|Slash:||Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.|
|Category:||Sap. Established Relationship. Sap. Humour. Sap. Sap. Romance. Sap.|
|Synopsis:||Jack’s getting a familiar feeling and wants to share. Answers the Commemoration Alpha Gate birthday fic challenge and flannel jammie bottoms for Biblio. ;)|
|Warnings:||None, just stand by with insulin.|
“I want you to come with me to my family reunion in May, Daniel,” Jack called out over the noise of the water running in the kitchen.
He heard the clatter of a pot hitting the kitchen floor followed closely by an epithet, then the water shutting off. A moment later, Daniel appeared in the doorway of the kitchen and stood gawping at the older man lying on the sofa, feet propped up on the armrest, reading the newspaper. “What’d you say?”
Jack bent down the corner of the paper and peered over the fold at his archaeologist and lover. Running an appreciative eye over the younger man, still wearing his flannel pajama bottoms and gray t-shirt, he answered, “I said I want you to come with me to my family reunion.” Then he went back to reading the sports section.
Stunned, Daniel just stood there with his mouth open, a wet skillet and dishtowel dangling from his right hand. He was trying to decide whether or not he’d heard Jack correctly. Twice.
“You want me to come to your family reunion?” he finally managed.
From behind the newspaper, Jack answered, “Yeah.”
Daniel set the pot and dishtowel on the countertop and stepped out into dining room. “Jack, we can’t do that.”
“Sure we can.” He remained obscured by the paper.
Daniel’s eyes narrowed at the newspaper and the man underneath. Then he heaved an exasperated sigh and stalked into the living room, contemplating the possibility that Jack was yanking his chain.
Then he turned around and stalked back out into the kitchen, deciding that was the case.
“I’m serious,” Jack sing-songed when he heard Daniel turn the water on again. He folded down the paper, waiting for Daniel to return. He *was* serious and wanted to talk about it, but Daniel had other ideas.
From the kitchen he heard the younger man call over the running water, “Jack, I’m trying to clean up the kitchen, then I have some Ancient Greek texts to study before we leave for P6J-985 in the morning. Can you pull my leg another time?”
Jack heaved a sigh, tossed the paper on the coffee table, and swung his legs over the arm of the sofa. Standing up and stretching, he made his way into the kitchen and stood behind Daniel. Placing a kiss on the side of the younger man’s head, Jack picked up the dishtowel from the counter and started drying the skillet Daniel had just set in the dish drainer.
“I want you with me, Daniel. I’m not joking.”
Daniel didn’t look up from the pancake turner he was scrubbing. “Jack, even if I thought you were serious, how would you explain me at a family reunion? I mean . . . I’m sure it’s possible that in your family’s eyes, I could be just a friend. But . . . people infer things — make suppositions. Don’t you think some may conclude we’re involved?”
“They’d be right.”
“That’s not the point.”
“Okay,” Jack said, placing the skillet down and picking up a juice glass to dry next. “What’s the point?”
Daniel sighed and rolled his eyes. Jack seemed to revel in playing obtuse and pressing Daniel to explain the painfully obvious. “Fine. What if it got back to the SGC? You have a career to think about.”
Jack placed the glass in the cabinet then set the towel back down. Moving behind Daniel, who was fiercely scrubbing a pan to surgical sterility, Jack gently placed his hands on the other man’s biceps and began a tender circular massage along his neck and shoulders.
“I have you to think about now,” Jack said into his ear. He then planted kiss on the back of Daniel’s head.
“And I have you to think about, too,” Daniel said quietly. “And I think we need to be careful.”
The older man released Daniel’s shoulders and moved around to pull the younger man’s hands away from the pan and out of the soapy water. Weaving his own fingers into the slippery ones of his partner, he stared levelly into the crystal blue eyes. “Do you trust me, Danny?”
Daniel returned his gaze, “You know I do.”
“Would you believe me if I told you who we are — what we are — won’t raise an eyebrow? Won’t even be a blip on the radar screen in my family?”
“Unless they’re the Manson family, I doubt it.”
Jack chuckled, then he pulled Daniel into a bear hug, sighing, “Oh, Danny, Danny, Danny.” Releasing the younger man, Jack grabbed his hand and led him into the living room. “Have a seat. I’m going to give you a crash course in the O’Neill family tree, starting with my great-grandfather, Seamus O’Neill.”
“Daniel,” Jack countered, staring down the archaeologist. He was going to make his point, and Daniel was going to hear him out or he wouldn’t have a moment’s peace all day.
Daniel recognized that look, frowned, plopped down on the sofa, and folded his arms across his chest in silent protest.
Pleased with how he’d managed to silence Dr. Jackson for the moment, Jack began to pace the living room in a slow-moving-professor-in-lecture-mode stroll. “Good old Seamus. Always wanted to go over Niagara Falls.”
“Jack, a lot of people have tried to go over the falls in a barrel.”
“Yeah, well, he wanted to do it on a bicycle.”
Daniel blinked at that, his arms falling to his lap.
“Seamus’s son,” Jack continued, “my paternal grandfather, used to genuflect whenever he’d walk into a grocery store.
“Aunt Willie used to make bathtub gin and run with the mob during Prohibition. She nearly burned up half the town of Aurora, Illinois, when she lit up a cigarette while taking a pee.”
Daniel looked at Jack, horrified.
“Don’t worry — she only suffered minor burns. The good news is she quit drinking and smoking, but she’s a real hoot and has stories that would curl your hair. Let’s see . . . Cousin Kathleen has been married eight times — three times to the same guy. Her sister, Jane, likes to take a hammer to electrical switches and outlets.”
Daniel’s eyes remained steadfastly on Jack as he paced the living room.
“Uncle Clay spent some time in prison. Stole his ex-wife’s car and drove it into Lake Michigan to see how fast he could make it to Traverse City using a more direct route.
“Oh, hey! If you come with me, you might even be lucky enough to meet Uncle Earl. He’s a fun guy when he’s properly medicated and has been much better since the infamous Tupperware incident.”
“It’s complicated and . . . a little weird.”
“I don’t think I want to know. Um, Jack? You’re not making this family reunion sound very attractive.”
Jack ignored him and continued. “I told you about my Aunt Nancy?”
“You mentioned an Aunt Jeanne briefly once.”
“So I didn’t tell you Aunt Jeanne and Aunt Nancy were partners.”
Daniel’s eyebrows went up in surprise. “Partners?”
“Been together for as long as I can remember. Jeanne is Dad’s sister, but Mom always referred to Nancy as Aunt Jeanne’s ‘special friend’ when we kids were growing up.”
“Wow,” Daniel said. Looking up in recognition, he asked, “Aunt Jeanne who sends you a new garden gnome every year for Christmas? She’s gay?”
“Yes and yes.”
Daniel looked at a spot on the living room floor. “I had no idea.”
“There’s also my cousin, Patrick,” Jack continued. “He’s part of a transvestite show girl act in Vegas. He and James have been an item for about ten years or so. James is a 17-year Army veteran. I saw them at the last family reunion. Still together. Still in love.”
Daniel said nothing, just looked at the floor, shuffling a foot in a slow circle on the carpet as Jack continued spouting off a narrative of family dysfunction and eccentricities.
When Jack finished, he smiled at his lover. “And that’s just my dad’s side. I haven’t even begun to get into the circus sideshow on my mom’s.” He went over and knelt before the younger man and covered Daniel’s hand with his own. “Believe me, Daniel, when I tell you it will be all right for you and me to go to this thing together.”
Daniel smiled weakly. Jack’s family history was certainly eye-opening, but their peculiarities and quirks were probably even more of a concern. How could they trust Jack’s family to be discreet?
Jack gazed at him for another moment, then turned pensive. Turning away from Daniel, he rose and walked over to the open window. Ignoring the breeze as it caught the curtains and caused them to billow gently into the house, he fixed on a point across his backyard that only he could see and spoke quietly, “I haven’t . . . haven’t been to a family reunion since before . . .” Jack cleared his throat. “Since before Charlie died.”
Daniel rose up from the sofa and tentatively walked over and stood behind his lover of the last year.
“Daniel, it’s been so long since I felt like I was part of a family. And since you and I . . . since we . . . I- I’ve started to feel that family feeling again, and I want you to go with me. I want you to be with me when I go there.” Daniel slid his hands up under Jack’s arms and around his chest. Jack quickly grabbed them and wrapped himself up in the embrace. “I want you to be with me. Always.”
Unable to find his voice, Daniel had been unsure about what this was — what he’d been feeling for the last year with Jack. He recognized and reveled in the love and the passion, but the other feeling . . . it was vaguely familiar and something he’d only fleetingly experienced in his life. It wasn’t until Jack so eloquently and simply put it into words that he recognized what it was. He and Jack were more than lovers now, more than a couple – they were a family. They were home to one another.
He hardly recognized it, but there it was – wrapped up neatly in a six-foot, two-inch Air Force Colonel.
Through watery eyes, Daniel placed a kiss along Jack’s shoulder and managed to whisper, “Okay.”
The older man leaned back into Daniel’s hold and allowed himself the luxury of being enveloped in a blanket of unconditional and abiding love, trust, and acceptance. A few moments later, he twisted around and pulled Daniel to him and held him in his own powerful embrace, praying that this simple act would convey his promise of undying love and commitment and anything else to make Daniel happy.
They stood silently for a few minutes, lost in their completeness and swaying to the sound of wind chimes and birdsong and a tune only the two of them could hear.
Eventually, they made their way over to the sofa and lay down together on it. Comfortably wrapped in each other’s arms, Daniel turned his face up, seeking Jack’s lips, and found them. They kissed deeply, tenderly and thoroughly. And when the need for oxygen forced them to part, Daniel snuggled into Jack’s neck and idly ran a finger along Jack’s jawline.
“Mm – hmm?
“What do you do with all those garden gnomes? I’ve never seen any around the house.”
“Re-gifts,” Jack said nonchalantly.
Daniel lifted his head and gazed at Jack bewildered. “Re-gifts?”
“To whom did you ‘re-gift’ them?”
“Well, I left one on Vorash last year.”
“How did you get it there?”
“I’m Black Ops trained. I can’t tell you that,” sniffed Jack.
Daniel was not impressed. “So what about the others?”
Jack just smiled a shit-eating grin.
“What?” Daniel asked. Jack’s mischievous expression belied a mystery Daniel had to get to the bottom of. “Tell me!”
“Let’s just say for each of the past six Christmases, a package containing a bubble-wrapped garden gnome has been deposited on the doorstep of one seriously-in-need-of-an-enema Senator Kinsey.”
Daniel’s jaw dropped and a smile came to his lips. Then he burst into peals of laughter nearly falling off the couch. Jack joined in, pleased beyond words to hear the sound of Daniel laughing. Just like Daniel, it was rare and beautiful to behold. Jack held him close while the two giggled to the point of exhaustion.
Catching their breath, they settled back into their easy cuddle, with Daniel tracing the line of Jack’s collarbone, while Jack ran a hand up and down Daniel’s back.
“Family reunion, huh?” Daniel said to Jack’s chest.
“You know I trust you, Jack, but I’m still worried.”
Jack placed a kiss in Daniel’s silken hair. “Don’t be, Daniel. If the military finds out about you and me, I’ve already made my decision: I walk. No shame, no regrets, no question. I have all I ever wanted or needed right here, right now.”
Captivated by the dark coffee depths of his lover’s eyes, Daniel spoke softly with all the earnestness at his command, “If it should ever come to that, I walk with you. Where you go is where I belong, Jack. I love you.”
Smiling, Jack kissed Daniel’s forehead. “Ditto, Daniel. I love you.” He lifted Daniel’s face, took note of the questioning look, and kissed the tip of his nose. “What?”
Daniel gently stroked the front of the older man’s shirt. “It’s just— I’m not sure how . . . Well, what do you do at family reunions?”
Jack grinned. Tilting his head back on the armrest, he sighed, “Ohhh, eat, talk, play games, eat, gossip, eat.” He looked pointedly at Daniel and playfully waggled his eyebrows. “Meet new family members. That sort of thing.”
Daniel quirked a shy smile. “So that pretty much sums up an O’Neill family reunion, eh?”
“Pretty much.” Then Jack thought about it. “Except . . .”
His lover looked at him, “Except?”
“Well, it’s not an O’Neill family reunion until Uncle Earl drops his pants.”