Summary: As part of a project for J-O Enterprises, Daniel takes his namesake on a quick trip to Fiji, but the outing gets interrupted by an unpleasant event.
An April Day in Fiji
Author Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Feedback welcome)
Author Website: http://orrymain.com
Category: Slash, Drama, Established Relationship
Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Season: Beyond the Series - April 6-7, 2012
Size: 20kb, ficlet
Written: January 7-12,17, February 1-3,10, 12, March 5, 2017
Summary: As part of a project for J-O Enterprises, Daniel takes his namesake on a quick trip to Fiji, but the outing gets interrupted by an unpleasant event.
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?~
An April Day in Fiji
"What do you think?" Daniel asked his namesake while gazing out over the expanse of terrain.
Now five-and-a-half-years old, Little Danny responded, "I think it's a good place for a village, Daddy."
"Can you see the people, Son?"
"I see ..." the boy began, pausing to lick his lips in the thrill of putting his mind to work. "I see houses over there." Little Danny pointed as he looked back into the past of the tropical country he was visiting. "And clay pottery, for cooking and eating, and tools."
Daniel and Little Danny were in Fiji and more specifically, in the Koroyanitu Mountains. The trip was due to J-O Enterprises having been hired to do some preliminary consultation in the quest to verify the cultural history of the natives, a history that had been passed down only by word of mouth. Villagers wanted to protect their heritage from being ravished by development, be it mining, agriculture, tourist, or other types of growth, so they turned to the Fiji Museum for help.
J-O Enterprises' involvement in the project was limited. A team was helping to interview the villagers and to assist in selecting potential locations of the ancient villages. Daniel was asked to personally meet with the Head of History and Archaeology of the Museum and decided to bring Little Danny along for the quick trip. When his obligation was completed, the archaeologist opted to take the Munchkin on a field trip into the mountains.
That's where the father and son were at the moment. They'd hiked to a place where Daniel thought he could teach his son about one of the more difficult parts of archaeology, finding hidden treasures, but it wasn't jewelry, trinkets, or gold the father was thinking about.
"That's good, Little Danny," Daniel praised. "We have to see in our minds what we can't see with our eyes, at least not yet."
"I see them, Daddy. I don't know where their houses were yet, but I know they're there. The men built them and the women took care of them."
"Probably," Daniel agreed. "Tell me something. The people who live all around Fiji want to know where these ancient villages are located. Why do you think that's important to them?"
"It's where their ancestors lived. That's like sacred, Daddy. It's important to know about how we started. We learn what works, and sometimes, what doesn't work. That's what you told us before, and I agree."
"Well, thank you," a smiling Daniel acknowledged. "But, uh, tell me what *you* think."
"Well," the boy said, lowering his eyes and biting his lip for a few moments as he thought. "I want to know what it was like for Grandpa Jackson when he grew up. We have lots of devices that didn't exist when he was a boy. I want to understand how his world was and how that made Grandpa Grandpa." Little Danny grinned and added, "And then we have to go back further and even further and further than that so can understand how our family changed from its very beginning until now. I want to understand my other grandparents, too, like Grandpa and Grandma O'Neill, but especially Grandpa and Grandma Jackson."
Daniel nodded as a wave of emotion overtook him. He was extremely touched that the Munchkin brought up his parents, as well as Jack's.
"How come they loved archaeology so much?" Little Danny asked rhetorically. "It's more than that, Daddy. I want to understand people at the very beginning and how they learned and lived because that helps me to know all of us better, too." The boy sighed and struggled a bit to explain all he was thinking. "Daddy, it's life. It's who we are. That's why it's so important to find out everything we can about everything before us. It's our past; it's history, and because of that, it's our future, too."
"You're right," Daniel praised, smiling as he gently rubbed the back of his son's head. "The villagers here want to protect their history so they can go forward. If J-O can be just a small part of that, we've done something good."
Little Danny beamed as he looked at his father. He felt so happy to be sharing this moment with him. He loved learning about everything, but understanding the human race, its history, and the world surrounding them was something very dear to him. He might not be even six years old yet, but his heart told him that he needed to devote time and attention to cultures and their heritages.
"Daddy, the encyclopedia doesn't say who discovered Fiji."
"That's probably because no one knows for sure. The Fijian archipelago is believed to have been discovered two thousand years before Christ was born."
"Wow," Little Danny responded, unable to even grasp how long ago that actually was. "We need to find out who was here first," the young genius opined before continuing, "so they know who they are."
"There are some theories out there. I have some reading material at home you might like to look at."
Little Danny was excited at the news. He wanted to know more about Fiji, especially now that he'd been there.
"For now, we need to focus on our assignment," Daniel reminded. "There's another area we should take a look at."
At the height of the afternoon, with the temperature nearing the ninety-degree mark and the humidity at its peak, the father and son day in the mountains was coming to a conclusion. Both Jackson-O'Neills enjoyed their time, talking almost exclusively about Fiji, the hidden villages they were certain were there, and their shared love of archaeology and cultural history in general.
"I wish Jonny could have come with us, and Jenny, too, and Ash, and David, and ..."
"Jo couldn't hold all of us, Little Danny," Daniel chuckled as he referenced the family's Meyers 200A aircraft he flown to Fiji from their home in Colorado Springs.
"I know, but Jonny likes to imagine how it used to be, too, especially with soldiers," Little Danny put forth as he led the way down the mountain.
"Uh-huh," the boy affirmed. Little Danny twirled around a moment to look at his father and began, "Daddy, do you thi...whoa, ah ..."
"Little Danny!" Daniel called out urgently.
In turning around, Little Danny was no longer looking at the somewhat rocky path ahead of him. Mid-sentence, he tripped and began to fall. His left arm impacted the ground hard, causing him to cry out in pain. The child tumbled over a few times before coming to a stop. He was face down, his mind whirling from the traumatic experience, and sobbing from the hurt his body was feeling.
"Danny, roll over," Daniel requested, gently helping his son.
"Shibatwray!" the Munchkin exclaimed emotionally, using a curse word learned from his father, though he really didn't know the origin of the word or specifically what it translated to in English. ~Don't care if I get in trouble,~ he cried to himself.
Daniel could care less about his son's language and was totally focused on checking for injuries, especially since they were hours away from the city. He eyed the boy up and down and gently pressed against Little Danny's body for signs of any breaks. Fortunately, Little Danny's injury seemed to be singularly located to his left arm.
~Is it broken?~ Daniel wondered as he carefully attempted to diagnose Little Danny's condition. ~Sprained maybe? Or ... a shoulder separation?~ A long list ran through the archaeologist's mind, not to mention fears of internal injuries. "Does it hurt anywhere else?"
"No," Little Danny answered, trying to stop his crying as he sat up.
"Danny, it's okay to cry. It hurts, so cry, if that helps," Daniel told his son, sensing his namesake was trying to be brave.
"Yes, you are," the father concurred. "Big boys cry, too."
"Iiiiii'm," Little Danny sniffled, "fine."
"Oh gawd," Daniel heard himself say. He knew the true meaning of that phrase better than anyone. It meant his son was in a lot of pain. With the drive to town taking at least two hours at a fast speed, he wanted to do something to make it better. "Son, listen to me. I want you to focus on my voice, okay?"
"Okay." To Little Danny, his father's request was easy, most of the time. However, the pain was strong and it was hard to concentrate on anything other than that. "I'll try," he promised, though he couldn't stop the tears from falling. ~Gotta listen to Daddy. He can make anything better.~
"That's all I ask," Daniel responded. Speaking calmly and with reassurance in his eyes, the father gently caressed the area around his son's thighs and knees. "Close your eyes. Don't squint, just relax them, as much as you can. Keep them closed. Now take three deep, slow breaths, very slow. Don't think about anything else but your breaths. Feel your breaths, the air in your nostrils as you inhale and then how it tickles your nose and upper lip when you exhale."
Pausing, the archaeologist studied his son and saw that the boy was concentrating as hard as possible, all things considered.
"That's it. Focus on your breathing. Now, I want you to imagine you're," the scientist paused, trying to decide on the imagery he thought would help the best, "in our backyard. You're sitting on the grass, under the treehouse. Bijou and Katie are with you, one on each side. Mittens and Calico are rubbing themselves against your feet. They, uh, they're meowing softly."
Daniel kept a steady tone and continued to speak softly and with an assuring tone. He wanted to keep a confident air to his voice. It was vital that Little Danny feel comfortable and be able to visualize his family around him. The archaeologist believed that if he could lure his son back home mentally, the pain would be more manageable.
"See yourself in our yard, Little Danny, surrounded by our zoo. There's so much love there. Bagel is hopping around," Daniel put forth about the family rabbit, "and Strawberry and Shortcake are scampering through the grass," he added about their two guinea pigs. He smiled as he created the peaceful scene. "It's a beautiful day out. We're all there; our entire family. Everyone is happy, smiling and laughing. Ash is running after Strawberry, who takes a little after Jonny. She loves to escape, just like he does."
Totally caught up in the imagery, Little Danny chuckled. He knew his brother was an expert at getting out of things and had been forever. One of his first memories was watching Jonny escape from ToddlerTown, the special playpen his parents made to keep the triplets safe and at play.
"Keep focusing on the backyard, with everyone you love all around. Feel the warmth of the sun on your cheeks and hear the sounds of, of squirrels traveling along the fences. Hear them talking to one another. Three of them start running, like a train moving swiftly upward. Katie climbs in your lap and gives you a kiss."
The injured child smiled as he imagined everything his father put in his mind.
"Okay, now, I'm going to pick you up and carry you to the jeep. I'm going to make sure your seatbelt is on tight and then we're going back to town, but I want you to keep thinking about Katie. She needs you to hold her. Picture yourself with her in your lap. Hold on to everything I've said. Can you do that?"
"Katie's tickling me," Little Danny laughed, taking his father's words a scene further.
"There you go," Daniel mused softly, using one of his husband's favorite expressions. "Katie loves to cuddle as much as she loves to play," he said as he stood up and leaned over to pick up his son. "See the sparkle in her eyes."
"She wants to play in her sandbox."
"She knows we buried a new toy for her there," the father asserted, pleased when Little Danny's response to being picked up was a minor whimper that quickly dissipated.
"It's a bone from a dig in Bolivia," Little Danny put forth, his imagination creating a dig that hadn't really happened.
"She'll love that," Daniel remarked as he pulled the seatbelt taut. ~This is working.~ With Little Danny secure in his seat, Daniel reached into the cooler that was at the back of the jeep and pulled out three cool bottles of water. For a sprain, he knew it was important to keep something cold attached to the arm in order to prevent swelling. "I think I heard Noa chuckling at Jonny."
Little Danny's mind played along as he responded, "Bagel's jumping on him."
~That'll work,~ the father thought. "It might hurt for a minute, Danny. I'm wrapping your jacket around you and putting a few bottles of water against your arm."
Daniel saw his son nod, but the boy said nothing in response. Instead, the triplet only grimaced and let out another momentary sound of distress.
"I'm sorry," Daniel told the Munchkin.
"It's hot in the sun," Little Danny sniffled as he struggled to remain with the image his father placed in his mind.
"Okay, now keep your arm up, above your heart, and try not to move it too much, which in a jeep around here will be hard, but do your best."
"I will," Little Danny promised. "Bijou's chasing Ricky," he laughed as he came up with a diversion to keep him from feeling the pain too much.
Settling into the driver's seat, Daniel started up the jeep and faced his son as he encouraged, "Keep playing with Katie."
"What's this called?" the little genius inquired, briefly coming out of the trance to ask the question.
As Daniel pulled away, he responded, "Visualization. The mind is very powerful, Little Danny. Most people don't realize how much it can do."
"Like helping me not think about the pain?"
Daniel looked at the boy, who was now looking at him with all the trust he had to offer.
With a smile, Little Danny closed his eyes again and said, "Bij wants me to throw her ball now."
"Just don't hit Dad again," Daniel instructed lightheartedly.
"That was Dad's fault," the boy reminded about the true incident from a few weeks earlier. "He was being a mime and not paying attention."
"That's true," Daniel agreed, driving as fast as he felt was safe. ~Where's Thor when you need him?~ he half-joked to himself.
"The sling will help keep the arm steady and minimize the pain," the doctor told Daniel as they talked privately while Little Danny was being doted over by two nurses. "For the first couple of days, I'd also recommend you ice down the area."
"Depending on your schedule, four to eight times per day, fifteen to twenty minutes each time," the physician responded. After glancing over at the patient in the next room, he smiled as he observed, "My nurses want to keep him."
Daniel smiled and nodded in understanding, but remained on task as he asked, "Is there anything else we should do?"
"It's a minor sprain, Doctor Jackson-O'Neill. Boys get them all the time," the doctor asserted calmly. "Don't let him play basketball or use that arm to play catch for a while, but other than that, he's free to be a playful little boy."
Daniel nodded at the advice and vowed to do his best not to become an overprotective father.
"Ah, there is one more thing. You did right to keep his arm elevated on the ride into town," the doctor began. "Have him keep that up for the next forty-eight hours and that will lessen the pain and keep the arm from swelling."
"We'll do that. Thank you, Doctor."
"You're welcome, Doctor," the physician laughed before saying goodbye.
Daniel returned to the examination area and called out, "Little Danny, we can go now."
"In a minute, Daddy, okay? I'm telling Wiki and Lelei about their ancestors," Little Danny stated with a smile before turning back at the nurses and continuing the conversation.
Daniel shook his head with amusement as he waited off to the side and thought, ~If Jack could see this, he'd be so jealous.~ Suddenly, the archaeologist blinked and stood up straighter. ~Wait a minute,~ he told himself as he pulled out his smartphone and began to covertly film the three-way chat. ~Okay, so it's a slight invasion of privacy, but this is too cute.~ In a shot of instant awareness, he sighed inwardly, ~Gawd, I'm turning into Jack.~
The next morning, father and son were three hours into their trip home when Little Danny called out to his father.
"Daddy," the Munchkin said as he sat in the passenger seat aboard Jo.
"Yes, Son," the father responded while automatically checking the various panels on the plane to ensure there were no problems during the flight.
"Fijians really love their family's, don't they?"
"I would go along with that."
"I mean, they still honor their chiefs and work together. I think we're too separated in America to do that," the child sighed somewhat sadly.
"America's a big country," Daniel remarked.
"But we should still take care of each other and do things together, like, well, that village we visited when we first got there. The whole village was fishing together."
"That's part of their heritage, Little Danny."
"I hope they find their ancient villages. Do you think they will?"
"Yes, I do," Daniel responded. "They want to know, and when you're truly devoted to discovering your roots like the villagers are, the more likely you are to succeed."
"I'm glad we helped, just a little."
"Me, too," Daniel stated with a smile. "How's your arm?"
"It's okay. I'm trying not to think about it, Daddy. I want to visualize what life was like for the Fijians. Can you help me?"
"Sure." The archaeologist thought for a moment and then suggested, "How about visualizing firewalking."
"Like they did at the hotel?"
"Well, that's more for show. A lot of the rites from ancient times are done as tourist attractions now, but many are still practiced by the villagers."
"They walk over fire, for real?"
"Doesn't it hurt?"
"I don't know. I've never done it."
"I bet they visualize being someplace else."
"Maybe," the impressed father replied.
"I can't wait to tell the brood about how I visualized us playing in the backyard. I'm never going to forget, Daddy. Someday, maybe I'll have to teach one of them how to visualize."
"I hope not, but you might."
"Daddy, take me back to the old times when the villagers walked across fire."
"Okay," Daniel agreed. "Close your eyes and take three deep breaths."
Little Danny smiled. It was easier this time because he wasn't trying to mask his pain. Plus, he was energized at the thrill of knowing he was about to experience something new. By visualizing, he could picture himself anywhere in the world and at any time.
~Visualization! Note to self: never forget how to visualize!~
The lesson was an important one for the middle Munchkin, who would indeed use visualization to assist his brothers and sisters in the future. Right now, though, he was happy to use it as a way to learn about the cultural history of those born and bred in the small nation of Fiji. His eyes closed, he heard every word of imagery his daddy spoke and with his vivid imagination, Little Danny was transported back in time. He was a happy boy who couldn't imagine anything better than being with his daddy and learning about long ago times.
~~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