Slash:  Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.
Rating: PG.
Category: Pre-Slash. Bigtime  Angst 
Season/Spoilers: Season 4  Could be happening any time after BtS.  Would be really great if it was.  Call this my fourth season 'fixer upper'.  During the course of which I will attempt to offer you my 'take' on just what is wrong with the team this season and Jack in particular, and provide them with a venue to start getting  back on track again.
Synopsis: Jack hasn't exactly been himself lately.  During a terrible moment of truth he comes face to face with the reason why.
Warnings: Nothing comes to mind.
Length:   43 Kb  Originally completed and posted to the net 05 Sep 00.


Oh my God.

What have I done?

I know what I've done. I hit him. God, god, I actually hit  him. This isn't a dream, not some sort of bizarre illusion or cheap Goa'uld trick. I can't even blame this one on any hinky Tok'ra mind control devices. I hit him. This can't be happening, but it is. I hit him. I hit him. Oh boy, I wanna wake up now and make it all go away.

I hit him.

He's lying there on the ground, at my feet, blood running down his face, my hand hurts like hell, no getting away from this, this is real. As if all of that wasn't bad enough, and it's really plenty bad enough already, he's looking up at me. With those 'oh Jack, how could you' eyes. Oh God. I don't want to see them. Don't want to see what's in them but I can't help myself. I can't look away. I have to see it all. Every terrible thing I've put there. With every terrible thing I've done to him.

Just so I would see anything in them but the truth.

Those eyes. Just look at him. Looking at me.

The hurt, oh yeah, bigtime hurt, expecting that. The bewilderment, utter disbelief. You sure never thought I could be this much of a shit, did you, Dannyboy? Still can't quite bring yourself to believe it.

Believe it.

Danny keeps gaping up at me like some shit's just driven a huge, honking hole through his worldview and I stare back  Just as pole-axed by what I've done to him. I've seen enough in his eyes to know there may never be any coming back from this one, but there's more. A lot more. Much more than I bargained for.

God, not - not this…

Quick - I have to look away. There's still time. Still time to stop myself from seeing this. After everything I've done to keep this away, I can't see it now. Not now. Not this. Not - not like this…

I haven't wanted to see this, haven't wanted to know. I didn't want to own this thing  that's been haunting me, like some sort of demon sitting on my shoulder. The snickering monkey on my back. Whispering in my ear. Nagging me, laughing at me, mocking me no matter what I've tried to do to shut the noisy little fucker up.

The thing I've been running from since the day I first laid eyes on him.

And boy oh boy, have I been running. Just as fast as these tired old legs will let me. Running for the hills, going down hill all the way. Grabbing at straws, getting stupid, getting mean, thinking with everything but my head. Blindly, mindlessly doing everything I can to keep him as far away from me as possible.. So I wouldn't have to see what's staring me right in the face in those damned, damned eyes.

Incredible eyes, amazing eyes, still so kind even while they're so bewildered, still reaching out even after -  even after everything I've done to try and make them turn away from me.

Even trying to kill him didn't make him cut me and run.

Well, if this hasn't pretty much finally convinced him I have no redeeming social value whatsoever, I don't know what else could.

God help me, what have I done? What have I been doing?  I've been so scared of what I didn't want to see I haven't been able to see anything at all. But here it is, in a nutshell, where all of us have come to because I've been doing everything I can to see anything but the truth.

No one has moved since I decked Daniel. It's like we all can't believe what has just happened. I know I sure can't and I'm the macho prick who's just slugged a teammate and a friend for doing his job. For having the guts to stick up for himself and for the truth and for trying to remind me, once again, why the hell we are really supposed to be out here and what we're supposed to be all about.

Just like he's been doing for months during this whole nightmare joyride of the gradual moral decline of Colonel O'Neill. Former man of action and defender of the right, now Colonel Sick and Twisted 'let's just blow up anyone who gets in our way'.

And thump the shit out of the only person who's had the guts to not let him get away with it.

Yeah. That Colonel O'Neill. That sick fuck. Me.

Might is right. My way or the highway. The guy with the biggest stick gets to make the rules. Do like I say or get blown away. Fuck, I hate  this guy. How the hell have I become him?

You know how, Jack. And you damned well know why. It's all coming clear. As I look into those sorrowful blue eyes and come to.

That's what Erin used to call it. 'Coming to.' Crap, I haven't thought about that crazy chick in years. I sure hung out with some winners before I met Sara. Erin had to be at the top of the list of 'characters'. The actress who could never decide who she really was because she was always so busy being someone else.

She had a lot of stories about her adventures 'treading the boards.' As she put it. I remember very clearly the one she told me about something that sometimes happens on stage during the course of a long run. When playing the part becomes so 'by the numbers' you don't even have to think about what you're doing. You just say the lines, go through the motions, all on automatic pilot. Sleepwalking through the scenes until…

Until something happens to shatter the illusion. Disrupt the flow, interrupt the comfortable coma. Blam! Without warning, you come to - right in the middle of the scene, in the middle of a speech, sometimes, into this moment of pure awareness so powerful it knocks everything else out of your head. The rest of the speech, every bit of business, the rest of the scene, the whole stinking play. Which means you're fucked, and the other players don't even know what's going on.

There you are, standing centre stage, completely zoned and clueless, with the whole world staring at you waiting for you to get on with it. The other players are still locked in the spell. They haven't a clue you're not with them, you're not on the page, in the scene. That you're no longer part of the program, giving the 'lie' your all, just like the rest of them. You've fallen out of the loop. You're not this character you've been pretending to be, you're a fish out of water  idiot frozen in the glare of all eyes like a deer caught in the headlights.

And there ain't a soul can help you get it back again.

But somehow you always find the presence of mind to sift through the panic and find that next line. Hopefully before someone else in the cast - or the audience - catches on you've 'lost it' for a minute. Somehow, you find a way to fudge your way back into the fantasy.

Hey, the show must go on.

God, that's what's happening to me. I've come to -  been knocked out of the scene. Thrown clear of the illusion. Been made to see the role I've been playing for exactly what it is; only now that I know I can't get back into it again. I can't remember my lines or what I'm supposed to do next in order to be able to keep playing the part.

I'm me again. I can see it all. The whole damned, dirty, stinking slice of self-concocted 'make-believe' I've been sleepwalking through for far too long. What I've been doing, the part I've been playing, the lies I've been speaking as truth.

I see it all now. God. Oh God, Daniel, I can see the truth.

I can see what I've done to all of us - how my efforts to hide from what I can no longer run away from have split all of us right down the middle. I've not only denied you and lied to myself, I've made Carter and Teal'c take sides. They never should have been made a part of this. This never had anything to do with them.

Never had anything to do with them at all.

But I've made them a part of it, and now they're both as caught up in this sordid little melodrama as we are.

Carter's at my side, her hand on my arm as Teal'c goes to Daniel and helps him up. Daniel's eyes haven't left mine. They still hold me fast as he allows Teal'c to pull him gently to his feet. I can't look away from either of them, though by rights I should be hanging my head in shame.

Which is pretty much the way Teal'c is feeling, if the way he is glaring at me is anything to go by. Daniel's a little shaky but he's up. He turns to Teal'c, gives him a tight little smile of reassurance after Teal'c asks him if he's okay. Then Daniel says those words that make me want to scream. Those words he hides behind when everything is as far from what they mean as they could possibly be.

Fine, Danny? Oh, I don't think so.

Daniel's up, but Teal'c isn't moving away. Not letting go of him either. Those big, black Jaffa eyes are burning twin spots of contempt into the middle of my forehead. Teal'c isn't going to let this one go by without saying something.

No reason he should. No reason I shouldn't get everything that's coming to me. And more.

"You are no longer the man I thought you were, O'Neill," Teal'c says to me in a deep voice dripping with contempt.

Oh yeah. Tell me something I don't  know, Teal'c.

I still can't move as I watch Teal'c start to lead Daniel away. After giving me a look promising me what has happened is far from over, or dealt with. I know, I know, and I'm still trying to get my mind around everything that's going on when a part of me clues in Carter's still hanging on like a burr and she's saying something to me.

Crap! Carter. What in the hell am I going to do about her?

In some ways, this has to be the worst part of it. In running away I started running toward. Lying to her as well. Using her feelings for me as a shield. Making goo goo eyes at her like playing some damn fool teenage crush game was going to make all the rest of it go away.

I have to be the lowest form of crawling scum life on any planet in the galaxy.

She's been bouncing around thinking I love her or something and checking her brains at the gate every time we've gone through it. I had no right to do that to her. No right to deceive her and encourage her to compromise her personal dignity and principles. Just so she could stand by her man.

Oh Sam, if you only knew…

She's babbling something about this somehow being Daniel's fault because he shouldn't have challenged me and I know I'm going to lose it 'cause I can't believe she can't see how wrong I was in everything that's just gone down.

Oh, she's sees it. But she won't say it. Back up your CO all the way, no matter how much of a schmuck he is? That's my girl.

Christ, Carter, listen to yourself! You should be puking your guts out. I should know. I'm listening to this crap coming out of your mouth, and I sure want to.

If this is what 'love' has done for you, trust me, you don't need it!

Sweet, now I've completed the job. Yelled at her and told her to get the hell back to the gate with Daniel and Teal'c. Big man. Big hero. Why don't you just blow your brains out and…

That's pretty much your answer for everything, isn't it, Jack? The easy way out. So much easier than facing the music. Facing up to what you've done. Facing Carter. Facing Teal'c.

Facing - him.


God, Daniel, what have I done to you? I can feel your eyes on me. Feel the hurt, the disbelief, the loss. You haven't deserved any of this. My growing hostility toward myself, all turned out at you. My anger, my denial. Again, all at me, all taken out on you. You haven't deserved to be the brunt of my cowardice and self-loathing. I've been shit scared and crazy mad at myself but striking out at you all this time. Beating you back, driving you away, trying to get you out of my life, out of my…. Out of my…..

Oh god, I still can't say it. I want to scream it, but I can't even say it to myself. It's too big, too wonderful. Too terrible.

I can't run from it any more. There's nowhere left to run. Nowhere to hide. Anything but the truth, Jack? Well, you've done everything you could think of to keep the demon in the box, but he's out now, and he's laughing at you.

Now the truth is all there is.

And I'm in so much shit the sky is brown.

Okay, it's out in the open. Now I know. What I don't know - is what do I do now?

What do I do? What do I do?

I'm in love with Daniel.

God help me.


On to All I Ever Wanted


PhoenixE, 2000-9.
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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