|Slash:||Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.|
|Category:||Established Relationship. Humour. PWP. Romance. Sap.|
|Season/Spoilers:||Season 5. No particular spoilers.|
|Synopsis:||Jack celebrates Daniel.|
|Warnings:||If you're insulin-dependent, approach with extreme caution. Sappiness and saccharine abounds. You've been duly warned.|
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Okay. Okay. Breathe, O’Neill. Breathe.
Whoa. Nope. Not moving, Danny. Wouldn’t dream of it. Actually, I’m not sure I remember how to move right now.
Whew. That was incredible.
We just spent the last hour and a half having earth-shattering sex in my backyard under the stars. It was slow, it was sweet, and boy, was it hot. In fact, fireworks boomed and blossomed overhead when Danny and I came a few moments ago. Yeah, I know it was some neighborhood kids shooting off bottle-rockets leftover from the 4th, but the timing was perfect. I’d laugh at the metaphor had I any functioning brain cells left. Instead, I’m content to just sit here and hold Daniel and be held by him. And celebrate his life.
Daniel. My Daniel. God, I love him.
Tomorrow is Daniel’s 37th birthday, and he’s none too comfortable with the idea. Not because he’s a year older, but because birthdays never held much significance in his life…well, at least not since his last birthday with his parents. And “big sister” Samantha Carter, fully aware of this fact, is on a quest to help him to reclaim the “happy” in “Happy Birthday.”
To that end, every year for the past three years, she’s organized and delegated and viola! Cake, candles, gifts, streamers, balloons, as well as the time and place for all SGC personnel to gather and celebrate the day of Daniel’s birth. She loves him that much.
He’s gracious and appreciative of her efforts, but when all is said and done, he really wishes she wouldn’t go to all the trouble. He prefers the quiet and more subdued well-wishes rather than the hullabaloo. I think Danny’s hoping to swoop in under her radar tomorrow, but that’ll never happen. She *is* an Air Force Major after all, and he couldn’t go undetected for very long. So he’s pretty much resigned to working up some enthusiasm, pasting on a happy face, and blowing out the candles. He loves her that much.
And speaking of love, here we sit entwined in each other’s arms, sweating, breathing heavily, and still nuzzling and nipping. Daniel remains contentedly straddled on my lap, me still inside him. He likes to keep me there as long as possible after we make love, wanting that connectedness. I’m more than happy to oblige.
The temperature’s gone down a bit, and a light breeze is coming down from the mountains. As I reach for a blanket, Daniel kisses me, pulls himself off me and turns to sit between my legs with his back against me. I bring the blanket up around us and draw him to my chest.
Sweet Daniel. He smiled today when I told him how glad I am that he was born. He knows I mean it. I’ve spent the last seven months reinforcing that sentiment. He also knows the significance July 8th holds for me. Not just because it’s his birthday, but because it’s Charlie’s, too. Tomorrow, he would have been 18. Yep. Same day.
Last month, Daniel and I went to his grave on Father’s Day. We’d been standing there, and I was telling a story when Daniel’s expression changed as he gazed at Charlie’s headstone. I asked him what was wrong, and he said he never noticed before that he and Charlie share the same birthday. There was genuine concern on his face, and I could tell he was feeling guilty.
As I wrapped my arms around him, standing before the grave of my son, I explained that the two people I love most in this world or any other share a joyful day. July 8, 1984, saw the birth of my son. My son, who gave my life joy, purpose and meaning. Yes, I lost him, but I don’t for one nanosecond regret the day he was born.
July 8, 1965, saw the birth of the love of my life. Some divine power watched over him and kept him safe until I found him and made it my business to make him happy. Daniel renewed my life’s purpose, reaffirmed its meaning, and added glorious color to my otherwise black and white soul. With him, that sappy sentiment about when a door is closed, a window opens somewhere rings true for me.
One died and nearly took me with him. The other died, too, but came back to life and dragged me kicking and screaming to the land of the living with him. He didn’t want to die, and yet he did – for me – on Ra’s ship five years ago, showing me in that moment what it means to him to be alive. What it meant to Charlie.
I’ll never be able to think about Charlie on July 8th without thinking of Daniel. And I will never be able to think about Daniel on this day without thinking of Charlie. A full circle. And somehow, it fits perfectly.
There are so few moments in life when you feel complete, when there’s nothing more you could possibly ever need or want, when words can’t convey what the heart is experiencing. Only touch, only intimacy, and even that somehow seems woefully inadequate. We’re having one of those moments, Daniel and me. All I want is right here and now – as simple as breathing – and there is nothing else.
I glance at my watch. 0007 hours. 8-July-2002. I tighten my hold on Daniel and kiss his temple.
“Happy Birthday, Daniel.”
He pulls my arms more tightly around him and turns his head to plant a kiss on my lips. He smiles. It’s such a beautiful smile. Then he reaches for the wine glasses and hands me mine.
“To Charlie,” he says quietly, holding up his glass.
We touch glasses and drink to a bittersweet day. More sweet than bitter, though. So much more.