|Slash:||Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.|
|Category:||Angst. Drama. Established Relationship. Hurt/Comfort.|
|Synopsis:||When Jack gets bad news, Daniel comforts him.|
|Warnings:||Death of a minor canon character.|
Jack O'Neill groaned as he fumbled for the ringing phone. Beside him, Daniel pulled the covers over his head and snuggled deeper into his pillow.
"Hello?" Jack asked hoarsely, his throat dry. "What? Sara, just hold on a minute..." Jack felt Daniel sit up behind him and turn on the lamp. "Ah, shit, I'm sorry, Sara. " Daniel moved closer, resting his chin on Jack's shoulder, wrapping his arms around Jack's waist. "Yeah, yeah, is there anything I can do?" Jack paused. He could feel Daniel's frown of worry against his skin. "Hey, Ted. Yeah, I know. How is she?" Jack rubbed a hand over his eyes. "You'll let me know the arrangements? Does Sara want me to be there?" Jack let out a huge sigh, his stomach tied in knots. Ted's voice called Sara back to the phone. "I'm sorry, Sara. And thanks, thanks for letting me know. Hey, try and get some sleep, okay? Yeah, I know." Jack let out a sigh and placed his hands over Daniel's after hanging up the phone.
"What happened?" Daniel whispered. He already knew the news was bad. People didn't call at 1:53 in the morning to share the news that they just got a promotion or bought a house.
"Bill died. He had a stroke." Jack tightened his fingers around Daniel's.
Daniel placed a kiss on Jack's shoulder. "I'm sorry, Jack. How's Sara doing?"
"She didn't sound too good." Jack eased back onto his pillows. "Ted said he'd call later today to tell me the arrangements for the funeral." He pulled Daniel closer. Daniel's head came to rest in the hollow of his shoulder. Jack looked down into worried blue eyes.
"Is there anything I can do to help?" Daniel asked. Jack looked as if he'd aged 10 years in the few moments since the phone call. At one time, Daniel was certain, Jack and his ex father-in-law had been close. And despite everything, Sara had let Jack know. Daniel could see Jack's eyes filling with tears. He reached out to grab a tissue and handed it to Jack wordlessly.
Jack took it but made no move to use it. "Ted said that Sara wants me there."
"Yeah, I heard," Daniel said. He felt Jack's arms tighten around him and relaxed into the embrace, all he could do to help at the moment.
"Ted's a good husband for her." Jack's voice cracked. "I'm glad they found each other."
Daniel nodded. "I'm here, Jack, " he whispered. "Hold on." He felt the first tears drop warm and heavy onto his hand, his own eyes filling at Jack's pain.
"Colonel?" Carter's voice intruded into Jack's consciousness. "Colonel, sir, are you okay?"
Jack looked at her wearily, aware again of his surroundings. He gave a glance around his small office, taking in the worried looks of Carter, Teal'c and Daniel. "I'm sorry, Carter, I didn't get much sleep last night. Can you repeat that last part again?"
"No, Jack," Daniel said, and Jack looked at him, vaguely amused by the commanding tone of his voice. "You didn't even tell General Hammond, did you?" The tone had turned accusatory.
Jack shook his head tiredly as he met Daniel's concerned gaze. "I didn't get a chance yet."
"Daniel?" Sam darted nervous glances between her CO and her friend, "What's going on?"
Teal'c came to stand beside Daniel. "Has something unpleasant occurred to O'Neill?"
Daniel sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "Jack's ex father-in-law died last night."
"Ah," Teal'c murmured. "My condolences, O'Neill."
Carter reached out a tentative hand to pat the colonel's shoulder. "I'm sorry, sir. Is there anything we can do to help?"
Jack shook his head and managed a small smile. "Everything's being taken care of. Thanks for the thought, Carter, Teal'c."
"Jack," Daniel was moving him towards the door, "go to General Hammond's office. Sam, Teal'c and I can finish up here."
Jack nodded. He turned at the door to give Daniel's shoulder a quick squeeze. "Thanks, Danny," he whispered.
"Anytime, Jack." Daniel smiled up at him. He turned back to Sam and Teal'c after watching Jack make his way down the corridor, giving a reassuring smile to them. "Jack'll be okay, guys." He had to make himself believe that. "Now, Sam, can you explain that theory one more time?"
Daniel sighed as he pulled into Jack's driveway. He frowned as he noticed the lack of light from within. Daniel rubbed at his eyes, wincing as his fingers brushed against the scrape on his cheek. He was exhausted.
The mission to P1R-667 had gone well, the mining rights secured, a new alliance forged. Daniel hadn't missed the look of relief on General Hammond's face when SG-1, minus Jack, had returned unscathed. Hammond had been almost apologetic when he'd explained that it was vital Daniel go on the mission. Jack had understood as well.
"Daniel, relax. I'll be okay," Jack had said, coming up behind Daniel to give a hug while Daniel pulled yet another casserole from the oven. He let out a laugh. "God, Danny, you'd think you're planning on being gone a couple of months." Jack gestured to the other 3 casseroles sitting on the kitchen table.
"I don't want you to have to worry about anything, Jack," Daniel had replied. He didn't know how to explain it. If he couldn't be there in body, he'd be there in spirit. Jack had pulled him close then, dropping a kiss on the tip of Daniel's nose. "I know, Danny." Jack had said softly. "Thank you, love."
Daniel bit back a moan as he got out of his car. His muscles had stiffened on the drive home from the base. He dug in his jacket for his keys to Jack's house.
"Danny?" A faint voice drifted down to him from the roof. "Is that you?"
Daniel went to the side of the house and looked up to see Jack looking back down at him. "Are you coming down?" Daniel asked hopefully.
"Come on up, Danny. It's beautiful tonight," Jack said and moved back to his chair.
Daniel held in a grumble as he climbed the few steps to the roof. He settled in the chair next to Jack, smiling as Jack handed him a blanket.
"How'd the mission go, Daniel?"
"Fine. We got the treaty signed," Daniel said, accepting the coffee mug Jack handed him. He was surprised it wasn't a beer. "Carter and Teal'c are anxious to know that you're okay." He took a sip of the hot coffee. "Are you okay? How'd it go with Sara?"
Jack put his coffee mug down and leaned forward in his chair. "The funeral was nice. Well, as nice as funerals can be. And I'm okay." Jack turned back to face Daniel. "By the way, Ted and Sara thanked me for the casseroles."
Daniel smiled. "I'm glad someone will appreciate my cooking." He studied Jack in the moonlight, not liking the pinched look of Jack's eyes. "Okay, Jack, the truth."
"Sara's pregnant, Danny," Jack blurted out.
"Pregnant?" Daniel repeated. "How, I mean, you know."
"She is a married woman, Daniel." Jack grinned. "She and Ted told me at the viewing."
"Well," Daniel hesitated, unsure of what to say, trying to gauge Jack's reaction.
"I'm happy for them, Danny. I really am," Jack said softly. "It's just that...I mean, Sara's still relatively young."
"It seems to end it all, doesn't it, Jack?" Daniel reached out to take Jack's hand. "She won't ever forget Charlie, but she's moving on."
"They used the plot we bought when we buried Charlie. Bill loaned us the money for it. I mean, hell, you don't ever think you'll need a cemetery plot to bury your child." Jack clutched Daniel's hand tighter. "I thought it would be raw forever, Danny. But it's not anymore. I'm afraid I'll lose him."
"We don't ever lose the people we've loved, Jack." Daniel pulled Jack close, rubbing a hand on Jack's back. "Just because it hurts less doesn't mean we're forgetting them."
"Ted will be a good dad," Jack whispered painfully, and Daniel knew what demons had come knocking in Jack's dreams for the past few days.
"You were a good dad too, Jack. Don't you ever think you weren't. You loved your son, which is a hell of lot more than a lot of other parents do. You loved him. In the end, that's what matters. I know," Daniel said fiercely.
Jack looked at Daniel's face, his eyes ghostly blue in the moonlight. Daniel did know, Jack realized with sudden clarity. Daniel knew,because that love had been torn away in a museum exhibit hall.
If nothing else, Charlie had known that he was loved. That had to be enough. A vision of a laughing Charlie, mud covered and holding a fish, flashed into Jack's mind, and he smiled. He'd never wish that Charlie hadn't been a part of his life, no matter how short the time they'd had together.
"Jack?" Daniel was asking worriedly.
"It's okay, Danny," Jack said. "Just remembering something." He picked up his mug again and grimaced as he took a sip of the now cold coffee. "So, Daniel, you mind telling me what happened?"
"What happened?" Daniel asked, confused, then blushing in embarrassment as Jack gestured to his face. "Oh, that," Daniel mumbled.
"Well?" Jack said waiting.
"I sort of fell." Daniel busied himself pouring more coffee from the thermos. He rolled his eyes as Jack kept staring. "Okay, I fell in the parking lot on base. There was a patch of ice, and I was talking to Sam and didn't notice it."
"You hurt anywhere else?"
"Only my pride, Jack," Daniel said. "Janet said I'll be fine. Just some bruising. And stop laughing." He punched Jack lightly on the arm. "I'm glad you're home, Danny." Jack grabbed Daniel's arm. "I missed you."
"I missed you too, Jack." Daniel moved closer to plant a kiss on Jack's lips. They sat that way for a long while, watching the clouds drifting across the moon. Daniel relaxed as he felt Jack's tension ease.
"Danny, did I ever tell you about the first time I took Charlie fishing?" Jack murmured into Daniel's hair.
Daniel twisted in Jack's embrace to see a lovely smile gracing Jack's face. "No, Jack, you never did." He settled back, his fingers entwining with Jack's. 'And I'll listen as long as you need me too,' he thought as Jack's voice began weaving a tale of a father and son.