluctantly and not wanting to disappoint the younger brood members who were all smiling and watching, Jeff sat on Santa's lap and gave him a short list of Christmas wants before exiting as fast as he could.

“Made it through,” Jack noted happily.

“Not so fast, Jack,” Santa called out.

Jack looked around and asked, “Who, me?”

The children began to whoop and holler joyfully.

“You made me do it, Jack,” Daniel asserted.  “Your turn, big boy.”

“And you think I won't do it?”

“No, I *know* you'll do it,” the archaeologist stated strongly, nodding toward the expectant brood.

Jack groaned in agony of his fate, but slowly walked up the step and sat on Santa's lap.

“You've gained a few, Jack.”

“Yeah, well, I'm not a spring chicken.”

“You have a great group of children, Jack.  All of them reminded me of children in need and all of them were willing to give up their presents, if it would mean helping those other kids.  A few of them even talked about a nursing home where some of the aged need a special visit from Santa this season.”

“We have good kids.”

“And Danny has his wish at last.  That's a good thing, something we both have wanted for a very long time.  Merry Christmas, Jack.”

“And a ho ho ho to you, Santa,” Jack expressed before standing and walking away.  ~Danny's wish?~

“Dont' forget, 2024 and not a year before,” Santa declared.  “Who's next to sit on Santa's lap?” he called out to the line of waiting children.

Those in line were clamoring for their turn to sit on the jolly man's lap, and while Jennifer, Jeff, and Brianna focused on keeping their siblings out of the way, a confused, Jack and Daniel stood in silence for a moment until Daniel stammered, “This, this is, it's ... it's insane, Jack.  It's just ...”

“Nuts?”

“Crazy!”

“What are we talking about?”

“I can't believe I'm saying this.”

“You haven't said anything yet.”

“Jack, it's him.”

“Who is him?”

“Santa is him.  He's Santa Claus,” Daniel put forth as he pointed in the direction of the man on the throne.  He began to pace, his hands on his forehead as he painstakingly spoke, “Oh, gawd, I can't believe I just said that.  I'm a freakin' scientist.  I believe in facts.  Santa's a myth, but he's not, Jack.  There is no way that man isn't Santa Claus.”

“Daniel, maybe he's an alien.”  Jack looked around anxiously.  They were having a conversation in public that was better suited for the privacy of their home.  ~This is *so* not a good idea.~

“Jack, I did *not* buy that ant farm,” Daniel insisted as he referred to a gift his lover received with no explanation one year.

“And I didn't buy the Slinky,” the silver-haired man countered about the toy that showed up among presents purchased for the archaeologist during that first holiday the two men spent together.

“And *that's* my point.”

“Your point?”

“Yes,” Daniel insisted.  “I don't freakin' care where's he from, Jack.  On Earth, that man is the one and only Santa Claus!”

 “Danny, calm down.”

“I recognized him, Jack.  He's the same man whose lap you made me sit on that first year we spent Christmas together: the same one; and he's the same one we took the Munchkins to see for their first Christmas.  He's the one who gave us that crazy box we have stashed away because he said not to open it until 2024.”  Laughing nervously, he exclaimed, “2024!  Who freakin' gives someone a box and tells them to keep it for a couple of decades before opening it?  You want to know who?  Santa, that's who, and that's him.”

“Daniel, I don't who that man is.  He made some lucky guesses, that's all.”

“He knew all of our names.  He called me Danny.  He knew about 2024.  What did he say to you?”

Jack sighed and opted to answer with a succinct, “Nothing much.”

“Jack, tell me.”

“He said you finally got your wish.”

“What wish?”

“This wish.”

Jack and Daniel were stunned by the voice.  Even more so, they were taken aback as they looked around and saw no one was moving.  In fact, everyone was stopped in place, like statues.

“Okay, this is ...” Jack began.

“... odd,” the couple said at the same time.

“Who are you?” Jack asked the strange man.

“Why, Jack, I'm Santa Claus.”

“Look, we've been around ... the universe, a lot,” Jack advised.  “What's your game?”

“To bring joy to the world, especially to children,” Santa answered.  “I'm real, Jack.  Oh, yes, I have secrets.  The time device isn't much of one anymore.  The world's caught up with my elves' amazing technology, but not all of it.”

Looking around, Jack mumbled, “I was sure that was just an aspirin I took this morning.”

“Ho!  Ho!  Ho!” the man laughed as his belly shook like jelly.

“I'm having a bad reaction to something,” Jack groaned with a frown.

“What wish?” Daniel asked, going back to when time stopped.

“This one, Danny.”

Santa held up his right hand and pressed a button on his glove.  Suddenly, images appeared.

“A hologram?” Jack questioned.

“A recall machine,” Santa clarified.  “Earth hasn't quite caught up with this one yet.”  He smiled and urged, “Watch, Danny; watch.”

Daniel's arms folded across his chest as his unease grew, but then he blinked.  He couldn't believe what he was seeing.

“Mel, hold the camera steady,” was heard from a female.  “That's it.  Look at Danny.  He's so cute.”

“Gawd,” Daniel expressed as eyes moistened.  “I haven't heard her voice in decades.”  He glanced at his husband and affirmed, “That's my mom's voice.  It's her.”

“Come, sit on my lap,” the Santa in the image invited.

“Hi, Santa!”

“What's your name?”

“Danny, Danny Jackson; they my parents,” the boy informed with a giant smile.

“Have you been a good boy, Danny?”

“Uh-huh, most time.”

The boy's parents chuckled and Melburn was heard to say, “Honey, do you know how to spell 'good'?”

“D-A-N...”

“...N-Y,” the male and female both finished, laughing freely since they knew their boy was kind and sweet to the core.

“How old are you, Danny?” Santa asked the brown-haired boy with big blue eyes.

The boy held up four fingers.

“Four is a very important age.”  Santa grinned and then asked, “And what would you like Santa to bring you this year?”

“Baby sister?”

Jack couldn't help but chuckle in spite of the strangeness of the situation.  He looked at his soulmate and could feel the sentimentality being experienced.

Santa looked over and grinned at the young blushing couple who watched from a few feet away and conceded, “Santa needs help from your parents with that one, Danny.  What else would you like?”

“A Slinky,” young Danny Jackson giggled.

“A Slinky?  Is that all?”

“No need things; want love, lots love, like Mommy 'n' Daddy give; big family,” the little boy told Santa as he raised both arms outward, his fingers stretched as far as they could go, to signal that he wanted a really large family.

“I'd forgotten that; I mean, until this second, I didn't remember this at all.  I never realized I'd visited Santa and asked for a big family,” Daniel whispered.  ~But I did, I think.~

“You got your wish, Danny, and your children have that same desire, to feel the magic of love all of their lives.  Merry Christmas, Danny.  Merry Christmas, Jack.”

“Merry Christmas ... Santa,” Daniel replied.

In a snap, voices rang out and movement was everywhere.  Not only that, but Santa was fully engaged in a conversation with a young girl as she sat on his lap.

Jack and Daniel stared at each other and then heard their names, called out by their children who were eager for the late lunch they were promised.

Leaving the mystery of Santa behind them, the Jackson-O'Neills left the mall.

By nightfall, the family was home and engaged in an assortment of activities.  The younger brood were still talking about seeing Santa, while the older ones were trying to put it behind them.  They were too old to be sitting on Santa's lap, and goodness, what if someone saw them?  Time moved on as it always did and then Jack and Daniel were in bed, sleeping, until Daniel startled, rising to a sitting position.

“Danny, you okay?”

“Jack, did we talk to ... Santa Claus today?”

“Our kids did.”

“Did we?  I mean, uh, I had this crazy dream.  Time stopped and Santa admitted he was really ... Santa.”

Jack laughed, “That's one of your crazier dreams, Love.”

“So it didn't really happen?”

“Hey, I was there.  All I saw was St. Nick doing a lot of ho-ho-ho-ing with a mall full of kids, including our own.”

“Okay,” Daniel replied as he leaned back against the headboard.  “It had to be a dream.”

“Better a good dream about Santa than a bad dream about the Grinch.”

Both men chuckled and then Jack urged, “Lie down, Angel.”

With a nod, Daniel slid into a comfortable, safe place with his head resting upon Jack's hairy chest.

“So, Santa didn't stop time at the mall?”

“Don't think so, Love.  That would be a neat trick, though, especially with that long line.”

“Okay,” a yawning Daniel returned.  ~Just a dream.~  He yawned again and wondered if the cheese he snacked on earlier caused the bizarre dream.  Before he dozed off, a memory, seemingly out of the blue, returned to him.  “Jack?”

“Mmm?”

“I remember something, about when I was a little boy.”  Daniel told Jack about the time when he first visited Santa and wished for a large family full of love for a lifetime.  “I wonder if they ever tried to have more children,” he sighed with some longing.

“I'm sorry you didn't get your wish back then, Angel, but you sure as heck have it now.”

“Yeah, I do,” Daniel agreed.  ~Just like Santa said in the dream, that ... crazy dream.~

Closing his eyes, Daniel quickly drifted off to sleep, mumbling, “Thank you, Santa” before fully entering his sleep state.

Jack thought hard for a moment and reflected, ~I'm sure it was a dream.  Danny was there, and the kids, and Mister C.  Okay, O'Neill, whatever it is you think you remember, you don't.  It was just a dream, like Danny's dream.  Go to the sleep and dream about ... blondes, or maybe redheads.~  As he stroked Daniel's bare back, he smiled with tremendous satisfaction.  ~Nah, I've got my dream here in my arms and he's all I need.~  His eyelids fluttered close and he let out a garbled, “Thanks, Santa,” as he fell into a sound slumber.

Was it a dream, or was it real?  Perhaps it didn't matter because in Colorado Springs, where the mysteries and wonders of the universe never shocked but sometimes surprised, life was just about perfect for the Jackson-O'Neills as this scene from the season demonstrated, for the family was forever filled with love and joy.

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

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