Summary: Jack and Daniel must both find the courage to be honest
"Love is the nature of the soul. When we love and allow ourselves to be loved, we begin more and more to inhabit the kingdom of the eternal. Fear changes to courage, emptiness becomes plenitude and distance intimacy."
John O'Donohue from Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
What am I going to do? Do I say something and take a chance or keep it to myself? I have pondered these questions so many times, over and over, since I got hit with this brick wall. Is it love? Is it curiosity? Can I really be feeling this way about another team member? Am I confusing a close friendship with something else? Has the extreme danger of our jobs caused me to feel or make me think I feel, something that is just a closeness with a team member who has been right there with me, whether it be negotiation or firefight? God, I just want to pull my hair out sometimes.
But then I look at him. I look at those hands which handle artifacts with gentleness and caring, preserving the history they represent. Or I look at his eyes, so clear and blue. I notice the different hues they take on depending on his mood. Excitement, happiness, passion, anger, pain, his eyes tell it all. His lean body, once soft and almost skinny, now muscular definition showing through his clothes. And I realize, there is friendship but also love. I love him. I love Daniel
I had only recently admitted this to myself and it'd become easier and harder at the same time. At first, I'd relaxed in my own knowledge. Just admitting it to myself was half the battle. I have never had a relationship with a man, had never wanted a relationship with a man. I was straight as an arrow or so I thought. Then Daniel came into my life. I worked side by side with him, feelings growing and not realizing until recently what those feelings were. They had quite taken me by surprise.
Now... now I want to tell him but I'm scared. What if he doesn't feel the same? What if he is appalled at what I tell him? What if he wants off SG1? He has never given any indication that he was anything but heterosexual. There had been Shau're and a couple of other liaisons that I know about, both female. I feel like I have to tell him and see if there is a chance that he might return the feelings. I have lived too long and seen too much to let fear keep me from trying. Yet, that is what I seem to be doing.
And Daniel deserves better than me. I am a broken down Colonel who carries more baggage then is healthy for one human being to have. But something has to give. Somehow, I have to find the courage to tell him and deal with what happens. Courage to love him and let him go if I have to. The courage to make known my feelings and deal with any fallout that might occur.
But maybe I should not ....tell that is. Just keep my love for him close to my heart and hope I can live with it, seeing him everyday, working side by side, fighting and possible dying together.
No! It isn't fair, not to me or to Daniel. But if he returns the feelings what does that mean for us. I am so confused. Talking with Daniel is the only answer. God, I can't breathe around him half the time. Either I tell him and see if this is a one- sided deal or retire. I have to be with him or get away from him completely.
I watch as my team fusses over Sam. Carter's propped up on her couch enjoying the attention but I can see she was tiring. She was only released by the doc yesterday and is still recovering from the battering she received a couple of weeks ago.
Sam's injuries had been severe. It had been difficult for Daniel, Teal'c and me. She was our medic and we frequently felt she was indestructible. Well, this trip had proven that she wasn't but we had done our best by her and had gotten her back to the good doctor, She was still a little pale and had some pain but all in all, she was doing well and would be back to full duties in 3 or 4 weeks.
We had all suffered a few injuries on that mission. Daniel had spent 10 days in the infirmary for wounds he recieved to his left leg. He'd been attacked while guarding an unconscious Sam. His wounds had been less severe but no less painful and he had suffered through multiple dressing changes while in the infirmary as had Sam. Teal'c and I'd come away with relatively minor injuries compared to our teammates.
Now, sitting here in the living room at Sam's house, I was feeling a little lost. I had been scared. I'd nearly lost my entire team and that was unacceptable. But what scared me the most is I almost lost Daniel. He'd needed blood transfusions and I'd watched as the medical staff had changed the dressings on his leg daily. Watched as he suffered through the pain. I had silently suffered too, along with Daniel, feeling the pain so clearly reflected in his eyes. And he had been in severe pain despite the pain medications given. Over time though, Daniel had gotten better. Now my archeologist limped some and would be starting physical therapy in a few days, but he was getting around and his pain meds had been decreased.
My archeologist, um......that sounds good. Had I just thought that? Well, he was my archeologist. I just wished it was more than teammate/friend archeologist. This indecision and not knowing was killing me. I was giving my friend a ride home tonight. Maybe..maybe I can talk to him. At least I will have an escape route if it goes badly. Daniel had been staying with me since his discharge and now Daniel and Janet both felt he would be OK on his own. So I was taking him home, to his apartment tonight.
Oops, Daniel's staring at me with that concerned, puzzled look on his face. Better break this up before he figures something is wrong and decides he needs to fix it.
Jack is acting weird tonight. He has hardly said a word. He'd sat in Sam's living room watching the proceedings and making very few comments. That's not Jack. He seemed pensive. As if....as if something was on his mind. Maybe once we get to my place I'll be able to get him to tell me what's wrong. Looking at him now, hands on the wheel, apparently paying attention to the road, I can see he's a million miles away. Something's up. He is so closed mouth when he has a problem. We've hashed out problems over the years but Jack'd always been a little better at getting me to talk to him then I was at getting him to talk to me. He usually got around to it if it wasn't something he could solve on his own. I'm going to have to play the limp up a bit to get him to accompany me to my apartment. I only have one small bag so I can't play the "I need help with my things" card. Well, he always was a challenge, this won't be the first time I've had to pry something out of him.
I just wish I could talk to him about what is on my mind. It's becoming hard for me to be in the same room with him for long unless there are others there to buffer the assault of feelings that rush through me. He gets too close and I suddenly can't breath. Until recently I didn't know why. At least, I think I know why. I have feelings for Jack. I look at him and I lose all semblance of thought. He gets close to me and it feels like the air is thin. I have never felt like this at any other time but one. When I was married to Shau're. She would walk in a room and I would float. She was the only person there and she took my breath away. She's been gone a while now and although the feeling of loss and grief will never completely go away, it has diminished and now my memories of the good times rise to the surface first when thinking about her.
"Dammit Daniel, you weren't limping like this when we left home. Maybe you should spend some more time at my place. I should call Janet. She ought to look at that leg." God, I hate to see him hurting even a little bit. Daniel's limp was more pronounced. I noticed it as I was got his bag out of the back of the truck for him. He had asked me to help him upstairs and that's not like my Daniel. Sigh, there I go again, my Daniel.
"No, Jack. I'm sure. I've just been up on it too long. Just need to rest it a little. I'm fine."
Daniel unlocked the door and let us into his apartment. I had left him yesterday on the pretense of going to the base for a couple of hours and had come by and cleaned up a little and restocked his fridge and cabinets. I knew if I had discussed it with him he would have told me not to do it. But dammit, he needs help even if he's reluctant to admit it to himself.
I watch as he takes his jacket off and hangs it on one of the hooks that flank the entrance. As he turns to enter his apartment, he grabs the wall breaking his fall as his leg gives out underneath him. I grab him and pull him up against me and steady him. Without intending, I pull my Daniel into a hug. "Jack?" I can hear the tremor and question in his voice. "What is it?" He hugs me back.
Not wanting to let go, but pulling back I look into his eyes, seeing the concern and questions there. It feels good having him here in my arms, feeling the life and warmth of his frame. Wanting to caress his face, I have an overwhelming urge to kiss him. God, I have to get out of here. He can't know. Not yet, I'm not as ready as I thought to face this with him. Not ready to be without him if he is too disgusted to be around me. Just have to get him to his couch and then I can leave him to it.
Jack is hugging me. He's shaking, I can feel it. Something is really wrong. This isn't just one comrade giving another a friendly hug. There seems to be a feel of desperation to it. He's hurting. "What is it?" I voice the question again gently. "Jack, talk to me."
"Nothing...nothing. I am just glad you are alive and that we didn't lose you and Sam on that last mission." It isn't a lie, but I can see in Daniel's eyes that he knows there is more. I try to cover. "Let's get you in to the sofa so you can elevate your leg. I'll see if I can find an ice pack." Daniel allows this, leaning heavily into me for support. But even I can hear the tremor in my voice. Damn! I can see his thoughts racing behind his eyes. Trying to figure what is going on, what is bothering me. Me, I am faced again with indecision and fear. I was losing the courage I had thought so much about.
Jack is worrying me. He isn't a touchy feelly kind of guy. he keeps his emotions reigned in, close to his heart, and he can be quite stubborn about it. I don't believe that he doesn't know what to say so much as the depth of his emotions are hard for him to make clear. He tends to show people how he feels, not tell them. I only wish those deep emotions included a certain archeologist, me.
Well, whatever it is, now is not the time to go there. I have to get him to sit down and open up. This, whatever this is, is scaring me. Jack is so much more in control normally. I haven't seen him this disturbed about anything since his last run in with Hathor. Or maybe when Sam was hit by that energy beam and we all thought we had lost her. Could it really be the last mission? We did almost lose Sam. Maybe that's it. Sam, he almost lost her again. We were, all, almost wiped out by those animals.
I watch as he lowers me to the couch gently. He props my leg up on the ottoman and heads for the kitchen. Well, he is not getting out of here until he talks about it even if I have to fake a fainting spell or something.
I got him to the couch, now if I can just get him an icepack and a cup of coffee, maybe I can get out of here before Daniel gets any ideas. Finding a large ziplock plastic bag I go to the fridge and fill it with crushed ice from the ice-maker. Squeezing all the air out and closing the bag up, I locate a dish towel and wrap it up. Taking it into the living room, I walk over to Daniel and place it on his thigh all without looking him in the eye. I am going to have to do better than this or he will figure it out.
"How's that, Daniel? Is the pain easing up any or do I need to get one of those happy pills the doc sent with you?" I look at him and he shakes his head.
"Thanks Jack. Could you make me some coffee, I think there is still some of the good stuff in there. I will have to make a trip to the shop tomorrow and pick some more up, I guess."
Good, talking about normal everyday stuff. Maybe I will get out of here scot-free after all. "Nah, Daniel. You don't think I would let you come back without making sure your supply of caffeine wasn't at full capacity, do you? I went out yesterday and got a couple of your favorite blends from that place you like so much. I also stopped and picked up some groceries."
"Gee, Jack. Thanks. I'll admit. I wasn't looking forward to a trip to the store just yet. Since I'm grounded from missions for a couple of more weeks, I'll pretty much be here every night until then." Daniel looks disgusted at the thought of that. I just wish he was spending that time at my place. Oops, there I go again. Nix that thought.
Daniel leans his head back against the sofa, closing his eyes, looking suddenly very tired. "Hey Daniel, You OK?" I ask him before I think twice about it.
"Yeah, I guess. I am just a little tired and a little worried." I hear a weariness in his voice not there earlier.
"Worried? About what?" Damn I hope he isn't having nightmares again.
"You, Jack. I'm worried about you."
Uh-oh, don't want to go there. "Why, Daniel? I'm fine. You're the one still recuperating." I answer more smoothly then I feel right at the moment.
"Jack, you are so full of it. There is something bothering you. You know it and I know it. Why don't you sit down here and tell me what's going on. You never know I may be able to help."
Aw shit, busted. Got to get out of here. "Daniel, there isn't anything wrong. You're just mistaking my concern for you as something else. Now I will get out of your hair and let you rest. Don't worry, Daniel. I'm fine." I head for the door and my jacket.
"Jack, come back here. I know you better then...then...Ohhh shittt." I hear a thud as I reach my jacket. Turning, I see Daniel on the floor, out cold. Oh God!
Rushing back, I am at Daniel's side on the floor in a heartbeat. Oh God! "Daniel? Daniel? Come on buddy, wake up. Aww, Danny don't do this." I pat his face, trying to wake him. He's white as a sheet. Maybe I should get him into his bed. Grabbing his shirt, I pull him up bodily from the floor, sling him over my shoulder and carry him into the bedroom. Laying him on the bed, I cover him with the comforter and go into the bathroom in search of a wet cloth. Finding a towel I wet it down and head back to Daniel who is starting to moan.
Sitting next to him on the bed, I take the damp towel and wipe his face. Brushing his hair back, I again call to him. "Come on, Daniel. Wake up. I'm gonna call Janet if you don't make an appearance soon. I swear, I will. Daniel? Daniel? " He's starting to move a little. Good. I feel a sudden sense of relief.
I hear Jack calling my name. What happened? Oh no, I did pass out. Shit! That wasn't supposed to happen. Really, God, I was only kidding when I thought about that earlier. Oh, got to get myself moving, don't want to worry Jack. Wait, maybe this can work to my advantage. Maybe....
Opening my eyes I see Jack leaning over me with a look of uneasiness in his eyes, or is that fear? The disquiet I see in his face is sending signals to my brain. What is up with him? God, my head hurts. But I need to know, I need to help my friend. I close my eyes again as Jack wipes my face with a wet cloth.
"Boy, that feels good." I said that out loud. "What happened, Jack?" I ask the obvious question.
"Well you jumped up and I think you passed out. As soon as you are up to it, I'll run you up to the mountain and have Janet look at you." Jack is looking a little less alarmed at this point.
"No, Jack, please." I put some good whine into it. "She will think up some reason for me to stay in the infirmary and I don't want to spend any more time there. Really, I just stood up too fast. Honestly, I am starting to feel a little better." Nope this won't work, I am never going to get him to talk if he is running me to Janet.
"Daniel." Jack wasn't sure, I can tell.
"Honestly, Jack. I'm OK. I am tired. Just a little too much activity today, I guess." I can see him wavering. Now for the kill. "Just stay here with me tonight. If I don't feel better in the morning, I'll let you take me to see Janet in the morning, really."
"OK, Danny. But if there is any repeat of what just happened you are going to be in the infirmary faster then you can say, `Apophis is a snakehead.' You got that." I just nod my agreement.
"Apophis is a snakehead? Is that all you could come up with?" I'm grinning, watching Jack's face as he starts to relax and realize I'm gonna live.
"Hey, your the linguist. What would you say?" Jack's playing along.
"I have no idea. But I would have said it in Goa'uld to confuse you." Now he is laughing. I'm softening him up. I will get this man to talk to me before he leaves if it kills me.
"Why don't you take a nap. I will see what I can do about some dinner for us. OK?" Daniel nods and turns to his side intent on doing what I asked without argument. Another indication that he isn't 100% yet. A healthy or even almost healthy Daniel would have argued with me, and worn me down.
Moving off into the kitchen, I head for the refrigerator and the steaks I put in there the day before. Reaching for the door, I see my hand is shaking. God, Daniel scared me. I was so afraid that I was going to lose him this time. When those animals had attacked us at the gate, I wasn't sure......I wasn't sure. Running my shaking hand over my face, I remind myself that he's here and he's alive if somewhat worse for the wear.
`OK, Bucko, this is no way to act. You are a Colonel in the Air Force. You're Special Ops trained, for crying out loud. Get a grip.' I realize berating myself isn't getting dinner made. Pulling out the steaks and carrots I had put in there the day before. I proceed to prepare a simple meal for Daniel and myself. Steak, salad, baked potatoes, roasted carrots and for dessert, I had ice cream stashed in his freezer. In fact, this is more then Daniel usually eats but Janet had said red meat and greens to help replace needed iron loss from the bleeding. She had him on iron supplements as it was.
The carrots are ready for the oven, the salad made, steaks seasoned and ready for the broiler, and the potatoes are baking. I have a few minute before I have to put the carrots in, so I sit down with a beer and try not to think. I am tired. Tired of hiding my feelings. I know Daniel is aware something is up. Can I tell him? Would I lose him if I did? I'm doing it again, I realize. Just tell him, I say to myself.
With that I get up and finish the dinner preparations.
An hour later, with dinner being kept warm in the oven, I go into Daniel's bedroom to wake him. He is still sleeping and looks so young. I feel a surge of love, warming me. Looking at him, I feel like the air in thin and I need him to bring me a breath of life.
Walking over to the bed I sit down beside him and call his name. "Daniel......Daniel. Time to wake up. Dinner's ready." I watch as he mumbles and moves his head a little and then seem to settle into slumber again. I could let him sleep but if I do, he'll be wide awake the rest of the night. No, time for Daniel to have some dinner.
"Hey, Daniel. Come on pal, wakey, wakey." Reaching over, I shake his shoulder. With that he awakens and turns to look at me. "J'ck?" I nod. "What time is it?"
"It's dinnertime. Come on, I have slaved over the stove and you need to eat something. Here let me help you up." I reach over and help him sit up on the side of the bed. "How's the leg?" Daniel is yawning and running his hands over his face. Early night for this boy, I can see.
"It's stiff and sore." Daniel answers honestly. I can tell he is not trying to pull one over on me.
"How about one of those pain pills Janet sent? Or maybe some Tylenol?"
"Let's start with some Tylenol. I will take one of Janet's concoctions before I go to bed, K?" I nod and head into the bathroom for the pills. Bringing two back along with a glass of water, I sit next to Daniel and hand them over.
Taking the pills from Jack, I down them in one swallow and finish off the glass of water. I didn't want to take one of the pills Janet sent because they make me sleepy and I still intended to get Jack to talk tonight.
I stand up and ready myself to assist Daniel if he needs it. "Come on, pal, let's eat." Daniel stands up and his leg promptly gives out on him. I grab him and pull him up, into a hug, steadying him. I lean back a little, saying, "OK, now?" I find myself looking into Daniel's eyes, caught in his stare, not breathing. Courage, the word comes to my mind, and I lean forward and place a soft kiss on his beautiful lips. All the time I am watching his eyes. Seeing his pupils begin to dilate and feeling him adjust his position so he is closer, I think `In for a penny, in for a pound." I lean in and kiss him again and feel his response, his wholehearted response. As I kiss him, I feel his tongue slipping into my mouth and suddenly all the passion I had been holding behind a locked door comes pouring out.
Lowering Daniel to the bed, I follow him all the time keeping contact with him, kissing. He returns the hunger and passion that I am feeling, not releasing me as I sit next to him on the bed. Breaking the kiss I look at Daniel. His eyes are hooded in passion, lips reddened, his breathing rapid. I can see his pulse in his neck, the rapid tattoo apparent.
"Daniel?" I am asking him and telling him all in one word. Asking for permission with my eyes, my lips. Daniel reaches for my hand and brings it down to cup his groin. There is no mistaking the warmth and hardness there. As I continue to cup him and begin to massage, I feel Daniel's hands at my belt, removing it, opening my fly and slipping his hand inside. My breath catches and my heart races. Can this be happening? Oh my God! Daniel has freed my erection and started to stroke. Pushing me back, he is pulling at my jeans and shorts trying to remove them both at the same time. Lifting my hips I do what I can to assist him. Daniel gets my clothing down around my knees without ever having to move off the bed.
Laying down next to me, he pushes my T-shirt up and latches on to one of my nipples sending the heat straight to my cock. Stoking me with his hand, he alternates between stroking and rubbing the head with his thumb. I start to thrust. Reaching for Daniel I pull him up and kiss him deeply, hunger apparent. Thrusting into his hand, I am close. I feel the tingling in my toes heading up straight for my groin, one last thrust and I come, groaning into Daniel's mouth. He milks the last of my orgasm all the while kissing me and then suckling at my nipples. Oh god, it was too fast, too fast.
Opening my eyes, I see the top of his head as he continues to kiss my chest and lave attention on my nipples. Pulling him up into another kiss, I see the dilated pupils, only a minute rim of blue at the edges, the lust and love apparent.
Pushing Daniel back on to the bed, I kiss him, hunger and passion in full bloom. Hearing him groan, I realize he is close. Pulling back, I get rid of my clothes. I kneel next to my archeologist and remove his jeans and boxers, intermittently kissing his skin, as I expose more and more of him. Once the jeans hit the floor, I kneel between Daniel's legs, moving easily and gently to prevent him from having any pain. Seeing his cock sitting up proud and at attention, I think, `I do that for him'. I lean over and lick the head. Daniel jumps. "Dammit Jack, get on with it, I can't take much more."
Smiling up at my cursing lover, I do just that. Leaning over, I kiss his abdomen, moving slowly towards his groin. Caressing Daniel's thighs, I can feel the shivers running through him. Fondling his balls and stroking his perineum, I lick the underside of his cock. Coming to the head of his cock, I engulf him, deep throating him. " Oh god, yes." I hear Daniel moaning. "Jack, oh baby. that's so good." Gripping his smooth ass, I release Daniel's length and mouth one ball then the other. Daniel is moaning, his head rolling back and forth. I take his cock into my mouth once more, and set up a deep throating and sucking motion, working Daniel as he starts to thrust. Taking him deep one more time, Daniel comes, letting go with one last "Jaacck!"
As the last tremors die down, I move up and kiss Daniel, finding him returning it with equal passion. I gathered him into my arms and throw the comforter over both of us. Daniel drifts off to sleep again and I lay here, hoping I haven't taken this one step too far. Although Daniel, well, he did lead the way. I drift, dozing, hoping this wasn't a one time thing for Daniel. He isn't like that, I argue. With that thought, I drift off.
When I awaken, it's to sleepy blue eyes watching me. "Daniel, you OK?" I see him nod his head and smile. "With this?" I wave my hand encompassing us both. He leans up and kisses me. I return it with fervor.
"Jack, are you OK? With this?" Daniel is looking at me closely.
"Oh, yeah, very OK." I grin at him.
"So, is this the thing that's been making you act like a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs?" Daniel is smiling at me.
I just nod. "I love you, Daniel." I see him open his mouth to say something. "Eh, Eh. I have to tell you this please, just listen." Daniel nods and closes his mouth. " I love you. I didn't realize how much, until recently. I just blew it off, thinking I was mistaking our close friendship and our dangerous work as the impetus for me to think it was more. But our last mission, when we almost lost Carter, where you were seriously injured too, I knew it was more." I plunged on, not stopping, knowing if I did, I wouldn't get this out.
"I was scared. I had almost lost the entire team but what surpassed everything was my overwhelming fear that I had almost lost you. It has been gnawing at me. The fact that I hadn't told you how I feel. But I didn't know if it was fair to you. I didn't know how you would react. And I was scared that I'd lose you as a friend too. But when it came down to it I knew I needed to tell you. See if there was anything there. I was going to do that tonight but at the last minute I decided it wasn't time. Then you passed out and here we are. " I stopped. Not sure what else there was to say.
"Jack, I love you too." Daniel looks at me with the love in his heart blazing in his eyes. "We will work this out. Just know, I want this as much as you. Shss, don't say anything else. Let us just enjoy what we have found. We'll worry about tomorrow when it gets here." With that Daniel lays his head on my chest and closes his eyes.
"We do not need to go out to find love: rather, we need to be still and let love discover us."
John O'Donohue from "Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom"