Time to Tell

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Drama, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - February 3, 2011
Spoilers:  None
Size:  20kb, ficlet
Written:  February 5-10,12, 2011 Revised: March 1, 2011 Revised Again: March 19, 2011
Summary:  Don't Ask, Don't Tell is repealed.  What does this mean for Jack and Daniel and their colleagues, Paul Davis and Marc Reynolds?
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:  
1) 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.**
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:  Navi, Classic!

Time to Tell
by Orrymain

“Jack.”

Daniel paused, waiting for a response from the man sitting across from him.  He'd been waiting patiently for several minutes now for some sign of movement, but there had been none.  He stood up, picking up their empty beer bottles and the near-empty dish of Chex mix, and took them over to the counter.  Seeing a crumb on his white turtleneck sweater, he brushed it off, watching it as fell to the carpet.  He felt a slight twinge of remorse at his garment-cleaning choice, but it was late.  The crumb would be sucked up in the next day's housecleaning anyway.  He returned to his seat and watched the statue seated across from him.

“Jack.”

Again, the archaeologist studied his stone-faced, silver-haired lover.  The man was as handsome as ever.  He was wearing a blue shirt that had a zippered V-neck, currently with the zipper down, and a couple of bold white stripes running across the shoulders as if they were military insignia.  Jack's expression was intense, his focus reminding Daniel of watching his general plan for a battle.  Indeed, that is what this was.

“Jack!”

“What?” Jack barked, finally looking up.

“Maybe we should call it a night.”

“I'm ... gonna move.”

“Any time before Valentine's Day would be good,” Daniel snarked about the romantic holiday which was nine days away.

“Funny.”

“I thought so,” Daniel acknowledged, his brief smile causing his dimples to show just for a moment.

That moment was just long enough to cause Jack to lose interest in their chess match.  Before his lover knew it, Jack had the two in a passionate embrace.  With the kids all in bed and the zoo hunkered down as well, the happily married couple were free to engage in a bit of hanky panky before taking their romance upstairs to the privacy of their master bedroom.

The house was already locked up tight, with just a couple of lights on to highlight the living room where Jack and Daniel had been engrossed in their chess game.

Just as the couple were about to hit the stairs, they were shocked to hear a tiny rap on their front door.

“Odd,” Jack opined.  “I'd say it's Carter, but now that she's married ...”

To Jack, Samantha Carter, now newly married to Pete Shanahan, had about the worst timing in the world when it came to interrupting the lovers at the most seductive times. He was confident, though, that Pete was now ensuring that she was occupied more often than not.

“Let's take a look.”

Always on the alert for the protection of their brood , the couple went to their security screen that was located in the kitchen.  With a press of a button, the chalk board moved, revealing the hidden security monitor, one of two in the house, the other being in the master bedroom.

“Davis?” Jack scowled when he saw Major Paul Davis standing on the doorstep.

“And Marc,” Daniel noted about the man standing a couple of feet behind Davis.  It was Colonel Marc Reynolds bringing up the rear, and he was blowing his hands as he tried to keep warm in the below-freezing temperature of Colorado Springs.  “He looks ...”

“Cold,” Jack stated, glancing at his watch and noting the time.  ~2329 hours.~

“Actually, I was going to say nervous,” Daniel corrected, closing the hidden screen and beginning the walk to the front door.

Jack followed his Love, taking the opportunity to make sure that both of them were still presentable, considering the throes of passion that they'd been about to engage in just a couple of minutes earlier.

Daniel opened the door, nodding at the two casually attired Air Force officers and signaling for them to come inside.

“Daniel, General O'Neill,” Davis acknowledged as he took in the warmth of the home.

“Doctor Jackson, General,” Reynolds echoed more formally while also giving Jack a salute.

“Oh, for crying out loud, Reynolds.  You know how I feel about that, especially when you're in my home.”  Jack gave the man a curious stare.  “And you'd be in my home ... at this hour ... why?”

“Jack!” Daniel admonished.  “Come on in,” he invited, motioning towards the living room.  “Would you like some coffee?”

“I'm thinkin' this is a beer discussion,” Jack responded intuitively.  “I'll get it,” he told his husband before turning around and returning to the kitchen.  **You know why they're here?**

**I have an idea,** Daniel replied via the couple's special way of communicating.

Paul Davis felt a bit more comfortable in the Jackson-O'Neill home than his counterpart.  He and Daniel had been good friends for a long time.  Marc Reynolds felt a tad uneasy, however.  Jack was a major general, and they'd never talked much about their personal lives, or anything else for that matter that wasn't somehow tied into SGC business.

Davis and Reynolds took off their coats and settled onto the sofa, though they sat on opposite ends.  It was a sight that made Jack come to a stop for a moment when he'd returned from the kitchen with his hands full of beer bottles.

**They're not just nervous, Danny, they're way nervous,** Jack observed, scrutinizing the couple as they tried to compose themselves.

**Way, way nervous,** Daniel agreed.

As Jack distributed the drinks, Daniel retrieved a chair from the kitchen nook and placed it near his lover's armchair.

For an awkward minute, no one said anything.  All that was heard was the sound of fingers tapping on the bottles and a quick gurgle after taking a swig of the drink by Reynolds.  That was followed by the colonel coughing, having downed too much of the drink too swiftly.

“Spill,” Jack finally ordered.

“Sir, I ...” Reynolds began, suddenly losing his voice.

“We ...” Paul spoke and then glanced over at Reynolds.

Davis and Reynolds had been involved in a romantic relationship for over a decade, something Jack and Daniel had only discovered a few years ago.  With Davis working out of the Pentagon full time, the visitors had worked hard to keep their long distance relationship going.  It worked.  They were a steady twosome, devoted to each other.

During a rescue mission in June 2009, Reynolds had made an unofficial request to Jack.  He asked for help in getting his lover assigned to Cheyenne Mountain on a permanent basis.  Jack had promised nothing, but in due time, he had made the transfer a reality, meaning that in 2010, for the first time in their relationship, Paul and Marc had actually been discreetly living together.

“Look, I'm a busy man,” Jack snarked at the two shifting men.

“Jack,” Daniel sighed in warning.

“Okay, I'm a man who was about to ...”

“Jack!”

Davis' and Reynolds' nervousness levels shot up about as high as they could go.  They were now well aware of what they had interrupted.

“Sir!” Reynolds exclaimed, standing up as if he were at the Mountain in a formal situation.  “We apologize.  Paul, let's go.”

“Hold your horses, Colonel,” Jack sighed.  With a wave of his hand, he ordered, “Sit.”

“We should have come sooner,” Reynolds stated, reluctantly sitting down once again.

“No, you couldn't have,” Jack negated.  After a beat, he theorized, “If you had, you would have faced the brood, and you wouldn't want that.”

Daniel also knew that to be the truth.  The children were perceptive, and they frequently expressed their true sentiments without regard to a person's embarrassment.  While the kids didn't know Davis and Reynolds well, that wouldn't stop them from speaking their version of the truth.

“They'd tell you to come out,” Daniel stated, cutting to the quick of what he believed to be the reason for the visit.

As if a knife had just cut a hole in their balloon, the visiting couple sighed.  It was out, in a round about way.

“Daniel, we have a decision to make,” Davis finally admitted.

“And we're not sure what it should be.”

“You heard the President; you saw him sign,” Jack stated about President Henry Hayes' repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'  “Wish I had,” he chuckled lightly.

On December 22, 2010, Hayes had seen one of his promises to the public kept, or at least he'd been able to set it firmly in motion.  That was the date on which he signed the bill that repealed the law that forbade homosexual males and lesbian females from joining the armed services and outwardly proclaiming their non-traditional sexuality.  On that day, however, Jack had been roaming the streets of Colorado Springs, suffering from amnesia.  He'd only been told of the news and shown video of the momentous occasion after Christmastime as things had begun to return to normal for the family.

“There's still a lot of resistance,” Reynolds pointed out.  “I've heard the talk; not everyone is happy.”

“The Pentagon is divided.  A lot of people are saying the right things; some are sincere, and others ...”

“Want to beat the crap out of you for daring to defend your country when you're in love with another man,” Jack completed for Davis.  “I've heard the chatter, too.”

“We both have,” Daniel spoke in an even voice.

“We don't want to hide,” Davis proclaimed.  “We're sick of it.”

“But if we do what they're asking, come out, and then something goes wrong ...”

“You're sunk,” Jack conceded.

“General, all I ever wanted was to serve in the Air Force.  I didn't start out on the track I'm on now, but I like it.  I've given up a lot to get where I am, and I don't want it to be for naught.”

“It's a little easier for me,” Davis put forth.

“No, it's not,” Daniel refuted swiftly and strongly.  “Paul, they don't know, and most people don't care, but the ones who do, they'll make things very ... unpleasant if President Hayes' doesn't get his way.  Look, I've ... I've been there.  It's ...”

“He's been beaten to a pulp,” Jack uncharacteristically admitted.  “I've run out a lot of ignorant S.O.B.'s from SGC, but I'm not there much anymore, and Reynolds doesn't have the fear factor attached to him that I did.  No, it's not easier for you; it's worse.”

Jack reached over and took his husband's hand.  He squeezed it as they shared a private moment of love and devotion.  Jack would always protect his Love, and Daniel knew it, though their conversations on the subject usually only went so far.  The issue now was whether or not Paul Davis realized the risk he'd be taking as far as his personal safety was concerned, especially with Reynolds on the other side of the country.

“You're telling us not to come out,” Reynolds surmised, a bit surprised by what he'd heard.

“Don't be so shocked,” Jack responded.  “Reynolds, Daniel and I have been darn lucky. We're no better than you two, or anyone else.”

“But we were there first,” Daniel added a bit quietly.

“I don't get it.”

“That's why you're still a colonel,” Jack asserted with a pointed stare.

Shaking his head at his lover's antagonism, Daniel took a breath before explaining, “We were the beginning of the program.  Someone else could have opened the Gate ...”

“Whoa there, Dannyboy,” Jack interrupted, actually leaning forward in his chair.  “No one on this planet could have done what you did.  Now me, I just didn't care whether I lived or died at the time.  I was happy to be a killing machine.  Any schmuck could have played my part.”

“Jack, you're wrong.  They knew you ...”

“Daniel, we're getting off the subject,” the general noted, not really wanting to go into a massive replay of their Abydos adventures.

“That's true.”

“If you two pop onto the 'we're gay and in the Air Force' bandwagon, we'll support you, like we will anyone else with the guts to do it,” Jack stated, still forward in his seat.  “But this thing could still blow up, and you need to be willing to deal with the consequences if it does.”

“Marc's right,” Paul interjected.  “You're telling us to keep quiet.”

“You have to decide, Paul,” Daniel avouched.  “The day's coming when it really won't matter what a person's sexual orientation is.  It's just ... it still matters to some.”

“We don't know what Congress is going to do, or the courts.  Just watch the news,” Jack urged.

“Actually, General, I've been out of touch for about ten days,” Reynolds replied, referring to an off-world mission he'd been on that had been rather taxing and sensitive in nature.  “Paul?”

“I've been in D.C. for over a week, knee deep in a situation that was about to boil over. It required my attention pretty much round the clock, so I haven't heard anything specific.”

**He loaned himself out,** Daniel communicated to his husband privately.  **He didn't want to be at SGC.**

**Trying not to think about Reynolds being off-world,** Jack replied.  **He played ostrich.**

**Been there, done that and totally understand,** Daniel admitted, not even glancing at his Love.  With a sigh of defeat and referring to one of Colorado's elected officials, he elaborated, “Congressman Lamborn is one of 21 representatives sponsoring a bill in the House right now that would reinstate 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' for front line combat personnel.”

“Planning on getting back to that geek stuff?” Jack inquired of Reynolds, his eyes full of challenge as they peered at the colonel.

“They say it would be temporary, until all of the top military personnel agree there are no more issues.”

“Commanding officers, Joint Chiefs of Staff -- you know, the guys at the top,” Jack expounded, his tone sarcastic.

“Of course, we don't know that the bill will pass,” Daniel pointed out.

All four men fell into a contemplative silence for a few moments as they absorbed their situation and potential outcomes.  For Jack and Daniel, it was a deep reflection of what they'd do if things were different and they were facing the choices that their guests were at this point.  For Davis and Reynolds, it was a cold rush that had dashed their hopes, and yet, that's exactly why they'd come to the Jackson-O'Neills in the first place.  They needed the truth, to know the perspective from these two who both respected greatly.

“Thank you for your time,” Reynolds stated graciously, breaking the silence as he stood up, as did Davis.

Jack and Daniel stood up as well, both feeling sorry that they were taking the side of caution.

“Reynolds, Davis, we have your backs if you want to move forward,” Jack advised the two with conviction.

“Thank you, General.”

====

Jack locked the front door and turned around.  Daniel had his back up against the entranceway wall, and his arms were crossed across his chest.  It was that darn self-hug that Jack hated.

“Why'd we do that, Jack?” the younger man asked, his voice light and barely audible.

Jack looked off to the side for a moment before he admitted, “Because you like Davis, and I respect Reynolds.”

“You know,” Daniel began, biting his lip for a few seconds before continuing.  “All those years when we played the game ... I ... I know we had issues, problems ... I know there were ... things going on, that our relationship was complicated, but I hated them, Jack.  I hated the lies, the secrets; gawd, I hated the game.”

The general took his archaeologist into his arms, holding him protectively as he agreed, “Me, too, Love.”

“They have a chance to stop their game, Jack, and we just ... we blew it up, like one of Bauer's precious bombs,” the peace loving scientist groused as he recalled the general who had briefly run Stargate Command and almost destroyed it.

“It is their choice, Daniel.  We just told them the truth,” Jack rationalized.

Pulling back slightly, Daniel questioned, “Did we?”

“We both know the truth.  Look, maybe it'll go smoothly.  Maybe the hotshots at the top will do us all a favor and concentrate on the terrorists threatening the country instead of wasting time dealing with gender issues.”

Daniel heard himself sigh.  He knew what that meant.  He didn't believe it, either.

“They'll drag it out.”

“Even if they don't, officially, it's still going to take some time to get over the hurdle, assuming the courts don't interfere.”

“We don't know what's going to happen.”

“And that's why we told them the truth,” Jack claimed.  He put his arm around his husband's shoulder and steered him back into the living room.  The pace was slow and deliberate as they each processed the last half hour.  “Danny, I hate to say it, but it's going to take a few years to settle in, assuming the Brass lets it happen in the first place.”

“I guess President Hayes can only do so much.”

“He made a campaign promise, and he stuck to it.”

“Yeah,” Daniel agreed, chuckling slightly.

“A laugh?  Was that a laugh?” Jack asked, turning square to face his partner.

“Jack, did it occur to you that the reason he's trying to force the issue so much is that he's afraid someone will make a ... stink out of us?”

“Ya think?” Jack asked with a grin.  “I find it a little hard to believe that no one has made a major case out of our ... consultant status?”

“Is that what we've been doing ... consulting?”

The lovers laughed briefly, both amused at the deal they'd struck a few years ago when they'd agreed to return part time to SGC duty.  It had been entirely on their own terms where nothing was hidden about their relationship.  Of course, with eleven children it was hard to hide anything.

“I wish we could have told them to tell the truth about their relationship and not look back,” Daniel sighed.

“I just don't think the guys at the top are gonna let it be so easy.  I hope I'm wrong, Danny, for those two, and the others out there.”  Wanting to rid them of the melancholy that was in the air, Jack scooped up his lover and planted a huge kiss on him.  “Weren't we about to ...”

“Yeah ... hot sex,” Daniel stated with a sly grin.  He loved to tease his lover with direct talk about sex from time to time.  ~It keeps him on his toes,~ the archaeologist thought even as his eyes sparkled at the man he adored.

“Sex! Daniel you said 'sex' again.”

“Are you studying linguistics now, Babe?  Ah, if you like, I can give you a lesson and ...”

Jack silenced his Heart with another sound union of their bodies, one that had his husband moaning with delight.

“Last one to the bedroom bottoms,” Daniel teased, turning and running up the stairs.

“Geez, I love that geek of mine!” Jack exclaimed before giving chase.

The military was evolving, but no one really knew yet when it would truly be safe to admit one's sexual orientation.  Maybe it would be by the end of 2011, or maybe it would take longer.  Jack and Daniel were just glad that it was not something they had to worry about any longer.  Still, they felt deeply for Paul Davis and Marc Reynolds and hundreds, if not thousands, of others who had to suppress their identities.  They would do all they could to ensure those people would be treated fairly, no matter what choice they made.  For now, though, Jack and Daniel were heating up the bedroom, enjoying not the freedom of America as a nation, but that of their own private nation of two.

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