Spotted Shoes
(#10 in Shoelaces LD universe)

SUMMARY: Daniel and Jack try to deal with Daniel being little Daniel. Inspired by the DJsSG-1Lverse yahoo list.


DISCLAIMER: The characters mentioned in this story are the property of Showtime and Gekko Film Corp. The Stargate, SG-I, the Goa'uld and all other characters who have appeared in the series STARGATE SG-1 together with the names, titles and backstory are the sole copyright property of MGM-UA Worldwide Television, Gekko Film Corp, Glassner/Wright Double Secret Productions and Stargate SG-I Prod. Ltd. Partnership. This fanfic is not intended as an infringement upon those rights and solely meant for entertainment. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author.

"We don't need one."

"Of course we do. Every family needs one."

"No, they don't, Jack. Plenty of families have lived without one. Besides, where would it go when we go to the SGC?"

"I'm pretty sure it would stay in the house. General Hammond probably wouldn't like it running around the halls very much."

"Jaaack. That's not what I mean."

"Really? Then you have to be more specific, kiddo. Because you're losing the argument here."

"Where does it go when you go off-world?"

Jack crouched down to his level. "In case you haven't noticed, I haven't been off world in six months."

He frowned. "I know. But General Hammond wants you to go. I even hand-picked Ben Roberts for you."

"Dr. Roberts isn't you, Daniel. Besides, these last six months have been busy. Plus, if I *do* go off world, then you need some company."

"I'll have Janet. She's fine. Plus *she* already has one at her house."

"Yes, but it isn't *yours*. You'll see. It's different."

He sighed.

A dog.

Jack was taking him to pick out a dog.

He didn't need a dog. He thought he was allergic to dogs, but at their most recent visit to the dreaded allergist, the man had informed him that, much to Jack's delight and his dismay, he was not, in fact, allergic to dogs. Allergic to almost everything else under the sun, yes, but not dogs. Thus Jack got the idea into his brain that Daniel needed a dog.

Daniel did not need a dog. They were hyper and demanding and always wanted to lick you. Funny, he considered himself a welcoming person, but that welcoming didn't include dogs. The SGC would probably faint from the discovery.

In his various foster homes, he'd lived in a few with dogs. And no, he didn't have a horribly traumatizing dog attack that emotionally scarred him and swore him off dogs forever. He also didn't make friends with one of the creatures and only to be melodramatically parted from it when he headed off to his next placement.

No, he simply liked other animals. Camels, fish, even cats. All self-sufficient, save for a little grooming, food, and water every now and then.

Much easier to keep your distance from, really.

Okay, so maybe he harbored an emotional scar or two, but it wasn't dog related. He was perfectly happy with it being just he and Jack. No four-legged creatures allowed. He wasn't sharing. Jack was his.

He sighed again. When had he become so possessive?

Jack pulled into the parking lot of the local shelter and he knew that Jack wasn't leaving here without a dog. So five minutes later, he was clutching Jack's hand as they walked up and down rows of kennels and cages, every dog barking as if to say "pick me!"

He blinked. There was another reason he didn't want to come here. Even if he didn't *like* dogs, they deserved a good home with someone who would take care of them.

Kinda like a shy, traumatized eight-year-old who wasn't talkative enough and was too smart and only wanted to say "pick me!" and have someone take him home forever.

The tears started to roll down his cheeks. He felt hands pick him up and cuddle him.

"Kiddo, what's wrong? I'm sorry. If you really don't want a dog-"

"No," he managed. "I want one. Really. But they all need homes. What happens to the one we don't pick?"

Jack wiped as his eyes. "We can't take all of them. You know that."

"But why?" He sniffed. "Why not?"

"That would be a lot of dogs."

Another sniff. "I know. I'm being silly."

"No, you're not. You're being human."

"How am I supposed to pick just one?" He blinked again. "Why do I have to send the rest away to anther place where someone else won't want them?"

Jack brushed Daniel's bangs off of his forehead. "Something tells me we're not talking about a dog anymore, are we?"

More sniffling. The thumb went into his mouth. "Maybe."

Jack reached into his pocket and pulled out a tissue. "I picked *you*, Daniel. Doesn't that feel good to know?"

He let Jack dry his eyes. "Yeah."

"Then imagine how good it's going feel to one of those dogs, then." He finished wiping Daniel's eyes and placed him back down on the ground. "Go for it."

Casting one more wary glance at Jack, he scanned the cages. Despite his caring nature, he still wasn't all that fond of dogs. That is, until one caught his eye.

It was a Dalmatian, lying on the floor of its cage; its head just flopped down. It didn't bark at him like the other dogs. Instead, its big sad eyes met his and he saw himself in the reflection of the dog's irises.

"I want that one," he said and pointed directly at the dog. Jack turned to look.

"A Dalmatian, huh? Well, he sure is pretty."

"It's a she, actually." Daniel turned and saw the woman who'd first greeted them at the shelter.

"She," Daniel repeated and reached his finger into the cage to stroke the dog's head. She didn't move, just closed her eyes as he moved his finger back and forth across her fur.

"Wow," the woman commented. "She must like you. She hasn't reacted much to anyone since she got here."

"Really?" Jack asked. "Why?"

"It's sad, really. We found her after her owner had passed away. She belonged to an elderly woman with no family. She died in her kitchen and was discovered by a neighbor almost two days later. Unfortunately, the woman had no family and no one could take in the dog. We think she's a bit depressed."

"She misses her mom," Daniel said, matter-of-factly. The dog opened its eyes on the statement as if it understood every word he had said. He smiled. She was like him. All alone.

"She does," the worker agreed. "She's a very well-behaved dog, especially for a Dalmatian. And fairly young, too. Our vet says she's only two years old. Already spayed and gotten her vaccinations as well."

Daniel looked at Jack, who grinned. "We'll take her."

The woman brightened. "Wonderful! You do have to go through our approval process, but since you own your home and have a spacious yard, it shouldn't take too long."

Daniel reached out to pet the dog through the bars again. "Hear that," he said, "You're coming home with Jack and me." She closed her eyes again and Daniel just knew it, just felt it. "She's perfect," he told Jack.

Jack knelt down slowly and reached his own finger into the cage. "That she is, kiddo." Not stopping his stroking, Daniel watched Jack turned to the woman. "What's her name?"

"Oh, of course! Forgot that," she smiled. "Her name is Dannie."

Daniel just grinned.

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