Too Many Pets

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Drama, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - September 3-4, 2014
Spoilers:  None
Size:  12kb, ficlet
Written:  May 10-12,16,21-22,25, 2008
Summary:  Are there really too many pets at the J-O home, and is Daniel really ready to get rid of them?
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) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Melissa, Keri, Carol, Linda!

Too Many Pets
by Orrymain

“Mittens!” Daniel exclaimed as he cleaned up what seemed like the fifth hairball of the day.  ~I don't have time for this.~

“Meow,” was the feline's response as she sat and licked a paw as if she didn't have a care in the world.

--

“Ptolemy, I'd love to discuss Egypt with you, but I have to finish this lesson plan for tomorrow,” Daniel spoke to the beautiful hyacinth macaw bird.

“King Tut king,” the intelligent creature replied insistently, just as she'd been doing for the last several minutes.

“Okay,” Daniel sighed, closing his notebook.  ~I can't believe I'm doing this.~  “I'll tell you about King Tut.”

--

“Jonny!” the archaeologist shouted.  “Bogey, you cannot eat my salad.  What are you doing in the kitchen?”  ~Maybe it's a hint -- lizard salad.~

“What, Daddy?” Jonny asked as he entered the kitchen.  Seeing his father holding the pet, the boy gulped.  “I guess I forgot to take him upstairs.

“Unless you want him to be someone's, or something's dinner, I suggest you not forget again.”

“Yes, Daddy,” the boy responded, taking Bogey upstairs.

--

“Oh, crap,” Daniel sighed, realizing he'd just stepped into some of Hot's excrement.  “When did you do that?”

The archaeologist wanted to be angry, but it was his own fault for not looking where he was going and for wearing the wrong shoes into the small stable at the back of the house, not to mention he wouldn't have been in this situation in the first place had he not agreed to tend to the ponies since Jeff had been delayed at school.  Jack had told him to just let Jeff do the chores when he got home, but Daniel had wanted to do the teen a favor.

“At least it was just the one sh... pair,” Daniel groaned about his shoes.  “Right.  Thank you, Chocolate.  Wouldn't want you to feel ... left out,” he sighed, closing his eyes now that Chocolate had just relieved herself right over his shoe as he stood there.

--

“Strawberry, you need your medicine, so just ... ouch!”  Daniel took a big breath and then said, “Time to clip your nails.”

Finishing his task, the archaeologist got up and tended to his scratch, wondering why he hadn't clipped the guinea pig's nails last week before she'd gotten sick.

~Because for a so-called genius, I'm dumb,~ the man sighed.  ~Why do I feel more like a zookeeper than an archaeologist lately?  And why am I the *only* zookeeper in this house?~

--

“David, careful!  Cream Cheese is about to ...”

It was too late.  The family's black Holland lop rabbit had just hopped over next to the boy, knocking over his orange juice, which quickly ran all over the floor that Daniel had just cleaned a few minutes earlier.

“Sorry, Daddy,” David said as Cream Cheese started to lap up the juice.

--

As Daniel walked by the fish tank, he noticed the swimmers were at the top of the tank and seemed to be trying to get oxygen from the surface of the water.

“Hey, Fishies.”  After inspecting the filtration system, the archaeologist spoke, “Looks like your pump is broken.”  Walking over to the cordless phone that was sitting on the coffee table, he phoned his soulmate, who was out running errands, and asked him to stop at the pet store and buy a new pump.  He then went back to the fish tank and talked to the fish, reassuring them that they would have fresh *air* soon.  ~Please hurry, Jack,~ he thought as he watched his finned friends.

====

“Daddy, you look tired,” Jennifer observed about her weary father when she entered the house right before dinnertime.

“Too many pets, Jen.  We have too many pets,” Daniel whined.  “Maybe we could just open a zoo and charge admission.  What do you think?”  Just then, he heard a crash.  With an accepting smile, he spoke, “It's probably Bagel.  Aside from Bij and Katie, she's the only one who hasn't escaped, spit up, almost died, or eaten something inappropriate today.”  With a sigh, he said, “I'll be back, or not.”

Jennifer chuckled, “Must be one of those days.  Hey, Bij!”

====

“No!  Go 'way!  Hey!”

“Danny!  Daniel!” Jack said, shaking his lover awake after moving him onto his back in the wee hours of the next morning.

“Oh, gawd,” Daniel said, his entire body sagging in the bed as he realized he'd just had a nightmare.

“Now that hasn't happened in quite a while.  Are you okay, Love?” Jack asked gently, his right hand rubbing gently across the younger man's bare chest.

“I'm fine.”  Daniel rolled his eyes.  “Do you have any idea what I just dreamed?”

“I was really a grizzly bear?” Jack teased, getting a chuckle from his husband.

“That I could handle,” the archaeologist mused.  “Get this.  I was being attacked by Little Danny's turkeys.  I tried to run, but then the Shetlands started chasing me.  I tripped over the cats while Ptolemy was squawking, 'Get him!' to Hot and Chocolate.  Then Bogey started crawling over me, while the fish, every one of them, were using their fins and tails to splash water on me.  Strawberry and Shortcake were standing up like squirrels, laughing at me.  Just as I managed to get to my feet, Bagel and Cream Cheese hopped on me.  It was like they were kangaroos, pounding me down into the floor.”

“Like Bugs beating on Wile E Coyote?” Jack asked in amusement.

“Exactly,” Daniel confirmed.  “Then, Jack kicked me in my six.”

“I did not!”

“Not you; your donkey!” Daniel exclaimed, raising his hands to his head.  “And then Little Danny's latest stray's eyes flashed, and I was almost gouged by Goldie-Girl, the Goa'ulded goldfinch!  Too many pets.  They're everywhere.”

“What about the girls?”

Daniel lowered his hands slowly and stared, “They staged the entire thing.  It was their revenge for that time when we ignored them, after the babies were born.”

Jack burst out laughing.

“It wasn't funny.  Bij was telling me that they love me, but they'd been waiting for the perfect payback, and Katie said this was it.”

“Angel,” the older man chuckled, leaning over to kiss his lover on the nose.

“On the nose?  Geez, Jack.  Some comfort you are.”

Laughing for a moment, Jack quieted the complaint with a tender kiss that grew until the couple made love.

====

The next morning as the lovers dressed, Jack asked, “Seriously, Love, why do you think you had that nightmare?”

“I have no idea.  I love the zoo, Jack, all of them, even that crazy donkey we adopted,” Daniel replied.

“Maybe we need to assign a few more of the zoo chores to David.  He's older now,” Jack suggested, grimacing at his own statement, not wanting to think about anyone being older.

“Well, I really think it was just a fluke,” Daniel responded.  “The brood keeps up with their responsibilities for the animals very well.  Noa's never once shirked her duties for Hot and Chocolate, Lulu is devoted to Calico and Mittens, and Little Danny is always checking on every member of our animal kingdom.”  As he reflected on the previous day's events and his nightmare, he concluded, “No, Babe.  It was just one of those days; kinda ... quirky, animal-wise.”

Jack nodded, knowing that everyone had days like that from time to time.

“Maybe it was that sandwich Jenny made me before going to bed,” Daniel suggested, believing that was a real possibility.

“She wanted to do something special,” Jack laughed and then mockingly said, “She loves you more.”  Watching as Daniel's head shook, he admitted, “I can't believe you ate it.”

“It was my fault for saying I was so hungry I'd sell the chess sets for food,” Daniel sighed.  “I've seen you eat worse.”

Jack cocked his head in admission.  It was a parent's duty to eat the strange concoctions their child prepared, either trying to be helpful or showing their love.  Amazingly, though, those were often the best meals, as long as said parent didn't actually think about taste.

“What did she call that?” the older man teased as he searched to remember the creative name the little redhead had given to the treat.

“Uh, it was ... Cajspioneese,” Daniel answered about the combination of Mozzarella cheese, fried onions, and Cajun spice mix that Jennifer had helped her prepare.

“Creative, Red,” Jack mumbled, trying not to laugh too loudly.

“Scientists still argue over whether or not food can cause nightmares, but considering that I really don't have any pet issues, I think they do,” Daniel asserted.  “I'm going to start breakfast.”

“Cajspoioneese, please!”

“Dad, you want one of my special sandwiches?” Jenny asked.

Jack sat up straighter, stopping his process of putting on his shoes.  He stared at the Spitfire, his eyes widening a bit more with each millisecond that passed.

“Ah ...”

“As a matter of fact, Jenny, Dad was just telling me about how much love went into that sandwich and how he felt left out because you didn't make him one.”

“Oh, Dad!  You should told me,” Jenny said.  She ran over to her older father and threw her arms around him, saying, “I love you, too.  I'll make you an extra big sandwich, and I forgot to add the beans to Daddy's.”  Releasing her father, she hurried over to Daniel and asked, “Will you help me?”

“Beans?” Jack mouthed silently in disbelief.

“I sure will,” Daniel answered, grinning towards his husband.  “We'll make it extra special for Dad.”

“I'll go start,” Jenny said, hurrying downstairs.

“Daniel ...”

“Made with love, Babe,” Daniel chuckled and then turned to head for the kitchen, leaving his distressed lover behind.

Jack sighed and then, slowly, a smile emerged on his face.  He looked over at the wall where the latest family portrait was hung.  He smiled at the zoo that was pictured with the children.  It had been taken outdoors, so even the two Shetland ponies were in the shot.

“Zoo, for whatever I do to you in my dream; correction, nightmare tonight, I apologize.”  Putting on his shoes, Jack stood up and chuckled, “Cajspeioneese: made with the best kind of love known to man.  I think I'll have two.”  Using their special communication, he communicated to his lover, **Remember, Danny, paybacks.**

The response:  lots of mental chuckling.  It was sure to be another good day for the Jack and Daniel, and their brood.

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