STRANGE BELOVED BY
Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves
Angst, H/C. Drama. Alternate Reality.
Spoilers for Stargate the Move. Serpent's
Grasp/Serpent's Lair. Sequel to
SG-1 bring the Doppelganger home.
situations. References to character deaths which
have occurred previous to the events of this story.
Originally completed in 2000.
beyond words – not moving, staring. Not believing what
he was hearing.
turned to see Daniel standing in front of the closed door
of his room. Hadn't even heard him come in. They were moments
from leaving, about to embark on the more-than-slightly-mad
mission to save the Earth that had come about as a result
of the stubborn, implacable insistence of the man who was
looking at him with the same focussed determination which
had caused him to agree to this insanity in the first place.
know this is probably the worst time in the world to say this
to you," Daniel continued, not a particle of fear or
hesitation in his eyes or in his voice. "But we both know
what we are about to do, and what it could mean. Worst
time or not, it's the only time. One or both of us might
die tonight. I won't let that happen, without letting you
know. I love you."
he was gone. Out the door, down the hall – gone. Without
giving him a chance to think, to comprehend, to answer.
Without giving him a chance to even know what his answer
would have been.
hadn't known. Not until the moment when he'd heard the
terrible cry from the corridor. Heard Daniel scream his name,
heard the sounds of gunfire. Then - no sounds at all.
the time he had reached Daniel the light was already dying
in his eyes. It was already too late. No time for words,
no time for anything. But to hold what was left, catch
Daniel's last breath in his mouth as he kissed him for
the first time – and the last. Watching the spark that
was Daniel flicker and go out as what was always somehow
understood but never before realized became the largest,
most important truth his mind could hold.
love you too.
late. Daniel was gone. Never hearing the words. Never knowing.
Never understanding he was loved – had always been loved
- the way he had hoped.
wasn't until he was standing in the gate room, in the midst
of the meaningless applause and the shouts of 'hail the
conquering heroes', seeing the enormity of his loss echoed
in the haunted eyes of his remaining teammates he had remembered
– the sarcophagus.
late. Too late. He'd saved an entire world at the cost of
all of his.
they had gone on. Banded fiercely together by the power
of the love they all still held for the man who was no
longer with them, they'd dealt with losing him by going
on for him. The three who were left had closed their ranks,
suffering no one else to walk with them, allowing no one
else to try and replace him. Alone together, apart as one,
bonded inseparable and belonging to no one else but each
other. Until now.
had him back. This was all that mattered. Jack knew Sam
and Teal'c were as united with him in this as they had
been in everything else. The terrible void existing in
their midst all these months was filled. Daniel was alive.
He was back. No one was ever going to take him from them
again. It didn't matter what they had to do - what they
had to say. They would have all stood before the last throne
of judgement and brazenly lied to the Almighty Himself
if that was what it took - to slip this one by him.
said you never got a second chance? When there it was, right
beside him, just waiting for the last of the red tape to
be dealt with. Waiting for him to bring him back where
was sitting in 'his' chair in the infirmary, leaning up
against him, his eyes closed, his face pale. He was quiet
now, but it was plain from his slumped posture and the
weariness weighing down his body he was a long way from
recovered from the mental effects of his ordeal in the
strange place where he had been given back to them. Jack
stood strongly beside his friend, his hand tightening possessively
around his shoulders, imparting comfort and claiming at
the same time. As soon as Janet got back with his meds
and her last minute instructions, he was taking Daniel
hadn't been easy to get here, but they were almost in the
clear. Jack realized with no small measure of gratitude
he owed this miracle as much to Sam and Teal'c's determination
as he did his own. They'd hung together as never before
through the daunting gauntlet of officialdom that had been
Daniel's rite of passage back into the 'officially sanctioned'
world of the living.
and evaluations and debriefings and official inquiry boards,
- they had waded through it all and come out the other
side - triumphant. In short – the powers that be – bought
painful as it was to watch the effects of what had been done
to Daniel, his evident mental distress only helped to support
the story. Hard to deny he was alive, hard to refute the
irrefutable medical evidence he was exactly who he appeared
to be, even harder to ignore, due to the state he was in,
the proof something terrible had happened to him, which
further corroborated the 'story'.
finally came bustling back into the room, a warm smile on
her face. She pressed a bottle of pills into Jack's hand
as she reached his side.
are pretty strong, Colonel. Make sure he takes them if
he needs them. The headaches shouldn't last much longer.
He needs a lot of rest and the environment should as stress-free
as possible. Dr McKenzie will get back to me when he has
Daniel's first appointment scheduled. I'll let you know.
Barring any further problems or complications which I know
you will tell me about immediately, I'll expect to see
Daniel back here in a week so we can check on his progress."
leaned down and planted a fond kiss on the top of Daniel's
head. Which earned her a shy, wan smile from the man at
his side. "It's so good to have you back, Daniel," she
told him with soft and warm earnestness. "Take good care
of him, sir."
was so hard to keep his eyes on the road. They kept stealing
away from what they were supposed to be looking at, sneaking
over to glance covertly at the quiet man sitting slumped
in the seat beside him. His head was thrown back against
the headrest, his eyes closed, long dark lashes starkly
black against his pale skin. Hair so long, so soft, spilling
almost wantonly across his forehead…
tore his eyes away from Daniel, locking them back on the
road. He tightened his hands on the steering wheel, using
the tactile reminder of the hard, unyielding substance
composing the object as a focus for anything else but the
feelings welling up within him.
had said, "I love you" those long months ago. His
Daniel. He had to remember, for the sake of the man who was
with him now; those words had never been spoken between
them. For although he was unquestionably 'Daniel' – he
looked at him. Couldn't help it. Those words, which he
remembered and Daniel now didn't, were the only 'difference'
of consequence. In every other way – no difference. No
difference… Especially in the way he felt every time he
looked at him.
mere sight of him was enough to release the floodgates of
joy. Spontaneous, blossoming, wondrous, consuming happiness
burned within him filling him with a ridiculous euphoria,
and all Daniel had to do was walk into the room. Just show
made it even more ridiculous was how long it had taken him
to clue into what it was.
– he'd been around. He'd been in love before. He'd had his
share of relationships. Even been married. Been there,
done that, lost the T-shirt in the settlement. No babe
in the woods here.
was nice, but it was also a hell of a lot of work. As were
relationships. Most of the time – a big pain in the butt.
Almost always ultimately – disappointing.
things would start out great. You know, the sparks, the
excitement, the curiosity. The whole rollercoaster thing.
you can't get enough of each other, and neither of you
can do wrong. Then, a little time goes by, you start cooling
down a bit, and you start seeing things you never saw before.
Probably were always there, you were just too busy looking
through the rose coloured glasses to notice.
she's great and all, but… The 'buts'. First there's only
one or two. That little habit she has of – clicking her
fingernails. At first it was cute. Now, it's a little
irritating. Funny, you never noticed before, but that thing
she does with her hair is a little – strange. The list
of 'buts' just keeps getting longer and longer, until you
get to the point where it seems the 'buts' are all there
are and you wonder what the hell it was you ever saw in
her in the first place.
be fair, by this time she's seeing a few things about you
that leave her less than charmed. You don't talk as much.
You don't touch as much. The other stuff – well that's
pretty much once in a blue moon as well and usually used
as a 'reward' or – or a weapon. You start 'negotiating.'
Compromising. Trying to placate, appease, satisfy, where
once you just enjoyed each other. What once was fun suddenly
he already had a job. Was probably the main reason why he
no longer had a wife. Was never very good at moonlighting.
was 'love' the way Jack O'Neill had come to understand it.
Then Daniel Jackson had walked into his life and turned
everything he thought he knew about everything upside down
and on its ear.
had scared the crap out of him, right from the beginning.
All that animosity, antagonism, bravado – just stupid,
dumb fear. Of Daniel – the one person in the world who
had never, ever, at any time in his life, ever meant him
anything but good. All the people he'd ever known, everything
he'd done, he'd never had anyone look at him the way Daniel
did. Look at him and see right through him.
was on to him, right from the very start. No where to go,
no where to hide, every time those divine, omniscient blue
eyes looked at him he felt this – thrill - quivering deep
inside him, like nothing he had ever felt before. Joy.
Simple, pure, selfless, complete, consuming, utter – joy.
tried fighting it. Pushing it away by trying to push the
cause of it away. Till he figured out how stupid it was.
Trying to stop feeling good for the first time in his life
just because he didn't understand why he was feeling good
was like cutting his nose off to spite his face. As the
made Daniel different from everyone else he'd ever known
was the way he saw him as well. Just the way he was – the
whole enchilada. No 'buts'. Daniel just was – what he was.
Not that he was perfect, he had his quirks, just like everybody
else. But they were part of what he was, part of what made
him – Daniel. Which was – okay. Hell – more than okay.
Daniel was the best. Difficult to explain how that made
a difference. But it certainly did.
they had their differences of opinion. Fought tooth and
nail, like cats and dogs, more than once and at great length.
But nothing that had ever passed between them had been
more than either one of them could handle. Especially after
Jack discovered Daniel's secret.
was like magic to watch, even more incredible to do. Daniel
could be wound up tighter than seven Sundays, so cranked
he was hopping around the room shooting fire out his butt
and all Jack had to do was grab a hold of him and not let
go. Sometimes a hand was enough, sometimes it took the
application of a little more surface area, but whatever
it took, it never failed. All he had to do was touch Daniel
long enough and he calmed down. Might take awhile, but
it happened. The effect it had on him was pretty satisfying
was very rare that anybody 'won' one of their arguments.
Almost always a draw. But what a blessed stalemate…
had just accepted this extraordinary state of affairs as
something 'special' that came with the territory of having
Daniel in his life. He never questioned it, never doubted
it, never examined it. It just was what it was, it made
him feel good, and it filled him in ways he had never experienced
with anyone else.
also made it quite unnecessary for him to look for anything
the long bitter months following Daniel's death Jack realized
there were two reasons why he'd never seen it for what
it was until too late.
first reason was obvious. Hard to miss the fact Daniel was
a man. So was he for that matter. What he believed himself
to be placed how he saw things within certain parameters
that hitherto hadn't allowed him to think – outside the
lines. To allow for certain other possibilities. Not that
he was terribly averse to the idea, just had never occurred
to him before that it would ever be… necessary.
other thing that had caused him to 'miss it' was his mistaken
notion he had ever really been in love or even knew what
love was. He'd engaged in something purporting to pass
for it, which was mostly a complicated and ultimately futile
exercise in 'I'll give you what you want unless I can get
what I want from you without too much trouble." Which was
mostly about emotionalism fueled by an illusion fed by
fear of loneliness and wanting to get a little something
from someone who was willing to play the game for a little
while. Someone who was, for all the sound and fury, as
much of a stranger to him as he was to her. And always
stayed that way…
he'd ever done in the name of 'love' had always only ever
been about him. Until Daniel.
was all he thought about. From the very beginning. Sounded
silly and impossibly adolescent to admit it to himself
so blatantly - but there you are. Who was he, what was
he, how could he be so…. What was he thinking, what was
he feeling, what could he do to get closer, to understand,
to know, to comprehend. What was this, who was this man,
what was it about him that was so – compelling? So frightening.
Jack in there at all. All Daniel. The more he let go of Jack
and all his fears, insecurities and hang-ups and let the
space inside that used to be packed tight with 'Jackcrap'
be filled up with Daniel the better he felt. The more he
wanted to do more. Be. Achieve. Become. For Daniel, and
the other people around him. Daniel in his world made it
a better place. Daniel inside him – made him a better man.
not until the moment he lost him did Jack understand. That
joy, that feeling of contentment, that inner well of rightness
with all that looked, felt and acted like Daniel - what
it had been all along - was love. True, absolute, total,
complete, unconditional. The real deal. For the first time
in his life, he KNEW what love really was. That he could
even for a second have believed he'd known this before…
he hadn't been lucky enough once to have it without even
knowing what the hell he had – he'd just hit the jackpot
don't get second chances. Lightning doesn't strike in the
same place twice. Dead is dead and gone is gone. You snooze,
Wrong. Wrong. Someone up there liked him. Who knew, go
figure. Daniel was back, and he had him. Not going to throw
this second chance away. All he had to do was figure out
how to find out how Daniel felt about him.
noticed he was looking at him again until he realized with
a small shock Daniel's eyes were open, and he was looking
back. Those azure eyes swam with a bright something reaching
out and wrapping warm, golden bands of affection around
his heart. Whatever came down, finding out where Daniel's
heart was at was not going to be unpleasant.
he said softly, that one word carrying enough melting
compulsion to make him want to do something really stupid
like – say it back.
sweet home, Daniel," Jack smiled at the man beside him as
he turned the Jeep into the drive, pulling in beside Sam's
car. Guess she and Teal'c would've had enough time to throw
a few things together for the welcome home party. Just
the four of them.
turned off the vehicle and jumped out. Daniel didn't move,
he was just staring at the house, a strange expression
on his face. Puzzled, Jack walked over to the passenger
side and opened the door.
Danny, what's wrong? We're home. Thought you would be glad
to see the place."
looked at him, a confused look haunting his eyes. He held
a hand out to Jack, plainly looking to him to help him
out. Which he was more than happy to do.
stood at his side, still looking at the house. "I – I
live here? With you? Live here?"
put an arm around him to steady him. "Yeah, you came to
stay with me when you had no where to go when you first
got here from Abydos and just never – left. Remember -
when we came back from Chulak without seeing Sha'uri? You
were pretty cut up when Teal'c told us what had happened
to her. Which was pretty much to be expected. Not easy
to hear your wife had almost been made into a host and
then killed by Apophis when the snake rejected her – geez
Danny! What's the matter?"
legs had started to buckle – he would have fallen if Jack
hadn't caught him. His blue eyes were deeply distressed
as they looked at him with unbelieving horror.
Sha'uri's dead? Dead?"
This must be one of those 'differences' Merlin had been
talking about. Best be gentle here.
was leaning up against him for support, breathing heavily
with distress. Not caring who looked or saw, knowing only
the good it would do, Jack began to stroke his cheek soothingly
as he said gently, "Easy, Danny. She's been gone for well
over a year. Not your fault. We did everything we could.
You did everything you could."
did I think – why did I think she was still alive?"
Daniel's voice was barely a whisper, but he was calming.
must have gotten scrambled by those bastards even more
than we figured. Doc said it was probably going to be a
long time before things started getting clearer. But that's
okay. You've got time. You've got friends."
paused slightly before continuing, emphasizing his next words
by stroking his thumb across Daniel's cheek in a deliberate
closed his eyes and nodded his head slightly. Not exactly
a yes, but not a no either. Okay, he could deal with it.
on now, let's get you into the house. Sam and Teal'c are
waiting for us. Sam said she was going to bake you a cake.
House is still standing, so far so good …"
was exquisite torture. To have Daniel home, at last, here,
with him, looking so….oh god how was he going to do this.
How could he keep himself from looking like a lovesick
teenager? How could he get through the next minute without
– touching Daniel? How could he get Sam and Teal'c to go
wasn't fair. They loved Daniel too. Had missed him as much,
mourned him as deeply. Were as happy to have him back.
Needed to be with him as much as he did.
all, Sam and Teal'c couldn't stay forever. After that –
they had all night.
Jack, hold the phone. Remember what you promised. Daniel's
been through enough already. Let's not blow what's left
of the poor guy's brains out with way too much way too
soon. Have a chat with the little soldier and tell him
to stand down. Mind over matter. Way too much matter. Jesus
Daniel stop LOOKING at me like that…
eyes shining with a fierce contentment lanced into his heart
evoking answering flames of desire. Jack resisted the impulse
to pick up his beer and pour it on his head. Probably wasn't
exactly an Emily Post kinda thing to do. Neither was crawling
up over and across the table burying his hands in that
hair and pulling that mouth closer, just…diving…
this is REALLY helping! Jack mumbled something, got up from
the table and fled into the kitchen. Just need a few minutes
away to get a hold of himself. When all he really wanted
was to get a hold of someone else.
sir," Sam's voice sounded a bright, slight warning as she
entered the kitchen. Heeding it and more than slightly
grateful for her consideration, he straightened himself
up immediately and turned to face her.
you doing, sir? She grinned at him. "Are you okay?"
knows. Good enough friend to be concerned, an even better
one not to let on.
fine, Sam," he lied through his teeth and she let him.
"Just a little stress starting to catch up with me. Been
a hell of a week, hasn't it?"
can say that again," she nodded. "So glad we made
it, and Daniel is back home. Where he belongs. Wish he would
eat something though. And he looks as if he can hardly keep
himself up in that chair."
those damned tranquilizers. Pack quite a wallop. But at
least they are enabling him to stay calm enough to function.
Sort of. He's still not great, but he's a lot better than
looked away, not willing to delve too deeply into the memories
of Daniel's first day in the infirmary. The screams, the
terror, the horror in his eyes only sedation took away.
They would probably never know what had happened to him
simply because having him go where he would be able to
tell them would hardly have been worth it. Better he should
here's hoping he won't have to stay on them much longer,"
Jack continued. "He's got us to help him through it, and
that's got to count for something."
know it does, sir," Sam finished fervently.
That was Daniel's voice, from the other room. Sounding
more than a bit anxious.
doesn't like it much when you're not there?" Sam asked
shook his head, took her lightly by the arm and walked both
of them back to join the others.
crossed immediately over to Daniel, flushing warmly at the
way Daniel's entire face visibly brightened the moment
he saw him. God, he'd walk a mile over broken glass on
his hands for just that very look.
hands cupped Daniel's shoulders as he leaned over him.
leaned his head back against his stomach, turning it into
him to look up, the contact and the movement making Jack's
own head swim.
can't sit here anymore," Daniel said slowly, the seeming
effort of speaking them emphasizing his words. "Tired.
Would the… couch… be okay?" He cast apologetic looks
at Sam and Teal'c. "It's not the company, believe me.
It's these damned pills. Hate pills…"
not be concerned about us, DanielJackson," Teal'c's deep
voice was charged with a level of emotion he very rarely
allowed himself to express. "We are happy to be wherever
you are most comfortable."
tickled pink to be anywhere with you at all, Daniel. Jack
held that happy thought as he helped Daniel to his feet
and over to the couch, Sam and Teal'c in their wake.
immediately slid down beside Daniel as Jack settled him in
the middle of the couch, then backed away to allow the
Jaffa to claim the other side. He contented himself with
the armchair, sitting down and treating himself to a sight
he never thought he would ever see again. All his kids
back together again, one big, happy, happy family.
wouldn't say it didn't get any better than this because he
was sincerely hoping it certainly would.
in the nurturing cocoon of affection that surrounded him,
Daniel noticeably rallied. As Sam and Teal'c talked to
him his eyes grew brighter, more alert, his face took on
a little more colour.
his gaze began to wander across the room, taking in the
objects surrounding him. Wonder touched his expression,
blossoming into quiet gratitude as he finally saw what
rested on the coffee table. Smiling with shy pleasure he
reached forward to take one of the exquisitely carved,
wooden jackal-headed pieces from the large board before
held it tightly as he looked across at Jack. "You've kept
all my things, haven't you? Everything is still here. Like
I never – left…"
suddenly found the toe of his right shoe extremely
fascinating. Damned fascinating. Had never realized before
just how – fascinating - it was.
He could talk now. Bye shoe.
know how it is." He risked meeting Daniel's eyes.
"Mission here, mission there. More time off world than
on. So much to do. Just never got around to – getting rid of
smiled at him, not only allowing him the lie, but plainly
loving him for it. Jack found himself wanting to dive
headfirst into those eyes, not knowing what he'd done to
deserve such a friend.
sighed, allowing himself to sink farther back into the
couch. His eyes scanned the room around him and the people
in it, at last coming to rest once again on the man across
the room from him.
he said in a voice that was anything but tentative and
uncertain. "This is home."
talking about the four walls here, are we Daniel?
chatted amongst themselves for a little while longer, not
saying anything particularly profound, but then not needing
to either. After a brief interval Daniel took a deep breath
and started to get up. He waved away any offers of assistance,
and excused himself, saying he would be back in a moment.
His progress was a little shaky, but he was making it.
Good sign. Good sign.
minutes passed without a sign of him or any sounds from
the part of the house into which he had gone. Jack looked
across at Sam and Teal'c as all three of them started missing
him about the same time.
– hope he didn't fall in," Jack quipped, concerned but
not worried. "Daniel?" Jack raised his voice
slightly so as to allow the hail to reach Daniel's hearing.
answer. "Maybe he went into his room to go and lie
down," Jack said to the others as he started to get to
his feet. "I'll just go and check to see everything is
okay. Won't be a minute."
nodded and stood up as well. "Okay, I'll just start
cleaning up over there."
will assist you, Captain Carter," Jack heard Teal'c say
as he quickly left them behind and went to find Daniel.
found Daniel in his room, sitting on the floor, leaning
up against the bed, a large box beside him. The box Jack
had put the things in he had brought back with him from
Abydos. Forgotten it was there. Oh shit…
eyes were tightly closed, his face set against giving into
what was plainly churning within him. He held something
in his arms, crushed to his chest. Jack recognized it immediately.
It was one of the journals Daniel had kept during his year
himself for the fool he was, Jack swiftly crossed the room
and dropped down beside his friend. Daniel's eyes opened
as Jack's fingers brushed across his cheek.
did you get these?" Daniel asked softly.
went back to Abydos in your place. When the year was up. I
figured you would have wanted me to. Someone had to tell
Kasuf and Skaara you and Sha'uri weren't – going to be
Daniel cried. "
Skaara is all right? He's on Abydos? I – I don't
let the journal slip from his grasp, putting his hands
up to his head as if he was suddenly in pain. Jack reached
forward, trying to calm him by placing his hands on his
fine, Daniel. Why wouldn't he be?"
don't know I don't know," Daniel moaned, still clutching
his head. "I just know he shouldn't be on Abydos."
here," Jack said firmly, just as firmly overcoming
Daniel's slight resistance and drawing him into his arms.
"Skaara is all right. He's on Abydos. He's always been on
Abydos. He's changed a lot in the past year. Had to grow
up far too fast. It was hard on him. He blamed himself
for Sha'uri's abduction. Figured he could've made a difference
if he hadn't come with us to the cartouche room and left
her behind. When he heard you were both dead – he blamed
himself for you as well. Because you wouldn't let him come
with you when you left."
shook as he heard that, so Jack hastened to add what
encouraging words he could.
stayed there for a couple of days. Spent a lot of time with
Skaara. Told him and Kasuf all about you. How you'd done
the best you could to try and save Sha'uri. Told them everything,
Danny. All the great things you've done since leaving Abydos.
How you had died saving our world. They were so proud of
you, Danny. As they should have been. When I left, Skaara
was better. At least he understood there was nothing he
could have done to change what happened to either you or
Sha'uri – any more than you could have saved her."
was lying very quietly against him, listening intently
to every word. "Thank you for that," he said finally,
in a small voice. I'll have to go back there, show them
I'm okay. When I'm feeling a little better." He indicated
the box with a small wave of his hand. "Kasuf gave you
my things, didn't he?"
nodded. "He said he thought I would want them. He was
right. I read the journals. They were – all I had left of
you. I hope you don't mind."
Daniel sighed deeply against him, his exhaled breath warm
on his skin even through the fabric of his shirt. Daniel's
arms wound around him, as his voice became even more troubled.
don't understand what is happening. Everything is so strange.
I know this must be my room. My clothes are here – all
my things are here – but I don't remember it. Sha'uri –
Skaara – even Sam and Teal'c are different somehow. I don't
know. I must be losing my mind. The only thing that isn't
different – the only thing that is familiar – is
Jack could come up with anything to say Daniel suddenly
pushed himself away from Jack's arms. He ran a hand through
his hair, looked at Jack with stricken eyes and announced;
"I'm really tired. I – just want to go to sleep now. Will
you apologize to Sam and Teal'c for me? I don't want to
be rude, but I just really need to go to bed now. Maybe
all of this will make some sort of sense in the morning.
You don't mind, do you Jack?"
but not unexpected. Jack smiled and patted him on the
shoulder. "Anything you want, Danny. You know that."
got to his feet, started to walk out of the room and then
turned back. Daniel's head was lowered, and he was starting
to unbutton his shirt. Jack hesitated, momentarily fascinated
by the revelatory potential of the action.
I'll see Sam and Teal'c out and then just check on you before
turning in. If that's okay..."
O'Neill, what a stupid thing to say. He's not five! Good
thing you didn't say 'want me to tuck you in?' Moron!
Daniel said absently, his head still lowered, his fingers
still slowly working on the buttons of his shirt, pushing
the next one free of the cloth that held it, causing the
garment to gap open just a little wider, revealing the
soft skin beneath…
Jack whirled and fled from the room.
after Sam and Teal'c had gone Jack sat in the armchair in
the living room, nervously rubbing his hands on his denim-covered
though every single nerve in his body screamed at him to
go back to that room and the man in it, the prospect suddenly
terrified him. Not because he didn't want to go to Daniel,
but rather, because he did. He knew very well what he'
said he would and wouldn't do, but what he didn't know
was how much he could trust himself.
couldn't remember wanting anyone so much – not in his whole
life. But until he knew if the feeling was mutual he couldn't
he was so weak…
Jack got to his feet and walked back to Daniel's room.
With any luck, Daniel would be asleep. So he could just,
look in, as he had promised, and then get the hell out
room was dark and silent. From the doorway he could barely
make out the still form of the man curled up beneath the
comforter on the bed. Like a man in a waking dream he felt
himself gliding forward into the room, walking in guilty
silence, drawn toward Daniel by a force he could barely
understand, never mind control. As he moved around the
bed he tried not to notice the pile of discarded clothing
lying in a heap on the floor where he had last seen Daniel
sitting. Tried not to notice – and dismally failed.
my! Under there… he was…
suddenly briefly reasserted itself. Control came back.
Jack stopped himself, was just about to turn and run like
much for control. Daniel's voice, saying his name, so full
of unspoken pain, reached out and drew him the rest of
the way to his side as surely as if Daniel had reached
out and grabbed him by the – throat.
right here, Danny," Jack whispered, leaning over him. He
couldn't see his face, couldn't see what was happening,
didn't know what to do.
go," Daniel implored, grabbing his arm and seeking to
settle the matter by swiftly turning and pulling Jack along
with it, into the bed behind him.
completely by surprise, Jack lost his balance and tumbled
over on top of him. Daniel's only response was to grunt
softly and hold onto his arm all the more implacably.
okay," Jack said hastily, moving his weight off the man
beneath him. "Ease up on the arm. I'll stay. Just let me
get my shoes off at least."
wasn't letting go. Sighing, Jack managed to kick off his
shoes. The rest of it was staying where it was. The more
clothes he had on, the safer for everyone. His heart literally
in his mouth, Jack slipped under the covers and felt Daniel
immediately move into him. Clutching the arm he had captured
tightly to his chest. His bare chest. That sorta kinda
went with the whole bare rest of him.
to calm himself Jack took a deep breath and got a lungful
of the lush, earthy, entirely intoxicating scent of Daniel's
hair. Reason going out the window, going into sensory overload
mode now. Daniel sighed deeply, making Jack twitch with
desire as his expanding chest moved under the hand that
had been splayed over the smooth, warm skin.
it's going to be a long night…
six months he'd burned, seared constantly beneath the fiery
weight of the torch he'd carried, compelling and consuming
him with no possibility of fulfillment. His love for Daniel
had been a hopeless, desperate fantasy haunting his days
and possessing his dreams.
many times had he futilely dreamt of this moment knowing
it could never come to pass? Knowing there was no possible
way he would ever be able to have him in his arms? Hold
him, smell him, feel his warmth and life beating straight
into his bones?
he was here. What he could never hope to have lived, breathed
and moved within his embrace. The once-stilled heart that
held his captive beat frantically beneath his hand. The
feel of the smooth, warm velvet skin of Daniel's chest
triumphantly contradicted darker, redder memories.
was surprised to discover he was at peace. Although every
nerve in his body was thrumming and firing in frantic
excitation, there was a calm eye in the fiery maelstrom
of his mind in which everything which was and should be
was suddenly – clear.
was no more conflict, no more indecision. It was so simple.
All he had to do was love him. If he did that he couldn't
possibly do anything wrong.
with the power of this knowledge, Jack laid his flaming
cheek against the answering heat of Daniel's bare back,
letting his hand gently move across his chest in the most
unobtrusive of caresses. Wanting only to touch, he tried
to relay the reality of his concern and devotion through
slow, stroking fingers traced lingeringly and lovingly
over the sensitive surface of the newly puckered, excited
flesh they had discovered on their travels.
gasped, arching his back at the touch, his breath coming
in shallow, ragged pants. Before Jack knew what was happening
the man in his arms twisted quickly, turning to face him.
Daniel grabbed two handfuls of Jack's shirt, buried his
face in the hollow of Jack's throat, and suddenly began
dismayed, afraid he had frightened him, Jack hastened to
embrace him in consolation while he whispered, "I'm
sorry. I didn't mean… Don't worry. You're safe. Nothing will
happen to you."
vehemently shook his head. "No – not that. Not your
fault," he gasped. Daniel's trembling got worse. It
wasn't until Jack felt the warm wetness on his skin that he
realized what was happening.
Danny, don't," Jack soothed, his heart shredding. Not
caring about anything anymore except somehow finding some
way, any way to take Daniel's pain from him he began to
kiss him on the top of his head. Trying to assuage the
sobs becoming more audible he heard himself say, "How can
I help? What can I do? Tell me, please tell me."
turned his face up to him in response to his entreaty.
it go away," he moaned, his voice heavy with misery.
wish is my command."
willing slave to Daniel's every desire; Jack began to kiss
his cheeks, letting his lips soak up the salty, precious
moisture of Daniel's tears. Daniel shuddered with pleasure,
moving his face slightly impatiently under the adoration
of Jack's lips as he tried to turn his mouth into the one
took his face in his hands, gently restraining him. "Not
yet," he murmured, continuing to rain tender kisses upon
Daniel's face, skirting his mouth. For the moment.
had been a completely devoted acolyte of Daniel for so long.
No god ever had a more dedicated or impassioned follower.
Now that he at last had his opportunity to worship at the
shrine, he wasn't about to waste it in a too-soon-over
mindless frenzy. Not the first time. Not with Daniel. Wasn't
what he needed – far much less than Daniel deserved.
was about to give a whole new meaning to the term 'religious
rite'. Especially when it came to the form of the resulting
'revelation'. Daniel was about to get the top of his head
blown off. Eventually.
we each encounter god in our own ways.
kissing Daniel's face Jack gently pushed him until he was
lying on his back. With infinite gentleness he restrained
the arms fighting against the pressure, seeking to grab
and clutch at him.
he said firmly. "Be still. Let me do it. Just….let
him, trusting him, Daniel lay still almost immediately.
Then, and only then, did Jack finally lower his mouth to
the one waiting impatiently beneath.
the first taste, the first plunge into the hot, sucking
eagerness that was Daniel's mouth Jack almost forgot
everything else, including 'the plan'. Everything except this
mouth he desired for so long remembering, lips so mobile,
expressive wanton, now tasting, sweet, warm, moving beneath,
hot breath surging life into his lungs seeking wetness
mingling with his, moist tongue invading oh Daniel so
talented, its not just for talking…
Jack raised his head before he was completely lost. Can't
go over the edge yet. There was so much more to do and
moaned at his unexpected bereavement. Jack quickly leaned
forward to nip the side of his neck as he whispered,
expended a few brief seconds shucking his clothes, a scant
eternity Daniel endured with as much grace as his condition
allowed. Now much more suitably unattired, Jack set himself
to the happy task of fulfilling his promise.
what a chore it was! While the object of his devotion willing
yielded himself up as a sacrifice upon the altar of Jack's
adoration he began to slowly, deliberately claim what was
his. Hands roamed hungrily, stroking, touching, discovering,
fondling, mouth seeking, tongue avidly tasting, licking,
teeth teasing, mapping the length and breadth of the beloved
flesh laid before him, displayed, undefended and quivering
all for his pleasure. A banquet of delights that moaned
and shook and gasped and heaved beneath the slightest touch.
was completely lost, subsumed and awash in a consuming
tidal wave of overwhelming sensation. Jack found himself
not far behind him. Every sound Daniel made beneath his
hands, every tremor of delight rippling through him as
he was kissed and caressed fanned the bright flame of joy
within Jack until it was a roaring inferno he was sure
would utterly consume him.
ablaze, mind inflamed, passion his only reason Jack stroked
the sleek, heaving plane of Daniel's abdomen, his hand
moving slowly downward, drawn like a magnet to the throbbing
staff of Daniel's need, while his mouth closed once more
upon the supple lips framing the warm, moist cavern of
unutterable pleasure. He thrust his tongue eagerly into
the welcoming sanctuary as he stroked the pulsing shaft
he had discovered, gently at first, then with firmer, faster
strokes. Responding to his intimate attentions Daniel began
to gasp and whimper with ecstasy. Tears spilled from his
eyes, he tried to flail his head helplessly on the pillow
but was pinned by Jack's enveloping mouth, impaled by his
to go, nowhere to hide. Nothing to do but claw desperately
at the sheets, but even those useless handholds won't stop
you from tumbling into the rapturous heights of pleasure…
for me, Danny…
Daniel - arching upward, screaming, sobbing warm life fluid
spurting, shooting, trickling down his hand, through his
fingers, own mind shrieking fire exploding in his loins,
clasping Daniel to his chest still screaming, insane
convulsing with ecstasy, his own cries mingling as beloved
arms clutch him desperately, inseparable as the tide sweeps
them both away….
going down in flames to be resurrected by them once again.
Jack awoke on fire, to discover Daniel kissing him avidly,
swarming over him greedily, murmuring low words of love
punctuated by licking and kissing and sucking BITING oh
that was good, and Jesus what he could do with that mouth,
hands weren't too bad either oh GOD well, letting someone
else do all the work was good too…
was reluctantly pulled from the warm place where he had
been floating by a most enticing smell. Cooking. Something
was cooking. What was that – bacon? He had bacon? Who knew?
feeling more than fuzzy he opened his eyes, for a moment
confused by the surroundings. Where – oh. Daniel's room.
He was in Daniel's bed. Daniel's bed! He sat up, looking
beside him. No Daniel. That would explain the bacon.
was suddenly startled by the sound of a warm chuckle. Looking
up he saw Daniel standing in the doorway, washed, scrubbed,
dressed, his face slightly flushed with indulgent delight
as he looked fondly at the man blinking sleepily at him.
he was so beautiful…
you're certainly a sight for sore eyes," Daniel laughed
at him. "About time you woke up."
Jack affected an offended tone. "Respect for the
exhausted! I didn't get a lot of sleep last night. As you MAY
was that you?" Daniel replied archly.
lucky you're all the way over there," Jack growled.
"If you were closer I'd have to kiss that smirk right off
could try," Daniel countered, his lips twitching
provocatively. Jack felt certain parts of himself waking up
rather more quickly than others. Jesus…
could come over here and save us both a lot of energy. Better
put to better use."
talker," Daniel chuckled. "Later. I'm cooking right
say," Jack leered at him.
rolled his eyes at him. "Honestly, you're impossible. Why
do I even bother trying to talk to you?"
people look at you funny when you talk to yourself?" Jack
grinned. He patted the spot on the bed beside him. "Don't
be such a tease. C'mere."
down, Colonel, I told you I'm cooking breakfast. I just
came up here to tell you it'll be ready soon. Go take a
shower. I'm making waffles."
way! Blueberry? With that sprinkly stuff you put on them?
Hey, I'm there!"
as much," Daniel sighed as he watched his friend and
lover sweep back the covers, spring up from the bed and stride
toward him in all his glory.
he was beautiful…
didn't resist as Jack wrapped his arms around him and kissed
I tell you how much I missed your cooking?" he said
that all you missed?" Daniel breathed, nibbling on his
if I'd known how hot you are," Jack returned just before
he devoured Daniel's mouth with his own.
and gasping, Daniel broke the kiss and pushed Jack away.
what are you trying to do, take out my tonsils? Go take
a shower, you randy bastard! You want waffles, you're not
going to get them if you keep kissing me like that."
made a show of considering his options. "Oh boy, tough
choice." He gave Daniel a peck on the cheek and then
began to walk to the bathroom. "Definitely waffles."
sure know how to hurt a guy!" Daniel laughed.
around," Jack shot back at him. Plenty more where that
I know it! Nice ass, Jack!
keep in shape. All those months chasing you. Going to shower
now. Sure you don't want to come?"
that last night. Thanks. Going to go waffle for a bit. Don't
be too long. I'll try to keep it hot for you."
you SHUT UP already! Now I have to take a COLD shower!"
laughed at him and began to walk back to the kitchen.
wasn't until he had emerged from the shower slightly more
aware than when he had gone in and was toweling himself
off Jack realized what had just happened.
had been talking to him like his old self. Strong,
bright-eyed, alert. Not a shadow or tremor in sight. Jack
hurried to his room, quickly threw on some clothes and then
rushed to the kitchen to make sure he hadn't been imagining
crept up behind Daniel, threw his arms around his waist and
almost got a spatula in the face.
DO that!" Daniel scolded as he twisted around in Jack's
arms. "Sneaking up on a guy like that. Make NOISE or
Jack started to growl into Daniel's ear.
DOWN!" Daniel brandished the spatula at him. "I mean
it! I'm armed!"
tough guy," Jack shrugged and retreated. "Okay, I'm
suitably cowed. When you start making with kitchen utensils
you aren't fooling around. I'll behave."
be the day," Daniel snorted.
was as good as his word, and the waffles were as good as
he remembered. Jack waited until they had eaten, and were
following the repast with a cup of Daniel's excellent coffee,
which Jack had quite missed as well, before he asked the
how are you?"
do I look?" Daniel returned.
Jack answered sincerely. No jokes, no fooling around.
pretty much how I feel. I woke up this morning, and I was
just – okay. No shakes, no confusion, no headache, no feeling
like I am going to split apart at the seams. And the best
part – no pills!"
sure that's such a good idea?" Jack asked cautiously.
I look like I need to take a tranquilizer?" Daniel said,
posing the question honestly and not looking as if he resented
Jack for making him ask it.
whatever you say," Jack replied. "Still, it would
make me feel better if we took a trip in to see the Doc. Just
so she can take a look at you. I'm sure you're right, but
I would just feel better…" he shrugged sheepishly.
"What can I say? I worry."
know." Daniel reached across the table and patted his
hand fondly. "I don't always say it because half the time
I don't want to admit it, but I'm glad. I'm not always as
tough as I let on."
that one out for myself," Jack grinned. "Hey, not
just a pretty face, I'll have you know."
one earned him a smile. Not that he would have needed it
to feel happier than he already was. What he had ever done
to deserve this he didn't know, but what he did know was
he wasn't going to blow it and he wasn't going to waste
cooked. That means I wash the dishes. Right?"
checking. But you always cook."
no, I'd kill us both!"
if I was stupid enough to eat it."
pulled a face at him and got up to commence his part of
kitchen detail. Things were good. But then, he'd never doubted
they would be. Daniel had been, and still was his friend.
That they had added a new level to their friendship didn't
change what already was between them, except to make it
wouldn't be having any 'where is this going' kinds of
conversations with Daniel. Completely unnecessary. 'This' was
going exactly the same way they'd always been going. Wherever
their road took them, side by side.
whenever no one was looking – hand in hand.
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