NOTE from the PHOENIX: this is just a quick 'one shot' to go a long with 'When it Rains...' Enjoy the young Jacksons!
Living up to the Name
"I don't know…"
"Don't be such a baby."
"I'm not a baby! I'm nearly eight!"
"Yeah, I'm aware of that, dofus."
Enraged by the remark the second boy launched at his twin brother. Rolling around on the carpeted floor in a tangled heap they kicked and punched tactlessly at one another. By the time one got the advantage over the other it would have been impossible for an observer to tell which one had actually won the fight.
"Take it back!" The boy on top cried.
"Alright, alright, you're not a dofus. Let me up." He demanded as he pushed his brother off. "However you are a chicken."
"Oh yeah? Prove it. Prove to me you're not a frightened little Jackrabbit."
"I'm not frightened, you mangy Coyot', we're just not supposed to go into Dad's office."
"Little Rabbit! Little Rabbit!" Jumping up and down with his hands held in front on him like he was the Easter Bunny he taunted his brother. "Bouncing around 'cause he's too scared to stay still!"
Tormented into bravery Jackrabbit lead the way to his father's office. For the first time in their memory the door wasn't locked, it had even been left slightly open. The crack wasn't really enough to see in, but enough to cause an irresistible temptation. Putting his hand on the brass door knob he hesitated.
"What about the babysitter?"
"She's too busy with sis, she didn't even care that we were fighting."
"That's just cause we always do, she's gonna know something's going on if we're too quiet."
"Good thinking, Rabbit."
Before he could finish his sentence his brother tackled him and another tussle ensued. By the time they were done they were both breathless. Freeing themselves from one another the identical pair stared around their new surroundings. Wide eyed they stared at the floor to ceiling shelving that lined the large home office. The shelves were crowed with artifacts large and small.
"Wow…look at all this…this…stuff!"
"We really shouldn't be in here, Dad's gonna get mad."
"When was the last time that ever happen? I mean can you even picture him angry?"
The young boy furrowed his brow in concentration as he tried to imagine his father with an angry look on his face. The closest he could come was the time he'd caught the dog eating Thanksgiving dinner last year, and even then his father had been laughing at the way the gravy was dripping down Egypt's furry face.
While he had been lost in thought his brother had run off to get them into further trouble. He was just about to pick up an ornate knife when something else caught his eye. Over on the large wooden desk was a glass box full of strange looking plants. The front of the glass enclosure was split down the center and clearly acted as doors.
"Look at those flowers, Rabbit, have you ever seen anything like them?"
"No. Hey, wait, don't touch it!"
"Relax, I'm just going to take one."
"Let me guess, it's for Katie." He mocked and made kissy noises.
Another small battle took place, one that came dangerously close to destroying some of the more precious items in the room. When a vase with Chinese writing tipped over the boys both gasped in terror. Luckily the study porcelain did not break on the soft carpet and they were able to put it back in place.
"Come on, let's go. We shouldn't be here. If Dad finds out…Mom will be furious."
"I'm just going to get one of those flowers, Dad will never miss just one."
"You really are a thieving little Coyote."
"And you're a scared little Jackrabbit."
They both stuck their tongues out at one another in defiance. However, true to his word the first brother went to open up the glass case that held the stunning flowers. There was nearly a dozen of the white and purple jewels clusters in the center of the lush tank. His brother held his breath and watched as he reached into the cage.
Just as his hand touched the largest flower in the bunch it seemed to shy away from him. He froze and looked to his twin who just shrugged. Determined not to be the scared rabbit he'd accused his brother of being he grabbed for the flower. This time the flower opened up and went into a full aggressive pose before lashing out at the invading fingers.
"Aaaaaaa! It…it bit me!"
"Don't be silly flowers don…" He was cut off midsentance as all of the 'flowers' scurried further into the tank to hide. "Aaaa! Run!!"
Turning tail as fast as they could the brothers bolted for the door. They had just made it into the hallway when they ran into someone and knocked them to the floor. Lying in a tangled heap the twins fought to get back to their feet.
"Boys!" Daniel barked. "What is going on?"
"Dad! Dad! There's a monster…"
"Not a monster! It's an alien!"
"Yes! Alien, Dad, there's an alien in the house!"
"Damn it, Thor." Daniel muttered under his breath.
"Alright, guys, calm down. Where is he?"
"Coyote?" Daniel asked sternly. When he didn't get an answer her turned to the other. "Jackrabbit, have you and Coyote been in my office?"
"Yes, Sir." Jackrabbit answered meekly.
"Squealer." Coyote snarled.
"Enough, boys. Stay here."
"Yes, Sir." They chimed in unison.
"I wish your Uncle Jack hadn't taught you to call me 'Sir'." Daniel sighed.
"He says we should get used to it if we're gonna be in the Air Force."
"That's another thing I wish he hadn't put in your minds."
Jackrabbit and Coyote both smiled mischievously. Daniel shook his head sadly. He took a deep breath and headed towards his office. The door had been left wide open when the boys had fled and he peeked inside expecting to see the small gray Asgaurd. When he was only greeted by the collection of delicate artifacts he furrowed his brow.
"Guys…what did this 'alien' look like?"
"Are they gone?" Coyote asked hopefully.
"They?" Daniel asked nervously.
"There was a bunch of them, they looked like flowers…"
Jackrabbit stopped as his father broke into laughter. The twins exchanged nervous glances as Daniel walked over to his desk. Reaching inside the terrarium Daniel carefully coaxed on of the orchid mantis insects onto his hand. He brought it over to his sons and knelt down.
"Is this the 'alien'?"
"Yes, careful, Dad, they bite!"
"It's not going to hurt me, it's just a bug."
"A bug?" The twins asked in unison.
"Yup, it's not an alien at all." Daniel replied even though that wasn't exactly the truth. "This is the great, great, great, great grandson of an orchid mantis that I gave your mother a long time ago."
"I was going to wait till you boys were a little older before asking if you'd like to take care of them, but since you've already shown an interest would you like me to move the tank into your room?"
"Yes!" They cried happily.
"What do they eat?" Jackrabbit asked.
"Still think Katie will want one?" Jackrabbit teased.
"Katie, eh? You two are growing up fast. Perhaps we should get Katie a real flower." Daniel chuckled. "This trick worked on your mother, but I'm not sure young Katie would be as thrilled."
Coyote turned a bright red the same way Tanya did when embarrassed.
"Now then, back to the real issue." Daniel said. "What were you two doing in here in the first place?"
"It was Coyote's fault!"
"It was Jackrabbit's idea!"
"Just please tell me that I left it unlocked and that Uncle Jack hasn't already taught you to pick locks."
"It was unlocked." Coyote replied instantly.
"Although Uncle Jack has taught us to pick locks."
"Ssssh!!" Coyote admonished. "That was supposed to be secret!"
Daniel chuckled and hugged the twins close, being careful of the insect in his hand. The twins returned the affection.
"So…you're not mad?"
"No." Daniel smiled. "You wouldn't be living up to the 'Jackson' name if you weren't getting into some kind of trouble."
"That is exactly what Uncle Jack said the last time we broke something at his house."
"I'm just glad you didn't break anything in here. Now then let's move these alien's into your room…"