The Start of Something Big

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 31, 2006 - January 1, 2007
Spoilers:  None
Size:  18kb, ficlet
Written:  December 26-27, 2010
Summary:  Jack and Daniel celebrate their first New Year's Eve with the Munchkins.
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) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Tammy, Navi, Ali, Classic!

The Start of Something Big
by Orrymain

Hearing the giggling and clapping, Daniel hurried his pace from the kitchen to the living room to see what was happening.  In his hands were three bottles of milk which he knew were soon to be in demand.  As the action came into view, he sighed in disbelief, closing his eyes for a brief second and then shaking his head in consternation.

“Jack, what are you doing?”

“What does it look like I'm doing?”

“It looks like you're putting plastic hats on our dogs' heads.”

“Two points for the geek!” Jack exclaimed, completely amused by his deeds and response.

As he checked on the three-month-old triplets, all seated in their individual baby swings, Daniel replied back in the same tone, “Two nights in the doghouse for the fly boy!”

At this, Bijou responded by shaking herself free of Jack's hands and growling playfully.

“Everyone's a critic,” Jack whined as he pulled the mama beagle back into his range of reach.  As he adjusted the colorful hat, making sure Bijou's ears were free to shake about, he retorted quietly, “The man has no sense of humor.”

“Three nights,” Daniel stated, smiling as he knelt down and tickled Aislinn.  He added playfully, though he was serious, “Have to live up to my 'no sense of humor' image.”

“Very funny,” the older man groused.  “There!”  He positioned the dogs in front of the Christmas tree, no longer adorned with holiday presents yet still brightly decorated, and picked up the digital camera to take a couple of pictures.  “Good girls!” he expressed joyfully when he was finished.

“Now how about taking off those ridiculous hats,” Daniel pleaded on behalf of the beagles.

Checking his watch, Jack responded, “Negative.  Still a half hour to go.”

“I can't believe they're still awake,” Daniel mused, standing up and turning around after placing the babies' bottles near the swings.  Catching sight of the confused beagles, he shrugged and said, “Sorry, Girls.  You know how he gets.”

Bijou and Katie stared at each other, resigned to their fate.  Hearing Aislinn laugh again, though, they perked up and decided that if it meant making the triplets happy, they'd endure the hats for a little while, especially since Jack, Daniel, and the babies were wearing the hats, too.

“It's about to be a new year, Danny,” Jack declared with vigor, walking over and swinging his husband into his arms.  “They feel the excitement.”

“Okay, what are you on?”

With a laugh, the retired general answered, “I'm on love, the best kind of love there is.”

“I love you, Jack.”

The lovers kissed, softly at first, and then harder as their passion grew.  Then they heard three giggles, one louder than the other.

“Later,” Daniel chuckled.

“Think they're ready for those bottles?”

“Not yet.”

Jack walked to the coffee table and, as he reached down and picked up the noisemakers, suggested, “Let's see how they do with these.”

Daniel watched, not sure that it was a good idea to give babies noisemakers, but since he was there to keep a close watch, he'd go along with it, for now at least.

“See, when the New Year comes, we blow these, like this,” Jack told the triplets before demonstrating the proper use of the devices.  “Each one of you gets one.”

Observing with great curiosity, Daniel noticed that Jonny couldn't wait to play with the cylindrical object, Aislinn just laughed some more, and Michael was staring at it, a look of seriousness and puzzlement on his face.

~Just babies, and all three are so different,~ the archaeologist noted, filled with wonder at the little miracles in front of him.

====

Noisemaker training over, Jack had retrieved a piece of paper and cut it into several pieces.

“No, don't eat it,” Jack groaned, drawing back Jonny's hand.  “Son, trust me, paper is *not* chocolate cake.  We only eat paper when put into mortal danger by the enemy.  It's cliché, but true.”

Daniel shook his head, but he also noticed that Jonny seemed to be taking it all in.

“We're starting a new tradition,” the general stated suddenly as he clapped his hands once.

“We are?” Daniel questioned, wondering where this was going.

“We are,” Jack affirmed.

“Uh, shouldn't I have been a part of this ... tradition adding process?”

“I just thought of it,” Jack admitted.

“Oh.”

“You'll like it.”

“I hope so.”

“Trust me.”

“Always,” Daniel acknowledged, a soft and sweet twinkle in his expression.

“Here's the deal,” Jack began as he addressed the three tiny faces.  “The end of the year means the beginning of a new one.  An old year is another year we survived.  It's another one we beat the man, whoever he is.  It means we can start over again and get better.  The truth is, kids, that no matter how good we intend to be, we're always going to mess up somewhere.  We're human.  We make mistakes.  You wouldn't believe how many mistakes your old man has made.”

“It's a long list,” Daniel interjected, smiling at the incredulous look on his Love's face.

Turning back to face the babies, Jack continued, “The tradition is this.  Every New Year, we write down one thing we're sorry for.  Then we toss it in the fire, and it all goes away. No more regrets.  No more sorries.  We just resolve that it's over, and we're moving on.  We've learned from it, and it's a mistake we're never going to make again.”

Jack wrote down something unknown to Daniel, sighed, and folded the paper.  He stood and walked over to Daniel.

“Your turn.”

“Interesting tradition,” Daniel stated as he accepted the paper.  “Think of it yourself?”

“Yeah.”

“Good idea.”

“It happens,” Jack responded with a small smile.

Nodding, Daniel glanced at the babies and then at the beagles.  He knew exactly what his biggest regret of the year was.  There wasn't even a close second.  Kneeling down to use the table to write on, he completed his task.  He looked up at his husband, curious if he'd written down the same thing.

“Okay, kids, your next.”

“Uh, Jack ...”

“You think it, make your mark, and call it a done deal,” Jack told the babies, helping each of them to draw a line or scribble of some kind on their papers before folding them.  “Until you're old enough, Daddy and I will handle the tossing into the fire part of the tradition.”

“Grrrr,” Bijou objected.

“Have a regret?” Jack inquired.

“Woof!”

“Okie dokie,” the general acknowledged.  “Same concept.  You two think it, make your paw mark, and we'll handle the rest.”

With the dog regrets completed, Jack and Daniel approached the fire.  Reverently, they tossed in the papers, one by one, watching as they burned.

“Out with the old,” Daniel remarked quietly.  “Well, out with the bad choices, anyway.”

“It's a new start.”

“A cleansing.”

====

Daniel was on his haunches as he faced the Munchkins and the beagles, while Jack was to the side, checking on the video camera.  They still had fifteen minutes to go before 2006 came to an official end.

“Okay, well, it's ... important to always respect the past.  Uh, not ... what Dad was just talking about.  I mean, it is important to respect what we just did, but I'm talking about more than just the last year.  I ... well ...”

“Daniel, if you don't move it along, we'll be celebrating 2008.”

“Yeah, you're right,” Daniel agreed, bobbing his head a couple of times.  Collecting his thoughts, he began again.  “New Year's is the oldest holiday, first observed in Babylon, somewhere around 2,000 B.C.  For them, it was the first visible crescent moon after the Vernal Equinox that began the New Year.  See, that was springtime, when everything starts anew.  It's ... it's a rebirth, a renewal, or ... or a blossoming.

“Eventually, when the Romans ruled, they celebrated in March, the beginning of spring, but, well, all things in Rome weren't peaceful.  They messed up their own calendar, and finally, in 153 B.C., they arbitrarily decided that January 1 would be the official New Year.

“Uh, the Egyptians, of whom I'm a little partial I guess, they had calendar problems, too, but that's neither here nor there at the moment.  The point is that they had a festival called Wep-Renpet, meaning Opener of the Year, that coincided with the rising of Sirius in the sky and the Nile on Earth.  For them, it signaled a time of rejuvenation and rebirth, and it began their annual calendar.”

“Daniel, it's about to be 2009,” Jack interjected, his eyebrows arched with his unspoken suggestion to wrap it up.

“Okay, okay,” the archaeologist acknowledged.  “There's a lot more to this, Munchkins, but we'll save it until you have a clue what I'm talking about.  It's just that the Babylonians celebrated with a ...”

“Big party?” Jack interjected, a playful tone to his query.

“A big, big ... *big* party,” Daniel chuckled.  “Eleven days worth.  Every day was different.”

“Two will have to do here,” Jack declared.

The younger man smiled and then told the triplets, “Just remember that every holiday has a beginning, from a variety of cultures.  There's a ... a lot of history there, of societies that did things for their own reasons.  It's a rich past to be remembered, and it's a past full of societies and people to glean from.  Who we are is in part due to who they were.  The past, the present, and the future: it's all tied together.”

“Well said,” Jack complimented.  He looked over at the babies and quipped, “He's long winded, but you'll get used to it.”

“Jack!”

“Daniel!”

Rolling his eyes, Daniel stood and suggested, “Jack, it's too cold out for the babies.”

Regretfully, Jack agreed.  Their plans for taking the Munchkins outside for a few minutes for stargazing had been made before the temperature went further below freezing than anticipated.  In fact, it was only nineteen degrees out.  It definitely wasn't appropriate for the kids at this stage of their lives.

“The roof deck!” Jack spoke suddenly in a near shout.

“Wow,” Daniel responded in surprise.

“What?”

“That's two.”

“Two what?” the silver-haired man inquired.

“Two good ideas in one night,” Daniel quipped, earning a chuckle from his husband.

====

The couple's beloved roof deck had been greatly altered in the remodel of their modest country-style home.  It was now enclosed, its sloped roof separating the master bedroom from the nursery.  Still, with the innovative design, the two could still sit in their favorite spot, relaxed against the wall of the bedroom, and see the stars through what was actually a large sunroof.  Even better, with the pressing of a button, the roof retracted and the two could walk over to a side railing and truly feel as if they were outdoors.  It wasn't perfect, but it was their roof deck and the only answer at the time to the need to redesign the house to include the nursery.

With a southeasterly wind blowing, going to the roof deck was the smart answer, and the only one a still overprotective Daniel would allow.  With the Munchkins bundled up, Jack retracted the roof.  The chill was immediate.

“Five minutes, Babe.”

“I only need three,” Jack boasted with a smile.  “Okay, kids, take a look up.  That's a clear night sky up there.  That's where Santa and his reindeer flew by last week to bring you all of those presents.”

“Too bad Santa isn't paying the bill,” the archaeologist teased, giving his lover an innocent shrug when he looked over.

“Like I was saying, there's a lot to admire out there.  Those stars hold secrets, more than I can tell you.  They're classified.”

“I say we give them clearance, in fifteen or twenty years,” the younger man mused, bouncing Michael in his right arm to slightly readjust his position.  He looked at Jonny, who he held in his left arm, and noticed his intense look.  ~He seems to take in all of this. Something tells me he's going to be just like Jack.~  With an internal chuckle, he joked, ~Heaven help Stargate Command.~

“And Daddy says I'm the jokester,” Jack quipped, rubbing his nose against a still giggling Aislinn's.  Continuing, he spoke, “A lot happened this year.  Pluto's not a planet anymore.  Crazy as it sounds, it's all about definitions, and a group of suits decided Pluto was better suited as Mickey's dog than a celestial body.  The point is, life changes, but as long as you can look up and see the stars, you know that life is out there, somewhere.  You're not alone; *we're* not alone.  As much as Daddy wants you to respect the past, I want you to respect and understand the stars.  Lessons to follow.”  He looked over at his lover and asked, “Under three?”

“Under two,” Daniel replied.  “It's time.”

====

Back in their living room, the parents and their children rejoined the beagles, still wearing their hats, who had decided to relax in their cozy beanbag rather than go up to the roof deck.  While Jack turned on the television, picking a favorite station to watch the countdown, Daniel verified that the video camera was filming.

“Here it is, kids,” Jack called out excitedly.

Together, in front of the triplets, the couple did the countdown along with those on the TV screen.

“Ten!  Nine!  Eight!  Seven!  Six!  Five!  Four!  Three!  Two!  One!  Happy New Year!” both Jack and Daniel called out excitedly.

Then the soulmates kissed, another joyous, delightful kiss that spoke loudly of their love.  After a briefer union of their lips, they kissed their babies, wishing them a happy New Yule while blowing the noisemakers repeatedly.

Bijou and Katie barked happily, jumping up and dancing all around.  With the help of Jack and Daniel, they shared kisses of love with the children and the two adults.

With the singing of Auld Lang Syne, the celebration wound down, the babies yawning and definitely ready for bed.

====

“Sleep, our little ones,” Daniel spoke in a hushed tone as he and Jack made sure the Munchkins were in appropriate positions.

A moment later, Jack motioned that the monitor was on.  With the portable speaker in his right hand, he nodded towards the door.

“I love you so much, Munchkins.  We're just beginning, and ... well, we have a lot to learn, but you three, and us, and the girls, we're just the start of something ... something big, something so grand we don't even know the full extent of it yet.  It's family, the seven of us.  Goodnight.”

Quietly, Daniel joined his soulmate, who took him into his arms for a hug.

“I like that, the start of something big.”

“Well, it is.  I mean, the future is ... I don't know, but someday we will.”

“One day at a time, Angel.”

====

Jack and Daniel returned downstairs.  The girls had gone outside to take care of business, so as soon as the couple reached the living room, Daniel let them inside before locking up the patio door for the night and closing the blinds.

“Hey, you mutts,” Jack greeted jovially, sitting down for some special playtime.

Seeing this, Daniel smiled.  There was something about the expression on his Love's face.

~He wrote the same thing I did.  I know he did.  We will never ignore you two again, not ever,~ the archaeologist vowed, referring to unintentional but hurtful things that the couple had done in their overzealous behavior with the birth of their children.  “Room for one more?” he asked as he sat down.

“Woof!” Katie responded, eagerly jumping into Daniel's lap.

====

Doggie playtime over, Bijou and Katie disappeared upstairs.  With a soft 'woof' that seemed to say the babies were just fine, the two settled in on the three-quarter sized bed and began their Munchkin watch, giving Jack and Daniel time to themselves.

“Happy New Year, Love,” Jack wished, his arm intertwining with his husband's.

“Happy New Year, Jack.”

The lovers drank their St. Julien's Chateau Beychevelle.  It was Daniel's beloved vintage, year 1959, which was his absolute favorite, beating out champagne or any other alcoholic beverage.  Kisses and light fondling followed.

“What a year 2006 was,” Jack put forth as they settled in by the fire.

Daniel glanced over at the monitor, just ensuring it was in place on the coffee table, and replied, “Yeah, it was ... incredible.”  With a sudden but only slight feeling of guilt, he asked, “Do you think we were wrong to turn off the phones and turn out the lights?”

“Danny, we spent the morning at Hammond's and the afternoon at Carter's where anyone who had even heard about the kids showed up to ogle.  Tonight was for us.”

“Then 'to us',” Daniel toasted, raising his glass.

“I have a better way to celebrate us,” Jack refuted, taking his Heart's glass and lowering him down to a supine position on the carpet.

“That's three.”

“Ya got that right.”  Jack grinned, happy his husband was as thrilled with his latest idea as he was.  Seeing Daniel's burgeoning physical response, he quipped, “Now *that's* the start of something big.

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