Summary: Is it selfish to want to save the whole world, or to want to save just one man?
Info: For eilidh17.
Love and smooches to strg8g33k for the beta.
Daniel wanted to both embrace the silence, and rile against it. He was supposed to be embracing. Jack had brought him up to the cabin to find some peace. And while the place was certainly quite beautiful, and serene, it was the quiet inside his own mind that had Daniel wanting to make some kind of noise. Splash the lake water with his toes, tap his fingers on the old wooden deck. He would hum a ditty if he could remember one.
He was still learning this world, this plane of existence, all over again. A lot of what seemed to be very important memories had returned, however it was some of the non-important ones he found plaguing his thoughts. Why didn't his clothes fit the way he thought they should? Why did this place feel so familiar when he had never been? Why did Jack want to bring him here?
Better than anyone, Daniel knew that sometimes trying to qualify such questions was as much a pointless endeavour as posing them in the first place. That didn't stop them from coming. Sometimes he felt as though by asking each one, he was releasing them from the shell of this physical body he once again inhabited, lest they begin to suffocate this mortal coil.
He is so small, and the universe is so large. Who knows how many questions it contains? Something within him now knows that there was a reason for his return to this plane. He had come to realise this some time between setting eyes on his forgotten soul mates and taking that step through the Stargate to Earth. There was some thing he could not do as an ascended being.
The wind sighed softly through the long grasses, it ruffled his hair, and Daniel felt a quiet acceptance in this place. There was an appeal here that suited a man like Jack. Jack's awareness of his own identity was something Daniel coveted, since before his ascension. And yet, he knew Jack fought his own demons. There was a haunting in Jack's eyes, a void he was unwilling to cross, to reconnect with the world. In a way, he was just as lost as Daniel.
"A penny for them?" Jack's voice was as quiet as the breeze, as he walked forward, and lowered himself to sit beside Daniel. Daniel ducked his head, a slight smile formed on his lips from the tingle he felt at Jack's silent approach. "You think they're worth that much?"
"Hey, I never complained about the quality... just the quantity. Which, is why you're here." Jack's voice trailed off as he looked out over the lake. A sole loon came to land in the still water, rippling the surface, causing waves to kiss the shore.
Why you're here.
Daniel studied Jack's repose against the backdrop of the cabin, the lake, and the wildflowers.
This is why I'm here.
"I think I came back for this." Daniel's voice surprised himself as much as Jack.
"For the loon?" Jack's eyebrows knitted together in question, as he glanced between Daniel and the bird.
Daniel's soft snort at the joke brought a shy smile to Jack's lips. The sight was not lost on Daniel as the smile on that handsome face solidified his resolve.
Is it selfish to want to save the whole world, or to want to save just one man?
Daniel caught Jack's gaze. "For you."
"Me?" Jack asked incredulously.
"I think I..." Half-formed memories, thoughts, and feelings flashed in Daniel's mind.
"I'm fine, I really... am. I just know I'm supposed... I want to be here."
"Not for the loon?"
Daniel lowered his eyes and shook his head softly. Jack's vague obtuseness played with Daniel's stilted stream of expression and need, and a maelstrom of wary inaction came to a head, as Daniel placed his forehead to rest upon Jack's shoulder. Connection. The touch of warm cotton covering living bone. Jack. He felt Jack respond to the contact, as he folded his legs to turn into Daniel, and encircled his back with an arm, hand coming to rest on the back of Daniel's bare neck. Daniel exhaled.
"I know. I knew, before I..." Daniel trailed off.
"God." Jack's broken voice croaked into Daniel's hair where Jack rested against him. Daniel felt the press of lips at his temple and squeezed his eyes tight against the rush of emotion he felt at that small action. Soft warm flesh, affirmation of existing in the moment. Daniel pushed his face more firmly into Jack, his face pressed against Jack's neck, where he placed a chaste kiss in return.
Jack's arm tightened in response, fingers carding through strands of hair to hold Daniel to him as he arched in receipt. Daniel trailed his kisses, entreats of an open mouth along Jack's jaw line, coming to his lips where they were met in a shuddering melee of fused taste and smell. Jack is here, so I am. Daniel's mind revelled in the near silent exchange of touch. His unknowns were plucked away by the bold-hearted breeze while his form moulded to Jack's.
The deck groaned gently, receiving Jack's weight, as he laid back to relish in Daniel's overture. Daniel covered Jack's body with his own. His kisses deepened, attempting to sooth the ache of joy in his chest, and mirrored in Jack's. He chose this. Chose to come back. For this prismatic sky, this green Earth, blue water, and tireless gales of life giving air. For Jack O'Neill. To save just one man.
Their bodies moved in unison, a new rhythm for an old love. Heated flesh kissed, caressed and came together again and again. Whispered words affirmed and sheltered both men, and they held one another as the drive for completion ended in an overwhelming ecstasy.
Daniel rubbed his thigh over Jack's cooling skin, a tickle of hairs and hard earned sweat. A sparking warmth never denied. He was deaf to the calling loon.