Crown Infernal

Part 2

Jack spent much of the day beside Daniel's bed, working his reluctant way through a pile of paperwork. There had been a repeat of the beta wave spike followed by an alpha-theta state again, but Jack had missed it, having just closed his eyes for a few moments. Paperwork was just so riveting...

Janet reappeared shortly afterwards which roused him from his drifting state of consciousness. They were both disappointed to find that the delta rhythms were back again.

"Why don't you go and get some fresh air, Colonel," Janet suggested, "clear the cobwebs away. Sam's here so she'll take your place."

It seemed like a good idea. Jack had been inside the mountain breathing its slightly stale air since their return from the ill-omened P9Z-221. Maybe a breath of fresh Colorado air would make him feel a little less lethargic.

As it was several hours since lunch, he stopped on the way at the commissary, where he grabbed a sandwich, a donut and a bottle of spring water, then made his way up to the surface.

The sun of late summer improved his mood as he trekked up to his favorite rocky outcrop, He liked that particular spot because it made him feel like he was balanced between heaven and earth. Above was the celestial vault, blue-dazzled by the sun which hid the rest of the universe with all its dangers. Below was the perceived safety of civilization that was Colorado Springs; it was his tether, knowing that life went on down there, ant-like, in happy ignorance of those far-off but very real threats.

He munched thoughtfully through his snacks, contemplating Daniel's present predicament. He should be recovering by now, yet he wasn't - far from it. Jack couldn't help feeling that they must be missing something, yet he couldn't imagine what. He kept running the horrible events on P9Z-221 through his mind, looking for a straw to grab hold of but nothing new offered.

Having finished eating, he folded his jacket into a pillow, lay back upon the sun-warmed rock and watched birds circling overhead, or just passing through. Above them, cotton-candy clouds drifted lazily by. He let himself relax a little, and remembered the childhood pastime that kept him entertained when childhood ailments kept him confined to bed. Drowsily he watched the clouds shape themselves into dragons, dinosaurs, eagles, a fine white castle—

His eyes closed as the castle formed itself into a temple...

When he returned to the infirmary an hour or so later, he felt physically rested but mentally and emotionally drained. It seemed to be affecting Sam, too, who was gently dozing with her head nodding on her chest when he arrived. He forbore to wake her but pulled up a chair and sat beside her, sadly regarding his comatose friend.

"About a klik and a half, sir. We're just thinking of packing up," Sam muttered suddenly.

"What?" Jack asked, then realized she was still asleep and, presumably, dreaming.

"Is it " she said after a moment's pause, then, "Oh God, Daniel's hurt. We've got to go. Now."

Another pause.

"Never mind the rest of the plants. The colonel said Daniel's badly hurt and to step on the gas..."

There were a couple more sporadic comments. She seemed distressed - understandably - and Jack was about to wake her when she gave a soft sigh. Her breathing, which had become ragged, evened out and she seemed to settle. It was only a brief respite.

"About a klik and a half, sir. We're just thinking of packing up."

Jack didn't hesitate this time but gently shook her. She jerked into wakeful confusion and looked around as though threat assessing.

"Sir?" she said as she got her bearings.

"It's okay, Carter," he soothed. "You were about to have a bad dream, I think."

"Yes," she said in surprise. "How did you know?"

"You were talking in your sleep."

"Oh." She paused for a moment, then added. "It's funny - well, not funny exactly - but every time I fall asleep, I dream about the same thing and the dreams are identical."

"You're reliving what happened on P9... whatever, right?"

"Yeh," Sam agreed thoughtfully. She looked inquiringly at her C.O. "You too?" she speculated.

"Yeah... Me too... " Jack sighed. "It's a kicker, isn't it?"

The two sat glumly side by side, lulled by the gentle sounds of the monitoring equipment as they kept watch over their motionless friend and colleague. Janet checked up on her most frequent patient from time to time in between dealing with several members of S.G.-11 who'd been injured when the apparently solid rock they were drilling into turned out to be not so solid after all.

Sometime later, Teal'c joined the rest of his team in the infirmary.

"Is there still no change, O'Neill?" he asked.

"No. If anything he's getting worse. The doc says he keeps having these changes in his brain wave patterns and each time it happens they get - they get - slower, or something." Jack looked up over his shoulder at Teal'c. "Say, T, you're not looking so good yourself," he said in concern.

"I am having difficulty in achieving the proper state of kelno'reem."


" You don't dream, do you, Teal'c?" Sam asked.

"I do not. In kelno'reem, I am in complete control of my thoughts. Usually."

"But ?" Jack prompted.

"It is as though something is preventing me from reaching a deep enough state. I keep seeing... images."

Jack and Sam exchanged puzzled looks.

"Sounds like dreams to me," Jack muttered.

"What sort of images," asked Sam.

"We are on P9Z - 221. You receive a call from O'Neill. The conversation is short. Daniel Jackson has been badly injured. We must make haste back to the Stargate. When we arrive, there is much activity - much blood "

"Uh, yeah, we can follow it from there, T," Jack said with a pained look at Daniel.

"It is most disturbing," Teal'c concluded.

"Back up a bit, Teal'c," Sam said. "You said you're usually in complete control when you kelno'reem. How often does this... this loss of control happen?"

"It has only happened twice before, Major Carter. The first time was " Teal'c paused. "The first time was when my father was killed by Cronus, and the second was when Daniel Jackson disappeared on P7X-377."

"That the planet with the nintendos?" Jack asked.

"Neutrinos," Sam replied, rolling her eyes.

"Hey, I was just asking," Jack said a little indignantly.

"Do you think that Daniel Jackson is somehow... out of phase again, Major Carter?"

"I don't know. I mean, he can't very well be out of phase as we have his... his body right here in plain sight."

There was a thoughtful pause, then Jack broke the silence. "It can't be just coincidence that we're all having the same dreams... Can it?"

"Well it could be," Sam said slowly, "but in our line of work... I have an idea. Wait there."

Jack and Teal'c exchanged blank looks as Sam disappeared into Janet's office. Jack shrugged and returned to contemplating Daniel's fate. Sam soon returned with a sheaf of print-outs in her hand.

"These are records of Daniel's brain waves mapped against time. Maybe we can make some sense out of the fluctuations."

After careful examination, Sam sighed in disappointment. "Bang goes my theory."

"What theory, Carter?"

"I thought maybe the increased brain activity might tie in with times when one or other of us was asleep. And it does, up to a point, but I'm sure I was only asleep for a short time, just before you woke me, sir. Yet there's quite a long period of activity around mid to late afternoon."

Jack gave a grim smile. "I think your theory does work. That was when Janet sent me off to get a breath of fresh air. I'd guess I dozed off around that time," he said, pointing to a peak on the graph. "But, how does that help us?"

"Dreams teach," Teal'c said thoughtfully.


"That is what Shifu said. Dreams teach."

"That was different though. Wasn't it?" Jack asked.

"I am merely wondering, O'Neill, if Daniel Jackson is somehow trying to communicate with us when we are unconscious, or in a light trance state in my case."

"I don't see how, Teal'c."

"For crying out loud, Carter, science doesn't have all the answers to everything yet, does it?" Jack said sharply, remembering how clear, how exact, his dreams had been. "Try to be a little more positive."

"Yes sir," Sam said looking chastened.

Jack instantly felt guilty. He gave an apologetic sigh. " Guess I'm a little tense, what with the... " He gestured vaguely towards Daniel and then at his head. When Teal'c opened his mouth to speak, Jack held up a hand. "And yes, I know I'm not alone there. Sorry, Carter. I over-reacted."

Sam smiled. "Thank you sir. You're right. We're all a little strung out."

"And I don't disagree with you in principle, but this just seems like the best chance we've got right now. So... what were the salient features of your dreams or visions?"

"That Daniel was badly injured," Sam responded.

Teal'c nodded his agreement.

"I think we can take that as a given and move on."

"We were busy with the plants, O'Neill."

"Which we left behind... Maybe that's the point of the message," Sam said slowly, adding skeptically, "assuming it was a message."

There was a sharp intake of breath from Jack as Teal'c said, "We abandoned everything but what was already in our packs and ran back. Perhaps we should have brought them with us."

"Okay. Describe them for me."

"They were about six to nine inches tall. There was a circle of bright green leaves around the base of a single flower stem, a bit like dandelions. The stems were a mottled red - nearer to crimson than scarlet. On the top was a conical flower spike of downy whitish flowers. When the flowers had finished, a small berries remained, a bit like blueberries but much smaller and more of a dark steely gray."

When Sam had finished speaking, Jack was looking thoughtful. "Crimson stems... " he murmured.


"The arrows had crimson stems - and bright green fletchings..."

"Indeed? On Chulak, the herbalists believe that one can tell from the appearance of a plant what its purpose is."

"Doctrine of signatures," Sam speculated.


"It's a similar sort of thing to what Teal'c said. Take pulmonaria. It has mottled leaves that look a bit like a slice through a lung. In fact its common name is lungwort, and early physicians thought it would cure lung diseases."

"Oh. How d'ya know all that, Carter? Bit out of your sphere of expertise."

Sam gave a wistful smile. "My Mom was a keen gardener."

"Do you think the arrows may have been envenomed?" Teal'c asked.

"That would've have shown up in Daniel's blood work, wouldn't it?" Jack said.

"I really couldn't say, sir."

Doctor Fraiser was returning from one of S.G.-11's casualties at the other end of the ward, so Jack beckoned her over and put the question to her.

"I would've thought so, and I've already had the arrowheads tested for toxins. Results came back negative. I don't know that I could rule out something like that entirely though. Metallic poisons like antimony and arsenic stay in the body for years, but if the toxin was extremely volatile... What can I say? If it is some sort of toxin, it's alien and all bets are off."

Jack puffed out his cheeks. "Looks like we need to return to P9Z-221."

General Hammond authorized the return visit but not until the following day. Although Daniel was slowly deteriorating, he didn't seem to be in immediate danger. It seemed prudent, therefore, to ensure that the rest of his team were well rested and at peak alertness. He didn't want any further casualties from that planet.

Jack, impatient as he was to return, was forced to accept the wisdom of Hammond's decision and, after a final visit to the infirmary to check on Daniel, he turned in early. And dreamed again. He awoke reasonably rested however, and joined Sam and Teal'c in the commissary.

"Had any more dreams, kids?" he asked over breakfast.

Teal'c inclined his head as Sam said, "Yes sir, but it was different this time."

"You too, huh? How about you, T?"

"It was merely a brief repeat of what I had seen before except that, upon this occasion, I was alone."

Sam looked up from her scrambled eggs in surprise. Jack looked a question.

"In my dream, I wasn't with Teal'c. I was with you, and we were "

"Inside the temple?"

"Yes sir."

"Still think this is just a coincidence, Major?"

"I think it's either a monumental coincidence, or... Daniel's running this mission."

A visit to the infirmary before the team left for P9Z-221 showed Daniel's condition had continued to deteriorate following several peaks of brain activity during the night. Janet was still trying to find out if she'd missed something in her initial diagnosis. Although the situation was not yet desperate, the prognosis did not look good.

It was a somber group that set foot on alien soil once more. Jack's eye went immediately to the temple and the bloody hand print on the column. It was brown now, and almost blended in with all the other discolorations. But it was still there. In his mind, he heard Daniel's plea again: 'Help me! Help... me...'

" 'Kay, Teal'c, you collect the plants. Carter, you're with me. Back here in one hour."

Jack took a deep breath and headed for the temple with Sam in his wake. From the bright light outside, the interior looked inky black. Sam turned on the halogen lamp and shone it through the entry passage.

The walls were covered with frescoes. They must have been startlingly brilliant when first done. Although the colors had faded a little over - what? centuries? - and were covered by a fine layer of green mold and candle soot they were still impressive. Daniel must have been in seventh heaven when he first set eyes on it. Not quite Howard Carter's 'wonderful things' in Tut's tomb, but close.

Jack and Sam followed the passage to its end. Before them was a large open space. The lamp showed it to be the altar room from their dreams. The ceiling looked almost black now, but must once have been a deep cobalt blue. Dull grey stars in unfamiliar constellations decorated it. On the upper half of the walls, the paint shaded from dark blue to pale azure. Fluffy clouds, once white, floated thereon.

There was a broad band of random wavy strokes in shades of blue, green and white around the level of a dado rail. These were presumably meant to present the sea. The lowest three feet of the walls showed scenery - with lots of trees - and the daily life of the long dead inhabitants. And small clouds.

Men in priestlike robes were stepping on to the clouds and were being born aloft. Now they looked with more attention to detail, there were small figures on the higher clouds too.

"See any magic mushrooms, Carter?" Jack said wryly.

"No, sir, but look along there."

She directed the beam on to a clump of the red stalked plants from his dream. Jack was about to make a bee-line towards them when Sam grabbed his sleeve.

"Remember to keep to the sides, sir."

"And keep low. Right."

Cautiously, bent over, they went over to the painted clump of plants. Sam focused the light on and around it.

"Go a little higher with the light. The arrows must have been fired from fairly high."

Finally they saw it, a circular hole, a couple of inches in diameter, in a very dark section of the sea border, and hence not immediately obvious.

"I suspect that's where one of the arrows that hit Daniel came from," he said.

"Do you think the booby-trap only fires the once or are there any more in there?" Sam asked.

"Well let's see, shall we?" Jack laid his pack down and took out the collection vessel Fraiser had hastily cobbled together from a metal urine bottle before they left. He held it up in front of the hole, carefully keeping his hand out of the probable line of fire. Nothing happened.

Sam shone the beam along the lower section, looking for another depiction of the plants. They seemed to be placed at fairly regular intervals. The pair crept up to the next clump along and found another camouflaged hole.

Jack maneuvered the bottle over it and was rewarded with a loud clang. The force almost knocked the bottle out of his hand. He winced at the thought of the ones thumping into Daniel's flesh as he quickly capped the bottle.

"Okay, let's get out of here."

As they emerged from the tomb, Teal'c was coming out of the trees.

"You got 'em, Teal'c?"

"I have, O'Neill."

"Good. Then let's go."

The next forty-eight hours had Jack nearly climbing the walls. Jack nearly had Sam and Janet climbing the walls as they worked with their departments on finding a cure. Janet eventually banned him from the infirmary but then relented and let him stay by Daniel's bed with the proviso that if he said just one more word to her or her nurses, he would be banned for the duration.

Not long after that, Sam threatened to ask General Hammond to ban him from the labs. but settled for asking Teal'c to take him off for a little sparring practice.

Eventually, after intensive testing of the venom on the dart and the chemical constituents of the plants, it was believed that a solution had been found. It was administered and then it was down to watching and waiting.

There was no instant response from Daniel except that his condition had not worsened as a result of the treatment. That had been a serious worry. They were working at the frontiers of their knowledge, but when the hoped-for cure was tried, they had reached the point of having no other alternative.

Finally, on Jack's watch, Daniel began to rouse gently from the not-coma. His eyelids fluttered but did not open, and his lips moved slightly. Jack called for Janet.

Daniel murmured something that he didn't catch. He leaned in close to Daniel's mouth. "Say again," he said softly.

The word came as a whisper in his ear, "Coffee..."

Jack choked back something that was part laugh, part cry, and felt tears start to his eyes. Suddenly, it was just like old times. He quickly dragged his sleeve across his face as Janet came out of her office.

"He wants," Jack said, his voice cracking ever so slightly.

From then on, Daniel improved rapidly. He suddenly discovered his appetite and went from strength to strength. After a couple of days, he seemed mostly back to normal and was demanding to be released.

"Daniel," Janet said severely, "You almost died - again. I'm not taking any risks with you having a relapse."

"I'm feeling fine, Janet. Never better," Daniel tried to reassure her.

"You might fool anyone who doesn't know you, but I do know you, and I'm not fooled by the 'I'm fine' routine. Besides which, when you're not under strain here, of course you feel better, but by the time you get to the top of the mountain, you'll be feeling pretty washed out. Trust me on that."

Daniel sighed. He looked up at Janet through his lashes and used his best cajoling tones. "Well supposing one of the team comes home with me, just to make sure I don't keel over as soon as I set foot over the threshold...? Please?"

Janet felt her control over the situation gently slipping away from her. Then Colonel O'Neill slouched in.

"Having trouble, Doc?"

"You could say..." Against the two of them, she stood little chance, but laid down stringent conditions before releasing Daniel on home leave for seven days.

Daniel soon found that Janet had been right about his not being as well as he thought he was. He'd felt fine while stuck kicking his heels in the infirmary. Now he needed a couple of stops to get his breath back between there and the parking lot.

"Maybe we should go back, Daniel,"Jack suggested, looking worried.

Daniel's eyes narrowed. "Don't even think about it," he growled. "I've got you all to myself for a week and I'm not sharing."

Jack shot him a suspicious look and got an inscrutable one in return. He began to wonder what he'd let himself in for.

When they arrived at Daniel's apartment, Daniel generously allowed Jack to indulge his inner mother hen for a while, settling him on the couch with his feet up, a rug wrapped around his legs and a copy of the quarterly journal, Anthropological Linguistics, to read.

He then disappeared into the kitchen to make coffee. From the sounds emanating therefrom - exclamations, mutterings, and the clattering of the trash-can lid - he was also going through Daniel's 'fridge and evicting a number of bio-hazards.

He returned a while later carrying a tray with a pot of Daniel's favorite coffee, two mugs and a plate of cookies on it. He set it down on the small table beside the couch, poured the coffee, passed one mug to Daniel and offered him a cookie. Daniel thanked him with an approving smile.

"O-kay," he began as Jack sat himself down on an easy chair with his own mug and made himself comfortable. "I think you and I have something to talk about."

"We have?"

"Yes. We have."


"Well, you kissing me for a start."

Jack sat bolt upright, temporarily bereft of speech. Daniel was looking at him, as if daring him to deny it. He thought back to the beginning. Daniel had definitely been unconscious at that point. Maybe he'd had a dream - make that nightmare. Yes that must be it. He gave a chuckle which he hoped didn't sound as nervous as he thought it did.

"You must've been having some wacky dreams while you were out of it."

"Are you denying it then?"

"Aw, come on, Daniel, why would I kiss you?"

"Something to do while you waited for the... ah... mini-Napoleon to arrive maybe...?"

"No..." Jack said thoughtfully. He often called Fraiser the mini-Napoleon. So it had to be surmise on Daniel's part - all mixed in with his dreams. "There's something very weird going on here," he muttered.

"Well, you got that part right!"

"So ?"

"It's... a long story."

"We have seven days..." Jack grinned, hoping to deflect Daniel from such dangerous territory - hoping also that he might not return to it.

"Well, perhaps not that long a story," Daniel smiled back, failing to be diverted.

"So, about the "

"Kiss?" Jack sighed, realizing he wasn't going to be able to wriggle out of it.

"Yes. It was sweet."

Jack gave him a skeptical look.

"And the way you held my hand Till you heard the 'Gate activate," Daniel chuckled, then he added seriously, "You were my anchor, Jack. Without you, I wouldn't be here now."

"Where'd you get all this - this... stuff - from anyway?"

"It's... difficult... "

"We've got seven days... " The hope that Daniel would get carried away with his account and forget about that silly little kiss was not yet extinct.

Daniel sighed, looking into space as if debating within himself on how to tackle the problem. Jack sat back, giving him time to collect his thoughts. It took a few minutes then he began.

"P9Z-221 was inhabited by the Tzikala, who were probably derived from the Maya. According to their history - or legends - they were transported there by a goa'uld called Belachina. She was a Mayan goddess of death, and seems to have similar interests to Nirrti. Well, not that similar. She was more into experimenting with the mind the psyche, you know?"

"Not a lot, and as we don't have the doc. - or Sam - here, just stick to the basics, huh?"

"Okay, well, the Tzikala priests long before Belachina arrived on the planet - had rituals involving the ki-imak ool pak, or happiness plant."

"Kind of their drug of choice?" Jack asked. "Like cannabis or L.S.D.?"

"Something like that, yes. It enabled them to travel among the clouds 'untrammeled by the weight of the body.' At the end of the 'trip,' one of the priests who'd stayed behind to care for the body - make sure it didn't end up as a meal for a jaguar - gave the antidote, the ta-asik nahil pak, to bring them back again."

"That tassie-what's it, that the one Carter and Teal'c found?"

"Right. Well Belachina was experimenting with the ki-imak ool pak, splitting the conscious mind off from the bodies of her minions and projecting it into the minds of her enemies, either as a means of spying on them or of manipulating them into doing what she wanted."

"She was controlling other System Lords?" Jack asked, looking slightly freaked.

"Ah, not usually. I gather it was mostly Jaffa and high-ranking officials. I think dealing with three consciousnesses in one body was a step too far. Maybe that's part of what brought about her downfall."


"Yes. There was something of a rebellion by the Tzikala priests. If the consciousness is kept separate for too long, the body withers and dies, leaving the consciousness permanently stuck in a kind of limbo."

Jack looked horrified. "Ya mean, if we hadn't found out how to bring you back, you'd have...?"

"Been haunting the S.G.C. like I was when we went to P7X-377? Yep, sorta."


"Yeah... So, lucky for me, some of them are still around then."

"It is?"

"They explained what had happened and showed me how to contact you for help."

Jack stared at Daniel, feeling a cold numbness grip his insides. Without the priests... "Wait a minute, back up. Are you saying some of those Tizzy-guys are still floating around out there?" He gestured vaguely.

"Six of them, actually."


"In limbo? Yes."

"So... How long have they been like that?"

"You really wouldn't want to know," Daniel said sadly.

"Eternal life not all it's cracked up to be?"

"At least they're company for each other." Daniel looked thoughtful for a while. "I wonder..." he mused then slipped back into his reverie.

"What?" Jack demanded, hooked on the tale and forgetting his aim of diverting Daniel away from more uncomfortable topics.


"You wonder what, Daniel?" Jack said with forced patience.

"Oh sorry. I was just thinking that maybe the Ancients could help them."

"Probably could. Probably won't," Jack said cynically.

"They might. The Tzikala are kind of ascended anyway."

"I thought the Ancients didn't interfere."

"Some do, Jack. Oma Desala's raising Shifu don't forget, and Orlin didn't seem to have a problem with meddling in the affairs of us petty humans. Maybe we could schedule another mission to Kheb?"

"I'll recommend it to General Hammond," Jack nodded. " I think we owe them."

"Yes we do - well, I do. Which leaves us with the kiss..." Daniel fixed Jack with a bland smile that had Jack feeling like a mouse in front of a particularly single-minded cat.

"Listen, Daniel, I don't know where you've got this cockamamie idea from, 'cept that you were knocking on death's door... " He fidgeted in his seat. "Please Daniel, let it go."

Daniel just kept right on smiling. "So, you're not going to make good on your promise to take me to the museum of my choice either, then? Jack...? You okay?"

Jack nodded. "Crumb," he wheezed at last, thumping his chest. "Went down the wrong way."

"You're not actually eating anything, Jack..." Daniel pointed out.

"Oh, sorry. You must be hungry. Can I pass you another cookie or would you like something more filling?" Jack pushed himself up out of the chair, in the profound hope of either derailing Daniel's train of thought or of escaping into the kitchen or, preferably, both.



Daniel could have laughed aloud at Jack's dumbfounded expression. "Just you, Jack," he repeated, "even if means heading for your ramshackle cabin in the woods, mosquitoes included. Now sit down before I get a crick in my neck."

Jack did so, still looking decidedly shaken.

"You're not going to give this up, are ya?" Jack sighed as the silence crammed the space between them.

Very slightly, very slowly, Daniel shook his head.

"Dammit, Daniel!" Jack was looking acutely uncomfortable as he searched for the right words - any words, really. "It was just... It's like this, see... I mean... Think of it as... um... okay, maybe I'm fond of you... sort of... a little..."

Daniel finally took pity on him. ""I'll make it easy for you," he said, "Why not just tell me you love me?"

"W-What? Daniel, that's You're not supposed to "

Daniel chuckled at his floundering leader. "Jack, I've been in your head, remember?"

Jack shut up instantly and a deep flush settled on his face as he wondered what exactly Daniel had found in there. Okay, there had been nothing NC-17 rated since the incident in the temple, but before that, there was enough to get him fifty years in Leavenworth, minimum.

"Come here, Jack," Daniel said, setting aside the impedimenta of rug, mug and journal. He swung his feet around and sat up while he indicated the floor beside the couch.

Warily, Jack came over and knelt down. Daniel laid his hands either side of Jack's face and kissed him, long and gentle. There was no passion in it - time for that later - just a kiss of deep and mutual love— and a token of more to come.

Jack finally broke the kiss, wrapping his arms around Daniel, holding him tightly and burying his face in Daniel's neck. "I thought I'd really lost you this time." His shoulders shuddered several times as he tried to hold himself together and didn't quite make it.

Daniel waited until he'd regained control. "It's okay, Jack. I love you too - for all time."

"Ya do?" Jack sat back abruptly. "Why?"

Daniel cracked out laughing. "God alone knows!" He stopped laughing. "But I do."

A wide, almost smug, smile lit up Jack's face. "Sweet."

Fizz... Ting!

Crown Infernal