THE RIGHT STUFF BY DARCY


Slash: Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.
Rating: PG
Category: ER
Season/Spoilers: Any
Synopsis: Jack and Daniel ponder the age old question... my place or yours?
Warnings: My first SG story, and my first slash story.
Length: 62 Kb

 

“Close that up and get some sleep.”

“I’m working, Jack.”

“No, what you’re doing is keeping me awake.” Jack fidgeted restlessly on his sleeping bag, annoyed at Daniel who was hunched over a monstrous book with a flashlight.

Daniel scowled, furrowing his brow in concentration. “It’s early. You’re just bored. I’m working,” he repeated, not bothering to look up.

“You’re right, I am bored.” Jack pulled a face at his assiduous archeologist.

Daniel peered over his glasses. Jack agreeing with him about anything these days warranted a glance.

“And you wanna know why I’m bored?” Jack continued, switching to that annoying tone that skirted the edges of sarcasm.

Daniel didn’t need to ask; he knew Jack would tell him anyway. He hastily lowered his gaze back to the safety of the written word in hopes Jack’s train of thought would de-rail and leave him in peace. He was too late. Jack didn’t need much encouragement; any hint of interest was all it took to get him off and running.

“Because, Daniel, this has got to be the most boring planet in the entire galaxy. Scratch that. In the entire, goddamn universe. This planet is making me yearn for an early Saturday morning power point presentation on ancient pictographs. Better yet, a lecture from your nerdy colleagues filling us in on the obvious variations and differences between logograms and syllobograms.” He paused, not the least bit discouraged by Daniel’s apparent lack of interest. “This planet makes an archeology convention look like the goddamn Super Bowl.”

Jack took another peek at Daniel, who kept his baby blues buried in that huge honkin’ book. He took a deep breath and continued. “As a matter of fact, I’m going to put that right in my summary report. Official Summary of P2X-301: BORING AS ALL HELL!”

“Jack.” Daniel was careful to ignore the diatribe on his profession. In truth, he was pleasantly pleased Jack actually remembered some of the terminology. “Every time we’re in a jam, you ask why we never gate into to a nice, quiet, peaceful, little planet. It finally happens and you haven’t quit complaining since we got here. Besides, I know what’s really bothering you.”

“Oh, do you?” Jack huffed distractedly, realizing he had forgotten to add hieroglyphics and cuneiform to his boredom repertoire.

“Yes, I do.” Daniel would have to be on a different planet to NOT pick up on the fact Jack was horny as hell. He sighed and struggled to suppress a smirk. “Jack O’Neill’s Rules of Engagement... rule number one.”

“And I suppose it’s not bothering you?” Jack snapped, looking at Daniel curiously. Hmm... the archeologist did not appear nearly as agitated as the fearless leader.

“No, it’s not, because... I’m working!” Daniel mocked, eyes sparkling underneath the long lashes.

Jack slumped miserably. He was working. He had a job to do, an important job. Assess, guard, protect, all that jazz. Problem was the only imminent danger anyone faced on good old P2X-301 was death by boredom. Jack wasn’t sure he could save himself from that fate, much less anyone else.

As for the rules, there was nothing he could do to remedy that particular problem until they gated out of this veritable hub of excitement tomorrow morning.

Jack was almost sorry he had spelled out his personal ‘rules of engagement’ policy to Daniel. He hated having them thrown back in his face. He was proud of the rules. The policy was necessary, instituted to ensure safety and professionalism at all times. There were ten official, personal, Jack O’Neill, Rules of Engagement, but only rule number one kept him up nights, hard and aching. In its simplest terms, rule number one stated...no hanky panky off world. Not in private, not in the tent. Not ever. Period. Off world he needed to be team leader, Colonel Jack O’Neill, not Jack, lover and protector of Dr. Daniel Jackson.

Normally, it was not this difficult. Most missions were occupied with negotiations, communications, alien technology, dodging bullets, fighting the Goa’uld, saving the world, that kind of stuff. Collecting mineral samples was not a job for SG-1. But they were here and that’s exactly what they were doing. A few more samples tomorrow morning and they’d be outta here. One more night bored to tears, not to mention hard as a rock, listening to Daniel’s light breathing. So close and yet so far. It made Jack want to kill someone. Unfortunately, the Goa’uld had no sense of timing. They were never around when you needed them.

Yep, bright and early tomorrow morning... Daniel would stop catching up on his reading, his book selection in perfect harmony with the planet. Carter would pack up her little plastic baggie thingies and Teal’c would stop pretending not to be bored out of his bald headed skull.

Yessiree, first thing, up and at’em, boys and girls. No shitting around. He’d have them out of here in record time. No lingering breakfast conversation. No Daniel/Carter discussions on the possible uses of that slimy gray oil. None of that crap. Rise, eat, pack, collect, gate. He did so love being the Colonel.

Tomorrow night at this time Daniel would be in his bed and in his arms. Jack frowned at the thought. Whose bed? The never ending, ‘my house or your house’ battle had been heating up for weeks. He wanted to get it straight and not run into any glitches that could mess up his plans for tomorrow night. He glanced over at Daniel. The flashlight was off. Perfect Timing. If Daniel were asleep, or close to it, he'd agree to just about anything.

“Daniel, you awake?”

When Daniel grunted in response, Jack took it as a good sign and continued. “Tomorrow night we’ll be together in my...” Jack paused deciding against using the word bed, “...in front of the fireplace,” he adjusted smoothly.

It only took a second. “You agreed next time we could be at my house,” Daniel answered alertly.

Damn him. “Yeah, I know, but that was before the last time. How about making that the time after the next time?” Jack expertly clouded the issue.

“That made no sense at all, Jack.”

It was hell shacking up with a genius.

What’s wrong with my place?” Daniel asked, tired of this same potential argument. They’d been dancing around it for months now.

“I’m tired of talking about this, Daniel. Can’t we just concentrate on how hot and horny we are?” His hope of Daniel being half asleep was shot to hell. Shit. He was much too irritable to be having a real conversation.

“How can you be tired of talking about it?” Daniel asked wearily. “We haven’t actually talked about it.” This particular discussion had been weighing on Daniel for weeks now. He needed Jack to see how important this issue was to him.

Jack took the offensive. “Okay, you want to talk about it. We’ll talk about it. I’ll give you five good reasons why we should be at my house. One, my house is bigger and more private than your apartment. That’s why it’s called a house. Two, my bed is king size and about one hundred times more comfortable than yours. Three, I don’t have priceless crap covering every square inch of living space. I can walk around without worrying about breaking something. Four, I keep junk food on hand. Five, satellite dish. What do you have?” Jack finished triumphantly relying on his arrogant 'can you top this' attitude.

Daniel propped himself up on an elbow and watched Jack lay down in the sleeping bag twitching around, getting comfortable. “Jack,” he began slowly, unsure where to start after that rambling tirade. “Okay, a lot of what you say is true.” Daniel paused, grateful he could only feel, not see, the smug look radiating off of Jack’s face in the darkness. “I like your house, I like being there...”

“Good. Then what’s the problem?”

“I didn’t interrupt you, did I?” Daniel admonished, effectively shutting Jack up before continuing. “I like being there, but it’s your house. There’s nothing of mine there.”

There was a long, uncomfortable pause.

“Are you done, Daniel? Because this suspiciously sounds like the same talk we had two months ago. But in case you forgot, I’ll run through it again. How do you think it would look if I had your stuff cluttering up the house? You don’t think that might raise a few eyebrows, set off a few alarm bells?”

Daniel lowered his eyes and stayed quiet. He did remember the discussion. Jack had scored some valid points. Daniel understood. He wasn’t stupid. The last thing he wanted was to put Jack’s career in jeopardy, but it wasn’t as if he wanted to give up the apartment and move in. Clutter? How about a few meaningful, discreet pieces that shouldn’t upset anyone?

“It’s not worth the risks,” Jack yawned, his voice trailing off. Nothing put him to sleep faster than meaningful conversation.

“I’m not worth the risk?” Daniel asked softly.

“That’s not what I said. Don’t go turning this around. You know exactly what I mean.” The statement didn’t have much gusto behind it. Jack’s escape mechanism ran on autopilot. He was fading fast.

Daniel gathered his thoughts and fought back his frustration. Jack’s didn’t understand what the big deal was. How could he? Daniel had never told him. It took a while to find the words.

“Jack,” he began softly, “all the stuff you call ‘crap’ means something to me. Every piece reminds me of a person, or a place, or a time in my life. Something special to me. It’s not the apartment so much as being around the things that remind me of where I came from, and who I am.”

Daniel held his breath and waited, hoping Jack was processing what he said and might come to understand how important it was for him to feel a sense of home.

“Jack?” Daniel nudged when the silence went on a little too long. He was greeted by light snoring, sleeping noises. Furiously, Daniel rolled over, gritted his teeth, held back his anger and tried to doze.

The next morning, SG-1 shared a hasty breakfast together before making one last trip to the mineral deposit to secure the final samples. Sam and Teal’c exchanged covert glances. Daniel seemed subdued, but polite as always. The Colonel was downright pissy.

“Is there a problem, O’Neill?” Teal’c questioned on the short hike to the site.

“Everything’s peachy, Teal’c, just peachy,” Jack responded cheerfully, giving the Jaffa a friendly slap on the back. A thought popped into Jack’s mind. “Teal’c, let me ask you something. You’ve been to my house, do you like it?”

Sam saw Daniel stiffen with a look of disbelief at the innocent sounding question.

“Yes. Very much,” Teal’c answered amicably, slightly confused by the ‘out of the blue’ nature of the question. Then again this was the Colonel. “It is always a pleasure, O’Neill,” he added graciously.

“Ah, a pleasure.” Jack smiled approvingly. “Major?”

“Yes, Sir, you have a very nice house,” Sam said patronizingly, taking a quick look at Daniel who appeared to be seething.

The animosity between Daniel and the Colonel was so thick Sam almost opened her mouth to ask about it before thinking the better of it. She decided it would be best to stick to her own version of military protocol on this matter. Don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t know, don’t wanna know.

“That’s it, Colonel,” Sam said as she bagged the last rock.

“There is a God in heaven,” Jack practically shouted, clapping his hands together. “To the gate, kids.”

Teal’c and Daniel had already packed up the gear and the four of them made it back in record time. Daniel dialed home. Jack bounded up the steps just as his three teammates disappeared into the event horizon. Jack turned around for one last look. “Bye, bye, P2X 301. I am SO not going to miss you.”

After the routine trip to the infirmary, hitting the showers and the customary debriefing, Jack was encouraged by Daniel’s improved, friendlier attitude towards him. Okay, friendly was probably a stretch, but definitely not openly hostile like this morning. He didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. He wished he and Daniel had driven in together to give them a little time to get the bickering part of the evening out of the way.

Jack put on a determined face and walked toward his archeologist’s office in an effort to hurry him along and practically rammed into Daniel, who was on his way out the door.

“Good,” Jack said. “I was just coming to fetch you.”

“Fetch me? I’m not your dog, Jack.”

For once, Jack refused to rise to the bait. “I’ll order us out some Chinese. No MSG,” he whispered seductively in Daniel’s ear. “Build us a nice fire...”

“A fire?” Daniel’s head jerked up in disbelief. The anger died on his lips almost immediately and was replaced with confused hurt. The words he shared last night had fallen on deaf ears. Jack didn’t understand, or worse, didn’t care. The thought hit Daniel hard. He’d have to eventually sort through this and figure it all out. Right now all he wanted to do was climb into bed, his own bed, pull his handmade Peruvian quilt over his head, and go to sleep.

“For cryin’ out loud, Daniel, don’t get your shorts in a bunch. Can’t we talk about this at home?” Jack bristled at Daniel’s sensitivity.

“I’m going home.” Daniel worked at keeping his expression neutral, sounding more tired than hurt.

“Good. We’ll talk about this later,” Jack happily approved, more than eager to table this for now.

“Jack...” Daniel started, realizing he and Jack were talking about two different homes. They hadn't been on the same wavelength in weeks.

“Ack,” Jack reminded, waving his index finger to cut off any further discussion, “home, Daniel.”

“Fine,” Daniel mumbled to the back of Jack’s annoying gray head.

As soon as Daniel’s head hit the pillow the phone started ringing. For the briefest of moments he debated not answering it. The ringing was annoying, but not nearly as annoying as the caller was going to be. He might as well get it over with. It’s not like Jack would give up and leave a message like any normal, sane person would.

“Daniel?”

“Jack.”

“What exactly are you doing?”

“I’m in bed, trying to sleep.”

“Why?”

I told you I was going home.”

That did sound familiar. “Can I come over there?” Jack asked, sounding a little defeated.

Daniel tried to ignore the sad tone. “Tomorrow, come over tomorrow,” he insisted. “Good night, Jack” he added, after a few minutes of silence.

Off world for five days and Daniel’s opting to sleep alone. Jack felt a chill. “Good night, Danny,” he said softly, clutching the receiver long after Daniel had hung up.


The clock read 7:00 AM.

“No!” Daniel yelled out loud, pulling his pillow over his head to block out the incessant ringing. This was the last straw, he was simply going to have to figure out a way to kill a certain Air Force Colonel. “What?” He yelled into the receiver.

“Everything all right, son?” The voice on the other end sounded concerned and familiar. Shit!

“Um, General Hammond? Oh, uh, s-sorry, Sir. I-I’ve been getting some annoying calls lately,” Daniel stuttered in an embarrassed attempt to cover the initial disrespect.

Daniel listened politely as the general first apologized for the early morning wake up call and then made his request. An inscribed artifact had been sent back by SG-6. The general was hoping for a translation before the team’s scheduled return.

“No, it’s no problem at all, Sir,” Daniel chattered cheerfully, hoping it would be enough to balance his earlier rudeness. “I’ll be in right away.” He was more than agreeable and happy to put off the inevitable ‘Jack’ confrontation.

“So much for sleeping in,” Daniel murmured, as he stumbled out of bed and into the shower. He dressed quickly and then gathered up the books and notes necessary for the translation.

No time to make coffee. He’d stop at Starbucks on the way in. Just grab an apple from the fridge and be on his...

“Who was on the phone?”

Daniel stopped short, then stumbled backwards, comically tossing the books and papers he had just gathered, into the air. He watched them crash to the floor, his heart pounding up through his throat, scared senseless to find someone -- Jack -- in his kitchen.

“Didn’t mean to startle you, Daniel,” Jack grinned, jumping back a step to avoid the books crashing down on his toes. “Coffee?” he offered, holding out an extra large Styrofoam cup. Jack suppressed a smile as he set the steaming peace offering on the counter, and bent down to help pick up the scattered manuscripts. “So, who was on the phone?” he tried again, while Daniel cleaned up the mess and steadfastly ignored him.

Daniel’s dazed eyes finally met Jack’s. No one should be out of bed at this ungodly hour, never mind assaulted by an insistent phone and accosted in their own kitchen by a demented ‘rise and shine’ Colonel. “It’s 7:00 in the morning, Jack,” Daniel said coolly.

“You said I could come over,” Jack reminded him, without a trace of guilt. He leaned over and gave Daniel a peck on the cheek, inwardly pleased that Daniel didn’t smack him. Jack loved the look in Daniel’s eyes when he was thrown off balance. That thoughtful, unsure, innocent hesitation... it was such a turn on.

“I have to go in to work.” Daniel’s confusion quickly gave way to annoyance.

“Work! Who called you?” Jack demanded. “That sorry ass group of archeologists wouldn’t know a genuine artifact from an artichoke. They have a lot of nerve calling on your day off. Your time is valuable, Daniel,” Jack ranted, simultaneously picking up the last of the paperwork and reaching for the cordless. “It was that Lightner guy wasn’t it? He’s calls you for everything. The man has zero confidence in himself. Last time I mentioned it to him he looked like he was gonna piss his pants...”

“You talked to Lightner?” That explained a lot, Daniel thought, rolling his eyes. He’d have to arrange to have a sit down, heart to heart, with the SGC’s newest archeologist. It was going to take a lot of fast-talking, and possibly a little therapy, to get that conversation out of the poor man’s head.

“Never mind, not important.” Jack was already dialing. “I’ll take care of this. Who was it?”

“General Hammond,” Daniel disclosed without batting an eye, standing at the counter, neatly reorganizing the books and papers.

“Ah, the general himself, huh?” Jack meekly replaced the receiver. “Well, I suppose you could spare the man a few hours.”

True to form, Jack recovered quickly, taking a huge bite out of one of the dozen donuts he’d brought over. Daniel had to hold back a grin at the sight of Jack’s jelly mouth and powder-sugared lips. “I’ll go with you,” Jack decided enthusiastically between chews.

“No. No, Jack,” Daniel practically pleaded. “It’s a translation. You’ll be bored to death and spend all day hovering around bothering me. I’ll never finish.”

Jack tried to look insulted. “Daniel, I’m a Colonel in the United States Air Force, working for the most top secret project the world has never seen. You think I can’t find something to do?” The scowl and tone might have worked a tad better without the white sugar lips.

“Jack, um, you've got a little... donut... on you.”

Jack smiled and pulled Daniel into him. “Kiss?” Daniel laughed in spite of himself and kissed, licked, and then bit at Jack’s lips. “Sweet, huh?” Jack teased, loving the sound of Daniel’s chuckle and the warmth that had crept back into his eyes.

“Let me go do this alone. I’ll back in time for dinner,” Daniel promised giving Jack’s lips one final sweep for good measure.

“My place?” Jack wished hopefully.

“No, I wanna be home. Here,” Daniel answered firmly.

Jack sensed the determination and did not want to jeopardize the good will they’d just built up. He nodded as Daniel threw on his jacket and balanced his heavy load with both hands, trying to lean the pile against his chest in order to free up a hand to open the door.

Don’t ask for help, Daniel, Jack sighed to himself. I’m standing right here. “Daniel,” Jack grabbed the doorknob with one hand and held out the coffee with the other. “Need, any help?”

“No, Jack, I got it,” Daniel said absently, focusing on his load, fumbling the stack for a brief second before making the necessary adjustment to maintain the precarious balancing act.

Jack stood in the doorway watching, making sure there were no major mishaps on the way to the elevator. How many books can one geek carry? “Hey, Daniel,” he yelled, as said geek rested the uncooperative stack against the wall to push the down button. “Don’t be late. There’s a Twilight Zone marathon on tonight.” Daniel paused for an instant, shooting the hesitant look that made Jack’s legs turn to jelly. Smiling triumphantly, Jack retreated back into the apartment.

Daniel nodded dumbly as the doors opened. The Twilight Zone? The Twilight Zone had nothing on his life since he joined the SGC. Come to think of it, The Twilight Zone was a day at the beach, a walk in the park, the proverbial piece of cake compared to life in The Jack Zone.


Daniel picked up on the sixth ring. “Dr. Jackson.”

“Why are you there and answering the phone?”

“Excuse me?”

“It’s 1800 hours, Daniel. You already missed the classic hitchhiker episode.”

Sometimes, Daniel had to admit he had absolutely no idea what Jack was talking about. “Yeah, well, Jack, about that...I’m going off-world. It’s kinda sudden,” Daniel continued when the receiver seemed to go dead in his hand. “I need to see the cave to get a better point of reference for this translation.”

Waves of silent, protective worry washed over Daniel clear through the phone. “The planet’s uninhabited,” he tried to soothe. “SG-6 has been there for four days. All quiet.”

“Maybe I’ll come down and see you off,” Jack rebounded, trying for casual, in no mood for a Daniel lecture, especially one that might include words like overbearing, protective and possibly, asshole thrown in.

“Actually, I’m leaving in... crap! I gotta run, Jack.”

“Daniel,” Jack bellowed into the phone. “You were planning to call me with this little change of plans... when?” Going from ‘I promise I’ll be home for dinner’ to ‘oh, by the way I’m going off world for a few days’ were not even in the same zip code.

Guilt crept into Daniel’s conscience. He had meant to call Jack on at least three separate occasions in the past two hours. Mission prep kept distracting him. Finding the correct reference books, getting his personal belongings together, all the little things necessary to get organized for a few days off world. Maybe, no, definitely, he had forgotten.

“I was gonna call,” Daniel argued weakly.

Silence.

“Danny, are we okay?” Jack asked softly, holding his breath.

“Yeah. Yeah, Jack, but I-I do wanna talk when I get back. We’re due back Monday, 1500 hours.”

“Okay.”

The quiet agreement surprised Daniel. “Good, okay. Bye, Jack.”

“Bye, Daniel. Wait! Remember to...”

“Jack,” Daniel cut him off. “I know. Eat, sleep, brush my teeth, change my underwear, yadda yadda... I got it. I really gotta go. See you in a few days. Bye, Jack.”

“Bye, Danny.” Jack stared numbly at the receiver, listening to the dial tone. Bye, Danny. He felt like he’d been saying variations of that phrase way too much lately.

It wasn’t just the ‘byes’ Jack hated. It was also the ‘but’ in Daniel’s response to his ‘are we okay?’ question. He didn’t much care for the talking thing either. He never got the words right. Not like Daniel, Danny always got the words right. Jack couldn’t compete with that. Whenever Jack critiqued himself in deep, meaningful conversation, he came up woefully short. He was either too emotional or not emotional enough, too serious or not serious enough. Too sarcastic or... well, no... he’d never been accused of not being sarcastic enough. He wanted this to be right with Daniel. He needed to say everything just right.

Hell, Jack sighed. Who was he kidding? He was no poet or linguist. Relying on words pretty much guaranteed failure. He was a man whose actions always expressed his feelings; his mouth usually just got him in trouble. He might not be great at voicing sentiment, but if actions spoke louder than words, maybe there was a way he could get this right after all.


Jack anxiously paced the halls of the SGC, waiting for Daniel to finish up. The debriefing was taking forever. More than likely, no one on SG-6 knew how to shut the lovable, enthusiastic nerd up, Jack thought with a smile. Damn, he couldn’t wait to get out of here. Daniel finally emerged looking a little brighter than the rest of the participants, confirming Jack’s suspicions.

Daniel nodded when Jack explained about his car being sent out for routine maintenance. “I want to go home my home,” was his only response. Jack agreed, too nervous to argue. He’d figure something out.

Distracting Daniel with questions about the translation seemed like the best bet. It worked like a charm for a while. Daniel was still in post mission, adrenaline induced hyper drive, excited, running through the details of solving the mystery of P4X-299.

The enthusiastic flow of one-sided conversation stopped suddenly. Daniel looked over at Jack. “Sorry,” he mumbled. “I forgot. You don’t care about this stuff.”

Jack kept his eyes on the road, and placed a hand on Daniel’s knee. “I care,” he said giving it a gentle squeeze.

“About archeology?” Daniel asked, raising an eyebrow, waiting for the punch line.

“About archeologists,” Jack compromised. “Go on, tell me how you finally figured it out.” Technically, Daniel was right, he didn’t care. But he cared about Daniel and he missed listening to him talk about anything.

Jack cursed the road for the sharp turn that forced him to remove his hand from his archeologist’s knee in order to grip the steering wheel.

The gesture caused Daniel to come up for air and glance around. “Jack,” he groused, eyes narrowing. “This looks suspiciously like the route to your house.”

The warning tone and distrust in Daniel’s voice made Jack flinch. “I know you want to go to your place. I just need to pick up a few things that’s all.” Maybe this wasn’t such a brilliant idea after all. Daniel stopped his running monologue on the key to ancient cave glyphs and was staring stonily into the night. Jack was equally silent, worried about the soundness of his plan as he pulled into the driveway.

Damn. He needed to get this right.

“I’ll wait in the car,” Daniel said matter of factly, not taking any chances on Jack luring him in and getting his way.

“It might take a while. Come on in,” Jack answered neutrally.

“I’ll wait.” Daniel stubbornly refused.

“Daniel,” Jack said miserably. “If you want to go home, I’ll take you hom I promise. There’s no need to sit out in the car.”

Daniel let out a deep breath. “‘Fine,” he agreed, following Jack up the walk.

Once inside, the tough as nails, savior of earth, Special Ops Colonel, chickened out. “I... uh, I’ll go grab my stuff,” he said awkwardly. In one motion Jack flicked on the light and took off for the bedroom as fast as his bum knees would allow. While his stomach made odd gurgling noises and did the occasional back flip, Jack sat down on the edge of the bed and waited.

Daniel stood impatiently in the kitchen for a few seconds before his eyes fell on the Espresso machine on the counter top. What the hell? Why on earth would Jack buy one of those? All he did was bitch and moan about how he couldn’t figure out how to make a normal cup of coffee. Beside the machine was a coffee mug, a very familiar coffee mug. Anger rose in Daniel’s chest. This was Jack’s idea of making him feel at home? If he thought for one second this token gesture was all it took to appease him he was mistaken. It was insulting.

Daniel stormed out of the kitchen in search of Jack. He stopped in confusion and flipped on another light, slowly peering around the living room in silent wonder. He walked over to the fireplace and picked up the piece of pottery resting securely on the mantel, the one piece he had managed to salvage from his life on Abydos, his life with Sha’re. Daniel ran his hand over the comforting, familiar pot and carefully took in the entire room. It was alive with his memories. The antique oil lamp from Cairo, the inscripted urn from P3X-552, the Turkish rug, it was all here. Even the handmade quilt was draped over the back of the sofa.

Daniel’s eyes burned bright as he quietly padded onto the bedroom looking for Jack. He was speechless when he found the bedroom sporting more of his personal items. Jack had even brought the Egyptian painting that normally hung over Daniel’s bed. A replica of the one he remembered as a child in his parent’s own bedroom was now beautifully displayed over one of the dressers.

Jack sat quietly on the bed, waiting for Daniel to say something, anything. If he had to say ‘bye Danny’ one more time this month he was going to go certifiably insane. Risking an upward glance, Jack found Daniel scanning the room, his eyes resting on the treasured Egyptian painting.

“Jack, I-I don’t know what to say,” Daniel stammered, eyes shining as he stood over Jack and reached for his hand.

“So, you’re okay with this?” Jack questioned, still not positive on how it was going over.

“Well, of course, I’m okay with it. I’m more than okay with it,” Daniel enthused. “Why? There weren’t any, um... casualties were there?”

“Not a one, Dannyboy,” Jack answered proudly, relief flooding through him. That had been his biggest fear... damaging, breaking or in any way harming one of Daniel’s irreplaceable treasures. He ended up making trip after trip, treating each piece with the care necessary to ensure its safety. It paid off. Jack was grateful he had scrapped his original plan of throwing it all in the back of the pick up and sorting it out at home.

“Must have made a lot of trips,” Daniel keenly observed. Jack nodded, starting to feel a little uncomfortable, sad at how touched Daniel was by his efforts. If the truth be told, he should have helped Daniel move some of his things in here months ago.

“Really, Jack, it’s, it’s...” Daniel’s eyes were actually tearing up.

Jack waved him off. “Aw, Danny, don’t go getting all mushy on me here, okay?”

Daniel looked down at Jack at the same instant Jack looked up at him and when their eyes locked they both smiled. Daniel took a deep breath. “It’s upside down, Jack. That’s what I was going to say. It’s really... upside down.”

Jack whirled around to glance at the painting. “No it’s not,” he argued gamely, knowing there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of winning this one.

“Yeah, it is.”

“Not.”

“Is.”

“Not.”

“Yeah, it is. See the writing.”

“I see it. That’s why I hung it that way.” Jack’s voice trailed off in a slight whine, like it did the moment before admitting defeat.

“Well, actually, the writing is what’s upside down.”

“Okay, smarty pants, what’s it say?”

Daniel knew the ancient Egyptian saying by heart. “It says, ‘My beloved is like a garden, full of beautiful papyrus blossoms and I am like a wild goose attracted by the taste of love.’”

“Huh?” Jack grunted, desperately stifling a laugh. “It really says that?”

“Yes, Jack,” Daniel said seriously, confused by Jack’s doubt in his interpretation skills.

“Wild goose, huh? Like this?” Jack abruptly grabbed Daniel’s ass and pinched, relieved to find an outlet for his laughter without hurting his own beloved’s feelings.

Daniel quickly stuck his hand over Jack’s mouth. “Don’t talk. Don’t ruin this,” he ordered, planting a kiss on Jack’s amused lips.

“Yeah, okay, whatever you want my little... goose,” Jack answered before Daniel could stop him with another kiss.

They rolled onto the bed, laughing into one another’s mouths before coming up for air.

“Still wanna go home, Danny?” Jack whispered seriously.

“I’m already there.” Daniel smiled contently.


FINIS

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  Copyright
Biblio, PhoenixE, babs, Brionhet, Darcy, Devra, Fabrisse, JoaG, Kalimyre, Marcia, Rowan and Sideburns, 2001-2008.
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Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Stargate Productions, Sci Fi Channel, Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. These stories are for entertainment purposes only. 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.
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