Q & A BY PHOENIX
Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves
Angst. Episode Tag Missing Scene for 'The
revisited. Jack has some questions. Daniel
has the answers.
Originally completed and posted to the net 20 Jan
too profound. I needed to
take a break from the thing I’m currently working
on driving me nuts and this was the result.
I thought I'd
pretty much 'done' The Light during the course
of co-writing Illumination, but then I started
thinking about the whole balcony incident. The
effect it had on Jack at the time has been done,
done and done, but then I started wondering, during
that three weeks when he didn't have a lot else
to do except....hang around, he might have started
wondering what Daniel meant by what he said. So,
I started writing, and here we are.
weeks in a Goa'uld pleasure palace by the sea. The job
is done, everyone is alive, safe and accounted for, there's
nothing trying to shoot holes in us breathing down our
necks, SG-1 has a lovely, paid vacation ahead of us during
which the most pressing thing I'll have to worry about
is what to do first, scratch my ass some more or go fishing.
I should be talking about Paradise here. I should be
jumping for joy. Funny thing, though, I'm not. Not
that I have any problem with the whole scenario in theory,
I certainly don't, although, contrary to my 2IC's snarkily
offered opinion I certainly don't need an EXCUSE if I want
to kick back and take it easy for a bit, hell there's nothing
wrong with wanting a break from all the life and death
fun and games stuff we get up to four days out of five
and it's not like I haven't EARNED a little down time -
was my point again? Oh yeah, I have this pleasant three
week hiatus from all the hullabaloo I should be totally
getting down to getting into but the problem is - I can't.
You see, there's this little bit of left over business
that's still bothering me. While we might be signed off
on all the official stuff and as stood down as we can be
while we're loafing around off world de-toxing Daniel and
me, we're not quite finished dealing with absolutely EVERYTHING
that went down before we all ended up here for our little
no idea what Daniel remembers about what happened on his
balcony, but I do, and because I do - I can't get what
he said out of my head. It's bothering me, because I don't
know what he meant. And I really, REALLY need to know.
What he was really talking about while he was standing
there on the edge of oblivion hanging on to life and his
sanity by his fingers and toes. And even though I was
admittedly freaking out to see Daniel - I mean, we're talking
DANIEL here - there - like that - the sight of him standing
there, so pale and distressed, tears running down his face
- I'm starting to have dreams about that moment, over and
over again, seeing him like that, hearing him say those
words I can't get out of my head pissing me off so much
because I have no idea - none - what he MEANT.
to know. If for no other reason if I do then maybe I can
finally get some sleep.
be a putz O'Neill, that's not the only reason and you damned
well know it. You're worried about Daniel, and you should
be. Yeah sure, the withdrawal thing intensified whatever
feelings all of us were experiencing while we were going
through it, I get that, but the thing is - the feelings
themselves that got so blown out of proportion - they were
real. They came from us. The withdrawal only made a little
more - and in some cases a lot more - of what was already
there. Pre-existing crap.
what's got me so worried. What was Daniel talking about?
What did he mean? What exactly has he been hiding and
trying to live with that fills him with such despair it
could actually have been enough - with the help of the
withdrawal - to drive him to that ledge?
has Daniel got to be THAT unhappy about ANYTHING could
make him think ending it all was his only option and how
the fuck have I managed to miss it? I haven't been THAT
self-absorbed lately? Have I?
have are questions. What I need are some answers. Only
one person can give them to me.
that's settled. Time to take care of business. All I
have to do is corner Daniel somewhere private and get him
to give. Piece of cake. Yeahsureyoubetcha.
you'd think in a place this size, isolating one archaeologist
wouldn't be that difficult. Shows you what you know.
Jack tactician that I am, I reckoned not with two troublesome
variables with minds of their own both seemingly determined
to keep me from satisfying my increasingly burning curiosity.
always something, isn't it?
obstacle has been Loren. I'm not quite sure what's up with
the kid, whether he's got a major case of guilt or hero-worship
or an entirely annoying combination of both but whatever,
he's been sticking to me like a frigging burr, effectively
messing up all my attempts to cut Daniel out of the herd.
Couldn't shake the kid for trying. That is, until I came
up with the inspired idea of siccing him on Carter.
Hormones proving to be a stronger motivator than hero-worship.
Like this should be news. It's pretty much a given she's
gonna want to kill me later, but I can handle Carter. She
doesn't scare me.
fly in my ointment is of course the bird himself. Who
like always seems to have this uncanny instinct for sensing
stuff like this he'd rather not be taken to task about
and consequently has been going out of his way to stay
out of my way. Like I said before, this is a damned big
joint and there are lots of places you can go to brush
up on your not being seen skills. And I'll give the boy
his due; he's mighty good at disappearing when he puts
his mind to it.
he might be good, but I'm better.
help wincing as I waltz into the room where he's parked
himself. He sure picked one butt ugly place to hide in.
Of course, he's trying to make out like he's interested
in the squiggles all over the column he's slumped against,
and not been engaged in finding the most tasteless locale
in this entire drunk decorator's barf-fest in which to
I smugly address him as I sashay on over to his side.
he wearily returns, obviously resigning himself to his
fate. Smart boy. No reason why this has to be an unpleasant
experience for either one of us. No reason at all.
As a matter of fact, I'm a completely reasonable man.
Just see things my way and do what I want and everything
will be fine.
I ask you, what's more reasonable than that?
we have to talk," I inform him as I settle myself down
on the floor beside him, ignoring the grimace he gives
do?" he crisply shoots back, never taking his eyes of the
stuff on the column. "News to me."
it shouldn't be," I continue, completely unfazed by the
fact he's doing a fair imitation of a man trying to do
his best to ignore the presence of his best friend sitting
within spitting distance. Which is a neat trick, I have
to admit, because, usually, as a rule, I'm pretty hard
to ignore. It's not easy to be consistently obnoxious
but I pride myself on my ability to be really irritating
when the situation truly demands it. Daniel himself has
given me so many opportunities to hone my skills over the
years he should appreciate how accomplished I've become,
seeing as how he's had so much to do with me getting to
be the best there is at bugging the shit out of him.
what they say; a true artist is never depreciated in his
lifetime. I'm learning to live with it.
do you want, Jack?" Daniel sighs and finally deigns
to glance in my direction. Be still my beating heart.
you. We need to talk."
Daniel's wearing his wide-eyed innocent face. Oooh.
Fighting dirty. Bring it on, Jackson.
concerned about you." Hey, I can fight dirty too.
Oh, oh, he's still trying to play dumb but I can see a
definite crack in his 'I have no idea what you're talking
about' armour. Gotcha!
reason," I casually toss out. Lulling him into a sense of
false security before I close in for the kill.
"Only a small matter of you almost throwing yourself off
your balcony and me only just getting there in time to stop
Daniel blanches rather alarmingly, almost making me wish
I hadn't brought it up, his distress at being reminded
of the incident that evident and painful to see. Almost
wish I hadn't brought it up, but if even mentioning it
can get him this upset so quickly - yeah, there's definitely
something here. Definitely. I'm not sorry I decided to
do this although from the way he's looking, I'll bet Daniel
wouldn't say the same.
um - I'm sorry about that," he starts again in a voice
that isn't quite as certain as he was undoubtedly going
for. "I wouldn't normally - you know - " he falters and
waves his hand vaguely about, "but I wasn't exactly in
my right mind. So, don't worry about it," he grins
bravely at me. "It was nothing, just the effects of
this - this place. Besides, I really don't remember that
much about the whole thing. You say it happened, I'll
take your word for it but you don't need to lose any sleep
over it. I'm not," he finishes with another
you should mention sleep. Oh, and you shouldn't try to
lie to me. You suck at it.
sorry buddy, but that's not gonna cut it," I tell him.
"The addiction didn't create any of our over reactions to
the situations we were in, all it did was amplify whatever
was going on for each of us at the time. Including you,
my friend. You might not remember what happened out there
- or so you say, and I have to tell you sorry, but I'm
not buying it - but I sure remember. I was there. I
saw you. I heard what you said. I wanna know
what's wrong - and don't bother saying there's nothing wrong
because like I told you, I was there and I heard you - and
I want to help, if I can."
doesn't say anything for a long time, just stares at me
long and hard, this unreadable expression on his face.
I honestly can't tell if he's pissed at me or pissed off
at himself but one thing I do know, he's NEVER looked at
me the way he's looking at me now and I have absolutely
no idea what THAT means either.
start getting some answers soon or I might possibly start
did I say?" he finally asks me so quietly I almost
don't hear him.
something easy. That particular exchange has only been
burned into my memory. Indelibly. Sharing will be no trouble
much, but what you did say - I gotta know what's going on.
You started out with 'None of it means anything'. What,
Daniel? What doesn't mean anything?"
that?" he murmurs, looking away, too distressed to be
shitting me. He honestly doesn't remember this part,
saying those words. But I'm pretty sure he knows WHY he
said them, and what exactly it was he was so broken up about.
my life on it.
else did I say?" he asks, nervously licking his bottom
'I tried, it just goes away.' What, Daniel? What just
time he closes his eyes and I know for sure he knows.
What's more, he's pretty sick over the fact I know - or
at least, that I saw him that way.
don't want to know," he finally whispers, still not
opening his eyes.
I think I do," I protest. "News flash for you
Daniel, you've known me how long? If I really didn't
want to know I wouldn't have asked. You know damned well
I usually go out of my way to avoid stuff I don't want to know
about or talk about so if I'm asking - damned straight
I want to know - I don't care what it is, there isn't
anything about you that could be so bad - "
really don't know what you're talking about," Daniel
interrupts me with a bitter smile on his face.
funny, that's almost what you said out there," I say back
to him. "Right after I told you whatever it was we
could get it back - fix it - and you said we couldn't.
What, Daniel? Throw me a clue, here."
that?" he murmurs, his eyes blank. Then he catches
himself and shakes his head. "Please Jack, leave it
alone. I can't - I just can't. Trust me on this
it's - it's nothing. Nothing I can't deal with."
forgive me for saying so but you're not doing a very good
job. Not if it's something that makes you sad enough to
think throwing yourself off your balcony is a solution.
Call me crazy, but I don't call that dealing."
closes his eyes and sighs miserably. "Think
whatever you want, I'm telling you it's nothing."
He nails me with a deeply pleading look. "Can we please
just forget about this now?"
I smile at him. "Whatever this deep dark secret of
yours is, I'm really curious now. And you know me,
curiosity is my middle name."
thought your middle name was Angus."
Who told you that?"
not! And anyway, I lied."
what is your middle name, then?"
I say sternly. "We can play this game for the next
three weeks or you can save us both a lot of time and
aggravation and spill. What's wrong?"
face freezes and he clams right up. I start trying to
take a few shots in the dark, knowing if and when I start
getting close to the mark it'll be written all over his
for starters whatever it is, it has to be something to
do with me. You're so set on not telling me it has to
be something you think I won't be able to handle."
eyes flare with annoyance. I've just scored on my very
know, that's just so typical of you!" he fumes.
"Only an ego as colossal as yours would automatically
assume whatever you imagine is bothering me would naturally
HAVE to be about you."
just because I do have a big ego doesn't mean I'm not
right," I smugly fire back at him.
just scowls at me and clams up again.
am right," I finally continue once it's obvious he's not
gonna elaborate. "I'm the problem - and don't
bother saying so what else is new. Let me see, let me
see," I pause to consider. "Whatever your big
secret is, it's something about me and it's something you
don't think I'd want to know about. What in the world
could that be?"
eyes me warily as I pause for dramatic effect. "What do
you think you keep on losing and can never get back again
no matter how hard you try and why don't you want me to
a sudden as I look at him and see real fear in his eyes
the answer is staring me right in the face.
- it's so simple - and…
know. Now I understand why he was standing on that ledge.
Why he's so terrified to tell me or to have me find out.
And I feel the ground falling out from under me.
I blurt out before I can stop myself. "Love.
That's what it is - isn't it. Every time you let
yourself love - it all goes away. Everything you care
about everyONE you care about - whoa - Daniel, take it easy,
be looking more stunned if I'd pole-axed him. His face
drains whiter than a tub of cottage cheese and he starts
to waver so bad I grab his shoulders because I'm scared
he's going to keel over on the spot. I clutch on to him
tight and don't let go as he stares into my face wide eyed
and terrified, his mouth working but nothing too intelligible
- sorry," he gasps. "I'm sorry. I didn't
mean - you don't have to -"
me to see him this scared and suffering. And it also kills
me to wonder just how long he's been trying to live with
this. How long I let him - made him have to try and live
I know something he doesn't know. I know how long I've
been doing a fair amount of running myself - from my own
little deep, dark secret. Maybe it's time to stop
running and start dealing. To turn around and finally
face not only my own fears but the finest man I've every
known. Hell, why stop there, the finest human being, period.
I don't ever want to take the chance not telling him will
drive him to the edge of his endurance again. My denial
isn't worth the pain I've caused him by pushing him away.
I might not be much and he for damned sure deserves a lot
better than me but I'm not going to let him eat his heart
out hopelessly pining over the likes of me.
he might not even want me, but at least he won't have to
make himself miserable or guilty over wondering and wanting.
He'll know what he's feeling is okay with me. What he
chooses to do with that - up to him.
close to hyperventilating with shock so I shut up and pull
him into a tight embrace. He goes still in my arms, his
breath hot and panting against my neck - not knowing what
to do, because he doesn't know why I'm hugging him. Pity
- or some other such thing would sear him to the soul with
shame? He certainly can't even begin to imagine it's for
the reason I'm about to tell him.
I whisper into his ear as I cup my hand around the back
of his head and pull him closer. "I love you too.
And I'm not going away."
doesn't say a word, just sags into me with weary relief,
his arms winding around me hard and fast. I hold him,
he holds me. It's all either one of us can manage at the
moment but believe me, as beginnings go it doesn't suck.
weeks in a Goa'uld pleasure palace by the sea. We're gonna
have the time of our lives. Especially now we've both
got someone to really live for.
you get if you just…ask?