'Space Monkey. Yeah!'
Daniel smiled. This made everything worth it. To see Jack's happy face and feel his arms around him. If it hadn't been for the thought of Jack waiting back at home it would have been so easy to just stay on the ship until it blew. Dragging himself through the corridors to find the sarcophagus was just about the hardest thing he'd ever had to do, the pain had been indescribable, but he'd do it all again and then some, to see the light in those eyes. To hear that voice and see that smile
O'Neill had no idea of course, and he never would. Daniel would make sure of it, but just knowing that Jack was there was enough. Just feeling the love one - way was enough. As long as he could stay with SG-1, with his family, with Jack, nothing else mattered.
When Jack had come to Abydos, Daniel had been torn in half. He loved Sha're but her status as a gift had always been a barrier, at least for him. Even though she gave him as good as she got, Daniel always knew she couldn't be his equal, she could never see herself that way, but for all that he'd been happy.
Jack coming back had tipped his whole life upside down. As soon as Daniel saw the box of tissues that had come through the Stargate his heart missed a beat. There was only one place that it could've come from, only one person with a warped enough sense of humour to send it, only one person who knew him well enough to know that he'd get the joke.
A couple of hours after their embrace in the Gateroom, they sat in Finnegan's Bar. Jack just kept looking at him with a distinct look of wonder on his face.
'Damnit Danny boy, I thought we'd really lost you this time. God, it's good to have you back.' He squeezed Daniel's shoulder and smiled. That smile hadn't seemed to have faded since the moment they were reunited. It made Daniel feel warm and safe. It also made him wonder if Jack felt anymore than just friendship.
No, don't go there Daniel. Things are humming along nicely. Don't screw it up by telling him how you feel.
What about a little fishing? Couldn't do any harm.
No, Daniel. Not even fishing. God, I've started replying to myself. I'm really in trouble now.
'Another beer, Jack?'
O'Neill shook his head. 'Nah, think I'd better be headin' home. It's been some coupla days.' He rose from his stool and quickly sat down again.
'Whoa, Jack. You okay?' Daniel's steadying hand held onto Jack's arm.
'Whoo, I guess I'm in worse shape than I thought, can I beg a ride home?'
Jack stumbled up the steps to the cabin and Daniel was there to catch him.
'Easy Jack. You need coffee, then some sleep, a lot of it. Let's get you inside.'
Daniel gently removed his jacket and helped him over to the couch. 'You stay put. I'll make some coffee.'
'Yeah, you do that. Coffee. Hmm, your specialty.' As Daniel lay him back, their faces almost touched and Jack put up his hand to cradle Daniel's cheek.
'You're beautiful Danny. You know that?'
Daniel could feel his face flush and hoped Jack was too tired or too drunk to feel it too. Hell, he didn't even know what he was doing. Time for Daniel to make the coffee before his body betrayed him any further.
' Ah, I'll be back in a minute.'
He picked up Jack’s coat from its puddle on the carpet and taking it into the kitchen, draped it across a chair. As he did, Daniel noticed a piece of white paper sticking out of an inside pocket. Normally, he would have thought nothing of it, but the ‘iel’ he could see on the visible part of the paper definitely piqued his interest.
He decided it wasn’t his business and busied himself with the coffee, humming softly as he pottered around Jack’s kitchen, smiling at the familiarity of it. He ran his fingers over the mugs, the surfaces, Jack’s house, Jack’s kitchen, Jack’s essence all around him.
The letter, as that’s what it obviously was, seemed to be getting larger and larger, willing him to investigate until he could no longer ignore it.
As the coffee brewed Daniel poked his head around the door to the living room and saw Jack, head back on the sofa, mouth open, snoring softly.
Daniel fingered the edges of the envelope, trying to decide whether or not to open it.
Well, it is addressed to you. He obviously intended to give it to you, go ahead.
Daniel crept over to Jack, just to be sure that he was properly asleep and went back into the kitchen. Sitting at the table he carefully opened the envelope, took out the letter inside and began to read.
Jesus, how do I even start this? I can't believe you're really gone. What the hell am I going to do now? All this time I waited, scared out of my wits. Couldn't say any of this while you were here, damned coward that I am. They'll probably want me to give a eulogy or something. I can't, Daniel. I just can't. You know me and words. I'd screw it up, be bound to. Hell, I couldn't even bring myself to tell you how I feel about you until you're d.. See? Can't even write the word.
I've gotta put all this down, now there's no chance of telling you face to face. That’s always assuming I'd ever have found the balls to do it. Can't tell anyone else about it, my head's about to explode, so I have to put it somewhere. Funny, isn't it? The one person I'd think of telling, if this was about someone else, is you.
When we first went to Abydos I was cold inside and I guess you could see that. Too damned perceptive for your own good. Charlie was gone, Sarah didn't understand, I was hostile to everyone. Especially you, and for that I'll always be sorry. In a way you reminded me of Charlie. Not in a physical way, just the child-like wonder you had when you found something. The sheer joy of being in a culture you'd only read about or seen through dry bones and artefacts. There was something in your eyes, an innocence you'd kept even through all the crap that you'd had to go through in your life. I was jealous. Didn't want to see that there could be something else except the black hole that was threatening to eat me from the inside out.
You ended up staying there and any thoughts I had of get ting to know you better had to stay there with you. Then they sent me back. Didn't know what to expect. I sure as hell didn't expect to feel the way I did when I first clapped eyes on you again. Didn't expect the rush of jealousy that smacked me in the ass when Sha're kissed you. I guess you thought I was only there because I'd been told to come. No hug that time. Couldn't. Daren't. Didn't want to show myself up. I was so damned glad to see you I just wanted to hold you close. Run my fingers through your hair. Look deep into those amazing eyes and tell you everything.
I don't even think I knew quite what it was then. Not to begin with. It was only later, when we got closer and I discovered just what a wonderful human being you are that I truly saw it for what it is.
When you made me leave you up there, my heart shattered into about a million pieces.
If I could have stayed instead or changed your mind. Well, I guess you’d still be here and if you were still here, you can bet your sweet ass I’d be taking you in my arms and telling you exactly how much you mean to me. Danny, you're one of the bravest men I ever met and I'll miss you til I die.
Love you, Space Monkey. Always will.
The ink was running where Daniel's tears had dropped onto the paper. He sniffed and wiped his eyes, suddenly becoming aware of a presence behind him.
'Jack, I - '
O'Neill waved him off. 'It's okay. No need to say anything, Daniel. You were never meant to see that.' He smiled sadly. 'But I guess now you've read it you'll know that won't you?'
Daniel rose from the table and shook his head incredulously, all the time walking slowly towards him.
'God Jack, I never knew.'
Jack chuckled softly, hands in pockets. 'You weren't supposed to. I just don't want this to ch ange anything between us. Can't you just - y'know, pretend you never saw it? I know I said I’d ‘fess up, but I’m still chicken. Scared of the consequences.'
'Can't do that, Jack. It's already changed things.'
O'Neill was crestfallen. His shoulders dropped, hands hanging limply at his sides. He ran his fingers through his hair and sighed. 'I understand. Just decide which other SG team you wanna transfer to, put the request across my desk in the morning and I'll process it as quickly as I can. I'll think of something to tell Hammond and the rest of the team. I'll be discreet, don't worry. This could get me into a lot of trouble, Daniel.
Daniel moved closer. 'Who said I want to leave SG-1? And no, I don't think you do understand.' He raised his hand to stroke the older man's sad face.
'Jesus, Jack. How stupid are we?'
O'Neill's mouth dropped open in shocked surprise, which was convenient, as Daniel took the opportunity he'd been dreaming about for so long and kissed him hard. He was rewarded by Jack's arms coming tightly around him and Jack's moan as their tongues made contact.
They broke the kiss breathlessly and reluctantly with Jack holding Daniel as if his life depended on it, whispering ‘God Daniel, I love you so much.’
Daniel nuzzled into his neck and breathed in deeply, running his fingers through Jack's short greying hair. He smiled, registering that unmistakable scent that was Jack O'Neill. He drew away a little and looked into his lover's shining brown eyes.
'You sure about this?'
Jack nodded, smiling broadly. 'Oh yeah. Looks like we have some catching up to do.'
Danny grinned. 'Ya think?'
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