Windfall

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Drama, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - February 13 - March 5, 2012
Spoilers:  None
Size:  20kb, ficlet
Written:  February 15-17,25-27, March 10, 2008
Summary:  A windfall lands on the Jackson-O'Neill's oldest daughter, and it just might change her life forever.
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), “Unexpected Miracle”
4) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Irina, Tammy, Melissa, Linda, Keri!

Windfall
by Orrymain

“That's very nice, Dear,” Mrs. Sophia Valissi praised as she examined the area rug that Jennifer was making.

“I hope so.  I want to give it to Grandpa for his birthday.  He needs a new one,” the teenager responded.

“He'll be very pleased.”

“I hope so,” Jennifer repeated once again, sighing afterwards.

Detecting the despair in the teenager's sigh, Mrs. Valissi said, “Jennifer, you're learning so fast.  Why are you so hard on yourself?”

“I just want it to be good. I look at the things you've created, and I'm just awed by them, Grandma Sophia,” Jennifer confided.  The woman was a mentor to her in many ways, and she loved her neighbor dearly, which is why she now often called her 'Grandma Sophia' when they were alone.  “I want you to be proud of me.”

The senior citizen smiled as she hugged the girl to her bosom and replied, “I *am* proud of you.  Would you like me to show you a way to make those corners smoother?”

“Yes, please,” the high school junior replied eagerly.

====

Meanwhile, across town at Archonics Ltd., Alex Dennison was checking on an order he'd placed for a specially crafted rug.

“Carmen, I need this in two weeks, and you assured me that it wouldn't be a problem.”

“I realize that, Alex, but I have a request to fill another order, and he's paying me more.  Of course, if you'd like to beat that offer, I can, perhaps, rearrange things,” the woman spoke in a leading manner as she leaned brazenly against the man's desk.

Alex stared at the woman.  He'd used her services several times, and he'd been satisfied with her and her work.  He would have recommended her to anyone needing a weaver; that is, until today.  Observing the woman's demeanor, he realized he was being played.  She was hoping for a bidding war.  She knew she was good, and she was fast, which put her in demand.  Sensing her aura, he could tell that she thought she had him over a barrel.  Unfortunately, she did, for all of thirty seconds.

“I'll beat it,” Alex stated snappily, a smile on his face.  He saw the woman's smirk, thinking she'd just landed herself a major windfall.  Then his smile faded as he spoke forcefully, “But not with you.”  The designer walked purposefully to his door, opening it, and then saying, “Thank you for the fine work you've done in the past, Carmen, but your services will no longer be required by me or Archonics.”

“But you ... you need me.  Where else are you going to find someone who can work as quickly as I can with the quality of these?” Carmen asked as she stood up straight, holding up her hands and wiggling her fingers.  “I'm in demand.”

“It's good to know you won't be short of work then.  If you'll excuse me,” Alex replied, gesturing for her to leave.

Frustrated, the crafty woman exited the office, feeling not quite so crafty after all.

====

“Alex, come on in,” Daniel greeted, surprised to see the designer.

“Thank you, Daniel,” the designer replied, walking in carrying his briefcase and a large portfolio case.  “Is Jennifer at home?”

“Jen?  Uh, yes.” the archaeologist responded.  ~Wonder what this is about.~

“I'd like to speak with her, and with you and Jack, of course,” the designer requested as the two walked into the living room.

“Have a seat,” Daniel requested, pointing at the sofa.  “I'll be right back.”  He went upstairs, going into the small library that was located there.  “Jack,” he called out from just inside the doorway.

“Keep studying,” Jack instructed the children who were in the library with him.  As he walked out, he asked his husband, “What's up?”

“Alex is here, and he wants to talk to us ... and Jen.”

“What about?”

“I have no idea,” Daniel replied, shrugging as he and his lover headed for the sewing room at the end of the hallway where Jennifer and Chenoa were mending some clothing.  “Jen, Alex is here and would like to speak with us.”

“Alex?” Jennifer asked brightly.  “Okay, Daddy.  Noa, do you think you can finish this hem by yourself?”

“I can do it,” the young girl replied confidently.

“Super!  I'll be back soon,” Jennifer spoke as she got up and followed her parents. “Do you know what he wants?”

“No idea,” Daniel answered.

====

After some pleasantries were exchanged, Alex got down to business.

“Jennifer, I'm very impressed with your loom work, particularly with the rug you made for your parents this past Christmas,” Alex stated, looking very crisp and polished in his newest gray suit.

“Wow; um, thanks,” Jennifer responded, smiling proudly at the compliment.  ~He's just being nice.~

“A situation has arisen where I need a rug custom made to the client's specifications in two weeks.  Your parents told me you completed their gift during a week-long seminar.  I realize this situation is a bit different and that you have school, but I believe I can convince the client to give me a week's extension, if you can produce the rug in three weeks time.”

“Me?” Jennifer squeaked, swallowing from the shock of what she was hearing.  She looked at both of her parents and said nervously, “I'm not that good.”

“Jennifer, you are,” Alex insisted.  “I've never met anyone your age who has the interest, let alone the artistic ability to do what you've done.  Let me show you what the client has in mind.”

After reviewing the client's desires in texture, design, and size, Jennifer asked shyly, “Alex, do you really think I can do this?”

Answering a question with a question, the man asked, “Did you loom that rug in the recreation room?”

“Yes.”

With a nod, Alex pulled out a check and handed it to the teenager, saying, “You'll need materials.  This will cover those and a deposit for your services.  I've also made up a list of stores that I've found to be useful providing the needed supplies.  You do not have to shop at any of these places.  I just wanted to give you some options as to reputable dealers in the area.  If you have questions, please call me,” he said, handing Jennifer the list and his business card.

“Wow!  Five hundred dollars,” Jennifer spoke with wide eyes.  ~The supplies must be expensive.  I've never priced these materials before.~

“Consider yourself hired.  I'll call to confirm it's finished before dropping by to pick it up,” Alex said, turning to face the girl's parents.  “Jack, Daniel, I have an appointment to get to.  Can I assume you're both okay with this arrangement?”

The lovers exchanged a look and a couple of shrugs, and then Daniel answered, “It's up to Jen.”

“Well, I'd ... I'd like to try, if you really think I'm good enough.”

“You must believe in yourself, Jennifer.  That's how you get ahead.  I'll call.  Thank you,” Alex said, smiling politely and then exiting the home, leaving behind the portfolio and specifics.

“Wow,” Jennifer repeated, somewhat stunned by the surreal conversation.

“Maybe you'd better stop saying 'wow' and get to work,” Jack urged lightly.

“I need to call Mrs. Valissi,” Jennifer said excitedly, hurrying towards the door.

“Jen!” Jack called out.

“Yes?”

“Forgetting something?” the older man asked, glancing up the stairs.

“Oh, gosh, Noa!” Jennifer exclaimed.  “Yikes!  I'm sorry, Dad,” she said.  “Dad, Daddy, can Noa go with me to Mrs. Valissi's for a while?  I think she'd like to listen in.”

“Sure,” Daniel agreed.

“Thanks!”

====

“I can't do this!” Jennifer exclaimed one week later, getting up and running over to the neighbor's.  She knocked on the door, waiting impatiently for a response.  As soon as it opened, she cried, “Grandma Sophia, what was I thinking?”

“Come in, Dear,” the kind woman invited, giving Jennifer a gentle hug.

As Mrs. Valissi settled in her comfortable chair, Jennifer exasperatedly spoke, “The corners have to be just so, or the client won't be happy, and I can't get it aligned right.  I'm in over my head.  Alex was crazy to give me this job.”

“Jen, you're just excited.  Sit down, and we'll have some tea,” the woman suggested, smiling at the frustrated teenager as she sat down, shaking her head and groaning.  “I don't even think I warped it right,” she muttered.

Mrs. Valissi chuckled softly as she retrieved some tea for the two of them to enjoy as they chatted.  She listened as Jennifer ranted for about twenty-five minutes about all of her woes.

“Aren't you going to say anything?” the anxious teen finally asked.

“Are you through, Dear?”

“Through?”

“I believe the modern term is venting,” the woman mused.  “In my day, we just called it old fashioned complaining.”

“What am I going to do?”

“Take a breath,” Mrs. Valissi responded.  “You know, these days, everyone is in such a hurry.  In my day, we did things slower.  A loom is a powerful object.  It needs time to perfect your creation.”

“You make it sound alive,” Jennifer replied before taking another a sip of her tea.

“It is.  It's alive with your hopes and dreams.  It's alive with your imagination of what it's giving birth to.  Just like a child, it needs nurturing.  Sit back, take a breath, and take it one step at a time.”

“I think I made a threading error, and that means redoing the whole thing,” Jennifer sighed, finally revealing her true frustration.

~I knew we'd get there in time,~ the woman thought, smiling supportively at her young protege.  “What part of your project do you believe the error is in?”

“It's almost in the middle.  Gee, the whole thing,” Jennifer lamented.  “Alex shouldn't have entrusted me with this.”

“Jennifer, this is fixable,” Mrs. Valissi stated confidently.

“Maybe, but not in time.  Grandma Sophia, if I didn't make this mistake, I'd have time to get it done, but I have school and the Teen ... a teen project I'm responsible for, and I have to take care of the brood sometimes.  I can't start over,” Jennifer sighed, being on the verge of tears.

Mrs. Valissi stood up from her recliner and walked over to the sofa, putting her arm around the teenager as she soothed, “Let me take a look.  Maybe we can fix it with a heddle.”

“Fix it?”  Jennifer wanted to believe that, but she sighed, “It's for a client.  I could live with a tiny fix, but I can't give something that's not right to Alex for his client.”

“The heddle will fix it, Jennifer, not just hide it.  Besides, this isn't just Alex's client.  It's yours as well.  Come,” Mrs. Valissi urged as she stood.  “Let's go solve the problem.”

Smiling brightly, Jennifer stood up, feeling ever grateful for the woman she considered to be her grandmother.

====

Four days ahead of schedule, thanks to Mrs. Valissi's assistance, Jennifer walked with pride into the offices of Archonics Ltd.

“Alex Dennison, please,” the teenager requested of the receptionist.

“I'm sorry, but Mister Dennison has been delayed in an meeting.  Can I help you?”

“I'm Jennifer Jackson-O'Neill, and Alex hired me to weave this rug for a client, and I finished early and thought I'd bring it by and save him the trip of coming to our house,” Jennifer explained.

The receptionist checked a list and then responded, “Oh, yes, Miss Jackson-O'Neill, I see you on a list of our consultants.”

“Consultant?” Jennifer echoed, feeling very grown up all of a sudden.

“If you like, you can leave it in Mister Dennison's office,” the receptionist spoke, getting up and leading Jennifer to the office.  She opened the door and suggested, “Place it on the table.  Would you like to write a note?”

“Yes, please.”

“There's a pad on the desk.  When you're done, just leave the same way you came in,” the receptionist advised.

“Thank you,” Jennifer acknowledged softly.  She walked over to the desk and wrote a short note in which she expressed her hope that her work would be satisfactory.  ~I hope he likes it.~

After writing the note, the teenager went home.  That evening, she was thrilled to get a call from Alex, praising her for the fine job.  He was certain the client would be happy with the quality and detail.  The teenager was elated and decided to earmark the three hundred dollars she had left from the check he'd given her to save up for a car.  She figured it was a great start.

====

The following Monday, Jennifer returned home from school, chatting on the phone with her best friend, Sheila, as she walked in the door.

“Jen, you have mail,” Jack shouted.

“Sheila, I'll call you later,” the teenager said into the phone as she detoured into the living room.  “Hi, Dad,” the girl greeted, leaning over to give her older father a kiss as he sat on the sofa, holding the youngest Jackson-O'Neill child.  “Hi, JD,” she said, smiling at her baby brother, who gurgled and laughed back at her.

“It's on the counter,” Jack stated before the question could be asked.

“Thanks,” Jennifer replied, walking over to the counter and picking up the envelope.  “It's from Archonics.”

“No kidding,” Jack responded, smirking when Jennifer stared at him.  “It's on the envelope.”

“I know,” the girl acknowledged, finally letting out a smile.  Putting down her backpack so she could more easily open the communication, she opened the envelope and pulled out its contents, letting out a scream as she did so.  “OH MY G...”

“Jennifer!” Jack chastised as a startled JD began to cry.

“I'm sorry, but ... *oh my gosh!*”

“What's wrong?” Daniel asked, sprinting into the living room from the recreation room.

“Don't look at me,” Jack said, still waiting to find out what had caused such an unusual reaction.

“Jen, what is it?” Daniel asked, becoming worried at the shocked look on Jennifer's face.

“It's a check for a thousand dollars, to me!”

“What?” Jack questioned, getting up as he continued to hold the baby in his arms.

“There's a note from Alex.  He says this is the final payment.  I made -- wow!” Jennifer exclaimed, gulping in disbelief.  “There's a note that says it includes bonus pay of fifty dollars for each day I was early.”  She swallowed hard, staring in shock at her parents.  “I thought the three hundred he gave me at the beginning was it.”

“He did say it was a deposit,” Daniel reminded.

“There has to be a mistake,” Jennifer asserted, walking quickly over to the phone and dialing.  “I mean, I was only four days early.  Someone must have written down something wr... Hi, this is Jennifer Jackson-O'Neill.  Is Alex Dennison in? ... thank you.”  She waited nervously for the designer to answer the phone, nodding to her parents when Alex answered his phone.  “Yes, I got it, but I think there's a mistake ... Why?  Because it's for a thousand dollars ... Okay.”  She looked over at her parents and said, “He's checking.”

“Typos happen all the time,” Daniel supposed.

“Whaaaaat?” Jennifer asked, her eyes growing about as wide as was humanly possible.

“I'm glad you had me double-check this,” Alex spoke.  “There was an error made in the pay per square foot.”

“That's okay.  I knew there had to be a mistake,” Jennifer said, smiling and nodding at her parents.  Turning pale several seconds later, the girl mumbled, “Right.  Bye.”

“Jen?” Jack called out.  “Whoa, Danny!”

In a flash, Daniel hurried over to the teenager, who was white as a ghost and looked like she might just faint.  He put his arms around her, supporting her and preventing her from falling down.

“Dad, Daddy, there was a mistake,” Jennifer said softly as her younger father continued to support her.

“Jen, let's sit down,” Daniel said, leading the girl over to the sofa.  Both sat down, Daniel rubbing her back to help prevent her from going into shock.  ~Must be some mistake.~

“Alex said that they used the old rate for the 'per square foot' pay.  It went up this year.  He's sending me another check.”  The girl looked up at Jack as he stared down at her.  “They owe me another two-hundred and forty dollars.”

“Wow,” Daniel acknowledged, surprise evident in his voice.

“You should do more of this weaving stuff,” Jack said.  ~Maybe we won't go broke putting the kids through college after all.~

Jennifer just giggled in a combination of nervousness and apprehension, bordering on hysteria.  She leaned back and sighed as she looked over at Daniel.

“Jen, we're proud of you.  Obviously, you did exceptional work,” the archaeologist spoke.

“Jen, are you okay?” Brianna asked as she walked into the room.  “You don't look so good.”

The teenager smiled and asked, “Bri, you know that dolphin thing you want to go to that you're thirty dollars short on?”

“Yeah, bummer,” the tomboy sighed.

“I'd like to give it to you.”

“Huh?” the dolphin-lover asked in surprise.

Smiling, Jennifer stood up and said, “I've just come into a windfall, and I want to share a little of it with my family.”  She looked back at her parents and asked, “That's okay, isn't it?  Within reason.”

“Of course, it is,” Daniel answered, pleased at the giving nature of his oldest daughter.

“What's the windfall for?”

“Come up to my room, and I'll tell you about it.  It's so cool!”

Jack and Daniel smiled as they watched their daughters exit the room.  Daniel stood and walked over to his husband, raising his right hand to caress JD's head and cheek.

“Babe?”

“Yes, Love?”

“You know how I gave you a little bit of a hard time for buying that equipment that day at the garage sale?”

“I do recall something to that effect,” Jack acknowledged, thinking back to the two sisters who were selling their late mother's sewing and weaving materials.

“I'm begging your forgiveness,” the younger man asked, bowing his head in submission.

“You can be my slave tonight,” Jack said, leering at his husband.

“Deal,” Daniel chuckled.

The couple's pride in their daughter escalated even more when she followed through on her promise, surprising each of her brothers and sisters with something special they'd been wanting.  The surprises took care of most of the second check Alex had sent to her, but that still left her with a hefty profit of almost thirteen-hundred dollars.

In addition, Alex had asked if she would be interested in doing more projects for him in the future, which she naturally agreed to, when her schooling, Teen Gaters program at the SGC, and family obligations permitted.  Alex, for his part, apologized for the stress he knew that the three-week deadline had placed on Jennifer, but assured her that she'd have much more time for her future jobs.

March had given Jennifer a mighty windfall, but in her parents estimation, they'd gotten the biggest windfall of all the day they'd decided to have a family and were then blessed with twelve wonderful children.  It was a blessing they'd be eternally grateful for.

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