CONQUERING NEED PART
INTERLUDE - JACK
BY PHOENIX E
the close friendship between Jack and Daniel.
Spoilers for Need.
to face a situation he doesn't want to be in.
An alien sun in an alien sky on an alien world that by all
rights should have just stopped turning. Okay, so maybe
that was slightly melodramatic. But it certainly would have
he'd soon have to face turning around and facing the rest
of his team. And Daniel. He’d had the whole stinking
night to think about his next move. Well, here it was, morning,
pretty soon some sort of action was going to be required
of him and he still didn’t have a stinking clue what he was
going to do about what had happened last night.
around screaming might be emotionally satisfying but it would
confuse the hell out of Carter and Teal’c. Jack really preferred
to have to explain himself to as few people as possible.
maybe he should just get on with it like it was any other
day. When in doubt, fall back on the familiar. He was reasonably
certain Daniel wouldn’t shoot him. He’d had plenty of opportunity
already if that was where his head was at, and he probably
wouldn’t do anything else that would tend toward confusing
the other kids thereby requiring lengthy and embarrassing
explanations. While it was true Daniel had a fondness for
talking at excruciating lengths about just about anything
under the sun, that loquaciousness did not extend to his
least favorite subject. Daniel Jackson.
would rather have root canal on every tooth in his head than
talk about himself. Jack knew about this: having had, on
more than one occasion, to suffer through the agonies and the
mental exertions of numerous ‘extraction’ operations trying
to get some sort of clue from Doctor Reticent about what the
hell was going on with him this time or another.
Whatever personal insights he had ever managed to force Daniel
to part with the man had made him pay dearly for in effort and
which simply meant it was highly unlikely Daniel was going
to make a scene.
heaved a large sigh, squared his shoulders, put on his best
‘I’m-Jack-O’Neill-what’s-it-to-you’ face and turned around,
intending to make like your basic busy bee. To be met by
Carter and Teal’c already up and getting on with it, and
Daniel, earnestly zipping about engaged in his own insect
imitation. They buzzed around each other for a bit, then
Daniel buzzed off, Carter in tow, back down to the site so
he could finish up and they could book already.
of dismay churned in Jack's stomach as he watched them walk
away. He'd just witnessed Daniel put on a performance would've
put Olivier to shame, and while he had been expecting some
sort of behaviour along those lines he was quite taken aback
to see unmistakable proof of just how good Daniel was getting
what had gone down between them last night had to have deeply
upset Daniel, and even he could barely tell there was anything
wrong with the man. Daniel was acting like everything was
hunky dory in his world, right down to the cheery, eager
beaver attitude, the bounce in his step and the toss-away,
good-humoured jibe at Teal’c as he and Carter walked away.
and Teal'c had looked right at him and seen exactly what
Daniel wanted them to see. Exactly nothing. Only, Jack knew
differently. Daniel almost had the 'I'm fine, nothing to
see here' routine down pat, but there'd been an essential
element sadly lacking in his performance.
had been around him and talked to him as if last night had
never happened. Only it had. For during the entire whatever-the-hell-it-was
they had just done, Daniel had never once looked at him.
Not directly, not in the eye. And he hadn’t come any closer
to him than a couple of feet. Daniel had been there, walking,
talking, acting, looking like Daniel, and yet, for all Daniel
had been standing right in front of him, he might as well
have been halfway across the galaxy.
might have been there but he sure wasn't with him.
this special? Look at you, Daniel. Not quite the wide-eyed
wonder boy who stumbled into my life a couple of years ago.
All grown up now and getting just as bent as all of the rest
of us. Well done, Jack. Nice piece of work. Stand up and
be proud of a job well done, as it spits in your eye and
Danny? How did we get here?
There was practically nothing left of the callow, awkward,
slightly disheveled dipwad who'd wandered into the their
midst for the first time looking not so much like the brilliant
scholar he was as a school kid who'd lost his way and needed
directions to his next class. The ‘I don’t really belong
here and don’t have a clue what's going on’ aura he exuded
from practically every pore was immediately dispelled within
the first five minutes after he grabbed a piece of chalk
and cleaned the clocks of a passel of snooty, ‘respected’
eggheads who'd already had two years to work on a single
line of hieroglyphics and still hadn’t gotten it right.
pretty much written him off at first sight, but that single
display of ability had earned Daniel Jackson a second look.
And a little notation in Jack’s book. Keep your eye on
later Jack was looking at the man again, seeing the awe and
barely disguised longing on his face as he stared raptly
at the event horizon of the newly-activated wonder he had named.
As he pondered Daniel's shining, besotted face Jack O’Neill
found himself seriously wondering, for the first time, just who
the hell Daniel Jackson really was.
more than he was letting on, that was for sure.
Jack was, almost three years later, still trying to plumb
the depths of the particular mystery that was Daniel Jackson.
Mind you, it looked as if it was shaping up to be a lifetime
had gone through the gate with him for the first time with
two marks to the good in Jack’s little mental character ledger,
however very quickly, he'd taken three giant steps back.
to being slightly pissed when he'd discovered the sneaky
geek had lied to him, however, given the reason why he'd
done it, Jack had been almost prepared to be secretly impressed
with his nerve. Then Kawalsky had gone off and flattened
him, and once again, Jack had occasion to severely revise
his opinion of the good Doctor.
at least have stood up for himself. Had SOME shred of dignity.
Not just – laid there, blinking like some near-sighted owl
– waiting to get stomped. Jack found he couldn’t even look
at Daniel as he pulled Kawalsky off. The geek wasn’t worth
for his faint hopes the dweeb was actually going to be of
some use. Daniel Jackson was nothing but dead weight.
Useless. Scratch the name and rip the page right out of the
Jack was very rarely wrong about people but he'd completely
missed the boat where Daniel was concerned. If not for 'the
dweeb', right now Jack O'Neill would probably be either dead
- several times over – or digging up Naquadah with his fingernails
along side the Abydonians, who'd be still enslaved by Ra.
Getting the gate reopened would have been the least of his
worries. Nor would there have been any point to the exercise
- there'd have been no Earth to go back to. Without Daniel
there speaking the lingo, getting the intel and filling them
in about Ra's little plan to make Mother Earth go boom Ra
would've sent the bomb with the Naquadah chaser back through
the gate, and no one would've stopped him. Because no one
would have even known he was planning on doing it.
Jack O’Neill stopped thinking of Daniel Jackson as ‘useless’?
Aside from the little detail of Daniel saving his life and
getting himself snuffed for his pains? Probably about thirty
seconds after Jack had seen him, apparently risen from the
dead, walking toward him with a staff weapon aimed at his
head and a look on his face would've done the Grim Reaper
proud. Jack had been thinking he shouldn’t be wasting his
last moments contemplating the irony of coming through everything
he'd managed to survive only to be finally taken out by Doctor
Dweeb, when out of the blue, the dweeb turned into Rambo,
Skaara and the boys were handing out the hardware, and they
were all off to the races. Way to go, Doctor Jackson.
mission to Abydos had been Daniel’s show all the way. As
much as Jack still hated to admit it to himself, he was the
one who was the dead weight through most of it. While he'd
been wrapped up in feeling sorry for himself Daniel had been
making friends and finding answers, telling the Abydonians
the truth about themselves and the being who enslaved them,
making inspiring speeches and inciting a whole people to
rise up and take arms against their oppressors. That last bit
had been rather crucial, for if the folks from Abydos hadn’t
pulled all their butts out of the fire by showing up literally
in the nick of time like a horde of pugnacious locusts loaded
for bear, making Ra turn tail and run – well, we were
basically back to the dead or Naquadah miner scenario.
time Jack had roused himself enough to finally play the action
adventure hero at the end - largely due to a rather pointed
speech Daniel had made to him helping him see certain things
a little differently - Daniel had already done most of the
work. They’d won; blown up the bad guy, saved the day, got
to go home heroes but Jack had no doubt in his mind to whom
the Abydonians owed the most gratitude.
Daniel had even gotten the girl. Not too bad for a four-eyed
wimp geek loser.
Daniel for a long time because of Abydos. Probably a large
reason why he had been so ‘conflicted’ when confronted with
him again. Why he'd tended to ride him so much at the beginning.
Daniel KNEW. He was the only one left now, who knew ALL of
it. He’d been there, all the way, through the whole Abydos
business, and had seen Jack when he was not exactly at his
best. Jack had resented him for knowing, and resented him
as a constant reminder of a time in his life he was not exactly
proud of. And then one day he'd realised something that
had made him stop feeling resentful.
didn’t care what he had done. He knew all about it, and
for some reason liked him anyway. Go figure. It made no
difference to him; Jack was the only one being stupid about
the whole thing, holding onto it and holding it against both
stopped. Well, mostly, anyway. There still were times when
Jack felt like a fifth wheel next to Daniel, and more than
a mental midget. Not that Daniel ever said or did anything
to make him feel stupid - nothing like that - it was just,
Daniel was so much smarter. In some ways. In others, he
didn’t have a clue. But Daniel knew it and rather than beating
himself up about it, he tried to do something about it.
Tried to learn what he didn’t know. Tried to learn it from
him. Looked to him for a lot of things.
what amazed Jack the most. When he realised Daniel actually
looked up to him. Respected him. Hell, admired him, even.
In spite what he'd done in the beginning when he'd been feeling
a little insecure, to keep Daniel off -balance and make him
look even more awkward and out of place than he already was,
Daniel still trusted him and called him friend. Wasn’t that
just a kick in the head? But that was Daniel.
heart didn't exactly swell with pride when he recalled his
behaviour toward 'the civilian' during the early days of
SG-1. Daniel might have been the ‘Savior of Abydos’ (and
wouldn’t he be pissed off if he heard Jack call him THAT), but
it was a different story on the other side of the gate.
When he'd been thrown into the world of the SGC the Saviour of
Abydos was on Jack’s turf, and hadn’t he just let Daniel
know it. Practically every opportunity that had come his
way. Until he had finally gotten it through his thick
skull Daniel wasn’t trying to challenge him or make him look
bad, he was just being Daniel. Exercising the same fierce
determination to learn the truth and to see all of them did
the right thing that had earned him the love of his adopted
people and the respect of a Special Forces colonel who'd
learned a few hard lessons on Abydos. Courtesy of Doctor
Jackson. Only right he should return the favour.
had. Once he'd gotten over the shock of realising Daniel
was looking mostly to him for help and guidance in making
his way in this strange new world he he'd been tossed into
against his will. He'd been more at home on Abydos than he
was at the SGC. But again, being Daniel, he'd not uttered
a word of complaint, but had applied himself grimly to the task
of 'getting it'. His efforts were, at times, not so
successful, and they'd had more than one difference of opinion
over ‘divergent world views’. Which tended to upset
Daniel a lot more than they probably should have. This
used to puzzle Jack until he realised - as bizarre as it sounded
- one of the main reasons why Daniel would get so worked
up when he had to go head to head with Jack over a matter
of conscience, or fail to fulfill an expectation because
of a moral dilemma, it was because he was deeply divided.
Between needing to adhere to the moral high road and yet
at the same time dearly, desperately – wanting to please.
Wanting to please – him.
road usually won.
had two choices. He could continue to be a jerk and rub
Daniel’s nose in his own inexperience, or he could be the
friend and mentor Daniel honestly wanted him to be. He’d
gone for the second option. It had been going okay. Until
He hadn’t done anything wrong! He’d seen a friend in trouble,
and he’d tried to help. What was more, he’d damned well
do it again! Despite what Daniel believed, if he tried carrying
this thing around inside him much longer he was going to
hurt himself bad. If he hadn’t done so already. Daniel
needed to get this thing out in the open and that was all
Jack had been trying to help him do. Help him deal with
a problem he couldn’t deal with by himself. Jack knew Daniel
seemed to think he could handle it on his own, but he was
had occasion in the past to lay a few of his own personal
demons to rest with the assistance of the man who was denying
him the chance to repay him in kind, Jack knew a little bit
of what he was talking about.
it now seemed they both had an even bigger problem. But,
wait a minute, what were we really talking here? Daniel
was mad at him right now, okay, but this was Daniel, for
crying out loud! The original fount of the milk of human
kindness. If he could find a way to forgive Teal’c for helping
to turn his wife into a Goa’uld, how long could he possibly
stay mad at him for caring?
possibly, maybe – not long at all. Jack opted for playing
it cool when Daniel bopped up to his side and stayed there
during the walk back to the gate. Still wasn’t looking at
him or talking to him, but he was there, as if this was just
another day and another walk back. So far, so good.
hopes it was getting better between them were high right
up until he reached over and grabbed Daniel’s arm to stop
him from starting his circus career as the Amazing Flying
Jackson. For just a second, Jack could have sworn Daniel
was about to turn to him, like he had so many times before, and
smile sheepishly at him as he said “Thanks Jack.” That
would've been all Jack would've needed from Daniel to let him
know that they were okay again.
Daniel had kept his eyes straight ahead, yanked his arm away
and stalked off. Like he thought Jack was pond scum or something.
That’s the way you want it. Don’t have to hit me over the
head or anything. Next time, I’ll just let you fall.
his bruised feelings until they hit the infirmary. While
cooling his heels and waiting his turn he had a more leisurely
opportunity to review the situation again, and observe Daniel
saw how upset Daniel really was, Jack’s wounded pride melted
away, to be replaced with a bit of distress of his own.
His friend was hurting bad. And there wasn’t a damned thing
he could do about it. Because there was no way Daniel would
let him help.
wasn't saying a word, so stiff and strung out he was almost
shaking. Jack looked away and tucked his own arms tightly
around himself, as if by doing what Daniel would not allow
himself to do, he could do SOMETHING for him.
were people who lived mostly in their heads and were more
comfortable with mental stimulation over the world of the
more tangible and physical. And then there were the sensualists,
those who were extremely touchy-feely, and who furthermore
derived much of their information about the world, and their
general sense of well being from their senses and tactile
stimulation in general. Hands-on people, if you will. Needed
to do it, needed to have it done to them or they got weird
and scrambled up inside.
he was definitely a ‘hands-on’ on type. Oh, big news flash
there! He’d spent a number of years sealed off from the
rest of the world and had suffered the consequences, but
he was better now. Daniel was in much worse shape than he
had ever been.
was one of those truly unfortunate hands-on people who had
been largely denied, all through life, what he had most needed.
Contact. Honest to god, flesh to flesh, skin to skin, a
lot, and often. Not getting it had screwed him up but good.
Daniel was so giving of himself to anyone who needed a hand:
he should have gone through life surrounded by people who
hugged his brains out on a regular basis. But he never got
that kind of regular human contact until he met Sha’uri,
and one short year wasn’t enough time to undo the neglect
of a lifetime.
‘skin hunger’ when he saw it. He also knew it would be practically
impossible for Daniel to do anything about it on his own.
Not only did he not have the first clue how to get what he
needed, he didn't even realize there was anything wrong.
had literally – lent him a hand. It was no big deal, didn’t
cost him anything to reach out and give Daniel a pat on the
back from time to time. Truth was, he enjoyed it. Almost
as much as he liked watching Daniel enjoying it.
bit here and there had helped. Daniel was better, but he
still had a tendency to revert in intense emotional situations.
When he was the most deeply distressed Daniel lost his ability
to be able to reach out to anyone. He’d pull away, go internal,
find a corner, pull himself into a ball and wrap his arms
around himself. When Daniel started hugging himself he was
sending out a major Mayday he wasn’t even aware of. But
he’d never overtly ask for help. Didn’t know how. You had
to cross the gap and make the first move. Make him take
the physical comfort or reassurance he needed. It was never
easy. Nothing with Daniel ever was.
his arms were at his sides Daniel was sending out distress
signals that made Jack’s hands ache in a sympathetic response.
But there was nothing he could do. Daniel needed a hand
in the worst kind of way, but the way he was right now; he’d
rather die than take it.
most of the briefing not listening to what was being said,
not caring what was being said, and trying very hard not
to look at the man who was mostly saying it. What he was
mainly trying to do was restrain himself from leaping over
the table, grabbing Daniel and yelling at him, 'Can we cut the
crap and make up already because I can’t stand seeing you like
mad. Mad at Daniel for being so damned stubborn, mad at
the situation, damned ticked off at the fact his favorite
restaurant had closed its doors last week without asking
him how he felt about it. Mostly though, he was mad at himself.
For not being able to figure out how to fix it. Right here
was over and Daniel was starting to get to his feet. The
movement drew Jack’s eyes to him automatically. He hadn’t
planned for it to happen, but it did anyway. He didn’t know
what was on his face, but he knew what he was feeling inside
and before he had a chance to mellow it down a little Daniel
looked at him, and mad suddenly turned into something quite
was staring at him like he was some kind of crawling slug
he couldn’t get away from fast enough. He was almost dropping
all his stuff he was in such a hurry to get shot of the room
and the man he didn't seem to want to be in it with. Well,
I guess we can put the notion of forgiveness up on the shelf.
Guess he really meant what he said last night after all.
worse than a staff blast to the heart. Well he’d certainly
learned a valuable lesson from all of this. The very next
time a lost and lonely archaeologist crossed his path looking
for a helping hand he’d just pass right on by.
will, Jack. Sure ya will.
sat there and let him go. Not that he could do anything
else. He’d catch up with Daniel a little later. He knew
exactly where he was going.
giving him some time to get there, Jack wearily got to his
feet and followed.
and carefully sat himself down against the door of the store
room, thinking wryly to himself even though Daniel was unquestionably
brilliant in some ways, when it came to certain other things
he was endearingly dense. Like for instance how he imagined
he would be able to hide in a top-secret military installation
whose corridors were lousy with surveillance cameras which
made tapes of everyone’s comings and goings. Tapes which
could be used to good advantage by determined individuals
with time on their hands.
secret spot hadn’t been a secret for very long. Jack had
made it his business to find out where he disappeared to
from time to time; telling himself it was part of his job to
know as much as he could about his subordinates. And most
of the time, he actually believed it.
sat here, head in his hands, listening to the sound of Daniel’s
low, sad voice coming from the other side of the door and
wondered why he'd come. If it wasn’t to kick the door in
and try to talk some sense into Daniel – or pound it into
him – whatever worked – why was he here?
he had to do something. Even if that something was to make
himself face what he had done.
concern in the world counted for squat right now. Daniel
had made it more than plain he didn't want a thing from him.
Which meant he wouldn't take anything either. Daniel hated
him. Not too many ways around that one. Still, Jack couldn’t
stand the thought of him being completely alone, especially
at a time like this. Even though there was a door between
them, even though Daniel wouldn’t know he was there, still,
he would be here just the same. It was the least he could
there, making himself listen, until the sound of Daniel’s
voice gradually subsided, trailed away and finally stopped.
It seemed to take forever, but after a sufficiently long
interval of silence Jack was sure Daniel had finally fallen
asleep. Then and only then did he pull himself to his feet
and slowly walk away, to try and find a few hours of oblivion
end of the Second Interlude~~
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