Falling Star

Author: Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  7 - October 23, 2003
Spoilers:  None
Size:  33kb, short story
Written: August 10-19, 22, 2003 Revised: January 28, August 2,9, 2005, July 14-15,18, 2006 Revised for consistency: February 27, 2007 Revised Again: December 18, 2007
Summary:  Jack speaks to Daniel in their own language of love.
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) Jack and Daniel sometimes say things that have double meanings.  A simple “Jack” or “What are you doing?” could mean much more than the words spoken and could carry multiple connotations, including feelings, desires, fears, etc.  These double meanings are noted like this:  “Actual spoken words”  **(double meaning)**
3) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my other fic(s), “Strange Things Happen”
4) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Judy, Gail, Linda, QuinGem, Claudia!

Falling Star
by Orrymain

Daniel entered the house, carrying a large backpack full of books and notes from his dig on PCY-882.  He'd been gone for two-and-a-half very long days, and he couldn't wait to enjoy the comfort of the large king-size bed he shared with Jack.

~I've had better homecomings,~ the man bemoaned as he shut the door behind him.

Unfortunately, the weary archaeologist knew Jack wouldn't be home.  The Air Force colonel had a planned trip to one of those places he couldn't reveal to do one of those things he couldn't talk about.  He'd be gone for another day-and-a-half, with no contact allowed, not even a phone call.  In fact, the lovers last conversation had been a radio check-in on the twenty-first, shortly after Daniel and SG-11 had gone off-world.

~If you call that a conversation,~ Daniel lamented about the all-too-formal transmission.

Normally, when Jack was gone like this, Daniel would spend a day or two at his apartment to keep the deception alive that they were simply best friends and nothing more, but he missed Jack too much to do that this time.  He needed to be around Jack-things and feel the scent of his lover in the air and in their bed.  Besides, there were the girls to think about.

“Hey, Girls,” Daniel laughed, seeing the two beautiful beagles staring at him through the glass patio doors.  Both were standing nose-to-glass, eager to be granted admission to the interior of the home, and both had their tails wagging so hard that Daniel was almost afraid they'd wag them off.  ~Gawd, I love them, Jack.~

Bijou's and Katie's smiles stretched from ear to ear and warmed Daniel's heart.  He opened the door, and immediately, the two canines ran in, scrambling all around him.  Daniel knelt down to play with them awhile and was greeted with lots and lots of wet kisses, which both tickled and made him laugh.

“I missed you, too,” Daniel said as he romped with the beagles.

====

After a while, Daniel disentangled himself from Bijou and Katie and went upstairs, wanting to take a shower.  He was still grungy and grimy from the excavation.  Usually, he showered at the SGC after returning from a dig, but he had just wanted to be at home, so as soon as Hammond had given him the go-ahead and forty-eight hours of downtime, he'd packed a few things into a backpack and driven home.  He planned to review his notes and do more research on the team's finds over the next couple of days.

The young man peeled off his clothes and entered the warmth of the shower. At first, he just closed his eyes and let the warm spray caress his bare back.  It was soothing and calming, but he missed his soulmate.

~I love our showers together,~ Daniel sighed, knowing that were Jack there, the older man would be massaging his back and rubbing his abdomen.  He also knew that, ultimately, they'd end up making love under the falling mist. ~I wish you were here.~

When he finished his shower, Daniel put on his favorite navy blue sweats and went back downstairs.  He needed a caffeine fix desperately, so he pulled out one of his favorite Starbuck's blends and watched the coffee pot anxiously, waiting for the brew to heat.

~I should have put this on before the shower,~ he thought, unsuccessfully trying to stifle a yawn.  ~Geez, I'm tired.~

On PCY-882, Daniel hadn't slept much.  He never could when Jack wasn't around. He was too used to sleeping on his Jack pillow.  Plus, it had been a humid planet, leaving the hardworking Daniel feeling hot and sticky from the sweat of his labors, which only reminded him of his favorite way of getting hot and sticky, and amazing as it might sound to some, it wasn't from digging for artifacts on some planet.

~This is horrible.  I miss him so much.  I miss ... making love.  I can feel him,~ Daniel bemoaned.

Daniel's thoughts on the subject were redundant.  Everywhere he looked, he saw his lover.  Even his yawn reminded him of Jack, either the older man yawning at one of his lectures or Daniel yawning against Jack's warm chest.

As the archaeologist walked over to the sofa, coffee in hand, he noticed the red light flashing on the answering machine, so he pressed the message button.

“Hi, Daniel, it's Sam.  I know the colonel is out of town for a few days, and you're due back from ... being gone yourself.  Why don't you come over for dinner tonight, or tomorrow.  Give me a call.  Love ya!”

Daniel smiled.  He had missed seeing Sam on the base when he returned from the planet since she had been in a meeting at that time.

~I'll call her later.  Maybe we'll have dinner at O'Malley's tomorrow night.  Someday I'm going to beat her at pool.  Someday!~

“Hey, Jack, it's Jeff.  Just checking on Bijou.  Don't tell my Mrs.  She's glad the 'pests' as she calls them are gone, but what can I say, I miss the beasts.  Give Bij a sloppy one for me.  Yeah, I know, bad for that hard-nosed Air Force image of ours, isn't it?  Ciao.”

That had been Jeff Cornell, an old friend of Jack's who had transferred to the SGC earlier in the year.  He had been the original owner of Bijou.  Unfortunately for him, his wife wasn't fond of dogs, and when Bijou became pregnant, she insisted her husband find new homes for Bijou and her puppies.

Jack had taken Bijou and her littlest pup, gifting them to Daniel just seven weeks earlier as a belated birthday present. Still, Jeff loved Bijou and missed her a great deal. In just the last couple of weeks, he'd dropped by twice and called five times to check up on her.

Daniel laughed as he recalled the image of two Special Ops colonels being kissed to distraction by the two dogs as they rolled on the green grass.

“Uncle Daniel, it's Cassie ... <giggles> ... Hey, can I just call you Daniel now? I'm getting too hold for this uncle business, don't you think?  I'm not a child anymore.  I know you know that, so would you tell Mom for me?  Pleeeease. She still thinks I'm twelve.  Honestly, Unc...Daniel, just because Dominic and I stayed out a little late the other night.

“Well, anyway, everything was fine with the dogs.  Oh, but I had a study group last night, and I'm really sorry, but I couldn't take Bijou and Katie for their walk.  I know they missed it.  They gave me puppy eyes when I left.

“You've been training them, haven't you, Un...Daniel?  Jack says you do puppy eyes better than the dogs.  Anyway, see you soon.  Love you, Uncle Daniel.  Oh, I really don't mind calling you Uncle Daniel.  You are my family, and I do love you.”

Daniel grinned.  No one had ever told Cassandra to call him and Jack 'Uncle', but back when the young girl had first been learning about families on Earth, she'd needed to feel a family connection and had asked if she could call them 'Uncle'.  They'd all gotten used to it.  Cassandra wasn't a little girl anymore, either.  It certainly didn't make sense for her to keep using the term, but from listening to the conversation, Daniel knew her conflict was simply normal teenage rebellion and nothing to do with him; thus, the semi-apology at the end.

~Hmm.  No walk,~ Daniel thought as he looked over at the girls.  They were staring, as if they had heard Cassandra's message about the walk.  “You're going to keep looking like me like that, aren't you?” he asked in mock resignation when he saw the droopy eyes and begging expressions.

Two tails wagged, and the beagles eagerly ran over to the cabinet where their leashes were kept.

“Okay, okay,” Daniel replied.  He put his coffee cup on the counter and then put on the beagles' harnesses, after which he affixed the leashes.  “Let's go,” he said as he took the gals out for their walk.

====

Daniel always enjoyed walking the blocks of their neighborhood, and today, he was especially enjoying the fresh air.  They stopped for a while at a nearby park.  There were a few kids with their parents playing on the swings and other equipment.  Some of them came up and petted the dogs, the beagles enjoying every second of their pampering.

The archaeologist sat contently on a park bench for a few minutes, his mind wandering back a week to remember of the first time he and Jack had brought Bijou and Katie to the park, turning them loose to run and play, just as they were now.  It was a warm memory, fresh and detailed.  He sighed, his heart aching as he missed his soulmate so very much.

====

On the way back home, Daniel saw their neighbor, Sophia Valissi, puttering about in front of her home.  He walked passed his house to chat with her for a while.  He cared for Mrs. Valissi a great deal, and the senior citizen returned the feeling, having virtually adopted Daniel from the first moment she'd met him years ago.

“You just look like you need loving,” Mrs. Valissi had told him not long after they met.

The senior citizen often said Daniel reminded her of her son, Evan, who lived in Europe, and once she learned Daniel was an orphan, she doted over him like he was her own.  In fact, whenever Daniel was gone for any length of time, she would pester Jack about his well-being and insist Daniel come down to see her when he got home.

Jack had apparently told Mrs. Valissi when Daniel was due back from PCY-882, because upon seeing him, she excused herself for a moment and then quickly returned, carrying a plate full of goodies, already beautifully stacked on the plate.

“Daniel, it's so good to have you back,” Mrs. Valissi spoke cheerfully, her loving smile warming her features.

“Thanks, Mrs. Valissi.  It's good to see you, too,” Daniel replied.

“I made these for you special, Daniel, and here's a couple of home-made biscuits for the dogs,” the good neighbor said, handing him the plate.

“They always love these,” Daniel spoke.

“Woof!” both Bijou and Katie spoke, looking up at Mrs. Valissi.

“You're welcome,” the woman chuckled.  She looked back at Daniel and noticed he seemed a little sad.  “You miss him.”

Daniel looked away.  Mrs. Valissi knew about the lovers now, but it still felt a bit odd, having someone so close to their personal everyday existence know the truth about their love.

“Yes, I, uh, do,” the archaeologist shyly confided.  “A lot.”

Mrs. Valissi responded, “He had an absolutely miserable time while you were gone -- sulked and pouted the entire time.”

Daniel smiled and stuttered, “He ... he did?”

The good-natured woman nodded, then added, “I made sure he ate something other than pizza.”

“Thanks.  He tends to just do the junk food thing if I'm ... uh, well ...”

Mrs. Valissi laughed, “I'm not sure which one of you is worse, the colonel on a junk food diet, or you barely remembering to eat when he's gone.”

“I ... eat,” Daniel replied a bit defensively, then smiled and shrugged.

“You're a darling man, Daniel.  He's lucky to have you,” Mrs. Valissi intoned softly, leaning in to give him a kiss on the cheek.

“Thank you, Mrs. Valissi, and, like Jack always says, you're a peach.”

Daniel felt embarrassed by the attention Mrs. Valissi showered on him, but she was a nice lady and had made him feel accepted in the neighborhood from the very beginning.  Actually, all of the neighbors knew Daniel and treated him like he was a friend.  He wondered if others knew the truth about his relationship with Jack, but, if they did, no one ever blinked or batted an eye.

The conversation concluded, Daniel headed home with Bijou and Katie in tow.

====

Inside the house, Daniel put away the dog leashes.  Bijou and Katie both rolled up next to each other on the cedar chip-filled beanbag that was their bed.  It was always kept near the fireplace to provide warmth for the girls.  Daniel grabbed another cup of coffee and began to sort through the accumulated mail.

There were a few bills, Jack's issue of 'Flight Journal', the usual junk mail, and a package from 'Build-a-Bear' for Jack. Daniel didn't even want to think about what might be in the box, his mind automatically going to the 'Boonie Bear' that now resided in his new den that his lover had recently surprised him with. In fact, up until a week-and-a-half ago, the 'Boonie Bear' had still been locked away in one of Jack's desk drawers in his office at the SGC.

Teal'c had bought the bear when he thought Daniel was cursed, and he needed a representation of Daniel to help purge the curse. It was a wretched memory for the archaeologist. When his nightmare had ended, he'd wanted to get rid of the bear, but his often child-like soulmate had argued.

“Danny, it reminds me of you,” Jack had pleaded in his quest to keep 'Boonie Bear' at home.

“Jack, it's me or the bear!”

Jack had gulped, then nodded as he reluctantly acquiesced, “Okay, the bear ... goes.”  ~But I won't say where it goes.~

It was a few weeks later when Daniel had walked into Jack's office at the SGC and found his lover smiling at something.

//Flashback//
Jack was seated at his desk, looking down into his bottom drawer which was pulled open quite a ways.  When he heard his lover enter, he quickly shut the drawer.

“Hey, Danny, what's new?” the colonel asked a bit nervously.

~Okay, he's up to something.~  Daniel crossed his arms in front of him and tilted his head slightly as he studied the guilty face staring at him.  “What's in the drawer, Jack?”

“Drawer?  What drawer?” Jack asked, trying to pretend there wasn't even a desk in front of him.

Without saying another word, Daniel walked behind his lover's desk and opened the drawer.  His mouth opened, looking like the guppy Jack so frequently claimed he did.

“Jack, what is that ... that ... that bear doing here?” an astonished Daniel asked sternly.

“I ... um ... Daniel, come on.  It's just a stuffed animal,” Jack claimed innocently, smiling down at the bear.  “I think he's cute.”

“Jack, I told you ...” Daniel began, trying to avoid looking at the furry representation of himself.

“And it's not in the house, Danny.  It's right here, not bothering anyone,” Jack asserted as he pushed his lover's hands out of the way and then secured the drawer.

“Jack!”  **(You've got a lot of nerve.)**

“Daniel.”  **(It's a harmless little teddy bear.)**

“Jack!”  **(Don't press your luck.)**

“Daniel.”  **(It reminds me of you, and I love you.)**

After Daniel sighed in defeat, Jack stood and walked over to the security equipment, turning everything off. He walked to the door, ensuring that Daniel had locked it on his way in. Then he sidled over to his lover, putting his hands around his waist.

“Ah, c'mon, Danny.  How could I ever get rid of anything so cute and cuddly that reminds me of you?”

Daniel put his arms around Jack's neck, his fingers caressing Jack's nape, and responded, “Jack, you aren't ... doing ... anything ... with that ... bear, are you?”

In disbelief of the comment, Jack groused, “Give me some credit, Danny.  I always liked stuffed animals as a kid, and, you have to admit Teal'c did a great job with the accessories.  Have you taken a good look at that bear?”  He opened the drawer again and pulled out the bear, placing it on the desktop.  “Notice the boonie and the glasses,” he pointed out about the green rimmed hat and the wire frame glasses that the tan bear wore.  “You have to admit, Danny, that Boonie bear does look a lot like you.”

“Jack, Love?”

“Yes, Angel?”

“You can keep ... Boonie here, but I swear, you ever bring that bear home, you'll be sleeping on the couch, and if I ever, I mean *ever* catch you doing anything ... you know with that bear, I'll ... I'll ...”

Jack smirked, “Is that a promise?”

Daniel grunted, but the sound was cut off by the lips of his lover touching his, and soon their tongues were skating together in their mouths.

“Let's go home, Jack.”
//End of Flashback//

Jack had locked Boonie Bear in his drawer, and the two had returned home to a long night of passionate lovemaking.  The memory made Daniel grin.  It had been a really hot night, ~a really, really hot round of ... when we ... oh, gawd.~

Daniel was getting aroused just thinking about it, so he refocused on the package in his hand, shaking his head.

~For your sake, Jack, this had better not be another bear.~ Of course, he had to admit that seeing 'Boonie Bear' in his den every day made him smile. With a contented sigh, the curious archaeologist stared at the delivery for another moment and then smirked, “Unless it's a colonel bear to keep 'Boonie Bear' company.~

Daniel took the package and the mail to the study, tossing the junk items into a recycle bin.

It was getting late, and he decided he'd relax in bed.  He grabbed the backpack and lugged it up the stairs.

====

A bit later, leaning against the headboard of their bed, Daniel powered up his laptop to input some of his written notes from the mission.  As he worked, he was disturbed by the ringing of the telephone.  Glancing at the clock, he saw it was 10 p.m.  His heart raced and pulse quickened in the hopes that it might be Jack.

“Hello?” Daniel greeted as calmly as possible, though inside, he was quivering in anticipation of hearing that one voice that grounded him to life.

“Hi, Daniel, it's Sam.  I knew you'd be up,” the blonde greeted in return.

Without intending to or even realizing it, Daniel let out a huge sigh as he replied, “Oh ... hi Sam.”  Daniel's voice dropped, and he knew he sounded disappointed.  ~It's not her fault she's not Jack.~

“Sorry, Daniel,” Sam spoke, hearing the sadness in her friend's voice.  “I guess you were hoping to hear from the colonel.”

“Hoping, but ... when he's gone on these things, he can't call.  Secret yadda yadda and all that,” the archaeologist sing-songed.

“I just wanted to make sure you were okay.  I left you a message earlier.”

Daniel acknowledged, “Yes, I got it.  I'm sorry, Sam, I should have called, but when I got home, the girls demanded a walk, and then I got distracted.”

“You? ... Get distracted?  Daniel, I just can't imagine that happening,” Sam teased.

“Very funny, Sam,” Daniel responded dryly.  He could still hear the laughter through the phone.  He was really going to have to talk to Jack about his influence on SG-1's second-in-command.  ~I don't get distracted.  Okay, well, maybe sometimes.~

Sam chuckled, “I'm sorry,  Daniel.  So, how about dinner tomorrow?”

“Sure, sounds like fun,” Daniel agreed, truly looking forward to spending time with Sam.

“Great!” the major exclaimed.  “I'll let you try out my new meat loaf surprise.”

“Meat loaf surprise?”

Sam laughed, “Yeah, it's meat loaf, and the surprise is to find out if it's edible or not.”

Both Sam and Daniel laughed.  Jack and Daniel were men of 'take out', but even so, both were better chefs than Samantha Carter.  She was fluent in motorcycles, but not in cuisine, and they all knew it.

“What time is best for you, Daniel?”

Thoughtfully, he answered, “Hmm ... is later okay, maybe seven-ish?  I really need to make sure I get these notes done, and I have some errands I need to do in the morning.”

“Sure, seven-ish is fine.  What did you do tonight?” Sam inquired.

“Took Bijou and Katie for a walk, talked with ...” the archaeologist began.

“No, Daniel, what did you have for dinner?” the woman asked pointedly.

Daniel gulped and hesitantly responded, “Dinner?”

Sam laughed loudly, “Daniel, the colonel is gonna cream your hide if he finds out you aren't eating.  I bet you didn't have much on ... you know, either.”

Daniel looked down.  It was true.  He had been very busy on the planet, and food just wasn't on the agenda.  He had lived off of bad coffee, power bars, and Twinkies that one of the members of SG-11 sneaked through the Gate.

“He won't know unless you tell him, Sam,” Daniel pointed out.

“Daniel, the colonel *always* knows,” Sam replied.  “I think he has spies, or little video recorders everywhere.”

~Crap!~  He hated to admit it, but Daniel knew she was right.  ~But where there's a ... me, there's a way,~ he smiled slyly.  “I'll ... distract him,” he offered with an alluring tone of voice.

“It's a good thing you can't see me right now, Daniel.”

“Why?” Daniel asked.

“Because I'm blushing just thinking about ... about you ... distracting the colonel,” Sam chuckled embarrassingly.

Daniel blushed, hearing Sam's comment.

“Daniel, you're blushing, too, right?” the female queried.

“Ye...yes, I guess so ... but ... it'll work.  Four days, Sam.  It'll be four lonnnnng days; almost five.  Trust me, my food intake will not be on Jack's priority list of topics when he gets home,” Daniel promised.

“I believe you, Daniel.”  Sam chuckled.  ~All this angst after just four days?  Wow, they must have quite a ... let's stop it there, Samantha.~

Playfully, Daniel asked, “Want me to tell you all about it?”

Sam's eyes widened, and her cheeks turned even rosier as she answered, “Oh, no, definitely no.  I ... I definitely believe you, and I think I'll hang up now before I turn any redder than I already am.”

Daniel chuckled, “Sometimes, you're so easy, Sam.  See you tomorrow night.”

“Night, Daniel.  Glad you're back.  Missed you!”

“Missed you, too.  Night!”

Daniel placed the phone down in the cradle and powered off the laptop. He put it back in the backpack and did the same with the various notebooks and books he had been referencing.  He headed for the kitchen to get something to eat.

The archaeologist chuckled as he thought about his conversation with Sam.  It had been the most overt and open one they had ever had about his and Jack's sexual union.  Sam had known about their relationship almost from the beginning, but it tended to be avoided in casual conversation and was usually just referred to if something traumatic was going on.  Even during dinners and social events at their home, the lovers never held hands or did anything more than sit by each other and maybe exchange an occasional look.

Jack and Daniel were always careful not to put either Sam or Teal'c in difficult situations. They might know about the two men, but the relationship was never flaunted in front of them. The couple figured if their teammates never witnessed anything, it would be easier on them if 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' ever did step up and bite them in the rear.

The somewhat lonely man poured another cup a coffee, and, glancing towards the cupboards, realized he really wasn't hungry after all.  He opened the refrigerator more out of obligation to his soulmate than anything else.  That's when he learned that Jack had gone shopping before leaving, because all of the fruit and vegetables were fresh.

~Thanks, Babe.  That's all I need right now.~

Daniel grabbed an apple to snack on, or truth be told, just to be able to tell Jack he had eaten something when he got home.  Then he headed back for the master bedroom, pausing briefly in the living room to visit with his tankful of fish.

====

As Daniel entered the bedroom, he felt something warm against his foot.

“Decided you wanted company, Bijou?”

Katie was nowhere in sight, but Bijou jumped up on the bed, taking the spot by Jack's pillow, giving Daniel a look of longing.

“You miss him, too, dontcha', Girl?”

Daniel noticed for the first time that his personal journal was still on the nightstand where he had left it.  He had written in it the night before he left on the mission with SG-11 and had planned on adding to it the next morning. When the call came that he was needed, however, he ended up being in such a hurry that he didn't have time to put it away.

The team had been scheduled to depart when Megan Williams, the assigned specialist for their mission, had been injured in a car accident.  She'd be fine, but would be recovering for several days.  The mission couldn't be postponed, so Daniel had had to go.

Knowing Jack would be leaving later in the week, Daniel had hated leaving.  He had barely had time for a decent good-bye before dashing off to the Mountain. As it was, he had arrived just in time to change into his BDUs and meet SG-11 on the ramp of the Gate for their scheduled departure.

It was unusual for Daniel to go more than a few days without writing down his personal thoughts about their explorations and his life.  This night, he decided he'd write about his experience on PCY-882, not the technical aspects of the mission, but the feeling of working in his first love, archaeology, and the sensations of digging in the dirt, discovering a relic that revealed the character of a long-forgotten people of a world new to the Tau'ri.

Besides, Daniel needed a distraction, and writing in his journal about PCY-882 would provide him with a bit of an escape.  He hated to sound like a broken record, but he couldn't help it.

“I miss Jack. I'm such a sap, ” Daniel sighed, reaching over to pet Bijou a few times.

Carefully picking up his journal, Daniel sat on the bed, once again leaning against the headboard.  Bijou moved over to lay length-wise against his leg.  He opened the journal to where the bookmark was placed and was surprised to see an envelope fall out.

Daniel looked at the light blue envelope.  On the front was written, “La Mio Bello Stella Cadente”, meaning 'my beautiful falling star', which was something Jack sometimes called Daniel.  The tender phrase was in remembrance of their first night together as a couple when a wish made upon a falling star had finally given them the courage to act on their love.

Daniel brushed his fingers along the words, smiling, and then gently opened the envelope.  The note inside read:

My Dearest Love,

You know me.  I'm lousy with words, and communicating gives me a headache, even after all these years.  You're so much better at words than I am.  I love you, Danny, with every fiber of my being.  I am a better person because of you.  We can get pretty sappy sometimes.  I hope you know I mean every fluffy word of it. You've turned me into a marshmallow, Love, and I'm a happier person for it.  

I hope you don't mind that I opened your journal.  You're downstairs getting your caffeine fix, oh, sorry, having your fifth cup of coffee today, and I couldn't resist touching your journal when I came upstairs to find my book. It's so much a part of you, Danny.  You put your heart and soul into your words, and touching them makes me feel close to you when you aren't here, with me.

I told ya, I'm a marshmallow, for your words, your touch, your love.  I can't get enough of you, and later on tonight, I'm going to ravish you until you can't stand it anymore, until we are both so exhausted that we can't move.

La Mio Bello Stella Cadente, my precious Danny -- Thank you for making my wish come true more wonderfully than I ever could have imagined.  I love you.

J.”

A single tear escaped from Daniel's eye as he held the letter to his heart.

“I love you, too, Jack,” Daniel said aloud, as he remembered how Jack had indeed ravished him that night until totally satiated and they'd both fallen asleep, totally satiated in each other's arms.

Bijou placed her head on Daniel's thigh, looking up at him and causing the teary-eyed man to smile.

“I love you, too, Bij.”

Daniel wrote for an hour in his journal, but not about archaeology and relics as he had planned, but about his Jack and their love and about how much his heart ached and longed for Jack's tender touch and warm body by his side.  He wrote about his heart, and the man who made it sing with laughter and life, and, most of all, love.

Finished with writing for the moment, Daniel read Jack's note once more, eating up every word of love it offered, engraving it to his memory.

“Caro Mio, Jack.  I love you, always,” Daniel sighed softly as he shifted to lay down on the bed, still holding the note to his heart.

Daniel put the letter back in the envelope and picked up his journal one more time.  As he reread his writings, Jack's falling star fell asleep and dreamed of Jack and the eternal flame that burned forever in their hearts and souls.

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