The keyboard is taking a beating as I angrily bang out my
With limited options, Dr. Jackson jumped up from a secure
position, exposing himself to heavy enemy fire in order to divert
attention from Major Carter. The diversionary tactic made it possible
for the major to reach the DHD and dial Earth's address... blah blah
That's the official report. I print it and sign my name with a
flourish as the ink dries quickly to the neat, little lie. Oh, he
jumped up all right, that part is true. I omitted the huge argument we
had in regards to tactics and options. The report should have read, ‘in
spite of direct orders to the contrary, Dr. Jackson jumped up'... blah
So when did I start lying in my reports? Oh, yeah, right
around the time I started sleeping with my brave and brilliant
archaeologist. Hey, in for a penny, in for a pound. Isn't that what
Typing out the report brings the anger back to the surface and
I scrub a hand across my face, rub my eyes, and take a deep breath,
waiting for the feelings to subside before I go home to the cause of my
deceit. The reason for the lies and the headaches and the sleepless
nights and the unsettled stomach, not to mention the lack of military
discipline is at home, my home, no doubt sleeping soundly in my bed.
Of course, he also makes me dinner, makes me laugh and makes
getting up in morning worthwhile. He gives me hope, along with
incredible sex, and loves me more than I deserve. Dr. Daniel Jackson is
simultaneously the joy and the bane of my life, and I'm not sure I want
to live one day on this planet without him. That said, my archaeologist
and I need to have a little chat. One that I'm not looking forward to.
Nope, not looking forward to at all.
He disobeyed direct orders. My orders. No newsflash there.
Daniel follows orders about as well as I follow Carter's techno babble,
but it's getting out of hand now, dangerous even, and no matter how
much hell I'm going to catch from my snarky archaeologist, it's my
responsibility to do something about it.
When we first started jumping each other's bones, for lack of
a better description, Daniel set out to prove, to himself I guess, that
he would not receive any special treatment from me. He made me vow not
to be any more protective of him than I already am. No problem there,
I'm cautious about the health and well being of all of my team, your
basic equal opportunity protector. I've held up my end of the bargain.
Daniel has not.
In the field, I use my best judgment to assess and make snap
decisions based on circumstances and years of experience. Did I mention
I'm a Colonel? Daniel happily ignores those decisions and does whatever
he damn well pleases based on what he WANTS to do and what he THINKS is
best. The worst part is that I let him, like a parent indulging an
unruly child. I let him, not just to avoid a confrontation, but because
I love him to the core and I want him to be happy. I know it's wrong
and I let him anyway.
Today it struck me that the fraternization rule has some
merit. Daniel would no doubt listen better to a CO he wasn't climbing
into bed with every night and waking up beside every morning. I suppose
it's difficult taking orders from someone who just blow-dried your hair
and whispered ‘I love you, babe' in the shower. But while he might
listen better, I'm not willing to trust Daniel's safety to any one
other than myself. So that brings me back to square one.
We definitely need to talk before my irritating, insolent
‘heart and soul' ends up wounded or worse on some godforsaken planet.
One huge, honking problem is that talk is what Daniel does best. He can
and does talk circles around me. Words are Daniel's forte. He
negotiates and debates and convinces. It's what he does, either with
delegates of other countries or other worlds, and he rarely loses. But
this is one discussion I can't afford to let him win. Despite his
incredible linguistic skills, I do have one advantage that he won't
have... I'm right.
By the time I pull into the driveway, I'm feeling much better.
The ride home has calmed me down some. The house is dark and I'm sure
Daniel's asleep. Taking the steps two at time, I realize that the
anticipation now outweighs the anger. I freeze when I see him sprawled
out on the bed. He's nestled under the covers and the moonlight is
shining through the window onto that peaceful face and silky hair. As
always, my heart squeezes at the sight of him.
As soon as I climb into bed he snuggles up beside me. It's
only a matter of seconds before he's pressed firmly against me. My arms
automatically wrap around him in a hug.
“Jack?” he whispers sleepily.
“Yeah?” That soft, questioning ‘Jack?' warms my heart and
immediately melts any resolve I may have had to play it tough.
“Are you mad at me?” His voice is muffled, still buried in my
chest, and carrying a hint of playfulness.
“No.” Damn it! I want to say ‘yes' but I can't. My fingers
gently run up the length of his back. “We need to talk though, okay?”
That's the best I can do.
He sighs contently and burrows even deeper into my chest.
“Sure, Jack. We can talk in the morning.”
“Right. In the morning.”
We had wild, yet passionate monkey sex at 0600 this morning.
Scratch that, we made love this morning. That's how Daniel likes me to
word it. If I use my first description he'll give me an exasperated
look, the one that involves a slightly pouty lower lip used in
combination with raised eyebrows that drives me batty. Little does he
know I spout that particular phrase intentionally, in hopes of getting
‘the look'. See, he's not as smart as he thinks he is. After we made
like chimps he fell right back to sleep. I've been puttering around the
house for at least two hours when I hear the shower. My cue to turn on
the coffee maker and start the breakfast I've decided to try to bribe
He comes down the stairs fully dressed in faded jeans and a
fresh blue cotton henley . It's so unfair.
He cocks his head in my direction. “Jack, you okay?”
Oops. I must have sighed out loud. “Yep. Fine.”
He's beside me in an instant, leaning over my shoulder to
check the menu.
“Bacon? I love you, Jack.” He plants a light kiss on my neck,
grabs the morning newspaper and pours himself a cup of coffee before
settling down at the table, all happy and content. Not a care in the
He barely looks up when I bring our plates over and sit down.
Instead, he hands me the sports section and starts to chuckle at an
article he's perusing. If I want to get this ‘talk' in, which I don't,
I better do it quickly before he starts reading me current events and
discussing the merits of our country's foreign policy.
“Daniel?” He's mindlessly shoveling in his eggs.
His head finally bobs up from the newspaper to make eye
He doesn't look dangerous. The innocent blue eyes stare out
from behind the glasses while a few stray crumbs of toast cling to the
corner of his mouth. By all appearances, it would be easy to guess his
occupation. Dr. Daniel Jackson, nerdy scientist, lover of all things
ancient and boring. Current company included.
But get Science Boy out of the office and into the field and
he turns into Dr. Daniel Jackson, Action Hero. The thought sends
shivers down my spine and gives me the will to forge ahead. “Remember
last night when I said we needed to talk?”
“No.” His brow wrinkles in thought.
“Well, I did, last night. I said, ‘we need to talk'.”
He nods his head and picks up the last of the toast. “What did
“You said, ‘okay'.” I realize he's smiling sweetly, teasing
“You said you weren't mad,” he reminds me as he looks back at
the paper. Seems he does remember, the little shit.
“Well, I lied.” He's still smiling that same amused smile. I
reach over and wipe the crumbs off his face. They're too damn
distracting. “I'm serious. That was dangerous. You don't make yourself
a target... ever.”
He playfully points a piece of bacon in my direction. “You're
just upset because my plan worked and you didn't think of it first.”
“No. I had a plan that would have worked just as effectively
and would have been safer for you. For all of us.” He's definitely not
taking this to heart and I should call him on it, but it's our first
day off in two weeks and I'd prefer not to spend it with a pissed off
archaeologist. If I have to I will, but it's not my first choice.
There's still no emotion. A distracted shrug of the shoulders
is his only response. From his grin, I gather this subject is not of
major importance to Dr. Daniel Jackson, Superhero. It's not his fault;
he's probably still warm and relaxed from this morning's romp in the
hay and thinking that if I had serious issues I would have brought them
up last night. I could kick myself that I didn't. I should have come
home mad, raised hell and kicked his ass.
I know the exact phrase that will piss Daniel off and as much
as I hate to rile him, it's imperative that I get his full attention
and make him understand.
“You disobeyed direct orders.” The blue eyes harden
considerably and the grin disappears completely. Bingo!
“Oh, so that's what this is about. Me not doing what I'm told
like a good little subordinate soldier.”
Damn him. “I had to falsify my report.”
“Why?” His voice is sharp, but I'm hoping the question is
sincere. I'm incredulous that he can be this clueless.
“Why? Because I can't say in the report that you disobeyed
direct orders and hence put all of our lives in danger. If I reported
what really happened, Hammond would think I'm an idiot for putting my
team at unnecessary risk and you'd get a reprimand.”
He snickers at that last statement. “I didn't ask you to lie,
Jack. Put whatever the hell you want in your reports. Do you think I
“We all take our jobs very seriously so, yes, Daniel, I would
hope that you do care.” I know I sound patronizing but I can't stop
myself. He knows just what buttons to push with me, just as do I with
him, but he's much more skilled at using them.
“About your reports, no, I don't care. As for me taking my job
seriously... you want to talk about being taken seriously. Okay, how
His smugness level rises at my blank look.
“Oh, right, you don't remember planet designations. Let me
refresh your memory. P3C-036, the planet with the ancient Romanesque
“Yeah, so?” Where the hell is he going with this?
He leans across the table until we're practically
nose-to-nose. “You ordered me out of the ruins. They were too old, too
dangerous for me. It was right after we moved in together. Remember?”
“They were too dangerous.” He's not doing much for his case
using that particular temple as an example. “If you recall, your geeky
fellow scientist, Coburn broke his leg in three places when part of the
temple ceiling collapsed on top of him. I was right.”
“Yeah, and you know what I had to listen to for weeks?” He's
really worked up. I have no idea when I lost control of this
I shake my head. What the hell is he talking about?
“ Dr. Jackson was smart enough not to go into
those ruins. The SGC would never risk Dr. Jackson's life in
there. Dr. Jackson could have at least warned us. They had
no problem ordering US in.” He hangs his head for just a second before
reestablishing eye contact. “Those comments were made by some of my own
Why does he hide this stuff from me? “I didn't know that, but
it doesn't change anything. That was not your decision to make.
Besides, we're first contact. We have to be more careful.”
My attempt to absolve him doesn't go over well at all. He
leans back in his chair and folds his arms across his chest.
“Let me put this in terms you'll understand.” I hate the rare
condescending tone. “As a military commander, would you order men to do
something you wouldn't do yourself?”
He doesn't play fair. “No,” I answer honestly. And just like
that, I'm toast. Defeated. He talks circles around me. This has
absolutely nothing to do with his playing superman on our last mission.
That's the problem... he wins when he shouldn't.
Daniel grabs his jacket off of the chair and heads for the
“Come on! Where are you going?”
He doesn't look back. “I have work to do.” The door slams
angrily behind him.
The two for one special... I pissed him off and I lost. So
much for being right. I look around at the mess in the kitchen and
start to clean up.
Ah, another day in paradise.
Damn it! Life is so unfair. The ruins on P4X-whatever looked
so fun and inviting on the MALP. Daniel and Carter were both drooling
at the thought of getting in there. It's our first mission since Daniel
and I had our little spat over who's in charge and even though we've
called a tentative truce, life would be so much easier if this sorry
excuse for a planet had worked out.
But it's impossible. Turns out that most of the facility is
underground, the entrance long since buried. All that's left is a small
tunnel that looks to be on the verge of collapse. There's no way in
hell I can, in good conscience, send someone down there. I've already
gone over this in my mind to see if Daniel could be right about me
being overprotective of him because he's... him. No. If Harry Maybourne
were here, I wouldn't send him. Colonel Simmons? Tougher call, but
still no. I could possibly make an exception for Senator Kinsey, but
that's about it. Hopefully, even Daniel in pissy, defensive mode will
be able to see the foolhardiness of attempting to enter that narrow,
Right now, my three teammates are inside the above-ground
portion of the structure collecting whatever data they can, but they've
already informed me the best toys are underground. Shit.
The three of them exit the temple. Daniel and Carter are
engaged in an animated conversation that is apparently so exciting it's
causing Carter to continually refer to her notes and Daniel to use
sweeping hand gestures. An expressionless Teal'c follows a few steps
behind them, not nearly as enamored with the place.
Casual yet firm, that's what I decide on. “Sorry, kids. No
one's playing in these ruins today. Let's pack it up.”
“Yes, Sir.” Carter sounds disappointed.
Daniel looks determined, but to my great relief he appears to
My relief is short lived as he finishes repacking his
essentials and heads off in the direction of the hole. Yes, the very
hole I just deemed off limits.
I clear my throat and raise my voice loud enough for Daniel to
hear me. “Excuse me. May I ask where you're going?” Since taking up
with Daniel, I've elevated keeping my temper in check to an art form.
“To the ruins.” He doesn't turn around. He knows that annoys
the shit out of me.
“Perhaps, you didn't hear me?” What the hell is wrong with
him? I'm so angry it's all I can do not to have it out with him right
here and now. The only thing stopping me is Carter and Teal'c. I can
see they're already a tad uncomfortable and I refuse to subject them to
our personal issues.
“It will just take a few minutes.” He pauses for a second to
face me. He's challenging me, daring me to try and stop him. “I'll go
down, pan the walls with the camcorder and I'll come back up. It's
really simple, Jack.” I want to strangle him for that tone, like he's
explaining his plans to a five year old.
I bite my tongue and count to ten, watching him walk away.
Half of me wants to leave him here and go, to teach him a lesson. Kind
of like my mom used to do when she couldn't drag me away from the model
airplanes. I wonder if that would work... Daniel, I'm leaving right
now, with or without you! Nah, Daniel would say ‘good riddance' and
happily spend days or weeks down in that hole without the benefit of
food or water.
“Carter, Teal'c why don't you two head back to the gate. We'll
“Yes, Sir.” She sounds worried but agrees. I'm grateful she's
willing to give Daniel and I a little privacy to sort through this on
our own. Teal'c gives me a knowing nod as well.
Daniel is already studying the opening by the time I get to
him. “I'm going in, Jack.”
“Regardless of what I say?” I rest a non-threatening hand on
his shoulder, careful not to grip it.
“Yes.” He pulls away and removes his backpack and jacket.
“Why?” I'm determined not to let this deteriorate into a
battle I know I won't win.
He finally stops his preparations and looks at me. Really
looks at me. “It could be important. I don't think we're going to find
the answers to defeating the Goa'uld by finding weapons. I think it's
going to be through finding something else.”
“Like what?” He's never expressed that thought to me before.
“I don't know. But it could be down there. We don't know where
the answer lies, do we?” He goes back to fiddling with the camcorder.
We're alone. I put my hand on top of his to stop the
fidgeting. “Then we'll send back a better equipped team to check it
He tilts his head and squints up into the sun to look at me.
“Okay, what you're saying is this is too dangerous for me...” I start
to nod but he cuts me off. “So, they'll have to send someone else, not
me, the, oh so great Dr. Jackson, to go down there and risk being
injured or killed?”
And they say I'm sarcastic. Coburn's accident must have really
rattled him. “They can reinforce the walls and make sure it's safe
before they send someone down.”
“But they won't. You know that as well as I do. There is no
probability of finding weapons down there, so they won't. If they do
send someone, it will be an SG team with a curious scientist crazy
enough to climb down there and take a look.”
He's probably right about that. They might send a team for
another look see after reading our reports, but odds are they won't
waste time and money on a trashed, two thousand year old temple.
“I'm going in, Jack.” I can see he means it.
“For crying out loud. Give me that damn thing. I'll do it.” I
grab the video recorder and remove my jacket and backpack. There's just
no reasoning with the man.
“This is MY job. You don't know what you're looking for.”
It's childish, but I use the same annoying tone he used on me.
“And I won't send someone to do something I wouldn't do myself. You
said it yourself. Besides, it's not hard. I film the walls and any
other inscriptions and in five minutes I climb back out. End of
discussion.” I'm shocked that he goes along with this and securely ties
off the rope to a nearby tree without further argument.
It's about a twelve-foot drop from daylight to the temple
floor. Every wall in the place is heavily cracked with mud and water
seeping through. Some of the walls are completely gone. Dirt is already
falling down the shaft that I just lowered myself through. I'm just
about to start filming when I hear a loud thud behind me. Son of bitch,
it's Daniel. If I didn't love him I swear I'd kill him. Counting to ten
is not going to work this time. I feel a deep disturbing desire to
learn to Kel'no'reem.
From the smile on Daniel's face I deduce that he's quite
pleased with himself. “Don't say anything, Jack, just give me the
I hand it over without a word deciding to take his advice and
not say anything until we're out of this muddy grave. Then I'll have a
whole lot of words to say. For the first time it hits me that our
relationship is ruining our ability to work effectively together. One
of us is going to have to transfer to another team. It's too dangerous
to continue this way. If he can't adjust, then I don't see any other
choice. My anger dissipates and is replaced by sadness.
Daniel is kneeling on the ground beside the one wall that's
still partially intact. He's rubbing at the mud with his jacket so the
camera will be better able to pick up the writings. It must be an
optical illusion because I'd swear the wall is swaying. SHIT! It's no
“Danny!” I scream the precious name, the one only I get to
use, as loud as I can. He turns to me with that wide-eyed, startled
look that is so endearing. I dive towards him to push him out of the
way. “Danny.” I say the name one more time before everything fades to
The beeping sounds and the distinct antiseptic smell leaves me
with no doubt that I'm in the infirmary. What the hell... “Daniel,” I
try to scream as the memory of the wall and the mud comes crashing in,
but my throat is so dry that his name comes out as a hoarse whisper.
Slight pressure on my hand becomes an urgent squeeze. “I'm
right here, Jack. I'm okay.” The sadness in that voice gives me the
incentive to force my eyes open.
“I'm so sorry, it should have been me.” His eyes are shiny and
bright with unshed tears. “It should have been me,” he whispers again.
It's too difficult to speak so I squeeze his hand, hoping he
can read my thoughts. I don't want that, Danny. I don't ever want it to
As miraculous as it seems, two days later we're home. A
friggin' mud wall collapsed on top of me and all I got was a lousy
concussion. Sounds like a good slogan for a bumper sticker or a
Daniel was quiet on the ride home and my head hurt too much to
poke and prod at him. We haven't talked about what happened and I have
yet to write up a mission report. I have no idea what Daniel, Carter
and Teal'c reported to General Hammond.
Daniel's in the kitchen preparing baked ziti, my personal
Italian favorite. He's already brought me a glass of ice tea, the
television remote, and a stack of Newsweek and Sports Illustrated
magazines. If he asks me if I'm okay or if I need anything one more
time I'm going to gag him and lock him in a closet somewhere. There's
nothing quite like Dr. Daniel Jackson in guilt mode. I want to talk to
him, but he won't sit still long enough to hash this out.
He reappears in the doorway. “Dinner will be ready in twenty
minutes.” He hesitates before retreating to the kitchen and for what
seems like the hundredth time asks, “Do you need anything, Jack?”
“Yes, I do.”
He unfolds his arms and stands up a little straighter; ready
to run off on whatever errand I choose to assign him. If he weren't so
damn miserable I'd take advantage of this rare opportunity and send him
all over Colorado Springs to satisfy my every whim. Instead, I pat the
couch beside me.
I can see he doesn't want to join me, but he did ask. He looks
down at his shoes and wanders over to sit beside me. “The food's
cooking, so...” I bring my finger to his lips to quiet him.
“Talk to me, Daniel.”
“I just, I'm just, well, I'm sorry, Jack.” I slide my fingers
under his chin and gently tilt his face upward to meet my gaze. “How
His eyebrows raise slightly and his shoulders slump at his
misunderstanding of the question.
I clarify. “Sorry as in ‘sorry you got hurt, Jack', or sorry
as in, ‘sorry, I'll TRY to follow orders and leave the command
decisions to you, Jack'.”
A slight blush tinges his face. I'm not intentionally
embarrassing him. I really need to know.
“Both,” he whispers before repeating it more firmly. “Both.”
He smiles at my obvious relief. “It seems like you're always risking
your life to save me. To save all of us. I figured I should share the
My hand automatically goes to his thigh. I'm not capable of
sitting this close without touching some part of him. “And that's why
you jumped up under fire two missions ago? You didn't think I could
come up with a better diversion than your life?”
He shrugs his shoulders and then laughs at his foolishness.
“Yes, I suppose you would have come up with something a bit less risky,
eventually. I guess I just wanted to be the one to save us for a
change. It felt good.”
“Not to me!” After I blurt that out I slide my hand down to
his knee. “There are so many things you do to save us. Don't you know
He shoots me a look that proves he doesn't believe me.
I'm in a charitable mood so I tick them off for him. “You
reason with unreasonable aliens. You make friends with hostile races.
You solve unsolvable mysteries. You translate unreadable words and you
decipher ancient codes. And because of all that, you've saved our butts
countless times. That's you're job.”
He looks up at me with those intense eyes, hoping I'm going
somewhere with this that will make sense to him and relieve some of his
“My job is to wear the cape and run around with the big red S
on my shirt. From now on, only I get to be the action hero
extraordinaire. Got it?”
He nods his head slowly.
“To be honest, your job is way more important than mine.”
“Maybe,” he nods again. “But yours is much more fun.” He
points to his chest and does a circular motion with his finger.
“Wearing the big red S and all.”
I'm thrilled to see the tentative Danny smile. “Don't forget
the cape. I like the cape.”
The small, shy smile spreads to his eyes. “Tights?”
I raise a finger. “Don't go there, Jackson ”
“It should be me,” he whines. “I have glasses just like Clark
I give him an exaggerated sigh. “Wouldn't work. You NEED
yours. The glasses are a disguise. The real superman doesn't actually
NEED glasses. You don't know anything, do ya?”
He glares at me. “Okay, then who do I get to be?”
“Well, let's see, a Superman sidekick...”
His eyes narrow. “Don't say it, Jack.”
“What? I was going to say Jimmy Olsen, cub reporter for the
Daily Planet. Who did you think I was going to say?”
Daniel blushes slightly. “If you'd have said Lois Lane I was
going to stuff kryptonite down your underwear.”
I reach for his hand. “Just be you, Danny, archaeologist,
linguist, Egyptologist, peaceful explorer.” I raise his hand to my lips
and gently kiss the palm before continuing. “Lover of coffee, chocolate
and all things old and gray.”
Daniel smirks contently at the reference.
“Just leave Thor out of this, Jack.”
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