July Eighth

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Drama, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  S3 - July 8, 1999
Spoilers:  None
Size:  31kb, short story
Written:  July 4-8, 2015
Summary:  Amid health concerns, Jack surprises Daniel on his special day.
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) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my other fic(s):  “The First of Many,” “Goofy and the Boys,” “Anniversary,” “This Old Man”
3) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Mama Bear!

July Eighth
by Orrymain

The past couple of weeks or so had been busy for SG-1.  Intermingled with several missions was Independence Day, which was a time for Jack and Daniel to relax and enjoy the festivities.  After that, Jack left on a covert mission and when he returned, the lovers spent the night reveling in their ongoing nation of two.

Amid it all, Daniel had some serious concerns about Jack's health.  Specifically, there were issues with Jack's knees.  Daniel had witnessed his Love rubbing his right knee and favoring it slightly when he walked.  He'd been wanting to discuss his concerns, but Jack was proving to be a master at evasiveness lately.  While Daniel was determined to finally have a talk with Jack, as he woke up today to breakfast in bed, he realized he couldn't ruin the day.

The day was the eighth of July, Daniel's thirty-fourth birthday.  As he'd done the year before, Jack made sure they both were on downtime for the day.  Daniel really wasn't sure why.  He knew Jack kept saying birthdays were special, but he'd gone so long with the day just being like every other day that it was difficult to believe anything different.  Still, until Jack, no one on Earth cared about the meaning of July the eighth for the archaeologist, and Daniel had to concede that it felt good to be cared about in that way.

For the most part, though, the day was quiet.  Daniel enjoyed his breakfast in bed, after which he went back to sleep for two more hours.  When he awoke, he showered and went downstairs where he found Jack sitting in his favorite chair, listening to opera.

“Hey, Beautiful,” Jack called out in a soft voice, his eyes alit with love and appreciation of the man standing before him.

“Jack, we need to talk,” Daniel began, failing in his initial attempt to remain silent about the knee issue.

“Daniel, it's your birthday.  Come here.  Let's ... snuggle.”

Jack's alluring smile and wanton eyes were too much for Daniel to resist, especially on this special day.  He succumbed and snuggled in next to his soulmate.  He loved the closeness and how it made him feel inside.  It was still strange to him, to have these feelings of worth and respect from someone so near.  It was, in fact, these inner realities that gave him pause in bringing up Jack's health.  He didn't want to have the double whammy of a huge fight on his birthday and ending his romantic relationship with his colonel, something he often worried about.  His self-worth had been scrambled by years of abuse in foster care and years of aloneness in the time that had followed.  He was always prepared to end up alone, and he always feared the next argument with Jack would be the last as they would go their separate ways.  Thus, for now, Daniel opted to simply love being loved.

====

As peaceful as the day continued, there was a bit of tension in the air.  Both men knew they were evading a topic that needed to be discussed, but neither wanted to broach the subject, albeit for different reasons.  In a way, it was like last year, when both had the day off from SGC and spent it together.  While their time together was good, it was also a bit tentative.  The reasons were different, but the feelings were similar.

Daniel left the house for awhile as he had fish to feed at his apartment.  He was actually in the process of moving the things he cared about and/or needed most to Jack's house.  That was how Daniel still thought of the home, as Jack's house, but on their anniversary last month, the colonel asked Daniel to move in with him, fish and all.  The move was being done slowly so as not to draw attention.  The archaeologist hadn't slept in his apartment since Jack's invitation and while he'd moved a lot of his clothing and books, the fish tank was still at the apartment.

The apartment was being kept as a cover for the lie.  In essence, it was there so the couple could continue to hide their relationship in plain sight.  If confronted about Daniel's prolonged presence at the house, though, the explanation would be simple enough.  They were just two best friends, sharing a space.  It happened all the time.

Since Janet had also mentioned the possibility of dropping by Daniel's place in the early afternoon, it was important for Daniel to be at the apartment.  Janet, and most everyone else at SGC aside from Sam, was unaware of Daniel's romantic liaison with Jack, and had no real reason to assume the two men would be spending the day together.

~I think she feels sorry for me,~ Daniel sighed as he unlocked the door of his old beat up car.

The archaeologist's low key existence was such that few knew about the special day.  Some of the staff, especially the nurses who usually swooned over the scientist, might remember the date from last year's surprise party, but in Daniel's mind, they surely had all forgotten.

~They probably don't even think I have any friends.~  Before driving off, Daniel closed his eyes and bemoaned, ~Gawd, they're right.~

As he drove to his apartment, Daniel reflected back in more detail on his most recent birthdays.

~I had no idea he even knew it was my birthday when he dragged me out of my office that first year,~ Daniel thought about that surprise party Jack had thrown him two years ago.  ~I'd never even been to O'Malley's before.~  On that night, a small group of SGC personnel that included his teammates, members of his department, and several nurses from Janet's staff partied in celebration of Daniel's birth.  ~I never saw it coming.  Why would I?~

At a stoplight, Daniel sighed when a passing bird left a little gift on his windshield.  He looked upward toward the scattered clouds and saw the bird flying away in the distance.

~That's not the kind of present I was hoping for, but ... thank you, I guess.~  Daniel checked the light and saw it was still red.  ~Northern Flicker, I think,~ he thought about the bird.  ~Probably looking for water since it's warm out today.~

Seeing the light change, Daniel drove on, his thoughts returning to the birthdays of years past.

~That surprise party was ... fun.  I'm not used to that, but nothing prepared me for the trip to Disneyland.  Gawd, Goofy.  Please help me to forget that.  How embarrassing.~

In the infancy of their romantic relationship last year, Jack spirited Daniel off to Disneyland as a surprise.  He was forced to wear Mickey Mouse ears and climb the treehouse.  The worst moment, though, was being picked up by the famous Disney dog, Goofy.

~I'll never live that down,~ Daniel lamented.  Even as he grimaced internally, his lips began to change shape as a smile formed.  ~Okay, Jack's not here.~  He sighed in acquiescence as he admitted, ~It was fun, but it *was* embarrassing, too.  What the heck did the man in that suit think anyway?~

Even though Daniel was focusing primarily on the Disneyland adventure, he also recalled that on the eighth of July, his birthday celebration consisted of taking the day off and spending it at Jack's house.  While there had been a cake and presents, the day was somewhat strained.  The new couple was struggling as they worked through the growing pains and transition from being best friends to being best friends and lovers.  Daniel especially was having a hard time dealing with the guilt he felt about technically cheating on his wife, Sha're.  When things settled down and were more secure, Jack surprised Daniel with the belated birthday trip to Anaheim and the Magic Kingdom.

As he entered the parking lot to his apartment, Daniel thought about his birthdays before Jack.  They were nothing special.  They were just days, like every other day of his life after his parents died when he was a young child.  He tried to remember birthdays with his mother and father, but he had such a difficult time recalling those early years of his life.  There was so much love there, but it had gone so soon.  Jack was helping him, though, frequently starting discussions about Daniel's youth.  It was working, too, and he was remembering more, but even so, the memories were few, or at least fewer than he wished.  What was there was held dearly and deeply within his heart and soul.

The archaeologist brought his car to a stop and turned off the engine.  He sat there, staring blankly at the building in front of him.  Had things really changed or was he lying to himself?  That was the question of the day.

~That Jack made me take today off again amazes me.  Why?  I know he says birthdays are special, but I don't know.  They've always been just another day, mostly anyway.~

====

Daniel looked around at his apartment, trying to judge if it looked lived in enough. If Janet showed up, he didn't want her to have any reason to question whether or not he'd been staying there.

~Am I paranoid?~  With a sigh, the archaeologist answered, “Probably.”

Never the less, Daniel decided to mess things up a bit, placing a half-full coffee mug and book on his coffee table.  He also left his bedroom door ajar so that if Janet happened to glance that way at just the right angle, she might be able to glimpse a partially unmade bed.

~If she needs to use the bathroom, she'd definitely see it.~

The scientist opted to take things a step further, knowing his reputation.  He pulled out a few volumes of archaeological works and spread them out along the carpet near the coffee table.  He opened a notebook with some research he was doing in his spare time and left it there with a couple of pens.  He even added a Twinkie wrapper he'd found.  Of course, that meant he had to eat the Twinkies first, something he had objection to doing.

Daniel sat down on the sofa and debated how long he should wait.  He was going over options when his eyelids began to flutter.  Just that quick, he fell asleep.

====

“Jack, I'm back,” Daniel called out after entering the house.  ~He really never does lock the door,~ he thought to himself as he walked through the entryway into the living room.

“In here,” Jack responded in a loud voice.

Daniel turned in the direction of the voice, walked into the kitchen, and spoke a pleasant, “Hey,” upon seeing his lover standing in front of the range.

“Hey,” Jack responded in kind, turning and kissing his partner.  They immediately embraced.  “You smell good.”

“Gawd,” Daniel replied shyly.  He still had a hard time with compliments of any kind, especially anything that approached being intimate in nature.  “Thank you.  Ah, what are you,” he glanced at the unattractive mess of ingredients in the skillet, “... cooking?”

“Garbage,” Jack groaned in his best bear-like growl.  “Sorry, Love, but my attempt to make you something special has flopped flatter than a pancake.”

“Well, it's the thought that counts, Babe,” came the understanding reply, even as Daniel's nose scrunched at the unpleasant odor that resulted from the unusual assemblage of food.

“No, it's your birthday.  I should have tried this first,” Jack whined, tossing the spatula against the backsplash.

“Jack, it's just food.  I'm, uh ... well, you did get a cake?”

“Of course, I did,” Jack responded.

“So, we'll eat cake,” Daniel mused with a smile.

“For dinner?”

“Cake works for me.”

“You saw the fridge this morning,” Jack concluded.

“Well, I ... I peeked inside, yes,” Daniel admitted.  “I was looking for an orange.”

“I need to go shopping.”

“We've been a little busy lately.”

“I've been putting it off.”

~You don't want to walk,~ Daniel opined silently.  “I know.”

Wanting to divert the conversation, the colonel questioned, “Did Doc drop by?”

“Uh, no.  She called and said there was some crisis ...”

“Goa'uld?” Jack asked with some alarm.

“Not this time.  It was some internal mix-up with the scheduling.  She has to do a double shift or something.”

“Been there ...”

“... Done that,” Daniel completed with a smile.  “Jack, it's okay, about dinner.  I don't need anything but you.”

“Good, that's exactly what's on the menu.”

“Oh, okay,” came the amused reply.

Jack tossed his experimental food into the garbage and then quickly washed and wiped his hands dry to remove the grease that had splattered on them.  Then he took his Heart into his arms.

“I love you, Angel.  I know I'm not the easiest man to live with, but I do love you, more than life.”

The lovers kissed tenderly as their hands warmed each other's backs with small strokes of affection.

“I love you, too, Jack.  You should know that.”

“Yeah, I do, most of the time,” Jack chuckled.

Jack and Daniel kissed again and then fell into a warm embrace.  For a minute, they simply held the other in their arms. As they did so, the tentativeness and frustration of recent days dissipated, at least temporarily.  All that mattered now was that they were together on Daniel's birthday.  They were happy, and they were in love.

“So, uh, about dinner,” Daniel began when the embrace ended.

“Dinner,” Jack repeated as he looked over at the stove.  “I've botched your birthday.”

“It's okay, Babe.”

“No, Daniel, it's not,” Jack groused, covering up the pain he felt as he left the kitchen behind and walked into the living room.

“Jack, really, it's okay.”

A knock on the door interrupted the conversation.

“Get that, will ya, Danny?”

“Uh, sure,” Daniel agreed as he turned and headed for the front door.

Opening the door, the archaeologist was stunned by what he saw.  His mouth opened and eyes widened by the sight.  He stood perfectly still, not sure what to say or do next.

“Um, I ... I think may...maybe you're ... in the wrong city?”

Three scantily clad females stood at the O'Neill homestead porch.  With plenty of bare skin showing, what they did have on wreaked of Las Vegas showgirls.  One had on a shiny red and black outfit that though it was one piece showed plenty of leg and more cleavage than Daniel had seen up close in a very long time.  Showing an equal amount of both and lots of midriff as well, the second gal's outfit was glittering in gold sequins and not much else.  She wore a headdress with five tall feathers and rhinestones at the center of the forehead.  The third woman was clad in a pink one-piece, much like the first, but she had a pink feathering train attached to it.

“We are for you, Daniel Jackson,” the middle showgirl stated, a seductive smile on her face as she walked forward and ran a finger along his lips.

The nervous archaeologist backed away and asked, “Hhh...how do you know who I ...”  He calmed himself and inquired, “How do you know my name?”

“Because,” the gal with the pink train began as she entered the home and walked around Daniel, her hands roaming his body, “we have something very special for you.”

The woman  in the shimmering gold sequins turned around and bent over, her derriere aimed up at Daniel, who blinked several times.  He saw more buttocks than he saw garment, which, of course, was the intent.  When she stood back up and turned back, she had two large bags in her hands.

“These are for you, Daniel Jackson,” all three females declared in perfect synchronic speech.

“Bbbb...”

Before Daniel could get out an objection, the women backed him into the living room until he fell back onto the sofa.  The ladies let their hands roam freely as they flirted flauntingly.

After a few minutes, the lady in pink settled in close beside him and whispered, “Happy birthday, big boy.”

“Bbbbirth...”

Daniel's stammered attempted at speaking was cut off by a sensuously sung round of “Happy Birthday.”  Then the ladies all laughed.  Each one leaned in to give the man a kiss on the cheek.

“Happy birthday,” the trio spoke, leaving the large bags on the coffee table.

The gold-outfitted woman was the last to leave and as she reached the door, she winked and said, “Call me soon, Jack.”

Jack had gotten up from his chair immediately after his lover had gone to answer the door.  He'd watched the entire scene play out from the edge of the hallway, except for a couple of minutes when the ladies had Daniel surrounded on the sofa. At that moment, the colonel had gone to their car and retrieved one more item.  He brought it inside and covertly placed it in the hallway.  Then he stood at the edge of the hallway and entryway and smiled at Daniel's wide-eyed and stuttered squirming while the showgirls did their best to show him a good time.

In response to the vivacious woman's request to call, Jack nodded as she walked out and closed the door.  Then he sauntered into the living room with a huge grin on his face.

“Did you do that?” Daniel asked, nearly gasping his words.

His hands in his pants pockets as he responded, Jack reared his head back in a huge laugh and answered, “Now when anyone asks you what you did for your birthday, you can say you spent it with some showgirls from Vegas.”

“Were they?  Really?” the intrigued birthday celebrant asked.

“Yep!” Jack affirmed.  “Met them on a mission.”

“In Las Vegas?”

“I've had secret missions all over the globe, Dannyboy,” Jack laughed, “even Sin City.”  Still amused, he queried, “Didn't you catch the 'Star Trek' parody moment?”

“'Star Trek?'” Daniel echoed.  “I have no idea what you're talking about.”

Jack shook his head while making a mental note to make sure he pointed out the reference he was referring to the next time the two sat down to watch TV as a furtherance of Daniel's television education.

“Gawd, that was freakin' weird,” Daniel responded as he sat up and then leaned forward while examining the exterior of the bags.  “Uh ...”

“Check 'em out,” Jack instructed, still standing in the same position.

Shaking his head at the surreal experience, Daniel took hold of the first bag and put it on the carpet so that he could more easily withdraw its contents.  Each item was wrapped in Egyptian paper.  There were several small, fun gifts, many silly in nature with the purpose of getting the hardworking archaeologist to smile and involve himself in some of the child-like games and activities he'd missed out on as a youth.

“Cootie?”

“Don't worry, Love, no matter how many cooties you have, I'll still love you,” Jack told his soulmate.

“Thank you, Jack.  That makes me feel so much better,” Daniel replied.  “What is that?”

Jack laughed, “It's a game, Danny.”

“A very old game,” Daniel observed about the box that had no plastic wrap around it and which had signs of wear and tear.”


“Good things can be found everywhere,” Jack explained without really explaining a thing.

“Apparently,” Daniel agreed as he began to read the box.  “Somehow I'm not sure I missed anything with this game.”

“Don't knock it.  It's been around since the late forties.  We'll play it later.”  Jack looked at the other bag and urged, “Check out that one; it's guaranteed to make you a happy camper.”

“Want to make a bet?”

“You'd lose,” Jack said with confidence.

Daniel studied the other man's brown eyes deeply and something told him not to make the bet.  Besides, he knew what was in the other bag.  His sense of smell had made that obvious from the beginning.

“Okay,” the scientist stated as he reached over for the second bag. Pulling out the ingredients, he mused, “No wonder I was getting so hungry.”

The bag was full of Daniel's favorite Chinese foods and even some Jack wasn't that sure about.  The contents included egg drop soup, wanton soup, vegetable egg rolls, pan fried noodles, combination shrimp, pork, and chicken chow mein, lots of fried rice, Moo Goo Gai Pan, sweet and sour pork, Kung Pao chicken, and Egg Foo Young.

As Jack watched Daniel's smile grow bigger with every food item he removed from the bag, a warm feeling over came him and he smiled to himself, happy that his Angel was happy.  Watching the younger man, he could practically feel his Love's mouth watering in anticipation of eating the foods.  He preferred Italian and American flavors the best himself, but since Daniel came into his life, Chinese had become a frequently enjoyed food option.  Jack felt pleased with his surprise scheme.  Hiring the showgirls to not only deliver the bags, but to pick up the food order en route to the house was a moment of genius in his strategic mind.

~I may have gone a little overboard,~ Jack conceded as he thought about the large order.  ~We'll be eating this stuff for days.~

“Jack, did you cook that ... that, uh, so called food in the kitchen on purpose?”

“Had to throw you off the scent somehow, Angel.”

“Throw me off the scent?  I'm a dog?”

Jack laughed and teased, “You know how I feel about dogs, Danny.  They're my favorite people.”

Daniel couldn't help but smile, after which he happily suggested, “Let's eat.”

====

Leaving the remnants of their meal on the table in the kitchen nook, the lovers settled in on the sofa.  Daniel leaned his head against Jack's shoulder.  For a while, they spoke no words.  They didn't need words.  They only needed the closeness of being together.  They'd heard a light rain falling outside for a while, which provided a gentle backdrop to their otherwise silent time on the couch.

~Gawd, I love this,~ the archaeologist thought, feeling the strength of his soulmate.  “It was a great birthday, Jack.  Thank you.”

“You make it sound like it's over.”

“Well, it's getting late.”

“It's never too late,” came the reply with the added bonus of a gentle kiss being placed atop Daniel's head.

“Clock's ticking, O'Neill.”

Jack laughed and then reached over with his right hand.  With his finger, he raised Daniel's chin and kissed his Love with great passion.

“Oh, yeah, not over, definitely not over,” Daniel agreed.

With a chuckle, Jack stood and walked away.

“Hey, where are you going?”

Jack disappeared behind the wall that partially separated the living room from the hallway.  When he reappeared, he was holding yet another of Daniel's surprises.

“I had to get this,” the colonel told his archaeologist.  “Happy birthday, Danny!”

“Cake!” Daniel exclaimed happily.  “I forgot about it.”

“Hard to forget this one,” Jack replied.  “Triple decker chocolate with chocolate icing and chocolate fudge,” he announced, smiling as Daniel nearly leaped up into the air.

“Let's eat,” the eager man suggested.

“I thought you were full.”

“For cake?”

“You're right,” Jack responded dryly.  “How dare I think such a thing.”

“Ah, Babe ...?”  Daniel noticed that the cake had but eleven candles on them.  “Shouldn't there be thirty-four candles here?  You're missing a few.”

As Jack put the cake down on the coffee table and retrieved some matches from the counter that separated the kitchen from the living room, he explained, “Danny, you had eight great years as a kid with your folks, and you've been here, at SGC ... and with me, for three more.  That's eleven.”

“That would explain the Cootie game, Troll, and rocket ship,” Daniel mused.  “But you do know, I'm not a little boy.”

“Oh, boy, do I know that,” Jack responded, assuring his lover of that by planting another big kiss on his lips.  “Amen for thirty-four.”  As Daniel smiled, Jack lit the candles and then ordered, “Make a wish.”

“I ... I don't really know if I believe in wishes.”

“Yes, you do.  Wish, and then blow.”

“Blowing's good.”

“Daniel, that's for later.  Blow out the candles,” Jack reiterated, quickly adding, “But make that wish first.”

With a slight nod, Daniel closed his eyes, made his wish, and then, with a smile at the older man, blew out all of the candles.

“There ya go!”

“Let's eat!”

“You and cake,” Jack laughed.

“Me and chocolate,” Daniel corrected.

====

Two pieces of cake each later, Daniel assumed the couple would retreat upstairs to enjoy an intimate conclusion to his birthday.  Jack had other plans.

“Wait there one,” Jack commanded.  “And close your eyes.”

Daniel let out a small groan at the military verbiage, even as he obeyed the order. He wasn't a fan of the military, but then he smiled.  He may not like the way the armed forces operated, but he sure did love his Air Force colonel.  He chose to focus on that instead.

The colonel placed the unwrapped object on the dresser and after backing away said, “Okay.”

There was a slight edge of uncertainty to Jack's tone that caused Daniel some trepidation as he opened his eyes.  He just wasn't sure what he was going to find. When he saw it, his curiosity was highly aroused.  His head jutted back for a brief second in surprise.  This definitely was not another toy for an eleven-year-old boy, or man being forced to celebrate part of his birthday like a youth of that age.

“Jack, where did you get this?” Daniel asked as he cautiously approached the item and bent over to get a close up look.

“Here and there,” Jack answered cryptically.

“In Colorado Springs?” Daniel asked, his head turned toward his life partner even though he was still bent over.

“Yeah,” Jack affirmed without saying anything more.

“This looks ... real,” Daniel stated as he ran his fingers along the diameter.

The object was a vase, a very old Egyptian-looking vase.

“I don't know if it's real, Danny.  I just saw it somewhere and thought maybe it would be something you'd like.”

“Jack, I think it's real,” Daniel opined about the vase.

With a pleased smile, Jack responded, “You just never know.”

Jack watched as Daniel examined the vase for several minutes.  He knew his lover was genuinely intrigued.

~Finding this was sheer luck,~ the colonel thought.  ~He's gonna be researching and ...~  Suddenly, Jack paused his thinking on the subject.  He frowned, realizing Daniel was going to end up studying this potential artifact for hours upon hours.  ~Oh crap.~  Then he grinned as he came up with a solution.  “Danny, I was thinking we could take this to the apartment in the morning.”

“The apartment?” Daniel asked, while straightening his stance.  “I love this, Babe.  I'd rather keep it here so I could study it and ...”  This time, it was Daniel who stopped his train of thought.  He smiled as he realized what his lover was afraid of.  ~He's right, this time,~ he mused.  “You're right, Jack.  I know the perfect place for it.  It will give me something to do when you're off fighting the enemies of the country.”

“Sarcasm, Daniel?”

“No, just stating facts.”  Both men smiled and then Daniel walked up to Jack and kissed him.  “Can we move on to the best part of my birthday?”

“Geez, I love how you think.”

Daniel chuckled at the oddity of the line and then let himself be devoured.  It was the perfect ending to his special day.

“I love you, La Mio Bello Stella Cadente.”

“Caro Mio, Jack.”

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

Feedback Welcome - click here to email the author


AmazingCounters.com