Where, Oh Where, Is JD?

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Humor, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - July 1, 2013
Spoilers:  None
Size:  16kb, ficlet
Written:  June 24-25, 2006  Revised for consistency:  September 22, 2007
Summary:  JD experiences his first covert mission, courtesy of big brother Jonny.
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:  Linda, Claudia!

Where, Oh Where, Is JD?
by Orrymain

Daniel gave the youngest Munchkin a stern look as he instructed, “Ash, you need to have all your things picked up in the next twenty minutes, or you won't be allowed to go to the concert with Alicia.”

“Daaaaddy,” the six-and-a-half-year-old whined.

~She's just going through a phase; stay calm,~ Daniel told himself.  “No whining, Aislinn.  Get it clean, or don't bother coming downstairs.”

The father of twelve gave the little girl a look that said she'd better comply, or there would definitely be no concert in her afternoon.  She'd met Alicia Larraby at her music lessons, and the two had instantly hit it off.  This afternoon, several local groups were giving a concert in the park.  Two of the groups had ties to their music teacher, Mrs. Jorfski, which was extra incentive for the girls to attend.

On the down side for Aislinn at the moment was that Jack and Daniel had the perfect bargaining chip to use to get her to clean up her room.  The youngster had been putting the chore off, in spite of several reminders from her parents.  In fact, she had made the mess worse by playing 'Our House', using her collection of stuffed animals to represent the various members of the Jackson-O'Neill family.

~I have to hurry,~ Aislinn thought as she began to pick up some of her toys.  Moving as fast as she could, the budding singer put away the smaller toys, cleaned her desk, and made her bed, fudging a little with the sheets and bedspread.  ~Daddy won't mind ... I hope.~

Finally, with just a couple of minutes left, all that remained was the collection of stuffed animals.  Aislinn knew she didn't have time to put them all in their proper places, but fortunately, desperation led to inspiration.  Seizing upon the idea that had struck her, the little girl took the collection and stacked them up neatly on her bed.  She smiled, knowing their presence also helped to conceal her less-than-perfectly made bed.

“Oh, no!”  Realizing the clock had run out, Aislinn sprinted to the intercom and called out, “Daddy, I'm done.  I just need to change my clothes.  Okay?”  She jumped up and down impatiently as she waited for a response.  ~Please, please, please, please, please, please.  I really want to go.~

“Okay, Ash, but you need to hurry.  They'll be here any minute,” Daniel responded over the communication device.

“Thanks, Daddy,” Aislinn responded and then turned to change her clothes.

--

Downstairs, as he held JD, their youngest child, Jack asked, “Do you think the room will pass muster?”

With a shrug, Daniel smiled, saying, “I'm guessing about a 'B'.”

“Should we let her get away with it?” the older man inquired.

“We can check it out later and make sure she did a good job.  If not, next time, she doesn't get to go,” Daniel said.

Jack chuckled, “Danny, Love, you've really gotten a hold on this 'parent' thing.  Whatever happened to being a pushover?”

The younger man chuckled as well, answering, “Survival, Babe; it's pure, one-hundred-percent survival.”

====

Jack whistled as he entered the recreation room later that day to check on Ptolemy, the family's hyacinth macaw, which had previously belonged to Ernest and Catherine Littlefield.

“Covert!  Covert!” Ptolemy said when she saw Jack coming.

“No, the name is Jack, and if you don't know that by now, Silly Bird, I might just let you starve,” Jack threatened.

“Polly wants a cracker!” Ptolemy squawked.

“Earn it.  What's my name?” the human questioned as he faced off with the majestic creature.

“Name Queen,” Ptolemy responded.

“Not *your* name, you crazy bird,” Jack barked.  “What's *my* name?”

“Crazy Jack,” the magnificent bird answered.

Jack sighed, shaking his head as he moved forward to complete his task.  He was distracted momentarily by the sound of giggles in the game room.

~I wonder what they're up to now?~

====

Inside the game room, Jonny was coaching JD.  The two were seated on a rubber mat, watching Little Danny and Lulu playing air hockey.

“You can't get caught, JD,” Jonny warned.  “We're Special Ops, and that means no one catches us.  Hafta concensacrate.”

Little Danny sighed, turning and correcting his brother by saying, “Concentrate, Jonny.”

“That's what I said,” the oldest Munchkin maintained.

“You did not, did he ... Lulu?  Oops!” the little boy said, seeing the air hockey puck enter his side of the table.  “Good shot, Lulu!”

Jonny snickered, “Yeah, Little Danny, concentrate.”

“Everything going okay in here?” Jack asked, poking his head inside the game room to check on some of the younger members of the brood who were playing there.

“We're fine, Dad,” Brianna answered, knowing that as the oldest in the room, she was in charge of making sure JD was properly supervised.

“Little Danny, Polly's ...”  Jack paused, seeing his son's scowl.  “Ptolemy's been fed, so no more treats for her today.  Bri, I have a couple of important phone calls to make.  I'll be in my study.  Daddy should be home in a few minutes, too.  Make sure ...”

“Geez, Dad, I know,” the dolphin-loving tomboy chastised as she glanced up from the science book in her hands.

Jack nodded and left the children in the game room, chuckling at the last words he heard Jonny say.

“What's our first rule?” Jonny asked his littlest brother.

The rule was something Jonny had first taught JD in February, but as it was an important tenet in the Jackson-O'Neill family, it was considered a vital step in the toddler's mental growth.

“No leave 'hind,” JD answered.

Jonny smiled as he confirmed, “Right.  We never ever ever ever ever *ever* leave anyone behind.  It's very important.  Dad says so.”

~That's my boy!~ Jack praised, chuckling as he continued on to the study.

====

“Jack, where's JD?” Daniel inquired as he entered their bedroom later that afternoon.

Jack had long ago finished his business, and Daniel had returned home on schedule.  The children were all busy either playing, studying, or just relaxing.

The silver-gray-haired man finished tucking in his brown shirt, a change necessitated by an impromptu food fight with the Spitfires several minutes earlier.

“He's in ToddlerTown, in the nursery,” Jack answered, knowing he had placed the youngster there thirty minutes ago, just before the food fight.

“No, Jack, he's not,” Daniel responded, suddenly concerned and immediately retracing his steps.

“He's not?  He has to be!” Jack exclaimed, racing after his husband.

====

“JD, this is your first test,” Jonny said seriously, to which the eighteen-month-old giggled.  “No giggling.  Ya gotta be quiet!”

Jonny finished the preparations, making sure everything was in the perfect place, and JD was hidden from sight.  He stood back, proudly admiring his handiwork.

“Remember, JD, covert means can't get caught.  No noise,” Jonny instructed.

JD giggled, “Itches.”

“Shhh!” Jonny said, putting his fingers in front of his mouth.  Just then, he heard the voices of their parents.  “Can't talk or giggle, JD.  Covert,” the sandy-haired boy reminded before sliding under one of the beds to hide.

“I don't understand it,” Jack groused as he and Daniel entered the girls' room, the one shared by Aislinn and Jenny.  “How'd he get out?”

“One guess!” Daniel challenged as he looked around the room.

Jack gave a tiny grin, saying, “You think Jonny helped him escape?”

“He's the breakout expert, Jack -- the escape king.  Remember when he was just a couple months old and tried to crawl out of the living room?  Babies don't crawl at that age, but he did,” Daniel stated.

“Yeah, he did, didn't he?” Jack boasted, a smile on his face, unable to hide his pride.

Under the bed, Jonny snickered, but he quickly put his hand to his mouth to suppress the sound.  He'd heard that story a thousand times, and he was quite proud of himself for being so adept at the act of 'escaping'.

“Next room,” Daniel instructed, satisfied the missing siblings weren't in the room.

The parents walked out of the bedroom, turning to the left to check out Brianna's bedroom.  They were conducting a systematic search, something they had learned to do years ago.  If the first search failed, the brood would be called out in force to do another, more detailed search.

Waiting a minute, Jonny crawled out from his hiding spot and crossed the room to where JD was hidden.

“Good job, JD.  You okay?” Jonny inquired.

“Want ice cream,” JD answered, giggling again.

“Two scoops,” Jonny promised.  He looked over at the door, making sure it was clear.  “Wanna try it again?”

JD nodded, but said, “Itches!”

“I'll scratch it for you,” Jonny offered, reaching forward and scratching just under JD's nose.  “Hafta hide.  Remember, covert means no talking, no making noise, and no giggling.  It's very important.”

Quickly, Jonny resumed his hiding spot.

====

The entire family, sans the two 'missing' members, was now involved in a full out search for Jonny and JD.  Jack and Daniel weren't really worried, but if this second search came up empty, then their concern would spike greatly. With twelve children, though, someone was often lagging or temporarily lost in their big house.

This time, it was Jack and Ricky who entered the second bedroom on the left of the long hallway.  Daniel and David were checking out the boys' room, and the other children were all in various other spots of the home.

Jack rummaged through the walk-in closet and even opened the toy chests which both girls had, while Ricky thought to check under the bed.

“Shhh!” Jonny whispered.  “We're playing.”

“Where's JD?” Ricky asked.

Jonny pointed across the room, and, although Ricky couldn't see anything, he had enough experience of Jonny's 'covert operations' to know that didn't mean JD wasn't there.

“I don't know where he is,” Jack answered, thinking Ricky had been asking him about JD's whereabouts.

Ricky smiled, nodded, and crawled back out from under the bed.

“That's why we're looking, Son.  Anything?” the older father inquired.

“Na-uh,” Ricky answered, looking at the carpet, since he couldn't lie to his father's face.  He was a little unsure of what to do as he didn't want to tattle on Jonny and JD, but at the same time, he knew his parents were worried about the two boys.  He decided to wait until the end of the search before telling them where Jonny and JD were.  It was a compromise.  He knew he'd be in big, big trouble if they found out he had discovered the two boys' location and hadn't told them.  ~I'll tell them when we get downstairs.~

Ricky headed out of the room with Jack close behind, except then Jack caught something out of the corner of his eye.  He turned, looking back at the interior of the room.  As he scanned it, he stopped at the bed where, sitting atop it, was a stack of stuffed animals of all colors, kinds, and sizes.  He shook his head, thinking he had an overactive imagination.  Again, he started to leave, but then he stopped.

“Okay, that's a giggle,” Jack said aloud, turning around again.  “JD, are you in there?” he asked, staring at the pile of critters.  He saw the pile move, the result of more giggling, a small bunny at the top falling to the floor.  ~It's 'ET Revisited',~ he thought.  **Danny, get in here -- the girls' room.  Hurry 'cause you've got to see this.**

Jack's mental tone was jovial, not tense, so Daniel figured whatever it was, wasn't dangerous.  He quickly left the boys' room and joined his lover.  Seeing his lover's nod towards the bed, he chuckled.

All the couple could see was JD's little face surrounded by a stuffed teddy bear, an elephant, a dog, a giraffe, and several other members of the animal kingdom.

“JD, what are you doing in there?” an amused-in-spite-of-himself Daniel asked as he approached Aislinn's bed.

“Curt!” JD answered.

“Curt?”

“Jonny, front and center!” Jack ordered, positive that his namesake was somewhere in the room.

“Aw, shucks,” Jonny whined as he appeared from the under the bed.

“Riccccccccccccccky!” Jack called out, wanting an explanation for the boy's failure to reveal his brother's presence under the bed.  He watched as the young boy shyly reentered the room, looking very guilty.  “Why didn't you tell me you found them?”

“Jonny said they were playing, but I was gonna tell you downstairs, Dad.  Promise!” Ricky responded, crossing his heart.

“Ricky!” Jonny chastised.

“You and I have to have a little chat,” Jack said to the talented escape artist.

“Come here,” Daniel requested, reaching in and removing JD from the middle of the animal pyramid.  “Are you okay?”

“Two scoops,” JD answered brightly.

“Jonny?” Jack called out as he stood with his hands in his pockets, expectantly waiting for an explanation.

“We were playing covert, Dad.  I have to train JD.  He did good, didn't he?” Jonny asked.

Jack couldn't help but smile and started to say, “He sure ...”  He coughed, pausing his response when he saw his husband's glare.  “We'll discuss it later.”

Daniel rolled his eyes as he shook his head, knowing it was a lost cause.

“Hey, Squirt, how was it in there?” Jack asked his youngest son, reaching over to tickle his chest.

“Itchy!” JD answered.

“What's this two scoops business?” Jack asked.

“No giggle.  Curt!  Get two scoops,” JD answered.

“The word is covert,” Daniel heard himself say.  ~Gawd.~  “It's almost dinnertime and ...”

“Daddy, I promised,” Jonny objected.  “You said promises are important.  I made JD a promise that if he was good at his first covert lesson, he'd get two scoops of ice cream.”

“Ice creeeeeam!” JD cheered, clapping his hands.  “Two scoops!”

Daniel sighed, “Fine, two scoops for *JD*, and none for you.”  He looked at his husband and stated, “Jack!”

Jack heard the message that tone conveyed.  Daniel was leaving him to deal with Jonny's antics and inflict the 'no ice cream for you tonight' punishment.

“Ricky, come with me.  Let's tell the your brothers and sisters that everything is okay,” Daniel spoke as he, Ricky, and JD left the room.

Trying to act stern, Jack sat down on Aislinn's bed, automatically picking up the fallen bunny.  Jonny walked up to him, putting his hands on his father's knees.

“I did good, huh?”

Jack smiled and nodded, saying, “But don't tell Daddy I said so.”

Jonny laughed as Jack picked him up and began tickling him with the bunny.  He was happy, and it had been a good day.

The militarily-trained father would talk to the youngster momentarily about scaring the family, but he just couldn't argue with Jonny's intentions of making sure JD was trained in the family specialty -- covert operations.  It was too much a part of them to try and pretend that it wasn't.

“You should have taken a picture,” Jack said in the middle of his tickle assault.

“I did, Dad.  I used Ash's little camera,” Jonny responded, pointing to the disposable camera that was on the corner of the little girl's work area.

“That's my boy!” Jack mused, proud as punch of Jonny, and happy as can be that he had a wonderful and amazing family that kept each day fresh, vibrant, and worth living.

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