All I Want by Cleo the Muse
Rating: Older Kids
Genre: Romance (Het), Angst, Drama, Hurt/Comfort, Little Daniel
Warnings: A bad word or two, some violence, Danny-whumping, temporary character death, and you might need a hanky for a few scenes if you're a sympathetic sniffler.
Episodes: Takes place instead of "Moebius", anything before that was fair game. Also includes a few hints at season 9 and season 2 of Atlantis.
Synopsis: Daniel gets down-sized, Jack takes him in. But when Jack insists the adoption be as "normal" as possible, they're both in for a few surprises! Response for holiday 'fic challenge on the DJsSG-1Lverse list on Yahoo.
Pairings: Jack/Sara (very unusual for me since I normally write just gen 'fic... but this one begged for it)
Status: Complete as of December 24, 2006.
Notes: I'm not married/in a relationship, don't have any kids, and never adopted, so any errors in any of the three are entirely the fault of my ignorance. Also, as this becomes an AU as of the end of "Threads", it also becomes an AU of my story "Renewing Trust"; therefore, some of the events of that tale will be revisited in their altered form. This isn't an alternate season nine because I wasn't satisfied with the change in cast--far from it, actually--but rather because I can't bring myself to include Vala in a story that doesn't have a full-sized Daniel for her to harass and annoy to distraction.
All I Want
"He knew a path that wanted walking;
He knew a spring that wanted drinking;
A thought that wanted further thinking;
A love that wanted re-renewing."
-- Robert Frost, "A Lone Striker"
"No. As in absolutely no way."
Jack O'Neill sighed and did his best to look un-intimidated, but he was well aware that he was at an unfair disadvantage. He'd always found it difficult not to buckle under the blue-eyed death glare of the galaxy's most brilliant archaeologist, anthropologist, linguist, diplomat, etc., and the stubborn set of Daniel's jaw was a red flag warning that Jack was about to have a battle on his hands. He briefly wondered what the other shoppers thought of him standing in the mall, arguing with Daniel and losing miserably. Just as quickly, he realized no one probably cared; they were used to seeing grown men being pushed around by little kids.
And what a little kid he was, too! It was hard to believe the six foot, broad-shouldered, muscular guy Jack had shared Thanksgiving Dinner with just eight days ago was ever such a cute little runt. Despite his protestations that he was at least six, the SGC's new CMO, Doctor Lam, had put her dainty little foot down and declared him to be no more than five years-old--and a small five, at that.
"C'mon, Daniel! Think of it as exploring a new culture." The skinny little arms crossed the equally scrawny chest. "Besides, I don't have any pictures of you at the house at this size."
"I've been 'this size' for three days," the stubborn mini-archaeologist began, "and with any luck, the Maidierans will be able to make me the right size again. Soon."
"Daniel, even Thor couldn't figure out how it went wrong. I hate to say it, big guy, but you're just going to have to get back to big the normal way."
That was so not the way to make a pint-sized Doctor Jackson a happy little camper. Now he was not only annoyed with the holiday crowds in the shopping mall, but also ticked off at Jack, too.
"Fine. You got a digital camera for Christmas last year, why don't you take a picture with that? Because I will not consent to sitting on the lap of an old guy in a fat suit and a fake beard."
"Yeah, but it makes for a really cute phot--" Oh, crap. Now he'd done it: he'd dared utter the 'c' word.
"Cute, Jack? Cute?"
"Uh, Daniel?" A quick glance at the Salvation Army Angel Tree booth confirmed that a few of the volunteers were glancing in their direction. "The other shoppers can hear you."
"So... any further yelling you'd doubtlessly like to do is probably classified in nature and should wait 'til we get out to the truck."
The little monster clammed up faster than a Tok'ra giving mission intell, letting those dangerous eyes of his burn holes in Jack. Unshielded by glasses--which the rugrat insisted he hadn't needed until he was seven--the effect was even more deadly.
He could probably kill a snakehead at fifty paces with that glare.
"Look, Daniel, we'll skip Santa--"
"--Since the line's at least a mile long, and get photos taken at the Sears. Whaddya say?"
"'No' to any photos, Jack. If you want to use your digital, that's fine, I guess, but we are not wasting money on one of those cheap, generic department store things, either."
Of course, the little brat knew Jack hadn't yet figured out how to operate the camera, but it was still a compromise, so...
"Deal. Now how about we head into the GAP?" Daniel heaved a martyred sigh and grudgingly held his tiny hand up for Jack to hold. Despite all his protests that though he looked like a kid, he was still a forty year-old man who could handle pretty much anything, thank-you-very-much-now-buzz-off-Jack, he hadn't put up much of a fuss when the general insisted he hold onto his hand or belt while they shopped. The crowded, brightly-lit mall was probably pretty scary for a tyke no bigger than him.
For that matter, it was pretty scary for Jack, too. Who'd have guessed the mall would be so crowded on a Friday afternoon? He'd thought there wouldn't be a major press while kids were in school and parents at work, but he'd obviously thought wrong.
While he didn't have to dodge any teenagers, Jack found the many grandmothers, military wives, toddlers, and babies were just as likely to run over a gray-haired general and his fair-haired ward as anyone else. He also found it rather awkward to be the only adult male in the building not wearing a big red suit.
Daniel was clearly unhappy with the children's clothing in the GAP, glaring at all the khakis and button-up shirts as though they were at fault for his diminished physical age. While the squirt debated the merits of plaid versus pinstripe, Jack scooped up a pair of jeans, a polo, and a t-shirt.
"Try these on," he suggested, holding out the garments.
Daniel peered at the label. "They're awfully small."
Jack sighed. "I hate to say it, kiddo, but you're awfully small, too."
The mini-archaeologist glanced down at the much-too large clothing sagging off his scrawny frame. The jeans, long-sleeved tee, and battered tennis shoes came on loan from Colonel Dave Dixon's seven year-old son, whose mother always kept him a change of clothes at the Cheyenne Mountain Complex's day care facility. Greatly over-sized and somewhat tattered from wear, the outfit made Daniel look like a malnourished little third-world waif. It also did nothing to detract from the dreaded "cuteness" factor.
Just as Jack was about to point out this particular feature, Daniel collected the clothes and marched off to the dressing rooms. "Be sure to step outside when you have them on so I can see how they look," Jack reminded him.
"Yes, Dad," the little imp sniped over his shoulder.
As soon as he was out of sight, the saleswoman folding sweaters grinned. "God makes 'em cute so you don't smother 'em in their sleep."
"Ain't that the truth," he grumbled, good-naturedly. The real truth, though, was that he was simply grateful to have a living breathing Daniel of any size after the events of last week.
On Monday, SG-15 left on a survey of a planet which had looked like an untouched, temperate paradise, only to discover the DHD on the other side was a non-functional stone replica placed next to the ring to preserve the 'historic value' of the site. The two objects were then left as curiosities in what basically amounted to the local equivalent of New York City's Central Park.
Prepared for a mineral survey, Dixon and his team were astonished to discover a sprawling glass metropolis in view just beyond the first bend of the path. Before they could return to the 'Gate to wait for the next dial-in, the local law enforcement showed up, discovered the team, and knocked them all out with a weapon very similar to the intar weapons the SGC used for training.
Possession of lethal firearms was a crime in that particular part of the world, it turned out, and sensors in the park detected the presence of ammunition when the team arrived, scrambling the "law preservation" team to intercept SG-15. Dixon and company were able to successfully plead their ignorance of the local laws, however, and had their weapons returned sans ammunition. They were then welcomed warmly by the city government, given a filling dinner, and offered the grand tour of the local history museum. While only a few of the artifacts on display were of any interest, one item in particular caught the team's eyes: a cheerfully glowing ZPM.
The locals, it turned out, actually had two Stargates on their planet, and only a freak accident which had knocked their primary 'Gate out of commission for several hours allowed the MALP and SG-15 to arrive by the one in the park. They were only too happy to allow the team to dial back home, especially when they learned that one General Jack O'Neill possessed the ability to manipulate Ancient technology--a feat which they, themselves, had been unable to accomplish. They were also very interested in learning how to read Ancient, which they had also been unable to decipher, so SG-1 and Jack stepped through the 'Gate to begin the first steps toward securing a new technologically advanced ally.
A gesture of respect Daniel insisted upon was that they arrive armed only with intars, in compliance with the local laws. Though Jack protested, he eventually agreed since the training weapon could be used to render someone unconscious. Further armed with a slight advantage in their understanding of Ancient technology, SG-1 set out to negotiate an exchange of their expertise and genetics for the fully-charged ZPM.
Maidiera, unfortunately, still had a few surprises in store for the team.
Original Author's Notes:
Mwahaha! Evil, aren't I? I hope to have this all finished by Christmas. :)
New Author's Notes:
And I did get it finished by Christmas! Here it is, ladies and gents: fully-revised and edited, all twenty-five chapters (plus an epilogue)!