It Goes Both Ways

Author: Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Angst, Drama, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  5 - shortly after Beast of Burden
Spoilers:  Shades of Grey, The Other Side, Scorched Earth, The First Ones, The Curse, Beast of Burden (all minor)
Size:  47kb
Written:  November 6-8,11, 2003  Revised:  February 1, July 16, 28, August 1, September 9-10, October 29, November 11, 2005, June 3,10-12, 2006  Revised for consistency:  February 2, 2007
Summary:  Frank Simmons threatens Jack, and Daniel decides it's time to take action, with a little help from a friend.
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) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Suzanna, Tina, Tove, Tamara, Gail, Claudia, QuinGem, Heather, Linda, Jodi!

It Goes Both Ways
by Orrymain

Arms laden with papers to support his latest theory, Daniel headed for General Hammond's office.  He was hoping to convince the major general to give SG-1 the go ahead for a mission to PR2-883, where SG-11 had unearthed some ruins the month before.  Daniel believed the relics discovered on the planet were related to the Goa'uld, and he also theorized they might be linked to the Asgard.

The halls of the SGC were fairly quiet as the head of the Archaeology Department navigated the corridors.  It was 6:15 p.m., and most of those on duty were in the commissary or working in their offices.  Daniel knew the general himself was planning on staying until at least eight.

As he neared Hammond's office, Daniel slowed, hearing raised voices.  He looked around, not seeing any other personnel nearby.  For a moment, he debated whether he should wait or come back later, but then the decision was made for him when he heard Jack's name mentioned.  His eyebrows arched and nose scrunched a little as he discreetly crept closer to the ajar door in order to hear the argument taking place inside more clearly.

“Maybe it's time for the colonel to retire,” a familiar gruff voice spoke with arrogance.

Daniel recognized the voice as that of Frank Simmons, a colonel in the Air Force who had an unusual disdain for the uniform, preferring to wear business suits instead.  Because of his position in the pentagon, he was allowed to do so.  They'd had several run-ins with the man before, none of which had been pleasant.  Thus, the archaeologist knew trouble was brewing.

“You have a lot of nerve walking into *my* facility, Colonel, trying to tell me how to run *my* command, and speculating about *my* personnel,” Hammond responded harshly.

“Nerve?” Simmons asked, chuckling evilly.  “General, it's my job to make sure there's no waste in the SGC, and Colonel O'Neill is clearly in that category.”

Daniel bristled at the insult to his lover and was grateful when he heard Hammond's furious retort.

“You're out of line,” Hammond stated brusquely.

“No, General, I'm following orders,” Simmons insisted.  “O'Neill's physical injuries and decisions call his command into question; and let's not forget his *feelings* for his team, which are most abnormal.”

Hammond didn't hesitate as he angrily responded, “Colonel Simmons, this is *my* command and until that man ...”

Peeking through the door, Daniel saw Hammond point to the red phone on his desk.

“Oh, please, not again,” Simmons spoke with a sarcastic expression on his face.  “Trust me, General, the President is losing patience with your 'pet' as well.  Times have changed.  It's time for SG-1 to be mothballed and retooled to fit the new goals and objectives.”

“Not under my watch, Colonel,” Hammond replied confidently.

“The end of your watch could be arranged, General,” Simmons threatened with an nasty-looking smirk.

Hammond was not frightened, and with a tone of authority replied forcefully, “You listen to me, *Mister* Simmons, I don't do threats, nor do I react kindly to them.  If you want to complain to the President about my decisions, you go right ahead.”  With a bit of a smile on his face, he intoned, “We'll see who is left standing next week.”

“Colonel O'Neill is past his prime, physically and mentally.  It's time for him to go,” Simmons stated with quiet contemptuousness.

~Right, that's it!~  No longer able to remain silent outside Hammond's office, Daniel strode into the room and glared at the slimy Washington bureaucrat.  He wasted no time letting the man know what he thought of him.  “You are a pompous twit with the integrity of a gnat, although that's probably insulting to gnats,” Daniel said calmly, but with anger lacing his tone.

“Doctor Jackson, always a pleasure,” Simmons greeted sarcastically as he turned to face the archaeologist.

“Stick your pleasure where the sun doesn't shine,” Daniel retorted, ready and willing to tell Frank Simmons exactly how he felt about him.  ~Jack would be proud of me for saying that.~  “Where do you get off criticizing Jack O'Neill?” Daniel challenged as he faced off against the enemy, the two standing within a foot of each other.

“I get paid to look for waste,” Simmons answered.

“Look in the mirror, and all you'll seeing staring back at you *is* solid waste,” Daniel sniped antagonistically.

“You're good, very good.  Learn that attitude from O'Neill?” Simmons asked.

“You couldn't begin to comprehend what I've learned from him,” Daniel replied.  “It's beyond your brain power.  You're a moronic imbecile, Simmons, and a bully!  I'm an expert on those.”

“I thought you were the moralistic, compassionate one, Jackson, the defender of the meek and the mild.  You sound more like a whiny child about to lose his little blankie,” Simmons accused, his tone full of sarcasm as well as having a nasty expression on his face.

Daniel laughed, “That's the best you can come up with?  I can wait, if you want to try and come up with something better.  Go ahead,” he bade, sitting against the general's desk and waving his free hand in front of his body to motion for the man to come up with a better retort.  He blinked twice as he held his pose, his arms folded across his chest, the papers he had brought in with him hanging from his left hand.  When the man didn't reply, he prompted, “Nothing?”

With a snort, Simmons said, “As I said, you're a sniffling, whiny child, trying desperately to rationalize why their old, decrepit relic of a toy should be nursemaided along day by day.”

“And you're an arrogant little prick,” Daniel stated without missing a beat as he stood up again.  Talking rapidly, but distinctly, he continued, “You don't know the first thing about Jack O'Neill.  You're not half the man he is.  No, scratch that.  You aren't a tenth of the person he is. That's the problem though, isn't it?  You'll never get the respect that Jack has.  He has people who would die for him, not because of rank or orders, but because they think he's worth dying for.  Tell me, Simmons, who would die for you ... by choice?”

Trying to deflect the question, Simmons smirked, “You think you know it all, don't you?  The wonder boy who opened the Stargate.  I suppose you think you know everything there is to know about Colonel O'Neill.  Is that what you're going to tell me?”

“Yes, I do,” Daniel answered, nodding his head in tiny motions.  ~Things you'll never have a prayer of knowing.~

“Let's see, Doctor Jackson.  As his friend, the one who knows the man so well, aren't you the one who once said you don't trust Colonel O'Neill's command?” Simmons asked, his eyes boring into Daniel's in an effort to unnerve him.

“You're taking my words out of context,” Daniel accused.

“It's a direct quote.  I can show you the report, if you like,” the arrogant man said smugly, starting to reach for his briefcase.

“Good.  Then maybe I can teach you how to read, since you obviously didn't read it for yourself, or you'd understand why I said what I did,” Daniel quipped.

“Are you denying you said it?” an agitated Simmons asked as he pulled out the folder.

“Do you even know what 'out of context means'?” Daniel asked, daring Simmons to respond.  “I don't feel the need to either confirm or deny anything you have to say.  You know something, Simmons,” he smirked as his next words formed in his brain.  “An opossum has more intellect than you, so it just wouldn't be fair if I tried to explain my comments.  I might need to use some long words, and you'd just get confused and misunderstand.”

Seeing the outraged expression on Simmons' face, Daniel turned and faced Hammond for a minute, a small smile sneaking across his face before he turned back to face his adversary.

Throwing the folder back into the briefcase, Simmons retorted, “Oh, I understand you perfectly, Doctor Jackson.  You don't just whine, you sniffle like a brat who needs his mommy.  When you can't explain yourself, you hide behind your words, words that do nothing but cover up the real issue.  The issue at hand is that you either trust O'Neill to command or you don't; and clearly from the mission reports where you and the colonel have butted heads, you don't trust him.”

“I trust Jack O'Neill with my life,” Daniel stated with calm sincerity, adding, “and I don't know what you're talking about.  Battles?  Jack and I are *teammates*, and we both have our functions on that team.”

“Colonel O'Neill is supposed to be the leader, Doctor, the one who makes solid judgments in the name of this country.  As I recall, not all that long ago during a negotiation, he told you, and I quote from the report, to 'shut up', an oversight on his part that almost had us allied with another Nazi government,” Simmons stated gruffly.

Unphased by the attack, Daniel explained, “Jack had orders, Simmons, and he followed those orders.  Make up your mind.  One minute you're saying he's the leader who has to make the hard judgments and the next, you're saying he has to defer to me.  Which is it, because now I'm the one who's confused.”

Simmons ignored Daniel's remarks, continuing on with his own agenda as he argued, “He's also the same colonel who ordered his second-in-command to rig a nuclear bomb that would destroy an entire culture, and, I might add, that nearly resulted in your death, not that I'd mind personally, but ...”

Daniel was seething as Simmons continued down his bullet-pointed list of accusations, harshly noting that, “This is the same Colonel O'Neill who discarded a cell phone given to the Jaffa, essentially forcing him to disobey his own direct orders, and I'm sure that wasn't the first time that has happened ... Doctor.  Only recently, he let you arm an alien race, the Unas.  He had no authorization to do that.”

“Colonel O'Neill didn't *let* me arm anyone,” Daniel argued.  “*I* made a choice, and '*I* gave Chaka that weapon.  *I* handed the zat gun to him, not Jack.  There was nothing he could have done to stop me.  I disobeyed orders, so if you want to blame anyone, blame me.”

“Don't you worry your little head, you're next on my list, Jackson,” Simmons patronized.  “If you believe nothing else from this conversation, you had better believe that.  As soon as I've finished with O'Neill, I intend to turn my attention to you, but for the moment, can we stick to the point at hand?”  The man's face was twisted, his eyes cold as he glared at Daniel.  “I assure you, I have a very long list of examples documenting the colonel's inability to command according to procedure, and I must thank you for giving me one more piece of ammunition.”

“What do you mean?” Daniel asked, confused.

“You just admitted, in front of General Hammond, that not only did you disobey orders, but that Colonel O'Neill apparently has no control over your actions.  What kind of leader can't control his men?  At the SGC, strength of command is of the utmost importance, Doctor Jackson.  You just proved O'Neill's ineptitude and inability to lead.”

If Daniel had a zat gun on him at the moment, he knew he would have gladly use it on Simmons, who was doing a good job of twisting his own words and the events of the past to fit the politician's private, and surely slimy, agenda.

The man was positively glowing from his accomplishment, smirking with glee as he continued, “Should I go on, Doctor Jackson?”

“You don't have a clue what you're talking about,” the archaeologist challenged. “You couldn't even begin to understand the needs and unique situations that the SGC and its teams deal with on a daily basis.  You think the common hierarchy is all important?  There are always exceptions, Simmons.  Look up the Geneva Conventions on the laws of war, and you'll find quite a few examples of them.  Of course, we've already discussed you're inability to read and understand complex documents, so maybe you can try and find a copy in the books-on-tape section.  Oh, and pick up some Cliffs Notes while you're at it.”

Simmons laughed, rejecting Daniel's biting words as he responded, “O'Neill sounds more like a renegade guerrilla than the leader of an elite military team, and I intend to see that he is shown the door, and soon.”

“You overgrown, dim-witted dunderhead,” Daniel stated aggressively.  “You are a fool, Simmons, an autocratic half-wit who is full of himself.  You have no idea what it's like out there.  You sit behind your desk on your snooty, hubristic derriere and think you know it all.  You know *nothing*.  You wouldn't last a day in ... in a place as simple as the Land of Light.  You are incapable of any emotion except maybe hatred and jealousy.  You're an under-educated, single-minded moron, and I pity you.”

“Oh, yes, the benevolent little people who thought a virus was a curse; the ones with the funny hats and little outfits.  This would be the place where Colonel O'Neill played caveman,” Simmons said with child-like nastiness.

“And saved my life and those of the touched,” Daniel added strongly.

“Your devotion is ... touching,” Simmons mocked.  “I'm ... touched,” he said, putting his hand to his heart and feigning a feeling of warmth and tenderness.

“Oh ... go touch yourself,” Daniel spat, tired of the man's idiotic opinions.  “You're probably the only one who would want to, and even then, you're probably too afraid you'd make yourself sick.”

“That's it,” the colonel snapped.  “Not only am I going to drum O'Neill out, but consider yourself history as well, or maybe I'll have you cleaning rocks at Area 51.”

~Idiot.~  Daniel calmly walked into Simmons' personal space, until he was standing almost nose-to-nose with him.  He looked the man straight in the eye, and spoke in a composed, but menacing tone of voice.  “You're making a big mistake, Simmons.  Don't even think of messing with me.  You'd be surprised at how down and dirty I can get when pushed, and right now, you're pushing pretty hard.  So let me tell you something, you mangy, little ...”

General Hammond had taken a seat at his desk soon after Daniel had begun his 'war of words' with the self-absorbed Simmons.  He wasn't used to hearing his normally mild-mannered, gentle-voiced Head of Archaeology swearing like the most hardened of his Marines, but at the moment, Daniel was using words Hammond wasn't sure he'd heard before.

“I thought swearing was beneath a man of your talents,” Simmons said with disdain, briefly interrupting Daniel's attack.

Daniel replied, “There's a first time for everything, Simmons, including this.  I'm using the only words you seem to understand.  I usually can speak to people intelligently, but it seems all you understand is ...”

As he watched, the major general had to admit he was enjoying this battle of words and wills, knowing Simmons was unprepared for the angry linguist, who was fully prepared to use everything in his arsenal to battle the outsider.  Simmons had made the same mistake the System Lords continued to make -- underestimating Daniel Jackson, assuming his intelligence and moralistic views meant he was a pacifist geek, unable or unwilling to defend himself and his friends.

Most of those Goa'uld who had misjudged Daniel were now dead.  Hammond shook his head, knowing that, unfortunately, Frank Simmons would not be suffering the traditional fate for those who had overlooked the archaeologist's strengths.

“... And I pity that poor camel, because they deserve better,” Daniel said, concluding his crude assault on Simmons.

As Daniel finally finished his torrent of scathing insults, Simmons was taken aback, but showed no signs of conceding, instead stating cockily, “Pack your bags, Doctor.  You're through!”

Simmons grabbed his briefcase and headed for the door, curtly acknowledging the general before he stepped out into the hall.

“Not in your lifetime.  I have friends you can't even imagine,” Daniel called out to the fleeing man.

“Right,” Simmons cackled as he disappeared from sight.

Daniel turned and, forgetting where he was and that the general was seated at his desk, threw the papers he was holding against the desk.  He watched as they scattered all over the floor, along with some of the general's files and assorted paperwork.  It was then Daniel remembered where he was and that he wasn't alone.

“Oh, uh ... I'm sorry, General,” Daniel apologized, bending over to pick up the items strewn across the floor.

Hammond smiled knowingly and alleviated Daniel's concern, saying, “Don't worry about it, Son.  I understand.”

The major general had rarely been more proud of the man he considered a son as he was at that moment.  He knew he couldn't admit it, but he did manage a small smile before offering the unofficial verbal reprimand that the circumstances warranted.

Daniel nodded at the reprimand, then smiled and replied with his obligatory, “So sorry.”

====

Shutting the door behind him and tossing his keys into a bowl on the entryway table, Daniel sighed.  He glanced around the home he shared with Jack, his restless eyes finally settling on the VCR clock, its glowing numbers proclaiming 8:20 p.m.  He knew that Jack wasn't going to be home until the next morning since the colonel was currently on a special assignment in Virginia.  Daniel missed him terribly, especially after the events of a few hours earlier.

Daniel paced around the living room, his anger stronger now than when he had faced down Simmons.  He didn't care about the threats made towards himself, but he wasn't about to let Simmons get the best of his lover.

The archaeologist had spoken with General Hammond for several minutes after Simmons exited the office.  Times had changed; that had been obvious for quite some time.  The missions of the SGC were different now, their main focus no longer being exploration, but rather, on finding weapons, spying, and forming military alliances.

Picking up a rubber band he saw on the counter, Daniel twisted the band in all directions, his hands needing something to work with as a distraction while he walked the floor.

Hammond had admitted that with the current political environment, they needed to take Simmons' threats seriously.  The current President wasn't as enamored with the Stargate Program as the previous one, and Jack was, Hammond had to admit, “colorful and unconventional,” which sometimes wasn't a plus.

~How do you take a moron seriously?~

After several minutes of intense pacing, Daniel stopped in front of the fireplace, his arms folded as he stared into the cold, stone cubbyhole.  He turned and walked to the sofa.

~Maybe ... yeah ... okay ... it just might work.~

Daniel looked up and called out, “Uh, Excuse me, but ... Thor?”  He blinked as he took a calming breath and built up his confidence.  “Thor, you love making surprise appearances.  Well, I'm making a surprise invitation.  It's ... important.  I need your help.”  After a moment, he shouted, “THOR!”  When there wasn't a response, he shrugged, then sank down onto the sofa as he thought, ~Well, it was a worth a shot.~

“Doctor Jackson, is there something you need?” the precise-sounding voice asked.

Daniel blinked as he saw a hologram of the tiny Asgard, suddenly standing a few feet in front of him, and then calmly replied, “Uh, yes.  Thor, Jack's in trouble because of ... an idiot.”

“An idiot?” the little gray alien questioned.

“An egotistical, self-indulgent, power-hungry, pompous and pretentious peacock ...”

“Doctor Jackson,” Thor interrupted, sensing that Daniel's description could go on for a  very long time.  “I understand ... the idiot.  What exactly is the problem?”

Leaning forward as he continued to sit on the sofa, Daniel explained the situation, telling Thor about the confrontation with Simmons and what it could mean to the Stargate Program, its goals of exploration.  He also noted the potential implications to the Asgard if he and Jack were sidelined.

“I see,” Thor responded methodically, blinking one time.  “This is not acceptable, Doctor Jackson.”

“I agree, but that crackpot has a lot of power, and he ... well, he doesn't like us very much,” Daniel informed their ally.

“What do you suggest?” the leader of the Asgard asked.

“I ... don't know ... exactly.  I mean, uh, I have an idea; well, the makings of an idea, anyway,” Daniel stammered.  “I don't actually know if it's any good, or if it would work.  Actually, Iwas hoping you might have an idea because ... well, what happens to Jack does impact the Asgard.”

“You are correct.  I must talk with the Counsel,” Thor advised.

“Oooooooooo...”  Daniel blinked and found he was alone again.  “...kay.”  He began to pace again, not sure whether or not to rely on Thor for help or not.  He needed a backup plan.  ~My idea might work, maybe.  Gawd, stop doubting yourself, Jackson.  Jack's career is on the line here.~

====

Just after 10 p.m., after determining a course of action, Daniel pulled out some stationary and a pen and began to write:

J.

I need to take a quick trip, personal business, and no, nothing's wrong.  Will explain all later.  I may be difficult to reach, but you can try calling ...

Daniel hesitated for a moment.  He just knew how Jack was going to react to his next words, but if he was ever going to cure his lover of his jealousy, he'd have to do it with honesty.  Nothing good ever came of deception where the heart was concerned.  He continued:

... Paul.  Please, J, don't go there.  Remember, S.M.L.S.F., I promise.  Taxi's waiting.  I'll be back soon, maybe even before you get back.

D.

Daniel put the note on the desk in the study, picked up his overnight bag,  and headed out the door.  He had a plane to catch.

~Fortunately, I know a few ... people,~ Daniel thought to himself as he headed to his military flight.

====

The following morning, at roughly 1019 hours, Jack walked in the door, having finished his business ahead of time.

“Daniel?”  Jack looked around calmly for his lover, sure he was puttering around the house somewhere.  After all, his car was in the driveway.  **Danny?**  He opened the patio door, even though it was locked and looked outside.  ~Maybe he went for a walk or a jog.~

Not overly concerned since nothing was out of place or disturbed, Jack unpacked, fixed himself a ham and cheese sandwich, and enjoyed his first beer in several days while relaxing in his chair.  It was a bit early for beer, but the trip had been long and hectic, and Jack figured he could indulge himself since he wouldn't be required to report back to work until the next day.

**Danny?** Jack silently communicated again, in case his lover was nearby. “I'll bet he's at the SGC; probably hitched a ride with Carter or something,” he told the fish, staring over at the deluxe fish tank.

When the clock ticked to 1230 hours, Jack smiled, knowing that was when Daniel would normally be lunching, or hibernating in his office when he should be eating.  He went to the phone and dialed his lover's office, disappointed when all he got was Daniel's voicemail.  His disappointment turned into concern, though, when he heard his soulmate's voice stating that he would be out of the office for a day or two.

~A day or two?  Daniel, what's going on?~ Jack inwardly asked.  His internal 'Daniel Alarm' was quiet, but his gut told him something was up.  ~This isn't normal.~

The colonel went back into the kitchen to check for a message.  They often left notes for each other on the refrigerator.  Finding none, he headed for the study, where he finally found Daniel's note.  He read it and even managed, just barely, to suppress his immediate urge to strangle Major Davis.

Jack feared he might never get over his jealousy of Paul Davis, even though he knew in his heart of hearts that Daniel didn't think of Paul romantically.  Still, Mr. Jealousy always perked up whenever the major was involved in their lives.

~Too much touching, Davis.  Keep your paws off my lover,~ Jack thought as Mr. Jealousy threatened to make an appearance.

Taking a deep, calming breath, Jack dialed Daniel's cell phone, but once again, connected only with his lover's voicemail.  Hanging up, Jack reluctantly dialed the Pentagon.

“Major Davis,” Paul Davis answered as he continued staring at a report he was reviewing.

“Jack O'Neill.  Is Daniel with you?” Jack inquired as he tried desperately to sound calm and self-assured.

“Yes, he is, Colonel.  One moment, please,” Paul requested.

Jack sat back in the blue office chair Daniel had purchased for him and closed his eyes for a moment as he waited.

“Hey, Jack,” Daniel greeted.  **Please be calm.  Uh, can you hear this?**

“Daniel, what's going, and why are you there when I'm here?” Jack asked anxiously.

Daniel smiled, hearing the strain in Jack's voice, but knowing that his lover was trying to remain calm.  Silently, he also lamented that apparently their silent non-verbal communication wasn't working over the phone lines.

“You got my note,” Daniel said as flatly as he could.

“Obviously,” Jack snapped.

Daniel fidgeted.  He was using Paul's phone, and the Air Force major could hear every word he said.

“Jack ... concentrate on that last acronym.  Okay?” Daniel urged, giving Paul a slight smile as he tried to act nonchalant.

“I'm trying, Daniel.  *Believe* me, I'm trying,” Jack responded, his voice a bit on edge.

“I can tell,” Daniel chuckled at the strained tone of his partner's voice.

“When are you going to be back?” Jack inquired.

“Tonight ... tomorrow morning at the latest.  Remember the acronym,” Daniel reminded.  ~Come on, Babe, focus.  It's important.~

“Promise me you're okay,” Jack lightly commanded, needing to hear that bit of confirmation.

“I can do that,” Daniel affirmed, smiling as he spoke into the phone.

“Then do it,” Jack ordered, fearing for his lover even though he didn't really know what was going on.

“I ... promise,” Daniel assured as he turned away from Paul, hoping the major wasn't thinking that this conversation sounded any stranger than usual.

“Okay,” Jack said hesitantly.  ~Like I have a choice.~

“Okay,” Daniel agreed.  ~Just don't get on a plane; have a little trust, Jack.~

Several seconds passed, and then, in unison, both repeated, “Okay,” and then both chuckled.

“Um ... Jack,” Daniel whispered.

“What?” the older man asked.

“You know,” the younger man intoned softly and trying desperately not to be overheard.

“You know, too,” Jack said, not saying the words in case the conversation was being recorded.

“Bye,” Daniel stated quietly.

“Bye,” Jack echoed, equally softly.

“Bye.”

“Bye.”

Several seconds later, after saying “Bye” again, this time in unison, they finally hung up.

Daniel looked at Paul, trying not to look as sheepish as he felt.

On the other side of the country, Jack pulled out another beer as he glanced at the note again.  He chuckled as he stared at the acronym -- S.M.L.S.F. -- Space Monkey loves Silver Fox.

~Geez, I'm a lucky man,~ Jack thought happily as he focused his mind of favorite moments shared with his Space Monkey.

====

“Doctor Jackson, how'd you get in here?” Simmons barked upon walking into his locked office, where he found Daniel sitting behind his desk, a dashing smile on his face.

It was a bit later in the day, and Daniel was confident in his ability to protect his lover from their nemesis, Frank Simmons.

“Well, let me see,” Daniel began.  He was leaning back in the leather chair, his hands lightly clasped together and his fingers rubbing back and forth just slightly.  “Oh, yes, I put my hand on the little round thing that's attached to the door, and do you know what?  Something magical happened.  It opened.  Are you following me, Simmons, or would you like me to draw you a pretty diagram? I'm sure you have some crayons around here somewhere,” he stated, looking around the top of large desk.

Daniel was having fun.  Simmons had made it so easy for him to let his inner snarkiness out.

~Jack would be proud of me,~ the archaeologist thought.  He was sure of this.  ~He hates Simmons.~

Daniel had been in Simmons' office for a while, waiting for the arrogant man to return.  He had glanced at the photographs on the wall and the meaningless diplomas hung alongside that were obviously meant to impress visitors.  Even the knick knacks were designed to give off an aura of sophistication to anyone who entered the office.  To Daniel, they simply came across as phony.

“Oh, I'm sorry,” the archaeologist continued.  “I didn't mean to offend.  Perhaps you haven't advanced to crayons yet.  What about some finger paints then?”

“The door was locked, Doctor Jackson.  I could have you arrested,” Simmons threatened.

“That's your prerogative,” Daniel responded calmly.  “Oh, I'm sorry, I've used a long word.  It means ...”

“I know what it means, Doctor.  Do you mind?” Simmons asked as he motioned to his lavish office chair.

“Yes, in fact, I do mind.  I'm quite ... comfortable here,” Daniel said as he looked down at the chair, patting the arms of the chair with the palms of his hands.

“What do you want?  Speak while you can.  I'll have Security here within two minutes,” Simmons stated, picking up the phone on this desk.

“I don't think so, Colonel,” Daniel replied, smiling again.

Simmons put down the phone, sensing something disconcerting in the archaeologist's tone, and said, “What ace is it you think you are holding?”

“No ace, but your career, definitely,” Daniel revealed.  Putting his hand into his pocket, he triggered the Asgard communication device he carried.  With a flash of light, Thor appeared, startling Simmons.  “Colonel Simmons, meet Thor of the Asgard,” a very pleased-with-himself Daniel introduced.  “Thor, this is ...”

“... the dunderhead who thinks he knows it all,” the small alien surmised.

While Simmons looked indignant, Daniel laughed outright at Thor's comment and then stated, “It's like this, Colonel.  I've come in to some information, information about your ... credentials.”  He smirked at the standing man, letting Simmons ponder what knowledge he might have.  Then he continued, “I'd guess you could say those credentials are ... open for debate.  Now, personally, I don't really care how you got where you are, what you did to get there, or who you stepped over or on, because, frankly, I don't give a crap about you at all.”

“The feeling is mutual, Doctor Jackson,” Simmons quipped.  “You're wasting my time.”

“However,” the archaeologist continued, now leaning forward with his arms leaning against the edge of the desk, “when you threaten me and my ... team, then you become my business.  I've been bullied and tortured by the best,” he sneered.  “Your little attempt to go after SG-1 is pale by comparison, pathetic even, just like you are.  You're a little man, Simmons.  Did you really think you could get the better of me?  I mean, think about it.”

Daniel stood and walked calmly over to Simmons.  He stood tall, forceful, and confident as he stared Simmons in the eye.  He never blinked; he never looked away.  He delivered his message with total conviction, and, to his personal satisfaction, he was quite intimidating.

“Colonel Simmons, I know who you are,” Daniel spoke in a slow and distinct manner.  “I know where you came from, and I know *exactly* what's in that little safe you keep hidden under the sofa in your apartment.”

Simmons tried to deny the charges, saying, “I don't know what you're talking about.  I'm going to have you arrested for breaking and entering.”

“I didn't break and enter anything.  In fact, I have a solid ... what's the word ... alibi,” Daniel grinned, “for every second I've been in D.C. -- with the Brass even.  You know the Brass, Colonel: the Chief of Staff, various heads of departments, lots and lots of airmen, majors, and colonels ... Colonel.  Oh, and ... yes,” he began, walking right into Simmons face.  “I even saw the President.  Now, as I was saying.  I know your little secret, and as I said, that's your business ... unless you make it my business.  The choice is yours.”

“What's he here for?” Simmons asked as he nodded towards Thor.

Daniel grinned again, answering, “He's my back up.  You see, if you decide to ... ignore me, challenge me; if you don't take me seriously, Thor is prepared to take you on a little trip to a place far, far away where it's ... lonely and cold, but livable.  It's a little planetoid that no one cares much about, not even the Goa'uld, and, Colonel, once deposited on the planet, Thor won't be dropping by for visits.”

“I don't like threats,” Simmons replied, though his bite had been lessened a bit by Daniel's words.

“No threats.  I'm giving you a choice.  Go with Thor, or leave SG-1 alone.  You can keep on being a pain if you want to because you're not worth the guilt of revealing your little secret, but if you hurt Jack O'Neill or if you threaten me again, then you'll be dealing with me, and Colonel Simmons, don't let the glasses fool you.  I know what I'm doing, and I play hard.”  Daniel backed away a few steps.  “I'll be expecting a message from General Hammond that you've decided not to continue with this farce of yours.”

Simmons sputtered impotently at that comment and flushed red with anger and frustration as he responded, “You may have won this round, Doctor Jackson, but just remember, there's always another side and another angle. If you want to play hardball with me, you just might regret that decision, just as surely as you'll regret this day, as will your precious Colonel O'Neill.  Now get out, and take that Roswell rip-off with you.”

Simmons turned and headed for the door to open it, though Daniel didn't move an inch.

“Doctor Jackson, if you need me again, please do not hesitate to call,” Thor said matter-of-factly, wanting Simmons to know the Asgard would continue to assist Daniel in this endeavor.

Thor glared at Simmons, and then, with a flash, he was gone, taking Daniel with him, as well as something else.

Just before he had beamed out, the crafty alien opened the door to Simmons' office and pressed the buzzer for his secretary.  Upon entering her boss' office, the secretary screamed, seeing her naked boss parading around the room, screaming in rage about an alien.

“Thor, that was great.  Thank you,” Daniel laughed as he stood on the bridge of the Asgard ship.  Daniel glanced over at Frank Simmons' clothing and shook his head.  “Jack would be proud.”

“It was my pleasure.  O'Neill is special to our people.  We will always do what we can to protect him,” Thor stated.

Daniel nodded, then said, “Um ... you can ... beam me down, back to my hotel room please, if that wouldn't be too much of a problem.”

Thor nodded, and just before engaging the energy beam added, “...And we would also do our best to safeguard you as well, Doctor Jackson.”

Daniel barely got out a smile, the “thank you” just forming on his lips when he appeared in his room.  He made a quick call to Paul, to thank him for the 'scuttlebutt' that had turned out to be very helpful, and then checked out and headed for the airport.

~Time to go home to my sexy Silver Fox.  Gawd, I love him,~ Daniel thought as the taxi moved forward through the traffic.

====

A ring rousted Jack out of his unintended nap, and, in a bit of a haze, he answered, “O'Neill.”

“Colonel, I phoned Doctor Jackson's apartment, but when he didn't answer, it occurred to me he might be with you.  Do you know if Doctor Jackson has returned yet?” General Hammond inquired.

“General?  Ah, no, not yet ... Sir ... ah, I mean ... no, Sir,” Jack uncharacteristically stuttered.  It wasn't like him to be thrown for a loop, but Hammond's phone call to his home asking for Daniel had done just that.  ~He sounds so sure Danny would be here.~

“Give him a message for me, Jack,” the bald-headed man requested.  “Tell him ... job well done.”

“Job well done?  What exactly did Daniel do, Sir?” Jack inquired, his curiosity growing by the second.  ~Hammond is congratulating Danny?  What for?~

Laughing, General Hammond answered, “Jack, he did you proud.  Give him the message, and you can both have tomorrow off.  Goodnight, Colonel.”

“Thank you ... Sir ... I guess,” a very confused Jack replied.  He was extremely anxious to know what kind of trouble his lover had gotten into that would involve both a trip to D.C. and the general.  He looked at the clock: 1920 hours.  He wondered when Daniel would be home.  ~Soon, I hope.  I want to know what's going on.~  He smiled, ~And I have plans for us tonight, Angel!~

====

Twenty minutes later, Daniel entered the house, smiling and whistling.  He tossed his bag to the floor and put his jacket in the front closet.

“Danny?” Jack called out as he hurried down the steps, having heard the front door open.

“Hey, Jack, I...mmmmmmph.”  Daniel found himself being ravished by his lover, much to his pleasure.  “Mmmm ... hi, Jack,” he said sappily, still lost in the kiss.

“Hi, yourself,” Jack intoned, looking over his lover carefully.  “You look in one piece.  Let me see your eyes.”

As Jack pulled back to get a good look at his soulmate, Daniel questioned, “My ... my eyes?”

“No matter what you say, Angel, your eyes always say more,” Jack explained.

Daniel smiled and said warmly, “I missed you.”

“Geez, Danny, I hate being away from you,” Jack said, kissing his lover some more.

Each were enjoying the feel of each other after their time apart.

“Bed, Jack,” Daniel commanded lovingly.

“We'll get there in a minute, but first, Hammond called and said to tell you 'job well done',” Jack stated.  Seeing a huge grin appear on his lover's face, the colonel became even more curious about the cryptic message.  “Okay, that's it.  Over here,” he ordered, leading Daniel by the hand to the sofa, where he sat both of them down.  “Tell me what I missed.”

“Simmons is a moron,” Daniel stated.

“I know that, Daniel.  What happened?” Jack quizzed.

Daniel filled Jack in on everything that had occurred, leaving nothing out, after which the two engaged in some passionate kissing and fondling, which left both men tingly and almost giddy.

“Gawd, I missed you,” Daniel said, leaning his head against Jack's shoulder.

“Danny, why didn't you wait for me to get home and let me ...” Jack began.

“Let you take care of it?” Daniel finished for his soulmate.

Jack fidgeted, not sure he could answer the question without getting into trouble with his currently very contented partner, and he had plans for them, just as soon as they finished this discussion.  He had to tread carefully, but before he could get his foot out of his mouth, Daniel continued talking.

“Jack, you love me, and you'd do anything in the world to protect me,” Daniel said knowingly.  “You'd even ... I mean you'd ... do whatever you had to in order to keep me safe.  Right?”

“Oh, yeah,” Jack acknowledged.  ~The word is 'kill', Danny, and you can bet the world that I'd kill to keep you safe.  You know it, and I know it.~

“And if I had waited for you, you'd be angry at Simmons for what he was threatening to do to you, but the part that would make you do something we'd both regret was the part when ...”

“... he threatened you,” Jack spoke, his eyes acknowledging the bitter truth that Simmons would have been one sorry fellow if the situation had been left for Jack to handle.

“Jack, My Love, My Silver Fox.”  Daniel caressed Jack's face.  “I don't know how many times I have to tell you that as much as you protect me, I protect you.  You are my love, Jack, my life, and I won't let anyone hurt you, not even you, so I took care of it.”  He sweetly placed a kiss on Jack's lips as his hands massaged the older man's neck.  “I love you, and someday, you may just realize I mean what I say; that it works both ways, that we protect each other,” he stated quietly.  “Jack,” Daniel said, gazing into his Love's eyes, “we will *both* do whatever it takes to protect the other.”

Jack nodded, then proudly responded, “I wish I could have seen you putting that stuffed shirt in his place.”

“It was pretty funny,” the younger man admitted.  “I ... had a good time, but I guess I shouldn't say that.  I just knew that I had Thor as backup, and if something went wrong, I knew ...”

“... that it goes both ways, and I'd be there to cover your six,” Jack said.

“Yes,” Daniel intoned, smiling.

“Doctor Jackson, how about I cover your six now?” Jack asked as he began a tender kiss.  “And your twelve ... <kiss> ... and your three ... <kiss> ... and your everything?”

“I'd ... mmmm ... like that,” Daniel sighed as Jack continued to kiss him all over.  “Mmm, oh ... Love you so much, Jack.”

“And I love you, my protector,” Jack crooned as the lovers left verbal conversation behind for physical communication as their passion flamed and their bodies united as one.

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