GOOD INTENTIONS BY PHOENIXE
Slash:  Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.
Rating: R
Category: Established Relationship, Angst, Romance
Season/Spoilers: Season 4/5  Small Spoiler for The Light
Synopsis: After ten days offworld Daniel is returning to the SGC, eagerly anticipating his reunion with Jack.  He's in for a hot time, or so he thinks....
Warnings: None
Length:   84 Kb  Originally Completed July 05  Posted to the Net 26 Dec 06 

Notes:  For some reason most of the 'reunion' stories I've seen (and written) involve Jack being the one coming home to Daniel.  I'd originally thought to do one from the perspective of Jack being the one at home waiting for Daniel, and going all out to throw him a big romantic homecoming only to have it all go wrong, but then I started thinking….  What would happen if somehow Daniel got his wires crossed, made certain assumptions and got home to discover  them…unfulfilled…  How would he react, and what would happen.  All that thinking, and this is what resulted…  This story originally appeared in the JD Divas Zine by Yadda Press.  The lovely illo accompanying this story was in the zine as well, and is by Biblio.


 

“Woo hoo, now there's a beautiful sight!"  Washburn yells, gesturing toward the Stargate gleaming in the sun-bathed valley beneath us.  "Virginia, pucker up, baby, your Big Daddy is coming home!"

"I hear you, brother," Allen pipes up from behind me as we start down the hill.  "There's a little lady on the other side of that gate sitting by her phone waiting for my call.  Ten days without her lover-boy," he pauses, groaning dramatically.  "Once we're cleared to go I'm not gonna keep her waiting long, you know what I mean?"

Oh yeah, I do.  Only in my case, it's not a lady.

Asher and Bates add their own suggestive comments to the mix while we carry on down the slope, but I'm not really listening to the extremely enthusiastic and off-colour banter.  My own personal Welcome Wagon is all I'm thinking about.  We've done our job, we're returning with very good news indeed, and while I'm pleased to have been able to help SG-7 close the deal with the Verran, I'm also very, very glad it's over and we're going home. 

Ten days.  Ten days off-world without my team, without – 

"What about you, Doc?"  Washburn gives me a playful shove.  I smile at the big, black man lumbering beside me.  He could look Teal'c in the eye and is easily as broad, but that's where the resemblance ends.  Washburn's wide, friendly face is constantly in motion; he smiles at the drop of a hat and laughs twice as frequently, huge, deep guffaws rumbling around in that massive chest like localized thunder. The man is a two hundred and fifty pound teddy bear.

I like him a lot. 

"What about me what?"  I shove him back.

"You got a sweet someone back home, waitin' on you?"

The question is asked kindly; his dark, friendly eyes are twinkling with well-meant, but unmistakable curiosity.  He's trying to act all casual, like he's not dying to know, but he's not fooling me.  He wants the goods. I'd like to be able to give them to him.  I really would.  If this were a more perfect universe I could tell him the truth.  Maybe someday I'll be able to.  But it isn't, I can't and this isn't that day. 

Not yet.

"Nope," I toss back at him, with an 'it's no big deal shrug'.  "Just my books and my fish."

Washburn is so obviously and tragically sorry to hear this I feel terrible for having lied to him.

"Get out!" he cries, clearly stricken.  "A cool dude like you? You're telling me there isn't a sweet momma back on good 'ole Mother Earth waiting for you to come home?  That's just wrong!"

He looks like he's just about to go charging forth and slaying a few dragons on my behalf, so I quickly rush to reassure him. 

"No, no really, Wash, it's fine.  I'm fine," I smile at him.  "The whole…dating thing, it's not really my scene.  Besides, I've been kind of busy lately.  Haven't had the time."

Of course, I can't mention dating has become extremely difficult lately on account of a certain Air Force colonel who won't let me go out at night.  Not without him, that is.

"Well, you'd better make the time, brother," Washburn gravely scolds me.  "All work and no lovin', that's no way to live, m' man!"

Don't you worry, my friend; I get plenty of loving.  I haven't been able to think of much else but that – and him – for the last three days. 

Which made trying to iron out the fine details of the trade agreement extremely interesting.  Somehow we muddled through.

"You listen to the man," Major Asher chimes in from his position in the rear.  Another good man.  He's no Jack O'Neill, of course, but that's not his fault.  "I've been married for fifteen years.  There's nothin' like it.  Fifteen years with the same woman and she can still make me go weak in the knees when she smiles at me."

Yeah, I can relate to that.  Jack's been doing that to me for a long time.  Thank God I don't have to look and dream any more, I can touch…

Touch.  Oh yeah.  Lots of touching.  Soon.

"The Doc was married, Sir!"  Allen furiously whispers at his CO.

"Ah shit, Jackson, I'm sorry!"  Major Asher hastily offers.  "I didn't mean – "

"No harm done, Major," I rush to cut the apology off at the pass.  It’s true, there wasn’t, he didn’t. I’ll always miss her, but I’m…fine…now, and again that’s largely due to Jack.   

"Sometimes things happen,” I tell him honestly.  “I can't bring her back but I'm grateful for what we had.  Who knows, maybe someday I'll get that lucky again."

I did, and I am, even though no one knows it but me, and no one knows it better than me.

"No one deserves it more than you, Doc," Asher replies, visibly grateful I've not taken his brief faux pas the wrong way.

Damn.  I feel like an absolute creep, lying to them like this.  They're good guys.  I didn't know them when they put out the call ten days ago asking for my help, but during the time here on Vaal, we've done some bonding.  Built some trust.  I'm touched by their concern and I don't like deceiving them. 

I wish I could tell them they don't have to worry about me.  I am most assuredly…loved.

Oh yeah.

"Well, it ain't never gonna happen for you if you don't get out there, Bro!"  Washburn exclaims.   "Put down those books and go find those ladies!"

"You listen to the man," Asher lightly scolds me.

"I'll keep it in mind," I grin.  Washburn's deep, infectious laughter echoes across the valley, a cheering accompaniment on the final leg of our journey.

The good-natured bantering continues while we wend our way across the valley floor and with the gate looming ever closer, my excitement and anticipation gallops right off the scale.  I find it hard to keep the grin off my face, thinking of what is waiting for me, only a few seconds and a couple of billion miles away.  If only they knew, my fond reunion is coming a lot sooner than any of theirs.  It's true, we won't be able to openly acknowledge each other but just knowing he's going to be there, at the bottom of the ramp, waiting, looking up at me, smiling…

I don't realize I've stepped up my pace until I've zoomed right past Bates on point.

"Whoa, Doc!"  Major Asher laughs.  "Where's the fire?  You sure you haven't got a hot number on the other side of that puddle?"

Oh, Major, if only you knew…

"Book," I shoot back over my shoulder, bounding over to the DHD to start dialling.  "Good book.  Had to put it down at a really interesting part.  Can't wait to get back to it."

"Must be one hell of a book," he eyes me skeptically while sending the iris code.  "One hell of a book." 

He studies me for a few more seconds.  I feel like an idiot.  My face is flaming and he knows I'm hiding something, but he doesn't know quite what.  Finally he shakes his head, and chuckles.  "You're a funny guy, Jackson," he says with a fond smile.  "But you're okay.  SG-7," he barks, "Plus Doctor Jackson – move it out.  Let's go home."

Bounding up the steps, 1-2-3. Look out wormhole, here I come!  Coming home, Jack, I'm almost there.  Deep breath and we're……

…awaaaaayyyy…..wooo hoooo what a ride!  This never gets old!   Roller-coaster  through the eye of a needle in the heart of a glacier.  Fly me home! Jack, Jack, can't wait to see you, can't wait to…almost there, almost there…aaannnnnnd…..

…home.  Both feet planted on terra firma.  Or the top of the gateroom ramp, which is the next best thing.  Exhale, inhale, look up, start walking.

Home, I'm home, Jack, I'm...

Heading down the ramp as a succession of moist 'plops' sound behind me announcing the arrival of each member of SG-7.

"Welcome back, SG-7," Hammond's warm greeting wraps around us.  "Doctor Jackson.  It's good to see you all back safe and sound."

Good, yes good, very good to see you too.  And Sam.  Teal'c.  Still moving forward, looking at the group assembled beneath us, for the one face, the only face I want to see.

I'm not seeing it.  Or him.

Jack?  Jack's not here?  Not – not here?

My mind is spinning with confusion and absolute, utter disbelief and I don't realize I've stopped short in the middle of the ramp until Washburn comes barrelling into me, nearly catapulting me the rest of the way to the bottom.

"Whoa!  Easy there, Doc," he laughs, and I feel a huge hand latch onto my shoulder and haul me back before I stumble all the way down.  "You wanna signal before you stop like that?"

"Sorry…I…" blink and stutter, try to shake off my confusion and cover up my stupid – I can't let it show how shocked I am Jack isn't here.

He's always here – always!  He knew I'd be back today, he made sure SG-1 – and he – weren't going to be going off-world without me – 'til I got back.

Here.  He should be here.  Unless…

Oh God, unless something's happened to him – something bad.

"Daniel?  You okay?" Sam asks, the huge smile on her face stilling for just a second.

Smiling, she's smiling.  She wouldn't be smiling if something was wrong with Jack, if he was sick…or…

Jack's fine, he's fine, I know that for sure when I reach the bottom of the ramp and my team mates enfold me with their cheery and heart-felt greeting.   

"Fine, I'm fine, I just…" I mumble, struggling to regain my composure while stumbling into Sam's warm embrace.  "It's good to see you," I say, and mean it, hugging her back.

I do, I do mean it, it's great, she looks great, I've missed her a lot, and Teal'c but it's just, I – I want Jack!  Where's Jack?  Why isn't he here?

"I am pleased to see you, DanielJackson," Teal'c booms, patting me firmly on the back. 

"Hey, Teal'c," I force myself to smile, reach out to him and squeeze his arm.  I don't understand.  Where is he?  He's always here, always.  I don't know what this means.

Get a hold of yourself, Jackson it doesn't mean anything, he's busy, that's all.  Something came up, I can't imagine what, but it did.  Something, he had to do something, keeping him from making our rendezvous, but it's nothing; he'll catch up with me, later.  Maybe in the infirmary. 

Yeah, he knows that's where I have to go next.  That's where he'll be.  Waiting for me there, with a big smile and an even bigger apology.

He'll be there.  I just have to wait a little longer. 

 


 

So much for that idea. 

Jack wasn't in the infirmary, no sign of him during the debriefing and he wasn't in his office, so I'm heading for mine, hoping that's where he'll be.  Maybe he decided to wait for me there, possibly planning on a slightly more private reunion, but if he is, it'll have to wait until I manage to shake Sam.  I don't need to worry he'll spring out at me from behind the desk wearing something indiscreet; he'll be able to hear us coming.  She hasn't stopped talking since…

She's pretty much been going non-stop since the gateroom, actually.  I haven't got a clue about what, but I've been faking it pretty good.   The occasional 'mmm hmmm', or 'I see' seems to keep her happy.  Jack swears by the system.  I know he uses it frequently with me as well, but I don't let on.   I don't have to resort to it very often myself; most of the time I actually listen to what she's saying.  I do.  Honestly.  I just can't focus right now.

I love her, really I do, it's just sometimes she can be slightly…oblivious.

Jack, please be here!

"…we were able to calibrate the device to register power fluctuations and the mashersmatz of the gimblegaff is connected to the whatzit ," Sam says as she follows me into my office.

"That's nice, Sam," I mutter, casting my anxious gaze around my domain.

Artifacts, relics and books, oh my!  But no Jack.  He is really, really, really not here, either. 

Dammit!

"Daniel!  You haven't heard a word I said!"  Sam scolds me, slapping my arm as disappointment crashes through me. 

Oh Sam, not now!

"What's going on?" she queries, suspiciously sizing me up, her brow knitting.  I'm making a show of poking around at the clutter on my desk, trying not to look too much like I'm desperately hunting for something, anything from Jack, a scrap of paper, post-it, message in a crossword, tea-leaves, cryptic squiggles scratched into the top of my desk  - something!

Throw me a clue here, Jack, please! 

Nothing.  There's nothing.  I don't understand.

"You look like you've lost your best friend," she teases, parking herself on the corner of my desk.

I sink wearily into my chair, only just resisting the impulse to bang my head repeatedly on my desk.  Why?  Because it will feel so darned good when I stop.

"Something I can do for you, Sam?"  I plant my elbow on the desk, plop my chin in my upturned hand and throw her a strained smile. 

She stares back, and then fronts a wounded expression.  Jack thinks I can pout for the planet, well, he should take a look at this lower lip.  Yep, he'd be getting quite a kick out of this, if he were here.

Which he's not. And he damned well should be. But let's not dwell…

"Now you're being mean," she sighs dramatically.  "You've been hanging around with the colonel too long, he's starting to rub off on you."

Yeah, I know.  Wouldn't mind a little rubbing at the moment, that was definitely on the agenda for tonight, amongst other things, a lot of other things, and by my watch, we're way late with getting with the program.

Geez, Sam, are you still here?

"Since you've been gone so long I thought you'd be dying to catch up on all the news and gossip."

Most of the time, yes, Sam, any other time, but now, I really don't care!

"…you're not going to believe what Siler did to himself.  Janet says she's never seen anything so – and in such a strange place!"

"Sam, where's Jack?"  I blurt out, a little too quickly.

"The colonel?"  She looks at me blankly.  "He's not here."

Obviously.

I mentally count to ten and barely stifle the urge to jump out of my chair and start hopping around screaming at the top of my lungs.  It would make me feel a lot better but probably wouldn't be conducive to obtaining the information I want as quickly as possible.

"I can see that, Sam," I reply, quietly.  Patiently.  With not the slightest hint of a hysterical tremour in my voice.  Well, not much of one, anyway. "Where is he?"

Commissary?  Gym? Firing range?  Booby-trapping Walter's chair again?  What?  Where?

"Well, I don't know, Daniel," Sam frowns.  "He left hours ago."

Left?  The mountain?  Departed?  As in no longer here?

"Left?"  I squeak.  Why would he, where would he – what the hell – left?

How could he, how could he – left?  I don't understand, he knew I was coming back today.

Left?

"Um hum," Sam nods vigorously, slowly sliding open the top drawer of my desk, where she knows I keep my stash of chocolate bars.  Go for it.  I don't care.  She gets it open, peeks inside, frowns and then slides it shut again.

Ten days ago there were five Milky Ways, a Three Musketeers, four 5th Avenues and a couple of Baby Ruths in that drawer.  Along with a big, honking bag of Smarties.   Obviously I've had visitors in the interim.  The colonel or the major, possibly a very sneaky Jaffa who thinks I don't know he's been known to hit my stash from time to time, take your pick.  But that's neither here nor there right now, because all I care about, all I want to know is the there where my colonel is, because he's definitely not here!

"He asked the general for a personal day," Sam continues, eyeing the urn from P5S-728 sitting on the far corner of my desk.  Damn, that's where I keep the good stuff.  I didn't think she knew about that.

She must be checking out the surveillance tapes again.  That's cheating!  That's okay, if she thinks that five-pound box of Godiva Chocolates is safe in that secret compartment she had Siler install in her lab, she's living in a fool's paradise.

"Wait a minute, come to think of it, maybe he did say something.  Yeah, he did.  Something about going to Denver for the weekend.  Meeting up with an old friend."

And apparently, so am I.

Denver?  Jack went to – to Denver? No, no, no, that can't be right, that's not possible! She must have heard him wrong – misunderstood, this has to be some sort of a mistake.  He wouldn't do something like that; he wouldn't leave me…

Would he?

"I'm hungry, Daniel are you hungry?"  Sam grins at me.  "Come on, let's go get something to eat, and I'll tell you all about who got caught in a compromising position in a storeroom on level 19."

I feel sick to my stomach and my heart is a huge lead weight in the middle of my chest.  The last thing I want to do right now…is eat.

"Thanks, Sam, but can I take a rain cheque?  Got a bad case of gate-lag, you know how it is.  I kinda want to go home, get some sleep.  We can do the catch-up thing some other time.  Soon, though," I finish up with my brightest false smile, hoping and praying she'll buy this, take the hint and finally leave me alone so I can think and figure out what's happening here.

She heard him wrong.  That has to be it.  I'll just phone and I'll…

I'll phone.

"Sure, Daniel," she says, eyeing me closely.  "I guess I have been kind of…going on."  She eases off the desk, takes a couple of steps toward the door.

Finally.

"So I'll just…go, then… I guess."

Please.  The quicker the better.

She takes a few more steps, turns, frowns at me.  I'm hoping the misery churning inside me isn't spilling out all over my face but if it is, there isn't a damned thing I can do about it right now.

"I'll call you," she murmurs.  I nod, and wave at her, then turn away.

She pauses in the doorway.  "Bye," she says softly, bites her lip, hovers uncertainly for a few more seconds, and then disappears.

The instant she's out of sight I'm reaching for the phone, dialling.  She must have got it wrong.  Home, he has to be home, he's at home, I'll just call.

It's ringing.  Pick up, pick up, pick up, come on, be home, pick –

This is Jack O'Neill.

"Jack?  Jack, you're there?  What are you – "

When you hear the tone – go. Otherwise, go away.

The machine.  It's the machine.  Not Jack.  He's not there.

I cradle the receiver again, stare blankly at my empty office.  Oh, it's full to bursting with bric a brac gleaned from hundreds of worlds but none of it means anything to me right now because he's not standing in the midst of the familiar and usually comforting chaos, warm eyes twinkling, filling the whole place with meaning. 

Suddenly I don't want to be here.  So I guess I'll go home.  Not like I've got anywhere else to go.

Apparently.

Hey, whaddya know, I didn't tell SG-7 such a big fib after all.  Contrary to my former erroneous belief, there's no one waiting for me at home except the occupants of my aquarium. 

Look out fishies, big daddy is coming home.

Someone call the media.

 


 

"Here's to you fishies," I waggle the beer bottle in the general direction of the aquarium.  My third beer, if I'm not mistaken.  Good lord, I can count! 

Well, I'm impressed! 

"Want a piece of free advice?  Don't ever fall in love."

Definitely not the smartest thing I've ever done.  Apparently.

I take a huge swig, shuddering as I swallow.  Ugh.  Hanging out with Jack I may have acquired the habit of drinking this stuff but I still can't stand the taste.  Especially this stuff.  Guinness.  It's really vile, but Jack likes it.  I keep some on hand, as a rule, for him.  As a matter of fact, what I'm swilling now was supposed to be for him, bought especially before I left in anticipation of our fond reunion.

Might as well get rid of it, it’s not like I'm going to need to keep any lying around and it's too expensive to pour down the drain.

Okay, okay, you're right, I'm probably making a huge leap here.  Jumping to an enormous and absolutely unwarranted conclusion – not unlike the one I originally jumped to assuming Jack gave a crap about me in the first place.

I get up and weave toward the aquarium.  One of those fishies – the big black one, is giving me the eye. I think I'll give him a piece of my mind.   He thinks he's so damned smart, knows it all.  What the hell does he know, swimming around in a big glass box all the time.  Well, I know stuff too, I've been places, all over the damned universe, as a matter of fact.  Not too many people can say they've seen and done half the stuff I have.  I'm no babe in the woods.  I'm no naïve innocent. I know the score. I know my way around, even if I can't see straight at the moment.

I had my eyes wide open when I went into this.  At least, I thought I did.  I thought I knew him, too.  I'm not stupid, I'm not blind but I sure didn't see this coming.

"If you were me, what would you think?"  I ask Blackie.  He waves his fins at me, and then swims away.

Yeah, pretty much what I'd think too.

Has he been lying to me all this time?  Jack, not the fish.  Playing me for a fool?  Getting his kicks?  What?  Why would he do something like that?  Why me?

Why?

I take another drink, draining the beer.  All gone.  I need more.  No, I need some air.  More beer, fresh air?  Decisions, decisions.  This should be easy to work out, but for some reason, I'm having trouble coming up with the right answer.

Maybe I'll get some air and it'll be easier to think.

I leave the empty by the tank, wave bye to Blackie and his pals, and stagger out onto the balcony. 

 I lean up against the railing and contemplate my view.  It's nice.  I've seen worse.  Seen better too.  Sunset.  Just one. But that would make sense, seeing as we only have one sun.  There are lots of worlds out there, where the accessory heavenly bodies come in multiples.  It's really something, after being accustomed to the solitary lunar option, to look up into the night sky and see three enormous moons, full, swollen and luminous. Incredible.  A whole year on Abydos and the thrilling novelty of that sight didn't lose its edge for me.   

But we were talking about sunsets, because that's what I'm looking at right now.  It's pretty, but if you want truly spectacular, the double sunset on P7S-903, that one takes your breath away.  Colours like I've never imagined could live in the sky, the pinks, the greens, the deep, vibrant indigo.  I don't think I've ever seen anything more beautiful. And I've seen a lot of sights would burn your optic nerve right out for sheer beauty, so I've got quite an impressive basis for comparison.

I'm not bragging, I just…do.

That's when it started, for me, I think, that's when I knew.  I was inhaling the sunset on 903, and then I realized Jack was looking at me, and there was something in his eyes, a spark, something magic, almost, and the sky full of purple fire behind him…

That's when I knew I loved him, desperately, totally, utterly, completely stupidly, hopelessly, and yet there was something, just something in his eyes, just then saying maybe it wasn't quite so hopeless…

I must have been imagining things.  I need another beer.

Beer.  Yeah, that'll help.  Beer is what got me into this mess in the first place.  Too many beers and my big fat mouth.   It was right here, right on this very spot, I was here, with my beer, and I just couldn't take it any more.  Jack came out to get me, he's not very comfortable out here, doesn't like me to be out here when I'm not…all there…since the time he peeled me off the edge before I almost took a terminal swan dive…

I'm still kinda fuzzy about exactly what went on during that whole incident, but I'm obviously still here…so…

Where was I?  Oh yeah, me and Jack and the beer.  Out here.  He turns me around.  "Walk with me, Daniel," he says, and we go back inside.  I'm running my mouth the whole time.  Pretty much anything alcoholic in sufficient quantities tends to act on me as somewhat of a verbal lubricant, not that I need any sort of assistance in that capacity, as Jack is often wont to remind me.

Wont.  That's funny.  Okay, now I definitely know I'm drunk.  I'd never say something like that sober. 

I am often wont to want what I cannot have.  And getting it is almost always worse…than want.

My, that's cheerful.  Where's the beer?

No, no, now I really shouldn't.  Beer is bad.  It makes me say things I should never say.  I've never found truth at the bottom of a bottle, only lies and illusions.  Nothing is ever what it seems, not even someone you would have sworn was the only thing you could trust to be...absolute.

Right here.  It was right here on this spot I let it slip.  I didn't even realize I'd done it, hadn't clued in I'd said those three stupid words until Jack had spun me around and then he…he...

You know, I never realized it 'til now, but he's never said them back.  Not then, not ever.  He's never said…

Well, I guess we know why now, don't we, Blackie?

An old friend, is it Jack?  I wonder how old.  I wonder how friendly.  I wonder what they're doing right now.  Whatever it is, I'll bet it's a lot more fun than what's happening in this dump.

No, you're right, I wouldn't take that bet either.

Well, Jack's friend, whoever you are, good luck to you.  You're gonna need it.  I'd drink to you, but I don't have a...

I'm tired, Blackie.  I think I need to lie down.  It's okay, it's – I'm not gonna do anything stupid and yeah, you're right, you're absolutely right, no more beer for me.  I'm just gonna lie down here on the couch, close my eyes. 

It's a good thing I've got you here keeping an eye on me seeing as how Jack doesn't seem to want the job any more.

Beer isn't going to solve the problem.  I know that.  Nor is lying around here feeling sorry for myself.  You don't have to worry about me, really; I'll be fine.  I've been here before.  Let's just say it's not exactly undiscovered country and leave it at that.  It hurts, I won't say it doesn't, but you know how it is, a little water under the bridge, time heals all wounds, what does not kill us makes us stronger… 

I've come back from worse.  We'll be a big boy and take this like a man. 

No problem.

Jack, Jack, Jack I want Jack….

 


Daniel!

Mmmmmm… Go away, I'm sleeping.

Daniel, wake up!

Ow!  No yelling!  Cut it out, Jack.

Jack?

I can't believe what I'm hearing it sounds like…and hands, shaking me, someone's shaking me.  His hands, his voice, but that's not possible, he can't be here.

"Jack?"  I croak and open my eyes. 

Everything is blurry at first, a face swims blearily before my eyes.  I blink – hard - trying to focus.  Glasses – not wearing my glasses – where?  Don't have a clue, don't remember taking them off.

I blink again, harder.  Coming into focus, it's coming.  I have to do something about this drinking problem because every time I drink, it always leads to problems.

Omigawd.  It is Jack.

"Who else, ya big goof?" he grins, and then sniffs.  "You're sloshed," he says, disbelief blossoming over his face, quickly turning to concern. 

"What are you doing here?" I burble.  I'm pretty sure I'd be just as confused if I weren't three sheets to the…but thanks to the alcoholic complication there's no way to be sure.

Jack's face instantly shuts down.   I'd have more luck gauging the mood of a chunk of granite.

"I came here to ask you the same question," Jack replies, still giving nothing away in either his voice or his expression.  "However, as it would seem I'm neither wanted, nor welcome – "

Panicked by the sudden coldness in his eyes I frantically grab him by the arm and stop him from pulling away from me.

"No,no,no, don't go, that's not what I meant," I babble.  "I – you're supposed to be in Denver so how – "

"Denver!"  Jack snorts.  "Are you nuts? What the – why the hell would I be in Denver?  I've been waiting ten long days to see you again, buddy boy, why would I be in Denver, tonight of all nights?  We had plans!"

 Well, that's what I thought.  But…but…

"But you weren't at the SGC and I thought, I didn't know what to think and then Sam said you said you were going to Denver, so I thought – "

Jack's eyes get wider and wider as he listens and the second Sam's name leaves my lips…

"Carter!"  Jack roars.  "Carter told you that!  Awwww crap!"

Jack springs to his feet and starts angrily pacing back and forth.  I'm still having trouble seeing straight so trying to focus on him while he's moving around so quickly…

Ugh.  It's doing things to my stomach.  None of them good.

"Yeah, sure, I told her that, but that was just to throw her off the track," Jack raves and paces.  "I was worried if she knew I was home, alone, I didn't want her…there… seeing stuff…maybe thinking  – "

Jack stops and throws me a helpless glance.  "She keeps showin' up at my place, Daniel, wanting to talk but never really saying anything.  It's getting kinda creepy," he shudders.

Okay, so that explains Sam's misinformation, but not why he wasn't where he was supposed to be.  Why was he at home, when he should have been at the SGC, and why didn't he tell me!

And what the hell was he talking about – Sam seeing stuff?  What stuff?  Sam? Getting the wrong idea?  About what?

"Wait a minute," Jack frowns, sitting back down beside me at the couch.  "What did it matter what she said, I left you a note.  I don't get it."

Neither did I.

"You so did not!"  I indignantly exclaim.

"I so did to!" he retorts, just as indignantly, jamming his hands in his coat pockets.

"What note?"

Jack opens his mouth, no doubt to reassert his contention, then closes it again, as well as his eyes.  He heaves a huge sigh.

"This one," he says sheepishly, showing me the piece of paper he has crumpled in his right fist.

I unfold it, blink several times to focus, and am finally able to read it.

Daniel.

My place, soonest.  Coffee's on.  Hope you're hungry. 

Welcome home.

Jack.

"I made us some dinner," Jack mumbles after clearing his throat.  "I thought you might be…hungry or… or something." 

He cooked?  For me?  Jack…cooked?

"It's kinda cold, now, though." 

He really does love me.

This is huge, absolutely monumental.  I can't believe what I've just heard.  Jack cooked.  You don't understand, it's not that Jack can't cook, he certainly can, he just really hates it.  We're talking an extremely serious aversion to the activity.  That's why he makes out like he doesn't know his ass from his elbow in the kitchen and burns everything all the time, so soft-hearted idiots like me who hang out with him a lot and consequently have had just about all the take-out meals they can stand and couldn't possibly face another night of noshing out of the contents of cardboard cartons finally break down and whip up the fabulous home-cooked meal he's been angling for all along.

Jack…cooked.  Oh my God, Jack…

"Broke out the good china and everything. Betcha didn't know I had a tablecloth.  Pretty nice one too, actually.  There were candles," he admits, staring at the ceiling.  "Maybe some flowers.  One or two in a vase, no big fricking deal."

Oh no!  Oh...Jack…

"Sorry it isn't very mushy," Jack grins, a self-conscious tinge colouring his cheeks. "The note, that is.  What I really wanted to say was I've missed you so much I couldn't stand it and I can't wait to get you naked, cover you with Nutella and lick you clean from one end to the other.  I wanted to say that, but I didn't think it would be a good idea – leaving a note like that on your desk – in the SGC…"

I nod, blinking, clutching the note in one hand, wiping my eyes with the other.  I'm having trouble seeing again.

Damned beer.

"No, you're right," I manage to get out, after a second or two.  "That probably wouldn't have been a good idea.  Appreciate the thought, though."

"I was hoping you would get it, though, reading between the lines." 

Jack's hand cups my cheek, his strong thumb rubbing, wiping away the dampness.

"You're good at that sort of thing," he murmurs, his face coming closer, mouth…hovering…  "Finding the hidden meaning.   You always could read me like a book."

Sorry Jack, I'm so very sorry, I've been such a fool.

"Daniel?" Jack gently coaxes, tilting my hanging head up until I have to look him in the eye.  "What's going on?  Even if you didn't find the note because I so cleverly forgot to leave it for you, why didn't you just come over?"

"I phoned," I mumble.  I feel really stupid, but I have to tell him the truth.  "Got the machine, I just assumed…"

"Machine?  But I was home all day, getting the place ready – that's why I took the day off, so everything would be nice, for you…when you got home…"

His voice trails off and he looks away.  That wasn't an easy admission, and I realize, what he's just told me – what he'd done for me – the whole big picture, with the cooking and the china and the candles, flowers, for god's sake -  it's absolutely huge.

I'm such an idiot.  Here he'd set up this huge, romantic homecoming for me, poured his whole heart into it and I not only screwed it up, the whole time I was here lolling around in my personal pity party featuring his beer he was sitting there, at home, alone, waiting to spring his big special surprise, waiting for me.

No, no wait, it's even worse than that because while he was there, I was here thinking and drinking and thinking he was somewhere else with someone else.

Oh man…

Nutella, strawberry jam, hot fudge sauce with teeny tiny marshmallows, I don't care, he can cover me with whatever he wants and lick to his heart's content, I'm definitely his man for the job.

"Shower," he says softly, glancing back at me.  "I was in the shower.  That must be why I missed your call."  His eyes roam searchingly over my face, and whatever he's reading there, I can see it makes him sad.

"Shhhh," he puts a finger to my lips, stopping my attempts at speech.  "You don't have to explain, I think I get the picture."  His gaze is warm, compassionate, his brown eyes full of resolve, and regret.  "So much for good intentions.  I can see we still have some trust issues, Daniel and that means I have some work to do," he murmurs.  "How's this for a start?"

He wraps his warm, welcoming arms around me, leather jacket creaking, the stubble ghosting his cheek a blessed, welcome friction I'm missed 'til it ached deep inside.  The faint remnant of his pungent aftershave fills my senses while he nuzzles his fill, and then fits his warm, generous mouth over mine. 

I've been kissed before, sometimes it's been good, sometimes bad, but this man, this kiss…

No one feels like him, smells like him, tastes, and as his tongue plunges deeper, playfully tickling the inside of my mouth I want to tell him, make him understand I get it, he doesn't need to say another thing, every kiss, every touch, from him, a unique form of communication telling me everything I'll ever need to know and right now he's speaking volumes, and the message is coming through loud and clear.

I'd tell him, but I was always taught you should never speak with your mouth full.

"Ummmm," he sighs into my mouth, pulls back, playfully licks the side of my face and rests his forehead against mine, a dewy, dopey glow in his eyes.

"So, how'd I do?"  His crooked, besotted smile would steal my heart if the sexy bastard didn't already own it outright already.

"Fine," I grin back at him, and then kiss him softly, briefly.  "You're doing just fine.  But then, you always were, I'm the – "

"Ah!" he silences me, swiftly closing and capturing my mouth for several more breath-stealing, head spinning minutes.  "No more of that," he soothes, when he finally breaks. 

"Let's try this again, shall we?  Hi, I'm Jack O'Neill and I'd like to be your lover tonight."

"Just tonight?"  I murmur, stroking the side of his face.  Jack closes his eyes, shudders at my touch, then quickly turns his lips towards my hand, pressing an ardent kiss into my palm.

"You know what they say," he teases, his dark eyes sparkling as he commences to lay a trail of kisses up my arm.  "Today is the first day of the rest of our lives."

That works for me.

He's reached my neck, which he's nipping and sucking, nimble fingers making short work of my shirt buttons.  I'm having trouble seeing again, and it's got nothing to do with beer.

"Welcome home, baby," he growls, fastening hungrily on my mouth again, flinging open my shirt.  "How do you feel about Canadian Maple Syrup?" he groans, fumbling in his coat pocket.

We both burst into fits of laughter and he tumbles down on top of me. 

Love me, Jack, that's all I want.  That's all I need.  Condiments are great, but definitely not required.

Good night, Blackie, and thanks for listening, but I think I'll be okay – we'll both be okay from now on.

As soon as we figure out how to get maple syrup stains out of the upholstery.

 

 

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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