Tears of a Valentine

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Drama, Angst, Romance, Holiday, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  3 - February 14, 2000
Spoilers:  A Hundred Days
Size:  18kb, ficlet
Written:  February 11-14, 2008
Summary:  Separated and uncertain of their future, two lovers cry tears of a lonely Valentine's 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) Thanks to Huntress for the original artwork for the two 'gifts' mentioned herein.  Both have been somewhat modified to fit the universe.
2) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
3) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Tonya, Linda, Caro, Ali, Irina, Keri, Adrienne!

Tears of a Valentine
by Orrymain

Doctor Daniel Jackson, archaeologist, anthropologist, philologist, peaceful explorer, and currently one very lonely lover, entered the country-style home that he shared with his soulmate, Colonel Jack O'Neill.  It was the middle of February, and Jack had bills to be paid.  The problem was that the colonel was stranded off-world on a planet called Edora, and no one on Earth even knew whether or not he was alive.

~Twenty-eight days,~ Daniel lamented.

That's how long the lovers had been separated.  SG-1 had been on Edora for a few days before the catastrophic event had occurred.  They were hoping to negotiate a treaty between the two worlds since Edora had an abundant supply of naquadah.  In fact, the night before the event, Jack and Daniel had enjoyed a wonderfully romantic night together on the planet.  Neither had had an inkling it could be their last night together forever.

~No, it wasn't our last night together.  He's alive, and we'll ... I'll find a way to get to him.~

The next day, the planet was subjected to massive hits by meteors.  SG-1 had helped as many people evacuate the planet as they could.  Jack lagged behind to help the Edoran leader, Laira, find her son.  Unfortunately, the meteor hits intensified, and the Stargate was buried in rubble and presumed destroyed.

~A year.  A year for a ship to find Jack.  I don't know if I can stand the emptiness until then.~

The weary man stared at his fish.  It hadn't even been a year yet that he'd moved in at his lover's request.

“Fish, I need him.”  Daniel sighed, the small but colorful critters swimming around without response to his statement.  They were in their own world, and Daniel was his own world -- his very empty and solitary world at the moment.  “What if he doesn't come home?  What if he's ...”

Swallowing hard, the anguished archaeologist wasn't able to finish his question.  Instead, he fed the swimmers and just watched them for a while, trying to gain some peace from the usually relaxing pastime.  Somehow, though, he could gain none on this evening.  Instead, his loneliness seemed heightened by the fishes' apparent apathy to his earlier question.

“Did you know there's a Fish Channel where all they show are fish?  You could be fish stars.”

The attempt at levity didn't elicit any laughs from the fish or the archaeologist, whose skin was pale from lack of sleep and improper nourishment.  Sleeping and eating just weren't high priorities for him right now.  Most of his time was spent at the SGC, trying to figure out a way to reach his soulmate.  It was a constant fight to maintain his composure and keep his romantic relationship with Jack a secret.  Concentration was difficult at times, but he had to stay strong.  Somehow, he had to find a way.

~Sha're just died, Jack.  I finally told you the truth, how I'd always chosen you, and I was ... beginning to believe in ... forever.  Where's our forever now?  Why is this happening?~

His heart heavy, Daniel walked into Jack's study and sat down at the computer.  He'd been trying to get his lover to use the internet more, but Jack had been resistant.  Before manually paying the missing man's bills, though, he thought he'd check and see if his Love had followed through on making a spreadsheet or some kind of itemized list.

~It's not that hard, Jack.  I don't know why you fight the computer age so much.~  Daniel powered on the computer and began to search.  He knew he didn't need to worry about a password; that was something Jack would never bother to think of.  After all, getting him to lock the front door of the house was sometimes a challenge.  ~What?  What's this?~ he wondered about a password-locked file he'd just come across.

Daniel sat back, staring at the screen.

“When did you learn how to password a file?  *Why* did you learn how to password a file?”

Normally, the young man wouldn't be so concerned.  After all, his lover had a complicated and secretive past.  However, the file was labeled, 'Danny', and his curiosity was piqued.  This might be the last thing he'd ever hear from his lover.  Otherwise, his sense of privacy would have prohibited from taking the action he was about to.

~No, this can't be the last I hear from Jack.  I have to be positive.  He keeps promising me forever, and that's what we're going to have.~

For a moment, the archaeologist concentrated on that forever, determined to believe it with all his heart.  Then he returned his attention to the file he'd discovered by accident.  He just had to know what it was.  No matter how much he tried to hope for the positive, he was used to having bad luck.  People he loved, died.  He couldn't walk away from the file, even though it went against his ethics to pry into his Love's file.

“Sorry, Babe,” Daniel said, holding his own with any computer magic that Samantha Carter could conjure up herself.  ~Okay, not 'fishing', 'hockey', or 'flying'.~  He sighed, centering in on the name of the file -- his name.  He let himself smile and typed in 'angel'.  ~I love you, Jack,~ he thought upon finding the endearment to be the password since that was the moniker the older man had given him just two months earlier at Christmastime.

Opening the file, Daniel was surprised to see a few typewritten notes, ideas apparently about Jack's feelings.  Then he saw the result -- a beautiful certificate. He didn't know if it was completely done, or if it was still a work in progress, but reading his lover's“Certificate of Love for My Danny” brought tears to his eyes.

Daniel printed out the file and then went over to sit down on the comfortable sofa that was against the wall.  He didn't try to stop the tears as he read the reasons for the certificate: his support and caring, listening and understanding, and more. He sniffled when he read, 'For excellence in hugging'.

“Hugging.  I was never good at hugging until you,” Daniel sniffled as he continued to read the gift.

The certificate spoke of romantic moments, steamy times, and sexy squeezes, which caused the young man to laugh for a brief couple of seconds.  They held each other close all the time, one pulling the other in so that they were like one, or squeezing their hand, waist, or more private parts.  It was romantic, erotic, and fun, all at the same time.

Daniel read the final line: 'Presented with love (and lust, desire, passion, and pure sappiness)'.


~We're so sappy,~ Daniel acknowledged, more tears falling.  “Happy Valentine's, Babe,” he cried, lying down on the sofa and holding the certificate close to his broken heart.

====

Millions of light years away, Jack O'Neill was searching for the Stargate.  It had to be there, somewhere.  It was the only way he'd get home, and he had to get home.  He had to get to Daniel, to his Danny.

~It's impossible.  I'm not even sure where it was.  There's no sign.  There's just rubble.~

Jack picked up a stone and threw it as hard as he could.  Suddenly, Laira appeared, wanting him to come back to the village.

~She's a nice lady, but she's a pain in the butt.  I want to go home.  Some people just don't get it.  Danny is my life, and he's all I want.  Why can't she understand I don't want her?~

Finally, the woman left Jack to his misery.  He tried in vain to find the Stargate, which was his ticket home.

~Oh, for cryin' out loud.  Where is the friggin' thing?~

In desperation, Jack sat down, shaking his head.  He brought his hands to his face, burying it in their flesh.  His eyes were closed as he struggled to count the days.

~Twenty-seven; no, it's twenty-eight, which means today is the ... Valentine's Day,~ Jack sighed as he became aware of the occasion.  “Danny?  You're alone, and I had big plans for us tonight, Angel.”

The mournful man was alone, more alone than he'd been in a long time.  He was used to covering up his emotions, to putting on a facade, but that had changed when he met the shy linguist who challenged just about everything Jack stood for.  It had shocked him to realize Daniel had become his best friend, and he was stunned into questioning his sanity when he'd realized that he'd fallen in love with his best friend less than a year later.

Life was a crazy thing.  An Air Force colonel who was once certain that his happiness was forever centered on his wife, Sara, and their son, Charlie, now hid behind a military regulation commonly referred to as 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' because his happiness now was with a geek who didn't believe in anything military, except for Jack himself.

~I need you, Angel.  Crap, what's happened to me?~ the weary colonel asked, realizing the palms of his hands were wet.  ~What the ...?~  Pulling his hands back, Jack stared at the moisture.  He was crying.  ~It wasn't supposed to be like this, Danny.  I wanted to take you to the opera, enjoy a cozy dinner at this place I know in Denver.  Your eyes, Danny.  I thought I'd just gaze into them the entire meal.  You talk enough that I can do that, you know.  You talk, I gaze.  We're the perfect pair.~

Lost in his despair, Jack reclined backwards, lying down on the barren ground.  He felt at home there.  After all, inside, he felt emotionally dead.

====

A few hours later, Daniel awoke from an involuntary nap.  His eyes were swollen from his tears, and his certificate was a bit crumpled, as was his heart from his desperate loneliness.

~I can't shake these old feelings,~ the young man thought with dread.  He'd been feeling abandoned, though that made no sense to him.  ~He didn't stay behind on purpose, not really.  Jack was being gallant and brave, trying to help Laira find her son.~  Yet, Daniel was used to being left behind.  ~Old feelings.  No!~

Daniel shook his head defiantly, refusing to let neither his aloneness nor his abandonment issue take hold of his heart.

“No, I ... I won't give up on you, Jack.  You did this for me, and I'll ... I'll do something for you because you're ...  you're the ... the greatest lover of all time.”

Resolved to come up with his own certificate of love, the archaeologist returned to the computer and began to work on his project.  He put his heart and soul into the simple declaration.  He didn't want it to be too serious, though.  Jack was always telling him to laugh more, to let the humorous side of him out.  That wasn't easy for the young man, but he'd do it now.

Summoning his strength, Daniel finished his certificate.  He even included a small photo of himself taken at the SGC recently that his lover especially liked.  He felt odd doing so, but the photo had captured him smiling, something he knew meant a lot to his life partner.

The archaeologist sealed the file with a password -- 'silverfox'.  He looked at the copy he'd printed out -- his “Lover's Hall of Fame” award, given to Jack O'Neill for his 'Kisses, Touches, Fondling, and an All-Star Imagination'. It was redeemable by presenting it to Daniel, after which Jack's lips would be 'preserved in cement forever'.


After turning off the computer and deciding the bills would wait for another day, Daniel headed for the master bedroom.  It was difficult to sleep without Jack, but he would tonight, in honor of his soulmate.  He was determined to think only positive thoughts now.

“You're mine, Jack, and I'm yours.  We're going to have that forever,” Daniel whispered to the older man's pillow.  He picked it up, clutching it to his chest.  “I love you, Jack.  I want to believe.  Okay, okay, okay -- I ... I need you to come home, to prove to me that forever really does mean forever.  I love you.  Don't leave me alone, Jack.  Don't disappear from my life now.  I need you.”

Releasing the pillow, Daniel changed into his sweats that he sometimes wore to bed and then settled down onto the bed.  He stared at the empty left side, running his hand along the vacant space.  Tears fell from his eyes again.

“Make me believe, Jack.  Please make me believe.”

====

Far away, on a rural planet in the process of reconstruction, Jack stirred from a restless sleep he hadn't intended on taking.  He sat up on the hard ground where he'd fallen asleep, an odd feeling within him.

~What am I doing feeling sorry for myself?~  The colonel stood up.  It was night, the darkness of his locale not unlike the darkness that had been deep within him.  “No.  No more darkness, Danny.  I can't afford to lose sight of finding my way home.  What do I know?”  He looked around and said, “I know I'm somewhere I don't want to be.  I know the Stargate is here, somewhere.  I know Daniel won't stop looking.  I know I can't let him down.  He needs me.  Crap, if I don't come back, he'll ...”

Shaking his head, Jack stumbled around the darkness, bending over and digging in the dirt occasionally.

“Plan B, Angel.  Do you hear me, Danny?  Remember Plan B.  I love you, and I'm coming home.  I don't know how, but I'll find that 'or'.  We're forever, and forever is more than what we've had.  Do you hear me?  Forever, Danny!  We're forever!”  Jack shouted with confidence.

--

“Forever, Jack.  I want to believe,” Daniel whispered in the lovers' bed in Colorado Springs.

--

“Believe it, Daniel!  I love you!” Jack shouted again to the emptiness of Edora.

--

“I love you so much, Jack,” Daniel spoke quietly.  “Happy Valentine's Day, My Love.”

--

“I love you, Angel!  We'll just do Cupid's thing on another day.  We don't like to do what everyone else does anyway, right?  Right.”  With a smile, Jack spoke tenderly, “Happy Valentine's Day, My Love.”

Though separated by light years and with an unknown future, Jack and Daniel's love shone bright.  Somehow, someway, they'd find their way back to each other.  It was only a matter of time.

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