Title: The Tree
Authors: Kat Spencer and L.A. Doyle
Pairings: Jack/Sam Married
Disclaimer: We don't anything except the kids.
Christmas Fic, Kid Fic, and Fluff!
"Danny, did you know I got you a present for Christmas? I wrapped it myself! Are you still coming for Christmas?" Celeste O'Neill held the phone tightly to her ear and bombarded her 'Uncle' Daniel with questions. "Cool. Hey, you know Noelle means born on Christmas Day? Yeah…Noelle…my middle name, silly! And everyone knows I wasn't born on Christmas Day. I was born on July 28th, 'member? Good," the six year old said with a smile and proud nod.
"Uncle Danny? It's me! Benjamin!"
"Get off, you brat!"
"Nuh uh! I wanna talk to him too, meanie!"
"You are such a pain in the mikta, Ben!" Celeste groaned.
"Um! I'm telling!" the preschooler cried. "So Danny, I gots a middle name, too! It's Jackson, like you! Daddy told me it means son of Jack. Are you my brother? Huh? Oh."
"Duh, Benny. He's not even our real uncle. That's Uncle Mark an- Oh. Sorry, Danny. Okay. See you Friday. Don't forget, that's the day after tomorrow. 'Kay? Kay. Love you. Bye."
"Bye!" Ben shouted quickly, hoping not to get cut off.
Celeste hung up the phone and stalked to the kitchen. "BENJAMIN!"
The tow-headed boy ran from the kitchen, scampering to the safety of the den and his mother's protection. "Mommy! Celeste is gonna kill me!"
Celeste wasn't far behind her brother. She came to a stop in front of her mother and cowering sibling, hands on her hips. "Mom. I was having a private conversation with Danny. He picked up the other line and spied on me!"
"She said the 'M' word!"
Sam O'Neill looked down at her youngest, perplexed. "The 'M' word, Ben?"
Ben nodded his head vigorously. "Yes." He motioned for his mother to come closer and leaned near. Ben moved his mother's own blonde locks away and cupped his hand around her ear. He whispered softly, Sam's eyes widening slightly.
Sam sighed and studied her guilty looking daughter.
"But Mo-om!" Celeste began, defending herself.
Sam put her hand up, stopping any more words from being spoken. "No. I don't care what you hear your father say, that word is not appropriate. Understand?"
Celeste hung her head, biting her lip.
"Celeste? Do you understand?" Sam repeated, giving her daughter the look. She was so much like her father.
"Yes, Ma'am," she mumbled.
Sam turned to her son, about to inform him of the importance of respecting his sister's privacy, when she noticed him looking out the den window intently. "Benjamin?"
"Mommy….I've been thinking." Ben's brows were creased and he had a small frown on his face. His chin jutted out slightly. He looked…confused.
Sam had to hold back a smile. She knew Ben wasn't confused. She'd seen the expression currently on her son's face countless times on Jack's. "Thinking about what?" The report on her computer would just have to wait a bit longer.
"'Bout that tree."
Sam's gaze shifted to follow Ben's. The small evergreen in the backyard was the focus of his attention.
"What about it, Ben?" The tree had been there since they had moved in, but was still quite young. It was probably about her height.
"I like it. I like it better than our tree!" he exclaimed jubilantly, climbing up on his mother's lap for a better view. Celeste, forgetting her anger, came to stand by them.
"Me too. I told Daddy I didn't want a dead tree in the living room. The needles all fall on the floor and the lady on the news said it was a fire hazard," the young girl told them.
"Well…it can be. But we are very careful with our Christmas tree. I thought you liked getting a real tree," Sam said.
"Well, I do. I think. But I didn't know we had to kill it!"
"Celeste, you know how you pick me flowers? It's the same, sweetie. They live for a while in the water and we enjoy them, then they die."
Ben jumped off Sam's lap. "Come on!" He ran from the room, possibly more quickly than he had entered it. Sam and Celeste shrugged and followed.
"Where are we going?" Celeste asked her brother as he grabbed his coat and mittens from the low hook on the wall by the back door. He needed a little help to put his boots on and Sam plopped his hat on his head, covering his ears.
"You'll see. Hurry up! Come on guys!" he said eagerly, handing his mom her scarf.
"Mommy, we haf some extra decorations, right?" Ben asked as he opened the backdoor and descended the steps.
"Yes, we do," Sam said. She shut the door behind them.
Caleb, their Golden Retriever, came bounding to them. Sam had let him out when they had gotten back from the store, a little over a half hour ago. "Hey Caleb!" Ben shouted happily as the dog licked his face.
"You want to decorate this tree, Ben?" Sam asked.
"Yes, Mommy!" Ben ran over to the tree and tapped a lower branch, causing some of the snow to fall off. "Can we?" he asked, looking expectantly at his mother.
"Yeah, Mom, can we?" Celeste asked. "It would be most fun!"
"We can, but there sure is a lot of snow on that tree," she told them.
Celeste smiled at her little brother, who smiled back. Sam knew those looks too; her children were thinking the same thought. This time they both ran to the tree and started hitting and shaking it. The snow began to fall from the branches. Caleb even helped by grabbing a branch and shaking it fiercely.
"Not anymore!" Celeste said as she and Ben turned back to Sam. She laughed; they were covered in snow. Sam brushed them both off as best she could.
"Let's go get those decorations, you two," she told them.
10 minutes later, Sam lugged out two boxes of decorations. Celeste carried garland and Ben made up the rear, holding a bag of popcorn and eating it along the way.
Jack sighed as he pulled into his driveway. It had been a long day; he was lucky to make it home before nightfall. Even though he retired from the Air Force, he was now a civilian contractor. He still found himself at the SGC more than he liked.
He hopped out of his truck and smiled as he heard cheerful voices coming from the backyard. He thought he heard his children singing 'O Christmas Tree'.
Jack opened the gate to the backyard and walked around the side of the house. He stood a few moments, watching the three of them. Their backs were turned away and Caleb was busy trying to take popcorn from Ben as he was stringing it. Caleb finally noticed and barked loudly as he saw Jack.
Ben looked around and saw his father. "Daddy!" he cried. He stood and ran toward Jack, the string of popcorn trailing behind him. However, this didn't go unnoticed by Caleb, who chased behind the little boy, hoping for a tiny snack.
As Ben neared his father, Jack squatted down and scooped his son into his arms. "Hey, buddy. Whatcha doin'?"
"We're decorating the tree!" Ben shouted gleefully as Jack walked over to his wife and daughter. He returned Ben to the ground and kissed his daughter's forehead and she hugged him.
"Decorating the tree, huh?" he asked as he stood up straight and looked at his wife. They had been married for almost nine years, and not a day had gone by when he wasn't taken by her beauty. He kissed her lightly on the lips.
"Ben wanted decorate it, and I thought it was sweet," she smiled up at him.
"Well, it looks nice," Jack told them as he walked around it. "Where's the star?" he wondered as Sam put on the last of the stringed popcorn.
Jack looked down at his son, who was deep in thought. "I know!" he suddenly cried, running towards the house. The three watched him go.
"How's work, Daddy?" Celeste asked.
Jack shrugged. "Same old, same old."
"Was Uncle Teal'c there?"
"Yeah, he was there," Jack nodded.
"Did you tell him I said 'hi'? 'Member this morning I told you to tell him that I said 'hi'? Can I call him later? I talked to Danny today and then-"
"And you and I have to have a talk later," Sam told him, giving him the look.
"What'd I do?"
"Later," Sam said firmly.
"Was Walter there? Did you see Siler? Is he still in the infirmnary?" Celeste wondered aloud.
"Infirmary…and no, he got out yesterday," Jack told his daughter.
"Hey guys! I got it!" Ben cried as he opened the back door and headed down the steps.
"What is it?" Jack asked.
"It can be the star, Daddy," Ben said, holding up a toy F-16 for all of them to see.
Jack shrugged. "It's your tree, little man. You ready?" he asked as he lifted his son from the ground. Ben nestled the plane on the branches near the tree's top.
"How's it look, Daddy?" Celeste asked, setting Ben back on the ground beside her.
"It looks perfect, sweetie."
"Hey, Benny! You forgot the candy canes!" Celeste moaned.
Ben slapped his forehead with the palm of his hand. "D'oh!"
Later that night, after Sam had put the kids to bed, she made her way to their room. Jack smiled as she sat beside him and rested her head on his shoulder. They both gazed out the window and smiled. "It reminds me of Charlie Brown's Christmas," she laughed.
"What's wrong with Charlie Brown?" he teased lightly. Sam smiled at her husband. "I have a little surprise for you, Sam," Jack told her.
"Look up," he hinted. She looked up at the ceiling, and above their bed hung mistletoe.
"Ahh, very subtle, Jack," she said, smiling.
"It's what I do."
She laughed again as Jack kissed her. "Not so fast, mister." She put her hand on his chest and pushed him away.
"What'd I do?"
"Do you know what your daughter said today?"
"What?" he asked.
"The 'M' word."
"The 'M' word?"
"Mikta," she replied.
"Yeah. To her brother, Jack. That word isn't appropriate for her to use," Sam told him, crossing her arms.
"Okay, tomorrow I'll have a talk with her about it. Now that that's out of the way, you get your mikta over here." Jack grinned as he pulled Sam close and she giggled.
"No giggling," he warned.
"Just kidding. I happen to like the giggling. Now come 'ere. You wanted three kids, right?"