Title: Daniel, Ben & Jerry
October Fiction Challenge response:
1. Must fit into the category of "Feel-good/Fluff." In other words, no angst, no drama, no action, just the kind of story that makes you smile.
2. Must include a sweet Daniel/Janet hug. Kissing is optional, but in my opinion, a loving hug is much more romantic than kissing. :)
3. Sex is a no-no. Make me squee without it getting sexual, please! ;)
4. Include a nice Daniel/Cassie bonding moment in it somewhere.
Related episodes: Very brief and obscure references to Stargate (the movie) and The Devil You Know. And, of course, you have to know who Cassie is.
Disclaimer: They're definitely not mine. Heck, the plot bunny doesn't even belong to me! But, if you do happen to own something I've mentioned in this story...please just consider it free advertising. ;)
Archive: Free to a good home, as long as my name is on it.
Feedback: Yes, please! I heart feedback! It is much appreciated.
Author's Notes: It hasn't been betaed and it's about 5:00am...so any mistakes are definitely mine. Please just ignore them. Thanks to Meg for the bunny. I hope I did it justice! (...and sorry if I completely butchered it.) But I hope you all will enjoy! Also, there's a little something special at the end. Hope you like it. :)
Janet grabbed a tissue from the Kleenex box that was sitting on the table next to her. With a small sniff, she wiped away the last of her tears as the movie credits began to roll.
'Thank goodness for Lifetime movies', Janet though to herself as she patted her bulging stomach lovingly. For a workaholic like herself, taking so much time off for maternity leave would've been murder on her were it not for her favorite television channel.
These movies provided Janet with a nice distraction, both from the boredom and from the unbearable heat of summer. Summertime in Colorado Springs was normally sunny and warm, and Janet had gotten used to it long ago. This summer, however, had proved to be unusually hot. Daily temperatures were reaching into the upper 90s, and that wasn't the worst part.
The summer heat had only added to Janet's growing discomfort. Being eight months pregnant was no picnic, after all. And if that wasn't enough, the air conditioning had picked today, the hottest day of the year, to quit working.
A quiet murmuring sound caught Janet's attention. She smiled as she looked over from her place on the couch to see her husband, and the soon-to-be father of their child. He was fast asleep in the recliner.
Janet couldn't help but chuckle to herself. The man who could watched nothing but the History Channel for days on end was bored stiff by her Lifetime movies, go figure.
Janet watched Daniel as he slept. Something she'd done a thousand times before over the years. Of course, back then she'd been his doctor and if she was watching him sleep, it meant that he'd been hurt. But now, instead of lying injured in the infirmary, he was in their living room, propped up on his right arm dozing peacefully, his glasses slightly askew. And instead of a hospital gown, he was wearing an old pair of lose-fitting black shorts and a dark blue sleeveless shirt that showed off his lean, muscular body.
'Not Daniel's usual attire,' Janet thought with a smile. After their air conditioning unit had died, Daniel had to dig in the back of the closet to find something he could wear comfortably in the face of the summer heat wave.
Janet looked down at her own clothing. Despite the white cotton shorts and floral tank top, she was still burning up.
"Even Netu couldn't have been this bad." Janet muttered as she tried to think of some way to cool herself off.
A smile lit across Janet's face as her stomach growled.
"What a wonderful idea, Little One." Janet whispered to her child. "I think it's time we visited our friends Ben and Jerry."
Janet took her feet down from the wooden coffee table that was sitting in front of her and shimmied her way to the edge of the couch. Gathering her strength, Janet pushed off and used her knees to stand. It had taken her awhile, but she'd finally mastered the art of getting herself up without bending at the waist.
After gaining her balance, and tiptoeing around Daniel, Janet turned from the living room and made her way through the hallway and into the large kitchen.
"Hello, Ben. Hello, Jerry." Janet said with a grin as she opened the freezer door.
Whoever Ben and Jerry were, Janet was eternally grateful to them. They had made the world of pint-sized frozen treats come alive with flavors such as, "Cherry Garcia", "Chunky Monkey", and her personal favorite, "Phish Food".
After retrieving a small container of chocolate ice cream, Janet headed over to the kitchen sink. She was about to grab a spoon from the dish rack when she felt a pinching in her left hand and a tingling sensation running down one of her fingers.
Janet sighed unhappily. 'I was afraid of this.'
Janet looked down at her hand. Her ring finger throbbed against the growing tightness of her wedding band.
Her pregnancy had caused her to retain quite a lot of water. Not good news for someone who was only 5'2" tall. And the heat of summer only made things worse. The swelling in her feet, hands, and ankles, and the roundness of her belly left Janet feeling like the Goodyear blimp. Or, at the very least, an overfilled water balloon.
And she still had the entire month of August to go.
She'd removed her engagement ring a month ago, and that alone was hard enough on her. Janet squeezed her eyes shut. She had put this off as long as she could, hoping that it wouldn't be necessary. But Janet realized sadly that she had no choice but to take off her wedding band. If her fingers swelled any more that they already had, she would have to have the ring cut off her hand, and she definitely didn't want that to happen.
With a sigh, Janet grabbed the bottle of green liquid dish soap that was sitting beside the sink and poured a small amount into her hand. She turned the water faucet on and began soaping her finger. The ring was on tight, and getting it off was not going to be easy.
Janet shut off the running water and worked the soapsuds around her ring. She tried pulling at it, but it didn't budge. She added a bit more soap and tried twisting it. It loosened somewhat, but wouldn't move past her swelled knuckle. Little more soap. With a grunt of pain, she pulled hard at the golden band, and in a sudden move it slipped off her finger.
The soapy metal hadn't given Janet a very good grip. Before she even knew what was happening, the ring had slipped off her finger ...and into drain of the sink.
'Oh my God!' Janet gasped.
"Daniel!" she screamed, tears already rolling down her cheeks.
The sound of running water had woken him from his light nap. Readjusting his glasses Daniel noticed that the movie that had lulled him into sleep was over...and that Janet was no longer propped up on the couch.
As the water continued to run, Daniel began to wonder about what Janet was doing, but a few seconds later, the faucet shut off.
'Maybe she was just thirsty.' Summer heat often does that to a person, after all. But after a few minutes of waiting, Janet still hadn't returned. 'Hmm, maybe I should check on her.'
Daniel had no more processed this thought when he heard it. It was a loud gasp, followed by her crying out for him.
Daniel bolted out of his chair and ran into the kitchen to see what was wrong.
As soon as Janet saw him, she felt fresh tears burst from her eyes.
"What's wrong? What happened? Are you okay? Is the baby okay?" Daniel asked in one breath.
Janet barely managed to nod before she found herself being drawn into his loving arms. He held her close as his skilled hands massaged away the tension he felt in her back.
Janet collapsed into his warmth. No matter what was wrong, just being touched or held by this man always made her feel better.
"What's wrong, sweetie?" Daniel asked after a long moment.
"Myrnfldwnthdrn..." Janet said into his chest.
Daniel pulled away from her slightly and tipped her chin up with his hand so he could look into her eyes.
"I know a lot of languages...but I don't think that was one of them."
Janet smiled, despite herself. He was obviously trying to make her feel better, but she could see the unmistakable concern in his bright blue eyes.
Janet took a deep breath and tried again. "My ring. I had to take it off and..." Her voice faltered as more tears sprang into her eyes. She gestured towards the sink. "...twntownhedrn!"
It still didn't sound like English to Daniel, but it was obvious what had happened.
Daniel pulled his sobbing wife close to him again and kissed her head, "Shhh, it's okay." He soothed. "Don't worry, I'll get it back for you, okay?"
She looked up at him, "Really?"
Daniel cupped her face into his hands and brushed away a fallen tear. "Yes, really."
She nodded as she leaned back against his chest. "Okay."
Janet had pushed a kitchen chair beside the sink. There she sat, eating spoonfuls of ice cream as she watched the pair of muscular legs protruding from below the kitchen sink.
"How's it coming?" Janet asked as she scooped a fudge fish onto her spoon.
"About the same as last time you asked," came Daniel's muffled reply.
"Do you need anything?"
"I don't think so. I just wish it wasn't so hot under here."
"How about some of my ice cream?" Janet offered.
"Just try some."
Daniel poked his head out from under the sink and gratefully ate the spoonful of chocolate ice cream.
"Not bad." Daniel said as he finished the bite she'd given him.
"Ben & Jerry. Only the best."
"Oh, so that explains it."
"Who you're always talking to whenever you open the freezer."
Janet felt her face flush as Daniel chuckled and slid himself back under the sink.
"How about now?"
"Sorry! ...are you sure you know what you're doing down there?"
"Well, I figured out how to make the Stargate work...this can't be that hard."
"Does that mean it's gonna take you two weeks to figure out how to get my ring back?"
"What kind do you have now?"
"Who comes up with these flavors?"
"Well, it's pretty much just cherry flavored. It's named after Jerry Garcia, get it?"
Daniel once again scooted himself out from under the sink.
"Thanks." Daniel said, taking the spoon and small container that she handed him.
Janet nodded, but didn't say anything. Her eyes were glued to the floor.
"I'm sorry, Daniel." Janet finally said. "I never should've taken it off over the sink. I know better than that."
Daniel reached up, grabbed her hand, and gave it a comforting squeeze. "You have nothing to be sorry for. It was just an accident, that's all."
"But what if you can't get it back?"
"I'll...um...call up the Asgard, have them scan our plumbing system, and beam it out of the pipes for us. Then, I'll have them fix the air conditioning."
"So am I!" Daniel's smile softened as he looked in her eyes. "Have I ever let you down?"
"No, of course not."
"Then don't worry. I promise that you will get it back."
"Mom! Daniel! I'm home! I...woah!" Cassie froze in her tracks as she walked into the kitchen. Cassie stared, wide-eyed at the unusual scene before her. Janet was sitting in a kitchen chair beside the sink devouring a pint of ice cream. Below her, strewn all over the hardwood floor, were various cleaning products, rags, and all kinds of tools. The cabinet doors under the sink were open wide, and a pair of long muscular legs were sticking out of the opening.
"What happened in here?" Cassie asked.
Janet just gave her daughter a weary look as she stuck another spoonful of ice cream in her mouth.
"Daniel?" Cassie called out. Maybe he'd give her some answers.
"Hey, Cassie." Came Daniel's muffled reply from inside the cabinet.
"Uh, what's going on?"
"Oh, uh, well, your mom accidentally dropped her ring in the sink...oh hey, since you're here, could you go get me one of those, uh, bolt tightener things?"
"Yeah, that's it."
'Oh, Lord.' Cassie thought as she looked around for the tool.
"It's right there." Janet said pointing at a spot on the floor. "I can't bend down to get it."
"Here you go, Daniel." Cassie said as she handed the tool to him.
Cassie looked over at her mom. Janet was looking more and more gloomy by the minute.
'Mood swing in progress.' Cassie thought. 'Pregnant women really should come with a warning sign or something.'
"Find it yet?" Janet asked.
"Not yet, honey. Be patient."
Janet was now staring at the floor.
'Maybe it would be best if Mom left the kitchen for a while.' Cassie realized.
"Hey, Mom, I think I saw 'The Face on the Milk Carton' coming on Lifetime. Why don't we go watch and let Daniel work?"
"But...my ring...I have to..."
"Cassie's right, Jan." Daniel said from under the sink. "You've been sitting there for a long time. Both you and the baby need to rest."
Janet sighed; he did have a point. 'Plus, this chair is killing my back.' Janet thought.
"All right." She finally agreed.
Cassie led her mother out of the kitchen and helped her settle in on the living room couch.
"I'm gonna see if Daniel needs any help, and then I'll be back."
"Ok." Janet said as Cassie turned to go. "Oh, and bring me my ice cream!"
Cassie entered the kitchen just in time to see a spray of water shoot out from under the sink.
"Ahhh..." came Daniel's frustrated grunt.
"Daniel, turn the water shut-off valve!" Cassie called to him.
A few seconds later, the water spray ended and Daniel crawled out from under the sink. Cassie tried hard not to laugh when she saw him. His hair was soaked, his glasses were covered in water droplets, and the whole top half of his shirt was drenched.
"Strange, the forecast didn't call for rain." Cassie said with a wink and a smile.
"Funny." Daniel said as he took his glasses off and began wiping the lenses. "Just one of the reasons I chose archeology over a career in plumbing."
"The other being you can't tell a wrench from a buzz saw?" Cassie teased.
Daniel shook his head and groaned, "You really do need to stop hanging around Jack."
"Is everything okay in there?" Janet's voice rang out from the living room. "And where's my ice cream?"
"Oops," Cassie said, remembering her mom's request.
Cassie carefully stepped over the puddle of water on the floor. "I'll get the ice cream, you get the mop."
Cassie saw Janet's ice cream and spoon sitting on the table. She grabbed them both and headed out of the kitchen.
"Thanks, honey." Janet said as her daughter handed over the ice cream.
Cassie was glad to see that her mom looked a lot more relaxed that she had earlier.
"Did he find it yet?"
"Umm, not just yet. But I'm sure he'll get it soon."
Janet inhaled sharply, "Okay..."
Cassie was afraid that Janet's mood was about to swing south again, but fortunately, the movie chose right then to come back from commercial. With her mom adequately distracted, Cassie walked back towards the kitchen to see if Daniel could use a hand.
"Carter!" Jack called down the hallway of the SGC.
Sam punched the elevator button and turn to see both Jack O'Neill and Teal'c walking toward her.
"Hi, sir. Hi, Teal'c." Sam said as the three of them stepped into the elevator. "Going top-side, too?"
"Too?" O'Neill said in amazement. "Don't tell me you're actually going to leave the mountain."
"Actually, sir, I am. I thought I'd use the time off to drop in and see Janet."
"Well, that's convenient. We were planning on stopping by to see Doc and Daniel, too. Mind if we come with?"
Jack brought his black truck to a stop in front of Daniel and Janet's house.
Sam turned to look at her CO. "Sir, we probably should go in quietly, in case Janet is sleeping or something."
Jack nodded. He knew Janet had a temper. Add to it, pregnancy and hot weather. Yeah, if she was sleeping, Jack definitely didn't want to trip that land mine.
"Perhaps we should go through the rear entrance." Teal'c suggested. "It would make awakening her less likely."
"Good idea." Sam agreed.
The three friends made their way to the back of the house. Sam turned the doorknob and found it to be unlocked. Letting themselves in, Sam, Jack, and Teal'c walked through the breezeway that led from the back door to the large kitchen. What they saw stopped them in their tracks.
The place was an absolute mess. Ice cream containers littered the counter, the floor was somewhat wet and covered with tools, bottles of various cleaning products, rags, a mop, and other assorted items. On the floor, under the sink cabinets was a tan pair of legs. Someone was apparently working on the plumbing.
'Funny,' Sam thought, 'I don't remember seeing the plumber's van outside.'
Next, Sam's attention was drawn to the freezer, where a very pregnant, very upset Janet was standing. She was frantically rooting around inside the freezer looking for something.
"Where the hell is the Chunky Monkey?!" she was saying.
'Chunky monkey?' Sam shook her head, she must've heard wrong. She turned to look at Jack. The puzzled look on his face mirrored her own. Sam glanced over at the jaffa. Teal'c's expression didn't change much, of course, but Sam could see the spark of humor in his eyes.
"Maybe you already ate it all," came Daniel voice from somewhere.
Sam's eyebrows sank in confusion. Janet had eaten a chunky monkey?
'Wait a minute...' Sam's thoughts screeched to a halt as something in her brain registered. If she didn't know better, she could've sworn Daniel's voice came from under...
Sam shifted her gaze from Janet over to the legs sticking out from under the sink. It was Daniel! Sam stifled a laugh as she glanced back over at her CO. By his expression she could tell he was obviously thinking the same thing. This was just too bizarre.
Just then, Cassie walked in the kitchen through the front entrance, "Sorry, Daniel, I couldn't find the..." Cassie stopped short as she noticed the rest of SG-1 standing in the back of the room. They were looking somewhat amused... and more than a little bewildered. "Uh...hey guys."
At Cassie's words, Janet whipped around to see her friends, "Sam, Jack, Teal'c!"
A loud bang from under the sink caught everyone's attention.
"Ow!" Daniel yelped.
"Daniel?" Jack asked, smiling in disbelief.
"Jack." Daniel said, pulling himself out from under the sink and rubbing the spot where he'd hit his head.
Sam smiled, willing herself not to break into laughter. But it wasn't easy. Daniel's wet, tousled hair, smeared glasses, damp muscle shirt, and grimy hands were almost too much to take in.
Jack coughed, unsuccessfully trying to cover his obvious laughter. "Nice...uh, shorts."
"What are you guys doing here?" Janet asked.
"We were just in the neighborhood." Jack said.
"Teal'c?" Janet asked, knowing she could count on the jaffa for a straight answer.
"We came to see how you and Daniel Jackson are fairing." Teal'c answered.
"What's going on here?" Sam asked, gesturing around the room.
"Oh, uh, well..." Janet swallowed hard and looked over at Daniel.
"Listen," Daniel said getting up quickly and walking over to his wife, "why don't Teal'c and Jack help you back to the living room, Cassie can find your ice cream, and Sam can help me finish up in here, okay?"
Daniel turned to his friends, raised his eyebrows and gave them a Look.
"Yeah, sure." Jack said, catching Daniel's hint.
Once Janet, Jack, and Teal'c had made their exit, Daniel turned to Sam and quickly explained the situation.
"Think you can give me a hand?" Daniel asked. Sam could all but hear the desperation in his voice. "This really isn't my area of expertise, and Janet's gonna go crazy if I don't find her ring soon."
"Sure, Daniel." Sam said, smiling sweetly. "...but only if I get to take a picture of you dressed like that. I know quite a few women who'd pay good money for it."
"There!" Sam said triumphantly as she pushed herself out from under the sink. Opening her fist, Sam held out Janet's retrieved wedding band to Daniel.
"Oh, Sam, you're a life saver! Thank you!" Daniel said gratefully. Looking very relieved Daniel took the ring from her palm. "Remind me to buy you something nice."
"Consider it done." She said with a smile. "Better go show Janet what we found."
"Right. Thanks, again!" Daniel said, heading towards the living room
"Did you find it?" Janet asked immediately as he walked into the room.
Daniel just sighed and gave his wife an unhappy look. "I hate to say this, Janet, but..."
Janet's face fell and she looked down at her hands.
He knelt beside her and gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Looks like we won't have to call the Asgard after all."
Janet's head snapped up, "You mean..."
"Yep." He said, revealing the golden ring he held in his hand.
Janet squealed with joy as she threw her arms around her husband. "I love you." She whispered.
"I love you, too."
Author's Note: I've never done this before (or read a fic that has one) but I thought it might be fun to try. So I wrote a little alternate ending to follow this scene...
"Would you do me a favor?" Janet asked.
"Take my ring upstairs and put it in my jewelry box."
"Good idea." Daniel agreed. The last thing they needed was for this to happen again. Taking the ring out of Janet's hand, Daniel slowly climbed the stairs.
Daniel hadn't realized how tired he was until just then. This really had been a long day. He'd almost made it to the top when Daniel felt his foot catch. He hadn't quite lifted his foot enough to clear the last step.
As the floor came up to meet him, Daniel's hands instinctively flew out to catch himself. He realized too late that, in the process, he'd dropped the ring he was holding. Looking up desperately from the hardwood floor he watched as her wedding band rolled away from him...right towards the heating vent in the floor.
The Alternate End!