Cause & Effect

By Gemsong & Amberfly

EMAIL: Amberfly

Summary: Just Cause

Author's Note: (Gemsong-she dared me. Amberfly- she double dog dared me.)

Jack is a toddler, and is the creation of the marvelous Gemsong. Cam and Dan are mine. Gemsong's site has all toddler Jack's stories!

At 23 months, the little boy was unusually agile and quick. He was also way too smart for someone his size. But then again, a few months ago, he was a 46-year-old colonel in the Air Force. Things change. What hadn't changed was how well he knew the ins and outs of Stargate Command. And he was on a mission of the utmost importance. Retrieval of Dr. Carmichael's prized rat.

"Come on Algewnon," Jack hissed as he fumbled around the dark storeroom. He had seen the sleek white rat slip through the partially open door. He couldn't reach the light switch so he just fumbled his way around looking into all the dark spaces a little white rate could hide. That meant things were knocked over. He didn't see the flashing lights of one of the objects hitting the floor.

Just then, he saw the object of his quest. "Algie!" he crowed in triumph and scooped up the wriggling form in his pudgy hands. Jack heaved a huge sigh of relief and leaned back against the mirror behind him.

And fell through. The next thing he knew he was flat on his back. There were alarms blaring and men with guns pointed at him. Algernon decided the safest place to be was inside Jack's tee shirt. Jack looked at the guns barrels pointed at him and sighed. "Awww thit."

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General Landry looked down his nose and carefully studied the serious, brown-eyed toddler perched on his hip. Smiling weakly at the bug-eyed rat the boy held in a death grip, he sighed, "This can not be happening to me again."

Glaring at Carter and waggling his eyebrows at her look of resignation, Hank grabbed the little boy's fingers and tried to free poor Algie from certain suffocation."Hey, buddy, you're gonna hurt it."

Wincing at Jack's squeal, "Thew you ol man, he'th mine!" he shook his head and muttered, "A quantum mirror? Like the one supposedly disabled at Area 52?"

Hoisting the squirming child a little higher, and rescuing the slightly demented white rat, Hank lowered his voice, whispering, "Colonel Carter, are you are telling me this child and his plague bearing friend here are from another dimension?"

Rolling his eyes at her casual shrug, the general shuddered at the connotations, "A little Jack O'Neill? Dear God, just kill me now!"

"O'ky, got a that?" Who ith you anyway?" Looking around the general's girth, desperate to retrieve his rat, the tiny O'Neill lisped, "Whewe my Dan'il?"

Narrowing his eyes and kicking his sturdy little legs, he repeated himself a little more insistently, "I thiad, whewe's Dan'el? He'th thoo gonna kick youw ath to da…"

Before the little boy could finish his threat, Carter's eyes flew open with horror, and swooping, plastered her hand across his mouth, warning, "Ah-huh, no swearing at the General, little one!"

"Thew you!"

"Pardon me?"

Wiggling and throwing all his weight into escaping Hank's grip, Colonel "Jack" O'Neill sunk his four teeth into the unsuspecting general's hand, and hit the ground running. "Bub-bye!"

Unfortunately, for the escapee, he toddled straight into the khaki clad legs of General "Jack" O'Neill.

Hunkering to his knees and wincing, the general said kindly, "Sorry, buster, but I outrank you…me…us."

Shaking his head, and throwing his hands in the air, General Hank Landry threw his old friend a desperate look, and asked, "How is any of this possible, Jack? Is there a job requirement ya'll sign? Join the Air Force and lose a couple of decades?"

Shrugging a shoulder with a 'what can you do look,' Jack whipped his head around at the sound of small feet stampeding down the hallway. "Crap, they gave Teal'c the slip!"

The office door crashed open, and flying in, General O'Neill's small boys scampered in and threw themselves at his legs. Smiling and throwing his hands in the air, Cam bumped Dan aside with his hip and bubbled, "Hi, Daddy, miss me? Hey, is that our new little brother? Teal'c said we hafta be real nice to the baby cos he's lost. Why's he lost, Daddy? Can he sleep with Dan?"

Jumping on the spot, eyes flashing with outrage, the little archeologist spluttered, "Daddy! Not my room! He wears diapers! Put him with Cammie, he farts all the time and won't notice if the baby poops!"

"I don' fart!"

"Yeah you do! You're a gas belly!"

"Ba'ee? Thew you wock boy!"

Slapping the palm of his hand on his forehead, Hank groaned, "What did he say? How does a baby even know these words? Stupid question, it's you."

Dumping Cam onto his feet, and scooping up Jack, General O'Neill said, "Just a cotton pickin' minute! Brother?"

Poking the cross- faced little toddler in his potbelly, Jack groaned, "Oh, for crying out loud! We are only looking after the little guy until Carter can send him home. It shouldn't take her long."

Glaring and moving towards her sharply, Jack warned," Should it, Captain."

Rolling her eyes and smiling thinly, Colonel Carter muttered under her breath, "Chip off the old block alright."

Oblivious to any unfolding drama, Cam pulled Mini-Jack's tiny foot. "Neat snweakers, diaper boy."

Kicking towards Cam, a murderous scowl across his cute little face, Mini-Jack drooled, "Watch it; I can kill wif a teaspoon."

Snorting and tweaking the foot a little harder, Cammie giggled, "Hey squirt, I'm the boss of you." Spotting the demented white rat out of the corner of his eye, the little colonel abandoned his baby baiting, and squealed with excitement, "Wow, the dumb baby's got himself a rat! How cool!"

Twitching nervously, Algie, believing Cameron and little Jack were not the ideal pet owners, wisely decided to go AWOL.

Whooping with delight, the little fly-boy threw himself after Algie, thereby confirming the rat's worst suspicions.

Daniel crinkled his nose in disgust, and moving behind Sam's leg, said, "Daddy! Watch out, there's a rodent loose!"

Little Jack bounced in the general's arms crossly, and yelled, "Hey! Heth not a wodent, heth Algewon!"

Sighing softly, General Jack O'Neill looked at the pouting little boy, and knew his life just became a little more…interesting.

Waving his hand in the air in a vague circular motion, he moaned, "Carter, fix this mess."

"Cameron, give the rat back to Short-stop and stop pouting."

"Daniel, the rat won't hurt you and stop pouting."

"Short-stop, take the rat and wipe that pout from your face."

"Hank, call the marines."

The toddler reclaimed his absconded pet and actually managed to sooth it to some semblance of calm. This meant it had been reduced to only sporadic twitching.

"You can put me down now," Mini Jack said.

"I don't think that that would be a good idea right now," Jack replied, his calm rapidly becoming a fašade.

"I wanna see the rat!" Cam yelled.

"He's not sleeping with me!" Daniel added.

"Put me down!" Mini Jack said along with a mild kick to the mid-section.

Jack nearly dropped the kid who fortunately landed on him feet. Jack pointed a stern finger at him. "Don't move," he said.

Mini Jack suddenly smiled with endearing sweetness. His brown eyes crinkled with pure mischief as he turned to Carter. "Can I sweep with you inthead, bwondie?" he asked sweetly.

Carter's face alternated between red and white as the blood rushing to and from her face couldn't decide what to do. Nor was her brilliant mind capable of a coherent response.

"Me too!" Cameron said. "We need a mommy!"

"Why don't you take them home while Carter figures this out," Hank suggested. He had only just gotten rid of the two. The third was frightening.

Mini Jack looked up at Big Jack. "Hey… how bout pizza and a hockey game?!" he suggested. "Whewe awe da Avalache in da thandings?"

No doubt about it. Adult mind in mini body. Jack's fašade began to show cracks.

The drive home with three squealing little boys made Jack's special op's missions seem like a walk in the park. Buckling them into the booster seats, they instantly began to squabble and fight.

Cam wanted the rat.

Really wanted the rat.

And, would do anything it took to get his grubby little mitts on poor Algernon. Leaning across the steely-eyed toddler, he whispered behind his hand, "Kid, give me the rat or the fancy sneakers get flushed down the can."

Dan's mouth formed a perfect O, amazed that his brother would threaten the tot. Hissing back just as threatening, "Hey, Cam! Leave the kid's rat alone!"

Looking at the back of Jack's head, the little archeologist cleared his throat delicately and thought briefly about dobbing.

Crinkling his nose in disgust as Algie sat on Mini-Jack's lap, manically cleaning his ratty face; Danny decided it would be better all round if he just threw the creature out of the window. In a pitch Jack hadn't heard before, Dan drew a deep breath and let em all have it. "Dad-de-ee, the rats giving me the bubonic plague! Dad-de-e-ee, are you listening to me?"

Mini-Jack jumped in fright, not expecting Dan's Olympic winning whine, and shutting his eyes, muttered to the white lab rat, "Oh, fow cwying out woud, just bite me. The pwague would hafta to be wess painful dan wiving with this famiwy."

Then glaring at his new nemesis, muttered he would hand Algie over when hell froze over. Screeching to be heard over the stiff competition of the booster set set, Mini Jack demanded to ride shotgun. "Come on, O'Neill; wet's bow dis pop-thand. Ditch the wug rats and I'll buy us a beew."

Algie twitched uncontrollably, and blinking his red, beady eyes, thought about biting his way out.

Clutching the wheel with clenched white knuckles, Jack counted backwards from one hundred. In Goa'uld. "That is it! One more scream, screech or whine and you are all going to be sitting on smacked bottoms, am I clear?"

"Yes, Daddy."

"Yup."

"Twy it."

The back seat of the Ford descended into quiet. Dan and Cam rolled their eyes and knew Jack was generally a general of his word.

Mini-Jack rolled his eyes and plotted revenge.

Crossing his ankles and kicking his chubby little legs in the air, the tot casually leant across the sulking, arm folded lieutenant colonel's chair. Smiling sweetly, he whispered, "Oh, Co'nel?" and bunching his tiny fist, popped Cam on this nose.

Sitting back and waiting for the howl, the toddler hummed quietly to himself.

Cam's eyes rounded with shock, and touching his battered nose, howled with fury. "Oww, D-daddy, the dumb baby hitted me!" Demanding swift retribution, he cried, "D-dad-deee, shall I take his rat as punishment?"

"The rat's done nothing wrong, stop complaining. Shortstop, do not make me pull this truck over.'

"Pflaaattt."

"Excuse me, young man?"

"Daddy, he said….

"Cameron, shut up."

"But he hit me, Daddeeeeee, my noseth ith broketh."

Indicating to turn off the freeway, Jack looked in the rear vision mirror and seeing the tot wave a chubby hand at him, shuddered. "Cam, don't be ridiculous, he's what? Two years old? He's half your size, deal with it and don't carry tales."

Dan spluttered with outrage, "Huh? Aren't you gonna yell at him?'

Danny rolled his eyes at his brother's theatrics, and looking at Cam's fallen face, felt sorry for him. However, being on the receiving end of Cammie's rough play far too often, he bit his lip, and looked carefully at the eyebrow-waggling tot.

Grabbing Mini-Jack's sneaker clad little foot, a slow growing smile crept across the archeologists face. Listening to his cross brother grumbling and mumbling, Daniel winked half his face at the tot, and said brightly, "Oh, he did not Daddy! Cam is fibbing!"

"Excuse me; are you lying to me Cameron?"

"Am not!"

"Are too."

"B'out that beew?"

Algernon took full advantage of the kafuffle and with the skill of a Cirque de Soleil acrobat, slipped Mini Jack's grip and hit the floor scuttling along the floorboards and under the seat. The rat decided it was the best decision he could have made. Crumpled up paper, empty bottles and stale potato chips.

This elicited howls of rage, fear, and glee from the back seat and Jack felt the growing throbbing start to make its presence felt in his frontal lobe.

"Be quiet!" he shouted in his general's voice.

Abrupt silence reigned for a full 60 seconds.

"I used to be abwe to do that," the littlest squirt in the back said. "Don't work anymore. Welly thucks."

Jack groaned silently, and then imagined a moment of salvation when he saw his driveway. It was short lived when he realized that he would have to not only unbuckle three hellions, but also retrieve one other dimensional rat currently hiding under the driver's seat.

All the children helped Jack find and catch Algie in their own special way.

Reeling from kicks to the face, knees to his nose and pokes to his eyes, the general captured the runaway, and shoved him in his coat pocket. "Crap or bite me, and think ratatouille."

Giggling at the silly Daddy, the three musketeers were keen to escape their confines. Tumbling out of seats, and falling over each other, the O'Neill boys squabbled, laughed and yelled down the driveway. Dragging mini-Jack by his hand, Dan chattered incessantly.

"How are you feeling? Good? Do you want a drink? A cookie? Hey, if you promise not to poop you can watch the discovery channel with me. There's a great episode about pyramids and ancient languages tonight."

Astounded that a baby would slap his hand on his forehead and shocked by the "thit, kill me now," comment, Danny ignored the ingratitude, putting it down to Quantum Mirror lag.

Cam didn't feel quite as benevolent, and taking the tot's other drool encrusted hand and squeezing it, whispered, "Youth can toddleth, buth you can'th hide."

Mini Jack looked from one brother to the other, and making a sound military decision, collapsed onto his diaper-clad butt and howled for his daddy.

Algernon the rescued rat shivered at the screech, and nestled into the general's jacket. He dreamt of happier, more carefree times. Down at the lab when all he had to worry about was some lunatic grafting an ear onto his butt.

"Hey, why is the kid crying? Cameron, did you hurt him? Daniel did you give him brain freeze?" Shaking his head and dropping his hands against his thighs, Jack agonized about picking himself up for a cuddle.

"Mm, is this odd? I won't go blind or anything." Kneeling down, his brown eyes crinkling with concern, Jack hoisted the crying colonel onto his hip and jiggled him gently. "Okay, here's the deal, I don't know you and you don't know me, deal?"

Mini-Jack nodded his head and rubbing his snotty nose across the general's windbreaker, sobbed, "Don't dwop me, ace, or I'll tell my Mommy on you. A tiny smile tugging at his lips," Doctor Jan' has big needles."

"See, that's pretending we know each other."

"Oh… how about, you dwop me and I'll tell my mommy on you," Mini-Jack said. "Thee has welly big needles."

"Better." Jack replied.

He managed to get them into the house with no more incidents. Of course it didn't last. While he was ordering pizza for dinner, the squabbling in the other room reached new proportions. The only calm one was the rat in his pocket.

"I hope you're not his pet," Jack said. "I wouldn't wish that on anyone."

Meanwhile in the living room. Hell was a vacation spot.

"Not a babee!" Mini Jack was yelling

"Are too!" Cam shouted

"Am not!" Mini Jack yelled back

"Are too!"

"Am not!"

"You don't exith in my wowld!"

"Oh yeah?!

"Yeah!"

"Daddy's coming!" Dan interrupted hearing the sound of the phone being hung up. "We gotta stop yelling!"

Mini Jack rolled his eyes. "You guys have no cwue on how to handwe him," he said.

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah!" Mini Jack replied. "Watch thith!"

Jack walked into the room and his spider senses started tingling in warning. And for once, it wasn't his own two as the source. "What's going on, boys?" he asked.

Mini Jack toddled up the general. His hands clasped in front of him looking up at Jack. The brown eyes were wide with adoring innocence. Jack's spider senses began blaring.

"May I have Algie back pweeze?" The short one said. "I put him in my pocket," pointing to the pocket on the front of his overalls. "And not wet him out."

What a little con artist, Jack thought. He looked at his own two and saw the shock on their faces. He decided to play along. He hunched down to the squirt's level. "I really don't think that's a good spot for him, short stop," Jack said. "What if he escapes again?"

Mini Jack appeared to give the idea deep thought. "How bout a box wif howes in it, den heth safe and can't get out?"

Jack smiled. "Okay, you hold on to him and I'll find you a box," he said. He transferred the much calmer rat into Mini Jack's front pocket. "Hang on to him. I'll be right back." Jack then pointed at his own two wards. "Behave." Then he walked out of the room.

Mini Jack turned to his audience. The smug smirk firmly on his face as he stroked Algernon's head. Fortunately, the rat had poor short-term memory and relaxed in the snug pocket.

"How did you do that?!" Cam demanded.

Mini Jack smiled. "Ith all in the eyes," he said. "You do it wight and dey melt evewy time."

"Show me!" Dan asked already seeing the possibilities.

Mini Jack looked at Cam and smiled. The brown eyes were wide and adoring. He even worked up a glimmer of tears to make them glisten. "How come you don wike me?" He asked with a perfectly formed pout.

Cam stared and shuffling his feet back and forth, stuttered, "Oh, you're

'k'y."

Dan's eyes darted from the pink cheeked Cam back to the doe eyed Mini-Jack, and clapping his hands, knew this plan was a keeper. "Think of all the trouble we can get out of!" he said.

"Okay, now you twy," Mini-Jack said.

It hadn't taken Jack long to find an old shoebox and punch a few holes in the top. This meant he over heard most of the lessons in perfecting 'the look'. He struggled to keep from cracking up. He was sure the miniature version of himself was well aware that 'the look' didn't work on him. He perfected it after all. However, it would be amusing to see how his boys used it in hopes of getting out of the disasters they created.

"Cam, this is absolutely brilliant! Who have thought Dad was such a sucker?

"

"Dan, the dumb baby isn't as dumb as he looks."

"Oh, I'm wookin, kid, I'm wookin." Mini-Jack was being evil and he knew it. Smiling a crooked, dribbly smile, he figured Cameron deserved his comeuppances especially for trying to take his rat. Watching Danny run around, talking non-stop, and collecting all the forbidden cd's, patted Algernon, whispering, "Game on."

Jack leant against the doorjamb and watched his little sons collect all the contraband they could and shook his head in amazement. Catching Mini-Jack's glance and struggling to keep a straight face, he wagged his finger and mouthed, "Bad baby!"

Shrugging with impossible nonchalance, the tot made his chocolate eyes melt, and sticking his thumb in his mouth, sat down and waited for the fun to start.

"Daniel, where did you get those DVD's? Cameron, when did I say you could play with that model airplane?" Bunching his fists onto his hips and tapping his foot, Jack used his sternest, daddy voice, and barked," Well, children, you better have a very good explanation for being this naughty."

Almost losing their nerve, Mini-Jack toddled over and grabbing Dan's hand, whispered, "The wook, wemember the wook!" Nodding their heads, the boys re arranged their little faces until they managed an outstanding resemblance to the village idiot and his brother the halfwit.

Toddling back to the general, Mini-Jack held up his arms and demanded wordlessly to be picked up. Leaning against the general's chest, he blinked with bright eyes, and wriggling up his ribcage, whispered into his ear, "Tith is too easy isnth it."

Jiggling the tot on his hip and hissing back, "Can it, brat," Jack stared at his children and repeated his question.

"Aw, Daddee!" Blinking with all the adorability they could muster, the little suckers looked into their daddy's stern face. Gulping and horrified by the grim look on his face, the little brothers grabbed each other's hand for moral support.

Cameron squeaked, and glaring at the evilly smirking, but nearly toothless tot, knew he'd been had. Turning around and tiptoeing to the desk, replaced the model fighter plane… very carefully.

His blue eyes tracking his brother and then to the giggling tot, Dan had an epiphany. "Oh no! Algie isn't the only rat!"

That night, Sam rang the general and told him the Quantum Mirror had arrived from Area 51. "That must be a huge relief for you sir."

"Are you sure it's the right dimension? Jack asked. He really didn't want to inflict himself on another version of himself. The thought added to his headache.

"Yes, sir," Sam replied. "They obviously tracked him to the room where the mirror was. There was a sign."

"What did it say?"

"Missing: Colonel Jack O'Neill in body of toddler. May be in company of rat named Algernon. Extreme caution advised." Sam said. "Odd message."

Agreeing that it was a little odd wiping tomato sauce off his chin, and then changing his own diaper, Jack thanked the colonel, and placing the phone down, felt a stab of sorrow.

Creeping into his sons' room and looking at the beautiful baby curled up in his blankets, Jack smiled a slow, crooked kind of smile and knew he'd miss the little…

"Thee ya, Jack, have a nice life!"

"Yeahsureyoubetcha."

THE END