Slash:  Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.
Rating: PG-13.
Category: Established Relationship.  Romance.  Angst
Season/Spoilers: Late Season Four, early Season Five-ish.  A couple of canon references, but no specific spoilers.
Synopsis: A confession results in a revelation.
Warnings: Some sniffling may ensue.  Sorry.
Length:  60 Kb   Originally Posted to the Net:  10 Dec 02.

Notes: Happy Birthday Rowan.  I was in need of a writing change of pace involving some J/D romantic interaction, Rowan was having this birthday, I decided to combine the two and this is what I got.

"I love you."

Jack said the words fervently, sincerely, easily, but then those were three words he'd never had any trouble saying.  Not when he hadn't really meant it, which was nothing to brag about, and especially when he did, which usually worked out well all around.  He hadn't said them to anyone since Sara and now, here he was saying them for the first time and meaning every syllable to the drowsy, dreamy-eyed man lying sated and closely snuggled in his arms, the perspiration from their vigorous love-making still beading his flushed, contented face.

The instant the words left his lips those formerly slumberous eyes snapped abruptly open, affixing him with a wide-eyed stare of -  if Jack didn't know better he would swear - of alarm.

But no way it was.  No way it could be.

"What did you just say?" Daniel asked, in what was clearly an anxious voice emphasised by the appearance of the telling, perturbed furrowing of his brow.

Slightly alarmed himself now, Jack realised what he'd just said to Daniel wasn't going over quite the way he figured it would.

Which was surprising, to say the least. Not to mention - what the hell was going on here, Daniel didn't think what he'd just heard was a good thing?  What?

"I said I - "

"I - I heard you," Daniel quickly muttered, still staring at him with anxious, intense concentration.  Like he was trying to make his mind up about something.  "I heard you," he finished softly, almost sadly before abruptly sweeping the covers back and springing up from the bed.

Jack blinked at him for several stupefied seconds, unable to do or say anything else as his mind tried to reconcile what he absolutely refused to believe he was seeing.  Daniel, not meeting his eyes while he scrambled to gather up his discarded clothing as if his life depended on getting into them and out of this room like yesterday.

Daniel was leaving.  Bailing on him. As in 'thanks, it's been swell, gotta go, I'll call you, honest'.

But don't hold your breath.

That wasn't right.  This had to be a mistake.

Daniel already had his shirt shoved into his pants and was frantically zipping and buttoning by the time Jack realised he was once again capable of speech.

"Whatcha doin'?"  he heard himself pathetically bleat in a totally abysmal attempt to sound casual and unconcerned.  Not like he was suddenly shit scared with his blood freezing in his veins because Daniel - the Daniel he loved, the Daniel he thought loved him too was bolting like a spooked jackrabbit because of three little words.


Daniel finally turned to face him, his socks clutched in one hand, shoes in the other.  He held his footwear tight to his chest as if he was seeking to hide behind the barrier he'd mounted between them, while his far too expressive eyes roamed regretfully over Jack's face.

"I'm sorry, Jack," the words finally tumbled out of him.  Rapidly, almost breathlessly, with panicked urgency.  "I have to go.  I have to go home. Now.  No - it's okay, everything's fine, I'm fine, I - I just have to - I just have to go.  That's all.  I'll call you - I'll talk to you later."

Jack could only lie in his rumpled, semen soaked bed and stare as Daniel turned and fled.


He was alone.  It was Sunday.  He didn't have anywhere to go, or anything to do.  Anyone to do it with.  No plans for the day.  Not now.  He'd had  plans.  Before.  He and Daniel were going to spend the day together. Doing whatever.

Guess that wasn't going to happen now.

Life really sucked sometimes.  It sucked even more when it took an unexpected turn for the worse just when it had been looking like everything was finally coming up roses.

Jack sighed, scrubbed his hands angrily over his face as if he could slough away his depression with the vigorous action and pulled himself out of his sightless contemplation of the world beyond the barrier of the glass door to the deck.  Screw this.  No way he was going to mope around the house feeling sorry for himself.  It was Sunday, the sun was shining, the truck was all gassed up, he could go where he pleased, do whatever he wanted -  surely to God he could find something to do.

Well, he sure wasn't going to find it standing here.

Jack didn't look back and ignored the phone completely as he grabbed his jacket, shades and keys and stalked defiantly out his front door.

He was going to have a good time.  No matter who he had to kill to do it.


And here he was, three hours later, pulling back into the driveway.  All he'd managed to accomplish on his outing was yelling at a waitress and nearly making her cry, barely restraining himself from pounding the snot out of an arrogant teenager trying to look like a big shot in front of his girlfriend by mouthing off at the lame old man, and completely wasting most of a tank of gas driving around in a failed attempt get away from himself.

Hey, who said Jack O'Neill didn't know how to have a good time?

Jack turned off the engine and stared at the house.  He did not want to go back in there.  So far he'd managed to not think about Daniel. Okay, maybe once or twice he'd slipped up, but for the most part he'd kept what happened, the way Daniel had gone, what it all could mean, what it probably did mean  completely out of his head. Really.  He had.   It was just better that way. If he didn't think about it then he didn't have to deal with it.  Too easy.

But playing the out of sight out of mind game wouldn't be possible if he went back in there.  Trapped inside those four walls there'd be nowhere to go to avoid it.  To avoid Daniel.  The place was lousy with him - felt like him, smelled like him - was haunted, almost, with his reality.  Even if he really wasn't there.  Or might never be there again.

Jack sighed.  What choice did he have?  He couldn't keep driving forever.  And he figured he'd already messed up enough people's lives quite enough for one day.  Best  to go inside, containing the threat as much as he could, and see how fast he could put himself into a beer-induced stupor.

Maybe it wasn't mature but it was something he could definitely do all by his lonesome.

Jack was brought abruptly out of his morbid contemplation and stopped in his tracks by something completely unexpected on his steps sitting squarely in the middle of his welcome mat.

A small, battered black box.  Not only did it look awfully old, it looked as if it done some travelling, been places, all over  the world, even off it perhaps, maybe, just maybe…..

Jack felt his heart give an excited lurch in his chest and pick up speed as he squatted down to retrieve the box.  It was sitting on something, a small white oblong, a piece of plain, blank card stock with something written on it.

One single word in black ink.  Daniel's handwriting.


Jack stared at the word with suddenly wavering vision, hearing his voice saying it aloud as if from very far away, abruptly becoming aware he was still hunkering down in front of his door and the hands tightly clutching the card and the box were shaking.

Box!  The box!  He hadn't looked in the box.

His knees were starting to whine about the strain he'd been subjecting them to so Jack sniffed and hauled himself back up to a fully erect position before taking a deep breath and lifting the small box's hinged lid.


A stone?

That's the only thing the box contained, a dull, green, slightly rounded polished stone that looked like it would fit comfortably in the palm of a child.  Yeah, it would, it would fit there just fine, it was just the right shape and size; a kid could hold it in his hand when he needed to have it close for whatever he needed it for, feel it there, nice and heavy, close his fingers around it, keep it safe, protected.

A secret.


"Jee-ZUS!"  Jack whooped as Daniel's small, hesitant greeting sounded unexpectedly behind him, scaring him out of his skin.  He snapped the lid of the box abruptly shut and jammed both the box and the card in his jacket pocket with guilty alacrity, then rounded on the man behind him, his voice rough with exasperation and relief.

"Don’t DO that!" Jack scolded the drawn, contrite face he found himself looking into. "How many times I gotta tell you, never sneak up on me?  Good way to get yourself killed, ya know."

"Oh, I know, I know,"  Daniel nodded, the fondness in his eyes quirking gently at the corner of his mouth.  "Special Forces, every part of him a deadly weapon, knows a hundred and one ways to do you in with your own underwear."

"Oooh, there's an image,"  Jack grimaced. Then looked away.  He hunched his shoulders, shuffled his feet and then risked another glance at Daniel, who was still standing there, quiet, motionless, waiting.

"So,"  Jack cleared his throat.  "You came back."

"Yeah,"  Daniel grunted and made as if he was going to take his hands out of his pockets, but stopped himself.  "I had to - um - listen, you going to ask me in?"

The question ended with a definite note of uncertainty Jack definitely didn't miss.  Nor did the 'after the way I acted I wouldn't be surprised if you turned me away,' in Daniel's eyes escape him.

That sick feeling he'd had in his gut all day was swiftly leaving him and Jack knew, right down to his bones, everything between him and Daniel - it was okay.  Whatever Daniel's reasons for what he'd done, although it hadn't looked good, him leaving like that, they weren't bad.

Daniel hadn't meant any harm, he'd just - and then he'd come back and now he was here hoping for a chance to explain although he didn't believe he deserved one.

Well, he'd get it, if for no other reason, Jack really needed to know what 'Because' meant.

"Sure,"  Jack smiled warmly at the man he loved, was rewarded by an answering, slightly shyer grin, then Jack unlocked the door and let both of them into the house.


"Because?"  Jack said softly.

The opened box and accompanying card sat on the coffee table before them.  Between them.  Jack was sprawled over one end of the couch, Daniel was curled up in the other.  Getting up the nerve to get into it.

"I - I'm sorry for - "  Daniel began with a distressed flutter of his right hand.  "Running out on you like that was stupid, I didn't even think how it must have looked to you until - and it's not the way it must have seemed, Jack, oh not at all!"

Daniel looked alarming like he was about to hurl he was so worked up.  Jack knew he had to get him to calm down or finding out what was going on was going to take forever.

"Easy, Daniel," he soothed, reaching across to capture the fluttering hand to hold it securely and reassuringly in his own. He wanted to do more, wanted to grab Daniel and hug the crap out of him but it was too soon for that.  Daniel wasn't ready to be crowded quite yet.

Sometimes you had to go dead slow with the boy when it came to touching him, and this was one of those times.

"It's okay,"  Jack smiled and squeezed Daniel's hand.  "I'll admit I was a little surprised, but no harm done.  Take it easy.  Just tell me what's going on."

"Okay,"  Daniel nodded and gripped Jack's hand back.  "What you said….."

His voice trailed away, he swallowed, licked his lips and then turned his attention to the green stone dully gleaming in its small, black nest.

"That's my 'Shoo Stone'," Daniel said finally. Almost inaudibly, a wry, fond smile playing with his lips.  "That's what my mother called it, when she gave it to me.  I was five,  they had to go on a trip, I can't remember where now, all I can clearly recall about it is for some reason I couldn't go with them and I was upset about it.  Scared.  Really scared."  Daniel paused, flushing and momentarily miserable with the memory.

"They'd never left me before.  And it never happened again.  This was the one and only time they ever left me behind  - until - "

Jack said nothing, hardly daring to breathe as Daniel paused, collected himself and then resumed speaking in the same calm, quiet, sad voice.

"I was having bad dreams.  I was convinced I wouldn't be able to sleep unless Mom and Dad were there and I knew if I woke up scared in the night I could go to them.  Mom said she was sorry they had to go away but they couldn't help it.  Sometimes things like this happened and I'd have to learn how to be strong on my own until they got back. But even if they couldn't be with me for a while, she didn't want me to feel as if I was completely alone.  So she was going to give me something to help me be brave and 'shoo' the bad things away.  My personal 'Shoo Stone'.

Jack felt his chest tighten in painful sympathy.  "Charlie used to have nightmares, when he was really young, every time I went away,"  Jack whispered.  "I went away a lot.  He got over it, eventually.  I got him his lucky rabbit's foot and he'd sleep with it - under his pillow - "

"So you understand,  then,"  Daniel nodded, clearly pleased, but still not looking at him.  "I knew you would."

He paused, giving both of them the moment they needed to breathe through the mutual sorrow they'd tapped into before continuing.

"The stone.  It's jade.  Mother told me jade was lucky and helped keep bad things away.  If I wanted to feel happy and safe and like they were still with me, if I needed to make something bad  go 'shoo' -  all I had to do was keep it close  and it would help me feel safe until they got home again.

"It worked,"  Daniel admitted with a furtive glance to the aching man listening.  "Well, most of the time.  And after I lost them, I made sure I didn't lose the stone.  It was like as long as I had it they weren't completely gone.  I could still feel them,  a part of them was still with me, watching over me although I couldn't see them any more.  As long as I had that connection I didn't feel like I was completely alone, even when I was.

"Somehow over the years I managed to hold onto it.  At times, it wasn't easy," Daniel admitted with a harsh, mirthless laugh.  "But this was one piece of my parents  they didn't take away from me.  I made sure of that.  I carried it with me constantly until - until a few years ago.  Shortly after I joined SG-1."

Daniel paused, took a deep breath and then reached over and took the stone out of the box.  He held it in his palm for a moment, staring into it intently before lifting his eyes, smiling blindingly at Jack and dropping the small talisman into the hand that had been holding his.

Daniel closed Jack's fingers over the stone he cradled, then wrapped both his hands around Jack's.

"At first I stopped carrying it with me when we went through the gate,"  Daniel continued, his eyes growing liquid, swimming with adoration.  "I told myself I was leaving it behind because I didn't want to risk losing it - getting it confiscated or stolen or - whatever - I mean, you know what it's like out there," he shrugged.

Jack gently nodded, both agreeing and encouraging.

"When you said - it suddenly dawned on me - it was a bit of a shock - I'd stopped carrying it around all together.  I'd completely forgotten about it. Hadn't looked at it or touched it in ages.  And then I got another huge shock when I realised why.  I'd put it away and not looked back because - "

"Because?"  Jack prompted softly, feeling his heart swell with what he already knew.

"Because I don't need it any more," Daniel blurted out suddenly, his hands clenching fiercely around Jack's fist.  "I'm not alone, I never will be again.  Because of you.  Because - I left like that because I needed to find this, to show you - in order to tell you - "

"I love you too,"  Jack said as he reached forward and drew Daniel willingly into his embrace.

This time there was no running, no fear, no misunderstanding, Daniel was warm and ardent in his arms, hugging him desperately, kissing him passionately.

"Apology accepted,"  Jack gasped after he finally came up for air.  "You okay, there?"  he asked as he brushed a tender kiss across the side of Daniel's neck.

"Yeah,"  Daniel replied with a small, rueful grin.  "I'm really sorry if I freaked you out by taking off on you.  I wasn't thinking straight.  I'd just had this incredible revelation and all I knew was I had to find the stone, bring it back here  and share it with you."  Daniel made a face and hung his head.  "Okay, now I sound really stupid."

Oh Danny, no way!" Jack quickly reassured him as he gently massaged the back of his neck.  "You're not stupid.  Not stupid at all."  Jack continued to gently rub Daniel's neck as he opened his other hand and looked at the stone in his palm.  "As a matter of fact, I feel honoured you'd want to share this with me. I don't know if I deserve this,"  he told Daniel sincerely.  "This is pretty damned special.  Now that we've got it, what do you think we should do with it?"

"I dunno,"  Daniel frowned and fondly stroked Jack's chest as he considered.  "I didn't think it through that far. I guess you don't really need it either.  Maybe we should go for a walk together and set it free or something."

"Daniel, it's a rock, not wounded bird you've nursed back to health and are returning to the wild,"  Jack snorted.  "But tell you what, it's not going anywhere and it's not like we need to make any decisions at the moment."

"No, that's true,"  Daniel agreed, his eyes shining.

Jack carefully returned the stone to the box and drew Daniel on top of him.  "What say you we see what else we can do to pass the time while we make up our minds?"

"Sure, why not,"  Daniel grinned.  "I'm up for that."

"Hey, what a coincidence,"  Jack growled as he cupped Daniel's butt in his hands and pulled him closer.  "Me too."



PhoenixE, 2001-9.
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 and no money exchanged hands. 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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