Love Lost: The Milder, More Insecure Daniel Version

Author: Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Angst, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  2 - October 20, 23-30, 1998
Spoilers:  Cold Lazarus (minor)
Size:  35kb, short story
Written:  March 20-21,26 2004  Tweaked:  July 10, 2007
Summary:  Jack leaves Daniel to return to Sara
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:  
1) This is basically the original version of the story, with a few amendments.  It's the milder Danny, the one that might have been less feisty back in Season 2 when this story takes place.  See the “feisty Danny” version for a spicier, more aggressive version of this fic.
2) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Claudia, Quingem, Kalimyre, Drdjlover!

Love Lost: The Milder, More Insecure Daniel Version
by Orrymain

“Danny, the highway is jammed.”  Jack had his cell phone headset on so he could speak with his soulmate.  His truck was moving at roughly 15mph.  Not only was it the rush hour for commuters between Denver and Colorado Springs, but he'd heard there had been an accident about 12 miles ahead of his current location.  He knew it would be quite a while before he made it back to his house.

“Oh, well, I guess, I'll just go home.”  Daniel was disappointed, Jack having been in Denver all day.  They had originally planned on having a romantic, quiet evening together at Jack's, before the Air Force interfered.

“You'd better.  Home to our house, not that loft of yours.”

“Jack, I ... I ...”

“Our house, Danny.  I want you there.  Come on, Love.  I want to see you.  Just ... kick back and relax.  I'll bring home dinner.”

“I can make something.”

“No, you've had a hard day, too.  Just bring in the mail, check the messages, and then maybe make us a fire.  Otherwise, just relax.”

“That'd be nice.”

“See you soon.”  There was a pause, and from experience Jack knew Daniel had nodded.  “Danny, I can't see you.”

“Oh, sorry.  See you soon ... too.”  Daniel laughed as they hung up their cell phones.

~Crazy geek of mine.  What would I do without him?  Don't answer that.  I don't ever want to know.~

====

Daniel put the pile of bills, magazines and junk mail on the desk in Jack's study.  He took off his tan leather jacket and placed it over one of the chairs in the living room.  He then walked over to the phone and, per Jack's request, listened to the messages, prepared to jot down any necessary notes.

“Hey, Jack, it's Lou.  How about helping me out with the Monstermobile this weekend?  Carolyn's out of town visiting her sister, so we could have a blast.  You, uh, can bring the Doc if you want.”

Daniel wasn't sure exactly what to make of the last comment.  He knew he had to be the “Doc” in question because that was how Lou Ferretti frequently referred to him.  Lou didn't know about the relationship between Jack and Daniel.  For a moment, Daniel began to panic, until he realized that Lou knew that Jack and Daniel were best friends and spent most of their time together away from the SGC.  He was sure it was just an offhand comment.

Daniel made a note that Lou had called.  He also decided the weekend would be a good time to visit a museum he needed to go to.  Jack could go play with trucks and Daniel would revel in history.  ~Yeah, that'll work.~

“Jack, this is Mark Kingston.  I had a call today from Sara's lawyer about the divorce settlement.  I think we need to meet, the four of us.  I've set up a luncheon meeting for Friday at 1 p.m.  Please give me a call to confirm the date.  We need to discuss a few things beforehand as well.”

“Sara,” Daniel spoke aloud, his body immediately turning to the mantle where a family picture of the O'Neill's still sat.  He hadn't seen Sara since the encounter with the crystalline entity, but he knew Jack had seen her a few times after that.  Jack had also told Daniel about the divorce, but the young man had thought it was all over and done with.

Daniel wrote down the message and left the pad next to the phone.  There were no other messages.  Picking up one of the square accent pillows, Daniel sat on the sofa.  He held the pillow almost like a security blanket as his mind raced with possibilities.  He could feel his muscles tightening in his stomach.

For a moment, Daniel thought he might actually be sick.  His head hurt and he had a queasy feeling.  He was, he hated to admit, a bit leery of the idea of Jack seeing his ex-wife again.  He squeezed the pillow in a subconscious move to try and squeeze out all the bad that had occurred in his life.

~Gawd, I'm jealous.  Stop that, Jackson.  You have no business being ... jealous.  Think about something else.~

And Daniel did, picking the largest most complex book he could find on Jack's bookshelves.  He read until Jack finally walked in the door, two hours later.

“Hey.”

“Hey,” Daniel said as he put the book down and stood up to greet his lover.

The two kissed, their arms slinking along the other's bodies as their tongues mingled together.

“Oh, wow, Danny.  We've gotten so good at this.”  Jack's smile was broad.  Daniel wanted to smile that much, too, but he was still scared and nervous ... and insecure.  Only months old, their romantic relationship was still being tested.  With his history, though, Daniel kept waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop and end his brush with happiness.

Jack held Daniel close.  Even though he had only walked in, Jack could sense something was wrong.  There was something in the way Daniel was holding Jack -- an intensity present, almost a clinging feel to it as if afraid that if he didn't hold on, Jack might slip away.  And then there were his eyes.

 ~I can see your soul in eyes, Danny.  Something's bothering you.  Those eyes are a bit cloudy at the moment.~

He decided he'd give Daniel a few minutes to get it out on his own.  Otherwise, he'd start prying until he found it himself.

“Thought you were going to build us a fire?”

“Oh, I'm sorry.  I got distracted.”

“By a book?” Jack looked over at the large volume.

“Not exactly,” Daniel said as he turned and walked to the phone.  “Um, Lou wants you to come over and play this weekend.”

“Play?  I don't think he used that word.”

“Maybe not,” Daniel said with a smile, “but it's the truth, and you know it.”

Jack loved the little twinkle in Daniel's eyes when he spoke.  “I'd rather play with you.”

“He said you could bring me.”

“Oh, he did?” Jack busted out a laugh.

“Yeah, I thought it was funny myself.”

Jack walked over to stand beside his lover.  He put his arm on Daniel's back and rubbed gently, letting his hand slide down to the lower back and finally, just resting inside Daniel's black pants.  “Don't worry, Love. I'm only ever going to play with you.”  Jack kissed Daniel on the temple.

“Play,” Daniel said softly.

“Danny, are you okay?”
“You have another message.”  Daniel handed the pad to Jack and turned away.

“Oh,” Jack said.  He read it quickly then looked up and saw Daniel self-hugging, facing the entranceway.  ~Oh, no, you don't.  My crazy geek!~

Jack walked up behind Daniel and slid his arms around the younger man.  “This is just the paperwork, Love.”  Jack kissed the side of Daniel's neck.  “Let's snuggle by the fire.”

“Okay.”

The two spent a warm night together, not talking any more about the upcoming lunch.  Still, Daniel dreaded the meeting.  He wanted it to be over.  As they snuggled, he silently wished he had never heard the message from Jack's lawyer.

====

Daniel put the finishing touches on the dinner he was preparing.  It was a seafood-stuffed pork tenderloin with shrimp sauce.  He checked his watch and then wiped his hands.  Jack was late.

An hour later, Daniel's dinner was on warm.  He knew it would lose its flavor soon, if it hadn't already.  He walked over to the balcony, looking for his lover's Ford truck.  He refused to let his mind become paranoid, even if it was Friday ... even if this was the day Jack had seen Sara again.

Forty-five minutes later, Jack bounced in the door, smiling and whistling.  “Hey, Danny.  Sorry I'm late, but ...”

Jack stopped ... smiling, whistling and talking when Daniel's demeanor finally sank in.  Daniel was seated, arms folded very tightly across his chest.  There was a scowl on the young man's face.  His eyes were dark with intensity.  Daniel's face was tight, his expression uninviting.

“I should have called.”  Jack looked over at the kitchen and saw the remains of an elaborate meal ... ruined.  “Danny, I'm sorry.  Really, truly, extremely ... completely!”  Jack walked to the sofa and sat down. “Okay, what do I have to do?”

“Where were you?”

“You're ... not going to like that one.”

“You were with Sara.”

“Catching up on old times,  I guess.  It's been a while.  I should have called.  I'm sorry.”

“You said that.”

“Well, I am.”

“Good, I'm glad you've got that off your chest.  Wouldn't want you to suffer from guilt or anything.”  Daniel looked down at the carpet, a magically wonderful fascinating place at the moment.

Jack sighed.  The time had just gotten from him.  He hadn't meant to be late, or not to call.  It just ... happened.  He wanted to touch Daniel's hands, but the young man had his hands buried, so Jack decided to brave a kiss.  Daniel didn't stop him, but he didn't participate, either.  “Danny, you gonna cooperate here, or do you want to fight?”

“Oh, so you want to have sex?”

“Yes.  No.  I mean, yes.  Oh, for crying out loud, Daniel,” Jack said as he quickly stood up and walked a few steps away from the sofa.  “What I mean is ... I would like us to have a nice ... evening together, and hopefully, maybe, if you want to, we could ... make love.”

“You want to have sex?”

“Didn't I just answer that?”

“I suppose you aren't hungry?”

“No, we ... actually, I'm starved.”

“Sure, you are, Jack.”  Daniel stood and walked towards his tank, staring at the colorful creatures as they swam around.

“Daniel, what do you want me to do?  I haven't seen Sara in months.  We ... caught up.  That's all.”

“Okay.”

“Okay, what?”

“Let's go to bed.”  Daniel walked towards the hallway that led to the bedroom.

Jack moved quickly to block his lover's path, grabbing his arm.  “Danny, I don't want sex.  I love you.  I want to make love with you.  If you don't want that, then I'd just assume we ... watched a documentary on TV.”  Jack moved his hand to caress Daniel's left cheek.  “Danny, I should have called.  You made us dinner, and I was rude and unthoughtful.  I am sorry.  I love you, and I want you.  I love you.”

Daniel saw the apology in Jack's eyes.  He felt his lover was sincere in his remorse, and it had been a long time since Jack had seen Sara.  Daniel was tired, and he realized that he needed to control his jealousy. He hated that particular emotion and feared it was getting the better of him.  Slowly, the corners of his mouth curved upward and his expression softened as he smiled.  “I love you, too.”

“I love you, too.”

Jack pulled his lover in for a long kiss that escalated toward a deep passionate night of lovemaking.

====

The next night was spent at Jack's house.  Jack had spent a few hours at Lou's working on the huge truck Lou was restoring while Daniel had gone to an exhibit he had heard about.  They met at 3 p.m. to do some shopping and eat dinner at O'Malleys, and then they watched “The Way We Were” on TV.

“Too bad.  Tragic ending.”

“They weren't meant for each other, Jack.”

“But they loved each other.  You know, Danny, love conquers all.  They should have found a way.”

“They were too different.”

“We're different.” Jack smiled.  “And we're perfect.”

Daniel smiled, too.  “They just didn't belong together, even if they did love each other.  They had to move on.”

“I love ya, Danny, but I disagree.  I think if he loved her, he should have gone back.  He's clearly come a long way, learned a lot since they parted.  He should have been man enough to fight for her, win her back.”

The discussion went on for a while and then the two went to bed.  Daniel awoke, alone, at 3 a.m.  He figured Jack was probably up on the roof, gazing at the stars.  It was something Jack did a lot whenever he grew restless.

Daniel put on his robe, intending to join his partner, but as he reached the bottom of the stairs, he saw Jack holding a beer with his left hand, and holding the family photo of Sara, Charlie and him with the other.  

“We should have tried harder,” Jack whispered at the photo.

Daniel backed away, returning to the bed, feeling lost and alone.  He tried to stop the falling tears, but couldn't.  He had no clue how long he laid there alone, or when Jack finally returned to bed, but at some point, Daniel had silently cried himself to sleep.

====

The next day was Sunday, but SG-1 had a mission, so Jack and Daniel reported to the SGC for duty.  It turned out to be a three-day event that included a couple of small battles with the Goa'uld.  When they returned, Jack had been ordered on a special assignment.  He hadn't even had time to brief Daniel with anything more than that he'd be gone for a couple of days.

On the day Jack was to return, Daniel had to replace SG-11's archaeologist who had been taken ill.  The scheduled mission was important and couldn't be delayed.  Daniel left Jack a message and then left.

Two days later, SG-11 finished their mission ahead of schedule.  Daniel was relieved.  He was tired, and anxious to reconnect with his lover.  He fulfilled his obligations and headed for Jack's house.  He saw a car parked in the driveway, in the spot where he normally put his old car, so Daniel parked on the street.

Not sure who was with Jack, Daniel tapped lightly on the door.  There was no answer.  He wasn't sure what to do.  Then he thought he heard noise coming from the backyard.  As he walked around the side of the house, he could definitely hear laughter.

“Oh, Jack, you're so crazy sometimes.”

The voice was female.  It sounded remotely familiar to Daniel.

“Crazy is good, Sara.  We just forgot how to be good crazy for a while.”

“I hope we don't forget again.”

“Me, too.”

Just as Daniel rounded the corner, he saw his lover, or was that ex-lover, kissing Sara, the ex-wife ... or was she now the lover.  The kiss was very passionate.  Both released happy sounds from their exchange.  Jack's hands were snaking inside Sara's ivory blouse, and Sara's hands were wrapped around Jack's neck.

“Hi.”  Daniel said.  It was either run, or fight.  Daniel decided that he'd try the fight option, and then run.

“Daniel!” Jack backed away just slightly from Sara.

“Oh, I remember you.  Doctor Jackson, isn't it?”  Sara was smiling as she walked to close the gap between her and Daniel, extending her arm to shake his hand.  “I'm Sara O'Neill, Jack's wife.”

“Yes. I ... I remember.”  Daniel looked at Jack who was fidgeting.

“Can I get you something to drink?”  Sara was walking towards the house, “... or perhaps you'd like to sit down?”

“No, thank you.  I just ... dropped by to ... say hi.”  ~Okay, so I'm not a good fighter.  I knew it was going to happen one day anyway.~

“Sara, would you mind?  I need to talk to Daniel for a few minutes ... alone.”

“Sure.  Actually, Darling ...”

Daniel's head snapped at the sound of the endearment, his body assuming a self-hug tighter than ever before.  His heart was breaking, his knees weakening, but he wouldn't fall apart.  He couldn't Jack the satisfaction.  His breathing deepened as he listened to Sara's words as she continued.

“... I have a few things to do before the theater tonight, so I'll go take care of those ... and pack some more things.”

“Okay.”  Jack acknowledged softly.

Sara leaned in for another kiss.  Daniel cringed as he stood and watched as Sara walked into the house.

“Danny ...”

“Daniel.”

Jack sighed.  “Daniel, we need to talk.”

“I doubt that.  I think I have the picture.”

“She ... came by, unexpectedly, while you were gone.  We ... talked ... a lot about the past and ...”

“You still love her.”

“I've always loved her.  You know that.  It's ... just like you and Sha're.  I just didn't think Sara would let me back in after all the crap I put her through, but she's amazing, Danny.  She understood.  She forgave me.”

Daniel nodded.  “Like the movie, huh?  This is the ending you've always wanted.”

“I always loved Sara.  The only reason we were getting the divorce was because we couldn't handle Charlie's death.  No, that's not right.  I couldn't handle it, but you've taught me how to live.  You, Danny.  You showed me life, and that it was okay to ... be myself.  I decided to trust Sara with a part of me that I've only let you see until now.  It made a difference.  You made it happen.”

“That's ... peachy.  I'm so glad I was able to make you want to live so you could get back together with your wife.”

“Daniel, there's more to it.”

“Oh, yes, I'm sure there is.”

“I want a family.”

“Yep.  Can't help you with that one.  Wrong sex ... last time I looked.”  Daniel's tone was flippant, angry, and rightfully so.  His life had just been turned upside down ... again.

“I do love ...”

“Don't, Jack.  Don't say another word.  I don't mean anything to you.  I can't, or you couldn't do this so quickly.  Gawd, I was gone for two days.  Two freakin' days and that's all it took?”  Daniel's voice was strewn with emotion.  In spite of his best efforts, he was on the verge of losing control, something he didn't want to do, not here, not now.

“We have history.”

“Right.  You lied to me, Jack.”  Daniel's voice had regained its strength.  He had fought the Goa'uld.  He could fight Jack, too.  No one would see his pain.  No one, not ever again.

“I didn't mean to, Danny.  I thought ... this, you and me, was what I wanted, but ... Danny ...”

“Daniel.”

Jack took a deep breath.  He knew he had shattered Daniel's reality, but he couldn't lie to him.  Daniel deserved the truth, not a lie.  “Daniel, I love you, but ...”

“Sara doesn't know, does she?  I wonder what she would think if she knew.”  Daniel used his intellectual tone to bring home his point.  It was the scholar not-so-innocently asking if a certain way of life might make Jack a little less appealing to the almost ex-Mrs. O'Neill.

“Daniel, don't.”

Daniel smiled a sick half smile.  He saw fear in Jack's eyes.  “She wouldn't come back to you, would she, if she knew?”

“Daniel, what's the point?”

“The point is that you lied to me.  You changed my entire life.  I was ... content.  I was married.  I was faithful ... to Sha're, and then you twist my head and my heart around.  You make me fall in love with you, and you ... you told me to believe in you.  I haven't believed in anyone since my parents died, except for you.  Gawd, you make me ill, Jack.”

Jack walked towards Daniel, but Daniel backed away.  “Leave me alone, Colonel.  Go back to your wife.  I hate you, Jack.  I hate what you've done to me.  I hate you!”

Daniel turned, and ran, leaving behind his one hope of a happy future.

====

The young man sat on the cold cement of his balcony.  He had been there for hours, his face wet from the still falling tears.  His eyes were red and puffy.  He looked up at the night sky.  “Why?  It's too soon.  Why?”

Daniel heard an inner voice speak:  'You just going to sit there and take it, geek?'

“What?”

'I thought you were supposed to be a fighter.  Are you really going to just sit here and die?  I'm ashamed of you?'

“What would be the point?  He loves her.”

'Does he?  I thought he loved you.'

“He wants children.  I can't give him that.”

'He loved you.'

“He loves Sara.  They were a family.”

'So you're going to sit here and die?'

“Sounds good.  I always lose what I love.”

'And you always whine about it, too.  Come on, Jackson.  Stop whining and go do something about it.  He's your man.  Get him back.'

“I don't know how.”

'Like you knew how to kiss him that first night?  Or like you knew just how to move when you make love to make it feel good for both of you?  Or like you knew when he needed you to hold him last month?  You knew all those your entire life, did you?'

“No, but ...”

'Fight, Jackson.  Prove you're a man.  He's yours.  He told you so.  Fight for what is yours.'

“He's not mine.  He lied.”

'I don't believe him.'

“I do.  I knew it would happen.”

'You're whining again.'

“I just wanted to be happy, just once.”

'Jackson, sometimes you have to fight for what you want.  Jack told you that guy in the movie should have been a man, fessed up to his mistakes and fought for his lady love.  Well, maybe he needs you to do the same thing.  Believe in yourself and fight for what you want.'

“Fight?”

'Just like you fight for the rights of others.  Fight for yourself.  You can do it.  Just get up off this cold floor and go get him.'

Daniel rose slowly, looking around as if to see the inner voice.  “I can do this.  He's ... mine.  He is mine.  He told me.  He ... loves me.”

Daniel turned and left his apartment, headed back to Jack's house.

====

Making a bold gesture, Daniel reclaimed his spot in the driveway, next to Jack's truck.  It was 10:30 p.m.  He wasn't sure if Jack was home alone, or if he and Sara had used her car to go to the theater.  He used his key to enter the house, his heart stopping when he saw two boxes packed with his things in the entranceway.

Braving another move, he returned each and every item, including his clothes, to its place inside Jack's home.  If Jack wanted him out, he was going to have to fight the biggest fight of his life.

Daniel waited nervously as the clock ticked on, until finally, at 11:35 p.m., Jack and Sara walked through the door.  Daniel had to restrain himself.  Jack was dressed in a silver silk shirt and black pants with an accompanying black blazer.  He looked, in Daniel's mind, edible.  Sara was dressed in a sleeveless black dress.  It had a v-neck, scooped back, and was very short.  They made a lovely pair.

Holding his keys, Jack hesitantly stared at his ex-lover as he approached, stopping a few feet away from him.  He had noticed the boxes that had been filled with Daniel's possessions were now empty.

“Daniel?  What are you doing here?”

“Jack, Doctor Jackson has a key to our house?”

“Sara, why don't you go upstairs?  I'll take care of this.”

“Why are you here, Doctor Jackson?”

“Did he tell you, Sara?  Has he told you the truth?”

“Daniel, don't make a scene.”

“A scene?  A SCENE?  Look at you!  Mr. Hypocritical Himself!”

“Doctor Jackson, if you are referring to your friendship with my husband ...”

“Friendship?  Friendship,” Daniel repeated.  “No, I don't think friendship defines it accurately.”

“Love affair then,” Sara said matter-of-factly, surprising Daniel.

The young man looked at Jack whose head was bowed as he continued to fidget with his keys.

“Oh, yes, he told me.  He knew if he didn't that you would.  I understand that my husband felt guilt, tremendous guilt, over the loss of our son.  He made some very bad decisions after Charlie died.  We both died inside.  My husband told me that if it hadn't been for your friendship, he would be dead, so I thank you for saving him.”

“You're welcome,” Daniel said dryly.

“My husband felt we had no future.  He was afraid.  He's not anymore, and again, it seems I have you to thank.”

“So glad I could ... be of service,” Daniel snipped.

“He ... got confused for awhile.  It doesn't bother me, now that he knows the truth.”

“Sara, please.  Give me a few minutes.”

Sara nodded and began to go upstairs.  She turned and looked at Daniel.  “I know this is difficult for you, but please try to understand.  I love my husband, and we're together again.  I realize that you work together, but I'd appreciate it if you would give Jack and I some time to regroup.  It might be best if you didn't come around for a while.  Good night, Doctor Jackson.  Don't be long, Jack.”

Jack waited a moment as Sara walked up to the master bedroom.

“She's going to find a surprise in my closet.”

Jack sighed.  “You put it all back?”

“Yes.  I'm not going to disappear, Jack.  I won't let you go.  You told me we were forever, and I believed you.  I still believe you.”

“Daniel, it's over.”

“No, it's not.  Tell her it's a mistake.”

“But it's not.”

“Who are you?  You aren't the Jack O'Neill I know.”

“Yes, I am. You just didn't want to see it.”

“I know you, Jack, and this isn't you.”

“Daniel, go home.”

“I am home.  You've been telling me this is my home, so okay, I am home.”

“No, your home is that loft you love so much.  Come on, Daniel.  You love museums and dirt.  I love hockey ... and Sara.  Let it go.”

“NO!”

“You don't have a choice!”

“Yes, I do.  I'm not leaving.”

“Daniel, don't make me do this.”

“Do what?  Are you going to hit me, Jack?  Is that what we've come to?  Fine, then do it, because that's the only way you are getting me out of this house.”

“Oh for crying out loud.  It's over, finished, done.  There isn't anything left, Daniel, and the more difficult you make this, the less I want there to be.  Will you please leave?”

“NO, I'M NOT LEAVING.  I WON'T LET YOU GO.”

“YOU DON'T HAVE A CHOICE!  THIS IS MY LIFE, DANIEL.  THIS IS MY HOUSE, AND SARA IS MY WIFE.  Do you get that?  She's MY WIFE!  I want children, a family.  I want hot, steamy sex with breasts.  I want tenderness and softness.  I want to be able to ... go to the theater like we did tonight.  I am so sick and tired of hiding.”

“IT WAS YOUR IDEA!  YOU DID THIS.  YOU GOT US TOGETHER.  YOU SAID IT DIDN'T MATTER, NONE OF IT.  SICK AND TIRED?  THREE MONTHS?  IT'S BEEN THREE FREAKIN' MONTHS AND IT'S ALREADY TOO MUCH FOR YOU?”

“Daniel, a man has needs.”

“Gawd,” Daniel threw his hands into the air and turned around in total disbelief, “a man has needs?  NEEDS?  EXACTLY WHAT NEEDS HAVEN'T YOU HAD ... FULFILLED, JACK?”

“Daniel, stop this.  It won't change anything.”

“I'm not leaving, not SG-1, and not this house.”

Jack looked down.  “Fine.  I've already put in for a transfer away from the SGC, and I'll be moving back in with Sara at our house.  She just thought we might like it here for a while, but if you want to act like a child, then so be it.  Take the house, Daniel.  It's yours.  Now, if you'll excuse me, my wife and I have ... plans.”

“No!”

Jack turned his back on Daniel, slowly walking up the stairs.

“NO!  I WON'T LET THIS HAPPEN!  I WON'T LOSE YOU!”  Daniel raced up the stairs, banging on the door Jack had closed and locked.  “LET ME IN, JACK!”

Daniel banged on the door, but Jack didn't respond.  He heard noises.  “NO, HE'S MINE.  HE TOLD ME HE WAS.  HE'S MINE!”

Daniel pushed on the door with all his might, using his shoulder to apply pressure.  It took four tries, but then the door flew open.  “NOOOOO!” he yelled as he saw Jack and Sara making love.  “HE'S MINE.  YOU'RE MINE.  YOU SAID YOU WERE MINE!”

====

“NO, JACK.  DON'T GO WITH HER!  NOOOOOOOOOO!  LOVE ME.  YOU SAID YOU LOVE ME.  JACK, NO, DON'T GO.  PLEASE DON'T GO.  LOVE YOU SO MUCH.  MY HOUSE.  YOU SAID IT WAS MY HOME.  DON'T GO.  NOOOOOOOOOOO!  SHE DOESN'T LOVE YOU LIKE I DO, AND YOU DON'T LOVE HER.  NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

“Whoa, Danny, wake up!”  Jack rushed to his lover's side.  Daniel was sweating, thoroughly soaked.  He had been screaming at the top of his lungs.  Jack had been on the roof, stargazing when his internal Daniel alarm had rung loudly.  He hurried inside the house to hear the cries.

“Danny.  Danny, love, wake up,” Jack shook his lover ardently.  Jack moved his hands to Daniel's face.  The young man was still screaming pleas for Jack to stay with him, to not leave him for “her.”  Jack patted his lover's cheeks lightly, but Daniel was deep into his nightmare.

Finally, Jack tried another option, catching Daniel mid-shout for a kiss.  Jack forced the joining until he felt Daniel's arms wrap around him and felt the tension drop away from the lips he'd been touching.

Daniel startled awake.  “Jack, don't go.”

“Hey, I'm right here.  I'm not going anywhere, Love.”

“Love.”

“Yeah, you're my love.  You know that.”

Daniel sat up so fast that Jack fell back slightly in reaction.  “She's not here?  This is our room.  She's not here.”

“She?  She who? And, regardless of who 'she' is, no one belongs here but us.”

“Sara.”

“Sara?”  Jack placed his hands on Daniel's cheek.  “Danny, Sara and I are divorced.  I love you.”

“Hold me.”  Daniel dived into Jack's embrace, and Jack felt his lover's body trembling.  Daniel was shaking, almost violently.

“Shhh, Love.  I'm here,” Jack spoke with concern, wondering what he had missed over the last couple of days.  He held Daniel tightly, speaking softly, saying “I love you, Danny” over and over again.

“I thought ... it was so real.  You went back to her.”

“No, Danny.  I'd never do that.”

“You love her.”

“Yes, but not like I love you.  Sara and I are over.  Maybe if Charlie hadn't died ... I don't know, Danny, but what I do know is that you're my life now.  Only you.  We're forever.”  Jack continued to caress Daniel who was still trembling.  He made soothing circular motions on Daniel's bare back.  “I love you,” Jack repeated.

“Family.  You want children.”

“What?”  Jack pulled back to look into Daniel's watery eyes.  The tears were flowing like a waterfall.  “Oh, Danny.  Look, I don't think I could go through that again, having a child, worrying all the time about losing them.  It's an old saying, but children are supposed to bury their parents, not the other way around.  I honestly don't think I could have another child.  If I did, I'd want it to be with you.”

“Biologically impossible,” Daniel sniffled.

“I know, and I don't think about it.  All I want is you.”

“Breasts.  You said you ...”

“Oh geez, Danny.  Okay, you got me there.  Don't you miss that ... just a little?” Jack arched his eyebrows and twisted his face in question.

Daniel shook his head.  He was being absolutely truthful.  “No one, ever, has made me feel what I feel with you.”  The voice was soft, timid.

Jack smiled, cupping his partner's face.  “Trust me, Danny, I may occasionally, rarely even, miss the attributes of a sexy woman, but there are so many things I get from you that I could never get from a female, Sara included.”

Jack paused.  He took Daniel back into his hold.  He leaned his head against his lover's.  “No one has ever made me feel like this either.  No one, my love.  Daniel ...”

“Danny.  Gawd, don't call me Daniel.”

Jack felt the immediate tenseness in his soulmate.  “Danny, my Danny.  Always my Danny,” Jack reassured.  “No one, Danny, has ever made me feel so alive.  The way I want you, so completely, it's unlike anything else I've ever known.  I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

“Danny, was it the meeting with the lawyers that brought this on?”

“The meeting.  You didn't call.  The photo.”

“Photo?  What do you mean?”

“I woke up earlier.  You were looking at the picture of you and ...”

“Geez, Danny,” Jack pulled back.  “You crazy geek.  You heard what I said and misinterpreted, didn't you?”  Jack shook his head.  “What am I going to do with you?  I wasn't thinking about Sara.  I was thinking about Charlie.  I should have tried harder to make him understand about the dangers of playing with guns.  He was fascinated with that gun.  I never should have left it ...” Jack's words died on his tongue.

“No, Jack, please don't go there.  It wasn't your fault.  It was an accident.”

“There was another accident.  I heard it on the news in the truck earlier.  Some kid in Denver shot himself thinking he was playing with a water gun or something.  We should try harder to make them understand.”

“Jack, I'm sorry.”

“No, I'm sorry, Love.  Danny, I did have a good time with Sara.  I hadn't seen her since after that whatever it was scared her half to death.  You know, I told you when I talked to her, to try and explain things, and I've bumped into her a couple of times.”  Jack sighed, recalling the divorce agreement, and stated, “Her attorneys kept trying to get her to take money and property, but she wouldn't do it.  This was their last attempt to get her to change her mind, but she's a strong woman, very independent.”

Daniel nodded, having reached that same assessment from the short time he'd been with her at the hospital.

“She wants to make her own way, so she held her ground,” Jack continued.  “Mark was ecstatic.  Her lawyer wasn't very thrilled though.  She's amazing, Danny, and I'll always love her, but I'm not *in* love with her.  I am, however, madly, passionately, totally, forever and always, in love with you.”

Jack ran his fingers through Daniel's damp, shaggy hair.  “I love you so friggin' much.”  The two kissed, then kissed some more.  Daniel dropped back to lay on his back as Jack shifted, moving up onto the bed and atop his lover.  “Forever and always, Danny, I love you.  No nightmares.  Only you and me.”

“Forever and always.  I love you so much, Jack.  Gawd, so much,” Daniel said before bringing Jack to him again for another kiss.  Their passion ignited, Jack and Daniel grounded themselves once again into their reality.

In the week that followed, Jack made sure Daniel knew that he, and only he, was the love of Jack's life.  As they lay in front of the fire a week later, Daniel was blushing from the constant affection.  Jack hadn't stopped, not for a minute.  He positively inundated his lover with gestures of his love.  The only time Jack let up was when they were at the SGC, but even there, he made frequent trips to Daniel's office, turning off the camera, and made comments that only he and Daniel would understand.

Now they were lying in front of the fireplace, Daniel firmly ensconced in Jack's arms.

“You don't have to keep this up, you know.”

“I'm going to keep it up forever.  I don't want you to ever question your place in my life.  This is your home.”

“I was so scared.  It was just a dream, but I was so scared.”

“It was a nightmare, Danny, but I'm proud of you.”

“Why?”

“You told yourself to fight for me.  And you know what my favorite was?”

“What?”  Daniel fingers were carding through the fine strands of Jack's still brown hair, and they kissed in between their comments.

“I like how you parked in the driveway and then put everything back in its place.  It was very ... snarky of you, Doctor Jackson.”

“My house,” Daniel said timidly.

“You know it, Danny.  I know you don't believe that, not yet, but I promise you, that someday, you are going to believe it.  You will know that this is your house, your home, and that you belong here as much as I do.  I love you, Daniel Jackson.”

“I love you, Jack O'Neill.”

“How about we ...?”

“Yes, how about we ...?”

And they did, happily ever after, just like in the fairytales!

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