BECAUSE BY PHOENIX E
Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves
Relationship. Romance. Angst
Four, early Season Five-ish. A couple of canon
references, but no specific spoilers.
results in a revelation.
may ensue. Sorry.
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.
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,
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.
way it was. No way it could be.
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.
alarmed himself now, Jack realised what he'd just said
to Daniel wasn't going over quite the way he figured it
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 - "
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.
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.
was leaving. Bailing on him. As in 'thanks, it's been
swell, gotta go, I'll call you, honest'.
hold your breath.
wasn't right. This had to be a mistake.
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.
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.
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.
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."
could only lie in his rumpled, semen soaked bed and stare
as Daniel turned and fled.
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.
that wasn't going to happen now.
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.
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.
he sure wasn't going to find it standing here.
didn't look back and ignored the phone completely as he
grabbed his jacket, shades and keys and stalked defiantly
out his front door.
going to have a good time. No matter who he had to kill
to do it.
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.
who said Jack O'Neill didn't know how to have a good time?
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.
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
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.
it wasn't mature but it was something he could definitely
do all by his lonesome.
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
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…..
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.
word in black ink. Daniel's handwriting.
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.
The box! He hadn't looked in the box.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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
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.
Jack cleared his throat. "You came back."
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?"
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
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.
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.
he'd get it, if for no other reason, Jack really needed
to know what 'Because' meant.
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.
Jack said softly.
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'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!"
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.
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.
you had to go dead slow with the boy when it came to touching
him, and this was one of those times.
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."
Daniel nodded and gripped Jack's hand back. "What
trailed away, he swallowed, licked his lips and then turned
his attention to the green stone dully gleaming in its
small, black nest.
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.
never left me before. And it never happened again.
This was the one and only time they ever left me behind
- until - "
said nothing, hardly daring to breathe as Daniel paused,
collected himself and then resumed speaking in the same
calm, quiet, sad voice.
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'.
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 - "
understand, then," Daniel nodded, clearly
pleased, but still not looking at him. "I knew you
giving both of them the moment they needed to breathe through
the mutual sorrow they'd tapped into before continuing.
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.
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.
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."
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.
closed Jack's fingers over the stone he cradled, then wrapped
both his hands around Jack's.
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.
gently nodded, both agreeing and encouraging.
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 - "
Jack prompted softly, feeling his heart swell with what
he already knew.
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 - "
you too," Jack said as he reached forward and drew
Daniel willingly into his embrace.
time there was no running, no fear, no misunderstanding,
Daniel was warm and ardent in his arms, hugging him desperately,
kissing him passionately.
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.
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
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?"
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
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."
that's true," Daniel agreed, his eyes shining.
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?"
why not," Daniel grinned. "I'm up for
what a coincidence," Jack growled as he cupped
Daniel's butt in his hands and pulled him closer.