ABSOLUTES BY PHOENIXE
Slash:  Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.
Rating: PG
Category: Pre slash, Romance, Angst  Episode Tag for Fallen, sort of.
Season/Spoilers: Season 7. shortly after Daniel descends and before they go on the Mission to take on Anubis.  Spoilers for Fallen, Meridian and a smattering of Shades of Grey.
Synopsis: Convinced he's done terrible things to warrant his 'descencion', Daniel confesses to Jack he's afraid to remember.
Warnings: Not a one.
Length:   59 Kb  Originally completed July 2005, posted to the net  Apr 2007

Notes:  The Space Channel was playing the ST:NG first season ep - don't remember the title, where Riker gets the power of the Q, briefly, and watching clean-shaven Frakes  posturing grandly on the bridge doing his wonderful Capt Kirk playing God impersonation reminded me  I still had this story out in zine limbo. (JD Divas, Yadda Press.)  Kinda like coming full circle, if you will, seeing as how this episode was the one inspired me to write the tale in the first place.  I love Daniel Jackson, love him, love him love him.  I think he is the most incredible, original, unique character ever created in sci fi, possibly a whole lot of other genres as well.  He breaks through just about every cliche, is completely in a class by himself when it comes to his accomplishments, the growth of the character, what he's endured and triumphed over, what he has become, well, you name it, Daniel is just darned special.  Anyway, a couple of years ago I was watching this ST:NG episode and contemplating the central theme, the whole, 'absolute power corrupts absolutely', kinda more than a bit of a hoary old standard, been visited quite a bit, and usually the characters who are tested and given this grand power, like Riker is by the Q - fail miserably.  They can't handle it, go nutso and start killing people and blowing shit up, planets, stars, universes, you know, really bad stuff, and that 'failure' is the whole point of the story. The absolute power corrupting...riff.  Usual moral of the story, no one mere human can handle godlike powers, or so it has been, all through Sci Fi, from the original first episode of Star Trek (not the pilot) through to comic epics like the Dark Phoenix Saga, to the present day.  Like Riker, the power runs them and the whole thing usually isn't pretty, that is, until we get to Daniel Jackson.  Did I say I love Daniel?  I might have mentioned it in passing.  Once again, when it comes to this particular 'test', he proves there is and has never been anyone else quite like him, for when he becomes an ascended and gets all this lovely godlike power  he does not fall victim to the 'absolute power' curse (yes, I know in AP he does, but it was the Goa'uld in him drove him to it!)  Daniel is given unimaginable power and not only does not blow up the universe, he doesn't even use it, following rules he does not believe in he doesn't do ANYTHING with it, until his own conscience intervenes and when he does act, he only uses the power he's been given to help and protect his friends and to do good.  (this has further been borne out since this story was written by events in Season 10, which I won't go into for spoiler considerations, but if you haven't seen it yet, trust me, it's great and so is he!)  So, to make a long intro short, once I realized this about Daniel, I decided to write a story around this theme, celebrating his uniqueness and recognizing this unique accomplishment in Sci Fi.  This be it, and I hope you like it!  Lovely illo below originally accompanied the story in JD Divas, and is by Biblio.

   

 

"I'm sorry I called you Jim," I say to the tall, silent man behind me ushering me through his front door with a solicitous hand to the small of my back.  "I didn't mean…  I was teasing you."

Well, that's sort of true.  And yet…not.  What is absolutely the truth, however, I never had any doubt about his name.  Never.  The moment I first saw him on Vis Uban it came to me, almost instantly, with frightening clarity, bursting into my brain like this huge, honking flare…

Jack.  That man was Jack.  I didn't know who or what a Jack was, but whatever it was, he was it.

It scared me spit-less, to know this, so clearly, so easily, and with such blazing certainty, after having spent practically every conscious minute since I first…awoke casting about through the rattling corridors of my empty head for some clue as to who or what I was.   All  those hours endlessly dredging the echoing recesses of my non-existent memory hoping to discover any illuminating chicken scratches upon the tabula rasa of my recollections, anything, my own name even, after all that damned desperately seeking something and coming up with nothing - not a blessed thing about me or my past, I knew him.  All that fruitless mental scrounging and I look at these people, this man and suddenly, I know he is Jack with more certainty than I've had of anything I've been told since waking up a blank and frustrated slate in Vis Uban.

This man is Jack.  I know that; feel the truth of it still, resonating even more strongly within me with bone-deep recognition.  When the unexpected strangers claiming to be my friends bursting upon my awareness told me my name was Daniel I didn't know for sure if I really was, hell, to be honest I'm still not sure of the Daniel thing, not absolutely, but I knew beyond a doubt he was Jack.

Jack doesn't say anything while following me through and closing the door behind us.   I don't  'remember' enough about him to know exactly why he's brought me here to stay over for a couple of days, but I have to say I'm awfully glad he has.  After the wide expanses of Vis Uban I was going a bit squirrelly cooped up in that mountain.  I'm not sure, I don't think I had issues with small spaces before but for some reason I'm finding being confined…

I'm having problems with it.

This is good.  This is much better. Even though these current surroundings mean as little to me as every other supposedly 'familiar' place I've already seen, I'm glad to be here.  But I hope I haven't already screwed it up by bringing up my previous obviously poor attempt at humour.  It didn't go over all that well at the time and Jack still seems to be a tad prickly about it.

Mind you, I'm just guessing, it's not like I actually know the man or anything.

"We…we used to do that, didn't we?" I continue onward, trying to smooth over my latest faux paux.  "Kid around with each other, I mean?"

Jack stops, turns, and I'm relieved to see a huge smile on his face.  He's beaming like a little kid who's just been told he's going to Disneyland.  Disneyland.  My God, I know what that is.  Not sure about my name, but I know this.

"You mean, drive each other nuts, get on each other's nerves, bug the shit out of each other?" he says, still grinning.  "You remember that?"

Okay, what's the right answer here?  Damn, I hate this, this is like tap dancing through a mine field, these people, they know me, obviously care about me and they want – well, let's get real here, it's not me they want, it's this guy Daniel I used to be, apparently, they want him back all the way with them, so badly, and every time I have to let them down, remind them I'm not him, well, not yet anyway, not by a long shot, and maybe I won't ever be him, maybe I won't be able to find him, be him, remember him, remember them

Crap.  This sucks.  I can't tell you how much this sucks.

Jack's waiting for an answer.  Flip a mental coin, take a chance, go with your gut…

"Yes?"

"Excellent!"  Jack crows, slapping me on the back so enthusiastically I stumble forward a couple of paces.  "I can stop being nice to you, now," he continues happily onward, striding past me, into the house.  "That's a relief, I was starting to get hives from all the tippey-toeing."

Now, that made absolutely no sense, but oddly enough, it was the first truly reassuring thing I've heard him say.

"Sounds like we had an interesting relationship," I say, continuing to follow him, looking around, for something, anything even slightly, vaguely familiar.  Have I been here before?  How often?  Sometimes, all the time, never?  Or am I wasting my time seeking to discover something in these surroundings with which to jog my memory because I've never been here so there's nothing to see?

Not much of a foundation there, huh?

What?  What was that?

"You could put it that way," Jack tosses back over his shoulder while heading toward the kitchen.  "I wouldn't, but you could."

That – that's right.  The kitchen's that way.  Oh…

I stumble down the stairs, into the sunken living room, feeling a sudden need to sit down.  A comfy looking leather sofa beckons and I fall gratefully into it.

"I'll put the coffee on, it's a bit early for beer."

Yes to the beer, no to the feelings.

"That, that would be great," I croak back, my mind whirling.  This place feels…  I have been here before.  Here.  I was sitting right here…

"Feel free to stow your stuff in the spare room."  Jack calls down while bustling about in the kitchen.  You know where everything is."

There's a loud clatter from above, and suddenly Jack appears, staring down at me, an abashed, contrite expression hanging on his face.

"I didn't mean that the way it sounded," he blurts.  "I know you don't – " he waves a vague hand, "but you did, you used to, and I keep forgetting you don't…now…"

So I have been here before.  A lot…I think.  Maybe.  I think I knew that, was starting to know that, but Jack's just said…

I know this place.  I…I do…  I think.

"No, no, it's all right," I cut in.  "I assume part of the reason for bringing me here was an exercise in stimulating the memory.  I think… I think this was a good idea.  Me being here...again.  I have been here before, right?" I ask hopefully.  "Because I think, that is, I mean, this place feels familiar…"

Just like you...

"Yeah," Jack says quietly.  "You've been here before."

"Okay," I quip, trying to sound upbeat.  Something about Jack's eyes, the way he’s staring at me, the intensity is so…intense.  His need for me to remember, to be this man he misses so much while all he’s got of him is me, the clueless schmoo who looks like him, but still doesn't even know him, it’s scaring me a little.  Jack’s desperate longing for this Daniel is like a living hunger waiting to consume me.  Chew up the bad me who's not what he wants, spit Daniel back out.

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I don't know what you want.  Someone tell me what to say, what to do – something anything, throw me a clue, here!

"Take your time," Jack says suddenly, his eyes and voice unbearably kind.  "No pressure," he shrugs.  "Mi casa es su casa.   Check the joint out, poke around, see if anything around here kicks anything loose. Feel free to handle the merchandize," he tells me with what I could swear is a salacious grin.

"Okay," I grin back at him, heartened by this unexpected generosity.  But no, not unexpected.  Not exactly.  Jack's always been a bit of a soft touch, at least as far as I'm concerned.

Yes, he has, but how did I know that…

I've come to admire you a little.

"Don't touch anything.”

That’s me speaking, but I barely recognize my own voice, I sound strange, and distant, like I’m speaking from ages away, and where the words are coming from, haven’t a clue.  My eyes are locked on the dark ones above me while more words come out of my mouth and I haven’t got any more of a clue why what I’m saying or why than I did when I first started…mouthing off.  

"How many times have I told you, Daniel, don't touch stuff, and now look what you've gone and done to yourself."

Jack's face crumples and he pushes violently away from the low wall he's been leaning against, whirling, disappearing into the kitchen as if reeling back from a blow.  God, I’ve hurt him somehow, what I said…

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to - I don't know where that came from, what I said, why I said it, I don't know what I've done, how to make it better all I do know…

I can't do this anymore.

I know what he wants, what they all want, but the more I try, the closer I get…

I'm scared to search deeper, to look harder, terrified about what I'm going to find, what horrible secrets I’ll uncover I'm harbouring unbeknownst in my soul.  Who is this man, this Daniel, what the hell has he done?

Why does the prospect of finally knowing everything he once knew, of becoming him frighten me so much?

I don't know anything except I need to move, to go, I don't know where it's just, I can't sit here, can't wait for the next awful thing I'm going to do or say to tear the heart out of anyone else.  This – this coming back to this place, this life, this was a mistake.  Big, big mistake.  Huge.  Maybe the general will let me take it back, go back to Vis Uban.  Arroom, at least, was a good man.  He was a blank slate, pristine, unsullied by any previous sin, original or otherwise.  He hadn't – I hadn't…

What?  What did I do?

I'm up out of the seat heading for the door, don't know where I'm going, I'll figure it out but I have to…

"Where are you going?" Jack's voice catches me as his gentle, but firm touch restrains me.    I look up, looking past the troubled brown eyes I don't want to see, my gaze on the door, so near and yet so far, Jack's definite, immoveable presence blocking my only escape.

"Please let me go," I desperately mumble.

"Daniel, I know this is hard for you," Jack entreats, grasping me by the shoulders, making me look at him.  "But you're gonna be okay.  Trust me," he finishes with a warm smile.

I want to, I do, right now, in this instant, a fierce need to please this man wells up inside me, like nothing I've ever felt before.  I don't understand it but it's so strong, so compelling and I want to believe him, I want… but what I don't know…

Can he trust me?

"How can you say that?" I answer him, miserable, and for once, not making any effort to hide it from him.  Not that I have at all, not really, he sees too much.  Way too much.

"You don't know me."

He shrugs off the lie we both know I've just told him and gives me a slight, knowing grin. 

"Oh, but I do, Daniel."

Then tell me I've got nothing to fear.

"Hey," Jack says gently, folding me into a warm embrace.  I don't struggle, falling unresisting into him, the familiar strength surrounding me…. God, I know this, of all the things I wanted, when the pain was the worst, of everything I desperately craved and could no longer have, this, this was what I wanted the most, Jack's arms around me, making it all go away, the pain, the fear…

I wanted to die in Jack's arms and he couldn't…he couldn't hold me…

"What?" Jack murmurs into my ear, his large, gentle hand tenderly cradling the back of my head, massaging my neck.  I can't answer him for a minute, too many images are bustling through my brain screaming, accusing.  I can't make sense of any of it but underneath all of it, the feeling of dread grows, stronger, bigger, louder.

One thing I do know, finally, whatever it is, haunting me, daunting me, I can't run away from it.  I have to face it, even if it costs me… 

Him…

I stop clutching Jack like I'm going to fall to pieces without him to hold me together and he gives the back of my neck a squeeze.  "Okay," he says, turning me gently around.  "Come on, sit down, talk to me, Danny."

Danny.  That hits me, in a good way, striking inside my chest with a nice, warm, comforting ping.  I try to hold onto the fleeting, cozy sensation while Jack sets me back down on the couch and settles beside me.

I tried to explain this to Sam, but she didn't…she didn't really understand what I was saying.   Thought she did, but then, that's always been the way it's been with me and Sam.  She thinks she knows me, and yeah, she does, sort of but not really, not the way…

Not like him.

But does he know – does he know what he thinks he knows?  And will he still… when he really knows?

Am I a bad man, Jack?  Have I done bad things?  I think, I think…

I barely know you, have hardly found you and yet, now, more than ever I don't want to lose you.

"How did you know I'd…"  I start to say, my voice sounding as shaky as I feel.

"Make a run for it?" Jack supplies, his voice soft.  "Like I said, I know you."

"You know him!"  I snap.  "Daniel! You know Daniel.  I'm not him!  I look like him but…but… I'm not…him, I'm not…I don't know what I am."

"Is that what this is all about?" Jack leans toward me, his brow furrowing with concern.  "Daniel, look, we've told you, it doesn't matter if you don't have all your marbles, if you can't…remember us yet.  It’ll come, give it time.   We're here for you, as long as it takes.  Even if you never…get it all back," he finishes with a grimace, but his eyes are achingly sincere.

He's trying to mean it, he really is but it's not, not…

Not what he really wants.

"That's, that's not it," I hunch forward in the seat, staring down at my clenched hands.  I can't look at him right now or I'll never get through this.  I'm not even sure I'm going to be able to say anything else but for his sake I have to try.

"What?" Jack gently prompts, his hand coming to roost on my knee, imparting comforting, steadying warmth.  I can feel myself starting to relax, instantly responding to this slightest touch.

Is this the way it's always been with us – with him? Has he always had so much power over me, such an absolute ability to anchor me in the midst of the worst storm?  Mere seconds ago I doubted I could summon the courage to finally face this and him, but now in the light of such daunting confidence, how can I not?

Even as I know I don't dare disappoint him the unswerving conviction I don't deserve him grows like some malignant certainty on my soul.

"You want Daniel back," I start, stamping down the fierce impulse to clasp the hand still resting on my knee.  "The Daniel you used to know…before…"

"Before you ascended," Jack whispers.

"Yeah," I nod.  "I don't remember him, well, not much anyway, but you've all told me he was a good man."

"You kidding?"  Jack grins.  "He was great!  You," he quickly amends, squeezing my knee.  "You were great.  You were the best.  I've always been proud to call you my friend."

"I believe you," I tell him.  And I do, about that much.  "If that's all there was to being…him…to remembering what I've been, and – and done I'd be okay about it, but…"

But it's not, there's more, more than he's saying, more than he knows, I know it, I can feel it, after, after, when I left him, I've done things, terrible things, must have, I have to have, things he doesn't know about, and when he does…when he does…

Oh God, oh God, what have I done?

"Daniel?  Daniel!  What's going on, what's this all about?"

"Jack, I'm scared," I force myself to tell him.  "You all say I was this - this – glorified being with all this power.  I don't remember being it, having it, but these Ancients are higher beings, they are all good, and I was one of them, and now I'm not.  There must be a reason why this happened, not a good one.  I must have – must have done something wrong.  If they threw me out, what I did, it must have been really bad."

Jack starts to stir beside me, about to refute my last statement I'm sure. He would do that, automatically, out of sheer loyalty to Daniel, that's the sort of man he is, but he's wrong.  I know he's wrong. This time I do grab his hand, to silence him.

"No! Don’t.  Hear me out first.  I know you don't believe it could be possible, you believe in Daniel; the Daniel you knew, remember, couldn't have done anything bad enough to have deserved…what happened to me, but what if becoming that…thing…changed him somehow?  Made him – made him something he never would have been without all that power, made him do….terrible things…"

Jack says nothing, lets me blather onward.  Which is a good thing, now I've got some momentum going I don't want to stop.  Get it all out. Finally.

"You knew him, but I'm not him, Jack.  I'm the end result of whatever he did out there, after he left you.  Whatever it was, it can't have been anything good."

"Why do you say that?" Jack quietly asks.

"It just stands to reason," I shrug. "I'm here, aren't I?  Why am I here if I'm not being punished?  They threw me out, Jack, stripped me of my memories, dumped me out in the cold on my ass.  My naked ass, need I remind you.  I must have horribly abused the power they gave me, or why would they have done that to me?  Why would they have cast me out without a stitch or a clue, into the midst of a bunch of strangers, if I didn't deserve it?  God only knows what I must have done," I shudder, the horror of it finally starting to overwhelm me.

"Oh, I get it," Jack says softly.  "I get what you're saying. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.  I can see why you might think that, it’s an old story, been done to death, especially in sci fi.  Lemme see, how does it usually go; guy gets god-like powers, starts to mess around with them, but it turns out he can't handle the whole god gig.  The gift runs him, not the other way around, he goes nutso all over the galaxy and as a consequence has to be taken out before he takes out the entire universe or something.  That's the standard absolute power scenario and you figure you're no different from every other poor schmuck who's had it all and had it go to his head?  You're thinking you –  I dunno, ran amuck through the universe blowing up shit or something until Oma or whomever stopped you, stripped you literally and figuratively and threw you back.  That's what you're afraid happened to you…out there, right?  Am I right?"

I nod, not trusting my voice.

"That's a cliché, you know," he says with a sigh, rubbing the back of my neck with his free hand.

"Yeah," I sniff.  "And I know how you feel about clichés."

"Do you, Daniel?" Jack whispers, starting to pull me closer.  "Do you know how I feel about you?"

Grown to admire you?  Grown to admire you?  You're dying and that's the best I can do? I'm sorry, Daniel, I'm so sorry.  I love you, I should have told you – and now – now it's too late.

"I – I – "

I…I heard him, in those last, few fleeting seconds before I…  I heard his thoughts as clearly as if he'd spoken them aloud.  But it was too late, I'd already committed myself.  I was already gone…

I really did believe I could do more good out there, but Jack's last, final gift, even though he didn't even know he'd given it to me, I took it, kept it, never forgot…

A part of me has always remembered it.  And him.

"Daniel, you're just going to have to trust me," Jack's warm breath lightly ruffles my hair.  "You would never do that, and you didn't.  One thing I know for certain; being all glowy didn't get the best of you.  I can't tell you how I know – "

"Why not?"

"You know, we're not supposed to tell you stuff.  You're supposed to remember it on your own."

"Oh yeah.  I forgot."

"Funny, Daniel.  Anyway, for reasons I am absolutely certain of but cannot share I can tell you with utter confidence the only reason those stuck-up glow-for-nothings threw you out – the only rules you broke were the stupid ones they imposed on you not letting you do the good you wanted to do.  They gave you all this power, changed your body into energy but they didn't change you.  No way Jose, buddy. You were – you still are you, Daniel.  And if Oma and her crew couldn't see what they had, if they wouldn't let you be you and trust you enough to loosen the leash so you could go out there and make this whole universe a better place the way you've always done here, with us, well, that's their damned stupid loss, yanno?"

His eyes hold me and they’re so earnest, so deep, so compelling, begging for my trust. 

Jack says I have done no wrong.  He stands before me, unswerving in his conviction, my absolute certainty I need not dread the absolute corruption I fear I'd fallen victim to.

"You really believe, that?" I ask him, leaning in closer to his bolstering warmth.  He sighs happily when I wind my arms around him, squeezing tight.

"Absolutely," Jack breathes, his lips skimming across the side of my forehead. "I know that Daniel.  I know you.  I love you."

There it is, simple, honest, freely offered and admitted.  This is the bravest thing he's ever done, but not the hardest.

That much I remember.

"You know what else, I'm tickled pink those stupid squids threw you back.  Their loss is my gain.  Danny, Danny, believe me, you didn't do anything wrong.  If anything, you were too good for them."

I do, Jack.  I do.  I believe in you.

"Now you're gilding the lily," I laugh and snuggle closer to him, his recent declaration still unanswered, but anything but awkward between us.  It's not going anywhere, and neither are we.

Maybe it won't be so bad to be Daniel after all, if this man's faith and love come with the package.  Thanks to it, and him I can believe in me, I can finally be me…

"Nope," Jack says, his hand gently stroking my hair.  "I meant every word, Daniel."

I know it; I can feel it.   And you know what else, he's right.  Not about the 'too good for them' part, not that, but the rest.  He's right.  Whatever I did, it might not have been perfect, any more than I am, but it was the best I could do.  And it wasn't…wrong.

"You'll get it back, Daniel, it'll take time, but you'll remember.  Don't be afraid to be what you are," he gently admonishes, tapping his index finger against my brow.  "You won't find anything in there you need be ashamed of, you're a good man and as long as I've known you all you've ever done is tried to do good.  Even when it drove me absolutely crazy you always did your damndest to do the right thing and to get the rest of us to follow your program as well.  Being temporarily squidified didn't change that.  I'd stake my life on it."

"Okay, if you say so."

"I do."

That's good enough for me.

"This is nice," I say honestly.  It is, and even though we are both now, fully, unashamedly snuggling on Jack's big, comfy couch, as yet, neither one of us has acknowledged this fact.  Funny thing about that though, it feels so comfortable, so very right, I'm wondering if the reason for that…

Maybe there's something else, something about Jack and me I need to remember.

"Jack?"

"What?"

"When I start remembering…more...about my past life, and us…will I remember stuff…like us being…like this?  We were friends, okay, but were we…more?"

"No," Jack says after several seconds, his voice heavy with regret.  "No, we weren't, but we should have been.  Probably would have been if I hadn't been such a butt-head.  If I'd done things differently, treated you…better, told you sooner… maybe you wouldn't have…"

"I did what I did on Kelowna to save you.  That wouldn't have changed."

Some things are starting to come back to me.  I know about Kelowna now.  I know what happened, and why.

"You remember that?"  Jack whispers.

"Bits and pieces," I murmur.  "Now I'm not afraid to, it's starting to come back.  A little.   Thanks."

"No problem," Jack smiles, brushing his fingers across my cheek.  "Happy to help out.  Now we've handled that particularly emotional crisis, and I assume we have, please tell me if I'm mistaken."

"No, no, it's handled.  I'm fine."

"Good, good, glad to hear it, I wouldn't want you to be…distressed…"

"No, nothing like that, I'm feeling pretty good, actually."

"Good, that’s…that's really good.  You're feeling good."

"Good."

"Good."

"You were mentioning something before, about handling things."

"Yes, yes, as a matter of fact, I was, thanks for reminding me."

"No problem."

"Okay then, yes, so, where were we?  Handling things.  We've handled your first, thing, and…if you wouldn't mind, I'd like to move on."

"Handling other…things?"

"Well yes, there's something, between us I've wanted to…take care of – handle -  if you will…for a long time.  That is, if it's okay with you."

"Does it involve kissing?"

"For starters."

"I think I'd like that."

"Only one way to find out."

Absolutely.

FINIS




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Biblio, PhoenixE, babs, Brionhet, Darcy, Devra, Fabrisse, JoaG, Kalimyre, Marcia, Rowan and Sideburns, 2001-2008.
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Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Stargate Productions, Sci Fi Channel, Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. These stories are for entertainment purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author. These stories may not be posted elsewhere without the consent of the author. Copyright on images remains with the above named rightsholders.
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