Summary: Confusing his lover, Daniel the scientist suddenly says bah-humbug to Christmas.
The Naughty List
Author Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Feedback welcome)
Author Website: http://orrymain.com
Category: Slash, Angst, Drama, Romance, Holiday, Established Relationship
Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Season: S2 - December 23, 1998
Size: 14kb, ficlet
Written: December 24-25, 2014
Summary: Confusing his lover, Daniel the scientist suddenly says bah-humbug to Christmas.
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?~
2) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my other fic(s): "The First Christmas," "Echoes of the Past," and "Out of the Fire, Into Our Souls"
The Naughty List
"Daniel!" Jack shouted as he kicked the unlocked apartment door to his lover's apartment shut. ~How many times do I have to tell him to lock the friggin' door?~
The apartment was dark except for a small light atop the piano that was dimmed. Carefully, Jack walked towards the bedroom where he could see a bit of light shining through the bottom of the closed door.
"Danny?" the colonel called out as he gently opened the door. Seeing his lover sitting with drawn-up knees at the center of his bed, Jack softly spoke, "Angel?"
"I'm not an angel. Please don't call me that."
"You're my angel. I told you that yesterday," Jack reminded, referring to when they'd decorated the Christmas tree at his house.
"Jack, I'm sorry," Daniel sighed. He knew the importance of the nickname and while he hoped that his lover would refrain from its use in the future, that wasn't what was truly bothering him. "I'm just in a bad mood."
"Nah," Jack dismissed teasingly as he sat down on the bed and reached out to take his Love's hands in his. He kissed them and asked, "What's wrong?"
"Daniel, nothing with you is one big something. Out with it."
Withdrawing his hands and scooting off the bed, the archaeologist responded, "You're always hungry, Jack. It's dinnertime." He headed for the door and paused, hesitating a minute as he looked back. "It is dinnertime, isn't it?"
Jack sighed as he stood and approached his soulmate, saying, "You don't even know what time it is."
"It doesn't matter. Day or night, you're hungry."
Jack groaned as his Love turned and exited the room, leaving him behind in a cloud of curiosity.
Roughly a half-hour later, Jack was enjoying the simple act of watching Daniel cook. His partner was making a meat and vegetable stew, using fresh veggies and the best steak he could find. Part of the colonel wished they were having the steak in tact and not chopped up into the larger meal, but he was eager to taste the fruits of his Love's efforts.
~If I could just get him to talk,~ Jack lamented with the realization the archaeologist had uttered just a few sentences in the course of preparing the meal. "Hey, I thought we'd watch 'Scrooged' on TV tonight."
"What is that?"
"Bill Murray movie."
"Actually, Jack, I don't want to watch it."
"Okay, Plan B," the older man proffered." Jack thought for a moment and then suggested, "We'll watch 'Trading Places,' funny Eddie Murray film."
"Never heard of it, or him."
"Not surprised, but after tonight ..."
"Jack, I'm a scientist. Scientists don't believe in Christmas, so no, thank you."
~Whoa!~ Jack reacted internally. This was not the Daniel Jackson he'd come to know in the last couple of years. "You're a scientist, I'm military. We're skeptics, but it's Christmas. Let's just go with it."
"No," Daniel refused, his back to his lover as he placed the pot on the burner and began to watch the stew warm.
"No movies," Jack sighed. "We'll sing some carols."
"You don't like to sing."
"I'll make an exception."
"No point in compromising your beliefs," the archaeologist countered.
"Okay," Jack responded, getting up and walking over to his current adversary. He put his arms on Daniel's arms and gently spun him around. "What's going on?"
"I told you," Daniel responded sternly. "I don't believe in God. I don't believe in religion. I believe in facts, in what science tells me. Christmas is a man-made event and Santa Claus is a myth. You can teach me all the songs you want about flying reindeer and talking snowmen, but they're all fantasy. Not one bit of the spiritual theory is true. It's fake, a commercial invention to drive sales or ... or ... or cults or ... or whatever. None of it is real."
"Daniel, talk to me."
"I just did," the frustrated scientist replied.
"No, you just spouted off a bunch of babble you don't really believe."
"Daniel," Jack paused, trying to get his thoughts together. His hands slid down his life partner's arms until they reached his hands. Tenderly, Jack took hold of the hands he so loved to hold and caressed them softly. "Angel, we both believe in what we can see and not a lot more, but with the Stargate, we've seen more than we ever thought was possible, and what about last year?"
"I did *not* buy that slinky, Daniel. I swear on my weapon, my life, and my memory of my parents that I did *not* buy the friggin' thing, nor did I tell Franklin to buy it. I showed you the receipt: the slinky was not on it."
"Then Franklin just ... he ..."
"Daniel, Franklin didn't know you at all and I didn't tell him why I wanted those Christmas toys. He thought I was taking them to the orphanage. He had no reason to add anything to the list. Look, I'm a good interrogator. I asked him, more than once over this past year about it, and he knows nothing about the slinky either."
"He has to," Daniel replied with a bowed head, his voice soft and vulnerable.
"Well, he doesn't, and what about that Santa at the mall?"
"What about him, other than you made me look like a fool?"
"You loved sitting on his lap and you know it."
"Daniel, he called me by rank when we left. You know as well as I do that we never mentioned the military. There was no way he could have known I'm a colonel."
"Maybe he's a good guesser or it was someone we know."
"Daniel, we know SGC personnel. Do you honestly believe that had it been anyone on our list of contacts there, or just in the Springs, that at some point in the last twelve months, they wouldn't have had some fun with that experience? Not a word, Danny, not one stinkin' word. It had to be Santa."
Pulling away from the older man, Daniel walked to the refrigerator, opening its door as he retorted, "You're out of your mind. We both know there isn't a Santa."
"Daniel, talk to me."
"I have been," Daniel whined.
"No. You're saying words, but you're not talking," Jack argued. "Where's this coming from?"
"I just don't want to celebrate Christmas. It's nonsense."
"That's not what you said when we decorated the house last night. We had Christmas music on. You even wore Rudy's ears."
"Jack, you're a child when not on a mission," Daniel put forward. "I was just ... just ..." He saw the colonel's pointed stare, an accusation that what was being said was less than the truth. "I was just humoring you."
"Sweet!" Jack exclaimed. "Humor me some more. We'll watch 'Scrooged,' sing some carols, enjoy some eggnog ..."
"Because as a scientist, I need to be true to my beliefs," Daniel insisted. "I can't be hypocritical."
"Daniel, everything you've said in the last five minutes is a lie, and we both know it."
"Just leave me alone," Daniel spouted angrily, turning off the burner and exiting the kitchen in a huff.
~Getting close to the truth now, whatever it is,~ Jack thought, whistling "Jingle Bells" as he checked the stew and put the burner back on, though at a lower temperature. ~Let's give you and the stew a few minutes to simmer and then we'll get to the real truth,~ he decided.
With the stew making progress, Jack decided it was time to seek out his Scrooge-like archaeologist. He found him in the bedroom, sitting on the floor in the furthest corner, his back against the wall. Looking around in thought, the colonel slowly approached and sat down next to Daniel.
"Ready to tell me the truth?"
"The truth is that I'm a scientist, and I don't believe ..."
"Screw it," Jack argued. "You don't know what you believe and neither do I. We're both figuring this out."
"You don't know anything," Daniel shouted, jumping up and hurrying out of the room.
"That didn't go well," the colonel sighed as he patted his knees, stood up, and followed his lover out of the bedroom. As he walked, he unsuccessfully pondered what could be wrong. Then he saw his lover standing outside on the little balcony that was just off the living room area. Stepping down onto the balcony, Jack moved forward until he was behind the younger man. Casually, he put his arms around Daniel's waist and eased them around until he had them in front of Daniel. As he placed a kiss on Daniel's nape, Jack's hands skirted underneath the plaid shirt his Love was wearing and began to caress his abdomen. "I love you."
Though it felt like Daniel was resisting, in no time, the archaeologist's head settled back against the strong shoulder of the colonel. His blue eyes closed and a tiny sound escaped his throat. It sounded much like a sob.
"Angel, I love you. Tell me."
"I had a nightmare," Daniel finally admitted. "It w...was a ... a ...a nightmare."
"I don't know," Daniel responded truthfully. "It was my parents. I couldn't really see them, but they were yelling at me, something about ... about being naughty. I don't know," he added in exasperation, his head jutting forward as his body sprung out of Jack's embrace.
Jack refused to let his Love be alone. He walked two more steps forward until he once again was able to encircle the younger man with his arms. This time, his hands found Daniel's tense appendages as they gripped the rails of the balcony.
"Danny, what else do you remember about your nightmare?"
"Nothing. I mean, it was a blur. I just remember something about no Santa and ... and ... being naughty. They, my parents, said so. They were scientists, Jack. They knew the truth."
Suddenly, Jack let out a small chuckle as he put together what he believed happened.
"What are you laughing at?"
"You," Jack answered. "Danny, you made the Naughty List."
"What?" the confused man questioned as he turned around and stared into brown eyes that often comforted him.
"I have good vibes about your folks, Angel."
"What are you talking about?"
"A week ago we found out that your parents were taking you to the zoo and an amusement park."
"We don't ..."
"Quiet!" Jack ordered, confident of his supposition. "Daniel, you remember camels and pyramids because you were older when you had those memories, but you don't really know what those first years of your life were like. I'm telling you that your parents wanted you to be an average kid, a smart one, a thinking one, but an average kid. They knew you'd been surrounded by artifacts and when they came back to New York that it was time to remind you what being a kid really meant. That's why they had those plans, to remind you."
"Absolutely," Jack insisted. "In fact, you were an average kid. You just don't remember."
"I don't know what you mean."
"Your nightmare: it's a memory, a very young memory. Daniel, you were naughty, a bad boy."
"You did something to upset your folks: you pushed a girl, you got into their stuff, you had a temper tantrum, you didn't clean your room: something; you did something that got their dander up."
"Daniel, you were a bad boy, and it was the holidays. One or both of your parents scolded you and told you that you were on the Naughty List and Santa wouldn't come because of it. You were a kid, Angel, a bad little boy."
While Jack's grin was huge, Daniel's being was full of confusion. His breathing was scattered as he tried to piece together the puzzle.
"Danny, we're talking about your folks more. You just found out that they wanted you to be a normal kid. It's natural that memories will come back. Someday, maybe you'll remember what you did to join the rest of us on the Naughty List, if only for a day."
"You seem so sure."
"Aren't you?" Jack smiled tenderly. "Danny, your parents loved you and I know that at the front of your mind are memories from Egypt and their death, but they were good people, raising a smart boy, but still a little boy. I think inside of you are memories of Santa and who knows what else. Believe, Danny. That's what your parents wanted." He leaned in and shared a sweet, short kiss. "I didn't buy you that slinky, Danny. Santa exists, somehow, in some way. I don't know how, but he's out there, and last year, we found him."
"Or he found us."
Jack's grin was huge. His Daniel was back on board.
"We have things to do, Danny."
"Sure. We have gifts to wrap for the kids at the shelter, some shopping to do, and then we're out of here."
"The only place for Christmas for us is the cabin. Why we thought we'd skip it this year makes no sense. Let's eat and make our plans. Christmas is just a couple of days away."
"Forget the stew."
With an even bigger grin, Jack acquiesced to his Love's desires. Christmas was back on and the couple had a lot to explore as they searched together to discover what the holiday truly meant to each of them. The scientist and the military man defied the stereotype for these two men on this night in Colorado Springs believed in Santa, his reindeer, and all that the season brought with it. Life was full of surprises and for Jack and Daniel, that was usually a good thing.
~~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