The Boyfriend

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 13-28, 2014
Spoilers:  None
Size:  28kb, ficlet
Written:  May 6-7,11,13,16,19, 2008
Summary:  Brianna gets a surprise invitation that stirs up some internal questions and conflicts, but she's just one member of the brood that has Jack ready to have a heart attack.
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), “Carolina Crusin'”
4) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Melissa, Keri, Linda!

The Boyfriend
by Orrymain

Brianna left the bulk of the family's mail on the counter and took the package she'd been given by the mail carrier up to her room.  She was curious about it and quickly tore away its bindings, chuckling at the contents, which she thought was half funny and half perfect.  She read the letter that came with the package, smiling at several points, especially the apology for not using email because the sender was simply old fashioned and liked the feeling of using regular mail.

The teenager, now thirteen-and-a-half-years old, sat down in front of her computer and composed a reply, printing the letter, signing it, and preparing it for mailing.  She placed it inside her backpack to mail the next time she was out, and then she went downstairs to find her siblings.

====

“He bought me ice cream, two scoops,” Aislinn spoke with a grin two weeks later.

“I thought Cale was your boyfriend,” Chenoa replied.

“Not anymore.  Now it's Alan.  He spent recess with me all week,” the girl bragged as she talked about a community program she was currently participating in.

Tugging on his lover's arm as they stood by the counter that separated the kitchen from the living room, Daniel pulled his seething husband to the table and forced him to sit down.

“Seven.  She's *seven*, and she has a ... no, I won't say the word,” Jack groused.

Daniel chuckled, “It's just ice cream.”

“He held your hand, too?” Chenoa giggled loudly, which meant that the parents heard the remark.

“It's her, isn't it?” Jack asked his husband.

“What do you mean?” Daniel asked, looking down as his distressed soulmate.

“The P-90 -- she's the one I'm gonna need it for.  It's gonna be a parade.  Where is it?” Jack asked, practically delirious from parental worry about the youngest Munchkin.

“Whoa, Babe,” Daniel cautioned, reaching out to push Jack back into his chair. “They're just children.”

“She has a new boyfriend every week!”

“Having a hard day, Dad?” Jennifer chuckled as she entered the dining nook and took a seat at the table.

“Jen, were you ever like that?” the general asked anxiously.

“Oh, I was much more stable, Dad.  My boyfriends lasted at least two weeks,” the college student answered.  She shared an amused look with her younger father and then elaborated, “My first boyfriend was in kindergarten; that was before Mom and Dad started homeschooling, of course.  DeWitt Macomber.” She chuckled, “I know; it's a funny name, but in kindergarten, I thought it was sophisticated.  He picked up my backpack for me one day, and I was hooked, until a couple of weeks later when Harvey Lambert got off the teeter totter just so I could play on it.”

“Poor DeWitt,” Jack sighed.

“He got over it.  I think Marcy Walton helped with that,” Jennifer laughed.  She reached over to tap the top of her dad's hand and said, “It's okay.”

“If my hair wasn't already gray ...” Jack began.

“Sorry, Dad.  My boyfriend flip flopping kept up until Mom and Dad died, and then ...”

“You had to take care of David and Noa,” Daniel deduced.

“Things changed then, and I'm glad I think, not about ... Mom and Dad, of course, but I think getting off that cycle grounded me a little bit more.”

“*Na-huh, Ash!  No boys allowed to kiss you!*” Jonny called out sternly, having walked into the living room at the wrong time.

“Kiss?” Jack asked with widening eyes.  “Daniel?” he called out.

“Jack, shhh.  Calm down.  Jen, get Dad a beer.”

“Kiss?  Did he say ... kiss?”

“Jen -- hurry!”

Jennifer chuckled all the way to the refrigerator.  It was extremely rare for her older father to get to drink his favorite brew during the day, and for Daniel to have been the one to suggest it, meant it was serious.

“Here, Dad.”

“Drink!  Fast!” Daniel ordered.  Looking at the young woman, he said, “Stay here, and keep him here.”  He headed for the living room and knelt down in front of the little girl that was the center of conversation in the household at the moment.  “Uh, Ash.”

“Daddy, I don't kiss and tell,” Aislinn giggled.

~Where is she getting this from?  No more TV,~ Daniel thought.  “Ash ...”

“Daddy, she's just teasing,” the older and wiser Chenoa laughed.

“You're too young, both of you,” Daniel asserted forcefully.  “I just want to make this clear.  You can hold hands and spend time together, but no kissing and no ...” ~oh, gawd,~ “no ... playing, um ...”

“Sisters cannot play doctor,” Jonny stated, letting out a stern 'humph' at the end of his declaration.

“Right.  Yes.  Thank you,” Daniel responded.  Then he blinked and looked over at Jonny in shock.  “Jonny, what ...”

“What?” the sandy-haired boy asked.

“Never mind.”  Standing, Daniel looked at each of the children and ordered, “No kissing or ... playing doctor, for any of you.”

“But I like playing doctor,” Little Danny whined.  “Aunt Janet lets me use her stethoscope.”

“We'll ... talk later,” Daniel replied, needing to get a breath of air away from the rapidly maturing children.  ~I think my hair is going to be grayer than Jack's soon.~

Jennifer watched as her father walked in and sat down, a 'deer in the headlights' look on his face.

“Want a beer, Daddy?”

“Yes.  Make it a double.”

Laughing out loud, Jennifer stood and retrieved a beer for the archaeologist.

“Don't worry, Dad and Daddy.  It'll all be over in another fifteen or twenty years,” the young woman teased, getting groans from both men before each of them took long swigs of their brews.

“Actually, though, to be serious, I was just wondering if either of you have noticed that Bri's been a little quiet lately.”

Licking his lips, Daniel answered, “Actually ... yeah.”

“Me, too,” Jack said, beginning to come back to life from his latest boyfriend heart attack.  “Any idea why?”

“No.  She's clammed up, and that's why I brought it up.”

“We'll have a talk with her,” Daniel responded appreciatively.

Jack blew out a long whiff of air and leaned his head back before saying, “At least I don't have to worry about boyfriends with her.  Heaven bless the tomboys of the world.”

“Um, Dad, Daddy, I was talking with Karissa today at work, and you know that she has vacation coming up over the Easter holiday,” Jennifer stated.

“I guess we'll let her go,” Jack teased.

“Well, I don't have classes that week, and she'd like to train me to do more while she's gone, and ... you know, I'd work full time that week, or most of it.”

“Jen, Karissa is your supervisor.  She has full authority to increase your hours, or not,” Jack stated.

“You mean, you wouldn't ... interfere?” Jennifer asked, looking back and forth at her fathers.

“You're an employee, and Karissa makes the decisions where you're concerned,” Daniel reiterated.  “It's up to the two of you how many hours you work, as long as it doesn't interfere with your college classes or your homework.”

Jennifer's expression was pleasantly wide-eyed and even a bit amazed.

“You're an adult, Jen,” Jack expounded.  “You can make your own choices.  You know we're here for you, if you need us.”

“I thought you might say 'no',” Jennifer admitted.

“Do you want us to?” Daniel asked.

“No, I ... wow!”  Jennifer smiled and said, “You really are letting me ... be me.”

“You'll always be our little girl,” Jack said, a bit choked up.

“But I'm not a little girl, and you really know that now,” Jennifer expressed a bit emotionally.  “I ... I've seen your trust grow in me; little things, subtle things, but ... I guess ... I just ... geez, I love you both.”

A happy hug later, Jennifer excused herself to call Karissa and discuss her job at J-O Enterprises, while Jack and Daniel simply stared at each other and continued to drink their beers.  Some days, even parents needed a retreat.

“Remember when they were all our babies, Danny?  Sometimes I think I'd rather go back to the days of hundreds of diapers and bottles than watch our children grow up,” Jack said, finally breaking the silence.

“I know what you mean,” Daniel replied.  He sighed, “It seems like they're racing towards adulthood, trying to see who can get their first.”

“The Jackson-O'Neill dozen-fecta,” the older man teased.

“I have to admit, Jack, that I ... I love watching them become their own people.”

“We're making a difference in this world, something other than blowing up Goa'uld,” Jack noted.

“Exactly.  We're doing a good job, Babe,” Daniel replied with a smile.

“Yeah, you've got me there.”  Jack smiled and held out his can of beer.  “Cheers, to us!”

“Cheers,” the younger man laughed, clinking his can against his lover's.  Quickly, he added, “We're lucky, too, especially considered how messed up my adolescence was.”

“You're a great father, Angel.”

Smiling, the younger man responded, “So are you, Love.””

After sharing a quick kiss, the couple finished their beers and continued on with their day.

====

The next day, with most of the children playing outside, Jack and Daniel decided it would be a good time to speak with Brianna.  The couple headed upstairs, going to the end of the long hallway to the last room on the left, which was the girl's bedroom.

“Am I in trouble?” Brianna asked, seeing the serious expressions on her parents' faces.

“No, not at all,” Daniel answered reassuringly, sitting down in one of the chairs in the bedroom.

“We just wanted to talk,” Jack elaborated as he walked over and sat down on the edge of the bed.  “What's up?”

“Huh?”

“Bri, you've been a little quiet for the last couple of weeks,” Daniel stated.  “Talk to us -- please.”

Brianna looked at her younger father and nodded.  With a sigh, she walked over to her dresser, her hands gripping the knobs on one of the drawers.

“I got something in the mail a while back,” the tomboy began.  “It was a present, just because.  It was a nice thought.  I guess it even made me smile.”

“Care to share?” Jack asked curiously.

Brianna opened the drawer and pulled out the box.  Taking off the top, she took out the item and pressed it against her body to demonstrate the look.

“Looks great to me,” Jack said with a smile, having expected something much worse than a pair of overalls.

“Dad, stop,” Brianna admonished, understanding fully her older father's remark.

“Bri, what's the problem with the gift?” Daniel asked.

“It's just ... I like it, Daddy.  It's the right size, and they're ... fun.”

“But?” Daniel prompted.

“Strings?” Jack assumed about the gift.

“No, Dad.  It's just a gift.”  The teenager sighed, letting the denim item fold over her arms.  She walked over to the bed, sitting down by her pillows.  “I like it.”

“So, what's the problem?” Daniel prompted gently.

“They're from Con, right?” Jack deduced.

The tomboy lit up and affirmed, “Yes.”

Jack and Daniel exchanged a look, a light beginning to dawn for both of them.  Two years ago, in early August 2012, the Jackson-O'Neills had gone on a trek in search of America.  One of their first stops was in the tiny town of McBee, South Carolina.  There, they spent a few days with the Bell family.

The Bell family consisted of Arnie and Pat and their two children, Reba and Conway, both named after famous country singers.  They also had a hound dog named Duke.

Conway, known as Con, was thirteen at the time.  The boy loved farm life and racing.  He also took an instant shine to Brianna.  Since then, the two had remained in touch, with frequent letters, a phone call here and there, and the occasional email.  Apparently, gift giving was becoming part of the equation.

“Dad, Daddy, he wants me to visit during Easter break,” Brianna announced.

“Oh,” Daniel responded.

~Over my dead body,~ Jack thought, wondering if his tomboy was leaving her jeans behind.

“He wrote me a letter.  I just got it yesterday.  He said he thinks of me all the time and that he wishes he could call me his girlfriend.”

“He does?” Daniel questioned carefully.

“But he knows how I feel about that.”

“Does he?” the archaeologist asked, ignoring the daggers being shot at him by his husband.

“That's the problem,” Brianna replied.  “I don't know anymore.  I used to.  I hated the thought of being anyone's ... girlfriend.  When we were there, I totally was like, ick, no, definitely no; but ... I like getting his letters, and he never tries to change me.”  Looking at the overalls, she smiled and explained, “That's why I love these so much.  They're perfect for playing with the kids or working in the garden or just puttering around.  He didn't buy me some frilly dress that he knows I wouldn't like.  He likes me because I'm me, and I really like that.”

“And now?” Daniel prodded, still ignoring the myriad of spears being launched at him from the older man.

“I'm confused.”

Jack let out a sigh, one that attracted the attention of both his husband and their teenage daughter.

“Bri, you're growing up,” Jack began.  “Look, I may lock Ash up and keep her there until she's thirty, but I don't think I have to do that with you, *not* that I wouldn't if you didn't want it to be ... I mean ... crap, you know what I mean.”

“He means you could have a line of boyfriends, if that's what you wanted,” Daniel clarified, not wanting there to be any confusion.

The girl smiled shyly, holding the overalls close and looking downward.

“Bri, Con was a good kid from what I could tell.  He ... liked you, and that was obvious.  Are you telling us that you're returning some of those feelings now?” Jack questioned.

“Maybe.  I'm not sure,” Brianna answered quietly, her head still bowed.

Jack studied the girl closely and then scooted over to be closer to her.  He reached out to caress the side of her face and then lifted her face by placing a finger under her chin.

“Bri, be yourself, whatever that is.  It's not ...”  Jack had to pause, wondering why he always ended up pushing his daughters towards boys when it's the last thing he really wanted.  “... a bad thing to like a boy.”

“He's even been learning about dolphins, and I don't mean he's pretending to like them, but he's just wanting to know why I get so excited about them.”

“That's nice, but you do realize that farms and dolphins don't really mix very well,” Jack stated softly, while thinking that might be the way out of his personal dilemma.

“Jack, they're talking about being boyfriend and girlfriend, not getting married,” Daniel chastised.

“Actually, he's joked about buying a big farm one day and building a big mammal water park or something.”  Seeing Jack's fearful and stunned expression, Brianna quickly added, “He's just teasing, Dad.”

“Bri,” Daniel interjected, taking over for his husband who was still in shock.  He scooted his chair closer to the bed.  “You need to take time to learn who you are.  You like Con, right?”

“He's a good friend.  He's easy to talk to,” Brianna responded.

“You're curious about the ... boyfriend, girlfriend thing, right?”

“He thinks of me as his girlfriend, but he won't say it, because I've never let him,” Brianna confided.

“But you'd like to try it out,” Daniel deduced.

“Try it on for size and see if it fits?” Jack questioned, getting on board once again with what was best for his daughter.

“Maybe.”

“Okay, well, would you like to visit the Bells for Easter?” Daniel asked.

“I ... I think so,” Brianna admitted cautiously.  “Can I?” she asked hesitantly, knowing how special holidays were for the family, though no one had mentioned anything specific about what might be happening this year.

Jack and Daniel looked at each other, the younger man communicating with his eyes the answer that had to be.

“Yes,” Jack sighed, knowing it was a losing battle.

“Bri, we love you,” Daniel stated.  “We will always love *you*, and it doesn't matter if you're a tomboy, a marine biologist, a hockey player, or a girl who now has a boyfriend.  We'll always be here for you, whether you're wearing jeans and an old shirt, those overalls, or a beautiful frilly dress.  Who you are is up to you, but please remember one thing.  There's no rule that says tomboys can't have boyfriends, and there's no law that says marine biologists can't live on farms.”

“Daniel,” Jack automatically groaned.  Seeing his Love's scowl, he apologized.  “Bri, it just takes me longer, but Daddy is right.”

Brianna studied her parents carefully and then said, “I'm just not sure who I am right now.  I'd really like to visit Con and maybe try to ... find out a little bit more.”

“No kissing,” Jack asserted strongly.

“Dad!”

“Jack, stop,” Daniel said, sensing his husband was thinking more about Aislinn at the moment than Brianna.  “Bri ...”

“I know how he is.”

“He just gets excited,” Daniel pointed out, shaking his head at his husband.

“Because he loves us,” the tomboy spoke with a smile.

“Hey!  'He' is right here, and 'he' apologizes, again.  We'll call Arnie and Pat tonight and make sure they're okay with you visiting.”

“Bri, remember.  We support the trip, but if there's a second when you want to come home, don't hesitate to call us,” Daniel advised.

“Can I take my 'Thor' patch?”

“We insist,” Jack said, happy the girl was eager for the added alien protection.  “We'll make sure he's in the vicinity.”

“I love you, both of you, so much,” Brianna said before sharing a hug with her fathers.

“Are you going to come down and join us?” Daniel asked, standing up and pushing the chair back in place.

“Dad, may I make a phone call first?”

Jack nodded, leaned over to kiss his maturing daughter on the cheek, and then said, “No phone sex.”

“Jack!”

“Dad!”

“Gawd,” Daniel exclaimed.  “Out!  Go!  Now!” he ordered his husband.  ~Phone sex?  I can't believe he said that out loud.  Gawd!~

Brianna flopped onto her bed, pulling the overalls over her face and exclaiming, “Now, I can't call.”

Daniel sighed, “Yes, you can, Bri.  You can do anything, or be anyone, you want to.  Just don't be in a rush; take your time; learn about yourself first before you jump into something you may, or may not, be ready for.”

The teenager looked over at Daniel and smiled, feeling surprisingly better after her conversation with her parents.

“Make smart choices, though; that's all we ask,” the archaeologist requested.

“I will, Daddy.  I promise.”

====

“Daddy, I don't wanna play *that* kind of doctor,” Little Danny said with a frown as he and Daniel sat in the gazebo.  “I just wanna learn what Aunt Janet teaches me.”

“Good.  That's, uh, very good,” Daniel commented, smiling and then helping the boy off of his lap.

--

“Okay, okay, you can hold hands since Daddy said you could,” Jack reluctantly agreed as he faced all of the Jackson-O'Neill females, except for Jennifer, who was reading a story to JD over in the Pod area, and Brianna, who was still on the phone inside the house.  “But there is *absolutely* to be no kissing or touching in any other way.  Tell me you understand what I'm saying.”

“Dad, you're gonna turn red,” Chenoa giggled.

“If you want to see K'hang again, you're gonna tell me,” the still slightly crazed silver-haired man threatened with gritted teeth.

“Okay,” Chenoa sighed.

“Okay, Dad,” Aislinn sighed, her eyes rolling.

“I don't have a boyfriend,” Lulu stated.  Seeing Jack's stare, “But if I did, I wouldn't let him kiss or touch me.”

Jack looked over at Jenny, who grinned and stated emphatically, “I don't want a boyfriend.  Ewww.  I remember what Aunt Sam told us.  No way, no how is some boy gonna touch me.”

“That's more like it,” Jack replied, tapping the girl encouragingly on the side of the face.

Daniel just shook his head and decided to talk with each of the girls privately later on.  Right now, Jack was just too much in the irrational zone to do much good.

====

Twenty minutes after the discussion with Jack and Daniel, Brianna walked outside, now wearing her new overalls.

“Hey, Bri, where'd you get those?” David asked.  “They're neat!”

“Cool, Sis,” Jeff called out.

“They're a gift from ...” Brianna looked over at Jack and then at Daniel.  She saw the support in their eyes, even if her older father was having a difficult time with it.  Smiling, the girl repeated, “They're a gift from my boyfriend.”

“Boyfriend?” several of the children echoed.

“Con,” Brianna clarified.  “You remember him?”

The mention of Conway Bell set off a happy recollection of the family's trip across America.  Brianna was happy about that.  Her parents were right.  She wasn't a spectacle to her siblings, all of whom had a few questions, but none of whom saw a problem with it, except maybe for Jonny, who was demanding to go with his sister to the Bells so he could more properly check out Conway's suitability for Brianna.

Part of Jack wanted to blackball the trip and 'the boyfriend', but he looked into his daughter's onyx eyes and saw, for the first time, a young woman.  She still had a long, long way to go, and she was still finding her way, but he couldn't shield her or stop her from growing up and discovering relationships with people of the opposite sex.  He just hoped he didn't have a heart attack in the process.

“Don't worry, Babe, it's going to be okay,” Daniel spoke, putting his arm around his lover's waist and giving him a peck on the cheek.  “She's just thirteen, and she just wants to know if there's more to life than hockey and dolphins.”

“I'm afraid she's gonna find the answer,” Jack admitted, though he smiled afterwards.  “Danny, you're gonna have to stay close.”

“Forever and always, Love.”

“It might not be easy,” Jack admitted.  “You might have to get Thor to put an Asgard shield around every weapon in the country.”

“I don't think it'll come to that,” Daniel mused lightly.

As he grinned, Jack declared, “I love you, Angel.”

“And I love you, even when you're ... ”

“... nuts?” Jack suggested.

“Looney,” Daniel completed, chuckling afterwards.

The happy couple refocused on their children and their ever growing nation of love.  One day, they knew that family would include husbands and wives.  They just hoped that time was still a long ways in the future.

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