A General No More?

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Mini-angst, Drama, Missing Scene, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  8 - April 1-2, 2005
Spoilers:  Zero Hour, Lockdown
Size:  21kb, ficlet
Written:  December 25-28,31, 2005  Revised for consistency:  March 16-17, 2007
Summary:  Jack is upset with Sam for having ignored his orders, and he's not so sure he wants to be a general anymore, either.
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:  
1) Sometimes, Jack and Daniel speak almost telepathically.  Their “silent” words to each other are indicated by asterisks instead of quotes, such as **Jack, we can't.**
2) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
3) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Claudia, QuinGem, Linda, Heather!

A General No More?
by Orrymain

“Daniel, I'd like to throw her over my knee and spank her disobedient little six,” Jack bellowed from the safety of Daniel's locked office, the younger man having turned off the security and recording devices the moment Jack had walked in.

“Jack, it was a simple recon,” Daniel argued, arms folded as he stood by his worktable.

“I *ordered* her to take SG-3 along for a reason!” Jack scowled.

“I know,” Daniel replied softly.  ~To babysit us.~  He let out a sigh-like sound as he looked down and then stepped forward.  “Look, Sam's qualified to be the leader of SG-1.  Are you sure you should have ...”

Jack raised his finger and crooked his neck at the same time, a warning look in his eyes as he interrupted, “Don't go there, Daniel.  I'm the general of this base, and I was leading recons before Carter ever got out of the classroom.”

“Jack ...”

“I gave her an order, and she disobeyed it,” Jack stated truthfully.  ~You could have been killed because of that decision.~

“You didn't exactly order SG-3 to stay with us,” Daniel rationalized.  ~Technicality, but Sam needs a break.~

“Daniel, she knew what I meant, and so did you!” Jack reprimanded.  ~Don't give me that look, Danny; she knew *exactly* what I meant.~

After a pause, Daniel sighed, “She felt like she was being watched, like you didn't have faith in her, like ... well, like she was being babysat.”

Daniel felt sympathy for Sam.  In fact, he and Teal'c had dropped by her office after Jack had delayed the mission to make sure she was okay.  She had been, at least on the surface, but the truth was that the entire team knew what was simmering beneath the spoken words.

“And what if she was?” Jack questioned, his shoulders hunched upwards and his eyes wide, almost daring Daniel to disagree.  “She's lucky I kept my cool in the gate room.”

“Jack, don't be an ...”

“Daniel, language!” Jack teased with a sigh, wanting to break the tension he felt in the pit of his stomach.  “I don't question Carter's ability, and she's led the team before but ...”

“But not when you were just ...” Daniel began.

“Guarding the base from Doctor Lee and his plants,” Jack spoke sarcastically, still wanting to strangle the nerdy scientist for the overgrown greenery.  He shook his head in frustration, took a big breath, and then let out with his confession.  “Danny, I'm not cut out for this.  It's not about being the man; it's about runaway plants and dealing with planetary leaders that I have to treat like children; and it's having to care about bunting.  Bunting, Daniel -- *bunting*!”

“Bunting?” Daniel questioned.

“Bunting,” Jack repeated.  “For the president's visit.  Menus and appeasing the Brass: it's an endless list.  I don't want this, Daniel.  Hammond can have his job back,” he said as he turned and walked to one of the shelves, picking up a sculpture that had been found on a past off-world mission.

Daniel walked over to his husband and placed his arms around the older man.  For a minute, they just stood there, basking in their love and the strength it gave them.

Jack turned around, looking into Daniel's eyes, and intoned, “Reynolds got a bunch of the troops together in a show of support.  I didn't know I needed it. I,” he paused, sighing, “didn't know I looked like I needed it.”

“Jack, transition is never easy, and as much as you may want General Hammond back, even if you walk away from the SGC, he won't be back.  We'd get General Bauer, or worse,” Daniel surmised.

“Danny, don't make me ill,” Jack joked as lightheartedly as possible as he looked down, fidgeting with the small sculpture he still held in his hands.

Daniel removed the item, reaching around to return it to its place on the shelf, and then reached up with his arms to hold his soulmate's head in his hands.

“Jack,” Daniel spoke softly.  “You *are* the best man for this job.  Marc knows it; Walter knows it; Sergeant Siler knows it; Sam knows it; I know it; everyone knows it; and so do you.”

“But ...”

“I know it's hard for you to watch us go off-world while you have to stay here and deal with ... bunting.  That's really what's wrong here, isn't it?” Daniel challenged.

“Danny, everyone around here treats me like a ... a ...”

“A general?” Daniel questioned.  “Babe, you *are* a general; more than that, you are the commander of this base.  You've earned their respect.”

“I'm still me, Daniel.  It's driving me crazy.  Everyone says 'good morning' and 'good night', and they bring me coffee I don't ask for.  It's unnerving,” Jack stated.

“Then tell them to stop,” Daniel instructed succinctly.  “Jack, General Hammond liked having his coffee before he reached his office.  We talked about that once.  If you don't like it, just tell Walter.  It's that simple.”

“I guess so,” Jack admitted hesitantly.  “They got to me, all standing there in the gate room like that.  They were there for me.”

~My marshmallow: tough-as-nails, but undone by a simple show of support.~  Daniel smiled and leaned in for a kiss before responding orally, “Jack, you may have been a pain in the butt to General Hammond and the others you've served under in your career, but think about it.  All of those commanders could have gotten rid of you at any point in time, but they didn't.  They wanted you on their side because whether they liked you or hated you, you were always honest, and you did your job, and you did it well.”

“There's that,” Jack acknowledged with a smile.  He put his hands on Daniel's waist and added, “I could still kick Carter's behind for not following my orders.”

“Would *you* have followed those orders?” Daniel prodded.

“No,” the general admitted.  “I would have done the same thing and probably less diplomatically than she did.”

“Because ...” Daniel prodded.

“Because it should have been a simple recon, and regardless of what was found there, on the surface, only one team needed to be assigned,” the older man admitted.

“So, Sam's performance evaluation?” the younger man questioned.

“Is safe,” Jack stated, though he quickly added, “But I still want my orders followed out, and I intend to make sure she knows that.”

“I don't think she'll make that mistake again.  She didn't like it, and I think maybe she was trying to act like you.”  Daniel took a breath as a realization hit him.  “Babe, you have to lead the SGC in your own way.  You aren't George Hammond, but that's okay.”

Seeing the silent message in his lover's eyes, Jack chuckled lightly as he observed, “And Carter needs to lead SG-1 in her own way, without my *ghost* haunting her.”

“A little trust, Babe; that's all it takes,” Daniel commented.

Jack sighed, “I didn't like watching you walk up that ramp without me.”

“I know; that's why I left so fast, when you started whining ...” Daniel began.

“I was *not* whining,” Jack insisted.

“Yes, you were,” Daniel maintained.

“Not,” Jack retaliated.

“So,” Daniel said, giving one definitive head nod as he spoke.

“Menus, Daniel, and bunting.  Who cares about this stuff?” Jack queried.

“It's part of the job, and you'll make it work,” Daniel assured.

“I wrote Hammond a letter; told him he could have his job back.  I resigned,” Jack confided.

“Jack!”

“I ... haven't sent it yet,” Jack responded.  “It's still in the computer.  Didn't even print it ... yet.”

Daniel drew his lover in for a hug, his hands warming Jack's back.  He needed to communicate their togetherness and his support.  Finally, they parted, though he took hold of his husband's hands as they stood, facing each other.

“Jack, if you really want to send that letter, I'll support you.  You know that,” Daniel promised.

“But?” Jack asked, sensing there was a proviso added to the comment.

“But is that what you really want?” the archaeologist asked probingly.  ~I don't think it is.~

“I want to know you're safe,” Jack admitted.  ~I could deal with the rest, if I knew that.~

“Jack, trust me to take care of me.  I, uh, have a lot to live for now,” Daniel admitted, kissing his husband again.  “I want to come home to you.”

Needing more contact again, Jack pulled Daniel into a hug, resting his head on the younger man's as he admitted, “I need you to, Danny.  I need to know that when I send you out there, alone, that you'll come back to me.”

“Forever and always, My Love,” Daniel replied.  They held their embrace for over a minute before he pulled back and continued, “Besides, I'm never alone.  I'm surrounded by Sam and Teal'c.  More than that, by your love.  Jack, I, uh, have a confession to make.”

“You do?” Jack asked, surprised.

“I walked up the ramp as quickly as I did because for a ... for a very quick moment, I wanted to just take your hand and pull you through the Stargate with us.  It's hard when things change, and it has nothing to do with Sam or Reynolds or anyone.  It's just ... it's just that you'll always be SG-1, and we have so much history.  Listening to you ... uh ...” Daniel hesitated, but smiled at Jack's next response.

“Whine,” the older man spoke with a smile.

Daniel smiled and repeated, “Whine.  I wanted to grab you, give you my gun, and say, 'let's go'.  If I didn't leave like that, I think I might have.”

“I think I wish you would have,” Jack replied.

“So, uh, do you really want to resign?” Daniel inquired.

With a cleansing groan, Jack answered, “No, not yet, anyway.  When you get past the out-of-control plants and adult children, it's kind of interesting; and I like the parking spot.”

Daniel laughed as they kissed again and then said, “I love you, General O'Neill.”

“And I love you,” Jack replied, following that up with one more kiss.  “And thank you for making everything better,” he spoke appreciatively.

“Anytime,” Daniel said, reluctantly backing away, knowing Jack was going to have to surface soon or his staff would come looking for him.

“Before the President arrives tomorrow, I have a stack of evaluations to do, beginning with Carter's.”  Jack paused and then sighed, “Danny, she is a fine leader, and I don't think I need to tell her that disobeying my order wasn't the thing to do.”

Daniel nodded, “She knows, Jack.  You don't need to beat her over the head with what happened.  I, uh, think the point got made the hard way.”

“SG-3 probably wouldn't have made a difference,” Jack observed.  ~Okay, I'll let her off the hook, this time.~

“Probably not,” Daniel agreed.  ~And speaking of that.~  “Ah, Jack, about SG-3.”

“What about them?” Jack asked innocently.

“I caught that look Colonel Reynolds gave me as we were walking away from the Gate on the planet,” Daniel advised.

“Look?  What look?” Jack asked, looking over at the shelves.

“Jack, you're acting too innocent,” Daniel told his soulmate.

“I don't know what you mean,” Jack replied, coughing slightly as a cover-up.

“You have a history, Babe, and I know that look.  It's the same look I get from anyone who leads SG-11 when I go out with them,” Daniel observed.

~History?  I'm doomed,~ Jack thought as he nervously looked away again.

Daniel continued, accusing, “Jack, you told him to keep an eye on me, didn't you?”

“I did not!” Jack lightly barked.  Seeing Daniel's unbelieving stare, he sighed, “It's a long-standing order.”

“Mmm-mmm,” Daniel responded with a glare.

“I just reminded him that if he ever wanted to be a full colonel, he'd make sure you didn't get too involved with rocks,” Jack admitted.

“Jack, that wasn't even the mission,” Daniel refuted.

“But, Daniel, with you, you never know,” Jack argued, shrugging as he spoke.  “You need ...”

“I need you, but your place is here now, Jack, and when I'm out there, you have to believe me when I tell you that I will always come back to you because that's what I want ... and need.  Rocks are interesting, and artifacts are fascinating, but I love you.  Okay?”

Jack smiled and replied, “I guess I should apologize to Reynolds.  I sort of read him the riot act for letting Carter get away with that staying at the Gate bit.”

“Jack, you didn't!”

“He's got the rank, Danny,” Jack said.

“The rank?” the younger man questioned.  “Jack,” he stated, the word cutting through the general's defenses.  “The man started out at Area 51.  When he first arrived at the SGC, he was ...”

Jack grinned, knowing what his lover was about to say.  Part of him hoped Daniel wouldn't be able to catch himself, allowing Jack to have some unexpected verbal fun.

Daniel held up his hand, his finger pointing for his lover to be patient.  He was not going to stick his own geeky foot in his mouth, if he could help it.

“He was a scientist, devoted to his project.  He carried his laptop with him everywhere,” Daniel stated.  “Then he learned that the SGC is more than science, and he let his Air Force training kick in.  I don't know how he feels about leaving the science behind, but, uh, from what I understand, he wouldn't be leading the premier 'watch out - here come the big guns' team, if he wasn't qualified.  So, about that rank, yes, he's been a lieutenant colonel longer than Sam, so that gives him the edge, on paper, anyway, but don't lie to yourself that that makes him a better officer than Sam.  Her experience puts her on an equal footing at the bare minimum, and I'm being generous to Marc with that statement.”

“You're right.”

“Thank you,” Daniel chuckled lightly.  “How ... bad did you ...”

“Bad,” Jack acknowledged, about his 'lecture' he'd given to Reynolds.  Then he cocked his head, saying, “That's one reason I was so surprised he arranged that shindig in the gate room.”

“Daniel shook his head, chuckling, “Jack, he sees right through you.”

“That's not a good thing,” the general sighed.  ~He's supposed to be afraid; I'm losing my touch.~

“Jack, let him off the hook; let them all off the hook,” the archaeologist pleaded. “Look, personnel like Marc have been around you for years now.  They ... know, if you're legitimately being a ... pain, or if it's ... you know.”

“Because of you.  Gray hairs, Danny -- all yours.”

“All of you is mine,” Daniel said with a grin.

“I don't want them seeing through me; that's not a good thing,” Jack stated.

Daniel let out a groan of frustration and replied, “Jack, they don't.  I exaggerated.  Marc does, maybe a couple of others, because you've worked with them so much.  Babe, do you really think Sam is afraid you'll transfer her to a weather station in Alaska?  You must threaten her at least two or three times a year.”

Jack tilted his head and grimaced slightly as he thought about it.

The archaeologist continued, “Marc isn't Sam, but I think he knows you well enough professionally to know you aren't going to do anything dumb.  If you gave him a hard time because of me, he knows it's because you're worried.  He ... probably excuses it, like Sam does.”

“He doesn't know about us,” Jack said softly.

“No, of course not,” Daniel affirmed.  “But neither does Colonel Rappaport, and he's scared to death of you.”  He chuckled, “Marc isn't because he's worked with us more; he understands more.  Rappaport hasn't.”

“Okay.”

“Okay,” Daniel echoed.  “So, about Sam and the others ...“

With a tiny sigh, Jack nodded and replied, “Off the hook,” though he inwardly thought, ~I'm not changing my tactics; maybe in another year, or two.  Until then, I'm gonna make sure they understand the importance of returning my archaeologist to me safe and sound.~

Shaking his head again as he once again saw through his husband's inner emotions, Daniel thought, ~He'll never change, but, gawd, it feels good to be so loved by him.  It's frustrating sometimes, but I suppose as long as he doesn't demote anyone or have them hover over me, I'll make do.~  “Mmm.”

“What?” Jack inquired, hearing his lover's thoughtful sigh.

“Oh, nothing,” Daniel answered.  ~Maybe I'll have a little chat with Colonel Reynolds myself.  We'll work out a little side arrangement.~  Smiling, Daniel moved on, asking, “Jack, what about your letter to General Hammond?”

Jack smiled, saying nothing.

====

The next day, dressed in his Air Force finest, Jack stared at his laptop, having reviewed his first couple of weeks as a general.  During the first week, the base had been on lockdown, the result of Anubis having taken control of various personnel's bodies.  The next week, his flagship team had been missing.

~Who am I kidding?  I can't be him; being me, I can't even be a good imitation of him,~ Jack thought about the addressee of the letter that was on still on his computer screen.

The letter was to his friend, General George Hammond.  He printed it out, scanning each paragraph, more prepared to sign it with each sentence he reviewed.

Towards the end, though, Jack remembered his lover's words to him at home that morning -- “Babe, whatever you decide, I'm one-hundred percent on your side, but I believe in you.  I believe in you with all my heart.  You can do this; we both can.  Please give yourself a chance.  The SGC needs you at the helm, and so do I.  Remember, together we're unbeatable.”

Jack smiled at his husband's words of encouragement and the reminder that they were in this together.  Jack wasn't alone in being the leader.  He had backup.  He had support.  He had SG-1, Walter, Marc Reynolds, and a slew of personnel who all had faith in his ability to run the SGC.  Then there was General Hammond, who had again given him his support.  When he'd seen the bald-headed man the week before, Hammond had reminded Jack to acquire patience.

“Believe me, Jack, if I hadn't had patience, you would have spent the last few years in the brig,” Hammond had half-teased.

“I believe in you,” Daniel had said, words that again echoed through Jack's mind as he finished his review of his letter.

~You're right, Angel.  Together, we can do this,~ Jack told himself as he walked outside to a typewriter, inserted the letter, and typed two more words at the very end.  Returning to his office, he smiled as he signed the letter.  ~Never mind, George.  You have your job to do, and I have mine, but I have more respect for your patience and tolerance today than I ever had before.  Heaven help me to fill just half of your shoes adequately.~  Suddenly feeling an overwhelming compulsion, Jack called out in their non-verbal communication, **Danny?**

**Jack, are you okay?** Daniel asked from the reception room where he was waiting with others.

**I just had to say this.**

**Uh, say what?** Daniel silently asked, smiling as he stood next to his teammates, all dressed for the occasion.

**I love you.**

Still smiling, Daniel replied, **Love you, too.**

**I told Hammond 'never mind',** Jack revealed.

**I knew you would,** Daniel confided.

**I love you in that blue suit,** Jack said.

**And you know how I feel about you in your blues.  Now let's get this over with so I can get you *out* of those blues as soon as possible,** Daniel communicated seductively, knowing, however, that it would be several hours before he'd have that chance.

**On my way in two minutes,** Jack eagerly replied, regretting having to deal with so many formalities before he'd be able to let his lover have his way with him.

**I'm waiting.**

Jack grinned.  Maybe life as a general wasn't so bad after all.  He'd try it out for just a little longer.  After all, being a general meant wearing his dress blues more often and that meant more opportunities to drive his sexy soulmate bonkers.

~Geez, he does go slightly wacky when he gets me alone in this outfit.  Okay, so I spoke too strongly when I told Carter that I abhor this getup; it's pretty handy when My Danny is around.~  Jack removed the grin from his face.  ~Careful, Jack.  Down, boy,~ he thought, gulping as he looked down at his groin.  ~I said 'down'!~

The general smiled.  He would fulfill his duties as the leader of the SGC, and then, with a happy smile and a hungry heart, he'd fulfill his duties as the husband of Daniel Jackson, and nothing was better than that!

~~Finis - Finished - Done - The End - But is it ever Really?~~
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