What Would I Do

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  2 - April 2-8, 1999
Spoilers:  A Matter of Time (minor)
Size:  22kb, ficlet
Written:  February 27-28, March 2,7,10-11, 2008 Tweaked: December 27, 2009
Summary:  As Jack recuperates, Daniel contemplates his Love.
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:  
1) Dchan was inspired by the universe to create a wallpaper of Jack and Daniel and to write a poem to accompany it.  That wallpaper then inspired this small ficlet.
2) Sometimes, Jack and Daniel speak almost telepathically.  Their “silent” words to each other are indicated by asterisks instead of quotes, such as **Jack, we can't.**
3) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
4) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Ali, Claudia, Tammy, Lissa, Keri, Mama Bear, Melissa, Carol!

What Would I Do
by Orrymain

Daniel sat quietly on the hard, uncomfortable chair that he had moved to within a foot of the hospital bed on which his lover was currently sleeping.

Jack had sustained severe injuries the day before when helping to send a bomb through the Stargate to sever the Stargate's connection to a black hole that was threatening Earth's existence.  The archaeologist had been off-world with SG-6 at the time of the crisis, but had immediately found his spot by his lover's bedside upon his return.

Hearing a groan of pain, Daniel leaned forward anxiously, gently placing his hand over his lover's.  He wanted to hold it, but knew he couldn't, not right now at least, since various personnel were milling about; but he could lend his warmth in this way, his hand lightly cupping the older man's.  He watched carefully, looking for a reaction, breathing a sigh of relief when Jack quieted and returned to his slumber.

Daniel slipped his hand down to his side and settled back into his chair.  He continued to stare at his Love, making sure the injured man was as peaceful as possible.

“Daniel, why don't you go home?” Janet whispered, leaning down slightly and placing a hand on the man's shoulder, her knuckles briefly brushing against his shaggy hair.  “The colonel will be fine.”  As if to add weight to her comment, she added, “I'm going home now.”

“No, uh, I'm fine,” Daniel responded a bit nervously.

Janet knew it was useless to try and change the archaeologist's mind.  In fact, she'd known it even before approaching him.  Still, her Hippocratic Oath forced her to at least make the attempt.  After all, it was her duty to see to the wellbeing of everyone on the base, not just chose physically injured.

Jack and Daniel were both stubborn men, especially when it came to the care and recovery of the other.  Though it was normally Jack she'd have to monitor as he sat by an injured Daniel's side, the younger man was equally determined to be there and would not be budged.  Once again, the physician's Oath would have to take a backseat to the friends' desires.

“Doctor Warner has the night shift.  If you need me, call,” Janet said quietly, sounding reassuring and completely calm.

“Thanks, Janet, but I'm fine.”

Janet smiled and left the infirmary, knowing it was pointless to try and argue with the man.  Things would be better tomorrow, once Jack was awake and alert. She knew the colonel would remain a patient at the SGC for a few more days, during which time he would no doubt drive all the nursing and medical staff up the proverbial wall.  Then he would be released to conclude his recovery at home. While severe, none of his injuries were life threatening.  Otherwise, she wouldn't be leaving.

The archaeologist glanced over at Janet as she disappeared from his sight.  He looked around the infirmary, which was beginning to quiet as the hustle and bustle of the day diminished.  Then he gazed at his Love, who had gone through such a traumatic ordeal and was admittedly exhausted.

**I love you, Jack.  I know you can't hear me right now, and I know I don't ... usually say it first, but I love you so much.**  Daniel sighed, letting out a deep breath as he fidgeted in his chair slightly, ignoring his own weariness that was his constant companion right now.  ~What would I do without you?~

Blinking, the young man opened the book he'd been clutching tightly.  Picking up his pen, he began to write, the words flowing from his heart and soul.

“Without you by my side
I would have nowhere to hide.”

~That's the thing.  I still need a safety net, someone to help me not feel so alone, and I have felt alone, ever since my parents died.  You're working so hard to change that.  I know that, Jack, I do.  Even before I knew we were soulmates, before I realized that you owned my heart, and I, yours, you made it your mission to draw me out.  I'm not sure I can ever be as outgoing as you want, but I'll try.  I'll try anything to make you happy.~

Daniel looked over at the sleeping man.  His lover's hair was turning gray, but it was actually more of a silver gray color.  He loved it.  In fact, in his opinion, Jack looked more sophisticated and sexier now than he ever had.

~You were handsome before, but now, you're just ... gawd, beautiful.~  Sighing, the young man recalled with some embarrassment that 'beautiful' was often a word Jack used to describe him.  ~Men shouldn't be beautiful -- that's what I tell you all the time, but it's a lie, because you're beautiful to me, Babe.~

Once again, the pen flowed along the page, the words seamless and pure as they spilled from Daniel's mind.

“Without you by my side
I would be dead inside.”

~Death is what brought us together.  Geez, just think about it.  The death of my parents set me on a path that eventually led to me having no choice but to accept Catherine's job offer.  Charlie's death is what made you agree to a suicide mission.  My assumed death on Oannes is what caused you to realize you were in love with me, and my near death and potentially yours on the Goa'uld mother ship is what finally woke me up.~

Brushing back his hair that had gotten in front of his eyes, the young man looked over at the equipment that his lover was hooked up to, just as a precaution.  He heard the security of the steady beep on the monitor and wished he could lay his head on his soulmate's chest and listen to Jack's actual heartbeat.  He desperately wanted to hear the thumps of life that meant 'safe' to him.

~I died when my parents died, and then you brought me back to life on Apophis' ship. You touched my cheek, and everything changed. It was like a nightmare ended and a beautiful dream began. The things I feel, I can't even describe, but they're all because of you. Without you, I wouldn't feel anything. I'd be numb, just like I was from the moment that cover stone killed my parents until the moment you told me that you loved me. With you a part of my soul, I'm alive inside now.~

“Danny.”

The soft, whispered word had been spoken by the still sleeping colonel.

Daniel looked around and realized that, except for one patient on the far side of the room, the infirmary was now empty, though medical personnel could be heard in the corridor.  Further, the curtain near his lover's bed had been pulled halfway, blocking the front half of the bed from the view of others.  He stood and sat down on the edge of the bed.  It was a bit daring, but he needed to let the older man know that he was there.  Risking the touch, he leaned forward and caressed his partner's cheek.

“Shhh.  Sleep, Jack.  I'm here.”

Hearing his Heart's words, the colonel stilled, never having truly woken up.

Daniel looked around again, relieved that none of Janet's staff was in view.  He returned to his chair and his writing.  Again, there was no hesitation with his words, which fell effortlessly through his fingers as the pen etched its ink against the paper.

“When shadows appear
When doubt dances in my mind
You're always here
Like my lighthouse of one kind.”

“Daniel, are you still here?” Doctor Warner asked as he walked over to Jack's bed.

“Uh, yes,” the archaeologist responded.  ~D'oh,~ he thought sarcastically, realizing he was more tired than he thought because of the snarkiness of his silent thought.  ~Oh, geez.  I'm channeling Jack and 'The Simpsons'.~

The physician checked Jack's vitals and made a few notations on his chart, while at the same time making a mental evaluation of the archaeologist maintaining the bedside vigil.

“There's no reason to be concerned,” Warner stated.  “Colonel O'Neill is making terrific progress.”

“I know, but it's ... late; I mean, I might just ... I'm fine,” Daniel stammered, wishing the man wouldn't probe any further into his reason for staying at Jack's side.  With Janet, he knew he didn't have to be concerned about what she was thinking.  She knew the two men were close, though she was not aware of their romantic relationship.  “I'm just doing some writing.”

Deciding not to push the issue, Warner nodded and walked away.

Daniel couldn't really be critical of the interference; after all, Warner could have just relied on the nurses' regular checks for updates on the patients in the infirmary, but the doctors on staff at the SGC were special.  Janet insisted on the personal touch, and anyone who didn't agree just didn't last long on her staff.

Rereading the last verse of his writing, Daniel sighed, remembering how many times his lover had shone his light, acting like a beacon and never letting him stray too far from home.  Jack's love wrapped around him like protective arms, refusing to let his fears win out.

~I wanted to run that very first night we got back from Abydos.  We reached a sort of peace on Abydos, but who would have called it friendship?  I stood in the hallway of the SGC, wondering what to do or where to go.  Actually, I had nowhere to go, but then there you were, and you took me home; uh, I mean, to your house.  All the conflicts we've had, the arguments, the differences of opinions -- I'm not used to that being okay, and that's what you've been trying to teach me, that it's okay to disagree.  I'm trying to believe, to kick those shadows away, but it's hard, Jack.  It's so hard.~

Seeing one of the nurses walk in to check on the patient at the far side of the room, Daniel nodded at her and then returned to his writing.  He wasn't a poet, nor was he trying to be.  For some reason, though, his feelings about the man who had captured his heart so completely were oozing out onto the paper in his journal.  It was odd, too, because the only reason he had this personal journal with him was because he'd gone off-world and hadn't been home yet since returning and finding his Love injured.

~Kinda like destiny, or something.~

A minute or so later, Daniel completed his heart's rambling.  He reread his words, thinking how bad they were and how they failed to really say what was inside his soul.  Still, they spoke of love and safety, and that's what Jack was to him, and so much more.

Leaning down, Daniel put his journal into the backpack he'd brought into the infirmary with him.  He looked over at his lover and smiled.

**My Silver Fox: I love you, Jack.**

Daniel scooted back in his chair, folding his arms across his chest and stretching out his legs.  He wouldn't be leaving tonight.  Instead, he'd wait for morning and the inevitable order to leave from Janet.  It was what Jack had done for him so many times, and it was what he knew he had to do now.

~Scratch that.  I don't just need to be here -- I *want* to be here.~

====

A tiny cough woke Daniel.  Instantly, he sat up straight, immediately looking over at Jack's supine form on the bed.

“Jack?” the archaeologist asked as he stood up and walked the couple of steps to the edge of the bed.

“Hey,” Jack greeted softly.

“How's your head?”

“I have a concussion, and I didn't sleep for two weeks. How do you think it feels?” the colonel returned brusquely.

“Judging from your answer, just fine,” the younger man smirked. “It wasn't really two weeks, you know. I mean, it was, but ... just not for you.”

“Technicality,” Jack refuted. Then he lightly chortled, “Daniel, why do I get the feeling you slept here all night?”

“What would you have done?”

The colonel smiled as he gazed into his archaeologist's eyes.  Banter was fine and good, and it made for a great cover, but their eyes never lied.  Right now, both pairs of eyes were speaking tender expressions of passion's affection.

“Well, Colonel, how did we sleep?” Janet greeted as she entered, still adjusting her white medical coat since she'd only just arrived at the Mountain for her shift.

“We?  Doc, did I miss something?”

Janet chuckled, “My nurses would be green with envy.”

Daniel smiled at the quips, stepping back for the redhead to do her morning examination.

“Ouch!” Jack exclaimed, grimacing from the doctor's touch on his knee.

“You know, Colonel, you took a pretty hard hit from that bomb.”

“Are you saying I'm a jigsaw puzzle being held together by glue?” Jack questioned.

“I wouldn't say that, exactly,” Janet responded.  “Rest, Colonel,” she ordered, putting her right hand on his shoulder for a moment as she smiled.  “Daniel, did you sleep?” she asked, true to form.

Nodding, the young man answered, “Some.  I'm ... going home now for a while.”

“See that you do,” Janet replied, her look stern before she turned and walked away.

“I need to check on the fish,” Daniel stated.  “I'm glad I gave Mrs. Harper the key,” he said, referring to a widow who lived on the same floor in his apartment building.

“I'm glad you were here,” Jack spoke softly.  **Waking up and seeing your face first thing is all the medicine I need.**

Daniel smiled and said, “I'll be back later.”

**Love you, Danny.**

**I love you, too.  Rest, Babe.  I'll be back soon.**

====

Several days later, Jack was released to complete his recovery at home.  As was the norm, Daniel was his designated caregiver, though the older man didn't need that much extra care.  More than anything, all Jack needed was a few more days for his injuries to completely fade.  That's what Janet had said, anyway, though what the colonel really needed was some quality one-on-one time with his archaeologist.

“I was scared, Danny,” Jack admitted as the lovers sat quietly on their bed that night.

“I would have been, too, Babe.  From what Sam said, Teal'c was just barely able to pull you clear of the explosion.”

“No, not that,” Jack refuted.

“Oh, uh, well ... what?”

Jack looked at his lover and brushed his thumb against Daniel's lips.

“I love you, Danny, and I knew you'd still be alive, but it wouldn't be here on Earth, and you'd be alone.  I was afraid for you.”

“On Earth or any other planet, I wouldn't have had a life if you'd died,” the younger man replied, his emotions close to the surface.  ~I still can't believe he worries about me so much.  I mean, I can take care of myself.  I've been doing it for years, but it sure feels good to be cared about like this.~

“You wouldn't have known that I died, you know,” Jack responded.

“Yes, I would have,” Daniel refuted, becoming more emotional.  “I'll always know, Jack.  You're a part of me, inside of me.  I *would* know,” he insisted emotionally, a tear escaping down his cheek.

“Angel,” Jack spoke, his reply choked.

Further words impossible and unnecessary.  Instead, the lovers kissed and cuddled their evening away.

====

In the middle of the night, Jack awoke, somewhat shocked to realize his lover wasn't sleeping atop his chest.  In the spot where there should have been a tousled head, there was a book -- Daniel's journal.  It was open, the pages resting against the man's abdomen.

“Okay,” Jack said, realizing there was something the younger man wanted him to read.

Daniel's journals contained his deepest, most private thoughts, and he didn't share them often.  When he did, though, it was usually done like this, with Jack discovering the journal in some odd place or position and open or bookmarked to a certain page.

Jack was touched by the younger man's trust and never abused it by reading anything but the indicated pages.

Sitting up, Jack read the tender declaration of emotion.  He could feel his insides constricting as he fought not to cry.  He was, after all, someone who kept emotions pushed deep within him.  At least, that's how he appeared to most people, but not to his Danny.  He knew he couldn't be anything with his Love but a marshmallow.


Getting up, the colonel headed carefully outside.  He had anticipated finding his life partner on the roof deck, so he was surprised to see Daniel sitting on the patio steps.

“Not on the roof?” Jack asked as he sat down beside his Love.

“You're still recovering,” Daniel explained, smiling nervously as he looked at his journal which was in Jack's hands.

“It's beautiful, Danny.”

“It's what I feel and can't always say,” Daniel confided emotionally.

“You say it, Love, every day.  Maybe not in those words, but I know.”

Daniel looked out over the large yard and, with tears in his eyes, recited the last two lines of his poem:

“I was reborn the day I met you
Now, all my dreams can come true.”

“You're my dream, Angel,” Jack declared.

“I stopped dreaming a long time ago.  I'm not sure I even believed in dreams when we met.”

“Sure, you did.  You just forgot that you're entitled to dreams, too,” Jack said, reaching out to take his lover's hand and squeezing it gently.  “I'm here to make sure you never forget that your hopes and dreams are just as important as everyone else's.”  He smiled, adding, “And if I can, I'm going to make sure that every one of your dreams come true.”

Daniel smiled, leaning over to share a kiss.

“You're my dream, Jack.  Don't die, okay?  It's just ... I'm just really starting to ... believe, a little.”

“My Angel,” Jack sighed, kissing his Heart again.  “Let's go back to bed.”

“What would I do without you, Jack?”

“You're never going to find out, not ever, because we're forever, Danny.  You and me -- together, forever.”

“Promise?”

There was a little boy quality in Daniel's voice that made Jack's heart break just a little, even as he reaffirmed his promise to love and protect Daniel forever.

“With all my heart and soul.”

Daniel nodded as the two stood up.  They shared another kiss before walking leisurely inside the house.  Their nation of two was still young, but their love was already eternal.

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