Return to Juan de Fuca
Category: Slash, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Season: 8 - October 7 - November 18, 2004
Spoilers: Holiday (extremely minor)
Written: October 10-12,14,16, November 4, 2004 Revised for spelling: July 31, 2016
Summary: Jack and Daniel celebrate their first wedding anniversary by returning to the place of their wedding.
Disclaimer: Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't. A gal can dream though!
1) Warning: this fic is pure sap! It's their anniversary, and it's sugar and spice and everything nice for the boys this time around!
2) 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.**
3) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
4) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my past fics, “Heart and Soul” and “House of Walls” (very, very minor)
5) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better: QuinGem, Sue, Drdjlover, Kat, Linda, Claudia!
Return to Juan de Fuca
“Hey,” Jack said softly, taking his husband into his arms. The
older man had just returned from the Mountain. “I love you,” he
said just before kissing Daniel.
“Love you, too,” Daniel responded as he pressed gently against Jack's body, his hands going under his lover's tan shirt to caress the warm skin underneath. “What did you find out?”
Jack sighed, and answered, “Four days. Danny, I have to go to D.C. on the twenty-first for one of those boring Pentagon sessions.”
“That's a Sunday.”
“Yeah, they want me there for a briefing ... before the briefing.”
“Gawd,” Daniel sighed sadly, walking out of Jack's embrace and sitting down in the middle of the sofa. “Maybe I can get out of the mission with SG-11.”
“I thought of that, but Phelps is getting married. I'm not sure I'd feel right about trying to mess that up.”
“I wouldn't either, but I won't be back until the thirteenth, probably late.”
“And there's something else,” Jack said softly, walking over to the sofa and sitting next to his soulmate. “Hammond is going to D.C., too, only he has to go the week before. He wants me at the SGC on the nineteenth.”
“Well, what's going to happen when you're both in D.C.? I mean, Jack, you've both been gone before at the same time. Why is he insisting on you being there this time?”
“I know, but he wants it covered. It may have to do with his meetings in D.C., or maybe there's something else going on; I'm not really sure. He didn't elaborate, just made it clear I had better be there. I'm sorry, Love; I tried.”
“It's not your fault, Jack, but when we include travel time, that only leaves us four days, the fourteenth through the eighteenth.”
“I tried, Danny. We'll have to make the best of it.”
“I know; it's just ... I was hoping ...”
“Me, too, but we'll have a thousand more anniversaries to celebrate, and we'll get back to Australia lots of times.”
“A thousand? I don't even want to think about what we'll look like on our thousandth wedding anniversary,” Daniel quipped.
Jack chuckled and kissed his husband, then said, “La Mio Bello Stella Cadente, you'll always be beautiful to me.”
The older man oftentimes spoke loving endearments to his husband in Italian, something he had begun years earlier. This phrase was his favorite; Daniel would always be his beautiful falling star.
“I love you, my Silver Fox.”
“Sam, are you busy?” Daniel asked as he walked hurriedly into her lab.
“Just working on those specs for the UAV enhancements. What's up?”
“Uh, well ...” Daniel looked around, even going back to the door and peeking out into the corridors. He returned to the table where Sam was sitting. “I need a favor.”
“What do you need?”
“Well, uh ... shoot,” Daniel said, looking up at the security camera.
Sam laughed and said, “Listen, I've been sitting here for hours. How about taking a walk with me topside?”
Daniel smiled and nodded as he stepped back, motioning for Sam to lead the way. When they reached the surface, Daniel made his request.
“Sam, our wedding anniversary, I mean, Jack's and mine, is coming up soon.”
She grinned, replying, “Gosh, I can't believe it's been a whole year already.”
“Great year,” Daniel said shyly. “Anyway, we wanted to go back to Australia, but we don't have the time so we decided to stay home.”
“Ooookay,” she said, knowing there was a scheme in the works.
“But I want to surprise Jack with a little trip. The thing is, I know him, and he's going to be snooping around.”
Sam nodded, “Because he knows you, too, and figures you'll be up to something?”
“Something like that.”
“And vice versa?” Daniel shrugged, but smiled. Sam knew the two men were secret romantics. The personnel at the SGC would be shocked at just how sappy the two could get, and this would no doubt be a big deal to them. ~Gonna be one sappy first wedding anniversary.~ “What do you want me to do?”
Daniel pulled out an envelope from his pocket and explained, “I wrote everything down. Sam, near French Camp, Mississippi, there's the largest public observatory in that state. It's called Rainwater. They have all kinds of telescopes and things. Jack would love it.”
Again, Sam nodded and said, “Astronomy is one of his hobbies. I'm sure he'll have a great time.”
“Exactly. I need you to make the reservations for us. Um, I don't want Jack to find out, so I cashed a check.”
Daniel smiled and shrugged.
“There's enough here for reservations to cover three nights at a hotel, a rental car, and tickets. I researched a few other places we might go, so I need you to make those reservations, too. It's all written down. Will you do it?”
“Don't tell Jack.”
“And ruin the surprise? Wouldn't dream of it.”
After finishing her conversation with Daniel, Sam decided to get lunch in the mess. She was headed back to her lab, when General Hammond spotted her and asked for an update on her progress with the UAV. When that discussion was over, she finally got back to her office and settled down to work.
Just as she had regained her concentration, she heard a familiar voice.
She looked up.
Jack rubbed his hands together as he looked around her office.
“How about a little walk?”
“Exercise, Carter. I'm betting you've been buried inside this lab all morning.”
“Carter ...” It was a hidden order, and she knew it. With a small smile, she stood, sighed, and followed her CO to the elevator, watching curiously as he selected the appropriate floor. She walked a step behind as he led her to a VIP room, opening the door, and motioning for her to go inside. He closed the door and smiled. “Cameras are off in here.”
“Yes, Sir, I know. We're updating the cameras for the VIP suites on this floor.”
“Exactly. Carter, I need your help.”
Sam sensed she was about to end up in the middle of something.
“Glad to ... help, Sir. How?”
“It's the big *one*, Carter.”
“Daniel and me; it's our first wedding anniversary in a few weeks.”
“Have plans?” Sam asked, almost immediately regretting the question as she realized her soon-to-be-predicament.
“We're having to go with Plan B, only Daniel doesn't know it's Plan B. He thinks we're staying home, but,” Jack pulled out an envelope and raised his eyebrows mischievously as he talked, “I have other ideas.”
“A ... trip?”
“Yeah, to Sedona, Arizona. Rocks and desert, just what Daniel loves the most. He'll have a great time, but you know what a snoop he is. He's going to try and figure out his present, so I can't risk him finding out anything.”
“Sir, maybe you should ask him first.”
“Ask him? Me?” Jack laughed. “You know me. Surprising Daniel is one of my specialties. Now, in the envelope is the name of the hotel I want us to stay in. I also need plane reservations, and I've selected some sightseeing things for us to do when we're not ... well, we have to get out sometimes.” Jack winked, but then he did a mock cough as he rolled his eyes. “There's even some Mayan exhibit that week, and I want to make sure he sees it.”
Sam asked, “So you want me to make the reservations?”
“If you don't mind, and you don't, do you, Carter?”
“No, Sir, not at all.” ~What am I going to do?~
“Good. I withdrew some cash from the bank; didn't want to risk Daniel discovering a credit card charge. There's plenty here. Go with the best. Only the best for Daniel,” he smiled.
A few minutes later, Jack left the suite. Sam sat down on the bed and shook her head.
“Sam, are we still on ... Sam, are you all right?” Janet asked as she walked into the lab.
As Janet entered the room, Sam threw down her pencil onto her worktable, folded her arms on the table, and lay her head down.
“I give up.”
“It's not your fault, Janet. I've been trying to get these calculations right all day, but I ...”
Sam smiled, stopping her words.
“All day long, and Janet, I have a big problem. I need ... help!”
“Well, maybe we can talk about it at dinner tonight.”
Sam looked at the multitude of papers on her table, not sure she should leave the Mountain.
“Come on, Sam. You just said you're not getting much done here, and you do have to eat. Besides, it looks to me like you could use a break.”
“Yeah, I could. Okay, what time?”
~Okay, Samantha. Think this out logically. You don't need Janet to find the answer for you. Let's do this one step at a time.~
It was a few minutes after 5 p.m., and Sam had finally finished her assigned task, and now she was back to the favors asked of her earlier by her teammates.
“Well ... Daniel was first, so ...”
For the next several minutes, Sam worked on booking the reservations, per Daniel's request. All she needed to do was hit the 'submit' key. She placed her finger on the white button, and sighed.
~But the Colonel takes such pride in making Daniel happy. That's more important. Okay, change of plans.~
By 5:30 p.m., Sam had redone all the reservations, and again was at the point where she only needed to hit one button on the keyboard to finalize the plans. She lightly pressed against the key, but then yanked her finger upwards.
~But Daniel would be disappointed. How many times has he told me that the Colonel surprises him constantly, and he wishes he could do the same thing more often than he does? Lots. He's counting on this, and he was first. Sorry, Colonel, but it works on both counts. Daniel would be happy because he gets to surprise you, and you'd be happy because Daniel is happy. That works!~
She smiled, canceling out the information recently entered and once again inputting the information Daniel had provided.
~Just press the button, Sam. Go on ... press it.~ “OH, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!” she said to the walls of her office, mimicking her CO.
She looked at the clock and realized she was going to be late for dinner at Janet's if she didn't hurry, so she powered down her computer and hurried home for a quick shower and change, arriving at Janet's a few minutes late.
“You're kidding?” Janet asked as she sipped her wine.
“Nope. Both of them came to me within an hour of each other. Before I came over here, I spent ninety minutes going back and forth, arguing with myself over which plans to finalize. Janet, what am I going to do? They want to surprise each other so desperately. You should have seen their faces, especially Daniel's.”
“You could try telling them the truth, and let them figure it out.”
“I know, and that would be the easiest thing to do, but ... they were both so excited. They'll just be disappointed.”
“Can't they do both?”
“Not this time. Daniel is subbing for Janella Phelps.”
“Oh, her wedding is coming up, isn't it?”
“Yeah, so he's going with SG-11 on a mission the weekend before their anniversary, so he won't be back until the thirteenth, and the Colonel has obligations here and then in Washington. It boils down to them having only four days, excluding travel time.”
Janet nodded and sat back in her chair. She sipped on her wine again, and suddenly, a thought occurred to her.
“Sam, what do the boys enjoy doing most of all?”
“Janet!” Sam exclaimed, shocked, looking off to the side and turning a light shade of red just thinking about Jack and Daniel having sex.
“What are you saying?”
“This is their one-year anniversary. What matters to them is being together; where that happens is ... well, not nearly as important as them being together.”
“But I can't pick one's surprise over the other.”
“No, that's not what I'm suggesting. You know, before my marriage went sour, every year, my husband and I went to Niagara Falls. Cliché, I know, but that's where we got married, and for a while, going there to celebrate was the most romantic thing we ever did.”
“It's not that far, and I bet they'd love to go back. Maybe we could rent the same yacht for them that we did before.”
“That's a wonderful idea.” Sam stood up, her excitement taking hold. “I wish I had Lisa's phone number.”
“Cassie has it.”
“Remember, Cass took all those photos, and Carl gave her his card, in case she decided to become a professional photographer and wanted some advice.”
“Okay, this could work! Thanks, Janet!”
Suddenly, though, Sam began to frown.
“Sam, what is it?”
She sighed and began to bite on her lower lip.
“Janet, maybe they don't want to go back to Canada.”
“Why wouldn't they?”
“Well, why didn't they think of this themselves? I mean, Daniel mentioned they really wanted to go back to Australia, but they don't have enough time off, so if they thought of Australia, why not Canada?”
“Maybe they just didn't think about it.”
“Maybe, but maybe there's a reason they don't want to go back there.”
“Okay, how about if I do some recon for you, innocently, of course?”
“Do you think you can?”
“As the Colonel would say, it'll be a piece of cake! I'll use my secret weapon!”
“Cassie!” both women exclaimed at the same time!
Laughing, the two settled back to enjoy the rest of their evening.
“Hi, Uncle Daniel!”
“Hey, Cassie,” Daniel said as he opened the door and let her inside the house. He gave her a kiss on the cheek and asked, “What are you doing here? I thought you were at college.”
“I'm home for a couple of days and couldn't resist coming by to see the girls, and you and Uncle Jack, of course.”
“Of course,” Daniel smiled. “But Jack is over at Lou's. I don't think he's going to be home until late.”
“Oh, well, I'll have to see him next time then.”
They went into the living room and visited for almost an hour.
“Hey, I was thinking.”
Daniel laughed, and commented, “Jack always tells me that's a dangerous think to do.”
She laughed, “It's required for college, though.”
“Makes sense,” Daniel commented.
“Anyway, are you and Uncle Jack doing anything special for the big day coming up?” Daniel broke out into a huge smile. “Oh, Uncle Daniel, please forgive, but I'm going to get mushy for a second.”
“Yeah, because I remember when I first came here from ... Toronto,” she smiled at the cover story she'd lived her Earth life under, “you just didn't smile like you did just now. It makes me feel, I don't know, just warm inside.”
“Me, too. Um, I'll tell you a secret.”
“Oh, I love secrets. Tell me!”
“I'm going to surprise Jack with a trip to Raintree. It's an observatory in Mississippi that he's never been to.”
“He'll love it!”
“Yeah, I'm, uh, looking forward to surprising him.”
“Hey, why not go back to Sooke? That would be so romantic, Uncle Daniel.”
“To be honest, I hadn't thought about that.”
“Jack does so much for me, Cassie. This is a chance for me to surprise him with something that he'd like. As much as returning to Canada appeals to me, I want to do something special for Jack.”
“Maybe you guys can go back there next year.”
“I like that idea.”
“Uncle Daniel, I'm having a problem with an arts project. Can I pick your brain?”
“Pick away at your own risk!”
“Hello, Colonel. What brings you down to the infirmary?” Janet asked with a cheery tone and smile on her face.
“You make that sound like it's my choice to have your stick your needles in me.”
Janet laughed. Jack had arrived for a pre-mission check, one Janet had made sure she would have access to Jack while Daniel and the rest of SG-1 was given the once-over by nurses in another room of the infirmary.
“And here I thought you liked visiting me,” Janet teased back.
“Well, I feel so ... special, here, alone with you,” Jack said walking towards the table and leaning forward to look down into Janet's eyes.
“Careful, Colonel, a blushing redhead is never a good thing.”
“Aw, you're just saying that.”
“Speaking of blushing, I was just wondering,” Janet spoke softly, “do you have any special plans for the 16th?”
She smiled sweetly as she referred to Jack and Daniel's wedding anniversary.
Jack smiled, and chuckled, “We have ... plans -- lots of ... blushing on the schedule.”
Janet laughed, then casually commented, “My husband and I used to take little getaways during the year, but on our anniversary, we always went back to where we were married.”
“If you tell him, Doc, I'll have to kill ya, but I'm surprising ... you-know with a trip to Arizona, lots of heat and rocks.”
“You-know will have a great time.”
“That's the plan.”
Janet continued her examination.
“Did you think about going back, to Canada I mean?”
“Yeah, I did, but I thought you-know would enjoy this more. Heat and rocks, Doc. You-know loves heat and rocks! We'll get back there one of these days, though.”
Janet picked up the phone and called Sam's house.
“Pete? How's it going?”
“Terrific, Janet. I have the best gal in the world at my side!”
Janet laughed and asked to speak with Sam. She took the phone, knowing her friend would be calling her with the results of the undercover work.
“Janet, what did you find out?”
“Sam, they both love the idea of going back to Canada. They're just trying to surprise each other. The Colonel is convinced Daniel will want to be an archaeologist over their anniversary, and according to Cass, Daniel just wants to surprise him.”
“Sounds like Canada would work then.”
“I think so. Both said they wanted to go back.”
“That's a huge relief. Thanks, Janet. Tell Cassie I'll call her next week.”
“Okay. Give Pete a kiss for me.”
“Oh, no. He's all mine!”
A few days later, SG-1 was preparing for their next mission.
“Okay, Kids, five minutes, and we move out,” Jack said, exiting the locker room ahead of the others in order to finalize their check-in schedule with General Hammond.
Teal'c followed Jack out.
“Sam,” Daniel walked over to his friend. “I haven't, uh, had time to check with you. Any problems with ... you know?”
“Nope. Everything's set.”
“Thanks, Sam. I really appreciate this.”
Six hours later, the team was on PX1-292, taking a break on their long journey. As Daniel chatted with Teal'c about something, Jack leaned over and whispered quietly to his 2IC, “Carter, did you do what I asked about ... you know?”
“Everything's in place, Sir.”
“Thanks, Carter. You're a peach,” Jack said with a smile.
~A peach? Please don't let him kill me when he finds out what I did.~
Sam shuddered, then returned to her work.
Both Jack and Daniel had unwittingly chosen the same night for Sam to bring over the copies of their individual reservations.
~I wonder how they messed this up,~ Sam thought as she headed for the country-style home where Jack and Daniel lived. ~It works out great, but boy, did they get their signals crossed.~
Jack had thought Daniel was going to a lecture, and Daniel had thought Jack was going to Lou Ferretti's to work on the MonsterMobile.
As the time approached for Sam's arrival, the two became testy with each other since both were anxious to keep their surprises intact. Finally, their pint-size bickering came down to two simple questions.
“Aren't you going to the lecture?” Jack asked harshly.
“You're not going to Lou's?” Daniel asked almost as an accusation.
“I asked you first,” Jack retaliated sternly.
“That's a dumb rationale. It doesn't matter who asked first.”
“Good, then will you please answer the question?”
“No, I'm not.”
“You're not going to the lecture, or no, you're not going to answer the question?”
“Jack, gawd.” Daniel raised his hands in exasperation and walked to the counter area. “Okay, no, I decided not to go to lecture. You're turn.”
“Lou's plans changed.”
“Oh,” Jack echoed.
Neither were really angry. After all, they were deeply in love and only wanted to preserve their surprises. Once Sam arrived, it would be next to impossible to cover up the truth behind her visit.
Just then there was a knock on the door. Each of them stood in silence. The knock was heard again.
The lovers didn't move; instead, they stood, just staring at each other. Neither had yet figured out how to explain Sam's arrival, and both still wanted to surprise the other with their anniversary plans. It was a face-off that neither questioned the other about, not wanting to explain their own failure to answer the door.
“HEY, GUYS! IT'S ME, SAM. OPEN UP. I KNOW YOU'RE *BOTH* IN THERE!”
“What is that supposed to mean?” Jack asked.
“I'm going to answer the door,” Daniel said, ignoring the question.
“You do that, Daniel.”
Daniel rolled his eyes as he headed towards the door, leaving Jack standing by the fireplace.
~Geez, O'Neill, why are you being so snippy with him? You love the geek; it's not his fault you made a big, big mistake on the timing. You were Special Ops, for crying out loud; you should have planned better.~
“Hi, Sam. Come on in. Jack's in the living room.”
“Hey, Daniel.” She walked into the room. “Sir.”
“Carter.” Jack moved towards Daniel, saying as he did so, “Carter, will you excuse us for just one moment?”
“Danny,” Jack said, tugging on his lover's left arm and turning him around to lead him towards the study. He didn't really go very far, just enough to give them a little privacy. “Danny, I'm sorry.”
“I just sniped at you for no reason. It's ... well, there's a reason which you are about to find out, but it's not you. I love you, and I just needed you to know that I'm angry at myself for poor planning.”
Daniel smiled and leaned in for a kiss.
“I'm sorry, too. I ... well, I have a similar problem, I think, and ... I love you, too, Jack.”
They kissed again, and although neither was really sure what the other meant about planning and problems, they returned to the living room.
Jack sighed and said, “Okay, Carter.”
“Don't look so excited, Colonel. Guys, can we ...”
Sam nodded towards the sofa and chairs.
“Oh, we're sorry, Sam. Sure, sit down,” Daniel said, taking Jack's hand and pulling him lightly towards the sofa.
“Thanks. I hope I've done the right thing here, and if not, I apologize and will do my best to ... well, to do whatever you want, but I had a situation develop recently, and I didn't know for sure what to do about it until I discussed it with Janet.”
The two men looked at each, both now very confused.
“Okay, here it goes. A while back, Daniel came to my office and asked me to do something for him.”
“Oh?” Jack asked suspiciously, noting Daniel's slight squirm against him.
“And about an hour later, you, Sir, came to my office and also asked me to do something.”
“Oooooh?” Daniel asked, using a 'turning the tables' tone as he looked at Jack who fidgeted slightly.
Sam shook her head and smiled.
“Guys, the point here is that you both asked me to do a similar thing.”
“Oh?” both asked at the same time, their eyes moving from their soulmate to their friend as they wondered what Sam did.
“So, you see my dilemma.”
“Whose surprise do you do?” Jack said, admitting defeat.
“Exactly, and without ruining it for the other?”
Jack and Daniel looked at each other, and shared a warm smile. They kissed, and again, at the same time, both said, “I love you.” Then, they laughed.
“Okay, Carter, Danny and I can cover the original plans later, but obviously, you found a solution.”
“Yes, I did, and I hope you'll approve,” she said and then pulled out a large envelope from the bag she had brought in with her. “Okay, well, Janet said she used to do this, and I ... well, it sounded romantic, so, well, I can cancel it ...”
She smiled shyly, staring at the coffee table momentarily before continuing.
“Here,” she said, leaning forward and handing the envelope to Daniel who was the closest to her. “See what you think.”
Daniel opened the envelope and found plane tickets and other printouts inside, but what first caught his eye were the words 'Juan de Fuca'.
“Jack,” he said softly, a large smile forming on his face. “Oh, Jack,” he said again as he read the itinerary.
The older man put his arm around Daniel and scooted a bit closer for a better look. He nodded his approval and finally looked at Sam and said, “Well done, Carter.”
Sam's smile was huge.
“Gawd, yes,” Daniel said, still enthralled with the paperwork. “We're going back. It's perfect.”
“I hope you don't mind, but I combined the money that each of you gave me, and ...”
“We don't mind,” Jack said quickly. “This is perfect, Carter,” he said, echoing Daniel's comment.
“So, I rented the same yacht that you spent your honeymoon night on.”
Daniel's grin was so big that it was off the smile-scale, and Jack practically squished Daniel to him in a giant embrace while also giving his husband a loud, wet kiss on the cheek.
“And, uh, we contacted Lisa.”
“Lisa?” both asked at the same time.
Lisa Anderson Cassidy was an old friend of Jack's ex-wife, Sara, and she had conducted the wedding ceremony at her home in Canada. Her quaint cabin-like house near Sooke overlooked the Strait of Juan de Fuca and had made a majestic backdrop for the sunset wedding ceremony.
“As it turns out, she and her husband, Carl, are going to be out of town that week, but she Expressed Mailed a set of keys and wrote you two a note. She absolutely insists that you at least go there on your anniversary, and you're welcome to stay the night, if you want.”
“Wow,” Daniel said, leaning his head against Jack's left shoulder.
“Guys,” Sam leaned forward. “There's a lot of sightseeing stuff in there, but uh, the yacht is yours while you're there, if you want it. I set it up so that you could arrive Sunday night and get settled in. The Captain of the yacht said they can arrange a nice brunch cruise for you on Monday, too. So Sunday and Monday nights on the yacht, in port, and then you can spend your anniversary at Lisa's. Then for Wednesday and Thursday, we arranged a short two-day cruise, and I reserved the latest workable departure time for you on Thursday. I had a hunch you might prefer the cruise over ... museums and want as much time there as possible, but if I'm wrong ...”
“Oh, no, Carter. Not wrong. Definitely not wrong.”
Daniel blushed, but said nothing, not really needing to, either.
“Thank you, Sam,” he finally spoke quietly.
“You're welcome. I have to go. If you need me to make any changes, I can, but you have all the information there, and, uh, the leftover cash is there, too.”
“You're a peach, Carter,” Jack said, standing.
“Just glad to help, Sir.”
They bid their good-byes, and then Jack and Daniel quickly moved into a giant hug.
“So you were going to surprise me, eh?” Jack asked.
“Mmm-hmm. There's an observatory in Mississippi that has ...”
“Yeah, I thought you might like that.”
“I would have. We'll do that another time.”
“What was your surprise?”
“Sedona. You know ... rocks, heat, and there is a Mayan exhibit that I thought you might enjoy.”
“I think I've read about that; it sounded interesting. I would have liked that, but I like this better.”
“I do, too. Gotta give Carter bonus points for this one.”
“I can't wait to get there. Sunset. We have to be there for sunset.”
“Count on it!”
“It's good to see you again, Captain. The yacht looks wonderful,” Jack said when the Captain greeted the couple as they came on board the vessel, currently docked at Vancouver Harbor.
“Thank you, Colonel. Hello, Daniel.”
“Captain. We're really excited about being back.”
“We've arranged the same room for you both, and, if you approve, tonight we'll take the same route as we took for the rehearsal dinner, going up the Gorge Waterway into Oak Bay.”
“That would be wonderful,” Daniel responded.
“Manuel will show you to your cabin. If I can be of service, please let me know.”
A few minutes later, Jack and Daniel walked into the master suite where they had spent their first night together as a married couple. It hadn't changed at all, except the ivory-colored comforter had been replaced with a royal blue one. Jack laughed as he held up the end of the comforter.
“It's fate, Love.”
Daniel shook his head. Jack was happiest when he could surround Daniel in blue, though it still escaped the young man just exactly what could be so fascinating about it; that is, until Jack was dressed in burgundy or standing near anything maroon. The combination of those shades of red with his lover's silver-gray hair always turned Daniel into silly putty.
~I guess I do understand after all.~
“It's been a long day, Danny. How about we start with a snuggle in the Jacuzzi?”
“Mmmm. Sounds heavenly.”
Daniel turned on the stereo, inserting an instrumental CD that he felt would help set the mood for the first night of the special trip, and then the two undressed and got into the large whirlpool.
“Wow, that feels good,” Jack said as he sat down.
Daniel was second to get in, and he, too, sighed contently at the feeling. He settled in next to Jack, and the two sat quietly for a few minutes, just touching and placing tiny kisses on each other's body. It didn't matter where ... just whatever piece of skin was accessible to their lips.
Afterwards, they made love, and after that, they went for a stroll along the deck, enjoying the shining stars that shone above them and the crisp night air. The cold air didn't deter them in the least as they kept each other warm.
“I love it here, Jack. I wish we could have gotten married at home, but ... since we couldn't, this place ... I just ... I can't imagine anywhere else in the world.”
“I know what you mean, Angel.”
Their hands were joined together as they stood looking out over the ocean. Jack leaned down and kissed Daniel's hand which held his.
“Have I thanked you for proposing?”
Daniel smiled as he replied, “Frequently. I was so scared. We hadn't ever talked about it, except once or twice just ... joking around, but it hit me like ... like a giant wave swallowing me. One day I knew I needed this, for us to be married.” His hand moved over Jack's left hand. He looked down lovingly at the wedding ring Jack wore. “I needed this, and I hadn't even thought about it, until that one day, and now, I don't know how I'd survive if we weren't married. It's crazy.”
Jack turned their bodies to face each other and then leaned in for a tender kiss.
“The circle of our love never ends, Danny. Wedding or not, what we have is ... I can't even describe it, but you're right. Getting married was the right thing, and some day, Angel, the whole world is going to know that we've made it official.”
“Soon, Jack. It won't be that long. I know it seems like forever sometimes, but it's not. Soon,” he repeated and then nibbled on his lover's lower lip before engaging in another, more passionate kiss.
Jack's hands roamed down Daniel's body until the palm of his hands rubbed up and down over the younger's man buttocks, pushing Daniel closer to him as their kiss deepened.
“Oh, yeah. Definitely. Now would be good,” Daniel answered with a smile.
On the last day of their newlywed-dom, as they were about to become 'an old married couple,' the lovers retired to their suite where they joined their bodies together in a loving union that lasted well into the wee hours of the morning. When they finally fell asleep, it was from pure exhaustion. It was, as Jack called it, “the best kind of exhaustion in the universe.”
“Wow,” Daniel said as he parked the car in Lisa's driveway. The two lovers got out and were immediately drawn to the overlook above the Strait of Juan de Fuca. “I love you, Jack,” Daniel said as he leaned into Jack's shoulder.
“Love you, too, Angel. It feels ... I don't have the words, Danny.”
Jack placed a kiss on Daniel's head and squeezed him close.
Smiling at the memories floating gently through his mind, Daniel spoke lovingly, “I remember it all like it just happened.”
“It did,” Jack responded. He turned to look at Daniel and saw the quizzical look on his face. Smiling himself, Jack explained, “This year has gone by in a flash. Yesterday, last week, last month ... last year: every day has been perfect, because you're my husband.”
“Jack, I don't care what you say or how hard you try to deny it, but you're wonderful with words; you're ... my poet.”
“Just speaking the truth. Hey, before we end up standing here all day, why don't we put our bags in the cabin and get something to eat?”
Daniel nodded. The two had brought small overnight bags filled with the essentials, which they took out of the rental car and took inside.
“Jack, look,” Daniel said, walking over to the glass table that was the centerpiece of the living area. A bouquet of balloons rose from the center of the table, affixed to a large eleven by seventeen color photo. A big sign said, 'Happy Anniversary', and there was a small card that read simply, 'A small token of our love. Wish we could have been home to say hello. With love, Carl and Lisa'.
“That's a great photo,” Jack said, admiring the photo. It was from their wedding reception, as they had danced to their song. The two lovers were looking into each other's eyes. At that moment, their world consisted only of the two of them. “He captured it.”
“Our love,” Daniel said, glancing at Jack with a smile on his face.
“We can't risk hanging this up, or I'd put it in the den.”
Jack nodded, but said, “Someday soon, right?”
“Soon,” Daniel agreed. “Until then, we keep it with our other treasures.”
“Yes, you are,” Jack said with love shining in his eyes, causing Daniel to gift Jack with that smile that always makes Jack’s heart sing.
They settled in, enjoyed a nice lunch, and then went for a walk, never letting go of the other's hand.
“This is so beautiful,” Daniel said as they ambled leisurely through the forested area near the cabin.
The weather was perfect with only a slight chill from the breeze which was negated by the warmth of the sun that beat through the trees.
“Maybe we should come here every year.”
“Not sure the Cassidys would like that.”
“I don't know. We'll bring ... gifts,” Jack teased.
“Jack,” Daniel said softly, stopping their movement, and turning to face his spouse. “I was thinking.”
“Don't ... this is our anniversary. No barbs about my ... thinking. Besides, you'll like this one.”
Jack's arms went around Daniel's waist as he tugged them together and said, “I always like your thinking.”
“Hmm ... can I get that in writing?”
“No,” the older man said, laughing.
“Well, anyway,” Daniel said as his hands rubbed against Jack's chest, slipping inside the yellow shirt Jack was wearing to play with the silver-gray chest hairs he adored, “I was thinking we should ... you know ... right here.”
“Here, as in at the cabin, or here as in ... here?”
“Here ... now .... right ... now,” Daniel had said, his face moving closer to Jack's with each slowly spoken word until finally they kissed and sank to the ground where they made love.
After more snuggling and a snack, the couple once again headed for the outlook where their wedding had transpired. They hadn't talked about it, but at the same time, both had looked at their watches and smiled.
“Sunset. It's going to be awesome,” Daniel said as they stood, holding hands, staring out over the waters.
“Lisa called it a celebration of our hearts. Every day we're together is a celebration, Danny. Geez, I'm a lucky man.”
“I think I'm the lucky one. Gawd, you spoil me rotten!”
“It's what I live for, that and ...”
Jack let his eyes and raised eyebrows finish the sentence.
“Is that all you think about?”
Jack was going to answer with a funny retort, but he quieted, and answered seriously, “No, I think about you, and how much you fill my soul with love and goodness that I thought I'd never come close to feeling. It sounds cliché, but you really do complete me, Danny.”
They kissed for a few minutes and then watched the setting sun some more. Suddenly, Jack took Daniel's hand and led them to the exact spot where they had spoken their vows. He took the younger man's hands in his as they faced each other, mirroring their stances of one-year ago.
Softly, he said, “Forever and always, Danny; the circle of our love never ends. You're my heart, my soul, and my life. Whatever happens in our future, good or bad, will be paradise because you and I will be together, and together, we're unbeatable.”
Daniel's misty eyes gazed lovingly into his husband's beautiful brown eyes.
Softly, he replied, “You're my universe, Jack. You never gave up on me, not ever, and I know that no one will ever hurt us because we *are* together and always will be. You are my heart, my soul, my life, my everything. The perfect words to tell you that just don't exist, not in any language ever created. I love you, forever and always, and like a circle, our love has no ending. It just goes on, forever.”
“Forever and always, Angel, I love you,” Jack said, trying unsuccessfully not to choke up.
“Forever and always, my Silver Fox, I love you.”
Jack laughed as he said, “I now pronounce us ... us!”
“You forgot the best part.”
Jack grinned. He wanted to say the kiss, but that wasn't it. Instead, he nodded, and whispered, “The very best part.”
They took turns repeating part of the talk Lisa had given at this point in the ceremony.
Daniel began, saying, “Remember the important things and ... make sure we have our priorities in order.”
“Treasure our happiness; use it when times aren't so good, and have faith in each other that our forever is forever,” Jack said with a sweet smile.
Daniel sighed, looking down at their joined hands. He swallowed hard as he gazed again into his true love's eyes. As a tear ran down his cheek, he whispered, “Memories do not have to be painful, not when I have you to show me love and happiness. Gawd, I love you,” Daniel said almost as a cry.
Jack pulled his lover to him, and held on tight. It had taken them years to put the sadness of their pasts behind them, to celebrate the lives of Melburn and Claire Jackson and also that of young Charlie O'Neill instead of mourning and focusing on what they had lost. Finally, when they looked back through the years, Jack and Daniel had memories of joy and happiness, of good times and happy thoughts. It was true: memories did not have to be painful.
Jack continued on, still holding Daniel.
“Nurture our love, and always remember that it should be cherished, even more because of that friggin' 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' rule and those idiot politicians that don't think we should be allowed to love each other. Idiots.”
Jack had lost it, burying his face in Daniel's neck. Daniel raised his right hand to gently hold the back of Jack's head.
“They don't understand. Someday, maybe they will.”
“Someday,” Jack sighed, moving back to look at Daniel. He couldn't resist a kiss. “And the absolute best part.”
“Speak with our eyes.”
“What we feel inside our hearts and souls.”
“Listen with our hearts as our eyes speak.”
“And,” Jack said, “Engrave it on our souls for those bad times, and I hate to admit it, but we've had some of those.”
“It's life,” Daniel nodded.
“I've done that, Danny, what Lisa told us do, and more than once. Those down times people try to deny or pretend don't happen. When we've had them, I remember us, here. Lisa was so wise to suggest that.”
“Yes, she was, and I've had those moments, too. We're not robots, Jack, and what we feel is so strong, so volatile, in a good way, but it's ... a mix that when we take it for granted or lose our way for a while, well, it explodes. When those times have happened, it has always helped me to remember how strong our love really is, and like you said, I remember Lisa's words and more importantly, your eyes. I think we should do it again, now.”
Jack nodded his agreement, and so, holding each other's hands, standing just inches apart, for the next five minutes, the two spoke only with their hearts, and each heard the other loud and clear. When they were done, tears streamed down their faces, and all they could do was hold each other and count their blessings that when each and every day was finished, their love had always, and would always, survive. They'd get through the toughest of nightmares, as long as they were together.
“We're hopeless, Danny.”
“I know. I guess some people would ...”
“I don't care about other people, especially not today.”
“The sun's set.”
“Come here, you.” Jack led Daniel to the area where their reception had been held. “Dance with me?”
“Always,” Daniel responded.
The two danced to the music of their hearts, accompanied by the soft breeze and the sounds of the waves crashing against the rocks at the bottom of the cliff.
“Jack ... please.”
Jack knew what his husband wanted. He placed a kiss on Daniel's nape, and while he often resisted Daniel's request, on this special occasion, he softly sang their song of love -- “Because You Loved Me.” He had surprised Daniel by singing along with the music during their reception, and it was something Daniel often tried to get him to do -- to sing, but Jack usually managed to tease his way out of it, or change the subject.
“Thank you,” Daniel whispered as Jack continued to hold him at the end of the song.
“I'd do anything for you, Danny.”
“Just name it.”
“Make love to me.”
Jack kissed him, and then they went inside and spent the rest of their anniversary night in bed ... with one exception.
“Happy Anniversary, Love,” Jack said as his arm wrapped around Daniel's in the traditional toasting pose.
“Happy Anniversary, Jack. Thank you for bringing the St. Julien's.”
“Have to keep you happy.”
“Oh ... well, then better get back to the ... you know.”
“Oh, I know. I definitely know!”
After a light breakfast the next morning, the lovers made sure the Cassidy's cabin was back in shape. They had done the laundry, of course, washing the bedding. They also left a bottle of St. Julien's with a note of thanks for their hosts to enjoy upon their return.
“It was really nice of them to let us use their place,” Daniel said as he signed his name to the note.
“It was. Danny,” Jack pulled his lover into his arms. “I have an anniversary present for you.”
“Jack, we agreed.”
“Yes, we did, but I had to do something to commemorate the day, so, I have this.”
Daniel smiled at the paper Jack pulled out of his wallet. It was a receipt for another savings bond, like the one Jack had given Daniel for Christmas. They had both promised to try and tone down their gift-giving to each other in order to prepare for the children they'd have some day in their future.
“For our children,” Daniel said with a smile. He added, “You know what?”
“I was going to tell you last night, but we were ... busy.” They both laughed with pleasure at their memorable anniversary celebration. “I, uh, re-figured the budget, and I cut out a lot of publications that I never read. I kept a couple going to the house; um, you know, my ... our ... that place you hate,” Daniel finally said, referring to the house he had purchased earlier in the year. “I thought we could put that money into some kind of account, or maybe get another bond with it. It's amazing how much money those subscriptions add up to.”
“Thank you, Love, and happy anniversary.”
“I love you, Jack, and I'm so glad we've made the decisions we have. Um, I did, though, buy you a new shirt. It's silk, burgundy; I had to get something.” He sighed, a bit embarrassed at his lack of restraint. “It's at home.”
Jack laughed, “This is too funny.”
“I bought you a new royal blue silk shirt. It's at home, too, but ... like you, Angel, I had to get something, and you know how I feel about you in blue.”
They laughed, amazed at just how much they truly were on the same page.
“Jack,” Daniel reached out and took his lover's hand, “let's go look one more time.”
They walked up where the aisle had been, past where they had spoken their vows, to the edge of the outlook. They leaned their heads together as they looked out over the strait.
“I'm glad we came here, Jack.”
“So am I. We'll come back again.”
“I hope so.”
“Come on, Love. Time to go.”
With one last look and another kiss, the couple headed back to the yacht for their post-anniversary cruise.
The lovers returned to their cabin where they found a bottle of champagne on ice along with a variety of Milano cookies waiting for them.
Jack opened the card and smiled.
“It's from Mark and Sara,” he said, handing the card to Daniel.
“That was nice. Sam must have told them we were coming here.”
“Or Lisa. Remember, they're sorority sisters.”
“Oh yeah. I forgot about that.”
Jack took the bottle and popped the cork, champagne spewing out the top. They laughed, and then Daniel held out the glasses, and Jack poured both of them a drink.
“To us,” he said.
“And to good friends, even ex-wives,” Daniel said with a smile.
Jack nodded, and the two enjoyed their champagne, each having a cookie as well.
“Present!” Jack said with a big smile as he jumped onto the bed, lying in a prone position.
He tossed the present, wrapped in gold paper, onto the bed beside him.
“What's this?” Daniel asked, walking to the bed and picking it up.
“I told you; it's an anniversary present.”
Daniel shook it, but couldn't hear anything.
Slowly, and a bit skeptically, the younger man opened the package, breaking into laugher when he saw the gift.
“Gawd, Jack,” Daniel sat on the end of the bed.
Jack shifted, scooting over to lay beside where Daniel sat. One hand wrapped around Daniel's waist, the other rested on his thigh. Jack leaned in, shoving up Daniel's loose-fitting shirt and kissed his abdomen. Then, Jack twisted around so that he was lying crossways on the bed, but curled so that he could rest his head on Daniel's thigh.
“Can't deprive my husband of his Twinkies!”
On their first wedding cruise, Jack had threatened to toss out some Twinkies that had been included in a gift basket from their friends. It had led to some fun moments in their cabin. Daniel put the box on the bed and used his right hand to finger through Jack's hair while his left arm slid inside Jack's tan shirt to finger the chest hairs he loved so much.
“I love you, Jack. Only you would give your husband Twinkies as an anniversary present.”
Daniel laughed, his words rolling off his tongue with delight.
“We sure had fun the first time.”
Jack winked, and said, “And we can again.”
“Oh yeah. We can, can't we?”
Jack turned over and began to undo Daniel's pants.
“Oh yeah, we can,” he said, before jumping in to enjoy his Daniel feast.
The lovers were sitting on the love seat, surrounded by pillows, enjoying a creative light show. The cabin came with mood lighting, and Jack had rigged the remote to go from scene to scene randomly.
“Jack, you've been hanging around Sam too much if you know how to do that.”
“Good. It's about time you showed some green.”
Daniel threw one of the pillows at his husband, but just as Jack was about to toss it back, the younger man stopped him.
“Let's not destroy the suite. We can have a pillow fight at home.”
“We are home.”
“Being with you is home.”
“Gawd, Jack. You are my poet.”
“I love you so much, Danny. Let's ... make love, not war.”
“That's bad, Jack.”
Jack made a noise, shrugged, and said, “You can't win 'em all.”
“Captain, we hope to see you again,” Daniel said as he shook the man's hand.
“It would be our pleasure, gentlemen. Have a safe trip home.”
Jack and Daniel headed up the dock to where their taxi was waiting.
“Danny,” Jack said as he opened the door.
“What?” Daniel looked up from the opposite side.
“Do you have any idea where we went on the cruise?”
“Uh, well ... considering that we spent all but a few hours inside our cabin, not a one, Babe.”
“Me, either. What are we gonna tell Sam?”
“That we're pregnant?”
“DANIEL JACKSON-O'NEILL! Bite your tongue,” Jack said, the idea of being a man and pregnant seeming way too strange for the Air Force Colonel.
“I'd rather bite something else.”
“Geez, Danny,” Jack laughed, turning a bit red.
“Jack, you're blushing!”
“Don't let it get out. Is Ma'chello around here somewhere? Have we switched bodies again?”
Daniel laughed, and finally, both entered the cab to begin the ride to the airport and catch their plane for home.
While Daniel tipped the taxi driver, Jack took their luggage up to the house. It was almost midnight by the time they had arrived home.
Daniel hurried to catch up to Jack.
“Here, I'll unlock the door,” Daniel said, taking out his keys and following through with his comment.
“Jack! Daniel! Welcome home!”
“Mrs. V, what are you doing out so late?” Jack scowled at their neighbor, his protective instincts coming out.
“I wasn't. I saw the cab drive up and wanted to bring you this as a little surprise.”
“Oh, Mrs. Valissi, you didn't have to do that,” Daniel said as he accepted her care package. “But thank you,” he added quickly, perusing the picnic basket.
“I wanted to make sure you ate something decent. There's some fried chicken, a couple of sandwiches, some apples, my chocolate chip cookies ...” She paused, smiling as Daniel licked his lips. “Well, you'll see!”
“You're beautiful, Mrs. Valissi,” Daniel said, leaning over to place a kiss on her cheek.
“What he said,” Jack smiled, repeating Daniel's actions.
“Did you have a good time?”
As Daniel put the picnic basket in the house, Jack answered, “It was the best of times!”
“I'm so glad.”
“How were the girls?” Jack asked.
“Oh, just perfect angels, though it was obvious they missed you. I saw young Cassie here yesterday so I'm sure they enjoyed their visit with her.”
Jack and Mrs. Valissi continued to chat as Daniel quietly took the remainder of their luggage into the house. Suddenly, Daniel approached Jack from behind. He looked at their neighbor, put two fingers in front of his lips in a shushing motion, and suddenly picked Jack up, not an easy feat considering Jack was no lightweight himself and was taller than Daniel.
“Daniel Jackson-O'Neill, what are you doing?”
“Turn about is fair play, Jack.” To Mrs. Valissi, he said, “Isn't he cute? So handsome!”
“Look. He's blushing. Mrs. Valissi, he actually blushed in Canada.”
“Daniel, I'm warning you. Put me down.”
“Down? Oh, I'll go down, and up, and down ...”
“See Mrs. Valissi, he's blushing!”
She laughed at their antics, reveling in their happiness, and then decided to leave the lovers alone.
“Happy Anniversary, Boys. I'll see you later.”
“Night, Mrs. Valissi.”
“Jack, say goodnight to Mrs. Valissi.”
“Goodnight, Mrs. V. Thanks for the chicken!” After she waved and nodded, Jack repeated his plea, “Daniel, put me down.”
“No way. This time, I'm carrying you over the threshold,” Daniel replied, turning around and taking the first two steps towards the door, “and then, starting tomorrow morning, you're going on a diet, Babe.”
“No more Froot Loops for you!”
“Daniel, you wouldn't!”
“No, I wouldn't,” he admitted as he stepped through the door, still carrying Jack in his arms. “I love you, my Silver Fox.”
“I love you, too, Angel.”
They kissed, and Daniel put his husband down. After yet another tender union of their lips, they walked outside to greet their beloved beagles, Bijou and Katie.
They'd had a blissful second honeymoon in celebration of their first wedding anniversary, and they looked forward to more as their forever moved forward in time at their home in Colorado Springs.
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