Summary: The past helps the boys with their futures. With Janet's help. Thanks to Joy for the beta. Smooches dahlink.
"Uh, Sam? What's up?"
She's standing at my doorway, arms wrapped around herself, frowning and tapping her foot. Why do I get the feeling I'm in trouble?
"Daniel. You've hardly left your office in a week. We're supposed to be on light duties after that last trip out and until the Colonel recovers from his, er, um, injury."
Oh yes, the, er, um, injury. Where he fell flat on his ass and bruised his butt so badly he hasn't been able to sit down for a week. He should be nearly better now. Still, gave us a laugh when it happened.
"I am on light duties - I'm translating. Can't get much lighter than sitting here with a pen and paper, Sam."
"Daniel." Oh fuck, she's growling at me. I really am in trouble. "Come on, we're getting out of here. Me, you, Janet and some alcohol. Your place I think."
I was right. Whenever those two gang up on me I'm in deep, deep shit.
"Uh huh - move it or lose it, Jackson."
A friend used to say, 'when defeat is inevitable, relax and enjoy the consequences'. I'm relaxed, I guess. Still a bit nervous though.
"Okay, okay, I was just about finished here anyway. What time is it?"
"Eighteen hundred, Daniel. It's not that late or early for that matter. Time to go."
How do I let myself get talked into these things? Somehow, 'Me, you, Janet and some alcohol,' has grown into Sam, Janet, me, a major raid on the local wine shop and we pretty much cleared out the Chinese restaurant. It's party time. And they seem determined to get me drunk. I'm getting more nervous by the minute. They're after something.
"Daniel." Here it comes. "What's wrong with you? What's upsetting you so much?"
"Crap." Thanks for that Jan. "You're losing weight, you're quieter than normal, in fact we rarely see you smile at work. Can't remember the last time we heard you laugh there. What's wrong? Aren't you happy there?"
"I'm fine. Honestly. The work's great. Couldn't imagine working anywhere else."
Sam's feeding me more wine. Jan's feeding me more chow mein. I'm thinking of leaving the country.
"Come on, you can tell us," Jan's saying. She's doing that really cute thing she does, batting her eyelashes at me and drawling like the Southern Belle she is.
"Nothing to tell, honestly."
"If I didn't know better," she says slowly, "I'd say you're in love."
Ah. Crap. Didn't think I'd been that obvious. Swift denials from me are met with stares. Shit.
"Who is it? Come on, honey, tell us," Sam insists.
"I'm sorry, guys, I can't. I really can't tell you that. You'll have to accept that I'm afraid."
"It's not one of us two is it?" Jan asks carefully.
"Sorry, no, it's not. I love you both - you know I do. I also think you're very attractive. But..."
"We're not your type?" Sam suggests quietly.
"Don't be sorry you daft thing," Jan laughs, giving me a hug. "But if short and dark or tall and blonde aren't your thing, what is?"
Oh boy. I could tell them. I know I could tell them. And I know they'd never say. But should I?
"Talk or we'll tie you down and tickle you," Sam threatens.
So, I'm a coward. Sue me.
"Let's just say if I really was military, you wouldn't be able to ask, and I sure as hell wouldn't tell you."
Well, that got a reaction.
"You're gay? Never saw that one coming," Sam replies.
"Well, bi, I guess. I like women, don't get me wrong, but I like guys more. Always have done. Why do you think you haven't heard much about my past."
"Fair enough," Jan says. "So, are you going to tell us who's the object of your desire? Don't worry, we won't say a word. Promise."
"I know you won't, but I can't. You know that. Besides, it's pointless. He's straight."
"It's impossible to direct how you feel about someone," I say sadly. I am sad about it too.
"Why not look for someone else while you're waiting for him to get his head out of his butt then?" Jan snorts.
"Look, it's not as simple as that." I am talking way too much and I know it. We don't need to torture people for information - just set Abbott and Costello here on them. They insist and you spill.
"I don't want anyone else, okay? And if I let myself look..." crap, I can't tell them this bit.
"I won't be able to stop. I was a bad boy at college, girls."
Sam spits her wine out. "What? You're an addict?"
"You have no idea. Once I start..."
"Shit, Daniel. Right, we want details. Lots. Or we will tickle you. Tell you what," Jan says after a moment's pause, "you tell us what you were like at college, and we won't press you to find out who the lucky guy is - or should be. What do you think?"
I think I should emigrate. Now. If not sooner. But, seeing as it's the lesser of the two evils...
"C'mon, bedroom," I tell them.
"Daniel?" Sam sounds worried.
"My photo album is in there - all of them are. Do you want to know or don't you?"
So now I'm half-sitting, half-lying on my bed, a gorgeous woman either side of me and I can't and won't lay a finger on them. Am I NUTS?
"Whoa! Daniel. Who's the god?"
"That's Faisal. My first boyfriend and the start of my, well, it's not an addiction, just let's say it's a passion. Okay? I was sixteen when we met."
"Isn't that a bit young?" Sam interrupts.
"Sam, do you want me to tell you or not?"
"Go on, please," she giggles and snuggles under my arm. Tweedle Dee joins in snuggling under the other one.
"You're right, I was too young really, so Fai insisted that I date other people. Trouble was, I was nuts about him..."
Daniel, you really should see others you know. How do you even know you're gay? Huh? You may find that you like women too. It does happen.
Fai, I don't want anyone else. I want you. Though heaven only knows why - you won't even fu...
Daniel! You are too young for that. Look, I care about you. You know I do. I want what's best for you. You've been passed from pillar to post, you're looking for a stable relationship. I understand that. But it's not right. Not yet. We'll still see each other, but I want you to see other people. At least until you are sure in your own mind.
"So, I plucked up my courage and asked a girl out. I was stunned when she said yes, to tell the truth. She was nineteen - I was sixteen and by anyone's definition, a geek. Seems she liked geeks. She was called Daria and she was pretty hot. And a nympho. And no, I don't have any pics of her. Only those that meant anything to me are in here. Still, she, um, taught me what I needed to know," I snort. Boy did she ever.
"After a couple of weeks of dating her I was getting pretty fed up. I was getting plenty, but not with Fai and it was driving me insane. Not to mention the fact that he wouldn't see me while I was dating anyone else. So I stopped seeing her and went back to him."
There. Done what you asked. I went, dated a girl, got laid and got bored with the whole fucking thing. NOW will you take me to bed? Please? C'mon Fai, I know you want to.
Sure, I want to, Daniel. I want you more than you could possibly imagine. But you are still too young.
Right! Forget it! I'll find someone else. I'm sure there are plenty of guys out there that would fuck me.
DANIEL! Don't you even think of doing that. Would any other man treat you with respect? Would he?
Maybe not, but at least I'd know he wanted me.
You want to know how much I want you? Come here.
"That night was incredible. I eventually got something of what I wanted - not everything, but something. Not saying what so don't ask."
Oh God, Daniel, you are so beautiful. That's it. Give it up for me, please. Yes, you can touch me. Oh please Dan, please. You're so good. There, that's it. Come on, baby, come with me.
"He used it as bait to get me to go out with girls. Every time I saw a girl for a week or two, he'd teach me another trick. He was pretty cool for an old guy."
"Yeah, used to call him my 'old man'. He was twenty-six. Ten years when you're sixteen is a long time. I was the only guy he'd gone out with that was a lot younger than him. He normally preferred guys of his own age, but I worked on him. Trouble was, I was getting used to getting laid pretty regularly by now."
"Slut," Sam smacks my chest and then nuzzles a bit closer.
"You have no idea. When I turned seventeen though I refused to see anyone else. We were exclusive till I was twenty-one and he went back to Egypt and I headed off to Oxford."
"What happened to him?" Jan asks.
"He was killed in a car crash."
They're quiet now, hugging me closer.
"Careful girls, too much of this and I might lose any sense of self restraint," I tease. Jan moans seductively and Sam laughs her ass off.
"Prick," she says.
"Yup. Think you'll find I've got one of those too."
Sam's losing it. Jan confirms that I do indeed have one of them.
"Pretty darn impressive one too," she drawls.
"Why thank you, I think," I reply and Sam falls off the bed laughing.
"While you're down there, go get the wine," I tell her and she crawls off to the living room.
"How old were you when you finally, um, got what you wanted?" Jan asks while she's out.
"My eighteenth birthday. He was reluctant still. I think it was the age thing. He didn't want to be seen as taking advantage of me."
"How did you get him to?"
"Slammed him up against the door and demanded that he take me to his bed and fuck me. Or he wouldn't see me again. He got the message."
"I'll bet he did. Was he good?"
"Best there's ever been. I've been trying to replace him. Just can't, ya know?"
"Sure. You don't get so satisfied with women, do you?"
"Nah. You're thinking about Shau're, aren't you? Well, it was different between us. She was still pretty young, late teens I guess. I was thirty. I didn't want to hurt her so I was always very gentle with her. Fortunately it was the done thing to have a male lover there as well. Required of me in fact. So I got satisfied elsewhere. But I did love her, Jan, with all my heart. I'll kill anyone that ever doubts that."
Sam's back and pouring wine. I'm glad she didn't hear that. There's things I can tell Jan I could never tell anyone else. I know she'll never judge me.
"So, Daniel, how did you get so many women to go out with you when you were so young?" Sam asks.
"Got myself a reputation, I guess."
"Oh? What for?"
I look at her, take her glass off her and put it on the bedside table and then take her face in my hand. My eyes question her and she nods. Then I kiss her. And kiss her. Till she wraps her arms around me and pulls me down the bed.
We break for air.
"Oh. My. God. You are very good at that, Daniel," she pants.
"Are we okay?" I ask.
"Of course. Exhausted, but okay."
"So, Daniel, who else was there in your life?" Jan nudges me in the ribs as she does.
Oh, okay. More wine first though...
Just how do I end up in these states? I'm crashed out on my bed, Sam's tucked under one arm, Jan's under the other. They've both got their legs wrapped around mine and they're using my chest and shoulders as pillows. I should consider myself the luckiest guy on the planet. It's just typical that I seem to be losing whatever attraction I had for women though and I only want that one man. The one I can't have, of course.
"Oh God," Jan's waking. "Just how much did we drink last night?"
"Not sure, but I think the GNP of France is safe this year."
*snort* "How can you even think at times like this? Don't answer that, book boy. Just point me in the direction of the bathroom. I knew where it was last night but I'm not sure I could find it now given a sniffer dog, compass and map."
I peel myself from under Sam and Jan and I fall off the bed. While she hits the bathroom I get the coffee on.
She comes in, I go out, get myself sorted and head back for coffee.
"How long have you been in love with Jack?" she asks as we sit across the table from each other. I nearly spit out my coffee, but then I realise that she would figure me out pretty quickly.
"A long time, Jan. Am I obvious?"
"No. You keep that side of you well-hidden. It can't be easy on you, honey."
"It's not. Don't say anything to Sam, will you?" I whisper as I can hear her moving in the bedroom.
"Don't worry. Doctor's privilege. Come see me, Daniel, come and talk to me, please. You're getting depressed and it's worrying the hell out of me."
"To be honest, despite the hangover, I'm feeling better this morning. Maybe I can try to move on. You're right. I should look elsewhere. Just need to find someone that can keep up with me."
"I can always give you bromide," she retorts.
It may yet come to that.
Don't know what's got into Daniel this last couple of days. He's been acting strange. Almost... oh God, happy. That's what it is. He hasn't been happy has he? Wonder what's changed his mind? There was a time when I could make him happy. Till he walked from me and I let him go.
I used to be happy then too. I miss him so much it hurts. He tried to be my friend, tried to hold on to my friendship, but I pushed him away. I had to. For his sake. And for mine. It's hard being in love with a straight guy. I know he wouldn't say anything, wouldn't hate me for it. But to take the chance on being rejected by him... I can't.
It's been so long since I was with a guy. I'll never forget my first. His name was Rick and he lived near us up in Minnesota. Two years we were together. I was fifteen, he was sixteen. We stayed together till college and the Academy called. Had to give up guys to get my wings. Didn't stop me cruising occasionally, especially when I was somewhere I knew I was safe.
Oh crap - Napoleon.
"Hey Doc, what's up?"
"That was close, Colonel, but you're definitely no Bugs. I want to talk to you, I'm worried."
"Oh? About what?"
"More like 'whom'?"
"Come into my office then."
This is strange. I have no idea what she's worried about, or who. Still, here goes.
"Take a load off, Doc," I point to a seat and shut the door behind her.
"Is your camera on?"
"Yes, but no sound. I insist on that."
"Good. This is me talking Jack - Janet. Okay?"
"I'm worried about you, to be frank. You've been quiet, uncommunicative, withdrawn and it's not like you. Tell me what's up or I'll have to recommend a psych evaluation."
Cut to the chase, why don't you?
"I'm fine. There's nothing wrong."
"Crap. I know you, Jack, I know you all too well. For the last few months you've been different. You used to be fun, happy, the centre of attention. Now you don't go out with your team, you don't laugh much, you're not even as insubordinate as you once were. Now, I know that the General would probably be glad about the last point but it's not you. I'm giving you an ultimatum, Jack. You talk to me, tell me exactly what's wrong or I will make a report. It's starting to affect the way you do your job."
Shit. I can't tell her. But then, I know her, she'd rather die than betray a confidence.
"Fine. Okay. Not here though. Come to my place after work, okay? We'll talk there. But I'm telling you, Janet, this is so secret that even the President himself can't get to hear about it."
"Patient confidentiality, Jack, it means something to me. I'll never betray that oath I took, it means more to me than my job does."
"Yeah, I know. I'll see you at mine then."
She should be here soon. I've had a couple of drinks already 'cause I know I couldn't admit to a damned thing if I was sober. She might hate me for this, might insist that I retire. That probably wouldn't be such a bad thing. Maybe I could say something if I did. Oh hell, she's here.
"Come in Jan. Drink?"
"Coffee please, I have to drive."
She comes in and we head to the kitchen. I put some coffee on and we sit facing each other across the table.
"So, are you going to tell me what's wrong?" she asks as I put the mug in front of her.
"Not sure how to, to tell the truth. I have to keep a secret and it's killing me."
"Is it work related or personal."
"Both, sorta. Well, the secret has to be kept because of work, the rules and all."
Her eyebrow goes up as she considers this.
"Who is he?"
"Come on, Jack, I'm not stupid. You can't tell me something personal because of work. And given the way you've been moping about the place I'd say you're in love. So, who is he?"
"I can't tell you that, Jan."
"Ok-ay. Tell me this then, would he be the first if you got together?"
"Um, no. Not the first. Not by a long shot."
"You surprise me."
"Good. Keeping that side of me secret, Jan, it's a killer. There haven't been that many, one biggie, some casual, ways before I met Sara, but I still like guys. I have to hide that."
"Why did you join up? I take it you're bi? You knew that you couldn't carry on that way if you joined up, so why?"
"I wanted to fly, Jan. I wanted to serve my country too. But flying... it meant more to me than guys did."
"Till whoever he is turned up?"
"You know I'd never tell anyone if you told me who he was. Is he in the service? Is he gay?"
"I know, no, and no, in that order."
"He's a civvy. Not so much of a problem then." She sits quietly for a minute and then stands up. Reaching out, she puts her hand on my arm and says, "You know, Daniel would understand a lot better than you think. It would explain a lot to him at least. You owe him that much, Jack. He's very hurt by you withdrawing from him. Tell him, Jack, I think things would be a lot better than you imagine."
I should have known she'd guess. I say nothing though, not confirming it. But I'm sure as hell not denying it. Perhaps I should tell him.
Jack's being nice to me today and I don't know why. It's unnerving. I know he doesn't care about me, so why is he doing this? I shouldn't have walked from him when Shau're died, but I was hurting so much. I wanted him to come after me, the way he always would do before, but he didn't. Perhaps he was fed up of me. Anyway, it doesn't explain why he's being so damned sweet.
"Fancy coming for a drink, Daniel? You look like you could do with one," he calls as we get changed into civvies.
"I don't know why. You just do. Want to talk about whatever's bothering you?"
"Er, nothing's bothering me. And why are you being like this? Has Hammond got onto you or something?"
Crap. He looks hurt by that. Trouble is I've been in love with him for so damned long and had to put up with so much crap from him that I'm not sure I trust him anymore.
"Of course not," he bristles, "I was just concerned, okay?"
"Okay, thanks, I think."
"So? You want to come for a drink or not?"
"Um, not, thanks. I just want to go home, rest, that sort of thing."
"Daniel, please, I could do with the company."
I'm not sure how to take that, but he sounds so dejected I suppose I'd better.
"Fine, okay, but not for long, I'm tired."
We're in some bar in the middle of town. It's quiet in a way, but noisy too. No music, just people talking. We pull up chairs around a small table away from everyone. I want to know what the hell this is all about but Jack isn't talking. I want to say something, but for once, I'm lost for words. He is lost, I think. I need to know what this is about but he's not talking - why isn't he talking?
I can't take this anymore. I tried to start a conversation, but his grunt in reply cut it short. I'm off. I slam what's left of my drink and put my glass down.
"See you at work, Jack," I say as I start to walk out.
"Danny," his voice is cracking as he puts his hand up to stop me. Crap. I know that look, that hunger. I know what this is all about now.
"Not here Jack," is all I say.
He nods, finishes his drink and then follows me out. I get into my car and drive home. He's following me. I wait in the parking lot for him and he comes up to my side, not saying a word, but shaking with tension. I daren't touch him yet.
Looking back, all of those fights over the last few months, all of the distance, it's starting to make sense now. Jack's in love with me and he's afraid. Of what I'm not sure, but I can guess. Afraid I wouldn't feel the same, afraid that I'm straight, afraid maybe of losing what is now a tenuous grip on our friendship, afraid of losing his job, that sort of thing. All the things that I've been afraid of too - I don't have the job threat, but I couldn't deal with him suffering because of me. Jack - if he wants to take this further - has decided that I come before his job, his life even. It's up to me now to make this easier for him.
We emerge from the elevator and I open my door and let us in. He's visibly shaking now. What do I have to do? I pour him a drink.
"Here, drink this. You're not driving home anyway, Jack, you're in no fit state."
He takes it with a nod and I pour myself one.
"I have something to tell you, Jack, and I don't know what it's going to do to us," I start. He goes to interrupt but I don't let him.
"Please, Jack, let me tell you this. Keeping it in is killing me. I want you to listen, please don't judge me or hate me. You can kick me off the team if you want, but I've got to tell you. I'm in love with you. I'm sorry Jack, I didn't mean this to happen, but it did. I'm bi, probably nearer gay these days, since Shau're died I haven't met a woman that did anything for me really. I reached out to Kera, but I think I saw someone that I could relate to there, someone else that had lost everything. That was my last gasp attempt at heterosexuality, Jack. Tell me, do you want me off the team?"
He said nothing through my little speech, nothing at all. He looks stunned. He's not reacting at all. Shit. I read him wrong. Ah well, our friendship was dying, I guess that I just killed it. I get up and pour myself another drink, trying to control myself. I'm not going to cry in front of him. Maybe when I'm on my own, but not now. Years of schooling myself in front of vicious pupils at school or jealous older foster siblings has enabled me to keep a mask of calm, when in reality my heart is breaking. It's not the first time I've fucked things up, I doubt it will be the last.
"Jack? Do you want me off the team?" I ask again as I turn to face him. He's standing behind me, making me jump as I didn't hear him move. Tears are falling down his face.
"I'm sorry, Jack, so sorry. I shouldn't have told you, should I? I should have kept it to myself. I'll resign tomorrow, okay? You won't have to see me again. I'll leave the SGC - maybe the planet if I can get permission. I doubt I could work on Earth anyway."
"Danny," his voice is still cracked, pained. Shit, what have I done to him? "Don't leave me, please."
He reaches out, touches my face and strokes my cheek. It's been so long since anyone touched me like this. My mask drops, my tears threaten now.
"Shh, love, it will be okay. We'll figure it all out." He tells me more in those two sentences than he has done in years. He does love me, I was right. I can breathe now.
I reach out to his face, touch him with the respect that he's touching me.
"Loved you for so long, Jack," I whisper.
"I should have known... wanted to, ya know? Was scared, so fucking scared that you couldn't love me the way I love you. You're not the only one, Danny. Never been straight myself. Only ever Sara for me. Only her. Been a long time though, couldn't look at a guy or I'd lose my wings. Till I met you. Realised a few months ago that I wanted you more than I wanted my wings and it scared me shitless. Never thought you'd want me. Never looked at you to see if you wanted me."
"I tried to hide it, Jack, I tried so hard. Jan realised. As soon as I told her I was gay."
Jack looks at me with a curious face.
"She and Sam ganged up on me, got me drunk, made me confess that I was in love. Jan waited till the morning when Sam was in bed. She said your name, Jack, asked me how long I'd loved you."
"She picked on me, told me I'd have to tell her what was wrong with me or she'd set Mac on me."
"I told her. Told her I was in love. She said that, and I quote, 'You know, Daniel would understand a lot better than you think,' and that I owed it to you to tell you. She was right."
I start to laugh and so does Jack. It's been a long time since we laughed together. We move closer to each other, our lips almost, but not quite touching.
"I think," I tell him as my fingers give into the mind of their own and start to undo his shirt, "I think we should buy her a huge bunch of flowers as a thank you."
"Hmm," he says as his lips gently brush mine. "The biggest one ever."
I'm stunned. Thrilled. Amazed. Stupefied. Shocked. The happiest man on the planet. Also the most fucking annoyed - with us both for hiding from each other for so long. We were fighting when we could have been loving. Shit. How stupid can two people get?
However, that's rhetorical, especially as my mouth is currently otherwise engaged. Daniel led me to his bedroom, no words spoken, none needed. We're going back to our old ways, understanding each other's bodies, faces, emotions. No more hiding from each other. No hiding any damned thing... whoa! He's starting to undress. A slow, sensual strip. I'm already ready to blow. Anything, really. If he wants me to do that... I have dreamed of doing that. And having him do it to me. It's even better now I know that he knows what he's doing.
God, does he ever?
"You are so fucking gorgeous, Daniel, so beautiful. Never seen a guy look half as good as you. It's been hard keeping my hands off you."
"Don't you dare keep them off me anymore, flyboy," he growls, in the sexiest voice I have ever heard. "Strip," he commands. I can follow orders. I do, as quick as I can. His breathing is getting shallow, he's looking at me, his eyes raking my battered old body.
"Beautiful," he whispers, "just how I dreamed it would be."
Me? Oh my God, he means it. Danny never says a thing he doesn't mean. I never knew. I want to kiss him, touch him, but he wants to lead. I can let him do that. He has to follow me in the field, but the colonel is not welcome in his house. I've always known that. Only Jack could come in, never the colonel. So that's us, Jack and Daniel, equals, partners for life. I know that Daniel would never attempt to dominate me - he'd fail and we'd end up hating each other. Besides, it's not his way. Not into boss and worker, never into master and slave.
I'm on the bed, lying down, he's charting my body, mapping my scars, kissing away the hurts that put them there. Maybe one day I'll tell him how I got some of them. It might help expunge the memories that still come to me at night. I'll try to do the same for him. He's in the lead, but he's treating me with the utmost love and respect. When he told me tonight I was so shocked. Partially because I didn't know, but mainly because I knew there and then that no matter the past, our future was laid out.
"Jack, I want you," he murmurs, "I need you inside me. Will you, please?"
He's begging me to fuck him? Is he nuts? Of course I will. As long as he returns the favour later...
"On your back, Danny, I want to watch your beautiful face."
He hands me some lube from his drawer. It's already been used. Hmm, words later, methinks. Still, not spoiling the moment. But I am going to treat myself to something I have wanted for the longest time.
"Jack," he moans as he writhes around as I go down and take him in my mouth. My tongue swipes up and down, over the head, tickling the eye as my fingers probe the entrance to his sexy ass. One in and it gets a gasp and I get a thrust down my throat. I can do that for him if he wants. I pull back and go down again and again. He gets the message and starts moving his hips in time. My fingers push in, two, three, his hips slam up as I hit the sweet spot. I'm so glad I learned how to deep-throat a long time ago. Rick loved it so much that it became instinctual. I love it too. Hope Danny knows how.
He's coming and coming hard, crying out my name, shit, he's crying.
"Shh, Danny, shh."
"Jack, inside me, please, babe, please."
What's a guy to do? He drapes his legs over my shoulders and I slip in quick. Moans, groans, curses and endearments, very few in English come my way. I move as instructed - he's a very pushy bottom. So am I. Bedtime is going to be a battlefield at times I think. I'm doing as I'm told though. After what we've gone through over the last few months I think it's time we just get on with it and get what we both want.
Can't take any more. It's just too intense. We have all the time in the world to explore each other. I'm gonna come soon, Danny's gonna get the second coming. I'm hitting the spot time and again, his cries are turning into screams, demands. He's begging me to make him come again. I'm going to babe, I'm going to.
My cry pushes him and I watch him as he coats himself. He calls my name as I called his. I collapse on top of him, both our bodies shuddering through the final moments.
"Oh God Danny, love you so much, so fucking much. Never going to leave you, babe, never."
"You'd better not," he says with a smile. "Don't even think about it."
Jan's looking at us as if we've both grown two heads. Well, she did come into work to find her office filled with flowers. Jack and I raided the local florists and came into work early. We had to buy about ten vases, too. It's worth it to see her face. She gets the message. It's a thank you. We can put the past behind us. We've got a future to look forward to.