Note: Ok, I know that most of you will be seriously confused about the children, but just to save you the trouble, I haven't written a story explaining them, so don't even bother looking for it. Well, I think they are all in "Just Watching a Movie" except for Maddy. I just felt like I needed to write a character study on Jake, and this is what came out.
I plan on doing something like this for each of the kids just to get to know them – they are kinda vague in my head until they're on paper.
Random side note: Somewhere along the way, Claire became Teal'c's little apprentice/side-kick. Not sure when I decided that.
I will go ahead and give Jack Johnson the credit for his song, Better Together. If you have no idea what it is, go find it. NOW! :D
In the Jackson household, you never knew what you were going to find. Each person was so completely different, yet so set in their ways, that it was somehow impossible to distinguish the person from what they spent most of their time doing (or studying, as the case may be).
Jake was a scientist. He had been from birth. He had taken apart electronics, invented strange things, and "experimented" on his siblings ever since he was a small child.
With five children running around the house, it was hard enough to keep track of the popular opinion of them; much less keep in mind the IQ's that were shooting through the newly installed roof.
There were always hidden talents being discovered, but today seemed an unlikely day for that.
Johnny had broken a school project of Claire's, and an even bigger disaster would happen if no one stepped between them and diverted it.
Daniel took a deep breath and ran to keep his children from tearing each other apart before their mom got home from the "new technology" briefing she was running. Skaara followed his Daddy up the stairs and stood there trying to keep his twin out of trouble without actually drawing attention to himself. He made rather unhelpful gestures to Johnny, who studiously ignored him.
It didn't help that the inevitable thunderstorm was brewing.
Maddy was going into second grade in two weeks, and she already had her new backpack packed up with her crayons and gluesticks and pencils. Nothing would stop her from learning everything her siblings knew then! She could touch the moon, that was what! She knew from her brothers what she would learn in second grade, and Jake had told her that that was the grade he was in when it was decided he should skip a school year. Anticipation and optimism rolled off of her in waves. Her backpack was unpacked and packed again as many times as she could think of a new, more efficient way of packing it.
She had just thought of another one, and there was no stopping her from her new tactic!
Then the thunder began.
Jake heard it in the dinning room and cringed. Maddy, he thought. Normally Dad would have been the first to run and find her, but he was kind of busy. Jake smiled and shook his head. Not that Claire couldn't defend herself. Those Jaffa techniques would probably teach Johnny a lesson —he does need to be taken down a notch, Jake thought. He ran upstairs to find his frightened little sister, grabbing his guitar on the way.
Sam opened the back door, set her purse on the counter, and smiled at the laughter coming from her living room. She turned the corner as her husband looked up from the game of rummy he was playing with the twins and Claire.
"Hey," he smiled at her, "How'd it go?"
She smiled back. "Great. How'd you survive?" Claire had taken the distraction as a prime time to tackle Skaara into a tickle fight.
Daniel stood to kiss his wife. "Good. Well, Claire almost took off Johnny's head for destroying her 'Great Wall of China' project replica. Other than that, great."
She smiled, then frowned. "Where's Maddy? When I came out of the mountain and found out it was storming, I figured on a disaster here."
The stunned, blank expression on his face told her everything she needed to know. "I suppose an angry Claire would be pretty distracting. I'll go find her, just go finish the game before Johnny memorizes your cards."
As Sam climbed the stairs, she had no idea what she was going to say to her baby. They had tried so hard to instill the knowledge that they were loved and would always be taken care of into their children. What was she supposed to say? I suppose 'Your Daddy forgot about your paralyzing fear of storms because your siblings were killing each other' would be too traumatizing, right? She thought.
And that's when she discovered that the guitar lessons she had been paying for were not going to waste.
Her son's voice was softly singing, and the daughter she had been so worried about was giggling. Leave it to Jake, she thought. Everyone always thought of him as cold and mathematic, but his Mom knew better. She smiled and leaned into the wall to listen for a bit.
This is what he sang:
There's no combination of words
I could put on the back of a postcard
No song that I could sing
But I can try for your heart
Our dreams, and they are made out of real things
Like a, shoebox of photographs
With sepiatone loving
Love is the answer,
At least for most of the questions in my heart
Like why are we here? And where do we go?
And how come it's so hard?
It's not always easy and
Sometimes life can be deceiving
I'll tell you one thing it's always better when we're together
MMM it's always better when we're together
Yeah, we'll look at them stars when we're together
Well, it's always better when we're together
Yeah, it's always better when we're together
Sam could just imagine the look on her eldest son's face as he sang about life, and memories, and stars. He was no doubt making some rather amusing faces, because Maddy was giggling for all she was worth.
Sometimes even he would have to laugh, and he would continue playing while he recovered.
And all of these moments
Just might find their way into my dreams tonight
But I know that they'll be gone
When the morning light sings
And brings new things
For tomorrow night you see
That they'll be gone too
Too many things I have to do
But if all of these dreams might find their way
Into my day to day scene
I'd be under the impression
I was somewhere in between
With only two
Just me and you
Not so many things we got to do
Or places we got to be
We'll Sit beneath the mango tree now
Maddy giggled again. "We don't got a mango tree, Jake! Maybe we can get one, though!"
He paused, his fingers still playing the tune. "I'm not sure it would survive the winter, kiddo. We could ask Mom if we could try though. I could think of something."
She smiled. "I like this song, Jake. You sing good."
He smiled and continued singing.
It's always better when we're together
Mmmm, we're somewhere in between together
Well, it's always better when we're together
Yeah, it's always better when we're together.
Sam decided it was time to make herself known. She knocked. "Whatcha up to in there?" she called.
"Mommy!" her almost second grader squealed. "Guess what? There was a storm, but it's ok, 'cause Jake sung me a song, see?" She pointed at her brother, who was sitting on the floor, guitar in his lap. "Sing her a song too, Jake!"
Jake blushed and studied the finish on his guitar.
Sam turned to her daughter. "Baby, your Daddy's downstairs playing a game without you. I think you should go help him before he looses to your brothers." Maddy, suddenly the heroine of the hour, ran to her father's assistance. He had always been a pathetic card-game-player.
Sitting down on the floor next to her son, Sam smiled. "I don't think I've ever heard you play outside of your lessons, Jake." He blushed even redder, and continued in his silence. "Hey," she pushed his knee, "Thanks for keeping Maddy calm while your Dad was busy with the rest of your siblings." He looked up and smiled a tentative little smile. "Your welcome," he said.
"I heard your song, Jake."
He blushed again. "I'm not that good. Maddy likes it though."
"Jake, you're a great musician! I loved it too!" she sighed as Jake gave her the classic whatever-you-say look her husband had patented. "Goodness, Jake, your Dad's the same way - can't take credit for all of his talents. He thinks he's a bumbling geek with nothing to offer the world, but we know better, right?"
Jake grinned and nodded. "He opened the Stargate, Mom. That's kind of important."
Sam smiled in spite of herself. "You kept my baby girl from spending a couple hours terrified in the back of the closet. You saved my husband the unneeded stress of having to calm his baby. You saved Johnny from an early death, from the sound of it." He smiled. Yup, Johnny would have been a gonner if Dad had heard Maddy scream.
"Jake." He looked up into his mother's proud smile. "I'm proud of you. Not just that you kept this family running for another day, but that you played your guitar for someone. And that there's a musician in the family. I always hoped one of you would turn out to be one."
He ducked his head, hiding from the praise. "Thanks," he mumbled.
"You're welcome, dear." A rather mischievous grin made its way onto her face. "Gosh, that briefing was way more exhausting than it should have been. Come on, let's go raid your Dad's secret stash of Oreos – I'm gonna need the sugar if we're gonna have a family game night."
Jake's grin matched hers in ways only offspring can manage. He knew there was a reason he loved Thursdays.