Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Drama, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - August 22-28, 2015
Spoilers:  None
Size:  39kb, short story
Written:  November 8-11,13-14,22-23, 2010, January 1-6, 2011
Summary:  The brood decides to celebrate Kevin Shanahan's birthday with a special gift, and that leads to some SGC zaniness and an extra special party.
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
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:  Wolf, Tammy, Navi!

by Orrymain

Jack and Daniel were out of town for the weekend.  They were on a three-day romantic getaway that Jack had surprised his lover with last night, just before their Friday date was to begin.  Thus, their neighbor, Mrs. Sophia Valissi, was supervising the children.  However, Jennifer, now a young woman at age twenty, and Jeff, a nineteen-year-old who was home from college on summer break, were doing most of the babysitting.

At the moment, Jeff was attending to some household chores, while Jennifer worked with the rest of the children in the projects room.  They were busy giftwrapping recent purchases for a very special birthday that was just on the horizon.

Jonny sighed, stopping his wrapping of the latest 'best thing' in toy trucks that every kid in his age range wanted.

“What's wrong?” Little Danny questioned as he taped up one corner of his present.

With a huge sigh, the sandy-haired boy admitted, “This feels wrong.”

“How come, Jonny?” Jennifer questioned curiously, closing the book that she was reading while the others wrapped their gifts.

“We're giving him stuff that he doesn't even care about,” the boy explained.  “It could be a nickle, and he'd be happy.  I don't know.  Dad says to listen to your gut.  My gut says this is wrong.”

Jonny was referring to Kevin Shanahan, the adopted son of Pete and Sam.  It was his seventh birthday that was the cause for the wrapping session currently in progress.

Everyone thought silently, and then it was the middle Munchkin who enthusiastically decreed, “Jonny's right.  We need to do something to help Kevin.  He doesn't need toys.  He needs help.”

“We are helping him,” Lulu rebutted, feeling a bit confused.

“Sis, it's like you and your counseling,” Jennifer clarified with understanding.

“Oh, I need that,” Lulu asserted wisely about her ongoing counseling sessions that helped her to deal with her torturous past before having become a member of the brood.

“We need to help the Autism people.  They're the ones that tell us how to help Kevin,” Aislinn opined.

Diagnosed with autism when he was a toddler, Kevin's world had improved since his adoption, but he was still very focused on pyramids and balls.  His moments of clarity with more normal interaction popped out from time to time, but lacked consistency.  The Shanahans received assistance and tutoring from a couple of organizations on how to aid Kevin in joining the real world, and as family friends, the Jackson-O'Neills had also asked for and received guidance in techniques for playing with and caring for their surrogate cousin.

With lots of agreeing nods around the room, Brianna suggested, “Well, we could pool our money for a donation.”

“That's too easy,” Little Danny refuted.  “Dad and Daddy always tell us that if it's really worth doing, we should do it ourselves.”

“Little Danny's right,” Jenny concurred.  “It wouldn't feel like I'd done anything if I just pull out money from Piggie.”

“Give lotsa money,” JD interjected.  “Uncle Thor give some.”

“JD, what a great idea!” Brianna praised, picking up the youngest member of the brood and tickling him.  Looking at her siblings, she suggested, “They have events and stuff to raise money.  Maybe we should help them with that.”

“Na-huh,” Aislinn negated firmly.  “We need to have our own fundraiser.”

“Yeah,” Ricky agreed.

“What can we do?” Jonny inquired, having left behind his giftwrapping in favor of juggling two tennis balls he'd pulled out of a drawer.

As Little Danny sighed, he saw Mittens purr at him.  She shifted her body, rubbing closer to him, and then she let out a desirous 'meow'.

At the same time, Calico expressed her want as well, prompting Lulu to pat her cat lovingly.

The children continued to think.  They brought up ideas like washing cars, selling lemonade, and doing chores, but nothing felt right to them.  This event had to be special, something that expressed the warmth that the children felt.

The two cats had jumped down and were passing each other by, rubbing their bodies together as they purred.  Finally, the two felines turned to face the children and, as loudly as they'd ever done before, meowed.

“I think they're trying to tell us something,” Little Danny opined, getting down onto the floor and staring at the cats.  “We're missing something.”

“Meow,” both cats agreed.

“Maybe they just want some kibble,” Jonny negated.  ~I'm hungry, too.~

“Jonny!” the middle Munchkin scolded.  “Mittens, Calico, what are trying to tell us?”

In an instant, Mittens finagled her way into Little Danny's hold, while Calico jumped back up into Lulu's lap.

“She just wants more loving,” Lulu giggled, once again petting her cat.

“Yeah, bu...” Little Danny stopped as he studied the situation.  “They want to be patted.  I know!  Pet pats!”

“Huh?” Jonny and Ricky both questioned in confusion.

“I get it!” Jenny called out.  “That's how we earn money: pet massages.”

The kids looked at one another and then began to laugh loudly.  Several walked over to play with the cats in appreciation of their helpful meows.  Now they had a concept to work with.


After dinner, the brood gathered once again to discuss their pet massage plan and formulate the specifics.  Lulu was practicing a ballet move called attitude as they chatted, while Jonny was juggling again.  Aislinn was brushing Jenny's hair, and Ricky was creating something secret on his Etch-A-Sketch.

“We don't have a lot of time, gang,” Brianna pointed out.

“Yeah.  Kevin's birthday is on the 28th,” Chenoa reminded.  In a quieter voice, she corrected her dancing partner, “Lulu, your knee isn't lined up with your ankle.  It's sticking out.”

“That's in six days,” Jenny added, oblivious to the dancing observation that caused Lulu to look down, slip out of position, and giggle.

“I love the pet massage idea, but where and how do we do it?” Jennifer queried.  “I'm not sure Dad and Daddy would want our backyard turned into a zoo.”

“She means full of strangers,” Chenoa clarified, earning a few exasperated 'yeahs' in response.

“I know!” Jonny exclaimed brightly, placing his juggling balls in his pocket.  “The Mountain!”

“Easy pickings,” Brianna laughed.

“Um ... I don't know,” Jennifer interjected dubiously.

The children had more freedom than most when it came to the Mountain, but Jennifer wasn't sure their idea would be easily approved, should they even manage to gain entrance without their parents.

“Jen, it's perfect,” Little Danny put forth insistently.  “The personnel can bring their pets to us, and we can take care of them while they're on duty.”

“They don't have to come here, and Dad and Daddy don't have to take us anywhere,” Aislinn mused with a smile while still primping her sister's red hair.

“We can use one of those big conference rooms,” David supposed.  “Make a section for different kinds of animals,” he added calmly.

“Guys, I don't want to be the spoiler here, but Grandpa isn't in charge of SGC anymore,” Jennifer sighed.  ~And I'm not all that sure that he would let us do this, either.~

“General Hank will let us,” Jonny stated confidently.

“Take us to the Mountain, Jen,” Little Danny instructed.  “We'll do the rest.”

“Right,” Jennifer groaned.  ~How am I going to pull this one off?~


After breakfast the next morning, Jennifer scooted Brianna, Lulu, Chenoa, and the Munchkins, into the SUV.  It was the Spitfires misfortune that they had a scheduled play date with friends in the neighborhood.  Likewise, Jeff was spending the day with his girlfriend, Chely, and his brother, David.  The three were going to Cave of the Winds in Manitou Springs and wouldn't be back until the evening.  That left Mrs. Valissi to enjoy JD's company for the day.  He wanted to go with his siblings, but Jennifer wasn't willing to risk his seeing something he shouldn't, so like it or not, he had to stay home.

“Kids, I'm not sure how this is going to go over,” Jennifer sighed as she drove.  “I mean, it's one thing for Dad and Daddy to show up with you guys, but me?  I don't know.”

“Dad's a general,” Jonny maintained.

“And Daddy's a linguist,” Little Danny reminded.

“And neither of them are here to stare down the guards,” Jennifer reminded.  With not a shred of confidence that the brood would get past the first security check, she drove on. ~I should have called them to clear the way.~


“Hi, Sergeant,” Jennifer greeted the guard at the first checkpoint, which was outside the Mountain.

“Miss Jackson-O'Neill.  I didn't know you were scheduled in today,” Sergeant Bill Wychowski stated, skimming a staff list.

“Well, I'm not, but I do have some things to do.”

The sergeant looked inside the vehicle, unable to avoid seeing all of the children in the SUV.

“They've all been here before,” Jennifer noted as she smiled sweetly at the young sergeant.  ~Turn on the cute, Jen; it can't hurt, anyway.~

“Lots of times,” Aislinn noted from the backseat.

In his most commanding little general voice, Jonny leaned forward and commanded, “Sergeant, *we* have a meeting.”

Firmly, Little Danny added, “With General Landry.”

“Have a good day,” the sergeant replied, moving back appropriately.  ~Not messing with a Jackson-O'Neill kid, especially not that blond one.  O'Neill will have me demoted and sent to some hole in the wall assignment so fast, I wouldn't know what hit me.~


At the second checkpoint just inside the surface level of Cheyenne Mountain, Jennifer again smiled sweetly and signed in.

“I'd better get permission ...” the airman began, motioning at the brood.

“Can I use your phone?” Jonny inquired smartly.  With the airman staring at him vacantly, he added, “I wanna call my dad, the *lieutenant* general, or maybe my grandpa, the *lieutenant* general.”

Still smiling as innocently and cutely as possible, Jennifer shrugged and explained, “We have a meeting downstairs.  Hmm, Air...man Kent, we'll be sure to compliment your good work with General Landry.  Bye.”

Quickly, Jennifer began ushering away the brood, wanting to escape anymore questioning that could potentially put a halt to their plans.

“I'll give General Hank a report, too,” Jonny stated, certain his opinion mattered with the current base commander.

“Jonny, let's go,” Jennifer ordered firmly, reaching out and grabbing the Munchkin.  ~Don't cause headaches.~

The brood proceeded onward, trying not to laugh, but chuckling anyway.

“Kids, don't do that.  Dad and Daddy are gonna be so mad,” Jennifer disparaged.  ~They'll take away my car and my phone and ... worse, they'll lock me in my room forever.~

“We're here for a good cause,” Brianna insisted, trying to build her sister's confidence.

When the doors opened, the third and final checkpoint to be overcome was present.

“Tracey!” the children exclaimed, running towards her.

It was Tracey O'Connor Pittman, who the children had known from birth.

“Tracey, what are you doing at security?” Jennifer asked, surprised and relieved at seeing the woman in this capacity.

While Tracey once worked this duty regularly, she had been elevated to other tasks and more important duties as she'd acquired some seniority at the Mountain.

“Actually, I'm just doing a favor for someone.  I'm outta here in twenty.  Kids!”  Hugs went around, and then she asked, “What are you guys doing here?”

“We have to see General Hank,” Jonny answered.

“Well, go on down.”

“Thanks, Tracey.  Say 'hi' to Bruce for me,” Jennifer requested, referring to the woman's husband who was also assigned to Stargate Command.


“Bri, take the point,” Jennifer instructed as the elevator doors to Level 27 were about to open.


“Yep,” the young woman acknowledged.  ~I'm not afraid to admit it!~

“I'll go first,” Jonny sighed, scurrying out of the elevator before Jennifer could even react.  Followed happily by the younger children, Jonny literally barged into Landry's office, greeting the major general with a bright smile, a snappy salute, and a crisp sounding, “Hi, General Hank.”

Returning the salute, Landry knew instantly that he was in trouble, especially when Jonny showed his strategy by putting Little Danny at the forefront and helping Aislinn up to the front edge of the man's desk.

Landry waved off a couple of SFs who hadn't yet been faced with the brood and then queried, “General Jonny, what can I do for you?”

As Jonny giggled at the intuitive question, Jennifer took the lead and explained the brood's plan and needs.

“We were hoping that we could use one of the conference or recreational rooms,” Jennifer continued until she completed the report.

“We only just thought of the pet pats yesterday,” Little Danny added once Jennifer had concluded the basic report.  “Actually, Mittens and Calico thought of it.  They're smart cats, like Bijou and Katie are smart dogs.  Well, sometimes Dad says they're humans in canine bodies.  Do you think that's possible, General?”  Not waiting for an answer, the boy continued, “I guess like Daddy says that's neither here nor there, but they did tell us, Mittens and Calico that is, and ...”

“Uh, um ...” Jennifer interrupted, her hands on Little Danny's shoulders to stop his rambling.  ~Prattling, Dad would call this.~

“General Landry, Kevin's birthday is on Friday,” Lulu pleaded with soft eyes and an imploring smile.

“Sir, maybe Kevin wouldn't know if we're late, but we would,” Jennifer stated beseechingly.

“Kevin's a lot better,” Aislinn claimed.

Chenoa walked behind Landry's desk and motioned for him to twist around and face her, which she did.

“The military does a lot of good things.  This is a good thing.”  Suddenly, the curly blonde gasped.  “Maybe I could call K'hang, and he could have his friends bring their pets here, and ...”

“Hold it!” Landry called out, raising his hands up into the air.  He smiled at Chenoa as he responded, “We can't do that, but I'll give you a room, some airmen to help set up and assist throughout the day, and we'll send out a memo advising the personnel that they can bring in their pets for a day.”

The children cheered, causing the guards and other personnel outside the office to become even more curious than before.

“Uh, where are your fathers?” Landry queried.  ~Letting the kids do the dirty work, no doubt.~  With a bit of an internal frown, he pondered, ~How'd this brood get all the way to my office without their parents?~

“Out of town,” Jennifer answered, knowing full well the man in front of her was thinking about how the children had managed to get to Level 27 without him even having received a call from a single security guard.

~That's why: she has a beautiful smile,~ Landry noted of the young woman.

“Thank you, General Landry.”  Helping Aislinn off the desk, Jennifer urged, “C'mon, kids.  Let's go.”

“Told ya it would be a piece of cake,” Jonny told the others as they rounded the corner, exiting the office and heading down the corridor.

Inside the office, Landry chuckled to himself, “Yeah.  Cheesecake.”


J-O Enterprises, Jack and Daniel's archaeological firm, had a very demanding schedule during the current week.  This meant that the parents were up early and home late.  In fact, they were even making quick trips to work sites in Arizona, New Mexico, and Idaho.  Because of the urgency of some of the jobs and the deadlines involved, sometimes the owners were even splitting up to take care of business.

All of this meant that Mrs. Valissi was continuing to help out with the kids when needed.  It also meant that check-ins with the brood and goodnight rounds were unusually short.  Conversations tended to be about the most important and urgent issues.  This is what made the brood's fundraiser almost a secret from their parents.

It's not that the brood didn't want to tell Jack and Daniel what they were doing, it's more that it never came up in the short time they had to talk with them.  Plus, they wanted to do the fundraiser on their own.

All week long, the children prepared for their project, making lists of supplies they needed and stealthily collecting items to help them accomplish their goals.  General Landry had done what he'd promised, sending out a memo that strongly urged the personnel to bring their pets with them to work.  The event was being held on one of the higher levels to simplify the drop off and pick up process.

When Thursday, the day before Kevin's birthday, rolled around, Jack and Daniel were once again out of the house early.  They still had no clue what was planned for the day.  Some of their extended family who worked at the Mountain were well aware of it, though.  Of key importance, however, was the lucky fact that Sam, who only worked part time now, was on a week of downtime, something she'd planned so she and her family could spend extra time together during Kevin's birthday week.  As far as the brood knew, no one had told her what was happening at SGC.

At the base, with help from a few airmen, the children arranged the large recreation room they'd been assigned into areas for dogs, cats, guinea pigs, lizards, rabbits, and miscellaneous in case they received an unanticipated critter.  Each section was partitioned so that the animals couldn't get excited by one another.  Jeff, an architect major, was primary in the planning and included central areas for supplies like blankets and brushes to be kept.

Brianna had convinced her diving class to chip in for additional brushes, while Chenoa and Lulu's dance class also donated to the cause, their money going toward treats for all the pets they expected to see.

Little Danny had called the family vet, Pam Lawrence, and she was not only supplying all the towels the kids could possibly need, but was going to be on hand to assist, along with two of her vet technicians.  They were bringing a variety of medical supplies with them, so they could examine the pets and tend to any minor needs, if necessary.  Jennifer had acquired passes for all three so they could get on the base.

Finally, Little Danny had convinced the owner of one of the PetSmart stores to donate several animal crates of varying sizes, along with proper bedding and water supplies.

Almost ready to go, the entire brood, including JD, were doing a final check.  They felt confident they could handle anything, especially with Pam present.  After all, at home they had a large animal zoo, and patting their pets was frequent.  That said, the children had gone the extra mile, having spent several hours with a friend of Pam's who was an animal therapist and taught them the technical aspects of pet massage.

“Kids, it's almost ten, so be ready,” Jennifer instructed as she looked at the clock on the wall.

“Ready!” Jonny called out.

“Me, too!” Little Danny added.

“Me, thrice,” Aislinn giggled.

The count continued by the numbers, the laughter increasing with each one.


Teal'c walked into the mess hall and looked around.  He smiled as much as he ever did when he saw a variety of pet containers by the tables of relaxing personnel.  Then he heard some noise that displeased him.  Slowly, he turned toward the sound.

“This is an Air Force base, not a pet store,” Airman Max Weintraub complained.

“Give it a rest, Max,” Airman Gina Cantrell responded.  “I think it's a great idea.  Maxie here is going to love it,” she said, smiling down at her rabbit.

After sneering at the fact that the white fluffy ball shared part of his name, Weintraub retorted, “Cantrell, be a fool if you want, but I'm out.”

“Me, too,” Sergeant Vince Levy agreed as he sat next to Max, opposite of two female airmen, Cantrell included.

“Don't you guys like animals?” Cantrell questioned.

“Of course, I do, Gina,” the other woman, Airman Beverly Katson, replied.  “But I didn't want to bring Fifi here.  It's too much effort.”

At that moment, the Jaffa approached the table.  He wore one of his most serious and challenging expressions.  He stared at each member of the group, except for Cantrell.  The look hardened.

“I do not wish to have the children of O'Neill and DanielJackson disappointed,” Teal'c finally advised the group.  He focused on Levy and stated, “Defensive training begins tomorrow at 0800.  I have several Chulakian moves to teach you.”  Deadly cold in his eyes, he stared at Weintraub.  “You will assist.  I suggest you speak with DoctorFraiser about securing space in the infirmary afterward.”  Next, he turned his attention to Katson.  “I have noticed some of the female airman have become flabby.  We shall address this tomorrow as well.”

Teal'c turned and began to walk away, leaving the three he'd just confronted swallowing hard and feeling scared for their lives.

All of a sudden, Katson stood up and called out, “Uh, Teal'c.”  She approached him nervously and paused before speaking.  “Um, do you think General Landry would mind if I went home to get Fifi?  I really intended to bring her today, but, uh, I was a little late leaving home.  She'd love a pet massage.”

“It is ten dollars.  GeneralLandry will approve.  I will see to it.”  The Jaffa began to walk away, but then he turned back to face the woman.  “I have decided flab removal will be postponed.”

“Thank you,” the relieved woman replied and then quickly left to retrieve her beloved cat.

Watching Levy stand and hurry towards the door, Weintraub called out, “Levy, where are you going?”

“To get my kid's guinea pig.”

Teal'c nodded and stated, “I will count on you to make sure personnel are aware that those who have not taken advantage of this opportunity for their pets to be massaged by the JacksonO'Neillbrood should report for extra self-defense training in the morning.  Those who participate are excused.”

“You got it!” Levy acknowledged, making a beeline for the exit.

Clearly unhappy, Weintraub shook his head, but then he let out a sigh, “I don't own a pet.”

“Perhaps you should borrow one.”

With that, Teal'c headed out, deciding to do an unofficial floor by floor check of the personnel to make sure they were prepared for the unscheduled combat training the next day.

~Perhaps it would be best to make sure GeneralLandry is aware of the situation.~


Late that afternoon, Jack and Daniel had returned from Idaho and were headed home.  Jack was driving his truck, yawning occasionally.

The peaceful quiet that had almost lulled Daniel to sleep ended in a sudden burst of noise when the car behind the lovers had a tire blow out.  The vehicle swerved left and right for a few seconds, but came to a safe halt at the side of the road.  Naturally, the couple stopped to make sure the driver was okay and to offer assistance.  The male driver was grateful, but he had a spare tire and was confident that he could change it on his own.

Heading back to the truck, the now awake archaeologist spoke, “Jack, I know we're both anxious to get home to the brood ...”

“... and the bed,” Jack interjected.  “I'm tired!”

Daniel chuckled, stopping at the passenger door and looking over the vehicle at his lover as he continued, “It's just we've had a long week and I'd prefer to keep the next few days just for the family.”

“That's the plan,” the older man agreed as he opened his door.

“Then I think we should go by the Mountain,” Daniel suggested as he slid inside the vehicle, just as his husband had just done.

“Daniel, why would we possibly want to go there now?”

With a reluctant sigh, the younger man answered, “Because I promised John Carpenter I'd help him with something, and ... Jack, don't give me that look.  John's just not as adept at ...”

“*John* is adept at one thing, Daniel, and that's trying to get you to spend as much time as he can at SGC.”

“Oh, gawd, not the jealousy card.  Come on, Babe, not again?”

“I don't like the man.”

“Fine, but I made a promise, and I'd prefer to get it out of the way this afternoon rather than miss part of Kevin's party tomorrow.”

“If he weren't a civilian ...” Jack grumbled, as he started the truck and started driving.

“Elmendorf,” Daniel sighed in exasperation, leaning his head back against the headrest and rolling his eyes.


“Thank you,” Aislinn responded with a smile as she pocketed another ten dollar bill.  “Wow, Jenny.  We have lots of money.”

“Aunt Sam is going to be super happy.”

The day was going very well.  With Teal'c's warning having made the rounds, even those who didn't own pets were bringing in ones owned by relatives, friends, and neighbors.  A couple had even gone to the SPCA and adopted critters.

Then, just thirty minutes before the event was to end, the unexpected happened.

“Jonny!  Behemoth got out!” Ricky shouted, pointing at the mouse that was scurrying across the floor.

“Oh no!” Jenny shouted.  “There goes Bingo.”

In a flash, the calm pet massage parlor was out of control.

“Jeff, grab Fifi!”

“Help!  Fido, don't ... ack!  Someone grab Fido!” David ordered loudly.

It was too late for the children and the fleeing animals.  The calm was broken and chaos ensued.


A few corridors down, Jack and Daniel were walking, having just finished their impromptu meeting with John Carpenter.  Of course, the session had gone quickly and smoothly, with Carpenter not wasting any time, since he could feel the glare aimed in his direction from the general, who had insisted on staying to oversee the session.  It was, to say the least, unnerving for the scientist.  In truth, Daniel was so tired that he didn't even mind seeing his Love's green-eyed monster resurfacing just long enough to force Carpenter to get to the point expeditiously.

The couple was chatting about being glad that their long week was over and that starting tonight, they could get back to normal.

“So, how about we gath...” Daniel blinked as he stopped mid-step, stunned by what he'd just seen a few yards in front of him.

Rounding a corridor was a tiny mouse, a mouse that was followed by a young boy, a bit tall for his age, who looked very much like their oldest Munchkin.

“Hi, Dad!” Jonny called out, though he turned right and kept running after Behemoth.

“Hi, Daddy!” Little Danny added as he sprinted around the corner, hoping to catch up with Bingo.

“Fifi, come back here!” Chenoa yelled.  Seeing her parents, the moppet stopped briefly at the corridor intersection before she gave them a shrug and then called out again, “Fifi!”

“I could have sworn that was an aspirin I took on the plane,” Jack commented, rubbing his temples.

“Jack, I think I'm hallucinating.”

“Ya think?”

“Hopin' so,” Daniel responded lightly.  ~Otherwise, my children are chasing animals in the Mountain and I really don't want to know why.~

“Couldn't be another dozen like ours,” Jack stated.  ~We do have a one of a kind dozen.~

“That ... that was ... Jonny ... chasing a, a ... mouse,” the younger man stammered.

“And Little Danny following a March hare.”

“Chenoa ...”

“... chasing a cat,” both men stated.

“David running after a dog,” Daniel observed at this precise moment.

“Great Dane.”

“Huh?” Daniel asked.

“It was  a Great Dane,” Jack pointed out, still seeing a glimpse of the tall dog in the distance.

“Oh ... bird,” Daniel noted, still not having moved even an inch forward since the first sight of Jonny.

Jack looked expectantly and sure enough, another child followed, prompting him to call out, “Danny?”


“Let's go home.”


The couple walked a few steps and turned the corner, knowing they were walking toward some disaster.  No doubt the rest of their children would be discovered down this hallway.  All of a sudden, both men stopped in complete and utter disbelief.

“Whoa!” Jack exclaimed.  “Ish'ta's back?”

“Looks like a horse, young one, anyway.”

“Four hoofs,” Jack remarked, staring toward at the cold floor.  He leaned to his right.  “Tail, too.”

“Oh, hi, Dad, Daddy,” Brianna greeted as she took the reins of the pony.  “Um, this is ... oh, never mind.”

Jack and Daniel watched their daughter turn the pony around and walk into the rec hall several yards away.

“Are you sure we want to know?” the general asked his archaeologist.


“Didn't think so.”

“About face?” Daniel asked meekly.

“It's too late,” Jack replied.

“I think I had some of that ... non-aspirin,” Daniel sighed.

“From the sixties.”


Resigned that their evening was probably not going to be as calm and peaceful as they had hoped for just a few minutes ago, the confused parents of twelve headed into SGC's private zoo.


“How much?” Jenny asked anxiously that evening.

The redhead was seated at the game table in the recreation room, her focus on her brother as finished counting the money.

“Hurry!” Lulu urged, bouncing on her feet in excitement as she stood opposite the cash counter.

“Got it!” Jonny exclaimed, putting down the last ten dollar bill, entering it into the calculator, and then pressing the 'total' key.  “Three-thousand, six-hundred, and twenty whole dollars!”

“Verified,” Jeff concurred from finishing his backup tally.  He smiled at Jonny, put his hand on the boy's right shoulder, and praised, “Well done, Bro.”

“That's a lot!” Ricky cheered.

As the children cheered, Jennifer and David stood off to the side, the two just in front of Jack and Daniel, who were letting their children finish their business before getting down to business of their own.

“Dad, how many personnel are there at the Mountain?” David asked curiously.

With an amazed shake of his head, Jack replied, “Ten bucks a pop?  You got over two-thirds of the roster.”

“No wonder we're so tired,” Jennifer mused.


Much to the brood's surprise, after the money was counted and secured, there was ice cream for all.  Since everyone was tired, the pronouncement was made to get ready for bed.  It wasn't long before Jack and Daniel began their rounds, each relishing in this simple tradition that had been put on the back burner all week long.

“Daddy, are you mad that we didn't tell you about our pet massage?” Little Danny asked worriedly.

Smiling, Daniel brushed back his son's hair and assured, “Mad?  No, Son, I'm not mad.  I'm ... I feel so lucky to have you and your brothers and sisters in my life.”

“You're proud of us?  Of what we did?”

“Very much.”

“We just wanted to do something special for Kevin.”

“You did.  Now close your eyes,” Daniel urged.  He leaned over and placed a kiss on the boy's forehead.  “Go to sleep, Little Danny.  I love you ... more than you'll ever know.”

Daniel went over to stand behind Jack, who was finishing off the good-nights with Jonny.

“General Hank said we could do it again, only no ponies and snakes next time.”

“Good idea,” Jack agreed.  “I love you.  Now get some shuteye, Jonny.  We have another big day tomorrow with Kevin's party.”

“Aunt Sam's gonna cry,” Jonny predicted with a yawn.

“She has a right to,” Daniel opined, a soft grin on his face.

Jack stood, leaning over to pull up the covers and give his namesake a kiss.  He stood, motioning for Daniel to follow him.

“Daddy!” Jonny whined.

Daniel's heart sang.  He returned to the bed and added his own kiss to Jack's.


“Love you, Daddy.”

“I love you, too ... General Jonny.”

With a huge smile on his face, the boy general was asleep before his parents even got out of the bedroom.

“Ricky barely made it through his prayers,” Daniel commented as he closed the door, leaving it slightly ajar so the family pets could go in and out as was their custom.

“From the sounds of it, they had as long of a week as we did,” Jack mused as the couple walked to the room at the furthest end of the hall which was Brianna's.


“Chenoa had a ball,” Brianna laughed.

“Yes, I'm sure,” Jack acknowledged with a tad of snark in his tone.

“We didn't ask for ponies, but it's all Major Berwyn had, and he was practically shaking with Teal'c staring him down like that.”

“He does have a way about him,” Jack replied, a hint of amusement in his tone  ~Gotta love the big guy.~

“It was a lot of work, but I feel really good about what we did,” Brianna told her parents.  Her yawn that followed was big and wide and found her slinking down further under the blankets.  “Geez, I'm tired.”

“I know the feeling,” Jack empathized softly as he stood up and then leaned over for a goodnight kiss.  “You guys did good, Bri.  I love you.”

“We're proud of what you wanted to do,” Daniel added before kissing his daughter goodnight.  “I love you.”

“I love you guys, too,” Brianna yawned as she closed her eyes and headed off for dreamland.


The next day, the Jackson-O'Neills were among a house load of guests at the Shanahan home.  In fact, had one more family shown up for Kevin's big day, the fire marshal might rule the place evacuated for overcrowding.

“Maybe next year we should offer to have the party at our house,” Jack suggested to his husband as he was bumped into by Major Jennifer Hailey's nine-year-old daughter.  ~Figures.  She has a pout just like her mother.~

“Uh, yeah,” Daniel agreed, looking at the splash of punch that was now covering part of his light blue shirt, a result of Jack's bumping against him after having the run-in with the miniature Hailey child.

“Sorry, Danny.”

“Not your fault.”


Over in the corner, Jonny was huddled with the rest of brood.

“We need to give our gift now before someone tells Aunt Sam and she's not surprised,” the Munchkin urged.

Jennifer looked around and agreed.  Several SGC personnel were in attendance, and she was actually surprised that no one had yet commented about the pet pats event.

“Um, ah, well, hey, everyone!” Jennifer tried to call out.

It was near impossible for the young woman's voice to be heard over the noise, so with a nod from Jonny, all three Munchkins whistled.  They were joined by the older children a second later, as they caught on to the attempt.

Jack and Daniel shared a look of curiosity, but then Daniel joked, “They got that from you.”

“Yeah!” Jack acknowledged proudly.  ~They know how to be heard.~

“You can talk now, Jen,” Jonny stated with a smile as the house had dulled its roar.

“Thanks, Jonny,” Jennifer replied.  “Aunt Sam, Uncle Pete, Kevin, Susie, Shany twins, can you come over here, please.”

Some of the guests laughed at Jennifer's nickname for Sam and Pete's twins, Sammy Jo and Petey, but she'd learned over the past year that it was the easiest way to distinguish between the Shanahan kids and her own Spitfire siblings.  Of course, it wasn't all that much of an issue yet, since the Shany twins were just a year old.

With the traffic, it took the family a while to get through, but they made it.

Jennifer smiled.  Before speaking, she made sure that eight-year-old Susie was in a good position to see her.  Susie was deaf, but was good at reading lips.  Plus, she knew sign language, as did most of the Jackson-O'Neills now as well.

Signing as she spoke, Jennifer began, “Well, we wanted to do something special for Kevin this year.  We brought lots of presents, of course, but we wanted to help him, well, all of us really, to ... uh ...”

Butting in, Jonny began to sign as well as he spoke, “We gave a bunch of pet massages this week and earned lots of money for the Autism people so that they can do what they need to do so that Kevin can get better.”

“We love you, Kevin,” Aislinn declared as she signed and then moved forward to hug the boy, who didn't really respond much.

“Aunt Sam, Uncle Pete,” Jennifer began, nudging Chenoa to do the sign language for her so she could hand over the check.  “This is a check for four-thousand dollars.”

As he began to use his hands to communicate for Susie, David interjected, “Actually, we earned $3,620, but Dad, Daddy, Mrs. Valissi, Grandpa, and ... well, some other people who weren't there for the pet massages gave us money, too.”

“Holy Hannah!” Sam exclaimed, putting her hands on her face as she watched her husband take the check.

“That's a lot of mula,” Pete expressed in surprised.

“Thank you!  Wow, you kids are something else,” Sam responded, doing her best to hug the brood, though her arms were full of Sammy Jo at the moment.

“Kids, this is really cool.  It'll make a difference,” Pete put forth as he added his own hugs of gratitude while balancing Petey in his arms.


Back in the rear of the room, Jack and Daniel just smiled.



“You know that you never cease to amaze me, right?” the older man asked.

“Well, that's what you say.”

“It's true, but so is this.  Our brood?  They are pretty amazing kids.”

“Yeah, they are,” Daniel agreed as he looked on.

For the Jackson-O'Neills, it had been just another typical week, an adventurous one that resulted in a donation they hoped would help their cousin to become a functional member of society.  This hadn't actually been one of Kevin's better days, but that fact had driven home even more for the children how important their efforts were.

“One day, no one will live in a bubble,” Jenny told Kevin as she hugged him.  “You wait and see.  You're gonna play just like we do.”

“But until you're ready, we'll play however you want,” Little Danny assured the boy.  “I brought a pyramid puzzle.”

“I like pyramids,” the entranced birthday boy replied.

With that, several of the kids sat down with Kevin, who rocked a bit back and forth, and began to watch the pyramid with him.

“Jack?” Daniel whispered a bit emotionally.

“Yes, Love?”

“Very amazing.  Our brood -- they're very amazing.”

Jack squeezed his Love tight and then suggested, “Let's join them.”

“In front of everyone?”

“I like pyramids, just don't tell anyone,” the older man teased.

With a nod, and a bunch of adults looking on, Jack and Daniel joined their children in playing the 'I like pyramids' staring game with Kevin, an act that brought even more tears to Sam's eyes.  To her, nothing about this was typical.  For her, it was a gift of love that she would always treasure.

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