Category: Slash, Angst, Drama, H/C of the mental kind, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Season: 7 - May 7-14, 2004
Written: September 27-29, October 2,13,15,23, 2003 Revised: December 23-24,31, 2004, January 21,30-31, February 6, 2005
Summary: Daniel is forced to face the possibility of a life without Jack.
Disclaimer: Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't. A gal can dream though!
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) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my other fics, “Odyssey of the Mind,” “Being Ourselves,” and “Melons, Fiber, and Krispy Kremes.”
4) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better: Suzanna, Tina, Drdjlover, Mama Beast, QuinGem, Linda, Claudia!
“How are the tests going, Major?”
“Right on schedule, Sir. We should be done in another four hours.”
“Okay, well, since Daniel's been such a good boy, he and I are going to ring to the other side of this fun city and let him play in the sandbox for a while.”
Jack O'Neill laughed heartily as he nudged his lover toward the rings.
“Come, my little archaeologist, time to play in those ruins.”
“Not little,” Daniel said, low enough for only Jack to hear.
“Definitely not little,” Jack agreed, whispering into Daniel’s ear while covertly grabbing Daniel’s six.
Daniel grumbled at Jack's playfulness, but activated the rings, anxious to check out the ancient writings recently discovered on PX9-Y24. A temple had been found on the far side of the planet which was believed to have been a dumping ground for the System Lords. Jack had called it “a sort of intergalactic trash can,” but it contained a wealth of information that Daniel was anxious to bury himself in.
Sam had discovered the rings on their first visit to the planet a month ago. Other priorities had kept SG-1 from returning to test the soil and elements fully, but it was believed to be a rich source of minerals. Traces of naquadah had been revealed, too, but Sam wasn't sure if it was much of a find yet or not.
On the far side of the planet, Daniel noticed Jack was doing his patented version of 'Daniel watching', which the younger man didn't mind. In fact, he had to admit that he encouraged it sometimes. A little wiggle of his butt here and there always made sure Jack was watching his six and not distracted elsewhere.
Daniel would never admit it, but he was as jealous of others paying attention to Jack as Jack was of those flocking around Daniel.
Daniel was in paradise as he worked, tracing some of the writings, videotaping the temple, and taking photographs. Every now and then, he mumbled something indistinguishable. Though focused on his work, he would sometimes hear Jack laughing at his non-English outbursts. He had to admit that not even he knew what language would come out of his mouth when he got involved in his work.
After a while, Jack forced his lover to stop for a snack.
“Time for all good boys to get their reward,” Jack teased.
“Jack, I'm not five-years-old.”
“Trust me, Daniel, that I know!”
Seeing the devilish look on Jack's face, Daniel blushed.
Reluctantly, Daniel went to sit next to Jack on a large rock.
“I'm really not hungry, Jack.”
“Just a little power bar, Love. You can do it. I have faith in you,” Jack said as he shoved a bite into his lover's mouth.
“I can feed myself,” Daniel mumbled as he chewed the food.
Daniel rolled his eyes and finished the snack, eager to return to the temple.
Jack checked his watch.
“Time to go, Dannyboy.”
“Yet is now.”
“Jack, that makes no sense.”
“Maybe not, but it's time to close up the show, and hit the road.”
“Jack, I'm worried about you. I think maybe you need a brain transplant.”
“Could be worse.”
Jack grinned, that Irish grin of his that went straight to the middle of Daniel's soul. The archaeologist blushed.
“Gawd.” Finally, Daniel got his things together, and they started back towards the rings. “Oh, geez. Jack, I forgot the camera. I have to go back and get it.”
Daniel was loaded down with relics, so Jack volunteered to return to the temple for the camera.
“Back in a flash,” Jack chirped as he headed back to the temple.
Daniel watched Jack go inside and, at that moment, the earth began to move, the ground rumbling noisily, splitting apart into sections.
Daniel dropped all the relics in his hands and ran towards the temple as it crashed down to the ground, large stone coverings burying the door. Watching the stones fall, Daniel had a strange sensation of having seen it before, and realized he was thinking about his parents.
“JAAAAACK,” Daniel cried out as his heart began to shatter with the replay that was happening in front of his eyes.
The ground was still moving, and by the time it stopped, the temple had become a tall gravel heap.
“Jack,” Daniel spoke quietly, almost reverently, and then desperately, he tried to move the stones away.
“Colonel O'Neill, come in please.”
“Sam. Sam,” Daniel tried to say, suddenly unable to speak.
“Daniel, is that you? Daniel, where is Colonel O'Neill?”
“Inside the temple. Sam, there was an earthquake. The temple ... it collapsed. He went inside. Gawd, Sam, I have to get him out.”
“Daniel, the rings aren't working. Teal'c and I will be there as soon as we can. Are you hurt?” Hearing no response, Sam tried again. “Daniel? Daniel?”
The archaeologist anxiously pulled stone after stone, oblivious to the tears running down his cheeks. For hours, he crawled over the rubble, trying to find his lover without success.
Sam continued to work on the rings. Walking to the far side of the very large planet would take days. She feared, though, that somehow the massive quake had interfered with the alignment or settings of the rings. Still, having no choice, she continued to work as Teal'c coordinated their rescue efforts with General Hammond, examining alternative methods of getting to Jack and Daniel's location.
The long twenty-hour period of daylight on the planet had ended long ago, and now the six hours of nighttime was upon them. The sky was dark, the cold weather chilling Daniel to the bone; but he kept on searching. His fingers were bloodied from his efforts, and he was soaked from his own sweat.
Daniel never gave up. He kept digging, his mind replaying their lighthearted banter of earlier, and his heart holding out hope that their forever hadn't ended.
Finally, as daylight came again, the exhausted man spied a patch of green BDU. Drawing on the last of his strength, and praying with every fiber of his being, he moved the last few stones covering his lover's torso and head, grunting loudly as he did so. Then, his life stopped.
“NOOOOOO!” Daniel yelled, as he saw the bashed in head of his husband.
He made his way to Jack, and pulled him out of the rubble, crawling most of the way. Feverishly, he worked, trying to find a pulse, to feel a heartbeat, to hear a breath, but there was nothing.
“No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No!” the young man cried as he held the lifeless body of his lover in his arms. “No, Jack, I won't let you die. You promised. You can't die. NOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
Daniel's grief was interrupted by a loud ringing noise that seemed to grow. He ignored it, wallowing in his loss of forever, but the ringing continued.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” he shouted again, his arms flailing, and suddenly a loud “Woof!” jarred the man back to reality.
He bolted up from the bed, yelling, “JAAAAAACKKKK!”
His chest was heaving for breath. He looked around, disoriented, and brought his knees up to his chin. Daniel lowered his head onto his knees trying to calm himself. A small, wet furry nose nuzzled his cheek in reassurance.
“I'm okay, Bij,” he reassured the anxious beagle.
~Nightmare. Gawd, it was only a nightmare. Jack. Gawd, Jack.~
He was sweating, visibly shaking, and his heart was beating rapidly.
Katie, the youngest beagle, ran into the master bedroom from the downstairs where she'd been sleeping in her beanbag. She'd heard the noise and sensed something was wrong.
“Jack?” Daniel looked up, realizing at last that the ringing had been the telephone, and that phone was now lying on the floor off the hook.
“JACK!” Daniel shouted as he crawled off the bed, onto the floor, and picked up the receiver. “Jack?” ~Please, Jack. I know it was you. Jack!~
His body still trembling, Daniel let out a cry when all he heard was a dial tone. Whomever had been on the other end had hung up. He didn't move, sitting on the floor holding the phone for a good ten minutes. His nightmare had sent shivers up his spine, and filled his mind with a horrific terror. He rocked back and forth to try and banish the fear that was taking over his body, but instead of calming, Daniel's fear seemed to increase every moment he was awake.
He was so shaken he didn't dare call his lover. They were so much in tune with each other that Jack would know instantly of Daniel's distress, which would be evident from his tone, his choice of words, and even the fact he was calling Jack so late. Daniel couldn't and wouldn't burden his husband with this anxiety.
Aside from concern over Jack being worried, Daniel's panic was so intense he felt he needed to keep it to himself. Thus, he managed only to return to their bed, where he sat, hunched over, clasping Jack's pillow to his chest and mindlessly patting the two beagles nestled at his side, accepting their silent support.
~He'll be home soon. He will, and he'll be safe ... soon. Home ... Jack.~
“Whoa, missed me, eh?” Jack teased at the very warm reception his husband was giving him upon his return home from a two-day trip to Washington, D.C.
It hadn't been anything special, just a routine Pentagon “bash of the ridiculous and boring” as Jack had called it.
When Jack had walked in the door, Daniel happily jumped on him, securing him in a tight embrace and not letting go for quite a while. Jack had no objections, but he was a little curious at the intensity with which Daniel was hugging him. The two hated being apart, but he had sensed there was something more.
“Danny, are you all right?”
“I'm just fine. I love you, Jack.”
“I love you, too, but ... are you sure you're okay?”
“I just missed you, that's all. I always miss you when you're gone.”
“Missed you, too, Angel, so friggin' much,” Jack said, and then he kissed the man who was his heart, leading him upstairs for a proper 'hello'.
“Vet time,” Jack called.
“A dog's worse nightmare,” Daniel chuckled.
“They'll survive. Lucky things. They get a quick poke in the butt, and then we spoil 'em rotten because we feel guilty at something they barely felt for two seconds.”
“We love them, Jack.”
“No arguments there, Love.”
Jack and Daniel put the harnesses on Bijou and Katie, their two beagles, and headed for the vet's office.
“Next time, we do this on a weekday. Look at this crowd,” Jack protested.
It was 11 a.m. on a Saturday morning, and the vet had a line of ten people waiting.
“We should have made an appointment,” Daniel argued quietly.
“You're probably right. Pam's one of the best vets in the county; always has a line of victims waiting. I'm glad we found her.”
“I don't think there's any probably about it, Jack. We should have planned this out more carefully, but I'm glad we hooked up with Pam, too. The girls are worth a little inconvenience.”
Jack growled teasingly as he petted Katie. The young pup had been the runt of Bijou's litter, and she had stolen Jack and Daniel's hearts from the moment they had first seen her. The mama beagle was being held by Daniel as they continued their long wait.
Ninety minutes later, they left the clinic, Bijou and Katie having endured being poked and prodded by Pam, who was their version of Janet “Little Napoleon” Fraiser.
“Danny, let's drop by the market and pick up those grocery items we need so we don't have to make a return trip.”
“We can't leave the girls in the truck alone, Jack.”
“I'll sit with them, or you can. It'll save time.”
Daniel agreed and headed the truck towards their favorite neighborhood store. He parked the truck under a shady tree and turned off the ignition.
“You want me to go in, Love,” Jack asked, noticing his lover hadn't moved and suddenly seemed lost in thought.
Before arriving at the store, Daniel had said he'd go in and shop as he wanted to pick up the ingredients for a Chinese meal he was planning on preparing.
“Jack, remember that tree way over there?”
Jack looked at a tall oak tree at the far end of the grocery parking lot, up against a tall fence. He smirked, “Oh yeah, cereal.”
Daniel laughed seductively.
“Never knew you could do that with cereal, Jack.”
Jack winked and said, “Never knew you could get so turned on by cereal, either, Danny.”
They shared a smile and a loving exchange in their eyes, remembering the time they had had sex in the truck over by the big tree. It had been fast and furious, but definitely a memorable and cherished experience. Daniel leaned over and kissed Jack quickly.
“I love you, Jack.”
“Love you, too, Danny.”
Twenty-five minutes later, Daniel returned with two bags of groceries and placed them in the back of the truck, and then they headed home.
“Yeah. Sorry it took so long. They had to go looking for the soy sauce.”
“You're so finicky about that.”
“It makes a difference, Jack.”
“If you say so.”
“I say so.”
“I love you.”
Daniel chuckled and said, “Love you, too.”
Daniel pulled into the driveway and exited the vehicle. Jack got out, carefully holding on to the leashes that were affixed to the dogs' harnesses.
“I'll take one, Jack.”
“Nah, I've got them, Angel. You get the groceries. I'll take the girls inside and let them out.”
“Okay. I love you, Jack,” Daniel said, unsure why he'd felt the need to say that at this particular moment, but saying it all the same.
“Love you, too, Soy Sauce Boy.” Jack said with a smile.
Daniel snickered at his husband’s silliness and gave him a 'you're going to pay for that” look. He walked to the back of the truck and picked up one of the bags, but it tipped over, bananas and apples rolling out onto the truck bed. Daniel cursed in Abydonian. After he retrieved the produce and put them back into the bag, he picked up the bags. He looked over towards the porch just in time to see Jack unlock the door and walk in with their children, as they called Bijou and Katie.
Daniel took two steps toward the front door when the house exploded into flames. He dropped the bags, not even registering the groceries rolling all over the ground.
He cried out in painful desperation, “Jack! Bijou! Katie!” as he ran towards the porch, but the flames were already soaring into the skies.
The heat was tremendous, but Daniel wasn't going to be stopped. He paused only for a second and then continued towards the porch. Suddenly, a second blast sounded, and another explosion occurred, throwing Daniel backwards onto the ground. He hit his head, sending a throbbing jolt through his body.
Neighbors ran out in force, and people out jogging or walking were gaping at the blaze. Daniel got up again and started to go towards the house when two large men held him back.
“Let me go! I have to go in there! My family's in there.”
“I'm sorry, pal, but anyone in there is already dead,” one of the men said.
“NO! JAAACK! THE GIRLS! JAAAAAAACK! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
“Danny! DANIEL, wake up, Love. Danny,” Jack called out urgently, trying to wake up his spouse.
Daniel had been screaming at the top of his lungs, his body tossing and turning in the bed, his arms flailing in all directions. He was drenched with sweat. Finally, the young man sat up as if shot out of a cannon. His breaths were labored, and he was crying.
“Danny,” Jack said, trying to be calm despite his own rising concern.
He hadn't seen Daniel have a nightmare like this in years. Not even the withdrawal nights as Daniel recovered from alien drugs had shaken him so completely. He put his hand on Daniel's face, trying to calm and comfort him.
“Jack?” Daniel gasped. “Jack?”
Daniel's eyes were unfocused. He was panting, his chest heaving up and down in large breaths.
“I'm right here, Angel.”
Daniel blinked several times as he slowly moved his hands up to Jack's face, cupping it, as if trying to be certain it was really Jack and not his imagination before throwing himself onto his lover, his arms stretching around his soulmate and hanging on tightly.
“You're shaking, Danny,” Jack said. “Geez, what's wrong? You're really trembling, Love.”
The younger man didn't say anything, but Jack could hear him trying to stop the sniffles as he buried his head into Jack's neck. Daniel seemed so frightened and unusually emotional. It wasn't the tears that were odd, it was his whole demeanor that was different. Jack filed it away for later review. Right now, the important thing, was comforting his precious love.
“Shh! Angel, everything is all right. It was just a nightmare. You want to talk about it?”
Daniel shook his head, and held on to his Jack until he fell back to sleep almost ninety minutes later, slight shudders still running through his body.
Jack kept a firm hold on Daniel. He remembered Charlie having a horrible nightmare once after watching a movie where a little boy's parents had been killed in a boating accident. He and Sara were supposed to go to the cabin that weekend, and Charlie had been scared they'd go and never come back. His nightmare had left the little boy more frightened than Jack had ever seen him.
Holding Daniel, Jack's mind recalled that moment. Daniel's grip was almost exactly like Charlie's had been that night, and the shaking was the same, too.
Jack was still at a loss as to what had spooked Daniel so thoroughly. They hadn't really talked, at least not with words. Jack had simply held on to his husband reassuringly while Daniel maintained his tight grip on Jack. The older man whispered words of love and safety, slowly calming Daniel as the clock ticked onward. Mostly, though, it was their connection, their unity and togetherness, that finally let Daniel drift into sleep. Jack was home; Jack would keep them both safe.
Jack made sure Daniel was soundly asleep before lowering him back down to a supine position, but he never let him go.
“Something wrong with the waffles?” Jack asked, noticing Daniel was picking at his favorite breakfast meal.
“No, I'm just not very hungry. I'm sorry, Jack. I know you made them just for me.”
“It's okay, but you should at least take a few bites. C'mon, Danny, eat a little ... for me?”
Daniel tried to smile at Jack's 'humor me' answer to everything, but it usually worked, as it did now. Daniel managed to eat a few bites before standing and disposing of the uneaten portion and putting his dishes into the dishwasher. He quietly walked outside and stood, watching Bijou and Katie playing on the lawn.
It was Sunday, but Jack and Daniel were supposed to report to the SGC by noon. Jack had a meeting scheduled with Hammond, and Daniel had the usual translations calling for his attention.
A bit later, as Daniel still stood watching the dogs, Jack strolled outside and put his arms around his lover's waist.
“Time to go.”
“Jack, I was thinking I might stay home today. There's nothing really ... rushed ... that I have to do. Would you mind?”
“Are you sick?”
“No, I just ... I want to stay home. I can do some research here that I've needed to do for a while.”
“Danny, are you sure you're okay?”
Daniel nodded and said softly, “I just want to stay home today. It's ... peaceful, and I want to be with the girls. I guess ... maybe I'm being silly, but would you mind?”
“Nah, I don't mind, if you swear to me you aren't sick and trying to hide it from me for some crazy reason.”
“Jack, I'd tell you, and if you want me to go, then I'll go.”
Jack shook his head, and squeezed him tight.
“Okay, I'll tell Hammond when I get there. I just worry, Danny.”
Daniel nodded and whispered, “I know, Babe.”
Jack kissed him, and then said, “See you later, Love.”
As Jack walked away, Daniel suddenly couldn't breathe. His heartbeat increased, and he felt panic rising up inside him.
“JACK,” the younger man called as he ran halfway to where Jack had stopped en route to the door to look at him with concern.
Daniel blinked, breathing hard, and looked at Jack. He was full of alarm. He turned back and faced the patio door where the two beagles were still visible. Then, his head snapped towards Jack again.
For a minute, it was like watching a tennis match, following the ball being hit back and forth, Daniel's eyes going from his husband to his beloved beagles. Jack was concerned at his lover's strange behavior, but then he remembered the nightmare and realized that somehow Daniel's current actions had to relate to the bad dream.
Jack walked over to Daniel, and scooped him into his arms, asking softly, “Danny, what was your nightmare about?”
Daniel remained silent. His grip on Jack, however, increased when he heard Jack's question. ~Okay, not talking, but I'm definitely on target. That nightmare must have been a whopper.~
He held his lover close, whispered his love for Daniel into the younger man's ears, and then he kissed him again.
“I'm sorry, Jack. I don't know what's wrong with me.”
“It's that nightmare. You have to talk about it, Daniel.”
Daniel pulled out of Jack's embrace, walking backwards for a couple of steps. He turned abruptly, walked back outside, and climbed up the ladder to the roof deck.
Jack took a breath as he looked down for a moment. He walked to the phone and called General Hammond to explain that Daniel wasn't feeling well, and, since there wasn't actually any immediate crisis they had to deal with, that he'd like to stay home and make sure Daniel was okay. The general agreed, his concern for Daniel evident in his tone and closing words -- “Take care of our boy, Jack.”
Quietly, Jack sat down next to Daniel on the roof deck. As usual, they were leaning against the house, their shoulders touching.
“Jack, I can't talk about it yet, okay?”
“Anything I can do?” Daniel nodded. “What, Love? Tell me,” Jack requested.
Daniel looked into Jack's eyes and said softly, “Hold me.”
Jack smiled and opened up his arms, embracing the love of his life with his personal shield of armor to keep him safe.
“Daniel, you look exhausted. I can finish this. Why don't you go home?”
“That's okay, Sam. I can do it.”
“Daniel, is everything okay with you and the colonel?”
Daniel smiled and nodded as he tried to focus on the task at hand, suppressing a yawn. He was having a difficult time concentrating, so he stood, poured another cup of coffee, and went back to his chair.
“How many cups does that make today?” the major asked, concern for her friend evident in her voice.
“Everything's fine, Sam. Really. Let's ... get this done, okay, and then I can go home.”
“Sir, do you have a minute?”
Jack nodded and motioned for his 2IC to close the door. Before she could say anything, he answered her unasked question.
“He hasn't slept in three days. Had some friggin' nightmare, but he won't talk about it. It's scared the living crap out of him, though, and yes, Major, everything is fine between us. It's just this ... nightmare.”
“I'm sorry, Sir. It's just ... he's living on coffee again, and honestly, not functioning on all cylinders. Sir ... Jack, this isn't his normal caffeine-assisted situation. He's not focused. Normally ... well, you know how he is. Even when he's tired, he can run circles around all of us, but today, he's ... struggling.”
“I'll take him home, Carter, and try to get him to talk again.”
“Sir, I know you won't like this idea, but maybe you should talk to Janet.”
Jack glared at his 2IC, but he was afraid she was right, and he might have to consult 'Little Napolean' if Daniel didn't come around.
“Thank you, Major.”
Sam nodded her head and began to walk away, when she heard Jack call out, “Carter?” He paused. “Carter ... Sam, I'm ... thank you for ... looking out for Daniel. I don't mean to sound so ... you know.”
“I understand, Sir.”
Jack nodded. He always considered himself to be bad with words, and apologizing wasn't high on his list of fun things to do, but he also knew his 2IC was being the good friend she always had been.
“Never shoot the messenger, Carter ... even when they make a perfect target.”
Sam blinked, not quite sure of the message, except that she knew her CO was only worried about Daniel, and that was the cause of his sharpness. She always understood this facet of Jack's behavior, but it was nice to hear him admit it once in a while.
“Danny, come on. It's time for bed,” Jack said forcibly as he entered the study where Daniel was working on the computer.
“I'll be up in a minute.”
“That's what you said two hours ago. Daniel, bed -- now.”
“I'm not tired, Jack.”
Jack flinched at the lie, but he knew it was nothing more than a self-defense mechanism. Daniel hadn't slept since he had the nightmare, at least not much. His eyes were puffy and red from weariness. Jack walked purposely over to the desk, and leaning over, picked up the cord he was looking for.
Holding it up, he stated sternly, “Daniel, you either turn that off on your own, now, or I'm literally pulling the plug.”
“Yes, I would, and I will, in ten - nine - eight - seven - six - five - four - three ...”
“Okay, okay, wait a minute,” Daniel rasped as he saved his work and powered down the computer, and then leaned back in defeat against the office chair.
Jack sighed, walked over to him, and, clasping Daniel's hands in his, pulled the reluctant archaeologist up to him.
“Danny, what am I going to do with you?”
“Hold me,” was all Daniel said as he leaned into Jack. ~And don't die. Please don't die, Jack.~
~Okay, Danny. I don't have a choice. I hate to do this, but I don't know what else to do.~
“Doc, I need your help.”
“Now that's something I thought I'd never hear from you, Colonel.” She smiled, until she saw Jack's ultra-serious expression. ~Uh oh.~ There was only one thing, or rather one person, that could make Jack this worried. Quickly, Janet motioned him into her office and shut the door. “Daniel?” the SGC's Chief of Medicine asked.
Jack nodded as he sat down. He leaned forward and clasped his hands together as Janet sat in her chair, her hands holding some papers on her desk that she glanced at while waiting for Jack to speak.
“He's not sleeping, Janet. He ... had a nightmare that really shook him up, and no, I don't know what it is because he won't talk about it, but ... maybe he's had it before, and that's why he's afraid to go back to sleep.”
“You think this nightmare is one he's already had?”
“Yes, or similar, at least once before. It's ... frightened it, Janet.”
“What makes you think it's a recurring dream, Colonel?”
“You know I had that trip to D.C. last week?”
“I knew you were gone, yes.”
“Well, it was D.C., routine, but when I got home, Daniel was ... happy to see me.” Janet smiled broadly causing Jack to blush just a tad. “No ... Janet, he, ah, well ... it was just more than it should have been. He was very clingy and ... oh, for crying out loud, Janet, it was just a little unusual.”
“I understand, Colonel, but he didn't talk to you about that nightmare either?”
“Never admitted to one, but thinking back, I believe he had one, and after the one I know for sure he had, he was ... I've never seen Daniel like that. The next day, he was glued to the girls, and I think he had a panic attack when he thought ...” Jack struggled with his words. “There was a moment when I think he thought he was choosing between staying home with the beagles or, well, going with me. He was so pale, Janet. He was actually shaking from what must have been a flashback from it.”
“Then it's pretty clear, Jack. You need to get Daniel to open up. He has to sleep, and if he's gone without proper rest as long as you say, it'll show on his next pre-mission exam.”
“I know. Any suggestions?”
Janet stood up and considered her words carefully. She moved to stand in front of Jack, sitting against the edge of her desk.
“Colonel, from everything I've seen, Daniel's been, to use your words, a happy camper in the last year. I know there have been some rough times, but we all have them, and Daniel's a fighter, a scrapper, so I have to think that whatever would affect him so much has to be something that is hitting him close to home.”
“I'm sorry Doc, but I'm not really following you.”
Janet sighed as she stared at her floor for a few moments before continuing.
“Jack, the human mind is a powerful resource. It's capable of much more than we realize. Daniel's a genius, and he uses that brainpower of his for amazing things; but for all the good, there's the bad, too. A nightmare is terrifying, but run yourself down, and it gets magnified, and with Daniel's mind, who knows what additives he's tossed into the mix.”
Seeing the Air Force colonel about to pull his hair out, Janet tried to explain more succinctly.
“Look, Jack, what I'm trying to say is this. From what I've seen, from the little Daniel has actually confided to me, he's gone from someone who never thought he'd have anything, to someone who has everything. If this nightmare of his has upset him as much as you say, maybe it's about ... his everything, especially if he was so ... clingy, as you say.
“Get him to open up, Jack. If you don't, and he keeps this inside, it could have devastating consequences, and I know you don't want to deal with those.”
~No, I don't.~ “Thanks, Doc.”
“I love you, Jack. You always know what to do to make me feel better.”
“I love you, you geek,” Jack smiled as he devoured Daniel's mouth.
Jack grumbled, “We'd better get going. Little Napoleon will be waiting with her favorite torture toys.”
“It's not that bad.”
“I'll tell her you said that.”
“Don't you dare!”
Jack chuckled as he put on his coat and headed for the truck. Daniel walked behind him and started to pass him, heading for his own car when Jack grabbed him and pulled him in for another kiss. Jack had recently decided that he just didn't care about the neighbors any more. He and Daniel were married, and if someone had a problem with that, tough.
“Mmmm,” Daniel sighed leaning forward for one more kiss. He was glad he'd finally opened up and told Jack about his nightmares. It had taken some time, but in the end, Jack had managed to convince Daniel that they were just nightmares and nothing to worry about. ~Jack always knows best. He never lies to me. Just nightmares; everything's okay.~
“Wish we were driving in together.”
“Me, too, but I have that meeting off the base this afternoon,” Daniel said, referring to a gathering of archaeologists being held at a nearby hotel.
He was hoping to find a potential new recruit or two for the SGC, though ostensibly, the meeting was simply a get-together to discuss some new archaeological techniques.
“I love you, Danny.”
“I love you, too, Jack, always.”
Jack's truck took the lead in the snowy weather. They talked on their cell phones on the way in, mostly chit chat. They gossiped about who Sam's secret boyfriend could be, curious if maybe it was someone they knew, and that's why she was so insistent on keeping the man's identity a secret. For a while, they debated over where to take their next vacation (Jack was pushing for Alaska, but Daniel was hoping for Fiji). At the moment, they were bickering over what to have for dinner, Jack being in the mood for a beef stew, but Daniel having a yen for vegetable casserole.
“We haven't had stew in ages, Danny.”
“The casserole would be healthier, Jack.”
“I want food, Love; food fit for a man, not a rabbit.”
As they prepared to cross the last major intersection before reaching the winding road that lead to the entrance of the Cheyenne Mountain complex, Jack suddenly swore, and Daniel saw him swerve to miss a truck. Two cars had gotten between the two lovers, and Daniel's heart thundered when he saw another large truck run a red light, slamming into the driver's side of Jack's truck. The trucks tumbled over, and the red Subaru behind Jack's truck was unable to stop. It skidded into the colliding pickups.
“Jack!” Daniel yelled through the cell phone.
“Crap. Danny,” the words were cracked.
Daniel's car skidded to a stop. He threw open the door and ran to his lover's truck. Jack was trapped inside, his forehead with a deep gash in it, blood flowing down his face.
“I love you, Danny,” Jack spoke weakly, seeing Daniel by the door.
“Jack, hang on. I'll get you out,” but the metal of the two vehicles was welded together, and Jack's legs were trapped beneath a large slab of hot metal.
“Jack, hold on.”
“Danny, love you.”
“It's a nightmare. Has to be a nightmare. You told me it was only a nightmare, Jack,” Daniel pleaded as he continued to struggle with the metal trapping Jack, his hands burning against the hot frame of the vehicle.
Sirens were blaring, and onlookers were trying to assist.
“Love ... you ... so ... much,” Jack said, closing his eyes, his head nodding down, a loud audible gasp escaping from him.
“No, it's a nightmare. You promised, Jack. NOOOO, Jack,” Daniel sniffled. “YOU TOLD ME IT WAS A NIGHTMARE. JACK! YOU PROMISED! You said it would be okay. JACK! NIGHTMARE ... JACK! JAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!”
“Daniel, come here. It's all right,” Jack said, pulling his sweating lover into him. Daniel was sobbing, still lost in his nightmare of tragedy. “Danny, I'm right here. Wake up, Angel. Come on, Love, open those eyes, and let me see those gorgeous baby blues,” Jack pleaded as he moved Daniel to face him, gently caressing his cheeks. “Danny, wake up. Look at me.”
“Right here,” Jack said, placing a short kiss on Daniel's lips, trying to reassure him.
“Gawd, Jack. It was horrible,” Daniel said softly, tears escaping and running unchecked down his cheeks.
“Angel, everything's okay. You're safe.”
“I'm always safe, Jack,” Daniel sniffled into Jack's shoulder.
Jack remembered Janet's words about Daniel going from having nothing to having everything, that maybe Daniel's nightmares were about losing Daniel's everything, which would mean Jack and their life together.
Jack let his thoughts settle in his mind as he calmed his husband, holding him securely. It took quite a while, but Daniel's breathing finally evened out, and Jack realized that just as he had done a few days ago, his Love had fallen asleep clinging to him. Jack leaned back against the headboard of their bed, making sure to keep Daniel secure in his arms. He would not let go until Daniel awoke the next morning.
Daniel walked down the stairs, ready to go to the SGC. He and Jack were driving in together. They'd had cereal for breakfast, or at least Jack did. Daniel simply munched on a few bites of toast and said he wasn't hungry. As he had done the last few days, the younger man had avoided Jack's questions about his nightmares, frustrating Jack tremendously.
Their ride was quiet, until Daniel spoke in surprise, realizing something wasn't right. Jack had passed the turnoff for the Mountain.
“We're taking the day off, Danny. I cleared it with Hammond while you were in the shower.”
“Why, and where are we going?”
“The 'why' you already know, the 'where' you'll see soon,” Jack smiled, reaching out and taking hold of Daniel's left hand, but Daniel only let Jack keep a hold for a few seconds, and with a panicked voice, said, “Jack, you need to use both hands to steer. It's ... safer,” and then Daniel stared blankly out the Ford truck's window until they reached their location.
They hadn't seen a car in miles, and as it usually was, the place Jack called “their private paradise” was abandoned except for the two lovers. Jack exited the truck, and Daniel followed quietly. There was a bit of a nip in the air, but it was a peaceful day otherwise.
Jack held out his hand, and after a moment, Daniel took a hold of it, and together they walked contently through the green forested area that was beyond Cheyenne Mountain. They had been to this secluded part of the Pike National Forest once before, last Fall, prior to their wedding.
On that day, the lovers had romped through the open meadows, laughing and cajoling as they walked, but today, they were quiet.
Jack was giving Daniel time to process what he needed to do. Daniel knew that Jack was going to make him talk about the nightmares. He had known it from the moment Jack didn't take the exit to the Mountain, but he hadn't wanted to think about it. Now, thinking about the nightmares was all he could do.
“We had a good time here before,” Daniel finally said, needing to say something.
“It was a good day.”
Jack stopped their forward movements, and turned to face his soulmate. He ran his right hand gently across Daniel's face, and smiled as he spoke.
“Have I told you lately just how much I love you?”
Daniel laughed, a small, sweet refrain.
“Jack, we tell each other that so often that I think we must have sugar flowing through our veins.”
“Oh, tired of hearing it, huh?”
Daniel shook his head, saying, “Never.” Then he kissed his Silver Fox. “Jack, you don't think she could be lurking again?” Daniel asked, a momentary hesitation flowing through him as he remembered how the two had been surprised by Jack's ex-wife, Sara, the last time they had been in the area.
The older man chuckled, his arms embracing Daniel as he spoke.
“Nah, the baby's almost due. She wouldn't come here now.”
“Positive. We're free of ex-wives today.”
Daniel smiled and let himself fall into Jack, suddenly needing to feel the warmth of his body against his.
“Where's that vista, Jack? The one where ... you know?”
“Over this way,” Jack said, his arm going around Daniel's waist as they walked in silence to the vista where they had run into Sara during their first visit.
Daniel pulled free of his lover and walked from the trees to the meadow, and then to the edge of the vista where he stared for a few moments. Jack stayed a few feet behind, still willing to let Daniel be the instigator of this conversation, if at all possible.
“She said you came here when things got to be too much ... back there in the world.”
“Yeah. It's a great place to escape for a while, and a great place to ... renew, refresh, re-energize ourselves.”
“I love you, Jack.”
“I know that, Danny. I know whatever is wrong isn't about us; I mean ... not in a negative sense anyway.”
Daniel turned and walked to Jack and kissed him; then he continued walking through the meadow. It wasn't a big area, but rather small and quaint, separating patches of trees, but it was a great place to romp and play, with a beautiful view of the city just yards away.
Jack walked off to the side watching Daniel: his head was bowed and arms folded as he strolled calmly through the area. Finally, Daniel sat Indian-style on the grassy area, nearer to the trees than in the middle of the meadow, facing the vista. After a couple of minutes, Jack approached, and sat down behind his lover, stretching his legs out in front of him so that Daniel was sitting between his legs.
Jack's arms went around his husband's waist, and his lips brushed tenderly along Daniel's nape. Daniel leaned into the hold, glad Jack had joined him.
“I'm happy, Jack. For the first time in my life, I'm so freakin' happy that I think I'm going crazy.”
“No, you're not, Love. Tell me about your nightmares.”
Processing time was over, Daniel realized, so leaning as deep into Jack as he could, Daniel took a breath, and then did what he had to do, telling Jack about the nightmares.
“The first one was ... it was when you were gone.”
“In D.C. last week. I knew something had made you ... ”
Jack smiled, then agreed, “Yeah, clingy, not that I minded, you realize.”
Jack's hold on his lover tightened, wanting Daniel to feel as secure as possible. Jack could see a 'Rough Road Ahead' sign in front of the couple as Daniel prepared to explain his nightmares.
“We were on a mission, and you and I were checking out a temple, and I forgot something. You went back to get it for me, and then there was an earthquake. The temple was destroyed, and you died. Just like my parents, Jack, big stones falling on you. They crushed you to death. It took hours for me to dig you out, but it was to late. I was holding you, and you were … dead. Gawd, you waited for me to find you, and ... and then you ... you were so cold in my arms.”
Daniel had sounded dispassionate, but Jack also felt his muscles constricting. He knew his Love was a contradiction of emotions and physical sensations at the moment.
“I'm not dead, Angel. I'm right here.”
“Then, you came home, and I thought it was just a nightmare, like all the other nightmares in my life, but then ... gawd, Jack ...”
“Hey, Danny, we're okay. We're here together, in our private paradise, both alive and well, and we're in love. Don't get lost in the nightmares. We're the reality, not them.”
Daniel felt a renewed strength as Jack's grip remained firm around him.
“In the next one, we took the girls to the vet. When we got home, you took them into the house, and I went to the back of the truck to the get the groceries that we'd bought. When I turned, the house exploded into some hi-tech sci-fi ball of orange fire, and I couldn't get to you. You and the girls, Jack ... and the house.”
“Danny, that was the nightmare. Feel my arms around you now. I’m holding you; this is the reality,” Jack said as his hold on his husband tightened.
Daniel took a deep breath and closed his eyes, unsuccessfully fighting back the tears.
“Everything I love ... died in that nightmare. All gone, Jack ... you, Bij, and Katie, the den, and the whole freakin' house ... gawd, the fish ... all gone in ... in a flash.”
Jack squeezed Daniel, wanting him to feel their connection.
“And the last nightmare?”
Jack was working hard to stay focused on making sure Daniel got it all out in the open. He had to stand back a bit, mentally and emotionally, giving Daniel space to vent, while at the same time reassuring him that they were together and safe.
“We had talked about everything, just like now, and you promised me they were only nightmares. You promised me, Jack ... in my nightmare, and I believed you, because I always believe you,” Daniel said, his shiny hair rubbing against Jack's chin as he moved slightly.
“We were going to work, and someone ran a red light. I was in the Silver Fox, and you were ahead of me in the truck. They smashed into you, and you died ... again.”
Jack kissed Daniel's temple. He tried to find the right words, but there weren't any.
“Danny, do you know why you're dreaming about this?”
“I ... I don't think I'm meant to be happy,” he responded very softly.
“That's bunk, Daniel.”
Suddenly full of anger, Daniel scooted away from Jack, twisting his body to turn towards Jack, his knees touching the ground.
“Bunk? Gawd, Jack, it's one nightmare after another. There's always something happening to us, messing with our lives. It's not meant to be, that's the truth of it. You just don't want to see that,” Daniel shouted, almost hysterically, choosing that moment to stand up.
Jack stood also and noticed Daniel had taken a few steps backwards away from him.
“It is bunk, Danny. You are entitled to be happy. Everyone is, especially you.”
“No, don't you understand, Jack? It's a warning. I was too happy, too used to waking up with you, and going home at night to the girls ... too used to ... to feeling warm and loved inside. I should have known that it couldn't last.”
“Too happy? How can anyone be too happy? You're wrong, Love.”
“No, I'm not. It's why ... it's why everything keeps happening ... even the nightmares, over and over. They're a warning that it's going to end, that the happiness will go away, that you will ...” Daniel looked away and said almost inaudibly, “Maybe you should ... you should ... should ...”
Daniel's heart overruled his brain, and he couldn't finish his sentence; he couldn't tell Jack that he should walk away and leave Daniel to his misery, but it's how he felt deep inside.
“Should what?” Jack asked, seeing Daniel studying the grass. He didn't need Daniel to verbalize it to know what he had been thinking, and he certainly wasn't going to let his lover get away with that kind of running, not now. “Don't even say it, Danny, because I so don't want to hear that kind of garbage. I'm not going anywhere, and neither are you.”
Jack started to approach Daniel, but Daniel backed off, his head shaking, his eyes suddenly very dark and blank. Jack stopped and stared at his lover, a chill overtaking him as he remembered seeing that look when Daniel had gone through the withdrawal from the alien drug earlier in the year.
“Danny? What are you thinking?”
“I'm thinking that you should get as far away from me as fast as you can. I'm poison. You'll just end up getting hurt. You'll be better off without me, Jack.”
“That's not gonna happen. For time and all eternity, remember? That's what we said when we got married, in front of our friends and family, and without you, Angel, I would die. Is that what you want? Look at me, Danny! Do you want me to die?”
“Noooo, gawd, no. Please Jack! I have to do this. It's for your own good. I love you so freakin' much, but I can't do this to you anymore.”
Jack watched his spouse grow more and more fidgety as they talked. It wasn't just nervousness or anger, and what he saw made Jack sick inside. It was like when Daniel was going through the withdrawal. He was shaking, holding his head frequently, and his eyes kept losing their focus.
Jack had to get Daniel on an even footing; he had to bring him back to reality as quickly as possible, and the only way he knew to do that, was to get Daniel to face the demon, and then do what they'd always done together ... survive, mourn when necessary, and move on.
“Danny, why don't you want to be with me? You know I love you, that I want you, so if you run, you know it's not me, it's you. Tell me the truth, Daniel. Why don't you want me? C'mon, Daniel, why?”
Jack's voice had risen, and he said the words as harshly as he could. He had to push Daniel, to get him to say what was lurking beneath the surface. Inside though, Jack's heart ached, and he felt cold from the pain his spouse was feeling.
“Bad ... e...evil ... you ... you hurt me ... you're ... evil, want to hurt me,” but Daniel was shaking his head, even as he spoke the words, bringing his hands to ears as if to block out his own words. “No ... no, Jack, that's wrong. Help me, Jack!”
Jack hurried to take his lover in his arms.
“Crap! It's those friggin' alien drugs again, Danny. They're still playing with your mind, exaggerating your fears. That's what this is; it has to be.”
“Jack, everything I've loved, I've lost. Are you sure? I mean, I have everything now, everything except ... and we're going to ... right?”
“Oh, yeah, yours, mine and ours. Two human kids minimum, just as soon as I retire.” Jack kissed Daniel's temple, his hand fingering through his hair, massaging gently. “Danny, listen to me, and don't be angry, please, because you know I will always protect you, but I've had a couple of conversations with Janet about the nightmares.”
“Jack, I don't want MacKenzie ...”
“MacKenzie's a joke to the profession. Danny, you're saner than anyone I've ever met. C'mon, let's sit down.”
They picked another spot at the rear of the meadow, by a large tree, and sat facing each other, holding hands.
“Danny, your childhood wasn't the greatest, and your teenage years left a whole lot to be desired. You hid out in your twenties, but now, My Love, it's your turn. There is no cosmic rule that says you can't be happy, not even some internal alarm going off that says 'warning Daniel Jackson is happy - send in a disaster.”
Daniel let out a chuckle, and whined, “I don't do that.”
“No, not consciously, but the drugs those monsters put into you messed with your mind, and Janet thinks it's possible that one of the side effects is to intensify your emotions when stimulated.”
“Stimulated by what?”
“Some other emotion. Danny, you know how much we hate to be apart. That first nightmare may have triggered everything. You felt ... you missed me, just as I was missing you, and once the drug registered the effect of the first nightmare, it set about to increase the emotion, and ... I don't know ... it just wreaked havoc with your mind.”
“Janet's just guessing.”
“I'd take Janet's guessing over most folk's facts. Wouldn't you?”
“She hasn't examined me or anything.”
“Actually, she ran some more tests on some of the samples she had kept from before, introducing ... oh for ... Danny, I'm not a doctor. I'm doing my best to follow what she said, but it's ... what I told you.”
“But ... there's always something ... something that interferes ...”
“No, Danny there isn't. Look at Lou and Carolyn. They've even separated a couple of times when Lou gets too full of himself, or when Carolyn went through that 'finding herself' phase. Danny, it's what Lisa said during our wedding. There are ups and downs in any marriage, and there always will be. What happens to us, happens to everyone.”
“Alien mind control drugs?” Daniel asked with a smirk.
That small upward quirk of Daniel's lips lifted Jack's soul. Their hands were still joined as he brought Daniel's hands to his mouth and kissed them tenderly, rubbing them against his cheek, before lowering them back to where they had been a moment ago.
“Danny, we are happy, and we are entitled to be happy, even when the gunk happens. You are the most deserving person in the universe because you give so much of yourself, so willingly, even to strangers. I can't promise you, Danny, that we're not going to have more of those bad, nasty times.
“There are people who think of both of us as enemies. There are shadows and ghosts from my past that could pop up at any time, and neither of those include the System Lords or other alien deviants who would love to cook our gooses.
“But I love you, and I know you love me, so we take what we can get. We make our life together as complete as it can be. We enjoy the good times, and we make darn sure we survive the bad. We stay happy because you know what? We both deserve it.”
“I thought I was supposed to be the genius, Jack?”
“I have my moments.”
“Actually, you're just a big tease.”
“Oh, am I? And to exactly what are you referring to, Doctor Jackson-O'Neill?”
Daniel grinned widely at the use of the hyphenated name. He couldn't wait for Jack to retire, so that they could adopt children and legally change their family name as they had planned.
Leaning forward and kissing Jack teasingly, he responded, “The last time we were here, you started something that you never finished.”
“Oh, yeah. We were ... interrupted.”
“I think it's about time you followed through, don't you?”
“Definitely,” Jack said as he released Daniel's hands, moving his hands to cup his lover's face, pulling Daniel to him, his tongue entering his lover's mouth, and dancing against Daniel's, each tasting as much of the other as possible.
Daniel pushed into the kiss, wanting more. Jack fell back to the ground as Daniel laid half on him, and half on the grass, their kisses igniting their hunger. Daniel wanted to get rid of his demons, to throw away the haunts and taunts of his nightmares, and he couldn't think of a better way than by making passionate love with Jack.
“Jack, I love you so much,” Daniel gasped between their kisses.
“Love you, Danny,” Jack managed to get out as he lunged his tongue back into Daniel's mouth.
“I need you; you'll never know how much.”
“I'm right here, Love. Not going anywhere except with you.”
They had paused to share a look, an exchange of their souls, an awareness and understanding that as with all things, they'd get through whatever side effects the alien drug presented, and any other battles, because together, Jack and Daniel are unbeatable.
“Jack,” Daniel said in desperation as he attempted to suck out Jack's tonsil's with another kiss.
The younger man pulled up Jack's brown sweater and pushed against Jack's arms to get the sweater off. Jack wasn't co-operating much. It wasn't that he didn't want to help, it was just that he was busy unbuttoning Daniel's burgundy shirt. Finally, though, when they were forced to separate for air, Daniel was able to rid his lover of clothing item.
Daniel moved slightly to lay a row of kisses along Jack's neck, eliciting a small moan from Jack at the feeling. Jack's fingers pressed softly against Daniel's chest, the shirt finally unbuttoned. As Daniel's kisses moved to Jack's chest, Jack tried to push off the shirt and Daniel finally helped, his arms flailing absently in the air, trying to move the shirt off himself, his concentration still on the parade of kisses he was placing on Jack's chest.
Daniel began to lick his lover's chest, playing with the silver-gray chest hairs for a few moments before trying to move down some more, but he was prevented momentarily as Jack managed to unsnap Daniel's brown pants. Jack's urge to work his lover consumed him.
“Danny,” he said, his hands pushing against Daniel, changing their positions.
Jack moved Daniel so that the younger man was on the ground and as he turned them, one hand slid inside Daniel's pants, desperate to feel the skin there.
“Too many clothes,” both complained at the same time, each suddenly tugging on the other's pants, laughing a needy, longing breeze of air as they somehow managed to kick off their shoes and socks, and then pull off their pants and boxers, until both were completely naked.
It hadn't been their smoothest disrobing, or their most tender, but rather a needy call to get to each other quickly. What was happening inside their bodies, the burning fires within them, was going to happen quickly. They'd make tender love later; right now, they wanted motion and force, to stake their claim once again, to tell the universe to go to Hades and leave them alone in their happiness.
“Danny? Crap,” Jack hesitated in frustration.
“I don't freakin' care, Jack. I need you. Now, Jack, now.”
Daniel pulled Jack down onto him, his hands lowering from Jack's head to his buttocks, shoving their erections against other. He groaned and pushed again against Jack's length. He was frantic to feel Jack, and he didn't want to wait for Jack to get the lube. Jack always had some in the truck, but he honestly hadn't envisioned their therapy session turning into wild sex in the outdoors.
“Stupid. I didn't think we'd be ...”
“Jack, I want you in me, Jack. I need to feel us alive, like you said. Gawd, Jack, please.”
Jack rubbed against Daniel vibrantly. It wouldn't be the first time they'd done it this way, and he knew it wouldn't be the last. They just hated the pain it caused, both acutely aware of the pain from entering the other, as well as the euphoria. Euphoria always won out.
Jack moved down. They weren't interested in a lot of foreplay; they wanted the sex, and they wanted it now.
Jack put some saliva on his fingers, moistening them as much as he could, and then he reached down and slipped one finger inside Daniel. The young man moaned softly as Jack's finger prodded its way inside him. When Jack pulled the finger out, Daniel glared at him.
“Get on with it, Jack. I want you,” Daniel said, again trying to make contact with Jack.
“For crying out loud, Jack. DO IT.”
Jack gently entered his lover. He wanted to be patient, give Daniel time to get used to the feeling, but Daniel didn't want to be patient. His torso partially raised upwards, with his hands sliding down Jack's back as low as they could get, reaching Jack's buttocks, Daniel bucked his body downward at the same time that he applied upward pressure to Jack, forcing Jack deep inside of the younger man.
Daniel cried out at the jolt of the impact inside him. Jack started to withdraw, but Daniel wouldn't let him. His hands kept Jack close to him, his head, that had fallen back when he shouted from the pain of the force of Jack's hardened length against his prostate, looked up with anxious eyes into Jack's.
This was something new. Daniel didn't lay back down. He held his position, his fingers pressing into Jack's lower back and buttocks as Jack moved inside him. Jack set a quick pace, knowing that's what Daniel wanted. Normally, Jack teased a little, lingered, but Daniel had made it clear what he needed on this day, so Jack followed his lover's lead.
Their lips brushed together from time to time and occasionally they liplocked for several seconds as they fed on each other.
Jack hammered into Daniel who yelled out his name in response.
“Jack ... Yes ... We're ... happy,” the young man panted from the loving assault.
“The most ... friggin' ... happy couple ... in the ... uni ...verse,” Jack managed to reply.
“Happy! Love you, Jack,” Daniel whispered, his emotions deep inside, veiled by their lovemaking.
“Mine, Danny ... you're mine ... forever,” Jack said in a firm raised voice amid his heavy breathing.
Beads of sweat ran down Jack's face as he plowed into Daniel, so hard that Daniel felt that odd sense of a painful bliss.
Tiring of his awkward position, Daniel leaned back more, but his back arched, encouraging Jack to keep up the pounding inside him. Daniel's left hand pumped his own erection in time with Jack's thrusts.
“Love you, Danny,” Jack panted, his body acting on impulse, his mind lost in the union he was sharing with Daniel.
Daniel was on the edge. He screamed louder than ever before when Jack powered into him with a final hard shove and came inside him. With a couple more strokes of his hand, Daniel came, too.
Jack's body fell onto Daniel's, his chest rising and falling heavily. Daniel's hands automatically came up to Jack's sweat-soaked hair and massaged it.
“Mine; My Danny,” Jack gasped, “... and we're ... happy as clams.”
“Hap...py,” Daniel was barely able to repeat as Jack withdrew completely from his love, and rolled over onto the grass.
His left hand reached out and took Daniel's, holding and squeezing it. Jack and Daniel looked at each, both still flat on their backs, breathing hard.
Jack smiled and saw a tear fall from Daniel's eye. He rolled onto his side, and dried the tear with his thumb and placed a gentle kiss on Daniel's lips. His right hand caressed the young man's cheek, and slid down to rub gently against the smooth skin of Daniel's torso.
“No more nightmares, Danny. No more. No matter what happens, we go on together, always.”
Jack kissed Daniel tenderly again and laid his head on Daniel's shoulder, his right arm holding securely onto his lover. Daniel's left hand caressed Jack's back, and his right hand latched on to Jack's.
“Mine, Jack. You ... and the girls ... are mine, all mine and no one else's. And ... it's okay.”
“You got that right,” Jack said, his breathing evening out.
“Jack, are you sure it's the drug? I mean ... just ... making everything seem more ... more than it really is?”
After a moment, Jack raised his head and looked into Daniel's eyes. Their hands were still clasped between their chests.
“Danny, do you trust me? I mean, totally, for real, no doubts?”
Without hesitating, Daniel said, “Yes.”
“Then trust in me. Those nightmares ... were only nightmares; bad dreams that took your deepest fears and made them bigger, because of the drug. Janet wants to run a few tests, to compare your system now with before. I ... don't know the details, but I think we should let her, but ... Danny, just trust in me, and let the bad dreams disappear into the darkness where they belong.”
“Oh yeah, you're happy, and I'm happy, and the girls are happy, and we have a helluva happy life together. We can't help whatever gets tossed our way, but we can make sure that what we do and how we live is exactly the way we want it to be.”
Jack saw an unspoken request in Daniel's eyes and smiled. He turned onto his back and tugged Daniel onto him, into their usual position of lying together. Daniel let out a contented sigh as he rested his head on Jack's shoulder, and Jack's arms held him possessively, as if guarding his lover from all the ills of the world.
“Everything's okay now, Danny,” Jack said a minute or so later, but Daniel said nothing.
Jack kissed his lover's hair and ran his fingers through it, and then slid his hand back down to caress Daniel's back. There were still a few scars there and rough spots there from the torture Daniel had suffered, but they were disappearing slowly.
“Love you so friggin' much, Danny.”
Jack angled his head back to look at Daniel's face, a little concerned at his lover's ongoing silence, but then he smiled. After days of nightmares and restlessness, Daniel had fallen asleep, a little smile on his face.
“Geez, what you do to me, and whatever that is, don't ever stop, Danny. Couldn't live without you, and I don't want to either. We're the dream team, Love, you and I, and somehow, we'll find a way to get through anything. Happy doesn't even cover what we feel. Trust me, Danny. Trust me. Only happy dreams from now on.”
Daniel's head snuggled into Jack even more, but he was sound asleep. Jack smiled and closed his eyes.
“Welcome back, Sleepy Head.”
Daniel blinked a few times as he toyed with a few of Jack's chest hairs. He loved doing that. To Daniel, those hairs were one of Jack's sexiest features.
“Hey, you trying to start something?” Jack chuckled as Daniel nibbled on his chest for a moment before looking up and moving in to kiss him. “I thought you might sleep straight through the day and into the night. We'd end up all moldy, green, and mildewy,” Jack teased.
Daniel chuckled, “... And morning dew on us when we woke up.”
The two engaged in some more kissing.
“Better?” Jack asked hopefully.
Daniel nodded, as he spoke quietly, “I guess we should let Janet do those tests.”
“Yeah. Yeah, we should,” Jack said, taking a deep breath.
“Let's go home. I'm tired. I haven't slept very much,” Daniel admitted.
“You will tonight, and all happy dreams.”
The two stood and found their scattered clothes, putting back on their underwear and pants, shoes and socks. Jack slipped his sweater back on and noticed Daniel looking a tad lost.
“Jack, where's my shirt? I don't see it.”
Jack looked around, not spotting it either.
“Maybe it got up and walked away.”
“Maybe it's trying to tell us something,” Jack said sidling up to his spouse and kissing him.
“I love you, Jack, but you are so not getting any until you find my shirt. I love that shirt. It's soft and feels good ... and ... you gave it to me, and I want it back,” Daniel said with a shy smile on his face.
Daniel really wasn't much of a clothes person. Jack was more finicky than he was, but when Jack bought something for him, it made the item special to Daniel, so he wanted that shirt back desperately.
“Okay, let's look around a little. Maybe I tossed it farther than I thought.”
Jack took Daniel's hand and they carefully walked all around the area where they had made love and talked.
“I don't understand, Jack. It couldn't just get up and walk away. It's a shirt, for crying out loud.”
“Danny, look,” Jack said with a laugh, both at what he saw and at Daniel’s use of one of his trademark sayings.
Daniel looked off to the right where Jack pointed, and there was a rather large ginger cat, running amok with Daniel's shirt.
“Jack, how did a cat get out here?”
“No idea, Daniel.”
Daniel sighed, “I loved that shirt, Jack.”
“I'll get you another one, a blue one,” Jack said as he kissed Daniel's cheek, his arm around his lover's waist.
Daniel just smiled at Jack’s obsession for always wanting to see him dressed in blue. Sometimes it annoyed him, but at other times, it just warmed his soul to know Jack loved him so much.
“Maybe we should try and get the cat,” Daniel said, walking forward.
Seeing the movement, the cat ran off, dragging Daniel's shirt along the ground as it continued to hold on to the item in its mouth.
Jack laughed and walked over to Daniel, taking off his sweater as he did. When he reached his lover, he put the sweater over his husband's head.
Daniel started to resist.
“Shh, Love, let me do this,” Jack insisted as he put the sweater on Daniel and then tugged him in closer for a kiss.
“Jack, we have blankets in the truck.”
“Yes, and it's at least a twenty-minute walk back to it.”
“I could tough it out as easily as you. It's not that cold.”
“I know you could, probably better, but, Danny, for me, please don't argue.”
“Why, Jack? I'm not a child.”
“Most definitely not, but you're my Angel, and I like protecting you.”
“There are no Goa'uld out here.” Daniel sighed, seeing Jack's look of defeat. ~He loves me so much.~ Daniel smiled. He couldn't deny that truth, but neither could he deny the fact that Jack's overprotectiveness made him feel completely and utterly loved. “Okay, Babe, protect me. I give up. I couldn't possibly survive five minutes, let alone twenty, out here in the wilds of nature, shivering and ... and quaking in my boots. I'd be ravished by ... cats and things if I didn't have my big, strong colonel to keep me safe,” Daniel said as he leaned in for a kiss.
“Are you ... <kiss> ... mocking me?”
Daniel ignored Jack's question.
“Mmm. Yep, definitely couldn't make it a ... <kiss> ... moment without being ... <kiss> ... protected from the elements ... <kiss> ... of nature,” Daniel said, then moaned into Jack's mouth.
“You're such a smarty pants!”
“Let's go home, Jack.”
Janet looked at her friends and was pleased to see Daniel looking better than she had expected.
“Okay, I still don't know much, but I did find some remnants of the drug in your system, Daniel, which seems very unusual. After your withdrawal, your system appeared clean. It's almost like it somehow regenerated itself.”
“You mean ... it could happen again?”
“I don't know. I wish I could say something more definitive, but this is an alien drug that we know nothing about. The chemicals I could identify as being part of the drug would all enhance your emotions. Look, just be careful, be mindful of any unusual changes. Maybe it's gone completely now.”
“I hope so.”
“How have you been sleeping the last couple of nights?”
“Like a baby, Doc. He's even purring like a kitten.”
The older man grinned. Janet had been running a series of tests over the last forty-eight hours since Jack had taken Daniel to their private paradise. Since their return, Daniel had slept soundly and securely, and seemed relaxed again when he was awake.
“Just give me a call if anything seems unusual, and from time to time, we'll rerun the tests for abnormalities.”
“Thanks, Doc,” Jack said with a smile.
Janet walked towards her office as Daniel slid off the infirmary bed, glaring at his husband as he did so.
“Sounded like a purr to me, Love.”
“And what was that noise you were making?”
“Let's not discuss that.”
Jack pulled Daniel off to a secluded corner and kissed him, unable to resist.
“Jaaack, not here.”
Daniel's protest didn't go far, since he had a big grin on his face.
“What'd you dream about last night, Danny?”
Another smile crossed Daniel's face.
“I dreamed of you and me in our private paradise, making love forever, with the girls playing on the grass, chasing the cat. Mostly, I just remember ... being happy.”
“Music to my ears,” Jack said softly as he kissed an unresisting Daniel one more time.
“We have a briefing, Jack.”
“We could play hooky.”
“We did that not too long ago. Come on, Fly Boy. Work first, play later.”
Jack groaned, but followed his lover out of the infirmary and into the halls of the SGC where together, they'd again face whatever the universe's crisis of the day was ... together!
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