Slash:  Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.
Rating: NC-17.
Category: Established Relationship.  Alternate Universe.  Angst.  Action/Adventure.  Drama.
Season/Spoilers: Season 2.  No Spoilers.
Synopsis: Daniel returns to active duty and Jack discovers he has a very big problem.
Warnings: None
Length:   60 Kb  Originally completed in 2000.


"Hold it – wait a minute. Strap's twisted – wait – I'll get it…"

The shimmering azure event horizon awaited them. Daniel had been about to start up the ramp but stopped in response to Jack's request. He stood patiently, his features arranged in a discretely indulgent expression as Jack patently, obviously – fussed over him.

That Jack was fussing was obvious. Obvious to everyone but Jack.

As his fingers fumbled with the twisted strap of Daniel's pack Jack tried to get a grip on himself. Crap, he was as nervous as a bridegroom. Had been one once, knew what it felt like. This was it.

Danny's first time through the gate since they had brought him home. Back in action, back in the saddle, back in the traces, back out into the strange unknown where anything could happen. Back out there where he could no longer control the situation, no longer keep Danny in a fortress where nothing could touch him. Out of his hands and into the fickle ones of fate.

He wasn't quite ready to let go yet.

Too soon, it was too soon. Oh he knew what the doctors had said. Daniel's progress over the last two months had been nothing short of – astonishing.

Since their first morning together after their first incredible night together Daniel had thrown away his pills and just gotten better and better. No arguing with facts. The shrinks were impressed, and at more than a bit of a loss to explain it other than laying it off to the fact Daniel had already displayed he possessed an unusually resilient personality and a better-than-average ability to cope with emotional and psychological trauma.

Lord knows he'd had enough practice!

Which was just a fancy way of saying the boy could bounce back like nobody's business. A big part of it, to be sure, but Jack was also more than certain the swiftness of Daniel's recovery could also be attributed to whatever advantages accrued from – being what he really was.

Whatever the reason, Jack was glad of it. On a certain level. He certainly had no desire to see Daniel go through what he'd gone through when they'd first brought him back. However it had come about, he was overjoyed to see Daniel smiling, and fit and happy once more. Eager to be out and about, anxious to get back to work; itching to walk through that gate again.

And THAT was where Jack started having problems. The last two months had been his every dream come true and so much more besides. Heaven, bliss, paradise, pick a metaphor for perfection. Nothing to intrude, nothing to spoil it, nothing to fear.

All over now. Daniel had been pronounced fit, mentally sound, cleared to return to active duty. Official end of the happy hiatus. Here they were, back to work. When Daniel walked through that gate, the 'real world' would start raining on Jack's parade again. He knew it had to happen, just why did it have to happen so soon?

As his fingers plucked absently at the collar of Daniel's jacket, freeing it from the strap confining it he found his eyes meeting the ones of the man before him. Daniel looked at him with quiet understanding, that way he had of telling him, without saying a word, he knew exactly what Jack was thinking. Which he did.

It'll be fine, Jack. Trust me.

The reassurance of Danny's eyes stilled his troubled thoughts. Their arresting, irresistible blueness replaced the troubled thoughts with others. Distinctly less troubled, and a whole lot more amorous. Which suddenly were joined by a whole bunch of friends as Daniel smiled at him, crinkling his nose slightly in the way he did that made him want to start kissing his face off.

"Meet you on the other side, Jack," Daniel said softly and started up the ramp. Dazed, dumbfounded and utterly besotted Jack found he could do nothing but stand there and stare at him as he walked into the blue.

He was still standing there as the remaining members of his team drew up on either side of him, flanking him left and right. Carter sidled up to him, leaning over to whisper conspiratorially in his ear.

"Uh, you might want to work on your poker face a bit, Colonel."

He'd heard her use that tone before. She was razzing him about something. He'd figure it out in a minute. Just needed a minute… God, those eyes…

"I concur with Captain Carter," Teal'c joined in. Focus, Jack, Teal'c was on about something too. "It might be wise to strive to achieve inner peace in certain situations," the Jaffa continued a deep, completely serious tone. "I can instruct you in basic meditation techniques if you think it would be helpful."

Jack glanced from one to the other. Carter looked as if she was about to split a gut, Teal'c was wearing a definite smile behind his neutral expression. Whazgoinon?

"Huh?" was his brilliant response.

"Your tongue is hanging out, sir!" she shot out of the corner of her mouth at him and then beckoned to Teal'c to follow her up the ramp. Teal'c inclined his head politely at his commanding officer, his dark eyes sparkling with amusement.

As he joined Carter on her stroll to the event horizon she leaned toward the Jaffa and said, just loud enough for Jack to hear, "Ya know, I think I liked them better when they were fighting all the time. This is becoming really confusing. I keep getting this irresistible urge to skip, go tra-la-la and fling rose petals all over the place. Don't like it. Let's not even talk about the violin music I keep hearing. Spooky!"

Just before they disappeared into the event horizon Jack heard Teal'c's reply.

"I do not care to skip, but I have a certain fondness for violins."

Crap! Jack jammed his hat more firmly on his head, sighed deeply and trudged wearily after the rest of his team. Well, he'd known there was no way he and Daniel had any hope of keeping Sam and Teal'c from figuring this out eventually. But so soon? He was so, so dead!

It all pretty much went downhill from there.

The gate on D2S-909 had landed them right in the middle of a hot, steamy jungle, and he had been bungling through it from the word go. He hadn't felt this dumb-ass awkward and stupid since high school. Christ, you'd think he was in love or something…

For starters he'd been so wrapped up in watching Daniel's ass he'd walked right into a tree. Full on – wham! Carter had chortled, Teal'c arranged for his attention to be elsewhere, and Daniel's melting look of concern – hadn't helped.

Ten minutes into their jaunt towards the temple complex the UAV had located in a clearing about three miles away from the gate they had halted briefly to remove their jackets and vests. It was either that or turn into four large puddles of sweat and very possibly pass out. Freaking hot. Way more freaking hot than they'd been led to believe in the mission brief. Somebody was going to be hearing about this when they got home. Presuming, of course, his brains didn't melt in the interim. Either from the heat, or from the heat…

So they stripped down a bit. Was okay at first. Continuing on reduced to T-shirt level hadn't been too bad. Until…

Daniel had stopped to examine the rather large and colourful floral head of this alien plant growing along side the path they were creating through the jungle. As soon as he touched it, didn't it just go and spit this green crap all over his chest. And didn't THAT just promptly commence eating through the fabric of the T-shirt. Of course it did. What else could it do? What else could he do? Why did he even bother getting out of bed this morning?

Jack was there in a flash, helping Daniel rip the shirt off, splashing some water from his canteen on his skin to make sure all the green stuff was washed away, and of course then he had to, well, check to see Daniel hadn't been burned or hurt, all in the interests of first aid, you understand, nope, everything looked fine, they had gotten it off in time, looked fine, felt fine, oh my, felt more than fine golden skin, perfect, flawless, gleaming as mingled sweat and water beaded on it, so soft and firm beneath his palms, rosy circles puckering, hardening with the combination of water and soft friction… OH MY GOD WHAT AM I DOING?

Trying to still the shuddering Jack tore himself away from Daniel's side. "He's okay, everything's okay, let's move on," he managed to grunt as he forced himself to stomp forward.

He was looking back over his shoulder not so much to verify if everyone was following him as to see who was laughing at him when he tripped over a moss covered, unidentifiable obstruction on the ground ahead which he would have seen and avoided if he'd been facing front as he was supposed to but since he wasn't, he didn't and consequently found himself splayed face down full length in the moist muck carpeting the jungle floor.

He figured if they would just leave him here long enough he would sink into the muck and disappear completely. Which was more than all right with him at the moment.

Well, they hadn't, he didn't and now here they were and here he was in the worst trouble he had ever been…

Twenty minutes into the mission they'd been forced by the sweltering heat and claustrophobic humidity to halt and take a rest. Finding a bit of a break in the tangle of greenery gone berserk they settled for as close to a clearing as they were going to get to take a bit of a load off and try recovering a bit before pressing on.

Everybody looked pretty wilted. Even Teal'c had an uncomfortably moist aspect. Small wonder. This planet was like a giant sauna with a hell of an attitude. He was feeling pretty damned overheated himself, but it didn't have as much to do with the climate as one might suppose. Jack leaned up against a broad tree as he scanned the forest about them, doing everything he could to keep his eyes on everything else around him but Daniel.

Might as well try to stop the world from turning. Just as he was raising his canteen to his lips his eyes developed a mind of their own. Mutinous bastards were like heat seeking missiles locking on one specific target and they found it at what had to have been the worst possible time to have done so.

The way his luck had been going today he should be surprised?

Daniel was sitting on the wide surface of what probably was what was left of a long-fallen and mostly decayed tree trunk. He was leaning slightly backward, his weight supported on one arm. The other he was using to lift his canteen to his mouth. His head was tilted back, eyes closed. Mesmerized, Jack watched, knowing he shouldn't, knowing if he saw what he knew was coming he was as good as dead but what a way to go…

A stream of carelessly poured water gushed from the canteen suspended just above Daniel's open mouth, as much missing it as going into it. Jack was utterly captivated by the twin spectacles of the movement of Daniel's throat as he swallowed, and the rivulets of water that coursed teasingly down over his chin, down his neck, sliding down the glancing, sweat-glistening sides of his lightly rippling pectoral muscles funneled into the channel that lay between them continuing to drizzle down his slightly heaving, taut abdomen down, down…

As Jack was starting to lose himself in strange fantasies about exchanging his current state of being for a more liquid one he received incontrovertible proof the universe hated him. For it chose that very moment to shift a branch or a twig or a leaf somewhere up above enough to suddenly allow a shaft of blinding sunlight to come streaming down from the mocking heights, slamming right into Daniel, bathing him in an electric nimbus of molten, dancing light turning his skin and hair and beautiful, slightly upturned face to burnished gold.

Well, he could die happy now, for he had indeed seen the Promised Land. He'd better die soon, though, in order to save himself a lot more embarrassment, cause he couldn't remember being this horny since he was a teenager.

He had a problem. He had a huge problem. Getting bigger by the moment, the more he looked at Golden Boy over there brazenly flaunting himself in that completely unconsciously gorgeous way of his. Not having the faintest clue what he was doing to certain other people simply by having the temerity to exist and for being just so damned – beautiful - in the bargain. Oughta be a law…

Well, this sort of behaviour from both of them was all well and good at home behind closed doors but out here… Can't have this O'Neill. Not on the job. What are we going to do about this?

Well, before he could worry about what he was going to do about this, he had to do something about THIS.

Jack closed his eyes, took off his hat and dumped most of the contents of his canteen on his head. It was a start. Keeping his eyes carefully averted from the half-naked man who glistened and blazed and would just – really make it hard for him to do what he had to do if he looked at him, Jack began to pace, slowly tracing the outskirts of the clearing, looking out into the jungle beyond them. It wasn't easy, but he made himself walk, made himself not look, made himself calm down. Then came the part he most dreaded.

Making himself face what this was going to mean.

He'd known it wouldn't be easy adjusting to Daniel's return since they had become lovers. However, he hadn't even stopped to consider – this. He should have. He should have. Not like he was completely clueless. Should have realized – what had he been thinking?

Although at times it seemed as if certain regs were arbitrary, there were some damned good reasons for the ones which forbade fraternization. He was having some of those reasons driven home to him right now, and he was not liking what it was shaping up to mean.

He'd always known the reasons why, always agreed with them in spirit and practice. Had never had to deal with this for real, as it directly applied to him, though.

In short, when you cross the line, the rules change. Daniel was no longer simply one of his subordinates. Another one of the people under his command. No longer the same as all the rest. He was his lover. The most important person in the world to him. Although given a little more time and practice he was sure he could get past this kind of physical reaction while out in the field with Daniel, he was not so sure he could now be trusted to do the right thing by Sam and Teal'c if they were in a combat situation and Daniel was in danger.

He couldn't have that. Wasn't fair to his teammates. Definitely wasn't doing his job. And if he couldn't do that – couldn't be trusted to be the kind of leader he was supposed to be – then he didn't belong in the job, and shouldn't be entrusted with the command of SG-1.

Which meant – for the sake of the team - him or Daniel - one of them had to go.


Wasn't sure how he knew, but suddenly he was whirling, aiming his MP-5 even as he heard Teal'c call out to him to alert him to the danger, was already firing as the huge black shape came hurtling down out of the trees above Daniel. Jack knew he'd cut it in two, knew it was already dead even as it was still falling down on top of Daniel, pinning him underneath its bulk. He was running, calling for Carter and Teal'c to form up around Daniel and cover him cause whatever it was he was struggling to get himself out from under, it had friends. Lots and lots of friends…

"I'm okay, Jack!"

Good boy, nice to know hurry up and get your ass out from under that thing we have got to move! He pointed to two separate directions in the overhead canopy and turned his own weapon on the sector of the circle he had chosen for himself. Two MP-5's and a staff weapon methodically strafed the trees, cutting a killing swatch in a complete aerial circle, bringing down at least a dozen huge, black bodies. Jack signaled to his teammates to continue firing. Come on Daniel…

Suddenly Daniel came surging up behind him, pushing him down, his weapon drawn, firing over his shoulder, pumping several rounds in quick succession into the black nightmare hurtling out of the thick, tangled growth directly in front of him. Straight at him, all claws and big, nasty pointy teeth. Holy crap, Daniel, you just saved my ass!

"We got 'em downstairs too!" Jack bellowed. "Carter, stay upstairs, Daniel, cover her on the ground, Teal'c, let's blast a path the hell out of here and back to the gate!"

It had been a hell of a trip. Whatever those things were, they didn't appear to be scared by anything. Gunfire to grenades, they just kept coming. And coming, and coming and coming, every inch of the run back to the gate. But here they all were, all in one piece, Sam and Teal'c standing by the DHD, waiting for the gate to engage, the hounds of hell baying at their heels.

Only reason they'd all gotten here in one piece was because of the way each one of them had covered the other one. Each one being exactly where they needed to be in order to make sure all of them made it.

As the wormhole stabilized into the familiar sight of the event horizon huge black shapes started pouring out of the fringe of forest at the far side of the clearing, loping toward them, making high, keening, howling noises eerie enough to curdle the blood. Jack motioned for Carter and Teal'c to send the iris code and bail while he and Daniel backed slowly toward the gate, firing into the advancing pack, covering their teammates' retreat.

Their backs to the event horizon, the things almost on them, they spared one last second to look at each other before plunging through to safety.



Together – they jumped. Shooting through the familiar madness of the wormhole, tumbling out the other side, rolling down the ramp as Jack roared, "Close the iris, lock it up damn things are right behind us!"

Thump thump bang thwap.

That'll learn you, you black bastards. Nobody's lunching on Mama O'Neill's little boy today.

Of course, he was wrong. But he wasn't to find that out till much later…

Much, much later he was lying in bed cradling a sweaty, completely satiated and profoundly slumbering Daniel in his arms thinking just how wrong he had been about a lot of things today. However, this was definitely one of those times when it was good to be wrong. Oh yeah.

Pretty damned impressed with the team. After all those months without Daniel, SG-1 had come back together and gotten it done as if he had never been gone. What could he say, his kids were good. When it came right down to it – training told.

As it had in his own case, apparently. The second he'd realized they were in danger, his instincts had kicked in and getting the job done was all that mattered. That the 'job' in question had been the saving of all of their butts made the fact he had done it all the more significant. They'd been in the thick of it and he hadn't choked. Hadn't lost his head, hadn't let anybody down through worrying about one person in particular.

In fact, he was mighty glad the one person in particular had been there. If he hadn't, Jack doubted very much he would still be here and able to demonstrate his gratitude in the way he just had. Hey, fair is fair.

So, maybe it was going to be okay. He still had to work on that serenity thing. Wonder if Teal'c had been kidding about those lessons.

Daniel stirred in his arms, making small mumbling noises into his chest as he nuzzled and burrowed in closer, attempting to meld with the body of the man beneath him. Christ, he loved the way Daniel snuggled. Was like having this six-foot, warm, breathing, soft, teddybear all around you. Hell of a thing. Hell of a man.

Jack heaved a deeply contented sigh, tightening his embrace, settling himself deeper into the mattress beneath him preparing to try and get some sleep. He thought Daniel was asleep, and therefore was quite surprised to feel him lift his head and move slowly up along him until he was in the vicinity of the mouth he was trying to find. Fumbling across Jack's cheek his lips finally reached their destination, whereupon he administered a very sleepy, sloppy kiss before collapsing back down on Jack's chest with a small, happy sigh.

"Go back to sleep, Danny," Jack whispered as he fondly stroked Daniel's head.

""Kay," came the barely audible reply. '"Jack?"


There was no response for several seconds. Jack was beginning to think Daniel had in fact fallen back to sleep, when it came.

"Love you."

"Yeah, I know. Right back atcha."

"Good. Night…"

Daniel was right. It was going to be fine. More than fine. It was going to be great.

Oh yeah…


Back to Lifeline  /  On to Rituals


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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