Slash: Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.
Rating: PG-13
Category: Angst.
Season/Spoilers: Season 4.
Synopsis: Daniel and Jack are poised on the edge.
Warnings: Intense Situation.
Length: 40 Kb

Part One
The Small Things by Biblio

Have you ever looked in a mirror and not been able to make sense of your own face?  This shell in front of you is so far from who you are you can't see you in it.  If you look long enough, it draws you in.  It isn't vanity.  You don't want to look at YOU.

You want to see what you're feeling.


You need to know that what you feel is there for others to see.

It makes you crazy because you say you're fine and they take it.  You only say that when you're dying inside and you wonder why they ask if they don't want to know.  Not enough to call you on it.

You want to say, 'I look at YOU and know'.

Doesn't seem to work like that for you.

The worst is when you're dying inside and you say, 'I'm fine, thank you'.  Manners are more important than you.

It's not that you're not important to them.  You're part of the whole, part of what makes them who they are.  You give everything to them and wonder if they know you're not supposed to be part of anything.

Acceptance…it's not for you.

You have to work at it.  Oh, not the giving.  That's easy.  You learned that lesson long ago, just like you learned not to need.  You try not to want.  Wanting is easy too, but getting…people have to see you to give, and they never seem to.  Being accepted, being a part…that you have to work at.  It's as alien to you as being alone is to him.


The be all and end all.  The one.

Not that he knows.  Not that you'd tell him.

Like he'd ever ask.

He doesn't see you either.

He loves you, but he sees what he needs in you.

It's not what you need.

Didn't you learn about that?  The needing thing?

You needed Mom and Dad.  You needed to be Danny.  You needed them to look and know, and they did, God, they did.

You needed…

You asked.  Just once.  The only choice you thought you were safe to make.  You weren't accepted.  Work is more important than you.

You got to be Jackson, D.  The child.

The problem.  Red tape is way more important than you, but it’s more important than anyone, so you gotta suck that one up and let it go.

You let a lot of things go, most of them parts of you.  Small parts.  Baggage, really.  That small power you had to affect the lives of others was buried with the ones you needed most.  It wasn't safe, so you let…Okay.  That's not true, is it?  Is it?  You didn't let anything go.  What wasn't safe, you made go.

Mom and Dad touched, so you didn't.  You couldn't even describe the way your body freezes when someone puts their arms around you.  A touch of the hand can shake right through you.  You hold still and close in on yourself.  What did you do?  They don't see you, they don't know you.  They CAN'T touch you.

They mustn't.  You can't need.

They don't even know you're afraid.  Not as bad as you used to be.  You don't panic, not anymore.  The tension, it's instinctual.  You can't do anything about that, not now, you have to cut yourself some slack on that.  You have some defences.  You smile.  It feels like a wince, but you're trying.  Give them what they need from you and they'll back off.  Mostly, it works.

It has never worked on him.  Nothing works on him.  He's a goddamned unstoppable force of nature who needs to be in your skin with you to feel alive.  He needs, he wants, he pushes, he takes…he amazes you.

Fucking fearless.

You don't know what that takes.  Maybe it's not the same for him.  Maybe it takes less for him to be all the things you quit dreaming you'd be when reality was Jackson, D.

You're probably quits, because he has no idea what it takes to be you.

Sometimes your defences bother you.  Must you be so…so submissive?  You're not passive.  You can fight.  You DO fight.

When this team you're part of gets it wrong, and you KNOW…you fight.

You fight for what's true.

You stand up for anyone who can't, though that's nothing wonderful.  You've been there, done that.

You fight him.  It hurts you both but something in him needs that from you.  When he can't let go, he looks to you to make him.

You've let him down.  And the others.  Yourself.  You try.  You fuck up as often as not, but you do try.  You'd do anything for them.  You hope they know that.  Sometimes, they do.  Knowing that you can't ever fuck up enough to drive them away…it's too much.  You get lost in that, as lost as you get in you.

What the hell did you do to deserve that?  Not just acceptance, but commitment?

That was a new lesson, one your team taught you.  Commitment to you was Sarah.  Control.  Power.  Taking.  Never, ever being able to give enough.  Not being enough.

Nothing new there.

Only Sha'uri…joyous practicality, fierce intelligence, courage and passion.  Living life to the full, grabbing it and you by the heart and the balls, giving you everything.  Teaching you.  Commitment with a different taste to it, because as much as she and they loved you, you were different.  You loved her, but still, you drew apart.  You looked…out.

Jesus, Jackson, D.  Be honest.  You looked for him.  It cost you her.  She paid with everything she was to free you, not her.  You got to have it all.   You got your team, you got to be a part.  You got respect, validation, a cause, a path, a place…

She paid so you fight for all of it.  It has to MEAN something.  You have to make a difference.  If you don't, then neither did she.  She paid for nothing.

The boy told you to find another path, not knowing the path you took was another way for you.  For the first time, you didn't close in on yourself, you didn't hurt yourself for others.  You struck out.  You tasted hate and burned with the power of it.  Yet…your enemy saw you clearer than your friends, showed you a truth you had not known and denied with all you were.

You can't need, you know you can't, everything in your life has shown you that.  Everything you've done to yourself not to need, and still…you need him.

What do you do?  What the hell do you do?

You can't be without him and he doesn't see you.

You've never been lonely before.  Even being a part has its price, and it seems you can’t be alone any more.  It was your solace, your choice.  You lost yourself in the power of words you didn't read on a page you didn't see.  You lived and breathed and flew in the power of words.  You were free.  Words lifted you out of yourself, took you beyond all the parts of you that you locked away.

You don't hurt when you read.  Only then.

He lifts you, takes you beyond even the power of words and the passion of half your life is his.

It hurts to be alone.  It hurts to be without him.  It won't ever stop hurting because you don't get to have him.  Empty life, empty bed.

You look in your mirror and after a while you wonder where the feeling went.

You do have defences.  You always cope.  You adjust and function, no matter what it takes.  When every breath hurts, still, you can do it for them.  The team is more important than you.  Hard to learn, hard to know, but you are important to them.  They would kill for you or die for you.  They love you.

Him most of all.  He can't be without you.  There is nothing he wouldn't do for you and still, you don't get to have him.  He'll never look at you and see you shattering him in tangled sheets, your sweat-soaked skin sliding over his.

You don't know what to do with that, so you go on.  It's the small things that get you through and hurt you most.

When he walks away with a flip remark about radiation sickness and you know and he knows you'd do it for him.  Whatever.  It doesn't matter.  You don't walk away from him.

You don't understand.

A week before he laid down his gun and everything he believed for you.

He sits in a closed room and tells secrets, and when you ask…

You're not perfect, Jackson, D.  Admit it.  You need to know.

When you ask, he tells you lies.

When he looks at her and smiles, and not at you.

When he's in your face and in your space and he sees nothing and knows nothing but you, and she's there, she's right there.  Watching.  He pushes your glasses up with that 'dare you' look on his face.

Hi.  Hey.

A soft look, as close as he gets to shy, his hand on your arm and all your defences…what defences?  You LOST him, and he's there, he's with you, melting your bones with his smile.  He doesn't need to touch you to shake right through you.

When you can't be you any more, when you can't live in that fear.  You have no power, no path, no place.  Your cause is lost and so are you.  He's there but he's as far from you as he's ever been.  He doesn't know.  He doesn't see.  You want to let go.  It hurts to breathe.  You've known that, lived that too long.  There has to be an ending.

It all goes away.  It went with Mom and Dad.  It went with Danny.  You could have it back.  If only he would see.  You wish he knew no one ever touched you like he touches you, not even…no one.  You don't freeze.  You fall into him, yearning.


He's everything.

You can't fight for you, but you can fight for him.  It shocks through you.  If you let go…this, he'll see.

You say his name and he's there, he's with you.  As lost as you, and yours.

He loves Jackson, D.  The child.

It doesn't matter about Danny.  You try not to need, and you go on.

Jack is more important than you.

Part Two
Uphill Battles by PhoenixE



I can't believe it's come to this - we - you -

You don't want to do this.  You can't.  I know what I'm seeing but I just don't believe it.  This isn't you.  Not the Daniel I know.  You can't NEED to do this.  Not someone like you. No one could get through what you have, on your own, and not want to live so much there's no words for it. You're no quitter.

After everything you've survived, everything you've achieved, everything you've fought for, is this what you really believe you deserve?  The only thing all of it means - the point of the whole exercise?  The shape of the final exam?

You shouldn't be here, Daniel, not you. Not in this place, on this edge, so close to falling for the final self-deception, so far from seeing what you really are. What you think you add up to isn't this.  Your 'truth' is a lie. What you won't believe in so simple, obvious and good you can't accept it.


You're good. It's that simple.  What can I tell you, I call them like I see them and when I look at you, all I see is you.  Good.  Why can't you see it too?  I don't get it.

But then, that's always been the problem, hasn't it?  You think I don't get it.  I don't get you.  I don't see, I don't know, I don't understand, I couldn't possibly…

You're a bright guy, I don't know anyone smarter, but even you don't know everything.  I get it.  I know a lot more than you think I know.

I just don't know what to do for you.

I'd do anything, everything.  I'm standing right behind you, closer than your own skin and yet as far away as you've always kept me. I'd give you anything, everything you need, faster than a heartbeat but here's the kicker, buddy, I can't do a damned thing because you won't let me.  All I can do is stand here like a big, dumb bump on a log and watch.

You and I both know how much I suck at sitting on the sidelines.  But what else can I do when you won't let me play on your team?  So here I stand, apparently good for nothing but here I'm staying, because whether or not you'll take me, you've still got me.  All the way.

Sometimes trying to get through to you, to get you to take anything, well, it's like trying to roll a boulder up a hill.  Swimming against the current.  Spitting into the wind.  Bashing my head against the brick wall of your unshakeable conviction you're not, you don't, you won't get, you don't need.  Mister 'No Man is an Island except me'.

Maybe I should have stopped pussyfooting around months ago and went with my gut, grabbed you and kissed the shit out of you.  Maybe if I had, if I hadn't been such a -

Great, now I'm doing it.  I can't very well stand here and tell you it doesn't do any good to beat yourself up with what's over and done with or bleed yourself dry on 'should have' and 'if only' if I'm doing the same damn thing.  So I'm not gonna.  So there.  Keep it in there here and now. Deal with things the way they are, work on what we have to work with and where we can go from here.

Sounds like a plan, huh? Only one problem - I'm here and you're - you're where you are. Before either one of us can take the next step I've got to get on my side.  And yours.

You're not going down without a fight.

The past is the past, Daniel.  I can't change it, and neither can you.  While there definitely are battles worth fighting, there's no point wasting energy on stuff you can't change and battles you can't win.

If I could wave a magic wand and make it all go away for you I would.  But I can't.  I can't do a damned thing to change what's already happened. That's the way it is sometimes, too much of the time, when it matters the most, there's not a damned thing you can do.  It's a real kick in the head, isn't it, when you know there are times you can make a difference in really big ways. Hell, we do it every freaking day, it's part of the job description, practically.  But then, I don't have to tell you that, you know all about this one. You've gone out there and made a difference for every single person on this planet.  Every one but you.

Yeah, we've sure done our share, haven't we? Fight the good fight, save the world before breakfast, twice on Sundays, be a big hero on a daily basis but when you really want what you can do to count…

I know about fighting with everything you've got and still losing.  I know about things that cut so hard and deep you look down the barrel of a gun for absolution.  That kind of arrogance self-deception is seductive and seems even more logical when you're chin deep in your own shit and still sinking.  But what you don't see right now, Daniel, what you don't understand is it's not a solution - it's a curse.  It doesn't solve anything, sure doesn't stop the hurting.

It's not an ending for the ones left behind.

So don't.  Please don't.

You think I don't get it.  You think I can stand here and see you and not know?  You think I don't give a damn when you throw that 'I'm fine' at me and walk away weighed down with your 'I don't need NUTHIN from no one' armour leaving me no choice but to let you?

Forgive me for granting you the dignity of making your own choices if refusing to force you to take what you need made you believe there was nothing left for you but this.  Or that I didn't care enough about you to make the effort.

That's so not true.  And it's not fair.  But it never was, from the very beginning.  I went into this whole friendship thing with you with two strikes against me from the very beginning because of what all those other bastards did to you.  None of it was my fault, but I've had to suffer the consequences all the same. Had no choice but to struggle gamely on trying to work with what they forced you to become. I've been measured against the yardstick of what you've learned to accept as 'truth', judged by what you expect to receive, tainted by the remembered transgressions of the others who hurt you.

All I ever did to you was love you. Yes, you. I've got some freaking nerve, huh?

That's it, Danny.  That's my bottom line. It doesn't get any more complicated than that and neither do I. I'm a simple guy, no hidden depths or meaning here, not when it comes to you.  You're so into making everything harder than it has to be, looking for the hidden meanings and significance in every gosh darned thing - making a big production number out of next to nothing, but sometimes, all that effort, scrutiny, analysis, it's not necessary or needed.  Not only is it a big honking waste of time but you wind yourself up in the bargain and all we both get for the effort is more screwed up and farther apart.

Sometimes it just is what it is. A rock is just a rock, you know?  It doesn't mean a damned thing more.  What you see is what you get. Don't read anything more into me than what's standing right in front of you, 'cause if you're looking for the catch, the cost, the punch line, the hidden agenda you'll be looking in vain and wasting a lot of precious time.  We've both done too much of that already, don't you think?

Here it is, and so am I.  What you want, what you need, right here.  All yours. It's that simple.  You not only get to have, you don't have to ask for it; all you have to do is let me in.

I know you think it's too late, things have moved on, I'm not here for you any more, but that's not true.  I know the way it's looked to you, but that's only because - dammit, I can't help it if I care about all of you.  That's the way I am, I give a crap, caring about all of you more than I should  doesn't mean…

You think, her and me, I know you do, but that's not the way it is.  What's more, it never could be that way, between me and her.  You know why?  It's simple.

She doesn't NEED me.

Told you it was simple.  But then, so am I.

You've got to let all this crap go, Daniel.  It's in the past, but it isn't over because it's still hurting you.  As long as you embrace your pain instead of me, I can't help you.  Can't do a damned thing except watch you destroy yourself.  Slowly and painfully, by needless, agonising inches or all at once - like this.  Not only is that senseless
and tragic, but it's just plain stupid. We both lose, and the bad guys finally win.

Don't do this.  Don't leave me.  This isn't your only choice.  There is another way.  Come with me.  Come inside.  We can work it out.  We can.


Okay, I heard you.  I'm right here.  I've got you.  I've got you and I'm not letting go.  That's it; that's the way.  Come back over, slow and easy.  You're safe, now.  We'll go back in together and then we'll fix this. Whatever you need, whatever it takes, we'll find a way.  It'll be all right.  It'll be fine.  You'll be fine. We'll both be okay, now. You'll see.  Trust me.

I love you.  You're all that matters.  Now, and from now on..


Feedback makes the difference between writing and posting; please contact me at biblio@jd-divas.com

Biblio, PhoenixE, babs, Brionhet, Darcy, Devra, Fabrisse, JoaG, Kalimyre, Marcia, Rowan and Sideburns, 2001-2008.
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