Tears for the Innocents by babs
Slash:  Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.
Rating: PG
Category: Angst
Season/Spoilers: Non
Synopsis: Jack helps Daniel after a traumatic mission.
Warnings: Some descriptions of violence.
Length:  39Kb

  Tears for the Innocents  by babs

Jack O'Neill stood watching Daniel's rigid back as the other man pulled two small jars from the kitchen cabinets. His back remaining ramrod straight, Daniel slowly and deliberately closed the cupboard door before walking to the table to deposit the cinnamon and vanilla.

"Danny, come on. It's 0130," Jack tried coaxing. "Who on Earth bakes at 1:30 in the morning?"

"You know, Jack, " Daniel said in a small, tight voice, "since this is my apartment, I think I'm entitled to bake at 1:30 in the morning if I choose." Daniel dumped the dough from the large bowl onto the table.

'Yeah,' Jack thought, 'as if baking is going to make it all go away.' He knew why Daniel didn't want to come to bed. Hell, visions of the massacre they'd witnessed on P6Z-333 were haunting his own dreams. But dammit, Daniel needed to sleep sometime.

 They'd come back through the Gate with the echoes of screams still ringing in their ears. After being checked out by Janet and her staff, SG-1 had showered and debriefed. Daniel had been quiet, but thoroughly professional. Jack had tried talking to him, tried getting Daniel to talk back. Daniel had mumbled some nonsense about needing to finish a translation for SG-9 and locked himself in his office. And then it seemed there hadn't been time to talk, to get it out in the open. SG-1 had been sent off world just two days later, and Daniel had single handedly managed to negotiate a treaty between Earth and their newest allies.

Jack continued to watch as Daniel pushed the heels of his hands into the dough and gave it a quick quarter turn. The kneading continued, Daniel's hands moving almost without thought. Another time, Jack would have found the motion an incredible turn on, imagining Daniel's hands kneading his muscles. But tonight, it worried him. He'd managed to finally drag Daniel back home, but Daniel had been on hyper drive all evening. And Jack didn't like the look of fatigue on Daniel at all. He found himself wondering just how much sleep Daniel had managed in the past week.

"Daniel," Jack tried again, "come to bed, please."

Daniel looked up at him, his blue eyes appearing bruised. "You don't have to keep me company, Jack. Go to bed. I can't sleep anyway."

"Danny, you're dead on your feet here," Jack pleaded. He watched Daniel put the dough back in the bowl and cover it with a towel.

"I've got to let this rise, and then I need to make the rolls," Daniel said. "It'll only be another hour or so." He gave Jack a smile that was only a ghost of his usual one, the smile never touching his eyes. "They're your favorites. Cinnamon nut."

"I appreciate the thought.." Jack smiled back. "But I'd like you to be able to enjoy them with me." He moved closer and slipped his arms around Daniel's waist.

Daniel stiffened and pulled away. "Jack, please. Just go to bed. I'll come in when the rolls are done. I promise."

It was against Jack's better judgment, but he could hear the brittleness in Daniel's voice, the tight control. Pushing now would do no good. He nodded. "I'll wait up for you, Daniel."

Daniel only returned the nod absently and began filling the sink to wash the few spoons and bowls on the table. 'Thank God,' he thought as he heard Jack walk slowly back to the bedroom. Daniel's eyes burned with fatigue, the grittiness reminding him of the time he was caught in a sandstorm on Abydos. He placed the last spoon on the dish drainer and looked around. Surely he could find something else to keep his body and mind occupied. Daniel looked at the sink and bent down to pull out the scouring powder. By the time he'd finish, he'd have the cleanest sink in Colorado.

Daniel sprinkled some of the powder in the sink, grabbing a sponge as he ran the water. 'Just think of what you're doing, Daniel,' he told himself. He focused on the small sound the sponge made as it ground against the grainy powder, the pull on his muscles as he scrubbed harder. Anything to try to stop the imagesthat ran through his mind.

P6Z-333 had looked as beautiful as the pictures the MALP had first sent back. Jack had joked about all the ruins Daniel would be able to play in. An idyllic, peaceful world. The information they'd been able to gather indicated an agricultural society bearing a close resemblance to early Greece. SG-1 had gone through the Gate in high spirits.They'd heard the screams long before they reached the village that had been their objective.

 Daniel ran more water into the sink and scrubbed harder, desperately endeavoring to scrub  away the images from his mind as well.

The attack on the village had been swift and brutal. The men who had been defending the village lay scattered about, dead, empty eyes looking up to a beautiful summer sky. Teal'c and Jack had immediately scouted the perimeter, Sam checking the bodies, hoping to discover a clue to what had happened. 'If only he hadn't opened the door to the small granary,' Daniel shook his head at the thought. He hadn't been able to speak as he took in the sight before him. The women and children lay huddled in small groups, throats evidently slit in ritual suicide when it had been apparent that the attackers were going to succeed. Somehow he hadn't known there could be so much blood. He remembered looking down and seeing his boots turning red.

Shaking his head to try to clear away the visions,  he realized there was a huge blank in his mind for the rest of the mission. The next clear memory he had was of sitting in the infirmary with Janet checking his pulse. The buzzer in the kitchen sounded, intruding on memories better forgotten, and Daniel punched down the dough in the bowl, turning it out to shape the rolls. 'Good, I can do this. Keep busy. I can forget.'

Jack lay stretched out Daniel's bed listening to Daniel running water in the sink and the small sounds as Daniel moved in the kitchen. These were normally soothing sounds that could send him to sleep in a few minutes, but not now, not tonight. Not with the memories of that god-forsaken planet they'd thought would be a blessedly peaceful mission.

He'd had known it was going to be bad the minute he'd heard the screaming. Screams beyond fear, screams of death. A glance exchanged with Teal'c indicated the Jaffa knew the meaning of those screams too. Carter had gripped her weapon tightly, her mouth drawing into a grim line. Daniel had thrown Jack a concerned look, his face gone white. When they'd only seen the men, Jack's first thought had been that the women and children had been captured, taken as possible trophies or slaves. He'd motioned for Teal'c to follow a small trail. Carter had looked up from a body and shook her head. "All dead, sir," she'd said, her voice cracking.

Nodding in understanding, Jack turned to hunt for Daniel and saw the archaelogist's body outlined at a doorway of a small building for a moment.  The next instant Daniel had disappeared into the darkness. Carter stood up, following Jack towards Daniel. Jack had found his friend kneeling beside one of the children's bodies, hands on the child's throat, trying desperately to bring the child back to life.

 "Help me, Jack," Daniel's voice was tight, strained. "We've got to get them help." Takiung Daniel gently by the shoulders, Jack pulled him away.

 "No, Danny," he'd whispered. "It's too late."

 Daniel had come with him, unresisting and pale. They found Carter outside the building throwing up her breakfast. They'd gone back to the Gate in silence,Jack's arm around Daniel. Teal'c guiding Carter.

 Jack heard Daniel move into the living room. He waited a few minutes, then got up when Daniel didn't appear in the bedroom. Jack looked into the living room seeing Daniel opening a small closet and starting to drag out his vacuum cleaner. 'Okay, Danny,' Jack thought, 'time for Jack O' Neill's tough love.'

Daniel had put the formed rolls in the refrigerator and glanced at the clock. 3:22. Okay, only a few more hours until dawn. He went into his living room. How long had it been since he'd vacuumed his sofa? Probably too long. And the bathroom needed a good cleaning too. Daniel opened the small closet where he kept his vacuum and other cleaning supplies and froze as familiar hands closed over his.

"You are not doing anything else, Daniel," Jack's voice sounded close to his ear. "Enough is enough."

Daniel strained to reach the vacuum. "I still have stuff to do," he argued.

"No," Jack grabbed his shoulders and turned him around. From his hunched over position, Daniel looked up into concerned brown eyes. "You don't."

"I can't sleep." Daniel shook his head, even as he was led into the bedroom.

"That's fine," Jack said, his voice soothing. "How about if you just lie down? Stretch out."

"Okay." Daniel really didn't want to argue about it. He sat down and pulled off his sneakers. All he had to do was wait until Jack fell back asleep, then he could finish what he needed to do. He kept his eyes closed, the burning sensation eased by the darkness.

"Lie back, Danny." Jack's hands pulled him down onto the bed. "Just relax a little."

"Mmmm-hmmm," Daniel murmured. He felt Jack rearranging the blankets, giving Daniel the bulk of them. He started to sit up as a stray thought occurred. "Pajamas."

"Nah, Daniel. How about you just keep on the sweats tonight, okay?" Jack sounded amused.

"Yeah, okay, then." Daniel turned his face into his pillow. He moved closer against Jack's back, his favorite way to sleep. He snaked an arm over Jack's waist, moved his leg over Jack's longer ones. "Jack?"

"Yeah, Daniel?" Jack's chest moved under Daniel's hand.

"I'm sorry," Daniel whispered. "I shouldn't be mad at you."

"It's okay, Daniel. I understand." Jack's hand covered his and squeezed. "Relax. I'll be here."

Daniel took in a deep shuddering breath as the memory of the massacre returned. He tightened his grip on Jack's chest, his legs, pushing his body as tightly against Jack's as he could.

"Sam was crying, Jack," he said. "I found her crying in her office."

Jack's hand stroked his arm. "Yeah?" his voice encouraged.

"I didn't know what to say to her. I tried to help her." Daniel swallowed hard, his throat painful with the memory. "I just held her while she cried."

"That's probably what she needed." Jack's hand tightened around his lover's wrist for a moment.

"I wanted to fix it, Jack. I wanted it not to happen," Daniel continued. "They were just children, you know?" He shivered at the recollection.

"I know, Danny. I know." Jack's voice was calm, even.

"I wish it didn't hurt anymore." Daniel felt his nose starting to clog. "I wish I didn't feel it."

"No, you don't.." Jack returned to stroking Daniel's arm. "You really don't."

Daniel nodded his head against Jack's back. "I know that in my head, but my heart..."

"Thank God for that heart, Daniel," Jack murmured. "Don't ever lose that."

Daniel smiled into Jack's shoulder and relaxed infinitesimally. He closed his eyes once more. "Jack, I think I'll just rest a little. Okay?"

"You do that, Daniel," Jack whispered back. "I'm not going anywhere."

Jack smiled as Daniel's arm grew heavy  against his chest. When he breathed deeply he could smell the cinnamon Daniel had used in the rolls. Vietnamese Extra Fancy, Daniel had explained one time, holding the jar to Jack's nose, laughing when Jack pulled back from the smell that reminded him of the red hot candy of childhood. Jack drew Daniel's hand to his mouth, kissing Daniel's fingers one at a time, tasting the bite and fire of the cinnamon, smelling the vanilla that Daniel had used. Jack felt a dampness on his shoulder. Turning his head awkwardly he could see tears trickle from Daniel's closed eyes.

"Daniel?" Jack asked softly. He was almost certain Daniel was still sleeping. When there was no response he gently moved Daniel's arm from his chest and turned onto his right side. Jack pulled an unresisting Daniel into an embrace, feeling Daniel's leg hook over his once more.

"Shhh," Jack whispered. "I'm here. I'm here as long as you need me to be." He rubbed a hand in slow circles on Daniel's back and dropped a kiss on Daniel's head. "Sleep. You deserve to rest."

 'And when you wake up,'Jack thought, 'I'll hold you while you cry the tears you didn't let Carter see. Sometimes that's all I can do.'

| feedback? email babs | home |babs stories |
Daniel Jackson was written out of Stargate: Click here to help get him reinstated
babs, 2002.
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.
[an error occurred while processing this directive]