Slash:  Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.
Rating: NC-17.
Category: Pre-Slash.  Angst.  Episode Tag  Missing Scene for 'The Light'.
Season/Spoilers: Season 4. 'The Light'.
Synopsis: The Light revisited.  Jack has some questions.  Daniel has the answers.
Warnings: None
Length:  40  Kb  Originally completed and posted to the net 20 Jan 03.

Notes:  Nothing 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.


Three 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.

Woo. 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 -

What 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 vacation.

I have 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.

I need to know.  If for no other reason if I do then maybe I can finally get some sleep.

Don't 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.

That's 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?

What 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?

All I have are questions.  What I need are some answers.  Only one person can give them to me.

Well, 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.

In a pig's ear….



Yanno, you'd think in a place this size, isolating one archaeologist wouldn't be that difficult.  Shows you what you know.

Cracker 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.

It's always something, isn't it?

The first 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.


The other 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.

Yeah, he might be good, but I'm better.

Found him.

I can't 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 avoid me.

"Daniel," I smugly address him as I sashay on over to his side.

"Jack," 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.

Now, I ask you, what's more reasonable than that?

"Daniel, we have to talk," I inform him as I settle myself down on the floor beside him, ignoring the grimace he gives me.

"We do?" he crisply shoots back, never taking his eyes of the stuff on the column.  "News to me."

"Well, 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.

You know what they say; a true artist is never depreciated in his lifetime.  I'm learning to live with it.

"What do you want, Jack?"  Daniel sighs and finally deigns to glance in my direction.  Be still my beating heart.

"Told you.  We need to talk."

"Why?"  Daniel's wearing his wide-eyed innocent face.  Oooh.  Fighting dirty.  Bring it on, Jackson.

"I'm concerned about you."  Hey, I can fight dirty too.

"Why?"  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!

"No 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 you."

"Oh," 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.

"I - 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 insincere smile.

Funny you should mention sleep.  Oh, and you shouldn't try to lie to me.  You suck at it.

"I'm 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."

Daniel 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.

I'd better start getting some answers soon or I might possibly start breaking things.

"What did I say?"  he finally asks me so quietly I almost don't hear him.

At last, something easy.  That particular exchange has only been burned into my memory. Indelibly. Sharing will be no trouble at all.

"Not 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?"

"I said 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.

I'd bet my life on it.


"What else did I say?" he asks, nervously licking his bottom lip.

You said 'I tried, it just goes away.'  What, Daniel?  What just goes away?"

This 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.

"You don't want to know," he finally whispers, still not opening his eyes.

"Yeah, 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 - "

"You really don't know what you're talking about," Daniel interrupts me with a bitter smile on his face.

"That's 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."

"I said 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."

"Well, 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."

Daniel 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?"

"Nope," 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."

"I thought your middle name was Angus."

What?  Who told you that?"

"You did."

"Did not!"

"Did too."

"Did not!  And anyway, I lied."

"So what is your middle name, then?"

"Daniel," 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?"

Daniel's 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 face.

"Well, 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."

Daniel's eyes flare with annoyance.  I've just scored on my very first try.

"You 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."

"Huh, just because I do have a big ego doesn't mean I'm not right," I smugly fire back at him.

Daniel just scowls at me and clams up again.

"So I 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?"

Daniel 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 know?"

All of a sudden as I look at him and see real fear in his eyes the answer is staring me right in the face.

Damn - it's so simple - and…

Now I 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.

"Love," 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, it's okay!"

He couldn't 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 coming out.

"Sorry - sorry," he gasps.  "I'm sorry.  I didn't mean - you don't have to -"

It kills 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 with this.

You see, 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.

Hell, 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.

He's 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.

"Relax," 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."

Daniel 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.

Three 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.

See what you get if you just…ask?



PhoenixE, 2003-9.
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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