Finding Christmas by babs
Slash:  Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.
Rating: PG
Category: Angst.  Holiday
Season/Spoilers: Post season 3.  No spoilers
Synopsis: Jack finds Christmas off world.
Warnings: No sex, just sentimentality.
Length:  11Kb

  Finding Christmas by babs

"I'm sorry, SG-1. We're experiencing difficulty maintaining the wormhole on this end and Major Quinton is recommending we not allow any off world teams to use the Stargate at this time."

"General Hammond, sir?" Carter spoke up from beside Jack. "May I speak to Major Quinton?"

"We don't know how long we'll be able to maintain the wormhole, Major Carter, but Major Quinton is here."

Jack listened intently as Carter and Quinton exchanged theories at a blinding pace. He raised an eyebrow as he glanced at Daniel. Daniel smiled weakly and shrugged his shoulders. Carter in tech speak heaven could be as hard to understand as Daniel in archaeological paradise.

"Okay, okay, Tim. We'll be waiting for your check-in tomorrow. Don't forget to look at..." Carter stopped as the wormhole closed abruptly.

She turned to face the others. "I'm sorry, sir, Daniel, Teal'c. It doesn't look like we'll be home for Christmas."

Jack knew Carter well enough after their years of working together to recognize her 'I'm a good little soldier' act. He'd bet his next paycheck that in about five minutes Carter was going to excuse herself to go off somewhere to visit the little girl's room and come back some ten minutes later with a forced bright smile on her face. "Not your fault, Carter."

"Right, Sam." Daniel smiled at her. " I'm going to head back to the ruins and see if there's anything I missed as I was finishing filming."

Jack shooed him away. Trust Daniel to look at this as a wonderful opportunity to do more work. "Be back in two, Daniel," he called after him. "There's not much daylight left."

Daniel turned around to face him, walking backwards as he grinned back at Jack. "Right, Jack. See you in two days." He waggled his fingers in a teasing wave.

Jack shook his head as Carter smothered a grin and even the corner of Teal'c's mouth twitched at Daniel's remark.

"Sir, I'm going to..." She motioned towards the small bushes some distance away and took off at Jack's nod.

"Teal'c, you're with me."

"Indeed I am, O'Neill." Teal'c inclined his head in agreement

"No, you're with me." Jack gestured for them to start moving.

"Where are we going, O'Neill?" Teal'c asked. "Do you not think we should inform MajorCarter and DanielJackson of our excursion?"

"Nope, Teal'c, my man. We're on a mission." Jack lengthened his stride as he headed towards the forest.

"Yes, we are," Teal'c agreed. "To P1Q-777."

"No, we're on a mission." Jack stopped so abruptly that Teal'c barely avoided running into him. "You know exactly what I'm saying, don't you?"

"Indeed, O'Neill." Teal'c gave one of his rare smiles. "What is our objective?"

"We're going to find Christmas on this planet whether it wants to be found or not." Jack resumed his trek towards the trees. He was pretty sure he'd be able to find exactly what he wanted.



Jack looked up from the small fire he'd built as Daniel came trudging back into camp exactly two hours later. He personally doubted Daniel had found anything new of note. The temple was small and most of the writing had been obliterated by the passage of many centuries. Daniel had surmised that the humans that had been transplanted here had only lived for a few generations. Although Daniel had been smiling as he took off Jack knew his lover. Daniel hadn't been quite quick enough to hide his look of disappointment when the wormhole had shut down.

Daniel loved Christmas, a fact that secretly delighted Jack. Not that Christmas was an easy time for either of them. There always seemed to be a moment in the day when Daniel needed time alone, to commune with past ghosts, or when Jack was hit with a memory of Charlie so bright and clear and happy that he felt as though he'd been punched in the gut. This Christmas they had planned to spend a quiet day alone. They hadn't quite found time to get a Christmas tree between missions; the decorations were sitting in boxes and had never quite made it outside. The containers of spices Daniel needed to bake his Moravian Ginger Snaps were empty and Jack forgot to buy more of them when he went to the grocery store. On top of that Jack found an email the day before they left on this mission letting him know that the books he'd ordered for Daniel were delayed in shipping from England and wouldn't be there in time for Christmas making Jack wonder just how merry the day would have been anyway.

He watched as Daniel came into camp, head down, muttering to himself, and then watched as Daniel raised his head and took in the sight of the small pile of deadwood that was festooned with various bits of greenery and flowers.

"Merry Christmas, Daniel," Jack said with a grin, Carter echoing his words not a second later, along with Teal'c's, 'Merry Christmas, DanielJackson.'

Daniel approached the 'tree', one finger outstretched to touch one of the bright pink flowers. "This is really great. Really great." He smiled at all of them.

 "And for our Christmas dining pleasure you can have your choice of a variety of meals." Jack gestured to the small logs he and Teal'c had arranged around the fire ring.

Daniel sat, looking up hopefully. "And the choices are?"

"Macaroni and cheese, macaroni and cheese, or of course you could have the macaroni and cheese." Carter giggled getting into the spirit.

"Hmm..." Daniel paused thoughtfully, "tough decision. I don't know, Sam. What do you recommend?"

"I've heard the macaroni and cheese is really good here, Daniel," Sam leaned in closer to whisper.

"I'm still not sure." Daniel tapped his finger on his chin. "What are you having, Jack?"

"Well, I had trouble deciding between choice number two or three, but in the end I went with the macaroni and cheese."  Jack tried very hard to keep his mouth from twitching. Daniel rarely showed his playful side when they were working.

"Guess it's unanimous, then. Unless...Teal'c?"

"I too have opted for the macaroni and cheese. I have heard it is highly recommended." Teal'c nodded gravely.

"Macaroni and cheese it is," Daniel nodded, managing to keep a serious expression on his face for only a moment before he exploded with a whoop of laughter. He leaned against Jack, laughing and holding his stomach. Carter's giggles became full-fledged belly laughs and she sat on her log, nearly doubled over. Jack could no longer hold his own laughter back as Daniel's body shook against his, the sound of their mingled joy floating into the alien night.



Jack woke suddenly hours later, the smell of wood smoke and coffee penetrating his sleep. He cautiously withdrew his head from the cocoon of his sleeping bag only to feel the bite of a frosty night. There was no familiar warmth at his back, no familiar sounds of Daniel as he muttered in some foreign language while he dreamed. Jack shook his head as he swiftly laced up his boots with fingers that were beginning to burn with the cold. Pulling on his jacket, Jack crawled from the tent.

Daniel looked up in surprise, one hand poised by his coffee mug; the other paused in its writing.

"Something wrong?" Daniel asked confused. "Sam and Teal'c said they'd take the next watch."

"Nah." Jack poured himself a cup of coffee from the pot that was nestled by the fire ring. " Just thought maybe you'd like some company."

"Give me a break, Jack." Daniel grinned. "You just want my coffee."

"If you didn't bring enough treats for everyone, Dr. Jackson, you can't have yours at all." Jack held up his mug in a mock salute.

"Just leave some for me." Daniel turned back to his journal and resumed writing.

Jack cupped his hands around the mug, letting the warmth from the coffee seep into his fingers. "So..."

"So," Daniel placed his pen in his journal and carefully closed it, "I'm writing about our Christmas this year."

Jack studied Daniel's face in the flickering firelight, unable to quite read the expression there. "And?"

"The first Christmas after my parents died, I wrote a letter to Santa Claus." Daniel spoke softly, slowly, a sign of how painful the memory was. "Mom and Dad never really told me there was a Santa, never really told me there wasn't. But I was in a group foster home that first Christmas and all the other kids were talking about Santa. I think I was the oldest kid there." Daniel paused again, looking into the flames. "Anyway, they were all so excited. They told me that if I wrote a letter to Santa, I'd get what I asked for."

Jack swallowed hard, once, twice as the firelight flickered over Daniel's face, flames reflected in his glasses.

"I knew my parents were dead, that they were never coming back, so I asked for a family of my own again. For people who would love me and want me. And then just for good measure, because one of the other kids told me, I wrote a letter to Baby Jesus too. You know," Daniel let out a small sad laugh, "just to cover all the bases."

Reaching out Jack took Daniel's hand in his. "Danny."

"So I was writing about Christmas this year, about miracles, answered letters to Santa and answered prayers." Daniel smiled and twined his fingers in Jack's. "And how very blessed I am to have had them answered twice. With Sha're and with you."  Daniel's smile became blindingly bright and he brought their entwined hands up to gently brush a kiss across Jack's knuckles. He dropped his hand from Jack's at the sound of a tent zipper being unzipped.

"Sir, Daniel." Carter came over to the fire, helping herself to a cup of coffee. "Teal'c and I will take over the watch now." She smiled at them both as they stood to return to their tent. "And once again, Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas, Sam." Daniel bent over to kiss the top of her head.

"Ditto," Jack added, just to hear Daniel's soft laugh and Carter's giggle.

"Yes, sir. Ditto," Carter nodded. He heard her talking softly to Teal'c as Jack followed Daniel into their tent.

Jack crawled back into his sleeping bag, feeling the familiar form of Daniel settle against his back. On Earth they slept back to front, Daniel usually behind him with one leg thrown over both of Jack's, one arm snaked around Jack's middle, snuggled tightly against Jack, his breath tickling Jack's ear. Off world, in the snug little private haven of their tent, they slept back to back, perhaps unconsciously guarding each other from the dangers that lurked in the alien nights. Jack felt Daniel shift against him, heard Daniel's soft breathing as he fell asleep. Jack closed his eyes, the chill of the night seemingly gone with Daniel's solid presence at his back, and thought of miracles, not big showy ones, but the little ones that had the profoundest effects of all, like a child born in a stable to a carpenter and his young bride, like a man ready to give up on life meeting a geek who said he could get them home if they stepped through a big round ring, like finding the true heart of Christmas by a campfire light years away from Earth. Yes, indeed, miracles did happen every day. You just had to know where to look and to recognize them when they appear.

FINIS
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copyright
babs, 2002.
disclaimer
Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Stargate (II) Productions, Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. These stories are for entertainment purposes only and no money exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author. These stories may not be posted elsewhere without the consent of the author. Copyright on images remains with the above named rightsholders.
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