Summary: A glimpse into the life of young Daniel Jackson, as told from parent to child.
"Shhh, Little Danny," Daniel comforted his son, gently taking the crying baby from the crib. He heard Jonny begin to stir and reached down with his free hand to pull the blanket up. Rubbing the oldest boy's cheek, he whispered, "It's okay, Jonny. Daddy will take care of Little Danny for a while. Go to sleep."
With a tiny whimper of a whine, Jonny closed his eyes and returned to the land of Nod.
Daniel looked down at the bundle of joy in his arms as he secured his hold on the baby; then he began to walk around the nursery, bouncing his youngest son gently to try and calm him. It was late for the babies, being after nine o'clock. Daniel had been with his husband, outside on their beloved roof deck, when Little Danny's cry had caused his retreat. It was cold outside, the wind blowing a bit, but the couple loved it that way.
Yawning, the archaeologist mused that it was way too early for him to be as tired as he was. Then again, raising triplets was more work than going through the Stargate any day, or so he thought at the moment. Weary, he decided to lie down on the three-quarter bed that was against the wall. He nestled the infant into him, smiling as Little Danny's cries began to turn into contented cooing.
Daniel smiled at Katie, who had appeared in the doorway as if wanting to make sure that both Daniel and Little Danny were okay.
Seeing her two charges on the bed, the youngest beagle jumped up by the archaeologist's feet and went to sleep.
Having already made sure a diaper change wasn't necessary, Daniel smiled down at the boy cuddled up beside him and quietly surmised, "Just wanted some attention, huh? I know how that is." After another yawn and still focusing on his son, he continued in a hushed voice, "I remember a very long time ago, I wanted some attention, too. Just like you, I got it. I had a great daddy. I wish ..." He paused, not wanting to get lost in melancholy about something he couldn't change. "Dad's helped me to remember so much. I'd buried it all once, long ago, but now my ... my memories of my parents, your grandparents, are kept in a ... a warm place deep inside, and I know they're always with me."
Little Danny yawned, a little smile on his face as he stared up at his younger father.
"My daddy was my inspiration. You want to know how?"
A facial expression on the baby that Daniel decided was an eager 'yes' was all the encouragement he needed to tell his tale.
"Okay, well, I was about four, maybe five years old, and we were in Egypt. We were in Egypt a lot. That was my home. It was hot and sandy, and to use one of Dad's cliché's, I was the apple of my parents' eyes. Well, me and the pyramids, that is. The pyramids were my playground, Little Danny. They were my Disneyland."
Daniel smiled at his namesake and placed a kiss on his forehead. For a few seconds, he just looked at the boy, amazed at what he was doing.
~I'm telling my son a story about my parents. Wow! That's ... odd, and it's ... wonderful.~
With a nod at his good fortune, Daniel reflected back on that special time and shared his story with the middle Munchkin.
The little boy giggled as his mother pulled down his short-sleeve blue and white plaid shirt. She giggled, too, as the shirt caught on her son's nose, and he made a funny sound.
"You're old enough to put on your own shirt," the mother chastised lightly.
"I'm a big boy, Mommy, but I like it when you do it," the child responded playfully before breaking out into laughter.
"It's those pastries you ate," the mother teased. "It's made your brain all puffy."
"I love you, Mommy."
"I love you, My Little Pharaoh."
Claire Jackson grinned at her five-year-old son. She loved him so much and treasured each happy giggle he made. The little boy grinned back, his young dimples showing brightly. Life in Egypt was pretty much all he knew, and he thought it was the best thing ever. He was happy. All he needed were two things, one of which was that grin starring back at him.
"Danny, I really need your help today. I have a lot of work to do in the lower level."
"I can help you, Mommy," Danny Jackson answered brightly.
"Hold on there!" a tall man with moderately long black hair and a beard called out forcefully. His hands on his hips, he argued, "*I* need Danny's help today."
"Daddy!" Danny exclaimed, running over to his father, who picked him up and hugged him tightly.
Melburn Jackson laughed and gave his son a good morning kiss. He'd been up extra early today to check on a few things and had missed breakfast with his family.
"Mel, Danny's so good at excavating. You know he'd be invaluable to me today."
"But I need his help cataloguing on the west side. Claire, he's so detailed. I need him."
"I need him, too," Claire asserted with a mischievous smile.
Melburn looked at his son whose eager cerulean blue eyes were shining with the knowledge of how much his parents relied on him to help with their work.
"Well, Son, it seems we're at an impasse," Melburn stated, looking at his son. As he put him down, he stated, "It wouldn't be very productive for your mother and me to stand here arguing all morning, so can you come up with a solution?"
Danny scrunched his nose, his eyes blinking as he worked hard to solve the problem. Suddenly, with a burst of excited energy, the boy hopped around in a circle, his excitement spewing over.
"I know, Daddy!" Danny exclaimed. "I can work with you part of the morning and work with Mommy part of the morning."
"A fifty-fifty split," Claire responded with a proud nod.
"That's our boy! Arguing would only waste time. Compromise gets us everywhere," Melburn taught, his pride in his son oozing from within. "Where are your tools? You know that a good archaeologist always keeps his tool bag close."
"I'll get it, Daddy," Danny replied, scooting over to his bed in the family tent. He didn't see the loving smiles that his parents were exchanging. "Here it is," he advised a minute later.
Melburn knelt down to help the boy affix the tool belt around his tiny waist.
"Who do you want to go with first?"
Danny looked at his father and then over at his mother, pausing a moment before he answered, "I'll go with you, Daddy." He leaned over and whispered, "Mommy takes a while to get started." He giggled as his father laughed, but then he looked over at Claire again and added, "Then I can help you make lunch, Mommy. I can carry things for you."
"And I appreciate that, Danny," Claire replied, trying not to laugh, knowing full well that the men in her life thought she was a slow-starter on some days.
//End of Flashback//
"Wow," Daniel commented in amazement. "Little Danny, I was set up." He chuckled, "That wasn't my idea; it was theirs, but it sure made me feel good. I guess that's what being a good parent is about, making your child feel important and wanted." He stopped and reflected, a warmth flowing through him. He rubbed his namesake's chest in soothing circular motions. "I don't think I realized how much my parents are a part of me and everything that I do. I ... I thought I'd lost so much of them."
Little Danny made a disgruntled sounding noise and swung his right arm, hitting his father on the arm sharply; well, as sharply as an infant could hit a parent.
"Okay, I get it," Daniel mused at the physical argument. "Back to the story, but, uh, one thing. Don't ever tell Dad that I did that little thing he calls the Danny Dance. Of course, that was a happy Danny dance. Dad's only seen me do it when I've been frustrated or angry." With a bit of a whimsical sigh, he added, "When did that turn from a happy thing to a frustrated thing? Mmm."
The baby made another noise, one that seemed to say, 'Get back to the story, Daddy'.
Daniel chuckled and responded, "I suppose the origin and evolution of the Danny dance is neither here nor there for the moment, but just don't tell him because either way, I'll never live it down. Dad just has this penchant for ... oh, sorry." He'd seen the look on his namesake's face, and he could of sworn it was a bit of Jack coming through, saying, 'Get on with it, Daddy', so after taking a moment to recall where he'd left off, he continued his story. "Daddy and I headed towards the other side of the pyramid where several artifacts had been found but needed to be catalogued and reviewed."
"Daddy, you're going too fast. You're bigger than me," Danny complained as the two hurried towards the work site.
"You're right. Let's explore the possibilities. If we keep going like this, what will happen?"
"You'll lose me," Danny answered sadly.
Melburn stopped and kneeled down to look into his son's eyes as he rebutted, "Son, I would never lose you. You're part of your mother and me. Let's say I kept walking fast. What could you do to keep up?"
"Walk faster." With another burst of energy, Danny added, "Or I could run. If I run, I can keep up with you."
"You sure could, but then you'd be tired. What's another option?"
Danny thought and thought and then with just a slight hesitation, he answered, "You could slow down. Then I wouldn't need to run, and I wouldn't get tired, and I could be a big, big, *big* help to you."
Melburn grinned and reached up to run his fingers through his son's shaggy mop of hair. His son had insisted on letting his hair grow longer because that was how Melburn wore his hair.
"You're so right. I have another idea, though," Melburn responded, pulling on his son's boonie to make sure it was covering his head sufficiently. They weren't going that far, and it was still early in the day. "How about this?" he asked enthusiastically, raising his son over his head and settling him on his shoulders.
"I like this the best, Daddy."
"Me, too," Melburn chuckled and then continued on towards their destination.
"Daddy, why are pyramids so tall?"
"That's how they were built."
"By the Egyptians?" Little Danny questioned.
"That's what they say," Melburn answered, the cataloguing station within his sight now.
"Daddy, did the Egyptians have cars 'n tools like we do?"
"Nope," Melburn answered succinctly.
"Then how'd they build it?"
"That's a good question. Let's explore the possibilities," the father suggested.
"You said they built them," Danny replied.
"Is it true because I said it?"
Vehemently, the boy argued, "Daddy, you don't lie to me."
"No, I don't," Melburn affirmed with a smile. "Think, Son. What did I say?"
Danny began to playback the conversation in his mind and with sudden realization, he gasped, "You said that's what they say. What do *you* say, Daddy?"
"I say that I don't know, Danny. The pyramids are mighty impressive," Melburn replied.
"How long did it take to build them?"
"A long, long time."
"Long like how long it takes Mommy to get started in the morning, or long like back when you were born?"
Melburn looked up at his son and groaned at the age remark, but then he smiled and answered, "Some of the pyramids took more than twenty years to build."
"Oh, that's a reeeeeeally long time."
Melburn rolled his eyes and put his son down, now that they'd reached the site. He greeted some of the other archaeologists who were already at work, while keeping an eye on the boy, who was eyeing some of the artifacts.
"Daddy, maybe they had help," Danny stated suddenly as he leaned over to get a closer look at an unusual item.
The adult archaeologist finished his conversation with his co-workers and then walked over to the small table where some of the unearthed items had been placed.
Danny shrugged while frowning at the object and opined, "Doesn't make sense, Daddy."
"Well, tell me this, Danny. Why did the Egyptians build the pyramids?"
"For the Pharaohs, to be buried in."
"Are you sure? Are there other possibilities?"
Danny looked over at his father and considered the question. He nodded and continued looking at the item that was fascinating him. It was gold and circular.
//End of Flashback//
"Oh my ..." Daniel sprang up, causing his infant son to cry for a second from the sudden withdraw of warmth and comfort.
Katie bounced up, wondering if something was wrong. She looked confused when all she saw was Daniel staring at her.
"Sorry, Girl. It's okay. Go back to sleep," the archaeologist quietly assured. He looked back at the baby and returned to his position, turning onto his side to stare down at Little Danny. ~Crap!~
Seeing her humans settled once again, Katie went round and round several times before finally plopping back down, her snout pressing into one of Daniel's feet.
~I can't believe it, but it's true.~ Still amazed at his realization, Daniel explained the situation to the middle Munchkin. "Little Danny, Daddy found a ribbon device. It was broken, but that's what it was. Wow!" He smiled wistfully and said, "You'll probably never know about the Stargate or the Goa'uld; that's probably a good thing, but I wonder if Daddy realized he had something unusual. I wonder."
Daniel settled his head more securely on the pillow and sighed. He brought up his son's tiny hand and kissed it, smiling at the soft, cooing sound the baby was making in response.
"Daddy couldn't have known what it was, but he had to know it was different. I remember now."
"What's that your staring at, Son?" Melburn asked curiously.
"It's funny, Daddy."
"It sure is," the elder archaeologist agreed as he picked it up and stared at it. "It looks like it's supposed to slip over something, but what?" He looked at his son for the answer, but saw mere curiosity on the young boy's face. He chuckled at himself. ~He's five, Mel. Give him a chance to grow up before he has to answer questions like this one.~
"It dangles," Danny observed. "Like Mommy's bracelets," he added.
"Jewelry?" Melburn expressed verbally. ~Okay, maybe he doesn't need to be older after all.~ Amused and intrigued, the man slipped the item over his arm. "Unusual. I don't really see its purpose, but maybe it is meant to be worn. Still, I've never come across anything quite like this in all of my studies of the Egyptian culture, or any culture for that matter."
"Maybe it belonged to one of their helpers," Danny suggested, not having a clue as to how close he was to the truth.
"Now that's a possibility. We just have to figure out if they had helpers, and if they did, where they came from." Melburn put the item back down and then opened a notebook. "We need to get this catalogued and boxed. We'll call it jewelry," he asserted while writing. "Pick out the next item, Danny."
Proud of the confidence his father had in him to handle the precious relics, Danny Jackson chose an item, lifting it up carefully and placing it on the worktable that was next to the small one. As he waited, he examined the hieroglyphs on it. He knew a few of the symbols, but not all. He looked up at his father, who was still writing. Then he refocused on the artifact, waiting patiently for Melburn to be ready for his next question.
Later on, Claire was inside the pyramid, diligently using a pick to unearth what had once been a pristine object. Next to her, Danny gingerly used his own pick to see what mysteries he could find. He'd been doing this for three years now, since he was a toddler. It seemed like forever. It had been the very first archaeological thing his parents had taught him to do, so even at this tender age, he was pretty good at it.
//End of Flashback//
Softly, the archaeologist recalled, "Your grandparents used to set up a little area just for me. I know now that they'd put things there for me to find, but all I knew then was that I'd found something." He smiled with love for his parents and their actions. "I think the first time they really let me do it for real was when I was ... four. I found a cup. I think maybe they were more excited than I was."
Daniel was quiet for a moment, taking time to really enjoy the memory, before he began the conclusion to his story.
"Mommy, do you think the Egyptians built the pyramids by themselves?" Danny asked while he worked.
"By themselves?" Claire echoed, intrigued by the query. "I don't know, Danny. There are a lot of people who think it was doable, and there are some who believe there has to be more to it."
"What do you think?" Danny asked pointedly, stopping to look at his mother.
"I think I'm not sure," Claire answered truthfully. "I know what I am sure about, and that's that these people are fascinating. Whether or not they built the pyramids on their own, it's an incredible feat. They had to work so hard, day after day." She smiled at her son and added, "Danny, everything we find helps us to understand the Egyptians better, and that's why I do this. I want to feel them and learn about them. They're our history, our past. Do you understand?"
Nodding his head, the child answered, "Yes, Mommy. Maybe one of the Pharaohs' is related to us."
"Maybe," Claire mused.
"Then I'd *really* be your little Pharaoh."
Turning more serious, Claire put down her pick and gently ran her hand along her son's left cheek.
"Danny, no matter what, you will *always* be my little Pharaoh -- always," Claire emphasized and then kissed the boy on the nose.
"Mommy!" Danny chuckled, rubbing his nose. "That tickles."
Smiling brightly, Claire reached forward and began to tickle her son, who squirmed with boyish delight and gay laughter. It would be a few minutes before mother and son would return to their work.
"You've had a big day," Claire noted quietly as she tucked in her son.
"It was fun," Danny replied.
"We have a lot more fun planned for tomorrow, too. Get some sleep," Claire instructed, leaning over to kiss Danny goodnight. "I love you so much, my little Pharaoh."
Getting up, Claire walked away, her hand touching her husband's as they paused to share a kiss. He had just returned from cleaning up a few tools and wanted to say his goodnights to their son, too.
Melburn made his way to Danny's bed and sat down. He saw the inquisitive eyes staring up at him and knew another question was coming. Danny always had a question to ask.
"Okay, one question," Melburn agreed, inwardly smiling when Danny grinned.
"Daddy, maybe the people who helped the Egyptians were from another country so maybe they had better stuff and maybe that made it easier to build the pyramids. Maybe we need to find those people and learn about them, like Mommy says 'cause it's important to learn about people in the past. Maybe ..."
"Take a breath," Melburn interrupted. "Maybe you're right. Son, there are a lot of possibilities, about the pyramids, about our history, about whatever is beyond this earth we live on. I don't have the answers. All I have are questions, just like you. Do you know what that means?"
"It means we have a lot to explore. There's so much to learn. We haven't even tapped the surface yet," Melburn explained. "Possibilities, Danny. I love how you keep thinking about possibilities. Never stop doing that, and never let anyone stop you from seeking out the truth."
"What if I don't think like them, though, and what if they don't like it that I think the way I do, if it's different."
"Danny, we know so little. Who says this 'they' are right, about anything?" Melburn put forth. "You like Mister Cagle, right?"
"He's funny," Danny agreed about one of the men on the dig.
"He believes everything he reads. What do you think about that?"
Danny thought for a minute and then answered, "You said not to believe everything."
"That's what I said, but what do *you* think?"
After another moment's thought, the boy answered, "I think you're the bestest arch'logist in the whole wide world."
Melburn smiled. His son was extremely intelligent; a genius probably, but he and Claire had never thought about that much. They taught their son as much as he was able to take in, but it was at Danny's pace, not theirs. Still, though he spoke well above his years, he somehow kept stumbling over the word archaeologist. It was a bit of a family joke.
Right on cue, Danny laughed, "I still can't say it, Daddy."
"You will, when you're ready," Melburn assured.
"Daddy, Mister Cagle's nice."
"Yes, he is."
"But I don't think he's right. Can I still like him, even if I think he's wrong?"
"Definitely. That's something else you should remember. Tolerance, letting a person think differently from you, that's a good way to live. There's a reason Mister Cagle believes as he does, just like there are reasons I think how I do, and you think how you do."
"I know!" Danny exclaimed.
"You do?" Melburn asked, surprised by the response.
"I think like I do 'cause I'm half you and half Mommy, and that's the best way to be. I like it lots!"
Melburn grinned. His genius was just being a typical little boy right now, and those made for some of the best times.
"I like it lots, too," the man agreed. "Time to sleep."
"Daddy, can we 'plore more poss'bilities ... <yawn> ... tomorrow?" Danny asked, his abbreviated words a sign that he was finally fading for the day.
"And every day after that. That's what you, Mommy, and I live for. It's our mission in life, Danny -- to seek the truth, whatever it is and wherever it is. Use your mind, Son -- think. Always think, but never forget to feel, too."
Danny smiled, letting out a little yawn before the smile was done.
"I love you, Son."
"I love you, too, Daddy."
"Sleep tight, and ..."
"No bedbugs here, Daddy," Danny interrupted, closing his eyes and falling into a quick sleep.
"Just a lot of questions," Melburn chuckled. Tucking Danny in some more, he whispered, "I want you to find the answers on your own, Danny, and make your own decisions. My father encouraged me, and that's what I'm trying to do with you. I don't want you to think like me just because I'm your father. I'll keep my beliefs to myself for now, but someday, we'll have a whopper of a talk."
Standing, Melburn placed a kiss on Danny's face and then joined his wife. Maybe it was time to give Danny a brother or sister.
//End of Flashback//
"So, that's ..." Daniel chuckled. His namesake was fast asleep now, having missed the last part of the story. "Well, it's not like you'd remember what I said anyway. Back to the crib."
Getting up and stretching for a moment, Daniel paused and shrugged at Katie, giving her a silent apology for disturbing her sleep yet again. He reached over and patted her ears, chuckling as she rolled over. Obliging, Daniel rubbed her belly for a minute or so and then patted her gently a couple of times before refocusing on his infant son, who was definitely sound asleep.
"You look so peaceful. I wish Mommy and Daddy were here to see you and your brother and sister."
With that, Daniel returned Little Danny to the safety of the crib. He checked on Jonny and Aislinn, both of whom were sleeping soundly, and then with a last look at Katie, who had moved forward to settle into the warmth of where Daniel and Little Danny had been lying down, he made his retreat.
Standing on the roof deck once again, Daniel stared out at the stars, pondering the story he'd told and trying to interpret its meaning.
"Mommy, Daddy, I never understood the way I do now. Thank you. I ... I wish you were here to see the triplets and to see I'm okay. I mean, I'm really okay. I am who I am because of you." The contemplating man paused, his eyes a bit watery from the emotions he was feeling. "Daddy, you *are* the bestest archaeol..." He paused and for old time's sake, corrected, "You're the bestest arch'logist in the whole wide ... universe, and I love you; and, Mommy, I love you, too."
A sudden breeze rolled over Daniel and his hand went up to his cheek. Unlike the briskness of the other winds this night, this one was soft and almost tender. In fact, it warmed his body instead of chilling it. He rubbed his skin and stared at his fingers as he brought his hand in front of his eyes.
"I wish I could kiss you goodnight, too," Daniel whispered, not stopping a couple of tears from falling.
A few minutes later, a recomposed Daniel felt warm hands surrounding his waist. Then there was the touch of lips against the nape of his neck. Happily, he leaned back into his Love's embrace.
"The chill factor's taken a dive out here," Jack stated quietly about the change in temperature since the couple had last been out on the roof deck that evening. "I thought we were going to continue our earlier 'conversation' in bed."
"Jack, I learned something tonight that I'd forgotten, or just hadn't remembered."
"Talk to me," Jack instructed gently but firmly, knowing the tone of his soulmate's voice, one that dictated this discussion needed to happen now.
"I told Little Danny a story just now."
"That's why you were gone so long."
"Uh, that means what?" Daniel asked curtly, being slightly on the defensive.
"Danny, you aren't known for saying anything short, especially a story," Jack mused lovingly. "What story?"
"About a day at the pyramid, in Egypt, with my parents. Remember that day, when Mommy and Daddy took turns with me. You helped me remember it after that trip to New York."
"I remember," Jack affirmed.
"More of it came back to me tonight. It's just ... I've focused so much on what happened after they died that I'd forgotten, or didn't realize, how much of them *is* in me." Daniel turned around to face his lover, his hands on Jack's waist just as Jack's were on his. "Babe, I *am* their son. Mommy loved questions. She believed so much in learning about ancient cultures, and Daddy, he liked questions, too, but he was big on possibilities. He kept encouraging me to think and learn and not to accept anything because it was written that way in a book or because someone said so."
"That sounds like you," Jack acknowledged lightly.
"Jack, there's something else."
"There always is," the older man responded dryly.
"Daddy found a ribbon device. I saw it. It was broken, but that's what it was," Daniel informed his spouse.
Jack sighed, shook his head as he thought, and finally replied, "Daniel, there's no way of knowing where it could be. It's probably in a box somewhere in a museum basement."
"I keep wondering if he knew what it meant," Daniel pondered slowly, searching Jack's eyes for the answers, even though he knew there weren't any, not for this question.
"He was a smart man, Danny. I wouldn't be surprised if he suspected that beings from another world were involved somehow."
"I think so, too."
The lovers drew closer, a passionate kiss growing even as Daniel wrapped his arms around his husband's neck. Their bodies touched, both of them deeply aroused. It was clear their communication was about to shift from verbal to physical.
"I love you so much, Jack," Daniel declared.
"Why don't we show each other inside? I checked on the Munchkins before I came out here looking for you. They're snug little rugrats."
Daniel placed another kiss on his Love's lips as his hands slipped down inside Jack's pants.
"Can't wait," Daniel whispered against his lover's lips.
Cold or not, things were about to happen, until the younger man remembered the sudden breeze from minutes before and pulled back unexpectedly.
"What happened?" a stunned Jack questioned.
"Nothing. I mean, not here. Let's go inside, like you said."
"Daniel, is ..."
"It's cold, that's all," Daniel replied. "Let's go," he urged, motioning towards the door that went into their bedroom. As Jack went inside, Daniel turned back and looked all around. Whispering to his unseen parents, he mused, "Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't think you're ready to see this."
To his amazement, another soft breeze enveloped him. It was quick, but it was enough.
"I love you, too," Daniel returned tenderly, closing and locking the door behind him.
"What'd you say, Love?" Jack asked as he unbuckled his pants.
"I said I love you."
Grinning, Jack replied, "Love you, too, Angel, and I'm ready to show you."
"Get to it, O'Neill."
"Jackson-O'Neill, if you please."
"Oh, I please. I definitely please," Daniel crooned, deciding his lover was taking too long and moving in to assist.
Daniel Jackson-O'Neill had had an amazing experience on this cold, Colorado evening, but then again, his life was an amazing one. Though filled with lots of sadness and tragedy, tonight he'd been reminded that he'd also had an abundance of love, and that was something he vowed to always hold on to. It was also something his husband pledged to help him with as well. Their nation of two uniting with energetic exhilaration, Jack and Daniel left the night behind and erotically made their way toward a new morrow, and whatever would come their way there.
~~Finis - Finished - Done - The End - But is it ever Really?~~
Author's Note: Please feel free to email me with your comments or suggestions; constructive criticism, things you'd like to see, etc. A chronological listing of my universe is at http://orrymain.com