Slash:  Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.
Rating: G.
Category: First Time.  Romance with a touch of Angst.  Christmas Story.
Season/Spoilers: Season 7.  Mention of some events in early season 7 but no major spoilers.
Synopsis: Jack and Daniel get a very special Christmas gift.
Warnings: None  My very first Christmas story!
Length:   52 Kb    originally posted to the web 25 Dec 03.


Daniel is glowing, and it's not just because of the booze.

Sure, he's a little lit, I guess we all are, but what the hey, it's Christmas and I can't remember one I've enjoyed more in the past few years, or had so much reason to celebrate.

It's Christmas.  Daniel's first Christmas since we got him back.  This particular holiday season, it's been one hell of a wild ride.  Everyone at the SGC has wanted a piece of our happily returned to us former glowy boy.  We've been to so many Christmas parties the last week has been kind of a blur.  An incredibly festive, almost happily hysterical blur, but still, a blur.

We're playing it a little more low key today.  This is our final celebration of the season and it's a very private one.  Just the four of us.  SG-1 all together – really together again, just us, here, chez O'Neill, doing Christmas, with Daniel.  We've all had a couple of glasses of Christmas cheer – even Teal'c – but after the frantic, whirlwind pace of the days preceding, the prevailing mood in my living room at the moment is pretty subdued.  But that's okay; I don't think any of us mind being mellow.  In fact, it's kinda nice, just being together, not talking much, simply hanging out and damned happy to be here, enjoying some good food, good booze, and Daniel.

Daniel.  I keep coming back to him, but then, I don't think I've taken my eyes off him since our private party started.  I still can't believe he's really here.  I think Carter and Teal'c feel the same way – they've been watching his every move with the same greedy happiness, drinking in each glance, word and grin like they'll never get enough of him.

I know I never will.

The smiling thing?  Daniel's been doing a lot of it today.  He has to know he's the absolute centre of attention but he doesn't seem to mind.  In fact, if anything he appears to be welcoming it, basking in our unabashed adoration.  Yeah, we missed you and we're not ashamed to show it.  Maybe he missed us too, maybe that's why he's here now, instead of somewhere – out there – lighting up the universe.

But then, you always did that, Daniel.  Well, mine anyway.  I just never, ever let you know.   I'm never gonna know if my silence is what made you leave – even if you could remember, you'd never tell me but you're back now, and although I can't tell you everything that's in my heart I can damned sure do a better job than I did before of letting you know how much you mean to me now.

Can and will.  Oh yeah.

Daniel looks up from the gift he's been tearing into with the unbridled, lustful excitement of a five year old and he smiles at me, another one of those glorious, wide grins transforming his face into a blazing beacon of happiness before leaping right off his face and wrapping around my heart like a gentle, loving hand.  His eyes shine as he looks straight through me, my knees go weak and I wish, oh God, how I wish…

While most of Daniel's memories have slipped back into place there's still a huge, honking blank spot corresponding to the period of time he spent haring around the universe with Oma DeSalad and Co.  Daniel still remembers zippo about his tenure with the glowy gang.  It's a funny thing, though; while he has no conscious memory of the past year and being – ascended – it's changed him.  Yeah, I know, stupid thing to say, how could something like that – not – what he did and saw while he was out there has to be in there somewhere and has to have left its mark on him somehow.

And it has.  Daniel is different; calmer, a lot more comfortable in his own skin.  Maybe because it's not the original issue – however he 'remade' himself in order to have shoulders again to rub with us mere mortals, he's come back clean, clear.  Uncluttered.  Maybe he cast off all the crap weighing him down when he ascended, left it behind with what was left of him.  However he's done it, serenity looks good on him.  He looks good.  Maybe he isn't one of the heavenly crowd anymore but he's still glowing.

He's beautiful.

"Thanks, Sam!"  Daniel gushes over the treasure he's unwrapped, turning it over in his hands and admiring the crap out of it with plenty of accompanying happy noises making Carter blush with pleasure at his unabashed appreciation of her gift.  I have no idea what he's just received that has him so giddy  – it could be a lump of coal but if it came from one of his friends he'd still be over the moon with glee over it, that's Daniel for you – anyway, I don't know what it is and what's more, I don't really care.  He's here.  That's all that matters to me.


"Jack!"  Daniel exclaims, making me shiver again as he beams his pure pleasure at me once more.  "Aren't you going to open your presents?"

"In a minute," I mumble, taking a sip of eggnog and hiding behind the mug.  My face feels like a blast furnace, and the rest of me, oh God, let's not go there.  He's so damned hot and even with half a room between us his brilliance is burning me, I'm about thirty seconds from melt down, one more incendiary glance and I just might….ignite…

It'd certainly give the kids something to talk about in the commissary over coffee.  'Colonel Spontaneously Combusts and Makes an Ash of Himself.  But then we always knew he had it in him.'

Okay, I'll behave now, I've got a grip on this.  I won't say 'taken myself in hand'.  That'll come later.  And so will I.

"You go on," I give him a big grin back.  "I'm good here for the moment."  Daniel barely hears me, possessed as he is by the spirit of inquisitive avarice and good old-fashioned Christmas euphoria.  I lean back against the sofa, contentedly watching the spectacle as Carter and Teal'c egg him on to continue marauding through the impressive pile of brightly wrapped and ribboned goodies clustered all around him.  Santa has been very, very good to Daniel this year.  But not as good as he's been to us.  Daniel is the best Christmas present we've ever received.

That goes triple for me.  I don't give a crap about what's under the tree with my name on it I've already got all I wanted for Christmas.  Well, maybe not absolutely everything, if we lived in a slightly different world and I wasn't what I am and if, possibly, he had ever given me the slightest indication he thought about me – that way - I'd see if a bit of decking the halls was something he could see himself getting into – with me – but some things are just not meant to be.  Oh well, no use crying over spilt eggnog, or the carton that's never going to be opened. It took losing him to make me finally admit to myself I loved him and now that he's back….

I can't say.  He's happy now, with his life, himself, and me.  Just the way things are.  Something he definitely wasn't before.  As I'm not exactly sure how much of his former misery I contributed to – I'm not going to do anything to change the status quo.  I just can't risk it.   I'll take him any way he wants to be with me and I'm not going to let covert, pointless yearnings spoil this day – or this friendship - for either one of us.

I'm not.

Still, I can't help wishing things were different.  If I had one wish, if I could have anything I wanted….

I'd have you – if only you'd have me.



Daniel leans against me, his breath warming the side of my neck as we bid our fond farewells to Carter and Teal'c.  They still have a couple more rounds to make before they call it a night and although it was great to see them I'm just as glad they're going.  Our archaeologist is just about partied out and if I'm not mistaken his last cup of cheer will have him horizontal and out like a light snoring as soon as I strong arm him to the guest bedroom and pour him into bed.

Obviously a year's worth of glow-dom hasn't done squat for improving his alcohol tolerance.  My dearest Daniel still can't hold his liquor.

"Well, I guess we'll say good night, then, Sir," Carter says reluctantly as she hovers on my front step, still not quite ready to let go of this day, this moment or our slightly weaving and blissfully grinning archaeologist.  "You're sure you don't want to come with us to Janet's?"

Daniel's hands tighten on my arms as he drops his head on my shoulder and burps into my neck.  "Carter, do you think the Christmas Kid here is in any shape for any more wassailing this evening?"

"No Sir," she concedes with a grimace.  "You'll look after him, won't you, Sir?"

Like he was my very own.

"Not to worry, Carter," I assure her as I reach an arm around his waist, holding him up just as he starts to go.  "I'll be putting him to bed directly."

"I think that would be best," Daniel blearily agrees.  "Night Sam, Teal'c," he says before belching again.

"Night Daniel," Sam sighs, stepping in to give him a hug, which he returns with as much fervour as he is capable of.  Which at the moment ain't too much.  The spirit is willing but the archaeologist is potted.

"This has been a most enjoyable evening, O'Neill," Teal'c solemnly intones.  "It is good to have you back, DanielJackson," he adds, moving in as soon as Carter releases him to administer a rib crusher of his own.  Daniel grunts as Teal'c lets go and I'm in there again as a necessary prop for keeping him upright.  A function I'm more than happy to serve, if for no other reason I get to hold him and indulge in the guilty pleasure of feeling his warm firm body closely pressed to me.

"Give Janet and Cassie our love and tell them we'll catch up with them tomorrow.  Once Daniel here has slept it off."

I wonder if the recently recorporeal get hangovers like the rest of us.  I guess we'll find out in the morning.

We wave bye bye and as Carter and Teal'c head down the walk I wheel Daniel around and steer us back into the house.  Yeah, he's a little drunk but he's also had a very good time and I can feel his utter contentment rolling off him as I close the door behind us and lock it.

I'm completely unprepared for the blinding pulse of light blasting through the house, flattening us both against the door.

"What the fuck was that?"  I gasp, clinging desperately to Daniel, huge spots swarming in front of my bedazzled eyes.  I'm blinking furiously, can't see a damned thing but strangely, Daniel doesn't seem to be suffering from the same optical impairment.

"Jack!"  he cries, pushing away from me and starting for the stairs before I can grab him.  "Look!  On the tree!"

"Daniel, for God's sakes be careful!" I call out to him, stumbling forward and rubbing my eyes.  Visions of Asgards, Goa'ulds or any number of weird ass alien explanations for unscheduled, mysterious pyrotechnics are running through my brain and both of us stumbling blindly – in my case literally – unarmed and unprepared into God knows what –

Yanno, I often have nightmares about scenarios like this I just never expected to have to face one in my own freaking living room.

Although it seems a hell of a lot longer it actually only takes a couple of seconds for my vision to clear. By the time I've reached the top of the stairs I'm seeing halfway clear again, enough to be able to ascertain Daniel has somehow made it down the stairs in one piece and is standing in front of the Christmas tree staring raptly up at….

Well, I'll be a son of a gun where the hell did that come from?

Daniel and I decorated this tree a week ago, finishing off the operation with the ritual placing of the star Daniel bought for the tree he cajoled me into erecting the first Christmas he spent on Earth after getting back from Abydos.  Which coincidentally was also the first Christmas we celebrated together.  It's a very nice, impressively gaudy hunk of glitter but what's currently – hovering – on the very apex of the tree where the star is supposed to be definitely isn't what I put there and while I can't be positive about this, I'm pretty sure wherever it came from, it definitely wasn't WalMart.

I reach Daniel's side and stand with him, staring up, equally open mouthed at a multi-faceted hunk of softly glowing crystal the size of a cantaloupe.  It's lightly pulsing, emitting a gentle, golden glow that's kind of – oozing – out of it, slowly filling the room not only with an ethereal light but a warm, peaceful feeling that's kind of nice.  Soothing.  God, it's pretty and looking at it, I'm feeling…

Pretty good…

I don't know what the hell this thing is or where it came from but whatever it is, it's not bad.

"Oh my God," Daniel softly murmurs.  "It's a Zh Ha'dir.  I didn't think I'd ever see one again."

"A what?"  I blurt, frankly stupefied.  I can't take my eyes off this thing it's so damned beautiful..  Not just because of the way it looks which is – beautiful, but it feels….  Holy buckets, it just feels…so…

I can't describe what it feels like, but whatever it is, I haven't felt this good since – well, since I first laid eyes on Daniel again on Vis – wherever.  In a weird sort of way it's having the same effect on me he does.  Like being in the presence of something incredibly precious that transforms everything it touches, making it just a little bit, well, better.

Including me.

I don't understand it, but I'm also not afraid of it, nor do I feel the slightest compulsion to stop Daniel as he moves over and reaches up for the crystal.  I almost feel like trying to beat him to it. I suddenly want to touch it – hold it in the worst kind of way but I can't move.  Once again, Daniel doesn't seem to be suffering from the same constraints and I also can't help noticing he's apparently shaken off his former state of inebriation.  His eyes are clear and shining as he plucks the crystal from the top of the tree with a firm, steady hand and then turns to bring it back to me, cupped safely and reverently in the palms of his hands.

"A Zh Ha'dir," he tells me again, his head bent over the object he's lovingly cradling.  I find myself staring at it too, sucked into the softly shimmering brilliance swirling serenely in its crystal heart and spilling out of it to bathe Daniel's hands and face.  Daniel continues to speak, the murmured words pouring out of him as dreamily as the crystal's liquid emissions.

"It's only found in one place in the universe," Daniel continues, his long fingers lightly stroking the stone.  "A little planet called Vebronda in  - well, a galaxy a long way away from this one.  The Zh Ha'dir is very rare and difficult to obtain, and has very special properties.   The inhabitants of Vebronda – a lovely, gentle, peaceful race – they're only about three feet high, golden skin, large black eyes – you'd really like them, they – "

I haven't said a word, couldn't right now, even if I wanted to, which I don't, but Daniel catches himself, reining himself in from tangent land.  

"The Tinir.  They call themselves the Tinir – this stone is highly prized in their culture because of these special properties.  They risk death to find and obtain one and use it in a ritual they call 'Aysyra' – Divining the soul's desire.  It's a very important ritual in their culture, practiced by those who wish to devote themselves to following their personal path and their spiritual development.  The Zh Ha'dir' extracts the truth – the essence of the deepest desire of anyone who holds it – shows them what they need to know to follow their path and – um – advance."

Daniel stops talking and looks up at me, his eyes wide with bewildered wonder.  "Oh my God," he breathes.  "How do I know this? I – I do know this I've been there – to Vebronda, observed the Tinir I – I - "

Daniel pauses, takes a shuddering breath, tears glistening in his eyes as he whispers the next sentence.

"Jack.  I remember."

"How much?" I ask him, scared of the answer.  To be honest I've been kind of relieved he's not been able to remember what it was like to be what he was.  He's been so happy to be back home with us, not minding at all being downgraded but if he starts to remember, gets it all back will he still be content with being just one of the boys again?  After what he's probably seen and done – what would someone who's sailed across the universe and had the power he's had – what would someone like that want with a raggedy old team like SG-1 or broken down old Air Force colonel?

Like me?

"Just this," Daniel closes his hands protectively over his glowing talisman, gripping it tightly to his heart.  A tear trickles down his cheek from his wide, wondrous eyes, his face is ablaze with wistful gratitude.  "Just – Vebronda.  Being there, the people.  What this is.  What it can do.  That's it.  But it's enough."

The stone is pulsing more strongly now, the light within it sparkling like it's alive, changing from shimmering white to a deep, vibrant blue as it fills with truth.  Daniel's truth.  His soul's desire.  I know it – what Daniel wants more than anything is in that stone. I can feel it.  If I touch it  - hold it – I'll know exactly what is in Daniel's heart.

I want it so bad my fingers are aching and I can hardly breathe.  I want that stone – need it – I have to have it, I have to know but I can't just - take it, it wouldn't be right. What if Daniel doesn't want me to know, after all this is seriously scary, private stuff and I don't have the right to intrude or even expect he'd want to share something so important – with me.

Do I?

Daniel looks up at me and smiles. He doesn't say a word  but his eyes are sparking, deep and fearless, holding mine as he raises his cupped hands and without hesitation extends them toward me – offering….


I don't need his unspoken but unmistakable plea to compel me; I couldn't turn away from this if my life depended on it. Even as I suddenly realise if I do this – if I touch it, and him, it'll take everything I have and lay it all out for Daniel's consideration.  It's a two way street -  I'll get what I want but I won't be able to hide.  The price of knowing is revealing but it's one I'm more than willing to pay.

I reach out, clutching both his hands and the stone, holding on like I plan to never let go.

The world tilts and I'm flying, Daniel's truth singing inside me. At last I know, I know what he is, what he feels, what I am to him.  I know, and it's the biggest, the best – it's everything and so is he.   Love, he loves me – Daniel loves me so much he turned his back on – all of glowydom  - for – for me and that love, that wonderful, incredible, fierce, unquenchable love, it's like this roaring tornado inside me; desperate devotion, swirling, whirling,  all bound up with sharp, brittle bits of secret misery - anguish, exhilaration, bliss, despair, stubborn, irrational optimism, and hungry, hopeless desire.  I see the love that made him leave me, the same burning, undeniable, unanswerable need that brought him back - I feel it all,  I'm the centre of the maelstrom of incredible emotions roiling around me and more than just feeling it, I know it oh, only too well.   I ought to, I've been living it long enough.   Every hope, every denial, every sorrowful and shining facet of the soul unfurled before me is an eerie mirror of the contents of my own. 

What do you know about that?

We – intermingle – souls and secrets revealed one to the other as we…blend…and suddenly there are no more secrets – it's no longer possible or even necessary, we know each other, we see each other and there's nothing to be ashamed of, no reason to hide, we see, we know, and we understand what we desire, what we want, what we need, it's all the same, and so are we.

I don't know where Daniel ends and I begin but I don't need to.  The stone makes us one and we come together, fire and light and hunger and desire co-mingling as we kiss, touch, feel, burn and love…



"Are you okay with this?"  Daniel murmurs as he nuzzles his cheek against my chest with a sigh.

"Daniel, I have never been more okay with anything in my life.  I hope you were able to gather that from the quality of my participation in our recent – collaboration.  I thought I was reasonably enthusiastic."

Daniel snickers and gives my chest a reassuring pat.  "Your – enthusiasm – was duly noted and appreciated."

"Yeah, well I couldn't help noticing you were pretty enthusiastic yourself."

All of a sudden Daniel isn't laughing.  "I've wanted this – you – for a long time," he says in a small, sad voice.  "I never thought it would ever happen."

"Yeah, well that makes two of us," I kiss his forehead and stroke his head reassuringly.  "Now it has, I'm not letting you go.  I just want you to know that."

"Good," Daniel says after a couple of seconds.  "I was hoping you'd feel that way."

"Come on," I tease.  "After we – Aye-shied  – you know exactly how I feel. The full meal deal.   Got nowhere to hide from you now, Danny."

"Does that scare you?"  he asks, very seriously.

"No."  I mean it, and I know he knows.  "If it was anyone else, maybe, yeah, but I'm not scared.  Not of you."

"Me either."

We don't say anything else for a long time.  I don't know what's going on in Danny's head but me – I still can't get over what we've just done – that we've just done it and he's here – with me, in my bed.  He's mine, really mine and I can hold him and touch him and love him and –

My God, it really is Christmas.

"I wonder which one of your friends we have to thank for this," I suddenly blurt out, as the thought occurs to me.

"Mmmmm?"  Daniel sleepily grunts.

"Well, the Zah ha wah wah didn't get here all by itself.  I presume one of your glowy buddies delivered it here.  I was just wondering which one, and why."

Daniel thinks about if for a bit before replying.  "Well, my money would be on Skaara."

Yeah, mine too.

"You think he might be hanging around, keeping an eye out?"

"I'd like to think so," Daniel says with a smile.  "Although – it's a big universe out there Jack.  Still, if he stopped by, from time to time, even if we never knew – that would be nice."

Yeah. Although I kinda hope, once he saw his gift was accepted and used in the way he no doubt intended he didn't stick around for the  - um, show. 

I mean, while I don't mind letting it all hang out for Daniel I'm not too comfortable with the idea of providing inadvertent x-rated entertainment for other-dimensional voyeurs.  Not that I think my saggy old ass is all that fascinating they'd be interested in floating about and seeing it in action, still, some things are just private, yanno?

Just, whoever, if you're planning on stopping by from time to time, have a little consideration, okay?

"Christmas!"  Daniel suddenly exclaims in his endearing non sequiter conversational style.

"Meaning?"   I prompt.

"You were wondering why," Daniel explains.  "It's Christmas and the funny thing, for most of the evening I was thinking while being here with all of you again was wonderful, the best Christmas I've ever had it still wasn't... everything I'd hoped for.  And it wasn't going to be.  Because there was one thing I wanted – the only thing I wanted really, but there was no way I was ever going to get it."

"Ah, and then enter our very own personal glowy Santa Claus."

"Something like that," Daniel yawns.

"Want to hear something funny?"

"Make it fast, I need to sleep now."

"What you were thinking about all you wanted but weren't going to get?"


"I was thinking exactly the same thing."

"Imagine that."

Yeah, imagine that.  However, from now on, thanks to our secret Santa, I won't have to.

Skaara, wherever you are, I owe you, buddy.  Someday, somehow I'll give you a proper thank you.  But in the meantime, Daniel couldn't be in better hands.  I just want you to know that.   I'll love him and look after him.  I'll keep him safe so you don't need to worry about him.  You can go out there to – wherever – and know he'll be fine with me.

You have my word on it.

Oh yeah, and wherever you are, Merry Christmas.



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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