A TIME FOR TRUTH BY DARCY


Slash: Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.
Rating: PG
Category: AU, ER, angst
Season/Spoilers: Any
Synopsis: In this AU Charlie is alive. He accidentally shot himself with Jack's gun, but recovered. Sara and Jack divorced after the accident and Jack is now in an established relationship with Daniel.
Warnings: None
Length: 107 Kb

 

Jack stepped out on to the back deck with a beer in one hand and the newspaper in the other. As soon as he spotted Daniel stretched out on the chaise he had a sinking feeling he wasn’t going to get much reading done. His lover’s arms were folded tightly across his chest, his blue eyes peering over the top of his glasses, the brows arched in anticipation. Daniel was wearing that determined look that would make a Goa’uld sit up and take notice. Jack decided not to go looking for trouble. He steadfastly ignored the Jackson death stare and buried his head in the sports section.

It didn’t take long.

“Jack?”

“Daniel.” Jack answered out of habit, risking a peek over the top of the page. Daniel was in the same pose. Jack wondered how long he could maintain the stare before an eyebrow cramped.

“This is what you’re planning to do... you’re going to sit there and read the paper and ignore me?”

“I’m not ignoring you, you haven’t said anything,” Jack muttered.

“Charlie will be here in four days.” Daniel unfolded his arms and sat up a little straighter.

“If that’s what you wanted to tell me, Daniel, I already know that.” Jack ducked back behind the paper, trying to put off the inevitable for as long as possible.

Jack heard Daniel’s huge sigh of exasperation at his blatant attempt at avoidance and knew it was useless. Daniel was familiar with all of his evasion tactics; he even had names for them.

“He’s going away to college in the fall. He’s not a kid anymore. It’s time you told him the truth about us.”

Not bothering to hide his irritation, Jack made a show of folding up the newspaper. “I KNOW he’s going to college and I KNOW he’s not a kid any more. I just... I just don’t think it’s necessary.”

“Not necessary? Jack, he thinks we’re work buddies. What if something were to happen to you, or me?” Daniel sat up and swung his legs over the side of the lounge chair, sitting on the edge so he could be face to face with Jack. “This is important.”

Daniel’s face registered surprise when Jack leaned over and grasped his hand. “I know this is hard on you... going back to the apartment for two weeks, coming over here acting like we’re just friends. But it’s only two weeks. After this summer Charlie will probably never stay with me this long again. It’s our last time together before he starts college. Can you understand that?”

Jack kept the hand trapped in his own while Daniel answered. “I don’t begrudge Charlie staying here two weeks. You know that. I love Charlie. And I love seeing how happy Charlie makes you. But I think a part of your relationship with him is based on a lie.”

Jack pulled his hand away as his eyes narrowed. “I never lied to him. He never asked, I never told.”

Jack hated the condescending chuckle that escaped Daniel’s throat. “This isn’t the damn Air Force, Jack. This is your son. This is Charlie... and me. Why don’t you just admit you’re scared you might fall off of the pedestal he has you perched on?”

Jack stayed quiet until he was able to rein in his temper. “Maybe I’ll ask Sara what she thinks,” he managed, hoping to end the discussion before it deteriorated into something truly painful.

“Why, because you think she’ll agree with you?” Jack stared a warning look at Daniel who ignored it completely and continued. “This really isn’t Sara’s decision. Charlie is eighteen years old, this is about you and it’s about me and it’s about Charlie. It’s your decision.”

“Well, thank you for acknowledging that, Daniel. You’re right, it is my decision.” Jack’s all too familiar sarcasm rose with each word. “I’m his father and I’ve made my decision. So, accept it.”

Daniel jumped up off the lounger and headed into the house. “Right, you’re his father; it has nothing to do with me. Fine.”

“Daniel, come on,” Jack yelled as the screen door slammed. “Everything will be back to normal in two weeks.”

Daniel stopped inside the doorway. “No, Jack, I don’t think it will be,” he said quietly before turning to head up the stairs.

The anger Jack felt was still overriding the concern. He set his beer down and locked his hands behind his head, leaning back in the chair. Was he scared of losing Charlie’s love? No. His respect? Maybe. The hero worship thing? Definitely.

By the time Jack was ready to go back into the house Daniel had a suitcase and a duffle bag packed sitting in the middle of the living room. A lump sprung up in the back of Jack’s throat at the sight of them. It’s only for two weeks, he told himself, willing his heart to slow down.

“Don’t leave like this,” Jack pleaded when Daniel reappeared in the living room with his laptop and a huge armful of books.

“I’ll be gone in four days anyway, I might as well get in some practice,” Daniel answered sarcastically, as he shoved the books into his backpack, picked up the duffel bag and started toward the door.

Jack cut him off in the kitchen, positioning himself in the doorway to physically block his path. “Wait. Slow down. Just... wait a minute!”

Daniel looked up with an impatient glare.

Jack gazed into the intense eyes and wished he had telepathy like some of the alien cultures they’d encountered. He never felt like he had the right words to fix things.

Daniel was getting restless. “What, Jack? Say something or move out of the way. These books are heavy.”

Jack rarely looked away in a confrontation but found he was having trouble maintaining eye contact. He desperately wanted to appease Daniel; but not at the risk of telling Charlie the truth.

“Jack?” Daniel’s annoyance was growing.

“Put the bags down and stay one more night.” Jack looked up at Daniel hopefully. “Please, Danny. I’ll, I’ll try to explain this to you.”

It was a hard sell when Daniel made up his mind and felt strongly about something. “We’re going off world tomorrow anyway,” Jack continued hurriedly. “We’ll ride in to work together and you can leave tomorrow night if you still want to.” Jack was aware he sounded pathetic, he just didn’t care. He didn’t want Daniel leaving under these circumstances.

“And you’re going to actually talk to me tonight?” Daniel reiterated Jack’s promise.

“Yeah,” Jack agreed, placing his hand over top of Daniel’s hand... the one gripping the backpack. To Jack’s relief Daniel nodded and relinquished the bag.

Jack silently thanked the powers that be as he watched Daniel remove his jacket and toss it over a chair before going over to the counter to start a pot of coffee.

“I’m going to run upstairs and change into something more comfortable,” Jack announced. He needed a few minutes alone to figure out if there was anything he could possibly say to make Daniel happy without jeopardizing his last few weeks with Charlie. Nothing came to mind.

When Jack came back downstairs Daniel was already comfortable on the couch in his sweats with two cups of coffee steaming on the coffee table in front of him. Jack plopped himself down as close as he dared beside Daniel, his mind racing as he picked up the mug and took an exaggerated sip. “Hmm. Good coffee,” he nodded.

Daniel didn’t answer.

Jack took note of how the blue eyes remained fixed on him, a barely perceptible flutter at his latest stalling maneuver. He still didn’t have a clue what to say.

Jack had learned two things in the last few years of living with Daniel. First, honesty really was the best policy in these rare, awkward situations when he was sputtering for words. Second, sarcasm did not go over well at all. The trouble was... he had already tried honesty. He honestly did not want to tell Charlie. He wasn’t sure how to proceed when the truth was not acceptable. Daniel wanted more than he was willing to give.

Jack searched Daniel’s face for any hint of softness. Big mistake. He found himself getting caught up in the bright blue eyes that were boring into him behind the wire frames. Daniel was leaning back on the couch, turned slightly towards Jack, his knees drawn up, bare feet resting on the edge of the table. The ticked off linguist was wearing thin, white, well-worn cotton sweats, Jack’s personal favorites, along with a comfortable faded, navy blue T-shirt with the words 'Property of United States Air Force' barely visible across the front of it. Carter’s idea of a joke a few Christmas’s ago. Jack loved that shirt; he always envisioned it reading 'Property of United States Air Force Colonel Jonathan O’Neill'. He smiled at the thought of how much that would piss Daniel off.

“Jack, do you have anything to say?” Daniel averted his gaze for a second to concentrate on another sip of coffee. His eyebrows arched as he glimpsed at Jack over top of his glasses in an expression so familiar Jack felt his blood suddenly head south. He realized all he wanted to do was lean in and kiss those determined lips. The only thing stopping him from going for it were the packed bags in the middle of the room. He tried to refocus, cursing his body for its lack of control.

“Yes,” Jack finally answered, an idea forming in his head. He gently gripped Daniel’s upper arm, “Tell me why this bothers you so much. Tell me how YOU feel.” If he could get Daniel talking he’d be off the hook.

“You really want my opinion?” Daniel set his near empty mug down on the table next to Jack’s.

“Yes. I do.” Daniel had been immovable so far. Jack knew the linguist could be downright chatty once you wound him up, especially if he was trying to explain or convince. Jack guiltily supposed it was because he wasn’t asked often enough.

Daniel twisted his body around so he was completely facing Jack, tucking one of his legs beneath him. “First of all, I think it’s important for Charlie to know who you are, not who you pretend to be.” Jack smiled at the caution and gentleness that had crept back into his lover’s voice.

He ran a hand down Daniel’s arm. “I’m not pretending to be anyone,” he said softly. Nothing turned Jack on more than Daniel in serious, sincere mode.

“Sure you are. The whole larger than life, secret ops, military Colonel thing. But that’s not who you are, that’s what you do. Charlie needs to see the difference.”

Before Jack could answer, Daniel continued. “And you hide behind the fun loving, sports fanatic, all-knowing, perfect dad. That’s another image you’re always trying to maintain.” The meaning of the words were lost on Jack who was too caught up in watching Daniel’s animated hands skillfully emphasize each point.

Jack reached out and caught one of Daniel’s hands in mid motion and kissed the palm. “You say that as if it’s a bad thing.”

Daniel sighed heavily at the kiss and shot Jack the glare. This time it didn’t look anywhere near as menacing as it did a few hours ago on the deck. Jack decided he was definitely making headway.

He released Daniel’s hand. “What else?” The plan was to keep Daniel talking. It was working so far.

“Charlie’s old enough to know you. The real you. And that includes us. You should trust Charlie enough to tell him.”

“And?” Jack could tell that Daniel wasn’t finished.

“And then there’s... me,” Daniel said, looking away from Jack’s hungry gaze for the first time since the conversation began.

“You? I trust you.” Daniel was furiously working his lower lip between his teeth and tongue, a gesture that never failed to drive Jack insane. Jack leaned in and clamped his own mouth down on Daniel’s, rescuing the abused lip.

Daniel succumbed for a few seconds and then pulled away trying to explain. “I know you trust me.” Jack was pleased to note Daniel’s breathing was becoming more rapid and he had not shied away from the kiss.

“I meant... I mean... I want to be a part of Charlie’s life too.”

“You are,” Jack promised as he leaned in for another kiss, trying to lose himself completely. This time Daniel kissed him back, hard. Jack chuckled as he and Daniel almost rolled off the sofa onto the floor. “Easy there, big guy. Let’s take this upstairs.” The suggestion was more than agreeable to Daniel. Jack relaxed for the first time in hours. The talking part of the evening was most definitely over.


“Hey, are you okay?” Jack asked as he steered the Avalanche into his reserve spot at the mountain. Daniel had been mighty quiet on the ride in. Jack turned off the ignition and waited for Daniel’s customary ‘I’m fine’.

“I’m going back to the apartment tonight,” Daniel answered, reaching behind the seat for his backpack and laptop.

Jack rested a hand on Daniel’s knee. He could barely stand to be around the man without touching him. “I thought we resolved all that last night.” Jack cast a worried glance in Daniel's direction.

“Resolved?” Daniel snorted. “Last night we had sex, Jack. Granted... good sex. But it didn’t change anything.”

This was the last chance for any real conversation on the subject. They never talked about their personal relationship at work. It was taboo except in dire emergencies. Jack wasn’t sure if this constituted dire. He decided he better find out.

“Daniel...” Jack stopped, realizing he didn’t have any more of a clue on how to make this better than he did last night. Mind blowing sex in the parking lot of the SGC was definitely out... it just wasn’t practical. It was only a problem for two weeks, two goddamn weeks. Why couldn’t Daniel just accept it and move on?

“You’re coming back after the two weeks... right?” Jack finally managed in a voice so small he barley recognized it as his own.

“Of course, I’m coming back. I love you,” Daniel answered softly. “I’m just... I’m disappointed in you, Jack.”


Daniel was holding Jack’s hand. That was the only thing Jack was sure of. He remembered the ongoing argument they were having over Charlie’s visit and wondered if that had anything to do with this... whatever this was. Daniel squeezed his hand, so Jack squeezed back.

“Jack? Jack, can you hear me?” Daniel’s other hand was on Jack’s forehead stroking through the short gray spikes of sweaty, uncooperative hair. “Jack, if you can hear me squeeze my hand again.” Jack did as he was told. Anything to make Daniel happy.

“Janet!” Daniel yelled. “He’s awake.” When Jack felt Daniel’s hand release his own, he instinctively tried to reach out and reclaim it. Too late.

“Colonel O’Neill?” Doctor Fraiser was hovering over him flashing that damned penlight in his eyes, gently slapping at his cheek. Jack made a supreme effort to keep his eyes open to search for Daniel.

“Do you remember anything?” Janet asked, still trying to coax him into full consciousness.

“Yeah,” he answered groggily. He remembered Daniel was mad at him. No, that wasn’t exactly right. Daniel was... disappointed in him. That was it. And Charlie. Charlie was coming to visit and Daniel was upset.

“Colonel, do you know what happened to you?” Doc Fraiser tried again.

“Yeah, I remember. Daniel’s disappointed. Charlie’s coming.” Jack mumbled to Janet’s confusion.

Daniel jumped off the adjoining bed he had been sitting on to stay out of Janet’s way. “Jack, you fell into a hole on P6X-809. Remember?”

“Carter and Teal’c?” Jack managed.

“They’re fine. They’re here. They just stepped out to meet with General Hammond for a few minutes,” Daniel assured him.

The fog lifted and Jack struggled to sit up, biting back a moan at the effort.

Janet jumped in. “That would not be advisable, Colonel. Why don’t we just raise the bed a little bit?” She pushed the button until Jack was in a more upright position. Everything hurt, but nothing seemed to hurt more than anything else. He took that as a good sign.

“Well?” Jack groused impatiently at Janet who had her nose buried in what he presumed was his chart. Daniel moved closer to Jack’s bedside while Janet rattled off the list of injuries.

“You have bruised ribs and you had a dislocated shoulder which I popped back into place. Both of your knees are swollen and you were unconscious for a while. The MRI didn’t show anything, but I’m going to keep an eye on you tonight, just to be on the safe side.”

“Nothing sounds life threatening, Doc, I gotta get home, Charlie’s coming day after tomorrow.” Jack made a move to sit up straighter without the assist of the bed and gritted his teeth at the pain.

“Colonel O’Neill,” Janet said sharply. “You will be here overnight, tonight at the very least. Right now, the pain meds are making you feel much better than you actually are. If you're cooperative, and I stress ‘if’, you may be able to leave, with supervision, before Charlie arrives. Are we clear, Colonel?”

“Crystal,” Jack muttered, worrying about the supervision part.

After Janet was through admonishing him, she drifted back to her office, leaving Jack alone to talk with Daniel.

Daniel smiled at Jack and sat down on the edge of the bed, giving Jack’s arm a squeeze through the covers. “So, you okay?”

Jack nodded. “Daniel, can you do me a favor?”

“Anything.” Daniel answered immediately, sticking his hand under the covers and rubbing his thumb over the back of Jack’s hand.

“Could you stay with me and Charlie? You heard what Napoleon said about supervision.”

“Of course I’m going to stay with you. Don’t worry about Charlie. You were right, he’s your son.” Daniel didn’t sound angry at all. Jack decided Daniel must have been really worried to change his mind so quickly.

Before Jack could answer, Carter and Teal’c were back along with General Hammond.

“You’re looking better, sir,” Carter said enthusiastically.

“It is good to see you awake, O’Neill,” Teal’c joined in.

“Yes, very good to see you awake,” General Hammond reiterated. “When you’re feeling better, Colonel, you can tell us what happened.”

“I’m feeling fine, General. I can give you an initial report right now.” Jack cleared his throat and tried to sit up a little straighter.

“It’s no rush, son. We’ll do this when you’re up to it.”

“And, I’m up to it right now, sir. There’s no time like the present.” Jack turned on the charm in an attempt to prove his fortitude. His goal was to convince them that he was fine, even though his head was pounding and his body felt like it had been run over by a Mac truck. Still, he was confident he could make it home and get ready for Charlie, especially now that Daniel had agreed to help.

The General looked over at Janet who shook her head and shrugged her shoulders in defeat.

“Well, from Major Carter and Teal’c 's report, there isn’t much to tell, Colonel.” The General tried steering clear of the subject in an effort to give Jack some rest. “You were attempting to enter a cave when you fell into a hole.”

“A hole? No, sir, more like a pit. A skillfully camouflaged booby trap, sir.”

General Hammond managed to beat back a smile. “Major?”

“There we’re some leaves and branches partially covering the... pit, sir. But it was more than likely concealed by nature rather than anything deliberate.” Sam avoided the glare from her CO.

“Actually, Major Carter was going to further investigate the cave, but in an incredible act of...” Jack paused; he was going to say ‘heroism’ but didn’t want to over do it.

“Stupidity?” Daniel supplied in Jack’s ear.

“Bravery, thank you, Daniel, I decided to take point,” Jack continued smoothly.

“O’Neill, did you not take point in order to get the mission over with more quickly? I believe you were concerned that Major Carter would...”

“T,” Jack interrupted. “The General is a busy man. He doesn’t have time for every word, every detail, he’s just looking for the basics here.” Teal’c bowed in the General’s direction.

“Where was I?” Jack snapped, annoyed at the interruption, not to mention the painful throbbing in his head and shoulder.

“The pit?” Sam offered generously.

“Ah, yes. Thank you, Carter. Well, as I was saying, General, I cautiously moved out and after about five paces I uh...”

“Stumbled face first into the hole?” Daniel whispered helpfully.

Jack cleared his throat. “After about five paces I noticed a difference in the terrain and started to yell to my team to hold it up. Unfortunately, it was too late for myself, sir. I lost my footing and was swept into the pit.” Jack paused to glance around the room. “Saving Major Carter from serious injury,” he added smugly.

Jack was finished. He noted the guards and infirmary personnel casually drifting back to their duties. Jack was satisfied with his performance. Pleased he had provided them all with a little free afternoon entertainment and in the process proved himself fit. No one could give a mission report like Jack O’Neill. He was a little disappointed they hadn't broken out in applause.

“Good job, Colonel.” General Hammond acknowledged.

“Why thank you, sir.” Jack smiled his best boyish grin.

“Don’t worry about the written report until you’re feeling better. And Jack, enjoy your time with your son.”

“Yes, sir. I will.”


Daniel waited outside the terminal trying to catch sight of Charlie. He was exhausted. Since they had arrived home yesterday he had mowed the lawn, took a trip to the supermarket, stripped the sheets, and did the laundry. And that list was the easy part. Feeding Jack, keeping him entertained and preventing him from getting up was the exhausting part, not to mention making sure he took his medications.

“Daniel?”

Daniel spun around, surprised Charlie had somehow snuck up on him. He wasn’t sure he would have recognized the boy anyway. Since last year the tall skinny kid had turned into a solid, filled out, young man.

Daniel took a second to marvel at the new Charlie. He had always thought Charlie’s features, his nose and mouth, even his hair color closely resembled Sara. Now, Daniel could clearly see Jack in this older, more adult version. Charlie was as tall as Daniel and probably still growing. The warm, worried brown eyes that anxiously scanned the airport were definitely Jack’s.

“Yep, it’s me.” Daniel offered his hand and Charlie shook it.

“Where’s my dad?” Charlie continued to scan the crowd in an unintentional, yet uncanny imitation of Jack in a roomful of people.

“He couldn’t come, Charlie. There’s nothing to worry about. He had an accident, but he’s fine.” Daniel tried his best to sound reassuring.

“What kind of accident?” Charlie sounded worried despite the assurances.

“Well, he took a little fall.”

“But he’s okay?” Charlie asked hesitantly, double-checking.

“Yes. He landed on his shoulder, bruised some ribs, hurt his knees, but nothing that won’t heal.” Daniel placed a hand on Charlie’s shoulder. “He’ll be fine, really.”

“Yeah, he’s pretty tough for an old guy,” Charlie acknowledged with a mesmerizing smile that was so familiar it took Daniel a second to recover. The grin was pure Jack.

“No argument here.” Daniel relaxed as he and Charlie shared a chuckle at Jack’s expense.

Daniel thoroughly enjoyed the ride home. Charlie talked about his nervous excitement at starting college in the fall and listened politely to all of Daniel’s advice and insights.

Daniel marveled at how Charlie had become a mini version of Jack, thoughtful and humorous, minus the hard edge and sarcasm. He realized he hadn’t seen Charlie the last three times he’d been in for a visit. Talking to him now, Daniel felt like he had an idea of what a more innocent, inexperienced, younger Jack O’Neill must have been like.

As they pulled into the driveway, Daniel hesitantly outlined the sleeping arrangements. Jack was restricted from using any stairs and was sleeping on the pullout sofa in the living room. Daniel explained how Jack needed someone to help out with the meals and chores and to make sure that he didn’t over do it. Daniel was that someone, and he would be sleeping in the spare room. Charlie would be sleeping in 'their' room, currently known as 'Jack's' room for the duration of the next two weeks. Daniel hoped Charlie wouldn’t ask too many questions. He had already informed Jack he wouldn’t lie about their relationship if asked, and he meant it.

“So you drew the short straw?” Charlie teased after Daniel had finished up his explanations.

“How do you mean?” Daniel asked, not sure what Charlie was talking about.

“Babysitting my dad. Mom always said he was a bear when he was sick.”

“I don’t mind,” Daniel mumbled, hating every second of this discussion.

Charlie’s eyes lit up. “Daniel, if you’re too busy, I could do this. I could take care of him.”

“Nope, doctor’s orders.” Daniel tried a thin smile to cover his nervousness.

“Doctor’s orders? How bad is he?” Charlie sounded worried again.

“He’s fine. But like you said, he doesn’t make a very good patient. I really don’t think he’d like the idea of you spending your time here taking care of him. Why don’t you let me take care of the meds and the meals and suffer through his complaining. That way you guys can concentrate on catching up and spending time together.”

“Thanks, Daniel.” Charlie sounded truly grateful. “Don’t let him boss you around,” he added with a wink to Daniel’s amusement.

“No, I don’t, I mean...I won’t,” Daniel answered honestly as he pulled into the driveway. Charlie had turned into an adult since Daniel had last seen him. A fun, intelligent, energetic young man. Daniel found he was looking forward to Charlie’s visit almost as much as Jack was.

Once inside the door, Charlie dropped his bags, and with the famous O’Neill enthusiasm raced into the living room in search of his father. Daniel decided to wait in the kitchen to give them a little privacy.

“Oops.” In an exaggerated tiptoe Charlie crept back into the kitchen. “He’s sleeping. Actually, he looks pretty out of it.”

Daniel rushed into the next room; worried about having been gone for the two hours it took to get to the airport and back. Charlie could have taken a cab, but Jack had insisted on someone being there to greet him.

Jack had also insisted on getting dressed. It had taken a good twenty minutes to get him out of the sweats and into jeans and shirt. His ribs and shoulder had not cooperated with the task. Daniel didn’t see what difference it would make to Charlie, but Jack had it in his head he should be dressed, so despite the pain and effort, he was dressed. And the pain and effort had totally worn Jack out.

Daniel couldn’t help but smile at the sight of his snoring, secret lover. If Charlie weren’t here he would have gone over to cuddle up beside him. Jack was sitting up in the center of the couch, his head rolled back on the cushion looking almost straight up, hence the snoring. Both arms stretched out over the back of the sofa. A slight, yet noticeable line of drool had leaked out of the corner of his mouth and was slowly dribbling its way down his chin.

Daniel decided Jack would absolutely hate the picture he was presenting. “Jack.” Daniel prodded gently knowing a sudden movement would be painful. “Jack.” This time Daniel nudged Jack’s arm and tugged on the sleeve.

The snoring stopped abruptly. “Danny?” Jack’s sleepy voice called out.

“Charlie’s here.” Daniel spoke quickly, hoping Jack would wake up before he did something stupid.

“Danny?” Jack said again. This time, to Daniel’s horror Jack reached out and grabbed his hand and began raising it up towards his mouth.

Daniel pulled away. “Charlie’s here, Jack. Charlie’s here.” He hoped his voice didn’t sound too frantic.

This time Jack straightened up in shock and then let out a moan at the pain that shot through his aching body.

“Charlie?”

“Right here, Dad.” Charlie carefully slid in next to Jack and gave him a phantom bear hug, his arms careful not to actually touch his father. “What the hell happened to you, Dad?”

“I’m fine.” Jack insisted, pulling Charlie in and hugging him tight. “I haven’t seen you in three months, kiddo. I need a proper hug,” he whispered.

Daniel watched, fascinated by the relationship between father and son. It was a bond he had missed out on. How many nights had he laid awake in a strange bed crying into a pillow for his father to come and rescue him? He missed his mom and longed for her loving touch, but when he was truly frightened, and in need of protection, it was his father he had cried for.

Now he wondered if he could do half as good a job at raising a child as Jack did. Daniel looked at this grown up Charlie and thought Jack should be proud. In spite of the divorce and in spite of their jobs, Jack had managed to stay in Charlie’s life and maintain a close relationship with his son.

“I suppose you can’t tell me what actually happened to you,” Charlie said, with a hint of the O’Neill sarcasm. He was obviously well versed in military secrecy.

“I can tell you exactly what happened,” Jack roared defensively. “I fell into a damn hole. That’s what happened.”

Both Daniel and Charlie laughed at Jack’s boisterous irritation. “I’m sorry.” Jack’s tone grew more serious. “I’m not going to be able to do much.”

“That’s okay, Dad. I have some bad news too. I can only stay a week.”

“What’s up?” Jack asked, smiling to mask his disappointment.

“There’s a special freshmen orientation next week. It’s optional, but I’d get to meet my roommate and have a chance to find my way around campus a little bit. I’d really like to go unless you need me here.”

“No, you go. Have fun, that’s important.” Jack said glibly, but Daniel could see past his bravado. “Are you going to be here on Saturday for the barbecue bash?”

Every summer Jack threw a shindig at the house in Charlie’s honor. Daniel often wondered if Charlie was embarrassed by all the attention. The guest list was mostly adults, Jack’s friends from the SGC. A few years ago when Daniel brought the subject up to Jack he had scoffed at the idea. Charlie was an O’Neill and it took a hell of a lot more than a barbeque to embarrass an O’Neill. Daniel couldn’t disagree. It was almost impossible to embarrass Jack. He was probably right; Charlie always handled it like a trooper.

“Yep, not leaving until Sunday,” Charlie grinned.

When Charlie went upstairs to unpack and take a shower Daniel helped Jack out of the jeans and shirt, gave him his meds and then re-situated him on the couch. Jack could barely keep his eyes open.

“Charlie’s all grown up. I didn’t even recognize him at he airport. I don’t think I’ve seen him since...Thanksgiving.”

“Spring break,” Jack corrected sleepily.

“No, Jack, you saw him over spring break, I was at my apartment remember?”

“Right,” Jack mumbled, sounding sorry he had brought that subject up. Despite protesting the idea of being tired, Jack was asleep in a matter of minutes.

Daniel went into the kitchen and opened the freezer and looked through his carefully labeled, pre-made dinners. He picked out a pasta dish he thought Charlie would love. It was one of Jack’s favorites.

An hour later Jack was awake. It was too hard for him to sit up in the dining room so the three of them gathered around the coffee table to eat. Jack sat up on the couch as best he could with Charlie next to him while Daniel pulled up a chair.

“This is delicious, Daniel.” Charlie ate like a horse. Like father like son, Daniel thought with a smile.

“When did you have time to cook this?” Charlie looked at his dinner in amazement.

“Thank you, Charlie.” Daniel liked to cook. It relaxed him. Sometimes when he couldn’t sleep he’d be down in the kitchen in the middle of the night trying out a new recipe. He had intentionally stockpiled some meals in anticipation of Charlie’s visit.

Initially, Daniel had planned to continue working through Jack’s vacation. He had decided against taking any time off since he would have spent most of the it alone at his apartment. Jack’s mini-disaster changed the plans. Even though he hadn’t planned on staying at the house, he wanted to do something nice for Charlie so he had made the dinners.

“He pre-made all that stuff for us,” Jack explained between bites.

Charlie nodded as he stood up to grab a soda. “Check out the freezer while you’re in there,” Jack yelled.

“Wow!” Charlie was looking at least six dinners Daniel had recently prepared. “Hey, Dad, can you see mom doing something like this?”

Jack and Charlie both had a good laugh at that. Daniel felt a little left out. He assumed they meant Sara didn’t like to cook or that she didn’t like to prepare ahead. He wasn’t sure, since neither O’Neill let him in on the joke.

Charlie returned with a Pepsi for himself and one for Jack. Daniel was drinking wine. “Well, I guess we don’t’ have to worry about eating,” Charlie declared happily.

“No, no worries there. Daniel is an archaeologist and he has everything down to a science. You can bet he has all that stuff, labeled, tagged and catalogued,” Jack joked.

Daniel stayed quiet. Jack had a way of making him feel embarrassed about doing something nice. He felt his face flush slightly even though he knew Jack was teasing him.

After dinner, Daniel insisted on cleaning up so Charlie and Jack could enjoy each other’s company. He was surprised at the amount of laughter emanating from the living room. Charlie’s presence was infectious. Daniel found himself eager to join them. His family consisted of his teammates, a few other close friends at the SGC and Jack. He was excited about getting to know the adult Charlie better and adding him to the small group.

Daniel put the last dish away just as Charlie came into the kitchen looking for popcorn. He not only looked and sounded like Jack, he also shared Jack’s penchant for eating.

“We’re going to watch a movie,” Charlie explained. “We never watch a movie without popcorn, no matter how full we are... one of Dad’s rules.”

Daniel smiled thinking this sounded like one of the famous Jack O’Neill ‘kid’ rules. He heard Jack go over many of them with Cassandra. 'Every child must have a dog. Every child should have a bike with a horn on it. Every child must stay awake as late as possible on Christmas Eve.' And, apparently, every child must eat popcorn during a movie.

When the microwave dinged, Charlie dumped the popcorn into a bowl and rejoined his father, sitting down on the floor leaning up against the couch near Jack’s head. Daniel settled into an easy chair.

“So, what movie we watching, guys?” Daniel asked eagerly.

“Don’t know, it’s a surprise,” Jack nodded at Charlie. “Charlie?”

“Oh,” Charlie jumped up from the popcorn and ran upstairs. He was back in flash. “Here it is,” he said, eyes twinkling as he held up his prize. “The Blob, Dad. The classic black and white version with Steve McQueen.”

Jack laughed as well as he could with sore ribs. “This is the first horror movie Dad and I ever watched together when I was a kid.” Charlie explained to Daniel. “Mom was so pissed when she found out. I was too scared to sleep for days, remember?”

Jack smiled at the memory. “Oh yeah, I remember. I had to sit up with you on your bed until you fell asleep for about a week.”

“It was worth it though,” Charlie said thoughtfully. “Otherwise, I might never have experienced the joys of corny black and white, B rated horror movies.”

“That would have been a real tragedy,” Jack agreed.

“The Blob is about this alien creature that comes to invade...” Charlie was animated in his description to Daniel.

“Charlie, don’t bother,” Jack interrupted. “I tried to get Daniel to watch this movie. He barely lasted through the opening credits. He hates this movie.”

Charlie seemed a little deflated. “Oh, well, we don’t have to watch it right now. We can save it for another time.”

Daniel wished Jack had not pointed out his aversion to B rated horror movies. He was planning on watching just to hang out with the guys and listen to Jack and no doubt Charlie, make their smart ass running commentary. Now he felt a little stupid sticking around.

“No, no. You guys go ahead. I’ll take my laptop up to the spare... up to my room and try to get a little work done.”

“You sure, Daniel? We can watch something else,” Charlie offered.

“He’s sure. Work is Daniel’s idea of fun.” Jack’s face scrunched up in a grimace as he tried to turn onto his side to better see the TV.

The grimace reminded Daniel of the painkillers. “Jack, I’ll come down at 2300 to give you your meds.”

“I can do that, Daniel. Where are they?” Charlie asked, trying to be helpful.

For some reason Daniel hated entrusting that job to anyone but himself. He couldn’t very well explain his paranoia to Charlie. “I’ll leave them out in the kitchen,” Daniel said as he headed in there. He took out Jack’s prescription and set it down on the counter. As an afterthought, he shook out two pills. That way he would know for sure if Jack had actually taken them when he came down later to check.

When he returned to the living room Charlie had joined Jack on the sofa, remote in hand. Daniel realized they were waiting for him to leave so they could start the movie. “Good night, guys.” Both the O’Neill’s mumbled a quick good night before clicking the play button.

Daniel laid on the spare room bed listening to Charlie’s laughter fill the house. Jack’s was laughing too but he was quieter and more guarded. Daniel assumed his ribs weren’t up for any serious belly laughing.

The laptop was open but Daniel had done little more than stare at the screen. He wanted to be downstairs with the guys. He berated himself for his insecurity. All he had to do was walk downstairs and say ‘Hey, guys, I changed my mind. I wanna check out the movie.’ He just couldn’t bring himself to do it. Besides, it was obvious Charlie wanted to spend time with Jack as much as Jack did with him.

Daniel reminded himself that in Charlie’s mind he was just a friend. He might not understand a friend horning in on the precious little family time the two of them shared. Daniel tried to put it out of his mind. He was determined not to allow his own messed up childhood insecurities to put any sort of damper on Charlie’s visit. Jack was Charlie’s father. The visit was for Jack.

So why did he feel like a lonely kid again, trapped in a house with a family that wasn’t really his?


By Thursday Jack was well enough to relax outside on the lounge chair. Daniel was relieved when he helped Jack onto the deck and left him in Charlie’s capable hands. He could hear the two of them through the kitchen window, chattering up a storm, arguing and debating over sports teams, the military, politics, school and whatever else they could think up. He wished he felt comfortable enough to join them.

Daniel had to admit that having two O’Neill’s around the house was a little overwhelming. He had hoped to have an opportunity to get to know Jack’s son better. It hadn’t worked out that way. In Jack’s efforts not to give Charlie the wrong impression he had gone overboard in the opposite direction. Typical Jack. It reminded Daniel of the way Jack treated him in the months before they had confessed their feelings for one another. Daniel tried not to take Jack’s behavior too personally. Insults and sarcasm were Jack’s definition of being 'just friends'.

Daniel also found that he didn’t like being alone with Charlie for fear of the young man asking too many questions and possibly figuring things out, knowing how upset Jack would be if that happened.

The evening turned out to be just as painful for Daniel as the rest of the week had been. Charlie surprised Jack with a variety of home movies condensed onto two videotapes. Jack was excited.

“Let’s pop’em in and see what we got,” Jack said eagerly.

Charlie wanted to wait. “Dad, I think we should wait ‘til later. I’m sure Daniel doesn’t want to be subjected to watching some old movies.”

“I don’t mind,” Daniel said quietly.

“See, he doesn’t mind,” Jack echoed.

“Dad," Charlie rolled his eyes and flashed Daniel a knowing smile. "He’s just being nice. Nobody likes family home movies except family.” Charlie shook his head in Daniel’s direction as if apologizing for Jack’s lack of consideration.

Charlie didn’t know any better, but Daniel was hurt by Jack’s silence. After that comment, Daniel felt like the O’Neill’s were killing time waiting for him to retire to his room so they could watch their family movies together. He obliged them soon enough and spent the rest of the evening in the spare room pretending to be working.

Daniel was sure Charlie’s exclusions were unintentional. Although he had never actually seen home movies he remembered the groan that went up at a Ferretti get together when Lou had threatened to show them. His wife had intervened to the roar of a grateful crowd.

‘Nobody likes family home movie except family.’ That’s what Charlie had said. Get a grip Jackson, Daniel berated himself. He had no idea that one week of watching Jack and Charlie be ‘family’ could be so painful.

The hurt feelings channeled into anger. He decided to wait until he heard Charlie come up to bed and then go downstairs and have a little talk with Jack.

It was well after midnight when Daniel finally heard Charlie climbing the stairs. He waited a while longer and then crept down to find Jack. Daniel frowned at the two forotten pills sitting on the kitchen counter. He grabbed them and some water and knelt on the floor near Jack’s head. He set the meds and the glass down on the coffee table and took a few minutes to watch Jack sleep, his anger dissipating as he listened to the steady breathing. God he missed him. It didn’t take long for Jack to jerk himself awake from the scrutiny.

“Where’s Charlie?” Jack asked, confused by Daniel’s proximity.

“Bed.” Daniel stroked Jack’s hair.

“Daniel.” Jack sounded uncomfortable.

“I know we can’t do anything. I just miss you.” Daniel continued carding through Jack’s hair, massaging his scalp.

Jack stopped him by capturing his hand. “This hasn’t been too fun for you, has it?” Jack’s asked, his thumb rubbing the palm of Daniel’s hand.

“No.” Daniel answered honestly.

“It’s not Charlie’s fault,” Jack started to explain. “He doesn’t know any better.”

“No, he doesn’t, but you do.” Daniel raised his eyes to meet Jack’s.

“Did I overdo the 'we’re just friends' bit? I didn’t want him to suspect anything; I just... I just don’t want him to find out. Not yet. I’ll tell him. I promise. Just not this trip.”

“Overdo it, Jack? I doubt he thinks we even like each other, much less love each other.”

“That bad, huh?” Jack gently twisted Daniel’s hand around and kissed his wrist.

Daniel pulled away. “Don’t start what you can’t finish, Jack,” he whispered.

“Two more days,” Jack said softly. “I’ll make this up to you. Promise.”

Daniel leaned over and kissed Jack’s forehead. “Take your pills, O’Neill.”


The barbecue went off without a hitch. At least forty friends swooped down on the house to celebrate Charlie going off to college. None of them could get over how much he’d grown up since last year’s event.

Charlie endured it all with an easy charm reminiscent of his father.

To Cassie’s delight, General Hammond brought his granddaughters. The three girls covertly wandered around the party trying to figure out how to get a taste of wine. Daniel waited until they were successful and each had a sip before intervening and promising not to tell their respective guardians. Cassie brought Lucky, her dog, who happily sniffed around the yard eating off of any plates left unguarded. Ferretti’s kids followed Lucky around pointing out food that the pooch might have otherwise missed. Jack had a huge audience gathered around his chaise lounge listening to stories interspersed with the Colonel’s unique brand of humor. The SGC was never the same without Colonel O’Neill’s presence. He was always missed.

In other words... the party was huge success.

Daniel felt like he had spent the afternoon running around waiting on people. Sam had been a huge help, but between the preparation and the actual event Daniel was bone tired. And there was still the clean up to deal with. Sam and Janet had done a lot before they left but the yard was still littered with bottles and cans and some stray garbage that had been overlooked.

Jack was stretched out in the lounger practically dozing from the long afternoon. Charlie was sitting beside him in a deck chair. Daniel couldn’t help but smile at the two O’Neills... their content, relaxed demeanor mirroring one another.

Daniel decided to take a quick break and join them.

“Great party, huh, Daniel?” Charlie asked, as Daniel collapsed in a lawn chair.

“Yes, it was,” Daniel agreed, stifling a yawn.

“Thank you for getting it all together,” Charlie added, suddenly realizing how tired Daniel must be.

Daniel nodded his acknowledgement.

Jack let out a yawn of his own. “Well, Doc says I’m good as new.” Jack pounded his chest to emphasize his soundness.

“That’s not exactly what she said,” Daniel chided. “You still need to take it easy.”

“Well, at least you can go home now,” Charlie pointed out.

Jack froze at Charlie’s statement. “Daniel doesn’t have to go home,” he said quietly.

Charlie laughed. “No, he doesn’t have to Dad, but I’m sure he’s dying to get out of here.”

Daniel waited, but apparently Jack wasn’t going to respond. Daniel jumped to his feet. He’d just about had it with all this undercover secrecy. Suddenly, all he wanted was to do was to ‘get the hell out of here.’

“No, um... Charlie’s right.” Daniel said. “You’re feeling better, Jack, I think the two of you can manage without me.” Daniel snuck a glance at Jack who masterfully avoided all eye contact.

“I’ll finish cleaning up and be out of the way in no time.” Daniel busied himself with the clean up. Charlie jumped up to help. “No. I’ll take care of this, Charlie. It’s your last night. You guys just relax and spend some time together, I insist.”

Charlie sat back down next to Jack. “Thanks, Daniel. It was really great of you to stay and help out with my Dad.”

“No problem. I know he’d do the same for me,” Daniel said, nodding in Jack’s direction.

“We’re a team, Charlie, we stick together,” Jack said weakly, hoping to put a quick end to the uncomfortable conversation.

“Too bad Sam couldn’t have stayed, huh, Dad.” Charlie gave Jack a playful punch on the shoulder. Daniel froze in the midst of his clean up, waiting to hear Jack’s response.

“What?” Jack stuttered blankly.

“I know, I know, you’re her CO but she’s pretty hot. Don’t tell me you didn’t at least notice.” Charlie winked at Jack and smiled an eighteen-year-old guy smile.

“You’re right, Charlie, I’m her CO,” Jack said abruptly, praying Charlie would drop this.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean anything by it.” Charlie sounded slightly confused. “I just think you should get out more. Meet someone. You know... date.”

“I’m fine.” Jack sounded guilty as he took another swig of his coke to hide his discomfort. Daniel resumed picking up empties.

“I’m just saying that Mom’s really happy now. You deserve to be happy too.”

“I’m fine,” Jack repeated, appalled at his own cowardice.

Charlie rivaled Jack in the persistency department and Daniel definitely recognized Jack in Charlie’s playful teasing. “Daniel, don’t you think my dad should go out once in a while. Maybe even on a real date?”

Daniel paused for a few seconds before answering. “I think your dad should do whatever makes him happy.” Jack winced at Daniel’s soft voice. Daniel picked up the remaining plastic bag of bottles and cans and pulled open the screen door.

“Look, guys. I’m going to neaten up the kitchen then I’m gonna get going. Jack, your pills are on the counter.” Daniel congratulated himself on the steady evenness of his own voice. Now that he had decided to go, he couldn’t get away fast enough. He decided he wouldn’t even bother with his things. Just finish up the dishes, grab his laptop and go. He didn’t think he could handle one more Jack/Charlie family evening together.

“Daniel, thanks again for taking care of my dad,” Charlie said sincerely. “I know he can be a pain in the ass.” Jack watched as Daniel flashed Charlie a weak smile and mumbled another “no problem” before retreating into the house, garbage bags in hand.

Daniel’s slumped shoulders and bowed head along with that all too familiar ghost of a smile hit Jack like a ton of bricks. Daniel was alone. Apart. He was the most important thing in Jack’s life and here, in what was virtually his own home, he had been shut out. 'Just like always'.

Jack made a painful decision. “I am happy, Charlie.” He spoke quietly and took another sip of coke, wishing he were off all medication. He needed a beer. “We need to talk about something.”

The seriousness of Jack’s voice made Charlie sit up a little straighter.

Jack knew exactly what he had to do. He’d deal with the fallout later. “I’ve never been happier.”

Charlie broke into a smile. “You already have a girlfriend, don’t you?”

“No, just listen to me for a minute.” Jack ran a hand through his hair and took a deep breath. “It’s Daniel. Daniel makes me happy.”

Jack squirmed as Charlie’s eyes passed from confusion to understanding. It took Charlie a few minutes to speak. “But you can’t, you’re military,” he finally blurted out.

Jack placed a calming hand on his son’s knee. “No one in the military knows. Actually, no one knows.”

“What about mom?” Charlie demanded. “Weren’t you in love with mom?”

“Of course I was in love with your mother. But that was a long time ago. That’s over. This is something different.”

“Where was Daniel all the times I was here?” Charlie was having a hard time getting over the shock. He was asking questions as if the answers could disprove the truth.

Jack calmly answered each one. “At his own place. He keeps his own apartment, but he spends most of his time here He stayed there when you were here.” Saying that out loud made Jack feel like a complete bastard.

Then the question Jack had been dreading. “How long have you and Daniel been... together?” Jack could hear the accusation in his son’s voice. Daniel was right; he had been living a lie. He couldn’t go back and change it, all he could do was ask him for forgiveness and hope they could move forward and somehow get past the deception.

Jack looked Charlie in the eye. “Going on three years.” For the first time in the conversation Jack saw real anger in his son’s eyes. Anger directed at him.

“Three years? Three years, Dad? You’ve got to be kidding. Does mom know?”

“Yes, but I made her promise not to tell you. I wanted to tell you myself. It just never seemed like the right time.” He knew how lame that sounded but it was the truth.

Charlie folded his arms across his chest and glared at his father. Jack figured Charlie was probably grateful to have a legitimate reason for his anger. “So what makes NOW the right time?” The tone of Charlie’s question rivaled Jack in the use of sarcasm.

Jack decided if Charlie crossed the line into disrespect, or if the conversation deteriorated into both of them saying things they’d regret, he’d put an end to the discussion until Charlie had a chance to calm down and sort things out.

Jack answered slowly and carefully, trying to be as honest as he could be. “Because this week I saw how unfair it was to keep this from you, and how much I was hurting Daniel by excluding him.”

Charlie stared at his hands while Jack maintained a steady gaze. “Charlie.” Jack waited for his son to look back up at him. “I hope both of you can forgive me.”

“I need time to think about all of this.” Jack thought he saw Charlie’s eyes soften ever so slightly.

Jack nodded his understanding.

“No one knows about this though, right, Dad?” Charlie asked suddenly. “Just me and mom?”

A small burst of anger flared up in Jack’s chest and he decided to clear a few things up right now. “No one knows about this because Daniel and I could lose our jobs and put a lot of good people in an extremely awkward position. Not because I’m ashamed or embarrassed by it.” Once Jack decided to get something out in the open he didn’t hold anything back. “I love Daniel,” he added simply, just to be positive Charlie understood.

Giving Charlie a little time alone to process everything seemed like the best idea. Jack stood up and rested a hand on his son’s shoulder. “I’m still your dad, Charlie. I still love you,” he whispered. He kissed the top of Charlie’s head before retreating into the house to find Daniel.

Daniel was at the sink, rinsing the last of the soapsuds down the drain. Jack limped into the kitchen undetected and stood directly behind him. “I’m sorry,” he whispered into his lover’s ear.

Daniel jumped, startled by Jack’s sudden appearance. His tight muscles and stiff posture reflected his state of mind.

“For what?” Daniel snapped, hurrying to finish up, not bothering to turn around.

“For disappointing you.” Jack slid his arms around Daniel’s waist.

“I’m sure you are, now that Charlie’s leaving tomorrow,” Daniel whispered harshly.

Jack hugged Daniel’s waist tightly and tenderly kissed the back of the neck he loved.

Daniel jerked around in shock. “Jack, stop. What if Charlie walks in?”

Jack shrugged. “It wouldn’t be the end of the world, Danny. I told him.”

“Told him what?”

“The truth.”

“The truth?” Daniel asked cautiously.

“I told him you’re the one who makes me happy.”


Jack sat at the kitchen table anxiously waiting for Daniel to return. His ribs ached dully from sitting in an upright position in the hard wooden chair but he ignored it. He still wasn’t cleared to ride in a car so Daniel had driven Charlie to the airport. Charlie offered to call a cab but Jack had insisted, and Charlie had succumbed to his father’s wishes.

Jack tensed as he heard Daniel pull into the driveway. His heart still ached at the awkwardness of this morning. Saying goodbye to his only child had been a painful ordeal. There was no laughter or good wishes. Worse than that, Charlie has stiffened when Jack attempted a goodbye hug and Jack decided not to push it. Instead they said their goodbyes like cordial strangers rather than as a dad sending his only son off to college. It hurt and left Jack feeling uncertain and scared.

Jack was happy Daniel had driven Charlie to the airport. He hoped Daniel’s linguistic skills and charm could work some magic on Charlie. Once they left, he called Sara to let her know he had told Charlie everything. Ironically enough, Sara told Jack the admission was long overdue.

“How was he?” Jack asked the second Daniel was inside the door.

Daniel pulled up a chair and sat down, reaching for Jack’s hand. “He’s fine, Jack. Really he is. He was just surprised and he needs a little time to get used to it, that’s all.”

Jack nodded dumbly.

“He said he’s going to call you next week after the orientation and tell you all about it,” Daniel said, playing with Jack’s fingers.

Jack looked up in surprise. “He did?”

“Yes, he did." Daniel smiled reassuringly. "This is Charlie, Jack. Your son. Your son who loves you.”

“What did he say exactly?” Jack let out a sigh of relief at the fact Charlie still wanted to talk to him.

“Well, he did say the thing he was most upset about was that he felt like a fool for not knowing these past few years.”

“That’s ridiculous!” Jack declared. “He shouldn’t feel like a fool. Did you tell him that’s ridiculous?”

“I told him I felt like a bit of a fool myself.” Daniel squeezed the hand he was holding.

Jack searched Daniel’s face. “Guess the only real fool here was me,” he said with a blush.

“He’s fine, Jack. He even joked with me. He’s going to call you. All kids have to grow up some time.”

“He is grown up, isn’t he?” Jack finally smiled.

“Yes,” Daniel agreed. “He is. So, how about you? You gonna be okay?”

Jack stood up on sore knees. “Better now, Daniel. Although, I am a little hungry.”

Daniel went over to the junk drawer where they kept the takeout menus. “Me too. What are you in the mood for?” he asked, rifling through the various flyers.

Jack leaned in behind him and closed the drawer. “I was thinking we could heat up one of those fabulous dinners of yours.” Jack hugged Daniel from behind. “Then, I was hoping I could thoroughly bore you with the family movies Charlie left behind, you know, the ones just for family?”

Daniel smiled at the O’Neill style apology. “Sounds good,” he agreed.

“And then...” Jack stopped hugging, placed his hands on Daniel’s shoulders and planted a kiss on the nape of Daniel’s neck.

Daniel turned around, and mindful of Jack’s still aching body, gently pulled him in for a kiss.

“And then what?” he asked after Jack’s lips had released him.

“And then maybe you could run out and rent us, “The Blob.”

“Why would I want to do that?”

“Because you never had any one to teach you the joys of corny, B rated, horror flicks and I’m just the man for the job.”

Daniel chuckled. “You are, huh?”

“Yep, I am” Jack smiled. “I’ll even let you crawl into bed with me if you get scared,” he promised.


FINIS

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