Summary: There is something keeping Jack and Daniel apart. Daniel is the only one who can resolve it.
Word Count: 7186
Warnings: Its slash…well duh!
Notes: Originally appeared in the Charity Zine – A Friend in Need. Beta’d by my friend annejackdanny
“I can’t, Jack.”
Daniel’s face was sad and his smile gentle. He began to reach out, his fingers almost grazing Jack’s arm before he withdrew. He couldn’t do that either.
“Please, Daniel.” Jack was unashamedly pleading, but there was no other answer his friend could give. The colonel knew it deep in the very fiber of his being, but he’d had to ask, this one last time.
Only Daniel would have recognized the defeat in Jack’s body language; years of friendship; of conflict and caring, desire and despair, had given him a unique insight into his friend’s soul. To everyone else Jack O’Neill was the consummate soldier. His outer shell was impermeable; a hard ass, stone killer, career bastard with a strange sense of humor and an even stranger penchant for his team archaeologist. Despite his overt bias towards Dr Daniel Jackson no one ever believed the rumors were anymore than base scuttlebutt and the irony was they would have been right. Jack had hidden his passion for Daniel behind duty and regulations. He had fought his need and won…Until today. Even now he hadn’t been able to verbalize it. He’d asked his question but hadn’t given Daniel any inkling of the turmoil he was feeling inside.
Daniel watched the older man’s back as it disappeared down the corridor away from his office. As much as he wanted to he couldn’t follow. He pushed numb hands under his armpits and turned away from the door, his sadness a living thing coiled around his heart, constricting it. But he had hope, a glowing thread that bound him to his best friend. He had to believe that Jack would eventually find his way otherwise Daniel wouldn’t be there, waiting.
Jack walked quickly and with purpose. He had made his last stand and was finally willing to admit defeat. He made his way through the corridors until he reached his office. Choosing the smallest key from the bunch he tugged from his pocket he unlocked the desk drawer and retrieved the white envelope, fat with the papers stuffed inside. His self-control was too good to let his fingers shake as he tucked the document under his arm and pushed the drawer shut, but his mind was racing and his heart was making little stutters in his chest. There was one last visit to make before he could take the elevator to the surface and home.
He took the familiar route to General Hammond’s office, the stairs up to the briefing room feeling like the north side of the Eiger as he trudged around the tight spiral. The general was alone in the windowed room, his door standing ajar.
Jack had nothing but the deepest respect for the old man. His ability to see his way through a crisis, to adapt to any number of unique circumstances had saved Jack’s life and that of the rest of the SGC on more than one occasion. He wasn’t sure how George would react to what he had to say, but Jack knew he had to suck it up and get the words out before he lost his nerve.
“Colonel.” Hammond gave a small smile as he saw his 2iC standing sheepishly outside the door. Jack walked over to where the general sat and dropped the heavy packet of papers onto the desk.
“George,” he started, quietly. “I think you know what those are.”
Hammond sighed heavily and a sad expression crossed his face. “Take a seat Jack.” He drew the envelope towards him and slipped out the sheaf of papers. “So, retirement. I was hoping this wasn’t going to be necessary. You seemed to have been getting on better over the last month or so.” The general didn’t bother to read the documents, choosing to place them in front of him in a tidy pile. “We need you Jack. There is so much work still to be done…”
“Not by me, General, sir.” Jack’s formality made Hammond look up in mild surprise even though he knew O’Neill respected him, despite the colonel’s tendency towards insubordination. The bleakness he saw in Jack’s eyes rocked George in his seat and he felt a surge of compassion.
“I think you’ve known for a while this was the way it was going to go down… If Daniel…” Jack hung his head and looked at his hands clasped in his lap; the knuckles white with tension. “I need it to be over and being here makes it impossible.
“You know the President may not accept these,” Hammond commented, picking up the papers and waving them at Jack.
“Then I’ll resign my commission.” Jack asserted.
“You want to go that much?” the general frowned.
Jack could only nod.
“Then I’ll put this in motion and do my best to convince the JCS that replacing one of the best men I’ve served with will be a piece of cake.” George stood and held out his hand. Jack took it and blushed slightly in mortification as his hand trembled. “This is not goodbye, Jack,” the general promised, “But I acknowledge your need to ‘regroup’. I wish you would consider just taking a leave of absence…” He sighed as Jack shook his head. “…Very well. Take the next week off and I’ll be in touch as to final arrangements.”
Jack felt unwelcome tears prickle behind his eyelids as Hammond stood to attention and saluted him. He returned the gesture with deep respect then turned on his heels and made his way quickly to the surface. He didn’t want to see any of SG-1, especially Daniel. He didn’t want to explain, he just needed to get away from the mountain.
Daniel had got used to people dropping in to his office; borrowing a text or report; using the microfiche; dropping off a sample. He was also used to not being noticed as he sat in the corner of his office surrounded by books and artefacts. So when Dr Olwell and Sgt Hughes from SG-11 wandered into the room, he wasn’t at all surprised. The two men had become very close and Daniel thought he could see some sparkage there. If using his office could give them a little time alone, away from the ever-present security cameras, then he was happy to oblige. When they walked through the door they were deep in conversation about their latest mission to P3X-994.
“I think the Sumerian primer is our best bet,” Olwell threw over his shoulder at his younger companion. They moved towards the bookcase on the back wall and Daniel smiled as Owen Hughes’ hand lingered just a little longer than was completely necessary on the small of Chris Olwell’s back.
“Yeah,” Owen replied distractedly. He fingered the fragile lip of a glass flagon that Daniel had brought back from his last but one mission. “Hey,” he turned, suddenly animated. “I meant to say. Did you hear about O’Neill?”
Daniel’s head shot up as Olwell turned interested eyes on his friend who was bursting to pass on the gossip.
“What’s that scary SOB done now?” Chris asked dryly as he leaved through the book he had carefully pulled down from the shelf.
“Retiring,” Hughes crowed, certain that his news would be a topic of conversation that would keep them talking for quite a while.
Daniel jumped to his feet, and opened his mouth to question the veracity of the young man’s statement. But they were already half way out of the door, deep in conversation, speculating as to why the colonel had thrown in the towel when there was still an enemy to fight. Apparently Olwell had a theory, but they were well down the corridor and Daniel could no longer hear them.
He felt hot and achy with worry. Light flared behind his eyes and it was all he could do not to come apart at the seams. Why would Jack do such a thing? Their conversation earlier had been fraught to say the least, but Jack had given no indication that Daniel’s inability to give Jack what he’d wanted would mean he felt no longer able to stay at the SGC. The archaeologist stood in the centre of his office, his mind racing with implications and possibilities. He turned around on the spot and tried to decide what the best course of action would be. He moved towards the telephone, but stopped before he could reach it, shaking his head sadly.
Apart from the general there were only two other people at the SGC who might know what Jack was playing at. Teal’c was off world on a training exercise with the marines of SG-3, but Sam was on base, probably in her lab. Daniel tried to pull himself together. He needed to be in good shape to thrash this out with Sam otherwise he wouldn’t be able to get her to see what he needed.
The corridors were strangely empty. It took a great deal of energy to push himself as he made his weary way towards the elevator. The doors were already open and Daniel stepped in alongside a young woman he didn’t recognize. She pressed the button for the same floor as Sam’s lab and began to scrutinize the file she was carrying. Daniel stayed close to the wall of the car, grateful for the silence and watched the numerical display as it counted the floors.
Carter turned at the voice and Daniel watched as her face paled.
He hadn’t been able to get to her lab for quite a while and they hadn’t talked since the last mission. It hadn’t been any one thing that had kept him tied to his office and they were definitely still friends, but Daniel could understand why she was surprised to see him and hoped she could forgive him for being a stranger over the past few months.
“You look…Good.” She breathed softly and then smiled. She took a step towards him, but Daniel couldn’t be hugged right now. He shook his head and she backed off sadly. Daniel couldn’t deal with Sam’s issues right now. He was only here for one reason; he wanted to know what she knew about Jack.
“I just heard that Jack’s retiring,” Daniel blurted, unsure why it sounded as though he was complaining that he had been left out of the loop on purpose. He knew that wasn’t true, but he felt so angry with Jack for making such a momentous decision without talking to him first. He glared at Sam and saw her flinch in the face of his temper. He took a breath, trying to soften the onslaught of his worry and then smiled apologetically.
“I really don’t know what’s going on,” Sam explained, her gaze dropping to the bench as she futzed with the pieces of a small, broken, scientific instrument. “Hammond called me into his office and said we were on stand-down for the next week. He told me Colonel O’Neill had put in his papers and the general was hoping that circumstances would change.” She shrugged. “I don’t know anything else. General Hammond seemed to think that something needed to happen for the colonel to change his mind, but he didn’t let me in on what that was.” She threw the pieces of metal and wire down on the bench and they bounced off, landing on the floor. “He doesn’t talk to me, Daniel, you know that. In fact the person he really ever talk…” Sam shook her head and Daniel saw tears begin to trickle down her cheeks. “You know,” she stated and Daniel had to nod.
Him, that’s who Jack always talked to and if Jack hadn’t told Daniel what was going on then probably no one else knew either.
Sam made another move towards Daniel, but he was already leaving. He heard her call his name, but it sounded like it was coming from far away. He really needed to get to the bottom of this and the obvious person to ask was Jack himself. But Daniel was stuck on base, tied, he’d thought, to his office and getting out to see Jack at home was an impossibility right now. Still, he had managed to get to Sam’s lab without the whole of the Universe falling around him. He smiled at his own hyperbole. The whole Universe did not revolve around Dr Jackson, but, he was beginning to realize, the whole of Daniel Jackson’s Universe did revolve around Jack O’Neill.
Suddenly he remembered what Sam had said about the general. Perhaps George Hammond knew what Jack’s plans were. Daniel felt fresh energy flood his system and legs that had been heavy with fatigue seemed lighter somehow. He powered along the corridor making several people frown as he moved past them. He stood at the closed doors of the elevator for a moment, but then decided to take the stairs, his need to know what Jack was going to do fueling his movements as he flew down the stairs level by level.
George Hammond was engrossed in the daily security report when movement in the room made him glance up. A look of surprise was quickly replaced by one of pleasure and relief.
“Dr Jackson…Daniel,” he said in his warm Texan twang. “I hoped I might see you.” He motioned to the chair across from him, but Daniel gave a little headshake and a shy smile.
“I take it you know about the colonel’s decision. That’s why you’re here?” A thinning of George’s lips told Daniel all he needed to know about the general’s feelings regarding Jack’s retirement plans.
“Only because I heard someone talking about it. Jack didn’t tell me…”
“Jack has been talking to you?” the general asked, a frown playing around his eyes.
“Not about this,” Daniel replied quickly. He chewed at his lip as he tried to decide just how much he could tell the general about his conversations with Jack. On the one hand Daniel didn’t want to betray Jack’s confidence, but on the other he was sure that retiring was entirely the wrong decision for Jack for many reasons.
“Can we talk off the record, sir?” Daniel asked carefully.
Hammond gave a little snort and gestured between them. “I don’t see how any conversation between us could be considered ON the record at this moment in time, do you?”
Daniel nodded shyly. “Thank you, sir.” Trying to gather his thoughts into some kind of order Daniel moved to look out through the window at the briefing room beyond. “Jack and I…” He turned to look George Hammond in the eye. He needed to see the man’s reaction to what he was going to tell him. At least if he reacted badly Jack had already put his retirement in motion. But Daniel was concerned that the general’s opinion of Jack could be colored by what he was about to say.
“You’re a couple,” George stated, sure that his instincts about them had been correct.
Daniel’s jaw dropped. “Actually, sir,” he stammered out, “we’re not. Although both of us would have liked to be, Jack took his oath seriously.”
Hammond’s eyebrows rose in surprise. He would have staked a week’s pay on the sure thing that O’Neill and Jackson had been lovers for a long time. The way Jack had reacted at Daniel’s wake when he had been taken by Nem had seemed to be an obvious indicator of their relationship. He smiled wryly. “You mean all this time I was watching for anything that might undermine the team and there was nothing to see?”
Daniel blushed, giving off a very visible glow. “We talked about it and I think…Given time…”
Hammond nodded sadly. “Yes.” His eyes flicked to the photograph of his wife on his desk. “The thing is there is never enough time.” Hammond stood up and moved around the desk to join Daniel at the window. “Can’t you go talk to him, son? We can’t afford to lose him. He may be an insubordinate, irreverent sonovabitch, but he’s a damn fine officer and the best military mind we have out there.” George motioned towards the Stargate.
“I can’t go, General. It’s not that I don’t want to…” Daniel’s head dropped and he stared at the floor in frustration.
“What’s stopping you, son?” Hammond questioned softly. “You’ve already talked…”
Daniel opened his mouth to tell the general about their last conversation, but the older man stopped him with a shake of his head.
“Daniel,” he said kindly, “I don’t need to know, son, and to be honest I think some of what’s been said here between us needs to get to Jack, too. I think he’s been acting based on some flawed intel regarding his relationship, or lack of it, with you; don’t you?” George shook his head. “You need to be brave and realize what it is you really want and then take steps to make it happen.” He turned his head and smiled. “I know you, Dr Jackson. If you put your mind to something there’s nothing or no one who can stop you achieving it. If you feel as strongly for Jack O’Neill as I think you do then don’t let anything stand in your way.” He nodded towards the picture on his desk, “Believe me, son. Life is too short not to be with the person you love. You of all people should know that.”
A sudden realization filled Daniel with hope as he let himself understand what had been happening to him all this time. He’d wasted so much time. Well, that was about to change. With a blinding smile he turned and left the general’s office without another word.
George sat back down at his desk and drew a finger across the picture of his wife. “I may not understand it, honey, but I’m sure as hell not going to condemn it. They are right for each other and with any luck we might just get a miracle.”
Once the decision was made Daniel was surprised at how quickly he got to Jack’s front door. He had made the journey without noticing the usual landmarks and turns and the whole trip seemed to happen in the blink of an eye. However, once he was there he was unsure what to do next. He knew that he had some work to do to convince Jack that retiring was a mistake, but there were also a few things he had to work through himself. He’d spent too long wallowing in self-pity and regret and he’d allowed those feelings to override his natural ability to think his way through problems. Why hadn’t he seen what had been happening before now? With a sudden flash of clarity it came to him and as the realization hit him with full force the reason flung open wooden door in front of him and came bowling through.
Jack was ashen with shock, his eyes widened and his mouth dropped open. Then just as suddenly the shock morphed to anger, flinty sparks shining in his eyes. Jack turned on his heel and stamped around the house to the back yard with Daniel following along in his wake.
“Jack, please. We need to talk.”
If Daniel hadn’t known he had nothing to fear from the man in front of him he would have cowered at the look of …hatred? Daniel was taken aback; had it really gone that far; had he waited too long to have his revelation?
He lifted his hand and pulled his finger gently down Jack’s cheek, a triumphant feeling coursing through his as he managed to make that small connection. He watched the look on Jack’s face transform again, this time it flickered from hope to such painful despair that Daniel’s chest grew tight and heavy in sympathy. He knew the pain Jack was shouldering; he just hadn’t realized how hard he’d had to fight to carry on this long. Jack was at the end of a hard fought battle, he was about to surrender and only Daniel could save him.
“Fuck it, Daniel,” Jack said sadly, “wasn’t it enough you had to float around the SGC haunting me for the last six months?” Jack looked old and tired. “I asked you if you would leave and you said you couldn’t. Well, I can’t be around you; not being able to touch you, knowing I wasted so much time.” Jack held out his hands in a sort of entreaty. “Is this my punishment for leaving you with that cowardly SOB on Kelowna?” he asked, his voice thick with emotion. “Is this your way of making me suffer for the pathetic way I said goodbye? What do you want, Daniel?” Jack flopped down into the Adirondack chair on the back porch and rested his elbows on his thighs, pressing the heels of his hands into his eyes.
“Jack…” Daniel drifted across the decking, coming to a stop in front of his friend. The tendrils of energy surrounding him lit the bare wood with a warm glow joining the last rays of the sunset to bathe Jack in molten gold. The older man lifted his head and Daniel gasped at the raw pain he saw.
“Daniel, please. I love you…loved you for years and I waited too long to tell you. I owe you so much; I owe you my life. Please tell me what you need from me so that you can leave and I can at least try to let you go.”
“Is that what you want, Jack? Do you want to let me go?” Daniel needed to know once and for all what Jack wanted. If he was going to do this, if he was going to try to stay, then he had to know there was something to stay for.
Once again anger flashed in Jack’s eyes. “You know I don’t,” he snapped. “But I also know a no-win scenario when I see it. I thought if…If I left the SGC then I wouldn’t have to see you anymore…I could try to forget…” Jack gave a mirthless chuckle. As if…
The sorrow radiating from Jack hit Daniel like a truck and with that visceral shock came the realization of what he had to do and how to achieve it. Gathering all his resolve he reached out to the cloud of energy surrounding him and began to reel it in, using his ascended knowledge to place each molecule in its proper place. He could feel the contours of his body solidifying with each passing moment. He was thinking that this was so much easier than he imagined when the pain hit.
Burning, immolating pain dragged slivers of glass across every fiber of his new forming body. He screamed in agony, his newly acquired corporeal vision graying. Daniel knew what this was. The final hours of his slow death from radiation poisoning had been filled with this exact, endless agony as his cells disintegrated. He panicked as he realized that this last image of himself was how his body was reforming and in his terror at reliving his dying moments he could not find the memory of his healthy body.
“Danny! Oh, God! Danny!” Jack was standing in front of him, his hands outstretched, but not touching; not even sure that he could. “Tell me what to do…Please…”
With his last reserves of energy Daniel launched himself into Jack’s arms. The sensation of Jack’s skin against his weeping flesh was agonizing but still felt safe. “Remember me, Jack.”
Jack was beside himself with horror. “Please, Daniel. Please don’t go. I know I said I wanted you to but… ”
“No,” Daniel choked out desperate for him to understand. “Remember how I looked, before this. I need you to remember.” With a last effort Daniel lifted his face and looked with pain-filled eyes up at Jack. He saw the moment when Jack understood what he wanted him to do and he slumped against him in relief. Jack gathered him into his body and slid down onto the deck, holding him tightly.
“Oh! Daniel. You were so beautiful. Your hair was dark blond in the winter, but in the summer it had these gold highlights that made you shine.” Jack swallowed the tears that threatened to overflow as he worked hard not to panic and simply fix a picture of Daniel whole and healthy in his mind.
“Your eyes were the most amazing blue with huge pupils. You looked constantly aroused and it used to turn me on so much. Your lips were so lush there were times I had to use every mind control trick I’d ever been taught not to just grab you and kiss you. You’d packed on some muscle over the last few years. I used to walk behind you and watch your six, literally,” Jack choked out a desperate chuckle as he recreated Daniel in his mind’s eye. “I used to fantasize about your ass. It was just the right shape and on the end of those legs that seemed to go on forever.”
Jack looked down at the body of the man he loved as his agonized paroxysms began to calm and he gaped in wonder as the bloodied and ruined skin began to heal itself. “You seemed to be forever pale,” Jack continued, whispering now. “Too many hours spent under that mountain, working too hard, too much coffee, not enough food. Hiding yourself away…” He frowned, “That was my fault. I was so fucking stupid. I wanted you so much and I pushed you away. I never let myself see what we could be; only what it would mean for me if we were found out. I’m a selfish bastard, Danny, although I suppose that’s no surprise to you.”
Jack’s eyes drifted shut as he fought the tears that were burning behind his eyelids. “The more I denied what I wanted the more I craved you. I’d see you in the showers, all that flawless skin and your cock…God! Sometimes you’d be half-hard and I’d hope it was because of me. I’d get myself so worked up I’d have to jerk off in the men’s room so no one would see the massive hard-on just looking at you gave me.”
Suddenly Jack realized that the insubstantial form in his arms had transformed into a solid weight that was pressing into his chest. The spasms of pain had settled into trembling. Jack was almost too afraid to open his eyes; scared to find that what he’d hoped for all these months was just some kind of sick nightmare. A breathy moan brought him out of his fugue.
Jack looked down to see what his arms already knew. Daniel was there; naked, whole and alive and Jack thought his heart would burst with the elation that flooded his body.
“Danny, oh love…”
Then the tears flowed regardless, rolling freely down Jack’s cheeks and splashing down onto Daniel’s perfect face. Jack gathered his love to him and made a silent promise to whatever Gods were up there that he would never let him go again. Jack was too happy to have him back to care about anyone seeing him sitting on his back porch with a naked man in his lap. Daniel’s arms wrapped weakly around Jack’s waist and they remained locked together on the deck rocking gently as the last rays of the sun warmed them.
Sometime later (Jack wasn’t sure how long it had been) Daniel looked up at him and the love blazing in his eyes took Jack’s breath away. Jack realized he’d been given a second chance and vowed he wouldn’t waste a moment of it. Leaning down he pressed a warm kiss to Daniel’s inviting lips. The surge of heat it generated surprised them both. Daniel’s eyes grew wide and he began breathing in little shallow pants.
Jack stiffened as his growing concern made him angry with himself.
“Crap…What the fuck am I doing? We need to get you into some clothes and out to the base. Janet needs to look you over. We don’t know what this…Whatever it is you’ve done…We don’t know what effect it’s having on your body.” A flutter of panic rose in Jack’s chest. “I can’t lose you again, Danny.”
Daniel smiled and placed a warm dry hand over Jack’s cheek. Despite himself Jack leaned into the caress, soaking up the contact that he’d denied himself for years.
“Please, Jack. Can we just stay here for a while longer? I feel fine; good in fact. There are things we need to talk about and you know as soon as I set foot on the base I’m not getting out of there for a long time!”
Jack was unsure, but the look of love shining from Daniel’s eyes melted his resolve.
“This is totally against my better judgment,” he growled. “First sign of anything hinky and we are in the truck.” His stern gaze soon mutated into softness as Daniel burrowed into his chest and held him tighter than ever. Jack’s hands spread over his broad back and he reveled in the acres of smooth skin under his calloused fingers.
Too soon the sun left the sky and the cool dampness of evening began to chill them both. Neither man wanted to move, but a shiver re-ignited Jack’s concern about Daniel’s physical state and he was soon coaxing him inside. Pushing his young friend gently onto the couch Jack sat as close to him as he could and pulled the afghan from behind them wrapping them both in its snug warmth. He looked longingly over at the fireplace, but couldn’t bear to let Daniel go long enough to set a fire. Jack could hardly believe it, but now there was really all the time in the world for romantic nights in front of a roaring hearth.
“Are you really here to stay?” Jack asked, his voice breaking, as fear that this was just a strange dream overtook him.
Daniel smiled up at him, his eyes brilliant with unshed tears. “I’m real, Jack. I’ll stay as long as you want me.”
“Forever then,” Jack breathed. He reached out and took Daniel’s face in his hands. Tilting it slightly he moved to press their lips together, pouring all his love and hope for the future into the kiss. Daniel responded greedily and Jack felt the warm tug of arousal at the base of his spine. He began to pull away, feeling guilty that he was letting his libido run away with him. Daniel had just come through a traumatic return to physical form, the last thing he needed was a horny colonel slobbering all over him.
Daniel caught Jack’s hands before they left him. “I won’t break, Jack,” he promised quietly. “I think we’ve waited long enough to touch one another when we want to, don’t you?”
Jack took in a deep shuddering breath. “Daniel?” he said warily but his lover was not willing to be denied. Taking Jack’s hand Daniel began to draw it along his own jaw line and down his throat. Jack’s hand shook as Daniel urged it lower and he spread out his fingers to cover the left side of Daniel’s chest. Daniel gave a little shuddering moan as Jack’s finger caught on the hardening nub of his nipple and Jack wondered if it was possible to come just from hearing that small but infinitely sexy noise. His cock certainly thought so as it went from vague stirrings to rampant fullness in two seconds flat.
“God, Danny…You are so beautiful,” he breathed.
Daniel shuffled himself into the corner of the couch, his head half against the back cushions. Smiling reassuringly he encouraged Jack to carry on his exploration of Daniel’s newly reformed body. Jack moved his other hand to mirror the path of the first and looked down in wonder at them both spread across Daniel’s broad hairless chest.
“My turn now?” Daniel asked shyly, moving his hand to Jack’s t-shirt, gently curling his long fingers under the hem, stroking the skin beneath.
Jack’s eyes dropped closed as the sensation sent tendrils of heat up his spine. With a little tugging they managed to pull the shirt over Jack’s head and Daniel ran a long lingering caress over the ridges of Jack’s abs, making him shiver. Once again Daniel moaned, but this time in reaction to the sensation of Jack’s skin on his own. Hooking his hands under Jack’s armpits, Daniel pulled the older man over and onto him. As their bodies met, Jack groaned deep in his throat. His cock jumped and he had to take and hold a gasping breath to stop himself from shooting in his pants. Daniel’s heart was beating hard and Jack could feel every leap and flutter.
“Oh, Jack…My Jack.” Daniel whispered into Jack’s ear. The wonder of the touch of his skin against Jack’s was almost sensory overload. He could still feel the little pings and sparks of electricity left over from his transformation as they skittered across his nerve endings. It made him shivery with sensation. He needed Jack’s hands on every inch of him, but mostly he needed to feel them on his cock, which was rigid and eager for attention.
Knowing that Jack was still feeling unsure about how fragile Daniel might be he realized that he would have to take the initiative if he wanted this whole tactile experience to reach its natural climax. He moved his hand down to the waistband of Jack’s jeans and popped the button open. He felt Jack take in a shuddering breath and begin to withdraw.
“Oh no you don’t,” Daniel admonished. “We both know what we need.” He looked back up into Jack’s worried eyes. “I know this is not the time for gymnastics, but Jack…Fuck, Jack. I want to touch you; want you to touch me. I’ve needed this; fantasized about it for so long.” Daniel could see the war going on in Jack’s mind reflected in his eyes. The older man was still holding onto his guilt and fear. Daniel needed him to let go; needed him to simply feel and not think. He curled one hand behind Jack’s neck and pulled him down for a breath-stealing kiss, whilst his other hand tugged down the zipper on his jeans and began to burrow inside.
The touch of Daniel’s fingers on the over-sensitive head of his cock took Jack totally by surprise, as did the sudden surge of his orgasm as it exploded from him. He came hard with a cry of shock and ecstasy, his come painting his belly in thick white stripes. He was shaking so hard he couldn’t hold himself up and slumped down onto Daniel’s shoulder as his body reacted to the release. Despite Jack’s trembling collapse Daniel couldn’t wait any longer. He took Jack’s hand and pushed it relentlessly down towards his crotch.
When his fingers made contact with Daniel’s cock Jack’s body gave another leap, almost like a second orgasm and his vision grayed for a moment as his body dealt with the overload.
Just watching Jack come had almost done it for Daniel and he knew he was on as much of a hair trigger as Jack had been. His body thrummed with need and tingled with nerve runs. As Jack began to come back to coherency, his long fingers wrapped around Daniel’s cock almost of their own volition. Daniel cried out at the exquisite pleasure. Years of longing were focused on the movement of Jack’s hand on his hot and wanting body.
Jack felt his heart lurch as the satin-over-iron of Daniel’s erection transmitted its sensual delights through his palm. Lifting Daniel’s hand from his own spent cock to his mouth, Jack ran his tongue through the sticky come on Daniel’s fingers and his lover’s answering moan caused a feedback loop that had Jack shaking as his grip moved fluidly over the heavy heat in his hand.
“Oh…OH…Fuck, Jack. Yes, there…Oh, there…Please, fuck please…” Daniel’s cries were desperate as he thrust into Jack’s hand, the need to come an urgent throbbing in his balls. He teetered on the edge for what seemed like forever, until Jack’s voice echoed rich and warm into his ear.
“Let it go, baby…Come for me, Danny.”
Daniel thought ascension paled in comparison to the incandescent pulse of pleasure that burst through him leaving trails of molten heat along his spine and up and through his cock as he emptied himself over Jack’s hand and belly; long ribbons of come mingling with Jack’s as his lover pulled him into a crushing embrace, gently holding Daniel through the aftershocks that were almost as intense as the orgasm itself.
Two hours later they lay together in bed, supple and sated, their bodies tangled together in loose- limbed relaxation.
“How…” Jack asked quietly as his fingers gently drew circles over Daniel’s smooth chest. “…How did you do this? Come back to me?”
Daniel bit his lip and thought carefully about how to explain what had happened. “My ascension wasn’t sanctioned by the Others; in fact Oma went against all their rules in helping me to ascend.” He frowned as he remembered what had been done to him. “She had already taken me out of my body…”
Jack nodded. He’d been there for that after all. He’d watched Daniel go through the Stargate, or so he thought. He’d come back to the Infirmary room and watched Daniel turn to golden light before floating up through the ceiling. “Yeah: It was a shock that first time I came into your office and found you standing there all glowy: Thought I was losing it for sure.” Jack frowned at the memory.
“Oma led me to believe that the Others had tied me to the SGC, even worse that they had restricted me to my office.” Daniel winced, “At least that’s what I understood her to mean. But thinking about it she simply said, ‘Your anchor is here, Daniel, and the tide will not take you while the winds of want do not blow.’”
Jack frowned again, this time with a sharp huff of anger. “Fucking glowy bitch; confusing for the sake of it.”
Daniel nodded and gave a gentle little smile. “I really believed that I couldn’t leave, Jack. So, earlier today, when you asked me if I would, I had to tell you no.”
Jack’s busy fingers stilled on Daniel’s skin and he remembered the desperation that had forced him to beg Daniel to leave. “I didn’t want you to go, but I couldn’t stand it any longer. Knowing that you were there, in your office, I couldn’t stay away even though I needed to.” He closed his eyes at the memory. “It was killing me to have you so close and not be able to touch you. I couldn’t believe we’d lost our chance after waiting so long.”
Daniel ran his knuckles over Jack’s cheek and felt a surge of love as his lover leaned into the caress. “It wasn’t until I heard Dr Olwell and Sgt Hughes talking in my office about you retiring that I realized.”
“I still don’t understand…” Jack expression was puzzled.
“It was you,” Daniel said gently. “I wasn’t tied to the Mountain, or my office. I was tied to you.” Daniel took Jack’s hand and linked their fingers together. “You are my anchor, Jack. That’s what Oma meant. Somehow she had managed to get around the rules the Others had set. I was tied to you until I wanted to move…Either move to you and live or move on…to die” The younger man shook his head ruefully. “I wasn’t thinking clearly otherwise I would have seen it sooner. I was free to leave as long as I gave up on you or I decided that it was you I wanted to be with. But until that decision was made I was bound to the mountain.”
“So hearing that I was going to retire…”
“Made me get my head out my ascended ass,” Daniel snorted.
Jack grinned back at him suddenly realizing that Daniel’s love for him was so strong it had brought him back from the ‘dead’.
“I love you, Jack,” Daniel continued shyly. “I came back because I need to be where you are.”
“I love you too, Danny. So it’s a good job I’ve put in my papers. Now we can be together without regs and mandates getting in the way.” Jack leaned in to kiss his lover, but was stopped by a hand on his chest.
“Well, actually, that’s another reason why I’m here,” Daniel began.
Jack lifted his eyebrows, sure he wasn’t going to like what he was about to be told. “Oooo-kaaay?”
“General Hammond knows about us.”
Jack nearly fell out of the bed in shock. “Daniel, what are you telling me?”
Daniel snorted at the look on Jack’s face which was met by a less than happy glower from the older man. “He told me he thought we had been together since before Nem’s planet,” Daniel explained with a grin. “Said he would have been willing to bet a week’s pay.”
“Fuck…” Jack puffed out a deep breath. “So you mean…?”
“Yep, we could have been together all this time, if not with his blessing then with his understanding.” Daniel pulled Jack’s hand to his mouth and pressed feather-light kisses on his knuckles. “So, you don’t have to retire for us to be together,” he concluded happily.
“Wow!” Jack was completely nonplussed. He’d told himself for years that the only thing keeping them apart was the Air Force and the oath he had taken. He didn’t agree with the policy and god knows he’d broken the rules before, but it had felt like they had no other option than to wait until he retired. Then Daniel had been sentenced to a slow painful death by the explosion on Kelowna and suddenly every chance they could’ve had was taken from them. Jack knew he couldn’t go through that again; that if he lost Daniel again he would surely die too.
“If we do this, Daniel; if I don’t retire and we both stay on active duty then you have to promise me you won’t leave me again; no heroics. No dying.” Jack demanded fiercely.
“I can’t, Jack. I can’t make that promise, the same way you can’t promise not to leave me.” Daniel replied gently, wincing as the idea of living without Jack made his heart clench.
Jack nodded and sighed. “Well then, at least stay with me for the rest of our forever. Can you promise me that?” He wound his arms around Daniel and pulled him in, surrounding him with his body and his love. As he melted into Jack’s arms he felt Daniel nod against his chest.