“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
“You’re right, I am bored.” Jack pulled a face at his
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
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
“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
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
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
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
“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'
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
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
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
“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
“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
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.
“What exactly are you doing?”
“I’m in bed, trying to sleep.”
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
“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?”
“It’s 1800 hours, Daniel. You already missed the classic
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
“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.
“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.”
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
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
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
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
“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
“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
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.”
“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
“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
“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.
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