Drawer of Trust

Author: Orrymain
Category: Slash, Mini-Angst, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  2 - after Bane, before Tok'ra
Spoilers:  Children of the Gods (minor)
Size:  44kb
Written:  November 3-5,11, 2003  Revised: July 31, August 1,4, 2004  Revised Again:  January 17-18, February 18, July 10, 2005
Summary:  Jack needs space, and Daniel decides to give it to him.  Daniel needs something, too, and the question is, will Jack be able to give it to him?
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:
1) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
2) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Suzanna, QuinGem, Drdjlover, Arawa, Claudia, Sentarla, Allexandrya!

Drawer of Trust
by Orrymain

Daniel sat quietly at the edge of his bed, staring at the bureau drawers a few feet in front of him.  He had been sitting there, gazing at the drawers, for well over thirty minutes, as his mind struggled to make a decision, one that was not easy for the young man.

~I ... want to do this.  It's important in so many ways.  Why is it so hard to do something so simple?~

Finally, Daniel took a giant breath as if to fill himself with an unbeatable resolve.  He stood and opened the top right drawer, studying the contents -- a variety of socks, some handkerchiefs, and a few scattered pairs of underwear.  He reached over and opened the top left drawer, full of similar items.  Folding his arms, Daniel stood staring at both drawers.  A human statue, the archaeologist didn't move for fifteen minutes.

~Come on, Jackson.  Trust him.  He loves you.  He says it over and over again and ... gawd, you love him.  Show him.  Let him know you're committed to this relationship.~

Taking another deep breath, Daniel took the contents of the right drawer and dumped them into the left, squishing the items as much as necessary to fit inside the smaller space.  Letting out a breath of relief that he actually done something, he pushed both drawers back in and walked to his closet.

~Okay, one down.  Two to go.  It's okay.  You want this.  It doesn't even have to do with what's right or wrong, it's ... desire and need.  Focus.  Concentrate on the man you love.~

Daniel blinked several times and then almost panicked at what he was doing.

“Oh, for crying out loud, he's practically given you his house.  What's so freakin' hard about some drawers and closet space?”

Daniel had never been in this situation before.  On Abydos, there had been nothing to merge or give up when he married Sha're.  Before his wife, there had only been one relationship that was even close to being serious.  That had been with Sarah Gardner, a fellow archaeological student.

~Sarah.  Gawd.  She wanted into my drawers all right, but not these drawers.~  Daniel laughed hauntingly as he stared at the piece of furniture in front of him.  ~She wanted me to move in with her; she hated coming to my little apartment; that's why we had so many dinners in the research area. Well, okay, so it was bigger than my place, but ...~

Daniel sighed, knowing the truth.  Sarah had been a pleasant encounter, but it hadn't taken long for him to realize that she cared about him more for his bonds to their professors than for Daniel himself.  He had been the prodigy, the genius of their class.  Being connected to Daniel meant having extra access to the leaders of the archaeological and anthropological departments and, hopefully, being recognized.  It was the same reason Sarah had clung to Steven Raynor, who was considered the next most promising student by the instructors.

~I couldn't share an apartment with you, Sarah, because I didn't want to, but ... but I want to share my apartment with Jack because ... because I love him.  I guess that's the difference.  I love him; I never really loved you.~

Daniel closed his eyes as he regrouped, and then, tired of thinking so much, he arbitrarily grabbed an armful of the hanging shirts, pulling them from their hangers.  He placed them into a large white garbage bag.  Then he repeated his actions with several pairs of slacks that were hanging in the closet, adding them to the bag.  When finished, he put the bag on the floor in the corner of the closet.

~Can't stop.  I ... I can't stop now.~

Reciting the list of Egyptian Pharaohs in order so as to not think about what he was doing, Daniel quickly completed his third task.  He was afraid if he thought anymore about his actions that he'd stop.

~If you think too much, you'll chicken out.  Come on, Jackson.  Do you love him?  Gawd, yes.  Okay, well ... finish.  It's ... important to have space.~

Taking yet another deep breath, Daniel finally began the last part of his task.

~I can do this!  I ... I can!~  He had reorganized his drawers, cleared out a space in the closet, and now, he had just one more area in which he needed to make space.  ~No big deal.  People do this everyday.~  “Don't they?” he nervously asked the empty room and then looking around as if expecting an answer.

Shaking his head at his action, Daniel refocused on the task in front of him.  He tried not to think and just do, the process becoming an almost rhythmic exercise.

~Put my hand here, pick up, move object here.  Repeat.  Hand here, take hold, slide over here.  Again, grab this.  Oh, it's old.  Garbage bag.~

As he finished, Daniel was on the verge of hyperventilating.

~Can't ... breathe!~

Seeking air, Daniel escaped his bedroom and ran to the balcony.  On the tiny platform, he leaned over, closing his eyes and putting his hands on his knees.  He prayed he had made the right choice and that he hadn't just set himself up for a fall that might destroy him forever.

~Oh, gawd.  Don't let this be a mistake.  Please ... I ... I couldn't handle it.  Not now.  Breathe.  I ... can't ... breathe.~

====

It was almost 5:10 p.m., and Daniel felt cold.  He went to his closet and, for the first time in a long while, he pulled out Jack's brown coat, the one the Air Force colonel had given him on their first night back from Abydos.  Daniel held the coat close to his heart and gently caressed the material.

~Love this coat.  Smells of Jack.  Safe.  Love.  Cheap date.  I am not a cheap date!~

Daniel smiled at the remembrance, and then carefully, he put the coat on and headed to the kitchen to prepare dinner.

Having retrieved all the necessary ingredients to prepare the meal, the shaggy-haired chef soon stood over the hot range, stirring the food items in the skillet.  He couldn't stop thinking about the coat.  It was so big.  He almost felt lost in it sometimes, and it wasn't really the most practical garment to cook in, but at the moment, Daniel also needed the security that the coat provided him.

For a reason Daniel didn't quite understand, he needed that feeling of being protected by something, or someone, bigger than him.  In actuality, Jack was only two inches taller than Daniel, and the two often wore the other's clothes without much difficulty.  Daniel allowed himself a smile as he visualized just how well he and Jack truly fit together for two six-foot-plus fellows.

~We have to do better in that rowboat, though,~ Daniel silently mused.  ~Maybe if I put my leg more to the right and snuggled in a little closer.~  He smiled at the thought of cuddling with Jack on the boat as they floated along the lake's waters during a cool sunset.  ~Next time we're at the cabin, I'll try that.~

The young man sighed, letting himself get lost in the splendor of treasured times at the secluded cabin where he and Jack could be free and uninhibited with their love.

====

Having seen to the salad and other dinner preparations, and with a quick look to the clock, Daniel returned to check on the main course, again standing by the range, stirring the contents of the skillet.  He paused and ran his hands along the arms of the coat, feeling the peace and security the clothing provided him with.

Then, Daniel heard the twisting of the doorknob, the clanging of the keys, and the movement of his door.  He inhaled, and let out a little cough.  Suddenly, breathing became difficult again.

~Gawd, don't hyperventilate in front of him.  Not tonight.~

A minute later, Jack stood directly behind his lover, his hands at Daniel's waist as he kissed the man's nape.  Jack rested his chin on Daniel's right shoulder, taking in his lover's scent.

“Hmmm ... smells good.”

“It's just stir-fry,” Daniel nonchalantly replied.

“Wasn't talking about the food.  I missed you,” Jack told his lover in a soft tone.  Daniel blushed as Jack reached over and took the large spoon out of his hand, placing the utensil on the range.  He turned Daniel around to face him.  “It's been seven hours, twenty-two minutes, and,” checking his watch, “ten seconds, and that's way too long since we've done this,” Jack said just before he kissed his soulmate soundly.

Daniel's hands went up around Jack's neck as he leaned into his lover.  Their mouths locked on to the others, their tongues enjoying the feeling of exploring the other's mouth.  Little moans and sounds of pleasure escaped from both of their throats.  Their kiss exploding within them, both felt a pleasure they had never before imagined until falling in love with each other.

“Geez, I love that,” Jack said with a smile.

“Wha...what?”

“Those little sounds you make.  I love those sounds because ... because it's because of me,” Jack laughed, kissing Daniel again, and almost as if on cue, Daniel's throat let go of yet another deep moan of pleasure.

“Just love it,” Jack said again.

“Jaaaack.”

“I love you, Danny.  Hey, you cold or something?  I haven't seen this thing in months,” Jack commented as he rubbed the old coat, eyeing it up and down.

“I was a little cold, I guess,” Daniel answered evasively.

“We need to get you a new coat; give this thing to Goodwill.”

“NO!” Daniel argued loudly.  He saw Jack's head pull back, his eyebrows raising at the vehemence of Daniel's reaction.  ~Gawd, calm down.~  “I mean ... I have a new one.  I have ... lots of coats.  They're in the closet.”

“Then why are you wearing this old thing?”  Seeing the sheepish look on the younger man's face, Jack asked, “Danny?”

Softly, Daniel answered, “You gave it to me when we came back from Abydos, and I ... I like it.  I don't want to give it away.  It ... it keeps me warm when you're not here.”

A tiny smile appeared on Daniel's embarrassed face, no, make that his blushing face.

~Geez, how he makes me feel: My Danny.~

Jack was smiling, but it didn't escape his notice that his shy lover wasn't looking at him.  He pulled Daniel into a tender embrace, relishing the warmth that their pressed-together bodies brought.  For a second, he simply held on, noticing that Daniel was holding on tightly.  He wasn't quite sure what had triggered this bout of insecurity in Daniel, but he'd do his best to reassure his sensitive lover that there was nothing to feel insecure about.

“I wish I could find the words to tell you just how much I love you, and how you make me feel,” Jack said.  He moved his right hand to caress Daniel's cheek, and for a second, he brought it up to Daniel's nose and scratched a little across the end.  “Geez!”

“Jack!”

“Spice.”

“Oh,” Daniel responded, not having realized he had anything on his nose.  “Wait a minute, we already kissed, and ... Jack!”

Jack laughed, “You're hot and spicy.”

“Jack,” Daniel said bashfully, his head bowed slightly.

Jack kissed his partner on the forehead, then said, “You're my beautiful falling star who gave me my greatest wish.  I'm so thankful for you, Danny, for granting my wish, even beyond what I could ever have imagined.”

“I love you, too, but I also love my stir-fry, and if I don't take care of it, it's going to burn, so ... let me go.”

“Well, at least I know my place on the Daniel Jackson food chain.”

“Very funny, Jack.”

They shared another kiss, and then Daniel returned his focus to the skillet of vegetables and meats while Jack walked towards the living area.

“Hey, Danny, I need a pair of dry socks.  Mine are all soggy,” Jack explained casually.

“Soggy?” Daniel chuckled.

“Don't ask.”

Jack walked to the bedroom and opened the sock drawer.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Daniel's eyes suddenly widened as he dropped the spoon onto the counter and literally ran into the bedroom, finding Jack staring at the empty drawer.

“Hmm.  Danny, Love, what happened to your socks?”

“Um ...”

Daniel folded his arms and stared down at Jack's feet.

“Danny?  Where's your stuff?”  Seeing Daniel point to the other top drawer, Jack opened it, immediately noticing the garments crammed together inside it.  “A bit crowded, dontcha' think?”

Daniel shrugged while still studying Jack's feet, though he managed to whisper, “Closet.”

“Closet?” Jack asked, not yet having a clue as to what was going on.

The linguist, who was currently without language skills, nodded.

~Okay, I'll check out the closet.~  Jack walked over to Daniel's closet and opened the doors, immediately seeing the bare area.  ~Where are your clothes?~  Examining the space, Jack saw the bag of clothes in the corner, and suddenly, everything made sense.  ~Oh!~  He looked over at his lover and smiled.  ~Big step for you, My Love.~

Jack ambled over to Daniel and put his arms around his soulmate's waist, which forced Daniel out of the self-hug.  Daniel put his hands on Jack's chest as they stood close together.

“Something you want to tell me?”  Daniel nodded, his hands moving up to play with the collar of Jack's blue shirt.  “Hey, Danny ...”

“It's just ... at the house ... I mean ... my stuff ... I ... you ...”

Jack decided to rescue his diffident soulmate with a kiss.

“Thank you, Danny.  I'll be right back.”

As Jack hurried out of the apartment, Daniel went back to the kitchen, turning the burner to low, stirring the mix in the skillet one more time, and adding a bit of seasoning.  His heart was beating rapidly, and he was curious why Jack had left the apartment.

~Did I do something wrong?  Was ... gawd, was it a mistake?~

Anxiety filling him, Daniel tried his best not to burn their dinner as he waited for Jack's return.

====

A few minutes later, Jack returned with the duffel bag he kept in his truck.  He immediately headed for Daniel's bedroom, the younger man following him.

“This will be a great start,” Jack said, opening the drawer.  He removed the few things he had in the bag -- some underwear, socks, a couple of shirts, a pair of jeans, and a pair of black pants.  Then he took the black jacket he had also brought in along with a heavy sweater and hung them in the closet.  He went back to the duffel bag and pulled out the only thing left besides a pair of shoes.  “I don't suppose ...”  Jack held the item up for Daniel to see.  The young man nodded.  “Yeah?  Really?” Jack asked, enthused by the affirmative nod.

Smiling, Jack entered the bathroom, loving what he saw.  The main shelf had been cleared for his things.

~This wasn't easy for you, Danny; I know that.  Trust me, you won't regret it.~  Jack emptied the small bag of items that included deodorant and a razor.  When he was done arranging the things, he went back to the duffel bag and zipped it up.  “You know, just in case we ever go anywhere from here, I think I'll leave this on the floor of the closet.  That okay?” he asked Daniel about the duffel bag.

Daniel mouthed a mute yes.  He really intended to strongly say 'yes', but when he opened his mouth, nothing came out.

The duffel bag in place, Jack was beaming as he went to his lover and scooped him into his arms.  They kissed, and again, hearing that soft sweet moan that made him tingle knowing only he made Daniel respond like that, Jack smiled inside.

~You're too quiet,~ Jack thought, and then analyzing the situation, he realized the truth.  ~Geez, you're scared.~

Daniel remained very quiet as Jack held him, but his hands were definitely holding the older man close.

“This is a first for you, isn't it?”  He felt Daniel's nod against his shoulder.  “Are you sure, Danny?  If you're not ready, I can take everything back, keep it in the duffel bag.”

Daniel didn't respond, but he kept his body as close to Jack's as he could.

“You don't have to do this, and, Danny,” Jack pulled back to make sure Daniel was looking at him, “I do mean it.  It's okay.  I love you, even if I don't get drawer space.  Tell me, Love, and know I love you, no matter what. Tell meeeeeee...mmmmmmm.”

Jack's words had met with a physical end, resulting in a sensation that made him hunger for more.

“Got it?” Daniel asked softly when the long, lingering kiss had ended.

“Oh yeah.”

“I need to check on our dinner,” Daniel said, turning and heading for the kitchen.

Jack looked around the bedroom and couldn't help but take a contented sigh.

“You're giving me space.”

His insides warm, Jack followed Daniel into the kitchen.

Life was definitely good.

====

Three hours later, the two lovers were snuggling on Daniel's sofa, the younger man leaning into Jack's hold.  They had kissed and fondled the night away as romantic love songs played on the stereo.  It had been a quiet night, one in which their language was spoken with their fingers and lips more than with words.

“Jack?”

“Hmm?” Jack asked and placed a kiss on the side of his lover's head.

“I've never done it before.”

“Snuggled?  Now that I don't believe,” Jack teased, chuckling lightly.

“No,” Daniel laughed.  “I mean I never ... never ...”

“... made space?”  Jack witnessed Daniel's hesitant nod, the younger man's shyness about to consume him again.  “You don't have to,” Jack told him again.

“I know, but I ... I want to,” Daniel commented, adding, “and that's why I did it ... because I don't have to, but I want to.”

~'Daniel Speak' - geez, I love it.~  Jack crooned, “I love you, Danny.”

“Jack, did you ever do it before?”

“I was married, you geek.”  Daniel slugged Jack gently with his elbow, soliciting a teasing “ouch” from his lover.  “Hey, I thought you loved me,” Jack whined.

“I do, so answer my question,” Daniel cajoled.

“It'll destroy my Romeo-like image,” Jack responded.

Daniel sighed, ready to give up.  He really wanted to know, but maybe he didn't have a right to pry into Jack's past.

“I'm kidding, Love,” Jack said and then kissed Daniel's head and squeezed him to reaffirm the tease.  “Truthfully, the way we are now, this kind of ... space ... no ... which doesn't mean I didn't leave a few things here and there at some girlfriend's apartment, especially in college and the early days at the Academy when everything was done on the run so much.  But,” Jack sighed, hating to admit it, “the truth, My Love, is that I was pretty much a good boy, the clean cut All-American type.  Had 'em all fooled,” he tried to joke.

Daniel laughed, his hands caressing Jack's as he listened, and said, “I'm not sure whether or not I should believe you.”

“Hey, would I lie by soiling my playboy reputation?” Jack questioned lightheartedly.

“Saying you didn't do anything soils your rep?” Daniel queried as his right hand rubbed the inside of Jack's left thigh.

“I didn't say I didn't do anything,” Jack replied with a wink.

“Oh.”

“Besides, what I said was I ...”  Jack paused, growing serious.  “I had my chances.  I knew some very nice girls, but I never wanted to just fool around; always wanted something more.  It was contrary to the fly boy image.”

“Which, no doubt, you tried to protect.”

“Air Force; had to have an image,” Jack chuckled.

“Right.  What would the world do if the military-types were actually monogamous?”

“You are so gonna get it, Daniel Jackson,” Jack said, shifting slightly to tickle his lover for a moment.

“Oh, I hope so,” Daniel laughed in response.

“Seriously, Danny, I was pretty straight-laced.  I think it's true that we try to find someone to live up to the image of our mothers.”  Jack paused for a moment as he remembered his happy childhood and the woman who had given birth to him.  “My mom was the best.  The only one who even came close to her goodness was Sara.”

“Oh ... so, are you, uh, comparing me to your mother?”

Jack laughed, “Trust me, Danny, you look nothing like her.”

“You know, Jack, I think you are telling me a tale,” Daniel jokingly accused.

“A tale?”

“I just have a hard time imagining you going through the Academy without ... you know.”

“I did not go without; I just didn't fool around.”

“Oh,” Daniel chuckled.  “Thanks, uh, for clarifying.”

“My mother raised me to be a good boy,” Jack stated defensively.

“Oh,” Daniel chuckled yet again.

“It's the truth, and I swear, Daniel, you tell Ferretti or anyone at the base, and I'll soooo make you suffer.”  Jack heard the volume of his lover's laughter raise dramatically.  “What?  You don't believe I was young and innocent once?”

“No, I don't believe you'd make me suffer.”

“Oh,” Jack acknowledged Daniel's correct assumption.  He decided to tease his soulmate.  Speaking with an Irish accent, he said, “You sure of yourself, are ya now, Dannyboy?”

Daniel laughed again, and said, “No, but I'm ... I'm sure of you, Jack; never been more sure of anyone in my life than I am of you.  It's kinda scary.  I mean ... does it scare you?”

“To love you?  Heck, no.  You're my dream come true, not scary at all.”

“You lie!”

“You know me too well,” Jack admitted softly.

“No, but I ... I want to.”  Daniel twisted around to face Jack, his hand on his lover's right cheek.  “I want to know everything, Jack, every inch of you, and every part of you: everything.”

“That'll take years.”

“Decades,” Daniel smiled as he replied.

“A lifetime.”

“Forever,” Daniel insisted.

“Forever,” Jack repeated, “but I think I might bore you, and more than that, there are things ...”

Jack's voice trailed off as he looked downward, remembering parts of his unpleasant past.  His days of active Special Ops service still haunted him.  Truth be told, he'd done some nasty things in the name of his country, and they were things he'd just as soon forget.

Daniel kissed his lover on the lips, and then looked carefully over his face, as if he were studying an artifact.  He kissed Jack's cheek and nibbled on his love's right earlobe, sending a shiver through Jack's body.  Then Daniel traced a small scar, almost invisible at the base of Jack's neck.  It was obviously old and was easily overlooked if not specifically looked for.

Daniel kissed the scar, and traced it with his fingers.  He looked in Jack's eyes, and urged, “Tell me.”

“Danny, I can't.”

“Yes, you can.”

“It's classified,” Jack said hesitantly.

“I have the highest clearance, Jack.”

~Don't ask me, Danny.  You don't want to know.~  Jack wished he could change the subject, but he knew a deflection wouldn't work, at least not just yet.  “I know, but there are some things better left in the past.”

“I don't believe that, not between us.  I think that when you truly love someone, I mean when you feel that you've found that ... that ... when it's forever ...”

“Danny?”

“We fit, Jack.  I mean it's like I've waited my whole life for you and ... and didn't even know it.  We're so perfect together, and for the first time I feel ... gawd, Jack, it's like you complete me, as if my soul has been crying out for something I couldn't even imagine,” Daniel said, opening up his soul in a way he only ever did for his lover.  He continued, “Then I met you, and something deep inside me healed.  I can't tell you what.  I can't even explain it.  I only know that ... that it just is ... that you were that something my soul hungered for.”

“You're what I hunger for,” Jack responded, still hoping for a distraction, but fearing it wasn't going to happen.

“Jack, you're always telling me to talk.  From the first night we came back from Abydos, you've urged me to open up to you.  You said it would be good for me.  I trusted you, Jack.  I've trusted you with things that I didn't even realize I felt until you made me face them, whatever they were at the time.

“Don't you understand?  I want to know everything there is to know about you, too.  I ... I want to know what made you laugh as a child *and* what made you cry.  I want to know how you felt when you tasted your first kiss, how it felt that first time you soloed in a plane, and yes, I want to know all the bad things that happened to you as well.  They all add up to make you the person you are right now, right at this minute -- the Jack O'Neill that has gotten so under my skin and so deep within my soul that sometimes I don't know where you end and I begin.”

“Danny, I understand, and I'm not trying to hide things from you, but what happened back in those days ...” Jack's words trailed off.

Tenderly, Daniel replied, “There's nothing you can tell me that will make any difference to the way I feel about you.  You run too deep within my soul.  It's like you're in my blood, and I know you're in my heart.  I'm ... Jack, I'm trusting you with all that I am, and I just want you to do the same thing ... that's all I'm asking.”

~Oh, crap.  That was beautiful.  Those words, so giving, and I know how hard that is for him.~

“Jack?” Daniel asked, waiting for a response to his poignant words of love and devotion.

“Geez, Danny.  Don't make me feel guilty.  You know how I feel about you.  You're my love, my partner, my soulmate, but please, don't ask me to talk about this stuff.  I can't, not yet.”  The colonel with the murky past could see Daniel's eyes dimming, his smile ebbing to a frown.  Jack tried to explain, “You don't understand.  I know you want to, but ... you don't know that world, or what it was like.”

“So, let me see if I understand this correctly,” Daniel began, his tone a bit harsher and formal than before.  “You want me to bare my soul, to trust you with my fears and the things I'm ashamed of, to know that no matter what I say, you'll still love me and want me, but you don't trust me to do the same for you?  Is that what you're saying?”

~No, it's not like that.~  Jack desperately tried to express his feelings about what made their two situations different.  “Danny, there's a world of difference between the pain and suffering of being alone in the world and kill... and doing things that are against your very soul.”

“So you don't trust me?” Daniel asked pointedly.

Jack answered without hesitation, “I trust you with my life.”

“But not with your soul.”

“Danny ...”

“It's okay.  I understand now,” Daniel said reluctantly, standing and turning off the CD in favor of the radio, selecting the local public radio station.

Jack sensed that the romantic part of the evening had ended.  If it had been quiet before, it was about to get even quieter now.

~I don't know how to get you to understand, Danny, but my life before is one that would sicken you.  I've done things you can't even imagine.  Time.  Time will help us.  I'm sure of it,~ Jack prayed as the room continued to chill.

====

“Danny, are you going to stay on that side of the sofa all night?”

When the younger man had returned from putting on the radio, he chose to sit as far away from Jack as he could.  He had picked up a magazine from the coffee table and was reading it.  Jack, meanwhile, had been twiddling his thumbs and trying to make conversation.

~It's hard to have a conversation if only one person is talking,~ the older man had thought after Daniel's answers to his questions were 'yes', 'no', 'maybe', and 'I don't know'.

“Maybe,” came the answer to the current question.

Jack sighed and checked his watch.  He stood up and began to pace around.  Glancing at Daniel, he could see his lover was uneasy.  He was fidgeting, looking over at Jack with anxious eyes, but then looking away as soon as he thought Jack was looking at him, and he hadn't turned the page since Jack had stood up.

~No, I'm not leaving.  We'll get through this, somehow.~

Finally, Jack moved towards the door.  When he looked back, Daniel's eyes were totally focused on him, and this time, Daniel made no attempt to cover it up.  With his soulmate watching, Jack double-checked the locks and then walked back towards the sofa.

~You aren't happy with me, but you don't want me to leave.~

Jack extended his hand to his lover.  With a sigh, Daniel took it, and without words, they went to bed.  Contrary to their new norm, however, Daniel slept on his left side, Jack spooned into him.

~You'd hate me, Danny.  If I told you those nightmares, you'd kick me out, and I need you; need you so much.  Time; time will heal us.~

Jack's hopes were slightly dashed when an hour after going to bed, Daniel shifted his position, preventing Jack from holding on to the younger man any longer.

“Love you; trust you; wish you loved and trusted me, too,” Daniel mumbled as he pulled the blanket up to his neck and went to sleep.

~A lot of time,~ Jack thought as he attempted to go to sleep.

====

Jack awoke, alone in Daniel's bed.  He glanced at the clock, surprised that it was only 1:35 a.m.  He quickly got up, putting on a blue robe that he usually wore when staying overnight at his lover's apartment.  When he got to the end of the hallway, he let out a big sigh, seeing Daniel standing on the balcony, self-hugging, staring out blankly.  He noticed Daniel didn't have on his robe or even his slippers, but was barefoot in the chilly weather.

“It's freezing out here, and geez, Danny, you're barefoot,” Jack spoke softly as he wrapped his arms around Daniel's waist.

“I am?” Daniel said softly, still not moving, and having totally forgotten he didn't have any shoes on; then again, he didn't really care.

“Come inside, Love.”

Jack pulled an unresisting Daniel into the living room and closed the patio door, locking it again.  Daniel was still self-hugging, staring at his fish as they swam around the fish tank.  Jack realized the night was going to get ugly, not from fighting, but from old memories.

~You need to know.  Crap!~

Daniel needed Jack to show him trust, the same kind of trust Daniel had given him by making space.  It may not have seemed like much to some, but for Daniel Jackson to have given Jack space in his drawers, closet, and bathroom was nothing short of a declaration of forever, a miracle of the power of love.  

That Daniel had turned around and in the course of their conversation verbalized their foreverness had been even more astonishing.  It was the first time Daniel had talked so freely and confidently about the eternal future of Jack and Daniel, and Jack feared if he didn't right his wrong, Daniel might never do it again.

~I can't lose you, Danny, but, geez, I'm scared.  You're so idealistic and innocent.  I know you'd laugh at that, but you are.  You have no idea what I've done, and if ... when I tell you, I ... I'm so afraid.~

Daniel still had walls of armor shielding him that Jack vowed to get through, one at a time, but his lover had lowered one wall all on his own.  He had trusted Jack to love him, to be with him, to share space with him.

Now, all Daniel wanted was a sign of Jack's trust in the form of a piece of Jack's past.  Both knew the classified argument was nothing more than a rationale.  Besides, there was nothing Jack and Daniel weren't supposed to be able to share, and that was essentially the point -- sharing and trusting.

How many times had Jack reminded Daniel of the need of letting go of the past, of talking about his pain, of believing in Jack's love, and that Jack wouldn't go away?  That's all Daniel wanted in return.  He didn't care about national security or departmental secrets and procedures.  Daniel loved Jack. He only wanted to share Jack's pain, to help ease that pain, just as Jack had always tried to ease Daniel's nightmares.

Jack's shutting Daniel out was, to Daniel, as if Jack was saying, “I don't trust you enough.”  It was a qualification of Jack's love, which wasn't at all how Jack felt.

Watching Daniel stare mindlessly at the fish, Jack realized he had to give back what Daniel had given and hope it didn't destroy himself, or diminish Daniel's love.  He had to give Daniel the chance to affirm his love, just as Daniel had given him that chance.

Jack walked up to Daniel, again placing his arms around him and kissing his nape.  He sighed as he held his precious love in his arms.

“Danny, remember earlier we talked about being scared?”

“Yes.”

“Well ... I'm scared,” Jack admitted, his voice quavering slightly.

Daniel turned around and looked into Jack's eyes as he asked, “Of what?”

“Losing you.  I've done things, Danny, things ... I don't regret them.  They needed to be done.  I followed orders; sometimes I knew why, and sometimes I knew what the prize was, but a lot of the time, Love, I didn't and still don't.  Doing what I did never scared me, but standing here now, looking into your eyes, I'm petrified.”

“Why, Jack?  What are you so afraid of”

“That if I tell you, you won't want me to be here anymore,” Jack answered truthfully, his soul now on his sleeves for Daniel to see.

“Jack, you know better than that.  If you can't trust me to know you and still love you, then we don't really have anything, do we?”

~Oh, Danny.  It was a dark world I was in.  You'll hate me.~  Jack continued to struggle, even though he knew it was a lost cause.  Still, he had to try just one more time.  “Danny, I've done things that together, you and I have said were cruel and ... you know, things we've seen on other planets.  Gawd, Daniel,” Jack sighed, leaning his head onto Daniel's for reassurance.

“Jack, I'm not dumb, or naive, and I'm not a child.  I read the papers, and I watch the news.  I know what Special Ops means.  I know it's nasty and hard, and ... I see Makepeace and the Marines.  I hear them talking.  Jack, I love you, but I'm not blind either.  Please don't treat me like some ... child who lives in a glass house.”  Daniel cupped Jack's face, gave him a quick kiss, and asked with all sincerity, “Do you trust me?”

“Oh, yeah.  Big time.”

“Then trust me when I say that I love you, and trust that love to be understanding and true.  Trust me, Jack.”

The absolute trust in Daniel's eyes gave Jack the courage he needed to ignore his fears.  Slowly, hesitantly, he began to talk about the mission Daniel had asked about, the one that had caused the scar.  For a time, he had to distance himself to get the story out, and when he was done, he was still afraid that Daniel would send him away.  It was an unwarranted fear because when Jack was done talking, Daniel simply turned, looked into his eyes, and kissed him.

“Gawd, I love you, Jack.”

Daniel's blue eyes shone with love as he leaned down to kiss his emotionally drained lover yet again.

Jack let out a huge sigh as a gigantic weight was unburdened from his shoulders.  He still wasn't comfortable sharing the abyss of his Special Ops days with his lover, but it wasn't because of trust; it was simply not wanting Daniel's innocence to be invaded by a grim reality.

Still, Daniel believed in Jack, and having heard those words of love, trust, and support from his friend and lover, a wound on Jack's soul, one that he hadn't even realized was there, began to heal.  It might take a while before the scar was gone, but Daniel's trust in Jack was doing wonders to make the nightmare ebb into nothing more than a sad memory.

As the two headed off to bed, they could almost feel their relationship growing and strengthening at the trust they had both displayed in each other.

====

The next morning the two lovers had a quiet breakfast.  They had slept in and had an early morning tryst before deciding to feed their other hunger.

“I have to go by the bank, and then I'll be home.  You going to be there when I get there?” Jack asked about mid-morning.

“Yeahsureyabetcha, Colonel,” Daniel teased.

“I love downtimes,” Jack laughed.

“Me, too.”

“Pizza tonight?”

“Okay,” Daniel agreed, hunger in his eyes, not for the pizza, but for his lover.

“I'm not going to get to watch the game, am I?” Jack asked, not the least bit disappointed at the prospect.

Daniel shook his head as he responded, “I have another sporting event in mind for you.”

“I love your sporting events.”

“We can have our own Olympics,” Daniel teased.

“You can do the long jump, and I'll do the rowing.”  There was a pause as they did nothing but talk with their eyes, their love and devotion to each other shining brightly.  “What time are you going to be home?” Jack asked.

“Home?” Daniel echoed quietly.

“Home,” Jack repeated firmly.

“I love you, Jack.  Geez, I love you so freakin' much.”

It was unusual for Daniel to say those three tender words first, but in the last twenty-four hours he had been fighting for his forever, and they were necessary.  Now, he was in such a happy moment that he couldn't help but say them.

“And I love you, Danny, so friggin' much,” Jack said and then started a new round of kissing that lasted ten minutes before they paused.

Still moaning pleasantly from their last kiss, Daniel said, “You'd better go or ...”

“Or I'll never get out of here, which, actually, wouldn't be so bad.”

“Go on, Babe.  I'll be there in a while,” Daniel assured his lover.  The lovers kissed again, and then Jack headed for the door.  “Jack?”  Daniel waited until his lover had turned to face him.  “Don't forget, we want to bring a few more of your things here tomorrow.”

“How could I forget that?  Thank you, Danny.”

“It's just a drawer,” Daniel responded offhandedly.

“No, it's more than that, so much more.  Love you,” Jack said, hurrying out the door and heading for his truck.

====

A minute or two later, Jack sat in his pick-up, replaying the last twenty-four hours.  Daniel had given him trust, and Jack wouldn't let him down.  He closed his eyes and leaned his head back against the headrest.  He had opened up a part of himself to Daniel last night that he hadn't known was possible.

The Air Force colonel didn't care that the rules would say he was wrong to tell Daniel about the classified mission.  What he did care about, was the look on his lover's face when he had given that part of himself to Daniel, when he had finally allowed himself to say, “This is what I've done; do you still love me?”

Jack smiled, remembering the total look of love Daniel had given him after he bore the dark story about the scar.  It hadn't been easy to vocalize those events.  The mission that Daniel had asked about had been one of the worst.  Innocent people, including children, had died, but when Jack finished, Daniel hadn't been repulsed, nor had he judged his lover.  What Daniel had done was love Jack unconditionally, and it felt good.

A noise jolted Jack out of his thoughts.  It was his lover who had opened the passenger door and hopped in.  Jack looked over in amazement as Daniel leaned in for a kiss, one that was long and hard, causing Jack to moan from the sensation.

“I thought you had some things to do, and you wanted to have your car at the house?” Jack asked.

“I missed you, and we have your truck if we want to go somewhere, and ... I love you,” Daniel said, saying those treasured words of love first yet again.

“Geez, what you do to me ...”

Daniel grinned, promise in his expression and tone as he replied, “Jack, you haven't seen anything yet.  Are you sure you need to go to the bank?”

“Bank?  What bank?”

The two laughed as they held hands for a few moments, and then Jack put the truck in gear and headed for home.

~Thank you for loving me, Danny.  Do you even know how many times you've said it first in the last several hours?  I know that's hard for you, but you knew I needed to hear it.  I love you.~

“What are you thinking about?  You have a ... funny smile on your face,” Daniel observed.

“Just thinking about you, Love, and how lucky I am to have you.”  ~Oh yeah, life is good.  Darn good!~

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