Changes 7

Daniel's House

By

Annie

EMAIL: Annie

"Yeah, I'm bad but in a good way."

Daniel wondered if he'd actually heard those words uttered in Jack O'Neill's distinctive new kidvoice. He snuck his head cautiously around the partly open door, barely daring to breathe in case Jack heard him.

Jack stood in front of the bathroom sink, his feet precariously balanced on a couple of thick tomes that Daniel recognized as having been on his own desk twenty minutes ago. The boy was looking into the mirror, his face contorting into various expressions as he repeated the words over and over.

Daniel was about to back out of the doorway when Jack said the words again and this time accompanied them with as lascivious a wink as Daniel had ever seen on any eight year old's face. Unable to help himself, he uttered a muffled snort and Jack spun around, a blush coloring his face as he scrabbled for purchase on the now overbalancing books. Before Daniel could reach out a hand to grab him, Jack toppled sideways, his head meeting the porcelain of the toilet with a resoundingly painful-sounding thump.

"Shit! Jack, are you all right?" Daniel took two steps to reach Jack's side, knelt down, and lifted the boy onto his lap.

Jack was crying quietly, fat tears overflowing his eyes and trailing down his cheeks. There was a large bump on his forehead that Daniel could see was already bruising. No blood at least, Daniel thought as he twisted round to grab a washcloth of the sink. By stretching up, one hand keeping Jack anchored on his lap, he managed to turn the cold tap on and soaked the cloth then wrung it out one-handed and placed it over the lump.

Jack muttered an ouch through his tears and tried to pull away but Daniel held him firmly and kept the cloth in place until Jack hiccuped, sighed then leaned forward far enough to wipe his teardamp face on Daniel's tee shirt.

"Ew, do ya mind? This shirt's clean," Daniel said. He put the cloth down on the toilet lid then pulled off a few sheets of toilet paper and began to wipe Jack's eyes and nose, relieved to see a small smile finally quirking Jack's mouth.

"Payback's a bitch," Jack said but he stayed where he was for a minute longer then pushed himself off Daniel's knees and stood up.

"Payback?" Daniel stood as well, tossed the toilet paper into the toilet and flushed then grabbed the cloth and Jack's hand and led him out of the bathroom.

"If you hadn't snuck up on me like that, I wouldn't have fallen over," Jack replied, sounding righteously indignant.

Daniel supposed he had a point but he spoke up in his own defence anyway. "I wasn't sneaking up on you. It's my bathroom and I needed to use it." He pointed to a chair and once Jack was sitting on it, went into the kitchen and pulled an icepack from the freezer. He wrapped it in a dishcloth then took it back to Jack who took it with ill-concealed bad grace and held it on his forehead.

"You knew I was in there," Jack said flatly. "I know you heard me talking."

"Yeah, so?" Daniel sat down next to Jack.

"If you'd heard me in your bathroom a month ago before this happened," Jack waved his free hand over his eight year old body, "would you have stuck your head around the door like that? No! You wouldn't have," he went on quickly as Daniel opened his mouth to speak. "You would have knocked on the door and waited till I said it was okay to come in."

Daniel nodded slowly. The kid had a point. "I'm sorry," he said, taking over holding the icepack as Jack tried to move it away. "You're right."

"It's too cold," Jack said fractiously. "I think my skin's thinner now I'm a kid. I don't remember ice packs being this cold before."

"Okay." Daniel lifted the icepack away and grimaced at the bruised lump. It looked sore but he figured the damage was done and the icepack wasn't going to do much else. He placed the pack on the table then looked over at Jack. "Can I ask what you were doing in there?"

Jack's face colored hotly, making the bruising stand out even more. "I just wondered about something, that's all."

Daniel got up and went back into the kitchen, returning a few minutes later with juice for both of them.

"No beer?" Jack asked disgruntledly, but he grinned when Daniel tapped a gentle finger on his forehead and said, "You've got a head injury. No booze, sorry."

"So, I'm listening if you want to talk," Daniel offered.

Jack huffed out a breath. "Okay, but no mocking the downsized, all right?"

"I promise." Daniel made a cross over his heart with his fingers then waited for Jack to go on.

"I just wondered how I'll get on if this can't be reversed. If we get back to that planet and the guy's gone or he won't change me or he can't change me."

"Yeah," Daniel said encouragingly.

"Well, see, the problem is I look like a fourth grader but in here," Jack tapped his forehead, wincing as he inadvertently touched the bruise, "I'm still an adult and sometimes my brain gets ahead of my mouth. And I wondered how it's gonna look if I say something like that while I've got a face like this."

Daniel blinked, swallowed down a gulp of juice to stop the smirk that wanted to creep across his face. He put the glass back down. "You say those kinds of things?" he asked. "Um, to women, I assume..."

"Well, I don't say them to guys, Daniel. Of course to women. What? You telling me you don't have any lines that work on women?" Jack looked surprised.

"Well, no, not really." This time Daniel blushed.

"It never ceases to amaze me that you end up with a girl on every planet we visit," Jack said. "You're so clueless, I'm surprised you ever get a date."

"Hey, I manage," Daniel retorted. "Anyway, we're not talking about my lovelife."

"Well, we're definitely not talking about mine either," Jack shot back, gulping down the rest of his juice as the blush increased to cover the tips of his ears.

"All right," Daniel said soothingly. "I've got a great idea. Let's just wait till we get to the planet and find out if this can be reversed. Then we'll worry about it."

"Cross that bridge when we come to it?" Jack nodded. "Sounds like a plan." He grinned up at Daniel then slid off the chair. "You can buy me pizza to pay me back for causing me to fall and injure myself."

"Huh? I did not-"

"Did too."

"Did not!"

"Oh, hi, Dr. Fraiser," Jack said in a sugary sweet tone. "This bruise. Oh, it's where Daniel made me fall over in the bathroom. I'm sure he didn't mean to... Payback's a bitch, Daniel," he added in a mock-growl.

"Fine," Daniel conceded. "I'll get my wallet and the car keys. We'll go to Gianni's for pizza. Oh, and Jack?" He turned and looked down at his friend. "Don't use that line on the waitress."

"Don't worry about it, Daniel. I'm saving my best lines for when I get resized. Hey, I'll even let you borrow a few..."

End