"Ciss-mss, Dada, Ciss-mss!"
Daniel groggily opened his eyes to see a little toddler with blonde hair and blue eyes bouncing on his stomach. "What are you doing up so early, Connor?"
"Ciss-mss," the little boy repeated, unable to say the word correctly but not caring.
With a sigh, Daniel resigned himself to an early morning. Connor, who was essentially a clone of himself but without the memories thanks to a well-wishing off-world tribe four months ago, was clearly taking to Earth rituals with gusto. Guess whose influence that was, Daniel thought grimly.
He carefully sat up and hugged the sixteen-month-old child to him; he couldn't imagine not being a father now to this little bundle of joy and frustration. He had been totally surprised when the leader of the tribe had presented him with Connor, already the size of a year-old child. The leader had said it was a thank you present from the tribe for helping them after the earthquake but had refused to say how Connor had been grown, much to Sam's disgust. However, the leader did say that it was definitely his child, and so Daniel had been thrown into fatherhood without any warning whatsoever.
It had had its ups and downs, and he still had his moments of panic when Connor cried but he was getting better. And today promised to be interesting, especially when Connor went into the living room to see all the presents under the tree.
Jack - Daniel's good friend and partner - had gone all out this year, wanting them all to have a special first Christmas together. And speaking of his partner, Daniel was sure that he was the one to have put Connor on the bed and then disappeared so as not to face the linguist's wrath.
"Ciss-mss!" Connor insisted, uncertain why his dad wasn't getting up. He pointed at the doorway and then looked at Daniel stubbornly.
"Alright, alright, we'll do Christmas," Daniel said with a laugh in his voice; as Jack would say, some things were obviously genetic. Thankful he had worn pyjama bottoms to bed the previous night, Daniel got out of bed and settled Connor on his hip. "Let's go see where your other daddy is."
Connor clapped his hands with excitement, eager to get Christmas started. He bounced up and down in his father's hold, repeating 'Ciss-mss' over and over.
"You'd better have the coffee ready," Daniel mock-grouched as he walked into the living room to see Jack sitting on the couch waiting for them.
"Would I dare not to?" Jack stood up, took Connor from his partner, so that Daniel could retrieve the coffee mug from the table. "And are you excited, little man?"
"Ciss-mss!" Connor replied, clapping his hands again.
Daniel shook his head. "We've got to teach him some new words."
"Isn't that your department?" Jack queried while jiggling the little boy in his arms. "Dada knows lots of words, doesn't he?" he asked Connor.
"Dada Ciss-mss," Connor agreed. Then he caught sight of a candy cane on the tree. "Yum-yum!" he said, using his word for food - learnt, of course, from Jack - and leaning across to reach it.
"Not before breakfast," Jack told him, shifting the little boy upright again. "Presents first. Danny, how about you hold the little tyke and I'll do the filming."
Daniel looked longingly at his unfinished cup of coffee and then at the adorable child in Jack's arms. It was no contest really. He put down his coffee and took Connor from his partner. Then he sat on the floor in front of the Christmas tree and settled Connor on his lap. "Okay, which one do you want to start with?"
"Me!" Connor declared, pointing to the nearest shiny present.
Daniel checked the tag on the present to make sure it was for his son and then he let Connor unwrap it. Shiny wrapping paper flew everywhere as little fingers eagerly ripped it apart.
Connor stared at the box in front of him and then looked up at his father in confusion.
Jack laughed even as he filmed the two of them. "I think he wants you to open it for him, Danny."
"Oh." Daniel quickly opened the box and pulled out a brown teddy bear.
Connor squealed in delight and grabbed the toy from his father's hand. He inspected it for a few moments, patted it because it was nice and soft, and then put it aside to reach for the box.
"Were all the presents really necessary?" Daniel asked Jack as he watched Connor play with the box.
"Trust me, they're necessary," Jack replied, feeling a faint pang of grief as he remembered Charlie when he was this age. It had been one of the few Christmases Jack had been home for and he had watched Charlie for hours just playing with everything he could get his hands on whether it be presents, boxes or wrapping paper.
Daniel picked up on something in his lover's voice and turned his head to look at him. "Jack?" The question was evident in that one word.
"I'm fine. Just some memories, that's all," Jack stated, giving Daniel a reassuring look.
Daniel knew what Jack meant without having to inquire further. One good thing about their relationship was that there were very few secrets between them, which meant that they could often communicate with only a couple of sentences or occasionally, words. He nodded, resolving to keep an eye on Jack's mood, and then turned his attention back to Connor, who had successfully squashed the box and was now seeing if he could do the same to the teddy bear. "How about we open another present?" Daniel suggested, snagging one from the pile.
Connor shifted his attention from the teddy to the new shiny present in front of him and then proceeded to rip open the latter to reveal a bucket of large building blocks.
Jack set the video camera on the table so that it would capture all the action and then he went to sit behind Daniel as Connor headed for another present. "I love you and our son," he whispered softly into his lover's ear, wrapping his arms around the younger man's waist as he did so.
"Same," Daniel breathed equally as quietly, turning his head to give Jack a quick kiss. He didn't need anything else for Christmas as he had everything he wanted.
"Me, me!" a little voice insisted upon gaining their attention.
They both looked at Connor and smiled at the little boy. The first of many family Christmases together was promising to be a very good day.
|Genres:||Alternate Universe, Established Relationship, Holiday, Humor|
|Summary:||Danielís new family spend Christmas together.|
Author's Chapter Notes:
This was originally going to be gen but I couldn’t get it to work that way so I had to rewrite it like this. Voted 2006 Outstanding Short Story-Other on the LittleDaniel list.