JOB SATISFACTION BY DARCY
||Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.
|| Jack really likes his job.
Three long days of negotiations are nearing an end. I can tell by the smile Daniel’s flashing Pran, the First Minister of Zare. Our lead negotiator must be finagling one final provision from the beleaguered First Minister. Pran’s brow furrows as if to consider Daniel’s latest offer. Like he has a choice in the wake of that radiant grin. Poor bastard doesn’t stand a chance. The true, authentic Daniel Jackson smile is a rare treat and completely unpredictable, sad to say, even by me. Rare... and totally lethal. Another day of this and Earth would not only own the trinium mining rights forever, we’d rule their damned world. Pran should be grateful; he got off easy.
How do I know all this? Am I psychic? Am I obsessed? No, nothing like that. More like...observant. I watch Daniel. Relax, it’s not what you think. It’s not as if I do it for sport. It’s my job. I get paid big bucks to watch Daniel. It just so happens, I’m a man who loves his job.
One of the servants offers a plate of Zarian delicacies. Daniel takes one, nodding graciously. The thing looks like the leg of a long dead, toad-like creature. Pran is breaking pieces off with his fingers and savoring each tasty bite. Daniel follows suit and breaks his leg thingy as well. He looks at it with the same intense delight as the natives. He pulls out a piece of the stringy ‘meaty’ part. Even goes so far as to hold it in his hand, in the vicinity of his mouth. All the while talking, smiling, reassuring. When the servant returns to clear the plates, Daniel’s delicacy is spread in small pieces under a leafy green garnish. No one is the wiser that not a morsel actually crossed those sensuous lips. No one except me.
It’s not an obsession. It’s not. I just take my job very seriously.
Daniel’s coming towards me. I go for casual. I can do casual.
“Jack!” He grabs my arm and steers me just outside the door. I’d gladly let the man steer me anywhere. “Jack, you’re not going to believe this. I-I secured the m-mining rights for a year. A whole year.” He’s so giddy, he’s stuttering.
I’m just about to congratulate him when his face lights up with the real deal. The blazing smile reaches all the way up into those amazing baby blues, leaving me senseless. Maybe if I don’t look directly into their light I can maintain some semblance of normalcy. “How much longer?”
“This is great news. Aren’t you the least bit excited?”
Oh, you have no idea how excited, Dannyboy. “Yeah, great news. Good job. Well done. Atta boy. How much longer?”
He’s disappointed. It’s like dousing flames with water. I disappoint him a lot lately. But hell, it beats appalling him.
“Not too much longer. Another hour or so. I just want to finalize everything to make sure nothing can go wrong.” He recovers quickly. That’s my boy.
“Yeah, sure, we can do another hour.” The room clears out leaving Daniel, Pran and a few Zarian officials to put the final touches on the treaty. I’m hovering in the doorway, doing my job... watching.
I love my job.
I’ve learned a lot from watching. When things are going well Daniel fiddles with his glasses. Pushes them higher up his nose, even takes them off to clean them. It’s always a good sign. When things aren’t going so well he plays with his hands. Grabs his fingers and pulls and squeezes them alternating between left and right. He does it under the table. I don’t think anyone’s observed this but me. I’d kick his ass in a poker game.
I watch him because... it’s my job.
Hey, someone’s gotta do it. Trust me on that. Daniel forgets things. Yeah, sure he’s a genius...I’ll grant you that. He can figure out anything given enough time. It’s the simple things he forgets.
Take eating for example. Today was an all day feast to celebrate finalizing the negotiations. And even though the leg-like food wasn’t very appealing, there were plenty of other choices. I had no problem filling up. Daniel hasn’t eaten a thing all day. I’m sure of it. I did my job and watched.
He’s back. “That’s it, Jack, all done,” he says happily. I love seeing him like this. It’s not often things go this well.
“Good. Great job, Daniel.” He pauses for a second waiting to see if there’s a punch line. There’s not.
“Daniel?" I pause, this will be a bit tricky. "The food didn’t really agree with me. You want to go out for some dinner after we debrief?”
He seems surprised. We haven’t been out in a while. “Why don’t we get some take out and eat at my place? I’m pretty beat.” He’s looking at me with an odd smile that I’m not used to seeing. I don’t have a name for this one.
“Yeah, sure, maybe we could get frog legs, or crab legs or squid?”
My suggestion makes him laugh. “It wasn’t very tasty,” he says, as if he actually tried it. He didn’t, I watched.
I want to call him on it just to get a reaction. Give him a clue as to how much I see. Maybe I’ll tell him tonight over dinner. Maybe I’ll tell him everything. Maybe not. I’ll know when the time is right.
In the meantime... I’ll watch him. It’s my job.
I love my job.
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