Summary: Just a quick one. Jack sees something and does a little snooping.
I don't believe what I just saw. Daniel and I just had a fight - again - and for a moment I saw fear in his eyes. Was he afraid of me? Or was he afraid that I knew something? I don't know, but his mask of indifference was back up in a flash. I hate this, I hate doing this to him, but he can't know about me. I'm sure he doesn't. So why else is he afraid? I think I'm going to have to do a little covert sneaking around to find out. First stop his office.
His door is slightly open, I can hear him in there. Sniffing? It's probably his allergies. Poor guy suffers with them something terrible this time of year. He's picking up the phone.
Jan? Hi, it's Daniel. Look, I need to talk to you. I think I've done something really, really stupid... Oh okay... an hour? Fine, that'll give me enough time to type up my resignation letter again... I know, I know, I won't hand it in till I've spoken to you... yeah, see you at Joe's.
He's put the phone down. I've got to think and think fast. Resignation letter? Sure, we had a fight, but it's not as if he hit me or anything. He may have wanted to but he didn't. Joe's, he said. I know the place, it's a bar down the mountain. Got booths in it so you can talk privately. Not today Danny Boy, I'm going fishing and this time I'm going to catch me a whopper.
An hour he said. Daniel is always late. I've found myself a booth where I can see people coming in, but no one can see me. Which is just as well because I don't want to be seen.
Ah, there he is, with Janet. Must've met her outside. Daniel's getting them a drink each and they're heading over here. Oh fuck. I shrink back into the shadows. Don't want them to see me.
As luck would have it they're in the next booth. I can listen in.
So Daniel, what have you done now?
I dunno, Jan. We had a fight - again - but this time he had this look in his eye, just for a moment, like he was horrified about something. I think I must have let him know somehow. It scared me, I can tell you.
Me? Horrified? The only thing I was horrified about was the fact that he was scared of me.
Did he say anything?
No, that's just it. He was his usual angry self, but for that moment it was as if he could read my mind and the whole thing just sickened him.
That's not true, Daniel. Your mind may be a scary place but it doesn't sicken me at all. It's gotten me out of a lot of trouble. I like your mind. I may not understand it, but I like it.
Do you think he knows, really?
Knows what? I know I'm not as dumb as I make out but I'm clueless here.
What else could it be, Jan? I've been trying to figure everything out and I'm stumped. What have I done wrong, Janet? Why does he hate me so much?
Oh God, Danny, I don't hate you, never could hate you. I love you, but I can't tell you that.
He doesn't, Daniel. If he did he wouldn't sit by your side in the infirmary when you're sick or injured.
Jan, all COs are supposed to look out for their team members. If he didn't check in on me he wouldn't be doing his job. Say what you like about him, he does his job better than any other CO.
It's more than that, Daniel. He gets really upset if you get hurt.
He gets really upset if Sam or Teal'c get hurt, Jan. You know, the funny thing is he really did care about me once.
Danny, Danny, I still do. I'm going to change things, I promise. From now on you'll see.
You two used to be close, didn't you?
I've never been closer to anyone, Jan, not even Shau're. We used to tell each other everything. He'd invite me over or come to my place. Friday night, if we were home, was sacrosanct. A movie or hockey match, beer, take out, generally chilling and having a laugh.
You hate beer and hockey.
You hate hockey? I knew about the beer, but hockey? You never said.
Don't you see, Janet? It didn't matter. It wasn't what we did, but the fact that we did it together.
When did it all start going wrong?
After Shau're died. I thought that he'd be there for me, you know? But he wasn't. I pushed him away, I guess.
Yes, Daniel, you pushed, but you were hurting and you needed me. I was in the wrong, I let you push me and I walked away because it was easier. Not because of the grief though.
Daniel, you were hurting. Damn the man, I'm going to give him a proper examination next time he's in. And I won't warm the lube either.
Oh laugh now, will you, book boy? It's okay when the joke's on me, isn't it?
No Jan, don't. It's not his fault. It's mine. I must have done something. I just wish he'd tell me what it was so I can put it right. It's either that or he knows. And if he knows then I have to go.
Unless he feels the same?
Feels the same? What do you mean? Why are you laughing so much Daniel? And why does it sound like you want to cry?
Oh God, Jan, you are funny. How could he? Look at me! I'm a civilian, I had to take extra lessons so that I could get signed off on a P90. I took extra fitness lessons too, self-defence and so on. I'd hoped...
Hoped what, Daniel?
Hoped what, Daniel?
Thanks Doc, I wanted to ask that.
Hoped he'd think I was more like a soldier. Maybe then he'd like me again.
Aw fuck, Danny, I didn't want that. Not that. You're my conscience, not my back-up. Though you've always done that well too. You're not supposed to be a soldier. Is that why you did it? Why do you sound so young when you say this? Did you always feel you had to make people like you in the foster homes? What have I done to you?
Daniel, you poor thing. I can see why you're so depressed. You should tell him, get it off your chest. At least then you'll know for sure.
No, no, no, I can't do that! Maybe if I stay out of his way, I dunno, take some more classes or something. If I tell him he'll hate me more. God, listen to me, I sound like some sort of lovestruck teenager!
Lovestruck? Oh boy.
Daniel, you listen to me. I know you, you're a hard man who's been through a hell of a lot. You're not given to flights of fancy. This isn't some sort of crush, you've been in love with him for years. Come on, you told me at least three years ago. You have to tell him. What's the worst that can happen?
In love? With me? Three years? What have I done?
He can kill me? *snigger* Jan, Jack barely tolerates me as it is. If I tell him now, all about me and how I feel, any hope I ever have of re-establishing our friendship is gone. He doesn't love me. How could he? He's straight for a start. Okay, I don't think he's homophobic, but if I were to tell him that in reality I'm gay he's likely to run a mile.
He probably wouldn't believe you anyway. What about Shau're and Sarah? Not to mention the others.
Yeah, there was Sarah. Sure, I slept with her, she wasn't the first either, but it wasn't serious. I didn't live with her, I'd have cramped her lifestyle. Not to mention she'd have cramped mine. Shau're was given to me. I grew to love her dearly, but I wouldn't have chosen to spend my life with her under normal circumstances. If I'd rejected her she'd have been cast out of the tribe and died in the desert. We became great friends and I did love her, with all my heart, but...
She wasn't the one for you?
Oh no. I already knew who that was. And he'd gone back through the gate. I thought to his wife.
Since then? Since the beginning? You never told me. Oh, of course you wouldn't have. Like I haven't told you. Well I'm going to. As soon as you've told me everything. Or rather told Janet.
Who was the first man in your life, Daniel?
The first, and the most serious relationship I ever had before Shau're, was with Faisal. We were together for five years.
Five years? You've never mentioned anything. Oh, you couldn't. It must have been killing you not to say anything.
What happened to him?
Fai? We drifted apart, he went back to Egypt, I headed to Oxford, and then he got killed in a car crash.
Oh, Daniel, I'm so sorry.
Yeah, me too. He was a great guy.
How old were you?
Sixteen when we met and started dating, but he wouldn't let me get serious till I was eighteen. I lived with him for three years after my birthday. That was one hell of a present he gave me. *giggle*
I'll bet it was. I can remember my first time. Can't say anything, of course, but Minnesota winters were cold. And I'm a good old country boy at heart even if I was from Chicago. You light fires by rubbing sticks together, right?
Are the tablets working, Daniel?
Tablets? What tablets?
Suppose so, I'm sleeping a bit better now.
You haven't put any weight back on though. Are you eating properly?
When I can.
When you remember more like.
I know, I know, regular meals and sleep. It's easy for you to say.
Daniel, you're suffering from clinical depression. I can help you. These herbal remedies are all well and good but they're not working for you at the moment. Let me help.
Janet, you know how I feel about mood-altering drugs, especially after, you know.
I know. But how else am I going to help you?
*snort* Kill me? Put me out of my misery?
I didn't know, Daniel, I'm so sorry. I've done this to you. I'm fucking killing you aren't I? And no, I had no idea you are gay, and I couldn't give a fuck. In fact, it makes me happy. I still can't tell you though, the stupid rules won't allow it. And if I tell you I'll have to leave. And if I leave, who's going to go with you through the gate and will he watch your back the way I do? Do you see my problem?
It doesn't help that there's the stupid rule, does it? I mean, if I tell him, and if by some amazing stretch of the imagination he didn't run screaming for his gun, we couldn't do anything about it.
See, you do see my problem.
That doesn't stop a lot of people, Daniel. Look, I'm not telling you this, and I sure as hell am not telling you any names, but there are gay soldiers at the base and they're not celibate. I just make sure that it's me that does the examinations if intimate ones are needed. Besides, I doubt that any of the other doctors would say anything anyway. You didn't have any problems when you were seeing you know who, did you? And he's military.
Yeah, but he's not based at the mountain, is he? It was easier to hide it.
Not based at the mountain? And when were you seeing anyone? Dammit, I haven't been paying enough attention to you, have I?
Granted. Why did you two split up anyway?
Nearly got caught once, couldn't take any more chances. I couldn't be responsible for ruining his career. He helped me a lot through the worst times. We're still good friends, we're always emailing each other, phoning, visiting whenever we can, but now I stay in an hotel instead. We can't stay together and we can only be very visible as friends. It's a killer, Jan. I spent all those years in academia, where intolerance was the only thing not tolerated. Nobody gave a fuck who you were with so long as you didn't cheat. Then I come to the biggest hotbed of homoerotic tension on the planet and can't do a fucking thing about it.
*snort* Tell me about it, babe. I'm single, I don't think I'm unattractive...
You're gorgeous, Jan, the sexiest woman on the base.
Why thank you kind sir. But you see my problem. I work with some of the sexiest men on the planet but none of them are interested in me. And why?
Because you have intimate knowledge of their prostate?
Hey, that could be it, you know *laugh*.
In my book, that's not such a bad thing, you know.
I'll bet it isn't sugar. Perhaps you and me should get together.
Oh, no, I don't think so.
Perhaps we should. Half the base thinks we're together anyway.
Daniel, most of the base think that you and Jack have been fucking like bunnies since the word go.
*howl* Oh God! That's so funny. Or it would be if I didn't want that to be happening. You see, this is my problem. Sure, I suppose I'm bi, not gay. I do like women. With you, I think you're beautiful, brilliant and sexy as hell.
But I don't ring your bell, hey hun?
Sorry. I wish you did. I don't think there's anyone that would be more fun to be with.
Thanks darlin'. But I share your problem. You and me, we're pals, right?
And don't think I don't think you're gorgeous, sweetie, I do. You're the sexiest guy on the base. Aw, stop blushing. You are. And those legs of yours. Hell, honey, they're so long they're obscene. And you're funny and cute...
Sure you are, sugar, not to mention you know how to treat a woman.
Okay, I can take a hint. HEY JOE, SAME AGAIN PLEASE.
See what I mean?
The mutual admiration society are laughing it up back there. Glad to know he's a little happier. So, what to do? I've got to make nice with Daniel, that's for sure. I don't want him depressed anymore. Tomorrow. I'm gonna start then.
Made it out of the bar without being seen, at least I hope so. Daniel didn't mention it this morning anyway, just as he didn't mention a resignation letter, so I'm hoping that I've been granted a reprieve. Now, to put my plan into action.
"Daniel, just the man I was looking for."
Dammit Daniel, not the 'deer in the headlights look' please.
"Uh, hi Jack. What have I done now?"
Shit, what have I been doing to him?
"Nothing. Why do you think that?"
"Um, because these days when you come to see me it's to bawl me out over something?"
"Fuck. Sorry. No, you haven't done anything wrong. In fact, you've done something right. I just wanted to say thank you for helping me out with the last mission report."
"Just doing my job, Jack."
Hell, you look really suspicious, as if you're wondering what's got into me. Can't say I blame you.
"Do you feel like coming over to my place tonight?"
"It's Friday. We haven't had a hockey night for a while."
"We haven't had a hockey night for two years, Jack."
That long? God, it must be. I'm sorry Daniel, I've just spent the last two years with my head up my ass. Don't worry, I've unplugged it now.
"Two years? No, it can't be. Well, in which case it's overdue. Seven o'clock? Don't be late, huh? I don't want to miss the start."
"Sorry Jack, no."
"No. I'm busy."
"I have a lot of work to do. If I'm going to stay on SG-1 I need to spend the rest of my time here doing all the other work that I'm expected to do. Of course, if you don't want me on the team anymore then I suppose I could find the time."
So it's coming to this, is it? I shut the office door and pull up a desk.
"Is that what you think? That I don't want you on my team?"
"It would appear so sometimes."
I'll bet it does, and I'm sorry. Why won't you look me in the eye? Why are you looking everywhere but at me?
"Well, I'm sorry if I give you that impression, Daniel, but it's not true. I need you on the team. I don't know of anyone else that could do your job."
I know Daniel. And I know his expressions. And this one is saying, 'yes, but do you want me on your team?'.
"Others could be trained."
"They could, but I don't want anyone else there, Daniel. I'm used to you."
Not the right thing to say apparently.
"Oh. So you're used to me."
"Is there something wrong with that?"
"Oh no, not at all."
Don't lie to me Daniel, I can hear the disappointment in your voice.
"So you see then Jack, I can't come over."
"I do see. I see that you are being worked too hard. I'll have a word with Hammond and see if we can't lighten your load."
"No, no, no, don't do that. I can cope. I can do the work."
Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, nobody thinks you can't. You have too much to do. Is it this needing to please thing again? Just how bad was your childhood?
"I never said you couldn't Daniel, but if you have to spend your downtime here you have too much. It's not fair on you. Wouldn't you like to have some more linguists around?"
"Yes, of course, but you don't have to do anything for me, Jack, not for me."
"Why not? Why shouldn't I? Daniel, if you saw a janitor here having to work past their hours just to do what was necessary, wouldn't you expect something to be done? For extra help to be brought in?"
"Yes, of course, but..."
"But nothing, Daniel. Why are you less important than a janitor?"
You can't answer that, can you? Crap, Danny, why must you keep thinking of yourself like this? This is going to change and change now.
"Daniel. Please come to my house tonight. I think we need to talk. I need to talk, to tell you something."
"Oh God, this is it, isn't it?"
"This is where you kick me off the team."
"NO! NOT going to happen, Daniel. Get this through your thick skull will you? Your position on the team is safe. Okay?"
"Absolutely. And whatever has been bugging you recently, well, you and I are going to clear the air tonight. No turning back, Daniel. We have to get this sorted."
"It's simple, Jack..."
"Not here, Daniel. Nineteen hundred, my place. Don't be late."
I walk out of the office before he can answer.
I also run straight down to the infirmary so I can hear Janet's conversation. He's bound to phone her. And he has by the look of it. I hang outside her office.
So tell him, sugar... no, I don't think he will... you're going in your car, aren't you? You can always leave... I know, I know, that's not going to happen... look, if it does, come straight over to mine. You and I can spend the rest of the evening getting smashed and eating chocolate, okay? Cassie's staying over with one of her friends, you can keep me company... Sure thing, sweetie, it will be okay, but you must tell him tonight, you can't keep it bottled up anymore, it's killing you... If I don't hear from you I'll assume it went well then... Great. Take care, hun, and good luck.
She's put the phone down so I scoot. Tonight it is then.
I was going to get a bottle of wine in, but Daniel would get suspicious. Well, more than he is now, that is. So I got some of that European beer he likes instead. I hope he comes. He has to. I made a supply run to the pharmacist on the other side of town first, just in case. It's been so long I hope I haven't forgotten the MO. He's here, oh God, he's here.
"Come in, Daniel, sit down, here, have a beer, take a load off. And thanks, by the way."
Thanks for coming and thanks for the beer you brought. My favourite brand.
"What time does the match start?"
Match? Oh the hockey.
"Half an hour. I figured you and I should have a talk first."
"Oh. What do you want to talk about?"
"Yes, us. And why do you keep answering me with a question?"
"So do you."
"No I don't."
"Yes, you do. Damn, we're arguing again. This isn't a good idea, Jack. Perhaps I should go?"
"Stay where you are, Daniel! We're gonna talk. I know things have been difficult between us recently and I'm sorry I've been so awful to you."
"Yes, I am. Why are you so afraid of me?"
"Because you always look like you want to kill me. Why Jack? What did I do that made you hate me so?"
Go straight for the jugular, why don't you?
"Nothing Daniel. It's not you. I don't hate you. I've never hated you."
"So why? Why do you shout at me so much? Why do you make me feel that I'm a waste of space? Why do I feel that you'd rather I wasn't around?"
He's nearly shouting, he's put his beer down, his actions are animated and he looks like he wants to cry. I know I do.
"Because I love you."
He looks like he's just been smacked on the face with a wet haddock. Oh great, now he's laughing. Hysteria is setting in.
"Oh that's a good one, Jack. For a moment there I thought you said you loved me."
"I do. I've been in love with you for years, Daniel, and there's not a damn thing I can do about it."
He's stopped laughing. His face is streaked with tears. I'm so sorry Danny.
"So why are you telling me this now?"
"Perhaps so that you'll understand why I've been such a bastard to you. I'm sorry, I'm more sorry than you can ever know. I didn't want to be like that, but seeing you every day, knowing that you could never love me the way I love you..."
He's crossed the room in a flash and he's standing right in front of me. For once I can't read his face. I think he wants to either kiss me or kill me. I'm hoping it's the former, but to be honest if he doesn't understand now I'd prefer the latter.
"You bastard! How could you? You've made my life a living hell for the last two years because you love me? Why the fuck didn't you say anything?"
"I COULDN'T! How could I? The stupid rules..."
"Are precisely that, stupid. You say you love me, wouldn't that have given you enough reason to break the rules?"
"Dammit, Daniel, it's not that easy. What would happen? If you returned my feelings I'd have to resign, or else I might get caught and be dishonourably discharged. And I don't trust anyone else to watch over you when you go through the gate."
I can't let him know that I know about him. Not now.
"So, you're saying you don't trust me to be discreet? That you don't trust any other colonel in the armed forces to watch my back?"
Well, seeing as you put it like that...
"So? What is it exactly?"
"I don't want you going out there with anyone else, okay? I need to know that you're all right!"
"Fucking marvellous. You spend two years screaming at me so you can know that I'm all right? Look at this!"
Oh shit. I haven't seen him in the showers in ages, I've been avoiding him in there so that he doesn't see the hard-on I get every time I see him nude. He's got such a beautiful body. Now he's just ripped his T shirt off and I get to see every fucking rib that he's got. Janet wasn't wrong. He hasn't been eating at all. It's the final straw and I break. I spent months in Iraq, they never broke me. Just one look at how ill Daniel has made himself because of me and I cry. Like a fucking baby.
"God Danny, I'm so sorry, I didn't know, sorry, sorry, sorry..."
God love him, he's holding me in his arms. How I've dreamt of the time he'd hold me. Has he any idea what he does to me?
"Shh, Jack, it's okay. We can sort something out, okay? I can leave the SGC. You won't have to see me again. I cause you so much pain and worry, don't I? I'm sorry Jack."
"NO! Please don't go, Danny. I'll leave, okay? I can retire. I won't hurt you again, I'm sorry. It's all my fault, not yours. I'll go if either of us does. Not you. I want to see you, I need to. That is if you still want to see me. You haven't said how you feel about me. I wouldn't blame you if you hated me. And you're straight, aren't you?"
I've got to force this out of him now or it will be too late.
"No, I'm not. I thought you knew. I assumed you were, what with Sara and your job and everything. I thought you hated me for it."
"No, never that. Oh God, how stupid have I been?"
"More than normal? More than me?"
"Danny, how do you feel about me?"
"Jack. I have stuck around for the last two years of your bitching and yelling. What does that tell you?"
"That you're as stupid as me?"
"*snort* Probably. I fell in love with you from when we were on Abydos the first time. That's why I put up with your crap, Jack. I so wanted you to just like me again, to be my friend. I only ever dreamed that one day you might give in and feel the same."
"So, what do we do now?"
"There's nothing we can do, is there? We both need to go through the gate. I won't go through without you, not regularly. To be honest, I don't trust anyone else to watch out for me. And as you say, we might get caught and you could be fired. I won't be a witness at your court martial, hostile or otherwise."
"So, that's it, is it? I love you, you love me and we're back to fucking square one."
"More appropriately 'not fucking' square one."
That's one of the things I love about him. No matter what he can always find some sort of humour in a situation. Well, to hell with the rules, and to hell with the Goa'uld, the planet and the job. They can find someone else to do it if necessary. We'll be discreet, but when it comes down to it I've given far too much for my job as it is. They can fucking jump if they want me to give him up.
"Um, Jack? What are you doing?"
"Kissing you? Got a problem with that?"
"Not as such, but I thought..."
"That's your problem then, you think too much. Not gonna give you up, Danny, not gonna give up on you either. Not ever. Okay?"
"Oh yeah, I think I can live with that."
"How about living with me?"
"So much for discreet."
"We'll figure something out."
"Living with you would mean sleeping with you. Ah, yes, I like that, just there. Hmm."
"Sleeping, sounds good. Wanna see my bedroom?"
"What about the hockey?"
"Oh, okay. Lead the way."
So I do.