The Cycle of Life

Author: Orrymain
Category:  Pre-Slash, Missing Scene/Epilogue, POV - Jack
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  2 - June 26, 1998
Spoilers:  Serpent's Lair and a whole bunch of shows from Season 1
Size:  21kb, short story
Written:  November 30, December 1-2,6,8,15, 2003  Tweaked: July 30, 2004  Revised for consistency:  January 14, 2007 Tweaked: January 1, 2012
Summary:  Jack's thoughts as he mourns Daniel's “dying” on the Mother Ship and then rejoices at his Space Monkey's resurrection!
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
1) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my past fic(s), “Faith of the Innocent” and “Frozen in Time.”
2) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Drdjlover, Charlotte, Starshadow, Saki, QuinGem!

The Cycle of Life
by Orrymain

*No!* Danny, no! Holy crap, what have I done? Why did I leave you out there alone to cover our six? Why? Because I knew you could do it, and you did. Look at them ... dead Jaffa everywhere. You did that, Danny. You covered our six ... but the price ... the price is too high.

I never thought I'd see this.  I don't think I can live through this, not again, not after Charlie.  Oh, Danny, My Love.

You're being so brave, telling me to leave you behind.  I can't do it, Danny.  Please don't ask me to leave you here, to die alone.  Danny, don't.  I can't.  You don't know what you're asking me.

Die anyway?  I guess you're right.  You're always right.  We doubted you.  I doubted you.  Geez, Danny, I didn't believe you when you told us about the quantum mirror, but you wouldn't back down.  You knew what would happen if you did, and you couldn't let that happen, no matter how hard we fought you on it.  Thank the Heavens you didn't give up, or Earth would be dead meat now.  You've saved the entire planet, Danny.  Not me or Carter ... but you, Danny, the geek, my geek!

They've killed you, Danny, and me, too, because ... I don't think I can go on without you.  But like you said, I'm dead anyway.  It'll just be on another ship, just a little bit later.  It's hard, Danny, leaving you.  I ... I have to touch you.

Your face.  Its skin is so soft.  Even dying, you're the sexiest thing I know.  I'm not sure I can move, Danny.  I know you want me to.  But I love you.  Don't you understand that?

No, you don't.  Best friends.  That's what we are.  But ... it's more for me, Danny.  I didn't mean for you to know, but you found out, and still, still you stayed my best friend.  Our Friday night ritual has grown into so much for me.  We're together all the time.  How can I leave you to die all alone?

My hand ... my thumb gently rubs your face.  I want to do so much more.  Gawd, Danny, I don't even know how.  I've never done that before ... kissed another man, but I've never wanted anything so much in my life, than to kiss you now, but I can't.  All I can do is ... this ... my hand on your face.

Feel my love, Danny, that it is real, that no one in the world is more  important to me than you.  My geek ... my beautiful geek.

Yes, I know, I have to go.  I have to make sure the other ship is destroyed as well, and then, Love, I'll join you.  Maybe -- maybe we can be best friends on the other side, too.

I love you, Daniel Jackson.  Thank you, for coming into my life, for rescuing me from a suicide that would have taken a world of innocent Abydonians with me.  Thank you for making me see that life can be good, for realizing that even with pain, there can be joy.  Thank you, Danny, for showing me that the cycle of life keeps going.

You would have liked Charlie.  He would have loved you.  Goodbye, My Love.  I'm so sorry I didn't watch your six.  I should have done better.  I love you, Danny.

“He's ... staying behind.”

Don't look at me like that, Carter.  Yes, I know what I've done.  I've taken the brightest star in the universe and allowed it to fade, to ... die. Believe me, yes, I know what I've done, but I won't let his death be for nothing.  We have a job to do, so we're going to do it ... for Danny ... and then ... then I'll be done.

Bra'tac, you're good, but trust me, a grenade or two will do the job.  Now, let's get off the ship.  Gliders should do the trick.  I want to die in space.  I want to join My Love, but I don't want to do it here, surrounded by ... the evil that lives here.

Danny ... he's like a star, bright and shining, full of pulsating life.  He's my love, and I want to remember him, his life.  He taught me that ... with Charlie ... not to dwell on his end, but to remember happy times.  I'm not very good at it, but Danny has made me try.

It's beautiful out here.

“You know, Captain…this wasn't such a bad day after all.”

Gawd, I'm full of it.  Putting on the show to the very end.  Danny.  The only good thing about this day is that you didn't die in vain.  You've saved the Earth, and that's what you've always wanted to do so desperately.

Danny?  There's the Endeavor.  Oh gawd, we're being rescued.  I can't, Danny.  I won't face life without you.  I wanted to die out here.  For crying out loud, why doesn't anything ever go the way I want it to?

Well, okay, we have to go face the music.  But I have to deal with Carter and Teal'c first.  Geez, look at Carter.  I see the tears in her eyes. She wants to ask me.  I ... I can't.

I let him die, Carter, that's what happened.  He covered our six, saved our butts so we could save the world for him.  He ... he's dead, gone with the ship.  I can't, Carter.  I can't talk about this, about him.  You don't understand ... you see, I love him.  No, I know you know that, but you see ... I'm in love with him, and I can't tell you that, so all I can say is ... I'm sorry.  I let him die alone, but he'd be happy you and Teal'c will have a future, a life.  Make it a good one, Carter.  Danny died so you could live ... and Teal'c ... and me ... but I won't -- not without Danny.

Leave me alone, Teal'c.  I need to be alone.  I'm going over here, to this nice little cubby hole.  Dang these shuttles.  They need more rooms, rooms where a person can find some peace and quiet.

“Leave me alone!”

I'm sorry.  I just ... I need to be alone, to ... to be with him.  Please -- understand.  How can you though?

Oh, Danny.  Remember when that creature carried you across the desert?  I swear, I'd never seen anything so funny in my life!

Remember when Carter had to wear that horrible blue dress get-up on that planet?  Geez, you were gaping at her.  I had wondered if maybe there was something between the two of you.  I remember how you  had connected on Abydos.  Definite sparkage there, Danny, even if you were already married.  You were so cute, watching Carter in that crazy dress, so amazed.  I guess we all were.  It was probably one of the first times we'd seen her wearing something other than BDUs or Class A's.

Danny, remember the Touched?  I wasn't too thrilled with you hanging out with that Melosha gal, but any anger I had disappeared when you woke up and called my name -- MY name.  It was before I knew I loved you, but ... it made me feel so ... I don't know.  Gawd, Daniel, anytime you wake up, you ask for me, only for me.  It's that unending trust you have in me ... had in me.

I shouldn't have left you.  Crap, Danny, I don't care what you said.  Look at me now.  You're dead and I'm alive.  It wasn't supposed to go down like this.  It's ... it's all wrong.  No!  I'm supposed to be dead now, too!  NO! NO! NO!

Sorry, Carter.  Yes, everything is fine.  I didn't mean to yell.  I guess it was ... a nightmare.  Yes, you'll believe that.  I fell asleep and had a nightmare.  Actually, that is what this life is now ... Danny's dead and my life is a horrid dream.

Danny, remember the wonder on your face when you were looking at the elements on Ernest's Planet?  I'd never seen anything more beautiful than the look you had then.  You were so ... so enraptured by it all.  Oh Danny, I took you away from that, but if I hadn't, you would have died.  I wish I could get that back for you.

I loved the wonder with which you saw the universe.  You had a vision I could never have.  I'm too black and white, too military.  I can't see life the way you do ... the way you did.  You believed in people, Danny, in their goodness.  Gawd, you believed in me, wanted me to be better than I am.

I'm not good, Danny.  My past ... it's full of nastiness, unpleasantness.  You wouldn't like it, not at all.

Oh geez.  I have to laugh.  Remember when Bra'tac took your hand?  He said he could break you like a toothpick!  The look on your face, My Love, was priceless.  He sold you short.  He didn't know yet that you were a fighter, that you'd never give up.  He saw a skinny intellectual, not a warrior.

I didn't want you to be a warrior ... but Danny, you died like one, full of honor and bravery.  I heard Teal'c tell Carter that you died a proud death, free and strong.  Courage ... you were full of that rare commodity.  You will be remembered, Danny.  I'll ... make sure of it before I ... I do what I have to do.  I promise, Danny.  No one will forget you and your sacrifice.

Do you remember that day at the park, Danny? You and Carter brought Cassie there for the first time, and I gave her Sparky. Okay, she named him Jack, but to me, he's Sparky. What am I doing, talking about a dog's name?

Geez, Danny, you looked so natural with Carter. Yeah, I know. My jealousy was causing us some problems at the time, but I'll never forget watching you with her. How about when we went back to the park again a couple weeks later? You, me, Carter, Teal'c, the Doc, and Cass. That was a special day. I remember when the others left, you and I stayed there for a while. You looked at the swings with the same wonder as you had looked at the magic on Ernest's Planet.

I thought you were going to slug me when I made you get on the swing, and I pushed you higher and higher, like a little kid.  I was in love with you then, still trying to fight it, but I knew.  I wanted you to laugh and smile, to be truly happy, and you know what, Danny?  You did!  Do you remember when you started to laugh?

You laughed for a long time.  I think that was the first time I heard you let go like that.  I wouldn't let you stop, kept you swinging for a long time, and then we did the teeter-totter.  Gawd, I thought you'd kill me for that, too, but you were still laughing.

We played like two little kids for an hour, even climbed the monkey bars, remember?  You know something, Danny?  That was the first time I had laughed like that in a long time, too, and it was because of you, and your wonderful, infectious laugh.  You should have laughed more, but I guess you didn't have a lot to laugh about in your life, did you?

I remember after Antarctica when you found out how I felt about you.  I was so scared that you'd run from me.  But I should have known.  I should have had the same faith in you that you had in me, to believe in you with the same intensity.

You didn't flinch, didn't waiver.  You brought up that bottle of Jack Daniels and we got drunk.  We were stronger than ever, you and I.  Best friends ... forever.  I promised you I wouldn't push, and I've tried not to ... and we went on, together.

I love you, Danny.  I'm sorry I didn't believe you when you survived that experience in the alternate universe.  I'm sorry I made you work so hard to convince us, that you had to go through that alone.  I was such a fool, but still, you remained my best friend.

Somehow, you've never let my idiot tendencies interfere with our friendship.  Not once.  How did you do that?  I haven't a clue, but it makes me love you even more.

The shuttle is landing now, and then it's back to the SGC.  I have to face Hammond and Heaven only knows who else.  I have to tell them ... I ... I lost you ... lost my best friend ... but hey, we saved the world.  They'll be happy, smiling.  What a miserable conflict.

Carter and Teal'c are staying back, giving me room.  I haven't been fair to them, I know that, but I can't talk about it.  I have a game to play.  I have to be Colonel O'Neill, the victor, the killer of evil.  I have to ... smile.

I don't want to smile, Danny.  I don't feel like it, and I don't think I'll ever smile again, but I know you'd want me to.  The things I do for love.  It's my last gift to you ... playing this game, not letting the rest of the world see the despair.  I'll do it, Danny, for you, but it'll be the last time.

Okay, I'm ready.  Bring it on.  I'll smile.  What's that crazy song?  Oh yes, “Don't Worry, Be Happy.”  I'll do my duty, make my report, and then I'm going to the apartment, Danny.  I know you'd want me to.

I'll make sure your treasured things are safe.  Maybe ... maybe you'd want Sam to have your journals.  You loved her.  She's the only other person in the world I'd let have them.  It's either that or ... gawd, Danny, destroying them would be like killing you ... like watching you die again.

I can't go through it again, Danny.  I'll leave them for Carter.  I'll ... courier them to her, timing it just right.  That would be okay, wouldn't it, Love?

Your fish. What do I do with your fish?  I'll ... leave a note for Carter, ask her to adopt them, so they'll have a good home.  She'll do that for you.  You'd want your fish to be cared for properly.  Carter will do that.  She loves you, too.

All those books and artifacts.  They can go to a museum somewhere.  Hammond will handle that.  No, wait.  You'd want it to really mean something ... to help someone.  The boys in the shelter.  I'll ... I'll donate them there.  You'd like that, wouldn't you, Danny?  I'll just leave some knickknacks around for the closers.  Yeah, I'll take care of it, Danny.  I promise you ... I'll get some good done first, and then ...

And then ... nothing of mine matters, except for the house.  It's a beautiful place. It was so alive when you lived there with me.  Going home was always fun because I knew you'd be there.  Gawd, I sound like a lovesick puppy.

But I am.  It may sound like some fifties TV show, but that's what you've done to me, you with that silly laugh and beautiful smile, you with that heart of gold, you with all the passion and compassion in the world.  You've changed me, Danny, in ways I can't even define.

So, this is it.  We're back at the SGC, about to face the Welcome Back I'd just assumed would never happen.  Forgive me for the happy face.  It's for you, all for you.  The applause is all around.  The game plays out.  I'm good at this, Danny ... at playing games.

Bra'tac is a good soldier, and a good man.  I'll miss him.

What's that grin on George's face?  He looks ... geez, Danny, he looks like he's about to bust in two.  What could have him looking like that?  Doesn't he know?  Hasn't anyone told him?  I mean playing the game is one thing, but he's just too jovial.  I know he loved you, thought of you like a son.  I don't understand this.

“SG-1, there's someone who'd like to see you.”

No, it can't be.  I saw you ... dying.  There was no way, but George ... it's the only thing that could make him ... no, Danny, you're dead.  I know you're ...

GAWD, YOU'RE ALIVE!  Danny!  My Danny!  It is you ... looking at me.  

Wow, you are looking at me.  Carter called your name, but you didn't even glance her way.  Your eyes ... they are focused on me, only on me.

Danny!  I love you ... you're alive.  Danny, you're alive!

I don't know what my face looks like, and frankly, I don't give a darn  what anyone else thinks, not even you, because Daniel Jackson, I'm about to hug you senseless.

You're in my arms.  You feel so good, Danny.  It is you.  Your scent ... I know it better than anything.  Your darn shaggy hair.  Gawd, I love it.  I love you ... love you so much, My Love ... My Danny ... My ...

“Space Monkey!  Yeah!”

Danny, I'm feeling again.  I think my heart is beating now.  My soul ... it's come back to life.  Look at you, grinning.

Danny?  You still haven't looked at anyone else.  You're only looking at me.  Danny?  If I didn't know better, I might think ... no, that's asking too much.  I'd give anything if you loved me, but that's okay.  I’m just glad to have you alive, safe in my arms.  You ... You're just happy to be back, happy we're alive, too.

Gawd, Daniel, you thought we were dead, didn't you?  Oh, My Love, I didn't realize the pain you must have been in thinking we were ...

It doesn't matter.  We'll talk it all out ... tonight.  Pizza and beer -- stargazing on the roof ... just you and me, okay?  I know ... it should be a team thing, but ... Danny, please, one night.  Let me have you tonight ... just so I know I'm not dreaming.

We'll talk museums and rocks and ... and ... I don't care ... just talk to me, Danny ... talk my blasted ears off.  I want to hear your voice until I fall asleep.  I want to look into your beautiful blue eyes until I can't hold my eyelids open for another second.

Finally, Carter has moved in for a hug, and Teal'c.  I have to step back, or I'll pull you into my arms again, and I'm afraid I won't let go.  You see ... I don't care what the Marines think, Danny, because I lost you ... and by some gift of God, you've come back to me.  I won't waste this gift.

I know we're best friends, and I will treasure you forever.  And Danny, I'll never leave you behind again.  Don't ask me to, either, because it so isn't going to happen.  Once was enough.

Go on, Space Monkey.  Let them have their fill.  Soon, I'll be taking you home.  I know, you don't think of it that way, but I do.  I'm going to get you drunk, Danny, and make you laugh and smile until you're giddy ... and then I'll make sure you are safe in the spare room, and I'm going to sit and watch you sleep.

I don't think I can leave you alone just yet.  Gawd, Daniel, I'm not sure when I'll ever be able to let you off the leash I've just put around your neck.  Forgive me, Love.  And you thought I was bad before?  Whoa, Danny --  you ain't seen nothing yet.

“Okay, I'll meet you back in the locker room after the party.”

I don't want to party much either.  We'll make an appearance, and then we're gonna blow this joint for at least a week.

“Sure, Danny.  I'm glad you're okay, too.  Should have known you were impossible to kill.”

Let's get out of here before I start bawling like a baby.  Oh, for crying out loud, I'm getting out of here.  Get myself together for this blasted party.

A last nod to ... Danny?  You can't keep your eyes off of me.  Funny, I can't stop looking at you either.  Get a grip, O'Neill, you're letting your heart lead you to places you know don't exist.  He loves Sha're.  

Okay, deep breath.  I'm going to my office now before I make a big mistake, and then back to the party.

A last look as you smile while talking to Carter.

Danny?  I love you.

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