|Slash:||Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.|
|Category:||Angst. Drama. Humour.|
|Synopsis:||Daniel has a secret appointment. Jack finds out what it is.|
|Warnings:||None, nada, zilch.|
Daniel turned his attention back to General Hammond after Jack kicked him under the briefing table. "Yes, sir?"
"I was asking if you had anything to add to Major Carter's report," General Hammond asked patiently which caused Daniel to realize he'd been asked the same question sometime in the last few minutes.
Daniel glanced down at his notes. He couldn't quite remember what Sam's comments had been. He'd been paying far more attention to the time ticking away on his watch rather than his teammate's reports. Uncharacteristic behavior to be sure, but he'd missed last month's appointment and he certainly didn't want to miss this one. He cleared his throat as he shuffled his papers, trying to recall what Sam had said. He looked up finally to see Jack staring at him in concern. 'Okay, Daniel, fudge it,' he thought.
He shook his head. "No, General, I think Sam covered everything." He started to get out of his chair.
"Just one more thing, General," Jack started to say. Daniel plopped back in his seat with a barely stifled groan. He glanced at his watch again thinking, 'Come on, Jack.'
Jack was droning on about some equipment he felt was necessary for SG-1 to carry on upcoming missions. They'd compiled the list around the campfire on their last mission.
"Are you ill, DanielJackson?" Teal'c leaned over to say in a quiet tone at Daniel's fidgeting.
Daniel shook his head. "No, I'm fine, Teal'c. I just have somewhere I need to be in about half an hour," he whispered back.
Jack caught his eye again as he continued outlining their needs, and raised an eyebrow. He turned back to Hammond. "General, I think we can discuss the rest at our next briefing."
General Hammond nodded. "That'll be fine, Colonel. I'm sure you are all eager to get home. I'll see you on Monday."
"What's gotten into you, Daniel?" Jack said as he caught up with a swiftly walking Daniel at the elevators. "Were we boring you in there?"
"I have an appointment," Daniel explained, as they stepped into the elevator. "And I have about..." he glanced at his watch again, "twenty minutes to get there if I don't want to be late."
"I thought we could go out for dinner," Jack said following Daniel towards his car.
"Not tonight, Jack. Sorry. I've really got to get...Shit." Daniel cursed as he fumbled in his jacket pocket. He pointed through his car window when Jack came to his side. "There they are." His keys were lying on the driver's seat. He looked at his watch again and gave a huge sigh.
"Come on, " Jack tugged at his arm. "I'll take you to wherever it is you need to go."
"Thanks," Daniel replied as he climbed into Jack's Jeep. He pulled out his cell phone as they left the base. "Meg, this is Daniel Jackson. I'm going to be just a little late, but I promise I'll be there soon. No, no, really, I don't want to miss my date this month."
Jack tightened his hands on the steering wheel. 'Daniel couldn't be having an affair,' he reasoned with himself. 'First of all, it's not like Daniel to do something like that. Second, I'd know, wouldn't I? Third, even Daniel wouldn't be stupid enough to make the phone call in front of me.' Although, Jack reallzed that the second Thursday of every month seemed to be sacred in Daniel's plans. Daniel had been very upset last month when a mission had taken them off world, and he rarely made a fuss about that.
"Daniel," Jack said, sparing just a glance at Daniel who was busy fumbling in his briefcase. "Daniel?" He said again, a little louder.
"Huh?" Daniel looked over at him with his glasses halfway down his nose, a sight that Jack had always found particularly endearing in a strange sort of way.
Jack sighed. Sometimes Daniel could drive him crazy and not even know it. "It might help if I knew where I was taking you."
"Oh, right," Daniel agreed, turning back to his briefcase. "Got it." He held up a sheaf of paper.
"Daniel," Jack said warningly.
"Yes, Jack?" Daniel turned back to him, pushing up his glasses and smiling innocently.
"You mind telling me where we're going? Or should I just drive around aimlessly until we run out of gas?" Jack asked in as calm a voice as he could manage.
"Didn't I tell you?" Daniel replied, then continued at Jack's negative head shake. "Pine Tree Nursing Home."
"Pine Tree Nursing Home?" Jack echoed.
"You need directions?" Daniel asked. "We turn right on Grant..."
"I know where it is, Daniel," Jack interrupted. "I guess I was just surprised that's where I was dropping you off."
"You can stay if you want, Jack," Daniel said. "I'm sure they'd really like it if you did."
Jack shook his head again. Great, now Daniel had him even more confused. "I thought I was taking you there to meet this Meg lady."
"Oh no," Daniel said in alarm. "Well, Meg works there and everything, but I...I....um I'mkindoftheentertainement, " he finished in a rush
"You're what?" Jack asked. "You're the entertainment?"
Daniel nodded miserably. "You don't have to stay if you don't want to. Maybe you'd better not."
Jack turned his attention more fully to the road. "Look, Daniel, I'll stay. I just never thought of you... as you know, entertaining people." 'Well, except for me,'Jack added silently with a small smile.
Jack's smile turned into a grin at the sign that greeted them as they walked into the large common room at the nursing home: Monthly Sing-a-long with Daniel, it read.
"Hidden talents, Danny boy," Jack teased and immediately regretted it as he saw Daniel duck his head in embarrassment.
"I can get a ride home with one of the aides or nurses," Daniel mumbled.
"I'm sorry, Daniel," Jack apologized softly. "It's just kind of a shock to me, that's all."
Daniel looked up then and gave Jack a sweet smile, the one that was caused Jack's heart to melt. "You want to stay?"
Jack nodded and started searching for a seat, surprised to find the room so full. He headed towards an empty chair and sat down beside a white-haired lad y in a wheelchair.
"Hey," a voice called out. "That's my chair." A tiny woman with a walker was coming towards him at full speed. "Get out of my seat."
"Just ignore her." The woman in the wheelchair smiled. "Clara always bosses everyone around."
Jack stood up as the woman approached and helped her into the vacated chair with a smile. "I'm sorry, ma'am," he said.
She looked up at him with a disgusted glance then gave him an appraising once over. "You'll do. You can sit here," she said patting the empty chair beside her. "Who are you anyway?"
"He brought Daniel, Clara," the other woman supplied helpfully. "I think he's Daniel's boyfriend."
"Bess, he's mine for the night. You don't have to answer for him," Clara retorted. "Well, speak up, boy." She patted Jack on the knee. "And your name is?"
"Jack. Jack O'Neill," Jack said weakly. 'Danny, whatever have you gotten me into?'
Daniel had once told Jack that his piano playing wasn't anything special. While Daniel wasn't ever going to go on the concert stage, he was a level above adequate, and he certainly put his heart into playing. The people in the home were definitely enjoying their evening. The papers Daniel had pulled from his briefcase in the Jeep were sheet music, old standards that most of the people knew and could sing.
Jack had never realized what a pleasant singing voice Daniel had, a light tenor that carried well. The women on either side of him, Clara and Bess, were having fun, not only with singing but also fighting over Jack. Jack politely removed Clara's hand from his thigh for what felt like the hundredth time that evening. He wouldn't have minded if it had been a grandmotherly gesture, but Clara had an unsettling habit of creeping her hand upwards ever so slightly during the process. He shook his head with amusement. Definitely a naughty old lady!
"He's such a good boy," Bess smiled in approval as Daniel finished playing the last song: Let Me Call You Sweetheart.
Daniel stood and took a dramatic bow to the applause. He made his way to Jack slowly, stopping to talk to many of the residents who obviously knew him quite well. Jack watched as Daniel leaned over a man in a bed and spoke quietly, patting the man's hand in reassurance. He gave a kiss to one elderly woman wearing a rose in her hair. Another woman reached out from her wheelchair, struggling to form words. Daniel squatted beside her, waiting patiently for her to finish. He smiled at her and said something that caused a wide grin to break out on her face.
"Good evening, Miss Clara, Miss Bess," Daniel said as he finally reached Jack's side. "I see you've met Jack."
Clara lifted up her hands and Daniel caught them, kissing each one in turn. "I missed you last month, young man."
"I know, Miss Clara. I'm sorry. I had to go out of the country for my job." He smiled. "But how about if I see if Meg will let me come twice this month to make up for it?"
He squatted by the wheelchair. "Hello, Miss Bess. I heard you had a birthday while I was away." He handed a small package to her. Jack raised his eyebrows when Bess opened it and found a cassette tape. Daniel was smiling at her. "I remembered how much you said you missed reading poetry since your eyes get so tired, so I thought I'd read some for you."
"Isn't he a dear?" Bess demanded of Jack.
Jack smiled broadly in return. "Yes, Miss Bess, I would say that he is."
"Is he?" Clara was saying to Daniel, nodding her head in Jack's direction and catching Jack's attention again.
"Is Jack what?" Daniel asked, confused.
"Your boyfriend," Clara said with a huff. "He looks kind of old for you, sweetheart."
Daniel met Jack's eyes over Clara's head, amusement dancing in the blue depths. "Yes, he is my boyfriend, Miss Clara, and he is a little old, but I think I'll keep him."
"If he ever gives you any trouble, you come right to me," Clara replied. She glared at Jack with mock severity.
Jack struggled to keep a very straight face, although he had to wonder why everyone from Carter to Teal'c to these women had this strange notion that he would hurt Daniel. As if.
"I'm sure he'll behave, Miss Clara," Daniel said with barely muffled laughter. "Now, we'd better get going. I have to make sure the old guy gets plenty of rest. I'll see you in two weeks."
Clara and Bess nodded in perfect understanding.
Daniel burst into laughter as soon as he closed the door of the Jeep. "Too old!" he managed to gasp out before laughing some more.
"You know, Daniel, it's a long walk home from here," Jack grumbled.
"Of all the places to sit, you wind up between Miss Bess and Miss Clara," Daniel was wiping his eyes as he finally managed to get the laughter under control. "Which one came on to you?"
"Clara," Jack said before starting to laugh himself. "She kept putting her hand on my thigh and sort of... you know." A glance at Daniel told him he did know.
The drive to Jack's house was silent, except for the occasional laugh that burst out of one or the other of them.
"So," Jack said as they sat on the couch drinking hot chocolate with big marshmallows, not the mini ones Daniel hated, "how did..."
"I ever get involved leading sing- a-longs at Pine Tree Nursing Home?" Daniel finished for him. Daniel shrugged his shoulders. "You remember Mrs. Peters?"
"Yeah, your neighbor at your first apartment," Jack said. "She wasn't there, was she?"
Daniel shook his head. "She had a really bad heart attack about 4 years back. Her children couldn't take care of her so they placed her there. I used to go visit her when I could. She died three years ago. Anyway, I just kept visiting some of the other people I'd met. One time, their entertainment for the evening didn't show up, and Meg found out that I played the piano. It just kind of started from there. And after Nick...after Nick sort of was in and out of my life, I guess I was hunting for a real grandma and grandpa. Sort of pathetic, you know."
Jack placed his hand on the back of Daniel's neck, massaging the tightness there. Yeah, the sad thing was he did know. He had been lucky. Jack's grandparents on both sides had been there through his years of growning up and if something had ever happened to his parents there was never any doubt in Jack's mind that a relative would have taken him in. "I don't think it's pathetic at all, Danny. And the residents seem to love you."
"They are great." Daniel sat staring into the fire and sipping his hot chocolate. "Miss Bess reminds me of Nana Tessa."
"Nana Tessa?" Jack prompted when it appeared that Daniel wasn't going to say anymore.
"She was my first foster parent. She took in lots of kids over the years. She even got some type of certificate from the governor's office." Daniel put his mug on the coffee table and drew closer to Jack. "I had been in an orphanage for about a month until everything got straightened out with Nick. Anyway, they gave me to Nana Tessa because they thought I was going to be a problem case."
"Why'd they think that?" Jack moved his hand to rub Daniel's back.
"After Mom and Dad died, I didn't talk to anyone. I guess nowadays they would call it Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but back then everyone just thought I was being contrary." Daniel shifted to look up at Jack. "They all kept telling me I needed to talk about it, but I couldn't. I just couldn't find any words. I mean, it was like my whole world had just suddenly disappeared."
Jack hoped the anger he felt at Nick wasn't showing on his face right now. "And so they sent you to Nana Tessa."
Daniel smiled and nodded. "She didn't care that I didn't talk or that I wet my bed every night or if I cried. She just held me and rocked me in this big old rocking chair she had."
"You loved her a lot, didn't you?" Jack whispered. "Why didn't you stay with her?"
"I did love her. I just didn't know it then. She had the amazing capacity to understand kids. One day, when I was getting ready to leave school, my caseworker showed up and told me that I'd be going to a new home. Nana Tessa had a stroke while I was at school. I never got to tell her goodbye."
Jack reached up his thumb to brush away a tear on Daniel's cheek. He pulled his lover closer, sensing Daniel's need for simple human contact. 'And so that was it, huh Danny? You just decided that you weren't going to get close to anyone else, because if you did it would hurt.' Jack mused. He wondered if that habit Daniel had of hugging himself and unconsciously rocking had started when Nana Tessa had disappeared from his life.Jack hated when Daniel did it now because he'd learned that it meant that somehow he wasn't providing what Daniel needed. He hugged Daniel tighter and began rocking in the slow motion that had become second nature as their relationship had developed.
Jack gave a small laugh as he thought back to Miss Clara and Miss Bess.
Daniel looked up at him, firelight glinting off his glasses, almost hiding his eyes. "What is it?"
"I was just thinking of something Miss Bess said to me," Jack explained. At Daniel's raised eyebrows he continued. "She said you were a dear."
"Oh," Daniel replied, looking away. " She calls everyone that."
"She's right you know," Jack said, reaching out and taking off Daniel's glasses before guiding Daniel's head to his shoulder once again. "You are a dear, my very own dear heart."
"Are you getting all mushy on me, old man?" Daniel chuckled softly.
"Humor me," Jack whispered running his fingers through Daniel's hair feeling the tension ease out of Daniel.
"I like it, Jack," Daniel yawned. "Dear heart," he murmured before yawning sleepily.
Jack sat watching the fire, listening to Daniel breathe, feeling the weight of Daniel's body melting into his as Daniel slipped deeper into sleep. "I like it too, Danny. I like it too."