VARIEGATED GREY BY PHOENIX
Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves
Angst. Drama. Episode Tag.
A Major re-telling of 'Shades of Grey'.
Grey from the perspective of one of the members
of SG-1 who was left in the dark.
|| 560 Kb
I haven't been able to track down an original Part
0 for this one (it's old!) but it was written
some time in early 2001. I think.
of Grey' from another perspective.
Just me. Me and my stuff and my fishies and my beer and
my jammies. Nice jammies. Very nice. No slippers, no
socks. Just jammies. Nice jammies. Purrrrpple.
Oh, look at that. Shit, now they've got beer on them.
Damn. All wet now. Smelly. Messy. Mustn't be messy. No
messes. Off - take 'em off. Damned buttons. Damned messes.
Don't make a mess, Daniel, don't make waves. No messes.
There, that's better. Beer. Have more beer.
Hate beer. Drinking it anyway. This is about EFFECT,
Plenty effected. Uh, a-ffected. Whatever. Beer number
four. Shooting for six. Don't think I'm gonna make it.
do you think, Jack, can I drink all six? Jack?"
forgot. He's a fish. He can't talk. Jack hates my fishies.
Don't know why, they never did anything to him. Says they're
dumb. Not dumb. Jack hates 'em. So I named the biggest
one after him. He hates him the most. Wants to buy me
a cat just to feed him to it. It to him. Something gets
eaten, anyway. Then he'd feed the cat to something else.
All part of the food chain. Like beer.
nice. Sitting on my floor. With my beer. Talking to my
fish. Named Jack. This is fun. I could get used to this.
Might even get to like beer. After a few hundred bottles.
Jack would like that. The other one, not the fish.
Not supposed to be doing this. No thinking about Jack.
Nope. Nope. No Jack. Jack all gone. Gone bye bye.
Think of something else. Grey guys. Gobs and gobs of
greasy grey guys. Kick 'em all to the moon. Every last
one of them, boom, to the moon. Boom. Moon. Hey, that
rhymes. Sorta. Boom. There goes anther one. Boom.
Oops, there goes the beer. Another mess.
that sound? There it is again. This place got an echo?
Loud, like pounding. Yelling. Daniel? Hey, that's me.
Daniel, I know you're in there! Are you all right? DANNY!
OPEN THE FUCKING DOOR!"
language. Mrs. Fitzsimmons isn't going to like that.
Open the door? That's a joke. Can't even if I wanted to.
Don't know where it is right now.
Go away. Nothing to see here. Just fishies and beer.
Where did you come from?
seeing too clearly right now, but that's definitely Jack.
Standing over me with a look on his face I've never seen
before. Looks half-crazy. Nutso. Crackers, bonzo, flipped
his lid -
for god's sake, you scared the CRAP out of me! Why didn't
you open the door? Jesus Christ, you're - you're drunk!
beside me. Now that his face is closer, I can see him
more clearly. Not as blurry. More certain of what I'm
look mad any more. Looks worried. Puts a hand on my arm,
then reaches out and tries to take the bottle from my hand.
I protest as I hug it tightly to me. I need it. Get your
He smiles at me like I'm twelve, and shakes his head.
"I think you've had enough, Dannyboy. You're
the second time he's said that. He is mistaken. I am
so far beyond drunk I am practically sublime.
where you're wrong," I declare loftily as I clutch my bottle
to my chest. "I am not DRUNK! I am PIXILATED."
as I inadvertently spray him. Serves him right for being
in my face. His eyes, so close. I can actually see them,
now. So warm, so dark, like big, brown, limpid pools.
Limpid. I said limpid. It's a cliché, but there it is.
obfuscated, marinated, intoxicated, noshed, sloshed, potted,
besotted - "
that's not right. That's - that's something...something
you are, Danny, I think you've had enough."
are so toasty and warm, as warm as his voice. Like chocolate.
Nice, hot chocolate. Velvety. Sweet. Soothing. No nutritional
I just made a joke but I don't care. All I want to do
is look at him and feel everything he is seeping into me.
Way down deep inside... I haven't seen him in such a long
time and I've missed him so much. Missed his eyes and
his nose and his mouth, the way it kinda quirks, there, in
the corner, when he smiles, like that. Yeah, just - just
like that. Missed that. Nice smile. Warm. Like
he is. He's so nice and...warm, and - and safe, and
all of a sudden I'm tired and I feel cold. So cold, tired.
I want to melt and close my eyes and get warm in him and
just let go...
on, Danny, let's get you to bed so you can sleep this off.
Give me the bottle now, that's a good boy."
good boy. Not. I've been bad. Very bad. Have to be worse.
He's not supposed to be here. Not any more. Have to make
him go away.
I snap at him. "Leave me alone. I'm fine. Fine. Go
home, Jack. Just - go home."
slightly at my words, pulls away in reaction to my rejection.
I have to look away from him. I don't want to see how
much I've hurt him yet again.
see you to bed, first," he says quietly. "Then I'll go.
I don't want you stumbling around here in the state you're
in, hurting yourself. "
need your help!" I protest as he starts to pull me up.
I haven't got the strength or coordination to resist him.
It must be the beer; my body is betraying me, leaning into
him, accepting his nearness, his support. Letting him
desperate. Have to make him go away. Even though the
thought of losing the comfort of his presence is making
me shriek inside.
I protest as I make myself push out at him. Push him away,
I have to push.... "Don't wanna go to bed and even if
I did, don't need you to tuck me in!"
and tries to quiet my growing struggles. "Easy Danny,
take it easy. It's me. Don't do this. I'm just trying
to help. Let me take care of you."
of me. Huh, that's a good one. NOW he wants to take care
of me. Where were you when Makepeace had me up against
a tree offering to make a man out of me?
are clutching me tightly, fingers biting into my flesh,
almost hurting. His face, flushed red with anger, eyes
hard and cold.
he cries. "What about Makepeace? What the hell are you
talking about, Daniel? What did that bastard DO to you?"
say that out loud? Whoah. Must have. He's mad now.
Mad at Makepeace. Not good enough. Want him mad at me.
do YOU care?" I throw back at him. "You were too busy
with your PALS. Your NEW pals. Your old pals weren't
good enough for you. Not good enough for your little grey
buddies. We're STUPID. We can't be trusted to keep a
secret. Only Jack. Just Jack. Good 'ole JACK. Everybody's
lets his grip relax. He's looking at me sadly, now. Still
holding on to me but not hurting. Not on the outside,
like that, Danny. I swear to you. You don't understand."
pretending now. I'm really angry. Hadn't meant to be,
but I care about him, and what they made him do just wasn't
plenty," I grumble as I resume trying to break out his
embrace. "I'm not STUPID. No matter what the Asgard think.
I worked it out before Hammond told us their stupid conditions.
They had no right - no right to make you go it alone.
We're a team. We've ALWAYS been a team. Always watch
each other's backs. Team - right Jack? What you're always
saying. Nobody's alone, not anymore. All for one.
One for all. Go team! We should have been there
with you. That's what we do for each other. Not fair of
those greasy grey guys to tell us we couldn't."
fairly indignant here. Feel like getting out my list and
going down on it - uh, down it. Jack should take a seat.
Get comfortable. This is going to take a while. It's
a long list and I'm just getting started.
got a funny look on his face. Don't get it. Haven't told
to bed, Danny," he says gently as he starts to try to lead
me out of my living room. "We'll talk about all of this
tomorrow. Later. When you're not...pixilated."
you don't, Jack O'Neill. I might be obfuscated, but I'm
not obtuse. Just don't ask me to spell it. You're hiding
something from me and you're gonna spill it. Yeah, that's
right. Spill it. I must be sobering up. Or adapting
to my current condition.
to bed!" I insist as I give my arm a heroic jerk and actually
manage to break his grip. I pivot about in his grasp,
glaring about the room. "Phone. Where's the phone? Wanna
talk to George. Gonna give him a piece of my mind. Write
a letter to the Asgard. Give them what for, too."
me again, spins me around, making my head and stomach do
a rather nauseating roll. I have no choice, I have to lean
against him, rest my head on his shoulder while I try to
get my brain to stop sloshing around in my skull.
around me, holding me firmly. Warm lips close to my ear
whisper gently, sadly.
lied," he repeats. A little louder this time. I DID hear
right. "He thought it would be easier on me, easier on
you, if he said the Asgard were the ones who set the conditions."
cold again. Really cold.
Asgard?" I say into his shoulder.
he answers, his voice flat. His arms tighten around me
as if he's bracing me for a blow. "It was me. My choice.
I'm the one who wanted all of you out of it. All of my
kids. But mostly - you. To protect you. I wanted to keep
you safe. Didn't want any of it to touch you - Danny,
I - JE-SUS!"
as my knee comes up and connects with his crotch. With
a vengeance. Crumples and drops like a stone to the floor
where he lies at my feet, gulping and clutching himself.
over him and look down, inspecting my handiwork. Not a
contrite bone in my body.
you'll think twice, next time, when you feel an urge to
'protect' me coming on!" I declaim and then step over
I need to get some air. Take a hike. Clear my head. Go
somewhere Jack O'Neill ISN'T.
I have to find my shoes. And the door.
be a problem.
still moaning loudly and cursing even louder. He's taken
my name in vain several times. Talk to the fish, the archaeologist
ain't listening. I'm busy. Trying to find my jacket. Given
up on the shoes.
luck with the jacket. Found one arm. Just give me a sec,
as soon as I get the other one I'm outta here.
for the door when Jack grabs me again. Crap. I guess I
didn't knee him hard enough.
up from behind me, wrapping his arms around my chest. "Quit
fooling around, Danny!" he grates in my ear. "Starting
to lose my patience, here."
it take to get you off my back?" I snap at him as I ram
an elbow into his stomach. He emits a startled puff of
air, but doesn't loosen his grip.
than you've got, Dannyboy," he hisses as he begins to haul
me back into the apartment. "You're not going anywhere
in this condition except to bed. Stop fighting me, you're
thing to say, Jack.
pushed around, put upon, threatened, bullied, hauled about,
made to heel just one too many times. I'm done being everyone's
whipping boy. Even yours.
down hard on his instep, hard enough to make him loosen
his hold, even though I'm not wearing shoes. Then I bring
my arms up swiftly under his to break his grip across my
of surprise - working in my favour. He doesn't think I'm
capable of being this coordinated, the state I'm in, so
I'm halfway to the door again before he recovers from his
shock and comes after me once more.
make it. My hand is practically on the doorknob. I'm
yanked back again. Jack's starting to piss me off.
around swinging. Not only do I miss him, but am almost
carried to the floor with the force of the attempt. I'm
totally humiliated to feel him catch me and stop me from
falling over on my face.
tussle, him trying to stop me, control me. Me just trying
to make him let go. We lurch down the hall, colliding with
the walls. Burst into the living room, still flinging each
other about. We bump into a shelf. Something falls, crashes.
BREAKS. Bastard! I swing at him again, hitting him this
time. He swears, his hold on my other arm relaxes, I jerk
abruptly away from him.
he cries, eyes wide with alarm. I take another abrupt
step back, only to feel the hard edge of the coffee table
against the back of my legs. Balance thrown, I'm flailing
my arms wildly, trying not to go over. He's reaching toward
me, straining to catch my hand.
to make it.
over, can't stop myself. Pain explodes in my brain as
the back of my head hits....
up...what? Was I sleeping? Was I - no. Not - not sleeping.
Jack...we were...and I...fell down, must have - did I hit
my head? Where…what's going on? Sound - what's that -
that AWFUL sound...
That's - that's Jack! Oh god, Jack! Don't!
understood why the first reaction one usually has to the
tears of another is to try and make them stop. I think
I do, now. It's not out of concern for the sufferer.
Not to comfort them. It's to make that - that SOUND...stop.
sound. The dreadful anthem of an overburdened heart.
Pain given form and expression. Nothing anyone wants to
is holding me tightly. I'm cradled in unrelenting arms,
nestled against a chest heaving erratically beneath my
cheek. Being rocked almost compulsively as sorrow rains
down around me.
lips move against the top of my head as he grips me with
renewed ferocity, takes another shuddering breath and continues
to brokenly reiterate, "Sorry, sorry, sorry…"
Never. Never cried before. I've never seen him cry.
Not for anything. Now, he's - because I -
have I been doing? Being an ass. A drunken ass. All
that stuff we were fighting about - doesn't matter. Not
important. Not if it does this to Jack.
to reach up to him, but evidently am yet a bit shy of recovering
full motor control. "Jack?" I croak as my hand flops
ineffectually at my side.
sharply in surprise, the hand cupped protectively about
the back of my head trembles.
is a wrenching mixture of joy and disbelief. The too real
vulnerability of the sound echoes sickly inside me.
I'd killed you," he says with horrible, fatalistic conviction.
Then sighs with shuddering grief once more as he draws
me even closer into the full force of his relief.
you fell - that sound, when your head - I thought you were
dead. Only for a sec, 'til I got to you, but it was enough.
Oh God, enough - too much…."
is so deeply buried in my hair I can barely hear the agonized
confession. "You were lying there, so still, so pale -
broken - Couldn't fix it. Couldn't make him better.
Oh God, Danny if I'd hurt you too!."
a lot more lucid than I should be. My head is remarkably
clear for all I've just done to it.
the fall did me some good. Knocked some sense into me.
Better late than never, I suppose.
you kidding me?" I sally forth, trying for casual toss
away and ending up sounding faltering. "It'd take more
than a bump on the head to do ME in."
Jack sniffs, still not giving an inch of the hold he has
on me. "Forgot how hard it was."
to shake once more as release and reaction overwhelm him.
His arms quiver as another wave of pain sweeps through
you," he chokes. "Thought I'd….thought - "
expression of his anguish is soundless. I can't stand
I try to reach him with my voice as I finally manage to
make my hand work. I pat him gently on the back to get
him to listen to me.
curls in my hair, he crushes me savagely to him and begins
to rock with an angry, almost obsessive rhythm. His chest
vibrates with the cruel sounds of self-hatred as the words
come pouring out of him and into me.
NOT okay, Danny! Stop trying to cover for me all the time
- I've screwed up! I've screwed it all up! Had to have
it my own way, had to play God, Mister Shit Hot Protector
who thinks he knows what's best for everyone and the truth
is all he knows is how to screw up. Every damned thing
I touch - I hurt everyone I love, make it SO easy for them
to hate me."
to listen to me if it kills him.
hate you, Jack," I say loudly as I give him another pat
on the back. "I was a LITTLE angry with you, okay, but
I don't hate you. Not hate. Never, never that."
rocking, frozen in motion. He's heard me. I say nothing
as he holds me without moving, considering what I've told
you should," he finally answers in a worn, tired voice.
Sounding more like himself, finally, than he has since
I came to. "You should hate my guts for what I did and
said to you."
not what I was angry about, Jack." I'm still feeling a
little fuzzed by the beer, not to mention the bump on the
head, and am finding it easier to focus my thoughts if
I maintain the gently stroking motions my hand is making
up and down Jack's back.
be soothing him as well. I can feel the tension in his
body starting to ease as my words and touch gradually coax
the self-loathing out of him.
the whole thing was an act," I tell him. "The business
on Tollana. The 'bad boy O'Neill', shit at the SGC. The
crap at your house. I worked out what you were up to.
Even figured out why. Well, mostly, anyway. Give me a
little credit. You were just doing your job. I understood
that. What I DON'T understand is why you didn't trust me
enough to let me help you. I thought we were better friends
than that, Jack. Thought you had more confidence in me.
I wouldn't have let you down. But you didn't trust me
enough to let me try."
back from me abruptly. His tear-stained, haggard face
is shocked and he shakes his head in dismay as he makes
his swift, defensive protestations.
You've got it all wrong. It wasn't like that! Wasn't because
I didn't trust you. No way. Trust you with my life."
why didn't you let me back you up?" I press. "If you knew
I could do the job, why cut me out?" Not letting this
point go. I can't. Too much at stake here. If I can't
trust him not to put himself in this kind of needless danger
again, I don't know what I'm going to do.
to," he sighs with regret, but also complete candor. "This
was nothing you could get involved in. Had to keep you
out of it. For your sake. Just the way it had to be."
anger swelling up inside me again and struggle to control
it. I don't want to lose my temper, don't want to shut
him down with my ego-driven indignation. I'm not entirely
successful. I see him flinch, imperceptibly, as he reads
me as unerringly as only he can.
need you to shield me from danger, Jack. I face it every
time we walk through the gate together. Always have. You
don't try and keep me under glass out there, don't seem
to think I can't cut it as a member of SG-1 so why - "
same thing," he replies quickly, amputating the rest of
my statement. "The rules of that game are fair. Black
and white. Straight up. You know them, accept them, can
understand them. They've been hard to take, but they haven't
changed…..you. Not like this could have. I couldn't take
the chance of that happening to you."
squeeze shut for a second as if he's in pain, and a gust
of bitter laughter wrenches from him. He cups my cheek
with a trembling hand and when his eyes open once more
they look down at me with aching tenderness.
you don't understand, thank god you don't and I pray to
god you never will. I made that call to keep you from
ever having to, and if you hate me for it, so be it. I'll
do whatever it takes to keep shit like that from touching
you. It won't get you. Ever. It won't change you.
Not as long as I'm alive to make damned sure it doesn't."
speak. I'm bewildered by his words and fascinated by the
force and fervour of his emotion. He's looking at me with
the fire and passion of a man who's finally found a cause
worth dying for. And god help anyone who tries to stop
him from doing it if he has to. He's looking at me like
I'm his personal Holy Grail.
his version of the meaning of life....
just come home from taking a plunge into a cesspool, and
it's gonna take a long time to get myself clear of the
stench. That business out there was down and dirty, the
people I had to rub elbows with - worse. They don't play nice,
Daniel, and they don't play games someone like you would have
a chance in. You go in into their arena and try to play fair
and you get eaten alive. It's strictly survival of the
slimiest. No rules, no honour, no conscience, no
quarter. You gotta trust me on this."
deeply and strokes my cheek with sincere regret. As if
he's trying to mitigate the awfulness of the truth he is
sharing with me. He doesn't want to, but I asked for it.
And he's giving it to me.
rat-hole of thieves and traitors was no place for someone
like you. And the people they worked for are even worse.
Not getting their hands on you. Never. Me?" he shrugs.
"They can't do any worse to me than I've already done myself.
With all the things I've seen and done I've sold my soul
a hundred times over, so what difference does it make if
I get it a little dirtier for the cause? Figure walking
by your side has helped me buy a little bit of it back.
I keep trying, anyway, 'cause you've shown me I've got
something to fight for again. Some reason, finally, for
are you talking about, Jack?" I'm dismayed at what I'm
hearing. How can he see himself this way? It's just not
better than all of them," I tell him firmly.
of you to say so," he sighs as his thumb moves gently across
still doesn't make it true. He doesn't put it words, but
I can see it in his eyes.
just SAY so, it IS so!" I'm so indignant on his behalf
I'm starting to stutter. "You - you're one of the - no
- the bravest person I've ever known! And unselfish! You
never hold back - never turn away! Never say no to anyone
who needs you! You've helped save the world, more than
once. How many people can say that?"
now, a wide, tremulous smile, so much affection in his
expression it's warming me to the very centre of my being.
the world. Big deal. What's that? My duty? Go out there
like a good colonel and give them hell for the flag, Uncle
Sam, Mom and apple pie? That's not enough, anymore.
Not what I do it for. The world can go to hell in a hand-basket
and already has for all I care; I did it for you. YOU!
You're what's worth putting myself on the line for. You're
different from the rest of us. You see things, know things.
What you 'are' has to be protected. And anyone who wants
to mess with it is going to have to answer to me. You're
the only 'world' I'm fighting for, Danny. All the rest
of that 'rah rah' crap doesn't mean squat to me anymore
are devouring me as he lays himself wide open. I've never
seen him more earnest, more serious.
you out for your own good. I can't explain it to you any
other way, Danny. I just can't. I know you're angry with
me because of it and I'm sorry for that, but not for what
I did. I'll do it again if I have to. Whatever it takes
to keep you being you. It's what I HAVE to do, in order
- in order to be me. I hope you can understand that.
And can forgive me."
hold me as he begs me to grant his request with every fibre
of his being. He knows what it means for both of us if
I can't. Or won't.
how can I not? What can I say in the face of such honesty
and devotion except - I wish I'd known sooner. I don't
know whether to laugh or cry, he tried so hard, meant so
well, thought he was doing the right thing, doesn't know
when he went out there, alone, without me, thinking me
safe, fighting for them, for us - for me.
know what went on at 'home' while he was gone.
he was trying to protect me from - I was back here, alone,
without him, right in the middle of it. He doesn't know.
What I did. For him. What I WOULD have done. For him.
of mine you think so highly of, Jack? I'd sell it in a
minute for you.
we almost made a terrible mistake. I think we need to
talk. About a lot of things. Talk……. Maybe, maybe later.
Right now, I can't even think. I keep looking up, into
his eyes, seeing, seeing something new and yet familiar.
I know this look, this light. Has a name, I KNOW this,
can almost feel…..coming, coming close……
suddenly, with relief, as he reads the wonder in my expression.
A sheepish look overtakes his face.
to me going on about keeping you safe," he sighs. "Look
what I've done to your place. I've done more damage here
than a horde of Jaffa. I - I busted your door," he confesses.
up some of your stuff. That vase you had over there isn't
looking so good."
I hope it wasn't the canopic jar. "Oh, that old thing,"
I smile weakly as I force myself not to look.
the table up pretty good." His voice is getting softer,
as are his eyes. The warmth of his hand cupping my cheek...
personal vandal," I blurt suddenly, not sure why. "Need
a little havoc and destruction in the comfort of your own
living room, no need to look any farther than Jack."
him a little, hoping to make him feel better. That's right,
that's why I'm babbling non sequiters in his face. Not
because I'm suddenly nervous, unsettled by the light in
his eyes, and the strange fluttering feeling in my chest,
moving in time to the gentle stroking of his fingers on
nervous, I burble. Compulsively. Open my mouth and out
it comes. The first flitting thought in my whirling brain
sees its chance and takes flight.
is to say vandal as the term has come into common usage,
meaning a person who deliberately damages property, not
to be confused with the Vandals. Vandals as in Vendsyssel,
but you've got to be careful about that sort of place-name
evidence. And no, it's got nothing to do with the Vendel
Period, so don't ask, not that you would. Anyway, a bit
of a blood-thirsty lot, the Vandals - if you go with Procopius,
you might think they were the Goa'ulds of the time…. makes
me wonder whether Belisarius was a Tok'ra -"
Jack says softly, his eyes shining.
impels me into instant silence. An almost Pavlovian response
that's developed to a 'signal' Jack's had to give to me
on more than one occasion due to a propensity I have for…..
going off in all different directions. It means the same
thing now as it always has.
drifting off topic. Focus.
to the point.
up into the face of the man who encompasses everything
that makes MY life worth living, to see a single tear slipping
down his cheek. The only one I've actually witnessed,
though I'm full of the memories of the passage of many others.
I reach up to wipe it from his face, as if in so doing I
could take away the traces of everything that's hurt him.
enveloping eyes speak a silent, unmistakable question as
he turns his head and brushes his lips against my palm.
The caress is sweet but electric, coursing through me as
his aching but respectful gaze asks permission.
my hand along his face, curve it around his head until
it rests upon the back of his neck, and give it.
my head up toward him as his mouth descends to nestle into
This is what love tastes like. Such a distant memory, but
unforgettable, unmistakable. What I saw in his eyes I
now know from his lips as they tremble upon mine with hunger
and exaltation. I taste his reverence and relief, happiness
and total wonder in finally being here with me, feeling
me kissing him back in kind.
me. And - and I...
tender, sweetly tentative becomes deeper, stronger. He
responds to my welcome with increasingly ardour, moving
inside my mouth with hotly questing intensity. My head
reels with a new kind of intoxication. I'm falling swiftly
under his spell, becoming quite drunk with his mouth, his
smell, his breath, coming raggedly, swiftly into me, panting,
filling me with life. His life.
moans and murmurs my name I feel something inside me break
free, something long hidden, almost forgotten, walled away
in the part of me I thought would never live again.
locked away deep inside me, withholding the secret it guarded
- even from me. The part that loves him and has always
loved him and knew this one, essential truth even though
I didn't, now spills out of its sundered prison, filling
all of me.
my head spinning with realization, joy and the sudden,
urgent need to breathe. The room spins, darkens, I feel
as if I'm falling and clutch desperately at the support I know
will never fail me.
easy there," Jack chides gently. "Don't worry, I've got
you. Little too much all at once, huh?"
I gasp, not quite able to open my eyes yet. He holds me.
He waits. I'm okay. Jack's got me.
he asks me when he knows I can see him. He doesn't say
for what, but I know what he means.
Never." I smile up at him, and his shy, pleased grin is
a sight I'm never going to forget.
give me any grief about tucking you in for the night this
I shake my head and wish I hadn't. "I surrender."
buy that for an second," he laughs as he helps me to my
feet. "You might bow to the occasion but you'll never surrender."
you know me, Jack.
than I knew myself, it would seem.
our way carefully through the battle-zone, and by the time
we make it to my bedroom Jack is almost bearing my entire
weight on his shoulders. Too many late nights. Too much
worry. Possible concussion.
much beer. I'm ready to crash and sleep for a week.
back the quilt, slips my jacket off and gently lowers me
to the waiting mattress. I already have my arms around
his neck and pull him swiftly down to me before he can
go," I plead as I hug him tightly.
worry," he kisses me softly. "As long as you'll have me,
Tired. Have to sleep, now."
he reassures me as he pulls the blankets over us, and settles
my head on his chest. "Sleep's good. You sleep. We'll
both sleep. Everything's all right, now."
I echo with some difficulty. Getting hard to think. To
talk. Too tired for anything but falling into the safety
of the strong arms encircling me, feeling the heart beneath
me beating its steady tattoo of fidelity. I trust what
it's telling me, let its strong, comforting rhythm soothe
me into the first real sleep I've had in what feels like
slowly, painlessly, drifting languidly upward through a
sea of serenity. Attaining awareness by sweetly effortless
increments. The closer I draw to awakening the better
I feel. Safer, more secure, more certain the world I am
approaching is one I truly wish to exist in.
first time in a long time I'd rather be awake then still
dreaming. For what's waiting for me in reality is far better
than anything I've ever dreamt.
me to sleep and now it receives me once more. I come awake
to the feeling of strong arms surrounding me and the almost
forgotten sweet stirrings of my body to a touch it aches
in Jack's arms without moving, drinking in the sensations.
Drown in the feeling of his hand moving slowly down my
back, stroking me tenderly, touching but not intruding.
I bask in it, desire burgeoning within me as gently as
the hand invoking it.
let him know I'm awake. He's trembling with the need to
touch me, and yet won't take the chance he's not free to.
After all, I was a little drunk last night. And confused.
As far as he knows, I don't remember what happened. Or
that we kissed, even. He's probably afraid I'll wake
up and look at him and say something like 'how much did
I have to drink last night and what are you doing in my
much as he wants to - or I want him to, for that matter,
but no way he's going to press his luck until he's absolutely
sure of his welcome.
back to me to give him the opening he's looking for.
too drowsy to do much more than submit willingly to the
incredible sensations surging through me, so I give him a
low 'ummmm' of encouragement and press into him. When
his hand freezes, I moan again. This time with disappointment.
stroking me with wordless intensity. Still softly, slowly,
gently, but the strokes get longer, start to range farther
afield upon my tingling, hungry skin.
to chart me in earnest. Exactly what I had in mind.
hands now. Encouraged by my responses he's gotten bolder.
Warm, moist lips are exploring my neck, moving across my
chest, excited by the evidence of my escalating receptivity.
The hand on my back moves lower, slipping beneath the waistband
of my pajamas as his tongue rasps hotly over my right nipple.
of the stimulation sheers through me with an unexpected
jolt. I've never been touched like this when I've loved
before, never experienced this unsuspected, but exquisite
pleasure. The shock of it makes me gasp, arch toward him
and beg for more.
have to ask twice.
fingers cup my buttocks, then knead the flesh with delicious
avidity. He licks the nipple again before taking it in
his teeth and gently nipping it. I'm so far gone in the
resulting pleasure I'm naked without having a clue when
and how I've been separated from my jammies.
waste much time worrying about it.
in my loins is becoming an unbearable ache as he begins
to kiss an excruciatingly pleasurable path down the length
of my torso. Evidently enjoying what he is encountering
as much as I am enjoying the journey. His hand is making
a simultaneously roundabout voyage around my hip, bound,
I am hoping, for the Promised Land.
which traveler I'm rooting for to get there first. Just
so long as they don't take much longer.
rests on my hip as he moves slowly over me, back up to
take a long, lingering taste of my mouth. He rubs his
cheek against mine, his lips hover close to my ear, his hot
breath banking my inner fire.
he whispers, making my name sound like a prayer. "Are you...are
him the only way I can. As I turn my face until our mouths
mingle once more, I take his hand and place it firmly upon
my equally firm ticket to paradise.
make my total, absolute agreement with his intentions any
plainer. He gives a happy sigh and takes me at my word.
slips into my mouth as his fingers wrap around me. I can't
believe how exciting it is to be touched...like this...by
someone else...again. Not just anyone. Him. To feel
HIM, holding me, exploring me while he's kissing me, chuckling
softly at the way I'm moaning and thrashing. He nibbles
my lower lip, licking it teasingly before diving down,
sucking urgently, hotly, tongue thrusting, swirling, tasting
his hand tightens and pumps and sends me jolting, writhing,
the edge into bliss. Sobbing, screaming for him as I shudder
uncontrollably with joy, my body wracked and singing with
completion. Not an end, but only the beginning.
me into his arms. I'm fainting, laughing, crying, and half-unconscious
with the pleasure he's just given me. He murmurs soothing
syllables as he strokes my hair and pets me with infinite,
supportive affection as I come back down.
you gonna live?" he chuckles lightly in response to signs
I'm finally back.
I hope so," I gasp. "I think life just got a whole lot
he says sincerely, as he gently kisses me.
I'm ready to widen my realm of experience," I answer him
with equal sincerity as I reach out and touch HIM for the
with my HAND, anyway. I'm hoping what I've got in mind
right now will go a long way toward making up for another
way we 'connected' last night...
widen and he gasps as I feel his need, straining and twitching
through his cloth covered crotch. "Looks to me as if you
have a problem," I tell him as I lick the side of his face
and start loosening his belt. "I think I have the solution."
ears," he croaks as I lower his zipper and free him.
what I'm seeing," I reply and then lick my lips.
a busy morning, which spills well into the afternoon.
At least I think it's afternoon. Sun's still up. Could
cares? Not like I've got anywhere else I have to be.
Or anywhere else I'd rather be.
a deeply contented sigh and drops his hand on my head.
His fingers fumble absently with my hair as we lie quietly
and completely entwined together.
myself drifting back into a comfortably satiated languor
when I become aware the man beside me is thinking about
something. I can't tell you how I know, I just do.
got something on his mind. It's not much longer before
I find out I'm right.
he says quietly as he plays with my hair. "You knew the
whole thing was a put on.
I think I know where this is going, but I'll wait for him
to tell me.
I was faking."
rather pleased with this explanation and lapses into silence.
But he's not fooling me. He's not done yet.
I didn't mean what I said. So you weren't mad at me, for
Oh dear, sounds like I'm not the only one who's connected
a few dots. Jack might go glassy-eyed when faced with
the prospect of trying to grasp wormhole physics, but you
can't fool him when it comes to people.
straws, Daniel?" he says lightly, but accusingly.
here we go.
well, I - I can explain, that." I'd rather not, but I
- you were doing the Yearling!" he supplies excitedly,
as if in a sudden fit of inspiration.
he says frowning, making a slightly impatient gesture.
"The kid with the orphaned deer he raises and then has
to set free when it grows up and the thing won't go so
he has to throw rocks at it and yell at it to drive it
off and make it go away. THAT deal. You were doing that!"
an uncomfortable analogy. Carrying an aspect to the scenario
I hadn't considered at the time. The boy had to shoot the
deer. Had to deal it the fate he'd been trying to spare
it by hurting it 'for it's own good.'
for good intentions. And arrogant presumption. Thinking
you've got the right to make another's choices for them.
For their own good. I can hardly claim the moral high
ground here. Just as guilty. We're quite a pair, my Colonel
and I. Fighting over which one gets the right to fling
themselves on the hand grenade first. For the other's
good. Good intentions, but an ultimately futile effort.
On both sides. Futile effort, waste of time, all it brought
was hurt, for all our good intentions...
as far down this road as I want to at the moment. I linger
any longer and he's going to know I'm thinking things I'd
rather not get into right now. Not now. Not when we're
so newly happy, coming from a place of such recent, mutual
you to the wild?" I grin teasingly at him. "I have to
confess the idea has crossed my mind on more than one occasion
time it'll be the ass, not the head," he grumbles. "Answer
it was something like that," I admit quietly.
he nods as he resumes stroking my head. "Now we're getting
somewhere. I'm guessing, however, you're not really into
the idea of telling me why, right now."
think of better things to do with our time, yeah."
resting on my stomach moves down to rest atop my -
God! I haven't thought about her in YEARS!
get to it," he continues, unaware I've turned a mental
corner and am trying desperately not to burst into laughter
over what I've found lurking there.
I say somewhat desperately. I know he wants an answer
but I don't know the question.
we'll get to it." He raises his head so he can see my
face. "Right?" Suspicion tinges his tone.
Get to it - drawing straws. We'll get to it. Hopefully
BEFORE he hears about 'not trusting his command.'
wait for THAT one. Yeah, you're right, Jack, I've been
biding my time, just waiting for the moment I could get you
for Plant Boy, Spacemonkey, geek and a host of other
'endearments'. If he doesn't buy it I can always fall
back on pouting.
fair in love and war.
what's so damned funny?"
- it's nothing." Shit, giggling now. He'll never buy
you let ME be the judge of that?"
the hell. Suppose I have to give him SOMETHING to hold
over me. Make him feel better about a LOT of things he's
going to be hearing shortly……
just thinking about Mrs. Smythe-Jones."
a story goes with this, right?"
Good one, too. Oh my, that feels nice. Uh, anyway, Mrs.
Smythe-Jones was this rather British and eccentric woman
my parents briefly engaged as a governess cum babysitter
when I was five. She didn't last long, long story, but
during the time I was entrusted to her severe loving care
I was constantly harangued about the evils of the flesh
and the particular fate which would await me as a consequence
of playing with - as she quaintly put it - my Mortimer."
What YOU'RE playing with right now."
he grins. "THAT old thing. OW!"
time, I'll bite. Anyway, I was just thinking. I wonder
what she'd think if she could see who's playing with my
up at Jack in time to see the huge grin on his face.
probably be Mortified. I know I wouldn't mind."
to kiss him. Right before I give him everything else that's
coming to him.
difference a day makes. Yesterday, without him, everything
was grey. I thought I was doing the right thing when
I denied him.
other plans. Wouldn't accept my sacrifice. The choice
I had no right to make for him. Everything grey has been
banished by his brightness. And I can no more be without
him, now, then he could be without me.
he ever be without me again. We'll be talking about some
choices he made on my behalf, well intentioned, but no
more right than what I did - for him. Somehow I don't
think it'll take much convincing. I think he 's figuring
out the same thing I'm coming to. I'm sure he is.
He's much smarter than he likes to let on. Especially
when it comes to what really matters.
our strength, our protection, everything we need. It's
here. Right here. The two of us, together. Not separate.
Not apart. Together. We almost missed it, came close
to never even knowing it, but thank god, almost is not
the same as never.
somewhere beyond these walls there are things seeking the
dark and twisted paths. Willing to do the unspeakable
for their own contemptible purposes. But together, we're
stronger than all of it. It can't touch us here, and it
won't. Together we'll walk through the valley of shadows,
help anyone who tries to stop us.
Back to Part Three