Faith of the Innocent

Author: Orrymain
Category: Pre-Slash, Romance, POV - Jack, Established Relationship  
Pairing: Jack/Daniel  .... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  1 (sometime after Fire and Water and before Solitudes)
Spoilers:  Fire and Water, Torment of Tantalus
Size:  27kb, ficlet
Written:  October 16,19-20,25,27, November 1, 2003
Archive:  Area52, Comfort Zone, FanFiction.Net, Cartouche, AlphaGate, TheBoy
Disclaimer: Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  This was a whim; all in fun.  I don't have anything to do with them legally!
Summary:  Jack comes to terms with his feelings of love for his best friend.
Notes:  Thanks to Mama Beast, Drdjlover, Suzanna, Starshadow for the betas!

Faith of the Innocent
by Orrymain

This is crazy.  I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone.  I'm a friggin' Colonel in the United States Air Force.  I was married, had a son.  I liked being married.  I loved Sara.  I still love her.  I do.  It's just ... my heart died with Charlie, or so I thought.

Charlie.  He was a beautiful, sweet, innocent little boy who believed I could do anything.  Crazy kid.  I was his hero.  I wanted to be one - only for Charlie.  I wanted to make all his dreams come true, and I needed to keep him safe, to be his protector ... but I ... I failed, and Charlie died, taking me with him ... or so I thought.

Charlie.  Sometimes when I look at Daniel, I can see my son -- the shaggy hair, the slender hands, the look of wonder in the eyes ... and me.  Charlie thought I could do anything.  Daniel ... well, he seems to have this same faith in me.  I promised him we'd get Sha're back, and he believed me.  

I wasn't lying, and we will find Sha're and bring her home.  I promised Daniel, and it's a promise I intend to keep. It's just ... it's the way he believes in me, trusts me.  It's so ... complete, just like Charlie.  

Charlie thought I was ... I don't know, some mythical superman who could do no wrong.  His dad, his hero.  He thought I was better than what I really am.  Daniel seems to think the same.  He believes I'm a better person than I know I am.  It's this faith that both Charlie and Daniel share in me that mystifies me.  I'm nothing special, just a run-down Colonel whose done some distasteful things in my time, all in the name of country and duty.

I count my lucky stars that Charlie never knew about the things I've done.  I don't regret them.  It's my past, and what I did was for the “better good,” for America, for ... the good guys, but still, being Special Ops meant doing things that still give me nightmares, making choices I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

Charlie never knew, and Daniel doesn't know, not really.  If he did, I think he'd disassociate himself from this Fly Boy but fast.  So much for being a ... whatever I am to him.  He's so good, so decent.  I'm afraid I'd lose him if he knew.

Lose him?  Geez, get a grip, O'Neill.  I haven't even known him that long, but still ... he's my best friend.  How did that happen?  A geek.  The man is a friggin' genius, for crying out loud.  What the heck am I doing thinking about him anyway?  

But that genius seems to be sticking to me like glue.  He finally moved out of my house after we met the Nox, but ... crap, I didn't want him to go, and I'm not sure he really wanted to, but it was the thing to do.  Right?  Yeahsureyoubetcha -- it was the thing society says to do.

O'Neill, get your act together.  You're not making sense.  Geez, if you want it done with, just ... tell him.  Tell Daniel about the things you've done.  That'll send him away.  Won't it?

But that's the thing, isn't it, Jack?  You don't want him to go away.  It's why you're afraid to tell him anything, no matter how hard it gets for yourself.  You have to give him credit, he's trying.  Remember what he said a while back?

“Jack, you keep telling me that I need to open up and not hide everything.  Fine.  I'm ... talking ... even when I ... don't want to, but using your own logic, then you need to do the same thing.  It's not  healthy to keep all of that bottled up inside.  You're not a machine, no matter what the Air Force believes.  Talk to me, Jack!”

That's my Daniel ... using logic and words on someone who isn't used to thinking that much about ... logic and words.

Wait.  Did I just say my Daniel?   MY?  He'd hate me if he could hear these thoughts, if he knew what was stirring inside me.  I think maybe ... I hate me.  This is wrong.  It's not ... normal.

I don't understand these feelings.  It began with that Creature from the Black Lagoon rip-off -- Nom, Nam, Nem ... whatever.  The monster took Daniel, kidnapped him, but he brainwashed Carter, Teal'c and I ... made us think Daniel had died.  It felt real.  The pain, the loss, the ... emptiness.  

It was just like Charlie ... again.  In a fiery flash, Charlie had died, using my own gun to inflict the bullet.  It was my fault.  I didn't protect him.  I wasn't his hero.  He ... he was gone before I ever reached him.  I can still see the blood draining from his small body.  

And Daniel ... the image was of him burning to a crisp.  I couldn't reach him.  He ... burned as I watched.  I didn't protect him either.  I wasn't his hero.  He was gone, and I couldn't touch him, not even to say goodbye.  Even now, I still have that image pop into my brain sometimes.  

The nightmares ... I get them, too.  Not as regularly as Daniel has his, but between Iraq when I was in prison, and Charlie and Daniel's “deaths,” the nightmares are frequent enough.  I failed them both ... real or imagined ... I failed them, in my mind and ... in my heart.

When Daniel “died,” it felt as if I had too.  When I closed my eyes, I would see Charlie pulling the trigger and Daniel burning, the images overlapping one another.  My son and my best friend ... the two people who thought I was better than I know I am ... both dead, because of me and my failure to protect them from their own innocence.

I wanted to withdraw from the living again, and that's when I realized that the reason I had returned to life after Abydos was ... Daniel ... Daniel Jackson ... multiple PHD ... Charlie grown up ... Daniel ... My Daniel.

This is so ... so ... like a story from The Outer Limits.  Someone's taken control of my mind.  GIVE IT BACK!

But ... look at him standing over there studying the ruins.  His eyes are so focused on that ... stone.  He's looked so intensely at it, from top to bottom, giving it his undivided attention, and now ... his fingers are tracing the carvings on the large stone.  The tips of his fingers are pressing against the pictures as he moves his smooth hands up and down the individual engravings.

Smooth.  Daniel's hands are so smooth.  For a man who has spent years digging and excavating, it's remarkable they aren't calloused, but My Daniel is a beauty, and his skin ... I mean his hands ... I mean ...

Oh crap.  This is so not good.  It's not ... right.  It goes against everything I ever knew about myself.  It's ... I don't even know what it is.

I felt numb when Daniel “died” and I had planned to retire and become a hermit, somewhere, anywhere, and let the Air Force worry about body snatchers that came in the form of the Goa'uld.

But then ... there he was, swimming to shore.  I watched him, and my heart swelled.  It reminded me of how I felt on my wedding day watching Sara, dressed in the most delicate white gown, walking down the aisle.

Sara?  Daniel?  What the devil?  It makes no sense!

But here I am ... watching Daniel's six, something I've been doing for months since SG-1 became ... well, SG-1, only now when I watch his six, I'm ... wanting to be close to that sweet, tight six of his.

Crap, O'Neill, stop it!  Stop it now!  Maybe if I keep yelling at myself, over and over, I can stop the insanity, stop thinking of Daniel as ... I don't know ... whatever it is I'm thinking about him as.

He's not Charlie.  He's not my precious son grown up, but if Charlie had lived, I would have wanted him to be like Daniel.  I'd be darn proud to have a son like Daniel, with such caring and compassion in his soul.  But Daniel isn't my son, nor do I want him to be.

Look at him.  He's holding that object, admiring it with such wonder and awe.  It's another similarity.  Charlie thought the universe was magical, and everything was awesome.  Daniel looks at the universe and gets so lost in the magic and wonder of it.  On Ernest's Planet, his soul sparkled and I ... I felt that, even though I didn't know then that I ...

Stop it, O'Neill.  That's ... wrong thinking and you know it.  Be like Spock, suppress those irrational human emotions, especially the ones that are going to get you courtmartialed and cause you to lose your best friend.  Haven't you lost enough already?  Don't be so dumb, O'Neill!

But look at his eyes.  I swear, I see his soul in his eyes.  They are focused, devoted to that alien ... whatever the heck it is and ...

“No problem, Daniel.  We have time.  Keep on playing with your rocks.”

I have to laugh.  Look at him with that look of exasperation.  He hates it when I tease him about his artifacts, but as much as he wanted to argue with me about it, his beautiful expressive blue eyes sparkled when I told him we had more time for him to stay and research the ruins.

And that smile?  Get a load of that smile!  Wow!  His whole body shines when he's happy, except ... I'm not sure Daniel is really happy ... he just has ... moments ... moments in time when he lets himself loose, and it's usually when he's playing with his rocks.  Sorry, artifacts.

Those eyes and that smile he just gave me ... they turned me into Jell-O.  I feel all ... mushy, like when Sara said she'd marry me.

Sara?  Daniel?  I'm in such trouble here.  He's a man.  I'm a man.  I love ... Sara ... I do.  I want her back ... but ... but ... I want her to be happy and now I ... I'm not sure I'm really what she needs, at least not any more and suddenly, I'm thinking there's something ... more for me.

Daniel?  Oh geez, it can't be.  Maybe I'm not even in Oz anymore.  Maybe this is the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the joke's on me.

I have to be strong here.  I'm the tough-as-nails Air Force Colonel who scares new recruits and veterans alike.  I'm great at intimidation.  I'm .. tough ... I don't need anyone ... not anymore.  But ... no, I don't ... I don't need him, don't want him ... I don't ... I swear ... I'm so not in ... in ...

OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD ... NO! NO! NO!  I do NOT love Daniel Jackson.  As a friend, my best friend ... I ... I care about him.  Sure, that's okay.  Men can love men as friends.  No problem, but why is it now that as I watch his six, I'm wondering what it would be like to ...


When he swam out of the ocean, I wanted to hold him.  Crap, not just hug him, but ... hold him, the way I held Sara when her mother died or when that bully of a parent went after her for trying to help his son.  I wanted to protect her, keep her safe, comfort her ... and ... that's what I wanted to do with Daniel, hold him, tell him he was safe, and that I'd ... protect him.  I wanted those blue eyes to look up at me and show me that I was still ... crap ... his hero, or someone he had faith in.

I need to stop thinking this way.  I'm a man.  He's a man.  I'm in the military.  You know - “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.”  I'm heterosexual.  I like women.  I love women.  Heck, my 2IC is a looker.  I should be going after her if I wanted to buck the rules, but she's ... my 2IC and I ... like her, love her even ... as a teammate and friend ... but I'm just not interested, romantically speaking.

Daniel tries to save a spider, shooing it outside or away from wherever he is.  Me?  I step on it, squishing its life away without a thought.

Daniel is a brain, a genius.  He loves books and words, and he can talk forever about most anything.  Me?  I'm just an old Fly Boy.  I like to read too, but I prefer fiction and a good movie, and as for words ... well, I'm not good with them.  I don't like to talk that much, to share my feelings, and yet, with Daniel, I seem to do that a lot.

Why Daniel?  Why does he do this to me?  How is it that he can turn me into jelly, make me do and say things I'd never do before?

He's a good man, Daniel Jackson.  I watched him nurse a bird back to health a few weeks ago.  The bird had flown into his patio door.  I would have buried it, but Daniel, he carefully examined it and nursed it back to health and watched it fly off in safety a couple of days later.

Last week, I took Daniel to a baseball game.  It wasn't little league or anything, just an informal game with some kids at a local children's shelter.  I like to help them out. It makes me feel close to Charlie.  

There was this boy, about eight or nine.  He tried and tried but couldn't hit the ball if it had been the size of a basketball, and he couldn't catch a fly ball if he was holding a large fishing net. The other boys were being boys -- picking on him.   

I stopped it, but the damage was done.  I didn't have time to talk with the boy because I had to keep the action going, but a few minutes later when I went to check on the kid, I was stopped in my tracks.

Daniel had him off to the side, sitting next to him Indian style on the grass.  He was brushing shoulders with the boy, like he and I do .. and for Daniel, I know that was a big something for him to do, considering how he shies away from physical contact with people.

I don't know what he said, but ten minutes later, the boy had a big smile on his face, got back up, grabbed his mitt and joined back in the action.  He caught the next ball hit his way, and when he did, he flashed Daniel the biggest smile.  Daniel was applauding and cheering.  

The boy struck out, still never hitting the ball, but Daniel was his supporter the rest of the day, and the kid held his head up high.  Before we left for the day, I saw Daniel hand the boy his card.  The kid smiled again.  He'd found a friend.  Something tells me that little boy may not have many friends, but he has Danny now.

On Ernest's Planet, Daniel was willing to give his life for knowledge, something I wouldn't allow.  I had to put my life on the line to save his, but it worked.  He saw my eyes, knew that if he wasn't leaving, then I wasn't either.  And I wasn't.  Gawd, was it that strong even then?  I couldn't leave him, and ... he couldn't let me die for him.

In that room, with all those elements dancing around in the air, Daniel had been like a kid in a candy store.  He feasted on the discoveries he was making.  His eyes sparkled, his voice ... it was joyous.  I don't want him to ever lose that ability to marvel at life and the universe.  I felt like silly putty in his hands, listening to him, watching him.  He wanted me to understand his words.  I didn't need to. I understood him.

Not too long ago, we were on planet PC something or another, and it was pretty nasty.  We were in the middle of some civil war apparently.   I never did figure out why they were fighting because at the time, SG-1 was having its own face off with one of the factions.  

As it was getting to critical mass, one of the warriors who had been arguing with us over our presence, suddenly came under attack, and Danny ... he threw himself in front of the warrior when someone from the other side fired a phaser-like shot at him.   

Fortunately, Daniel was only stunned, and we gave up on the planet and hi-tailed it out of there, but My Danny, he put his life on the line for someone he didn't know, someone who had been acting like an adversary.

My Danny?  I'm so far gone.  It's ... wrong, isn't it?  I'm not supposed to be in love with another man.  It goes against my upbringing, my career, and everything I am ... doesn't it?

Or does it?  I don't know anymore.  I'm still me.  I just want ... Daniel.  Does this make me homosexual?  Bisexual?  I ... don't know, I swear I don't.  It's just ... Daniel, the man who watches out for spiders and birds and little boys, the man who would sacrifice himself even to protect an enemy.  Daniel ... the man who marvels at the wonders of the universe ... the man who has enormous faith in me for reasons I'll never fathom.

When he looks at me, I quiver inside.  I'm supposed to be hardened, tough, unmovable, and yet ... I'm none of these things with Daniel.  I've never been one to share my feelings, to talk about feelings, and yet, that first night back from Abydos, I opened up my soul ... to Daniel, talking about Sara, Charlie, my fears ... and somehow, it felt good and right.

I'm military.  I want weaponry.  We're in a war with the Goa'uld, and defeating them comes first ... doesn't it?   Then why is it I let a civilian geek constantly talk me into doing the humane thing, the peaceful way, the way that sometimes means we don't get the weapons, but do save a life or two?  Why is it when he looks at me with those pleading eyes, and that lilting voice, I'm his pawn?

“Please, Jack.  We have to give them a chance.”

“Jack, don't you see?  There's another way.  You have to let me try.”

“Sure, we'll get the device, but at what price?”

Daniel -- the savior to the underdog, the primitive, the meek.  And I'm his to command, but I'm supposed to be the commander.

He drives me crazy.  He runs when he should walk; he talks when he should remain silent; he gambles when he should play it safe ... but he does it all with passion, caring and commitment that flows like blood through his veins.

Ah, Danny, what you do to me.  Look at you, sitting there scribbling notes, taking pictures, trying to unearth the secrets of this place and all the while, I'm wanting to unearth the secrets of you.  How could someone be bandied around the way you've been in life and still be so giving?   And more than that, why Danny, do you care about me, the soldier, who stands opposite from you in so many philosophical ways?

Heaven help me.  I'm in love with my archaeologist who happens to be my best friend.  I don't even know what that means, for one man to love another man.  I wouldn't even know how to ... touch him, but then, it really doesn't matter.

I can never tell you, Danny, that you somehow have become my heart, that being near you makes me shiver with lust and want, that hearing your voice fills me with joy, that seeing you smile makes me laugh.  How can I tell you that your soul has become the single most important thing to me in life?

Why do I love you?  My genius who dares to make me believe in myself. Geez, Danny, you keep telling me I don't have to be a machine of the military mindset, that to question doesn't mean being unsupportive.  You urge me to do what is morally right, even when it means going against what I've been taught is the “right” thing to do.  

You keep insisting that the peaceful way deserves a chance, that I owe it to myself to give negotiation a chance, to ask questions first, and shoot later.  Do you have any idea that what you ask of me contradicts my entire way of life from the moment I entered high school and joined the ROTC?

I love you because ... you challenge me, believe in me, care about the birds and the spiders, the warriors and the little boys.  I love you for your passion and compassion, for your genius that lets you save our bacon when I ignore you, idiot that I can sometimes be.

You're looking at me again.

“Jack, not complaining, but we've been here a long time.  Shouldn't we be meeting the others?”

“No, I ... radioed Carter earlier, got you a few more hours.  We still have time, Danny.  Not much, but some.”

There he goes -- lighting up like the Christmas tree.  He does love to play in his archaeological and anthropological sandboxes, and I love to watch him while he's doing it, but that is something else I can never admit to, how watching him discover the history of some ancient people makes me beam with pride, because it's something Daniel can do that no one else can.

My Danny, he's one of a kind.  No one else can match him, and I'm going to protect him from those who would try to keep him from doing what he loves.  I failed with Charlie.  I won't fail with Daniel.  He may wish he'd never become my friend, but I'm going to make sure that he takes care of himself while he takes care of the rest of the world.

My handsome geek gets so wrapped up that he forgets to eat, except for ingesting cup after cup of coffee with a few Twinkies thrown in between.   I already Mother Hen him about it, but now ... well, now I have a vested interest.  Keeping him healthy means life ... mine and his.

And ... I'm not going to fail with Daniel like I did with Charlie.  I let my guard down with my son, left that gun where he could get it, and it cost him his life, and mine ... for a long time ... until Daniel saved me.

I won't fail him.  I won't allow anyone to hurt him, so I'm going to be his protector for as long as he lets me, until he can't stand me.  Maybe I shouldn't be, but ... I'll die if anything happens to him.  He's my hope, my light, my ... survival.

O'Neill, you are crazy.  A part of me wants to think that somehow, someday ... but Daniel has a wife, and he's definitely heterosexual.  No doubt about that one.  Then again, so am I ... or ... I was.  

Daniel says labels are negative things.  Maybe he is right.  All I really know is that the only woman I ever really loved was Sara.  I lost her when I died with my son.  The only man I have ever loved is Daniel Jackson.  I won't lose him ... though I'll only ever have him as my best friend.

Poor Danny, he isn't into sports, but like a trooper, he endures hockey games and pizza.  He's not even a pizza lover.  He prefers Chinese or steak, which I adore, too.  Sometimes, Daniel reads while we watch hockey, but I've noticed something.  

If it's an important game, one I've talked about ... or if there's something special about it, he doesn't read.  He ... watches it with me, fully.  I know he hates it ... but he ... he shares it with me, and maybe that's why I love him, too.

And, you know what is really funny?  I ... I want to know and understand what Daniel wants, to be a part of what he loves.  I ... I'm not much of a museum goer.  Exhibits can come and go without me as far as I'm concerned, but at the same time, I want to be a part of Daniel's life, to share his world, like he joins me in mine.  

Daniel ... he has a beautiful smile.  I want him to use it more, to laugh, to be the child he couldn't be when he was a child.  I was able to make Charlie happy, I think.  He was so innocent.  The world never had a chance to defeat him when he died.  He had an enormous faith in me, his hero, to keep him safe and happy.  One out of two ... I'll never forgive myself that it wasn't two out of two.

Daniel seems to have that same faith.  No, I'm not his hero, but he trusts me, and I don't think he's shown that kind of trust in very many, and I don't want to let him down.  I want to be that man he thinks I am, even if I know I'm not.  I want him to be as proud of me, as I am of him.  He's innocent, like Charlie, in so many ways.  

The man has been bullied and made fun of in his life.  He's suffered tragedy and loss that is immeasurable, and yet, he keeps his passion and love going.  His innocence evolved into a belief like Anne Frank's ... that in everyone, there is some good.  

Somehow, in spite of defeat and sadness, Daniel has retained that innocence.  I don't know how he can keep it, but I'm praying he does.  Though if someday he loses it, I want to be there to help him through it, so that while things may change, he won't lose his essence.

Right or wrong, I love you, Daniel Jackson, and I want you ... as my best friend, my lover, my soul mate ... but ... I'll take what I can get because even as my best friend, you give me life.  

I'm going to keep you safe Danny, and I'm going to bring Sha're home to you as soon as we can.  You love her, and she'll make you happy again, and that's what I want more than anything, even more than my life, for you to be happy.

I don't care what label people put on me, but I do care what you think of me, Danny.  I love you.  But that'll be my secret for the rest of time.  Forgive me, Love, for the sarcasm and wit, for the jabs about your “rocks.”  It's who I am, and what I have to do to survive myself, but know, too, that I am a better person because of you, and your gift of friendship.

I love you, Daniel Jackson ... and I promise to protect you and make you smile as much as I can for the rest of my life.  You're my best friend Danny, and I won't let you down.

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