Freefall

Author: Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Mini-Angst, Humor, Romance, Epilogue, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  4 - September 14-21, 2000
Spoilers:  Watergate
Size:  19kb, ficlet
Written:  May 28-29, 2004  Revised: June 8, 2004  Revised Again: March 4-5,7,10,13, 2008
Summary:  The events of “Watergate” concluded, Jack struggles to get back into Daniel's good graces when the young man seems inexplicably angry at Jack's decisions during the mission.
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:  
1) Sometimes, Jack and Daniel speak almost telepathically.  Their “silent” words to each other are indicated by asterisks instead of quotes, such as **Jack, we can't.**
2) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
3) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my past fic(s):  “Hanging Around”
4) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  QuinGem, Claudia, DrdjLover, Kalimyre, Lissa, Linda, Melissa!

Freefall
by Orrymain

“Danny, come on.  Admit it,” Jack pleaded as he shut the front door behind him. ~It's colder here than it was in Siberia.~

“Admit what, Colonel O'Neill?” Daniel answered cooly as he threw his jacket onto a chair and began to rifle through the mail while he stood near the counter that separated the living and kitchen areas.

Standing a few feet away, the older man echoed loudly, “'Colonel O'Neill'?  See, you're angry!”

“What is it you want me to admit to ... *Jack*?” Daniel asked angrily, tossing the mail onto the counter, the envelopes and flyers spreading out haphazardly from the impact.

Taking off his brown leather jacket, Jack tossed it atop his lover's.  He was about to answer his soulmate's question, when something about the way the jackets were lying together caught his attention.

~Friggin' jacket is gonna get more action than I am tonight,~ Jack whined within himself.  Looking back at Daniel, he stated with assurance, “You enjoyed your first parachute jump.”

“My *first* parachute jump?” Daniel questioned agitatedly, turning fiercely to face his lover.  “I'll have you know, *Colonel*, that was my first and my *last* jump out of any plane!”

“It was fun, Angel.  Admit it!” Jack requested with bright, shining eyes that challenged the younger man.

“Fun?” Daniel asked, his eyes wide and full of disbelief.  “Jumping out of a freakin' plane without any training on how to open the parachute is fun?  I barely knew where the o-ring was.”

“D-ring, Love,” the older man corrected, his smile indicating that he was slightly amused by their current 'fight'.

“Don't 'Love' me right now, Colonel,” Daniel spat, his eyes cold and dark, but from anger and not from lust.

~Gonna be a chilly night,~ Jack thought as he envisioned sleeping without his usual 'Danny blanket'.  ~Okay.  Regroup,~ he thought, knowing he needed to gain control of the situation.  “Danny,” he called out as he moved towards his partner, reaching out to touch the younger man's upper arms.

Daniel stood absolutely still, folding his arms across his chest.  He had on his poker face, totally expressionless.

~He looks like a statue, standing there.  Cold, cold night,~ the colonel lamented inwardly.

Jack ignored the barriers and continued his quest to restore harmony to his previously happy home, praising, “You did super out there.  You didn't complain or hold us back for one second.  Geez, Danny, Teal'c whined and complained about it for minutes before we jumped, but you, you knew we had to do it, so you did what was necessary without a single word.  I needed that, Angel; needed that support, and you gave it.  I'm so proud of you.”

The colonel was sure that would get him some points.  His words were sincere, and he had genuinely been impressed with the bravery of his lover.  Jumping out of a plane, especially in the situation they had been in, was dangerous, and for first timers, the risk had been even greater.  The team even had to leap out free fall rather than by static line, which would have given them the benefit of automatically deploying their parachutes.  Yet, standing there, Jack slowly became aware that he had made no progress whatsoever.

“Is there anything else?” Daniel asked, his tone cold and distant.

“Daniel, I don't get it.  It's not like we had a choice here, and you didn't complain then, and I don't care what you are trying to say now, I know you, and you *did* have fun.”  Jack stared deeply into the blue eyes he adored and then cocked his head just slightly as he questioned less confidently, “Didn't you?  Come on, Danny.  I know you did.  You had to.  It was a rush.”

When there was no response from the stoic young man, Jack finally lowered his arms, not sure what to do.  His mind flashed back to the foothold situation at the SGC the year before when he'd left his lover, along with other personnel, hanging from the ceiling until Teal'c had been able to free them once the aliens had been overtaken.  Jack had been busy with the aftermath of the situation, reporting to General Hammond, and Daniel hadn't taken kindly to being left hanging.

~Maybe this is like that experience somehow,~ Jack wondered.  ~Sometimes Danny feels abandoned by crazy things.  Note to self: do *not* say that last thought out loud.~  He sighed, contemplating whether or not to explore the possibility that his Love might feel secondary to military demands and protocol.

Before Jack could pursue the idea, though, Daniel suddenly steered their conversation in a new direction himself, stating antagonistically, “As if the jump wasn't bad enough, I landed in some heap of snow, didn't even know if I was right side up or facing down, and wondered why I was suddenly blind.  I thought I might just die of stupidity after I finally realized that my eyes were shut.  You weren't even there to be your usual sarcastic self.  I was alone in the middle of nowhere.”

Jack worked hard not to laugh.  He could just envision Daniel at the moment when he realized his eyes were shut, and he wasn't in some snowdrift after all, but just covered by the parachute that had fallen over him.

“Then, the radio didn't work.  Either that, or you were just ignoring me, and I had to find the freakin' place ... by myself, and break in, not knowing what I was going to find.  Oh, yeah, Colonel, I had a *great* time!”

Unable to stop it, Jack smiled, which caused his lover's eyes to flare and emit daggers of death in the direction of the colonel.

Jack decided to stick with the silent tactic for the moment, having a hunch that the younger man was about to erupt with more, and he was right.

Walking purposefully into his soulmate's personal space, Daniel asked harshly, “Tell me this, Jack, what was that ... *crap* about never having been in a submarine before?  As I recall, I pushed a button not all that long ago that almost killed you *while you were on a freakin' submarine*.”

Jack gulped a little as he tried to explain, “Well, it's just she didn't know that, and I was ...”

“You were what?” the angered archaeologist questioned in a raised voice.

“Making conversation.”

“Making conversation?” Daniel repeated sarcastically.

“I didn't want to go in that little thing so I was glad when she said there wouldn't be room,” Jack admitted with a tiny shrug.

“Oh, so now you don't mind if we get separated on missions?”

“Daniel, that's not what I said.”

“But it's what you meant.  More importantly, it's what you demonstrated,” Daniel stated sternly as he stared down the older man.

“For crying out loud, Daniel,” Jack turned around, taking a few steps back.  He raised his hands over his head for a few seconds and then lowered them to his head, his fingers pulling his hair from frustration.  Turning back to face his lover, he decided the only course of action that wouldn't result in a frozen night on the sofa was to make amends, regardless of whether or not he was right or wrong.  “Okay, you're right, and I'm wrong.  I'm sorry.  How can I make it up to you?”

“You're just saying that,” Daniel replied, dismissing the apology.  “You don't really think you were wrong, and you don't really want to make it up to me.”

“Yes, I do.”

“No, you don't.”

“I do, too,” Jack insisted.

“Do not,” Daniel maintained with strength.

“Do, too.”

“You do not.”

“Yes, Daniel, I do.”

“Prove it,” the younger man dared.

Jack growled as he thought and then answered, “Okay, I'll ...” he looked around the house as he searched his mind, “I'll make that fancy roast you like so much for dinner tomorrow night.”

“And?”

~'And'?~ Jack processed silently.  ~Okay, progress.  He's willing to negotiate.  Negotiate?  O'Neill, are you out of your mind?  Grovel, man, grovel!~  With a positive attitude, he answered, “And tomorrow morning you can sleep in, and I'll do all the yard work by myself.”

“And?”

“I'll do the laundry, even though it's your turn,” the older man promised.

“And?” Daniel questioned expectantly, having not budged one inch from his position.

~'And'?~Jack began to suspect he was being taken advantage of.  ~This isn't groveling, it's highway robbery.~  With a sigh, he responded, “You can have control of the remote.”

“For how long?”

“A day.”  Jack frowned at his lover's unceasing stare and thundering silence.  “The weekend.”  Still, there was no sign of a rainbow, as Daniel continued to stare in stillness.  “Okay, a whole week.”

Daniel's eyes were an empty expanse of chilly cold, and his voice was nonexistent.  After all, with their schedule a 'whole week' often ended up being just one or two nights, if they were lucky.

Realizing this, Jack sighed, “All right.  You win.  One month -- one entire, friggin' month!”

“And you have to watch *and* pay attention to whatever we're watching,” the archaeologist added firmly.

“Daniel ...”

“Fine.  I told you that you didn't really want to make it up to me,” Daniel stated and then walked to the patio door, where he stopped and stared out the glass.

Within seconds, Daniel felt his lover's arms wrap around him and a kiss being planted on the side of his neck.  He smiled just as Jack spoke the words he'd waited to hear.

“Okay, Love, one full month.  The remote control is all yours,” Jack spoke softly.

“Good.  Did I mention they'll be a nightly quiz on the documentaries we watch?”

“Oh, I don't think so,” Jack refuted defiantly as he backed away just a step.

“Pass, and you get the archaeologist of your choice.  For the record, I had better be the archaeologist of your choice,” the young man warned.  “Fail, and you get ...” Daniel turned around and stared at the sofa, letting his expression and outstretched arm that pointed to the piece of furniture finish the sentence for him.

Jack grumbled, but didn't really say anything, not that he had much of a chance to as within seconds of his pronouncement, Daniel began to prattle off a long list of shows they'd be watching, all from The Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, The History Channel, and even CourtTV.  The list was endless, and Jack feared the effects of suffering from sports withdrawal.

“Danny?  The big game ...”

Daniel smiled as he answered, “I believe that's opposite 'Forensic Files' so sorry, no can do.”

“Aw, Danny,” Jack said plopping down on to the sofa, pulling a pillow across his chest.

Suddenly, Daniel began to laugh, one of his biggest laughs ever since meeting his soulmate.

Confused, Jack looked up and asked, “Why are you laughing?”

“Because ...” Daniel began, sitting down next to his lover, his body sideways on the couch.  He brought his right hand up to caress Jack's jaw line and neck.  His eyes were suddenly soft and his voice tender as he leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss on his Love's lips.  “You're so easy, Babe.  Gawd, now, that was fun!”

The light bulb suddenly went off, and Jack began to react, pushing the pillow away from him.  Quickly, Daniel placed a more solid, demanding kiss on his lover.  Within seconds, Jack's arms were engulfing the younger man.

“You were teasing me?” a surprised Jack asked.

“Hmm-mmm.”

“You're not mad about any of it?”

“Nope.  Why should I be?” Daniel queried lightly.

“You shouldn't be,” Jack responded as he continued to become aware of the depth of the other man's prank.  “Daniel, you had fun jumping out of that plane, didn't you?”

Daniel smiled, kissed his lover again, and whispered, “Yes.”

“Daniel?”

“Yes, Jack?” Daniel asked and than began to nibble on his lover's ear.

“You expect me to make the roast, let you sleep in, do all the yard work, the laundry, and let you have the remote control for a month?”

“Hmm-mmm.”

“Geez, what you do to me,” Jack replied, giving in to their building passion.  ~He can have whatever he wants, just as long as I'm part of what he wants.~

“Jack,” Daniel said, pushing Jack away slightly.  “I'm afraid we'll have to postpone ... this ... until you go shopping.  With all you have to do tomorrow, you'll need to do the grocery shopping tonight.”

“But, Angel ...” the silver-haired man began to protest.

“Get some coffee, too, and chocolate.”

“Daniel, you said you weren't mad.”

“I'm not,” Daniel replied.  He kissed his lover again, his hand reaching down to cup Jack's groin, and expounded, “But I want chocolate, and we're almost out of coffee.”

Jack moaned, “You're a vixen, Daniel Jackson.”

“You love me.”

“Yeah.  Who would have thunk it?”

“Thunk?  Better buy a dictionary at the store, too,” Daniel laughed in response, standing up to do a quick inventory of what was, or more importantly what wasn't, in the kitchen.

====

A few minutes later, the grocery list was finished, and Daniel was giving his soulmate a tender sendoff in the entranceway -- some hard core kissing and promises of what was to be when Jack returned.

“I love you, Danny.”

“I love you, too,” Daniel replied a bit remorsefully as he ran his right hand slinkily along his Heart's neck.  “Jack?”

“What?” the older man asked as his hands continued to place tender touches of love against his lover's back.

“You know that I'm going to help with the yard work and do the laundry?”

“Yeah, I know,” Jack acknowledged with a slight hint of a smirk.

“But you do know ...” Daniel began, his voice firmer and sterner than before.

Jack laughed, “The remote is yours, Angel.”

Daniel grinned, his forefinger sliding down to caress just under Jack's chin, as he advised, “We'll watch the game, Babe.  I promise.”

“I know,” Jack responded with certainty, not the least bit surprised by the statement.

“But there will be quizzes, Love, and you'd better pass each and every test because I have lots and lots of ... rewards in mind,” Daniel said, his eyes sparkling as he leaned in to seal his promise with a nibble on Jack's lips.

“Motivation, Angel.  Trust me, I'll pass,” Jack promised as he deepened their kiss.

The two lovers were great with the practical jokes, but when it came down to it, their mutual goal was to make the other happy.  Daniel would never deprive Jack of an important sporting event, and they both knew it.

“Jack, one more thing,” Daniel began.  “Jumping from that plane was easy to do because we were together, and I trust you, and I knew if you said it was okay, then it would be okay.”

“You gotta know, Danny, that I'd never let you do something if I wasn't sure, *absolutely* sure, that you could handle it,” Jack responded, the palms of his hands slipping down to his lover's buttocks and then running up and down a couple of times.  “You sell yourself short way too often.”

“Maybe, but this was a piece of cake.  After all, I had a parachute.”

“Yeah,” Jack said with a laugh.  “Having a 'chute does make a difference when it comes to a successful landing.”

“No.”

“No?”

“Jack, loving you is like ... well, it's like a freefall.  We don't have parachutes to give us a safe, tender landing.  We only have each other to protect us from crashing.”  The archaeologist caressed his lover's left cheek and smiled as he concluded, “In the end, that's all we need.”

“And,” Jack added, pulling Daniel even closer, “the adventure is the loving and the living.”

“The freefall.”

“Our love,” Jack said softly.

The tender expressions led to several minutes of passionate kisses and embraces until Daniel finally gasped and pulled away, announcing, “I'm getting my jacket.”

“Why?”

“The sooner we get this shopping done, the sooner we get to ... you know,” Daniel answered, blushing slightly in anticipation as he retrieved his jacket and put it on.

“Geez, I love you.”

After another kiss, the lovers locked up the house and got into Jack's truck to leave on their joint shopping venture.

After affixing his seatbelt, Jack took his soulmate's hand and queried, “Danny, are you really okay?  This mission wasn't the easiest.”

“No, it wasn't, but it wasn't your fault, either.”

“But you still had to jump out of the plane, find that place on your own, ID all those dead bodies, and I did let you go on the submarine by yourself.  You could have died.”

“You could have, too, if the alien had turned out to be more hostile.  Jack, we risk our lives every time we walk through the Stargate.  We make choices and do things daily that could be life or death.  I don't think we have time to second guess all of them,” Daniel stated with a quiet reverence for their work.

“But are you okay?”

Daniel smiled sweetly, squeezing his soulmate's hand, and answered, “I don't know, but if I'm not, when we get back, you can kiss me and make me all better. You have a special knack for doing that.”

Jack returned Daniel's smile, nodded, and replied, “I am proud of you, Love.  I only had to show you one time how to use the parachute.  I was scared, Danny.”

“I know that, Jack, we weren't in a situation where we could do or say anything to make each other feel better, either.”  After a pause and a bit more pointedly, Daniel added, “We will, though, discuss the submarine.”

“I'm sure we will,” Jack chuckled, knowing things really were okay.  He added one more thought, saying, “Just to be specific, Love.  You do know that it was a mini-sub with limited capacity.”

Daniel nodded his agreement, adding, “So that didn't leave many options, did it?”

“No.  Danny, I have faith in you.  If I had my way, we'd never be separated, not ever, but I know that you have a very high capacity to deal with ... whatever is weird out there.  I have faith in you to always come back to me.”

“And I have faith in you ... to always find me if I don't make it back.  Good combination, huh?”

“The best,” Jack agreed, his thumb caressing his lover's hand as he held it.

“Let's go get those groceries.  I want to ... you know.”

“Me, too,” Jack said, his eyes sparkling from the anticipation of making love with his partner.

The couple would discuss the details of the mission more in depth later, but both knew they'd done their best.  Still, they always talked about events from their adventures together.  On this night, though, they had more important things planned.  When they returned from the grocery store, they'd 'you know' all night long, and as far as Jack and Daniel were concerned that was the best type of freefall of all.

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