WORST NIGHTMARE BY PHOENIX
Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves
Romance. Angst. Hurt/Comfort. Drama. Action
Daniel have a date. Complications ensue.
Language. Lots of Language. Woof!
Jack is a real potty mouth in this one. He's got
Originally completed and posted to the net 02 Sep
to Biblio for beta reading. As usual. The ice cream
bit is by her special request. This is billed as
a 'First Time' but technically it really isn't, but it
isn't exactly an ER either, not yet
so I didn't know quite
where to slot it. Tell you what, read it over and
decide for yourselves.
if you will, scenic P6X-289-er. Serene, tranquil, quiet.
quiet if you listen closely you can hear squirrels shitting.
We got yer trees, yer sky, yer frigging woodland creatures,
yer Stargate over yonder we should have already strolled
on through. Three quarters of SG-12 loafing on company
time. Jaffa to the left of me, major to the right of me,
checking out the weird-ass alien plants growing around
the DHD. Yeah, we got everything we need, almost.
it alone, Carter, we're not here to defoliate the frigging
universe in fact, we're not even supposed to still BE here.
We should have signed off on all this goddamned peace and
quiet and gone home ten minutes ago.
the HELL is he?"
shoots me a look equal parts curious and surprised. Crap!
I guess bellowing is a little over the top given Daniel
is only fifteen minutes overdue and that's not exactly
either unusual or cause to be acting like the end of the world
is nigh - like I'm sorta, kinda acting. Ordinarily
Daniel being fifteen minutes overdue would be mildly pissing
me off, it's true, but not like he's pissing me off right now,
because we're not talking ordinarily right now, today,
right now, we're talking ANYTHING but 'ordinarily'.
I'm pissed because I know for the first time in a LONG time
I've got something much better to be doing than sitting
around waiting for Daniel to show up. But the kicker is,
seeing as how that something better involves his direct
and up close and very personal participation, I can't be
getting down to it AND him until he frigging well DOES
show up and we can get the hell back home.
Daniel and Captain Towers will be here - any minute….now…uh
- Sir…" Carter pipes up trying to do her perky 2IC 'let's
just humour the grumpy old colonel' thing before the glare
I'm shooting HER shuts her up.
I'm grumpy. What's it to ya? I got a bird on my shoulder
says I can vent all over the frigging clearing if I want
to and I don't need your approval. So zip it and mind
your own business. I'll fret all I please about mine.
been watching me sitting here twitching like a cat on a hot
tin roof and even though she's usually not too swift on the
uptake when it comes to stuff like this, even she's figuring
out something's up with the colonel. Oh yeah. Something
is most DEFINITELY up.
the matter, Carter, haven't you ever seen a man who's about to
get LAID before? That is, just as soon as the
archaeologist of the hour gets his sweet ass back here so I
can haul him on home and let him have his wicked way with me.
As many times as he wants to.
calm down. I'm getting so worked up I'll be emptying my
clip into the next unfortunate who looks at me sideways and
not only is that sort of thing bad for morale, it's really
hard to explain to George.
BELIEVE Daniel's keeping me waiting like this! I swear
to God, if he's gotten himself sucked in by some meaning of
life Danny-trap… You'd think after years of hand jobs and
cold showers a few extra hours of - anticipation - would be no
big deal, but ever since last night when he - when I - when
Holy Buckets, I never
in a million years thought - I mean, sure, when I was really
into torturing myself I'd let myself go there, that maybe
there was a snowball's chance in hell he saw me - that
way - even a little bit, but mostly I just figured the whole
thing was hopeless and pathetic and bit the bullet. I
was pretty much convinced me and my right hand were going to
be going steady for many long, lonely years to come, and then
the object of all my obsessing took matters into his own
hands and just up and blind-sided me.
archaeologist style. I never even saw him coming.
was, last night, sitting on my couch with his little pouty lip
sticking out, nursing a beer, glaring at me and working
himself into a snit about something. He was
looking so cute and remarkably like someone who needed some
serious teasing, and I was feeling like just the man for the
job 'cause well, he was there, he was asking for it, it was
too damned easy and I figured I didn't have anything else
better to do. That's when my reality got turned on its
ear and suddenly my plans for the evening abruptly changed.
my mouth to start ragging him and he slams his beer down on
the coffee table, looks at me like he's about to pop a blood
vessel or something and yells 'Fuck it - I don't care if you
shoot me! I can't STAND it anymore!' And the next thing
I know I've got an archaeologist sprawled all over me kissing
the shit out of me.
horny little heart.
of the bravest things he's ever done. Impressed the hell
out of me. He really was expecting me to shoot him.
That's why I was kinda glad I was able to turn the tables on
him and throw him a little curve ball of my own.
him was the FARTHEST thing from my mind, much to his surprise.
some breathing room to recover from the shock of discovering
we both actually wanted the same thing. Each other. Who
knew? Not us, that's for sure. Crap, were we dumb, or
what? So there we were, finally on the same page, but even
though Daniel was the one who opened the can of worms he
honestly wasn't expecting me to bite. That's why after
an all too brief interval of extremely enjoyable kissing
and groping Daniel decided he had to book for a bit. Get
in some freaking time. I can't say I blame him. He needed
to process. He's not used to getting what he wants. It
was doing things to his head, but he was okay when he showed
up at the mountain this morning. With bells on and a grin
so wide he had people doing double takes.
take a good look. What's the matter, never seen a guy
who's just gotten his heart's desire before?
was okay. More than okay. He was ready for a rematch.
Me too. Oh yeah.
knew we had this gig here on 289-er to get through, but
fortunately for us it's just a day trip. Couple of hours
on site, poke about and then we're home. For more poking.
a date. Tonight. My place. Me and Daniel. My bed.
Definitely arrived at a consensus on this point. We bandied
about the possibility of dinner and other pre-coital amenities,
but given as how we've been for all intents and purposes
going steady for the past four years already, we figure
we're past the awkward, getting to know you stage and we've
both waited more than long enough for the main event.
thinking we'll be skipping dinner and getting straight down to
dessert. As soon as we get back. To my place. As soon as
he shows up. Any time, Daniel. Now. Now would
be good. Not that I want to RUSH you or anything but -
fuck! 18:15! Where the FUCK is he?
I key my comm and bark into it. "Daniel! It's 18:15.
I'm looking around the RV point and I don't see you. You
wanna tell me why?"
transmitting and wait.
not out of range; they weren't going that far. Just a
little stroll through the woods, over to that mono-blisk or
obo-linth where the folks here said their ancestors had
recorded the story of how they'd put the boots to the Goa'uld.
At least that's what Daniel was able to piece together from
the tapes SG-12 sent back and from talking to the village
elders. He'd gotten a lot from his chat and he had the
tapes, but he wanted to go check out the thingee for himself,
make sure Manners hadn't missed anything when she'd gone
over it. So he was just going to take a little detour,
scope the stone for like half an hour and then join us
at the gate. I sent Towers with him 'cause he knew where
it was, and because Daniel and I - alone in the woods -
right now - not a good idea.
Now I wish
to God I hadn't let him out of my sight!
I call into my comm again. "Towers! Come in!"
nothing, I'm getting nothing back. I'm swallowing down
my panic, watching Carter and Teal'c instantly responding to
the lack of response, heading on over to my side. I'm
just about to give it one last yell when we all snap around at
the unmistakable sounds of someone running through the woods
towards us and one of the villagers comes crashing into
him. He's one of the gaggle of interested and optimistic
young bucks in search of mating opportunities who were
hanging around Carter, making her a little nervous. I
can't remember his name. Daniel knows it.
the kid gasps as Teal'c catches him before he drops to the
ground and helps him on over. He looks like he's been in
a hell of a scrap ending with some basic abject fleeing for
his life. I'm getting a very bad feeling about this.
he shakes his head and fights to get the words out.
"The Hrsus - they returned to the stone - it is sacred to
them - found your men there -"
a hard time talking because I've grabbed him by the arms
and am shaking him. Severely. "What about my men?" I
manage to holler at him before Carter and Perlman haul
dead - the other - taken," he gulps.
something else but my mind is frozen on that one word.
Dead. Can't get past it, can't let go of it. Can't absorb
Dead. Someone is dead. Oh God - Daniel. He's not - can't
- he can't be! Not that. Not - not dead. Not Daniel.
didn't think it was possible ANYTHING could smell worse than
a mastage but these horse-a-lope things got an aroma happening
here so bad they'd be making a mastage's eyes water.
far as I'm concerned if they can get us to the maniacs who've
got Danny before the creeps can hustle him back to their city
the beasties can stink as bad as they please. I just
hope I'm not going to be smelling like one of them myself for
the next week or so.
my teeth and grab hold of the front part of the saddle as an
unexpected jolt almost sends me flying out of it. A
smooth ride, this ain't. I glance up ahead to see
how Teal'c is doing. He's bouncing away on his own ball-breaker
with four legs at the side our guide. Who we acquired
at the village, the same place we got the transportation.
What the hell is his name - Jori - something - says he
knows the quickest way to get us to this bridge the Here-whatzits
are going to have to use to cross the gorge separating
their turf from this one. According to the kid these Here-whozibubs
usually stick to their own stomping grounds, 'cause other
than Danny's stone there's nothing over here they want.
Which is probably a DAMNED good thing for the folks from
this neck of the woods. From what I've managed to suss
out about 'em these 'Neither Here nor there' guys are wackos
no one in their right mind would want coming to call.
and a couple more guys from the village have our six. Carter
should be setting out with the reinforcements from the SGC by
got my head back on straight I sent Manners through the gate
for back-up, but Haman - turns out that's the kid's name -
told us we were on the clock and couldn't hang around and wait
for them. One bit of good news - when we got to him
Towers turned out to be not quite as dead as Haman thought
he was, so I had Carter and Voight see to him while Teal'c,
Perlman and I went with the kid to the village to scare
up our little posse. Towers is a good man. I'm glad he's
still with us. But not half as glad as I'm going to be
once I get to Danny and see for myself he's still safe
is. He's okay. He'll be fine. Anything else is NOT an
option. They won't - I won't let them - I'm not even going
to THINK about….
go losing it again. Not, not, not gonna flip out, here.
Breathe, Jack, focus. Calm the fuck down. Stay in colonel
mode. Keep your mind on the job and getting it done and
nothing else. Never mind my guts are in knots, my heart's
in frigging tatters and I want to throw the book AND my
sanity out the window and go freaking BALLISTIC. I can't
believe this is happening. This is some kind of stinking
nightmare. The kind you know HAS to be a bad dream because
it's just - just can't, can't be happening for real. Why
this - why - why NOW? I swear to God he's going to be
the frigging death of me. I love him to pieces, but -
really what it's all about, isn't it? What's really making
me want to tell the colonel to take a hike while 'Jack'
goes off his nut and goes through anything and anyone who
tries to keep me from Daniel. I love him. I've been so
fucking gone on him for so damned long I can't even see
straight. I love Daniel. And he - me - we didn't
come out and do the hearts and flowers thing, but he didn't
have to say the words. I could see it, plain as day in
his eyes. He feels the same way about me. He does.
He really FREAKING DOES. I couldn't believe it.
Part of me still can't. Never won a goddamned thing in
my life and yet, here it is. The jackpot, the brass
ring, the lucky strike, the mother-lode, royal fucking flush,
you name it, I've got it all. All wrapped up in
one incredible package answers to the name of Daniel Jackson.
I'm set for life, the luckiest man in the universe.
That's me. Mister fucking Fortunate…
just about enough of that crap. I keep thinking like this
I'll be a basket case. No good to Daniel or anyone else.
Gotta let it all go and just do the job. I can't think
about him like that right now, how special he is, how much
I care about him and how worried - fuck, scratch that -
how FREAKING ANGRY I am with the goddamned shit heads who've
snatched him, can't go there, can't give into it or let
anything distract me and make me reckless or stupid.
to rip the fucking heads off of anyone who's laid a finger on
him. And don't think I won't - as soon as I get my hands
STOP IT! As in NOW!
kid is yakking again.
"I am sorry,
Kol-nal," Haman wheedles. The sound of his voice grates
on my nerves. I want to tell him to can it in the worst
way but that would be rude. And if it wasn't for the nice
people of his village we wouldn't have a hope of getting
to Daniel in time. Still, it's all I can do to stop myself
from snapping at him to just - stifle. He hasn't stopped
apologising since he first showed up to tell us what happened.
I'm about three seconds away from yelling at him anyway
when the shape he's in smacks me right between the eyes
and I feel like a heel for almost getting severely short
like hell - the kid took a real beating trying to help
Daniel and Towers and he's probably damned lucky to have
gotten away at all. He's really in no shape to be having
his internal organs further scrambled in jolting along with us
on our little jaunt but he insisted on coming along. I wanted
him to stay back and get seen to, and from the look on
his face he's feeling every bump and grind three times
as bad as the rest of us, but I guess I understand how
it feels to think you're responsible for a fix someone
else is in and want to do everything you can to try and
make it right.
can't fault him on that score. Have to admire his
guts, too, for all they have to be pretty much pureed right
now, if the state of my own stomach is anything to go by.
only visit the stone on their holy days," Haman flushes
darkly with embarrassment and guilt. "The next one is
not for many weeks to come, there was NO reason to think
there would be - "
were saying," I start to call back across to him and then
have to hold on for dear life again as the demon creature
I'm riding decides it wants break into a demented buck and
wing. It finishes up with the weird dance step it's
doing, I'm delighted to discover I'm not on the ground being
trampled underfoot and decide I'll risk finishing the thought.
the hell were they doing there today?" I bark at him,
even though I already know the goddamned answer. Why?
Why today? Just fucking BECAUSE. Because my dearly beloved,
long lusted after and finally bagged but yet to be unwrapped
archaeologist was there, that's why. Who along with being
the hottest thing to ever stroll through a gate is also
entirely, uniquely talented for being in the wrong place
at the wrong time. That's the only fucking reason they
the goddamned universe hates me.
say?" Haman answers and gives me a 'they're all nuts and
who knows why they do what they do' kind of helpless glance.
"We do not follow their customs or share their beliefs.
The stone has no meaning or purpose for us. We do not
concern ourselves with their doings and they do not bother
us if we do not interfere with their pilgrimages."
As in regular trips to the thing? Like whenever they
feel like stopping by? And you didn't TELL us running
into a pack of nutcases who'd flip out and try to ventilate us
if they found us in their special place was a possibility?
Slipped your mind, did it? Fuck!
get this straight," I say a little irritably. Okay, a LOT
irritably. "Your nearest neighbours are religious wackos
who have issues with people who go near their stinking
sacred stone and no one thought of telling US about it?
Didn't think it rated a mention, even in passing?"
to launch into a small rant on how difficult it is to accurately
threat assess when you don't possess all the pertinent
information because people are WITHHOLDING it from you
but the kid is starting to look wretched enough as it is.
After all, this isn't his fault. He's just a kid. The
ones who should have filled us in were his dad and the other
chief mucky mucks of the village.
was no need," Haman mutters miserably. "It was yet many
weeks before -"
the wackos were supposed to show up - okay, I get it," I
try to sound forgiving but it just comes out as grumpy and
me, Kol-nal, the elders would NEVER have allowed your men to
walk into danger. You have been kind and generous to our
people. Our friends. We wish you no ill!"
I'm starting to really upset him. I shouldn't be ragging
on him like this. It's not his fault and he almost got
himself killed trying to help Danny and Towers. Not to
mention busting a gut getting to us ASAP and insisting on
coming along on the rescue mission even though he got pretty
roughed up. He's a brave kid, and I shouldn't be taking
out my anger on him.
kid," I try out a smile on him. "I'm not mad at you,
just - " That's going to have to do him. No way I'm explaining
myself any further to a kid. "Oh, and call me Jack."
call me scared shitless. I've just taken another look
up ahead and really wish I hadn't. It's been hard enough
to stick on the back of this thing but I don't think I'm
up to - Holy Grand Canyon - we're not going to JUMP over
that - shit! We are! Jesus Christ, now we're frigging
airborne! And what goes up must come…
That was several vertebrae being pulverized, I just know it.
By the time we get there I'm going to be two inches shorter
and too damned crippled to do anything. Whatever, I just
wish we'd GET there. This is pretty rough country.
We'd be having a hell of a time slogging over it on foot
but these horse-a-lope things also must be part mountain
goat the way they're zipping blithely over all this shit.
The wackos have it a lot easier. They're taking the longer,
scenic route. We're hot-footing it along the cross
country shortcut through hell because that's the only way
we'll get to the bridge before them, with the head start
they've got on us and all.
there are a dozen or so in the party, also mounted. Only
lightly armed, with ceremonial knives. At least, Haman
doesn't THINK they're packing anything that should give us any
problems. Why would they be, they had no reason to be
expecting any trouble from the folks here. So they won't be
armed to the teeth, but I'm still not too happy about the
knives. They certainly did a job on Towers with them.
I hope he made it. And I hope to God Daniel is still okay.
about your men - about Daniel," Haman's young, strained
voice cuts into my thoughts again. "I should not have
been in the woods but I - I wanted - I did not get a chance
to say a proper farewell to - " he breaks off, looks away
quickly, flushing a little before stammering onward. "
- to your, your men."
to keep a straight face, but it isn't easy. Randy little
bastard. You were hoping to catch another look at Carter.
Thank God for overactive and optimistic adolescent libidos.
Carter doesn't know it yet, but she's giving this kid a
big kiss. He's earned it. "I was following you," he admits
stoically. "That is how I happened to see the pilgrims
on the approach to the stone. I thought I would have time
to warn your men, I did not realise I had seen the second
group - the first ones had already reached the stone had
found your men - had - "
looks like he's going to be sick. Crap, I shouldn't have
let him come, this is all starting to hit him now, he's gonna
come unglued. He's probably never seen anything like
this. Daniel said these people have led a very peaceful
existence for the last couple of hundred years. The kid
reminds me a little of Daniel, come to think of it - doesn't
LOOK anything like him, or anything, nothing like that,
just something about him. He's kinda spunky. Fearless.
I quickly try to reassure him. "From what you were saying
you probably saved Daniel's life. They would have skewered
him right on the spot, like they tried to do with Towers,
if you hadn't told them Daniel could read the writing
on the thing."
me a shy smile. He's looking a little less green around
the gills. Like I said, the kid has guts. "I was not
sure whether or not it would help, but I had to say something,"
he explains bleakly. "We cannot read the writings, those
of us who once understood the language of our ancestors
were taken by the Hrsus generations ago so they alone would
hold the key to the symbols."
were hoping if they found out Daniel could read them they
would spare him. Then all you had to do was get away and get
to us. Smart."
me a bigger smile, and I have to thank whoever's listening
the kid's like my Daniel in another way as well. Thinks
fast on his feet. He's smart, like my Daniel.
smart. He'll have picked up on the lead the kid tossed
him, will have figured out he's not going to get killed as
long as he has the linguist card to play. He knows Haman
got away, knows I'll - we'll be coming for him, he'll just
play it cool and be a good boy and not piss the wackos off.
He'll be fine. We just have to do our part and make sure
they don't get him to that city 'cause the way the elders
were describing it if they get him behind those walls we've
got big problems.
to happen. We'll make it. Swear to God we will, Daniel.
hour. Thirty freaking minutes. Waiting. We're here,
we're positioned, we're ready. Where the fuck are the
so where the fuck are they?" I snarl at the man crouching
beside me, Jori - Jerri - what the FUCK is his NAME?
helplessly at me. "I do not know, Kol-nal," he squirms
unhappily as I fry him with a furious stare and suddenly
I'm looking into the face of a man suffering about seven
different types of hell over all of this, and most especially
over not being able to give me the answer I'm demanding
of him. Yeah, I'm only this side shy of going postal about
what's gone down for all I've tried to keep a lid on it,
which, admittedly STILL hasn't stopped me from carrying
on like a cranked up butthead, but it's not for lack of
co-operation from the locals. These people could not
have been more horrified by the entire situation, or more
painfully willing to be of assistance to us in rectifying it.
They're appalled, they're freaked, but mostly, they're
incredibly embarrassed by the whole damned deal. There's
gotta be some kind of huge hospitality issue thing going on
for these folks - as in it's supremely bad form to let
your guests get killed and kidnapped by the crazy neighbours
- and the whole cringing, shamefaced lot of them have been
running around bowing and scraping and acting like what
happened was THEIR fault and that makes them obligated
to make it up to us no matter what it takes. Or how grossed
out they are by what we're possibly going to have to do
to their neighbours, crazy or otherwise, to get Daniel
I have no problems with them busting a gut to 'redeem'
themselves in our eyes. They can guilt themselves over
the moon for all I care if it gets me everything I need from
them and more. Although other than delivering us here in
time for the bridge-blocking party I'm not really sure how
much further use they will be. Daniel called it right.
These people aren't fighters. They're a happy little
band of living off the land pastoral types who haven't had
a care or an enemy in the world for an awfully long time,
who harbour ill will towards no one, even the wackos next
door, and who generally find the whole idea of yelling,
to-doing and running around beating up on other people
and trying to kill them in rather bad taste.
need them though. Not any more. They've more than made
their contribution to the effort by getting us to the bridge
on time. We've got a sweet little set up here, a nice natural
bottleneck the wackos have to pass through to get to the
bridge, tailor made for an ambush. We can let them
stroll into our sights unawares, contain them and then just
zat the shit out of them from the ridge above. Piece of
cake. They're not expecting any trouble or resistance.
Haman didn't tell them Daniel had friends and I KNOW Daniel
wouldn't have, so as far as they know they've got no worries.
said, piece of cake. I had Haman and the other villagers
take the transportation to the other side of the bridge and
hide out there. Kept Smiley here so I would have someone
to pick on while I waited. Teal'c, Perlman and I
can handle a bunch of complacent, unsuspecting wackos, knives
or no knives. It'll be like zatting fish in a barrel.
cake. With frigging ice cream on it. Nothing to it.
Over in a flash. No fuss,
no muss. Only
one small problem. No wackos. Where are my freaking
wackos? That bad feeling I was having before all of this
started? It's coming back again. In spades.
"I do not
know where the Hrsus are," Smiley continues, looking more
than ever like one truly unhappy dude. Yeah well, he's
not the only one. "They must use the bridge, there is
no other way for them to leave our land and enter theirs."
miss them. I checked. We got here first, all right.
but two hour's ride from the stone to here," Smiley continues
unhappily gobbling, "They must come this way, should have
been here by now if they were riding steadily…"
if they stopped. Which they wouldn't have normally unless….
DAMMIT! What else could go wrong today? Wait, don't
not here and they should be here by now, which means they
must have stopped. So why would they have stopped? From
what Smiley was telling us the wackos don't tend to mess
around a lot when they're on one of these pilgrimages.
Straight to the stone, do their business and then straight
home again. No slowing down to rubberneck, detouring to
take in the local sights or swinging on by to make nice with
the neighbours. Nothing here they want but the stone.
Ordinarily they wouldn't pull over anywhere on the way back
home. There's no reason for them to be deviating from their
routine today. Except, they have Daniel along for the
ride and he has a positive gift for throwing a monkey wrench
into the same old, same old and best-laid plans.
knows that better than me.
of plans…Crap. I want to weep. I really do. It would
have been nice and clean and bloodless to do the wackos
right here, but I'm not too interested in hanging around
somewhere they're not in order to make it easier on the
them when they finally do decide to show up if the reason why
they haven't already strolled into my considerate booby trap
is because they've pulled over to the side of the road to wail
on my archaeologist. Haman was convinced they wouldn't
hurt Daniel but we're talking wackos here. Religious
wackos. Worst fucking kind. Like there are any good
ones. As much as I admire his wanting to see the good in
everyone I'm pretty sure if the wackos have stopped it isn't
to invite Daniel to a picnic. Send him to see God, possibly,
but not to bake him a frigging cake. We'd better stop wasting
time waiting for them to show up very possibly WITHOUT
Daniel in one piece or still alive even and haul ass back
down the road to find where they've stopped off. I just
hope we haven't already been sitting here too long.
they've harmed ONE HAIR on Daniel's head….let's just say the
kind of divine retribution I have in mind, I don't want too
this sitting around, we're taking off," I tell Smiley as
I signal across to Teal'c and Perlman. "You go and wait
with your friends." He gets the first truly happy look
I've seen on his face as I tell him he's off the hook for
having to get any further involved.
I don't need the added complication of reluctant pacifists
underfoot while I'm getting down to business. I got me
a linguist to rescue and some wackos to waste and it's
high time we were off and doing.
lookee, what do we have here? Seek and ye shall find?
Bingo. Got you now, you bastards. Your asses are mine,
and I'm taking no prisoners.
all right. Pulled right off the road and parked. I'm counting
ten animals with saddles lunching by the side of the road
and two more being used as luggage racks. If we're talking
one per, that's at least ten guys riding. Maybe more if
some are walking. No way to know that from here.
I only see two guys with the animals. Neither one of them
is Daniel. Not that I was expecting him to be standing
by the side of the road. The losers we're looking at don't
seem very happy being stuck taking care of the rides and
consequently missing all the fun. We can hear the other wackos
running around in the woods and it doesn't take a genius to
hunting Daniel. Oh crap.
to my right to give Teal'c the nod to take out the two at hand
to see the spot he was occupying is vacant. He's already
on it, and about a minute later we can see him on them.
Two down, eight to go?
really lucky it's only eight. However, the way our luck
has been running today…
and I hustle to join him as Teal'c starts checking out chewed
up and visibly tracked and disturbed surface of the road.
He's down on one knee, examining the ground, his expression so
grave he'd scare the shit out of the grim reaper right
difficult to be certain but I believe ten men are pursuing
DanielJackson." Teal'c rumbles as he ponders the ground.
foot, then. Not a problem. Just means one more grave
than I was figuring on, but I can make the adjustment.
the men is injured," Teal'c continues in a voice so cold
it's chilling me to the marrow. "There is blood on the
ground. I suggest we hurry, O'Neill," he finishes as he
surges to his feet.
know it's Daniel's blood. We also don't know it isn't.
All we do know for sure is he's out there, alone, running for
his life with ten guys on his tail.
way," I grunt at Teal'c.
later we're still skulking about through the bushes picking
off clueless, bumbling bozos like swatting flies and though
we've seen and heard plenty from the creeps chasing him,
we haven't caught hide nor hair of Danny. We might not be
able to find him, but picking off his pursuers one by one -
it's so fucking easy to find and take down these clowns it's
almost embarrassing. The whole sorry pack of them are
bungling through the jungle making enough noise a deaf man
could hear them coming and stay out of their way. They
might as well be shooting off flares they're being so obvious
- howling and cursing with their long swishy robes
getting snagged in the bushes and holding them up , those
big knives they're waving around rather than using on the
foliage hindering them and their even bigger, fatter egos
- if the stakes weren't so damned high I'd be pissing myself
with how ridiculous this 'hunt' is from our side of things.
half wondering if we're not wasting our time waltzing with
these yutzes. There's so much slapstick happening here
I wouldn't be at all surprised Danny has long since given
the whole bunch of dip-shits the slip and is halfway back to
the gate by now. We'll take them down and find out he's long
gone. I'm hoping that's the way it will turn out.
Still, I wish he hadn't booked and pissed them off like this.
They might be stupid, but they're madder than Apophis with
a boil on his butt. If by some bizarre chance they do actually
manage to get their hands on him it won't be pretty. He
should have stayed put and waited for us to spring him.
Why didn't he? He must have had a good reason for bolting
and getting himself into an even bigger mess than he was
already in. He's got more sense than to take unnecessary
chances. Doesn't he?
on the trail of the next loudmouth loser when a furious hue
and cry goes up, coming from behind me, from the clearing I
just skirted. Crap! Whoever is bellowing like a
stuck pig has found Daniel and is calling for his buds.
on the way, pal. I'll 'help' you right into the next life.
at a dead run, crashing through the trees toward all the
squalling, knowing wherever they are now Teal'c and Perlman
will be doing exactly the same thing. I break into the
open to see Daniel desperately sprinting toward me from
the other side of the clearing, three howling hippies hot
on his tail. His hands are tied behind his back and even
from here I can see he's been roughed up some. His jacket and
vest are gone and his T-shirt is barely there, hanging on him
in ragged, blood-streaked tatters, there's more blood running
down the side of his face and his arms are bruised, cut
and bleeding. He's hurting, staggering, struggling to push
himself to keep moving but he hasn't got much left. Still,
he's not giving up, his head is down and he's putting everything
he has into his stumbling, desperate run. I don't even
think he's seen me, he's just trying to stay on his feet
and one step ahead of the guys behind him. With the lead
guy yowling his head off and right on his heels, closing
the gap fast. Faster than I am going to be able to get
I can see
the knife in the wacko's hand, brandished high over his
head, glinting in the sun. Close, he's getting too close
to Daniel. I can't take the bad guy out because Daniel
is between us, directly in the line of fire. I don't
have the zat, Teal'c does and the way Daniel is weaving I
don't dare try and open fire. Can't get a good line of
sight on the hostile, can't do anything but try and pour on
more speed as the guy chasing Daniel closes….
The wacko has Daniel by the shoulder, grabbing him hard,
pulling him back, the knife - he's going - he's going to bury
the sucker in Daniel's back. Where's my head - why
didn't I think - fuck it, fuck it - no time - just DO IT!
sight and yell, praying to God Daniel hears me and understands.
If he doesn't do what I tell him he's dead.
DROP!" I roar. And pray.
reacts instantly to the sound of my voice, crumpling on the
spot. Down, he's dropping down, but not away, the
knife's still in play, the creep's got a hold of him - the
knife. Oh god, the knife! I'm helpless, watching the
blade punching toward his shoulder, can't stop it, can't fire
yet I have to wait, have to wait until he clears….
Jesus, Jesus, why did I waste all that time running, I was
close enough, I should have yelled at him sooner. That knife,
that fucking knife - CLEAR! He's clear!
you fucking PRICK!
slams into the ground, landing hard and heavy as the salvo
from my P-90 starts ripping into the my target. I'm
pumping the lead into the bastard and loving it. He's
already dead but I'm firing, firing, a red, savage haze
wrapping around me and shooting shocks of fierce satisfaction
through me every time my finger jerks the trigger. I
watch him start dancing and bucking to the tune of my bullets
slamming into him when the deadly whoosh of a staff weapon
brings me back. Then I really see - and now it's not bloody
triumph I'm feeling, but fear.
twitching body arches and slams forward with the impact
of the blast burning into its back. The corpse hangs eerily
in the air, momentarily animated by the death we're pumping
into it but all I can see is the knife still clutched in
its hand, the blade smeared and burning red flashing back
and forth across my wavering vision.
God, it's red.
twisted, went down, didn't see him hit, but he was hit, he
must be hit, the knife is red. Waited too fucking long.
HAD to…he wasn’t clear but…too LONG.
and Perlman are tearing out of woods, streaking toward Daniel.
The other two wackos are GONE, but I don't care, they don't
matter, all I can see is Daniel, lying on the ground, gasping
and bleeding. He's rolled out of the way of the dead
meat finally falling over almost on top of him, and now
he's trying to get up, struggling to get to his knees.
but if he can still put up that much of a fight - he's
hurt, but he's still alive.
it to his knees and is about to keel over again by the
time I get to him. I catch him just before he folds and
hold him, crush him to me. I just need to hold him for a
minute, just a minute, just to make sure he really is alive
too fucking close. I want to kiss him, I want to shake
him, want to hold him and never let go, and then punch his
lights out for scaring me so damned bad and almost making me
watch him die right in front of me -
Jack," he gasps, half laughing, half sobbing. "Guess
I screwed up again."
in his breath and bites back a groan of pain as I run my
hand cautiously along his right shoulder. It comes away
bloody, and I clutch him tighter, making him gasp again.
running was pretty stupid," he laughs again. "But they
were pissing me off."
I say softly, cradling the back of his head in my hand.
There's - there's blood on my palm, I shouldn't, I'm
getting blood in his hair but I can't help myself, I have to
hold him, keep him close to me, just a little longer.
a date," he sighs and then goes limp in my arms.
back from shutting the door to see Daniel swaying dreamily
and about to slide down to the floor. Those damned pain
pills are really knocking him for a loop. I quickly sidle
up to him and slide a supporting hand under his elbow.
He smiles uncertainly at me and sighs. "Hi Jack," he mumbles.
"You look terrible. I think I need to lie down,"
you're right," I smile back at him.
we goin'? he clumsily queries as I wheel him right and start
steering him down the hall.
good." He's silent for a moment, peering about him as
if he's not quite sure where he is.
I reply. "I'm driving."
of us is," he nods thoughtfully. "I'm wasted."
something dark and rebellious about pills and pint-sized
medical officers but stops as he realises I'm guiding him
into the master bedroom. My bedroom. That throws him
for a bit; I watch his brow creasing with confusion as
he tries to work out why we're here instead of the guest
room and then I see it, the moment when it hits him, he
remembers and his face lights up with the biggest, dirtiest
grin I've ever seen.
he turns and beams at me. "We had a date."
Have a date. You and me. Starts right this minute and
ends the instant one or both us stop breathing. Considering
you almost got yourself killed you were so anxious not
to stand me up - even though, trust me, you had a good
excuse, I'd have cut you a little slack for keeping me
waiting, all things considered - we're getting off to a
start that isn't going to involve too much getting off.
No banging, possibly some whimpering, but you know what,
that's more than okay with me. I've got you, you're safe,
and you're more than worth waiting for.
from where I'm standing, life is pretty good. I've got
all I need for a best time I've ever had with anyone.
You alive and breathing and safe in my arms. And pretty soon,
in my bed.
frowns at me as I park him on the side of the bed and start
working the buttons on his shirt. "I can DO it!"
he protests and bats my hand away.
it's gonna be like this, is it? He's feeling touchy,
defensive, a little guilty for 'ruining' our plans. Figures
he's already messed up enough getting himself in this condition
because he was too horny and hyper to sit tight like he
was supposed to and wait to be rescued, and he doesn't want
to be any more of a 'bother' than he figures he already is.
It's not going to be easy to get him to accept any help.
So we'll just go slow and sneak it up on him.
can do covert.
I shrug and cross to the bureau, reach in and pull out
a pair of pyjama bottoms. That's all he's going to be
able to manage, what with the bandages and the sling and
being doped out of his skull. More than he's going to be
able to manage, actually, but he's not ready to accept that
anything?" I ask him gently as I toss the pjs on the bed.
fussing with his shirt at that, a wistful, longing look
fleeting across his face. "Oooh, you know what, I'd
really like…" And then the look falters and vanishes;
he remembers where he is. Not at home. He doesn't think
I have what he wants and he'd die before he asked me to go out
and get it for him. He can't ask me to put myself out
just for him. That's way too much of a leap for him
mind," he murmurs as he ducks his head back down and tries
to focus on the fingers fumbling on his chest.
doesn't think he's worth my time and effort, but I sure do.
Besides, he's wrong. I do have what he wants, and it'll be no
trouble at all to fetch it for him. Even if I hadn't
planned ahead I'd cheerfully go to the moon to get whatever
he wants, and he wouldn't even have to ask. The smallest
little thing that makes him happy is a very big deal to
me. He's a long way from seeing that right now, but he
will. This is one of those instances where actions definitely
speak louder than words. Got you covered, Danny.
right back," I call over my shoulder as I walk out of the
room. "Don't start without me."
for the kitchen, shaking my head. The condition he's in he'll
be lucky to get one button undone, never mind managing to take
off the shirt. By the time I get back he'll be pissy and
frustrated - and furious with himself for being 'helpless'.
That's okay, I've got just the ticket for perking him right
has a deep, dark secret craving he's more than reluctant to
own up to. The other one, that is. The one that
doesn't involve me, but rather centres around something edible
falling under the heading of comfort food with a capital C.
One night and one beer too many got him to part with that
secret while he resolutely held onto the other. I have
a rival for his affections I've known about for a long
time, way longer than I knew how he felt about me, but
I can handle the competition. Still, it's a bit of a kick
to finally know I figure in as ONE of his grand obsessions.
has this MAJOR thing for ice cream. He figures it really
started on Abydos when he suddenly couldn't get something he'd
only been moderately fond of before and now really, REALLY
wanted mainly because he couldn't have it. For some reason,
of all the things he couldn't have while he was there,
ice cream was the thing he wanted the most and he never
stopped desperately missing it or wanting it. And now
he wants it the most when something scares the crap out
even going to think about what that might mean.
like a simple enough thing to be addicted to, but with Daniel
things are never simple. You see, it isn't just any old
ice cream that floats his boat and is right up there on his
'must have for dealing purposes' list - it's this super duper,
ultra expensive, specially made, can only get it in one
place in the entire world, gourmet house brand frozen ambrosia
that comes from this upscale Italian deli across town.
Mom and Pop make it themselves, finest ingredients, secret
recipe. know their customers by name and have their own
personal 'blends' on record.
particular passion when it comes to ice cream isn't some
exotic, unheard of combination of taste sensations, it's one
single, pure note. Peach. That's it. Just -
peach. However, there's nothing 'just' about this stuff.
It's peach like you've never, ever tasted it before. You think
you know peach, well until you've had some of this stuff, you
know nothing. It's a peach so incredibly rich, so sublime,
so sweet and succulent and tangy on the tongue it truly
is the epitome of -
just so happens I have a tub of it in my freezer. Practically
had to take out a second mortgage on the house to be able
to afford it, but what Daniel wants, he gets. He's more
than worth it. No compromise. Even when it comes to ice
cream. Besides, if this doesn't impress him with how serious
I am about him, I don't know what will.
time I've made it back to the bedroom with Daniel's ticket to
gastronomic bliss he's still sitting exactly where I left him,
tugging angrily at his shirt. Pretty much what I expected.
However, something I didn't expect; I'm stunned to see
he's actually managed to undo a couple of buttons. I swear
this boy never fails to bowl me over with his stubbornness
and his tenacity but even the legendary Jackson determination
must see itself frustrated sometimes - no matter how hard
he tries this is one time when he's just not going to make
it any further on his own. And even though part of him
knows it the rest of him is still struggling gamely onward
because he refuses to accept he can't do it on his own.
me. He really does. I swear, Daniel would find a way to
survive if the frigging sun blew up and turned the planet into
a cinder simply because he would absolutely refuse to believe
it wasn't possible for him to.
shoots up as I walk into the room, he's flushed and furious,
his eyes gleaming brightly with anger and frustration. I
put the bowl on the bedside table, plunk myself down next to
him and take him carefully in my arms. He's still rife
with sore, bruised spots that are tender to the touch,
painkillers notwithstanding, and winces slightly before
huffing unhappily against my neck.
do it," he protests miserably.
I soothe and kiss the top of his head. "No one's saying
you can't. But you don't have to. Let me help? Please?
I want to. It's no bother."
about it for a moment, then sighs and nods. "Okay - if
- if it's no bother."
it's my pleasure.
careful as I can be, taking it slow, trying not to hurt him as
I gently undress him and help him into bottoms of the pjs.
He gives me a big, dopey grin as I reverently unwrap him,
blown away all the while by just how beautiful he is. I
try not to linger over the hurts, to not let him see how
every cut, every bruise…how the rage boils up inside me
at the signs of suffering marring his skin. I don't want
to spoil this for either one of us. He's perfect, just
the way he is, and he's finally mine.
got him squared away he sits and watches me, huge, hungry
eyes devouring my every move as I quickly shuck my own clothes
and pull on pjs. Just the bottoms.
onto the bed behind him, arrange the pillows so they're
propping up my back and help him scoot up between my legs
until his back is to my chest, he's leaning up against me and
I'm holding HIM up. I've got him securely nestled chez
O'Neill, his head pillowed on my shoulder. I wait until
I hear the small sigh signifying he's comfortable before I
reach over and retrieve the loaded spoon.
I gently stroke his cheek as I bring it to his mouth.
he breathes, but complies with surprise as the cold ice cream
touches his lips. His drowsy eyes fly open and I slide
the spoon into his mouth, watching his lips curl into the
sweetest, most astonished and delighted smile when he tastes
what I've just given him.
he sighs happily as he closes his eyes again and unashamedly
savours. Yaubetcha Danny, I know what you want.
him a moment to linger over the sensations he's losing himself
in and then load up the next spoonful.
at the spoon and then looks reproachfully up at me.
do it," he mutters. "I'm not helpless, you don't have
I stroke him and soothe him and try to make him understand
how much this means to me. How much HE means to me. "I
know you can, but I want to. Humour a bossy old colonel
who'd like nothing more than to spoil you rotten. What
do you say - just this once?"
help you, let me love you, let me share the load. You're not
alone any more Danny, you don't have to fight so hard, don't
have to struggle any more. You've given so much to me,
let me do the same for you.
hold me as he looks deep inside me and understands. I
feel a small tremor thrill through him as something within him
- eases - lets go, and suddenly his eyes are bright and he's
blinking and nodding and I feel this bolt of pure happiness
rip through my chest.
he tells me as he opens his mouth again.
accepted the mouthful I have to put the spoon aside. I
turn back to him, see his upturned face, shining so close to
of his mouth is shockingly cold and sweet, swirling with
the tang of peaches and the richness of the ice cream coating
the tongue stroking slowly against mine. His lips are soft
and sticky and driving me insane with their lushness.
I taste him and smell him, Daniel and the warm iciness of
peaches filling my senses as I breathe him in and dive deeper
slowly, gently and he settles against me, growing quieter and
contented with the steady, stroking motion of my hand across
his stomach lulling and settling him. We've gone far
enough for today; the medication will be carrying him away
shortly, but I want him to know, to understand where we
are right now is more than all right with me.
you know it, the next thing he does is tell me I've got
a little more work to do on that score.
our date is going to have to wait a little longer," he
sighs ruefully as he drops his head wearily back against my
shoulder. "I don't really feel up to - you know."
"Oh I don't
know," I grin at him. "I think it's going very well.
I'm having a great time. You?"
mind about the 'you know'? he queries sleepily as he traces
the length of my collarbone with a languid finger.
of time for all of that when you're feeling better," I
assure him and hug him a little closer. "Don't die of
shock here, but I don't just want you for your body."
him snorting. "What, you're saying you love me for my mind?"
I tell him as I cup his cheek and look him straight in
the eye. "I'm saying I love YOU."
go soft and I lean in and kiss him again. I do a little
of my own savouring and then pull back just enough so he can
see how serious I am about what I'm going to tell him next.
I do, there's something else we're going to do when you're
feeling a little better."
close wearily and he manages a wry smile before he looks at me
going to sit down and have us a talk. I think you need a
refresher course in - when you go for it and when you don't.
Not that I'm not terribly flattered by your enthusiasm,
but…" I touch my lips to his again to soften the
blow. "I would have come for you. I'll always come
for you. Trust me. You read me, Daniel?"
he agrees graciously with a faint nod. "I know," he
smiles shyly at me. I know you would have. I - I do trust
you. I just wasn't thinking straight, I…" he closes his
eyes and his mouth quirks with a small, embarrassed grin.
thinking with your dick," I tease him fondly.
he admits grudgingly, and then glares at me. "Hey -
I'm human. I get…urges. It's been a long time. I've
- I've wanted this…you…" He breaks off and looks away,
flushing with the enormous honesty of what he's finally
admitting to me, and to himself. "Wanted to be with you
for a long - long time."
hard, trying to stay awake, fighting the drugs fogging
his sight as he searches my face. "What, you're gonna
tell me you weren't a little - impatient - yourself?"
nothing, even though I know I'm not fooling him.
yourself safe out there," I tell him gently. "Now that
I've finally got you…"
He yawns and his voice is heavy with the enormous effort
he's expending fighting the sedative pull of the pain pills
he's chock full of. "Oh, and Jack?"
I murmur between the kisses I'm planting on his face.
call me baby."
I can live with that. As long as I get to live with him.
my mouth to tell him so and realise he's fallen asleep.
That's okay. He needs to sleep. He's got some healing
to do. The sooner the better. I'm quite happy to hold
him close and feel him warm and safe in my arms knowing
as good as this is right now, when he's feeling up to it it's
only going to get better.
really out. Those pills pack a punch. Guess that means
he's not going to want the rest of his ice cream. Shame
to let something so good go to waste. Funny, that's kinda
the way I feel about him.