The Fifth of June
Category: Pre-Slash, Drama
Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Season: S1 – June 5, 1998
Written: December 17-18, 2020, February 6,8-9, 2021
Summary: Jack and Daniel enjoy downtime in their own unique way.
Disclaimer: Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't. A gal can dream though!
1) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
The Fifth of June
A noise, a mix of a grumble and a groan, escaped into the air, interrupting the silence of the room. A left eyelid opened and then a right.
“Ag!” exclaimed the wakening man as he moved from sleeping on his right side to resting on his back. “Ahhg,” was another throaty release.
The man raised up his right arm and placed it at the top of his head. His short-sleeved gray shirt was visible now that the covers were pulled down to his waist.
Handsome with attractive brown hair and deep brown eyes, Colonel Jack O’Neill glanced over at his clock.
~0723. I overslept. No, it’s an off day. Sleep in, O’Neill.~
The eyelids closed, but mere seconds later, both opened again. A nasty snort was heard and Jack pounced up to sit on the side of his bed.
~Crap. I’m not used to sleeping in these days. Okay. Downtime. What’s on my agenda?”
Jack stood and stretched his physique, waking up muscles and getting his heart pumping in preparation for a full day.
There was just one problem. Jack’s agenda was blank. There wasn’t anything he planned on doing. For once, the house was clean and even the outdoor chores were done. He had groceries, the bills were paid, and none of the neighbors needed his assistance.
Though the colonel enjoyed his privacy, since moving into his suburban country-like home that featured some unique elements in its design, he was friendly with those who lived near him. As a handy man in terms of being able to repair and fix things, Jack was becoming a favorite with his neighbors, especially the women, almost in spite of his want to be alone. Truth be told, he enjoyed helping the stay-at-home wives and the older folks who were no longer able to do all of the do-it-yourself stuff that once were simple. It was just his way, though it was a silent way, since he rarely mentioned his good deeds to others.
So, on this Friday in June, Jack was mystified as to how to spend the hours. He was even caught up on his favorite magazines, such as the National Geographic.
What was Jack to do?
Slowly, an idea formed in his brain. His cheeks blossomed as they puffed up at the notion.
~Oh yeah. That’ll work.~
The drive was longer than it took the colonel to reach Cheyenne Mountain, but he wasn’t complaining. He listened to opera on the radio as he drove, while also contemplating what the day might hold in store for him. There was no doubt in his mind that it would be better than his initial thoughts upon waking.
~More clouds. I wonder what there are more of in the universe: clouds or trees.~
With the heater on in his Ford truck, the ride was pleasant. He was oblivious to the thirty-nine degree temperature outside. Besides, having been born in Illinois and raised both there and in Minnesota, cold was native to him and he was well used to cooler climates.
Soon, Jack reached his destination and parked. After exiting his vehicle, he looked up at the balcony and noticed the drapes were still drawn.
~Why am I not surprised?~ Jack mused inwardly before heading for the entrance. He was totally undeterred by the fact he was most likely about to rouse one of his teammates from a peaceful slumber. ~He needs to see the daylight.~
Reaching the door, Jack knocked on it, but didn’t get an answer. Inside, he grumbled. Then he put his hand on the doorknob and turned.
“What the heck is he thinking?” Jack groused aloud. Barging inside the unlocked apartment, he barked, “Daniel, why didn’t you lock your door? *Daniel*, I’m talking to you.”
By now, the colonel was inside Daniel Jackson’s bedroom.
“I heard you,” Daniel responded sharply but calmly. “Why are you here?”
Jack chuckled slightly. The archaeologist hadn’t moved an inch. The covers were pulled up to just under his nose. The only part of Daniel’s body to be visible was the top half of his head. Not even all of his shaggy hair could be seen.
“Your door was open.”
“No, it wasn’t.”
“It was unlocked.”
“Oh?” Jack repeated gruffly. “Daniel, I could be a thief, or a murderer.”
“I could have been.”
“But you aren’t.”
“Someone else could be.”
“But you’re here, not someone else.”
“But if I were someone else, you could be dead.”
“Or maybe you would be.”
“Jack, why are you here?” Daniel asked, actually exposing his baby blue eyes for the very first time.
Jack couldn’t help but smile. He saw a yawn, then another, and finally some movement of arms and legs as the covers moved down a few inches to reveal Daniel’s chin and neck.
“Rise and shine, Dannyboy. It’s time to have some fun.”
“Whatever you say.” Jack walked to the bed and yanked down the bedding. “Up and atom, Daniel. We’re going to have some fun.”
“Can’t you have fun with someone else?”
“I’d rather have fun with you.”
Daniel didn’t really know how to respond to that. The words sounded sincere, but he wasn’t used to anyone being that positive towards him, especially when it came to spending time together.
“I’ll get you some coffee. You get up. Do your stuff.”
To Jack’s fleeing back, Daniel called out, “Uh, Jack, what … um, what fun exactly are we supposed to have today?”
“No idea. We’ll figure it out as we go along.”
“Oh,” Daniel responded dryly as he finally sat up and set about getting ready for some kind of unknown yet supposedly fun day.
When Daniel emerged into his kitchen area, he was astounded. His nose gave him a hint of what was coming before he’d left his bedroom. The aroma of bacon and sausage was unmistakable. He saw the eggs just being removed from the skillet. Piping hot coffee and two pieces of buttered toast were already placed in front of the two seats at the counter.
“Wow,” Daniel spoke.
“Let’s eat,” Jack grinned, putting the full plate in front of Daniel’s spot and then getting his own plate. “Oh.” He opened the refrigerator and pulled out two bowls of fresh fruit. “For the health advocates,” he joked.
“Thank you, Jack,” Daniel spoke as he sat down and quickly inhaled his coffee.
“You’re welcome. Eat up. We’re going to have a big day.”
“Uh, what’s first?”
Jack grabbed the morning newspaper which he brought with him from his house. He opened it up to the appropriate section and, while taking a bite of sausage, perused the options.
“‘The Truman Show’.”
“I know that,” Daniel responded grumpily.
“It stars Jim Carrey. He’s a funny guy.”
Jack looked at Daniel and quickly deduced that his friend didn’t have a clue who Jim Carrey was.
“Daniel, we’re going to educate you on pop culture if it kills me.”
“I’ll be there.”
“Be where?” Jack queried.
“At your funeral,” Daniel teased.
Jack groaned and shook his head before offering an alternative, “We could go see ‘Naughty Girl.’ He looked at Daniel whose eyelids fluttered in ignorance. “No, better not.” He focused on the paper again and suggested, “‘A Perfect Murder’. That’s a premier. Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow. How about that one?”
“Whatever you want, Jack,” Daniel replied.
“We’ll catch the first or second showing, depending on when we get out of here.”
Daniel simply nodded and reached for more coffee.
“Not bad,” Jack opined as he and Daniel exited the movie theater. “‘Dial M for Murder’ was better.”
“I think I’ve seen that, on TV, late night, I think,” came a somewhat stuttered reply. “Maybe that’s why this movie felt familiar.”
“Yep. You can’t remake Hitchcock,” Jack put forth.
“Hitchcock did the ‘Dial M’ movie, right?”
“There you go, Danny!” a happy Jack affirmed. “Douglas did a decent job, though. He makes a good villain.”
The teammates reached Jack’s truck and quickly took their seats.
“What now?” Daniel inquired.
“We’ll grab some Chinese take-out and go to my house. We should make it in time for Porky.”
“I’m afraid to ask.”
“Oh, uh, well … Porky? Is he at your house?”
Jack laughed and enjoyed the little smile he saw on Daniel’s face. The younger man clearly knew who Porky Pig was and that warmed the colonel’s heart. There was hope for his friend and he was going to see to it that one day Daniel could converse in all things pop. Of course, that was Jack’s version of pop culture, the joy of entertainment and sport from the fifties through the seventies.
“Porky and his Looney Tunes’ friends are on Nick,” Jack announced. We can eat and watch the show in the living room."
“Okay,” Daniel agreed, not minding much. He had nothing against cartoons and Jack had made him watch a bunch of them during the course of the past year. There were definitely worse things on television. ~Maybe they’ll show Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd,~ he secretly wished. ~Poor Elmer. I guess I … well, I identify with him a little.~
“Cartoons aren’t like this anymore,” Jack sighed as he turned off the television.
“For one thing, they’re in color,” Daniel mused.
“The black and whites were great. You just saw that.”
“Everything changed with action heroes and space junkies,” Jack stated. “Look, I like the heroes, the traditional ones. Who can argue with Superman, Batman, the Spideyman? No one, but once they started to focus whole hog on them, the classics were left behind. No more Magilla Gorilla,” he lamented.
“I like Magilla,” Daniel said with a smile. ~Some of these cartoons Jack makes me watch are fun, but I’m not sure I should tell him that.~
“Me, too. So, sandwich?”
“Gawd, no,” Daniel responded. “We had that big breakfast and then you stuffed my face with popcorn, candy, and soda at the movie theater; and then, Chinese. Jack, I couldn’t eat another bite … for a week.”
“I’ll make us a sub-sandwich. We’ll split it,” a jovial Jack advised, ignoring the pleas for no more food.
Rolling his eyes, Daniel leaned back against the sofa, his head resting at its top.
~I sure do like this sofa. It’s so comfortable.~ After a moment, Daniel stood and entered the kitchen. “Can I help?”
“Sure,” Jack agreed. “There’s the mayo and there’s the bread. Load her up while I get the meats and veggies.”
Daniel clinched his abdomen, the thought of more food not making him a happy camper. Still, this was Jack’s day. At least, that’s how Daniel thought of it, so he did as requested.
The sandwich made, sliced into halves, the friends sat down in the kitchen nook with a couple of sodas to wash down the food.
Daniel, who ate very small bites at an extremely slow pace, glanced over at Jack as he pondered the reason for this unusual day.
After four of these glances, Jack, mouth full, asked, “What?”
“Why do you keep looking at me?”
Daniel sighed and looked down for a few seconds before focusing on the other man and asking, “Jack, I have no objections to spending the day with you, but … uh, there’s more to it, isn’t there? I mean, there’s something about today. What is it?”
~Today. Today is just a day.~ Jack’s chewing slowed until he finally swallowed the sandwich bite he was eating. He cautiously took a drink of his soda and then drew a deep breath. ~Ah, geez,~ he thought as a realization hit him.
“You know something, Danny.” He raised his hands as if blocking the expected response. “Don’t say it. I know.”
“I wasn’t going to,” Daniel replied. “I … I really want to know what’s going on with you.”
The statement was a bit of a breakthrough. Daniel often had a difficult time saying what he felt or requesting something of Jack.
~Small strides,~ Jack thought about Daniel’s comment. “Yeah. I didn’t even think about it this morning. I only knew I wanted to do something, anything, but I couldn’t think of anything until I thought of you.”
“I’m glad I’m good for something.”
“Sorry. I didn’t mean that,” Daniel assured. ~I don’t think.~
“Today is June fifth.”
“And on this day in 1968, Bobby Kennedy was shot by a moron,” Jack spoke, his anger towards the killer still visible after all these years.
“I didn’t realize that was today.”
“Years pass; people forget,” the colonel lamented. “Besides, most people remember the day he died, which was actually on the sixth of June. He survived twenty-six hours after the blast through his brain. He would have been great for this country. He had the intelligence, the charm, and the …”
Seeing a bit of a grimace and hesitation, Daniel prompted, “What else?”
“Ah, the truth of it is RFK had a ruthless side. He’d get the job done, Daniel, no matter what it took. In the end, we’d sure be in a better place than we are today.”
“I know you think so, but you never know with history, Jack. It’s hard to determine if a situation will go like you think, or want it to.”
“He would have been great,” Jack insisted. “They should have fried that coward when they had a chance.”
“You mean the electric chair.”
“His goose was cooked, until they overturned the death penalty in California.”
“He’s spending his life in prison, Jack.”
“And Bobby Kennedy is dead, along with what this country has dealt with as a result; and don’t forget, Kennedy had a bunch of kids who grew up without their dad. It’s not right and nothing anyone says will ever change my mind.”
“I’m not trying to change your mind, Jack, but the death penalty is a dangerous thing. I’m … I’m not sure killing a person is justice.”
“It would have been here.”
“Maybe, but what about others? Our legal system has …”
“Issues?” Jack completed for the linguist. “I won’t argue that. Injustice is everywhere, but when you know, you really know, injustice is not killing the bad guy.”
“Maybe,” Daniel spoke softly.
“Anyway, I’m sure that’s what has been at the back of my mind today,” Jack explained. “Are you okay with that? Actually, are you okay with just going on with this?”
“Yes, I’m okay with it.”
“Good. Finish your sandwich.”
Jack took his dish to the sink, looking back and asking, “Hey, do you know what else didn't happened on this date?”
"Didn't happen?" a confused Daniel inquired.
With a grin, the colonel explained, "Technically, it happened on June fourth, but what's a day among friends in conversation?"
Daniel shook his head in amusement as he replied, "Only you'd think of something like that."
"Thank you," Jack boasted. "So, I repeat: do you know what else didn't happen on this date?"
"Or do I know what happened on June the fourth in some unspecified year?"
“No,” the archaeologist replied while trying not to chuckle.
“I don’t understand.”
“The first public demonstration of an hot-air balloon flight was on this date back in … hmmm, ah, yes, 1783. Technically, it wasn't the first first, but it was the first one by these guys and no one really knew about the other guy.”
"Huh?" Daniel questioned.
"Don't ask," Jack groaned. "Some priest sent up a small balloon decades earlier, but he didn't get a lot of press about it. These French guys had no clue it had been done before, and they did a lot more with theirs than the priest did with his."
"I remember it was a couple of Frenchmen who did the deed, but don't ask me their names."
"I wouldn't dream of it," Daniel chortled.
"Good, because my brain can't recall that much detail." Jack noted, "But I can tell you that the first un-tethered hot-air balloon flight happened later that year, in November, if I recall correctly."
“Jack, how do you know that, about the hot-air balloon flight?”
“I wrote a paper in college about public transportation once. The balloon twist got me an ‘A’,” Jack smirked with pride.
Daniel simply nodded.
“Ever been in one of those big guys?”
“Uh … no, and I don’t really want to be, either.”
“One Day, Danny. One day.”
Almost silently, Daniel spoke, “That’s what I’m afraid of.”
Once again, Daniel let the use of the nickname slide by. He just didn't feel like fighting it, especially after discussing such a serious topic as the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. Instead, Daniel focused on the potential that one day Jack would try to get him in one of those big balloons and whatever conversation would pop up next.
Glancing at his watch, the colonel observed the time and commented, “It’s the top of the hour. Why don’t we put CNN on and see what’s new in this crazy world.”
“Politics,” Daniel put forth dryly.
“What we deal with every day,” Jack groaned as he led the way back to the living room where both men took a seat on the sofa, each on separate ends. “Beer?”
Jack left his spot and returned with two unopened cans of Budweiser, quickly tossing one to Daniel, who caught it with his left hand.
“Great: a story about computers. What makes Gateway so great?”
“Well, according to the story it’s priced for people on a budget and has a good Pentium MMX system.”
Daniel laughed mildly and responded, “Jack, you don’t have a choice. Computers are part of everyday life now and it’s only going to be more so in the future.”
“Not my future.”
“I … I, uh, think so.”
“Says CNN, Microsoft, and, well … it’s the direction of tech.”
“Daniel, tech can go tech itself,” Jack quipped. “Give me pen and paper and a standard phone.”
“Jack, you know how helpful computers are.”
“What I know, Daniel, is that computers have a place. I’ll admit that, but I see it coming, an over-reliance on all things tech. You watch, Daniel. The day will come when you’ll see what I see: a dim place where people don’t use their brains anymore because it’s all done with technology. It won’t be pretty.”
“You might have a point, but my point is, you won’t be able to fight it or resist the place technology does, or will have.”
“Resistance is *not* futile, Daniel. Look at Picard.”
Daniel blinked a couple of times and looked away, trying to figure out what his friend meant. He knew Picard was a “Star Trek” character, but he didn’t understand the comment.
“Never mind,” Jack sighed. Suddenly, Jack bolted forward, sitting at the edge of the sofa. “Did you hear that?”
“No, you were talking,” Daniel reminded.
“They just said Bob Hope died,” Jack relayed. “I don’t believe it. Hope’s eternal.”
Daniel raised his eyebrows at the double entendre.
A minute later, Jack shook his head and leaned back. He looked at Daniel with an incredulous smile.
“Folks should check their facts.”
“They should,” Daniel agreed.
“The man is at home, eating his Wheaties, when some politician announces he’s dead and the Associated Press believes him and publishes their pre-written obit. Definite brain fart.”
“At least Bob Hope is still alive.”
“Ninety-five and kicking. He’ll make some good jokes out of his premature death,” Jack opined.
“Live and let live,” Daniel said with a smile. “Or Leuen ende laeten leuen.”
“That’s the origin for live and let live: from the Netherlands. It’s the Dutch proverb, first noted in the sixteen-hundreds. It’s a philosophy …” Seeing Jack’s look of indifference, Daniel shrugged and spoke, “I was just saying ...”
“Let bygones be bygones,” Jack clarified with a cliché of his own.
“Forgive and forget.”
~Not my easiest thing,~ Jack noted privately. “Let sleeping dogs lie,” he offered.
“Les jeux sont faits,” Daniel said. “Uh, literally, that’s French for “the games, the bets are made,” which just means you can’t go back; it’s done.”
“I knew that,” Jack lied, knowing Daniel knew that he didn’t really know the French phrase. “Let go.”
Daniel smiled modestly at the simple phrase and then added quickly, “Bear no malice.”
“Bear no malice?” Jack repeated. “That’s not a cliché.”
“I know, but I can’t think of anything else.”
A second later, both men laughed. They’d played the cliché game a few times before and always enjoyed it. It was a challenge and fit both of their personalities. It was never planned, but like now, one of them would say a familiar phrase and off they went with the word game. Now it was on to the next.
However, Jack quickly tired of the news.
“It’s how people make their feelings known,” Daniel opined.
“Yep. They have a right. I’ll bet this one lasts a while,” Jack commented. “I wonder if it will effect the price of cars.”
“Are you going to buy one?”
“No, and if I were, it would be another Ford truck, not a General Motors vehicle,” Jack answered, referring to auto manufacturer with striking employees in Flint, Michigan. “How about a walk?”
Jack and Daniel took a long walk around the neighborhood while talking about whatever popped into their minds. There was one discussion which made Jack cringe. It was about their last mission that resulted in the creation of their synthetic others by Harlan, whom the colonel thought of as a Lou Costello-like clown. Daniel was much more understanding of the actions that occurred on Altair than Jack was. In fact, it still gave Jack the bejeebies to even think about a copy of himself, and his teammates, for that matter, existing anywhere. He preferred not to think about it at all, so he changed the subject as quickly as he could.
More SGC shop talk occurred before the two men returned to Jack’s house. They went inside, without conversation, and simply relaxed. Jack found a novel to read and settled into his armchair, while Daniel found himself reviewing some of Jack’s National Geographic magazines. He enjoyed looking them over from the left side of the sofa.
Sometime later, Jack put on a videotape that contained a few of his favorite “The Simpsons” episodes. His joy in watching the animated series was obvious. Daniel didn’t object.
The local news came on and Jack was eager to see the sports segment.
"Look at that," Jack remarked. "The Cubs beat the Sox, six to five."
"They're both Chicago teams," Daniel noted. "Do you prefer one over the other?"
"I'm an American League guy, but I'll take any team from Chi-town any day!"
The friends kept watching the sports news, including a small bit on the upcoming game between the Colorado Rockies and the Anaheim Angels that was due to start in another hour or so.
Once again having his fill on TV news, Jack turned off the television and suggested they relax on his small roof deck. It was getting chilly out, but the friends somehow never cared how cold it was when they were on the deck. There was something about the intimacy and the stars in the sky that touched their souls and the cold temperatures didn't effect either of them much.
"Born on the fifth of June and you'd be a Gemini," Jack commented between swigs of beer.
"Are you into astrology?"
"Nah, but it's fun to check out my horoscope, just to see how far off it is."
"Sometimes," the older man acquiesced. "Any June five memories in there?" he asked as he lightly knocked on Daniel's forehead.
"Actually, uh, yes, there is ... one."
"Care to share?"
"Not really," Daniel responded truthfully.
"Hey, I shared mine."
Daniel let out a tiny snicker as he replied, "Okay." He paused and then said, "On June fifth, when I was about to turn sixteen, I was accepted at UCLA."
"Young, but then you have the brain power. How'd you get in?"
"I won a scholarship for transcribing Phoenician poetry."
"Wow, ah, exciting," Jack spoke drolly.
"I was notified on the fifth, and then I had to maneuver to become emancipated as quickly as possible." Daniel paused as he reflected. "It didn't take long. They were happy to have one less body to have to feed and save a bed for."
"Yeah," Jack sighed. "You were in foster care."
"Long story; not a good one."
Jack took the hint and let the story cease with his friend's successful court battle to free himself from the foster care system in New York. Inwardly, he knew there would be another conversation at another time when Daniel would confide more. He had to in order to free himself from whatever issues roamed inside his brain, stopping him from being more open about himself.
"So you're a Bruins graduate?"
"In Philology, and then I went to Harvard and got my PhD. I did some time at the University of Chicago ..."
"Imagine that: we were in the same place, maybe. When was that?" Jack didn't wait for a response. He was trying to do the math in his head, but a few beers were impeding his fast addition. "Where was I?"
"I have no idea," Daniel replied. "I transferred to Oxford for my masters and another PhD."
"That figures," Jack teased.
"I went to New York University, before returning to Harvard to get my masters and PhD in anthropology."
"A man of many talents," Jack praised, feeling lucky he had even a basic college education.
"I had the time," Daniel explained succinctly.
"I didn't," Jack responded. "I was too busy doing things I don't want to think about in the name of the common good which may have all been just a bunch of crap. I'm not sure anymore."
"I'm sure whatever you did, Jack, was what you thought was right."
"It was, but I'm not so sure my sources were right."
Silence loomed and the minutes passed. That was something wonderful about this strange relationship between Jack and Daniel. They didn't always need to talk. Just like in the afternoon when they each quietly read while in the living room, this time outside didn't need to be full of words and speech. Oftentimes, silence was as priceless as the spoken word.
Soon, though, the two men decided to return to the interior of the home and a warmer vibe.
"How about a nice game of chess?" the colonel asked the archaeologist.
"It's a little late for that, Jack, don't you think?"
"Yeah, we have duty in the morning," Jack agreed. "How about a quick checkers game?"
Jack and Daniel were more on an even footing with checkers with neither of them having any real advantage over the other. Both won with no set pattern, so it was stress-free for them. They played five games before the news came on again.
"Crud?" Daniel repeated.
"I get tired of saying 'crap' sometimes," Jack said with a hint of a smirk on his face.
"So, uh, what's cruddy?"
"Rockies were lambasted by the Angels, five-zip." Jack again turned off the television as he groused, "Not even one little run."
"Jack, I need to go."
"I'll take you home," Jack offered while reaching for his jacket that was on the back of his chair.
"I can call a cab."
"Daniel, I picked you up and I'll take you home. My mother would tan my hide if I didn't take my dates home."
Both men laughed at the comment, a nice big laugh. It was a great joke, so they thought when it happened. Ultimately, considering the beer intake, Jack insisted Daniel stay in the spare room for the night. They'd drive to the Mountain together in the morning and after work, Jack would take Daniel back to his apartment. Thus, they talked for another hour or so before they finally said goodnight and each sought out the pleasure of a restful sleep.
The day was a good one, full of nothing special. There was nothing truly unique about it. It was just a day in June during which two friends saw a movie, went for a walk, shared some food, and spent a bit of time getting to know a little more about the other. For Jack and Daniel, it was a day of enjoyment, one of countless more days to come where their friendship would grow and even blossom into something incredible. The fifth of June: a not so average day after all.
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